I haven't Draw Din Djarin in Weeks!! Well after my recovery it been weeks...
I want it to redraw the old drawing i made of him.....but i break the old one because it was Bad and i didn't like it.
I haven't Draw Din Djarin in Weeks!! Well after my recovery it been weeks...
I want it to redraw the old drawing i made of him.....but i break the old one because it was Bad and i didn't like it.
I started watching The Mandalorian while home for thanksgiving with my parents and
Pedro’s voice is so fuuuuucking hot.
Quick Boba doodle while having a matcha boba tea✨
Do y’all have a go-to clip of Pedro that you watch when you need to cheer up? Asking for myself, cause I feel like shit.
😳☕🥱 took some pedromoji requests on twitter
It’s more Ahsoka brain rot, simply because I love her so much.
The Ahsoka show is coming out in the next year or two, and if I’m not mistaken, Hayden Christensen is coming back as Anakin Skywalker in it (and I am so excited we get to see live action Anakin again).
Since the Ahsoka show does take place after the fall of the Empire, Anakin will most likely either show up as a force ghost or in flashbacks (I honestly hope it’s the former). And I have some ideas for when they see each other again for the first time.
Ahsoka and Anakin haven’t seen each other since the Sith temple incident, although if you consider Vader and Anakin two different people (which I do), they actually haven’t seen each other since Anakin went to go save the Chancellor during the Clone Wars. It’s been over twenty years since the Anakin Ahsoka knew and thought of like a brother has “existed,” in a sense. And her fight with Vader at the Sith temple has to have long-lasting effects on her.
With all that Vader has done, I honestly don’t expect Ahsoka to accept him back right away. The way I see it going down is Ahsoka is initially in shock that Anakin is back but she is completely entitled to being upset and angry at him over what he’s done to her, and to the entire galaxy. Even if Obi Wan and/or Luke Skywalker talk to her, I still think it will be a long time before she forgives Anakin, if she ever does.
And I know Anakin and Ahsoka had a tight-knit bond during the clone wars (I mean, for Christ’s sake, Anakin brought her back from the dead), which makes this a lot more devastating. The way she acted during the Mandalorian, it seems she’s very cautious around things that remind her of Anakin. She doesn’t want a repeat of all the pain and suffering he caused the galaxy, and to her
Either way, if Ahsoka does or does not forgive Anakin for what he’s done, it’s going to devastate me whenever we finally see Ahsoka and Anakin live action together.
I have a lot of feelings about this
Din Djarin x Plus size!reader
Word Count: 2670 words
Summary: Mando needs help taking care of the child, a job perfectly suited for you.
Someone had to watch him.
If Mando and Cara Dune were going to go back to Nevarro to take out the imperial force that had made itself known there, they couldn’t have the kid just tagging along, messing around as he often did.
He was bound to get himself into trouble, and as harmless as it usually was, Din didn’t have time to keep cleaning up after him on top of everything else.
Lucky for him, the Mandalorian knew just the person to keep an eye on him.
If there was anyone in the entire galaxy that would be willing to stop what they were doing to look after a child like Grogu, it was you.
You weren’t a fighter.
You never had been.
In fact, you really had no business being involved with the Mandalorian at all but that didn’t change the facts. You two had run into one another in a market on your homeplanet, and you’d offered to make him dinner.
Under any normal circumstances, he would have refused but there was just something in your soft, caring nature that drew him in, as foreign as it was to him.
It was that same caring, soft nature that made you the perfect person for this.
You were a great friend to Mando, and that made you a great friend to the kid, at far as he was concerned.
There was no avoiding it.
If there was anyone anywhere he trusted to watch over the child, it was you.
You would be perfectly safe, with Kuiil and IG-11 keeping a close eye on you, but Mando had made himself clear. He didn’t want that droid going anywhere near the kid, which meant that you were on babysitting detail.
Which, to be completely fair, was fine by you.
Where you were from, your sole responsibility in the community was to watch over the younglings in your town and make sure that they were taken care of. Compared to all of them, a single kid was going to be a walk in the park.
Or so you thought.
You told Mando that you would be glad to watch the young one without hesitation but you didn’t really have any idea what you were up against yet.
Eventually you would learn, as he’d learned, that there was nothing else quite like the kid in the entire cosmos.
There was no way you could have ever been prepared for what he had in store for you, not even with all of your experience.
Somehow everywhere they went, he found a way to get into trouble, no matter the circumstances and Mando didn’t see why this would be any different.
If anything, the introduction to another person was likely to force him to misbehave that much more.
Still, you had every confidence that you could handle the little thing.
Grogu was only a child, after all.
“He’s harder to look after than he looks, trust me” the Mandalorian hummed, his usual monotone gone for a moment as he let himself express the clear fondness he felt for the tiny being.
Perhaps it was because he was only a child, or because he was in a position to be the most valuable, and vulnerable asset he’d ever come across.
Whatever it was, one thing was for certain, it was bringing something out of Mando you had never seen before.
Whenever you had crossed paths before, it was all about how many credits he could make or getting the job done for the guild.
Never did you imagine him being so paternal to a creature, let alone stealing one and completely giving up the only real world he’d ever known.
...But that didn’t change the fact that he was here, protecting Grogu as if he were his own.
It brought a smile to your face, one you didn’t even bother to hide from the notoriously stone faced Mandalorian. He was strong and reserved, but you never had been.
That was part of the charm that you had always had.
You weren’t like him, and you never had been.
Every time that you two were together, whether it be for work related information or just to catch up when Mando was in the area, you were as light and soft as you’d always been.
“I don’t think I believe that, I think we’ll get along just fine” you teased, allowing yourself to gently tap the child’s small nose, earning a coo from him that told you that you may have had a point.
At that, you felt your pride bolster even more, the look on your face proving to Din that you were right.
As difficult as taking care of the child had been for him, Mando did have a reason he brought you in on this in the first place.
You were far more parental than he’d ever been in his life. Still, you understood the Mandalorian creed just as he did, until he could find out where this little guy belonged, he was basically its father.
There was no chance of getting out of that.
Just like there was no chance of getting your finger out of the death grip the tiny creature currently had on your finger, which he’d snagged shortly after it made contact with his nose.
“That’s exactly why I brought him to you, you can get into trouble together” his modulated voice prompted, that same edge of fondness in his tone as before, even given the less than savory cause for their visit.
After the way Mando had left Nevarro the first time, you seriously doubted you would ever see him again, but as there always was, there was money to be made by the bad guys, taking out worse guys.
That was just how this little corner of the galaxy ran, and you weren’t in a place to argue that.
All you could really do was be glad that you made a friend out of one of the most earnest bad guys around, and do all you could to make sure it stayed that way.
Deep down, you knew that Mando was a good guy, as far as bed guys went.
“We can’t get in trouble if we aren’t caught, Mando, you know that” you grinned, taking the bundle into your arms as gently as you could, giving Din’s hand a gentle squeeze as you pulled away.
You knew that he was really protective over the child, but it did make you feel good to know he trusted you with him. As hard as this was, Mando knew that the kid was in good hands.
After all, that trust had taken a long time to build.
Din wasn’t the kind of man who gave away his trust openly, but that didn’t mean that it wasn't worth it to take the time to become close enough to gain it.
The thing about the Mandalorian was that once you had that trust, it was never going away.
He had so few allies, he couldn’t afford to lose those he’d already made.
“You always say that, and yet, there’s always trouble regardless” Din countered, thinking back to all those times you had promised to behave yourself and he still had to get you both out of some pretty sticky situations.
That kind of thing just followed you around.
You couldn’t help it.
“You may be right, but I don’t see how that’s my fault” you shrugged, a single huff of agreement leaving the child at the perfect time, though you were sure it was more of a happy toddle than anything else.
You could definitely tell that he was a smart little thing but he didn’t seem to understand your words, or Mando’s for that matter.
While he would certainly grow to understand them in time, that was still a long while off yet.
“You wouldn’t” he mumbled, earning quite the glare from you for only a moment before he moved on entirely.
Mando liked poking fun at you as much as the next guy, but it was all in good fun and he would never insult you, especially not when there was so much work to be done.
Work that he needed to get back to.
This wasn’t just a social visit after all, and the Mandalorian had things he needed to do before he could catch up with you.
“The two of you will be okay alone, I assume?” he checked, giving you and the child one final once over before heading out, just to make sure. Din had every confidence that you could do this for him, but it didn’t make him any less wary of the danger.
There was no telling who could be out there, right now, just waiting for him to step away from you and the child.
Not that worrying would lessen the danger any.
