A/N: Wild little story full of plot bunnies that I just had to write. :D It's early season two.

"As far as escapes go-" Ezra threw himself under a crate and sprang back to his feet, ignoring the shouts of the Trandoshans, "This is the worst."

Sabine dodged behind the snarling Trandoshan, bouncing off the wall before shooting back, "Quit complaining, and just run!"

"I can do both." Ezra hurdled a Dug with a smirk. "I'm talented like that."

Sabine's retort was cut short when a bolt flew overhead. Both reflexively ducked and darted into another street. Ahead, two stormtroopers were touching their helmets, undoubtedly hearing about the runaway rebels.

"Not this way!" Ezra said.

Ezra grabbed Sabine's arm and whipped around. He kicked off a merchant's crate, upending it and spilling fruit across the walkway. Bolts flew around Ezra as he dashed back into the main street, nearly colliding with the stormtroopers who'd been chasing him and Sabine. Ezra twisted around them, grabbing the nearest stormtrooper and giving him a Force-assisted shove into his partner.

Ezra kept running without looking back. The brief distraction had been enough for Sabine to catch up and Ezra couldn't keep from grinning at her.

"Keep up!" Ezra said.

"We need to stop running and lose them already," Sabine said.

"Now who's complaining?" Ezra teased.

Sabine shot him a murderous glare. Ezra recoiled, stumbled over a loose cobblestone, then caught himself and turned his attention to a way to lose their new "buddies."

Not just because of the glare, Ezra told himself. Sabine was already breathing hard. Not everyone had years of practice running away from trouble.

Ezra spotted what they needed out of the corner of his eye. He grabbed Sabine's arm and jerked her between two stalls, scattering tech from one table and dozens of carved bowls from the other. Ezra ducked under the merchants' hands, then released Sabine with a shout to follow.

Ezra dove into the gap in the rusty metal fence he'd spotted from the street. He felt a jolt of alarm when his shoulders got stuck, then Sabine shoved his feet and his shoulders popped free. Ezra hauled himself through the fence, then grabbed Sabine's arm as she crawled through. They scrambled to their feet, glanced at the stormtroopers trying to force their way between the furious merchants, then darted further down the alley to the first bend.

Once they were out of sight, Ezra skidded to a halt. He scanned the alley cluttered with trash and broken crates. All the windows at ground level were barred shut.

"Can we rest now?" Sabine asked. She started to sit. "Because I-"

"Not yet," Ezra interrupted.

Ezra looked at the ladder drilled into the wall a good three meters above their heads. He could probably make it, but he wasn't sure if he could get Sabine up without accidentally throwing her into the wall or something.

"They can't reach us," Sabine said.

"Yet," Ezra added. He turned his attention to the ground. "But if they know the city better than us, it won't take long for them to catch up."

Sabine crossed her arms and pursed her lips, uncharacteristically sullen. Ezra was about to ask her what was wrong when he spotted what they needed.


Ezra knelt beside the grate and felt around the edges, grinning when he felt the loose latch. He pried it free, then lifted the grate.

"The sewers?" Sabine asked in disgust. "Ezra, we need to get to the roof so Hera can pick us up."

"Those stormtroopers were waiting for us, Sabine," Ezra said, scowling as he remembered the skittish Weequay who'd directed the Spectres to a supposed rebel cell. "The Ghost isn't going anywhere inside town. Our best chance is to get outside of town and find the Ghost that way."

Sabine dropped her arms with a groan. "I bet Kanan and Zeb didn't have to take the sewers."

"Take it or you can try the stormtroopers," Ezra said with a shrug.

Sabine made a face. Ezra grinned and climbed down a slimy, creaking ladder inside the drain. He hesitated above the sickly green liquid waiting at the bottom, then stepped down. He held back a groan when warm sludge instantly oozed into his boots.

"Yeah… good luck with that," Sabine said, her voice echoing.

Ezra lifted his head. Sabine was halfway down the ladder, grimacing down at him. Ezra offered a smile that he suspected was probably closer to a wince.

"It's fine," Ezra offered. "At least it's warm."

Sabine gagged. "Ezra, that's worse!"

Ezra shrugged. He couldn't argue on that point.

"But we're already down here," Ezra said. "Hurry up."

Sabine groaned. She reached up to close the grate, casting them in near darkness.

Ezra backed against the wall, listening to the creak of the ladder as Sabine descended. There was a brief pause, then Sabine sloshed down beside him. She audibly shuddered.

