Riyo stood in the doorway, staring at the sleeping form draped under a layer of blankets. All was quiet now. The golden light of dawn shone through the gaps in the window curtain, softly illuminating Wolffe's face. It gave him a more peaceful appearance, one that Riyo knew contrasted what he was probably facing within himself.
The commander had been in and out of it for the past few days. While it was good that he'd been awake for several hours, meaning Riyo could get some water and food into him… she assumed what he was experiencing was doing more harm than she could heal.
The first time he'd woken, he'd just stared at her as if she'd torn his heart out. He hadn't answered anything she'd asked, but he did let her prop him up so she could raise a glass of water to his lips. He drank slowly with his eyes closed, and Riyo sighed a silent thanks to the Goddess as she watched him empty the glass.
Wolffe dropped off quickly after he finished, and she'd done her best to ease the transition by carding her fingers gently through his hair. It was something Fox had loved, something he told her was commonly done by any ori'vod in a unit to a battle-weary brother to calm them. Riyo's heart pained when she first realized that as commander, Fox had no one to do the same for him, until her. She wouldn't be surprised if the same was true for Wolffe, or Rex, or any of the other commanding troopers.
The second time he'd come to, Wolffe had trembled and muttered a constant stream of Mando'a. Riyo only recognized a word or two, but she was so busy focusing on keeping his prying hands away from his bandages that she hadn't picked up a word he'd said.
They were all waiting to see if Wolffe would be more coherent the next time his eyes fluttered open. It was very touch and go, especially considering his serious injuries and the incision on his temple. The javin worked considerable wonders on the majority of his wounds, but… brains were a delicate thing. There wasn't much she could do other than heal Wolffe to the best of her abilities and let his body do the rest.
Well… that wasn't necessarily true. She'd been playing host and healer to Rex and Ahsoka in the meantime. Rex had his fair share of cuts and bruises that she cajoled him into sitting still for her to treat, and Ahsoka had curled up in the chair across from them as the two took turns updating Riyo on what had been occurring in the galaxy.
It wasn't good.
Hundreds of thousands displaced as refugees, environments already in upheaval, any non-human sentients being barred from entering Inner Core planetary ports without special approval. Battles being fought to bring former Sepratist planets under Imperial control. Rising death tolls. A budding Rebellion, of which Bail, Ahsoka and Rex managed to be in the center of.
At least one good thing had come from this. Riyo hadn't missed the way the two warriors shifted to keep the other in their sights as long as possible. Whatever they were destined to face, they would have someone watching their back.
Riyo's snapped from her thoughts by a quiet moan that slipped through his cracked lips. She darted forward, concerned that he may have shifted in his sleep and pulled at one of his bandaged wounds. Her fingers brushed over the bindings, not feeling any change from how she wrapped them earlier, so her attention turned onto his face to see if anything could be determined from his reaction.
His brows were drawn tight together, his mouth curved down in a grimace as another shaky breath left him. Riyo cupped his jaw, tilting his head straight and back to ensure his airway was open and unstrained. His next breath indeed came easier, and his eyes opened blearily in time with his chest rising.
"Riyo? Wha…" She could practically see the cogs in Wolffe's head starting up to try and work through his confusion. "Where am I?" His voice was tired and scratchy, so Riyo shushed him while she reached over to pick up the glass of water she'd left at his beside.
"Drink first," she urged, and held the cup to his lips after he gave a tired nod in assent. "You've been resting here for three days," she explained while he was occupied. "Rex and Ahsoka brought you here so you'll be safe while you recover."
Wolffe pulled away from the water when he'd had enough. "This… your home? Is Fox–" He trailed off in a groan and moved to grab his head. Riyo caught him before he could touch his incision and curled her fingers around his as she listened patiently. "The… the Pack. General Plo." His moan was mournful now as he shut his eyes in an attempt to avoid the onslaught of memories. "We shot him down, we shot him down!" He gasped and began to shake.
Riyo knew it was best to let him come out of it naturally, so she hummed a lullaby from her childhood softly while he clung to her. "Focus on me, copy my breathing." She watched the fight leave his body as his adrenaline left him, neither able to fight or flee.
There were several moments of silence once her song ended before Wolffe's shoulders slumped and he looked her dead in the eyes. "Where's Fox?"
She'd told herself she wouldn't fall apart, not when she had to help these three soldiers heal, but despite her best efforts, Riyo could feel her eyes fill with tears. "We're all that's left of him."
Wolffe let out a broken cry. "Rex," he whispered. "Can… can I?"
Riyo squeezed his hands and moved to stand, but thought better of it after a sidelong glance at Wolffe. She knew he'd try to get up the second she left the room. Instead, she leaned back her chat and called out for his brother. "Rex! Come here, please?"
Wolffe choked out a laugh at the sound of an abrupt clatter and inventive swears from the kitchen. She was thankful for having plastoid dishes after hearing the commotion, but wouldn't have held it against Rex if something had broken. Plates could be replaced.
Rex's amber eyes were wide when he stumbled into the room, as if he'd seen a ghost… which was accurate, Riyo supposed, after the loss of their brothers. She felt the same way.
"Wolffe." His voice sounded like he'd been punched. "Wolf'ika, you're alright."
"Who're you calling 'ika?'" Wolffe tiredly joked, trying to move and breaking out in another moan. "Hurts."
Riyo knew things must be far worse than they appeared for him to admit such a thing. "Can you tell me where it hurts?" She asked gently, placing a calming hand on his chest to try and keep him still. Wolffe's gaze flickered back onto her, and she bit back a worried murmur at their glazed over appearance.
"Head. Chest cold," he rumbled. His arm trembled as he lifted it and shifted her touch to straddle his sternum and left breast. "Here."
Riyo's vision went blurry as she looked between their hands and his face. "The pain will fade," she promised shakily, removing her hand from his grasp to smoothen his brow. It was warmer than earlier– not a good sign. "Rex, will you keep him company? I'm going to get something to help fight his fever."
She stood and backed away from the bed before either could respond, but Rex nodded gratefully as he came forward to take her place beside his vod. Riyo allowed herself a glimpse of Rex leaning down to press his forehead to Wolffe's before she all but ran from the room.