The Lost Get Found
Chapter 6—The Jedi
Thanks for your likes, faves, and reviews—they make me so excited to write—and excited about what's coming up! :D Also, so much for "I'm going to write shorter chapters XD
I have planned to write these characters for quite awhile (I think I originally planned some of this to be in Chapter 4?), but the fact that it corresponds with recent hoopla surrounding some of said characters without being planned that way is quite amusing to me XD
If you're a Legend of Zelda fan, there a couple of modified Easter eggs in this chapter ;)
"So how was the tiingilar?" Din asked when Cara called him after returning from dinner with Bryn.
She smiled. "I thought my tongue was going to burst into flames for the first few bites-but it was worth it. She sent me home with several meals' worth of leftovers-and I haven't ruled out having it for breakfast—it was that good."
"I've heard it's good for breakfast, especially if it's cold….and you're hung over."
Cara shrugged. "I've mostly been a good girl since I got to Nevarro—but I'll keep that in mind," she winked.
"How did the surprise go? Did she suspect anything?"
"Not a clue," she laughed. "When I suggested making a double recipe, she said, 'Yes, that will save time for future meals'—not knowing it'll probably be gone before bedtime."
Din laughed. "That sounds like a very accurate assessment, on both accounts. Did you also have uj'alayi—the cake with fruit and nuts?
"No, we had pastries from the bakery—which I'm sure will also be gone shortly—but she said she'll make one next week, when I make Alderaan stew for them." She chuckled. "She did tell me about you and Paz's baking adventure as kids—when you used hot pepper instead of cinnamon."
He shook his head, blushing beneath his helmet. "I don't think I'll ever live that one down."
"I thought it was cute—and it sounds like your older woman was amused by it," she teased, giving him a wink.
Din groaned. "It's been over thirty years, and Paz still teases me about that!"
Cara laughed, her eyes sparkling with mischief. "I am curious as to what kind of woman would catch little Din's attention. Perhaps….a soft-spoken brunette with kind brown eyes and a ridiculously perfect tan?" she asked, wiggling her eyebrows.
Din tilted his head, studying her for a moment. "That…is oddly specific—but no. She was actually an outspoken redhead with green eyes and freckles. Why would you think…..Omera," he sighed.
"What? I thought you two had a thing back on Sorgan." Her tone was…..different now—more brittle.
"We didn't have a thing. Yes, she can shoot, and she's a good mother…..and she's pretty—but she's not quite mandokarla."
Cara looked confused. "What does that mean?"
"It's one of those words that doesn't have an exact translation to Basic-but it means having qualities that are valued in Mandalorian culture—like being prepared to fight when needed, determination, loyalty, and a desire to live a rich and full life."
"Have you ever met a woman who's not a Mandalorian that has those qualities?" she asked, and there was an intensity in her eyes that almost made him think…
"Yes," he said simply, but thought, she's right in front of me.
Just then the secondary call chime sounded, breaking the spell of…something. "Cara, I've got another call coming in. With Paz and Alec landing on Nevarro soon, I want to make sure there's not any kind of problem."
"Alec and Ana are already there—I met them in the hall on my way out. But, I've already stayed up too late anyway. Talk to you tomorrow" she said with a sleepy smile.
"Rest well," he replied before disconnecting and switching over to the other call.
"So I was right—you are the mysterious bounty hunter known as 'Mando."
Din's eyebrows raised beneath his helmet at the sight of the coral-haired woman on the holocall display. "Sabine! I didn't know you were back. And…..who's that?" he asked, noticing the man with long dark blue hair in the seat next to her.
She took the man's hand, and the two of them exchanged a soft smile that made Din wish for things and people he had no business thinking about. Thankfully, Sabine refocused her attention on the holodisplay before he could get too caught up in a downward spiral of pining. "Din Djarin, this is my husband, Ezra Bridger Wren."
"Hi, it's nice to meet you," Ezra replied with a friendly smile and a wave.
"You too," Din replied with a nod.
