Ahsoka is in a lovely mood today. She woke up at a good time, ate her rations with the clones in a timely manner, got in a wonderful meditation and an hour's worth of exercise with her lightsabers. Rex had even helped her train for a while before someone called him away.
Right now Ahsoka was making her way towards the command tower of the Resolute. The 501st was currently bunking with the 212th. She wasn't privy to the actual story of what happened last battle. She knew that Master Obi-Wan and a large group of clones had undergone a stealth mission that went so badly they had to abandon their ship on some desolate planet. How the sith hells did they think taking a bunch of clones with them qualifies as a stealth mission? Clearly, something else had happened that everyone else isn't allowed to know.
Everything was rather, force forbids, quiet. Of course, nobody would be caught dead acknowledging that out loud. Rex says it's bad luck, and the moment someone says it's quiet, the moment everything goes to druk. For now, everyone was enjoying the peace that the silence of space afforded.
Ahsoka slowed her quick pace to the elevators when she felt herself being pulled to the room on the left. She felt Anakin's quiet brooding through the force before she even walked in.
Upon walking into the room, she noticed a few things. Commander Cody and Obi-Wan were in deep conversation over a holo map. Another clone that she didn't recognize was walking in and out of their conversation, presumably to find answers to the questions the General and the Commander would be asking.
They don't know how to rest at all. Anakin likes to joke it was perfect that Cody and Obi-Wan landed together during the clone wars. Far too serious by the 501st standards. But perhaps the 501st were the wrong people to judge on matters of seriousness. It was something they certainly struggled with.
She saw Rex on the other side of the room, talking with Jesse. They had their helmets off and were laughing with each other. Clearly, the 501st knew how to relax. Ahsoka hopes the 212th pick up a few positive habits during their stay here.
Anakin, though, sat at a table in the room's corner next to the door. He was slumped over in his seat and resting against the table. His chin was resting on the cool metal surface, with only his eyes peeking over his crossed arms.
Ahsoka sighed. So it was one of those days, was it? That's alright, nothing new for her to deal with. She turned to walk towards his corner when she stopped. Anakin was clearly deep in thought over something. And forcefully staring into the distance. Slowly, Ahsoka turned to see where Anakin was looking.
It was Obi-Wan and Cody. She looked back at Anakin and noticed his brow was a little furrowed. What was wrong with Obi-Wan and Cody talking?
Then a loud clanging noise drew her eyes away from Anakin's brooding. Cody had knocked his helmet off the table they were standing over. Obi-Wan bent over to pick it up for Cody.
Almost instantaneously, Ahsoka felt the shift from Anakin. Her bond with him was relatively quiet right until she felt a loud burst of energy come from his side. She whipped her head back to face Anakin to see if something had happened. He hadn't moved, but he was still watching Obi-Wan and Cody. His eyes were wide open.
Now she was really confused. She turned back to look at Obi-Wan, who was standing back up and handing his helmet over to Cody, who was grateful for the help.
Rex had also just watched what happened. Ahsoka raised her eyebrow at him as a question. Rex only smirked at her as a response. Ahsoka shook her head to show her only growing confusion. Rex bends his head towards the corner, where Anakin remained in his unmoving slouch, and then to Obi-Wan and Cody. But then Rex looks down. At Obi-Wan, where he had just bent over to grab the helmet.
Ahsoka turns to Anakin once more. In the darkness of his corner, she can just see a bit of red in Anakin's cheekbones. Her eyes widen. Her hand slaps up to her mouth to cover the gasp that was coming out.
Oh, force. So perhaps her earlier assessment of 'It was one of those days' was too hasty. She certainly hasn't encountered this situation before.
Rex clearly knows she's caught on now and is laughing at her shock with Jesse. Who must have also understood what happened. She exhales slowly as she considers how she's going to go about this. Obi-Wan will notice if he hasn't already. Anakin is unmistakably emitting pure emotion into the force. For his sake, she's going to have to do her best to save Anakin from the humiliation of being caught like this.
