Solstice Knight

Truth

"But why did you make it red?" Ahsoka asked Leon while she paced in front of him.

Leon relaxed in a chair as his friend paced in front of him in a panic, "I don't see why it's a problem".

"Its red" she quietly yelled, "The color of the Sith".

"I'm still not seeing the issue" he calmly smirked, "Just because it's the same color used by the Sith doesn't mean I am one. Maybe I like the color red; maybe I'm proving that the color of my weapon doesn't mean anything".

Leon raised his legs and jumped to his feet, "Or maybe we're both right".

Ahsoka looked at him with confusion as she finally stopped pacing, "What?"

Leon held his finger up, "See it like this. I built a second lightsaber because I wanted to and I gave it a red crystal because I needed to".

"I'm still not following you" Ahsoka said.

Using the Force, Leon dismantled his new lightsaber revealing the crimson crystal within, "This is the same crystal from Thalia's lightsaber. The one she used when she was Dooku's apprentice. I'm using it so it will always remind me of the danger of the dark side. To symbolize the struggle between the light and dark having a physical reminder will allow me to always be cautious and wary of the dark side's temptation".

Ahsoka fell into the chair next to Leon, "When did you build it?"

Leon sat down next to her, "About a month ago. First time I used it though well I did practice with it a bit, but it was the first time I actually used it".

"Does the Council know about it?" she asked him.

Leon nodded to the side, "I'd imagine by now they do. It's been a good hour since I went through the arena. Master Shaak Ti has probably reported it to the Council by now".

"And that doesn't bother you?"

Leon shook his head, "Not really. If they ask me about it which they will that conversation will go the same ours as so far. Once I tell them the reason I have it they'll drop it".

"How can you be so sure?"

"Well look at me" Leon told her, "Do you sense any taint of the dark side on me? I have nothing to worry about. When we're training to become Jedi and even when we are promoted to knighthood we are always told to be wary of the dark side so having this" he reassembled his lightsaber as he spoke, "As a symbol of that should reflect my dedication more than anything".

Placing the lightsaber on his lap he looked at her, "Why are you so worried?"

Ahsoka looked at the floor, "I…I just don't want you to end up exiled or anything like that".

Leon chuckled, "For having a red lightsaber?"

"It's not funny" she snapped.

"Ahsoka" he began in a calm voice, "It makes me really happy to know you're worried about me, but it'll be ok. You've known me long enough to know that I'll always come out on top".

Ahsoka looked away from him with a faint smile, "I wish I had your confidence" she admitted in a gloomy tone, "You never seem to be short of it".

"Just part of who I am" Leon told her, "But there is something I need your help with".

Returning her eyes to him she began scanning his expression for signs he was setting up another joke, "You asking me for help?"

Leon grabbed his new lightsaber, "Well you have more experience than I do on the topic" he displayed his lightsaber to her, "Notice anything familiar about my hilt?"

Moving her eyes over the weapon she realized what he was showing her, "It's a reverse grip".

Leon nodded, "Yep and since you utilize a reverse grip I was hoping you could show me how to wield it better".

"Why did you make a reverse grip?" she asked him.

He held the weapon in a reverse stance and activated it, "Well watch" he told her as he slowly made a practice swing at the air. Once he swing reached it peak range he opened his palm quickly shifting the hilt around. Now holding the weapon in a normal upright way he reversed his swing turning back in the direction his started shifting the hilt a second time when his arm moved as far back as it could.

Deactivating the weapon he clipped it back on his belt, "These reverse grips have a potential to chain into an infinite number of strikes as long as you can maintain proper momentum. I'd like to learn how to effectively wield one".

"You've already got half of it all down" she told him, "It's a shoto saber which makes it easier to wield".

Leon smiled, "Indeed…I like it a smaller blade would make it easier for me to parry and defend against enemy attacks".

Ahsoka felt a sly smile creep across her face, "Alright let's say I teach you how to wield a reverse grip. What would I get out of it?"

