Leon stood leaned against the railing of the balcony staring out at the night sky and the bright sea of lights that made up the city of Coruscant. Behind him in the private home of Naboo senator Padme Amidala a celebration was going on to welcome Onderon senator Lux Bonteri and the world he represented back into the Republic. Earlier that day Lux had addressed the Republic Senate expressing his wish to return to the Republic and was met with mostly open arms and cheers. A former separatist world returning to their side was something that made many happy even if some were understandably cautious and slow to trust the situation they applauded nonetheless. Hopefully other systems would follow Onderon's example and return to them as well which would bring the war to a quicker end, that was the wish anyway.
From what Padme had told him the senate vote was completely unanimous to allow Onderon back and the young senator's speech was nothing short of outstanding and admirable. She could tell that her friend had put his very heart and soul into his speech to address the senate which made her very proud. Leon didn't really have that much interest in the whole affair at first he did, but now his mind was elsewhere unable to return to the here and now.
He took a brief look over his shoulder to see all the people inside mostly politicians enjoying each others company probably talking about their politics and a few more private matters. Anakin was talking with Padme the two of them being cautious to not hint at their forbidden relationship and Lux Bonteri the guest of honor was talking to Ahsoka. He didn't like that.
While he was attending the celebration Leon did have a few good conversations with Bail Organa a man he had met once before on Naboo. A respectable man who surprisingly had several good jokes to tell each of which managed to make the young padawan smile and one even got him to laugh of course that ended soon and he was left wanting to leave. It was his idea in the first place the whole celebration he proposed it as a joke, but in his mind he thought even if Padme went through with it, it would be something to get his mind off things. He was regretting it now over the course of the day events continued to shake and haunt him until he was finally forced to confront his thoughts and feelings.
He went to meet his doctor Rhia Teysa, a beautiful Twi'lek woman who he would constantly flirt with in a playful manner knowing that she would simply shrug off his charms each time. He had intended to only see her in hopes she had been able to find out something about his illness, but afterwards ended up confiding in her about his conflicted feelings for Ahsoka and Thalia the latter of which would be leaving tomorrow. He was on the verge of confessing his love to Thalia before something stopped him a strong mysterious feeling was trying to restrain his confession while telling him it wasn't what he that it was. It didn't take him long to figure out why he was feeling like that, it was his feelings for Ahsoka pulling back his confession to Thalia.
While he could not deny he had strong feelings for Thalia she wasn't the one he loved, it was with Rhia's help that he realized that. His true feelings the haunting feelings of love, they were all aimed at Ahsoka. Rhia told him to confess to her his feelings even though he was afraid to telling him that even if he failed the pain would heal eventually.
He went to do just that, he returned to the Jedi Temple making his way toward Ahsoka's room entering at her invitation. The words he wanted to say were in his head at the front of his mind ready to explode out begging to be released, but their freedom would not come. Leon stood there silent for several minutes Ahsoka silent with concern as she watched him it was a painful silence for him and a nervous silence for her as Leon visibly struggled to speak the words he wanted.
In the end he couldn't do his fear pulled his words back and turned them into a lump that forced its way into his throat and he simply lowered his head. Ahsoka broke the silence asking him what was wrong and Leon apologized before making up an excuse and leaving although Ahsoka tried to stop him, but just like before he left too quickly.
He didn't even know why he decided to attend this celebration knowing that he would only feel worse if he did and yet here he was. He had no ill feelings toward Lux, but seeing him speaking to Ahsoka, laughing and smiling made him angry of course that anger was directed at himself. He hated himself for running away again.
The entire celebration he had avoided Ahsoka she didn't even know he was there once she showed up he made himself scarce making his way to the outside balcony hoping she wouldn't notice him. Why he didn't just leave he didn't know it wouldn't be that hard to slip out or even jump over the railing and land on the next balcony down. It wouldn't be that hard and staying here he would eventually be seen and after the way he left Ahsoka would definitely try to talk to him about it.
"Just tell her dammit" the voice in his head yelled at him.
Leon turned looking back out at the massive city, "I really am pathetic" he whispered, "I ran from her twice…it's probably for the best its not like she would accept it anyway".
He shook his head and dropped it against the railing the cold steel harshly meeting his forehead his eyes wincing from the pain.
