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The World Inside of Me

Chapter Text

Din sat in the pilot’s chair of the Razor Crest and stared out at the stars all around him. Him and the kid had just escaped from a close call during a resupply mission, and he had a lot of thoughts floating around in his mind. 

The kid was sleeping in his hammock below, and the Mandalorian was sorely tempted to climb down that ladder and stand guard next to the kid all night. He let out a sigh that was picked up by his helmet’s audio and leaned back in the chair. 

They were safe, he reminded himself. They had made the jump to hyperspace and had found a deserted sector to rest. There weren’t any viable planets or moons to land on nearby, and that meant the risk of being found was even more minimal. 

Din leaned forward and flicked the lights off on the control panel before standing up from the chair and beginning to pace around the cockpit. The landing on that moon was intended to be easy. They were supposed to be close enough to a small trading post to pick up food and medical equipment, and the Razor Crest would be far enough away that they wouldn’t be immediately recognizable as a possible target, Mandalorian and small green child or not. 

It was just his luck that someone with a tracking fob on the kid had been there on a job and saw the device light up in excitement the minute they showed up. Karga had taken care of the guild members and their pursuit of him, but Gideon had hired many more who weren’t necessarily connected to the guild. 

They had managed just fine through the trading post. Gotten food supplies to last long enough to make it to the next safe location and maybe more, a pile of bandages and bacta for emergencies, a blanket that the kid had gestured at and stared at Din with his big eyes until the Mandalorian had bought it for him, and some candy a store owner had given to the kid with a smile and a wink. 

Due to the amount of supplies he had to carry, his ad’ika had been gently evicted from his bag and toddled alongside Din as they made their slow way back to the Crest. They had just made it to the ship when Din picked up on the sound of a branch snapping in the forested area where they had landed. Sliding the supplies onto the ground and stepping in front of the kid, he was greeted with the sight of multiple bounty hunters standing with their weapons drawn and pointed. 

He had spent hours a few weeks prior working with the kid on hand signals, and he hoped that the lesson had stuck. In the still of the stand off, he moved his left hand in the signal for the kid to run and hide. A small “beh” greeted him when the kid saw it, and Din tilted his head slightly and repeated the signal. It only took a moment more before the small green figure was running off, and, with the sudden movement of the child, Din took the other bounty hunters by surprise. He whipped his blaster out of it’s holster and shot them all with no problem. 

That didn’t stop him from agonizing over what had gone wrong in the first place. A search of the bodies informed him about the tracking fob, and he took great pleasure in grounding that thing into dust with his foot. 

After checking for heat signatures and being satisfied that there weren’t any other surprises waiting for them, he picked up the supplies and found his ad’ika hiding behind a log. The kid reached his hands up and Din found a way to carry all of the supplies and the child. He wouldn’t be comfortable with the kid out of his grasp until they were far away.

They were far away now, he thought, but he still wasn’t comfortable. 

All there was were stars around them, but he couldn’t shake the fear he had about his kid’s possible capture. 

Haar’chak!” He said, pausing in his pacing to grip the pilot’s seat. 

He was supposed to give this child up to the jetii ? How?

The mere thought of something happening to the kid was enough to send him spiralling. He had faced so much danger in his life, yet this small green kid was all it took to destroy his composure. The Armourer had sent him on the mission to return his ad’ika to his kind, but for the first time in his life, he didn’t know if he would be able to fulfill such a command.

He cared too much. That was a weakness.

But was it a weakness he was willing to have? Absolutely.

When he found the jetii, if he found the jetii , he would find a way to take care of the kid. Surely the sorcerers would need some sort of protection? Besides, with the covert gone and bounty hunting not looking so appealing anymore, it was an amenable line of thought. He would have to consider it some more. 

But there was something he would need to do first. 

Mind made up, he left the cockpit after ensuring that the autopilot would take care of the ship, and quietly made his way down the ladder to where the kid was sleeping. 

He stood in front of the storage block where the kid’s hammock was swaying back and forth, and a smile crept onto his face as a small green head peeked up and a chirping noise was made. He slid himself into the compartment and lifted the kid out of the hammock as his hands gestured to be picked up. 

Setting the child onto his lap, he took a deep breath, the child tilting its head at him as if knowing that something important was about to happen.

Ad’ika,” he started before feeling like something was lodged in his throat. Words, that was what was stuck there. He took another deep breath.

Ad’ika, the Armorer named us a clan of two, but I have come to the realization that I have not treated you as aliit as much as I should have. We are in this together, and together we must be.”

The kid reached forward and batted a hand against his chestplate, small little tings echoing around the room as his nails clicked against the beskar. 

“That’s right, we are aliit.” He leaned down and gently tapped his helmet against the little one’s head. “It’s time that I make it official.”

With the child’s big eyes staring at him, he said the words that had been waiting in the back of his head for too long.

Ni kar'tayl gai sa'ad.”

The words having been spoken, he lifted his hand slowly to his helmet as the kid made a small little noise in his surprise. His hands trembled slightly as he unlatched it and pulled the helmet off of his head, hair catching on it as he bared his face to the first person since he was a foundling.

The child froze for a moment, and Din paused as well. Did the kid recognize him? Was there something wrong in the way he looked? He never bothered to take much care of his appearance so he wouldn’t be surprised if he looked absolutely hideous. What could the kid be thinking? 

In his anxiety, a small hand had reached forward towards his face and slowly patted it. His breath caught in his throat as the child made a trilling noise and laughed. 

Din’s mouth turned up as the small hand explored the relatively untouched skin. “That’s right ad’ika , it’s your buir.” 

The child looked up at him. “Beh?”

Buir.”

“Beh.”

He let out a fond sigh and closed his eyes as the exploring hand neared them. 

“Close enough.” 

 

Chapter Text

It was supposed to be a normal mission. The kid was with Greef and his most loyal bounty hunters, the bounty was only a system away, and Cara was along for the ride. Split with the former shock trooper, the credits would be enough to carry him and the kid for a while. 

It would have been a normal mission had the bounty not bribed a local crime syndicate into protecting them. The razor crest was shot down the minute they got through the roughest part of the atmosphere. Din managed to land it with quite a lot of cursing and a former rebel fighter yelling at him the whole time. 

Upon impact with the ground, Din was promptly thrown forward and knocked out. He woke up to even more of Cara’s badgering. A hand waved in front of his visor and he groaned. His head was killing him. 

“Hey Mando.” Cara said, sounding stern but also worried in her unique way. “You good? Trouble’s on the way.”

