Would be nice if the body scales in fo4 would let me make butch both strong af and pudgy instead of one or the other
Would be nice if the body scales in fo4 would let me make butch both strong af and pudgy instead of one or the other
if you’re drawing slytherin group art.....why aren’t milicent or crabbe or goyle there....
who would win in a fight, my urge to cosplay ena or the fear it wont look good
petition to write a book with only fat characters and not a single skinny one because because I'm so fucking tired of the fact that basically the only fat representation we get are fatphobic caricatures and thin people don't care about it at all
[[ i can’t tell if harry means “the straight stuff” as in non-crime things or if he means he’s going to sell to straight people but either way jeff is displeased and rightfully so ]]
my boy rory
a flavor of coworker conversation i find annoying is when they're telling you some stupid thing someone else said, and you're like "sounds like they were joking" and they're all "actually no, they were 100% serious 😏" omg you're so much smarter than everyone else!! may i suck your cock??
characters that should’ve been fat: a list that will be updated
A Masc Girl and a Femme Boy!
Word Count: 9k Rating: General Summary: POV young Din — Just after his rescue by the Mandalorians, Din and other children are brought to what will be their new home, and their new life. Warnings: traumatised children processing their trauma, death of parents (mentioned), crying children and a lot of space stuff.
A/N: I had this brewing for quite some time, and finally wrote it full. Translating was the longer part, haha. It always is... 🙃 BUT, at least, it gave me plenty of time to illustrate it a little here and there! (see; "foundlings in the snow" - not all the Foundlings in this story are pictured on this painting) This is written as a 2 short parts story, and the 2 parts are here in full, in one post. Enjoy your reading!
In a way he couldn't explain, Din was perceiving space all around them, out there, all around the metal walls of that ship that was taking them far above their homeworld, the home they always knew, the parents they would never see again…
Din had never been in space before today, but he was perceiving it in the engines' deep rumble, in the quivering of the hull, in that black curtain which fell on the cockpit's windows. Half of them could be seen from his corner in the passenger hold through the automatic doors left open. He could perceive space in that moving sensation he felt in all his curled up body, and in his silent fear that he could face in the other children's eyes, and in those armored men and women's visors.
They saviors were Mandalorians. Or at least that's what they called themselves as they had gathered them all in this ship before taking off. They had also been told not to be afraid anymore, that they’d be well taken care of… And, as if to give weight to this statement, the cries of the youngest — barely more than a baby — had stopped in the arms of one of these men in blue armor, with the help his gentle touch and words, even through the modulator of this helmet he hadn’t taken off.
The Mandalorian who had given the baby to this other one upon entering the ship had said he had been found crying under his mother’s body, that he wasn’t hurt. That she had died protecting him… Din’s heart raced when he wondered whether this little one would remember the face of his mother, would remember her voice? He hanged on to the memories of his parents himself, just as he hugged his knees a bit tighter against his chest.
Now, the man was pacing with the comforted child in his arms, his small head laying on his pauldron painted with a white symbole like three scratches. And Din was watching them both, drawing for himself a strange sense of peace from this silent back and forth, lulled by the steady rumble of the engines and the low voices coming from the cockpit. A relaxed shiver made him take a deep, quivering breath and he blinked a couple times, as if to chase the tingling of sleep away. But Din wasn’t sleepy; he had only kept his eyes wide open for too long, and he was also very thirsty. He didn’t say anything about it, didn’t ask for anything, not even unclenching his teeth for fear that they’d start chattering again.
Truth be told, Din hadn’t said a single word since the last gasp of terror he had muffled in his father’s arms. Another sob, hidden in a shiver, rattled him and he squeezed his eyes shut to push back the tears, at the risk of facing again the explosions and the screams lurking behind his closed eyelids.
In the cockpit, modulated voices and steps on the metal floor pulled him out of his tormented thoughts; one of the Mandalorians was leaving the front of the ship to come by the seats, in front of the ones the two other children and himself had ignored, choosing to huddle themselves on the floor instead. The shy voice of one of the children — the youngest, a girl — broke the so far peaceful silence.
"W-where are we going?"
The Mandalorian’s shape froze against the lights of the ship and Din blinked his dry eyes, wondering if this man was the one who had saved him. He was sure that he had come aboard the ship with them but now, Din couldn’t differentiate him from the others. His reassuring words and the tone of his voice were still echoing in his fearful mind, and yet, it wasn’t this voice that answered:
"We’re taking you somewhere safe."
And this voice was soft, reassuring too. Even through this helmet and the impassive black visor where only some of the surrounding sharp lights were reflected.
"You’re going to be alright there."
Din wanted to believe it. He needed to believe it. Satisfied with the answer or simply out of questions, the little girl didn’t add anything and the silence settled once again at the same time as the Mandalorian on one of the seats. The man exchanged a look and a few low words with the other about the child he was keeping in his arms and Din closed his eyes, taking a slow breath, focused on the voices of their saviors and the deep rumble of the engines around them.
How long would they stay on this ship? he wondered, without any real worry about the answer. Should he find the strength, or the courage, to unclench his teeth, to let the slightest sound out, even to dare and ask for a bit of water?
