"No" she muttered quietly, "No I watched him die…Anakin killed him".
"I cannot blame you for thinking that" The Son chuckled able to hear her muttered words, "Even though I was robbed of my immortality I used the power of the dark side to preserve my life for a time, but the rest is a long story and I'm in a hurry to return to the galaxy" he held his arm out toward Ahsoka, "Now if you would be so kind as to give me my crystal".
She didn't answer him instead of waiting for her response he reached into her pack with the Force and took the crystal she found on Leon, the deep red rock glowing as it hovered through the air toward the Son's hand.
"Ah finally" he said gripping it tightly in his hand, "With this qixoni crystal my power will return much faster" he smiled at the two in tired Jedi, "I must thank you both for this since I've been here I've been slowly absorbing and bathing myself in the dark side of this world and I can feel my power returning to me now that I have this my return will happen all the sooner".
Ahsoka started to piece everything together, he was the voice that was guiding them around he wanted help finding the crystal, a crystal that radiated the dark side all so he could restore his power and he used Leon to do it. Furious she stood up and drew her lightsaber he was still far more powerful than she could ever hope to be, but she had to do something she couldn't let him regain his lost power no matter what.
The Son smiled at her, "Are you going to fight me? Do you not remember what happened the last time I met you and you're friends on Mortis?" his hands turned to fists and he yelled, "If it wasn't for my sister's sacrifice you would still be dead. You took my sister's life".
"You're the one who killed her" Ahsoka yelled back perfectly recalling everything that happened that day, "It was your betrayal that killed her and she selflessly gave her life to restore mine".
From behind her she heard Leon cough he stood up and stepped next to her, "Either I'm really confused" he said his normal voice mostly returning to him, "Or it sounds like he did something to you".
The Son calmed and a threatening smile appeared, "I took her life, but it seems I must do it again and you will be joining her".
Leon glared at the Son and held his hand up, "Be quiet the grown ups are talking over here" he looked back to Ahsoka, "So this guy killed you and his sister brought you back and now he's trying to kill you again is that the gist of it?"
"It all happened while you were still in the hospital after that bombing attempt" Ahsoka told him, "It doesn't matter we can't let him restore his power he's an incarnation of the dark side itself we cannot let him regain his power or leave this world or the galaxy will be doomed".
Leon moved his eyes to the Son and placed his hand on Ahsoka's lightsaber hilt gently pushing it down, "I got this".
Walking over to the Son he stood right in front of the towering being and looked into his dark red eyes, "You know when I first saw you I kind of figured this would happen so I've been slowly coming up with a plan to kill you and would you like to know what that plan is?"
The Son chuckled and crossed his arms as he laughed at Leon, "Do tell".
"Oh I think you'll like it" Leon's grin filled with hatred as he spoke.
Leon's foot flew up from the ground and curved landing violently against the Son's knee pushing it out and as the taller being dropped Leon's red lightsaber flashed by cutting across his arm and chest and then Leon spun and slammed his foot against his chest knocking him back.
"I've decided" Leon began as the Son pushed himself back up, "That I'm going to beat you to death".
The Son looked down at his arm and chest where the lightsaber slashed and gasped at the marks left and a short cry of pain rang from his mouth, "You…insolent…arrogant" he fury quickly reaching its peak the Son shot his hands out and a fan of purple lightning flew out from his palms attacking Leon who defended by crossing his two lightsabers in front of him.
He managed to hold off the blast of dark side power for a few seconds before being overpowered and thrown back. Rolling across the ground Leon jumped back to his feet and grabbed the Son's legs with the Force pulling them forward tripping him calling to Ahsoka he yelled for her to go to the left as he charged in. Leon targeting the front and Ahsoka running around to the left they attempted to pincer the Son before he got back up. That didn't go as planned the Son shot up blasting Leon with another burst of lightning before grabbing Ahsoka by the throat and throwing her toward Leon.
Recovering from his stunned state just in time Leon caught Ahsoka getting knocked to the ground by the impact, "You ok?" he asked his arms wrapped around her.
"I'm fine" Ahsoka replied as they scrambled back to their feet, "We can't just charge in on him we need a better plan".
