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Warriors in Exile

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Summary: After the final battle with the First, Buffy walks away from the Scoobies to start a new life. Imagine her surprise when a group of Jedi exiles arrive at her door a year later.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Star Wars > Buffy-CenteredkerrykhatFR15419,8251410415,14512 Mar 1018 Jun 10No

Chapter One

Disclaimer: Joss owns "Buffy," Lucas owns "Star Wars," I own my floor lamp.

AN: This story is a response to winchestergirl's challenge, "Warriors in Exile." This is also a slight Star Wars AU, insofar that Qui-Gon didn't die at the end of Episode I, but instead went on to train Anakin, who still goes off the deep end to become Darth Vader.

AN2: Thanks, as always, to the amazing RevDorothyL for betaing this fic for me.

Illustration
Made by SkylarGrace


Chapter One

Why does space have to be so cold? thought Obi-Wan Kenobi to himself as he contemplated the swirl of asteroids through the window in front of him. They had been sitting in a cleft in an asteroid for the last hour, waiting for the clone patrols to finish their sweep of the area before returning to the Star Destroyer. There was enough metal in the asteroid belt to throw off the scanners of the fighters in order to prevent detection. Hopefully, that would be enough; hopefully, they wouldn’t have to fight their way out of this mess. He sat unmoving in his chair; the only signs that he wasn’t a statue were his slow, even breaths and the occasional flicker of his intense, blue-gray eyes.

Just go away and leave us in peace, he pleaded silently as he continued to watch the slow, graceful ballet of the asteroids in space.

“Master Kenobi?” came a timid voice from behind him.

“Yes, Olee?” he answered as he turned around to face his Padawan, Olee Starstone. Her blue eyes were red from crying, and the bags under them indicated she hadn’t slept in at least a few days. She kept up a strong face in front of the younglings, however, and only cried when she thought no one could hear her. Obi-Wan was aware of this, but didn’t bring it up. If she didn’t want to talk about it then he wouldn’t force her.

“Everyone’s settled in the back. Ahsoka’s watching over them right now,” she answered as she sat down in the other chair in the cockpit and stared blankly of out the window, running her hand absently through her tangled black hair. They sat in silence for a while, letting Obi-Wan’s mind wander back to the events that had led them to this point…

“Have you talked to Qui-Gon yet about Anakin’s visions?” he asked Master Windu as they walked the halls of the Jedi temple.

“Not yet,” answered the tall, dark Jedi Master as a frown furrowed his face. “We haven’t been able to reach him. His signal is still too weak to locate. Hopefully when he returns he’ll be able to talk some sense into young Skywalker.”

“One can only hope,” answered Obi-Wan dryly. He had never really liked Anakin, ever since he had first met the boy on their way to Coruscant. Anakin was far too old and far too attached to his mother to be an effective Jedi. After Obi-Wan had defeated the Sith and been made a Jedi by the Council, Qui-Gon had taken on the boy as an apprentice with the tentative blessing of the Council. He had then left for parts unknown, only checking in with the Council every so often and otherwise traveling the galaxy with his new Padawan.

Most Jedi had a good relationship with their Masters after they completed the trials, but Obi-Wan always felt as if Qui-Gon never forgave him for initially doubting Anakin’s potential. Whenever Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon met, there was an awkwardness between the two of them that neither of them felt they could successfully broach, even with the onset of the Clone Wars. Although Anakin had grown up to be a powerful Jedi, there were still those with doubts about Anakin’s capabilities and his priorities.

“Dark times are ahead,” Mace said suddenly as he and Obi-Wan stopped by the shuttle that was to take Obi-Wan to Utapau to face Grievous. “I see nothing, I sense nothing. Be on your guard, Obi-Wan. We can’t afford to be lax in times like these.”

