Hello all!

I planned this a long time ago but never got around to actually writing it. Now I have some spare time on my hands, I think I'll start this new multi-chapter.

I think the summary is pretty self-explanatory. I'll let you read on. :)

I think this fic is definitely AU. I thought maybe it could fit in the one-year gap between True Colours and Order 66, but now it's all messed up…so it's AU.

Ohhhhh how I hate messing with canon. :P Oh well. It's my head. Deal with it.

Also, as this goes on I may take ideas for future chapters, things you'd like to see and so on.


~* Reasons to Live For *~

Prologue - Going Under

The LAAT/i shook violently as it was peppered with blaster-fire, the bulkhead creaking worryingly as it descended through the atmosphere of Brentaal IV. One of the troopers sitting across from Ordo swallowed nervously, audible over helmet comlinks if not over the deafening sounds of battle all around them. The other one tightened his restraints.

A particularly loud missile hit nearby was so loud that Ordo's helmet sensors cut off the outside link momentarily to stop his eardrums from bursting. He chuckled grimly to himself. His ears would be the last thing he needed to worry about today.

He cut into the pilots' comlink and heard the calm, organised panic that consisted of level voices reporting numerous problems with the LAAT/i, exchanging codes and call signs. His head buzzed with the many voices, some of them louder than others, each calling out for assistance and locations and cover. Listening to it did nothing to calm Ordo's apprehension.

This was supposed to be a simple assignment. Get in, get the prisoners, get out.

Apparently, Republic Intel had forgotten to mention that Brentaal was currently fighting the Seps in an all-guns-blazing, bloody, ferocious battle, and had been for several weeks.

"Funny how they forgot to mention this," One of the troopers gestured around him, indicating the anti-armour rounds exploding with worrying proximity to the larty. The other one gave a small, sarcastic laugh.

Ordo just grunted. He didn't see anything funny about it. He just wanted to get the Sep prisoners that they were here to extract from Brentaal out safely and back to Coruscant in time to meet Besany for a late breakfast.

He blushed under his helmet at the thought of his last meeting with his girlfriend – he could call her that now, he supposed, his cheeks getting hotter as, unbidden, more memories rose to the surface, ones that he really didn't need right now, ones that made him realise just how much he hated the…restrictions of armour - and immediately reprimanded himself for getting so distracted and not being able to focus on the task at hand. He couldn't allow that. Not now.

Prisoners. Larty. Being shot at. Focus, soldier.

The larty shook again. He patched back into the pilots' comlink.

"…multiple hits…engine failure…deflector shields to maximum…"

The ship gave a lurch and the nervous trooper who had previously pulled his restraints tighter around him clutched the belts with an iron grip. Ordo couldn't see through helmets, but he imagined his eyes were very tightly closed.

He hoped that once they had the prisoners they could actually get off-planet again.

The pilots' voices in his comlink got louder, but it was all so jumbled and the larty was shaking so violently that he couldn't concentrate on single voices. He did, however manage to pick out one phrase that didn't improve his state of mind.

"Deflector shields are failing…no power…"

Before Ordo could even process this information, a massive explosion hit the left engine and the larty reeled, throwing Ordo and the two troopers hard against their restraints and the bulkhead.

The rushing sound of wind tearing through the hold nearly drowned out the sound of the pilots' panicked voices. Adrenaline instantly flooded Ordo's body as his heart pounded in his ears, the cold, trickling feeling of fear overtaking his senses. All he could do was focus, and try damn hard not to let the feeling engulf him completely. The first lesson Kal'buir had taught him as a small child, sitting scared and alone and terrified of the thunderstorms on Kamino, was that his fear was his warning system, that it would keep him alive. That he should use it.

And for the first time in his life, he hadn't felt so helpless.

He hung onto that feeling now, trying to place his trust in the pilots. He knew that, by nature, he was not the most trusting of people. He hated this feeling of not being in control, of placing his life in the hands of someone else, because the only person he trusted to keep him safe was himself, his vode, and Kal'buir.

"We're going down!"

Yeah. We noticed. Thanks.

The ship suddenly took a massive nose-dive, falling at a near-vertical angle. Ordo noticed that the trooper who had previously been grasping his restraints for dear life was now no longer holding on, his head lolling to the side. Ordo had the odd, disconnected thought that he had probably fainted. The sound of their descent was deafening; if any of them had been screaming, no one would have heard. Ordo's stomach went over at the weightless feeling that accompanied falling. The last thing he saw before he gripped his belts hard and closed his eyes was the raging battle taking place below, the people rushing towards them at high speed.

"Brace for impact!"

Death had never worried Ordo before. Probably because he'd never been close enough to it for it to worry him. But now some part of him had accepted that it was imminent, he was suddenly overwhelmed with fear, not for himself, but for those he was leaving behind. Kal'buir would be a wreck, his vode would be missing a brother, a leader, and Besany…she had trusted him to come back to her alive every time he left. He would have broken her trust, her everything.

He had been pleasantly surprised to find that Besany was so trusting of him, the first time they met. Because if she could trust him, he could trust her. And, he admitted to himself, the realisation suddenly hitting him with a pang in his chest, a pang that hit harder than the stomach turning free-fall he was now enduring, he was probably in love with her.

The last few moments of the fall seemed to be caught in slow motion. He was suddenly so aware of every vivid colour, every distant sound audible over his hammering heart, every breath that filled his lungs. The fire that consumed the left wing was a glorious mix of orange, yellow and amber swirls that curled and licked at the air, dying out only to be replaced by another, more ferocious tongue. All he could hear was his heartbeat, his breathing; the sheer sense that he was for now truly more alive than he'd ever been in his relatively short life for these last seconds overwhelmed him completely and the truth hit him hard in the gut.

He had to tell her. He couldn't die without telling her.

He blinked rapidly, bringing up the comm in his HUD and was about to select Besany's number, when the larty hit solid earth in an explosion of blood and fire and anguish.

His last coherent thought before everything went black was that he never told Besany that he loved her.


And so it begins.

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