With a huff you turned in your makeshift bed and stared at the ceiling of the Razor Crest, your hands clasped and neatly placed on your stomach. Keeping track of the time was difficult when you were in hyperspace for more than a day, at least for you, but when spending these days unable to fall asleep, the minutes seemed to last an eternity longer. Insomnia plagued you in your hours of otherwise peaceful slumber ever since a few weeks. All those events, all those concerns to keep the Child safe and the realization that there was a bounty on your head now, kept you awake, alert even when you knew it was safe to close your eyes. Your days were a constant pattern you couldn't escape from. Fighting, fleeing, repeat. You were aware of what you had signed up for when you joined Mando and the little one on the Razor Crest and you didn't regret a thing. But what you hadn't been aware of at the beginning was just how much your mind would struggle to process everything. You adapted to having to be observant and careful all the time, you just couldn't switch it off anymore. Your body shook with energy, prepared to act if necessary at any time even when you were more than exhausted.
In the last couple of weeks you only seemed to find any sleep when your body was too exhausted to function anymore, leaving you passed out in the copilot seat more often than not. When Mando would notice you almost falling sleep beside him, he always urged you to go down in your bed. You knew he only wanted you to sleep comfortably, the copilot seat wasn't the best alternative for your body and especially for your back. You didn't dare to tell him that the moment you would settle down in your bed, you would be wide awake for the rest of the flight.
Sometimes sleep was within reach, so close but your mind would startle you awake before you could get a hold of it. Leaving you panicked in your bed with your heart beating relentlessly against your ribs, keeping you awake for the rest of the night. Other times your body was simply too restless for you to even feel tired, let alone fall asleep. The constant stress your body and mind were under, slowly but surely strained your nerves.
You groaned, frustrated at yourself, and pressed the palms of your hands against your eyes. You couldn't deal with this anymore. You kicked back your blanket and stood up from your makeshift bed. You stretched your arms over your head until your shoulders made a satisfied plopping sound, then you grabbed your blanket, draped it over your shoulders and head like a hood before you made your way to the ladder leading up. You tiptoed silently past the Mandalorian's cot in which the kid was sleeping soundly, not wanting to wake the little on up, and then climbed up to the cockpit.
Mando shifted in his seat the moment you set a foot onto solid ground again, tilting his head in confusion as he looked at you. You walked up to him with your head lowered and sat down into the copilot seat to his right. With your feet plopped onto the seat, you wrapped the blanket around you and leaned your head back, glancing at the streaks of blue and silver above your through the window.
"Nightmare?" he asked, his voice a soft whisper his modulator struggled to pick up. His concern for you made your heart flutter and warmth spred in your stomach.
"No" you shook your head and wrapped the blanket tighter around your body. "Just can't fall asleep right now." It wasn’t a lie, just not the complete truth either.
You let out a sigh, your eyes still fixated onto the fascinating beauty that was hyperspace even though you have seen it a million times already. But the nebula of blue and silver, of the stars swirling around you, never ceased to amaze you.
The silence was light but filled with unspoken words and questions. You didn't dare to ask any of them out loud. You didn't want to disturb the comfortable silence and you weren't sure if you wanted to hear his answers anyway. You had asked him the question that was burning on the tip of your tongue before. His answer didn't really clarify much for you, you were still unsure at times. Now you only knew that he didn't mind the touches, didn't mind you around him. You were curious but also afraid to ask again. You liked how the bond you two shared was right now, you didn't want it to change to something awkward.
Your eyes fluttered close unwillingly, the exhausting taking a hold of your stiff body. You still couldn't relax but your body needed to shut down, needed to recharge. You heard the Mandalorian shuffle with something but before you could open your eyes to look, he had already grabbed your hand from underneath the blanket and intertwined his un-gloved fingers with yours. The warmth of his touch immediately washed over your whole body. Your lips formed into a soft smile as you squeezed his hand in thanks, slowly melting into his touch and the seat, gradually you felt your body relax.
Mando began to draw small circles on the back of your hand, soothing your racing thoughts to a halt. No words were spoken, but you didn't feel like they were necessary right now. You were just grateful for his touch as your mind slipped into a peaceful slumber. The last clear thought you could form stuck with you even when you woke up again a few hours later.
You never seemed to be able to relax in your bed just as good as if you were in the cockpit with Mando by your side.
