Verburyc is back!!! We left off on quite the cliffhanger last time, but now we move on, and I promise this isn’t as angsty as the last part.
Pairing(s): Gar Saxon/Reader; Reader & Mish’a Keth (OC;)Gar Saxon & Mish’a Keth; Gar Saxon & Rook Kast; Gar Saxon & Almec; Mish’a Keth & Almec; Freyath Valhal (OC) & Reader; Freyath Valhal & Mish’a Keth; Freyath Valhal & Rook Kast; Mish’a Keth & Rook Kast
Warnings: ANGST!!!!!, Mish’a & Gar hurt-comfort, References to Ret’urcyce Mihi, Based on S7 E9: Old Friends Not Forgotten, Mentions of Canon-Typical Violence, Mentions of unhealthy relationships, Reader has bruises, Suggested Assault, Fluff
Every Mandalorian inside Maul’s Shadow Collective knew what happened. They would have to be deaf not to have heard the screams. The younger, lower-ranking verd respected Commander Gar Saxon for appearing unperturbed by the events that occurred in the Throne Room. But those closest to the Commander knew that his stone-set face and unfeeling eyes were merely a facade, shielding a wounded heart. Mish’a Keth despised seeing one of her closest battle-brothers so beaten down, but there was little she could do to help him.
“What if we break her out? I’ve heard she’s only in the Queen’s quarters--” Mish’a suggested one afternoon while taking a break from sparring with her Commander.
“With Maul still around? That’s asking for a death wish, Mish,” Gar grunted in reply, taking a swig of water before continuing, “Even if I were to turn the army against him, he could kill all of us with a hand tied behind his back. He is too powerful.”
Gar turned to her, his dark eyes shining in tears refused to be shed. “Mish’a, I appreciate what you are trying to do, but I won’t let anyone else I care about get hurt by him. The best we can do for now is just follow Lord Maul and pray to the stars that he won’t hurt her more than he likely already has.”
“She is our Queen, Gar. I… I see her like a sister...” Mish’a confessed, her own eyes watering, “You, Rook, Y/n, you’re my family now. Now that… now that my clan left me… I can’t stand here and watch you, and Y/n, suffer like this.” Mish’a’s resolve on holding back her tears failed, shimmering tear tracks running down her face.
Gar reached out, his hand wiping away her sadness. The commander felt some of his own glistening tears slipping past his iron defenses, showing his lieutenant vulnerability he had usually reserved for alone time, and for his cyare.
“We’ll free her, Mish’ika,” he reassured her, and in a way, himself. “We’ll find a way…”
»»————- ★ ————-««
The next day, all soldiers were summoned to the throne room for an emergency meeting. Almec stood on top of the dias, Maul nowhere to be seen. Saxon, side-by-side with Rook, approached the front of the dias. When the majority of the soldiers arrived, Almec began the debrief.
“We have received word from our sentries that multiple Republic ships have entered Mandalore airspace. Bo-Katan Kryze has pitifully called to the aid of her sister’s Jedi friends in a last-ditch effort to take Mandalore for herself,” The Prime Minister informed the soldiers, “Lord Maul expected this to occur, now we must prepare.” Saxon noticed Almec giving a minute nod to someone in the crowd in his direction, and turned slightly to see Mish’a returning the gesture.
“Saxon, prepare our forces for an all-out attack. Rook, inform the syndicate of the invasion,” Almec ordered, “Keth, you know what to do.”
Gar felt a hand brush his arm; Mish’a. “Meet me outside when you can,” she whispered to him, before placing her helmet atop her head and exiting, jogging to catch up to Rook.
The Commander glanced around the room at the soldiers awaiting his word, running about to prepare for the massive fight that was to come. “It’s been a while since we had a fight like this,” Gar looked up at the turned back of Almec, knowing the Prime Minister was not one to truly lead his people into battle, not like Gar, “Are you ready?”
The Prime Minister turned his head to look at him, his aging face set, unreadable, “Are you, Commander?” Almec fully faced him, walking down the few steps to be eye-level. He spoke much more quietly then, “Do not forget to speak with Mish’a, it is a matter of the most importance. Now go.”