Obi-Wan bowed his head in acknowledgement of Master Windu’s words and walked towards the shuttle where Olee was waiting for him, an impatient look on her face. Seeing him, she nodded and went inside to start the engines. Obi-Wan followed, trying to reach out with his senses through the Force. Instead of feeling the life that coursed through everyone, he could only feel the darkness and hoped that he would survive intact when he faced it…


“Master, I think they’re gone,” Olee said, startling him out of his reverie. Obi-Wan stretched out his senses through the Force and nodded. Silently, he restarted the engine and guided the ship expertly through the swirling field of rocks and debris.

“Once we get clear of the field, start our scanners,” he told Olee, never taking his eyes away from the space in front of him. “I want to find a planet where we can settle, someplace completely out of the way where we won’t draw attention to ourselves. “ They sat in silence for a few more moments while Obi-Wan re-settled them on an asteroid on the edges of the field. Olee started the scanner and then stared off into space. The last few days had been hard on them both…

“Well, Olee, looks like we’ll be back at the Temple before we’re expected,” he told his Padawan, attempting to keep a straight face. Olee simply smiled at her excited Master as she continued scanning the datapad in front of her. “The Council will be incredibly pleased to hear about your role in defeating Grievous. You’re one step closer to becoming a Jedi Knight, Olee.”

“Thank you, Master,” Olee answered, blushing. “I learned from one of the best.” Obi-Wan smiled. He had chosen Olee right after the mission at Geonosis, when she had left her position as a Padawan to Jocasta Nu to work with an active Jedi. Obi-Wan had been impressed with her dedication and her skills with the Force and had never regretted his decision. Olee had proven to be one of the finest Padawans in the Temple. She may not be the strongest in the Force, but her technique was amazing. She reminded Obi-Wan on a daily basis that simply having raw power was no substitute for fine control.

Olee was more to him than a student, however; she had became a blend of a daughter and sister to him, becoming part of the family he had been creating for himself ever since he joined the Temple as an infant. They could tease each other like siblings, yet whenever she needed help he was always there to guide her and give her advice. There were bumps in their relationship, but overall it was calm, unlike Obi-Wan’s current relationship to his former Master and Qui-Gon’s former Padawan.

“We’re exiting hyperspace right now and we should be landing at the Temple within fifteen minutes,” Obi-Wan announced as the computer beeped at him. “Start landing procedures. Time to go home…”


Only home didn’t exist any more; there was nothing but ghosts left at the Jedi Temple. Ghosts and ashes and ruins were all that were left of his home. Of his family, the Jedi he had gotten to know over his lifetime, most of them were dead, gunned down by the very Republic they had sworn to protect. Those who had managed to escape had been forced into hiding. It was either hide or be killed by the new Empire.

“There’s a nebula about five light-years away from here that has prevented any in-depth exploration of this region,” Olee said as she looked at the results of the scan. “There may be some habitable planets on the other side that the Empire would have no knowledge of.”

“Let’s go there. Set the hyperdrive coordinates. Land us just outside the nebula, and we’ll go in on sub-light engines. I don’t want to deal with any surprises jumping out at us if we’re in hyperspace. After that, go get some sleep,” Obi-Wan ordered his exhausted Padawan. He needed sleep as well, but he pushed that thought aside. How could he sleep when so many lives depended on him?

Olee quickly completed her task, hands flying over the controls. Obi-Wan watched her for a moment longer before settling back into meditation as the ship leapt into hyperspace, leaving this Force-forsaken asteroid field behind and hopefully taking them to a safe haven.

Olee walked back to the sleeping quarters. Bodies of the sleeping younglings were sprawled around the hold. Some were sleeping peacefully, while others were whimpering softly in their sleep. Poor younglings, you shouldn’t have to live through times like these, Olee thought sadly as she made her way to the very back, where Ahsoka lay curled up in a ball, trying to ignore the world around her. Waves of sadness rolled off the young girl through the Force as she lay still on her bunk.

Ahsoka was only a few years younger than Olee, but normally she was so strong and so brave that Olee forgot the age difference. Now, Anakin Skywalker’s former Padawan looked small and fragile, with tear streaks on her sleeping face. Olee wanted to reach out to the girl and comfort her, but what could one say to someone who had just lost her Master to the Dark Side and seen him butcher her adopted family?

