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#but eventually they return to save their older sibling but it’s too late
cabal-answers · a month ago
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Image made with my backup art app
Bio under the cut
Chakra BASICS Place of origin: Kaon Construction: Forged Frame type: Heavy grounder Frame subtype: Mech Earth pronouns: He/him Alt-form: Armoured security vehicle Height: 29 feet Age: 4.7 mil Ability: None known Spark type: Vitreous Negative Occupation: Medic (former Elite Guard) Weapons: Twin pistols, cosmic Chakra Faction: Autobot (on a crew of Decepticons) Voice actor: Harry Morgan (M*A*S*H- Colonel Potter) Status: Online Alignment: Lawful neutral MBTI: INFJ-T Personality: Pushy, rough, cynical, antisocial, snippy Optics: Aquamarine visor Color scheme: Rose, peach, and steel grey
RELATIONSHIPS Carrier: None Creator: None Siblings: None known Other family: None Known S/O: Standup (former suitor), Boomerang (suitor) Amica Endura(e): Unknown Confidant: Boomerang Friends/allies: Cabal, Autobots? Enemies/rivals: Other Decepticons
TECH SPECS Rank: 5 Intelligence: 9 Skill: 6 Courage: 7 Strength: 8 Stamina: 7 Speed: 5 Loyalty: 5 Popularity: 3 Firepower: 5 Total: 60/100
INFO Likes: Boomerang, work, high grade Strengths: Smart, good at reading bots Dislikes: Fighting, getting interrupted, anyone picking on Boomerang Weaknesses: Bossy at times, bad communicator, can be hot headed Favorite color: Red Favor treat: Mercolls Favorite genre: Non fiction Favorite movie: M*A*S*H (tv series) Favorite book: Medical dictionary Greatest love: Boomerang Greatest success: Becoming a medic Greatest fear: Not being able to do his job Greatest regret: Not being able to save his former commander because he had no medical training at the time Secret(s): Most information about his old Elite Guard squad, especially what happened to them Quote(s): "Oh, be quiet!" Style: Efficient Theme: Tell Your Heart To Beat Again by Danny Gokey Other trivia: -Likes to store random things that may or may not come in handy -Everyone is a little scared of him even if they don't admit it -He tends to put his loyalty more with a specific bot or group of bots rather than any faction as a whole
Backstory Overview -Origin Chakra was forged in the height of Cybertron's Golden Era from a spark field just outside of Kaon. He served as a policemech, mostly working as a guard at the Arena. As a young bot he found the gladiators fascinating, and his favorite assignments were when he could see the matches. As he grew older he grew more cynical and began to see the fault in the system, especially as the Decepticon movement grew more prevalent in Kaon. As the Golden Age waned and revolution loomed ever closer he began to attend Decepticon rallies, questioning the laws he had sworn to uphold. He took to defending young Decepticons who had been arrested on minor or falsified charges, eventually being arrested himself. He was acquitted due to lack of evidence, but was still fired shortly thereafter. He stayed in Kaon, lending aid to gladiators unsympathetic to the Functioning government until he was nearly arrested again. He escaped, thanks to his intimate knowledge of the Area's layout, and left town. He would go on to join the Autobots, with disastrous consequences. -Friends/family During his time with the Autobots, he allowed himself to grow close to his Elite Guard squad, especially his commander, Standup. After this squad is decimated, he cut himself off from the world, taking to studying medical techniques instead. Centuries later he was stationed aboard the Caveat as a medic under the command of their CMO Neurosis. He kept them at arms length, despite their best efforts to get close to him. He eventually lost his patience with them constantly asking about his past, offering comfort, and trying to befriend him and went awol. He was soon picked up by a Decepticon crew calling themselves the Cabal, and he decided to stay mostly because they had no medic. He avoided associating with them outside of professional matters, but they eventually wore through his defenses. The young mute warrior Boomerang was able to forge the strongest bond with him, as he felt a connection to him he hadn't since his old team. -Enemies/rivals While Chakra doesn't view the sides the same as others do because of his close connections to the Decepticons prewar, but he does hold a deep grudge against whatever team it was that devastated his old team. -Major events The battle that ripped Chakra's former team from him was long and brutal, and he witnessed the death of each of his crew mates one at a time, unable to do anything to help them. In the end he was left alone with a mortally wounded Standup, trapped in a cave. He had no medical training aside from some basic first aid, and was unable to save his commander's life. Rescue teams arrived far too late to help. This battle inspired him to train to become a medic, and the memories prevent him from effectively serving on the front lines. -Important meetings -The Autobot soldier who delivered the news of war; he never learned his name. -Standup; he was his first field commander and the first mech he fully trusted. He never fully recovered from his loss. -The Caveat crew; while he may not have been close to them they still made an impact on his life (mostly in the shape of being the unwitting final straw in his decision to leave the Autobots). -The Cabal; they were the ones who finally taught him to open up again, and while he finds their antics incredibly annoying at best he also wouldn't leave them. -Other things of note Chakra was never fully loyal to the Autobot cause. The Decepticons were the ones who first showed him Functionism was helping no one, and the early rhetoric of the faction would be a major influence on his decisions for the rest of his functioning. While he would always wear the Autobot insignia, he was always a Decepticon at spark. Prewar -Personal life Chakra had few true friends prewar, although he was friendly with many gladiators and his coworkers. He spent most of his off time watching the fights in the Arena or better drunk in one of Kaon's many taverns. After the rise of the Decepticon movement piqued his interest, he spent his free time investigating
corruption in the local government branches or attending rallies in secret. -Job Chakra served as a police officer for most of his life before the war, often assigned to guard the Arena. When he was younger he preferred to work long hours and keep himself busy, but as he grew older he stopped volunteering for extra duty to make time for his personal interest in the Decepticon rebels. -Politics Chakra realized early on things were not as "golden" as the Golden Age might seem, but didn't realize just how until he stumbled across a Decepticon rally in a half drunk stupor. Their words sobered him (both literally and figuratively) to the reality of what Functionism was, and he spent the rest of his life prewar investigating its faults. Wartime -Choosing sides Not long after he left Kaon, news of the war reached him via a lone Autobot soldier. The young mech's exaggerated version of the events convinced him to join their side, and he soon found himself in the Elite Guard. He was less loyal to the faction than to his crew, and still harboured some sympathy for Decepticon rhetoric. -Personal life Chakra quickly grew close to his Elite Guard battalion, especially his commander, Standup. He spent much of his free time hanging out with them, often getting drunk and sharing wild stories, or spending quiet time alone with Standup. After their loss he devoted all his time to medical studies, refusing to let anyone else grow close to him. While with the Cabal he started spending time with his crew again, usually in the form of sitting in the corner with Boomerang and watching the rest of the crew mess around. -Job Chakra started the war as a soldier, as well trained and deadly as the Autobots had to offer. He later exchanged this life for that of a medic, and never returned to the battlefield as an active participant.
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lustandlordsrp · a month ago
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The Artist | Jasper
Thirty-Three | Mr. Nightingale Untitled Gentry
Formally Announced or Addressed on Social Correspondence: Mr. Nightingale
Informally Announced or Addressed on Social Correspondence: Mr. Nightingale
Formal Correspondence Salutation: "Sir," or  "Dear Sir,"
Informal Correspondence Salutation: “Dear Mr. Nightingale” or more familiarly, “Dear Nightingale”
Addressed in Speech: “Mr. Nightingale” or more familiarly “Nightingale”
Referred to in Speech: Mr. Nightingale” or more familiarly “Nightingale”
Social Correspondence Signature: “Jasper Nightingale” or “Nightingale”
The union of Percival Nightingale and Joanna Vaughan was not one of love — or even fondness, for that matter — but one carefully selected for them by their parents to combine generational fortunes. Percival was the eldest and only son amongst a flock of Nightingale women ( one elder sister, and four younger, to be exact ), and thus would inherit the ( rather impressive ) family fortune when the time came. Joanna was not graced with such a bountiful family, and was the only surviving child borne of her parents; it was to be her matrimony that would carry on her family’s legacy. And so, they were wed. Percival and Joanna did not love one another, and whether they do now is dubious at best, but they were amicable.
Only a year into their marriage, they were blessed with their first child; a bumbling bundle of joy and laughter, and a son, no less! Just how fortuitous it was! He was given the name Jasper in remembrance of his maternal grandfather.  Jasper was a happy baby, and more importantly, a silent one. He did not cry — save for when dear Nanny Agatha was just a smidge too late in uniting him with his mother for mealtime — and had only smiles to offer when his parents would make a rare appearance in the nursery. It was when he learned to speak that the trouble truly began.
From a young age, it was apparent Jasper was a rather opinionated boy. The moment he could comprehend and form sentences of his own, he had quite a bit to say about the world around him. His mother brushed it off as nothing more than a silly phase, and his father found it to be rather troublesome. The first son was to be a picture of grace and manners, and Jasper was quickly proving to be anything but.
He wasn’t an only child for long — seven years after his birth being the eldest of four Nightingale children. Jasper was rather ecstatic to be an older brother ( or rather, to no longer feel so lonely playing in the nursery by himself ) and yet, his siblings seemed to get on better with each other than they ever did with him. Perhaps ( and he liked to convince himself this was, indeed, the reason ) it was because of his status as oldest brother. It was intimidating, no? Or, perhaps ( and he liked to convince himself this was, in fact, not the reason ) it was because they simply didn’t like him. He was entirely unlike his siblings. They were reserved, well mannered, good young gentle men and women … and Jasper was anything but: he was eccentric, uninhibited, spoke exclusively out of turn, and simply did not care for the intricacies of the society he was born in to. He could tell in following years that his younger siblings, despite the fact they were supposed to respect him, viewed him with the same disdain his parents did.
Come his tenth birthday ( give or take a few weeks ) Jasper found himself growing rather attached to his father’s eldest sister, Charlotte ( Tottie, affectionately ), after her return to English Society. She was quite the eccentric old maid — by society’s standards, at least — and used what money and time she had come her twentieth birthday to travel beyond the North Sea.  She was an artist with no desire to marry, and taught Jasper everything he knows. They would often spend afternoons poised side by side, sketching and painting for hours and hours until their hands cramped and they create no further. Tottie was, in many ways, Jasper’s only companion — save for dear Nanny Agatha, but she was employed and received payment to humor the young boy, so it was a smidge different — growing up. She was Jasper’s dearest friend in a home that felt more like a maze than a sanctuary.
Jasper spent his adolescence completely immersing himself in his craft, often times skipping lessons with the governess to hide away in his study, painting and drawing and thinking — always thinking. He was an intelligent young man, there was no doubt about it, he simply cared more for the arts than he ever did his academics. And hell, was he good at it. A natural talent for the arts, nurtured with hours of practice and lessons led to a rather impressive artistic sense in Jasper from the age of 12.
In his fifteenth year, there was a new ( and final ) addition to the family — Teresa. She and Jasper were just the same; full to the brim with joy and laughter. Though she was fifteen years his junior, Jasper loved his baby sister fiercely in such a way that he wished he had been loved as a child. She would grow into a promising young woman, eventually following in his artistic footsteps, but that wouldn’t be for many more years.
As soon as he was old enough, and was granted the permission by his father, Jasper accompanied Tottie across the sea to Paris, France. For the better part of two years, he explored and painted and discovered who he truly was, all at the encouragement of his dear Aunt Tottie. Though it was his first time away from British soil, Jasper just knew he had to see more, had to experience more. He could feel it in his bones. But, just before his twentieth birthday — when he was to return to England for the season — Tottie fell ill with an awful fever, one she simply couldn’t shake. It was a frigid, silent winter’s eve when she passed, Jasper at her side. He returned to England alone.
Rather than attending the season with his family members as he had intended to, Jasper spent his twentieth year across seas — mourning in a rather strange way of his own. He painted, and painted, and painted until no piece of his wardrobe was spared the fate of a splatter or two of paint and his hands ached from how he worked. It was cathartic, and painting with such fervor and frequency began to develop quite the name for himself.
Jasper attended his first season at twenty one, outfitted with a certain charm that accompanied a travelled artist ( though, truth be told, he had absolutely no idea what he was doing and made it by entirely on the seat of his pants ). He was a rather handsome marriage prospect, being both a good looking young man and the inheritor of a rather impressive fortune, and yet Jasper did not marry and would not marry for his next 14 seasons.
His time was spent, between yearly trips to London, traveling farther and father past the North Sea: Paris, Milan, Athens, Istanbul … If there was a way to get there, he’d find it. He documented his travels through his art, painting every beautiful landscape, flower, tree, man & woman he came across. It was entirely for himself, a rather selfish deed to leave behind his family in England in pursuit of Wanderlust, but it didn’t hurt that members of the Haut Ton would scramble to buy his one of a kind works upon his return to London.
Seventeen years of travel and artistry led him to become a rather hot commodity at the social gatherings of the season. Provided with enough punch, Jasper could regale dozes upon dozens of people with stories of what grandeur he encountered on his travels for hours. He was not always so confident, in fact he almost never was, but there was just something so changing about the season, something that made him a different man … He could never decide whether he liked this different man more or less.
Now, in his thirty-fifth year, Jasper Nightingale is still unmarried. Rumors have begun to circulate that perhaps he never intends to marry, instead devoting himself to the uncertain life of a bachelor; leaving broken hearts in his wake wherever he may go ( Though, in his defense, the broken hearts of his past were more often his own other’s). There have also been rumors circulating that after Jasper’s rather tardy arrival to London that the elder Mr. Nightingale launched quite the verbal tirade against his first born son. The kind of monologue that ended in the dreadful promise:t if Jasper was not engaged by end of season and give up his entirely hedonistic ways, he’d be thrown to the wayside and all inheritance would be instead passed to Lucien instead.
But, those are, of course, only rumors … Right? For Jasper always thought if he were to marry, it would out for love, not necessity! And he could survive without his family’s money, for he makes enough of his own! … Right? … Right?
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3laxx · 2 months ago
When the Dream ends - Chapter 1
Amity changed in the little bathroom that was attached to the room, before emerging and deadpanning at Luz giggling. “This isn’t funny.” “It’s a little funny!”
After the grudgby accident, Luz begins her recovery, Amity gets a bad case of the Gay Panic TM and everyone adjusts to the grueling reality of how badly accidents can actually go.
Read "In Your Dreams" first as Part 1, since this is Part 2!
I decided to cut the short story "In Your Dreams" where I originally intended to and finish it off there, and just put it into a series and put all following headcanons in here! This story is also rated mature because I will write flashbacks of the accident, so I'll eventually even change it to explicit. But yeah! Have fun reading!
Ao3 /
The next day, Amity and Luz only woke up late.
But Amity wouldn’t care. She only snuggled closer to the other girl and felt Luz nuzzling her nose into her hair, smiling. She didn’t know if humans usually kept friendships as physically close, but she didn’t mind as well. After all, she was just glad that she could snuggle with Luz that way. It felt so different than when the twins messed with her or took her into hugs.
She had never done that yet, honestly. She had never snuggled like that. This was completely new for her, especially for a few hours. The longest she had touched someone was for a few minutes, maybe ten at most. She didn’t even think she had touched anyone for that long when she had been a baby witchling.
Luz slowly moved around a little, then she looked up to her friend and smiled when their eyes met.
“Hey, slept well?”
“Better than ever.”, Amity admitted before sitting up and stretching, earning a jealous gaze from Luz. She had been told not to move too much yet, so she had to stay put and wasn’t allowed to stretch. Amity gave her a sympathetic glance but Luz quickly brightened up again. And lifted her hand.
“Poke!”, she exclaimed and bopped Amity’s exposed tummy with her finger, causing the young witchling to immediately turn bright red again and topple backward and off the bed, yelping loudly before a loud thud sounded.
Luz winced and rolled over to look where Amity had fallen, meeting the witch’s tomato face and her arms frozen all over the place when she furrowed her eyebrows.
“… Sorry… I didn’t think you’d react so extremely. Are you okay?”
“Yep!”, Amity responded a little too loudly, laughing nervously, “I’m alright, everything is okay!”
Luz smiled as Amity got back up, but when the witchling’s gaze fell back on the clock she yelped again.
“My parents are going to kill me! I can’t even go to school late now, I’m in my pajamas!! What do I do?!”
Luz, still lying on the bed, groaned when she rolled back over and looked up to the panicking girl, grimacing.
“You could text Eda and ask her to sneak you into the manor?”
Amity switched from panic to planning and nodded, “Right, right. I can do that.”
“Or you could just skip.”, Luz grinned, then Amity looked up at her.
“But I never skip.”, the girl furrowed her eyebrows and summoned her scroll phone, huffing, “And Boscha is returning today, I wanna talk to her.”
“Okay, yeah, that’s valid.”, Luz began and tried to sit up but quickly, a short pain rippled through her back and she fell back into the sheets with a grimace, causing Amity to look up and make the scroll phone vanish with a poof.
“Luz! Are you okay? Eda told me not to let you get up!”, she quickly exclaimed and rushed to her friend’s side, putting a hand on Luz’s shoulder to keep her down, “Are you insane?! The healers said your spine was severely injured and you try to sit up?!”
Maybe her tone was a little too harsh, or the pain overwhelmed Luz, but Amity stopped immediately when tears appeared in the Latina’s eyes. She hesitated.
Oh no.
“Luz, I didn’t mean-…”, she started, but her friend shook her head, effectively cutting her off, “I-I’m sorry…”
The teenager took some time to breathe again, then she placed a soft hand on hers that Amity still kept on her shoulder, not wanting her to move again.
“I-It’s fine-… Just let me breathe for a moment…”, she finally winced and kept her eyes closed, her breath coming in pants, “D-Don’t be sorry. I’ll be okay.”
She slowly calmed down again, then she sighed. Amity knew immediately that school was off for her today. Luz was in pain and needed her, and she wouldn’t just go.
With one hand she summoned her scroll phone again and texted Boscha to let her know that Luz was awake and would be okay with her visiting, and Willow and Gus to invite them over for the afternoon. Eda was probably already on her way.
“Just keep it down for now, Luz. It’ll get better again. You just need some time.”
The girl slowly felt the pain subsiding and nodded once more, then Amity focused back on her phone to ask the twins to send her some clothes, and sure enough, their skills in Illusions were unparalleled. A few clothes were immediately delivered to her by an illusion of a delivery boy by Emira, who had snuck into the manor, grabbed some of her clothes, and ran to the Healer’s Coven unseen by her parents.
Amity changed in the little bathroom that was attached to the room, before emerging and deadpanning at Luz giggling.
“This isn’t funny.”
“It’s a little funny!”
The witchling rolled her eyes when she sat back down on the chair next to Luz’s bed, trying to slump so Luz wouldn’t be able to mock her but the girl gestured for her to straighten up again, “No, no, lemme see!”
She should’ve never trusted Ed and Em with getting her new clothes. Of course, they’d pick the most embarrassing stuff they could find. In this case, it was an old hoodie Ed had given her as a present for her 12th birthday. At least they had picked some normal orchid leggings.
Amity groaned when she straightened up again and pulled the hoodie so that Luz could read what was on there. Ed had gone all the way to make a print of a very badly drawn Amity holding a peace sign.
“Simply be witchling?!”, Luz giggled and Amity couldn’t deny the tiny blush she felt when she looked away and pursed her lips, “Whose idea was that? That is horrible!”
Groaning, she slumped again and rolled her eyes.
“Ed’s. He’s been bugging me to wear that hoodie for almost 3 years now.”, Luz still grinned, making Amity’s face go completely red, “Another word and I’ll leave right now!”
Luz didn’t need any words, though, making the girl squirm and sigh exasperatedly, crossing her arms.
“Stop. Don’t do that.”
“Don’t do what?”, Luz smirked at her, the grin still not having left her face. She couldn’t deny Luz being extra adorable right now.
“Don’t stare at my hoodie. You’re just being mean right now.”
Before Luz could say something soothing, though, Eda barged in and the playful banter was forgotten.
“Hey, kid! I’m glad you’re feeling better!”
King hurried after Eda and jumped on Luz’s bed, before curling in on Luz’s stomach.
“I didn’t worry about you at all.”, he stated and Luz laughed, ruffling his fur.
“Of course not, King.”
It wasn’t long until Willow and Gus came to visit as well, telling them that Boscha had looked a little tired in school but was okay otherwise. She just didn’t want to visit yet. They assured Luz, though, that Boscha was going to be fine and that she just didn’t want to rush things.
After all, she had taken it pretty bad that she had hurt Luz that way.
 After Willow and Gus had left, Amity was just finishing up her homework that Willow and Gus had picked up from a classmate, and Eda and King packed their things up as well.
Luz’s eyes went wide at that, and she almost sat up again but remembered the pain before, so she stayed put.
“Eda, are you going back to the Owl House?”
Her mentor grimaced at that and shrugged, nodding.
“I wanna sleep in my nest, kid. I’ve been here for the last few days, I really need my house back now, especially since you’re awake and okay again.”
The human pouted at that and shook her head, “But Eda, I don’t wanna be alone tonight!”
The older witch deadpanned at that, but the two teenagers could see she was struggling to leave her apprentice alone.
“Kid, you’ll be fine for the night, I’m sure.”, Eda began, then a sinister look snuck into her eyes, “You could ask the Blight kid to stay.”
In an instant, Amity blushed hard again.
“I-I already stayed a night! My parents will kill me anyway, for skipping school! I shouldn’t, really.”
Luz’s puppy eyes weren’t enough to make her reconsider, her parents’ wrath was scarier than Luz was cute. In fact, she should call the twins right now to be picked up.
While Eda and Luz continued discussing, she summoned her scroll phone and called Edric’s phone. Shortly after, her brother picked up.
“Hi, Edric. Could you come to pick me up at the Healer’s Coven? It’s already after dark…”
Her brother lightly chuckled at that, then he seemed to whisper something with Emira, before answering.
“What do you mean, Mittens? You’re already home.”
“Hah hah, very funny.”, Amity rolled her eyes at her sibling’s antics, “Come pick me up now, mother and father will be furious enough that I skipped school today.”
Again, her brother’s voice seemed too innocent for her liking when he replied.
“But you went to school today, Mittens, I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
This was getting on her nerves.
“Edric, I’m serious, you doofus. Hand the phone to Em.”
He did as she had instructed him to, but Emira sounded just like their brother, making Amity’s anger boil.
“Hey Mittens, I’d say a thank you would be fitting now, don’t you think?”
“Don’t play dumb with me. What did you two do?”, Emira and Edric chuckled again in the background and Amity growled.
“We only saved your nerd butt, little sister! Thank us tomorrow when you’re done flirting with Luz. Oh, and greet that cutie from us! We’re very glad she’s okay.”
Suddenly, she understood her siblings’ smugness. Oh no, that’d be expensive for her.
“… What do you want for the Illusion spell?”
Again, the twins laughed at each other, as if they had a sinister plan. In fact, they sounded exactly like Eda had looked.
“For you to become cool and bring home a girlfriend. And now be a dear and go to bed, like your Illusion just did.”
A click later, Amity almost felt like fainting from all the blood shooting into her face. These smug demons. She turned back to Eda and Luz who were still arguing about whether to leave King here or not when they noticed her having stopped calling. For some reason, Eda smirked.
“My siblings are little snakes and make me stay here.”
“How come?”, Luz asked, looking surprised. She was so sweet and naïve, Amity almost had to sigh.
“They created an Illusion of me so mother and father wouldn’t find out about me sneaking out last night. They kept it up the whole day and it’s in my bed right now.”
Eda chuckled.
“Your siblings are geniuses. I would’ve liked to be able to do that in school.”, she finally admitted and Amity only blushed in a deeper shade of red, while Luz lightened up.
“That means you can stay the whole night?”, she already smiled and Amity just couldn’t stay mad at her siblings. She knew they were just helping in their own, smug way.
“Yea, I suppose it means exactly that.”, she exchanged a small smile with Luz. This was going to be fine, right? She would be fine. She had done one night already! She could do a second!
Eda put all the stuff she had needed to stay here for an extended time in a bag and swung it on Owlbert who was ready in the air.
“Well then, you kids stay out of trouble. Don’t have any fun without me. And you-”, she glared at Luz, “Stay in bed.”
Both of them nodded and waited until Eda had finally wrestled King onto her staff and flown away, then Amity turned back to Luz who was already grinning in excitement.
“Azura Book Club?”, she asked and Amity had to smile at that.
“I forgot Book 5 here when I visited yesterday, we can read that!”
Luz pumped a fist in the air but immediately yelped and let it sink slowly again, causing Amity to drop her small bag that she had originally packed to be picked up, and rush to her side.
“Are you okay?”, she asked, her eyes filling with worry, “Luz, you gotta mind how you move, we want you to get better…”
The Latina nodded slowly, then she sighed and rubbed her shoulder, before testing her toes again. She could still feel them, it had just been a little scare.
“Yeah, I know… Still, I’d like to sit up.”
Amity deadpanned.
“Did you even listen to what I literally just said?”, she asked exasperatedly, spreading her arms in a gesture as if to ask why. Luz managed a strained smile.
“I’ve been on my back the entire time since I woke up… Amity, I just wanna sit for a moment, otherwise I’ll die here. Can you help me?”
Amity flinched at the phrasing and bit her lip. She didn’t know enough about humans. Did they really die when lying on their bed for too long?
“W-Would you-… Really die?”
Luz rolled her eyes at that but smiled, then she shook her head, not wanting to upset her.
“No, I wouldn’t actually die. It’s just an expression. But I’d still like to sit up. Can you prop up your frame here, like back home?”
Amity nodded and got behind the bed, then she grabbed the lever to unhinge the frame so she could prop it up, but hesitated to pull it.
“Are you sure that you can’t get more hurt through that? Like, 100%, absolutely positively sure?”
Luz nodded and looked at her upside down.
“I am otterly sure.”, then she grinned.
Amity shook her head at that, sighing, “You’re unbelievable. Okay, you stay on the mattress until I propped you up as far as it goes, and then you wait for me to help you sit, okay?”
Luz nodded again, this time staying silent at her words. She seemed to concentrate.
“As soon as you feel pain, let me know.”
With that, Amity pulled the lever to unhinge the bedframe and slowly propped it up before clicking it into place at the highest option, then she secured the lever again and walked to Luz’s side to see the girl leaning against the propped-up mattress with a smile.
“That’s already way better. And technically, I’ll do what Eda said, stay in bed.”
Then she slowly lifted her hands, asking Amity to come closer with grabby hands.
“And now help me up.”
The young witchling sighed, then she let her eyes wander over the human’s face. There were no signs of hidden pain. She didn’t seem to be in pain. Apparently, as far as moving her body carefully was concerned, she was okay. But Amity wasn’t too sure about Luz using her own muscles yet.
On the other hand, she had already rolled over without feeling pain.
“Okay. But we do this slowly and as soon as you feel bad, we stop, you got that?”, Luz still made the grabby hands and Amity sighed then, nodding.
She sat down by Luz’s side to carefully wrap an arm around her waist, careful to squish the mattress and not move Luz’s spine too much, before feeling Luz gingerly wrap her arm around her shoulders and them joining their free hands in front of them. It almost felt like when Luz and she had danced at Grom.
“Okay, slowly, on three. One… Two… Three.”
Amity softly pressed her up with her shoulder, taking care not to move or bend her spine too much and minding her back to stay straight, and she pulled with her hand in Luz’s.
Luz panted and sweat formed on her forehead, but she didn’t make a sound when she sat up and finally let their arms sink, still leaning heavily onto Amity but managing to keep her straight back by herself.
For a moment, Luz looked around, then she turned back to Amity, who only then noticed how close they were to each other. Spluttering, she blushed deeply, before coughing and blinking a little too fast.
“A-Are you in pain?”, she finally managed and Luz made a wavy hand. She didn’t know what that meant.
“A little. But it’s fine! That’s just how it feels like to sit after some time of lying in bed. Wow, I am so glad to be sitting right now, I really need that.”, Luz immediately brabbled and the witchling couldn’t help but smile at that.
“Are you sure you wanna stay like that?”
Luz began sweating. So, she was in more pain than she would’ve liked to admit. Amity frowned and brought her free hand up to Luz’s shoulder to get her attention as Luz rested her head on hers.
“Luz, I really think you should lie down.”, she began but the girl groaned and shook her head.
“Just another moment. I-… I’ve been so sick of not moving, I just wanna-…”, another groan. That was the end of the line for Amity.
“Hold on, I’m helping you back down.”
Luz whined at that but she wouldn’t let her talk her out of this. She had to lie back down since her body wasn’t ready for moving too much yet.
Her face was a little more ashen when she sank into the covers and Amity wanted to pull her arm out but Luz kept her close.
“Just-… Just for right now. Stay. Just for this moment.”, the human panted, the sweat slowly subsiding, leaving her skin cooling out.
“… Just a moment.”, the girl interrupted her and began breathing slower again, much to Amity’s relief. The color slowly returned to her face and she leaned against her friend, completely exhausted, “I just want this moment.”
Amity sighed and let her head rest against her cheek, then she slowly brushed a moist strand of hair out of her face and kissed her forehead.
In an instant, she froze up, while Luz hummed.
She had not just done that. After watching so many teen romances with Luz, the gesture had stuck with her, but she never thought it’d come to her so naturally. While sitting next to Luz, her arm trapped beneath the girl’s back, half lying, leaning against the mattress, holding her exhausted friend. This had been completely reflexive. Amity slowly pulled back when Luz frowned, huffing.
“Why’d you stop, I liked that-…”, she drawled, more asleep than she was awake by now. Amity, her face now a blaring red, merely gave her a neutral hum and then carefully pulled her arm out to lower the bed back down. By the time Luz was horizontal again, she had regained some of her consciousness to look at Amity.
“Can I get a goodnight kiss like that every night now?”, she asked, her eyes dazed and her words slurring. Amity wordlessly sat down on the chair, opened Azura Book 5, and cleared her throat to begin reading, still shocked from her action and desperately trying to ignore that ever happened but Luz made it clear that she was not interested in making her life easy, “Please?”
Amity concealed another splutter with a cough, then she nodded at her lap, not daring to look up. The book was right in front of her eyes. She could just start reading as she read to the kids, and everything would be forgotten, but once again when she breathed in, Luz picked that exact moment to make her life even harder.
“Thank you…”
Amity finally looked up to meet her gaze and her friend genuinely smiled. The young witchling shyly smiled back before starting to read Chapter 12.
“But the good witch Azura wouldn’t stand down. She had her ally Hecate by her side and she would fight for the good. ‘So be it!’, she called out, ‘If you refuse to leave, we wi-”
“‘If you refuse to leave, we will make you regret that decision!’, and Hecate nodded in agreement.”, Amity rolled her eyes softly, smiling. Luz could recite the book word by word.
“If you want to read?”
But as she had asked that question, Luz had already fallen asleep. Shaking her head, Amity leaned back, adjusted the book, and started anew.
“‘If you refuse to leave, we will make you regret that decision’, and Hecate nodded in agreement. They readied their staffs and-”
Let me know if you liked the continuation!
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ikea-lingonberry · 2 months ago
Character Analysis: Hargreeves Siblings
Luther: He grew up being treated as the leader, and readily filled the role. This meant he directly answered to Reginald, and was often expected to play the middleman and peacekeeper. At first this was overwhelming for him, but he and his siblings fell into their roles over time. When the siblings hit their rebellious stage, Luther stayed the course with Reginald. This led to the rebellion often being directed toward him rather than their father. Luther does his best to keep a level head, but once he becomes upset it is difficult to calm him down. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to tell what will set him off. Sometimes it is big things, and other times it is small things. It depends on how much he has bottles up and what the last straw will be. As an adult, Luther has clung to the way he grew up and struggles immensely to view things differently. Even when he tries, he often falls into the same patterns. He tends to believe that he is always right and that he should lead each thing the siblings do. He knows he shouldn’t do these things, but it is easier said than done.
