“It’s a Jedi.”
Din looked over at the screen, watching a hooded figure dressed in mismatched armor swing his bright laser sword at the Dark Troopers. The Jedi was ripping through them like flimsi, using their powers to push back some of the Troopers while slicing through others.
But overriding the awe was a dull ache in his chest as a small green hand pressed up against the screen. Grogu was entranced by the scene… by the actions of one of his own. It was only when the Jedi disappeared into the lift that he looked away, turning towards the dented blast doors in anticipation.
They all waited on bated breath, each of them with a blaster in hand just in case. Although the Jedi had already destroyed most of the platoon. It was unlikely these last few would provide much of a challenge.
The sounds of a fight, shooting, the distinctive hum of the laser sword, crunching durasteel… then silence.
It was only a moment before the doors hissed open. Through the smoke and haze, a shadowed figure stepped forward. The green blade retracted with a hiss as the Jedi hooked the hilt to their belt. Then they reached up and pulled their hood back. It was a young man with a thick dark beard that didn’t quite obscure two dark scars that cut across one cheek. His long hair was pulled back into a nerftail, and his blue eyes looked over the bridge’s occupants before settling on Din.
Din’s heart was pounding. “Are… you a Jedi?” He had to be sure. This was too important.
The man smiled. “I am. I felt a call through the Force.” His gaze shifted down to Grogu, his eyes slanting slightly in sadness. “Something… I haven’t felt in a very long time.”
Din steeled himself. This has been what he’s been searching for. This has been his mission, to reunite the child with his people.
The Jedi stepped forward slightly and knelt down so he was at eye level with Grogu. “Hello, little one.”
Din looked down to see Grogu’s ears twitch slightly, cooing as he half hid behind the back of the chair. “He doesn’t want to go with you…” Even though they both knew this was how it had to be.
A moment passed as Grogu and the Jedi gazed at one another, communicating silently in the same way Ahsoka Tano had. It was an ability Din found that he envied.
“It’s not that,” the Jedi finally said. “He doesn’t want to leave you.”
The ache in his chest pulsated. He didn’t want to let him go either. Trying to say goodbye on Corvus had been hard enough. This child had been his clan, his aliit, for so long. To think of him as anything else was painful.
The Jedi sighed as he stood. “The galaxy hasn’t been safe for our kind since before I was born. To protect him, to make sure he can protect himself… he needs to be trained.”
Din knew that. He did. And so, he turned and gently picked the child up. Grogu looked up from where he was being cradled, his ears raising and lowering slowly. “Hey go on…” Din encouraged. “That’s who you belong with."
Grogu cooed, looking over at the Jedi hesitantly.
"He’s one of your kind." Din gave him a slight squeeze. "I’ll see you again... I promise.”
“What are you talking about?”
The Jedi was frowning at him, which served only to confuse Din. “Grogu is one of you… A Jedi. Aren’t you going to take and train him?”
The Jedi’s eyes widened, looking genuinely alarmed. “I can train him, that doesn’t mean that I have to take him from you.”
Din could only stare, every assumption about how this was supposed to go suddenly shattering into dust. For a moment, he wondered how the Jedi was supposed to train Grogu without taking him in.
“You and the child are obviously bonded. You care for each other, are there for one another. I’m not about to rip that apart.” The Jedi’s expression softened. “Nothing is more important than family.”
There was a slight tug on his cuirass, and Din looked down to see Grogu tightly gripping the edge of his armor. He smiled as he gazed up at Din.
That was when it all clicked into place. The Jedi was offering a place for both of them. A chance for Din to stay by Grogu’s side as he watches the kid grow and learn to control his powers.
Pushing his worn cape aside, the Jedi stepped forward and offered his arm in a typical Mandalorian greeting. It was a surprising gesture, one Din was only too happy to reciprocate. He shifted Grogu to his other arm before grasping the Jedi’s forearm. “Din Djarin.”
The Jedi smiled again. “Ezra Bridger.”