"You, uh… you get used to it," Ezra said. He moved away from the ladder, but paused to add, "Take slow, small steps. Trust me, you don't want to splash."

"Remind me again why this is better than taking our chances with the stormtroopers," Sabine said, tentatively following.

"Nothing down here wants to kill us. Probably."

"Oh, the sewers are sounding better and better," Sabine said drily. "If something tries to eat us, I hope it goes for you first."

"Hey," Ezra said, unoffended.

The pair trudged onward. Ezra kept a hand on the wall as the little bit of light steadily faded until they were total darkness.

"Can't you give us a little light?" Sabine asked after a bit. Her voice was a bit shaky.

"Never took you to be afraid of the dark," Ezra said.

Sabine swatted him in the ear.

Ezra twitched. "What was that?"

"I can't see where you're at," Sabine said. "Otherwise I'd have hit you harder. Now, the light?"

"First of all, ouch," Ezra said, mock offended. "I don't think I want to let you see me now."

There was a brief pause, then, "You lost your lightsaber, didn't you?"

"It's not lost; Kanan has it."

Another pause. "Which helps us… how?"

"I didn't leave it behind on purpose," Ezra defended himself. "But that stormtrooper caught me off-guard and shot it out of my hand. But Kanan picked it up before we split."

"Because he didn't want to spend two hours haggling with a cross-eyed Toydarian over a sparky glowstick."

"Okay, that happened once, Sabine."

"And you're never-"

Sabine broke off with a gasp and sudden splash. Ezra spun around, trying to sense if anything else was with them.

"Sabine? Sabine, what happened?"

"It's fine," Sabine said, suddenly breathless. "I just… oh, I hope that's just the sewage."

"Hope what is sewage?!"

Ezra groped forward, finding Sabine's shoulder. He didn't think there was anything or anyone nearby, but he didn't have the practice Kanan had at sensing.

"Mm, no, it's not," Sabine said. "Dank ferrik."

"That's not helpful, Sabine," Ezra said. "What's wrong?"

"I got shot."

Ezra started. "You were shot?! Why didn't you say anything?"

"I tried." Sabine pushed Ezra's hands away. "But escaping took priority."

"I wouldn't have taken you down here if I'd known you were hurt! It could get infected! Wait here, okay? I'll find a ladder, we can go outside, I think this is far enough."

"Ezra." Ezra could hear Sabine's grin. "I'm not dying."

"No, but in this stuff-" Ezra broke off with a grunt when his foot hit an undersludge ledge. He tripped onto it, finding himself on solid floor. "See, there's a ledge here, our situation's already getting better."

In a hurry, Ezra forgot the first rule of navigating unfamiliar, pitch black spaces. He walked confidently forward, only for his foot to land on air. He jerked back with a shout, but he had too much momentum to stop himself and he tumbled into the dark!


Sabine strained her ears, but couldn't hear anything beyond the echo of her voice. She crept forward, testing each step. It sounded like Ezra had fallen, and his voice had cut off so quickly…

Sabine's foot found a low, submerged wall. She happily climbed out of the muck and dropped into a crouch. She absently touched her leg, where blood oozed from just below her knee. It wasn't a bad wound, but walking had become increasingly painful.

Sabine went to her knees and crawled forward, letting her injured leg drag so she didn't have to put pressure on her knee. She felt her way forward until her hands found the floor had dropped away. She reached down and along the edge.

The drop was smooth and intentional. It fell beyond the reach of her arms and went from wall to wall. In her exploration, Sabine found a ladder attached to the wall.


Sabine listened to her voice echo back. Still nothing from Ezra.

Sabine groaned, but she didn't have many options. She turned and felt her way onto the ladder. The rungs were mossy and squeaked, but they held her weight. Sabine cautiously climbed down, and was relieved to quickly find a floor with her searching foot.

Sabine stepped down and knelt again. The floor was mostly dry, though a few scattered puddles of sludge made Sabine recoil with each touch.

Her fingers touched cloth a moment later. Sabine flinched, then scrabbled forward.

Ezra was on his face, limbs sprawled from the fall. He didn't react to Sabine's touch or his name. Sabine didn't feel any blood, but touching Ezra's forehead finally brought a groan out of him.

"Okay, well… you're still alive, at least," Sabine said. She looked pointlessly around. "Come on, Ezra, you need to wake up."

Receiving no response, Sabine resorted to rolling Ezra onto his back to check him more thoroughly. Something wet covered Ezra's chin. The outside of his jacket was slick with sludge from the floor, so Sabine couldn't be sure whether or not Ezra was bleeding.