The danger would always be there, and while you two were as safe as kittens with him, he couldn’t be by your side all hours of the day.
The best he could do was handle his business and get back here as soon as possible.
“I can handle a toddler Mando, he’ll be safe with me” you assured, watching as the child gave him a small wave in goodbye as he turned toward the door.
Neither of them really wanted to part, something that was clear to you, and while it warms your heart, it wasn’t necessary.
They would be back together again in a matter of hours.
“And you’ll be safe?” he called, catching your attention at the last minute, his words barely registering as he headed for the mouth of the ship.
At first, you weren’t even sure if he meant for you to hear it, it was so strange coming from him. Din had never been so outwardly affectionate with you before, not in all the time you’d known one another.
Still, there was no denying the truth.
The Mandalorian was concerned about you.
At the end of the day, he knew that the fondness he felt for you may have been more than either of you intended to make it, but that wasn’t going to change the fact that he did care about you, and routinely worried about something happening that he couldn’t control.
The idea of any harm coming to you, especially while doing a favor to him, was one that filled him with great dread.
“I’ll be safe. Just come back in one piece to pick up the kid” you called back, rocking the child back and forth absently on your hip.
You liked the kid.
Of course, Mando wasn’t kidding when he suggested that it would be more work than you initially thought to look after him but it wasn’t too bad. Sure, you felt like you’d been chasing the toddler around the Razor Crest for hours, but what else was new?
In your experience, children all reacted the same way when given free rein, no matter the species.
...and in that way, Grogu was certainly a typical child.
Not that Din was completely wrong either.
Even given as determined as you were to be right, you had to admit that the child was more of a handful than you could have prepared yourself for.
He was messy, and about as full of energy as you’d ever seen in all your life, but what really blew your mind was how much Grogu could eat.
Every time you turned around, it just seemed like he was finding something brand new to put in his mouth.
It was really starting to get to you.
“No, you can’t eat that” you tutted, rushing to reach out and take a discarded piece of what looked like foil from his hands, closed tightly around the object of his desire.
If you’d caught him any later, you knew for a fact that he would have surely swallowed it but just as you were about to panic over everything he’d been trying to stuff into his mouth this entire time, The Mandalorian showed up to save the day.
As he so often did.
“I told you he was trouble” he decided, that I-told-you-so tone in his voice that you couldn’t have missed it you tried, no matter how modulated it may have been.
“He’s definitely a bit of a handful, that’s for sure” you allowed, catching sight of Din as he turned toward the mouth of the ship.
To him, it seemed obvious.
You were the most capable person for the job, and he wouldn’t have dared ask another person for a favor like this but deep down, Mando knew what he was asking of you.
He knew first hand just how challenging watching the child could be, and while it wasn’t exactly a cake walk, he knew that you could keep him out of danger, even if you couldn’t exactly keep him out of trouble.
“Perhaps I should have warned you about his appetite” Din hummed, and for a second, you thought you may have even heard a hint of a chuckle on the tail end of his words.
He really was fond of this little creature.
“I figured that out soon enough” you smiled, picking up the child and handing him over to the Mandalorian, who graciously accepted the gesture.
The pair hadn’t been separated for all that long but Mando was finding it more and more difficult to be away from him every time it happened.
After all, anything could have happened to the kid in his absence and that wasn’t really a risk he was willing to take.
Not with him and not with you.
That was why it was so fortunate that you managed to stay safe here while he did what had to be done.
Mando knew for a fact that he wouldn’t be able to lose either of you, let alone both of you at the same time.
“I should have assumed you would. You’ve always been clever that way” he shrugged, allowing Grogu to grab hold of one of his gloved fingers, similarly to how he’d done with you when you first met.
Evidently it was a sign of affection for the kid.
...and it wasn’t the only one.
“You’re just lucky you got back in one piece” you scoffed, catching sight of a new dent in his beskar chestplate that wasn’t there before.
It was tarnished, from a blaster, and far too close to what little of his skin wasn’t protected by armor.
He could have gotten himself killed if he wasn’t careful, and you had to admit the idea was less than comforting.
The Mandalorian nodded, little more than a soft sigh leaving his lips as he considered what you’d said.
It was funny, he always considered how he’d feel if something happened to you, or if you got hurt, but it was rare he thought about it the other way around.
He’d never really thought about you worrying about him before but it was only natural that you did.
Din didn’t exactly have an easygoing job, after all.
“For all of us” he added, giving you a gentle nudge with his hand that was connected with the child’s still, so that you could join in on the little charade they’d taken to.
It was clear that the two of you had bonded quite a bit in the Mandalorian’s absence and since the kid had taken so well to you, perhaps you could stay with them for a little while.
It wouldn’t hurt to explore the idea.
After all, Mando definitely could use the help around the ship with the kid and it would be a lie to say that he was ready to let you leave so soon.
He’d only just gotten you back, after all this time, and he was almost looking forward to getting to spend some time with you.
It wasn’t something he got to do often, and that was starting to feel like a real shame.
Din Djarin x Gender Neutral!Reader (No Y/N)
Warnings: Soft!din, excessive use of the word warm
Word count: About 500
Author’s note: @just-here-for-the-moment This is for you after our convo- you know which one I mean lol Din deserves some cuddles and sleep!!
P.S. Here’s a link to my masterlist if you’d like to check out my other writing! Also! my taglist is always open- leave me a comment or an ask if you’d like to be added!
“Do you ever think about how life used to be?”
You laid with your head resting on his warm broad chest, his large hand stroking up and down your back slowly.
‘Mmhmm,” he hummed and you felt the vibration in his chest.
“I spent so long wanting you desperately and thinking it would never happen,” you practically whispered for fear that speaking the words would jinx you, would rip away the happiness you have found in one another’s arms.
He tugged you closer, so you were on top of him now, chest to chest, as he held your chin with gentle fingers.
“Mesh’la, I never wanted anything or anyone the way I’ve wanted you. And you have me, and I have you, for the rest of our lives,” he said, voice low and syrupy sweet.
You smiled, almost bashfully, and he kissed you deeply -languidly, hot tongue licking into your mouth, as if he were trying to consume the joy from your lips.
You loved when he kissed you like this- unrushed, unhurried, mouth full of love. You loved the deep soft sounds he made into your mouth when your tongue met his or when you nipped his bottom lip. But most of all, you love him. You love this warrior of a man who was secretly so soft. He was so soft for you and the child. So soft and warm and gentle with the both of you.
You loved being in this tiny cramped bunk with him, safe and warm, using him as your pillow, letting him lavish you in his love with his mouth and hands.
As his mouth broke from yours and traveled a wonderfully familiar path along your throat you murmured, “Din, baby, I love you.”
He moaned into your neck and bit down, you knew he loved it- seeing his marks on you.
Grogu’s cry interrupted the two of you and you both groaned before you slid off of Din and out of the bunk and ran off to take care of the baby.
Grogu was fussy and it was a while before you managed to calm him and rock him to sleep, but when you finally did you stumbled back to Din’s bunk and crawled inside.
You clearly woke him as you did and he grunted and pulled you into his arms and back into your previous position with your head on his chest.
Warm- he’s so warm and comfortable here with you, armorless and sleepily cuddling you.
You hooked your leg over his and your arm over his stomach, rubbing gently.
“Mmm” He pressed a kiss to the top of your head and rubbed soothing circles on your back.
Your eyes drooped, soothed into unconsciousness with his touch and the sound of his heartbeat beneath your ear, but before you could fall asleep he said, “Mesh’la?”
“I love you too,” his voice was gravely from sleep but full of emotion.
You pressed a kiss to his chest where you lay.
“I know,” you said sweetly and heard and felt him chuckle.
You last thought before falling asleep was that you love him like this- joyful, content, and warm.
Everything taglist: @spideysimpossiblegirl @pedrosgirlx @ohpedromypedro @littlemisspascal @tombraider42017 @kirsteng42
Din taglist: @startrekkingaroundasgard
The Star Wars is stored in the accidental child acquisition
One of us is gonna have to change
I want to go to coruscant, its so pretty
Some CQL Wangxian screencap redraws in the Star Wars universe because I’m Fucking Bored.
I keep saying I’ll write it, and I have far too many notes, but I haven’t gotten there yet.
Bonus Jiang sibs concept art:
THE MANDALORIAN (2019-) Chapter Five: The Gunslinger
Mandos are the Gordon Ramsey of the galaxy
we are the kids that no one wants
CHAPTER 12: Fight, Flight, or Freeze
RATING: Explicit (18+ ONLY!!!)
