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#doctor strange being a softy
rosequartzwriting · 3 days ago
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A Shaking Struggle
Pairing: Doctor Strange X Reader (gender neutral) 
Description: It’s lunch date time and you pick to go to a Japanese restaurant for sushi. But there is one problem: because of his hands, Stephen can’t use chopsticks. 
Warnings: light swearing
Word Count: 1.6K
A/N: THE IDEA FOR THIS HIT ME LIKE A TRUCK AND I NEEDED TO WRITE IT ASAP! IM ACTUALLY SOBBING AT HOW ADORABLLY EMBARESSED HE WOULD BE! Enjoy lol. Also special thanks to my friend Hailey for being my beta reader for this one <3
Masterlist | Fic Reading Recs | Ao3 | Quotev | Coffee
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Walking through Greenwich Village always gave you excitement, knowing that the New York sanctum was in the area. It was also just a generally nice place to be in the city, so walking on your own to go see Stephen was always relatively peaceful. As you walked, the afternoon sun added warmth to your enthusiasm. Pretty soon you could see the sanctum in the distance, the recognizable window on the roof standing out among the other buildings. After a few minutes, you found yourself on its doorstep ready for your lunch date with its protector.
You woke up to a text from him that morning which said: I’m off in the afternoon, lunch?
No “good morning” or no “how are you this morning?”. Blunt and straight to the point, but still with his charm. You had laughed at it and replied with a simple Okay! and made sure your afternoon was cleared. Most of the time the doctor was occupied with his mystical work, but when free time came up for him he would let you know right away and ask you to hang out. 
Before you could knock, you were suddenly already inside with a rush of wind. The split second of confusion passed once you realized you were in Stephen’s office, finding him at his desk behind a book and a cup of tea wearing casual clothes. You regained your balance and held back a laugh.
“Hi!” He said with that cheeky smile, looking like he did not just teleport you from the front door into his office. 
“I thought I told you not to do that,” You said, the laugh in your voice coming through. “It’s dizzying.”
“Well, it’s funny.” He gave you an innocent look, one that you could not resist smiling at. 
“So, you ready for lunch?”
“Yeah, I just finished up some reading.” He closed the book and put it on a tall stack on the edge of his desk. “Where do you want to go?” He asked before taking a sip of his tea.
“Oh! There’s a sushi restaurant just down the street that I haven’t been to. I heard it’s really good!”
Stephen sputtered into his teacup. A sudden jerk to his hand added to the event, his shaking hand giving out and forcing him to put down the cup. You watched a little tea splash out onto the desk. He cleared his throat and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.
“You alright?”
Stephen looked back up at you, “Yeah, I’m good. Sure, sushi. Let’s go!”
You smiled at him and held back a little noise of excitement. He got up from his desk and came to join you, casually offering you a hand and saying “Lead the way,” before you pulled him off to exit his office and back out into the busy street. 
~~~
A bowl of miso soup sat in front of Stephen. He had abandoned the spoon and resorted to drinking it right out of the bowl, which he saw you doing as well which brought a feeling of comfort. Staring down at it, he saw his own reflection on the surface thanks to the lighting of the restaurant. It was like staring down into a bowl of his own shame and insecurity. 
When you had suggested sushi, Stephen tried not to choke on his drink. Sushi, Japanese restaurant, Asian food. Insecurity had overcome him in a wave. He liked Asian food, loved it, but he did not want to eat it in front of someone else. But he didn’t want to say no to you. The look of excitement in your eyes was something he never wanted to say no to. You looked like you really wanted sushi. So he decided that he had to suck it up.
He tried to distract himself. Talking with you was the best thing he could do for himself, hearing you talk eased him slightly. But he found himself zoning out, forgetting what he had asked you mere seconds ago and some of your words not making sense to him. 
Stephen had always been a tad insecure about his shaking hands, often forgetting about it thanks to his mystical work. But he had never been so overcome with the feeling until now. When he was in front of the person that he was so smitten with, one that he wanted to impress and charm. 
But the little paper package that was sitting on the table to his right was not going to let him impress you today. 
The focus that it requires to steady his hands with magic was difficult to do when he was as nervous as he felt now. Just the presence of you was throwing things off as well, so your existence was not helping at all. 
He was a master of the mystic arts and he could not steady his hands because he was too nervous. Goddammit, he thought.
“I’ve been feeling so tired, work hasn’t been kind to me.”
Stephen looked up at you and pretended like he heard everything you said. He nodded while taking another sip of his soup. He tried so hard to naturally steady his hand around the little bowl, but somehow, his hands shook harder. He desperately tried not to spill the soup.
“You okay?”
Stephen was caught off guard, “Hmm?”
“You seem tired, too.”
“Oh, yeah. I am. Been busy. Uh, things have been crazy.”
Stephen began to talk about a few things that had come up for him recently. Seeing you genuinely interested in what he was saying, resting your chin on your palm while looking up at him with sweet eyes, was enough to ease his nerves just a little. And the talking helped as well, he made sure to exaggerate just a tiny bit to stroke his own ego.
But then a waiter came over with your orders of food. A litter verity of maki rolls, some nigiri pieces, and tempera pieces in a little basket. The way your eyes lit up made Stephen smile, but there was a hint of hesitation on his face. 
Any trace of comfort was gone from him and you were already opening your packet of chopsticks.
Shit, he thought. 
He went to pick up his own.
~
You were so hungry and so excited that you already had your chopsticks ready. Everything looked so good you did not know where to start. You looked between everything, “Okay, what one do we try first?”
You heard the clatter of wood on the table. Looking across the table, Stephen had dropped his chopsticks. There was this look of dread on his face. He then quickly picked them back up again, tore the two sticks apart with a frustrated jerk, and tried to place them in the correct position between his fingers.
He was struggling to even hold them. 
Then you realized that for all the time you have known this man, from dating for a couple of months to the time of being friends before that, you have never seen this man with a pair of chopsticks. The reason was obvious once you remembered the state of his hands.
“Do you... do you need some help there?” You asked, words laced with a laugh that threatened to burst out. 
“No no, I’m fine.”
You could tell that it was not fine.
He had managed to place each of the sticks in a correct and comfortable position, but it looked like it took some effort to even keep them in place. You seriously doubted he could pick something up with those. 
“You sure?” You asked, trying oh so hard not to laugh. 
Stephen let out a heavy sigh and put the chopsticks down. “Okay, I promise you I know how to use chopsticks. I just avoid them cause it’s not fun watching me struggle,”
“You could have just told me,” You replied, still desperately holding in a laugh. But the smirk and growing smile on your face was betraying you. 
“Cause it’s embarrassing,” He said in a low tone, rubbing his forehead in the self-annoyance.
This poor man had this look in his blue eyes resembling that of a helpless puppy. 
“Stephen, it’s okay. You can use your hands. It’s actually considered alright.” You giggled. You put your chopsticks down and picked up a roll with your fingers, just to make him feel more comfortable.
He sighed relief and a weight was visibly lifted from his shoulders. You had not noticed the tightness to him until it was gone, you assumed it was from him being tired from work. He picked up a roll with his fingers himself and you both tried it together. After mutual agreement of how good the food was, you both continued to chat in-between bites. 
“When I was first studying in Kathmandu, I was mostly fine because most food is just eaten with your hands. But when it came to chopsticks, I gave up and resorted to spoons and forks.”
“So you were the white guy eating with a fork?” You snickered.
“Hey, I told you. I know how to use them! I’m just physically challenged, okay.”
You finally let that laugh out and he ended up laughing along with you.
“Wait, aren’t you able to steady your hands a little though? Use a bit of magic?”
“Too nervous. Can’t hold it properly.”
