Disclaimer: I do not own any part of Star Wars or the characters within the story.
I also do not own a large part of the plot. I owe a large amount of thanks to totalLOL. She gave me the idea for the premise, which I effectively stole (lovingly) from her. So anyone who likes this story should read and review "Nightmares."
This story is specifically an Ahsoka/Anakin ship.
I'm looking for someone to beta this story. I have trouble with grammar and spelling and I would really like someone to look over my story, and tear it to shreds. PLEASE HELP ME, I'LL BE ETERNALY GREATFUL!
It had been a long battle. They had finally taken the icy wasteland of a planet, Hoth. What the separatists wanted with this planet escaped Ahsoka at the moment. It was over, and the republic had won, but at what cost? Where there had been 10,000 clone troops, there were only about 4,000 left unharmed. Her entire squadron had been wiped out in an ambush, and she had been injured severely in the attack. Pain shot up her leg every time she moved, blood still trickling out of the untreated wound, while cold and exhaustion permeated every other part of her body.
She allowed her aching body to lay back against some empty munitions boxes and watch what was left of the men load on to transports going back to the mother ship, sadness eating away at her heart. Some of those men had been with her since the very beginning, they had fought, ate, and even slept next to each other, and now they were gone, all gone.
She winced as a shiver ran down her spine, her leg started to sting again.
"Hey." A soft, low, masculine voice said from behind her. Her master, Anakin, knelt beside her, placing his warm hand on her shoulder.
"Hi Master." A raspy voice that sounded entirely unlike her own emitted from her throat. "We won." She shivered again.
"Yeah, we did Snips." Anakin smiled at her. "Can you walk?" Ahsoka shook her head. "Alright, put your arm around my shoulder. I'll get you to the med bay and warmed up." Ahsoka nodded, leaning against his shoulder as he carried her back to the transport.
"Alright boys, that's the last one, lets get out of here." Anakin gave the signal to depart and they were lifted off the ground and towards the mother ship.
Back With the Fleet
"We can't take any more patients," the med-bay droid said mechanically. "We are already treating three hundred severely wounded. Fifty of them are on life support. Until we get back to the medical out-post, we'll have to make do with what we have." The droid looked down at Ahsoka. "But there are some other, less severe cases that I can transport to their quarters."
Anakin let out a frustrated sigh, "No, we need all the troops we can save." He looked down at his padawan, still shivering in his arms, her head nestled against his shoulder, eyes closed in an uneasy sleep. "I'll treat her myself, but I'll need someone to bring a med kit to my quarters."
"Your quarters sir?" The droid asked.
Anakin frowned. "Yes, MY QUARTERS."
"Yes, Sir. I will have one of the unwounded clones deliver it momentarily." Anakin turned towards his rooms, padawan still asleep in his arms.
As Anakin walked back he took in the devastation. The usual high-energy, battle ready atmosphere was quiet and downtrodden. He couldn't help but stair at the empty bunks as he passed. He had also been close to many of these men, and would miss them. They were more then just clones to him, they were comrades and friends, each one different but all of them were good men and good soldiers.
The doors slid open as Anakin entered his quarters. The room was bare, after all, Jedi were allowed no worldly possessions other then their basic necessities and a light saber. However, the privileges of command allowed him more a comfortable resting place. He enjoyed a queen sized bed, and his own bathroom (which would often share with his men after the more…. messy battles).
Anakin placed Ahsoka gently down on his bed, when her eyes fluttered open.
"Hey," Anakin whispered. Ahsoka moved her lips but no words came out. Anakin hushed her. "No talking until I get you settled. Someone should be coming from the med bay soon with supplies. He noticed her chapped lips and left to get some water. She drank deeply. She was still aching, freezing, and exhausted. Ahsoka didn't want Skyguy to think she was weak, but her body betrayed her. He frowned as another shiver ran down her spine, and she winced in pain.
