Summary: In a galaxy torn apart by war, Anakin's only trying to find his place as a warrior in the Slayer Order. Things change.
Characters: Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka Tano, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Clone Captain Rex, Clone Commander Cody
Notes: *Very* slight crossover with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This was intended to be an AU, but as I wrote it, I figured out it was more of an AR. Oh, and Ahsoka's outfit is based on Natasha Romanoff's catsuit in Iron Man 2.
Warnings: In my head!canon, Ahsoka and Anakin share a far more tactile and bantering relationship than shown on Clone Wars. That's how I wrote them in this fic.
"...Monsters are real, and ghosts are too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win."
What…what is he doing? Why is he leaning over me?
“How are we doing, Rex?” Anakin yelled over the shrieks of the undead...dying. His blade, made of blue-tinged concentrated moonlight, whirled and span through the bodies of his foes, making them disintegrate into pieces.
“Not good, sir. We’re losing too many men at too quick a rate.”
Anakin swore. “Obi-Wan, are we able to get communications through? We need some reinforcements!”
“We’re still cut off,” Obi-Wan called back, his own moonlight blade darting in and out of his latest fight. “Though Cody might have had a better chance, since he’s away from all the static!”
Anakin pressed the comm. button on his wrist. “Commander Cody, any luck with communications?”
“No, sir, but we’ve got a ship coming in.”
“Not here—the zone is too hot!”
“Got it, sir. Cody, out.”
“We’ve got a ship coming in,” Anakin informed Rex and Obi-Wan, stopping to pant. The armies of the undead were running away, but that didn’t necessarily mean they were retreating, only forming a second wave. “Hopefully, with reinforcements.”
His comm. buzzed. “Sir, I think you’ll want to meet this one,” Cody said, a rare note of uncertainty in his voice.
Anakin rolled his eyes. “Bring them quick, Cody. We don’t know how long we’ll have before the vamps return for a second hit.”
“Yes, sir. Cody out.”
Obi-Wan swiveled to face the direction the commander would be racing from. “It’s not like Cody to be rattled by a simple reinforcement ship.”
“Thank you Captain Obvious,” Anakin rolled his eyes. “Which would obviously imply this isn’t a reinforcement ship.”
“Here he comes, sir,” Rex said quietly. The captain tilted his head. “Is that a child with him?”
Obi-Wan and Anakin exchanged glances. “You asked for an apprentice, didn’t you?” Anakin accused his former master.
Obi-Wan shrugged. “I like teaching. You should ask for one.”
Anakin shook his head. “Absolutely not. Not so soon after--.”
“Anakin, that was over a year ago.”
“Well, I’m not ready to get over it yet,” Anakin retorted.
Obi-Wan pinched the bridge of his nose. Cody came to a standstill, and Anakin eyed the child.
She was a Togrutan child, dressed in a dark blue catsuit with thigh-high black boots, and loose light blue arm gauntlets. At her belt hung a Moon grip. She looked up at both Anakin and Obi-Wan with a neutral expression. “Master Yoda sent me here. He said you needed back-up…?”
“What’s your name, child?” Obi-Wan inquired kindly.
“I’m Ahsoka Tano.” Her fingers beat a restless staccato on the top of her grip.
“Great. We need more soldiers, and we’re sent an inexperienced kid,” Anakin bit off, knowing he was being rude and not caring.
Ahsoka’s eyes narrowed at him. “You must be Master Skywalker.”
“Yoda warn you about me, kid?”
“Something like that. Of course, he didn’t mention how childish you were. I wish he had—maybe then I would have had second thoughts about being assigned to you as your apprentice.”
Anakin thought through that, ignoring the insult in favor of the more important information. “I didn’t ask for an apprentice!”
Ahsoka appeared unruffled. “Whatever. Master Yoda said I was your apprentice.”
Anakin pointed a finger at Obi-Wan. “You planned this, didn’t you?”
“Anakin,” Obi-Wan scolded. “If Master Yoda said she is your apprentice, then she’s your apprentice.”
Anakin set his jaw. “We’ll work this out after we kill the next vamps. Rex, what’s our status?”
The captain had been doing his best impression of someone who wasn’t there. He abruptly snapped out of it. “I think they’re massing, but I can’t see anything.” He passed the binoculars to Anakin.
“Damnit. They’ve got a good mage—they’ve placed an illusion.”
Ahsoka moved next to him. “May I see?” she asked, beckoning for the binoculars. Anakin eyed her, but handed her the binoculars nonetheless. “I can pick out the mage. He’s not a vamp.”
“How can you be sure?” Anakin baited.
Ahsoka raised a white facial marking at him. “Togrutas are naturally immune to illusions, Skyguy. Anyone got a long-range weapon?”
“Skyguy? I’ll have you know that---.”
“Here, sir,” Rex handed Ahsoka an energy bomb. Used correctly, it could disrupt the channels of energy in a mage’s body, killing them and ending the magick.
Ahsoka pursed her lips, weighing the bomb in her palm. Suddenly, her body arched, throwing the bomb through the air.
