pacrim sambucky draft/wip
Warning: canon typical violence.
Please feel free to come talk to me on how I can improve !
The Precursors had been in his head once. A type of voice he couldn’t quite give words to that echoed across each facet of his brain like goo. It made him feel frozen in molasses at times.
It was a joke on Sam’s part that his gears were turning, working over time, when he got pensive and thoughtful. A little cyborg humor that others were otherwise too afraid to touch. Not Sam, though. If only he knew how on the nose he had been.
It had felt like that with them. The gears turned slowly, struggling at times in thick molasses until they all but stopped.
That had been two years ago now. Two years on top of another two where he’d been missing and then found. A mannequin in the driver’s seat for the Kaiju as they concocted a new plan, a worse one. Why just send monsters to the shores to wipe out their little ant problem? Why not reverse engineer the ants to destroy themselves?
That’s what Bucky had been. He’d risen out of the Arctic, still hooked up to his and Steve’s old Jaeger. Soldat, he’d called her then, her previous name lost under the tides. Half her circuitry was kaiju blood and bone, rerouting the need for a second pilot to keep Bucky functional.
And he’d done that for a while. They sent him to the surface now and then when the humans got too victorious, stealing back stretches of beaches and land that had the precursors gnawing at the chops. The frost still clinging to Soldat’s visor and fingers, parting through ice caps like the spirit of a snowstorm. They’d hammered away at some of the best pilots. Torn them apart and left their bodies in their Jaegers to melt into the seas.
He’d had nightmares since then. Their screams echoing through their conn-pods, and the slow trickle of light in their Jaeger's eyes as it blinked down one last time. They’d made them digital by the time Steve and Sam had finally pried him out of Soldat. It had cost an arm, and countless nights in the science wing, purging the kaiju away.
Bucky crawled in next to Sam, keeping a sliver of space between them. They didn’t touch but the heat radiating off of them both made it feel like maybe they were. The drift was almost like a ghost between them. In his mind’s eye he could see all the tells of Sam’s nervousness. The way his Adam’s apple must be bobbing with a dry swallow; his fingers clammy and restless along the sheets; the way he stared out to the left corner, trying and failing not to blink too much.
- + - + - +
Sam wouldn’t thaw so easily. It wasn’t just a wall he’d put up, it was a maze. Bucky had thought himself pretty good at cards till he’d lost a few hands to Lang. Then he’d realized why it frustrated him more than it should.
Wasn’t that what Sam did, too? Played sleight of hand? Kept people watching one part of himself as he went and hid the other? A shift so fluid and seamless, one might never have known there’d been a Sam who was anything but put together.
In their world, it took very little to break someone apart. They were one fight, one moment, one second away from ruin every time. There weren’t many people who didn’t share some of their sorrow in some way. It’s what made the Drift so unique. What Bucky had come to learn sitting in the science wing listening to Shuri.
The way she could go on for hours about the intricacies they probably hadn’t even unlocked. The technology of the Jaegers paled in comparison to the human element, she had said.
The Drift did things people took years to accomplish: it cut the middle man out.
For all Sam had joked to Bucky on their dry run not to get his old ass lost, they’d both chased the Rabit straight into oblivion. Sam had locked up. They’d run through that last mission in Soldat, watching Riley (...Steve?) being torn away. The dead air sitting on the other side of the cockpit.
“...So, your family had a boat, huh?” Bucky tried.
Sam’s fingers flinched against the bed sheets, but Bucky knew he was listening. He tapped a beat a few inches from Sam’s hand.
“It was nice, from what I saw. Real...home-y. Do you still have it?”
Bucky knew the answer already. A shrimping boat with Paul + Darlene carved into the side, letters faded but the imprint unforgettable. The height chart in the steering room. The glue marks from eager hands who couldn’t find tape to decorate the walls. The mountains of weather-worn photos still locked inside, nestled as safely as it could get in storage. Waiting for a chance to meet safer waters again.
The ache that came with thinking of it wasn’t his, but he held it just the same. Held onto the feelings Sam had willing given in the Drift, despite how tightly he attempted to block it out.
“Kind of,” Sam replied, voice scratchy. Rough. He’d been crying before Bucky had made his way back to their -- Sam’s room. “Can’t exactly go out in the water much these days.”
Bucky huffed a laugh. “Yeah. Not exactly the type of fish you might want to catch.”
A wobbly smile twitched at Sam’s lips. Bucky tapped the beat a little closer. He knew Sam could feel the drag of the sheets drawing taught between their hands.
“Maybe, when we’ve finally won, I can come see it with you. Fix it up. I’ve got some experience with boats.”
Sam glanced at him, definitely smiling a little. “I know.” I saw, went unsaid. Shipyard experience, once upon a time. Two hardheads could probably make sense of one old boat. Maybe.
“I. I’d like that.”
“ ‘Think you’d look good in a different hunk of metal,” Bucky mused. “One that’s got a loss less weapons on it.”
Sam snorted. “You mean, you don’t think a giant rocket powered harpoon would look cool on the boat?”
- + - + - +
Bucky laid a hand to Sam's chest, flattening it where he could feel the soft thumping under it. He smiled crookedly.
"You know, all this time I've been in your head and this may be the first time I've seen your heart."
Looks v bucky centric but its not supposed to be. its messy and just beginning and i’m working on it v slowly so i can enjoy it without my own brain worms. i’m not the best at these chara exploration things but i still give it a try to learn and practice. buuuut its not going to focus so much on the whole kaiju war/fighting thing but more just on. them. and them understanding each other even though the drift tells them everything iiiiiiif that makes sense.
i have a few ideas for jaeger names but suggest any if you want to.
i write really all over the place. so these are random scenes that i jumped around to write and others will. eventually??? hopefully??? get put in. But for nooow i just want to have fun with it.
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Lian finally gets to ask her mother why she does it. Asking is easy. Getting answers is harder.
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Fandom: Green Arrow (Comics), Titans (Comics), DC Extended Universe
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Relationships: Roy Harper/Jade Nguyen, Roy Harper & Jade Nguyen, Jade Nguyen & Lian Harper & Roy Harper, Lian Harper & Roy Harper, Lian Harper & Roy Harper & Dinah Lance & Oliver Queen, Lian Harper & Roy Harper & Dinah Lance
Characters: Lian Harper, Jade Nguyen, Roy Harper, Dinah Lance, Oliver Queen, Connor Hawke, Mia Dearden, Emiko Queen
Additional Tags: Mentioned Rose Wilson - Freeform, Past Roy Harper/Jade Nguyen - Freeform, Childhood Trauma, Past Child Abuse, Past Drug Addiction, Branding, like getting burned by a hot metal object not advertising, mentions of organ harvesting, Fluff and Angst, So much angst, Angst and Hurt/Comfort, Angst with a Happy Ending, Past Sexual Abuse, parent in prison, most of these are for chapter three I just want y'all to be able to filter it out, Fix-It of Sorts, Canon-Typical Violence, Non-Graphic Violence, Mentioned Vandal Savage - Freeform, eventual Cheshire!Lian, Lian's parents retire!....eventually, this is an anti-shoes fic and account
"Children, all your life you will be faced with a choice. You can choose love or hate. And I choose love." - Johnny Cash
Lian Harper must come to terms with her love for both of her parents while also acknowledging that their lives make hers harder for a number of reasons. In an attempt to better understand her mother she finally learns what the Cheshire mantle means to Jade and comes away conflicted. Lian is more than her parents, but she just might be the sum of the best of them.
PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THE GODS READ THE TAGS FIRST, EACH CHAPTER WILL HAVE APPROPRIATE TRIGGER WARNINGS IN THE NOTES
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I was just wondering if you are going to be writing any new stories for the Musketeers?
i am!! i definitely am!!!! i've got two main fics i'm working on for musketeers right now, one of which should probably be done this week.
so if you like athos/aramis/porthos/d'artagnan, or a modern setting in general, there's that one. it's going to be a series eventually, and i have three or fics planned out for it, plus whatever random things i end up writing for it.
on a lot longer note, i have a musketeers and princess bride fic, which i'm about halfway done with, that'll probably end up being at least 15k, if not close to 20k. that one is porthos/aramis and d'artagnan/athos, and maybe a bit of constance/anne, but it may not be done for a while.
sorry for the long answer, but i really do have a habit of rambling. 🤣
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d-did I hear something about puppygirls
You mean the little stray puppy Toji end up taking home on a rainy day, who end up being one of Zen’in’s puppy fuck toy, who loves playing with Naoya, Toji and Nobara even though Naoya can be a little mean sometimes and only let her sleep by his feet when he’s in a good mood unlike Toji who spoils her rotten by letting her sleep with him in the same bed and often bring back yummy treat—
ARe we talking about Nobara the pure bred puppy who wasnt a fan of the stray pup at first but the more time they spend together the more they just kinda got close, she end up looking after her even though she says she hate it but will still let stray lil puppy follow her around because she’s too clumsy and gets herself in trouble all the time 😇
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𝐌𝐚𝐥𝐞𝐟𝐢𝐜 𝐏𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝐈: 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐁𝐞𝐠𝐢𝐧𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠
Pairing: Shuntaro Chishiya x Fem!Reader x Suguru Niragi
Summary: The borderlands were already dark, they made you numb to death so long as you survived. When you become the object of desire for two psychopathic and sociopathic men, one of which is your ex lover, you find it harder to drown out the emotions you’re feeling and demons you're facing. Do you give into the dark desires and madness? But...aren’t we all already mad here?
Warnings: Explicit language, sexual situations, murder, death, manipulation, psychoanalyses, drugs, alcohol, suicidal thoughts and tendencies, more to be added as I write.
Genre: Alice in Borderland, very dark romance, angst, smut, a little fluff if you squint
Rating: Whoever is mature enough to handle the warnings above but recommended to ages 15 and older. DO NOT read if you are triggered by any of the things listed above.
Word Count: 5k
[Taglist] @bonnyskies @mylifeisafxingmess @kasaikawa @mercipourleslivres @dragoneye01 @bubb1ee-gum@nocturne181 @somegirl29 @pajerita19 @ddaenysus @imagine-t-h-a-ttt @queentorresstuff @rebirth-of-destruction @celestiacq @ryreads @beeissleepy
A note from your author — I’m so sorry this took so long, I just got out for summer vacation after an extremely stressful year so I’ll be way more active now. I have decided (with much hype from @imagine-t-h-a-ttt ) to post this in parts so I could give y’all something in appreciation for dealing with me. Expect more soon!! (It might not be AiB exclusively but I will be writing more)
The borderlands was a place where anyone and everyone was alone for themselves when it came to survival. “It’s every man for themselves,” you’d often tell yourself after a game since you walked away, sometimes alone, and others didn’t. After participating in your first heart’s game you learned that, and it was forever engraved into your mind. When you were cruelly taken from the real world you were alone in your room after your nightly shift as an SDF officer. All of a sudden the lights went out whilst you were changing out of your uniform before a shower which you never got to take. Deciding to investigate the outage, you threw your uniform back on and unbuttoned the jacket revealing your black sleeveless undershirt while keeping your green cargo style uniform pants and combat boots on. After grabbing your knife and placing it into your thigh holster, you explored your neighborhood to find that everyone was gone, cars were randomly in the street as if they had been stopped out of nowhere, and you were in fact alone.
“What the fuck is this?” You whispered to yourself as you were pulling out your phone to contact your friends only to see that it was dead. “Fantastic,” you grumbled, rolling your neck to the side to crack it and relieve the tension. Venturing back to your home you thought over what this could possibly be; an evacuation drill? Maybe a nightmare? Were you daydreaming again? No, this was too real and too strange to be any of those things. You needed to get out of this area, inspect and observe other parts of Tokyo to see what was going on. You thought you could find answers before it turned dark since it was only morning so you rushed home to pack a few things before heading out.