He waved a hand in the air loosely and sat up slowly from where his body had prostrated itself on the controls. 

“Yeah I’m good.” He said, definitely not being good. There was no way that the pounding in his head would be going away anytime soon. 

Cara gave him a hand and he dragged himself up from the chair, swaying a little bit but covering it up in a way he hoped wasn’t too obvious. 

They made their way out of the cockpit and into the main compartment of the Crest. The Mandalorian sighed as he witnessed the mess that the landing had created. Just another thing that he would have to take care of while keeping the kid distracted long enough so that more chaos wouldn’t be made.

Grabbing his phase pulse blaster from where he stored it and making sure that all of his weapons were ready to go, he followed Cara towards the descending ramp. The shock trooper took lead with her blaster in hand, and Din found himself looking out at a dusty gray world. 

With lots of rock cover around, anyone could be hiding in wait for them. His only consolation was that the rough landing had secured them some ways away from where the concussive shot had been fired towards the ship which meant that they might have some time before a follow up was sent to see if they were well and truly taken care of. 

A quick scan while standing at the top of the ramp showed him that there didn’t appear to be any immediate lifesigns, so he took a moment to walk down the ramp and see how the ship was looking. 

A bit scorched, but that was normal at this point. He tilted his head, ignoring the next round of pounding that it set off in his brain, and thought that the ship would still be able to run just fine. 

Of course, the minute he thought that, a piece of the side came crashing down and landed on the ground with a clank and a small cloud of dust. 

He sighed. Better than nothing. 

Turning back to Cara, he tapped the command for the ramp to go back up, and they made their way towards where they knew the town and the origin of the attack on them to be. 

His friend’s calculating eyes turned to him after a few moments of silent walking. 

“You’re being oddly quiet over there, tin can.” She said with a teasing smirk. “Usually you’re more talkative.”

He glared at her from under the helmet and an amused snort escaped her. 

They continued that way for some time, Cara feeling it necessary to make comments along a similar vein when she felt like it and Din trying to ignore the fact that the crash landing may have affected him more than he cared to admit. He tilted the light filtration slightly on his visor when Cara wasn’t looking, and was already thinking about where he had a stash of medical supplies to take care of the headache on the Crest.

It was during one of these ruminations that they were shot at. 

Again.

The shot bounced off of his armor with a cloud of sparks and the two dived behind boulders on either side of the small path they had been walking down.

Din placed his blaster on top of the boulder and took a shot in the direction that the attack had come from. Someone cried out, and he noticed Cara beginning to shoot from her side as well. 

His mind focused on the battle and ignored the pounding in his head. 

All in all, they took out probably fifteen attackers. Most in the first few minutes, the others as they tried to sneak around the various obstructions. 

A particularly amusing take down was when he was able to jump down behind the person and see their look of shock before putting them out of their misery. They were lucky the kid hadn’t been there, or he would have been more aggressive about it.

Or, less aggressive? Peli had given him a talk about “setting good examples” for the kid and apparently it wouldn’t be good for the little one to watch so much of it. On one hand, he could see her point. On the other? Well, he was a Mandalorian. Enough said.

After doing what they could with their attackers and spotting the target village, for that’s what it looked more like than a city, Cara and Din laid down out of sight and took a look at the place with their scopes.

Lo and behold, there the target was. Loading up a small freighter with a few very large guards and a lot of urgency. 

Cara turned to look at him. “Got a plan in there?” 

He stared at the freighter. “You know what we did on Nevarro with Moff Gideon?”

“Absolutely not.” She said.

He remained silent.

“No! I’m not letting you grappling hook yourself to another fast flying ship, jetpack or no. I’m not!”

“There’s no way to rush them with just the two of us over this long flat terrain and hand to hand isn’t an enjoyable thought with the size of those guards.” He turned to look at her, hoping that she picked up on enough of his body language and logic to let him do it. “I propose that we wait for them to take off and then I can take them down from the sky.”

She sighed. “Well what am I supposed to do?”

“There’s a speeder by the ship. When those who are left on the ground are distracted with the stunt I’ll be pulling, you grab the bike and follow along. No doubt a few of them will survive the crash and I’ll need some backup.”

Giving a moment to think about it, or at least to figure out if it would work, she finally acquiesced. “Fine. But if this goes wrong, remember that I was against it.” 

Pleasantly surprised by the approval and silently dreading the possibility of having to admit to being wrong to someone who would never let it go, they settled down to wait. 

It only took a small amount of time before the target’s craft took off with the bounty and two of the very large guards.

With a hand signal, Din started his jetpack and shot towards the ship, Cara running beneath him towards the speeder that was left behind.

Acknowledging that using the grappling hook would be a very bad idea (his shoulder hurt for weeks after doing that the first time), he instead decided to fly right next to the ship.

Now, what he had expected them to do, what he would have expected any sane pilot to do, was to swerve out of the way once he was spotted at their side. 

What instead happened was that they took one look at him and decided to ram into him with the ship.  

Having not expected it, it was all he could do to find a quick hold on the side as the full weight of a small craft barreled into him. This was going to hurt more than his shoulder and Cara would never let him live it down. 

Speaking of Cara, she was doing just fine cruising along underneath them, and it was the thought of her backup that had him lunging forward to place an explosive on the wing of the craft. It wasn’t a TIE fighter, but he hoped it would have the same effect as what had happened with Gideon. 

Unfortunately, unlike with Gideon, the crash against the side of the ship had gotten him tangled with it. So the explosion not only knocked the wing off of the side, but also sent him flying. He was hit by multiple pieces of debrief and only briefly noticed his jetpack firing as he hit the ground and found peace in blessed darkness.

The peace didn’t last long, as he found himself waking up to someone tapping incessantly on the side of his helmet. 

“Mando. Mando wake up.”

It was Cara. That was alright then, he could sleep a little longer.

As if she knew he had woken up, Cara paused her tapping for a moment before lowering herself to be right in front of his face and glared. “Din get up.”

Well if she was using his name, he guessed that he had to do something. 

“What?” He said, with a slight groan escaping his lips at the pounding in his head. 

“You passed out on impact with the ground. I put the bounty in carbonite and dragged your sorry ass all the way back to the Crest so you better not die on me.”

He flailed an arm in the air, narrowly missing the shock trooper. “I dunno I’m feeling just peachy.”

Cara was silent for a moment. “Yeah you’ve definitely got a concussion. Where’s your medkit?” 

“Drawer.” 

“Which drawer?”

