Welcome to the 2021 Christmas Writing Challenge! Big thank you to Steph (@toomanystoriessolittletime) for putting this together!!!
Summary: It’s Grogu’s first snow…and You and Din have a confession to make.
Pairings: Din Djarin x Reader, Din Djarin x You
Rating: Mature 18+ ONLY
Word Count: 1,392
Warnings: language, kissing, FLUFF, allusions to sex/getting pregnant…Let me know if I missed anything!
Day 4 Day 6 Christmas Masterlist Main Masterlist Din Masterlist AO3 Join my taglist
The temperature had dropped dramatically since you landed on the latest planet. You couldn’t even remember the name of it at this point. You had bounced around the galaxy so much the last several months, they all started to blur together.
“Patu?” A little voice behind you called. You turned and smiled at the adorable little green child who had stolen your heart. He waddled up next to you. You reached down and scooped him up.
“It’s getting cold out here, isn’t it, little guy?” You murmured, cuddling him in close. He burrowed into your chest, seeking your warmth. “You wanna go back in the ship?” He cooed in the way you had learned to recognize meant ‘no’. “Alright. We’ll stay out here just a bit longer. I’m getting sick of staring at the metal walls all day too, buddy. Believe me.” You set him back down on the ground and followed him for a bit. You stayed close to the ship. Din had been clear he didn’t want either of you to stray far.
You looked out on the horizon, hoping to catch a glimpse of him. He had been gone for a couple days, and you missed him. This latest bounty had been a pain in the ass. Din had chased him across three planets already. You hoped this would be the last. You followed the kid further, but made sure to keep the Razor Crest in your sights. Just then you felt something cold and wet hit your nose. You wrinkled it and brought your hand up. When you looked, there was nothing there. As you stared at your open hand several snowflakes landed on your palm.
You looked up to the sky in amazement. It was snowing! It had been so long since you’d seen snow. You had seen more than enough desert planets to last you a lifetime. Snow was less common in your travels.
“Aroo?” The kid chirped. You looked down to see him holding out his hand to catch the snow. He examined it closely and then put it in his mouth. He grinned up at you, clearly happy with the taste.
“Is this your first snow?” You asked him. He nodded slowly. You picked him up and hugged him close. “I’m glad I got to share one of your firsts with you.” The snowfall picked up, and soon there was enough for you both to play in. You built a small snow man and made snowballs to toss at each other. The kid cheated and used his special powers to lob them at you, but you didn’t mind.
You lost track of time, and also forgot to keep an eye on the ship. If you had been paying attention, you would have noticed a certain Mandalorian returning with his bounty.
Din heard laughter. More specifically, your laughter. He loved that sound. Your laugh was light and beautiful and contagious. He smiled inside the helmet, excited to be back with you. You had been traveling with him for months. He was hesitant with you at first—he was with everyone. But somehow you had managed to slip beneath his armor and work your way into his heart. He quickly shoved the bounty into the carbonite chamber and made his way out to see what was making you laugh. He slowed to a stop when he took in the scene before him. You and the kid were laying in the snow waving your arms and legs bag and forth. You popped up and helped the kid get up. He approached quietly and heard you explaining what you had been doing to the kid.
“See?” You said, pointing to the figures in the snow. “It looks just like an angel now.” The kid cooed and then promptly shoved a handful of snow in his mouth. You laughed delightedly.
“You keep eating that snow and you’re gonna pee yourself,” you warned him.
“Having fun?” Din asked. You yelped and jumped in surprise.
“You’re back!” You exclaimed excitedly. “Did you get him?” Din nodded, and you beamed. “Well, we should celebrate!”
“I don’t think we need too—” before he could finish, a huge snowball plowed into his visor. “Meshla, did you just throw a snowball at me?” You bit your lip and shook your head.
“No,” you teased.
“Oh, you’re in for it!” Din called out as he gathered snow in his large hands. You squealed and grabbed the kid as you ran for cover. Din pummeled you both with snowballs, but you two managed to get a few hits in. You were breathless with laughter. You and the kid hid behind a small snow covered mound. Din had stopped his assault, but you knew it was only a temporary pause. You peaked cautiously over the mound. Din was nowhere in sight.
“Where’d he go?” You whispered to the kid. Just then Din crashed into you and knocked you on your back. He smooshed a pile of snow into your face. “Maker! Din! You scared the shit outta me!” You laughed as you spit snow out of your mouth. Din’s shoulders shook with mirth.