"Why does this always happen?" you huffed under your breath as you ran beside the Mandalorian, trying to get back to the Razor Crest before one of the men hunting you could land a shot.
You had just wanted to get some more supplies again, with three people on the ship rations didn't last long, especially with the always hungry kid that was hiding in the bag slung over your shoulder right now. You had wanted to go alone but after what happened the last time, when you had gotten badly hurt, Mando didn't allow that. Especially now that there was also a bounty on your head to track him and the kid down. You were in far more danger than he anticipated, than he wanted. But you also were in a desperate need to leave the ship even if it was only for an hour. You couldn’t stand being trapped there any longer, so you argued with him, refused to stay behind. After a while, and very reluctantly, Mando agreed to you going with him which meant that the kid had to join, too, because you didn't want to leave him alone on the ship. You had hoped for it to run smoothly, to just for once be able to enjoy a trip to a market and not be confronted with the harsh reality again. But you should have known better, you should have known that some bounty hunters would spot you three, that it was just inevitable.
So, that was why you were running through the narrow streets of the city you were in right now. Fighting them all off immediately hadn't been an option this time with all the civilians around you blocking your path and sight, so you three had to resort to shooting your way free and immediately fleeing after that. The plan had been to find a spot where you would have some advantage to attack but the city seemed to only consist of small, narrow streets in which you couldn't do anything except try to run, try to not get shot in the back.
Mando was running beside you but after a while you had trouble keeping pace with him. Your legs burned, the exhaustion in every fiber of your body from weeks of almost no sleep slowed you down more and more. Gasping for air you tried to not fall too far behind.
The Mandalorian took a sharp turn to the left, vanishing into another small side street. You stumbled, struggling to slow down enough to take the turn without needing to stop completely. You could only vaguely hear the shouting of the bounty hunters behind you over the blood rushing through your ears and your heart hammering against your ribs. But what you could hear, or rather feel, was the blaster shoots zooming past you, barely missing. They were coming closer, fast.
The kid cooed in your bag, confused by what was going on when you grabbed the bag and pressed it with him in it protectively against your chest. At least he wouldn't get hit there.
You managed to round the corner and fixated your eyes back on Mando's form. With a groan you sped up, trying to catch up to him. But then you felt the laser of a blaster, its heat sizzled past your face, missing your skin only barely. Your heart leaped into your throat and you jumped to the side, your back collided with the wall of a building as you came to a sudden halt. When you collected your thoughts enough to turn your head, you saw the bounty hunters had already followed you into the small street and you knew there was no use in escaping anymore. If you ran, they would just shoot you in the back. You looked down at the Child who had stuck out his head from the bag, staring at you with his big, round eyes, and you knew what you had to do. You had no other option. You had to fight.
You grabbed your blaster from the holster on your hip -Mando made you take one with you and had taught you the basics, now that you were on the radar of bounty hunters too- and slung the bag around so the Child would be hidden behind your back, safe from any blaster shots coming your way. You had no time to aim so you just shot into the general direction of the bounty hunters, hoping for the best, as you pushed yourself from the wall, avoiding a few shots only barely. Miraculously you managed to hit a few of them, or maybe it was Mando who hit them. He had to be somewhere behind you, he probably noticed your absence and had turned around to help, but your mind was too clouded to notice his footsteps hurrying closer or his blaster shots coming from behind you, more unfocused and aimless than usually.
You ducked your head down to avoid a few more otherwise fatal shots and directed your blaster to the bounty hunter closest to you, only for it to jam. You pulled the trigger three times before you realized that nothing was happening. Your eyes widen in horror and you did the only thing you could think of right now: Protect the Child at all cost. You let your blaster fall to the ground as you spun around, so your back was facing the bounty hunters. You grabbed the bag during your turnaround and pressed it against your chest again, putting one hand on the little one’s head in an attempt to soothe him while your body shook in fear. You prepared yourself for the hit, prepared yourself for the heat sinking into your skin, for the pain, when you suddenly felt someone grab you and spin you around with them. You were too disoriented to react, to fight, you could only hear the lasers leaving the bounty hunter’s blaster, but none of them hit you. Instead, they hit something metallic, making them bounce off. You lifted your head slightly and your breath got stuck in your throat as you realized what was happening. Mando had wrapped his arms around you and spun you so his body was shielding you and the kid from the lasers, his back facing the bounty hunters, instead of yours. You couldn't do anything, except for staring at his visor in pure shock while he silently stared back, not even tilting his helmet in question. Him moving his hands behind your back stayed mostly unnoticed by you. Only when the whistling birds already struck down the bounty hunters that were left did you realized what he had done.