"Try to get behind him" Leon whispered, "I'm going in wait for your opening".
Before Ahsoka could protest Leon charged forward his red shoto saber crossed in front of him while his silver main saber was pulled back like a lance ready to impale his target. The Son smirked and shot a single bolt of lightning toward him Leon dodged by jumping to the side and throwing his red lightsaber then spinning and throwing his silver one like a javelin. Sprinting in behind his weapons Leon watched the Son push his lightsabers away with a simple wave of his hand before trying to attack him again with Force lightning again Leon dodged jumping to the side. Grabbing the Son's legs through the Force Leon tripped him again and waited for him to get back up and tripped him a second time.
Reaching behind him Leon took hold of the lightsaber he claimed from Darth Bane's tomb and ignited it stabbing down at the Son while he was still grounded. The Son deflected the weapon with the Force pushing it to the side making it stab harmlessly into the ground next to him. With his attack deflected Leon jumped away and called his other two sabers back to his hand the Son now focused on him unaware that Ahsoka had moved behind him. Crouching down to one knee Leon braced himself crossing his weapons as the Son fired another blast of force lightning at him yelling in pure anger.
His lower position allowed him stability for a few seconds, but the sheer power behind the Son's attack was too much and he was pushed back before being forced over. The Son lifted him off the ground and slammed him down lifting him again and then throwing him to the side. Ahsoka took her chance she raised both her lightsabers and attacked one lightsaber impaling his arm the other slashing across his back. Pain, the Son screamed and yelled as the blades went through him the red crystal fell from his hand as it was stabbed and his body lurched forward.
Pulling her weapons back Ahsoka tried to attack again, but the Son whipped around and grabbed her by the throat, "This time I'll make sure you won't come back".
Before he could begin choking her he felt another surge of pain, Leon had returned and driven his lightsaber into the Son's leg just above his knee. He dropped Ahsoka and turned around, but Leon kicked out his other knee making his legs buckle. Wrapping one arm around the Son's neck Leon pulled him back and slammed his open palm against his spine sending a pulse of Force energy into his body.
A modified version of the basic force push a move Leon developed in secret, the force tap. At the moment of physical impact he sent out a pulse of force energy just like he would in a normal force push, but instead it was focused to a point and when pressed against organic or mechanical targets caused severe internal damage. It was unknown if the Son had internal organs, but the attack was still effective to an extent it succeeded in causing him pain and angering him even more. Curling his arms inward the Son roared and bolted to his feet a wave of force power erupting from him in all directions pushing Leon and Ahsoka away.
"Enough" he screamed, "Now you both die".
He pushed Ahsoka sending her flying into one of the spires around them and then grabbed Leon by the throat and slamming him into the ground.
"Watch closely boy" he growled as he aimed his free hand at Ahsoka, "Watch as I take your friend's life for the second time and then do the same to you".
"Ahsoka are you there?"
Ahsoka's comlink beeped and Anakin's voice called out to her, "We're here what's your location?"
"Master we need help now it's the" Ahsoka's words were cut short as the Son grabbed her by the throat as well.
"Now now" he smiled the tone of his voice hinted at his rage filled insanity, "Let's not go bringing attention to ourselves".
"Let her go" Leon struggled against the constricting grip around his throat.
The Son turned to him, "On second thought I think I'll kill you first".
Seeing the Son lift Leon even further off the ground Ahsoka yelled grabbing the Son's legs as Leon did with the Force and pulling them out from under him. Falling the Son dropped both of them his anger boiling over even more now that he had fallen for the same trick multiple times. The Son pinned Ahsoka to the ground as he stood up a weight of force power pressing her against the ground preventing her from moving.
"The two of you are making me very angry" he let up on the pressure her placed on her only to slam it back on her. He sneered as she tried curling from the pain and pressure, "I can sense him you know, your master. I think I'll wait for the Chosen One to show up so he can watch me take your life again and your friend's as well. I may not have my immortality, but I'm more than powerful enough to kill all of you and as long as this world courses through me I am invincible".