Finally, Ahsoka walks over and sits beside Anakin in his corner. She puts her face onto the table and crosses her arms in the same position as Anakin. He hasn't even noticed her yet. Too busy staring at his master.
"Why are you so thirsty?" Ahsoka whispers.
The reaction is instant. Anakin jumps up and his head swings up to turn at the person now sitting beside him.
"Sithspit, Ahsoka!" Anakin exclaims.
Nobody turns to look at them thankfully. The room is too noisy with other clones and Anakin is regularly a loud person, so nobody thinks twice about him yelling out curses. All except Obi-Wan, of course.
If you hadn't been looking, you wouldn't have noticed. But as soon as the words were coming out of Anakin's mouth, Obi-Wan was looking in this direction. Just for a second, turning back to Cody the moment he realized Anakin was alright.
Ahsoka mentally scoffed. So they're both down bad. She just wasn't paying attention to it. This she could definitely work with.
"Hello, Master. How are you today?" Ahsoka smiles up at him without lifting her head off of the table.
Anakin splutters. Ahsoka interrupts him before he can embarrass himself even more.
"Sit down, Master. You're gonna make a fool of yourself in front of Master Obi-Wan," she says.
Anakin's scoffs at her, but he sits down again.
"What are you playing at right now, Snips?" Anakin furiously whispers back to Ahsoka.
"No playing, Master. Simply noticed something today." Ahsoka was definitely teasing him now. It's what he deserves for scaring her when she came out of the 'fresher last night. Sure, she may have technically already exacted revenge on him already by tackling him to the ground the moment she realized it was him, but that was unimportant.
Anakin was already wary of where she was going with this.
"Noticed what, padawan?" Anakin asks.
"Or maybe, it's about what you noticed,"
"I don't have the patience for this Ahsoka, just spit it out,"
"Liked it when Master Obi-Wan bent over to grab Cody's helmet fell over, didn't you?"
Anakin's jaw is on the floor now. His human face is almost fully red in seconds.
"That's… Ahsoka you can't… This is really not…" Anakin stutters.
She reaches up and pats his shoulder.
"It's okay, Master. I'm not going to judge you. Many sentient creatures love to look at Master Obi-Wan. But can I suggest you control your emotions for just a moment? Or even just what you're sending out right now? I can feel it, and chances are that Obi-Wan can feel it. Not sure you want to explain that one to him." She tells him.
The tips of Anakin's ears were red now. Humans were so odd, Ahsoka mused to herself. Entertaining though, that's for sure. She felt the energy slowly recede back into Anakin's force signature.
"Thanks," Anakin mumbled. He slumps back down to the position he was in before Ahsoka sat. They're both staring at Obi-Wan and Cody now. Or at least, Ahsoka is. Anakin is probably only concerned with one of them.
"No problem. So are you gonna say anything to him, Master?" She asks.
"Definitely not. Not the Jedi way, and all that. Plus, he wouldn't be interested in being with the bastard kid he raised." Anakin whispers to her. As an afterthought, he says, "Don't use that word."
"Sure, sure Master. In any case, I think he is interested." Ahsoka whispers back.
"Then you're delusional," Anakin declared.
Before Ahsoka can respond, a third person sits down at the table. Ahsoka looks over and sees that Rex has joined them.
"Mind if I ask what we're doing sitting around staring at General Kenobi?" He asks. Innocent on the surface, but Ahsoka knows he's here to stir the pot. She smirks at him, and he winks at her.
"We aren't. And no you may not ask," Anakin sniffs. He doesn't look up from Obi-Wan either.
"Anakin wants to jump General Kenobi's bones," Ahsoka cheerfully tells Rex. He already knows, of course, but Anakin didn't know that. She's in the mood to see him squirm today.
"Hey, Snips! Shut up!" Anakin's arm whips out and smacks her bicep. She only laughs at him.