"Still cold Snips?" She reluctantly nodded. Anakin removed his gloves and upper armor before starting to strip Ahsoka down. This armor was thicker then normal, but because the Jedi's greatest defense was agility, it was still to thin guard against the icy winds of Hoth. He had kept warm my constant movement, but she hadn't been so lucky. She had been ambushed so early in the battle, and with her wounded leg, she had little to guard her against the elements.
Anakin smiled trying to break the gloomy silence. "Don't worry, I'll have you warmed up in no time." Ahsoka merely nodded in response, staring mournfully off into the distance. He sighed and started to examine her. That wound in her leg would defiantly need to be patched up, but right now his main concern was getting her warm. He started at her feet. They needed the most attention, and the blood loss from her right thigh didn't help things either. She hissed in pain.
"I'm sorry Ahsoka, this is going to hurt a bit." He placed her feet up his shirt against bare skin, and rubbed a little harder with his good hand.
"It burns," she rasped as she let out another hiss of pain.
"Good." Anakin stated, " That means you're getting the blood flowing back to your feet. Now I need you to rub your hands together and flex them. It might hurt, but pain right now is better then no hands later." He held up his robotic hand as if to prove a point.
"I thought you had your hand chopped off in a battle." Ahsoka winced, trying to hold back another hiss of pain.
"It did, but losing a hand to frostbite isn't any better." Ahsoka nodded and began flexing her hands, wincing every time she extended and retracted her fingers.
Anakin looked up and nodded, "Good girl."
The sound of doors sliding opened signaled the arrival of the medical supplies, and a medical droid to do an examination. Anakin stepped out of the room, allowing the droid to do a full examination in private. He didn't need to give his padawan any more mental scars today.
"How is she doing?" Obi-Wan asked, approaching Anakin.
"I don't know how bad it is, but she was really cold, and that wound on her leg doesn't look to great. If that doesn't get treated soon in could turn into a serious problem." Obi-Wan nodded understandingly. They began walking toward the upper level.
"The council has asked you to report to the bridge for a meeting. They want to know the damages."
"The damages were to much," Anakin said frankly. "If the council is going to ask me to pull of a mission like this, they are going to have to wait in line. I'm going to tend to the wounded first."
"They're waiting for you right now Anakin!" Obi-Wan sighed exasperatedly.
"Well they can keep waiting for me! I don't care how destructive that weapon would have been, that mission was a disaster!" Anakin yelled, earning a few praising looks from some of his passing men. Obi-Wan sighed and rubbed his temple.
"What should I tell the council then?"
"Tell them I'm busy patching up the wounded, and that the mission was a success." Anakin sighed.
"And the losses?"
"…Right now" Anakin bit his lip, "….the computer estimates about 5,700 troops dead. We'll have to see how some of them are doing in a week." Obi-Wan's eyebrows shot up under his bangs and his was agape. "Yeah," Anakin sighed, "that many."
Anakin began to walk towards his room.
"What about orders? What instructions do you have for your fleet?" Obi-Wan shouted from behind him.
"Yeah," said Anakin glancing back at him, "We're going home, and you're in charge until I know for sure how many we lost." Obi-Wan watched Anakin head back towards the medical bay.
On the Bridge
The doors slid open as Obi-Wan entered the room. Rex and Cody saluted him as he walked by.
"At ease men. Any news?" Obi-Wan enquired.
"The council is awaiting yours and General Skywalker's report Sir." Cody said.
"Where is General Skywalker Sir?" Rex inquired.
"He is down assessing the damages, he has ceded all command to me until we reach Coruscant". Rex and Cody nodded curtly and returned to their posts.
Obi-Wan turned on the com-link, and sat down as small blue holographic figures of the Jedi Council appeared before him.
"A report you have come to give." Yoda stated. Obi-Wan nodded.
"The mission was a success, although the damages were very significant." Yoda nodded.
He seemed to glance passed Obi-Wan for a second before asking, "And why is young Skywalker not present?" Obi-Wan sighed.