The echo of the blasters suddenly stopped, leaving the small side street in complete silence with the only exception being your still widely beating heart hammering against your ribs. The first one to move was neither Mando nor you but the Child, who was tugged in between the two of you. Wiggling and stretching his arms out he cooed at the Mandalorian whose helmet lowered to look at him. Slowly he loosened his grip on you, though his arms still stayed wrapped around you. If you didn't know it any better you would have said he was afraid you would disappear if he let go. But you didn't mind his hold on you, your legs were shaking uncontrollably and you would probably have slumped down on the ground without him.
"Are you hurt?" he asked and glanced back at you, his voice frantic. You shook your head and let out a breathy sigh.
"No-o" you said and gasped for air, your heart pumping hard against your chest in relief, before you directed your gaze to the little one. "We're okay. B-but I need a moment."
You let your forehead fall against Mando’s armored chest and just focused on your breathing. The Mandalorian didn't move or interject, instead he tightened his arms around you again, giving you not only stability but comfort, too. You closed your eyes and tried to stop the shaking of your body. The adrenaline had vanished and only left the fear behind that was still closing its claws around you. You gulped, realizing that you almost ... that you could have died. A cold shiver ran down your spine as your breath hitched. This could have been the end of your journey. You could have...
"We need to go" Mando spoke up, his voice caring an apologetic tone. You nodded against his chest, understanding that you had to leave the planet before more bounty hunters could arrive. You bit your lip and straightened up, taking a step back the Mandalorian let his arms slip from you, bringing them back to his sides.
"Let's go" you agreed, trying to cover the waver of your voice with a small smile.
You held the Child pressed against your chest the whole remaining way back to the Razor Crest. His soft squeaks kept your mind at ease and focusing on his big, curious eyes made you forget about what almost happened. At least for the time being. Luckily, you didn't walk into any more bounty hunters. Though you could only take a deep breath of relief when the hangar closed tightly behind you. You only half-heartedly noticed Mando gently pushing you down onto the edge of his cot by the shoulders. You stared at the ground before you, still hugging the little one against your chest, and didn't even register the Razor Crest taking off. The short startle of the jump into hyperspace was also left unnoticed. Only when the Child was softly taken out of your arms did you look up at the Mandalorian, who had come back down. You didn't protest as he put the little one into his hammock where he promptly fell asleep.
"You should get some rest" the Mandalorian suggested, one of his hands resting on your shoulder, the leather of his glove brushing against the skin of your neck. The sensation left small tingles behind which would have made you sigh if you weren’t so tense.
And even though you would have loved to, you knew sleep wasn't an option for you right now.
"I can't-" you choked out and lowered your eyes to stare at your still shaking hands. You clenched them to fists and bit your lip. And even though the Mandalorian didn't speak up, did you know what he was asking when his hand wandered from your shoulder to your neck and cheek. You leaned into his touch, closed your eyes and wished to just fall asleep in his comforting presence, to just be able to forget this day.
"I haven't been able to sleep properly ever since I joined you" you confessed, your voice faint. "But it has gotten worse over the last few weeks."
"What can I do to help you?" the Mandalorian asked sincerely concerned. You couldn't help the soft chuckle escaping from your mouth.
"Can you stay?" you hummed even though you knew he couldn't. This wasn't necessarily the worst sleeping position you were in since the last couple of weeks, but also not one of the best. However, if you moved to your bed or to the cockpit now, you would be wide awake once more. But Mando probably didn’t want to and couldn’t stay in that position anyway. You sighed at the warmth of his touch, relishing the moment for a few seconds more before you would have to stand up. But then Mando pulled away, making you open your eyes in an instant. You were about to stand up from his cot when he suddenly kneeled down before you. Freezing in place you stared at his visor that stayed trained on your face. Every word you could have said got stuck in your throat when he grabbed your legs and slipped your shoes off. You couldn't even ask him what he was doing, though your face probably gave that thought away. He placed your shoes neatly beside the entrance to his cot before slipping his off, too, which only left you even more confused. You blinked at him in lack of understanding, searching for words.