While at home, you grabbed your backpack and in it you put; a change of clothes, three water bottles, pain pills and a few snacks as well as your phone and charger in case you could figure out a way for it to work. In a haste you also threw on your side holster which held your nine millimeter handgun and two packs of ammo for extra precautions. After that, you set out on your search of the city. The first thing you thought of was to get in one of those abandoned vehicles however even though they were full of fuel, they wouldn’t start. “So phones and vehicles don’t work, neither does anything powered by electricity. Great.”
With that newly found information, you stepped out of the vehicle and began the long walk across Tokyo. Along the way you inspected stores, homes and even government buildings but found no trace of anyone but yourself. Where did everyone go? It looked so desolate without the constant buzz of people around walking, the tourists, the neon billboards. Everything was...dead. You spent the entire day walking further into the abandoned city which was once lively yet found nothing other than a restaurant with food which you took the liberty to eat at.
Upon nightfall, you were looking for a place to stay when a billboard lit up drawing your attention to it immediately. “This way to the game arena,” it read with an arrow pointing to the left. Turning your head in that direction you saw an area in the distance brightened by lights while everything else was still surrounded in darkness. “Game arena?” You whispered in confusion. Looking around at your surroundings you didn’t see any other lights other than that building which looked to be about three blocks away. You followed the arrows leading you to the designated arena which looked to be a botanical tea garden from a distance. You slowly approached the building while keeping your hand close to the blade strapped on your thigh in case someone or something appeared. As soon as you stepped across the final set of stairs leading up to the entrance, a line of red lasers appeared and quickly turned blue when a sound similar to that of a confirmation resonated in the area. “What is this?”
“It’s the threshold of the arena.” Turning in the direction of the voice, you saw a familiar face step next to you with the same sound chiming at her entry. “Holyn? How did you get here? Are you okay?” You asked quickly before hugging her out of relife, you were more than happy to see a familiar face in this apocalyptic place. She was your childhood best friend, the only reason you hadn’t seen or heard from her in a while was because of both of your working lives.She hugged you back even tighter as she was feeling the same way you were, scared, alone and confused. When the two of you released each other she began explaining everything she knew to you as the both of you started walking into the garden.
“I got here a few days ago and since then, I’ve asked around to see what others know about whatever the hell is going on. No one knows how we got here or what exactly this place is but everyone is made to participate in games of survival. You must participate or you’ll die. After winning a game, you keep the phone you had and you’ll be supplied with a visa. The visa tells you how long you have until you’re out of time here which is why you have to participate in games to renew it before it runs out. You must win each game, there is no other way to survive if you don’t. Do everything it takes so you live and move on. Anything with an electric circuit board or IC chip does not work whereas analog equipment like radios work and so do older vehicles.” She explained quickly as more people came into view. Your mind fogged with all of the new information, it was so much to take in. Then you realized you were just thrown into a game of survival and like she said; you HAD to win to survive. “But-” you had just begun when she silenced you, “pretend you’ve been here and done this. I know you’re confused and probably scared shitless but just pretend.” She instructed as you both entered the arena and quickly added one thing, “I don’t want to continue playing after this, I killed someone Y/n.” But before you could respond she shook her head and you did as she said, silencing yourself and putting on the facade you had mastered over the years.
Upon entry, you almost immediately noticed the two groups of people to the right each containing about six people and consisting of both males and females and the other group of six men. Gauging their distance to and from each other you could conclude the individuals in each group had played together previously and probably had strategies to compete with. As you and Holyn approached the area the others stood around, you glanced down to the table in front of all of you. ‘One per person’ the sign read with approximately twenty phones laid out beside it. Each of you grabbed a random phone and stepped away from the table into your own spaces, you and Holyn sticking closely together. If everything with a circuit board was destroyed, then why did these phones work? In the middle of your questioning the phone screen lit up with the text ‘facial recognition in progress’ before switching to another screen as you looked at the others subtly to see they were looking around as well.
“Registration has closed,” the phone chimed causing each of you to glance down at the small screen. “There are twenty participants. Game: Queen of cards.”
“Rules,” the automated voice said, “After putting on the designated collars you will be divided into two teams, one team will be the Jacks while the other is the Queen of Hearts. Find the Queen of Hearts, take her phone and find the safe zone. If the Queen is not found, it is game over for the Jacks. If the Queen is found, it is game over for her.”
“Does this mean it’s one girl against the rest of us?” Holyn asked with a small crack in her voice, making hit her as a sign to be quiet and do exactly what she told you to do. The two of you grabbed the collars they had laid out on the table, placing them on your neck after close inspection. You needed to seem like you had done this before, the last thing you needed was to be seen as the weaklings or newbies. “It’s a Hearts game, of course that’s what it means. We are supposed to turn on each other and play with others minds. It makes sense.” A male with his arms crossed over his chest said. He had played before, you could tell. The group of men he came with looked like they had been here for a while based on their appearance and calmness towards the situation.
“What do you mean ‘It’s a heart's game’?” A girl who looked to be about seventeen asked. It was obvious she was new to this like you, however, you weren’t letting anyone know that. “When you see the game card, you know the type of game and the difficulty of it. Heart games are those of psychological torture and betrayal where you mess with your opponents or friends minds and emotions. Diamond games are ones of minds and intelligence, often including solving riddles or puzzles. Clubs are by far the safest there is given they are teamwork and unity games. Spade games are physical, they test your stamina and endurance. The number of the cards tell you the difficulty levels; one being the easiest and ten being the hardest.” Another man explained to the girls. You listened attentively while looking down at your phone noticing this was a six of hearts game. Hearts. There had to be a way to do this without betrayal. But before you could think of anything further you were interrupted by the phone which spoke once more.
“The Queen will have one minute to hide before Jack's time starts, but she wont know she is the Queen until Jack's time begins.” The feminine AI voice instructed once more. The girls were to be hunted by the boys and even if they weren’t the Queen the males wouldn’t know. Even if it was a best friend. You noticed when the others came to the same realization as you as one guy started profusely apologizing to a girl who was shaking. This is a game of survival. “So that means-”
“You girls better run.” It came from one of the men and said with a sinister smirk. All the guys had to do to ensure survival was take our phones and get to the undisclosed safezone. However this was more than that. You saw the weapons on a board in the distance and you knew you weren’t the only one who did. Without a second thought, you grabbed Holyn’s hand and ran as fast as you could to get the farthest from any other person, vividly aware of the knife you still had on your thigh. She quickly followed behind although she didn’t have much of a choice with your iron-like grip on her wrist. After running a sufficient distance from the others you ducked into the shrubbery and crawled towards a dark corner to hide from anyone’s sight. She sat across from you as you both tried to calm your breathing while keeping yourselves hidden from anyone who might pass by. The phone chimed again, “Hiding time is up,” the voice said while a new timer appeared on your phone. “Ten minutes,” it read. An alarm sounded throughout the arena echoing off the walls of the indoor tea garden. “The game will now commence,” you heard just before seeing your screen turn balck temporarily with your role on it.
“Thank goodness, I’m a Jack. You are too right?” Holyn asked as you turned off your phone and looked at her with a smile as her voice echoed in your mind, “you must win each game, there’s no other way to survive,” so you pushed away the dread in your chest and replied “me too.”
No. You were the Queen.
The two of you sat still for about five minutes listening to the shouts and screams of the others until you heard sets of footsteps coming in your direction causing the two of you to duck down onto your stomachs out of fear. In the distance you heard a feminine scream echo off the glass walls followed by shattering sounds and more screams of “I’m not her” or “It’s not me” followed by the sounds of struggles. “Come out come out wherever you are,” one of the men closer to you called. You could tell he was near and if you two didn’t move, he'd find you.”We found the safe zone but none of the girls were queens,” you heard one say, “damnit, if they were still alive they could help us,’ the other commented making your stomach drop. “We need to run,” who whispered to Holyn knowing those men would have no issue killing you to survive. “Three minutes remaining,” the time was announced but you could hardly hear it due to your pulse thudding in your ears.
“Now,” you called quietly queuing the both of you to jump up and run, but it didn’t go unnoticed by the men. “There they are!” One shouted followed by the heavy stomps of footsteps behind you as they set in on the chase. “It’s only the two of you, just give us the phone and you’ll live.” You ignored him and kept sprinting towards the place you knew there were weapons. Without another thought you grabbed two weapons and handed one to Holyn to defend yourselves with until she came to the realization you loathed. “You’ve been the queen this entire time!?” She shouted at you as the stomping sound got closer and closer. “I’m sorry! You said to do anything it takes to survive.” You responded with tears clouding your vision. Never in your life would you have thought you’d be choosing your life over your best friend’s, not when the two of you had gone through everything together. “Two minutes remaining,” the voice announced reminding you of your impending fate. Holyn looked at you with emotions you couldn’t decipher, but you saw the way she relaxed even if it was slight. Why was she glad you chose yourself over her?
“Come on, let’s hide.” She said grabbing your hand and this time, she was the one dragging you along. She veered off to the right pulling you behind a fountain and kept running until the two of you collapsed onto the ground. “Remember when you turned fifteen and we decided to sneak out?” she reminisced laying between your legs against your chest. “Yeah, our parents almost killed us, we were grounded for months.” you giggled despite the tears falling from your eyes. As memories of you both flooded your mind you acted without control and shouted, “Over he--” to let the men know your location but you were interrupted by her hand clasping over your mouth tightly to silence you as she yanked you backwards into the shadows. “Shh,” she whispered, calming you while you sobbed into her hand, “I want you to live on for me, okay? Beat this game, we both know you are the only one who can. I know you can. I’ll be helping you from above if I can.” She soothed laying her head on top of yours.
“One minute remaining”
The tears wouldn’t stop as you moved to hug her tightly, never wanting to let go. “I’m so sorry.” you choked out in between gasps for air. Everything was too much, too loud, time was moving too quickly, you heard the men rapidly shouting and searching for you two as you clung to your best friend. Everything seemed to be happening so quickly, the seconds flew by while you were holding the only person you had left before she was to die. “I’m not. Thank you Y/n, I wouldn’t have made it any further anyways, I’m glad I can help you move forward. Don’t let me die in vain.” She told you kissing the top of your head before roughly pushing you off to get you away from her. “Holyn!” You shouted trying to latch back onto her when suddenly the collar around her neck exploded and her blood splattered everywhere. Your eyes and mouth opened wide in shock at what you had just seen. You could feel the specks of blood all over your face and body while you stared at her now decapitated one lying in front of you. She had just died, and it was because of you, because you were selfish and confused all while being scared.
You didn’t know how long you stayed there in total silence until you just collapsed onto the cold, hard floor beneath your feet. The silence was interrupted by your blood curdling scream of pure agony that echoed throughout the enclosed building. Your head came into contact with the ground when you curled over your knees and screamed once again while grabbing at your hair and banging your forehead against the cement. Tears flowed out of both your eyes as you cried out in horror, unable to rid your mind of the events that just occurred. You screamed until your throat was raw and your voice hoarse, you could feel the clumps of hair you pulled out of your scalp as your fingers dug deeper into your skull and worst of all, you knew you were alone now.
