#anyways my brain is barely functioning so that’s all good night
been thinking about this one frame
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Apocalypse - Matthew Gray Gubler x Reader
“You’re finally taking Cinema and Literature.” I felt him smile against the skin of my shoulder. He said it so casually. As if my underwear weren’t on his floor and the room didn’t reek of last night’s sex and Absolut.
CONTENT WARNINGS: Semi-Graphic Descriptions of Sex, Alcohol, Language, Implications of fighting/angst, toxic relationship
A/N: You can’t tell me that little collage isn’t exactly what it would be like to date college Matthew. He was the embodiment of NYU Film Major. Looked fucking hot doing it too. Cigs After Sex is the soundtrack to your relationship, by the way. Listen to Apocalypse here.
NYU TISCH SCHOOL OF THE ARTS
9:05 AM - Saturday, August 26, 2000 Sophomore Year
It was early Saturday morning. I was naked and petrified. Bare back faced to Matthew Gray Gubler. I didn’t know if he was awake, and if he was what the hell would I say. I hoped as soon as he realized the naked girl in his bed was me he’d kick me out. Save me the shameful, deer in headlights bra collecting exit. I prayed he would tell me to leave so I just....would. I heard pillows and sheets rustle, and I just hoped he just did what was best for the both of us.
Tell me to leave Matthew.
Like always though, we were absolutely not on the same page.
“So..” His big hand slid over my hip from behind me, his palm gently forcing me back onto him, “You’re finally taking Cinema and Literature.” I felt him smile against the skin of my shoulder. He said it so casually. As if my underwear weren’t on his floor and the room didn’t reek of last night’s sex and Absolut.
“Yeah.” I answered. His short finger nails dug into his hips as his chest met my back. Neck craning over me. I shuddered and he noticed.
“You like it right?” It was a painfully obvious double entendre and I couldn’t figure out either of the answers. The Cinema and Literature professors unconventional teaching methods were a circulating debate at NYU, but fucking my ex AND staying the night the first weekend back on campus was indisputably wrong. Problem was I really enjoyed both.
Wet lips began to pepper equally wet kisses on my neck. My ability to move or speak was stripped. It was embarrassing really; I couldn’t focus or function when he touched me. Matthew liked that. A lot. Somethings never change.
“Your opinion on Scorsese?” His hands traveled through sheets and onto the bare skin of my chest. I sucked in a deep breath and looked him in the eye for the first time since last night. He had a cocky, stupid hot smile on his face. His hands slipped under me and I knew I was gone so I looked away. I didn’t want to see what he was thinking. This was so incredibly self destructive. We were swiftly undoing all the slow healing we’d both already done.
My brain spun all its gears at once to get out an answer while his hands practically methodically massaged my boobs. The feeling was the best kind of familiar. “You value my opinion?”
A hand made it’s way to my face, pulling it to his so that we could look at each other again. “Always did.” His voice was soft with sincerity that affected me more then I would’ve liked it to.
God, why? Why did things end the way they did? Why did....Why was.... Just why? There were so many whys, way too many fucking whys. Just tell me why, Matthew, please.
Then he kissed me, and it felt like time didn’t exist anymore.
Your lips, my lips
Time was like that for awhile, non-existent. The only thing that existed and mattered were the lips attached to mine and the torturously clever hand in between my legs. He stroked me with such tender care and affinity, I almost forgot we’d exchanged “Fuck you” more times then “I love you”. My breath got heavier and my moans got louder. I’d always meant the “I love you” more then the “Fuck you”.
“Come on pretty girl, come for me.” The strokes and rubs of my clit and insides got more intense as his mouth nibbled at my earlobe, “I know you missed it.”
“S-shit!” And like that, I let go. I gave him what we both wanted too badly for our own good.
He got up first. I tried not to look as he dressed himself, but I couldn’t help it. He manipulated all of my senses, vision included. My eyes couldn’t leave him and he smiled when he noticed my shy stare.
“I was surprised when you said Hi last night.” He said, absent mindedly zipping his fly.
“It would’ve been weird if I didn’t.” I responded, forcing myself to say it plainly.
“Not really, all things considered.” He rummaged through still unpacked boxes, “You need a shirt?” It was cheeky and unappreciated, but I still took the offer.
It was brown and striped, a personal favorite back in the days of cuddlefucking and PDAs in front of all of our friends. This boy was too clever. He tossed it to me before putting on his own and laying back down. I shimmied the shirt on. It smelled like his detergent and the butterflies in my stomach were having a field day.
“I uh--I annotated the first lecture if you want it.” The sentence coming from him was uncharacteristically low pitched. He’d run out of things he could say without one or both of us choking up.
“S-sure.” I nodded, “That’d be help-”
There was a pounding on the door, and instantly in my chest.
“C’mon Gube! It’s first Saturday back! We got Bloody Mary’s and chicken wings calling our mothafuckin’ names!” It was Danny. Matthew’s best friend, my dormmates friend, all of my friend’s friend, and obviously, MY friend. It was the worst possible person to be knocking on the door right now.
“Gubler, you bitch!” He laughed, “I know you’re in there man.”
I was silent as a mouse. We could play this off. He’ll leave eventually.
“Well motherfucker, I’m coming in! Rick gave me his key. Hide your dick if you’re jacking it!”
Fuckin’ Rick. His dormmate. Didn’t know much about him other then he had good weed and definitely was not here last night.
I was frozen in fear and Matthew’s hands wiped his face and then didn’t leave. They were trying to hide a smile. I was absolutely horrified and he was slightly amused. One word. Typical.
“Holy. Fucking. Shit.” Danny’s jaw had swung open when he entered the room and saw what was happening.
His best friend and the ex-girlfriend he’d probably, no definitely, proclaimed extreme hatred for were sharing a bed and clothes on a Saturday morning.
“So like.... is it exactly what it looks like?” Danny tried and failed miserably to stifle his laugh when he saw my face.
“Shut your fucking mouth and get out.” I practically screamed. Thankfully, he listened.
I was seething. At myself, at Matthew and at fucking Danny for being such a goddamn jackass.
“Hey..” Matthew rushed to calm me down but I hissed at him before he could touch me.
I launched myself out of bed and scrambled to get my things. “Phone, keys, wallet...what am I missing?” I muttered to my stupid, hungover, fucking mentally exhausted brain. I was answered with shimmery fabric peeking from behind a sheet. “Dress.”
“Here.” Matthew threw me some basketball shorts. I didn’t thank him.
Without a word, I was out the door. Fuck.
The walk back to my dorm was pitiful. I scurried down the halls with dress and heels in hand, in clothes that were so evidently not mine, receiving mixed looks I didn’t have the brain capacity to decipher. I just wanted to cry.
I laid down in my freshly unpacked dorm, and there were two very distinct scents. My dorm mate Lo’s soy linen candles and my regret.
This kind of regret was laced with confusion and animosity and anger, and as much as I wanted to ignore it, there was a growing feeling of longing. Longing for Matthew and the way those skinny ass arms felt wrapped around my waist.
I couldn’t think about it for too long though, because Lo and her girlfriend, Jen were now in the doorway. Donuts and coffee in hand. God didn’t hate me so much after all.
“Give me one, right now.” I snatched a chocolate glaze from the box.
“You good?” Lo laughed and Jen gave me a look.
Shoving the donut into my face, I figured the best way to do this was bluntly. Danny was going to tell them within the hour anyway. Swallowing, I started rambling immediately. “I fucked Gubler last night.” I took another bite and kept talking with my mouth full, “Woke up and--Shit.” Sprinkles were falling everywhere. “He fucked me again.” I opened my eyes wide, “With his fingers.” I sighed, “They’re so long and--”
“Do NOT finish that sentence.” Lo interrupted. “Girl, why?”
“You think I fucking know why?” I threw myself back on my bed. “I barely remember what happened last night. All I know is where I woke up.”
“You’re fucked kiddo,” Jen said patting my head. “You get your bag, babe?” she asked Lo.
“Yeah,” Lo came out the closet and gave me a kiss on the forehead, “Sleep well my child.”
They were gone and so was my ability to not let tears stream down my face. There was a light knock on my door. If it was Matthew I think I would scream.
Thank you for reading.
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Just Like a Trainee
sope | sickfic | 2142 words
warning: throwing up
Hoseok really regretted his words at times. He had offered to help write two of the songs on their latest album. They had a basic idea of what the songs were going to be like but Hoseok was given the responsibility of finishing them up.
He couldn't remember the last time he had been so stressed. He wanted everything to be perfect but that meant sitting in his studio until the early hours of the morning. It meant not sleeping but working all the time.
He felt like ripping his hair out at times. The others had already done what they needed to do, he was the only one left.
Hoseok always felt like he was on edge. So many things needed to be done and there was so little time.
"I don't like it," Jimin mumbled. He shook his head.
"This is like the thirtieth time you've recorded this line!" The staff member said from the other side of the studio. "At least take a break now!
Jimin shook his head again. "Fine."
He slipped his headphones off and shuffled out of the recording booth.
"I'm so tired, I just want to sleep..."
"At least we have dance practice after this!" Jin said.
Jimin groaned, flopping into the big chair. He sank into the cushions. Jin smiled seeing him.
"Thanks for reminding me of my impending doom."
"No problem." Jin grinned.
"Hobi, can you get in here?"
Hoseok sat up after hearing the staff member call his name. He had been trying to squeeze in a small nap on the couch next to Jimin's chair, but he couldn't, no matter how much he tried. The dancer got to his feet.
"You should skip out of dance today," Jimin said.
Jin frowned. Hoseok ignored him and walked into the recording booth.
Hoseok started to realize that he wasn't alright. He couldn't eat anything properly, he would always throw it back up within the next hour. On top of that, he struggled keeping the waves of pain at bay. Taking over-the-counter medications helped for the most part. He didn't bother trying to hide it; the others knew that he wasn't feeling well, but if they dared to say anything, he would yell at them and they would shut their mouths.
There was too many things to get done.
There were thirteen sticky notes on his laptop, listing the multiple things that he needed to get done.
Right after dance practice, he went to his studio and stayed there until the early hours of the morning. Then, he dragged himself home to get three hours of sleep. Throughout the whole day, he only managed to keep down his breakfast. His nausea would rear its ugly head later on during the day.
The others weren't too happy with him working like this. Yoongi kept saying that Hoseok needed to "work in moderation" and "take care of himself."
The thing was, Hoseok normally did take good care of himself. But just for these few weeks, he needed to push himself just a bit harder so he could get everything done by the deadline.
It's not his fault that his body decided to get sick right now. It was probably just a bug anyway.
"Are you sure you're okay Hoseokie hyung?" Jungkook asked. He was standing right outside the door of the dancer's studio.
Hoseok stared back at him. His face was flushed and he felt insanely uncomfortable. He wanted to lie down.
"I'm fine, don't worry.".
"I can help you with those producing things, if you want. I don't want you overworking yourself," Jungkook said.
No, it's my job! I don't need everybody else helping me out all the time!
"No, it's okay Jungkook. I can get those done myself, thank you."
Jungkook nodded but the dancer could see that he had gotten hurt. The maknae obediently turned around and left.
Hoseok slammed the door shut. A sudden wave of dizziness washed over him and he gripped onto the wall. Something was really wrong with him. He shouldn't have snapped at Jungkook, he should've just accepted some help...
He sank down to the floor, trying to take a few deep breaths. His cramps decided to strengthen at that very moment and he was left a crying, hiccupping mess.
Fast forward a few days, and you have a Hoseok who's progressively getting worse. He barely manages to last through the dance practices. The dancer takes more breaks than the other members combined.
He kept himself functioning on painkillers during the day. He tried to limit the amount he took but he couldn't really help himself.
During the nights at the studio, he didn't get much work done, much to his disappointment. Hoseok was feverish. He frequently fell asleep in front of his laptop and only awoke when he had to throw up.
There was a blanket in one of the cabinets. He wrapped it around himself to curb the constant shivering his fever produced. But the comfort he got from it wasn't enough and he found himself wishing for a hot water bottle or someone to hug.
The producers kept bugging him about when his songs were going to be finished. In the few precious moments that he wasn't dying due to whatever illness his body had managed to concoct this time, Hoseok sat there and panicked. He wasn't getting any work done.
He was falling behind again. Right before heading back to the dorms, he made long elaborate lists, outlining exactly what he had to do. Then the evening rolled around and he felt too sick to do anything.
"Do you want to take a break?"
Hoseok dropped to the floor, panting. The others were doing the same. Just a moment later, he was forced to struggle to his feet to run to the bathroom.
His heart got stuck in his throat when he knelt down in front of the toilet. His fingernails dug into his knees as he threw up the few bites of lunch that he managed to choke down.
"Shit, hyung are you okay?"
Jimin was behind him. Hoseok felt him put a hand on his shoulder. He wanted to tell him that he was fine but he couldn't stop throwing up.
Jimin's hand stayed on his back and shoulder until he finally managed to stop and recover slightly.
"You should go get some rest hyung, really." The mochi's eyes were filled with concern.
Hoseok groaned but shook his head.
"Go get some rest, please. You looked like you were going to fall over during practice."
The dancer shook Jimin off and tried to ignore everything that was just said to him.
"Hyung, listen to me!"
"I'll be okay, it's just one more week-"
"One more week until promotions start! If you're sitting here and throwing up, there's no way you can perform!"
Jimin wrapped an arm around Hoseok's shoulders as he led him back to the room. "Listen to me hyung. Why don't you hand those songs over to Namjoon hyung? He's not under any major stress right now."
"No, I'll get them done, don't worry about it."
Jimin sighed loudly. Hoseok knew he had given up.
After Jimin told him about what had happened him and Hoseok, Yoongi made sure to keep an eye on the dancer. As usual, after practice ended, Hoseok ran off to his studio.
The rapper couldn't check too often without getting suspicious so he set a time for himself. At ten o'clock at night, he would check in on Hoseok and drag him home.
Yoongi wasn't too worried about the songs. He knew that if Hoseok couldn't get them done for whatever reason, the other producers or members could jump in to help. Hoseok was stressing himself out for no absolute reason. It was just a matter of changing some details, it wouldn't too long.
Ten o'clock rolled around.
He couldn't do it. He had to take a small nap. He kept throwing up. He was too cold. He couldn't sleep.
"Hoseok, how are you doing with those songs?"
Yoongi pushed the door open. Hoseok never kept his door locked thankfully.
Yoongi scrunched his nose. He could smell puke in the air. Hoseok was still throwing up?
There were papers all over the room. Hoseok's laptop was on, displaying the editing screen but he wasn't in front of it.
He was laying on the couch, curled up to be the smallest he could be. An old blanket was on top of him but he was still shivering non-stop. His lips were moving; Yoongi could hear him muttering to himself. There was a bin next to him.
Yoongi sat down on the couch and tried to sit Hoseok up. The dancer only managed to slump forwards into his lap.
"What's going on? Are you okay?"
Instead of answering him, Hoseok bursts into quiet, incoherent sobs, not really caring about getting Yoongi's shirt dirty.
Hoseok didn't answer him. Yoongi kept his arms tightly wrapped around his frame, trying to make him feel more secure. He could feel Hoseok's forehead pressing against his shoulder; the dancer had a high fever. Hoseok kept crying and sniffing. The rapper kept getting more and more concerned with each passing minute. Hoseok normally wasn't like this when he was sick.
"What's bothering you?"
Yoongi lifted Hoseok's face so he could look into his eyes.
"Can you tell me what's going on?"
Hoseok's lips were chapped and bleeding. His face was pale, but some parts of it were flushed. He gazed blankly at Yoongi's face.
Hoseok couldn't reply. He mutely crumpled into Yoongi's arms again, his body resting heavily on the rapper's chest. He had fainted.
Yoongi tried shaking him and trying to call his name but it didn't work. Eventually, he moved Hoseok off his lap and walked over to the desk to get a phone. He called an ambulance.
The paramedics said it was probably dehydration after checking all of Hoseok's vital signs. Yoongi went along to the hospital where Hoseok was being taken to, just in case if something serious was happening.
Hoseok woke up in the ambulance. His brain was fuzzy. It almost hurt to think clearly. There was a paramedic who dipped a straw into his mouth. Cool water dripped into his mouth.
"You're a bit dehydrated, okay?" she smiled gently at him.
Hoseok blinked. The water felt nice.
He would probably start throwing up again in a moment though. And he did. Within a few minutes, he was hunching over a plastic bag and throwing up.
He laid back on his stretcher after that was over.
There probably was an IV injected into his arm at one point. Hoseok fell asleep soon after that.
The rapper blearily opened his eyes. Hoseok was awake and was staring at him with a surprised expression on his face.
"What is happening to me?"
"Oh, it's nothing really." Yoongi leaned over to stroke his hair. "Remember when you were a trainee, you got stress-induced enteritis? You got it again."
"Yeah," the rapper said. "You're going to stay in bed overnight and probably the whole day tomorrow because you passed out and I freaked out and now you ended up in the hospital."
"You took me to the hospital when we were trainees too." Hoseok grinned.
"Yeah, you owe me two."
"You're okay now, aren't you?" Yoongi asked.
"That's cause they loaded you up with Zofran."
"Some kind of medication." The rapper shrugged. "Anyway, please be thankful that I saved your life."
"I am," Hoseok said.
"Good." Yoongi smiled. "Go to sleep now, it's nighttime."
"The songs? What are we going to do bad about them?"
"Idiot. Nobody thinks about that when they're in the hospital. We'll figure that out later."
"Oh." Hoseok stayed silent for a moment before speaking up again. "You're going to stay here all night?"
"Thanks," the dancer murmured. "You take such good care of me."
"Yeah, no problem."
The next day was hell. As soon as the medication wore off, Hoseok started throwing up. Again. It took a few more days of staying in the hospital for him to start feeling better.
The comeback was pushed back. The fans were told that one of the members had fallen sick, and even if some of them were a bit disappointed, most of them were understanding.
The other members and some of the staff members ended up crashing into Hoseok's studio to help him finish the tracks. Even if he was quite annoyed at the beginning, it was all so he wouldn't get overwhelmed too much ever again.
"You don't change do you? You still get sick the same way you did back when you were a trainee."
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Birdsong: Part 1: Don’t Be A Cunt
Pairings: Santiago “Pope” Garcia x reader (see Author’s Note)
Rating: R, no wee lurkers please. Kids are not meant to be the readership here.
Warnings: Language. I mean. Language. And eventually violence and smut.
Word Count: 2600
Author’s Note: Yeah I have no business posting another WIP at all but you know I have the self control of a squirrel in a nut factory. Not the cool Willy Wonky squirrels. Regular fucking squirrels. Anyway-- I have listed this as reader insert, it was originally OC. I changed it because she was very close to reader insert.
She is named briefly in this chapter, her name is Robin. This is fairly neutral but plot specific: her call sign is Birdie. This was originally because those who gave it to her were very dismissive of her because she was a woman in the military and called her Birdie because Robins are Birds as opposed to trying to give her a nickname with more intimacy or character. So if that breaks your fantasy, I get it. The rest of the time she functions fine as reader insert.
The intention here is more or less a sequel to Triple Frontier. I wanted to introduce this but expect a slower update.
Masterlist for Triple Frontier
Honestly you hadn’t been expecting it, not that one ever does, but it made the message worse. It made it ten times worse that you had been on business, came back, and your phone had blown up with a bevy of unexpected messages, some markedly older.
Santiago: You around? I got a job offer.
Frankie: You working? Pope’s trying to get you.
Miller: I know you got some issues but if you’re around pick up the phone. I promise. This is something you could use.
Miller Lite: Pick up the fucking phone puss bag, we got a job.
The one that later hurt the most.
Tom: Hey, I know this is out of the blue but we have something...just a recce. Good money. We could use a sharp pair of eyes on it. You have the sharpest eyes I know. Let me know. And if you want to tell us all to fuck off you go right ahead. I get it. Stay safe and keep your nose clean.
You read them again and again. Wondered why they made you...feel hollow. The dates were old, you probably missed the recce so you didn’t rush to respond and wondered who to start with. Not Santi. Maybe Frank. You put the phone on the charger. Ordered room service. Took a shower. Came out. Another new message was waiting, this one hot off the press.
Miller: Hey...call me when you see this. We need to talk.
That was never good.
You called and explained-- you had been out of the country. Work. What the hell was happening? What recce?
Miller sighed and explained, “Where were you?”
“I’m in the Bahamas.”
“It’s not like that….Tom’s dead.”
You heard the blood in your ears, rushing around like the waves that tried to down you when you were a kid and thought you knew how to swim.
“I’m stateside to Miami tomorrow. Where are you now?”
You sat heavily on the cheap hotel bed, “Texas….I’ll fly to you. I’ll meet you in Miami. Miller Lite with you? Can I interest you boys in a ride home?”
“That sounds great. Text you the info. See you tomorrow.”
Pope steeled himself because he half expected that he shouldn’t have come to this funeral. But he felt...compelled. Maybe he deserved to have Molly yell at him. He wasn’t necessarily expecting a hug.
But he was a little surprised by the level of ferocity.
She was cornering him in the corridor and he had no defenses.
Then the voice came, a gentle knocking on the wall, and Molly turned away from him to see…
“Robin?” Molly choked on your name-- she refused to use any of your call signs and had always hated Tom’s-- and put a hand to her mouth.
“Hi Moll….I’m so so sorry.” You had your hands out, an offer of a hug, and Molly threw herself in your arms with a gush, “Tom would have been happy to see you...he missed you. He always felt bad about things, I’m happy you two talked.”
“Me too Moll.” You squeezed her tightly and made eye contact with Pope, mouthing You ok?
He shook his head and then nodded and said Thank you.
You motioned for him to escape.
You hugged Molly while her hug turned into a gushing sob. You patted her back. You took it. You could take it.
You always had a knack for saving these boys just before things got really bad...you were just so doubly disappointed you’d been out of fucking range before whatever nightmare they’d gotten themselves involved in.
From what the Millers offered you on that quiet drive back home from Miami and the messages you’d received you knew it was Pope’s baby. Pope’s little earworm that squirmed into his brain and didn’t leave and wound up getting Tom shot in the fucking head. The Millers were still processing, offering bits and pieces, Benny with angry outbursts and Will with that quiet rage that made his eyes black out. He was still hurt too, you’d nearly punched him right in the fucking exit wound when he showed you why he was flinching at a goddamn gas station in Georgia. They’d given you the skeleton. You knew the rest would come later.
Pope had flown Tom’s body back. Paid a premium to have it done privately.
Now it was barely a week later and here you were, in a dress you planned on burning rather than taking with you, at yet another memorial for someone who didn’t deserve to die so fucking young, trying to be supportive.
Part of you almost felt like none of the team should have come, it would be a weird rubbing of Molly’s nose in her loss. But you knew even if she was sore about it she didn’t really...wouldn’t really begrudge you guys mourning.
Well...except for Pope.
Pope who could come in like a thunderstorm and while you were busy appreciating the light show he could knock all of your goddamn power out. Tom had been blinded by the light and now Molly was in the dark with kids and something the Millers essentially said was a death payment.
Fucking Christ Santi.
You understood why Pope came today-- he wanted to be punished, to be yelled at, but he also didn’t want to be such a source of pain for Molly and the girls, it was just...he hadn’t seen how it wound land. Sometimes Pope lacked that scope. He was great at what was in front of him but he forgot to look over his shoulder, he was a team-guy, he trusted that other people had his back.
You’d always had his back.
And he seemed to get into trouble when you didn’t.
“There’s no way in hell you’re going out with them Frankie.” Megan hissed, “We have the babysitter. We got to get back.”
It was the ending of the repasse at a local BBQ joint -- Just tacky enough, Tom would have approved-- and you had invited the boys out for a drink. Well. There had been an unspoken agreement among you all that drinks were happening and you were the first to vocalize when you were all standing in the parking lot at the memorial about to head to the restaurant. Now it was Benny’s loud mouth trying to rally the troops and it had not exactly played right with Frankie’s girlfriend.
Her phone beeped and she saw the number, “Speak of the….let me take this.”
She walked away and Benny watched with a snark, “Leash feeling tight?”
“Don’t make me hit you Ben.”
“I’m just saying she is--”
“My daughter’s mother ---”
"BOYS! Boys….boys." Your voice gently cut in, "Let's not fight this early, there’s a whole night ahead of us. With drinks. Save your strength."
They all shrugged off the fight and you nodded towards the woman on the phone, "Fish….that Megan?"
The woman had hardly been by the boys, instead hanging around Molly and a few of the other women including a red-head that Benny whispered to you was Will’s ex. You knew the wedding was canceled, you’d gotten that notice in the mail, but you were surprised she’d show and had no idea that Frankie’s lady had more or less chosen her side.
Sisters before misters. You shrugged, you suppose you got that. When your girl tribe was strong it was sacrosanct but … well. It was gone now. And your boys were all you had. But you felt it was your role in the mix to be the bridge when the two genders were having trouble translating for one another.
Fish nodded and looked back at the woman, "We haven't left Jaime alone this long before she's… tense."
"Is tense what we call it?" Benny quipped but his brother elbowed him hard.
When Megan returned she eyeballed you very obviously and very deliberately-- clearly trying to figure out your purpose-- until you reached out a hand, "Hi...Megan? I'm Birdie---"
Meg's eyes widened and then she broke out in a smile, "OH MY GOD HI! So nice to meet you!"
Benny looked incredulous--- Meg categorically disliked him and even his brother, and had lost her small acceptance of Pope since Colombia. He was shocked.
You hugged her and shot Benny a shit-eating grin Suck it Miller Lite.
“Did you get the Thank You from the shower? We weren’t sure if we had the address right but the bassinet--” Megan was gushing and you smiled at her-- she didn’t seem like everyone’s cup of tea but Frankie needed a tight leash and this woman looked like she kept spares in her purse.
Plus when Fish looked at her he seemed...pleased with himself. It was hard to elicit responses from Fish that weren’t tacit agreements to all the more bombastic personalities around him.
Your presence seemed to pacify Megan and you patted her shoulder affectionately, “I did get it, it was beautiful--stunning picture of the baby, I think she has your eyes.”
Meg beamed, “Everyone says she looks like Frankie.”
“I mean she’s far too good-looking, clearly takes after you.”
Benny snorted and Will gave you a look that accused you of rubbing it on a little thick but oh well. Pope was hanging back, watching the group from across the parking lot, because Megan had read him the riot act when Frankie’s easy-peasy-three-day-recce had taken more than a week without a phone call and involved transporting a dead body. Jaime had been twelve weeks old at the time and Megan was...Megan was full mama bear. A week was insufficient time to quell that particular rage.
“Are you joining us for drinks? I offered to buy these boys a drink so we could pour one out for Redfly...I feel...I feel just awful I wasn’t there.” You scrunched your face up and Megan looked downright sympathetic, hugging you again.
“Oh honey you’re lucky you weren’t remotely involved-- I get it. You must miss the boys. I don’t know how because they’re assholes--”
“You aren’t wrong about that.” You quipped.
“--But they’re our assholes, am I right?” She bit her lip and looked at Frankie, seeming a little more...calm for a moment. Frankie smirked at her.
Eh maybe she was alright. You got a decent vibe from her.
“So you’re in?”
Benny looked fucking tortured.
His smile instantly doubled.
“No, sorry. We have a sitter, I haven’t...I haven’t been away from Jaime this long yet and I’m...I’ll be honest, I’m losing my fucking mind. I know that’s nuts but--” She shrugged-- it is what it is.
You looked disappointed, it might even have been genuine, “You and me will have to do girls' night when you’re feeling up to it.”
Fish shook his head at that and Benny cackled, “Oh that would be fucking rich.”
But Megan just ignored them, “Definitely!”
It was one of those definitely’s that meant probably not but thank you really.
At any rate you were on your way to a bar that Will had picked out within the next fifteen minutes, in Fish’s truck, as he said, “Thanks for not being a dick to her.”
“When am I a dick to anyone?” You feigned shock and surprise and it made him snort into the steering wheel.
“I know Benny hates her--”
“Oh what gave you that impression?”
“But I...I dunno. She feels like home.” Fish smiled, “Or Jaime does. Jaime’s home sweet home and she’s got her mama’s eyes and when I see Meg with her I feel like Jaime’s in the best hands in the world. Meg and I...fuck I mean Jaime was a giant accident. I barely knew Meg when she told me she was pregnant. I was one drunken night with Benny away from demanding a paternity test.”
“Is Benny fucking Maurie?” You shook your head, “Never take advice from Miller Lite, it’s rule number one Fish.”
“Well yeah, I remembered that in time. Plus, you saw the pictures--”
“Oh there is no way that’s not your kid it’s alarming. I’m concerned. I sort of want to dress you in drag to see if she’s going to have a rough high school time.”
Fish reached over and playfully slapped you, “Don’t make me try on your jeans again.”
“One time.” You rolled your eyes, “I’m still mad about that whole evening, you boys ruined a huge section of my closet. Benny wrecked my heels. Wrecked.”
Fish laughed, “But they made his ass look good.”
“They did.” You agreed, “They did make his ass look good.”
When they got to the bar Benny all but jumped on your back for a piggy back ride and you elbowed him roughly, “Don’t be a cunt Benny.”
“Don’t be a cunt, Birdie.”
Will sighed, “We are going to be around other real people, you two wanna bring it down a notch so we aren’t thrown out in the first fifteen? Please?”
“Is pussy different from cunt?” Benny seemed genuinely confused and you sighed.
This was all your fault, really, you’d given him pussy-passes years ago.
"But I don't fucking understand! Why can you say it? Because you're a girl?"
"Nah." You shook your head with a cigarette balanced precariously between two fingers, just drunk enough that it was plausible that you would drop it, "Because I'm indiscriminate."
Benny raised his eyebrows lasciviously, "You like girls?"
You gave him a disappointed look and then turned your ire to Will, "You know what, Will, that's your fault, you're supposed to be in charge of him."
Will held up his hands to plead innocence, "Vocabulary was never his strong suit. Use small words."
Benny chucked a peanut right at his brother's face and you held up a warning finger, "Don't start that shit Miller Lite….Indiscriminate. I do it to whoever."
“You. Like. Girls. Too." Benny said slowly as if he was explaining it to a small child.
You groaned and let your head fall into your hands, Pope briefly worried your hair would catch fire on the cigarette.
"Come on!" Benny complained. "YOU'RE THE GIRL YOU HAVE TO EXPLAIN IT."
You took a long drink of your beer and a steadying inhale of your cigarette and then said, "If you call me a pussy because I have a pussy it's sexist."
"But you can say it because you have a pussy?"
"No, I can say it because I will slam it just as easily against someone with a penis as someone with a pussy, and regardless of their sexuality."
"BUT!" Benny sputtered indignantly, "I would do that! That guy is a pussy too! With his rude bitch boyfriend!"
You smiled and eyed Pope and Frankie conspiratorially, "I'm therefore going to take the fairly controversial stance and call him a feminist."
It was all Benny needed and he abruptly pushed up from the table, calling after the guy, "Hey! I'm a motherfucking feminist get over here and apologize puss bag!"
Will sighed and eyed you tiredly, "Thanks for that….don't suppose you're going to help carry him out?"
You gave a full toothy grin, "Course I will...I'm a motherfucking feminist."
Will leaned over to whisper to you as Frankie approached Pope for a sweeping hug, “When was the first time you saw Pope since Temid Lake?”
“When I saw Molly about to punch him at her husband’s memorial service.” You confirmed and Will let out a long slow whistle, “You enjoy kicking the bee’s nest, don’t you?”
“Oh yeah I don’t like...learn.” You agreed.
One night. One night of drinks with your old military friends. One night.
How much damage could you really do?
A/N: I can’t once I started dabbling with Frankie stuff I had to post Pope. I’m nuts. Welcome to the Thunderdome.
I do not beta read I write in a fury and then edit twenty times after posting.
@ordinarymom1 <-- do you do the non-pedros?
@thirsty-flygirl @wyn-dixie @codenamewife @onceuponathreetwoone
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31 October || The Marauders
Summary: From 31 October 1971 to 31 October 1981. Time really flies doesn’t it?
A/N: Another kinda messy fanfic for you guys which will probably be my last one for like a week because I have to back to school school :(
Word Count: 1.5k
31 October 1971
James and Sirius dashed down the hall of hogwarts in an attempt to beat each other. However, the person who beat both of them was the one and only Professor McGonagall, their so-called favourite professor. “Mr Black, Mr Potter,” she eyed both of them cautiously, examining their messy robes and untied tie. “I wish to remind you that the next time I catch both of you running in the hallways I will make you run laps on the quidditch field until your legs no longer permit you to run” She said in a voice laced with seriousness while she flicked her wand to fixed the mess that was Sirius and James’ uniforms.
Sirius and James nodded politely, gleaming at their favourite professor as she rolled her eyes in annoyance. Right as she turned her back, the young boys immediately resumed the race to the great hall. The quickly dissipating loud footsteps caused the professor to sigh deeply before she returned to what she was doing before.
The 11-year-olds dashed to the Gryffindor table, with Sirius throwing himself onto the seat just ever so slightly faster than James managed to. Laughter erupted from the table of fellow 1st years as Sirius stuck out his tongue to a sulking James who slumped down into his seat. “This is where I said I told you so.” Sirius gloated, a smile stretching from ear to ear. “I believe you do owe me something now…” Sirius said as he stretched his hand towards James. “You’ll get your lemondrops when we get back to the dorm” James rolled his eyes, slapping away Sirius’ outstretched hands
31 October 1974
They had been preparing for the full moon for what had seemed like forever. Since their 2nd year when they found out about Remus’ so-called “furry little condition” they wanted to come up with a plan to help him. Whatever it might take. Hence, they decided upon a plan that James himself had come up with: To become animagus so that Remus might never spend another full moon alone. After 3 years of sleuthing and researching, they finally managed to acquire the skill of becoming animagi.