"What? You're being obvious about it, anyway."
"Force, I know." Anakin moans and slams his forehead on the table.
"If it helps, General, I think General Kenobi is just as oblivious as you are," Rex says.
"What does that even mean, Rex?"
"Nothing, General. But General Kenobi might become a little less oblivious as he's currently looking this way," Rex says calmly.
A few things happen in rapid succession. First, Anakin sends a wave of fear and panic through the force to Ahsoka. Ahsoka's head whips up from both Rex's words and Anakin's panic. Anakin, whose head had shot up the moment Rex spoke, was looking at Obi-Wan.
Obi-Wan raises an eyebrow at Anakin to ask if everything was okay. It was not. Anakin's eyes are wide open again, and in his uncoordinated state, choose "flight" instead of "fight", at the same time Ahsoka does.
Anakin jumps out of his seat right as Ahsoka stands up, and on his way up, the top of his head makes direct contact with Ahsoka's chin. They both yell out in pain.
She grabs onto Anakin's arm to steady herself and holds onto her chin. Anakin rubs the top of his head until he freezes in Ahsoka's hand. She looks up at Anakin, who is still watching Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan, who looks like he's about to walk over. Time to go.
Rex, who did not know his words would have such an effect, is standing up with them now. Even he looks a little panicked. Anakin is definitely projecting his fear now.
"Out, need to get out," Anakin squeaked out in a very un-general way.
"Agreed," said Ahsoka.
Anakin and Ahsoka slam the doors open and jog out of the room, dragging along a very confused and startled Rex. Ahsoka distantly wonders what they look like right now. Quite the sight, she would imagine. One scared and embarrassed Jedi General, his nervous padawan learner and a clone captain who is getting pulled along by the arm by the padawan.
As they're walking away, Anakin senses it first.
"Obi-Wan is coming," Anakin groaned.
Ahsoka stops to feel for the half-bond that she shares with Obi-Wan. He's on the move.
"Oh druk, he is," Ahsoka confirmed. "Do you think he'd let us go if we ran?"
Anakin looks conflicted and winces. Rex answers for him.
"Maybe not, but we can try," Rex offers.
Anakin claps Rex on the back and weakly smiles.
"You really are a ride or die, aren't you? Good man. Run,"
All three of them book it down the hallway.
"Hey, Master? Where are we going?" Ahsoka pants out.
"Good question Snips. No idea,"
"Oh, okay great. Just checking,"
Ahsoka feels more than sees Rex rolling his eyes at them. That's probably fair of him. They turn a corner and see an elevator at the end of the hallway. They all glance at each other before wordlessly agreeing to aim for it.
Speeding up a little, they sprint to the elevator. Anakin rapidly presses the down button. Anakin, Ahsoka and Rex all shove their way in before the door even fully opens for them. Anakin's eyes are wide and staring at the long list of floors. His hand slaps his forehead and his breath is coming out in short bursts. Rex is in the same state, but at least he doesn't look like he's about to cry.
Rex says nothing but reaches out and pushes a button for Anakin. The door shuts in front of them. Ahsoka felt like she could breathe again. All because of her Master's crush and talent at embarrassing himself. She walks backwards and leans her head against the cool wall behind her. Closes her eyes and steadies her breathing.
"Well General, It's never a boring day with you around," Rex says.
Ahsoka opens one eye to look over at Rex, who is grinning at both of them. She laughs at that and returns his smile. Then she thinks about what just occurred for a moment.
"Oh man, Rex and I are gonna have one hell of a story to tell the rest of the 501st," Ahsoka says.
Anakin's eyes open and his head shoots up from where he'd been looking at the ground. He groans.
"Kriff. If I ask really nicely for you both to never repeat this to anyone, would you say yes?" Anakin asks.
Ahsoka laughs again.
"Not a chance, Master."