Anakin eagerly looked for it. “Ha, you missed, Snips.” He turned to smirk at her, gleeful at her failure.
She pointed at the enemy tiredly, and he looked forward again. The illusion dissipated, and he could see the crumpled body of the mage at the foot of the troops. He looked back at Ahsoka, feeling like a child.
“You were saying?”
“Never mind,” he muttered. “Here they come. Can you handle yourself?”
“Best in my class,” Ahsoka reassured him, the hilt of her Moon grip in her hand.
“That doesn’t mean much out here. Prove it.” He gestured to a crazy vamp attempting to storm them in a one-vamp charge.
“Gladly,” Ahsoka replied, pressing the button on her grip to extend it into a staff, Moon energy sparking on one end and electrical energy on the other. She darted forward, bringing the titanium rod to clash with the vamp’s hooked broadsword. She lunged with a sharp kick to the abdomen, throwing the vamp back. He snarled at her, picking himself up clumsily. She crouched, waiting for the right moment to rush him.
The vamp ran at her, his broadsword held up high.
“Sir, do we help?” Rex questioned softly, bringing his guns up.
“Wait,” Anakin cautioned.
She waited until the vamp was almost on her, then she jerked the Moon end of the staff into the vamp’s solar plexus. He abruptly disintegrated into pieces and she stood slowly.
“Satisfied?” she demanded as he came to stand next to her, looking down at the mess at her feet.
“Next time, don’t wait so long for him to reach you. Most of the time, you won’t have the time to do that—too many enemies.” Anakin criticized.
“I do believe that display was unnecessary,” Obi-Wan told Anakin in a murmur as the five of them prepared for the second wave. “She said she was best in her class.”
“In theory, and battle dances? Anyone can do that. It’s the practical part they don’t test you on. That’s what I needed to see if she knew. I can’t protect her in a war, Obi-Wan, you know that.”
“Does that mean you accept her as an apprentice?” his former master queried.
Anakin’s gaze darted from the encroaching line to Ahsoka, who was hunched down with her staff held behind her. “I might,” he said begrudgingly. “Let’s see how she does against many enemies before I make any commitments.”
“Here they come,” Rex called to his brothers behind them. “Brace yourselves!”
Then the vamps were on them, shrieking in many languages, no doubt some variation on, “I’m going to suck your blood and leave your corpse for the birds to eat!”
Vamps didn’t have much imagination.
Anakin kicked and punched, skewered and sliced. Beside him, Obi-Wan did the same, dispatching twice the amount of vamps to Anakin’s. Not that he was counting.
Ahsoka cartwheeled and leapt, taking out as many vamps as she could with both ends of her staff. At one point, she jumped onto the shoulders of a particularly tall vamp, using it to assist in taking out many of its brethren.
Time suddenly appeared to slow, until Anakin felt like he was swimming in molasses. “Snips, what’s going on?” he shouted.
“Another mage, Skyguy! This isn’t an illusion—this is a Kronos spell!”
“Got that, thanks,” he grumbled under his breath. “How do you stop it?”
Ahsoka managed to stab a vamp through the heart despite feeling the lethargy creep into her muscles. She had to concentrate on her answer. The nasty thing about Kronos’ spells was that it didn’t harm your opponent—only you.
“Disable the mage!”
“Great. Where’s the mage?”
“There!” Obi-Wan threw a finger at a cackling man behind the ranks and ranks of vamps. His hands sparkled with black magick.
“Why is it there are never female mages with the vamps?” Anakin heard Ahsoka complain. He snorted despite himself.
“I can’t get another energy bomb out, sir!” Rex called, sounding a bit panicked.
“The Kronos spell can only work in one direction!” Ahsoka screamed, pouring all of the energy she had left into communicating with her master. “If someone can break out of this and go around, they could theoretically disable the mage from the back!”
Anakin forced his eyes to swivel past the vamps towards who was closest to the alleys. “Obi-Wan! Go!”
“On it!” the older master responded, wading through the mire.
Obi-Wan was on it, so that meant Anakin could focus on the battle. He made his weary muscles move into kick and punch. It didn’t have the same impact that they would have if they weren’t currently under a spell, but he could still make them stagger enough so that he could cut off their hands.
“Cody, meet up with Rex and get the Moon pulses out!” Anakin ordered the Commander, ending up next to Ahsoka. She deflected a blow meant for the back of his head with the electricity end of her staff, shoving the Moon end in a “cheap shot” of the male vamp. It still made him disintegrate.
“Nice,” Anakin managed.
“I loathe spells,” he groused. “They’re cheating.”
“You mean you loathe black magick. Otherwise you wouldn’t be alive right now,” Ahsoka pointed out, fighting against the slow spell. “Healing’s important.”
“I guess,” Anakin conceded.
Suddenly, they could move in proper speed again. “Thank all the gods for Obi-Wan,” Anakin panted.
“He seems like a good guy to know,” Ahsoka agreed. “See you later, Skyguy.” She planted a hand on a dying vamp’s head and twirling over to face her own pool of opponents.
“So nice to know I don’t need to watch your back,” he called after her.