“Uhhhhh.” He lowered his hand and winced at the clank it made against his chestplate. “One of them.” 

“Well that’s really helpful, thank you so much for your service.”

He hummed under his breath in acknowledgement before pausing. 

“Hey Cara.”

“What’s up buttercup?”

He slowly moved himself up into a roughly seated position and looked over at his friend who was searching the drawers to find the med kit which was in there somewhere. Her very unimpressed expression was directed at him as he raised up one finger.

“I think. I think you may need to turn around.”

Her eyebrows drew together. “What are you talking about.” 

Din opened his mouth to explain, but instead ended up lurching off of the pallet and stumbling towards the nearest bucket while yelling for Cara to turn around.

Without even waiting for her to confirm that she wasn’t looking, he unlatched his helmet and pulled it off just in time to throw up into the closest container. 

That having been done, he sprawled backwards onto the floor, resting his head on the cold floor of the ship. Sweat drenched his curls and plastered them against his forehead, but he could see enough to know that Cara was awkwardly standing with her back to him and a hand clamped over her eyes. 

Din slowly dragged his gloves off of his hands and continued to lay there.

“Hey Cara.”

“Yeah?” She said, voice strained and a little muffled from the direction she was facing.

“I think I have a concussion.”







Chapter Text

Bo-Katan gave Din a lot to think about. He believed in the creed, he did, but he also knew that it would be important to explore the information she had given him. 

If it turned out that she had lied to him? He would have to do something about that. If it turned out that she had told him the truth? Well he would have to do some long and hard thinking.

It turned out that she had told him the truth, at least what she thought was the truth. He found old records of Mandalore, spoke to Ahsoka about her memories of the Clone Wars, and managed to find a few more coverts with armorers all aligning with different severities of the code. 

Turns out that his covert was different than most others, yet Bo-Katan and her actions were still more extreme than the majority. 

To take off their helmets in public? Risky. Damaged the Mandalorian reputation. Created a new way to be identified. 

He had been careful when asking around about other uses of the code, stumbling across multiple interpretations of the Resol’nare in the process. Turns out that the line about armor may not have been as strict as he was always led to believe. 

As one armorer said to him, the Resol’nare is about protecting the way of the Mandalore, and why would wearing the armor around those also protecting the ways be a benefit? Would it not bring them closer together to know one another more personally than anyone outside of the way?

The armorer was old and told him stories of the days before the empire, stories that he had previously only heard in passing and never directly towards himself, stories that made him think there might be exceptions to the rules.

He was told of the divide of the Mandalorians. The conflict between the New Mandalorians and Death Watch. The hypocrisy of Bo-Katan. The fall. All while knowing that he himself was raised by those who once had a part in the destruction. 

It took him months to work through it all. It would probably take him years if he lasted that long, but he slowly started to feel more suffocated under the helmet. His hands started itching up to it more, and he would take it off for longer stretches of time when he was alone in the Razor Crest. 

He ran into Bo-Katan again. They were both visiting Ahsoka. Kryze to try and work out a partnership with the former jetii and Din to visit the kid. 

They both made short acknowledgements of one another in passing. Din was hesitant to bring up what he had been discovering to her, especially after learning that she had once been Death Watch, and after her changing of the deal on Trask.

Unfortunately, their mutual avoidance was cut short when he quite literally ran into her when he was leaving his chambers.

The remaining jetii had set up a training location on a remote planet and the kid had been staying with them. Din was a frequent enough visitor that he got his own room. Visitor might not have even been the right word anymore. 

The collision between the two Mandalorians created an incredibly loud clanging sound that left both of them momentarily reeling. Recovering in split second timing, they stared at each other. 

“Bo-Katan,” Din inclined his head slightly. “I see we must both be distracted this evening.”

She snorted and pulled her helmet off. “You got that right. How’s the foundling?”

“Good. How’s retaking Mandalore?”

“Frustrating. The Jedi have made it clear that it’s our problem, despite their interference many times before. It also doesn’t help to have all of the remaining Mandalorians so fractured.” She pursed her lips slightly. “Have you reconsidered my offer from before? It still stands.” 

He stood still for a moment and stared at her. What should he say? He didn’t want to be pulled into a war, but retaking Mandalore was something he had to do was it not? Besides, what grand quests did he have now aside from making sure the kid was still safe?

“I have certainly considered it. But there is something that worries me.”

“And that is?”

“The divisiveness, and what you plan to do about it. As a former Death Watch soldier I would have assumed that you would feel a bit more pity for those of us who have known no else, yet instead you mocked the ways.” 

She stared at him, and he tensed up. He hadn’t intended to say it like that, but it was out there now. He was never known for his tactfulness, but he couldn’t help but think that her reaction would tell him some important things about their former regent. 

If he had been in the covert and said such things, a fight would have broken out. Paz and him alone had quite a few incidents along these same lines, but he didn’t know how far Bo-Katan would go in such a brawl.

What he wasn’t expecting was for her to slump. Her shoulders drooped, her helmet hung loose in her hand, and she looked tired. He knew that she was allowing him to see something that should be getting him killed. 

“I see you’ve done some research on me then?”

He nodded. 

“If it means anything, I am sorry about how I treated you on Trask.” She shook her head and looked at him with steel in her eyes, “but I don’t regret what I did. We needed that ship and couldn’t take it alone.” 

That was a statement he never expected to hear. He knew that he was either about to be murdered or given an offer he couldn’t refuse. Bo-Katan Kryze apologizing? What would come next? 

“I take it that my history isn’t the only thing you’ve been searching out?” 

There it was. The question he didn’t know how to answer.

“You would assume correctly.” He said.

“And?”

“I have learned that certain aspects of the way have not been as I have been told by many different parties, that the way is more personal than I have ever realised.”

She assessed him, smart enough to pick up on what he was inferring. 

“And does what you have learned lead you to an answer on my offer?”

“My answer is no.” He stood loose, ready for any response from her. “I will not fight a losing war, and you will not win with only the Night Owls. Just as you scorn the children of the Watch, so too do they scorn you. If you wish to retake Mandalore, you can’t do it divided. Find a way to unite the Mandalorians and I will help, but I will not do it if you ask me to give up my creed in its entirety, and I am not the only one who will resist. Can you understand that?”

The former regent opened her mouth to answer, but her eyes flickered to the left. Din spun around and was faced with one of the younger jetii standing in the hallway behind them. The jetii quickly apologized and said something about needing to get past them. They both stepped to the side and let the kid pass before Bo-Katan looked back at Din with a better formed response on her tongue. 

