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The true Mandalorian-Jedi war

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Just like his father before him, Luke Skywalker made an entrance that could make anyone breathless. Maybe it was a Jedi trait. The traditional robes always billowed despite there being no wind in space. It could be a purely Skywalker gene. Their lineage made a mark on the universe wherever they traveled.

Luke would not be able to give anyone an answer because he never really noticed the anomaly. Leia often mentioned it teasingly. She would say that Luke had a fever for flare but he never grasped that meaning. He didn't see how he was a deadly combination of power, passion, and a pretty face. But, none of that compared to the Mandalorian.

He didn’t truly understand the symbolism that came with the Mandalorian removing his beskar helmet, but he could feel its impact. The single act, so easy, had stolen the air from the Jedi's lungs.

Behind the mask was a man. Human and tired, like he had spent his entire life fighting. Through the force, Luke could see the truth. The Mandalorian fought for the child that was his life. His rough features did not take away from his kind, brown, eyes. They were soft and pleading, they practically begged Luke to leave them be.

It was not a Jedi’s place to dig through the minds of innocent men but the emotions that rolled off him were practically forcing themselves onto Luke. Din, the man's name echoed through the force, did not want to be separated from the child he spent so long protecting. Grogu was *his* foundling but, he did nothing to take him back from Luke. Din knew what the kid needed, and that was a teacher who could help him control his powers. As kind-hearted and strong as Din was, he was no Jedi.

Luke wished he was. If anyone deserved a connection with the force, then it would Din. If only so he could stay with his son. Luke did not need the force to feel that familial bond between the two. The Mandalorians' actions spoke for themselves.

Grogu accepted Din’s permission to leave with Luke but, it was obviously a difficult choice for either of them to make. Luke looked back at those brown eyes and found them glossed over with unshed tears that would certainly spill once the helmet was back in place.

It was for the best, Luke tried to tell himself before turning his back on the man and his friends. A wave of bittersweet sadness rolled over him as all their emotions flooded the ship. It was almost too much but Luke persisted. The young Jedi was not going to grow up with this Mandalorian, because this was the way.

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When people met Grogu they instantly fell in love. That little green face, his large eyes, and equally large ears were far too endearing. No sentient being could look at the small creature and not be filled with the need to care for him.

His father displayed a similar effect when viewed. The Mandalorian made an oath to keep his helmet on but at this point in the game, several trustworthy allies have seen his face and fell victim to the way his brown eyes shyly shifted away from them or how his soft hair stuck in curls around his forehead.

He was almost a completely different man when unmasked. Din Djarin usually displayed an air of indifference and boredom when he played the part of the wandering Mandalorian. He was fearless in every situation and his skill explained why.

However, when unmasked he looked lost. Like he never properly learned how to make facial expressions for certain situations and he had difficulty looking others in the eye. The lack of beskar in front of his face clearly made him uncomfortable and anyone who saw it fully regretted the situation.

People were immediately taken back by the vulnerability they saw and wished they could take it back. Din didn’t just make allies, he made friends who would follow him to the end of the galaxy for anything he asked. If they were being told they would be hunting down a Jedi temple, they only needed to imagine those wet eyes behind the beskar to be filled with utter devotion.

Maybe, if they reunited the two, Din would feel generous enough to remove the helmet to show them his smile.

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The force works in mysterious ways to bring people together. Luke wasn’t surprised to see the Mandalorian again but he did not expect it to be so soon, or like this.

Luke had been called out to collect a Jedi artifact that was reportedly stolen by some remaining imperialists. On that same base, he found Din by a trail of dead troopers, activating a self-destruct sequence that would destroy everything within the building.

They briefly squabbled over what needed to be done, whether the artifact was worth searching for or if the base needed to be destroyed now. In the end, Luke was able to convince Din that he owed him one for taking Grogu in. The insinuation made the Mandalorian bristle with rage but it quickly faded into acceptance. Now, they must fight their way through the troopers and find what Luke was looking for.