That night, the 4 of the marauders hiked out to the shrieking shack together. The moment they entered the shrieking shack, the danger of the situation began to sink in for all 4 of them. “This is a bad idea. You shouldn’t do this, I might hurt you. No scratch that, I will hurt you all of you. Please go.” Remus said, voice laced with insecurity and worry for his friend. He knew he was slowly beginning to lose himself and while he appreciated his friends’ attempts to help him, he didn’t want to hurt 3 of his best friends or do something even worse to them.
“No!” Sirius exclaimed exasperatedly, as he held onto Remus who was already losing his strength and control. “Remus, you are our friend, our brother, and we are definitely not letting you go through this alone. Not anymore.” James said with resolve as he glared back at Remus’ pleading eyes while Peter nodded, putting up as brave of a front as he could muster.
The marauders didn’t say much to anyone about what happened that night. A few people stared a little longer than they should’ve at a few of the new scratches and bruises the 4 boys gained that night but most assumed it was probably part of the many pranks they were pulling on someone.
From that night onwards, all 4 boys started to disappear on nights of the full moon every month to somewhere no one else in the school knew about.
31 October 1978
“Oh god please don’t tell me that there are more boxes,” Sirius gasped dramatically. James rolled his eyes as he replied, “No Sirius, there are no more boxes.” Exaggeratedly, Sirius threw his hand in his air, cheering. “Man-child he is,” Lily remarked sarcastically to Remus as she watched the two friends come into the house.
Right as Sirius entered the room, he collapsed on the new sofa, still covered in white cloth. “Hey! Butt off my sofa,” James exclaimed, lightly slapping Sirius on the head. Whining, Sirius was eventually dragged off the new sofa, landing on the carpeted floor with a thud, garnering a few chuckles from the rest of the group.
“Hey, what’s that?” Peter asked innocently as he pointed to the little black box placed at the side of the room. “Oh, that’s a big black box that has tiny muggles in them.” James replied confidently, causing Peter’s eyes to widen in both confusion and horror. Remus and Lily burst out laughing while Sirius furrowed his brows, looking around like a lost puppy in a park. “That's not-” Lily did not even have a chance to finish before Remus quickly interrupted her. “That’s exactly what it is.” Remus replied, smirking.
Laughing, he crawled forward and toyed with the knobs, turning on the muggle television. Peter jumped backwards as the muggles began conversing with each other while James tilted his head slightly. “Wait, those really are tiny muggles?” He asked. “Yup, you see we can even control them by turning this knob right here.” Lily said, barely even able to keep her laughter in. Sensing right through her lie however, James lunged forward at Lily, tickling her at her sides. Sirius, still disturbed, quickly fiddled with the buttons and knobs of the television before finally managing to turn it off. This only left Remus laughing at his two confused friends who really lacked a brain at times.
31 October 1980
“No, I’m fine here, standing perfectly still in the corner.” Sirius said as he leaned against the doorframe of the bedroom.
“Come on pads, you’re his godfather, you kind of have to hold him at some point!” replied James as he cuddled the little newborn swaddled in a blanket Molly had stitched for him.
“He’s so tiny… What if I break him?” Sirius replied, genuinely concerned and worried for the safety of his godson. He did not have the best reputation with kids after all. In fact he had close to zero experience with tiny humans like this one.
“At this point Harry’s more likely to break you.” sighed Remus exasperatedly causing Lily to snicker.
“How am I supposed to hold the tiny human anyways?” asked Sirius causing Remus to roll his eyes dramatically.
“You’ll figure it out.” James said as he practically shoved baby Harry into the hands of Sirius.
After quite a while of uncomfortable shifting on Sirius’ part, he finally managed to figure out how to actually hold the little child. He eventually looked up, giving the rest of the marauders (and Lily) a lopsided grin which they all returned. For a first-timer, he sure was good with kids.
31 October 1981
Clambering off his motorbike, SIrius found the one and only Hagrid standing in the front yard of the Potter residence. Fearing the worst, Sirius rushed the Hagrid only then realising the bundle of cloth that stirred in his hand. Hagrid gave him a look of sadness and pity and Sirius shook his head, and rushed past the front yard, flinging the door open so hard it nearly broke.
He saw only the back of a man, he collapsed onto the floor, head buried deep within someone’s chest. The scene felt all too familiar, nights of restless sleeps and nightmares all seemed to have hinted towards this: his greatest fear. He stumbled backwards, knocking into something he didn’t really care about anymore.
Startled, Remus turned around sharply, eyes swelling with tears. Sirius wished he hadn’t turned around because now there was an even clearer view of his friend his brother, pale and lifeless, dead on the floor. Sirius turned his head towards the stairs that led to the bedroom. He wanted to ask if Lily was alive and he opened his mouth but the words were unable to spill out because he already knew.
Remus shook his head, tears already spilling out of his eyes, rolling off his cheeks. Sirius already knew Lily was dead because if she were alive, Harry wouldn’t be in Hagrid’s arms, he would be in his mother’s. Harry… He thought. Almost as if paternal instincts kicked in he barged through the same front door to get Harry. From behind he heard Remus attempt to follow but his body seemed too emotionally drained to function.
“Hagrid, give me Harry. Now.” He said possessively which only made Hagrid sigh, his eyes softening. “I can’t, Dumbledore's orders” Hagrid said. “Bullshit, I’m his godfather!” Sirius spit. He knew Hagrid had no part in this but he was simply too tired and disoriented to talk politics. “I can't,” Hagrid replied.
“Why not?” Sirius fumed.
“You were the Potters’ secret keeper… Only one person could’ve told Voldemort their hiding place,” Hagrid stated in a soft voice.
This was when it clicked for Sirius. His eyes widened before they overflew with anger and rage. With resolve, Sirius instructed Hagrid to use his motorbike and get his godson to safety. Hesitantly, Hagrid nodded. Within the next second, Sirius had already disapparated away, leaving nothing but a couple specs of dust at the front door of the Potter residence.
What Sirius didn’t know was that the next time he would see his best friend and his godson again was 12 years later.
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Late check-out tonight because I was on the phone with bae. I pretty much got everything done on my list today despite the rough start: I slept in then had a slow start to my morning because I was feeling kind of out of it, so I didn’t end up eating breakfast until 9:00 or so. An hour later I found myself still lying on the couch somehow feeling worse than before breakfast, with tunnel vision, dizziness, thick mental haze. I snapped out of it for long enough to realize that I’ve been sober for a week and I slept last night, so there is no good reason for my brain to be doing this! I started typing a post asking for advice on r/cico or r/cronometer or something but I couldn’t focus enough to make sure the sentences made sense.
Eventually it occurred to me to actually check the app to see what my caloric deficit has been this week. Turns out, every single day so far, I’ve actually been more than 100 calories below the goal that Cronometer set for me-- and I’m already skeptical that the goal Cronometer is setting may be too low! I wasn’t hungry at all because I had just had breakfast, but even through the heavy brain fog I realized that was probably the issue. So I went and had a slice of bread with a lot of almond butter, then laid back down on the couch. It took a long time, like 2 or 3 hours, but it worked! The fog lifted and I felt a lot better after noon. Still wasn’t feeling super strong but my brain was functioning.
You guys. That was not a good feeling at all. I’ve never experienced a food-related brain fog before. I’ve had weed brain fog, sleeping pills brain fog, and insomnia brain fog, but this shit is something else. Well, the insomnia fog is pretty damn awful. But yeah, don’t undereat to the point that your brain starts using its own fats or whatever, it’s not fun. And of course it was a struggle to get out of it because I have to use that brain to self-diagnose then plan and execute the solution.
I finally got up and started doing things at like 12:30, and I did everything slowly because I wasn’t feeling 100%. I gave myself permission to eat back all those deficits from earlier in the week if I needed to. I didn’t eat quite that much but I was over today by like 200. And I don’t feel bad about it! I do feel bad about adding salt to my dinner. Whenever I do that, I can feel it in my skin that night, and my skin is telling me I had too much salt today. Am I just the most sensitive person in the world or am I imagining things? idk.
Anyway, I did not spend as much time at the side job as I was planning to do today, but I still did a little. I did meet all my bare minimum goals. Did 30 minutes of yoga and 30 minutes of squats n stuff, taking it gently like I promised this morning. I felt better as the day went on, and I was in a good place to keep going with the side job into the evening but then my bae called me so I called it quits :-)
Lesson learned: when your daily caloric intake is low anyway, don’t short yourself. Eat back calories burned during workouts. I will try to be a lot better about this moving forward.
Also, I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge that under my usual lockdown habits, I would have allowed myself a smoke this weekend, but I didn’t and I didn’t miss it too much either. Probably because I already had brain fog. JK.
Spencer Reid x (gender neutral) Reader
Word Count: ~2000
Warnings: None, really? Emotional hurt/comfort and sorta like a touch starved deal doing on, but it’s pretty thoroughly fluffy and sugary-sweet.
A/N: For the “bed sharing” square on my @cmbingo card!
Title is from the referenced psych study, because I’m a dork.
“One sec,” you call, wincing at how thick and nasal your voice sounds.
You wipe your cheeks hastily as you sit up. It’ll be obvious anyway, though; wouldn’t take a profiler to notice your tear tracks and blotchy face.
It’s Spencer. Of course it is — because he’s the last person you want to see you like this, when you’re all snotty and puffy and gross.
His eyes go wide and solemn when he sees your face, genuinely distressed. There’s that empathy again, the too-big heart that everyone seems to overlook in favor of his big brain. You love him for it.
Well, you love him for a lot of things.
“Hi,” he says quietly. “I was going to just ask if you were okay, but… I guess I don’t actually need to ask now.”
You let out a watery little chuckle. “Guess not.”
“You want some company?” He looks hopeful, almost, and then seems to catch himself, dropping his gaze with a shrug. “I understand if you just want your space, though.”
If it was anyone else, you absolutely would not want company right now. But it’s Spencer, so. You pretty much always want him around.
“I was just about to turn on some shitty TV because it felt too quiet in here, honestly. Company would be really nice.”
He gives you a quick twitch of a half-smile as he steps past you, and after you close the door, there’s a pause where you both stand there and look at each other, Spencer suddenly shy as he shifts his weight from one foot to the other.
“Do you want to talk about it?” he asks, in a thin unhappy voice.
“Not really. Just… one of those days. One of those cases.”
“Can I do anything to help?”
You hesitate, because it seems like such an immature thing to say out loud, but you’re too tired to be anything other than honest.
“I could use a hug.”
Spencer’s expression goes all soft and sweet, and your cheeks feel hot under the drying salt water as he steps closer. He wraps his arms around you, and you bury your face in his chest and try to inhale. Your exhale is a ragged little shudder, and you fist both hands in the back of Spencer’s cardigan as you cling to him, feeling raw and sensitive and so very young.
He lets out a quiet, shaky sigh of his own, squeezing you tighter.
How long has it been since anybody hugged you like this? It’s like the contact — the warmth of him — the pressure of his arms around your shoulders — the rise and fall of his chest under your cheek — is lifting some massive weight you never realized you were carrying. All you want in the entire world is to hold him tight, take the comfort while you can, but you know you should pull away.
He hesitates for a second before releasing you, like maybe he doesn’t want to let go either.
Then he’s stepping back, hands in his pockets, slightly pink-cheeked as he bounces on the balls of his feet and gives you one of his frog-faced not-quite-smiles.
“You said something about shitty television?” he asks. “Or maybe we could watch some television that’s not actually shitty?”
“That sounds perfect.”
Turns out Planet Earth is on, which is the rare overlap in your and Spencer’s tastes, and it’s not until you’re eagerly toeing off your shoes that you realize the bed is the only seating option.
Spencer sits cross-legged, with his elbows on his knees and his chin propped on his fists, and he stays as close to the edge of the bed as physically possible. You lean back against the headboard and hug your knees to your chest, feeling the need to hunch over, like you could physically protect your heart.
Then again, it’s much too late for that. You knew your heart was in trouble the moment you met Spencer.
Today, especially, you already feel vulnerable, like all your carefully-constructed walls cracked open the second you let yourself cry, and now you’re just ripped-open and bare. You need a good night’s sleep and a long, hot shower before you’ll be able to go about your life as a professional, fully-functional, grown-up human again. Right now you’re just kind of a mess.
“I know there’s the germ thing,” you blurt out, without looking at Spencer. “But —”
His laugh sounds crackly and nervous, but relieved, like maybe he’d been holding his breath. “Come here.”
You give him a grateful smile as you scoot closer to each other, and apparently you’d been so worried about your own swollen eyes earlier that you hadn’t noticed the fatigue evident in every drawn, wan line of his face.
Not that he isn’t still the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen.
You duck tentatively under Spencer’s arm, and it’s not like you’re cuddling, exactly, because there’s still an inch or so of space between your hips and legs… but the bony plane of his chest, between collarbone and heart, makes a surprisingly perfect pillow. You pull the sleeves of your sweater over your hands, tucking them under your chin, curling up.
The moment feels delicate, like a soap bubble that you could burst if you simply breathe too loudly, and you hold yourself stiffly, at first, not wanting to move any closer for fear of pushing a boundary. It feels like you’re glowing at the points where your bodies are touching; the warm weight of his arm feels like bright spring sunshine across your upper back. His palm on the round of your shoulder is thawing away the last chilly bits of your self-consciousness.
When the commercial break starts, Spencer says, “Do you ever think about how little physical contact the average single adult experiences on a regular basis?” His voice is quiet and almost sheepish.
You smile. “Yeah, I’ve considered it.”
“Especially when we live away from our families,” Spencer says wistfully.
You can feel the vibration of his words in his chest. You shift, making yourself more comfortable, feeling dazed and dumb with his proximity.
“The monkeys. I feel like — you know?”
“Harlow. I know exactly what you mean.”
Trust him to get that from your ridiculously vague mumbling.
“Except they’re babies,” you add.
“The emotional benefits of physical touch don’t decrease just because we get older,” he says softly. “It’s just that the fear of judgement makes it difficult to be honest.”
There’s silence for a minute as the show starts again, and David Attenborough says something about sloths. Spencer’s thumb strokes your shoulder gently, back and forth, soothing. It’s hypnotic, and the tension drains from your muscles, leaving you more relaxed than you’ve felt in a long time.
“Thank you,” he whispers.
You swallow hard. “For what?”
There’s no reason for your eyes to be stinging like this, but they are. “I should be thanking you.”
“Nothing to thank me for. This is… really nice.”
“Yeah. It really is.”
He’s quiet again.
Spencer smells like vanilla and old books — although the latter might just be your imagination, something to do with the power of mental association — Spencer could probably explain the science behind that. Your brain has them inextricably linked, though. You’ve caught hints of that smell before, but never up close like this.
The softness of the worn knit of his cardigan makes you want to rub your cheek against it like a cat. His arm, skinny as it may be, feels like protection — like you’re safe here.
After the brutal violence of the case and the emotional turbulence of the day, this quiet, golden moment is even more breathtakingly peaceful by contrast. It doesn’t feel real.
It’s too good to last. This isn’t yours. It’s not going to last, no matter how right it feels, and your chest already aches with the idea of letting him go.
You try to appreciate it while you can, to remember every sensation, but your body is leaden, exhausted down to the bone, completely drained of whatever adrenaline-stubbornness-caffeine combination was keeping you running until now. Spencer’s thumb rubs invisible circles on your shoulder, and he breathes evenly, and you feel safe.
You’re asleep before the next commercial break.
A distant car alarm wakes you, sometime later. In the handful of seconds before it’s turned off, you come to without opening your eyes, trying to remember where you are and who you’re with. The smell of vanilla makes you relax instinctively, before you can process why.
Spencer has all but melted against you in his sleep, soft and boneless. He’s got both arms around you now, holding you close, his breath tickling your forehead. Then he stirs, and you can feel the moment he realizes where he is, because his muscles go tense as he freezes.
“Sorry,” he murmurs hoarsely. He’s barely audible over the infomercial voices coming from the TV. “I didn’t mean to — sorry. I’ll go.”
And before you can think better of it, you whisper, “Don’t.”
He’s still frozen, and silent for a second that feels like an eternity. “You mean —”
“I don’t want you to leave. Stay.”
Honesty seems to be your default setting tonight, and anyway, you can tell without looking at a clock that it’s long past midnight, well into the early-morning hours where boundaries and reservations and reality don’t seem to follow their usual laws. You can’t lie to him (or to yourself) right now.
Spencer’s voice cracks as he says, “Okay. I’ll just — let me get the light.”
You don’t open your eyes as he slips away. This all seems like a dream, and the sharp bright lamp light might make it dissolve around you. You might wake up.
The TV goes quiet, and when you tug at the hotel comforter, sliding between cool sheets fully clothed, the barely-there rasp of moving fabric sounds loud in its absence.
Spencer turns off the lamp, and you open your eyes. You can just see his shape as he navigates the dark room, negative space on a charcoal backdrop, but as your vision adjusts, you can see a faint suggestion of his features in the blue-black.
You feel it, though, when his weight makes the springs of the old mattress dip. You’d expected him to lie on his back again, but instead his face is just inches from yours when his cheek comes to rest on the pillow. You feel the way he’s breathing, quick and shallow and nervous. You feel your heart kick in your ribs, thudding so loud he must be able to hear it.
He reaches out slowly, hooking an arm around your ribs, and pauses with just the very tips of his spidery fingers touching your back, between your shoulder blades: five soft points of contact that you feel so intensely they might as well be electrode pads connecting you to a defibrillator.
This is crossing a line, and you both know it.
It’s not a sexual touch, it’s not that sort of thrill going through you, but something about this feels profoundly intimate. That intimacy is almost more shocking than lust might’ve been, and it’s much more dangerous. It’s the sort of closeness you don’t walk away from unscathed.
Spencer’s fingers flutter, butterfly-wing delicate, like one or the other of you might be trembling.
“Are you sure this is okay?” he whispers.
Maybe you’re both trembling.
His palm comes to rest on your back, easing you closer, and you shift, settle, readjust. He pulls back and tilts his head just long enough to brush his lips over your temple, soft and sweet, before tucking you neatly under his chin, where you fit like you were meant to be there, with your nose nudging at the gap between his collar and the delicate skin of his throat.
“Sweet dreams,” he whispers, sounding just as awed as you feel.
“Sweet dreams, Spencer.”
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More Criminal Minds fic is here.
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As long as anybody didn’t find out, Pickles figured the worst scenarios he had conjured in his head would never happen.
[send me a sentence and i’ll write the next five or more lines]
You got it! This... turned out longer than five more lines, lol.
Snakes N Barrels era Charles/Pickles. Warning for one night stands, drug and alcohol mentions, questionable disguises, and Charles hitting the club with a briefcase that contains a book and condoms (just in case).
Bottles & Bodies
As long as nobody found out, Pickles figured the worst scenarios he had conjured in his head would never happen. The gossip, the cold shoulders, the colder looks . . . all the shit he’d left behind in Wisconsin, but would be so much worse to encounter again now, here, in the fucking tabloids and the faces of his bandmates, because he actually liked this life.
It wasn’t like he was ever going to fool around with any of the guys, even if Tony was pretty cute. As far as Pickles could tell none of the guys ate from both sides of the buffet anyway, and as a general rule the groupies were always girls, so it was easy enough to compartmentalize. When he was being Pickles, the rockstar, in his red gloves and makeup and tight, low-riding jeans, he hit on chicks; when he snuck out to gay bars as Pickles, just some dude, with his blue wristbands and no eyeliner or eyeshadow and slightly less teased hair and even tighter, sluttier jeans, he hit on dudes.
And usually, just to be on the safe side, he picked guys too loaded to pick him out of a lineup later.
So why. Why the fuck. Had he picked the most straight-laced looking guy in this bar to sidle up to and ask if he could buy him a drink?
Probably had something to do with the fact that he was a little cross faded on weed and booze. . . . But mostly it was that the guy—young, probably not much older than he was—was hot, and he’d wanted to so he’d gone in the bathroom to snort a little coke until it seemed like a better idea.
Hot in a preppy sort of way, admittedly, with the glasses and the blazer and the nearly combed hair, nursing a scotch and soda while reading something and taking notes in a steno pad at a small table in the corner. But once you got past that part, there was a serious set of his jaw, an intensity to his gaze as he focused on what he was reading despite the noise of the crowd, and a firm decisiveness in his hands that Pickles had found himself obsessing over in stolen glances for the past half an hour. Good shoulders, too, and Pickles suspected he was pretty fine under that blazer and button-down.
Pickles grabbed a chair from a nearby table and sat in it without bothering to turn it around, folding his arms across the top of it and grinning at the handsome stranger. “Hey, whatcha reading?”
“Naming, Necessity, and Natural Kinds, by Stephen P. Schwartz,” the guy reeled off automatically. When this wasn’t immediately followed by Pickles losing interest and wandering off, he glanced up and did a double take. “Wait. You’re, ah, Pickles. From Snakes N Barrels.”
For a fraction of a second, Pickles did his best impression of a deer in the headlights. Because yeah, lack of stage makeup wasn’t much of a disguise, but no one had ever actually called him on it before.
Then he recovered, and all his experience in bullshitting and performing under pressure kicked in. Pickles turned the wattage on his smile up a notch. “Heh, y’think? I could just be a handsome, sexy lookalike.”
The guy shook his head while still staring. “I’ve been to your shows,” he said with unshakable conviction. “I know it’s you.”
Without meaning to, Pickles laughed. “You have? Really?” He let his eyes rake pointedly up and down the other man, since he wanted to anyway. What he saw did not, in any way, scream Snakes N Barrels fan. For one thing, there was an honest to god briefcase wedged under his chair between his nice leather shoes. Not enough piercings or tats, for another—not that he could see at least, to which his lizard brain slyly added Yet.
After waiting patiently for his eyes to wander back up, the guy said seriously, “Really. You, ah.” Suddenly his confidence seemed to waver, even if his conviction didn’t, and he looked down at his book. “You stand out.”
Pickles considered. He wasn’t thinking too good at this point, which might possibly present a flaw in his whole ‘compartmentalization’ plan. . . . But he had a pretty good radar for when people were interested, and this guy was definitely pinging on it. And somehow, he didn’t really think that someone who’d brought heavy reading to a hookup den was the type to try blackmailing a celebrity in the bisexual closet. People like that had better things to do, right?
It didn’t mean everyone would find out.
He drummed his fingers on the top of his chair, barely heard it over the ambient noise of the bar around them, shrugged. What the hell. “Okay, you got me,” he said with a smirk, one he knew for a fact was particularly winning. Under the table, he stretched his leg out and rubbed the toe of one sneaker against the other man’s calf. “This your first brush with fame or are you jest happy to see me?”
There was a twitch of surprise at the sudden contact, but otherwise the guy held his ground. “Well, I, ah.” His face was reddening, though. “I like your, ah . . . music.”
“Thanks, dood.” With a wink, Pickles added, “What’s yer name, since you already know mine?”
“Nice name,” he said, still feeling up the back of Charles’ leg with his foot. “So hey, Charlie. Wanna go appreciate my ‘music’ somewhere private?”
It was a stupid line and probably shouldn’t have worked, but the guy nodded and shut his book, using the steno pad as a bookmark. Pickles took the liberty of finishing the last of the stranger’s scotch and soda before getting up to leave the bar; Charles stowed his book in his briefcase and followed.
Stupid, impulsive, thinking with his dick instead of his brain as usual. . . . But hey, a guy’s gotta eat. Otherwise what was the point of it all, right?
They got a motel room a few blocks away, but not until after Pickles had pushed Charles against a few darkened brick walls along the way to give him a test drive. Charles kissed back hard, eagerly, like this was some sort of fantasy he’d never dreamed he’d get to live out. His hands ran down Pickles’ back to grab his ass and fuck he was unexpectedly strong. Pickles felt his feet practically leave the ground, literally, and moaned into it.
By the time they got into a room (which Charles had gamely gone into the motel office by himself to pay for), Pickles had him one zip away from pants-off. That was quickly taken care of, and shirt buttons undone, and sure enough, what he found underneath the crisp white shirt lived up to expectations and then some. Pickles dropped to his knees, shivering in approval when Charles’ hands went straight into his hair. He was less appreciative when he was held back from leaning forward.
“I, ah,” Charles panted, staring down at him with bruised lips and desire in his eyes. “I have condoms in, in my briefcase.”
Pickles quirked an eyebrow. “Seriously?”
“Well, it’s. . . . I mean, because, the bar. You, ah, never know, right?”
Pickles rolled his eyes but got the condom, rolled it on with his mouth, and proceeded to suck his new friend’s brain out into the protective latex. Then he tossed Charles a washcloth and a fresh Trojan and put on a show of peeling out of the tight jeans and tight t-shirt, making strategic use of the motel lotion until they could get the new condom on and Pickles climbed atop him. He eased down with his head thrown back, scrambling without looking to find Charles’ hands and press them to his hips while his head floated and spun, the perfect high. At one point he realized that Charles had flipped them over, so smoothly he hadn’t even noticed, bending Pickles bare feet effortlessly back his ears as he thrust into him with the steadiness of a drumbeat, and it all felt so fucking good.
The other stuff was good too—the rush of being onstage, free booze and drugs, groupies whenever he wanted—but there was something in this that he needed just as much. Couldn’t give up one any more than the other, got the shakes if he went too long without it. He’d picked a good one tonight, too. Unlike his usual fare, Charles didn’t seem to be any more than slightly buzzed. Usually Pickles would be offering to share a little bit of his coke right now just to keep his pick of the night awake and functioning; instead, he was being steadily, blissfully fucked into the mattress with a controlled pressure that carried no hint of sloppiness, no possibility of passing out halfway through. Which was . . . kind of a first, and kind of felt like the best sex he’d ever had (without being on the really hard shit, at least, where it was more about the trip than the actual fucking anyway).
He almost wanted to offer a few lines anyway, just so this could go on all night. . . . But it hadn’t been all that long ago that he couldn’t afford to share, and old habits died hard, so he didn’t.
At one point Charles was sprawled across the bed, head resting on Pickles’ thigh as the musician leaned back against the pillows and well-rattled headboard, idly twisting short brown hair into tiny braids that wouldn’t stay. Charles’ eyes were mostly closed when he asked, matter of factly, “I’m not going to see you again, am I?”
Pickles chewed on the inside of his cheek for a moment before conceding, “Yeah, prahbly naht.” He yawned, then grimaced—damn accent always thickened up on him when he was tired or coming down, and right now he was both. “Sahhry. I mean, you can still come to shows and stuff, but. . . .”
“No, it’s fine. I understand.” Charles rolled over onto his elbows, looking up at Pickles. “Knowing it’s a one time thing takes, ah, takes some of the pressure off. I’m not, ah, very good at . . . this sort of thing, usually.” He paused, looking faintly embarrassed. “I, ah, say things like that, for example.”
“Dood, me neither,” Pickles said with a laugh. It was true, and he was a little relieved to hear the sentiment echoed by the other man. He wondered, briefly, if Charles would get all weird if he admitted that he slept with women too. A lot of guys did. But that was a mistake you only made . . . five, maybe eight times, outside of doing it on purpose to make sure these trysts ended when he needed them to. Not necessary in this case, where they both already seemed to be on the same page. He yawned again.
Men or women, all of his relationships came with an expiration date that could usually be measured in hours, and that mostly didn’t bother him because there were always others waiting when he turned around. Maybe he was kind of bummed to know that he’d never see this guy again, but he’d wake up in the morning and move on. There would always be another body to tumble into the next time he turned around to scratch this particular itch.
Several years later, past the band breaking up, past numerous auditions and brief stints as frontman for other groups that never really seemed to stick, after getting over the crushing reality of defeat and admitting to himself that he’d never be able to get his voice to go as heavy as he wanted, Pickles tapped the creased business card Nathan had given him on the edge of the desk and said, “So. . . . Hey.”
“Hi,” Charles replied blandly. His hairline was showing signs of beginning a slow retreat, there were lines around his mouth and eyes that hadn’t been there before, and he looked very professional and joyless in his gray suit and power tie, but it was definitely him. “So. You, ah, have a new band now.”
“Yep.” Pickles tapped the card on the desk again. It had been a very long time since he’d wondered any time he’d seen the name Charles or any of the variations if it would turn out to be that Charles. . . . Honestly, he’d probably only done it for a few weeks before the booze and drugs had washed away any certainty that he’d even remembered the name right. He definitely hadn’t walked into this appointment with a potential manager for the newly formed Dethklok expecting this blast from the past.
“And you’re . . . not the frontman.”
That wasn’t phrased as a question, so Pickles just shrugged. “Yeah, that’s Nathan. He’s the one who called. He’d’ve come, but he had work today, so, y’know. Here I am.” He shrugged again. “I’m the drummer.”
“I, ah, see.” Charles wrote something on his steno pad. It was, upon craning very unsubtly to see, the words Pickles the Drummer. “Nathan didn’t, ah, mention that over the phone.”
“Yeah, he’s not real chatty. Good guy though.” Pickles saw the faintest hint of questioning look and felt a sudden, uncharacteristic surge of embarrassed defensiveness over, essentially, nothing. “Not that he’s, I mean, we aren’t, no way, uh, no.”
Fuck, he regretted ever learning how to talk as a kid. But he’d never been stuck in a conversation with someone who had this particular dirt on him before—even though, technically, he had the same dirt on Charles. The 90’s were almost less forgiving of that shit than the 80’s had been, in their own way. Anxious and fidgety, Pickles started patting his pockets, looking for cigarettes or something.
Charles put his pen down with a sigh and took off his glasses, studiously wiping them with a handkerchief. They hadn’t seemed dirty a second ago.
“Pickles. . . . If you’re worried about, ah, my discretion, I can assure you that I am a professional. We don’t have to discuss our, ah, shared. . . . The fact that we’ve met before. With your band mates, or even with each other, unless you chose to do so. Either way, you can consider that information, ah, confidential.” The handkerchief disappeared into a pocket, and Charles put his glasses back on. “And I, ah, hope that you would do me the same courtesy. Particularly if I do become Dethklok’s manager.”
There the damn smokes were. Pickles tugged the squashed, mostly empty pack out of his back pocket, but paused in the middle of shaking one out as the words sank in. “. . . Wait, you really wanna manage us?”
“Of course. The demo tape you sent me showed a huge amount of promise, especially considering it wasn’t recorded professionally.”
“Damn right it wasn’t,” Pickles scoffed, jamming the cigarette in his mouth and distractedly resuming his self-frisking, this time for a lighter. “Had to record it on a fuckin’ two year old Talkboy that Magnus stole from his niece. Thing’s a piece of shit. Where’d I fuckin’ put—”
A flick of a lighter snagged his attention, and he glanced up to see Charles holding one, already lit. It was one of the windproof ones, matte black and heavy looking. Metal, Pickles thought, and leaned forward to touch the tip of his cigarette to the lick of flame, wondering idly if it was monogrammed. He tried to remember if they’d smoked anything that night, but came up blank and felt . . . weirdly disappointed in himself for not knowing.
“You want one?” he asked, and hoped he sounded casual instead of probing.
Charles shook his head. “No, I don’t smoke, I just, ah, just work with a lot of people who do.”
Pickles sat back, taking a deep drag and sighing out smoke. It was strange how this encounter was making him a little nostalgic—or maybe just making him stupid. Sure, that one night stand still stood out in his memory as the best sex he’d ever had, but it had only been one night. They didn’t actually know each other, probably didn’t have anything in common. In the space of this one meeting they’d probably exchanged more words than they had back then. But. . . .
There was something about Charles, even older. Even in that boring suit. A flicker of something—subdued interest, maybe?—dancing behind the flame as he’d conscientiously offered to light Pickles’ cigarette.
He hadn’t felt the itch for a while, but something about Charles suddenly had him itching like crazy.
“. . . Okay then, chief. We need a manager, you want to manage us, sounds like a good deal to me.” Pickles took a long drag on his cigarette and then smirked, one he knew for a fact was particularly winning. Just because the wristbands he had on now were black, his hair was tamped down into dreadlocks and his goatee long shaved off, and his jeans were loose enough to give his balls some room to breathe, that didn’t mean he couldn’t still live a little.
After all, he didn’t have any stage make-up on. That made him, for the moment, just some dude. And Charles, well . . . he could clearly keep a secret. It didn’t mean anyone would find out.
Pickles leaned forward, resting both elbows on the edge of Charles’ desk as he said, “Why don’t you tell me what you like about my music?”