"Anakin was rather upset at how costly this mission has been. He declined to participate in the report and has given his command position to me until he can fully assess the damages."
Yoda raised and eyebrow, "And what losses have we sustained?"
Obi-Wan sighed and looked away. "Right now, the estimate is 5,700." The council stunned silence was deafening. "The separatists stored the weapon under the ice, and used many of the local life forms to ambush us. Because of the harsh weather conditions, our defense was weak. We lost many commanding officers."
"I see," Yoda mused. "These losses were unfortunate, but vital this mission was."
"Were you able to retrieve any intelligence about the weapon before you destroyed it?" Master Windu was trying to change the subject, and Obi-Wan was more than willing to comply.
"Yes, from the looks of it, it appears as though they were trying to build another ion cannon." Obi-Wan uploaded some stats recovered from the building sight, and displayed them on the monitor. "The plans we retrieved indicated that the separatists were trying to build a more powerful beam, capable of destroying large continents, maybe even small planets."
"Thank you Obi-Wan, we'll await your arrival on Coruscant. A team of droids will be waiting to analyze the data you retrieved." Master Windu instructed.
"Understood." Obi-Wan bowed and was about to sign off when Master Yoda interrupted him.
"One more thing Master Obi-Wan. How did Master Skywalker's young padawan fare in this mission?"
Obi-Wan grimaced "She was one of the commanders wounded in the ambush, her situation is stable, but not at all good." Yoda gave an understanding nod.
"Although unorthodox Master Skywalker's orders were, understandable they are. Wise it was of Master Skywalker to put the well being of his men first."
Obi-Wan felt relief wash through him as the blue holograms disappeared. He was afraid Anakin would offend the council by his absence, and jeopardize his padawan's station with his disrespect.
At the Medical Bay
Anakin's rounds at the Medical-Bay only dampened his mood. Although his men were obviously glad to see him, he couldn't help but wonder what would happen to the men who wouldn't be fit to return to service. The republic saw clones as disposable, and Anakin worried. Robotic limbs were expensive, and the republic probably wouldn't want to waist funds refitting damaged clones.
At the end of it all, Anakin was tired, battered, bruised, and burnt. He had yet to remove his remaining battle armor, and he still needed to check in on Ahsoka. After visiting the final ward in the bay, he began the long trek up to his bed.
Anakin stepped out of the bathroom washing the last of the blood and debris from the battle off of him. He slipped on a loose-fitting tunic and entered his room.
"How is she doing?" Anakin looked down at his now bathed and sleeping padawan.
"Her condition is stable," The droid replied flatly, "But her wounded leg is damaged beyond immediate repair, and although some I was able to treat her frostbite with water, she seems to have contracted a fever. I recommend constant surveillance, I'll send down one of the other droids down right away.
"No, that wont be necessary. I'll watch over her." Anakin sighed.
"And what about you Sir? My censors indicate you're suffering from exhaustion and minor injuries?"
"I'll be fine, just tend to the clones in the med bay, and leave Ahsoka to me. I'll be able to rest later." The medical droid nodded and left.
Anakin's mechanical hand motioned as the force pulled a chair across the room and next to the stand. Oh how he wished he could lie down next to Ahsoka right now, but she needed someone to monitor her. Every joint in his body seemed to groan as he sat down. He sat back and started to observe her face. It was more flushed then usual, her bright red skin was now a sickly brown. Her brow was furrowed she looked as though she was in pain, and sweating profusely. She began to mutter things and turn her head rapidly from side to side. Her world engulfed in post battle, fevered dreams.
He reached over and took one of the clean, damp rags the Med-bot had left, and dabbed her forehead. The cool damp cloth seemed to sooth her as her facial features relaxed and her tossing and turning subsided. Anakin got up to get another rag when Ahsoka's bleary eyes opened.
"Master?" her sickly voice rasped.
"Hey Snips." He smiled, as relief washed through him, at least she was awake. "How're you feeling?"