"We have someone else we'd like to include on this call—she's actually the reason we're contacting you right now. Is it okay if I add her?" Sabine asked.
"Sure, go ahead," Din answered, knowing her to be trustworthy.
Seconds later, a Togruta female, with blue and white patterened lekku, appeared in a secondary display.
"Hey, Ahsoka, can you hear me?' Sabine asked.
The Togruta smiled. "Loud and clear. Is this your cousin?"
"Yes. Din Djarin, this is Ahsoka Tano, the former Jedi Padawan you learned about on your visit on Takodana this morning.
"Nice to meet you," he said.
"Hi, Din, same to you," Ahsoka said with a kind smile. "I didn't realize you and Sabine were related until I contacted her after speaking with Maz. It seems we have several common connections—including two of your sisters."
"Oh? Really?" he asked, surprised.
"Yes. I fought with Jael and Iona during the Siege of Mandalore. They were great warriors," she said with a sympathetic smile.
"That's what I've always heard," Din replied. "I didn't know either of them well, since they were much older than I was…but I've heard many stories of their bravery in the years since. He tilted his head and studied the three of them for a moment. "I'm still confused, though—why would you contact Sabine in the first place, if you didn't know we had any kind of connection?"
"Because even if you hadn't known her, the positive Mandalorian/Jedi connection would have been helpful in….."
"Wait…what do you mean by 'Mandalorian/Jedi connection'?" Din interrupted.
"Ezra is a Jedi Knight—and now that he's a fully-fledged member of Clan Wren, we actually have a Mandalorian/Jedi Mandalorian connection," Sabine said proudly.
"So you thought that it would put me more at ease if I spoke with one of my own people who had a positive view of the Jedi. That makes sense."
"Yes," Ahsoka replied. "In addition, Ezra himself is a unique situation. Instead of learning at the temple from a young age, like I did, he didn't begin Jedi training until he was a teenager."
Ezra chuckled. "If you're overwhelmed and confused about everything right now, I get it—all this Jedi stuff is definitely weird if you're not used to it."
Din chuckled. "That's…..an understatement—especially since the one who's Force sensitive is a toddler—who's still a baby in a lot of ways."
A curious coo came from the floor, where the baby had been happily floating a set of blocks using his Force powers. Din picked the little one up and settled him on his lap.
"Awwwww, he does look like Master Yoda!" Ezra said with a goofy grin.
"Can you wave and tell them 'hi?'" Din asked softly.
"Ba!" the little one exclaimed as he complied, earning a chorus of laughter from the other adults.
"So copikla—what's his name?" Sabine asked.
"I…..don't know," Din told her. "You've heard his one and only word—used incorrectly. If he has a name I'm not sure he'd be able to tell me what it is. I've just been calling him 'kid'—because I didn't want to name him, and then…." he trailed off.
"Maz told me you're hoping to adopt him," Ahsoka said, her eyes soft. "I'm pretty sure he's the last of his species, so I think that may be the best way for him to have the love and security he needs to grow up to use the Force for good."
Din felt as though a weight had been lifted from his shoulders. Still, he struggled to accept that what had become one of his heart's deepest desires might actually happen. "I…..want what's best for him. If you think it would be better for him to go to the Jedi who's trying to restore the order that Maz mentioned…I'll do it."
She shook her head. "I've heard the rumors, but I think that's just an idea at this point. Given what Maz told me about how he choked your friend, I think that the sooner he receives some basics, like learning to discern intent through the Force, the better."
"I agree," Ezra confirmed. "He's been around a long time—so it's possible he's had contact with Dark Side users—or even Sith. That's not something you want to play around with," he shuddered.
"So what do you suggest I do?" Din asked.
"I believe that meeting the two of you in person will give all of us a better idea as to what our next steps should be. You left Takodana early this afternoon, right?" Ahsoka inquired.
"Where are you headed next?"
"I don't really have a destination. All I know is that I'm staying as far away as possible from my people. I can't have hunters, or Imps, come after the kid, and hurt them again in the process. Same goes for Nevarro." If something happened to my family, or Cara….The baby wrapped his little fingers around Din's gloved hand, and he felt a bit more calm.
