Star Wars does not belong to me. Just Skylar & Co.
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Teanna ran up the flight of stairs and straight into her parent's room, where her Daddy was still sleeping. She didn't even slow down as she jumped onto the bed and started bouncing. "It's time to get up, Daddy!"
He grunted and rolled over. Ignoring her Mama's chuckles as Skylar watched from the doorway, Tea shook Fives' shoulder, "C'mon Daddy! You've been sleeping long enough!"
Fives opened his eyes and blinked, "What time is it?"
"0900," Mama said as she came and sat on the edge of the bed. Both mother and daughter laughed when he bolted upright. "You're getting lazy, F'ika."
Daddy rolled his eyes, "Not really, S'ika. It was several hours after midnight when you got home, remember?"
"And you'd been asleep several hours before then. Don't tell me that you didn't sleep well last night, cyar'ika," Mama said teasingly. And Daddy blushed. The little Togruta had never seen her father's face turn that red. I wonder what that's about? I don't think that they're gonna tell me, though.
"When are we leaving, Mama?"
Daddy's eyebrows rose, "Leaving? Where are you going, Sky?"
"We. We're all going to Corellia," Mama answered quietly, tracing a stitched pattern on the quilt with her fingers. "There's a field where I want to scatter Dev's ashes." Her father reached over and stroked her mother's face until Mama met his eyes. She smiled softly at him before turning to Tea, "C'mon, ad'ika. We promised Aunt Deena that we'd make breakfast, remember?"
Tea watched happily as her mother kissed her father. "Meet us in the kitchen when you're finished waking up, F'ika," Mama teased. Daddy just rolled his eyes.
"Ooomph!" When Fives entered the kitchen, Tea collided with his legs and almost knocked him over. He bent down to her level and she kissed his cheek and wrapped her arms around his neck. "Good morning to you too, Squirt."
Jinx laughed quietly from his seat at the table. He had a drowsy Briika in his arms. Dover was busy peeling some kind of fruit and Quirk was helping Skylar at the stove. Fives stood up with Tea in his arms and let his eyes linger on his wife. She really was beautiful.
So focused was he on watching his Sky, that Fives nearly jumped out of his skin when Gabe cleared his throat behind him. "Oh, sorry, Gabe. Good morning, Deena," he greeted, moving out of the doorway.
The other couple just shook their heads at him, faces amused. They hadn't missed his distraction. And, judging by how hard the rest of Tor Squad was trying not to laugh, they'd noticed too.
Deena took Tea over to help Dover and Gabe manuevered his chair so that he was at the ARC's side, "I was the same way when Deena and I first started out. Couldn't keep my eyes off of her. Still can't," he finished, watching the half-Firrerreo woman unpacking the few grocery bags that they'd brought back with them. "I don't think that she'll ever stop taking my breath away."
Fives smirked, "That's a pretty good line. Mind if I borrow it?"
The paralyzed clone chuckled, "Not at all." He sobered quickly, "Your wife tell you where we're going?"
"Yeah. I still can't believe that she talked Zey into that."
"I can. S'ika can be very persuasive when she wants to be. Zey's wary of her, you know."
A Jedi wary of a non-Force sensitive woman? That was a bit of a surprise. "Why would he be?"
"'Cause, like any Mando, Sky can hold her own against Force users. She killed a dar'jetii near the beginning of the war, you know."
Dar'jetii. He knew what that meant. Dark Jedi. Not exactly Sith, but still bad enough. Fives stiffened, looking at Gabe incredulously, "You've got to be kidding."
Gabriel shook his head, "Nope. I was there. Sky was on a mission with us. Our first mission right after the Battle of Geonosis. We were tracking an older Jedi Padawan who had gone missing about two years before that. Our job was to bring him back to the Temple so that he could be reassigned. Turns out the Padawan went mad after being alone for so long."
A year ago, Fives would have doubted the validity of Gabe's claim. But after what Krell had put him, the 501st, and the 212th through on Umbara, he didn't doubt a word of what the former sergeant had just told him. He'd seen first hand how mad and crazy a Jedi could get. He just hadn't realized that Krell wasn't the only one. "What happened?"
"He could have killed us. But he kept saying that we had to suffer first. Something about satisfying the Force. He tortured us," Gabe closed his eyes and shivered. "He was so intent on us four that he didn't even sense Skylar until she was right on top of him. He almost killed her. Would have too, if it hadn't been for Top's quick thinking."
"What did Top do?"
"Grabbed the Dark Jedi's ankle. Distracted him just long enough for Sky to impale him on his own lightsaber. She's still got the saber. She just doesn't wear it."
"Why not? If I'd killed a-"
"'Cause it's gives myself and Beta flashbacks." Fives raised his eyebrows in question and Gabe continued, "It's the hilt. The markings on it are very distinctive. Just seeing it sends the four of us right back to those days." He shook again, "Just talking about is going to give me nightmares tonight."
"It's that bad?"
"For my own sanity, I can only say that Force-users have perfected torture. I'm not exactly unique, though. A lot of clones have flashbacks of worse things."
As soon as they disembarked on Corellia, Fives couldn't help but marvel. The only civvie port he'd ever been to was on Coruscant. This planet was as different from the Capitol planet as night was from day. Coruscant was an industrial world of high-rise scyscrapers and man-made durasteel caverns. Corellia was urban. Very few skyscrapers and those all had less than ten stories. There was an actual wooded park not too far from the port. And no signs of the war at all. There wasn't even the sight of a single clone, aside from himself, Gabe, and the remaining members of Tor. That's what surprised him the most. The lack of any evidence of the war. Of course, Corellia was supposed to be neutral. Sky had remarked that the Republic was keeping the GAR away from the planet for a reason. Corellians were almost as strong-willed as True Mandos. The Separatists were probably staying away for exactly the same reason.