“You look cute covered in snow,” he chuckled. He picked up another handful and held it up playfully.
“No more!” You begged. “I surrender! Mercy! Mercy!” Din laughed.
“No mercy!” He teased.
“Tell daddy to play nice!” You called out to the kid. Din froze at your words. Your eyes widened when you realized what you had said. “Din, I—”
Faster than you’d ever seen him move before, Din dropped the snow and pushed his helmet up just enough to reveal two very plump, soft looking lips. He leaned down and crashed his mouth into yours. You moaned and kissed him back fervently. You had been dying to kiss him since the moment you met. His tongue pushed past your lips and licked deep into the hot cavern of your mouth. He settled himself between your thighs and you groaned when you felt him harden against you. You lost track of everything as he overwhelmed your senses.
“Aroo?” The kid cooed next to your head. Din pulled back and pulled his helmet back down. He stood quickly and helped you up.
“I’m sorry, cyar’ika,” he apologized. “I—I got carried away…it won’t happen again.” You placed your hand gently on his chest.
“It’s alright, Din,” you assured him. “I wanted it to happen…and I want it to happen again.”
“Yes,” you said. “I…well, I’ve had…feelings for you for a long time now. I was just too nervous to act on them.”
“Feelings?” He asked, tilting his helmet. You sighed.
“I love you, Din Djarin,” you whispered. Din’s fist clenched. It was the only reaction he had. You watched him, hoping he wouldn’t kick you off the Razor Crest.
“I love you, too,” he said gruffly.
“Really?” You gasped.
“Yes,” he replied. “I have for a while…but hearing you call me his dad”—he gestured to the kid who was currently shoving more snow into his mouth—“implying we’re a family…fuck, I just couldn’t control myself. It’s all I’ve ever wanted with you.”
“It’s what I want too,” you said with a teary smile. “We are a family.”
“I know,” he said. His hand cupped your face. “I want to make you mine…make you my riddur. Have more children with you.”
“Please,” you begged.
“After we drop off these bounties,” he told you, “we’ll say our vows.”
“Ok,” you said with a smile.
“But I plan on starting to try for those children tonight, cyare,” he said huskily.
“Oh, that works for me,” you whispered.
“Good,” Din responded. “Now let’s get this little gremlin back on the ship and to sleep as soon as possible. We have a lot of ‘trying’ to do tonight.” You laughed and scooped the kid up. He still had two hands full of snow, but he whined when he realized playtime was over.
“Don’t worry, little guy,” you cooed. “We’ll see snow again soon. I promise.” He nuzzled into you.
“You’re a great mom,” Din said. His hand came up to rest on your lower back.
“You’re a great dad,” you returned. Even though you couldn’t see his face, you knew he was smiling. You couldn’t wait to make this family official.
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Chapter 15 of Of Love and Time
Summary: Din contemplates the myriad of changes his world has undergone. His heart aches for you while he tries to determine how many more risks lie ahead, and how he's supposed to keep a handle on his grudges. His family, ever present as they are, do what they can to support him.
Pairing: Din Djarin x fem!reader (no y/n)
Series content: teacher/parent AU, fluff, slow burn, lots of mutual pining, sexual tension, mentions of past trauma (tagged in detail for specific chapters), depictions of violence (nothing explicit, no gore), angst, a dash of hurt/comfort, angst with a happy ending, Grogu is at the equivalent age of a human 4-year-old and can speak
Notes: I am once again apologizing for the wait
Din's POV? In my main storyline? More likely than you think! 😜
This one was particularly tricky to write since it's so unlike the rest! I'll admit, it's mostly filler, but there's a lot of good important context and cute father-son moments as well! I did still have a good time with it and I hope you enjoy it!
We're nearing the end here, my loves, which means the remaining chapters are going to be much easier for me to write and shouldn't take as long to get out there! I'm anticipating two more full chapters and an epilogue before this story is done. Fret not though, I'll still 100% write drabbles/other such requests for this universe once that happens!
Again, I am so grateful for all of your love and support with this series! And I'm especially thankful for your patience with these past few chapters. I'm sorry they've taken so long to get released, but I'm really hoping that won't be the case anymore! Please leave me your thoughts and as always, all the love to you! ❤️
Taglists under the cut; let me know if you'd like to be added!
Din sat at the kitchen counter, comm in hand.
