Chapter Twenty Two: I Love You

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...I know...

Rex wandered the smaller ship. Echo didn't want him anymore. It was sad, but true. The ARC had found his true friend, Fives. Echo didn't want him anymore. He was just a normal clone. Fives was an ARC. He was a famous ARC. Rex was just a trooper and he was a damaged one at that. Why would Ahsoka or Rex want him? He was really damaged. He had some terrible nightmares. Rex usually wound up in the bed with Ahsoka or Echo. Why would they volunteer to keep that? Rex wouldn't blame them if they just kicked him out. Why would you keep a broken clone? It just didn't make any sense to him.

He settled down beside a storage closet. Between the battered man that was Drake and his kids, the last thing this Melia Skye needed was another basket case. And that was what he was. He was just like Dogma. He was a defect. Ahsoka had been his Jedi. He'd wanted to kill his Jedi. And that was what a defect did. Only, Dogma had actually killed his Jedi. The clone sighed and put his head in his hands. Why would you want a clone like him? He'd done something very bad, long ago. He'd made a promise to a certain traitor that he'd help to set him free.

What kind of good clone did that? What sort of good clone went and conspired behind his Master's backs? Rex knew the answer to that. A clone who went behind his Master's back was known as a defect and a traitor.

That was what Rex was. He'd promised to set a dangerous traitor free. Now, he knew Ahsoka loved clones. She hadn't tossed him out the airlock yet and that was how he knew. If clones like him had a place... Who knew what would happen. A clone like Rex didn't deserve to live. He had tried to help a defect. Slick wasn't just a defective clone, he was a traitor. He might not have killed a Jedi, but he'd killed a trainer in cold blood. And what did that say about Rex? He would help a defect. He'd promise to help a murderous traitor escape.

He sighed and wrapped his legs up. Ahsoka deserved better than him. About all he was good for was the meat barge at this point. If he was going to make good on his promise towards Slick...he just needed to go.

"Rex?" Ahsoka caught  him just as he was looking for the exit. He needed to get to the nearest Cosmos Corral and try to catch a flight to Kamino. He had brothers to save. If Fives and Echo didn't want him, Rex knew who would. If only because he was going to save Slick and Force knew the clone was as pragmatic as they came. He must have really thought the Seppies would have won that fight if he'd tried to escape like that. "Are you okay? We've been looking for you. I...I thought you wanted to see Fives."

"He doesn't want me." Rex looked at his Jedi with a set jaw. "Fives doesn't want me and I know why. I'm a broken defect. I'm worthless."

Ahsoka gave him a hug and pulled him close. Rex couldn't help it. He folded into her, crying softly. "What's wrong, my friend? You're not worthless. You're not a broken defect. You're human, Rex. Human. You're allowed to feel. And it's okay. I know you're hurting. I know you're scared. And it's okay for you to do that."

"I made a promise," Rex blurted. He needed to tell her so she'd know. She needed to know just how bad he really was, how much of a defect he had became.

"Okay..." Ahsoka trailed off. Of course she wouldn't understand what he was saying. She would have no idea. He had never told her what he'd said. And why would he? He had promised to save only the worst traitor known to the Republic! Worse even that Count Dooku going to the Sith. "What did you promise? You going to get married or something?"

Rex shook his head. "No one would want me." He closed his eyes before he started to speak. "I promised Slick I'd set him free. If...if Fives and Echo don't want me, and Slick does....don't I need to go to him? My vod needs me. I just can't leave him alone..." He hoped that convinced her. Rex just needed to get Slick out of Clone Jail before he was destroyed. "I made a promise to him. I made a promise to the defect."

Ahsoka looked at him like he had just grown three heads. "Didn't you try to kill him?"

He swallowed. "I made a mistake, saying that. I should have just walked away. I should have just walked away. But I made a promise, Snips. I just can't leave him..."

"I know." Ahsoka wrapped her lekku around his hands. "I'm not letting you go and kill yourself. You have to trust me, okay? I'm not going to let you go kill yourself. We can save Slick. We will save Slick. You just have to let us help you."

"Why do you want to help me?" Rex all but screamed. "I made a promise to the worst clone ever spawned!"

"You made a promise to your brother," Ahsoka insisted. She looked at him with tired blue eyes before pulling him close. Rex all but melted into her body. He had to save Slick. He had to make good on a six year old promise. He might have been just a clone, but he could take care of his brother. He could do things to ensure that his brother got fed and taken care of. And he was just a clone.

"But he's a defect," Rex whispered. "I hope you know it, but I'm a defect, too. What I said...what I did...you can't ever go back from doing something like that. He tried to kill Jedi. I tried to kill you."

"I love you," Ahsoka whispered. She pulled him close and just kept whispering those three words. "I love you."

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