Pushing the final box into the cargo hold of the Ghost, Hera heard the sound of another ship approaching the old Lothal base. Smiling slightly, Hera walked down the ramp of the Ghost, looking up to see a medium sized ship slowly begin to land beside the Ghost.
It had just been Hera to finish loading the last of the boxes into the Ghost. Everyone else was tired and Chopper needed to be charged up again, but she didn't mind. It was only a couple more boxes of cargo and she knew she would be outside in waiting for a bit anyway after getting the message form Ahsoka. Although it took a bit to coax Kanan to going to bed, she was able to manage and knew he was already fast asleep. As much as it surprised her to get a message from Ahsoka, she didn't decline her when the Togruta asked where she was so she could meet with them.
Once the other ship was landed, Hera waited patiently until the ramp to the other ship slowly went down. As Ahsoka slowly walked down, Hera offered her a smile. Despite aging, Ahsoka had always looked well. She had minimal wrinkles, and if any seemed to just add more grace to her face. But she still held that familiar stride.
"It's good to see you again, Hera," Ahsoka smiled. "It's been a while."
Hera smiled, walking up to meet her in the grass.
"You too," Hera agreed.
The Togruta looked over the Ghost, the moon creating a haunting glow of the ship.
"To be honest, I'm surprised this thing is still working," Ahsoka admitted with a small smile.
Hera shrugged, though smiling proudly as she looked up at her ship.
"Well, the only way that it is going to go down is if I'm dead," Hera told her confidently, "and I'd be haunting the others for not taking such good care of it."
Ahsoka looked at her and grinned before holding in a soft chuckle, though her eyes still trailed the Ghost.
After a couple of moments of silence, Hera turned back to the guest before asking her, "I'm sure you didn't just come here to admire the Ghost. Is there something that you need from us?"
Turning her attention back to the Twi'lek, Ahsoka smiled.
"Actually, I was hoping to be able to talk to Ezra," Ahsoka answered her.
Hera raised her eyebrows before answering, "well, he's not at the Ghost, but he's still on Lothal in his own home."
Ahsoka nodded, "yes, I've heard he became a Healer."
Hera nodded as well to confirm. After the Empire was destroyed, Ezra decided to go back and help rebuild Lothal, and by doing that he also became a Healer, while sometimes visiting the Jedi school that Luke created. Eleven years of somewhat peace. All of them had kept in touch, though going on their own ways. Sabine stayed with them often, as did Zeb. But Sabine was also with her family often over the years while Zeb was travelling the galaxy to help find and saved more enslaved Lasats. However, when the Jedi school was destroyed and the First Order was created a couple of years ago. By then, the others had come together again to help the Resistance, to help Leia, but Ezra often still kept his job as a Healer to help those who needed it on Lothal.
"Can you contact him?" Ahsoka asked. "I have an important question to ask him."
"Of course," Hera agreed.
Ahsoka paused for a moment before turning to the Twi'lek again.
"Actually, Hera, this will greatly concern you too," Ahsoka admitted.
"How do you mean?"
"I'll get her and show you. I just came back from Jakku," Ahsoka explained. "How would you feel about another person on your ship?"
Hera raised her eyebrows.
Ezra was just finishing cleaning some of the tools of the healer's wing to his home before he heard the com-unit go off. Frowning slightly, he moved towards his desk and seeing the number of the unit trying to contact him. What would Hera want this late at night?
Pressing the button, Ezra saw the image of the Twi'lek, still in her pilot suit, appear before him, looking tired and very confused yet happy.
"Hera?" Ezra asked confused, "is something wrong?"
The Twi'lek shook her head.
"Nothing at all," she answered. "However, there is someone that has something important to ask you."
Ezra was confused again before he saw the older woman walk into the frame. He was honestly surprised that he didn't sense her Force presence entering the atmosphere.
"Ahsoka," he smiled.
The Togruta smiled back.
"It's good to see you again," Ahsoka told him with a genuine smile.
"What are you doing here?" Ezra asked her.
"Actually, Ezra, I have an important question to ask you, do you think you can come over? I'm at the Ghost," Ahsoka asked him.
Although still confused, Ezra nodded.
"Yeah, as long as nothing is wrong," he answered. "I don't think anyone else should come looking for me tonight."
"We'll be waiting," she answered.
