The Clone Wars, Day 1088, Teiron System, Outer Rim.
Sometimes, Anakin though, being a Jedi didn’t cause you anything but trouble.
“They’re getting away!” Ahsoka yelled at her master, vaulting a parked ground car with the force, before dropping into a combat roll as she landed, not losing any speed or ground, as they chased a small group of battle droids, carrying with them an item only officially termed “The McGuffin”.
“I’ve sent Rex and a team around to cut them off.” Anakin replied, pointedly using his headset, before making his own flip over the ground car, which had large amounts of damage to it from the magnaguard that was leading the group they were pursuing. “They can’t get off this road until the next intersection, and that’s a good mile away.”
Roughly one hundred yards up the road, around a parked haulage speeder, things went to pot faster than a jawa moving in on an unprotected droid.
Ahsoka was in the lead, roughly twenty yards ahead of her master, and disappeared around the side of the speeder.
In front of her, she found a two rank firing line of B1 battle droids, no more sophisticated than the units that had been used on Naboo, more than a decade earlier.
A moment after she came into their line of sight, they fired a perfectly synchronized volley at her. The total difference in travel time between the twenty blaster bolts was perhaps one one-thousandth of a second.
She threw herself to the ground, her heart pounding as they all scorched through the space where her torso had been just a heartbeat earlier. She couldn’t have even attempted to block them all, even with both of her lightsabers.
Before she could rise, an electrostaff pressed onto the back of her head, and she looked around, seeing the duranium plated feet of a Magnaguard.
A pair of binders clattered to the ground next to her head.
“Put Them On Your Wrists, Behind Your Back.” It instructed her, watching with satisfaction as she reached out for the devices with her left hand, before slotting one of the loops over her right wrist as her Master came sailing over the speeder truck.
As his padawan vanished from view, Anakin felt a sudden pulse of panic from her, then pain, in a dozen places, from slightly raised areas of the tarmac surface in use on Teiron.
Then he felt cold, absolute terror.
Drawing on the force, he hurled himself over the speeder.
The first thing he saw was Ahsoka, an electro-staff resting on her third lekku, preventing her from rising, or doing anything to defend herself.
Then he saw the restraints she was fastening around her own wrists.
He landed in the middle of the double rank of battle droids, sending a shockwave out through the force.
Most of them went down. A few of them were still moving, and he laid into them with both the force and his lightsaber, downing the remainder in a few seconds, before suddenly being brought up short.
“Jedi Skywalker.” He heard from the magnaguard. “If You Do Not Cease Combat, Your Padawan Will Die.”
Looking around, he saw that she was still in the same position, her hands now secured behind her back, held straight out behind her, with her wrists pinned six inches apart, and he felt a pulse of hatred for the droid, which had clearly forced her to restrain herself.
In the moment it would take him to draw on the force, and disable the droid, it would have enough time for one movement. Ahsoka would have her head crushed for certain, even if she drew on the force herself, assuming that the binders were not the nearly omnipresent force-blocking binders that every bounty hunter, gangster, pirate and terrorist cell seemed to have access to now.
Then the droid tossed a second pair of binders at his feet.
“Secure Your Hands Behind Your Back.” It instructed him.
Hating himself for doing it, he knelt down to comply.
Then he smiled.
On the droid’s chest armour, he could see a single, almost invisible, red dot, overlaying a red light source on its chest. The dot was visible for just a moment.
Then, the droid’s chest-casing exploded.
“Sorry, Commander.” Rex said. “We ran into an obstinate bunch of SBD units. Took us a couple of minutes to get past them.”
Anakin almost collapsed with relief. He’d been very willing to surrender himself to the magnaguard, in the hope he could save his padawan from death.
“Thank you, Rex. I owe your team a few mugs of black ale.” He replied, crossing over to his padawan, who was still laying face-down on the floor, trying to twist back onto her front, which was simply resulting in her lying, wriggling against the cuffs locked around her wrists.
“Skyguy...” She said, her voice distorted by the pressure on her diaphragm and ribcage. “Help?”
Without a word, Anakin bent down, once again putting the fact his padawan was young, female and attractive out of his conscious mind.
It was getting to be a struggle, since he’d stopped dating Padmé six months before. It’d never been serious between him and Padme. Their relationship had been a way of letting off mutual steam with someone who could be trusted, and who knew it wasn’t serious. The sex had been good, though.
Without touching skin, he examined her restraints, each loop of which seemed to be one seamless loop of phrik, connected together by a simple hinge, a centimetre or so thick, and sitting very close to her smooth, orange skin, to the extent that he doubted it would be easy to slide a sheet of flimsi between the bands of metal and her wrists without causing her discomfort.