13 notes · View notes
open seams; full
pairings: ham wonjin x femme!reader
genre: fluff, angst, friends to lovers au
word count: 8.6k
warnings: alcohol and intoxication, use of sharp objects, minor injury
song inspo: all my love | playlist
a/n: this is for a fic exchange with @cravitywriters' first batch of members :> apologies this came a bit late >
masterlist | request here! | how to request |
it took close to forever to find the perfect spot for the shop of your dreams. in this city and in these times, it took a lot of guts to even decide to run one.
the rent uptown was crazy expensive and the high-fashion atmosphere dimmed the charm of your minimalist garments. the spots downtown were cheap, yes, but you had to deal with creaky and moldy floors, noisy air conditioning, and rude neighbors. it was a definite no-go. but after months and months, with pages of crossed-out vacancy lists and even deeper sighs, you found just the perfect home for your handmade pieces.
the small studio was a few minutes away from the main street and the subway station. the road it was on was lined with street art on both sides, there was decent foot-traffic, and a good number of cars passing by—a haven for independent brands. plus, the landlady who lived upstairs was a middle-aged woman who, as it seemed, made it a habit to bring you her homemade rice cakes almost daily. you liked to think that this, along with the reasonable rent, was a bonus from fate.
you found the place on a random walk with a close friend. it was his idea—wonjin said you needed some fresh air after only having fruitless searches for weeks. at least that’s what you thought he meant by “go home and shower, at least,” and “c’mon, let’s go on a walk before you start to have nightmares about landlords.” who would’ve thought you’d find this place when you weren’t even looking?
the meager amount you saved up from commissions and tips while you took up different part-time jobs and sold custom pieces was enough to pay for a few months as you got your new brand established. the place wasn’t much—just enough to hold five racks of clothes, a tiny storage room, a display area, a bit of walking space—and you had to rely on your old equipment for now, but you already loved the shop dearly because it was your own.
it took a lot of heart, a lot of meals consisting of just ramyeon, a lot of needle pricks…
and a very willing model.
“ow!” a cry of pain followed by a trail of childish laughter from the same person echoed off of the walls of your empty shop. it was almost evening and the clear glass door let in a ray of orange sunlight, shining over rolls of fabric, spools of thread, and several sketches that littered your shop’s floor. it was the typical scene: you with your eyebrows furrowed in focus and your noisy yet undoubtedly helpful friend wonjin with unsewn fabric and pins over his own clothes as he stood on a small platform. even your bickering was part of the routine you’ve established the past few weeks as you prepared for opening day. seven days left!
“i’m sorry!” you withdrew the hand holding the tiny culprit, looking closely at the spot on wonjin’s shoulder which you pricked. “i promise i’ll be done in a quick minute. maybe if you put your phone down for a while…” you muttered the last part, meaning for him to hear it anyway. inside, you were thankful that he has been patient with you as you did your thing, but you just couldn’t resist an opportunity to jab at ham wonjin with your remarks. after such, he was nearly impossible to shut up.
but that’s just wonjin being wonjin and that’s what always made you want him around.
“y/n, i came to be your volunteer model, not a pin cushion.” he jabbed back and teased you, waiting for the reaction he now memorized and repeatedly coaxed out of you just for kicks: a roll of the eyes followed by a swing of the hand aimed at him which you never followed through with. nonetheless, he fake-dodged on instinct and laughed, as you knew he would.
“stay still or i’ll prick you intentionally, wonjin.”
“‘young male found pricked to death by owner of up-and-coming clothing brand…’ imagine that headline.” he trailed off and now stayed still as he chatted you up. you appreciated this, the light and familiar company as you worked to enter the unfamiliar territory that is your new business. you shook your head at his nonsense and smiled to yourself.
it was only when you locked the final stitch that evening that you leaned back and realized just how long your day has been—your eyes and back were sore, your hands were all tight and in need of a break, and your head refused to recall your designs anymore. your body was telling you to wrap the day up.
“what do you want?” you sighed and opened one of your eyes after a satisfying stretch. wonjin was standing in front of you with his palms extended and an unreadable expression on his face. what did he want?
“your hands. hurry.” a momentary pause with your mind almost going blank. my hands? “i want to try that thing you do with your knuckles when you’re done with work.” he finally stepped forward and grabbed both of your hands, making you take a few seconds to comprehend what he meant. it must be the exhaustion that’s making your brain function slower than it usually does. or maybe it’s this proximity.
“you mean cracking them?” you asked as you looked up at him from your seat.
“mhmm.” wonjin started to crack your knuckles one by one, commenting on how loud the sound from each finger was. this was an absurd scene, really, but you couldn’t deny how amusing it was to watch him and how such a simple gesture relieved a good amount of your tiredness.
“tsk.” it was all you could say after he cracked the last pinky, his hands lingering on yours a few seconds after. “okay, that’s enough, you’re going to injure me,” you grunted as you stood up and walked past him towards the storage room, hiding a now pink face.
“opening day is in exactly a week.” wonjin thought aloud as he started to pick up the clutter on the floor. “that’s still a lot of time, you know. why don’t you take tomorrow off? go to a sauna or something.” he offered the idea even though he knew so, so well that you were going to be fast to turn it down. it was too bad that you had no plans of pausing until opening day. maybe then he would’ve found the time to show you a little something he was working on. it was worth a shot, he thought. i’ll give it a few more days.
“no can do. i still have to work on jungmo’s piece. you’re bringing him over tomorrow, right?”
“if the free barbecue for us is still up… then, yes.” wonjin beamed, proud that he landed a good deal after convincing one of your friends to model for you. honestly, you believed the effort he’s been exerting for you and your shop was worth far more than a barbecue treat, but he insisted that he would accept nothing more than that.
ham wonjin always had a knack for being thoughtful without being obvious about it and it has indeed grown on you although you were quite slow to admit it to yourself.
“i’ll tell him to brace for the pin pricks.”
“pft.” you rolled your eyes at him and started to help clear out the shop before both of you got ready to leave. “let’s get coffee before walking home? it’s on me.” with a casual ruffle of wonjin’s hair, a silent thanks from you to him, met with a subsequent shake of his head to rearrange it, you closed the shop up with an unexpectedly light heart.
it was just another one out of many nights you spent walking home to the same neighborhood and it went by as it always did—seeing the bold words and symbols spray-painted on the walls of the street you were in, hearing him tell you about how cool they looked at night to which you responded as enthusiastically, pointing out newer and smaller details every time you walked past them—yet it never got old or boring.
silently, you wished the next seven days would unfold perfectly, just like how things were then and there in that small city street.
help, he’s been talking about you since we sat down. come quickly.
a text message from jungmo pulled you out of your sleepy train of thought as you stood on the crowded subway, three stops away from your destination: to a breakfast cafe where you planned to meet with wonjin and jungmo before working on the piece for your new model.
from a face that was barely awake came a blush that’s been finding its way there quite often recently. you’ve been trying to send away your suspicions that you were growing fonder and fonder of wonjin and your attempts would usually be successful if not for text messages like this. a fraction of the blame for your confusion goes to your friends for their persistent hints and teases. they may as well be just that: meaningless hints and empty teases stemming from the constant bickering that your friends found cute and endearing. the fact that you and wonjin were almost joined at the hip for the past few months didn’t help. neither did his clinginess which you suddenly start to look for on days he was too busy with his own matters to drop by.
the casual offers to walk you home, the few seconds he spends wordless and silent when you get too close as you worked on his pieces, or the smallest gestures to help you out with the shop were all subjected to your overthinking. but nevermind all that. you didn’t have plans of telling anyone about this anyway. a short reply would suffice for now.
bleh. i’m almost there.
your face glowed as you got closer and closer to the cafe. no one would have been able to tell that you were stressing over a million little things about the imminent opening day. for reasons you couldn’t put a finger on, you wanted to at least overhear a hint of what wonjin was saying about you before you sat down and kept a straight face in front of him again. anything; the smallest compliment, the most mundane story about how you spent time together, anything that could fuel you up for the next few days knowing that thoughts of you lived in his head too. all that after denying to acknowledge any feelings. way to be fickle, y/n, you thought to yourself.
entering the packed and brightly-decorated cafe, you approached the two friends who’ve already ordered their meals. huh, thanks a lot. from behind the booth table they picked out, you slowed down, planning on intentionally not making your presence known until you were almost seated.
your face dropped the very second their conversation reached earshot.
“it’s beginning to become burdensome. i don’t think we even match. it’s never going to happen. just a few more days and i swear—i’m done,” you heard this in wonjin’s unmistakable voice, with a tone of annoyance that went straight through your chest.
“i see.” jungmo nodded and the two continued digging into their breakfast, still unaware of your arrival.
you took this as an opportunity to turn your heels and retrace your steps to the subway station, sending jungmo a quick text before you wallowed in your scattered thoughts. you felt the heat radiating from your face but now for a much different reason.
if there were two things you hated the most in the world, it was being lied to and unnecessarily troubling the people you cared about. it felt worse hearing both from wonjin’s mouth. this was the same person who’s been there for you for months while you built the shop from the ground up, the same person who’s seemingly been helping you unconditionally. you were at a loss about who to blame: yourself for not noticing how much your shop was demanding from him or wonjin for keeping all this pent-up annoyance behind your back.
last night, when you imagined how the rest of your week would pan out, you didn’t expect to see yourself inside a packed subway train, desperately keeping your tears from pouring.
“that’s weird. y/n just said she went directly to the shop instead. urgent.” jungmo perked up at your sudden message, eyes on his phone as he ate the last slice of his pancake.
“what? y/n didn’t text me anything after she said she was a station away. she would’ve told me.” wonjin looked around the cafe, sure that jungmo was mistaken and half-expecting to see you meters away from their table. “i already ordered for her though…”
“she’s asking me to come by quickly so she can finish fitting the pieces. it won’t take until lunch, right?” jungmo’s question went unnoticed as a now preoccupied wonjin kept his eyes on the untouched plate in front of him.
“so stubborn, tsk. really can’t get her hands off her work. one of these days she’s going to get sick. and you know she lives alone so—”
“dude. now that we’re back to y/n, you’re chattering again. just finish your food so i can go get fitted.”
wonjin sighed and furrowed his eyebrows, inwardly worried about your sudden change of plans and ready to nag at you for not giving yourself even the slightest break. what is she doing not giving herself even half an hour for breakfast? this fool.
there was barely any room for the sound of the shop’s door chimes, which signaled the two’s arrival, with wonjin’s trail of nags starting before he was even entirely inside. hearing all this from the storage room where you were distracting yourself by reorganizing your fabrics, you let out a deep sigh and hoped your eyes did not look too red and swollen before you stepped out. this is stupid, you thought. you had no time for delays but your emotions were getting the best of you. if you were going to finish your work, it had to be without him.
“y/n, at this rate you’re going to tire yourself out and get sick on opening day. we agreed last night you’d be at the cafe to at least stuff yourself with this before the long day,” wonjin took no breaths in between, placing the paper bag containing your forgotten breakfast on top of your work counter. “then suddenly you say you aren’t going anymore. did the racks arrive early? why did you suddenly—“
“thanks for coming, jungmo.” you greeted the older male, cutting off wonjin's monologue without even looking at him. jungmo just nodded and shrugged, obviously used to the dynamic between his two friends who were in front of him. he simply sat down on one of the wooden stools and started keeping himself busy with his phone. you felt bad that he had to be caught in the middle of this, but between confronting your feelings and doing what had to be done for the shop, you were sure you were much more ready to do the latter. “this won’t take that long, don’t worry.”
“did you hear me just now…? sit down and eat first, y/n.” wonjin started to sense that something was up with the way you paced around busily as you got your materials ready and purposely avoided his eyes.
“i thought i texted you not to come,” a muttered statement was finally sent his way—a weak acknowledgment of his presence—but you were still looking at anything but him. from your peripheral vision, you saw wonjin getting his phone out to check what you meant.
“huh… i didn’t see that…” his usual speaking volume started to drop, a sign that you knew meant he was genuinely puzzled.
“now that you have…” you kept a straight face and mustered the heart to look at him, trying to act as nonchalant as you could even though you knew that the next words out of your mouth were not you. “go home. or somewhere else, at least… spare yourself the burden of being stuck here again.”
“what are you talking about?” he started to laugh to try and lighten up the rising tension, a habit of his. is this some kind of prank? he thought to himself and searched your expression for some giveaways. “is jungmo replacing me?” when he saw that you weren’t laughing along, he paused.
“no time for questions, okay, wonjin? it’s time to go, i need to get to work and this isn’t helping. please go.” it took everything in you to keep yourself calm and collected and you didn’t know how many more questions you could dodge. why am i being so emotional, damn it.
“what do you mean ‘go?’” wonjin tried to laugh again, albeit a softer, less confident one. “this shop’s practically home... did something happen on the way here?”
“go as in...you don’t need to drop by anymore. i’m almost done with everything.” a total lie.
“i know you’ll do well by yourself, y/n, but you know i don’t mind helping. it’s not a big deal.” wonjin reassured, stepping forward as if this would prove his point. to your annoyance, he went on to bring your takeout breakfast out of its bag and proceeded to prepare the food on your work counter, all the while nagging at you for being the stubborn person you were. “it must be the hunger, y/n. come here and eat.”
you, on the other hand, kept your distance and contained a painful laugh. it was almost funny comparing what you heard earlier to the words he was saying right now. what was he playing at? “it must be tiring, huh? just go, okay? you don’t need to do all this. no one’s forcing you. i’ll be fine here.”
he sighed. “just tell me what’s going on. pushing me away like this when i don’t know what i’ve done? you’re being a bit hurtful right now,” wonjin’s last strands of patience were barely keeping him together, matching your slowly rising temper.
“trust me, i’ve heard worse. go.” your gaze pierced through him for a good few seconds until jungmo, who’s been slowly realizing that things were getting serious, pulled wonjin away before he blurted things out in frustration. the way wonjin looked right now was as if his questions were visibly jumping out of him. there’s never been an exchange this intense between the two of you no matter how much you bickered and everyone in the room knew it.
reaching his limit, wonjin shook free from jungmo and briskly walked out of the shop, leaving a strange silence after the chimes died down.
the next couple of days consisted of wonjin keeping himself from going back to the shop and you trying to dodge jungmo’s probing questions as you worked. even after countless attempts to rethink what he did that day, he was still clueless about what prompted you to deny any help or to avoid him entirely. the years of friendship you had meant that he knew you were not the type of person to dismiss others without any good reason.
but his pride went head to head with his worry and this led him to spend consecutive late nights with unsent messages, apologies written and deleted, calls not made, and questions not asked. after all, what was he going to apologize for? if anything, he believed he deserved an apology for being sent away without explanations. with this thought, wonjin would pull on his hair in frustration because of how childish he sounded in his head.
just when i thought things were going well between us. just when he was ready to tell you how, with your passion and perseverance and, he admitted, maybe a bit of your friends’ little remarks on how you two looked good together, you’ve slowly made a friend fall for you in the span of the past few months.
“okay, get this. there’ll be new collections every month and they’ll all be themed after the zodiacs. but i wonder if i can come up with pieces that fast? or how about i do quarterly collections? maybe that’ll be better, releasing three designs altogether…i just wonder if i can keep that up for the whole year. would anyone even show up to buy my stuff? what do you think? god, i don’t even have a name for my shop yet.”
several months ago, when the shop still seemed out of reach and it felt impossible to settle on a place to start your business, you would cheer yourself up by picturing the ideal: your shop all decked and ready, packed with people shopping for your new collections, appreciating the hours of hard work that went into each handmade piece. with every spurt of excitement, wonjin would just be the constant cheerleader and voice of reason, both supporting you and bringing you back down to reality.
“why are you looking at me like that, ham wonjin?” you turned to get a view of the boy seated beside you on the bus stop, an uncharacteristically wordless wonjin, his head slightly tilted away with a downward gaze at you, an amused look on his face. the day was almost coming to an end, a full day spent walking around town, lists of units for rent on hand.
“nothing. i think that’s a good idea.” he smiled and looked up to think. “but it sounds like you’ll be wearing yourself out. what about doing monthly collections when you find more help?”
“you’ve got a point.” you considered this but you were nonetheless excited about the potential this little shop holds. “anyway, let’s go. i still have a lot of open seams to sew.”
“open seams.” wonjin repeated.
“yeah, the unfinished pieces. remember? the shop? me? sewing? clothes?” you teased, acting out every word like a mime.
“no, dummy. open seams. the name of your shop. it sounds catchy doesn’t it?” it was wonjin’s turn to get excited and your turn to find amusement in his enthusiasm. “didn’t you say open seams look unfinished but that’s what gives them the edge?”
“wow, i can’t believe you actually listen to me blabber about seams.”
wonjin whined at this, defending himself and saying that he always listened. you said the new name, again and again, testing out how it felt to say and how it sounded. “open seams. it does sound great...”
that hug out of nowhere and the strong tug at his hand pulling him towards the bus that just stopped in front of the both of you was all he could remember as he walked home that night. the very next morning after that encounter, he set off to a certain street art-lined street with your shop in mind after finding an online listing for a vacancy that was just the perfect price, the perfect size, and on the perfect street that would soon be housing your pieces of art.
pulling his mind back to the present and attempting to keep it from wandering to you again, he made himself busy with the only other thing he had going on: the last few days of a low-paying multimedia job he impulsively committed to and is now regretting. he stretched in his chair, his phone kept in place with his cheek and shoulder.
“how’s that media job you were talking about the other day? still a burden?” jungmo’s calls have been the only thing keeping wonjin in touch with what’s going on in the shop. even if he didn’t ask, the reliable hyung kept him up to date with the last set of preps and your occasional breakdowns.
“it’s a definite no-match. i’ve got three days left and i just want to make a run for it.” wonjin looked at all the uninteresting piles of manuals haphazardly stacked on his home desk, a reflection of how much he despised working this job from home. truth be told, he would much rather be working with you downtown. “how are things?”
“you mean, how’s y/n?”
“you know what i mean.”
“she’s out to eat with yuna right now after refusing a hundred times. we’re staying with her until tonight, though, so don’t worry.”
“alright.” wonjin sighed, feeling powerless that he was of no help to ease your load yet still refusing to do anything about it.
“just talk to each other, for god’s sake! you both sound terrible-” jungmo shouted through the phone, pleading to his younger friend. “do you even know how many times i tried to ask y/n about what happened between you two? seventy-seven times, wonjin. seventy-seven times. yes, i counted-”
“i’m hanging up.” wonjin tossed the phone away making it land somewhere among the stack of items on his messy desk. a few seconds after he rudely ended the call, a text message from a persistent jungmo. dinner still on tonight. you have to come with us, dude.
you didn’t know what came over you. there were only three days left until your shop’s opening day. there were still several patterns to cut up, clothing pieces that needed to be sewn together, and more people to invite for your brand to gain traction, yet you were here at a nearby barbecue place, giving in to your friends’ requests for you to let loose for a few hours with a couple of shots of alcohol, good food, and conversations that held until several hours after midnight.
anyone would’ve noticed how tense you’ve become in a span of a few days—from the tired yet happy y/n who’s excited to get to work every morning despite the imminent deadline to an irritable, downcast y/n who wouldn’t keep their eyes and ears off of their work and nothing else.
and yes, everyone knew the reason behind this sudden change in work attitude. it was an open secret: the sudden and unexplainable drift between you and wonjin, previously an inseparable pair of friends, and both of your unwillingness to patch it up. your friends decided that mentioning it to either of you was just like nudging a rock on the side of a cliff, especially with an important occasion happening soon.
for wonjin, there was a mix of pride and confusion. why were you suddenly pushing him away when he was closer to you than he ever was? he never left your side as you built your shop from the ground up only for you to passive-aggressively refuse any further help a week before opening day. he deserved a proper explanation, but he would almost worry himself into sleep deprivation thinking about how important opening day was to you. it was either he asked you directly and tip the delicate mind balance you had as you got things in order or he could wait it out and almost go crazy at the mere thought of not hearing a peep from you.
for you, it was pure disappointment. in yourself or him, you were not sure. all you wanted was to stay sane for the time being and you told yourself that this was only possible if you didn’t see or hear him anywhere near you. you’ve heard how he truly felt, you heard it crystal clear, so there was nothing else to talk about. after all, if he saw you as a burden, why push any further?
so alas, there you were, with a small group of friends and a whole night to spend without any of your handmade pieces or clothed mannequins.
slow down? you repeated in your head once you heard jungmo and yuna’s invitation to tonight’s mini get-together. slowing down just made you remember how dull the days have been ever since you sent wonjin away that morning. stupid, talkative, playful wonjin who gave you the best, most comforting company. slowing down made you miss him, but you weren’t going to say that out loud.
this was probably what the sober you would have thought, but your slurred speech and buffering mind, now clouded with the two bottles of alcohol you’ve consumed that night, begged to differ. you were now in a state of zero filter and total unawareness of the faces swimming around you.
“burdensome? tsk. so i was burdensome to him, huh?” you laughed bitterly and roughly downed another shot of soju, using the back of your hand to trap any spills from your lips. “idiot. wonjin is an idiot. if you didn’t want to stay close to me, just tell me, damn it!” you shouted, repeatedly stomping your feet on the floor like a child.
your incoherent sentences, flushed cheeks, and unfocused eyes were what welcomed wonjin when he arrived at your table, half-jogging. jungmo, who has been carefully watching you since you asked for your second bottle, gave him an apologetic look and shrugged, gesturing to the empty bottles in front of you. “look, i know you refused to come and eat dinner with us but i had to call you. you live the closest to y/n.”
wonjin shook his head and laughed, half in disbelief and half in amusement. and here he thought he was going to spend his night cooped up with work to get you out of his head. “has she been calling me names all night?”
“you have no idea. good luck.” he patted wonjin’s back and watched as he pulled you up from your seat,
“let’s go, y/n. you can continue talking shit about me on the way home, okay?” wonjin’s tone was gentle as if he was testing the waters. the last thing he wanted was for you to lash out at him then and there. first, he needed to get you home. you two can talk some other time. hopefully.
“who’s this purple-haired clown? why is your hair purple like wonjin’s? are you his twin? is that idiot your twin?” it was a surprise you even managed to get those words out in between hiccups.
“idiot? you’re the idiot, getting drunk like this.” wonjin muttered under his breath. he still struggled to pull you up and support your body weight but what he found was that the best way to keep you conscious was to indulge you in conversation.
and that he did as he walked you to the usual bus stop where you two always sat and waited for the last trip.
“…if you see him around, tell him this for me.” you started, unknowingly leaning your head on his shoulder, giving into the heaviness you felt around your temples. in your drunken state, you genuinely thought you were talking to a pure stranger.
“hmm?” wonjin looked down at you, softening as he saw you with your eyes tightly shut as you repressed nausea. “what should i tell him?
“tell him—tell him i need to know how to forget him… he needs to tell me— how to do that…even for just a few days… okay? you’ll tell him?” there was no way you could have stopped your subconscious from pouring out. it was the truth told as it was: all you wanted was to get through the next few days without the hassle of whatever emptiness it was that you felt.
“why don’t you tell him yourself?” wonjin let his head lean against yours, sighing the millionth sigh between the both of you since a few days ago. “and what if he doesn’t know how to do that either, with you?”
“why do you have so many questions?!” you grabbed his arm and shook it non-stop, making him laugh at how ridiculous you looked and sounded with your unfocused eyes and the non-sense you were spouting. “don’t ask me questions because i don’t know, okay?! i just miss ham wonjin!”
wonjin froze for a few seconds, simply blinking at you and at the words you were saying over and over again. when he finally recovered, he calmed you down and leaned your head on his shoulder again. “he says he feels the same way.”
a head-splitting ache woke you up at ten in the morning the next day, only two days before the most awaited opening day. the last thing you remembered from last night was being halfway through your second bottle of soju and your friends jungmo, yuna, and serim telling you to slow down. it didn’t really take a lot to guess that you didn’t listen to them.
after a few slow minutes of debating whether or not you can get up and get on with your day in one piece, you eventually pulled your blankets off of you and figured that you'd live with the consequences of last night’s choices. besides, you couldn’t skip a crucial preparation day. after sending your three friends a quick thank-you message for getting you home safely, your phone lit up again with a message. you did a double-take at the new notification that just arrived; it was a text message from wonjin. are you up?
three days of silence and all he asks me is if i’m up? you grunted, refused to open the message in question, and, seeing no point in dwelling, went on with the rest of your routine. you didn’t know what else you wanted to read from that text, but you sure weren’t expecting to see such a casual question after literally not having heard a peep from each other for days. if you were being honest, you half-expected him to arrive at dinner last night.
but whatever that text meant, you didn’t want to use your head, which at the moment felt like it weighs a ton, to think about it.
your forehead in your hands as you navigate around your now-sunlit studio apartment, you hoped that the last-minute invitations, quality checks, and tidying up would keep you busy enough to forget the fact that, last night, you could’ve sworn you dreamt of wonjin and how he sat beside you on a bus ride home.
“and there she is, fighting through the aftermath of alcohol.” yuna greeted loudly and met you halfway as you approached your shop on foot. last night, the three offered to be your manpower for the next few days which is why she, jungmo, and serim were all waiting for you out on the sidewalk, eyes squinted because of the sunlight and their mild hangovers.
“do we get some kind of prize that we arrived earlier than you?” serim asked as the four of you entered.
“coffee, as always.” this was met by a cheer from jungmo who wasted no time in attending to the shop decor which was still packed in boxes. “don’t worry, guys. if my shop does well, it’s meat for everyone.”
“it’s settled then.” yuna clapped and got everyone’s attention. “okay, team. to your usual tasks. serim, light fixtures. jungmo, decor. me, storage. y/n, create.”
“jungmo’s taller, why do i get the light fixtures?”
you smiled sincerely for the first time in a few days, touched that they’re taking time off from their days to get the shop together, to get you together. “oh, and guys, sorry about last night. feel free to curse at me. i must’ve been so heavy.” you sat down in front of your work counter, fighting back a cringe. after numerous nights out, you just knew they had a treasure chest full of embarrassing stories to haunt you with. you were thankful no one else was there to see you wiped out.
“hmm, you must’ve.” a knowing smile from a mischievous serim to jungmo and yuna. “but we wouldn’t know. right, guys?”
“yeah, y/n. i don’t know, i brought serim to his home.” yuna shared, trying to sound innocent but failing as she shouted from the storage room.
“and i went home alone because i wasn’t drunk.” jungmo followed without missing a single beat. now you were utterly confused. did these three just call a cab on you or did you walk yourself home? you looked at the three of them one by one, their questionable smiling faces met with the most puzzled look on your face.
“all i know is…” jungmo started, keeping himself from breaking out in laughter before he could get his words out. “you called him a purple-haired idiot. that’s it.”
“what?!” you stood up abruptly, making your chair tumble back with a thud.
and just then, you started to recall bits and pieces of last night, starting from the vague bus ride that, until a few moments ago, you thought was just a dream. what in the world did i do now?
“y/n, i’ll help you up, okay? we’re almost at our stop.” wonjin pulled you up from your bus seat where you’ve been half-asleep on his shoulder. putting his arms around you as he guided you down the vehicle and onto the sidewalk, he repeatedly apologized to the bus driver for the delay. wonjin could only nod and laugh at the friendly reply from the middle-aged man who shouted ‘take your girlfriend home safely!’ he silently wondered how sober y/n would have reacted to such a remark.
just as the two of you stepped down, a splattering against the ground made both of you stop in your tracks.
“good heavens,” wonjin muttered as he rubbed your back and looked at the part of his shoes that was now covered in whatever it was you had for dinner a while ago. “you know, y/n, i wonder if you’d remember this once you pass by this mess tomorrow morning. looks like you enjoyed your barbecue too much.” wonjin joked, still not halting the backrubs as you were doubled over with your hands on your knees.
when you looked up at him after that spiel, all you could do was smile apologetically and giggle, eyes half-open. “let’s go home. i’m tired.”
“are you all done? you’re not going to throw up on my shirt or anything?” wonjin pulled you away from the side of the road, leading you to the direction of your apartment. “you have to tell me your apartment password so you can go in, okay?”
“you have to guess it. you’re never going to guess it!” you pulled away from his hold and ran around him in circles, getting a thrill from how light you started to feel after letting some of the alcohol out.
jogging to catch up with you, wonjin shouted, “y/n, slow down you’re gonna hurt yourself! aish. this child.”
“i threw up on him.” you said out loud to no one in particular. the text from this morning, your friend’s teasing smiles, and the blurry, dream-like memories on the bus meant that wonjin did make it to dinner last night just when you were in no state of mind to remember when exactly he arrived. “i threw up on him outside my home... jungmo, it was you who called him, wasn’t it?! guys?!”
the laughter that filled the room after that and the whines of a terrified jungmo who wanted none of your punches were muffled by the sound of the door chimes tingling, signaling someone’s arrival. you almost snapped your neck as you hurried to see who it was.
“hi, dear.” instead of a particular young male, you were met with the sight of the friendly landlady from upstairs, a plate of her usual handmade treats on hand, and a welcoming smile on her face. you mentally flicked yourself for involuntarily expecting someone else. “rice cakes?”
“oh, auntie. it’s you.” the relief in your tone made your friends snicker. “thank you, you didn’t have to...”
“why so surprised, dear? were you expecting someone?” she asked, waving at the set of friends bustling away inside the shop with the same annoying smiles on their faces. “oh that’s right. where’s that lovely boy, wonjin?”
“lovely boy,” serim whispered and bit back a laugh, earning him a glare from you.
“he can’t make it today, auntie,” you explained shortly, politely getting the plate of rice cakes from her hands.
“that’s too bad. it’s almost opening day.” she looked around the shop, satisfied by how it’s starting to look compared to the bare and boring unit she used to clean every day. “you worked your magic in this place. it feels just like yesterday when he was begging me to keep this small spot reserved for a day.”
“what do you mean?”
“wonjin, that boy! remember? he was here the day before both of you passed by to finally rent it? ”
“i- i didn’t know that, auntie.”
all this time, you thought you both found the place by chance and now here you were finding out that he was the one who made sure open seams happened. the walk you took that day wasn’t such a random one after all. what was up with the universe today and its not-so-subtle way of telling you to let wonjin back into your mind and your life? him taking you home last night and now this; whatever happened to the burdensome y/n he was talking about?
“aaaand, another secret’s out.” yuna walked out of the storage room, a box of spools in hand. she beamed at the landlady who took a few seconds to figure out what she just revealed.
“oh. oops.” the landlady sheepishly turned back and started to push the door open, ready to take her leave. “i think that’s my cue. see you around, dear.”
“see you around, auntie!” your three friends greeted her when she was out of the shop. they turned their heads back to you who had nothing but a blank stare and mouth agape, the gears almost visibly turning inside your head.
“so now will you tell us what’s been going on between you two? it’s just weird knowing about all that and seeing you guys refuse to make up. both of you aren’t looking so good either, you know?” serim asked after giving you a few seconds to think.
you sighed, leaning on the side of the table for support. “that day at the breakfast cafe, he said all this was getting kind of heavy and burdensome. that he couldn’t wait for it to end.” you decided to tell them once and for all about how you felt. “and that we were never going to happen.”
“y/n. you’re so stupid. ow!” jungmo concluded, earning him a smack to both shoulders by serim and yuna. “he was talking about that job he had! if you stayed longer and ate with us, you would’ve heard how smitten he was even if he wouldn’t admit it. i can see right through him.” jungmo explained in a high-pitched tone that reflected how frustrated he has been with the two of you. “now that i think about it, you’re both stupid.”
smitten? you took in everything jungmo just said and remembered every word you blurted out when you sent wonjin away that morning. finding out that he had another job all while helping you out with the shop for the past few months made you regret how you acted even more. it frustrated you that you’ve been too preoccupied to even ask about him. this is all on me. why did i act so rashly? “i’m so stupid.”
“are we just now finally finding out that this was all a big misunderstanding?” yuna piped up, breaking the silence.
“and are you telling me that it almost took a fallout for you to finally see the feelings you had for each other? these kids,” serim added, raising both hands in defeat.
different variations of ‘i knew it’ and ‘it’s about time’ as well as ‘idiots’ filled the shop as you were still frozen in place. you knew you had to apologize to wonjin, but where were you even going to start? with that encounter at the cafe? with how bad you felt for invalidating his heart to help you and rudely pushing him away? with everything you think you blurted out on that drunk night? or maybe how you actually felt for him?
can you meet me here in 30 minutes?
it took wonjin less than a heartbeat to reply to your message asking about where he was. even though you were the one who was out of it last night, he couldn’t help but worry over his own impulses. if you remembered everything he told you while he thought you were drunk and asleep, he had no choice but to explain it to you while you were fully-sober. and the thought of finally confronting you about everything made the usually-confident and talkative wonjin tongue-tied.
“hey.” you turned the corner of the small side-street where wonjin asked to meet and found him leaning against one of the street art-ridden walls, waiting for you. it was a spot near your shop but one that you didn’t pass by as frequently. an odd choice of a meeting place, but you figured he wanted to talk to you without your friends overhearing.
“here of all places?” you struck up a conversation albeit awkwardly, buying yourself time before the long apology.
he pointed to the wall behind him, looking at it up and down. “i was supposed to show you this sooner since they finished it early but…”
behind him was a small piece of street art. open seams, it said in the colors you usually used for your handmade pieces and in the style you designed for your simple logo. you softened not only at the thought that this shop was becoming a reality but also at how wonjin did this despite your missteps the past few days. at this point, you no longer knew if you were even worthy of him and his thoughtfulness.
“...you were supposed to show me this sooner but i was terrible to you, and i’m sorry. you didn’t deserve that. after everything... i don’t know if saying thank you would even be enough. that morning-”
“you look like you just lost a million won, y/n.” his reply cut you off, earning him a roll of your eyes to which he merely responded with a playful laugh. “auntie told you, huh? i knew i couldn’t trust her and her rice cakes.” wonjin joked again, now more relaxed than he was moments ago now that things are starting to look up between the both of you. if there was anything that he needed for comfort the past few days, it was the presence that he’s gotten so used to.