“Are we there yet?” came a small voice from behind Olee, as a youngling sat up and rubbed his eyes sleepily. Olee smiled and beckoned for the small Twi’lek child to join her. He slowly made his way over to her and curled his small body up in the crook of her arm.

“Not yet, Haran. We’re still looking for a planet. Hopefully, we’ll find something by the time you wake up,” Olee assured the child as she lay down on a spare bit of floor. Please let there be no dreams, she pleaded with the Force as she drifted off to sleep.

Up in the cockpit, Obi-Wan continued to meditate before being interrupted by the computer’s beeping. Gently taking the ship out of hyperspace, he looked upon the nebula that hid part of the galaxy from prying eyes. He began to expertly guide the ship through the cloud of dust, being careful to avoid debris. Hours passed before his scanners picked up anything in this mess.

“This looks promising,” he muttered as he read the scans. The planet was mid-sized, around the size of Naboo or Alderaan. There were no signs of ships, only a few satellites in the air. Even better, there were definite signs of life on the planet, which orbited a small yellow star. “Why aren’t you documented, my friend, if you support life?” he wondered aloud as he checked this planet’s location against the star charts on his ship. Nothing like this planet was said to exist, which was odd. Unless someone had deleted it from the archives as they had Kamino, this was a planet that the Empire knew nothing about. Smiling for what felt like the first time in days, Obi-Wan plotted a course for the small, unknown planet.

As he began his approach, he flicked on the ship’s cloaking device. This equipment was extremely rare and extremely valuable. The council had only one cloaking device and they had wisely installed it on one of the ships in the hidden room, in case of emergencies.

Looking at the chronometer on the controls Obi-Wan sighed. He still needed to sleep, only he was afraid. He was afraid of what he would see in his dreams, or--more accurately--who he would see in his dreams. He could still hear echoes of Anakin's screams of fury and pain as the fire consumed him, and he wondered how long it would remain that way. Mentally resigning himself, he settled back in his seat after setting an alarm to wake him up. They would be in hyperspace for at least five more hours. He might as well sleep while he could.

~*~*~
“I’ll see you all on Monday,” the professor called out as the students scattered to the four winds. Checking her watch, Buffy grinned. She loved not having a Friday class; it meant that she got a luxurious three-day weekend every week. Waving goodbye to her classmates, she made her way to a battered Jeep 4x4 in the student lot at CSU Monterey Bay.

“Come on, girl, don’t break down on me now,” Buffy muttered as the engine sputtered a few times. Yeah, she could afford a nicer car with her benefits from the Council, but this car had history, and she wasn’t about to let that go away. There was so much from her past that she was missing; this car was one of the few links she had to it.

The car finally purred to life, and Buffy pulled out, making sure not to hit anything. Although her driving was significantly better than in her Sunnyhell days, she still tended to be careful. She would rather not cause any major accidents due to shoddy driving. Plus, concentrating kept her mind off memories that she would rather not revisit.

It’s been almost a year now, Buffy thought sadly as she drove through the city and into the countryside, making her way home. Almost a year, and I still can't forgive the lot of them for what they did to me. Buffy tried concentrating on the landscape around her to distract her from the sense of betrayal she still felt over her former friends' actions towards her in Sunnydale, as well as the lingering grief she still felt over Spike’s sacrifice.

The central California coast where she lived was undergoing the annual drastic change from summer brown to winter green. The winter rains had begun, which meant that the time of drought was over, at least for this year. Buffy relished the rain, feeling it wash away the dirt and tears of a long summer and fall spent readjusting to normal life once again. Her main regret was that she couldn’t share this with Spike, the one person who had stood by her during the hell that was her final days in Sunnydale.

She soon arrived at her home along the coast just outside of Carmel by the Sea. The commute was a bitch some days, but Buffy loved her land. She had found it years ago on a road trip with her mom and Dawn and had fallen in love with the area. One of the first things that Buffy had done when she left the New Council was purchase this plot of land, complete with a beautiful grove of oak trees and an old house in desperate need of repairs. Repairing the house had become a project for her over the last six months. Using local contractors suggested by her new neighbors, she gradually transformed the house from a wreck to a home that any person would be proud to own.