For days, you were numb. Five days to be exact. You didn’t do much but sleep, cry, eat, walk aimlessly to a new location and then repeat it all again the next day. You couldn’t shake the immense feeling of guilt you felt when you woke each morning knowing Holyn wouldn’t because of you. It wasn’t until you played your next game, an eight of spades, that you snapped out of the haze your emotions put you in. During the game, you had to climb a tree fast enough to avoid the arrows being shot at you from below as the height the arrows were shot increased each minute as you ascended the tree. You were ahead of the others until one man decided to start pulling at your ankles to hold you back which eventually turned into him trying to make you lose your grip and fall. In the moment he yanked your body down, you almost completely lost your grip on the branch keeping you from falling. It was then that you realized you weren’t going to let Holyn die in vain, you’d survive and push through everything to honor her memory.
After that, the “acquaintances” you made between or during games never meant much to you because in the end, you could only count on and rely on yourself to ensure your survival. You stopped moping around and became the version of yourself you had always wanted to become, the one that allowed you to turn off your emotions and step away from your chaotic thoughts. You now lived for yourself and yourself only, but even then, you never killed anyone intentionally.
A few days passed by but you couldn’t tell exactly how long you had been in this hell hole. You only played games when it was necessary which was only about two days before your visa expired. After overhearing someone in a two of Spades game talk about a place called “the Beach” and the people there “knowing how to get out here,” you started observing those who played games when you didn’t. It only took a few nights to see the connection between the group of people who entered games with tag numbers on their wrists being the ones who walked out. After you played a couple games with people with the tags on their wrists, you were convinced they knew something about the strategy of the games. Lingering in the shadows, you watched the participants of the game walk out of the arena and head down the street while you quietly followed behind. You must’ve walked for five minutes before you noticed where exactly the group was headed; a vehicle. “But I thought..” you whispered to yourself in confusion seeing them jump into the four seater 1970 cadillac while you stood still in your hidden position wondering what they were doing. Upon hearing the ignition of the engine you remembered Holyn telling you only older modeled vehicles were able to work here, but where did they find fuel? Not once had you seen an operable fuel station. “There must be fuel at the beach, there has to be,” you thought to yourself, watching as they drove off which only made you more determined to find this place and get the answers to your questions. And with that thought in mind, you set out on a journey to find this so-called “beach.”
As the vehicle drove further from your sight, you started jogging in order to tail them to their location while still keeping yourself out of sight. You ran for around fifteen minutes before you saw a building in the distance, a building which had power unlike everything else in the city. Seeing the destination, you stopped running and took a while to slow your breathing and regain your energy. “So this is the Beach,” you sighed observing the structure and its surroundings. The building itself seemed to be four stories tall and included a large pool in front where people partied as if they weren’t fighting for their lives everyday. You approached a fence which seemed to outline the perimeter of the area and carefully leaned over it as if you were watching a child’s game. You saw the vast amounts of people give into the pleasures of ignorance while deafening music thrummed in the background, even from the great distance you were, you could slightly feel the vibrations of the bass in your chest.
“Ah who's this?” you heard a cynical voice ask rhetorically from behind you. At the sudden and unexpected presence you jumped, turning around and swinging your fist to punch whoever it was out of instinct. When your right hand came in contact with a face your left twisted to grab the knife you still carried on your thigh in a holster. Just as you grasped ahold of the handle one of the two people delivered a knockout-blow to the side of your head just behind your temple which caused you to instantly lose consciousness.
When you awoke you were sitting in a chair with your hands tied loosely behind your back onto the chair with what felt like a burlap bag over your head. You let out a small groan of discomfort feeling your head pulse due to your new injury, one you would have to repay later on. Upon hearing your groan, the bag was swiftly removed from your head allowing the bright lights of the room to flood your vision which hadn’t adjusted making you shut your eyes with a silent wince. After blinking a few times you get adjusted, you were finally able to scan your surroundings. In front of you stood a man with shoulder-length hair, blsck sunglasses, an open kimono and red swim trunks, to his left stood a man with buzzed hair, a black muscle shirt and green military pants who you instantly recognized.
“Aguni?” You asked with confusion seeing the man you used to work with. He was here too? You weren’t surprised he was still alive, the man was invincible when you worked with him. And just like back then, he was silent, he only gave a small nod of his head to you as a response before reassuming his statue-like stance. To his right was a man with silver hair, a white Nike hoodie and blue swim shorts who looked at you in an inquisitive manner with tired yet sharp eyes. Two women who had black hair were standing to his right and a man covered in tattoos stood further off to the side holding a sword long in length, possibly a katana. A few other people were staggered around the room but none of them seemed to be as ‘important’ as the few that you noticed immediately.
“Aguni-san? You know her?” The man in the kimono asked the latter with creased brows showing obvious confusion. “We worked at the SDF together. She was my partner before we were assigned to different segments, she’d be a good addition to the executives or militants.” He responded while putting in a good word for you. “Someone like her? An SDF officer? If you hadn’t told me, Aguni-san, I would have never known.” The man remarked crossing his arms over his chest while walking over to a desk which he leaned on. “What’s that supposed to mean?” You questioned with a scowl in his direction as your fingers fiddled with the ropes binding your wrists. You would be able to get out of them in a matter of minutes if no one noticed what you were trying to do, but it seemed the man in the white hoodie already noticed as he raised his brow in your direction with an impressed smirk on his stoic face. “A pretty, small woman like yourself...I would’ve thought you’d be tagging along with someone and not alone. Actually I would’ve thought you’d be dead by now, much less an SDF officer.” He commented with a wry smile fanning out all your cards which contradicted his statement.
“If my cards tell you anything, you should know you’re wrong,” you hummed, resuming your attempt to loosen the ropes. “Ah yes your cards,” he began while pushing himself off the desk and slowly pacing around the room, “we want you to become a resident at the Beach after seeing the cards you’ve gathered. And after learning of your pastime, you would be a great addition to the team either way.” Of course he would want you once he saw the games you had played, you were good at surviving meaning you’d also be efficient in getting him the rest of the cards. “And if I don’t want to become a resident?” You questioned poking the inside of your cheek with your tongue out of habit. You were doing just fine on your own and definitely did not need this place, however, it seemed like they needed you. Or they needed your cards more so than yourself.
“Well if you choose to stay, you’ll be able to get out of this game quicker. We have a theory that once we collect all the playing cards, one person will be able to go back to the normal world. And if you choose not to stay, well, you can walk away from here but we will keep your cards. We have gathered all the weapons in the city, we regularly gather rain water and food which the game makers seem to replenish once a week, you’ll be taken care of here.” He explained pausing directly in front of you waiting for a response. Did no one else see the problem with him? How he was manipulating everyone to get the cards under the false security that they’d get to leave too? Or was everyone here really THAT ignorant? “It seems like you take my cards either way hm?” You suggested in a hum cocking your head to the right slightly in question. “You’re correct. However, now you would be higher in the rankings and an executive after making such a great contribution and having the skill set you supposedly possess.” He told you in an attempt to persuade you into staying while adding a bit of sweetness to the word ‘contribution’. When you simply looked at him with a bored gaze, he sighed and continued speaking.
“If you decide to stay there are only three rules. 1) "always wear a bathing suit". This is to be sure no one is hiding any weapons which is why our militants don’t have to wear them if chosen to do so. Rule 2) "be free to live your life exactly as you wish including alcohol, drugs and sex" and the third and last rule: "death to traitors".” He enlightened you on the standards they lived by to help you make your decision. It didn’t seem like it would be a bad choice if you chose to stay here, you’d have food, shelter, and people you didn’t know in case you had to play another game of hearts.
“I’ll stay but I want my knife back, if I have to wear a bathing suit you’ll be able to see it anytime since I wear it on my thigh.” You compromised whilst completely freeing your hands from their bound position but still holding the rope to hide suspicions. You hated the fact you’d have to wear a swimsuit because your scars would be visible but if it meant you could have your knife, you’d be more than willing. Hearing a few chuckles resonate around the room at your demand you brought your attention to one of the men in the back of the room who had a bandage on his cheek and a black eye. It was easy to come to the conclusion that he was the one you punched earlier, and the thought of that made you smile with pride while looking at him.
“You are in no position to make demands, sweetheart,” he practically snarled at you. You hated being called sweetheart, it not only made you cringe but it infuriated you beyond measure. With a deadly glare, you let go of the rope and stood from the chair in a swift motion and threw the ropes at him without a word which said everything you needed to. However, just as he caught the ropes you could hear the door being slammed open followed by a voice which was all too familiar.
“The traitors are dead,” the unknown man announced in a tone of pride, kicking the door closed behind him. His voice instantly brought back memory after memory causing you to turn your head in shock in order to make sure you were hearing things correctly. The man you were looking at looked nothing like the one you once knew. This one had piercings on his nose and eyebrow while he sported an automatic rifle on his shoulder and a psychotic smile on his face. “Niragi?” You whispered in shock, still unable to believe your eyes. Was this the same boy you stood up for in high school? He looked so....different. What exactly happened to the sweet, shy boy you once fell in love with? “Y/N?” He questioned letting his mouth fall open the slightest but before he regained his composure. It was him, Suguru Niragi, the first and only man you’ve ever truly fallen in love with, but also the man who disappeared without a trace three years ago. You knew he had left you, it wasn’t hard to figure that much out, but you never knew why and quite frankly, you didn’t care anymore. You had moved on.
“Fantastic! Another one of our own knows this charming young woman, this will make things a lot easier. Niragi, you may take her to the locker rooms so she can change into some fitting attire then you can get her an ID bracelet and take her to her room.” The man who you noticed had a bracelet tagged 001, exclaimed with a clap of his hands as he was instructing Niragi to get you settled in. “She can do it on her own,” Niragi scoffed with a roll of his eyes which had you throwing your head back in a sarcastic chuckle. “I’ll take her,” someone insisted from the side. Glancing in the direction the voice resounded you noticed the short pale man with the silver hair stepping out towards you. He seemed oddly familiar as well but you couldn’t quite place it.
“That’s settled then. Now, my knife?” You quipped raising a brow at the ‘leader’ in the kimono just before someone came from behind you pressing a cold piece of metal to your throat while their other arm was holding your arms in place by your waist. The room went silent as everyone watched what was about to unfold in front of them, Aguni simply rolled his eyes with a sigh knowing what was about to happen. “You mean this knife?” The man teased, his voice was one you recognized from one of the two men that brought you to this place and all you wanted in that moment was to stab him for that. So, naturally, you settled for the next best thing. Pushing your head forward a little while trying not to move your neck, you watched Niragi’s expression as you threw your head backwards with all your force resulting in hitting the unknown man’s nose.
When the back of your skull came into contact with his face he immediately lessened his grip on you which allowed you to slip out of his grasp and take your knife from his hand. With your knife in hand, you grabbed his wrist, twisting it and bending his arm behind his back while your other arm placed him in a chokehold. You leaned in close to his ear as he was fighting your hold before pulling him back harshly, putting pressure on his windpipe, “Never, and I mean NEVER, touch my knife again. Got it?” You growled and if you were being honest, you would’ve intimidated yourself. You didn’t wait for a response as you pushed him forward only to watch him fall onto the ground with a soft thud. “Now,” you sighed looking up with a smile which could’ve been seen as both innocent or sinister, “let’s go,” you said slipping your knife into the holster on your thigh. The man with the white hair stepped forward with his hands in his pockets and came to your side, briefly looking at Niragi before turning his attention to you. “Let’s go, shall we?”
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it seems i’m incapable of writing anything short these days and i don’t know if that’s a good thing or not. xD
quick little laiden drabble? 1500-1700 words.
nightvale x supernatural fic? 1700 words, and a series, at that.
fae au? 3600, plus the five hundred word fic already posted for it.
princess bride au? 10, 800 words and counting. my four main people have only all met each in the last two hundred words? maybe even less?
no short fics here, only word challenges and rambling.
i live in fear of the day a fic finally manages to hit 20k.