“i’ve had quite the morning, you know.” you told him as you eased into the conversation. “finding out you were the one who brought me home last night, finding out i wouldn’t have gotten the unit if not for you, and finding out i was mad at you over something i misunderstood. all this time.”
what proceeded was a detailed apology you practiced in your head beforehand. wonjin just laughed at how fast you were talking and he didn’t forget to give the occasional side comments to reassure you that he was still the old, talkative, and witty ham wonjin that you didn’t have to act differently around. you knew in yourself that this was one of the things you missed badly.
the weight you felt in your chest turned lighter as every bit of misunderstanding cleared out. “...all that because i didn’t even stop to think that one morning. i’m sorry…”
he delayed his response for a while, suddenly making you worry that he had more to be upset about. but he eventually nodded and waved away any remaining tension. “apology accepted.” wonjin ruffled your hair just like you always did with his. “we’re good. but do you remember anything else?”
“except for the fact that i threw up on your shoes, no, i don’t remember doing anything else.”
“the shoes were one thing.” he scratched his head and talked in such a low volume and such high speed you couldn’t even comprehend what he was saying just to tease you. “but not even me telling you i liked you while you were all leaning on my shoulder at the bus and that whole speech i said about falling for you after i tucked you in?”
“what? you said what when i was tucked in?!” you leaned in to hear him, only catching remnants of what you suspected was a confession.
“ah, too bad. it was a one-time subscription, so you’d have to pay to hear it again.” he shrugged.
“you little- just tell me! it’s not like it’ll be any more embarrassing than me pouring out my stomach contents on the sidewalk for everyone to see.” you stepped forward wanting to hear more from him but he shook his head and refused to tell you anything further. the mischievous smile on his face as he paced around to avoid your probing weirdly made your heart beat faster. “fine. i was planning to tell you about something important but i guess you don’t want to hear it-”
“i don’t need to. i already know your apartment password is my birthday.” he stopped pacing and expectantly searched your face for confirmation despite not needing it. “right, y/n? 032201?” he repeated the numbers again and again just to coax a reaction out of you, his favorite thing to do.
“wh- what are you talking about?” holy-. if there were any more of this kind of surprises today, you didn’t know how much more of the shock you could take, but it seems like wonjin was enjoying just watching you all flustered. “i opened it myself-”
“y/n, you were too drunk to even see the keypad last night. when i tried my luck, we got in. 032201? who else could that be?”
you were about to protest but as you were stuttering your poorly-made excuses, wonjin took your hand and slowly pulled you into a tight hug, all the while laughing at how ridiculous each of your statements was starting to sound. after the initial embarrassment passed, you realized there really was really nothing to hide anymore.
“are you done?” wonjin asked, still not letting go of his hold on you which you returned willingly, hugging him tightly and hiding your face in his chest. “because to put it simply, i like you.”
you sighed in content, feeling all the exhaustion from the past few days seep out of you with just those three words. “i like you, too, ham wonjin.”
“and one more thing…” you added. “jungmo told me you were smitten.”
it was wonjin’s turn to get flustered and defensive, you pulled your face away and leaned back to watch as he cursed at jungmo for describing him in such a way. wonjin trailed off in his usual rants while you looked up at him with no plans of stopping his lovable nonsense.
it was noontime on opening day: the ribbons have been cut, your mini-opening show went smoothly, friends have visited and selected their favorite pieces, and most of all, you have led the toast that officially marked the start of this journey. it felt utterly surreal.
“all i can say is…” wonjin put his arm around you as you stood beside the racks of clothing you spent months perfecting. “it was certainly worth the hundreds of pinpricks.”
“well, then. if you want more…” you pinched his side and laughed as he dodged you and made his way to your three other friends who were also admiring the work they did for the shop.
a few nights ago, on a nighttime walk home in this same neighborhood, you wished for a perfect week to unfold in front of you. and maybe it did; just not in the way you anticipated, but exactly the way you wished it would end.
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Hey everyone! Sorry for another long hiatus, I’m still alive- even if I look like a zombie every morning 🙈😂. I have really bad baby brain at the moment so if there’s some grammatical errors, please ignore them. They will be rectified before posting.
⚠️Please do not read if you are under 18⚠️
A/N1: Whilst I’ve been on hiatus I have been editing a few things of mine, so have decided to do a Sneak Peek/ WIP. There will be warnings for each specific series.
A/N2: @callmeellabella / @plumeriavibes sent me a few requests to do over a year ago- they are completed and I hope to post this week. Technically here in the UK we are still in lockdown - so they will still be apt, Ella 😂
Tags- As always I tag my combined tag list for these things⬇️
@drakexwillow @annekebbphotography @kingliam2019 @burnsoslow @kimmiedoo5 @lodberg @walker7519 @drakewalkerisreal @axwalker @bascmve01 @ladyangel70 @texaskitten30 @yukinagato2012 @indiacater @queenjilian @drakewalker04 @cmestrella @hopefulmoonobject @rainbowsinthestorm @desiree-pow @jared2612 @twinkle-320 @princessleac1 @custaroonie @princess-geek @bebepac @nikkis1983 @rafasgirl23415 @seriouslybadchoices @furiousherringoperatortoad @shanzay44 @choices97 @gardeningourmet @lovablegranny @mom2000aggie @gkittylove99 @sweatyrysconnoisseur @rubiwalker
⚠️ Warnings - Possible adultery? 🤷♀️
“Miss Brooks, please.” Standing up slowly, her legs felt like jelly. Following the sonographer into the room, she laid on the bed before slowly raising her top which revealed a small neat bump. The image that all the paparazzi had been so desperate to capture.
“Before we begin, are there any questions that you’d like to ask?” The woman calmly asked as she prepared to begin the scan.
“Every baby is a miracle, right?”
“Yes, of course they are. There’s no need to be worried. Everything will be fine.” Obviously the health of the baby was a priority- but in her situation there were other queries that were lingering throughout her mind.
“Your baby is going to be either a footballer or a gymnast. Look at its legs, it’s such a wriggle bum.” For the first time since entering the room, she slowly turned her head and viewed her baby for the first time. “The baby’s heartbeat is fine... you have a very active and healthy baby. I have no concerns. How many copies of the photo would you like?” Answering one, she ran her finger over the black and white shot. Just you and I, little one.
“Can I ask one question?”
“With these scans... I may sound stupid, which I have been recently in the last few months. My question... it’s ridiculous. I already deep down know the answer but can you tell certain things such as the baby’s race? Grandparents DNA?” The medical professional sat down close to her, holding her hand that was shaking as she spoke those words.
“Unfortunately not.... is there....”
“Let me rephrase my question... is there anyway that you can tell who the father is?”
There are two WIP for this series. A one shot based on Bertrand as well as a sneak peek for the upcoming chapter. If you don’t read the series, the one shot can be read as a stand alone.
⚠️Warnings: Swearing, nudity, possible ‘affair’.
Regretting his idiotic split second decision, Bertrand was now locked out of his room. Wearing a skimpy towel that barely just covered up his manhood. Due to the alcohol consumption- his brain was barely functioning as he began to ‘walk’ along the corridor. Rounding the corner, he spotted two familiar faces- then stumbled knocking down a painting off of the wall.
“Your highness! Ri Ri... good evening.” Both sets of eyes widened, mainly for two reasons. The first one being, witnessing Bertrand in this state. The second reason- would the Duke remember seeing them together. Alone. Did he see Liam lock his lips onto Riley’s? They would sure find out in the morning, once the group reformed.
“I wonder where everybody else is? Where’s the staff in this place?” Bertrand muttered to himself as he entered the elevator. Reaching the ground floor, the drunk duke strolled out not having a care in the world.
“Sir? You cannot walk around like that. Please return to your room immediately!”
“I’m locked out!” Wafting his arms in the air- the towel soon disappeared. Creating jaws in the reception to drop to the floor in sync. “What? Have you never seen a naked man before?”
“Sir... please....” The young receptionist pleaded.
“If I hear you say ‘Sir’ one more time, I will get the prince to lock you up in his dungeon.... I AM A FUCKING DUKE YOU IMBECILE!” To avoid more of a commotion, the receptionist handed Bertrand a sign to hold against his private parts. Out of order. To cover his buttocks up- she handed him another sign; No exit.
Riley headed down to the hotel lobby, mainly needing to grab some breakfast to sober up. Still feeling slightly drunk, she had debated whether or not to eat or do the hair of the dog.
“Blossom! There you are!” Jumping out of her skin to begin with- she was relieved when Maxwell was on his own.
“Here I am...” Where should I have been? Did I miss a memo?
“I was so worried about you.”
“Yes. We’ve lost Liam. Then I came to find you and couldn’t see you anywhere. Bertrand- well I found him naked on the bathroom floor. With two... forget about Bertrand. Where have you been? You smell manly. Have you ran out of that black opium already?”
“Well I was in my room all night. The jet lag must have knocked me unconscious...” Lying, she didn’t want to admit that she had a blissful night with the prince. “What do you mean I smell manly?” Having a discreet sniff of herself, she couldn’t smell anything.
“You smell of aftershave. It’s similar to what Drake and Liam wear. Are you sure that you was alone?” Shit.
“Erm, I fell over on the way down here. A man who works here helped me. He must have been wearing the same aftershave. There’s not only people in Cordonia who wear it Max! Although I did bump into Daniel at some point. It could have been him? I was on my own, all night. Believe me.” Please believe me.
The American Adventure
“Riley?” The line cut off.
It wasn’t her, that’s why she hung up. How useless is Glen? We are looking for Leo. Unless Leo has a secret that he’s keeping from us all.
“Hey, Li. Wrong number. Fuck it, forget about Leo. If we can’t track him down we will just go to New York without him. As Bastien said, you need to have a bachelor party before the shit show of a social season begins.” Liam didn’t require Drake to remind him of what his future held for him. The lack of freedom and choices he could have made him wish at times that he wasn’t now the next in line.
“Glen was sure that was the correct number.” Liam glared at his head guard, who just shrugged his shoulders.
“Unless Leo’s turned into some obnoxious Yankee bitch- then no it’s the wrong number. I’ll just go and pack a bag and come back with you. Give me five minutes.” Waiting for Drake to be out of view, Glen gulped before defending himself to his monarch.
“That was the number that you provided me with your highness- and I confirmed it. Somebody else must have that number now. Not, Riley.”
“Glen, once we get back to the palace- do another thorougher search on Lindsey and Riley Brooks.” Liam whispered.
“But, your highness... you’ve been trying to do this for over a decade now. Myself and Bastien - we tried....”
“Glen, don’t question my actions. Please. I am pleading with you to do this one more time. Bastien always avoided doing this for myself. For Drake. I don’t know why? But it seemed like he knew something but kept it from the both of us. If we can’t find them, then I’ll accept defeat.”
“Yes Sir, what about Prince Leo?”
“Leave Leo to me, I already know where he is. He’s closer to us than you all think.”
The Unexpected Roommate
Just a short sneak peek for this one. Don’t want to give too much away.
Pairings: Drake x Riley, Leo x Olivia, Liam x ?
⚠️Warnings: Swearing, pranks, alcohol mention, end of a relationship.
Once she had packed all of her belongings, she looked around the apartment- feeling slightly sentimental. Leaving the keys on the table, she didn’t want to keep them. Instead, she wanted to close this chapter of her life- being Drake Walker’s roommate.
“Shit! The cupcakes!” Racing over to the oven- she had completely forgotten about her goodbye gesture that was now impersonating a charcoaled sausage. Fuck, fuck, fuck. Emptying the cupboards, food items were now scattered everywhere until she stumbled across a basic Victoria sponge cake. That’ll do.
~ ~ ~
Drake and Leo returned to the apartment- slightly later than the two of them had anticipated. Whilst they sat in the bar, Drake thought back to Riley’s words. Regretting denying that she could be correct, he had hoped that she would have reconsidered about staying with Olivia. He needed to apologise, talk openly to her- before he lost her for good.
“It’s ‘oh so quiet’... awww she’s made us a cake with a message on it, Drake.”
Au reviour, Dickheads...Ri xo
“She’s a fucking scruff! Have you seen all of the burnt cupcakes? The washing up pile? Food everywhere! She’s fucked off and not cleaned up after herself!”
“Drake, calm down. You’re going to give yourself a heart attack. How the two of you lived together and not killed each other is beyond me. Let’s tuck in.” Drake shook his head as he watched Leo dive in like a starved caveman. Staring vacantly at the scene surrounding them, he had no idea where to begin to clean up after Riley.
“This is disgusting! It tastes weird... just try a bit, buddy. I think my taste buds are playing tricks with me.” Taking one glance at the cake, Drake rolled his eyes back after inhaling the aroma of the sponge cake.
“It tastes weird because it’s not what you’d usually top a cake or dessert with. How stupid could you be eating something before smelling it?”
“It looked soooo scrumptious. When you’ve been drinking, you’re starving. What is it then Mr Clever clogs?” Leo sarcastically said.
“You use it with a razor!”
Unnamed one shot
I decided to do a one shot based on my labour of my little girl. It was short in comparison to most labours- but so much happened. Looking back now, I find it slightly hilarious.
⚠️Warnings: Alcohol mention, labour.
Ten minutes later- Savannah knocked on the door. Wearing her pajamas, Ugg boots and a parka coat- Riley knew it was cold outside, it was December after all. But she believed that Savannah would have come fully dressed as she had taken a long time to arrive when she lives on the next road. As she entered the house- she witnessed her brother pouring whiskey into his cup of tea. Shaking. Panicking. Wondering how the labour was going to go. Would he be a good birth partner again? Would it all go to plan?
“Great minds, bro.” As she said this, a can of Strongbow magically appeared from her coat pocket. Bitches I’m the one in labour, why are you both drinking alcohol?
“Can you one of you just get me some pain relief please? It’s in the top drawer...” Savannah looked at Drake with a perplexed expression, wondering what Riley meant with her words. Lucky Drake knew what his girlfriend was referring to. He didn’t agree with her choice. But also wouldn’t want her to turn into ‘she hulk’ if he refused to give her it.
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yr brain? galaxy level. i wanna hear all ur lore and stuff
you know what ? im gonna write the basic plot for soogas backstory here now too-
- his parents were both sheikah soldiers serving the royal family, they were nearly never home so he barely even knew them and was pretty much living on his own from a young age on
- they both died while on a mission far away, but that didnt change much for him other than him having to find a way to earn money himself now
- when he was a teenager he was recruited by the royal family (he wanted to tho) which is also where he met Hibiki (my only real zelda Oc .. sorry gotta involve them now- this is how they look, although they are older here than when sooga first met them
i think i forgot to post this on tumblr lmao; anyway they are an artist and a bit older than sooga)
- since they were both outcasts with no relatives that cared about them they quickly became friends (tho it was def more one sided at first bc Hibiki is a way more extroverted ) tho Hibiki has been a bit longer in the army so they rarely went on missions together and only hung out during breaks or when they had both time off
- even after years of training they both stayed in the lower ranks of the army and never managed to climb to a higher one, part of the reason was that Hibiki didnt do a good job of being a spy, not bc they were detected, they just never had much information to report for some reason and Sooga always defended them when they got bullied by higher ups for it (you know how he threatens ppl) which in turn made him less liked and got him almost kicked out once (and yes, Hibiki did have a crush on Sooga but he never realized that even tho they made it REALLY obvious)
- you know the story how link got appointed as zeldas bodyguard ? with him deflecting a laser from a malfunctioning guardian to protect the princess ? yeah, so in my hc, while he did deflect it it didnt straight up hit the guardian back but rather was simply redirected and although Hibiki tried to pull Sooga away it still hit the left side of his face which is how he got that big af scar and lost his eye
- he survived and of course Hibiki was there to take care of him whenever they could, but the more time went on while he recovered it was made clear that the higher ups wanted to kick him out of the army after his wound healed bc they didnt think he was fit to fight anymore missing an eye (thats what they said but it was pretty obvious they just wanted a reason to get rid of him)
- Hibiki reassured Sooga they would do everything they could to convince them otherwise bc they knew that all he ever wanted to do is be a strong and respected soldier serving the royal family, but who would listen to the worst spy in the whole army .. he got kicked out anyway of course and was forced to work as a farmer (more like help other farmers really)
- from then on Hibiki was trying to be a better spy, so they could earn enough respect to maybe get the army to welcome Sooga back into their ranks
- but one day when Sooga returned from some field work he noticed a new grave at the corner of the village, and asked who died, it took some time for him to find out it was Hibiki who fell in battle bc after they left the village they never returned so the other villagers forgot even their name, the army brought their body back into the village since they were borne there and didnt have any living relatives
- that was what pushed his resentment for the kingdom and the other sheikah over the edge really, he stole some ancient hidden away sheikah scrolls from the elder of the village and used them to teach himself some techniques ... or at least TRIED to, the only one he was able to manage was a half functional clone, which he used to fake his death and live a live in the shadows, staying away from settlements out of fear of beign recognized
- he made his way into the gerudo desert where he never went to before, and in a cold night snuk undetected into the yiga hideout in the search for shelter since he wasnt equipped for that kind o extreme weather .. tho he didnt realize what he just did
- in the morning he was found after all and, understandably, attacked bc wth how did that guy even get in here ?? after he managed to survive for pretty long given the circumstances, he tried to flee but was stopped by master kohga himself, and while kohga was monologing about .. stuff, Sooga realized this might be his chance to live a proper life again and that pretty close to what he always wanted, so he promptly asks to join them
- positively surprised kohga of course cant just accept him into the clan like that, i mean Sooga was wearing sheikah clothing and got UNDETECTED into their hideout and took a nap there for several hours before being found, thats suspicious as hell
- after being put through several tests and challanges he is accepted into the clan after all-
- now fast forward post calamity (just a few years tho) the topic of Soogas origins comes up and he tells kohga alot but is interrupted bc koh ask him if the friend he was talking about was “a kinda weird artist” ... turns out Hibiki died in a clash with the yiga clan and ... was killed by kohga himself.
- Hibiki always carried a sketchbook in a bag around with them, and the clan took it after their death bc they thought it might contain useful info, it didnt, but since the sketches in it where pretty good they kept it anyway even if it was only half readable since it got soaked in blood
- that is a reveal that tested soogas loyalty to the clan like nothing else could (everyone in the clan including kohga, was expecting him to turn against them again, but were still waiting for him to actually betray the clan)
- sooga didnt turn on them tho, reason was, he managed to seperate the pages of the sketchbook that were stuck together from blood and discovered finely detailed art of the hideout, of its interior too and even of kohga as well
- Hibiki never had much info to tell their superiors bc they snuk around the hideout when on a mission but never with the goal to rat the clan out. they secretly admired kohga and the clan, even wanted to join them for a long time, but never got to do it bc they didnt want to leave Sooga behind but also .. they were afraid to tell him bc he was so focused on becoming a good sheikah soldier they were sure he wouldnt feel the same; they were torn between wanting to join the yiga but afraid of destroying their friendship with sooga ..
when they got into that fatal fight with the clan, kohga didnt even attack them with the intend to kill and they could have easily dodged or parried the hit, the reason they didnt was, ironically, bc they were so stunned by admiration of seeing their idol right in front of them they didnt move a muscle until it was too late...
this got longer than i thought, maybe i went into too much detail here, but anyway this is a summary of the backstory i came up with for Sooga, it doesnt end here tho, this is more like the story of how sooga became part of the yiga; after all of this comes alot more tho it wouldnt make much sense to add that here too xD
sorry for the long af post, i hope its somewhat understandable ;__;
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mmm thinking thoughts of reader and sap having been friends for like 2-3 years and she goes down to texas to visit him and one day he’s on a call with george and dream and his cam is on and she walks in only wearing his hoodie and sits on his lap and starts trying to grind on his lap and he mutes and degrades the hell out of you for being so needy but PLOT TWIST he didn’t mute and it turns into the whole dream team just degrading you until you’re like fucked dumb bc the whole time saps making you answer them while fucking you dumb on his lap
(i’m sorry this is so long THIS HAS BEEN STUCK IN MY HEAD FOR SO LONG)
- 🌿 anon (hope you’re doing extremely well and having a great day/night ur amazing and you deserve the words <33)
please take this barely-functional gif that may or may not work and also this fic i love your ideas so much.
cw: sexual content, exhibitionism, degradation, daddy/sir/master kink
word count: 1.3k (i kinda popped off with this one)
you adored nick and his friends with all your heart, but dear god if he didn't get off the call right this instant and fuck you over the nearest flat surface you were going to lose your shit.
could anyone really blame you for being needy? it had been a whole day since he fucked you, and a very long time since your last visit. nick's stream had ended hours ago, but he was still on a call with george and clay.
you sauntered into nick's streaming room. nick glanced over at you and waved, then looked right back at his screen.
you huffed and gestured for him to take off his headset. he told the guys he'd be back in a sec, and clicked 'mute'
"what's up hun?" he asked.
"babe, when are you going to log off? i miss you." you purred, strutting over to your boyfriend and plopping yourself down on his lap.
he audibly gulped, now noticing that you were just wearing an old hoodie of his and some stockings. "i'll get off in a little while, now why don't you get off me and go get yourself off."
you raised your eyebrows. he really did think he was so funny. you pouted. "but i miss youuuuuu."
"just another half an hour, sugar." he told you, trying his best to act like he wasn't painfully hard.
you started to grind on his thigh, inadvertently rubbing against his cock and making him harder.
"fine, fine," he said, "fucking slut, you always get what you want, don't you?" he put his headset back on and turned his attention to his monitor, then froze when he saw the screen.
he didn't go on mute.
he turned his camera on.
and george and clay had a front-row view to his sexy girlfriend getting herself off on his thighs.
and by the sound of it, they were enjoying themselves.
clay's signature wheeze indicated that he found the whole situation fucking hilarious, and george's soft moans indicated that he found the whole situation fucking hot.
"you're such an idiot nick!" clay wheezed out, "god y/n's hot like that, you're fuckin lucky."
nick blushed bright red. "uh, y/n, we uh..."
clay laughed harder.
"we have an audience." he stuttered out, praying that you wouldn't be too mad.
you stilled and flushed pink. "huh?"
"i forgot to go on mute..." he whispered, and you hid your face in his neck out of embarrassment.
the words went straight to your pussy, and you felt a wave of arousal wash over you. "it- uh, it's okay if you don't mind." you muttered, starting to grind on him again.
he let out a loud groan at that, glancing again at the monitor.
"fuck yeah," clay said, his chair creaking slightly.
"put on a show for us, alright?" george asked.
"uh, yeah, okay." nick said, still in complete disbelief that this was happening.
"we weren't talking to you nick." clay told him, "yeah, give the headset to y/n" george said.
nick reached over and unplugged the headset altogether. some possessive part of him didn't want them to be able to talk just to you during this.
he cleared the desk with one swipe of his arm, sending pencils and stuff flying across the room. he bent you over the desk, giving you a little smack on the ass as he did so.
"fuck yeah, spank the little slut," clay said, and the filthy words made you moan, wiggling your hips to entice nick into smacking you a bit more.
"aw, don't be like that." george said, "she's been so good for us."
nick rubbed your clit with two fingers while scowling at the camera. "don't tell me how to fuck my girlfriend, assholes."
he got down on his knees and began licking your pussy, still rubbing your clit. you moaned at the onslaught of pleasure, grinding back onto his face.
"what a good girl you are," george cooed, "you feel good?"
you moaned, "yeah, i do."
clay scoffed, "fucking slut, so ready to get railed in front of two men. you like being put on display like this?"
you moaned again, feeling so close to cumming from the mixture of praise, pleasure, and degradation.
"you gonna be good and cum for us, honey?" george asked you, and you frantically nodded, pushing your hips back onto nick's face.
clay hummed. "i don't think you've been good at all." you stilled and looked up at the monitor, "i don't think you deserve to cum, nick, tease her a little more."
nick wanted nothing more than to hit the smug green bastard in the face for trying to tell him how to fuck you, but privately he agreed. brats should be punished for being needy and slutty.
so he reluctantly pulled away. you whined and searched for that familiar friction.
"aw, that's no fair, i wanted to see her cum." george said.
"she'll cum later, it'll be more fun to tease her now." clay answered. you couldn't help but feel like a simple toy for their pleasure, and god it felt amazing.
nick reached down and started fingering you, hitting all your spots to make you keen.
"see how slutty she looks when she's being edged?" clay asked, and george hummed in agreement.
"i think she's pretty cute, aren't you, doll?" george asked you, and you had no idea what to say except a soft "thank you, sir."
george let out another breathy laugh/moan at that. nick felt his blood boil, how fucking dare george just saunter his way into your heart with a few compliments?
"sir, huh?" clay said, "little whore, i bet you say that to every guy you open your legs for, right? this must happen all the time, right nick?"
steam was practically coming out of nick's ears at this point. he put all his energy into teasing you, making sure to keep you right on the edge.
"it's fine, anyways, i could fuck you better than anyone you've ever opened those slutty little legs for." clay said, admiring how dumb and blushy you were getting from just a little name-calling. "you need a real man to come fill you up. you'd like that right? you'd be good for daddy."
you came at his words, hard. even though nick was keeping you on the edge, clay's words pushed you right over that thin line nick was trying to make you balance.
you gushed all over nick's fingers with cries of "yes daddy!" and "thank you daddy!"
nick mentally filed that information away, then spanked one sensitive asscheek. "don't cum without permission, slut."
you were less focused on him, and more focused on george cooing over how cute you looked when you came and clay mocking you for coming over something so small. nick spanked you again, getting your attention.
"don't ignore me, brat. now, how many do you think you deserve for coming without permission?" he asked you.
your gaze flitted to the monitor. nick grabbed your face and turned it toward him. "don't look at them, look at me."
you tried your hardest to think of a number, but thinking was kind of difficult when clay and george were praising you and degrading you like a devil and angel on your shoulders.
nick shrugged. "alright, twenty it is." he ignored george protesting that it was too much, and clay telling him to make it thirty, and started spanking your sensitive thighs and ass.
when he finally finished, you were sore, sensitive, and completely brain-dead. you were still with it enough to let out a guttural moan when he pushed his thick cock into you. he started a hard, ruthless pace, grabbing your head by your hair and forcing you to look at the camera. "c'mon, be good and show them what a perfect little slut you are for me."
after you came twice, he pulled out and finished on your back. "now what do you say?"
you looked right at him and stuttered out a mumbly "thank you master."
nick looked at the camera and said "she might call you sir or daddy, but only i get to fuck her whenever i want," then ended the call.
clay and george sat in the vc for a few minutes, processing what exactly just happened.
"so," clay began, "that was definitely better than belle delphine's sex tape, right?"
"oh yeah definitely"
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harry lewis x fem!reader
@ketamineharry suggested a harry imagine based off of Anne-Marie’s Bad Girlfriend and voila
please check my pinned post for request/prompt info and my masterlist
You cancel plans for me - I cancel ours on you - Say I'd be back early - I don't get in 'til 2 - You ask me where I've been - I tell you something vague - Think I messed up again - What can I say
You were sick and tired of Harry and his behaviour. When you first got together, you chalked his actions up to being young and dumb. And then to getting used to having more money. Then you blamed it on having to deal with so much at such a young age.
The excuses piled up, one on top of the other. You knew one day it would all come toppling down around you, drowning you and Harry in a sea of problems that you doubted you’d be able to survive. You’d excused cheating, been by his side during hangovers from hell and comedowns that took too long to make Harry realise that the high really wasn’t worth the pain. You’d rubbed his back and handed him bottles of water and paracetamol and nursed him back to health, only for him to go and get in the same state the next weekend and expect you to help him gather the pieces back together again.
You’d tried to patch things up. Every time that you went to Harry to air all your concerns, tell him that if he doesn’t get his act together that you’d leave, and he always promised that things would be better this time. But something would always happen. There’d be plans he’d forget or cancel. He’d get too drunk and end up with hands over another girl’s body.
“Ooh, you look nice”, Harry commented as soon as you answered his FaceTime call. “What are you doing?”, he asked you.
“I’m off out with some girls from uni tonight”, you told him as you stood up from the sofa and started gathering your things together.
“I thought you were coming over?”, he said, a small pout forming on his lips.
“Sorry”, you said nonchalantly. “I’ll make it up to you, yeah”, you told him half-heartedly.
“Yeah, whatever”, Harry huffed. “Come back here after?”, he suggested.
“Sure”, you said, a small smile on your lips. “I’ve gotta go, their taxi just pulled up. Love you”, you rushed out, hanging up and shoving your phone into your clutch, along with your keys, card and some cash.
Harry 💕: where are you it’s 11?
Harry💕: y/n c’mon i miss you
Harry💕: am i waiting up for you or not?
Harry💕: its 2am
You didn’t read the texts until you were swaying on the spot in the lift of Harry’s apartment building. Your vision was fuzzy as you tried to find the right key for their front door. “Y/N?”, Harry asked, opening the door.
“Hey”, you slurred, stumbling towards him. “I couldn’t see your key”, you told him.
“Where’ve you even been?”, Harry asked, voice dripping with distaste and disappointment.
“Here, there, everywhere”, you giggled.
“Come on, go to bed”, Harry said sternly. “I have a shoot tomorrow and Josh will kill me if I’m late or lacking”, he told you.
“Oh, I am so very sorry”, you drawled, exaggerating all of your words, much to your own amusement.
“I’m not being funny, Y/N. Go to bed or go home”, Harry said sharply.
Your face dropped, the small square inch of your brain that was yet to be drenched in vodka and whatever else you’d been drinking lit up with anger. “Fine”, you snapped. You stormed down the hallway, sure of your footing this time and not stumbling once.
“Where are you going?”, Harry called after you.
“Home!”, you shouted, wrenching the front door open and slamming it behind you as hard as you could.
You shivered in the cold, late night wind of London as you waited on the curbside for your taxi. As soon as the car pulled up, you slid into the backseat and rattled off your address. The street lights and neon signs of London passed by in a blur of alcohol and anger and regret. “Thanks. Keep the change”, you muttered, handing a note over to the driver and getting out of the taxi.
Once you’d got back into your apartment, you changed into some pyjamas and took your make-up off as quickly as possible. You crawled under the covers, pulling them around your body and getting comfy in the middle of your bed.
Part of you felt a little guilty for how you’d treated Harry, but a bigger part of you couldn’t find the effort to care. You’d put up with Harry acting like this for 6 years, he could tolerate you doing it once or twice.
You wanna meet my friends - I say another day
“Another day, Harry”, you sighed, heavily, turning back to the work you were trying to get done for your classes.
“You always say that. You’ve been on this course for, like, a year”, Harry whined.
“I know but I really need to focus on work at the moment, Harry”, you told him. “I started my degree later than I wanted to anyway and then I didn’t commit to it like I should have last year because of…”, you trailed off. “Another day”.
“Because of what?”, Harry asked, voice taking a combative edge as he sat up straighter.
“Harry, I don’t want to get into this again”, you sighed heavily, slumping into your chair.
“Well, you started it!”, he argued. “So finish your sentence. Go on!”, he goaded.
“I couldn’t commit to my degree because I was too busy looking after you!”, you shouted. “Is that what you wanted? Me to lash out? Fucking well done”, you spat. You gathered up your things as quick as you could, closing your book and shoving things into your bag.
“Where are you going now?”, Harry asked frustratedly.
“Home. I have an essay to do for next week”, you muttered as you shoved past Harry.
Things between you and Harry were only getting worse. You knew about the other girls, but the both of you just pretended that you didn’t. All of his friends saw Harry as some sheepish kid with a loud mouth girlfriend, but they never got to see the Harry that you were seeing more and more. The Harry that held things from years ago against you, the Harry that was becoming more controlling by the day, the Harry that would raise his voice when things went even slightly not his way… The Harry that wasn’t the same Harry that you fell in love with.
'Cause I'm one in a million - More like in a billion - I don't think it's cheating if I'm kissing other women - I do some shit you can't forgive - And you better get used to it
The more you and Harry argued, the more his friends didn’t like you. They hid it well, especially Simon and Josh since you were such good friends with Talia and Freya. But you noticed the side glances you’d get anytime you laughed a little louder than usual, any time you’d say something that would make Talia or Freya cackle. You’d notice the looks that they would send Harry when you had the audacity to go and dance and your own, or when you’d be on your phone whilst everyone else was fighting to keep you out of the conversation.
You had no doubt in your mind that Harry was telling them bare-faced lies about you and hiding the truth about himself. You knew that they had no clue about Harry’s cheating, about how bad his drinking and substance abuse had truly been, how much he actually relied on you for day to day functioning. All they knew was that you were loud, argumentative and didn't give Harry the time of day when it came to uni work.
“Do you think she knows she’s punching?”, you heard Ethan ask JJ.
“I mean, it’s so obvious. Harry’s miles out of her league. C’mon man!”, JJ laughed in reply.
You looked to Harry to see his reaction. You knew he’d heard what was said, but based on the look on his face, he couldn’t care less. You didn’t need the validation from your boyfriend’s best friends, but it would be nice if your boyfriend would at least defend you or reassure you.
You rolled your eyes and turned to leave the table, heading towards the toilets. You were facing the mirror, touching up your hair and make-up, when Freya and Talia walked in. “What happened?”, Talia asked.
You told them what you’d heard and watched as their faces contorted into looks of horror. “Oh my god!”, Freya exclaimed. “What did Harry say!?”, she asked, coming closer to hold you hand supportively.
Your silence answered their question perfectly. “I can’t believe him”, Talia huffed, wrapping her arms around you.
“Things haven’t been great, but I never thought he’d just sit and let his best friends slag me off practically to my face”, you told them. Your eyes were watery.
“Hey, babe. Don’t let your mascara run”, a dark haired girl told you, handing you a tissue. “Whoever is letting someone slag you off is stupid”, she assured you.
“My boyfriend”, you said sadly.
