Chapter Twenty Eight: Home

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Ahsoka needed to care for Dogma and Slick. The two clones were in some really bad shape. Both were very malnourished. Dogma was the worst of it and the blind clone was forced to stick with his brother. Slick looked rough, too. He had lost his voice from a massive slash across his throat. From the way Dogma told it, if he hadn't been on hand to stop the bleeding, Slick would have died. The injury had been that severe. Ahsoka didn't know what had caused it and she wasn't going to ask. It was likely that a guard got tired of Slick's smart mouth and decided to shut him up. For good.

Slick curled up on the bed. He looked so much like Echo that the young woman's heart hurt. Dogma was beside him, his eyes screwed shut. When he opened them, they were a milky white. He honestly looked as bad as Flint did when he was rescued. But that clone had been tortured on Zyggeria. He was expected to be as messed up as they came. The poor clone needed quite a bit of care and Ahsoka feared that Slick would need that same level of care. The sad thing was? She didn't think she could do it.

Dogma curled around his little brother. His thin ribs heaved with every breath he took and he was struggling to get air down. Ahsoka hooked him up to a respirator quickly enough. She needed Kix. But was he still alive after Order 66? Had he been destroyed a long with many other clones? Ahsoka had no real idea. She just wanted to hold the two men close and tell them it would get better. They would heal. Just like Flint, they would get better soon. Just like Drake and his two babies.

It just took time. That was all.

Rex made a soft whining sound as she got up. Ahsoka understood and gave him a hug. Clones were strange creatures. They got jealous at times and Rex was no stranger to the feeling. He needed to he held and acknowledged just like his brothers. She could do that and try to keep him warm. She nuzzled the side of his neck, a move sure to make every clone smile and feel a little bit better. Clones could be needy creatures. Especially clones that had been through a lot of trauma. Rex had every right to be needy.

"I'm sorry," she softly said. Soft blue eyes gazed into pained hazel ones. "If I had known what you promised them... I would have gotten them sooner. I didn't know. I'm sorry."

Rex shook his head. His grip on her tightened, though. "It's not your fault." He buried his face in her shoulder though, his own shoulders shaking with unshed tears. "It's not your fault. I made that promise and I almost couldn't keep it..." He trailed off, no doubt thinking of Fives and his little tantrum.

Ahsoka pulled back and brushed over his face with gentle hands. "I'm going to go talk with him, okay?"

There had to be a bit of a backstory with why Fives hated Slick and Dogma. It was probably the same reason why Birdy and Kix couldn't be in the same room together: an old grudge from training days that turned violent. Clones were humans too. They did things like that. Now, Kamino tried to beat those old grudges out of them, but they were still there. You could not get rid of human nature. No matter who the cloners said, the clones were humans. They shone in the Force like humans and each one was different.

Fives tended to hide in the bunkroom. Echo was at least out and about, trying to be helpful. Sadly, he was more often underfoot than he was helpful. Ahsoka wasn't going to say anything about that, though. Se was just going to let him think he was helping. He could be cheerful and enthusiastic, both of which she enjoyed being around. Ahsoka smiled softly to herself. She loved clones. They were very close to her heart, all of them. Even the ones that were written off as bad and never seen again. To her, doing that was just inhumane.

But what part of Kamino was humane and kind?

She knocked on the door. "Fives? It's me, Ahsoka. Can I come in?"

There was a dull groan from within. "Sure," Fives drawled. "I just don't have a shirt on and I don't wanna scare you with all my scars."

Ahsoka rolled her eyes as she opened the door. True to form, Fives was sprawled out on his bed, a pair of striped pants on and nothing else. He was on his belly, watching a holo. She saw that it was about history and not something nasty. So it was safe for her to just sit beside him and place one hand on his scarred back.

"Hey." She leaned against him. Togrutas liked being warm. They weren't as bad as Zabraks were, but Ahsoka liked the warm far better than she liked the cold. "So? Why are you hiding in here instead of helping with your brothers? They kinda need you, you know. Plus they're cute like puppies!" And that was the truth of it. To her, anyways. Ahsoka rather liked all clones and preferred them to many of the others she had dealt with over the years. Jedi didn't often deal with the cream of the crop.

Fives just pressed his body into her. "I lost someone to him. Now, I know they were young and it was a training accident. But Slick was being stupid. He was messing around and...the bomb just went off. I was knocked into a wall. And my little brother? Brakker...they had to put Brakker down. Poor Hugs is still in Clone Jail..."

Ahsoka pulled him close and wrapped her arms around him. She never had an family other than the Jedi Order. But Fives' pain was raw and real. She knew he was hurting and she just wrapped around it.

It looked like she would be getting one more clone.

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