Leon turned away from her and wrapped his hand around his chin, "Well let's see…I could make you dinner…again or I could teach you something".

"Like what?" Ahsoka chuckled.

"Well I could teach you how to cook…I could teach you how to fight hand to hand like I do" he turned to her and gently took her hand, "Or maybe I could teach you how to dance some more" he smiled at her, "I would love a repeat of our dance on Naboo".

"Stop it" she muttered almost sadly as she pulled her hand free from him, "Everything is a joke to you. It's always a laugh here or a flirt there is there anything you take seriously?"

"You know I do" he told her resting his hand against the side of her face.

Once again she retreated from him conflicting feelings running through her mind worry, doubt, anger, fear and even fragile joy. Every time he acted like this, the look in his eyes the tone in his voice every time it bothered her it was like he suddenly became a different person. No matter how many times he became like that it always managed to shake her maybe it was because of her belief in the Jedi code, maybe it was because she had actually gotten used to his playful teasing and flirting, but when he started acting like this.

"My chest hurts" she thought to herself, "I can tell he's not joking anymore. He's serious when he acts like that…Why do I feel so nervous…so afraid".

Turning away from him she hugged her arms, "I'll show you another time…just stop looking at me like that".

Without waiting for a response Ahsoka left the room leaving Leon standing alone. He wanted to go after her part of him was screaming to follow her to tell her what was really on his mind how he really felt about her. That's what he wanted to do, but another part of him kept him restrained. The other half of his thoughts returned to Thalia who was waiting for him back on Coruscant. Both of these girls were important to him and even though he still wasn't sure as to the full extent of his feelings for them he knew that he would do anything for them.

He remembered the talks he had with Master Luminara and Anakin each of them reminding him of the teachings and that a Jedi was supposed to avoid attachment. At first he questioned why there was no way attachment could be as bad as the Council warned him. He was happy when he was with Ahsoka and Thalia just being by their side allowed him to forget everything else so how could attachment be a bad thing if it made him feel that good?

"I don't believe it" he thought staring at the ceiling, "There's no way it can be of the dark side. The teachings are wrong and I refuse to…"

His thoughts were interrupted his chest suddenly tightened and he felt the muscles in his throat close. Struggling to breathe the young padawan stumbled forward as everything around him began spinning his surroundings turning into an indistinguishable blur as he leaned against the wall. As he began coughing he tried walking into the hall using the wall for support, but the inability to properly breathe coupled with the increasingly violent cough caused him to fall to his knees. Quickly reaching for his comlink Leon activated its short range distress beacon before his body flung itself forward. Down on his knees and one arm he covered his mouth as he continued coughing the inside of his throat felt like it was being torn apart. He quickly shot up to a standing position on his knees before his throat flooded with something his mouth lunging forward into his open palm he entered another serious of painful coughs ending with his entire hand covered in his own blood.

He was seconds away from blacking out his throat closed up preventing him from inhaling the desperate breath he needed as everything around him blurred into a single flash of light. He could still feel his body convulse as he coughed, but it was no longer painful signaling that the end was near. Leon's eyes rolled into the back of his head as he fell to the side a stream of blood running from the corner of his mouth as his body went limp.

"Where are we?" a female voice asked.

"An older part of the temple" Leon told her running across the empty room and jumping to the shoulder of a nearby statue, "This part of the temple doesn't get a lot of foot traffic so the chances of someone finding us here is pretty low".

The silhouette looked up to him, "You know they're going to notice we're gone pretty soon".

Leon smiled down at her, "Who cares…" his smile faded, "I'm tired of sneaking around. Let them come looking and let them find us here".

He jumped down and ran over to her, "Let's just leave now. Leave the temple, the order and Coruscant let's just leave it all behind and run away somewhere".

"Where would we go?" she asked him.

"Anywhere that's not here" he told her, "We could go back to my home on Dantooine or Corellia I don't care as long as its not here".

"Do you have any idea what you're suggesting?"

