He's Not Our Enemy
Disclaimer: I own nothing, all credit goes to George Lucas and Lucasarts.
Summary: After vanishing from the Jedi temple ten years ago, Anakin Skywalker is found. The Jedi imprison him until he decides to tell them what happened to him. After getting lost after fleeing from some of her abusive class mates, Ahsoka stumbles into Anakin's room and discovers a side to the force she never knew.
Discovery Day: Day One, Ahsoka Tano
I don't know how long I've been running and, honestly, I don't care. If I'd listened to Barris then I wouldn't even be in this situation. There's three other younglings in our class that bully anyone they can get their hands on; today they tried to go after Barris.
I'm Ahsoka Tano, I'm eleven and if there is one thing you do not do, it is go after my best friend.
Barris warned me the moment I told them to back off to stop, but I did not listen. It took the best part of five minutes for their tempers to break and begin chasing me around the temple so that they could beat me up. I'm faster than they are, and more agile, so they haven't caught me. I don't know when I lost them, if I have, but I do know that I'm lost. This part of the temple is only used by masters and knights, not younglings or padawans. The only time it had seen a lot of activity was a month or so ago, when they brought in a force wielder who had saved Master Windu's life. I don't know any details, all I know is that the council think he's too dangerous to be allowed out of the temple and keep him somewhere nearby.
I slow down to a walk, thinking that I am safe, when I hear shouts from behind me. "TANO!" It's one of the three younglings, the biggest from the sounds of it. He's sort of the leader, and the other two just follow him because they don't want to get hurt. They've never gone after me before, Master Plo is always watching over me, but the one time there's no one there to look after me I have to open my big mouth. Now I know for certain I'm going to be beaten up, at some point, and there's no one to help me.
Sprinting, I race down a corridor where I come to a stop at a dead end. There's a door, it's locked, but I can open it from the outside. Behind me, I hear three sets of footsteps coming to a stop and the unmistakeable snickers that mean they've cornered me - of all the days to stand up for someone...
"Nowhere to run, Tano." The biggest taunts. "You don't know what you've gotten yourself into."
Without bothering to dignify him with a response, I whirl back around, palm open the door and quickly run inside, locking it as best I can behind me. Their snickers die down once they realise they cannot open the door and I vaguely wonder how long it will be before anyone finds me. Barris will surely tell Master Plo, then he'll come looking for me, but I don't know if I can hold out that long. They're pounding on the door now, only adding to my dread, and I step backwards out of reflex and come into contact with something soft - someone soft.
I gasp and turn around, an apology and explanation having already formed in my mind when I freeze. There is a man, a really young man, standing there, looking at me curiously. He has dark blonde hair, a face that looks like it hasn't seen the sun for quite some time and his eyes... I almost wish I was on the other side of the door. His eyes aren't just one colour, they're changing. When I first look they're green, but then they change to blue and then to a brighter shade of blue, bordering on white. He looks as though he is expecting a fight at first, but looks from me to the door and back again - his expression softens slightly.
"I -" I begin my explanation when the door behind me opens loudly and I turn around.
The three younglings walk in with evil smirks on their faces, but when they look up at the man behind me they freeze and their jaws drop. I may act stupid at times, but I know for a fact that I've never looked the way they do. For a moment I think they'll run away, but then one of them grabs my arm and attempts to pull me out of the room roughly so that they can beat me up. They have overcome their shock and my fear rolls out through the force before I have a chance to stop it, and that's when it happened.
This man is not a Jedi, I know he isn't, and I have never met him before in my life, but just as I am about to be jerked forwards he moves. He is fast. Faster than anyone I have ever seen. Within half a second, the two younglings that were on either side of the biggest are flying down the corridor and the mans hand is at the biggest's throat, who is now pressed against the wall with his feet dangling in mid air from where the man is holding him by the throat. The man's eyes flash dangerously and change to a very stormy green - that borders on yellow - and I can practically see the lightning that flashes in his eyes.