Sabine felt around them, wondering if there was a way outside. Unfortunately, they were both trapped in a square hole, probably some sort of overflow containment. On the wall opposite of the ladder, Sabine found small holes where another ladder could have once been attached.

Ezra groaned again. Sabine turned toward him, then startled when she realized she could make out his frame in the darkness. She looked up, where a dull glow shone from the opposite side of the box.

Sabine opened her mouth, then hesitated. None of the other Spectres knew she and Ezra had fled to the sewers. It was more likely that a stormtrooper had connected the dots after finding the dead-end alley. Or it was a random patrol or bandit.

Either way, Sabine couldn't take the chance. Not when she was hurt and Ezra was unconscious.

Sabine went to Ezra and grabbed him under his arms. She tugged him backward, then lunged down when he shifted. She clamped a hand over his mouth, a second too late to stop his groan from escaping. Ezra jerked an arm up, clumsily slapping Sabine. She dropped across him, keeping her hand firmly over his mouth.

"Quiet!" Sabine hissed into his ear.

Ezra continued to struggle, albeit weakly. His foot kicked against a puddle, and the low splash sounded like a crash in the otherwise silent tunnel.

"Who's there?" asked a voice.

Sabine winced. Ezra's struggles lessened as footsteps ran closer, bringing enough light for Sabine to see his open eyes. Sabine rolled her eyes at his sheepish look, then slipped off of him.

A light shone down on them a moment later. Sabine lifted her head, faking an innocent, relieved smile. She couldn't see past the light, but the voice didn't have the filtered, slightly mechanical tone of a stormtrooper.

"Down here!" Sabine said, unnecessarily waving a hand.

The light moved over to Ezra, who quickly sat up with a beaming grin. Sabine thought he was pretending to be a bit too cheerful, considering his face was streaked with green algae and smudged blood on his nose and chin.

"I did'd think anyone would fid us," Ezra said, his voice nasally.

"How did you- hold on, kids."

The missing ladder was lowered from above. It slid into two small, rough grooves Sabine hadn't noticed in the floor.

"Can you two climb up?"

Sabine and Ezra exchanged nervous glances. For better or worse, they were getting out.

"Sure," Ezra said.

Ezra hopped to his feet, hiding his dizzy stagger by grabbing the ladder and climbing. Sabine followed more slowly, her leg twinging every other step. A strong, calloused hand helped her up the last few rungs.

"What are you kids doing down here?" the man asked.

"We were esploring," Ezra said with a sheepish grin. "We, uh… we got losd."

"Easy to do." The man lowered the light to the floor, but Sabine still couldn't make out his face very well. "Where do you live?"

"We're nod from around here. Our parends are visiding friends, you see," Ezra said, lying with an ease Sabine still found strange. "My sisder and I were bored and wanded do see whad de cidy looks like down here."

The man laughed and walked away. "Not much to see. Come on, I'll take you to the port."

Sabine smiled. "That would be great."

"Mom and Dad will freak if we don'd ged back soon," Ezra said.

Sabine grinned. It was true; Hera and Kanan would.

"Shouldn't take long," the man said. "By the way, name's Sol with an 'o'."

"Well, Sol wid an o," Ezra said, grinning further, "I'm Ezra and Sabine's, ah-"

Ezra suddenly clamped a hand over his nose. Sabine winced when she saw a trickle of blood between his fingers.

Sol stopped and turned. "What's wrong?"

"Mighd be broken," Ezra said.

The light ran up and down Ezra. Sabine tried to hide her injury behind her other leg when the beam turned to her.

"What happened to you kids?" Sol asked.

"Fell," Ezra said. He moved his hand and wriggled his nose. "I dink id's- nope, dere id goes."

The light turned back to Sabine, who faltered for a decent excuse.

"Hod pipe," Ezra supplied. One hand was again over his nose, but he used the other to mime an explosion. "Blew out."

"Yeah, they aren't the best down here," Sol said. "Why didn't you kids say something, though? We should get those cleaned up before I take you to your ship."

"No, it's fine," Sabine hurriedly said.

"Maybe Ezra's nose, but if you've been walking through the sewer, that cut on your leg is going to get infected if we don't clean it soon," Sol said. "Now, come on."

Sabine winced behind Sol's back, but couldn't come up with any reason to argue without sounding suspicious. She and Ezra followed in Sol's wake.

"It's a bit shabby and falling down," Sol said a bit later as he led the pair up a ladder, "But it's home. You okay, Sabine?"

"Yeah," Sabine said, trying to not pant.