He’d been staring at it for at least an hour now.
The dim yellow light spilled all around him, coating the kitchen in its soft glow. The living room just beyond was cloaked in a silent darkness.
It was late, everyone else in the house had retired hours ago. But Din couldn’t sleep.
When he tried to lay down, he was met with an endless mental assault of thoughts: concerns, scenarios that he could do nothing to stop, situations from the past that he could’ve handled in a different way.
So many things he could’ve said. So many things he wanted to say now.
He sighed and set the comm down, running his hands down his face.
He couldn't help worrying about you. You seemed so sad the day he left, and the stress from the report had to be weighing on you. And that was enough to stress about without Bo acting like a complete ass to you.
Din was furious when Gila told him what happened. She had to physically stop him from marching into Bo’s classroom to strangle him. No one threatens his son without facing consequences. And no one should dare to treat you with such disrespect and malice without getting ripped apart.
Din’s nostrils flared with his breath, anger boiling as he recalled the meeting.
He wasn’t worried about Bo’s threat. Himself aside, Fennec and Boba would not be deterred by the words of a worm like that. No matter what Bo tried to pull, they weren’t leaving without a fight.
More than anything he wanted to make sure you were okay. He’d asked Gila countless times how you were, if Bo had hurt you, if you needed anything. After some prying she described how shaken up you were, and it tugged at something deep inside him.
You were not fragile. He’d seen your strength for himself in a multitude of ways. There was no doubt that you were thinking of Grogu first, which may have been why it affected you the way it did, but regardless of that it wasn’t something typical of you. And that scared Din.
He wanted nothing more than to hold you. To let you rest, take on your burden, and protect you. It killed him that he couldn’t be there to help. He had to know how you were doing.
He picked up his comm and began typing in the little box under your name.
‘Are you okay? Gila told me what happened.’
His thumb hovered over the ‘send’ arrow with hesitance. The two of you had an agreement, and this would breach it. But surely this situation was good reason? He sighed and set the comm down again, his nocturnal thoughts continuing to race.
It had been a week and a half since he last saw you. Since he last spoke more than a few sentences to you. Since he last touched you. He never imagined his heart would ache for you the way it was now, like a dull wound that carried its pain out for as long as possible to make him suffer all the more. An ache that grew stronger with the passage of time. He rubbed a hand against his chest in an attempt to ease the sensation.
Seeing you from a distance at school was too reminiscent of when Grogu first started. Back then Din was apprehensive, skittish, ready to snap at the first person that gave Grogu a weird look. And that didn’t change when he met you.
It took him time to adjust. He was so worried; it wasn’t easy to leave Grogu after having him in constant sight for so long. But you were patient, and you took the time to ease him into it. You proved your loyalty to your work, which involved Grogu’s protection. With that — and Grogu’s approval of you — it didn’t take Din nearly as long as he thought it would to be okay with the arrangement. That was the gateway to him finding out just how special you were.
Getting to see more of you over time, understanding the other amazing things you had to share, was an extra surprise. One he enjoyed with all his heart. There was more to be found about you, and he wanted to explore it all.
He’d be damned if he didn’t respect you the way you deserved.
He shut his comm down, turned off the kitchen light, and headed back to bed.
Neither Din nor Grogu were fond of mornings. Din wouldn’t be able to resist giving his adorable sleeping boy five extra minutes in bed when the first attempt to wake him up failed. And then there was getting him washed up. Grogu would find any little thing to stall for time when Din tried to get him to brush his little teeth.
“You don’t even have that many, kid,” Din said. “It only takes a quick second.”
Regardless, the battle continued on until Din reminded him that he wouldn’t be able to eat breakfast if he didn’t brush, to which Grogu conceded. The promise of food never failed. Then came dressing up and collecting supplies for the day.
This portion was Din’s favorite, since the two of them did it together.
He helped Grogu get his clothes on before taking the time to suit up, Grogu bouncing on top of Din’s bed in the meantime. When that was done Grogu ran off to gather his backpack while Din packed up his satchel.
The cool frost of the morning greeted them when they stepped out of the house; Grogu puffed out breaths of air to watch them dissipate into mist.
“Look, Papa, I can breathe fire!”
Din chuckled and wrapped Grogu up in a blanket, taking care to cover up his big ears, before placing him on the speeder bike and securing him in place.
“You excited for school, firebreather?” he asked.
“Yep!” Grogu said with a smile.