You raised your eyebrow, “Doctor Stephen Strange, nervous? Wow, that’s new.”
“It’s your fault.”
“I make you nervous?”
“Yes.”
“Aww, really?”
He shrugged shyly.
You found that fact very amusing. That the person he was dating, you, could make him so nervous and make him fear embarrassing himself in front of could break down his huge ego. He’s the cutest, you thought.
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1994sunflower · 24 days ago
Ok but like, does Michael have any hidden talents that like he doesnt find useful? Like i feel like hed be an amazing sketch artist but it doesnt fit with his ✨a e s t h e t i c✨ so he never does it.
i feel like i havent been gone for that long but still i feel a little rusty so i hope this is okay
okay actually i have imagined having quite a few hidden talents which are actually really useful just not to him specifically (which frustrates you to no end)
so whenever he does them in front of you, you’re like in awe
but he could literally care less
like i imagine him being strangely good at math/statastics (which is your weakest ability so you’re so jealous of him and mad that even with his ability, he refuses to use it!)
but math is boring and "who the fuck likes math classes” so he never even tries during actual class
even though he would absolutely ace it if he ever did try
but it wasnt like him and he was fine with not doing as well as he could
OR i agree with you he would be great at drawing/sketching
his favorite are portraits or pictures of birds
but ask and he will deny it 
never does it in front of anyone
actually likes this talent, finds it soothing
but just hides it because it just is so obviously a juxtaposition to him as a person and literally every other part of his personality
to kind of feel like he isnt a softie and solidify the image of himself the world sees and he likes them to see, he kind of just dwindled his time doing it until he just stopped and found other uses for his time
but not just that!
he’s just generally really good with his hands (this was not an inneundo but also…that too)
like you’re studying to be a doctor so you’re constantly practicing with different types of stitches
and you get frustrated because you just cant get them to close right
he just watches you struggle until he eventually takes the stitches from your hands and does it himself
like one shot, no practice just nails it in one try
and you just stare at him incredously and pout
and then beg for him to teach you
just for him to shrug and be like “not really my thing”
which frustrates you so much because how is it fair that the guy that doesnt want the talent is the one that gets it meanwhile youre struggling 
and its true because if you dont specifically ask for him to help you, he will never ever show that ability ever again
…….this also means he’s a great knitter???
but mention that in front of his face and he’ll give you the coldest glare
because its not something he’s interested in
and you know he isnt that concerned with his image
but even with that, it doesnt go along with his personality or his aesthetic at ALL
parties, drugs, sex, alcohol, fights, a lot of what he’s known for. he’d rather die before knitting/sketching/stitching/mathematician is added to the list and give people a reason to feel comfortable in crossing him or even approaching him
he’s happy with them being scared
so he never does it, never talks about it, never even mentioned it
and i mean its understandable because this mean, silent guy covered in tattoos, chains and dresses in all black being a knitter? yeah….no
but when it’s needed? masterpieces
some of your favorite birthday gifts from him
which he will give you without looking into your eyes and….is that an embarrassed blush on his cheeks?
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starrykeigo · 2 months ago
Hi! Not sure if your taking headcanon/Imagine requests but if you are how would Bakugou, Izuku, Kirishima, Mirio and Hawks react to having an S/O who has magic powers like the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Doctor Strange? Like they can make Portals/Teleport, Clones, Astral project, and Summon objects and all that jazz? Sorry if this sounds very specific 😅
✎ reacting to their s/o abilities
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꒷꒦ omg i’m so sorry that i didn’t get to this sooner. school is taking so much out of me right now and i forgot i had requests 😭 but n e wayyy-
꒷꒦ characters: midoriya, bakugou, kirishima, mirio, hawks
꒷꒦ warnings: none
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╭ʚ IZUKU
he’d definitely be amazed by you. the second he had found out about your abilities he was already whipping out a notebook and jotting down bullet points of what abilities you harnessed.
he had shyly asked you if you could show him more of what you could do. with the way he had been clutching his notebook to his chest with a very deep blush you couldn’t bring yourself to say no to him.
as you two continued spending more and more time together his adoration for you grew and so did his confidence.
it was one day you decided to mess with him and had several of your clones spread out.
when midoriya had walked in he stopped immediately and looked around.
“bet you can’t find me.” you said and stuck your tongue out as the clones did the same. with a smirk midoriya looked around and slowly started making his way to the right.
you forced down a smile as he walked past you. that was until you felt a grip around your wrist. before a second could even pass midoriya had spun you around. he softly pressed his lips against yours and brought his hand up to caress your cheek.
“found you puppy.” he whispered as he pulled away.
i’m sorry but confident izuku kskzksna 😩
╭ʚ BAKUGOU
okay so with bakugou he knew of only a few of your abilities but he was never aware of how far they actually went.
really the only things he knew about were the clones and your ability to summon objects.
the day he had found out about your other powers was one of the days he had gotten really sick.
he was laid up at home, several blankets over him, an air diffuser to his side, and the trash can overflowing with snotty tissues.
you had found out about his predicament when you were getting ready for school. he had sent you a small good morning text and an explanation as to why he wouldn’t be at school.
you had been ansty the entire day and when school finally ended you didn’t hesitate to teleport to your boyfriends house.
after you had arrived you were teleporting between the store, kitchen, etc. and katsuki’s bedroom.
he was passed out in his bed so he didn’t see anything. well, except for the few times he would drowsily open his eyes and see you for a quick second before passing out again.
when he had finally gathered enough energy to somewhat fully wake up he saw as you would make an appearance, set something down and disappear again.
he was sure the medicine he had taken was making him trip until it happened a few more times.
“what the fuck!” he yelled as you appeared once more.
you screamed and dropped the small snack bag you had. “holy shit kats!” you yelled and clutched your chest dramatically. “you trying to give me a heart attack or something?!”
“you?!” he tried to tell once again but his sore throat caused it to only come out raspy and low. “the fuck was that?” he spoke trying his best to hold in a cough.
you gave him a confused look and waited as he pointed out your powers.
“get better and i’ll tell you. it’s a long story.” you said and kissed him on his forehead.
╭ʚ MIRIO
when it comes to mirio he already knew you were powerful. he had seen you in action many many times and knew that you harnessed some very badass abilities.
but at the same time, you only stuck to using a few of your powers during combat because you never really saw the need to go all out.
so again, mirio was only aware of a few basics such as clones, teleportation, shield spells, eldritch whips, and a couple of others.
he had even heard a rumor that you could manipulate time, shhh-
one night as you two were texting he had suddenly become needy for your affection and said he would sneak into your dorm.
no need, honey. i’m on my way! you had text back. mirio sat on his bed waiting for the second you would knock on his door.
instead he heard what sounded almost like a sparking sound above him and looked up. there he saw a portal and suddenly you were falling through it.
“hey!” you said gleefully, not realizing you had accidentally made another portal underneath you.
so instead of landing on his bed just as you had intended you fell into a dark portal. “shit!” you cursed as mirio tried to lean over and grab you only for the portal to shut on him.
your boyfriend couldn’t help but to stare at the now empty spot in surprise when suddenly a knock came from his door.
he slowly got up and opened the door and was met with you covered in dirt and picking twigs out of your hair.
“remind me to never use a power i haven’t completely perfected because i wanna look cool.”
at that mirio couldn’t help but to laugh as he pulled you into his room to help clean you up.
