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Never Alone

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Have you ever seen a tired Mandalorian? Well, the new bartender of the cantina in Nevarro sure never did see one before. But now he sat right in front of him. The Mandalorian hasn’t spoken much, only ordered. According to a local he is a bounty hunter, another said a mercenary or at least had something to with them. But they also said that he spends every evening like that: alone.

Every night he orders only one thing: a bowl of soup. It’s placed on the bar counter until he gets up and leaves the cold soup behind. He never eats it or touch it, as if it is waiting for someone else to consume it.

Today was just like that. He was sitting there with a bowl of soup next to him.

He wasn't sure how much time passed since he last saw Grogu. The days blurred together, with each sunset the memories of him felt further and further. But he still remembered the Jedi took Grogu.

Cara was telling him about the Jedi as Boba came back for Fennec, but once she told him what happened Bo Katan walked away. She didn't say a word about the Darksaber then and ever since then. He doesn’t know where she is or anyone else, except Cara, who insisted that he is coming to Neverro with her and the unconscious Moff.

Ever since then every day felt the same. Greef Karga – once he was told about what happened aboard the Imperial cruiser, and Cara Dune both agreed that Bo Katan will show up. The only question is when. Until then the Darksaber remains to be Din’s, but with each passing day it feels heavier.

“Can I get you anything else?” The bartender asked, but received no answer from the Mandalorian.

He almost turned around but a man approached the bar. “I would like a glass of milk.”

Something in Din mind clicked at hearing the voice, he heard it before, but he couldn’t place it. Once he turned around he realized who it belonged to.

Luke stood right next to him waiting for the bartender to get his order. Din looked up at him, but couldn’t say a word. He tried, but couldn’t to figure out what brought him here. He feared it’s related to Grogu. It had to be. Something must have happened. Someone from the Empire took him again or someone with a different affiliation kidnapped him. He had to be in danger.

But the Jedi was too calm. He silently took a seat next to Din and waited for his order. “I’m sorry to disturb your…” Luke noticed the bowl of soup. “…dinner, but I came because of an important matter.”

“He is hurt?” The Mandalorian asked.

Luke hesitated for a second, causing Din to get even more anxious. “No.” He answered. Din breathed a sigh of relief as Luke continued. “Artoo is looking after him.”

Din didn’t say a word, just turned to look at the Jedi.

“My droid.” He explained. “The real reason why I came is to ask how busy you are at the moment.”

Din averted his eyes from the soup and turned to the Jedi, a little confused what he means. “Why?”

Luke chuckled. “Grogu said you are quite popular. That everyone wants to hire the best and most skilled Mandalorian in the galaxy.”

Din's mind was full. First, with Grogu, the fact that he is alive and well. Then the Jedi, his sudden appearance and whatever he wants from him. And that chuckle. Finally what the kid, his kid thinks about him.

He could barely hear Luke's words from his own thoughts.

“I'm not looking for a bounty hunter, don't misunderstand me and I don't want to hire you for a job. I simply want to ask for your help to find something I wasn't even sure still exists.”

Luke waited for his answer, but as the seconds passed he decided to continue.

“I can pay you, if you wish, I—”

“No.” The Mandalorian interrupted.

Luke was relieved. He didn't want to pressure him into it or hurry him. “You don't have to decide right now. Take your time.”

“What are you looking for?” Din asked.

Luke took a second to think about what to say, how to explain the item the best.

But Din continued. “Is it some kind of… Force thing?”

Luke had to fight down a smile. It would have caused Din to think he is laughing at him and not finding his phrasing rather cute.

Grogu was right about him.

“It is.” He said with a smile. “I believed all were destroyed but Grogu is sure there was a Jedi who saved it.”

The Mandalorian remained silent. He tried to concentrate and listen carefully to each word he said.

“Grogu said it?” Din remembered when they were on Corvus and the Jedi said that his memories were dark, filled with fear. He was able to fight it? To remember?

“Yes.” The Jedi confirmed. "He might seem small and fragile but he very strong and wise, just like my Master was."

There was a curiosity in Din about what he said. “Your Master?”

“My Jedi Master. He was of the same species as Grogu.”