Sol opened a hatch at the top of the ladder, flooding the tunnel with light. He climbed outside, then bent down to help Sabine.

Sabine climbed slowly to her feet. While Sol helped Ezra, she rubbed her hands on her pants and looked around.

Sol hadn't been exaggerating about the condition of his home. It was clean, but the tables and murals painted on the wall had seen better days. Some sort of floppy suit of shiny material hung on a hook beside a couple packs. Low tables held various knick-knacks, half of them covered in a thin film of green or brown algae. There weren't any windows, and a single door.

"Do I… know you?" Ezra said.

Sabine spun and finally got her first good look at Sol.

He was probably about Kanan's age, with a thinly muscled frame. His short-cropped hair was a dusty brown color and his gray eyes were slightly shadowed. His face was familiar to Sabine, though she didn't recall having ever met the man. His outfit was like his house, shabby and clean gray coveralls over a long-sleeved black shirt and tucked into his high boots.

Sol shook his head. "Never met you kids before. Might've seen me in town, though. Come on, let's get those wounds looked at."

Sabine glanced at Ezra, who nodded. Sabine nodded back. Sol's familiarity was strange, but he felt harmless.

Sabine and Ezra followed Sol into another room, which was full of bunk beds. Faded and stained blankets were tucked neatly over mattresses and pillows beaten into small pads no thicker than Sabine's hand.

Sabine shifted closer to Ezra as they entered a second, identical room. Dust flitted in the open air under flickering lightbars and sunlight shining through gaps in the warped ceiling.

The third room was big and open, with no furniture and windows filling most of one wall to show a busy street outside.

Sabine relaxed a bit at the sight of people. Ezra shot her a grin, though Sabine didn't miss the worried crease of his eyebrows.

They crossed an open room with large doors leading outside, a room with long tables lined with dozens of chairs, then emerged into a big old kitchen.

Sol pointed to a huge, dented sink. "Clean up there. I've got a med kit around here somewhere…"

Sol left through a small door at the back of the room. Sabine cautiously went to the sink and turned on the water full blast.

"Call the Ghost," Sabine hissed.

Ezra nodded and activated his commlink, then hid it by draping his arms over the sink's edge.

"Specdres five and sis do de Ghost," Ezra said.

"Where have you been?!" Hera's voice demanded.

"Sorry, we got a bit lost," Sabine said. She wet a cloth from the sink's edge. "We're alright, I think."

"You think?" Hera asked. "And why does Ezra sound funny?"

"I think he broke his nose," Sabine said, handing the damp cloth to Ezra. "Listen, we'll be at the port soon. This guy named Sol helped us out and insisted we stop by his place to clean up."

"What's your-" Hera started.

Hearing Sol's footsteps, Sabine hissed, "If we aren't back in an hour, leave the city without us."

Sabine slapped off Ezra's comm, hiding the action by swiping his grime-covered sleeve with her rag.

"Last time I go along with one of your brilliant ideas," Sabine said.

Ezra waved her off. "Word id."

"Your nose isn't still bleeding, is it?" Sabine asked.

Sol interrupted, "Better clean up that leg, Sabine. I was serious about the infection."

Sabine looked down, then grimaced. Her pants were streaked with half-dried blood, green algae, and some sort of stringy brown plant.

Sol dragged over a chair. "Sit."

Sabine did as she was told. Sol grabbed a bowl from a cabinet and began filling it in the sink. Ezra picked up the med kit from the counter, then started. He turned it toward Sabine, showing a faded black design on the front.

Sabine narrowed her eyes at the gear symbol, then looked back at Sol as he turned. It finally clicked where she'd seen his face before, though older.

"Are you a clone?" Sabine asked.

"I am, how'd you know?" Sol asked, handing Sabine the bowl and a rag.

"We know a few clones," Sabine said slowly.

"Well, good to know I'm not the last clone out there," Sol said cheerfully. Then, "Is something wrong?"

Realizing she'd been staring, Sabine concentrated on cleaning off her injury. "No, it's just…"

"Why am I not old?"

Sabine hunched her shoulders and didn't answer.

"Yeah, why aren'd you?" Ezra asked.

"Ezra," Sabine muttered.

"It's a fair question," Sol said with a laugh. "Everyone thinks clones should be old guys. History's forgotten that the Kaminoans were still making babies at the end of the Clone Wars."

Sabine lifted her head. "So you-"

"Never fought in the Clone Wars," Sol finished. "Don't even remember Kamino. I was still a baby when Separatist survivors blew the place to bits."