"Touch her again, see what happens." growls The Man, before he releases the youngling - who is sent flying down the corridor after his friends even though the man has not moved an inch.
His gaze settles on me and I gulp nervously, wondering if the same will happen to me. I back away slightly when his eyes lose their harshness and change to a serene blue, like Master Kenobi's, except nicer. Strangely, his eyes got straight to a cut that I recieved during training - that was made painfully worse by the three younglings that were chasing me - before his gaze locks with mine.
"Are you all right?" asks The Man, not seeming as though anything that he had done was out of order.
I can't even speak now. He has to be the strangest person I've ever seen, and I can't help but reach out through the force to sense who he is - which is hard since I am only a youngling, even though I have the highest midi-chlorine count in my class - and I take another step back when I am met with a wall that won't let me through. There is something blocking everything about him and I don't like the fact that I am in the presence of a strange man who holds younglings by the throat, threatens them, and can throw them down the corridor without even moving whilst I can't sense a thing about him.
Gulping, I take another step back, fearful for my safety.
"It's all right," The Man assures me, though I do not feel like I can trust him. "I won't hurt you. I just want to see your cut."
I frown at him and do not move forwards or backwards, he is far too strange and I consider making a run for it before I realise that he is standing in the way of the door. Not to mention he can stop me without even moving. This has to be the worst situation I've ever been in, and I'm counting the time a minute ago when I was about to be beaten to a pulp. Master Plo had better get here soon, I don't know if I can stand up to someone as powerful as the man in front of me.
"Who are you?" I demand, instead of accepting the help he offers for my cut, which is starting to sting.
He stares at me for a moment, his face expressionless, before answering. "Anakin Skywalker," The Man says; I know I've heard that name somewhere before. "What's yours?"
"Tano." I answer simply, unwilling to tell him my full name.
"Nice to meet you, Ahsoka Tano." The Man known as Anakin Skywalker pronounces my first name with an edge that shows he doesn't appreciate having information held from him, not that he needed me to tell him. "Now let me see your cut or it'll get inflamed."
I open my mouth to protest, to tell him that no one – especially not a stranger – tells me what to do when the cut on my arm begins to burn, badly. It's a pain that makes me wince and I have to force the yelp back down my throat since I will not appear weak in front of someone I do not know, especially not someone as powerful as he is. Instead, I back away from him further until my legs come into contact with the bed – which I had not noticed before – and he makes me sit on it, his hands applying pressure to both or my shoulders before I can protest.
"Stay still," He orders, which I do not take kindly to. "This will seem a little strange."
Before I can even reply, he takes advantage of how still I am sitting and his hand is soon hovering just a few centimetres above my cut, which has begun to bleed and is leaving a very nasty gash on my upper arm. A strange, warm feeling begins to flood through me and my eyes widen when his hand begins to glow a startling, bright, shade of white. It's so confusing and I begin to connect a few dots in my head whilst his hand is still glowing.
He isn't a Jedi – obviously – but he lives in the temple. The door was locked from the outside so he must not have been allowed out, sort of like that force wielder -
That makes a lot of sense. Actually it doesn't, I don't know what force wielder's are and I have no idea what they do, only that they can use the force. Hence the name, force wielder. My gaze has never left his hand and a strange noise, however quiet, is made before the gash on my arm disappears completely. The only thing that is left is the blood stains on my arm and the few droplets that are still running down it, which makes me feel quezy – I can't stand the sight of blood, no matter who's it is.
A white cloth flies in from another room and he catches it in his hand without taking his eyes off of my arm, which is an obvious indicator that he used the force to bring it to him. When he begins to clean my arm I can't help but feel grateful, if I had looked at my blood for a few seconds longer I would have passed out, no questions asked.
"Thanks," I mumble, completely unable to say anything else. That's another side effect of my fear of seeing blood, it renders me relatively speechless for a few seconds, or even longer if I look at it for a long amount of time. He has to be a healer, he just has to be. Force wielder or not, I am certain that you need a special type of training to heal someone like that. After a moment, I know that he must be a healer – he has already cleaned most of the blood off of my arm and the few drops that reached my hand. The only signs of blood left are quickly cleaned and my arm looks as though it was never cut, which I find a little more than shocking.