Saxon nodded silently, putting his helmet atop his head, “Verd, let’s move out,” he shouted to the soldiers, and they followed seamlessly.
Marching outside the Throne Room, Mish’a and Freyath stood discussing something quietly. Freyath gently nudged her, nodding their helmet in Gar’s direction. Mish’a’s helmet jerked up, and signaled him to come over.
“What do you need to say, Lieutenant?” Gar quickly cut to the chase, “I don’t have much time.”
“We’re freeing her,” Mish’a whispered, “It’s a plan we set up with Almec and Rook.”
“At a time like this? Mish’a we are being invaded,” Gar hissed, sounding angry, “We can’t--”
“Gar, listen to us,” Freyath spoke calmly, “Almec has assured us that the Queen’s chamber is completely unguarded, though heavily surveilled. Rook’s going to cut the cameras so we can get her out and make sure she’s okay. We just need something from you for this to work.”
Gar exhaled, as much as he thought that this was a terrible idea, he longed to see his Queen once again. “Alright, what do you need?”
Mish’a and Freyath glanced at each other, and Gar could practically see their grins.
“Her armor,” Mish’a spoke, and Gar could feel the first real smile he had in weeks growing on his weary face.
»»————- ★ ————-««
Mish’a never thought she would have to sneak her way down the fine halls of Sundari Palace, but the situation at hand called for stealth. Though most (if not all) the Mandalorians knew to turn their heads and let them through, Maul’s location in the Palace was not known to them, and they had to be cautious with such a delicate operation as this. The Lieutenant was surprised that the Prime Minister was so on-board with this idea, but Y/n had become loved and valued by the members of the former Death Watch, the woman ruling them with a much greater understanding than Maul in the few months she was left alone to run the Shadow Collective in her former lover’s place. And though Almec was as much of a phony as they come, he respected her authority and prowess, both as a leader and a fighter. Y/n had become a Mandalorian in the eyes of the people, and their true loyalties had shifted from the “King” to the “Queen.”
Suddenly, Mish’a’s com beeped. Rook. “The battle has begun, Maul is preparing to fight someone named Kenobi, let me know when you get to the Royal Hall,” she whispered, before quickly shutting her com off.
“Copy that, approaching the intersection of the Royal Hall and Hall 2B,” Freyath replied to her, the medic gripping their blaster tight to their chest. After finally hearing what happened from Gar, the medic was very concerned for Y/n, and hoped that she is in a stable condition. In addition to their usual medical supplies, Freyath was also carrying the armor Gar had made for her by The Armorer from Freyath’s Tribe. It was heavy, and definitely weighed their movements, but what it was to bring was worth the back pain they would feel later.
“Rook, we’re outside the Royal Hall,” Mish’a commed the commander. Blaster fire could be heard through the comms, and the Lieutenant hoped she could still pull off the plan.
“Security coming down in 3...2...1! Go!” Rook shouted, “You have fifteen minutes before the system resets!” More blaster fire echoed, and the two soldiers ran down the long hall.
»»————- ★ ————-««
You jumped from your spot at the window when there was a large bang on the door. You had been watching the fight unfold on the streets of Sundari, wishing to spot Gar among them. You hadn’t seen him yet, but you hoped that he was okay.
“Y/n! Y/n can you hear me?” A familiar voice called out from the other side of the door, and you felt that you could have cried.
“Mish’a?” you called out, trying to hold back your trembling as you heard frantic movements on the other side of the hard metal. You had missed the kind-hearted Lieutenant.
“Yes, it’s me. Freyath is here too,” she called out, and you couldn’t help your sob. They were here to free you like Almec had promised days ago, when he was coming to Maul for some “important matter.”
“Y/n, are you okay? Are you injured?” Freyath’s concerned voice was somewhat muted by the loud sounds of fighting drawing closer to the palace.
“I-I’m okay,” you manage to stutter out coherently, all of your thoughts racing. “H-how is Gar?”
“He’s okay,” Mish’a responded, “He misses you terribly,” Freyath added, and you felt more tears escaping at your quiet sigh of relief. You could hear some cursing coming from Mish’a, who slammed the wall before the door to your quarters suddenly unlocked.
