Chapter Eleven: You Try So Hard

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Rex tried to take care of his Jedi.

He really did, but she was having a rough go of it. First the Kaminoans had decided to dump a load of dead cadets out. And then someone had shot Echo full of holes. She'd healed him, but it had hurt her. And a hurting Jedi made it a bad day to be a clone.

Rex could understand why she was drained. But for her to just sleep all day and ignore them? That was so beyond the pale that Rex couldn't help but be worried. He brought her food, but she ate little of it. Echo tried to help, tried to sit with her, but since neither of them could read, it didn't do much good. Echo knew it wasn't good enough and both clones had to do better. And clones who didn't do good enough were called defective and destroyed. Rex had known that since the day he was spawned.

If a clone died, they made ten more in his place. Rex had known that, too, since the day he had started training. He had had to fight to earn the right to live. All the clones had. They all fought tooth and nail not to be destroyed. And not all of them made it. A little over a third were destroyed. Most of those were newborn cadets, tossed aside for their deformities. There were very few people who would adopt a newborn clone. And even fewer who wouldn't make him a slave.

After three days, Ahsoka finally came out and sat with the two of them.  She asked what they were doing, just like this was a normal mission. Just like as if they were on the Resolute. Rex didn't want to be stuck with a mad commander! He'd had enough of that with Krell! He didn't think he could do Ahsoka the same way! He wasn't Dogma. He couldn't turn around and kill his Jedi. Because that was what Ahsoka was. She was his Jedi and he was her clone.

He served her. That was the the natural order of things and the way it all worked.

"Are you okay?" Echo finally asked. The injured ARC was still lying back, trying to keep down broth. Ahsoka might have saved his life, but he still had a lot of healing to do. The big holes were plugged. It was the little ones they still had to worry about. Echo still had to heal up a little.

"I'm fine," Ahsoka stiffly said. Rex leafed through a book. He had a little of the basics, thanks to Shaak Ti, but it was still hard. He couldn't read. Ahsoka had used to read to the clones, but the motion was just to soothe them.

"Can you teach me how to read?" Echo finally asked.

Ahsoka looked at him. "Sure." She stood up and got a few things. Rex watched he, confused. It was illegal to teach a clone to read! But since she had stolen them from the GAR, it was looking like they would get to learn. Rex smiled softly. He loved having a family.

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