“Is he...eating well?” Din asked, his voice still somehow soft through the helmet’s modulator.

“Uh...yeah. I think.” Luke wasn’t actually good with kids. He was more focused on training the padawans in the way of the force, Leia usually popped in to make sure they were actually being cared for properly. Since becoming pregnant, she’s been using Luke’s school as her own personal practice grounds.

Luke’s piss poor response got him grabbed and shoved over the console.

Din had seemed so kind when they first met, so Luke was startled by the rough handling before he heard the blaster fire behind him. Din had pushed him out of the way and saved his ass and Luke was busy trying to decide he appreciated it or not.

“After I help you, take him to me.” Din didn’t expect an answer since they were just thrown into a firefight.

Din was obviously not too pleased by this turn in his plans. While Luke was very impressive on Mof Gideon’s ship, Din did not simply trust his skills. In his opinion, the Jedi seemed to be easily distracted.
Din noticed the way Luke tried looking at him from different angles to catch a peak between the cracks of his armor and he didn’t know what to make of that. He wondered if the Jedi did not trust him because he was a Mandalorian.

Luke’s distraction got him using the hilt of his saber to knock back troopers who got too close. He had spent too long fantasizing what Din looked like to realize that the Trooper’s numbers had doubled.
Luke was startled backward, and his heel caught an edge on the floor that caused his back to fall into Din’s armored chest.

Before he could right himself the sound of a blaster deafened his right ear. The Mandalorian shot over his shoulder at the enemies flooding in but Luke was distracted by the hand that was wrapped around his waist. That hand pulled him in tightly before spinning him around so that the Trooper’s fire hit the back of Din’s armor instead of the soft side of Luke’s stomach.

“Use your sword to open the doors. I’ll hold them off.” Din commanded.

Luke nodded, finding the plan reasonable but also finding that he liked receiving the stern instructions. He reactivated his saber and used it to slice through the thick metal. The screech of it giving away echoed through his skull but it ended quickly.

On the other side, there was another batch of Troopers, only these carried specialized weapons. They were highly trained to protect the artifact.

Luke shifted his weight from one foot to another before jumping in. He was the Jedi who saved the galaxy, he could handle this.
When the smoke calmed and the room was cleared, Luke was startled by a low whistle. Instinct told him to duck and avoid an incoming weapon but the voice that followed put him at ease.

“Nice work.” Din stepped over the bodies to approach Luke where he stood. There was a swagger in his march that was either from confidence or a wound in his side. The way Din pulled his cape over his right shoulder suggested he was hiding an injury.

“You were-um-pretty good yourself.” Luke didn’t expect Din to laugh at the awkward compliment but he did, and it brought a blush to his cheeks. Luke now wished that Jedi had adopted the habit of concealing their faces.

“Yeah, well, you got what you were looking for? Good. We should get going before this place blows unless you want to see the fireworks.” Luke had a feeling that was another demand but he didn’t disagree with it. He only nodded and took Din’s right-hand side so no Troopers could catch him where he was weakened.

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Luke looked on at the Troopers with complete focus and calculation as he assumed his stance and leveled his saber in front of his body. He did not enjoy taking another's life so he would first try to reason with him.

The blaster fire that nearly hit his chest made the final decision for him.

Luke threw an overhand strike on the first trooper, slicing through his blaster rifle like it was made of butter before quickly turning to deflect a shot aimed for his back. His black boots shuffled against the floor as he twisted around his opponents and struck them down.
The next attack came from below as a thin wire wrapped around his leg. He was pulled down onto his back but he quickly righted himself by cutting the cord and sending it back to knock the helmet off its user.
When he turned back he had to quickly block an incoming attack from an electronically charged melee weapon that one of the Troopers wielded. The two of them moved, back and forth, until Luke was pushed back into a wall. As the Trooper raised his weapon he was flung backward with force. The crack of his helmet hitting the opposite wall and the way his body fell to the ground told Luke he was effectively knocked out.
Luke turned his back to the motionless Trooper. He only took a few steps, his heels clicking against the ground almost as loud as blaster fire when a shot was aimed for his back. Instinct made Luke flick his saber on and deflect the shot before his cloak had the time to float back down to his feet. The previously unconscious Trooper now laid still with a burning hole in the chest of his armor. It was a shame he did not accept his defeat sooner.