You likely didn’t look “okay,” with a pallid face from the lack of sunlight, to some bruises left behind by Maul, but your resolve was not easily broken.
“I’m going to check you over, but right now we need to hurry out of this wing. We have five minutes before the surveillance turns back on. Can you walk?” Freyath gently touched your shoulder, as Mish’a hugged you with a soft compassion.
“I can walk, let’s go,” you nod at two of your closest friends, and the three of you run out of the royal hall.
“Commander Kast, Commander Saxon, our mission is a success,” Mish’a commed the two Commanders as you exited, before turning the corner and hiding out in one of the many guest rooms in hall 2B.
“Will do sir, Lieutenant Keth out,” Mish’a spoke before taking off her helmet. Her red hair was messily put up, her dark eyes truly a comforting sight. “Gar wanted me to tell you that he loves you, and wishes he was with us right now.”
You beamed up at her, more tears falling down your face as Freyath went about checking you over, applying bacta to the bruises they saw. “Thank you, Mish’a, Freyath, thank you so much.” You wiped your tears away, flinching at the cold gel.
“Of course Y/n,” Freyath spoke quietly, as if they were talking to a frightened animal, “You are our family, and we never leave our family behind,” Freyath looked up at Mish’a, and Mish’a nodded.
“You don’t have to tell us what happened, but just know that we are here to listen if you ever want to talk about it,” Mish’a gently touched your leg, smiling reassuringly at you. Your voice was lost, so all you could muster was a nod.
“Now Y/n, we have a little surprise for you,” Freyath whispered, and you raised your eyebrows, “Mish’a, you want to pull it out?”
Mish’a grinned, “Of course I do!” She rushed over to a black bag, first pulling out a holo recorder, “First, you have to watch this.” She placed it in front of you, and the pre-recorded holo began to play.
It was Gar, your love, standing in his full armor, helmet at his side. He looked weary, broken, and your heart sunk in your chest. You did this to him, and it hurt you more than anything Maul could have done to you in that room.
“Y/n, ner cyar’ika, my queen. I miss you so, so much. I prayed to the stars every night that you would be in my arms when I woke, and that this all had been a bad dream. If you’re watching this, that means that Mish’a and Freyath were able to free you, and to them I am forever grateful,” he paused and let out a sigh, swallowing dryly. “But my love, this is for you. You truly have changed my life for the better, and you have changed Mandalore for the better. I wanted to give you this in person, but I think with the circumstances it is best to give it to you this way.”
You finally looked over to Mish’a, and saw her setting out armor, shined to perfection and designed with the finest cuts and designs. You felt tears rising, but these were not born from grief and pain, but joy and love.
“I had this made for you by our Armorers. It is my proposal gift to you, Y/n.” Gar got down on his knees, looking up at you like you were his world, even if this was only a recording, “My cyare, my love, my Queen, I want you to become my riduur. It would make me the happiest man on all of Mandalore.”
You were crying, tears unable to be stopped. “Yes,” you whispered, even though he couldn’t hear you, “of course, my love.”
»»————- ♡ ————-««
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3. “I’d come for you. No matter what, when you need me, I will be there.”
i went for anakin and ahsoka because i feel strongly about them, always. don't touch me. set not too long after ahsoka LEAVES the ORDER and i have a meltdown at the screen. also ignores most logic and canon about what happens after ahsoka leaves the order. i had desires and i saw them through, okay?
If One Totters Down
They’d never properly closed their training bond.
Ahsoka had almost asked, at the foot of the Temple. But she’d spoken to him knowing that she had limited words to say to Anakin before she ran out of words she could say at all, before the heavy thing in her throat choked her breath, so she’d trusted her gut and said what she said, folded her padawan beads back into his hands. She didn’t take a second look at the Temple as she walked away from it, either, because she didn’t trust herself to turn around without her eyes flooding with tears—she could see it, in her mind’s eye, a crazy little girl collapsing onto her knees in front of the home she had lived in almost all of her life, begging the impassive unseeing stone columns to tell her why they’d given up on her now. The hardest thing Ahsoka had ever done was remain steady as she walked away. She’d never asked if Anakin wanted to close their training bond.
