I don't even know what genre to label this one. It's definite hurt/comfort, but there's also a bit of romance thrown in there- Asajj/Obi-wan and Asajj/OC. There's a trace of humor, and there's some sort of speculative moral questioning stuff- about clones and their creation/use. There's also some "awe/wonder"- that of someone introduced to good things for the first time. Oh and some angst and some betrayal and some brotherly love. So, have at it- this is going to be quite the emotional ride. ((If it all comes out right.))
Asajj Ventress, Obi-wan Kenobi, and anyone else we may encounter are not mine. I make no claim to them, I only wish to borrow them for the purposes of making this monstrosity. Enjoy.
Ventress had admittedly never thought about what it was other bounty hunters did in their spare time. Why would she? There was no real need for communication among the group she was now a part of- no one talked. There was no need.
Asajj Ventress preferred it that way.
Her past wasn't quite a mess, but not exactly a standard childhood, either. She didn't have much for a personal life- she had lived on a battleship for years. In all honesty, not much to talk about with anyone, and she didn't particularly care to hear anything about the other's lives either. Obnoxious bounty hunters who occasionally tried flirtation on her and were instantly scarred for life- literally-, arrogant bounty hunters who she knew would be captured, killed, or otherwise gone within weeks, and the occasional official or bartender were the only occupants of her life.
So when she discovered a hulking ship sitting outside the local cantina that served as haunt for most of the decent warriors, she barely gave it a second glance. So someone new was around- he'd be gone before long, or else prove himself. Or herself, but that was unlikely.
Then she took a second glance. Faded and partially scratched off the side of the ship was a Separatist symbol. What would a separatist ship be doing on a wasteland like Tattooiene? Surely there was nothing here they could want, unless some bounty hunter had really ticked them off. They couldn't know she was here- could they? There was one easy way to find out what they were after. She used the Force to ease open the door, and slipped in, closing it behind her.
From the looks of it, the ship was in need of a good deal of maintenance- perhaps it was lost, way out in the outer rim. They were droids, naturally stupid, and she wouldn't be surprised. Sure enough, the last assignment in the computer system was from over two standard years ago. They couldn't be looking for her then; she could leave.
And yet Asajj was curious. The cockpit held no answers, but the back rooms of the ship might. Since whatever droids remained of this bunch had left, she decided to do a bit of poking around. A few rooms, which opened easily, held nothing of interest- storage, an engine room, and an empty space, where droids would stay when the ship was in flight. However, there was one more room, this one locked.
She slowly twirled the lock with the force, feeling where it should stop and where it should begin again. As the door swung slowly open, Asajj thought she'd be prepared for whatever it was, dangerous, disgusting, or otherwise.
She was wrong, wrong to the point of ridiculous.
It was a standard prison cell, like any other- a long chain connected to the wrist of a crumpled form, barely illuminated by the dim light coming in the door, the standard reek of a never cleaned room, and the filth and grime along the walls. She herself had spent time in worse or similar conditions, and wrinkled her nose at the scent. It wasn't the condition of the cell that terrified her, however. It was the occupant.
Lying in the cell on his side, naked, covered in open, infected wounds, and chained up- as though he had some ambition to go anywhere- was Obi-wan Kenobi.
There was definitely no mistaking him. The hair, though filthy, still held the red hue she knew well, and his jaw, though his beard was no more than stubble, held a distinctive curve. His legs were pulled up to his chest, and, glancing down, she saw that the muscle he'd once had was wasted away under his torn skin. The Jedi was no more than a skeleton's width, and his chained arm hung awkwardly, the shoulder joint dislocated. The sight alone would have been enough to rouse pity in even she, especially considering that this was a man she knew, who had exchanged banter with her only two standard weeks ago, when they'd fought side by side.
But this wasn't what made his sudden appearance so disturbing to her. She'd been on this ship several minutes now, and in the nearby cantina for twice as long. So why had she not felt him? His Force presence was a familiar and strong one, and no measly ship wall should have prevented her from feeling him. Even now, standing over him, he seemed to be dead in the Force, with only a dormant signature, although the slow in and out of his sides let her know that he was not only alive, but perhaps even conscious.
Asajj sighed. Of all the things to stumble onto, a moral dilemma was the last she needed. It was not right to leave the Jedi in this condition; he'd die, and in all honesty Asajj didn't know how he'd made it this far. Yet, it was risky- no droids could have done this someone else had brought Kenobi here. And it left her with another pesky question in her mind- if it was anyone else, and not the merciful general she'd come to know so well, would she do the same?
She brushed the question away and instead leaned down and touched his bare shoulder. A shiver went through his body, but it seemed more involuntary than anything else. She shook him lightly, and to her surprise, his face tilted upwards, and his eyes opened.
His eyes were as dead as his Force-presence, as though this weren't even Obi-wan. Even under torture, Kenobi always seemed so… alive. She couldn't say he gazed in level defiance, but he certainly didn't have this lifeless look of pain, sadness, and… confusion? It wasn't quite confusion even- confusion implied a question, and the desire for an answer. This look held a question, but didn't seem to care whether or not it was ever answered.
Which was why she was surprised when he spoke: "Ooeru?" The voice was so choppy and rough she barely understood. She crouched lower, so her face was nearer to his.