As the image disappeared, Ezra frowned. We?
He decided to let it go.
Soon enough as the speeder moved through the fields, straws of grass shifting over in the wind, the loth cats spreading out in fear before screeching at him after he had flown past. It was a peaceful night, the stars out and bright in the sky.
Looking forward, it wasn't long before he saw the Ghost and another ship beside it. It must have been the ship that Ahsoka came in. It was almost the same size as the Ghost, if not a little smaller.
What was the most interesting, however, was the Force moving around him and in the fields. As he got closer to the ships, he was beginning to sense another strong presence. He felt the familiarity of Ahsoka's presence in the Force, however there was someone else. A Force presence that was still strong yet calming and peaceful. Did Ahsoka bring someone with her?
Bringing the speeder up, he already saw Hera waiting near the opening of the door. At first her back was to him, as she was talking to someone in the shadows of the Ghost. However, turning, she gave him a bright smile as he got off the speeder.
"It's good to see you again, Ezra," Hera told him with a smile. "I hope that it was a good day."
Ezra nodded, though still confused as he looked around. As he got closer, Ahsoka's face became a bit more clear from the light in the Ghost fro the open door.
"It's good to see you again, Ahsoka," Ezra told her.
It had been a couple of months since he last saw her. She looked the same as she usually did, with maybe a bit more wrinkles around her eyes, but other than that she was still the same.
Walking closer to them, Ezra was looking between them.
"You had a question for me?" Ezra asked. "Honestly, I was surprised that you would come down here just to talk to me."
"Well…actually this was something that needed to be done in person.
As Ahsoka moved out of the shadows a bit more, the confusion of the Force presences making a bit more sense as he saw a small child in her arms against her hip. He understood why he felt the extra presence, the small yet powerful feeling, but he still had a lot of questions just staring at the child. She was small, maybe six or seven. She was wrapped in a thin blue blanket, one that had some holes in it and was dirt with particles that glinted against the moon slightly. Sand? Her small white and grey outfit was full of it too. Her brown hair was somehow placed in three buns, going down one after the other vertically at the back of her head. She was sleeping curled up against the Togruta, her head rested against Ahsoka's shoulder as a pillow, Ahsoka holding her close to keep her comforted and warm.
What startled him though was the fact that she was Force Sensitive. It was easy to tell. As small as she was, how little her presence in the Force was, yet somehow it was strong and bright. It was a warmth more powerful than most Force Sensitive adults he had ever met. It was like a glow on a mountain peak far away. It was small in the distance yet you felt it. Almost like the sun.
"Who is she?" Ezra asked, confused. His gaze went between the two women.
Ahsoka looked down at the sleeping child in her arms for a moment before she looked back up at Ezra and explained: "This is Rey. I found her when I was on an information mission to Jakku."
Ezra nodded, his eyes still on the child, Rey.
"She's…" Ezra was still in shock.
"Force Sensitive," Ahsoka confirmed to him. "That's one of the reasons why I brought her here."
Ezra nodded again, looking at the child in silence for a couple more seconds before he asked, "what are he others?"
This time, Ahsoka frowned at he memories.
"Her parents left her on Jakku a couple of years ago," she said in a small voice, as though to make sure that the child wouldn't wake up and overhear, "and left her to an older couple on Jakku, scavengers like everyone else. She was often scavenging with them, or cleaning parts to take to the market to get food packets for them. The wife died last year apparently. And the man wasn't exactly cheerful, or someone who should be in charge of children."
Ahsoka still held the vivid memory of walking around the market and watching the small child hold the metal pieces before putting them on a table for the exchange. Ever since she got into the atmosphere she had sensed a Force presence, strong and powerful. She certainly wasn't expecting it in a small child that couldn't even look over the desk she was putting the metal pieces on. But her eyes were drawn to the child, and as bewildered as she was, she also felt something in her ache slightly at watching this child in line, adults towering over her, just to get some packs of food to survive the next day. She was tiny, and it only seemed like she was given one pack. Of course it was worth more, but it was easy to export a child.
She watched a small talk between the sentient behind the table that gave her the pack and how the girl answered him. Her brows were furrowed in confusion and hurt as she talked back. From her expression she was upset and unhappy about the results.
