Rex uncomfortably stood around the tables in the lounge. Other clones milled around. It was the end of the war and Skywalker had killed the corrupt chancellor. There was a ball being held in his honor. Rex and the 501st were guests being that they helped corner the chancellor so Skywalker could kill him. Clones everywhere were celebrating the end of the war and falling in love.
As for the Jedi, Master Yoda had removed the attachment section of their code. Skywalker had told them of his marriage and how his wife had made him stronger. The Jedi believed Skywalker and were now testing his claim. So far, it seemed to be working.
"Hmm, who does Rex fancy?” Fox asked.
“I don’t like anyone!” Rex muttered.
“What about that one Twi’lek we encountered on Ryloth?”
“Tatia? No, Rex doesn’t like her,” Jesse said.
“Ooh, someone has his eye on the commander.” Kix chuckled.
“We all know you have a crush on Ahsoka," Fives smirked.
"I do not," Rex groaned.
"Yes, you do, Sir," Jesse spoke up.
"Haha, I'm waiting for her to come and-"
The doors blew open as she came in. The dress poofed around her body, hugging her curves. It was Ahsoka. She was older, lekku slightly longer. The dress was a dark midnight blue with delicate silver patterns of intricate flowers and swirls. Beading was draped over her lekku giving her a mature look.
The clones stood, awestruck. Their Commander looked amazing and drop dead beautiful.
"I see why you like her, mate," Levi, a newly transferred clone said.
Ahsoka stopped at the top of the staircase and slowly stepped down. At the bottom, she hugged Anakin and then Padmé, congratulating her on her pregnancy. Ahsoka's eyes met Rex and her lips immediately turned upwards in a bright smile. She made her way towards him, picking up a glass of wine on her way.
"Rex." Even her voice was different. Lighter, softer, a purr among the gruff voices.
"It's been a long time, Com-Ahsoka."
"It's only been a year," she smiled gently, tracing the rim of the glass.
"A year goes by slowly."
Ahsoka's smile grew. "I missed the Anakin and the 501st so much." She took a sip of the drink.
Ahsoka turned her head suddenly towards the staircase, as if sensing someone. Barriss stood at the top, clothed in a rich purple gown with golden patterns. Her hair was loose, shoulder length cascading waves. Barriss was redeemed and managed to focus on her healing abilities. Master Yoda believed she changed.
"If you'll excuse me," Ahsoka gave him her drink and walked back to the staircase, hugging Barriss as she came down. They walked over to the lounge, sitting down.
"Ahsoka, I'm so sorry for everything. I never meant to-"
"Barriss, it's all okay. The war ended."
"But I lost you in the process. I shouldn't have acted out, I shouldn't have done anything."
"Then you would have lost yourself. I would do the same if it drove me mad, but Barriss, I know this will sound silly," Barriss nodded understandingly. "promise never to ever hurt me like that again?"
"Oh Ahsoka, of course!" The two girls hugged each other.
"Come, dance with me." The two girls giggled and whirled out onto the dance floor. They spun each other around, dresses billowing like puffy clouds. Ahsoka spun around, away from Barriss and found herself face to face with Rex.
"Dance with me," he said.
"Of course," she replied as a slow song came on. The instruments pounded out a sweet and heartfelt melody as the singers gently sang along, their sweet words lost in the overwhelming frenzy. Many couples began twirling onto the ballroom. Most were clones with a lady friend. Anakin and Padmé were dancing together, as close as they could with her pregnancy.
Rex and Ahsoka danced. Time seemed to stop. Their eyes never broke contact. Rex lifted Ahsoka into the air as the singers' voices crescendoed with the instruments. A crowd had grown around them. Ahsoka's dress fluffed out around his legs as she laughed. She was different. She seemed carefree, unburdened. He felt unburdened. The war was over, clones were free to live out their days as citizens; his brothers could be happy. Ahsoka twisted in his arms as the ballad ended.
"Everyone is watching us," she whispered, locking eyes with him.
"I know," he said. At this, Ahsoka smiled and leaned up to kiss his cheek.
"Find me later." She simpered. Ahsoka turned and vanished in the crowd. Rex stood, letting the people whisk him into a faster paced dance.
Barriss walked up next to Ahsoka and they began to chat in detail.
"How has your time from the Temple been?" Barriss asked.
"It has truly cleared my head. I feel free. I've had so much time to think about the trial and the Jedi," Ahsoka smiled.
"That's amazing," Barriss delicately picked at a thread on her dress.
"I know, it's been an amazingly overwhelmingly situation."
"Ahsoka," Barriss paused, looking up from her dress. "I've missed you so much. The Temple has been so quiet. More so than usual. The younglings are more subdued than usual."
"They probably miss me."
"I know they do. Katooni, was it, she became a Padawan."
Ahsoka looked bitterly away. "I dislike how we throw younglings into war but now that the war has ended, I'm so happy for her. If you'll excuse me, I'm going to say hello to some Masters."
Ahsoka smiled and stood, brushing the creases on her dress smooth and walked over to Master Kenobi, Master Plo, and Master Ti.
"Ahsoka," Master Kenobi said. "What a welcome surprise!"
"As for me. I kept hoping I would see you again. Thank you for keeping Anakin together." Kenobi smiled as Master Plo spoke up.
"Little 'Soka." He wrapped her up into a hug, and Ahsoka genuinely smiled.
"I missed you, Master Plo."
Master Ti smiled. "Hello, Ahsoka. You look well."