“I agree with you.” 

He tilted his head, but she raised a hand for him to wait before responding. 

“I agree with you, and I know that I have to find a new way to take the planet. I know that I’m too polarized. That’s why I need people like you.”

“I’m not going to help put you on a throne for you to turn around and only support your side of things.”

Bo-Katan took a step closer to him and his hand unconsciously dropped towards his blaster. Her eyes flickered towards his movement but she made no other acknowledgment of it.

“I don’t intend on taking the throne.” She said in a quiet yet sharp tone.

He paused, that was something he hadn’t even considered as a possibility. “What?”

“My goal is to take back our planet and find someone better suited to rule. I’ve tried it before and it didn’t last long. I’m a soldier, not a politician. That was my sister’s job.” 

He looked at her, really looked, and saw the bags under her eyes. He saw the determined set of her shoulders. He saw the stance of someone who was fighting a war, and he made his decision.

“I won’t fight your war.” He said. “My priority is the foundling and his safety, but I also have a responsibility to Mandalore. I will not fight your war, but I can help. If you need me, you may call on me. I can usually be found here or on Nevarro, and I’m sure you have the codes to contact me on the Razor Crest.”

She was looking at him with surprise written across her face. 

He continued, generating more confidence for what he was about to do with every word he spoke. “You asked me if I have been looking into other aspects of the way, and I said that it was a personal decision. Well, the way seems to me to be about protecting every Mando’ad, and in your quest to retake Manda’yaim you prove to me that you too follow the Resol’nare, albeit more loosely than others . In my exploration, I have found that most coverts remove their helm among compatriots. I have come to realize that it allows for greater trust, to know one another’s face. You allow everyone to see yours, but I cannot do that. I can, however, place my trust with a verd and a vod.

Her eyes widened as he lifted his hands away from his weaponry and towards his helmet. As much mental strength as it took to remove it, physically it was easy. He did it swiftly so that he would be unable to change his mind.

The lights hurt his eyes, and the small breeze coming through the hallway ruffled his hair. Bo-Katan was silent as she assessed his appearance, and he gave her a small unpracticed smile. 

“If you need me, ask Greef Karga or Cara Dune for Din Djarin.”

He held a hand out towards the shocked warrior, and it only took her a moment to grasp it with the strength of someone who had just gained a little more faith. He knew that he had made the right decision.

Vor entye. ” She said, and he nodded towards her before releasing her hand and sliding his helmet back on. It wouldn’t do to have a passer by stumble across that interaction. 

He felt lighter than ever, and a sliver of hope began to build in his chest. He knew that Bo-Katan would not hesitate to call on him, but with his ad’ika with the jetii , it didn’t seem like too bad of a gig. He nodded once more towards Kryze and turned around to make his way towards where he knew the kid to be, but not before saying one last thing to his fellow Mandalorian.

Ret’urcye mhi, alor.” 








Chapter Text

It had been a few months since he revealed his face to Bo-Katan, and she had called on him three times. Axe Woves and Koska Reeves, apparently the two who accompanied Kryze the most, had warmed up to him as their alliance stabilized. He had even gone so far as to trust them with his face as well. Other Mando’ad deserved that part of him, and every reveal lightened his burden a little more despite the twinges of guilt deep in his chest. 

The relationship with Bo-Katan was made even firmer by the fact that, apparently, they were both chasing Moff Gideon. Din to ensure the safety of his foundling even more than being surrounded by jetii, and Kryze to reclaim the dark saber. 

After discovering that Gideon still lived, they had separated to find out more info. The Nite Owls were checking out a lead on a moon closer to the core worlds and Din was back on Nevarro, his third stop for information. Given that he once thought they had defeated Gideon there, he figured he might be able to find something. 

Seeing Cara and Greef wasn’t too bad either. They were disappointed at the lack of the kid, but understood his precaution. Besides, they got in enough jokes about the state of the Razor Crest that he made a mechanic take a look at the ship while he would be investigating. 

Cara lent him a speeder and he made his way out to the crash sight of the TIE fighter he had taken down. His thoughts scattered around like the dust of Nevarro. He knew that he wouldn’t show his face to Greef. As much as the man helped him, he was still the head of the bounty hunters guild and circumstances might change. Cara though, Cara he trusted to see his face. 

She had been a good friend to him and already knew his name. In fact, she hadn’t even used it until he said that it was okay for her to do so. He already considered her one of his closest friends, so shouldn’t he trust her with his face as well? She didn’t follow the Resol’nare, but wasn’t she aliit ?

It was something to consider.

As he thought, the crash site came into view and he slowed the speeder down. Dismounting, he swore under his breath at the obvious signs of scavenging. No doubt whoever had found the site before him had taken anything that might have helped him. 

He walked slowly to the remains of the ship, phase pulse blaster slung across his body, and sighed. Peering into the compartment, he noted that all of the computer components had been mangled, and the only parts of the ship left were the larger metallic portions. No doubt those would be picked up eventually by similar scavengers. 

Leaning back out of the compartment, he stopped. It wasn’t a door he had been looking through, it was a hole. He reached his hand forward and slowly traced it along the cut. 

“Dank Ferrik.” He said, quieter than he normally did. This hole had been cut by one of those laser swords, and that meant that Gideon had the dark saber with him. 

He had to get back to his ship and contact Bo-Katan. They had been hoping that Gideon had stashed it somewhere, but evidently they had no such luck. Turning away from the wreckage, he ran to the speeder and pushed off towards town. 

The crash site receded into the background and his breath picked up with the new knowledge he had. The damage that such a man could do with that weapon was immense, and they now knew where it might be. Hopefully the team had found some information as to his location on their mission. 

He faltered for a moment. The team? He had just thought of them as a team. 

Against his will, a small part of his heart warmed up just a little bit. As supportive as the covert had been, he had always found himself alone. It was necessary at the time, but being in a team now was impossible to describe. 

The town appeared on the horizon. He would be coming in from the back and he hoped there wasn’t too much traffic down the main road so that he could get to the Crest as soon as possible. As he neared, a frown worked its way across his face. Someone was waving their arms in the air and running towards him. 

He pulled back on the speeder and skidded to a stop next to the figure. It was one of the kids who Cara paid to report information to her. The kid had played with his ad’ika before, and he knew that something had happened. 

She ran up to him, head craning upwards to look at his helmet. “Mr. Mandalorian, sir! Marshal Dune sent me, she said there’s trouble in the main square!”

