mattlauercansuckit: (defying gravity)
[personal profile] mattlauercansuckit
Have some more ficlets! These ones deal with the War: battles, etc.

Here is a batch focusing on Anakin & Ahsoka.

Here is a batch focusing on Anakin & Obi-Wan, as well as some general h/c and angst.

Here are humor/fluff/other ficlets

Here are post-RotS-based ficlets

Title: Marching Out Into the Fray
Challenge: SWMININANO2
Prompt: Obsession
Word Count: 902
Characters: Anakin, Ahsoka, Obi-Wan, Rex
Rating: PG
Summary: A rescue mission
Author's Notes: Title and cut-text from "War is a Science" from the musical Pippin

-----




His stomach lurches, and he clenches his fists, struggling to maintain a proper level of Jedi detachment. This has never been his forte, and he ends up biting off a frustrated, wordless yell. Around him he hears the screams of his men, the sharp sting of blaster bolts, the chuh-thunk of heavy cannons and walkers, the high-pitched whine of gunships slicing into the atmosphere. He hears it, lets it all wash over him, refocuses his attention on the hologram perched on his wrist.

"You have to fall back," the tiny Master tells him, as if their goal is merely the Separatist base, as if there isn't more at stake. "You need to wait for reinforcements."

Anakin wants to shout at his former Master. There isn't TIME! He knows an outburst might mean he'll have to relinquish command, knows it might mean the Council will recall him entirely. "Master, she's in there," he tries instead.

The miniature Obi-Wan nods. "I know how hard this is for you," he says, and Anakin wants to snap that Obi-Wan has no idea what it feels like to care about his Padawan, but that's entirely unfair, and entirely untrue, so he keeps his mouth shut. "You've trained her well. She will be fine until reinforcements arrive."

Anakin can feel his heart pounding painfully in his chest. "What if I went in alone?" he suggests, desperate. "Tell Rex to get the men back to the staging area, that way I'm the only one in any danger." Well, him and Ahsoka, but he's not going to think about that.

Obi-Wan glowers. "Your duty is to your men and your mission," he points out.

"My duty is to my apprentice!" he counters sharply. "You wouldn't leave me in Separatist hands!"

The hologram seems to sigh. "If that is what you're going to do, I can't exactly stop you," he points out, as close to giving permission as he's going to get. He disconnects, summons Rex.

"Get the men back to the staging area," he orders. "Obi-Wan will be arriving with reinforcements shortly, then you'll continue the assault on the base."

"Where will you be, General?" Rex replies, but Anakin is sure the Clone Captain already knows.

"I'll be back with Ahsoka before Obi-Wan gets here," he promises.

-----


Battle 'droids are child's play, at this point, and Anakin rushes across the field barely aware of their presence, though he is still being shot at. He is on auto-pilot, his brain disengaged in that dim consciousness of battle meditation, the Force showing him the safest path to the base.

The base looms, and Anakin bullies his way in, crushing 'droids with the Force, dismantling them with his blade. An alarm sounds as Anakin reaches out, probing the turbulence of the Force for Ahsoka, finds her. Wave after wave of 'droid comes at him, and he destroys them all; he is becoming more accustomed to this kind of power, but it is still a bit of a surprise, even to him, when he throws his hand out and two dozen 'droids explode.

The detention area seems empty of all but the guards, though he can feel Ahsoka in the furthest cell. He touches her signature, senses for pain or injury. She seems unhurt, but frustrated. 'Droids fall under his blade, and he runs down the hall, cutting a hole in the door. She is sitting on the bare metal bunk, cross-legged, eyes closed. "Yeesh, Master," she says with dry humor, "Make it obvious, why don't you?"

Anakin scowls at her, but he does not truly feel angry. He plucks her lightsabers from their place on his belt and hands them to her. "Are you hurt?" he asks, seeing the bruise under her right eye, the abrasion on her left lekk.

She shakes her head and stands. "Nope. Let's get out of here." Anakin has never agreed more wholeheartedly with anything.