"What are you doing?" you managed to ask when he had stood up and took a step closer. He was now directly in front of you, his body so close you could feel the warmth that radiated from him and it springing over to you. He was so close that you had to put your head back to keep your eyes focused on his helmet.
"Staying with you" he only answered. Before you could ask further questions, he suddenly picked you up with one arm underneath your legs and the other bracing your back. Your eyes grew wide as you just clung onto him, unable to protest.
Somehow Mando managed to get you two settled into his cot with him lying on his back, almost taking in all the space, and you on your side, trying to squeeze into the space that was left. Nevertheless, you had to press against him with your head lying on his armored shoulder. You didn't dare to breathe, didn't dare to move at all and just watched Mando for a while. He had his hands clasped on top of his stomach, the visor of his helmet pointed to the ceiling, harshly reflecting the still switched-on lights of the ship. He didn’t move and you began to wonder if he had already fallen asleep. But then you thought about how he was even supposed to fall asleep that way in his bed, completely dressed in his armor. Wasn’t he uncomfortable? You furrowed your brows, your eyes still trained on his helmet. Or did he always sleep that way? Fully dressed in his armor? Unmovingly on his back like a rock?
You couldn't help the squeak spilling over your lips as you flinched in embarrassment, making the Mandalorian chuckle lowly. He had noticed you staring, obviously. You cursed at yourself and ducked your head in, trying to sink into yourself and appear smaller while your cheeks heated up. Embarrassed you stared at your hands, refusing to meet the Mandalorian’s gaze again. His shoulders shook lightly from his silent laughter. Then he grabbed the blanket, draping it over the two of you before he pushed a button on the side of the wall which switched off the lights and closed the door to the cot. You were grateful for the darkness as your face definitely gave away your flustered state. For a few moments you focused on Mando's regular breathing through the modulator, feeling his body move next to you to the almost completely silent rhythm. You mimicked his relaxed breathing, trying to clear your thoughts and focusing on only that and not the close proximity you had to each other. And before you knew it your body relaxed and you fell asleep, tightly pressed against him.
You were relieved and grateful to Mando for finally having found some sleep through his help, but you would be lying if you said it was a comfortable slumber.
You had awoken alone in Mando's cot. Well, not completely alone. The kid was still sleeping in his hammock above you and the pain in your back was now also a new companion. Spending one night cramped into one tiny space with a man completely dressed in cold, hard armor probably wasn't the best idea. Nevertheless, you had slept and for the first time in weeks you felt somewhat well rested, back pain brushed aside.
You groaned and set up, rubbing your eyes and wondered how you didn't notice Mando leaving. In the tight space that was his bed you surely would have felt him move, right? Well, apparently you had been far too out of it for that. You were somewhat impressed at yourself for having fallen so deeply asleep but your body probably had just passed out, far too exhausted to keep being alert even in your sleep.
You yawned, searched for the button to open the cot and then crawled to its edge to put your shoes back on, noticing that Mando's were gone. You stood up and glanced at the Child but when you noticed that he was still soundly asleep, you silently walked to the ladder and climbed up. Once you were at the top you stopped and stared at the back of Mando's helmet, suddenly feeling very unsure of yourself. Sleeping next too him was the most intimate gesture he had shared with you. And even though that wasn’t really something big normally, you had shared a bed with friends before, this felt different. Somehow it felt intrusive and very exciting at the same time. You felt special but flustered none the less. Then you huffed and shook your head, clearing it from those thoughts.
'We only shared a bed' you told yourself. There was nothing special about that, right? Well, maybe not with any other person. But with Mando every small step felt like a miracle, like a risk to take even though being close to him was nothing new to you anymore. You held hands, you saw and felt his skin underneath the leather gloves, you even sat on his lap a few times while in hyperspace. But nothing ever felt so intimate than lying next to him in his small cot, even if you had a sore back now because of that. Alone the memory of it made your heart speed up again. Never had so simple gestures felt so exciting to you. And then the desire hit you that you wanted more, wanted to be closer to the man behind the beskar. And that thought suddenly scared you.
You shook your head once more and forced yourself to sit down into one of the copilot seats. You stared out of the window, too afraid to meet the Mandalorian's gaze should he tilt his head to you, too afraid he would somehow know what you were thinking. You felt torn. Torn between wanting to embrace whatever this was and scared to know what he wanted, what he thought. Scared to know what exactly this was. It wasn’t a simple partnership anymore, not just a crew you happened to join. This was something that set your heart aflame whenever you were near him. But you didn’t want to ask. You didn’t want to know his answer. As long as he didn’t tell you what this was to him you could continue to pretend, to relish these moments that meant so much to you.
