So in one of the earlier seasons of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Ahsoka Tano and her fellow Padawan, Barris Offee, team up for a few episodes. In these episodes, their friendship buds, they get buried alive together and attacked by infectious worms that can possess people, and are finally made to fight one another. And after all this, the two of them end up in this position:
And thus, the slash was born.
What is Forbidden by EsmeAmelia is a one shot that takes places directly after these events while the two are recovering. And it has them deal with the trauma of what happened by finding comfort in each other.
It begins with Ahsoka tossing about on her bed, unable to sleep. Even though both Anakin and the medical droids have told her that Barris will be fine, Ahsoka still has her doubts. She can still remember Barris pleading to be killed during the brief moment of her possession when she gained control.
Ahsoka pulled the thin blanket around herself, twisting it around her legs, shivering at Barriss’s last words. What if the cold hadn’t worked? What if there had been no way to drive the creatures out of people’s brains? What then? Would she have had to…
She blocked the rest of the thought.
Eventually, Barris wakes and she practically scolds Ahsoka for not killing her when she had the chance, because there had been no guarantee that their plan to stop the worms—freezing the whole ship because the worms couldn’t stand the cold—would have worked. However, Ahsoka hadn’t been able to bring herself to kill Barris for the same reason Barris had wanted to be killed in the first place: so that the other one wouldn’t have been hurt.
Once the two of them hash this conversation out, Barris invites Ahsoka to crawl into bed with her, since the two of them are still cold, so they can warm each other up. And things go from there. Of course, they are Jedi, and so both are hesitant to confess anything, since it’s not allowed.
The words hung in the air, waiting for Ahsoka to accept them. How she wanted to accept them, but instead she squirmed. “Barriss… you know we couldn’t… we’re Jedi…”
Barriss’s thumb was stroking Ahsoka’s finger. “I know… I know we can’t.” She shifted her body so she was closer to the Torgruta. “But… that doesn’t stop us from thinking about it.”
Ahsoka gets what she considers to be a childish idea. She suggests that she and Barris ‘pretend’ to have a relationship, since they cannot actually be in one. Barris’s reaction to that is to kiss her.
What is Forbidden is a little short, but it’s also a little adorable. The two of them have been through a rough time together, and at the end, they just need some comfort. It’s a little innocent. They share a kiss, and then they cuddle up together and fall asleep. Some parts of it may seem a little cheesy, but it does do a good job justifying the relationship, and it makes some decent attempts at portraying some symptoms of PTSD. Ahsoka and Barris have been through a pretty scarring experience, so it’s nice to see someone address that, as well as developing their relationship. And considering that it’s Anakin who finds them curled up together, and that he obviously doesn’t care if Ahsoka forms an emotional attachment to anyone, and instead encourages it—which is canon—it’s also nice that Ahsoka would receive support from her master. Check it out.
When Anakin came in to check on the padawans, he found them both asleep in Barriss’s bed, their arms around each other. Another Jedi might have raised his eyebrows. Another Jedi might have woken them up and demanded that Ahsoka return to her own bed. Another Jedi might have even given them a lecture about the danger of attachments.
But not Anakin. He merely smiled.