The Heart Won’t Lie | E | 38,472
Author: LoversAntiquities/Tragidean | Artist: Jayjayverse
Dean dies. Then, an angel yanks him out of Hell on a technicality; Dean’s death is slated for years in the future, and someone took him ahead of time. Teaming up with Castiel might not be the smartest decision he’s ever made, but together, they must work to figure out who did this to him, and why.
Falling in love wasn’t part of the plan, though.
Link to fic | Link to art
Pairings: Dean/Castiel, background Sam/Rowena
Warnings: Canon-typical violence, mentioned past non-con
Tags: Post Season 1, (Emotional) Hurt/Comfort, PTSD, Angels and Demons, Strangers to Lovers, Sharing a Bed, Casefic
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Pearls For a Funeral by ElDiablito_SF
Pearls For a Funeral
E, 31k, wangxian
Summary: Private investigator Wei Wuxian finds himself in a pickle when a family of rich socialites hires him to clear Lan Wangji's name after his new husband, Jin Guangshan, is found murdered during their honeymoon. Making Wei Wuxian's life more complicated is the fact that his former partner, Jiang Cheng, is the lead detective on the case. Not helping matters is the fact that it's not entirely clear that Lan Wangji did not, in fact, kill his husband. Peril is behind every corner and time is running out for our gumshoe to solve the case, save his beautiful client from death row, all while butting heads with the people closest to him.
My comments: Oh, I had so much fun with this. I love wwx being the sassy private dick who excels at poking his nose in, and lwj dripping pearls and Chanel and mystery, lqr angry and protective of his boys, nmj dejectedly stepping back, lxc being handsome and fluff-brained, jc snarling at the bit like always. Reads like a film, so it was easy to visualize as a Hollywood Noir while reading; and after setting the scene, the story moved very fast.
Excerpt 1: “Sir, I cannot interfere with an active police investigation.”
“Cockamamie!” Lan Qiren’s fist landed on the side table near his arm chair with a loud crack. “The police are investigating Wangji, I need you to investigate the actual killer.” Wei Wuxian inclined his head while the Admiral pulled something from the side table which Wei Wuxian quickly recognized for a checkbook. “You find the real killer, Mr. Wei, and you get that former partner of yours off my nephew’s ass,” he said as he wrote in his checkbook, avoiding Wei Wuxian’s eyes. “This is your retainer fee. We will spare no expense. It is imperative that Detective Jiang find himself a new suspect.”
Excerpt 2: "Anyways…" Wei Wuxian could hear the long inhale of Jiang Cheng's cigarette across the phone line. "So this goon, Su Minshan, also went by Su She. Has a rap sheet a mile long for racketeering and other petty crimes. No known associates in the system that I can find so far. I'll keep digging, something's gotta shake out eventually."
"No connections to the Lans?" Wei Wuxian asked carefully.
"Worried about your boyfriend, are you?"
"A fish like Lan Wangji is a little big for your hook, ain't he?"
"It's not the size of the hook that matters, Jiang Cheng, it's how you wiggle it."
"You're such a fucking idiot, I swear."
Excerpt 3: “As far as I recall. He wasn’t particularly memorable. Just a hanger-on. The Jins have so many, an entire army of sycophants and bootlickers. That creep who drove off a cliff? Seymour Yao? When Jin Guangshan was alive, you couldn’t have extricated that man’s head out of his ass.” [MianMian]
“Thanks for the titillating visual,” Wei Wuxian grimaced. “But this is very helpful, MianMian, you’re a treasure.”
“And don’t you forget it,” Wen Qing said, walking back up to them with a little tray of steaming tea cups. “By the way, Wei Wuxian, can Lan Wangji buy you a new tea kettle, or what? Yours is an embarrassment.”
“I’m not his kept man!”
“Actually, you are.”
“Actually, XianXian is his Uncle’s kept man,” MianMian added with a complacent grin.
“You’re both terrible and I can’t believe you have keys to my house. I’m under a sapphic assault.”
“I’ll get you the address for the Sapphic Complaint Department right away,” Wen Qing said with her usual deadpan delivery. Wei Wuxian adored his asshole friends.
noir au, case fic, 1940s san francisco, mystery, intrigue, private detective wei wuxian, rich socialite lan wangji, gumshoe wei wuxian, widower lan wangji, hurt wei wuxian, hurt/comfort, pining, humor, entertaining dialogue, getting together, falling in love, smut, sass gremlin wei wuxian, sass gremlin in a more subtle way lan wangji, mild wei wuxian whump, @jadedbirch
(You may wish to REBLOG as a signal boost for this author if you like – or think others might like – this story.)
