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La Vie En Rose

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Mando walked back to the ship as quickly as he could; it had started to rain. He’d been to a market on some outer rim planet to pick up some supplies as quickly and as quietly as he could- bacta spray, portions, parts for the ship if he could.

He’d found a stall selling fresh bread, savoury loaves and some sweeter treats- the kind that was hard to find away from the inner rim. On any other day he would’ve walked straight past it, good food not being something he liked to indulge himself in (the more he liked it the longer he wanted to keep his helmet off, an action that tempted him sometimes now that he travelled with you).

But today he had been in a good mood and the lingering smell of the bread had led him over to the kind woman selling. He was thinking of you, as he always did, maybe the kid too though he wasn’t too sure if he would eat it. He purchased just a few, the stuff she had recommended with a sweet smile, like she didn’t recognise his attire. They always minded their business on the outer rim planets, perfect for a mandalorian wanting to slip through unnoticed.

You had been asleep when he left, it only being the early hours of the morning since he liked to be in and out of places before they got too busy. There was only the one cot on the ship, but you’d managed to make up a pretty decent make-shift one on the floor using blankets and pillows you’d bought on different planets.

At first he had insisted he’d sleep on the floor and you’d take the cot- you being his guest. But your faux bed was much comfier than his actual one and soon enough you’d became a permanent resident so it didn’t matter. He liked your presence on the ship, with or without whatever he felt for you, you just seemed to make the place much more liveable. And with the new life-on-the-run he’d adopted, liveable is exactly what the Crest needed to be.

He’d left as quietly as he could, which was hard in so many layers of noisy metal, but he never liked to wake you. He checked on you before you left, finding the blankets curled right up to your neck and your hair fanned out across the pillow- he wondered if he looked as serene as you when he slept. If he hadn’t insisted on sleeping next to you or him (something that had been occurring more often lately), the baby would be found snoozing in his own cot. But checking on him was most definitely not worth the risk of waking him up.

Oddly he always felt on edge when he returned to his ship after a trip, always expecting something terrible had happened in his absence. A habit from his choice of former employment, not that it was strictly a bad habit to have. He’d walk up to the ship just a little bit slower and quieter than he usually stepped. He’d check his surroundings, check the ship, make his way to the door silently. He always had horrible images sweep his brain- you lying on the floor unconscious and the baby missing. Thank god he just had an overactive imagination.

He slipped inside with ease, relaxing when he heard your voice from the cots.

When your mandalorian returned you’d hummed in recognition, too busy playing with the child to do anything else. He was smiling brightly, his big, dark eyes were too hard to turn away from. Hypnotic little bastard, Mando would say. But there was nothing you enjoyed more than playing with him in the mornings- it was unfamiliar at first, but now it felt like home. It felt normal and wonderful.

He was balanced near your hip, his face looking right into yours. He wasn’t much heavy at all, but you liked to hold him like that nonetheless- your arm gentle around his back and just about supporting his head. You had been dancing with him, swaying around gently as he smiled and giggled.

You sang too, a sweet tune you knew off by heart, though you couldn’t place where from- you must have picked it up when you travelled before you met Mando. You’d never paid much attention to the lyrics but the tune was perfect to dance to. And the babe was definitely having fun, so were you.

“Hold me close and hold me fast.” Mando hadn’t expected you to be singing when he came back. He’d heard you sing a few times, quietly, little songs to rock the baby to sleep. But you were singing brazenly, standing in the middle of the ship rather than huddled over the pram. It was warm and beautiful, and immediately Mando wanted nothing more than for you to sing to him. “This magic spell you cast, this is la vie en rose.”
The hairs on the back of his neck had stood up at the sound of your voice, sweet and unapologetic, mixed with the unmistakable giggles of the child beside you. He couldn’t imagine himself as the person who came home to a woman singing to a baby, yet here he was. It felt like such a visceral experience, and he couldn’t process any of his immediate thoughts. He was dumb-struck.

He froze in place, rummaging through his bag with no goal as he tried to form a coherent thought. Something to say, something to do rather than stand like a quarry frozen in carbonite. The great Mandalorian, bounty hunter known across the realm- and here he was unable to move at the sound of your voice.

Mentally he shook his head, moving over slowly to where he knew you were standing. His own footsteps had never felt so loud, he almost cursed himself for the sound of the clanging metal. He knew he could be quiet if he wanted to, but he couldn’t muster enough will to do it at that moment. All he could think was that he needed to come closer.

He watched the floor at first, as he made his way over to you, almost like he was embarrassed to look at you as you sang. It felt personal and he wasn’t entirely sure he was welcome, but he must be, he told himself. He’d beg for it if he needed to. He leant against the wall of the ship before he ran his eyes up to you, letting his helmet clang gently against the framing before he took you in.