-----


Getting back to the staging area is a little more difficult. Though there are two of them, Anakin's frontal assault has alerted the 'droids to danger, and they are advancing, wave after wave after wave. Anakin grunts as a blaster bolt grazes his side, and he's tempted to just pick Ahsoka up and run. She would never go for that, though, so instead they fight.

They are reaching the edge of Republic-controlled land, the heavy cannons still shooting their methodical rounds into the sky. Anakin feels a sudden blossom of pain in his ribcage, feels Ahsoka's small hands grab his arm and pull him back upward. Anakin has the sudden, intense desire to lie down and go to sleep and Ahsoka has to practically drag him behind their defensive line.

Anakin manages to slip a bacta patch onto himself, a stim cap under his tongue, painkiller hypo against his flesh wrist. He looks up to see Obi-Wan standing over him, arms crossed. "I thought you told Rex you'd be back before reinforcements arrived," he scolds, but holds out a hand.

Anakin frowns, accepting the hand to help him back to his feet. "I bet you got here thirty seconds before I did," he replies, draping an arm over Ahsoka's shoulders.

"Regardless," Obi-Wan responds primly, wry humor in his eyes, "next time, please do try to be more punctual in your rescues."

"I'll keep that in mind," Anakin informs him, rolling his eyes and walking with his apprentice back to his men.


-----


Title: Tonight We Ride on Clouds of Fire
Challenge: SWMININANO2
Prompt: starfighter
Word Count: 1025
Characters: Anakin, Ahsoka, Yularen
Rating: R
Summary: Even the best star pilot in the galaxy can't work miracles.
Author's Notes: So, uh, this is kind of a companion to "Hero With No Fear". An homage to a scene in The Descent by Jeff Long. Some gore. Title from "Black Fire Upon Us" by Dethklok.

-----




Ahsoka Tano watched from the bridge of the Resolute as the space battle raged in front of her. She pinpointed her Master's fighter, vivid yellow against the black of the night-time sky, pulling out of a dive that any other pilot wouldn't even consider. Of course, her Master wasn't any other pilot.

She watched, trying to keep her breathing steady, as Anakin's fighter whipped through the battle, laying waste to the Vulture fighters in its path. Laser cannon blasts sliced out from the Separatist cruiser, laying waste to the fighters in its path, Republic and Separatist alike.

The Force sang around her and she nearly shouted out a warning, forgetting for a brief instant that Anakin wouldn't be able to hear her. She ran to the viewport wall and watched, horrified, as his fighter began screaming towards the atmosphere. Suddenly, Anakin's voice broke onto the overhead coms. "This is Skywalker. I'm going planetside. Keep up the assault and meet me down there!"

"General Skywalker, is this a controlled landing?" Admiral Yularen asked, calm as a stone.

"Negative," Anakin responded, voice tight. "My controls are shot. I'm going down hot." Ahsoka's stomach knotted with dread and she looked up at the Admiral.

"Understood, General," Yularen replied, and turned to one of the Clone officers on the bridge. "Track General Skywalker and prepare for retrieval."

A wash of terrible pain washed over Ahsoka and she dropped to her knees with a strangled cry, clutching her arms over her stomach, leaning forward so her head touched the cool deck plating. "Commmander Tano!" She felt Yularen's hand on her shoulder, but she couldn't respond, couldn't stop shaking. It felt like something had been forcibly ripped from her very being.

"Master..." she managed to gasp. "Oh, oh no."

-----


He'd done his best to slow his descent before hitting the ground. The best pilot in the Order, in the galaxy, and he'd been able to use the Force and gravity to glide the fighter into a grove of trees. It still wasn't ideal, and the impact was still enough to knock him unconscious.

He awoke to dripping water, and a tinny voice beside his head asking his status. He flitted his eyes open, blood flowing into them from a deep gash along his hairline. His mechno was a tangled wreck of sparking machinery, and his left arm looked - and felt - like ground meat. The air tasted metallic, poisonous. Anakin reached up with difficulty, pain dancing up his back and rib cage, and grabbed his mask, fitting it tight over his face. Sweet, cool, oxygen flooded his senses, made him more lucid. He almost wished he hadn't done that, because lucidity made the pain appear, and the pain was epic.