The answer to his own questions came naturally to him when the mere thought of opening his mouth tightened his throat with the pain of a thousand thorns, whetthing his thirst when he tried to swallow it down.
Opening his eyes again on the dimly lit passenger hold, he found comfort in the silence. In the cockpit, the pilot was talking to the others. Her modulated voice told them that they had left the debris field and the planet’s gravity well, and that they’d soon be able to go…
Weren’t they gone already? Where could they still go? Was there something else beyond space?
Tension came to claim its place back in Din’s tired body who stood ready. He didn’t know what he was ready for, but he was ready — to react, to resist…
"Wait, wait… I’m gonna get ‘em to see this," said one of the men with her in the front.
He stood up and stepped in the frame of the open doors. And it was to Din and the other children that he spoke when he said, on a playful, inviting tone:
"Hey, kids, come see this!"
The three of them looked at each other, unsure. But when the oldest stood up, Din and the little girl followed. The Mandalorian stepped off the cockpit’s entrance to let them get in. Another man, sitting in one of the seats, watched them in silence, arms crossed on the chest of his armor painted with the same three white stripes than on his pauldron, and the pilot was in the central seat, facing a miriade of tiny lights and screens under the window panes. And Din faced space for the first time; black like the darkest night, only dappled with weak bright spots, far away, there was nothing to see so to speak. And yet, all three of them watched in a fascinated, worried silence. The pilot tilted her seat to glance at them through her visor then, she faced space again.
"Ready?!" she asked, on a lively tone which quelled Din’s worries a little.
There were some shy yes from the two others and the pilot replied:
"Watch this, then…"
On her dashboard, she pushed a thick lever which seemed to resist to her pressure and, behind the glass, the blackness of space was streaked with long ribbons of white light under the surprised gasped of the other children, before turning into a dazzling tunnel of shimmering mist.
Eyes wide, Din let himself be lost in this whirl stretching before them, giving in to the feeling of vertigo it caused him, only half-listening to the questions asked to the pilot and her answers; hyperspace jump, lightspeed, sublight… So many words he had already heard without ever giving it too much thought but that, now, were taking him farther and farther from what his life used to be.
Back in the passenger hold, behind the cockpit with the others, Din was feeling a bit calmer. The crushing sorrow was still there, filling his heart and making his breath difficult in his chest, stirred by an unspeakable fear of the unknown, but he had started to relax a little.
He had closed his eyes for a moment, to get them rid of the tinglings of thirst as much as to obey to the tiredness that was making his shoulders slump and his head bob. A moment that had stretched, shapeless and swirling in confused images and thoughts like the stars did on the night of space. Not quite a dream, because he wasn’t quite sleeping.
He kept hearing the calm breathing of the little one in the arms of the Mandalorian who had eventually sat down, the agitated dreams of the two other children next to him, a conversation he didn’t fully understand in the cockpit… And it was because he was hearing all that that he raised his head, on alert again when the talk was about getting out of hyperspace as they were reaching their destination.
A weak quiver and a short pale flash let him understand that they had slowed down, out of this tunnel of light. Din would have wanted to return to the cockpit, to see the planet they were going to live on now getting closer through the windows, but he only stood on his numb legs, a hand firmly clasped on the backrest of a seat, as if to keep himself in place.
"Looks like some of us can’t wait to stretch their legs!" joked the Mandalorian who was holdind the child in his arms. "And you, little one, what d’you think? Took your first steps yet?"
"He better," the other replied with a quiet snort.
Huddled against the armor, the kid didn’t answer, following the pattern of the symbol at the center of the chestplate with his fingers. Beside Din, the other children had followed his example and gotten up too. They seemed as anxious as he was but none of them made a step to go to the cockpit or even to walk away from the seats.
"You should sit and buckle up," the same Mandalorian encouraged them.
And immediately, the three of them chose a seat to which they buckled themselves. In her sudden urgency, the little girl fumbled with her own seat belt so much that she started to sob, yet not giving up on her efforts.
"Alright, alright," the Mandalorian soothed her as he stood up to come help her. "Calm down, let me show you…"
The girl wiped her tears and watched the gloved hands buckle her seatbelt across her chest and around her waist. In a last click, the pilot maneuvered the ship that Din felt sway along a slow, descending curve. Through what little he could see of the cockpit’s window from where he was sitting, he could only see space gliding around them, black and infinite. No planet, star or sun as he imagined them showed up in front of them. And the descent continued until the shapes of a strange blinking structure appeared instead. Maybe they would land aboard a bigger ship, Din thought, worry making him quiver again. Maybe living aboard was as possible as living on a planet's surface, after all!
The pilot flew them through a wide opening without a bump. And there only was a weak tremor when they landed in this hangar.
"Alright everybody," she announced as she stood from her seat to join them in the hold. "We’ve touched down. This is the end of the line!"
The access ramp started to lower down under the cockpit, opening on a huge hangar, dull and lowly lit despite the generous yellow and white lights. When the ramp touched the floor, brown with older stains, the pilot was the first to walk down. At the bottom, she was greeted by a mechanic, the like of which Din had seen countless times, and she asked for a refuel. She then disappeared at the corner of the ship with him. The Mandalorian with the child in his arms went down too, followed by the one who had helped the little girl to buckle up in her seat. Neither Din, nor the two other children made a single step to get out after him.