You didn’t seem to register him watching you, still singing your melody as the child in your arms babbled with delight-maybe he was singing with you. Your nightdress span with you, you were dancing, he registered quickly. He couldn’t stop watching you move gently, the kid joined to you like your dance partner.

His brain registered the view of you dancing like something on television, something he wasn’t a part of. It was a vision, a beautiful vision, that he couldn’t believe was his own. You never ceased to make him feel so unbelievably lucky, if not a little self-doubting too.

He watched as the child revelled in the feeling of being spun, he was just as hypnotised by you as he was. Mando knew that both him and the kid were the luckiest boys in the galaxy. He was sure that there weren’t too many moments of happiness to be had for your family, and especially for himself, but for now he’d never felt so happy.

“Hey, Din.” You whispered with a smile, knowing he was probably stuck in his own thoughts. You supposed talking wasn’t something he used to do so often, so now you’d find him staring into the distance as he thought and forgetting to say a word. Both you and the child looked to him happily nevertheless, not missing a beat.

“H-hey.” He whispered back, stumped for words as usual. Smooth, he told himself. He didn’t look away from you though.

Before he could let out a babble of complaint (the baby, not Mando) you took him over to Din, his green arms already reaching for his dad. You wondered if he thought of the Mandalorian as his dad, the kid being such a mystery. Sometimes he was stopping rhinos with his mind, other times he let out noises to tell you he wanted attention.

“I got you something.” He said after greeting the kid in his arms, holding up to his line vision to say hello then cradling him back down. God, Din was definitely his dad. There was nothing you loved more than watching him with the baby- you’d never seen such a ‘scary’ man melt immediately when he saw his child. He was such a softie.

You gasped. “Is it bacta spray?” You beamed like a child, cynical in your tone.

“No.” He scolded, to which you let out a laugh. “I bought fresh bread at the market. Enough for you and the child, too, if he likes it.”

“That maniac will eat anything.” You pulled a face at the babe as he laid in the mandalorian’s arms, a look as innocent as ever on his face. Din looked down at him too, smiling fondly at the sight. “Yeah.”

His eyes drifted back up to you, your hair still unbrushed from the night and a tired look still adorning your face. But you looked so beautiful. And here you were, stood inches away from him as you both doted on a child. What a pair, he thought.

You looked up at your mandalorian too, nearly a foot taller than you in his boots and his body shrouded by metal- and you loved him, simply enough. You knew in every fiber of your being that you loved the man who stood before you. Hell, he was in full body armour and rocking a baby like it was the most natural thing in the world. You were obsessed with him.

“He won’t be tired, he’s only been up an hour.” You spoke quietly, still mostly looking at Din. You were sure you could see his eyes behind the helmet, the way they looked into you- or maybe you had begun to imagine it. He looked at you like no one else did, you could feel him melt behind the helmet.

Din hummed quietly, his eyes watching the baby so easily. You’d never known a person to take to caring for a child so easily, no matter how much he claimed he was useless at it. You knew they were thick as thieves, and you’d swear on your life that Din would whisper all his secrets to the baby when they sat in the cockpit at night.

“You still wanna dance, little buddy?” He asked the baby, to no answer. He babbled the same as he always did, yet to realise he could probably harness other methods of communication much quicker.

“How about some colouring?” You hummed, to which you got more of an answer. Cheeky kid. He knew that he could get away with drawing on the walls when you were there since you didn’t let Din stop him. No matter how much paper you bought.

“He’s just gonna-” “Yep.” You cut Mando off with a smile, to which he groaned lightly. He was utterly useless to go against you, and you both knew it. But he smiled at you nonetheless.

You took a minute to grab whatever paper and crayons you could find, placing them in the corner near your bed as Mando put him down and let him toddle over. He was happy to start making a mess himself, so you wandered back over to Din in search of the bread he had promised.

Before you could say a word he handed you a small bag with what you were sure was a smile. He knew you so well, and you snapped up the food before he could make a comment. You stood just beside him as you took a few bites, both of you looking at the child then at each other. And god, the bread was good.
The pair of you felt smug, oddly pleased with yourselves for whatever situation you always seemed to find yourselves in. Proud of the ease and safety you brought to each other's lives- you were sure the quick glances you would give each other were as daringly flirtatious as Din ever got. And you adored it.

“I liked your song.” He stated, watching the baby. He was sure a blush would be across his face and he avoided your gaze like a child after he spoke.

“I think it’s an old love song.” You replied simply, unable to take your eyes away from Din for a moment. Anything he said to you you adored, and everytime he complimented you you’d go red like a schoolgirl with a crush. Then you had an idea.

