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Smothered and Covered

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The diner was one of those greasecans that sprouted up around every secondary spaceport on every planet on the wrong side of the rim. Not even a franchise name on the frontage to lend it some basic respectability.

Maybe that was a good thing, Ahsoka thought, as she loitered under an awning across the street. The distinctive tiling of a Biscuit Baron floor really fucked with her head, to say nothing of the smell. She’d never walk into one of those again, not even to use the fresher.

This place was forgettable in its ubiquitousness, though unusual for a rendezvous. Wraparound windows. Harsh strip lighting. Fixed furniture. A tallish serving counter would be the extent of his cover.

Boba Fett grew ballsier every year, daring the galaxy to take its problems with his face and his father out on his beskar fists or stuff it up its indifferent ass. And he’d help you with the latter, with extreme prejudice, so he might cash in your carcass for creds.

Ahsoka’s carcass was hypothetical as far as most of the galaxy was concerned, but still worth an Imperial fuckton. She chanced a dash for the door in the pounding rain anyway.

Boba had commed her with a perfectly public location on a perfectly accessible planet that she might have sold herself. Be the change you want to see, and all that. He’d also asked her to bring her own ship, something with room for a second, and that really piqued her interest. She’d landed out by the rainbow salt canyon, a mildly exciting destination for daytrippers in this sector, and walked the scenic route into town until it turned dark, meeting an off-season downpour on the way.

Shovelling some eggs into his mouth, Boba appraised her as she dripped inside to the overloud jangle of doorbells. It’d been over a standard year since their last chance meeting. He looked like he’d been freshly roughed up, with thin cuts across his face and a smattering of ruddy patches that would bruise in a day or two.

“I hope I’m not here to collect the other guy’s corpse,” Ahsoka greeted him.

Boba chose not to answer around his food. She took a moment to focus her montrals on the chadra-fan and mirialan at the counter, the only people in the joint apart from the serving droid and falleen cook. She didn’t like the look of the falleen, but this wasn’t exactly the place to make friends and influence people.

Boba’s cutlery clattered onto his plate. “I’d get you a caf, but I’ve spent all my credits waiting for you to get over yourself.”

“Pity,” Ahsoka said, raising a hand at the server to order something hot, fried, and bulky. Damp to the bone, she had her poncho half off before deciding she’d be even colder without it.

“The cook’s shift doesn’t end for another four hours,” Boba said. “Their bike is outside the back door, and I’ve already hotwired it. So stop fidgeting.”

“That’s not—I’m not—” Ahsoka rolled her eyes and gave up. “I’ll relax when you tell me why I’m here.”

“How did you get here?”

“A two-seater. Like you said.” Barely. Coming out of hyperspace rattled her teeth more each time. It was all she could do to keep the Y-wing serviceable. She and Rex had reworked the exhaust and fitted storage between the fuselages to mask the provocative profile, but haggling for second-hand Republic parts remained a risky business.

Boba nodded. “I’ve got a lump in carbonite I need you to take off my hands.”

Ahsoka’s spine clenched. In one of her optimistic moods, she’d wondered if he’d stumbled upon a young person who could do curious things. There were Padawans out there, she just knew it, and Boba had something approaching a code of honor about kids. But honestly, she thought he just needed a lift.

Anyone he’d already wasted tibanna on would be bad news. “Who?”

His jaw worked the word out. “A ... a clone.”

Ahsoka’s mind flew to Rex—and not because she was staring at his kid brother. Rex had a price on his head, too—Imperial and Kaminoan, and the Kaminoans’ price was higher. They’d split a few months ago over a raid Rex wanted in on, a Mando operation to exfil cadets from the Tipoca cloning facility. Successful, more or less, but he’d had to wear that damn helmet.

“Who?” she demanded again.


Not Rex. Ahsoka sank back into the booth. Not Rex, and a commando to boot. Chip-free and therefore—to Imperial eyes—volatile. That was probably how he bumped into Boba.

“Crisis of conscience?” she asked, sweet as the sugar she stirred into her caf.

Saved from answering by the imminent removal of his plate, Boba put away the last of his eggs with youthful, gulping chews. He was clone-age now—shiny, like the last ones she saw. Softer than she’d ever known Rex.

(“I don’t recognize these lieutenants, Rex. Which actions did they see?”