"Thank you, I feel well." Ahsoka nodded to her. She looked so serene, without a care in the galaxy. "Thank you for voting in my favor, that I was innocent."
Master Ti nodded as Master Kenobi looked down. "Of course. We trusted in the force," Master Kenobi said.
"Will you dance with me, Master Plo?"
They walked out to the floor and danced. "My Little 'Soka, you're all grown up."
Ahsoka's lekku grew darker in equivalent of a blush. "I suppose, but it depends on your point of view."
"Yes, I suppose so," Master Plo said, twirling her around.
"Master, I have a question." They stood still.
"Yes, Little 'Soka?"
"Do you believe in karma of a sort?" Ahsoka asked, a thoughtful expression plastered to her face. It seemed to be the only emotion she showed so far in the evening.
"Karma?" They walked away from the floor to the lounge.
"Like that those who do evil will receive evil?" Ahsoka added on.
"I suppose I do in a way." Master Plo raised a clawed hand to his mask.
Ahsoka smiled. "Thank you for your candor. If you'll excuse me, I must use the refresher."
Ahsoka walked out of the hall, smiling to herself, entering the refresher. "There is no hope for the Jedi. Send her in."
A new person walked through the doors. She was clothed in a deep sea green dress with white spiral motifs. Her hair was pinned up in a half-up half-down style. Her eyes were grey, bordering on blue. She smiled and strode down the staircase, walking to the drinks. She made eye contact with the server and discreetly used the force to persuade him to ignore her. He did. She placed a small pack under the table and walked over to the lounge, leaving another small pack on one of the couches. She walked to the singers and gave them each a black rose. They nodded.
A new song started up; faster, upbeat. The singers’ voices crescendoed to the grand finale. Ahsoka came out of the refresher and pulled Rex to one of the balconies.
“It truly has been a long time,” she said. Ahsoka kissed him.
The world seemed to stop for Rex. He was in bliss. He had found someone to love.
Back inside, the girl watched as the singers’ dropped their roses into the ground and exploded into a frenzy of fine, black dust. The girl called on the force to create small breezes. As the dust particles flew up on the rising wind, she activated her comlink and left to one of the balconies.
Ahsoka had Rex’s back turned to the edge of the balcony and she felt her friend enter one of the upper balconies. Ahsoka let go of Rex and sheepishly smiled. The explosion was miniscule, but the dust coming out of the windows was enough to make Rex turn his eyes to the door.
“Everyone’s inside! What’s happening?” Rex frantically asked.
Ahsoka swiveled in front of him, smirk playing her lips. “Are you with me, or against me?” She pointed a finger at his chest.
“What?” Rex asked, blatantly surprised.
“With?” Her eyes grew calculating and cold. “Or against?”
“Wait, did you plan this?”
Ahsoka gave a little shrug of her shoulders. “Maybe I did. Maybe I didn’t. You’ll never know.”
“Time’s up.” Ahsoka force pushed Rex off the balcony and he fell two stories to the floor. A sickening crack sounded. “What a shame. I really liked you, Rex.” Ahsoka went back inside, igniting her lightsaber. “Is anyone alive? Hello!”
"Help!" A clone yelled. It was Fives.
Ahsoka walked towards him. She was a dark angel suddenly. Fives scrabbled and moved backwards, further under the rubble. This wasn't the Ahsoka he knew. He whimpered, watching Ahsoka shove her lightsaber through his chest.
"I'm sorry," Ahsoka whispered as the light died in his eyes. She couldn't cry for the loss of life. Not when she came this far.
Voices sounded out. And then were immediately silenced. Ahsoka groaned. “Seriously! You got blood on my dress!” She pushed the Senator off her, wiping the blood off.
A Jedi leaped behind her and pushed her to the ground. Ahsoka whirled upwards, thanking herself and the girl for practicing fighting in her heavy dress. Ahsoka ignited her lightsaber to stab the unfortunate Jedi in the lung. The Jedi sunk to the floor, gasping for air. Ahsoka immediately decapitated the Jedi, putting him out of his misery.
More screams were heard. Ahsoka stopped flinching at death. After finishing, Ahsoka met up with the girl. “Well done, Aelin.”
“Anything for a distant sister.”
“Our last step is to spread the word. The Jedi have done this. And they shall pay.” Aelin nodded and left the hall, screaming bloody murder and how the Jedi had killed innocents. Reporters were gullible enough to believe that the Jedi could have done a mass killing. Order 66 was proof that Chancellor Palpatine felt that the Jedi were unstable.
Ahsoka shuddered, looking at the smoking remnants of the ball. Death hang heavily in the room. The floors ran red with blood and the air was dense with the remnants of fear, sorrow, and pain. “Remember," Ahsoka told herself. "it’s only karma. The Jedi deserve it for ruining the balance of dark siders and for nearly sentencing me to death.”
The smoke had cleared and everyone lay dead or nearly dead. Jedi littered the floor along with senators. Barriss lay dead, a burning hole through her abdomen. Master Ti was draped over Master Kenobi. Ahsoka turned to see Master Plo collapsed over in the lounge. Anakin was laying with Padmé, their hands intertwined. Senator Organa was lying on one of the tables. Clones lay scattered in the lounges, on the dance floor. It was an eery silence. It was too quiet.
“I really hoped you would have said ‘no’ Master Plo.” Ahsoka sighed and left, using the force to slam the wooden doors shut. The black rose powder filled the air, and swirled downwards one final time. The silence was thick with death and hatred.