“I hate boys”, she laughed darkly, rolling her eyes, before rejoining her group of friends.
You, Talia and Freya emerged from the toilets around 5 minutes later, once you were sure that your tears had dried and weren’t going to restart. The three of you walked towards the table, Freya and Talia immediately sliding next to Josh and Simon.
“Where’s Harry?”, you asked, not seeing him anywhere. Ethan gave you a look and pointed towards the dancefloor before turning back to his conversation with JJ and Vik.
You glanced over towards the dancefloor, hoping you’d see Harry. Thankfully, he was towards the edge, back turned towards you. You watched as he turned around, ready to try and grab his attention. His eyes met yours, briefly filling with panic, before darting back down to the girl in his arms.
“Fuck this”, you muttered, as Harry’s friends and Freya and Talia all watched as he tried to assess the situation and what to do.
He watched as you walked closer, looking ready to send the stranger away. Harry’s eyes followed you as you sailed past him and towards the middle of the dance floor. You could feel eyes on you as you began dancing to the music, letting the beat mix with the alcohol and take over your body.
“Did you sort things with your boyfriend?”, a female voice asked. It was the girl from the bathroom. You rolled your eyes somewhat playfully at her.
“No”, you snorted. “I came to speak to him and he was all over another girl”, you told her. Your eyes darted over to where you’d last seen Harry. “That’s him there, sucking face with the blonde”.
“I hope he’s your ex-boyfriend now”, she told you, raising an eyebrow.
“It’s complicated”, you admitted, looking down in shame. It wasn’t news to you that you were letting Harry treat you like a doormat, but you had yet to muster up the courage to leave him. Just as you looked up, ready to offer to explain it over a drink, someone behind you shoved you, sending you catapulting into the girl’s arms.
“Careful there, can’t have you falling for me already. I’ve not even started flirting yet”, she told you with a smirk. “Martha”, she said politely, holding out a hand.
“Y/N”, you told her with a shy smile as you accepted her outstretched hand.
“Care for a dance?”, Martha asked you, pulling you closer with the hand that was still in hers.
You didn’t care if Harry and his friends watched as your bodies rolled together. Harry had never danced with you on a night out like this, never held you shamelessly in a club for everyone to see. Harry had never held your face so securely as he pulled you in for a kiss in front of everyone around you.
“What the fuck, Y/N?”, you heard beside you.
“Is this the boyfriend?”, Martha asked once she’d pulled back and let her eyes flutter open, eyeing Ethan up and down as soon as she had.
“The boyfriend’s best friend”, you told her, preparing to step out of her hold.
“Last time I checked, the boyfriend was preoccupied with someone else. Get him to come and find me when he wants his girlfriend. We’ll be right here”, she said, voice powerful and allowing no argument as her arms held you closer.
Harry never came to find you. The two of you left the club in separate taxis and you left with a new number saved in your phone.
You should be with someone else - Someone who is not myself
“Harry, you deserve so much better”, you heard a voice say as you walked into Harry’s apartment. You walked down the hallway quietly, lingering just behind the door frame to eavesdrop on the conversation.
“We’ve been together for so long, though”, Harry sighed.
“Did you not see what she did the other night? She was all over some other chick!”, a voice, Simon’s, exclaimed.
“Maybe it was just a mistake, y’know”, Harry tried to reason.
“She’s not good for you, Harry”, JJ, this time, said.
You’d heard enough. You turned the corner, coming face to face with all 7 of the boys. “Y/N…”, Harry trailed off.
“No, no. Carry on talking about me, it’s fine”, you said, voice lathered in artificial sweetness.
“Damnit, Y/N, it wasn’t like that”, Harry snapped, surprising everyone but you. “What are you doing?”, he asked as you started gathering a blanket off of the back of the sofa and plucking a hoodie off of the back of a dining room chair..
“Getting my shit and going”, you hissed.
“You’re being dramatic”, Harry scolded.
“No, Harry. I’ve put up with your bullshit since we were 18. I’m sick and tired of it. I’ve put my life on hold for long enough. You need someone, but I’m not that someone anymore. I’m sick of looking after you and letting your friends hate me just because you’re too much of a coward to tell them the truth”, you spat.
“We know everything, Y/N”, Ethan said smugly, rolling his eyes as he leaned back in his chair.
“So you know that I started my degree late because I had to get Harry sober? You know that he’s cheated on me more times than I can count? You know that I’ve tried for 6 fucking years to get him to love me as much as I love him and it’s never fucking worked!?”, you all but yelled, shocking everyone in front of you.
“You think I don’t love you?”, Harry asked, voice frustrated and angry.
“I know that you don’t love me as much as I love you”, you told him simply. “You cancelled 3 anniversary dates to go on nights out with the guys. You made me cancel a weekend away because you wanted to go to Dubai. You get annoyed when I try to do my uni work. You let Ethan and JJ slag me off, practically to my face, and didn’t say a fucking word”, you told him.
You looked at Harry, waiting for a reaction. “Do you know how heartbreaking it is to hear my boyfriend’s best friends, people I’ve known for 6 years, say that I’m punching and that you deserve better? Did you think about how much it hurt me when you didn’t even flinch at what they said?”.
Harry’s face lit up in anger. “It’s not like you’ve been a good girlfriend!”, he spat.
“Because being a good girlfriend to you is like a full time job. It’s a full time job and I haven’t had a day off in over 5 years. So yeah, I’ve been a bad girlfriend… Boo fucking hoo”, you grumbled.
Harry remained silent, a sheepish look crossing his face. “We can try again”, he suggested quietly.
“We have! Over and over again!”, you exclaimed, tears welling in your eyes as you spoke. “I’m exhausted, Harry. I’m tired of looking after you when I’m just as hungover as you. I’m tired of not making plans because I literally can not afford for you to cancel on me anymore. You don’t value me or anything that I do. Your friends hate me and you don’t care. I’ve been your last priority for years and I’m sick of it. We’re done. I’ll put your stuff in a box and bring it round”, you told him, voice losing more and more strength as you spoke.
“Y/N…”, Harry tried, reaching for your arm.
207 notes · View notes
hcs: you're an insomniac
hcs: you have insomnia
pairings: bakugo x gn!reader; kaminari x gn!reader; amajiki x reader
request: sxn!!! can i get bakugo, kaminari, or kirishima w/ an insomniac s/o?? lmfao this is absolutely based on my own experiences, i'm good right now but i remember i'd go days at a time w/o sleeping and it was so hard for me to make myself rest until i reached a point where i crashed, n even recently it's given me shit cause i'll go to sleep at functional hours but wake suddenly at 2 am in the morning and it can be near impossible to go back - rei 🥝!!
author's note: @amphibianasters hope you like it!! i understand that so much, i've been having trouble sleeping lately too. i also added tamaki in because today's his birthday!
warnings: unhealthy sleep behaviors, fluff
katsuki bakugo //
when bakugo first discovers you're an insomniac, his first reaction (as always) is anger. it's a thinly veiled disguise to hide his fear for your health.
he wouldn't figure it out automatically because his sleep routine is so uniform. i'd imagine that he sleeps early to rise early, training before he heads to class.
so when he texts you 'good night,' bakugo expects that you'd be doing the same.
your bouts of insomnia don't happen very frequently, but lately you can't seem to sleep. you were exhausted from school & training, and even so, your brain still would not go to bed.
maybe it was because things were lonelier at night or it was too loud or your thoughts just wouldn't stop moving at the speed of light— but you just couldn't get any sleep.
it showed the next day. you yawned through breakfast and your eyes weren't as bright as they were usually.
after barely surviving school, you were about to close the door to your room when a foot blocked it from shutting fully.
"are you going to tell me what's wrong or do i have to pull it out of you, dumbass?" his tone was gruff but his eyes held concern that he would never voice.
"i can't... sleep. i don't know why but i can't." you shifted around awkwardly, bakugo's analyzing gaze never leaving your figure.
"...you should call me when you feel like this." it was a bit quieter than his previous statement, but it rang in your ears anyway. "can't be the best without the best by my side."
and so you did call him when it was the ungodliest hours of the night. you couldn't cuddle because of the dorm rules, but he stayed on call with you until you drifted off. bakugo's sleepy voice is low & comforting.
in addition to his voice, katsuki will also make you the tea of your choice (it's really only between chamomile and lavender) because his mom would make it for him when he had nightmares from the sludge incident.
you're pretty lucky to have a boyfriend as efficient as bakugo when it comes to your insomnia.
denki kaminari // chargebolt
denki realizes you have insomnia far quicker than bakugo would. mainly because he himself doesn't have insomnia but prefers to stay up late. the comfort of no one expecting anything of him & the chaos that can happen under the cover of darkness makes him happy :)
he'd be on discord and miss you all of a sudden. texting you, he was shocked when you instantly replied.
kaminari.bolt: i miss youuuuu
(y/n): i'm right here, what's up?
kaminari.bolt: you're not sleeping?
(y/n): can't sleep,,
kaminari.bolt: ...wanna do something with me? 🥺
he'd then invite you to get hot chocolate or tea (without caffeine) in it downstairs. yes, there was a chance you'd get caught but you both thought it would be worth it ten times over just to see each other.
denki's voice is still the same albeit a bit hushed at night, but with you? it's a soft tenor, and he prays that it'll help you fall asleep in his arms.
and yes, in his arms. he may not know what to do in the morning when you need to leave for class. what he does know is that right now, cuddling you to sleep is more important.
and when he sees your breathing slow and eyes flutter closed & stay that way, denki gains a feeling of pride as he drifts off too.
tamaki amajiki // suneater
tamaki amajiki?? he probably has anxiety-induced insomnia too. (part of the reason why mirio & tamaki are so close is because they would call each other and sleep on the phone. 🥺)
i can see him smudging eyeliner below his eyes to add to his already darkened eyebags.
he recognizes the signs: you're leaning on his shoulder to sleep during the day, you have trouble focusing during class, you're more stressed than usual... and it brings him to tears to see you like this because of something as fickle as sleep.
but tamaki can't bring himself to outright ask you even if it would have soothed his worries. he's anxious about you but he's also anxious about you not wanting him to know about your insomnia.
it's only when you're both hanging out with nejire & mirio that he decides to do something.
nejire was talking about how she was getting less sleep than usual, mirio chiming in with the fact that he was getting more due to his temporary leave of absense.
then you said, "i'm pretty much nocturnal now since i don't sleep at night :)"
the conversation quickly bounces to a different subject, but tamaki lies awake that night, playing with his fingers & thinking about ways to help you.
during lunch and other breaks in between classes, he always subtly asks you if you want to lay on his shoulder or lap to sleep. is it embarrassing? yes. but seeing his butterfly all relaxed as they finally get the rest they deserve? worth it.
and on the nights when he can't sleep as well, he calls you instead of mirio.
"butterfly?" he'd ask, voice a gentle mumble that was sweetened at the edges. "you wanna talk until we go to bed?"
after a while, you both would fall asleep, soft breaths being exchanged through the mics of your phone. and when you wake up, a good morning text from tamaki makes you smile.
he holds you —his sleepy love— in his arms whenever you two get the chance to be alone.
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Bait & Switch
Spencer Reid x GN!BAU!Reader
Warnings: None, super fluffy
Word Count: 3.5k words
Plot: Reader reveals that they’re going to buy a Nintendo Switch so Spencer invites them to go together with him. In the process, some feelings reveal themselves.
Author’s Note: My first time writing about Spencer, and actually, my first time writing a fic in a long time haha. Just imagine that this takes place in 2017, although you don’t have to know anything about the Switch in order to read this.
"What's got you in such a good mood, baby?" Derek asked, leaning over his chair. Even without looking up, you could feel the smirk that decorated his face. After almost a month at the BAU, you didn’t need to be a profiler to expect this much from Derek. "Got a date this weekend?"
You tried to focus on your paperwork before relenting, rolling your eyes. Still, you couldn't hide the smile in your voice when you shot back a reply. "With this job? You wish, Morgan."
"Give yourself some credit, beautiful. With your looks I'm sure you could score a good looking fellow for a night you won't forget."
"I'm sure you would know all about that," you replied, this time grinning from ear to ear.
Ever since you joined the BAU, your seat has always been across Derek Morgan. The guy was a terrible flirt but also one of the most trustworthy people you knew, so you couldn't keep up a sarcastic mood for long.
"Actually," you replied genuinely, "I'll be lining up this weekend to buy a Nintendo Switch." Out of the corner of your eye, you could sense Spencer stiffen in his chair next to you.
"A what switch?" Derek asked, his face scrunching up in confusion.
But before you could begin to reply him, Spencer rolled his chair over and opened his mouth. The both of you knew what was coming.
"The Nintendo Switch. A video game console developed by Japanese company Nintendo that's completely one-of-its-kind, on account of its console functioning like a tablet that can either be docked on a home console and linked to a TV, or used as a portable device with two wireless controllers so you can..."
Not being able to help yourself, you giggled at his info dump. You've always admired how much knowledge he could store in his big brain. But more importantly, you thought he was kind of cute like this. A fire would light in his eyes and it seemed like the world around him ceased to exist.
You only realised you were staring at Spencer when the last bits of his question registered in your mind. "...you going to?"
Blinking your eyes, you snapped to attention. Derek seemed to notice, because you felt his signature smirk return to his face.
"Which store are you going to?" Spencer repeated the question. Anybody else might be annoyed, but he only seemed mildly restless. A rare look for the unathletic genius.
"I'm going to the one three blocks down from here," you replied.
"So am I!" Spencer sat upright in his chair, beaming. You think that this is the most excitement he's expressed to you since you joined the BAU.
Then his confidence seemed to waver. He began tugging at the edge of his sleeve, eyes glancing to the side at nothing in particular when he asked, "W-would you like t-to go together?"
A smile spreads across your face before you can stop it. "Sure! Sounds like fun."
Spencer grinned back, and there was a moment of silence before Derek interrupted the conversation that he began. "Well, I'll leave you and lover boy to plan your date. I'm going to spend my Friday night at the bar."
Your heart thumped involuntarily at the word "date", while Derek turned to Emily. "Hey Prentiss, you want to grab a few drinks and dinner? I'm sure I can get the others to leave work for one night."
"Anything's better than this," Emily shrugged, lifting her mug of already-cold coffee.
Standing up to retrieve her bag, she smirked at you and Spencer, having heard more of the conversation than she let on. "Have a great weekend, you lovebirds. Don't do anything I wouldn't do!"
She and Derek shared a laugh as they moved towards the Batcave to retrieve Garcia next.
As you watched them go, you feel Spencer's eyes on you and a flush warming your cheeks. You knew they were just teasing you with the word "date", but the truth is you've liked the genius almost as soon as you met him.
You may not have an eidetic memory, but you could still remember the flutter of butterflies that exploded in your chest when you first laid eyes on Dr. Spencer Reid.
He had waved from a comfortable distance, the other hand tucked in the pocket of his dark slacks. He towered over you easily with curly locks that barely touched his sweater vest, and you swore you've never seen anybody more attractive in your life. His intelligence only added to your attraction.
"Shall I pick you up at 7am tomorrow?"
You turned back to Spencer, who seemed even more nervous now that everybody in the bullpen had left. Yet what he was proposing was rather bold compared to his usual behaviour.
“Pick me up?” You repeated.
“It’ll be easier to find a parking spot that way, and the weather report predicts that tomorrow will be a sunny day, so I know you’d rather not walk three blocks to the store.” He rambled nervously.
“You know me well, Spencer.” A cheeky smile snuck onto your face, and in a moment of false bravado, you said what was on your mind. “7am. It’s a date, then.”
Spencer’s face turned beet red.
You didn’t wait to dwell on his reaction, dumping the last of your paperwork into a pile and picking up your bag. But as you walked to the elevator, you couldn’t help yourself from grinning ear to ear. It was a date. Kind of.
You couldn’t sleep. You had gotten home earlier than usual, but the extra time to plan for your “date” tomorrow proved to be a bad idea.
What would you wear? What would you talk about? Should you extend it to a meal, or dessert, or maybe coffee?
Although you were confident in the moment, you were beginning to regret teasing Spencer before you left. You’d known him long enough to know how he reacted to embarrassment, and there’s a good chance he might back away because of your forwardness.
You groaned, trying to get these thoughts out of your head. The reality of the "date" was sinking in now. This would be the first time that you and Spencer would be alone in a non-work setting. To say that you were nervous was a gross understatement.
But there was something worse than showing up nervous, which was showing up nervous and sleep-deprived, so you turned off your bedside lamp and tried to will yourself to sleep. That's when your phone began to buzz.
You were so on edge that the sound almost made you fall off your bed. Turning over your phone, your heart leapt to your throat.
Spencer, 2:03am: Sorry to disturb you when it's so late, but I realised I don’t have your address. Could you send it to me when you're awake?
You gulped. Just relax, just relax, you repeated in your head.
Me, 2:05am: It’s alright, you didn’t wake me up. I’ll attach my address below.
Spencer, 2:06am: Thanks. Having trouble sleeping?
Me, 2:07am: A little
Spencer, 2:08am: Me too.
What was I supposed to reply to that? You silently screamed. But it turned out you didn't have to figure it out.
Spencer, 2:11am: To be honest, I'm a little nervous about tomorrow.
Me, 2:13am: Why?
Spencer, 2:15am: I suppose it’s because we've never spent any time alone before.
Hearing the genius act so shy made you feel a little more brave.
Me, 2:16am: Well, I'm looking forward to the chance
Spencer, 2:17am: I am too.
Despite your nerves, you smiled at his small confession.
Spencer, 2:19am: We should get some sleep.
Me, 2:19am: I’ll see you tomorrow. Good night, Spence
Spencer, 2:20am: Sweet dreams.
Your anxieties were washed away and replaced with the biggest smile on your face. Without knowing it, Spencer’s words rippled a sense of calm over you, and you fell asleep shortly after.
The next morning, you woke up with a newfound clarity. You knew what you were going to wear.
Spencer couldn't stop tapping the edge of his steering wheel. He knew he was nervous, and admitting it to you last night didn't do much to stop that fact from eating away at him.
He texted you 3 minutes ago that he was waiting outside your apartment, but you hadn't replied. Although he knew that there were plenty of logical reasons why you might have missed his text, his hands didn't stop itching to call you and see if you were alright.
Then out of the corner of his eye, you emerged from the corridor and he felt his heart speed up.
You were wearing a blue flannel that he'd never seen you in before with a pair of dark jeans. Your hair, which you usually kept in a up-do at work, was let down in waves, touching your shoulders. And then there was the pièce de résistance, you were wearing a Doctor Who t-shirt with the TARDIS on it.
Hook, line, and sinker.
He didn't break his gaze on you the entire time you got into his car. Even when you beamed at him and wished him a good morning, a small yawn escaping your perfect lips, he was completely tongue-tied.
"Earth to Spencer," you called out, looking up at him curiously. "You there?"
Spencer shook his head suddenly, cursing himself internally for being such a doofus. "Sorry, uh, I was distracted. Good morning." He smiled sheepishly, tucking a stray hair strand behind his ear.
"Anyway," he cleared his throat. "I was thinking we could grab some coffee before we headed to the store? We can make it quick. I know there'll be some people already lining up."
He peeked at you rubbing your eyes and thought it was the cutest thing he's ever seen. “Looks like you might need it," he said without realising he'd just flirted with you.
You giggled, lowering your hands from your face. "Sounds great."
Spencer wasn't lying when he said it'd be quick, although in truth you could have taken all the time in the world and you would still be happy. The initial awkwardness between you washed away almost immediately as you fell into a quiet conversation about your favourite Doctor Who episodes.
You wanted to commit the sight of him driving in the morning to memory. The sun had just rose, lighting a gentle halo around Spencer’s messy hair and sculptured face. He was wearing a bigger sweater than usual, the sleeves hanging around his wrists loosely. While his eyes were focused on the road, his lips parted slightly as he softly bantered with you about David Tennant.
You felt an overwhelming urge to reach out and kiss him despite the driving hazard. And despite the fact that you’ve never kissed him, of course. But you could hope. And hope you did.
Your hope had grown when he parked in front of the coffee house you’d once mentioned was your favourite. Spencer made your coffee order perfectly and you had found yourself hoping that it was because he’d paid extra attention to you, and not because of his brilliant memory.
And when you reached the video game store and he opened the door for you, you hoped it was because he wanted to make a good impression, not only because he was a gentleman.
And when he stood between you and a video game rack in line, you hoped that he was trying to shield you from the other people in the store, and you hoped that he was thinking of pressing you against the rack and kissing the daylights out of you.
You needed to get a hold of yourself.
The conversation had swapped to the reason why you two were here in the first place, and you found yourself talking to Spencer about Breath of the Wild, a game that brought you back to fond memories of your childhood.
“The Legend of Zelda was the first video game I ever played, on the first console I ever owned.” You shared, smiling fondly. “It was the video game that my brother and I bonded over, and we bought every game together since.”
Spencer nodded in rapt. You felt him leaning closer to you, although it may have been your imagination.
“This is actually the first time I haven’t been with him for a new game,” you realised. “Due to our jobs, we haven’t seen each other in awhile, but we still text each other!” You tried to end on a lighter note, not wanting to bring the mood down on this “date”.
Spencer looked at you as if he wanted to say something, but he kept his lips shut.
“What about you? What was your first video game?” You threw the question to him, trying to divert attention away from your sad-enough story.
He blushed in response to your question and looked down at his black converse. You noticed he began touching his sleeve in a familiar motion and you looked at him suspiciously. “Spencer?”
“W-well, the t-truth is, I didn’t actually c-come here to buy a Switch, and I don’t play video games at all.“ The last part of his sentence came out rapidly. You might have missed it, if you weren’t already used to the tongue twisters he spit out on a daily basis.
“What?” You exclaimed a little too loudly, causing the other shoppers in line to glance at you weirdly. “Then... Then what are you doing here?” You said quieter this time. Your eyebrows furrowed as your mind scanned the possibilities.
“W-well, I, uh, wanted to spend time with you,” he blurted out. He raised his eyes to meet yours, his face completely red.
It was your turn to be flustered now. Your voice was quiet and you could feel your hands shaking. “Is this a date, Spencer?”
“Only if you want it to be, I mean, I want it to be but your opinion matters to me, and I wouldn’t want to bring you on a date if you didn’t want to. We can just hang out like friends if that’s more comfortable--”
You grabbed his free hand, gently lowering it from where it was moving as he rambled, until your fingers were intertwined.
“I would like it to be,” a large smile took over your face. You were a little teary despite how weird it was to confess your feelings for him in a video game store of all places.
Spencer was quiet for a moment, squeezing your hand in return. “Would you like to go for lunch after this? As a date,” he clarified this time.
"I would love that,” you beamed at him, “as a date.”
Spencer had always imagined the kind of girl he would fall in love with. Caring, intelligent, had an appreciation for classic literature, maybe. But when he saw you for the first time, every expectation he held flew out of the window.
You were beautiful. Wavy dark hair tied into a high ponytail, wearing a navy shirt, and funnily enough, a beige cardigan and black converse. Morgan joked that it was like meeting Spencer 2.0, but he disagreed: the two of you were worlds apart.
You were incredibly tech savvy, although not as much as Garcia, but certainly more than the rest. You loved the smell and taste of coffee without sugar. You were happy to hug everybody you met, from colleagues to victims. You didn’t like paperback so you read everything on a Kindle.
But the biggest difference between the two of you, was that you were emotionally intelligent.
All of your brilliance, combined with your PhD in psychology - having worked as a psychiatrist affiliated with Sex Crimes before joining the BAU - you were able to pick out the team’s moods from a single glance. It’s what endeared everyone to you immediately, and what made you such a great profiler.
But the way you treated him was different. You just, listened to him. While everyone else had gotten into the habit of cutting him off or simply ignoring him when he opened his mouth, your eyes would light up instead.
He could always tell you were listening because you would look into his eyes when he spoke, and you would ask him questions after he was done.
It made him feel like the world around him ceased to exist, except for you.
So he started studying your interests to grab your attention, trying to throw in a few jokes hoping to see you smile. It only took one month for him to seize his chance. Still, never in his calculations did he think you would say yes.
He smiled at the thought, stroking your hair gently as you cuddled on the couch together, watching you play Breath of the Wild.
After a more than successful first date, you had asked him to come over the next day to spend more time together. A month ago, he would have politely declined with an excuse like needing to read a new academic journal, but when he arrived at your doorstep he allowed himself to be drawn into your arms, relishing the giggle he earned as a reward for being hugged.
“Damn it,” you grumbled quietly as you ran out of stamina scaling a cliffside for the fifth time.
Spencer laughed. Without a second thought, he pulled you closer and kissed the top of your head.
In the background Link fell off the cliff once again, the game playing a sound that he came to recognise as Link dying. But there were no curses this time, as you had turned to look at Spencer, nothing but adoration in your eyes.
“That was our first kiss,” you said so quietly and sweetly that Spencer’s heart melted at the sound of it.
“First?” He took his chance, leaning closer. “You know, the usage of the word ‘first’ almost always implies that there will be a ‘second’ and a ‘third’ and a...”
His voice trailed off as your fingers left the controller to touch his lips. Your touch was intoxicating and he wanted more.
“Oh, I’m sorry, Spence,” you started, lifting your finger from his lips. “I didn’t mean to interrupt you-”
“Don’t be sorry,” he managed to get out in a hurry before capturing your lips in his. He felt your astonishment at first, but you quickly lost yourself in the kiss as he brought his hands up to cup the sides of your face, deepening the kiss further.
You finally broke apart after awhile, both panting for air and smiling widely. Spencer never thought he could be so lucky. “That’s the second one,” he said quietly, bringing up two fingers to indicate the number.
You looked at him with love in your eyes and abandoned your controller on the table before throwing yourself at him, flattening the two of you against your couch.
“Ready for the third?”
Derek Morgan wasn’t an idiot. That’s why he could tell that something had changed over the weekend between his desk mate and boy genius.
The two came into work together on Monday morning, which was weird in itself, but they also took every opportunity to stick to each other, from coffee breaks to disappearing for lunch and “asking” about paperwork.
When they vanished for the umpteenth time that day for coffee, Derek leaned over Emily’s desk to confirm his theory.
“It’s not just me. Pretty boy finally made a move, didn’t he?” He cocked an eyebrow.
“Definitely. Those two are so obvious that even Hotch has picked up on it. From his office.” She quipped, grinning as her eyes moved to the scene behind Derek. “Speak of the devil.”
Entering the conversation, Spencer did what he did best. “Did you know that ‘speak of the devil’ is the short form of the idiom ‘speak of the devil and he doth appear’? The phrase can be traced back to the 16th century when mentioning the devil was considered prohibited. In fact, when people were caught saying the phrase--”
Derek caught your eyes drifting to look adoringly at Spencer. He couldn’t take this anymore. “So what happened between you two last weekend, huh?” he interrupted, smirking.
Your reaction was better than he gambled. You turned a bright red and your eyes darted between Spencer and Derek in panic, truly flustered for the first time since he’s met you. But Spencer was strangely calm, his eyes travelling from his best friend to Emily in the background trying to stifle her laughter, while a small smile tugged at his lips.
“We’re dating now,” he announced to the two a little triumphantly, while rubbing your shoulder as a peaceful gesture.
Derek and Emily were stunned by their friend’s directness, only to be shocked out of it as Hotch walked by. “Finally,” he muttered, loud enough for them all to hear.
You were the first to crack a smile, then the rest followed suit with laughs and congratulations. Hearing the uproar, Garcia and JJ peeked out of their rooms, joining in and demanding more details about this new but not entirely unexpected development.
Amidst the chaos, Spencer laces his hands in yours and gives it a squeeze. For the first time in a long time, you feel unequivocally, unmistakably happy.
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rant that you can just skip over 😂 it's just detailed intrusive thoughts. and I'm continuing to rant about literally everything that goes through my brain so I am here writing this and not acting on thoughts or being stupid.
okay so this is a note from after I have written all that. and basically it's complaining and ranting about everything and hyperfixating on space and science in the end. in the middle I talk about my fears of love 😂 potentially triggering stuff? it's all nonsense you really dont have to read it. it was just to keep myself from doing something I shouldn't. so if you could be triggered by literally anything maybe dont? idk. I cant stop you but it's probably annoying and not interesting. if anyone does read it though let me know if I need to tag it anything.
So my brain has now decided that because there is no way I am sleeping tonight unless it's exhaustion, I get intrusive thoughts. fun! so rn it has been fixated on the fact that because I am closest to the outside. not hall door. that I could easily sneak out. which is very much not good idea, because 1) I dont live in this area, 2) it's still cold as fuck outside at night, 3) I would literally fucking get lost or caught immediately. So yeah :) I dont even know what I would do if I did go and I don't want to because I have an idea of what brain would say and that's a big no. it's especially big no because I'm too comfortable with the idea of it but I'm not allowed to. and I guess now it's kinda good because brain is thinking about how I miss my cat. I just wanna see my baby and be in my safe place with the people I'm actually comfortable with (cat and phone with online friends) like guys he's so fuckung adorable and what if he doesnt know why I'm not there right now. usually he sleeps in my room at night. so what if he's in my room waiting for me and I cant go see him. you're damn right that I'm crying about this. i just want my baby because he is my baby and an indicator of a safe place.
also I am so incredibly fucking uncomfortable. like I cannot sleep because 1) in a place I do not know 2) there are people (family) in the room that I am not comfortable letting my guard down around 3) there's so much noise from snoring (and from one sleep talking) 4) I am on the couch because when we go places I'm always the one who has to and it's a shitty pull out bed couch. it makes way too much noise that I have been in an uncomfortable position for over 3 hours because I dint want to disturb anyone else. and I can very easily feel like of the metal bars under the middle of my back 5) I am very cold. I forgot a blanket and I didnt get one because the room only gave us one extra one (I dont think we're supposed to have an extra person) ad my sister got it even though I'm the one by the outsid,door, window, and air conditioner which wont turn off. I at least have my flannel though to cover my legs 6) my head hurts so bad because it's the kind of headache that hurts to have eyes open, breath, or move around in general 7) my stomach hurts so bad because I had to eat because apparently people get hungry and are supposed to eat along with anxiety from literally all of this 8) I have not gotten to be alone for more than 10 minutes since the middle of Wednesday whereas usually I spend almsot all of my time alone (with cat and phone with online friends) in my safe place. 9) I have not stopped crying (not really like crying crying but like there has been tears or water from my eyes because for some reason they burn and some because of anxiety or missing cat. 10) I keep thinking that at any moment I close my eyes someone is going to break into the room or one of my family members are gonna do something (I literally dont know what, that's intrusive thoughts talking but I have previously freaked out because I thought they were gonna aliven't me for no reason) 11) When I'm somewhere I'm not used to I get really bad muscle cramps in my arms and legs and I am not having fun with that.
sorry that was a shit ton of complaining that nobody should have read or give a shit about. so sorry if anyone actually read that?
also Allison, if you actually do read this (istg you really dont have to. like I said this is just my train of thoughts written to prevent me from doing anything. I am not watching wandavision until later today 😂 and I am staying off the discord server I joined becuas of potential spoilers.
anyways continuation of rants and complaints. I really want to put the phone down and attempt to sleep even though I know I'm not gonna be able to and for that reason I have to write here because I do not trust myself with my brain being like this rn. but I wanna put phone down so bad because my eyes hurt and my head hurts from having eyes open.
and I really wanna just get my earbuds out and have controlled noise and potentially fall asleep but that would take noise louder than them to drown them out but any noise already is hurting my head and earbuds sound really uncomfortable right now.
also I'm starting to get really cold again because the flannel was working for a little but I think that was because I had to move a little bit to get it out and on my legs and I haven't been moving.
also my sister (sleep.talker) has been just making noises and mumbling all night except just now she went "eww" and rolled over and continued snoring and sleeping. so that's fun. totally didnt scare me.
oh my God it's fuckung almost 3:30 I just wanna sleep. at this rate I dont care in what way it happens, but I want sleep in the next 10 minutes so I cannot be aware of how uncomfortable or in pain I am.
my back (which usually already has back pain) connot stand to lay on the bar in this position anymore so I have to move but it's so loud and I dont wanna wake anyone up or move into a worse position but feel bad for moving.
I have now moved and I dont THINK I woken anyone up. back is better but head hurts so much more now because of movement and I am now laying on my knee which I have a lot of problems with and am not having a fun time.
idk what to talk about. I want sleep or to at least put phone down but like I said multiple times I do not trust my brain rn so I have to keep writing stuff. and I dont want to just keep complaining but idk what to talk about and complaining is easiest rn because I was out in an uncomfortable situation by coming with them and I didnt want to in the first place but would not be able to stay home.