You folded your hands and placed them in your lap to stop yourself from fiddling with your thumbs. The silence was uncommonly heavy, pressing down on your shoulders and pinning you to the seat.
"Thank you" you whispered after many minutes of complete silence and glanced at the Mandalorian through the corners of your eyes. He only hummed and nodded, not turning to meet your eyes.
The rest of your day was filled with the giggles and squeals of the Child as you played with him to distract yourself form your thoughts. You couldn't stand being in the cockpit alone with Mando today, so you had passed the time and busied yourself with caring for the kid. That was until he had fallen asleep in your arms at the end of the day, or at least you guessed another day had passed. Keeping track of it in hyperspace was still rather hard for you.
You had put the little one to bed and were now standing in front of him, in front of Mando’s cot, unsure what to do. Glancing at your own bed you felt your stomach tighten. You already knew you would only turn from side to side without finding any rest in there. The only option to find any sort of sleep would be next to Mando.
You sighed and climbed back up to sit down into one of the copilot seats only to almost run into the Mandalorian as the door to the cockpit slid open suddenly before you. You froze, your face only inches away from his chest. You took a deep breath before you slowly lifted your head until you could look into his visor. When he didn’t move to the side or reacted at all, you furrowed your brows at him in question.
"Aren't you tired?" he asked and gently took your hand in his. It was the first time that he had talked to you today. The rest of the day had always been filled with awkward silence, something you had always feared should you ask the questions that were circling in your head, something you had wanted to prevent by staying silent, but now it was too late. He tilted his head at you when you didn't react. For a few moments you were overwhelmed and struggled for words.
"Ehm, well, yeah but-" you weren't able to finish your sentence, though you weren't even sure what you had wanted to say anyway, when Mando squeezed your hand and nodded to the ladder. Understanding what he wanted to signal to you, you let your hand slip from his and began to climb back down, Mando following close behind.
You were back where you had stood before, not knowing what to do. When Mando slipped his shoes off you did the same, just so you had something to occupy your mind with. When he turned to look at you, you stayed put where you were, frozen in place with your heart hammering against your ribs, begging you to let it escape. Did he really want to sleep in his armor again just so you could find some sort of relaxation, some form of comfort through his presence? Not to forget how painful it was to wake up earlier today for you, then you couldn’t possible imagine how it had to be for him. You suppressed the wince that would have spilled over your lips other wise and shook your head. Now wasn't about your comfort during sleep, but Mando's. And sleeping in armor definitely couldn’t be comfortable or even good for him. He should be able to relax in his ship and not be reminded of his job, his chaotic life through the armor he wore during the day and now at night, too.
"Isn't it uncomfortable to sleep in your armor?" you asked sincerely concerned and not just to gain some more seconds to try and sort your mind. Mando only shrugged his shoulders, while you rubbed the back of your neck that still felt a little stiff from this morning.
"You don't have to-" you wanted to explain to him that he didn't have to do this for you when he would be uncomfortable as a result, that you would just try to sleep in your bed again so he felt comfortable enough to take the armor off and sleep alone in his cot. But every word got stuck in your throat when he did something you never thought your eyes would ever witness. He took off his armor, piece by piece, right in front of you. Your eyes grew wide and your mouth fell slightly open.
"What-" you only managed to croak out as your eyes wandered over his form, the last piece of armor he still wore being his helmet and the rest of his clothing being what he wore underneath, a simple shirt and pants. You couldn't help yourself, you couldn't keep yourself from staring at him.
His shoulders were still broad and wide even without the armor but only now did you notice his slender waist. You gulped and stopped your eyes from moving lower, bringing them back up, only for your heart to leap into your throat as you stared at his chest and arms that were now only covered by a dark, long-sleeved shirt. You already knew Mando was physically strong but the shirt did nothing to hide the muscles flexing in his arms and shoulders even when he was only standing before you. Why did you feel like he was standing bare before you when he only took his armor off and was still standing before you fully clothed? You felt your face heat up and your breath getting shallow at that thought. Your body tensed as you forced your eyes to stay on Mando's visor. You had embarrassed yourself enough already.