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Jack Rabbit Heart - Sanemi/Uzui [4/4]
A usual for them; Uzui lording over his height, knowing how much of a sore spot it had been for him now that Genya had shot up. Sanemi rolled his shoulders, ready to snark at him, and begin their old song and dance.
Only, Uzui had to go and tip his head down and chase the taste of sweet wine on Sanemi’s tongue.
3 Times Uzui kisses Sanemi, and 1 Time Sanemi kisses Uzui.
AO3 | 1| 2| 3 | HERE
Sanemi had gone in circles. Doubling back, cutting across, looping and looping and winding up to the one answer he mentally kept skirting around: He liked Tengen.
He liked Tengen.
Enough to be soft and panicky deep inside. Enough to try to sear the phantom feel of his touch to memory; to wake up half delirious chasing words he could see forming in dreams but eluded his ears. Not enough, though, to actually man up and say anything.
Worse, he thought, was how Tengen didn't seem affected. He joked and smiled and laughed like nothing. Like kissing Sanemi wasn't anything important. Tengen was flirtatious by nature, but he was never one to settle down. Too quick to pin down, too flighty to know the touch of the earth under his heels. Sanemi more than once snapped his pen in half, peeved at the thought.
It was a foreign concept at times where his feelings had come from. So strange to wake up one day and suddenly have a head and heart full of someone he'd known for the better part of his life. He'd told himself he'd never thought of Tengen that way.
He scoured his memories trying to pick apart every detail, every touch, every feeling that might have laid there. He tried failingly to convince himself there wasn't anything to his feelings. No pennies at the bottom of a well, filling up so slowly, so surely that they'd come spilling out over the stone sides.
It had been so gradual, he hadn't even realized how far gone he'd become. He hadn't fallen from the beginning, that much he knew. He'd always had his eyes on Tengen but it was only in recent years, through recent fuck ups and victories that it had shifted.
The first time Tengen had turned his pretty wine-red gaze at him, the way his fingers swept his fringes from his face. The first time he'd said Sanemi's name wrong. The first time he'd said Sanemi's name right.
The hand that grabbed at the back of his shirt when he'd punched Akaza on Kyojuro's behalf. The wobbly curve of Tengen's mouth when his father had coldly laid dying in his bed, as proud and untouchable as he'd always been. Tengen coming to Genya's soccer game. Tengen and Kyojuro and Giyuu wishing his mother a happy Mother's Day. Tengen sleepily quizzing him, sitting with him, laughing with him.
Tengen's need to be curled so close, no space between them. Like he craved touch, latching onto it with greedy hands.
It wasn’t even that Sanemi was special for it. He was this way with all of them. Tengen was handsy. Always had been. Had grown up yearning for warmth in that big, frigid mansion of his. He'd always sat halfway into Kyojuro's lap most times when they were together. Despite how funny Giyuu could be, the same as Tengen really just different ends of the same ruler, Tengen brought out the greedy side in him. Giyuu might even lean against him some days, silently reading his trash novels.
Four dumbasses with a load of issues. If Sanemi could put it mildly.
So, no. Sanemi didn't want to say anything. Didn't want to be the fool that got the signals wrong. It wasn't Tengen's fault that he'd gone and caught feelings. Sanemi knew all that but damn was he an idiot.
Three days later, Giyuu had finally piped up. "Are you mad at Uzui?"
Sanemi snorted. "No more than usual."
"But you're upset."
Sanemi grumbled. Tengen rarely washed dishes, his clothes never fully stayed in their hamper, and his makeup was usually cluttering the bathroom counter. Nothing new, same old grievances.
"It's his turn to scrub the pots," He said lamely.
Giyuu dragged his gaze to him away from his laptop. It was flatter than usual. Sanemi didn’t think he was much of an expert in decoding Giyuu’s stoic faces but this one seemed close to exasperated. "You should tell him."
Sanemi nearly choked.
Giyuu raised a brow. His mouth quirked just a little to the side. "To wash the pots. He won't know if you don't say so."
"I shouldn't have to. He...knows."
Giyuu shrugged. "True, but Uzui can be a little air-headed, too."
Sanemi begrudgingly agreed.
Sanemi hadn’t known Uzui to be the quiet type. He could keep quiet if he needed to, but it wasn’t exactly in his nature. So it was odd that Uzui was so pensive now. He let Uzui be for the first week. He had figured he needed a moment to deal with himself; to deal with whatever was clearly distressing him. But by the second week, his makeup was starting to look horrible. He was taking far less pains to wing his liner and blend out his eyeshadow.
(Sanemi had gotten an entire lecture on makeup once against his will. That being said, he appreciated the hard work that could go into it. Uzui had perfected his craft. At least...on himself.)
Smudged concealer was giving way to darkened under eyes. From across the small table, Giyuu’s brows bunched together. It was bad, then, if Giyuu was so outwardly worried. Even Kyojuro wasn’t having luck riling Uzui up into a friendly competition. He just waved him off. Nail polish chipped, hair tied back, and disappeared into his room.
When week three rolled around, Sanemi had had enough. He gave one short knock before he was bursting into Uzui’s room. Uzui didn’t look surprised, but he also didn’t look like he’d had the energy for it.
All the things Sanemi had been storing inside of him to ask suddenly fell away. He looked at his friend laying listlessly on his bed, in a ratty old hoodie and dulled beyond recognition. Sanemi gripped the doorknob and set his eyes to the logo on Uzui’s hoodie.
“You hungry?” He said, instead.
Uzui dragged his eyes over to him, looking all the world like he couldn’t figure out if he wanted to answer or not. Sanemi beat him to it. He strode across the room and took Uzui by the upper arm and pulled.
“Up. We’re eating.”
He led Uzui out and pushed him into one of the chairs. He heard him slump back into it and set to cooking. No pot went unused. No meal short of perfection. Sanemi poured his all into the meal before he’d set it down in front of Uzui and then sat himself across from him.
He jutted his chin at it. “Eat.”
A beat, then a few more passed before Uzui did. He ate almost begrudgingly. Eat bite a little more harsh than necessary. Until halfway through one dish, he seemed to thaw. Little by little the rigid line in his shoulder gave way. Uzui unwound. He was halfway through the third when he stopped.
Uzui’s mouth took a harsh, straight line. “My father is dying.”
Sanemi made a noise. “How long?”
“Couple months now. Found out by accident.” Uzui laughed, low and bitter. “He wasn’t going to tell any of us. Proud fucking bastard. He was just going to wither away and leave us with some, i don’t know, note or something. About who gets what and who doesn’t and why we suck.”
“I’m sorry,” Sanemi said. He was.
For as much of a bastard as Uzui’s father was, Uzui still wanted to love him. He’d talked about knowing better, admitted it was probably, definitely a giant waste. He’d still wished he could. Still wanted to. Hoping that one day, even for a brief moment, the thing he saw in Sanemi’s mom, in Rengoku’s, in Giyuu’s sister, might reflect back.
Uzui shrugged. “Another month or so.”
Sanemi knew none of Uzui’s siblings would reach out. He hoped but realistically they both knew better. A feeling between a stomach ache and anger overcame him. Too angry to form words and queasy with the thought of how alone his friend must feel.
Sanemi didn’t miss a rat bastard hair on his father’s head. But he’d had his siblings and his mother. When he got too close to wishing for a different outcome, he would turn to them.
Sanemi shoved the half-finished plate back towards Uzui, startling him.
“We’re going to go see your old man,” He said with finality. “Finish that, clean up. And we’ll. Pick a day.”
Uzui sputtered. He tried to push the plate back, only to be met with Sanemi’s glare. He glared back, then reached his chopsticks out with a grimace.
“We’re just going to show up to my shitty old man’s place? Just show up and act like he’s not going to be the biggest bastard in the world?”
“You know he is. You know he will be. But it’s not about him. It’s about you.” Sanemi stole a piece from Uzui’s plate. He slid piece after piece out of his chopsticks’ grip, watching in his periphery as a flush of life returned to his cheeks. “Even if he doesn’t care, say what you need to. Say goodbye.”
Sanemi had seen Uzui’s father exactly three times in their whole time of knowing each other. He stood so tall, all but his eyes seemed to pierce over the frosty summit of his shoulders. Here and now, it was odd to see him at eye level. He held himself the same. It didn’t matter how far he’d come plummeting, the frigid air about him remained the same, as if he’d never left the sky he’d pierced.
He looked at Uzui like one might look at a fly. An invasive little creature, full of noise and annoyance. He said nothing. He looked at his son. He looked beyond him, maybe, and said nothing.
“...Well, old man,” Uzui said, an almost imperceptible tremble in his voice. “I’ll -- see you later.”
His father seemed to scoff, though his mouth remained closed. He rolled his eyes and looked to the bleak white wall to the side.
Sanemi took Tengen by the ends of his sleeve and pulled him towards him. He pulled until they were out of the room and the mansion, and the property. The frost falling away from their shoulders and into the falling sunset.
Sanemi walked close to Tengen, letting their bodies bump together as they made their way home.
“...Thanks.” Tengen said.
“Don’t sweat it.”
Tengen bumped into him, leaning a little too much of his weight on him and smiled. Sanemi smiled back.
Kyojuro spilled sake all over Tengen’s lap. It splashed across onto Giyuu who knocked into Sanemi. They sat flush and stupid together on the living room floor. Drinking and howling and laughing together. At all sides there was someone pressing against Tengen.
Sanemi could remember the way Tengen had thrown back his head, laughing with his whole body. He leaned back against the couch, just out of harm's way of Giyuu reaching for Kyojuro who only laughed in response. Their eyes met, a little hazy and unfocused. Tengen’s eyes were red-rimmed but bright. He smiled wider than the drunken flush across his cheeks. He tilted his head, long white hair falling over his shoulder. He looked at Sanemi and his eyes crinkled. The smile got smaller, but no less genuine. Serene and true and wholly so pretty. He raised his mostly empty sake cup to Sanemi who raised it back.
Maybe it had been then. Maybe it had been every single before. Now it was everything after.
Kyojuro was humming, chopsticks paused in his mouth. He began eating again. Sanemi squinted at him from over his (Giyuu’s) book. He hummed again a few minutes later. Sanemi frowned.
“Thinking hard, Kyo?”
Kyojuro shrugged. “Thinking about how telephones make communicating easier but messages still manage to get lost.”
Sanemi squinted harder. “What the hell does that mean.”
Sanemi had thought him strange when they had first met. He’d been yelling delicious! behind the school during lunch when Sanemi had gone looking for somewhere quiet to eat. To his surprise, a kid who looked so well-liked and boisterous, seemed so content to be away from the noise. He couldn’t shut up for the life of him, but his company was far more enjoyable than Sanemi could realize.
He made Uzui seem grounded in the way his head sometimes seemed to orbit the Earth. He smiled more than he felt, tripped more than he should have, and kept himself inline better than most. He could stupid well, but never more than he could right himself from. It came with a level of self awareness Sanemi had come to admire. Kyojuro wore his heart on his sleeve, but he knew every curve and angle of it.
Kyojuro grinned at him. “I think,” He paused to put some more food in his mouth. “You two are idiots.”
Sanemi made an affronted noise.
Kyojuro stood and checked his phone. He grinned before going to dump his plate in the kitchen. “Tomioka and I will be out for a while.”