The Son turned and deflected a thrown lightsaber grabbing Leon by the throat again and lifting him up pulling him toward him, "I'll be sure to make your deaths slow while the Chosen One watches helplessly and begs me to spare your lives".
"Don't bet on it" Leon growled raising his hand the qixoni crystal in his grasp. Pointing his finger at the Son's eye he shot a pulse of force power hitting his target.
An invisible entity slammed into the Son's eye immediately followed by another to the other eye and then a third pulse that slammed against his shoulder. Recoiling in pain the Son dropped Leon and released his hold over Ahsoka as he covered his bludgeoned eyes and screamed. Like a child he wailed from the pain despite how powerful he claimed to be he wasn't invulnerable, he could be injured and it seemed pain was something he was not use to. Taking this as his chance Leon ran forward his foot rising to meet the Son's knee once again knocking it out of position and then being followed by a jab to the neck where the Adam's apple would be on most sentients.
He had no doubt the Son's anatomy was vastly different from anything he knew, but at this point he was fighting for survival and struck at any point he could think of. The neck, the knee and other joints even at a few pressure points he struck anything he could think of that would be a weak spot. A flurry of strikes all landing in rapid succession against the incarnation of the dark side until Leon felt his stamina reach its limit and with one last push grabbed the Son by the neck and swept his leg out from under him pushing him down slamming the back of his head against the ground.
Panting Leon stepped back away from the motionless Son putting as much distance as he could between them. He could only pray that his assault accomplished something he had no strength left his muscles sore and prior injuries were now taking an aching toll on him, if the Son got up he wouldn't be able to defend himself any further. His prayers went unanswered, the Son did get up slowly and gasping cries, but he did get up and through his pained expression he was glaring death at Leon.
Above them a mechanical roar echoed across the sky and a transport ship flew overhead. Standing in the open doorway of the ship Anakin and Obi-Wan looked down at the valley seeing Leon and Ahsoka and upon seeing the Son their eyes widened in disbelief.
"Is that" Obi-Wan began seeing the being from Mortis.
"The Son" Anakin finished with a growl, "That's impossible I killed him myself".
"Well he seems to have survived" Obi-Wan said, "Let's go Anakin we'll fight together this time".
The two Jedi jumped down from the ship as it flew by landing between Leon and Ahsoka. Obi-Wan ran to check on the stumbling Leon as Anakin checked on Ahsoka.
"Master Kenobi" Leon panted falling into his arms, "He's…he's not".
"I know" Obi-Wan told him, "I've encountered him before. Just leave this to Anakin and me you and Ahsoka get back".
"Are you ok Snips?" Anakin asked kneeling next to her.
Shaking she nodded to him, "I'm sorry Master I couldn't leave Leon alone and went to look for him that's when he showed up…I know we shouldn't have tried to fight him, but we didn't have a choice".
"Its ok" Anakin told her, "I'll make sure to finish him for good this time you just stay back here and rest".
Standing up Anakin turned to his former master as he helped Leon to stand and then glared at the Son as he finally stopped flailing.
"I don't know how you survived, but I'll make sure it doesn't happen again".
The Son straightened and looked at him, "Ah the Chosen One so you've come at last".
Hearing the Son's words Leon pushed away from Obi-Wan and tried to push him with the Force, but with his stamina gone his push instead became a light breeze and the Son glared with a triumphant grin.
"Its time to say goodbye" he taunted before attacking Leon.
A force push strong enough to send an audible boom through the air and Leon was thrown back slamming against one of the stone spires and as he fell he was intercepted by a blast of force lightning. Unable to defend himself against the sudden assault and too exhausted to scream Leon's body locked up in pain as the lightning pushed him against the spire a second time and then he dropped to the ground motionless next to Ahsoka and Anakin.
"Leon" Ahsoka yelled dropping down next to him, "Leon answer me" she yelled turning him over.
Anakin jumped in front of her putting himself between them and the Son, "Ahsoka?" he asked keeping his eyes and lightsaber trained on the Son as Obi-Wan stood next to him.
"He's not breathing" she answered panicking, "Anakin he's not breathing".
"Get him away and call for extraction Obi-Wan and I will handle the Son".
