A Fast Friendship
Landing in a back alley Leon opened the canopy and climbed out straightening the black jacket of his suit and running his hand over his hair, "You ready?" he asked Ahsoka as she climbed out as well.
Ahsoka was wearing a smaller, dark orange suit with an ivory under shirt, "I feel weird wearing this".
"What's the matter?" Leon asked her, "You never attended a formal event before?"
"Not dressed like this" Ahsoka told him, "I helped Senator Amidala on at a formal occasion before, but I was in my Jedi robes at the time. Besides I was really only there for security".
"Well try to relax" Leon said fixing the cuffs of his jacket, "You look good Ahsoka".
"Thanks…let's try to hurry I just really don't feel comfortable wearing this".
Leon nodded as he reached back into the speeder and retrieved a small equipment bag, "Alright so here's the plan".
Leon and Ahsoka walked up to one of the guards at Tox's estate handing the guard his bag Leon held his open hand in front of the guard's face.
"Tox doesn't allow any kind of weapon in his estate other than what he and his guards carry so we have to find a way to smuggle our light sabers in".
"You will take my bag inside and keep it safe until I ask for it".
"They'll search us at the door so we'll have to convince one of the guards to help us".
The guard replied in a mono-tone voice as if he was hypnotized, "I will take your bag inside and keep it safe until you ask for it".
"Fortunately making new friends is one of my specialties".
Leon waved his hand in front of the guard again, "You're a good boy".
"I'm a good boy" the guard said in the same mono-tone voice as he went inside with Leon's bag.
Leon smirked at Ahsoka as the two turned toward the front door.
"Neither of us will be on the guest list so I'll cause a distraction and hopefully grab Tox's attention".
"I'm sorry sir you're not on the list" the doorman said to Leon.
"Not on the list?" Leon yelled, "I'm the number one fighter in all of Nar Shaddaa and you're saying I'm not allowed to enter the tournament?"
"I'm sorry sir" the guard apologized again.
"I don't even know why Mr. Tox is holding this tournament he should just declare me the winner and save everyone else the trouble of being defeated".
A middle aged man stepped out and walked over to Leon; he was extremely well dressed and had many expensive rings on, "Is there a problem here Mr. Flint?"
"Once Tox comes out to see what the commotion is I'll sweet talk him into letting us in".
"Yes there is a problem Mr. Tox" Leon said pretending to be frustrated, "It seems your guard here doesn't have the best fighter in the entire galaxy on his list".
The guard apologized again, "I'm sorry sir I'm not sure how this happened".
"I'll tell you how it happened" Leon barked turning to him, "It's because you're bad at your job".
Mr. Tox placed his arm around Leon's shoulder, "Now now my boy there's no need to overreact it's just a little mistake in the invitations please I personally welcome you to my estate with my humblest apologies".
Leon calmed down and nodded to Tox as he straightened his suit jacket, "Very well then. Thank you".
Leon turned to Ahsoka and waved her over to him, "And this is my plus one" Leon told him.
Tox turned to look at Ahsoka and then to Leon before smiling, "Then I welcome both of you to my home".
"Once we're both inside we'll need to quietly retrieve our light sabers from the guard then I'll ask Tox for a private word".
Leon and Ahsoka walked around to find the guard they gave their bag to, once they had their light sabers they hid them inside their suits jackets and returned to the lobby to find Tox. Walking over to their esteemed host Leon quietly asked him for a private word and they were both invited into Tox's study to talk.
"Once again Mr. Vinz I'm sorry about the mix up with your invitation" Tox said as he sat down at his desk and began pouring a bottle of a dark brown liquid into three small glasses, "As my way to make up for it I offer you to join me in watching the tournament well the matches you're not competing in of course".
Leon smiled and thanked him as Tox raised his glass to them, "And your girlfriend is welcome to join us as well".
Hearing Tox call Ahsoka his girlfriend Leon had to stifle his urge to laugh while Ahsoka took a step back and looked at Leon from the corner of her eyes, he was smiling and obviously trying to keep himself from laughing.
Leon walked over to Tox and picked up one of the glasses and raised it as well, "We accept thank you Mr. Tox".
"Once we're alone with him we'll close in on him from both sides"
Leon told Ahsoka to join them in their toast as he slowly reached into his pocket.
"Once we have him boxed in we'll make our move".
Ahsoka joined them in a toast and they all raised their glasses to their lips. Waiting for Tox to begin drinking, Leon jumped forward pulling a needle out of his pocket and injected it into Tox's neck while Ahsoka restrained his flailing arm and covered his mouth. Within a few second Tox had passed out the drug taking its full effect.