"I totally understand-we can just meet you somewhere neutral, then." Sabine said as she entered some information into their ship's navicomputer. "Just to get an idea of where you are—have you passed Rua yet?"
Din consulted his own nav. "Yes—a few hours ago."
"Okay…..looks like we should be able to meet up in about a week. That work for you, Ahsoka?"
The Togruta smiled. "Sounds good. That will give me time to tie up some loose ends here before I leave. Where do you suggest?"
Sabine studied the display again. "How does Zelik sound? There's a town called Daruni in the northwestern quadrant that looks good. It has a small spaceport, and a population that's diverse enough that none of us will stick out too much."
Din nodded. "That sounds…..ideal. Thank you for arranging this. I know how badly you must want to see your family."
She smiled. "We're actually on our way there now, and since we don't have quite as far to go as the two of you, we'll have a few days with them before we need to leave. Plus, we can always go back afterward."
Din smiled beneath his helmet. "Enjoy your visit—and tell everyone I said hello. Ezra, Ahsoka, it was nice meeting you both."
"You too, Din. I'm looking forward to meeting the two of you in person," Ahsoka answered warmly.
"Same here," Ezra seconded with another wave.
After another wave from the baby, and a correctly placed ba, Din ended the call.
"All right, you little womp rat. Let's get you ready for bed."
"Bine, we're here," Ezra said a few hours later as he landed his Kom'rk fighter, the Loth Bat, in a clearing near the edge of a thick forest.
"Mmkay," Sabine mumbled sleepily, opening her eyes to the starless dark visible through the ship's viewport. "Are you sure?"
"If you look through those trees, you can see the lights from the house," Ezra said, motioning toward a point directly in front of them.
"Oh yeah, I see them now," she said, stretching her arms upward, leaning back, then forward. "Is it weird that I'm nervous about this?" she asked self-consciously.
He turned to give her an encouraging smile. "No, not at all. People can change a lot in ten years-just look at your mom. And as far as the others go, this is definitely not how it usually works." Having completed the ship's shutdown sequence, he stood and moved behind her, placing his chin on her shoulder as he gently wrapped his arms around her waist. "You're going to be fine—and they're going to love you." He gently kissed the corner of her mouth, sending comfort through the Force.
"Thanks, love," she said, returning his kiss before picking up her helmet and heading toward the back of the ship. The two of them grabbed their duffels, then she used the controls on her vambrace to open the hatch.
"Looks like we've got company," he said, spotting a pair of bobbing lights leading what he guessed to be a small hovercart. By the time they reached the foot of the ramp, the approaching personages were close enough to identify.
"Ezra, you're to be commended on arriving ahead of schedule. We should have just enough time to get everything inside and make introductions before the fireside begins," Ursa Wren said, removing her helmet as she and her husband arrived in the clearing. "Do you think this cart will be sufficient?" she asked as she stepped forward to embrace first her daughter, then her son-in-law, ending each contact with a barely-there kiss on the cheek.
"Looks perfect," Sabine replied with a smile, knowing how it pleased her mother when things were just right. "It should be able to go up the ramp without a problem, so loading should be a breeze."
"How are you, Sab'ika?" her father asked, looping an arm around her shoulders and placing a kiss on her forehead as they entered the ship.
"Good," she replied, returning his affections before picking up a crate of art supplies. "I'm excited about being here, for a number of reasons—and Ezra and I got an interesting call a few hours ago. Seems we may be getting a new cousin soon."
"Oh?" Ursa asked. "Are Paz and his wife adopting again?"
"No—Din has a Foundling." The look of shocked surprise on her mother's face made it really hard not to laugh.
"Really? That's…I…" she trailed off, as if she couldn't figure out how to put her thoughts into words.
"I'm sure he'll be an excellent father," Alrich said as he and Ezra slid an awkwardly-sized parcel into place on the cart. "I think he'll strike a good balance between firm and caring—and everything else can build from that."