"I think not" the Son said still grinning maliciously, "Those two will not be going anywhere they're going to stay" he began yelling again, "And you will watch as I crush the life from their bodies".
A crushing wave of force energy forced Anakin and Obi-Wan to the ground and Ahsoka began gasping as she felt something crushing her throat.
Anakin yelled and tried pushing himself up, but the weight of the Force bearing down on him kept him pinned he could only watch as his padawan struggled against the Son's grasp.
"Ahsoka" Anakin yelled unable to move.
"It's not going to end this way" Leon stood in the middle of a single ray of light completely surrounded by darkness. He could hear voices whispering to him from all around telling him to give in to realize the power of what's around him.
"I'm not going to let this happen" he said clenching his fists, "If it means saving her then I will give in I will give in to the dark side" he began trembling and the ray of light that kept him safe from the darkness vanished, "I will save her" he trembled as the darkness swallowed him.
The Son's laughter was interrupted a violent wave of telekinetic power slamming into him and knocking him down. Confused as to what hit him the Son stood up seeing Leon back on his feet glaring at him fire burning in his eyes and the qixoni crystal smoldering in his hands.
"So you're still alive" the Son sneered, "That's fine it just means I get to enjoy your suffering even".
His words were cut short Leon had grabbed him by the throat and with a single pull the Son had flown over to him. Leon's fist slammed into the Son's chest as he reached him knocking him to the ground and before he could get up Leon's hand was covering his mouth.
"Want to know what death tastes like?" the rage filled padawan evilly smiled.
Leon's hand erupted in light as a blast of force lightning was shot into the Son's mouth his muffled cries of agony completely drown out by the cackling electricity. The dark side attack shot down the Son's throat coursing violently through his body burning him from within and as his friends looked on all they could see was enjoyment in Leon's eyes as he continued shooting the dark power into his enemy.
Leon cackled as his attack continued to course through his enemy the Son's body beginning to smoke as the electricity fried him from within. He saw the pain in the Son's eyes the pain he deserved, the pain he relished in inflicting and then darkness. Everything stopped and vanished and all he could see was pitch black darkness all around him he could feel himself falling, suffocating and then drowning and finally he felt his consciousness fade entirely.
He opened his eyes staring blankly at the lights above him, ceiling lights he was too familiar with. He didn't bother checking his surroundings he knew where he was, the med bay on the Resolute he had been here before several times and was familiar enough to recognize the unique smell and temperature compared to the rest of the cruiser. He passed out again, he must have otherwise he wouldn't be here and he would remember what happened.
"The last thing I remember…I submitted…I gave in to the dark side. I had to though right?"
He sat up and looked down at his arms and leg his injuries were mostly healed aside from a few minor scars they must have put him in a bacta tank while he was out. Sliding off the bed he stumbled still drowsy from whatever anesthetic they used on him before treating his wounds. Waiting for the dizziness to pass he left the infirmary and returned to his quarters on the ship silently waving or nodding at the few clones that greeted him as they passed. Closing the door to his quarters behind him he walked over to his bed and dropped down landing on his stomach and arms earlier he had complained about being hungry, but he no longer had the strength or desire to eat in fact he just wanted to sleep or to wake up.
He wanted to believe it was all just a bad dream, but even nightmare was a vast understatement now. The reality of it all was that it wasn't a dream no matter how much he may have wanted it to be this nightmare left its scars beyond what would be seen on the outside, scars that would never heal and worst of all the traumatic realization that as much as he tried as confident as he was, he was just as vulnerable to the dark side as anyone else. Even though he submitted willingly to the dark side out of the need for its power it made him hate himself for how weak he was, he wanted to protect Ahsoka like she protected him, but he didn't have the strength to do it. He hated himself for relying on anything other than his own abilities regardless of if he thought it was necessary he hated it.
What did Ahsoka think of after all of that, she was sure to have seen a great deal of what he did. Did she resent him or fear him he couldn't blame her if she did her opinion of him had to have changed after witnessing how far he had gone. Even as he thought that he didn't feel that different looking down at his arm where the Hssiss had bitten him and then at his hands he couldn't sense any trace of the dark side in him. Was he just not aware of it or was it really gone or was it only temporary that the dark side took hold of him. Either way he didn't feel any different than he normally would maybe he was just so out of tune or so apathetic to the alignment of the Force that he didn't suffer any real corruption.
