Chapter 1: Headbanging

Commander Cody of the 212th was not one to rush into things without regard for danger. He took things slowly and steadily, never moved without at least a second's consideration, and always planned things out first. But during a war, it did not always pay to be so cautious, and there were times when he did indeed run into trouble. Often it was to make sure General Kenobi survived, sometimes it was just that there was no time to think everything through; either way, his friend Rex of the 501st liked to joke that his own fast-paced fighting style was beginning to rub off on the commander.

Not for the first time, he wished Rex wasn't rubbing off on him.

This time, however, it wasn't running into what was no doubt a trap or taking refuge in a cave that was more than likely the nesting ground of some sort of man-eating carnivore that he was regretting. His mistake wasn't quite so obvious to an outside observer, and at first the choice hadn't seemed as dangerous as it really was.

There was a general named Sayn-Linn Swiftwater who was at the Kaliida Shoals medical center at the same time as General Kenobi and many members of the 212th. Cody had been there to make sure a minor injury of his was just that, and wouldn't progress any further, while General Swiftwater and the small 49th Defense Corps had arrived to drop off several of its members, all of whom were severely injured. Among the injured was Captain Zach, who had jumped on a bomb in a valiant attempt to save his brothers, and there was no question that he would be stuck in a bacta tank for several days at least due to his heroics.

The problem was, the 49th was needed immediately on the other side of the galaxy, and General Swiftwater was still missing her captain. So she had come to General Kenobi to ask for advice.

That was the point where Cody walked in. Upon hearing her plight, he had offered to fill in for the semi-famous captain. Kenobi agreed, and within the next half hour Cody was on board the Iron Will. The 212th and 49th had worked together before, and he thought it wouldn't be a problem for him to lead them until Zach was on his feet again.

But he'd forgotten the most important thing about General Swiftwater: she never told anyone everything, often withholding entire battle plans until the engagement had been won or lost. So now she was in the mess with all twenty-two non-injured members of her unit, explaining to them why Commander Cody was going to be with them. Cody himself was right outside the doors, repeatedly bashing his head against the wall for assuming everything would be alright if he just offered to fill in for the injured captain. He had been listening to the conversation for awhile and gathered that not many of the men liked having him "invade our Corps", when General Swiftwater mentioned that for this mission she was going to split the Corps up and have one Force-user to each group. The commander assumed she was referring to herself and her Padawan until she went on to say "and since I can only trust Lieutenant Bluebird and Captain Zach to listen to Commander Offee 100% of the time, and I know Commander Cody will do the same now that Zach is stuck in a bacta tank for the next few days, I decided that it would be best for the sake of the mission to accept his generous offer and have him help us out."

There had been a sudden flare of objections, but Cody had barely registered anything she had said after "Commander Offee." Commander Offee was Barriss Offee. He had worked with Barriss a few times before, and each time he had trouble speaking without babbling like a fool.

Oh, crap, am I screwed, he had thought.

And then he started the head-banging.

He tuned back into the argument after the headache cleared, though he had missed quite a bit of it while he was killing brain cells. Now one of the troopers was trying to say that Lieutenant Bluebird could look after the Padawan.

Swiftwater cut him off. "I still need a commanding officer in both groups, regardless of specific rank. And whoever ends up with my unit needs to be someone I have fought with enough to trust whole-heartedly if something happens to me. Now I'm not saying Cody is a bad leader or a terrible fighter, but I've worked with Bluebird more often and would rather have her at my back."

If Bluebird was with General Swiftwater, the only officer left to watch after Barriss was Cody. And if he was the only officer, and the 49th were as terrible at listening to the Padawan as Swiftwater claimed, he'd have to talk to her almost constantly.

His head said hello to the wall one more time.

When Swiftwater had finished explaining why they needed Cody and everyone but herself had wandered out of the mess, Cody came to see if he could inconspicuously weasel out what Barriss—Commander Offee, he corrected himself—was doing here. She was General Unduli's Padawan, while Swiftwater's apprentice was a male Zabrak named Mykolas.

Just as he was about to greet her and begin his subtle probing, she asked without turning around, "Are you already missing the 212th? I mean, I know my guys can be harsh, but Zach's kind of an older brother to them, and they just don't like the idea of someone taking his place."

Startled, Cody asked, "Wha?"

The Jedi did turn at this, giving him a slight smile. She was fairly comely, about his height or perhaps taller, with gold-blond hair cropped short and intelligent green eyes. "I'm sorry about what my men said back there. Most of them are just worried about Zach, and most of the rest are jerks, so you shouldn't take any of their complaints personally."

"How did you…?"

She rolled those green eyes and jumped off the table she had been sitting on. "I could sense your frustration from ten clicks away if I tried hard enough. You're regretting your decision to come here, and it's hardly been an hour. I just want to apologize for my men, being all jerk-y."

He was about to tell her that it wasn't her fault he was upset when Barriss walked in.

"Master Swiftwater, I have the maps you requested right here," she said, handing the woman a datastick.

"Thank you, Barriss. Oh, have you met Commander Cody?"

She turned and saw him, her face suddenly blushing to an interesting shade of green. "Hello, Commander. I...didn't know you were assigned to this mission, too."

Cody tried to think of something to say. "Hi, Commander Offee." He blushed, too, wishing he was closer to a wall.

"I can explain," cut in a grinning Swiftwater. "You know how Zach was hit by that bomb yesterday? Well, it turns out Master Obi-Wan was also at the medical center, so I went to ask his advice when Cody came in and, long story short, he offered to fill in for Zach until the doctors let him out."

Barriss nodded. "It was kind of you to volunteer." She inspected something on the far side of the room.

"Thanks. I-I didn't know you were here either." His mind was as sluggish as a Hutt. She probably thought he was an idiot.

"Master Swiftwater and Master Unduli sort of traded Padawans," she explained quietly, now looking at her boots.

There was an increasingly awkward pause, which a still-smiling Sayn-Linn finally broke. "Well, we'll be in the Cerea system in a few hours. You should both get some rest. I doubt Master Ki-Adi-Mundi will appreciate us falling asleep as soon as we land on the planet."

Both agreed to this and left the mess quickly. As soon as he was in his barracks, Cody couldn't help but give himself a few good face palms before trying to sleep.

A few notes:

I don't own Star Wars, or Barris, or Cody. I do own my computer, the 49th Defense Corps, and Sayn-Linn, as well as her Padawan.
This is my first official fanfiction. HOORAY! I wrote this because Aurora Lunar 0Love This0 invited me to be a staff member for her community, and I thought I should write some actual Cody/Barris fanfic.
This story will switch from Cody to Barris's POV, with possible blurbs from Sayn-Linn, other members of the 49th, and Lieutenant Bluebird.

You'll meet the 49th unit in pieces, when they're relevant to the plot or I just want to make you laugh. Eventually they'll get their own story, which will probably take place before this fanfic. I'll put in chapters when I can, or when inspiration hits. Any suggestions are appreciated!

Till next time,