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H/D Cluefest Fic Claim
Title: Through the Blur
Author: anachronic_mai @danbrokethesoundbarrier
Warnings: Graphic Depictions of Violence
Word Count: 27.7k
Tags: Manipulation, Nightmares, Abusive Relationship (not between H/D), Blood (Gore/Minor), Torture (minor), Recreational Drug Use, Potions Addicition, Acid Burns
Sleep doesn't come easy to Harry. Despite taking regular doses of Dreamless Sleep for years, he hasn't managed to get rid of the nightmares. Things can't get any worse when Potions Master Draco Malfoy comes to him for help after mysterious attacks to his apothecary.
First and foremost, many thanks to the mods of the @hd-cluefest who have been absolute champs!
A very big and well deserved thanks to my beta @harrypotterismyhorcrux, who made this story 110% much better than the mess I handed to her.
Big hug to @erebeus-roxy who’s always so supportive and kind.
Finally, I’m super happy to be claiming this fic, thanks for all the love to all of those who read it!!
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every love story is a ghost story by aisthuu
every love story is a ghost story
M, 59k, wangxian
Summary: The man is in Lan Zhan’s bed. Did they—he begins to wonder, eyes trailing to where the man’s body lies under the blanket. Had Lan Zhan—?
Then the sleep-fog clears and Lan Zhan realizes that the young man isn’t quite opaque around the edges.
“You’re a spirit.”
The spirit narrows its eyes. “I’m so much more than that.”
(Lan Zhan buys a guqin off eBay for a suspiciously low price, only to find that it’s haunted. And now there’s a ghost in his bed.)
My comments: A lovely story about a very lonely man, shrinking with his small and uninspired life, who wakes up when he acquires a haunted guqin. Wwx clearly knows more then he's telling, which is frustrating, and the strange nightmares filled with blood and battle and fear in an empty cave are not helping much either. But lwj finds he enjoys having wwx around, and it jolts him from the rut his life has fallen into.
It's all great until lwj's health begins to decline, and they realize they must learn more about the guqin and its history before it's too late. But the search takes them back to the Lan estate, and lwj's painful past.
modern au, reincarnation, ghost wei wuxian, ghost character, angst, grief/mourning, getting to know each other, falling in love, lan wangji has A Past, music teacher lan wangji, sick lan wangji, (sort of), family issues, mystery, depression, case fic, lan jingyi being adorable, no smut, haunting, haunted instrument, pining, happy ending
*art for this story here
(You may wish to REBLOG as a signal boost for this author if you like – or think others might like – this story.)
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“The Case of the Missing Egg”
by CarmillaCarmine ( @sherlockedcarmilla )
- Sherlock and John take on a case of a missing Fabergé egg.
Gen, 1700 words
Written as a Patreon commission.
Part of the fluffy series of stand-alone fics Johnlock Fluff
If you’d like some Easter smut from me, check out “The Fluffy Tail”.
Thank you for reading, kudos and comments!!!
My Twitter / Ko-fi / Patreon
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Moonlight as My Guide by BromeliadDreams
Moonlight as My Guide
M, 32k, wangxian
Summary: A modern cultivators AU in which Wei Ying, local talisman nerd and tired post-doc, finds himself drawn into the circle of professional cultivators Lan Huan and Lan Zhan as they attempt to track down the person responsible for a series of horrific magical ‘experiments’ in Yiling.
My comments: Delicious case fic. Wwx is a post-doc who studies talismans (since the Jiangs refused to let him have Cultivator lessons with his 'sibs', this is as close to magic as he can get). The Twin Jades blow in, and wwx falls instantly and hard. But the case is really horrific, and the minds behind it are utterly sick, very clever and very creative, so he's intrigued as well as repulsed.
modern au, modern cultivators, case fic, modern with magic, talismans, college/university au, except wwx is a non-cultivator post-doc and lwj is a functioning adult out in the world, gore, body horror, chaos gremlin wei wuxian, getting to know each other, getting together, gray asexual wei wuxian, hurt/comfort, domestic, *podfic welcome*, rating is for gore background xiyao, happy ending, @sinni-ok-sessi
(You may wish to REBLOG as a signal boost for this author if you like – or think others might like – this story.)
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I’m a fucking idiot and forgot to show off when I posted this on Saturday but my case fic is done🤙😫
The Life Cycle of the Frog and the Fish by Aerlalaith
The Life Cycle of the Frog and the Fish
T, 53k, wangxian
Summary: “Huh,” Wei Wuxian said finally. He was staring at the guy’s face, lips parted. “He’s kind of…” he tilted his head. “Hot?”
“Don’t you dare,” said Jiang Cheng, “try and sleep with the random hobo we found sleeping in a haunted fucking cave.”
(Reincarnation has its pitfalls.)
My comments: Ah, I love this story! In which a modern, 3-year-old Wei Wuxian is adopted by a mysterious Grandmother who teaches a weird, kind of twilight version of cultivation that her students (except for wwx) can simply interpret as meditation with a metaphor, if they'd rather. The first fifth of the story covers his childhood, wherein he lives with his Grandmother until she has to leave and then he stays with the Jiangs after that. During these years, he slowly develops a seizure-related illness that seems linked to strange, and vivid memories, and the sensation of deja vu.
