1- The Beginning of the End
When Ahsoka walked away from everything she knew, she did not expect herself to find love so quickly. She was nearly killed, everything that truly mattered to Ahsoka was taken away, and she lost the trust of friends and the Jedi as well as strangers. Since Ahsoka was no longer confined to the Jedi's morals of no love, she felt herself grow free. Ahsoka thought of herself as a plant. She grew with the Jedi's support, but she flourished without the fence, their morals, binding her down.
Ahsoka knew she had to get off planet. The dirty looks people would throw at her were unbearable. Ahsoka didn't have enough credits to get off planet however. She wished she had befriended more people while she was still with the Jedi. Ahsoka couldn't face Anakin and the other Jedi. Not after what happened, not after they threw her to the gundarks. She no longer knew who to go to. Ahsoka knew Senators Amidala, Chuchi, and Bonteri. Ahsoka decided to visit Senator Bonteri because she felt something when she thought of him. She didn't know what it was, but it was a fuzzy and warm feeling. One that made Ahsoka go weak in the knees and feel like the world around her was perfect even in its crackedness.
So Ahsoka showed up at Senator Bonteri's doorstep. She didn't want to look desperate, but she was. The door slid open.
"Lux.." she said, wrapping her arms around her as a weak shield from the cold.
"Ahsoka, I heard about the trial," Lux began.
"I'd rather not talk about it. Do-do you mind if I stay here for a few days until I can get off Coruscant?" Ahsoka asked, pleading with herself not to cry, not yet. The trial was killing her mentally. The stress, the pain, and the horror of it all was overwhelming.
"Of course, Ahsoka. You're welcome to stay with me for as long as you need," Lux said and stepped aside as he welcomed Ahsoka inside. The door slid shut again.
"Lux, thank you so much. You have no idea what this means." Ahsoka smiled.
"Ahsoka, I'm just glad you find me a friend after what happened on Carlaac and then Onderon." Lux grimaced as Ahsoka blushed heavily.
"You remember that? Honestly, everything seems to be a blur."
Lux nodded, sitting down at the table, turning his datapad off. "I agree. The war is truly taking its toll on us. I can see some of the senators going mad. The insanity, the death tolls; sometimes I feel like I'm going crazy myself."
"You're probably the most sane person I know right now." Ahsoka laughed lightly. She was right to come here. Lux was already making her feel better. Lux chuckled with her.
"Well, it's rather late now. I can have my droid prepare the guest room."
"Um, Lux," Ahsoka paused. Was she ready to break everything she knew? "Do you mind if I stay in the same room as you? I don't want to be alone. I think I'll go crazy if you left my mind alone with me."
Lux looked down surprised. "If that's what you want. I have some small shirts if you'd like to wear them."
"Please." Ahsoka followed Lux to his room where he reached into his dresser and pulled out a blue shirt and grey shorts.
"I'm sorry if these don't fit. Tomorrow, you're welcome to borrow my credits and buy yourself a few things."
"Lux, you've already been so kind." Ahsoka took the clothes from him with a smile.
"I close to never use my credits. It's truly okay. I have more than I could ever want nor need," Lux said, pulling out his sleep clothes. "I can change in my refresher and you change in here."
Ahsoka grabbed Lux's hand suddenly. "Thank you, Lux." A fire was burning strongly in her eyes.
"Anything for you." Ahsoka's smile was sweeter than anything Lux had ever seen.
They changed quickly and Ahsoka and Lux were lying in bed. It wasn't pleasant, but it wasn't awkward. Ahsoka fell into a dreamless sleep.
Lux woke up in the middle of the night, to hear Ahsoka's pained whimpering.
"Ahsoka," he whispered, shaking her gently. "Ahsoka, 'Soka, it's only a nightmare."
Ahsoka woke, her eyes wide and terrified, highlighted by the light coming in from the blinds.