They were out together a lot lately, Sanemi noticed. He watched Kyojuro pull on his shoes at the door. His friend motioned his head to Uzui’s room.
“All this looking down and away isn’t helping. Even if you sound dumb, there’s no use waiting around trying to pull an answer you dont have out of half-things. You might as well go for it.” Kyojuro grinned and flashed him a thumbs-up. ““I believe in you, though. Both of you. To figure it out.”
“So, you into Tomioka or something?”
Tengen looked up from his phone. “No more than usual. Why?”
Sanemi rolled his eyes. “You kissed him like it meant something.”
Tengen raised a brow. He slid his leg off from over his other one and planted it flat to the ground. “Just a friendly smooch. Jealous?”
Sanemi bared his teeth, gritting out a, “No”.
“Good. There’s nothing to be jealous about. If I kiss Giyuu or Kyo that’s my business. I can hug and kiss who I want.”
“I didn’t say you couldn’t,” Sanemi said, defensively.
“Sure sounds like it.” Tengen twisted his mouth in an ugly frown. “What’s a little affection between friends?”
“You kiss them like you kiss me?”
Tengen looked away then, suddenly chastened. In a tiny voice he said, “No.”
“No? Whaddya mean no?”
“How it sounds, dumbass. I don’t kiss them like you. We’re just friends. You kiss your siblings all the time, why can’t I kiss them?”
“It’s different! That’s my family! Kyo and Giyuu aren’t your - Fuck.” Sanemi stopped. “Ten…”
Tengen laced his fingers together, opening them up like a book to peer at. His eyes tracked along the lines of his palms, gathering his thoughts along each curve.
“I told you that time how much I envied you, didn’t I, Sanemi? How much I wished I could be greeted the way you were when you came home. Like they couldn’t get enough of you even if they’d just seen you the day before.”
Tengen rubbed one thumb over the other. He kept his eyes resolutely down, too afraid to look up at where Sanemi’s eyes settled across him. He was keenly aware of what expression he might face, what was written across the other man’s face. Tengen set his jaw crooked, sick with his envy, with the chasm he’d cracked open with his words.
“It was a joke at first. I’d kissed Kyo when he got mad about the car. He’d waved it off and told me that it was fine. When Giyuu was making dinner that one time, I’d leaned all over him and he hadn’t even seemed bothered. I’d seen your siblings do it a thousand times with you, with Genya. The same with Senjuro, or the Kamados and Giyuu.”
“I couldn’t really stop after that and they didn’t feel weird about it so I kept going.” He looked up at Sanemi. “It was you I was…”
Sanemi grimaced. Afraid? Had Tengen been afraid? Tengen was rarely ever so vulnerable. Even if he might have been intimidated, he’d forged forward despite all that. Sanemi’s eyes widened a bit in realization.
The stupid part of Sanemi’s brain spoke first.
“Since when are you such chicken shit?”
Tengen’s eyes flashed, shoulders drawn up to his ears but looking like he wanted to dive right at him.
“You wanted all that with me? Maybe I wanted that too,” Sanemi groused. Tengen pointed a harsh, disbelieving finger.
“I didn’t think you felt the same, stupid! I went and made it all weird when I caved and kissed you that one time, what was I supposed to do?”
“Say something, asshole! Anything. I had no idea what you were thinking. I thought you were just messing around!”
“I had know idea what you were thinking, either! You looked so weirded out by it, I thought I’d ruined everything.”
“Asshole, that’s what I thought!”
“I’ve been wanting to hold your stupid hand and kiss your stupid face for years!”
“Turns out I did, too, asshole!”
A beat passed. Sanemi grew fed up and strode across the room towards Tengen. They stared at each other a while, not moving, not crossing the tiny invisible barrier keeping them apart. Sanemi’s hand shot out, faster than even Tengen could track.
“You fucker,” Sanemi said. He hooked a finger into Tengen’s choker and yanked him down. He stood firm when he collided into him, and kissed him with all the frustration and want he’d been piling up for gods knew how long.
He kissed harshly and wild, a windstorm, a stake, and dared Tengen to push back. Tengen hesitated, just a second, before he was settling a hand to Sanemi’s shoulder. He slid it over the curve of his neck, long fingers pressed into the pulse point. Then it traveled along the wide expanse of his back and pulled them flushed together.
When Sanemi finally had to come up for air, he did it with reluctance. For once, Tengen had nothing to say. He looked at Sanemi like all the words he could say too jumbled up inside of him to come out making sense. Snaemi snorted, and allowed himself to smile shyly.
“We’re idiots,” Tengen settled on.
“Big, fucking idiots.”
“I’m in love with your stupid ass.”
Sanemi knocked his forehead lightly against Tengen’s chin. He placed a kiss just under it. “Me, too.”
Tengen shuffled uneasily from foot to foot. “Are you going to make me stop being affectionate with Kyo and Giyuu?”
Sanemi shook his head. “No. I wouldn’t do that to you. Just make sure I get first, though. I refuse to lose to Tomioka.”
Tengen lightly punched him in the arm. He fell over against Sanemi, arms lazily looped around his shoulders and pressed his nose into the side of his neck.
“Yeah, I can do that.”
Giyuu blanched on his way out of the kitchen. "Can you two not makeout on the dining table? We eat there."
AN: a long ride but here we are at the end.
i started it thinking "lol ill just make an uzusane fic for fun" and ended up going, "what if i explored a bit of that fine line between friends and romantic partners because i also have a bit of a messy head distinguishing the two at times. how do you know which is which sometimes."
don't think its that well executed but its been a lot more fun to write than i anticipated.
biggest of all thanks to @cldreality as always for being a great person to bounce ideas off of and understanding my mishmash of thoughts.
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That, of course, was two days ago.
Now he’s trekking through the forests of Ellander, making his way through the rocky terrain as he searches for a supposedly injured Witcher, who may or may not exist.
Running into an unfamiliar Witcher could be trouble on a good day, when both of you are in the right mind. If you’re lucky, you stay out of each other’s way and don’t start trouble, and if you’re not, well, then you may leave the place with a new scar.
But an injured Witcher?
That’s where it starts to get tricky.
Geralt helps his brother get revenge for his Cat. A few days later, he hears rumors of an injured Witcher just outside of Ellander and looks into it, taking far too long to put the pieces together.
laiden fix it! written entirely so i could have geralt find an injured cat witcher, and have the moment of “oh you’re lambert’s supposedly dead cat witcher,” and that honestly tells you all you need to know about it.
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it’s two a.m., and the radio is the only sound in the almost silent night.
they’d pulled over hours ago, and it was like the old days. Just the two of them, sleeping in the impala, dean in the front seat and sam in the back, as though the car was meant to fit two grown men.
there’s no motel around here, not in miles, so here they are, sleeping on the side of the road.
nights like this weren’t uncommon, not for people like them, and somehow, dean finds comfort in the familiarity of it. there’s nothing to do but relax in his brother’s company, to listen to the sound of his breathing and the soft hum of the radio, to close his eyes and wait for sleep.
“the desert seems vast, even endless, and yet scientists tell us that somewhere even now, there is snow. welcome to nightvale,” the radio says, and dean smiles.
Or, in which, the Winchesters listen to a story from a small desert town, about floating cats and glowing clouds.
crossover! again! because supernatural makes it really easy to write fun little crossovers for it. i really like how this turned out though, and it’d probably gonna be a series, so let me know if anyone’s interested in that! :D
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honestly the fact that my d’artagnan and athos fight scene is 2.2k by itself, 3.8k if you count the dialogue and bantering before it, while the entire porthos and athos fight scene is only around 1.3k can either mean one of two things.
one, that i’m absolutely terrible at writing hand-to-hand fights.
or two, that yearning and swordfights do wonders for your word count.
spoiler alert: it’s both.
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Somehow, Athos finds himself grinning.
He doesn’t particularly enjoy fighting, and he doubts he ever will, but there’s something more to it. Maybe it’s the trust in it, the knowledge that d’Artagnan will have his back, just as he always has, and that if they stumble, Porthos and Aramis are there to pull them up off the ground. Maybe it’s the sheer simplicity of it, when the only thing to worry about is where to aim your next strike, rather than all of the things that could go wrong-
“Porthos, my darling, my love, would you do the honor of marrying me?”
What, Athos thinks, ignoring the urge to stare, the hell.
Or, in which, Aramis proposes to Porthos while fighting off unknown people, as you do.
short gift fic for @privateerstudies ! fic summary wraps it up pretty good, but basically aramis proposes to porthos in the middle of a fight, and athos is tired of their shit.
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Soldier, Tell Me
Summary: Roy may have banished his demons but we know that demons, and bad habits die hard.
Characters: Jason, Roy, Cheshire and Lian
Warnings: Implied shipping? (not really actually), Drug abuse, depressive thoughts, major canon death. Vomiting and blood
Additional Notes: This was the 3k fic I spent months working on. I hope you like it as much as I did writing it :))
Word Count: 3,499 words
Jason drums his fingers against the handles as he leans a little and presses himself into the seat. His earpieces played some old school song that he didn't bother changing as he took a left turn to a rather deserted road.
Up ahead, a huge building stood in relative isolation, save for a scatter of trees. Jason flips the indicator and takes another right towards the entrance of the car park before finding a small, vacant spot and parking his bike. Switching off the bike, he took a deep breath of the deep gasoline smell lingering.
It assaulted his senses in a good way, preparing him for what was going to happen incoming. He doesn’t know how to start everything with Roy. It’s not as if he could strike up a conversation about a mission like the yesteryears. He couldn’t slide up to him, smile and talk straight away to have expectations that Roy could catch up to speed.
He could try. Pretend everything was normal. Pretend everything was okay and that no one was sinking underneath the weight. Pretend they were still happy despite being scarred all the way through.
He had to accept the fact that Roy was probably in a cleaner slate than when he last saw him. Sometimes, he felt irrational hatred at himself for not seeing it earlier, for not stopping him, A part of him felt that he could’ve saved Roy from hell. He could be the barrier, the small glass shard that held the rest of the pieces up.
Hell, nothing could’ve almost prevented him from collapsing onto the floor when he found Roy out cold on the unforgiving tiles of the damp bathroom floor, a used needle on the floor and empty syringes. A discarded lighter and spoon told the shameful truth Jason wanted desperately to not be true, to not be real, to simply fade and become a figment of his imagination, a hallucination to be exact. An unresponsive Roy sent Jason towards a panicked call to the ER and a shot of Narcan he had in his military-grade belt. There was a splutter and then the vomiting out the offender and the slight feverish touch of the skin. Jason carded his hair and tore a piece of his shirt to keep his forehead cool and try to get his fever down.
Jason had waited outside the ER with trepidation, hoping he really caught him in time. Nurses came in and went. Oliver Queen was suddenly there and Jason doesn’t know what’s next but he sees Dinah Lance as well and all he could pray was that Queen hadn’t disowned Roy. All he registered was a faint squeeze of a shoulder and a soft voice of “He’ll be fine, they’re good at what they do.”
He doesn’t know what to do as he pushes himself off the bike and locks it twice to double-check. Tossing his bag over his shoulder which had a spare set of clothes, shoes and essentials for Roy, he shoves his keys in his jean pockets and his other gloved hand tightening around a Narcan jab.
He’s at the counter.
Jason lazily leans against one of those plastic colored chairs that's plain uncomfortable to sit on. His eyes draw slowly towards the anti-drug videos playing on the screen. Sometimes he wonders if it remotely worked, at all as he watched a video on psychedelics and withdrawal symptoms. He thinks about how the initial years would be hell, suddenly the high was taken away and the addict was suffering. He was shaking, chills and absolutely losing it. He briefly thought about heroin and opium. Then he hears the low whine of machines and the counter number calling for him.