Din froze. “There are more like him?”

Luke sighed. “I only know one. He said he is the last one of his kind and he died thinking he was.”

After a long time Din felt a little bit better. He still missed his kid more than anything, but he knew he was in a good place. If Luke's Master was of the same species as Grogu he had to be a Jedi too. He found where he belongs. He found his home.

“I can't help you.” Said the Mandalorian.

Luke raised his eyebrows. He was almost sure he will agree, he did everything as he planned, but somehow it didn't work.

Din shifted in his seat, he was about to stand up, but before he could the Jedi spoke. “Can I ask why?”

The Mandalorian sighed. “No.”

With that he got up and walked out of the cantina.

He took a few steps when he heard someone catching up to him. Once he turned he saw the Jedi, now with the hood on his head.

“I just want to apologies if I was too intrusive,” Luke said as he followed Din. “It was not my intention.”

The Mandalorian suddenly stopped and turned back just enough to see the Jedi. “You are a Jedi, just like Grogu. He needs you to be his...” He motioned with his hands as he tried to remember the term. “Trainer.”

Like now couldn't stop himself and practically beamed once he said it.

“That's why I can't help you.” Din continued without noticing anything. “Because I have no role in his life now.” He said it. It hurt him, but he got it off his chest.

The night was strangely silent in Nevarro. The noise of the cantina was present, but not too bothering. A very few people walked around, all carefully, almost sneaking in the dark street, heading somewhere. Maybe home, maybe the place they wish that was home.

He sighed again, waiting if the Jedi has anything to say. Once he felt like enough time has passed he was about to turn around and walk away.

“But you do have a role in his life.” Luke said, but the Mandalorian took a step further, without waiting for him to reveal his –according to him, nonexistent role. “You are his father.”

Father. Grogu's father.

He was told being his father, not directly, not in serious situation, except that time...

“A foundling is in your care. By Creed, until it is of age or reunited with its own kind, you are as its father. You are a clan of two.”

But he did it. He found his kind, the Jedi and he found one who agreed to train him. Grogu is not in his care anymore. He completed his task. His clan is not of two anymore.

“Every child needs parents, blood related or not it doesn't matter. They need them.” Luke tried his best to explain why Grogu needs him. He had a wish to complete and he was determined to succeed. “He was alone for a very long time, frightened and scared. But he found where he belongs, and I don't mean the Jedi, he already knew that, I mean you. You and Grogu have a connection.”

He remembered the other Jedi words, about their connection.

“He's formed a strong attachment to you. I cannot train him. His attachment to you makes him vulnerable to his fears. His anger.”

“I thought being attached is bad.” He pulled himself back from his memories. “He needs to be with his own kind, to learn to use his abilities."

Luke took a step further to him. “I can teach him about the Force, but he needs his family. He needs you” He stopped for a second, unsure if he should say it, but he made a promise. “And you need him too.”

Din turned back, now his entire body facing the Jedi. “You can't come back saying that after I let him go.” There was a tint of frustration in his voice that Luke noticed. “I made a decision that day, to do what is best for him and now you appear to ask me to throw away everything because you want some kind of item?”

Luke didn’t answer. Not because he didn’t have an answer, but because he knew he was right. He asked too much and upset him. Not how he wanted it to go. He knew he can only make it right if he takes a step back.

“You are right. I asked you too much.” The Jedi admitted. “Nonetheless I will give you time to think and come back tomorrow.”

Now the Jedi was the one who walked away, leaving the Mandalorian at the dark and cold streets of Neverro in doubt and alone.

Chapter Text

It was early morning on Nevarro. The dark and silent streets were gone as the sun illuminated it while people walked out of their houses, heading to work or school.

Din stood by a building, arms and legs crossed, watching the town as it got filled with light and laughter.

“Wonderful, isn't it?”

Greef Karga came into sight and greeted Din with a smile.

“Yes.” Din kept his response short, he was still thinking about the previous night.

Greef knew the Mandalorian too well and immediately noticed something is on his mind. Not to mention he was informed about who took a visit yesterday, but he decided not to ask directly.

