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#and yes that hat says 'mermaids have more fun'
miazeklos · 5 days ago
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Summery Eastery vibes 🌱🐰
+ the mortifying ordeal of being caught in the act of taking selfies on the bus by the Covid police
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twistedtummies2 · a month ago
Mia Corazón (Commission)
Another commission I got via my FA page. This is from the same person who commissioned “Tick Tock” and “A Grim Dinner.” It features his OC based on Tick Tock the Crocodile, Tock Crockwork...BUT, more importantly, it also acts as an introduction to his newest OC, Caelyum De Macabre - a character based on Davy Jones (with hints of Tia Dalma) from “Pirates of the Caribbean.”  And it’s NOT A KINK STORY. HERESY, I KNOW. I had a LOT of fun with this one; my only major regret is that I couldn’t make it longer than it already is. XD Also, just for the sake of making sure people know, I did not make up the lyrics to the song featured here. They’re actually fan-made lyrics for Davy Jones’ theme from the movies, originally created by a YouTube artist called Fiajela. I highly recommend looking up the song - it’s been covered by her and Man on the Internet, and they even made a duet version with the two stitched together. Anyway...hopefully you all enjoy. :)
Valentine’s Day had come to Night Raven College. As you and Grim walked through the halls of the dark castle, you couldn’t help but chuckle at the decorations: pink paper hearts and streamers of white and crimson were everywhere, making it feel almost as if Heartslabyul had somehow managed to take over the entire palatial academy. Grim frowned up at you, trotting at your side, trident tail swishing as he went. “Nya? What’s so funny, Minion?” he demanded to know. “Nothing, nothing,” you responded with a shake of your head. “It’s just…everything looks so different.” Grim sniffed snootily, crinkling his nose at a poster of two young lovers embracing. “I don’t like it,” he remarked. “It’s all…mushy. It just doesn’t feel right for a School of Villains to be so…nya, what’s a good word…?” “Sentimental? Sappy? Saccharine?” “Gross,” was the word Grim chose, sticking out his tongue and shuddering like a small boy afraid of getting the dreaded cooties. You snorted with laughter. “Well, bring it up to the Headmaster,” you smirked, stuffing your hands in your pockets as you went. “I’d rather not,” Grim grumped. “Besides, we all know Crowley would just ramble on about it, or say he’ll get things done and never do…how come he’s Headmaster, anyway? He doesn’t do anything!” “Your guess is as good as mine,” you shrugged. “All I know is the only home I have is thanks to him, as is the only job. I’d like to keep both, thank you.” Grim shrugged back with an accepting sort of rumble as the two of you ascended the spiral staircase that led up to the Headmaster’s Office. Crowley had sent a call that morning; classes were dismissed for the day, so the university was a little quieter than usual: many of the students were off visiting family or loved ones, and those that were hanging around the campus still were largely engaged in…ahem…PRIVATE affairs. You, of course, could not leave; at least for now, Night Raven was your home, and as you were currently not in a relationship, Valentine’s Day wasn’t much different than any other day. Not that you minded much; it was still nice, in your mind, to see others happy and relaxed, and a holiday was a holiday, at any rate…though it seemed even St. Valentine’s holiday would not be saving you from helping clean up whatever mess Crowley needed dealt with this time. As you passed an image of two small, fluffy kittens holding a heart, a random thought came to your head: “Grim?” “Nya?” “Have you ever wanted to be in love?” “Not really,” the cat-like monster said. “Love is all…icky.” You frowned. “Icky?” you repeated. “All the kissing and hugging and…bleh!” Grim shuddered again, then went on: “Besides, it seems awfully difficult; makes you humans and even beast-men all crazy. I’ve got too much to deal with as it is, thank you very much! Nope. The World’s Greatest Mage won’t ever let love make him all soppy.” Grim stuck out his fluffy chest proudly at this, sticking his nose in the air. You smirked, and paused, reaching down to scratch behind his ears. He froze up…then purred and nuzzled into your touch. “Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…o-okay…maybe I love some things,” he admitted.
“Good kitty,” you teased, and snickered as Grim growled at you and half-heartedly swiped at your hand with a paw. You retracted it and the two of you kept moving. “Come on. The sooner we deal with Crowley, the faster we can get to our own stuff.” Grim nodded, as the pair of you drew nearer to Crowley’s office. You knocked on the door and waited for the sing-song call of “Come in!” before entering. Inside the office, things looked the same as ever, floating portraits of the Great Seven and all…aside from a vase of roses, plus a couple of heart-shaped ornaments on the desk, as well as the fact the purple-and-green curtains had been exchanged for solid red velvet drapes. Dire Crowley himself was seated behind his desk, sorting through paperwork, dressed in his usual attire. His feathery cloak rustled as he lifted his top-hatted head, and smiled at both yourself and Grim as you shut the door to the office behind you, his yellow eyes sparkling behind his Plague-Doctor-esque Venetian mask. “Ahhh! Prefect of Ramshackle Dorm! And the Little Monster!” he greeted warmly, rising and waving his hands, bidding you closer as he stepped around his desk. “Come, come, you’re right on time!” “On time for what, dare we ask?” Grim meowed. “Aren’t you celebrating Valentine’s Day, too, Headmaster?” you asked, politely. “Later,” Crowley smirked, winking and tapping the side of his mask’s long nose. “I’ll be entertaining a cute little fairy sorceress from the Land of Oz later tonight.” He let out a dreamy sigh, placing a hand to his heart. “Ahhh, Miss Upland…one day, you will be mine…” You and Grim gave each other a look, shrugged, then turned back to Crowley. “What’s the problem, then?” you asked, knowing better than to think this was a social call. By now, Crowley had firmly established yourself and Grim as the chief problem solvers of the Academy, so it stood to reason he had a mission for your both. “Oh! Yes, well,” Crowley muttered, and cleared his throat, adjusting and straightening his stance before going on in a business-like way: “As I’m sure you’ll both know, tonight there’s a special performance, directed by our own Vil Schoenheit, for the holiday.” “Nya? Isn’t it that play about the Sea Witch?” Grim checked, tilting his head. “Correct,” nodded the Headmaster. “And the Little Mermaid she assisted. We have a special guest coming to see the show tonight…” He reached into the folds of his cloak and pulled out a small photograph, handing it over to you. You knelt down to get closer to Grim’s level, and showed him the photo as you both looked it over: the picture was a portrait of a dark-skinned mermaid, with hair black as ebony and scales of red and gold. Her eyes were brown and soft and warm as milk chocolate, and a silver locket in the shape of a heart was clasped about her throat. “Oooh…she’s pretty!” Grim smiled. “Very,” you agreed with a smile of your own. “She,” the Headmaster spoke up, “Is Young Lady Mia Corazón. Her family is one of the richest in the Coral Sea.” “Which is why you invited her,” you guessed, trying not to sound as bored as you were. To your surprise, Crowley answered, “I didn’t invite her! She wanted to see the show on her own…but there is one difficulty: her family insists that she be accompanied by at least two bodyguards at all times. Much like the Al-Asims, they’ve had…ISSUES in the past, and if their daughter is going to be on land for a spell, her parents want to make sure she’s adequately protected.” “That’s fair enough,” you supposed. “Let me guess,” sighed Grim, crossing his arms, “You want us to be the bodyguards then?” “Well, I suppose I COULD hire professionals,” Crowley murmured, scratching his chin in thought. “But they can cost a lot…I’d probably end up having to cut your pay just to-” “Forget it,” you grumbled, while Grim growled and slapped a paw to his forehead. “We’ll do it. But something is worrying me, if you don’t mind my bringing it up.” “What’s that?” “Are you sure WE’RE the right ones for this job?” you pressed, then before Crowley could speak up, you went on quickly: “We’ll do it, like I said, but…are you certain we should?” “How do you mean?” the Headmaster questioned, tilting his head. “Well, we’re not from the Coral Sea,” you explained. “Wouldn’t someone from that area be a better choice? Perhaps Azul could loan out the Leech Twins for a day!” Both Grim and Crowley looked at you as if you had grown a second skull. “…Right,” you sighed, quickly catching on. “Azul. ‘Loan’ us the Leech Twins. And us NOT expect things to go HORRIBLY wrong, one way or another. Yeah, that was a dumb suggestion, sorry.” Crowley chuckled and shook his head. “I have every confidence in you,” he said, with a wide smile. “You’ve solved so many problems in the past! And it’s only for tonight! What could possibly go wrong?” “Well, great, now something will DEFINITELY become a problem,” Grim grumbled. “Look, it’s not that I’m ungrateful,” you pressed on, “Or even that I’ve got a whole lot else to do, just…I’m worried because I don’t have magic. And Grim is…well…Grim.” “Hey!” Grim yapped indignantly. “I could roast any bad guy’s butt if they tried to get to Miss Coronation!” “Corazón,” corrected the Headmaster. “Whatever,” shrugged Grim. Crowley rolled his eyes, then turned his head upward. “You do raise a good point though, Prefect,” he conceded. “I didn’t think of that…at the very least, you two will need some help.” You were just about to agree…when suddenly, you heard Grim shiver. Both you and Crowley looked down as the cat-like demon quivered and hugged himself, the fire in his ears flickering. “Are you okay?” you asked, worriedly. “Y-Yeah,” Grim answered with a slight chattering of his teeth. “But…does anybody else feel like it suddenly got colder in here?” Now that Grim mentioned it, you DID suddenly feel a light chill crawl up and down your back…and it wasn’t too long afterward that the source of the cold made its presence known. With an authoritative BANG, the Headmaster’s office door burst open, causing both yourselves and Crowley to yelp and jump in alarm. You turned around fast, and gulped nervously as you perceived the imposing figure of Chief Jehan – the school’s head of security, garbed as ever in his military style cap and long, black trenchcoat. “Headmaster,” the darkly dressed security chief intoned, bowing his head respectfully to Dire Crowley, “Forgive this intrusion.” “Oh, it’s alright, Claude,” Crowley sighed out, then frowned. “Whatever is the matter?” “I apprehended this rule-breaking scallywag in the school cafeteria,” Jehan stated, indicating a second figure. “Ow! OW! H-Hey, let go of me, you old…! I’ll bite your legs off, you hear me?!” You and Grim were surprised to see the short, thick-hipped, green haired figure struggling in the icy grip of Claude Jehan, trying to pull away as his ear was all but being yanked from the side of his cranium. “Tock?” the two of you chorused. Tock Crockwork just snarled as Jehan glared at him. He tried to return the glower, but it came off more akin to a wounded animal trying to look tough than…well…looking tough. Crowley’s frown deepened, and he stepped past you and Grim – uttering a quiet, “One moment please” – before approaching the chief and the unruly Octavinelle student. “What is the meaning of this?” the Headmaster boomed. The Security Chief pushed Tock forward, releasing his ear. Tock stumbled a bit and caught himself, massaing his sore lobe. “This young ruffian,” Jehan explained, “Started a brawl with Mr. Bucchi over the last Deluxe Menchi Katsu Sandwich. As the latter student was merely defending himself, I felt his punishment should be more lenient; both have been banned from the cafeteria for the rest of the week…but as the one who started the whole affair…” He trailed off as Tock growled rather pathetically, looking down at the floor sullenly. Crowley scowled and hummed thoughtfully, clearly trying to determine a fitting punishment. Your eyes, as well as Grim’s, widened, and you looked to each other. “Grim,” you whispered, “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” “I think so, Minion, but a show about a math teacher who’s also a criminal mastermind? Who’d want to watch that?” You facepalmed. “What are you two whispering about?” Jehan asked, suspiciously, as Tock and Crowley both looked to you as well. “I think I know a way to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak,” you suggested. “You mean, a way to deal with Mr. Crockwork while also dealing with your dilemna?” Crowley guessed. “Exactly.” “Dilemna? What dilemna?” Tock asked. You grinned.
“Thanks for sticking up for me, snack meat,” Tock groused, petulantly pouting as he walked by your side. “You’re the one who decided to pick a fight with the hyena,” you shrugged. “Honestly, I think I did you a favor.” “Nya…my Minion has a point,” Grim nodded. “Do you really think things would have been better if Crowley had decided to punish you himself?” “Or worse,” you put in, grimly, “Leave you to Chief Jehan?” All three of you shuddered, and Grim even crossed himself at the mention of the security chief. “Fine, I guess that’s fair,” Tock grumbled. “But I don’t like having to protect a fish filet from harm. I eat fish!” “Well, you won’t be eating Mia Corazón,” you sniffed. “Alright…guess I’ll just have to eat YOU instead,” smirked Tock, and licked his sharp teeth. Grim mewed and hid behind your leg. You blushed. “…We’ll worry about that later,” you grumbled, making Crockwork snicker with a wicked smile. “For now, let’s focus on getting you some actual lunch.” “You ARE an actual lunch,” snorted Tock. “I am not on the menu!” you snapped, flushed with embarrassment as Tock gave you a knowing grin. “Well…not till your work is done,” he teased, winking deviously, then smirking down at Grim. “Maybe I’ll have the little hairball for an appetizer, too…” Grim hissed at being referred to as a “hairball,” but said nothing. “Do you always have to be so antagonistic?” you sighed. “It’s what keeps getting you into trouble, you know.” Tock just shrugged carelessly, hips swaying as he walked side by side with you. “So, where are we heading?” he asked. “Can’t go to the cafeteria, and the Mostro Lounge is way too expensive…” “The Mystery Shop,” you answered. “I’m sure Sam’s got something in stock for us all to snack on before we head to the beach to pick up our special guest.” “Nya! Between my fiery awesomeness, my Minion’s brains, and lizard-breath’s strength, we’ll be the best bodyguards ever!” declared Grim. “Call me ‘lizard breath’ again,” Tock warned, “And we’ll be back down to two people, fuzz-face.” “Fuzz-face?!” Grim snapped. “How’d you like to BURN off a few of those calories you’re so proud of, hah?!” “Girls, girls, you’re both pretty,” you droned. The pair glared at you, then each other…then growled in unison as they stopped. “Thank you,” you sighed with relief. “Now, let’s be on our best behavior: I don’t want Sam’s Friends to give us a hard time…” As you spoke, your little trio reached the entrance to Mr. S’s Mystery Shop, and the three of you walked inside. Aside from a simple banner reading “Happy Valentine’s Day!” over the door, the shop was completely as it usually was…at least on the outside. To be fair, once you all entered the building, the store within seemed its usual self, too; no heart-shaped décor here, only the usual assortment of voodoo accessories. The strange part came when you not only realized Sam was nowhere to be seen…but you all also noticed who was tending to the store. Or rather, what. “Crabs?” all three of you gasped in surprise. Sure enough, crawling all over the Mystery Shop was an assortment of strange white sand crabs. Their shells seemed to have been made from smooth, ivory-colored stone…and as if the presence of the pale decapods wasn’t bizarre enough, their activities certainly would have gotten some unusual reactions. A few of the crabs were straightening out and sorting through items on the shelves, making sure everything was in top-notch condition. One crab was holding a miniature broom, while the other held a dustpan, the pair of them sweeping the floor. Still another crab was changing a lightbulb, while two more – clicking their claws encouragingly – were supervising. A bunch of crabs carrying a spray bottle and a wash cloth scuttled past you all, near your feet. Yourself and Croc stepped back, but Grim – with typical feline curiosity – leaned down and actually sniffed at one of the crustaceans… “ME-YOWCH!” he yelped, and jumped back, mewling and covering his muzzle after one of the crabs pinched his nose with their pincer. The crab seemed to strut away importantly afterward. “Heh…guess the crab cake bit back, huh?” teased Tock. Grim just growled and massaged his stinging snout. “This is new,” you muttered. “Where’d all these little guys come from?” “Cruel and cold, like winds on the sea. Will you ever return to me? Hear my voice sing with the tide: My Love Will Never Die…” The melodious voice soon sang into your ears, and you and your companions looked towards the source. In a corner of the shop, a lone figure was quietly mopping, and singing the lonely, haunting sea shanty you had heard. The figure was a young and slender man, dressed in a tan-colored jacket with ruffle-ended sleeves, and a brown hip-skirt. His legs were covered by dark beige trousers, while plain brown boots were on his feet. A fishnet scarf was loosely slung about his shoulders, almost like a shawl, and an orange muscle shirt festooned his abdomen. His hair was a curious pink hue, and done up in dreadlocks. “Ahem!” you coughed, catching the young man’s attention. He froze and looked up to you, blinking his brown eyes. For a moment, you noticed there was a look of pain and something…hollow in his face, as if something inside of him was missing and he longed to get it back. An overwhelming feeling of loneliness and sorrow seemed to wash over you…but it disappeared in an instant when the youth smiled. “Oh! Ahoy there! Didn’t hear you come in,” he greeted, bowing his head respectfully as he put the mop in its bucket and then walked towards you and your group. “Can I help you?” “Well, you can start by telling us who you are, and what happened to Sam,” Grim frowned. The young man chuckled, flipping his fishnet scarf over one shoulder. “Sam is taking the day off for the holiday,” he explained, then slowly added, “I don’t…make merry on Valentine’s Day, so I volunteered to keep the shop open and do some cleaning.” “Well, that answers one question,” Tock snorted, crossing his arms over his chest and lookin the taller youth up and down. “Mind answering the other?” “Oh! Right, right,” the young fellow chuckled, and cleared his throat before giving a mock-salute and answering: “Name’s Caelyum. Caelyum De Macabre. I’m Sam’s new assistant.” “Pleased to meet you,” you smiled, and shook Caelyum’s hand, and tilted your head. “Say…can I call you Cael for short?” The young man’s smile flickered, and he paused before quietly beseeching, “I’d…rather you didn’t, thank you.” “No problem, I’m sorry,” you apologized quickly. “Not at all, not at all,” the young man chuckled, and straightened his stance, recovering quickly. “So! What can I do for you, me hearties? Supplies, clothes?” “Food,” growled Tock. “I’m STARVING.” Caelyum chuckled and jabbed a thumb to one part of the shop. “You’ll find everything you need in that direction.” Tock nodded, and sashayed in the direction De Macabre had indicated. Caelyum smiled back at you and Grim in the meantime. “You’re the Prefect of Ramshackle Dorm, right?” he guessed. “That’s right,” you nodded. “It’s nice to meet you, then,” Caelyum smiled. “Sam’s told me all about you: he says you’re his favorite customer.” “He says that about everyone,” Grim snorted. Caelyum chuckled and knelt down. He extended a hand carefully. Grim sniffed it carefully…then smiled and allowed the shopkeeper’s assistant to pet him softly. “You have a beautiful singing voice,” you couldn’t help but comment. Caelyum looked up in surprise…then blushed a bit. “Oh, uh…you heard a little of that, did you?” he chuckled with embarrassment. “Nya! It sounded really sad, but…it was also really nice,” Grim mewed. “Thanks,” Caelyum said as he stood back up to his full height. “What song was that?” you asked, curiously. “I’ve never heard it before. Is it from your homeland?” Caelyum’s smile fell, and he looked askance. “Not exactly,” he murmured, then informed you aloud, in a matter-of-fact way: “It’s a song from the Coral Sea. I come from the Jubilee Port, near the Swamplands: same place as Sam. A…friend taught the song to me.” Catching the hitch in his voice, you smiled sympathetically. “It sounds like you two were close.” “We were,” Caelyum said softly. “Very.” “Nya…what happened?” Grim asked. Caelyum paused…then shrugged. “They left,” was all he said. Sensing the sensitive subject, you decided to drop the matter; Grim caught on and did the same. “How long have you been working for Sam? I haven’t seen you around before.” “Not long,” shrugged Caelyum, seemingly grateful the subject had changed. “He and I have some similar interests, and when I joined Night Raven, I applied for work.” “Oh, so you’re a first year?” “Yep.” “What house? Octavinelle?” you guessed, wondering why Tock wouldn’t have recognized the youth if so. “Scarabia, actually and weirdly enough,” laughed Caelyum, as if the placement struck him as some sort of very funny joke…he paused then leaned in and whispered: “Um…is it just me, or is the dorm head of that house a little…you know…how would you say it…?” “Too pure and innocent for this cruel, unholy world?” “…Yeah, that.” “Yes. Yes, he very much is.” The two of you were interrupted by the sound of Tock snarling in the food aisles. You all turned to see him trying to pry a bag of chips out of the pincers of one of the crabs, who looked very insulted to be interrupted in his work. “Hey! Can somebody make this crab cake let go?!” he snapped. “Oh, sorry!” Caelyum called out, and then snapped his fingers. Suddenly, every single crab inside the building froze…and then their claws and extremities retracted into their shells, leaving only a series of what looked like smooth, white stones scattered around the shop. With a second snap of his fingers, the stone crabs disappeared; there was no puff of smoke or flash of light. One second they were there…the next, they were not. Grim whistled, impressed. “Nice trick,” he murmured. “Is that your Unique Magic?” you asked. “Yep,” Caelyum nodded. “They’re called Locker Crabs, and you’d be surprised the kinds of things I can do with them…” “Cool!” Grim commented. “Hey, Tock!” you called out, hearing the rustling of snack food bags. “Leave some stuff for the rest of us, and hurry up! We need to get to the beach quickly!” “I’m hurrying, snack meat, I’m hurrying!” Tock called back dismissively. “The beach?” Caelyum spoke up, looking interested. “Why are you three heading there? What’s so important?” “We’re on a mission!” Grim cheered, puffing out his chest once more. “Oh, really?” smirked Caelyum, looking amused, and scoffed as he moved behind the front desk. “What for? Some sort of Valentine’s Day meeting, or something?” You frowned, sensing a bitterness to two particular words. “You mentioned you don’t make merry on Valentine’s Day,” you said slowly, approaching the desk and leaning on it. “What do you…y’know…have against it?” “Hm?” Caelyum murmured, then shrugged as he leaned back against the shelves behind the front desk. “Oh, well, it’s…not the day itself. More what it represents.” “Nya? What do you mean?” Grim asked, tilting his head. A shadow seemed to fall over Caelyum’s face, and he looked askance. Something icy and stormy flickered across his features. “Love,” he said, as if the word were some repellent toxin. You and Grim shared a look, then looked back to Caelyum. “Love is a lie,” Caelyum went on, seemingly talking more to himself than to either of you. “It’s like a parasite that burrows into your chest…and even once the sickness it spreads is cured, something in there remains, keeping you from ever knowing real peace. It pulls you along a blind alley, and just when you feel safe, it stabs you in every place it hurts most, and then leaves you to either heal on your own or die. It weakens your defenses, and confuses your resolve. And yet every year, every time this day comes around…I just see people acting like it’s the best thing in the universe.” He shuddered violently, looking positively ill. Grim meowed almost sadly. “I think love is mushy and gross, but…I don’t think it’s THAT bad,” he mewed. His words seemed to snap Caelyum out of it. The witch doctor’s assistant glanced up at you both…and, with a light chuckle, his helpful, friendly smile returned, the shadows departing in an instant. “Well…being mushy and gross doesn’t help,” he joked. Grim sniggered. Your own expression didn’t change, even as the employee leaned forward again. “Seriously, though, what IS your mission?” “We’re gonna be bodyguards!” Grim announced joyously. “Bodyguards?” “There’s a special guest coming to the show on campus tonight,” you explained. “The Headmaster assigned the three of us to look after her, since she’s a VIP.” “A really RICH VIP,” Grim added. “That’s our Headmaster,” Caelyum scoffed with a roll of his eyes. “So, who is this special guest?” “Mia Corazón.” Caelyum’s smile vanished, as if it had been smacked off his face. “Mia…Corazón?” he repeated. “Nya? Do you know her?” Grim asked. Caelyum didn’t answer, looking away; that hollow, haunted stare came to his face as he seemed lost in another world. “Mia Corazón,” he repeated again, then let out a soft, slightly hysterical laugh. “Of all the cursed days of the year…she chooses now…” Before you could ask what was wrong, Tock came lumbering over, arms loaded with various snacks and drinks. “There! That should be enough for all of us…or at least, for me,” he grinned, flashing you a wink that would have made you blush in an instant if your mind weren’t on other matters. He looked towards the assistant…then frowned, eyes narrowing. “Hey…who are you upset with?” The words once again snapped the brooding Caelyum out of it. He looked at Tock with surprise…then shook his head fast and brushed some of his pink hair away from his face. “No one. Nothing,” he insisted, and forced his smile back onto his face. “Now! Let’s, uh…let’s ring this up, aye?” In casual, business-like fashion, Caelyum charged Tock; you were grateful for the recent raise Crowley had given you as you paid for it all. The three of you then left the shop. Just before you exited, you turned to bid Caelyum one last farewell. He smiled and waved back… …But the moment you left, the darkness flooded his face once more, and he looked away, eyes smoldering like hot coals as he reached into his shirt… …Revealing the silver locket that was around his neck. The same sort in the photo Crowley had given you. The young man’s face became cold as an iceberg once more as he opened the locket…and sang to the tune the music box inside played. “Wild and strong, you can’t be contained. Never bound, nor ever chained. Wounds you caused will never mend, and you will never end…”
“Why did you ask him that question?” Tock Crockwork belched and grunted as he finished up his lunch, licking and sucking on his fingers before looking to you, cheeks bulging as he still chewed his food. “Whuh queshun?” he mumbled out through a full mouth. “About why he was upset?” Grim spoke up, tilting his head. “I mean, he certainly looked upset, so…” “That wasn’t the question he asked though,” you clarified to Grim, then looked to Tock. “You specifically asked, ‘WHO are you upset WITH?’” Tock swallowed and let out a hiccupping burp before speaking. “Mph…yeah, and?” he grunted, patting his stomach and licking his lips free of any crumbs from the sandwich he had devoured. “Well…why did you assume he was upset with someone?” “I didn’t assume, I knew,” snorted Tock, and slung his arms behind his head as the three of you neared the beach of Sage Island. “That was the same look I saw in the mirror every day when I thought of Leona, or those boys back home.” Knowing what had happened in his conflict with Leona, you gulped at Tock Crockwork’s words. “Well, I hope he wasn’t mad at us,” murmured Grim. You smiled thinly; you had a very good idea you knew who Caelyum was mad at, given the context of things…and you were very much hoping you were wrong. You had the sinking feeling those hopes would be dashed as the three of you drew closer to the beach…and a familiar-sounding song, accompanied by the tinkling notes of a music box, drifted through the greenery and into your ears… “Over waves and deep in the blue; I will give up my heart for you. Ten long years I’ll wait to go by: My Love Will Never Die.” The source of the singing soon became clear as you pushed past the last few bushes of the wilderness and stepped onto the open, sunny beach. There was a single white bench nearby; standing beside the bench was a man in what looked like an almost Spartan uniform…and seated upon it was a young woman, with dark skin and long, black hair, dressed in a red and gold dress. In one of her hands, she lifted the pendant of a locket; the source of the music box tune. The lady snapped the locket shut, and she and her chaperone turned fast when they heard yourself and your companions approaching. She smiled, chocolate-toned eyes lighting up with interest. “Oh, hello!” she chuckled, seemingly a bit embarrassed at being caught in her reverie, and stood up as her suspicious compatriot narrowed his eyes at you. “Are you…my bodyguards?” “Yes, ma’am!” chirruped Grim, proudly. “Mia Corazón, I presume?” you smiled, respectfully. “That is right,” the young woman greeted, bowing her head in matching respect and lowering her locket. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.” “Wait a minute…why do you need us to guard you?” Tock spoke up, and pointed to the Spartan-looking fellow. “Wouldn’t he be enough?” “Oh, that’s Firme. He actually has a date with his wife,” Mia answered, giving the man a teasing smile.
The guard blushed. “Miss Corazón, not in front of civlians!” he pleaded. Mia chuckled. “Sorry, Firme,” she apologized. “Now go on; I know she’s waiting for you.” Firme nodded gratefully, then glared at the three of you more seriously. “Protect her at any cost; we’re depending on you,” he ordered. “Aww, don’t worry, we’ll keep the little fishstick safe!” Tock smirked, cracking his knuckles and neck. “You can start by NOT calling her ‘fishstick,’” you droned, noting the nervous look on Mia’s face and the anger on Firme’s. You gave both an apologetic smile. “Sorry. He’s half-crocodile. Trust me, though, he’s a softy when you get to know him.” “HEY! I AM NOT!” snapped Tock, angrily. Grim just giggled. The interaction and your promise seemed to relax both denizens of the Coral Sea. Firme bowed to Mia, and then walked towards the beach…and kept walking, straight into the sea, until his head disappeared under the waves. “Well!” Mia smiled, and cheerily hurried towards your group. “Can we go see the show now? I don’t wanna be late!” “Of course…um…Your Excellency?” “Oh, don’t bother with titles like that,” the girl giggled. “Just call me Mia! Everybody does!” “Okay, Mia,” you chuckled, quite liking her warmth and energy. “Follow us, and stay close.” “I will,” Mia promised as the three of you set off along the beach. “Thank you, by the way; I hope this doesn’t cause you too much trouble.” “Quite the opposite,” grumbled Grim, remembering what Crowley had said earlier. “Why do you wanna see some silly show anyway?” sneered Tock. “Oh, it’s not silly!” exclaimed Mia. “The story of the Sea Witch and the Little Mermaid is important among my people…and besides, I think theater is exciting! I always enjoy seeing it!” “Hopefully our show won’t disappoint,” you smiled. Tock just rolled his eyes and scoffed. “I still think it’s for wimps,” he mumbled…then abruptly froze. The rest of you stopped, too, looking to the croc boy as he sniffed the air and growled. “What is it?” Mia asked. “Something wrong?” “Very,” Tock nodded. “We are being watched.” “How do you know?” you asked. “Instinct? Intuition?” Tock growled and narrowed his eyes, looking at you determinedly. “No, meat. We. Are. Being. Watched.” “By who?” whispered Mia, nervously. “I have an idea,” you murmured with some dread. Before Mia could comment on your remark, all three of you heard a sharp yelp, and turned to see that Grim had inexplicably toppled over. The feline-like creature sat up and massaged his bumped noggin. “Owwww,” he moaned. “What happened?” Mia asked, sounding concerned. “I dunno!” Grim whined out. “Just…s-something seemed to come up from under me and…” “GAHR!” You jumped as, right on cue, Tock toppled over as well. Then it was your turn, as you felt something shift under the sand where you stood, and you dropped to the ground. The wind was knocked out of you for a moment, but you managed to sit up just in time to see three large, round humps in the sand…which seemed to move of their own accord. The three humps began to trace a path, circling Mia, who froze up and squeaked like a mouse, clearly confused and frightened. It only got worse when, suddenly, more and more humps seemed to appear out nowhere: at least a dozen or more, which shot through the sand, burrowing through it with a barely-audible scraping sound… …Then, dust flew up as the shapes burst from the ground. As the dust cleared, you and your friends watched wide-eyed as a consortium of familiar white crabs toppled Mia Corazón, and – working together to lift her, carried her off across the beachside. “HEY! PUT ME DOWN! STOP!” Mia cried out, but the crabs wouldn’t listen, and soon vanished from sight. “Nya…we’re off to a good start with this job,” sighed Grim dismally. “After them!” you barked, and leapt to your feet as you dashed after Mia and her arthropoid captors, Grim hot on your heels. Tock grumbled sourly as he dusted himself off then jogged after you. “Taking orders from my lunch…I’m gonna eat that stupid, mask-wearing, feather-loving…!”
