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He isn’t exactly proud of himself, but it’s been a day of youngling wrangling and as dearly as he loves each and every one of his students, Luke is learning that children are a special kind of energy drain, strong enough, he’d bet, to strip a star destroyer of all its power supply and leave it bobbing among the stars.

So, the way Luke sees it, he has two choices: he can be a responsible Jedi, meditating when the younglings are all finally down to sleep until he finds the serenity to make it through tomorrow, or he can handle things like that Tatooine kid he’d once been—the kid that he very much still is, at his core—and eat the rest of the cookie dough while sitting on the mess’ countertop.

Luke takes his role as Jedi master seriously and as such he works hard for his students to see him as someone they can trust, someone to look up to. An example they can follow.

And it’s true: he had promised the younglings he would freeze the dough that they hadn’t gotten around to baking. He’d looked them all in their big, sweet eyes—and studiously ignored the flour that was brushed across their noses, settled in their ears, streaked in their tunics, and tipped in a mound on the floor—and given his word that they would all be able to bake the rest of the cookies later.

Yet, here he is. Sitting on a countertop in the demi-dark, dimmed lights reflecting sluggishly across chrome fixtures. His legs half-heartedly swinging, boots beating out a slow rhythm against the cabinets, breaking his pact with every ill-begotten mouthful.

He feels only the smallest pang of guilt as he dips a spoon into the bowl of raw, room-warmed batter.

A voice modulator resonates through the lonely mess, and it’s a sound Luke might be happier to hear if he hadn’t been expecting it three days ago. “You know that stuff’ll kill you.”

Luke tips his head back until he can feel the wall behind him, letting it hold him steady. He smiles, but it’s too tired to be much more than a stretch of lips, a flash of teeth. “I know what I’m about, Mando. I’ll take my chances.”

Beskar, more scuffed than Luke would like to see it, glints silver as Din crosses the room. It isn’t far to go, and soon he is close enough to reach out and press a gloved, black thumb to the corner of Luke’s mouth.

He is being studied, and Luke holds still under the scrutiny.

“Hm,” is all Din says when he finally drops his hand away from Luke’s face, and for a man who is usually hidden away behind a blacked-out visor and cold metal, Din is particularly unreadable at the moment.

“Welcome home,” Luke says, because it’s what he usually says, and it's become ritual between them by now.

“I can’t stay long,” comes the characteristically terse response and Luke snorts to himself as he turns back to his cookie batter.

“When can you ever?” he mutters, immediately regretting it when Din’s posture stiffens and he starts to draw away. “Hey, no, that’s... I didn’t mean—”

Setting down the bowl, Luke scrubs at his face with both hands and it's brisk enough he can feel a charged buzz of energy dance across his skin. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for that to come out the way it did. You know I’m happy to see you whenever you can make it here. Today was just a lot and I’m—”

Helplessly he flails his hands around to encompass himself, the bowl, the spooned-out cookie dough, the grout of the floors that Luke can’t seem to wipe the flour out of entirely, the crumbs of cookies that Luke hadn’t even gotten a chance to try before they'd been gobbled up by a cadre of angel-faced gremlins.

“Tired,” Din finishes for him and the distance between them is suddenly unbearable. Luke reaches out with a leg to hook Din around the hips and draws him in until he’s standing between Luke’s thighs.

“Beyond tired,” Luke says, burying his forehead in the crease of Din’s neck where the rough fabric of his cape softens the cold hardness of armor beneath.

Luke breathes deep and can smell the singe of blaster fire and the bite of sweat that still lingers there, trapped in the cape’s fibers. It really isn't fair to Din, Luke behaving the way he is. Because however tired Luke thinks he is, he’s sure Din is tenfold.

It’s just that Luke’s in a mood, one that is unbecoming of a Jedi, but in his defense he comes by it honestly. His father wasn’t exactly the most even-keeled being in the galaxy. On his worst days he blasted away planets, committing mass genocide, and Luke usually rationalizes away his darker moments by telling himself that compared to all that, he’s so well adjusted he’s practically Ben Kenobi.


Din isn’t here as often as Luke knows he wants to be and he deserves a better homecoming than a sharp tongue and a sulky Skywalker.

“Welcome home,” Luke tries again, and he means it this time.

Hands—more gentle than a man who is armed to the teeth and encased in practically impenetrable armor ought to have—find his waist.