WARNINGS: canon-compliant violence, sexual content, rough sex, descriptions of blood (let me know if there's more that needs to be tagged)
SUMMARY: “Just the two of us?” Nova manages, and then Din’s gloved hand snaps out from where it was held in tension against his sides. She doesn’t flinch when it meets her cheek, as soft as a butterfly wing.
Din’s expression, even unmasked, is unreadable. He’s stoic in his silence, still pulsating something red and dark, and Nova can practically taste his restraint. She wets her lips, still refusing to take her gaze off of his, and Din makes a sharp noise in the back of his throat, muffled only by his mouth and the low thrum of the starship. “For starters,” he says, the words electric, a livewire, and then he’s hooked his other arm around Nova’s neck, pulling her upwards.
If you’re a newcomer, my fic “Something More” is the first installment of this story! <3
AUTHOR’S NOTE: HAPPY SOMETHING DEEPER SATURDAY EVERYONE!!! this chapter is yet again at ~11k words. idk how i keep doing this. there is also FILTH in the beginning, and then some worldbuilding (which i know isn't the most fun, but i hope y'all forgive me for it because it will all connect very soon). please read the content warnings above, and LEMME KNOW ALL YOUR THOUGHTS! PLEASE! I FEED ON IT!
Both Nova and Din stare at the comm as if a ghost just appeared out of it. Some sort of loud, breathy noise, leftover from Din’s lips against hers, comes out of Nova’s throat. She can feel her ears buzzing, and when she blinks, looking back up at Din, who’s frozen in place, hovering over her, armored everywhere except for the helmet.
“What—?” Din starts.
Nova inhales, sharp and ragged. “We’re going after her,” she breathes, her lips still an inch away from Din’s. “We’re going after her anyway, right?
Din’s eyes are dark and calculated. but Nova can see the undercurrent of fear, even in the low light of the ship. She presses her lips together, blinking as if that’ll solve her racing heartbeat. Quickly, fluidly, like he’s been possessed by some sort of external force, Din shoots up. His every move is intentional and measured, and Nova watches, still on her back, propped up by her elbows, unsure of what to do next.
At the dashboard, Din’s plugging in coordinates to the navigation system. Slowly, Nova sits all the way up, her heart pounding from Bo-Katan’s strangled message and from the absence of Din’s hungry mouth against hers. “Din,” she starts, and he holds up a single gloved finger. Nova falls silent, but she pushes herself up to her wobbly feet, falling into the copilot’s seat. She watches Din’s every move, feeling the low rumble of the Mand’alor ship before it takes off of Korrus’s rocky, uneven surface. The second they’re out in the stars, Din punches all the thrusters into warp. Nova closes her eyes as the stars shoot out in vivid, blurry rays, and when she opens them again, they’re fully in hyperspace, no noise other than the engine of the ship. Din’s standing in front of her, and Nova tips her head all the way back against the headrest in the copilot’s seat, trying to find his eyes in the dark crush of space.
“Where are we going?” she asks, and Din sighs, low and heavy. Nova bites down on her bottom lip. It was difficult to tell earlier, under the modification of the modulator, but it’s hard for her to miss now. He’s not thinking. He’s not sighing because he’s ruminating on something, grappling with what they’ve heard. He’s angry. Livid, actually. Nova can trace it in his flared nostrils, in the press of his pink lips. She knows all the warning signs, and they’re all blinking red. Under the beskar, if she watches for long enough, there’s a tremble in his stature, like Din is trying to resist his fury, to bite it back.
Din stares down at her before he speaks. “Mustafar,” he says, finally, his voice strained and low. He moves a step closer. Nova feels the stretch in her throat of how far her head is tipped back, but she refuses to take her eyes off of her husband’s.
Nova swallows. If she wasn’t looking up at him, her eyes would be level with Din’s crotch. Despite everything, even in the flint and fire of Bo-Katan’s call, she wants him in a way she didn’t have him back on Korrus, unhinged and vile, with his full attention on her. “Just the two of us?” Nova manages, and then Din’s gloved hand snaps out from where it was held in tension against his sides. She doesn’t flinch when it meets her cheek, as soft as a butterfly wing.
Din’s expression, even unmasked, is unreadable. He’s stoic in his silence, still pulsating something red and dark, and Nova can practically taste his restraint. She wets her lips, still refusing to take her gaze off of his, and Din makes a sharp noise in the back of his throat, muffled only by his mouth and the low thrum of the starship. “For starters,” he says, the words electric, a livewire, and then he’s hooked his other arm around Nova’s neck, pulling her upwards.
His mouth is as hot as her body feels. Nova gasps before their lips touch, and then the only sounds she can emit are the moans that echo into the open hollow of Din’s mouth. His grip is so tight. Even through his gloves, his touch burns. He moves the crook of his arm from around her neck to the small of her back, pressing her torso up against the beskar, needy and desperate. Nova reaches up on her toes, everything inside of her a burning pyre, and when Din’s other hand knots in her hair, tipping her head back to get a better angle on his tongue inside of her mouth, Nova makes a small, wet noise, one that sounds like she’s been deprived of his touch for years instead of just a matter of minutes.
“Din,” she tries, but then his large, gloved hand slides down to her ass, and everything Nova was going to say immediately evaporates. The beskar is warming up against her skin, and when Din finds the opening of the short dress, just barely long enough to cover her skin, Nova claws at the plate of armor against his back. He hoists her up. Nova’s knees are still wobbly from when she rode his armored thigh back on Korrus, so her feet leave the ground like they’re meant to, without any restraint or protest. Din’s grip is strong and intentional, and when his lips pull off of hers, Nova’s moan echoes in the empty hull of the ship. He moves forward, roughly, desperate and driven, and then Nova registers that she’s being slammed against the metal wall of the ship, but she’s not even thinking of how her spine will ache in the morning, or the bruises that it’ll leave behind. Faintly, Nova remembers that she was going to ask Din something else, but it doesn’t come back into her mind until Din comes up for air. “What if it is a trap?” she manages, her voice high and breathy.
Din looks at her, and Nova takes one hand off his shoulder to brush it across his face, feeling the scratch of his scruff, stroking the ridge of his cheekbone. His lips are still parted like he’s ready to do what Nova begged for, to devour and nothing else, but he exhales, and for a second, he looks like he’s reachable. “We have weapons,” he reminds her, steady and sure, and then his mouth moves forward to latch against her bare, exposed neck. “I didn’t think you’d want to waste time going back to Hoth first, and if it is a trap—” Din’s lips leave Nova’s skin with a wet sucking noise, “then it’s a good thing we’re going without the rest of the Alliance.”
Nova tilts her head back against the cool metal of the wall, her eyelashes fluttering as Din’s tongue parts his lips, licking long, hot lines along her neck, over her pulse points, his teeth grazing over her earlobe. “I—This is reckless.”
Din’s mouth pulls away. His grip tightens against every single curve of her body, and Nova reels from the absence of his tongue against her skin, the air in the cabin of the starfighter way too cold. “Maybe so,” he says, darkly, his eyes traveling over her eyes, the curve of her lips, “but I don’t fucking care.”
Nova inhales, sharp and needy, like the air is being sucked out of her lungs. “Din, we need to strategize—”
“Mustafar,” Din says, his voice vile and low, muted against the skin of Nova’s neck, “is parsecs away. We’ll have time for that later. Right now,” he sighs, loud and dangerous, “I promised that I’d devour you. And right now, I intend to keep my promise. You gonna let me touch you now, or do I have to beg?” He pulls his mouth away on the last word, licking a line right at the hollow of her throat, and when Nova meet shis eyes again, she’s a fucking goner. Everything else filters out, her breath fast and heavy, her heartbeat racing in her ears, her desire low and hungry in the pit of her stomach.
“No,” Nova whines, “you don’t have to beg.” And then Din’s hand is knotted in her hair again, his mouth slotting up against hers. Time stops. She can feel the ship hurtling through hyperspace, and Nova just lets herself be held there, getting kissed like the end of the world is inevitable, and they’re on the last ship out. She can feel how hard Din is through his pants and the armor around, and she moans when he cinches her legs around his waist, the heavy press of his cock up against her panties. His fingers are digging deeper into her skin, rough and gloved, but Nova doesn’t care about the way her muscles will ache tomorrow, the bloomed bruises mapping out his touch. She moans out loud, and Din’s lips trail down to the other side of her neck, kissing the pulse point below her ear. Nova remembers his promise to never leave marks on her again after she woke up from being on the brink of death, but his touch burns red and hungry, and Nova knows she’ll relish the imprints of his hands until they fade away.