"Come along," he invited them before turning at the corner of the ship as well.
The little girl followed. Din and the boy exchanged a look, not making a move, except to turn around when one of the Mandalorians who had stayed in the cockpit so far came close to them.
"Go on, kids."
Din’s eyes went wide; it was this voice, the voice of the one who had rescued him! He put each of his hands on their shoulders, encouraging them:
"Don’t be scared. You don’t want to stay in here, right?"
A short second of silence and then he added:
And with a simple push, he prompted them to get down the ramp. There was a lot of people in this hangar where other ships were docked; some were busy fixing a mechanical arm slumped across a busy workbench, maintaining other of these ships with the help of small droids and coiling long and thick black cables, while others were playing cards in a small corner, better lit than the others and furnished with worn couches, and a small round table.
Curious people were even watching their arrival from the top of a rusty-looking metal walkway. Some were humans like him and the other children, others not… None of them were other Mandalorians, except for the ones who had already gotten out of the ship.
"Don’t go running off now," he told them. "Stay close, alright?"
Din nodded slowly and the Mandalorian tightened his fingers a bit more on his shoulder before raising his head and shouting for the card players:
"Hey, you there, make some room for the kids!"
Some of them grumbled but they squeezed themselves on the couches or pushed some sturdy-looking crates from under the tables, as stools. Without a word, the Mandalorian walked with them on a few steps, then Din froze in place with a gasp; behind the ship, an huge bay was open on the darkness of space. And Din stayed there, facing the stars, a simple circle of blue light between him and them. The weight of the Mandalorian’s hand left his shoulder but Din didn’t pull himself out of his awe. Not before hearing the voice of the little girl again:
"Is this where we'll be living now?"
There was an understandable worry in her voice.
"Why?" asked the Mandalorian she had followed, amused. "You don’t like it? It’s a big station!"
Past his initial daze, Din couldn't care less. He was ready to love this place… Ship or not. He followed the little girl and the Mandalorian toward the table where the other boy was already seated, and had already been given two cards.
"See, now you can either draw another card, or stand," one of the players explained. "You know your numbers?"
" Yes," the boy answered.
"Good, 'cause you’re gonna need ‘em…"
But the rules of this game didn’t get any further as the arrival or another small group of Mandalorians in the same blue armors cut it short. With them were coming two other children; a young boy and an older girl. Maybe around the same age as that boy who was putting his cards down on the tables, or as Din himself — he wasn’t sure.
"You brought others?" the one who had saved him asked in surprise, his arms crossed on his chest. "Kriff, I’m not sure they’ll be able to take them all!"
One of the cardplayers had a lazy snicker then drawled:
"Well, looks like you, mandos, bombed out with these kids!"
As no-one replied, or bothered to, he continued as he gathered his cards in one of his big hands:
"Y’know, if you can’t sell all of ‘em, we could take a few out of your hands. There are crawlspaces where we could have use for ‘em, that’s for—"
"Shut up!" the Mandalorian finally grumbled.
And he stepped away from the table to meet with those who were coming. Shyly, Din and the other boy followed. Neither of them wanted to be sold away. The Mandalorian at the head of the new group then replied, on a lower voice:
"It makes only five of—"
He shot a glance at the one who had taken care of the little one until now and who was coming back in their field of view, helping the child walk on the hangar floor by holding it by his small arms.
"Ok, six of them," the newcomer corrected himself.
"Yeah, but they can’t have too much in one place!"
"What are the orders?" the one at the head of the new group then asked.
And the one who had rescued Din answered:
"Commander said to bring them on the main site. We’ll see what they have to say when we get there. I can’t take the decision to split them myself."
He shot a sweeping look at the hangar through the visor of his helmet.
"Are we waiting for other squads?" he then asked.
"No, not here," the other answered. "We received words they fell back on other locations."
"What about the ship? Is it safe to leave now?"
"Unless you had a tail, the sector’s clear," was the answer to this last question.
"No, we’re clear."
The other nodded his helmet.
"We’ve got a B-7 in bay 3," he told him, looking at the children around them. "We can get the all clear by the time the Foundlings are in there."
Din frowned, trying his best to listen, to understand and register all that was being said about them, and around them. But each new information was making his heart beat faster to the point that he brought his clammy fists to it, clenched on the sleeves of his tunic, as if to contain it in his chest. His savior turned around to beckon the Mandalorian in charge of the little one.
"Hear that, little one? Got out orders. Take flight!"
And he hoisted the kid by the waist, making the sound of those jetpacks they were all carrying on their backs through his helmet. The child laughed when he settled him in the crook of his arms to stride towards the group which started to walk without delay.
"So?" shouted one of the cardplayers. "No deal for a kid or two?!"
To what the Mandalorian who has rescued Din answered with a threatening finger pointed at their table. And the children and the Mandalorians left this hangar, followed by the sneering laughs of the players.
Two long and wide hallways later, they had reached another hangar where a bigger ship than the one that had brought them here was waiting for its passengers. The inside was very different from the other ship too; more spacious and somewhat comfortable, they had even been given a cabin where they could sleep during this longer journey. But Din wasn’t sure that he could sleep.