You moved to step in front of him, placing your pastry down on a container first. He watched you, your eyes looking right into his and a teasing smile just about on your face. You held a hand up in front of you. “Wanna dance?”

Din didn’t expect you to ask that, his words failing for a minute as his head ran through every scenario it could think of. He couldn’t dance, he’d trip, you’d trip, it would just be awkward and- “Um..”

“C’mon.” You spoke, smiling at him reassuringly, but you wouldn’t take no for an answer. You wanted to dance with Din Djarin, so you took his gloved hand and gently tugged him into the open space. He followed hesitantly and stood stoic in the middle of the room when you stopped.

You took another step forward, watching his reaction carefully before slowly lifting your other arm up to drape over his shoulder. You waited a moment and he reciprocated, delicately pulling an arm around your back so you could just about rest your head on the beskar of his chest.

He couldn’t help but hold his breath just for a moment, feeling your head against his chest so delicately. He cursed himself for not stripping off some of the beskar first, but now it was too late and he didn’t want to pull away from you. But he squeezed your hand a little bit in appreciation.

It was nice holding Din close. You knew that pretty much everything about your relationship was new to him, from having someone on the ship to holding his hand. You’d push his boundaries very rarely, mostly just wanting everything between you to be natural and mutual. There was something nice about the soft nature of your relationship, him doing almost anything for you and never expecting a thing back.

It never felt restricted or unfair to you, something you hadn’t even considered until he’d mentioned it once- he thought he was holding you back. But you’d never felt so happy, so oddly loved in your partnership no matter how undefined it remained. You’d never had such a relationship (or even a friendship) like with Din, where you could just sit and watch the stars together quietly, or chat through the wall of his bedroom most of the night. Other nights you’d both go to bed quietly, and that was okay too.

There was a harmony between you, you understood each other.

You gently swayed in his arms, leading the mandalorian to take small steps side to side. Almost definitely you knew he felt slightly awkward, the stiffness of his arms was a dead giveaway. Sometimes you wished he wouldn’t wear so much armour, let you hold yourself against his body the way he could hold you to his. Other times you didn’t care.

You knew that you could drive yourself crazy thinking about Din without the armour, touching him bare or seeing his face. But you didn’t. You knew you were better than that, and you’d never forgive yourself if you pressured him into something he wasn’t ready for- especially when it came to that, it was his decision. Plus the armour was kind of sexy.

In a minute you felt him breathing even out, and the movement between you became a bit more fluid, finding a nice rhythm. You were enjoying yourself, so at least he was more relaxed. So you decided to sing gently again.

“When you press me to your heart, I’m in a world apart, a world where roses bloom. And when you speak, angels sing from above. Everyday words seem to turn into love songs.”
The blush on your face must’ve been ridiculous, so you thanked god that you could hide your face in his arms. You could feel Din relax as you sang, his whole body feeling less stoic and his arms wrapping around you just a little bit tighter. You’d sing all the time if it brought you to this moment.

You rubbed your thumb in gentle circles on his shoulder, and you still danced even after you’d stopped singing. Mando wasn’t much of a hugger, he claimed, though he’d let himself do this. You silently giggled to yourself at the thought, what a sap. It wasn’t technically a hug, but maybe it was better. You’d welcomed him regardless. You were probably just as desperate to be touched as he was.

“I like your singing.” He said quietly, the modulated voice sounding just next to your ear- he made the hairs on your neck stand on end. He’d never been so close to you.

“Thank you.” You whispered into him, utterly embarrassed. You’d sing any song in the world for Din if he asked you to, but it shied you away nonetheless. A sigh sounded from your lips, a content sound- so happy to be held by him. Even if he did make you blush so much.

“There’s a word in mando’a” He started carefully, to which you hummed lightly, still wrapped up in the dance. You loved the sound of his voice. “I-It means-” He paused, looking for the right words.

“It’s a word for loving life so much that you want to do everything you can,” He tilted his helmet down just a bit more to see you as he spoke, then he looked over to the child with a fond smile. His family. A clan of three. “And wanting to live till the next day to do even more.”

You clutched one of his arms slightly tighter with your hand. You’d never felt so stumped with affection. In all the time you’d known Din, every thought and feeling you’d had for him felt so hard to put into words. You’d devote your entire life to him and he’d do the same to you. It was so strange for him to have a word for everything you felt for each other- maybe because it was so indescribable to you.

I adore you, hung on your lips in agony.

“What’s the word?” You spoke softly, desperate to look into his helmet and search him for affection. But you couldn’t let go of his arms.

“Shereshoy.” He replied after a little pause, holding you close for just a minute longer.