He shook his head no he may have not been corrupted, but he was still tempted and that was bad enough for him. He turned onto his side and slid his hand under his head curling his knees up close to his chest a part of him afraid of what he did and the other half angry after all his talk all of his bravado and all the times he showed what he was capable of he never realized until now that his biggest weakness and his greatest strength were one and the same.
His door opened and Ahsoka stepped in setting her eyes on him through the dimly lit room. Though their eyes met he was not looking at her his eyes clearly displayed his tormented thoughts to her.
She walked over to his bed and sat at the edge, "Are you…feeling ok?"
"Not really" he answered, "I'm sorry if I…I guess I was wrong this whole time even I'm vulnerable to the dark side" he turned and sat up sitting next to her and he stared at the floor, "I did it because I wanted to protect you I knew I wouldn't have stood a chance if I tried to face him on my own, but I had to do something" he sighed, "I can only imagine what you must think of me now".
"Not any differently than I always have" she told him, "I mean I was scared at first and worried, but somewhere I feel like even though you had given in to your anger that I could still trust you and I was right. Right when it seemed you were going to be lost to the dark side you stopped, you dropped the crystal and destroyed it you walked away from the dark side I don't think many people can say they've done that".
"I don't remember that" he muttered, "I remember torturing him wanting him to suffer, but nothing after that" he looked to her, "Did I kill him?"
Ahsoka shook her head, "No after destroying that dark crystal you walked away and Anakin finished him off" she lowered her head for a second, "You really don't remember?" he shook his head and she smiled a little, "You looked right at me after you did it you walked right up to me and helped me stand even though you were about to collapse yourself".
"I know you don't like me saying this" Leon began looking at the floor again, "But there's nothing I wouldn't do for you".
As he said that she grabbed his hand, her warm slender fingers wrapping around his lightly scarred palm and then she stood up gently pulling him to his feet. They were standing face to face now their eyes locked with each other mere inches away and while his heart felt like stopping hers was racing.
"Say it again" she told him after struggling to form those words, "Look me in the eye and say it again".
Her muscles tensed as his hand glided up her arm finding her shoulder then her neck and then her cheek his icy blue eyes filled with a sad longing staring directly into hers and finally his lips parted.
"I love you".
Although they were spoken with the softest of tones those three words hit her hard and her heart began racing even faster until it felt like it was going to burst, but as she continued to stare back into his eyes she felt…calmer. Just like the first time he told her his words repeated in her head over and over becoming faster each time.
"How can you say that with such a straight face?" she asked him, "I'm shaking and you didn't even flinch you do know what this means right?"
"I do" he answered his voice soft with no regret, "And I don't care".
Ahsoka could not hide her smile as she looked up to him, "I always knew since the day I met you that you would get me trouble one day".
He smiled back and leaned closer to her, "And I would be right there with you when the consequences are doled out".
She laughed a short chuckle that was followed by a frightened look even though her smile remained, "You are so annoying".
As he leaned closer to her she stepped forward inside his reach looking into his eyes as she trembled in his arms, "This is either going to end really badly or really well".
He shook his head, "No this will go exactly how we want it to".
As his hand moved from her cheek to the back of her head she continued to give him a nervous smile, "If it doesn't I'm going to blame you".
Her arms wrapped him as his did to her and their eyes closed and their lips met. Alone in the dimly lit room they stood there embracing each other their kiss warming each other calming each other and best of all they felt like they had gained something, something indescribable, but at the same time completely priceless something they would never want to lose or give up. When their lips parted their arms remained around each other and their eyes met again each of them smiling at each other.
"You know we can't tell anyone about this" she told him.
He ran his hand down her cheek, "It wouldn't matter to me if they knew or not. I feel like my life is complete as long as I have you next to me".
She leaned her head against his chest still hugging each other, "Its words like those that made me start to…" she sighed with a laugh, "You are so annoying".