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I love him

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“I’m gonna need to take this thing off.”

Cara felt an intense range of emotion. She didn’t want to break his code, but at the same time, she wouldn’t let him die. She couldn’t let him die. She admitted to herself just recently that she did, in fact, have a crush on Mando. No, Din. A huge crush. To the point of loving him.

Filled with emotion, she reached to remove the helmet, desperate for any way to keep him alive. But when she did, he grabbed her wrist to stop her.

“I can’t show my face to anyone. This is the way.”

This was the only way she could keep him from dying and he’d just snuffed it out. Cara could feel the dampness in her eyes as he said this.

No.

No!

She was NOT crying. Cara Dune did not cry. She did not feel any emotion besides anger. And yet, this man, whose face she has never seen is tearing down that barricade.

“We both know I’m going to die,” he said.

He had just said the one thing she wanted to pretend she didn’t know, the one thing she didn’t want to believe was true. But hearing his voice say that had just made it more terrible, like it was a confirmation.

She felt a tear run down her face, clinging to her skin as it slowly inches its way down her face. As it reached the corner of her mouth, she licked it away, hoping he wasn’t aware enough to notice the inevitable reflection shining off the moisture on her face. It tasted salty and mellow, tempting more tears.

She didn’t agree with it, nor want it to happen, but if he was determined to die opposed to betray his code, that was his choice. But she was not going to let anything, not even her own fear stop her from telling him one thing.

This was how many people confessed their feelings and she felt stupid, weak confessing to him in this way, regretting the fact that she had never told him before it was to this point.

“Din?”

She tried his first name cautiously, worrying that birth name usage might not be allowed among his people. But she felt this was way too personal to just call him Mando.

“Yeah?”

He didn’t sound angry at the use of his birth name, which was a positive, but she wasn’t about to push it any further.

She wanted to talk to him calmly, but she found herself unable to do so.

“Okay, so if you’re gonna die, which I really don’t want to happen, I’m gonna tell you this just so you know.”

She knew her voice was cracking, something she knew he couldn’t miss. She was nervous as hell, but she knew this would be her only chance, that she would regret it for the rest of her life if she didn’t tell him.

“I love you.”

There. She said it. She could stop now. But she didn’t. She couldn’t.

“I have since Sorgan. I know it’s stupid, but I thought you should know if you’re gonna die and all.”

There was a moment of silence. Cara was scared to death that he had gone unconscious or hated her for this. But Mando broke the silence.

“You know how much I want to kiss you right now, but I can’t. And it destroys me.”

Cara felt like she was dying. Mando actually returned her emotions, and over that, his first reaction was that he wanted to kiss her.

He spoke up again. “But there might be a way for me to live.”

Chapter Text

“But there might be a way for me to live.”

“I’m open to anything at this point.” She said, relief flooding through her. Maybe they did have a chance after all. Maybe they could develop an actual relationship.

He continued. “The only exception to the helmet rule is that I can travel my face to my wife and children.”

That sent her into a full-blown panic. “The kid’s not strong enough to heal you on his own.” He has already stopped a wall of fire from engulfing them entirely in flames with his ‘magic hand thing’.

Din sighed.

“Cara, will you marry me?”

He sounded genuine but didn’t he understand the depth of this time?

Cara was thoroughly confused. “Not the time, dumbass. You’re dying!” It was surprising, even to her, the sharpness of her tone.

He responded to that as if she was stupid. And after his next words, she saw why.

“But my wife can see my face. Cara, I fell for you the moment I saw you and I’d be willing to do this. It only takes a few sentences from each of us to be official, but I’m willing to teach you, if you want. But you don’t have to if you’re not ready.”

Cara might’ve answered him a little too eagerly. “Teach me.”

Cara could feel him looking at her.

“You know you can’t go back on this decision. It’s not allowed,” he warned her.

She looked at him. “I’d never regret this decision. Ever. I’d never regret anything I do for you.”

“You sure?” He asked, a little overly cautious.

Getting a little frustrated, she responded, “Yes, I’m sure. I love you and all, but you’re getting on my nerves.”

Cara herself was honestly surprised about how open she was being with him. It wasn’t something she usually did. Normally, she would keep everything to herself so that no one could use what she said against her.

“Okay then, repeat after me,” he said, obvious he was giving her one last chance to back out of it.

Cara nodded intently. “Ready.”

“Mhi solus tome.” He said, slowly so that she was able to follow.

She parroted him perfectly. “Mhi solus tome.”

“Mhi solus dar’tome.” He said next.

“Mhi solus dar’tome.” Cara echoed.

“Mhi me’dinui an.”

“Mhi me’dinui an.”

“Mhi ba’juri verde.” he finished.