"Of course I do" Leon said grabbing the shoulders of the shrouded girl in front of him, "I wouldn't suggest it if I wasn't sure. I love you and I can't stand being here where they tell us we're supposed to ignore something that makes us happy".

The shrouded figure wrapped her arms around herself, "Maybe we should…In my whole life I never considered this would happen I always thought…"

Leon pulled her into him and hugged her, but before he could say anything the world around him shattered like glass falling in a cascade reflecting him and the shrouded girl in his arms as she vanished. He tried to call her name, but his voice was lost to him the shattered world around him stopped falling and began spinning engulfing him in a blurry vortex as his chest became tighter and his throat closed. The vortex slowed to a halt throwing him into a new room that he had never seen before.

He was standing in a circular room with a ring of hooded figures standing around the center and in the middle of them was a large stone table with a covered body laying on it. The body was completely covered by a white cloth preventing Leon from seeing who it was, but it quickly became obvious he was watching a funeral proceeding.

"He truly was a great Jedi" one of the figures said a familiar female voice he knew well as the voice of his first master, "He saved my life once and I will always be grateful to him. Even after his passing".

"He was young, but there was no denying his abilities. Even though he acted out of turn and occasionally allowed his emotions to come before his judgment he died a true Jedi".

"Master Luminara? Master Windu?" Leon muttered walking over to the circle of people, "What happened?" he asked them, but no one answered.

"Unique his personality was" an older voice said the unmistakable voice of Master Yoda, "Defy the Council he did, but many lives…save he did. Never forget his sacrifice we will".

"Who died?" Leon asked them, but again no one answered him.

"Why?" he heard someone gasp.

Turning around the section of the room behind him stretching into a dark hallway which forked leading to two different figures sitting alone. The deceased Jedi in the center of the room was lowered into the ground and stone doors slid shut over it sealing the body in its final resting place.

"Why did this have to happen?" the crying voice asked from down the hall.

Walking down the hall Leon stopped in the middle of the two figures both of them crying.

"Leon" one of the gasped catching his attention, "Why did you stay? Why didn't you run?"

"Thalia?" he muttered, "What do you mean? Run from what?" he asked as the figure fell to its knees crying into its hands.

"Why did you do it?" the other one yelled. The second voice sounded angry as well as sad.

"Ahsoka?" Leon muttered turning to the other figure.

"Why did you save me? You would have lived if you just ran…why did you come back for me".

The figure was sitting against a wall hugging its knees to its chest crying,I would walk away from the Order if it meant having you back".

That's when it hit him the funeral he just saw was his, but how? How could he be dead when he was standing right there. Was he really dead is that why no one could see or hear him. Again the world around him shattered like glass and he felt like someone hit him in the chest causing it to tighten and rob him of his breath. Falling to his knees he heard several voices overlapping around him.

"His vitals are dropping we're losing him"

"What's going on?"

"He's coughing up too much blood"

"We have to do something"

"Like what?"

Leon felt like he was moving he couldn't tell if it was the shattered world around him that was falling or if it was him, but he was moving really fast as the voices around him continued yelling. The shattered pieces of the world around him became blurs as he flew past them resembling the background of space when jumping to hyper space. His chest continued to grow tighter until it felt like it was about to crush itself and his body jerked as it came to an abrupt stop.

His eyes flew open quickly being blinded by the bright lights around him a low ring in his ears as he turned to the side and pushed himself up. His arms felt like jelly, weak and trembling under his weight. As he sat up he felt a hand rest on his shoulder.

"Are you alright sir?"

Leon took a moment to gather himself allowing his hearing and eyesight to return to normal. His chest still felt tight, but he was able to breathe normally although he had a disgusting taste in his mouth.

"Where the hell am I this time?" he finally asked.

Behind him was the clone medic Baron, "You're in the medical bay sir. What happened to you?"

"I'm sick" he told the clone, "I have some kind of disease. It takes over certain cells in my body that are responsible for my immune system and kills them leaving me vulnerable to bacteria in the air. My lungs begin to seize up and my chest tightens as I struggle to breathe eventually I begin coughing more and more violently until I can't inhale between them".