Diego: We often know Diego has the antagonist to Luther, always pining for that Number One spot. However, it wasn’t always like that. When he was young, and up into his pre-teens, he struggled with a horrible stutter. Grace helped him immensely, but the experience was still scarring. It would not have been, if not for Reginald and Luther hounding him for it. Reginald would constantly ask him questions, and make him respond. When he stuttered, Reginald would say “speak up, boy,” “enunciate your words,” “act like what you’re saying matters,” etc. Luther, always the favorite, began to echo these behaviors even in the absence of their father. As Diego finally improved, he chose to speak often. He became very assertive, and particularly aggressive toward Luther. He couldn’t, of course, be aggressive toward Reginald. He tends to be in a hyper-alert state around Luther, as though always preparing for an attack. While Reginald and Luther were the primary aggressors when it came to his stutter, all of his siblings - with the exception of Ben and Vanya - made fun of it at some point. Sometimes it was in good fun (often Klaus), but other times they used it to attack him in an argument (Allison). As adults, this is no longer a problem. His siblings have long since apologized for their bullying behavior, aside from Luther. He is still very defensive in general and tends to be on high alert nearly all the time. He has a high degree of empathy and care about others a great deal, though he refuses to show emotion himself in most instances.
Allison: She experienced some of the least trauma from her father, primarily due to her ability to alter reality using her “wishes.” This meant she could get away with a great deal. As a young child, she took advantage of this and often bragged to her siblings. As she got older, she changed her thought process. She then began to use what little additional freedoms she had to benefit them as well. She grew up with an indirect fear of Reginald - not so much because of her own experiences (though she definitely had a few), but because of what she saw him do to the others. For a great deal of her life, and into early adulthood, Allison viewed her power as a gift. She used it to help her further his goals, wants, and desires. However, after her divorce and loss of Claire, she flipped this perspective. She now considers her power evil, and does everything in her power not to use it. She actually used her power on her siblings a lot when she was a child, and has considered telling them and apologizing now that she is an adult - but she hasn’t, both shame and fear being the primary stopping force. Moving forward, Allison is going to need to find the balance of when to use, and when not to use, her power.
Klaus: He was generally a fun-loving child, that had a tendency to somehow, someway, get into trouble even in the oddest of situations. He didn’t always play the role of clown among his siblings, but, rather, developed this trait between the ages of 8-10. He had two reasons for this: 1) it was a coping mechanism for his own struggles, especially after being locked in the mausoleum, and 2) he learned it provided an escape for his siblings. He was known to goof-off at the worst times, and, while it seemed random, often did so to take the heat off of one of his siblings - namely Ben, Vanya, and, sometimes, Diego. This absolutely led to extensive punishments for Klaus, who ended up with a great deal of Reginald’s anger and disappointment resting on his shoulders. As an adult, he struggles with the vices he developed during his teenage years, and scraped by as best he can. He siblings have done little to help him - but it’s not their fault, and he knows it. He doesn’t open up to his siblings often, and certainly hasn’t told him why he would do what he did, the struggles he had personally, and the fears he experiences. Much like his powers itself, he prefers to block out these thoughts and move on.
Five: He has always been book smart, inquisitive, and innovative. He often would spend time scouring the library for a book on some obscure topic, and often practiced with his powers in his free time. He did (and does) have a superiority complex toward most of his siblings - with the exception of Vanya and Ben. This came from the observation that the others had a tendency to speak first and think later. This frustrated him, and he had no desire to hide it. After he teleported to the future, against Reginald’s advice, his world came crashing down. He spend several days desperately trying to go back, to no avail. After about a week of scrounging for food and water and sleeping beside the destroyed Academy, he decided he had to do something. The first thing he did was bury his siblings, leaving makeshift headstones of stick and bricks. It was while he was sifting through the debris that he found Ben’s statue, and realized he had died many years prior. He spent two weeks burying his family, and another week desperately searching for Vanya in the debris. Finally, he decided he had to walk away - though it is something he regrets to this day, even now that he has returned to the timeline where his family is alive. His time in the commission was necessary, but he despised every moment of it. He could hear Luther in the back of his mind, still trying to tell him the plan. He could picture Ben releasing The Horror on his mark. And those were his waking hours - his nights were worse. Plagued with insomnia, nightmares, and night sweats, he would often stay up late into the night just to avoid sleep. These issues have followed him into his adulthood. Now that he has rejoined his siblings, he has made an effort to embody the person he was when he was younger. Often this means putting on a mask, and hiding the parts of himself that came to be while he was gone. He is still extremely smart, and very logical. However, he feigns his confidence far more often then he will ever admit - and he is always so tired. But with the apocalypse constantly looming over him, he refuses to show his siblings this side of himself - worried it will discourage them, or make them afraid. Of course, he has desperately wanted to. His arrival at Vanya’s flat is a testament to this. Eventually he needs to be able to rest.
Ben: He has always been flighty and nervous, with The Horror being the primary reason. While the others had powers they could control, The Horror was like a separate entity within himself. It would try to break free. And once let loose? He didn’t really decide what it did at that point. It was horrendous and terrifying, for him and others. Once the siblings began their training in force, he always tried to fade to the background. Of course, it didn’t work. Every time he released The Horror, he felt less like himself. And the others saw it too. They would look nervous and repulsed after he used his power, even if they tried to mask it. If Vanya saw him release The Horror, the fear on her face was enough to make him wish he’d never been born. The next bit is entirely speculation: During a mission, Luther told him to release The Horror is a very confined space in order to eliminate a threat. Ben tried to argue, but Luther ordered him to, and chewed him out for talking back. So... he did. Once The Horror was released in the space, it eliminated the target - but it also didn’t stop. Ultimately, Ben was killed by The Horror itself - when he found himself as the only target the Eldritch creature could find. While it is not something he would tell Klaus, he has found a great deal more happiness in death. He no longer had to utilize The Horror, and it no longer tried to break free. While there were, of course, drawbacks, he was so happy just to be able to be near his family without seeing that endless fear on their faces. Of course, he always wished he could do that in life instead. He never had a chance to see his siblings after his death (other than Klaus, of course), aside from when he was manifested at the concert. And, of course, when he went to save Vanya. While it was hard for him, his ability to talk with, touch, and actually help even one of his other siblings was something he had desired for the last 17 years. He wouldn’t have wanted to go any other way.
Vanya: She grew up at the outskirts of the household. While some parents emphasize that children should be seen and not heard, it was instilled in her that she should not be seen or heard. Once she was rumored to believe she was ordinary, she spend her days in her tiny closet of a room with her violin or doing whatever menial task Reginald had for her. She also, unfortunately, became the scapegoat of the household - after all, she couldn’t defend herself. Reginald would, at times, call her to his office and berate her; sometimes more. He took out his frustrations and angers on her instead. Luther, of course, followed suit. The others then realized they could pin the blame on her and often redirect Reginald’s anger to her from themselves. Of course, as children, they had no idea what kind of harm this would do. After leaving the household, Vanya spent the next decade desperately separating herself from her past. She wrote her book, Extra Ordinary, originally at the recommendation of her therapist, who advised writing about her traumas to help move past them. It did help a great deal and, while she was nervous when she published it, she found that many other people could relate to her experience. That sort of support and understanding helped built her back up. Shortly after, she began putting more effort into her violin, offering lessons, and aspiring for first chair. When she went back home for Reginald’s funeral, she knew her siblings would be mad about the book, even though it had been published years prior. And the tension was heavy, and remained that way. He discovering her power became icing on the already treacherous cake, as she began to struggle with more and more from her past that she had been fighting to avoid for so long. And now, there was something that could have prevented it all along. When Luther locked her in the soundproof box, that cake finally toppled. Her own siblings had hurt her, and now she was alone. Again. And afraid. And she couldn’t escape. A mental break followed her panic attack, that manifested auditory and visual hallucinations and a lack of control. With her power now readily accessible, chaos began. Of course, none of it was intentional; she would later say she remembered it happening, but not actually doing any of it. Her time in the 60s was important for her recuperation, and allowed her to find some rest. However, the unfortunate reality is that when her memory returned, she found herself at Ground Zero all over again. She needs time to rebuild herself, and her trust toward her family, as she moved forward.
Disclaimer: This includes a LOT of headcanons and predictions! This is just my take!
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vvakarians · 3 months ago
World lore and Arc 1 Character lore from Melrose: City of Monsters! This world is a story that myself and my boyfriend @thecoffeerain
Maxime and Victor belong to my boyfriend! 
Charlie’s Twitter | Charlie’s P a t r e o n
Info under the cut!
Melrose is a city just south of New York City in America, it’s a small town that is unassuming at first but is filled with dark secrets. Vampires, witches, werewolves, and humans exist together, though in a vaguely dysfunctional way. The government broke the news about vampires and werewolves only five years previous, though they’ve lived in society for far longer than that. At this point people are getting used to them living among the human population, but knowledge about magic is still kept under wraps. Vampirism, lycanthropy, and magic comes from a disease that is both highly contagious and genetic. Once you have it, you have it for life, eternal or not.This information is primarily for the first arc. MC information will be updated with each arc.
Father Charles ‘Charlie’ Larousse-Robineau
Pronouns: They/them
Occupation: ‘Priest’
Bloodline: Vampire, former Human, Crowley Lineage
Maker: Belladonna Crowley, the Duchess
Origin: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Love Interest: Victor Talbot
Father Robineau is a charming and well traveled individual, having been born in the 1860’s to a fur merchant and his musician wife. A tragedy struck the family in the early 1880’s when Charlie’s father snapped after a fight between them, and he supposedly killed both Charlie’s younger brother Jean Marie, as well as their mother, brutally with an axe. Charlie barely got out alive, killing their father in self defense. After getting medical attention they fled to England, hoping that their extended family would take them in.When they didn’t, Charlie settled in Whitechapel, hired by a brothel to be a charlatan, medic, and overall fluffer for the girls there. It is there where they fell in love with a woman named Lilith Brown, or Lily, as she preferred. They were best friends and messed around with each other, but Lily turned their courtship down. Sad but understanding, Charlie continued to work as a charlatan, only to watch as their friends would begin dying one by one. People suspected Jack the Ripper and would lend no help to the people affected. As we know, the killer was not caught, and unfortunately one of the last to be taken would be Lily.Whether it was Jack, or a copycat, Charlie was determined to figure out who it was. Driven near mad by grief, Charlie called out to anything that would listen while attending the autopsy of Lily. Who would show up would not be their savior, but their Devil. A woman calling herself the Duchess. She promised Charlie power to find the person who harmed their friends in exchange for a favor at a later date. Charlie was then sacrificed on an altar far below Whitechapel, but to what goddess or entity, they did not know. All they know is that they were opened up much like the corpses on the autopsy tables in the morgue, and then drained of all blood, turned into a bloodthirsty monster. Then abandoned on the streets. After becoming feral and accidentally slaying two people, Charlie turned themself in, though they were quickly turned over to the Vampiric Council of the United Kingdom. This is where they were rehabilitated by Delilah Ainsworth and her husband Aegis Stone, then allowed to return to the USA. Though it was still hard to find a food source and the only thing they could think of to get a large group, but not have to worry about too many people finding out -- was build a congregation. This of course backfired and they made more of a cult than anything, and one of their cult members developed an unhealthy obsession with them. His name was Cedric.When Charlie saw what they had created and tried to disband the cult, Cedric intervened, but a few weeks afterwards Charlie would poison his blood supply with silver, enabling them to flee. After that they never saw Cedric again and would go on to serve in World War II before settling down in Melrose in the 1940’s, creating the cathedral they now work in, St Januarius’, but making sure that a cult never happens again. Thankfully with blood bags it’s become less of an issue.Their life changes though when a man named Victor walks into their church…
Victor Talbot
Pronouns: He/him or they/them
Occupation: Sex worker / Artist / Cat Wrangler
Origin: Sussex, England, United Kingdom
Love Interest: Charlie Robineau
Victor is the only child born to a surgeon and an art lecturer. He spent quite a bit of time with his mother who taught him all about Hinduism and the ways of their culture. As a child and throughout his school life he was bullied for being larger than his peers; this made him quite shy and destroyed his self esteem. He did find a love of dance though when he would watch Bollywood films with his mother at home, and then at school he got involved in modern dance. Though it was in secret, as he did not want his peers to bully him further. As he kept at it, Victor lost weight and began eating better, becoming how he’s seen today. Which of course gained him attention and popularity where there was none before. 
While studying medicine, as his father had proclaimed he would as all of the men of his family had, Victor found that he could help people by giving them the medicine they needed but couldn’t necessarily  afford. He then began to sell narcotics to addicts to cover the cost of the extravagant lifestyle forced upon him by his peers. A tragic accident occurred when the man he was seeing stole from his stash and OD’d, then was brought to the hospital where Victor was doing his residency. Victor did try to save his life but the man ended up dying. Of course he came clean about it to his dad, who was the chief of surgery at the hospital, but Victor’s dad told him to keep quiet about it lest he lose his job. Unfortunately, the damage was done and Victor became haunted by the loss of life at what he believed was his hands. Unable to cope with what he had caused, he began to take the pills he used to sell and became hooked. After a severe mental break having spent too many hours on shift he was suspended and dismissed from the program, now having to deal with being haunted continuously with what he’d done.
He would then fall into a drug spiral where he stole his father’s script pad, implicating him in his stealing, which got his father suspended. During this time he began taking street drugs and getting involved in the party scene, all to whisk him away from the trauma he suffered. This cycle only stopped when a tragedy happened for a second time. Another man he had been seeing died while they were together, and he woke up to his lifeless body in the bed. It’s here that Victor blacks out and does not have much memory of, only remembers waking up in the hospital and being convinced to go to rehab. 
After being released and having his parents hovering over him every second of the day, he relapsed, then was cut off by his mother and father. He would then sell all of his belongings, or what he could, and bought a ticket to America where he would be picked up by the infamous Red in Melrose, New York. It would be here that he’d meet Father Robineau at the St. Januarius Cathedral…
Hazel Coldbrook
Pronouns: They/he
Occupation: Personal Assistant + Receptionist
Origin: Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA
Love Interest: Maxime St. Martin
Hazel was adopted at the age of six by a Jewish doctor and a First Nations professor of linguistics at one of the universities in New York. He was put into the system after his father lost custody following a terrible car accident that killed his mother. He did have two younger siblings that were sent to different homes, he never saw them afterward. Hazel did have an older adopted sister named Morgan, who was often cruel and rude to him. She got him into a lot of trouble and often got him bullied by other children at school, more than he already was. It didn’t help that he was starting to have issues seeing and hearing things, on top of paranoid delusions. 
His parents did their best to set him up as much as they could, and he did get better eventually. Therapy and medication got him on the right track, though his night terrors do plague him still. Once he went away to college, Morgan was cut off from the family around the same time after she was arrested for violent breaking and entering. They didn’t see her for a while after that, though at one point she did make a brief appearance. Morgan chased after him and one night broke into his dorms while he was with his girlfriend, Willow. She was killed after trying to wrestle Morgan away from him, and he was bitten by Morgan. Thankfully, he survived, but he did find out that his sister had been turned into a vampire. 
Charlie found him in the dorm shortly after the attack, having gone hunting during a blood bag shortage. They took him to the hospital and then offered him a job as a PA at their church, helping transfer all of his college credit over to the local community college where he is now studying psychology and theology. During his time in Melrose though, he begins attending drag performances at a local club and comes upon a gorgeous drag queen...
Maxime St. Martin / Enzée Bytten
Pronouns: He/him (She/her, in drag)
Occupation: Club Owner/Drag Queen
Bloodline: Vampire, former human, Seraphim Lineage
Maker: Gabriel
Origin: Saint Martin d'Oydes en Ariège Pyrénées, France
Love Interest: Hazel Coldbrook
Maxime was born in a small, self contained village where he did not leave much until his late teens. Unfortunately, the reason why he left was not a matter of simply being sick of the small village life, it was due to a much darker purpose. A man named Gabriel had come to the village and infected the residents with vampirism, causing them all to turn on each other night by night. This was but one prong in a grand scheme to build an entire army of vampiric soldiers indoctrinated with Gabriel’s radical beliefs about humans and vampires. Maxime --being young and impressionable-- followed his Maker in his footsteps, having a sort of love for him that one could only have for a Maker.
As the decades went on, Maxime would turn people he met and attempt to sway them to their side of things, but became infatuated with human culture as he went. Eventually he saw the error of his Maker’s ways and began planning a rebellion against Gabriel. Maxime even managed to convince a human soldier who he had picked up during World War II, who he would then turn after he would get severely injured. You could say the plan went off without a hitch, though there were many casualties and a lot of fighting.
Eventually he would move on to the states where he steadily sunk into his trauma, though he would find a club to make his own in Melrose. There he would build a reputation of being cold and calculating, but as Enzée he is warm and lively -- or rather she is.Le Syndicat is where Maxime would meet Hazel, who had just come to the bar for a drink…
Vampirism, lycanthropy, and magic all come from a single source. Different strains of diseases that all come from one person, who thus far has been lost to history, as well as the war that led to the werewolves and vampires becoming tense with each other. Vampires come from the strain that needs blood to survive, but also an undead host. It attacks all systems aside from the nervous, and shuts most of them down. They do process blood but not in the same way that a human would food. Their waste system is completely cut off and their stomach has become oddly misshapen, different. It ‘digests’ the blood and filters it back through the body so that the vampire can use it as a source of energy when healing, keeping them young, and making sure their body doesn’t rot from the inside out due to their functions being cut off. The disease is parasitic in nature this way, but eventually becomes symbiotic. Vampires need blood to survive and can be affected by blood born illnesses, though never die. At least usually. In the cases of aggressive cancers and autoimmune disorders, it can kill the host, but it’s very rare. Those with vampirism can only be turned after being fed on, drained, and then made to drink the blood of a disease carrying host; be born as a Stillborn, or be born as a fully fledged vampire. They are ever immortal, cannot eat human food unless it has blood in it and even then they cannot eat a lot of it, though this is not the same for liquids, and every bloodline has a ‘feral’ type that is different from another. Reproduction is a bit of an unknown for vampires. There are creatures called Stillborns that are the successful offspring of a vampire and a human, or are the human offspring of a vampire when the disease becomes recessive. Almost always the disease is terminal and it kills them, then resurrects them from the ages 19-31. Scientists think this could be the peak age range for humans healthwise, which is why the disease stops their aging as well at that time. Otherwise, vampires can have offspring with other vampires, however it is unsure how. It could be that their reproduction systems come alive when with a compatible partner, but no one knows for sure and it isn’t full proof. Even so most vampires, just as they will do with humans to prevent possible Stillborns, will wear protection when with other vampires. It is whispered that there are ways a vampire and a werewolf could also have child, but seeing as one is dead and one is alive, that is skepticism at best. Vampires who are born from other vampires age very slowly until that 19-31 age range and then suddenly stop. They can of course be created when one is fed off of or drained, then made to drink the blood of a host. These vampires are called ‘newborns’ and are often very attached to their makers. They acquire a Bond, which is crucial for a newborn, though they don’t always get that treatment from their Maker. A newborn without a Bond will have issues trying to feed and they often become feral. If they do form a Bond, they will feel drawn to their Maker for decades if not for life. Some may need extra care and attention, even touch when they’ve been turned. The stage when a newborn becomes a stable vampire varies from bloodline to bloodline. Becoming feral is usually something a vampire wants to avoid. It happens when they are too hungry and have been starved of blood for too long, or sometimes when they experience very strong emotions. The form of being feral varies from bloodline to bloodline, just as it would for werewolves. When being fed off of a human will feel the pain of the bite but then a euphoria will settle, which is dangerous at times. A pheromone is also given off that makes them smell and taste amazing to a human (such as saliva and skin, this is not a reference to cannibalism lmao), which was once so they could draw in prey to better feed off of. In Melrose, vampires and werewolves live together in a tenuous harmony. Again no one really can point out why they have tension but still that thought has lived on in more traditional, and older people of both kinds. They try not to encroach on the others territory and spaces, and their councils work together along with the human government when needed. Vampires answer to the Vampiric Council of their country when a crime has been committed or they need other governmental help. Currently the hub for vampiric activity is in two parts. St. Januarius’ Cathedral, and Le Syndicat, respectively a church and a nightclub. The church is a safehouse for all werewolves, vampires, and humans , and the nightclub is well...a nightclub. One is ran by a charming but seedy priest, and the other is ran by a cold, but sweet once you worm your way into his heart.
Werewolves, like stated above in the vampire section, come from one large strain. There was a war a very long time ago but no one really knows that anymore, and there’s just some strain among the more traditional folks. Werewolves can be born with lycanthropy, or they can be turned; though werewolves can have offspring with humans at the normal rate unlike vampires. Their children tend to be hyperactive and need a lot of attention to keep their instincts under control, much like newborn vampires. They burn off a ton of calories and usually need to be on a high calorie diet because of this as well as high in iron, which becomes worse during a full moon. Changing in and out of their forms, whether it be bipedal or all fours, tends to burn off a lot of calories and consume a lot of energy. Werewolf kids need that extra supervision so that they don’t hurt themselves during the night, but they will learn to cope as they get older. Pain management those nights is a must, a lot of werewolves keep a well stocked medicine cabinet. Being turned into a werewolf is not as a rampant problem as people used to think, it never was. Usually they can only turn someone during a full moon when their saliva has more kick to it and is full of the lycanthropic strain, which their body has on a cycle much like a period. However, they can turn someone on the odd night but it’s usually just before or just after a full moon, and they will not get the chance to turn someone during a full moon that time around. Werewolves also often experience PMS like symptoms close to the full moon, no matter what gender they are.
Their hair grows very thick and fast, usually covering their entire body in a peach fuzz and growing more prominent on their arms, chest, pubic area, back, head, etc. Sometimes the back of their hands and feet as well. They see exceptionally well in the dark, usually have the speed and strength to rival vampires, and are always on the taller side. Though there are some exceptions, especially for human born wolves, or those turned into one. Aging is slow for them, some can live up to three hundred years before they pass on. Werewolf society usually comes in the form of a pack, designating an Alpha and Betas (usually two to three) in their own way and coming to them for advice as well as governing matters. They have their own council and converse with the human or vampire government if needed. How they govern is really up to them however, just as it is for vampires. In Melrose there are smaller packs everywhere, and a bigger one out on the edge of town. This pack has recently elected (through a physical challenge of the previous Alpha) Dante Kāne as their Alpha, and he has two Betas : Serj Allgood, and Ty Hacon. The previous Alpha, a man named Gunner, is a very traditional man who put into practice not so great things (drug running, not so safe sex work, etc) but Dante is slowly trying to ease the pack into doing better things.
Magic is an inherited trait, usually through a distant tie to the strain that gave the world vampirism and lycanthropy, or it is learned. Witches can be born to any human, werewolf, or vampire; though most humans still believe magic to not be real. It can also come in the form of anything, blood magic, rituals, soothsaying, fortune telling, necromancy, green magic, etc. It all exists all at once. Some believe in gods, some don’t, it’s all up to the person.
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imgonnaketchumall · 3 months ago
Ash sits inside the room at the Shady House. He looks around the room, and is glad that no one is inside with him. It’s just him and Pikachu, and as comforting as it may seem, it also is worrisome. The though of it being just him and Pikachu is one that is comforting, yet not. Because when it comes down to life, it always just ends up being the two of them. And when Pikachu leaves (because Ash is so sure, everyone does, eventually) it’ll be just him.
Life just happens, and people leave. Eventually people just go and he can’t explain as to why, but he knows that like the sun will set, people will just up and leave. It’s been happening ever since he was little.
He can hardly remember the early days. The days where his father would pick him up and laugh, the days where he would be held and loved by a man who now frightens him. He can’t remember much about the man now, other than the vague blur of memories and the stories his mother and aunts have told.
He remembers being told to be a good boy, and then being held by his mother as she cried tears. She hugged Ash tight and the two watched Teenage Mutant Ninja Squirtles together as her river of tears dried up.
With trauma always comes change, Ash has learned. Every time someone leaves, something happens. Something changes, and Ash learns to deal with it anyway he can.
His aunt has him go to visit his grandmother one day. She drops Ash off with his cousin, going to press a kiss to his head and whisks his mom off for a day of shopping. The sisters go out and pamper themselves, leaving Ash with his favorite cousin Red, who also lost his father.  But he’s also with his eldest cousin, Trey, who doesn’t care for anything that isn’t his dumb gameboy and always being right.
His mama comes home that afternoon with her brown locks drastically shortened at her chin, and nails polished in faint pink. His grandmother smiles sadly, seeing the hurt behind her daughters eyes.
“See Del, I told you you’d look good! New cut, new chapter.” His older aunt also has her locks shortened, just not as much.
“Hill, really?” She tucks a strand behind her ear. “Well, Ashy has been a handful lately. it’ll be a bit easier to manage.”
With the disappearance of his father, Ash finds him sitting in a room with a guy to chat with. Ash doesn’t understand, but his best friend Gary says that his Gramps has put him in the same thing when his parents went away.
When he’s seven Gary decides one day to up and leave. He decides that Ash isn’t fun to play with anymore, and that he’s now serious about having friends that are cool and ones that aren’t cry babies.
The leaving of Gary brings tears of anger. It brings his mother with pats on the back and lots of playdates with pokemon outside. He sits on the swings alone, and forces himself to not cry when Gary convinces everyone to not invite Ash to birthday parties.
Just when things couldn’t get worse, Ash watches as his favorite playmate, his beloved cousin Red, go off on a pokemon journey. Red leaves with an eager charmander and eyes of spark. Red makes promises to write and send postcards, but never doe he send any.
Red doesn’t come home for holidays. Not his birthday, not Christmas, not festivals. Red wins a league and doesn’t come back, going to live on the mountain.
By the time he turns ten, he can count on one hand the amount of people who’ve left: Dad,Uncle, Gary, Red. He closes himself off and gathers his partner at the lab. His partner is ready to leave the second he hits route one, the pikachu all sparks and anger.
“Then go! I don’t need you to be a pokemon master!” Shouts are made, and the little rodent thinks to head off, but doesn’t when a pack of spearrow attack. The pokemon watches as Ash saves him, and the rodent vows to never leave Ash.
They meet Misty, and then Brock. The journey starts to feel like maybe he wasn’t meant to be alone, that those he loves won’t leave. But as soon as the time comes, Brock leaves, because people always leave him eventually.
But then Tracey joins, then leaves, because people do end up leaving eventually.
(But then Brock comes back, and it’ shocking because people never come back.)
Bu like all highs, come with high lows. Misty gets a call, and then leaves. Misty doesn’t come back. Because she can’t come back. Misty leaves, and then Brock leaves, too.
(Somewhere, somehow, Red comes back. Red is back and Ash doesn’t know. Gary comes back around when he’s done playing bully. Ash is more suspicious than surprised. More scared than happy. Gary’s back. What the fuck does that mean?)
Ash travels Hoenn alone. He’s met with two siblings, two people who can never leave each other. He claims they’re lucky, and May just laughs and snorts. But then Brock comes back and makes their trio a foursome and it’s strange. People have always left but come back? Never.
(Secretly, Ash is counting down the days when Brock announces that he can’t take anymore of you Ashton. Because it’s bound to happen. He knows it.)
Brock remains until the end of Hoenn, then back to Kanto. May only leaves when she discovers other contests in other regions, and Max can’t travel alone. Once again, Ash ends up alone. This time, he’s sure of it.
Brock returns once again like a boomerang. He’s back in the cold Sinnoh region with Ash and a lovely bluenette. It’s like clockwork, because Ash knows that in the end, they will leave.
Ash goes to Unova, and there is no Brock.Because like all good things, people leave and they don’t come back. Ash hasn’t seen Misty since Hoenn, Ash hasn’t seen May since Sinnoh. Dawn is gone.
They’re alone, and meeting Iris just makes him feel like he’s with a young Gary. (He see Gary sometimes, and they’re cordial. But it’s a change, and Ash isn’t sure why he feels that way.)
Cilan joins, and like routine, at the end of the journey they leave, and Ash makes little preparations to see them again. He doesn’t think they will visit again, because it’s getting harder and harder. He thinks that he’s starting to hit that mark where people are done, where they leave because they all do it.
Kalos brings him alone with Pikachu. A twosome of siblings, and they make him feel the joy he had when it was him and May and Max. But its’ a bit different, because their threesome is joined by a girl with long hair who thinks he owns the world. Suddenly, he’s perfect and his eyes swim with haunt and disgust everytime she lifts him up.
(How can she think he’s perfect? How can not understand that people leave? People go away, and it’s his fault. He’s not perfect. He’s not anything.)
He leaves Kalos with more trauma and more haunting. He leaves with a kiss and confusion, and feelings that make no sense to him. He leaves, and anxiety piles up as he sits in his home, in his bed.
Alola comes, and there’s no league. There’s no gyms, no journey. There’s school and routine, and people don’t just leave. Kukui kisses him goodnight, and like a father, wakes him in the morning. But then he gets married and the twosome turn to three. He tries not to impose. He was the reason his first father left, and he’s sure he’ll be the reason for the second.
(But Burnet stays, and Kukui stays and everybody stays.)
He meets a boy with jaggy hair and a grumpy look. He meets a brother. One that appears mean, but understands each bone in his body. He lets Ash cry and the fears of his father, of his past, his brother doesn’t laugh at. He sits there and nods and listens and then it hits him. He sees the papers and the photographs. He sees love. He sees a man and a woman who love each other and want to get married. He sees young, in love, and he sees himself. He sees how he could get in the way. He sees how he’s been the pest,the kid, the twerp.
He eyes the photographs and just knows he’ll leave too. And when he leaves Alola, he knows he’ll be just another student, just another person. And it’ll be him and Pikachu, then him and Mama.
(And he hopes Gary, that maybe Gary and him will get married. But Ash can’t see that. He can’t see them having the perfect yard or house, because he knows that he’s a trainer at heart and people leave. He can count them all on two hands now. Maybe three.)
Once, when he was seven, he had to go to his therapist. He had to talk about Gary, and about how he was lonely. He was told it appears he has trust issues, abandonment issues.
So as Ash sits alone in the room, petting Pikachu silently, He knows that eventually, it’ll all go away, and his brother will just be another broken boomerang, like the rest.
(He hopes not, for the love of Arceus, he hopes.)
inspired by @raichoose and Red is from @champofpallet
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multidragonfly · 4 months ago
Happy first post of the year! Hope your 2021 is full of health and prosperity for everyone!
So, since it is 2021, today I am going to talk about my first fandom. After all, 2021 marks 20 years since I first joined Fanfiction Net. I just checked and I created my account on April 13th, 2001. Goodness! 
I got into Digimon when I was quite a bit older than its target demographic back in good ol’ late 2000. I was working as a babysitter to pay for my books and supplies, so I spent hours after hours looking after kids, playing with them, reading Harry Potter to them and, of course, watching cartoons with them. Our local channel used to show a lot of anime during the afternoons, and Digimon was one of these series. 
Digimon was not my first encounter with anime, though. When I was a child back in the 80s, that same local channel used to air tons of shoujo anime, including Sandy Bell, Heidi, Candy Candy and Gigi (aka Minky Momo) . My mother was not fond of my siblings and I watching “overly dramatic cartoons”, but it was our only option for TV because we didn’t have cable. I enjoyed some of those series, but that was it. Once I became older, I didn’t have further interest in anime until I started babysitting. 
If you have never heard of Digimon Adventure, it is the story of 8 Japanese children who are suddenly transported to an alternate world based on the world wide web. The series is very late 90s, from the character designs to the tech explanations for everything that happened. Each of the children meets a Digimon (or Digital Monster) who becomes their partner while they are looking for a way to return home, survive and, later,  to save both the digital and the human world. 
