Chapter Twenty Seven: Unwanted

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Fives didn't want the two defects to sully his ship and take the person he cared about. Melia was going to get busy caring for the defects that nobody wanted and she was going to forget all about him. Fives just knew it. He had played this game before with cute cadets. Shaak Ti got bored of the big clones and she played with the babies. She rarely even had a kind word for the poor clones who had to serve the rest of them! And that just made Fives mad. He wasn't going to acknowledge the two defects if his life depended on it.

The clone locked himself in his room, scowling. He could hear Ahsoka getting ready, plus Rex and Echo helping. Fives pulled the blankets over his shoulders and decided to go to sleep. He didn't want those stupid defects. They got what they deserved. And that was getting captured and taken to Kamino. That was just what happened to all bad clones. They deserved it, too. Slick deserved it for getting his brothers killed when he tried to desert. Dogma deserved it because he killed a Jedi. As far as Fives cared, those two were not on the ship and he wasn't talking to them.

Ever.

Someone knocked on the door. "Hey, Fives!" Fives pulled the blankets over his head and started to fake snore. If he didn't, they would think that he was awake and he would have to come help with the defects. Had he mentioned that he hated the defects and wished that they weren't there? The voice sighed again. "Dammit, Fives! Won't you please open up? Melia says that they're pretty damn sick and they need all the help they could get!"

Fives snarled as he curled under his blankets. "They should have thought about that before they defected!"

Echo sighed as he settled beside the door. "Really, Fives? You're really gonna go there? And might I remind you that Melia saved you from certain death? By your own logic, you should be dead. Not living the high life on a ship with people who love you!" The other clone sounded frustrated, like he didn't understand why Fives was being so mean about it. Well, Fives knew. He didn't want to have to share with some stupid defects. "You need to help them, vod. These two are sick and starving. Even Keeli could see that they've paid enough..."

The dark haired clone crossed his arms. "I don't care. I'm not talking to them, I'm not messing with them, I'm not looking at them. As far as I am concerned, those two defects do not exist and they are not living on my ship. And that is final."

He heard a sigh outside his door. Echo probably had his head in his hands. "Fives..." he pleaded. Fives wondered when he would just give up. "Look. This is not the time for you to turn into Captain Hardass. This is the time for you to let two very injured clones into your heart."

"I'm not adopting an abused Pantoran slave," Fives muttered. He had heard of an older clone named Napster adopting a Pantoran slave boy named Amon. It had been a bit of a rocky start, but the two had made it worked and they even married. Amon would always be shy, but he was much better than he had been then. It was a wonder he hadn't offed himself. "I'm not dealing with them, Echo. Rex owns this. Not me! Rex! If he licks Ahsoka's boots, that's on his part. Not mine. As for me? I'm not going to look at them."

"They're starving," Echo pleaded. He sighed and probably turned to walk away. "Clone Jail, Fives. They've spent years in Clone Jail. Those two have been through hell and back. They're sick and injured and scared... Dogma isn't talking and Slick's eyes are white as milk. They'll be destroyed if they're sold!" He sounded pretty desperate. Fives told himself that if he got out of bed, he couldn't wear his cozy sleep pants. That sealed the deal for him. He loved his soft pants and rarely changed out of them. He wasn't getting up for a pair of stupid defects.

"They deserved it!" Fives hissed. "Slick got three good cadets sent to the meat barge! Remember Brakker, Sleet, and Hale?! Well, they followed one of his hair brained schemes and they got so beat up that the Kamies destroyed them! Or sent the sharks to do their dirty work!"

"Dammit!" Echo screamed. "Fives! They were kids! Slick was a child! Rajin had no business making children go into munitions bays! Those things are heavy, too! It's no wonder that they took a short cut!"

Fives' voice was raw as he spoke. "Brakker was my friend. Slick as good as murdered him! He murdered Brakker!"

For once, Echo shut up. "Oh...Fives..." the other clone breathed. "I...I didn't know. I thought that he was just another clone that died on Kamino..." The other ARC fell silent as he thought. Fives screwed his eyes shut and fought off tears. He saw Brakker's pale face every time he looked at Slick. The other clone had murdered three good men. All for the sake of getting out of a little work. There was a reason that Fives hated Slick and it was named Brakker. Echo swallowed a little bit. "I'm sorry. We've all lost brothers..."

"He was a cadet," Fives softly said. He sank down in the blankets, trying not to cry. "He was just a baby cadet. He looked up to me as his vod and...and I tried to be that for him." He screwed his eyes shut as he cried. "I lost him. I held him in my arms before they started dragging me off..."

"Don't write Dogma off," Echo advised. The clone started walking away, leaving Fives to his thoughts.

The older clone almost collapsed to his knees. Fives didn't know how he could live with the man who killed Brakker. Not without killing Slick. Not without hurting Melia.

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