Then we time skip to young adulthood, wherein jaing cheng and wei wuxian go out hiking with nie huaisang. Wwx trips over a cave and goes inside, of course, and discovers... a beautiful man in white, with a white ribbon and white hair, inside of a stasis bubble or force field. Also, there's a skeleton nearby, an evil-yet-friendly flute, a welcoming sword and a message on the wall with his own name on it.
They drag the poor unconscious man to a nearby monastery (where everyone seems to be named Lan... what kind of cult is this?) and try to go home, but wwx has trouble letting go, and then he realizes that those Lans never had any intention of calling a doctor for the previously cave-dwelling stranger, so he storms back up the mountain to protect his unconscious charge and... things get weirder from there.
*[I never did figure out what this has to do with frogs and fish]*
Excerpt: “What’s the problem then? Why’d you stop?” [Jiang Cheng]
“It’s…” [Wei Wuxian]
“No, it’s just…it’s weird.”
“Well—it can’t be that weird,” Jiang Cheng asserted, despite the indisputable fact that he was currently standing in a haunted cave with a skeleton and a maybe-cultivator or maybe-hobo cosplaying as Sleeping Beauty, while his brother read some kind of goodbye note carved into the wall in antiquated Chinese.
modern au, modern cultivators, fairy tale au, (Sleeping Beauty -ish), reincarnation, case fic, mystery, angst, fluff, humor, illnesses, curses, child wei wuxian, (for a while), growing up, mysterious Grandmother, near drowning, seizures, the jiangs are good parents, deja vu, flashbacks, dumb college kids, spelunking, grief/mourning, case fic, immortality, fainting wei wuxian, (because that’s his gig), getting together, rescue, happy ending, @aerlalaith
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Post-Canon, CQL Verse, Canon Compliant, Hurt/Comfort, Case Fic, Canon-Typical Violence, Original Character Death(s), Ghosts, Curses, Feelings, Pining, Fluff, First Kiss, Getting Together, Love Confessions
Word count: 14k
Worry still sat in Wei Wuxian's stomach like a stone, but what Lan Wangji was describing sounded less like the curse was acting up and more like he'd gone and caught a cold.
As if on cue, Lan Wangji sneezed loudly.
On their first night hunt together after Wei Wuxian returns from his travels, Lan Wangji gets hit with a curse that seals his spiritual power. With his defenses down, he soon catches a cold.
Wei Wuxian is ready to look after him. What he's not ready to deal with are Feelings.
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Trial part two!!
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Tie your heart to mine
Fandom: SCI Mystery
Relationship: Zhan Yao / Bai Yutong
Tags: Case fic, Angst with a happy ending
Summary: Zhan Yao has disappeared.
Read on AO3
By night, love, tie your heart to mine, and the two
together in their sleep will defeat the darkness.
--Pablo Neruda, Love Sonnet 79
Chapter 1: Descensus Averno
The world went to hell on a Thursday.
Bai Yutong couldn’t even remember the reason for the fight he had with Zhan Yao that Sunday. It was probably something stupid, like whose turn it was to do the dishes, and yet it was all he was able to think about later.
They had still been arguing the whole drive to the airport, Zhan Yao hadn’t even looked back or said goodbye when he had gotten out of the car, hauling his suitcase through the lobby, his whole body tense, shoulders square, his steps determined. Bai Yutong had watched him until he vanished in the crowd and wished he wasn’t so stubborn. They both were. He loved his cat with all his heart, but living together didn’t always bring out the best in either of them.
Because of the nature of their parting he hadn’t been surprised when Zhan Yao hadn’t called from the hotel that evening, or any other evening that followed. Sad, yes, angry and hurt, but not surprised. He had spent the whole Monday hiding in his office, going over some cold cases a good enough reason not to examine his feelings to closely.
The following days hadn’t been any better and by Wednesday evening he had been determined to pick up Zhan Yao from the airport and apologise immediately, maybe cook his favourite food or take him to see a movie, anything to make things right again.
And then, nothing was right anymore.
On Thursday morning, the hotel Zhan Yao had stayed in called to let him know there had been a mix-up in the reservation and his credit card would be charged twice, but it had been handled and he would get a refund. He hadn’t really been listening to the explanations and apologies, until the caller mentioned she hadn’t been able to reach Zhan Yao this morning and therefore had called him, which made him pause. Slightly alarmed, he tried to make sense of that information. “You mean you called his room and he didn't answer?” “No,” she said in an apologising tone. “He has checked out yesterday evening and I couldn’t reach his mobile phone. Sorry for the inconvenience.”
