Disclaimer: Star Wars belongs to Disney and is the intellectual property of George Lucas; he created the sandbox. I'm making no money off of this and am simply destroying the sandcastles.
Title: Coming Home
Characters: Ahsoka Tano & Captain Gregor [Special appearances by Petro, Katooni, Byph, Ganodi, Zatt, and Gungi]
Genre: A little of everything
Era: The Clone Wars; Post Season 5, episode 100 AU
Summary: Gregor hadn't expect to wake from the explosion that decimated the space port as the droids and Colonel Gascon escaped. Waking, however, is the least of his surprises…
Author's note: This idea originally comes from a one shot about a 'what if' that struck me unexpectedly one day and that one shot was included in the "Crack!ship First Impressions" vignettes I've written; it's been expanded on, and included, here. There is also a "Crack!ship first kisses" one shot that was inspired by a sequence in this very story which wanted to go on a tangent that didn't belong ;)
Gregor has been poking my shoulder demanding he get the chance to 'see' Ahsoka since I ended it in the "First Impression" vignette where I did.
So… here's the short story of how Clone Commando Captain Gregor met Jedi Padawan Ahsoka Tano and returned to the GAR... Enjoy :)
Blaster fire drowned out the march of mechanical feet as the droids swarmed the docking platform, pouring blaster fire into the various constriction struts and machinery. Attempting to hit the nimble form in battered white and yellow who ducked between them, the whine of the engines sang over the sound of the blasters as the transport came off the landing pad.
Seeing no avenue of escape that would allow him to rejoin the shuttle and the Colonel, the commando lifted his comlink. "It's been an honor serving with you, Colonel."
There was a burst of static and a brief toodle of one of the astromechs before the Colonel's voice sounded loudly in his ears. "Artoo is right; we can swing around and pick you up!"
"Don't worry about me," he downed another two droids. "You made me remember who I am. I'll make my way home, I promise. Now go!"
He turned back to let off a series of more shots into the rapidly closing droids. With the droids encircling him, Clone Commando CC-5576-39, Captain Gregor, continued to fire into their ranks even as he ducked behind the crates, the lifting droids continuing their task of moving the rhydonium canisters. They moved nearby even as he tracked the departing shuttle in his HUD. He gauged the distance, marking it in one corner, silently urging the shuttle to go faster, to get higher, as the lumbering canister-carrying droid reached near optimal position.
Come on; come on. A little more… a little higher… there!
Turning, Gregor spun to level his DC-17M blaster at the nearest pile of canisters even as the impact of a bolt slamming into his side caught his attention. The droids were close, dangerously close. Completely focused, he only peripherally noticed the shuttle crossing paths with another as he fired.
The world erupted in flame and his HUD went black.
Three insistent young voices - one a brash male, another a haughty female and a slightly accented third - drifted around the scene of the explosion.
"You're going to be in big trouble if you're not!"
"I know what I'm doing, Katooni!"
"The angle of your descent suggests you don't."
"Trust me, Zatt ."
"Watch it; it isn't cold yet."
"I bet he is."
"Well I bet you're wrong, Petro; he's alive."
"You never take my side!"
"You're never right; why would I?"
"Stop fighting; there's too much interference to get a reading off his suit from here."
"Then he's dead?"
"I don't know."
"I'm telling you, he's alive!"
"How can you tell?"
"'Cause Ahsoka said so."
"The kinetic energy of the blast alone suggests no one could have survived."
"He was blown clear."
"-that's commando armor."
"You're such a know-it-all, Katooni!"
"At least I listen in class."
"Armor is armor, he should be fried."
"Don't either of you pay attention to anything?"
"Shouldn't we take it off and check?"
"Do you know how to remove Clone armor?"
"No. If you're so smart, figure it out!"
"Padawan Tano said to load him onto the ship, not strip him."
"I don't think she means to bring him if he's a corpse!"
