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Beyond the Saga "A Second Breath" | MMM #8 | Cara/Din; post-The Mandalorian, Oneshot

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Mira_Jade , Feb 10, 2020.

  1. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    Title: “A Second Breath”
    Author: Mira_Jade

    Time Frame: Beyond the Saga; Post-The Mandalorian
    Rating: PG
    Genre: Drama, Mush
    Characters: Carasynthia Dune/Din Djarin, The Child

    Summary: "Sometimes, the universe did not always take, sometimes, it gave back." Cara, Din, and a first kiss – of a sort.

    Notes: This is my response to the eighth Monday Mush Mania kiss in less than a thousand words prompt! My muse finally decided to be proactive with this challenge, which I am glad for – it’s been far too long! Although, lemme tell you, keeping this within the required word count was a struggle (even if I’m still around 1,100 words [face_blush]), but, honestly, that was half the fun of the exercise! [face_mischief] Also! It’s great to finally write something for The Mandalorian, even if it is just a fluffy little drivel like this one!

    That said, I thank you all for reading, and hope that you enjoy! [face_love] [:D]

    Disclaimer: Nothing is mine, but for the words. :)

    “A Second Breath”
    by Mira_Jade

    Carasythia Dune’s life fell into something of a routine on Nevarro. Somewhat, at least.

    Serving as Greef Karga’s enforcer saw that she had the most stability she’d known since her days as a shock trooper, tied to a single place and goal. Oh, she still glanced over her shoulder and kept a wary eye on her six – the price on her head hadn’t wholly disappeared, no matter Greef's help – but she felt secure enough, if not completely comfortable with her course. She knew better than that.

    Even still, she would never admit aloud – not even on pain of death – that the days she looked forward to most were those when Din returned to Nevarro with the little one in tow. As well and good as job security and a set routine were, Din offered variance and perhaps something more, something that she hadn’t known since her old days of camaraderie with her fellow soldiers (or since even longer ago, before Alderaan’s destruction). She smiled when she saw him, sincerely so. She enjoyed his company even when it was just for refueling and stocking up on supplies, and she was never far behind when he took Greef up on jobs – after all, searching for an unknown species and/or race of mystical, could be enemy wizards to reunite the Child with required funding, which Greef was happy to provide. She was always eager to be the partner he needed; they were a good team, whether it be taking on enemy fire together or figuring out exactly how the Child’s species teethed and tricks to stop him from chewing on every spare bit of soft, gummy materiel he could find aboard the Crest.

    Her mother, Cara knew, would be horrified by her current life choices. Helianthus Dune had no such future in mind when she raised her daughter to be a proper Alderaani woman, and yet . . . Alderaan was long gone now, and Cara was making do putting the broken pieces of her life back together again. If that life now included a masked Mandalorian warrior and his adopted, strangely gifted child, then it simply was what it was.

    She didn’t consider, however, that they had any further pull on her heart until a particularly bad day on Cordag III. A hunter got the drop on them, and they passed ten whole hours with no idea where the Child was or how to retrieve him. When they did finally pick up on his trail, and swiftly dealt with their assailant, Cara hung back and watched as Din ran his gloved hands over the little one, practically checking him over for injury just as much to assure himself that he was returned to them and safe from harm. Din muttered in a language that Cara couldn’t understand all the while, and the Child flicked his long, green ears in familiarity for the sound. When Din finally paused, and simply rested his armored brow against the Child’s – an intimate gesture, for a man who never went without his helmet – she couldn’t help but stare. She felt something in her heart, long since hardened over and forgotten about, twist for the sight, warming and filling a place that she had previously made so small and cold out of necessity.

    These two were, she thought, quickly becoming a danger to her. Yet, she'd never backed down from a fight in her life before, and she certainly wouldn’t start now.