Din did not know what to think about Luke when they first met on Moff Gideons' ship. Now, he got a front-row seat to view the Jedi’s power. He was an extremely skilled fighter although a bit dramatic doing so. He was also obviously young, Din would guess early 20’s but that would be hypocritical for him to judge. He had started following the Mandalorian ways when he was even younger and he was still alive now. He shouldn’t judge the man so harshly, but he was now the man raising his foundling.

“Nice work.” There, now no one could say that he was never nice to the other man. But, we would see how long that would last.

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“At least let me help you!” Luke was not prepared for how stubborn the Mandalorian would be.
After their escape Din had demanded that Luke take him to Grogu and he did not like what Luke had to say. The new Jedi training grounds were highly secretive. No one outside of the Skywalkers was allowed to know its location to avoid any future incidents like the attack that destroyed the first school.
Din argued that he would never hurt children and Luke could feel the intense fury behind his words. The Mandalorian shuffled his feet in the dirt and paced around Luke with animation that overcompensated for the lack of noticeable facial expression.
When Luke refused to budge on his decision his plated shoulders sagged. The aura around Din rolled from his inner turmoil. He finally made his decision by turning his back on Luke and walking away.
Luke would have probably let him walk off if it wasn't for the trail of blood the man left.

“I’m fine,” Din said through grit teeth and labored breath. He really didn’t want to see the man who was already running up behind him but he caught up quickly.

“No way! You’re bleeding out! I thought that fancy armor was supposed to keep you safe.” Luke was certain it was all made out of beskar.

“I wasn’t shot.” Din sighed. He took back everything he thought about the Jedi back. He appeared much more mature when he didn’t speak.
“I fell on something.”

“You broke a rib.” Luke only received a slight nod.
“I can fix it for you.” Now a choked laugh was pushed through the helmet's modulator.

“I didn’t know the Jedi had medical training.” Din eyed the hesitant hand that Luke held in front of him. His palm slowly moved over his injured side like he was expecting Din to push him away, or shoot him. He did neither.

“Not really, but this is just as good. Take a deep breath for me.” Luke closed his eyes and focused on channeling his energy through the force. He listed for Din’s heartbeat as he slowly reset the broken rib. The thumping of his heart quickened and Luke was nearly distracted by a harsh, shaky, exhale. Torn skin under beskar armor knitted itself back together in an instant and the Mandalorian’s pained gasped softened into something filled with relief.

“You healed me.” The surprise in Din’s voice filled Luke with a smug sense of pride.
“That is some handy trick.”

“It’s not a trick, it’s the force. Do you see now why it's important for Grogu to train with me?”

“You do not need to keep reminding me,” Din grumbled. He no longer sounded very thankful.
“I only want to know how he’s doing….without me.”

Luke rocked on his heels and looked down at the dirt in thought. Din obviously missed the child but it went deeper than that. He was missing his family and probably felt lonely.

“Grogu misses you too. He mentions you often, have told me stories about your traveling across the galaxy. And, do you know what he said to me?” Luke took the cock of Din’s head as permission to continue.
“He wants to make you proud.”

“Proud, huh?” Luke could imagine the Mandalorians' lips twisted up in a smile. Maybe it would reach his eyes and create wrinkles around them that showed his age. He wished he could see it but Din turned away from him again.
“Tell him, I am more than proud and that I will be seeing him soon.”

Luke smiled openly in return, strangely he was very pleased that he could change the Mandalorians' mood into something more hopeful. But, that’s what Luke did, he gave people hope, even grumpy bounty hunters.

“Thanks for the help, Jedi. ‘Til our paths cross again.” Din left with few parting words but Luke was immediately flooded with a sort of reassurance that they would, in fact, meet again soon.