That look of joy alone made the morning hustle worth it every time.
Din hopped on the bike and sped away from the house.
When they arrived at school and made their way into the courtyard, you were greeting a few other students at the gate. Din usually didn’t linger in the mornings, lest he be late for work. But sometimes, like today, he stayed and watched you walk Grogu to the classroom by the hand.
The sight of you both together always made his heart swell.
He wanted so badly to see that more often.
There were a few big projects waiting for Din when he got to work, including a speeder engine, an R5 unit, and an old beat-up ship, all of which were in desperate need of repair. In some ways, the old ship reminded him of the Crest.
He took each job in stride, starting with the R5 unit and ensuring each little piece was going exactly where it needed to. Before he worked at this little shop, he only knew how to break droids; it was a strange change of pace learning how to repair them.
Strange, yet somewhat welcomed. If he kept this up, he reasoned, maybe one day he’ll be able to reprogram a droid the same way Kuiil reprogrammed IG-11.
After a couple hours he put the final circuit pieces in place and closed up the unit, backing away to see if it would come to life.
A few tense moments passed before the little bulbs on its head began to glow, and it released a few cheery beeps. Din chuckled and gave the droid a little pat.
“Glad that actually worked. Looks like you’re good to go.”
R5 twirled around and beeped before following Din to the front of the shop.
As the day went on Din’s mind wandered while he worked. He wondered what time Fennec and Boba would be home that night, if he should make enough dinner for all four of them. He started running through different options in his head. Maybe he’d let Grogu decide what to have this time.
When the afternoon rolled by, he’d completed every project aside from the ship. He clocked out with some of his coworkers and made his way out of the workshop.
“You coming out with us tonight, Mando?” one of them asked.
“Can’t. Gotta be home for my kid today.”
And that was true this time. He’d gone out with the folks from work a few more times since that night with you. Even though he didn’t hate it the way he always figured he would, he’d never admit it to anyone. Especially not Boba or Fennec.
But maybe you.
He mounted his speeder bike and sped off towards the school, the anticipation of seeing Grogu’s face immediately calming his busy mind and refocusing his attention.
The courtyard was alive with the usual hustle and bustle that came with the end of a school day. Families littered the space, waiting for their young ones to emerge from the gate. Din stood in his usual place, arms crossed over his chest, a silent beacon among the scattered noise.
The week was nearing its end; snippets of nearby conversations being had by other families revealed various weekend plans and excitement for a chance to relax. Din tapped his foot against the pavement and contemplated what he and Grogu might do over that time.
When you came into view with the children on your heels, a familiar weight settled in Din’s chest — a reminder of the space you’d created for yourself there.
These weeks without you felt as though a black hole had opened up around his being, stalking him like a phantom through each of his days. Grogu would tell him about his time at school and all the things you taught him, and it reminded Din of everything you might lose.
Because of him.
It was no secret how much you valued your work. Seeing you with the kids was an ever-present reminder that you truly belonged in this role. Din’s mind wandered back to the field trip, and to Open House: the few times he was able to see you in your full teaching element. The students adored you just as much as you did them.
And despite the fact that you were making a difference in their lives, you stayed humble, always thinking about how they helped you grow instead. Hearing you talk about it made Din’s heart melt every time. Seeing you now, sending the children off with your signature smile and accompanying gesture had his heart swelling all over again.
He wouldn’t know what to do with himself if his actions caused you to lose all that. Though even then, he’d be lying if he said he regretted anything.
Meeting you was like stepping into a clear opening after being lost in the forest: refreshing, freeing, healing. The next step towards finding one’s way home again. And each moment spent with you made him feel like he was getting closer and closer to that destination.
In many ways you helped him remember what peace felt like among the violence of the galaxy. And as selfish as it was, he wouldn’t trade that in for anything.
“Excuse me, sir?”
A familiar voice from Din’s left broke him out of his daze. He turned to find Li’s mother standing beside him, her hesitant hand reaching his way.
He took a deep breath. Despite settling the little dispute, this woman wasn’t someone he wanted to speak with.
“How can I help you?” he asked.
“I just wanted to tell you something,” she started, pausing to straighten her posture and look up into his visor. “I felt like my apology at the Open House wasn’t that sincere, so I wanted to formally tell you that I’m very sorry for how I treated the whole situation.”
Din’s brow shot up. He tilted his head to the side with a nod, urging her to continue.