"Why am I even here?" he asked dropping his forehead against the rail again, "I have no reason to be and she's going to see me eventually".
Hearing the door behind him open he snapped his head up and turned around his eyes meeting with Anakin's.
"Ahsoka's here you know" he told him, "Why are you out here?"
"You just answered your own question" Leon replied turning back around, "Doesn't matter anyway I'm leaving in a minute".
"What's bothering you?" Anakin asked him, "Did something happen?"
Leon slowly shook his head staring out at the sea of lights, "What do you think".
Anakin stood next to him and leaned against the rail, "Well what was it?"
"Nothing you need to worry about".
"Come on don't be like that" Anakin said nudging his arm.
"I said it's none of your business" Leon snapped glaring at him.
Anger was pooling in is mind, Anakin could feel it. Whatever happened deeply disturbed Leon. He looked back into the room behind them searching the small crowd of people for his padawan his eyes resting on her.
"Is it Ahsoka?"
Leon closed his eyes and sighed, "Anakin just drop it ok…I…I'm close to losing it so I need some time alone".
Leon pushed off the rail and turned to head back inside ready to leave and return to the temple, but once he stepped back inside Padme called to him his name catching Ahsoka's attention. Hearing his name Leon's head slowly turned to Ahsoka whose eyes were now on him, quickly looking away from her he made his way to the door and left.
Halfway down the hall Leon heard his name called again and the voice he heard caused him to enter a sprinting run quickly taking a corner and leaving the apartment complex.
"Go away" he wanted to yell he wanted her to stay away his heart tearing with each step he took further away and each step she took to chase him. He wanted her to go away no he wanted to get away to be as far as he could.
Returning to the landing pad he looked around for the speeder he and Anakin used to get there. Before he could find it his name was called again, stopping in mid step Leon exhaled a reluctant breath and turned around and waited.
"Leon" Ahsoka said again slowing to a stop next to him, "Where are you going? I didn't know you were here".
"I don't know why I'm here" he replied in a half whisper. He shook his head, "It's not important anyway I'm heading back to the temple you should go have fun with your friend".
Ahsoka stepped in front of him as he turned to leave, "Leon tell me what's bothering you. Please".
"It's nothing you could help with" he told her lowering his eyes.
"I'll be the judge of that" she insisted, "If we're friends you can tell me. I want to help you".
Leon bit his bottom lip and turned his head away his fists clenched tightly and Ahsoka just like her master could sense the storm of emotions running through his mind.
"Leon tell me what's bothering you".
"Do you remember what you said to me earlier?" he asked her fully turning his back to her, "When you said that if I really do love someone that you'd be ok with it eve if it goes against the teachings. Do you remember saying that to me?"
"I do" Ahsoka said trying to step around him to look at him, but he kept turning away, "Why?"
"Is that how you really feel?" he asked her, "Are you really ok with me loving someone?"
Ahsoka took a slow step back, "Leon…" she inhaled a short breath, "Regardless of what the teachings say regardless of how strongly I believe in them if that's how you feel I have no right to try and change that. If you really love Thalia I have no right or intention of trying to stop you if you want to leave with her".
The pain in his chest threatened to break him now. His chest tightened and his throat closed as his eyes began tearing. Everything was breaking down for him the world around him was shattering like glass and each of the various emotions in his mind gained their own voice and all of them began yelling at him.
"What if it was you?" he asked turning back to face her, "What if I said it was you? Would you still be ok with that?"
Seeing the tears forming in his eyes Ahsoka took a surprised step back, "What do you mean?"
"If I really love someone" he said, "If that's how I truly feel" he closed his eyes and clenched his fists again, "What if it was you?"
Ahsoka's eye widened as she realized what he was asking.
Leon's voice cracked, "What if I told you it was you I love and not Thalia? Would you still feel the same way?"
Another step back and Ahsoka lowered her eyes feeling her shoulders huddle closer to her, "Is that what you were going to ask me earlier before you left?"
"Answer me" Leon practically begged, "Would you still be so accepting of the matter if I said it was you?"
Ahsoka's arms met each other and folded at her stomach one of her hands tightly squeezing her arm as they tried wrapping themselves around her. Leon's words striking at her leaving her unable to answer, what she said to him before she meant he was her friend and if it made him happy she would be ok with it. Now he was asking her if she still meant it, if she would still feel the same way if he loved her instead. She was afraid to say anything her arms hugged closer around her as she continued to play her own words against his searching for the answer he wanted, her belief in the Jedi Code, the teachings she grew up believing in were now torturing her.