The elevator stops and the doors open. Wordlessly, Rex steps out first and turns to the right. Anakin and Ahsoka follow suit. Thankfully, they didn't need to run anymore, although the pace they were keeping was quick. Ahsoka notices the hallway they're in. She knows Anakin will recognize it as well.
"The maintenance hall? Wouldn't Master Obi-Wan look for Anakin there first?"
"Maybe, but we can sit in one of the unused shuttles for now. I know one of them has some games in them while we cower from General Kenobi,"
"Hey who said anything about cowering?" Anakin asks.
"You did, the moment you said we needed to get out, Master," Ahsoka answers.
Rex interrupted Anakin's responding indignant stuttering by gesturing towards the Jedi to follow him. He walked towards a small attack shuttle and look inside the front windows the best he could from this height.
"Doesn't look like there's anybody in this one. Does this work for your brooding, General"
Anakin huffs but nods anyway. The three of them shuffle their way into the back. Once they're in, Rex presses a few buttons on a pad and the doors slide shut. Anakin immediately slides down the wall to the floor. Ahsoka sits down crossed-legged across from him.
"Well, I for one, am most excited to see the look on your face when Master Obi-Wan eventually finds us hiding in here," Ahsoka tells Anakin.
"Oh as am I, Commander Tano," Rex agrees as he slides down the wall beside Anakin. "I wonder how many minutes it will take for General Kenobi to find us,"
"Not many, I would think. He's rather in tune with the force, as it were."
Anakin crosses his arms and squints at them both.
"You didn't have to follow me and poke fun at my misery," Anakin says.
Ahsoka pokes his side and smiles.
"Aw come on, Master, we wouldn't have left you to panic all by yourself. What are friends for?" Ahsoka says. Then continues, "But friends are also here to poke a bit of fun. And you're just so easy to poke sometimes."
"Yeah, yeah, whatever Snips. What the sithhells am I gonna say to Obi-Wan when he shows up?" Anakin wonders.
"You could just say that Rex said something so outrageous that we were so shocked we had to run away to find a private spot to hear more," Ahsoka offers.
"Or that I accurately described the situation at hand, and nobody could cope with it," Rex adds.
"Yeah or that,"
Anakin snorts and shakes his head.
"What if we just say nothing?" Anakin says.
"What, like when he asks what just happened, we won't say 'Anakin was so horny for his former master he couldn't control his facial expressions in front of a group of people so both Rex and I called you out on it?' We'll say 'Nothing happened, Master Obi-Wan, I think you're imagining things.'"
"Yes, exactly that,"
"That would almost be funny if I wouldn't feel so bad for Master Obi-Wan when we did it,"
"Oh, come on, he teases me all the time. If all three of us refuse to tell him what happened he'll have no choice but to leave it." Anakin says.
"You know he won't leave it, though, Master,"
"Maybe he will,"
"Even I know General Kenobi enough to tell you he's not going to drop this because we get a little difficult. Commander Cody has detailed to me how stubborn he can get when he needs to get something done. He won't forget this, and he'll spring it on us when we least expect it. General, I think you know this too."
Anakin sighs and lets his head fall onto the wall behind him. He rubs his hands over his eyes and takes a take breath.
"Unfortunately, I know all too well just how right you are with that assessment."
"You could just tell him you love him, you know,"
Then Anakin's head comes off the wall to stare at Ahsoka incredulously. She holds her head high and makes eye contact with him. She raises an eyebrow at him as a silent dare for him to refute it.
"Since when do I-" Anakin started.
"Since forever. Before I even met you, probably."
"That is just not-" Anakin tries again and Ahsoka interrupts another time.
"Not true? You're gonna look at me and tell me that I'm wrong? Am I wrong?"
Anakin frowns and crosses his arms again. He glares at Ahsoka, but she doesn't back down. He sighs once more and rolls his eyes.
"No. Kriff. I hate this. Since when does a padawan talk to their master this way, huh?"