While he himself was awed, his wife looked around nervously, Tea on her hip. Judging from her expression, something wasn't right. Something had her on edge. We're being followed. That has to be it.
Cordav kept skimming the crowd, wishing that she'd kept her buy'ce on. But no. It was clipped to her belt. Just like Fives' bucket was clipped to his. She was hoping that she wouldn't catch sight of-
"Skylar. Baby, what's wrong?" That was the first time that he'd called her that. Must be picking this stuff up from Gabe and those holodramas. The new nickname was almost enough to distract her from her apprehension. Almost.
She caught sight of the very thing she was trying to avoid. Two people, actually. Very deliberately, she turned to face Fives, her back to the elderly couple as she set Tea down. Still holding her daughter's hand firmly. Jinx, recognizing the two from the old flatpixes that she still had, moved forward until his broad back was blocking her from their sight.
Skylar knelt in front of Tea and put her hands on her daughter's shoulders, ignoring her husband's impatient look. "Ad'ika, why don't you help Aunt Deena with Briika today?"
"Okay, Mama," their little girl kissed her cheek before skipping back up the ramp.
And Skylar was too freaked to chuckle. Fives put his gloved hands gently on her armored shoulders, "S'ika. What in the manda is going on?"
"My aunt and uncle. They're here."
"I thought you said that you didn't have any other family," her husband responded, his tone and face accusatory.
"I don't. When I turned eight they ostracized me and Buir. They divorced us. Called us dar'aliit. No longer family." She clenched her fists and gritted her teeth at the memory. Her father had just taken her on her first hunt. They'd come back with some small gifts for her mother's sister and her husband. But, once Cliona found out that her brother-in-law had, in her own words, 'endangered little Skylar, all I have left of Claire,' she'd gone ballistic. And her husband had sided with her. It had turned into a shouting match that only escalated when Skylar had stepped in to defend Orar, telling her aunt that her papa was only teaching her how to take care of herself. Aunt Cliona knew enough Mando'a to shout dar'aliit at the two of them at the top of her lungs and Uncle Reqe had kicked them both out for upsetting his wife.
Fives listened quietly as she explained what had happened so long ago. His impatient look turned to one of fury as she finished, "They're lucky that they didn't see you then. No one treats my woman like that and gets away with it. Over my dead body."
She didn't answer him, she just let him wrap his arm comfortingly around her shoulders, their armor clanking, "Are they gone yet, Jinx?"
Even though the red-haired clone's back was turned towards the elderly couple, he still had his helmet on. The 360 in his HUD gave him a full panaromic view. The sergeant nodded, "They just turned the corner. In the exact direction that we're heading. Looks like we're taking the long way, Ruus'ika."
She sighed in relief, leaning more against Fives, "That's fine. As long as we don't see them again, I'll be okay." I thought that I'd gotten over Cliona divorcing us like that. But it still hurt. The elderly woman was all she had left of her mother. She should be meeting the woman with open arms, not trying to hide from her.
Fives looked around them, his face falling.
"What's wrong, F'ika. Are they coming back?"
He shook his head, "No. There's just too many people."
"Too many people? What the manda?"
"I can't kiss you."
That did it. That completely erased any and every thought of Cordav's former relatives from her mind. She started laughing, "Later. I promise, okay?"
"I'm holding you to it."
Jinx just walked off, shaking his head. Judging by the way his shoulders were shaking, she knew that her brother was laughing uncontrollably. Thank goodness he was the only one paying attention to that. When it came to teasing, Dover and Quirk could be the worst. My own fault, that. They learned that from me.
Kot looked at General Zey with wide eyes, "General Kenobi's missing?"
Zey cleared his throat as all four commandos awaited his answer, "Yes. He went alone to Iridonia to face Darth Maul."
"Darth Maul? But I thought General Kenobi killed him a long time ago?" That was Doz. He was the most vocal of the squad and was rubbing off on Kot.
"That was what we believed as well. However, he survived. We believe that he used the Dark Side of the Force to keep himself alive."
"So, our job is to make sure that he stays dead, then?" There were chuckles from the other three when Top spoke up.
Zey, however, did not look amused, "No, Private. Your job is to locate General Kenobi and assist him. Sergeant Cordav will assist you."
"But she's on Corellia, sir," Hew interjected respectfully. "Skylar's with ARC Trooper Fives and Tor."
"That will be your first stop, Sergeant. Fives will be joining you as well."
cyar'ika = sweetheart
ad'ika = little one
dar'jetii = Dark Jedi (literally means 'no longer a Jedi')
manda = heaven
buir = papa
dar'aliit = no longer family (Mandos can divorce family members if said persons turn their back on the Mandalorian ways. Non-Mando family members sometimes use this to spite their Mando family members. Kal Skirata's sons proclaimed him dar'buir which means 'no longer a father.')
Ruus'ika = little sergeant
Okay, this is the last chapter of Aliit! Thanks for my wonderful readers for sticking with me! And to you amazing readers for your amazing reviews! Don't worry though! Skylar and Fives' story isn't over yet! I plan to write a sequel once the next season airs.