“One. Yerbana. They’re younger than you. By every measure.”)

Ahsoka clinked the spoon loudly against her mug.

“He’s not worth much,” Boba offered at last, over a pile of steaming flatcakes.

“Not to some. You could’ve told me to bring a freighter.” She’d rather take the block than pull a commando out of carbonite. He’d be disoriented and difficult to control.

“The sled and tibanna’s worth more than him. You’re not getting that, too.”

“Then I hope you have sedatives to spare?”

“Can’t you just—” he flicked his fork in the direction of her head.

Ahsoka frowned. “They’re very resistant to that. Thick-skulled and obdurate like their parent.”

“Don’t use big, topside-tower words. I may not realize I’m being insulted.” Boba made her wait another minute while he finished another bite. He was a very polite eater, if nothing else. “I’ll knock him out for you.”

"Is that what happened the first time?" she asked, waving at his face; if he'd tussled with a commando, he'd come out the other side better off than most.

He looked baffled for a moment, like she'd spoken Shyriiwook. "No," he said, shutting down further inquiry in that direction.

“What am I supposed to do with him?”

“I don’t care.”

“Yes you do, or you wouldn’t have commed me.”

When he again resorted to silence, Ahsoka pushed her brownhash around and wondered what had given Boba the impression that she, a fugitive part-timer Jedi, would be some kind of clone sympathizer. It was Rex who’d greeted him erroneously as “cadet” in that Kajimi fresher. That was the last time she’d seen Boba: in a headlock because he’d taken umbrage at that term, as she explained to Rex that he wouldn’t get any intel out of this particular little brother. Perhaps she’d dropped a babe or cyar’ika in there somewhere and Boba had worked it out.

Well, his timing was awful. The commando would fit in more places than she would, and Rex had been her ticket into most of those places. She’d have to comm him for help. Maybe it wouldn’t look so desperate … here she was, causing no distractions, earning them no undue Imperial attention, and she had a brother for him!

He'd be happier to see IC-8994, and the thought killed any cheer she might have felt.

Boba had licked his knife clean of syrup and pushed his plate to the edge of the table before Ahsoka realized she hadn’t taken a single bite. “Where are you staying?” he asked.

The question came out of nowhere. “Staying?”

“I’ve rented a cabin out by the canyon. Plumbed freshers.”

It sounded like an invitation. I need a second for a job. There’s this sleemo and some thugs roughing up this village, and it's on my way. The garrison on Polus is a finishing school for Arkanis cadets and it shows. He had a habit of speaking in statements and letting you do the work of being vulnerable enough to accept an offer he hadn’t quite made. One of the many defense mechanisms that he didn’t keep on his forearms.

This kid was lonelier than the last in the litter. She knew the feeling.

“I don’t have anywhere to stay,” Ahsoka said, catching his eyes with hers.

“We’ll do the transfer there.”

In the morning seemed to hang in the greasy air.

Ahsoka finished her food in silence. The brownhash filled a void she didn’t know she had. And it made her thirsty. While Boba paid the second bill with her credits, she popped into the nearby convenience store, hoping her falsified identichip was legal for rotgut in this sector. The placard at the register said she’d be good for it, but not Boba. She added an extra Ardees to the bag for him. This was a holiday town, after all.

Their walk to the canyon was silent but for the soft, sibilant rain. Boba declined a can, but Ahsoka sucked one down as they walked. The outline of her lightsaber would have been obvious to him under her forearm wraps; and if he wanted to off her, he’d wait till he didn’t have to drag her corpse or test his infrared display against her Tog vision. She didn’t worry too much about the beer.

It loosened her senses as it usually did, allowing her to feel things more conceptually than concretely. Boba’s signature was no different. It hummed against her awareness. For someone who wanted nothing to do with Mandalore, he felt more like beskar than anyone she’d ever met, even more than Bo-Katan. Hard and swelling beyond size. So crystalline as to be unbreakable, held together by a hungry void. Carefully forged, never finished. But she sensed no tang of a threat.

The rental allotments along the canyon were spaced well apart, and Ahsoka was pretty sure she was parked nowhere near Boba’s cabin, which was dwarfed by the beetlish hulk of a craft next to it. Another reminder of that unfinished business on Florrum, another lesson in not counting your credits before you’ve checked the impact crater. Aurra Sing had been salvaged from the fireball, more's the pity, so why not the fekkin’ ship, too.