What he had been able to do, however, and to his great relief, was to eat! Settled in the galley, each had been given a tray of mash, with some pieces of tasteless bread… but, most importantly, water! And Din had finally been able to quench this thirst that had begun to be painful.
Once full, tongues started to loosen around the table. Still not Din’s, who only listened to the others, withdrawn. That’s how he learned their names. The children who had joined their group were named Grinn and Kerla and were both coming from the same world, apparently struck by the same war as Din, Aran and Saji’s. And even if they were coming from the same place, from the same colony, Din didn’t know them before now.
None of his few friends, the ones with which he had run in the streets and played ball with were here, on this ship, and he hoped that they were still alive even if they had stayed back there… and that their parents were too.
The name of the little one who was sleeping in the cabin was, of course, unknown. This realization continued to pain Din and kept him deep in thoughts for a while.
His parents and he knew some of the people who had celebrated births in the year and the previous one. Did he know the parents of the kid? Maybe he even knew his name!
Burning tears blurred his sight, his breath short and sobless, and he let go of his thoughts, escaping them by burrying his face in the arc of his arms, tight around his knees, curled up as he was in the booth of the galley.
He listened to the other children talking about their fears, sharing questions and their likely answers, and the renewed sobs of Saji and Grinn tightened his heart.
"Calm now," Kerla murmured tenderly as she pulled them tighter against her sides. "The Mandalorians said we will be treated well where we’re going. And those who saved us were really nice to us. Isn’t that right, Grinn?"
For all answer, Din only heard him sniffle.
"But… I want my mama," Saji sobbed. "And grandma… She yelled at me! And she said she wanted me to hide in the baskets!"
Saji sniffled repeatedly and Kerla muttered a few gentle words, her own voice shaking. Even Aran, sitting next to Din on the couch, sniffled before taking a loud gulp of water. Din would have wanted to cry too, but the tears were stuck in his throat, as if trying to choke him.
Don’t cry, son, stay quiet…
He winced at the sound of his father’s voice in his frayed memory, his heart beating and his nails digging in the skin of his arms, even through his sleeves.
Don’t let them find you. You’ll be safe here if you don’t make a sound…
He still hadn’t made a sound since.
His savior’s voice overcame the screams and the cries echoing in his head on which a light hand landed, pulling him again from the dark hole in which he was huddling. Din rose his face from his arms, his cheeks wet with tears, and blinked towards him, dazzled by the galley’s lights. With a slight tilt of his helmet, he asked, on this same soft tone:
Din only answered with a nod under the gloved hand, silent. His savior stroked his hair and Din felt himself relax. He and one of the other Mandalorians had joined them, and the other was putting a new, fresh metal bottle on the table. Aran hurried to fill another cup for himself, then for the others too, Din included.
"Beck?" Grinn called to the Mandalorian who had given them the bottle.
"Yes, kid. What is it?"
"On the station, you said you’re gonna tell us where we are going later."
"I did," Beck admitted.
And a heedful silence followed. Quite frankly, Din wanted to know too.
"You’re gonna live on a new world now," Beck answered. "It’s called Varthen-4. It’s safe, and you’ll have plenty of space to grow big and strong."
"My mama and grandma will be there too?" Saji asked again, barely appeased.
Beck looked embarrassed in the way he bobbed his helmet, neither positive, nor negative.
"Sorry, little one. They won’t."
A sob on her quivering lips, Saji held the weight of his black-strip gaze.
Beck let out a brief sigh.
"Because they… have been badly hurt."
Silence followed his statement and he added:
"And… they can’t take care of you anymore. So that’s why we took you and… you’ll have a new home there. You’ll be fine."
But, obviously, Saji had no interest in knowing if she would be fine where she was being taken; she wanted her mother and grandmother. Grumpy and dissatisfied by the answer, she sought refuge against Kerla where she weeped and wailed. Beck lowered his head briefly before turning to the other Mandalorian who had taken his hand off Din’s head to cross his arms.
"Why… are you still wearing that?" Aran’s croaky voice rose shyly. "On… on your head?"
"Because we’re Mandalorians," Din's savior replied. "And this… is our way of life."
Aran gritted his teeth and avoided his gaze before asking again:
"Is it because we’re still in danger?"
Grinn gasped, frightened.
"Beck, are we still in danger?!"
He clenched his hands so hard on the cup that his shaking made him spill a bit of water on the table.
"No, kids, you're safe now," Beck reassured them. "As for the rest, you’ll understand soon enough."
Din looked up at his savior who nodded his helmet slowly like an answer to his untold question.
"You should get some rest now," he then added. "There’s still a long journey ahead."
His heart heavy, Din nodded back. Yet, he knew he couldn’t rest, maybe not ever again.
It was a rather mild late afternoon when those ships had unleashed the violence of those droids on Din's homeworld. The day had been nice, with a bit of tardy summer warm breeze, and the first gray and gold shades of the evening were stretching on what Din could still see of his town through the smoke and beyond the hills where the Mandalorian’s small ships were stationed when they received the order to take them off-world, him and the other children. And Din didn’t know how long exactly they had spent in space, since they took off of their world, on this station, then aboard this ship. It was only ever night in space…
But when the ship entered the sky of this new world, the sun was high and bright, and the ramp had opened on a cold, pale landscape. The ship hadn’t landed in a city or a starport, if there were any here; they were in the middle of what looked like a small clearing of open country cradled by hills at the feet of mountains white with snow. And before today, he had never seen mountains that tall, or snow… There was some on their world, somewhere more to the north. But Din had never seen it with his own eyes. Nor had Saji and Aran, considering their expression of wonder.