"Yes, of course, dear," Ursa said. "I never doubted him, but….that's a big step, especially given his lifestyle." She surveyed the ship's makeshift cargo area. "Is that everything?"
"That's it," Ezra answered, and the four of them headed down the ramp and toward the distant lights, including the new flicker of what looked to be a bonfire. "How are the Foundlings doing?" he asked quietly, and Sabine reached over to grab his hand, giving it a squeeze.
Ursa sighed, and Sabine saw a tired sadness appear in her mother's eyes. "There are twelve of them, between the ages of two and seventeen. Kade and Elyse took each child or family aside this morning, and told them their parents…..won't be returning."
"Are they doing a remembrance tonight?" Sabine asked.
"Yes. They had a group holocall for those twelve and up last night, in which the list of the deceased was read—but to include the younger ones as well, especially on this first night…I believe it will be cathartic."
"I don't think you could've come at a better time," Alrich told them. "You both have gifts that will be helpful to everyone, not just the children, in processing all of this."
"Ezra teased me about bringing half my studio—but it's important to find just the right medium to express yourself," Sabine answered. "Giving people choices in small things can help them regain a sense of control over their lives after traumatic events."
"Sounds like you've been learning a lot in your courses," he said as they arrived at the front steps. "We've got some helpers waiting for us inside—Ezra and I can direct them in getting everything stored for the night. Why don't you go ahead, so you'll have as much time as possible?" he encouraged.
Sabine took a deep breath in an attempt to fight off the butterflies now battling in her stomach. "Sure. Thanks Daddy—love you," she said, giving him a kiss on the cheek.
"Love you too, sweetheart," Alrich replied, giving her another hug.
"I'll show you where to go—and I'll send the others out, dear," Ursa said as she placed a hand on her daughter's back. "The two of you can join us after you've finished."
"Will do," Ezra said with a salute, and gave Sabine's hand a final squeeze
The wide stone steps before them led up to a rustic porch that stretched the width of the house in both directions. The house itself opened up in a similar manner on the inside, with a staircase that bisected the room directly in front of them, and a spacious kitchen and eating area to the left (though Sabine had a feeling the table didn't get used for eating, given the helmet situation).
To the right was a living area, where the only occupants at the moment were a group of older kids and teenagers playing cards at a table in the corner. As Sabine and her mother entered, a gangly boy whose chair was facing them stood.
"Are you ready for our help, Countess?" he asked, in a voice that had not yet reached maturity. Another boy, who looked to be about the same age, muttered "showoff."
"Yes, thank you, Jeigan," Ursa replied. "My husband is outside, and will direct you in where to put everything."
"But we didn't get to finish our hand!" the second boy complained.
"You brought this on yourself, Simon," a taller, broader boy with a deep voice told him.
"Maybe if we just do it, instead of whining about it, we can have time to finish the game before the fireside," an older girl stated, and Sabine could all but hear the eyeroll beneath her helmet.
"She's right, man—come on," a fourth boy said, clapping Simon on the shoulder as he stood.
As the group filed past the two women, another girl, taller than Ursa by several inches, stopped in front of them.
"Hey, I'm Jema—are you Sabine?"
Sabine smiled at the familiar name as she grabbed the offered arm at the wrist. "I am. It's nice to meet you."
"You too. Mama's told us a lot about you—good things, so don't worry," she said with a giggle. "Want me to take your bag to your room? I need to get my cloak anyway—and I have a feeling you're going to want your arms to be free."
"Sure, thanks," Sabine said, handing over her duffel.
"They're on the third floor, to the left of Dara and Malik's room," Ursa instructed.
When the lithe teen had disappeared up the stairs, Ursa turned to her daughter. "Are you ready?"
Sabine nodded, her heart in her throat, as she followed her mother to a door on the far wall of the room.
When they reached it, Ursa placed a hand on her daughter's shoulder as she looked into her eyes. "Some things have changed—but many have not. I'll go check on the others," she said, and placed another kiss on her daughter's cheek before she headed toward the back of the house.