Great! Another thing for him to deal with. He wondered what had happened. Giving an acknowledgement to the kid, she ran to go hide somewhere in the city. 

Or to go watch from a safe distance, he knew how kids could be.

He left the speeder where it was and started walking towards the main square. Townsfolk were hanging back in the door frames of their homes watching him pass, and he knew that Cara had done a good job of warning everyone. He guessed that a ship had landed and his friend wanted to be careful.

As he neared the center, he ducked behind a wall to find out what he could observe. All he could see was Cara’s back and her slow walk towards whoever had shown up. Greef was probably around somewhere, but it was smart to send out the shock trooper first. 

“You there!” He heard her say. “We don’t want any trouble here. State your business and be on your way.”

“I was told this place was friendly to my kind. Have I been given false information?” A familiar voice modulator echoed. 

Din grinned, he might not have to leave Nevarro after all. 

He could hear Cara become frustrated with her every word. “Our friendliness depends on yours, state your business.” 

“We desire no harm to you verd, we were told that a Greef Karga or Cara Dune of Nevarro could assist us in locating someone we need to find.”

“You’re speaking to one of those people. Who are you looking for?”

“Cara then? I presume. We seek a mutual friend of ours, but I’d rather not state his name in such a public place. Besides, we spotted his piece of trash on the way in. Where is he?”

Din raised himself up from where he had stopped to watch. He could mind listening to Bo-Katan rile Cara up, but no one was going to insult his ship, jest or not.

He turned the corner and his footsteps echoed through the square. Situated just past the statue honoring the only IG unit he would ever trust was Cara in a standoff with three very familiar Mandalorians. 

They all turned to look at him as he walked into the square. 

Bo-Katan tilted her head towards him and called out, “ su cuy’gar ner vod!

Gar serim.” He said back. Moving forward, he slowed down as he passed Cara who gritted his name out under her breath through her clenched teeth. He nodded towards her to say that it would be alright and approached Kryze. 

She held her hand out towards him and they clasped one another’s arms at the elbow. He could hear Cara’s intake of breath behind him and knew that she had recognized the significance of that. 

Repeating the action with Axe and Koska, he looked back towards Kryze. “I have information that might interest you.”

“And us for you. Is there a place we can speak privately?”

Din turned to look at Cara who nodded. “I’ve got an office you can use.” 

“Lead the way.” Bo-Katan said and began to follow the former shock trooper who gave Din a searching look as he fell into place just behind the other Mandalorian. They had managed to find a better rhythm than what they had worked with on Trask, and he found it instinctual to move to that spot, regardless of his lack of support for her policies or not.

Cara brought them to the main building and they were greeted with the sight of Greef standing awkwardly by the door. 

He looked in askance towards Din with his hands dangling towards his hips. “So Mando, I see you brought friends.”

Koska’s voice modulator let a small laugh through at him being addressed as Mando, and he sent a glare her way. 

Bo-Katan, recognizing who it was and seeing no one else around, stepped forward towards Greef. “I am Bo-Katan of Clan Kryze, former regent of Mandalore and current leader of the Nite Owls. Your Marshal stated that she had a space where I might debrief with Din of Clan Djarin.”

Greef’s eyebrows shot up. “We sure do. Right through the door and to the left. Might I grab a moment with uh… Din of Clan Djarin?” 

She inclined her head towards him and walked into the building closely followed by Axe and Koska. Cara and Greef stepped in front of the door and looked hard at Din who stood on the street in silence. 

“What the hell is going on Din!” Cara said, crossing her arms. “Since when have this many people known your name, and since when have you been hanging out with other Mandalorians?”

“A lot has happened since I saw you last.”

“Dank Ferrik! You think I haven’t figured that out?”

Greef interjected. “Let’s stay calm for a few moments. Mando, what’s going on?”

“I told Bo-Katan she could find me here if she needed me. They found me.”

Cara threw her arms in the air. “That explains nothing!”

He frowned and tilted his head to the side. “You can trust them.”

“Can I, Din? Obviously you didn’t find them important enough to talk about.”

“The topic never came up.”

She swore at him again. “Tell me what’s going on right now or I’m ramming this blaster through that shiny skull of yours.”

He smiled, there was the friend he was used to. “Gideon.”

Cara and Greef spoke in unison. “Gideon?”

“He’s not dead.”

Greef raised a hand to his forehead. “Is he still…?”

After the kid was the unspoken part of that sentence, and Din inclined his head. “He also has something which Bo-Katan needs. We’re working together to find him.”

“Why didn’t you tell us, Din?” Cara said, quieter than before.

“You have a good thing here. I didn’t want to disrupt it with a hunt like this.” 

“Idiot.” 

Din didn’t respond, he guessed that he deserved it.

Greef waved his hand and stepped away from the door. “Go talk to your friends. We’ll see if we can find anything about how he survived.”

“Look for transports around the time of his crash. He had to leave somehow.” 

“Cara will let you know if we find anything.” 

Din nodded towards the two and walked through the door. Passing the empty desk at the front, he entered the room to see the other three Mandalorians standing around a table with their helmets off. Bo-Katan gave him a small smile as the door closed behind him. 

At the acknowledgement of the room being contained, Axe placed a small projector disk at the center of the small table. Tapping the side, it lit up with a map of the sector, a small pulsing dot in one corner of it. 

Din turned and locked the door before walking towards the table and slowly raising his helmet off of his head. He took a deep breath of non-filtered air and brushed the hair that had stuck to his forehead away. Placing his helmet down next to the others’ and taking his gloves off for good measure, he pointed at the pulsing dot.

“Is that what I think it might be?”

“Gideon,” Koska said. “We slipped a tracker onto his ship after spotting him in transit.”

A grin worked its way onto Din’s face. “I’ve got some good news as well. Gideon has the dark saber with him.”

“What?” Bo-Katan snapped out, “how do you know?”

Ori’haat, I checked out the wreckage I saw him in last and he cut his way out with it. The signs were clear.”

The former regent of Mandalore smirked. “And so our interests align. What’s the plan people?”

The four went to work. Throwing suggestions back and forth, they slowly came to an idea that they all agreed upon, and one that might actually turn out well.

So engrossed were they in the discussion that none of the Mandalorians heard the telltale sound of a lock being undone before it was too late.

The door slid open and they spun around, weapons drawn.

There, standing in the frame, was Cara. The shock trooper was frozen, and Din realized with sinking horror that she was looking right at him.

Right into his unmasked eyes.





