Captain Rex, known to many as the fearless Captain of the Five-Oh-First, the second in command to the reckless Jedi General Anakin Skywalker, and hero amongst the ranks of the Clone Army. However, no one really knew Rex as Rex. In fact, as the famed Captain stood with his hands clasped tightly behind him, on the platform outside the entrance to the Coruscant barracks of the GAR, what can only be called his 'home', he realized that no one really knew him at all. Although, he admitted that was his own doing, he had never actually invited anyone to know him more than Captain Rex. No. That's not true, you let Cody in… and Commander Tano. Slightly. Or more.
"If you stand like that much longer, they'll hang you on a wall in the Caiiynn Mall." Rex, snapped his head, startled, toward the owner of the sudden voice that had interrupted his thoughts. A woman shrugged nervously, and pointed to the wall behind Rex.
"Uh, the holo-image."
The Captain turned around to the wall and was greeted with a holo-image of a Clone trooper, a brother, standing tall with his hands clasped neatly behind his back, shiny white armor and the word 'Loyalty' printed in basic underneath. His eyes followed the wall and noticed more were placed along the wall, each with a different printed word that Rex had remembered memorizing on Kamino, what was, a kind of code, expected of the clones to live by. Loyalty, Pride, Honesty, Honour and Integrity.
"They have us on advertisements now?" Rex mumbled.
The woman gave a sad sigh, but still had a smile on her face. "To give us hope," She straightened up, "Hope that it will end soon, and hope that we'll succeed."
Rex turned to the woman and huffed, "Pardon my saying ma'am, but as I have discovered, the war is not in the slightest interest to the Coruscanti. What intrigues me is yours."
The woman chuckled softly and looked up at the holo- image with pride, "My husband is serving, so I make it my interest. It is in fact the center of my interests."
Rex had heard of non-clones serving in the GAR, many were previous soldiers before the Clones had arrived, many had been offered office jobs and a secure life for their families and many had of course taken it, but there were still a select few that had chosen to remain serving. Rex had actually met one, at the beginning of the war on Geonosis, she was the 'Jedi' Commander that they had requested in a fight, and what had been unearthed was that she was in fact not a Jedi at all; however she had proven to Rex and his men that it doesn't take a Jedi to finish the job. What was it she had said to him? ' There was a Republic Army long before the Jedi decided to interfere, and you guys toddled in, Captain.' Rex had doubted her skills, but was given a slap in the face when he realized that she was right, and had since then made him reconsider his faith in the abilities of the Jedi and was no longer in awe of the force users as he was taught to on Kamino. He considered them more a handicap to the game they played, one which both sides possessed.
"I'm Alice by the way." The woman held her hand out to Rex, who in good etiquette removed his helmet and shook her hand in return, "And by the presence of your Kama, I am assuming you're a Captain."
Rex raised his eyebrow, intrigued by the knowledge this woman, Alice, held of the GAR. Even if her husband was serving, she still had a very keen interest in the workings and presence of it.
"Rex. And yes, it is Captain." He responded politely. Alice smiled, satisfied with the answer.
"Well, it is a pleasure to meet you Captain Rex."
"Uh, thank you. And you too Ma'am." Rex felt a chill across his face as the evening wind softly pushed its way through the buildings of the city. Rex realized he should have asked the woman if she needed any assistance, he inwardly scolded at his complete disregard for the civilian's welfare. "My apologies ma'am, but do you need assistance?"
"Please, it's Alice. Thank you for your concern Rex, but I'm fine. "She looked toward the entrance and smiled, "I'm actually just waiting for my husband. He has four days of R&R, a very uncommon commodity for us, so we plan to make the most of it."
Rex nodded his understanding, and noticed the brief sad expression the woman wore on her face as she spoke, an expression Rex decided didn't suit her face, and she possessed such a happy face, she had been smiling the entire time he had been talking to her. The Captain felt pity for the woman, he didn't know in the slightest how she felt, but he knew that she had a big commitment to her husband that she seemed happy to stand by it, no matter how hard it was proving to be, emotionally.
"You are a very patient woman." Rex noted, attempting to lighten her thoughts.
Alice chuckled and the smile that Rex had deemed signature to her appearance returned. "Yes, I think you're right. I have been, and I think that I more than deserve this weekend."
"You do." Rex agreed.
"So, what brings you out here alone Captain?" She asked, in good humour.
"Orders. I'm waiting to be picked up by transport to the Jedi Temple." He sighed and turned toward the city, gazing upon the Jedi temple in the distance, standing over the city. "The fight continues." He turned back to Alice and smiled, "thought I'd step out early and enjoy a bit of that smoggy, thick Coruscanti air."
"It's not that bad." Alice smiled, picking up on his humor. "I think it has a quality to it, a feeling of home, for those who otherwise don't have one."
Rex zoned out of her comments on the planets air, contemplating the questions that were racing through his mind, he turned to Alice and studied her. She didn't look the kind who married a soldier, actually Rex had no idea what someone married to a soldier looked like, but he assumed not like Alice. She had a very light and chirpy personality and a sense of humor, she was interesting, a breath of fresh air from the uptight military personnel that he was familiar with, maybe that is what her husband saw in her. But Rex found her personality similar to that of Ah- 'oh no, don't go there Rex ol' boy.'
"How did you meet your husband?" Rex blurted out, curiosity overcoming him. Alice ceased her explanation of the seasonal weather patterns of Coruscant, and smiled at the question.
"I work in media and security for the Republic offices, so I hang around the base a lot. I met him through work." Her face lit up as she remembered, "I don't much like it though, and it bores the frack out of me. However, I do it for the Republic, help in any way I can."
