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a kiss with a helmet is better than none

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“So,” Luke asked, his eyes for once cast shyly down, and Din felt his breath leave his body as he studied the sunlight filtering across the Jedi’s freckle-dusted face. “I have a question.” 

Din nodded his head, a silent invitation to ask. He didn’t trust himself to speak at that exact moment. Still, after everything Luke had done, no questions asked, the man deserved an answer or two. Even if Din didn’t really have a lot of answers, he’d try his best.

Luke continued to look down. The light hit the fringe of his bangs and his eyelashes at just the right angle, turning his features golden. “I know that some Mandalorians don’t remove their masks.” 

Din’s whole body turned to ice. Was Luke thinking of their first meeting? Where, without shame, he’d removed his helmet? Broken his sworn Creed? He’d never asked in the months since that day, even though Din had visited his academy often to ask question after question about the force, and raising a Force-sensitive child, and once or twice how to handle a lightsaber (however, he hoped he wouldn’t have to keep those lessons in mind for much longer…), and foolishly Din had hoped that Luke had put that unmasking out of his mind entirely. 

But clearly not.

“And I was wondering, I guess, how - um.” Luke laughed, a shy little thing that sent a light, gentle feeling fluttering through Din’s chest. He tried not to think about it. “Sorry,” Luke ran a hand through his perfect hair, “I’m trying to find the right words.” 

Din had a problem. It was something unlike he’d ever experienced before, and it ate at him with a ferocious, confusing, desperate hunger. He did not know what to do with it, but it burned in his chest whenever he caught a glimpse of that damned Jedi’s smile.

He certainly hadn’t expected it. When Luke had taken Grogu with him, Din had not expected to ever see the handsome young man again. He’d certainly never expected Cara Dune to lose her mind once the man had left, and could not believe it when she immediately told him who, exactly, that had been - Luke Skywalker. 

At the time, the name held no meaning for him. He could only attach the name to an ephemeral black-clad Deus ex Machina that had swept in and, in equal measures, saved his life and took it away from him. 

Oh, how things had changed. It didn’t take him long to track down that Jedi academy, and for some reason Luke was more than willing to entertain his endless questions. He’d even smiled with an almost smug glee when he’d asked Din if they could hold their conversations in the privacy of his own quarters. 

It was all downhill from there. The real Luke Skywalker was leagues different from the one he’d met on that Imperial cruiser. This Luke almost always had a smile on his face, and answered Din’s endless array of stupid questions with a joyful patience. He’d inform Din on Grogu’s progress with barely concealed excitement, and was not even a little hesitant to show off his newest student’s skills. For that matter, he never stopped talking - he always had something to talk about, whether it was some new story about his travels, news from his strange family, or even just an anecdote from one of his classes.

And he was beautiful. He wielded such tremendous power with an insane amount of grace - but not necessarily the dignified kind. He was so bright, his smiles so infectious and his every movement so self-assured and confident, was it really a surprise that Din quickly found his heart racing in the presence of such a stunning man? 

So seeing Luke before him, shy and, dare he say it, nervous, it sent all of Din’s emotions into hyperdrive. “It’s okay,” he found himself saying, suddenly needing to know what Luke wanted to ask. He felt the urge to reach out across the endless expanse of the table that separated them and take up the Jedi’s gloved hand, to feel the warm whir of the mechanical limb under his touch. 

“I was just wondering how you - showed affection for your, ah, partners.” Luke finally said, the words spilling out of him almost too carefully, as if to mask some emotion from bleeding into his voice. “I imagine that you have ways around that helmet, right?” 

His heart stopped, sputtered for a few horrible, endless seconds, and then started again. Blood rushed to his face and had he not been wearing his helmet, he was sure Luke would know everything. 

“... Yes,” He said eventually. “The Creed does not get in the way of intimacy.” A pause. “You don’t have to wear your armor around your Clan.” 

“But,” Luke looked down again. Din wanted to protest, wanted to see those blue eyes focused on him again. “What if you’re not Clan?” 

His heart was pounding so hard that he was surprised Luke couldn’t hear it, even through his polished armor. He didn’t know what came over him just then, but the way Luke’s voice quivered when he asked that question made something in Din’s mind snap. 

He stood up from the table and moved to stand in front of Luke. The Jedi looked up at him then, and any doubts Din might have had were silenced immediately by the shy, excited glint in Luke’s eyes. He reached down to cup Luke’s cheeks in his own hands. He was grateful for the armor again, for protection from his own shaking, nervous hands. 

He pressed in close, close enough that Luke’s breath fogged in his visor. For once, Luke said nothing. With the lightest amount of effort and an excruciating slowness, with the fear that Luke would for some reason bolt if he moved even a little too eagerly, he pressed his helmet to Luke’s forehead. 

Under his gentle touch, he felt rather than heard Luke’s shuddering breath. Din hoped that Luke had noticed that his breath had been stolen in much the same way. Everything was too much, but he couldn’t tear himself away. 

Luke was so warm. Din had known this before, had been lucky enough to bask in the residual warmth that emanated off of him in waves, but this… this was different. That heat licked at his fingertips and scalded the spot where his skin met Din’s helmet, as if he was being burned through Beskar. 

They stayed there for a long time. Longer than a kiss had any right to be. And when Din finally pulled away, slowly, as if it pained him (and in some ways, it did), he was so awestruck by Luke’s stricken, blushing face that he almost went in for another. 

“... There are ways around the Creed,” Din said shakily. 

“I see.” Luke’s voice was barely a whisper. He smiled, and then laughed, and it was as if the fragile moment was over. “I see.” He spoke louder, closer to his normal volume. “And… do you kiss just anybody who asks?” 

Din hoped that somehow, Luke could sense that his eyes rolled “A Mandalorian never kisses and tells.”