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I mostly liked the characters, their interactions and how each one of them had their specific background story and came from different kinds of families. I also liked how the growth of the Digimon was linked to their partner’s personal development. The plot was hit or miss, but some arcs were really solid (aka the episodes that took place on Earth). The soundtrack was amazing too!
The show had a kinda definite ending (at the time), but there were a few plotholes that left me curious, so I turned to good ol’ Internet to find more info. That’s how I discovered fan forums and, later, Fanfiction Net. I eventually started writing stories to fill those plot holes and discovered a very fun hobby, where I met fellow writers with whom I chatted on MSN Messenger and shared out plots and ideas. I have lost contact with most of them, sadly. 
The Digimon anime has had plenty of sequels and series since then. There are also manga, card games, videogames and tons of merch. However, I have only watched the first four seasons (Adventure, its sequel 02, Tamers and Frontier) and half of Digimon Tri (the third installment of the Adventure cast). I am definitely not as much into Digimon as I was 20 years ago, but I look back on those fandom years fondly. Maybe I should re-watch it one day.
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smoll-tangerine · 4 months ago
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PAIRING. mark x oc/reader GENRES. coming-of-age, friendship, some romance if you squint your eyes, drama, slice of life WORDS. 12.2k
SYNOPSIS. as you attempt to navigate between the worlds of college and adulthood, triggering some bitter memories that involve your parents’ divorce, you and mark learn that perhaps, new traditions can be created as long as your hearts are connected.
TRIGGER WARNING. mentions of abandonment issues
TAGLIST. @crescent-iak​
written for the ❆ walking in a winter wonderland collab ❆ hosted by @suh-insane​ & @neocitybynight​
PROMPTS. “It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas everywhere you go.” - Michael Bublé (It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas) // “Christmas is just about my favorite time. Ever since I was a little kid, I always felt like it was my own personal holiday.” - Ernest Saves Christmas
[a/n]: happy new year! this was supposed to be released on christmas, but life got in the way. i was able to finish this up just in time for new year, but i lowkey rushed the ending. if you see any mistakes, i apologize! with that said, enjoy! ♥
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Heading to the mall as a child with my parents and my brother Jisung to visit Santa’s Workshop to take a picture with the old man had always been something I looked forward to every year. But then, our parents got divorced when I was six years old and Jisung was three. Jisung went and live with our mother, whereas I stayed with our father.
Our father always tried his best to make it up to me. Being a single parent was never easy. But, I’ve always appreciated his efforts and never kicked up a fuss. Jisung frequently called because he missed us and as the older sibling, I always had to comfort him and reassure him that I was fine even when I felt the complete opposite.
The first year of Christmas without Jisung and our mother, my father promised me that he would bring me to the mall to take a picture with Santa Claus – because I’ve been a good girl, he said. Only, he forgotten about it and had to run through a few red lights to make it to the mall before closing time. 
We made it in line, but because it was so close to closing time, they didn’t allow anyone else to enter. I remember my father trying to make a compromise with the staff while I stood next to him blankly, wondering if this meant that I couldn’t make a wish to Santa Claus.
“She can come with us!” I then heard a voice chirp.
I raised my head to see a boy smiling at me. I then stared at the red cord separating the two of us. He was the last one admitted to see Santa Claus. The staff looked confused and conflicted.
“She can take the picture with me!” he added and then pulled on his mother’s hand. “That’s okay, right, Mum?”
He didn’t even wait for any of the adults’ replies before he unhooked the red cord from the pole and then pulled me along with him.
“Don’t cry! The holidays are supposed to be a happy time, yeah?” he told me and sloppily tried to wipe my face with his sleeve.
I nodded unsurely. He then grinned back at me before we made our way to Santa’s throne.
Christmas is just about my favourite time. Ever since I was a little kid, I always felt like it was my own personal holiday.
Because that’s when I met my best friend, Mark Lee.
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My hands twiddled with my phone, hidden in my coat’s pocket, as I waited for Mark to arrive. It was a couple of weeks before Christmas, but it has always been tradition for us to head over to the mall to take a picture with Santa Claus. Worry was evident on my face as I waited for my best friend. I just received some news that I did not know how to break it to my closest ones.
Mark being one of them.
Speak of the devil.
“Sorry, I’m late,” Mark said with a smile as he approached me and then gave me a tight hug. “I had a few questions to ask the prof regarding my thesis.”
I shook my head as I returned the gesture. “Don’t worry too much about it. I didn’t wait long.”
“Shall we head over to the old man, then?”
I nodded in agreement as he took the lead. Mark was talking to me about something related to school, but my mind was off elsewhere, unable to focus on anything he was telling me. Knowing me for so long, it didn’t take him long to notice. Our friends always said that Mark was someone oblivious, almost insensitive to other’s feelings, but never mine because he had a soft spot for me. I always brushed their comments off because it was normal for Mark to act like so – after all, we were best friends.
But after receiving the news and then hit with the possible reality that I was going to leave…
I’ve realized that Mark was simply more than a best friend.
Perhaps I’ve been living in denial for all these years, and now I had to deal with these feelings, unknown as to how to proceed from now on without hurting anyone – including myself.
“My mum asked if you were coming over for dinner with your dad on Christmas,” he then mentioned as you two waited in line. “She sounds pretty excited.”
I smiled at the thought of his mother. “I’ll ask my dad, but I’m sure he will say yes.”
Mark and his family probably knew the answer but asked just to be polite. My father and I always kept Christmas free in case Jisung and our mother decide to spend Christmas together. But that never happened. Hence, our annual Christmas dinners at the Lees.
It was finally our turn after a half an hour wait. The Santa’s Helper was the same one from a couple of years ago, which made me wonder just how old she was really. I could tell from the arch in Mark’s brow that he was probably thinking the same. It was a question we kept asking ourselves every year, but since we were close to our last year of college, that was probably the reason why we were more curious than usual.
“You two again?” the elf said. “Aren’t you guys getting too old for this?’
Mark scrunched his nose in response. “Is there such thing as getting too old for Santa?”
“Yeah?” she replied in a snarky way and looked us up-and-down.
I rolled my eyes, not liking her attitude one bit. I wasn’t one to care much about her remarks. If anything, they were the same every year and they never bothered us much. But maybe because I was stressed out more than usual that caused me to give her a reply.
“Well, I mean, we can say the same about you, can’t we?” I added.
Mark seemed surprised by my retort – even the woman seemed surprised. After all, it was always meant to be witter banter, almost like an inside joke between the three of us since we recognized each other from all the visits. Even I was taken aback with my own attitude and immediately apologized to her. “Sorry, I’m just- It must be the leftover stress from finals.”
The woman gave me a small pat on the shoulder and a reassuring smile. “Don’t worry about it. I find it cute that you guys still come every year even though you guys know that Santa isn’t real.”
“Wait, Santa isn’t real?”
The three of us gasped at the small child waiting behind us, his eyes wide in disbelief after hearing what the Helper has said. Mark immediately crouched down to the child’s eye level and tilted his head. “Hey, what are you talking about, little man? Of course, Santa is real. Isn’t he right in front of you?”
“Y-yeah, but then why did his elf say that he isn’t real?”
“The elf is only joking!” I added and joined in with Mark on his plan. “After all, we wouldn’t be here either if Santa isn’t real, right?”
“I-I- guess?” he replied, still unconvinced. “Then, does this mean you’ve got a wish for Santa?”
Both Mark and I were taken aback with his question. Since we met here, we both decided to commemorate our friendship by visiting the mall every year, on the same day that we met around fifteen years ago. Ever since we learned that Santa didn’t really exist, we switched to simply commemorating. We never really had wishes to ask.
Mark replied, “Nah, man. Just want to see Santa. After all, we only get to see him once a year, am I right, little man?”
He nodded his head before tugging on my coat. “What about you? Don’t you have a wish?”
I hesitated a little, skillfully avoiding the questioning gaze on Mark’s part, and then nodded unsurely. “Actually, I do.”
Right after this interaction, it was nearly our turn. So, we bade goodbye to the kid before making our way to Santa’s throne.
“So,” Mark started to say, “you’ve got a wish?”
I shrugged a side of my shoulders. “I guess I do.”
Mark waited for me to elaborate, but I remained silent. He then let out a small chuckle as he said, “So, keeping secrets from your best friend now, huh?”
I was about to reply when the elf asked us to come forward to take the picture. I was saved from having this conversation with him, but I knew that eventually, I would have to face it regardless whether I was ready or not.
After all, wasn’t late better than never?
But in my case, I would rather choose never.
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Right after hanging out with Mark and having dinner with him, I went straight home. It wasn’t so late that my father would worry about me. Rather, it was the opposite. I’ve always went back home early to make sure that he had dinner and was fine. As years passed by, it was almost as if I was the parent and my dad was the child.
“Oh, hey, Dad,” I said, the relief evident in the tone of my voice, when I got home and saw him in the kitchen. “Have you had dinner yet?”
He replied with a pensive hum as he washed the dishes. I immediately joined him and motioned him to hand me the gloves. My father gave me a look, an action that I mirrored, before he sighed and handed me the pink plastic gloves. I began to wash the dishes while he started brewing some tea for the two of us.
“Jisung called earlier,” he then said as he poured the tea into two cups.
“Did he?” I replied. “What for?”
“Apparently, your mother has something to tell you.”
My body automatically froze at his words and took a deep breath before resuming my actions. “Well, I don’t have any intention having a talk with her or anything similar of the sort.”
When my dad remained silent at my words, I sighed tiredly. I put the plates in the drying racket before removing the gloves and joined my dad by the dining table. He then handed me a mug, looking guilty as ever.
“You already know what she has to tell me, do you.”
It came out more as a statement rather than a question. The lack of a response on his part told me everything I needed to know. “Is there any point in meeting her?”
“I don’t want to speak to her. She doesn’t deserve any of our attention,” I stated without sparing him a look. “And honestly, Dad? Out of the two of us, aren’t you supposed to be the least forgiving one?”
He let out a sigh as he rubbed his temples. It never hit me until now how old and tired he had gotten over the years. How tiring and stressful it must be for a single man to raise a daughter, a daughter who turned into a teenager, a daughter turning into a young adult. How difficult must it be for a man to raise one without a feminine touch. But I never reproached him for it, never hated him for it. If anything, I hated the mother who was never present in my life.
My dad, unlike the one who birthed me, still tried his best to be part of Jisung’s life. I was never aware of the circumstances that led me to be separated from my little brother, but it made me wonder why Dad was the only one making the efforts.
“Honey, look at me,” he then said in a soft voice. “I’m almost near my fifties. I don’t want to be constantly fighting with your mother and to keep this negativity in my life.”
“Well, I don’t get how she’s acting as if she’s the only one who can do the forgiving around here,” I mumbled with crossed arms.
He stifled a laugh. “And whether you like it or not, you truly are your mother’s daughter. That stubbornness and pride of yours definitely did not come from me.”
I grimaced at his remark. I never really liked being compared to my mother even though it was all I could hear ever since I was a kid. I used to love it, until she left us. Imagine growing up hearing that you resembled so much to a person who was like a ghost to you – she never had a presence in my life so how was it possible that I was constantly reminded of her at every chance possible?
“Whatever,” I ended up saying before putting the cup in the sink. “Don’t stay up too late. I’m going to take a shower now and then call Jisung when I’m done.”
“Alright. Good night, honey.”
“Night, Dad.”
After a quick shower, I immediately headed to my room and Facetimed Jisung, who was, thankfully, online.
“Hey there, little chick,” I said with a smile, happy to see my little brother after so long. “Heard from Dad that you called.”
From the look he was sporting, I could tell that I was in for some bad news. He gave me a wave and a tight smile, as if unsure where to go from there.
“Are you two coming over for Christmas?” I asked, starting the conversation. “I’m assuming, no.”
“Actually, we are.”
I was slightly taken aback. But the only reaction he got out of me was just some quick blinking of my eyes. I told Dad the news that I had kept from everyone, but Jisung was one of the few that I didn’t tell. Only because I haven’t made up my decision yet. It made me question whether Dad has told my birth giver.
“Huh… Didn’t expect that.” I then cleared my throat with a small exhale. “So? Do you know what she’s planning?”
“Kind of…” he admitted with twiddling thumbs. “You’re not going to like it.”
“I’ve never liked anything that came out of her mouth, to be honest.”
Jisung faked a wince. “Aren’t you a bit too harsh on Mum?”
I sent him a glare through the camera, which made cower backwards.
I’d never hidden my… distaste for our mother. With time, Jisung came to understand why I bore such feelings towards her, but he was the son who got to spend his life with her. I wasn’t surprised by the fact that he would take her side at some times. But that didn’t mean it didn’t hurt me any less.
My hands unconsciously clenched at his remark and I breathed out sharply. I never resented and reproached Jisung for receiving love from both of our parents. After all, it wasn’t his fault that our mother didn’t want to spend any time with me – or bothered to get to know me for the last fifteen years.
I didn’t understand what was so important that she had to come all the way to our hometown to tell me the news. More important than getting to know her daughter? Some would say that I had issues and that I needed to get over them, but knowing my mother’s personality, I would never be able to get that closure.
I’ve always given her a chance to explain herself. To explain why she couldn’t act like a proper parent to me like Dad did with Jisung. But she would always brush me off whenever I brought up the subject so I just stopped bothering – stopped bothering with the calls and the letters and the emails. After all, why put myself through this unnecessary pain?
“Mum said that you’ve got news to tell us, too.”
My brow twitched at his remark. “Did she, now?”
The tone of my voice dripped with sarcasm. Jisung could tell that I wasn’t too pleased about this bit of information. And I wasn’t. So, our father did tell the news to his ex-wife. I mentally sighed. He wanted to make efforts with her, so it was something I should have expected. I was slowly getting frustrated over the fact that I didn’t have anyone to get angry at. I’ve always had a soft spot for my old man, so that was out of the question. Jisung was innocent in all of this. And as much as I wanted to get angry at my mother, it wasn’t her fault that my father decided to open his big mouth.
“I’m a bit tired,” I croaked out. “I’ll talk to you tomorrow. Good night, little chick.”
My little brother bit his bottom lip, making me wonder just what exactly he wanted to say to me, but he ended up sighing and nodding at my words. “Good night.”
The second the screen went dark after I ended the call, I immediately sent a text over to Mark, wondering if he was still awake. He instantly replied that he was and sensed that something was wrong with that one message. He then asked me if he wanted to go for a late-night drive with some drive-through food. I sent over the thumbs-up emoji, and added that I was going to pick him up in exactly ten minutes.
I changed my clothes and grabbed the keys from my desk before heading over to my dad’s room, wondering if he was already asleep. I knocked on his door. “Hey Dad, are you asleep?”
“No, honey,” his voice from the other side of the door said, “is everything alright?”
“Yeah,” I replied as I opened the door a little bit, and plastered a smile onto my face. “I’m just going to meet with Mark for a while and then come back.”
He nodded and turned off the lamp on his nightstand. “Alright, honey. Be safe. Call me if there’s anything.”
“Yes, Dad.”
Ten minutes or so later, I found Mark already waiting for me, sitting on the sidewalk in front of his house. I immediately chided him the second he entered my car and blasted the heater. “Mark, you do realize it’s winter outside, right? What the hell were you thinking waiting for me outside in the cold when you could have just done so inside your house?”
He shrugged nonchalantly. “I was excited to see you.”
I cocked a brow at him as I drove off towards our favourite fast-food restaurant, McDonalds, and ignored the butterflies in my stomach caused by his sweet words. “You just saw me today.”
“I know,” he stated with a hand behind his neck. “But you seemed distracted. So, when you texted me earlier, I was hoping that maybe you’ll finally tell me what was on your mind.”
My hands tightened around the steering wheel as I was reminded of the idea that my mother was coming into town with Jisung in a tow. If they were to come, she should have just sent Jisung alone, instead. I wouldn’t have minded picking him up at the train station. But then I remembered that this wasn’t the thing that bothered me early on in the afternoon.
I didn’t call him to speak of the news that I hid from him, but he didn’t need to know that.
“Apparently, Jisung and my mother are coming over for Christmas.”
I didn’t need to look over him to know that he froze up at my words. Mark knew just how much I disliked my mother. One of the reasons why I got along with him so well was that he never hit me with the “mummy issues” and the “abandonment issues” lines, and always wholeheartedly listened to my ranting. He never once pretended to sympathize or tried to understood my pain, but he had always been there for me – by my side.
And I didn’t know if I could live a life without him right next to me.
“Is that so?”
I hummed in reply. “Don’t worry, we’re still coming over for Christmas.”
“With your mother?”
I pursed my lips. “Actually, I forgot to ask my dad. But tell your mum to keep two spots open, just in case.”
“Only two?”
I tried not to roll my eyes. “Mark, it’s my mother. Do you really think she’s going to come?”
“I don’t see why not.”
“Fine,” I said. “Keep one spot open. Whether she’s coming or not, I’m still having dinner over at your place.”
“What about your old man, then?”
“My old man can starve, for all that I care,” I grumbled. “It’s his fault that she’s coming over, in the first place.”
Mark chuckled lowly. “Why would it be his fault?”
I almost slapped my hand to my loud mouth. I guess I inherited that from my father. Being with Mark and talking with him always brought me a sense of comfort that was unachievable with any of my other friends. Perhaps because I practically grew up with him. I didn’t dare to bring my non-platonic feelings into this. This sense of comfort would always make me reveal my darkest, inner most feelings to him. And maybe it was the fact that Mark never ran away from them – from me – that made me attracted to him, in the first place.
“He wants us to have a good relationship or something,” I revealed. A little white lie never hurt anyone, right? “And somehow, my mother thinks that fifteen years later is suddenly a good time to get to know her eldest child.”
“Better late than never.”
“How about never?” I scoffed. “I was fine without having any ties with her.”
It was his turn to scoff. “We both know that’s a lie.”
I narrowed my eyes at him before ordering through the speaker at the McDonalds’s drive-through. Within minutes, we got our order and we decided to eat in my car in the restaurant’s parking lot. I rummaged through the brown paper bag after parking and handed him his burger and fries before taking my nuggets out.
“I worded that incorrectly,” I continued from where we left off. “What I meant to say is, I was fine living without any sense of hope. I… I gave up on her a long time ago, Mark, and the minute I think that I’m finally over it – that I think that, you know what? I might be fine living without a motherly presence for the rest of my life, my father just goes and drop this bomb on me.”
I could feel Mark’s eyes boring into the side of my face and I shoved a fry in my mouth to distract myself from it. My best friend was an honest and kind person, a bit too innocent, if you asked me. But those were some of his best charms. And those were the very characteristics that made me trust him so deeply. My trust in him would always be unwavering because I knew that he would never lie to me, never do anything to anger or disappoint me.
It was only too bad that I wasn’t the same. The guilt of hiding such important news to him ate me up every second that I was basked by his presence.
“I don’t know what to say,” he ended up saying after a long silence.
It sometimes bothered me that I was relying so much on him, that I always ran to him whenever I was confronted with my family business and issues. Mark would always have this conflicted look on his face whenever I would rant to him. I always reassured him that I talked to him not because I needed him or wanted him to give me advice. The fact that he listened to me rant was good enough. At least, for me.
But it always seemed like he was plague by this idea that it was his duty that because he was my best friend, it was also his responsibility to cheer me up, no matter what – that he always had to have something to say in reply. I never demanded him to act this way, but perhaps, unconsciously, my actions said otherwise.
“Nothing,” I murmured as I reclined my seat and lied down with my eyes closed and my hands across my stomach. “I don’t need you to say anything.”
I could hear Mark shift in his seat judging from the rustling of his clothes and the small creak caused by the recliner. He then exhaled slowly and grabbed my hand, startling me just the slightest, but I didn’t dare open my eyes.
“What do you want me to do, then?” he mumbled back.
I gathered all the courage I had in my body and squeezed his hand. “Just stay like this.”
He sounded confused as he replied, “Like what?”
“By my side,” I answered softly. “Promise me that you’ll stay by my side.”
Mark remained silent although I could hear his jacket rustle. It made me anxious to hear an answer on his part. So, I opened my eyes and turned my head to face him, to only find Mark’s face a few millimetres away from mine. His face was so close that I could count the number of lashes of his eyes and see the small freckles and that small mole on his cheek that I’ve always adored.
I instinctively held my breath, surprised by this close proximity. I almost wanted to scold him and ask him why was he so close to him, but for once, I allowed my greediness to take over and take advantage of the situation.
He stared at me, his eyes unblinking and unwavering. His hand was then on my cheek, rubbing comforting circles. I subconsciously leaned against his hand that felt so warm and loving, and smelled a bit like the apple and cherry blossom hand cream I got him for his birthday. A mellow and tender scent that somehow strongly reminded me of him.
Mark then gave me a small, shy smile as he told me, “I promise.”
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Jisung and our mother arrived at our house exactly 2 days before Christmas – something that was not told to me. I shot a narrowed glance over at my father who had the audacity to ignore me as we both waited for them by our house’s entrance. Jisung seemed ecstatic to see us as he ran and hugged me the second he got out of the car.
“I’ve missed you so much!”
“Same,” I replied before Jisung hugged our father.
My smile was instantly wiped the second I saw the driver come out of the vehicle. Her face was the spitting image of mine, only it was older. There was no denying that I was related to her. If anyone saw us walking side-by-side in the streets, they would know that she was my mother. People would have to be blind to not notice our resemblance.
The said woman walked up to us with their luggage in her hands. She had an awkward smile on as she looked at her ex-husband and daughter. She was about to hug me when she realized that she had too many things in her hands to do so.
“Oh, Mum, here, let me help you with those-”
“Jisung, come on in,” I quickly said and pulled him inside. “It’s freezing outside.”
“Not slick, sis,” Jisung muttered to me as I forced him to take off his boots.
“Shut up,” I shot back under my breath. “Did you really think that I was going to let her hug me? When I literally haven’t seen her ever since I was six years old?”
“Well, yes?”
“Jisung, I’d rather-”
“Actually, I don’t think I want to know, sis.”
“If anything, I’m surprised that she actually recognized me.”
Jisung snorted. “What? Like Mum would actually forget about her only daughter?”
My brows furrowed at his statement. “Well, she’s been doing it for the past fifteen years – why stop now?”
I then headed into the kitchen, Jisung following me suit. I took out three mugs from the cabinet and hesitated a bit when my hand lingered over a fourth one. I sighed through my nose and grabbed it before making a total of four mugs of hot chocolate. I could hear our parents talking in the living room. I barely finished stirring the last cup when Jisung suddenly grabbed all four and brought them over to the living room.
“Sis made us all some hot chocolate!” he exclaimed happily, like a small child. When I thought about it, he was perhaps still a child.
I mentally scolded myself for making them. It used to be a tradition for us to drink hot chocolate during the holidays. It was all we ever drank. Jisung was probably too young to remember which made me wonder whether our mother kept this tradition or not after they moved away. Dad did, in our case.
“Hot chocolate?” our mother then said. “Oh, I’m afraid that I don’t drink such sweet stuff anymore.”
I pursed my lips and grabbed her mug before bringing it to my lips. “I’m sorry, I didn’t know that.”
“No need to-”
“It’s just that we used to do that before,” I said, cutting her off. I remained stoic as I analyzed her facial expression. “Dad said you wanted to spend some quality time as a family, or something. So, I thought that making some hot cocoa could commemorate that seeing it used to be our tradition, but I guess not.”
My father said my name in a warning, and I tried not to roll my eyes in response. I glanced over at the time and realized there were still a couple of hours left before the mall would close. Seeing that I haven’t completely finished buying Christmas gifts, I figured this would be a good time to escape.
“You know what, I almost forgot that I was supposed to meet up with Mark, today,” I nonchalantly declared as I got up from the sofa before pulling Jisung up at the same time, causing him to hiss as the hot chocolate spilled a little over his sweater. “Jisung said that he missed him.”
“I did?”
I pinched his underarm and my little brother wailed slightly in pain. “Yes, you did,” I repeated before grabbing both of our coats and pushed him towards our house’s entrance and then into my car.
“Seatbelt,” I tutted at him as I started the car.
He did as I asked and then crossed his arms with a smirk. I didn’t like where this conversation was going to go. “So…”
“So, what?” I practically spat out as I quickly drove away from my house – away from my mother. I inwardly scolded myself for talking in such way towards my little brother. But thankfully, he didn’t seem too bothered by it.
“Am I finally going to meet this boyfriend of yours?”
I groaned and made a face at him. “Boy space friend, Jisung.”
“As if you don’t have a massive crush on your boy space friend, sis.”
I blew a raspberry. “Well, I’m not going to go and deny that.”
My little brother seemed surprised, as if he expected me to deny his claims. Truth to be told, I was going to but, but what was the point? Denying it wouldn’t suddenly make those feelings go away. And besides, if things continued this way – without me doing anything about the situation – then admitting to my little brother that I had strong feelings for my best friend wasn’t going to do anything, either.
“You know what, sis? You’re actually really cool.”
I snorted with a small smile at his reply. “Took you long enough to realize that.”
“But, are we really going to meet up with him, though?”
“Yeah,” I answered as I glanced over at my phone that suddenly lit up, notifying me of the message I just received from Mark. “I texted him right before leaving and he said he’ll meet up with us in a couple of minutes.”
He then mumbled something incoherent that I failed to catch as I was too focused on trying to find a parking spot. I thought I heard Mark’s name somewhere in that sentence, but didn’t think too much of it. After parking the car, we immediately headed inside the mall.
“Hey, did you buy anything for Mum?” Jisung asked me out of nowhere.
“No, was I supposed to?” I answered without hesitation.
He then gave me a look to which I replied with an innocent “what?” and raised shoulders. Jisung then shook his head in what seemed to be disappointment. I didn’t let it bother me too much. I did think of procuring a gift for her, but came up with nothing because the realization that I didn’t know much about the older woman hit me. The other years, I didn’t have to think of a gift as Jisung and her never really came over. This year, however, they decided to be different for some reason.
“Get her something nice, like skin care products or something,” Jisung then probed me as he pointed out one of the shops. “I think she’ll love that.”
“I was just thinking of getting her like a mug, or something,” I replied after glancing over at the shop and never looked back. “Or maybe like a sweater?”
“Both are pretty bad,” Jisung continued with furrowed brows. “But the sweater is definitely better than the mug idea.”
“Fine, I’ll get her a sweater,” I caved in, practically exasperated. “Pick it out for me and I’ll pay.”
“That defeats the purpose of you buying the gift, no?”
I scrunched my nose. “No? In the end, the gift is still from me, is it not?”
“But you’re supposed to be the one picking it!”
I rolled my eyes. “As if she can tell who picked it.” I then ignored his jabs and pulled him towards one of my favourite bookstores. Some of my friends from university worked there as part-timers. I was hoping that one of them was working tonight so that they could help me order some of the books that I’d been eyeing.
My frown immediately turned into a smile when my friend, Renjun, greeted us as we entered the store. His expression immediately turned into confusion when he noticed that the person next to me was someone unfamiliar to him.
“Renjun, this is my little brother Jisung,” I introduced the two. “Jisung, this is Renjun, a friend from school.”
“Oh, here I thought he was Mark.”
“What about Mark?” Renjun asked with a teasing smirk.
I flickered my friend’s forehead. “Is he here, yet?”
Renjun hissed as he rubbed the sore spot and then nodded. “Yeah, he’s somewhere in the store. I think I saw him in the poetry section the last time he asked me for help.”
My brows furrowed. “Poetry? What is he doing in that section?”
He bobbed his shoulders. “Beats me.”
“Okay…” I replied with a raised brow, just wondering why my best friend would be in a section he usually didn’t scour. Looking at the fake smile plastered on Renjun’s face, I had a feeling that he was hiding something from me. But I didn’t pry. After all, who was I to criticize him for hiding something?
“I’ll stay with Renjun!” Jisung suddenly announced.
That took me by surprise. “You will?”
“He will?”
“Yeah, I still have to find you a gift!” Jisung said with a confident nod. “And I need Renjun’s help with that.”
“Okay…” I repeated and pointed towards the back of the store. “Well, I’ll be in the fiction section if you need me or anything…”
“Okay, bye!” Jisung exclaimed and pushed me, startling me in the process.
I perused the shelves for a while and found the books before deciding to head over to the poetry section to see if Mark was still around. Instead, I found the section empty, but that didn’t dampen my spirits too much. Instead, I took the time to see what else was new. I was about to head back to the cash where Renjun was now manning, when my eyes then fell upon Fernando Pessoa’s A Little Larger Than the Entire Universe: Selected Poems.
I lied when I said that my mother didn’t even bother reaching out to me for the past fifteen years.
She did, once.
Only one time she remembered that she had a daughter and she sent me a poetry book written by the same writer. A poetry collection named Forever Someone Else. I almost wanted to laugh at myself for actually remembering the title and the author of the book she had sent me for Christmas when I turned 16.
I was too consumed by my own anger that I didn’t even call her to thank her for the gift. And although she had decided to gift me something that year, she didn’t even bother giving it to me in person. Instead, she shipped it to me. Although angry, I didn’t have the heart to throw the book out. Admittedly, perhaps there was a part of me who was secretly glad that she knew of my love for books and poetry.
That was the only time she had ever gifted me something ever since she and my dad divorced.
And ever since then, I didn’t bother touching any works written by Fernando Pessoa.
Jisung’s words from earlier on echoed in my head as I quickly flipped through the book. Almost unconsciously, I added the book to the mountain of books piled up in the shopping basket. I then headed for the cash, ready to pay for them all. I felt both giddy and nervous, though I wasn’t sure whether it was because I could use Renjun’s employee discount on my new purchases or because I found a book that I secretly hoped that my mother would appreciate.
My eyes then slightly widened when I saw my little brother interacting with Mark and Renjun. The three seemed pretty animated about something which piqued my curiosity. I quickly marched up to them and then poked Mark’s shoulder, startling him as he let out a small yelp.
I snickered at my best friend’s reaction before asking, “What are you guys being all sneaky for? Doing something against your conscience?”
I then titled my head in confusion. Why was Jisung acting all familiar with Mark as if they knew each other since a long time ago? Even if I spoke often about Mark, that didn’t explain their sudden closeness. Especially since Jisung was such an introvert. He never really liked meeting new people unless he really had to. And even then, he was courteous towards them at best. Now, Jisung was acting as if Mark was his very own best friend.
“N-nothing!” Mark replied a bit too loudly and I winced. He mouthed a small apology before explaining, “W-we were talk- talking about Renjun’s crush!”
My head immediately flipped towards the said male whose eyes were wide at Mark’s proclamation. Renjun laughed, though it sounded a tad too fake for me, and nodded enthusiastically in agreement. “Yeah, my crush! She-”
I raised a hand in faked disgust. “I’m not really interested, so can you just ring these up?”
Renjun stuck a tongue at me before he started on his task. “Fine!”
I rolled my eyes at his childishness before adding, in a sing-song way, “Don’t forget to use your employee discount, thank you.” I then turned to Mark and eyed his paper bag with a raised brow. “Are you done with your purchases? I tried looking for you in the poetry section but I couldn’t find you.”
Mark quickly hid the paper bag behind him, definitely not looking suspicious at all. But then again, subtlety had never been his forte.
“Yep, just about done.” He eyed the book that Renjun just scanned. “Pessoa? I thought you hated him?”
My nose scrunched at his statement. “I don’t exactly hate him… Let’s just say I’ve got bad memories associated with one of his books.”
He raised his hands, silently promising he was not going to ask more. I paid for my books, thanking Renjun and promising him that we have to do something soon during the winter holidays before heading out with Jisung and Mark, the two whispering literally behind my back.