Din’s free hand comes down, hooking his finger on the waistband of Nova’s panties, rough and wild. She feels him yank them down as far as he can with her legs still wrapped feverishly around his waist, and then his fingers, still clothed in leather, trace over her clit, still swollen from back down on Korrus, down her slit, lingering in all the places Nova wants him to take. She moans, and then he pulls away, so abruptly that it feels like she’s been electrocuted.
“What’s wrong?” Nova whispers, her words laden with lust. Slowly, Din unravels her legs from his waist, and Nova’s heart pounds, terrified that she accidentally did something to make him stop, her knees still shaking, her bottom lip trembling.
“Oh, my sweet girl,” Din rasps out, and then Nova’s feet are back on the floor, his hand back on her cheek. When he strokes his thumb over her skin, it’s wet from the flood between her legs, “nothing is wrong. But I told you, I didn’t forget what you did to me while you were riding my thigh back on Korrus.”
Nova looks up at him, still panting, then Din’s hand trails down to her neck, fitting perfectly over the base of her throat. Her eyes roll back as his fingers clench—barely enough to feel it, let alone to choke any air out of her windpipe, even though she sort of wants it—and then he’s gently tugging her to the pilot’s seat, which is backlit by the strum and shine of millions of streaking stars. Din sits down, turning the chair so that Nova’s pressed up against the dashboard, the reflection of hyperspace shining back at her through the rest of the beskar. His hands trail down over Nova’s barely-clothed body, moving from her neck to the valley between her tits, all the way down to where her bellybutton is, careful and intentional, never once touching the raised ridge of her scar, and cinches around her thigh, just like he did in the club, pulling her forward. Slowly, he looks up at her, then to the armor on his left leg. Nova’s breath catches in her throat.
“Ride it,” Din says, and there’s a dangerous, electric edge to his voice. Nova presses her lips together, knowing that the moan inside her mouth will come out sounding absolutely filthy. Wordlessly, she straddles it, the beskar and the hard, toned muscle underneath, and both of Din’s hands tighten on her hips, pulling her down. Nova blinks up at him, and then Din is leaning forward, brushing his pink lips against her ear. “I know you know how. There’s no point in being shy about it now.”
Nova stares. It’s not intentional.She’s starstruck, like the words are gathering, congealed in her mouth, like her eyes are meant to roll back and take it like Din’s ordering to do, but she can’t move. Her mouth balloons open and closed, like a fish out of water. “You want me to—?”
“No,” Din interrupts, his voice possessive and low. Nova’s heart is hammering. “I need it.”
Speechless, Nova lets her hips pull down with gravity, her knees still shaking and starry from the last time she did this. Back on Korrus, down in the club, this felt desperate. It was dirty and it was laced with danger. This feels different, the intimacy of it is almost too loud to bear. The stars are locked in an eternal state of supernova, crushing loud in Nova’s ears, and then one of DIn’s hands knots in her hair, tipping it back again, mouth a centimeter away from her neck.
“Now,” Din growls, so Nova obeys.
Only it doesn't feel like obedience. It doesn’t feel like an order she’s following. It feels like this is what she was made for, her hips loosening and undulating, the fire in the pit of her belly an inferno, magma seeping everywhere left out in the cold. Din’s grip in her hair loosens as Nova rides his leg, the sound of her wetness against the beskar obscene and loud. Nova tries to bury her face in Din’s shoulder, but he shakes his head, his free hand clenched on her hip.
Din grins, low and dangerous. “More,” he whispers, and it feels sacrosanct and holy at the same time. Nova’s eyes roll back this time, eyelashes fluttering against her cheek, the choked, desperate stream of moaning spilling out of her mouth like something memorized. Against her left knee, Nova can feel Din, how hard he is under the rest of the beskar. It’s digging into her, the shape of him, huge and thick, and she shudders, fucking down against his leg, the chill of the beskar warming underneath the heat of her pussy, and she’s done for. She slides up to the lip of the metal, the same place that made her orgasm ricochet against her body back on Korrus, and when she presses her clit against it, it feels like everything inside of her is coming undone, relief and sweet release.
When Nova looks back up at Din, that hollow, hungry look is still in his eye. “Again.”
The noise that comes out of Nova’s mouth is a cross between a sigh and a choked inhale. “I think I’m spent,” she manages, her voice wobbly, and Din leans forward, nearly pressing his forehead against hers.
“Not until I say so,” he whispers, his words dancing and pulsing out of his mouth.
Nova obeys. She rides against the beskar, again and again, the wet squelching sound ringing out into the darkness over and over again, and Din murmurs benedictions and praise into her ear, his lips dancing a breath away. “Good girl. That’s my good girl. Keep going. You’re not done yet. You’re going to cum over and over, until I tell you so.”
She can’t count how many. Nova doesn’t know how many times she reaches the edge and then hurtles herself over the cliff of it, into the beckoning darkness, into the pit of filth she’s entangled in with Din. Finally, she’s slick and exhausted, her legs swimmy and strange, and Din doesn’t hold her down against the beskar anymore.
“Thank you,” she whispers, her voice desperate and ringing out in the dark, cold hull, like a confession to the empty space around them.
Din hooks his finger under her chin, still gloved, and Nova looks into his eyes. There’s still a flame there, something hungry and unsatiated, and she swallows, licking her lips, breath heaving in the space between. “You’re not done.”
Nova raises her eyebrows. “Din—”
“One more,” he says, and then his voice softens at the edges. “Please.”
Nova nods before she realizes she’s moving, and then Din’s hands are grappling at the beskar on his other leg. Nova slumps against his body in confusion and exhaustion, dimly aware that he’s doing something, but her heart is still racing, she’s wet and made a whole mess, and she thinks she could fall asleep right here if Din let her.
But, of course, Din has other plans. He pulls Nova up enough to slide his pants down, the sound of beskar clattering against the metal of the starfighter’s floor snapping Nova into the moment. “What are you doing?” she whispers, looking for the answers in Din’s eyes.
“You’re going to cum on my bare leg this time,” he says, matter-of-factly, not a single air of embarrassment. His voice is flat and demanding, like it is when he takes charge of the situation, when he talked to his more dangerous bounties, when he was at the helm of Mandalore. “Now, cyar’ika, don’t make me ask you.”
Nova feels all wobbly, but the fire deep inside of her, the flames licking hot and wet for one more hit of release, propels her upwards. Din has to help her sit down against his bare leg, and when she starts grinding against him, Din’s hands circle her hips. There’s a mewling, desperate noise, and Nova realizes that it’s coming from her own mouth. She doesn’t stop. The rational part of her mind is tucked away, forced into submission. Right now, she feels feral, like she’s been released into the wild, like nothing else in the entire galaxy matters.
“Good girl,” Din whispers, and Nova feels herself getting close, her vision getting starry and white, her nails digging into the beskar on his shoulders, like it’ll do something, like she’ll make a mark. “Hey,” he says, and Nova’s eyes open, focused on Din’s face, and he loosens one hip to snake a gloved hand up to her chin, which he grabs, full force. “You’re mine, remember that. No one else gets to hear you moan. No one else gets to make you cum. Do you understand me?”
She’s there, right there, dizzy and starry-eyed, and her mouth is struck open in an electric, pornographic O. Nova nods, furiously, and Din’s grip on her chin loosens, and she grinds down on his leg, his warm skin, the muscle of his thigh as hard as she’s sure he is. Again, the sound blurs and distorts, and Nova moans loud, everything else getting drowned out. And then, hazily, she recognizes that she’s wet all over her stomach, some of it clinging to her dress, and when she opens her eyes, pearly, thick ropes of Din’s cum is splattered across her belly. Like a moth to a flame, like the infernal rage of a volcano, spilled over and marking her as his, his, his. For a second, they just sit there, staring into each other’s eyes, and neither of them move, encapsulated in the starstruck sin of the moment.
“I’m yours,” Nova reminds him, her breath still hot and wild.
“I need you,” Din whispers, and he doesn’t sound hungry anymore. He sounds exhausted, like giving orders has depleted all of his energy. He tips his forehead against Nova’s, hand clenched at the nape of her neck, like he’s begging her to stay there. Nova doesn’t move a muscle. “It devastates me, how much I need you. I can’t breathe. I can’t—”
“I’m here,” Nova manages, stroking a hand through his curly hair, matted down from the fight on the planet’s surface, from the act of sex, both infernal and draining. “I’m right here—”
“Never pull a stunt like that again,” Din warns, and something turns over in Nova’s belly, sickly and strange. “I have half a mind to go back down there and cut the eyes out of every man who watched you on top of me.”