She turned sideways and sadly let her eyes fall to the ground; "Do you?" she waited for him to look back to her, "Is that how you really feel?"
Leon closed his eyes and swallowed the lump in his throat collecting what nerves he had left before nodding, "Yes…Ahsoka I love you".
She recoiled at his words.
"I can't stop thinking about you" he continued, "Especially after Ruusan, Ahsoka those few moments I spent with you made me happy even after we were defeated and I lost Coins. Since then I've been unable to stop thinking about you the mere thought of you drives me insane because of how I feel" he stopped and closed his eyes turning his head downward, "I wanted to tell you earlier, but I was afraid. I know how strongly you believe in the teachings and I was afraid that if I told you it would ruin our friendship, but…I can't keep hiding how I feel…Its killing me".
Ahsoka remained silent and motionless. She thought she was ready for his words she knew they were coming, but they still shook her leaving her paralyzed. He said he was afraid…he wasn't the only one.
The prolonged silence settled the matter for him, Leon turned around still hanging his head, "It's alright" he said in a broken voice, "I understand. I just…I needed to say it I needed to tell you".
He began walking toward his speeder, "I'm heading back I'll…see you around".
"Why am I trembling so much?" Ahsoka asked herself as he walked away, "I can't stop shaking. I can't move".
The sound of the speeder's engine coming to life reached her ears and she remained frozen as it took off and flew away leaving her behind.
"Why am I so scared? I meant what I said, but I…I can't he can't. He can't love me the teachings forbid it. So why am I afraid?"
"Ahsoka!" Lux called to her, "So this is where you disappeared to. Where's Leon?"
Ahsoka stopped her body from trembling and quickly threw together a composed look, "He was just tired so he went back to the temple to get some rest".
Her voice sounded solid, but it was all a front. She was still terrified and mere seconds away from fleeing herself. Leon's words triggered something in her something that confused and frightened her.
"Well most of the others are leaving" Lux began walking a few steps toward the edge of the landing platform, "I've never been on Coruscant before. Would you mind showing me around some tomorrow?"
Ahsoka's arms loosened their hold around her and she turned to him, "I don't mind" she said just loudly enough for him to hear.
He gave her a friendly smile, "That's great. I won't have long before I have to return home, but it will be fun" he walked back to her, "It's been too long since I last saw you".
"Yeah" Ahsoka muttered not really hearing his words, "I'm feeling tired as well. I'm going to head back to the temple I'll…see you tomorrow good night".
Ahsoka returned to the temple immediately returning to her room and letting her body drop onto her bed. Turning onto her side she faced the blank wall in the unlit room everything that happened today running through her head. The revelation that Thalia would be leaving, Leon's illness hitting him twice Lux bringing Onderon back to the Republic and Leon's tear filled confession to her. Her entire world was crashing down around her, everything spiraling out of control and she couldn't figure out how to stop it. What was she going to do, what could she do?
She believed in the code of the Jedi she really did, but she did care for Leon. She didn't want to admit it, but she does have feelings for him strong ones. Since they first met he left a lasting impression on her as a jokester who just liked to have fun even if his jokes were a bit extreme, but there was more to him an intellect, a leader, a warrior, a cook and a flirt. So many traits and more all demonstrated by a single person unlike any she had ever met she was beyond impressed by his abilities and on the rare occasions he showed it his humbleness. Just when she thought she had him figured out he surprised her again not even her own master was filled with that many surprises.
His flirting and more often than not ill-timed jokes annoyed her at first, but she grew accustomed to them and eventually came to enjoy them on a small, private level. He was able to make her laugh even if she hid it, she called him annoying and frustrating and similar terms a hundred times over, but she always enjoyed his company. Then there were the times he seemed to become a different person altogether.
The few times his tone dropped becoming softer and the look in his eyes followed suit. When she looked into his eyes like that her heart raced and her head became light and dizzy. He became someone whose flirting seemed serious a real ladies man who could make any woman tremble and then there was the other half of that coin. The Leon who was passionate bordering on intimate the side of him that tried to confess or hint at his love for her. She didn't know which side of him bothered her most she had run from both sides before afraid of what could happen if she stayed.