But my head was too preoccupied with one of Fernando Pessoa’s poems – the one that resonated the most with me when I first read Forever Someone Else.
The feelings that hurt most, the emotions that sting most, are those that are absurd; the longing for impossible things, precisely because they are impossible; nostalgia for what never was; the desire for what could have been; regret over not being someone else; dissatisfaction with the world’s existence. All these half-tones of the soul’s consciousness create in us a painful landscape, an eternal sunset of what we are.
There always was this small hidden feeling of guilt that threatened to overcome me every time Jisung tried to make me and our mother rekindle our relationship. Of course, he knew that it was never easy as it seemed. But what he failed to understand is that, ever since I was six years old, I’d always seen my mother’s divorce as a sign of betrayal.
A child’s world is often so small, which is exactly why they always so wholeheartedly believed in their parents. But when that very belief and trust is betrayed, whether it be by their absence, their words, their actions, their feelings – it hurts.
It would leave a wound far too deep that any adult around could feasibly imagine.
But perhaps, slowly, but surely, I could find it in my heart to forgive my mother.
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Christmas dinner ended up being at our place instead of at the Lees, which was a first and not to mention downright weird, to say the least. Jisung and our father ended up being responsible for dinner whereas our mother and I had to decorate the tree and place the table. I was certain that this was the little devil’s plan to get us together, and frankly, even I thought it was a great plan until we were faced with each other.
I silently cursed at my brother’s enthusiasm as it seemed like I was getting roped into his antics a bit too easily.
In the end, we never ended up speaking a word to each other, but I didn’t fail to catch the slight widening of her eyes when she saw my gift to her, wrapped prettily with a bow underneath the Christmas tree. The awkwardness and tension was getting to be too much for me that I instantly released a sigh of relief when I heard the doorbell ring.
“I’ll get it!” I announced and immediately headed for the door.
Mark’s parents shouted my name as soon as I opened the door, surprising me just a tad. I returned their smile and quickly invited them in as they wished me a merry Christmas with a tight hug and a small kiss on the cheek. I was about to greet Mark when my breath got caught in my throat at how handsome he looked in his black suit and pushed-back gelled hair.
Oh, this was not good for my heart.
“H-hey,” I ended up stuttering out. “Merry Christmas. You look good.”
Mark rubbed the nape of his neck and looked down at his feet. “T-thanks,” he replied. “You look good too. M-merry Christmas.”
I cleared my throat. “Come on in.”
He entered the house and removed his shoes before heading inside to greet my father, then Jisung. Mark abruptly froze up in front of my mother, whom he had heard about loads of time from me, but I guess that was probably the first time he ever met her in person. He quickly bowed in greeting and wished her a merry Christmas before placing his gifts underneath the tree.
“So.” My mother suddenly appeared out of nowhere next to me, causing me to recoil slightly. “That’s the famous Mark I’ve been hearing so much about, huh?”
“From who? From me?” I replied a bit too harshly.
Old habits die hard, huh.
I quickly excused myself and headed for the dining room to finish placing the table. Mark arrived soon after and started helping. I didn’t miss the nervous glances he would throw over at my direction, either.
“So, like… That’s your mum, huh?”
I sighed. “The one and only.”
“She seems-”
I raised a cautious brow at him.
“You don’t need to act so polite on my behalf,” I told him.
“I know,” he replied with a small shrug. “But seeing how you two are peacefully co-existing in the same house, I assumed there must be some progress. I wasn’t about to say anything about your mother if I noticed that things were truly bad.”
I was taken aback with his words. “Y-you can tell?”
Mark’s mouth dropped a little as his next words stumbled out, “W-well, I mean- I- I pay attention, I guess? I pay attention to you?”
“Oh,” I lamely replied. “I see.”
I couldn’t describe this tension between the two of us ever since we went on that drive. It lingered in the air, obvious to the two of us. But somehow, we unanimously and silently decided that we were to ignore it, almost as if acknowledging what went down between us would somehow change the nature of our friendship. Though, with time ticking by and not many weeks left for me to tell Mark the news I had been keeping from him, I thought that maybe this was for the best even though I wanted to address the elephant in the room.
We headed back to the living room, where we will be opening the presents before having dinner. Each person would open their gifts received from everyone else before moving on to the next person. My body was tense when my mother opened my gift last, anxious about her reaction to a gift that I wasn’t certain she was going to like. I could tell that Jisung was happy that I got her a gift that was not a mug, though.
Her fingers froze a little before going over the book’s title and author. She smiled a little before raising the book to her chest. “Thank you, sweetheart. I love it.”
Taken by surprise with her nickname given to me, I mumbled, “You’re welcome… I’m happy that you like it.”
“I do,” she replied before giving me her gift to me. “Great minds think alike, if I may say so.”
I opened her gift apprehensively, wondering just what kind of gift she had gotten me. My eyes blinked repeatedly in surprise when the same cover revealed itself to me. I looked at the book in her hands then in mine before bursting out in laughter at the coincidence.
Who would have thought that we would get each other the same gift?
“Thank you,” I said with a genuine smile. “I can’t wait to read it.”
My father got me a new cardholder, Jisung got me a cologne, and Mark’s parents got me some skincare and body lotion. Mark was the last one to give me my gift. He seemed nervous, for some odd reason, which made me wonder whether it had to do with whatever he was talking about with Renjun and Jisung at the bookstore a few days ago.
“Merry Christmas,” he told me with a bashful smile.
“Thank you,” I said before opening his gift, which was relatively larger than the rest of the gifts that I’ve received. There was a small card included, but Mark quickly put his hands out as he exclaimed, “Wait! Um, um, can you like, read this later? Like, in private?”
Our parents were respectful and had enough common sense to not make any comments about his favour. I nodded slowly, wondering what was going on with Mark, but brushed it off as him being nervous around my mother and Jisung, two people he really wasn’t familiar with. Maybe he was embarrassed, but it never bothered him before whenever I read his Christmas cards out loud.
Mark got me a fluffy bathrobe, some tea that I’ve really wanted to try, and a book. “Running on Empty: Overcome Your Childhood Emotional Neglect by Jonice Webb,” I said out loud before realizing that I unintentionally made the atmosphere awkward. It took a few seconds for my brain to process the book’s full title.
“Mark!” his parents scolded him.
I looked over at my mother who did seem uncomfortable in this situation. But neither my father or I did anything to reassure her or comfort her. Both of us knew there was no use in denying reality. It would simply make it harder for either one of us to overcome this wall in our relationship.
“Actually, this gift is perfect,” I said, hoping to dissipate some of the tension. “This has been on my wish list for a while since it was never in stock at the bookstore. I told Renjun to order one as soon as it was in stock” I then turned to Mark with a smile. “Is this what you three have been discussing behind my back, back then?”
Mark cleared his throat. “I- I mean, Renjun said this is a book you’ve been waiting for and,” he shot a subtle glance over in my mother’s direction, “well, I wasn’t sure if I should get it for you since, uh…”
“It’s fine, Mark,” I reassured him and then gave him a tight hug. “I love it.”
“Are you sure?” he mumbled as his arms tightened around me, his meek voice showing just how uncertain and doubtful he was of his own gifts.
“Pinky promise.”
We then proceeded to dinner without any further problems. Though, I couldn’t help myself from subtly checking whether my mother was alright or not. I had no intentions of apologizing to her for wanting a book about childhood emotional neglect, nor was I going to comfort her for putting her in such a delicate situation. But I wasn’t that cruel. Besides, if Jisung wasn’t going to do anything about it, why should I?
Dinner went fine as the parents asked each respective child what was going on in their life. Mark had about a semester left before graduating. Jisung was going to apply for college soon. Everything was going as planned until it was my turn, and Mark’s mother asked me a question I did not expect.
“We heard that you got accepted into a graduate school in the UK, congratulations dear. When will you be leaving?”
Mark dropped his fork in surprise. I opened my mouth slightly and then closed it, unsure as to how was I supposed to answer her question when my best friend Mark didn’t even know that I got accepted for a school that was literally a whole continent away from here.
From home.
From where Mark was.
Mark remained silent, unmoving. And it scared me to see him like that. He was never one to hide anything from me, not even his feelings. So, when I witnessed just how stoic his expression was, something in me just broke. A part of me knew that I had to get him somewhere private to explain – to tell him properly. But I was just too overwhelmed with other feelings.
And although I was overwhelmed with the fact that my secret was out just like that, I was also more concerned with who exactly was the one who told Mrs. Lee. I glared over at my father who subtly shook his head at my silent question. I could tell from his demeanour that he knew exactly who was the guilty party.
“I didn’t know you haven’t told them the news yet,” my mother started to say carefully, but there wasn’t an ounce of regret present in her expression.
That was also one of the things that I hated about my mother. A stubborn and prideful woman as my father described, she was also one to never admit her mistakes even if she was in fact wrong. Maybe that was the reasons why she refused to acknowledge that she had neglected me; because she didn’t see it as something wrong she had done.
All the positive and warm feelings I’ve felt from our emotional gift exchange evaporated into thin air just like that – as if it never occurred. I tried to remain as calm and irrational as possible. I reasoned with myself that perhaps, there was a reason why she revealed that particular piece of information. Maybe it was an accident.
I wanted to believe it was an accident. But despite how much I didn’t know about my birth giver, one thing I could say for certain was that she never did things without any intentions. She wasn’t one to beat around the bush.
“And what made you think it was a good idea to tell them my business?” I said with a scoff.
“Honey-” my dad started to say.
My mother furrowed her brows and put her wine glass back onto the table. “I am your mother. I believed it is my business, as well.”
“My mother?” I repeated, flabbergasted. “Then, where were you for the past fifteen years? Not to mention, I haven’t even accepted the offer, yet so why are you spreading fake news?”
The said-woman remained as stoic and expressionless as ever. “My job is relocating me to the UK, as well. I thought this was going to be a good opportunity for us to bond. You’ll be able to save up some money too by staying with us.”
“Us?” I looked at my father whose lips were pursed, then back at her. “What do you mean by us?”
“Your father didn’t tell you?”
“No…” I slowly said. “He said that you had an announcement to make – was that it?”
My mother looked at me straight in the eyes, unwavering, as she said, “No, I’m getting remarried.”
The whole room went silent almost as if someone was afraid of breathing. You could practically hear a pin drop in this room. Though, it seemed like everyone was on their toes because they were afraid of my reaction.
“Excuse me?” I managed to croak out and chuckled sarcastically under my breath. “You’re getting remarried? To whom?”
“A man from work.”
As cut and dried as ever. That was all the explanation she could give me. And it was all that I needed to know from her. From there, I’d concluded that it was just impossible.
Impossible for me to forgive this person and impossible for me to get to know this person better, no matter how much I try. And no matter how much I wanted this, it was useless when the opposite party didn’t want the same things as you did. Here I was foolishly believing that my family could be reunited, or at least peacefully co-existing, but who was I kidding?
Who was I, as a 21-year-old, to actually believe and think that my parents who had been divorced for the past 15 years would rekindle anything other than a formal relationship. And for the sake of who, exactly?
For my sake?
For Jisung’s?
Who were they kidding?
Who was she kidding?
My feelings were one thing, but did she not take into consideration Jisung’s feelings, at all?
“Jisung…” I took a deep breath. “What about him? Is he going to move with you?”
“Yes, of course, he is.”
I looked over at my right, where Jisung was sitting, an uncomfortable and displeased expression evident on his face. But Jisung was our mother’s baby and he was never one to do anything that could possibly displease her. He tended to bottle up his feelings when it came to her. And I wouldn’t be surprised if he lied and said that he wouldn’t mind moving to another country to live with her and her fiancé.
“This is a joke, right?”
“No, honey, it’s not,” my father said, soothingly. “Your mother-”
I abruptly got up from my seat. “May I be excused?” I didn’t even bother waiting for permission. I then turned to Mark’s parents. “Mr. and Mrs. Lee, I’m so sorry about tonight, I hope we didn’t ruin anything for you. I’ll take my leave now. Merry Christmas.”
Without even hearing what they had to say, I went up to my room. I didn’t bother hiding my dissatisfaction either as I slammed my door shut. I threw myself onto my bed and buried my face into my pillows, the past conversation taking a bigger toll on me than expected. Not to mention I forgot to bid Mark goodnight.
And I still haven’t explained myself to him.
I had a feeling that nothing good was going to come with my mother visiting us for the first time in fifteen years. My favourite holiday of the year – ruined just like that under a couple of hours. Must be a record, somehow.
I heard a knock on my door and someone entering. I assumed that it must be my father since he always let himself in even before I reply. I felt my bed shift under some new weight. I turned my face, expecting my old man, but it turned out to be Mark who was lying down in the same position as I was, his face facing mine, just close enough that I can feel his breathing.
“M-Mark?” I mumbled, my cheek still squished against my pillow.
“Hiya,” he said softly.
“What are you doing here?” I asked in the same tone he used with me. “Y-you’re not mad at me?”
His brows met in the middle and he sighed through his nose. “I was initially mad when I first found out that you got accepted to grad school in the UK and didn’t even bother telling me.”
“In my defense, I still don’t know whether I’m going or not.”
He shot me a glare, which effectively shut me up. But his expression soon softened again. “But judging by the whole fiasco that happened a few minutes ago, I couldn’t be mad at you anymore.”
There always was something comforting about Mark. Something about his innocence, his optimism, his positive outlook in life. Mark would simply be there by my side and I would instantly feel better, no matter what. And it just hit me just how much I was willing to do for him. Anything that I would do for him – nothing could ever make up for how much he had done for me.
“Come here,” he said as he pulled me into a hug.
My arms instantly wrapped around his torso, tightening around it the second I felt my tears were going to fall. Seconds later, Mark’s hand was on my head, patting it as I sobbed into his chest. I hated myself for being this selfish, but on the other hand, I was glad that I had someone to be selfish with. Glad that Mark became this safe space for me to reveal my most vulnerable state and he would still accept me, nonetheless.
“I’m getting makeup and snot on your shirt,” I mumbled after calming down.
Mark’s hand never stopped caressing my head as if he knew what kind of effect it had on me. “Wouldn’t be the first time. Remember how you cried on me when we first met just because I was nice enough to let you come with me see Santa?”
“Shut up, that was so long ago,” I said, a bit embarrassed. It was a good thing that my face was still buried in his chest or else he would see just how self-conscious and shy I was due to his words.
“Yeah, well, that was probably when I fell in love with you.”
My body instantly froze at his words. I dared to raise my head a little to sneak a small peek at his face, just wondering if he was messing with me or not. He looked down at me with the purest and most sincere expression, but I couldn’t accept it.
“Stop lying, we were just kids,” I said lamely as I pushed myself away from him and sat up, unable to process his words.
“I’m not,” Mark insisted and followed suit. “I probably didn’t realize it until recently that I was in love with you for all these years, but it’s not a lie when I say that I am truly in love with you.” He then pointed his red Christmas card lying on my desk with his chin. “Did you read my card, yet?”
“No, not yet…”
He handed me the card and motioned me to open it. My hands trembled slightly as I opened his card, mentally preparing myself to whatever he had written for me. Mark’s words, as awkward as he was, had always been sincere and from the heart. Whatever he had written down, I knew it would always be the truth.
Merry Christmas!
Here’s to another year of friendship and laughter. I cannot thank you enough for sticking with me for all these years. And I will always thank my lucky stars and my guardian angel for bringing you into my life.
I’ve always thought the idea of soulmates as fiction. Something that only existed in stories and what-not. And after meeting you, I started believing in the existence of soulmates – just not always romantically.
I thought that there were certain people that you will meet in your life who you just connect with, more than anybody else. And you know how you know it isn’t a typical thing because you understand each other perfectly. And this person won’t always be your significant other. It can be your sibling, your parent, your teacher. But I’ve always thought that my soulmate was you.
My best friend.
But then I realized that you weren’t just a best friend to me. I wanted you – us – to be more than that.
Because I need you.
Because you make me laugh more than anyone else, and I know that I’m at my best when I’m with you. And because when you’re gone, nothing feels right until you return
And then, I realized something else:
I trust you.
I admire you.
I want you.
But nothing-
Nothing in this world could change the fact that I love you.
And I hope you know that I love you so much with every ounce of my being.
I hope you realize your own importance, not only to me, but to everyone who has been lucky enough to know you. I hope you remember that no matter what, I’m here for you and I fully intended of saying this for quite some time.
I’m sorry for being so awkward with my words in real life.
But I hope you recognize the fact that I appreciate you and adore you without restraints, and that will never change.
The poet Atticus once written:
Your scars are not your shame he said they are your story, and I love stories.
And I love you.
“What the hell, Mark?” I whined as I wiped my tears with my sleeves. “I hate you!”
Mark chuckled awkwardly and swiped his thumb my eye, helping me wipe away my tears. “Really? But I love you, though?”
“Shut up!”
He gave me a small smile and grabbed my hand, effectively sending my heart into a rampage. “Look, I’m not expecting an answer immediately, right away. I mean, with all the things happening around you right now, I don’t think you’re in the right mind to think or ponder about my confession but-”
“I love you too,” I blurted out.
This time, it was Mark’s turn to freeze completely. Though he recovered quicker than I did. “Y-you do?”
“Do I look like I’m mentally stable enough to joke around?”
“I don’t think you’ve ever been mentally stable, though?”
I threw a pillow at him which he dodged with expert ease. Our small pillow fight went on for a few other minutes until we were both hit with the realization that we still haven’t discussed where we were supposed to go from now on. Not to mention, if I were to leave for grad school, then we would be in a long-distance relationship from the get-go. Could I really do that to him?
“You’re thinking too much,” Mark said before ruffling my hair.
“Someone has to do the thinking between the two of us.”
Mark didn’t bother refuting. He bit his bottom lip in contemplation before saying to me, in a small, almost defeated voice. “You should go.”
“Go where?”
“To the UK for grad school.”
I scoffed. “And what? Live with Jisung, our mother and her new husband in good old London, while my father’s going to be here alone? Yeah, right.”
I fell back onto my bed whereas Mark remained unmoving next to me. “You’re really going to throw your dreams and aspirations away because of your mother?”
I didn’t like his words, but I couldn’t deny the effect they had on me. I knew that he only had good intentions and that he was looking out for me. But the childish part of me simply didn’t want anything to do with the woman who called herself my mother.
When I refused to meet his eyes and therefore, stopped talking to him. Mark let out a frustrated sigh before getting up from my bed. My eyes widened when he reached my door, his back facing me. “I won’t talk to you until you decide to finally act like an adult.”
And with that said, he simply left.
I buried myself into my pillows again and let out a frustrated shout. Not even a whole hour of declaring our love for each other and we already got ourselves into an argument. All because of my mother.
How annoying.
But Mark was one to always keep his words. If he said he wasn’t going to talk to me, he really wouldn’t – no matter how much it might hurt him to do so. I growled in irritation and flipped onto my back, thinking about his words.
And whether I liked it or not, it was time for me to indeed act like an adult.
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I decided to go to school in the UK.
I also refused to live with my mother and her to-be husband. That was simply a recipe for disaster. And I didn’t think she would force me to live with her and a man who was practically a stranger to me.
One of the reasons why I also accepted to go to the UK was because Jisung revealed that he actually wanted to stay here for college instead of moving to the UK. Although our mother was shocked, she wasn’t able to convince him that it wasn’t a good idea. Jisung was slowly growing into an adult and for one, I was glad to see that he was also slowly trying to detach himself emotionally from our mother who was practically going to start a new life without asking for her son’s opinion.
Thus, Jisung was going to stay here and move in with our father.
I could leave the country without any worries about my old man.
It’d been exactly almost a week and a half since Christmas. And I still haven’t talked to Mark yet. He didn’t know about my decision, either. But I didn’t know how to face him properly. Acting like an adult couldn’t possibly be this easy.
But he made it easy for me.
It was only a couple of days before I had to leave for the UK and Mark was outside my house, lying down on the front lawn, making snow angels. I joined him soon after bundling myself up in warm winter clothes and lied down against the snow, as well.
“What are you doing here?”
His eyes remained closed as the sunlight hit him perfectly in the face. I shuddered at how cold the snow was making me.
“Isn’t it warm?”
“Sorry?” I said, unsure whether I heard him correctly.
He opened one of his eyes. “Don’t you think that the sun is somehow warmer in the winter?”
“I guess?”
Mark gave me a blinding smile before pulling myself up. “Come on, you’ve got your keys, right?”
“Yes?” I answered as he pulled me towards my car. “Why?”
“I’ve got somewhere I want to bring you.”
Twenty minutes later, we arrived at the mall and he led me to-
“Build-a-Bear?” I asked with a small frown. “What are we doing here?”
“We’re getting you my Christmas gift to you.”
“You already got me a Christmas gift, remember?” I reminded him. “The book about childhood emotional neglect?”
Mark grimaced. “What kind of boyfriend would give such a gift to his girlfriend, though?”
I almost choked on nothing when he spilled those words without an ounce of shame. “S-since when are we a couple?”
“Are we not a couple?”
I softened at his question. Although touched with how confident he sounded, I also forgot that he didn’t know that I was going to leave soon.
“You’re overthinking this,” he then said as he interlaced our fingers together. “We are a couple and we will make the long-distance work.”
Without another word, he pulled me inside the shop where we were greeted with another friend of ours, Donghyuck. I remembered him saying that he was in need of a part-time job. I suggested that he should apply at Build-a-Bear because he reminded me of a teddy bear, but I didn’t actually expect him to take on my suggestion.
“Look who do we have here, it’s my favourite couple!”
“Hi, Hyuckie,” I greeted him with a hug.
“So, how can I help you two, today?”
“We want to make a bear for each other,” Mark said without hesitation. “Do you have any that come in a set?”
“As a matter of fact, we do!”
Donghyuck then led us to a table where two bears – one was red and the other caramel brown – was exhibited. I then blurted out without thinking, “I want the brown one.”
Mark laughed at me. “You’re more enthusiastic about this more than I thought you would be.”
“Shut up,” I said as I grabbed the red one – the one I will be making for Mark – and then gave the brown one to Mark. “You better make him pretty.”
Donghyuck snickered at our interaction before writing down our names on the respective tags before leading us to the stuffing stations. “You two can pick a heart while I stuff your bears.”
I picked the golden yellow one without hesitation. The colour reminded me of Mark because he literally had a heart of gold. Donghyuck lightly scoffed under his breath as he saw right through me, and I stuck out a tongue at him.
“Alright, lovebirds, grab your teddy bears’ hearts and tap, tap, tap on your heart,” our friend instructed us. “Then, I want you to jump up-and-down to give them a heartbeat. Come on, jump, guys! Look alive!”
We both jumped and laughed at how ridiculous we must look, but then realized that this was something completely normal in the store. But maybe Donghyuck was just being more extra than usual.
“Now, I want you both to spin like a princess! Spin, spin, spin! And make sure to rub your hands together to make sure the hearts will be warm!” Donghyuck exclaimed excitedly as he spun around along with us. “And now, close your eyes and make a wish on your heart!”
I closed my eyes and squeezed the little heart as I made a wish upon it. A couple of seconds later, I was done and handed it to Donghyuck so he can insert it into the stuffed bear. Mark finished before I did.
“So, what did you wish for?” he asked.
I bobbed a shoulder. “The same wish I asked Santa to fulfill.”
“Which is?”
I went on my tippy toes before grabbing hold of his collar and pulled him down for a kiss. I could feel Mark’s lips lift up in a smile as his hands snaked around my waist, pulling me closer to him I then slowly pulled myself away from him but kept my arms around his neck before pecking him another time on his lips.
“For you to always be the source of my strength and happiness.”
Mark’s cheeks immediately reddened at my remark and started stuttering soon after. “Oh, dude- I mean babe, what the hell?”
I chortled at how cute he sounded and looped our arms together. “Hey, what are we going to do about our tradition?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, what if I can’t come back for the holidays next year and we can’t take our annual picture with Santa anymore?” It’s not Christmas until we take our picture with him.”
Mark didn’t seem too bothered by it. “I can always come and visit you, instead.”
“No,” I refused with a small pout. “It’s not the same. We have to take it at our mall.”
Mark pecked my nose, then my cheek, then my eyes, then my forehead, before finally sealing my lips with a kiss. I gave him a small, non-threatening glare when he pulled away. “Not helping.”
He shrugged.
“Either way, it’s always going to be Christmas for me everywhere you go.”
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kitkat1003 · 4 months ago
On the issue of Mortality
AO3 Link
MK chose to be mortal, to be vulnerable, for the time being, and Monkey King is fine with that.
On the surface, at least.  Now he has a successor, one that he likes, and he’s vulnerable????
Yeah, he’s never going to sleep easy again.
(Or, 11 chapters through season 1 about Monkey King, and anxiety his successor gives him.  Who knew being a dad teacher would be so hard?)
Chapter 1: Picking a successor
(Or “Look, I’m gonna come clean.  Um...I’ve been kinda watching you”)
When Sun Wukong—the Monkey King—decides he needs a successor, it isn’t an easy decision.  For one, he refuses to admit why.  Because that would mean confronting it all and he doesn’t want to.  
He needs a successor because he wants one.  Who doesn’t want to retire?  It’s not like he’s spent hundreds of thousands of years in technical retirement, waiting for the Demon Bull King to return.  No, he’s been...super busy.  Yeah.  Turning Flower Fruit Mountain into a paradise has totally taken him…forever, and, like, he’s got lots of stuff to do.  He watches TV, once humans get electricity figured out.  Gets a computer too, once those things start popping up.  He gets a lawyer or two, yknow, keeping up with the times.
He’s...super busy.  He definitely deserves a retirement.
So all that’s left is find a successor.  Easy, right?
He actually starts looking when he hears whispers that the Demon Bull family is starting to get close to figuring out how to lift his staff.  So about a hundred years before Demon Bull King actually escapes.
He finds a few kids he thinks might work, but nothing happens, anyway, so there’s no point in interrupting their boring normal lives for nothing.  Besides, he doesn’t really see any of them with the spark of...something that he wants in his successor in any of them
He watches them grow.  Child to teen to adult, he watches, and then he leaves before they get too old because he doesn’t want to see the headstones.
He doesn’t understand why they have to be human.  Why they have to be mortal.  Why they have to be able to die.
Why he has to watch them die.
Years and years pass.  He gets lax, when looking for a successor.  Lax when it comes to keeping an eye on the Demon Bull family.
He does, on occasion, watch the town where his staff is.  It’s a pretty populace place, always buzzing with some sort of activity, which is both fun and boring.
One night, he watches a kid—no older than 13, he thinks, since he’s gotten used to watching humans grow and can gauge it pretty well—sprint down the street in the rain, wearing nothing but a ratty old hoodie, a shirt, shorts, torn up shoes, and a headband so dirty that even he can’t discern the original color.
There are three other figures chasing him, and he ducks into an alley as they sprint past.  Monkey King watches as the kid settles down, sitting in the alley, and pulling something out from beneath his hoodie.
A puppy.
“Hey there, little guy,” the kid’s voice is soft, and he scritches the tiny pup behind the ears.  “Sorry I couldn’t get your siblings, but they’d already been thrown in the lake—” the look on the kid’s face is nothing short of heartbreaking. 
Monkey King has plans for the group of thugs he saw earlier, if that’s what they were doing. Humans. 
“But hey, managed to save you, huh?  I’ll bring you to a shelter in the morning.  Someone will take you home and you’ll get loved to death.” Monkey King rolls his eyes at the saccharine display, but he wonders.
There isn’t a lot of crime in this city, with its advancements.  What’s a kid doing outside this late at night?
“I’d take you home with me, but mine’s more of a hovel than a place to live.  You can still see it, though!  C’mon,” the kid gets up, stumbling a little, and Monkey King notices that he’s favoring one leg, that the elbow of one of the sleeve’s of his hoodie is wet.
He follows.
The kid’s house is literally a shack made of a metal sheet wedged between an alley wall.  There’s a ‘bench’ that’s a slab of rock placed on top of more rocks, where a well loved sketchbook sits.
The kid sits on the bench, setting the puppy down beside him as he flips open his sketchbook.
“I’m gonna draw you, so I don’t forget, kay?” He pats the pup on the head, and then, using the smallest, most worn down pencil Monkey King has ever seen, he slowly carves out the puppy’s features, getting the soft tones of fur.  He keeps squinting, but Monkey King thinks that’s because all he has is the light of the lamppost for his vision.
This pretty darn good.
Monkey King watches for way longer than he would like to admit, and then watches as the kid pulls out a very worn blanket-substitute, curling around the puppy beneath it.
He frowns, but isn’t sure what to do about it.
So he leaves, and makes sure those thugs learn a thing or two about treating animals with respect.
This kid just keeps popping up in Monkey King’s peripherals.
He likes to people watch, and the kid will just appear from nowhere.  He’ll be running down the street, hanging out with this girl who looks about 3 economic classes above him. They’ll go to the arcade and play for hours, and she’ll pay for practically everything.
He decides he likes her, if she’s nice enough to do that for the kid.  Plus, he feels a familiar energy coming off of her, something he trusts.
They typically end their day at a noodle shop.  Pigsy’s?  The kid always pays there, with coins of various sizes.  The girl, when the kid isn’t looking, will slip the cook some more money.  They get steaming hot bowls of ramen, harass the cook, and eventually get half chased out, laughing all the while.
“You know you can stay with me, right?” The girl says, one day, when Monkey King is people watching (read: eavesdropping on their conversation.  It’s like his new favorite TV show, at this point).  Kid rolls his eyes.
“Mei, c’mon, your relationship with your folks is as strained as mine!  I wouldn’t want you to end up like me.  Besides, I’m fine!” he insists with the grin Monkey King has grown accustomed to seeing on Kid’s face.  
The information Monkey King gains from those two sentences is certainly something, and he ponders on Mei, the girl who spends her days as far away from home as possible.
Mei frowns.
“You still won’t show me where you’re staying.  Or explain why your clothes are all torn up!” She pokes him in the chest, and the Kid shrugs.
“Cause you wouldn’t like either of those things!  I can take care of myself!  Promise.” He rocks back and forth on his feet, all smiles.
Mei fixes him with a glare, before she sighs, relenting. “Fine.  But, if you won’t take my hospitality, you get my undying loyalty and free stuff!” She whips out a brand new red winter coat.  
Kid takes it slowly.
“It’s getting colder out!” She explains.  “And red just isn’t my color, you know?”
Kid slowly pulls the jacket against his chest, like he doesn’t know what to do with it, and then he smiles.  This one is smaller.  Less performative.  Monkey King didn’t realize that he’d been watching the kid to be able to tell the difference, but it’s not too hard to see.  Kid uses big smiles like a cloak, to hide what’s underneath.  The smaller ones-those are like the slivers of sunlight shooting out from an eclipse.  Wukong finds he prefers the smaller ones.
Kid wraps his arm around Mei’s shoulders.
“Thanks, Mei.”
The days get colder, and Kid is still in that shack.  Monkey King finds out that Kid doesn’t steal for money.  Instead, he does little odd jobs for short change, and then looks for coins people have dropped.  Apparently, the city’s wealth has made people more loose with their change.
Mei drags him to warm places as often as she can, but apparently this time of year she has a lot of responsibilities, or “social events,” as she calls them, so she can’t be around as much.
Kid doesn’t seem to mind, shivering through the nights, curling himself as tight as possible with that jacket and shitty blanket, and Monkey King doesn’t know why he even cares, but...
He’s not cruel.  It isn’t pleasant to watch a kid suffer.
And then, Kid gets sick.  Like, delirious, fever sick, and he’s not getting better.
And Monkey King has told himself, a million times, that he would let Kid figure his own life out, but he ends up picking Kid up anyway, depositing him at the ever familiar noodle shop.
The cook drags the boy inside, and Monkey King doesn’t see Kid on the streets after that.