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The cantina was bustling with all kinds of interesting characters and interesting music. The band played something upbeat while the patrons tried to carry their conversations over it. The cantina was dimly lit by broken overhead lights and was furnished with mismatched table sets. The joint was located in the middle of nowhere so most of the patrons were likely involved in some illegal activity.
Looking around, most of the various travelers were having a drink at the bar, however, a particularly rowdy group in the back was arguing over a card game they were placing bets on.

It only took passing by the table for Luke to figure out what caused the argument. The two Gran were cheating by hiding cards up their sleeves and the Devaronian was just smart enough to catch on. Too bad the rest of the table did not believe him, hence the loud argument.

Luke pulled his hood closer to his face to avoid accidentally making eye contact. He didn’t want to get into another bar fight before his informant showed up. He lost a lead at the last planet because someone thought he was looking at them funny. Han warned Luke that he was not cut out for scoping out smuggler dens. He called his brother-in-law naive, which Luke took as a challenge.

As he sat down at the bar he ordered himself a drink to keep his hands away from his saber. It was too easy reaching down and fiddling with it, but a gesture like that would certainly start a fight or worse, tip-off an imperial spy. Who knew how many were around these days. Luke had to be completely inconspicuous.

“What are you doing here?” A booming voice cut through the cantina and startled the musicians into silence.

Luke looked over his shoulder to see the Devaronian man standing up from his table but that was not the most interesting part. The interesting bit was the man who he was shouting at; the man dressed head to toe in shiny, silver, armor.

“Kriff,” Luke swore under his breath. Was Din his informant? No, that didn’t feel right. Luke would have know if he was meeting a Mandalorian. He didn’t fit the description and it seemed like he had other business and that business was beating the shit out of the Devaronian.

There was hardly any time between the first punch and the first blaster fire. Din knocked the blaster out of his target's hands and flipped him over the table where the game was laid out. The rest of the gamblers also jumped up, some scattering, and the others tried pulling Din off of their friend. The fight turned three against one but Luke remained seated at the bar and watched with rapt attention.

Watching Din fight was incredibly entertaining. That’s right, entertaining because the Mandolorian was an extremely skilled fighter and that was all. The shiny armor was ideal for deflecting blunt hits from the alien’s fists and the bottle thrown at his head.
He was grabbed back by the cape but he easily twisted around kicked his attacker away. Luke was shocked by how high he could kick while heavily armored. The move itself took a lot of flexibility and strength.
Another blast rang out as someone tried shooting him again, only to fail as it hit the beskar. What happened next stole Luke’s breath.
Din pulled his blaster from his belt and flipped it between his fingers, giving it a little spin, before shooting down the men. The scene was like something from an old holo-film. Luke could practically see the setting sunset behind him and a dried-up desert plant rolling at his feet.

The cantina was silent after the last body fell. Everyone watched the Mandalorian as he stepped over the bodies to take something from his fallen target that looked like an information disk.
Surprisingly, when the rest of the patrons realized Din had finished his mission, they went back to their drinks.

Luke also went back to looking at his glass as he wondered if he should say anything to the mysterious man. He stared into the swirling liquid and became lost in his thoughts. What would he say? Would approaching Din blow his cover? Or maybe he was overthinking this. If his informant did show up then they probably already ran off when the fight broke out.
So consumed by his thoughts, he nearly missed the modulated voice next to him.

“What are you drinking?”

His robes apparently didn’t hide his identity well enough if Din could pick him out of the bar, or maybe the Mandalorian had a connection to the force that he was unaware of. Either way, Luke gave up the attempt at anonymity and pushed the hood back to reveal his messy, blonde, hair.

“Duronian wine,” Luke said, holding up the half-drunk glass for Din to see.

“Waiting for someone then?”

“And if I am?” Luke answered the question with another question, just like a Jedi would.

“No one comes to a place like this to drink Banta piss that can’t even get them buzzed.” Din took the glass from Luke’s fingers and tossed the contents over the counter and into the sink on the other side.