Bai Yutong felt his stomach drop. “He was supposed to fly back today. Do you have any idea where he might have gone?”
“Sorry,” the clerk said. “He didn’t say, only left last night.”
“Let me call you back”, he said hastily and hung up. While he dialled Zhan Yao’s number from memory, his mind went through a million possible explanations. Maybe he was still mad and therefore hadn’t called? Maybe he had taken an earlier flight? But why wasn’t he home already, a voice in his mind whispered.
The call went straight to voicemail and Bai Yutong stared disbelievingly at his phone, his heart beating painfully slow in his chest.
After this he didn’t waste any more time. He informed the team that their resident professor had gone AWOL and set everyone to work: He called the hotel again to make sure Zhan Yao’s room would be sealed and treated as a crime scene, then had Zhao Fu find the next possible flight and Jiang Ling trace Zhan Yao’s phone – the former with success, the latter not so much, since it apparently had been turned off all week.
Pinching his nose, Bai Yutong muttered a curse, took a deep breath and addressed his team: “Alright, Wang Shao and Zhao Fu are with me. Jiang Ling, you work best behind your own desk, so you stay, Ma Han and the little one”, he nodded to Bai Chi, “will assist you. Call me immediately if you find anything useful.” The chorus of “Yes, Sir!” did nothing to ease his anxiety, but he smiled at them anyway and nodded. “Let’s go. Let’s find him.”
The flight didn’t take long, and when Wang Shao hailed a taxi, Bai Yutong’s mind was already busy making lists and sorting through facts. They arrived at the hotel shortly after noon and immediately went to work, first explaining his case to the – very helpful – manager, who promptly offered a suite to use as a headquarter as long as they would need it.
Searching Zhan Yao’s room wasn’t really enlightening. He hadn’t left anything when he checked out – Bai Yutong noticed he hadn’t even taken the small shampoo samples and his heart clenched in fond exasperation. His cat was honest to a fault, really. Sitting on the bed in the quiet, empty room, he ran a hand through his hair.
Where are you, Cat?
He felt cold.
It was a cold that didn’t feel normal, not like being outside on a chilly day or after taking a cold shower.
It was odd, somehow, vibrating, like a living being, moving inside him.
He felt it in his soul, his heart, his bones.
How curious, he thought.
Sighing, Bai Yutong took out his phone and scrolled through his contacts until he found what he was looking for. Bai Qintang answered after the first ring. “Any news?” He sighed. “No, it’s… He’s…” He trailed off and sighed again, pinching his nose. “This is a nightmare, jie.”
“You’re going to find him, Yutong. I have no doubts about your abilities.”
“Jie, it’s my fault. We haven't spoken in a week. If I hadn't--”
“Oh, shut it!” Bai Qintang blurted. “It’s not your fault and you know it. Stop pitying yourself and start being useful. He’s counting on you, so you need to get your shit together.” Bai Yutong winced at the tone, but knew she was right. He swallowed hard. “Thanks, sis, I’ll try.” He could hear her smile through the phone. “That’s my baby brother!” He rolled his eyes and hung up. Feeling slightly more optimistic, he stood up to gather his team, leading them to the reception desk.
The clerk, the one who had called Bai Yutong and was now very keen to help, remembered Zhan Yao leaving shortly after 8 p.m. the day before. He had given her a rather good tip and asked about a store where he could buy some provisions, which she had told him.
Bai Yutong decided to pay that store a visit. After flashing his badge into the manager’s face – and hoping she wouldn’t look closely enough to see he was from another city – she produced a security tape from the night before, leaving him and Zhao Fu in the cramped store room to watch it. Hunched over the tiny screen, he saw Zhan Yao walk into the store, dressed as impeccably as always, carrying the small black suitcase that had been his birthday gift last year. He vanished from the screen for a few minutes, only to reappear at one of the self-checkout registers, piling his items haphazardly on the surface. Bai Yutong couldn’t make out all of the things he bought, but he recognised a few water bottles, cans of soft drink, lots of chocolate bars and something that looked like a CD case. He frowned. What on earth had his cat been up to?
After Zhan Yao had left the frame with his suitcase and a shopping bag, Bai Yutong ended the recording and stood up. That had been only moderately helpful. Nodding to the manager, he and Zhao Fu left the store and returned to the hotel room to meet with Wang Shao.
Two hours and a lot of empty take-out boxes later, he sat at the low coffee table in his room, socked feet on the table, a coffee mug beside him. The chairs next to him were occupied by his remaining team members, whose faces showed the same feelings that Bai Yutong was sure were on his own as well: frustration, anxiety, exhaustion.
Checking the nearest airport had proved utterly unhelpful. Zhan Yao hadn’t booked or taken a flight there and he didn’t show up on any of the video tapes. It was still possible he had taken a flight from another airport a city over, but Bai Yutong didn’t find that plausible. Zhan Yao was a rational and patient person, he would simply wait for a flight if it was delayed. So, he hadn’t taken a plane. What he had done, however, they could only speculate.