Sabine turned toward the door, taking slow, deep breaths as she knocked three times. The door slid open almost immediately.
As she entered the room, and the door closed behind her, she stared in awe at the tall, strongly built man before her.
He reached up and removed his helmet, revealing an older version of a face she'd missed for ten long years.
"Hello Sabine," he said hoarsely, swallowing and blinking rapidly as he placed the helmet on a nearby table.
His image blurred as her own eyes filled with tears. In less than ten seconds, she'd closed the short distance between them, and held her baby brother, now a fully-grown man, in her arms. "Tristan," she whispered, knowing she had to be careful, since he went by an alias now. Colin or Col-you can't forget that.
"Bine," he said softly, his voice cracking as his arms tightened around her. She could feel his shuddering breaths beneath her hands. "I've missed you…so much."
"I've missed you too….I feel like I've missed your whole life. She closed her eyes, tears running down her cheeks as she drew small circles on his back with her hand, just as she had as a three-year-old assisting her parents in calming his infant fussing.
The last time she'd seen him, a week before the Purge, he'd been two months shy of his eighteenth birthday. Now he stood before her, at least three inches taller than she remembered, his substantial muscles evident beneath her splayed hands.
After several minutes of just holding each other, he took a step back, wiping his eyes with one hand. "How are you—aside from being a newlywed? Dad said you sold eight pieces at your last show."
She smiled, wiping away the remnants of her own tears. "Actually, it was thirteen. I've had several people contact me since he and mom left Lothal."
"He says you're also teaching art classes at the museum—and learning about art therapy through holoclasses?"
"Yes. I'm hoping that I can use the knowledge I've gained from both to help in some way while we're here."
He swallowed, and Sabine could see him tear up again. "It's hard. I train the twelve to eighteen group, and even the ones who haven't lost a family member are struggling…..and I'm not doing so great myself." He took a shaky breath, and she could see his chin wobbling. "Two of our closest friends….." he shook his head, trailing off.
"I'm so sorry," Sabine replied, wrapping her arms around his waist as she leaned into his side
After a few minutes, he spoke again. "Maybe I need some art therapy….and some of that Jedi meditation stuff Ezra does."
She gave him one last squeeze before releasing him. "That's what we're here for…that, and to meet some of the newer members of Clan Wren."
He gave her a watery smile. "Hey, that goes both ways."
"Hey, your mom's gone to get the others. Mind if I come in for a minute before they get here?" Ezra said from outside the door.
Sabine looked to her brother, who had already put his helmet on, and she pressed the button to open the door.
As it slid open, she giggled at the mock frustration on her husband's face.
"Aw man, you're still taller than me!" Ezra said as he entered.
"Not by much. Looks like I'm not the only one who's had a growth spurt," Col replied, enveloping the slightly shorter man in a in bear hug. "Welcome to the Clan, brother.
"Thanks," Ezra said with a wide smile. "I'll try to bring honor to it, and not start any wars—especially since there's just, what, nine of us now?"
Col shrugged. "Maybe, maybe not. One of our cousins has been searching for a new home for the Tribe, and found a few Mandalorian settlements. It's possible there may be more of us than we think.
"That would be great." Ezra replied, rubbing the back of his neck, like Sabine knew he did when he felt embarrassed or out of his depth. "Take some of the pressure off the new guy."
"Oh, and congratulations on becoming a Jedi Knight," Col said. "I know that's a big deal—especially now that you're one of us. I think there's only been two Jedi Mandalorians ever, and our family is related to both of you, he said proudly.
"Thanks, man," Ezra said, blushing as he flashed a goofy smile.
Outside the door there was a thump, followed by a giggle, before Ursa said, "Are you ready? We've only got about ten minutes until we need to be in place outside."
"Which really means 'twenty'" Sabine mumbled, earning a chuckle from both men.
"If you're not ten minutes early, you're late," Col said under his breath.