“I heard you were in the new tavern last night.”

The Mandalorian turned to him. “Want it or not it's a cantina.”

“No.” Greef denied. "It's a peaceful tavern for traders, travelers and locals to rest and have a meal."

He waited a moment for the Mandalorian's reply but after it didn't happen he moved a bit closer, trying to find the right word.

“I know, Mando.”

Once Greef said it Din turned to him. Without any additional words he knew what he thought of. He knew of the Jedi, that he was here.

“The child is okay?”

Din nodded. “Yes.”

“That's great.” He said with a sigh of relief, but a thought still bothered him. “Then why was the Jedi here?”

Din once again remained silent.

“Listen, if it has anything to do with the New Republic or the planet I have to kno—”

“No,” The Mandalorian interrupted. “It's not about that.”

He didn't say anything else, but Greef Karga wasn't the type of person who would give up so easily. He put his hand on his hips and kept looking at the Mandalorian to continue.

Seconds passed fast, from the outside they seemed like frozen in time as Greef waited and started at Din who was looking ahead of himself. Once it was over a minute the Mandalorian sighed and turned to the former Guild agent.

“He asked me to help him find something.”

“Ah!” Greef nodded and tried to force back a smile.

It's been a long time since Din was here and both Greef and Cara tried to give him a little push, to return to his profession. They both liked his presence and wished he could stay, but they knew he would never be happy here.

“When will you leave? I bet Cara want to say goodbye.”

“I haven't agreed,” Din admitted. “Yet.”

“Why?”

That's all Greef asked. He knew if he would try to explain to him why he shouldn't stay here more and accept the offer he would just make things worse. He will only be good if he will leave because he want to go.

“If I go there is a chance I will see the kid.”

“And you don't want to?” Greef asked before he could continue.

Din didn't answer first, he broke his pose and his arms fell, unsure where he should put them. “He is where he belongs, I shouldn’t make it harder for him.”

“So you are sure he doesn’t want to see you?”

Din turned to him. “No, I’m not. But—”

“Then how do you know it’s the best thing to do?” Greef interrupted. He couldn’t believe his ears. He couldn’t believe he really thought that was right. “The kid trusted you enough to show his powers, and used it against the people who tried to hurt you and him and all of us because he cared about you. Mando, he is not just a kid, he is your kid.”

“I know.” That’s all Din said.

Before any of them could say anything a beeping noise came from Greef’s jacket and when he took the device out he quickly read it.

“Unfortunately, I have to go, but I hope you will think about the chance you got.”

With that he left.


It was sundown. The Mandalorian was walking down the main street, lost in his thoughts. He slowed down when he passed the old cantina turned school, remembering when he was talked into leaving Grogu here. He also recalled as he strolled down how he kept snacking on those blue cookies when he picked him up and even in the ship.

He stopped when he reached the statue honoring IG-11. The droid, who was tasked, after re-programming to protect Grogu. And he did, sacrificing his life for him.

Din reached in his pocket and pulled out the only thing left from the Razor Crest: the control knob. The fiery light of the sunset made it shine in his hands. He found it the day Grogu left and every day since that it made him remember the kid. But on the other hand he had a feeling he must miss his favorite toy a lot.

He looked up at the sky, unsure what to do now, what could be the best for Grogu. He stared for minutes, as if an answer would appear, but there was nothing, only him and his thoughts.

All of sudden an X-wing flew in front the sky and the one, now flaming red and orange colored sun of the planet, landing shortly after. Din remained in front of the statue, hoping he will know the answer the Jedi came for.

When the X-wing landed workers approached the ship, but once the hooded figure turned around they halted. Even in the Outer Rim Territories everyone knew about the Jedi who blew up the first Death Star and killed Lord Vader and the Emperor himself. Even if the latter was just what everyone assumed, no one ever confirmed what really happened. After the Battle of Endor no one truly knew what he was doing. He sometimes appeared on certain planets, such as Yavin 4 and Chandrila, but despite that some believed he was merely a myth and the stories about him were only tall tales passed from one to another. Yet he stood there in the flesh.

“Thank you, but I don’t need anything.” He gave them a small smile and walked past them followed by a droid.