Leon's confession replayed in her mind and she began to wonder, how long has it been since he fell in love with her. He had hinted at and even implied that he may love her multiple times, but she always cut him off not wanting to hear it her adamant belief in the code preventing it. Looking back at those moments though she realized that there was a small part of her that liked him back then and it had only gotten bigger since. She did like him she really did all those times he made her laugh he was able to take her mind off the war away from the hardships that plagued the rest of the galaxy.
Her thoughts continued to run even as her eyes grew heavy and she fell asleep her dreams also haunted by Leon's words. She saw herself standing next to him at the edge of the temple courtyard, she was leaning her head against his shoulder his hand gently covering hers on the railing as they both looked out at the city. His fingers curled finding their way under her palm hooking her hand and pulling it up to his lips and he kissed her hand. Her head shifted on his shoulder and she looked up to him their smiles greeting each other as the warm sunlight washed over them. There was no refusing the flutter in her chest as she watched the scene in front of her a warm, loving scene that seemed impossible.
That's when the sky turned red and pitch black clouds formed over them showering them in darkness as thunder crashed and rain fell in torrential force. The city world of Coruscant was replaced by jagged mountains and collapsed spire like objects the ground beneath them became red sand like dirt that blew into massive clouds as the wind picked up. The sky cracked and flashed as a bolt of lightning struck mere yards from where they stood followed immediately by the booming roar of thunder. The clouds above them began swirling in a circle and through the howling wind, crashing thunder, cracking sky and splattering rain they heard another sound a growl. A massive figure stood just at the edge of their vision through the heavy rain and dust clouds, a large bulky body and long clawed arms and what may be tusks curving outward from each side of its head.
The growling creature was definitely not friendly whatever it was a strong dark side energy coming from it. The creature growled again as a flash of lightning illuminated the area giving them a quick, but terrifying glance of what was watching them. This creature, this monster sent paralyzing shivers down their spines and once the boom of thunder echoed over them it attacked charging toward them with surprising speed, swinging its clawed arm out aimed right at Ahsoka's upper body.
Ahsoka opened her eyes pushing herself up another dream, two of them. She had seen the second one before the one with that monster this was the first time it, whatever it was didn't kill her in the dream, but was it really a dream? This was the third time she had it and it was far too vivid and then there was the other one with her and Leon standing next to each other in the courtyard.
Leaning her head against his shoulder like that and the way he held her hand. Her actually itched feeling like someone was recently holding it and raised it up to eye level. Taking her other hand and covering the raised one her breath stopped it felt almost the same. Was the dream that vivid that she would be able to experience a physical sensation of something that happened in it, she shook her head no that one only happened because of what happened yesterday nothing more. She stopped as she reached for her door even if the first dream was just her sub-conscious acting up the second one she had before maybe she should consult Master Yoda on the matter he was able to help her before.
Entering the council chambers there was no one there not a single member of the Council was present. Where could they have gone.
"Padawan Tano" a commanding voice came from behind her.
Master Mace Windu stood behind her along with her friend Masters Plo Koon and Luminara Unduli and in front of them stood the short yet powerful and wise Master Yoda.
"Need something from the Council do you Padawan?" Yoda asked her.
Ahsoka thought for a second she only intended of speaking to Yoda about this, but would any real harm come from the others hearing it?
"Actually Master Yoda" she began, "I was wondering if you could help me with something" she was relieved to see the aged Jedi give her a friendly smile, "I had a strange dream last night one that I've had before I think its another vision from the Force".
"A vision you say?" Yoda chuckled as he walked past her taking his seat with the others of the Council and Ahsoka standing in the center of the room, "Tell me of this vision".
Recounting the events of the recurring dream she had to the Council, Ahsoka began second guessing her actions. Maybe it was just another dream, dreams happen all the time not every one of them is a vision. Still each of the times she had that dream it felt real she could feel what was going on, the rain hitting her skin the wind blowing against it the thunder roaring overhead and then that creature's claws rending her flesh when it struck her. If it really was just a dream it was terrifyingly real.
"You say you've had this dream before?" Master Windu asked Ahsoka giving him a nod in confirmation, "And each time this creature you saw attacked you that's when you wake up?"
Again Ahsoka nodded, "Yes Master and each time I do I felt a sharp pain in my arm like I had actually been cut by something".