Ahsoka raised her can to it. “Nice restoration job,” she offered to any hard feelings he might have left.

“Hondo,” Boba corrected.

“Ha! Are you still paying off its weight in spice?”

“No. He gave it to Aurra. She gave it back to me.”

Ahsoka didn’t think that balanced on any ledger between criminals and thieves, but she canned her cynicism. "You still running with her?"

"Not really," he mumbled, keying open the door.

As accommodation went, it was extremely primitive. Two beds extended from the wall in a room you couldn’t coax a baby bantha into. A caged light hung from the ceiling, emitting a faint glow that was more oily than warm. And just like he’d promised, there was a plumbed fresher—separated by a raised partition, but no door—which meant unlimited water, though not in any civilized form. Just a rusted tap, a basic catch-all, and an open showerhead.

No clone, she noticed, but then, it’d be silly to keep him in here like some frozen wall decoration.

“I think I’d have stayed on the ship,” Ahsoka said, shaking her poncho out on the three-inch porch.

“Be my guest,” said Boba. “The clone’s horizontal, you could make your bed on him.”

Well, that was rudely close to her one, gnawing void, too.

Both cots were unmade, so Ahsoka sat down on the one Boba hadn’t tossed his helmet onto. The whole place smelled male. Not as piquant as a cruiser or, Force save her nose, the barracks after action or after extended hyperspace—hard to say which was worse. The pairs of briefs draped on the small room’s heat coil probably had something to do with it.

And there was … something else. A disquiet in the Force. Something had been disturbed, like a precious keepsake flipped upside-down and just left like that.

The tap squeaked to life behind the partition. “Shower’s heating,” Boba said, undoing his gauntlets. “You can have the first one.”

“Thanks.” Ahsoka tossed her can in the trash, looking twice at the bag. A pale, knotted rubber was stuck along one side, next to its neon wrapper. She wheeled around, stripes darkening. “You’ve had company?” she observed, with a lame wave at the second bed like she’d only just noticed it was dishevelled.

Boba gave her his silent back, sitting down on the far side of his bed to remove his boots. “You should use the water before it’s cold.”

The hot shower would have been mediocre if Ahsoka hadn’t been numb already, somewhat buzzed, and getting more so from the second can she’d popped. Maybe that wasn’t fair. It wasn’t normal, she reminded herself, to grow up taking meditative dips in the Temple’s heated pools or soaking in a senator’s marbled tub, the latter so large she and Rex could float comfortably together not touch the sides.

This is your new normal. This is the rest of your life. Get used to it.

Drinking out of a can under a pissing waterspout, with a surly acquaintance in the next room counting the seconds till she’d be done. She’d been here before, when she was Boba’s age. Her life had not only plateaued, it had more drag than the stupid starfighter she couldn’t bear to sell.

Like the beds, neither grey towel was fresh. Ahsoka didn’t dwell on that, shucked off what water she could, and wrapped one tightly around herself, bundling up her soggy clothes. She’d wait for Boba to move into the shower and use the bottom half of the pitiful duvet to dry herself; then she’d climb under the covers and stay there till morning.

She nearly succeeded in this.

Boba’s torso was bare when she padded out past the partition. And he only stripped down more. He wasn’t shy, but it wasn’t a display either. Just practical: he wanted a shower, she’d been slow, and the hooks for his poncho and damp flightsuit were on this side of the wall.

When Boba got down to his undersized briefs, grabbed his Westar, and disappeared round the corner, Ahsoka’s thoughts followed the sound of the sluice.

Of course he was handsome: he was them. An identical broad frame, rigged with the same lines of brown flesh, though his muscle was more band than slab; he was young and hadn’t been doing casualty carries since toddlerhood or scarfing down ration bars that were ninety-percent protein by volume.

Ahsoka dawdled, hanging her clothes where she could. If she were honest with herself—and it was easy to be, when she couldn’t shake the sight of Boba's dark nipples or the hair curling into his briefs—she didn’t want to disappear under the covers.