Mia cried out as the crabs carried her along the sand, her “volunteer” bodyguards soon out of sight. She tried to fight free, but the crabs pinched and held her fast, keeping her in place. She wasn’t sure how far or for how long they carried her…but suddenly they stopped, and she let out an “eep!” as they moved into a pillar, and pushed her up, allowing her to stand. The mermaid-in-disguise turned around, panting for breath as she watched the crabs swarm about each other…then, they seemed to coalesce and mesh together; their pale shells took on more colors; hints of pink, brown, and orange… …Until, finally, standing before her was a familiar young man with dreadlocks and a fishnet scarf. In his hand, he held a heart-shaped silver locket. “Come my love, be one with the sea. Rule with me for eternity. Drown all dreams so mercilessly, and leave their souls to me.” He snapped the locket shut at the end of the verse, and paused before uttering, in a mechanical, robotic tone, two words: “Ahoy, Mia.” Mia blinked slowly, absolutely stunned. “…C-Cael?” Caelyum blinked back and said nothing, his face emotionless and blank. Mia slowly smiled, her eyes lighting up…then squealed with joy and rushed forward, throwing her arms around the young man…who stood stiff and rigid, not even looking at her, as she hugged him close. “CAEL! I…oh, Gods, what do I even say?! It’s…it’s been so long…I’ve missed you so much! Where have you been?! Cael…Cael, I-I’m so happy…!” “Let. Go. Of. Me. You. BITCH.” Mia gasped as Caelyum harshly pushed her back, nearly knocking her over. Her heart sank as she stared at the young man, who glared at her, grinding his teeth and clenching his fists. She looked deeply hurt…and not because of the push. “Cael?” she whispered. “Cael…wh-what’s wrong? Why…why are you upset with me?” Cael’s eyes flashed with anger. “What’s wrong?! Why am I upset?!” he repeated. “What in Hades do you THINK is wrong?!” Mia flinched as the boy from the swamplands’ voice rose to a perfect scream. Cautiously, steadily, she approached. “Cael…please…I-I don’t understand. I…I’ve wanted to see you again for such a long time, and now-” “How DARE you?!” shouted Caelyum, silencing the aristocratic mermaid. “How dare you say something like that to me?! After what you did to me, do you expect to believe you’ve ever cared?!” “I…what…I do care!” Mia pleaded, and tears began to twinkle in her eyes. “Cael, what are you talking about?” Cael laughed; a dangerously unhinged, malicious sound. “Oh-ho-ho, you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about! You should!” he spat…then, the bitterness was replaced by pain as he went on. “Two years, Mia. Two years I waited, and you never returned. You…y-you broke your promise to me…and did you ever think of me in those two years? Did you think of me even once in all the time since, until now?” Cael’s eyes began to brim with tears of his own; he was shaking. Mia felt her heart sinking further in her chest. “Of course I did,” she said, softly. “You’re…you’re my best friend.” One could almost hear Caelyum’s last heartstring break. “Best friend,” he repeated, in a dead, soulless voice…then hung his head. “You still don’t get it, do you, Mia? You broke my heart, Corazón…” Head still hung low, dreadlocks casting shadow over his eyes, Caelyum De Macabre lifted one arm, and snapped his fingers…and Mia nervously stepped back as a swarm of crabs appeared to trail across his arm and mesh together…forming a silver cutlass. “…And now, I’m going to break yours. Literally.” Ominously, Caelyum began to approach. Mia felt panic rise in her, and started to back away…then yiped, almost comically, as she tripped on her own dress and tumbled back. “C-Cael…Cael, PLEASE!” she cried out, as the boy loomed over her, his face twisted in anger as he began to lift the sword above his head… “HEY! BACK OFF!” FWOOSH! A jet of blue flame shot between Mia Corazón and Cael De Macabre; the lad from the swamplands jumped back, then growled angrily, turning to face the source. You had finally arrive, with Grim at your side, both of you glaring at the bokor’s assistant. “That’s enough, Caelyum,” you warned. Cael sneered. “It’s not enough,” he hissed, “Until she endures the same amount of PAIN and AGONY I HAVE!” With a roar, he rounded about to try and strike Mia down…then froze in place when he found she had seemingly disappeared. Startled and caught greatly off guard, he was unable to avoid the green scaled fist that grabbed hold of the back of his jacket, and cried out as, with a roar, the owner of the fist hurled about seven feet away, sending him rolling through the send. His sword spun through the air before stabbing into the ground right at the edge of the shore. Caelyum coughed and snarled and spat as he got onto his hands and knees…then glared as he found Tock Crockwork – now in his full “true form” – glaring at him, fangs and claws bared. “Keep away from the fishstick, swamp meat,” he spat. “Thank you,” Mia whispered. Tock just smirked at her – somewhat cockily but not cruelly – then glarde back at Caelyum as yourself and Grim moved to stand beside him, all of you making sure to create a barrier before poor Mia. Cael rose to his feet shakily. “Leave her alone, Caelyum,” you said. “This is not your fight!” he snapped back. “Uh…yeah, it kinda is,” Grim snorted. “We told you, this is our job today!” “You don’t know who you’re protecting,” Cael viciously sneered, his shoulders trembling with fury, his fingers clenched so tight that his knuckles turned white as the bones under his skin. “She cursed me!” “Cursed you?!” Mia exclaimed. “Caelyum, I never did ANYTHING to you!” “Yes, you did!” Cael answered…and gulped back a sob before explaining: “You made me love you.” All eyes widened; you and your friends looked to Mia, then back at Caelyum. “Ohhhh…now the pieces are coming together,” Grim murmured. “I know the look in your eyes, meat, and it’s not love,” Tock said, darkly. “Not love as it should be, anyway.” “Cael…I-I’m so sorry,” Mia quavered. “Of course you’re sorry,” Cael scoffed. “Everyone’s sorry when it’s too late.” So saying, he lifted his hand…and the sword that had stabbed into the ground “dissolved” into a group of crabs. They scurried across the beach, crawled up his side…and reformed into a cutlass in his grasp once more. “Put the weapon away, Caelyum!” you beseeched. “It doesn’t have to be like this!” “Yes it does!” Cael yelled. “Don’t you get it?! I can’t be free! I’ll always remember! I’ll always feel that pain! Love is a curse; a curse that hurts me, every day of my existence…but after today, I’m going to change that.” He closed his eyes. You had a bad feeling you knew what you’d see when he opened them again…and you were correct. One of his eyes was suddenly surrounded by a fiery aura. “Today, I break the curse.” KA-ZAM! The familiar black cloud of Overblot surrounded the shopkeeper’s boy. Blue and orange light flashed in the gaps between the vapor as it swirled around the fellow from the swamplands…until finally, the mist parted. When it did, you all found that Caelyum De Macabre had gone through an alarming transformation. His brown-tinted clothes had vanished, replaced with a blue-gray uniform like a navy seaman. One of his arms was stuck into the sleeve of a long, tattered cerulean coat with gold lining, which hung about his shoulders almost like a cape. A blood red sash was lashed about his middle. While his left eye was surrounded by orange aura, a tattoo had appeared over his right, in the image of a pirate medallion. His dreadlocks had transformed into a head of writhing, wriggling, pinkish-purple tentacles, like those of a squid; each tendril’s tip was smeared with ink. His left arm had become a white crab claw, ink oozing from its joins; his right leg had become a crab’s leg, too, and was also oozing with Blot. A single black boot covered his one human foot…and he still held his cutlass in his one human hand. Cael grinned viciously, pupils pinpricks as he pointed his sword at you. “Yo-Ho, me hearties!” he bellowed. “Shiver ‘em from stem to stern!” At these words, the ground before his feet seemed to ripple…and then, a swarm of Locker Crabs came scrambling from the ground, racing towards your group. “I’ll take care of this!” Grim pronounced, and summoned a wall of flame. As the fire struck the crabs, they vanished in a cloud of silver smoke…but more just kept coming! Caelyum laughed and began to move towards your group, swaggering as the point of his crab-leg stabbed into the ground repeatedly. Seeing the approaching dark mage, Grim paused to hurl a fireball in his direction…only for Cael to split in half, crab legs showing in the “seam” of his being, as the fireball hurtled past without causing any harm. He stitched himself back together and kept moving forward, as if nothing had happened. Tock Crockwork roared and charged at Cael, swinging a punch at him…but De Macabre simply swept up his crab claw and, in a fluid, wrenching motion, whirled Tock about and flung him to the beach floor. He grinned with deranged excitement as he moved closer to yourself and Mia, leaving Tock to choke in the dust. “Hold them off, Grim!” you called out as he continued to scorch the crabs. “I’ll try!” Grim called back. “Run for it, Minion! RUN NOW!” And you did, holding onto Mia’s arm as you dragged her after yourself. With a wild laugh, Caelyum lifted his sword up…and then “melted” into a swarm of crabs, which scurried after the two of you as you raced along the beach. Behind you, Tock snarled, clutching his banged skull as he watched the horde of crabs vanish. He angrily kicked away a few that Grim didn’t manage to stop, and then charged forward. Grim panted; he was already growing weary. “I…I can’t hold them off!” he meowed. “There’s…there’s too many-EEP!” “Stop whining and shut up,” snarled Tock, whisking Grim up in one arm and sprinting on, the pair pursued by the remaining Locker Crabs. “We’ve got more important things to worry about, come on!” Unaware that your friends were on the chase, you hurried along with Mia Corazón. The crabs that made up Cael’s being clicked and scraped behind you with a deeply unsettling sound, urging you to go faster and faster. “Wait!” Mia gasped. “If…I…can…talk…to him…!” “I don’t think he’s in a mood to talk!” you replied. “Right now, all we can do is…!” You trailed off and stopped short as the crabs suddenly caught up with you…and then moved around you, reforming in front of you into a column. Thinking fast you looked around… …And were just in time to grab hold of sturdy tree branch, as a sword reshaped and then stabbed at you. You barely had a moment to parry the strike, the blade cutting a notch into the wooden limb you held. “Stay behind me!” you hissed to Mia, as Cael reformed fully. “So, it’s a duel then?” Cael cackled. “Alright! EN GARDE!” You yelped, instinctively blocking as the sword slashed at you once more. The slash was followed by a lunge; you jumped back quickly and parried that strike, too. CLING-CLANG-CLING-CLANG! The cutlass and the branch clattered against each other, the sound of the steel against wood that was tougher than it looked ringing out. Each time Cael tried to get around you to lunge at Mia, you blocked his path. You laughed softly, amazed you were holding out; guess one didn’t know how good they’d be at something like a swordfight till they tried! You ducked another slash, and responded by swinging your stick around. WHACK! Caelyum reeled as you managed to smack him across the face…then slowly turned back. He looked…annoyed. “Ow,” was all he said, almost sarcastically, before swinging his blade around again. You quickly lifted your branch… SWACK! And gulped nervously as the cutlass sliced it clean in half. “Oh, boy.” “HA HA!” laughed Cael, and lifted his crab leg, kicking you hard in the stomach. You coughed, dazed and winded as you crumpled to the ground. Now, nothing was standing between the enraged Caelyum and his prey: Mia. The mermaid with legs began to back away in fright…then cried out sharply as Cael thrust out his crab claw and grabbed her by the throat with it. A grin of evil triumph spread across his face as he lifted his weapon above his head. “And here we are at last,” he crooned with twisted delight, and squeezed, making Mia gasp for air. “Any last words, my dear?” Mia gulped…and looked pleadingly into the Swamplander’s eyes as she uttered five simple words. “Cael…please…I love you!” Just before the last three words were uttered, Cael had prepared to attack…but then he froze. The grip of his pincer loosened as she said those three golden words, and the demented smile vanished from his face. He hesitated, as if those words had caused something in his brain to just shut down… Which was all the opportunity you needed. CRACK! “GAH!” exclaimed Caelyum, and dropped Mia, who coughed as she hit the ground. His tentacle hairdo wriggled like a horde of angry snakes as he glared at you in rage: the stone you had thrown at his shoulder had hurt! With a furious roar, he swung his sword around his head three times, trying to cut you into pieces. You ducked and dodged each strike as fast as you could…only to fall back as Cael summoned a horde of sand crabs. You squirmed and grimaced as the crabs pinned you to the ground, acting like organic shackles. You winced as each time you moved, they pinched you hard, making you stay still. Caelyum smirked victoriously, and pointed the tip of his cutlass at your heart. “Tell me, Prefect,” he taunted. “Do you fear death?” “Do you?” CHOMP! Caelyum began to turn around towards the voice, his face etched with surprise…and stayed perfectly still, as if he’d become a statue, paralyzed in shock. The red marking of Tock Crockwork’s unique power – One Minute to Die – was evident on his left arm. “NOW!” the crocodile shouted, as Grim hurried over. The feline-like creature wasted no time: he focused his power, a bright blue aura surrounding him…before, with a spiteful hiss, sending a huge jet of flame towards Caelyum. Caelyum was sent flying through the air, clothing scorched, and rolled across the dirt, still in the position he had been stuck in. Only a few seconds later, he convulsed, and groaned, trying to stand up… …Only to find Tock looming over him. “This,” the crocodile hissed, “Is why I’M top of the food chain, snack meat!” WHAM! He spun around, slapping his tail across Cael’s face…and the Overblotting mage fell still and silent, rendered swiftly unconscious. The sword disappeared without warning from his hand, as if it had never been there. The crabs he had summoned all vanished in the blink of an eye: just like at the shop, one moment they were there, and the next they were not. All four of you – yourself, Mia, and your friends – sighed with relief. “Thanks,” you nodded to Tock as he helped you to your feet. “Hey, I’ve gotta protect my territory; that includes you,” Crockwork shrugged. You decided not to comment on that. “Are you okay, Miss Corazón?” meowed Grim, nuzzling up against the mermaid’s side. She smiled weakly and patted his head before standing. “Physically, yes,” she said. The teenaged girl’s eyes then lit up with concern as she hurried over to Cael’s side. “Cael…Cael, are you okay? S-Speak to me!” she pleaded. “He just tried to kill you!” Grim snapped out. “He wasn’t thinking straight,” Mia defended him. “Just…h-he didn’t understand…” She sniffled and bowed her head. “…C-Caelyum…I’m so sorry…” You and Grim shared a sad sort of look. Tock just looked confused, above all else. “What happened between you two?” the croc grimaced, crossing his scaly arms. “I think we’re about to find out,” you said, and pointed as silver mist began to wisp off of Caelyum De Macabre’s form. A moment later, a blinding white light surrounded the young man…and the mist formed a cloud, inside of which – as always seemed to happen – pictures from the past began to appear… “Tag! You’re it!” “I’ll get you! Ha Ha Ha!” In the swamplands of the Jubilee Port, a small boy with pink dreadlocks giggled and hid behind a tree by the riverbank. For several seconds, he sat anxiously…then yelped when, out of the river burst a familiar, dark face with flowing raven hair. “GOTCHA!” sang out the girl with the gold and ruby tail, and reached out a hand to playfully tap his shoulder. “No fair!” huffed the boy. “I always have to stay near the water; you never let me have an advantage!” The girl giggled and smirked teasingly. “Not my fault you’re a lousy swimmer,” she cooed. The boy grumbled and pouted. She smiled gently. “I’m sorry, Cael; I didn’t mean it,” she said, placing a hand on his leg… “AHA!” the boy laughed, and tapped her hand before jumping away. “You’re it again!” “HEY! THAT’S CHEATING!” The two laughed as the girl swam through the river, chasing the bayou boy up and down the banks…before finally leaping out of the river with a victorious cry. “RAAAAH!” “EEK!” Young Caelyum yelped as he was thrown to the ground. The girl with the fish tail grinned, flippers wagging happily as she kept him pinned. “Gotcha again!” she sang out. Young Cael giggled and wiggled under her. “Hey, lemme go!” he demanded with a slight laugh. “Hmmmm…if I do, will you just tag me again?” “…Maybe?” The mermaid glared…and tickled her friend with her tail. Cael squealed with laughter before flashing an evil smile. “Ohhhhh, you wanna play that way, huh?” He tickled her back and the two rolled across the bank…before yelping and splashing into the river. A moment later, both rose from the depths Caelyum coughing and floundering. “Help! Mia, help! I’m drowning!” “I’ve got you, hold on!” Mia said, and helped Cael back to shore. The boy sighed with relief and began to wring out his clothes. “Thank you,” he gasped out. “No problem,” Mia smiled. “I’m sorry you got all wet…” “It’s okay; I’ve got other clothes,” Cael smiled. Mia nodded, then smiled a bit more sadly. “I still should have been more careful: there may be more clothes, but there’s only one Caelyum.” Cael blushed. “Hush, you’re just teasing me now…” “No. I’m not,” Mia said seriously. “You’re my best friend, Cael.” Cael blinked, pausing in his activities. “…But…don’t you have other mermaid friends?” “I may have OTHER friends, but you’re my BEST friend,” smiled Mia. “And there’s only one of you. I don’t know what I’d do without you.” Cael blinked again…then smiled sentimentally. “Heh…well, um…you’re my best friend, too, Mia. And, uh…a-and I feel the same.” “I’m glad,” Mia smiled. A pause. “You should really suck less at swimming though.” “Oh, hush. Say! Maybe you can teach me?” “Sure!” That word seemed to be a cue, for the scene changed to a few years later; the same river on the bayou, the same boy and girl, just a little older. “MARCO!” “POLO!” The Mermaid floated with her upper half above the water, eyes closed, flapping her tail as she blindly searched for her friend. Cael would pop up now and again with a gleaming, gloating grin as he watched her try to find him: he’d learned to swim VERY well in the years since that time playing tag. “MARCO!” Mia called out again. “POLO!” laughed Cael. “Oh, this is impossible, you’re too fast!” “Suck less at swimming,” teased Caelyum. “I’m a MERMAID, all we DO is swim!” “You can walk!” “I need a potion or a spell for that,” huffed Mia, and turned around, trying to feel about for her friend. Cael smirked and dove under again, swimming cautiously around her in the wide river… …But as he popped up again, he was due for a terrible sight. He gasped as he saw Mia blindly reaching closer to the shore…where a venomous serpent glared at her oncoming form almost hungrily… “MARCO!” “MIA, WATCH OUT!” Confused, Mia opened her eyes…then gasped as she saw the snake rearing back to bite her! She pulled away just in time, and at the same moment, Cael glared and snapped his fingers. The snake heard a clicking noise, and turned its head to find a white crab snapping its pincers. The pincers swung towards its throat… SNICKER-SNACK! And that was the end of the snake. Mia swam back to Caelyum’s side as she snapped his fingers again and the crab disappeared. He hugged her close. “Are you okay?” he whispered, worriedly. “Yeah…i-it didn’t get me,” she panted with relief, and squeezed him tightly. “Thank…th-thank you…” Caelyum smiled warmly and returned the hug…then froze up as Mia leaned up and kissed him on the cheek. “Thank you,” she said again, and nuzzled against his bare chest. Cael blinked…then blushed red as a tomato and grumbled. “…Hey, what are friends for…? More time passed, and the swamp disappeared. The scene now became a lonely pier. On it sat Caelyum and Mia, who was now in full human form. “Do you really have to go?” he whispered. Mia nodded sadly, hanging her head. Cael bit his lip, and looked away, tragedy in his eyes. “…When…w-when will you be back?” he asked, timidly. “I don’t know,” Mia admitted sadly, then smiled gently up at her friend. “My mother said I need to start learning more about the family business; spending less time on land and…well…with you.” Cael frowned and clenched his fists. “I see.” Mia’s smile fell…and she gave Caelyum a hug. He relaxed. “She’s set in her ways,” she said softly. “But I will never forget you. And I WILL come back.” “Do you promise?” “Of course. You’re my best friend,” smiled Mia…then reached into a bag she had with her, stationed between the two. “Here…I have proof…” Cael tilted his head as out of the bag she pulled two silver necklaces with heart shaped lockets. She gave him one, and clasped the other around her neck. “What is this?” Cael asked, crinkling his nose in confusion. “A sign that we both share the same heart,” Mia said, and giggled. “That’s the really sappy way of saying it, anyway. Put it on and open it!” Cael did, and at the same time he opened the locket, Mia did too…and soft, beautiful melody chimed from the music box contained. Caelyum’s eyes widened. “That’s the song you taught me,” he recognized, and looke dup to Mia. “The one about the pirate and the goddess of the sea?” Mia nodded. “It’s your favorite…my favorite…OUR favorite,” she said gently, and took Cael’s hands in hers, looking into his eyes with deep-rooted affection. “And as long as we share these lockets, share these songs…we’ll never truly be away from each other.” Caelyum smiled weakly. “I don’t know about that,” he chuckled, wryly. “But…thank you, Mia.” He paused. “You…you know I love you…right?” Mia blushed. “Yes. And I love you too.” Cael gaped. “You do?” “Of course, silly! You’re my best friend!” Cael blinked…then smiled and shook his head wearily. “Yeah…I know,” he said softly. “I…I know.” A pause…and the pair began to sing together to the mingled tune on their music boxes as they watched the sun sink on the horizon beyond the sea. “Warm and welcoming as the sea, someday I will return to thee. Hear my voice, sing with the tide: Our Love Will Never Die.” Time passed once more, but the music box still played. The next scene played in silence, as Cael lay on his bed silently one night. He hummed to the tune on the locket, and glanced sorrowfully towards a calendar on his wall. Every date was crossed out with a red X. He sighed…then snapped the locket shut…before a lightbulb seemed to go off over his head, and he reached towards his book case, grabbing a specific spell book… This short tableaux was followed by another as Caelyum was now found…underwater. His lower half had become a white-scaled fish’s tail as he swam through the water, using a spell that would turn him into a merman for a few short hours. He’d taken a boat out to the coordinates where he knew Mia lived. Now, he swam quickly and quietly through the city, looking for Mia. His eyes darted this way and that, seeking some sign of his long lost friend; two years without any sort of contact – never a call, never anything written – and he was now so close to seeing her again! He smiled wider as he moved into one of the higher rent neighborhoods of the underwater area, carefully brushing past other, natural merfolk going about their business. His heart was beating fast in his chest; when he found her, he’d tell her everything. How he felt, how much it hurt to be without her, how much he never wanted to be separated again! Then he found her, as he turned an alley…and that fast beating heart seemed to skip a beat… …As his face filled with sorrow. Only yards away – never noticing he was there, he saw a strong, burly-looking merman with blonde hair…hugging his Mia and kissing her full on the lips. He clamped his eyes shut…and swam away, out of the city and back towards the surface. His tears were lost with the tides. Thus ended the vision, as the blinding light faded, leaving an unconscious Caelyum De Macabre lying on the ground, back to his usual self. “…Prefect?” “Yeah, Grim?” “Is it, like…a requirement that we stand here for several seconds in total silence after we see those?” “No, I think it just happens.” “Ah. Okay then.” Tock Crockwork said nothing. A few moments later, Cael groaned and began to stir. He blinked his eyes and clutched his pink-haired head as he started to sit up. “Ugh…what…wh-what happened?” he slurred out. “You tried to turn my food into shish-kabob,” droned Tock, thumbing towards you. “Shut up,” you grumbled. Confused, Cael turned towards your voices, and looked about to say something…until he heard sniffling and whimpering. He turned…and found the teary-eyed face of Mia staring back at him. “C-Cael,” she whimpered…then let out a squealing cry that caught him off guard as she threw herself upon him and began to cry. “CAEL, I’M SO SORRY! I’m so, so sorry…please…please, I’m sorry, PLEASE…!” Caelyum, as you might imagine, looked beyond uncomfortable…and with a growl, he managed to push Mia off of him. She whimpered like a kicked puppy as, without a word, he got to his feet and turned away from her, one hand on his chest, clutching his silver locket. “Sorry isn’t enough,” he answered, coldly. Mia gulped…and stood up. “Cael…please don’t walk away,” she begged. “Why not?” Caelyum snarled back over his shoulder, and began to stumble away. “Because I love you!” Cael stopped. He didn’t turn around…but he stopped. Mia paused…and took a deep breath. “I love you,” she said, firmly now, not desperately. “I…I always loved you, but…but I was…I don’t know, I…I was worried…” She hung her head and paused before going on. Cael turned his head slightly to show he was listening. “When I returned to the sea, my mother didn’t want me to ever go back to the land. She forbid it. She told me I had to stay under the water, and…and find a proper husband. She told me to forget about you, and…that merman you saw? He was…my betrothed.” Cael growled. “WAS,” Mia pointed out, and then went on quickly: “Cael, I could NEVER forget you, and I could NEVER stop loving you. Those two years…they were agony for me. That time in the alley…I asked him to kiss me because I wanted to show him we WEREN’T right for each other. He agreed; there just…wasn’t a spark. We liked each other, but…we both knew it would be wrong.” She swallowed, and lifted her head. “So…we both spoke to my mother. And…she realized what she’d been doing was wrong. The very next day, I went back to the swamplands; I looked everywhere for you…you weren’t there.” Silence. “I’m so sorry, Caelyum,” she sniffled. “I’m…I’m so-” Cael stopped her with a raised hand…and slowly turned towards her. All of you were surprised to see tears in his eyes. “…I just tried to kill you.” “Yes.” “I ran off over this whole misunderstanding.” “Yes.” “All this pain, all this time…and you really loved me?” “Yes.” “And…you…still love me? After all that?” Mia smiled. “Yes.” Cael blinked…then let out a wet laugh. “Wow,” he chuckled. “I…I guess swimming isn’t the only thing we both suck at. I mean…we’re n-not very good at this whole ‘relationship’ thing, either, are we?” Mia shared a sniffling laugh…and the pair promptly ran into each other’s arms. “I’m so happy I found you,” Mia sobbed with joy. “I’ve missed you so much…” “Not half as much as I’ve missed you,” Cael choked. The pair squeezed each other…then backed up, holding each other’s hands and staring lovingly into each other’s eyes. “Play the song you sang long ago,” Cael began. “And wherever the storm may blow,” Mia continued. “You will find the key to my heart,” both finished. “We’ll never be apart.” “Aaaaand…kiss,” you murmured to yourself with a smile, as the pair did exactly that. Tock snorted, rolling his eyes as Grim stuck out his tongue and grumbled something about “soppy mush.” The two lovebirds parted after a few seconds…then seemed to remember you were all standing nearby, and blushed before backing away from each other like scalded cats. “Um…s-sorry,” Caelyum mumbled. “About trying to destroy us, or for that sappy display?” droned Tock. “Because I can forgive one of those…” “It’s the destroying us part, isn’t it?” you guessed. “Yyyyep.” Cael hung his head and shuffled his feet guiltily. “…I’ve…had a lot of pain bottled up for years,” he said silently. “And…when I heard she was coming here…I…well…” “It’s alright,” you soothed, moving closer. “I can understand. And for the record, we won’t tell the Headmaster.” “Nya…or Chief Jehan,” Grim added. “Claude Jehan?” Mia spoke up, and tilted her head. “Is he really as scary as they say back home? The Ashengrottos and Leeches have a LOT of stories to tell.” “I’d imagine,” you snickered. “And no. He’s not that scary.” “Right. He’s WORSE,” Tock responded. “Amen,” you and Grim chorused. Mia gulped nervously; Cael chuckled softly, smiling at her with puppy-eyed affection. “I…hope he’s not going to be at the play tonight,” she said slowly. “Trust me, you’ll be fine,” you soothed. “Well, we won’t be if we don’t get there on time!” Grim reminded you. “We’re already behind schedule, thanks to all this!” “The hairball has a point,” nodded Tock, stiffly, then grumbled under his breath: “I still say it’s all for pansies, though…” All of you chuckled…except Mia, who took Cael by the hand. “Can…can he come, too?” she asked, shyly. Cael looked shocked, as did Grim and Tock. You just smiled wider. “If he wants to,” you answered. Cael blinked…then grinned so wide his face nearly seemed to split in two. “Please!” he nodded eagerly. “Then come on!” you called, and gestured for the reunited lovers to follow. “Let’s get moving before my pay gets docked! I have a pet to feed, you know!” “I AM NOT YOUR PET!” snapped Grim, while Tock cackled with amusement, snapping his fingers and resuming his humanoid form. Caelyum De Macabre and Mia Corazón just smiled and squeezed each other’s hands, following at a steady pace. It took longer than it should have to reach the theater, in the end, but you still made it in the nick of time. When asked why it took so long, you had an honest answer: Cael and Mia were so busy staring into one another’s eyes with everlasting love, it made getting there quickly difficult. In your mind, and theirs, it was more than worth it.
 The End
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crazydemigod666 · 3 months ago
Jolly Sailor Bold
Had this idea swimming in my head for a while and had to write it down to work on other stuff so have a lovely little drabble!
Word count: 2410
Ships: Intruality, Loceit, Prinxiety but the pirates are gay for everyone (no R*mr*m!!)
TW: mentions of killing, drowning and disembowelments, kissing, sexual innuendos cause Remus
Summary: Roman, Patton and Logan are pirates captured by a ship out looking to arrest them. Instead of turning them in for the pretty high reward (of which especially Roman was very proud of accumulating) they decide to steal their ship instead, valuables and all, to rub it in that they got bested (really, it was just because of sheer bad luck and someone tipping off their route) .
They decide to drop them off in a small rowing boat in the middle of the ocean, too far into the current to make it to the shore they see in the distance, slowly either dying from starvation or dehydration. But that is not what they're worried about.
@gattonero17  @someoneiwasnt @fantasticfangirl21
Let me know if you would like to be added! ✌ 💜
You see, they were planning on searching for a certain place, a hidden, supposedly non existent place filled with riches beyond your imagination. But to get there, you had to pass a notorious bay, even more notorious for ships going under than Shipwreck Cove:
Mermaid Bay
And as bad as their luck was, they had one lantern, along with the full moon, ready to bring their marine murderers closer to their boat.
"Mermaids don't exist" Logan insists, even though his nerves are as frayed as those of his frightened companions.
"Well, shiver me timbers, I didn't know I was non-existent" a voice chirps from the side of the boat.
The three men scream till their lungs give out, the voice gone as soon as it was there.
"Did you have to jinx us, Logan?" Roman swats at him.
"There is no proof that was a mermaid" he says hesitantly, holding onto his glasses for dear life.
"You hear that Remus, no proof whatsoever" a new voice says, and they slowly turn to seen a man leaning inside of their little boat.
"Although, you'd think the tail gives it away, or the fact we appeared from the dark murky waters, don't you think?" the unknown man grins sharp fangs at the trio, draping a golden scaled tail up from the water.
The three men scream again, holding each other tight around the lantern, not in the slightest helping with providing comfort, although it's better than nothing.
"Good heavens, they sure scream a lot" the man, Remus, apparently, sticks a finger in his ear. How he doesn’t tear it open with the claws he has on his fingers is a mystery. Then again, everything mermaid is a mystery to man.
"It's a known tactic for prey to scre-"
"We're prey???" Patton yelps.
"Why, dearie, you're not exactly predator in these waters, are ya?"  Remus swims closer towards him. "Although I have to say, you're one of the cuter ones we've caught. I'd even call you a snack" the merman winks.
"Did the murderous merman just flirt with our first mate?" Roman whispers in Logan's ear.
"I believe this is called 'playing with your food', captain."
"Oh honey, if we wanted to play with you, we'd let Virgil have some fun with you" the golden eyed merman leans on his elbows, getting closer than is comfortable near them. More importantly, he was handsome as Hell.
And so was his friend.
"W-who's Virgil?" Roman dares ask.
"Ooh, hear that Janus? He wants to get to know Virgie," Remus grins a fanged grin.
"That's a pretty name" Roman mutters under his breath, sadly not soft enough to go unnoticed.
"Yours isn't too bad either, captain Roman", Janus tips the hat from his head, diving backwards and sending it upwards until in lands on his head moments after. "But if you're so interested in our little brother, why not call him?"
"Call him?" Logan asks carefully. "Why would we call upon another one of you?"
Remus hisses, or laughs, Logan supposes, judging by how he casually leans on his arm on the bow.
"Well, three of us, three of you. Seems fair doesn't it?" he circles around the boat, and his emerald scales glitter in the moonlight, enhanced by the light of their lantern. "Besides" he dives under the surface only to reappear next to Patton's face , "I think I would like to claim the eye candy over here. Janus and Virgil can have the rest of you."
"Please don't kill me" Patton whimpers as Remus boops his nose.
"Awww", Janus puts his hands behind his head, slowly swimming up and down, the water eerily calm. "He thinks we're just gonna kill him like that. Adorable."
"So, you're not going to kill us?" Roman asks hopefully.
Janus grins, and god damn it, does it look enchanting even with those fangs and scales.
"That depends" he picks at his nails. "If you entertain us enough. Especially Virgil. If he likes you enough, that really says something."
"Okay, so" Logan moves a little closer, "if we manage to convince you we are...amusing, you won't eat us?"
Janus swims up to him, face closer than was necessary and Logan swore that if he didn't drown in the salty waters he would do so in his golden eyes.
"I never said you weren't already amusing, sailor."
"But, the offer still stands, right?" Patton pulls Logan a little closer inside the boat.
"Won't promise I won't eat you one way or the other" Remus hums as he gently strokes his arm and Patton pretends the redness in his cheeks isn't from how enticing Remus looks but rather from adrenaline.
Goddamn mermaids
"Yessss, the offer still stands" Janus lazily swims around the boat, aware of how much Logan is tracking his movements. "So, what do you offer us?"
Roman gestures for his companions to gather closer, trying to steel his nerves.
"You know they will eat us either way, right?" Roman points out.
"Of course, but we don't exactly have a choice" Logan replies.
"You don't know that" Patton looks over his shoulder towards the two mermen, rippling the water around them.
"Maybe they won't if we convince their brother we're not...snacks"
"We don't even know who this Virgil is!" Roman exclaimed.
"You could have just fucking asked" a new voice booms from behind them.
And for the third time that night, the trio screamed.
"Mind your fucking language!" the voice says.
A glittering array of purples and blues glides near the boat, a tail long and slender, fins rolling like silk. Gold, gems and pearls be damned, they were littered across scales belonging to creatures grinning from ear to ear, having their residence in waters so dark they hid them from mortal eyes. Whether it was a curse or a blessing they were lucky enough to gaze into the eyes of not one, but three of them that night, they did not know for sure.
But for Roman, he was already lost in the eyes of the one before him.
"H-hi" Roman half waved at him.
"So far for impressing Virgil" Logan sighs.
"So, you have decided not to kill these three, then" Virgil yawns, large canines visible as he does so.
"You did ask us not to" Janus tips the hat over his face has he drifts along the surface.
"And when do you ever listen to what I ask of you?" Virgil rolls his eyes.
"We listen to you every time!" Remus swims up to him. "We just never do what you say."
"Hold up, hold up" Logan forms a T with his hands. "You ordered them not to kill us?"
"I made an effort to, yes" Virgil glanced in his direction, and Logan understands how Roman got lost in his violet eyes. "I did not expect them to listen though."
"Oh, okay" Roman straightened his back as he managed to break away his stare. "Not that we're not grateful, but, why, exactly did you spare us?"
Virgil sighed, rolling underneath the boat, sending it slightly  adrift as he emerged from the other side
"You don't remember me, do you, Roman?"
"" Roman wondered, looking at his mates for help but finding none. "Have...Have we met before? I'm sure I would have remembered a beautiful merman like you-, I mean, any mermaid really, not that you're just a regular merman, obviously you're gorgeous, but I meant like-. Just-, you know what I mean!" he waved his hands around frantically.
Virgil chuckled, and man, Roman was sure the person who came up with the word 'bubbly' had listened to Virgil laugh to write it down.
"You never saw me like this" Virgil said eventually.  "Last time you saw me, or heard me, you were fending off half a dozen men from a sacred pond near-"
"Shadow Valley Bay" Roman finished for him. "The Voice of the Sea" he leaned towards him. "That was you."
Janus clapped his hands, still holding his hat hostage. "Well done, captain, he remembers."
"Roman, you met a mermaid and you didn't even tell us??" Patton stared at him in shock.
"I didn't meet him, I just..." he looked back at the merman. "I was there on a job, before I even had my ship. We were going to find some treasure to help pay off a debt our captain had, but, they were going to ransack that sacred grove, destroy the pond, I just...I couldn't do that. I'm a pirate, not a brute."
He sighed deeply, staring at the glistening rainbow underneath the water. “When I was there, they cornered me, I had nowhere to go, until I heard a voice coming from the water..." He looked at the reflection of the moon, recalling the memory. "So I jumped in."
"You heard a voice calling out of nowhere and you jumped into the water blindly", Logan scoffed. "As expected of you, cap'n."
"Hey, it paid off, didn't it?" he gestured towards Virgil, "I just didn't know the voice belonged to a merman!"
"I can't believe you weren't joking about that, Virgil" Remus cackled. "He actually did jump in after you!"
"When do I ever joke about stuff like that?"
"Usually you don't. Your humour sucks."
Virgil hissed at him, and the trio was suddenly very aware that even though they seemed friendly, the three mermen could easily rip them apart, drown them, or disembowel them, not necessarily in that order.
"Anyway", Logan interrupted the hissy fit. "So you two have met before, I assume you're grateful for Roman fending of the destruction of that sacred place, so, is this, a form of payment?"
"Payment?" Virgil smiled innocently, "Oh no, the payment was us murdering the men that stole your ship." He gestured behind him, and surely enough, they could make out the outlines of their ship laying still.
"I'm not sure what to do with you three though", he circled them once more. "You see, we've already had our meal for months to come."
"Yet, what to do with free breakfast, dinner and dessert?" Janus joined his brother.
"You just freed our ship for us, surely that would not mean anything if you murder us now?" Patton chided.
"Hmm, true, true. I suppose, we could still hold you up to your end of the deal", Remus now completed the trio of yellow, purple and green dancing around the little rowing boat
"Entertain?" Roman asked, already getting distracted by the colours in the water.
"Entertain" the mermen mused.
"What should we do" Logan whispered frantically, "we don't know what they like!"
Slowly but surely, they noticed a low humming surrounding them, the melody soothing and charming in the silence of night.
Upon one summer's morning, I carefully did stray
"They're singing" Patton gasped. "Guys, they want us to sing."
"It seems so, but, is this a good idea?" Logan leaned towards the first mate.
Roman got up, carefully walking to the center of the boat as to not fall overboard.
"Captain?" they asked
"Down by the walls of Wapping, where I met a sailor gay" he gestured to the two of them.
Logan crept over, sighing as he did so.
"Conversing with a young lad, who seemed to be in pain"
Patton moved to the other side, eyeing the mermen warily as they continued their harmony.
"Saying William when you go I fear, you'll ne'er return again."
My heart is pierced by cupid
I disdain all glittering gold
The sailors each spread out, balancing the boat best as they could while keeping track of the song and the movements in the water, the merman each getting closer.
There is nothing can console me
Patton locked eyes with deep green emeralds, feeling his knees get weak.
But my jolly sailor bold
Glittering gold met with ice cold blue, framed behind thin glass slates.
There is nothing can console me
Roman fought to keep his mind from wondering as the violet irises kept their gaze upon him, unaware of the hands cupping his face as those eyes crept closer.
As they drawled out the last notes, the trio felt their gaze wondering downwards, until they had sang their last words, silenced by another set of lips that carried out the remaining words, and the cold of the sea engulfing them.
Roman woke up coughing, gasping for air as he rolled around the wooden deck. A deck that was spacious enough for him to roll upon. A deck that was definitely not there underneath him last time he was awake. He looked around, finding Logan and Patton passed out next to him.
"Logan, wake up!" he kicked him gently in his side.
"Mermaids!" he yelped, sitting upright in an instant and waking Patton up with him.
"Where?" he looked around, disappointingly finding not the sea, but the wooden railing of a ship around him.
"Are we", Roman got up sluggishly, holding himself up on the railing. "Are we on our ship?"
A quick glance around confirmed his assumption, and he moved over to check his surroundings. He saw the ship was leaving Mermaid Bay, leaving the stretch of sea behind them at a slow, comfortable pace.
"Did we-", he glanced at his friends, "last night...Virgil?"
"Remus" Patton hummed.
"But we-"
"In the water-"
"Hat" Patton pointed to Roman's head, clearly missing his hat.
"Nah" Roman waved it aside, instead taking his place behind the helm and ordering the others to check for anything unusual, setting course for the closest port they could find.
In the distance, glittering scales of yellow, green and purple basked in the sun upon the rocks:
But my jolly sailor bold
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helenalikesbtsnow · 4 months ago
The Ongoing Struggles of Being A Mall Gay (Part 1/3)
Read on ARCHIVE OF OUR OWN or here on tumblr below the cut
Summary: Hoseok works at Build-A-Bear and Yoongi works at the Orange Julius that gives them discounts. Warning for gratuitous overuse of American mall culture.
Hoseok is leading around a dog on roller skates. Not a real dog, though that would be fun. They named the dog Clifford, though he is neither big nor red. Hoseok just looked at the dog one day and decided his name was Clifford.
Clifford has pink sparkly roller skates and he’s being led along on his pink sparkly leash by Hoseok who is having way too much fun with him. He’s tried to teach Clifford to roll over, but he’s filled with polyester stuffing and therefore is unable to understand even the most basic of commands. He’s absolutely killing it in the “sit!” game, but that’s the only thing that he’s mastered. You don’t even want to see the disappointment in everyone’s faces when they tell Clifford to fetch and he just sits there, dead in the eyes.  
The mall isn’t really busy enough at this hour to rationalize Hoseok playing around with Clifford, but it’s not for any passersby’s amusement. Hoseok is having a blast all by himself thank you very much.
After a few minutes longer than anyone would have expected, he goes to sit by the stuffer. Hoseok picks up a few pieces of fluff off the floor that someone didn’t sweep up, and Taehyung’s head practically pops up out of nowhere from behind the giant contraption.
“Did you notice the new guy?” Taehyung asks.
“Um, what?” Hoseok inquires. Last he checked he was the manager and new hires go through him before anyone else. He would’ve noticed a new a guy. He would’ve hired a new guy since Seokjin doesn’t like to do it.
“No, not here,” Taehyung rolls his eyes. “I’m talking over there.” He points over to the Orange Julius, their direct neighbors. Hoseok analyzes and tries to determine which face is new. There’s Namjoon making small talk with a customer and Jimin pretending two cups are his eyeballs. The usual.
