Anakin woke up. He attempted to get out of bed, but found out he couldn't. At first, he didn't realize why, but then he looked down and saw Ahsoka, lying in his arms. The memories of yesterday all flooded back to him. The battle, the incredibly depressing conversation he'd had with her. Her panic attack. It had been one hell of an emotional rollercoaster. He checked his chrono. 7:13 AM. He'd only gotten a few hours of sleep, but he'd manage. He looked down to his, still sleeping, padawan. She was tossing and turning next to him, and muttering under her breath. Anakin couldn't make out the words. "She must be having a nightmare." Anakin thought. He wrapped his arms around her and flooded their bond with all the warmth he could find.
Ahsoka's eyes shot open. She was breathing heavily, and was confused.
"You're safe, snips" Anakin said. "It was just a dream."
Ahsoka turned around to look at him. "It felt so real." She said.
"I know." Anakin said. "What was it about?"
Ahsoka sighed. "The mission." She showed him a few images through the bond. Images of clones, ripped in half by the bombardment. Blood and body parts flying everywhere. "I wish the war wound end."
Anakin hugged the teenager tighter. "Me to, snips" he said. "Me to"
They just stayed like that for some time, until they heard a knock at the door. "What is it?" Anakin asked.
"We'll arrive in Coruscant in half a standard hour, sir!" a clone trooper on the other side said.
"Alright, thank you trooper!" Anakin responded.
"I wish I didn't have nightmares for once." Ahsoka said. She sighed deeply. "That's not going to happen anytime soon, is it?"
Anakin sighed. "I also constantly have nightmares, if it's any consolidation." He replied. "Well, time to get up I suppose."
Anakin stood in front of the council chambers. He'd sent Ahsoka to their shared quarters, and told her to unpack and get some rest. Anakin still had something to do, but would join her after.
"Come in, you may." Master Yoda's voice sounded over the inter-com. The doors opened and Anakin stepped inside.
About half the council was here, including master Windu and Obi-wan. "A report for us, you have." Yoda said. It wasn't a question.
"Yes master" Anakin responded. "I'm afraid Ahsoka suffered from a panic attack last night. I would like to request some time for a meditative retreat to help her recover."
Master Windu spoke up. "That can be arranged for padawan Tano, but you, Skywalker, are needed in the war effort. She can have a week off duty."
Anger flared up within Anakin, but he suppressed it. "My padawan needs me to be there for her" he spoke. "She needs me to be there for her."
Master Windu spoke once again. "Your attachment to your padawan is blinding you" he spoke. "You are needed at the front to help cover for the loss of two ships in the last battle."
Anakin couldn't suppress his emotions anymore. Not that he tried very hard. "You are very, very wrong" he spoke. The anger was apparent. "Your detachment has blinded you! You sent us on a mission with no intel whatsoever, and when things go bad, which, once again, wouldn't have happened if we had proper intel, you expect me to leave thousands of my men, including three Jedi and my own fucking padawan, to DIE!" he was practically shouting at the top of his lungs, but now he lowered his volume to a more threatening, but no less angry, tone. "You send people as young as fourteen into a warzone to die in your fucking war, and then you refuse to even take proper care of them! And after all of that, you still claim to have the moral high ground! What a pile of fucking bantha fodder." He then turned around and walked out of the council chambers.
Meanwhile at Anakin and Ahsoka's shared quarters.
Ahsoka was sat on the couch. Their quarters where quiet, and there was nothing to do. Ahsoka was alone with her thoughts, and that was about the last thing she wanted to be right now. Her mind strayed to the last mission. Ahsoka tried not to think about it, but it seemed unavoidable. She couldn't get the images out of her head. Images of clones being shot, stumbling backwards, dead before they hit the ground. Images of clones, ripped in half by explosions, limbs scattered in every direction. She could still hear the sounds. Bloodcurling screams of dying men, mixed with explosions and the sound of bolts being fired from blasters.
Barriss was stood in front of the door to Ahsoka's quarters. She wanted to visit her friend after what had happened last night, both to check on her and to help her, should she need it. "It's only fair" Barriss thought. "She helped me, I should help her. That's what friends do." She knocked on the door, but got no answer. She used the force to scan the room. "Maybe she's somewhere else" Barriss thought.
This line of thinking was quickly put to a halt when she sensed Ahsoka inside. Panic was rolling off of her in waves. Barriss realized Ahsoka might need help, and opened the door. Ahsoka was sat on the couch, breathing heavily, and unsteady. She was hugging her knees to her chest, and her entire body was trembling. "Ahsoka!" Barriss called out. She rushed over to the teenager, sitting down beside her. "Ahsoka?" she said once again, putting an arm around her.