The only thing they were sure about was the shopping he had done before vanishing. And it didn’t make sense either. Why would his cat buy so much food? Shaking his head, he took a sip of coffee. Food. Music. He wouldn't have use for a CD, Bai Yutong pondered, because for all his old-fashioned antics, he didn't actually own a portable CD player. So, he had bought food he couldn't eat, and music he couldn't listen to, unless…
“I got it!”
Wang Shao almost dropped his coffee mug and Zhao Fu startled out of his seat at this outburst, both looking expectantly at him. “Got what?”, Zhao Fu asked.
“What the cat did. Ah, I could kick myself for not getting it sooner! It's so obvious!” The other men looked at each other and then back to their boss. “And…?”, Wang Shao prompted. “The food! The CD! It is so obvious now! He wouldn’t buy so much food for a flight when he couldn’t keep it anyway.” He looked at them, feeling almost giddy with hope.
“He rented a car.”
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The Last Resort
Explicit | ~28k | Posting on April 11
Author: andimeantittosting | Artist: thevioletcaptain
When Sam finds a case where guests at a gay resort are mysteriously aging decades overnight, Dean and Cas pose as a married couple to investigate. Dean's looking forward to a luxurious beach vacation, even if it means working harder to conceal his feelings for Cas. Only, after they've begun spreading their cover story, they realize they aren't at a couples' resort at all—in fact, Araucaria Resort is a popular hookup spot. Now there's nothing to do but adapt their story, posing as a couple looking to invite a third into their bed, all while trying to track down any kind of lead.
Keep reading for a sneak preview!
Dean parks the Impala near the edge of the hotel's lot, under the shade of a tree dripping with Spanish moss. He and Cas emerge, blinking into the bright sun. The main building of the resort stands before them, white walls gleaming, at the end of a palm tree lined walkway. The wide main entrance is framed by bright hibiscus and cheerful-looking, tropical Norfolk pines. Past the hotel they can see the stretch of white sand and turquoise ocean, like something out of a postcard.
Case or no case, fake marriage awkwardness or not, Dean's looking forward to this.
He sings under his breath, a few lines of Kokomo, as he unlocks the trunk and retrieves their bags. Maybe they should have bought suitcases, he considers as he looks back at the fancy facade, but he dismisses the thought. Their beat up duffle bags are hardly enough to give the game away.
What might give it away is Dean's reaction when, halfway down the tree-lined corridor, he feels Cas's strong hand slip into his. He feels it like a jolt through his whole body and accidentally comes to a halt.
"Are you okay?" Cas stops too, but doesn't release Dean's hand. "This is what married couples do, isn't it?"
Dean takes a breath. "You're right. Sorry, buddy, you just startled me. But, uh, since we're doing what married couples do"—he untangles his hand from Cas's and reaches into his shirt pocket, pulling out a pair of round metal bands. Catching Cas's left hand in his again, he slips one onto Cas's third finger, then the other onto his own.
For a long moment, Cas doesn't move, staring down at the ring with the oddest expression on his face. Dean clears his throat. "It's, uh—it's iron. So if you touch the incubus, you'll know. But, uh, they also make it look like we're married, so—" He can feel his face heating.
Cas bites his lip. Still looking at the ring, he lifts his other hand, rubbing a finger slowly over the smooth metal, back and forth. Dean feels a frisson down his spine. At last, Cas raises his head, meeting Dean's eyes, even if there is something unspoken deep in his gaze. "Thank you, Dean," he says. "This was a good idea."
Dean swallows. "Sure thing, Cas. Just you wait, I'm gonna be the best damn fake husband you've ever had."
The thing about human Cas that absolutely wrecks Dean is that he laughs more often, and he does now. It's a quiet little thing, but it makes Dean's heart stumble even more than seeing Cas wearing his ring.
This time, it's Dean who reaches out and laces their fingers together, giving Cas a gentle tug. "Come on, let's get checked in."
[continue reading on April 11]
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Trial time baybee
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Fandom: Sherlock (TV)
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Characters: Sherlock Holmes, John Watson, Mycroft Holmes, Greg Lestrade, a whole bunch of OCs
Additional Tags: post-series 4, Romance, Awkwardness galore, fake couple trope, Therapy, sex trafficking ring, First Times, Massages, wet t-shirt contest, Group Therapy, loss of child (past), Bed-sharing, Don't copy to another site
Series: Part 1 of The Ravine Valley series
Sherlock and John go undercover at Ravine Valley, a therapy centre for same-sex male couples in an investigation into a possible human trafficking ring. As they pose as a couple and fake their way through the therapy sessions for the sake of the case, it quickly becomes difficult to avoid discussing their very real issues. Set roughly nine months after series 4.