"So this place…" Sabine said slowly, thinking of the identical bunks and long tables, "Was your new… barracks?"

"Might've been intended to be that originally." Sol started filling another bowl. "But it was turned into an orphanage after a few years."

"Orphanage?" Sabine repeated.

Sol turned with a sad smile. "Clones don't have parents."

"I guess not, but… why weren't you raised to fight for the Empire?"

"Too time consuming," Sol said, swapping bowls with Sabine. "Why take the time to raise and train a bunch of babies when there's millions of grown people who want to fight for their Empire?"

"You were decommissioned as a child," Sabine said softly.

"Clones were bred for a different world," Sol said with a shrug.

"Dere were dings de clones could do no one else would," Ezra said, his expression dark.

Sol looked surprised. "What makes you say that?"

"I've heard sdories… aboud de Jedi."

Sol looked curiously at Ezra. Sabine caught her breath in worry. She knew clones had been commanded to kill the Jedi, but it hadn't ever occurred to her to ask Kanan or the clone captains for details. How would a clone know if a Jedi stood in front of them?

"Nobody talks about them anymore," Sol said after a moment. He went to the sink and rinsed the bowl, adding, "They were traitors. Anyway, it's best to just forget about them."

Sabine shot Ezra a warning look, then bent over her leg again. It was mostly done bleeding, though her leg was red and swollen around the wound. She winced.

"We should get back," Sabine said. "Hera will know how to treat this."

Sabine saw Ezra's alarmed look a second too late.

"A friend of my- our parents. She's a doctor," Sabine hurriedly added.

It was a good thing Ezra was standing behind Sol, because Sol definitely would have noticed his facepalm. Not that it would have made any difference, since Sol was already staring intently at Sabine.

"What?" Sabine said.

Sol turned to Ezra, who couldn't shift his face from alarm to innocent fast enough. Sol barked out a laugh and slapped his knee.

"No, seriously, what?" Sabine insisted.

"There isn't a doctor within a thousand klicks of here," Sol said.

"Everybody knows dad," Ezra said.

Sabine crossed her arms. "No, not everyone. How would you even know, 'little brother'?"

"Lodal never had a docdor in my life," Ezra said.

"I knew there was something about you two," Sol said. Despite the lies, he was grinning at them. "What are you two really up to?"

"Hiding from sdormdroopers," Ezra said.

"Ezra!" Sabine exclaimed.

"I won't turn you in," Sol assured her. "Besides, what sort of trouble could you two stir up?"

"With Ezra, you'd be surprised," Sabine said drily. More seriously, she asked, "But how do we know we can trust you with our secret?"

Sol shrugged. "Why would I turn you in? I have no love for the Empire; most clones don't after we were decommissioned. Kicked out, more like."

Sabine raised an eyebrow at Ezra. She'd never say it out loud, but she was impressed at how quickly he'd figured out which side Sol was on.

"How did you two get stormtroopers after you?" Sol asked.

"We were recruiding," Ezra said proudly.

"Give him all our secrets, why don't you?" Sabine said.

"Recruiting?" Sol's pinched brows shot up. "You two are rebels?"

Sabine nodded.

"Aren't you a little young to be rebels?"

Sabine leaned back, mouth falling open in offense. Ezra snorted, then winced and covered his nose again.

"Breathe through your mouth," Sol told Ezra. "If it's still bleeding, pinch the top of your nose."

Ezra checked his hand, winced, then pinched his nose. Sol wet another rag, then told Ezra to hold it against the bridge of his nose as well. Once Ezra was taken care of, Sol turned to Sabine.

"I'm going to guess that your 'parents' are more rebels," Sol said. "Rebels that are going to start panicking pretty soon if you don't get back."

"Yeah," Sabine said with a sheepish shrug.

"Well, then, let's get that leg patched up and you on your way." Sol opened the med kit. "I can take you to the port myself, or I can point you in the right direction."

Sabine looked at Ezra and raised an eyebrow. Ezra grinned and gave her a thumbs up. Sabine nodded, then looked back at Sol.

"You can come along."

Shortly after, the three of them were weaving their way through the market crowd. Ezra's nose had finally stopped bleeding for good, though it was still too clogged to breathe. Sabine's leg was patched up, though Ezra could see and sense the pain she was in as she limped slowly along with Sol's help.

Ezra glanced over his shoulder at the building fading from view. "So, why do you sdill live in de orphanage?"

"It belongs to my brothers and I. Sort of. The headmaster left seven years ago and nobody took his place, so it pretty much became ours. Nobody said otherwise."