She had a sneaking suspicion, though, that she didn’t need to ask, because she knew what the answer would be—he’d give her a wounded look, like Ahsoka had taken one of her lightsabers and stabbed him through with it, and a defensive, if you want to. That was the most annoying thing Anakin did; when he’d cut himself neatly out of the equation, like it didn’t matter any which way what he wanted, but he still reserved the right to act hurt if you arrived at the wrong answer. But he’d never tell you which answer was the one that cut. She’d been in the fight with Anakin since she was thirteen, had stood at his side while they stared at how badly outnumbered they were, furiously invented new ways to win battles—drawing tactical maps in the dirt by the firelight as they camped on some far-flung world, desperate, choked almost to death by too many battledroids and too little soldiers. There weren’t odds Anakin backed down from, on the battlefield. If the scores weren’t even, he slipped behind enemy lines and destroyed enough droids so that they were, because there was nothing Anakin was scared of with a lightsaber in his hand. But when he was just talking, just talking to her—no lightsaber, no lives at stake, just the day-to-day and breath-to-breath of interacting, he was always cutting himself out of the equation, and then getting frustrated when he wasn’t part of the final sum.
Ahsoka hadn’t wanted to close it, anyway. She wouldn’t use it. It wouldn’t be powerful enough to communicate, even, with how far away Anakin was always going to be—but that little thread in the back of her mind that ran back to him, it would let her know he was alive. Not that she worried, overly much, about the likes of Anakin Skywalker dying, because she’d been in the fight by his side since she was thirteen, and as often as she’d covered for him when he’d been hurt, every hit that should have killed him wore off in a couple days. Then again, maybe she hadn’t wanted to close it because she knew that as long as she could sense even the faint ghost of the firestorm Anakin was in the Force, she could find him again.
And he could find her.
Anakin squinted at the box he was holding. “I didn’t know Ryloth exported tea,” he said.
“It was the first box I saw, okay?” Ahsoka said. Her voice was dry and thin and painful to rip out of her throat—when she’d shouted because Anakin was crawling in through her window, the first thing he’d said was, you sound awful, I’ll make tea. He and Obi-Wan operated on the same fundamental belief that all ailments were solved by the right blend of tea, sometimes—a lot of the time, in Obi-Wan’s case—helped by a liberal application of Stewjonian honey.
She hadn’t asked him why he was there, yet, or how he had found her. Or maybe she didn’t even need to ask the last question, because with a midichlorian count as unspeakable as Anakin’s, not much was outside the realm of possibility.
Anakin flicked on the tap and then slid the pot he’d half-filled on the stove. “You’re lucky I’m here,” he said. “You look miserable.”
Ahsoka shifted on her bed. She had a shoebox of an apartment, a bedroom squashed next to a kitchen and an adjacent refresher-laundry room combination, but not a living room to speak of—weirdly enough, she was glad for its size now, because it meant she didn’t have to leave her nest of already-warm blankets to watch Anakin bustle about her kitchen. Or attempt to, because he was still taller than her, and her ceilings weren’t very high. He didn’t look any different. Same deceptively soft face, same broad shoulders, same stupid scar. She didn’t know what she expected, because it’d only been a month—maybe she was looking for some secret tell that he missed her as much as she missed him, but it wasn’t like he’d have that written on his cloak.
He rifled through her spice cabinet, pulled out a large container of salt, and dumped a generous amount in a cup of water he’d procured from somewhere. Ahsoka felt like she was dozing off, losing time—but she didn’t want to lose this. Not when there was a higher-than-zero chance that this would be the last time she’d ever see him.
Anakin stepped over and pressed the cup into her hands. “For your throat,” he said, like he hadn’t done this before, like everything he did wasn’t well-worn from repetition, like there weren’t a thousand points in space where she’d been sick or hurt and Anakin had handed her a cup of saltwater because her throat was sore. They’d had practice, at this, and what for? She took a swig and gargled with it in the hopes that it’d break up the ball of ice forming just below her jaw, and then spat it back into her cup.