Their town was in those warm regions were some short, knobbly trees were growing straight from rocky soil, the harsh sun making small, tasty fruits with a salty purple flesh swell on their branches. His parents used to fill a platter with those and sprinkle them with spices and aromatic herbs…
Din closed his eyes to shield them from the crude shine of the sun, hugging himself against the cold. And they followed the Mandalorians down the ramp. There, other figures in armor, all different in shapes and colours, were waiting beside another ship barely larger than the one that had brought them to the station. And now, Din was worried they’d be taken somewhere else again… Even more so when one of these still unknown Mandalorians spoke, once they reached the end of the ramp.
"You failed to mention how many of them there were in your transmission."
The voice was a woman’s, calm and with a stern accent. None of the men in blue armor objected. Then, the woman stepped forward to meet them and added:
"We will take them all."
And Din felt his body shiver with relief, not only because of the bitter cold.
"But, understand that we can’t take any more here before older members of the Tribe leave their place to new Foundlings," she went on, with no threat in her tone. "You’ll have to bring any new one to another covert for the time being. For their safety, and that of the coverts.
Then, with a glance at the little one, shaking in the arms of the Mandalorian, she said, with an inviting gesture of her gloved hand:
One of them, in a yellow-looking armor, split from the group to walk towards the ramp. There, the child changed arms without a sound, without a cry, looking confused and cold. Polgar held him in the craddle of his arms and the Mandalorian who had taken care of him since their departure in space stroke one of his little hands with a few words Din couldn’t hear. After what, Polgar walked away with the child to enter the other ship, not waiting any longer.
"This is it, kids," Beck’s modulated voice rose. "You’re gonna go with them now, and they’ll show you your new home."
Grinn let out a weak whimper, clutching at the armored plate painted with white stripes on beck’s thigh.
"You’re gonna stay with us, right?" he inquired, his voice tight and teary eyes raised up to him.
Then, Beck stroke his head with an hesitant hand.
"No, kid… I can’t."
These words made Grinn burst into tears, to which Saji echoed. Beck crouched down in front of him.
"Why can’t you?!"
"'cause, there are other battles to win, many people to save…"
Grinn sobbed and wiped his eyes before curling up against Beck. And he put his own arms around him, patting his back.
"C’mon," he told him. "You’ll be fine here. You will all be fine…"
Din doubted that he’d ever get used to the cold but he was willing to believe Beck.
"So, be strong, ok? One day, you’ll be a fierce warrior too."
And, squeezing the shoulders of Grinn who didn’t protest anymore, Beck stood up to encourage him, and Saji, to take the last steps to leave and go to the other group. The woman in armor extended her open hands to them, and the children joined her after one last look back. And the touch of his savior’s hand on his own shoulder pulled Din from his numbness; everything felt unreal and like it didn’t really concern him, as if he wasn’t really there, removed from his own body, locked in a never ending bad dream. He raised his eyes to the stoic helmet, patiently turned to him. Din realized he didn’t know his name. And yet, he couldn’t bring himself to ask for it, still mute.
"Go now," he encouraged him with a gentle voice. "And be good kids…"
Din nodded slowly and the Mandalorian squeezed his shoulder, pushing him and Aran a little, in one last encouragement. Din made a step, then another, until making a first off the ramp, putting an uncertain foot on the ground and the cold grass of this new world that would now be his.
"Follow me, little ones," they were invited by a new, deep, modulated voice — that of a man in green and copper armor, looking more large and impressive than the others.
And they followed him inside this new ship, not without looking back.
It was much warmer in the hold of this ship now that the access ramp had been closed and, after just long enough for the pilot to return to the cockpit, they were back in the air again.
This time, they didn’t go back in space; the pilot even kept them on such a low altitude that it felt to the children invited in the cockpit to watch their new surroundings like they were brushing the crown of the trees.
The valleys were still green despite the already settled snow on the heights, and a frothy torrent was tumbling down until reaching a lake, much lower, and near which a town and some orchards stood out. They flew over a clearing where several big animals with large antlers scared off from their hedgehopping, galloping away to get back to the cover of trees.
Like the first time in space, questions were rushing to whoever could hear them, to whom would or could answer in the cockpit, between this woman in armor and the pilot.
"Look down, kids," the pilot prompted them as he slowly maneuvered the ship on its left wing.
And down below, through the cockpit’s windows, they discovered the strong shapes of a large structure, looking like emerging from the curves of a hill. And if the place was already impressive from above, it only felt even more so as they were getting closer and closer.
The pilot aimed for a large circular, well-like opening in the top of a block, blending in the hill’s greenery, and steered the ship through it, with ease and precision. The inside of the cockpit grew darker as they went down this short shaft, as if swallowed by the ground and the stone.