"Don't put any pressure on it for a few minutes," He said. "That means no lifting, no using the force and nothing else." I nod in response, still unable to speak after the sight of my own blood. "You're lucky it wasn't more serious, if it was you wouldn't have been able to use your arm for a few hours at least."
I search his gaze for any signs that he is decieving me – only to find none – and take in what he looks like. I have already noted his dark blonde hair, pale features and peculiar eyes, but his clothes seem not to suit him. Perhaps they were chosen for him, I don't know, because he had on some brown boots, jeans and a white shirt. In fact, his clothes looked as though they had come from the temple storage room – meaning he is being held here for a reason, the most likely being that the council have no idea what to do with him.
Pushing aside any small talk ideas that I have in my head, I get straight to the point. "Why are you here?" I ask him curiously. "You're not a Jedi."
"I was once." He replies, startling me. A force wielder who was a Jedi? None of this made any sense at all. "But I left the order."
"Was that because you're a force wielder?" I question. He does not seem startled by how much I know – if anything – he seemed to have expected it.
"I wasn't back then," He informs me, straightening back up and letting the cloth fly out of his hand. "At least, I wasn't trained."
"Why did you leave the order? Surely if you wanted to be trained you should have stayed?"
He gives me a regarding look, sending a message immediatley that I am to drop the subject, before glancing at the window in his room and back again – it is then that I notice the window is ray shielded. The walls of the room aren't made of normal things either, they're made of stronger, more sturdy material that I can tell was put there on purpose – that purpose being to hold a force wielder. The bed looks like one out of a hospital, due to the white sheets, but considerably more comfortable. The entire place looks like one suite, and in my hastiness to get away from him I backed into the bedroom. There is nothing special about anything in this room, just a bed, a dresser, a closet, a window and a 'fresher. That is all there is. I cannot help but feel sorry for him, being a force wielder would mean wanting to be active, and there seemed to be hardly anything to do in the suite.
Unsurprisingly, he changes the subject. "Why did you run in here?"
I am surprised that he does not know, being a force wielder and all, but he can't have been deliberatley sensing who was running towards his room from halfway across the temple, he must have only been able to sense fear and panic. So that was why he was stood at the door. "I was being chased," I reply simply, not seeing how it was fair for me to tell him anything specific when he wouldn't tell me.
"I could tell," Anakin Skywalker returned lazily and almost mockingly. "Why were they chasing you?"
"Why did you leave the order?" I answer his question with a question. To my surprise, his lips twitch as if he were repressing a smile and even he cannot surpress the amusement he is feeling through the force, which I catch curiously.
He watches me for a moment longer and I know for certain that he won't tell me a thing, except he does. "I didn't leave willingly," He began. "I was kidnapped – taken – by some bounty hunters who were going to bring me to a very evil force wielder, who wanted to add my power to his."
My gaze flickers up and down him before returning to his. "So... you're evil." I stretch the word, prepared to flee the moment the threat presents itself.
"No," He answered. "I was saved. Now, I answered your question, you answer mine."
I am not happy that he won't tell me many details – except for the part about the bounty hunters – and that he has not forgotten the silent promise I made to answer his question after he answered mine. "I stood up for my friend." I reply simply, no details at all.
"Care to give any details?"
"Do you?" I ask, cocking my head to the side slightly.
He does not speak for a long moment, simply watches me silently. I vow silently that if he tries to read my mind I will not rest until I have read his, or worse, made his his life a living hell. "Fine," He replies, sounding exasperated. "My mentor – who wasn't back then – saved me before I could be taken to the other force wielder. I said I wanted to go back to the temple, but he told me that it was too dangerous and I stayed with him and all of the other force wielders for ten years."
"How did you end up here, then?" I ask, eager to know more about his unfortunate past.