Nova presses her forehead closer into Din’s in the absence of words. She doesn't know what to do—if the animal she just untamed is hiding beneath the surface, or if she’s touching the man who loves her, the one she’s unleashed over the last year and a half. So she sits, her body against his, skin matching skin. “I’m yours. Only yours,” Nova whispers. “And there is nothing—nothing—in the galaxy that will change that. Okay?”
It takes a beat, but then Din nods, pulling away from Nova’s face. There’s still something desperate roiling in the pit of her stomach, but Din pulls her towards the fresher, and then the running water, hot and purifying, rolls over both of them, and the gnawing recedes, flexes, and then disappears entirely.
It’s late, even in space, and the stars blink and dance quietly, like they’re exhausted or mourning. Nova’s stil catching her breath from the way Din held her, possessive and wanting, and when she wakes up, it’s with a jolt, everything still fuzzy around the edge. She knows she had a nightmare. She knows it was one that was nonsensical and vivid, but she can’t remember the specifics. Tiny, fragile moments blur out in front of her—Grogu’s scared babble, the specific whoosh of Ahsoka’s white lightsabers, the haunted face of Luke Skywalker, the awful ricochet of the tall villain’s voice, the one that Ben turns into. Ladmeny Sparmau and her awful chokehold. The image of Nova in the resurrected temple back on Jedha. The black and white danger of the Darksaber. Din on the ground, knees crumpled at the sight of something terrible that Nova can’t see. Her necklace, her ring, the flash of the beskar she lives and breathes for. Her own reflection, gaunt and haunted.
None of it makes sense. The restlessness that pulsed in the pit of her stomach earlier is back, taking on a new shape of all the things she can’t extricate. Nova pushes herself to a sitting position, blinking to try to conjure the rest of her dream into tangible, understandable pieces. The quiet pulse of space right outside of the window is too loud to ignore, and Nova toys with the Rebel insignia on her necklace, pressing it between her forefinger and thumb. She hears the quiet whistle of Din’s heavy breathing, and she looks down at him, watching the dim light filtering into the ship only illuminate parts of his face. The prominent bump in his nose. The trace of his pink lips. The long, long eyelashes that rest against his cheek as if in prayer. Nova swallows, trying not to disturb him as she curls her knees up to her chest, still bruised from the intensity of the last few days. Whenever Din sleeps—really sleeps, a true slumber, through REM cycles—she doesn’t dare to do anything that could wake him from it.
When Nova closes her eyes, trying to stitch the vision back together, she can’t. Everything is still so fragmented, like she’s watching a highlight reel of all the hurt that’s happened and all the bad waiting ahead. The weight of it is frozen, heavy. Like Nova’s carrying around a planet of ice on her shoulders, and she can’t let it melt.
It takes a long time before Nova’s able to completely detangle herself from Din’s sleeping body. His limbs curl around her like trees share roots, hot and warm, buried together in the same origin point. His body heat is unbelievable, especially against the weight on Nova’s shoulders, against the crush of space, and the second Nova wrangles herself free, she shivers. Her socks are tall, sitting around the middle of her calves, but right now, they've been tunnelled down to her ankles. She steps around the nest the two of them have constructed out of blankets and pillows and various items of clothing to pad the unforgivable floor of the hull, and heads straight for the fresher.
Still, everything comes in flashes. Nova sits on the toilet, pressing the heels of her hands into her eyes, pushing down until she sees stars. None of it resurrects her vision in her dream, and Nova sighs audibly, reluctantly opening her eyes to the dim light of the fresher. She wants to shower away everything—the frustration, the smell of sex, the memory of the club on Korrus, even though her hair is still wet from her last one, hours ago—but Nova goes over to the sink instead, splashing cold water on her face. When she looks up, her reflection isn’t her own.
Well it is, but it’s the vision of herself nearly a decade ago. Nova sucks in a raggedy gasp, jumping backward, away from the strange version of herself peering back at her. She shivers in the cold hollow of the room, blinking furiously, trying to get her head to explain away what she just saw—she was seventeen and reckless, a wild look behind her eyes. Nova steps forward, trying to steel herself, bracing her hands against the metal basin of the sink. She tilts her head to the side.
Andromeda tilts her head right back. Nova bites down on her lip, hard. She scratches her head with her left hand, ensuring her reflection in the mirror—nearly ten years ago—follows suit. She does. Nova clenches her jaw, reaching out her hand to touch against the glass, meeting her younger self’s reflection in the middle. “Why are you here?” Nova whispers, trying to chase the ghost away. Andromeda’s gaze is equally intense as it is sad, like she’s a second away from tears. Nova presses her body against the sink, taking a tiny half-step forward again, close enough for her breath to fog up the glass. “Are you real?”
Somehow, impossibly, Andromeda nods. Nova squeezes her eyes shut, trying to quell her racing heartbeat. When Novalise is able to meet her eyes in her reflection, she traces over the ugly purple ringlet of a healing bruise on her left eye, touching her fingertips to her real cheekbone. Nova presses down, and it doesn't hurt, but her reflection winces anyways.
“Why are you here?” Nova repeats, her mouth barely moving at all, everything buzzing and too loud in her ears. She can’t tell if it’s an aftershock of pressing her hands into her eyes earlier or if the presence of her former self is sucking the life force out of her, but Nova can barely keep her footing.
Andromeda stares back. Nova watches as her own arm raises up and points at her shaking body, tapping a circle around her heart like a hex. When Nova looks back up, her vision blurred from focusing on the hand she didn’t raise, Andromeda is gone. It’s just Novalise, nine years older, laughter lines etched into the corners of her smile, the lightest smattering of freckles dusting over her nose, her green eyes vivid and bright. Nova sighs, letting her head drop, hands trembling as she runs them over the real parts of her body. Her hair, long and wavy, hanging over her shoulder. Her hands, the long princess fingers that are curled over the water tap, metal-blue. The taste of sleep still lingering in her mouth. The furrow between her eyebrows, the line left from all of her old ghosts and worries. Nova looks back up against her reflection, and then, somehow, again, she’s not herself.
It’s not any less shocking as it was the first time. It’s not Andromeda Maluev staring back at her, this time, but it’s just as strange and feverish. Nova’s reflection is perfect—not a single strand of raven hair out of place, the starry crown perched atop the crown on her head, the silver dress a flawless bullet that races down her body. She’s looking at the painting of her in the fake, resurrected temple back on Jedha, but this time, Nova’s not looking at it starry-eyed and from an angle, she’s facing it head-on.
And it’s her. It’s undoubtedly, vividly her, so when Nova touches the tips of her fingers to the mirror again, her reflection’s follow.
“What are you,” is all she’s able to manage. Her reflection is something holy, something saintlike. Nova swallows, and then something moves at the corner of her eye. When she looks back up, the relic of her is gone, and so is any trace of Andromeda.
Nova’s just Novalise Djarin again. Her breath comes back to her mouth like she’s been freshly shocked and brought back, and when Nova stares at herself in the mirror, she’s all she sees. She swallows, splashing another stream of cold water on her face, and then she turns away from her reflection, her mind running at a pace that could rival the starfighter. Outside of the fresher, the hull seems huge. Nova retraces her footsteps, trying to dance around their tangle of blankets and Din’s sleeping body, but something about the way the stars are streaming in through the window of their ship distracts her. Pulled by the centrifugal force of the cosmos, Nova steps forward, once, twice, three times, until she’s standing between the navigational dashboard and the pilot’s seat.
It’s her typical dance, her swan song. Nova sneaks another glance back at where Din is curled around nothing, his face peaceful in sleep, a relief against the uncontrolled urges he had before, and then she faces the stars again. She has no idea where they are in space right now. They must have left Korrus a handful of hours ago, because the fuel gauge on the starfighter is pointing a gleaming arrow somewhere considerably lower than it was when they started their trek. Nova pulls her thumb to her mouth, looking around the dashboard for the full nav system. Din’s got the small panel set to distance and destination, with nothing relative to the rest of the galaxy around them.
“Where are you,” Nova whispers, pressing buttons until it springs up. Din stirs behind her, and Nova looks back to see him shifting under the weight of their blankets, rolling over into sleep. It pops up, and Nova takes stock of the planets their blinking, moving locus has flown by. Korrus and Mustafar are both in the Outer Rim—but Din was right, Mustafar is parsecs away. They’re about halfway there, Nova guesses, squinting to make the shine of their destination stand out. There’s a small beep from the dashboard, quiet but sustained, and Nova skims over the dashboard, trying to locate the source.