Getting out of her car, Buffy smiled slightly when she heard the desperate barks of her two dogs. “Hooligans, I’m home!” she called as she opened the gate to the dog run, releasing two desperate dogs. “Miss me?” she asked as she forced them to sit.

Buffy had found Abby, a small Border collie, after Sunnydale had collapsed into the sinkhole. The dog had been wandering around, looking lost and alone amid the debris by the roadside. Buffy, needing something to hold on to after deciding to leave the Scoobies and losing Spike, had adopted her on the spot. Abby had turned out to be the perfect pet and had helped Buffy through a difficult period in her life.

Darci was another stray Buffy had found and taken in. Buffy had found Darci soon after she had moved to her new home, a small, wet, shivering bag of black fur hiding under her porch. Taking pity on the pup, Buffy had opened her home to the lab mix and never regretted it. Right now, as far as she was concerned, Darci and Abby were the only family Buffy really had. How could she call those who had betrayed her and thrown her out of her own home family?

Quickly glancing through her mail as she plopped her bags on the counter, she smiled when she pulled out a postcard from Faith. The other Chosen One was the only one out of the Sunnydale crew she maintained any contact with. Even though the Potentials had chosen Faith to replace Buffy, she didn’t hold it against the other Slayer. She actually respected Faith for initially refusing the role and admitting to Buffy that everyone had been wrong to kick her out of the house.

Yo, B! I’m swinging through your neck of the woods later this month. Mind if I shack up with you and catch up on old times? I have some good tales to tell, and I could use some time with a Slayer who’s not half my age. Call to tell me if you’re game. Faith.

Chuckling under her breath--Faith was one of the few people who could make her laugh these days--Buffy quickly punched in Faith’s number and waited for her sister Slayer to pick up.

“’Sup?”

“Hey, Faith, what’s shaking?”

“Nothin’ much, B. Just traveling the road with my trusty bike, trying to escape them minis and all that.”

“When are you planning on stopping by?” she asked as she opened her fridge and took inventory. There was some leftover Chinese food that still looked good. Snagging the Kung Pao chicken, she tossed it on a plate and threw it in the microwave.

“I’ll be there in ‘bout two weeks, B,” Faith told her, raising her voice slightly to be heard. In the background, Buffy could hear loud music and people shouting at one another.

“Hitting the bar already? Early, much?”

“Just swinging by to see some old friends.”

“Well, take care and make sure those ‘old friends’ don’t bite you. You know how much the Council hates cleaning up after you.”

Faith laughed throatily. “Will do, B. Take care, as well.” Hanging up the phone, Buffy smiled slightly as she dug into her improvised meal. As soon as they heard the silverware drawer open, her dogs rushed in and immediately shot her the lost puppy dog eyes that matched hers in pleading power.

“No, back, you beggars. Mine!” Buffy told them as they attempted to amp up the begging power. Sighing, she grabbed two bones from the bag on the counter. “Is this what you two wanted?” she asked as she tossed them the treats. The dogs went after the bones happily, leaving Buffy to finish her meal in peace.

Looking around, she realized she had too much energy to simply sit around and do her reading. Going upstairs, she quickly changed into her favorite pair of leather pants, a tank-top she had kind-of borrowed, sort-of stolen from Faith and a leather jacket. Making sure Mr. Pointy was secure, she locked up and made her way to a small cemetery not far from her house.

Central California had a fairly small vamp population, mainly based in Monterey, but those tended to be older vamps who knew how to play it safe and mainly stuck to demon bars. There were, however, some roaming vamps in the countryside that seemed to be drawn to the area around her house now that Buffy had moved there. There were never enough to justify patrolling every night, but normally she could find one or two vamps to dust, when she needed an outlet for her energy.