Kid starts working at the noodle shop, apparently, and he lives above the shop.  Slowly, he accrues random objects.  Sketchbooks, games, figurines, Monkey King comics?  He watches the show near religiously, and Monkey King is both flattered and weirded out.
A super fan, huh?  Okay then.
And when he isn’t working, or watching “Monkey King: The Animated Series,” or reading Monkey King comics, he’s begging the resident bookworm, Tang, for stories, which he then sketches out.
Monkey King actually goes through the sketchbook once, when Kid’s asleep.  Yup, Kid’s really, really good at this.  Monkey King actually thinks about stealing a drawing, but that would be both very obvious and also stupid.
So he lets it go.  He ought to look for his successor, anyway.  He hears the Demon Bull family is getting close.
He leaves Kid to his life and moves on to his own.
He can’t find a successor.  Somehow.  It’s like every person in this city (and it would have to be in this city, because you need to be close to the staff in some regard if you want to have a connection with it.  Being born near it, living near it-makes it easy for the energy, the chi, to find you) doesn’t want anything to do with hero business.  The kids he considers are too small, the adults too...boring.
And he’s getting pretty frustrated here, because he thinks he might just have to fight the Demon Bull King all over again, which, ugh.
And then, it clicks.
He’s watching Kid drive around town, delivering orders, and somehow the kid steers towards the construction site.  Toward the staff.
Of course.
God, it was literally staring him in the face.  He feels kind of dumb, now that it hits him, but whatever.  Not like anyone’s around to tease him about it.
He watches Kid waltz towards danger, music in his headphones too loud to notice the literal demon family, until Kid opens his eyes and sees the whole demon army there, and hoo boy, is this comical.
Monkey King wonders if they’ll succeed this time, in lifting his staff.  They certainly seem confident.  He’s kind of curious, kind of bored.  The whole ‘take our rightful place as rulers of this world’ schtick is super annoying, and Red Son’s voice is grating.
The light show is pretty nice, though, and then.
Demon Bull King’s a lot smaller than he remembers, but his voice is the same, as is his attitude.  Monkey King can feel Kid shaking and takes a quick sweep of the area.  Seems his successor is right above Red Son.
He smirks to himself, not that anyone can see considering he’s a bird right now.  
This is going to be hilarious.
When Kid touches the staff, Monkey King isn’t prepared for the feeling he gets.
It’s like he’s been the single Sun in an endless galaxy, surrounded by darkness, when suddenly another star appears from nowhere, throwing him into orbit with it.  The galaxy shifts, the light doubles, the darkness recedes.
Monkey King’s own center, his sun, feels red hot, warm, and tempered by years of life, with a spark of yellow and white in its center.  Kid’s is bright, brilliant golden yellow, more white than any color, bursting with energy.
That energy gets put to work pretty quickly, as the Kid fumbles his way out of the demon’s den, and Monkey King soars after him, watching the escape with a smile.
He doesn’t properly meet Kid until he gets shot all the way to Flower Fruit mountain.  After Kid escapes Red Son, he panickedly tells his friends what’s going on and tries to get there on his own.
Well, all the way is a bit much.  Maybe Monkey King had to catch Kid and fly him there, because Kid was looking half dead and Monkey King was a little worried, but that’s beside the point.  He leaves Kid on the shore, and follows him when Kid gets up.
He isn’t expecting the frustration, when he can’t be found, but he supposes that’s his cue.
Getting stepped on is unpleasant.  Guess Kid doesn’t like bugs.
God, the look on Kid’s face, when it hits him that Monkey King’s been watching him!  If he could frame a memory, that would be it.  Hoo, boy, is that going to be replaying in his head for a while.  Kid seems more bewildered than anything else, and the idea of being Monkey King’s successor doesn’t sit well with him.
Which, Monkey King doesn’t get that.  Who wouldn’t want to be taught by him?
But maybe he overestimates the kid’s spunk, his confidence, because waving off his worries doesn’t spur him on; rather, it seems to deflate him.
Ugh.  Why is being a teacher difficult?  It’s not like his teacher had a hard time with him, right?
Distantly, he thinks he can hear his master shouting at him.  He hops off his cloud, says just the right thing to get Kid pumped up, and watches him race off.
He considers just sitting back and not watching, but then, that wouldn’t be any fun, would it?
He isn’t actually sure what having a successor means, really.  How much their powers, their lives, would mirror his own.  A part of him was terrified by the prospect—could he even be known as anything special, if he was no longer one of a kind?
But there’s also something quite exciting about this.  The idea that your life is being rewritten, the story unfinished and yet also repeating itself.  The Demon Bull King is on the loose, with his army and family, trying to take over the world.
And only one person can stop him.  The Monkey King.
Kid’s powers are volatile.  He can feel them flare up from time to time, wildly flickering out of control.  A lack of self confidence, that might be causing it.  A part of him is annoyed by that, a part of him is relieved.  Far better to have to teach someone to believe in themselves than teach them humility.  He’s pretty sure he hasn’t learned that latter lesson all the way yet.
Kid vanishes into the Demon Bull King’s chest, where the staff lies, and for a moment, the new sun vanishes.  Monkey King feels the cold rush of space in its absence, and feels panic, even though he’s only known this warmth for a few hours.
But then, it bursts back into existence, as a familiar stone drops from the Demon Bull King’s chest, cracking open, and, well, it’s history being written the same way over and over again, isn’t it?
Kid has a flair for silliness, childish maneuvers.  He likes to have fun, and that’s the best part of the powers they share.  To be invincible, to have fun while saving the day. 
It’s a repeat, until, well, it isn’t.
The blow Kid takes makes Monkey King wince.  The body becoming invulnerable takes time.  It doesn’t just immediately show up.  Every second, Kid’s body is absorbing and meshing with the powers thrust upon it, but that doesn’t mean getting hit a mile by a guy twenty times your size doesn’t still hurt, at this point.
But Monkey King knows this is what has to happen.  Because heroes aren’t heroes if they never feel pain, never get hit.
Heroes, he thinks, as Kid tears himself from the wall he’s embedded in, as Kid stands, eyes ablaze, are heroes when they get hit and they get back up.
And Kid sure as hell does.
“I’m the Monkey Kid!” He shouts, like a battle cry, like a challenge, and Monkey King smirks.  Monkey Kid, huh?  It suits him.  And then, Kid slams the staff on the ground, and the world shifts.
A part of him is kind of jealous.  How come he never got a mech?!  Has that been a thing this entire time?  Another part is in awe of this Kid’s creativity, ability, at such a young age.
And seeing DBK get trounced again certainly keeps the jealous part of him quiet.
Kid’s got a nice group of friends.  Reminds him of his journey days, him and a rag tag group of idiots going around wreaking havoc and learning moral lessons at the end of it.  He’s glad Kid isn’t alone or on the streets anymore.  A strong foundation leads to a stronger ability to grow.
Well, he’d better get some sort of training regimen ready.  Or, at least, start thinking of some things to do to train this kid.  He’s sure at some point Kid is going to bug him for a lesson or two.
Somehow, the thought doesn’t bother him as much as he thinks it should.
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heavensreigns · 5 months ago
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𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒎𝒊𝒅𝒏𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕 𝒔𝒌𝒚 𝒊𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒓𝒐𝒂𝒅 𝒊'𝒎 𝒕𝒂𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒈, 𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒅 𝒉𝒊𝒈𝒉 𝒖𝒑 𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒄𝒍𝒐𝒖𝒅𝒔. 𝒊 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒃𝒐𝒓𝒏 𝒕𝒐 𝒓𝒖𝒏, 𝒊 𝒅𝒐𝒏'𝒕 𝒃𝒆𝒍𝒐𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒐 𝒂𝒏𝒚𝒐𝒏𝒆. 𝒐𝒉 𝒏𝒐, 𝒊 𝒅𝒐𝒏'𝒕 𝒏𝒆𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒐 𝒃𝒆 𝒍𝒐𝒗𝒆𝒅 𝒃𝒚 𝒚𝒐𝒖. 𝒇𝒊𝒓𝒆 𝒊𝒏 𝒎𝒚 𝒍𝒖𝒏𝒈𝒔, 𝒄𝒂𝒏'𝒕 𝒃𝒊𝒕𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒅𝒆𝒗𝒊𝒍 𝒐𝒏 𝒎𝒚 𝒕𝒐𝒏𝒈𝒖𝒆. 𝒊 𝒅𝒐𝒏'𝒕 𝒏𝒆𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒐 𝒃𝒆 𝒍𝒐𝒗𝒆𝒅 𝒃𝒚 𝒚𝒐𝒖. ( olivia sophie blake. katherine mcnamara. 24. whitelighter-witch. ) psd & template.
MIRACLE BABIES olivia and her fraternal twin-sister kayla were born on february 14th 1997. they were the first children of a whitelighter and a witch that fell deeply in love, even though it was not allowed. in order to protect their little family, they built themselves a home in a small village in france with a very low population. as the twins grew up, it became very clear that they inherited both of their parents gifts and olivia was not even a year old when her parents discovered her affinity: fire magic. it seemed to be more than an affinity, anyway, as she already seemed to be more talented at it than her own father. their parents tried to teach them about their abilities and about being human at the same time, wanting them to be aware of how special and unique they were, without making them feel anything other than open toward others. they even sent them to kindergarten to give them the opportunity to play with other children as none of their old friends knew about the pregnancy. while things were going well, the two of them failed to conceive another child and they eventually chose to adopt aaron, a human boy that lost his parents in an accident. it was a kind gesture, but people started to talk and it drew unwanted attention toward the family. after a while, the first supernatural beings heard about kayla and olivia and while many of them turned a blind eye, others started to take interest in the hybrids. 
A BLESSING OR A CURSE it was hard to teach olivia that she could not use her abilities all of the time. she was a magical being, through and through, always taking such pride in her powers, even as a little girl. she was only three years old when her gifts made her feel like they were a curse. the man was nice as he picked her up from kindergarten on a day when kayla and aaron had been at home because they weren’t feeling too well, but olivia had been too excited to stay home. he told her that mommy and daddy sent him and little as she was, she believed him. he took her to a beautiful mansion and she squealed in happiness when she saw all of the toys in the room... but cade’s plans were not as bright. the evil spirit planned to raise the child and teach her more about her unique fire magic. he wanted to see just how much he could teach her and for the first few days, olivia did not understand a thing about her situation, while her parents were worried sick. days turned into weeks and olivia missed her family badly, but any time she cried there were people around her to comfort her and teach her new tricks to distract her, until memories blurred more and more. both of her parents lost their lives, trying to get her back, leaving kayla and aaron in the custody of her grandparents without olivia ever knowing about it.
GETTING OUT cade never treated her as anything other than his own child and in some ways, olivia thought of him as family, even if she never viewed him as a father or even someone she liked particularly much. what she did like, however, was his magic. it seemed like each day that she spent around him, she learned something new about her own as well and it made things bearable, especially as her memories of her family continued to fade. she wasn’t particularly happy, but things seemed normal. how was a small child supposed to understand the situation at hand? or the fact that being taught how to use hellfire was anything but normal or good? olivia did not know or understand enough to even think about leaving, but someone managed to get her out of cade’s residence when she was only six years old. with no real knowledge of her siblings’ locations, the vampire that saved her decided to adopt olivia and for the first time in a long time, she felt like she was home. while he made sure that she knew the truth about her origins, he was the person that livia called her father, her family, and even as she grew older she never searched for the family she once lost. she did not need anyone else - and a part of her did not dare to search for her biological relatives. they had every right to resent her... and what if they did not remember her either? no, she had everything right here and it would surely be bad luck to search for more. 
TABLES TURNING the next years went by without much drama. her dad taught her everything she needed to know about things and helped her master her abilities, even those that were not exactly light magic. he was one of the only people that knew about her hellfire and while olivia had been frightened to tell him about it, he only reassured her that it showed just how special she was, making her feel at peace with it. yet, she was only eighteen when her dad was killed in front of her eyes and while she took her revenge, it was too late for her to save him, leaving her devastated and all alone in this world.
KILL OR BE KILLED for the first time in her entire life, no one was looking out for her. she was smart enough to use her magic to get an apartment and sign up for college. she even remembered the spells that her dad taught her to make the apartment safer, but that did not stop other beings from attacking her. as a matter of fact, that came so frequently there was no doubt that someone was sending them after her. the first time she ended a life in self defense was painful, but the more often it happened, the harder she got on the outside, not even flinching as she ended their existence before they could end hers. she still missed her dad terribly, but he taught her how to kick ass and in a way, it made her feel more connected to him. still, it all took another turn when she finally encountered the one responsible for all the attempts on her life: matthew. he was stronger than the others, much stronger, but it was not impossible for her to keep him from killing her and then the strangest thing happened. olivia developed feelings for him. he was not a good person and she knew it, but it felt like she was bringing out the light in him and she finally allowed herself to fall for him - only to have her heart crushed when darkness took over.
THEIR DAUGHTER was born, briefly after he was attacked by a vampire. olivia felt overwhelmed: she never wanted a child and the newfound vampirism seemed to make the one that she loved struggle more than ever, but things seemed good when amelia ( “mia” ) was born. in spite of her fears and concerns, olivia loved her daughter more than anything and she could tell that mia’s father loved her just as much. she tried to help matthew through his vampirism, allowing him to feed on her, until things went horribly wrong. one night, he failed to control his bloodlust, nearly bleeding her dry. in a desperate attempt to save her life, she disappeared, leaving both matthew and amelia behind. it was the hardest thing that she has ever done and one of her biggest regrets, but she did not dare to return, fearing his reaction and the consequences. 
BACK IN FRANCE olivia tried her hardest to battle the pain that threatened to drown her every single day. being away from her baby broke her heart, but she did not know what to do. the only friend she could possibly turn to was gabriella, a human friend that she made. her best friend and the only person she trusted. 
THE SEELIE REALM was completely new to her when the spell pulled her in. it triggered her, making her feel like she was back with cade, but she tried to keep her brave face on - or should we say it was her bitchy one? ultimately, being here allowed her to reconnect with her daughter, which is something she is grateful for, but she hates the mess that has been created. olivia always longed for a peaceful life and this is the exact opposite, but life taught her well. it’s kill or be killed and she will be damned before she lets anything happen to herself or those she loves, especially over a war that was never her battle to fight in the first place. 
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remnantsrp · 5 months ago
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Name: Fletcher Bennett Age: 27 years old Pronouns: He/Him Hometown: Henderson, Nevada Occupation before the Infection: Bartender/Ex-Paramedic Role within the Caravan: Medical Team FC: Logan Lerman
tw. mentions of alcoholism, teen pregnancy, mentions of suicide
Before the Infection.
Fletcher started life in a struggle - with his umbilical cord wrapped tightly around his neck and no heartbeat detected. With precision and haste, the medical staff were able to resuscitate and save the couple’s fourth born son before it was too late. Of course, Fletch has no recollection of nearly dying the day he was born. His earliest memories include sprawling fields, rolling around in the grass, playing tag with his older brothers and sister, their border collie Charlie barking as he chased his little human through the fields of green. One of his saddest memories was burying Charlie under the shade of the weeping willow in the backyard.
Fletcher grew up in Silverthorne, Colorado, but only because he didn’t have a choice in the matter. His father was a cattle and free-range chicken farmer. It wasn’t glamorous work, but it paid the bills. Of course, he wanted his sons to follow his footsteps, and that is the only reason Fletcher has any sort of idea how to ride a horse (somewhat), handle cattle (poorly), and shoot a gun (he only managed to handle a handful of coyotes this way, the rest he missed). It was about at twelve years old, Fletcher learned something about himself.
He didn’t really belong anywhere.
Not that Fletcher is property, and he was never treated as such. But he had no idea what he was doing, or if there was potential beyond the field of his parents’ farm in Silverthorne. He knew he didn’t belong there. At the best he’s just an extra hand to help on the farmland. It’s all he’s ever known.
At fourteen, Fletcher walks off the farm. Partially because as he’d know his entire life, his dad became more of a drunk who got nasty, and Fletcher really doesn’t have the patience for animal agriculture anymore. So, in an almost childish fit that he packs his duffel bag and just begins to walk off without looking back. Once he reached the bus station, Fletch’ hopped on a bus to head about 70 miles East to Denver. This just about destroyed his relationship with his father, who angrily told him that their house didn’t have a revolving door.
Jumping ship to head to the city life wasn’t a poorly planned escape. Fletcher did have a cousin six years older than him looking for a roommate to cover the rent in their apartment. It was the opportune moment for him to get out of the rural life and immerse himself in a busier, more exciting routine. Denver wasn’t New York City, but going from a town with a population of barely 4,500 to a city with 716,000 citizens was quite the difference. The change brought with it a feeling of refreshing hope. Just, at fourteen, Fletcher didn’t have any idea of what type of life he wanted to pursue. All he knew was home school Monday through Friday, feeding chickens and collecting eggs, bringing the cattle before sunset, and sitting on the porch and sharing a pint of whiskey with his brothers at the end of a long day.
Enrolling in public school was quite the experience, but Fletcher’s submissive behavior made it easy for him to just hide in the background to get through most days. While isolation isn’t great for anyone’s social life, it was decided that it was the best route while adapting to a faster-paced life – which he did diligently. He struggled with Cs, the occasional D, and even fewer B grades on his report card. He only ever received an A in gym class, but that never truly counted. He didn’t join after school activities and spent most of his time just reading comic books on the ground of the local bookstore.
At sixteen, Fletch’ made his first friend. The circle grew with three more people over the course of the following few months, and the summer before his junior year was less lonely than the one previously. It was then that Fletcher felt like he was fitting in. They weren’t his siblings, but somehow, he found he liked them more. They brought to him stories from around the country, for the girl who wasn’t in Denver her entire life and the boy who traveled to the Caribbean with his parents on holiday. They also brought excitement in late night adventures that involved getting drunk on the hiking trails on the city outskirts or filling up on fast food from the drive thru. Just before he turned seventeen in March of 2010, he experienced his first high school romance. It was fun and breath taking and about when Fletcher realized he’d never been happier that he walked off his parents’ farm just two years ago.
As Fletcher neared graduation, there was promise of all things good. He felt invincible, almost, until his partner presented to him a positive pregnancy test. It was a curve ball he wasn’t prepared for, and suddenly all those college applications meant nothing to him. After the initial shock, Fletcher was actually… excited. Just barely eighteen, and he was already going to start a family. It worked for his parents who had their first child around the same age, so why wouldn’t it be good news for him?
Graduation came and went, and Fletcher applied to pursue an associate degree at the community college of Denver. With mediocre grades and no attempt to apply for scholarships, it was his best bet. Things felt to be on track until he and his partner had a falling out. The reason being they admitted they weren’t ready to be a parent and admitted they scheduled for an abortion. He felt heartbroken, angry almost, and they fought due to his selfish need to tell them to cancel it. But in the end, Fletch’ knew it wasn’t his choice. The fight had lasting damage on their relationship and his high school sweetheart slipped through his fingers.
Newly single life was tough to adapt to, but it did come easy once the sting of rejection wore off. He didn’t become a playboy, per se, but he did enjoy the occasional hook-up and indulged in partying. After one year in community college, he dropped out and found himself lost on where he wanted to go with his life. With the settling thought of entering law enforcement, Fletcher began researching more in the emergency response field. Soon the idea of becoming a police officer turned into a firefighter, and then eventually he found he might be interested in becoming a paramedic. He tested this out by volunteering on the Denver Emergency Squad at nineteen while earning money as a dish washer at bar. By the following year he found inspiration to pursue becoming a paramedic. That plan was dashed when the weekend social outings became too much, and Fletcher was reported for showing up continuously to volunteer hung over and, as the document stated, ‘smelling of hard liquor’.
He didn’t have a problem with addiction, just an issue of being a little hedonistic and irresponsible. That was what he’d insist, anyway. With all the knowledge he had from his experience on the squad and the half-completed paramedic course, Fletcher moved on to use that knowledge to become…
A bartender.
It wasn’t the self-fulfilling route that would give him a purpose, but it did give him enough money to move out of his cousin’s apartment and get his own little studio. He was back at square one. Fletcher was useful, he told himself. The problem was he was only useful until someone else decided that he wasn’t and then he had to go. It annoyed him beyond limits. So, Fletcher kept searching. There was a restlessness over him, along with perhaps expectations that were too large. He couldn’t help himself with that, however.
So, he would wander, figuratively, until Fletcher could find what he was looking for. Sooner or later something had to feel right. Something had to eventually give him a purpose.
The Outbreak.
Except half a decade later, he realized he would never discover his life’s ‘meaning’. To be fair, he never was on track, but the outbreak definitely made it impossible.
Fletcher was in Las Vegas during the outbreak. He was there celebrating a bachelor party as one of the groomsmen of his best friend. What was supposed to be celebratory quickly turned into a nightmare as infection ran rampant across the nation. New stations broadcasted mind-blowing infection rates, and they only managed to make it to a motel outside of Vegas. Four out of five of them made it to bunker down there, but days became weeks. They ate through the vending machine supply of chips, and the nearby gas station’s shelves were cleared by them and other passerby alike just trying to find a bite to eat.
As their food source grew scarce, the four of them knew they needed to travel further to find supplies. The water was running, for now, but eventually they needed to eat more than energy bars. The nearest grocery store was a twenty-minute drive out. Fletcher stayed back to keep guard over their space as the other three headed out. He never expected that they’d return in a panic after they encountered the undead and one of them was bitten. As the fever overtook the one, the other two friends figured that with Fletcher’s experience as an EMT and knowledge from partially completing paramedic school gave him enough knowledge about what to do. Which… Fletcher did try. He bandaged the bite, tried his best to help, until he inevitably passed.
Panic took over that motel room as three of them began arguing. Over what, Fletcher doesn’t remember. It was during the yelling and panic that the dead friend rose, hungry and determined to feed. It, whatever it was, caught them off guard and managed to bite Fletcher’s best friend. They scrambled out of the room and locked the door behind them. When his best friend started to develop a fever, Fletcher and the last guy out of the group fled, leaving him behind to pass alone against the door of their motel room. Within a month it was down to just the two of them, and Fletcher already felt like soon it would be one.
Finding the Caravan.
Sometime in September what Fletcher feared happened. Only, he was the one alone. What was horrible about the incident was that it wasn’t even the undead that got ahold of his buddy. It was stress, exhaustion and fear that ate them alive, and it was after scouting the woods that Fletcher found the body with a splatter of coagulating blood against the wall. He would have thrown up, or at least dry-heaved considering his stomach was nearly empty, if not for the fact he’d seen a similar scene when on call many years before. Despite that, the chill and fear of loneliness set in instantly, sending a shiver up his spine. His fingers trembled while he collected the gun from their hand, and then collected their bags to leave. The gunshot would attract any zombies that could hear it, and he guessed he didn’t have much time to hang around.
The car died a couple hours on the road with the gas tank begging to be filled. Unfortunately, Fletcher didn’t have any fuel on hand, so he set out on foot. For several days, he walked at sunrise, stopped at sunset and set up camp if he didn’t find structured shelter. He lost count of the days he’d been alone before he stumbled upon the group of survivors. It was scary knowing many were ready to kill for supplies, but with barely anything on him Fletcher approached, hands up to show he was unarmed and desperation in his eyes. He needed a stroke of luck after all that happened, and as all began to feel hopeless, he was handed this chance.
Fletcher was able to offer his limited medical expertise as compensation, as well as an able body to do any physical work. Despite not being proficient in all forms of medical aid it was better than nothing. Since joining, he had kept to himself, conversing as needed and just watching. Sometimes, his mind would go back to Colorado and his parents farm when he wished for more adventure and excitement. Then sometimes, he’d find himself cynically thinking about how whatever higher being had a cruel sense of humor to have given him just that.
positive personality traits:  protective, good natured, intuitive, observant
negative personality traits: skittish, compulsive, indulgent, melancholic
played by Xan, Them/Them
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kchuarts · 6 months ago
Flowers in Blood
A/N: This ones a sad one I ain’t gonna hold you on that. Also the ending isn’t very cliffhangery? It will be though. It will be. 
Summary: Sometimes Jonathan Pine needs to be held in return. 
Taglist: @lucywrites02​, @shiningloki​
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Chapter 8: Black Rose 
The crime lord took a drag from his cigarette, puffing out smoke before answering. “I have my ways, you should already know that.” his lips pulled up into a smirk. Roper waved two fingers at one of his guards to bring him a glass of wine. “So I heard you and good ol’ Danny boy have met. Nasty bloke he is.” Roper takes another drag from the stick. 
“I am not here to have idle chat, Roper.” Pine looked behind him, making sure the door was still shut and Katie was hopefully out of ear shot. “Just tell me first how in the hell you managed to crawl out of the hole you hid away in and what you want from me.” His blue eyes kept glancing over to the door, debating if he should let the young woman in his flat that he had to step outside. 
Richard chuckled into the phone, taking a hold of his wine and sipping it. “I’m not going to repeat myself, Pine. You should have heard me the first time.” He took another sip of his expensive beverage before setting it down. “I’ve come to give you a ring and tell you that you’re off the hook. I’ve taken care of what Natalie wants from you within a few hours after your departure. She’s got the biggest of smiles on her face right now because of it too.” A knowing smirk touched his lips again, sinister intentions gleaming in his eyes. 
Pine huffed and opened the door for a moment, holding his phone away from his mouth. “Katie? I’m gonna step out for a smoke for a bit. I shouldn’t be more than ten minutes.” Dragging her into the mess known as Richard Roper was one of many things that Jonathan didn’t want to meddle her into. He put the phone back up to his ear, fast walking out of the flat as fast as he could. 
“Katie?” The older man mused, chuckling and pursing his lips as he inhaled from the white stick. “You’ve moved on fast if I’m assuming correctly. I thought you and Jed would have eloped after the stunt you pulled with me, shaming me for a few years.” He flicked the ashes into a tray and frowned at the memory of just a few years back. It was certainly interesting to know that Pine potentially had a new love interest. Roper noted this in the back of his mind and would ask Daniel about this new woman later on. 
Jonathan lit a cigarette of his own, taking a drag before lowering his voice as he was outside. Anger and hot smoke ignited inside the agent's chest at the mention of his past lover. “You should know that the life I lead isn’t meant for time to play romance or settle down. Now tell me what the fuck do you want. I can’t say I’m overly thankful you took care of something I had started planning ideas for.” He took another drag, eyes scanning the crowd for any onlookers that could be eavesdropping. 
“Bollocks! Come off it, Pine I know you better than that. You certainly didn’t have your finalized plan of shutting Poppy down within a fortnight, so I went ahead and took care of it for you!” Richard leaned back in his seat, staring out of his villa balcony. Like he had said, Roper had his ways of working his way back into the land of crime and managed to get his private island home back. “I’m not trying to kiss ass and earn points with you, I’m playing devil’s advocate at the moment. I did it because you have bigger problems ahead of you and Daniel was tired of waiting around for Natalie and her drug addicted squabble to actually do something. You can certainly cross Poppy off your list now because Bloodroot is now taking over.” He clicked his tongue and reached over to grab a file, “Sometimes I wonder about these Americans and their tenacity to get the job done. Feisty ones they are, I’m sure you understand just as much as I do.” He hinted at Jed once again, still sour over that whole debacle. “Oh and you needn’t worry about Natalie’s boys watching you anymore, in fact you should be more worried if Belladonna could be creeping nearby. Luckily for you, I haven’t called any of my men to keep tabs on you… Yet.” 
The Crime Lord’s slight cryptic speak was beginning to drive Jonathan crazy and he just wanted to hang up right then and there. However, if what Roper said was true then this meant he could return the call to Angela and find out what she dug up on that thumbdrive and note. “I can only wonder when that will be.” He hissed, exhaling smoke and flicking the ashes. “So you only called me just to tell me that you handled my situation but that you’re also in cahoots with Belladonna’s leader? Brilliant. What a waste of my time. Next time you even think about calling me, be sure that I don’t have your number being tracked resulting in putting you away for good.” He pulled the phone away from his ear and hung up, jaw clenched tightly. Pine knew DAMN well that Roper was up to something more nefarious than he led on. It wasn’t out of the kindness of his own cold heart that he’d do Pine a favor after what he did to him. He wanted something and whatever that something was wouldn’t be good. 
“Well?” Daniel narrowed his gaze at Roper sitting across from him. 
Richard gave a knowing smirk and nodded, “He’s suspicious but I think he took the bait.” He reached for his wine and leaned back again, sipping it. “Now we just wait for when that stupid woman sends him off to South Korea or Japan. Bloodroot is currently enroute to Tokyo?” 
The Greek man nodded, his arms folded across his chest. “They are to meet up with Wisteria and possibly Daphne if The Tigress decides to get off her lazy ass and make the trip. From there, they will be discussing new trade routes and deals now that Poppy has been taken care of.” Daniel sneered at his former English branch. 
“What of your sister? The Wolfsbane branch?” Roper raised a brow, curious as Abbadon’s area was not brought up. For as long as Richard had known the siblings, he rather liked the younger sister as she was quick and took no shit. He thought that she was better suited to be leader of Belladonna instead of her aggressive older brother. Daniel was too brash and never thought of how his decisions would impact his business after he leapt. It worked out eventually but with too many mistakes and messes. 
Amber eyes gleamed with dark fury, “What about my traitorous sister? Of course Wolfsbane is out of the question.” Daniel scoffed and gave a slight snarl. “Because of her little performance in Moscow and now with Poppy gone, we have to work even harder with just four instead of six branches.” His eye twitched from irritation. The night of the gala still infuriated Daniel as he had blindly put his trust into his sister and was played right into her trap. She knew Pine would be there and had been hiding her desire to break free of the family business until then. That is the reason why her son, Nikolai, was locked away in a cage in an unknown location in order to keep tabs on her. However, this did not appear to be enough and so Daniel decided that having two big branches was useless. “So do you have anything else to tell me, Richard?” He exhaled hotly and raised his brows. “Anything that may perhaps calm my rage? News of successful weapon sales? New whores shipped from Seoul? Pine’s new partner?” A sick smirk cracked across his tanned lips. 
“Oh.” Roper inwardly rolled his eyes at Daniel’s insatiable thirst for a perfect harem. Sure, Richard enjoyed a woman’s company from time to time but, Daniel was rather disgustingly obsessed with it. He even saw first hand that his respect of women was zero to none, hence why his wives were covered in bruises. “Well yes, I believe he mentioned her name was Katie? Don’t you have… Twelve wives already?” He raised a brow but would rather not hear the details. 
Daniel got up and clapped his hands, beaming pervertedly. “I much prefer that over Natasha. That was her little nickname back in Moscow. Mmm “Katie” yes I do enjoy that.” He frowned slightly at Roper as he heard the hint of disgust in his ally’s voice. “Thirteen is just another number, no? I have collected wives from all over! Egypt, Germany, Canada, Thailand, Japan, Korea, China, Russia, Spain, Africa, France, Australia… I need an all American girl to carry on with my little theme I have going on.” His smirk returned and a very obvious erection stood out. “Now, when you hear news of their fated arrival to the land of the rising sun, let me know and I will discuss plans to lure them to the den of The Tigress. She may be a lazy bitch, but she knows what she does and performs it well. Oh and Roper-” He turned around, smirk gone again. “Do not let me regret bailing you out or it is your head I will take as payment.” 
Police sirens blared as several cars pulled up to the abandoned warehouse out in the woods. Angela stepped out of one of the cars as she had been informed that this crime was another piece to her case. “Jesus H. Christ-” She muttered, covering her mouth with her sweater sleeve upon seeing the blood bath. 
