Disclaimer: I own nothing apart from the pleasure of sharing this plot with others. No money has been made or shall be made out of this fiction. All rights reserved to their rightful owners. Bless Mr. Lucas for having such imagination and for bringing people together all over the world, in a common love of Star Wars.
A/N: First of all this story is my first real attempt to share my work so please don't be rough. Mostly it revolves around Ahsoka and Captain Rex (hopefully for the happiness of Rexoka fans) and it has been inspired by the episode „The Hidden Enemy". My version of events takes place after 'The Hidden Enemy.
Secondly I put it on the table now that I'm not a native speaker. All my gratitude goes to rabbit. for taking me as her „padawan" in writing and help me grow and practise English with so much faith.
Thirdly I'm in front of my Bsc Final Exam. As a pressure exhaust I decided to get rid of the ideas stuck in my head about Rex/Ahsoka in a fic to give more space to my actual studies..because I'm just weird like that.
Updates are a tricky question but we shall see how we can work with the amazing fabulous rabbit. (read her stories!) and keep you guys entertained.
Feel free to drop a review or message. I will always appreciate building criticism and suggestions either on the topic or concerning the style.
Summary: After the capture of Sgt. Slick, Rex and Ahsoka have to face changes in their relationship and set the future into motion. Order 66 is looming on the horizon and hard decisions will change lives.
"Captain Rex," Obi-Wan waved the blue-and-white armored clone over, and Rex hurried to his side with hands clasped behind his back.
"Yes, General Kenobi?"
Obi-Wan's silent blue eyes were resting on Anakin's padawan. The clone Captain's eyes followed suit and his back stiffened slightly the moment he realized where the Jedi's focus was channeled. The young Togruta was standing next to Commander Cody, in her usual not-too-Jedi-ish attire. As far as Rex could tell, they were discussing battle tactics about General Grievous; the two were taking a rare opportunity to do a little practice in their down-time and they seemed to have fun arguing and clashing swords on tactical opinions. Some of the nearby clones were eavesdropping on their conversation as well, and the older Jedi - along with Rex - had to admire the young Togruta's sharp eyes and quick thinking.
"I want you to take Ahsoka down to the holding cells and have her guard Slick until we reach Coruscant."
Obi-Wan's blunt voice interrupted Rex's musings; he suddenly felt like arguing, but found himself nodding slightly instead. Otherwise, he didn't move and Obi-Wan gave the frustrated clone a questioning look.
"Might I ask you to reconsider it, Sir?" Rex finally remembered from behind his cloud of frustration, that it was all right to speak his mind. "She shouldn't be anywhere near that criminal."
Obi-Wan measured the Captain's feelings through the Force, but it felt as if a door had been shut in his face. The Jedi was intrigued at how easily the Captain could deflect manipulation or mental interrogation; it proved that the clone had a strong attitude and an even stronger mind. Obi-wan shrugged it off with the simplest and most logical explanation - Captain Rex spent quite a lot of time around the Jedi and had probably learned some of the tricks in order to avoid their methods. Right in that moment though, Rex seemed genuinely worried about the Padawan.
Obi-Wan risked a small smile hidden behind his copperish beard.
"You may certainly ask, Captain, but I'm afraid that was an order. We need someone to watch over Slick and I trust only Ahsoka to do it properly. We can't afford to place many non-clone officers on guard and she has some free time at hand."
Rex knew only too well what the Jedi meant to say, without actually saying it. They couldn't trust other clones to guard this special prisoner, because his radically liberating views might find followers or affect the common opinion about the War.
He gave a lazy salute in silent acknowledgment of what the General had left unsaid and swallowed his distaste.
"I'll see to it, Sir."
Obi-Wan nodded and watched for a moment as the Captain march over to the still arguing pair, and then turned back to more important dealings on the holomaps in front of him.
Rex stiffly crossed the bridge and practically stalked toward Cody and Ahsoka. They both seemed to be deep in some kind of argument and Rex had to hide both his smile and his pride. The little Togruta knew how to get under their skin and prove her crazy points with such adamant belief – a belief so strong, that Rex sometimes thought it could turn a planet's rotation backwards.
"No, Commander! I don't think he'd dare make such a bold move. Especially after our last victory!" she shook her head and the beads on her Padawan's braid clinked together.
Her icy-blue eyes held no room for argument, as she fixed a resolute look on Cody just as he was about to open his mouth. Rex decided to step in that moment and reassure Ahsoka's small victory over his brother.
Ahsoka jumped a bit and Cody's face turned down into an annoyed grimace when he recognized the mischief in his brother's eye. Rex's timely interruption effectively ended their debate and the Captain knew that Cody wouldn't like losing an argument. It really went against his nature. Ahsoka was so deep in the conversation and so focused on Cody, that she had forgotten to mind her surroundings. Rex's sudden appearence and deep, cracking voice had scared the Sith out of her.