“I was drinking that!” Luke pouted at the wasted drink. He didn’t have the credits to buy another one.

“Not anymore,” reaching into a small pouch at his side Din pulled out a few credits and sat them on the counter. A few hand signs later and the barkeeper came back with a bottle that he traded for the currency.

“What’s this?”

“If your friend was here, they’re gone now...Sorry about that.”

Luke sighed and uncapped the bottle to examine the contents. The smell that came out was strong and the liquid poured clear like it was water.
“This is shine from Hutt. Are you trying to kill me?”

“Are you telling me Jedi’s can’t handle their liquor?” The playful jab took Luke off guard. It came out so dry he almost missed the joke completely.

“Jedi don’t easily fall for peer pressure but, I could give it a try if a certain Mandalorian joined me,“ He was only joking...unless.

“I can’t remove my helmet to drink.”

“I have already seen your face and we’re not enemies...we could take this bottle somewhere else.” Din turned away from Luke and he wondered if he overstepped but then the man took the bottle as he stood.

“You got a ship around here?”

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Luke was too buzzed to hide the frown on his lips. The Mandalorian was just being ridiculous now. Din only lifted his helmet enough to sip from the bottle of shine they passed between themselves. He refused to remove it completely even after Luke's insistence.

“I just don’t see the point. Are you not sweating under that?” He spoke into the bottle before taking another swing, barely wincing. After the third sip, he started getting used to the burn. Din had laughed when he choked on his first taste.

“I never said it was comfortable. It’s just tradition.” Something that Din clearly took pride in. From their conversation that night it seemed like Din followed an extremely strict code of conduct.

“So, besides the whole-hide your face. What else can’t a Mandalorian do?” Luke couldn’t help but hope it wasn't anything like the Jedi code. He read about the restrictions in the agent text, and he hoped none of his ancestors saw him now.

“Hmmm.” Din took the bottle from Luke and spun it between his fingers in thought. Luke was briefly reminded of the way he spun his blaster. Din had talented fingers.
“A Mandalorian must honor all deals they make.”

“And what happens if you can’t do what you promised?” Luke questioned, eyes still on those fingers.

“Then I died trying.” He lifted his helmet again to take another sip. Soft lips shadowed by the beskar wrapped around the bottle, catching Luke’s attention. The young Jedi had spent the last hour watching him drink and he still felt a rush from witnessing the action. There was something about the Mandalorian being covered head to toe that made witnessing any amount of skin addicting.

“You’re staring.” Luke was shaken from his thoughts by Din’s accusation. His visor was pointedly looking back at him, helmet once again covering the rest of his face.

“Uh-huh,” Luke looked away and chuckled from embarrassment. His face burned red from both the drink and sudden shyness.

“It’s ok. A lot of people look at me like that.” There was always some curiosity. People didn’t trust those who hid their faces. It made them suspicious. Mandalorians also had a reputation for being warmongers.

“I was just remembering your face.”

“Forget it,” Din said dryly.

“I can promise to, but I am no Mandalorian,” Luke stole back the bottle with a cheeky grin on his flushed face.

“I now understand why Jedi and Mandalorians are enemies,” Din sighed.
“Give me Grogu back,” Before Luke could take a drink he yanked it from his hands and held it up and out of the Jedi’s reach.
“I am going back on my promise, he doesn’t need to be trained by you.”

“Are you kidding? What was that about the Mandalorian code? You can’t take him back now. I am training him!”

“You are drinking with bounty hunters,” Din countered back, although he was the hunter.
"I do not think you are actually training anyone."

“I am drinking with an ally,” Luke said boldly, pointing his finger into Din’s chest while the man tried to take another drink from the nearly empty bottle.
“A friend,” He jabbed again while Din lifted his helmet to reveal a stubbled chin.
“And-and-” Luke wasn’t sure where he was going with this but he didn’t really care. While he yammered Din’s lips curled into a slight smile.
The smile was too much for the drunk Jedi to handle so he pushed the bottle away and replaced it with his own lips.