It’s the fuel gauge. After only a handful of minutes, it’s been depleted even more. Nova swallows, heartbeat racketing up, everything pounding in her chest. This is what happened on Dagobah, Nova thinks frantically, fingers flying over the dashboard to find the engine statistics, this is exactly what happened when we crash landed on Dagobah. And then, after a clammy, panicked beat, this is how my parents died.
Everything is colder. Nova has submerged into the proverbial planet of ice on her shoulders. Her breath is being held captive in the claustrophobic hollow of her mouth, and she wants to scream, but she can’t. It’s funny, because her usual reaction to a threat is strictly flight or fight—or a combination of the two—but right now, she’s frozen.
“Hey.” Din’s voice is deep behind her, and Nova whirls around, staring at him. There’s a strange, worried look in his eye, which is the opposite of the flat hunger that pulsed the last time they stood in this spot, which feels ages ago right now. ”What’s going on?”
“The ship, it—we’re running low on fuel, and it keeps blinking—”
Din cuts her off by storming around to the navigation panel himself, and Nova gladly shoves herself out of the way. Even without armor, he’s a furious, dangerous sight. “This can’t be right,” he mutters, and Nova’s worried eyes glaze over to the rapidly descending fuel gauge, already nearly blinking on empty. “I refueled back on Hoth, before we left—how is this happening?”
Something freezes Nova in her seat. “We need to land,” she manages, breathless, like the wind has been knocked clean out of her. “Din, we need to land, now,” she repeats, shaky and barely audible, and when he looks back at her, something wild in his eyes, Nova straps into the copilot’s seat, jaw clenched together, sending prayers to the Maker above that they don’t crash land an inch from death this time.
They don’t crash land close to anything fatal, but the plummet of Din’s Mandalorian starfighter to the planet below is not graceful. Nova does her best to try and brace the two of them from the fall, and Din fights the comm to keep steady, but when they land, there’s an awful scraping sound, a shudder, and then everything goes quiet. Nova’s knuckles have turned something awfully close to white, clenching down on the armrests as the starfighter battled gravity and gravity won.
Nova’s ears are ringing, and she feels like all the teeth in her mouth have been knocked ajar, but she’s relatively okay. Din storms up and out of the pilot’s seat like a soldier heading into war, and before Nova can release her death grip on the chair she’s sitting in, Din’s already gathered up his strewn armor littered across the cockpit and is halfway through strapping it into place on his body. Nova turns, a hand pressed to her mouth, trying to coax the blood to flow back through her frozen fingertips. Din strides over, already helmeted, and touches his gloved hand to her cheek. “Are you okay?” he whispers, his voice gentle through the modulator, and Nova closes her eyes, nodding. She doesn’t know if he means from the crash or from the desperate way they fucked earlier, but either way, right now, against all the odds, she’s solid. “I’ll be right back,” Din says, and it’s not until he lowers the gangplank to step outside that Nova trusts herself to open them. Her heartbeat is rabid. Flashes of her unsettled dream, all of these small hurts laced together toward a gut punch, are still running through her head. Nova doesn’t even want to look at anything reflective, let alone a mirror, because there’s a gnawing pit in her stomach that something she did, something she looked in on, fucked with the ship and got them grounded.
And then Nova remembers why they’re headed to Mustafar in the first place—to rescue Bo-Katan. Immediately, Nova feels sick, a sob rising in the back of her throat. “You’re so stupid,” she rasps out to herself, in the too-quiet hull of the otherwise empty ship. “And selfish, You’re so selfish. You’re supposed to be helping your friend—” and then she’s interrupted by the scrape of metal against metal, and the ship settling deeper into the hole they probably punched into the ground. Dimly, Nova can hear Din swearing, and she looks from the open gangplank to her comm, faint red light sparking up despite the void dashboard, and in one fluid motion, Nova propels herself up to grab it and strap it to her wrist.
“Wedge,” she breathes, eyes trained on the open mouth of the gangplank, knowing Din’ll be back in at any second, “I’m safe, Din is safe, but we’ve crash landed somewhere in the Outer Rim. We got a message from Bo-Katan. She’s on Mustafar.” Nova pauses, closing her eyes. “We’re going after her, but I’m afraid it’ll be a trap—”
Din’s footsteps against the metal of the gangplank cut Nova off. She balances her wrist against the armrest, looking up at him. “Were you talking to someone?”
Nova swallows. She knows why she’s keeping her message a semi-secret from Din—he was perfectly clear about how he felt about involving the Alliance in a mission that was likely a trap—but she hates to lie to him. “Wedge,” Nova says, finally, his name tasting like the truth, enough so that she can justify a little white lie, “so he can spread word to the mechanics on Hoth that we might be in for a major repair when we get back there. Do you have any idea where the hell we are?” Nova tried to look out the front window when her body started responding again after the crash, but all she saw was black smoke and dust.
“Hinari,” Din sighs. “We need fuel.” He makes a beckoning gesture with his hand, and Nova slips back on a pair of discarded pants crumpled into the corner of the ship, following his footsteps down the gangplank.
Nova stares. “Well,” she says, slowly, eyes moving over the awful, sunken scar on the metal exterior of the ship, “we might need a little more than that.”
Din sighs again. Nova stands back to inspect the damage. It’s bad. The starfighter may be salvageable, but it’s a very close call. “We need fuel,” he repeats, “and fast.”
The sun is on the horizon. Nova blinks, trying to connect the dots of how long they’ve been off of Korrus’s surface. Has a whole day seriously gone by since they got Bo-Katan’s frantic warning? “Din,” Nova starts, then hesitates. She kicks at the dirt below them with the toe of her boot, sending a tuft of dust to whistle through the air. “How far away are we from Mustafar?”
He looks back at her, and even under the helmet, even through the visor, Nova can tell that he’s deliberating. “Not close enough,” he says, which isn’t really a straight answer. “I need to hike into town. Do you want to stay here—?”
“Nope,” Nova interrupts, “I do not. Not after that crash landing. I’ll get food while you get fuel? I can imagine we’re low by now. And, maybe,” Nova says, glancing at the giant gash in the side of the starship, “one of us can find something to patch that up.”
The trek into town is quiet. They didn’t park as far away from the main city on Hinari like they did on Korrus, but Nova still stands in Din’s shadow. Something about this place feels haunted and strange, and Nova can’t quite put her finger on it. It’s like everything about the last two days has congealed, and there’s multiple sets of eyes on the back of her neck. Hinari isn’t anything special—the terrain is rocky and difficult to navigate, and the small gathering of the city just over the horizon line is dark and quiet—but something about it seems familiar in a way Nova can’t shake.
“Hey,” Din whispers, and Nova snaps to attention. “I think the fuel post is that way.” He points to the right of where the main road seems to run. It’s eerie here, quiet, like everyone is either away or long into sleep. Nova nods. “Food is that way, I assume, because there’s what looks like a market down there.” Nova follows his gloved hand in the opposite direction. She squints.
“How do you know that?” she whispers, unable to make out anything clearly in the haze of dusk.
Din taps the side of his helmet, right where his temple should be, and, immediately, Nova gets it. He has thermal vision and statistics in that thing, of course he can see a bit farther than she is. “Be quick,” he murmurs, and Nova nods. Again, Din ghosts his touch down her cheekbone, and then he’s turned on his heel.
Nova walks in the other direction as Din’s footsteps recede. Most of the buildings are added on to, like most of them were back on Balnab, but there it was charming. Here, it looks dilapidated, and Nova steps carefully to stay in the middle of the street, the watched feeling still lingering on the back of her neck. Because the architecture is so claustrophobic, there’s hardly any alleys, which Nova internally thanks the stars above for, because if she had to cut down between these leaning, strange buildings, she doesn’t know if she’d make it to the end unharmed.
The market Din mentioned is just around the curve, and even though night is encroaching fast, there’s still a handful of people there. Nova pulls her shawl closer to her body, the one Bo-Katan laid over her shoulders the last time they were together, shivering in the low light. No one seems to pay her much mind, and Nova gathers the essentials—jerky for Din, a few packets of porridge, vegetables that won’t wilt or go rotten within a handful of days. The market is sprawling out from under an awning, like it’s been here since the morning rolled around earlier. There are wooden crates of different colors and sizes that spill out of the tables, and most of them only have a few forgotten items. Nova collects what she can, snagging two canteens of water off the shelf, and she takes stock of everything cradled in her arms before she turns around to pay the person behind the counter.
He’s tall, but bent over, sloping towards the register. Nova offers him a small smile, and there’s a scowl set in his eyes, but his mouth quirks up at the edges like he’s trying to return it. “Did you find everything you needed?” he asks, and Nova nods. He’s squinting over the few packages of jerky, trying to tally up the total. “You know,” he says, handing her back the ridged, thick form of one of the vegetables she snagged, “that’s a lovely scarf. In the mornings, we have a market for clothes. If you don’t have enough credits to pay for all of this—”
“I do,” Nova says, hurriedly, shoving the last of the food into her pants pockets. “And this was a gift from a friend.”
