Cody sees it out of the corner of his eye. They’re three hours out of a massive battle that had seen a large portion of Ghost Company laid up in the medbay under Pace’s tender care, and Cody had been going over each squad’s report on the bridge with his General. He’s just signing off on Patchwork’s requisition for more hypos, listening with half an ear as Wooley talks himself through his own report out loud, when he sees Kenobi sway. Cody, hyper-aware at all times of his Jedi, is turning immediately, just on time to see the man’s legs give out from under him.
The datapad clatters against the holotable, and Cody is lunging around the blockade between himself and his falling General. He catches the Jedi before he hits the ground, but not on time to save him from hitting his head off the edge of the table, and the command bridge goes deathly still.
“Get a medic in here!” Cody barks at the troopers around him, but it’s not needed. He and his Vode are too well trained to freeze for long, and he knows that someone is already comming the medbay.
Confident that a medic would be arriving soon, Cody turns his attention to his di’kutla Jetii. A little frantic, Cody starts scanning across what he can see of the older man’s condition. His face is pallid, forehead dotted with sweat and smeared with blood from the new wound carved into his temple. His mind is churning, trying desperately to figure out what could have happened to make his Jedi collapse like he had, but he keeps drawing a blank. Until, that is, he pushes his memory beyond their return to the Negotiator, and starts studying the battle. There had been one heart-stoppingly long moment planetside that sticks out to him. They had been pinned down by artillery fire, and the General had gone for the tanks, recklessly drawing attention away from his men and to himself instead. He had put himself in danger once again for the troopers under his command, blowing up the tanks aiming for them.
General Kenobi had been caught in one of the explosions, and Cody’s heart had leapt into his throat, afraid that his Jetii wouldn’t be walking away this time. Those seconds had been the longest in Cody’s relatively short life, filled with the choking, heart-stopping fear over losing one of the people he cared about the most.
Cody is a clone, one face in thousands, just a single cog in the machine that is the GAR. He’s unimportant and replaceable, but Obi-Wan Kenobi - he makes him feel otherwise. They never spoke of the thing that had grown between them over all the long campaigns they had run together - something soft and warm that flutters in his chest and makes his cheeks heat up. It’s late nights in the office and sweet-smelling tea, secret smiles and private jokes that only they know. It’s quiet comfort on bad nights, and gentle touches to bring each other back to the present and out of bad memories. His Jedi is a light burning in the sky, a sun that Cody can only bask in, and a life without him would be like one in perpetual darkness. They both knew that any day could be their last, but Cody had come to see his Jetii as unkillable - he walked away from everything with a quip and a smile, and maybe Cody had come to depend on that.
His General had come bursting out of the flames like a warrior of legends, just like he always did, looking singed but still moving. His lightsaber had been alight and already sweeping through droids, and the battle had continued without a hitch.
The fear is back now, smoldering in his chest like fire, because his General collapsing now can only mean he was hurt under Cody’s watch, and he never noticed.
General Kenobi jackknifes into consciousness when Cody’s probing hands press down on his abdomen, gray-blue eyes flying open as he gasps in agony before he crumbles again with a moan of pain. Cody loops his arms around his Jedi with a gentleness that should be foreign to him, having been bred for war, but kindness and softness had always come easily to him, despite the trainers attempts to beat it out of him.
Wooley is next to him within seconds of the General’s return to consciousness, letting Cody lower their Jedi’s head onto the padded leather of his kama, and Cody has an absent moment to mull over if he should start wearing his own again - but the heavy armour had always gotten in the way when Cody had tried to utilize his legs to their fullest extent - before he’s pulling at the layers that separate him from his Jedi’s injury. His General makes a quiet noise, clumsily trying to push Cody’s hands away, but he’s uncoordinated, his eyes glazed and a flush that could possibly hint towards an infection on his pale cheeks as Wooley presses his gloved hand against the gash on his temple.
Even a Jedi like his has limits to what their body can take, and Cody honestly hopes he never finds it.
Cody hushes the Jedi quietly, then bites off a curse when he finally manages to push away the many layers of fabric the man wears to reveal thick bandages. Obi-Wan would have needed to tend to the injury himself, because the wrappings, while done well and securely, weren’t done in the way clones were trained in and blood had begun to seep through the white. “Jareor.” He grumbles under his breath, and foggy blue eyes flicker towards Cody’s face and holds there.
“Cody.” The Jedi breaths in greeting, and the Commander can’t help but wonder how cognizant the man is as he stares deeply into Cody’s eyes. “Gold.” He murmurs, and despite Wooley’s hands on his head and the bridge crew around them, he’s still staring at Cody like he held the answer to all of the Galaxy’s mysteries in his gaze. “Mesh’la.” Obi-Wan’s voice is quiet, barely audible, but Cody hears it, and so does Wooley, if the look his ARC shoots him means anything.
Cody goes carefully still, trying to push away the heat burning in his cheeks, and the fluttering of his heart in his chest. “General, now really isn’t the time-”
“I love you.” Cody jolts like he had been struck, the slurred words rattling around his head, and all he can do in response is let out a strangled squeaking sound that he would deny to the grave. His Jedi doesn’t even look fully conscious, and yet his eyes don’t leave Cody’s. “So amazing - you’re great.” Copper lashes flutter against flushed, but pale, cheeks, and Cody can feel his grave being dug when Wooley giggles. “You - you fight good. Love you so much.”
Face on fire, Cody can only let out a strangled wheeze of faintly hysterical laughter, because of course his Jedi says this the moment he’s lost his silver tongue. He’d be able to handle flowery language, he’d come to expect it so it never fazes him, but something as stupidly sincere as you fight good has his heart pounding.
Luckily, he’s saved from making a complete fool of himself by Patchwork bursting onto the bridge like a bleach-blond hurricane. The senior medic is accompanied by one of his shinier underlings and a biobed, and soon the injured General is whisked away to Pace’s domain. Cody finds himself staring after them, glad for his darker complexion because his cheeks are still burning. With the drama over, the crew has gone back to their work, though there’s a cloud of worry over them. They all love General Kenobi, and he loves them in turn.
He loves Cody too.
Wooley is the only one to not have moved back to where he had been before, and is watching Cody with undisguised glee, and a grin on his face that has Cody knowing that the ARC had heard everything.
“Not a word.” Cody gives him a warning look, but Wooley claps his hands in front of his face, grin widening and dark eyes looking too innocent to be trusted.
“Fives owes me so many credits.” The younger trooper breathes in awe, and Cody can’t quite stop the shiver of horror that travels down his spine.
If Fives finds out, then Rex will know, and if Rex knows, then so will his batchmates. Cody will never know peace again. None of them will ever let him live this down.