He tiredly gets up and waits at the counter, an all too smiling nurse who kindly gave him a bunch of paperwork to sign. His grip on the pen was so loose the nurse had to gently remind him that his hands were shaking. Steeling himself, he signs the last few release papers.
“You don’t look old to be Mr Queen, don’t you?”
“I’m..I’m his friend. Here to take him home.”
He exhales, a hand in his frazzled bangs making everything a little more messy. The nurse takes it as her cue to take Roy and she leaves.
Jason tries to not imagine what Roy might look like after an entire year. In his dreams, it’s either he was a bag of bones or a hollowed face. Other days, he couldn’t see him, it was a blur of shadows and nothing much. All he remembers is the empty longing for his companion to make his trio complete. Sure, Artemis and Bizarro were lovely company but Roy was the one who truly understood him to the core. He knew so much about Jason it was almost as if he was psychoanalyzing him instead. Roy knew Jason’s preferences like straight black coffee, novels with petrichor or simply a rainy day. He knew too much to not be there and it ached Jason’s bones badly.
He wouldn’t admit it, he missed his best friend.
The nurse returns and the first thing Jason registers is the way Roy’s threadbare olive shirt was hanging off his shoulder blades. The constant micro adjustments he did to push the shirt back up to the collarbone to hide the rest of the boned wisp of a muscled and lean man he once was. The same went for his jeans, rolled up at his shins and looking half-dead yet terrified. He shuffled his feet and chewed rather loudly at a ridiculously pink bubblegum. Jason hasn’t had the chance to look into his eyes and see how much was lost.
Suffice to say, Jason needed time to get Roy back to himself completely. He quietly hoped that there was enough Roy to heal back.
Roy finally looks up and smiles imperceptibly, the corners of his mouth curving up as he held a hand out to Jason. The bones were jutting out and it hurt so much to just take his own hand and try to not shatter his fragile ones. Scarred ones with numerous arrows he’s shot in another life.
Another life, Jason reminds himself, something stinging behind his eyes.
Jason stands up and gently embraces Roy, almost afraid of breaking his body completely into nothing. Roy returns the embrace, his hand running down Jason’s back. The nurse was holding Roy’s bag which Jason quickly snags with his free hand and quietly nodded as a sign of gratitude to the lady who walked away to rejoin her colleagues.
“Jason, I’m gonna go home, right?”
Jason lets Roy lean into him, lets him take in the warmth of his leather jacket he’s never quite ditched and into the sleeve of his ash-colored shirt. It was almost light-weight as he half-drags Roy into the carpark and towards his bike.
“Yeah, I'm taking you home."
He pretends to ignore Roy's rather weak grip around his midsection as he revved up the bike and drove out of the centre hopefully for the last time.
Jason made the last turn to his safe house he spent some months converting into a livable house to aid Roy's recovery. The few azaleas he's grown are starting to gain height as he takes the bags and a half-asleep Roy to his doorstep. With some difficulty, he hunts for his keys from his pocket as quickly as possible before anyone nearby starts questioning him.
The door opens with a lazy whine as Jason hurriedly dumps the bags on the couch and drags Roy to his own bedroom. He lowers him gently onto the bed softly before opening his closet and fetching out a pair of his own clothes. He leaves them at the foot of the bed, pre-empting Roy needing to take a shower when he wakes up.
He heads back to the kitchen and starts prepping for a simple soup. After adding the last few vegetables (Roy needed strength on a weak stomach) and closing the lid to let the soup simmer, he takes out the folder of discharge papers alongside a whole host of anti-drug pamphlets which he promptly threw away.
No need for them. He thought.
Taking the remaining papers, he heads back to the bedroom where he settled down in a ratty armchair beside a worn out and asleep Roy.
The first sentence already starts to hurt to the bone and his hands shake again. His eyes keep darting towards Roy and back at the paper.
He OD'd twice during his stay. One time, they had to almost restart his heart because he was unresponsive.
Like that day in the bathroom
Jason mentally supplied, the free hand clutching at the arm of his chair. He doesn't want to read the rest of the letter anymore and carefully folds it, slipping it into his pocket.
He gently holds Roy's hand, lets his fingers trace along the veins standing out against the thin, almost transparent skin. Anger floods through him, how everything had hurt Roy so much. Jason rubbed gentle circles with his thumb as he waited for Roy to stir up.
Roy awoke to a cotton-like feeling in his head and a remnant of sickness in his stomach. He laid there, staring at the repainted ceiling to force himself to not throw up as he blindly reached for a glass of water left by his table. With the blanket pooling at his waist, he sat up and leant against the headboard and tried to get his head on straight because he hasn't exactly processed anything in the last few hours.
He hears the clinking of a metal ladle and then the creaky cabinet with the dishes. A soft breeze filtered through the slightly ajar day and started a fresh bout of chills for Roy. He feebly rubs his arms against his sides and tries to stay warm. He threw a pillow on his head because his stupid, stupid weak body couldn't regulate body temperature right.
He stumbles out of the bed with the blanket draped around his shoulders. He opens the closet and takes out one of Jason's hoodies. He slips it and is instantly comforted by the warmth of the other. It smelt faintly of stale cigarette smoke (He knew Jason had dropped the habit when he was gone, determined to change himself) and gasoline.
Roy pressed his ear near the doorframe and heard other ambiguous noises as he quietly closed the remaining gap of the door. A sudden wave of nausea hits him and he dashes into the joint washroom in his room.
He barely got onto his abused knees before spitting out the little he had in him. Bile dripped down his pale face and he leant against the cool surface of the bathtub. His eyes trail across the almost spotless tiles except for the occasional blood smears. Those must've been Jason's bad days.
Roy briefly wonders what bad days were to him. Every day kept throwing him off balance and he was always unprepared.
He tried swimming to shore before, but his ankles always caught the anchor and he couldn't get out in time always.
When he does free himself, he's so far into the past, it's just their ghosts teasing him and he's bloody trying but he's so tired. He's given up fighting against the waters.
He just opens his arms and welcomes the gush of cold and then the freak warmth of it all. He's so used to breathing without air and inhales water into his lungs. He knows what being waterlogged is like; he's been waterboarded a few times before. Oxygen was so sweet, such a promising relief.
The darkness however still held its charm.
Roy's shaky hand pats against himself, making sure he's still whole and not in pieces. Sometimes he doubted he was still human, the cracks too sharp for his fingers trying to join himself together. His fingers snag between, cuts open and warm blood always follows with the sting.
The sting was so much like when Queen ditched him. God, he never felt so fucking lonely before when his mentor left him to the wolves hungry for his skin. He was weaponless, powerless and defenseless. It was so easy to follow the shadows to the dark alleyway when you're alone, cold and desperate.
Even if it meant you'd sell your soul for relief.
Roy slowly flexed his arms, finding the feeling return to his emancipated limbs. Shaking, he's on his knees in a prayer position before getting up. His busty knees give way and he's so angry he can't even get up.
He felt like a failure. Was he going to be one for the rest of his life? Was he going to forever be trapped and feel he's lost control and never regained it back in any form?
He manages to return to the bedroom without cracking his skull open at the bathroom area. It would be a real shame if Jason brought him home just for Roy to die because he couldn't walk right. He chuckled darkly before making his way to the bag he left the facility with.
He slowly unzipped the bag and felt his way through. The sudden touch of stale fabric signaled to him that Jason hadn't touched the bag yet only because the fabric softener scent Jason used hadn't assailed his nose yet. He always liked the flower ones.
His fingers reached a faux compartment and he lifted the fabric covering the pocket compartment. He fumbled at the zip before untying the zip tie. His hand plunged in deep and a crinkle sound pricked his ears.
He fished it out and unwrapped the gift box. Taking apart the next few layers, his eyes hungry for the prize.
It was at this moment Jason opened the door, a tray of the food in his hands. His eyes took one look at Roy and the offending item in his hands.
He dropped everything, the soup splashing on the ground and spreading so fast he doesn't know where it ends. Glass fragments lay out on the ground, offending weaponry to the victim. Roy is frozen and his eyes are locked onto Jason's wildly open eyes.
In one swipe, the broader man grabs the prize and throws it so far across the room Roy doesn't know where it is anymore.
He felt his shirt being pulled and then the familiar feeling of being slammed into the wall. Light headed, his eyes pinched close in pain as he felt the shift in his skull.
Roy doesn't register someone leaning so heavily into him. It suffocated him before he attempted to throw a punch towards the offender.
That punch was quickly blocked and he was maneuvered right into the bed. Roy didn't have time to process anything before he was reaching out for the prize, body almost primal. Jason blocked him-
"Dammit- Stop fighting me."
Jason grits out, wrestling Roy away from where he spotted the prize. His heart is trembling as he pushes Roy with such force back onto the bed.
Jason yells out, anger flooding his veins with something hot and haunted searing through him.
His eyes threaten to cloud but he forcefully shakes the tears. Roy is spent, panting on the bed as he sweats again. Jason kicks the prize away and rips Roy's bag away from the side table. He slaps him with such ferociousness, Roy is left reeling.
The room is silent. Not even breathing could be heard.
Jason dumps the contents onto the floor. Pens fell out, some artwork he was tasked to do at the facility. A picture of Lian.
Jason was livid at the world and it hurts him to the bone as his eyes look at the glossed picture staring back at him from the floor. Her sweet smile formed cracks in his heart as she rode on the rodeo, his leather jacket draping her small figure. Roy's old cowboy hat sat askew on her mop of jet black as she grinned at the camera.
The pain of burying such a smile six feet under sobers him as he watches Roy regain his breath and sit up, a wince gracing his features before he freezes at Lian's picture.
Jason doesn't want to know what kind of scars Roy has sewn shut beneath his clear face. Sometimes Jason thinks he's run out of skin and soul to scar when Roy's at battle. Other days, he couldn't get out of bed and that's where Jason sees Roy for who he is.
A friend he cannot afford to lose ever again.
"I miss her."
Roy starts, curling himself in and Jason doesn't look at his expression, all pain and hurting as he closes himself up into a ball, face buried in between as loose strands cross his features. Jason wants to reach out to squeeze a hand on his shoulder but it was still tingling where he slapped Roy.
Jason thinks about napalm skies and burning cities all crumbling when he presses the stinging palm against his cheek, still radiating residual heat and some of the headache. He merely wondered if this was the price they paid for all those nights.
Nights that don't end. Nights that see them running for their lives.
Was this what Jason wanted? To be headhunted, to have a bounty on his head so high the numbers keep flowing. To keep repairing himself and sew up like a doll. To never be able to live completely conscience free when he wakes up one cold night and realise another kid had died and he could've prevented it.
With the photo in Roy's hands, he absentmindedly stroked his fingers against Lian's lit face, trying to remember what her skin felt like. Warm and soft on a summer morning and always decked in daisies or sunflowers depending on which fields she ran to. His lap feels so empty but his heart is gone.
"At one point, I had the power to bring Lian back."
Roy starts, voice rather strained with tears as he rests the photo on the bedside table. Jason's ears prick in confusion as he looks from where he's been brooding.
"I didn't, even told Cheshire no. I think.."
He bravely draws in a breath to calm the incoming gush of throat-tightened and raw emotions he's not ready for.
"I think I'm doing her a kindness. If I brought her back, it isn't fair for her because she's gonna spend the rest of her life wondering what happened to her and why she doesn't remember. She's always going to be angry at a world that refused to stop when she died. I don't want her to end up like us.