    It wasn’t until months later that she found herself in just as perilous a bind on a job, and took a blaster bolt to the shoulder when fighting a band of mercs for the same puck. She was lucky that the shot had missed her heart, even as her head spun and she cursed in frustration. Stupid, stupid, stupid – she hadn’t left herself so blindly open like that since she was a cadet; she knew better. But Din was there, and Din was her partner; she had already lost so much, too much, to even consider taking the smallest risk that he could -

    “I had that covered, you know,” was Din’s droll remark, bellying his concern as he gently set the bacta patch in place over her wound.

    “Well now, I couldn’t let you have all the fun, could I?” she joked through gritted teeth, wincing nonetheless when Din pulled the bandage tight. She could well imagine his raised brow, even when she couldn’t see it, and sure enough he drawled, “yeah, Dune – seems fun to me.”

    Ha ha, very funny, Mando. But Cara was kept from a pithy reply when he exhaled, long and slow. He leaned forward and rested the dome of his helmet against her brow, just as she’d seen him do with the Child . . . except this felt different, so very different. The metal was unexpectedly warm against her skin, humming as if charged to the touch. The contact lasted only a moment, but it left her senses whirling in its wake, taken aback by the sudden, unexpected familiarity of the gesture.

    “I’m okay, Din,” she found herself whispering, though she didn’t have to – he could see as much with his own eyes. She was tougher than she looked, which was saying something. Still . . . she couldn’t keep the words to herself. She wasn’t the only one who'd lost, after all; she wasn’t the only one holding on tight to the little bit she did have and refusing to allow the universe to claim but one thing more.

    She was slow to reach up and touch her brow to his again. This time, she heard him suck in a breath, even as she exhaled. A sudden pulse of warmth bloomed low in her belly, a jolt running from her fingertips to her toes the same as if she had kissed his mouth. Just as satisfyingly, she felt his fingertips flex from where he had taken to absently stroking the healthy skin of her arm below her bandage. He seemed as hungry for the assurance of the contact as she suddenly was; she didn't want the moment to end.

    So, is this how Mandalorians do it? she wanted to flash her teeth and quip, but something about the moment felt too hushed to allow for humor. She couldn’t help but reach up to brush her fingertips against the metal cheeks of his helmet, feeling as if she was a young girl all over again, and Alderaan was still in its spring.

    Softly, Cara smiled, knowing in that moment that the universe had given something back to her – this man, and this child. She was ready, she admitted then, to see where that knowledge took them next.


    End Notes
    : So . . . it counts as a kiss, by Mandalorian standards, at least! [face_mischief] [face_love] Tapping helmets is a sign of affection between two Mandalorians in full armor. Ironically, a head butt is also called kov'nyn - a Keldabe Kiss - just to keep things Mando, and all. :p

    ~MJ @};-
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Aug 31, 2004
    Yay for being able to post an MMM on the due-date! ;) And what an endearing entry too! Cara's quiet amazement at being vulnerable and caring is wonderful to read, as is Din's feelings for the Child & Cara herself. =D=
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2020
  3. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 1, 2004
    Very nice. I liked those two in the show. I am wondering if there are exceptions to the helmet rule for lovers. I like the head butting. I think my cat is a Mandalorian. She likes doing that to me. Excellent response to the challenge.
  4. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    =D= You know, I never used to understand the whole “Mandos are kewl” sentiment back when the only Mandos I knew of were the Fetts and the Mandalorians who were bent on conquering the Republic in KOTOR. But the more I’ve researched their culture for various Sabine-centric fics, the more I think they really are pretty cool, definitely the most well developed of all the cultures in the GFFA and not just bloodthirsty mercenaries and bounty hunters. And I loved The Mandalorian. The story Din, Cara and the other social outliers who come together to defend the Child ties in to the theme of “found family” that runs throughout Star Wars and it fits perfectly with the Mandalorian ethos that family is more than blood.

    Cara, Din, Greef and the Child do make an odd little family, but it works, and I love the idea that not only are Cara and Din out there taking missions and kicking shebs, they’re also dealing with a teething 50 year-old toddler who’s probably chewing on things he should not, under any circumstances, put in his mouth. :D And when she sees Din caring for the Child, pressing his brow to the Child’s, Cara starts to realize that what they have is more than a partnership of necessity, more than just working well together. She honestly cares about them, and it’s poignant that she feels this makes them a “danger” to her, because when you care, you risk hurt and loss. Indeed, when Din is in danger, she risks herself for him and she realizes exactly what it would mean to lose him.