"Just help me get him up and out of here before the droids comeback."
"If there are any droids that can."
"Careful! He's heavy, don't drop his-"
He woke to darkness and a splitting headache. His mouth was dry, his ears ringing, and that pain caught him first. His body felt leaden and unresponsive but there was softness beneath his head.
Touch seeped back in.
The brush something damp, but not unpleasant, across his eyes. He noted the firm but comfortable surface on which he lay and the ever so faint weight of a blanket across his body, rubbing against the fabric of his body glove.
His fingers flexed, his muscles cramping as his awareness returned, protesting the inactivity - or perhaps the abuse he'd put them through. He could feel the knots and tears in his muscles; the ache of newly mended tissues and the sharp, stabbing pains of those still needing attention.
Exhaling on a long, soft sigh, he paused as he went to inhale. Gently at first and then more strongly as strange scents reached him. Scents his mind couldn't match with an infirmary. The room smelled of incense and flame instead of blood and sweat. It was clean, almost soothing, laced with some strange kind of musk.
This wasn't an infirmary… nor was it his room.
Where am I?
His head was spinning, aching and, when he went to remove the item - a cloth he finally identified – from his eyes, cool, slim fingers wrapped around his wrist, preventing him from doing so. The moment they touched him, his brain, despite its trauma, cataloged their capabilities in a heartbeat.
Calluses, on fingers and palm; strength despite their slenderness; the firm grip of someone accustomed to dealing with stronger individuals - and winning; cool, much cooler than his own skin; feminine.
"Easy soldier," the voice was low, throaty, and pitched with a gentle, amused concern that almost sounded like a buzzing noise to his ears. "You're in rough shape - and not just from the explosion."
Explosion? He didn't remember an explosion. Did the diner go up?
"Wh-" he almost choked on the question, his mouth dry, and the fingers left his wrist, a loss he felt almost immediately until the curve and tip of a straw was pressed to his lips.
"Here; this should help."
Cool liquid washed into his throat as he sucked it into his mouth and swallowed almost greedily, making a noise of complaint when she removed it. The word came out a growled demand. "More!"
"Not a chance. I might not have been the best first aid student, but I do remember not to over water a patient."
He exhaled, the water having revived, but also exhausted, him, leaving him more drained for having drank than not. She placed a hand on his shoulder and squeezed. Wasn't I wearing armor? The question drifted away as something within the cool drink hit his system with the strength and force of a turbolaser blast.
She drugged me.
The thought was immediate, adrenaline sliding through his system, forcing back the feeling of fatigue. His body jerked, refusing to succumb, his mind rebelling against the submission and a slight, but firm, weight was suddenly across him. It was little more than two hands on his shoulders, elbows firmly in his chest and pressing down, but it was enough to showcase that in his earlier evaluation of the woman was accurate.
Calluses on her palm had denoted a capability he'd accurately assessed. Not only was she capable of keeping him down, but not afraid to do so. The strength in her hold belied what he guessed to be a rather small and slight frame. Size, apparently, didn't matter as she reached out and strapped him to the bed.
He thrashed but she held him tightly, her words - for she was speaking - lost in the fogginess and buzz of his thoughts. The ache at his temple was suddenly battering from within as if it trying to escape. He tugged at the restraints, but they held firm.
Restrains. Was he a prisoner? Her prisoner?
He tried to voice the question, but the words wouldn't come. The prone position, and his short if futile struggle, led to a fatigue so swift it tied his tongue and slurred his words, making him drool and groan incoherently.
"Sleep, soldier," the voice admonished, the backs of her cool fingers gently brushing across his forehead, her tone apologetic. "I'm sorry for the restrains but they are for you safety. I promise you're among friends."
A distant part of his mind, still linked to consciousness, swore she was suddenly wry and chagrined even as the thoughts slipped away and her voice chased him into sleep.
"…and I'll try and keep the brats away from you until you're a little stronger, but I can't promise anything."