I am now gonna talk about sleep and my thoughts about it. I like being asleep but I also dont. I like being not awake but most of the time do not like the dreams I have. but sleep itself is such an interesting concept. like the body forces itself to shut down and put you unconscious to like rest itself or repair before continuing to function. and it's like (supposed to be) on a specific or close to schedule. like youre supoosed to have a schedule for when you're unconscious. and this is completely normal. a part of our society is actually shaped around this too? like at certain times around the world it gets all dark and the world goes quiet for a while. idk I just think it's really interesting. maybe it's not idk lmao.
and now brain wants to talk about how and why I am afraid to love. :). brain is afraid to love because that means I have to be vulnerable to someone and that's just so terrifying to do, especially being someone who is different than a lot of the heteronormative society. like I absolutely love my friends. and once I'm comfortable around them, I'm gonna tell them that I love them as much as I can (but also dont want to make them uncomfortable). because if I finally feel comfortable enough around you to be vulnerable and accept that I love you despite brain's overwhelming urge to say I don't and be invulnerable and safe, I'm gonna tell you that as much as I can that I love you. because it literally happens so little in my life that I actually really trust someone. so if I tell you I love you I mean it (and it tells you I trust you). like seriously, I barely even say it to my mom because I'm so on guard and trying to watch my back around her. and I dont think I say it to the rest of my family. unless it's my grandparents I'm gonna tell them that because I think I do just in a different way of your my grandparent and you're family. and I occasionally say it to my irl best friend because there's still a lot I'm on guard about because I haven't told her a lot of things so we're not as close as you'd think. but if you're reading this I have probably told you i love you. and i know Allison i tell you as much as i can because I think yyou'rethe absolute top person that I trust and love, so i try to tell you a lot. because I love you!! you're like my entire found family 😂
but now we're gonna talk about reasons why I'm terrified to be in love romantically. Because I dont think i have actually liked someone romantically or really ever be romantically interested in anyone. I have thought about it because I felt like I had to tell myself I was ( I was not). like i thought I had a crush on someone once but I think it was because I was unable to be their friend at the time that I wanted to be their friend even more. and because I never really got to pick my friends I didnt know what it was like to actually want to be friends with someone. but thinking about someone romantically I just cant really do. because I don't want to get into a romantic relationship if I don't know if I'm gonna like them romantically at all. do people like people romantically when they first go out with someone? or do they just say I kinda like this person let's try it out? because that just doesnt make sense to me and idk. and it could very well be that I'm just to young to know yet. because I still dont even know what I would want from a romantic relationship. like... Idk what there is for me to want or what's different to loving your friends besides calling them something else? and the whole having to trust that this person likes you in a specific way that you might like them before you take it far enough and get hurt because they just don't feel the same? or you're the one that's not really sure and potentially hurt someone else? I know people say it's just a risk you're gonna have to take but I dont want to take a risk like that. I dont mind being hurt from it myself but in terrified at the thought that I could potentially hurt someone because I just dint feel a certain way. and I still dont know what the difference is between friend love or romantic love to be able to judge or risk that? like seriously what is different? because I mean, maybe affection like have someone to hug or cuddle? but you could do that with friends and it should be a normal thing to have with your friends. but ig this still is a fucked up society that thinks everything has to be more than what it really is. and it just leaves people touch starved because of it. idk. maybe one day I'll figure it out, but how it's just Greek and foreign to me. idfk.
well that was fun. now it's 4 and I need something else to talk about because even if I do potentially fall alseep soon, I do not want those to be my last thoughts and possibly have dream about it (dreams for me are typically not good).
I think I see the moon. it's either a moon or a parking lot light. and I know the moon is either full or very close to full (I'm pretty sure it's just very. close) but I wish all of those lights outside were off and possibly have a new moon so I could see the stars. I love the stars so much. i love the moon, too, but right now it's very bright. but I wish I was more into astronomy and knew more about it. because that's also something that's very interesting to me is space and the stars. I wanna be someone who knows about all of the constellations. but I have a horrible memory and absolutely would not be able to remember 88 different stories. although I'd want to. even though most of them or a bunch are just Zeus being a dick. but more to the science side of the stars is so interesting to me that they're soooooo far away. like they're literally incomprehensibly far away. like I cannot comprehend how big a football field is without see one, I'm agine being able to comprehend the distance of light years? like I know we know how far it is but I'm pretty sure human minds cannot comprehend how far that ACTUALLY is. even if we know it's a LOT. and isnt it cool how we're able to know there are other planets outside of the solar system? I believe it's 4 different planets that we know of that are MORE inhabitable than earth. like better to live on. and they have either older or stronger stars that wouldn't die out as fast as our sun. although there comes the debate of if we should be able to go to them. it's a very debatable question, but I think overall the answer would be no. because humans have fucked up an entire planet, why should we be allowed to do it to another? like it realize it's literally a percent of humans that fucked it up for the rest of the planet, but humans have an inner need to have power over everyone else and other things and would stop at nothing to get what they want. humans could so easily become corrupt and destroy other planets too. it's kind of a fucked up thing to say, but I feel like maybe humans should die out with our planet. like of course it's not fair to the ones who haven't had the chance to live a life yet. but it was never fair to the other creatures humans killed for their own needs. like we have caused extinction several times. karma will get you back in the end ig. and it would be cool to know but obviously we wouldnt be able to know, if a species even smarter than humans evolved and kept the peace on earth, even as the ruling species? ruling sounds wrong but idk what else to call it. whatever we are above everything else is what they would be. but it would be so amazing to know what smarter beings are alive or could eventually live. like that's so fucking cool.
anyways I should probably try to sleep or put phone down because now brian doesnt have time to let me do anything I shouldnt. it's 4:30 😂 someone is probably gonna wake up soon because idk.
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In His Eyes
Chapter 2: Ad Astra
(Chapter 1 is here)
Tried my very best to try and capture teenaged insanity and mood swings in this. It’s got a bit of angst, a bit of fluff, and a bit of the closest thing I will ever get to smut. Weird to think that we’ve all been there. Wack. Anyway, the next chapter will be the last. Enjoy.
word count: almost 6000 words, or way too many
tw: language, like pg-13 sexuality, teenaged melodrama
Sunlight coats the inside of your eyelids with gold and you jolt awake. The rumbling of your old Toyota greets you as you open your eyes to find you’ve drooled all over the car door. You sit up and try to run your hand through your hair but are thwarted by the stubborn knots that catch your fingers. It takes you a moment to remember what you’re doing in a car, but then you turn to see Elliot with one hand on the wheel and the other picking listlessly at the seams on the armrest and it comes back to you like a pleasant dream.
“Did you drive through the night?” The words dribble stupidly from your mouth, the sticky remnant of sleep still stuck on your brain.
“I wanted you to sleep.” The warmth in his voice doesn’t help you wake up. It relaxes you and makes you feel like the sun’s rays really are reaching through the cold glass window instead of just brushing it.
“I thought I told you to find a motel and wake me. You deserve sleep too, or this is gonna be an exhausting trip for you.” You try and wipe some of the drool off of the seatbelt but succeed only at smearing it.
“You did tell me that. I ignored it,” His eyes flick towards you for a moment, evaluating your reaction. “I didn’t want to waste time.”
“I’d argue that sleep is not a waste of time but a necessity to continue functioning. Did you know that not sleeping for 72 hours can drive you insane? You start seeing shit at that point-” You cross your arms, miffed by the smile that he’s trying to hide. “Quit smiling! I’m serious, asshole, you need sleep.”
Elliot raises an eyebrow. “It takes 36 hours to even start being seriously affected by sleep deprivation. Don’t know why you’ve decided I’ll be awake long enough to hallucinate. I thought the plan was to sleep during the day at Cherry Springs.”
“Right, but that was considering that you weren’t driving for like 13 hours straight,” You shake your head, caught between amusement and disappointment at his lack of self preservation. “Gotta give you some credit though, driving through the night did make the timeline a little simpler. We’ll get there just as the sun sets. Let me drive the rest of the way there.”
He shakes his head. “I’m okay.”
“And he pulls the legendary ’I’m okay’ card. Thankfully, I’m immune to bullshit. Pull over and let me drive,” You reach over and lightly poke his shoulder. “I know that your eyes hurt from driving all night. Take a break. We only have a few hours left to drive anyway.”
He pulls the car over instead of answering. You switch seats, start the car, and pull out onto the road. As far as you can see, the lanes ahead of you are devoid of other cars. You bring the car to coasting speed and roll the window down a bit to let the breeze run through your hair.
“You got us to Dauphin County?” Some long hidden part of you recognizes the rusty metal and concrete buildings around you, but the archaic quality of the memories makes you doubt yourself.
“Yeah. You know where you’re going?” He leans his seat back and squints into the sun.
“Only vaguely. I’ve never been to the park, just know where it is. We’ll get there. Besides, you won’t let me get lost.” Keeping your eyes on the road, you reach over and pull his shade down.
You drive in relative silence for awhile. The only speaking comes from Elliot making sure you stay on track with one or two word sentences of “left” or “this exit.” His ability to memorize things so completely astounds you. The two of you had looked at directions for about twenty minutes before you left the previous morning and he somehow still remembers the details of the route.
After about an hour he breaks the silence. “How’d you decide on Cherry Springs?”
“My friend Bailey, I don’t think you ever talked to them, but they went and said that the stars you could see on a clear night back home were nothing compared to what you see at Cherry Springs. It kinda got stuck in my head, so it was the first thing I thought of when you brought up a road trip,” You glance at him and see his eyes closed, a sunbeam saturating his skin and hair in color. You envy his effortless beauty and the way he naturally seems to just belong to the natural visions of the world. “It seemed like a good place to start.”
“What about after? Turn right.”
You switch on your turn signal. “Dunno. It probably would’ve been smart to figure this out before we left. You have any ideas?”
“No. Does it really matter? We have no real responsibilities except making sure we don’t run out of gas.”
“Are you suggesting we just wing it?” You stop at a red light and look over at him. Given his usual meticulous attention to detail you didn’t expect this nonchalant attitude.
“That surprises you?”
“I had you tagged as a worrywart. You’re subverting my expectations.” You smile. Suddenly the seat you sit in becomes the most comfortable place you could possibly be. You sink into a bit and let the tiny bit of warmth in your chest spread to the rest of your body.
“That sounds good, though. There’s no plan. Just let things be how they need to be,” You glance up at the signs around the two way highway you’d been driving on for a few minutes. “You hungry?”
“Yeah, I could eat.”
“There’s a McDonalds up ahead. You just want what you usually get?”
“Sounds good.” He sits up in his seat.
You exit the freeway and head towards the glowing yellow M. You order quickly, get the food, and hand Elliot his food before parking in the lot.
You pull your burger out of the bag. “So we can either rent out a spot and camp at the stargazing spot, which, I don’t know about you, sounds like a lot of work, or we can spend a few hours there and then get a motel room close by.”
“We’ll split the price of a room?”
“What, is the food so good you can only give me one-word answers?” You tease.
“I will never understand your love for McDonalds.”
Elliot finishes his food before you. He sits and watches you eat. His blue eyes seem to analyze every little move you make. If somebody else sat across from you, you’d be feeling your skin trying to stand up and abandon your body, but he’s never had the effect on you most people do. His gaze is one of curiosity, of a scientist discovering a new and mysterious species that would from then on consume his life. You’re lucky he chose to sit down with you that day at school. You wouldn’t want to be scrutinized by anyone else.
“You gonna tell me what you’re thinking? No matter how hard you look at me, I can’t read your mind.” You ask.
“Let me drive the rest of the-”
“You’re eating. Let me drive while you finish.”
“Didn’t we just have this conversation? You can wait five minutes and let me drive. You’re really restless, huh?”
He nods. “We’re close. I want to get there.”
“You’re going to mope if I don’t let you drive right now, aren’t you?”
“If that’s what it takes.”
“That’s blackmail, but fine. I know a losing battle when I see one,” You open your door to step out, but pause. “You really don’t get tired, do you?”
"I do. Just not as much when I'm with you.”
Three hours and a lot of directionless conversations later, you reach your destination. The sun dwindles on the horizon and bleeds red onto the small mountain range spanning around the empty plains that serve as dark sky sites. Elliot parks the car facing the sunset. He turns the car off and the two of you sit in silence, waiting. You still have about an hour before the night takes over. There’s no point in walking down to the amphitheater this early, the light from cars and the city that you’ll soon be escaping don’t hinder the sun.
“You glad you drove so we could leave five minutes earlier and still have to wait for the moon to rise?” You have to shove a bit of the irony in his face.
He doesn’t answer. You look over at him and find his whole demeanor has changed. His shoulders slumped down, head hanging low, eyes closed. If you didn’t know him you could’ve mistaken this for rest, for peace, but you can see his breathing go shallow and his fingers clench ever so slightly on the end of the armrest. With the deep gold light of the lowering sun cast on him, you can see the shadows of his eyes moving beneath his eyelids. Rarely does Elliot allow his darker side to show when he’s with you. This is an anomaly, a lapse in the usual walls he holds up. He wants to tell you something but needs prompting.
“Hey, what’s going on?” You soften your tone, an apology for your ill-timed teasing.
“When people do this kind of thing, go on road trips, travel to distant countries, do things on a whim, it’s usually a last hurrah. Enjoying their so-called freedom before returning to the same controlled schedule every day,” He takes a deep breath. “I don’t want to be trapped like that, but I’m beginning to realize I don’t have a choice.”
“That’s sort of the world we live in,” You’ve had this same kind of conversation with yourself before, and convinced yourself that you’d learn to love it. “If you wanna survive you get a solid job and abide by the rules. Just gotta find your own way of being okay with that.”
“We shouldn’t be okay with it. We’ve all been convinced that wasting our lives away is normal just so that people can profit off of our mindlessness. It’s not right.”
You shake your head. “You’re barely an adult, you’ve never worked an office job. Maybe it’s a little too early for you to judge.”
“This has been going on since this country was established. You and I have both witnessed it. I get that it’s easier just to ignore it. Just tell me- tell me I’m not the only one who sees it.”
“Why are you bringing this up now?” Words fail you. You don’t know if you see it too.
He pauses before he answers. “Aren’t you happier now than you have been in awhile?”
“Well, yeah, I graduated high school easily, I have options ahead of me, I’m crossing things off my bucket list, I’m with you... Of course I’m happier now. But like you said, we don’t have any real responsibilities right now. Once we get back to everyday life it’ll go back to normal,” You shrug. “The world will be as friendly as you make it. You’re not off to a great start on that.”
“You’re wrong. You’re not going to be happy once you settle down. Nobody really is, they just won’t admit it because they can’t change it.” He crosses his arms.
“This is an awfully angsty take on adulthood. I don’t think it’ll be as bad as you make it out to be, but I’m not going to argue with you. How bout we wait and see? If this really is a last hurrah then you might as well enjoy it while it lasts.” He’s right about one thing, you really are happier now than you were the entire time you were in school and you don’t want to think about it ending.
“The sun’s down.” Elliot will never trap you in a conversation.
“Let’s head over. It’ll be pretty cold, by the way, so bring your jacket.” You probably don’t have to tell him, he brings his hoodie with him everywhere.
The two of you start to make your way over to the seating amphitheater. The land around the hill top where the dark sky site sits is covered in plants which have defied the wishes of their caretakers and grown out onto the access path. Small lights dot the ground inside the plants but supply little light through the bushes. Elliot walks next to you as if taped to your side. He matches your stride without looking and neither leads or follows. You never looked at the maps, you could be going the complete wrong direction right now and you’d never now. You stop, frozen by uncertainty, and his hand brushes yours. For a moment you both stand still, too wary to do what you both want to do, and then his fingers lace through yours. With him holding on to you, you don’t feel so lost.
Apparently you did step onto the correct access trail, because in less than fifteen minutes you reach your destination. You step out onto the summit of a small grassy hill. On the middle of the clearing sits about fifty or so empty benches. In the hazy purple darkness the land looks alien, a different planet you led each other to.
“Nobody else is here.” His words barely reach your ears, hushed in the presence of such foreign land.
“Good,” You squeeze his hand gently. “It’ll be like our own little world.”
You lead him over to the benches. You walk down through the spaces between them and watch the shadows they cast in front of you. You reach the front row and sit down. The cold wood makes you wince when you lean back onto the backrest.
Elliot sits down next to you and leans on you, sighing. You smile.
“And now we wait.” You set your eyes to the sky.
“Thanks for doing this with me.” He says.
“You don’t need to thank me. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
Little by little the stars come out. It takes awhile before you start to notice the glints of light in the sky. Then they come faster, and every time you blink more and more appear. From far away they look as fragile as silver filings, like if you touched one it would break into a million tiny fragments. To you, the most powerful, blazing celestial beings appear delicate.
An hour after you originally sit down, the sky is alight with a diamond glow that rivals the sun’s. Together the stars bring a soft color to the night. The tiny pinpricks of light bleed into each other to birth ethereal blue, hints of pale purple and pink at the edges of the sparse clouds and the brighter constellations. The horizon line softens into green at the edges and blurs up into dark blue. The milky way arcs over you, an innate reminder of how small the Earth really is compared to this celestial grandeur, how insignificant the seemingly huge decisions you make are.
You laugh quietly. “And I thought the night was always pitch dark. New Jersey lied to me.”
You turn to look at Elliot, to watch his eyes roam over the glistening sky above you. He is devoid of his usual colors, captured by the greedy sky. The dark engulfs him and fades the edges of his usually sharp features. Under the light of the stars he transforms into a stranger, an angel, a demon, all identity stripped as he spills into the night and joins the burning of the cosmos. The only part of him that, despite the disintegration of the lines that define him, stays the same is his eyes. His eyes still hold the glow that at first seemed too intense for you and now feels like home. Not even the stars could steal that glint from him, the burning of fear and anger and joy and pain that would never go out. Elliot is proof that the light of a dreamer could burn eternally from nothing, even when the rest of earthbound light has gone out. The shadow only makes it and the stars above you smolder together and merge. You blink to focus your vision and think you catch the universe turning in his eyes.
A sky full of stars, and you’re marveling at him.
For a moment you’re too scared to say it and the words catch in your throat, but when you finally get them out they feel good on your lips. “You’re beautiful, Elliot.”
He blinks and his eyes turn to meet yours. An inexplicable thought occurs to you: this is going to hurt when it’s over. But it won’t end until you tell it to. Time stands still for the two of you, waiting.
“You really are.” You reach out and touch his face, a sensation you’ve felt before becoming new in this moment.
His eyes flick down to your lips for a moment, then back up to your eyes. He almost imperceptibly pulls away from you: the tell of his fear of the fallout of moving too soon. That’s the thing about Elliot. He won’t ever make the first move. If you want something then you’re going to have to make it happen yourself.
So slowly, tentatively, you lean forward and kiss him, and suddenly time starts moving again. His lips are soft and pliant, more relaxed than you expected. His lips gently part yours, every movement subtle and restrained. He moves his hand to your thigh and holds it there as if unsure where the boundaries lie.
You slip a hand around his waist and pull him to be almost on top of you. You want him to know that you are his, however much he wants. So long have you admired the beauty in him from afar. You want to feel the warmth of him on your body, his weight over you, finally earning the touch you’ve been silently waiting for.
You kiss him just a bit harder and that seems to be all it takes to make him come undone. An involuntary growl comes from his throat and his hand moves slowly up your thigh. It massages slowly closer and closer to the faint throbbing between your legs and you gasp softly. His other hand reaches up to push you back against the bench, the wood and metal behind you no longer cold from your heat.
Then something cracks and the two of you freeze. He meets your eyes and stands up off of you, raising his eyebrows. You stand up next to him and find that the top piece of wood on the bench snapped under the pressure of both of your weights.
“Shit.” He says.
“I think that sums it up nicely,” You lean down and run your hand over the broken wood. It feels uncharacteristically soft beneath your skin. “Must’ve already been kinda broken before we sat down. We’re not that heavy. I mean, you weigh like two pounds.”
“That’s definitely an accurate number.”
“Thanks. Spent a few minutes figuring it out.” You cross your arms.
The two of you stand in silence for a minute or two, wearing matching blank stares at the bench. You bite your lip and try not to smile. You succeed for about ten seconds then burst into laughter. The utter silence of the area and the cool air and the broken bench all fuel your cracking up and you find yourself doubled over, arms wrapped around yourself.
You become aware of Elliot staring straight-faced at you and it only makes you laugh harder.
“What is funny to you about this?” He asks, genuinely perplexed.
“All of it,” You take a deep breath between giggling to try and steady yourself “Elliot, we broke a bench after being here for like two hours. We’re the teenaged menaces everyone talks about. Us.”
Based on the look on his face, you expect you’re about to get a stern talking to, then a slow smile begins to show itself. It grows to a rare grin, then finally a low laugh. You love to see him smile, to hear the elusive laughter you’ve dedicated many nights to earn in the past. Chuckling with him, you lean your head back and stare up at the stars. You take a deep breath and fall silent. Now, right in this moment, you feel more like yourself than you ever have before. Under the dazzling night sky with the man who unless you’re very much mistaken is the dead ringer of someone you’d want to spend all your life with, you suddenly feel inexplicably pure. All of the moving chaos you felt your life had been has momentarily fallen into place.
“What’s wrong?” He sounds worried.
“Nothing. Absolutely nothing is wrong,” You turn to him and bite your lip, heart fluttering in your chest. Tears well up in your eyes for no comprehensible reason and you blink them away. “I just would never have thought any of this would happen.”
He nods. “Okay. We should go. Find a motel to stay in.”
It doesn’t take you long to find a place. Elliot had been paying attention on the way in and kept track of the buildings near the park. To his exasperation, you insist on driving and threaten to tie him to the passenger seat if he doesn’t let up.
“I’m serious this time. You will not convince me to let you drive. Would you really put it past me to not duct tape you to the arm rests?” You stand in front of the door to the driver's seat, arms crossed. “I’m the usher of the driver’s seat and your access has been denied.”
“You’re ridiculous.” His words are sharp, but you can see his lips twitching upwards into his wonderful, crooked, infectious smile. He walks around the car and gets into the passenger seat.
“Should’ve taken that into account before you asked me to come with you,” You turn the car on and start driving. “Now you’ll never get rid of me.”
Out of the corner of your eye you notice him bite his lip. He looks tired, skin a single shade paler than usual and eyes glazed over with a faint liquid film. His hands are halfway in his jacket pockets, unusually still. He leans his head on the window and stares out into the night.
“I can’t tell if the look on your face is the good kind of tired or the bad kind of tired.” You assume he wants to be left alone for a bit. Both of you need time to ignore each other to recharge from your latest conversations.
Silence from his side of the car. You glance over. His eyes shut slowly then open back up and languidly trace the outline of the window.
“Elliot?” One last try and you’ll shut up.
He tilts his head towards you and he nods to himself, affirming some thought you weren’t included in. “What made you agree to come with me?”
“I had no reason not to. You said the motel you saw was up around this corner?”
“I don’t get it. What is there for you in New York?” His words are tilted. He searches for a specific answer. This is the kind of conversation you can lose at.
“Nothing specific. Thought I might as well start my life in the middle of the concrete jungle. It’s got a bit of a reputation for being a good place to find a career. Besides, I needed to get out of New Jersey and this way I won’t be doing it alone. I’ve got you,” You squint at the street in front of you. “Do I turn here or the road up?”
“You shouldn’t live your life leaning on other people. You won’t always have them.” There’s something disdainful about his tone, an aloofness you don’t recognize or particularly like.
“No shit. But I can’t just isolate myself because people are disappointing. That would be a waste of a life,” You allow a bit of snap into your voice. “I don’t know where this is coming from. Get it into your brain that I like you. I know you’ve been through some dark shit, but I haven’t left you yet and I won’t without a good reason. I am not going to abandon you, so quit worrying about what happens after this. Now tell me where the fucking motel is.”
He flinches at the sharpness of your words. You went too harsh and you know it, but the spark of pity and anger that lit in your chest was too strong not to stoke. You needed to say it. He needed to hear the words come from your mouth, because loyalty isn’t enough for him. He needs a promise, but only he decides if he can believe it. You’re fighting a losing battle with him.
“Turn left on the next street. It’s on the right. You’ll see it.”
“Thank you.” You shake your head. Shit. These days, the temper you thought you’d gotten under control years ago flares unexpectedly. Elliot doesn’t deserve your anger. It’s not his fault he can’t decide if he wants to protect himself or you.
You pull into the parking lot and cringe at the holes in the pavement as you roll over them. Eventually your car is gonna get scratched by these questionable Pennsylvania streets, but you decide not to worry about it for now. You park the car, turn the engine off, and turn to look at Elliot. One of his hands is at his jacket collar, holding the hood as if in indecision of whether or not to pull it on. His head is bowed down and his mouth hangs slightly open.
“I’ll go get us a room. You stay here,” You unbuckle your seat belt and open your door, only to hear Elliot’s do the same. “Please, Elliot. You don’t need to come. Give yourself a break. For me.”
A moment of silence passes, then: “Okay.”
You quickly walk inside the tiny, green-painted lobby, pay for a room, get the key, and make your way back to the car. Elliot needed quiet, away from you, if only for ten or fifteen minutes. The two of you file your way to the room in silence. You have only the bare necessities slung over your shoulder in your bag. No time was wasted by bringing comfort items with you.
After trying three times to get the room door unlocked you get the door open. Elliot walks right past, sits promptly down on the single bed, and pulls out his laptop. You watch him from the doorway for a moment, waiting for the soft clicking of his typing to begin. He looks like he belongs here, a small patch of black in the beige painted room. How easy he finds it to drop the concerns of being in the right place. You don’t think the lack of direction bothers him at all until it gets shoved in his face. He’d rather drift from place to place forever than settle into monotony.
He blinks and looks up at you through his eyelashes. “You coming or not?”
“I’m coming. Sorry.” You step in and close the door behind you.
The room isn’t awful. It looks clean and doesn’t smell too strongly of cigarette smoke. That’s the best you could really ask for. You walk past the bed and squint at the radiator. Rust crawls up the sides and covers the switch. Just in case you try and turn it on, but are unsurprised when nothing happens.
“Radiator’s broken.” You say to the air, not much caring if Elliot responds or not.
“Don’t need it anyway.” He says, with the tone like he’s winning an argument.
You nod and lie down on the bed. The springs give a tiny squeak under your weight and you shift a little extra to hear it again. You make sure to give Elliot as much space as you can. At the moment it feels like just looking at him would be intrusive. Your thoughts seem amplified in the relative quiet of the motel. They talk over each other, no single train of thought staying on track for longer than a few words. This usually happens late at night when you can’t sleep. Your brain kicks into hyperdrive and you can’t ever get it to shut up. Maybe you can today, now that you’re in a room you can’t recognize. You glue your gaze to the ceiling and begin counting the little brown dots in your head. 1... 2... 3... 4... By the time you reach 2,378 an hour has passed and your thoughts have quieted, soothed half by the counting and half by Elliot’s methodical typing.
You sit up and stare at the back of his head. His fingers fall still and invite you to speak.
“I’m sorry I snapped at you in the car. That really wasn’t fair of me. At all,” You swallow hard and try and find words to explain the feelings trapped somewhere between your chest and throat. “I have a hard time staying calm when I feel like I’m being interrogated. It feels like I’m being trapped and manipulated and... I don’t know, like there’s a right answer I need to find. And I don’t think that’s what you were meaning anymore. So I’m sorry. I overreacted.”
He doesn’t respond, and once again you prepare to give up the possibility of conversation. But he doesn’t start typing again. His fingers stay still and relaxed on the keyboard.
“I get what it’s like,” He eventually says. “It happens to me, too. Like somebody suddenly wants you to fit their perfect perception of you.”
“Yeah, exactly that. It’s overwhelming,” You scooch up to sit next to him, dangling your feet off the end of the bed. “But I’ll be better, okay? I’ll work on not biting your head off and talking like a sane person. Because we have like a week and a half to spend together and I at least need to prove that I’m capable of change.”
“Okay.” He presses control/enter on his keyboard, then slowly closes it. The single bedside lamp casts your shadows onto the wall in front of you. Your dark silhouettes look much larger than you really are.
“You know, I still vividly remember the first time I talked to you. I thought you were weird as hell, but, me being me, also just really wanted you to like me,” You think out loud, aware that the only reason he shut his computer is to listen to you. “I don’t really remember meeting most people, but you? Plastered into my memory forever. I’ll never be able to forget that.”
“I thought you were lonely. You had the look that people get when they’re lost.”
“Maybe that’s why I remember it so well. I was lost out to sea and suddenly you show up and give me a direction to swim towards.” You let out a deep breath, trying to calm the hyperactive fluttering of your heart.
This time Elliot makes the first move. He reaches out and tilts your face towards him, fingers brushing lightly on your skin. He considers you for a beat. His eyes trace your features as if trying to memorize them, eternalize them in his mind. Then he leans in and kisses you. He wastes no time in trying to be gentle. The boundaries have been set now. He knows that he has every liberty to take your breath away. There’s a kind of demand in the way he touches you, the way his hands find their way to the perfect places to hold you steady. The heat of the moment and the wild tremors running through your veins render you deliciously helpless, but you trust him.
Without decreasing his intensity he stands to move himself between your legs, leaning into you. His weight pushes you slowly downwards, hands roaming to find your thighs, your breasts, your hips. You spark alive with tiny shoots of rippling pleasure and finally let yourself moan. Somehow, a part of you has wanted this more than anything else since you met him and finally that thirst can be quenched. You lie back to let him lay over you. He breaks from you just long enough to yank his jacket and shirt off of him, then returns to drown in you once again.
And finally his skin is yours to see and touch. You pull him to lie flat against you, wanting no distance between you. The warmth of his body, the softness of his skin, the lithe muscle, all of it belongs partially to you. One of your hands finds the back of his head and you run it down from his neck to his chest.
He grabs the bottom of your shirt and lifts off of you to pull it off. You’re not used to the look in his eyes, unprepared for the hunger shining feverishly through them. With a gentleness defying the ferocity his eyes possess, he lifts you and unclips your bra.
“Elliot?” You breathe, almost unable to get the words out.
“Is this okay?” The faint alarm in his voice makes you smile..
“It’s more than okay,” You reach up and caress his face. He caves to your touch, eyes closing. As much power as he has over you, you have over him, if you were to decide to use it. “I just... I don’t ever want to be someone you regret. Please, don’t let me be one of your regrets.”
He leans down and touches his forehead to yours. “Even if you tried, you couldn’t be. Do you want to do this?”
Your answer comes out husky, almost breathless. “Please.”
And so you consume each other. At some point you lose all sense of your body, too wrapped up in the pleasure of him to really have control over your movements. Your hands reach every part of him, somehow knowing where and what to do. Perhaps you’d tried to deny it before tonight, tried to shove away the attraction, but your hands know. They’re young and wise and know exactly how much you wanted him. You cannot lie to your sense of touch.
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Smile - Thor Odinson x reader
a/n - hey lovely people!! this is for this lovely request by @cotton-candy-clouds-26 , thank you!! i just couldn’t bring myself to write Steve cheating, i love him and i just don’t think he’d do that, but i hope it’s okay. enjoy!<3
Summary: you and Steve break up and it’s rough, but luckily there’s someone out there that helps you get over it. you could say he’s worthy of your affections (i had to hehe)
Word Count: 3k
Warnings: Some curse words and a little angst
"Steve?" you called out, "you ready to go?"
"Just a couple seconds!" he replied, and you sat down on the couch, scrolling on your phone while you waited for him.
It was your six months anniversary, and you were getting ready to go to dinner with Steve. He's been acting a little weird the past few days, and it was starting to raise your suspicion.
Maybe he's getting me a surprise, you tried to shrug your worry off. You knew Steve wasn't that good at keeping secrets, especially from you, and you'd try and get it out of him tonight.
"Ready t-" you began to ask, but stopped once you saw he was wearing a t-shirt and jeans. "Stevie, you know I love your t-shirts," you said, appreciatively eying the bulge on his muscles revealed by the sort, tight sleeves, "but I was under the impression we're going to a fancy restaurant tonight. You know, the kind that won't appreciate anyone, including Captain America, coming in a t-shirt and jeans," you smirked.
"I'm not going," he sighed, sitting down next to you.
"You're not goi- is everything alright? Are you feeling unwell? I mean, I didn't even know you could get ill, but-"
"I'm not sick," he shook his head, "I just… I thought I could give you this one nice night, but I can't."
"What do you mean you can't? Steve, what's going on? Are they calling you on a mission or something?"
"No, no mission. Not today anyway." He took a deep breath before he continued. "I think we should break up."
Your mouth agape, it took you a couple of seconds to register what he just said. You closed your mouth and swallowed. "What?" you asked, your voice nearly a whisper.
"I'm sorry," he said, averting his eyes to the floor, "I just… I don't think I feel the same way about you anymore, and I don't wanna hold you back or anything. I thought the right thing to do was to treat you to a nice dinner before I…" he trailed off, his eyes fixed ahead of him, away from you, "Anyways, I couldn't do it. I didn't want to lie to you, or lead you on. You deserve better than that," his gaze finally turned to you, waiting for your response.
You didn't know what to say. You knew he was acting weird, but you'd have never seen this coming. "So this is it?" you asked disbelievingly. "This is how we end?"
"Look, I'm so-"
"Sorry, yeah, I know." You took a deep breath, willing your tears away. "I think I'll just go home," you got up, getting your stuff.
"Wait, I didn't cancel the reservation. If you wanna go yourself you— can," he called after you, the last word after you'd slammed the door behind you.
Outside of Steve's room, you let out a shuddering breath. He was living in the Avengers compound, so you had to keep yourself together until you got out of here, in case any of them saw you. You started getting outside, but your distracted state of mind probably led you to take a wrong turn in one of the corridors, because now you had no idea where you are.
"Shit," you mumbled under your breath before turning to look around you. You heard what you thought was the noise of a TV from behind one of the doors, and you knocked on it tentatively. You heard some shuffling and then the door opened to reveal none other than Thor. You know, God of Thunder Thor. God of Thunder Thor that was standing in front of you right now, waiting for you to say something because you were the one that knocked on his door.
You willed your brain to go back to functioning. "Um, hi," you said hesitantly, "I was just… I was on my way out of the compound and I got lost. Could you, um, point me in the right direction?"
"Of course," his voice was deep, you could almost feel it rumbling around you when he spoke. "Who are you looking for?"