"What about yourself Rex?" She peered at the Captain in curiosity at his response, " Do you have a girl?"
Rex nervously laughed, rubbing the back of his neck; she had put him in quite the awkward position. "No, I uh, don't."
"But you'd like too." She smiled as she noticed the flash of awkwardness on the Captains face informing her that she is right and she was treading on an awkward subject for the Clone. "I'm guessing this kind of thing doesn't come your way much?"
"Not really, no." Rex sighed.
"What if you told a total stranger?" Alice asked carefully, "Would it help? You'd be telling someone who, I guess in a way understands?"
Rex mulled over her suggestion then shrugged. "It's not something that I consider to be of importance to me, that I need to worry about. It isn't something I was trained to do or take part in, so I never really considered it in depth… much."
"So who is she?" Alice asked knowingly.
"What if there isn't a she?"
"I think there is." Alice crossed her arms, "You know it but you don't realize it. It's okay, I'm confident that I have a vague idea of a possible candidate."
"Oh?" Rex asked astounded, he didn't even know this woman, let alone even met her before in his life, "What makes you so sure of my personal affairs?"
"I keep up to date with Republic News Captain, it's my job, and what seem to dominate that is you, well Skywalker anyway, from the footage I see and decide what is released to the public, I notice those types of things, like bonds, connections, friendships. I guess you could call it my special talent. I want to be a psychologist or a behavioral scientist, after the war of course." Alice laughed at the look of astoundment from Rex then cheekily added, "She is a very interesting girl."
Rex didn't say anything, was it that obvious to people? He was surprised when Alice answered his unasked and feared question.
"Relax; It's not something you can pick up on easy though. It was for me because I was looking for it." She gave a knowing smile, "Believe it or not Captain our fates have crossed paths once before. In fact, I owe you my thanks, I believe you have saved my husband's life in battle, he seemed to notice you and the Commander's friendship, and talked to me about it. He was quite curious about your relationship."
It surprised Rex that his personal life was discussed by complete strangers, which worried him quite a bit actually. He found it quite unusual and very invading, he wasn't sure if he felt comfortable with this, it was in the very least to say, weird. But he understood how her husband could accumulate that theory, he after all 'knows' this kind of thing, this kind of bond, he has a wife for shab sake. Rex understood that Alice's husband sees it in a very different way, unlike his brothers that have no knowledge of this lifestyle; to them it's simply regarded as comradeship, soldiers in arms. Many of the civilians Rex had met seemed to make relationships, a very major influence in their life; the clones never seemed to understand it but of course they had never had the chance too, maybe if they did then friendships, and relationships, may be seen in a very different way. Like the way I see Bly and General Secura. Rex thought, realizing he understood more than he knew.
"I'm sorry for intruding like this." Alice said quietly, realizing she had offended the Captain.
"Uh, no, it's quite alright." Rex reassured her, "I understand now… I think."
Alice seemed to relax, "Oh good. Wait, 'understand now'?"
"Yes." Rex took in a deep breath, building that wall of confidence that had been trademark to himself, as he prepared his thoughts into words, "I think, no, I know that I want that 'relationship', the one you mentioned."
Alice made a tiny "ahh" sound, and smiled at the Captain. "Have you ever told her?"
"No." Rex sighed and looked back toward the Jedi Temple in the distance, it getting harder to see as the evening light faded, "I don't think I'll ever get that chance either, she's gone now, General to another battalion." Realization hit the Captain, "I may never get to tell her, I may die before I see her again."
"That's a bit grim Captain." Alice quirked her eyebrow, realizing the depressing mood that lingered about, "If fate wants it, it'll happen. All in good time, you just have to work on staying alive."
Rex chuckled, picking up on her attempt to lighten his mood, "I've lasted this long, three years in pretty impressive, if I say so myself" He grinned.
"Very." She assured.
Rex noted the speeder coming toward the platform as his transport, he felt a pinch of disappointment, he'd actually quite enjoyed loading off all his problems to a total stranger, one that actually wanted to listen, it felt good to let it out and all what he guessed were his 'deepest, darkest secrets' without having to face the ramifications. He looked at Alice and nodded toward the speeder.
"This is me. Duty calls, ma'am."
"Oh, is it really?" She looked fallen, "I was quite enjoying our chat."
Rex chuckled and gave a curt nod to Alice, "Thank you, for everything you've said."
"It's my pleasure Rex, please, promise me you'll listen to my words, three years is a long time… don't make it any longer without accomplishing your own peace."
Rex nodded, unable to find the right words for it. He put his helmet back on and made his way toward the landing speeder, Alice's voice called out to him one last time.
"Don't forget to tell her! I'll be watching Captain!"
Rex genuinely laughed at her words, yes; Rex could definitely understand what her husband saw in her. He saluted at her from the speeder, his acknowledgement of her humorous words.
As the speeder took off he noticed a figure coming toward Alice, who could be obviously identified as her husband, considering the way she greeted him. Rex had a closer look at the man, realization dawning on him for the fifth time that evening, he smiled to himself as he watched a brother be reunited with his wife. 'Well I'll be damned.' It was quite an odd, yet very refreshing scene to see one of his own accomplish something so vastly out of reach to them. The Captain sat back, taking his entire conversation with Alice in with a different perspective, and now that it made more sense, it made his mission a lot clearer, even if he'd have to wait another three years, he was going to get what he wanted, and what he wanted was what Alice and her husband had, what Cut and Sue had, and every other lucky Shabiir in the galaxy had. Love.
And Captain Rex was determined to get it.