The new face is immediately recognizable because of how uncomfortable he looks. He hasn’t quite perfected how to wear the hat in a way that doesn’t make him look like a robot. He’s also got his shirt tucked in, which is technically a part of the dress code, but Namjoon has never and will never enforce it, as is evident by the fact that Jimin’s shirt is both two sizes too large and hangs down to about his upper thigh. Now obviously Namjoon, ever the rule follower, has his own shirt tucked in, but this little duckling hasn’t learned the culture yet.
“Oh, he looks like a freshly birthed child,” Hoseok notes, with a shake of his head. They’re just a little bit too far away for him to make out features on the face, but you could tell from a mile away that he’s a teenager. There’s no question he’s younger than Hoseok.
“Should we mess with him?” Taehyung asks.
“We’ll see what Jimin says,” he shrugs. He doesn’t want to mess around with a newbie without verifying it with him first, because the last time they did it, they scared the guys so much that he quit. Apparently pretending to get a needle through your finger with the assistance of lots and lots of ketchup is a no-no. Namjoon didn’t talk to them for like three weeks. It made the carpool pretty weird, that’s for sure.
“Jin, do you know anything about the fresh meat?” Hoseok calls over. He says it just a little bit too loudly, because a customer who’s looking at the Choose Me wall looks up, alarmed. Maybe referring to a person as a meat sack isn’t the best thing to say in front of a customer. The glory of being a manager though means he can’t get fired by his boss.
“This is a Build-A-Bear, not a butcher,” Seokjin doesn’t even look up from the paper he’s reading.
“I meant at the Orange Julius.”
Jin looks up and across the hallway, spotting the man that Hoseok is referring to. “Oh him. It’s his first day. Joon said he comes to us by way of Applebee’s.”
“Wow, glamorous.”
“Do you think he could hook me up with discounted appetizers?” Taehyung says.
“We should probably know his name before you start making dinner reservations.”
The confused customer walks away to be replaced by a mother and her daughter who are very clearly on a mission. Since Hoseok is an expert in the customer service game, he welcomes them with a big smile and a wave. Everyone has a rough outline of a script that they use, but this obviously varies based on who walks by their store.
It’s not a real store with four walls and an entrance, it’s actually a kiosk, or what’s called a concourse. It’s probably the biggest kiosk you’ll ever see. The little cell phone repair kiosk a few paces down is only about three feet on any one side, whereas the Build-A-Bear is large enough that it would take you about a minute to walk around the whole thing. The concourse has an employee “room” that runs right through the middle of the store. It’s not a room, it’s just got a little swinging door which separates it from the shopping area. This section only has one entrance, near where Seokjin is standing. The store is set up very much shaped like a horseshoe.
On one side are all the bear skins, which is the technical term, and even after working here for almost ten years, Hoseok still hates it. On the other side are all the clothes, and of course there’s the stuffer on the short end.
Hoseok has always been good around kids, that’s why he’s stayed for so long. His first job was actually at the Orange Julius a few meters away, but he could never stay there for that long, god bless Joon, though. In any case, whenever a kid walks “into” their store, he lights up and knows immediately how to talk to them.
This little girl, with her little mermaid T-shirt, seems like a pretty good candidate to show their new mermaid bear to, and he is right. She barely even has to make eye contact with the unstuffed bear before she looks to her mom with determination in her eyes.
“Is this the one?” he asks. It’s unconscious of him, but Hoseok gets lower to the ground whenever he talks to kids. He likes to be at eye level with them, it’s less intimidating. Hoseok does have one of the least intimidating faces of all time, but still.
She nods and Hoseok smiles, thinking fondly of how much he’ll spoil his own kid when he has one someday far off into the future. Got to get a boyfriend first.
He always has to look up at the parent like he’s asking for permission on behalf of their kid. The little girl’s mom is smiling, so he takes that a as a yes. Since it’s part of his job description, he leads them to the sound machine.
“When you’ve picked out any sounds you want, my good friend Taehyung over there will be able to bring your new friend to life,” he says. Absently, he organizes the bins so that all their eyes are facing up. When he first started, it was kind of creepy how all the animals stare at you, but he’s gotten used to it. Now, the more they stare at him, the stronger his temptation gets.
He doesn’t have an addiction to them, per se. He just has a lot of teddy bears. That’s okay. Lots of people collect things. He doesn’t have shame in that. He has to store some of them at his parents’ house because his apartment is too small, but that doesn’t mean he has a problem. He makes eye contact with a dinosaur and the two of them war with their eyes. Hoseok’s warm brown ones, and the dinosaur’s plastic green ones. He’s probably going to buy the dinosaur soon…
A few more customers come along and Hoseok helps them before gesturing over to Taehyung, who is designated stuffer for today. Hoseok’s favorite job hands down is stuffer, but he’s a good boss who will hand over the role every now and again.
After about an hour, they die down. It’s been about fifteen or so minutes since their last guest and Seokjin is talking about the squirrel in his attic again. Always the squirrel with this one.
“What if it lays eggs in your ceiling and then you start to run an entire squirrel condominium?” Taehyung asks.
“Excuse me?” Seokjin’s voice is way too loud when he responds. “Eggs, Tae? Eggs? Did you just ask me if the squirrel lays eggs?”
Taehyung realizes his error too late. “I didn’t mean eggs.”
“What did you mean Taehyung?”
“Oh forget it,” he says, shaking his head.
Seokjin calls across the hallway. “Joonie, Tae thinks squirrels lay eggs!”
“You what, Tae?” Namjoon responds. His voice is much quieter, because their stores are not that far away and there is no reason for Seokjin to be yelling other than to make sure everyone around them, or possibly in the whole mall, hears them.
“I’m going on my fifteen,” he says with a humph.
“Would you do me a favor and stop at the Barnes and Noble to buy yourself a book about squirrels?” Seokjin asks him. Taehyung, because he’s a good employee, waits until he’s taken his apron off to flip Seokjin off. Hoseok watches the entire scene with fascination from behind the Dress Me wall.
Hoseok gives it another ten minutes, letting Seokjin taunt him even more with how cute and domestic his life with Namjoon is. When he and Namjoon first started working together about a decade ago, he had probably the biggest crush imaginable on him. They were both oily teenagers, but he was utterly infatuated. Seokjin didn’t come along until a year later when the Build-A-Bear was put in. Before that, Hoseok kind of assumed that eventually, he and Namjoon would end up with each other. Obviously, as soon as Namjoon first uttered a word to Seokjin, they were already in love. It didn’t take too terribly long for Hoseok to realize he never could feel the same way that Seokjin did about Namjoon. The crush didn’t melt away overnight, but he got over it.
Hoseok isn’t jealous. He’s not lonely. His roommate Jimin is the closest, friendliest guy in the world. He absolutely adores the guy. However, it would be nice to be married and have someone love him the way Namjoon loves Seokjin.
“Did you read the email from corporate?” Hoseok asks him absently.
“I try not to.”
“I don’t understand how you’re paid as much as me when you don’t do anything,” Hoseok sighs. That’s not true of course, Seokjin is very good at his job and he is great at the things he does. He’s good with guests, money, numbers, business-y things. He’s just really bad with listening to what he’s told, and those corporate emails are always about him doing what he’s told.
Hoseok checks his watch and looks around the hallway. There’s no way anyone is going to be coming by any time soon. Hoseok is the kind of manager that won’t get angry with any of his employees for playing on their phones, but he doesn’t want to set a bad example by doing that himself. Taehyung has been here for nearly four years now, but Hoseok still views him as an impressionable young child, because that’s what he was when Hoseok first hired him. That was so long ago, back when they assumed Taehyung was just going to be one of their temporary hires until he graduated college, but once he graduated, he just never left them, and Hoseok is very thankful. Seokjin promoted him to assistant manager a year ago so that they could have one more set of keyholders.
He catches Jimin’s eye, who waves him over like he has something to say. Hoseok walks across the hallway to him where they don’t have any customers either. Namjoon is off somewhere, probably in the backroom.
Hoseok looks at the new guy now that he’s a little closer. He’s got black hair and the palest skin. He’s absolutely decadent, Hoseok notes. He’s gorgeous in a soft way like a tiny little marshmallow. What do they put in the water at these goddamn Orange Julius’ to make everyone so pretty? He doesn’t have a name tag yet, which is unusual considering that Namjoon is the manager and he’s Namjoon. New Guy is standing and looking uncomfortable like all new employees at any job ever look. Hoseok thinks to say hi to him, but he wants to know if Jimin is plotting something before he does so.
“Did you do that thing I asked?” Jimin says in the type of whisper that is meant to be overheard. He winks right after saying it and that’s how Hoseok knows it’s for the new guy’s sake. He’s ready and gives a small nod to indicate to Jimin that he knows what to do.
“Your instructions weren’t clear. I wasn’t sure where you wanted it.”
“In the river, dumbass!” Jimin hisses.
“That’s what I thought,” Hoseok nods. He’s trying to determine what he put in the river. Was it a body? Drugs? Something else? “I weighed it down so no one will find it.”
“Good,” Jimin nods. Hoseok spares the briefest of glances over to the new guy but he is very intentionally looking at the jewelry store a little bit down the hallway. Oh yeah, he’s listening. They have to make it more grandiose than this though.
“I don’t get why you had to kill the guy anyway,” Hoseok mutters.
“He knew too much.”
“I just wish you had consulted me first.”
“It was a spur of the moment decision. I had to do what I had to do right then and there. I would do it again, Hoseok. I would do it again.”
At that, Namjoon comes out from the backroom. “Hoseok?” he asks. It’s not uncommon for someone from Build-A-Bear to be standing against the counter like this, but Namjoon gets very territorial whenever he makes a new hire. Their last hire just left for college, and he usually hung out with his school friends rather than his adoptive family, which is how Hoseok refers to himself and his coworkers. That kid is not particularly missed so much as there is an absence of a human.
“Hey Joon, how are you?” Hoseok says, pretending to be surprised by his entrance.
“What are you two… oh come on,” the look of annoyance on his face when he puts the pieces together could be put into a museum. “Again? Seriously?”
“What are you talking about?” Jimin plays innocent.
“Why are you always doing this to me?” he aims the question at God and then turns to his new employee, “Whatever they were just talking about, disregard it. They do this to everyone I hire; they’re just trying to mess with you.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Hoseok says. “I’m offended you would make such an accusation.”
“Just go away,” he says, shaking his head and making a shooing motion. He’s not ready to deal with both Jimin and Hoseok. The two of them have been roommates for just long enough that they have a mind meld that Namjoon doesn’t trust. It’s best to keep them separate at all times.
“Wow. Well you just lost yourself a paying customer.”
“Not cool of you, Joon,” Jimin shakes his head.
“I sign your paychecks.”
Jimin stands up straight dramatically and salutes, “yes sir!”
Hoseok laughs and returns to his actual job. Taehyung is back from break and he’s in the middle of helping two little girls pick out their new furry friend and he smiles fondly at them. Besides performing the motions, stuffing, ringing people up, the best thing about this job is just seeing how happy you make people. It’s the only job in retail where you get to make someone’s day one hundred percent of the time. It’s absolutely impossible to go to a Build-A-Bear Workshop and not leave with a smile on your face. It’s literally page one in the employee handbook. Make people smile, make their day.
Hoseok goes to hang out in the middle of the concourse with Seokjin who he now realizes was not actually reading a paper at all, he was just holding it up to hide his phone.
“You crafty son of a bitch.” He says it as quietly as possible because there are literal children only a little bit away.
Seokjin smirks. “You’re very gullible.” Seokjin isn’t usually one to be on his phone constantly while he’s at work, but the day has been unbelievably slow so far. Hoseok looks over his shoulder to see what he’s doing. There are very few secrets in this family. Mall family, that is. Hoseok knows what type of porn Jimin watches, though that’s less to do with them all knowing each other really well and more because he and Jimin’s rooms share a wall.
Let the record show that Seokjin is taking a quiz to determine what type of rock he is. Hoseok wouldn’t need a quiz to tell you that Seokjin is a rhyolite.
Hoseok grabs his phone from his hand and gives Seokjin an annoyed glare. “Will you go clean up after those two kids? They messed through almost every bin.”
“Ugh, fine,” he’s easy to push over because they both know he hasn’t done anything today.
“Taehyung,” he says leaning over the wall to look at Taehyung who is preparing to help stuff a very beautiful unicorn and bunny.
“Would you be interested in going home an hour early? It’s so slow.”
He nods vigorously and Hoseok rolls his eyes when he lets him go back to work. Taehyung is scheduled for another two and a half hours, but it’s a Wednesday and they haven’t even broken their midday goal yet and it’s three hours past when they were supposed to.
“I’m sending Tae home a little early,” Hoseok calls over to Seokjin.
“Fine with me,” he says. “We’re almost out of Pikachus.”
Hoseok frowns. Pikachu is one of the animals that he hates to run low on, because it’s so popular. Customers rarely yell at you at a store like this one, but when they do, it’s usually because you’re out of a Pokémon. One time a soccer mom made Taehyung cry when they didn’t have any Piplups and it’s the closest Hoseok has ever come to hitting a person. No one is allowed to be rude to his children and Taehyung is very much one of his children.
“I’ll run to the stock room to see if there’s any more,” he sighs. He walks out of the store and across the hallway, enjoying the sound his keys make when they jingle in his hands. Since they’re in a concourse, their stockroom is out the service door in the somewhat creepy mall employee hallway. It’s supposed to only be for people who work at the mall, but the door is always unlocked and lately, customers have started to learn that. It’s not haunted, but it’s also not not haunted.
Unfortunately, they do not have any more Pikachus and it’s not the kind of thing they can just order more of. Either they get more Pikachus in their next truck or they don’t. It’s not up to them what comes and what doesn’t. He notes that there is a substantial amount of fluff that was left on the ground, Taehyung the obvious culprit. Hoseok loves him, dearly and truly, but Taehyung hates sweeping with a passion.
He returns to the mall to see their store has once again cleared out, but a familiar darkly dressed figure is now approaching. “Well if it isn’t the traitor himself,” he says. As per usual, Jungkook is dressed in all black. He’s wearing his signature stomping shoes today. He’s light on his feet, which is good, because if he wasn’t, those boots would intimidate Hoseok into hibernation.
“I’m not a traitor, I’m a capitalist.”
“Sounds like something a traitor would say,” Hoseok says.
Jungkook throws up his arms in a shrug before he takes a seat at the table just outside the technical boundary of their concourse.
“When are you going to come back to me?” Hoseok asks. Hoseok is just tall enough to lean over to look inside the concourse where he reaches for something.
“As soon as you’re able to give me a 40% discount to Hot Topic,” Jungkook responds, pulling out his phone, because there is no other purpose to having a break then to check all the text messages that you haven’t received in the last three hours because all of your friends work at the same mall and have the same hours as you do.
“I still have your apron for whenever you come back,” Hoseok declares once he finds it. They put the apron on a How to Train Your Dragon Toothless that Jungkook himself stuffed, who, being a dark black dragon, is an adequate replacement for their lost comrade. Toothless goes by several different names now that Jungkook works at Hot Topic. Jungkook 2, Emo Boy, Judas.
Hoseok gives him his world renown, absolutely heartbreaking pout while holding up Jungkook 2. He gets all up in Jungkook’s personal space and tries to win his heart through his beautiful, devastating face.
“Not gonna work, Seok.”
“I’ll win you yet! Just you wait, Jeon Jungkook!”
Jungkook receives a message in the Group Chat, which he opens to see that it’s a picture of himself taken maybe thirty seconds ago, from Seokjin. The caption just says, “Bitch: sighted.”
Across the hall, Jimin, who is most certainly not allowed to have his phone on him laughs. He looks over and gives Jungkook a bright wave. It’s very difficult for Jimin to pretend to be angry when his personality is like a Peaches and Cream smoothie, which is coincidentally his favorite Orange Julius beverage.
“You’re all so very petty,” Jungkook sighs, holding up the message for Hoseok to see, though it’s all in good fun. He’s as much a part of their family as anyone else, even if he did abandon them viciously for Hot Topic.
“Put your phone away Mr. Kim,” Hoseok calls over.
“I don’t have my phone,” Taehyung says.
“No, the other one.”
“Hoseok, we’re co-managers. You don’t get to tell me what to do.” Seokjin is just in one of those funks. It happens on slow days like these. It’s not just because the store isn’t making as much money as their target, it’s also just very deflating to not be doing anything.
“We just miss you Jungkook,” Hoseok sighs. It’s been nearly a month since he left, but it doesn’t feel like he’s gone anywhere. His store is just down the hall. Far enough that they can’t shout to him, but close enough that if anyone gets pissed off with anyone else, they can go vent about it to Jungkook on their break. This is infrequent but Jimin occasionally has a short temper when it comes to Taehyung. Probably because they’ve been secretly fucking each other for like a year now, though Hoseok isn’t supposed to know that.
“It offends me deeply that you care more about discounted jewelry than you do about me,” Hoseok says. To be fair, Jungkook has been threatening to get a sleeve tattoo for some time now and that’s not technically allowed under store policy.
“Kids just have… too much snot,” Jungkook shakes his head. “They’re so full of snot. Just right out their nose onto their bears and then it gets on me, and I just… goths don’t have as much snot, Hoseok.”
Hoseok shakes his head. That’s the Jungkook he knows and loves.
“New guy!” Taehyung calls over, as the new guy clocks out for the day. The guy doesn’t even realize that Taehyung is talking to him because he looks like he’s about to walk in the opposite direction. “New Orange Julius guy!” Taehyung yells louder this time, and that gets his attention. It’s less vague, there’s only one person who could be given that superlative. He turns around, looking for the source of the voice, and sees Taehyung waving him over. He points to himself as if he’s asking whether Taehyung is talking to him, but who else could he be talking to. “Yes you.”
“Don’t scare him,” Hoseok says.
“Didn’t you and Jimin try to convince him you killed someone?” Taehyung asks.
“Ah, Namjoon ruined it.”
The new guy looks very awkward as he approaches, but Hoseok tries to be as welcoming as he can be, which is something he’s gotten to be very good at given the nature of his job.
“Hey there,” Hoseok says, waving at him. “How was your first day?”
“Um, good,” he says and Hoseok is a little caught off guard by his voice. It’s not that his voice is deep, but it’s deeper than you would expect when you look at his face. His voice sounds uncomfortable. Hoseok doesn’t want to scare the guy too much, even if it is kind of fun.
“I’m sorry me and Jimin messed with you earlier,” Hoseok says. “It’s something we’ve been doing for years. I didn’t actually hide a body.”
“Yeah, uh, I figured that out,” he says. Oh boy, he’s the cute kind of awkward that makes Hoseok’s heart stutter.
“We didn’t introduce ourselves!” Hoseok realizes. “I’m Hoseok, this here is Taehyung, and that guy over there is banging your boss.”
“We’re married! Stop telling people we’re banging. You came to the wedding,” Seokjin rolls his eyes, but then waves at the new guy. “I’m Seokjin.”
“He’s banging your boss,” Hoseok whispers.
“At least I can get some,” Seokjin says. Taehyung makes an “oooh” sound, because Hoseok walked right into that one.
“What’s your name?” Hoseok asks him, choosing to ignore both of the people around him.
“I’m Yoongi,” he replies. Hoseok smiles, deciding he likes that name. It’s sweet, just like Yoongi’s face.
“Nice to meet you Yoongi. In case Jimin didn’t give you the low down yet, we at Build-A-Bear and at Orange Julius are a family. You’re part of the family now. If you didn’t read the fine print when you got hired, you won’t have been made aware that you are now loved and respected. That’s just something you’re going to have to accept.”
“Jin is our mom,” Taehyung adds.
“I’m not your mom.”
“Namjoon is our dad.”
“That part is true,” Seokjin says.
Hoseok almost puts an arm on his shoulder, because that’s what he would do if Yoongi was anyone else, but he literally just met this guy and a few hours ago he had pretended he killed someone in front of him. Give it a little time before you get too familiar with him.
“I just mean that we look out for each other, that’s all. If you ever need anything at all, one of us will be able to help you out. We’re not just coworkers, we’re best friends.”
“Jeez, Seok, you make it sound like a cult,” Seokjin says.
“Why do you have to go around and ruin a bonding moment like that, man?” Hoseok says. “Well anyway, I’ll let you get on your way, nothing like going home after work.”
“Especially when you have someone at home who loves you,” Seokjin says. He’s laying it on pretty heavy today, but in all fairness, Hoseok has been single for a really, really long time.
“We’ve got to add you to the group chat!” Taehyung says, and Hoseok can’t believe he almost forgot.
“Of course! How could I forget? Is that cool with you, Yoongi?”
Yoongi takes a second but then nods. Hoseok is trying not to throw his personality at him so fast, but it’s hard when his personality is big. He takes up a lot of space just being himself. Yoongi seems like the kind of guy who would apologize for using too much space on a couch.
“Great,” he says and then hands his phone over to Yoongi. “Put your number in there and then I’ll make sure everyone sends you their name so that you can add them to your contacts. There’s only six of us, but if we ever get to be too annoying, just mute it and text us individually. The only person who will probably annoy you, though, is me. I post pictures of every dog I see on the street.”
“I enjoy them,” Taehyung nods. Taehyung often names the dogs that Hoseok takes pictures of. Jimin rates them. No dog has ever ranked lower than a ten out of ten, and for the longest time, Hoseok assumed Jimin was just an avid fan of the WeRateDogs twitter, but as it turns out, he had never heard of it. He just really loves dogs.
Yoongi tries to hide it, but Hoseok sees him smile just a little bit, and he’s proud of himself. Maybe Daily Dog Digest – which is what he calls his dog spotting – will bring that smile onto Yoongi’s face more frequently.
Hoseok decides very quickly that Yoongi is beautiful, which is going to get annoying considering he’s older than the guy and he doesn’t want to be creepy about it. Yoongi is probably over 18, but by how much is uncertain. He doesn’t ask him his age because that’s weird, but as Yoongi turns to leave, that small smile lingers in his brain. He is a heartbreaker, that one.
They watch Yoongi leave; Seokjin doesn’t look up because he doesn’t care, and he’s married so he wouldn’t look at him anyway.
“He’s gorgeous,” Taehyung says, stating exactly what Hoseok is thinking.
“I know, right?” he shakes his head. “He’s almost prettier than you Tae.”
“No such thing,” he shakes his head. “I’m definitely the prettiest, no one can even compare.”
As a manager, Hoseok works nearly every day of the week. If it were any other job, he’d despise that fact, but he gets to come into work every day, hang out with all of his best friends, interact with kids, make peoples days… really it’s hard to complain, because he’s been making a lot of money. To put into perspective how many hours he puts in, Hoseok has already managed to pay off his student loans and his car payments, and he’s barely in the latter half of his twenties. That just seems… unheard of.
He still lives with a roommate and the reason is twofold. He’s never lived on his own before because he’s afraid to and what better way to avoid being out on his own than to live with his very best friend in the entire world? He really loves and adores Jimin with all of his heart. They get along as well as two people can possibly get along. The second reason is because he wants to have a life someday. Maybe travel, maybe buy a house, maybe buy a drumkit. To whatever end, he wants to save his money in order to have those things, and having a roommate means that he can continue to save up.
He technically makes enough to live on his own, because they very much do not live in a big city, so rent prices are not terrible. Taehyung and Jungkook are constantly in his apartment when they’re not at work because Hoseok is a good cook and neither of them know how to use a toaster.
He tries not to sound too interested, but in the evenings when he and Jimin share dinner, he tries to see if there’s anything to learn about the new guy. Jimin knows as little about him as Hoseok does. His name is Yoongi, he has black hair, brown eyes, squishy cheeks. Jimin describes him as being very quiet, very soft spoken. Sexually ambiguous but probably straight. The guy is younger than Hoseok, far too young for him, so he really wishes he didn’t care to the extent that he does.
New Guy hasn’t contributed anything to the group chat yet, but he hasn’t removed himself from it altogether, which seems to be a good sign. The only thing he’s texted was the initial “hi, this is Yoongi” that he sent on day one. Whether he likes or dislikes Daily Dog Digest is yet to be determined.  
Hoseok works a few more shifts before he finally sees Yoongi again. Hoseok has an opening shift, so he’s too busy uncovering the concourse to see Yoongi actually come in for the day. He only notices him once he hears a blender start running. Hoseok turns to look over at them. Unsurprisingly, they don’t actually have a customer yet, it’s just that Jimin always starts his day out with a smoothie whenever he works a morning shift. Morning is a bit of a misnomer though since they open at 11:00.
Hoseok smiles. He gives a nod to one of his high school employees to continue setting the store up as he walks over to greet Yoongi.
“Good morning guys,” he says, smiling brightly. Yoongi looks up at him like a scared mouse but gives a small smile anyway. Hoseok forgot how pretty he is in the days since he last saw him. No one should have the right to be that cute.
“Morning!” Jimin shouts. He pours his peach smoothie into a cup and smiles at Hoseok like they didn’t just see each other an hour ago. Jimin has a short shift and then has to go to his real job, otherwise they would have carpooled.
“How are you, Yoongi?” he asks. He looks confused by Hoseok addressing him directly.
“Um, good,” Yoongi says. He’s the type to bite his lip. It’s quite sweet, actually.
“Great! It’s been a while since I last saw you. You like it here? Is Namjoon treating you right?”
Namjoon peers over at him from the register. Namjoon has never spoken a bad word about anyone ever in his entire life. He has had asshole customers yell at him and still remained as composed and perfect as he always is. Hoseok had an all-consuming, bone breaking crush on Namjoon for at least a year after meeting him, so his opinion is rose-colored. In any case, there’s no way in hell that Yoongi could possibly have any qualms with him.
“He’s very nice,” Yoongi says. His responses are short, not because he’s rude, but because he doesn’t say more than he needs to, which is basically what Jimin had described.
“If you ever have any problems with him just take it up with me and I’ll kick him in the ass for you. He owes me more than a few favors.”
Namjoon just rolls his eyes. Jimin is giggling, standing between the scene. He’s just sipping his smoothie like a child watching his parents fighting.
“Okay,” Yoongi says, he doesn’t even attempt to make eye contact with Hoseok, and it is very intentional.
“My name is Hoseok, in case you forgot,” he says.
“I remember, Hoseok,” Yoongi says, and his ears turn red but it’s so subtle that Hoseok doesn’t actually notice it.
Hoseok doesn’t meant to lick his lips. Yoongi is still not attempting to look at anything other than the counter so Hoseok doesn’t try to capture his eyes any longer. He just looks at him for longer than he probably should. He wonders why Yoongi doesn’t look back. He’s a soft-spoken kind of a guy, it’s possible that he’s just shy. Hoseok barely knows him at all, but he seems the type who takes a while to unfreeze around new people.
“Hoseok, your job?” Namjoon reminds him and he suddenly remembers that he is on the clock right now.
“Right! Well, do me a favor Yoongi and stop by the workshop when your shift ends, okay?” He smiles and Yoongi looks up at him and the eye contact that they have lasts for only about a second but it’s very heavy. He opens his mouth like he’s going to say something else, but he revaluates and decides not to.
Hoseok turns on his heels and sees his high schooler folding up the tarps they use to cover the store. The two of them finish the task with Hoseok only turning to look at Yoongi a few times.
For whatever unholy reason, they’re frighteningly busy this Thursday. There’s no reason for it, the density in traffic for a retail store is one of life’s greatest mysteries. It could be that passersby see Hoseok’s wonderful face and decide to approach in order to get a better look. He is annoyed with how understaffed he is today, Seokjin makes the schedules usually, but there’s really no reason for why he would staff three people in the morning for a Thursday in the middle of summer, so it’s not his fault.
He doesn’t get another employee in until 1:00, and by then, the line for the stuffer is already six different groups, most of whom have more than one furry friend each. He was supposed to take his lunch once Taehyung clocked in, but there’s no way he’ll be able to sneak away until they’ve gotten through the line. He just sighs and powers through it.
About an hour later, Hoseok is finally able to take his break. He goes into the middle of the concourse and then lies on the floor and makes a groaning sound. He stays there for about five minutes, trying to cool down. When he decides he’s gotten his bearings, he stands back up, pulls off his apron and waves bye to Taehyung and the high schooler. He gets a whole twenty-five minutes of peace away from the store. Knowing his luck, there won’t be a single customer while he’s gone, but after that, the entire population of Bolivia will want to make a bear. He can’t wait until Seokjin gets into work later because his feet could honestly fall off at any minute.
He glances over at Orange Julius to see that they’re extremely busy too. Had he not noticed before how much shorter than Namjoon Yoongi is? He’s so little. Jimin must have already left, but Yoongi honestly can’t be much bigger than him, if he is at all. It’s adorable. What a cutie. Then he makes his way to Hot Topic to bother Jungkook.
Jungkook is the store greeter today, so he sees him right as he approaches. He waves at him, and Jungkook stares back with blank eyes. The store is as dark and cramped as every other Hot Topic in the world, and apparently, it’s a truck day so there are more staff than usual who are all pushing stock. Yet, for some unsaintly reason, they’re not busy at all, except for the two alternative girls who Hoseok just stuffed an Eevee and a Pikachu for ten minutes ago.  
“You can only bother him if you buy something,” Jungkook’s manager says, and he gives her a thumbs up. He can always do with more jewelry. Jungkook’s nails are painted today, and based on how shoddy the work is, he did it himself. He looks like a full course meal, but he’s Jungkook so that’s to be expected.
Jungkook looks confused at Hoseok’s disheveled appearance, because isn’t it a Thursday? Why does he look like he’s just fought a war on a goddamn Thursday?  “How bad is it over there?”
“It was a nightmare. I don’t know why. People getting back their tax refunds maybe? I thought I was going to die.”
“Sorry, dude. Tae working?” he asks, and Hoseok is slightly offended, because Jungkook doesn’t need to be asking about Taehyung when it’s Hoseok standing in front of him. He’s the one visiting Jungkook, not Taehyung.
“I fired him.”
“That’s a shame,” Jungkook sighs. “Now I can never return.”
“I’ll only rehire him if you come back too,” he says with an award-winning smile.
“Guess Tae will just have to find another job… Orange Julius will be hiring soon if you guys scare the shit out of the new guy like you did that one time.”
“Ah, he seems alright,” Hoseok says. “He hasn’t talked to us in the Group Chat yet, which I’m trying not to be offended by. He’s just a baby.” Jungkook is also a baby, to Hoseok at least. He met the kid when he was literally a sophomore in high school. He met Jungkook before he even met Jimin. Jungkook used to be shorter than him. Now, even without his stomping boots, he’s taller. Hoseok is starting to feel his years slip past too quickly. How can Jungkook have gotten so big?
“He’s quiet,” Jungkook nods. “But so was I when we first met; we just gotta soften him up a little bit. Maybe go out for drinks sometime.” Hoseok is still unable to comprehend that Jungkook is old enough to drink alcohol. That doesn’t even seem real. Jungkook will always be one of his teenage hires, he’s just one of the ones that never left him. Until a month ago. Ugh, traitor.
“I’m going to have him make his initiation bear later,” Hoseok says, getting excited thinking about it. He loves making new friends, it’s one of his favorite things in the world to do, and it’s so easy to talk to people at his job. Kids are easy, they’ll love anyone who makes a teddy bear for them. Adults are a lot of fun, because they think the heart ceremony is ridiculous, but you can almost always convince them to do it anyway. Yoongi should be a treat later. Hopefully he’ll manage to pull a little bit more of his personality out of that way too pretty shell.
“Do you think he’ll stick?” Jungkook asks. They’ve had a lot of difficulty keeping anyone in their family as of late. Taehyung was actually the last recruit and that was something like four years ago.
“I hope so,” Hoseok shrugs.
“You like him?” Jungkook says, looking maybe a little bit too deeply into him. Jungkook is a bit of a mind reader, and it has always been a bit frightening to Hoseok.
“I just think he’s a nice view from the store, that’s all.”
“Jimin is across the hall from you,” Jungkook says. He’d mention Namjoon too if he wasn’t married, because Namjoon is definitely something to look at.
“You’re horny for everyone, Jungkook,” Hoseok shakes his head. Jungkook is an enigma, hard to tell who he’s attracted to and who he isn’t. All that’s certain is that he is easily impressed.
Jungkook’s boss gives Hoseok a glare. They’re not enemies, but she did steal Jungkook from him, so they’re certainly not friends. He wonders what would happen if he ran away without buying something after he promised he would. She knows where he works, so he’d get found out. If there’s any one in a mall that knows how to contact a bounty hunter, it’s a Hot Topic employee. And maybe those bitches down at Bath & Body Works; he’s never trusted them. They have blue aprons just like Hoseok’s, and that seems far too coincidental to be a coincidence.
“Pick out something gay for me, won’t you, Jungkook?”
Jungkook nods, and immediately goes to the jewelry section. It takes him no more than a few seconds to throw a rainbow beaded bracelet at him. It’s overpriced because they work in a mall and also capitalism, but Hoseok goes to the checkout anyway. Jungkook’s boss doesn’t give him a discount. Most stores in this mall will give mall employees a 10%, but not Hot Topic. That’s why it was so easy for her to steal Jungkook from him. Jungkook always found a way to make a blue apron look slightly goth, and that has always been impressive.
Before he left, Jungkook had been threatening to get tattoos on his hands so that he couldn’t work at Build-A-Bear anymore. Hoseok rolled his eyes because he would’ve let Jungkook work there anyway, even if it is against company policy. He let Taehyung dye his hair blue that one time, he just didn’t schedule Taehyung whenever their district manager dropped by. Jungkook could do almost anything to his appearance and Hoseok would still hire him back.
“Gay enough?” he asks.
“Nothing will ever be gay enough for me, Jungkookie,” he smiles sweetly.
“Hi Yoongi!” Hoseok waves him over excitedly when he sees Yoongi walking out from behind his prison-like counter. He’s got a backpack over one shoulder, which makes Hoseok feel slightly awful. For him to be using a backpack means he is definitely too young for Hoseok to have attraction towards.
“Hi, Hoseok,” he says, and for some reason, when Yoongi stops in front of him, he seems warmer than usual. Maybe Hoseok’s sunshine is starting to rub off on him, or maybe Namjoon is breaking him down just a little bit. In a good way. You need to be a little bit weathered in order to fit in around here.
“Are you tired? It’s been a train wreck around here!”
“Yeah,” he nods. Seokjin is talking with a few customers, a family by the looks of it, at the front of the workshop, but he’ll be coming around soon to the stuffer, so Hoseok just steals Yoongi away to hang out by the register.
“I know how tough it is to start a new job when everyone is already friends with each other,” Hoseok says. “It’s awful. It’s so hard to break through. We’re all really close, and that’s why I don’t want you to feel left out. But if my personality is ever too much, just tell me. I know I’m a bit much.”
Yoongi blushes, but again, Hoseok doesn’t notice it. “It’s fine, I appreciate it. I’m just…”
“New jobs are hard,” Hoseok says when Yoongi drifts off. “But if you ever need any help, literally come to anyone. I happen to know quite a bit about Orange Julius myself.” He did work there for like two years, but that was so long ago. That doesn’t mean he hasn’t unofficially looked after the place a few times.
Taehyung pops up from behind the concourse. He went on his break a little while ago, and Hoseok just assumed he went somewhere, but apparently, he was just sitting on the floor out of view.
“Yoongi!” He says, excitedly. “How are you?” Taehyung has the personality of a puppy. In every way, he was supposed to be a dog, but someone flipped the wrong switch and he ended up as a person. He’s a very special person who Hoseok would do anything for.
“Good,” he says, and apparently the increased quantity of people shrinks him up a little bit. His shoulders get a little less slack once there are two people looking at him instead of just one.
“You like your new job? Is Jimin alright?”
“Jimin is very nice, yes,” Yoongi says.
“Cool! Do you want to come get dinner with us some time? And by dinner, I mean the Panda Express at the food court. I’m a bit of an addict.”
“Um, sure,” Yoongi says nodding, and a soft smile appears on his sweet little face.
“Wonderful. I can’t promise when… we all tend to work the same hours, hard to get a break at the same time, but Hoseok will figure it out, won’t you, Hoseokie?”
“That’s a Jin question. I abhor scheduling.” Taehyung looks over at Seokjin who has migrated to the stuffer and is about to stuff the family’s chosen friends. It’s always alarming to Hoseok how kind and charming Seokjin is when he’s with guests as opposed to the snarky guy he knows. By all accounts, Seokjin is the nicest, kindest, and most wonderful person on the planet, but he’ll call you a motherfucker if you blink too hard in his direction.
Taehyung sighs. “Do you have anywhere to be? You should hang out for a little while, if you can.”
Yoongi shakes his head. “I’m off for the rest of the day.”
“Great,” Hoseok interjects. “There’s something you’ve still got to do.”