"The Force is a powerful thing" Luminara began, "But so is the mind. Dreams are a powerful work of the sub-conscious. What makes you believe this is a vision?"
"The fact that it feels so real" Ahsoka explained, "My skin itches from the wind and my ears ring from the thunder and then there's the pain of that thing attacking me".
Plo Koon placed his hands together, "Do you recognize the place you are in?"
Ahsoka shook her head, "No Master. The ground is covered in reddish sand like dirt and there are small spires around with small pits that look like excavation sites, but I've never been to a place like that before".
Luminara raised her finger to her chin, "The beast she describes sounds familiar to me. Large with spines and tusks, long arms with clawed hands it sounds like a rancor, but they do not have spines or tusks" she looked to Ahsoka, "You said the creature stood probably three meters tall correct?"
Ahsoka nodded; "It was a bit taller than Leon" she suddenly stopped herself. She refrained from mentioning that Leon was in the dream with her.
"Leon?" Master Windu said, "He is there with you?"
Ahsoka nodded slowly, "Yes we are both there together and the animal I saw was a bit taller than him".
Luminara hummed as she began thinking about the characteristics of the animal. Several species came to mind.
Ahsoka hesitated before speaking again, "There is one other thing…the animal I saw. I don't know if it was just a strange part of my dream, but I feel as though I sensed a great deal of dark side energy within it" she nervously grabbed her own arm, "It felt as if the thing was made of the dark side its presence alone felt…feral and oppressive".
Luminara's eyes slowly became larger, "Are you sure?" she asked the young Togruta padawan, "Are you absolutely certain of these characteristics?"
"Figured out the creature's identity have you Master Unduli?" Plo Koon asked her.
Luminara turned to her fellow council members, "The creature she describes sounds like a Terentatek".
"A Teren what?" Ahsoka asked as Master Yoda let out a low groan.
"Violent creatures of the dark side they are. Prey on Force-sensitives".
"Impossible" Master Windu objected, "The Terentatek were hunted down and eliminated almost four thousand years ago during the Great Hunt. They were deemed by the Order far too dangerous to be allowed to live along with other creatures of the dark side".
"This is true" Plo Koon concurred, "But there are scarce reports in history after those events of the creatures being sighted on worlds where the dark side is strong. It could be possible that a few remain in the galaxy somewhere".
"A troubling thought that is" Yoda groaned, "If still alive. Few their numbers will be. However…still dangerous they are. Investigate we should".
Ahsoka watched as they briefly talked about the creature she described from her dream. An animal of the dark side that fed on the blood of Force-sensitives and was deemed dangerous enough that the old Jedi Order had decided to completely exterminate the entire species. The sound of it alone was terrifying, but if it really was what she saw in her dream then its appearance was equally scary, enough to where she would never want to meet one.
So was it a dream or a vision of the future she wondered. Would she be able to fight such a nightmare, no of course she would she had her training and her wits about her she could take a simple beast especially if she had Leon with her no creature could kill two Jedi. She nodded inwardly if it was a vision she would have nothing to worry about from the Terentatek her only concern would be where they were in the dream.
Excusing herself from the Council she left the chambers pushing the thought of the animal in her dreams from her mind.
"I don't care what it is" she said to herself, "It's just another animal and no animal dark side or not can take on a Jedi let alone two" she felt a surge of confidence as she spoke to herself, "Anakin has taught me a lot there's no way I would lose to something like that and Leon beat Count Dooku…"
Her confidence fled along with the thoughts of the Terentatek after she spoke Leon's name the memory of his confession to her yesterday flooding back to her in their place.
"He can't mean it can he? No of course not we're both Jedi he's just trying to play me into another…no he wouldn't lie about something like that just for the sake of a punch line…He's always been a passionate person, but to have fallen in love with someone, me…why?"
What were his reasons, why did he fall in love with her what was it about her that made her so special to him. All this time she thought he loved Thalia it was pretty obvious that he had deep feelings for her, but when he said that it was her and not Thalia that he loved her mind just froze and ceased working. Thalia was definitely beautiful, she was friendly with almost everyone she met since coming to Coruscant and thought about Leon often, she could understand that Leon would fall in love with Thalia as well, but her.
His words continued to echo in her mind, his confession and what he said after that. That he was afraid of telling her because he thought it would ruin their friendship, but keeping it inside him was killing him.