A quick probe with the Force revealed that the locking mechanism was a series of loops, though which a tensioned wire had fed itself when the cuffs closed. The metal had then fused to the loops and the inside of the shackles themselves. The process had effectively turned each of the bands into one ring of metal. From the structure of them, he would be very unlikely to force open one of the cuffs without injuring his padawan, at least with the tools he had access to in his belt-kit. His lightsaber would be all but useless, even if there wouldn’t be a risk of burning his padawan.
“Snips, I’m not going to be able to get them off here.” He told her, his tone reassuring, as he helped her into a seated position. The restraint device was wide enough not to bite into her bare wrists, perhaps two inches, with smoothed edges. A close examination revealed that there was no mechanism for rotation of her wrists in relation to each other, just a rigid duranium bar connecting the two restraint loops. She was sitting with a straight back, and her arms in the most neutral position possible.
“Can you feel anything?” He asked.
“No.” His padawan responded, understanding the question instantly, her voice quiet and almost as terrified as her extremely wide eyes and muted force presence.
“It’s ok, Snips.” He told her, reassuringly. “You haven’t been cut off from the Force forever. The cuffs are cutting you off from the Force, is all. Once I get them off of you, you’ll be fine.”
She whimpered slightly, before nodding, and trying to huddle closer to her master.
“Let’s get you out of here.” He said, keeping his voice kind and level.
Carefully, he scooped the helpless (don’t even think about it, Anakin) Togruta off of the tarmac, before slinging her over one shoulder, trying to ignore the two pressure areas on his back, as he gently and in a most gentlemanly fashion carried her to the GAR dropship that Rex had efficiently summoned to their location, followed by Rex and the rest of his team, who had finished gathering up the McGuffin, and secured it in a transport crate.
Once the two were inside the dropship, he placed her on the medical gurney, gently strapping her down for safety. He rested a reassuring hand on her shoulder briefly before taking his own seat, and strapping in, before the transport took off. The LAAT was heading straight for the main hanger of Sullust, his flagship, a Venator lass star destroyer. He’d named the ship in memory of the battle in which the first ship he commanded had been destroyed.
Ten minutes later, they were aboard the Sullust.
Rather than rushing Ahsoka to the repair bay or something similar, Anakin simply stepped out onto the flight deck, before using the Force to make his voice carry.
“ARTOO!” He yelled, his voice not echoing, or blowing out eardrums, or anything fancy that a Jedi could have done, but simply being clearly audible the entire length of the hanger.
He was answered by an audible trilling from perhaps fifty yards away.
Anakin watched as Artoo negotiated his way through the crowd of clones, wearing the various tabards of their precise MOS, from starfighter mechanic to deck-plate maintenance. There were none of the particular clones (usually those who had attempted to memory-wipe him) around, so he traversed the crowd without running over a foot or bowling someone over, and trundled up to the button of the shuttle boarding ramp.
“Booweep?” He asked.
“Artoo, I need you to take a look at Ahsoka for me.”
“Bloo Bop Poloo Key?”
“Yes, I know you aren’t a medical droid. She doesn’t need medical treatment.”
“Bow kloo.” Artoo replied, cruising up the ramp into the shuttle.
Anakin watched Artoo roll up the ramp, and was amused by the way that Nix, one of the torrent squad troopers, flinched away from the droid slightly, provoking a burble of amusement. Trying to put a card table on Artoo’s dome had ended badly for the off-duty clone, after having his foot rolled over by the droid, and Artoo appeared to be holding a grudge.
The he followed the droid back into the shuttle.
Anakin almost moved to stop Artoo when the droid produced his plasma torch, but he ultimately decided to watch. Carefully, using a manipulator arm, Artoo positioned her arms above her back, before setting to work. The droid began carefully, and extremely slowly slicing through the points at which the phrik crosspiece attached to the cuffs themselves. He was cutting as slowly as possible in order to vaporise all of the fragments that were produced from the cutting process. Artoo was trying to avoid any red hot pieces of metal landing on the small togruta’s bare back. Although the metal was extremely resistant to heat, he was eventually able to slice through the centimetre thick bar in about ten minutes.
Ahsoka groaned slightly, as she was able to separate and rotate her arms for what felt like the first time in hours.