“What is that?” he looks wary.
“You, Yoongi, get to make an initiation bear,” Hoseok says, brightly. “I’m buying. As long as you name him Hoseok. If his name isn’t Hoseok I won’t let you make one.”
Taehyung smiles, “I have three Hoseoks at home.”
“You only have to name the first one Hoseok, I really don’t know why you kept doing that.”
“It’s fun,” Taehyung shrugs and takes a sip of his Orange Julius sponsored water. Taehyung is a serial forgetter of water bottles so at this point they usually put his water on the counter as soon as they see him clock in. Jungkook has recently become very save the planet-y so he’s been reprimanding Taehyung for how much he uses non-reusable cups.
Yoongi takes a second to find his voice and then stutters out, “You don’t have to do that for me-”
“Nonsense!” Hoseok says. “Everyone gets a bear, that’s just how it works. Or not a bear. You don’t have to pick a bear, we’ve got dogs, unicorns, bunnies. Pick whatever you want, but their name has to be Hoseok.”
“I have a very beautiful dinosaur at home named Hoseok,” Taehyung adds. “And a dog. And a monster.”
“I don’t appreciate the dog being named after me. I’ve never licked a toilet bowl in my life.”
“You’re actually serious?” Yoongi says, interrupting the back and forth that he and Taehyung could probably have for hours. Taehyung brings out sides of people that they never knew they had, it’s just the kind of person he is. He’ll get you thinking about the meaning of life, but he’ll do it in a stupid way by asking you what the shelf life is of your average wool sock. Wool socks last longer than cotton socks, but that leads into a whole philosophy majors worth of follow up questions. Taehyung doesn’t even pose difficult questions, that’s just what being around him is like. His brain is a lot wider from knowing Taehyung.
“Absolutely!” Hoseok says. “Have you ever built a bear before?” Yoongi shakes his head shyly and Hoseok gets the brightest smile on his face. “Perfect! My favorite type of guest! So, the first thing you need to do is pick out a friend. But you have to smile while you’re doing it, or else Taehyung doesn’t get to eat dinner.”
“I need dinner, Yoongi. Please smile.”
Yoongi smiles. He would have suppressed it if not for the fact that Hoseok has the prettiest smile he’s ever seen. That face could cheer anyone up. Seeing Yoongi’s tiny smile makes Hoseok glow. What a cute little thing, holy shit.
“You should get a horse,” Seokjin says, peaking over. “Hoseok hates it when we call him a horse.”
Hoseok gives him a death glare, and Yoongi just looks at the bins below him trying to determine the best Hoseok there is. There are many great options. There’s many rainbow or pastel colored bears which give off some serious Hoseok energy. There’s also a pink bunny which is one of Hoseok’s favorites that he recommends to half of their guests. Also, there’s a shark.
Yoongi looks carefully, analyzing everything in front of him. He’s never done anything like this before but the idea of it is fun. He wishes he could go back into his past and come here as a kid. He would’ve tripped over his own feet to have made his own bear.
Hoseok watches Yoongi look at his options with total fascination. He’s literally gorgeous. The profile of his face could make anyone swoon. He tells himself to force those thoughts away because Yoongi is too young for him. Not so young that Hoseok is a creep, but too young that he can’t think about dating him. He’s also probably straight because contrary to Hoseok’s friend circle, most people are straight.
Yoongi ends up picking one of the more classic bears. It’s a basic brown bear, some of the softest fur out of all the ones on offer, but it’s also on the cheaper end of the spectrum.
“You don’t have to pick one of the cheaper ones just because I’m buying,” he says. He’s a very honest person, Hoseok could easily just give a bear away for free, but crazily enough, he actually respects the company that he works for. Obviously, he’ll be using his employee discount on it, but he’ll still pay from his own wallet.
“I like this one,” Yoongi says firmly. “The fur kind of matches your hair color.” He blushes right after saying it, but Hoseok doesn’t notice because he takes a strand of his hair in his fingers and tries to look at it to determine if Yoongi is right.
When he determines that his hair does indeed match, he smiles and looks at him. “You can go absolutely wild with the other stuff. Get the most expensive sound, fill it with scents, buy a tiara. Literally, go crazy.”
Yoongi smiles. The thought of Hoseok in a tiara makes him feel a way he doesn’t think he should be feeling. He looks at the unstuffed bear in his hands and tries to determine whether a tiara would suit him.
“Do you want to put any sounds in it?” Hoseok asks, gesturing to the sound station. “You can get the Star Wars theme in there. I think that’s a pretty baller choice since his name is Hoseok. I like Star Wars a lot, so I’m sure little Hoseok will like it too.”
“Is that what you want?” Yoongi asks, looking genuinely interested in Hoseok’s opinion.
“It’s not about what I want, it’s about what you want. I’m just your tour guide here, all I’ll do is make suggestions,” he says. He tilts his head, undeniably intrigued by Yoongi. He wonders what his personality is like when he’s not nervous and dazed. It’s hard to get a read on him. Hoseok considers himself to be extremely empathetic, so sometimes he’ll detect things about a person without them showing it. It makes his job a little easier. It’s impossible to tell with Yoongi, though, because he’s dressed in a uniform rather than anything that could give him a sign. He also avoids making eye contact, which is precious, but it does little for Hoseok to learn anything about him.
“Okay, Star Wars then,” Yoongi says. Hoseok helps him look through the few different options, and they settle on the Imperial March, which makes Yoongi’s face get all squishy with a little smile. Hoseok adores it. He wants to pat Yoongi on the head and read him a bedtime story.
“I love when people get Star Wars,” he says fondly. “Nothing against Frozen, but Star Wars is classic.”
Yoongi nods and allows Hoseok to lead him to the stuffer. “Okay, Yoongi, this is the best part. This is where we give your bear life.” Yoongi can’t stop himself from blushing, because both Taehyung and Seokjin are watching him now with interest.
Yoongi feels a little bit like a zoo animal. Everyone is trying to learn things about him, but he’s the kind of person who is very contained when he meets new people. It’s weird walking into a circle of people who already know each other so well. It’s very intimidating, like Hoseok had said.
Then again, they’re all very open and kind to him, Hoseok especially. Yoongi is not an idiot, he knows that everyone around him is insanely attractive. Namjoon is too pretty, but he’s married so Yoongi doesn’t salivate at the mouth whenever he’s near. Jimin is an easy pretty, and from some source he was told that Jimin is decently famous on Instagram for posting dance videos. And of course, there’s Hoseok who has the brightest energy about him. Yoongi doesn’t believe in auras but if he did, Hoseok’s would be bright pink. Yoongi is going to inevitably fall for one of them, and the way that Hoseok looks at him makes him believe he’s already figured out who.
Hoseok places him in front of the stuffer and he’s presented with a pedal. It feels very foreign to him, looking at the limp teddy bear which Hoseok is about to stuff? Apparently? With a giant machine? That spins around and looks a bit like cotton candy? The concept is foreign, because there wasn’t a Build-A-Bear where he grew up. All he knows about the place is what he watches from behind his counter a few yards away.
The sound that the machine makes startles him, even though he’s heard it a dozen times just today. It’s a lot louder when you’re right next to it. Hoseok looks like an expert, not that he’s been spying on him the entire time while he’s at work, but it is hard not to let your eyes wander over to the giant blue store in the middle of the hallway. It’s even harder to avoid looking at the pretty guy who has a way with kids and has a face like a sunrise.
His eyes just gravitate towards Hoseok when he talks to customers, laughs with them, talks to them like he’s known them all his life. He seems like he’d be easy to talk to, because no one else has any trouble with it, but Yoongi is a hopeless gay who gets tongue tied around pretty boys.
“Alright,” Hoseok says, turning off the machine. Yoongi takes his foot off the pedal, though the machine has stopped so it’s not like it does a whole lot. “I’ll have you give little Hoseok a hug test to make sure he feels right.” Taehyung comes out of nowhere to hug Hoseok from behind his chair and he just sighs. “I was referring to the other Hoseok, but I appreciate it, Tae.”
“You feel just right,” Taehyung says. Hoseok pats his hand as he tries to shrug him off.
“Feel good?” Hoseok asks, looking to Yoongi though Taehyung has not let go of him. Yoongi nods. This is such a weird group of people, but he kind of likes them already. Especially Hoseok.
“Okay, now comes the actual best part,” Hoseok says, and he pulls a small fabric heart out of a bin right beside his machine. Taehyung lets go of him at this point, only to stand a few feet away to watch. Hoseok always does the best heart ceremonies, which doesn’t seem fair, because half of the time Taehyung just copies everything he does, but Hoseok makes it look so easy and natural. He really was made for this job.
Hoseok places the heart into Yoongi’s hand, and their fingers touch and it makes the real heart inside of Yoongi’s chest stutter just a little bit. He really is just so weak around cute boys, so it’s been a difficult job to transition to. To make it worse, Hoseok is his kind of cute boy. It’s all in the smile.
“So, the first thing you need to do is get that heart warm by rubbing it between your hands.”
“Do we really have to do this part?” Yoongi asks, looking sheepish. He’s seen this part from his perch, and it seems awkward to do it in the middle of the mall. He looks around himself, even though there’s nobody here to watch him. Well except for Seokjin and Taehyung. This just doesn’t feel like the sort of thing that a guy who’s in his late twenties should be doing.
“Don’t you want little Hoseok here to have a big heart?” Hoseok asks him, holding the bear by its arms like it’s ready to reach out and give Yoongi a hug. If the way he holds it wasn’t enough, all he needs to do is look at the real Hoseok’s lip pouting out. He’s never been good at saying no to people.
Yoongi just sighs, nods, and says, “okay.”
“Perfect!” Hoseok says and has Yoongi warm the heart up. He demonstrates with his hands what he wants Yoongi to do, so he copies. “Then you’re going to tap on it to get that heart beating. And you’re going to want to rub it on your cheek so that little Hoseok always smiles at you. And rub it on your funny bone so your bear is full of giggles. And rub the heart on your tummy so that he gets all of the food he needs without stealing yours. And rub it on your side so that he’s by your side for life. Anyone want to chip in?” Hoseok directs the question at the two behind him.
“Rub the heart on your toes so that he is toe-tally awesome!” Taehyung says.
“Rub it on your knees so that he always knee-ds you,” Seokjin says.
Yoongi takes it all in good stride, though he’s painfully awkward as he tries to modestly follow all the commands. He wonders if they’re just messing around with him again. When he thinks of that, his entire body stiffens up. He doesn’t want them to make fun of him.
“And the last thing you need to do is hold the heart up to your face and make a wish,” Hoseok says. He looks at Yoongi and sees that he looks very uncomfortable right now, which was never his intention. He probably shouldn’t have gone overboard on giving the bear so many traits. But it’s Yoongi’s first bear and now he’s part of the group so maybe he just wanted to show off. Then he opens up the back of the bear for Yoongi to put the heart into. “I’m sorry if that was too many things. We aren’t trying to embarrass you. We just really like our job.”
“I’m only here for the view,” Seokjin says, looking across the hallway to where Namjoon is serving both smoothies and looks.
Hoseok smiles brightly and Yoongi is mesmerized by it. “Do you want to add any smells to your bear?” he asks. Yoongi doesn’t hear the question. Embarrassing himself makes him weak, and in his weak state, Hoseok’s face is able to reach inside of him. He repeats the question when Yoongi doesn’t answer, so he blanches.
“I have smells you can add to your bear,” he says and then scoots over on his chair to point to them.
“I made a bear with four smells inside once,” Seokjin says. “One in each arm and leg. Different fruit smell in each one. He smells like a smoothie, and it reminds me of my husband.”
Taehyung makes an aww sound and Seokjin just nods because he knows that he wins cutest couple award.
“Uh, I guess,” Yoongi shrugs. “What’s your favorite?”
“Cotton candy,” Taehyung says, his eyes darkening. It’s a frequent joke that Taehyung likes the cotton candy smell. He keeps one in his apron, so he goes around everywhere smelling like cotton candy.
“I like lavender,” Seokjin smiles.
“We’re out of lavender.”
“Then I like watermelon.”
“Oh me too,” Hoseok nods. “I’m a watermelon kind of guy.”
“Let’s do watermelon,” Yoongi says. Hoseok loves how easy it is to make any grown man excited about a teddy bear at Build-A-Bear Workshop. They come in with whatever bravado they have but then you tell a guy he can make his bear smell like birthday cake and his eyes light up.
He lets Yoongi smell it and when Yoongi nods a little too eagerly his heart thuds painfully against his ribcage. He’s so pretty, he’s so pretty, he’s so pretty.
Once the smell is inside, Hoseok stitches up the bear with lightning quick precision. Yoongi can’t stop himself from looking at his hands. They look strong, but also a little blistered from all the stitching and sewing he must do. When the bear is done, he gives little Hoseok over to Yoongi. He doesn’t mean to, but he gives little Hoseok a very excited squeeze and that’s what makes big Hoseok’s mouth dry up a little bit. He can’t stop himself from imagining Yoongi cuddling the bear late at night. God, and if he actually names the bear Hoseok! He’s going to cry!
“Thank you,” Yoongi says, and Hoseok nods.
“You get to dress him up now!”
Taehyung jumps up excitedly to give him a tour of their Dress Me wall. Everyone has a favorite part of the store, and Taehyung is oddly in love with showing off all the clothes that you can put on the animals.
“Might I suggest a tiara?” Hoseok says.
Taehyung shakes his head, “personally, I’m against shoes and tiaras because they are not as easy to cuddle in bed.”
“We also have bows!” Hoseok jumps up excitedly after picking up some loose stuffing from the floor.
Yoongi ends up putting the bear in a dinosaur pajama piece and Hoseok has never been prouder of such a marvelous creation before. Also, Yoongi lets him put the bows on the bear. This is quite possibly the most perfect bear that Hoseok has ever been witness to. He’s a soft, dark brown bear, that plays the Star Wars theme, smells like watermelon, wears a dinosaur onesie, and has pink and purple bows on his ears. He’s perfect.
“That’s hands down one of the most beautiful bears I’ve ever seen,” Seokjin says, and there’s no sarcasm to his voice which is astonishing.
Yoongi would feel self-conscious if he didn’t agree whole heartedly. Little Hoseok is one of the seven wonders of the modern world. Big Hoseok helps him to make a birth certificate which Yoongi finds adorable. True to his word, the name that goes on the birth certificate is ‘Little Hoseok.’ Big Hoseok then proceeds to take all of the tags off of the bear and his clothes and brings them to the register.
“No, it’s okay, I’ll pay,” Yoongi says.
“Um, excuse you,” Hoseok says. “I lured you over here in order to buy you a bear, you aren’t paying for shit.”
“But it’s expensive, I-”
“Listen, there’s nothing you can actually do to stop me, I’m the one who knows how to use the register,” Hoseok says. Yoongi accepts defeat, though it’s with several more “are you sure?”s. Eventually, Yoongi comes to be holding little Hoseok inside of a little box that is the perfect size to hold him. He honestly feels like ripping the bear right back out and holding him. He would probably prefer holding onto the bear’s namesake, but anything to keep him less lonely at night will do the trick. For now.
Hoseok sends Yoongi away brightly. Taehyung asks him to stick around a little longer, but he really needs to get some air, because breathing in Hoseok’s air makes him lightheaded. Aw fuck, he’s a little boy having his first crush in elementary school all over again.
“You know, for their first date Seokjin and Namjoon came here and recreated the scene from Ghost only instead of pottery, they made a unicorn,” Hoseok says.
“That was, like, our third date actually,” Seokjin says. Namjoon sits at the table outside of the concourse waiting for Seokjin’s shift to end. There are actually two other managers at Orange Julius that aren’t him, which is hard to believe because he’s such a workaholic. Crazy, right?
“Not to sound dramatic, guys, but that’s literally the cutest thing I’ve ever heard in my entire life,” Taehyung says.
“The unicorn was our ringbearer.”
“Even I know that’s not true. I was at the wedding,” Jungkook says.
“So was I,” Taehyung says. Literally everyone was at their wedding. It was a year after their family had truly formed. Taehyung was fresh but he was still beloved.
“Well that’s what I’m going to write in my autobiography anyway,” Seokjin shrugs.
Namjoon looks at him with stars in his eyes, very clearly hanging on his every word like he’s an angel. There’s literally never been a couple more helplessly, adorably in love as Namjoon and Seokjin. If you look too hard at them then your heart will rot away. Also, you’ll crave desperately someone to hold you. Sometimes Jimin gives extended hugs and that’s the closest Hoseok has been to a person in about seven years.
In the process of looking at the two of them clearly in love, Hoseok sees a beautiful black-haired boy come in through the service door behind them. Hoseok’s heart bumps out of key for just the briefest second before returning to normal.
“Yoongi!” He says, calling him over. It’s been about a week since Yoongi made little Hoseok and ever since, Hoseok has been very excited by his presence whenever he sees him. Not to say he wasn’t before, but it’s a little louder now. He assures himself it’s just because Yoongi seems like he’ll fit into their friend group. That’s surely all it is. It’s not just because he’s also the prettiest guy Hoseok has possibly ever seen.
“Hi Hoseok,” Yoongi says smiling softly. Either Yoongi doesn’t say hi to everyone else or Hoseok tunes it out because of the way that his mouth looks when he forms words out of it. His voice is so calming. He could read you the dictionary and you’d be fascinated by every word.
“I’ve got to go to work,” Yoongi says and waves goodbye only a minute later.
“Oh, okay,” he says. Seokjin checks his watch and realizes that Yoongi’s shift starting means that his shift is ending.
“Freedom!” he says excitedly, tearing off his apron. Namjoon smiles at him and watches Seokjin as he goes into the concourse and clocks himself out for the day. When he returns, he kisses Namjoon a little bit too passionately for public and Jungkook makes a grossed-out face. Taehyung just thinks they’re cute. Taehyung loves love a little bit too much. Whenever anyone looks like they’re in love, he thinks it’s cute. His favorite thing in the world is when couples come into the store and record their voices saying “I love you” to each other for their bears. There’s no one who does a better heart ceremony for anniversaries than Taehyung.
“Take me away from here,” Seokjin says. They’re very weird people. They’re a match made in heaven, which is evident because they each put up with each other. Seokjin climbs onto Namjoon’s back like it’s normal and they walk away with Namjoon giving him a piggyback ride. God, Hoseok wants something like that.
“I want something like that,” he says.
“If we’re both single when we’re forty I’ll be that for you,” Taehyung says. Hoseok smiles at him and nods. He loves Taehyung, but not romantically. If he’s still single at that age, god forbid, he’ll live with any of his friends so that he’s not lonely, but he does not want to kiss Taehyung even though he’s sure it would be amazing.
It’s weird. When he first met Taehyung, even though he knew he was gorgeous, he never felt an instinctual urge to run his hands through his hair and kiss his cheek. Not like he thinks about Yoongi like that or anything…
He looks over to Orange Julius at the prettiest employee. Hoseok’s not close with the other managers there; one of them is a total piece of shit, and the other is way too serious. Yoongi is getting instructions for the day from the way too serious one, and his face in profile mesmerizes Hoseok.
“Um, earth to Hoseok?” Taehyung says, waving a hand in front of his face. He looks up from his trance and realizes they have a customer. He jumps right back into customer service mode with Jungkook behind him wondering if their little Hoseokie might have a bit of a crush.
“So,” Jimin says.
“So,” Hoseok replies.
“How do you like the new Orange Julius employee?” Jimin asks.
Hoseok frowns at him, sitting across from him at the dining room table that Jimin’s mom gifted them when they moved into their own place.
“Isn’t that something I should be asking you? You’re his coworker.”
Jimin purses his lips, “yeah, but you’ve been very eager to get him to interact with us in the group chat.”
“Are you trying to ask me for my permission so you can fuck him or something?” Hoseok asks. “Because, I really don’t think he’s gay.”
“No,” Jimin scoffs. Jimin doesn’t think that Hoseok knows he sometimes sleeps with Taehyung in a friends with benefits sort of way, but he does. Very hard to hide a secret like that from him when he’s both Jimin’s roommate and Taehyung’s boss. Hoseok is pretty sure that Jimin doesn’t know Taehyung is in love with him, but that’s just something they’ll figure out for themselves one of these days.
“Then what’s your point?”
“I’m pretty sure you want to fuck him.”
“I don’t want to fuck him,” Hoseok says, which is both a lie and the truth.
“You like him.”
“I… shut up, Jimin.”
He smirks at him and then winks. Jimin turns around to rinse off his plate, but he leaves the feeling in the air. He’s not surprised that Jimin sees through him, but he desperately hopes that he’s the only one. Yoongi can’t know that, he only just met him, and that would make their budding friendship very weird.
“When was the last time you had sex, Hoseok? I don’t think you’ve slept with someone since I met you. That’s like five years. What if it falls off?”
Hoseok throws a piece of egg at him which gets lodged in his hair. Hitting him where it hurts; Jimin cares more about his hair than he does about his health.
“Probably closer to seven years.”
“Dude! That’s a really long time.”
“I’m me, Jimin,” he says, like that’s an explanation. “I don’t sleep with people unless they’re special.”
“You never slept with me,” Jimin says, “I’m special.”
“That’s because you’re Jimin and I don’t like you,” he says, flinging another piece of food at him. He and Jimin went on one date soon after they first met. The two of them went to college and studied dance together, so it seemed to make sense at the time. They both thought dating each other might be convenient until they went on one date, found it awful and decided to instead be best friends. It’s been working out pretty well, neither of them has wanted to date the other since and it’s been nearly five years. Hoseok can’t imagine how terrible it would be if they had moved into this apartment and been trying to date. He might not have his best friend in the world if that had happened.
Jimin rolls his eyes and backs away from the projectile. “Okay, so maybe I’m getting a little ahead of myself, but I do wish you’d date someone. You have to be getting lonely over there in your room, watching porn slightly too loudly because you think I can’t hear it.” Jimin barely even attempts to pretend he’s watching porn sometimes, that’s just the kind of person he is. Hoseok’s headphones are often put to good use because of the weird things Jimin is into.
“I’ll go at my own pace,” he says. “I’m married to my job, Jimin, you know that. I put in so many hours at work, so I barely have a life unless it’s with you.”
“Do you think maybe you’re just scared of entering a relationship? I’m not talking about Yoongi in specific. I mean in general. I think it’s been so long for you that you forgot how to date.”
“That’s very probable,” Hoseok says, going back to the food in front of him which he had been eating before he started throwing it at Jimin. “What about you, though, Jimin? You haven’t found the one yet, either.” He doesn’t mention Taehyung, because surely there’s a reason that he hasn’t told Hoseok about that.
“I date!” Jimin says. But he hasn’t since he started fucking Taehyung.
“You’re just as afraid of commitment as I am.”
Jimin scowls. “That’s not true. I at least know how to date someone. I know how to be a boyfriend and how to love someone and how to… fuck. You haven’t dated since college, and that’s not real dating anyway. You’re not a real person yet until you leave college.”
“I don’t want to deal with this right now,” he says, and that’s the honest to god truth. It’s all too much to think about. Yeah, he hasn’t dated anyone in a really long time, and it’s become easy. Being single is just the way that he knows how to exist. Allowing another person into his life is far too much pressure. He’d just as soon be content or discontent not putting himself out there than try to navigate the world of dating for the first time at age 26.
But then again, wouldn’t it be nice to cuddle someone? God, his skin hungers for someone to cuddle him and put their arms around his waist and kiss his neck. He blushes at the thought. He wonders who that person will be. What do they do in their life? What do they look like? Hoseok doesn’t view himself as a real adult, so he can’t have someone with a real job. He can’t date a lawyer, because that’s a whole ass person with their life in order, and Hoseok stuffs bears for a living. He couldn’t date a doctor, because they’re in charge of making sure people don’t die, and Hoseok puts bunnies into fairy princess dresses on the regular.
It really would be convenient for the both of them if he and Jimin had romantic attraction to each other. That would be pretty great. Or if he actually liked Taehyung, or if it was seven years ago and he had beat Seokjin to Namjoon. None of those relationships would last though, because he just doesn’t like them that way, even if there was once a time when he thought he did.
Yoongi is a convenient scapegoat. He’s too young, probably straight, therefor, he’s off limits. Hoseok can’t possibly find himself wanting to be in a relationship with someone if that person is five years younger than him, so he can continue to find Yoongi attractive all he likes, and he can save himself from committing to a real relationship.
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mia-pon289 · 4 months ago
Azul’s Analysis And Theories 1: Explaining The Octavinelle Clothes
Azul is one of the best dorm leaders; ties with Idia
Translated like usual. Mashed up theories by  伝説のアライ,  とろちゃんねる, etc. 
From google (don’t sue me disney)
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Azul’s looks are based off of Ursula, even if the silhouette’s are very different Yana Toboso sensei did make sure that she used similar colors in the place correlated, like the coat with her skin, except for the beauty mark. But many people don’t notice that the facial expressions are really similar to Ursula’s human form, Vanessa. (From google) 
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The expressions of him when he is acting all cool and when his eyes open up more than usual, is like when Vanessa expressed her true self when the main crew got in the way of her plan. So both of them may have similar bodies and expressions; so this may have came from here.
Many don’t know this but Ursula does have a real person as a model; the legendary drag queen Divine. Divine was in many movies, and their (I don’t know what pronouns to use. So sorry) power/presence goes beyond the concept for gender, just like Ursula herself. In Divine’s younger years, they looked similar to Azul now; so they might be a model too?
If we talk about his personality, he shares a lot in common with Ursula. Both of them use highly calculated words and actions to manipulate a person into a contract. But all while saying that they want to “truly want to help those poor unfortunate souls”, and being a “good person”. Both of them also hide their deepest desires until the very end, with the eels.
They both take other’s good qualities as payment, going as far as taking their soul in Ursula’s case, and enjoy looking at their collection. Both of them are realists too, saying things like “there’s no such thing as love” or “You say ‘I don’t want anything back’ that’s suspicious.” So the personality or the soul of Ursula is heavily in Azul. 
So why did Ursula and Azul become like this? Yes, we don’t see anything in the movie, other than her saying something like “I used to have feasts a lot”, but in the musical we see how she becomes like this. In the song “Daddy’s Little Angel”, you see things in the back ground.
In the song, she said that she is actually a royal; the 7th daughter of the fore more king, Poseidon, making her the elder sister of king Triton. It’s also said that she was ugly, unlike her sisters, and had octopus legs. Poseidon felt pity for her and gave her the magical sea shell necklace, using the magic to kill her sisters (except for one; the one that’s missing, which would be Morgana from the second movie) to become the ruler of the kingdom. And Triton grew up, becoming the rightful heir of the kingdom, and he banished her from kingdom. Thus making her move into that cave and patiently wait till the time she can overgrow Triton and get the kingdom.
As said in his back story, he is a rare mermaid with octopus legs, and was chubby, making him become bullied by his classmates and was friendless (maybe except the tweels later). He was often inside his pot and swore work hard to prove them wrong, thus making him gain power and his unique magic.
Both of them never were born to meet the standard, looks and magic wise, to the mermaids. And were made fun of by people who were blessed, so they traied in the ways of magic to get revenge, rule over them like they had before. So they became the manipulative people they are now. 
But, Azul hasn’t gotten over his trauma unlike Ursula, who seems almost confident in her form. She could have chosen to be pretty, but she sticks to her form now. So if Azul gets over his past, as well as accept his ‘fat octopus’ form completely, and gets older, then there is a chance he’ll return to his chubby, foodie octopus mage again. Hopefully he’s still best friends with the Leech twins in the future.
The reason why the dorm clothes are formal is because Ursula looks like she’s wearing a formal black dress and her make up. The jacket they wear are commonly called dinner jackets, which used to be the butler dress coats. They were worn by butlers going out to socialize. The reason why they use silk on the lapel of the jacket is to make their faces look brighter in the dark rooms; which fits the Mostro Lounge description.
(From google, can’t write with a mouse)
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Azul wears a trench coat, rather than a Chester field coat which what would be the normal formal wear. So, it’s more casual that he mixed the trench coat which came from military outfits, which gives him more of a mafia boss look.
The pants too use a casual cummerband, rather than the traditional waist coat. They look like belts or obis, but they don’t have anything to do with holding the pants up usually, so that’s why they use suspenders. 
The bow ties are the most confusing, they do use the butterfly tie, I think it’s the modern one. Jade ties his correctly and Floyd’s is not actually wrong; it’s accepted as a way to wear it. Azul’s is a mystery for now. It’s weirdly overlapping. The traditional ones that you have to tie yourself, unlike the one you can hook, are nice because you can see how they tied it and see their own uniqueness. The hats, stoles, and the gloves give the the outfit more formal looks. Overall the out fit has a formal look, using the dinner jacket, but with the trench coats and more modern wear, you get this nice balance of casual, traditional, and formal.
(excuse my pc mouse line, from google)
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Azul’s cane does represent something; as well as in “Black Butler”, It represents that even if one hand is occupied there is no disabilities with it. So it represents the “lifestyle” as well as “power”. 
The over-blot form does have some looks sharing with Ursula. The crown is most likely the crown Ursula took from Triton, as well of the necklace and base looks being just her. But what’s different is the shells, barnacles, starfish, etc. And the spikes and lines on his waist. Ursula behind him has gloves and a cape, which was never seen in the movie, and the cape also has barnacles, corals, and starfish like things. Because you can see the huge sewed up gash on her stomach, its reasonable that this is Ursula after she was killed with the ship’s mast.  
(From google)
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A thought is that this is the black arms and thing are her body rotting, while she’s in the deep sea with the ship, becoming a new habitat for the fish and other aquatic creatures. Thus, the reflected soul also reflected on his overblot form. The lines of his waist are often seen on shark like creatures and the spicks are seen on sting rays, scorpion fish, and other poisonous fish. The normal mermaids don’t have them, but the Leech twins do. The Leech twins have the lines unlike the round stopper like normal eels and the spiky fins. Might be a trait only on eel and octopus mermaids.
His last name Ashengrotto does tie in with his home, the coral sea. Ashen can mean grey or bluish white. Coral is usually very colorful, but if they are experiencing extreme stress or other factor changes, they will die becoming more of a white-ish color. So the color means death in the sea.
The latter part, grotto, can mean “ a small picturesque cave, especially an artificial one in a park or garden. Or a Monster Garden”. Monster gardens, are sculpted to look like a monster, and some hold many sculptures of mermaids and turtles. So the grotesque cave that Ursula lived in can be conveyed as this. 
So, the name Ashengrotto could mean, “cave of death”
His sign is a pieces like the fish. His home land does seem like the original castle in the movie, unlike the Atlantica history museum in Tokyo Disney Sea. The board games club is his personality and reflection of Ursula’s use of manipulation. 
His talent for alchemy is heavily based off of Ursula; the use of making potions and granting someone’s dream freely is their talent. Just a side note when you tap the options for lines in alchemy he says “beruga sevruga, goes in the sturgeon scales...”, which a reference to the spell of Urlsa taking Ariel’s voice, “Beruga Sevruga, the sturgeon of the Caspian sea~”. As well as both of them using their hands instead of the spoon thing to stir the pot. 
The hobby of coin collecting does actually make sense, not in the way because he loves money because that would just be saving money. In Italy there fountain called the Trevi Fountain, which has this ritual of throwing in coins and granting a wish. So the coin represents the payment he and Ursula are getting for granting wishes. 
In Azul’s uniform personal story, he said that he doesn’t like relying on luck and wanting to win badly. The reason why he wants to win badly is probably because of his unique magic, which is “trading or deals”. Most villains use physical weapons or curses, which is just a one sided thing. Trades are bidirectional with the other party; for exchange for one thing, they have to give something to the others. So they can’t use it alone. When the other party gains interest on the contract is when they can overcome this big restriction and use their abilities. Like when Leona turned his contract to sand in the arc. They use the conditions, those can predict weather you can control the other person’s power they have in that deal. The result is never fully predictable; it’s actually a very risky gamble. Because his unique magic is literally gambling, he wants to win things like games. So he actually wants to make the conditions unreachable to the other person, but because it’ll be hard to lure the person making a deal, he makes the conditions harsh yet “having a possibility to reach these conditions”. So these this is the biggest weaknesses of their abilities.
Especially in the movie Ariel almost reached the condition. Because of this you can say that their biggest enemy factor is “luck”. In conditions there’s always spaces/windows of opportunities, especially when the unexpected happens. So if the person has good luck, the possibilities of them reaching their side of the condition is actually very high. But Azul and Ursula are “villains” they will not let this happen, and get luck get the best of them. They do their research on their prey, especially on their weaknesses, and use their eels and manipulate. They use confusing/grey words to fish out the prey and make them have the contract. Then the eels will watch them and make sure there’s no space for luck to sneak in, as well as Ursula or Azul themselves, making sure the conditions are never met in their power. People say that this is fraud or cheating, but this is a move they make because they know their weaknesses, so it could be said that this is one type of tactic. 
Using the souls as a card, they make it hard for the person to say no the contract, getting what they wanted; Triton’s crown and the Mostro Lounge. Their powers can used against them and difficult to control, yet they are able to use them in the best of their abilities, and the “luck” can get in their ways of their highly calculated plan. 
But they do have differences in abilities such as “payment”; he just borrows it, she takes it as payment. If they fail to reach the conditions, Ursula turns them into sea anemone, but Azul makes them under his control by getting the sea anemone on their heads. The contract itself is invincible in her case, but in Azul’s case they either have to be in his hands or in the safe. So the only way to undo all the contracts in her case, is to kill her. So, there is a chance that Azul will grow up to get the unique magic as strong as hers, gaining the abilities to take their soul.
The reason why he likes deep-fried foods is probably because of when he was still chubby. The reason why his family owns a restaurant is because they do express how scary chefs are in the movie, so we can make the assumption that the restaurant is “where fish are eaten” and “the place the aquatic creatures fear”. Another thing is the name “Mostro Lounge” is taken from Urlsa, who looked like the kraken. Mostro means monster and even Ariel called her that.
Going back to his magic, something’s off with him and Leona so as of right now his contract is decoded here. He also appears to have traded something other than his unique magic. And when Jack asked what he traded he just said “Don’t make me remember.” If Azul made a deal with Leona before the 3rd arc, then he would ask for great magic or money, like his ‘King’s Roar’, so judging the conditions as of right now, he must have been desperate enough to make the contract and gave something very important; to the point that it was traumatizing. It’s a confidential rule that he goes over the contract, but he doesn’t as well as when Leona took the contracts, he didn’t way anything about it. He just said thing about his failing grades and how he would help cheat. So maybe the deal was made with Azul in the future, and it’s natural that he didn’t take his unique magic. Maybe something happened, like someone dear died or he died. 
A/N: Likes/Re-blogs/follows/etc. are always appreciated! 
Longer than I expected actually...
I actually like Azul, but sir pelase tell me how to tie your tie... Might work on Jade next....
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savannah-lim · 5 months ago
Now You Sea Me || Kaden & Savannah
Timing: After The Student Body Location: Caves on Harris Island Parties: @savannah-lim and @chasseurdeloup Content: Gun use (on monster), body horror (description of mermaid), violence (on monster)  Summary: Savannah is both a professional and a disaster at mermaid hunting
Savannah knew from experience that New England winters were no joke. The nights were growing darker, the days chillier, and White Crest lay on the tip of the Maine coast, its cliffs and islands nestled among the glacially cold ocean. So of course, it was an excellent time of year to go mermaid hunting with a miserable Frenchman. She’d dressed in some thermal, water resistant clothes, form fitting to allow her ease of movement and make it easier to avoid getting snagged on the rocks, a thick woolly hat, and a lined parka. She didn’t know exactly what she needed for the trip, so she packed a bit of everything; her gun, extra ammo, a barrel-mounted light, regular flashlights, flares, and even snacks (they might get stranded out there!). She’d even got ziplock bags for her phone and keys. All in all, she was pretty proud of her level of preparedness by the time she went to meet Kaden at the beach on Harris Island. “I’d recognize that sullen side profile anywhere,” she said by way of greeting. Not that she could talk. “I parked just off the road up there. I have some extra supplies in the car just in case.” She honestly shouldn’t have been so excited about this. “So, mermaid?” 
Kaden always hated the water monsters. They always had the upper hand in a way, especially when in the water. And, of course it meant getting wet. Not usually a big deal to him, he’d dry off. But in Maine in the late fall? This wasn’t his idea of fun. Then again, he was severely questioning if hunting was ever his idea of fun anymore. He sighed and gathered up his nets and harpoons and spears. It didn’t matter if this was fun or not, there was a mermaid and he knew how to kill it. It would be irresponsible not to tackle this. Plus, he had Lim standing by in case he got hurt. Regan couldn’t complain about him being in the woods alone. He wasn’t alone and hey, for once, he wasn’t in the woods. “Sullen?” Kaden let out a huff of breath. “I’m not sullen. Putain.” Alright, that sounded a little sullen. “What’d you bring?” he asked, rebalancing the load on his shoulder. “You have a med kit, right? I just… I have a feeling.” With his luck, there’d be some injury or another. “Sounds like it. Lead the way, Lim.”