He hadn’t said anything when he had taken off his armor nor when he stepped closer to you, directing you backwards to the cot. When the back of your knees hit the edge you stumbled, almost falling on your back but Mando grabbed your hand and kept you upright.
"Careful" he chuckled. Your face grew even hotter as you bit your lip, suppressing the mindless blabber that would have escape you otherwise. Slowly he lowered your still tilted off-center body until you found yourself on the exact same spot as yesterday. It felt rather surreal and you kept wondering if you weren’t just dreaming right now. Maybe you were still asleep? But when your eyes glanced at his exposed neck, the skin sun-kissed and flexing over his muscles in such detail, you were sure you couldn’t make this up during your sleep, that this had to be real.
"Mando, I-" you began but he shushed you.
"Let's just get some sleep, okay?"
You nodded and stood up, letting Mando settled into his bed first. He laid down like he had yesterday, flat on his back with his arms on his stomach. For a second you hesitated, staring down at him before you followed him into the tight space, plopping down on your side with your back to him and snuggling underneath the blanket he had already draped over himself. You felt far too flustered to face him right now, especially with the lights still on. Without a word he closed the door to the cot and switched the lights off.
You gulped, somehow feeling Mando's side pressed against your back even more prominently than before. You took a deep breath and closed your eyes, snuggling deeper into the blanket in an attempt to make yourself fall asleep faster. Only to suddenly realize that everything in the cot smelled like the Mandalorian, smelled like something metallic (his beskar) mixed with something earthy, something grounding, something soothing. Heat immediately rushed back into your cheeks and your body tensed. Oh Maker, how were you supposed to fall asleep now? With Mando's scent in your nose and his body tightly pressed against you, you definitely couldn't. You didn't really feel uncomfortable but to say this position did anything for your still slightly sore back and neck was also not correct. And that your heart racing uncontrollably fast didn't help you in any way either. You couldn't relax like this.
Your eyes darted around in the dark as you tried to jump over your shadow and control your rapid breathing. Then, before you could back out again, you turned around underneath the blanket so you would have faced the Mandalorian if the lights were on. He didn't react or at least as far as you were aware. He could surely be looking at you through his visor, that probably had night vision, without moving his head. You gulped before carefully placing your hand on his chest. You felt him tense underneath your touch instantly, signaling you that he wasn't asleep yet. You felt how your cheeks heated up even more when your fingers brushed his muscular chest instead of the cold, hard beskar armor you were used to by now.
"Mando?" you asked quietly, your voice trembling nervously while you patiently waited for an answer even after many seconds of silence. You wanted to make sure he was comfortable enough to answer you before you tried anything else.
"Yes?" he finally said and you felt his head moving beside you ever so slightly.
"Are you comfortable?" you questioned further. Another few seconds of silence followed in which the only thing you could focus on was how close you were to the unarmed Mandalorian. You could feel every muscle on his chest underneath your touch, still a bit tense but slowly loosening up more and more. You could feel his soothing warmth even more, now that the beskar wasn't in the way. You bit your lip, suppressing a sigh.
"It's alright" he only answered, leaving your question rather unsatisfied. You took a deep breath, trying to stop your body from shaking and forced yourself to speak up again.
"I am not" you whispered and felt him tense up again underneath your touch. You felt his head move once more, probably now completely turned to face you. He didn't say anything, just stared at you through the darkness. You struggled for words for a while, unsure how to continue without making him uncomfortable, without sounding too demanding. Then you lightly shook your head as far as that was possible lying on your side next to him.
"Could you-" you began but bit your lip. Collecting all the courage you had left you forced yourself to continue. "Could you turn on your side?"
You stared into the darkness, at the unmoving Mandalorian as your pulse quickened. Nobody moved and you began to fear that you had overstepped a boundary. Maker, he had taken off his armor in front of you for the very first time. This must be even more uncomfortable for him than you. You gritted your teeth, cursing at yourself. You should have stayed silent and just tried to sleep. About to apologize you opened your mouth only to suddenly feel movement beside you. Before you knew it the Mandalorian laid on his side, but not like you had expected it with his back facing you, but with his chest. Your heart leaped into your throat, leaving you breathless and unable to form the words you had wanted to say out loud. You froze, your whole body tensed up in disbelief.
"Is that better?" he asked, his voice an almost inaudible whisper.