"Sure, bring 'em on!" Ezra called.
Seconds later, the door opened, and a tiny girl burst into the room, followed by a woman a bit shorter than Sabine, who held the hand of a slightly older girl in her right hand, and a tiny bundle on her left shoulder.
"Aunt Bine, Uncle Ezra!" the younger girl exclaimed, and immediately slammed into Sabine's legs before wrapping her arms around them in a tight hug. Okay—guess we don't have to worry about this one being shy…
"Hi," Sabine said, unwrapping the child's arms so she could crouch down to her level. "Why don't we try that again?"
The little girl jumped into her embrace, then bumped their foreheads together in a Keldabe kiss that made Sabine's unhelmeted head ring.
"Hana, sweetie, please wait at least five minutes before giving anyone a concussion," the woman chided as she laughed.
"She's fine," Sabine said, settling the little girl on her hip as she stood. "She's just really excited—just like I'm excited to finally meet her! Tell me, Hana—how old are you?"
"Free!" she said, holding up three stubby fingers.
"Wow, you're three years old? That's awesome!" Ezra said, and Hana immediately reached out her arms to him.
"Now that you've met the most…..exuberant…..of our bunch," Col said, walking over to wrap his arm around the woman's shoulders, "I'll introduce you to the rest of us. This is my wife, Sali…"
She nodded. "Hi, it's nice to meet you both—I've heard a lot about you."
"I…don't know if that's a good thing or not," Ezra mumbled.
Col chuckled, and placed his hands on the oldest girl's shoulders. "This is Lia, who's five, and this," he said, gently cupping the baby's head, "is Adya—she'll be three weeks old tomorrow."
"Would you like to hold her?" Sali asked Sabine.
"I do—but first I want to say 'hi' to this big girl right here," she said, crouching down again. "Hi, I'm your Aunt Sabine—and that's your Uncle Ezra."
"Hi, the little girl said softly. "Your armor is pretty."
Sabine smiled. "Thank you, cyar'ika. I like your helmet. It's got some really good design lines."
"Aunt Bine loves to paint—I'll bet if you wanted to paint your helmet, she would help you," Col spoke up.
"What about hot chocolate?" Lia asked, and the adults laughed softly.
"I don't mean tonight, ad'ika. But you're right—it's almost time for the fireside. Ba'Buir has your capes," he said, nodding toward Alrich, who was standing just outside the door. "Does anyone need the 'fresher before we go out?"
"Me," Sali said, raising her now-free hand, since Lia had taken a step forward to study the designs on Sabine's armor.
Sabine gave the girl an encouraging smile and a pat on the shoulder before she rose to her feet. She held out her arms toward her sister-in-law. "I'll take her now—and Ezra and I will help Mom and Dad get the other two outside—and keep themsafe around the f-i-r-e."
"Thank you," Sali said gratefully as she passed the baby to Sabine's waiting arms. "She's just been fed and changed, so she should be good for awhile," she said before leaving the room.
"Chocolate! Chocolate! Chocolate!" Hana began chanting as she bounced in Ezra's arms.
"Have fun with that," Col chuckled as he picked up Lia before leading the way toward the transparisteel doors leading to the small amphitheater visible at the back of the house.
"Oh, I will," Ezra said, and joined in the chant with his niece.
Whew—we're fiiiiinally at the end of the day that's been going on since Chapter 3!
Not much Caradin in this chapter…..but that's about to change, because this chapter is setting up some things that will make my fellow shippers very happy! Also, our boy's always had a thing for tough girls…..
Sabiiiiiiiiine! Love that girl and her sassy, artsy self! We'll learn more about the evolution of her relationship with Ezra as the story progresses. We'll also learn more about the mysteries of the Tribe….
Ursa is definitely different here than we saw even in her later episodes of Rebels—but with so many years of uncertainty about the safety of both her kids, plus being a grandma now, plus, the fact that she's been in this house with so many who have lost loved ones recently—she definitely wants to hold her family a little tighter.
Reviews are long-awaited reunions