╭ʚ KIRISHIMA
you were the new kid in school. ahem, not to mention kiri’s new crush too.
mans is a softie and you’re a cutie. you can’t blame him for catching feelings so fast 😩🥺
n e wayyy, class 1-a or rather the entirety of the school isn’t all too familiar with your powers. they’ve seen a bit of what you can do through training, but that’s about it.
when the bakusquad had finally got a better glimpse into what you could do it was during one of the days you had all been hanging out at the mall.
everything was going perfectly fine. you and kirishima were practically inseparable as you all wandered the shops.
bakugou was being bakugou ofc, mina and denki were doing their best to tease kiri and get you two together, and sero was busy trying to keep the two idiots out of trouble.
in the midst of it all several villains had decided to attack and were doing whatever they could to wreak havoc.
in an attempt to stop them and save people you were pulling out the full stops.
going between using portals to get people out, binding spells, shield spells, eldritch whips, and your sword spells.
needless to say the entire squad was impressed but did their best to help while also trying to keep an eye on you.
kiri on the other hand could barely focus. his full attention was on you and at one point he had almost gotten taken down only to have you swoop in and save him.
mans fell completely in love with you right then and there-
days after the fight he still hadn’t fully gained his senses. he wouldn’t speak to you, to caught up in replaying every scene of you fighting in his head.
when you had confronted him about his distance his self control fell apart and he grabbed your face to pull you in for a sweet kiss.
“you’re so amazing.” he whispered as you smiled at him.
╭ʚ KEIGO
okay there’s no doubt in my mind that hawks is absolutely mesmerized by you.
you’re both pro heroes who happen to be dating so basically he’s seen just about everything you can do.
of course though, one of the few things he’s not familiar with is astral projection.
and it’s not that you’re trying to hide it from him or anything. you’ve just never come across a situation where it happened.
the day it does happen, as you can guess, he nearly pees himself right on the spot.
you were both play fighting in the nest of blankets that hawks had laying out in the living room.
when he accidentally elbowed you too hard in between your eyes causing you to fall back and smack your head on the floor and pass out.
ouch
yeah, baby started freaking out bc he thought he had killed you.
he was already planning out ways to hide your body 🌝
due to the sheer force of everything you had accidentally separated yourself from you physical form.
you watched as keigo began wrapping your body in blankets while crying and apologizing for killing you. idiot.
you scoffed in disbelief and popped out of the astral dimension.
“what the fuck keigo!?”
he screamed and dropped your still unconscious body on the floor.
you just stared at him while motioning to your body.
“holy sh- you’re a ghost.” he came to the realization and smacked his hand over his mouth. “baby i didn’t mean to kill you i promise. please, don’t haunt me-“
“keigo, i’m not dead.” you laughed and disappeared. when you came back keigo was still apologizing and wrapping your body in blankets.
“this hurt way less when in my astral form.” you groaned and rubbed your forehead.
of course hawks screamed again, dropping you in the process, and making a run for it.
you laughed, not even worried about the pain as the events taking place occupied your mind.
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babywarg · 2 months ago
I don’t know if you do fic recommendations or anything, but do you know any where Stephen is good with animals? Like, I read one on Ao3 pretty recently involving him raising a dragon along with a stray dog and a reindeer. Just… Doctor Stephen Strange (MD, PhD, Sorcerer Supreme, Master of the Net York Sanctum Santorum) being a complete and utter softie when it comes to animals. (Or him as a Disney Princess. He’s got the voice, too).
hello! i’m afraid i am terrible at fic recs, i can never remember fics that I’ve read on the fly 😭 but I’m answering this in the hope that other people can help!
if i may plug a small fluff fic, i’ve written this, where he is nice to a small vision-impaired puppy: A Warm Place
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silenceofthecookies · 4 months ago
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One Piece OC Charlie - the beginning
The first writing I’ll be publishing of my oc Charlie! I hope you enjoy! 
Visual made with this creator
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The sounds of gunshots and steel clashing with sleep echoed through the air. The stench of gunpowder and blood was overwhelming, but nobody seemed to pay it any mind. Another day, another battle for the Whitebeard pirates.
An upcoming pirate crew had come to challenge them. They had gotten drunk off their fame up in their own little part of the sea and had now come to swim with the big fish. Before the Thorn pirates challenged the Whitebeard pirates, they had no idea just how big the difference between their strength was, but they would soon find out.
One by one, the Thorn pirates started dropping. People lost their lives, people got too hurt to fight back,… the battle went south for them pretty fast. Some noticed this and decided to flee, taking a small rowing boat and getting as far away from the two ships. Some yelled at them to take them with them and jumped overboard. Others stayed to fight with their captain.
The Whitebeard pirates were amused by their actions. The Thorn pirates had a reputation of being incredibly violent and merciless, yet here most of them were, running like cowards. Only a few remained on the deck of their ship now, the fire still burning in their eyes. These people were the captain, the first mate and a handful of other crewmembers.
One of the crewmembers stood out against the others. A woman with long, brown hair and eyes as blue as the sky itself. What stood out the most were her arms, which currently weren’t arms, but big white wings, which would have given her an angel-like appearance, if it wasn’t for the blood that now stained them.
Whitebeard stepped forward towards the remaining people.
“Your crew has abandoned you. Are you not going to run like them?” he asked. “Unlike them we’re not cowards. We’ll see this through to the end.” the captain of the Thorn pirates answered. The few remaining pirates nodded at their captain's words. Whitebeard grinned at their spirit. “Very well, then we shall continue this battle to the end!”
As soon as the words left Whitebeards mouth, the two crews clashed once again. To honour their spirit, the commanders stepped forward to fight the remaining crewmembers, while Whitebeard himself fought the captain.
As the battles on the ship of the deck continued, one battle took to the sky. Marco, commander of the first division, had shifted into this Phoenix form to fight the winged woman. She grinned when she saw his phoenix form and shifted as well, taking the form of a big swan. As they flew around at a high speed, everyone watching soon realised the woman didn’t stand a chance. Marco flew faster, hit harder and to top it off, he had the advantage of his fire. It didn’t take too long for the swan to drop from the sky and fall onto the deck of the ship. The woman returned to her human form and tried to get up one last time before she dropped and fainted.
Whitebeard looked down on the bodies of the Thorn pirates, all either dead or dying from the wounds they sustained. Though they were violent and unexperienced, he liked their spirit. After one last look, he made a decision and turned around.
“Take anyone who’s still alive to the infirmary. Those who survive will become my children.”
The reactions of the crew were diverse. There were those who sighed, wondering what trouble taking in people like this would bring. There were those who smiled at the kindness of their captain and father. There were those who cheered, happy to see their makeshift family grow. There were, however, none who opposed Whitebeards orders. Anyone who was dead or wouldn’t make it for sure was left on the Thorn pirates ship, which would later be lit aflame for their funeral. The others were brought to the infirmary, where Marco and the nurses tended to their wounds. Once the sun rose the following morning, there was but one survivor: the winged woman.
Marco wondered if he had gone easy on her, or if she was just resilient. She did get medical help pretty soon after sustaining her injuries though, so he guessed that’s what pulled her through. Anyone who didn’t take the last stand with their captain had already died from their injuries. The captain and first mate had chosen death, as had a few other of the remaining pirates. Only three people had the chance to be saved, and only one had made it.
During that day, Marco stayed in the infirmary as much as he could. The woman would be confused when she’d wake up for sure, and he wanted to ask her some additional questions to make sure she was fine. On top of that, the infirmary was a quiet place, and Marco had some work to catch up on.
Around noon, he heard shifting in the bed where the woman was sleeping. He got up from his desk and walked towards her, reaching her bedside just in time to see the woman open her eyes. There were several emotions going through them. Confusion, pain, sadness, and once her eyes landed on him, anger. She tried to bolt up to hit him, but she winced in pain and fell back into the bed before her fist could even get close to hitting Marco. He chuckled and held up his hands.