"Oh, just the exit," you shrugged.
"Alright. I apologized, I just assumed, from the way you're dressed…"
"No, it's alright. I was supposed to go to this fancy restaurant for dinner, but then… anyways, I wouldn't want to go alone," you sighed.
"Well, in that case, would you like me to accompany you? I wouldn't mind dining with a lovely lady such as yourself," he smiled.
"Oh," you blinked in surprise. You weren't really planning on it, but you were actually kinda hungry. And hey, eating in a fancy restaurant with Thor does sound a little nicer than eating at home and wallowing in self-pity. The wallowing could wait. "I mean, if you'd like to," you smiled back at him, "but you'd have to put on a suit, something fancy."
"Oh, I'm sure I have one of those," he said, leaving the door open and heading back inside. "Come in," he said, loud enough for you to hear it. You guessed he headed into the bathroom to change, since when you got in all you saw was the room itself. It was simple, not a lot of personal touches. Makes sense since he's probably not here most of the time, but in Asgard, which would also explain why you hadn't met him yet.
"How's that?" he asked, getting out of the bathroom. The suit was slightly tight on his tall, broad frame, but it was more than okay with you.
"Perfect," you smiled, "we'll blend right in."
You drove the two of you to the restaurant, spending the time making small talk about 'Midgard habits', as Thor called them, or, as you called them, social norms.
When you got there, the hostess smiled at you and asked for the name of your reservation. By that point you had nearly forgotten it, but your shoulders sagged as you mumbled "Steve Rogers."
"I'll let you right in," she smiled and led you to your table.
"Wait, so Steve was going to come with you?" Thor asked once you got to the table. "Are you his girlfriend I've heard so much about from Tony?"
"I'm… not his girlfriend anymore," you said, averting your eyes to the table, playing with the napkin.
"He broke up with me today," you said, your voice breaking before you could get your emotions under control.
"My apologies," he offered, and put his hand over yours, "I know how unpleasant it is to be… broken up with."
"Yeah? Who'd ever dump Thor?" you chuckled, raising your gaze to meet him.
"Quite a few people over the years," he smiled, lighthearted.
"Well, I'm sorry," you squeezed his hand in yours.
When you were waiting for the main course, you had an idea. "Hey, you can't get drunk, right?"
"Not on your Midgardian version of booze, no. Why?"
"Perfect. Hey!" you signaled for a waitress to come over, ignoring Thor's questioning look, "Can we get a bottle of the most alcoholic wine you got here?" you smiled.
If the waitress thought the request was weird, she didn't show it. She just told you how much it costs, which nearly made you give it up but you really needed this tonight.
When you were done ordering it and the waitress went to bring it, you turned to Thor. "I know we just met each other, and this probably isn't the best first impression, but please can you just call me a cab at the end of dinner? Because I'm kinda planning to get drunk."
He chuckled, again making you experience the illusion that you could feel the sound between you. "Of course. If that would help."
"That would help a ton, thank you," you grinned at him, just as the waitress came back with your wine and the first course.
A whole bottle of wine consumed exclusively by you and a few dishes later, you knew it was time to go home. You paid the bill, trying not to freak out at how expansive it was. Thor wanted to pay too, but you assured him that it was fine, and it was you that dragged him out here anyway.
While you were standing outside waiting for a cab you could hail, you shivered a little in the cold.
Steve always gave you his jacket when you got cold.
Maybe it was the drinks, the late hour or just plain old breakup sadness, you felt tears come to your eyes, unable to stop them from flowing out.
You started sniffling and Thor noticed, his head immediately turning to look at you. "What's wrong?"
"He left me, Thor," you cried, "I thought everything was fine and he dumped me. And he was nice about it, so I can't even be mad and blame him, and that just means that," you barely contained your sobs, "it means I'm not enough. Everyone leaves me because I'm never enough." You buried your face in his bicep, too wound up in your misery to even notice how nice it was.
"Now, now," his other hand lifted to stroke your hair. It was a little awkward, but in your inebriated state you couldn't care less. "You're more than enough. I met you today and even I know you're wonderful."
You lifted your head to meet his eyes. Sniffling once again, you tried to stop crying. "Thank you," you said once you felt you gained enough composure. "I'm sorry I sprung all of this on you. I'll get a cab, go sleep it off," you said, awkwardness now prominent. God, you just made a fool of yourself in front of… a god. A literal god. Fuck.
"Where do you live?" he asked, seemingly unbothered. You gave him your address. "Well, I believe it's not that far. Do you need to wait for a cab or can you walk home?"
"I mean, I could walk, it's just that New York City at night isn't the safest place for a girl to walk alone," you smiled awkwardly.
"Oh, yes," he frowned, "I suppose you're correct. I could walk you home, if you'd like?"
You looked around. No cabs in sight. "Actually, yeah. That'd be cool."
The chilly night air sobered you up a bit. Once you got to your building, you bid Thor goodbye, thanking him again, before going up to your apartment and stumbling tiredly onto your bed, where you fell into a dreamless sleep.
The next morning, you woke up still wearing yesterday's dress and with a slight headache, groaning as you got yourself out of bed to shower, change and drink some water, get an aspirin.
Once you had done all that, you checked your phone for any messages. You weren't supposed to come into work today, so you weren't expecting anything, but just to make sure. Surprisingly enough, there was a text from a number you hadn't recognized.
It said it was Thor and he asked how are you, but there was no way that was true, right? I mean, you didn't think Thor even had a phone, let alone your number. On the other hand, you couldn't think of anyone else who'd know enough to text you that.
Skeptical, you texted back that you were fine, not too far from the truth but still kind of far, and were planning to spend the day watching movies and eating ice cream, which was the truth.
How'd you get my number? You texted again before he could answer.
Jarvis had it, he texted back. He's quite useful. I do wonder why he won't leave his room.
You laughed. Either this was actually Thor, or it was someone really, really good. Before you could think up a reply, you saw the three little dots signifying he was typing again.
Would you perhaps want some company while you watch these movies?
You gasped out loud even though there was no one there to hear it. Was Thor really asking to come over and watch movies? With you? It was hard to believe. Maybe it is someone else after all.
You texted him he should come over if he wanted to. Thor knew your address, if it was really him, he'd come over. If it was some crazy stalker, you just wouldn't let him in and continue in your plans of bawling in front of some sappy movies. If it was actually Thor… well, you'd have to cry in front of him, you guess.
You already started on your ice cream and started The Notebook, figuring it was a good way to start your wallowing fest, and you were starting to get really into it when you heard a knock on the door. You moved as quietly as you could towards the door, looking through the peephole. To your momentary relief, it was Thor and not some stalker. Why momentary? Because holy fucking shit Thor was standing at your day and you were in your pajamas.
"Just a sec!" you called out. You figured you didn't have time to change, but you at least tried to get your hair in some sort of order before you opened the door, hiding your PJs clad body with it.
"Hi," you smiled bashfully once you closed the door behind him.
"Hello," he said, smiling. "Ah, I see you've already started. What movie is that?"
"Well, it's called The Notebook. Do you know it?"
He replied that no, he didn't, and you explained the plot briefly to him as you sat down, wrapping yourself back up in a fuzzy blanket before taking your ice cream back.
"Oh, where are my manners, would you like some?" you gestured the ice cream towards him.
"Yes, sure!" he nodded, and you were glad he at least knew what ice cream was. If someone hadn't bothered to introduce him that would just be cruel.
You went to get the ice cream, the blanket dragging behind you like a cape, and you returned with another tub of ice cream and a spoon, bringing them to him before sitting back down and starting the movie.
You two didn't speak much throughout the movie. When it got to the really sad parts you started crying silently, but by the ending you were just fully sobbing, and, as it seemed, so was he.
"That was so… sad," he said, "is this the entertainment Midgardians always enjoy?"
"Not always," you said, stopping to blow your nose, "we have happy things too. It's just, I got dumped last night, so I'd like the chance to cry a little, you know?"
"That's fair. And it was very beautiful. They loved each other."
"They did," you said, your eyes filling with tears again.
You watched some more sad movies, and then introduced Thor to the wonderful world of takeout food while you changed to some rom com, a little more cheerful. He laughed the whole way through, and the movie wasn't even that funny, but you giggled along as well, unable not to join his roaring laughter.
You ended up falling asleep on the couch in the evening, exhausted, mostly emotionally. The next morning when you woke up he was gone, but he did text you that if you needed anything you could tell him.
Over time, you and Thor started hanging out some more. Mostly at your place or outside, since you really didn't want to risk running into Steve.
It took you time, getting over Steve. Time and tears. And really, Thor being there helped. A lot. He was a rock, a shoulder to cry on.
A broad, muscular shoulder to ugly cry on.
At first, the thought of starting something with Thor didn't even cross your mind. Sure, he was sweet, but it was platonic, and you were busy getting over your breakup anyway.
But then, you realized it became something… more. To you at least. Because despite the tears, he didn't leave. Never wanted to.
Long story short, when Thor invited you to go to dinner one night, a few months after you met each other, you tried really hard not to think of it as a date. A friend-date, if anything.
"How's it going?" you asked, sitting down in front of him in the small diner.
"Good," he smiled at you, "You?"
"Great," you smiled back.
"So, I have some news," he started, continued once you gave him an encouraging nod, "I have to go back to Asgard in a week or two."
"Oh," you said. It made sense, Thor being on earth as long as he already has been should've raised your curiosity, but you didn't really want to think about it until this moment. "I guess you're happy to go home."
"I am," he hummed, "But… there was something I wanted to ask you before I leave. And be honest. Would you like… well, would you give me the opportunity to court you?"
You sat in stunned silence for a few moments. "Like, you're asking me to date you?" you said incredulously.
"I am," he chuckled nervously, "But you don't have to- I know you might not want to because of Steve and-"
"I haven't thought of Steve for a really long time," you cut him off with a smile, "mostly thanks to you. You make me really happy, and I would love to let you court me," you giggled.
"Really?" he asked, awestruck.
"Really," you smiled, leaning across the table, intending to press a kiss to his cheek. At the last moment he turned, making you plant your lips on his in a soft kiss.
You pulled away smiling, and so was he. He took your hand in his from across the table, and you continued to eat your food like you two usually do. Well, almost. Now there were timid exchanges of looks, gently hand squeezes.
And a breathtaking goodnight kiss.
But it was so natural, so normal, you couldn't bring yourself to admit the absurdity of him being a literal god and you being… just a human.
You spent the week he had left together, making the best of it.
In the future, you'd visit his home, he'd visit yours. And he'll always make sure to remind you you're not just a human, you are, in fact, his favorite one.
It never failed to make you smile.
this was my first time writing for thor, i hope i did him justice:))
Taglist: @horny-nd-bored @shannon124 @perfectlyharolds @wintersoldierslut @iceebabies @sleepingpapermouse @steverogerswasalwaysworthy @holtzkinnon @angelicl-y @stydia-4-ever @thatoneperson5000 @fangirlfree @kaitcordx25 @bequeening @steve-barry-damon-logan @itscrazycherryblossomcollection @hollandxmarvel @stargazingfangirl18 @readsreblogsfics @onetwo3000 @beritmetal @harrystylesholland @jazbot2000 @anobscurename @xxxtwilightaxelxxx @peggycarter-steverogers @evansphnx12 @starlightcrystalline @procrastinatingsapphictrash
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Costume Shopping (2/8/2021)
Alastor and Sir Pentious @usedhearts, in preparation for a Mardi Gras masquerade ball next Sunday, go get the supplies they need to make proper fancy costumes.
This requires breaking into a mall in the middle of the night.
This does NOT require copious handholding, hand smooching, or heart palpitations when they accidentally brush each other’s bare hands, but somehow they managed to squeeze some of that in anyway.
(Has either of them noticed the other’s crush yet? No.)
Telly looked at himself in the mirror, adjusting his bowtie for the hundredth time. That looked fine, didn't it? He thought so. He adjusted Hattie, and brushed off his shoulders. A nice black button up, and an embroidered black vest-- this was appropriate wear for going out shopping, right? He hoped so. He slithered over to sit on his bed. Now, he only had to wait for Alastor to show up. His eyes slowly slid back toward the full length mirror and he got up to slither back over-- just one more adjustment, he had to look perfect!
As much as Alastor adored harmlessly startling Sir Pentious, today wasn't the day for it. Today he was going to be an absolute goddamned gentleman and an unparalleled delight, and that started by not arriving in a way designed to make Telly's hood go *floomp.*
So instead a nearby radio crackled to life. "Knock, knock."
The hood still floomps! But only a little, and he blinked as he turned from the mirror toward the radio that sat on his bedside table-- why was it there? Mind your own business, that's why. He slithered over and answered softly. "Yes? Alastor? Ah, come in?"
“Are you asking me to acknowledge that I can hear you or are you inviting me in?”
"Ah, both?" He laughed a little.
“A multi-purpose greeting! Very well! Incoming in three, two, one...”
No “boo” this time; he appeared out of the shadows near the bedside table, grinning his usual grin, dressed in his typical dress—except for his hair, which he’d taken the time and effort to meticulously style into finger waves for the first time in quite a while. “Gooood evening!”
His eyes are immediately drawn to Alastor's hair-- those finger waves look so good on him, Telly can feel his heart giving a squeeze. Oh, _oh_, he's suddenly struck with how handsome Alastor is, he needs a moment. Once his brain restarts, he cleared his throat, smiling at him.
"Good evening, Alastor!" He slithered closer and pulled him into a hug. Oh, and he smelled nice tonight too! That body wash scent is really coming through. Blelelele. Don't mind him. He pulled back, reluctantly, but kept his hands on Alastor's arms.
"Tonight is going to be fun! I've never gotten this dressed up before, I'm excited to see what all we can find for the theme!"
Alastor didn’t even notice the pause, his brain was trying to boot back up too after seeing Telly in a layer less than usual. By the time it was functional again, he was being hugged. Off to a great start so far!
He beamed, catching Telly’s arms in return. “So am I! It’s been years since I’ve put together a costume! I usually just recycle the ones I already have on hand, haven’t had the inspiration to put in more effort than that.” Careful, Alastor, you’re almost drifting into depressing territory. He offered his arm. “Shall we? There’s a quick jaunt through my wiggly friends’ dimension, but from there on out we should be able to walk the rest of the evening.”
He took Alastor's arm very readily, almost too readily. But he ignored that, nearly wiggling with excitement.
"I'll be sure to try and keep my face-eyes closed this time! I think that may help with the effects!" He laid his hand on the arm he was nearly clinging to, turning his smile toward Alastor. "I'm very ready to go!!"
“Then let’s!” A quick portal and they were off.
Telly squeezed his eyes shut. No looking this time! And he clung to Alastor, nice and tight.
Alastor took them to a pricy little steak restaurant downtown, the kind of place that served dangerous enough diners that the waiter wouldn’t *quite* immediately bolt at the sight of the Radio Demon, and that was discreet enough news wouldn’t leak out that the Radio Demon appeared to be hanging out with a new ally. It turned out to be a good choice for more than one: upscale and sophisticated meant dim, moody lighting, which meant a warm orange glow shining off snake scales and a very happily distracted Alastor.
But not so distracted he couldn’t remember what they’d come for. As they ate, he finished his prior description of the ball they’d be attending—along with being influenced by Venice’s more extravagant Mardi Gras traditions, it was also a gay ball, which in Alastor’s experience had always meant greater freedom in the variety of costumes one could choose from and how extravagant they could get. Full-face masks weren’t mandatory, but *were* extremely common in that town’s Mardi Gras celebrations, and Alastor would probably be wearing one himself to avoid terrifying other ball goers. The ball was black tie for anyone who wasn’t in costume, but those in costume were expected to look at *least* that fancy. The galleria they’d be going to should have plenty of stores with clothing that more than met the dress code.
And speaking of the galleria—about halfway through dinner Alastor cheerfully announced, “They should be closing right about now,” and continued on with his unhurried meal.
Telly had been a little nervous at first-- he hadn't been to a restaurant like this in some time. He was very glad to have worn at least stylish clothing instead of say a t-shirt or something. He tried to remember his manners, to not rush to get the food into his mouth as quickly as possible, which had become his habit over the past century.
When Alastor made his announcement, his head cocked to the side. "Closing?" He asked, as he took another bite. "Oh! Are we having a special showing after hours?"
Alastor wasn't hurried, so neither was he, even as every bit of him yelled to just eat the entire steak whole.
... Had Telly not realized...? *Oh.* Alastor’s grin stretched even wider. “I’ve got a friend at the galleria who’s letting us in.”
"Oh! Well, I'm excited to meet any friend of yours, Alastor." He smiled and continued to eat. Soon enough, he was done, and the couple of glasses of wine he'd had with the meal made him feel warm.
“Oh, don’t get too excited. They’re not a conversationalist.”
Once Alastor settled up their bill in his usual way—with a smile and a promised favor—he led Telly through an assortment of side streets and alleyways to the nearby glass-roofed mall, and then to a door not on the main road but on a side facing a currently-empty parking structure.
“Lovely architecture, isn’t it,” he said, although he wasn’t looking in the architecture; he was weaving through a line of shrubbery next to the driveway that divided the galleria from the parking structure. “And it’s filled with all sorts of quirky little stores! For a while they had one that sold nothing but macaroons. I don’t know if it’s still there—I rarely get to visit this place, I make people nervous... Ah!”
Alastor bent down. “Allow me to introduce you to my good friend, Brick!” He emerged from the shrubs, waving his find. “He’s a brick.” He winked at Sir Pentious, wound up, and chucked the brick through a glass door.
An alarm went off. Alastor mustered up all the authority and severity of an elderly librarian, held a finger to his lips, and hissed, “*Shhhh!*” The alarm turned off. Alastor stepped inside and started sweeping aside glass with his shoe.
He followed along after him, through the streets, and to the galleria. "Oh, macaroons, I haven't had those in--"
Telly paused at the sight of the brick, and then he just....watched as Alastor broke into the building. Oh. OH! _That_ was why Alastor had wanted to wait until they were closed. He let out a rather loud, hissing laugh, his head thrown back.
"Oh! I see now! Breaking and entering!!" He cackled as he slithered closer, leaning down to brush aside any glass in his path. He threw Alastor a smarmy, sly sort of smile. "You didn't mention crime! Oh, how fun!!"
What a delightfully devious smirk that was! Alastor beamed and offered Telly a hand as he crossed the threshold, as if he was assisting him in stepping over the glass. Didn’t actually do anything to help, but any excuse to hold hands. “Mention it? And ruin the surprise?! Never!” He looked up and around the dark mall.
Telly gladly accepted the hand, and even twinned his fingers with Alastor's-- for support, obviously, his eyes down at the glass. Didn't want any accidentally gouging him, that would ruin their night, and that was the last thing he wanted.
"Where to first?" He asked, beaming at Alastor even as his eyes continued to keep a look out for more stray glass.
Alastor’s heart leaped into his throat. He wasn’t going to let go of Telly’s hand for the rest of the night. (He definitely was, it was going to be hard for them to try on clothes if they didn’t let go.)
“*First,* a gift.” He rummaged around in a pocket, fished out a tiny radio, and offered it to Telly. “Keep this with you and turned on if we split up, it’ll scramble any security cameras. Plus, isn’t it cute!” It was, in fact, extremely cute. It was palm-sized and made out of a sparkly clear purple plastic that had fallen straight out of the 1990s. “And *now...* As I recall, there’s one of those trying-too-hard-to-be-quirky novelty stores near the front of the galleria. I’ll bet they’ll have interesting costume accessories up there!” He squeezed Telly’s hand. “Shall we?”
His eyes went wide at the sight of the tiny radio. He took it carefully and purred. "Oh, how darling..." He tucked it into one of the pockets on his vest, giving Alastor's hand a squeeze.
"I probably won't need it, I have to get your opinion on everything, after all!" And he also did not want to let go. This hand belonged to him now. "Yes, let's! Lead on!"
“Oh no no no! You picked the theme, *I’m* going to have to get *your* opinion on everything!” He briefly leaned his shoulder against Telly’s. “We’ll just have to stick together!”
He raised his free hand and summoned up a floating flame in his palm to serve as a light. “Onward!” And onward they went.
And into the first store! What an odd selection. Telly's picking things up and putting them down, inspecting things, and then he spots something that makes his eyes widen. "Oh, look! Masks! We need those, don't we?" He laughed, moving closer, taking Alastor with him by the hand.
"Oh, these are very neat."
“We certainly do!” Alastor held his flame closer to examine them. He could have looked for a light switch, but... nah. He left the flame hovering unsupervised in the air a moment as he picked up and examined several masks’ smiles.
Telly looked over the masks, his free hand stroking his chin as he pondered over them. Then his eyes fell on one that made him gasp.
"Oh, Alastor, look," He said, taking it from its place. Verdigris and with sea AND snake themed decorations, he held it up to his face. "Isn't this darling?"
"Like a seaside statue to an ancient god! Perfect!" He rummaged around the selection a bit more. "They've got some weird stuff here, don't they!"
"They do!" He looked around for something to put the mask in. Telly very much did not want to release Alastor's hand, but it was seeming like a necessity if he wanted something to carry the spoils of their thievery. "I'm going to look for a bag to put our things in, I'll be just a moment!" He squeezed Alastor's hand before releasing and turning to slither over to where he saw some cloth sling bags.
Aw, did they have to let each other’s hands go? Alastor would have been happy to go with Telly to grab a bag. But protesting would be weird, wouldn’t it? “All right, I’ll be here.” Utterly abandoned, *heartbroken* and *alone*—oooh, this mask was attached to a jaunty hat.
Telly picked a bag at random, slinging it around his shoulder to hand across his body, and stuffed his mask inside. He returned to Alastor's side and tilted his head. "Find something good?" He asked, staring a little down at Alastor's hand. Would it be weird if he grabbed it again? Friends held hands all the time, right? Yes, yes they did, he decided, and took Alastor's hand again, twinning their fingers like before.
All this handholding! Alastor was going to be spoiled rotten at this rate.
“This one’s got a fancy hat on it.” He turned it slightly. “I don’t much like the mask itself, though. I don’t like those ones with a bottom half shaped like a cowcatcher.” He put the mask back. The search goes on!
Telly nodded. "Yes, you probably want one with a smile, correct? Unless you're planning on being VERY incognito, then perhaps a frown." He smirked, gesturing to one that looked just like the tragedy mask from theatre.
The studio audience gasped, scandalized, and Alastor put a free hand over his chest. “Me? No! I’d *never*!” He started rummaging through masks again. “... Not *this* time, anyway.”
Telly laughed, looking over the masks again. He reached up high, using his tail to stretch himself up further-- a little awkward when he refused to let go of Alastor's hand again, but ce le vie-- to grab a red mask from up high. It was a jester one but perhaps they could alter it to fit the theme. "What about this?" He asked, handing it to Alastor when he settled back down.
Oh... jester... He gave the mask a yearning look. He had an array of jester costumes already from Mardi Gras past. How he’d love to add a new one. But...
“No. Not this year, I don’t think.” Hard to fit a jester into a sea serpent theme.
He nodded, reaching up to place it back. "Perhaps we should head to another store, if the masks here aren't working? I have mine, but you need something just as suitable!" He turned his head to look around the store and then gasped. "Oh, look, over there! Netting!" He started to drag Alastor over to it.
“I can probably dig a suitable mask out of the ones I already have.” As fun as it would be to get a new one. “We don’t have to worry about mine *too* much...”
Netting? What kind of netting? What did they need netting for—? He supposed he was about to find out. He let himself be dragged.
Telly excitedly started to pick at the netting. There were different colors and styles of it, but he dug out a spool that looked like a plain sort, and then a blue, one with large holes. "Oh, these look good-- like from a ship!"
“... Does it?” He stared at it. He clearly hadn’t spent enough time around ships. “Like for fishing?” That was what nets were used for on ships, right? Did they get used for anything else? He didn’t know.
He leaned against Sir Pentious. “So, do you have a specific idea yet for how you’re going to pull off this ‘sea serpent’ theme of yours, or are we snatching up nautical odds and ends and seeing what we can make out of the mess of it?”
"I had a few ideas! I thought we'd be able to find a dress of some kind that could be used as a base and then just...." He gestured with the hand holding the netting, shrugging a bit. "Fancy it up? I suppose?"
Telly chuckled. "And yes, netting on ships were used for fishing, but also for rigging! Lost of ropes on a ship."
Eye zoom. “A *dress?*” He realized, belatedly, that his overly-interested reaction might be taken the wrong way, so he hastily clarified: “I’ve always thought you’d look nice in a dress! You know—something that would flatter your figure. You have a... a good... figure, for dresses.” He realized, belatedly, that ensuring his reaction was taken the *right* way might not help him out much either. “I, er, I suppose that’s obvious, compared with the alternative—pants, that is...”
Oh look, a topic change! “Rigging! Yes, of course! Like in pirate films, where they, you know, climb all over the ship’s masts. Swashbuckling as they go.” He pantomimed swinging a sword. Apparently he thinks “to swashbuckle” is a synonym for “to sword fight.”
He couldn't help but laugh at that reaction, and the explination after, his smile and eyes just oozing a fondness that made his heart feel fit to burst.
"I didn't think wearing just a suit jacket would make a very good costume! And dresses look much better on me nowadays, it's true! Especially with all this--" He gestured to his tail. "But I don't often have a chance to wear them! Most of my dresses and skirts are too flowy to wear around the airship or while doing work-- plus they'd get dirty and grimy and I spent good money on them."
His face scrunched momentarily, before relaxing back into a smile. "I want to look spectacular! I want to stand out and catch attention! Having a lovely dress would help with that."
Whew, good, Alastor got a laugh—and a *very* fond smile, wow. He was probably imagining some of that fondness, wasn’t he? That wasn’t real.
“Oh, you’ve—got more?” It would *definitely* be weird to ask to see Telly in his other dresses. “Well! Shouldn’t be surprised! Suits you!”
Wasn’t that exactly what Sir Pentious deserved? To be *spectacular*. To be the center of everyone’s adoring attention. “Unfortunately, at the ball we’re going to, no one stands out unless they’ve got a twelve-foot-tall flamethrower-wielding Ferris wheel strapped to their back. But we’ve got a whole year to plan for the next one! And we can *certainly* make sure that anyone who does look at you won’t want to look away!”
"Yes! A few. A couple in the style of my time, and a few more modern ones-- those ones flow better, but for the Victorian ones, I have a built in bustle!" He laughed. Telly lifted the hand still playing with the netting, and he pulled his glove off with his teeth, using his now bare hand to feel the netting again-- testing the texture. He wanted to be sure it would feel alright and didn't set off any alarm bells in his head. Satisfied, he took the glove from his mouth-- and then the decision whether to stop holding Alastor's hand to put his glove back on, or keep holding his hand. Hand holding won out, and he just stuffed the glove into the pocket on his vest.
"Oh, I know-- I looked up some pictures! Some of those costumes are insanely complicated! We certainly would need more than a week to do something like that, but we are Sir Pentious and Alastor the Radio Demon, I'm sure we can come up with something that's at least eyecatching!" He laughed, shrugging.
For a few seconds, Alastor's attention was entirely seized by Sir Pentious's newly-exposed hand. He had an overpowering urge to hold it/rub his face on it/lovingly bite it. And yet he doesn't. Hell will appreciate how truly astounding Alastor's self-control is.
*Sir Pentious and Alastor the Radio Demon,* their names sound so *good* together. "I'm sure we can!" He beamed at Telly. "You know, I'm probably not going to be much help at finding a suitable dress—some people can just look at a gown and *know* how it's going to look on the person it's for, I've never had the talent—so maybe we should divvy up this scavenger hunt? I can find all the nautical odds and ends you could ask for, and you can focus on finding that perfect dress."
As much as he would love to keep holding Sir Pentious's hand all night, it would significantly hamper their odds of finding everything they needed—and he needed to get away from the temptation to put his fangs and/or lips somewhere he shouldn't.
"You're correct-- I would know what styles fit better on me! But I don't know this place very well. Never been. Where would one go to find a good, fancy dress?" He handed the netting off to Alastor, unaware just how close that got his bare hand to the deermon's face.
Telly slithered towards the doors of the boutique, glancing out and then up down and all around. "Do you know where the dress shops are? Don't they usually have maps in these places?"
Alastor's aware. He leans just a little closer, then straightens up. "It might be a bit obvious, but if it was me, I'd slither around until I found a store with fancy dresses in the window and smash the glass in!" A laugh. "I know they have fine dresses, but I've never had cause to go dress shopping here! I usually go for the fancy foods or the mortal imports. But yes, there should be maps—we probably passed them in the dark. Shall I retrieve one?"
"Oh no, I like your idea better!" He laughed again. "Haha! _Crime._"
He slithered out the doorway of the boutique, still holding Alastor's hand. He turned and absentmindedly lifted it to his lips, pressing a kiss to the back of it, before letting go. "I will find the dress! You find other nautical bits and baubles, and your costume things of course! Oh, and if you see any pearls, grab them!"
He was a good distance away when he realized what he'd done, and froze. His brain rewound and played the moment again, as he stared wide eyed at nothing, tongue stuck out. Annnd then he started slithering faster down the hall-- maybe Alastor didn't notice? Or hopefully at least didn't mind. _You are an IMBECILE, Pentell Tinely. Truly, a complete moron_ He berated himself as he went ahunting for dress shop.
He got so *gleeful* over a bit of burglary. If Alastor didn't know better, he would have expected Mr. Airships And Lasers would be long past such minor, petty evil. But no, he was still as delighted by them as if he was committing his very first misdemeanor. It was so refreshing, so exhilarating—
His mental train derailed, tumbled off a bridge, and crashed in the canyon below. He stared after Sir Pentious as he slithered away, Alastor's hand still suspended midair where it had been left. Had he really—? He *had,* hadn't he? What did he mean by it? Nothing, surely. Just a friendly gesture. But what if... No. no. *But what if...*
He put his untouched hand over his heart; he was sure he'd felt it thud, just once. Probably his imagination. He leaned against the doorframe, raised his hand, and pressed his lips to the glove where Sir Pentious had left his kiss.
Give him a couple of minutes. He'll be fine in a few minutes.
Telly is slithering. Oh lord is he slithering. He finds a shop and looks around for something to toss through the window. His eyes landed on a nearby chair and he grabbed it, tossing it with all his might. The crashing of it was offset by the alarm, which he silenced with the little radio Alastor had give him. Now it was time to find a proper dress.
The sound of a crash in the dark startled Alastor out of his reverie. Right—they were here on a mission. And like hell was he going to leave one stone unturned or one store undamaged in his quest to make sure Telly had the *exact* costume he wanted. He strode out of the store and set exuberantly to his task, like a knight inspired to new valor by a favor from his lady—if “valor” could cover acts like “smashing every case in a jewelry store and gleefully rummaging through the rubble.” Really, if you thought about it, it was less violent than jousting.
By the time Alastor crossed paths with Sir Pentious on a second floor walkway, he was master of his emotions again—haha just kidding, when he spotted Telly he immediately started playing a love song and had to frantically shut it off.
“Telly!” He practically bounded over the walkway, momentarily looking less like a mere dancer and more like a full-blown deer. “There you are! I’ve got a magic trick for you, want to see?”
He'd found a couple of good dresses, and taken them all-- along with a few others that had caught his eye. Another bag was around his body now, holding his spoils as he'd been getting ready to smash another shop window. But upon hearing his name his head swiveled and he beamed at Alastor's bounding gait.
"Yes! Of course! Show me!" He set down the chair he'd raised, waiting for the trick.
“All righty, here we go!” He summoned up another floating flame to illuminate his impromptu stage, pulled a bright yellow handkerchief out of one pocket that he’d picked up expressly for this purpose—“Now, observe, seemingly a perfectly normal handkerchief”—and stuffed it up one coat sleeve so that only the tip stuck out. And then pulled it out, where it was now tied to a red handkerchief, which was tied to a blue handkerchief, which was tied to a string of pearls, and pearls, and pearls, and pearls, and pearls, and pearls...
With each pearl, his eyes seemed to get wider, and his jaw more slack. God, if he could jump up and down in joy he would-- but doing a little bouncing accordian dance would have to do. "Oh!! Look at all of them! And those colors! They'll be perfect!"
He slithered closer and started looking over them, inspecting-- and one would notice that he was now missing both gloves. He rubbed his thumb over the smooth surfaces of the pearls and purred happily.
"These are gorgeous...." He beamed at Alastor, and then rushed forward, pulling him into a hug. "You always know just where to find the best stuff!"
Telly pulled back and pulled out the two dresses, showing them to Alastor. "I found a couple good ones! I like the way they look like waves, and they sparkle!"
“Are the colors good? Most of them aren’t the traditional white, I was worried they wouldn’t meet your standards! After all, you deserve only the best!”
He watched, entranced, as Telly ran his naked hands over the pearls. Oh, what Alastor wouldn’t give to get one of Telly’s fingers between his pearly whites... (... Pearly yellows?)
Before he had time to ruminate too much on that frankly alarming fantasy, Telly was pulling him into a hug and Alastor’s brain had to reboot. What were they—Right! Clothes. He inspected Sir Pentious’s finds, holding up one of the skirts by the hem and gently shaking it to see how the fabric rippled. The fluttering hem curled and curved like the crest of a wave. “*Very* nice.”
"Natural pearls are much better than the generic white! They have so much more character and charm! I used to have a few broaches and rings with them when I was alive-- they were _exquisite_." He sighed dreamily, before snapping back.