At the bottom, in what looked like the inside of a cave where other ships like this one were docked, he landed the ship without a bump. A few lights blinked on the dashboard and the pilot pressed a few buttons, flipped a switch, and the whole ship became silent and still.
A sense of curiosity took Din over as he watched the side of the dashboard within his reach; was it as easy as the pilot made it look to maneuver a ship? Were all these buttons doing something? Would he be able to memorize all their uses himself?
Din hovered a fascinated hand over their shapes, and felt the cold metal under his palm, brushing the buttons with his fingertips. He had no intention to press, or push anything, only to discover…
Suddenly very aware of the silence around him, Din froze and didn’t make any more move, except to turn to the pilot, still in his seat, and whose gaze he felt weighting on him through the visor. Din pulled his hand back to him shyly, confused and afraid of being told off. But the pilot didn’t say anything. With a tilt of his helmet, he motioned him to follow the others.
And the others were already back in the hold, and walking down the side ramp, escorted by the Mandalorians. Din followed them in this cave that was extending high above their heads and where they could hear the spluttering of a torrent, or a waterfall, somewhere in these meanderings of stone and smooth material. And even if it was very cold, the place wasn’t damp.
Behind Din, the pilot was walking down the ramp too, which he then sent back up with a pressure on one of his large, green-painted metal bracelets. Din and the other children were taken through this fortress, along immense hallways where the light of day was generously filtering through openings that Din couldn’t make out really well in this mix of rough stone and concrete. Everything was so different from his home that Din felt an indescribable unease grow with each silent step on the smooth floor that led them to an even more majestic hall; concrete passageways spanned high on three levels, overlooking this immense room, itself a crossroad between many hallways and passages as wide as Din's town alleyways between the dark walls. There, on top of these balconies and at the lowest of this hall, many other Mandalorians were watching their arrival. A group of four seemed to be waiting for them. One of them, the collar of his armor lined with black fur under the sharp edges of his dull gray helmet with golden accents, greeted them with a firm but still kind voice:
The woman who had welcomed them when they had left the bigger ship split from their group to join this man’s and he continued, once she was at his side:
"My name is Drutoz and I am the leader of this Tribe."
All listened in silence. Even the little one wasn’t making any noise, wrapped up in a blanket, and in the arms of the Mandalorian who was carrying him — Polgar, Din thought he remembered. And Polgar, the pilot and this other man in copper and green armor stayed by them. And the support of their presence while facing Drutoz and his escort was somehow a comfort.
"We are Mandalorians," he continued, gesturing at himself and all the others in armor. "We are warriors, and we will keep you safe, as our Foundlings."
None of the children dared to speak anymore, listening to this man, subjugated and afraid. Din was too.
"This, is out stronghold and your new home."
With a look around him, Din tried to get familiar with this idea.
"I’m sure many of your questions have been answered already but should you have more, we are listening."
A heavy silence fell. Even their audience of armored men and women was watching in without a word, intently.
"At home, I was sleeping in my grandma's bed…"
Saji’s little voice, on the verge of tears, broke the silence.
"You were?" Drutoz asked politely.
Saji nodded before wiping her tears with the back of her sleeve. Then, she asked:
"Are we… gonna have our own bed?"
A rustling of voices, hushed and modulated, rose around them and Drutoz’s stood out:
"Yes, child. All of you will have your own beds. And when you will come of age, you will have your own room."
Din lowered his head at the thought of his room in his parents' home; it wasn’t really big, nor very well furnished but he had promised his mother to clear his things there. And he had preferred to go play outside…
"How old are you, boy?"
Din's eyes shot up. But Drutoz wasn’t talking to him; he was talking to Aran, right beside him. Din could feel him shaking hard, and also heard it in his voice when he answered:
"T-ten… I’m… I’m ten, sir."
Drutoz nodded without a word to turn his visor towards Kerla.
"And you, girl?"
"I’m nine," she replied, fearless and unflinching. "Closer to ten."
To what, Drutoz nodded again before glancing at the so far silent man on his left, then this woman to his right, the one who had welcomed them in the hills.
"The older among you will be placed in the care of people who will start teaching you the ways of our Tribe without delay, and all you’ll need to find your own way among us."
Din felt his own breath quiver in his chest; being barely eight years old, which category did he fall into? Was he one of the oldest, or still too young for any of what was making up the life of these people and this place? The woman on Drutoz’s right made an inviting move of her gloved hand towards Kerla.
"And what is your name?" she asked.
"Kerla, I am Narees, and I will be taking care of you from now on."
Words to which Kerla only replied with a nod. In Polgar’s arms, the little one started to fuss. One of the Mandalorians of the group, a woman’s figure flattered by her armor, stepped forth to take the little one in her arms. And on Polgar’s invitation, she followed him in one of the large hallways stretching under the balconies.
"Where are they going?" Saji voiced her worries.
"They are going to make sure this little one is in good health," Drutoz explained. "And you, how old are you?"
Saji tightened her grip on Kerla’s arm.
"I was four, and now, I’m five."
"Five," Drutoz repeated, almost playfully, even if all his poise remained stern. "You still have a few years before joining the other children in their training."
"I can tie and buckle my shoes myself…" Saji observed, like a protestation.
Din heard vague modulated chuckles around them and this made him breathe a bit easier. Until Drutoz’s voice made him shake again:
"And you, boy? How old are you?"