So she just sat on the second bed in the second towel and continued to sip on her second beer. Engaged in a little free meditation, twiddling her saber in her fingers. Tried to get some sense of the person who’d roughed these sheets. There was something familiar about them, like the draft of a dream; she couldn’t quite catch the edge and pull it back into view. But it was very cold, and it carried a definite signature. If she focused, she might be able to recognize it—

Then Boba exited the fresher with a towel around his waist, and he slumped onto his bed opposite her. The remaining baby pudge on his stomach wrinkled and rolled itself into small folds. Damp curls hung lank around his scuffed-up face, and he must have met his abrasive match in his recent bedfellow, because the rest of him looked just as bad.

He just sat there, rumbling in the Force like an engine—not with any insistence, like one clawing altitude. Just a nervous, exhaustive idling. He stared at the floorboards between them, his wordless invitation broadening by the minute. Swelling into a silent plea.

Ahsoka's limbs moved first, dragging her mind along behind, and they dumped her onto the bed next to Boba. His chest heaved.

There were many kinds of kindness, she knew. He craved a certain one. She’d been younger once, too, and aching for affection and hairy skin on all her hidden places. And she’d had a family; thanks in no small part to hers, Boba had no one—no one kind, at any rate.

Without really knowing what she did, moving again before thought could catch up, Ahsoka fingered the edge of his towel and tugged, exposing his half-hard nakedness. He was closely clipped. Like a clone. “You can ask for things, you know,” she said, softly. “Not everyone will be able to read your face as well as me.”

“No one needs to.”

Ahsoka punched her knuckles into the paltry mattress. “I don’t know who’s been fucking you or fucking you over, Fett, but it won’t be me. So you’re going to have to learn how to communicate like the adult you’ve wanted to be all this time.”

All this time. All these years since she’d first met him, holding a pistol as long as his arm to her initiate Master’s head because he was lost and hurting. Nevermind that Ahsoka had come to question the wisdom of that same Master, acceding to the incarceration of a kid. It had seemed like justice at the time, and she’d crowed about it loudly to Anakin—until the downward turn of Padmé’s mouth had shut her up.

Boba dropped back across the mattress, defeated. His head dangling over the far side, he mumbled something that fuzzed in her montrals.

“What?” she said. “Speak up.”

“Sit on my face.”

Ahsoka’s lekku burned. “What?!”

“Fierfek, Tano,” he groaned. “Sit—on—my—face—please.”

The suggestion pooled the booze and more into her groin, loosening her inhibitions further still. They’d shared the same chalky soap in the same sulphuric water, but somehow he smelled incredible. Something in the richness of their skin plucked at her, primally. It had made puberty hell, and it was very persuasive now.

Ahsoka stalked around the bed. “Alright,” she said, stopping next to his lolling head. “Just keep telling me what you want, I’m in no mood to make decisions.”

“Show me your tits,” he said, reaching up to grope her lek.

She slapped his hand away. “I’m also not some tailhead on a table down at the freightstop. Ask nicely.”

“... Could you please lose the towel.”

To comply left Ahsoka much colder than she would’ve liked. Her nipples stiffened, but his cock hardened as he scooted himself properly around on the bed. She wiggled her toes and scrubbed at her inner thighs to bring the blood where she’d need it: to limber up atop Boba Fett’s pouty, clean-shaven, lacerated mug. She climbed onto his bed and stuffed her knees in the divot between his shoulders and the pillow.

“Are you sure this won’t hurt?” she asked.

“It’s what I want,” he said, avoiding the question.

“Okay. But this doesn’t leave this skughole,” she said. His only reply was a tired expression that said it be a ninth-hell blizzard before he bragged about this.

Maybe she overestimated her importance. Inflated by Imperials with a quota. No one would really give a shit if she and Boba just fucked themselves off that bed and into that canyon. Probably not even Rex. This insignificance intimidated her. Maybe she should do something about it. Starting tomorrow. Right now, all that mattered was Boba’s warm breath under her besh.

Ahsoka sank onto it, feeling like a loose string in her body was pulled taut, from core to spine to soul.

Boba gathered her wrists at the small of her back and held them there, while she rocked into his face. His eyes, richly brown and topped with obscene eyelashes, stayed open but distant; bleary, without the excuse of alcohol or spice. He worked her folds with a singular focus and none of Rex’s stubble. Selfishly, Ahsoka wanted to snare her fingers in his drying curls. So much hair!