By then the pot on the stove was steaming, and Anakin divvied it into two mugs—another habit he and Obi-Wan shared, like tea was a shared thing, that if one person was having tea then everyone would be having tea—and passed her a mug, taking the cup of water from her. Ahsoka hoped he didn’t notice that those were her only two mugs.
He dumped the cup in the sink. “How are you feeling, aside from the throat,” he said, rinsing it with water. He always did it quick. He was always weird, with water.
“Like someone crawled in through my window uninvited,” she rasped.
“Don’t feel too special. You’re not the first,” he said, and he took a long, deep pull from his mug, and then stared at it. “I’ll have to tell Obi-Wan that Ryloth exports tea. That’s pretty good. Fruity.”
Ahsoka took a tentative sip of her own, and it scorched down her throat—but she could breathe marginally better, afterwards. She settled the steaming mug beneath her face, hoping it might break up some of the congestion in her sinuses. “Yeah,” she agreed.
Anakin gestured with a hand. “Symptoms, on with it. I need something to work with.”
Ahsoka scowled at him. “Something to work with?”
“Someone has to go to a shop to get you something that’ll let you speak again,” he said. “Right now you sound like Grievous. Not exactly a compliment.”
She used to get migraines, on the front. Togruta hearing was horribly sensitive, from infrasound to ultrasound, and though her montrals weren’t structurally sensitive—no danger of a noise being too loud, or having too much pressure, with that much protecting the actual auditory organ—the constant variety, the millions of distinct vibrations she had to sort through, it was exhausting. She used to get them bad, even, where half her body would go numb and she’d see distortions in her vision and all she wanted to do was throw up—that was when Anakin tugged her back to their rooms and turned down the lights and tossed his cloak over her. If she did throw up, he was the one rubbing her back—even his mechanical hand was comforting, with its hard planes behind the thick bulking glove.
Ahsoka wanted to cry.
Does missing this count as a symptom, she wanted to say, but she didn’t. “I don’t know,” she said, instead, quietly.
The tense angles of Anakin seemed to soften, and in a few heavy steps he’d crossed from the kitchen, lowering himself on the mattress beside her. In a cautious movement he cupped her face—one rough, calloused palm, warm and hot, and another in lukewarm, roughened leather—and then tilted her head down, pressing a soft kiss to her forehead.
“You’re warm,” he said, finally. The Force around her was burning, blazing hot—she wanted to sink into it, the way she used to be able to. Ahsoka had always been good at hiding. She’d always been good at stealth. She always knew a good place to hide.
“Sounds like my luck,” she croaked out.
His hands lingered, cupping her face, and then his thumbs traced the white flares on her cheeks. His eyes were hooded, and dark, but he looked—tired. Immeasurably, impossibly tired. If she had been looking to see if he missed her as much as she missed him, it was written there on his face then, right in the crinkle of his brow. “That’s how my mother always checked,” he said, softly. “Overheating. Fever. Happened all the time.”
I like how she checked, Ahsoka thought. She couldn’t breathe enough to speak. If Anakin had been waiting for her to say something, he’d be waiting forever.
“I always sense when something’s wrong,” he said. “But never when it’s right. I don’t know if you’re happy here. I hope you are.”
He kissed her forehead again, and then rose, stiffly, the fire in the Force around him shifting into something almost maudlin. He fiddled, idly, with one of the buckles on his gauntlet. “That’s the thing, though. I always know when something’s wrong. I know when to come for you. No matter what, when you need me, I’ll be there.”
Sometimes I’m scared I’m always going to need you, she thought, and then the day’s going to get here and you’re not going to be there, and you just made a liar of yourself.
“Thanks, Anakin,” she said. She missed calling him Skyguy. She’d made that name up when she was thirteen, and maybe it was dumb, maybe it was stupid, but he’d let her do it.
Anakin bobbed his head, once. “I’ll get a fever reducer. Something for your throat, too,” he said, and slipped through the door, leaving her to press her face into her hands and cry like she’d been shot in the chest. It wasn’t worth much. She’d been shot in the chest, and the person who had cleaned and dressed the wound and then roughly told her it’ll be alright had just walked out of the door.
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