Ahsoka gratefully clambered off of the gurney, noticing the way the droid was showing his own pleasure at her release. Groaning slightly, the muscles in her shoulders throbbing from the very limited movement she’d had since being restrained perhaps half an hour before, she reached out, and patted him on the dome, feeling him respond slightly to the contact. She still couldn’t feel the force, but it was a start she was very pleased about. Being that helpless was a scenario that gave her more than a few nightmares, probably from the sheer number of times she’d been kidnapped, imprisoned, enslaved, or otherwise abused for some reason. At least now she could actually do things, like unstrap herself from the gurney, and head for the exit ramp.
Anakin gently put a large, firm, slightly callused left hand on her shoulder, and for just a moment, she though he was finally about to do something she’d dreamt about him doing for over a year, she turned slightly, hoping, making her best eyes at him.
Instead, he just squeezed her shoulder, before stepping away, leaving her gazing after him.
A few hours later, Anakin was in the ship’s cantina, standing rounds for Team Torrent, as the clone unit had christened themselves, when Ahsoka came in, wearing the type of flattering, form fitting garment that Padmé had referred to as ‘Hunting Clothes’. The garments showed off the smooth muscle, not concentrated enough to make her look anything other than stunning when combined with a sinuous waistline and perfectly proportioned bust. Her dress even blended smoothly with her skin and montrals, drawing out the patterns on both and making them seem to glow slightly.
Without even glancing at the rest of the clones, she moved in on her suddenly very nervous Jedi Master, who knew he’d had a couple to drink more than was wise when sharing his quarters with an impressionable padawan.
“Master.” She said, without a word of any kind to try and tempt him in front of the clones.
“Snips.” He replied.
“Could we talk, privately?” She asked, her voice husking slightly.
“Not a good idea, Snips.” He replied, using a calming exercise to firmly rein in his libido.
She brushed against him slightly as she slipped into the booth, quickly taking control of a spare mug, and pouring herself a drink from the communal jug of Ne’tra gal, or black ale. The drink was the preferred beverage choice of nearly every drinking clone, which was pretty much the entire strength of the GAR.
Then the talk turned to other things.
Although she consumed two pints of black ale, Ahsoka preceded Anakin from the ship’s cantina. Anakin followed her a quarter of an hour later. He’d had seven pints of black ale. Ahsoka, he judged, given her low tolerance for alcohol, would be either snoring like a wookiee, or curled up with a stuffed wampa he pretended not to know about.
The trip through the corridors back to his quarters gave Anakin some time to think. He knew Ahsoka was at least physically attracted to him. That wasn’t all that unusual. He knew from Padmé that some of their talks had been about the clones, and exactly how they looked in the shower. He even remembered some separatist boy who’d tried to convince Ahsoka to run away with him, presumably for the purpose of eloping.
Stepping into their shared quarters, Anakin sent a quick pulse through the force. In context, it simply told Ahsoka he was back, and that she should put some clothes on if she wasn’t wearing any.
The togruta came out of her bedroom a few moments later. She has dressed somewhere between the rebellious teen she’d been shortly after being assigned to him, and her usual manner of dress. The togruta was wearing a blue sports bra, through which a suddenly extremely nervous Anakin could see virtually every detail. On the lower half of her body, Ahsoka had gone for what looked like a pair of blue denim shorts, coming down to the top of her thigh. She’d topped off an assembly that both showed flesh and remained entirely legal with a pair of long sports socks, coming up to her knees.
“Snips?” Anakin asked?
“Errrm...” Ahsoka stuttered. It’d been easier to plan in her mirror. “What, Skyguy?”
“Why are you dressed like that?” Anakin asked.
“What do you mean?” Ahsoka demanded.
“Is there a reason you’ve dressed up like that?”
Ahsoka, Anakin realised, had been prowling closer while they were talking. He realised largely because she’d come to a range which allowed her to wrap her arms around his neck, and pull herself up to his face, before kissing him.
Anakin's conscious mind didn’t really know how to react as his padawan, a person he’d sworn to protect and teach, glued herself to his lips. His body, on the other hand, pulled her closer, wrapping an arm around her shoulders. The sensation of a small, lithe female pressing herself close activated routines from the caveman part of his mind. With his inhibitions lowered by the alcohol he’d drunk, Anakin didn’t really think about the consequences.
Without really thinking, one hand looped up under Ahsoka’s sports bra, while the other fumbled with her shorts.
Ahsoka’s hands were also busy with his tunic and leggings, as they staggered towards the bed, leaving a trail of clothing. The side of the bed took Ahsoka’s legs out from underneath her, and they landed together.
Anakin nibbled at the side of her neck, as their bodies came together, followed by their presences. He’d never felt anything like it. And then there was no more time for thought, and instinct overtook both the human and togruta.
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