It was one of many ways in which this could be better—for both of them. She also wanted more tongue. Less mouthy lip. And waiting for him to suggest anything might take a while. “I could turn around?” she offered.

Boba went still, and his gaze narrowed. He nodded.

“What would you like me to do?” She angled her hips back, allowing space for the words not to get smothered.

“I’d like you to turn around. And blow me.”

“Okay.” Ahsoka did as they both pleased, but tested him, and straddled his chest instead of his chin. He grabbed her hips.

“Too far,” he said. “I still want your cunt.”

His boldness shot through her; she actually squirted a little to hear herself desired in such a crude way. Ahsoka edged herself backwards, spreading wider until her pubic bone grazed his chin, and she curled her hips down so he wouldn’t have to strain his neck. All he had to do was lick.

His cock had woken fully, craning up to meet her, just like—no. She had to stop thinking about Rex, or she’d start getting them mixed up when it mattered. If it ever would again.

Boba’s flat navel shuddered when Ahsoka fisted the familiar shaft. It was always the cutest thing, like their insides danced to be touched. She opened her mouth and a thought swooped into the vacuum.

“You clean?” she asked.

“I’ve had my shots.”

“Then what’s—” Spit it out, Snips, he’s comfortable enough using one, just say it— “what’s with the rubber in the trash?”

“... She didn’t want another brat.”

Oh. Right. He wasn’t a sterile clone, but a carbon copy. Wondering if he’d taste different because of it, she sucked him down like a sweetsicle. Boba muffled a moan in between her legs and then set to lapping, taking the strength of her locked elbows out first.

His hips canted up into her face, and his offset balls biffed her nose. He had but a moment to chase his pleasure down her throat. Three thrusts, and his broad thighs shuddered. Warm come pulsed into Ahsoka’s mouth. She squeezed her eyes shut against the mental image of it swimming into her gut and swallowed it in a gulp.

Beneath her, Boba had gone very still. Not relaxed, but tense, like he’d tried to power down before the finish. Ahsoka worked the rest of his load from her teeth and under her tongue in silence, wondering what his problem was, noticing nothing new in the taste of him.

“Sorry,” Boba mumbled. Her weight had shifted towards his crotch and he grabbed her waist. “You can come on my face,” he said, stuffing her onto his mouth again.

“Is that what you want?”

He paused. “Yeah. And I’d like you to touch yourself. That might—I could get hard again.”

It would have been pathetic, if it wasn’t so goddamned sad. Getting the strangest feeling about the ghostly third presence in this room—the cold and cruel one that had left their mark on more than just the sheets—Ahsoka asked, “But is that what you want?”

She was suddenly shoved forward, forced to catch herself onto her hands.

“Enough with the soft-touch mindfucking, Tano,” spat Boba. “Yes. Yes. Yes, it’s what I fucking want. I want to swallow your sauce. I want it up my kriffing nostrils. I want to be hard enough to fuck you into the wall, and then I want to get hard again sucking on your braintails and stripe your tits to match. And then I want to take another shower and sleep until slider hour at that diner. And then I want you to get this fucker who looks like my dad out of my ship. And then I never want to see him or you or anyone else ever again.”

To conclude, Boba pulled a second blaster from under his pillow, flicked off the safety, and aimed it at her back.

Ahsoka hadn’t frozen when Rex had done that. She wouldn’t freeze now. The Force drew taut between them, but it wasn’t clamoring, wasn’t threatening to snap the very air like the last time he’d drawn on her.

She dropped her head and smirked at him beneath her boobs, hoping she looked silly and disarming. “I think you’ve said that last part before,” she observed wryly. He had—when she’d opened the door to the shuttle’s cell and told him to move his sorry backside, for the welcoming committee of prison guards was waiting. And when Rex had thrown him into the back of that fresher stall, with a warning about a vacc-tube for guts if he ever looked at Ahsoka with pecuniary interest again.

“You won’t see me again. No one will,” he said. “Just the helmet.”

“It’d be a shame to hide behind it.”

“It’s not hiding. I’m a man now, and it has to go on,” he protested. It sounded rehearsed. “Now or never.”