He tried to push up on the cockpit canopy, but it wouldn't budge, and he couldn't wrap his consciousness around the Force enough to have much of an effect. His lightsaber had fallen down by his feet, and maneuvering to reach it would have been impossible. He pushed his mask up, spit blood onto the control panel, reseated the mask.

"Master. Come in. Master, please."

He couldn't respond, couldn't think of the words he needed to say to tell her he was alive. Instead, he closed his eyes.

-----


When he woke up again, things seemed even more hazy than before. He'd vomited in the mask and clumsily emptied it, knowing he should count himself lucky he hadn't aspirated, but unable to think in coherent phrases. He licked his parched, cracked, swollen lips, wondered fleetingly how long he'd been there. He was thirsty. He hurt.

"Master? Artoo said he can't get the cockpit open. Master, answer me."

She sounded tired. Anakin was tired. He wanted nothing more than to sleep; he pushed a hand against the cockpit to show Artoo he was alive, then slumped back down, the small movement sapping his energy. He slept.

-----


There were monsters in the woods around him. Anakin could see them through the fogged-up cockpit, moving in the periphery of his vision, darting across his line of sight. Man-shaped monsters, hooting and calling to one another in the dark.

"Master, we have a lock on your location. Please, answer me!"

"It's been four days, Commander Tano."

Four days. That much Anakin was able to process. The cockpit began to close in on him, and a scream ripped itself from his damaged throat.

-----


He'd thrown up in his mask again. Anakin flitted open his eyes, the lids stuck together by dried blood. He could hear voices, not just through the comm, but outside the fighter. The monsters had come closer, had decided to stop waiting, had decided to descend upon him. A green flash on the outside, and the cockpit canopy was lifted. He wanted to throw up his hands to shield himself, but he couldn't move.

"Oh, Master!" cried the monster with Ahsoka's voice. He felt himself lifted, and tried to fight. He couldn't, couldn't move, couldn't think, couldn't do anything but close his eyes and hope that when the end came, it came quickly.

-----


That Anakin was still alive was a surprise to all of them. Ahsoka watched as the medics worked to stabilize him enough to transport back to the Resolute, amazed at her Master's pure dumb luck. Of course, Jedi did not believe in luck, but she'd spent enough time with Anakin now to doubt that particular belief.

Hypos hissed, a backboard laid down; Anakin grunted as they moved him onto it, encompassing his neck in a high brace. His left arm was shot through with deep red and black - infection, gangrene. Bacta was injected directly into his shoulder, his hip, his legs. He vomited again, thick and bloody, lips frothed with pink.

The medics were grim, but Ahsoka knew - if he had survived this long, he would survive a little longer. He had to.

She ran her hand down his cheek, and he slitted his eyes open. "It'll be okay, Master." He didn't seem to notice her, eyes sliding closed as the medics lifted the backboard and carried him to the gunship and safety.


-----


Title: Stop and Think
Challenge: SWMININANO2
Prompt: endanger
Word Count: 292
Characters: Anakin, Obi-Wan
Rating: PG
Summary: Just Anakin and Obi-Wan, on the battlefield.

-----




Obi-Wan grabbed him by the shoulders. "Stop!" he demanded. "Think!" As if this were a mere training exercise and Anakin could afford to stop and think. Stopping and thinking might mean the mission failed. Stopping and thinking meant he would never get going again, because whenever he stopped moving, whenever he started thinking, tried to unravel the tangled up mess in his mind, he became frozen. So, no, he wasn't going to stop and think.

"We can take them now, Master!" A deep breath. "A full assault on the canyon and we'll have the advantage!" He was fully aware of how unhinged he must sound, the desperate lilt to his voice. They had to take the canyon, or they may as well just pack up and go home, may as well just give up entirely. Anakin was not a man who gave up easily, and he knew what needed to be done. He wasn't sure why Obi-Wan was fighting him on it.