“I don’t know what Putain means, other than the food, but you’re kinda sullen,” Savannah snickered, probably just a little too at ease about this whole thing. She was sure that would go away once she saw it again. Kaden was a way better companion on this sort of thing than Agatha had been though. The girl was great with a gun, but way too quick on the excuses. “I do. I always have a med kit in the car.” She didn’t wait for that annoyed look of disbelief to flash on Kaden’s face, cutting it off with; “for this, I moved it to my backpack.” She went about listing what she had brought with her, hoping it would be enough for Kaden to declare that she wasn’t entirely useless. Sadly, she hadn’t had access to a harpoon. “Can I have one of those?” she asked, leading the way down the beach and towards the cave she and Agatha had entered. “I think the police tape it still up, just--yeah, this way.” It led a convenient trail towards the sea water pool in which they’d seen the mermaid. Being back in this place made Savannah cringe. All those bodies. “Do we use bait? Like a ribeye?” 
“No, no. Not poutine, putain,” Kaden said with a sigh. “It’s an expletive. Like fuck or shit. Sort of. Either way it’s not the same as the fries with gravy and cheese curds.” He couldn’t believe this was what they were explaining as they wandered down towards the beach. “Glad to hear it,” he replied in response to the med kit. “Hope we don’t need it but this is White Crest.” As fast as his side had started healing from his forrary during the full moon, it still stung as he walked. He hoped his gait and slight wincing didn’t betray it at all. He didn’t need to answer any more questions about that night. “You want a harpoon? I mean…” He didn’t exactly have a good reason to refuse. And if she was going to help. “When we get down there, sure.” The police tape wasn’t far and when they reached it, neither of them had to even pretend not to get caught as they ducked under and headed towards the scene of the crime. And the monster. He had to admit, being police really did have its advantages for hunting. “Yeah, we should probably come up with a plan,” he said as he started unloading his gear, handing her one of the harpoons. “The best thing to do is going to be to get it out of the water. If we can harpoon it and get the net around it we can try to drag it out.” Easier said than done, he knew that full well. “Didn’t really think about bait.” Shit. He stood there, arms crossed a moment. “You want to be bait?” He didn’t want to be bait.
"Oh," she shrugged. "I only know Merde. Now if you want to swear in Korean, I'm your girl. Gae-sae-ggi." Savannah was quite happy to discuss expletives. She was oddly energised by all this, and happy to talk him through some of her favorites as they walked. "This is White Crest," she repeated, giving a humorless chuckle. "It really is a weird horror show of a town, isn't it?" And yet somehow her words didn't seem disparaging. She was still amazed he'd even agreed to let her come, considering how unhappy he'd seemed when she and Regan were out there on the river. 
As they approached the cavern, she knew this was the place. It was practically burned into her consciousness. Savannah placed down one of the larger lights, turning it on near the wall so she didn’t have to hold it. "I've never used a harpoon before," she said, positively energised at the idea. The bait part, she was less enthused about. "Why? Why would I want to be fish monster bait?" She shook her head. "I packed food though. Do you think it might like some sandwich meat?" Probably preferred its food fresh, but she hoped Kaden wouldn't challenge her on that. “Or--do you have a knife? Maybe I could just cut my finger and drop some blood in the water.” 
“Merde’s a good one, too. Putain de merde is really the best, though.” Kaden’s brow furrowed and he tried to repeat her Korean. “That any good? I’m guessing not. I’ve heard my uncle complain about the French accent coming through in my German. I can’t imagine it’s better in any other language.” It was odd how easy the convo felt. Like they weren’t walking into potential death. “No place like it, that’s for sure. And I’ve been to a lot of places, I don’t know about you.” 
As terrible an idea as this probably was, having a normie with him on this hunt, and a Federal agent at that, Kaden couldn’t argue with how prepared she was. It almost made him question if she was as clueless as she let on. Almost. “Hey, I don’t want to be bait. And you don’t know how to use a harpoon.” He sighed and insisted she take it anyway. “I mean, I know I’m prettier but someone has to do it,” he said, jokingly. He wasn’t going to push it, though. She just seemed so enthusiastic, he hoped she just might go along with the bait thing. Kaden blinked at her a moment. “Food? Are you telling me you brought snacks? On our hu-- I mean, encounter.” Shit, he hoped he covered it up at least a little. Likely not. Probably didn’t matter too much either way. “Do I have a knife,” he repeated with a scoff, like it was the world’s dumbest question. “The real question is which one you want. Not that I’m advocating for blood letting. Let’s try sacrificing the snacks first. It might work,” he said and gestured for her to go ahead, his harpoon in hand, ready to face the beast. 
“Could be better,” Savannah answered, honestly, but not unkindly. “But Korean is tough if you’re not used to it. I wouldn’t complain about your accent coming through. It’s sort of part of who you are, right?” They weren’t left with much time to dwell on that conversation though before the subject turned back to bait. 
“I should have brought some leftover meatloaf,” Savannah groaned, putting down her bag. “Yes, I brought food! What if we get lost down here, or one of us gets injured? I wanted to be prepared.” She’d probably gone a little overboard, admittedly, but he hadn’t exactly given her a list. “There’s a water resistant thermal blanket, some spare socks…” But the one thing she didn’t have was a knife, so she took his gladly, pocketing it briefly before rifling through her backpack for her sandwiches, throwing in some sliced chicken from between the buttered slices of bread, then standing back as if waiting for a volcano to erupt. 
“Meatloaf?” Kaden asked, his face pulling into a disgusted frown instinctively. There was nothing that had ever sounded appealing about that dish. “Hopefully the mermaid isn’t as picky as I am.” He had a feeling that, knowing their luck, this mermaid just might be. “Well, glad you came prepared. I guess. But putain, did you pack for an overnight trip or a hunt?” Then again, sometimes those overlapped. He sincerely hoped that wasn’t the case here. “I’m going to need that back when we’re done by the way,” he said after handing her the knife as they backed away. He waited, harpoon in hand. It felt like they were there for a minute. Maybe two. Nothing so far. 
Kaden’s mouth pulled into a thin line and he gestured to indicate she should stay put where she was as he approached the water, slowly, weapon ready. One step, then two. Still nothing. Three, four. Maybe it had gone and fucked off. Five, s-- “Putain de merde!” Kaden shouted, stumbling back as what looked like a woman burst from the water. If he didn’t know any better, he’d say she was gorgeous, green eyes, alluring and practically beckoning him to the water as she sang. If he didn’t know better, he might be fooled. But he did know better. So Kaden charged towards the beast, harpoon in hand. As quickly as the facade had appeared, it dropped, and the woman bent back and away, revealing a row of teeth. He thrust the harpoon towards the open mouth, but before he could ram it through the monster, its fangs clamped down, snapping it in two. And then another head popped out of the water. “Fucking shit,” he grumbled. Lim better be prepared for this, too. 
"I know you're French, but you don't have to be a snob," Savannah answered at his reaction to her mention of meatloaf. She'd prefer a good Korean BBQ, but it was tough to find a decent one in White Crest, if there were any at all. "Okay, so I may have over-packed a little." But it was better than coming unprepared, she thought... Savannah accepted the harpoon perhaps a little too gladly. She wasn't someone who expected to ever have any joy in hunting, and this wasn't the type of hunting she'd ever anticipated, and it was hard not to feel the pure adrenaline and excitement of it mixed in with the fear. It wasn't the killing that interested her. Not in the slightest. It was being part of something unknown and exciting, discovering something new. "I'll try not to break it," she answered, her voice dryer than anything else managed to be in this cave. 
Before she could say anything else, her eyes widened at the sight of a beautiful young woman emerging from the icy saltwater, the very same she had seen just the other day with Agatha. "Hi again," she answered, "miss me?" Oh, she'd always wanted to say something cool like that, but she felt entirely less cool when the beast half-swallowed Kaden's weapon, and brought a friend. "Oh no! Hey! Look out!" She pulled her own trigger, hitting the creature, but just barely. It made an inhuman groan as the metal scraped across its scales, leaving jagged edges. “Hello?? Why is this thing so slow to reload?”
“Putain!” Kaden shouted again as the shot rang out, diving out of the way of the beasts and the bullet. “You could have hit me!” True as that may be, she had shot the one mermaid, no mistaking it. Not clean enough to kill it, though. He scrambled out of the way and reached for his own gun. Shit, he hadn’t been prepared for multiple. His mistake, really. He took the gun and started firing where he could. One want through the first monster’s mouth, though he couldn’t be sure if it did real damage or clipped its fucking fangs. It did give Kaden a second to scramble away from the edge. Taking them out with bullets wasn’t impossible but with the strength of its scales, it’d be a task. Especially with two. Best bet, drag one of those fuckers out of the water. “Aim for that one,” Kaden said pointing to the left. “Going to try something.” He took the harpoon he gave her and grabbed a net, running over to the creature on the right. He threw the harpoon into what looked like the “woman’s” shoulder before tossing the net at it. Teeth tangled in the net and he hoped like hell when he pulled back, they wouldn’t tear it to shreds. Just had to get it out of the water. 
“But I didn’t!” Savannah answered. Come on. At least he could give her some credit. She’d passed her marksmanship certification with flying colors. She took advantage of Kaden’s gunfire, loading the harpoon again and readying for another shot. She kept her hands steady, all her training coming together to teach her to keep a calm and steady hand. Quantico sure hadn’t expected their training to be used for something like this. Their attention being on Kaden made it easier for her to land her next shot, aiming at the one Kaden had indicated. The harpoon loosed, whizzing through the small space between them with a low whistle and hitting the mermaid square in the abdomen. “Oh, that was a good one!” She picked up Kaden’s intentions and started walking backwards, dragging the thing as it made ungodly screeches that she was sure would alert every house on the island. 
For not being a hunter, Kaden had to admit that Lim wasn’t too bad at all this. This time, at least. Guess coming prepared made a difference. Kaden tugged and pulled and finally, the monster was out of the fucking water, letf to fucking suffocate. He turned his attention to Lim and helped drag the second one along with her. Once they were both on the rocky surface of the cavern, it was almost embarrassing to think of them as terrifying. Both were flopping and flailing, gasping for breath. The lures on top of them, the ones that looked like women, were still trying to entice them as best as they could. “Help… me…” they moaned. The whines turned into screams and Kaden had had enough. He took his bowie knife out, dragged the one near him, slit it under its jaw, then same to the second. Blood and guts poured over the floor around them. But the beasts stopped moving. Kaden pushed his hair out of his face and assessed the situation. “Guess we did it. Didn’t die. So that’s nice.”
Savannah credited her FBI training for preparing her for this sort of thing. Okay, not exactly this sort of thing, but intense situations, those were something she was trained to simply tackle confidently and pragmatically. She lacked Kaden’s supernatural gifts and knowledge of the bizarre, but she did her best to hold her own. She watched, fascinated as the creatures struggled on the cave floor, her torch light falling on them, creating shadows on their faces that made them look even more horrifying. She didn’t even look away or flinch when Kaden dealt the final blow. “That was actually… pretty fun,” she said. “If you ignore the mortal peril. We saved lives today. No more frat boy snacks for these things.” She sounded, and looked, terribly proud of herself. 
Kaden leaned over, hands on his knees, letting the adrenaline wear down, trying to catch his breath, when he looked back up at Lim. Did she just call this fun? “Yeah. Sure. If you ignore that one small detail. Sure.” He shook his head and started to gather his equipment back up so they could get the hell out of there. “Maybe don’t start hunting monsters on your own just for fun, though. I mean, not unless you value that whole life thing you have going for you.” Once his weapons were all gathered and ready to go, he looked back at the monster’s bodies. “We should probably burn those or something, shouldn’t we?” It’s not like he could bring them to Regan right now.
Savannah's veins were flooded with adrenaline. She caught her breath, doing her best to wipe away what blood and monster guts had made their way onto their clothes with the anti-bacterial wipes she'd brought with her. "No, no, I'll leave the sea monster slaying to the professionals, Ahab." At the mention of burning, Savannah furrowed her brow. "Oh, yes, I suppose. Unless we want one of those teens with phone cameras to put it on Instagram." Regrettably, and very reluctantly, she reached very slowly for one of the most important things she'd packed; a hip flask. "I... suppose this might help?" She held up an index finger, taking a sip before handing it to him as if she was parting with precious jewels. "Don't say I never gave you anything." She definitely wasn’t going to tell Keen about this. 
12 notes · View notes
royallyprincesslilly · 6 months ago
Title: Hibiscus Kisses {1}
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Chris Evans x OFC Ajali Rambaue AU {Ah-Jah-Lee, Ram-Bow}
Warning: Plot Heavy, Cursing, 
Words: 6.1k
Summary: Ajali decides on a rash decision to go on a Disney cruise, not for her love of Disney, but because she needs time to figure things out after things get even more complicated in her complicated life. She only expected peace, quiet, tropical drinks, and an overabundance of Disney songs. What she got was more than she bargained for when the cruise of a lifetime on the brand new ship Enchantment turned into a nightmare. The only saving grace is that she’s not the only one living through the nightmare. Can Ajali survive the test of a lifetime and the dangers ahead of her, and better yet, will she finally be able to live a little?
Note: Hey, hey, hey, guys! So here we are trying something different/new. I hope you enjoy this. 🤞🏽 Please feel free to tell me what you think. I’m super excited to explore this one with you all. 🤗 Also, what do you guys think of the title? What does it make you think of?
As always, thank you so much for reading! If you enjoyed this, please LIKE, COMMENT, REBLOG! ❤️❤️
I appreciate each and every one of your guys’ support and love!
***Loosely Edited/Proofread***
**Very Interactive**
***French Language Incorporated w/translations according to Google***
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“Yes, mom, I packed my charger and my vitamins. Oh my god, of course, I have my scarf. Mom!”
 Your mother continued to press you about things any woman would never forget packing. This was how she was normally. Almost morning, she would make her routine calls. First to your sister Atali, then to you. When she made it to you, she’d ask if you ate, and of course, by the time she called you, you were usually at work or on your way to it, and you wouldn’t have eaten. Then she’d ask you why you hadn’t eaten, to which she’d go back and forth with you about the importance of eating a well-balanced meal. Somehow that would lead to her asking how you expected to find the one when you didn’t eat enough. It was a never-ending thing with her. She was obsessed with you and your sister finding the one.
You understood. Your parents had been married for well over two decades, and they were still disgustingly in love. There was also no one like your dad, so you understood. They both saw what a catch they both were. After she told you the story of how she finessed your dad and got married in record time, it always turned into focus on you finding someone to marry. No matter how many times you told her that even though marriage was great and all, you weren’t in any hurry, it never registered.
 “Mom, I have everything I need. It is just supposed to be a two-week cruise.”
 “You’d be surprised the things you realize you left once you’re at sea. Then it will be too late,” Cynthia, your mother warned.
 “Then I’ll just buy it. Mom, I’m not going to the middle of nowhere. I am going on a huge ship from one of the world’s most reputable companies. I am positive they have every possible thing I could want to buy onboard. Plus, when we dock at ports, I’ll be able to buy much more.”
 “You’re always buying. Gah, I blame your father. He spoiled you and your sister rotten.”
 “I am not spoiled. It’s not like I haven’t worked for my money. Yes, daddy helped me set up my company, but I got where I am today because of me,” you professed.
 “I know, sweetheart, you don’t have to preach to the choir. All I’m saying is your daddy’s wealth only helped spoil you and Lali more. I saw it in you at the playground the most. You always wanted what the other kids were playing with. If it was a ball, you tried to take it. If it were the swings, you’d overtake it, toys in the sandbox my goodness those kids would end up with sand in their eyes and you alone with the toys.”
 “Some would call that persistence, hardworking, and assertive.”
 Your mother laughed then tsked.
 “I’m surprised that when you were in high school, I never got a call about you getting into a fight because you stole some girl’s boyfriend.”
 You pursed your lips, but as you were going to open your mouth to respond, your phone vibrated, signaling a notification.
 “Hang on, mom.”
 You thanked the Lyft driver for helping with your bags then checked your phone.
 MSG Javii: I’ve been calling you all night. Come on, Chaton (kitten). You have to talk to me at some point. Tu me manques (I miss you).
 You sighed and rolled your eyes. He had some nerve, you thought.
 “Ajali, hello!”
 “Yes, mom, I’m here. Sorry. I was getting my bags together.”
 “So, you’re really doing this?”
 “Yes, mom. Why wouldn’t I?”
 “Who goes on a cruise alone? What about the man I heard in the background of our call a few weeks ago? Why not go with him?”
 You rolled your eyes again, thinking about that man in the background a few weeks ago who was on your shit list.
 “I don’t know what you’re talking about. It was the tv,” you lied.
 “Ajali--,” your mother began before you cut her off.
 “—Plus, mom, it’s a Disney cruise,” you stressed.
 “Exactly. The people who go on Disney cruises are families, wives, husbands, kids. You are neither of them and have nether of them.”
 You balanced your phone on your shoulder and rolled your luggage toward the designated pier.
 “I just need some time to myself to clear my head and destress. Two weeks.”
 “Ignore your mother, my petal. You take the time you need. I’ve told you, and your sister working is important, but living is just as important. You don’t live to work; you work to live,” your father said.
 “Thank you, daddy.”
 “Plus, maybe you will find a worthy man on this cruise while you’re living,” your father slid in.
 “Oh god, not you too, daddy.”
 “We are unified in this, Lulu. He may wear the pants, but I control the buttons and the zipper if you know what I mean.”
 You tasted vomit in your mouth.
 “Eck! That is disgusting, mother. On that note, I gotta go.”
 “Wait, wait, enjoy yourself, my petal. We love you.”
 “Love you too, daddy, love you, mom.”
 With that, you ended the call and continued to walk toward Pier eighty-one. You passed families with rowdy children who looked like they couldn’t wait to get ice cream wasted, couples who looked as if they couldn’t wait to get to their suites and even elderly couples who were dressed to the nines for vacation, including already applied sunscreen and sunhats. Despite what your mother thought, Disney cruises were for everyone.
 You’d purposely chosen Disney because you didn’t want to be around other couples who were loved up and nauseatingly adorable, spewing love in the air. You wanted to be as far from that as possible. Love was the last thing on your mind. You were going on this cruise to get away from it. Your phone vibrated and went off twice.
 MSG Atali: Have you made your getaway yet?
 You stopped rolling and went to reply.
 MSG: Almost. I’m walking to the boarding line now.
MSG Atali: I think you’re doing the right thing. Space and time. In two weeks you’ll know what you want to do. I hope it’s what we talked about.
MSG: I know, Lali, I know.
MSG Atali: Have some fun too. It’s Disney.
 You could picture her face as you read it. She was probably cheesing at this very minute.
 MSG: Thank you for looking after the company while I’m gone.
MSG Atali: Boo, you know it’s my company too, right. Don’t worry; our clients will be taken care of. I’ve got it covered.
 You knew she did. Atali was the older one and had always acted like it, even though she was only nine months older. You knew she could take care of things on her own while you were away.
 MSG: I know, still. Thank you.
MSG Atali: You’re welcome, Lulu. Call me later. Margaret Bailey’s appointment is next. Apparently, she’s throwing some party, and she wants to be the envy of everyone.
MSG: Eck, you have your work cut out for you. Bye.
 As you were putting your phone away, another message came in.
 MSG Javii: Chaton (kitten), call me, please. Don’t you think you’re dragging this out a little?
 You almost said, “are you stupid” out loud. The man had some nerve. Dragging it out? You rolled your eyes as another message came in.
 MSG Javii: Je t’aime (I love you).
 Just like that, you melted. He was playing on the fact that your father was French, and the language itself was a favorite of yours. He was not a stupid man; he was a smart businessman.
 MSG Javii: I’m sorry. I know we’ve talked about it, but you have to give me more time. Please.
Unbelievable, you thought as you exited your messages and stuck your phone into your back pocket. You turned and ran smack dab into someone’s hard body.
 “Shit. I’m so sorry,” you rushed out even as you were falling back.
 A pair of strong arms grabbed you and firmly held you, preventing your fall.
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“It’s okay, you’re lucky I don’t mind beautiful women bumping into me,” a deep masculine voice said. You knew it was a man, but you couldn’t see his face even though he looked to be well over six feet. His head was dipped low, and the hat he wore over hair that fell to his neck was so low you couldn’t see anything but the full beard that showed off a chiseled jawline.
 He set you right side up and slowly brought his hands from your arms back to his side. “Stay safe out there,” he said before he walked off.
 You stood there for a few moments, then looked back to where he’d walked and watched him saunter away. He had a slight dip to the way he walked that could either be seen as a happy go lucky type of thing or something that said he had some sort of swagger. Before you stared any longer, you sprang into motion with wheeling your luggage to the growing line to board the ship. Thankfully the line went quickly thanks to the ten different lanes that had ship staffers ready and eager to help guests.
 When it was your turn, a friendly-looking woman with a trendy bob cut explained what to do. While she talked, her smile never fell, but you didn’t really pay attention because her uniform was so distracting. She had on a purple and green hat that had mermaid scales and Ariel printed all over it. This hat matched the shirt and skirt combo she wore. Her shirt was two-toned, on one side was Ariel’s face, and on the other was mermaid scales while her skirt was plain white. It looked like The Little Mermaid threw up all over her. You didn’t expect anything else; it was a Disney cruise after all.
 After doing all the check-in steps, such as handing off your rolling luggage to the ship porters and taking a photo for your provided identification wrist band that the crew will use to identify you and your indicated needs, you boarded the ship. All the friendly faces you passed all looked happy to welcome you to Disney Cruises and to direct you to where you wanted to go. The noise inside was much louder inside than it was out. The kids that looked excited outside looked downright jubilant inside as they posed for pictures with life-sized Disney characters and got welcome ice cream treats.
 You were even tempted to take a picture or two, but you decided against it. What you did not decide against was ice cream. You took an offered vanilla cone and kept on your way, looking around the ship as the other guests did. From your research, this was the best-rated cruise this year. It was a newer Disney ship and one that cost over ten million dollars to design and build. Everyone said it was the Rolls Royce of Disney cruises.
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From what you saw with the décor looked to have cost a fortune. There was glass, fancy lights, and marble everywhere. It was clear they didn’t skimp on funding and clear that they had the comfort and luxury in mind. There were plants around the central atrium that gave off that tropical vacation vibe and even paintings and pictures hanging on the walls that further pushed the agenda that this was supposed to be a fun time for all.
 The more you walked around looking at different areas, the more you were impressed. If the gathering areas looked this upscale, you were even more excited to see your suite.
 “Can I help you with anything, ma’am?”
 You shook your head and smiled at the man wearing Hans all over him. “I’m all right, thank you.”
 The next thirty minutes or so were spent walking around while following the map in your hand. You found and noted where the spa, library, on-ship garden, movie theater, bowling alley, tropical setting wave pool, and best restaurants and bars were. You had every intention of soaking up all the luxury that you’d paid top dollar for. When you saw a few amenities that you hadn’t expected, your jaw dropped. You had no idea why there was an ice skating rink or an indoor sky flying dome that had the tallest clear tube you’d ever seen. You didn’t know who’d designed this cruise, but you knew it must have cost millions. You were sure you wouldn’t be getting in that sky flying dome.
 When you finally got the alert that your suite was ready, it was well after one in the afternoon. The walk among the crowds was noisy. Everyone was either talking about what they wanted to do first, how enormous and beautiful the ship was, or making a plan for the cruise duration. In between all the chatter, there of course, were the screams and cries of babies and toddlers who were already losing their shit.
 This is what you’d expected when you decided on this Disney cruise over another like Carnival or Norwegian. You knew that the other passengers would be of a specific age range leaning on the younger and family-oriented side, which meant you wouldn’t have to fight off unwanted suitors who tried to shoot their shot. It also meant that you wouldn’t have to deal with any sort of drama that usually happened on a cruise with young adults all looking to hook up. That was not what you needed right now. You wanted to stay as far away from hooking up or eligible men that had blue eyes or a perfect head of hair, or abs that were chiseled by Michelangelo himself, or an ass that would make a mannequin jealous.
 On the elevator ride to your floor, you caught the eye of an adorable little boy with a complete head of luscious dark locks and doe eyes with an unmeasurable depth. His smile was innocent. Every time your eyes met his, he hid behind his mother. When you looked away, he looked back at you. After two or three playful back and forth glances, which had him becoming more adorable, you surprised him by not looking away. When he realized it, his squeal was so childlike and filled with so much glee that everyone on the elevator had to giggle. Over the next several minutes, the passengers on the elevator got off group by group until it was just a few people remaining.
 “Sixth floor,” the elevator attendant announced.
 You made your way through the door but gave the adorable boy a look. “Have a fun cruise, cutie,” you said with a wink before the doors closed with the sound of his giggles. You looked at your phone to remind yourself which room was yours, then glanced at the numbers on the wall that directed you where to go. The dinging sound of an elevator brought your attention down the hall to your right to see one man walk off. His hat was dipped down low, but you noticed his face was buried in his phone before he turned and walked in the opposite direction of you.
 Focusing on the signs on the door, you walked down the left side of the aisle. It didn’t take you long to realize your room was at the end of the hall. Once you reached it, you glanced back to see the same man with his tipped low hat. It looked like the same man from before outside the ship. It couldn’t be, you thought. The odds were not that small. As you opened your door, you saw him disappear into the room at the opposite end of the hall.
 Once you walked inside, you immediately thought that this was what you got when you had Atali handle the arrangements. The theme of the room was clearly sky blue. The couch in the living area was a satin, silky sky blue that looked as if it was plush and comfortable. It matched the blue and grain colored carpet before it perfectly, and the abstract blown glass art on the wall. The colors all worked together to give you a sense of peace. It wouldn't have been something you’d chosen because, unlike Atali, you liked to keep things as low maintenance as possible. Just because your family had money doesn’t mean you had to look or behave as if you did.
 When you walked into the bedroom portion of the stateroom, you saw your suitcases waiting for you in the far left corner of the room. The sunlight pouring in from the screened balcony bathed the room in a beautiful, cheerful yellow that was so inviting that once you kicked off your shoes, you had to step out into it. The temperature was not blazing hot because it was just the middle of April in New York, and that meant a mix of chilly and warm days with the occasional possible snow shower. The salty air of the sea was one of your favorite smells. You remembered when your father took your family to France on your yearly family vacation. As a child, you loved the beach and the salt of the sea. When you became an adult, nothing had changed.
 Not realizing how long you remained on the balcony, an intercom announcement came on.
 “Attention passengers, this is Lucas Albright, one of your captains. It is with great pleasure that I welcome you aboard this Disney Enchantment Cruise.”
 He paused, and you could hear the uproar of cheers and claps from over the intercom as well as in the halls and neighboring staterooms.
 “We are all excited to host you on this two and a half week christening journey from New York. I say christening because you lot are the first to travel on this brand new ship. This is her maiden voyage.”
 More cheers and applause came for what felt like forever.
 “We will be on this beautiful vessel for two days, at which time we dock in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic at approximately eleven o’clock in the morning, where you can enjoy plenty of the excursions and activities for the day.”
 Again applause followed. Everyone was undoubtedly excited about this cruise. You tried to get out of your funk and onboard the excitement train.
 “We will then set sail again, leaving port at ten o’clock that evening and moving on to two days at sea until we reach our second destination of Port of Grand Turk in beautiful Turks & Caicos. At that time, we dock at eleven 0’clock and lift anchors at ten o’clock. From the beautiful Turks & Caicos, we will be at sea for two days until we reach the tropical breezes of the British Virgin Islands!”
 You were already making some mental plans for everything you wanted to do at each port.
 “After spending out eleven o’clock to ten o’clock time there. We set sail to the glorious white sandy beaches of—Arrrruuuba!”
 At that time, the classic Beach Boys song Kokomo came on at the Aruba part. It was so corny, but everyone seemed to love it. You shook your head as the short clip of the song played loudly until it was lowered to play in the background.
 “Again, we’re docking at eleven o’clock to set sail again at ten o’clock. We are then at sea for three more days until we get to Ocho Rios, Jamaaaaica!”
 As he spoke, you went around the room, placing things you’d need and freshening yourself up. When he finally finished giving the itinerary, you were situated and checking the schedule of events for the day. All in all, it was set to be an action packed seventeen days at sea. Atali must have chosen this length because she knew seven or ten days would not be enough time.
 “All right, ladies, gentlemen, kids, and big kids, I hope to see you all at the welcome mingle we’ve scheduled to begin within the next twenty minutes or so, at which time we will lift anchors and say sayonara to New York and aloha to the seven seas.”
 He had a voice for radio or a game show. It was velvety deep, just what many women seemed to like these days. You grabbed your phone and crossbody bag and walked out of your room. You had a mission before you lifted anchor. Everyone was still abuzz with talk of the itinerary as more of the beach boys played over the ship speaker system. Vacation vibes were in full effect. Once you got to the media area, you promptly purchased your airtime so your cell would be able to work while at sea. You knew your mother would have a heart attack if you went two days without checking in with her. You didn’t think it was because she was that attached to her children though, you knew it was her motherly duty to remain up in the tea, so she felt continuously connected. As she got older and older, you realized it more and more.
 As soon as that mission was completed, you made your way to the top deck where the mingle was being held. As you stepped out into the sun, you marveled at just how extravagant Disney had chosen to go with this ship. Several feet before you stretching obscenely high into the air, you saw something that looked like a rollercoaster. There were plenty of other passengers pointing to it and excitedly chattering about it. You made a mental note to stay as far away from it as possible. Who would think to ride an insanely high rollercoaster on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean?
 Slowly you walked around the deck, cordially smiling at those you passed. You passed a bar area and took one of the prepared cocktails, and proceeded to find a good spot at the side of the ship to watch them lift anchor. After several minutes of searching and bumping into all the excited kids and passengers who were posing for pictures with friends, family, and Disney staff, you found an excellent spot to press your back against.
 Across the way, a familiar hat caught your eye. It was him, you thought. He always kept his head low and tried to steer away from big crowds. It was strange to you considering he’d chosen to get on a cruise ship filled with hundreds of people. He wouldn’t be able to escape the crowds. Your eyes followed him as he walked to another bar to grab one of the drinks there. As he did, he joked with the bartender, and it was then you saw a flash of his pearly smile. You couldn’t tell if he was attractive or not, mostly since all you’d gotten were glimpses of pieces of his face. Part of you wanted him to take off the stupid hat so you could be sure, but the other part—the sensible part that remembered why you’d chosen a Disney cruise slapped your ass back into focus.
 “Welcome, Disney guests!”
 In response, everyone around you screamed, clapped, cheered, and stomped so loudly the sound could have rivaled that of a rave.
 “We are pleased to welcome you once again!”
 As one of the staff members continued to speak about the ship procedures, expectations, highlights, amenities, and more, you continued to look around the deck, taking in all the grandeur before you. It didn’t take long to get lost in the directory you held. Again you took note of where everything was that you wanted to experience and even went as far as to make a plan of what you wanted to eat each night. Between you and Atali, you were the planner. You liked things to make sense and liked them to be stable and constantly reliable. You hated the erraticness of people and impulsivity. You always tried to steer as far from it as possible.
 By the time the speeches were finished, you’d had three drinks and were working on your fourth. The vibration of your phone brought your attention to it.
 MSG Javii: Chaton?
 You rolled your eyes and sighed out a little louder than you intended. What attracted you to him in the first place was what was annoying you right now. His persistence. You sat in a nearby seat and stared at the text exchange and thought of what you wanted to reply. Five minutes passed with you not typing one word. The truth was you didn’t know what to say. You were that jumbled up. The stress of it all was making your head hurt. You rubbed your brow and began your message.
 MSG: I need some time away.
 Instantly a message came back.
 MSG Javii: From me?
 Bobbing your head from side to side, you tried to make a quick decision.
 MSG: From this—us.
 MSG Javii: Chaton, say what you mean. You know I prefer directness. Do you mean from me?
 MSG: Yes.
 A few minutes passed before he sent another message. You wondered if you’d hurt him. Part of you didn’t want to hurt him, but the other part wanted him to suffer and see what it was like to be without you. Maybe then he’d start appreciating what he had.
 MSG: I just need to figure some things out.
MSG Javii: Are you breaking up with me, Chaton?
 The name was killing you, and you were sure he knew it. Every time he called you “chaton,” it made your belly flutter.
 MSG: I just need time and space, Javii.
MSG Javii: I love you. You know that, right? I love you more than anything.
MSG: If that were true, I’d be there right now instead of where I am. I have to go.
 You closed your messages and sighed out again.
 “Mm, I can easily read that expression, and if any man causes brow or forehead wrinkles, he isn’t the one.”
 Your head snapped to your right to see an older woman sitting there. She wore a straw hat atop her long red hair that looked close to that of Lucille Ball’s. The hue of her hair complimented her bronze and gold complexion. Her makeup was expertly done, as was her purple painted nails that pinched the straw that was at the corner of her mouth, a mouth that was painted perfectly accentuating her cupid’s bow lips. She was gorgeous.
 “Uh--,” you began as she continued.
 “The only one who is worth it is the one who gives you cheek wrinkles and smile creases.”
You grinned to yourself and took a sip from your glass that was resting on the table between you.
 “Trust me. I’ve dated plenty of men, ones who cause both, ones who cause one more than the other and ones who only cause one—the bad ones.” She motioned to the space between her eyebrows, symbolizing stress wrinkles from furrowing your brows.
 “I have yet to meet one who only causes smile creases,” she finished.
 You shrugged and looked glanced back to your phone before you put it on the table face down.
 “Maybe that one doesn’t exist on this Earth,” you countered.
 “A skeptic, I see. You’re one of those women who don’t believe in the one, right?”
 After scoffing, you looked at her. “I don’t know what I believe. Once upon a time, I did then---things got complicated.”
 The woman placed her drink down and nudged her fist underneath her chin, giving you her complete attention.
 “Oh, complications are the joys of life, darling. Nothing is ever cut and dry or so simple and steady. I say go for the ride but make sure you hand on for the bumps.”
 You contemplated her words. There was some logic there, but once she said nothing was simple or steady, you had to admit your heart skipped a beat. You hated when things weren’t simple. You took your glass again and finished its contents. At the same time, your eye found the man who’d caught you maybe an hour ago. You watched as he walked closer to where you were seated and caught another glimpse of his face before he passed you.
 From beside you, you heard the woman whistle.
 “I wouldn’t mind going for a ride with that one.”
 Your laugh was loud and couldn’t be stopped. You shook your head at her, but she didn’t look one bit embarrassed or remorseful.
 “It’s a cruse darling, a vacation. Now’s the time to live a little—or a lot,” she said, finishing with an exaggerated wink.
 This woman was inadvertently suggesting you let your hoe flag fly for the duration of the cruise. She reminded you of your aunt Josephine from your father’s side. As a French woman, she definitely embodied the French lifestyle of only living once and to live life right the first time. You’d spent countless hours with her listening to her stories of her travels, boyfriends, escapades. You and Atali always loved to live vicariously through her. That was until Atali came of age and decided to live just like her.
 You sat with this woman who introduced herself as Genevieve and listened to her stories of life and love. Usually, you hated speaking to strangers, but she didn’t feel like one. She felt like a kindred spirit, a much more carefree spirit but still kindred the same. You didn’t realize that two hours had almost passed with the two of you sipping cocktails and giggling. When you said your goodbyes, you wandered around the ship, taking in all it had to offer. You peeked in on activities that were already underway and scoped out other places you could disappear in.
 You made it back to your room in time to shower, change, and put on a lite layer of makeup before you made it to dinner at one of the forty restaurants. Once you walked into the restaurant, the atmosphere screamed luxury though it was not opulently done. It still looked family-friendly, but it was done in a way that let you know that you were meant to feel important by the décor alone.
 At the bottom of the long stairs, you quickly looked around, trying to find an empty table. When you’d zeroed in on one, you saw a hand waving you down—the hand of the same woman from before, Genevieve. Why not, you thought to yourself before you began to cross the dining area toward her. Within a few steps, you ran right into a body that felt like a brick wall. You could feel your body falling backward, but in the nick of time, a pair of strong, muscular arms wrapped around your back, holding you in place.
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If his face had been eluding you all day, it was not anymore. The eyes you stared into were blue enough that the sea you sailed would be envious. His lips were so red that an apple would want a rematch for bragging rights and his face so symmetrical that even the perfect line of symmetry didn’t seem perfect enough when next to him. The man was gorgeous. You watched his eyes roam your face as if he was in no rush, wanting to take in every detail. What felt like minutes was probably only seconds before he set you upright. As you were prepared to speak, he smiled, and the action had you feeling like you’d been hit in the head at the same time as your gut.