"Not too great, still freezing." She pulled the sheets up over her further, and shivered.
"The droids bath didn't help?" She shook her head.
"It was only a short bath, and it hurt a lot." Anakin dabbed her head with a new cloth. (A/N: One of the best ways to treat frost bite is actually with lukewarm water, however the patient will often report burning or aching sensation in his or her limbs.)
" I'm going to go report to Obi-Wan and tell him that you're awake."
"Wait!" A bout of coughing over-took her, "Don't go yet." Anakin nodded, turned around, and sat down again. "Can you do that thing you did earlier? That thing you did to my feet, except to my hands this time?" Anakin sighed.
"Sure." He scooted closer as he took her hands and started warming them against his chest.
"Were you having a bad dream?" He asked as he dabbed her forehead with his robotic hand. She nodded. "About the battle?" She nodded again. Anakin sighed.
"In my dream you died before I could get to you." He raised his eyebrows. This was coming from the girl who got her nickname for her snippy attitude, and snappy comebacks. She was always the one running ahead of everyone and straight into danger. Anakin had seen her scared and angry, of course, but never so helpless. He changed rags again and continued to dab her forehead.
"Don't worry Snips, I'm right here, and we're heading home. Now go back to sleep." Ahsoka nodded groggily.
"For letting me borrow your cloths….and your bed." Anakin hadn't noticed before, but she was indeed wearing his clothing.
"That shirt looks ten times your size Snips."
"Yeah but it's really comfortable, and it smells like you." Anakin was somewhat taken aback by this statement.
"Oh? And what do I smell like?" But a soft snore was all the response he received. Anakin tucked her hands in beside her and pulled the blanket up further. The door slid open as Obi-Wan entered.
"How is she doing?" Obi-Wan whispered. Anakin continued to dab her feverish face.
"Her leg is doing fine, it's her fever I'm more worried about." Obi-Wan nodded and pulled up a chair beside him.
"Have you visited the Medical-Bay yet?" It was Anakin's turn to nod silently.
"How're the men?"
"A lot of them lost limbs in the ambush. I don't think there will be a lot left that are fit to reenter service." Obi-Wan just stared silently at Ahsoka's sickly form.
"How did the council meeting go?"
"It went well actually." Obi-Wan started to gather more clean rags for Ahsoka's fever.
"So the council is going to punish me for skipping out on the report?" Anakin asked incredulously.
" No, however Master Yoda wants to have a private meeting with you when you get back." Anakin let out another frustrated sigh, and Obi-Wan chuckled.
"What's so funny?" Anakin snapped. The humor in having to nurse a sick and wounded teenage Togruta escaped him.
"I don't think I've ever seen you act so…..motherly." Anakin paused, cloth hanging off of his robotic hand. His piercing blue eyes stared straight into Obi-Wan's laughing brown ones, one scarred eyebrow cocked. Obi-Wan put his hand over his mouth coughed half-heartedly. Anakin rolled his eyes and rung out his rag.
"You might want to visit the Med-Bay and talk to a droid about that cough of yours Master." Anakin voice was laced with sarcasm. Obi-Wan smiled.
"Keep me posted on her condition. I care about her just as much as you do." Obi-Wan put a sympathetic hand on Anakin's shoulder. Anakin watched him leave and sighed. "Mean while, you should probably get some rest too. I know you're worried, but you wont be much help to anyone if you're to tired to think straight.'
"If only you knew the half of it Master."
Anakin allowed the lights to dim, it was getting late. It appeared as though her fever was breaking, the dreams had subsided, and she seemed to be sweating a lot less. Anakin began to dose off. He was so tired; he hadn't slept in almost 48 hours. The slow rhythm of her breathing was like a lullaby, and the bed was so soft…
He was back on the battlefield. The bodies of his men were lying dead around him.
"Rex! Cody! Master Obi-Wan! Ahsoka!" He called desperately
"Rex! Cody! Obi-Wan! AHSOKA!" He was running now, running across an endless plain of dead bodies, dead friends.