"I asked you a question too," He reminds me. "Answer that first and I might tell you."
"Liar." I accuse quietly, though he obviously heard me. Silence reigns for a few, long moments before I, reluctantly, tell him what he wants to know. "My best friend is Barris Offee, we're in the same class. There are these three bullies – the ones you threw down the corridor – who pick on anyone they see. Today they tried picking on Barris and I stood up for her, but no one was looking out for me, so they chased me out of the room and around the temple until they cornered me and I came in here."
Anakin Skywalker nodded, apparently satisfied with her response.
"Well?" I ask expectantly.
"Well, what?" He returns, mocking confusion.
"You said you'd tell me how you ended up back at the temple after ten years of hiding with – and I'm guessing training with – force wielders."
"I said I might tell you." He reminds me, mockingly. "And now that I've thought about it, I don't think I'll be telling you anything else. The council might have sent you to spy on me."
"Spy on you?" I ask, one of my eye marks rising. "You're a force wielder, you can sense whether or not I was sent and I wasn't."
He regards me silently – again – and the urge to punch him suddenly springs up, which I have no problem with. Punching him might be a good way to get him to answer some of my questions in detail, and not as simple sentences that leave a lot of room for the imagination. "I know," He informs me, which I find insulting since he just accused me of spying on him when he knows full well that I wasn't. "I haven't exactly talked to a child in a long time."
I give him one of my best stares. "Child?" I repeat the word as if its foreign, and to me it is. I absolutley hate it when someone calls me a child when I am actually an adolescent. "Child?" I can feel my temper starting to waver. Force wielder or not, this guy's butt needs a serious kicking.
"All right, fine." He says before I can start yelling at him. "An adolescent, but it's just easier to say child. You are younger than twelve, aren't you?"
"Well, yes but -"
"Then you are still a child and are almost an adolescent."
The glare I send his way is one of my best which I have reserved for people I have been enemies with for years. I then decide that he really does need a butt kicking and am in prime position to give it to him before the sound of footsteps reaches my ears and my thoughts are turned elsewhere.
"Master Koon." Anakin Skywalker says the name with an emotionless tone, like a formal greeting. "He is here to take you back to your room."
"But... I don't want to leave." The words surprise even myself and he seems taken aback by them. "You're the most interesting person I've ever met! I don't know any other force wielders and I certainly don't know anyone who's eyes change colour due to their emotions."
He looks at me as though I am mad, which does not bother me since I am telling the truth. "You can't be serious," He says. "No one wants to stay around a force wielder. Any Jedi who walks in here is either here to keep me company because I knew them before hand or because they want to try and convince me to tell them where I have been for the past ten years."
"You still haven't told me why you have to stay here," I remind him just as the footsteps begin to sound louder, showing that Master Plo is very close now. "If you used to be a Jedi, why don't they just let you go? That's the Jedi way, not to bear grudges or to hold people against their will when they haven't done anything wrong."
He chuckled slightly and shook his head. "You have a lot to learn about your council, Ahsoka. The main fact being the anyone or anything more powerful than them has as good as signed its own death certificate in their understanding."
"But that's not the Jedi way." I remember, frowning at the thought that the Jedi council are afraid of power when Jedi are supposed to be fearless. "Why would they -"
I am cut off by the sound of the door opening just as I stand back up, not wanting to seem less important than Anakin Skywalker when I am asking him a question that I find very important. Master Plo walks in and glances from Anakin to me and back again, as though something went on that he is not sure he wanted to.
"Skywalker," He greets in a tone that I immediatley recognise as cautiousness. It couldn't be true... could it?
"Master Koon." Anakin Skywalker returns in a formal tone, the same he had used when telling me who it was that was coming towards them.
Master Plo looks at me. "I am taking you back to your room now, Ahsoka. Come with me." All the while he is glancing from Anakin to me and back again with his cautiousness flowing through the force like a fast flowing river. I don't like it one bit. The thought that what Anakin Skywalker had said was true was a scary one, especially for me. My midi-chlorine count was second only to Master Yoda's, and that is only by ten or so. Would the same happen to me? Would I end up locked in a suite with nothing to do, like Anakin Skywalker?