 “Twice in one day. What’re the odds? Are you okay?”
 Rather than speaking, you nodded.
 “Are you sure?”
 “Yes, thank you. I’m—I’m sorry,” you stuttered.
 “Nah, forget about it. No harm, no foul.”
 From behind him, you could see Genevie giving you a look that said she wanted to know what was being said and who he was.
 “I uh—I was going that way,” you said, nodding your head to behind him.
 “And me that way.” He nodded behind you. “Stay safe out there,” he uttered before he walked off in the direction you’d just come from, giving you the opportunity to walk to Genevieve.
 The look on her face needed no words to along with it, but she still spoke.
 “Is that the same snack from before?”
 You nodded and nearly snorted out, hearing her use the word.
 “What’s his name?”
 “No idea, but I feel like I’ve seen him somewhere before. I just—can’t place it.”
 “I don’t know how. I’d never forget a face like that.”
 She had a point; he had an unforgettable face, one that stayed with you and possibly could haunt your nights. You bet he got whatever he wanted and whoever he wanted. As dinner progressed, you had your choice of different appetizers, entrees, drinks, and desserts. If one wanted Scandinavian food, they could get it, or southern food it was within reach. As you ate, you listened to more of Genevieve’s stories. She told you about the men she’d dated, the things she’d seen in her years, and lessons she’d learned from those men. The moral you learned from her stories was love often, love hard, and love entirely because while you’d remember the pain, you’d remember the love more.
 As you ate and listened to her, you couldn’t help but think of the reason you were on this cruise in the first place. You were not running to love but from it. If you were to listen to Genevieve, you should have stayed your ass in New York and gone to Javii. If you listened to her, you’d probably spend another year living in sin. By the end of dinner, you’d met three other women all within the same age range as you, but they all were in different times of their lives. One was newlywed, and on her honeymoon, the second married a year and expecting her first child and the third long married with three children.
 It was an interesting look at alternate timelines for you. Any of them could have ended up being you if you’d only made different choices. Part of you wondered which one you wanted to be more, your natural self, or one of the three possibilities.
 After dinner, you made your way to one of the theaters to watch the planned show for the night. It was a re-enactment of The Little Mermaid, and the audience was filled with little ones who clapped and cheered throughout. You were surprised at how well the staff performed. They could have easily been true broadway stars. A little more than halfway through the show, you found the stranger with the deep eyes across the room. He was sitting alone, just watching the show with a relaxed look on his face. He looked as if he were genuinely enjoying it. Your curiosity was piqued as to why he was sitting alone watching The Little Mermaid on a ship full of people and why he didn’t seem to be bothered to make acquaintances. Who came on a cruise alone? Once you thought it, you wanted to laugh at yourself. You were the one to come on a cruise alone.
 As you were about to look away, his eyes found yours. At first, they looked empty as if he were looking right through you. Then after a few moments, there was a spark in them. You watched him raise his glass to you with a soft smile teasing his lips. Realizing you’d been caught looking, you curtly nodded back then looked to the stage to focus on the show.
 Two in the morning. That was the time when you finally made it back to your room. Festivities were going on all around the ship. No one seemed as if they wanted to go back to their rooms. There was something for everyone. The little ones had endless activities, including a sleepover with their favorite Disney characters, where they were set to have plenty of fun for the night. There was a mixer set up like a rave on the opposite side of the ship for the adults. From the things you saw when you scoped it out, you were sure a few siblings were going to be conceived tonight.
 As you scanned your bracelet and opened your door, you looked back to see the stranger again. He was looking directly down at you. You gave him a head salute and disappeared inside your room. After a quick shower, you found your way to your balcony to watch the waves roll by with a glass of wine. It was the perfect end to the night.
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samshogwarts · 6 months ago
🎃👻🎃 HALLOWEEN 2020 SUPRISE 2.0 🎃👻🎃
(pls ignore the tiktok logo on the left)
First of all - that's actually not the Video I was planning to cut. But since I have to stay the weekend at the hospital and not allowed to use my computer here, I have to chance my plans and have to use tiktok to cut at least a little video. Believe me, it broke my heart to use tiktok instead of my usual cutting program. And so the pictures are without the planned Effects, I am sorry :(. I planned to make a Hphm Halloween MC costume video. Every MC is another magical creatures, ghost or what ever. Hope you are OK that I use your MCs without asking 😅. And I will not finished the original Video because I want to finish the first chapter of my fan comic finally <~<.
MCs I used without asking 😅:
Elaiza Schuyler as the yellow rain kid from ES @annabelle-tanaka-official
It was your idea for the costume. I hope you are OK how I use it >~<
Arjun Singh as mumie @hogwarts9
I was searching for a macigal creature for Arjun and listened to old 90' series opening and "Mumies alive" appear. Does anyone knows the show? I loved them when I was a kid, so I decided to make Arjun a mumie. XD
Kyril Vasile @kyril-hphm / @kyril-simping as Red hood
Why does lolita clothes suits Kyril so good? It was so much fun to draw him in this dress. And the wolf's head too xD
Conor O'Donnell as Frankensteins monster @unfortunate-arrow I want to choose something special for Conor, but I didn't found anything what suits him well. But than I thought about classic "monster" and don't know why but I choose Frankenstein.
Sara O'Donnell - as a Doll @unfortunate-arrow
To be honest, Sara is like a doll in my mind, so it was easy for me. Dolls are scary but have most a sad background story. So I think it suits Sara. ^^;
Carewyn Cromwell as Banshee @carewyncromwell
I love the storys of Banshee. Especially the version of her amber cry if a member of her family will die soon. And what is also very important for a banshee? Her voice! So I thought the Banshee would suits Carey well.
Luna Silver as Vampire @lunasilvermorny
LUNA!!! We were talking about her "costume", so as you said I made her a vampire. And it suits her very well! And it was so much fun to draw her hair!
Helene Adler as Sucubbus @heleneplays
I want to draw Helen for so long and finally I did it! >~< And I instantly thought a Sucubbus would suits her! I even try to make her sexy (but I have no talent for this 😅)
Finn McGarry as Davy Jones @theguythatdraws
I am still in the hphm potc AU phase and I like the idea of Finn as Davy Jones. So I try my best to draw him! And let's be honest, Potc AU Samantha would make so much jokes because of his hand and face.
Angelo Lancaster as Angel of the Death @angellazull
Pls tell no one that I totally forgot his wings! >~< and I use your picture as inspiration but chance a few things, like his hair color so his picture will be not just white Grey and black. But it so much fun to draw Angelo! 😍
Tu Ling as Kitsune @wangxianforever000
Haaaarrrr~ finally I was able to draw Tu! I want to draw her for so long. Hehehehehehehehe. And Kitsune are one of my favorite magical creations and if I know right, she is actually a fox demon or am I wrong? 🤔
Night Rheia as Dementor @nightrhea-hphm
Also someone who told me which costume her mc would wear. First I made her skin with normal skin color, but.... I don't know it looks a bit boring because the special effects in the video are missed. But I hope you still like it.
Wendy Gordon as Selkie @drinkyoursoupbitch
Wendy!! 😍 It was clear for me to draw Wendy as a Nordic creature. And I like selkies very much. I know they are actually not evil, but I thought Selkies would suit Wendy and I try to gave her a unusual pose for me (and Whiskers xD)
Ethren Whitecross as Pyramid hat @hogwartsmysterystory
First of all - I know we never interact with each other and you don't know who I am, but Ethren is one of my favorite MC and your blog is for me one of the big three (the three blogs, why I start my blog) Q-Q but enough fangirling.
Did anyone played Silent Hill 2? I remember when I was a teenager and played the game the first time I screamed so much when pyramid hat appears and he was my nemesis for years xD and this my Frist try to draw a little more muscles *cough cough* hope you don't mind I used your MC.
Keira Jones as evil mermaid @hphm-brooke
Keiras hair as so much fun to draw! While I was drawing her I was asking myself if a mermaid need glasses? And if they do, how do mermaids that's? Anyway, I try to draw not a typical mermaid since there are fairy tales about mermaid where they are more evil and dangerous. And I like that more. A typical Ariel mermaid would be to normal.
Vixen Mcmahen as crazy clown @rosievixen
Aaaa good old horrors clowns! It was from the very beginning clearly for me to draw Vixen as a horror clown. When I start drawing she reminds me first to much as Harley Quinn, but I am happy with the result in the end. And her face expression Oo I am surprised by myself. Hope you like it too.
Danique Winter as the women in white @morningstarinwinter
The women in white is one of my favorite ghost. They are many different storys about her, but in the end she is alsway a woman who was betrayed. Personally, I like the version where she helps ppl if they get lost. And yeah... I thought it would suit Danique and it was very funny to draw her. I lobe to draw long hair! Hope you like it! *-*
And last but not least - Samantha O'Connell as Grimm Reaper. Yes, it suits her and her story. And I added a little Easter egg. The mask she is holding is her mask as a Ghost agent. The time were she was the most dangerous and able to bring pain and death to her enemies.
Still sad I can't upload the original planned videos with all original planned mc's. But my body says no. So well. I will make the best of it 🤷‍♀️.
Hope you guys like it. Will post the pictures in two extra posts.
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adenei · 6 months ago
Could you write about Ron and Hermione going to a Halloween party and wearing a matching couples costume please 🥺
Hi Hufflepuff Pixie! Or do you prefer Pixie Puff (as I feel like I’ve seen on my feed from other mutuals?) Ah, no matter! Thanks for the ask! Once I got past the writer’s block of the actual costumes, this was a fun one to write! Hope you enjoy!
Halloween at the Hog’s Head
“Hermione, are you sure this was a good costume choice?” Ron asked as he was looking in the mirror. He was dressed in a grey button up under his black dress suit. He was reluctantly tying a red scarf around his neck, and then placing a Gatsby hat on his head.
“Of course it’s a good costume choice!” Hermione came out of the bathroom dressed in a pleated maxi skirt, ruffled white blouse and red bow tie under a peplum blazer, and fedora with Gerber daisies hot glued to it. She went to the bed where she sat down to put on the Victorian boots she’d acquired for her costume. 
“I just don’t see how this makes sense. We’re going to have to explain who we are to everyone at the Hog’s Head. Most witches and wizards have no idea about muggle movies,” Ron shook his head.
“Ron, you’re the one who wanted to dress up. You know I don’t really enjoy the whole costume scene. I’d much rather dress up as a movie character than some of those completely rubbish punny costumes. I think being Mary Poppins and Bert is a clever idea. You love muggle movies, and this was one of my favorites growing up. The book and the movie,” Hermione tried to reassure him.
“Yeah. Fits us, too. You’re the uptight rule follower that quietly loves the whimsy of the adventure while I’m the more laid-back, all for it type” Ron said with a lopsided grin.
“Just for that, now you’re definitely getting the charcoal makeup on your face,” Hermione shot back playfully. She got up and grabbed the eye shadow, and brushed some on various parts of his face. Hermione was almost done, and then doubled back to put a little smudge on his nose.
“Hey! Bert doesn’t have soot on his nose.” Ron went to wipe it off with his arm, but Hermione grabbed his arm to stop him.
“No! Leave it, please?” she asked him.
“Why?” Ron furrowed his eyebrows as he asked.
“Because it reminds me of the first day on the train. When I told you that you had dirt on your nose.” Her cheeks felt hot as they flushed with color. 
They’d been together for a little over two years, but Hermione still became embarrassed sometimes when she made the realizations that she had been looking that closely at him as early as that first day on the train. Ron’s face softened as he leaned in and kissed her gently on the lips.
“It’s really quite adorable when you admit that you were staring when we were younger,” he smiled. “Should we get going then? Harry and Ginny are probably there already.”
Hermione checked her watch. “Oh, yes! We are running late. Grab your chimney sweep!” she said as she grabbed the carpet bag she’d rummaged out of her parent’s attic earlier that week, and they made their way to the fireplace. 
They flooed to the party at the Hog’s Head minutes later, which was already in full swing. Aberforth was tending bar and had managed to acquire a band to play for the evening. All of their friends were there, and Ron and Hermione made their way through to the bar for a drink before finding Harry and Ginny at a table. 
“It’s about time you lot showed up,” Ginny said as they sat down. It looked as though she and Harry were dressed as Ariel and Prince Eric from the Little Mermaid.
“Nice costumes!” Hermione complimented. “And here Ron thought we’d be the only ones dressed up as muggle movie characters.” She gave Ron a look.
“What can I say, Hermione? Looks like we’ve converted them both into movie lovers,” Harry said as they laughed.
“Ariel’s just so relatable! She’s fun, knows absolutely nothing about muggle objects on land, and is fiercely independent, like me,” Ginny laughed.
“Well, that’s good for you,” Harry grumbled.
“Oh come on, Harry, like you haven’t always wanted to be a Prince?” Ron sniggered.
They continued to fall into an easy banter as Neville and Luna joined them, and other former classmates stopped by to say hello. At one point they got up to go participate in a Butterbeer Pong tournament. Ironically, Ron and Ginny ditched Harry and Hermione to be partners because they were an unstoppable team when they got going. 
Hermione was fine with it as she and Harry mingled and sipped on their drinks, enjoying being on the sidelines of the game after they’d been eliminated fairly quickly. They made their way back over to the finals as Ron and Ginny took on Seamus and Dean. They were neck and neck until Dean missed a shot and Ginny sunk hers. The whole bar roared in applause and Aberforth shot them a dirty look. 
The band started playing soon after and Ron and Hermione made their way to the dance floor. “This is fun,” Hermione said as they moved to the music, their bodies pressed against each other.
“You think so? I didn’t think you were going to enjoy this much. I know you don’t like crowds,” Ron commented.
“Yes, well, it’s not so bad when I get to stare at a fine looking chimney sweep all night,” she said seductively.
“That right? Have I done a decent job of ‘sweeping’ you off your feet?” Ron waggled his eyebrows at the pun. She playfully hit his arm as he pulled her in for a long kiss. 
They reluctantly broke apart, and at that moment in time, Hermione decided that she didn’t want to be on the dance floor anymore. She discreetly looked around, and noticed some of the booths in the back of the bar that looked unoccupied. Hermione knew it was too early to leave yet, but they could disappear for a while, and hopefully no one would notice.
“You know, you’ve got a little something on your nose there,” Hermione raised her eyebrows at him as she gave him a look. “Maybe you could go take care of it in the loo, then meet me back there at one of the empty booths?”
He eyed her as if to catch her meaning before saying, “I think that’s a brilliant idea! Be right there,” as he kissed her cheek.
Hermione went to the bar to get them two more drinks, and made her way to the back of the room. It was a bit quieter away from the band, and she saw the top of Ron’s hat around the booth in the back left corner. She walked over and set the drinks down on the table before sliding into the seat next to him.
They wasted no time locking lips as Ron managed to pull her on top of him and unbuttoned her blazer, sliding it off her shoulders. “Ron,” against his mouth,” We can’t do that. Not here.” She’d observed that he’d lost his own suit coat and the scarf.
“I wasn’t meaning that we had to. It’s bloody warm in here and you can barely move your arms in that. We wouldn’t want to rip it,” Ron responded. 
“Good point,” Hermione said, and then their lips met again as they continued to snog heavily in the back of the bar.
After a while they heard someone clear their throat and they broke apart to see Harry looking disgusted at them. “Last I checked you do have a place to go home to if you wanted to do that.”
“It’s too early to go home yet,” Hermione said as she grabbed her blazer and slid off of Ron’s lap and out of the booth. Ron reached for the rest of his own costume and put it back on.
“Yeah, we were just taking a break, mate. You and Ginny were off with Nev and Hannah, so we just snuck away for a bit. We didn’t ditch you or anything,” Ron assured him.
“Yeah, well they’re about to start the costume contest, so I figured you two might want to rejoin for that,” Harry told them. 
“Er, yes, thank you, Harry,” Hermione said. She and Ron shared guilty smiles as they grabbed their drinks, and followed Harry back to the main room.
They may not have won the costume contest, but Hermione still deemed their choices a success. A group of students who were a couple of years younger than them took the prize for dressing as some of the professors at Hogwarts. They’re costumes were quite impressive. Neville had even thought that the person dressed as Professor McGonagall was the actual Professor McGonagall.
“I still think ours were better,” Ron said to Hermione as they made their way back to the table with Harry and Ginny to enjoy one more drink before calling it a night.
“I guess that means we’ll just have to be more clever next year,” Hermione said with a smile.
“Does that mean you’ll be willing to dress up again?” Ron asked hopefully. Hermione responded only with a smile as they continued on with the rest of their night.
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massivelycrazypost · 6 months ago
the most memorable moments involved my two young nieces amelia sposa @%&*wedding dresses where to buy
As male grooming becomes a norm and more businesses catering to those needs start to surface online wedding dress, men, especially grooms (and groomsmen!) black mermaid dress, will no longer have an excuse for not looking well-groomed. Look modern and preppy-cool for your wedding by swapping the classic neck tie for a bow tie and learn how to pick the correct one to complement your outfit mother of the groom dresses etiquette. Give your groomsmen one to wear too for a fun look, or read up on the 6 most popular groomsmen dress trends for more ideas on how to dress your groomsmen in for your special day.
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Contemporary design for the last twenty years has favored neutral, light tones. Yes, those tend to make rooms feel airy and spacious, but they're lacking in visual richness. Get that yummy sense of visual satisfaction by bringing rich, vibrant colors back into your rooms. Think plumb, fuchsia, and gold. Thrift shop furniture will be your friend, here, because you can always reupholster or paint what you find. Keep your eye out for furniture pieces that have the shape you want, and add the color later on. Inevitably, there will be things you disagree on with your parents or in-laws. A married couple's primary loyalty is to each other. While you should honour your parents, you should also care for your spouse's well-being. Ms Tan's advice is for newlyweds to present a united front. 'In resolving conflicts with parents-in-law, it would be helpful for married couples to remember that once married, husband and wife need to work as a team when dealing with in-laws,' she says. Sally: There are too many important moments so this is a tough one. But I guess the most memorable moments involved my two young nieces amelia sposa wedding dresses where to buy, whom our emcee said were our biggest supporters. They were the most enthusiastic ones at the wedding and were the loudest when we did the yam seng. My favourite part though was how during our second walk-in, one of them shouted very loudly, 'I love you!' I was so touched.
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Prices: Min. spend of $20,000++ on weekdays and $30,000++ on weekends for HOUSE (entire restaurant); Min. spend of $4,000++ on weekdays and $10,000++ on Fridays for HOUSE C; Min. spend of $700++ on weekdays and $1,200++ on weekends for Bette Davis; booking rates include use of projector, projector screen, wifi, microphones and sound system. Buffet menu for 30 guests begin at $48++ per pax. Your Modern Reason: Because plaid is every bad girl's pretty priceless cover-up. Think about it: Our modern perspective of plaid is schoolgirl sweet. But behind every schoolgirl is a sassy sister who just knows how to work the system and at such affordable prices like the jsweddenladress20107 vintage examples shown above, who wouldn't want to invest in a little plaid protection? Perhaps she'd have worn a hat with matching sunflower applique, and she'd most definitely have worn her finest pair of starch white gloves with some matching canary yellow pumps prom dresses for fat girls. My grandmother used to play bridge with her friends regularly, and I'm sure this dress was something she once had in her personal collection of the '50s! You May Also Like: 无标题 — make an effort to discourage naps too late inside... Find Red Evening Dresses and Affordable Evening Dresses here ... Get great Girls Party Dresses or white dresses for girls here ... sweetheart mermaid wedding dress&backless mermaid ... Homecoming Dresses 2019 - Short HoCo Cocktail Dresses | LaLaMira
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sentientencyclopedia · 7 months ago
I don’t usually post fics on here, but carpe diem and all that. This piece is for the @b99fandomevents Summer 2020 Fic Exchange. This drabble is based on requests by @sandylovesfandoms for the Peraltiago honeymoon after Holt left and waterslides/waterparks.
Jake got one whiff of the drink and wrinkled his nose. But Amy was looking at him eagerly, so he gave her a weak smile and brought the glass to his lips. For love he told himself, before chugging the orange mush.
“Bleeeurgh.” He turned around and spit it back into his cup. “That is disgusting.” He kept the glass under the table, knowing that it grossed Amy out whenever he regurgitated food. And if she actually liked this toxic sludge of a smoothie, well, he wasn’t going to deprive her of her bliss.
“It’s not that bad.” Amy looked perfectly happy as she sipped the orange drink. Jake had to admit it matched her sundress and the ribbon in her straw hat perfectly. “I think the papaya and cantaloupe perfectly balance each other out, and the coconut cream gives it a smooth texture.”
“It is disgusting.” He pulled out his phone. “But it matches your dress. Smile!”
“It’s delicious, and more importantly, it’s good for you.” Amy grinned and he snapped the pic. Oh yeah, this was definitely going into the honeymoon scrapbook. He had a sneaking suspicion Amy had planned the aesthetic, but whatever. “It’s full of antioxidants and important minerals.”
“No wonder it tastes so bad.” He grimaced.
“You can’t live on sugar and alcohol, Jake.” He took another picture as she rolled her eyes, fork dangling from her fingertips. It wasn’t scrapbook material, but it was cute.
“It’s our honeymoon. It’s supposed to be magical. We can do whatever we want.” He stole a mango slice from her plate and got up to walk back to the smoothie bar. “Two virgin pina coladas, please.”
“There’s pineapple juice at the buffet.” The bartender stared at him.
“I know. Don’t forget the little umbrellas, please and thank you!” He gave the man a beaming smile and leaned against the counter.
The man was apparently used to unreasonable requests from vacationing tourists, because he tossed a few pineapple chunks and a cup of coconut milk into the blender, set it to spin and wordlessly poured the mixture out into cocktail glasses. With little umbrellas. “Thank you!” Jake took the drinks back to their table triumphantly, pausing to grab a few of the brightly colored straws at the buffet table.
“This is also fruity and coconutty and best of all, it doesn’t taste like the mutagen that made the Ninja Turtles.” He set the drinks on the table and placed two straws in his mouth, long sides sticking out.
“Does this make me look more like a vampire or a walrus?” He asked, pointing.
“Gee, it depends. Which one has purple teeth, again?” She gave Jake a teasing smile and took a picture of him making funny faces at the camera.
“Say what you want, Ames, but this is going to make drink consumption a lot more effective.” He stuck the bottom of one straw in each glass and drank from both at the same time. “Ta-da!”
“That’s good. According to my itinerary, we have five more minutes for breakfast if we want to make it to the next event on time.”
“You’re so organized, babe.” Jake grinned at her as she showed him the binder. “How did you manage to get all these sheets laminated?”
“I convinced the people in the printing center to let me use their office laminator.” Amy’s expression mirrored his, though her smile was tinged with pride. “I figured they needed to have one on site for all the signs and menus and stuff, of course.”
“Of course. Hey, what’s this blue marker for?” He reached for the sticker only to have Amy swat his hand away.
“That’s a surprise.”
“Like a Holly Genero costume kind of surprise or an open ice cream bar kind of surprise?”
“It’s better than an ice cream bar.”
“Hate to break it to you, Ames, but there are few things better than an open ice cream bar. Especially the kind with unlimited toppings.” It turned out that when Captain Holt had extended their stay, he’d also tacked on a few perks as a sort of extended apology.
One of those perks had been access to an open ice cream bar, with unlimited toppings. Jake and Amy had spent a solid hour building and eating the Biggest Behemoth Sundae in The History of The World.
At least, that’s what they’d captioned it when they sent a picture of the monstrosity to their friends back home. It had been a towering mass seven different flavors, coated in liberal amounts of sprinkles and candy with a cookie base. It had been delicious.
Remembering that inspired Jake with new ideas. “Do you think they’ll give me ice cream for breakfast if I asked?”
“Well, they probably would, but we had ice cream last night. Don’t you want to see what I’ve got planned for today?”
“Depends. What have you got planned?”
“So, I rescheduled the sensual feeding workshop because both of us agreed that we wanted to re-do that without Holt watching.”
“I still don’t think I can make eye contact with him ever again after what happened with the avocado.”
“Oh, yeah.” They shared a moment of silence for Jake’s dignity. “But this is our chance to make new, better memories.”
“I’ll drink to that.” He took a long sip of the pineapple juice.
“Then we’ve got a couples’ ballroom class.”
“I thought it would be a nice throwback to that case we worked.”
“The one where you were in the shiny mermaid dress?”
“Precisely. In case we ever need to go undercover like that again, I thought it would be good if we actually knew how to dance. Plus,” She gave him an arch look. “I really want to see you in that waistcoat again.”
“The what-now?”
“You know, that vest-thing you wore over your button-down when you were dressed as Dewey? I watched a lot of historical documentaries as a kid and I was really into the whole men-in-fitted-waistcoats look.” She smirked. “You weren’t the only one who got an eyeful at that dance competition.”
“I’ll file that away for future consideration.” Jake whispered, imagination running wild.
“Then we have a lunch, then beach time, then just one thing before dinner.”
“The surprise, you mean.”
“Mhm. Now hurry up and finish eating. Don’t want to be late for our second impressions.”
“Ay-ay, Captain.”
They had a great time at each of the different workshops and events, but Jake couldn’t stop thinking about the blue marker. He was itching to know what it meant, what the surprise would be.
Jake Peralta was many things. Patient was rarely one of them.
So he was practically twitching with excitement by the time the blue-marker event rolled around. They were in swimsuits, so it had to be something to do with water. He hoped it wasn’t water-aerobics.
Amy grinned as she pulled Jake through the archway. “Surprise!”
“Oh. My. God.” Jake’s eyes lit up as he took in the glorious sight in front of him. “Is that a waterslide?” The pool area was practically empty, inhabited only by two lifeguards and a few straggling swimmers. But there, framed in the orange glow of the setting sun, was a very long, very twisty waterslide.
“Surprise!” Amy said again, throwing her arms out. “I made sure to pick the time where we would be mostly uninterrupted. All the families are probably at the live band sing-along thing, and all the adults without children are probably at the beach luau. Which is totally capitalist cultural appropriation, and not even geographically accurate, so I thought it would be fine if we skipped it.”
“Good idea. Where did you even find this?” Jake didn’t think he’d ever stop smiling.
“It was in the resort brochure, Jake.” Amy was rolling her eyes, but not in the tired, I’m-disappointed-by-your-immaturity way. She was rolling her eyes in the I’m-trying-to-be-cool-but-also-fishing-for-compliments way.
Jake was good at compliments. “God, I love that you read the resort brochures. That you plan itineraries with all sorts of weird fun stuff like sensual food arranging classes and cool fun stuff like waterslides. I really want to kiss you right now.”
Amy put her arms around him and they kissed. It was a quick, happy one. Both of them were so excited that it was mostly teeth. “Ooh. Can we do that couple-y thing where one of us sits on the other person’s lap and we go down together?” Jake asked.
“Is it weird that I just wished Charles’ was here to take a picture of us on our way down?”
“Weirdly enough, I had the same thought.”
“We’re definitely too used to him being around.”
“Yeah.” They both went quiet for a second, thinking about it.
“Waterslide time!” Amy decided to break the silence. They held hands and very safely walked over to the ladder.
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yukipri · 8 months ago
Hi! I really liked your Mermaid AU and cats, it made my day everytime you post a new part or their cuteness 😊 ❤. Though, I would like to know how the Baratie Arcs go in your Mermaid AU, especially Sanji's reaction on seeing Luffy as a mermaid and Ace's reaction on Sanji's... oh and how did Thatch and Sanji had their.... competition for Luffy's love? Thank you!
Thanks so much for enjoying my AU and my cat pics <3
Ok! So answering this one ahead of the cue, bc it’s easier for me to answer East Blue questions, and I have some thoughts!
So On the Baratie and Sanji meeting the ASL Pirates.
Here’s a mini story! Contains Sanji x Luffy.
It's an ordinary day at the Baratie, with the usual shitty customers, the usual starving travelers, and the usual scarce but lovely ladies. Sanji doesn't expect today to be any different. But then, a miracle happens.
A mermaid walks in.
Sanji's sure his heart stops, and his brain almost does too. It's his dream to go to Fishman Island one day to frolic with the legendary beautiful mermaids that are said to live there, and it's a dream only second to finding All Blue. A slightly more tangible one too, since Fishman Island actually has a physical location on the world map, but Sanji digresses.
He'd never have imagined finding a mermaid in East Blue, and yet here one is, she's real and she's inside the Baratie.
Sanji doesn't really stop to consider how a mermaid can "walk."
Everything feels muted, and Sanji feels like he's floating on clouds as he makes his way towards the group at the door. He vaguely notes how many are in their party, but the others are a blur; he only has eyes for his angel, his aquatic goddess, his dream given physical form who has come to bless Sanji's mortal soul.
Up close, the mermaid's even lovelier. She has a petite, round face and the largest, warmest brown eyes he's ever seen, flecks of the subtlest golds and reds hidden deep within their depths like sunken treasure. Her hair's choppy and short but still looks indescribably soft, even when mostly hidden by a ratty straw hat. Her red vest's simple and has seen better days, but the goddess could be wearing rags and nothing would dim her loveliness. Ample, luscious, honestly ENORMOUS breasts look a second from bursting forth from their humble constraints, and Sanji wants to be there to catch them, can practically feel them overflowing from his palms already. Her skin's golden from the sun, and her arms could probably rip a man in two, and Sanji wants to be that man. The mermaid's certainly no court lady, but it must be because no court could ever be worthy of her.
And her tail.
It's the most eye-catching part about her, shimmering like it's made of the most precious multi-faceted jewels, and everyone in the restaurant has turned to gape. It's thickest at her hips and ripples with strength in a way that reminds Sanji not of any fish, but of sea kings, fearsome and untouchable. It tapers smoothly to a tip with translucent flukes more beautiful than any stained glass, more like lustrous fairy wings made of crystal flower petals, which wave lazily in the air as she moves, proving that yes, the tail is very real, and she is indeed a mermaid.
Sanji often gushes about love for the maidens who visit the Baratie, but he doesn't know if he's ever truly felt it it beyond the surface of his skin. If anyone had asked him if he believed in true love, he would have laughed off the question, but now, he can't.
Because this must be it, this must be "Love at First Sight," because how else can he possibly explain this impossible urge to grasp the mermaiden's hand and present her with his heart and everything he is, to pledge to follow her to the death and beyond, to--
"'Scuse us," a voice says from WAY TOO CLOSE. "Are there any open seats?"
Sanji blinks, and realizes that there's a wall in front of him.
A wall of muscle to be exact, that turns out to be a man, a man who's taller than Sanji, shirtless, and very, Very fit...and Sanji and said man are standing so close that the tips of their noses are brushing and Sanji can count the man's freckles. Sanji's gaze flicks up, and the man's eyes are right there, staring lazily down at him from point blank range.
...Well this is awkward.
Sanji's mermaid is casually wrapped around the man's shoulders, swishing her bejeweled tail and blinking at Sanji curiously. Her breasts are mashed into the back of the man's head, and the man doesn't seem to notice or care as he waits patiently for Sanji's answer.
As the fog of love clears from his head, Sanji mumbles an apology and takes a big step back to a more socially appropriate distance, and tears his eyes away from the mermaid to assesses the whole group. And although love is so powerful it can override intellect, Sanji's not stupid. 
By the look of it, they're pirates. There's a lovely lady in the back along with a weaker looking kid, but everyone else looks strong and experienced. And as enamored as he is by the concept of mermaids, Sanji can also very easily imagine the limited scenarios in which one might find a mermaid above deck, far away from Fishman island, and in the hands of pirates.
He might not see shackles on her, but physical bindings aren't always necessary for someone to be caged.
And if this was an ordinary day, and these were ordinary pirates here to make trouble, Sanji wouldn't hesitate to rescue the love of his life from these scum and move right along to celebrating their engagement.
But again, he's not stupid. And these are no East Blue pirates, because there's no way pirates of this caliber have been in the weakest sea for long. No, these are Grand Line pirates. And Sanji can tell that despite his relaxed, non-threatening demeanor, the man carrying the mermaid is dangerous. Sanji's gut screams warning that this man could destroy the Baratie and murder everyone in it without breaking a sweat, and Sanji would be helpless to stop him.
And it's not just him. There are others who are dangerous too, but Sanji's attention is drawn to the tall man who brings up the rear. Perhaps it's the pompadour, but it's most likely the chef outfit. He looks friendly enough, and isn't exuding power like the captain is, but there's definitely more than meets the eye, and Sanji has the weird feeling that he's seen the man before. Sanji doesn't actively keep track of pirates around the world, but the fact that even Sanji may have seen his bounty poster doesn't bode well.
Sanji knows he can't take them on in a direct confrontation. But he's also not going to let them leave without doing anything, if the mermaid's in the situation he thinks she's in.
So for now, he puts on his best customer service voice, smiles, and says, "Come right this way, we've got a VIP section."
Thanks so much for reading! I know this doesn’t answer every part of the ask, but I hope it’s still a fun read! If anyone’s interested, I can certainly write more on Thatch and Sanji in a separate post, I’m definitely becoming more and more invested in their complicated rivalry-friendship-mentorship relationship ^ ^
As always, thoughts/comments/reblogs are always super appreciated, and are what fuel me in creating more for this AU!
❀ ❀ Send YukiPri an Ask! ❀ ❀
Read the next part: On the Baratie, Part 2
~This ask has been added to the Mermaid AU Text Headcanons Compilation post~
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mushwritesstuff · 9 months ago
Nekoma + First Dates
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Ft. Gender neutral reader
Karasuno version here. A huge thank you to @kawaiibokuro who was super nice and helped me deciding what to do for kuroo. Her smaus are amazing and i def recomend reading them and giving her a follow!!
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Kuroo: He doesn’t give you any details, just tells you to wear comfy clothes and make sure to wear a hat and sunglasses. You guys meet at the station and he explains that you guys are going to explore the tourist locations of the city, since both of you had never been to them. He is afraid you might find it too dorky but all his worries fade when he sees how excited you are to do this. You guys fully immerse yourselves in the tourist role, taking pictures of everything and overall being dorky together. It's super fun and he even brings you to famous stops for couples saying its part of the tour. Its both romantic and dorky and you love it. Matching souvenirs!! Like really tacky knickknacks but its okay cause they remind you of the amazing date and you're def gonna treasure them!!
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Kenma: I mean, it's gotta be an arcade right?? You guys were probably friends already, and you finally felt like Kenma was comfortable enough around you for you to finally ask him out on a date. At first he thinks you guys are just gonna hang out like normal, but you ask him if it could be a date and he blushes and looks to the side but agrees (he is v happy, but too embarrassed to show it) You guys have been to arcades together before, but Kenma does notice the small differences from before, like how you put a lot more effort to dress up for this (he did too, kuroo helped him pick out his outfit), how instead of pulling him by the arm you grab his hand, just small things like that. Kenma lets you win a couple of times just cause he wants to see you smile. Def gets you a plushie on the claw machine!! He is a shy boy but he is doing his best to make sure you're enjoying it just as much as he is!!
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Yaku: He is trying v hard to act cool and casual when asking you out for the festival. He might be speechless at first when he sees you all dressed up in traditional clothing, but its okay cause you're also stunned seeing him in a yukata, he looks so handsome!!! You guys will just walk around exploring the place, he finds it very cute when you tug on his sleeve and excitedly points to a game you like. Will try to show off and win prizes for you. He didn't manage to get the big prizes but its okay cause now you and him have a matching pair of keychains!! The date ends with you guys on a bench, your head resting on his shoulders as you guys watch the fireworks!!
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Yamamoto: He always flirts with you and you always just laugh, so he wasn't expecting much when he asked you to a date. But then you said yes and was super happy but also super nervous cause he thought you were gonna just laugh it off, so he didn't have anything planned. Spent hours looking at lists of best date locations, and finally decides on bowling. He choses this cause that way he can afford to pay for the both of you and it's a chance for him to show off and look cool. Once he sees you he can't stop complimenting you and almost faints when you compliment him back. You guys have a lot of fun, and even tho he messes up a bit on his turns you still cheer him on and that makes him burst with happiness. You get so excited after getting a strike that you jump on his arms and he is gonna treasure that memory forever. It was a lot of fun, and Yamamoto cried when his mom washed the shirt he wore, because he wanted to preserve your hug. Please keep hugging him, he deserves it!!
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Lev: Alyssa is the one that helped him pick out the location, and was the one to choose his outfit. You are very thankful for that cause seriously, Lev looks so handsome!! Like the outfit is really trendy but still casual and the colors compliment him wow!! He also compliments you a lot, and quickly grabs your hand to take you to the aquarium. You don't let go of his hand not even once cause if you did he would def get lost. You guys are both really excited, and he is really glad that you're having fun and don't judge him for his childishness. Also you guys make it a competition to see who is the best at imitating the fishes and it's so fun!! It's a date full of fun, and even tho it wasn't overly romantic you couldn't have wished for a better first date. You guys get a picture on the goody store where they edit you as a pirate and Lev as a mermaid (he really wanted to be the mermaid) and you absolutely loved it!! You guys even end up getting matching frames to display it in your rooms.