"Yeah" you croaked out. The silence that followed was deafening, making the beat of your heart even more audible and you were sure Mando must have been able to hear it, too. Your brain shut off, leaving you alone in the dark, helpless. How were you supposed to sleep now?! With your eyes wide you stared in front of you, stared into the darkness where Mando's chest was, only inches away from your face. You almost yelped in panic when you noticed that your hand was still touching him, pressed against his unarmored chest. But you couldn't move away. Was your mind blank only seconds before was it now swarming and crowded with thousand of thoughts.
You flinched when you suddenly felt a featherlight touch on your waist. You needed a few seconds to process that it was Mando's un-gloved hand.
"Is this okay?" he asked, his voice so soft his modulator didn't even pick it up. You realized that this was Mando's real voice, not the distorted sound of his helmet but what he would sound like without it. A shower of tingles wandered down your body, leaving you breathless. You opened and closed your mouth a few times, trying to find the words.
Mando let his arm sneak around your waist, wrapping it around you and slowly pulling you against his chest. You didn't even notice that you were the one to tangle your legs with his, it felt intuitive.
Suddenly you felt really dizzy. Was this really happening right now? You grabbed Mando's shirt with your shaking fingers and buried your head in his chest in a stupid attempt to hide. Because the moment you had to take a deep breath to try and calm yourself down, you only grew even more dizzy when his scent filled your nose. You cursed silently in your mind. But even through all of this, did you notice how your body slowly relaxed under this touch and warmth. Involuntary, you let out a soft sigh and closed your eyes.
"Thank you, Mando" you managed to whisper after probably minutes of silence. The Mandalorian didn't immediately retort anything to that and instead tightened his grip on your waist and squeezed the hand of his free arm between the two of you to place it on to of your hands that were still pressed firmly against his chest.
You lifted your head to look at where his eyes must be hidden behind the darkness and furrowed your brows in lack of understanding. "What?" you asked confused.
"Please. Call me Din."
Your eyes widen and your face grew even hotter if that was even possible at that point. He ... he just revealed his name to you? Your breath hitched. He just revealed his name to you.
"Din" you tested his name on your tongue in a hushed tone. The Mandalorian went rigid as he sucked in a sharp breath and you feared you had misunderstood him but then he pressed you even closer to him, making your heart skip a beat. You gasped for air in shock when he nestled into your hair as you felt his chin on top of your head and not the cold helmet. His legs had sneaked around yours, pinning you against him but you didn't feel trapped. Quite the opposite, you actually enjoyed his tight embrace.
"Din?" you asked, your voice wavering noticeably. The grip around your waist tightened for a split second as he tried to stifle his sigh, making you chuckle and melt against him.
"Din" you said again with a cheeky smile on your lips. The Mandalorian growled against you, making you jump in surprise.
"Are you trying to torture me, cyar'ika?" he asked, his voice husky and low. You paused, not quite understanding what he meant by that.
"What-" you began, shifting in his hold so you would be looking at his face in confusion if it weren't so dark. For a few seconds you just stared and thought until your eyes widen in realization as your mind caught on. "When was the last time someone called you by your name?" you asked in a hush.
"Can't remember" he answered you in a low growl as he pressed himself against you. Your cheeks burned again in an instant as you struggled for words once more. Din’s breath stuttered through the modulator, his chest heaving against yours. You wondered if his mind was as blank as yours was but then he suddenly let go of your waist and instead grabbed both of your hands before you could collect yourself enough to react to any of the things he had said, to the things he had revealed to you. For a few moments he just drew soothing circles on the backs of your hands, tracing your soft skin as if it was the first time he felt it. Then he directed them upwards and placed them on each side of his helmet. After that no one moved and you barely dared to breathe. You hadn't touched his helmet before, always far too afraid since it seemed to be the most important part of his creed.
But the only thing on your mind wasn’t your surprise at that and instead you could only focus on how the coldness of the beskar underneath your hands and the warmth of Din's hand on top sent shivers down your spine.
You hummed in response, still unable to speak up, your mind far too clouded.
"You can take it off."
Your body stiffened as you blinked in confusion. Did he really just say that? You must have imagined that, right? Right?
"B-but your creed?" you objected, staring into the darkness.