Ahsoka found herself walking over there when the other man began to move over her, standing up and literally moving to tower himself over her to look more fierce. The child was already cowering, though still trying to make her plea. When the man brought his arm and fist out, Ahsoka had grabbed it in a strict hold before it got anywhere near her. She held it strict, like a rock that couldn't budge even if he pushed it again as she stared him dead in the eye.
"Her parents left her?" Ezra asked.
Ahsoka nodded solemnly, "yeah, for a couple of credits really….it took her a while to convince her to leave the planet…she still thinks they are coming back.
Disgusted, Ezra shook his head. There were parents everywhere who had lost their children, who had to be taken away from them, yet this girl's parents seemed to have done it without realizing it was a child that they left.
Bringing himself back, Ezra looked to Ahsoka again.
"I still don't understand…" Ezra admitted to her. "Why did you bring her here?"
He watched as Ahsoka's features slowly turned into a smile again. It was soft, yet nervous. That seemed odd. Ezra had always seen Ahsoka so confident.
"Well…actually, Ezra, she needs a teacher."
The world around them was silent besides the loth cats rolling in the fields. The air was heavy around them, and Ezra didn't know if that was also because he could feel his heart pounding faster and his breathing becoming a bit more shallow. Ahsoka and Hera stared at him, waiting slightly anxiously.
Staring at the Togruta, he found himself stunned. Teacher? Teacher?
Beginning to fumble with his words, Ezra opened his mouth for a couple of seconds before finally finding the words that he wanted.
"Me? But…" his eyes were searching around them, his hands now fumbling a bit too. "This is probably better for Kanan. He's the teacher. He's the one who taught me," Ezra insisted.
"And now you have the chance to carry on his teachings and legacies," Ahsoka told him gently, carefully readjusting Rey on her shoulder when the girl moved slightly in her sleep.
Ezra stared at them, his eyes going between the three quickly as he kept trying to find the words to explain his fumbled and fearful thoughts.
"I…Ahsoka, I don't know," Ezra admitted.
"She'll need protection at least, Ezra," Ahsoka told him. "And she'll need support. The first person I thought of was you, and your family."
Ahsoka looked over at Hera and the Twi'lek smiled in response.
"She needs someone caring and loving," Ahsoka told him. "Someone like you."
Ezra gulped, still staring slightly fearful at the sleeping child for a couple of more moments. She was innocent to the talk, innocent to the world she was put in. She would need protection at least, with the new First Order and Kylo Ren on their hunts for more Force Sensitives for power. However, she was a child. Would she really need a teacher yet?
Maybe she just needed someone to care for her, a family.
Ezra looked towards Hera and she was smiling as well.
"Ahsoka explained everything to me. She can stay in Kanan's room as long as she needs to," Hera answered.
"And I can stay until tomorrow to explain to the others what happened and to make sure she is comfortable with the transfer of living with you," Ahsoka answered. "And I can help explain to her why she can be living with you now."
"That's fine," he answered, his eyes now changing to look at the smaller girl.
Hera and Ahsoka were still looking at him carefully, watching for his reaction. However, it didn't seem that he was upset.
"Is this okay, Ezra?" Hera prompted him gently.
"If you don't agree then that is alright, Ezra, and I can find another safe place for her," Ahsoka promised him before she looked down at the girl and then shrugged lightly. "When I met her, I felt like the Force was telling me to bring her to you. And to be honest, she reminds me of you a little bit. Both of you have a lot of heart and spirit."
That was not something that he was expecting to hear. He didn't feel his chest rise and fall with both fear and anticipation as he stared at the small child in Ahsoka's arms. Taking in another breath, he moved his head again to look towards Hera.
"Would you be okay with it?" he asked her. "She would be on the Ghost a lot."
The Twi'lek smiled, nodding her affirmation.
"I'm completely fine with it," Hera promised him. "And I'm sure that the others will be too, after we explain."
Ezra nodded before turning back to Ahsoka.
"This is the right thing to do…right?" Ezra asked her.
Ahsoka gave him a smile.
"What is the Force trying to tell you, Ezra?" Ahsoka asked him gently. "Trust in the Force."
Trust in the Force.
Ezra stared at the child again, his body almost still. He could sense the Force, the connection to the child. He felt it moving around them, like mists. He could feel what it was trying to tell him too, not like a whisper but more through the connection as he stared at Rey.
This is your student.