Chapter Text

Cara drew her gun and pointed it straight at Din. Her eyes hardened and her entire body tensed. Bo-Katan and her crew all drew their weapons to match Cara’s, but Din just slowly raised his hands into the air. 

“What did you do to him?” Cara snarled.

“Cara, it’s me.” Din said, trying to placate her.

She shook her head. “No. Din would never remove his helmet. Where is he?” 

“It’s me. I told you that a lot of things happened. This was one of them.” 

Evidently she wanted something more than that, because that’s when she shot him. 

Care knew the ins and the outs of his armor. She’d been around him while he cleaned parts of it before, and she knew where the gaps were. 

The blaster shot hit him right between the chest plate and his right pauldron, and he fell to one knee while clutching his shoulder. 

As the shot hit him, Bo-Katan and Koska surged forward. Axe stayed where he was with his rifle pointed at the former shock trooper while the two Mandalorians disarmed her and pinned her to the wall.

Cara screamed in rage as they held her down, and Din looked up at his friend who was staring at him with anger written across her face.

Bo-Katan put her face right up next to Cara’s, teeth gritted together. “ Ke nu’jurkadir sha Mando’ade !”

His shoulder throbbing and his hand covered in blood, Din groaned as he raised himself back to his feet. 

“Bo-Katan, ke’pare .” He said, eyes flickering back up to meet Cara’s. Kryze was always pointing out that he hadn’t figured out how to fully mask his expressions without the helmet yet, and he hoped that Cara would take the chance to read what he couldn’t say. 

Her eyes widened, and he knew that she had. “Din?” She said, voice at a near whisper and body relaxing slightly.

He could feel his mouth twitching up at the corner despite the pain in his shoulder. “Yeah, it’s me.”

 At Cara’s lack of continued resistance, Bo-Katan turned towards Din and raised an eyebrow. He made unhesitating eye contact with the former regent and slowly nodded his head towards the door. 

She turned to lock eyes with Cara before releasing her hold on the shock trooper, Koska doing the same and Axe lowering his weapon. 

Bo-Katan took the four steps needed to cross the room and stopped in front of Din. She placed a hand on his uninjured shoulder, eyes flicking to where his hand was clutching his other one, and bent her head towards him slightly. “We’ll meet you back at the ship when you’re done. It’s time to hunt some imps.”

He nodded, and she gave him a small smile. “ Oya Mando.”

Oya.

With that, she spun and walked out of the room, the other two following her with looks of support directed Din’s way. 

Cara stayed where she was by the wall, eyes tracing every line on Din’s face. While she did that, Din lifted his hand from his shoulder and paused as he noticed the blood covering it. 

“Dank ferrik.” He heard, and looked up to see Cara staring at the wound.

She looked up at him with guilt in her eyes. “I’ll go grab a bacta patch, you sit down.”

At that, she turned and also left the room, leaving Din alone and wondering where he went wrong. 

Only hours ago he was thinking about showing his face to Cara, and now it had happened in the least expected way. He reached a hand out and collapsed into one of the chairs by the table, eyes landing on his helmet sitting on top. 

Bo-Katan and the others had grabbed theirs on the way out, so it was just him staring into the glass of the eyes so many were used to seeing him as. 

Did he still deserve to wear it? 

Not even his closest friend believed that it was him upon seeing his face for the first time. Maybe if he had done it himself, sat her down and explained before taking it off, it might have gone well.

But she hadn’t recognized him, and had immediately assumed he was an imposter despite only having his helmet and gloves removed.

Was that what he was now? Not himself? 

He could vaguely see his distorted reflection in the metal, and his brown eyes stared back at him next to cold glass.

A throat cleared in the room and he grabbed for a weapon before realizing it was Cara standing in the door frame with a bacta patch.

She lifted it up. “Should we fix you up?”

He nodded and looked at the ground, hand fumbling to unlatch his pauldron and the corner of the breastplate closest to the wound. Yet another piece of armor to be removed in front of Cara today. 

He let his eyes drift to the wall while Cara moved aside the fabric around his shoulder enough to put the patch on. 

A jolt of pain flickered through him as she pushed down on it to seal it to the skin, and he stilled a flinch that broke out.

“Sorry.” She said.

“It’s alright.”

Cara stopped, and he could feel her gaze boring into the side of his face. “No it’s not. I shot you, Din.”

He frowned and looked at her. “If anything it’s my fault. You didn’t know what you had walked into, and I hadn’t kept you updated enough.”

“I still should have known it was you. ” She snapped. 

He floundered for an answer, mouth dropping open a little bit, and a small laugh escaped his friend. 

“I should have known you would be an open book in there.” She said. 

The wall suddenly seemed like an appropriate place to look. “So people keep telling me. I haven’t exactly had much practice with it.” 

She went quiet for a moment and nodded. “How many?”

“Five now. The kid, the three you just met, and you. I’ve wanted to show you for a long time now.”

Cara hummed, and he flickered his eyes towards her and only saw pity on her face. Pity wasn’t what he deserved! 

“You should have done worse than shoot me. It would be what I deserved for being too much of a coward to face you.”

The shock trooper pushed down harder than she needed to on the bacta patch, inducing a sharp intake of breath from the mandalorian. “I said it before, but you’re an idiot. You don’t owe it to anyone to show your face. Stop being a martyr and get that into your system.”

A smile curled up on his face. “ Elek burc’ya.”

She snorted and moved the fabric of his shirt back into place before clicking the breastplate back down and lifting his pauldron up from the table. She moved it forward and attached it as well before leaning back and taking a good look at him.

“You should know that I had come in here to tell you that it seems like Gideon had left the planet through the supposedly abandoned imp base on the planet that Greef and I have been keeping our eyes on.” 

Din nodded. “And I should tell you that Bo-Katan has a lock on his location and a plan ready to go.”

Cara blinked in surprise before smiling. “When do we leave?” 

“Soon.”

“I can work with that.” She nodded, before sending one last glance across his face. “There is something that we need to first.”

Din frowned. What could possibly need doing?

Cara reached over to the table and picked up Din’s helmet, holding it carefully in her hands despite it being made of the strongest metal. She leaned towards him slowly and asked with her eyes for permission to put it back on. With his lack of a response, she nodded and gently placed it back on his head. It fit like a glove, as usual.

“Let’s do it right this time.” Cara said, and with that, Din understood .

He looked at her and her trust filled face through the tinted lens, and he lifted his helmet slowly off of his head once more.

She smiled at him in a way he didn’t think he deserved.

“Hi.” She said. “It’s nice to meet you.”

Din could feel her smile reflected on his own face. “It’s nice to meet you too.”