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You've had dialled 'M' for Murder, Murdoch, and Middlesbrough, now- Dial 'M' for Mountie!
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Day Shift on Diagon by @prolix-
Harry/Draco (2020, Explicit, 22k)
Auror Draco Malfoy has been relegated to patrol duty again. After a long shift, he stumbles upon a new coffee shop on Diagon Alley and finds himself being served coffee by none other than Harry Potter. Charmed, Draco can’t help but go back again and again in order to get a glimpse of what’s become of the wizarding world’s Golden Boy—and to get his weekly fix of caffeine, of course. But, as time passes, Potter’s mind seems to be occupied with more than just coffee… and it’s up to Draco to figure out what’s going on.
But, as he spends more time with Harry—the real Harry—Draco comes to realise that he had fallen for a caricature of the man. As a barista, Harry was uncomplicated, quiet and unfailingly kind. Faultless but flat.
Ahh yes, another coffee shop AU I didn’t know I needed 🙌🏼 this trope always catches me off guard and slaps me in the face with feels, and I have no choice but to embrace them :D I’m soft for this fic because: a) Shal wrote one of my favorite PWPs and b) this is a nice counterpart to Harry’s POV in With Great Yawnings, which happens to be one of my favorite coffee shop AUs ever, so if you liked that one you gotta treat yourself to Auror Draco and shop owner Harry falling in love, for a change! I was invested early on, seeing Draco miserable at his job and facing bad weather luck on top of that (what a mood!). I love the shop’s Notice-Me-Not disguise and how Draco is drawn to its lively and comforting atmosphere - there’s something universally relatable about searching solace at a coffee shop after a shitty day!
But Harry’s arc is also amazing and I really like how the mystery around him slowly unfolds. We get to see different layers of him as they get to know each other, and I appreciate many slow burn details - their late night conversations, the easy flirting, Draco’s muggle laptop and how quickly they fall into a routine, it’s so gentle and domestic. And don’t get me started on that hint of a Ron & Draco’s brotp (okay, fine, they’re just being civil to each other), by now you all know it’s my new favorite thing 😂 all these elements create a sweet, engaging and romantic (if a bit angsty) read, full of soft understanding, plus a bit of Auror action and scorching hot smut as per prolix’s usual 🔥 Enjoy!
Read on AO3
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Hey, Medium Blues by dark_and_terrible is up again! Under dark_and_terrible on AO3! Hopefully you can recommend so people can leave some nice comments!
Ha, this was so timely, since I just (finally!) made a rec post for it yesterday. I’m so glad it’s back up, it’s a fantastically-crafted horror/casefic that I encourage everyone to read.
E,193k, wangxian, my post
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February Prompt #12 Salt
The intersection of the A406 onto the M1 at Staples Corner is normally one of the busiest junctions in north London. A complicated series of slip roads channel east and west traffic onto the northbound motorway, while a similar cloverleaf drains the flow coming south into London. Tonight, however, on one of the coldest nights of the year, it bears more resemblance to a car park than to a motorway. With traffic blocked up on the North Circular for more than two miles in both directions, Sherlock's taxi driver is challenged to get him anywhere near the crime scene. Side roads into a housing estate eventually put him in a position to hop a fence, scramble down a wooded embankment, dodge the two lanes of heavy but still crawling southbound traffic, and get onto the now empty northbound carriageway.
In the darkness, the police cars' blue lights are competing for his attention with the flashing yellow lights of his target: a Highways England road gritter.
"Glad you could make it, Sherlock."
The Consulting Detective sweeps straight past Lestrade, using his pocket torch to catch the glitter of freshly scattered rock salt on the road surface. Bending down for a closer look, he can see that the usual pinkish-brown grit has another colour mixed in, darker clumps.
"Yeah, it's blood. Forensics tested a bit." The DI's words vapourise in the freezing air. "Driver noticed in his rear-view mirror when he passed under the street lamp. He kept going a bit until he got on the motorway proper and then the spreader mechanism jammed."
They walk to where one of the police car's headlights has lit up the back end of the gritter machine. A lump of something the size of half a baguette that looks rather dried out is on a tarp being photographed by a Forensic Officer. Sherlock leans over and after a moment or two says, "forearm, human, in case you're wondering." The woman looks up startled. "Oh. Thank you. I hadn't gotten that far yet."
Sherlock looks up at the truck. "Anybody had a look inside?"
Lestrade calls out, "Jacobson, got anything yet?"
A head pops over the edge of the truck. "No sir, whatever else may be in here is buried pretty deep."
Sherlock is on his knees, fingering the grit. "Is there a brine tank on this machine or is it being spread dry?" he asks, scooping up a handful of grit.
The DI gives him an incredulous look. "You…know how road gritters work?"
"Of course. Where's the driver? He'll be able to answer, even if you can't."