“It wasn’t fair of me to lump Grogu into our own troubles. He’s a very sweet child.”
“He is,” Din said, dropping his hands to his sides. “Thank you.”
She nodded and looked down at the ground.
“You know, I actually spoke with another teacher that night and he didn’t seem all that thrilled when Li started talking about Grogu. He actually looked rather mad.”
“What do you mean?” Din leaned in closer, concerns proceeding to swim around his head.
“He kind of tensed up. It was strange. I had a feeling it was about the incident. I don’t remember his name for the life of me, but I felt like it was important that you knew about it.”
“Can you remember what he looked like?”
She took a second to think before looking towards the school gates.
“Oh, it was that man there. In the back.”
Din followed her pointing finger, which extended past the gate where the classes were parting ways to reveal a figure walking down the open hallway: shoulders stooped, hands in his pockets.
Din’s hands clenched into tight fists. That had to be the guy. The one responsible for the false report, the one who came after you and his son.
The one who needed to be taught a lesson.
In a flash, the world around Din disappeared. The sounds, the people, even you. All he could see was red.
Before he could think his feet were moving. The vague call from Li’s mother fell short of his ears. His eyes were locked on his target. He stomped his way across the courtyard, gaze unmoving from the man’s figure.
As his image grew closer and closer, a sudden pressure against Din’s shoulder grabbed his attention.
You were at his side, facing him with a hand firmly pressed against the fabric poking out beside his pauldron. Your eyes spoke for themselves: concern, understanding, and caution. You took a breath and slowly shook your head.
Your expression seemed to whisper at him, cutting through his sudden rage with a scary lack of resistance. ‘It’s not worth it,’ it said.
And it was right.
Din took a deep breath and looked around. Thankfully not many eyes were looking his way.
A raspy whisper. It was all he could manage as guilt ate at his throat, his anger ebbing into a poking frustration in the pit of his stomach.
You smiled and gave his shoulder a squeeze before letting go. The weight of its sudden absence poked at Din’s heart.
“I understand, trust me. I’d love to sock him in the face, too.”
The playfulness in your tone got him to release a small chuckle. Grogu ran up to him with concern in his big brown eyes.
“Are you okay, Papa?”
“I’m fine, pal,” Din said as he scooped up the little bundle. “Don’t worry.”
The waxing hours of the morning cloaked the house in a dim grey light, the sun only just beginning to peek out from under the horizon. Din drank his caf and watched the clouds pass through the window from his seat at the dining table.
It had been so long since he’d been awake to see a sunrise, let alone be able to sit and watch. Life on this planet was quiet and calm, two things Din wasn’t accustomed to living with just yet. They lingered like nosy neighbors in his everyday, and months later he still didn’t know what to say to get them to leave him alone.
“You’re up early.”
Din turned to see Fennec standing in the doorway. He shrugged and returned his attention to the window.
He shrugged again.
“What about?” she asked, taking a seat beside him.
Din didn’t answer right away. The past months ran through his mind, each memory revealing new opportunities and challenges that he was still adapting to. The calm lifestyle aside, he wasn’t used to this level of friendliness. With few exceptions, the folks he’d met here treated him with kindness and respect without expecting anything in return.
Trust was hard to come by in this galaxy. But it flowed like a steady river in the hearts of these citizens. And an ocean of it existed within you alone.
“A lot has changed since we got here,” Din said after a moment. “It’s been a weird adjustment.”
“Yeah,” Fennec breathed, “It’s still strange to not be looking over your shoulder with every step. Though it’s also nice.”
He nodded. A few more moments of comfortable silence passed.
“How’s the new job been going?”
“Fine,” Fennec said, “though it’s weird testing weapons for a planet like this. I feel like they’d never actually use them.”
“You’re probably right,” Din said with a chuckle. “It’s nice that they’re still prepared, though.”
The two of them made some more small talk, little beats of silence cushioning each topic, before Fennec dug deeper.
“You don’t have to hide it, Mando. You miss her, don’t you?”
Din took a deep breath and a big sip of his caf, contemplating how to word his response.
“It’s okay. Not being able to talk to her or spend any time with her after constantly doing that is bound to be hard.”
“I mean,” Din started, pausing to think through his words. “In the end I’m fine with waiting. That’s not a problem for me. I’m just-” he sighed.
“I can’t help worrying.”
He fell silent and took another swig of his caf, turning to face Fennec before speaking again.
