I'll spare you my yammering and cut to the chase :)

Please don't sue me. I never claimed to own these characters. Please?


The guilt was eating him alive. Hed been a coward to run. All night he tossed and turned, thinking of what might become of the woman who had suddenly decided to save his life. Dooku could kill her. Today he knew what he should do. He had to go back, and he had to find her. If it was too late, he'd never forgive himself. For years he'd hoped she'd return to light, and as she made some turn towards goodness, he had run.

He did know better then to go by himself. He needed someone who would trust him without much explination, someone who could keep their mouth shut if necessary, and someone who was a skilled fighter.

Oh force, that meant he'd have to take Anakin.

"Master, where are we going?"

"Just go left Anakin. You'll understand eventually."

"We're not going on that big ship, are we?"

"Correct. We're going on the big ship."

"Sweet! Why?" Not the reaction he'd expected, but welcome anyway.

"For a rescue mission."

Anakin's face creased slightly. "Who needs rescuing?"

"I don't know if anyone will, but we're… checking."

"So, on a whim, we're entering a deadly Separatist ship just to check if they have any prisoners?"

"Once again, correct."

Anakin rolled his eyes, but headed straight for the ship anyway. Getting aboard was easy once Anakin located a docking hatch, and once inside, they were able to shut down the sensors in that area of the ship. Then, Skywalker was forced to be patient as Obi-wan reached out with the force, searching.

Asajj lay still. Moving hurt too much. Everything hurt. It would be far easier, far better, just to die. Yet some stubborn part of her clung to life by a thread. Not yet dead, not really alive either. Thinking hurt too much. But she'd saved Kenobi. Maybe that was what mattered. After all, who was she in the galaxy, what difference did she make, who cared for her? Kenobi was worth saving. His life was more important.

Blood was pooling underneath her body, and it was warm and cold and wet and sticky all at once. It was a cruel irony, using an electrowhip droid on her as she'd once done to Kenobi. She'd never hurt him this badly; he'd never come even close to dying. Perhaps Dooku appreciated the irony.

Unexpectedly the door opened, and an angel was there; the light streaming into the dark room from around him, his white robes so pure compared to the filth around her, and his eyes lit with concern told her that Kenobi had come from Heaven itself to rescue her.

"Oh, Ventress." He collapsed to his knees at her side, as she'd done so long ago. "I never should have run." She barely heard his whisper, but it didn't matter anymore. She hadn't wanted to live before, but now Asajj Ventress wished for an eternity to gaze at his beautiful face.

"You came," was all she managed to get out. Anakin peered over his master's shoulder in utter disgust.

"I should have stayed, I could have prevented this. Was it on Dooku's orders?" His voice was absolutely heart-wrenching; the idea that he should feel bad on her account was something she didn't like. Oh Kenobi. I'm not worth your sorrow. She nodded weakly. "Ventress…" There was raw guilt in his face, and his hand reached towards her, but Anakin's boot tip stopped him.

"Master, I think it's too late," said Anakin softly, but Asajj heard him anyway.

"Maybe it is, but I'm going to try. It's my fault, and I'm no better than the sith if I leave her here to die." But it's not your fault Kenobi, its mine and only mine. She could see the revulsion in the younger Jedi's face- clearly the thought of touching her was causing it. Obi-wan, however, appeared to desire nothing more than to lay his hands on her bloodstained arm, which is what he did.

"This is who you came to rescue?"

"Of course." Now anger had risen in his voice. "She saved my life yesterday."

"You'll also remember that she once did exactly this to you! She's getting what she deserves, Master. Why the hoth are you so concerned?"

"What she deserves is a second chance, Anakin." His eyes left his Padawan and moved back to her face. "You'll make it, my darling. It'll be alright. Are your lightsabers here?" She nodded again, and gestured slightly towards the floor across the room. "Anakin, get her sabers."

"Why do I have to carry them? She's your special project."

"Because I'm carrying her." Without another word, he slid his arms gently under her back and lifted her. And it hurt. The pressure on the wounds on her back stung and burned, and she let out an involuntary whimper of pain.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry." He whispered, bending his face low over her, "I have to get you to the ship. Just a little while, my dear." She stopped concentrating on pain then, because his face was very close. She leaned her head against his chest to avoid his blue gaze. I'm getting blood on his robes. Tainting him. Anakin's right. I should be left here.

"Master, I really don't think she's going to survive. It's not worth trying to-"

"It's not?" the fierce anger was back. "Maybe she is going to die. Maybe she is. And I'd prefer she died on our ship, knowing someone cared for her, then alone in this filthy cell!" He cares for me? That was a very new thought, being cared about.

"But master-"

"No buts."

"What about orders, like you always tell me? Don't risk many lives to save one. What about that?"

"To hoth with orders." Obi-wan mumbled. "She's worth it." Oh, but I'm not! I'm really not. How can you bear to touch me after everything I've done? Obi-wan leaned down impulsively and kissed her blood-spattered lips. Oh force. I must taste like blood. Why would he…?

Anakin was quiet the rest of the way.

They had brought a ship, docked it right to the side of the Separatist cruiser. Once inside, Anakin started the engines, and Obi-wan laid her down on a small medical table in another room. As much as she enjoyed being close to him, it was a relief to lay flat again; every inch of her skin was screaming in pain, and holding so still made it feel a little bit better. Obi-wan pulled away what remained of her tattered, bloody sleeves, then began gently rubbing something into her wounds. It stung at first, but then a cooling relief washed over her. She wasn't sure how long she stayed awake- knowing she was safe made it easier to pass out.

The ship's landing brought Asajj back to consciousness. "Where are we?" she drawled, feeling dizzy. Blood loss. That's why I'm so faint. An inner reflex urged her to figure out where she was, in case she needed to get away.

"Shhhh." Obi-wan was at her side in an instant. "You're still not in very good shape my dear. We're on Corausant."

"I don't like Corausant." She whispered back. It was only then that she realized most of her clothes was gone- only her shorts and the band of cloth around her chest remained. Obi-wan had been bathing her back with the healing solution, clearly, as most of her skin felt relieved and clean. A cloak was wrapped around her pale body. Kenobi's cloak was missing, and his robes beneath were blood-stained. The two simultaneous thought that crossed her mind were 'He's too kind for his own good,' and 'Force- I wish I'd been awake.' There was some guilty, pleasured part of her mind that enjoyed the idea of Kenobi sliding off her shirt, even if it was only to care for her wounds.

"We have to go to the Temple. They'll finish treating you there." They did finish treating her at the temple, and then she wasn't sure, but she thought they injected her with something sleep-inducing, because she absolutely passed out.

It may be a coincidence that Dooku punished Asajj in the same way she hurt Obi-wan years ago, or maybe Dooku is smarter than we realized and he understands that that day is the day he lost his apprentice's loyalty, and wishes to use irony. The world may never know...