“No need for that anymore, the battle is over. You’re in the infirmary. I’m Marco, captain of the first division and doctor on this ship. What’s your name?” “...Charlie.” “Nice to meet you Charlie. I’m sure you’ve got many questions, but first I want to ask you a few, ok? After that, you can ask me all you want.”
Charlie nodded, distrust still very visible in her eyes. Marco couldn’t blame her. He asked a few more questions about how she was feeling, asked her to move things like her arms and hands, going off a checklist he had in his mind of all possible side effects. Once all was cleared and Marco was sure she was recovering well, he smiled and nodded.
“Alright, that’s all.” “What happened?” Charlie wasted no time asking her first question. “Your crew was defeated by ours. Pops said to treat anyone who was still alive. You're the only one who made it through the night. I’m sorry. We made sure to give everyone a proper burial on their ship.”
Sadness flashed through Charlie’s eyes for a second before she went back to her distrusting and aggressive behaviour.
“So why keep me alive?” “Pops wants you to join us. He likes your spirit.” “And he thinks I’ll just sit back and say ‘oh, sure, I’ll join’?” “No, though it would be nice if it’d be that easy. We’re quite some ways from land, and I don’t think we’ll be docking anywhere any time soon. Take this time to get to know everyone. See who we are, see who pops is. Then you can decide if you want to join or not.” “And if I don’t?” “Then we’ll part ways the next time we dock.” “You’re not going to kill me if I say no?” “We’re pirates, not barbarians.” Marco laughed.
Charlie was dumbstruck. If this was the Thorn pirates, certainly anybody refusing to join would have been murdered. The Whitebeard pirates certainly had the strength to do the same and their reputation was even more fearsome than the Thorn pirates'. Why would they allow her to walk away? What did they have to gain from it? Would they just stab her in the back as she walked away? Was this a trap?
“Look, it’s about time for lunch. If you can get up, why don’t you come with me to the mess hall, so you can see for yourself?” Marco asked.
Carefully, Charlie got up and got to her feet. She was wobbly, in pain and felt weak, but she was standing. Marco nodded in approval and took her to the mess hall, where most people were already eating.
“Hey, Marco. I see she finally woke up?” Izo asked as he saw the pair enter the room. Marco nodded. “She sure did. Charlie, this is Izo, he’s the commander of the sixteenth division. Izo, this is Charlie.” “Nice to meet you, Charlie.” Izo smiled, and Charlie felt herself get even more confused. Another commander and another softie? No way. This had to be an act. “Oh? So it’s Charlie, huh? I’m Thatch, commander of the fourth division and chef of this crew. Come, sit down. You’re still recovering and you’ll need your food to do that.” Thatch winked at Charlie before setting more food on the table. Despite her distrust, the food looked amazing and Charlie felt her mouth water. She did feel hungry. Charlie sat down at the place Thatch pointed out to her and started eating. Confusion and decisions could wait until later, first she’d eat.
---
During the coming weeks, Charlie got to know the Whitebeard crew in her own way. She picked fights with them left and right, she called them weak, she insulted them about the littlest things, trying to get them to reveal any ulterior motive they certainly must have had. Much to her surprise, they didn’t. They got mad at her and she got scolded, but nobody tried to kill her. They didn’t even threaten her. Much to her surprise, she got treated as one of their own. As their sister. Charlie had always assumed the Whitebeards calling each other family was some kind of strange emotional bribery or something, but she realised now that it was just what it sounded like. People without a place to belong, finding their place out at sea with kindred people. If she thought about it honestly, she had to admit that she liked the idea. People who’d love and accept her. People who’d support her even if she was showing a weakness. There was no way she’d trust them all so fast, but by the time they docked at an island to stock up, Charlie had made up her mind.
As she stood at the walkway, Whitebeard walked up to her, followed by a few of his commanders.
“Are you leaving?” he grinned. Whitebeard was no fool. He had already seen her attitude change over the past weeks. Her answer was obvious, but he wanted to hear her say it. “No, I think I’ll stick around a little longer. I’m not calling you pops, though.” Charlie answered with a grin of her own.
Whitebeards laughter echoed through the air, followed by the laughter of the commanders. Another person had joined his family and he couldn’t be happier.
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bloomsuga · 4 months ago
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the snow king || kim taehyung (m)
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cursed to freeze anything he touches, prince taehyung built a castle of ice to keep everyone else out. what he didn’t plan on? you getting in
:: a oneshot inspired by disney’s “frozen” and hans christian andersen’s “the snow queen” ::
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❄️ pairing: princess!reader x ice prince!tae
❄️ genre: fantasy, fluff, smut, angst
❄️ word count: 25k
❄️ warnings: fingering, oral (f), virginity loss, unprotected sex, creampie, taehyung seems mean at first but he’s really a softie, deals with some themes of loss and abandonment, but i promise y’all this one has a happy ending :’)
❄️ a/n: it’s finally here!! i hope you guys enjoy the very long-awaited new installment in my twisted tales series!! this was so fun to write so i hope y’all enjoy reading it!! x (p.s. thank you to @syinisuga for the lovely banner!!! <3)
|| PART OF MY TWISTED TALES SERIES ||
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Duty. Honor. Loyalty.
These were the virtues that had been instilled in you from a young age as the sole princess of a noble kingdom. From birth, you were expected to steadfastly uphold these values, to always put your people first, and to do whatever it takes to protect your country—no matter the cost. Even if that cost was your own freedom.
Your fate had been sealed long ago; when you were born, your father’s kingdom had been war-torn and desperate. In their greatest hour of need, a neighboring king had sent his troops to your aid, and helped to restore balance and stability across the nation. In exchange for this salvation, the neighboring king asked only one favor in return; the future hand in marriage of you, the newborn princess, for his young son, the Crown Prince Taehyung.
Eager to repay his debts, and pleased with such a strategic match for you, your father graciously complied with the neighboring king’s request. And so it was that before you had even learned to walk, you were engaged to a far-away prince you had never met—a sterile, political alliance.
Since you were only children at the time of your betrothal, it was decided you would marry once you both were of age—after your 18th birthday and the Prince’s 20th—and until that time, your royal families were to remain in good relations and allow you to meet often. When you were young, you remembered traveling to the palace of the Prince’s family frequently, a mountainous country called Aspenia, or likewise, the young king-to-be and his entourage of guards and servants would be sent to visit you at your own estate in your quaint seaside nation, Aurelia.
He was a happy child from what you could remember; always smiling that wide, boxy smile of his, with his peculiar snow-white hair and mesmerizing eyes of sapphire, and a laugh that was warm and infectious. None of his servants ever commented on his unusual looks, but as you lived in a land where magic was common, you’d heard many whispers theorizing that the boy had been blessed by the Fae—an ancient race of wise and powerful spellweavers.
It wasn’t such an outlandish theory—after all, you had been touched by the Fae yourself. It had been a bedtime story told to you as a child; When you were a baby, you had been born weak and sickly. Even the best doctors in the kingdom could find no cure for your illness, nothing that could heal you. At a loss, and fearing they might lose their only daughter, your mother and father, the king and queen, had resorted to desperate measures. They brought your infant self before several of the most renowned Fae healers, begging that they use their magic to save you, whatever the cost.
Moved by your parent’s sincerity, the Fae had agreed to help, and took your swaddled body from mother’s arms, laying you down before an enormous crackling fire and beginning to chant over you. As the incantations took root, your skin began to glow a faint yellow-orange, as if the very essence of the fire itself was seeping into your being, and at last, you opened your eyes and let out a strong cry for the first time.
As time went on, your mystic healing from the Fae didn’t seem to leave any deeply profound effects on you, other than the fact your skin always seemed warmer than average to the touch no matter the weather, but regardless, you’d grown up a relatively normal and happy child. Well, as normal as a budding princess engaged to a strange prince could be, that is.