The kiss was awkward. The bottom of the beskar helmet pressed against Luke’s face and their mouths were hardly aligned. He desperately pushed into Din, opening his mouth slightly to catch his bottom lip. The bristle of his beard scratched against Luke’s soft cheek as he gripped his shoulders firmly.

Din made no move to pull them apart because he was still in shock. He had never been kissed let alone so boldly. It was also probably the best that he had no experience, this was only Luke’s second time kissing anyone. Both parties were inexperienced and drunk. Or, at least Luke was drunk, he couldn’t tell if the alcohol actually affected the other man.

When they finally parted Luke moved his hands up until they were skirting along the rim of his helmet. He slowly started to push it up and tried to reveal more of that handsome face when Din grabbed his wrists.
Luke could feel his strength from the way Din firmly held his remaining wrist and pulled it away. His helmet fell back in place, once again hiding his face.

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“I don’t care if he let you sit up front!” Luke received a harsh glare from his sister when he raised his voice at the youngling.
Leia’s harsh look and a tight-lipped frown were what broke Luke down. He begrudgingly put Grogu in his lap and held onto the little alien only to receive an equally ridiculous glare from his googly eyes.
“Don’t give me that. You’re too short for your own chair-I” There was no winning an argument with a child who had spent the last few months traveling with a bounty hunter. Since taking on Grogu, Luke was thrust into the constant struggle of being constantly compared to Din.

“Here, give him to me,” Leia reached over to take Grogu into her arms. The child went without fuss but continued to glare over at Luke from his new position.
“You’re too hard on him. He’s only a baby.” At Leia’s words, Grogu looked up at her and cooed as if to prove her point.

“He is 50 years old and has already mastered the basics. He’s been spoiled. From what I’ve seen, the Mandalorian just gave him whatever-hey!” Luke snatched the control panel bolt that Grogu had pulled from the ship's control stick.

Leia laughed at the two, finding the child’s antics charming instead of frustrating. Luke would argue that she hasn’t had to train him along with the other students who found Grogu’s disruptive attitude entertaining.

Since bringing Grogu to the ancient Jedi temple that Leia and Han were helping him rebuild, he hasn’t made anything easy.
The little Jedi often refused to comply during lessons, stole food that did not belong to him, and even threatened another student who refused to give up their cookies. Luke would be genuinely afraid of the child being a young sith if he didn’t already meet the man who raised him.

“Is he saying anything to you?” Leia asked, breaking Luke away from his thoughts.

“I’m getting the silent treatment,” Although, Luke could hear the bold declaration, 'you are not my father'.

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Din found could not stop thinking about the kiss. It stuck just under the surface of his mind ever since the night it happened. It seemed like everything brought him back to that moment.

He was actually in the middle of a fight when the memory was dredged up. The assassin he was fighting used a metal sword that shot sparks from a conductor at its hilt. Its blade was thrust towards his body and then swung towards his hand to knock away his blaster. Din had seen Luke use that same maneuver, which reminded him of the Jedi, and brought him back to the kiss, his first kiss-

Din blinked behind his visor when the assassin’s body fell to the ground. At some point during the fight, he had zoned out. Even stranger was the weapon in his hand. It seemed like he reached for the dark saber at his belt to finish the job.

Ever since he won the weapon he had kept it by his side but this was the first he actually used it. Din didn’t accept it as his own. It was only part of an unfinished deal he made with Bo-Katan. As long as she did not accept it then the deal was not completed.
Besides being a symbol of failure the saber only brought trouble with it. At every turn, someone had a bone to pick with Din. Assassins, Imperial and Republic alike, came after him looking for power. The worst part was Din’s complete disinterest with said power.
The man could barely keep himself alive and now people were demanding he lead the Mandalorians?

“What a waste,” He spoke to the saber as he retracted its blade. He had no use for such a weapon and the title it came with. He did not care for responsibilities especially after finally finding Grogu a teacher-Luke. Once again, the Jedi, with his clumsy lips and eager hands, came to mind.

