The two men were seated at a table, enjoying lunch despite the… cozy size of Luke’s office. Conversation flowed easily, albeit mostly one-sided.
“anyways, that’s when I saw Obi-Wan, my first master-” Luke paused, noticing Din’s helmet tilt slightly at the name, “you do know who Obi-Wan was, right?”
Din froze, not expecting the Jedi to pick up on his confusion, “the name sounds familiar… Bo-Katan mentioned him once,” he took a sip from his straw, “said he was a sister-seducing- man-whore? Was he some kind of escort?”
He waited as his words washed over Luke. The jedi blinked twice, a smile flickering past his lips.
“yes,” Luke nodded, “he was, excellent job,” he spooned more soup into his own bowl, hiding his smile behind its large spoon.
“and he was your master?” Din asked, tilting his head forward.
“mhmm,” Luke set the spoon back into the bowl, matching din’s gaze through his lashes, “taught me everything he knew,”
Din coughed, turning his attention back towards his lunch. he sipped at it, ignoring the blush that crept under his helmet.
The jedi huffed, eyes twinkling. Something told Din that maybe, just maybe, he’d lied about the Obi-wan thing.
The back of Luke’s head hit the ground, pulling a wheeze from his body. Above him, Din stood poised, cradling a very fussy green toddler. He extended a hand toward the fallen jedi, but Luke waved him off, leaning up on his elbows.
“’s nothing, no offense but,” he gestured to Grogu, who had calmed down some, “he’s no Vader, I’ll be fine,” this time, he accepted Din’s hand, hardly dwelling on how easily he pulled him up.
“Vader?” Din asked, shifting the baby to his hip, and pocketing the darksaber he’d previously been using.
Luke looked up at the Mandalorian, tilting his head with a smile, “Darth Vader? The emperor’s right-hand man?”
Din’s helmet betrayed to hint of recognition. Unbelievable. No way, there’s no way he was this clueless.
“big cape, scary helmet? Red lightsaber?” Luke tried, wracking his brain.
“oh, you mean like the guy on those old recruitment posters?”
“those- the recruitment posters?”
Din nodded, “I’d see ‘em plastered up in bars and stuff, back before the empire fell,”
Recruitment posters. Din, one of the best bounty hunters Luke had ever met, king of Mandalore himself, had only heard of Darth Vader via recruitment posters. Luke felt his chest flutter. He nodded along with whatever Din said next, mind elsewhere. If he hadn’t heard of Darth Vader… what else had he managed to miss?
“Din!” Luke called from down the hallway, footsteps tripping as he ran inside Din’s ship, “Din! My sister’s here,” he said, knocking on the solid metal hull, “She wants to meet you!” his voice made it sound like an important event, though Din could hardly see why exchanging niceties with the sister of a backwater jedi warranted such flare.
“mm,” Din pulled back the door, peering down at Luke who was bouncing on his toes, “why?”
Luke ignored him, grabbing Din by his gloved hand, and dragging him towards his office, “this could be a big opportunity for you,” he rattled on, eyes shining beneath his mess of dust-streaked hair, “it’s good for you to make connections like this, given your newly-found title-”
“connections?” Din interrupted, “what do you mean?”
Luke spared a confused glance back at the Mandalorian, still steadily walking him towards his sister, “my sister? Leia Organa?”
Din offered up no response, but Luke was enamored by it nonetheless. He could understand not knowing much about galactic history, after all, he was under the impression that Din lead a particularly... sheltered childhood. But things that were happening now? The new republic?
“she was the princess of Alderaan? She helps lead the New Republic?”
“Alderaan...” Din paused, “that’s the one that blew up, right?”
“yes,” Luke dropped Din’s hand, unhooking the tarp that shielded his office from view, “yes, it’s the one that blew up,”
“mm,” Din hummed thoughtfully, “is she a jedi too?”
“sort of, I’ve been helping her train,” Luke said, checking his hair in the gleam of Din’s helmet.
“must’ve been why they blew up Alderaan then,” Din held still, “they were trying to kill her before she got too powerful,”
Luke’s hands stilled. He stared up into the Mandalorian’s visor, “huh,” he said, unable to stop his lips from twitching, “maybe so,” Luke turned around, brushing the tarp aside for Din to enter, hiding his smile behind the fabric.
It was almost cute, how little Din seemed to know about the galaxy he lived in. it didn’t really matter, of course. Most of it was just history lessons, nothing that would seriously impede him on a mission or in battle. And he wasn’t stupid by any means. He could speak more languages than Luke could count on his hands, flesh and robotic, and had flight skills that could rival even the most trained X-wing pilot. Still, it was hard not to feel fond when the Mandalorian only just now realized that Luke and Leia were twins.
“how was I supposed to know!”
“Din, starlight, our father would’ve been found out the second one of us was born, how exactly did you think he managed to swerve the jedi code to have another baby?”
“listen-” Din huffed, biting back his argument when he saw how ecstatic Luke was over this whole ordeal. Luke only nodded along expectantly, crossing one leg over the other. He was nothing if not encouraging.
“to be fair,” Din started, scowling at Luke’s twinkling smile, “she’s a princess, and you grew up on Tatooine,” he huffed, “and you never mentioned your dad was a jedi,” he added quickly, hoping Luke would miss it in his euphoria. No such luck.
“Din,” Luke stood up, reaching to cradle the Mandalorian’s helmet in his hands, “Anakin Skywalker? Did you think that was a coincidence?”