The entirety of Poppy were currently being dressed in body bags as just hours ago, they had been slaughtered brutally. Natalie Baylor’s appearance was by the far the worst with her eyes gouged out and her mouth split from ear to ear. On each member of the drug organization there had been a Belladonna flower carved into their forearms complete with a small bouquet of the said plant. What was more gruesome was that many of the members, Natalie included, had the equally toxic berries stuffed into their mouths by the handful. 
“So I’m gonna assume this is the higher ups. God save the Queen, they’re going after their own crew.” Angela pondered, walking carefully around the corpses. Natalie’s clenched fist particularly caught the Director’s attention and she asked for a pair of gloves to inspect the late woman’s body. “Thank you dear” She took the gloves from a paramedic and slipped them on, carefully opening the stiffened hand. It had been around four hours since the discovery of the murders, so rigor mortis had already settled in. Much to Angela’s lack of surprise, there was indeed something held. The older woman removed the paper and frowned in concentration, waving a police officer away as they tried to escort her off. “I’m part of this investigation, Angela Burr? Haven’t you heard of me?” She shook her head as the officer gave her a bit of an attitude. “Bugger off.” She cursed under her breath before returning to the strange piece of parchment. What she read made her blood run cold. 
Considering that you’ll be the first here, my dear Angela, I dedicate this work of art to you. The higher ups of Belladonna have so graciously allowed me to walk a “free man” once more. All I had to do was take care of these spineless oafs for them so that your dogs could continue to sniff their way along the investigation. Take this as a warning that I am watching and should you reveal anything that this note contains, the same could happen to you. I’d like to think of this as a little game and see how long it takes before someone slips. Have a lovely evening, my dear. 
-An old friend  
It was wrong of her to do, but Angela quickly shoved the piece of evidence in her pocket and growled. She knew exactly who this was and was not happy in the slightest, “Roper.” 
The moment Jonathan stepped back inside, Katie was already in bed and sound asleep, snuggled into the sheets. Pine couldn’t help but think of how adorable the brunette looked all tucked in and cozy. He sighed deeply, figuring that now with Roper’s odd involvement it would be safe to give his boss a ring. It still puzzled Pine though with Richard suddenly appearing out of the blue and giving them some leeway. There had to be more than just this, Jonathan was certain that Roper wanted something, he would just have to find out as soon as he could. Shaking his head, Jonathan makes his way to the bathroom and tends to his nightly needs before making his way to bed. He would think more on the case tomorrow morning with a more clear and concise mind. Carefully, he peels back his sheets and slips into them without waking Katie up. Thankfully, the young woman seems to be a rather heavy sleeper as Jonathan’s arms wrapping around her body does not seem to disturb her. Pine was more than happy to have Katie in his arms and would never turn something like this down as her body molded perfectly to his. Leaning over, he turned the lamp off and adjusted his position. With the soft patter of rain hitting the window, soothing darkness, Katie’s warm body, and lovely scent; Jonathan found himself asleep within minutes. 
“GO! GO! GO!!” The sergeant of Pine’s squad screamed as the Taliban were firing at them. 
A younger Jonathan frantically looked around, the sound of gunfire ringing in his ears for a moment. “CAM!? CAM WHERE ARE YOU!?” He screamed for his friend, hiding behind a bullet ridden wall for cover as a pipe bomb blew. Cries of pain from his companions had suddenly become louder than the explosions and rain of fire. He was not about to leave his best friend behind to die. “CAMERON!?” Pine threw himself from out of his hiding place, only to be forced to army crawl as bullets from each side whizzed above him. He had to hold back a scream as a child soldier fell dead right in his eyesight. Anything that he had eaten that day made its way up and covered Jonathan’s front as a reaction to seeing this innocent child fall victim to war. There was no time to stop as Pine continued to army crawl, using the dust from the area as coverage. 
“Pine-” A voice moaned out hoarsely. 
What Jonathan saw next made his stomach drop. Cameron was tied to a post with a large handmade timer bomb stabbed into his hands. “N-No, Cam.” He felt breathless as he quickly made his way to his dying friend. Almost immediately, he tried to undo the ropes securing Cameron, struggling as his vision was blurred from dust and smoke. 
The brunette man gave a bloody smile to his best friend and laughed weakly. “Hey i-it’s ok. I’m gonna be ok, Jonathan.” He coughed, shutting his eyes and continued to smile through the pain. 
Jonathan began to cry hard, tears trailing down his dirt ridden face. “No! I won’t let you die!! I’m gonna get you out of here and, and patched up. Your sister is waiting for you, Cam!! I won’t allow you to die!!” His bruised fingers ripped away at the bindings as fast as they could. “I know that your parents give two shits less about you, but your sister needs you!! Katie needs you!!” He sobbed, seeing he only had less than two minutes left. If only he hadn’t gotten into a stupid argument with Cameron over a week ago, none of this would have happened. Cameron wouldn’t have stormed out for a smoke, wouldn’t have gotten kidnapped, wouldn’t have gotten beaten, and wouldn’t have to die. Deep down, Jonathan knew it was too late to save his best friend but his frantic state wouldn’t allow him to see the truth before him. 
Cameron shook his head slightly, “It’s too late. M-My legs.” He coughed, nodding down to them. He saw Jonathan’s blue gaze look at his gored limbs in horror. The terrorist group had practically severed them off down to the bone and even a bit through it. To make matters even more painful, his achilles tendons had been ripped out. 
“NO!! I CAN’T!!” Jonathan breathed harder and growled as he fought a losing battle in order to save his friend. 
“JONATHAN PINE!!” Cameron shouted, getting his attention. His bright green eyes shimmered in the ray of sunshine that tore through the clouds of war. “Go. I’m dying for m-my country. I need you to run. Run as fast as you can and don’t look back. Please. Live on for me and if you ever meet little fox, make sure she doesn’t get into too much trouble.” A tear slid down his bruised face as the bomb was down to thirty seconds. “GO!!” He wailed at Jonathan, watching his friend get up with remorse and look at him one last time before taking off. Cameron shut his eyes, smiling and waiting for death to take him. “Thank you, for everything.” 
A young girl with brilliant green eyes stands before him. “My name is extremely Irish, it’s corny I know. I’m Katie O’Connor” 
His heart stopped as soon as she spoke her name. So he wasn’t dreaming after all when Angela said that a “Katelyn O’Connor” would be accompanying him. This was her; Cameron’s little sister. Little Fox. 
“JONATHAN!! JONATHAN HELP ME!! I DON’T WANNA DIE!!” Now it was Katie strapped to a pole instead of Cameron. 
Jonathan shot up, gasping for air. His hands shook as he looked at them in the moonlight. The clock read 3AM once he glanced over to see how much sleep he had gotten. 
“Pine?” Katie spoke softly, adjusting her position so that she was facing him. Around 2:30AM, Katie had been woken up by sounds of whimpering and slight thrashing from the man next to her. She had tried to wake him up, but with no success. Her brother’s name kept slipping from Pine’s lips in a panic and he even broke out into a full on sob. What had he truly seen that day? 
The dark blonde haired man froze up at the sound of her voice and turned to face her, swallowing to soothe his dry throat. “Did I wake you? I-I apologize for whatever you may have heard.” He took a deep breath and ran his hands through his hair. It had been a while since he last dreamt of that day. How horrific war truly was and how unnecessary that mankind craved it as a means of justification. His brows knit together as he felt Katie pull him down slowly. He felt her arms wrap around him as she pulled him close to her, laying his head upon her chest. The sound of her heartbeat made Jonathan wrap his arms around her in return and start to sob into her chest. His body shook as he cried softly, not holding back his emotions. 
“I forgive you… About Cameron. It wasn’t your fault.” She whispered into his short blonde locks, her fingers gently massaging his scalp. “We still have a long way to go before I completely forgive you, but I understand now that you tried to save my brother.” She shut her eyes, feeling tears of her own burn them. One witness to Pine’s nightmares of past war was enough for Katie to forgive and let go of her false grudge against Jonathan. A sort of peace had come over her upon her words and a soft smile graced her lips to know that Cameron wasn’t in pain and that he died heroically. Katie held Jonathan a bit closer that night, with both of them succumbing to sleep shortly once more. They had a big future ahead of them in taking down Belladonna, but they would do it together as she needed him and he needed her.
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wolfin-time · 6 months ago
Liam Dunbar
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FULL NAME: liam andrew dunbar NICKNAME(S): baby wolf, little wolf, pup, etc., reeses (only by emily, anyone else tries they get punched in the face) AGE: 18+ DATE OF BIRTH: august 10th ZODIAC SIGN: leo PLACE OF BIRTH: beacon hills, california   ETHNICITY: white NATIONALITY: american GENDER: cis male SEXUAL ORIENTATION: very confused (bisexual) ROMANTIC ORIENTATION: very confused (biromantic) RELIGION: agnostic OCCUPATION: student LANGUAGE(S) SPOKEN: english ACCENT: western american
FACE CLAIM: dylan sprayberry HAIR COLOR: brown EYE COLOR: blue HEIGHT: 5′8″ WEIGHT: 160 lbs BUILD: muscular TATTOOS: scott’s pack symbol on his ankle, multiple other tattoos as he gets older, most of them gotten during college (click here for more info) PIERCINGS: none DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: tattoos, fangs, claws & glowing yellow eyes when shifted
POSITIVES: loyal, protective, up for anything NEGATIVES: intermittent explosive disorder (but he’s working on it), can easily get violent, doesn’t think & just acts sometimes, occasionally unaware of surroundings/what’s happening LIKES: lacrosse, history, his pack, beacon hills, protecting people DISLIKES: his anger issues, bullies, hunters, biology
FATHER:  dr. jonathan geyer (step-father) MOTHER:  jenna dunbar-geyer SIBLING(S): emily dunbar (younger sister), others verse dependent PET(S): none FINANCIAL STATUS: upper middle class
life in beacon hills was pretty normal for liam, growing up with his best friend mason always at his side, constantly getting into fights with classmates thanks to his anger issues, & eventually channeling that anger into something a little more productive: lacross. although that didn’t exactly help, as he was kicked out of devenford prep for being just a little too aggressive on the field, which is how he ended up at beacon hills high school.
due to an unfortunate run of events, liam was bitten by scott & turned into a werewolf in order to save his life, & it wasn’t exactly an easy transition at first. his anger issues got the better of him for a while & it takes liam a lot of effort & time to learn to regain control of not only his anger, but of his wolf side as well. eventually, though, he becomes a reliable & loyal beta & teammate, stepping up in both areas when it hits him that scott is graduating; he tries out for– & earns– the spot as team captain for the lacrosse team, & takes up more responsibility within the pack in the chance he ends up being the main protector of beacon hills when scott eventually leaves.
v;; three things cannot long be hidden (beacon hills)
follows canon events, set primarily during his time at bhhs
v;; even with allies it won’t be easy (post-canon)
set post-canon, including his senior year at bhhs & the summer before college
v;; there’s got to be more to life than this (college)
with high school coming to an end, liam is forced to turn his attention & focus to the future-- his future. despite how his entire high school career has entailed, fighting supernatural creatures & hunters & keeping beacon hills safe isn’t all there is to life. as protective as he is of his family, his pack, his town, he knows he wants more than that.
he wants to study history. to play lacrosse at a higher level. to experience life like a normal teenager-slash-young adult. so that’s exactly what he does.
he applies-- & is accepted-- to jacksonville university in florida. he’s a walk-on with the men’s lacrosse team his freshman year, & immediately he’s offered an athletic scholarship to keep him & his talent there. he studies history. he spends slow weekends at the beach, oftentimes with his teammates. he loves everything about it. except for the distance. sure, stiles is in virginia, & lydia in massachusetts, but everyone else is still back on the west coast. he goes home to california as often as he can his freshman & sophomore years, but those visits drop to just during summer break & holidays after that, life in florida taking over as he finds his place in the world.
v;; far away but not separated (adult)
after graduating from college, liam manages to land a job with the smithsonian through a summer internship program he previously participated in, which sends him to one of their archive libraries in maryland. it certainly isn’t where liam would’ve ever seen himself ending up back in high school, but there isn’t anywhere he’d rather be. he’s immersed daily in history & research & he couldn’t be happier.
again, the only downside is being so far away from his pack & his family. but he always returns to beacon hills when he’s needed, & spends a great deal of time in portland, oregon, where his parents moved to not long after he graduated from jacksonville. plus, he keeps in regular contact with his packmates, both because he misses the constant contact & because he needs to make sure they’re all okay.
every once in a while there’s a supernatural problem that needs to be dealt with in new england, & he’s always ready to do so, sometimes with the help of stiles, & sometimes with other allied werewolves in the area, but usually on his own. but, any time scott calls for his help, he’s hopping on a plane to wherever he’s needed without question or hesitation.
v;; watch the castles burn. these golden ashes turn to dirt (dark liam)
based off this fic by the same name
the hunters finally did it. monroe won. the mccall pack was destroyed by a previously failed tactic. maybe that’s why they never saw it coming. gunning down scott & melissa’s house hadn’t gotten the results they wanted. but doing the same with stiles’ & the sheriff’s was successful. everyone inside the house was killed. wiped out by monroe’s army. the only ones to survive? the parents (because there’s nothing sweeter than the pain of them losing their kids, both by blood & by choice), derek, lydia, & liam. the only ones running late to what was supposed to be a christmas party.
liam snaps. in one fell swoop, he lost everyone. his alpha. his best friend. his partner. his anchors. his family. the only thing he can see is red. anger boils beneath his skin, everything but vengeance pushed from his mind.
the hunters responsible for this attack will pay.
& they do. it takes time, but eventually he finds the information he needs & hunts down every single person that fired a bullet into the stilinski house, & kills every one of them without reservation. the few times he’s spotted, he takes care of the witnesses, too.
with the last death, liam allows himself to be caught. he’s tired. he’s done. his quest for revenge finished, he has nothing else to live for. so he lets himself get taken in. questioned. argent & the sheriff manage to pull the right strings to get him into eichen house instead of thrown into prison. he accepts his fate.
until lydia, consumed by her own agony & fury, breaks him out with the promise of getting revenge on every single hunter left in this world. the bright blue flash of his eyes is enough of an agreement for them both.
there’s no rest until they’re all dead & the supernatural world is safe again.
v;; jaded wolf (shadowhunters)
liam’s life was no different from any other kid living in brooklyn: went to school, played sports, & spent most of his free time with his best friend, mason. sure, he might’ve been kicked out of one of the prep schools for his anger issues, but he was settling in well enough at his new public school– mostly because mason was already there, & that just meant they’d get to spend more time together.
until one day he finds himself out later than he probably should be, snooping around a place he probably shouldn’t be, & somehow gets in the middle of a not so minor scuffle. in an attempt to protect himself, liam ends up being attacked by– he’s not exactly sure what. responding cops say it was a wild dog, but he doesn’t believe that. he isn’t sure what he thinks attacked him.
not until a few weeks later when the world hidden away gets revealed to him. thanks to his anger issues, his first transformation is very unpleasant. if it weren’t for luke, who knows what sort of damage he might’ve caused.
vampires. werewolves. seelies. shadowhunters. the underworld.
a whole new life liam has to learn to navigate, along with just another reason to learn to get his anger under control. which isn’t exactly easy when he’s pissed that he’s in the situation he’s in. but at least he has a pack to help him.
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chicagocityofclans · 6 months ago
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Sven → Chris Hemsworth → Vampire
→ Basic Information 
Age: 702
Gender: Male
Sexuality: Straight 
Birthday: February 11th
Zodiac Sign: Aquarius
Religion: Astrolatry
→ His Personality Originally, Sven was a barbaric man with no respect for the new age rules; mostly towards women and those of different races. He was arrogant, impulsive, short-sighted and full of himself. Unwilling to change his ways. Sven believes there was no place for honor in survival, and he would do anything to give himself an edge. He has brought guns to a knife fight, rifles to a gunfight, and he would rather plant bombs or use poison to eliminate his enemies before they even had a chance to fight back. He kneed men in the balls when he got the chance, dug his fingers into their eyes when he needed to, and didn’t refrain himself from fighting back when women attacked him. It’s been known for years that men will do stupid things for women. It wasn’t love at first sight but Sadie McCoy, his work partner, put a stop to his arrogance. The Chicago seethe has become like a family to Sven and he is willing to put away his old ways for their greater good. Sven is more open to the world changing around him and is building a stronger connection with those within his seethe. His old personality does bleed in from time to time but Sven and the older members of the seethe never remembered a time where he smiled and laughed as much as he does now. 
→ His Personal Facts
Occupation: Guardian
Scars: None
Tattoos: None
Two Likes: Causing Drama/Fights and Stalking People/People Watching 
Two Dislikes: Cellphones and Shadow Vampires
Two Fears: Technology and Himself
Two Hobbies: Teaching/Training and Astronomy (He owns a telescope)
Three Positive Traits: Gritty, Just (Biblical), Devoted
Three Negative Traits: Impulsive, Inflexible, Narcissistic
→ His Connections
Parent Names:
Unknown. Sven does not remember. 
Sibling Names:
Unknown. Sven does not remember.
Children Names:
Unknown. Sven does not remember.
Romantic Connections:
Zaylah Cummings (Ex-Girlfriend): Zaylah is Sven's first relationship or at least the first one he can remember. She was a beautiful warlock with a bloodlust as dark as Sven. One night Sven caught her performing a ritual on him when she thought he was out on a hunt. Sven ran and never returned to the home they built for themselves. Sven regrets not killing her but knows he probably could not. 
Annalicia Fallamháin (Ex-Girlfriend): Sven dated multiple women between running from Zaylah and meeting Annalicia but none of them are mentionable. Annalicia was a neonate abandoned by her sire. Sven took her under his wings and they eventually fell in love. Annalicia was killed by a group of shadow vampires when she stumbled into their hunting ground. Sven had tried to save her but was too late and easily overpowered by the elders. 
Sadie McCoy (Flirting): Sadie one day showed up. Sven is 89% sure that Winona had brought her home but the other 11% thinks her story is tragic enough not to ask questions. Sven has not dated anyone seriously since Annalicia and prefers to simply have sex without strings but Sven cannot bring himself to lay with Sadie. She has earned his respect enough not to treat her like most women he has slept with. They flirt and tease each other and he thinks she would make a good mate.  
Platonic Connections:
Scorpius Getta (Old Friend): Sven met Getta a few times in Europe and again in the New World. It took Getta a while but he convinced Sven to join the seethe he was apart nearly 300 years ago. Sven only joined because Getta allowed him to come and go as he pleased and rumors started that he was a Shadow vampire.
Farrokh Alvi (Old Friend): Sven ran into Farrokh multiple times around the world before settling in Chicago. They once hunted the same feeding grounds before finding food became more convenient. Sven has tried to talk Farrokh into becoming a guardian but Farrokh refuses every time. 
Benjamin Francis Miller (Friendly): Sven was tasked with watching Ben after Ben met Ana Underground. Ben called him out one night and Sven found the Cat Shifter very entertaining. They have continued to be on friendly terms. 
Morana ‘Ana’ Vickors (Friendly): Anna and Sven barely talk. Sven knows his job and he does it well. They are on friendly terms but nothing more. 
 Petra Chak (Acquaintance): Petra has been a part of the seethe for a while but they have barely talked or hung out. Sadie keeps bringing Petra around. 
Rachel Sloane (Acquaintance): Sven has been keeping an eye on Rachel. She does not seem as messed up as Dan which makes his job easier. 
Simon Lee Weyden (Acquaintance): Sven was sent to check Simon out after Getta extended an open invitation to him. They only share pleasantries but Simon seems to be trying to strike up some type of friendship. 
Dan Pioir (Unknown): Sven was not close to Winona but he liked her. Sven has offered to relieve Dan from his misery, knowing the feeling of wanting to join a loved one and the confusion that comes with being a new vampire. Sven does not know if his feelings for Dan run deeper than pity or his past feelings for Winona. 
Fiona ‘Fi’ Marz (Unsure): Fiona has been trying to either flirt, strike up a friendship or kill Sven these past few decades. Sven has been keeping her at arms length but is willing to give her whatever she wants if she made it known. 
Hostile Connections:
Unknown/One Sided.
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New oc coming to the blog.
Technically I am still playing this character in my Curse of Strahd game, but I am growing attached to him super quick. So I am making him a permanent resident here on the blog. 
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Abaddon Dyran Helsing. 
age: 40 species: Asimar class: Warlock, and Draconic Ancestry sorcerer. Pact: chain Alignment: Neutral good Personality: Serious, unattached, cautious, sarcastic at times, grumpy others. If you can get him to like you he’s loyal, protective, and very much like a draconic German Shepard. 
{Trigger warning: dark content, character death, necromancy, sibling death.}
Abaddon is the first born son of the protector Asimar, and folk hero, Abbalora Helsing. A name given to her by the people of the sword coast, as her original celestial name was Hell Singer. Meaning slayer of demons. Known for her crusades against the undead, and attempting to restore balance to many cities, she adopted the name fully as it felt an honor bestowed on her by the people who respected her. His father was a dragonborn paladin named Cydric Nur. The two of them met while on a journey to save a kidnapped lord’s daughter. The two grew cose and shared a purpose in life. Both of them had been wronged by undead forces, and bonded quickly over conjuring their fears and pains. They married not long after they succeeded in rescuing the young woman and returning to the sword coast. When Cydric and Abbalora settled down to start a family, they raised their children, Abaddon and his younger sister Balora, with the same ideals and goals as they valued. Believing they held greatness in their future.
Throughout his life Abaddon was taught that he was responsible for his little sister. His father often reminded him that he was the eldest and therefore would inherit the family name. Carrying it on as his mother had. As in Cydric’s family, the men often took on the names of their mates if they had achieved great conquests. It was something his father was very proud of. 
He taught Abaddon how to fight from age 9. Showing him the fighting skills he had learned at his age. The young boy showed promise with the spear, and longbow training. So much so his father insisted he be sent to school to further these skills. Later when Abaddon showed talent in magic, Cydric was even more certain that he should be schooled. Regardless his mother and father both were very proud of him. 
From age 10 to 15 he attended an academy for young spell casters, and did exceedingly well. Even with his unusual appearance he was decently liked by several of his classmates. Gong as far as to keep in contact with a few of them. As he grew his appearance did stay rather strange to some. With white blonde hair, fluorescent blue eyes, and sharp fangs. Along the edges of his face grew cyan blue scales, that trailed down the sides of his neck, down his back, arms, and stopping at his hips and the sides of his calves. 
When Abaddon was 17 he started his training into becoming a paladin, and accomplished spearmen. He stayed away for a full two years, during which time his sister started to change. Both Abaddon and his sister shared traits from both of their parents. Their mother's wings, and their father's blue scales, and horns. But his sister's talents started to show long before Abaddon's did. However her magic was much more practical. Their mother and father thought perhaps she could be a highly talented enchanter one day. Even her mother tried to teach her how to enchant blades, and small trinkets of protection. But something dark had started to swell under the surface, unknown to both of their parents. 
When Abaddon returned home, he found that Balora was not the happy smiling little girl he had remembered. She had discovered deeper magic in it's darkest form. Her mind had been tainted and twisted over the years. Having heard the whispers of demons for years, and attempting many blood magic rituals on her own. Becoming a very powerful necromancer, in a very short time. A warlock of the undying, and desperately mad. It seemed her power was only growing stronger, the longer she practiced it.
In the years he had been gone, she had murdered both of their parents, as they could not have found it in themselves to kill their only daughter. They had discovered far too late, her conversing with her patron, and that she had killed a boy from the village to make the deal with it, for more power. They tried to save her as best they were able, but in the end the young girl betrayed them, killing them both one night in their sleep. After their deaths, she had raised them as undead servants, thus robbing them of their afterlife. Something they had been raised to believe was the deepest and most unforgivable crime against nature, and the soul. She had taken countless victims from the surrounding towns and villages. Creating horrible abominations, of stitched together flesh, and enchanted corpses. And yet she was smiling,... she was happy, and even proud of her work. Babbling on to Abaddon about how she could achieve the eternal, in the living world.
For a while he let his sister rant to him as he stood in the doorway of their home. His body shaking, and eyes never leaving the half decayed and rotten face of their mother. Expressionless and hollow.  Listening to her speak of all the horrible things she had done. She had taken miners, dug up graves, raised dead children, all because she wanted to grow her powers, and make an army of undead to protect her. She called them her children, her damned children, and she would make so many more. It was all Abaddon could do to listen and remain still for as long as he did. But then,... suddenly it was easier. As if a hand had reached out to him and pushed the feelings down and suppressed them. A celestial in contest with the demon his sister had taken as her own patron, had given him a power of its own. To look past the veil of familiarity and see his sister for what she had become. Whereas once he thought he could save her, perhaps find a way to right the wrongs she had done. But the girl he had known all his life was dead. And had been for a very long time. In the instance she went on in her raving, he said yes to the being’s deal, and his power was enough to push him forward.
 Abaddon waited till she was finished ranting and raving, and told her, he would join her. Telling her what she wanted to hear, and trying to ease her as much as he was able. By this time she didn't know what had happened in the moments before. That a being opposite her own was fueling his resolve, and guiding his hand. She spun around in place, and started to laugh as if this were the greatest day of her life. Cyan scales sparkling in the dim light of their home. 
Wanting her brother to join her so terribly, she believed him, and when she let him come close, he took his chance. The girl turned to flip through an old tattered book, erratic now and smiling. They would have so much fun, she thought. So much time with eternal life on their side. But she was blinded by the rush of her own success. Her brother came closer. Steadying himself with every step, and one hand went to the dagger on his hip. When he was close enough, he rested one hand on her shoulder. The girl taking this as a comfort, she allowed it, not even realizing the blade he had drawn was so close to her. With barely a moment or a breath between her words, he slit her throat. Quick, and without hesitation as he had expected. Part of him died in having to do this to his own sibling, but there was the smallest part of him that wanted her to suffer. Whether it be fueled by the celestial being he bargained with, or his own anger, he wasn’t sure. But she was still his sister. She had been his to protect. So he protected her from her own insanity. So he held her, with a blank expression as she choked to death on her own blood. 
She was 16 years old. 
After her death, Abaddon buried her, and his parents in the woods behind their home. Not wanting his sister's dark past to be known, he burned down their house, and farm. along with every trace of what Balora had been. The entity at his back, stayed with him for many years. She told him that he was cursed. The curse of the blue dragon kin. The nature of his ancestors would slowly creep into his heart, and he would become more animal than man in the end. And that if he were wise, he would find a cure for his madness before it began. But by now Abaddon had nothing he wanted to live for. There wasn’t even sadness in his heart anymore. Just emptiness. 
He wandered the coast for a long while, eventually sailing across the sea, and finding himself in the company of an elven woman. She was much older than him, but she was kind to him, despite his appearance. She hired him to be her bodyguard, and escort her to noble gatherings. At first he felt more like a pet, or an oddity than a guard. But she remained kind and caring. After nearly three years, the now 23 year old dragon became very fond of the woman. And she seemed to feel the same. She drew him in, and for so long Abaddon believed he might have been in love with her. But that love was betrayed as well. Once night when she had finally convinced him to come to her chambers she pretended to have intentions of sleeping with him. Even with his hesitation in doing so, she used some kind of effect, to make him more compliant. 
She waited until his guard was finally lowered, and she had put him under a dark spell. One of control, that left his mind in a haze, and unable to think for himself. For months she kept him in her home, where she had a lab built in her basement. The widowed noble was more than she ever seemed. A witch, a liar, and most of all evil as they came. She spent her time draining Abaddon’s blood, ripping scales from his body, and every other horrible act she could think of. She experimented with him for so long Abaddon lost track of the days he spent in the dark of his cell. When he called on the entity, his patron, he found she had gone silent. And his prayers were never answered. 
When the witch finally was bored of him, she had men in black cloaks come to take him away. He was put into chains, and carted off to be sold as a slave. He went from one master to the next. Finding that the reason he could not use his powers, or even hear his goddess or patron, was the collar the witch had placed upon him. An enchanted binding, that appeared as a tattoo of thorns around his neck. 
One day he was to be sold again. They were somewhere near the great rift, when he heard someone attacking the slave caravan. He and three others, huddled in the back of the windowless wagon, Abaddon up front trying to shield the two young women behind him. But when the doors opened he was not met with thugs, or bandits. Two dwarves stood and looked over the three of them. One of them, an older dwarf with a long braided beard, and a bald head, save for the pony tail at the back of his head, came into the wagon. He was slow to approach, and tried not to startle them, unchaining them, and helping the women out first. Who were still weak from exhaustion and starvation. 
The dwarves who had saved them were a company of mercenaries, and sells swords called the Sons of Durrar. A group of about twelve men, and one woman. All clad in well crafted armor, and carrying large weapons. They took them all to a city to rest and the woman, a cleric, managed to remove the collar placed around the dragon’s throat. They took care of the three of them till the two girls managed to find their families and were able to return home. Abaddon however, had no home, or a place to go for that matter. So he stayed with the company for many years. Calling the Citadel Adbar home for nearly 10 years. He accompanied the group on jobs, earned his own keep, and even learned how to craft fine trinkets. 
During this time he also found a way to better understand his patron. Learning how to hone his powers, and unlock new spells in doing so. It was this time he made a pact with the celestial being. The pact of the chain. Which gifted Abaddon with even more magic spells, and a companion of his own. A blue and white pseudodragon, which he named Molag. After the ice dragon of the north. Eventually he realized he needed to move on. If he was to defeat the curse placed upon him, he needed to find a way on his own. He bid his friends and adopted family goodbye, and since that day, Abaddon has taken up his mother's mantle. Hunting the undead, and killing as many as he can. Hoping that one day he will find the answers he is after.  
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xviii-moon · 7 months ago
Ziazan the Knight
Omg hello, have another bio that absolutely no one asked for but that I had fun writing ^^; I can’t wait to actually have time make some art of my apprentices and OCs in the future eee
Ziazan is a knight for Vesuvia with a troubled past. Ae is shipped with Portia, but feel free to ship aem with other characters or your own OCs ( • ω • )✧
Tags Ziazan’s Face - Art of Ziazan! Ziazan Vibes - Aesthetics (mostly photos) with aer energy. Ziazan Ask - Asks/Requests pertaining to our favorite holopunk knight. Ziazan Fic - Coming soon!
(Bio is under the cut)
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At a Glance ⭒❃.✮:▹
★ Full Name ~ Ziazan Surab ★ Gender ~ Genderqueer (ae/aem/aer) ★ Birthday ~ 25 July ♌ ★ Age ~ 28 ★ Orientation ~ Attracted to femininity ★ Occupation ~ Knight ★ Crushing on ~ Portia Devorak 😸🥰💛
★ Familiar ~ Khalris (♂) the bearded vulture ★ Magic ~ Aether and darkness based ★ MBTI ~ ISTP ★ Fursona ~ Wolf ★ Most likely to ~ Win a parkour competition without breaking a sweat.
★ Favorite Flower ~ Queen of the night ★ Favorite Drink ~ Milk with honey ★ Favorite Food ~ Dolma (a type of stuffed grape leaves) ★ Favorite Season ~ Summer
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Appearance and Aesthetic ⭒❃.✮:▹
★ Body ~ 5′ 11′’ with a strong and sturdy build. Ziazan’s skin is a mix between dark olive and light brown and has some mid-toned undertones. Square jaw, dimpled chin. Ae is AFAB.
★ Hair ~ Very thick, wavy, and cut rather short, usually all pushed back or slightly to one side, as well as is shaved some on the sides. It is black with a dark iridescent sheen and highlights.
★ Eyes ~ Deep, dark teal.
★ Distinguishing Features ~ Several feather-inspired tattoos. Full description TBA.
★ Physical Health ~ As a knight, Ziazan exercises a lot and so has a great deal of muscle. Ae is also hard of hearing and has a sensory processing disorder, which Khalris helps aem with through the pair’s psychic link.
