Last chapter! Thank you so much for the kind words everyone!


Epilogue:

It lasted maybe a month, before the memories began to return.

At first they were fragments brought to the surface of his mind by something small and insignificant: one day he heard what sounded like the timpani of a small drum, and the feel of taut skin over wood came unbidden to his fingers; another time it was the way that the yellow light of Kali's saber reflected in her eyes as she glanced at him before they made to rush into a Seppie stronghold; then there was the moment when he caught the scent of some fragrant blossom that reminded him of a distant world on the Outer Rim whose name he couldn't quite recall.

Unnerving, to say the least. At first Stonewall wondered if he had gone insane, though gradually he remembered.

At first he wished he didn't.

But some things are not as we would have them, he realized, once all of the memories had returned. So he made another decision: brick by brick he built a wall around the parts of his mind that would betray him to her, or to any Jedi. If I can't forget, he thought, I can at least pretend. Perhaps if I will it enough, it will be true. He had heard of irony before, but only now did he really understand it. His name, his identity was in fact the only way he could go on; everything he needed he already had. It brought a measure of comfort.


Months later they were on another world, another planet that was slipping into the waiting grasp of the Separatists. It had been a grueling battle, though the Republic had emerged victorious it was at a great cost to his and Commander Cody's men; in the end they suffered almost more casualties than they had soldiers left, though he knew it was just a part of the machine of war. He was used to watching his brothers die, after all. Still, he knew that she would be taking it hard.

Someone had lit a bonfire and several of the men were gathered around it, the flames flickering yellow and orange across the clones' bone-white armor. No one spoke much; their transports were scheduled to come in a few hours, so everyone was taking a well-earned break for the time being. Stonewall was at the makeshift mess station preparing a pot of tea: redolent vanilla mixed with spices that he couldn't name; once it was ready he glanced around the area until he spotted the generals, seated beside one another at the far edges of the glowing circle of light cast by the fire.

General Kenobi was sitting more or less upright as he scrolled absently through a datapad with one hand. Kali was next to him, her head resting on his armor-clad shoulder, her eyes half closed as if she were drifting between sleep and wakefulness; beneath the fraying robes they wore Stonewall could see that their hands were loosely entwined. At his approach both Jedi looked up and he noted how tired they each looked, how there was mud, dirt, and traces of blood covering their faces and clothing, but there was a certain peacefulness to them, a warmth that had nothing to do with the nearby fire.

Happiness.

He held up the pot and two cups that he'd carefully washed. "Thought you might want something warm, Generals," he said, keeping his voice cordial. "It was a long day."

"Thank you, Stone," she replied with a smile as she reached for the items. "It smells delicious...I thought we were out of this kind?" She poured one cup and passed it to General Kenobi before preparing the other for herself, sipping it with hesitation as it was still piping hot.

The commander shrugged. "I found some tucked away."

She closed her eyes and inhaled the scent; he watched as she looked at her companion, her smile wide. "It's my favorite kind, too."

"Is it?" Kenobi glanced up at him. "Much appreciated, Commander." The Jedi's gaze was on him for perhaps a moment longer than it should have been, but the clone simply nodded once, his hand lifting to his helmet in an easy salute.

"Certainly, Generals."

It was not so easy to turn and walk away from them, especially when he wanted nothing more than to stay beside her, but he managed. It was what he had been bred for, after all and though he knew that his body might well be shot to pieces with the next mission, that his spirit was most definitely torn and frayed, his memories-all of them-were safe within the recesses of his mind, in a place that he found he could live with, after all.

The End


Again, thank you for taking the time to read this. If you enjoyed my OC's, keep an eye out for another fic coming soon: an AU that takes place during and after Old Wounds. SerendipityAEY: you kick major butt! Thanks for all of your help and encouragement!