"Who are you?" It was clearer now, but held the same flat, uncaring tones. So he didn't recognize her? That was new- she'd known the man for years, and she wasn't someone he vaguely knew but never paid attention to. Then again, one was probably prone to a bit of amnesia when one was in a place like this.
"Asajj." She said slowly. There was simply no way she could leave this pathetic form here, not now. Not ever. "My name is Asajj. Do you remember me?"
He didn't answer, but she understood that he didn't remember her, or much of anything else, for that matter. "Come on then, you. Stand up."
He didn't answer- in fact he closed his eyes again.
"Get up, stupid, I'm trying to rescue you." Asajj really didn't know how to be… comforting, and his refusal to co-operate, along with her overall confusion on the whole situation was making her cross. How could Obi-wan Kenobi, who longed for her redemption and perhaps even her friendship forget completely who she was? Worse still, what could break his spirit so thoroughly that he refused to even attempt escape?
"Come on." She whipped off her cloak and wrapped it around his frame as best as she could, removed the cuff from his wrist, then levitated him, his bony arms dangling uselessly.
"Wha…" he started, but never finished. Finally he managed, "Why?" Not 'where' or 'who', as she thought he'd ask, but why.
"Cos you're a mess. You and I have a bit of a history for saving each other's necks, although you seem to have forgotten it." She brought him into her own ship- where else could she take him? She laid him on the floor, set co-ordinates and took off, then finally kneeled next to him. "How long have you been there?"
He looked puzzled again for a moment, as though he weren't quite sure what to say. Finally he came up with, "Weeks."
"You're-" She stopped. She'd been about to say 'lying'. Perhaps, with his amnesia, he honestly believed he'd been down there weeks. Years, even. "You're mistaken."
He shook his head weakly, but didn't respond, which was so out of character it reminded her that this wasn't just Kenobi, it was horribly wounded, amnesia-ed, Force-presence-less Kenobi. Poor thing. Asajj lifted him to her bed, trying to cover up most of him with her cloak. Where were his robes? You'd think there'd be a few shreds left. It wasn't all adding up. Perhaps, when the redhead was conscious again, she could speak with him, as he'd drifted back into the state she'd found him in. He wouldn't be much better off here if she didn't do anything to care for him, so she treated the worst, most obvious wounds. The rest, Asajj decided, could wait.
That night, in the cockpit, Ventress couldn't help thinking about what she was supposed to do with the man lying on her bed. She couldn't return him to the Republic, certainly- they were as much after her as the Separatists. And the Separatists didn't even realize they'd ever had Kenobi captured- they still had a large bounty on his head. Whoever caught Kenobi hadn't reported it. But what sort of Separatist agent would not report the capture of such an important man? It couldn't have been droids on that ship- droids were programmed to keep prisoners in reasonable health. Asajj sighed in frustration once more. It didn't make sense. Perhaps she'd get more answers when the Jedi awoke.
Kenobi had been waiting, but certainly not for what had happened last night. He had been waiting for death. It was a foggy concept to him, but from his vague knowledge, it would be better than what he lived. There was so little in his life- the cell, his daily meal, and the man. Kenobi never even knew the man's name, or why his job was to torture him. That was a word, yes? Torture? Pain was the other daily event in his life, inflicted by the broad-shouldered man. But today, his daily rhythm was being thrown off. When he finally awoke, there was a woman crouched near him, the same woman he remembered from last night. Her skin was paler than his, with no hair on her head. Rather, she had choppy purple markings on her face and head; her eyes were blue. As strange as it seemed, he couldn't remember seeing the color blue before… and yet he knew, sure as anything, that the color in her eyes was blue. She was beautiful.
"So, the great Jedi awakens?" Her voice was… he didn't know the word, but it was sort of amused, sort of snappish. He'd been called Jedi before, and was beginning to wonder if it was his name.
"Why am I here?" Speech was unfamiliar, but came naturally to him, as though he were made for it.
"What, you want to go back?" Asajj asked, the same tone in her voice.
"No!" He exclaimed, more forcefully than he'd meant to. "Unless…" He didn't quite know all the words he wanted. Unless she would be worse than where he'd come from.
"Good. Why don't you sit up?" He started to push aside the cloth loosely wrapped over his torso, but she stopped him. "Actually don't. You're naked. Not that I'd object, but I imagine you'd blush quite a bit." One side of her mouth twitched upward.
She laughed. He remembered laughter, but it had always been a cold, cruel laughter, made out of enjoyment of his pain. This was… not exactly kind, but more amused. "You don't remember? You blush more than anyone I've ever known."
"So, answer me this- what the hoth happened to you?"
"What do you mean?"
"Last time I saw you, you looked fine. Then I find you like this. Who had you?"
He frowned slightly. "I've never seen you before in my life." He paused, then looked at her. "Am I dead?"
She arched an eyebrow. "Dead?"
"Did I finally die?" There was a certain emotionless tone in his voice that was almost eerie. "I heard once that when you die, you go to a place where there's an end to pain. And there are beautiful people there, that talk to you and don't hurt you. Angels." Suddenly there was expression in his eyes- hope, as he asked again, "Am I dead?"
That's all I have right now, but when I get around to it I'll write up a bit more. This idea just came to me a few days ago, and there was no way I was going to let it slip away! Obi-wan probably seems out of character right now, but it'll all be cleared up later- probably a third of the way into the story or so.