★ Favorite Colors ~ Dark red and dark teal, but also any dark iridescent colors. Purple and green is another combination ae favors.
★ Fashion Sense ~ Alright listen, so I have yet to design an actual outfit for aem, but Ziazan was inspired by dark holopunk aesthetics, so you can definitely expect for aer clothing choices to reflect that in some way, even in this time period. I like to think ae uses aer magic to add shimmery or iridescent aspects to aer clothing when ae’s off duty. Although ae’s a knight, ae dresses much less subtly than you’d expect when ae’s not wearing aer armor or other protective gear. Ziazan tends to favor clothing with buttons and clasps and also might sometimes just opt for something like a sheer top with a binder underneath if ae is feeling spicy. Ae’s also not afraid to show off aer muscles. One thing Ziazan definitely does have an appreciation for are long, loose pants and tall boots (watch aem step on all the haters lmao). Ae likes to wear this combination together quite often. Finally, Ziazan wears feathered accessories that ae makes aemself from Khalris’s dropped feathers.
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Traits and Characteristics⭒❃.✮:▹
★ Personality ~ The first thing one tends to notice about Ziazan is aer iron will. Ae takes great care to think aer decisions through before coming to something final and once aer mind is set, there is little hope of changing that. Ae is incredibly true to aemself and knows exactly what ae stands for, trusting aer own instincts and judgement first and foremost above those of other people. This is a point ae has worked HARD to get to, but ae’s very proud of that nonetheless. Moving further, Ziazan is a devoted and deeply loving person who protects those ae cares for to the bitter end. There is nothing ae wouldn’t do for someone ae considers family. Ae is, quite honestly, a hopeless romantic. What ae really craves deep down is simply to give love and to be loved in return and it is an ideal that ae would defend with aer life. For the most part, Ziazan is an even-tempered and down-to-earth person who is hard to move to anger...but if that happens you’d best be running for the hills. Ae tends to hold grudges for a very long time. Ae values honesty and, as such, is also a terrible liar lmao. Ae has a tendency to wear aer heart on aer sleeve, which has led to aem getting hurt once or twice in the past, but it also makes aem a better communicator who knows how to articulate aemself rather well. While Ziazan doesn’t necessarily go around talking about aemself all day long, ae is willing to share aer thoughts and experiences to enrich a conversation where appropriate. An open book, but those pages won’t turn themselves.
★ Mental Health ~ Ziazan struggles with C-PTSD.
★ Likes ~ Birds, acidic foods/vinegar-y foods, running, pretty stones and shells, snuggling (also gives the best hugs tbh), long walks on the beach, adventurous dates with Portia 
★ Dislikes ~ People messing up aer pronouns (ae WILL correct you lmao), yappy dogs, getting stuck behind someone walking really slowly, cabbage...honestly fuck cabbages, candles
★ Quirks ~ An adrenaline junkie, tbh. Takes criticism to heart. A HUGE neat freak; everything in their spaces is always immaculately organized and they often follow Portia around like a sentient vacuum, straightening up in her wake. Takes the stairs two at a time. You bet ae’s that person who carries 16 grocery shopping bags at once like it’s nothing. Leaps over puddles. Collects aforementioned pretty stones/shells and lines windows and shelves with them
★ Fears ~ Being used or taken advantage of, emotional wounds, fire, chaos/the unknown
★ Patron Arcana ~ The Lovers
Upright: Love, harmony, relationships, values alignment, choices
Reversed: Self-love, disharmony, imbalance, misalignment of values
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Life and Details⭒❃.✮:▹
★ Hobbies ~ Vesuvian parkour, sketching (and ae is actually quite good; draws Portia a fair amount), people-watching, practicing magic, baking
★ Family ~ Avetis and Kohar Surab (parents, deceased), Lusineh Surab (older sister, deceased), Jirair and Sevan Surab (younger brothers, deceased), Voski Surab (younger sibling, deceased) and Portia Devorak (partner/lover), Julian Devorak (brother-in-law), Mazelinka (grandmother-in-law), Asra Alnazar, Muriel, and Ashlo Ilnara (surrogate siblings)
★ Friends ~ Myren, Talel, Nadia, Swan
★ Acquaintances ~ Dvoire, Lucio
★ History ~ Ziazan was born during the reign of Count Spada, shortly before Lucio took power, and is originally from the South End of Vesuvia, where ae lived with aer parents and older sister in a cramped little apartment above aer family’s restaurant. Although ae didn’t have much, ae was still proud of aer roots in a district that ae truly believed held the heartbeat of all Vesuvia and its culture. 
Aer father, Avetis, was a good man who cared for his family and only wanted the best for them, but they struggled financially with the meager living they were able to make through their business. At one point, with the best intentions in mind of supporting his wife and children, he got involved with an organized crime guild and money laundering. At first, it was just little things here and there to ensure his family would have enough to eat themselves after serving Vesuvia’s citizens, but he was good at what he did. Too good. And it became his downfall.
As Avetis gained notoriety in the criminal organization he’d secretly aligned himself with, he began to greatly regret his decisions. Enigmatic as he became, the details of what was really going down are shrouded in mystery, but his superiors began asking more and more of him than he could ethically handle, all while holding the wellbeing of his family over his head to ensure he’d follow through. He became the ultimate pawn in their scheming games. Eventually, things came to a head when Avetis and a few others were coerced into carrying out a heist at the palace itself. But, something went gravely, gravely wrong. It was never confirmed whether Count Spada himself had a hand in what came next, but as Ziazan grew up and uncovered this hidden side to her father’s life, ae doesn’t believe it could have been ordered by anyone else. Avetis was captured, but Spada suspiciously let him go. He was sly about it as Avetis returned home to his family and the restaurant that had since become a criminal headquarter. It was too easy. 
And the following night, palace guards descended on the Surab’s block with torches in hand, setting the place ablaze. Ziazan was the only member of aer family to escape the flames.
After this, Ziazan raised aemself on the streets for a time, sometimes falling in with the other homeless children, but generally remaining wary of other people, never knowing who ae could trust. During this time, ae did become acquainted with Asra and Muriel and would spend time with them a fair amount, as well as Ashlo, who became like a brother to aem. Those three were different from the rest and ae genuinely enjoyed their company. 
When ae was 16, Ziazan learned of a traveling guild of mercenaries whose leader was visiting Vesuvia for a short time. And, having lost some faith in Vesuvia as of late, especially with Lucio in power, (as well as drawn in by the promise of 3 meals a day, a place to sleep, seeing the world, and coin), ae pretended to be 18 and joined them. Ae traveled to many distant lands in aer time as a mercenary and fought in many battles, some more just than others. Ae did struggle with a fair bit of cognitive dissonance in aer position, as aer family had been killed by soldiers, but ae felt that there were no other avenues in life for aem and so kept at it.
Eventually, though, no amount of skill was able to save aem when ae was captured by Vesuvian soldiers in a battle where ae had found aemself on the opposing side. Aer heart just hadn’t been in the fight, as much as ae condemned Vesuvia out loud. Something just couldn’t justify killing people from aer homeland whose situations could have very easily been similar to aer own. 
While in captivity as a prisoner of war, Ziazan was discovered to be of Vesuvian origin. Count Lucio was delighted and wanted aem thrown into the coliseum, but Countess Nadia had other plans. She visited Ziazan personally when she learned of aer story and apologized on behalf of the city-state for what had happened to aem in the past. She offered aem a place in the Vesuvian Court with the promise that they could work together to make it a homeland to be proud of once more and brought Ziazan to the palace where they could recover and think.
After many days of careful consideration, ae came to a decision. Ae would take her up on her offer, but not as a courtier (the noble life wasn’t for them). Ae wanted to fight in the Vesuvian military on the condition that Nadia would remain true to her word and assist in helping people from the South Side who had been dealt a poor hand in life. The Countess agreed and the two have remained friends, since. Nadia, trusting Ziazan’s judgement, comes to aem for advice from time to time, as well. It was almost a no-brainer when ae was asked to help with the investigation of Count Lucio’s murder.
Ziazan met Portia while visiting the Countess at one point in the past and the two had spoken a few times, but had never had much of an opportunity to get to know one another until the investigation. Truthfully, they’d both always found the other attractive LOL and so this presented a perfect moment for them to grow closer as they worked together. Ziazan also rekindled aer friendships with Ashlo, Asra, and Muriel during this time.
In an IRL AU, Ziazan would be of Armenian descent.
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tomeandflickcorner · 7 months ago
Umbrella Academy Recap 2x09
1x01 1x02 1x03 1x04 1x05 1x06 1x07 1x08 1x09 1x10
2x01 2x02 2x03 2x04 2x05 2x06 2x07 2x08
We’re nearing the end of the season now, and things are heating up!  Number 5 convinced Luther to help him make a bargain with Old Number 5, who was also walking around 1963 Dallas to ensure President Kennedy’s assassination occurred as it was supposed to.  This bargain involved Old Number 5 handing over his time traveling briefcase so the Hargreeves Siblings could return home to their time in exchange for the correct equation that would allow Old Number 5 to timejump back to the day of Reginald’s funeral and prevent the 2019 apocalypse, without undergoing an age regression. However, both Number 5 and Old Number 5 began to display the symptoms of paradox psychosis, an unfortunate sickness that could occur when a person interacts with their past or future selves while time traveling.  And it’s possible that the two Number 5s might try to kill each other as a result of it.  At the same time, because Lila abducted Diego and brought him to The Commission’s headquarters in the hopes of making him part of her security team, Diego was able to determine that the new apocalypse of 1963 would occur because the FBI captured and interrogated Vanya, whom they suspected of being a Russian spy.  The FBI’s interrogation methods would ultimately result in the amnesiac Vanya’s memories to come flooding back, which would lead to Vanya’s powers bursting out of her, causing an explosion that would be blamed on the Russians, cumulating in a nuclear war. In the hopes of stopping this from happening, Diego, Allison and Klaus hurry over to the FBI building in order to save Vanya from the FBI.  But it appears as if they may have arrived too late, as Vanya’s powers are already spiraling out of control.
Because of Vanya’s powers going out of control, Diego, Klaus and Allison are faced with the challenge of how to reach her without getting themselves killed.  Eventually, Allison gets sick of Diego and Klaus’ whole ‘not it’ bit and decides to volunteer herself.  Which is very fitting, given the sisterly bond the last season had been setting up.  However, Allison ends up getting knocked out.  Diego also fails to make it to Vanya, so it’s up to Klaus.  And he almost makes it, due to the improvised firehose rope that Diego managed to set up before he was knocked out, too.  But Klaus also gets thrown back.  Of course, there’s still one last hope left.  Because Ben is also there.  And because he’s a ghost without a physical body, he isn’t affected by Vanya’s powers.  Upon entering the room where Vanya was strapped to the interrogation chair, Ben manages to possess her, indicating the power of possession was actually tied to Ben and not Klaus. 
Once he’d possessed Vanya, Ben is able to wander about inside Vanya’s mind, where he eventually makes contact with Vanya’s subconscious. Vanya’s Subconscious is clearly scared and upset, having remembered everything and knowing that she might end up destroying the world all over again.  She bemoans over how she can’t control her powers like her siblings, and admits she doesn’t feel like she deserves to live, as she killed Pogo and almost killed Allison.  Ben, however, isn’t deterred and begins to reassure her. He tells her that it’s not her fault she can’t control it, as Reginald hadn’t given her the chance to learn.  Instead, he treated her like a bomb and forced her to keep it bottled up by drugging her and keeping her locked up.  He goes on to tell her she has every right to be angry about how she was treated, but that she’s not a monster.  She’s his sister, and the others are risking their lives at that very moment for her sake.  He also tells her that’s she’s not alone anymore.  In the end, Ben’s words are enough to reassure Vanya’s Subconscious and she begins to smile.  But as she gets to her feet, they notice that Ben is starting to glow.  Ben realizes that he’s finally crossing over.  Vanya’s Subconscious is upset by this, feeling that this is her fault as well, but Ben tells her it’s okay.  After all, he’d died 17 years ago.  At least now, he can say goodbye properly. Before Ben can fade away, he asks Vanya’s Subconscious if she could hug him before he went, and she complies to the request without hesitation.  As they hug, Ben gives Vanya’s Subconscious one final request.  He wants her to pass on a message to Klaus, which he whispers into her ear.
Over at the farmhouse, Sissy notices that Harlan is acting strangely.  Because, as last episode revealed, he and Vanya somehow have some sort of psychic link now.  And therefore, Harlan is experiencing everything Vanya is right now.  Of course, Sissy doesn’t realize this, but she is still alarmed when she sees Harlan sitting stock still in his chair, with his head tilted backward.  As Sissy kneels down next to him, Harlan utters a single word- Vanya’s name.  Obviously, this is a big deal, as this is quite possibly the first time Harlan has ever spoken in his life.  But Carl, who had also witnessed this, doesn’t focus on how miraculous it is that his son is finally speaking.  Instead, he accuses Vanya of doing something to him and immediately starts bringing him to the car with the intention of taking him to an institution.  Sissy, on the other hand, is dead set against this, and she moves in front of the car, aiming her shotgun at Carl.  She tells him that she’s not going to let him take her son from her, because if Harlan is brought to an institution, then they’ll never give him back.  In response, Carl suggests Sissy doesn’t deserve him anymore.  Of course, that was the wrong thing for him to say, as Sissy has had enough of the way Carl has treated her, and she does not back down.
The moment Ben crosses over, Vanya snaps out of her trance at the FBI building.  Likewise, Harlan also snaps out of it in time to witness Sissy and Carl’s confrontation, with Sissy finally admitting that she’d fallen in love with Vanya, and she wants more than what she’d had with Carl.  When Harlan gets out of the car, Sissy gets momentarily distracted, which allows Carl to try and wrestle the shotgun out of her hands.  In the struggle, the trigger gets squeezed and the gun goes off.  The bullet heads right towards Harlan, but right before impact, a sudden shockwave bursts out of the boy, which is eerily similar to Vanya’s power.  The shockwave throws the bullet backwards, and it instead flies clean through Carl’s chest, killing him instantly.
Back at the FBI building, Vanya wakes up to take in the scene around her, with the bodies of the dead FBI agents lying around.  After a pause, she hurries out into the hall, just in time to see Allison, Diego and Klaus also coming around.  But then Diego consults his watch and concludes there’s still time to save President Kennedy, who will be driving by shortly.  Allison tries to stop him, but he can’t be reasoned with, as he believes that, since they’d already stopped the explosion from happening, they’re npw in the clear, and President Kennedy doesn’t have to die.
Elsewhere, Luther is making his way to the grassy knoll with Number 5 and Old Number 5.  And Luther is talking to Old Number 5 about his plan to kill Number 5, whom he claims is only a faulty doppelganger and not the real Number 5.  Of course, our Number 5 already knows about Old Number 5′s plot.  After all, he WAS Old Number 5, and he knows how his older-younger self thinks.  And he doesn’t hesitate to confront Luther over how they’re conspiring against him.  Which leads to his iconic ‘I'm the daddy here!’ line.  (You gotta watch this clip for yourself.  It’s classic.)  Before long, they make it to their destination, where Luther notices that Old Number 5 is also experiencing paradox psychosis.  Meaning his plan to kill our Number 5 may not have come from a sound mind.
As Old Number 5 gets ready to fire the bullet that will kill President Kennedy as his motorcade drives by, Number 5, due to the final stages of paradox psychosis, makes a mad lunge for Old Number 5′s briefcase, believing he can teleport over and grab it in time.  But Old Number 5 spots Number 5′s movements in the reflection of the lens on his shotgun’s sight, so he is able to react in time.  For a moment, it looks like the two Number 5s will turn on each other, but Luther steps in between them, trying to calm them both down.  Of course, this has no effect, as Number 5 simply kicks him in the groin.  And with Luther momentarily incapacitated, Number 5 and Old Number 5 begin to go at it.  Eventually, Luther is able to break up the fight and gains possession of the shotgun.  Immediately, Number 5 and Old Number 5 begin shouting at him, both ordering him to kill the other one.  After some deliberation, Luther ends up aiming the shotgun at our Number 5.  But after a tense moment, Luther turns and knocks Old Number 5 out with the butt of the shotgun.  He then orders our Number 5 to open the time vortex portal that would lead back to the day of Reginald’s funeral.
At The Commission headquarters, Lila, having realized she’s lost Diego, heads into The Handler’s office.  Upon arriving, she learns The Handler has already found out about how Diego broke into the Infinite Switchboard room and stole a time traveling briefcase, as she’d threatened Herb and forced him to tell her.  The Handler reminds Lila about her earlier agreement, which stated that Lila would have to kill Diego herself if he stepped out of line.  Lila instantly realizes that this was The Handler’s plan all along.  As they begin to argue over the matter, Herb notices AJ the fish in a nearby fish bowl and tries to discreetly scooch over towards him, which enables AJ to silently give him a message.  AJ has managed to write out the number 743 with the colored pebbles at the bottom of the fishbowl.  The Handler then orders everyone out of the room so she and Lila could speak privately.  Once they’re alone, The Handler tells Lila that she’s about to become the most powerful woman of all time, and she wants Lila to be her right hand.  But she needs to know if she can trust her adopted daughter.  And as she says this, she grips Lila's chin in an obviously threatening manner, making her meaning clear.  So Lila assures The Handler that she can trust her.
Meanwhile, Herb, following the tip he got from AJ, finds Case File 743.  Inside, he finds information that he clearly finds important, as he removes a paper from the file before placing it back in the filing cabinet.  After leaving the case file room, Herb is confronted by Lila.  She demands to know where Diego went, and Herb admits he’d helped him escape and return to his siblings.  Herb also asks Lila if she’s really going to kill Diego, and Lila says she won’t.  Because she loves him.  (Though she also threatens to hurt Herb if he ever blabbed that to anyone.)  Before Lila walked off, Herb showed her the paper he’d found in Case File 743.  The information on the paper is enough to make Lila drop to her knees in shock.
Upon recovering from the shock, Lila storms into The Handler’s office to confront her.  It turns out she’s now learned the truth.  That her parents hadn’t died in a robbery, but had been executed by The Commission.  The paper in her hand is a kill order against Lila’s parents.  A kill order that Old Number 5 had carried out.  But sadly, Lila seems she hasn’t figured out the full truth.  Because The Handler had used AJ’s signature to approve the kill order, thereby covering up her involvement.  Taking advantage of the fact that Lila doesn’t know she was the one who ordered their deaths, The Handler suggests that Diego might have been snooping around to get rid of the evidence that tied Number 5 to Lila’s parents’ deaths.  At first, Lila doesn’t buy it, but The Handler is able to place a small seed of doubt in Lila’s mind, suggesting that Number 5 has been behind everything and Diego had been following his orders all along.  As Lila numbly walks off, The Handler retaliates against AJ for his efforts at revealing the truth by killing him.
As the episode comes to a close, Old Number 5 comes to in time to watch our Number 5 opening up the time vortex portal back to 2019.  So Old Number 5 gets ready to jump into the time vortex, with our Number 5 telling him what he’d got wrong about the equation, which involved a misplaced decimal.  But unfortunately, right before Old Number 5 could depart with his math error corrected, Luther gets hit in the head with a fire extinguisher.  (For those who have forgotten, Klaus threw it into the time vortex when it had appeared at the Umbrella Academy mansion in the pilot episode.)  This results in Luther dropping the shotgun.  And with Luther unarmed, Old Number 5 tries to make a dive for the briefcase.  At the last second, fortunately, Luther gets back up and dropkicks Old Number 5 through the portal right before it disappears.  So it looks as if things might work out, as Old Number 5 went back in time like he was supposed to, this time with the correct mathematical formula.  And he also knows that the way to stop the 2019 apocalypse involves being nice to Vanya.  But unfortunately, the time traveling briefcase was damaged when the time portal closed around it, so it’s now completely useless to Luther and our Number 5.  Number 5 is not pleased by this, but there’s no time to worry about that now.  President Kennedy’s motorcade is driving past right now, and they hurry over to the fence to watch.  Likewise, Allison, Klaus and Vanya watch from the window of the FBI building.
Down on the street, Diego practically bulrushes 1963 Reginald, who has appeared on the scene as well.  But he discovers too late that it’s not really 1963 Reginald, but someone who had been dressed up to look like him.  The moment Diego realizes his mistake, the infamous gunshots are heard.  Horrified over how he failed to prevent the assassination, Diego demands to know where the real 1963 Reginald is.  In response, the Reginald impersonator hands him a note that simply says ‘I told you so.’
That evening, the real 1963 Reginald confronts the other members of the Majestic 12.  It comes out that he’d made a deal with them that President Kennedy was not to be touched.  And he is livid that they went back on their word and lied to him.  He tells them that they are never to contact him ever again and turns to leave.  However, the leader of the Majestic 12 isn’t bothered, simply saying that he expects 1963 Reginald to continue supplying them with his advanced technology.  If he doesn’t, they’ll expose him for what he really is- an alien from another planet.  1963 Reginald doesn’t take kindly to the attempt at blackmail.  In response, he sheds his skin a la Men in Black style, revealing his alien face (which we only see the back of) and proceeds to kill everyone in the room.  Again, while we don’t actually see it happening, the sounds we hear are enough to conclude that their deaths were quite painful.
At The Commission’s headquarters, The Handler is notified of the appearance of an anomaly appearing in the timeline.  When she goes down to the Infinite Switchboard room to see what’s up, she watches the footage of the new anomaly and promptly kills the man with her, after determining he hasn’t shown the footage to anyone else.  She then makes an announcement to the rest of The Commission, stating that they’re going to war.  And the episode ends with the reveal of what the anomaly is.  It’s Harlan.  Somehow, he now possesses the same sort of powers as Vanya.  And it’s clear he can’t control them.
Closing thoughts/questions:
How did Harlan get Vanya’s powers?
What’s Lila going to do now that she knows Number 5 was the one who ended her parents’ lives?  Does Number 5 even know?  And will Lila figure out that it was The Handler who gave the kill order and not AJ?
So Reginald IS an alien!  I thought so, as it was rather obvious since 1x10.  But I never guessed he actually looked like one.  I wonder if we’ll ever get to see what he really looks like without the human mask,
It appears 1963 Reginald didn’t want President Kennedy to actually be killed after all.  But what exactly did he expect was going to happen?  They said the plan was to get him out of the way, but how were they planning to do that without actually assassinating him?  I’m genuinely curious.
I’m really proud of Sissy.  She finally stood up to Carl and displayed the full extent of her strength at last.   And while Carl’s death is unfortunate, he did sorta bring it on himself.  I just hope Sissy doesn’t get in trouble for it.  Because people are going to notice his sudden disappearance.
I’m also sad to see Ben go.  But at least he’s at peace now.  And he got to have one last moment and hug with both Diego and Vanya before he crossed over.  It’s just a shame he didn’t also get to say goodbye to Allison, Luther and Number 5.  I do wonder what their relationship to Ben had been.  (Considering Ben was one of the people Number 5 called out for when he found the ruins of the Umbrella Academy mansion in the post-2019 apocalypse future, I’m guessing Ben and Number 5 had been somewhat close.)
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jenniferyoung · 7 months ago
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name: jennifer young age: 38 fc: laura vanderroort time in charming: life long occupation: trauma counsellor side: devils positive traits: + valiant, + fierce, + loving negative traits: - worrywart, - insecure, - stubborn children: one boy, 22 years old siblings: one older brother
trigger warnings(please read them carefully, her background is very dark and traumatic): kidnap, abuse, implied rape, teen pregnancy, traumatic child-birth.
this is gonna be really long and i’m sorry. if you actually read it all i’ll give you a cookie
✹ early life was pretty simple, even with a dad and brother in the MC
✹ plans to graduate and go to college to study archaeology
✹ that got yeeted when she was kidnapped not long after her 16th birthday
✹ jenny had been walking home from a friends when she was grabbed from behind and knocked out
✹ she woke up in a basement with her hands and feet chained to the bed. loose enough for her to move around and sit up but not to get free
✹ her captor? turned out to be a man who she’d been seeing a lot of in the last weeks. random encounters that seemed so innocent until right now
✹ he was quite young, late 20′s maybe but he was absolutely insane. completely infatuated with her and thought that by kidnapping her, he could have her for himself and they’d have a happy life. loco maniac with big temper issues
✹ naturally she did try countless times to escape but would be quickly slapped down, only for him to cry and apologise afterwards, “why did you make me do that” as though any of it was her fault
✹ once the abuse turned into physical touches, that’s when her tears dried up and her mind began to go into autopilot. not to mention the drugs he forced down her throat to keep her subdued really took away a lot of her will to fight
✹ it had been two whole months when she finally started accepting her fate. nobody was ever going to find her and as if the man could see that light go out in her eyes, that night he pinned her down and raped her in spite of her pleas
✹ he even had the audacity to call it love
✹ she was pretty much broken after this. especially since she had been a virgin, so imagine how traumatised she was when another 2 months slipped by and she realised she hadn’t had her period
✹ it had been his plan all along, he wanted a family with her because he was convinced “you’ll love me eventually”
✹ it would have been easy enough to break completely but in the following weeks, something really strange happened. instead of focusing on the trauma, on how used and disgusting she felt, she focused on her growing bump
✹ hours alone in the dark, she began to talk to it, as though somehow it was a comfort to them both
✹ the first time she felt it kick was the first time in months she had a spark of life behind her blue eyes. so she did fall in love, not with her captor, but with her baby
✹ at first she did try to hate it, this thing growing inside her that she didn’t ask for but she couldn’t. how could you blame an innocent life for how it came to be?
✹ the following months, she began to put on an act. starting with a smile now and again that looked genuine, to a laugh at one of the mans jokes. making him believe he was winning, that she was slowly coming around to the idea of being with him
✹ for the most part, it worked. the abuse stopped, she convinced him to stop drugging her because it wasn’t good for “their” baby
✹ the plan was to eventually convince him to unchain her. he agreed to unchain her feet, which was a start ( and a relief considering the metal had long since dug right into her ankles )
✹ she waited a few more days but before she could ask about her hands, she felt the first signs of labour
✹ newly terrified, she literally cried and begged him to call an ambulance because holy fuck
✹ obviously he refused and she spent the next 30 hours in excruciating agony. something was not right
✹ she was bleeding, trying to fight the urge to push because her whole instincts were telling her not to, but it was no use
✹ four pushes and a whole lot of banshee screams later, she birthed a baby boy whom she begged to hold instantly, if only to take him out of the mans hands
✹ beautiful. the second he started to cry and looked up at her with his blue eyes she knew there wasn’t anything or anyone she’d ever let hurt him
✹ somewhere between the mixture of emotions, she hadn’t realised that she was starting to bleed out and the panic returned
✹ frantically, she tried to tell the man that he needed to unchain her and take her to a hospital and to her almost shock, he agreed. like he was actually concerned that she was going to bleed out and die if he didn’t.
✹ it was practically impossible to get up the stairs and even harder to hold her son against her chest whilst looking with double vision for something she could use as a weapon
✹ the glimmer of something shiny caught her eye and in a burst of bravery and energy, she grabbed it (a shiny vase on the table top) and swung it around, smashing it off his head
✹ thank god it must have knocked him out for at least a few seconds because she managed to get to and out the front door
✹ that’s when she realised she was still in charming. not only that, but she could see the clubhouse from where she stood & so she ran (hobbled, hopped, nearly crawled w/e) bursting through the doors like something out of a horror movie, dirty and bloody and instantly on her knees because she couldn’t support her own weight anymore
✹ her father, brother and a couple other members instantly flew to her aid. it had to have been nearly a year since she went missing and now here she was, holding a baby and about to die
✹ “he’s mine” was almost all she could manage to whisper as she had no energy to stop one of the guys taking him from her “don’t let him touch him, don’t– don’t let him” don’t let the captor touch her son, is what she meant
✹ it was barely a second after everything turned black and when she woke, it was three days later and she was in hospital. safe
✹ she only asked once about the guy and got the reply from her dad “it’s been handled” presumably she left a good trail of blood for them to find the source. but she never did dare ask, had she killed him with the vase? or did they. not that she cared.
✹ she only went over her ordeal once with her parents, her brother and the mc’s president at the time and then she told them she never wanted to relive it. which suited them just fine because they couldn’t have the guys dead body getting tied to them.
✹ so the only alternative? was to say she had ran away, that she fell pregnant and that’s why she stayed away until she got scared and came home. cue the judgement from the towns snooty bitches
✹ it was a fight and a half to keep her son, with a mother who wanted to support her decision but a father who was adamant she wouldn’t be able to cope
✹ it got overly extreme, she threatened to end her own life if he had her baby taken away & went on to explain that her son was the only thing that kept her going in those months
✹ she wanted to raise him, teach him to be kind and be a good man and to her relief, her father relented
✹ she named him liam because she always recalled someone telling her it meant “unwavering saviour”
✹ the next five years were tough, but she never gave up and she never quit. she focused her energy on her son, on learning to handle her ordeal in a healthy manner. her father paid good money for her to see a trauma counsellor, one out of town who wouldn’t ask questions they didn’t have answers to. the only rules? never tell them her real name (she posed as someone called lucy) and never name the man so it could never be traced back to them
✹ it was an uphill battle and to be honest, even now sometimes it still is
✹ she was inspired by the way the counsellor helped her and decided that’s what she wanted to do with her life now, so she went back to school and studied for a degree
✹ she’s now a qualified trauma and ptsd counsellor with her own office in the hospital. she also does a lot of fundraising for charities that feel close to her heart. domestic violence, etc. etc.
✹ when she was 25, she finally spoke out at a charity auction she’d organised for survivors and it was hands down the scariest thing she’d ever done. but she did it because she wanted to help young girls see that there was always a light at the end of the tunnel. that you’re not defined by your trauma ( she had to tweak a couple facts, such as saying it happened out of town and that the guy got away )
✹ sooo yeah, she’s one tough bitch now. taught herself how to fight and yoo she kicks ass. got a lot of her confidence back and made damn sure she was raising a good boy
✹ there is literally nobody on this earth she loves more than liam and even though he’s 22 now, he’s still very much her baby and her saving grace
bop bop bop there we have it. *hands you a chocolate chip cookie*
exes ending on good or bad terms
fwb or past hook ups maybe
someone she councils would be great
her soN liam would be even better. i visualise him as brandon flynn if he could work for you. alternatively, joe keery or dacre montgomery? it’s negotiable
her older brother would be great too
or any mc members who were around at the time her trauma happened
life long besties who would also know the truth whilst everyone else assumed she was some dumb slapper who got knocked up
anything elseeee
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peacxhyguts · 8 months ago
Tawny’s backstory
An overly-long ‘summary’ of my mc’s past. Tawny is from a courtier fan-route so this strays from canon quite a bit! I’ll also be throwing in a few of my own headcanons, and ideas about the arcana story.
Born to two travelling merchants, one from the North and one from the South. They travelled a lot in her early life but eventually settled down in the area that would be Prakra so that Tawny could get a proper education.
They kind of moved back to the Northern lands on a whim and didn’t have enough money or skills to raise a house so they moved in with an old family friend. The family had one kid, born intersex called Mara. Tawny was two years older than them and they were as close as siblings (Mara was 7 when Tawny and her family moved in, Tawny was 9)
Even when they did have the funding, the two families decided to continue living together and instead used the money to expand their current home a bit.
When Tawny and Mara entered their early teen years (11-13) they were apprenticed to the green witch of the village and the doctor of the village respectively. When they came home on a night they would share some of the things they learnt as they both respected each other’s chosen studies.
During their mid teens (14-16) they travelled for a while, moving between different villages and towns in the North to learn different approaches to medicine and magic, they initially planned to do this until they were adults before eventually settling down somewhere but news from their hometown prevented that from happening.