"Obi-Wan? Ahsoka! ANYONE!" He heard a scream in the distance. "Ahsoka?" Another scream. Suddenly the droids were all around him. He pulled out his light saber and charged. He killed droid after droid, and after each droid he killed there was another one ready to step into its place. Droid after droid after droid, it never ended. Suddenly his light saber vanished, in its place, a wooden sword. He thrust the wooden sword through the chest of another droid, but the weapon shattered. They were closing in, He tried to use the force to push them back, but something was pulling him down. Hands, hands, his men. His men, missing arms, legs, and even faces were pulling him down more and more. The screaming getting louder and louder.
"Master! Help me!"
"Ahsoka! I'm coming!"
"He'll kill me! Help!" Anakin reaching up desperately trying to grasp his padawan. The screaming was getting louder and louder.
"I'm coming Ahsoka!" Down, Down, Down…..darkness. The screaming, louder, louder…..
Anakin startled awake. His head jumped off the mattress. Ahsoka was thrashing and screaming.
"No, NO! Master HELP!"
"Snips! Wake up!" He grabbed her shoulders and restrained her. "Snips, I'm right here! It's just a dream!" Ahsoka's eyes flew open. Panting, she gradually sunk back into the mattress.
"It's just a dream. It was just a dream." Her voice rasped.
"That's right Snips, I'm right here." He was rubbing her shoulders soothingly. Her heart rate subsided, and her breathing slowed. He had never seen her so scared, especially from a dream.
"It was only a dream." Her eyes were wide with fear. Anakin sat back relieved.
"That's right Ahsoka, I'm right here."
"But they were going to kill you!" Tears began to trickle down her cheeks. Anakin was at a total loss for words. He could take down entire enemy fleets with nothing but small squadron of bombers. He's liberated entire planets. He could be so drunk he couldn't walk and pilot a pod through canyon with out getting a scratch on it. But when it came to comforting his crying padawan, he was lost.
He sighed and sat next her on the bed, and tentatively put his arm around her waist. Apparently he did something right, because he felt to arms wrap tightly around his neck, but when he felt her berry her face in his shirt. He went rigid.
"They were all dead, and they killed you too." He softened and stroked her back. She tightened her grip around him. "Don't go away. Promise you won't go away." He pulled her in close and started rocking her back and forth.
"I promise I won't Ahsoka, I promise." Ahsoka wasn't used to this type of embrace. She could here his heartbeat pulsing through out his body. She'd never felt so safe before. She was right here, with her master, her mentor, her perfect match.
"I'm sorry." She said, hastily drying her tears. Ahsoka looked away. She was ashamed, that she showed such weakness in front of her hero.
"Hey," Anakin said pulling her chin gently towards him, "It's okay." He pulled her back into his arms and leaned back. Ahsoka nestled herself into the crook of his neck breathing him in deep with every breath.
"Stay with me?" Anakin simply nodded and placed a gentle kiss on her forehead.
"I'll be right here when you get up."
The next morning;
Ahsoka felt wonderful, she was floating on air. The quiet breeze gently swayed her, up and down, up and down. She tried moving her leg to get a better grip of the wonderful breeze….and pain shot up her leg. Okay, so she defiantly wasn't floating on air…..what had happened yesterday? She remembered being cold, and her master warmed her up. Wow this was a comfortable mattress; she didn't care if she was even in her own quarters as long as she never had to get out of bed. Ever. again. She was so warm, so comfortable, so safe, so…..wait. Why was her bed breathing? Where was she anyway? She reluctantly opened her eyes, only to see cloth, and skin. She opened her eyes a little more, and raised her head. She was inches away from Anakin's face.
Suddenly all the memories came flooding back. The siege of Hoth, the cold, the shot, the ambush, getting sick.