"Den dere's oder clones here?" Ezra asked.

Sol shook his head. "After the headmaster left, half my brothers that hadn't been adopted took off. Never saw any of them again. Some brothers headed off to find salvage ships, farming planets, places they could work once they were older. A few enlisted to fight for the Empire. Everyone but me left."

"Why'd you stay behind?" Sabine asked.

"I don't know." Sol stared thoughtfully at his boots for a minute. "Guess I didn't know what I wanted. By the time I realized being alone wasn't it, everyone else was gone. I stayed at the orphanage because it was, sort of, home."

"If that place is what you consider home, that's just sad," Sabine said.

Sol's mouth quirked up in a sad smile. "Well, that's all I've got. Maybe it's time I followed my brothers' example. Who knows, maybe I'll run into one or two."

Sol's eyes were distant, so he didn't notice Ezra and Sabine's eyes meet. Sabine grinned, and Ezra knew she was thinking the same thing as him.

Sabine pulled Sol from his distraction with questions about the town and what he did with his free time. Ezra only half listened, his eyes trained ahead. As soon as he spotted the port, he broke off from Sabine and Sol.

"I'll led Kanan and Hera know we have company," Ezra said.

Sabine nodded and Ezra darted ahead. He ran through the port until he spotted the Ghost.

The boarding ram lowered as Ezra ran up. Kanan was waiting at the top of the ramp, arms crossed and Ezra's lightsaber in one hand.

Ezra shot an alarmed look over his shoulder, then ran up to Kanan.

"Pud away de lighdsabers," Ezra said.

Zeb laughed from further in the hold. "What's up with your voice?"

"My nose god broke, okay?" Ezra waved the Lasat off. "Sol's on our side, bud he can'd know we're Jedi yed."

Kanan nodded and headed inside with Ezra on his heels. They'd hidden Ezra and Kanan's secret from passengers in the past; it was usually a simple matter of hiding the lightsabers and not using the Force.

But watching Kanan hide the lightsabers in the drawer under his bed, Ezra knew this passenger would be a little bit trickier. Not just because Ezra wasn't entirely sure what would happen if Sol found out there were Jedi on board, but because of Kanan's history with clones.

"One more ding," Ezra said as Kanan left his room.

Kanan stopped halfway down the hall and looked back. Ezra hesitated, wondering if he was overreacting, but Kanan still sometimes found it hard to be around just Rex.

"Sol is a clone." Ezra winced at how Kanan's expression instantly hardened. "I dink he's sdill god his chip, bud would Res be able do ged id oud?"

Kanan didn't react. Ezra could feel his turmoil, and realized he'd chosen a bad day to bring a clone to the Ghost.

"Please?" Ezra said.

Hera quietly entered the hall, clearly having heard the conversation. With a few words, Hera convinced Kanan into his room and closed the door. She turned to Ezra.

"Rex told us what we'd need to do if we found a clone," Hera said. "If Sol wants to join the Rebellion, we'll bring him to Rex."

"I dink he does," Ezra said.

Hera smiled. Ezra hunched his shoulders, wishing his voice would go back to normal.

"We'll figure out what we're doing with Sol, then see what we can do about that nose," Hera said.

The two went down to the hold, where Sabine and Sol had just entered. Chopper greeted the clone with a high screech.

"Chopper!" Hera and Sabine said at the same time.

Chopper chirped something, then wheeled away. Sol watched him with a bemused smile.

"Been a while since I've seen an astromech with that much… personality," Sol said.

"We just call it attitude," Sabine said. "Hera, Zeb, this is Sol. Sol, this is Hera and Zeb. Our lovely little orange friend is Chopper. And Kanan is…?"

"He's resting," Hera said. She held out her hand with a friendly smile. "Thanks for helping the kids."

Sol shook her hand. "No big deal. It's the most excitement I've had for a few… well, years."

"Ezra was saying you might be looking for some more excitement," Hera said.

Sol looked at Ezra, confused.

"I had do clear id with Hera and Kanan firsd, but how'd you like do join the Rebellion?" Ezra asked.

Sol's eyes widened. "Yes, but… really? Just like that?"

"We don't exactly have a formal test to pass," Hera said with a chuckle. "But helping these two and not bringing stormtroopers our way is good enough for me."

"Chopper disliking you is good enough for me," Zeb said.

"He's an escellend judge of bad characder," Ezra said.

Hera nodded. "It's settled, then. Ezra, show Sol around and where he'll be bunking. Sabine, I'll take a look at your leg in the cockpit."

"It's okay now," Sabine said.