~*~*~
The Jedi exiles reached the system after three more days of travel on sub-light. During that time, Olee had done her best to rein in the younglings and keep up with their training, but there was only so much she could do. Obi-Wan helped her when he could, but his attention was divided between navigating through the nebula and plotting their course to their potential new home. Ahsoka had been no real help. She would try, but would fade out and stare blankly at the walls of the hold. Olee wanted to help her fellow Padawan, but was at a loss.

“How much longer until we arrive, Master?” she asked Obi-Wan, needing a break from herding the children. She wanted--no, make that, needed--a shower, but the likelihood of getting one now was slim to none.

“We should be arriving within a few hours,” he told her, a weary smile on his face. “I’ve found a place that looks fairly promising as a place to land.” What he didn’t tell Olee was that earlier, while she had been asleep, Master Windu had come to him, instructing him to land at those coordinates.

“There will be someone there who can help you, Obi-Wan,” the slain Jedi Master had instructed him. “She’s a warrior and can help you protect the younglings from the Empire.” Obi-Wan had wanted to question the shade more, but it had disappeared before he had the opportunity.

“Master, what should we do about Ahsoka?” Olee asked him, breaking his train of thought. “She barely eats, she won’t interact with anyone, and she’s been having nightmares ever since we started on this journey. I’m worried about her,” she added softly, looking down at her hands.

Obi-Wan sighed deeply. “I don’t know what we can do for her,” he confessed. “She hasn’t talked to me about what happened at the Temple, and I have a feeling that betrayal more than anything else, is the reason behind her current state.”

“It doesn’t help that her Master turned out to be a Sith Lord who massacred her family,” Olee replied bitterly. Obi-Wan didn’t say anything, but secretly he agreed. The memories of those moments when the entire Order was being cut down by the clones weighed heavily upon his mind. When he slept, he could still hear their screams inside his head, begging for mercy from those they had led into battle only moments before.

“Maybe she can find some peace when we arrive,” he told his apprentice quietly. “Maybe we all can.” They sat in silence for the rest of the voyage, each wrapped up in his or her own thoughts. In the distance, Olee could hear the younglings chattering and playing, as if nothing had happened. She hoped that they would be able to forget what happened at the Temple. Life would be easier for them if they could.

Looking out the viewport, she gasped when she saw her new home, or at least what would hopefully would be her new home. It was beautiful, especially after all those days traveling in space. The blue-green orb hung in space, tranquil and peaceful amid the chaos of space.

“Welcome to our new home,” Obi-Wan told her softly as his fingers danced along the controls. “Tell everyone to strap in. We should be landing shortly.” Olee nodded and made her way to the back.

Gathering the younglings, she made sure that each one was secure, in case of a rough landing. “Ahsoka, come on, let’s get strapped in,” she urged the Togrutan, leading her by her shoulder. Ahsoka only nodded dully and did as the older Padawan told her to do.

~*~*~
Wiping the dust off herself, Buffy smiled. The night had been moderately successful, with three vamps dusted and not a scratch on her or her outfit. Always good when I don’t ruin my wardrobe. Lord knows how often I have to buy new clothes, she thought happily as she made her way back home. Twirling Mr. Pointy, she was almost there when the something major sent off her spidey senses.

A sudden wind blew up, kicking up dirt, leaves and branches into her face. Throwing up her arms to protect her face, she battled the wind to try to reach what seemed to be the epicenter of the windstorm. At least she was on her property now, so if there were humans involved she would be able to threaten them with trespassing.

Cursing the fact that she had left the Scythe at home, she grabbed on to a nearby tree and waited until the wind died down before continuing. Whatever it was, it was in the middle of the oak grove on her land. Hiding behind a tree, she gasped when she discovered what had nearly blown her to the next county:

A space shuttle--a freaking space shuttle--had landed perfectly in a space between the various trees.

“OK, that’s not something you see everyday. Where’s that little geek-oid Andrew when you need him?” muttered Buffy as she continued to discretely watch the scene from behind her tree. With a mechanical whine, what looked like a loading ramp detached itself from the underbelly of the ship and began lowering.