After a few steps the droid beeped and the Jedi slowed down.

“Don’t start you too.”

Artoo beeped again which forced Luke to stop.

“Leia told you what?”

The droid responded with longer beeps.

Luke pointed at Artoo. “We will get back to that.”

Luke strolled through the main street and soon noticed the Mandalorian.

“Good evening.” He greeted him.

“I decided.” Din said without looking at him.

The Jedi stopped a few steps away and Artoo rolled next to him. “I'm glad to hear.”

“I will help you as long as what you want can help or benefit the training of the child.”

Luke nod in response.

“But I would like to avoid meeting him.”

The Jedi crossed his eyebrows and waited for his explanation, but Din remained silent, so he asked. “Why?”

“I don't want to interfere his progress.” He said, trying to make it clear he doesn't want to add any more reason for his decision.

Luke had a feeling he was lying. He wasn't sure if it was the memory of their conversation from last night or he sensed it. He had struggles, he clearly felt that, but it was unclear if it had anything to do with the child.

“I understand.” Luke said, and even if it was hard for him to continue, he did. “I will respect your wish and do accordingly.”

Din nod in response, wordlessly acknowledged that the Jedi agreed. He wasn't familiar enough with him to know if he will keep his word and as matter of fact he didn't know enough about the Jedi at all too. He only hoped they are not as headstrong as Grogu.

“Shall we go then?” The Jedi motioned at the direction of the town gate. “I will explain everything on the way.”

The Mandalorian didn't move at all. He saw him landing with his X-wing and while he never fly one he know very well that they are not big enough for two person. And he didn't have any since they were on Tython.

“Unfortunately I don't have a ship.”

Before Luke could say anything a familiar voice interrupted.

“You do.”

Cara Dune stepped out of the shadows. Din dipped his head a little, while he waited for her explanation.

“Follow me.” She said.

Over the landing site Greef Karga waited next to a ship. It was smaller than the Razor Crest, but could any ship compete with it? Din thought.

“You don't have to do this.” Din said as he got closer to Greef and the ship.

The Magistrate of Nevarro greeted him with a smile. “It's the least we can do.”

The Mandalorian turned to Cara who walked next to Greef.

“It was left behind by someone whose new home is a New Republic jail now.” The Marshall of the town said. “It's not the best, but it will do for a while.”

Din wasn't good with words, especially when he had to express his gratitude. He was flooded with all kinds of feelings as he didn't expect something like that to happen. He walked closer to me ship. “Thank you.” He turned back to take a look at his friends. “I will return the favor.”

Cara shook his head but was smiling just as Greef. They bid their farewell to the Mandalorian and returned to the town.

Luke, who remained a bit further from them now stepped closer. “I believe I own you an explanation.”

The Mandalorian turned to him with visible interest about what he will say.

“There was a Jedi Temple on Coruscant, it was constructed a thousand years ago and served as the home of the Jedi Order. But once the Emperor came to power he turned it into his palace and destroyed everything related to the Jedi. I was there and there wasn’t anything left. I started to search the galaxy for anything related to the Jedi Order. I have been to many planets where they once had their temples and I’ve found artifacts that once belonged to them. But it always bothered me how little was left of the last phase of the Order, I started to believe that the Empire wiped it out completely. But everything changed when I started to train Grogu. You must knew that he started his training on the Coruscant Jedi Temple, but he only has a few memories.”

“Yes.” He interrupted to let him know he does.

“Despite my suggestion he retrieved a memory.” Luke continued. “I told him not to rush it as it will only tire him but he is very stubborn.”

Din chuckled. “Don’t tell me.”

Luke smiled at his response. He couldn’t wait to discuss the little creature with him. “He then shared a dark memory with me. He was on an Imperial ship and overheard a conversation about Jedi artifacts. According to this there were Holocrons that disappeared before they could destroy them. While I don’t know who made this mistake I do know who was responsible to complete this order and I know where the information about this is stored.”

The Mandalorian waited for the Jedi to announce where it is, where they will exactly go, but as the seconds passed he thought maybe he is waiting for him to ask. “Where?”

“Mustafar.”