“Will I see him again?”
The words slipped out before Din could stop them, sounding desperate and scared. He was scared, and it didn’t matter than Din knew his child would be safe and cared for and loved because he didn’t know how to not be scared. Scared for Grogu. Scared for himself.
The Jedi—Luke. His name was Luke—paused. He looked back at Din, gaze soft and understanding. “I can’t give you an answer to that.”
And that was it. It was done. Grogu was walking away and Din was...alone.
Luke stopped again and Grogu turned back, eyes wide and ears perked. He cooed, took a step back towards Din before stopping again. Grogu looked uncertain, glancing back at Luke before looking back towards Din.
“I—“ Din faltered when Luke met his gaze. “—here. It’s—it’s his favorite.”
Din reached into a pouch. Held out the metal ball.
Like raised an eyebrow, but Grogu cooed happily and reached for it. Din couldn’t help it, couldn’t stop it as he knelt to the ground, offering out the little ball as Grogu toddled back over. He wanted to scoop him back up, hold him to his chest and never let him go. But he couldn’t. As much as he wanted to he couldn’t.
Grogu took the ball, cooed and babbled something as he looked it over, then held it back out to Din.
Din stared blankly at it.
“He wants you to keep it.” Luke said softly. “And bring it when you see him again.”
Din snapped his head up. He had not realized Luke had gotten so close, close enough to see just how blue his eyes were, blue like the skies of ocean filled planets. Din looked at him, then back at the droid. It trilled and twisted it’s head before rolling back towards the door. The droid was ready to leave, but no one else was, it seemed.
“I never said no.” Luke smiled and knelt in front of Din. He held a hand out, and Din, uncertain of what was being offered, took it. He could feel the warmth of it through his gloves. “If the child wants to see you again, then you will.”
“Grogu.” Din said. It slipped out, nearly automatic now. “His name. Grogu.”
“Grogu.” Luke repeated.
Grogu himself cooed, holding the little metal ball out further, waiting for Din to take it. Din did, squeezing it in his palm. Grogu held his arms up, and Din knew if he picked his child up it would make it harder to say goodbye but he did it anyway, letting go of Luke’s hand to hold his child tightly against his chest while Grogu hugged him just as tightly, gently butting his head into Din’s jaw.
Din’s eyes stung.
“He loves you very much,” Luke said softly. “I can feel it.”
“With your wizard powers?” Din pretended that his voice didn’t crack.
Luke laughed. It was a bright sound, ringing clear like bells. “Yeah. With my wizard powers.”
They fell silent, but Din kept his gaze on Luke, looking him over as he held Grogu close.
“You’ll take care of him?” Din already knew the answer.
“Like my own.” Luke answered anyway.
Din’s nod was jerky, and he ducked his head down to try and hide the tears he couldn’t quite hold back anymore. Grogu cooed softly, reaching up to touch the tears that stuck to Din’s cheeks. He babbled something, gently butting his head against Din’s again.
Din took in a shaky breath.
“I’ll see you soon, kid, okay?”
Din set him back down, biting back the words that wanted to spill from his tongue. I love you. Be safe. Instead he held tight to the little metal ball, holding it close to his chest as he stood again and watched Luke and Grogu leave again.
It was not so painful this time.