“it’s a big galaxy, there’s like half a billion ‘Djarin’s out there,” Din answered, but the bite had left his voice. It was hard to be frustrated when Luke was so close, all soft smiles and saying “Din” like it was a prayer.
Din leaned into the jedi’s touch. He’d blame it on the weight of his helmet later, and Luke would play along, teasingly offering to hold the helmet if it ever got too heavy. It was only ever teasing though. Luke never asked for more than Din was willing to give.
They were pressed together, Din’s arm wrapped lazily around Luke’s waist, the jedi’s head leaning against his cold, armored shoulder. The beaches on Luke’s planet were nothing special, but the sunsets, oh the sunsets were spectacular. Grogu had been poking at Luke’s brain all day, playing memories of beach days on coruscant and building sandcastles with the crechemasters, until Luke finally caved and suited the baby up for a day in the water, inviting Din along.
Grogu had the time of his life, taking turns force-throwing sand at his dad and splashing his master until they joined in the fun. After a full day of entertaining the little gremlin, though, the two men had decided to impose Nap Time on the kiddo, sprawling out together on one of the many beach towels Luke had brought. (“you didn’t grow up on Tatooine, Din. Trust me, sand gets everywhere”)
The baby was fast asleep against Din’s armor, wrapped up so his head didn’t get bruised by the beskar.
“this was nice, huh?” Luke asked, shifting to look up at the Mandalorian. His eyes brushed over the thin stripe of exposed facial hair before he pulled his gaze away, embarrassed. Even the smallest of glimpses got his heart racing. Ridiculous, honestly.
“mhmm,” Din absentmindedly rubbed circles on Grogu’s back with his thumb, “could’ve done without all the sand in my armor, though,”
Luke laughed, “ugh I know,” he shifted again, pulling his arms from the poncho he was wearing, “I always get so much sand and dust in my hand, it’s the worst,”
Din tilted his helmet, “in your hand?”
“yeah,” Luke fiddled with his glove, pulling it off before tugging on one of his fingers, revealing the intricate system of wires, “you didn’t know?”
Din knew he was staring, and he knew that wasn’t polite but he just- “you’re… part droid?”
Luke laughed at that, a full, hearty laugh, one that had him gasping for air and rolling on his back. Din reached for his hand, holding it up so that it didn’t hit the sand as Luke fell back.
“yes,” Luke said, catching his breath, “I suppose that’s one way to put it,” he flicked his finger again, closing the wiring hatch. Din hadn’t removed his hand, so Luke twisted their fingers together, “you really didn’t know?”
“how was I supposed to?”
“the lifting things six times my weight didn’t tip you off?”
Din sputtered, “you’re a jedi??? You lift things six times your weight all the time???”
That got Luke laughing again, eyes twinkling in the setting sun. He was teasing Din, yes, but he was also so, so deeply fond of him. This, Luke asking questions, Din answering truthfully even though it made him look silly, this was everything to Luke. Luke trusted the Mandalorian, of course he did, and this made Luke feel like Din trusted him as well. just the thought alone was enough to make the Jedi smile wider, letting his head fall against the Mandalorian’s shoulder once more.
Luke paced around Din’s ship. It was bigger than his last one, and somehow even harder to navigate.
“Din, where’s your holoprojector?” Luke had promised to tell Leia when they were getting close, and they’d be closing in on Coruscant within the hour.
“don’t have one,” came the response from the dashboard, stopping Luke in his tracks.
“don’t- do you at least have a data pad?” no holoprojector? Maybe Din was poorer than Luke thought.
“yeah,” Din shuffled around for a moment, before handing Luke a beat-up data pad that was at least a century old.
“Din this thing is ancient,” he said, frowning at the actual layer of crust on the screen, “does it even have holonet?”
“wh-“ Luke was dumbfounded, “how do you get your news? What if something big happens??”
“if I need to know it, someone will tell me,” Din said as if it was the most obvious thing in the galaxy, but the thought left Luke reeling.
“Din, starlight, you didn’t know who Darth Vader was,”
“I did so-”
“yeah, from recruitment posters-”
“it still counts-”
“no it doesn’t-”
They fought like that for a moment, back and forth, until it dawned on Luke.
“holy stars,” he said, cutting Din’s rant short, “Din, is this why you didn’t know about Obi-Wan? And Anakin being my father? And Leia and the new republic?” Luke sat down in the co-pilot’s seat, scooping up Grogu and setting him in his lap.
Din grumbled, turning his attention back to hyperspace, “it wasn’t important,”
“starlight it was Darth Vader-”
The two started arguing again, bickering in that old married couple kind of way. Luke couldn’t help but smile at the situation. All this time, all these silly little accidents and conversations, all because the Mandalorian hadn’t bothered to install a holoprojector in his ship. It was amazing, really.
“I don’t see what the big deal is, you don’t know anything about Mandalorian culture,”
“Din no one knows anything about Mandalorian culture,”
Din slumped in his seat, hands gripping loosely at the steering controls. Luke leaned forward, bumping the Mandalorian’s with his head until Din faced him, pressing their foreheads together softly.
“hey,” Luke said in hushed tones, “for the record, I thought it was kinda hot,”
Din let out a breathy laugh, pulling back slightly to look in the jedi’s eyes.
“that says more about you than it does me, Skywalker,”
Luke matched his laugh, Din joining in before resting his forehead against Luke’s again. They were gonna get an earful from Leia when they landed without a party to welcome them, but for now they would simply rest, all shiny armor and gentle curls, bathed in the glow of hyperspace.