That wasn’t to say that Prince Taehyung was inherently strange—actually, the two of you had grown to be quite close as children. You’d spent many winter days playing happily in the snow together, many summers laughing and running about, and you’d even considered him as one of your closest friends back then. But things soon began to change as the two of you grew older.
For seemingly no reason at all, your visits with the Prince became fewer and far between, and on the rare occasions that you did see him he was quieter—moodier—and much colder than the lively little boy you’d known in the days of your youth. By the time your long-awaited 18th birthday came around, you hadn’t seen Prince Taehyung in nearly two years, despite the fact that you were slated to be married soon.
One day, while you were reading in the royal study as you often did, a messenger burst in with a surprising announcement for you. The King of Aspenia was in declining health and he was personally requesting for your immediate relocation to his son Prince Taehyung’s private estate—a fortress infamously nicknamed by the commoners as Icestone Castle—to make hasty preparations for your upcoming wedding.
It seemed that in these years spent out of one another’s lives, Prince Taehyung had built for himself a menacing palace on the edge of his kingdom’s territory to live in solitary, deep in the snowy mountains, and isolated from the bustling capitol. And now, practically on his deathbed, the ailing King was asking you to make the long journey and join your estranged betrothed there, so you two could finally wed.
The thought undeniably unnerved you. You’d be hundreds of miles from your home—not only that, but from any civilization at all—and stuck living with a man who had become a stranger to you, but would soon become your husband. It was a lot for any person to process, but having been raised your entire life to fulfill your duty as princess and to uphold both your family’s and your kingdom’s beat interests, you knew that it was a fate you simply could not deny.
Duty. Honor. Loyalty.
These hallowed words were etched into your being like carvings on stone. And so, after packing your dearest belongings and saying your tearful goodbyes to your parents and your brother, the Crown Prince Hoseok—who was in line to inherit your own kingdom, Aurelia—you set off for the infamous Icestone Castle.
The journey took several days; the terrain was rough and treacherous, and the skies above churned with snow storms as your stomach did with nerves. You hadn’t seen the Prince in years and quite honestly had no idea what to expect. Your last few meetings hadn’t been particularly genial, and you couldn’t help but let your mind race with fears and worries. What if the Prince had grown cruel in your time apart? What kind of husband would he be? What if he neglected you? Or worse... what if he would mistreat you?
You shivered at the mere thought.
When at last the towering, frozen walls of Icestone Castle came into view, your body was practically shaking with trepidation. The manor was vast and intimidating; imposing towers and turrets were sculpted by intricate architecture of what appeared to be crystal clear ice, and the entire structure sat carved into the side of a snowy mountaintop, surrounded by thick rows of tall, frost-dusted pine trees. It was beautiful in a tragic way; its features delicate and ornate, but something about it felt undeniably lonely.
You now understood why so many gossiped about the reserved young Prince who lived here in isolation—why many even feared him—and you couldn’t help but to grow the smallest bit fearful yourself as you began to wonder what kind of person could stay in such a place.
Snowflakes glittered down from the sky and dusted your hair and lashes when you finally stepped out of your carriage to be met by a stiff lineup of Prince Taehyung’s stony-faced maids and servants. They didn’t look particularly harsh or unkind, it was just as though their faces didn’t portray anything—or rather, as if they had been commanded not to do so.
Regardless, they received you politely, and escorted you into the grand entrance hall of the estate, where a well-dressed gentleman with dark hair and a refined face was waiting for you. He smiled warmly when you came into his view, greeting you with a deep bow and introducing himself as Jimin, the head of affairs at Icestone Castle. He seemed much friendlier and more responsive than the stoic servants you’d met outside, and his liveliness put you more at ease as he showed you around your new dwelling.
“We are so pleased to have you join us here at last, Princess Y/N,” he excitedly assured you with a bright smile. “We’ve all been waiting anxiously for your arrival. I hope the welcoming reception was sufficient?” he asked you as the two of you walked through the vast and echoing halls together. You felt slightly on edge being in an unfamiliar kingdom, and even more, in the palace of an unfamiliar monarch, but Jimin’s bright disposition helped soothe your anxieties.
“Yes, thank you,” you courteously replied to the dark-haired man, dropping your head in a soft nod of thanks. “I appreciate you showing me around the castle, Sir Jimin.” You offered him a small smile of gratitude. It was a relief that at least one person here seemed to regard you kindly, and you hoped that others would too.
“Of course, Your Highness,” he respectfully nodded to you. “This is to be your palace too, so you should become well-acquainted with it,” he reminded you, reinforcing the fact you had tried to forget—that this change in residence would be permanent. This wasn’t just some short, formal diplomatic visit; you were to be married to Prince Taehyung soon, and this castle would become your forever home.
It was hard to wrap your head around the fact that you, a Princess from a humble kingdom, would soon be the lady of a castle, and wife to a powerful ruler, but you tried your best to remain open to the other potential brighter sides of the situation. After all, there was nothing you could do or say to change the way things were, and Icestone was admittedly a beautiful estate.
The walls were tall and glossy like marble, the furnishings all in shades of blue and white, and frosted fixtures lined the walls, while delicate, crystalline chandeliers hung gracefully from the high ceilings. The whole palace was quite cold, as if cut from ice itself, and the snowy decor only seemed to support that theory. You quietly wondered to yourself if it would always be this frigid around here, and you suppressed a shiver as Jimin showed you to yet another room.
“These will be your private chambers, dearest Princess,” he informed you as he pushed open the heavy doors, leading you forward into a large, spacious room which was lined with tall windows overlooking the arctic landscape.
The space was as exquisitely decorated as the rest of the castle, with soft-looking bedclothes and billowy drapes of crisp white, and elegant furnishings to match. It was adorned with the same strange crystals that seemed to fill the whole castle, and you studied their intricate designs curiously. Could they actually be made of ice? The idea seemed silly, but the more you looked at them, the harder it was to deny.
“Of course, once you marry the Prince, you will formally move into your shared quarters with him, but you are welcome to keep this room as well if you like,” Jimin explained with an air of formality, watching as you wandered about the space and tried to familiarize yourself with it. “If anything is uncomfortable or you wish to make any changes, Your Highness, please let me know and the servants and I will be happy to adjust it to your liking,” he told you, his eyes sympathetic as he noticed your obvious uncertainty, “I am sure Prince Taehyung will consider any request made by his betrothed.”
“When will I see him?” you asked before you could stop yourself, your impatience getting the better of your manners. “Prince Taehyung… my betrothed,” you clarified, looking back to Jimin.
“Soon, rest assured.” He smiled at you in understanding. “His Majesty is quite busy today taking care of some official matters, but I am certain that he will call for you when he has a moment.” His tone was reassuring, but you were admittedly disappointed that you wouldn’t be seeing the Prince today. You were nervous about meeting him again, and you would much rather get it over with as soon as possible.
Noting your uneasy expression, Jimin quickly spoke up again. “You must be famished from your days’ journey,” he offered, his voice even and comforting. “Why don’t I have the cooks prepare dinner for you, Your Highness?” he suggested, your stomach grumbling at the mere mention of food after your long voyage.
“That would be lovely, thank you.” You nodded in thanks, graciously accepting Jimin’s offer. Even if everything else was a bit frightening here, at least Jimin seemed to be someone you could trust, and you deeply appreciated that.
“Anything for our new princess,” he chipperly replied. “The servants and I shall make sure you want for nothing, so please feel at ease here,” he encouraged you, his hand gently brushing your arm. “After all, this is your home now too.”