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A/n: I know there are a lot of members missing from this list, but i don't think i have a good grasp on their personalities so that's why they are not included.
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missmermaidwitch · 9 months ago
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Brazilian Mythical Creatures
The Ofcial Guide
Most of the witchcraft pratice usualy runs around nordic and wicca culture, wich is not a problem. But as a latina witch, my pratice involves very diffrent beliefs. So I decided to share a little bit of my country's culture along with my pratice.
So here you are about to know the magical creatures of the brazillian forests. Most of them have African culture involved due to our contry cultural mixing.
1. Curupira
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The Curupira is a young indian boy who has fire like hair and feets turned to the backside of his body. He is a very ancient protector spirit of the forest yet he looks like a boy. He runs trough the forest in silence, making fake trails with his footprints to confuse the hunters and colonizers and protect the indian tribes. As only the native people used to know him, the eroupean explorers didn't knew he had his feet turned to back, so they alway followed his footsteps to the wrong side and end up lost in the dangerous wild forests.
2. Cuca
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Here is one of the most famous Brazilian witches, and yes! She is an alligator. Not a crocodile, these are from other places, much like Africa and central/north-america. In Brazil we only have aligators, thank godess! (And no, they are not the same animal!). On the oposite of us, very lovely witches, Lady Cuca is a very, very mean sorceress. She has a monstruous voice and is in one of our most popular lullabies. Her purpouse is to kidnap mean children when they don't sleep at night and eat'em. She has a big cauldron through which she can see anything.
The song says "sleep, little baby! Or Cuca is gonna get you! Your mother is at the farm and your daddy is gonne to work". As you may notice, the song is supose to be sang by Lady Cuca herself. Very scary for a baby, right?
3. Boitatá
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Boitatá is the name of another ancient forest spirit. Its a giantic fire snake. It protects the woods from those who plans to destroy it, specialy if trying to burn it. It surely seems to be a very lovely creature, but anyone who looks at it gets immediately insane and blind. It has the power to turn into a burning trunk to fall on the harmers and kill them. (I guess probably because this way it can avoid getting possible inocent witness blind and crazy). Sometimes it might almost look like a perfect normal snake, but it's eyes are always on fire.
There is a big chance it's a she. A female snake.
4. A Mula Sem Cabeça (The Headless Mule)
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Poor thing! Attention here, girls! Any virgin girl who acept to marry a priest might end up like that. Once a virgin lady says yes to a man from the church and acept his engagement ring, she becames a headless mule. The ring turns into a collar arond the animal's neck. And she can only turn back into a human if someone takes it of. Too bad there's always a huge flame coming out of it, so hot that no one is able to get close. In other versions, if a lady has sex with a priest she becames a headless mule.
5. Saci Pererê
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No one is sure if there is one or more of those. But at least one we all have met. This guy is a very fun fella. He has one less leg and jumps arond in his red clothes and his magic red hat, "carapuça" in portuguese (it's a special kind of hat and he can take anithing out if it). He can also travel trough whirlwinds, small ones usualy. The thing is that he takes a lot of dirty and leafs whit him, that's for sure. His hobbies are changing sugar and salt's places so everyone in the house have sweet beans and salty coffee. And stealing things from people, specially pipes, he loves pipes! Enough said, he is a trickster (or they are). He enjoys making a mess, but he also can bring lots of help if you make frinds with him, but, to be honest, he would trick you anyways. In moonless nights, far away from the city, you can hear him whistle and laugh!
6. Lobisomem (Werewolf)
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As in other cultures people turn into werewolves from another werewolves bites and other contagious metods, in Brazil we believe that a werewolf borns when a couple after having seven daughters has the first son. Seven older sisters might get anyone angry but in this case its a little more complicated. Every full moon, the werewolf gotta run troght seven cemiteries, seven crossroads and seven church's yards. In his human days he feels always very sick and dizzy, tends to get drunk all the time because off the pain and confusion. Even in our culture the only way to kill him is a silver bullet, but we have a special secret: the way to cure him. Covering a bullet in a church's altar candle's wax and shoting (in a non-fatal spot, obviouly)! If trying, I wouldn't recomend a silver bullet anyways.
7. Iara Mãe D'água (Iara, mother of the waters)
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We do have lots of mermaids in Brazil, but not all of them are royalty. Iara is a very beautiful mermaid princess, all tough we have countless beautiful beaches, she lives in the contry's rivers. She used to be a very powerful warrior indian, till the day her brothers decided to kill her because they were envy of her abilities. But as a great warrior she defeated them, killing each one. When her Dad found out what she did, he trown her into the river in a full moon night. The fishes, who admired her beauti, decided to save the girl turning her into a mermaid. Since then she reings in a underwater realm and spend her days singing to atract men and take them there. Or maybe she just kill'em, thats also a possibility.
8. Boto Cor-de-rosa (Pink river dolphin)
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The Amazonas river has a very special kind of sweet water dolphin that in portuguese we call "boto". But beyond the already amazing normal "botos" there is a even more special one. The pink dolphin. It is a very wise enchanted dolphin who in full moon nights can turn into a human. Trough this night he goes to parties and date the most beautiful ladies, almost always getting them pregnant. He dresses white clothes and is a very charming man, but in the next day he will desapear and never show up again. But that's just normal male behavior, no magic involved.
Yes, the pink river dolphins is a real brazillian animal and this is a real picture of it.
August 22
Is national folklore day in Brazil.
I hope you guys enjoyed the reading. Let me know if you want to learn more about brazillian culture.
💕If you liked the post, please Reblog it!💕
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zheraa · 9 months ago
5000 question survey - part 21.
1001. What has caused you to reinvent yourself or reevaluate who you are? Never done that on purpose.
1002. Name three annoying bands: Bands don’t annoy me. If I don’t like a bands music I just don’t listen to them.
1003. Have you ever been to a foam party (a big dance floor full of soap foam that people dance in at a club)? If yes did you get into the foam? I haven’t been.
1004. Who do you take for granted? I don’t know?
Who makes you feel taken for granted? No one.
1005. Short, knee, or ankle skirts? Short.
1006. Do you wear a hat? When it’s cold.
1007. Did you watch Sifl and Ollie on MTV? No.
How about Liquid Television? No.
The Maxx? No.
1008. What do you like that is NOT part of pop culture? Ehh idk?
1009. What music makes you feel:
Sexy? Depends completely on the song and many songs make me feel like some of these. Passionate? Violent? Romantic? Sad? Happy/joyous? ecstasy?
1010. Who’s your favorite cartoon character? I don’t have one.
1011. Does break dancing impress you? Yeah.
1012. Are you a smooth operator? I don’t think so.
1013. Would you rather be a police officer or a criminal? I don’t want to be either but a police officer if I had to choose.
1014. Do you believe that government decisions should be made based more on economics or more on social reform? A mix of both.
1015. Why do ‘they’ spend money to sterilize needles that are going to be used to give lethal injections? I don’t know.
1016. This summer have you
Been to the beach? - Yes. been to the movies? - No. Played mini golf? - No. Gone for a walk? - Yeah, a lot.
1017. Would you rather lay in bed all night talking or have sex all night long? Sex.
1018. Have you ever eaten tofu? Yes, it’s good.
1019. Who needs a brain? Everyone.
1020. Who needs a heart? Everyone, like you can’t live without these, did you know?
1021. Does the moon have an affect on your mood? No.
1022. Do you feel pressure on Friday and Saturday to have fun, go out and party? No.
1023. Many people will say that the Harry Potter books are pure fluff with no literary value. Do you agree? No, I don’t agree.
1024. Is Harry Potter comparable to The Chronicles of Narnia and the Lord of the Rings? Ehh why not?
1025. What are you doing next Wednesday? I don’t have anything planned.
1026. Why do so many people think Elvis is still alive? I don’t know, it’s pretty stupid.
1027. What couldn’t you live your life without? Food, water, oxygen and so on.
1028. Are your hands cold? No.
1029. Is your heart warm? I guess it’s the normal body temnperature.
1030. Palm trees or snow storms? Both are pretty to look at but I’d rather live in an area where there are snow storms and not palm trees, i just can’t stand hot weather.
1031. What bands would be great if only the singing was edited out? I don’t know.
1032. What fantasy book would you like to see made into a movie? Whatever.
1033. Do you avoid risks and if possible stay at home? Ehh, sometimes.
1034. What SCI-fi books do you read? I’ve read a lot of scifi books.
1035. Would you be on that who wants to marry a millionaire show as a contestant? No, I’d get too nervous to remember anything most likely.
1036. Who’s the best secret keeper you know? Idk.
1037. What is your favorite myth? None.
1038. Is it easier to live when you’re evil? Most likely, not having to feel regrets or caring aboiut being nasty to other people. Not that I would want to be evil, no.
1039. Have you ever belonged to a sorority or a fraternity? I don’t even really know what these are? Some American thing?
1040. Would you want to join one? -
1041. If your friend were doing dangerous drugs would you tell their parents? My friends are all adults so no.
1042. Would you rather be a unicorn, mermaid/man, or a sorceress/er? Mermaid sounds most pleasing right now.
1043. Are leather pants sexy? On you? Ehh idk. I have never worn leather pants.
1044. Did you tell someone you love him or her today? No. I haven’t even spoke to anyone today.
1045. Have you ever given blood? No.
1046. Have you ever been thrown out of someplace? No.
1047. What do you daydream about? Stuff.
1048. Are you a miracle? No.
1049. If America is one nation under god then are atheists citizens? Ehhh? I think everyone should have a freedom of choosing their religion or be atheists.
1050. Should they be? ^
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eldritchsurveys · 9 months ago
5k Survey XXI
1001. What has caused you to reinvent yourself or reevaluate who you are? >> I don’t really “reinvent” or “reevaluate” myself. Actual change is generally pretty imperceptible and straight up boring, even, until you look back 3 years later and go “oh, wow, that’s different”. A lot of the time it isn’t even intentional, or something I was consciously working on.  1002. Name three annoying bands: >> --- 1003. Have you ever been to a foam party (a big dance floor full of soap foam that people dance in at a club)? If yes did you get into the foam? >> I’ve never been to a foam party. 1004. Who do you take for granted? >> Everyone? I don’t constantly sit around exuding gratitude for people, after all. Who makes you feel taken for granted? >> --- 1005. Short, knee, or ankle skirts? >> I only have ankle-length skirts.
1006. Do you wear a hat? >> I wear one in the winter. 1007. Did you watch Sifl and Ollie on MTV? >> No. How about Liquid Television? >> No. The Maxx? >> No. 1008. What do you like that is NOT part of pop culture? >> I don’t know what kind of media wouldn’t be part of pop culture. 1009. What music makes you feel: Sexy? Not doing this. Passionate?  Violent?  Romantic? Sad?  Happy/joyous? ecstasy? 1010. Who’s your favorite cartoon character? >> I don’t have one. 1011. Does break dancing impress you? >> It does impress me. It’s a skill I don’t have, and it takes a lot of practice and dedication to become good at it. It’s usually that level of dedication that impresses me, because I really do not have that. 1012. Are you a smooth operator? >> I don’t think so. 1013. Would you rather be a police officer or a criminal? >> I could just be neither. Like I am right now. 1014. Do you believe that government decisions should be made based more on economics or more on social reform? >> There should probably be a balance. For example, our government seems pretty unbalanced towards economics. 1015. Why do ‘they’ spend money to sterilize needles that are going to be used to give lethal injections? >> "They”? Anyway, don’t ask me. I assume there’s a good reason. 1016. This summer have you Been to the beach? No. been to the movies? No, the theaters are closed, and with good reason. Played mini golf? No. Gone for a walk? I’ve gone on a lot of walks. 1017. Would you rather lay in bed all night talking or have sex all night long? >> Dude, I’d rather fucking sleep. 1018. Have you ever eaten tofu? >> Many times. 1019. Who needs a brain? >> --- 1020. Who needs a heart? >> --- 1021. Does the moon have an affect on your mood? >> I don’t know, I’ve never kept track. 1022. Do you feel pressure on Friday and Saturday to have fun, go out and party? >> Of course not. 1023. Many people will say that the Harry Potter books are pure fluff with no literary value. Do you agree? >> I don’t agree. 1024. Is Harry Potter comparable to The Chronicles of Narnia and the Lord of the Rings? >> Sure, you could compare them. I don’t know why you’d want to, though. 1025. What are you doing next Wednesday? >> How would I know? It’s Monday. I assume I’m going to be doing much of the same shit I usually do, but that’s it. 1026. Why do so many people think Elvis is still alive? >> Because it’s fun, I guess. I can’t imagine caring. 1027. What couldn’t you live your life without? >> Oh, you know. Oxygen. 1028. Are your hands cold? >> Sparrow has said that my hands feel cold. I don’t really know the science behind that sort of thing. 1029. Is your heart warm? >> No. 1030. Palm trees or snow storms? >> Palm trees, thanks. 1031. What bands would be great if only the singing was edited out? >> I don’t know. 1032. What fantasy book would you like to see made into a movie? >> I don’t care. 1033. Do you avoid risks and if possible stay at home? >> Ha, what an accidentally appropriate question for 2020. Yeah, that’s what I’ve been doing. 1034. What SCI-fi books do you read? >> I mean, I’ve read a lot of sci-fi over the years. I most like the kind that messes with stuff like quantum physics and time and parallel universes. Blake Crouch, for example. 1035. Would you be on that who wants to marry a millionaire show as a contestant? >> No, I hate that show. 1036. Who’s the best secret keeper you know? >> --- 1037. What is your favorite myth? >> That’s an impossible question. 1038. Is it easier to live when you’re evil? >> I don’t know. 1039. Have you ever belonged to a sorority or a fraternity? >> No. I didn’t even go to university. 1040. Would you want to join one? >> No. There’s literally nothing attractive to me about them. 1041. If your friend were doing dangerous drugs would you tell their parents? >> Their parents? Everyone I associate with is a full adult and responsible for their own actions. 1042. Would you rather be a unicorn, mermaid/man, or a sorceress/er? >> Sorcerer. 1043. Are leather pants sexy? On you? >> I was watching Dollhouse the other day and was really amused at the black-button-up-and-tight-leather-pants ensemble that Echo wore on one of her jobs, because like... that’s such an obvious signifier for “badass chick”, but such a dated signifier at the same time. I haven’t thought about leather pants in years and years. Mostly they just look hot and uncomfortable to me, although I do like when certain characters wear them in movies and shit. 1044. Did you tell someone you love him or her today? >> No. 1045. Have you ever given blood? >> I can’t, I’m always iron-deficient. 1046. Have you ever been thrown out of someplace? >> Yeah. 1047. What do you daydream about? >> I don’t think I really daydream. Which is weird, because it seems like the general unspoken assumption is that everyone daydreams in some way. But I don’t. I just spend all my idle time Inworld. 1048. Are you a miracle? >> Maybe. 1049. If America is one nation under god then are atheists citizens? >> Yawn. 1050. Should they be? >> What kind of question is this lmfao
0 notes
chicoboco · 9 months ago
Suzuki Aina’s 1st Photobook interview
Today is Ainya’s birthday! 2 years ago, I worked with Ray to bring you the interview from her first photobook “Airabu.” ! Enjoy reading as our favourite shiny ojiisan share with us her experiences as she goes around Kominato Railway and look back at the past 2 years, and pray for us to get a 2nd photobook of our smol ojiisan!!
The scenery from the train window, the station gives me a nostalgic feeling.
The location of this photo album was taken at Kominato Railway in Chiba Prefecture. With three patterns of costumes, with the first costume being a school girl’s uniform.
Ainya: I was worried that I would look like a fake high school girl (laugh). But I was able to remember the nostalgic feeling about the high school days and I was very happy.
Rather than a fake high school girl, isn’t it more like a junior high school?
Ainya: Junior high school is too young you know!  (laugh)
I’m sorry (laugh), it wasn’t meant to sound weird
Ainya: No, it’s okay. I don’t mind, anyway, thank you. (laugh)
The shoot that was taken in the train had a nice atmosphere didn’t it?
Ainya: Well I’m from Hokkaido, and the train was running in a similar atmosphere.
It certainly does not seem strange to be running in Hokkaido
Ainya: It is, well the trains I mean. We can see the rice fields and there are no tall buildings visible from the train window, the scenery and the train station are also nice. It has the same familiar atmosphere as my hometown. In addition to having to wear the uniforms, I started to feel all the nostalgia come back to me.
Have you ever been on a train?
Ainya: I have, that was when I was in high school. While shaking and rattling for about an hour, I fell asleep
At the time of the shoot, did you feel like you were returning back to the high school days?
Ainya: Mm that’s right. The theme of this photobook is “Journey”.  When I was actually travelling on Kominato Railway, it felt like I was going on “A journey to look back on life” and it reminded me of my high school days.
I see. By the way, while inside the train, you were playing (messing) around with the hanging strap like crazy weren’t you?
Ainya: At that time, there weren’t many people on the train so I messed around like crazy (laughs). Of course when a passenger comes, I won’t scare them away.
I understand (laugh). By the way, have you ever actually traveled by yourself?
Ainya: I haven’t, because my sense of direction is pretty bad. Even when I was at my parents house, I felt like “travelling by myself was unthinkable” (laugh)
It’s dangerous to have Aina to travel alone huh (laugh)
Ainya: Yeah that’s right (laugh)! Because there’s a possibility that I will get lost while wandering aimlessly. Of course there is always that feeling of wanting to go somewhere far away by myself. A desire to walk around a place with good scenery while listening to a music.
Is there any place you would like to travel by yourself specifically?
Ainya: During the shoot this time I soaked my feet in the foot bath right? Well I love hot springs in the first place but thanks to that foot bath, my love to hot spring become even stronger!. So I would like to go around Atami. (TL Note: Atami is a hot spot for hot springs)
It is quite close from Tokyo so it may be nice right?
Ainya: Ah, but it will be too lonely to go to the hot spring alone (laugh). That’s why, if I go I’ll drag my friends! It will be a short trip by train.
It will be a fun trip. However, it seems to be still a long way for you to go on a trip by yourself.
Ainya: It is. I wonder if I can become more independent?  (laugh)
Experiencing my first foot bath helped me relaxing my mind and body as I remembering my childhood
The second costume was a one piece, a cardigan, and a straw hat. What do you think of this costume?
Ainya: A white one-piece cloth and a straw hat gives off this street girl feeling isn’t? It’s packed with the feelings of a pure girl. Something that’s been loved by everyone since a long time ago, and that no one dislikes. Because I haven’t really had the experience of wearing those sort of “pure girl” clothes, being able to wear them makes me happy. The thought of “girls wearing these kind of clothes often appear in anime” and “a girl that is smiling and laughing on a sunflower field while basking under the summer sun” came to my mind while i’m wearing it, (laugh)
But instead of sunflower field, it’s a quite nice scene how the costume reflected together with the ripened flowers
Ainya: Really? I also thought how the ripe flowers blossoms were cute.
The clothes, your presence and the the ripen flowers. The feeling of these three things combined were giving this nice feeling
Ainya: Im so happy! Thank you very much!
Do your feelings also change when you are wearing the clothes?
Ainya: It gave me the feeling that I be more graceful than usual. While waiting for a train, I thought that “I should not do things that look indecent or too vulgar”. Ah, it’s not like I’m usually indecent or anything! (laugh)!
I don’t think you’re like that. Well, occasionally you do something weird don’t you? (Laugh)
Ainya: That’s right! There are times where I do stupid things (laugh)! Anyway, when I was wearing those clothes, I wanted to behave a bit more elegantly. That one piece must not be disgraced!
That feeling, was then able to be reflected on the 3rd costume isn’t?
Ainya: That’s correct. That costume is like the clothes that I wear usually and something I thought that I would love to wear. I didn’t feel out of place wearing it and I was just in my usual self.
It just felt really natural huh?
Ainya: That’s how I feel. Also, sometimes I wore sneakers and beach sandals, so I thought there’s this “summer” atmosphere feeling in my heart.
The feeling of playing around on the riverside was also nice isn’t it?
Ainya: Ah! It’s time to fish! I’m in high spirits when I do that~ (laughs)
Also in this costume you soaked in the foot bath which I was talking about just now
Ainya: That foot bath was my first experience, and it feel really pleasant! Although it was only the legs that were soaked, it’s amazing how my whole body was also also warmed up from the foot bath.
Nonetheless it is nice to have a foot bath at the station isn’t it?
Ainya: I really think so! Especially in the winter! If you’re tired from work and you’re on the way home, having a foot bath by the station is the best thing. I want my home station to have one too~  (laugh)
Seeing old trains and soaking your legs in the foot bath at this station gives off a nice feeling huh?
Ainya: Yeah, I thought that I could stay here forever. I wanted to stay more~
Overall, what are your thoughts on this location?
Ainya: To summaries, I really enjoyed myself. I think that it was a good journey in sense that it made me feel like I was in my teenage years again.
Are you feeling that you just had both a train journey and a space-time journey while relaxing and soaking in a foot bath?
Ainya: It felt exactly like that. Somehow it’s kind of embarrassing (laugh). But it was really comfortable. Everyone, if you get the chance to visit, please try to soak in the foot bath! (TL Note: “space-time journey” I’m guessing it’s talking about whether the foot bath felt spiritual or something like that)
Looking back at the first installment series… I thought that I grew a little bit
In this photo album from the March 2016 issue, Suzuki’s series that is still going on “Magical Girl Miracle Aina” are also included. I heard that you used to like “Magical Girl” from a long time ago?
Ainya: I liked it a lot! Since I was young, as I’ve always liked concepts like “Magical Girls” and “Transforming girls”, I used to watch those on TV a lot. For example…when I was in elementary school, the show I liked was “Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch. I yearned to be like Mermaid Princess Naomi Ruchia-Chan who would transform and sing songs. Later on of course, I also loved “Beautiful fighting girls Sailor Moon”! Other than that, “Futari wa pretty cure” and “Magical Doremi”…
It’s all coming out huh? (laugh)
Ainya: I’m sorry (laugh). Oh, and also, I really liked “Fushigiboshi no ☆ Futagohime ” – It is a story about the twin princesses that try very hard to use magic! Anyway, when I was a child I really had a longing for  magical girls. I’ve always pretended to be a magical girl and I thought “I also want to fly in the sky one day” (laugh)
In Seiyuu Paradise, your dream of becoming a magical girl has came true didn’t?
Ainya: Yes! I also was longing for “Futago Hime” at that time, so I thought that I wanted to be a princess, and it also came true at the second series (May 2016 issue). I was really happy~
By the way, do you remember the time when the shoot was taken at the hamburger shop for the first series (March 2016 issue)?
Ainya: Yes. At that time, as I wasn’t used to taking pictures at all. I didn’t know how to strike poses, even when I was told to “walk a little there”, I was worrying over “How should I walk?”~
Then, looking back on the first photos how do you feel?
Ainya: It’s embarrassing (laugh). When I look at close ups of my pictures, I think “Wow, I’m really doing my best!”. But even though it’s embarrassing, I think I’m doing pretty well now. When I look at the pictures, it feels like I may be growing up properly now.
I see.
Ainya: Also, I think that through this series, I’ve also learned various things such as posing and expressions.
You said that you wanted to be a magical girl when you was in elementary school, but what kind of girl was Suzuki-san when she was a junior high school student?
Ainya: I like to move my body around a lot so I entered the track and field club. However, even though I had the stamina, I didn’t have power at all. So I was doing medium to long distance runs.
To say that you like to move your body, did you had a fun when you become a professional tennis player in the fourth series (September 2016 issue)?
Ainya: It was a lot of fun! However, although I like to move my body , I’m not good at any sports that involves balls, I can’t play tennis that well, after all, I don’t have the power, So I guess I’m not suitable for sports that involves balls I guess~
Actually in the previous issue of Seiyuu Paradise, A.U was also also wearing a tennis player outfit! And coincidentally you were also wearing a tennis player outfit. A.U thinks that you’re super cute in that outfit.
Ainya: No no no! No way! A.U is 100 times cuter than me! I swear! I truly respect her as a voice actor and even being compared to her is ridiculous!
In the next fifth series (November 2016 issue), you became a maid right?
Ainya: That’s right. I was wearing mint blue costumes, and I remember that costume was so cute. Speaking about maids, I think a white apron with black outfit is a classic one. But I also really liked that costume. By the way, I’ve been always wanted to try becoming a maid.
Why is that?
Ainya: I always liked Moe-type animations, and maid costume are one of the items that’s indispensable to Moe. So, when I was a high school student I thought that I would like to work as part-time at a maid cafe, although it didn’t come true.
In this series, you are becoming to what you really want. In the sixth series (January 2017 issue) you become Alice from “Alice in Wonderland”
Ainya: I really love it! if I get asked “What costume you would like wear again in this series?”, I will choose this costume. Of course, I really love “Alice in Wonderland” I was really happy!
Earlier you said that you “wear costumes”.
Ainya: Oh, no! I was “transforming” using magic! I’m making such a careless mistake ~ (laugh)
In the eighth series (May 2017 issue), you made the “transformation” to Tinkerbell and Wendy from the “Peter Pan”
Ainya: I was happy to be able to become Tinker Bell, a familiar character when I was a at young age. It had a dreamlike feeling as if I could go to “Neverland”.
You said you want to become Wendy.
Ainya: It’s the feeling of my brother saying “If I have a sister like that, I’m going to paper you”. (laughs)
Huh? You mean “sister” right?
Ainya: That’s right. it’s the elder daughter of two sisters, and there’s also a sister who is still under 2 years old. (TL Note: At this point they are probably talking about Tinker Bell which I have no knowledge on, sorry if I get anything wrong!)
Well, of course, you would like your sisters to be like Wendy, wouldn’t you?
Ainya: I wonder? (laugh) No, we get along well! Usually, because I’m really carefree while my little sister is the serious one, there’s a lot of times where she has to pull me back. It’s become a situation where the roles of the older and younger sister are reversed… I’m embarrassed.
What a sight for the eyes (laughs). But it’s a nice relationship isn’t it?. You seem to have learned folk songs since childhood, is it together with your sister?
Ainya: Yes. We were doing folk songs together. So there are dozens of yukatas and kimonos in our house.
As it turned out, the yukata appearance of the ninth series (July 2017 issue) really suits you well.
Ainya: Thank you very much. Certainly at that time, I had to stop “transforming” and “change clothes” like a normal person. (laugh).
I see.
Ainya: Really, because I was doing folk songs, it just makes me feel calm whenever I wear a yukata, and I like to eat soumen to help me feel more relaxed.
After that on the tenth series (September 2017 issue), you became a wife and the child. I don’t think that there’s that many people who can perform both at the same time
Ainya: For me, I also have the desire that “I want to be a good wife someday” and I’m glad it become a reality. Also because there’s the children, I also want to play as the child!
You’re probably the only seiyuu that entered the stroller. (laugh)
Ainya: Even though I’m considerably small, that stroller is quite cramped (laugh). Even so, to become the wife & the child at the same time, if you think about it, it is amazing. (laugh)
It sure is (laugh). Well, looking back on the series again, what do you think?
Ainya: When I look back at the two years of history, I start to feel somewhat emotional. Also it’s all thanks to Seiyuu Paradise R, the staff behind this, and everyone that have been supporting for allowing me to be able to continue to serialize the series. Just thinking about it like that, the word “Thank you” really is the only thing that comes to my mind.
This photo collection is packed with my 2 years of growth and appreciation
Then, what kind of book do you think this photo collection is?
Ainya: Generally, I think it became a book that’s filled with my feelings of “gratitude”. 2 years ago, I was in a state not knowing what to do, but I was helped and raised by so many people. I think that is exactly how this series appears, and in this Kominato Tetsudo location, I took the feeling of gratitude from everyone to my heart.
This photo collection included about two years of growth and appreciation isn’t?
Ainya: It is that kind of feeling.
As you was talking earlier, the way you makes expression may has change considerably
Ainya: It was awkward at the beginning because the smile was kinda forced. Everyone who looked at this photo collection would surely be thinking like “she’s getting the hang of this”. Now I can even make a pretty natural smile and a brave smile.
Even the relaxed smile on that foot bath scene may not have been happened?
Ainya: I don’t think that I could have done it.
Finally, a message to those who bought this photo collection!
Ainya: Truly, thank you so much for buying this photo collection! It was only because all of you that we could realize the dream of releasing a photo collection. From now on, I will continue to work hard so that I can become a voice actress that everyone will think “I want to support her.”, please continue supporting me!
Everyone who bought this photo collection must have been waiting for the second book!
Ainya: No way! It’s still too early! But if it possible to do such a thing, I wish I could give out a different feeling from this one.
Oh, is that mean a 2nd photo collection will come out?
Ainya: Aha, no way. it’s still too early! Anyway, please enjoy this 1st photo collection from corner to corner!
TL – Chicoboco, Ray
TLC, QC – Ray
Thank you all for reading this! We wish Ainya a very happy birthday!
0 notes
tacmc · 9 months ago
City of Starlight {4}
An A Court of Thorns and Roses & Throne of Glass Crossover, Modern AU fanfiction.
Based on a prompt sent in for the 5k follower contest {winner}, from Anonymous: “Competitive arts school tog x acotar crossover”
Summary:  Velaris School of the Arts is the most prestigious school of talent on the continent. Whoever wants to be someone wants to get in. As her senior year of high school is coming to an end, all Aelin Galathynius wants is to go to the city of starlight and play music. Feyre Archeron, however, longs to paint for the rich and famous. Painters, singers, dancers, actors, and filmmakers come together in friendship, love, and lust, and find that they have a lot more in common than they thought.
A/N: Another chapter written with @throne-of-ashes-and-beauty​ . I hope you enjoy. Let us know what you think!
Warnings: language
Fanfic Masterlist
City of Starlight {ACOTAR/TOG crossover}
> Characters Detail Sheet <
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Azriel padded down the hall to the bathroom to look in the mirror and sighed. He wasn’t sure why he kept changing, nearly everything in his closet looked the same. At this point, he had tried on ten different black shirts in a variety of styles, and changed his dark blue jeans to his black jeans. He pushed up the sleeves to the black henley he now wore and shook his head.
“Good enough,” he muttered, but the second he stepped into the hall, he was silently scolding himself. Good enough wasn’t good enough for Elain Archeron.
Aedion and Rhysand were lounging in the living room, playing a video game as Azriel entered. “Has anyone seen my hat?”
Rhysand paused the game, only to look up at Azriel with raised brows. “You’re wearing that shitty, old beanie on your first date with Elain?” 
Azriel blinked. “Yes?”
Aedion shook his head and chuckled. “No, you’re not. Go without it tonight.”
Regardless of whether or not he wanted to wear the beanie, he had no earthly idea where it had ended up. He glanced at his phone, seeing that if he wanted to make it to Elain’s room by seven, he had to leave. So much for his hat.
He pocketed his keys that were sitting on the kitchen counter. “Alright, well, I’ll be back…later then.”
“Have a great time, but don’t have too much fun,” Rhysand smirked.
“Don’t do anything I wouldn't do,” Aedion added.
Azriel rolled his eyes and said, “I’m gone.”
As he headed for the door, Aedion said “They grow up so fast.” Right before the door clicked shut behind him, he heard Rhysand say, voice unnaturally high, “Let’s have another.”
He hated them both.
Their ridiculousness had only increased his nerves, along with the fact that he didn’t have his hat. He didn’t even bother paying attention to his hair. Hoping it was okay, he ran his hands through it. Not that it did much, because the moment he stepped outside into the early evening sun, there was a hell of a wind that had his long bangs falling into his eyes. 
He longed for his old, shitty hat.
Nonetheless, what’s done was done. Although it was a short walk, he pulled himself up into his jeep and drove the quarter-mile or so to her apartment building. After parking near the entrance, he was walking up the stairs to the second floor, and when he stopped in front of her door, he just stood there.
“Okay,” he breathed, wishing he had a mirror to look into one last time, which was ridiculous, considering he hated looking at his own reflection.
He lifted his hand to the door, intending to knock a cool two to three times, but after the first, the door opened wide. The petite girl that Azriel knew as Elaine’s roommate stood there. “Hey, Elide. Is Elain ready?”
She said nothing to him, only smiled, and raised her eyebrows once. “Elain,” she sang. “Your date is here!”
The words echoed down the hall around him and multiple doors creaked open to peek out.
He knew his cheeks were red, knew Elide was trying to make him uncomfortable.
And it was working.
And it continued to work as Elain’s bedroom door swung open and Lysandra hurried out before closing it again behind her. “She’s putting on her shoes,” she announced.
Azriel cleared his throat before he nodded. “Great, thanks.”
“So, where are you two going?” Lysandra asked. “You know, this is the first time she’ll ever miss Shakespeare in the Quad. must be a pretty big deal, because she lives for that shit.”
Azriel hadn’t even realized that it was the night for Shakespeare in the Quad, although he should’ve. He typically didn’t pay attention to such things, only got dragged to them by his group of friends. He opened his mouth to give a simple, short reply, but words escaped him as Elain’s door opened, once again, and she floated into the living room. When she saw Azriel, she smiled, but all he could do was stare.
She wore a soft lilac dress that hugged her waist perfectly before flaring out into a flowing skirt that reached to the middle of her thighs. The thin straps showed off her pale, beautiful shoulders and the neckline plunged low enough that Azriel tried not to make it obvious that he’d noticed just how low it plunged. Her sandals had a heel that made her taller, although she was still significantly shorter than Azriel as she stopped in front of him and whispered, “Hi.”
“Hey,” he breathed, then cleared his throat, yet again. “Ready?”
She nodded, calling back to Elide and Lys, “Don’t wait up!”
They walked in silence to his Jeep and Azriel worried that it was uncomfortable, but when he glanced over at her, the smile on her face showed nothing of the sort. He opened her door for her, seeing the light blush on her cheeks and hurried to his own door. He caught sight of his hair, thankful that it seemed to be behaving in the late summer heat.
“So,” he began, after he started up the engine. “I had a plan, and I think you’d like where I wanted to take you, but then Elide reminded me that tonight was Shakespeare in the Quad. I know you never miss that and-.”
“I want to do whatever you had planned for us.”
Her brown eyes were sincere and he asked, “Are you sure?” She nodded. He smiled, letting her see the full smile he so rarely showed. “You’re going to love it.”
“I know I will,” she promised, and nearly looked like she was going to reach over to him, but didn’t. Instead, she said, “Besides, Romeo and Juliet will be our first production this semester, so I’ll have enough of Shakespeare.” 
He blinked. “Are you auditioning for Juliet?”
She had played the part in high school and had played it well. “Yes, I am! Auditions are soon, so we’ll see.”
“I’m sure you’ll get it,” he said, pulling out onto the main road. 
She smiled at him once more before looking out her window.
“You look beautiful,” he blurted. Elain looked back over at him, laughing quietly. “I was going to tell you when I saw you, but Lysandra and Elide were staring at me.”
“Thank you,” she laughed. “Yeah, they’re nosy. You look good, too,” she continued, although her voice grew quieter, shyer. “I’ll have to add this to the short list of times I’ve actually seen your hair.” 
Azriel chuckled, mentally high-fiving himself for losing his hat. “It’s a pretty rare appearance.”
“Almost like a mythical creature,” she laughed.
He raised an eyebrow and glanced at her, chuckling softly. “Like what?”
“Like a mythical creature!” She repeated, laughing and blushing. “You know, like a mermaid or a unicorn. Ooh, the Loch Ness monster or Bigfoot.”
Azriel’s grin only grew as she continued to explain her thought process and by time she cleared her throat and bit her lip to keep from smiling herself. It was the cutest thing he’d ever seen.
He pulled up to a red light, and his eyes remained on hers. The longer he stared at her with that little smile, the redder her cheeks grew. “What?”
“You’re being shy,” he said, quietly. “Blushing.”
“I am not.” Her cheeks were burning.
Azriel reached across the center console and took her hand gently in his, lacing his fingers through hers. “You have no idea how long I’ve wanted to ask you out on a date.”
Elain was staring at their joined hands. She looked so long that he started to regret his rash decision and just as he was about to withdraw his hand, she tightened hers in his and said, “Well then what took you so long?” When she gazed up at him, her brown eyes were sparkling. “You have no idea how long I’ve wanted you to ask me on a date.”
He hesitated, then he laughed, just as the light turned green and he pressed on the gas pedal. Their hands stayed clasped together until they pulled onto the side of the road, next to a parking meter. After Azriel put some spare change in, they were walking down the sidewalk of downtown Velaris. Eventually, they made it to a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant where a patio sat overlooking the Sidra.