"I- the clones were chasing me again. They shot me, and they were all my friends...Rex, Fives, Fox, they were blank shells, masks. They didn't seem to care that they knew me. Their eyes were empty, it was horrible," Ahsoka said, fear marking her words. She was truly traumatized. She buried her face into Lux's shoulder, slightly sobbing.
"Ahsoka, it's okay. You're safe now. Senator Amidala helped you with the charges. You're with me now, and I would never let anyone hurt you," Lux declared.
Ahsoka felt secure and safe and felt herself falling asleep again. Lux didn't seem to care, and held her tighter.
They slept sound, the morning waking Lux. He climbed out of the bed, tucking the blankets closer to Ahsoka. She snuggled closer, inhaling deeply. She looked calm and angelic. Her facial tattoos weren't scrunched up in confusion or pain. She seemed peaceful.
Lux snuck out of the bedroom and immediately told his droid to take a break. He could cook breakfast for Ahsoka and himself. So he set to work, getting plates and forks ready.
Ahsoka woke up alone. She yawned and at first, panicked at waking by herself. Then she remembered the trial and fought back her bitter tears. She wondered where Lux was, but then smelled the most amazing thing ever. Food. She hadn't eaten for two or three days at least. In her cell, all they had given her was water, and she hadn't had time to eat at the Temple before she had to question Letta.
Ahsoka climbed out of the bed and walked into the hall, following her nose. In the kitchen, Lux had two places set up with a steaming plate of panna cakes and nerf sausages.
"Lux? Did you do all this?" Ahsoka gasped.
"Ahsoka, you're up. And to answer, your question, yes." Lux smiled. "Dig in. I'm almost done cooking."
Ahsoka couldn't deny she was hungry. She immediately scooped food on her plate, practically inhaling it.
"Wow, Ahsoka! You must be hungry!" Lux remarked with a laugh.
"I haven't eaten since-" Ahsoka stopped herself. The light and aery mood fell. Lux sympathetically smiled, forcing himself not to jump to her side. He would not take advantage of this to get closer to her. Maybe when she healed, they could think further into the future.
"I'm here for you whenever you want to talk." Ahsoka looked up at him gratefully. Lux sat down and placed a panna cake on his plate. "Keep eating," Lux said cheekily.
Ahsoka rolled her eyes as she finished her plate and reached for another panna cake.
"How do you eat so much and stay so thin?" Lux asked.
Ahsoka shrugged. "I train a lot? I have good metabolism?" They laughed. "Thanks Lux for making me feel welcome and for taking my mind of that."
It was Lux's turn to shrug. "Anything for a friend." Lux noticed the light slightly fall from Ahsoka's eyes. Did she want to be more than friends? "Anything for you," Lux corrected himself.
Ahsoka blushed and finished her plate, placing it in the sink. She sat down again and watched Lux eat. He met her eyes and smiled goofily causing her to laugh. Ahsoka needed these moments. She needed these times where she could forget temporarily.
Lux finished and set his plate in the sink. "So, Ahsoka, what would you like to do today?"
"Well, my plan is to get off planet, but for now, I think I should get some other clothes." Ahsoka fingered her maroon skirt. She almost flinched at the barrage of memories. Letta screaming for help. Anakin with his dark eyes, determined to do anything to save her. Obi-wan, helpless and silenced as she was obliged to step down as Padawan. Masters Plo, Shaak Ti, and Yoda who had desperately voted in her favor. Four against eight. Ahsoka looked at Lux again, willing her thoughts to leave. She had to let go. She was no longer a Jedi. She was a civilian.
"Well, my credit chip is free for you to use. Try not to spend it all," Lux said, wrapping his hands together.
"Lux..I- I have to say something," Ahsoka blurted. "I want to leave this hellhole of a planet, but I can't. Something is keeping me here and I realize now that's you. Lux, I-I think I have feelings for you. I don't know if I want to act on them, but the Jedi no longer restrict me. If you want to, I want to try this. I like this fuzzy feeling I get with you."