"It's okay as long as you can't see my face" he explained, squeezing your hands before leaving them alone on his helmet as he wrapped his arms back around your waist, lifting you a bit further up so you were face to face with him. Your hands were still cupping the sides of his helmet as you sucked in a sharp breath. Were you really about to do this? It felt wrong even though he had asked you to. It felt … intimate.
"Please, cyar'ika. Let me be close to you."
Din's pleading voice and the foreign nickname send shivers down your spine. Your breath hitched as you pushed all your worries to the side and slowly lifting the helmet up. Its hiss echoed in your ears as you held your breath, your heart beating so strong you felt it in your throat. You pushed it up over his hair that brushed your hands, leaving tingles behind. Then you placed the helmet to the side and gasped when you felt Din's breath on your face. The sensation left you dizzy as your heart began to drum relentlessly against your chest. Your hands felt useless as they floated in the air, not knowing where to put them. For many seconds you didn’t dare to move before you squeezed one of your hands back between the two of you, placing it on his chest before taking a deep breath.
"Can I?" you asked in a whisper, your other hand hovering over where his cheek must be hiding in the darkness.
A soft "Yeah" escaped Din's mouth and you didn't waste another second and gently placed your hand on his face. The sensation and his warmth left you with a feeling you couldn’t quite place or understand. Slowly you began to outline his features, let your hand wander from his chin up to his ear, feeling his strong jar and the slight stubble that adorned it. The combined feeling of his surprisingly soft skin and rougher stubble left you breathless. You let your hand placed on his cheek for a few moments, trying to collect your thoughts and failing miserably. You sucked in a sharp breath and carefully continued to let your fingers wander to his forehead, tracing his eyebrow you felt how his eyes fluttered close. Then your touch traveled back down, mapping out the shape of his nose. In the end your fingers hovered over his lips and you felt his breath against them as they trembled. Gently you placed them on his chin and felt your way up to his bottom lip. You traced the outline of his mouth in a trance and when he chuckled against you, you didn’t even flinch and joined in. Your fingers found their way further up, to the corner of his lips, feeling the stubble above his lips form into a mustache. You chuckled again. He took your breath away.
"Beautiful" you whispered as you continued to caress the corner of his mouth. You felt it crinkle up in a smile as Din laughed, the rumble of it vibrating in your chest, the sound hypnotizing you.
"Mesh'la" he responded in a hushed tone, as he drew your faces closer. You weren't sure what the word meant but you didn't really care right now. His scent so metallic yet earthy, so soft yet sensual and warm it left you breathless and with your thoughts spinning, craving more. Your heart hammered against your ribs, screaming and begging for a few more millimeters, only a small push forward. You were sure Din was able to feel the echo of your heart against his own chest. He shifted lightly against you, wrapping his legs around you more, and tightening his grip on your waist, drawing your body even closer even though not a single hair could fit in between you two anymore. Your sleepiness was completely forgotten by now as you stared into the darkness, not able to close your eyes even though you couldn't even see anything. But you didn't need your eyes to see him, to know how beautiful he was.
He lowered his head, placing his forehead against yours. You were glad to note that you weren't the only one whose breath stuttered over your lips at that. You couldn't help but melt into him, soaking in his warmth and the feeling of comfort, the feeling of belonging right there with him. Feeling like this was all that life was, feeling safe and protected. At peace.
You let your hand wander to his hair, burying your fingers into his locks. The slight tug made Din growl once more, the sound low and dangerous, teasing and daring you to continue. You smiled and brushed his hair back, taking part in the game he dared you to play with him, no matter the consequences. You wanted to see what he would do, you wanted more. All those months of faint touches, whispers of being close to one another, had left you even more touch-starved then before, even more desperate. You didn’t care for the unspoken boundaries anymore. You just wanted to let yourself fall into your desire, a desire Din seemed to share.
Slowly one of his hands crept up the back of your neck to also bury his fingers in your hair. The sensation made you gasp and your hair stand on end. You were sure Din was grinning at that, proud and pleased. Out of instinct you freed one of your legs from his and draped it over his waist, seeking to be even closer to him, even though his whole body was already pressed against you and his lips so close that you could feel the ghost of his breath on yours. It made you shiver in anticipation. Pressing your forehead even more against his you took a deep breath, taking in his soothing scent.
Only a few millimeters more and you would have the closeness you sought. Only a few millimeters closer to fulfill the whishes of your heart. Only a few millimeters closer and you would have known how his lips felt dancing against your own.