As I begin to walk forwards and follow Master Plo, who doesn't even watch me and is instead looking at Anakin as though if he stops looking at him it will cause something awful to happen. I pause and turn around, wanting to at least show Master Plo that Anakin Skywalker is not that much of a threat... at least, not if you're his enemy or trying to beat someone up who is innocent.
"Thanks for healing me." I say, sensing a great amount of shock from Master Plo at the statement.
"Any time." He replies, his eyes now on me instead of on Master Plo. They have reverted back to that kind, blue colour instead of the brown that they were becoming whilst he was acting so formal with Master Plo. His voice isn't formal either, it's warm and caring. Either Master Plo has never heard him speak like that or he just plain doesn't like how nice he seems to be because the second I turn around and start walking back out of the room, he looks at me as though I'm foreign too – something that should never have been found.
This makes me nervous. Master Plo and I are very close but right now he seems as though he has never met me before, and does not want to. What was so wrong with talking to Anakin Skywalker? I do not even bother to spare him another glance and just walk out of the room with him right behind me, his force senses primed for danger for some reason, and the moment the door closes his hand is firm on my shoulder and he spins me around to face him. At that moment my natural reflex is to prepare for danger, and that's exactly what I do – Master Plo is treating me like I'm a good for nothing servant girl.
"What were you thinking, going in there?" He demands, his voice stern and scolding.
"It's not as if I had a choice," I defended. "It was either that or get beaten up. What's wrong with seeing him anyway? He isn't a criminal, he saved Master Windu's life."
"You do not understand," Master Plo said, shaking his head. "Do not talk about things you do not understand."
"All I understand is that he saved Master Windu's life and you imprisoned him." I retort coldly. "That isn't the Jedi way, so why is he a prisoner?"
In that second, I think he's going to hit me. There's this blazing look in his eyes that tells me I have touched a very, very bad subject which the council have obviously been discussing for quite some time. His entire posture goes rigid and his hand is suddenly cold and unwelcome on my shoulder, so I shake it off. He stares at me as if I'm mad and that I've lost my mind.
"You do not understand the power that force wielders possess," He tries to change the subject and not answer my question, to scold me. "They are dangerous and -"
"Just because they're more powerful than the Jedi council doesn't mean you have to keep them locked up like some kind of animal!" I do not bother to realise that even with the short time I have spent with Anakin Skywalker, I seem to know in my heart that he is a good person. "It's like having a slave, and just keeping him locked up even though he's done nothing wrong! In fact, he did something right! He saved Master Windu's life! You're ungrateful and spineless, you're no better than the sith!"
With that, I turn and bolt as fast as I possibly can. Sprinting through corridors as though my life depends on it, and it most probably does. Master Plo may have only had a millisecond to react, but I could sense how he lost his temper before he had the chance to react, and that amount of anger I sensed inside of him was way more scary than Anakin Skywalker, who did not seem scary to me anymore, just misunderstood. I ran through the corridors until I reached me room and when I got inside I flopped down on my bed and closed my eyes tightly, curling up into a ball and trying to block everything out.
How had this happened? I'm in the same room as Anakin Skywalker and suddenly I'm believing everything he says! Well, it was Master Plo's reaction that forced me to make up my mind. I had not been expecting my friend, the Jedi master who found me, to give me that kind of reaction just because I was in the same room as a force wielder. Didn't the fact that I was nearly beaten up mean a thing to him? Were the younglings even punished?
I am furious but this exhausts me. Running half way through the temple is not a good idea, it's more than four miles if you measure the usual half of the temple, but with all the corridors and detours that I took it had to have been nearly triple that. Yawning, I begin to relax into my bed and fall asleep, completely unaware that I am actually being sent to sleep via a force suggestion, curtosy of the Jedi council.