Acacia awoke with memories of her battle with Dooku rushing through her mind. Jerking upright on the medical cot gasping for air, Acacia tried to calm her nerves even as the fear coursed through her.
“Relax padawan, General Kenobi is fine.” Sergeant Koric answered her unspoken question as he pushed her back down onto the cot.
“How is he?” Acacia croaked suddenly aware of how dry her throat was and the dull throbbing behind her eyes.
“He hasn’t woken up yet, but his arm is healing.” Koric answered after hesitating for a few seconds.
Acacia sighed and closed her eyes remembering those last few minutes before the dark energy blast. Koric’s hesitation and the lack of details in his answer told her enough. Not only about the severity of her father’s condition, but of her own position. That thought was quickly followed by another as Koric lifted her head and offered her a drink of water.
“No tubes?” Acacia inquired groggily, noting the odd texture of the water.
“You weren’t in any danger and your medical file shows that you are not supposed to be added to the GAR system for security reasons. I wasn’t able to prevent the medical droids from doing the initial blood tests however.” Koric answered, his tone turning from hesitant to apologetic.
Acacia groaned, wondering how long that data would take to get to the Jedi Temple. She knew the chances that it was already processed and comprehended was high.
“I need to speak to him.” Acacia began as she tried to sit up again.
“Not right now you don’t.” Koric responded sternly forcing her back down again before giving a medic droid specific instructions and leaving the room.
“How is she, Koric?” Anakin inquired as the clone medic exited the small space shut off from the rest of the medical bay by temporary walls. Around the bay lay cots and chairs filled with injured from the battle. There where fewer than there would have been a few hours ago. All those with minor injuries had been attended to and sent back to the Dauntless.
“She seemed to be completely conscious of her surroundings. The fever has left her and she will be able to get up soon.” Koric replied as they headed to the other blocked off area in the makeshift medical bay of the Twilight.
“I assuming you told her about the blood tests?” Anakin asked remembering the feeling of shock Acacia had felt during Koric’s visit.
“I did sir. She was quite upset.” Koric responded.
“That isn’t surprising.” Anakin observed and Koric gave him a curious look.
Acacia woke up to the lowered lights and silence of a ship on night shift. Choosing not to reach out with her senses and alert Anakin and Ahsoka, Acacia acted out of instinct. Slipping on her belt and grabbing both her weapons, Acacia slipped out of her makeshift room. Following the path that Anakin and Koric had taken a few hours earlier, Acacia made her way to her father’s side. Acacia only saw her father, ignoring the many tubes and screens, she sat on the edge of the bed and picked up his hand. Studying his worn face, Acacia saw the strain the war had put on her beloved father. Tears came to her eyes as she thought of the many sacrifices he and his troops had made.
“And no one will ever know just how much you gave up for them.” Acacia whispered the pain of the years of his absence echoed in her voice.
Upon hearing her voice, Obi Wan stirred. His expression changed from relaxed to pained. Holding his hand tighter, Acacia began to sing one of the old Mandalorian lullabies her aunt Sophie had taught her on Concord Dawn. Acacia held the last notes watching her father’s face intently. However, she was surprised when his eyes opened and focused on his daughter.
“To honor and protect always.” Obi Wan whispered in Mandalorian as he squeezed Acacia’s hand.
Koric entered the room at that moment. One look at his face told Acacia the clone had taken the time to figure out why the blood tests where of such importance. Choosing not to acknowledge the trooper’s unspoken confusion, Acacia let him do his job without interruption.
“How bad is it Koric?” Kenobi asked giving the medic a no-nonsense look.
“Your arm is fully healed and with some consistent physical therapy will be back to its former strength, sir. But I am not a psychologist and whatever Dooku did to both of you is something I cannot completely analyze. I have already sent what data I have ahead to the Jedi Temple along with my recomendation that both of you see a specialist upon arrival.” Koric explained without hesitation this time. Acacia guessed his former hesitation had been about her father’s unresponsive state.
“I have a feeling they won’t wait for us to have an evaluation before they summon us to the council chamber.” Acacia commented with a hint of bitterness in her voice. Obi Wan gave her a reproving look. Glancing at Anakin, who at that moment entered the room, Obi Wan saw the same sentiment in his expression.
“They did blood tests, Master.” Anakin said in way of explaination when his former master gave him a more confused look.
Obi Wan’s fury was unlike anything Anakin had ever sensed from him. Not only did it feel different, but it actually showed on Obi Wan’s normally well-controlled face. Instead of saying anything, Obi Wan simply gripped his daughter’s hand tighter. Acacia returned the strong grip and repeated the words he had spoken a moments earlier.
“To honor and protect always.”
Satine Kryze stood in front of the large window and watched the many speeders and ships wiz by. Cole Nuhru stood at attention behind her. The news they brought was mixed. The Mandalorian Council had approved her choice to officially make Acacia her heir to the throne of Mandalore, as was her birthright. Shadow 1 had reported to Cole on the death of Count Dooku and that Acacia and Obi Wan where recovering. However, he had also reported that the droids had done blood tests before they could be prevented. The Twilight was to dock soon and Satine felt that something needed to be done.
“Captain?” Satine said over her shoulder.
“Yes Ma’am?” Cole responded, going into the at ease position upon being acknowledge.