"You were coughing up a lot of blood sir" Baron told him, "We were pretty worried there for a bit".

"We?" Leon asked.

Baron stepped to the side showing the people behind him, Edge and the rest of his team, Obi-Wan, Master Fisto, Anakin and Ahsoka.

Leon weakly greeted them before looking back at Baron, "Apparently over time the violent coughs began scarring the inside of my throat and when the sickness hits me again it tears the scars open causing internal bleeding. Unable to breathe half the blood gets coughed up while the other half floods down my throat drowning me".

"I'm not a doctor sir" Baron began, "But even to me that sounds like something you need to get checked out".

"Oh I've tried" Leon smirked, "Whatever sickness I've contracted has never been seen before".

"How did you contract it sir?"

Leon jumped to his feet, "Did you hear about a bomb that was placed in Senator Amidala's office about seven months ago?"

"I remember hearing something about it" Baron answered, "I never paid much attention to it since the Senator survived".

"Yeah well she's alive because of me" Leon told him stretching his arms out, "I pushed her out of the office before the bomb went off. If I had to guess there was some kind of chemical element in the bomb because according to the insanely beautiful doctor that treated me I had these coughing fits while I was out cold for those four months".

"That doctor another one of your girlfriends Commander?" Boulder asked from the back of the room.

Leon nodded, "Also yes".

Boulder snickered to himself as Leon looked around at everyone asking how long he was out this time.

"About four hours sir" Baron told him, "You were thrashing about and coughing up a lot of blood".

"That explains the taste in my mouth" Leon muttered with a disgusted look on his face, "Each time it happens I pass out for a longer period…I need to find a way to stop it from happening".

Edge chuckled before calling over to him, "Well if you die sir we can always have you cloned then you'll be one of us".

Leon began laughing, but he placed his hand on his chest and coughed, "Oh it hurts to laugh…Thanks for the offer Edge, but there's only one Leon and there will continue to only be one".

Leon looked to his fellow Jedi, "You're all being awfully quiet".

Obi-Wan crossed his arms, "Well you seem to be alright so we didn't want to interrupt, but now that you're awake I think we should talk".

Leon fell back sitting at the edge of the bed behind him, "I didn't do it".

"I'm afraid you did" Obi-Wan told him, "Master Shaak Ti has informed us of your run with your clones through the training course and the second lightsaber you have".

"You mean this?" Leon asked taking the second lightsaber from his jacket, "I wanted a second one so I went off and constructed one".

Flourishing the weapon he gave them a good look at the color of its blade before deactivating it. As expected they didn't appear suspicious, but concerned about its color. Before any debate over the blade's color could actually begin Leon told them the same thing he told Ahsoka earlier that his new lightsaber was a physical reminder of the constant struggle between the light and dark sides.

"Jedi must always be aware of the threat posed by the dark side" Leon told them, "Having this serves to remind me of that; as I'm sure you remember I once came much closer to the darkness than I would have liked".

Obi-Wan uncrossed his arms, "Well when you put it like that I can understand why you would do it, but I'm not sure the other masters would feel the same".

"Well that's unfortunate" Leon told him, "Whether the Council agrees or not I'm keeping it. I mean no disrespect when I say that, but it is my choice".

"You've grown bold my former padawan" Master Fisto said to him, "I have to admit I admire your way of thinking. However I hope you can understand why we would be concerned about your new lightsaber".

Leon nodded, "I can understand that it worries you, but I swear to the Council on my life that it will not be an issue".

The two masters exchanged a glance and turned their eyes back to Leon, "There is no doubt that you have proven yourself as an honorable Jedi Leon" Master Fisto began, "We both trust your judgment and will vouch for you to the Council" Master Fisto turned to leave, but stopped mid step and turned back to Leon, "Oh I want to congratulate you for your impressive run through the training arena. Master Shaak Ti tells us that only elite groups of clones succeed at that particular program".