"After he's out cold we'll call the guards outside for help"
"Guards help!" Leon called.
The two guards outside the study immediately entered the room after seeing their boss unconscious they demanded to know what happened.
"I don't know" Ahsoka said pretending to be panicked, "He took a drink and then he passed out".
The guards told both of them to step back while they checked their boss's vitals.
Leon looked at Ahsoka as the two guards moved past them and nodded.
"When they move to check on their boss we'll eliminate them".
Leon and Ahsoka stepped behind the guards and raised their hands.
"You're going to kill them?"
(Chuckles) "Of course not, but they're not going to be happy when they wake up".
Both padawans delivered a heavy strike to the back of the guards' necks knocking them out.
"Once the two guards are out of the way we'll start to move Tox toward the back of the estate".
Leon and Ahsoka lifted Tox up and quickly made their way out of the study before anyone else arrived to find them. Making their way to the back of the estate the two padawans with their unconscious target silently ducked through several corridors before entering a restroom.
"Let's hurry" Ahsoka said retrieving her light saber and turning it on.
"There's a restroom near the back of the estate, its wall is the outside wall of the estate so if we can get there we can use our light sabers to cut our way out".
Leon stood watch as Ahsoka quickly carved a hole in the wall big enough for them to escape with Tox.
"Once we're outside that's where the easy stuff ends and the hard part begins, the good news is it's the last phase of the mission. Most of Tox's guards will be inside with only a few patrolling the outside".
Leon and Ahsoka waited for a guard to pass by them before leaping out of the shadows and grabbing him from behind.
"We take out whatever guards get in our way and move to the fence line that surrounds the estate cut our way through and get back to our ship".
Swiftly and silently the two padawans made their way to the fence surrounding the estate and cut their way through the same way they did with the restroom wall before slipping out and dragging the unconscious criminal behind them and around the corner into a back alley where they left their speeder.
"We cuff him, toss him in the back, deliver him to the authorities and be back at the temple in time for lunch".
"Mission accomplished" Leon smiled as he and Ahsoka stood in the council chambers in front of Masters Windu, Kenobi and Yoda.
"Very impressive" Master Kenobi acknowledged after Leon and Ahsoka finished giving them the full report on their mission.
"Indeed" Master Windu added, "Not only did you manage to capture Tox, but you did it with subtlety and without resorting to violence well done both of you".
Master Yoda smiled at the two padawans, "A great success capturing Jarei Tox is, proud you should be, but aware of overconfidence you should be a long way to go you still have".
Master Windu made eye contact with his padawan, "Congratulations to both of you on a successful mission you are dismissed".
The two padawans bowed to the three masters in front of them before laving the council chambers.
"That was fun don't you think?" Leon asked Ahsoka as they walked through the temple halls.
"Yeah, but I have a question. Exactly what part of your plan involved Tox assuming I was your girlfriend?"
Leon choked back another laugh he had forgotten about that, "Like you said he assumed. I mean after all a good looking guy like me and an attractive girl like you it'd be easy for anyone to make that assumption".
Ahsoka scoffed, "Flattery aside you need to stop that".
"I respectfully deny that request" Leon smiled.
"It wasn't a request" Ahsoka told him.
"I deny it anyway" Leon fired back in a comical tone as they rounded a corner and ran into Ahsoka's master Anakin Skywalker.
"Oh hi Master" Ahsoka said after just barely avoiding running into him.
"Hey Snips welcome back" he said before greeting Leon as well, "How did your mission go".
"It went well no trouble at all" Ahsoka told him.
"Really?" her master chuckled as if he didn't believe her, "Usually your missions tend to have a few hitches here and there or did Leon keep you from getting into trouble".
"Hey!" Ahsoka snapped, "First off not all of missions end up like that and secondly I learned everything I know from you so it's not my fault if I get into trouble sometimes".
"You two get along pretty well" Leon snickered as he watched the two of them. "Actually the mission went so well thanks to my planning so I should get all the credit".
Leon smirked as he looked at Ahsoka, "Of course I couldn't have done it without Ahsoka's help. She was an invaluable partner to have along so I'm willing to share the glory…this time".
Anakin smirked at Leon's words they reminded him of himself in a way, "Well regardless well done both of you I'm proud of you Ahsoka and I'm sure Master Windu is proud of you Leon".
Ahsoka bowed her head to her master and thanked him as did Leon before he excused himself.