Din sighed softly to himself. Besides the dead man at his feet, he was once again alone.

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"Got any more jobs for me?” Din fell into his seat across from an old friend.

“What are you a workaholic?” Greef rolled his eyes before leveling Din with a half-hearted glare.
“You know, blue isn’t a good color for you,” He referred to his attitude. Ever since Grogu had left for whatever magic training, Din had been taking on jobs one after another. There was hardly anything left for anyone else! Yet, no one was willing to argue against the moody Mandalorian.

“I didn’t ask for your opinions,” Said moody Mandalorian, crossing his arms over his chest.

“You know I only say that because I care,” Greef could tell, even under the helmet, that Din didn’t believe a word he said. Which was fair.
“I can tell losing the child has been hard on you. Trust me! We all loved the little guy. Hard not to after everything we went through, but you have to get over this empty-ship-syndrome. I don’t know, take the time to meet someone and settle down. Or at least, take a break.”

Greef ignored the bead of sweat that dripped from his hairline.
“Maybe have a couple of children of your own? Some bucket heads to keep you company?”

“Fine, it’s your life. I have one transmission no one has wanted to touch. It pays too little for the distance and there are no specifics. But if you want it, you have it,” He passed the transmitter over to Din. Thankfully, the other man took it without breaking his hand.

“Who’s it for?” Din finally responded. Greef sighed in relief.

“I don’t know. Some guy from the outer rim who calls himself a Jeedi?” He felt like he was butchering the pronunciation but that didn’t seem to matter. Din quickly switched the device on and they watched as a cloaked figure appeared. The image flickered a few times, indicating that the message had taken some sort of damage but the voice came through clearly.

“Stranded! We need a ship that can carry cargo and children-” Din switched it off when the message repeated itself a second time.
There was no proof it was who he thought it was. The transmission could have been sent by anyone who claimed to be a Jedi. He’s met two, surely there are more.

“So, will you take it?” Greef asked.

“Yeah, I will. Thank you,” Din stood up and stepped away from the table so he could get his new ship ready for this mission.

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Ugly orange and vivid green clashed together to throw sparks of burnt yellow against the burnt ground. Luke could only smell the ozone as his own saber was pushed further back and neared his face. He could barely hear anything over the sharp hum of his weapon and the thundering beat of his heart.
Pushing back, Luke channeled the force into his enemy’s chest. He sighed in relief as his saber was released from where it was locked against the other and shuffled his feet until he took an offensive stance.
The two duelers circled each other around a ring of charred earth created by their fight.
“This is pathetic,” The words spat at Luke interrupted the tense silence between them.
With cautious eyes, he watched his opponent's movements as she slowly circled closer and closer, but never within reach.
“I could have had a more invigorating fight with my grandmother,” She twisted her saber within her grip while chatting.

“If this is too boring for you, you could always just leave us,” Luke shot back. He could recognize a distraction but he had always been chatty, especially during a fight.

“Oh sure, sounds great. Can you cut your own head off for me first?” The two fighters closed, and Luke cut at the Sith who tracked him and his students down. The sith parried, but Luke switched maneuvers to cut at her side. She attacked him relentlessly, driving Luke around the ring, never letting him gain his balance.
“This is perfect. Luke Skywalker, at the end of my saber. I will end you and take down your pipe dream of a school before it even has a chance to start! Are you listening? I will make sure not a single force user becomes a Jedi under your thumb,” She cackled loudly over the rhythmic thrum of their clashing sabers. Luke was completely on the defensive and was quickly losing his footing.
“Is never shutting up a requirement to be a sith?” Luke asked with exasperation. He could do without the madwoman's rambling. Ever since she started chasing their ship from three planets back there has been no end to her obnoxious taunting. Now, seeing her face to face, it made sense.
The sith was young, younger than Luke but bold and well trained. She was the sole reason Luke was separated from his students and was now fighting for his life. He should have anticipated an attack like this.