The man looks her up and down. There’s nothing odd or leery about the way he’s doing it, but Nova still has to suppress a shudder. After what happened back on Korrus, she’s positive that she doesn’t want any man to perceive her again but her husband. “Mighty generous friend you’ve got there.”
Nova doesn’t know what he’s insinuating, but she doesn’t really want to decode it. “Yes,” she decides on, another short nod punctuating her answer. “Thank you for the food.” With that, she turns on her heel, hurrying back down the street she came from, anxiety bubbling up in her chest from the memory of Bo-Katan.
“Hey!” he calls after her, and Nova’s gut twists, but she doesn’t stop. “Better get out of here before morning rolls around.”
Nova swallows, pressing forward. She has no idea what he’s threatening, but either way, she knows she won’t like the outcome. She makes it back to the center of town where she and Din divided and conquered, peering down the small pathway that leads back to the open air and where they left the roughed up starfighter, trying to see the curves of the ship before the light completely leaves the sky. Nova wants to rush back there and drop the food off, but that strange feeling of being watched is still prickling at her. She looks over the tops of the buildings, slung low on the horizon, trying to figure out what about this place seems so familiar.
Voices from just around the curve behind her startle Nova into action. She exhales, continuing in the opposite direction, eyes moving between any cracks in the buildings, trying to figure out where the elusive fuel post is. Usually, in towns as small as this, they’re closer to the outer ring of the city, for travelers to easily grab what they need, fill their ship, and leave, but nothing about this place seems warm and welcoming. Nova has a sinking feeling that the fuel post is just a pump in some abandoned sector of town. Still, she forges on, tapping at her comm, trying to get a signal.
“Hey,” she whispers, raising her wrist to her mouth, “are you there?” The signal glitches and beeps, tinny feedback radiating off Nova’s wrist. Something in the air keeps tugging her focus back to behind her, even though she can’t hear the voices anymore. Nova swallows, pressing her comm again. “Hey, my big, shiny Mandalorian. Please give me a status update, and a location one, too.” Nova pauses, eyes still searching the buildings that seem deserted and desolate. “I got food,” she tries, “and you were the one who said we need to be quick—”
“Novalise?” The voice comes from behind her, not her comm, and Nova whirls around, flying to the lightsaber on her hip. There’s no one there, but Nova knows the timbre of that voice. It was slightly distorted, strange, the intonation weird, but it sounds so familiar. Nova swallows again, turning around and around, trying to find the source. The town falls eerily quiet again, and Nova presses forward, down in the direction that Din went, trying to find where the fuel post could possibly be.
It’s a few steps later that Nova stops in front of an entirely deserted building, heart hammering in her ears, threatening to drown the buzzing of silence out completely. It’s tall, that’s the first thing she notices. Taller than the other buildings that surround it, and the architecture is dark and cold. Nova inhales, exhales, inhales again. She doesn’t know what it is, but something is pulling her closer to this building’s gravity, and she can’t stop the magnet. Nervously, Nova presses her lips to her comm again. “Where are you?” she whispers, afraid to break the horrible silence.
Nothing comes back in return. Nova looks up at the entrance, and before she can talk herself out of it, she rushes inside, forging on. It’s even darker inside, the kind of blackness that can easily swallow someone up without a trace. Nova shivers, wrapping the warmth of her shawl against her body, hand still clenched over the grip of the lightsaber.
It’s a ghost town in here. Nova looks up, trying to figure out what exactly this building was used for before it fell into this state, but anything telling in the front room has been decimated or wiped from existence. Nova stands in front of a long hallway, ears ringing with how hard she’s trying to listen for Din or for anyone after her, trying to decide which way she should go—left, right, or straight—when she hears something.
It’s nothing. It’s barely anything at all. It’s the sound of water dripping down the hall to her left—so faint that if Nova wasn’t specifically listening for something, she wouldn’t have caught it—and she squares her shoulders before stepping down the hall. In here, the cool metal of the floor out in the lobby is gone, replaced by a dark tile. It goes down farther than Nova can see, and for some reason, the glittering teeth of the grout in between each one is unsettling.
“It’s a creepy building,” Nova reasons with herself, the curve of her lips barely wrapping around each word, trying to stay entirely inaudible, “you’ve been in tons of them before, rebel girl.” As Nova walks, she passes doors that are flung open and other ones locked tight. She peers in some of them, but they’re empty, or there’s nothing in there but a cot and a chair, and she narrows her eyes, that same familiar feeling growing in size as the dripping of the water gets louder. The last door on the left, before the hallway opens up into a massive room plunged into the darkness, is slightly ajar. Against her better judgement, the stubborn, investigative part of Nova takes over. She pushes it open, gritting her teeth against the sound of the old hinge squealing as the door swings into the room.
This one isn’t empty. It’s the first thing Nova notices. She tries to flick on a light switch on the wall beside the door, but there’s no electricity left in the building. Before she can turn on her heel and go back the way she came, Nova ignites the lightsaber. Everything in the close vicinity turns a deep shade of blue. It hurts her eyes, but Nova moves the humming blade over the bulletins on the boards, fingers running over holotables and computing machines. If the electricity still worked, Nova would bet every single credit to her name that this room would be alive with noise.
Something catches her eye. Nova squints, moving over to one of the boards, holding the lightsaber as close as she can to the picture hanging on the wall without burning a hole straight through it. When the face illuminates, Nova has to muffle a gasp and clench her teeth down against her nervous stomach. Wedge. It’s a portrait of Wedge, except he looks about twenty years younger, and that kind light in his eyes isn’t there. His hair is slicked back, his eyebrows set in a cunning, dark way, and the realization of what this place is—and why it seems so familiar—hits her.
This was Empire territory. And the picture of Wedge hanging on the wall was taken before he defected and joined the Alliance, when he was still the Empire’s flyboy. And there’s a bounty below his name, but it’s in a language Nova can’t read. She straightens up, shaking off the chill. This place is the base on Yavin’s antithesis. The setup is the same, but the darkness here is hungry, pulsing, wanting. “I've seen enough,” Nova mutters, and she runs out of the room, intending to head back down to the same hallway from which she came, but then the sound of dripping water rings out, enticing and ominous. Nova blinks the awful image of Wedge out of her vision, and she turns into the last room at the end of the hall.
Nova can’t see the edges of it. Even with the lightsaber held out in front of her like a shield, the room is massive and dark. Dimly, the thought that this entire room is underground, underneath all of the strange buildings, runs through Nova’s mind, as she pushes on, trying to find where the leak is coming from. Something about this place—this room in particular—feels familiar. It’s dizzying and all-consuming, and Nova runs the small swath of blue light over the ground. All around, there’s benches carved up from the concrete, black and sharp. Nova brings the lightsaber around the ground, and she can see a descending pathway, sloping so gradually that she hadn’t even noticed that the ground was on an incline. As she continues down the path, the sound of the water dripping grows stronger and stronger.
It’s a feeling that stops her at the bottom, the stage of the amphitheater sprawled out in front of her. Nova swallows, stepping up and over the lip of the barrier, landing with two feet on the stage. She knows where the water is coming from, and, relieved, Nova runs over to the burst pipe. It must have been gushing out water forever ago, but now it’s only a steady, intentional tap. Nova breathes out in some sort of relief. She doesn’t know what she was expecting to find here. It’s an abandoned Empire building. There’s thousands of them across the galaxy, and this is far from her first rodeo. Nova wipes a clammy hand over her forehead, turning back around, and that’s when it hits her.
Even in the darkness, Nova’s vision bottoms out. She cries before the dream pulls her under, loud and frustrated, and when she’s able to see again, the world filtering back in like a kaleidoscope clicking back into focus, she knows where the dread and the familiarity came from. This is the place that Ladmeny Sparmau pulled her into in the vision when she hurt Din instead, when he woke up with ringlets of bruises around her neck. Nova can see it happening, over and over again—the scissor of Sparmau’s hair, the struggle of Din in the beskar, blood dripping onto the floor, her blood, is it her blood? Nova staggers backwards, violently, thrashing, trying to break out of the vision.
She turns. It’s the same voice as before, and Nova’s vision is going starry and unfocused, trying to hone in on who’s speaking, but when she turns, she’s face-to-face in the mirror again, with Andromeda, with her own sanctitude figure.