"Well I am full of surprises" Leon joked as the Nautolan Jedi left.

Obi-Wan turned to leave as well, "It's good to see that your ok Leon, but I'm afraid we must return to Coruscant immediately".

"What kind of trouble is brewing this time?" Leon asked him jumping back to his feet.

Obi-Wan shrugged his shoulder, "I'm afraid we don't know yet, but our Intel suggests that whatever it is will be bad".

Leon cooed "Ooh that sounds foreboding" he looked to Edge and his men, "Well you heard him boys let's get ready to head back".

Edge asked him, "Are you sure you're alright sir? You did lose a lot of blood".

Leon rolled his shoulder back and threw a punch at the air, "Bah who needs blood. I've never felt better" planting his foot he turned and performed a high round house kick making him dizzy.

Stumbling back he grabbed hold of Baron's shoulder, "Ok…maybe blood is important".

"Guess you're not as tough as you thought sir" Chip joked.

Leon shot the clone a quick glare, "I'm still tough enough to take you down little Chippie".

Chip cracked his knuckles, "That sounds like a challenge to me".

Leon jumped forward, "Well come on Bomberman let's see what you got".

Chip lunged at Leon the two quickly grappling each other's shoulders vying for dominance. Leon kicked Chip's knee and stepped to the side sweeping his leg out causing the clone to fall. Once chip was down Leon held his fist in the air declaring his victory only to have Chip wrap his legs around Leon's and trip him.

Landing face first into the floor Leon clasped his hands over his face, "Ah that was my nose you son of a…"

Chip placed Leon in a choke hold dragging him back to his feet, "I'm sorry Commander I could hear you over the sound of me winning".

"Well hear this" Leon choked headbutting Chip forcing him to release his hold.

Chip stumbled back leaving Leon an opening to wrap his arm around his neck. Placing his foot behind Chip's Leon laughed manically before sweeping out the clone's leg and using his body weight to drag him to the floor. Their backs impacted against the steel floor causing both of them a degree of pain, but while Chip groaned Leon raised his legs and kicked back up to a standing position declaring himself victorious once again.

Rolling his shoulders back Leon helped Chip back to his feet and slapped him on the shoulder before looking over to Anakin who was standing alone.

"Where's Ahsoka?" Leon asked him, "You two have been really quiet".

"She returned to the ship and is waiting for us to leave" he looked to Edge and the other clones, "Could you all excuse us for a moment?"

Edge nodded and saluted him, "Of course General. Come on boys let's go".

The squad of clones left leaving Anakin and Leon alone. Leon could already tell where this was going it had happened several times before every time Anakin wanted to talk to him in private it always involved his relationship with Ahsoka.

"Are we really doing this again?" Leon asked him.

"Not necessarily" Anakin said linking his hands behind his back, "Actually it occurs to me that I never thanked you for saving Ahsoka and Senator Amidala from that day".

"You're welcome" Leon said, "It's what I do. Save the lives of beautiful women".

Anakin cracked a smile, "All the same thank you".

"Is that all you wanted to say to me?" Leon asked him, "Or is this another talk about Ahsoka?"

Anakin turned to the door and used the Force to close it, "Actually I wanted to talk about you this time".

"What about me?"

"Well let's start with what happened back on Ord Mantell when you fought Dooku and Grievous".

"I'd rather not actually" Leon said sitting back on the bed.

"That's why I want to talk about it" Anakin told him, "You strike me as the kind of person who likes to brag not in a bad way, but from what I've seen you're outgoing, strong willed, independent and you don't hold back what's on your mind. Even if it's just in a joking manner you often brag about how great you are at things so I find it odd that you don't like talking about Ord Mantell".

Leon sighed and shook his head, "Do you think I'm ready to be a knight?" he asked him, "Serious question from what you've seen that I'm capable of do you think I'm ready to be knighted?"

Anakin was quiet while he thought about everything he had seen Leon do every quality and trait he demonstrated since he had met him. He agreed with the Council that day when they wanted to promote him to the rank of a knight.