“Mhi ba’juri verde.”

There was just dead silence.

“Is that it?” she asked, hoping she hadn’t done something wrong.

His response was so simple, yet so complex. It was not the one she had been expecting.

He reached up to his helmet slowly.

There was a hissing sound a second after he reached the helmet.

Then, he slowly lifted the helmet off his head. He slid it off slowly, revealing his face a few inches at a time.

When she could fully see his face, her breath caught in her throat.

For more than one reason.

Chapter Text

Her first thought was how kriffing hot he was before realizing what bad shape he was in.

His face was caked in semi-dried blood, and fresh blood was freely flowing from his nose and his forehead. Some of his hair almost had the effect of being dyed red from the blood.

There was just so much blood!

“IG! Get over here. Now

At Cara’s both strict and worried tone, IG-11 handed the child over to Greef, who took him reluctantly before rushing, in a way, toward the pair.

The droid could get annoying at times, and this was definitely one of those times.

“His helmet is not on his head. This is unusual.” He said as if it wasn’t obvious.

Cara wanted nothing more than to absolutely destroy that scrap heap at that point, which took every ounce of willpower not to do.

“Yeah. I see that,” she responded, annoyed, “Now help me out here and get me bacta and something to clean his face with.”

Seconds later, she was using a damp cloth to pick the dried blood off his face.

When the blood was clear, she quickly wiped her hands off before ripping open the bacta packet and scooping out a small handful of glop. She spread a little over his cut on his forehead and right under his nose.

After she finished, she reached up hesitantly to his hair, still not sure about boundaries. She had just acted when she saw his face, but she probably should’ve made sure it was okay.

But Din’s voice broke through the tense silence.

“It’s fine, Cara.”

At his okay, Cara started picking the pieces of dry blood out of his soft hair. Some of it wasn’t totally dry, so she had to wipe her hands off more times than she could count to keep it from getting worse.

There was still some liquid on his head, but that would need to be rinsed out later.

She scooped out another glop of bacta and spread it over the gash on his head. The bacta was visibly working, which was good.

“How are you feeling?” Cara asked.

“Like shit,” he responded, “but better than I was five minutes ago.”

Cara was relieved. “That’s good.”

Greef cut in from across the room. “We’re gonna need to get out of here before we’re burned alive.”

Cara sighed. “Greef’s right. We need to get somewhere safe to get you further medical treatment.”

Din reluctantly nodded and reached for his helmet, but was stopped when Cara pulled it out of his reach.

“You are not putting that back on. Your head wound is still healing, and we don’t need that getting infected.”

Greef, again, piped in from across the room. “We need to get moving. Looks like they’re getting ready to blow the door. I can walk in front of you with the kid. Cara and IG can help you walk.”

Cara sighed, slightly panicked.

SLIGHTLY.

“We’ve got no other choice. Where can we go?”

Din was visibly annoyed, but replied, “The Mandalorians are stationed in the sewers. I think there’s an entrance in here somewhere.”

“It’s over here!” Greef called, “IG, get it open!”

The droid wasted no time cutting open the hatch.

Greef climbed down first, with the child.

When they were clear, IG dropped down.

“Miss Cara, please lower Master Mando down to me carefully.”

When her husband was safely down, she stepped down the ladder and slammed the hatch shut, a few seconds to spare before the door blew.

She had to admit that it was beautiful, but she didn’t stay and admire it, as Din was her first priority.

“Which way?” she asked Din.

“I’m not familiar with this part of the covert. If we keep walking, I’ll probably recognize something.”

They walked slowly for about ten standard minutes, Cara and IG supporting Din, when he stopped Cara.

“Stop. I know this tunnel. The left path will lead to the main area about a minute in.”

Cara was glad he recognized something. She’d begun to think he’d gotten a concussion because of how little he recognized.

“You’ll need this, then,” she said, starting to hand the helmet over to IG-11.

Din reached for his most prized possession, but Cara wouldn’t let him have it.

“IG, you are to hold this above his head so that his face is covered, but it shall not under any circumstances, touch his head.” Her voice was sharp and serious.

“Yes, Miss Cara.”

IG obeyed, holding the helmet while still supporting Din.

Eventually, they reached the main room, by the looks of it.

In the middle of the room was a pile of Mandalorian armor.

When Din saw it, he ducked under the helmet, stumbled forward a few steps, and fell to his knees in front of the pile.

He was obviously crying and that made Cara’s heart break.

She walked over to him tentatively and sat next to him with her knees on the floor in front of her and her feet out to the side.

It felt a little awkward, but in a need to comfort her husband, she wrapped her arms around him and rested her head on his shoulder.

His tears were dripping on her arms, and Cara wanted nothing more than to wipe them away.