“Everything’s going well for us here. We settled down, we all got jobs, Grogu’s doing great in school. And all of that is still true. But there’s still a lot we don’t know. A lot that feels like it’s missing.”
“That’s because something is missing. We just didn’t realize that until we found her.”
Din’s brow scrunched together as he turned away from her, his expression betraying how perfect the description was. You fit right into their little family with ease, as if you were always meant to be there.
“And that’s okay, too. Don’t be afraid to let her in.”
“I’m not,” he countered, waving a hand. “Not at all. Quite the contrary, actually. I guess I’m just wondering how many more changes will happen. If they’ll be good or bad.”
Din’s mind began to race, possible scenarios playing out in his mind. How would you react if you lost your job because of that report? He wouldn’t blame you if you ended things with him then. But how in the world would he tell Grogu?
And in the event that happens, what sort of stunt would Bo try to pull? While Din knew better than to worry about that, he still had a feeling his usual methods of dealing with such nuisances wouldn’t be appreciated or allowed on a planet like this one.
Then there was the slim chance. The one where everything somehow worked out and you would still want to be with him. Even that scenario had Din concerned. He was still adjusting to the new creed he’d created for himself; taking off his helmet in front of you and looking into your eyes with his own would be difficult, no matter how much he genuinely wanted to do it.
He sighed. Too many questions crowded his brain. He gulped down the rest of his caf and stared out the window again.
“Don’t torture yourself, man,” Fennec stood and clapped him on the back. “What’s done is done, and we’ll take it in stride. It’ll be fine.”
He looked up and gave her a small nod.
Din laughed and picked Grogu up, lightly tossing him into the air before catching him again. Grogu erupted into a giggling fit and snuggled into Din’s chest.
“Okay, new game now. Papa’s arms are tired.”
Din set Grogu down and he immediately reached for another toy.
The two of them were playing in Din’s office after having hung up some more of Grogu’s art on the wall. They both took a seat on the floor and Din let Grogu run the show.
“Grogu,” Din said, “how do you feel about the last week of school? It’s coming up fast.”
“I’m excited,” he said, ears perking up. “Miss said the last day was gonna have lots of games!”
Din smiled, recalling the message you’d sent about Field Day.
“But… will I get to see my friends after?”
Grogu’s gaze grew wide, his bright eyes brimming with preconceived sadness.
“Of course you will,” Din scooted closer and patted his head. “You can play with them over your vacation time. And then you’ll see them every day in a few months when school starts again.”
Grogu grinned. After a moment, his expression became contemplative.
“Papa, why haven’t you told Miss that you love her yet?”
Din’s eyes bulged from his head. Where was this question coming from?
“You do, don’t you? You should tell her!”
Din’s jaw hung loose while his brain tried to catch up and form words, all his muscles going stiff. He couldn’t lie to his son and say that wasn’t true, but with all the other variables in play he wasn’t sure how to address the topic.
“Um, you see, Grogu-” his breath caught in his throat, making him gulp before he could continue. “She’s still your teacher, so I can’t be saying anything like that to her. It’s against the rules.”
Grogu’s brow furrowed. He almost looked angry with how his eyes narrowed downward. Din bit back a chuckle; he was too cute.
“When have rules ever stopped you from doing what you wanted?”
Din sighed. This kid knew him too well.
“Well, before, I would only do it if I knew I could protect you, or if doing it only hurt me. But this time breaking the rules would hurt her, too.”
“Oh,” Grogu said, dragging out the word. “We don’t want that.”
That seemed to appease him; he dropped the subject and went back to his toys. Din tossed a ball around with him for a few minutes before Grogu let out a gasp and his expression turned into one of sudden shock.
“What, what is it?” Din asked, leaning over to get closer to him.
“I forgot to give Miss the picture!”
Confusion took over Din’s brain as he watched Grogu waddle out of the room as fast as he could. When he returned, there was a folded paper held tightly in his hands.
“I was gonna give her this when she got better, but I forgot.”
He handed it to Din, who slowly unfolded it.
The image had his heart melting.
Grogu had drawn himself between you and Din, a background of colorful stars surrounding you all. But unlike most of his drawings, Grogu depicted Din’s smiling face rather than his helmet.
Din grinned at Grogu.
“This looks amazing, I’m sure she’ll love it.”
“I’m gonna give it to her tomorrow!”