Ahsoka's face scrunched. That wasn’t a custom Bo' had ever mentioned; but Bo' had also said that a group of Mandalorians was called an argument. Ahsoka bore scars that testified as much. And a lot of things had changed. The Empire had begun to take an iron-fisted interest in Fett’s ancestral system.

Shuffling around to nestle herself between his legs, Ahsoka sat back on her heels. She gazed at him softly. He was screaming for help, but this was lesson she still needed to learn: don’t be a fucking do-gooder when trying to get laid. “Celebrating a de—” She had to stop herself from saying decant, he wouldn’t appreciate the clone slang—“a birthday here? D’you order a wet hole off the holoslicks in the diner fresher to make it official? Or was that supposed to be me? I’d have bought a cake and some fucking candles if you’d said.”

Boba didn’t reply. A wave of cold nausea shuddered through Ahsoka, like a thruster sucking in backwash. She realized it belonged to him. He’d never been so unguarded, and between that and the quick succession of beers, it threatened to turn her stomach, even more than the blaster pointed half-heartedly at her chest.

It had two triggers, she noticed. Boba’s finger only reached the one.

“Boba," she began gently, "who was here with you?”

“What do you care?”

Ahsoka lifted her hands. “I’m just making conversation. It’s what adults do, even when they don’t want to.”

“Oh? What do you want to do?” he mocked from the pillow, pitching his voice high.

He wasn’t going to answer her question. He would do anything not to say, maybe even shoot her. And she was pretty sure she knew why.

Aurra Sing had balanced her books with a pound of flesh.

“I want to fuck,” Ahsoka lied around her heartache. Around her anger. What she really wanted to do was press what warmth she had left into his chest, along with some Force-funnelled peace, and hold him close till they both passed out. But that wasn’t why he asked her here. “Isn’t that what you want?”

He finally dropped his blaster arm, sighing deep. “Will you just … sit on my face and not be all benevolent holy-robes about it.”

Maybe it’d be kinder to leave it. Leave it and just get laid. Ahsoka crawled forward, dropping her knees to either side of his ears. The blaster clattered to the floor and his hands cupped her ass. She did as he asked.

Her limbs turned gelatinous. Boba had some skill in this area, and even if he hadn’t, it wouldn’t have taken much for her to melt. He mouthed her like he hadn’t just eaten three plates of fatty breakfast slop, pursing his warm lips where her folds merged. Ahsoka didn’t have anything special for him to catch there. She angled her crotch upward slightly, inviting him down towards her band.

“A little lower,” she suggested, softly. Fingers felt best, especially the knotty knuckles of a clone hand, but she’d settle for the wet slip of tongue as he explored her slit.

It would be easy to pin him to the bed; Ahsoka wondered if the ban on holy-robe stuff extended to that. But he was so willing—there’d probably be no thrill for him in that direction. She had made him tractable in this way, as surely as if he’d been clone-raised. Ahsoka tried not to think about it.

Boba found the cartilaginous ring inside her and worked it like a piece of candy, curling his tongue and licking it with strong strokes. Ahsoka’s spine quivered, the nerves in her groin bloomed and contracted in waves. “Just like that, just like that … ” she encouraged, over the slick sound of his effort.

Bending backwards for his thighs, needing to brace her gooey frame, Ahsoka fucked herself on Boba’s tongue. The pressure of it against the bald nerves of her band coiled her pleasure, winding her like a spring. She teased herself with anticipation. His cock would be next—his broad clone cock, straight as a barrel, and ringed at the top with retracted skin that rubbed every square inner inch.

It had been such a long time. And she was so wet. She felt herself leaking all over his Fett face. Striped in her colors—

In Rex’s colors—

Ahsoka shook and shattered, with a scream so sharp it cut itself in half.

Boba could have shoved her onto the floor and she’d have flopped willingly. Rex so rarely took her from behind … some snogwash about wanting to see her eyes, and he’d taken a shine to draping her longer lekku over his shoulders. Boba wouldn’t be so sentimental. Maybe he’d roll over on top of her and fuck her straight into the salty sediment. A place to rest her bones at last, buried under one of the boys.

Really warming to this idea, Ahsoka was almost surprised to find herself nose-to-nose with Rex’s feral vod’ika, her blue pleasure smeared across his soft cheeks. He had his hands tucked firmly into the crease of her hips where she straddled his lap.