Again wishing that she had something sharp and shiny with her, Buffy watched as a man wearing some out-of-this-world outfit walked down the ramp, his hand hovering around his waist. As he looked around the clearing, Buffy felt his eyes glance to where she was hiding. Torn between wanting to hide deeper in the shadows and her instinct to confront this strange man, she decided to wait to see what he would do.

The man had turned back to the ship and was motioning for someone, or something, to follow him down. Watching with interest, Buffy saw a group of kids, some human, others clearly not- follow him down nervously. For the most part, the kids looked to be around four to six years old, with two exceptions. The first exception was clearly something other than human, being red with white and blue stripes on three things hanging down from her head and white markings on her face. Her eyes were dull, and she stumbled more than walked out of the ship. The other one looked to be about seventeen or eighteen and was shepherding the group down from the ship. The older girl was also, Buffy noted with suprise, leading the dull-eyed alien. Is she drugged or under some kind of mojo? mused Buffy to herself as she continued to study the scene before her. As a group, there were about fifteen of them, looking around with wide-eyed looks of wonder.

“I know you’re there,” the man called out in an accented voice that reminded her slightly of Giles. Grimacing--she thought she had hidden herself better--Buffy left the shelter of the shadows and walked towards the clearing.

“Give me one reason why I shouldn’t call the cops on you crazies,” she demanded as she strode towards the group. “You’re on my land, and I don’t know if you’re a threat to me or not.”

“I assure you, madam, we mean you no harm,” the man said soothingly, but Buffy wasn’t buying it. Whoever this was, he needed to do more than sound pretty.

“Convince me,” she told him, crossing her arms. “How do I know I can trust you, when clearly a good chunk of you aren’t human.”

Obi-Wan was surprised by this small woman’s demands. Why had Master Windu sent them to a xenophobic planet when they had non-Human younglings to care for? “We are refugees, seeking a new home,” he began again, raising his empty hands. The woman raised an eyebrow, but remained silent. “We are warriors, defenders of truth and justice…”

“If you add the American way to that, I’ll smack you,” the woman told him, a smile playing at the edges of her mouth. "I'm not interested in dealing with Superman wannabes."

“I do not know what you mean by that,” Obi-Wan told her, confused. “As I was saying, we are exiles, refugees from our home. Our kind were targeted and hunted down by the very society we swore to protect. All that is left are a few survivors, mainly myself and these younglings. All we ask for is shelter, a place to live and train until it is safe for us to return home again.”

The woman remained silent but was walking, no, stalking towards them. Obi-Wan tried to read her feelings through the Force, but found himself unable to do so. She stopped a few feet in front of him, somehow commanding the clearing despite her short stature. It was hard to make out her facial characteristics in the scant light, but he could just see her large, piercing eyes.

“What can you tell me about this ‘order’ of yours?” she asked, turning around. For a moment, Obi-Wan thought she was asking him, but realized a second later she was asking one of the younglings.

“The Jedi help those who need it,” answered the child, a Bothan by the name of Kesk. “We keep peace throughout the galaxy and let the Force guide us and our actions.”
“Can you explain this ‘force’ to me?” she asked the Bothan, crouching down to look him in the eye.

The Bothan looked at her like she was slow, but answered anyway. “The Force surrounds us, guides us, allows us to use it to do good. But we must be careful not to fall to the Dark Side and use our anger,” he added, face completely serious. “The Dark Side destroys you.” The woman continued to study the child before rising and turning her eyes to Obi-Wan.

“I’ll trust you…for now,” she told him, looking at him with eyes that were old before their time. “But understand this: If that trust turns out to be misplaced, I know enough people to make sure that you’re taken care of. Crystal?”

“I beg your pardon?”

“Are. You. Clear?” she asked, enunciating every single word and getting in his face.

“Absolutely,” he stammered out, surprised at the directness of this small creature. She studied him again before walking back into the trees. Seeing that the group wasn’t following, she turned around.

