Three months later….
Bella and Fives had quickly integrated themselves in the Skirata clan and were welcomed with open arms. Bella had formed a great friendship with Laseema and Besany and helped out with the daily chores at the large home. As more clones decided to seek refuge more help became needed.
Fives found comradeship with Ordo though at first the Null trooper had given him the cold shoulder when he and Bella had decided to stay. Kal Skirata had assured Fives that Ordo was like that with everyone and in the end Ordo had confronted Fives and told him that he found his selfless act to save Rex, Ahsoka and Bella were commendable. Like with the ex-RC trooper Fi, Fives and Ordo developed a friendship.
Fives had also taken up farming with Yayax Squad and Captain Levet. He found it therapeutic when time and the past seemed to catch up to him. He was always surprised to find how much satisfaction he received when a new crop grew and was able to bring home to the others.
Both Bella and Fives were adapting to their new life, learning the ways and language of the Mandalorian. As Fives had once stated, the road wasn't exactly smooth but together and with their new family they were able to ride out the roughest of bumps.
Day had long since fallen and Fives could not fall asleep. It was summer on Mandalore and while the night wasn't uncomfortable a warm breeze caressed Fives face almost sending a warning of what tomorrow's temperature may be. A dip in one of the many cool lakes was going to be a priority.
Looking up into the night sky to see the bright stars twinkle back at him, Fives thoughts began to drift on his brother. Brother…yes Rex had opened his eyes in so many ways and showed him that not all was lost. Fives may have not grown up with the captain, but he did a lot of "growing" around Rex and just for that Fives owed Rex.
"Wondering how they are again?" her sweet, gentle voice kissed his ears.
Fives turned his head slightly and beckoned Bella to join him. He heard her walk down the steps of the deck and join him at his side. She tilted her head up and gazed up at the black abyss.
"Yeah," Fives said softly. "Do you think they're alright?"
"If you are asking if they have found peace and happiness, well only time can figure that one out my love. But yes, I believe they are safe." Glancing at her husband, Bella gave his arm a squeeze for reassurance. "Don't stay out too long." With that, she made her way back inside the home.
Turning his attention back to the sky Fives quietly said, "Eran, vode, c'rtä."
Rex had been invited once by the Lawquane family and he hoped the invitation still stood. When he and Ahsoka arrived two months before, Rex was hesitant that his old friend would reject his presence especially after Order 66. But he was wrong and they opened their house and arms to them.
Ahsoka and Suu had become fast friends and she even was able to confide in the older Twi'lek woman when she found she couldn't talk to Rex. Learning how to farm wasn't easy and not being able to go to town wasn't any better for dread of being recognized was still a deep seated fear for both Rex and Ahsoka.
Rex worked the fields and epoies with Cut, learning to become a civilian but the captain inside of him would never truly leave. As Cut explained the GAR had deep seated roots within and they would never be able to completely weed them out.
Ahsoka and Rex still came to a head at times, but they were learning to be open with each other and work through their trials.
A cool wintery night on Saleucami Rex was feeling antsy and went to check on the herd of eopies, making sure their water hadn't frozen over.
A couple of the beast startled and spooked away from the fence, grunting their concern as Rex approached.
"Easy guys," Rex murmured. It was a clear night so it was going to be extra cold. Seeing that the water was fine, Rex gave a little sigh and looked up at the well-lit night sky.
Ahsoka and Rex had stayed on Mandalore for a couple of weeks, but it wasn't home. Rex wasn't a Mandalorian nor did he have the desire to be one. His first and only thought after leaving the planet was Saleucami and luckily for the both of them Suu and Cut were there for them.
Saying goodbye to Fives had been hard. Fives was more than just a link to a world of past familiars, he was his brother.
One of the many attributes about being a clone was his fine hearing. The crunch of frozen blades of grass grew louder as another presence approached. Rex leaned against the fence and watched as the young Torguta slid up to him.
Thank you Fives, Rex silently praised. Fives had also saved him, saved both of them.
"Couldn't sleep?" Ahsoka asked as she tucked herself under Rex's arm and leaned into his warmth.
"Was just thinking," Rex breathed. Ahsoka understood. She also felt lost at times without the Jedi but together they found each other when darkness tried to consume them.
"Fives seemed to really take to Mandalore. He'll make a fine, well whatever he wants to be. He's a free man." Rex hugged Ahsoka.
"We're all free now, Rex," Ahsoka said gently.
"Yes, yes we are my Ahsoka." Giving her a light kiss, Rex released the girl and gestured for her to return to the house. "I'll be in in just a few minutes."
"Okay," with one last look and tender smile, Ahoska made her way back to their home.
Looking back up into the darken sky, Rex said softly, "Eran, vode, c'rtä." (We, brothers, stand as one.)
I can feel you in my sleep
In your arms, I feel you breathe into me
Forever hold this heart that I will give to you
Forever I will live for you
I hope you all have enjoyed Awake & Alive. I thoroughly enjoyed writing it. You're thoughts and suggestions are always welcomed!
I am going to continue with my story that is currently in progress called Behind The Mask and I am working on a new one mostly OC's maybe some main characters so look forward to that one!
Thank you again!