“Actually,” Din started softly, “could we wait a little longer? Miss hasn’t seen my face yet.”
“Really?” Grogu asked, face betraying his deep confusion. “But you slept over at her house.”
“I kept my helmet on.”
“The whole time?”
Grogu looked down in contemplation before tapping Din’s arm.
“You’re funny, Papa.”
Din laughed and scratched Grogu’s head.
“So is it okay if we wait?”
“Yes,” Grogu said, bringing one of his little hands to his chin. “But can you keep the picture for me? I don’t wanna give it to her too soon on accident.”
The two of them went back to their playtime, bright rays of afternoon sunlight periodically peeking through the window and casting a yellow glow on the room.
Grogu’s bold words from earlier wouldn’t stop bouncing around Din’s mind:
‘You love her, don’t you? You should tell her!’
If only he knew how much Din wanted to.
The last week of school was here at last.
Onn Monday afternoon Din was stationed at his spot in the courtyard, his fingers tapping against his gauntlet while he waited for you to arrive at the gate with the children.
It was all too relieving to consider that his time without you might be over soon. Despite not knowing what was to happen with the reports or your job, he hoped that any answer could lift a burden from both of your shoulders.
He never got tired of seeing your smiling face. When you made your way to the gate with the kids on your heels, you gave him a small wave. He fought against the urge to freeze up and offered a stiff nod in return.
As he watched you give the first few kids their hugs and high-hands, he wondered how you were faring with the school year ending. It was clear how attached you’d gotten to this group; he hoped parting with them wouldn’t add too much grief to your heart.
The families slowly thinned away until Din was the only one standing in the courtyard. He watched you give Grogu a hug before meeting him halfway and scooping him up. But instead of turning back to his speeder, he approached you.
“I just had a quick question, Miss,” he said, hand coming up to scratch at his neck.
“Of course, what can I do for you?”
Your grin coupled with your soft tone made heat flare up in Din’s cheeks, his breaths coming up shorter. Kriff, how did you keep doing this to him? And without even trying?
“So- so this is their last week, right? What exactly will it look like?”
“Well,” you started, “tomorrow will be a normal day just like today. But Wednesday’s their last day, so coupled with the early release will be the Field Day I messaged the families about. Did you receive that?”
He nodded, remembering the detailed activities in your message along with encouragement for families to attend with the children.
“Should we be bringing anything to that?”
“No,” you said with a shake of your head. “Just yourselves.”
You held his gaze, as if you could tell exactly where his eyes were sitting behind his visor. He was trapped in the beauty of your irises, which suddenly shined with a new sense of ease.
“And… that’ll be it? It’ll be over?”
Din couldn’t help the hope dripping from his voice. It was killing him that he couldn’t take your hand in his own, or glide a finger across your cheek. He had to make sure he wouldn’t have to endure this for longer than the two of you bargained for.
Your smile grew as you gave him a small nod.
“Yes, Din,” you whispered, “It’ll be over.”
His heart was moments away from bursting out of his chest. Hearing you say his name was like being struck by lightning: shocking, exhilarating, rocking him to his core. He missed how it sounded coming from your lips. He took a deep breath and cleared his throat.
“That’s good. Thank you.”
“Certainly,” you said with a nod. “I’m looking forward to seeing you there, hopefully with Fennec and Boba as well.”
“Oh, they’re definitely coming,” he said with a chuckle, recalling the excitement in their eyes when he told them about Field Day. “They both immediately called out of work and talked through all the activities with Grogu.”
You laughed, your face radiant under the light of the afternoon sun, yet a tint of sadness still rang through it.
Din wished he could kiss it away.
“Tell them I say hi,” you said.
He gulped down the lump in his throat. Something about your expression told him there was something you were holding back. Words? Actions? Pain? He wasn’t sure.
But he wanted to see it.
Two more days, he reminded himself. He’ll see it in two more days.
“I will,” he breathed.
When he and Grogu turned to leave, Grogu tilted his little head to look back at you.
“Bye Miss! I love you!”
“Love you too bud, I’ll see you tomorrow!”
Once Din reached his speeder and set Grogu up in the seat, Grogu reached for his hand and looked into his visor.
“I think she loves you too, Papa.”
Din sucked in a breath and patted Grogu’s head before settling in the front seat, mentally squashing down the thoughts that threatened to emerge from that statement.
‘Let’s not get my hopes up just yet, kid.’
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