He looked so different asleep. Usually his brow was furrowed, focused, and determined, never straying from the task at hand. But right now, he was….peaceful and rested. Traits one rarely used to describe her master's condition. She traced his scar. Her master had seen so much, she often wondered how he kept it all straight, and kept himself sane for that matter.
"Grrrffffffff," He slowly opened his eyes, and blinked. "Morning Snips." An awkward silence permeated the room.
"Whacha lookin at?" Anakin said, obviously trying to break the awkward tension between them.
"Oh, just the bags under your eyes. You should really get more sleep Master." Anakin rolled his eyes as Ahsoka rolled on to her back. Anakin propped himself up to face her.
"I might get more rest if I didn't have a crazy padawan to look after!" Ahsoka shrieked with laughter as Anakin tickled her sides.
"How're you feeling? How's your leg?" Ahsoka blushed as Anakin dove under the sheets to unwrap her the bandage surrounding her upper thigh.
"It's looking better, but I still want the Medical droid to take another look at it. But it looks like the bacta patches have sped up the healing process quite a bit." He settled back in beside her and poked her cheek affectionately. "You did great yesterday Ahsoka, I'm really proud of you," Ahsoka smiled, "But if you ever do that to me again I'll personally make sure you scrub every floor on this ship." Ahsoka poked him in the ribs.
"You're just saying that because I scared you."
"Me? Scared? Never. But don't ever do that again understood?"
Ahsoka rolled her eyes, "Yes! Oh great Master Anakin Skywalker." Anakin smirked and began to tickle her sides again.
"Ahem," Anakin sat up and looked over. Obi-Wan was leaning against the wall. Ahsoka looked over, and turned and interesting shade of maroon. "Well I hate to break-up your bonding moment, however I figured that the council shouldn't wait much longer."
Anakin rubbed his eyes, "The council?"
"Yes Anakin, the council they've been waiting now for thirty minutes. They say if you don't report soon they'll be forced to suspend you."
"What!" Anakin shot out of bed threw on his traditional Jedi garb (backwards) and took off running towards the bridge.
"It's not what it looks like Master Obi-Wan." Ahsoka muttered.
"Oh, I'm fully aware of that." His voice barley suppressing laughter. He helped her out of bed.
"But it will be interesting to see how he will explain why his hair is sticking straight up and his armor is on backwards to the council during his meeting."
On the bridge
"Long night Anakin?" Master Windu asked, smiling at his disheveled appearance.
"Uh yeah, you could say that." Anakin said scratching the back of his head nervously.
"Very pleased with your performance on Hoth, we are." Yoda said getting straight to the point. "Rest for you and your troops we have decided to give you. A fine time to train your padawan it is."
"See you soon, at the temple we will." Yoda said before the blue holograms disappeared. Anakin sat back and rubbed his temple.
"Hey Skyguy! Ahsoka shouted limping across the bridge, leaning against Obi-Wan for support. "Nice hair!"
So if you didn't read my Author's note earlier, I know my description Ahsoka's condition was kind of confusing. Ahsoka was suffering from frostbite, and a mild case of hypothermia. The recommend way to treat hypothermia is to simply remove the patient from the cold, get them out of the wind and into dry clothing as quickly as possible- which, in this case, Anakin was able to do. Frostbite is a bit different however. Since frostbite is caused by the slowing and freezing of blood in the blood stream, the best way to treat minor cases of frostbite or frostnip is to soak the affected areas in lukewarm water (if the water is too hot, the blood will start flowing to quickly and cause permanent damage to the tissue), or rub them gently heating them with only body heat. The patient will probably complain of a burning and aching sensation. This is a very good thing. It means that the nerves are still functional, and the tissue isn't permanently damaged.
The reason I decided to give Ahsoka a full bath, as opposed to just soaking her hands and feet in lukewarm water, was because there were many untreated wounds all over her body, and bathing seemed like the most efficient way to treat all of her medical problems quickly.
A/N: Please read and review! I'm actually thinking about making this into a drabble collection. I would also like to get someone to beta this for me. Please email me if you're interested.