Lestrade takes him over to the driver's side of the big yellow vehicle, where the door is wide open. Inside, the driver has his head bowed over the steering wheel, his shoulders shaking. The DI calls out, "Come on down now. We've got a few more questions."
He's a big man, mid-forties or so dressed in a high vis jacket and trousers, well-insulated against the cold, and a wool beanie to keep his head warm. Right now, however, he looks distraught. "I've been drivin 'er for three years. Best machine ever, never blocked up on me before, so when it 'appened, I pulled over and took a look."
"That's your vomit I smelled?"
"Yeah; I …stepped on that thing, and then realised what it must be."
"Where's your depot?"
"Watford Gap. No problems on the down run; it only jammed when I started back up northbound."
"Mixed with brine?"
The driver nods.
"Yeah. It's one of the quickest. Not like the salt domes up north." The driver seems to be relaxing a little, as Sherlock's questioning had the feel of professional to professional, rather than the sort of accusatory style of the police.
"Why don't you go sit in the back of one of those police cars and get warm. You can phone the depot manager and tell him to send another truck so commuters tonight don’t hit black ice. You'll be stuck here for a little while longer and then be asked to drive the gritter to a police compound for further examination."
Once the driver is in the back of one of the cars, Sherlock opens his gloved left hand and lifts it to his nose. Lestrade watches with increased horror as the consulting detective licks a bit of the grit.
"God, Sherlock; that's gross!"
"Useful, Lestrade. By what my tongue is telling me, this is something called thawrox+, a rock salt mined in the UK, most likely in the Winsford salt mine in Cheshire. It's got an additive which is a by-product of the sugar-refining process, which makes it less corrosive to steel and aluminium, and more free-flowing. It also isn't as hard on the asphalt road surface. My tongue can taste the salt and the sugar, which is key to its origins. Think of it as saving on lab fees and time."
"So, any ideas on what's happened here?"
"More lines of enquiry than definite answers, at least until the contents of the gritter are excavated and any other body parts are found."
"What should my people be looking for?"
"Not a job for the police. Forensics might have a stab at it, but that piece of the forearm will confuse the hell out of their standard analyses. Salt complicates things."
Lestrade rubs his gloved hands together, trying to stay warm. "So, what are you thinking might have happened?"
"I don't like speculating without data."
"Come on, Sherlock; it's effing cold out here and I need something to warm my brain up."
A sigh that creates a wreath of fog, then Sherlock is off. "There are several possibilities. A dismembered body could have been dumped into the mixture as the sugar solution was being added to the raw rock salt, or it could have been dumped into the truck that carried the thawrox to the depot at Watford. The top-fill means the driver wouldn't have known, and the grill over the top of the vehicle is closed after filling, so it couldn't have been added to the gritter once it left the depot. So, the driver is not a suspect.
"More likely, however, is that you're not going to find any other body parts in there."
"What?! Just half a naked arm? No clothes or fibres? Why would a murderer do that?"
"Who's to say that this is a murder? You forget that rock salt has been mined on and off at Winsford since the 19th century. Back in the early days, miners used candles and set explosives to free the material. Sometimes gases built up, explosions happened and killed miners. Or just maimed them. A miner who lost an arm could easily survive as an amputee. This could simply be a body part that has been preserved in salt for centuries."
Lestrade's shock is evident. "How? I mean, surely it would decompose?"
Even in the dark, Sherlock's eye roll is obvious. "Salt —it's been used for millennia to preserve and mummify human bodies. The Egyptians made it into an art form. The grit used on roads is just rock salt, the remnants of the dried-out seabed. Even a quick glance showed me that the arm has signs of serious desiccation. If it's old, then it won't be possible to identify it by DNA; the salt breaks the helix chains. Tell them to look for trace elements of explosives. If they find it, then it's likely to be 19th century and not a murder."
Lestrade looks back at the gritter. "What if they find the rest of the body?"
"A strange place to hide one given it would obviously be found, but the post-mortem would reveal more about the cause of death. It didn't look like a proper dismemberment; the arm looks more like it was torn off."
Sherlock shivers and rubs his gloved hands. "Nothing more for me to do here tonight, Lestrade so I'm off home before the roads get worse. If tomorrow proves me wrong and there is more to this case, then give me a call." He strides off into the darkness, back the way he had come.
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This Little PIg… (3/3)
Desperate to get away from his life for a few hours, Malcolm inserts himself into a seemingly routine case. Things turn lethal pretty fast…
Malcolm Bright, Dani Powell, Edrisa Tanaka, ensemble - casefic, with a side order of whump.:P
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Chapter 1: We Got A Case
Summary: You hate Valentine's day. Dean has never had a reason to celebrate. When you take a case on the week of Valentine's Day and have to act as a couple, will it cause you and the older Hunter to come clean about some feelings? First part to my first mini-series!