"Captain! You shouldn't sneak up on a Jedi like that!" she emphazed the word "you" by poking an accusing finger at his faded chestplate. "I could have attacked you, you know."
Her smile and shrug confirmed Rex's suspicion - she was just messing around with one of her weird jokes, again.
"Sorry, sir." he straightened up. "General Kenobi gave me orders to enlist you on guard duty. Your presence is required on the lower decks," Rex talked slowly and tried to hide his distaste with delivering such news.
Ahsoka looked up at his twisted face and gave him a full-hearted, reassuring smile. Rex had to watch himself. Those types of smiles always made funny things happen to his stomach.
"Well I suppose we'll finish this debate at another time, Commander," Ahsoka sighed and Cody shot a death glare at his brother for interrupting.
Rex's nonplussed expression pissed Cody off a bit and the two men eyed at each other for a moment above the Padawan's head. At a moment, though, Cody lost the staring contest and just bowed a bit to the small Jedi Commander then left quickly to go talk with Kenobi.
"I don't think he's happy," she leaned closer to Rex, as if they were sharing a secret; the battle hardened warrior felt uneasy.
"I think we should get going Commander" he ignored her comment about Cody and moved aside to give her space.
Ahsoka's bright smile didn't fade and Rex mentally muttered some Mandalorian curses about women, as he silently followed her off of the bridge.
They stepped in front of a dull gray elevator and Ahsoka couldn't keep her interest at bay. She clearly sensed that something was making him nervous and frustrated. Rex was hardly an emotional man, but right then he was throwing off all kind of colors through the Force.
"Captain…Is everything all right? You seem edgy." her worried voice shook him out of his thoughts.
"Yes, sir. No need to worry."
He tried to calm his anger and forced a smile, but it broke miserably at the corners of his hard-pressed lips. Ahsoka just gave him a "bite me" sort of look and crossed her slim arms over her chest. For a second Rex wondered why she always had to be so scantily dressed. It really seemed inappropriate at times like this. The movement pushed her small breasts together and he had to turn away. Rex knew that lieing to her was out of question, but constantly looking away wouldn't help matters much, either.
He sighed and admitted the truth so silently that Ahsoka was glad to have her sharp Togruta hearing.
"I don't like you being anywhere near that madman."
Ahsoka cocked her head to the side and pondered for a moment. Who did he mean? She almost instantly recalled the events about Sergeant Slick – about his betrayal to the clones and to the Republic – and she lowered her arms.
"Oh, come on, Rex," she punched his shoulder plate mockingly, but this time Rex didn't seem to want to ease down. "You know I've faced more dangerous things in this war than a clone traitor."
He winced, but not from pain. Slick was indeed a traitor, but he was still a brother.
The Sergeant had gotten on the wrong side of an idea that even made Rex sometimes wonder. But, the captain managed to push his own questions away and refused with all his stength to even consider such dangerous ideas.
There was no brother, creature or idea that could convince him differently about the Jedi. As far as Rex was concerned, there couldn't possibly be any credence to Slick's insistence about them being "the enemy." Rex refused to believe that the small Togrutan Commander at his side could ever possibly be a threat, or a heartless menace, to his brothers – or to anyone for that matter. She was the living epitome of honesty, innosense, compassion and devotion; in Rex's opinion, she was absolutely beautiful in every aspect. He often had to bite his tounge not to curse out loud in her company – in his higly biased opinion, she was just too innocent to live surrounded by such rough men as himself.
He hated the thought of Ahsoka being on board the same ship as "that traitor", let alone allowing her to be on the same level, or in the same room.
The elevator finally arrived on their deck and Rex courteously stepped aside to allow Ahsoka to enter first.
Her presence instantly filled the elevator with a soft feminine scent and Rex suddenly had trouble focusing on his anger.
"You know...you get a line between your eyebrows when you frown," her statement came straight out of the blue and Rex looked down in surprise.
At first, he thought that maybe he had hallucinated or maybe misheard what she had said. But the mischeviously sparkling eyes left little room for doubt - his brain and ears were indeed functioning properly.
He shook his head in disbelief. What was he suppoused to say? That her plump lips were quite kissable when she talked nonsense? Rex had to slap himself mentally.
"Uhm...no, sir. I didn't know that."
"There is one, I'm telling you! And it really makes you look kind of cute…" his glare at the decapitetive "cute" made Ahsoka backpedal. "…But in a serious sort of way, of course."
She still didn't make any sense to him, but her smile and her bright eyes melted his anger away. He punched her shoulder a little in an attempt to difuse his sudden sense of awkwardness.
"Thanks, Kid," Rex wondered almost immediately, if he had said something wrong or had punched her too hard, because a look of hurt flashed across her features. It only lasted for a second; the elevator doors opened and they had to make room for the other clones filling in.
He tried his best to flatten himself against the wall, but it seemed as if all of his brothers were desperate to get in and to avoid waiting for another round.