"Grogu giving you trouble?"

Luke takes a breath before he answers carefully. Deliberately. “These days he’s the best behaved of the lot.”

He’s close enough that he can feel Din wince at the words Luke doesn’t say. “That bad?” he asks, translating Luke faster than anyone he’s ever known.

“It’s fine. They’re young, it’ll pass.” He laughs, a hollow sound. “I’m the fool that thought I could single handedly resurrect the Jedi Order, starting from the creche up.”

A temple, huh? Han had snorted when Luke first told him of his idea, drunk and tracing plans in the air from where he was laying on his back while Chewie watched the both of them, shaking his head at their inability to keep up with his Wookie constitution. Sounds more like a daycare service, but, sure, kid. Anyone can make it work, it’s you.

Din leans in and now they are touching—forehead to forehead—and even though his helmet is a barrier between them, Luke’s heart aches at the simple sweetness of that contact.

“You’re doing good work,” he says, voice low. Serious. “Important work.”

“Yeah,” Luke says, because he does know it. Like he knows that out of everyone that is in Luke’s life—everyone that makes up his shattershot, found family—Din understands what he’s building here the most. As a foundling, Din’s the one that’s lived this experience of being taken in and guided and shaped and given purpose. Meaning.

Cautiously, Luke reaches up. He’s sure to move slowly enough that Din can see what he’s up to, slowly enough that he can tell Luke to stop if he’s uncomfortable. He doesn’t, so Luke works his helmet up just enough that he can see an unguarded chin, the beginnings of a jaw that is dusted in dark stubble. It’s a gift, to be able to do this out here in the open, and one that Luke shows his appreciation for as he presses his lips to Din’s, kissing him with all the fervor he’d felt waiting for Din to come back to him, before the seven younglings and spilled flour and bad moods of today had calcified his longing into something hard enough to crumble.

With a final swipe of tongue against lips that are now glistening from the taste of the both of them, Luke pulls away and lowers Din’s helmet.

“How long can you stay?”

Helmet tips down as Din’s regret sinks the lines of his spine. “Long enough to see Grogu in the morning.”

“Ah,” Luke says. He figures he has two choices here: he can either be annoyed at the delay which knocked Din off schedule and cost them time that could have been spent together, or he can be grateful that, even pressed for time, Din cares enough to still come out to see them at all.

“Well,” Luke says with a smile that is a little hollow along the edges. “I say we go to my room. Make the most of it while we can.”

Din’s thumb finds the corner of Luke’s mouth again, and he can feel his smile wilt under the scrutiny. Din is looking for something, it’s obvious, but it doesn’t seem like he finds it.

Still, Din’s voice comes out feather-soft as he says “Yeah,” and steps away just far enough for Luke to hop down from his perch. Then he’s following Luke down the halls, an alert step behind, as if someone needs to be guarding Luke’s flank and as long as he’s here it might as well be Din.

As far as getting undressed goes, Luke is really at an advantage. He unclips his lightsaber, leaving it on the nightstand, and that’s as far as he needs to worry about weaponry. After that it’s easy to kick off his tall boots, to shimmy out of the black pants and the high-necked tunic that’s become—over the years—his de facto Jedi uniform. With that done, Luke drops to sit on the bed, watching his partner’s quiet transformation from cold, fearsome Mandalorian to warm-bodied Din.

Weapons and armor and more weapons and more armor. Finally it’s just a peel of fabric until Din is settling on the bed.

“I am sorry,” Din says, voice rising and falling and human without a modulator. The sound of it makes Luke think of vulnerable things, and dear things, and kind things that he wants to use his considerable, Force-derived power to protect from the galaxy’s cruelties at any cost. “I wish I could stay longer.”

“Din. It’s fine. Really. I get it. I get how it is.” Luke smirks then, and because he can’t help himself, he pushes Din onto his back to straddle his hips, saying with wicked humor: “This is the way.”

Dark eyebrows come together and Luke gets a stern frown in response. For his blasphemy, Luke works quickly to make amends—scattering soft, flickering kisses across Din’s cheeks and forehead and nose.

Din’s hands span his waist, drop down to measure the length of Luke’s thighs with broad palms. Heat spreads wherever Din touches. When he tips Luke sideways so that they are stretched out and well matched, legs tangled together, erections trapped between their bellies, Luke knows he’s forgiven.