This time, he was the one he was talking to. But, once again, Din was unable to make the slightest noise, or even to unclench his jaw.
"I’ll be looking after this one," a man’s voice rose almost right away, behind him.
Din didn’t dare to turn around, not even when Drutoz expressed his surprise :
"You wish to care for another Foundling? It’s unexpected of you after so long but if everyone agrees…"
He let his sentence trail off, in an incentive to speak. No-one objected. Din then dared to look up at the man in armor who was now standing behind him — it was the pilot.
"My name's Korben," he told him. "I’m going to take care of you now."
He gave him a small moment to answer but Din still didn’t say anything, holding this gaze he could only guess behind the green-edged visor of his gray helmet.
"You’re good with that?"
To what Din only nodded as an answer. His determination seemed to please this Mandalorian who scoffed and put a hand on his head to invite him to come along.
"Follow me, I’m going to show you around."
Din's clammy little fists unclenched a little from the hem of his tunic’s sleeves and he walked with a brisk pace to stay by his side.
Laying in the bed he had picked in the dormitory where all the Foundlings were settled, slightly apart from the others and in view of one of those wide windows carved through the rock, Din couldn’t sleep. His body was tired under the warm blankets but his mind was wrestling, denying him the rest and comfort that were offered to him, fueling this fear of the unknown he had managed to ignore during the past few hours, but that had perniciously crept back in as the night fell.
However, Din had focused on the solidity and the indestructible look of what was now his new home to reassure himself a little. The fear had weakened at the thought that nothing could destroy a fortress like this one, that a full army of droids could only be crushed on the walls of that stronghold that never slept and the strength of its Mandalorian warriors.
And now, despite being unable to sleep, Din felt at least calmer, more confident. He listened to the still unknown noises that echoed through the night of this new world, over the dormitory's sleepy sighs; everything was so acutely new, and so peaceful…
During his visit of this place, his caretaker — Korben — had told him a little more about himself; he was, as he had noticed, one of the pilots of the Tribe, and had already taken care of a Foundling before him, and a son at the same time, both now great warriors, gone to help other coverts and, why not, even create their own clans.
Din had guessed this was a friendly incentive to elicite him to talk, to ask questions, while presenting himself but, he still couldn’t say a word. Korben hadn’t pushed him at all, respecting his silence as he made him discover the main parts of this labyrinthine stronghold in which he would have to learn to navigate.
As a landmark, Korben had shown him his own apartments — a simple bedroom with a few commodities — where he could find or wait for him, if he needed him for anything. There was also a place ready for him should he need to keep to himself, or even to sleep. And it had been comforting for Din to feel so welcome, accepted. He would have wanted to say thanks, to express his gratitude, but he still could only nod.
Then, Korben had taken him in what he had understood to be a medical bay. The place was austere, made from this same mix or rough rock and perfect masonry the like of which he had never seen before. There, the one he had recognized as Polgar was busy examining the little one in the company of the woman who had taken him in and another Mandalorian, in a green armor who had introduced herself to take care of him. She said she was called Sok-Ji.
He would have to remember all those names and the differences between those armors they weren’t taking off, in the absence of faces to associate them with. But in the end, it didn’t really bother Din. There was plenty of other details just as useful; the colours of their armors, the symbols painted on them and their voices — even modulated.
She had hovered a scanner over his face, apparently satisfied with the readings before pouring water in a large bowl, and give it to him to drink. And Din had received it with relief, drinking once more, until being out of breath. And she had let him drink to his fill.
Once he finally lowered his almost emptied bowl, the medic had inspected his hair, felt his throat, checked his teeth, and had asked him to take off his tunic and his boots. She hadn’t asked anything from him without giving him the reason why; she had needed to make sure he hadn’t received any injury that wouldn’t have been noticed earlier during their long haul, that he didn’t have any symptoms of illness that would have needed to be treated, nor any marks of past abuse…
The implication that his parents could have been bad parents had pained Din but he hadn’t balked to any of these examinations, even if he had only answered to all the questions with more nods. The medic had, naturally, been concerned.
"I see that you understand what is said to you but, can you talk?"
Then again, he had only nodded.
"So, you just don’t want to," she had understood.
Din had lowered his head, uneasy, even despite the absence of reproach.
"It’s alright," she had then added, with a gentleness that had touched him. "You’ll talk when you’ll need to."
And those simple word had made him feel better already; he wouldn’t be bullied, or forced to do anything. And then, she had declared him in good health, maybe even better health than others, and had only prescribed Korben to give him some more to drink.
Then, he had dressed back up and Korben had taken him to a large dining hall where the other children were already enjoying the contents of steamy bowls. It’s only at this moment that Din had realized how hungry he was.
And Korben had left him there, telling him to eat, and to get his bearings in this new place that for now seemed impossible for him to wander in without getting lost. At the table, the children had been more talkative than him, and the mood of some seemed already made much cheerier by the hot, tasty soup that had been served, as well as the company of others.
Three new faces had added themselves to the ones Din had already met on their way to this new world. Two of them were brothers and had told them their story with a peculiar pride; Atren, the oldest, and Leran had been born here, in Kragsted, had never known their fathers and, one day, their mother never returned… Probably killed, according to them, by the bandits that were still roaming around here before the Mandalorians wiped them out.