    It seems like he has a similar revelation, with that slow, deliberate exhalation and equally slow and deliberate “kiss”, pressing his brow to hers just like he did to the Child...except not. I love the description of how his helmet feels warm and alive (kind of fitting since the Mando’a term for armor translates as “iron skin”). It’s so very Mandalorian that the same motion that is used to incapacitate an enemy can be transformed into a gesture of affection and even love. Cara picks up on the shades of meaning, and so does Din when she returns the gesture. You’ve written a totally swoon-worthy kiss here, even though the parties involved never have direct physical contact; that’s quite a feat! (I have to say I loved the line about “this is how Mandalorians do it.” The snarky Mando teen currently residing in my head thinks the helmet rule must make certain things...awkward, and perhaps that’s why The Tribe is so keen on adopting foundlings :p)

    Thanks so much for this wonderful addition to the KISS challenge. I enjoyed seeing these characters and getting a bit of Mando goodness to hold me over until Season Two!
  5. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Feb 27, 2014
    Yes, this is definitely how Mandalorians do it! :D [face_love] This was a new and different kind of kiss, but no less sweet, no less full of love, and no less full of sparks, judging from Cara’s reaction! [face_love] Pretty impressive the way you got that across even without any skin-to-skin contact—but of course, as you make clear, beskar has a living resonance of its own and is very much an extension of the person wearing it. I love, too, that you describe the Mando making the exact same gesture to the Child, also to show affection! (And with his Force-sensitivity the Child no doubt feels the living quality of the beskar and its wearer in a very special way.) And those kisses, both parental and romantic, are the beginning of forging these three characters into a found family. Thank you for this wonderful, beautiful, and unexpected take on the KISS prompt! =D=
    Mira_Jade likes this.
  6. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 30, 2005
    Oh this is wonderful! Maybe because I loved The Mandalorian and Carasynthia Dune is my gal, but this hit all the right notes.
    Yes. YES. So Cara. She's got a kindness in her, under all those muscles and bravado. Despite everything that has happened, she still finds herself looking forward.

    I'm going to assume that you created Cara's mom & her mom's name - headcanon accepted. Henceforth, the mother of Carasynthia Dune is Helianthus Dune. (I have spoken.) Would you be ok if this makes its way into my diary at some point? I have considered how Cara's pugilistic nature, her sheer joy at the physicality of combat, must have been at odds with Alderaan's pacifistic stance and probably gave her family nightmares.

    Oh my heart. She loves them. Despite herself, despite her best efforts to keep her emotional distance, she loves them. [face_love]

    Yup, love is a risk. Being a part of someone's life, having them be a part of yours, entails the possibility that they will be torn from that. Cara's lost everyone she ever grew up with, her family, her friends, her culture, her home... to go to war and lose her comrades all over again. Why would she willingly choose to give her heart again? That's the danger - that she'll actually love them, and then lose them. How much can one human heart bear?
    And then the Cara we love kicks in, and she takes it as a fight. Oh yeah? Think I can't love you? HA! I'll show you!

    Oh my heart again. That's why they connect so well. Of course. They have both lost literally everything. And in their care for the Child, they find a semblance of a world that makes sense, in caring for him and, by extension, by caring for each other. There is an innate need to love something, to nurture and protect. It's the opposite side of conflict and fighting, which is what Din and Cara have grown accustomed to. Yet for all their weaponry and brawn and combat, they need to also care. The Child gives them a way to do that, to show love to another.

    As @Raissa Baiard said above, swoon-worthy! [face_love]

    Oh, this quote. This quote. The one right here.
    Everything is new again. Hope has returned. Even though the innocence of her girlhood is long gone, even though Alderaan will never see another vibrant spring, the feeling is reawakened and hope has come home.

    Mira, you've created some amazing writing, but this is a gem in the diadem. ^:)^
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2020 at 6:44 AM