“What?” Nova manages, the word cracking in half, her voice strange and high. “Why am I here? What do you want?”
Both of them peer into her eyes, and Nova can’t shake the awful feeling that she’s looking at her reflections head-on because she called them here, she broke the space-time continuum, she fell into a black hole. “A warning,” the older vision says, sagely. “A reminder,” Andromeda manages, and Nova closes her eyes.
“I don’t know what you mean,” she cries out, trying to get the water tap to stop dripping, trying to reach her palms out as a divining rod for what’s real.
There’s a voice in her ear, but it doesn't sound like either of them. She’s not Andromeda. She’s not a saint. It’s just Novalise, whispering into her own ear. “Don’t forget how to save everyone. And don’t throw it away.”
Nova hurtles back out of the vision. With a sob rising in her throat, she pushes herself up, running wildly out of the aisle, up the gradual slope of the amphitheater, towards the exit. Nova feels wetness on her face, and then she realizes that she’s crying, breaths staggered and running wild. Up and out of the amphitheater, down the hall, running over the tile with the stark, strange grout, her feet sliding around in her boots. It takes another sprint of energy, a huge one, to propel her out of the hallway and into the strange, ghostly lobby, and Nova runs out of it, her boots banging loudly on the metal floor, back out of the entrance, falling to the strange, rocky ground.
Her ears are ringing. Nova can still register that she’s crying, the tears salty and streaming down her face, but she sucks in air the best she can, hands trembling against the stone, one still clenched around Luke’s lightsaber. It takes what feels like hours for her heart to return to a healthy resting rate, and when Nova stabilizes her breathing, she can hear her comm beeping.
“Nova. Novalise, come in.”
Nova shoots back up into a sitting position, putting her comm to her lips. “Din?” she manages, wiping away her frantic tears, “where are you?”
A strange noise flares through the commlink, and Nova’s blood runs cold when she places it. It’s the awful screech and blasts of the TIE fighters that always seemed to be on their trail.
“Down the road,” Din manages, and Nova can make out the thrum of the Darksaber. “Any chance—fuck—that you can pick me up in the ship?”
Nova stares. “No fuel,” she whispers, her ears buzzing. “But I’m coming. I’m coming right now—”
“Alley,” Din grits out, and then there’s another massive blast, and Nova’s off like the noise was a starting gun, running faster than she ever has, pounding her feet against the stone ground. Wildly, she searches the buildings for the alley Din mentioned, her eyes skipping over the windows and the hollows of the architecture, so dim in the darkness. Nova sobs again, frustration rising in the base of her throat, and then she sees it. It’s barely anything, just a crack between two buildings. Nova can hear the familiar noise of a battle happening around it, and she takes in one harrowing breath before she hurtles down the alley, forgetting how claustrophobic it is, how it feels like the buildings are closing in on her.
The scene on the other side isn’t what she was picturing. There’s no TIE fighters above them, firing giant blasts. It’s a gaggle of stormtroopers, their outfits altered and streamlined, but something small in Nova’s chest relaxes. It’s just stormtroopers. They’ve fought off ten times the amount in front of her, over and over again. Nova’s undetected, and she takes a second to locate Din, who’s having it out with four of them at once. She cracks her neck to the side, then to the other, and then she’s igniting the lightsaber.
She’ll never get tired of the way the blue blade blossoms in front of her. It’s both a war cry and something peaceful, knowing she’s connected to something more—to Luke, to the Force, to something in the galaxy only she can. The troopers look up from Din and charge Nova instead, and she swings the blade around. She still doesn't enjoy it, taking the life out of someone’s eyes, even if they’re evil, even if they’re working with the Order or with Sparmau or with whatever evil Luke’s afraid will resurrect, but using her brute force to do something except to feel haunted feels like she’s coming home. Nova kicks a few of them in the skull, basing two heads together and watching as they go down, unconscious. Two of them charge her next, forgetting Din completely, who’s still fighting valiantly, his hand on the grip of the Darksaber, which isn’t ignited. Nova exhales the breath she’s been holding onto since her comm went off and closes her eyes.
She doesn’t need to see them to stop them. It’s like the Force is using her body as an omen, as something to deliver. When Nova swings, she can sense the two of them, running towards her, and then the lightsaber cuts through armor, down to skin, possibly down to bone, and then the four of them are on the floor. Nova grins, running over to where Din’s standing on the corner of the fight, helmet cocked off to the side, like he’s studying her. “Hi, my love,” she says, the smile still electric on her lips, “feels like old times.”
In response, Din holds up two fuel cans and a metal solvent. “You could say that.”
Nova takes the canister out of his hands, eyes running over the small letters printed in Basic. It’s not a magic fix, and it’s not going to patch up the starfighter for long, but with the hold of the canned substance and with the holdover of the fuel, they can make it to Mustafar. Despite everything, despite the last few minutes she had in the dark, the reflections of her selves in the mirror on the ship, the crash landing, the fact that Bo-Katan is still gone, something in Nova reignites. Her fight is back from the dead.
The two of them run through the cobblestone streets, Mand’alor and Jedi, and no one follows them. Nova matches Din’s steps, the burst of energy from the reawakened force in her bone marrow keeping up the pace. In a handful of minutes, they’re at the ship, which looks considerably less mangled in the dark. Nova sprays the metal fix over the deepest parts of the gash in the side, right next to the underbelly, holding it down until it’s running on empty. Din, silently, is on the other side filling the fuel tank up as much as possible with two measly cans. Wordlessly, both of them make it up the gangplank, and Din stands in the back, holding onto the rack of the exposed armory, breath heavy from the fight and the trek afterwards, and with a grumble and a snap, the starfighter comes back to life.
“We’re coming for you, Bo-Katan,” Nova whispers, the promise intentional on her lip. The engine sputters, but it stays caught and running, and Nova pulls up the nav system.
“Nova,” she hears, but the sound of her fingers on the beacon blinking out Mustafar drowns Din’s voice out.
“Locked and loaded,” Nova mumbles, checking the artillery and the thrusters, both of which, magically, have a little fight left. “We’re not in the best shape, but we’ll get to Mustafar in one piece. And,” she says, excitedly, “Din, I got my fight back. The next step’s flight, which I am working on right now.”
“And I got food. Tonight, the Djarin clan will feast like kings.”
It’s not her name that makes Novalise spin around, heartbeat racketing up, panic a hornet in her chest. It’s the sound of Din dropping down to his knees. Beskar against metal is loud enough to wake a sleeping giant. She punches all the thrusters into autopilot, scrambling out of her seat, crossing over to him as quickly as she can. “Din,” she says, her voice wobbly and distorted, and then he’s swaying, and Nova’s hands are splayed out on his armored body, one on the pauldron on his shoulder, the other on his hip.
And then she feels it. There’s a dagger stuck deep into the tiniest slip in his armor. The handle itself is twisted and black, the same obsidian that Nova fell into back in the Imperial amphitheater. A sob catches in her throat, eyes swarming over the knowledge that the dagger has been plunged in to the hilt, swallowed up by Din’s skin and the beskar, which is slick with so much blood.
“Stay awake,” Nova manages, through blurry tears. Outside, the familiar, chilling screech of TIE fighters explodes out of space. Nova looks frantically between Din, slumped on his knees, and the dashboard, trying to gauge if she can make it there and back to evade the TIE fighters. But there’s blood, Maker, there’s so much blood, and it’s on her hands, everywhere, everywhere, it’s everywhere. They’ve been in harrowing, bloody situations before, but this one rises like bile in her throat. “You hear me? Stay awake, Din. I mean it.”
Nova’s up and running toward the dashboard before she can think on it another second, firing everything into warp that she can. They’re only a parsec or two away, now, and the starfighter can handle that on her own, shuddering and metal heaving aside. She skids back across the floor, on her knees, crawling back to Din, but she’s too late.
The second Nova gets back, Din’s consciousness floods out. “‘M yours, too. Don’t forget—” is all he can manage, and then he’s not propped up on his knees, anymore, he’s passed out midair and he’s hurtling towards the ground before Nova can keep him upright or awake.
The awful, reverberating ring of beskar against the metal floor is the stuff of nightmares. And, what’s even scarier, despite the wet, unhinged way she screams—Nova freezes.
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I HOPE YOU LOVED IT!! for those of you (like me) who can't stand endings on a cliffhanger when it comes to the situation of one of the characters not being okay, (SPOILER WARNING INCOMING) Din is going to be fine. i promise. i'll see you next Saturday, and in the meantime, feel free to leave all your comments below/in my inbox ;)
CHAPTER 13 WILL BE UP SATURDAY, DECEMBER 4TH!