"Thank you Master Skywalker" he turned to Ahsoka, "I think I'll go get some lunch would you care to join?"
Ahsoka politely refused, "Maybe another time".
Leon smiled slightly and nodded, "Well then if you'll excuse me thank you again for your help today".
The two of them watched Leon as he continued down the hall eventually disappearing around another corner, "So how did it go?" Anakin asked his padawan.
"It went good" Ahsoka told him, "I actually kind of had fun".
"Good, so what do you think of Leon how are his skills?"
"I'm not sure" Ahsoka answered, "He's really smart, but aside from that I haven't seen him do anything else he's definitely…different".
"How so?" Anakin wondered.
"Well one moment he's calm and serious and the next he's making jokes and teasing me. I can't tell what he's really like his personality just changes".
Anakin looked back at the corner Leon turned and then back to his own padawan, "Maybe that who he really is. Maybe that's just his way of coping with the thought of the war we all have different ways of taking our minds off it".
"Really?" Ahsoka asked "So what's yours?"
"Mine?" her master muttered before gaining a sly smile, "I usually make fun of you or Obi-Wan".
Ahsoka chuckled quietly as she shook her head, "Of course you do".
"Obi-Wan told me he's from Dantooine, from what I hear it's a nice world as long as you don't get attacked by bandits or eaten by the local wildlife".
"That's what Leon told me" Ahsoka said, "There are a lot of creatures on Dantooine that will attack on sight so he had to learn how to use a blaster at a really young age".
"So he knows how to use a blaster?" Anakin asked, "Well sometimes a blaster can come in handy, but I prefer my light saber more reliable and versatile".
Anakin started walking and Ahsoka followed after him, "Have you ever been to Dantooine Master?"
"No I haven't" Anakin replied, "But I wouldn't mind seeing it one day".
"Leon said the old Jedi Enclave there was destroyed four thousand years ago".
"Really, I didn't know that. Then again I don't know a lot about history".
"Do you think there could be anything there?" Ahsoka asked him, "At the ruins of the enclave I mean like artifacts or logs from back then?"
"Unlikely" Anakin assumed, "Four thousand years is a long time, if there is anything left buried down there there's no way its still functioning".
Ahsoka turned her eyes to the floor, "I see" she sighed and looked back up, "Oh well I guess that's only natural so when's our next mission?"
Anakin tilted his head up to think, "We don't have one yet, but I'm sure we'll get one in the next couple of days can't really go a few days without getting deployed somewhere".
"So there's nothing to do until then huh?" his padawan moaned.
"There's a lot you can do" Anakin reminded her, "You can use this time to go over everything you've learned, you can hone and refine your skills, you can go to the archives and learn or you can help with some things around the temple".
Ahsoka grinned nervously, "As fun as all that sounds I think I'll just take a walk for a while".
Anakin scoffed with a smile, "I knew you'd say something like that, well in any event keep your communicator on in case we assigned another mission".
Ahsoka nodded and bid her master farewell as she turned and walked away to roam the Temple. The Archives, the dormitories and even the hangar as peacefully quiet as the Jedi Temple was Ahsoka couldn't even though it wasn't the Jedi way part of her wanted to be on assignment anything really just something to keep her busy. Continuing to roam around the temple the young Togruta sighed with boredom before an unfamiliar aroma reached her from further down the hall.
Taking a short whiff of the air in the hall Ahsoka didn't know what the scent was, but it was bordering on intoxicating. Unsure of the smell Ahsoka curiously followed it to its origins in the nearby cafeteria stepping inside she saw a small group of younglings gathered around a single table smiling and chatting with each other.
"Alright kiddies here it comes" a voice called from the kitchen area.
Looking past the younglings and to the rear of the cafeteria Ahsoka watched as a cart with a medium sized buffet was pushed out from the kitchen by Leon.
"I hope you're all still hungry cause there's a lot to go around" Leon cheered as he stopped the cart next to the younglings and began placing the food in front of them.
Spotting Ahsoka in the doorway Leon smiled and waved her over, "Ahsoka, good to see you again come join us".
"What's going on here?" she asked him.
Leon smiled as he placed the final dish on the table, "Well from what I heard from Master Yoda these little ones have been doing really good in their trainings so I decided to reward them".
"Did you make all this?" Ahsoka asked him amazed at the various food on the table in front of her.
"Yep yep" Leon replied in a somewhat proud tone, "I enjoy cooking its one of the few things that relaxes me" he motioned to one of the seats, "Try some there's more than enough to go around".