“They’re known for having the best fried chicken in Velaris,” Azriel said, as they went up the stairs. “Everyone loves comfort food.”
“Everything looks amazing,” she said, after they’d been seated and flipped through their menus.
He nodded. “I’ve never had a single thing from here that I didn’t enjoy.”
“Oh, really?” She propped her chin in her hand and closed the menu. “Then you pick for me.”
He laughed. “Seriously?”
She was grinning, her eyes looking like molten caramel in the setting sun and he was mesmerized by her. It wasn’t just how gorgeous she was, but how genuine she was.
“Yeah, I want to see what you’d pick for me,” she said, sipping on the Shirley Temple the server had just dropped off. “I trust your judgement.”
Azriel lifted a brow as the server asked, “Are you ready to order?”
“Cover your ears,” Azriel said, and Elain smiled as she put her hands over her ears. Just in case she was an expert in lip reading, Azriel shielded his mouth with a hand as he put in their order. The server gave him a wink before she walked away.
“Must’ve been a pretty extensive order,” Elain said, unable to control her widening smile. “I was covering my ears for a while.”
“Get ready,” he said, folding his hands on top of the table. “You’re about to feast.”
True to his word, they did.
Not long after their order was placed, their server returned with a tray piled high with food. Plates of fried chicken, Cole slaw, macaroni and cheese, fried pickles, and an entire pie sat on their table when she walked away.
Elain’s eyes were wide. “Azriel, this is a lot of food.”
He chuckled and said, “Trust me, you won’t want to stop. This is the food I grew up on.”
Elain took a tentative bite of the chicken and Azriel waited with an eyebrow raised. Her eyes slipped closed and a quiet, little moan left her lips.
Azriel stared, unable to stop himself as she said, “This is delicious.”
It was, of course, but watching her eat it was even better. Although when she opened her eyes, he quickly averted his gaze as he smiled and dug in. 
“How’d you find this place?” Elain asked, covering her mouth as she asked.
“Rhys’ mom founded it,” Azriel said, after swallowing a massive bite of cheesy noodles. “Before she died. All the recipes are hers. One of his cousin’s runs it now.”
Elain looked surprised. She had known them all for a while now - Azriel, Rhys, and Cassian - but not for too long, not long enough to know everything there was to know about them, the three boys with tragic, messy pasts.
“We used to come here all the time,” Azriel went on.
“That’s beautiful,” Elain said, and proving Azriel correct, she wasn’t able to stop eating. They feasted until the plates were empty, until they were both sitting back in their chairs, stuffed. 
Azriel paid, and he thanked the server before taking Elain’s hand and leading her back onto the streets of Velaris. The sun had set while they ate, and the sky was turning from purple to black, the starlight beginning to peek out. 
They walked slow, partly due to the fact that they’d eaten so much they couldn’t move any faster, but mostly due to the fact that they wanted to take their sweet, sweet time. 
Which is exactly what they did.
Lysandra couldn’t help but look around the quad, waiting to see if Aedion was going to show up, was going to find her. 
Elide was with her, completely oblivious to the fact that her friend was checking her phone’s time every two minutes. She hadn’t told her roommates about the handsome stranger who had promised to meet her here tonight. She also hadn’t told them who’s bed she’d shared the night before, but that was the status quo. They didn’t ask, she didn’t tell. And Elain and Elide were far too polite to ask.
Cassian was polite, too. It had surprised her. After hours of dancing and shots and who knows what else, feeling his warm, solid body pressed up against hers, his lips on her neck and then her lips on his, she’d ended up in his apartment, in his bed. And just as they were about to reach the point of no return, she was about to ask him if he was sure, if having a drunken hookup is how he wanted to spend his first weekend at V-SOT, he’d rolled away, and groaned.
He apologized and said he couldn’t do it, she laughed softly and agreed, it wasn’t the best idea. 
And then when Lysandra was climbing out of his bed, wearing nothing but her own skin, his large hand had caught her wrist.
“You don’t...have to go,” he said. “You can stay, we can just hang out, smoke a little, if you want.” She could tell he was still a little drunk as he added, “And I mean, we can still make out a little.”
She’d chuckled and agreed. True to his word, they didn’t have sex, but they did smoke, they talked, they laughed, and after some inebriated shit talking, Cassian had even given her an unexpected orgasm. She had heard he had an amazing voice, but his talented mouth was a surprise. But regardless of everything else, she had stayed the night in his bed and they hadn’t had sex.
Glancing over at her roommate, she knew Elide would assume she’d been with Aedion, and was going to explain the confusion that might be about to take place, but she found her glaring across the quad.
Lorcan Salvaterre was leaning against a tree, glaring at anyone who made eye contact with him. Meanwhile, Elide was glaring at him, arms crossed. 
There was just so much glaring.
Lysandra just shook her head. “What is it between you two?”
“I can’t stand him,” Elide said, slowly dragging her eyes away from him to meet Lysandra’s curious, amused gaze. “And he somehow seems to pop up everywhere.” 
“Some people would call that fate,” Lysandra crooned.
Elide cackled. “Yeah, right. Lorcan is the last person I’d end up with. He makes my skin crawl.” 
“I don’t know,” Lysandra sighed, finally plopping down on the blanket they’d set up in front of the stage on the far end of the quad. “I think someone’s hiding their feelings for the bad boy behind a little bit of anger.” 
Elide shot her a glare, which only made Lysandra’s smile widen. “Fine. I’ll pretend you don’t find the criminal attractive. Sit with me, roomie.”
Elide couldn’t help her quiet laughter as she sat down on the blanket and crossed her legs. “Speaking of such things, I wonder how Elain is doing on her date.”
“Do you think he even knows how to converse with another person?” Lysandra asked, thoughtfully, trying to recollect the conversations she’s had with Azriel. 
“Oh, please,” Elide said, shaking her head. “He’s madly in love with her, it’s blatantly obvious. Having meaningful conversation is the least he’d do for that woman.”
Lysandra raised a brow, ready to dive deeper into Elain’s love life, but then she heard her name.
She glanced over her shoulder to find Aedion, followed by a girl who looked an awful lot like him, and Rhysand, who she knew vaguely. 
“Hey,” she smiled, then pointed between him and Rhysand. “You two know each other?”
“Roommates,” Aedion said, then pointed to the vacant spot of grass next to them. “Mind if we sit?”
“I was hoping you would,” Lysandra said, quietly. Elide was looking back between the two of them with narrowed eyes. “And that must mean Azriel is your other roommate, which means our roommate is out with your roommate.”
Aedion looked confused for a moment, but then his female look-a-like jabbed him in the ribs. “Her roommate is Elain, and if you don’t introduce us soon, I’m going to introduce myself.” Aedion opened his mouth to do just that, but she cut him off. “I’m Aelin. His cousin.”
Lysandra’s brow raised and she extended a hand to the girl. Her emerald eyes were glittering as she said, “Oh, I think I’ll like you.”
The look Aedion gave to Aelin was icy, while the look Aelin returned was full of snark.
“Don’t mind her,” Aedion mumbled, as Aelin introduced herself to a giggling Elide.
“Actually do,” Rhysand butt in, still standing in front of them all with his arms crossed. “If you ignore her for too long, she’ll make herself known, and it won’t be in a very pretty way.”
Aelin’s grin only widened as she winked at Rhysand, but his eyes had widened as he looked across the quad. “If you’ll excuse me, I see my girlfriend.”
He was off before any of them could reply.
“I thought I'd seen him sucking face with a certain girl around campus lately,” Lysandra muttered.
“Feyre?” Aedion chuckled. “Yeah, that seems to be all they do.”
He expected Aelin to agree, but instead he found her snarling towards the other end of the quad. “Ace?”
Elide’s eyes followed Aelin’s gaze and she said, “Do you hate Lorcan Salvaterre, too?”
“Rowan,” Aelin muttered, looking away.
Lysandra’s eyes floated to the tree that Lorcan was leaning against. Rowan Whitethorn was there, talking nonchalantly with Lorcan in hushed tones.
“Drug deal, I’m sure,” Elide mumbled.
“I wonder where he goes all day,” Aedion said, shaking his head. “He’s never home.”
“Being pleasant around other people would probably set him on fire,” Aelin muttered.
Lysandra bumped her shoulder into Aedion’s. “Would you want to run up to the snack bar with me? I’d kill for a smoothie.”
“Yeah, for sure.” He was up on his feet and holding a hand out for her, which she gladly took. They headed up towards the commons, and the waiting snack bar within.
Aelin turned, watching them go, and sighed. Facing back towards Elide, she said, “They could have been less obvious about ditching us.”
Elide laughed, leaning back on her hands, legs stretched out in front of her. “Lys seems pretty smitten with him.” She glanced over at Aelin. Her eyes were wary as she asked, “He’s a good guy, right? Your cousin?”
Aelin knew she meant no offense in the words, she was just a girl watching out for her friend. And who would know him better than the girl closer than a sister. Her own eyes softened as she smiled and said, “He’ll treat her like the princess she deserves to be treated like.”
Elide nodded, slowly. “It’s about time she’s met someone like that. She’s met too many duds.”
“Haven’t we all,” Aelin agreed, and they shared a laugh. “Aedion won’t hurt her. He does fall fast, though. It’s always been his downfall.”
“Oh, Lysandra loves being worshipped, that shouldn’t be a problem,” Elide said, and although she said it with a light tone, she meant every word. 
Aelin only grinned. “I like her more and more with every second that passes.”
By the time Shakespeare in the Quad had ended, the sun was setting and Amren and Nesta we’re walking back across campus towards their apartment. 
“So are you planning on seeing Lorcan again?”
Nesta glanced over at her roommate and then back in front of them. “How’d you know it was Lorcan?”
Amren’s eyebrow was raised. “I caught him sneaking out while I was drinking my morning coffee and reading the paper.”
“No one under sixty reads the paper, it’s weird,” Nesta replied coolly.
“Nes,” Amren began, voice tentative. “I know you don’t want my advice so just consider this a fun fact. Lorcan Salvaterre is not a good guy. He’ll fuck anything with a pulse and and drop you.”
“Am I any different?” She replied, meaning for it to be a snarky comment, but her voice was soft. 
Amren just shook her head. “I get it,” was all she said.
She didn’t expand on that comment, nor did Nesta ask her to, but both knew the underlying meaning. I get the need to kill the pain from time to time, no judgement.
It wasn’t until they made it up to their apartment that the comfortable silence between them broke. When they opened their front door, the last thing they expected to see was Manon sitting alone at the table, pouring herself shots from a bottle of vodka.
Both Nesta and Amren froze, unsure of what was about to take place, but certain that they weren’t going to like it.
Manon met them both with a dangerous grin. “Sit.”
Amren just arched a brow as Nesta scoffed and shut the door behind them.
Manon downed another shot before saying, “I come in peace.”
“That’s hard to believe,” Nesta mumbled, hanging her keys by the door and heading for the living room.
“I’m serious,” she said, and Manon’s tone made Nesta pause where she’d been about to leave the kitchen. “Please sit.” She sat the two other shot glasses in front of the other chairs.
Amren narrowed her eyes. “Don’t do it, Nes. It could be nail polish remover.”
Manon rolled her eyes, leaning forward and putting the glass to her lips. Tossing it back, she said, “See? Not poison. Just normal, fuck up your weekend vodka. Consider it an olive branch.”
Raising an eyebrow, Nesta asked, “An olive branch?”
“She’s saying she wants a truce,” Amren said, crossing her arms over her chest. “But her attitude and behavior have shown evidence of the contrary.”
Manon shrugged a shoulder. “I’ve had a change of heart.”
Nesta and Amren still hadn’t sat. They looked at one another, then back to Manon. “Look,” Nesta began, taking a step forward and bracing her hands on the back of the chair. “How about we all agree to be cordial, but we don’t have to be friends, hmm? You can take your vodka, along with your bitchy, entitled attitude, and we can all agree to just live peacefully alongside one another….separately.”
“Separately,” Manon repeated, turning the word over in her mouth. “Which means you two, and me.”
Amren stepped in, but the moment she opened her mouth, Manon said, “You know what? It’s fine.” She stood, pushing her chair back, but taking her vodka with her. “I try to be nice but if you don’t want nice, I’ll take the hint. But don’t say I didn’t try.”
She flipped her long, white hair over her shoulder, her hips swaying as she carried her liquor to her room and slammed the door shut behind her.
They watched her as she went.
“Did she just fucking cut me off?” Amren muttered.
Nesta just shook her head before kicking off her shoes and trailing into her bedroom, Amren close behind.
Rowan hated crowds, but he hated sitting in his apartment more, so he sat in a corner booth, alone, at the local bar and grill. It was always crowded, one of the local college hotspots, both for the university and VSOTA, and even Rowan had to admit that their food was delicious, even if the bands they invited to play were mediocre. Thankfully, tonight they’d elected to go with prerecorded music. It was a blessing to his ears.
He’d just asked his server for another beer and was about to get back to his sketching when he glanced at the door.
She and her friends had just walked through the door, but he wasn’t all that surprised to see her. Everyone was either going back to the warehouse for another party tonight or finding their own entertainment. The bar was nestled right between the two schools’ campuses so on a Saturday night, it was usually packed. Rowan was glad he’d gotten there when he did.
He watched as they claimed a high top table as theirs and then Aelin was flitting off to the bar for a drink. Her roommate, Mor, he remembered Aedion saying, was immediately out on the dance floor..
She seemed like the type that liked to dance with the masses whenever possible. A theatre major, if he remembered correctly. A makeup artist. 
He couldn’t help but trail his eyes back to Aelin. She spoke in hushed tones with the handsome bartender, and he grinned as he went to fulfill her request. He wondered if she ever danced.
He was certain she looked good when she danced, just like she looked good when she ran. 
Yet again, he found himself sketching her frame as she sat on the bar stool.
For a minute, he let himself sketch from memory; the long, lean lines of her body; the way her head was always tilted to the left, just a little. It always made her look so curious. But then when he glanced back, he found a man with dark red hair leaning on the bar by her. He watched as he gestured to the drink the bartender had just set down in front of her and then pointed across the bar at a group of guys grouped around a table. Rowan could practically feel the alpha male aura radiating off of them and he snorted, and rolled his eyes.
He flipped the page, knowing he wouldn’t finish the sketch, but that he’d still find himself staring at it obsessively. Just like he had with the sketch of her stretching while she jogged. Instead, he began to sketch what was left of his half-eaten burger and fries. The waitress dropped off his beer and he thanked her with as friendly of a smile as he could muster up, and found himself looking back at the bar instead of his sketch pad.
Aelin was shaking her head but the douche apparently couldn’t get the hint. He kept telling himself it wasn’t his place to get involved, but the second he saw the man’s hand rest on Aelin’s and watched Aelin tense up, he was on his feet. He was across the bar in a flash, setting his full beer on the bar and letting his arm drape across Aelin’s shoulders. She jumped slightly and when she looked up at him, her expression was almost funny. He crooned, “Hey, baby, sorry I’m late.”
The man still hadn’t taken the hint, and he had an eyebrow raised. “Who the hell are you?”
He glanced at Aelin, hoping she was understanding what he was doing, and then turned to the man. “I’m Rowan, her boyfriend. And you are?”
The smile that appeared in the man’s face was anything but friendly. “Oh yeah, that’s funny, she just told me she didn’t have a boyfriend.”
“Yeah, we’re a roleplay couple,” Rowan said, sipping from his glass before setting it back down. “Isn’t that right, Ace?”
He’d heard Aedion call her that plenty of times and hoped it was personal enough that the guy didn’t question it.
“It’s true,” she crooned, looking at the man once more. “It was nice to meet you, Eris, but you may take your leave now.”
Her voice was hard, even though her eyes danced with humor. She had a hand reaching up to Rowan’s face. When her fingers brushed his skin, it sent chills down his spine. He didn’t want to contemplate the reasons why.
Eris looked back and forth between Aelin and Rowan before his cocky grin completely faded. He was drunk, it was obvious, the way his eyes were glazed over. “I think you’re full of shit.”
“Well, it’s funny, because I think it doesn’t matter what you think,” Aelin said, standing. Eris wasn’t as tall as he was, but he wasn’t scrawny by any means. It was clear he took care of his body and Rowan noted that they might be pretty evenly matched, but that didn’t mean he wanted a fight. He placed a hand on Aelin’s hip and pulled her back against him, squeezing lightly in warning.
A tray of shots was set down in front of Eris and he took one off, sat it down in front of Aelin and tried to take her hand. He ended up with her wrist instead. “Prove it, cause otherwise, I see no reason for you to not come sit down with me and my friends. We just want to have some fun. I promise, you will too.”
“I don’t have to prove anything to you,” Aelin snapped, although she didn’t move away from Eris. She simply lifted her chin and met his gaze, unflinching. Her tone made Rowan go still. 
Eris grinned, his eyes primal. “I like a feisty woman.”
This time, Aelin did make a move to back away, but Eris’ grip on her wrist tightened, and his other hand went to her chin, where his grip was rough. “You’re coming with me.”
Rowan, without thinking, pushed his way in between them. He knocked Eris’ hand from Aelin’s chin, and the fact that Rowan had intervened at all had Eris forgetting her existence.
His eyes were now locked with Rowan’s.
“It’s okay,” Eris said, tone mocking. “You can come hang out, too.”
Rowan didn’t say a word, just reached over and picked up the small glass that Eris had just placed in front Aelin before tossing it back himself. He set it back on the tray and said, “Laying a hand on her is the biggest mistake you’ve ever made.”
“Rowan.” The sound of his name on her lips was the sweetest melody and most beautiful harmony he’d ever head. She laced her fingers into his, whether to ground him or a part of their ruse, he didn’t know, and began to drag him away. He let her, willing to let the vibrant girl lead him from the bar if it meant she was away from this asshole. He could come back for his sketchbook. The servers knew him well enough to keep it for him. It wasn’t the first time it’d been left here and it surely wouldn’t be the last.
“She was a bitch anyway!”
Rowan froze, every muscle in his body locking down.
“Rowan, he’s not worth it.” He was shaking his head, not listening to her. Her attempts to make him laugh didn’t register either. “And anyways, I am a bitch.”
“Doesn’t matter,” he growled, the first thing he’d really said to her. “That’s no fucking way to treat a woman.”
He drew his hand away from hers and when she tried to grab for it again, he was already too far gone. Eris was watching him, humored, most likely thinking that he wouldn’t try anything in a room full of people.
He was wrong.
Rowan didn’t hesitate, didn’t say a word as he stormed toward Eris, grabbed him by the back of the head, and slammed his face against the bar top. Everyone around them was suddenly on their feet, backing away, as Eris fell to the floor. His forehead, just above his eyebrow, had split open and blood was slowly, steadily streaming down his pale skin. The realization of what had happened had just registered with Eris as Rowan grabbed him by the collar and hauled him back up to his feet.
“Say it again,” Rowan hissed, his voice a deadly calm, only mere inches from Eris’ face.
Aelin was behind him, and her voice sounded different this time when she said his name. “Rowan.”
He could hardly hear her over the pounding in his ears.
Eris was not intimidated. He gave Rowan a slow, hazy grin as he said, “Your bitch is calling-.”
He didn’t finish his sentence before Rowan’s fist met his jaw once, twice, and then the two were rolling on the bar floor in a blur of blood and horror. No one else moved, no one else knew what to do. Aelin was calling his name, and more people surrounded them, but they were in their own little world, unaware of everyone and everything.
It wasn’t until Rowan had a bloody, swollen lip and a broken bottle held up to his neck that he stilled. He had no idea how much time had passed, it had probably been hardly any time at all considering no one had come to break them up, but he was pretty sure broken bottles were considered foul play.
Eris apparently didn’t seem to care.
There was another flurry of motion and Eris was ripped from where he knelt above him and then he was jerked to his feet. As the world attempted to reorient now that he was back on his feet, Rowan looked for Aelin in the group surrounding the knocked over tables and broken glasses.
Shit. They’d done more damage than Rowan had realized.
But he didn’t find her anywhere. Instead, he felt a small but firm hand wrap around his arm and he turned, where Aelin stood with his sketchbook in one arm and his leather jacket draped over the other. “Let’s go,” she breathed.
He looked around for a reason to say no, but she already had his things and his head was starting to hurt. He’d definitely fairly won the fight, but Eris had gotten a few good hits in. He said, “What about your roommate?”
Aelin was pulling him towards the door and he was letting her. “Mor was meeting her girlfriend here, I just tagged along. Now let’s go.”
The way she said it told him there was no room for negotiation.
With one last glance at Eris, Rowan slowly turned and walked out of the bar, right behind Aelin, who was still holding his belongings. Once they were outside on the sidewalk, away from the masses, Aelin spun to him. “What the hell was that about?”
Rowan snatched his jacket and shrugged it on before grabbing his sketchbook. “Thanks.” He turned to walk away, but Aelin had stepped in front of him. 
He sighed, then raked a hand through his cropped hair. “He...That’s…” He closed his eyes, frustrated. “He shouldn’t have talked that way to you, shouldn’t have put his hands on you like that.”
“We hardly know each other,” she said, calmly, crossing her arms. Rowan couldn’t tell if she was grateful or pissed, or somewhere in between. “And we don’t really like each other.”
“Doesn’t matter,” he muttered. Without another word, he stepped around her and began to walk away.
“Wait,” she called, and when Rowan froze, then slowly turned around, she looked annoyed. “I… Can you at least give me a ride back to campus? I don’t want to go back in there, and I assume Mor will be occupied for a while. I don’t want to ruin her night.”
He blinked as he realized that look of annoyance was not with him, but with herself. She hated asking him for help, for a ride.
It almost made Rowan laugh, but instead he just said, “Sure.”
He wandered into the parking lot without waiting for her to follow, and when she reluctantly did, Rowan nearly forgot about the aching in his head. That annoyance of hers, however, only grew when they stopped.
Aelin blinked. “What the fuck is this?”
Rowan looked at his bike. “What do you mean?” There was a small, leather saddlebag on the side where he tossed his sketchbook and pencils inside.
He removed his own helmet and then the spare he kept with him, and held it out for her to take. She continued to stare at it.
Finally, she blinked and said, “I’ll call a cab.”
She started to turn, to walk back towards the bar, but he said, “Wait, wait, stop.” He reached out and caught her hand, but she didn’t yank it back like she’d expected. “Yes, I have a bike, but I promise it’s not a death machine and I’ll be careful. I’ll ride the speed limit and I promise I won’t try to kill you. Just…” He sighed, and he wasn’t exactly sure why he was so intent on giving her a ride back to campus, but he was. “Let me make sure you get home safe.” The small smile on his face surprised her as he added, “And then you can tell whether my apartment is safe tonight or if it’s yours.”
Aelin blinked for a minute, not understanding at first then enjoying the amused look in his eye. “If they’re at my apartment again, I’m coming to sleep on your couch. Feyre’s sex life is already affecting my beauty sleep.”
Rowan snorted, and after a few seconds of staring at one another, she hesitantly took the helmet and said, “Fine, but if I die on this thing I’m coming to hunt you in the afterlife.”
Rowan pretended to weigh her terms, but then he nodded. “Fair enough.”
She rolled her eyes as she climbed onto the back and wrapped her arms around his waist. The contact of her body pressed up against his back had him swallowing, hard.
After clearing his throat and starting his bike up, he called back over the roar of the engine, “Hold on, princess!”
Then they were off.
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harringrovetrashh · 10 months ago
tagged by @happy-rascal thank you lovely! <3
1. do you prefer writing with a black pen or a blue pen? Neither actually, I hate both, I write in purple usually.
2. would you prefer to live in the country or in the city? The city for sure. 
3. if you could learn a new skill, what would it be? I’ve always wanted to be able to play piano or guitar.
4. do you drink your tea/coffee with sugar? Nope. I don’t drink coffee, and I like honey in my tea sometimes, but not usually.
5. what was your favorite book as a child? I loved the Magic Treehouse Series!! They were the best.
6. do you prefer baths or showers? Depends on my mood, but usually showers. Unless the bath had just been cleaned and I have a bathbomb or something, I feel like I’m sitting in Tay Soup and mmm no thanks
7. if you could be a mythical creature, which one would you be? Dragon. Boom.
8. paper or electronic books? Paper, all the way. But I usually end up electronic bc fanfiction lol
9. what is your favorite item of clothing? My hats. I love them sm.
10. do you like your name? would you like to change it? Meh. It’s okay. I wouldn’t change it just because I’m terrible at names.
11. who is a mentor to you? My high school theatre teachers. They all taught me so much and a lot of different things. Like one showed me that I want to be a teacher, one of them taught me how to say no, and another taught me how I want to live my life lol
12. would you like to be famous? if so, what for? Not really. I’m a pretty private person. Maybe for my writing? People tend to leave authors alone unless they say some shit so...
13. are you a restless sleeper? Yes. No one wants to share a bed with me, and they shouldn’t lol
14. do you consider yourself to be a romantic person? Sometimes? Mostly I just want someone to cuddle/watch movies with/go do fun things with, but not necessarily in a romantic way.
15. which element best represents you? Water. I am a water baby.
16. who do you want to be closer to? I can’t think of anyone? 
17. do you miss someone at the moment? Yes. A lot of people.
18. tell us about an early childhood memory. Hmmm, I don’t have a lot of concrete memories, more sensory triggers. Like no-bake cookies, mermaid cakes, Clifford, etc.
19. what is the strangest thing you have eaten? Oooo, 
20. what are you most thankful for? The people in my life.
21. do you like spicy food? YeS
22. have you ever met someone famous? Yep! I go to conventions a lot, so I’ve met a few. Adam Savage and Robert Sheehan are my favorites to talk about.
23. do you keep a diary or journal? Nope. I’ve tried, but I’m not that organized lol
24. do you prefer to use pen or pencil? Pen. I HATE pencils with a passion. I’m one of those monsters who will even do math in pen.
25. what is your star sign? Scorpioooo
26. do you like your cereal crunchy or soggy? Who tf likes soggy cereal? Not me. 
27. what would you want your legacy to be? Being kind and helping to pass on the freedom of the arts ig
28. do you like reading? What was the last book you read? I love reading, but I think the last book I read was Moby Dick for class.
29. how do you show someone you love them? I’m a very tactile person, so hugs or just casual touching is the best way. I also never hesitate to say I love someone bc I think it’s important
30. do you like ice in your drinks? Ew. No.
31. what are you afraid of? Ohhh boy. Clowns, Spiders, Everyone leaving me...
32. what is your favorite scent? Lavender, Vanilla, Baked Bread
33. do you address older people by their name or surname? Depends. If I know them or if they introduced themself by their first name, then yeah, but I still refer to my high school teachers by their last name lol
34. if money was not a factor, how would you live your life? I would hide away in a beach bungalow that was like a thirty minute drive away from the city. Cottagecore with easy access to theatres, museums, and good food.
35. do you prefer swimming in pools or the ocean? The pool, but only bc it’s the easiest for me to access.
36. what would you do if you found $50 in the ground? Keep it, bc I’m a terrible, broke person.
37. have you ever seen a shooting star? did you make a wish? Yes, and yes!
38. what is one thing you would want to teach your children? To always be kind and patient, but know when to stand up for yourself
39. if you had to have a tattoo, what would it be and where would you get it? I actually have three! I have a marvel one, a monogram with every letter in the alphabet, and Tod the Fox. I have plans for a bunch more though 
40. what can you hear now? My dog snoring, the youtube video I’m watching, the garage door opening.
41. where do you feel the safest? In my bed, curled up in a big sweatshirt.
42. what is one thing you want to overcome/conquer? Uhhh, systematic racism, sexism, homophobia? idk what to say here
43. if you could travel back to any era, what would it be? None, bc for all of the problems we have rn, it’s better than in the past.
44. what is your most used emoji? The owo one, with the big shiny eyes? I’m on desktop so I can’t add it but yeah.
45. describe yourself using one word. Dramatic
46. what do you regret the most? Not keeping my workout schedule post-quarentine
47. last movie you saw? I rewatched Scott Pilgrim Vs The World yesterday.
Tagging: @gideongrace @catharrington @lostnoise
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monkeydluffy19920 · 10 months ago
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I also noticed he’s wearing the circles like Nami does. Is there a reason for those circles?
Greetings @icantthinkof1posts and many thanks for the submission :) I’ve never paid attention to this detail while watching Heart of Gold-tv special before so thanks for pointing this out!  Now that I look at the jacket pattern it surely reminds me of Nami’s skirt and jeans’ circles and after browsing her outfit gallery in One Piece fandom wiki it seems like these circles appear in many of her outfits:
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The reason how those circles ended up in Sanji’s jacket in Heart of Gold probably remains a mystery forever but it indeed is a nice detail from the perspective of shipping. However, I think it is partly a coincidence, they both enjoy fashionable clothings and maybe they like same clothing brands. An interesting topic and for example my fellow shippers @pernanegra [x] and @sanjiafsincedayone [x] have written nice thoughts about clothing related to Sanji x Nami for Sannami week- event.
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But in general, it’s actually pretty interesting to notice that Sanji and Nami indeed do seem to have some similarities and/ or “parallels” when it comes down to their style and clothing. For example in the following cases there seem to be something:
Sanji’s Alabasta’s outfit
First one might be very far fetched but I admit when I first saw the desert outfit after a long while, the sun on his sleeve reminded me of the logo of the Sun Pirates and guess who was part of the Sun Pirates? Arlong and then who was working under Arlong? Nami!
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It’s hard to say did Oda-sensei mean any foreshadowing in this but now to think about the connection to the Sun Pirates came up later in the story line when Jinbei revealed to be close to Arlong.
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Sanji knew about Nami’s backstory because Nojiko told it to them earlier when Nami struggled to fight against Arlong’s terror. She didn’t know Sanji knows so she was probably surprised why it was difficult to Sanji to face Jinbei’s confessions.
Actually the Nami’s backstory that returned in Mermaid Island arc turned unexpectedly into a parallel at the latest in Zou arc where Nami became the one who learned about Sanji’s backstory (well there was also Brook and the others but the point is, they both know their backstories)
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A bit similar pattern in shirts
Before the Strawhats arrived to Alabasta, Nami wore this colorful heart-patterned shirt and later she changes it to the black/blue bikini top. Sanji also switches his outfit in Skypiea to this red-shaded and flowery patterns too that are a bit similar to Namis (who knows, maybe the same brand?)
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 Punk Hazard style
Sanji’s winter outfit after the main adventures in Punk Hazard is stylish and has Nami’s colors and those S-patters partly resemble Nami’s iconic pinwheel tattoo. Her jacket instead follows a bit of Sanji’s suit jacket style (with 6 buttons)
Of course those swirls in Sanji’s jacket and in Nami’s could also represent the symbolism behind their names. My fellow shipper @eleamaya wrote a interesting analyze about their names:  Sanji = whirlpool  // Nami = Wave both things are linked to swirls.
The swirls can also be symbolism for Sanji’s curly eyebrows and now to think about, the symbol of the Arlong Pirates reminds a bit of a whirlpool if one looks quickly.
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wearing blue and orange
There are obviously dozens of outfits Nami has worn but one thing that crossed my mind after browsing the One Piece’s fan gallery was that she wears a lot of blue, either the top or the bottom part which is nice because blue is a nice color.
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(and yes I am color blind, I can’t distinguish blue and purple-ish well *laughs*)
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Also Sanji likes to wear blue but also he has worn a lots of shades of yellow/orange.  Shipwise this  is an interesting thing to notice because their theme colors are blue and orange. Eleamaya linked it to the colors of the sunset which has these two very colors and she also pointed out there the common link in their names (related to the element of water).
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(btw @sanjiafsincedayone‘s post about orange and blue sums ups well this theme)
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Both Nami and Sanji have been seen wearing ties both in canon and in Color Spreads, if we return into a earlier subject, Nami wears blue again in Water 7.
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Offering the suit jacket to the lady
Sanji is a gentleman so it’s natural nice gesture for him to offer his jacket. First time he offered it to Nami when they survived the ordeals in Little Garden. Nami’s reaction was annoyed.
Later he gave his jacket when they were freezing in Punk Hazard’s cold side. Then Nami’s reaction was more friendly (she seemed actually be surprised about him doing it again). This is most likely because they’ve known each other for a longer time in Punk  Hazard arc.
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Number 3 in clothing
There has been great analyzes about this topic but to sum it a little bit: Oda-sensei has given each Straw Hats a “theme”number that is based on their birthday and names, Sanji’s is 3.
He has worn number 3 in his outfit in Whole Cake Island arc in flashbacks when he was a child, mostly so their father and his minions could distinguish Sanji and his siblings.  Nami as well has worn number 3 in Water 7 arc. Actually Luffy has also worn numbers in the flashback arc.  but they are linked to his own birthday as far as I remember, Nami is only strawhat who has worn numbers “just for fun” so far but correct if it’s false.
Of course it might be that since  Nami was the third one to join the Straw Hats, her number also is therefore 3 which could be the reason why Oda-sensei made her wear that in Water 7.
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clothing details in official art
@sanjiafsincedayone also wrote posts about the colors blue and orange and how they appear in One Piece. Oda-sensei likes to share his official One Piece art in Color Spreads between the chapters and in art collections (Color Walks) and once these are published, we fans then enjoy to find details that match to our OTP. 
Here are some of the stylish details that has been pointed out in Sanji x Nami posts about official art:
- similar/matching accessories
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One thing Sannami fandom has pondered together is that they like to wear accessories, for some reason there has been a couple of drawings where the accessories are very similar to each other
(the picture below with giraffe theme is from Color Spread chapter 357 and the picture below with similar flowery necklaces is from Color Walk 5)
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(They both seem to really enjoy wearing necklaces)
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(and who knows, maybe that necklace that appears in Color Walk 4 could be the same as in  chapter 357)
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When it comes down to similarities, there has also been same styled wristbands in chapter 878′s Color Spread
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and sunglasses in the Color Spreads of chapter 941 and 835
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Sanjiafsincedayone pointed out also that Nami seems to like to wear blue colored kimonos in Color Spreads
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A couple of times Sanji and Nami either wear the same patterns in their clothes (i.e chapter 507)
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or one wears swirls and the other rings (Chapter 937)
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- character shirts, a (far fetched) foreshadow?
In chapter 692′s color spread Sanji wears a shirt where there is a character who l1ooks very much like Nami (with all the bikini top-style and curly hair)
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Nami has actually worn character shirts as well, in chapter 578′s Color Spread. If the theory would be far fetched  then we could imagine that picture in her shirt could be referred to Alabasta arc (because of the cactus and desert) where he referred himself with a codename Mr Prince.
If we wanted to put this thought of this even more trickier we would think about Sabo’s background as a noble who never wanted to be a noble and ran away, just like Sanji did so that picture on her shirt could be also a parallel
but  since  the guy looks  more like Sabo perhaps it was more likely foreshadowing to Dressrosa when the Luffy’s long lost  brother made a comeback.  
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And now to think about, Nami’s outfit in chapter 771′s and 588′s  Color Spreads could have foreshadowed the upcoming art since Sanji also wore ruffle-styled shirt before the tea party? (and actually, Nami’s WCI arc dress had ruffles too).
fun fact: Robin’s outfit in that Alice in Wonderland themed Color Spread was very close to what Sanji wore in WCI)
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sweet escape
The gingerbread theme in chapter 902′s color spread was cute and as a shipper the view of Sanji and Nami sharing the same pattern icing/frosting/topping is cute (there were other Straw hats too in that picture but their patterns were different).
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Movie 2 Clockwork Island
Last but not least in the list is One Piece’s second official movie. Yes, it’s a movie and therefore it’s non-canon but I find it interesing that out of all outfits and characters, Nami and Sanji are dressed as they could walk to the wedding aisle any minute. What makes it even more amusing is that Usopp and Zoro are dressed more traditionally and could bless their union *laughs*
And after the Whole Cake Island’s and Thriller Bark’s events and marriage theme that is quite a parallel in total (first Nami being the damsel in distress who needs to be saved from a forced marriage and then later Sanji being forced to marry because of his father’s policies) the more funnier the link between the arcs and  movie 2 feels (since there is too Nami being kidnapped and almost forced to marry someone she doesn’t want and the movie’s promo picture includes a bridal carry)
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When it comes down to the concept of the word canon, It really depends on the shipper which is counted so called shipwise-material. For some everything is potential but dor some,  only manga as canon counts and  therefore everything else like side stories (fillers, movies), merchandising (ads etc.) is shipwise just so called “nice extra” (like some of these examples mentioned before) since  these filler-stories and movies are still mostly handwritten and directed by someone else than the main mangaka. Obviously Oda-sensei is the main supervisor and is very strict about what should happen and what not and he might do these detail things just for fun and it’s us reading it as signs for OTP. So all in all, as always said,
as much as we like to seek for details to support the ship,  it’s all about interpretation ;)
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