Okay, I did write a fic similar to this. It’s not directly after, but it’s close enough. The link is below 👇 that fic is actually one my personal favorites in terms of heartbreak, right next to ’Aren’t you proud?’
Anyway, here’s your direct reaction after. Okay well it’s really just Rex’s, I wanted to do a part two, but I think the fic above is the second part in a way.
Strong in The Real Way
The brain is the most mysterious organ in the human body, no one can’t say they truly understand how the human brain works. When the human brain is traumatized, oh, now that’s when things get strange.
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They won. They took Umbara, Krell was dead, Dogma was gone, now it was time to get the hell off this planet. Captain Rex had gotten his boys ready to depart. Kix and a squad were out searching for the bodies of their brothers, everytime a few troopers came back with dozens of bodies, Rex’s breath fell a little shorter. He couldn’t do this anymore. Fives had taken over sweeping the facilities one last time and wiping any critical information. Jesse had gathered all the shinies, they hadn’t left his side.
Rex stood in front of the cruisor, watching all his beaten boys board. He gave all of them hug, squeezing tightly and giving them a kiss on the head before they boarded. Every trooper, they all waited patiently in a line. If the brother was crying, Rex would wipe away their tears, caress their face in his hands and whisper, “It’s okay, it’s over now.” He’d comforted every man but no one had comforted him. He’d been the last one to board. After Jesse and his shinies had boarded while singing a broken lullaby. After Kix and his med-crew came with the last of the body bags. After Fives and his section finished packing the occasional resources. Only after every man was on the ship, safe inside, did Rex step on the ramp, looking to Umbara and cursing the fact Skywalker had left them with that- that-
Rex put on his helmet to hide his now reddening face. Unlike all his brothers, he boarded the cruisor alone. He walked down the halls and to the lift by himself. As he did, his mind kept him uncomfortable, making him relieve that moment over and over again. He started to shake, his knees suddenly so weak, Rex held himself as he walked, hunching down as he fought the urge to fall to his knees yet again. As he stood in the lift, he pressed the emergency stop button, taking off his helmet, throwing it. “DAMMIT!” He wailed as he scratched at his armor as it suffocated him, stumbling back to lean against the wall, “Dammit-” he whined, holding his head as he cried. He slammed his fist into the wall, then looked up. He didn’t want to move, he wanted to stay here and cry. But he couldn’t, a Captain has to care for his crew. So Rex wiped his eyes, took a deep breath, put his helmet back on and started the lift again. He had to be strong again.
When he stepped out of the lift, Vaughn ran up to him, “Sir, General Kenobi and the 212th are coming up in the larties as we speak.” His voice was weak and broken, just as every brother. “D-do I have to give my briefing?” He asked, as if he was scared of the answer.
“Okay,” Rex responded initially before looking at Vaughn’s patched up face, “N-no, Vaughn,” Rex shook his head, you go rest, I know what happened so I’ll cover it.“ He watched Vaughn’s face light up ever so slightly in relief. The trooper nodded before excusing himself. Rex watched as he scurried off, Rex wished he could do the same, hide away in the arms of his brothers. But alas, he couldn’t. He instead, was headed to the lift yet again to go to the loading docks, awaiting the arrival of the 212th. Back in the lift, he felt that suffocation flood over him all over again, it was so easy to fake it in front of his boys, but when he was all alone those demons came creeping in and he had no reason to hold himself together.
When the lift opened, Rex took another sharp breath, stepping out he saw the ships come in, a few already had landed. Rex didn’t feel his pace pick up as he saw General Kenobi and Cody step out together, they looked so battered and held no urge to hurry. "Captain, how are the men?” Kenobi asked in a softer voice, usually that question held light, but it was spoken with the solemn feeling of darkness.
“They’re doing alright, sir, all things considered.” Rex mustered out as he forced himself to attention. He didn’t know why, but he felt like covering his chest as he stood in the presence of the Jedi. Cody must’ve had the same feeling, for he’d moved to stand next to Rex. “I told my men that they didn’t have to give their briefing, they need the break, I hope you don’t mind, sir.” Rex explained.
Obi-Wan nodded, understanding Rex’s actions completely. “Of course, Captain, please, don’t force yourself, we don’t need it right away.” Obi-Wan offered as the three began walking and as they did, Rex had reached for his older brother’s hand, and when Cody took his, they gripped their hands tightly. “Anakin is en route from Coruscant, we’ll be dropping out of hyperspace once we reach the mid-rim so he may join us, until then, Captain.” Obi-Wan turned, offering his smile, “Get some rest, both of you.” Obi-Wan put his hand on Rex’s shoulder, who instantly snapped back into Cody. Obi-Wan stopped instantly, Obi-Wan’s sad eyes looked up to meet Cody’s, hidden behind his helmet. He- he wasn’t going to hurt him.
Cody caught Rex, looking up to Obi-Wan with the same thought. “Right.” Obi-Wan brought his hand back to his side and continued walking as if nothing had happened. He couldn’t help Rex, no matter how much he wanted too. That was Cody’s job, Obi-Wan knew, as well as the fact he couldn’t help Cody either. It had just been them in the gunship and as he thought of their conversation, of that moment, shaking his head, Obi-Wan brought himself back into the moment. “I will be on the bridge the entire time, if you two need anything, com me and I will see it through.”
“Thank you, sir.” Cody spoke, he was now holding his brother in a hug, close to him. Rex was shaking with every step and only Cody was holding him up. “I’ll check on all the men and check on you on the bridge as soon as I can.” Cody added as they entered the hall. Obi-Wan nodded, he had his arms crossed and kept a distance. As they walked down the hall, Obi-Wan could sense all the pain and agony broadcasting from his men. They were in so much pain.
“Alright, Cody, but don’t worry about me, worry about your brothers, they’ll need you.” He said as they reached the lift. Obi-Wan nodded to his Commander before the lift took him away. Cody held his brother tightly, they’d take the next lift, Obi-Wan knew that.
Cody turned to face his brother, taking off his and Rex’s helmet, then lifting up his brothers head, frowning at the sight of Rex’s teary eyed face. Rex looked down in shame, taking a slow, steady breath before whispering, “I’m sorry I flinched, I know you love him which means I should trust him but-”
“Shhh,” Cody hushed, “It’s okay,” he told Rex, wiping away his little brother’s tears, “You don’t have to be strong all the time, especially not for me, I can be strong enough for the both of us.” Cody explained as the lift opened. “Okay, lil'un?” Cody asked, still speaking in that hushed tone. The two stepped into the lift, holding each other tightly.
“Okay, bubby.” Rex mumbled as watched the lift door close. Here he was, back again in the lift. But this time, he didn’t feel that demon lurk in. He had his big brother fighting it for him. Rex brought his head up and pressed his forehead against Cody’s. The two stood in silent, not moving, and as they stood there, for a minute, the world stopped crumbling, their hearts stopped bleeding, right there in the lift, even if for only a second,
They started to heal
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