I wanted her happiness because she's my angel. Angels do not deserve pain."
Roy quietly ends it, eyes all darting as he buries himself to cry again. Jason is thumbing his fingers because he hates where he is right now and he doesn't want to go too deep.
He still wants to be able to float.
"I think you did the right thing. You let her be free."
Jason softly says, his own eyes shining with tears as he reaches Roy for a hug. Roy inches in and there's nothing in between them as Jason's slightly larger frame encircled Roy a little, protecting him.
At that moment, nothing could hurt them. Not anymore as they both stayed there till sunset dusted their room in the soft afterglow of yesterday.
"I'm sorry, Jay. Don't cry-"
Jason looks up from where tears have drenched Roy's shirt as he blinks a little. Jason false starts before swallowing back shared glass
"I'm not. You're gonna ruin my bad boy reputation."
Jason jokes lightly as he playfully shoves Roy where a small smile appears on his face. There was still so much to do, so much to see-
"You can't do this alone."
Roy cocks his head, his fingers playing with the hem of his shirt. Every color died outside the window as night came, a sense of serendipity crosses him and he turns back to Jason.
"I know, but you're here."
"Don't do this for me. Do it for yourself, okay? I..I don't want to see you suffer anymore."
No one deserves to suffer alone.
Jason smiles and bites at his reddened lips. Roy's eyes dart over Jason before he turns back to the bed and falls back, a sigh escaping him. He nods to an exhausted looking Jason to lie down beside him too. Instinctively, he reaches for Jason (he was such a big heater) and curls himself against Jason.
"We're gonna be okay."
Jason says, carding Roy's hair to the side who closes his eyes and leans into Jason's gentle touch. When his stressed breathing evened out into calmer ones and later sleep, Jason swore that nothing would ever hurt him again.
He'll make sure of that.
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Now there’s nothing but silence, nothing but stillness, nothing but the familiar metallic scent. Not a single person is in sight, hell, not even a single animal, and the once lively streets are suddenly cold and grey, almost dead.
All that’s here is blood and silence, blood and stillness, and there are few combinations worse than that. Lambert knows better than most.
If there’s movement, if there’s any sign of life, then there’s hope. Without it, you might as well turn back to where you came from, because there’s no use sticking around if there’s nothing left to find.
random fic around 2k words that i wrote a few days and don’t really know what to think about.
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Perchance to Dream - Struck by Lightning Zenitsu Zine
My piece for the absolutely wonderful @lightningzine in which I was asked to guest write for :)
It's been a truly wonderful experience with great mods and great fellow artists and writers. Please give all their pieces a look and a read. They worked so hard and with so much passion.
There's a left overs sale happening right now. Go check it out!
Zenitsu had lamented once that no one would dream he could become anything. Then Gramps had come hobbling into his life and had roped him into demon slaying. That was years ago, but Zenitsu still thought it had been a horrible idea. All the crying and begging of his youth had given way to the pillar of a man he was now. The Thunder Pillar, to be exact. Sometimes he could just rub Kaigaku’s stupid nose in it during their annual meetups at Gramps’ home.
Suffice to say, Zenitsu’s inherent bad luck had also waned. Slayers had to operate secretly, but Zenitsu had become something of a wandering celebrity. In his childhood, he’d reached empty-handed to passing figures, grasping air as they stepped across his shadow like he’d never even been there. He’d taken a place among the sun now, illuminating dark skies with his blade.
The day met him with a gaggle of women. All beauties of varying looks and figures, who’d appeared the moment they’d caught a whiff of a wonderfully handsome stranger rolling into town. Two women had stopped him first, giggling coyly behind their sleeves. Two became four became more until the town’s women were all clawing at his haori clamoring for Zenitsu’s attention. They snapped at each other, ravenous and wanting.
“Please! Please, marry me!” one cried. “I couldn’t bear to be without you!”
“Get your hands off him! He’s mine! I saw him first!”
“A man so fine, so delicious. I have to have him!”
Zenitsu was floating along a sea of limbs, hands and fingers moving him in a current. The hairs at the back of his neck tingled The faint sensation of nails digging through his clothes made him squirm. The rising shrill voices of wanting women made his heart pound. All along his body he was humming with energy. He laughed a soft eh-heh-heh, trying to reassure each woman that there was enough for all. They didn’t seem to agree. They grabbed him, pulled him down and in. Soft lips and supple hands, the squish of their bodies holding him close, and the gentle waft of perfume; all the things he loved about women.
The vortex of women was just shy of suffocating, and Zenitsu found himself actually floundering for a moment. He could barely move. He needed to get the situation under control. Surely they could come to a proper compromise that left all happy. Zenitsu planted his feet firmly into the dirt. He felt the crackle of lighting in his toes, zinging in his thighs, and zipped out of their grasp.
They all watched in awe. Eyes and mouths agape; the sheer want radiated so strongly Zenitsu was becoming weak. Still, he shot them his most charming and enticing smile, content when they almost seemed to drool.
“Ladies, please, there’s enough for everyone,” He said.
“Zenitsu!” They all cried. Agony and want rolling across the syllables of his name. Zenitsu found he couldn't deny them. He shrugged and leapt towards them — and tripped.
Zenitsu groaned when he lifted his head up from the dirt. He scrambled up and pressed his hands to his nose with a disgusted wail as a horrid scent permeated the air. He looked around, ready to complain, when he spotted the demons painting the ground. Their blood swept messily across the grass and trees. A few eyes madly swiveled in their heads until they were nothing but ash at a campfire, carrying along on the wind with angry screams.
Zenitsu clutched at his hair, and let out a shriek. “WHERE DID ALL THESE DEMONS COME FROM?”
It was obvious in hindsight, he realized. Gramps had dragged him kicking and screaming to be served up as an appetizer to demons in the Corps’ twisted excuse for a final exam. He looked around, trying to piece together what the hell had happened.
Trees were leveled. Footprints were marked deep into the barks of the ones still standing. Mixed in with the scent of blood, Zenitsu could make out what might have been the smell of ozone. A storm must have passed overhead while he’d been cowering and unconscious. The ground wasn’t even damp, though. It was obvious a massive fight had taken place, but Zenitsu couldn’t find evidence of the army that had vanquished the demons, despite all the destruction left behind.
Ichor slammed up into his throat. Had they just moved on once they deemed the place cleared out, uncaring of Zenitsu’s prone, unprotected body just laying there for any demon to snatch up for a meal? Zenitsu felt a wave of tears stream down his face.
“Why’d I let that old man drag me here?” He wailed, clutching at his hair harshly. If he tugged any harder, he wouldn’t have to worry about Gramps’ haircuts. He wailed louder. “I’m not tasty enough for this!”
He was near screaming when he noticed another boy backed up against a tree, mouth agape. Zenitsu sniffled, shakily rising to his feet. He pointed to him. The other boy looked back, bewildered.
“Did you do this?” Zenitsu yelled, nearing hysterics.
It was the only explanation. The other boy was clutching his shoulder, but the evidence spoke volumes of what occurred. His sword was still covered in blood. Zenitsu’s own was safely sheltered in its scabbard, hardly aware it was even a sword. Zenitsu always croaked at the moment of truth.
“Oh my god, you must be strong.”
He slid across the dirt to clutch the other boy’s ankles, crying down the forest the moment his belly hit the dirt. “Please, I’m begging you! Protect me! There’s no way I’m going to survive this place!”
The other boy just kept looking at him like a fish yanked from the water. His brows furrowed as he glanced back and forth between Zenitsu and their surroundings. Surprise turned to annoyance as the boy made a face, wrestling free of his grip. Every time the other boy shook off his grip from one ankle, Zenitsu flew to latch onto the other. It was a strange dance, and, like a bawling eel, Zenitsu slithered across the forest floor, kicking his legs frantically.
“Please, please, please! That crazy old man thought I was cut out for this stuff! Can’t he see how wrong he is? I’m going to die! I haven’t even been confessed to yet!”
He said something Zenitsu couldn’t really make out over the garbled drum of his own crying before disappearing into the underbrush, alone again.
He lasted a good five minutes before a deep roar in the distance had him bolting up a tree. He pressed his face into the hard bark, willing the exam to end. Some time later, when exhaustion from terror and crying had finally worn him out, Zenitsu latched onto a faint sound. A hopeful tune that he was not sure really existed.
It was strange, Zenitsu thought, that a forest drenched in terrifying noises might hold a sound so kind at its heart. Maybe he was just dreaming. His head thunked against the tree trunk.
Zenitsu was screaming before he had realized it, pitching backwards towards the forest floor as a demon came slicing through the branches. A long, horrid tongue and a row of curved teeth stared back at him. But, before either demon or ground could meet him, he had been snatched up.
Zenitsu was halfway to begging for his life when he caught sight of the haori before him. A familiar lightning pattern checkered across it. The last he’d seen it, Gramps had presented it to that no-good bastard, neatly folded with a bundle of snacks for the road.
Gramps had dyed it himself, until the rough pads of his fingers had been stained blue for a full two weeks. Zenitsu could still hear the loud tremor of his fingers as he wrung out Kaigaku’s haori. Some days he shook like that, all clattering bones interrupting the strong ballad of his heart. With a warm fondness, he’d hung it to dry, clapping Zenitsu on his shoulder with a wide, crooked grin.
To Zenitsu’s knowledge, Kaigaku had never worn it.
In his mind’s eye, he might even have thought he’d seen it once, stashed away in a little hole in his foster brother’s room; a typical hiding spot he’d always had that kept the best candies worth raiding.
Kaigaku didn’t look over his shoulder, but he did click his tongue. Zenitsu felt all the previous terror in him evaporate in a loud rush of indignation.
A discordant bundle of sounds knocked at his ears. Kaigaku’s obnoxious beat, the demons, his own rising heartbeat, weared away at his shortening patience. He couldn’t place them all and it made him all the more frustrated.
The demon dropped down, rumbling away about something Zenitsu wasn’t in the mood to hear. Kaigaku spared him a glance, mostly shielded by his hair. Despite the dim lighting of the forest, Zenitsu could see his familiar, semi-permanent sneer, his chin tilted upwards like he was deigning to speak to him. Zenitsu felt heat boil just under his hairline.
Zenitsu wondered if Gramps had sent Kaigaku in, knowing his younger pupil was probably as good as demon chow by now. Gramps may have been harsh, but he wasn’t cruel.
“You little shit, what the hell do you think you’re doing?” Kaigaku said.
Or maybe Kaigaku came just to show off and make Zenitsu feel the lengthening gorge between them. The asshole.
Trying not to die, was what he wanted to yell. Since I’ve got no other choice in the matter.
He was on his feet before he could think of it, annoyed and tired when more demons dropped around them. He had no thoughts then.
The air around them turned humid. The scent of ozone poured past the trees. Zenitsu could hear the lightning building Kaigaku’s scabbard before he lunged into fifth form, and Zenitsu quickly stepped into first. A storm rumbled at their clearing, loud as a train dropping from a mountain. The ends of Zenitsu’s hair stood up, feeling the wild pressure of Kaigaku’s breathing. With laser precision Jigoro’s pupils made fast work of the demons. They passed each other, in synch, breathing at once, slicing in time, and tearing through the demons like paper.
It was surreal. He’d dreamt of this often. What it might feel like, what it might sound like.
The wild beat of Kaigaku’s heart and the hymn of their blades played in Zenitsu’s head. He could imagine a sheet of music. The beats met each time they grazed the ground, giving way to another note as they slid off, sparks of electricity sizzling behind.