The smell of the food was practically enticing slowly Ahsoka sat down at the end of the table and awkwardly nodded as the younglings greeted her before they began eating.
"How did you make all of this?" she asked Leon.
"Well I was going to make myself something to eat before I ran into these scamps after they finished with Master Yoda I asked them if they were hungry and brought them here. I went to the kitchen and found a bunch of ingredients that were about to expire so I decided to use them. No sense in letting good things go to waste right?"
After they finished eating the younglings thanked Leon before leaving the cafeteria, leaning back in his chair Leon had a slight smile on his face, "There's not a thing in the galaxy that can beat a home cooked meal don't you think?"
Ahsoka nodded, "That was really good. Where did you learn to cook like that?"
Leon leaned back even further and stared at the ceiling "When you're raised on a farm you tend to learn a few things".
Ahsoka admitted that she was impressed at his cooking, "So you cook your own food?"
"Sometimes" Leon answered, "I prefer to cook everything myself in the end. Its not that I don't trust the kitchen droid or anyone else to cook I just prefer to know anything and everything that goes in my food".
Ahsoka gave him a questioning look, "What do you think someone is going to poison you?"
Leon chuckled, "Maybe, at least when I cook you know there's nothing bad in it…well most of the time".
"What's that supposed to mean?" Ahsoka asked him.
Placing his foot against the edge of the table Leon leaned back even further as a mischievous smile crossed his face, "Well if I was going to lace anything into the food I cook it would be something to make you" he raised his arm and pointed at her, "fall in love with me".
Ahsoka groaned as she dropped her head into her hand, "Can you please stop doing that" she begged him; "If anyone hears you say that we can get in trouble".
Leon chuckled again, "Sometimes trouble can be fun to".
"Life's just one big party for you isn't it?" Ahsoka asked him.
"Why shouldn't it be?" Leon asked bringing his chair forward and looking at her, "This war leaves everyone on edge even if they don't show it. Sometimes you just need a way to have fun and forget about all of it".
Leon leaned back again and Ahsoka noticed the way his chair was just barely balancing on its rear legs. Realizing this as the perfect chance to get some payback on Leon she used the force to grasp the rear legs of his chair and pulled them forward making the chair fall back.
Leon gasped a scream as the chair fell back taking him with it. After his back landed on the hard ground he groaned before throwing his hand into the air, "I'm alright!" he exclaimed before hearing Ahsoka giggling.
"I deserved that one" he said getting up and massaging his shoulder, "Looks like I'm not the only one who knows how to mess around".
"In all fairness you started it" Ahsoka reminded him.
"Yes I did" he admitted while rolling his shoulders back, "That was a good one though".
Leon grabbed the small crystal hanging around his neck and examined it making sure it wasn't damaged.
"What is that?" Ahsoka asked him seeing the way he cradled it in his hand, "It looks like a piece of a light saber crystal".
"It is" Leon told her allowing the crystal to fall back into place around his neck, "This little crystal is the reason I'm alive today".
Picking his chair back up Leon sat down and took a deep breath, "The Jedi first heard of me when rumors of me being force sensitive began circulating around Dantooine. It first started after I saved my family from a group of bandits that attacked us on the way back from selling our harvest. They ambushed us near a small cliff and tried to steal the money we made. My father tried to attack one of them, but he got shot in the arm. Their leader was about to kill him and I heard this voice whisper in the back of my mind after that I felt a surge of wind from inside me and the bandit leader and his thugs were thrown off of the cliff side".
"They survived the fall, but landed near a Kath Hound den that part they didn't survive. One of our farmhands began telling others what happened and eventually the story reached the Jedi and they came to see my parents to explain the situation to them".
Leon's eyes fell to the floor, "It was Master Luminara that arrived that day I didn't fully understand at the time what was going on, but I didn't like it. While Master Luminara was talking to them I ran maybe somewhere in the back of my head I knew she was there to take me away so I kept running".
"What happened then?" Ahsoka asked him.
Leon slowly shook his head, "I was stupid, I wasn't paying attention to where I was going and almost got eaten by a pack of Kath Hounds. I managed to get away from them, but I slipped and fell into a cavern under the plains. I was fortunate enough to land in a small underground lake I swam to the bank and found myself surrounded by hundreds of crystals all of them radiating different colors. They were beautiful and warm to the touch as I examined them I felt as though I heard someone whispering in the back of my mind just like the day those bandits attacked".
"I couldn't figure out why the crystals were giving off such a warm light, but I huddled next to them to stay warm while my clothes slowly dried that's when I heard noises coming from deeper in the cavern. I hid behind a large cluster of the crystals just in time to conceal myself from a group of Kinrath. They're nest must have been nearby and the sound of me falling into the lake must have disturbed them".