Home. The word felt strange and foreign when referring to the bone-chilling walls of your new dwelling, but you attempted to quiet your many reservations for the moment. This was your life now, and you had to try to make the most of it. Faintly smiling back at Jimin, you followed him further into the depths of the wintery castle.
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The next morning, you were awakened by a gaggle of maids quietly shuffling into the room. 
Gently nudging your arm, they tentatively urged you into consciousness, your eyes fluttering open to meet the curious eyes of your new attendants. The group was composed of three women; two of them lively and young, seeming not much older than yourself, and the third with a kind but mature face that reminded you of your beloved grandmother. The former two young ladies chipperly introduced themselves as Bae and Kai, and the latter was called Gerda.
“It’s a pleasure to serve you, Princess Y/N,” Bae poisedly curtsied to you, Kai following suit.
“We’ve come to prepare you for the day, Your Highness,” Gerda told you in her sonorous aged voice. “We have orders to bring you before his majesty, the Prince, posthaste,” she explained, the words sending a chill down your spine.
You were to meet your husband-to-be today for the first time in years. You had no idea what to expect of him, or what he would be expecting from you in turn, and the uncertainty of it all filled you with a deep sense of dread. However, you quickly swallowed these feelings back down and grinned politely to your maids.
“Yes, of course,” you nodded, schooling your features into a cordial smile as you had been trained to do by years at palace court. You had spent the majority of your young life being told to sit still, to only speak when spoken to, and to look pleasant in the presence of company, and by now you were something of an expert at it.
The three women helped you up from bed, bathing you from a bowl of warm water before they began to comb through your hair, pulling it back from your face into an innocent style that showed your ears and framed you well. To your surprise, they then brought out a number of fine dresses for you to choose from; a variety of luxurious fabrics and styles, each in a different captivating shade of blue, just like the castle.
You chose a soft powder blue one, lined with delicate white lace, and Bae and Kai eagerly helped you into it, hastening to lace up your corset for you. Slightly stunned, you realized as the gown was slipped over your shoulders that it seemed to fit you perfectly, and you studied your reflection in the mirror, deeply puzzled.
“Prince Taehyung sent ahead to inquire about your measurements and had these made for you prior to your arrival,” Kai explained with a bright grin when she noticed your wide eyes. “Do they suit your taste, Your Highness?” she asked, reaching down to smooth out your skirts for you. “His majesty has an affinity for blue.”
“They're lovely.” You couldn’t help but smile as you took in the sight of yourself wearing the beautiful garment in the reflection of the mirror. “I’ll have to thank the Prince myself when I see him,” you reminded yourself aloud, somewhat surprised by this unexpected generous gesture.
You hadn’t anticipated that Prince Taehyung would prepare something so thoughtful for your arrival like this, and it began to give you just the slightest glimmer of hope inside that maybe the kind-hearted young Prince you knew long ago was still the man you were intended to marry. Although, this still didn’t completely quiet your mind of the rumors you’d heard of his coldness.
“Try not to be too off-put when you meet the Prince, dear Princess,” Gerda chimed in with a good-natured warning, as if reading your mind. “His Majesty may seem harsh at times... but he is good at heart,” she tried her best to reassure you, her years of wisdom coloring her tone in a motherly way that felt so comforting to you.
“Thank you… I’ll keep that in mind.” You quietly took note of Gerda’s warning, trying to mentally prepare yourself for whatever reception would be awaiting you in the Prince’s private study.
She and Kai departed with friendly salutations upon completing their duties to help ready you, while Bae elected to stay and accompany you to the room where you’d been summoned to meet the Prince. She led you through the brisk, winding halls of the palace, the only sound the measured click of both your shoes, until finally you arrived at a large wooden door, and Bae stepped forward to push it open before you.
Following the young maid into the room, you were instantly captivated by the sheer number of books filling the space. Tall wooden shelves lined the walls from the floor to the ceiling, and in the middle of it, stood a large desk, at which a man sat reading with his back to you both.
Hesitantly stepping forward, Bae cleared her throat. “Your Majesty, Princess Y/N is here to see you,” she announced, drawing the attention of the focused man. He immediately stilled, his shoulders stiffening, and you watched as he slowly set down his book, rose from his chair, and turned around to face the two of you.
You nearly gasped when you at last saw his face. He looked the same as you remembered; still handsome in that unearthly way, but older now, more refined, and his features seemed harder. Those familiar, brilliant azure eyes from years ago—now much colder than they’d ever looked to you— immediately locked onto yours, and you couldn’t bring yourself to look away.
Strangely, you noticed that he wore long, white gloves like he was attending some kind of regal affair, despite the fact that he was just here reading, which puzzled you, and you couldn’t help but stare at the bizarre hand coverings.
The Prince studied you for a moment, almost calculatingly, before he finally addressed Bae. “Thank you,” he evenly replied to her without an ounce of interest. “You may leave us,” he said, lazily dismissing her with a wave of his hand.
Bae wordlessly bowed her head and slipped out of the room, leaving you alone with the Prince. Your heart rate picked up now that it was just the two of you, your palms growing clammy, and you gripped at your skirts to steel your nerves, forcing yourself to look at the Prince with as warm a smile as you could muster.
“It’s… nice to see you again, Your Majesty,” you politely curtsied to him, bowing your head. As crown prince, Taehyung was higher ranking than you, and with his father the King’s poor health as of late, he was likely to ascend the throne sooner than expected, so you made sure you addressed him with the utmost respect.
“I disdain such trivial formalities” the indifferent prince disinterestedly replied to you, not even bothering to acknowledge your greeting. “If you must call me something, simply refer to me by name,” he loathsomely sighed, staring back at you through glassy eyes. “Taehyung suffices.”
“Yes, Your Maje—I mean… yes, Taehyung,” you nearly slipped up again, but caught yourself, swallowing hard as you tried to remain calm before the prying eyes of the stoic prince.
It was unexpected for someone of such high status as Taehyung to refuse his titles, but not wanting to cause any conflict on your first day, you complied with his request nonetheless. The Prince struck you as rather unusual though. He studied you far too closely, his gaze harsh and scrutinizing, almost as if he were appraising you, until finally he spoke up once again.
“You’ve grown into a woman since I last saw you,” he coolly observed, simply stating the fact aloud. “Blue suits you,” he commented with a nod of approval, but he almost seemed to be complimenting the dress he had gifted you rather than your appearance in the garment.
“Thank you,” you cordially responded to him nonetheless, trying your best to seem gracious of his lack-luster reception. He was your fiancé, after all, and you wanted to at least try to keep things pleasant between you. “And thank you for the dresses, by the way... they’re beautiful,” you sincerely thanked him, remembering your pleasant surprise when you awoke to find the unexpected wardrobe he’d had sewn for you.
“You needn’t thank me for such things,” he frigidly dismissed you. “You’re to be my wife, you should get accustomed to the trappings which accompany that.” He spoke about your marriage as if it were nothing more than an economic transaction—and maybe it truly wasn’t—but part of you deep down hoped it could become something more than that, for the sake of both your future happiness.
“I will try,” you quietly nodded, uncomfortably shifting your weight under the Prince’s intense gaze. Something about him unnerved you; he looked like the familiar boy you once knew, but something about him had changed—something deep inside of him—and you couldn’t help but to wonder what had happened to the happy, carefree boy you knew in your days of youth.
Noticing you’d gotten lost in your thoughts, Taehyung continued to speak, drawing your attention out of your sentimental memories. “We’ll be married in one month’s time at the request of my father,” he bluntly stated, like ripping off a bandage. “The plans have been set but you may look them over and let me know if you wish to make any changes,” he said, his deep, even voice completely void of emotion.