Finally Anakin nodded, "I do. I think you would make an excellent knight".

"And you'd be right" Leon told him quickly jumping back to his feet, "As arrogant as this may sound I am one of the best padawans in the Order. Not because of my training, but because I have knowledge and experience the others don't. I know how to use a blaster better than any other Jedi. Where the rest of the Order sees a primitive or uncivilized weapon I see another tool that can serve purposes a lightsaber cannot. I'm not afraid to use one if it's necessary".

"I wouldn't say the Order is afraid of using blasters" Anakin told him, but Leon shook his head.

"That's not the point. I learned to defend myself with a blaster long before I came to the Order. I was only six when I started carrying my first blaster albeit it was primarily for keeping away the local wildlife and stunning bandits who tried to raid our farm I know how to use one and that's all".

Leon looked down at his hand there were spots of dry blood encrusted on his skin, "I can fight with my hands. Even though we teach hand to hand combat as a means of self defense at the Temple there's a difference in that and what I do. You see the younglings at the Temple are taught to fight to defend themselves, but when I fight I do it to win to survive. I don't resort to hand to hand combat just to defend myself I'm just as dangerous to an enemy unarmed as I would be with a blaster or my lightsaber. With all due respect Anakin if you and me were to fight right now only fist and foot without weapons or calling upon the Force I would win".

Anakin smirked at him, "You sound awfully confident about that".

"Because it's true" Leon told him, "I'm well aware of your skill and superior experience over me, but if came down to a fist fight I would win simply because I can strike better, faster and more efficiently than you could. I know the weak points of the human body and the weak points of several alien species from pressure points to major organs".

Leon rubbed his hands together trying to wipe away the dried blood, "If I'm ever forced to fight unarmed I do not hold back on anything once I lose my weapon I begin fighting to survive and I will strike to kill…I know that's not the Jedi way, but it's the way I am. Like when I fought Count Dooku I was striking to kill and luck alone saved him from me because I was going to kill him".

Anakin stepped toward him, "Leon you do remember the Jedi do not kill an unarmed opponent".

Leon nodded to the side, "True, but someone like Dooku is never unarmed. Even without his lightsaber he has an extensive mastery over the Force making him too dangerous to be left alive. And just between you and me if he ever is captured he should be executed on the spot because he will escape. It's not the Jedi way, but sometimes rules and tradition all of those things have to be broken to serve the greater good".

Anakin fell silent for a moment he understood Leon's way of thinking he even thought about himself in the past if the Jedi way was really serving as much good as the Council thought it was.

"Why would you tell me all of this?" Anakin asked him, "Openly question the teachings like that?"

Leon shrugged, "Maybe I'm tired of keeping it bottled inside. I guess I finally needed to vent that out to someone".

"Vent it out?" Anakin asked him, "You make it sound like you've been repressing those thoughts".

Leon cast his gaze to the floor, "I have…Its no secret that I tend to be more free-spirited than most Jedi and that includes questioning the teachings. Parts of the Jedi Code just don't make sense to me".

Anakin took a quick look at the door behind him, "Like what?"

Leon turned to look at him, "Can I trust you to keep this between us?"

Anakin nodded, "I promise whatever you say will not leave this room".

Leon took a slow breath, "You know the part of the Jedi Code that says we aren't supposed to form attachments well that's my biggest issue. We're suppose to avoid attachments because it leads to the dark side I can't accept that. The attachments I've made with others is what gives me my strength. I became a Jedi to protect others not just serve the Republic, but to protect everyone and everything especially what's important to me".

Anakin remembered Leon said something like that to Dooku when they fought on Ord Mantell that no matter what he would protect everyone around him.

Leon took another breath, "Can you understand what I'm trying to say? If I didn't care as strongly as I do about Thalia or Master Luminara then I never would have defeated Dooku and Grievous I won because of how much I care about them".

"So you think the Jedi Code is wrong?" Anakin asked him.