“Heya,” she cooed, drifting back to the present. Languidly.

Boba was breathing hard, his fattened cock throbbing beneath her. “You started to … float.”

“Oh,” she huffed. “That’s a good sign.”

“No it isn’t. Cut that out.”

She frowned. What a miserable grump. “I need to relax before you’ll fit. Can you use your fingers?”

Boba wiped a hand across his mouth, studied the residue on his fingers for a moment, then stuffed two of them into her slit, poking a gasp from her lungs. “Anything else I should know.”

“If I come around you, you’ll get stuck.” Ahsoka cocked one brow. “So you better be quick.” Shouldn’t be a problem for the hair-trigger punk—and if it was, getting dropped in the tough love seat for ten minutes might be good for him.

“Do you want a rubber?” he asked.

“No?” Humans and Togs couldn’t interbreed. Duh.

“Fine.” With his free hand, Boba eased his dick out from underneath her, thumbing the leaky pink tip, while his fingers circled and slowly widened her again.

“Now,” she prompted, hovering at the right angle so he could push himself fully inside.

Ahsoka was not made take him. She delighted in making it work every time. He gathered her in his arms. Pinning her heels against the root of his spine, she levered herself down around him until her bottom brushed his balls.

Boba grunted.

Feeling full, and something a little closer to whole, Ahsoka grabbed him by the jaw and kissed his messy mouth. Scratched at fuzzy divot between the ropey muscles of his neck. Nipped at his thick, busted lip with her fangs, making him keen at the split between pleasure and pricks of pain as she writhed onto him.

It was almost too easy, like winning ‘round a sour tusk-cat just knowing where its claws couldn’t reach.

Boba quaked and spilled, groaning with full-bodied release this time. She felt it in the Force like a shower of poprocks tingling where his skin touched hers and bubbling in her stomach. But she'd need much more to come herself.

His warm forehead dropped onto her chest. A stillness settled, held between the rise and fall of their shoulders, that hadn’t been there before. Ahsoka trailed her nails across his damp scalp, savoring the human smell of him. Holding him close.

If it had been anyone else, Ahsoka would have said he didn’t get enough love as a child. But she knew that wasn’t true. When they’d seen the Prime Clone, they’d told her, Boba had been always in his arms, cradled in a poncho or perched round his shoulders. He’d been asked for, specially. He’d been cherished, once.

And then he’d been left for dead, with the dead, in a dusty arena. Easy prey for the vicious.

(“His father, a violent mercenary, challenged Master Windu, little ‘Soka. And this time, it did not end in his favor. Revenge rarely does.”)

Ahsoka might have pushed the words into his mind, more receptive in the comedown. But he’d hate the intrusion. So, plucking up the courage, she finally said what she should’ve said all those years ago, in the back of Master Plo’s shuttle, when Boba had looked at her with red-rimmed eyes and refused to eat his food.

“I’m sorry about your dad.”

It seemed kinder than, I'm sorry I didn't kill her the first time.

Boba’s breath hitched. He lifted his head but avoided her eyes. “Don’t be,” he said, flatly, slipping from her. “I should clean that up—”

“No, it’s fine.” Grateful for a reason to put some distance between her melodramatic moment and his grim face, Ahsoka climbed off to towel her thighs, while he went for a piss.

They swapped places, and when she’d finished, he cut the light. His duvet lifted in the moonless dark. “It’s cold,” he observed quietly.

“Yeah. It is,” she agreed, accepting this invitation and scrittering under sheets next to the organic heat coil that was a clone.

They fell asleep, back-to-back in a tired truce.

When Ahsoka woke, squinting her eyes against the planet’s twin dawn in the bare window, she found a T-visor in her face.

“Go get your ship,” came Boba’s canned voice. “I’m about to thaw your clone.”

Wondering what happened to slider hour, Ahsoka dressed quickly, her clothes still damp in the worst places. She jogged what felt like the entire perimeter of the canyon, passing a few early risers beginning their descent into the gorge. The signage about rockporg nesting season was very loud and unequivocal, so she had to skirt the Y-wing at a sluggish pace around the edge.

She parked it flush with Boba’s ship. The ramp was down and Ahsoka joined him inside, where he was busying himself with pre-flight checks around a prone carbonite slab.