“Should we go kill some imps?”

Oya.

Chapter Text

The Razor Crest lay in wait next to an asteroid in a dormant mode. Din stood behind the pilot's chair, helmet on, and watched their plan come to fruition. Cara and Ahsoka were in the cockpit with him, and the two bickered quietly while he stayed silent. 

It was almost time.

Gideon’s ship loomed before them, and everything was set to go. All they needed to start was the sign from Bo-Katan.

A light flashed in front of the cruiser, and Din straightened as the sight of Bo-Katan’s kom’rk-class fighter appeared in direct opposition to Gideon’s. 

Though the Razor Crest was quiet so that the cruiser wouldn’t pick them up, they were able to receive the broadcast that Bo-Katan sent towards the larger ship. 

“Moff Gideon.” She said, helmet on and appearing as stoic as ever over the comms. “You have something that I need, and I am prepared to do anything to get it. Hand it over now or face the consequences.”

Ahsoka leaned forward towards Din and tilted her head. “I sense great anger and arrogance. He’ll fall for it.” 

“Bo-Katan of Clan Kryze,” the responding transmission in the silky tone of Moff Gideon said. “You have no idea what you are up against. Surrender now and I will be merciful.”

As he spoke, Din could see TIE fighters start to amass near the openings of the ship. Bo-Katan took his words in stride. “I accept no mercy from you. Oya!

With her last command, fighter ships decorated in the blue and white of Nite Watch appeared from hyperspace and decorated the stars in front of the cruiser. 

TIE fighters streamed out towards the fleet of small crafts, and Din flicked the Razor Crest on knowing that they wouldn’t pick up his signature amidst the chaos. 

Sitting down in the pilot’s chair, he checked to see that Cara and Ahsoka were also strapped in. Cara gave him a grin from her seat, and he punched the ship forward.

With the battle happening at the front of the ship, they snuck in towards the back. Bo-Katan flew her ship, along with a few other Mandalorians, straight into the opening where the TIE fighters had come from, pulling all the attention towards her.

The Razor Crest landed on the hull of the ship. Using the same technique that he had with the New Republic’s prison ship, he opened a hatch and connected the Crest to Gideon’s cruiser.

Ahsoka dropped down first, cloak flowing around her, and he heard the telltale sound of her sabers igniting and the clank of stormtroopers falling to the ground.

“Clear!” She said, and Cara gave him a grin before dropping to the ground after the jetii , weapons out and ready. 

Din followed soon after, landing in the middle of an imperial cruiser’s hallway surrounded by at least five dead stormtroopers. He pulled his blaster out of it’s holster and turned to look at Ahsoka. 

Noticing his gaze, she nodded her head and concentrated, taking only a moment before announcing that Moff Gideon was on the bridge. He would never get used to working with someone who could just feel that information.

Everything was going to plan so far, and that told Din that things were soon to not go well. The TIE fighters were occupied, Bo-Katan and her crew had entered the ship at the other end and were drawing fire there, his group had successfully breached the cruiser as well, and they now had a lock on Gideon’s position. 

All they had to do now was find him and kill him. Ahsoka had asked them when they got her on board the plan if they were going to try to do anything clever as a trick. That had confused not only the Mandalorians, but Cara as well. None of them were particularly known for trying to be clever in ways beyond battle tactics. Distract and fight was the plan.

Din had become afraid that Ahsoka would back out after they had finally convinced her to help with an argument that Gideon was a threat to the jetii as well, but the Togruta had simply grinned and said it was a nice change of pace to be straightforward about fighting.

Now he was wondering if they should have been more clever, maybe play the classic ‘one of us is turning in a prisoner’ tactic that worked way too often, but it was far too late for any of that.

The three began walking down the hall that Ahsoka gestured to as the fastest way towards the bridge. Din’s heart rate was steady, as it always was during a fight. He placed his steps carefully, aware that too loud of sound would alert the ship to their presence. 

Not that they would be noticed much over the alarms and running that Bo-Katan and her crew had induced. Having the former regent of Mandalore on your ship with multiple weapons wasn’t exactly an idle threat.

Ahsoka managed to steer them out of the way of multiple platoons of stormtroopers, but it was when they neared the doors to the bridge that they faced the problem Din was waiting for.

The dark troopers. 

The door to the bridge was in front of them, and at least five dark troopers were behind them. Din had encountered a few of them in their quest to take Grogu, and he had only barely escaped with his life each time.

They stood for what felt like a lifetime looking at each other, the dark troopers rigid and unfeeling, and the three of them in limbo. 

It was Cara who broke them out of it. 

“Din.” She said, “go make him pay. Let us take care of this one.”

Ahsoka nodded in agreement and twirled her sabers. 

He turned to look at his two friends. “ K’oyacyi, ” he said, and turned to run towards the bridge.

The sound of fighting followed his every step, and he didn’t dare look behind lest he be tempted to turn around and help them. He knew they could handle it, but the fear for them lingered. 

He pushed it aside as he reached the doors which slid open unnervingly smoothly. 

He should have faced more resistance. 

The doors closed behind him as he stepped into the bridge, and the world went quiet. No longer could he hear his friends fighting in the hall. The only sound was his armor clanking across an empty room.

An almost empty room.

There, at the end of a bridge that should have been full of people, was Moff Gideon standing with his back to Din and staring at the battle between the Mandalorian ships and his TIE fighters. 

More was wrong here than the appearance of the dark troopers. 

“Din Djarin.” Gideon said. “I was greatly surprised when it was revealed to me that you had created an alliance with Bo-Katan Kryze. Though I fear that her involving you in her greater plans did not come as much of a shock. Has she told you what she believes? She will throw you out and ridicule you the moment you are not useful.”

Din continued walking towards Gideon and didn’t say a word. The man’s manipulation was not a surprise, and he would rather stall as long as he could.

“She knows how to use people. I’m sure she told you that working for her would be akin to working for Mandalore. That she followed the resol’nare. That your way was her way.” He turned around to look at Din with a wicked smile on his face. “What if I could tell you that I have seen her face?”

With that statement. Din came to a stop a moderate distance away from the imperial leader. What was Gideon talking about? Did he think that Din didn’t know that Bo-Katan followed a different interpretation of the creed? 

Gideon perceived Din’s stop as a different kind of shock than it was, and his grin became larger with a dash of pity in his eyes. 

“She’s a redhead, Djarin, and she does not follow the way.” He waved his hand and a hologram of Bo-Katan standing helmetless in her armor appeared. “You’ve been deceived by someone who violates your creed with the intention to destroy your way of life forever.”