"Was it that hard on him? Is that why he's been acting differently? Because he's kept these feelings for me pent up inside him? Why didn't he come tell me before? Even if he was afraid to we've been through a lot together we'd never stop being friends just like Lux and…"
She suddenly remembered that she agreed to show Lux around Coruscant before he left to return to Onderon. It was already past noon he was probably waiting for her at the Senate Apartment Complex. He would understand though that was the kind of guy he was understanding, that's what made him a great choice to represent his people he understood them. Nonetheless she didn't want to keep him waiting any longer and ran for the hangar leaving the temple and returning to the apartment complex for the Republic senators.
She apologized to him as she hopped out of her speeder and walked over to him, "I hope you weren't waiting too long".
"No not at all" Lux said with a soft smile, "I was passing the time with Padme before coming out here I've only been waiting for a few minutes".
"Sorry" Ahsoka said again, "I kind of overslept a little".
"That tired huh?" he chuckled, "Well its nothing to worry about. Everyone needs a little extra rest every now and then".
Ahsoka agreed before looking down at the main streets of the city, "So where would you like to go? There's not a lot to see really or well at least not to me for someone like you who's never been here there might be a few interesting things".
"Well what would you recommend?" he asked her as they both climbed into the speeder and Lux drove them down to the main streets.
Ahsoka shrugged, "Well there is this one diner that a friend of mine enjoys going to whenever she's here. Then there's the opera house and the theatre next to it. Other than that I'm not really sure what kind of attractions we have".
Lux chuckled again, "Attractions? You make Coruscant sound like a place for tourists".
Ahsoka smiled shyly, "Well I actually don't leave the temple that much when I'm here so I'm not the best tour guide".
Lux continued to laugh, "A lot of use you are".
Ahsoka snapped, "Hey I'm plenty useful remind me who saved your life from Death Watch and helped you reclaim Iziz resulting in Onderon's liberation?"
Lux kept smiling as he hung his head, "Good point well maybe you should come back with me I could show you around then. You could even stay in the palace with me my office is there and right next door to my room…" he stopped himself when he realized what he was suggesting.
Ahsoka picked up on it as well and fell silent nervously turning away from him.
"I didn't mean to imply that we would share a room I was merely trying to say that my quarters were right next to the office I use. The guest quarters are on the same floor on the opposite side though, but if you want to you can use my room there's a sofa in my office I can use to sleep".
Lux's face turned a light red as he spoke those last words and Ahsoka blushed a little as well.
Ahsoka tried to relax a little as she replied to him, "Maybe I'll take you up on that. I didn't get a chance to see Iziz while I was there. The…guest quarters would be fine for me though".
Sounding a bit defeated Lux nodded, "Sounds good. How about heading back with me later today? Well assuming you don't have any Jedi business to attend to".
Ahsoka declined, "Not for today, but there's no telling if something will happen. With the war going on I could be sent out on a mission at anytime".
"That's true I guess" Lux admitted once again sounding defeated, "Then how about after the war is over. It may take a while, but I have faith that the Republic will win in the end. The Separatists may have their droid army, but the Republic has true loyal followers and a much better military as well as great Jedi like you. I'm willing to be the war will be over a lot sooner than we'd think".
"That would be nice" Ahsoka said.
The corner of Lux's mouth curved into a smile, "Alright so how about this diner you mentioned. I'll buy you lunch".
"You don't have to do that" she told him, "Besides you're visiting so maybe I should pay for you".
Lux chuckled yet again and waved his hand dismissing her thought, "No, no I could not accept that. Oh while we're on the topic of lunch Padme told me your friend Leon was a good cook".
Ahsoka's ears twitched at the mention of Leon's name, "Yeah he is".
"That's pretty cool" he smiled, "If he's really as good as Padme said maybe I should hire him to be the chef back home".
"Sorry, but I've already called dibs on that front" Ahsoka smirked, "If he's going to be anyone's private chef its mine".
"That good huh?" Lux asked with a laugh, "Maybe we should find him and have him make lunch".