The commando wasn’t in armor. Ahsoka could see as much in the frozen rock. “How long has he been in there?” she asked.

“A few months.”

“Months?! Fekkin’ hells, Fett, he’ll be ill as an akk.”

Boba shrugged and reached for the control panel. “He’ll sleep it off.”

Ahsoka wanted to be there to grab the commando’s hand, to press some calm into his confused body, with a quick word or two about getting him to safety. Where that was, exactly, she'd figure out later. But Boba gestured irritably for her to step back.

Groaning something fierce, the commando took a few pot swings until Boba sprayed him in the face and he went limp again. He tossed her the aerosol can. “Concentrated deeb. Should last you eight standard hours. Hit him again at a waystation until you get wherever you’re going.”

“He’s gonna wake up thinking he’s an octopod.”

“Better than waking up with a restraining bolt to the head. You get his legs.”

“Let’s just glide him out.”

Boba shook his head. “We are not conducting a handover in broad daylight.”

Ahsoka scoffed. “Right! Carrying a body looks so much better.”

“Carbonite attracts attention, and technically, the Guild doesn’t operate on this planet.”

“But he’s not a bounty,” Ahsoka pointed out. He was a piece of property facing obsolescence. The Empire still paid for their return, though their margins were diminishing. With any luck, they’d call it off in a year or two—wouldn’t save Rex, but maybe he’d stop pulling the nexu’s tail out of grief and guilt and finally settle down with the brothers he did have.

“Guild doesn’t care. It’s an appearance thing. Still a knock on my provisional licence," Boba said.

“Smuggling is an equally bad look.”

“Smuggling is a kiddie crime and we’re both doing it. Just take his legs.”

Moved more by hunger and impatience, Ahsoka humored him.

Reece, as she’d dubbed the commando, was no sprightly shiny. She’d played OPFOR to a couple of RC squads once, in her first weeks with the Grand Army—the most exhausting week of her life, until she had to do it for real on Trandosha; at the end, they’d challenged her to commando-weighted-Force-assisted push-ups. She’d gotten but an inch off the ground. They were all beef. Whatever, whomever Reece was running from, he wasn’t doing it light.

By the time they reached her ship’s shadow, Boba was straining, and he dumped Reece’s torso into the dirt. Ahsoka made a show of using the external ladder to climb onto the nose and pop the turret canopy. They’d long since dismantled the gun, leaving the bubble little more than a passenger seat for long jumps, when curling up in Rex’s lap would’ve gotten uncomfortable.

“Is anyone around?” she asked, conscious of her own licence that the Empire had revoked under pain of execution some time ago.

Boba swivelled his head, and even scanned further afield with his rangefinder. “No.”

Ahsoka Force-yanked Reece and dumped him into the turret. She avoided looking too closely as she adjusted him. He was so standard it hurt. Closing the canopy, she found Boba returning the ladder to its housing.

“Maybe just offer the next one a ride,” Ahsoka suggested. “Save them all this distress.” She gestured at the poor man who was drugged and cuffed with his hands under one leg, who’d most certainly wake with the neck pain of a lifetime, despite her best efforts.

“There won’t be a next time. This was a fluke.”

Ahsoka’s heart started to sink in the direction of that canyon floor. “Him? Or me?”

“Get moving, Tano. And keep moving.” Boba tapped a finger against his helmet. “The ticker on your head goes up every day.” He stalked back to his ship and raised the ramp without a backwards glance.

A face he couldn’t get away from. An adolescence he couldn’t wait to escape. It had cut Boba into something hard, but Ahsoka had to hand it to him: at least he knew when to put things behind him.

She primed her ship—the one she’d grabbed onto and couldn't let go of because it belonged to Rex, too. Because she’d grabbed onto Rex, first.

That decision had come at a huge cost. She didn’t regret it; she knew he did. And it’d eaten her up inside until she’d rolled into a diner and gotten into bed with someone just as hollow to fill a hole. To remember what it was like to accept a kindness and give one in turn.

She was no good to anyone dead, not even to Boba Fett. Get over yourself. Keep moving. It was good advice.

“Right, Reece,” Ahsoka sighed, setting the nav computer for a waystation just a bounce outside Mando space. “Let’s go find the captain. He’ll be so happy to see you.”