Series Warning: Some blood and guts (canon typical stuff) so much fluff (yes that’s a warning), humor
Disclaimer: I DO NOT OWN SUPERNATURAL OR ITS CHARACTERS this is merely a work of fiction for fun
You and Sam had been sitting in the library, doing some mindless browsing for new cases. You weren’t having much luck yet, not finding anything for the past few hours you were sitting there. You tiredly scrubbed a hand over your weary eyes, watching as Sam folded his hands behind his head in a big stretch.
“Find anything?” You asked through a yawn. The younger Winchester cracked his knuckles and muttered, “Nope. Totally dry.” You gave a quiet sigh, pushing your laptop away.
“I suppose that’s a good thing,” You commented, “No deaths. Somebody is safe somewhere anyway.” Sam gave a noise of agreement before getting up, “I’m gonna have some lunch. Want some grilled cheese and soup?”
Your stomach growled as you replied, “Sounds awesome.”
You heard the Bunker door open and knew Dean returned from the supply run. Smiling, you got up to greet Sam’s older brother.
“Hey there kiddo.” Dean greeted you, dropping the plastic bags to the table with a plop.
“Hey there yourself.” You looked through the bags and began pulling out all the stuff Dean would need to make dinner-alarmed to find mostly meat and cheese. Plus ice cream, beer, and pie. Fortunatley, he listened to yours and Sam’s request for something healthy and you were pleasantly surprised to see some fruit and stuff for a salad.
You turned around in time to catch Dean heading back to the garage,
“ Uh, Dean? Don’t tell me Winchester Surprise is just a buttload of meat and cheese.”
Dean spun around to give you a wide, toothy grin, “Oh, but that’s exactly what it is sweetheart!” You could already feel your arteries clogging at his declaration.
“Ugh, that sounds so unhealthy!” Sounding whinier than you meant to.
Dean shook his head in denial, “Nah, you’ll love it.” He insisted.
“I can’t believe I’m saying this.” Sam cut in, “But it’s actually not that bad. Just....like a sloppy cheeseburger if you will.”
“Cheeseburger?” Dean parroted, appalled, “Sam, it’s way more superior than a cheeseburger! It’s got ground beef, crispy onions some sauce and three different kinds of cheeses. You’ll see.” With that, he went to retireve more shopping bags before either of you could get another word in. You merely stood there, arms folded over your chest giving Sam a look full skepticism.
“It’s really not too bad, Y/n.” He said giving you a reassuring smile, “I’m not arguing about the artery clogging, but, it really tastes pretty good. Comfort food, ya know.” Seeing that you weren’t going to get anyway, you gave a defeated sigh, relaxing your shoulders.
“If you say so.” You muttered just as Dean came back with two more bags.
“Is that it?” You inquired.
“Yup.” He answered popping the ‘P’ and letting the bags drop with another thud.
“So hey, Garth found something for us.”
“He did?” You answered, surprised, “How? Sam and I haven’t found anything yet.”
Dean pulled out his phone and showed you the article he had saved. “Heard of it from his buddy, the guys brother was killed in a small town in Colorado.”
“Shit,” Sam sighed, wearing an entirely sympathetic expression, “That sucks.”
You couldn’t help but coo at the news. You had met Garth and his friend before and knew they were good, noble men. You hated something like this had to happen. “Yeah, I’m so sorry. Poor guy.” You scrolled through the article looking for any hint as to what you were dealing with here.
The article claimed it was a man attacked by a bear deep in the woods somewhere in Colorado. However, when seeing the body, they were stunned to discover the heart was ripped entirely out of its chest cavity. Of course it was merely played up as an extreme and tragic murder, but you knew better.
Dean nodded, “That’s what I’m thinking.” Then added, “Apparently, the town is so small the news wouldn’t have made the national headlines, that’s probably why you didn’t see it.”
“Just great.” You grumbled. Dean gave your arm a comforting squeeze before saying “We’ll head out tomorrow, sound good?” You and Sam voiced your agreement as Dean headed into the kitchen.
Sam raised his arms and let them drop to his sides with a dramatic sigh, “Guess we’ll take a rain check on that grilled cheese?”
You chuckled a little at his attempt of lightening the mood, “Yes. Until I burn off whatever the hell he puts in dinner tonight.” You jabbed a thumb towards the direction of the kitchen.
“What town in Colorado is even that underpopulated anyway?” You grumbled, dreading the whole case ahead of you. Your hatred for werewolves knew no bounds. Sam got that frowny/thoughtful look on his face as he teased his lip between his teeth.
“I’m not sure, but..,..I feel like I know where he’s talking about.” Then after a moment of hitting a wall, heaved another sigh, saying, “It’s been a very long time.”
Not knowing what else to say, you rubbed the bridge of your nose and announced you were going to go pack, knowing you couldn’t put it off any longer.
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