She winked at him as she disappeared into a knot of vamps. The next time he glanced over, she flicked him off.
Anakin guffawed. This might not be so bad.
“So, what are our losses?” Anakin demanded of Cody as they stood before the holo-map of the city.
“Not too bad, this time. We’ve got about fifty dead, thirty-three injured, eighty-four unaccounted for.”
Anakin hissed. “We can probably surmise that those eighty-four are either dead or turned. Which means dead anyway. That’s too many.”
“Sir, with all due respect, you can’t expect every battle to be bloodless,” Cody refuted.
“Besides, sir, you know we were bred so that our blood wouldn’t be tempting to the vamps,” Rex added.
Anakin released an angry breath. Ahsoka peered at the map. “Is that their main camp?” She pointed at a dark spot on the map—no life forms.
“Yeah.” Anakin looked at his apprentice. “What are you thinking of, Ahsoka?”
“They’re really sensitive to light. Especially moon light. So why don’t we take a strike group with lunar cells and light up the night?” she grinned at him. “They’ll be so disoriented, they won’t fight back, and it’ll be easy to pick them off.”
Obi-Wan stroked his beard. “That’s not a bad idea. Their night vision only works in the absence of light.”
“What if they’re expecting it, though?” Anakin wanted to know. “Their general, Loathsom, isn’t an idiot.”
“He operates by the rules of war, which we’ve been working with up to now,” Obi-Wan admitted.
“So let’s break the rules. You can’t win unless you’re willing to go all the way,” Ahsoka bounced.
Obi-Wan frowned. “That doesn’t mean we should engage in horrendous acts.”
Ahsoka rolled her eyes. “Master Obi-Wan, they’re vamps. They are a crime against the rest of the mortals by their very existence.”
Anakin’s fingers trembled. “I agree with Ahsoka, Obi-Wan. Let’s get going.”
“Wait,” Obi-Wan cautioned. “Why don’t you go with Ahsoka and place the lunar cells all together? Rex, Cody and I will follow up and surround the camp.”
Anakin quirked a brow at his former mentor. “I guess we could do that.” He cast a look at Ahsoka, who was staring at the map.
“If this General guy was so smart, why did he place them in a valley?” she quizzed. She circled the dark place on the map, and it blew up accordingly.
“Because he doesn’t expect us to get that far,” Anakin countered. “Loathsom is rather…square-like in his thinking. He prefers to overwhelm you with numbers, not rely on actual strategy.”
“The Kronos spell and the illusion were strategy,” Ahsoka argued.
“Those were intended so he could overwhelm us with numbers. What happened to that enthusiasm?”
Ahsoka pouted. “It’s still there. I just don’t want to walk into a trap.”
“Here,” Obi-Wan tossed two cloaks to them. “These should cloak your signatures from any alarm spells.”
Anakin tied his cloak around his neck, allowing the hood to fall on his back, for now. “That soothe you, Snips?”
“I suppose,” she acknowledged, tying her cloak in a similar manner. She grabbed her grip, twirling the short version of her staff in her hand.
“Go,” Obi-Wan directed. “Signal us when you set the cells up to go. We’ll open fire at the exact same second as they turn on.”
“Maximum disorientation?” Ahsoka asked eagerly.
Obi-Wan smiled. “Yes. It’s time the battle for this city was done.”
“Come on, Ahsoka. We’ve got some ground to cover,” Anakin commanded. They disappeared into the darkness, pulling up their hoods as they went.
“They make an interesting pair, sir,” Rex told Obi-Wan.
“It’s really quite amusing, isn’t it, Rex?”
“If you say so, sir.”
“So, Skyguy, do you all just happen to have these kinds of cloaks lying around?” Ahsoka said under her breath.
“Oh yeah, Snips. You never know when you’ll need them,” Anakin teased. His tone abruptly turned serious. “Snips, are you a mage?”
Ahsoka shook her head. “No, Skyguy. I can only detect magick, not use it.”
“That sucks,” Anakin commented.
“No one could understand it at the
Ahsoka frowned. “Do you hear that?”
“I don’t hear anything.” Anakin watched his apprentice’s face carefully. It struck him. “That’s not right. Even vamps are loud when they sleep.”
Ahsoka whirled around, her staff already extended. The shimmering energy of the Moon end struck a scowling vamp. He died soundlessly.
“They somehow knew we were coming,” Ahsoka breathed.
“Set up the cells, quick,” Anakin said tersely. “We’ll want to shoot them quickly. Quickly, Ahsoka.”
“Yes, Master,” she replied quietly, and the two set to work.
“Obi-Wan, are you in position?”
The normally unflappable master sounded out of breath on the comm. channel. “Yes, but we had to kill some vamps before we could. We were as silent as possible.”
Anakin closed his eyes. That meant that there had been some noise. “Too late for that now. Ahsoka, on my mark. 3…2...1. Now!”
Blaster bolts and lunar cells lit up the valley, and the shrieks of the damned mixed with the sounds of commands of the mortals, until all of the undead were officially out of this world.
“Victory, once more.”