A surge of energy coming from the sith’s power knocked Luke off his feet while he was caught up in his thoughts. He fell back into the dirt, green saber just barely coming up to block an overhead swing.

“Enjoy it now, Jedi. My voice will be the last one you hear,” Luke prayed to the force that it was not true. He could not go out listening to that grating tone but his arms were getting tired and she continued to push him back into the earth with the force.

There was another surge of power coursing through him when the sound of blaster fire cut through the air. Luke fell flat on his back but the Sith’s saber never descended on him. In fact, she was no longer standing over him at all.

“How did you get that blade?!” The Sith shrieked. She was being pushed back by a saber that absorbed the light around it.

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“Where are the kids?” Luke barely had his feet under him before Din had started asking questions. The Mandalorian sighed as he grabbed the Jedi by the lapels of his robes and hoisted him up like he was nothing.
Luke continued to be dazed for other reasons.
“You said you had children,” Din tried again now that Luke was standing.

“They should be off-planet,” Luke looked around for the Sith but didn’t see her anywhere. She must have run off when Din showed up and attacked her. He could still feel the buzz of her power beneath his skin, it clung to him with needle-like pinpricks but it no longer immobilized him. He only felt stiff and sluggish. Hopefully, that would fade quickly.
“My sister took them on the ship. I stayed behind to keep the sith away from them while they escaped,” Luke groaned while he tried to shake off the lingering sensation of the Sith’s full force.

“Good, we can contact them from mine,” Din hoisted Luke’s arm around his shoulders and wrapped his own hand around his waist to steady the younger man on their way to his ship.
Luke once again found himself focusing on that point of contact at his hip. Din’s hands were larger than his and radiated heat. The Beskar was a good conductor for absorbing the Mandalorian’s body heat. It made his metal shell comfortable to lean against and Luke appreciated it greatly. There was also a sense of calm that came with it, like Din's own energy was chasing away the dark shadow the Sith left behind.
“...Another Jedi?” Luke didn’t catch the first part but he was able to guess what Din was asking and laughed. How did a man, who traveled halfway across the galaxy for Grogu, have no idea what he was dealing with?

“No, no, a Sith. A force user consumed by the dark.” He explained.
“The sole enemy to the Jedi.”

“Hmmm, What about Mandalorians?” Din asked, humor in his tone.
"I thought we were supposed to be your enemies." The Mandalorian-Jedi war still sat heavy in some Mandalorian's hearts, but Din didn't seem to actually care about that.

“I’ll take you on any day over the Sith,” Luke found himself chuckling at the insinuation that Din would take the opportunity to strike him down.

“I fought off that Sith, which is more than what you were doing,” A true statement that hurt Luke’s pride.

When they made it to Din’s ship Luke was immediately sat down and given water to drink. He had no physical wounds that needed treatment but he was exhausted and could hardly hold the cantine he was offered with steady hands.
Despite his condition, Din did not hold back with his questions. He asked Luke about the students and how they were stranded. He learned about the small class of three and how they were on their way to meet another master when the Sith attacked. It was on the last planet that Luke sent out his message for help. They were just able to repair their Falcon when Luke had decided to stay behind to fight her off alone.
He expected to be scolded for the half-baked plan. Leia called him crazy but Din only nodded with understanding. Luke did whatever he could to save the children and he respected that. Din didn’t say it out loud, but Luke could feel it through the force.

“You should rest,” Words soft and placating, Din pulled Luke close again. For a moment, Luke felt strange. Like he was a child being cared for by a fatherly figure. Only this one wasn't trying to kill him.

“But-” Luke was cut off by Din who clapped his hand over Luke’s shoulder. There was no room for arguing against a Mandalorian who made up his mind.

“You’re no use to them like you are now,” Insulting but true. His eyes were starting to feel heavy and his bones ached.
“I have a bed in the back you can sleep on,” Luke nodded, only processing some of Din’s words. He imagined he stood up and walked to the back of the ship by himself but that was not true. He never even got to agree before he was slumping over in his seat, heavy head falling onto Din’s shoulder. The Jedi was out like a light.