“What are you up for?” Din asks between searching, hungry kisses. Luke draws back enough to card his fingers through the dark fringe of hair that sweeps across Din’s forehead, listless from spending so much time under his helmet.

“Anything,” Luke says honestly, and Din frowns again, this time with concern.

“You’re tired.”

“Not too tired for this.” Never too tired for this, he wants to say but sometimes Luke is afraid of scaring wary, somber Din away with the bright, prickling vastness of his need.

Luke rocks their bodies together, and when that isn’t enough he proves his eagerness by taking the hard press of Din’s cock in hand and works him until Din is groaning with it. Hitching his knee up so that it drapes over Din’s hips, Luke offers himself—a wordless invitation—and he thrills to feel the exploration of fingers down the curves of his ass.

Fingertips circle with intent at his opening and he hums against Din’s shoulder. “Yeah, that. That’s what I want.”

Din breaks away to reach up. Luke realizes he’s stretching toward the nightstand and the lube that they keep in the drawer.

“Don’t need that, though,” he says, spitting into his palm and coating Din’s cock with it.

“Luke.” Din’s voice is a gentle warning.

“Please?” Luke rolls onto his back, guiding a reluctant Din into place. “I know what I’m doing.”

It hurts this way, stretching around Din’s cock with little prep and only saliva to smooth the way, but that’s kind of the point. If they only have one night together before Din is gone again for who knows how long, then Luke wants to feel this for as long as he can. He wants to carry this ache. He wants this proof that somewhere out there in the infinite, interminable universe there’s a man that loves Luke enough to always come back to him. To this.

“You okay?” Din asks when his cautious little thrusts have finally seated him inside Luke all of the way. He waits there, letting Luke adjust, and Luke’s nerves and synapses are firing at being this near, this full, this taken.

“More than okay,” Luke says, rolling his hips and moaning when he catches an angle that’s so perfect, sparks blaze across his vision. “I’m amazing. You’re amazing. This is amazing.”

He’s babbling now and Din’s fond laughter is a huff that is so quiet his modulator would never have been able to pick it up. That Luke can hear it now is an intimacy far greater than anything their joining bodies could accomplish. His heart speeds up at the sound as a happy flush blooms across his chest. Luke tries to move his hips in time to his heartbeat. He chases the driving tempo, wrapping his legs and arms around Din, tucking his face into the vulnerable curve of Din’s throat.

Usually, Luke likes to perform for Din. Teasing him, sucking him, riding him, turned on by his audience of one and the solemn regard in Din’s pupil-black eyes. Not this time. This time he needs it tight and close, he needs it just on the razor’s edge of too much, and Din might question every one of Luke’s decisions but he has never, not once, held Luke back even when what Luke wants is a terrible idea.

Especially when it’s a terrible idea.

Luke tightens his arms and legs when Din comes, refusing to let go. Instead he rocks, mindful to keep his movement small, precise. Soon enough Din is hard again without ever having left Luke’s body and they go for round two.

This time it’s slicker, easier to move with Din’s come inside of him, and Luke lets go just enough to let Din take over and kriff it’s good, it’s so good, why didn’t they do it this way sooner?

Luke spills between them with a shout, and he can feel Din getting closer, his breath stuttering. Reaching up, Luke pulls Din’s face to his. Not to kiss, but to press their foreheads together and that’s it. That’s all it takes for Din to come with a gasp and a shudder Luke can feel through his body, too, before he falls still and silent.

“We could try for a third time,” Luke suggests into the quiet, only half joking.

“That may very well kill me,” Din says and Luke laughs, letting his arms and legs fall to the side, setting his captive free.

“Think there’s a bounty on you I could collect if it does?” Luke asks with a grin and Din, who was about to roll away, stops to stare.

“There it is,” Din says, pressing his thumb to the corner of Luke’s mouth, like he's been doing all night.

“There what is?”

“A real smile. I’ve been waiting for one of those.”

Luke can’t help it, his smile grows wide enough that he can feel the stretch of it in his cheeks. “Oh yeah?” he asks.

“Yeah.” Din’s lips replace his thumb as he brushes the corner of Luke’s mouth in a soft, sure kiss. “Crossed the galaxy to see it. And I’d do it again, too.”