“You coming, or did the trip from zones unknown rattle your brains?” she asked, an exasperated look on her face. Unfreezing himself, Obi-Wan motioned for the children to follow him. The woman appeared to be moderating her pace, slowing herself down so that the group did not get separated. They broke through the trees, and he could see where she was leading them: about ten yards from the trees was a house, but unlike any he had ever seen before.

“It looks better in the daylight,” she called out from the head of the group, as if sensing he was gawking at her home. “Seriously. It’s painted pretty colors and all that jazz.” Slightly amused at her way of speaking, he continued to follow her as she led the way to what appeared to be a back door. Opening it, she gestured with her hand to go inside. He shrugged and continued to herd the children indoors.

“We can go get the rest of your stuff later,” she told him as she began turning on lights. “Oh, shit--by the way, you’re about to get attacked by…” Before she could finish, what appeared to be two flying balls of fur launched themselves at him, making strange barking noises.

“Yo, hooligans, back off,” the woman shouted as she tugged the two beasts off the Jedi Master. “Sorry about that. They get excited when newbies show up. Silly dogs think every new person they meet is going to be besties with them. Hey, sit!” she ordered as the two canines finally sat. The younglings giggled as they watched their guardian being attacked by what appeared to be pets. Even Ahsoka smiled a little at this scene.

“Seeing as we didn’t get a chance to do the whole meet and greet spiel back in the dark, scary woods, we should probably do that now,” she said, leading them to a living area and sitting down on a chair. He could see her better now in the light. Her blonde hair was pulled back from her delicate, yet strong face, with a few strands hanging down. Her hazel eyes were guarded still, and there was a tiredness to them that contradicted her youthful appearance.

“My name is Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi Master,” he said, introducing himself, unsure if he should bow or not.

“Buffy Summers,” she replied, giving him a small smile. “What about the rest of you? Cat got your tongue?” Seeing their puzzled expressions, she sighed. “It’s an expression here. We’ll get you caught up on your pop culture, no sweat.”

“I’m Olee Starstone,” Olee chimed in, seeing that no one else was going to speak up. “I am Master Kenobi’s Padawan. His…apprentice in the ways of the Force,” she added, seeing Buffy’s puzzled expression.

“Gottcha.” One by one, the younglings introduced themselves, each one getting a smile from Buffy. Only Ahsoka didn’t introduce herself. Buffy didn’t say anything, only giving Obi-Wan a look that promised a deeper discussion later. Seeing the yawns from the younglings, she smacked her forehead. “Bad Buffy, forgetting to make sleeping arrangements,” she chastised herself. “Come on, munchkins,” she called out to the younglings as she made her way upstairs. “I don’t have enough beds for all of you, so you’ll have to crowd together. Ben, was it?” she asked, pointing at Obi-Wan.

“Actually, it’s Obi-Wan,” he corrected, following her to yet another room.

“Whatever, Ben,” she retorted as she opened the door. “You’ll be here. Since you’re the grown-up, I’m pulling rank for you and giving you your own room. Now, if the kids are getting settled,” she continued, going back downstairs, “I’m going to go get what you need from that ship of yours.”

“I’ll accompany you,” Obi-Wan told her, not sure if he wanted this strange person playing around with technology that appeared to be beyond her planet’s capacity, given the what he’d seen so far.

“No, you should stay here. Night time is no-fun-time around me,” she told him as she ran to a closet, and grabbed what looked to be a sword and buckling it to her back. She began heading towards the door, with Obi-Wan close in her heels. “I’m serious! Stay here.”

“And I’m telling you, I’m coming with you,” he told her again as he made to follow her out of the house. She turned around and glared at him, but he refused to budge in his resolve.

“Fine,” she snapped as she made her way back upstairs. He was about to follow her, but he saw she was only going to talk to Olee. He couldn’t hear most of it, but he caught “…don’t invite anyone inside, no matter what. No verbal invites. Second rule of the house.”

“What’s the first rule?” he asked as she strode back out into the night after carefully locking the door.

“Don’t die.”

~*~*~
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