"Yes! Aren't they lovely? I grabbed a couple more of the same to be used to modify either one. I was thinking it could be shorter in the front and longer in the back to go over my tail, but make it so I won't be slithering on material all night." His face scrunched. "It's most uncomfortable when that happens."
He stuffed the dresses back in his back and leaned in eagerly. "What did you find for your costume?"
Alastor laughed at the thought of Sir Pentious slithering on his own skirt. “Like tripping over the cuff of your own pants, I suppose.” He lifted one foot to hook a finger demonstratively into the folded-up cuff of his pants leg. The too-long pants had been folded up for so long that the crease had practically fused in place, making it look like the pants came like that unless one took long enough to stare and realize that the pants’ inner seams were visible on the lighter-colored bit folded up.
“Oh! Right. Mine.” Almost sheepishly, he opened a bag he’d slung over one shoulder, took out a hat box, removed a snazzy looking navy blue tricorn, and plopped it on his head. How dashing. “I got a little sidetracked looking for nautical things. But I found this in a home goods store!” He fished a couple of porcelain sea shells painted in faux verdigris out of the bottom of his bag. “I think they’re supposed to be soap dishes.”
He was right, it was very dashing, at least Telly thought so. And then the dishes caught his eye and he let out a little 'Ooo'.
"Oh! I know what you could use those for!" He took them from Alastor's hands and held them up, one on each side of Alastor's shoulders. "Pauldrons!" He gave a hissing giggle and then set the shells back into Alastor's hands. With his bare hands. Oh, he's noticed that now.
"Ah, well, since we've found quite a bit for me, would you like me to go with you to find more for yours? I think I saw a high end suit shop down that ways a bit." He gestured over his shoulder.
"Now there's a thought! I was going to slap one on the back of Mic, but I like yours better." How were they going to turn a couple of porcelain soap dishes into pauldrons? He had no idea. Maybe Rosie would, Rosie was good at Crafts.
Alastor glanced in the direction Sir Pentious had gestured. "Sure! Not one of those places that has ninety-seven black suits and three gray suits, I hope? Not that your traditional black tie is bad, of course—I just hate to be another identical tux in a room full of 'em!" He offered an elbow to Sir Pentious.
"Oh no, I saw some right colorful ones, don't you worry!" Telly laughed, taking Alastor's arm with his bare hand-- and oh just how much more intimate that felt, he was so used to wearing gloves all the time. Though it certainly wasn't the first time he'd touched Alastor with his bare hands...there was the beach and all. But that was different, they'd both been dressed down. Now, he could feel the texture of Alastor's coat, and he couldn't help the way his thumb rubbed against it-- it was a good texture.
"I think I saw some more _my_ era suits in there too, so that might be double worth checking!"
Alastor's entire sensory experience has been narrowed down to the thumb rubbing his arm. Please hold while he tries not to trip over his own feet.
"Oh! The fancy stuff!" His eyes brightened. "Good! I hate those stores that only cater to *modern* fashion trends. Some of us died more than a decade ago, you know!"
"Yes! This is usually why I go to a tailor-- they at least will make things in my preferred style!" His thumb keeps that stroking-- he really likes the way Alastor's coat feels-- and stops in front of the shop.
"Here it is!" Annnd he's letting go to pick up another chair and chuck it through the window.
"Oh, do you have a regular tailor? What's their name?" He wonders if both of the Sir Pentiouses he currently knows go to the same tailor.
Alastor doesn't even flinch when the chair goes through the window. What poise.
He looks a little embarrassed at that question, giving a shake of his head. "Not really, no. I used to see one that also dresses the princes and dukes and such, but since I fell out of favor..."
He sighed and shrugged. "Luckily, I can mend my own clothing fairly well. Enough to keep things together at least."
Alastor’s brows go up at this report of a tailor to royalty and nobility... and go back down when Sir Pentious mentions the falling out. “You deserve better than *that!*” Granted, Alastor mended *his* own clothes—but Alastor wasn’t an aspiring dictator. And also didn’t deserve nice things.
Telly began to clear a path for himself through the glass, brushing it aside to make sure he didn't slither over any of it. He avoided looking at Alastor, and sighed a bit.
"Perhaps, but tailors also cost money-- most of the time. I can't afford something like that right now." He straightened when he was done and slithered into the store, a smirk appearing his lips. "But _this_ doesn't cost money!" He snatched the nearest suit jacket off a manikin and put it on. It was baby blue and too large, but Telly batted his lashes as he posed. "How does it look?" He is so near to cracking up he's shaking trying to hold back the laughter.
A crooked smile stretched across Alastor’s face. “It certainly fits the ‘sea serpent’ theme—because you look like you’re swimming in that jacket!” Studio laughter. He pulled on the first jacket he saw that looked big enough to fit on top of the coat he was already wearing. “What about me?” It’s a garish orange that doesn’t flatter *any* of the shades of red he’s wearing.
Telly couldn't help the burst of laughter-- oh that looked _terrible!_
"You look like a traffic light and a traffic cone had a child!" His head threw back and he cackled out, his shoulders shaking. He gulped down some air, ditching the coat he wore to pull on another-- this one purple and sequined.
"What about this, Alastor? Flattering, no?"
“An enthralling love story if ever I’ve heard one!” He laughed along with Telly. “I suppose they met at work! While they were both *on the road,* no doubt!”
His laughter petered out as he considered Telly in the coat. “Well, now! The color looks nice on you.” He surveyed it a moment longer; then snorted. “*Sequins,* though. You look like you’re headed to a disco.”
Telly laughed, before taking off the jacket and chucking it. He slithered further in and started inspecting the manikins.
"Oh look! That one's a fop!" He said, pointing at one dressed in early 1800s fashion. He tilted his head at it and then burst out laughing. "Oh god, I swear there was a painting back home of my father in this exact outfit! He looked ridiculous!!" Wheeze.
“Oh, is *that* the sort of people who shop here.” Alastor sniffed snootily. “Well! Who wants to be associated with *that sort* of people? I wouldn’t want to shop at the same stores as them.” A pause. “But I wouldn’t mind stealing from the same stores at them.” He seized the coat off the mannequin and pulled it on—without removing the traffic cone jacket first. “How do I look—stuffy? I *feel* stuffy.” Probably because he has three coats on.
Telly watched Alastor put on the jacket and burst out laughing again-- he was doing that a lot right now!
"Oh yes, very stuffy! Puff out your chest a little more and you'd be a spitting image!" He snorted, and reached to tug the two sides of the coat closer together, doing up one button. "Never knew you were so aristocratic, Alastor! Whyever did you never tell me?" He winked, overexaggerating the motion.
He puffed up his chest and turned up his nose, his smile drifting closer to a smarmy smirk. “Oh, there might be a bit of that somewhere in the family tree, but we don’t discuss *that* side of the family, heavens no. We don’t keep company with those sorts. *Aristocrats!*” He scoffed.
Then looked down at the coat. “Really, how do I look in this—1800-ish, do you think? It’s closer to your time, you’d know. That’s when about half of the stage show is taking place.” He looked around for a mirror.
"Oh, yes, your musical! Hamilton! Hmm, this would probably be too late for that, it takes place during the Revolution, doesn't it? This is more..." He tapped his chin, considering. "More 1830s, I believe."
Telly glanced around and let out a little 'ah-ha!' as he slithered towards another manikin. "This one is more appropriate! Late 1700s, to early 1800s."
“The first act takes place during the revolution. The second act takes place... 1790s to early 1800s, I think.” He shrugged, “Jefferson missed the late 80s and the election of 1800 is covered, that’s all I remember about the second act’s chronology!” He wasn’t a history buff.
“Perfect!” He unbuttoned all his coats and jackets and shucked off three layers at once, pulled on the coat, struck another puffed-chested pose, and asked, “How insufferable do I look? Do I look like the kind of man who would boast about his nation being free over a backing choir of his own slaves? That’s the level of insufferable we’re looking for, here.”
Telly tilted his head, his eyes narrowing as he looked at Alastor with a critical air. He stroked his chin and hummed. "Hm, almost....Something's missing though."
He glanced back at the manikin and then at Alastor, back and forth, and then he snapped his fingers. "Ah! I know what it is." He snatched the cravat off the manikin and tied it around Alastor's neck-- and just over his bowtie. He tucked it down in the front of the jacket and then nodded. "There! Can't be insufferable without a cravat!"
“I already feel like the kind of person whose foot I’d step on if I saw me at a fancy party.” He rescued his own coat out of the discarded pile on the floor and bounded deeper into the store. “Where are the mirrors in this place? I want to see the full effect—“
He skidded to a stop. “Oh, *hello.* Does this look piratical to you?” He’d passed a long, deep sea green coat with large cuffs a multitude of metal buttons. To Alastor’s eye, it certainly looked like something the seafaring sort would wear, but his knowledge came from movies.
He slithered after Alastor as fast as he could, laughing. "Mirrors are probably near the fitting rooms, if they have those--"
Telly stopped short right when Alastor did-- but not soon enough not to knock into him. His arms went around him automatically to make sure he didn't fall as his eyes locked onto the coat.
"Oh...Oh that's beautiful. You'd look so dashing in that, I can see it now!" He reached up to grab the coat, this time being a lot more careful with the garment. "Like a real pirate, right out of the stories!"
His arm went around Sir Pentious to keep him stable, so naturally he hardly even thought about the movement.
“Well, forget *this!*” He let go of Telly so he could toss his douchebag aristocrat coat to the ground, carelessly kicked it aside—the theater crew was probably going to supply their costumes anyway—and pulled on the pirate coat. “Oh, now that’s quality fabric! You’re not finding *this* in your run-of-the-mill costume store.”
Telly dug into Alastor's bag, getting out the tricorn and playing it on his head. He circled him and did up the buttons and fixed the cravat. He was laser focused on the task at hand, pulling out a couple strings of the pearls from Alastor's bag as well, draping them around his shoulders. He hummed and hawed as he worked, his entire world narrowed down to _this_.
"Oh, yes, stunning-- won't even need those shells for pauldrons with a coat like this..." He looked around, searching. "Gloves, gloves...." He dash-slithered toward another display, snatching gloves in a pale tan leather and then some darker brown ones. He spotted some boots as well, and grabbed two pairs in colors that matched the gloves.
"Here, try these. I want to see which looks better, the dark or light." He offered the spoils to Alastor, eyes wide, nearly vibrating with Purpose.
Alastor stood still as Telly decorated him, only slightly turning his head to try to see the adjustments. “Tan with green?” he asked dubiously, eyeing the gloves. “Do you think they’ll match the color scheme we’ve got here?” Says the man whose only conception of color matching is “everything’s a slightly different shade of the same color.”
All the same, he pulled off his clawed black gloves and reached to take the paler gloves first—and brushed Telly’s bare fingers with his own.
They'd touched before, hand to hand, but there was something different about it this time. That brief touch, the darkened store, made it feel like a shock to his system. Telly's breath caught momentarily, and he swallowed, averting his eyes. Good lord, he felt as twitter-patted as the first time he touched-- No, no, he wasn't going to think about _him_. That man would not ruin this feeling for him.
"Th-the lighter color of the tan will pop against the green, and will look very good, but the darker brown is subtler and won't draw the eye away from the coat as much." The words spilled out of his mouth, the only thing he could think to say that didn't involve passionate confessions of feelings.
There was a blurt of music, that same love song from earlier, only a couple of notes before Alastor violently shut it off. He swore he could still feel playing inside him, rumbling in his rib cage. He couldn’t breathe.
What Alastor wanted to say was “Can I marry you?” What Alastor actually said was “Probably the dark brown. I think the coat should be the focus.” He reached to take the other pair of gloves—careful not to touch Sir Pentious’s fingers as he did. His hands trembled.
His hood did a half floop at the sudden burst of music-- but settled down the instant after it shut off. He could swear his heart was hammering loud enough for Alastor to hear, and he tired to still his shaking hands as he offered the other pair.
"Yes, I think it should too-- you'll look very handsome in it-- I mean, you _do_ look handsome in it now, but you'll look even better once we're both in costume! It will go well with mine." He blinked and tilted his head. "I wonder how long it would take to make a fan to go with my outfit..."
"Well, once it's all on, I won't look like *me* at all, will I—I'm just the lucky mannequin displaying it. So, as long as the costume itself is handsome." Watch him dodge around having to acknowledge a perception of him as handsome and therefore a being with a visible form that people can have opinions on. He hastily pulled on the gloves. He muttered to himself, "Uh—mirrors," and headed to the back on his original search again, where he finally found a full length mirror.
He summoned up several floating flames to illuminate himself clearly in the mirror. (If Telly cared to catch up and look too, he'd find that Alastor's face in the mirror was concealed under static distortion.)
Adjusting the cravat, he almost absently said, "Don't know much about fan construction, I'm afraid."
He did care to catch up! And he stood behind Alastor as he inspected himself, his head tilting. That was an odd thing to see in a mirror.
"I thought that only happened in pictures or videos of you?" He asked gesturing to the distortion over his face in the mirror. Telly also took this time to adjust his bowtie and dust off his vest. And roll up his sleeves a touch-- if he was going gloveless, might as well add a little forearm, that looked nice.
"Oh not to worry, I'll figure it out."
The distortion vanishes almost as soon as Telly mentions it. "I wanted to see how the costume looks without my face getting in the way, since I'll be wearing a mask in the completed thing."
"Ah! Yes that makes sense." He nodded, putting his hands on Alastor's shoulders. He idly brushed them off and adjusted the coat a little.
"I think this is perfect-- might need some alterations, but both our costumes will need those!" He chuckled.
"I'll need pants. And shoes for hooves." He stood still as Telly made his adjustments. "But that shouldn't be too hard to find."
"A simple pant wouldn't be too hard to whip up for a seamstress or a tailor, but maybe we can find ones that match the coat here?" His hands settled there on Alastor's shoulders, and he stared at him in the mirror.
"You strike quite the figure in this already, it'll look magnificent once it's properly adjusted."
“... *Right,* I will have to get it tailored, won’t I.” Can you tell he hasn’t gotten new clothes in a while. “Where did I grab this? Maybe it had matching pants hanging nearby.” He *would* have started walking that way already... except he didn’t want to escape from under Sir Pentious’s hands.
"Well, let's go look and see!" He patted his shoulders once, before slithering around and offering his hand. "Come on then."
Hand-holding it was. These new gloves were thicker than Alastor’s usual pair. Pity.
There were, indeed, matching pants near the coat. He looked for a pair that he *thought* was in his measurements—he hadn’t needed to remember them in... hm... a while; and then he got a couple more in the sizes up and down from his own, just in case he was wrong, and anyway maybe he could make some use from the matching fabric. He’d rather deal with the spare pairs than find a dressing room while Sir Pentious had to wait around for him.
“Well, I think *that* should do me just fine!” He stuffed all the pants in his bag, then grinned at Telly. “What do you think? Mission accomplished?”
The leather of the gloves felt nice in his hand, and his thumb was once again rubbing. The pants were easy enough to find, and when asked, Telly went over a mental checklist.
"I think all you'd need are boots, or shoes now, but I think that's probably a job for a specialist with the hooves and all! So, yes! I think we are! Did you want to come back to the airship and see the other spoils I got?" His eyes were eager-- it was clear he didn't want to part ways with Alastor just yet.
“I’ll visit Clove & Fawn sometime this week, I get all my shoes from them.”
Oh, coming back to the airship sounded *wonderful.* They could get started on properly assembling their costumes—which would probably involve less in the way of actual costume assembly and more in the way of friendly banter and attempts to make each other laugh. And this late, if he came over to the airship, it would be entirely unreasonable *not* to expect an invitation to spend the rest of the night...
“Oh, I shouldn’t,” he demurred. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m sorely tempted! But I’m going to have to get an early start tomorrow, going out for shoes, begging Rosie for tailoring help, maybe running some errands for her in payment...” He sighed deeply. “No rest for the wicked, I’m afraid.”
He didn’t have a good track record with spending the night on airships.
His face did fall a bit but he tried his best to hide most of it-- stiff upper lip, like his father would always say. He put on a smile, squeezing Alastor's hand. "All right, that's fine! I need to start on that fan, anyway. You can just drop me off then-- Should you take the dresses for my costume or should I keep those? To take to Rosie and all..."
Alastor caught that slight shift in Telly’s expression before he covered it up; Alastor glanced away. He hoped that Telly believed Alastor really would have if he could have; his excuse for declining had been a lie, yes, but he certainly hadn’t lied about being tempted.
“You keep them—Rosie’s not going to be able to do much with them without you there to take measurements from! In fact, perhaps I ought to just take you along with me tomorrow so she can get both our measurements at once, don’t you think? Save us from making multiple trips?”
His expression brightened again at the proposal for the next meet up. He nodded eagerly, grinning at Alastor. "Oh, yes, I'd love to! It would definitely save time, and we need all the time we can get to get these costumes together! Sounds like a good plan to me!" Was he being too eager? Maybe, but he didn't care. He'd get to see Alastor again, and so soon-- that's all that mattered to him at that moment.
“Wonderful!” And he’d made up for declining Telly’s invitation, he hoped. “Then I’ll contact you when I’m up, or you’ll contact me when you are—whichever, we’ll coordinate then.”
"Yes, sounds good!" He moved closer, twining his arm through and around Alastor's. "Let's head back then! I want to get started on that fan."
Alastor reached across to take Telly’s free hand—he was just offering extra support, making sure Telly was secure for the journey, that was all. “Hold on tight!”
And out they went, leaving behind a royal mess for somebody else to deal with.
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Panopticon: Chapter 27: War Path
Alpha Steve x Omega Reader
Summary: Steve is livid and tries to find you but somebody keeps putting obstacles in his way. You, on the other hand, get to meet the devils and learn some harsh truths.
Warnings: a/b/o dynamics, angst, abduction, slight mentions of torture, life in captivity, lying, swearing, mentions of violence against women, shitty people in general, loads of feels, I would hope, mentions of suicide, mentions of death
Word Count: 3800
A/N: Du dun… Who is ready for some angst? Many of you weren’t happy that we’re taking this route, but it needed to happen because the world is full of assholes who try to make people unhappy. Anyway, so excited about this one, and I can’t wait for you to tell me what you thought. Love you all!! xx
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“That won’t help to find my Omega, so no!” Steve yelled across the whole room, and even the experienced Alpha fighters gathered in the room couldn’t help but shudder at Steve’s authoritative voice. They were trying to help, coming up with new ideas to try and bring the Circle down, or at least make somebody from the inside communicate with them to tell Steve and his team the location of his Omega. But no idea was good enough for Steve.
It had been four days. Four days without his precious Omega, and Steve felt like he was slowly losing his mind. He desperately needed you next to him, just to feel your warm, soft skin pressed against his, or to see the light in your eyes whenever you looked at him. But he had nothing.
He often saw broken Alphas after all that went down on Earth a few years ago, and while he couldn’t really imagine what they must have been feeling at that time, walking like dead men, some of them on the brink of death because they just couldn’t handle their lives without their loved ones, Steve understood it all now.
He knew he had to concentrate because he felt you in his veins, felt that you were alright considering the circumstances and, most importantly, that you were still alive. That was the sole reason why he didn’t end it yet. But he was hanging on a thread because each day and night he had to spend without you, his mind was going just a little more insane. He was hearing your voice and this morning, he even saw you standing by the bed. He was elated, but when he blinked a few more times, he realised that it was his brain playing tricks on him and that none of what had happened was just a nightmare.
Moreover, he had to orchestrate a funeral for Peter and Gamora. The sadness over their loss was embedded deep in Steve’s soul, and he knew he would never get over it, even if he got you back. When he got you back, he scolded himself every time he thought of it, but it was to no avail. The desperation and pain seeped deep into his bones, and the once positive Alpha, who used to be full of life was just a walking shell of numbness.
Sam and Bucky tried to pick up the mood in the room now and then, but they knew all too well that there was nothing they could say or do to make the situation better. The only thing Steve really needed was to get you back, and they empathised with him. Moments after the realisation hit them that you were indeed gone, they rushed to their own huts to check on their own mates. Their bonds felt fine, but the fucked-up situation got into their heads, and they needed to see their loves for themselves. Both Meera and Tina were sitting comfortably in their houses, unaware of the terror going on just mere meters away from them. They all spent the afternoon scenting and crying, their hearts clenching for their friend who was lost in his thoughts and his pain.
But Steve tried to come up with a solution. He knew Rumlow would take you somewhere far, but not far enough not to brag about it. The circle was almost a day drive so Steve would have bet Rumlow’s hiding place was somewhere between his own house and the hell house they called the Omega haven. But that was still too much land to cover just by foot or by car, since there were so many abandoned houses and warehouses, not even talking about all the hidden places deep in the forests. So, just going somewhere blindly was not an option.
Then, he thought of using what was left of the functioning camera system between the city and his lands, trying to see if he could pinpoint at least the direction where Rumlow and his team went. But he came up with nothing since most of the cameras had been destroyed soon after the war had started.
Steve even thought of taking some military dogs and making them sniff your clothes to find you, but that would mean hundreds of kilometres to search, and that was just impossible. Every single thing Steve came up with was a nonsense, and the longer he couldn’t figure out how to find you, the more desperate and angry he had become. His people knew it was nothing personal, but his yelling and blaming was sometimes too difficult to bear for any of them. Steve knew he was being a dick, and he apologised every time his nerves got the better of him, but it was like he couldn’t do anything about it.
It was when Bucky spoke up with a guilty look that Steve finally got a good idea from somebody. Not that he particularly liked it, but it was something useful at last, and Steve was actually quite angry with himself for not thinking of it sooner. The idea was to call Peggy because she was always able to find Rumlow a little easier than the rest of the world. How that worked exactly Steve never asked, because Peggy was one of those who kept their work pretty shut, and she wouldn’t brag or even talk about it, so Steve had barely any idea of what Peggy really did. There used to be times when he minded when it drove him up the wall, but not anymore. He didn’t care how she did it, the only thing Steve needed was to get you back.
He called her almost immediately, listening to her smooth voice as she assured him that she would devote a majority of her time to help him because, after all, she still cared for him very much. Steve thanked her from the bottom of his heart and resolved to wait for her to come back to him since there was literally nothing else to do for him but to wallow in his pain.
Surprisingly, it only took a few hours for Peggy to reach out and tell Steve that she might have found him. His heart started beating like crazy as if feeling that he might be getting you in his arms sooner than he expected. Peggy told him that she got the memo that Rumlow was hiding in an old warehouse south of the manor, around 70 kms away, and Steve just growled, knowing he was kind of right in his assumptions. He quickly gathered his team, not really speaking much, but they all understood. This was a life or death mission because most of the team was sure Steve wouldn’t survive that if they didn’t find you.
Steve pretty much jumped out of a moving car when they neared the building, and he got to work immediately, going into the commander mode, assigning roles and talking strategy for when they would come in contact with Rumlow’s team. Everything was meticulously planned, and Steve had a good feeling about that. The only issue was that he couldn’t smell you. But he simply thought that he was still far enough to be able to do that and that they were probably keeping you in some shutoff room.
The closer to the building they got, however, the weirder the whole situation felt. No men were standing outside on the lookout, there were no specific smells to tell the team that there were indeed people hiding inside, and when they finally got in, they found the place completely empty.
They rummaged through all the rooms, even in the basement and on the roof, but the only thing they got was some cloth lightly smelling like Rumlow, but not enough to tell them how long ago he was at the warehouse. Steve screamed in frustration because there was no sign of you, not even a hint of your smell that he so helplessly craved.
Bucky and Sam shared distressed looks before they each grabbed Steve from one side and brought him back to the car, hollering at the whole team that the mission was over and that they needed to come back home. Steve didn’t speak the entire ride back, just staring out of the window, thinking of all the times you two would take such rides to and from the city, always discussing new books or just sharing stories from your youths. Steve now found that he took these moments for granted. He enjoyed them, sure, but not enough. There was the nagging voice telling him that he should have done more, that he ought to have taken you with him to that fucking meeting, and none of this would have happened.
“Stop it, punk. None of this is your fault so stop with the self-blaming and call Peggy to tell you what the fuck happened that her tip wasn’t true,” Bucky interjected Steve’s thoughts, and as many times before, Steve wondered whether Bucky could just read him like an open book or if he had a direct link to his brain. Steve shook his head and dialled the number.
“So, happily ever after?” Peggy said smugly, and if she stood anywhere near Steve, he swore he would have hit her.
“Nothing and nobody’s fucking happy, Peggy. Nobody was there except for some piece of cloth that was supposed to smell like Rumlow. Who the fuck gave you this tip? I need to find my Omega, and I don’t have the time to drive around the city and march into every single abandoned building just because you have a hunch. I need real information, Peggy, and if you can’t give that to me, then you’re just wasting my time,” Steve said more tiredly than anything else, but Peggy’s face contorted in annoyance on the other end of the line.
“I never waste your time, Stevie, you remember that. Look, I thought the info was top-notch, but I’ll keep looking. How about I come to your place, and we can think of a plan together?”
“Yeah, yeah whatever, it definitely can’t harm us. I’ll be expecting you,” Steve sighed and hung up, nodding at Sam who was watching him through the rearview mirror.
“Peggy said she’d come and help from the mansion. I mean, I’d rather have the whole fucking team together looking for Y/N, but I can’t fly everyone here from god-knows-where, so anyone who wants to join in is welcomed.”
Sam nodded but didn’t like it one bit. He understood that Steve was desperate, but Peggy was and had always been bad news, and Sam had a hard time trusting her even back in the days when they had to fight side to side. All the secrecy surrounding her just stank, and Sam was sure he’d keep an eye on her, just in case. He wanted everything to go over smoothly for Steve, and nobody needed a sneaky bitch who would throw them under a train the second she got a better deal from the opposing side.
You let your hand slide on the ground underneath you. It was rough with what felt like small rocks that were cutting you in the palm. You were seated, and your whole body hurt since you have been in this position for hours. Nobody talked to you since they killed your friends and abducted you. They just blindfolded you and tied you up, changing positions every few hours probably to disorient you since you doubted anybody really cared how comfortable you were. All you could do was rely on your senses and learn as much about your surroundings as you could. You weren’t even sure why you cared, but your brain couldn’t take thinking about anything related to Steve, so you busied it by making sure you knew everything you could.
You learned that there were three places they would keep you in. You presumed that they were all in one room, but they changed whether you were sitting or lying down. You weren’t even sure what time it was and slept when they put you laid you down. Nobody ever touched you inappropriately, and that’s how you assumed not one of those people was Rumlow.
The first place they would let you sit in was in an old crinkly chair made of rough wood as you had a few splinters from rubbing your hands against the arm-holders. It had four metal legs, and from the sounds, it made every time you shifted, you thought it was a rather old and overused piece of furniture.
The second place was where you were sitting now. It was by the wall, which was cold and smelt of moss, and you even though you sensed death a few times, you knew that was just your exhausted brain playing games with you. The ground was full of rocks and shards of glass, so it was your least favourite place to be of the three. The ground was colder than all the other areas, and every time they made you stand up, there was a wet patch where your ass touched the ground as the coldness accumulated against your hot body, making you wish you could just change. But your abductees would never answer to your pleas, so after what you assumed were a few days, you just gave up asking them altogether.
The third place was a makeshift bed, created out of a few pieces of wood pushed together and an old and smelly mattress. You tried to ignore all that the smell evoked in you, but you sometimes choked on your own saliva as you shifted and changed position, getting another whiff of what smelt like a hundred of butts and sweat. But it was a mattress, and you could get a few hours of sleep, so you couldn’t dwell on the details.
When you found out everything there was with your surroundings you tried to pay attention to your abductors. And while you couldn’t say precisely how many there were, you had a pretty good idea. As you were an Omega, blindfolded and cuffed, they always came alone, and you recognised each of the people by their steps. There were four of them, each of them having differences in their weight, the length of their steps and the carefulness with which they handled you. That’s how you came up with the number of four.
Number two was by far your favourite. They (you assumed it was a he but you couldn’t be sure) would always leave you alone even when you needed to use the bathroom. You knew they were in the room, but they had the decency to at least not physically touch you, and, in your mind, you created this picture that the person even turned around to leave you to do your business. They would also give you the biggest amount of water, seeing how you were parched because number four was a complete asshole and would always allow only a gulp before he drastically took the cup away from your mouth.
And that was your days, filled with diverting your brain from thinking about the graver questions, like where were you, would Steve ever find you, what did they want from you, etc. Every time any of those popped up in your head, you choked up, and had to start touching your surroundings or else you’d have gone insane by now.
It was when number three was supposed to come and let you sleep that you heard it. It was faint, but your ears perked up at anything that wasn’t your own breath or the sound of boots of your abductors hitting the ground. And this was neither. These were human voices talking about something behind the door. Your heart-rate picked up immediately because, while you hated the routine of four guards and three positions, you also knew that routine was good. Anything that was out of the routine could possibly mean death to you, and you tried to do anything to avoid that. The voices grew nearer, and you shuddered involuntarily, bracing yourself.
When the door opened, the cold air hit your face, and you hid it between your shoulder blades.
“Well, well, well, here is the famous Omega the world is searching for. You look so pathetic, it’s actually quite funny,” you heard a female voice say, and your brows knitted together. You heard it before, you just couldn’t place the voice for the life of you.
“Yeah, well, the sooner she stops pining for that pathetic excuse of an Alpha and becomes mine, she will look much better. I mean, not that anybody’s gonna see her since she is just an Omega pussy, but she is my Omega pussy, so,” the man trailed off, and you didn’t have to think to place this voice. This voice haunted your worst nightmares, so you were pretty familiar with it.
“Whatever, Rumlow. All we need is to get rid of her mating mark, and we’ll be good. Steve called me and found the warehouse where I sent him empty, and I, as a devoted friend, told him I’d help him from the mansion so I’ll have easy access to him and I will divert him from here if need be. You just need to do what you must so that I can have him back,” the woman spat, and it was as if a light bulb switched on. God, you felt stupid for not suspecting she had her ugly fingers in this. Fucking Peggy who obviously wanted Steve back even when she visited him all those months ago.
And while it was nice that Steve didn’t feel the same, this woman was clearly a maniac, and she wouldn’t stop at anything to get what she wanted.
But, there was one more thing that caught your attention. They wanted to get rid of your mating mark, and the thought paralysed your whole body. There were only a few ways to do that to any mated couple, and none of them was humane or accepted by most people. You’ve heard of Omegas trying to sever their bonds as they didn’t like who chose them, and so they cut a clean line across their mark, but even then the bond couldn’t be severed completely. There was also the option of just biting an Omega hard enough where their mates’ mark was, and trying to beat mark with a mark.
You also heard that true mates were inseparable, and while Bruce told you that you were true mates, you could never know for sure. The inseparableness of true mates could just as well be some old maid tales, it was one of the things your mother used to tell you, but you had no idea where the truth was.
The only thing you did know was that however they wanted to do it, you would go through hell, both physically and mentally, and that there was a more than likely chance that you would die in the process.
“You’re not afraid she’ll die on you?” Peggy asked more curious than concerned because, for her plan to work, your ties with Steve had to be cut. She would have preferred killing you since it was easier, quicker and with long-lasting results. But Rumlow had been obsessed with you ever since he lost the fight with Steve back at the Circle. When Peggy heard about it, she just scoffed and told him he was an idiot, because if he would have called her, she could have just snuck you out without anyone knowing and they wouldn’t have been in this mess.
“I mean, there’s always the possibility, but I’m not letting her run around with his mark. I wouldn’t like pounding a pussy marked by somebody else. Besides, she’s stronger than she looks, isn’t it right, pussycat?” Rumlow asked, for the first time addressing you. But you knew better than to talk, so you just remained quiet, and from the low hum coming from his mouth, you assumed it was a good decision.
“And what if that bullshit about true mates is real?”
“Oh, please, not you too. Nothing like true mates exists, Peggy, I told you. Some just smell nicer to particular individuals than others, that’s it. I don’t even know why we’re losing time talking about this. Go and do whatever you want with Steve and his estate and I’ll just do what I want with this one,” Rumlow rumbled, and the next thing you heard was the clicking of high-heels against the hard floor, leaving you alone in the room with the devil.
“Now, sweetheart, I think we should begin, hm?”
“Oh, Stevie, you don’t look good. Here, let me bring you to your bedroom so you can rest and the team and I will search for your mate in the meantime, hm?” Peggy suggested nicely, and Steve nodded, happy there was somebody who could possibly save you. But before she put her claws on his arm, Sam appeared out of nowhere and stopped her hand. She hissed like a cat and Sam gave her an are-you-fucking-kidding-me look.
“I think it would be better if you stayed down here, Peggy, as you said, you are such a valuable asset to this team that I wouldn’t want to you to waste your time by going with Steve here. I will accompany him to his bedroom so that he can get some sleep, and, meanwhile, you can work with Bucky,” Sam smirked but didn’t wait for her response as he led Steve towards the staircase and up to his bedroom. There was no fucking way in hell Sam would let Peggy be with Steve alone. And since he shared his worries with Bucky, there were two of them looking out for their best friend, which left Peggy in a tough position.
She watched Sam and Steve leave the room, and Bucky would laugh hadn’t it been such a delicate situation, because Peggy really looked like the Goddess of Revenge. That just further proved Sam’s theory about Peggy being fishy, to say the least, and Bucky was starting to question whether she didn’t have something to do with your disappearance.
Peggy saw right through them, and she smirked to herself. If they wanted to play games with her, so be it. She would get Steve alone and inject the serum in him she had been making for so long, and they would finally live happily ever after. Just like they were supposed to. All she needed was to stay close to Steve for a couple of days, get him alone enough times, and he would be all hers.
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