"With what troops, Anakin?" Obi-Wan countered, and Anakin stopped short. In his frenzy, he'd forgotten. He and Obi-Wan were alone, here.

"I don't need any troops," he said firmly. Himself, and his lightsaber, and the Force was equal to a full battalion of Clones, after all.

Obi-Wan's expression softened. "There is another way," he said, voice gentle now. "I don't want you to endanger yourself needlessly."

Anakin's shoulders slumped; the fight left him. He didn't care about endangering himself, but he didn't want to fight with Obi-Wan about it. They'd gone down that path before, and it never ended in his favor, anyway. "Fine," he said. "Let's stop and think."

While it was never his first choice, when it was with Obi-Wan, he felt like maybe he could handle it.


-----


Title: Showing Weakness
Challenge: SWMININANO2
Prompt: injury
Word Count: 395
Characters: Anakin, Ahsoka
Rating: PG
Summary: Ahsoka tries to get Anakin to admit weakness

-----




The wound was deep, nasty, encrusted with its own blood, and dirt. Ahsoka did her best to clean it off, but Anakin moaned in pain and turned away from her, shielding his midsection with his arms and knees. "Master, you have to let me look at it!" she exclaimed, frustrated with his complete inability to let her help him. He was not a man who accepted help easily, she knew, but she thought he'd make an exception this once. Apparently not.

"I'm fine," Anakin groaned, closing his eyes and leveling his arms under himself to try and pull himself to his feet. His arms gave out and he collapsed with a grunt. "Just give me a few minutes, and I'll be fine."

"You've lost a lot of blood," Ahsoka pointed out, grabbing his shoulder and rolling him onto his back. His tunic was scorched, the area around the wound torn away. He was unnaturally pale, sweating, breath coming out in harsh gasps. The skin around the wound was red and irritated and hot to the touch, and Ahsoka felt an inkling of fear that he would succumb to infection before a medic was able to get to them.

"It's just..." Anakin pressed his hand against the wound, gritting his teeth. "It just needs some bacta."

"Which I don't have," she pointed out. Their supplies had gotten lost somewhere along the way, and she didn't really want to think about that. "I comm'd Coric, he'll be here soon, and in the meantime, you need to at least let me clean it."

"It's fine," Anakin snapped, churlishly. "Leave it alone!"

She backed off, suddenly realizing that he didn't want to admit how much pain he was in, that by letting her clean the wound, he would be opening himself up to more pain, to possibly displaying weakness. "You don't have to act so tough all the time, you know," she commented, gently easing his hand from his side and softly dabbing it with the wettened hem of his tunic, torn off for just that purpose. "See?" she said. "That's not so bad, is it?"

Anakin slit his eyes open and glared at her, but his gaze showed gratitude, as well. "I guess not," he offered, reluctantly. "Thanks, Snips."

She smiled down at him, glad that he had, for once, lowered his shields, however marginally. "Any time, Master."


------


Title: White Noise
Challenge: SWMININANO2
Prompt: Walkers
Word Count: 167
Characters: Ahsoka
Rating: PG
Summary: The sounds of the war will never leave her.

-----




Chunk-chunk. The sound is something that Ahsoka is sure will never leave her, the heavy footfalls of the walkers as they make a path for them, mowing down everything in their way. Chunk-chunk. It reverberates down her spine, ringing in her montals. The canons flare, and an explosion echoes through the canyon.

Chunk-chunk. The slow, methodical plodding of the machines, and the blaster fire, and the occassional snap-hiss and hum of her and her Master's lightsabers. The sounds of battle, and Ahsoka knows she is never going to be able to get the sounds out of her head, no matter if the war ends, no matter what happens after. A scream of a clone - those will embed themselves deeply; they already have, and she already wakes up at night sometimes because she can hear the chunk-chunk, the screams, the whirring whine of a larty, the snap-hiss of a lightsaber.

The sounds will never leave her, and she will never be able to leave the war behind.
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