A sickness had overcome their village, by the time the news reached them and the time spent travelling back they were in their late teens (17-19). With their knowledge the two of them tried their best to fight against the sickness but their research was too limited, equipment too primitive.
Eventually Tawny came down with the sickness, leaving her bedridden and weak. Mara moved their studies into their home so that they could keep an eye on Tawny and keep her company. However, their time together would be limited. Mara was all too aware that Tawny’s life was slipping away, countless nights spent hunched over books trying to come up with soemthing, anything that could save her.
When medicine failed them, Mara turned to magic. They began scouring Tawny’s books for spells of healing and invigoration, but none would work, they simply weren’t strong enough to do it alone.
And so, Mara searched a little too hard and picked up the wrong book, coming into contact with the wrong beings. A hushed voice promising the knowledge that could save lives, honeyed words and sickly sweet lies. Hallucinations were frequent in Mara’s overworked mind, but something about the tall goat that presented himself to them felt all too real.
Delirious with exhaustion, Mara fell prey to the devil’s temptations and made a deal with him that very night; a deal that would allow them to see the answers they needed. Promptly after the deal was made, Mara collapsed with exhaustion, the cure to the sickness written in the open journal in front of them.
The next morning they awoke, half expecting their journal to be filled with the nonsense from a sleep deprived mind, however the events of the night before were right in front of them, real and complete. Giddy with glee they jumped up, racing to Tawny’s room to tell her the good news.
Mara arrived at Tawny’s room just in time to hear her whisper her final words, and breathe what should’ve been her last breath. Unbeknownst to Mara as they wept over the withered husk of their friend, a quivering flannel moth emerged from metamorphosis, and thus a cycle of reincarnation began.
Tawny’s final words had been almost silent, quiet enough for Mara to miss but the intent behind them was clear and certain. Whenever Mara needed her, Tawny would be there. However, with her body weakened her power fell short and without a human body to inhabit, her essence could only take on the form of powerless little moth.
For a long while, Mara coped on their own, naturally the first few years were numb and filled with grief, but they got on with life, saving those in the Village that weren’t too far gone. It was only when the sickness left did Mara take a turn for the worst.
They had no-one to heal, and the prospect of travelling without Tawny made them feel ill. They constantly found their mind returning to that night. If only they had seen just how sick Tawny was, they could’ve given her the cure that very night. Guilt and loathing consumed them, and they once again became an easy target for The Devil’s sinister aims.
Although limited, Tawny tried to help Mara down the right path, but time and time again she failed, and watched with hollow grief and silenced cries as Mara became ensnared in The Devil’s plans. Eventually, Mara convinced themself that the strange moths appearing were ill omens, and subconsciously a fear began to develop.
Mara evaded Tawny for many years, falling deeper and deeper into a pit of darkness and deals. Over time, their connection began to sever and fray until Mara’s final deal.
Mara stood before a mirror, absently running their hands through their hair. The dark curls bounced and shivered at the touch, but Mara wasn’t focused on their coiled locks. Their eyes, once dark and kind were now red, sharper than a dagger as they stared at the horns twisting up from their scalp. “I don’t feel like myself anymore, I don’t feel like Mara.” They sighed, a frown pulling at their lips.
A rumbling chuckle echoed in their mind, the voice all too familiar “Then change yourself one last time, you don’t have to be Mara anymore.” they hummed, as though the answer were obvious. The frown on Mara’s face sharpened into a scowl “It isn’t that easy, I’m not like you, I can’t just snap my fingers and become someone else.” they retorted, turning away from the mirror with a hiss of frustration. The devil chuckled again “Then allow me to help you.” his tone became diplomatic, the same smooth voice he used all those years ago during their first deal. “You’ve helped me enough, not only have I got everything I want, you’ve taken everything from me- I don’t have anything else to give you” they admitted, lowering their hands to wring them uncomfortably.
“Ah ah, that’s where you’re wrong. You still have your humanity. Of course you have your little perks and powers, but you’re still mortal. Time will eventually take its toll on you, Mara. The clock’s ticking, what will your answer be?” The Devil grinned, appearing suddenly in the small room. Mara instinctively took a step back “Well that was maddeningly vague, care to elaborate?” they huffed, folding their arms across their chest. “Of course, All I ask is that you pledge your loyalty to me- undying loyalty. Naturally it’ll sever any connections with humans you have, and while we’re at it I can give you a new name. How about it?” The devil stated simply, smiling down at the doctor.
Mara rapped their fingers on their arm. They had made plenty of deals before, so why did this one feel so wrong? Was it the thought of finally leaving their human life behind? Or was some subconscious voice of reason trying to warn Mara of the Devil’s true nature? Mara grit their teeth, either way it didn’t matter, they had lost everything already, so what difference would it make? They glanced up at the devil, “I accept your deal.”
With a sickening lurch the room fell away, leaving behind an inky void, chains smoking with heat shot at Mara from every direction at once, coiling around their scrawny frame. Mara opened their mouth to cry out in pain, but realised the chains were gone, as was the oppressive darkness. They blinked- had they just imagined that? Mara blinked owlishly up at the devil, who simply smiled back, offering no explanation and simply said “It’s an honour to have you by my side, Valdemar.”
After Mara gave up their humanity to become The Devil’s associate, Valdemar, the remaining connection to Tawny was lost. For millennia, her soul lay dormant, no longer inhabiting the body of moths, no longer able to help Valdemar. She simply ceased to exist, her name forgotten to the sands of time, until an opportunity presented itself.
Three years before the start of the story, Asra’s apprentice died. Even though he bargained with The Devil to revive her body, her soul had moved on already. Without anything to inhabit the body, it would’ve just been an empty shell, but luckily, a certain ancient witch awoke.
Seizing the moment, Tawny’s soul awoke from its dormant period and inhabited the body of Asra’s apprentice, who bared an uncanny resemblance to Tawny. She was thrown in the deep end, finally back in a human body after thousands of years, ignorant of the technological advancements and changes in language she spent many months readjusting back to life.
During this time, Asra fell out of love with his apprentice, despite the physical resemblance, Tawny had quite a different personality to the original apprentice, and despite the two of the, being friends, any romance between them ceased to exist.
And that more or less sums up her story. A once ancient witch stuck in a cycle of reincarnation until by some miracle she finds a human’s body to inhabit. During the crossover she loses the memories of her previous lives, but when Nadia invites her to investigate the count’s murder she begins to uncover her own past, and her purpose. As she discovers the truth behind the murder she’s torn between the greater good and protecting her oldest friend. What will she chose? I certainly don’t know, I haven’t plotted that far ahead yet,
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honey-makki · 8 months ago
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(n.) nostalgia, the love that remains a desire to be near someone or something distant. The feeling you get when missing someone you love.
Long-distance boyfriend!Tanaka x reader | 06/09
Warnings: angst, break up sex, overstimulation
word count- 6k
part 6/12 of aphrodisia
University in Tokyo is everything you could have imagined and more. Coming from a small town in Miyagi, the bright and bustling city is a welcome change. The ability to walk to a corner store at any hour of the night, or even go get your favorite ramen at ungodly hours after a late night at the library, and endless activities all contributed to your love for the city. The electrifying nightlife was something entirely foreign to you, the cheap booze, barhopping and loud music became a regular in your routine. But the part you love most is that is so alive. 
Everywhere you look is breathing with life, from the crowd of people or thrum of traffic or loud laughter from the street. Everyone here feels so human, unique, and varied, all having their own mysterious story that you will probably never learn. There’s something about that fact that leaves you feeling both isolated and all encompassed, its the most exhilarating feeling you’ve ever experienced.
Back home, everyone has a name, you know their parents, their jobs, and who they dated in high school. There isn’t any privacy, every obaachan on the street taking note of who you walk to school with and who walks you home, storeowners that tease you for coming in too frequently, teachers who taught your older siblings and maybe even your parents. It’s nice to know everyone is looking out for you, but it is almost stifling. There’s no chance to branch out or make mistakes.
You dealt with that in a typical teenager rebellious fashion, by getting a boyfriend who looked a little rough around the edges. His shaved head much to the displeasure of your mom, but after a few interactions she loves the polite boy who looks at you like you hung the moon in the sky, no like you are the moon in the sky.
Your relationship with Tanaka was exactly what you needed growing up. Someone to grow with you, experience heartbreak and rekindle it, someone to show you exactly how you deserve to be treated. 
Genuine love poured into every interaction, from him always bringing you flowers to you making him bentos because he never remembered to bring his from home. Silly arguments about how he looks at Kiyoko or how a guy had his arm around your shoulder. Sometimes they were more serious than others, but regardless you always found your way back to each other. You thought that would be the case for the rest of your life.
When graduation rolled around, Tanaka got a job at a local shop while you were not only accepted into your dream university but given a full-ride scholarship which would cover room and board. Everyone is over the moon for you, the girl that gets out of the small town for school, its almost like a movie. The last summer spent at home is a whirlwind of tearful goodbyes and opportunities opening up.
Tanaka drove you to your new apartment in the city and helped you unload your stuff. Setting up your desk in the particular way you like it, candles and a lamp on the left, pens on the right, and a photo collage that he made you for your second anniversary in the middle. The room was quiet, save from Tanaka shuffling furniture and the clack of your hangers. 
Neither of you wanted to acknowledge the elephant in the room, that Tanaka isn’t staying, he’s going back home and you’ll be here alone. While it was the only thing either of you could think about, saying it out loud makes it real, and hanging onto your past life for a little bit longer provided you a bit of solace in this transitional period.  
Now it's been about 8 months since you last saw Tanaka in person. Brief facetimes were a daily occurrence with a dedicated “date night” each week, either watching a movie together or playing video games or even the one disastrous time you tried to paint along with a Bob Ross video. The routine of it was nice, always knowing that around 6 pm on Wednesday you would see a familiar face, someone that loves you and wanted only the best for you. 
But that’s all it was, nice.  You loved Tanaka, he’s one of the main reasons you have gotten as far as you have in life and he’s been with you through so much. But you weren’t you anymore, not the you Tanaka knew and fell in love with all those years ago. Your world outlook has completely changed, the way you take challenges in stride rather than backing down. You finally found a sense of patience that you were always lacking, how you now love doing laundry since its one time that you have to yourself just to relax and be, even the ironic realization that people aren’t going to be around forever. You are different.
You are still you, but an ever-evolving and growing you, and you don’t know if it is even possible for Tanaka to grow in the same way back home. There are just some things that you can’t really form an opinion on or understand until you experience it. 
It took you a long time to realize that you were beginning to fall out of love with Tanaka. You weren’t sure if his retorts to your stories aggravated you because you were tired or if you struggled to give him the sympathy he wanted when talking about a particularly bad day because you too were emotionally burned out. Responding to his soft I love yous at night with just a you too The moment it hit you was when you canceled your date night for a study group that meets on Wednesdays. 
The study group meets at 1 pm. You didn’t lie, but you didn’t tell the truth either.
It was easier every time after that, canceling a date or shortening it. Missing a facetime call and not returning it. You blamed it on college being tough, and Tanaka believed you, he could see worry lines on your face. He didn’t know they were actually from you trying to figure out what to do about him. 
But today is the first time Tanaka has had the chance to come to visit you. It's also probably going to be the last time he comes to visit you, although he doesn’t know that yet. There isn’t any special reason that he’s coming this week other than its the first time your schedules have lined up. He has the weekend off and you have no major assignments coming up. Your roommate is even visiting home, meaning you have the apartment to yourself. It should be the perfect scenario for your boyfriend to come to visit. 
As you open the door, he sweeps you off your feet. Tanaka has always been a jumble of limbs that have the best intentions but lacking in execution, and that hasn’t changed. He swirls you around in a big bear hug but trips over his own feet resulting in both of you crashing into the floor. He takes the brunt of the fall but it doesn’t faze him, not when you are wrapped up in his arms laughing with a gleaming smile. 
It’s one of his favorite sights.
He could stare at you for hours, taking in every mark on your face, every pore, every little thing seeming so beautiful, but when you smile? The room gets lighter, your laughter lines show how much you just love life. Each one an amalgamation of fond memories, crude jokes, corny puns, cute animal videos, and even that one Tanaka tickled you for so long that you threw up. He could get lost in the way your eyes crinkle and your nose scrunches up when he squeezes your sides or you laugh particularly hard. 
Tanaka eventually lets you up after peppering your face with kisses and soft declarations of love. If he can sense your unease, he doesn’t show it. You spend the next few hours on the couch, catching up while some random tv show drones on in the background.  You let him ramble on about his job and coworkers. His words are joined by animated hands that always find their way back to yours, slipping in between your fingers. Before he can realize you aren't holding his hand as tightly as normal, it flies out to emphasize a story about Suga’s class or Daichi’s latest escapade. 
The cat and mouse game of you trying to find the right moment and him showering you in love continues. You eventually urge him to take a shower after driving such a distance and promise you’ll order take out. You gather the bags at the door from the local curry shop and bring them back inside. As you lay the meal on your coffee table, Tanaka comes out in the kitchen drying his hair, wearing a pair of sweats.
“I didn’t know where you wanted the towel so I figured I would ask.” After tossing the towel in the laundry room you motioned to he joins you on the couch. Taking a bite, he turns to thank you and stops with a quizzical look.”You got something besides butter chicken?” 
“Oh, I guess I never mentioned it, but I’m trying to be vegetarian and I’ve made it about a month so far! I don’t know if I feel better yet, but its good,”
A soft hum leaves his lips as he returns to his food. That simple interaction changed the mood for the evening. You knew he could tell something was a little weird which made you more nervous and he was just confused, trying to figure out what was up. You didn’t want to hurt Tanaka, which made this harder. 
You lost your appetite once you could feel some unspoken tension in the air. Placing your food back on the table, you lean back into the couch and try to collect yourself. Steady your breathing and calm your nerves, reduce the anxious fidgeting before he notices. 
You study him as he turns to face you. His body language is open and trusting, his eyes are filled with adoration but marred by the slightest crinkle in his brow. His curry stained lips start to open to respond but are silenced by your pained expression, eyes brimming with tears. 
“Ryu, I- I can’t anymore,” you aren’t the clearest in what you are trying to say, the words too painful to actually utter, but Tanaka isn’t stupid. He could tell something was up by your body language. He knows. 
“Y/N… Why? I love you?” the questioning pulls the tears out of your eyes,  the dam finally breaking. His words are laced with so many more questions. Where did I do wrong? Is there someone else? Did I not show you enough love? How can I fix this?
‘Why?’ lands the hardest. 
It hurts the most because you don’t really have an answer. Not one you can articulate. How do you explain to someone that you have just… outgrown them? Especially someone who helped you grow for so long, someone you still loved but knew it wouldn’t work.
“I-- I just it’s me, I need you to know that you never did anything wrong, you love me so well and I wouldn’t have made it this far without you. I- I’m not the me that you fell in love with all those years ago. I am-” He interrupts you, his voice wavering before finding a soft but sure tone.
“Angel, I’m not the same kid I was back then either. It's natural for people to become more complex and change, that doesn’t mean we have to end this. The only thing that is the same for me is that I’m just as in love with you now as I was then.” His attempt at reassurance fails as the declaration causes you to subtly shift back out of reach. Tanaka notices and reaches out to massage your thigh, his go-to, and effective method of comfort. 
You physically recoil from his touch. It breaks him. He had somehow kept in every tear, but to see you skittish around him? You know he would rather die than have you be afraid of him, but you are struggling to find the words for an apology.
“Y/N, baby. I love you, and all I want for you is to be happy, and whatever that means I will come to understand. But I have to confirm, are you sure you want this to end? I am willing to move to Tokyo and find a job here if that makes a difference.”
Tanaka is too good for you, too good for this world, he loves deeply and passionately without a care for himself. 
“I would never ask you to leave your job, I know you love it th-”
“I love you more than a silly job.” His voice cracks, it’s true, and he feels so stupid that he has to say that. How do you not realize that he would turn his entire life upside down just to see you smile?
“Just because you would doesn’t mean you should, or that you have to. I just-- I love you but- I don’t know how to say it. You deserve to be with someone and grow with them and I can’t give you that anymore.” The tears are streaming down your face but you can’t find it in yourself to really cry to let it all out. Maybe because Tanaka hasn’t yet or maybe because you feel guilty.
“Can you give me this one last weekend then? Can I have- can we be together until I leave?” You almost didn’t hear him, his voice was so soft and directed down into his lap rather than at you.  He doesn't see your nod until you reach out for his fidgeting hand. 
Your thumb draws circles over the back of his hand, massaging stray teardrops into his clammy skin. Neither of you really know what to say or do now, the tension of the prior conversation now tangible. It has a deadline, it’s real.
“Can I hold you?” His voice is a hoarse whisper, unsure of what you would be comfortable with. You climb into his lap, straddling his waist and hook your arms around his neck, comfortably laying your head against his shoulder. He runs his hands up and down your back, smooth motions relieving some stress you had built up preparing for today.
Your gentle breaths turn into small kisses on his neck. Innocent, reflexive, natural. You don’t even realize what you are doing, just being held in his arms like this makes you want to express love, maybe for the last time. 
When you realize what you are doing, you stop, both kissing him and breathing. You don’t want to hurt Ryu more than you already have. His hands make their way down to rest on your hips and he leans his head away, opening his neck to you, a silent invitation. 
His thumbs start rubbing circles into your hips, slow and steady like he’s almost afraid that if he lets go that you’ll disappear. Your kisses become more frequent and a little deeper, never reaching his lips fully, leaving a slight sheen along his neck, jaw, hairline, and even one at the corner of his mouth. He stiffens when you do that one, and you don’t know if its because it hurts or because he needs more.
But you? You’re afraid that if you kiss him, really kiss him, that you won’t ever be able to leave. That his soft lips will lull you into a sense of comfort and complacency. His breath a reminder of the beautiful Miyagi morning air, your favorite part of being home, one of the only things you really missed. 
So despite the fact that you want to kiss him, that you want to feel his lips on yours, you hold back. You move forward. Your hands end up running through his hair, softly scratching his scalp. You can feel the vibrations from the groan escaping his throat against your lips. 
His hands end up snaking their way down to your ass, grasping and kneading the flesh exposed by your skimpy sleep shorts. Tanaka pulls you closer into him, your hips flush with his growing erection. Your skin is on fire with a deep sense of yearning, something that you are going to bury deep down and just focus on the soft heat building in your core.
You softly roll your hips, wanting to be with him but realizing that he needs to be the one to make that choice, that the intimacy of sex might be too much for him. Tanaka conveys his decision to you, by picking you up and walking down the hallway with you still wrapped around his waist. 
“Last door on the left, Tanaka.” your lips only leave his neck for a moment, before leaving small nips along the curve and down his shoulder. You rid yourself of your shirt as you hear the door close behind him. He lays you down gently on the bed, the foam mattress accepting your familiar form. 
Tanaka stays standing, looking down at you, enraptured with how beautiful you look, committing every single freckle, divet, scar, every inch of you to memory. A detailed enough memory that can last him his whole life if need be.
His face is almost forlorn, and you can’t handle seeing that any longer. You softly reach out for his hand, just touching his fingertips and cooing out his name. A smile that graces his face but not his eyes, they’re wistful, but he agrees, 
You know that the sex this time will be different, it’s not going to be hot, rough, or aggressive like to normally is, but it will be needy, just a different type. He avoids looking at your face, instead moving to place kisses in every spot you love, like he’s done a thousand times before.  A soft kiss right beneath the jaw, another on your Adam’s apple, another where your neck and shoulder meet. Each kiss is placed with practiced precision. 
He makes his way down to your chest, supporting himself with his forearms on either side of your body. Soft ghosting kisses along the curve of your boob, all the way across your chest to the other side. Your hands find their way back to his head, the feeling of his short soft hairs soothing the burn of your skin. His tongue flicks your pebbled nipple once and is followed by his cool breath. 
The chill was unexpected and brings a contrasting flush to your skin. Tanaka takes it in his lips, sucking softly, gently pulling with his teeth. The tiniest twinge of pain elicits a whimper from your mouth and your hands find his shoulders. 
You take in the sight, knowing that it’s going to be one of the last’s and you want to be able to recall this clearly. 
Tanaka Ryuunosuke looks tragic. His much larger figure dwarfing yours, but completely at your mercy. His movements are restrained and slow. His muscles are tense and his breathing is ragged, not because he’s close to orgasm or due to his aroused state, but rather trying to keep his composure. He’s making this about you, ignoring his painfully evident erection showing through his sweats, instead taking his time ravishing and enjoying every ounce of you, every noise he can pull out of you. 
His hand had moved to your tit as his mouth switched sides while you assessed the situation. A breathy whine escapes as he pulls and massages at your already puffy nipple. Back arching up off the bed, instinctively asking for more. a-aH! 
“Mm, you always liked that. Your perky nipples are so sensitive. You're so reactive to me.” His voice is a mumble, almost talking to himself like he’s taking notes for later. but the huskiness of his voice, his perceptiveness has always been attractive to you. 
“More Ryu, please. My pussy needs you”
You can see his dick twitch through his sweats at your admission. He places a kiss on each nipple and a single on in the middle of your chest. “Of course princess, whatever you want.”
He sits up and on his knees, trailing his hands down your sides. The calloused pads of his fingers have a familiar scratchy feeling. It’s comforting. Hooking his fingers through the waistband, he pulls both your shorts and underwear off.  A single strand of slick connects your pussy to your almost embarrassingly wet panties. 
Tanaka grabs both of your legs and puts them on his shoulders. But instead of diving down like he normally does, he trails soft kisses all the way up from one ankle to your inner thigh, skipping over where you want him much to your displeasure, and down the other leg.
The loving act makes you feel further conflicted. The feeling of his love and lust fighting against your confidence that this is the best option, that you are different now and can’t give Tanaka what he deserves. 
It would be almost crueler to take it all ba—, your thought process is interrupted by his tongue. A single swipe from your hole up to your clit, spreading both your slick and his spit all over your cunt. 
He stays at your clit, opting to switch between gentle sucks and soft flicks of his tongue. Incomprehensible shapes drawn into you cause your thighs to shake with pleasure and you to fist the sheets. ah ryu, s’good, yes right there Your words are few and far between, overshadowed by wanton moans. He can tell by the way your stomach muscles are tensing and the irregular breathing that you are almost there. 
He hums around your clit, sending vibrations of pleasure throughout our entire body and at the same time, he inches in two fingers with little resistance. The combination sends you over the edge, cuming hard on his fingers while he had just started to thrust them in. The clench of your warm walls don’t stop him, and neither does the crescents stinging on his shoulders from your nails. 
Tanaka continues to lap at your cunt, taking time to suck and massage your folds, leaving no part of you untouched, unpleased.
Your body is a wildfire of pleasure, stinging, and burning fiercely. Every nerve alive, feeling everything. Every atom of the air, every inch of your blanket, every droplet of sweat building on your body, every single swipe of his tongue. 
Every. Single. Motion. 
Each one he takes exponentially builds you back up to an orgasm, a second one that you can feel will be harder.  Tanaka doesn’t relent even though his arm is starting to cramp, but his fingers find that spongy spot inside and he is remotivated. He slips in a third finger, all three focusing on hitting that spot. Over and over again. 
The burn of the third finger and the overwhelming stimulation from consistent stimulation of your g-spot, push you to the precipice of a second orgasm. You aren’t even sure you fully have come down from your first before it comes crashing down like a wave. 
Soaking Tanaka’s fingers in cum, more than it should have and when he pulls them out, he’s pleasantly surprised by you squirting. His mouth immediately moves to your spasming cunt, lapping away and pressing into you, adamant about getting every single drop he can. 
He only stops when you lightly push him away, whining that it's too much with a few tears running down your face. The pleasure he just brought you is bordering on pain, but maybe you deserve that. It’s not the same level or type as the pain you are putting Tanaka through, but if he wants to make you cum until you are crying, you just need to give it to him. Giving him some sort of consolation, something to alleviate the sting of the situation.
He kisses up your body, planting one on every light mark he left until he is hovering above your face. He looks like he is considering what to do next, and decides to place soft lingering kisses on your forehead, cheeks, and finally the tip of your nose. 
“Y/N, you are so beautiful. Every inch of you seems more perfect than the last. Absolutely angelic.” He brushes some of the hair out of your face as he murmurs this. Tanaka’s devotion to you and your body lights something in you that makes you want to please him one last time.
You cup his cheeks, “You can fuck me if you want.” You say it like it's a favor, but your voice does nothing to hide your desire.
He can see your eyes raking down every hill and valley of his muscles, landing at the base of his sweats, where you subtly swallow your arousal, it doesn’t get by him though. Not when Tanaka is taking extra care to read every single one of your reactions due to his innate desire to please you and leave you satisfied. He knows that at the very least you want him, but it seems like you want him as bad as he wants you. 
You use your legs to start edging his pants down, but you can’t get enough traction to be successful. Tanaka laughs at the pout in your face, “Someone’s excited. Let me help you, angel.” 
He stands to remove his pants and boxers quickly. His cock bounces up to lay on his stomach, flushed red with precum coating the tip. It looks almost painful. You release a pleasant hum at the sight, familiar with the sight, but excited nonetheless. 
You shift your body, hips moving to get more comfortable, opening wide for Tanaka to clamber back on the bed. He gives his already hard cock a few strokes before lining himself up. He ruts against your soaked cunt, to coat himself in your juice before fucking you. The head of his dick taps against your puffy clit and you both let out a harmonious whine. 
He continues running his dick between your folds, relishing in the needy noises coming from your throat and the way your hips buck up trying to coax him in, to get him to do something. 
“Ryu please! I want you!” Your previous pout returned. Your plump lips gasp open as he finally prods at your entrance, slowly sinking every inch of him in. It’s stinging and overwhelming but it feels so right and you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else all at the same time. “You tell me when you're ready princess, you’re cute little cunt is already so tight, I don’t wanna hurt you.”
His words cause you to clench your already tensed walls around him even more. The pressure is exactly what he needed after staying painfully still, and results in his dick twitching, with his head rubbing your g-spot. The slight change in position pulled a deep moan from both of you. 
The pressure in your stomach never really subsided but is already building back up. Tanaka and you have been together thousands of times, but he always stretches you to your limit, often painful in the beginning before ebbing away into euphoria. There's no pain this time, sure its a feeling that you have to adjust to, being stuffed full, but you are already fading into ecstasy.
The coil in your stomach slowly makes you forget about what is actually happening. Erasing tension and concern from your body, leaving you unable to place that look on Tanaka’s face. You can’t focus on anything other than how good you feel, how full you feel. 
You can’t find the words to ask for him to move, so you just roll your hips, a signal to move. He runs his hands from their previous place on your hips, up your waist, and eventually finding your hands. Interlocking your fingers next to your head and he looms over you and starts to move his hips.
It’s impossibly slow, you can feel every single bit of his cock sliding in and out of your cunt. His pace shows no signs of increasing, and while it feels near heavenly, this alone won’t make you cum. You lock your legs around him and pull, hoping that the sign of encouragement would speed him up.  
Instead, he stops. “You are doing so well taking my cock, let me do the work and make you feel good, hmm? Is that ok?” Tanka resumes his agonizingly slow thrusts, but he angles his hips ever so slightly to press into your g-spot even harder, and getting even deeper into your pussy. Your back arches at the sensation and Tanaka takes the opportunity to lean down and take a neglected pebbled bud in his mouth. 
Just the heat of his mouth on your chest was unexpected, but the pressure from him sucking and flicking? The flowing heat in your core is threatening to overflow. 
“Fuck, yees, you feel so good. M’close.”  The words tumbling out of your mouth with deep moans. His thrusts speed up just a tiny, tiny bit still slow, much slower than you are used to but it’s still enough of a change to push you over the edge. Your walls clamp down as you let out a silent scream. 
Tanaka doesn’t stop though, he slowly fucks you through it, making every nerve ending explode with pleasure, extending your high for what feels like an eternity. Coos of affirmation and praise the only thing you can comprehend outside of this feeling of warm blissfulness. so pretty with her mouth open like that, you take my cock so well, yes baby cum for me, you deserve it, keep cumming.
As you come down from your high you can feel your cunt fluttering around his dick, and just now you realize he hasn’t cum yet, and he doesn’t even look like he's close. 
His name falls out of your mouth as a whisper, unable to make your vocal cords work anymore. All you can control is how tight you are squeezing his hands in yours, everything else is instinctual, the arch of your back, eyes scrunched closed, the way your thighs tense around him, and the meaningless noises that he calls so pretty, easily falling out of your throat. 
It’s too much and not enough all at once, there’s too much stimulation for how slow he’s going, your walls ache with use but your clit may have well never been touched before. It’s an overwhelming mixture of two extremes and you are nowhere near able to process it. 
“Aw baby why are you crying, don’t you feel good?” He isn’t teasing you, he’s genuine, concerned that you are in pain or that you regret being with him this time. Tanaka leans down and kisses away the trailing tears. 
“N-no, feels good, hurts, ahh but good, fuck Ryu, I want-,  you haven’t cum, I-ah, want you t- to cum.”
You can feel him smile against your cheek at your concerned babble. His thrusts speed up just a hair again, pulling a deep moan from him, it's the only thing you can hear in your ear. The vibrations rattling through your brain and down your body. 
“I wouldn’t be a gentleman if I came without you.” He punctuates this with a soft kiss on your forehead, lingering in case this is the last time his lips get to grace your body. When more tears flow out of your eyes and your pussy starts to clench, he can tell you have another orgasm building. 
Tanaka untangles one of his hands and snakes it down to your clit, but not before ghosting it over your chest and the expanse of your torso. The added stimulation of his rough fingers circling your clit just how you need it pulls you into your final orgasm of the night.
A choked sob of his full name comes out of your lips and hearing that is the last thing he needed to cum, coating your insides with his hot seed. He thrusts through both of your orgasms, pulling the most pleasure out of it as he can. When he sees your head-clearing and coming back to consciousness, he pulls out of you with a slow wince. He sits back on his knees and just takes in your perfectly destroyed body.
He knows that this is going to be the last time in a long time he gets to look at this, and every millisecond he gets to spend in your presence is worth any amount of pain. He heads to your bathroom to grab a warm rag, and the tears he was holding in begin to silently fall. He collected himself before he came back out but you could see the redness in his eyes. 
After cleaning up, he quickly fell asleep on your bed with you. He slept with one arm tossed over your stomach, as you laid on your back just looking up at the ceiling. Uncertain thoughts pass through your head, but you know that it wouldn’t be fair to stay with him if you are thinking about the opposite. Tanaka deserves someone who can love them with their whole heart. You know you this is the right decision even if it hurts, and this really does hurt.
The next morning, you awake before him and make his favorite breakfast and his coffee just the way he likes when you hear him stir from down the hall. Sure, he needs a full stomach for the drive back, but also it's the last kindness you can give him. A simple act that expresses your sorrow in a way he might not notice, but is good enough for you. Seeing him smile at the spread brings you a twisted sense of happiness, the smile on your face doesn’t reach your eyes, because despite him enjoying the food, you know that it's over. 
The deadline is here. Times up.
When he goes to leave, you walk him to the door. The air is heavy and you are on the brink of tears. 
“Y/N, I’ll wait for you. I’ll wait for you to finish school and come back home.”
All you can do is give him a pained smile, hold in your tears, and give him a half-hearted “Alright, Ryu.” He doesn’t smile but gives you a determined nod and a lingering look before he heads off. 
As soon as you close the door you are on the ground crying against it. You couldn’t tell him you had no intention of going back home. The finality of this was already bad enough, Telling him that you won’t return may have broken Tanaka to a point where he couldn’t put himself back together. He doesn’t deserve any of the pain, and if you can save him from any of it then you would do so. Even if it means you will hate yourself for your lack of action. 
But you couldn’t tell him that. You couldn't tell him. You couldn't. 
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