Ahsoka also tried to manouver herself into a position that left more room, but even her slim body didn't make much of a difference in the cramped space. She somehow ended up on Rex's left side and her lekku turned a darker shade when it touched his uniform lightly.
Rex turned into stone and tried to keep his breathing in check by counting backwards from 100.
All of the other clones found their place finaly and the murmurs died down as soon as everyone had managed to fit inside and the doors had closed.
Ahsoka wasn't really pushed back by anyone, but she preferred not to touch anyone else apart from Rex. Her legs started to get numb from being in such an unpleasant pose, so she decided to get comfortable by placing her hand at Rex's chestplate and balancing herself against him. Rex didn't show any outward sign of having noticed; he merely stood still and stared at the back of another clone's head.
He kept himself in control and tried not to pay attention to her warm, soft body pressed against his side or to the gentle smell of her beautifully alien skin. She smelled so sweet…he couldn't place the scent, but it felt comfortingly familiar.
Rex never imagined that reaching the lower decks could take so long.
He almost sighed with relief when the elevator stopped and the other clones began to fill out. Ahsoka moved away from him and he felt like he could finally breath again.
"What a tight ride, huh?" she tried to joke, but Rex realised that she was just as confused about what had just happened, as he was.
"Indeed," he distracted himself by glancing at the glowing line of numbers on the panel in front of them. "Twenty more levels and we're there."
He pushed a button to get the elevator started again and then turned to mess with his plates as if they needed rearrangement. Ahsoka started to play with one of her padawan beads and checked her leather boots with great deliberation.
The tension finally ended when the doors slid open and the gloomy, half-lit prison deck welcomed them. A black-suited clone who was sitting behind a control desk, glanced up as they approached. Rex asked for Slick's holding cell number and after a short briefing, he was able to guide Ahsoka further into the deck.
His inner turmoil returned and she had to grab his forearm to break his dark thoughts. Rex looked down as her elegant fingers curled gently around his gauntlet and he took a deep breath.
The concern sparkling in her blue eyes was clear and she didn't have to utter a word. She needed him to stay cool and collected, and Rex understood that perfectly.
They walked to Slick's cell side by side and Ahsoka could feel the darkness getting thicker. The pressure represented in the Force, slowed her steps unconsciously. Dark emotions surrounded the cell that they finally stopped at. A non-clone guard saluted and left his post quickly after Rex confirmed General Kenobi's orders.
Ahsoka was about to step toward the door, but Rex grabbed her upper arm and stopped her midstep. His vice-like grip alarmed Ahsoka and she turned to look up at his face. What she could see there was a bit of a surprise.
Rex looked scared. Ahsoka couldn't remember a day when she had seen Rex so openly frightened.
"Don't get into a conversation with him. He's sly and manipulative, and he hates all the Jedi so much that it's sickening," Rex's voice was filled with surprisingly deep emotion.
Ahsoka tried to peel his hand off with a gentle motion and reassuring words.
"Rex, you know who you're talking to. I can handle myself - he's just one prisoner."
She had to suppress a hiss when his grip suddenly tightened.
"Don't underestimate him! He might be just another clone, but in some ways that just makes him more dangerous," Rex finally realized that he had pulled the small commander almost up onto her tiptoes and that her face was grimacing from the stength of his hand.
He let go immediately and turned red from shame. He didn't mean to hurt her.
"I'm sorry, Commander."
She massaged her arm and smiled up at him.
"It's gonna be all right, Rex. Don't worry about it."
He couldn't tell if she was talking about her arm - where he was almost certain a bruise would form later – or about the situation at hand. He suspected that somehow her words were meant about both. When an uncomfortable silence fell between them again, he stepped back and looked at her apologetically.
"I need to leave to the bridge, but I'll be back to check on you in an hour or so."
She shook her head, still caught up in denial.
"That's unnecessary. Like I said, it's going to be…"
"I insist, Commander," Rex interrupted her and fixed her with the sort of hard glare he usually reserved for his troops.
Ahsoka suddenly felt fragile and she caved under his intense look.
"Whatever makes you happy, Rexter," she forced a grin at his frozen expression.
Rex really couldn't believe her ability to toss nicknames so casually at a time like this. He had to give it to her - she was definitely "snippy" sometimes.
"See you later, Commander."
He lingered for a second, checking the door over with a stern gaze. Then, without another word, he turned and marched away with hasty steps.
Ahsoka watched his back retreat from sight around a corner and then turned slowly to open the door. Her cheerful facade crumbled the moment Rex's disappeared and left her alone in the dark hall.
The emotions radiating from the holding cell were crippling and disturbing. The sheer amount of hatred and frustration forced Ahsoka to use her long-trained Jedi control to keep herself cocooned in peace.
She wondered idly what could have possibly happened to this clone, to turn him into a traitor against his own brothers and to cause him emit so much darkness.
After a moment's hesitation, she braced herself and hit the button next to the door...