"Not good enough," Hera said. "Now come on. We should get into the air as soon as we can. Sol, do you need anything from your place?"

"I can pack fast," Sol said, handing Sabine over to Zeb.

Hera nodded. "I'll call Rex. There's not many clones in the Rebellion, so I think he'll be glad to meet you."

Sol paused. "Rex? You don't mean Commander Rex?"

"No, capdain," Ezra corrected.

"How many Rexes could there be?" Zeb asked.

Sol's eyes lit up. "I didn't know you all knew Commander Rex!"

"Capdain," Ezra repeated. "Do you know him?"

"Not personally, but if it's who I think it is, he was famous in the Clone Wars."

Sabine chuckled. "Wait til Rex hears he's got a fan."

"It is the Commander!"

Sabine grinned at Sol's awed expression as he stared at Rex's hologram.

"Capdain," Ezra said.

Hera swatted the back of his head. "Stop that. Although, Rex, I am curious…"

Rex sighed. "I was never a commander, Sol. Not really."

"You were promoted for the Siege, though," Sol persisted.

"It was for convenience's sake," Rex said. "I don't think it was even made official."

"It was, at least in the book I read." Sol added in a low voice, "Although, it also said you were dead…"

"Either way, just call me Rex," Rex said.

Ezra leaned forward. "So, you were a commander? Why didn'd you ever say anyding?"

"It's a very short story I'd rather not relive," Rex said firmly.

Ezra pouted.

Rex put his hands behind his back and straightened his shoulders, going into "captain mode," as Sabine liked to call it when Rex was being official.

"If your current mission is complete, Wolffe, Gregor, and I will meet you on ZT-05," Rex said.

"What's on ZT-05?" Sol asked.

"Just a bit of ceremony." Rex considered his words. "Tradition, more like. All my brothers who fight against the Empire have met there at one time or another."

Sabine glanced at Hera, who raised her eyebrows. As far as Sabine knew, Rex, Wolffe, and Gregor were the only clones in the Rebellion.

"We're done here," Hera said, regardless of her curiosity. "We'll plot a course and meet you there shortly."

Rex gave a brief salute. "I'll see you there, then."

The trip was quick and peaceful. Sol was full of questions about the Rebellion and, once he ran out of questions the Spectres could answer, the planets they'd been to. Sol hadn't even left his town for most of his life, so there was plenty to discuss there.

Kanan spent the whole trip in his room. Ezra tried to check on him a couple times, but Hera was the only one Kanan would allow inside. Ezra finally gave up and kept his senses on alert for the dark cold that Kanan worried so much about.

It was a day's trip into Wild Space before they reached ZT-05, a small, forested planet with no signs of civilization. Sol was in absolute awe at the sight of the forest, explaining breathlessly that he'd never seen a forest so big before.

Hera landed in a clearing, where Rex, Wolffe, and Gregor waited on a pair of modified AT-RTs. Ezra trailed everyone else as they left, giving a final glance at Kanan's closed door before going outside himself.

Sol was already beside the AT-RTs, enthusiastically greeting the clone captains. Rex and Gregor both looked amused at Sol and Wolffe was staring crankily at the forest.

Ezra looked curiously at the AT-RTs. Like the captains' AT-TE, these machines were from the era of the Clone Wars. Their age was clear in their rusty spots and patchwork legs. Both had an extra seat added, so Gregor sat behind Wolffe and Sol could ride behind Rex.

"Wait," Ezra said when the AT-RTs turned, "Can we come, too?"

Rex shook his head. "Sorry, kid, clones only. We'll be back before nightfall."

"And stay out of the trees!" Gregor cheerfully shouted. "Wouldn't want you to get eaten!"

"Eaten?" Ezra asked. "Wait, eaten by what?!"

If any of the clones heard, they didn't explain. The AT-RTs bounded into the woods, swift and agile despite their worn out appearances. Before long, they'd vanished into the trees.

"So, it's fine for them to get eaten?" Zeb asked rhetorically.

Chopper grumbled.

"Chopper," Hera scolded.

Chopper beeped.

"I'm pretty sure there's a better explanation as to why we've never seen any other clones," Sabine said.

Ezra blinked, then looked at the astromech. "You seriously think they've been feeding other clones to whatever lives in the woods?"

Chopper beeped.

"We aren't doing that," Hera said drily.

"What?" Ezra asked, suspicious of Chopper's mischievous chirp.

"Sacrificing you to satisfy Chopper's curiosity," Sabine said casually.

"Hey!" Ezra said, offended.

