Ahsoka wanted to impress her Master. She wanted to prove to Anakin that it hadn’t been a mistake to take her on despite the more than untraditional claiming. She had to make him proud and show that she wasn’t a childish youngling anymore and could be useful on the battlefield.
Ahsoka also desperately wanted to jump up in excitement because they finally had found some time to spare and Anakin was going to teach her their lineage’s dance. It wasn’t the first sign that Ahsoka was his Padawan, but it seemed like the one that was the most binding. She had gotten her proper beads and even been sent to the quartermaster to get clothing more suited for the war front. Ahsoka hoped her Master hadn’t noticed she had picked her new tunics to match the colors he seemed to prefer to wear. She wouldn’t mind it per se, plenty of Padawans did it after all, but it was just a little embarrassing if he said something about it. Anakin already called her “my Padawan” or, after she’d done something particularly reckless, “my very young Padawan” plenty of times. They were a team and would stick together until Ahsoka was a formidable Knight of her own, but being taught something that was particular to their lineage somehow reassured Ahsoka that she had found her place more than anything else.
“Ready?” Anakin asked.
They had assembled in the bigger training hall of the flagship and carefully put their outer robes to the side together with their lightsabers. A few clones were training, but Ahsoka could already see them beginning to work out less and less to observe them. She had to give it her best. Like most younglings, Ahsoka had adored the celebrations when various lineages would show off their dance, dreaming of when she would learn hers. The elaborate choreographies were stunning, the backflips that were in pretty much every dance at least once had always made her screech in delight.
Not that Ahsoka would do so now.
She was fourteen. And a Padawan.
She didn’t giggle or watch in awe.
“Born ready, Master,” Ahsoka replied cheekily.
Anakin grinned, looking carefree and oddly young this way. Ahsoka was glad about it. She would have disliked it if an old and stuffy Master had picked her.
“Good. It’s been a while since I actually danced, so forgive me if it doesn’t look as fluid.”
Anakin shook his right arm, the one Count Dooku had cut off as if to underline the point. Ahsoka was sure that he must be joking. She had seen him go toe-to-toe against Master Kenobi during training and his prosthetic had hardly seemed to bother him. She had been a little put out by it at first, Jedi with such grave injuries didn’t get send on active combat missions or delicate negotiations anymore, but Anakin had definitely shown that it wasn’t holding him back.
Anakin took a deep breath and bowed in front of her, it was the first position which most of the dances Ahsoka had already learned at the temple shared. Then he took a step forward, raising up his right arm at the same time. The longer she watched, the more mesmerized did Ahsoka become. There were plenty of moves, each one representing one Jedi, and they all fit together perfectly. It reminded her of the gentle waves of the sea or shifting sands of the desert, but none of those images perfectly translated to the fluidity with which Anakin moved. She didn’t dare take her eyes off him even for a second, but she could tell that the clones too had all halted in their movements to observe him. It was beautiful and even though there was no music, Ahsoka felt like she could hear the banging of drums or the gentle play of a harp. More than anything she wanted to join right in, learn to copy all his moves.
With ease, Anakin rose from the ground, arched his back as he spun. Out of that flip, he stepped forward with one leg, slowly pulling the other with him. He raised his arms up-
And stopped with curse Ahsoka wouldn’t dare even whisper where any Master could possibly overhear.
“Is everything alright?” Ahsoka asked quickly.
Anakin’s expression had darkened, he was frowning and clutching his prosthetic arm with the other hand as it shook slightly. Had it malfunctioned and hurt him? Ahsoka jumped up from her position on the ground to walk over to her Master, worry trailing after her like a lost child.
“Yes, yes,” Anakin muttered. “I’m fine, I just forgot it. Obi-Wan and I haven’t fixed the sequence yet.”
“Fix it?” Ahsoka inquired. Lineage dances didn’t get fixed, that was the whole point. They got extended but never changed.
“Mhm,” Anakin hummed, pointedly not elaborating, and walked over to his bundle of robes to fish his comm unit out of them.
A moment later he was calling Obi-Wan. The whole situation was absolutely strange to Ahsoka, she didn't want to know what the clones were thinking.
“Anakin,” Obi-Wan’s voice rang through the silent room as if he had been shouting. “Aren’t you supposed to be training with Ahsoka right now?”
“And aren’t you supposed to be sleeping?” Anakin retorted drily.
Ahsoka counted the hours and indeed. Obi-Wan wasn’t supposed to be awake, it was his nighttime rotation. They had scheduled the hours so that at least one Jedi was always up in case of an emergency. If none of them followed protocol, that particular system was rendered useless.
“I had more pressing manners to attend to." That, Ahsoka had already learned, was Obi-Wan speech for I was up reading through reports. "What can I do for you?”
Anakin rolled his eyes and send Ahsoka a look of fond exasperation, expressing quite clearly what he thought about Obi-Wan’s attitude. She snorted and was half in mind to tell him that he wasn’t doing much better than his Master.
“I’m teaching Ahsoka our dance,” Anakin said. “And we didn’t fix it. Dooku’s move is still in there.”
Silence followed. The name of the Sith Lord had cut through the air like a lightsaber, leaving behind a rough and burning wound.
“I- I had forgotten about that,” Obi-Wan picked up the conversation again.
He sounded tired and hurt, it made Ahsoka uncomfortable. Jedi Masters were supposed to know… well, not everything, nobody could, but the uncertainty in his voice was still unsettling.
“You’re in the main training hall, correct? I’ll be there in a few minutes.”
And with that Obi-Wan ended the call and Anakin tossed his comm unit back into the clothing pile.
“Sorry, Snips,” he apologized. He pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed. “Your first lesson is not turning out as I had planned.”
“That’s alright!” Ahsoka replied quickly. She had already figured out that not a lot of things about her apprenticeship were going to be going according to plan. “But, if you don’t mind me asking, what was that about? What do you mean with Dooku?”
Anakin blinked a couple of times as if he didn’t understand her question. For a moment Ahsoka wondered whether she had said something wrong or accidentally spoke complete gibberish, then Anakin’s face cleared up.
“Right, you don’t know. Look, Obi-Wan is your grandmaster. He was trained by Master Qui-Gon Jinn, who died ten years ago on Naboo. Qui-Gon’s Master in turn was Count Dooku, who was taught by Master Yoda. Dooku’s your great-great grandmaster.”
Anakin spit Dooku’s name like an insult, rightfully so in her opinion. Dooku was a cruel bastard, it was almost impossible to imagine that he had been a Jedi Master once upon a time. To think that she was of his lineage now, that he had fallen to the dark side when his own Padawan had been murdered by a Sith and had cut off Anakin’s arm-
“He’s no Master of mine,” Ahsoka said finally.
Dooku had betrayed everything the Jedi stood for. He didn’t deserve to be remembered as one of their own. The sooner they cut his sequence from the dance, the better.
“Can you teach me the moves after his until Obi-Wan arrives?” Ahsoka asked. “I still have to learn those.”
Anakin smiled, a little strained still, but cheer was slowly seeping back into it.
“Sure,” he agreed. “Let’s start with Master Qui-Gon’s move.”
He fell into a stance Ahsoka assumed was the one where Dooku’s usually ended and picked right up, transitioning into what must be Master Jinn's move, then Obi-Wan’s and finally his own. By the time Obi-Wan showed up in the training hall, Ahsoka could almost execute those last three in perfect synchronicity with her Master.