"Come on, Master. All things considered, I think I am far less disrespectful as a padawan than you were," Ahsoka cheerfully responds.
"Oh, I don't think that was ever in doubt," A distinctly non-Anakin and non-Rex male-sounding voice speaks.
All three of them freeze. Ahsoka slowly looks up to make eye contact with Anakin whose face mirrors Ahsoka's own shock and fear-filled expression. They hadn't even noticed someone had come into the shuttle. Anakin and Ahsoka had been too busy talking to pay attention to the force for warning signs. The clearest and loudest warning sign being that their respective bonds with one Obi-Wan Kenobi had been getting closer and closer while they spoke. Nobody is speaking now.
Well, Ahsoka can definitely say she will never forget the look Anakin has on his face right now. One for the history books, that's for sure.
"Care to explain?"
Anakin is the one to speak up first. But just like Ahsoka, he refuses to break eye contact with her and look up at the person standing in the doorway.
"That wasn't an optional question, Anakin."
"I find myself struggling to care in this situation,"
Ahsoka is holding in one hell of a laugh right now. But she keeps her eye contact with Anakin for his sake. For all his bravado and brattiness, he is definitely a bit scared.
"Excuse me?" Ahsoka can hear the surprise and amusement in Obi-Wan's voice. She wishes she could see his face so badly right now.
"You're kinda interrupting a conversation here, Obi-Wan. If you must know what happened, it was actually nothing," Anakin tells him.
Oh okay, so they were going with the nothing plan, were they? Fine then.
"It's true Master, nothing happened. No need to worry," Ahsoka says.
"Oh, really? Nothing at all?" Obi-Wan asks.
"Yup. Can confirm. Nothing. Sorry to disappoint."
She can't do it anymore. She's weak. Ahsoka needs to know what his face looks like right now. This is the most fun she's had in ages. She winks at Anakin and finally turns to look at Obi-Wan.
He's standing above their little circle with his arms crossed and his eyebrows raised. He's leaning on one foot and is smiling at them. Ahsoka smiles at him.
"You're welcome to join our gossip circle if you'd like, Master,"
Anakin hisses at her in betrayal. Rex has said nothing this whole time, seemingly happy to witness the encounter.
"Gossip circle? Is that what this is?" Obi-Wan is grinning now.
"Oh yes, Master, it's very fun. We make fun of Anakin often," Ahsoka says.
"That does sound rather entertaining, but I'm afraid I have things to do,"
"Do you? Or are you just trying to keep busy until the next orders come in?" Ahsoka asks. She knows this was a little out of pocket to be saying to a superior, but she's right, and everyone in this shuttle knows it.
"Pardon?" Obi-Wan was definitely thrown off by that.
"Well, you stopped what you were doing to come running after us. I'm sure you could have sensed we weren't in danger. You didn't have to follow us,"
Obi-Wan blinks. Anakin has finally looked up now. He looks triumphant. Ahsoka feels a wave of pride for his padawan that he sends to her through their bond.
"Perhaps not," Obi-Wan starts. Ahsoka cuts him off before he can try to worm out of it.
"Come on, Master. Just sit with us for a bit,"
Anakin speaks up.
"No, actually I don't think I agreed to that."
"Oh Master, it's rude to exclude people. Especially your friends," Ahsoka tells him. She winks at his pale face on the word 'friend'. He huffs at her.
"Fine," He tries to do something that Ahsoka thinks is a smile but has come out as a grimace towards Obi-Wan. "Sit down or you'll make Ahsoka sad."
Ahsoka snorts and Obi-Wan only smirks at his antics. He collects his robes in a bunch and sits cross-legged on the floor beside Anakin. He folds his hands together in his lap and looks towards Rex, who is clearly endlessly amused by all of this.
"Can I ask at least, why Rex has been dragged along with you two," Obi-Wan asks.
"No, you can't-" Anakin interjects.