“Inform the Twilight that I insist they deliver Master Kenobi and Acacia here before they dock at the GAR base. And inform Fenn Rau that he is to travel with a detachment of Protectors and join me on Coruscant.” Satine instructed him regally.
“As you wish, Duchess.” Cole replied with bow and a smile. Like mother, like daughter he thought as he left the room to do as ordered.
A few minutes later, Anakin acknowledged the Duchess’ request. Joining Koric, Obi Wan (who was leaning on Koric), and Acacia at the exit, Anakin made up his mind.
“Trooper!” Anakin called to one of the passing crew members.
“Yes sir?” one of the clones said, turning.
“Tell the pilot to continue to base. I’ll join you and give the Council my report soon.” Anakin ordered as the clone saluted. Nodding his acknowledgement of the message, the man rushed off to the cockpit.
“Anakin” Obi Wan started to protest.
“I insist, Master. I’d rather not have a confrontation with the council right now, and I need to tell you something anyways.” Anakin cut him off as he crossed his arms and gave his master his are-you-going-to-challenge-me look. Obi Wan relented with a look that reminded Anakin just how exhausted Kenobi was.
Duchess Satine and Captain Nuhru where waiting for them just inside the doors that opened onto the rooftop landing pad. Satine greeted her daughter silently with a firm tender embrace, but Anakin knew from her expression how relieved she was. Turning to the others, Satine held up her hand to stop Obi Wan’s words of greeting.
“We will talk about it later, after you get some rest.” Satine said gently with an expression of loving concern on her face.
Obi Wan Kenobi once again began to protest and before Koric could add his medical influence, Acacia spoke up.
“Please, Father.” Acacia pleaded, putting her hand on his arm with the look he had never been able to resist.
“As you wish, little one.” Obi Wan replied with a fatherly smile.
“Last time I had to get Admiral Yularen to escort him to the medical bay.” Anakin commented with an amused expression as the door closed behind Koric and Obi Wan. Acacia giggled at the idea and Satine smiled.
“He is stubborn, just like his daughter.” Satine observed with a sad smile as her mind drifted back in time. Putting an arm around her daughter, Satine took them to the kitchen to get refreshments.
Padme Amidala looked down at the data pad in her hand, her mind still reeling from the shock. Obi Wan Kenobi was Acacia’s father? The idea sounded impossible. And yet, the evidence supposedly lay in her hands as the news exploded across the holo-net. Doing her best to compose herself as her office door opened, Padme looked up into the shocked face of Bail Organa.
“Have you seen this?” Bail asked distractedly waving his data pad in the air as the door closed behind him.
“If you are referring to the news about Master Kenobi, than I just had time to sit down and look at the holo-net. I haven’t had time to look at the complete story yet.” Padme answered in a measured tone.
“I was referring to the anonymous tip about the main intelligence leak trail. What did Obi Wan get himself into this time?” Bail responded more calmly as he sat down and they traded data-pads. For a few moments they sat in silence both absorbing the information in front of them.
“Have you told Palpatine about the leak trail?” Padme finally inquired, looking up to study her friend’s face.
“Not yet. I have a team following and verifying it. I want to be able to tell him that the scoundrel or scoundrels are in custody when he asks for progress. Do you know when Obi Wan is supposed to get back from his mission?” Bail changed the subject, still studying the data in front of him.
“I got a short message from Anakin. Master Kenobi and his padawan where injured during a fight with Count Dooku and he is bringing them back here to be treated. He didn’t say much else.” Padme admitted without hesitation, as worried about Obi Wan and Acacia as Bail looked.
“I am sorry to interrupt Mistress Padme, but Duchess Satine just called and invited you and Senator Organa to join her for supper. Apparently, General Kenobi has returned to Coruscant and is anxious to discuss something with you both.” C3-PO informed her, a comm-link in his metallic hand.
“Tell her we will be there shortly, Threepio.” Padme instructed the protocol droid, standing up and putting aside Bail’s data pad.
“Of course Mistress Padme. She has sent Senator Organa the address and the necessary security codes.” C3-PO returned and told them after speaking quietly into the front desk comm for a few minutes.
“Come Bail, we can talk about this more on the way.” Padme urged her friend as she grabbed a few data chips from her desk and headed for the door.
Obi Wan Kenobi listened to his former padawan’s story without interruption. The revelation was not unexpected, though Obi Wan wished they had talked about it sooner.
“Master, I have to ask… If you don’t think love is wrong, why did you try to guide me in the other direction?” Anakin probed after he had finished telling his story.
“I was worried, Anakin. I was afraid that you wouldn’t be able to handle it if you lost her, especially like I did. I didn’t want you to go through what I did with Satine.” Obi Wan admitted, choosing not to hide his reasons from his young friend any longer.
“Then why didn’t you tell me sooner?” Anakin asked after he had considered Obi Wan’s answered.
“Why haven’t you told Ahsoka?” Obi Wan answered with the last response Anakin had expected.
Anakin thought about it for a moment, thinking of how many times he had thought about telling Rex. But not Ahsoka.
“To protect her, I guess.” He finally replied, knowing that it wasn’t the complete answer. I was willing to tell Rex, so why not Ahsoka?
To be continued
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