They had lived in the streets and pasture shelters for a year or two before the mandos had eventually caught them like wild game… and offered them a new start. Listening to what they had to say about it, the Mandalorians had taken a better care of them than their poor mother during the few years they had spent with her.
The other was Berien, the oldest of them all, and like Din and the ones he had arrived here with, his father — only family he still had left — had died at the beginning of this same war.
Recovered by the Mandalorians, they had then brought him here where he had started a new life and his training that would make a Mandalorian out of him too. Very proud of his eleven years, he couldn’t wait to reach thirteen and pass his trial, to be sworn to the Creed, don a full armor and be fully Mandalorian.
All this had left Din a little befuddled at the moment. What he could see however was that, despite the obvious losses and pains, none of the children he had met around this table had seemed to be unhappy.
All had carried on with their chat together after that, to get to know each other, and some had even asked questions to Din… But then again, he hadn’t been able to talk. And it had seemed to him he wouldn’t do so ever again. So, he had only lowered his eyes to his filled-to-the rim bowl. The stew that he had been served was mouthwatering; made with generous bits of white fish and vegetables, some meltingly soft and others crunchy, this meal had been as easy to eat as it had been filling.
But, even full and tired as he was, he still couldn’t find sleep, unable to calm the thoughts and memories jostling in his weary head. With a glance around him, he made out the shape of the other children through the darkness of this dormitory he would be sharing with them until he would be of age for his trial, to swear this creed Berien had talked about, and to have his own room, like Korben and the other adults.
He could still go and sleep in this little peaceful and cosy nook Korben had said being available for him, should he need it but, right now, Din wasn’t sure he’d take on the offer… He wouldn’t even have been able to say with certainty what he needed just now! To sleep, obviously. And also, to ease the sorrow raging in his chest and sinking its claws somewhere in his body — and most often in his throat, with each breath.
Din focused on the steady breaths around him, tried to imitate them, to follow them with his… For a second, he closed his eyes, and took a deep breath that escaped him in a sigh, and that had been enough for the terrors to make their way back in his thoughts. He reopened his eyes right away, as if startled awake from a nightmare with a gasp similar to a sob. Closing his mouth, and his teeth gritted, the sobs continued in the dark — but they weren’t his.
To his left, two empty beds away, Grinn was whimpering and sobbing, his face buried in his pillow. Din listened for a moment, careful and hesitant; what could he do or say that would appease this boy? If he couldn’t calm himself down, could he help someone else?
One of Grinn’s sobs turned into a frightened whimper and Berien grumbled in his sleep, in the other row of beds. Then, Din got out of his covers, facing the sudden chillness of the room, his bare feet on the tiles, to bashfully get closer to Grinn’s bed.
The young boy was sleeping, or seemed to be, when Din got close enough to see him clearly, his eyes well adjusted to the darkness of the room. He sat on the cold floor, shivering to feel the heat of his bed escape him but he tried to ignore it when Grinn whimpered again.
Din pulled the thick blankets on the boy’s back and gently squeezed his shoulder. Grinn didn’t wake up at his touch, nor moved, stifling another sob. Din struggled against the pain that was tightening his throat, swallowing hard.
The sound coming from his own mouth felt strange, unknown, new.
"It-it’s alright," he heard himself breathe quietly. "You’re safe now."
And those words comforted him as much as Grinn, whose hair he stroke all the way to the back of his neck. He felt him weight in his pillow, heard him letting out a slow sigh that turned into a contented mutter, and Din took a deep breath in his turn. This time, he felt those imaginary claws retracting, freeing his throat, and for the first time since he had left his father’s arms and his mother’s embrace, Din finally felt safe, sitting there on the cold tiles of the vast dormitory.
obsessed with fat men..... theyre so handsome it makes me AAAAAA !!!!! i love fat men like thank u so much 4 existing
Some artists need to learn that you can give your fat characters double chins.
handsome girl and pretty boy strawberry edition
body positive study with my men ocs
I've seen this post a few times about Saihara's dismissive behavior towards his peers during the FTE and people saying that its why they dislike Saihara but I am like. Pretty sure that Naegi also has a similar dismissive attitude?
*chanting* TELL HER HOW YOU FEEL! TELL HER HOW YOU FEEL! TELL HER HOW YOU FEEL!
I’m reading The House in the Cerulean Sea at @wolfsbaneblooming’s suggestion and this book really has it all, huh!
Some Willy Wonka ass character whose gender I want to steal
A bunch of characters I am going to forcibly headcanon as autistic and trans
honestly my main criticism of a lot of fanart that depicts characters as fat/chubby is not the fact that they are depicted as fat, but rather that their fatness is often accentuated by drawing them in clothes that are too small. whenever i see a character drawn in a skintight t-shirt with the sleeves and hem riding up and the chest stretched across their frame or shorts with their belly spilling out over the top and their thighs bulging out the bottom i wince sympathetically because as a fat person that is not how you dress when you’re just so confident in your fat body, it’s how you dress when your clothes don’t fucking fit. fanartists draw fat characters in clothes that don’t look like they’re causing them physical pain challenge