Ahsoka's smile vanished any other day and time she would agree with that suggestion she did enjoy Leon's cooking, but after last night she kind of didn't want to think about him. He said he was afraid to tell her the truth about how he felt, but now she was afraid, no not afraid, but nervous. If she saw him now she wouldn't know what to say she knew what she wanted to say, but that wouldn't do her much good if she was too nervous to actually talk to him. A mental sigh echoed in her mind she wanted to talk to him she really did to apologize to him she cared for him, but as a friend his deeper feelings for her were one sided and even though she knew it would hurt him she needed to tell him that.
"Maybe that's why I'm so nervous. I don't want to hurt him anymore than he's already hurt himself. Rejecting him like that…No I can't think like that I have to do it the teachings are clear and I can't go against them" another sigh rumbled through her mind, "I just wish there was a way I could tell him without hurting him. We'll stay friends I'm sure of it, but…it may take a while to get over it".
"Hey Ahsoka" Lux said nudging her with his elbow, "Did you hear me?"
"What?" she said snapping out of her thoughts, "Sorry I was thinking about something".
"Wow you Jedi really do go into deep thoughts I wasn't expecting you to just zone out on me".
She gave him an apologetic smile, "Sorry the past few days have been…thought provoking".
"Oh yeah, how so?"
She shrugged, "Just a bit stressful and crazy is all. So what did you say?"
"I asked you why Jedi aren't allowed to marry".
"Why ask me that?"
This time Lux shrugged, "Just curious I guess. The Jedi have so many rules I can understand wanting to be in control of one's emotions that builds a strong character, but not being allowed to love well personally I think that's denying one of the best things about being alive. My mother often told me that love was one of the strongest things known in the galaxy it couldn't be used as a weapon, but there was no weapon that could stop it" he shrugged again, "It sounds kind of weird, but that's what she believed anyway. I think it was her love for me and for the friendship she had with Padme that made her push for the peace vote".
Ahsoka looked up to the sky, "Well I can't claim to know much about that sort of thing, but Jedi are taught to restrain such feelings. We're not allowed to love because being in love with someone can lead to the dark side".
Lux gave an arrogant laugh, "I fail to see how falling in love with someone can lead a Jedi to the all so scary dark side" his tone was mocking as he chuckled.
"Its not like that" Ahsoka said searching her mind for the right words, "Its more like loving someone compromises your judgment and from there you do some things without thinking and if you were to lose someone you cared so much about you become angry and lose even more control. It's kind of like a chain reaction that ultimately leads to your own downfall".
"That's a pretty pessimistic way of looking at it. I admit losing a loved one can cause someone to do bad things and throw caution and judgment to the wind after all I've been there, but that's why we make friends and have other people we care about. So when you're in a bad place they can help you out of it".
He stepped in front of her and looked into her eyes with a sincere smile, "Like you did for me" he gently grabbed her hand and held it, "You've always been a good friend to me Ahsoka I honestly don't know where I'd be right now if it wasn't for you".
Ahsoka could feel her chest become numb within seconds as her heart exploded into a frantic pace. Her face became hot as her blood surged through her body heating her from within. Lux's tone sounded like Leon's when he had that look in his eye, the look that immediately caused her heart to go into overdrive the look that made her mind go crazy with thoughts and questions.
"Does he have feelings for me to?"
The look in his eyes was the same as Leon's, no not the same, but similar. There was sincerity in them, but it seemed to be more respect than love, fondness rather than enamored.
She pulled her hand away and turned sideways folding her arms and hugging them close to her.
"Is something wrong?" he asked her.
Ahsoka shook her head, "No it's just that look you gave me".
"What about it?" he asked her, "It wasn't anything bad I hope".
She tightened her arms around her, "It just made me a little uneasy is all".
The way he held her hand, the look in his eyes and the way he spoke to her. All of it was the same as Leon when he had done it in the past. Even though she was looking right at Lux as he stood in front of her all she could think about was what Leon had said to her the previous night.
"Ahsoka I love you"
Thos words haunted her and thinking of him saying those words to her as she stood next to Lux she felt a crushing pain in her chest. Not a pain of guilt or regret, but sadness. A sadness that was beginning to bring tears to her eyes, she could feel the water gathering under her eyes as they fought their way outward.
Turning her back to Lux to hide her face she apologized to him telling him she had something important she forgot to take care of and left at a fast pace before breaking into a run. She didn't know why, but her heart was screaming as it raced the pain it suffered causing it to go crazy and her crazy with it and as she ran every one of her thoughts returned to the same thing, Leon.