“We’ll be married in a month?” you questioned, slightly stunned by the hasty wedding date. You had known with the King being in dire straits as he was that your wedding was to be pushed up, but you never expected it would be so soon, and the thought made your blood run cold.
“I know, it’s sudden… but I think with his recent illness and these border skirmishes continuing, my father is eager for us to solidify the alliance between our two kingdoms,” he explained with a troubled expression—the most animation you had seen from him since arriving. “Anyway, unfortunately I am quite busy today so I don’t have the time to speak with you further, but I shall join you for dinner tonight,” he informed you, collecting a stack of papers from his desk and shuffling them together in a bored manner.
There was a polite aloofness to the Prince; he wasn’t overtly rude or unkind to you, he was simply formal to an uptight point—he didn’t show any kind of emotion—and honestly, he seemed to lack empathy. If he felt any sort of way about your arrival or your impending union, it didn’t show on his face or in his words, and it left you feeling defeated and unwelcome here. But still, you refused to give up on your quest of refamiliarizing with your estranged betrothed.
“Oh… I was really hoping we might get to spend some time together today to catch up with one another?” you suggested, somewhat hopefully, offering a friendly smile in an attempt to get the icy prince to warm up to you just the tiniest bit.
“I don’t think that will be necessary,” he quickly shut down your proposal, crushing any hope you held for getting reacquainted with him. “I will see you at dinner, Princess Y/N,” he curtly nodded to you, breezing past you, and leaving you alone in his study with only your thoughts.
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It was quite late by the time the Prince joined you at dinner that night, seated opposite you at the end of the long table, and eating his food without so much as a glance in your direction.
He wore the same white gloves he had earlier, even as he ate, and you began to wonder if maybe he was wearing them to cover up some kind of secret. Had he burned his hands in a fire? Scarred them in battle? Or did he simply just have an affinity for formal wear? None of these explanations seemed to quite fit, but you pushed the thought to the back of your mind for now, reminding yourself to revisit it later.
You ate dejectedly, pushing your food around your plate with your fork, and losing yourself in your thoughts. You had hoped meeting with the prince would have gone much differently than it had—you had hoped the Prince would have been much different than he had been—and the disappointing reality left you feeling somewhat hopeless about your impending marriage.
How could you marry a man who had barely even acknowledged you since you’d arrived? The thought that he could treat you like this even after he became your husband made your heart sink, but still, you couldn’t help but think of the kind boy he had once been—the one who snuck his way into your heart all those years ago—and you secretly hoped that maybe, just maybe, that boy was still in there somewhere.
Perhaps he would warm up to you eventually? You optimistically thought to yourself as you watched your silent betrothed stiffly eating his supper at the far end of the dining table.
It didn’t seem likely that he would after how abysmally your first meeting had gone, but you were determined not to give up hope. Even if he was cold to you, you resolved to be kind and inviting to him until he opened up to you. You knew that would be a difficult task, but the alternative was living with a husband who was ambivalent about you, and you couldn’t let that happen. No—you would just have to keep trying with Taehyung... however long it would take.
After dinner, you both retired to your separate chambers. Your three lady’s maids returned and dressed you in a simple nightgown, tucking you into your plush bed, and bidding you goodnight. However, despite the many lavish comforts that your new home offered, you couldn’t seem to fall asleep. Maybe the environment was just too unfamiliar, or maybe you were just too curious about what lay beyond the walls of your room, but you were having trouble emptying your mind enough to drift off into unconsciousness.
When you couldn’t stand the unrest anymore, you threw back the thick covers and tiptoed out of bed, deciding you would sate your curiosity by doing a bit of wandering around the castle. Jimin had given you an extensive tour the day before, so you had a relative idea about the estate’s layout, and you took a small candle along for some light as you set off exploring.
You passed by many grand halls, a ballroom, a library, even an observatory, and you curiously peeked into each one, careful not to disturb anything, lest someone hear you. You padded quietly with your bare feet across the cold floor and intricate rugs which lined them, venturing deep into the castle. However, you had let your thirst for knowledge get the better of you, and before you knew it, you had gotten yourself lost amid the winding halls, which admittedly, all seemed to look the same to you.
Trying to retrace your steps, you backtracked, but ended up in a completely new part of the castle. The passages were dark, unfamiliar to you, and you soon found yourself at the mouth of a long hall. Tentatively advancing down the dim, looming corridor, something glittered and caught your gaze near the end of it, and you couldn’t help but be drawn to the sight. Moving closer to the object without even thinking, you approached it until you were close enough to make out what it was; a tall, opulent mirror.
Hesitantly, you drew nearer to it, your fingers coming up to lightly trace over the delicate molding which lined its frame, and finding that it was cold to the touch. Was it pure ice? The texture certainly seemed so, but the plausibility of that seemed dubious… unless it was some sort of enchanted object. Curiously, you also noticed that the grand mirror seemed out of place in the otherwise ordinary hallway, and it led you to wonder why it was placed here at all unless it was truly of some import to the Prince.
Unfortunately, you had no time to ponder this possibility further, as while you were studying the mirror, a shadow behind your reflection caught your eye in your peripheral vision. Fixing your eyes to it, you realized the figure was the Prince himself, standing just feet behind you, and you whipped around to face him in shock.
“Your Majesty—err, Taehyung, you startled me,” you breathlessly laughed, your knees almost shaking from how nervous you felt under his watch. But he didn’t laugh with you; he simply stared you down in the darkness, looming just meters from where you stood.
“What are you doing roaming about the castle so late at night?” The Prince pointedly asked you without even bothering to respond to your statement. His body was cloaked in shadows, so much so that you could barely even see him, but his piercing blue eyes were as clear as day.
“I was just taking a look around… but I ended up a bit lost,” you quietly admitted, awkwardly shuffling your naked feet. “My apologies if I disturbed you,” you lowered your head in regret, hoping that he wouldn’t be upset with you for poking around his home without permission.
“You didn’t,” he simply replied, his tone even and emotionless. “But you shouldn’t wander the halls alone. If there is somewhere you wish to go, ask Sir Jimin or one of your servants to escort you,” he firmly chastised you, seeming only mildly vexed rather than truly angry at you.
“Could you escort me sometime?” you dared to ask him, your curious eyes peering into his steely irises through the shrouding darkness.
“I am very busy, Princess,” he chided, his words biting. “I do not have time for such frivolous things.” He squinted at you for a long moment, as if trying to make sense of you, before finally, he said; “I will show you back to your room.”
He motioned you forward, and you noticed in the dim glow of your small candle that for the first time since you’d arrived, Taehyung was not wearing gloves. No, his hands were bare, and even more fascinating, they were perfect which ruled out your best theories as to why he wore them. If he wasn’t hiding anything, then why was he so habitual about wearing the gloves?
You didn’t realize how long you’d been staring at him, lost deep in thought, until he cleared his throat and spoke again in his deep, baritone voice, bringing your mind back to the present. “Come along, Princess,” he urged, beckoning you forward to him with a sigh of annoyance.
You blinked, your gaze refocusing on the brusque but undeniably handsome prince before you, and you offered him a sheepish half-smile. “Thank you.” You murmured. He didn’t seem to be ecstatic about escorting you to your room, but it was kind of him to offer to do so, so you tried to remain cordial to him.
The two of you walked side by side through the empty, melancholy halls, Taehyung making sure to keep a respectful distance between you, and never once letting his eyes wander over your scarcely clad figure. You had nearly forgotten that you had been wandering about in just your thin nightclothes, but if the Prince had any improper thoughts at all, his face didn’t show it.
When you finally arrived at the somewhat familiar doors of your quarters, Taehyung came to a stop just before them, turning to face you.