"You're probably wondering how I survived well according to Master Luminara the force energy inside the crystals reflected and radiated my fear allowing her to sense it and she came to save me".
Leon embraced the crystal around his neck, "The Kinrath found me just before she saved me, they attacked me, but the crystal cluster between us kept them at bay. I don't remember what happened after that, but Master Luminara said that when she found me I was lying next to the dead Kinrath with a silver crystal in my hands. She theorized that the crystal responded to the force within me and helped me save myself".
Leon looked back to Ahsoka, "She waited for me to wake up and returned me home to allow me to rest. The next day I left with her and came here to begin my training, that was eight years ago I was eight at the time. I kept the crystal close to me ever since and when it came time to construct my own lightsaber I used the very crystal that saved my life".
"This little piece hanging around my neck here chipped off from the rest of the crystal as I was constructing my lightsaber so I kept it as a necklace to remind me of how lucky I am and to always be aware of my surroundings".
Ahsoka moved her eyes to the crystal fragment around Leon's neck, "So that's a chip from the crystal in your lightsaber?"
Leon nodded and reached down to his waist taking hold of the weapon of the Jedi, "The crystal inside this weapon saved my life and I am going to use this to help save the Republic".
Leon ignited his lightsaber and held it up toward the light coming from the windows high above them. The blade shined with a silver radiance as he brought it down and held it in front of him with his eyes closed silently meditating on it.
Ahsoka couldn't take her eyes off the blade she had never seen a silver colored light saber before.
Deactivating his weapon, Leon returned it to his belt and exhaled a slow breath, "Well that's memory lane" he said finally returning to a carefree demeanor.
"I've never seen a silver lightsaber before" Ahsoka said to him, "I thought there were only three colors".
Leon pointed at her as he sat back down, "Those are the most common colors, blue, green and the red ones used by the Sith. However throughout history there were many color crystals for light sabers, yellow, orange, different shades of blue and green such as viridian and azure. Master Windu's light saber is actually amethyst a shade of purple".
"I see" Ahsoka hummed before remembering something Leon said earlier, "Hey you said you were eight years old when you came here to the temple right?" Leon nodded, "And you said that was eight years ago?"
Leon nodded a second time, "Yeah, why?"
Ahsoka quickly added the two numbers together in her head, "So you're the same age as me".
Leon nodded his head to the side; "Is that so?" he hummed.
Ahsoka apologized, "Sorry it's just something I noticed while I was listening to you".
"Don't apologize" he told her, "I feel a lot more comfortable having someone else my own age around and well all joking aside I enjoy spending time with you its fun".
Ahsoka nodded, "Yeah, I'm enjoying it to".
"Ah there you are Snips" someone said from the doorway.
The two padawans looked up to see Ahsoka's master Anakin standing in the doorway, "I've been looking all over for you, we're being assigned to another mission I need you to get ready".
Leon sighed, "So much for hanging out".
"Don't be so quick to jump to conclusions" Anakin said to him, "Master Windu is sending you with us and Obi-Wan. He thinks you're ready for your first mission into battle".
Leon practically jumped to his feet, "Where are we going?"
"Hoth" Anakin answered, "It's a planet made out of ice and snow in the Anoat sector of the Outer Rim".
"Why are we heading all the way out there?" Ahsoka asked him.
Anakin turned to his padawan, "We've received word that the Separatists have a base out there as well as a droid and weapons factory. We're going to shut it down".
"Sounds good to me" Leon said grinning at Anakin, "So when do we leave?"
"Within a few hours" Anakin replied telling both of them to get ready before leaving the cafeteria.
"Finally some real action" Leon muttered just loud enough for Ahsoka to hear him.
"Leon listen" Ahsoka began as she walked around the table and over to him, "I'm sure you're good enough to handle yourself, but this isn't going to be like anything you've done before. Be careful alright".
Seeing the smirk on his face Ahsoka had a feeling she knew what he was about to say.
"So you do care about me" he chuckled.
"I'm serious" she snapped, "Battle droids may not look like much, but they're dangerous in large groups".
Leon placed his hand on her shoulder, "I'm sure we'll be fine. As long as you watch my back I'll watch yours how does that sound?"
Ahsoka slowly nodded to him, "Alright we'll win as a team".
The two padawans exited the cafeteria to prepare for their upcoming mission to a far away world unaware of the dangers that laid in their future.