Ahsoka's head shot up. She frantically looked around the room, searching for the source of her panic. "You're safe!" Barriss said. Ahsoka looked at her green friend. Barriss' eyes where full of concern.
Ahsoka calmed a little bit. "I feel terrible." She muttered.
"That's understandable." Barriss said. "You'll feel better in a little bit. Would you like to talk about it?"
"I keep... I keep seeing the mission." Ahsoka responded. "I can hear it to. The dying screams, explosions, everything." Her breathing became unsteady as her shoulders started to jump up and down, her eyes brimming with tears. "I wish this force-damned war never happened." She said, her voice full of sadness.
Barriss pulled her into a comforting embrace, just as Ahsoka had done for her yesterday. Yesterday? It seemed like years ago. "I wish that to, but I'm afraid we cannot change the past." She said.
The door opened. Anakin stepped inside of his and Ahsoka's shared quarters. "Ahsoka?" he asked. "Are you alright?"
Barriss responded instead. "She almost had another panic attack." she said. "but I think she'll be alright."
"Well that's good." Anakin said. "I requested some time off for both me and Ahsoka, but the council has decided that I can't be missed at the front lines." He sat down in one of the chairs, facing Ahsoka and Barriss.
"Knowing you, you probably chewed them out." Ahsoka spoke, a small smile on her lips.
"That's one way to put it." Anakin responded. "But they really had it coming this time. Anyway, I don't think they're going to allow me to come with you."
"Well that's just great." Ahsoka said. "Being alone is about the last thing I want right now."
"Well, we could always arrange someone to come with you." Anakin said. "Like Barriss for example." He paused for a moment. "If she wants to, of course."
"Of course!" Barriss said. "I would love to go with Ahsoka! If my master agrees, of course."
"I'll talk to her" Anakin said. "I'm sure she'll understand."
"As long as you don't threaten her with your lightsaber." Ahsoka joked.
"Hey!" Anakin said. He sounded undignified. "I can be diplomatic."
"Yeah yeah, sure thing skyguy." Ahsoka said. She chuckled.
The door opened once again, revealing Obi-wan. "Hello there." He greeted. He sat down on a chair, next to Anakin. "How are you, Ahsoka? I heard of your..." he paused for a moment. "ordeal yesterday."
Ahsoka sighed. "I'll be alright I suppose. I'll just have to move on."
Obi-wan knew there was more to it, but he didn't pry. "Well, that week of vacation should hopefully do you some good."
"Speaking of which" Anakin spoke up "I was wondering if you could talk to the council and arrange that Barriss can go with Ahsoka. Being alone... Won't be good for her right now."
"I'll see what I can do." Obi-wan said. "For the record, I think you where quite justified, lashing out towards the council like that. Truth is, I'm not exactly happy about sending our padawans into the war, but I cannot change the council's mind. Not for a lack of trying." He sighed as he stood up. Well, I'd love to stay and chat, but I'm afraid I have places to be."
Anakin also stood up. "Well I best go talk to master Unduli" he said. He then crouched down to eye-level in front of Ahsoka. "are you gonna be okay here, snips?" he asked.
A small smile formed on her face. "I'll be alright skyguy" she said. "Besides, I've got Barriss to keep me company." She then looked over at Barriss. "That is, unless you have other plans."
Barriss shook her head. "I don't have anything planned for today." She said. "And I don't want to be alone either." She thought, but she didn't say it.
"Well, I better get going then" Anakin said as he stood back up. "I'll see you around snips!" he said.
"goodbye!" Ahsoka said to him. The door then closed behind him.
Ahsoka let out a tired sigh. "Well, at least I won't have any bloody missions for the rest of the week."
"Yeah, it'll be nice to have some time to relax." Barriss responded. They sat silent for a minute. "So... Is there anything you want to do?" Barriss asked.
"There is, actually" Ahsoka said. "Can you... Meditate with me, please?"
Barriss was somewhat surprised. Ahsoka never was one to meditate. Barriss did it quite often, but it wasn't Ahsoka's forte. "Of course!" she replied nonetheless. They both sat down on the floor in meditative position, and closed their eyes. Barriss opened herself to the force, sensing Ahsoka doing the same next to her. They sank into the force, it's waves soothing both of them.
And that's it for this chapter! Sorry it took so long, I had to study for the test week (that I'm still in the middle off so uploads will be slow for about a week). Anyway, I hope you enjoyed. If you want to be notified when I update, make sure to follow the story down below. As always, tips, suggestions and reviews are appreciated, and have a good day!