Lux looked at Ahsoka surprised. "Ahsoka, I would love to try to. We can take this as slow as you need." Ahsoka smiled radiantly. She could feel the light surround her and brush the darkness of the trial away. She could begin healing. Ahsoka reached across the table and touched Lux's hands. His hands opened to embrace hers. "Well, you should probably start shopping. I have some senatorial work to get done. Here is my credit chip."
Ahsoka stood, letting Lux's hands go. Lux reached into his pocket and pulled out a gold chip, placing it into Ahsoka's hands.
"Com me when you're done and I'll come get you." Lux smiled. Ahsoka went back to Lux's room to borrow a large shirt which she paired with her leggings. She left the apartment and skipped down to the turbo lift. Ahsoka entered the lift, stopping immediately at the person inside.
He looked tired and miserable. Ahsoka pressed herself into the back of the turbo lift, praying that Anakin wouldn't notice her. Her prayers went unanswered as he felt her presence.
"Ahsoka," Anakin began as surged towards her like a black ocean. His emotions tumbled from their confines: hurt, pain, sadness, joy, relief, and anger. "Are you okay? Why are you here? Do you need help?" Anakin asked, while checking her over.
"Master-" They stared at each other. Ahsoka stepped back, a hand over her mouth. "I- Anakin, I'm fine."
"Where were you?" he demanded, staring at the shirt. It was a dark navy and rather large on her small figure.
"I was with a friend," she said quietly, tugging on the hem of her shirt. Anakin raised a brow, nodding for her to continue. "Anakin, this is my life now."
"That doesn't mean I won't try to help you."
"And as much as I appreciate that, I need you to leave me alone. I'm no longer a Jedi.." Ahsoka trailed off.
"Ahsoka, please, let me help you."
"I don't need your help," she sharply said, wincing as Anakin fell back shocked. "Good-bye, Anakin. Take care of yourself." Ahsoka marched out of the turbo lift and immediately started for one of the shopping areas, losing Anakin in the crowd. The crowd swirled around the Hero with Seemingly no Fear and the Fallen Jedi Princess.
After her shopping spree, Ahsoka returned to the apartment with Lux. She had bought some clothes, toiletries, candles, and tea. Candles seemed to help her remain rooted in the light. And a bonus, tea also seemed to calm her.
"I'm glad you found some stuff, Ahsoka," Lux said as he intertwined a hand with Ahsoka.
"I honestly, feel better than I have in a long time." Lux smiled with her. They didn't see the oncoming speeder pulverize them. "LUX!" Ahsoka screamed as they smashed into yet another speeder and were flung into another building. Ahsoka kept falling in and out of consciousness. She vaguely saw the police droid remove Lux and herself from the smoking speeder.
Boom. Boom. Boom.
Ahsoka woke up in a hospital. She blinked, watching the light solidify into figures.
"What the force were you thinking, Ahsoka!" Anakin erupted. "Bonteri? Of all people? You pick a teenage boy!"
Ahsoka winced and held a hand to her forehead. She tuned out Anakin and began her body check. Everything seemed fine except her back lekku was burning.
"My rear lekku; what's wrong with it?" Ahsoka asked, interrupting Anakin's tirade.
Anakin sighed. "You scraped it when the speeder crashed into your speeder."
"He's in surgery," Anakin said.
Ahsoka looked down, willing herself not to cry. "Will he be okay?" she asked the futile question.
"I'm not entirely sure," Anakin sighed.
Ahsoka kept her eyes downwards. "I need to be alone...Can you see me tomorrow?" Anakin nodded sympathetically and patted her leg, leaving her feeling isolated.
In the waves of darkness and despair, Lux was her light. If he died, Ahsoka was still broken. She wasn't sure if she could go on. Maybe she could, but she would be shattered until she healed again. So Ahsoka could only hope that he would live.