"Well General," Rex interrupts him. "I believe what we decided on was 'I said something so outrageous that they were so shocked we had to run away to find a private spot to hear more about what I have to say',"
"What you… decided on?" Obi-Wan says slowly.
"And I presume I'm not allowed to ask what it is you supposedly said, right?"
"That seems to be the case,"
"And if I pull rank on you, would you be able to tell me?" Obi-Wan wonders aloud. Rex smirks.
"Oh I'm sure I could, if I didn't know General Skywalker would have me executed on the spot,"
"That bad, is it? Fascinating."
Anakin splutters. Ahsoka simply watches and wishes, not for the first time during her time as Anakin's padawan, she had a device to record this interaction.
"Alright, I wouldn't… That's not… It isn't that bad, I would never…" He trails off.
"So if I ordered Rex to tell me exactly what happened, you wouldn't kill him instantly?"
"No, but I'd make his life a living hell if he did that," He whips his head to narrow his eyes at Rex, who doesn't even bat an eye. "And he'll regret he ever walked over to my brooding corner,"
"Brooding corner?" Obi-Wan asks. Anakin freezes. Realizes what he just let slip. His head falls to his chest and he lets out a long sigh. Ahsoka chuckles for a second until Anakin looks up again to glare at her. She stops and raises her hands as a surrender.
"Can we be done with this interrogation? Please?" Anakin begs.
Ahsoka takes pity on him. Just this once.
"Fine, Master, but only 'cause I needed you to help me with this one lightsaber form, like an hour ago,"
Anakin sees the olive branch for what it is and jumps to his feet in seconds. He holds out a hand to pull Ahsoka up. She takes it.
"Yes! Brilliant idea Snips, I'd love to help you with, uh, training. Because that is what a master does for padawans. That's absolutely right. Rex, you're welcome to come with us, if you'd like,"
Anakin offers a hand to pull Rex up, who also takes it. He pats Anakin on the forearm before dropping it.
"Nah that's alright, thank you for the offer General Skywalker. Surprisingly, I do have things to do,"
"That's perfectly alright, Captain." Anakin smiles at him. Then turns to Obi-Wan, who was being pulled up by the arm that Ahsoka has offered him. Anakin narrows his eyes again. "Don't interrogate my friend. If you do, I won't talk to you for a month,"
"Silence from you for a month in return for this information? This deal seems fantastic," Obi-Wan narrows his eyes right back at his former padawan. The sight is so familiar that Ahsoka distantly wonders if that's who Anakin got that expression from.
"Okay fine. I won't speak to you for a month, I send Ahsoka to bother you at all hours of the day, and I'll also break the thermostat in every room you ever sleep in so badly that nobody but me will be able to fix it." Anakin crosses his arms over his chest and gives a smile so smug, Ahsoka can practically feel it in the air.
Obi-Wan huffs and mirrors Anakin's position.
"Fine, I shall refrain from questioning Rex. But I think you know that I will eventually find out what happened back there that made you blush so bad that Cody and I could see it from across the room,"
Ahsoka's eyes widen and Anakin's jaw is on the floor yet again. Ahsoka slaps a hand over her mouth to stop the roar of laughter that was threatening to come out. Rex's hand also comes up to cover his face, and he has to clear his throat to control himself. And oh my, Anakin's face is miraculously fully flushed once more. Obi-Wan notices.
"Oh yes, just like that, in fact," Obi-Wan's face is the smug one now.
"We're leaving now," Anakin shrieked. He grabs Ahsoka's hand and uses the free one to slam the panel on the side of the entrance to open it.
Before they can turn the corner out of view, Ahsoka turns to look back at Obi-Wan's and Rex's amused faces. She waves.
"See you later," Ahsoka grinned.
"Don't speak to the enemy, Ahsoka," Anakin grumbles as he pulls them down the hallway.
"Oh Master, you're so dramatic. And in love,"
Anakin lets out a strangled noise.
"Stop talking," Anakin grinds out.