He was absolutely clueless! Din thought. The man who thought he knew everything in fact knew nothing. He thought he understood Din because he knew his name and with what creed he had been raised, but that was nowhere near who he really was. 

Gideon took a step towards Din and lifted an object up from where it had been strapped to his waist. “Do you recognize this?” He said, and turned the dark saber on. 

Unlike Ahsoka’s laser swords, it did nothing to illuminate the room, not in Gideon’s hands. The imperial leader gave it a twirl and looked at Din who had yet to say a word. 

“Do you? Din Djarin of the Children of the Watch?”

“Yes.” Din said, not giving any indication in his tone how he felt about it. 

Gideon gave it one last twirl before deactivating it and holding it loosely in his hand. “Then you know who I should be to you. The wielder of the dark saber is the rightful ruler of Mandalore, so it has been for generations. I am your leader, Din Djarin, and I will respect your creed.”

He stood there on the bridge, arrogantly and openly undefended. He truly believed that he knew Din’s heart and soul. Nothing could be further from the truth. It was now or never.

Din stilled and made his decision. He reached his left hand up to his helmet and ripped it off of his head. 

He smiled at the shocked imperialist with the most vicious grin he could muster. “You know nothing about my creed.” He said, and shot Gideon through the chest.

The man crumpled, the same surprised expression written on his face the whole way down. It didn’t take long for him to die.

As he did, the dark saber rolled out of his hand, and Din was there to stop it with his foot. The Mandalorian crouched down and picked it up, turning it over in his hand. 

What a small device to cause such chaos. 

He looked down at his dead enemy and felt nothing but peace. Grogu would be safe. The hunter was gone, and a weapon of destruction was out of the hands of evil. He clipped the saber to his own waistband and slid his helmet back on, comfortable once more in its embrace.

Walking away from the body of Moff Gideon towards the main control panel of the ship, he typed in the code to do a ship-wide broadcast. 

Watching the Mandalorian fleet shoot down TIE fighters left and right, he leaned in towards the mic. 

“Imperial soldiers, your leader is dead. Moff Gideon and his life blood decorates the floors of this very ship. Surrender now or die. You stand no chance.”

That having been said, he worked the controls to switch off most automated systems, including the dark troopers and any such dangers. The view from the cameras allowed him to see surrenders ship wide, and a quick take down of any who didn’t.

The doors to the bridge opened, and he turned to see Cara and Ahsoka come in looking a bit worse for wear but still alive. 

Cara raised an eyebrow. “What took you so long?”

He sent her an incredulous look that he knew she would understand even through the helmet, and she snorted. Ahsoka looked to Din’s waist. “You have the saber?”

“Yes.” He said, and unclipped it. 

The jetii stepped towards him and tilted her head in curiosity as he flicked the switch that turned it on and the dark light began emitting from the hilt. “I have seen nothing of it’s like.”

“And you’ll see no others like it.” The familiar voice of Bo-Katan said from the entryway. 

She was by herself, Axe and Koska evidently working on the surrenderers and remnants, and she walked into the room face barred. Din found himself recollecting what Gideon had said, and one look at the way Bo-Katan was approaching set aside any doubts that might have festered.

The former regent smiled at the sight before her . Jatnese be te jatnese ner vod .” Din turned off the saber and went to hand it hilt first to the former regent, but her hand went up. “Do you remember what you said when you first trusted your face to me?”

“The division.” He said.

Bo-Katan nodded. “Division. I cannot accept this.”

“Nor can I keep it.”

The saber still rested awkwardly in the space between them, and Din could feel the eyes of Cara and Ahsoka watching the interaction with great interest. 

“If only there was someone here who we both trusted completely, someone representing a group that this saber once signified a cooperation between.” Bo-Katan said, a wry smile working it’s way up on her face.

The two Mandalorians turned to face Ahsoka who looked between them with awe. She raised her hands up. “I cannot take this.”

“Yes you can. ” Bo-Katan said. “It won’t be forever, just as long as we need to find some who can unite our separate ways, and it can be the first step in a beneficial relationship. Haat, Ijaa, Haa’it.

Din moved the saber towards the jetii and repeated Kryze’s oath. “ Haat, Ijaa, Haa’it.

Ahsoka slowly reached her hand forward and took the saber from Din. She shook her head and looked down at it before steeling her resolve and facing the Mandalorians. “ Haat, Ijaa, Haa'it .”

The four of them stood in the empty room and basked in the significance of the moment. Bo-Katan reached her hand out towards Din and he met it, grasping her arm just below the elbow.

She gave him a small smile which he matched under his helmet with great glee. “To a new age of Mando’ade .”

“To a new age.”



Chapter Text

Din woke up slowly, and that was a surprise. It wasn’t like he had partaken in any battles the day before, he had simply returned to the planet where Grogu was staying and played with his kid for a few hours. 

After that, he had shared a meal with Ahsoka, darksaber attached to her belt, and retreated to his room for some much needed sleep. He distantly recalled the kid climbing into the crook of his arm and he had fallen asleep soon afterwards.

His ad’ika was moving slightly in his arms, and he realised that Grogu’s movement must have been what woke him. He cracked an eye open to see what the time was, but something was different. 

The light from the clock hit his eyes harshly and he blinked in shock before stilling. The light should not have been that assaulting, especially because he had gone to sleep with his helmet on.

His helmet was off. 

He sat up quickly, drawing his blaster and dislodging Grogu, who let out a surprised gurgling noise, while scanning the room.

There was no one else there. It was just him, the kid, and his helmet levitating next to the bed. Seeing that, Din’s eyes narrowed and he looked down at his ad’ika who giggled and cooed up towards him. 

The Mandalorian sighed. Grabbing the helmet from where Grogu had levitated it from off of his head, he set it down on the table next to the bed.

“You can’t do that ad’ika, not everyone here is aliit and they can’t see my face.” He said, sitting Grogu down in his lap and frowning down at the kid.

Grogu’s ears drooped and the kid looked down.

A pang shot through Din’s heart, and he could hear the ghosts of his ancestors laughing at him. Since when had such a feared bounty hunter turned so soft?

“Hey, ad’ika, you’re okay. Just don’t do it again.”

The kid’s ears shot back up and he raised his arms up towards Din. “Booo ir?”

Din lifted him up and smiled as his ad ’s hands touched his face. Perhaps being so soft wasn’t such a bad thing after all.

“Yeah kid, buir.”