Disclaimer: George Lucas owns Star Wars. I do not, so I am not making any profit from this story, which is purely a work of fan fiction in any case.

Author's notes: A "missing scene," set early during the events of Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Gambit: Stealth. Which is a long-ass title for a book, but anyway. Also: LJ is doing some strange things to my formatting. Sorry 'bout that.

Comments/feedback: Please!

Summary: Anakin speaks to a friend via holocoference before leaving on one of the worst missions of his life.

Title: bound by the surprise of our glory days. From the song "Someone Like You," by ADELE.

[~~~]

bound by the surprise of our glory days

[~~~]

"Anakin." Ryn's image flickered with static on the mini-display. "I checked the furlogh list and the duty Padawan told me you'd be reassigned. What gives?"

"I can't tell you," Anakin answered, mindful of the ongoing security breach. "But I'll comm you as soon as it's over, I promise."

"If you survive, you mean," Ryn said gloomigly. She sounded tense; something more than his untimely reassignment was bothering her. "Have you had a chance to do any visiting?" She meant have you seen Padmé?

"No," said Anakin, a little more brusquely than he had intended. "I've been busy." Seeing her with Organa and Obi-Wan didn't count.

"Damn," said Ryn in sympathy. "I'm sorry. No time before you ship out?"

"No." Ryn's image fizzled again, and then reappeared as a wavy figure in blue. "Where are you? You keep breaking up."

He could barely make out Ryn's tired grimace. "I've been reassigned, too - and I can't talk about it, either. All I know is, someone really fu - screwed up, this time. Zadeth send they get it sorted out soon."

She must be really upset if she was invoking the Lorethan roster of saints. "We're doing the best we can," Anakin told her.

"Oh, not you," Ryn said, waving this off. "Force knows, I'm ready to blame the Jedi for most anything, but I don't think this shit came from their end." If you didn't know her, it was easy to miss the flicker of dry humor. "The whole mess just reeks of Senate bureauocracy."

Anakin tried for a grin and almost made it. "Well, you know what they say about the difference between a war and a stable."

He thought she smiled, but it might have been a trick of the signal. "Yeah, I remember."

Somewhere outside the transmission field on her end, a voice sang out, yelling something unintelligible, and Ryn flinched before she caught herself. "Blast," she said. "I have to go. Anakin - comm me when you can, all right? Be safe. I love you."

"Love you," Anakin echoed dutifully. And it wasn't quite enough, so he called her name to hold on a little longer. "Ryn ... the journey begins." The old Svivreni farewell he and Obi-Wan had picked up and shared with her, years ago.

Across thousands of light-years, Ryn reached out toward the receiver, and Anakin could almost feel her touch. "So go," she said, her smile brightening the static for a second, and then the image flickered and died, leaving him alone.

So go, Ryn. Be careful.

He picked up his duffle - it didn't carry much, Jedi traveled light - and headed for the hangar bay and Lanteeb.