"Nothing will disturb us or them," came Kanan's voice.

Ezra turned as Kanan descended the ramp. Ezra thought he still looked a bit distracted, but his expression was peaceful.

"Can you feel it, Ezra?" Kanan asked.

"Mm… no."

Kanan shook his head, then waved a hand for Ezra to follow as he walked away. Shrugging to the others, Ezra followed Kanan around the Ghost to the opposite end of the clearing. There, Kanan knelt and closed his eyes. Ezra uncertainly eyed the shadowed forest.

"I told you," Kanan said without opening his eyes, "We're safe here. Focus, Ezra."

"Hard to focus when there's a chance of something eating you," Ezra muttered, but he knelt beside Kanan and closed his eyes.

He waited in silence for several minutes, ears trained on the sounds of the forest behind them. Wind rustled leaves, twigs snapped, and small paws pattered against leaves.

"You're trying too hard," Kanan said.

Ezra peeked at Kanan, but his master still had his eyes closed. Before Ezra could close his eyes again, Kanan's head tilted up and his shoulders slumped. Ezra opened his eyes completely.


Kanan didn't react. He'd gone very still, so Ezra had to watch closely to see him breathing. Ezra would have been worried if Kanan didn't look so peaceful.

"Okay, be that way."

Ezra closed his eyes and tried to focus like Kanan. But it wasn't easy with his back to the forest. He could feel things in there.


Ezra focused on the presences. None of them felt particularly dangerous unless he pushed his senses further out. And between him and the dangers was some sort of presence Ezra couldn't quite figure out.

It was big. It was warm. It was safe. It stretched over all of them, even reaching out across the distant clones, blanketing them with a sense of safety Ezra hadn't felt in years.

Ezra relaxed in the calming presence, and was finally able to lose himself in the Force. He lost track of his body, focusing on the life surrounding him. Green, growing life and the sway of creatures in the grass.

"...ra, wa… hey."

Ezra came back to himself slowly. He dragged his heavy eyelids open.

Kanan was in front of him, a hand on either of Ezra's shoulders. He wore an amused grin that made Ezra want to shove him. Except Ezra still couldn't feel his hands. Or his feet. He swayed at the realization, and only Kanan's hands kept him from face-planting.

Kanan chuckled. "Maybe I shouldn't have left you so long."

" s'only been…" Ezra slurred. He squinted at the darkening sky. "Half'a day?"

"Give or take," Kanan said. "Come on, on your feet. Rex and the others are almost back."

Ezra straightened. "Really? Why didn't you say so?"

"I just did," Kanan laughed.

Ezra tried to stand, but his legs had gone numb from kneeling for so long. He had to hold onto Kanan while he shook feeling back into his legs.

"You good?" Kanan asked when Ezra took an unsteady step away.

"Fine," Ezra said, ignoring the pins-and-needles sensation in his feet. "Let's go!"

The AT-RTs were just emerging from the trees when Ezra and Kanan rounded the Ghost.

Sol somehow looked happier than ever. When he spotted Ezra, he hopped to the ground and ran over. Ezra couldn't help smiling when he saw the bandage on Sol's right temple, the same place where the clone captains had their scars.

"Is it true?" Sol asked Ezra once he was close. "Are you a Jedi?"

"No," Kanan said.

Ezra winced and looked up.

Kanan was watching Sol, not Ezra. His shoulders were tense, but Kanan wore the same peaceful smile as when he'd been meditating.

"Not yet," Kanan went on. "I still have a lot to teach him."

"A Jedi and a half, then," Sol said with a mischievous grin at Ezra.

Ezra gave an over-the-top groan. "Don't encourage him, Sol, or we're not letting you aboard the Ghost again."

"That's not up to you," Kanan said, putting a hand on Ezra's shoulder.

"Sir," Sol said, suddenly serious, "I don't have any experience with combat or strategy or… well, I guess I don't have any skills that would be useful. But I want to help."

Kanan put out a hand. "Sol, you just described half the Rebellion."

Sol laughed and clasped Kanan's hand. "Does that mean you'll have me?"

Kanan's smile was small and strained, but there. Ezra could feel the warm, protective presence for a moment. At the same time, Kanan's posture loosened. When he spoke, his words were sincere.

"Welcome aboard."

A/N: It's a running theory of mine that Wolfpack set up a secret medical base to remove chips from their brothers whenever they could. ZT-05 and the base is watched over by Plo Koon's Force ghost. (It's a long story.)

Yes, I mostly wrote this to say, May the Fourth be with you! :D