The final time they both landed, it was calm. Zenitsu had been through a typhoon once. He’d thought it over once when everything had gone calm, coddled by its all seeing eye, but even that had given way to the rest of the storm lying in wait. He held his breath, willing his heart to quiet as he strained to hear. No other sounds met him.
Zenitsu shakily resheathed his sword. He breathed a sigh of relief. All the panic of before warred with the swarm of warm pride inside of him.
He wondered for a moment if he might be dreaming. If he had been, he reasoned, he’d already have busted out the new move he’d been working on rather than rely on his first form.
It must have been real.
He couldn’t impress Kaigaku this time, but at least one hope had come true. They were good together, like Gramps had always wanted, like he had always wanted. Zenitsu turned, shoulders squared to address the other boy — and stopped.
Kaigaku’s head was gone.
Terrified, Zenitsu approached him nevertheless. A dreadful scratching like swarming beetles invaded his ears. Gramps’ haori still hung from his shoulders; Kaigaku’s body, back still towards him, stood firm where it was.
“Hey,” Zenitsu called, shakily. Kaigaku turned.
Cradled in his hands was his head. Zenitsu wasn’t sure if it was his or Kaigaku’s eyes bleeding black, the sound of the outer wall of a storm tearing at his eardrums. His sickle-sharp smile moved dissonantly around a laugh. Zenitsu was eating his own heart before he realized he’d fallen to the floor.
When Zenitsu looked up, he could see the faint stretches of dawn. He hopped to his feet, running to the edge of the forest where the light was strongest. There he saw only three other participants. To his great and horrible dread, he’d made it out alive.
Zenitsu was going to be a slayer.
The sound of one more person approaching skirted at his ears.
I’m so sick of this! Zenitsu thought to himself.
I wanted to explore how Zenitsu becomes so "competent" when he is only sleeping. That instinct aside, his dreams must play a hand in how he handles whatever situation he's in.
There were in fact two versions I did and a ton more scenes planned but we had a word limit. But I'm very happy with how this turned out. I have the biggest thanks to give towards to Mods for being so attentive and kind and open throughout this whole project.
Title taken from Hamlet.
"To die, to sleep —
To sleep – perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil…”
here are the other quotes I used as inspo for this fic.
“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake up in the day to find it was vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.” - TE Lawrence
"Man is a genius when he is dreaming." -Akira Kurosawa
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Music hums, soft melodies and soothing melodies fill up the silence until the other’s get back from their date, something or another to do with the plant Athos had killed a few weeks prior.
Until then, it’s just Porthos, Aramis, and the gentle quiet that envelops them both.
“‘Cause it’s you and me, and all other people,” the music sings softly, and Porthos can’t help humming along, running his fingers through Aramis’ hair. “And nothing to do, nothing to lose, and it’s you and me, and all other people, and I don’t know why, I can’t keep my eyes off of you.”
And the song rings true.
Porthos will always treasure the soft moments between the four of them, and this one is no different.
modern musketeers au! i’ve got a few longer fics planned out in this au, which is technically a college au, even if i haven’t got a clue what any of their degrees would be.
but yeah! enjoy some soft ot4!
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There’s a journal in Roach’s saddlebag.
It’s nothing special, except that it was a gift, if you can call the other Wolves practically throwing it at him a gift. The leather cover is worn and faded, the edges soft after years of handling, though, most of the pages are blank.
Geralt doesn’t use it often, doesn’t feel the need to.
The first few pages are empty, filled with nothing but a few short lists. One of supplies he needs to keep track of, another of potions he’s running low on and needs to brew.
Geralt has a sketchbook full of moments he treasures, and Jaskier is in it more than anything else.
soft fic! written entirely for the purpose of geralt enjoying sketching, and jaskier slowly taking over the journal he uses to sketch in.
i may turn it into a series of shorter fics called “ways to say i love you” or something equally cliche, because i’m terrible at naming things, that’s just soft little things.
anyways, hope ya like it!
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Jack Rabbit Heart - Sanemi/Uzui [3/4]
A usual for them; Uzui lording over his height, knowing how much of a sore spot it had been for him now that Genya had shot up. Sanemi rolled his shoulders, ready to snark at him, and begin their old song and dance.
Only, Uzui had to go and tip his head down and chase the taste of sweet wine on Sanemi’s tongue.
3 Times Uzui kisses Sanemi, and 1 Time Sanemi kisses Uzui.
AO3 | 1| 2| 3 | 4
After that, it seemed to become a habit. When Uzui came home he planted a kiss on Sanemi. The forehead, the cheek, the back of the neck. Uzui might as well have been a mosquito the way he could zero in on a patch of Sanemi's skin. A quick kiss in passing, and nothing more there after.
Sanemi wasn't exactly making it hard, either. Sanemi had fought tooth and nail to be secure with his scars. No small feat that wasn't aided along with his roommates' backing. He showed them off with pride. He saw no use in being modest. Now, though, they were just a target.
No matter how prepared Sanemi seemed to be, Uzui was just a step faster. Sanemi couldn't even argue that he hated it (he didn't). Every time Uzui got away, triumphant and unbearable in his victory, Sanemi would grit his teeth and swear he'd best him next time.
Next time came and went, and kept going.
Sanemi laid awake some nights watching the lights play across his ceiling, strategizing, configuring -- daydreaming.
He'd roll over into his pillows after that. Try to dig as deep into it as possible and will away the stupid yearning that overcame him.
A yearning he didn't fully understand. Not that long ago, he hadn't even thought of Uzui beyond a friend. He couldn't fully explain why his head was so muddled so suddenly.
Sanemi slept not long after, wondering why he wanted to evade him less and less.
Kyojuro was out for at least a week. A trip with his little brother during summer break, same as always. He took at least two, one at the beginning and one at the end, with every other weekend to see him. Kyojuro and his father still rarely talked. Despite this, Kyojuro was close to his brother, and tried his best to be as present as he could be. He'd even gotten Genya to befriend him.
Genya was tall for his age, Sanemi knew, and no less scarred up than himself. Finding friends was difficult for him oftentimes. Having Senjuro in his corner pulled a load off of Sanemi's shoulders and likewise Kyojuro's. He still had photos of the two of them at the Kamado Bakery on his phone.
If he wasn't with Kyojuro, then Sanemi could be sure Senjuro was making Genya a little more sociable, too.
Sanemi worried for Genya the most. He'd taken the brunt of their father's beatings, same as him. He'd had to suffer far more than a kid his age should have. School was far tougher on him than it had been for Sanemi.
It was only now in high school that he seemed to flourish. He finally had a group of friends who cared for him as he was and not for what he could do if pushed.
Sanemi was grateful. If it hadn't been for his own friends, he hadn't known what he might have done. Some days he'd been so inexplicably angry, a mask for a sadness he couldn't comprehend. Other days he teetered just on the edge of ego. If he'd come out looking like a monster, then why not let it be so?
Each time they'd dragged him back. Squared him up and knocked him a peg down. They hadn't put up with his shit, but they hadn't let him go untethered either. He wanted that for Genya. He wanted that for all his siblings. To be made better by those around him, and to be better for them.
He raked his eyes over to where Uzui was sitting, shoveling sour candy into his mouth.
Uzui especially had been there. He'd seen the way Sanemi's siblings had looked at him and gotten quiet. He'd sat with him in the shadow of a street lamp, hands burrowed into the pocket of his hoodie. Admitted in a rare ugly way how jealous he was of Sanemi.
"You think you're doomed to be your old man. But you don't see how excited they all are when you come home."
Uzui had glanced at him from under his hood. The line of his mouth uneven and the crinkle of his eye just shy of envious.
"If I had even one person be that happy when I got home-" Tengen hadn't finished. Sanemi knew enough in the bits and pieces Tengen had let free.
He had a cold and calculating family, who viewed each other as competition.
Sanemi had knocked their legs together, pressed it side by side and silently urged Uzui to curve close to him like he liked to do.
When he got back home, he'd convinced his siblings to dogpile Uzui until he'd laughed until he yielded.
If he could go back in time, Sanemi might have told Tengen much more on that calm night.
How his family had no qualms opening their arms for one more. He was a Shinazugawa if he wanted to be.
Same like Giyuu, like Kyojuro. Like Uzui already was.
He might have even held the door open before Tengen could come in and tell him, "Welcome home."
Sanemi had been on the last level, on his last life when Uzui had come home. He could always tell. The bang-bang of his bag hitting the door, front and back, the hum he made when he shimmied out of his shoes, and the clockwork sigh when he'd finally switched to Home Mode right after.
He felt a dip at the back of the couch, the cushions folding under Uzui's weight. Then Uzui's face filled his vision upside down and a kiss landed sloppily on his chin.
"I'm home," He said, grinning.
Sanemi waved him off, growling around the curtain of his hair and narrowly dodging an attack. Uzui laughed trying to plant one more under his ear before Sanemi all but flung himself away, pausing the game instead. From the corner of his eye, Giyuu came up the hallway.
Just as easily as he'd kissed Sanemi he sauntered over to Giyuu with a wave.
"Oi, Giyuu," Tengen greeted. He hooked his finger into the collar of Giyuu's shirt and pulled him forward. and planted one on him, too. A loud smack of lips that made Giyuu grimace and continue on his way like it was a minor roadblock to the kitchen. Uzui slid his gaze to Sanemi and shrugged with a grin before making his way to his room.
That fucker, Sanemi thought, angrily unpausing the game.
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i love it when you're sitting there reading, and a fic you've barely touched is at the back of your mind, and then you think of the perfect way to end it that would fit canon while leaving it open for a second, canon divergent part, and have people absolutely losing it.
yet another “jaskier is immortal” idea
may write a fic for this, may do nothing with it, but it happened somehow and i kinda like it?
vague mentions of violence? not described at all, but there.
jaskier should have told him sooner.
there’s a curse on the pankratz family, and everyone working in the castle knows it. it’s been around for decades, maybe even centuries, a cook will say, and the stable hand will nod, because his family has worked here for generations, and things like this are always hard to notice.
no one knows what the supposed curse could be, of course, because castle workers like them aren’t made for magic, but there is a curse.
it shows up once every few generations, and for most family members, it’s nothing to lose sleep over. they don’t have it, after all, and anyone who does will disappear before long. you can’t have a place among the courts if you don’t age at a normal pace, so why bother staying?
there’s more to it than that, of course, or else it wouldn’t be known as a curse, but for most members of the nobility, that’s the only part that matters.
and really, jaskier should have told geralt years ago, back before his slow aging made a difference. either that, or he should have left before it even had a chance to become a problem, but well, jaskier’s never been the best at making decisions.
besides, he’s not quite sure if he has the curse, like his grandmother before him, so there’s no need to cause any alarm. if he has it, he has it, and if he doesn’t, well if he doesn’t, then he won’t have the chance to worry about it.
those kinds of thoughts don’t particularly ease his mind, but he can’t help it.
maybe, he should have told geralt about the possibility of the damned thing before it could ever show its colors, reveal the bloodstains on his family tree.
maybe, he should have told geralt before he woke up with his head in geralt’s lap as golden eyes stared frantically down at him, blood dripping from his lips and spilling onto his shirt.
bandits, he thinks, or some kind of desperate soul, desperate enough to try and kill a witcher.
geralt doesn’t stop staring at him, and even through hazy eyes, jaskier can see his concern. he grabs for his hand, smiling up at him with lips painted red, and oh, what a sight he must make.
because, after all, how was geralt to know? how was geralt supposed to know that, every few generations, a pankratz was born who could die a dozen times, and open their eyes a moment later?
because really, jaskier should have told him sooner.
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