So this is what his father looked like.

It wasn't that he'd needed to see what lay beneath the helmet of beskar. Grogu knew his soul, knew him– had seen him at his lowest points and greatest triumphs, had seen what lengths this Mandalorian had gone to for Grogu's protection and safe return.

Din Djarin was his father in every way that mattered… but still, it was nice to meet him fully face to face, just once.

For as expressionless as his helm was, it made sense that his father's eyes were flooded with emotion. There is pain there, yes, but it is much deeper than something so simple. Relief for Grogu's safety. Guilt that he hadn't been quicker and that harm had still befallen Grogu. Anguish that they had to say goodbye despite having just been reunited. More than a sliver of pride– not for completing his mission, no– for the fact that a true Jedi was willing to train his powerful son.

There is something that aches from his father above all else, and Grogu's ears twitch as it washes over him. Acceptance . Din knew what this opportunity meant to him, what lengths they'd both gone to see it occur. There was no way to turn this down, especially not now, after the Jedi had saved them all.

But accepting that something had to happen didn't make it any easier on the heart. Grogu knew this without having to feel Din's emotions, for they were his own as well.

Perhaps he can ease the pang for a moment, just to remove the sharp edges. Make this goodbye a "see you later," instead of something that rings out with grave finality.

Grogu reaches out to touch his father's skin for the first time.

He is distracted by how warm Din is against his tiny hand. The Empire's ship has been cold, the cuffs that cut him off from the Force like ice around his wrists while confined in his metal prison. The lingering effect harnessing something darker in self defense washes away in the bliss of the present, and Grogu knows that this is his home. He chose this man many months ago, when he first looked up from his cradle to see his savior before him. Din has repaid the favor hundreds of times over since then.

At least Grogu can give him this before he has to leave.

His father's eyes slide shut as Grogu's hand caresses his jaw, both in an attempt to hyper-focus on his son's touch and to dam his tears from spilling free. A life's worth of tension leaves his brow when he looks back down at Grogu, brown irises meeting black ones as vibrant as a burning ember. That's what Grogu is, after all. Right now he's a spark, full of potential to become an inferno or a pile of ashes if he doesn't learn control.

The left corner of Din's lips quirk up in a proud smile when Grogu begins to pull away, as if he's trying to speak without words (although Grogu knows this to be impossible after all those months of trying to communicate through his mind and the Force). However, they both know that words are not always needed between them. While Din's smile says, it'll all be alright, Grogu's answering touch to his cheek responds, I know, but it will still be hard without you.

"Alright, pal," Din murmurs, and Grogu tips his head, his ears tilting as he hears his father's voice unaltered for the first time. It's a nice voice, rough and steady despite his melancholy. Grogu will miss hearing it and the way it molded the silence of the Razor Crest into something cozier. "It's time to go."

Grogu slowly blinks up at his father, not yet ready to give up this moment in time. As excited as he is for what the future holds, he doesn't want to leave so soon.

But just as he knows Din, so does his father know him. Din can sense his hesitation and reluctance, something he makes evident by the way his expression droops. Grogu lets out a soft whine, wishing it were as easy for him to explain. There is so much Din doesn't know, so much he wants to convey with several little babbles in these seconds they have. He's scared. How will Din be safe without him? His father is a strong warrior, this he knows, but Grogu has seen too many close calls in their time together. What if something happens when he's away?

Maybe his father does understand more than he always lets on. His smile returns, a bit smaller this time, a bit sadder, but still just as proud and reassuring as before. "Don't be afraid."

His father can't feel it, but the Force swirls comfortingly around them both in time with his words. It echoes his father's sentiment: don't be afraid. The Force led Grogu to Arvala-7 and Din to his side– he knows it will not lie to him now. His father will make it back to him. Their clan of two will be together once more.

Grogu keeps his gaze locked on Din's face as the Mandalorian lowers him back to the ground. He won't forget his father's face. He'll hold this most treasured memory of his close to his heart for all the days to come.