Leon shook his head, "Not entirely no, but there are parts that should not be there. Attachment leads to the dark side I refuse to believe there is a difference between blindly following your emotions and believing what is in your heart and I know what's in mine…and I cannot I will not ignore it".

"So what is in your heart?" Anakin asked him predicting his answer.

"Everything" Leon told him, "Dantooine, the Jedi Temple, Master Luminara, Thalia, Ahsoka and Edge and the rest of the team. Everything is important to me and as long as I breathe I will not let anything go. I know it sounds selfish, but if it wasn't for all of those things I wouldn't be here".

Anakin had a slight smirk as he walked over to him, "You're right that does sound selfish…but what the Council doesn't realize is that same selfishness is what drives you so hard to succeed. As long as you control that passion and don't let it overwhelm you it becomes a strength that cannot be stopped. At least that's what I believe".

"So you understand why I feel so strongly about all of this" Leon said turning to him.

Anakin nodded, "I do probably more than anyone else in the Order could. Of course even in light of all of this Ahsoka is still my padawan she's important to me and not only as her master, but as her friend it's my job to train and protect her".

"And that's why you keep asking me about my relationship with her?" Leon asked him.

Anakin nodded again, "I apologize if I come off as harsh, but I hope you can understand my position on the matter".

"I do" Leon admitted.

Anakin looked up to the ceiling, "What if I told I know exactly how you feel that I've been through everything you're going through".

Leon sat on the bed again and rested his chin against his hands, "You and senator Amidala right?"

Anakin quickly looked down at him, "How did you know?"

"I figured it out" Leon told him, "The way the two of you talk to each other the way you act around one another. With the exception of Ahsoka and me you're the only Jedi she calls by name, but it's not just that. I can see it in her eyes I can hear it in your voice I just pieced it together is all".

Anakin didn't try to deny it, "Padme and me married on Naboo a couple of years ago".

"It's a shame that you have to hide it" Leon muttered, "You know my parents used to tell me that being with someone you love is the greatest joy in the galaxy".

Anakin felt a warm smile form at the corner of his mouth, "I can't argue that when I'm with Padme I just forget about everything else and have a normal life however short the time we get to spend together".

"Just forget everything" Leon muttered, "The war, the infighting amongst the senate, the deaths of our troops and fellow Jedi. For however brief the moment when you're with her that's all that matters right?"

Anakin smiled and nodded, "I have a whole new respect for you Leon we're a lot alike".

Leon smirked, "Master Kenobi and Ahsoka seem to think so".

"I'm not sure if it's worth anything" Anakin began waiting for Leon to look over to him, "But if Ahsoka did feel the same about you I would be ok with that. I think the two of you would be great together".

Leon cracked a smile and chuckled, "You sound like you're her father".

Their comlinks beeped before Admiral Yularen's voice told them it was time for them to leave.

"Time to head back home" Leon muttered.

"Look like it" Anakin said before patting Leon's shoulder, "I'm grateful that you trusted me Leon I promise I will never mention this to anyone".

Leon smiled at him, "Thank you Anakin I feel better now that I've finally gotten all of that off my chest".

With that the two Jedi left the med bay and returned to the Resolute waiting to take them back home to Coruscant. Standing alone in the corridor outside the officer quarters Leon stared out the view port into the dark ocean of stars thinking about everything Anakin had told him. Feeling someone tap his shoulder his snapped out of his thoughts and smiled when he saw Ahsoka standing next to him.

"How are you feeling?" she asked him.

"Better" he answered quietly, "Thanks".

Ahsoka's eyes fell to the floor, "I was worried about you. You were loosing a lot of blood".

Leon turned to face her and slid his hand onto her shoulder, "I'm sorry. I promise when we get back to Coruscant I'm going to find a way to keep it from happening again".

"Just be careful ok" Ahsoka whispered looking back up into his eyes, "I don't want anything to happen to you".

"I'll be alright" he told her gently sliding his hand from her shoulder to the side of her face, "That way I get to keep seeing you all the time".

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