“Try to get some rest, Princess,” he said, almost authoritatively, as if he were giving you orders rather than expressing concern. “I know that this is likely not the kind of lifestyle you were hoping for, but I hope that in time you will come to think of my home as yours,” he told you, the formality of his words giving way to just the slightest hint of sympathy beneath them. Even if he only said it to be polite, he seemed to truly mean it, and you appreciated that. “And I shall try my best to be a fair husband to you,” he quietly added, his crystal eyes meeting yours.
You simply nodded in response, unsure of what to say. You appreciated the sentiment of his words, but part of you feared he was only saying them as a courtesy to you, and the thought made your spirit deflate. You hoped that one day things wouldn’t be so sterile between you and your future husband, but you supposed that was just going to take time. 
He gave you one last long look, as if he wanted to say something more, but decided against it, and finally turned to leave you. However, as he began to walk away, you noticed something fall from his pocket. Curious, you reached down to pick it up and realized it was one of the strange white gloves you had seen him wearing earlier.
Making haste to stop him before he left, you followed after him and called out, reaching your hand out to grip at his arm in an attempt to get his attention so that you could return the item to him. However, the second that your hand made contact with the skin of his forearm he wrenched it from your touch, whirling around to glare at you with a startlingly severe expression.
“What are you doing?!” he interrogated you, his sudden anger frightening you. You stared back up at him in wide-eyed silence, too stunned to even speak, and he huffed in irritation. “You are never to touch me. Ever. Have I made myself clear, Princess?” he barked at you, the intensity of his tone striking fear into your heart, but there was something else hidden beneath it too… was it panic you saw behind his glare?
“I… you dropped this,” you managed to get out, your voice shaky from your nervousness. “I was only trying to return it to you,” you sheepishly explained to him, holding the small garment out for him to take, and casting your eyes down.
Had you been looking up, you might have caught the conflicted look that crossed the Prince’s face as he took in your crestfallen expression, but he quickly masked his features again with the same vacant look he’d worn before, and reached out to take the glove from you. Too embarrassed to look back up at him after being scolded, you only saw the glinting of his finely polished shoes in your candlelight as he said something that surprised you—a quietly mumbled “Thank you.”—before he disappeared into the night, and left you alone in the hallway.
· ───────── ·𖥸· ───────── ·
The next week or so at Icestone Castle passed relatively uneventfully for you.
Your maids got you up and ready each morning, you’d have breakfast alone in the great dining room—the Prince always took breakfast in his study, separately from you—and you’d spend the rest of the day trying to find ways to fill your time. You had a few hobbies from back home that you still enjoyed; reading, sewing, painting, and so forth, but such activities only kept you occupied for a few days before you quickly grew tired of them, and you began to seek out more meaningful ways to occupy your days.
Jimin was always eager to tell you about the palace’s many amenities, offering to escort you to visit the hall of portraits, to the royal stables, or whatever other activity piqued your interest, but it was not the castle itself that you longed to know more about—it was its ruler. You rarely saw Prince Taehyung at all during the day; most of the time he would just show up to join you at dinner, finish his meal, and retire back to his chambers without so much as a word to you.
It was admittedly disheartening to be ignored by your own betrothed this way. You had seen many noble women trapped in formal, loveless marriages and you hated the thought that your own circumstances could turn into something of that nature. No, you refused to let your own circumstances turn into something like that.
Even if you and the Prince would never have any love between you, you simply couldn’t let things remain as they were. You were more determined than ever to at least get the chance to know the Prince, and as you watched him silently eating across the table from you, you silently vowed to yourself to do whatever it would take to make that happen. He was going to be your husband—that much you couldn’t change—but maybe you could at least make things more pleasant between the two of you.
You decided to start by questioning the maids and servants about the Prince. What kind of music did he enjoy? What was his favorite sweet? What pastimes did he partake in? But all of their answers seemed to disappoint you; despite having served him for most of his life, the Prince’s staff seemed to know relatively nothing about him. It deeply frustrated you.
“What does the Prince take pleasure in doing?” You finally asked Jimin one day while he was showing you around the palace observatory.
He seemed caught off guard by your question, his eyebrows lifting in surprise and confusion. “Take pleasure in?” Jimin repeated your words. “I’m afraid His Majesty doesn’t seem to take pleasure in anything, Your Highness,” the dark-haired man bitterly chuckled, shaking his head in amusement at your innocent inquiry.
”How can that be?” you quipped back, your face sinking in solemnity from his disappointing answer. “Certainly there has to be something he enjoys,” you reasoned, begging Jimin for the barest scrap of information that could help you better understand your rather unsociable husband-to-be. “A hobby? Or an activity?” The look on your face seemed to grow almost desperate as you implored him for any kind of hope about the Prince—any sign of humanity.
Jimin frowned at your expression, regarding you with pity, before finally, he let out a sigh. “Well… he does walk in the garden often,” he let slip, glancing absentmindedly out the window.
“What garden?” you questioned, tilting your head in confusion. Since you had arrived, you had yet to see an inch of the castle that wasn’t covered in snow and ice, so the prospect of a ‘garden’ here seemed quite outlandish to you.
Your question seemed to make him realize something, and he paled for a moment, before quickly replying; “I’ve already said too much… I do not want to get us both into trouble.” His demeanor seemed suddenly nervous, so you decided not to push the matter any further for the time being, and temporarily dropped it.
“Right, forget I asked anything of you,” you bowed your head in apology. “I suppose I am simply… searching for a way to find some common ground with my betrothed.” You sighed, joining Sir Jimin by the window and gazing out across the miles of endless white.
“You seem so melancholy, dearest Princess,” Jimin’s tone was empathetic and full of genuine concern for you. “Are you unhappy here?” he softly asked, studying you with worried eyes.
“No, no, it isn’t that...” You shook your head to yourself, feeling childish for reacting so strongly to Taehyung’s lack of attentiveness toward you. “I just wish the Prince could spare a little more time for us to get to know one another, that’s all,” you glumly admitted, frowning to yourself.
“Well, why not just ask him?” Jimin suggested, taking you by surprise with his directness.
That thought had never actually occurred to you. You had been far too afraid of bothering the Prince to try approaching him on your own, but maybe that was just the kind of step you needed to take to get him to take notice of you. Taking Jimin’s words to heart, you decided to try speaking directly to the Prince the next day.
Insisting to your maids that you could escort yourself, you departed from your room after being dressed by them, and made your way through the castle halls to Prince Taehyung’s private study, where he usually was at this time of day. Approaching the large, imposing doors, you tentatively rapped on them twice with your knuckles, and waited until you heard his clear, deep voice respond—“Come in.”—before you opened them at last, and entered the room.
You stepped into the cluttered study, and your eyes immediately found Taehyung in his usual reading spot, his eyes glued steadfastly to the worn leather book in his hands. Hesitantly, you dared to take a few steps closer, clearing your throat and drawing his attention up to you.
He finally looked up from the heavy tome in his hands, his eyes lazily flicking up towards you, but they froze on your face when he realized precisely who you were. It was clear from his taken aback expression that he was expecting a maid or a servant to be approaching him with some droll piece of news, but he was surprised to instead find you standing there, watching him with those insatiably curious eyes of yours.
“Princess,” he greeted you, seeming seeming puzzled by your unannounced appearance. “To what do I owe this unexpected visit from my betrothed?” he asked, raising a curious brow at you. “Is there something you need?” He was quick to question you, as if attempting to finish with this exchange as quickly as possible.
“No, no!” you rushed out, not wanting him to think you ungrateful after all his staff had done to make you comfortable here. “Well… actually yes, I suppose,” you admitted with a nervous laugh, suddenly feeling self-conscious beneath the scrutiny of his gaze. What were you doing?
“You seem flustered,” he analytically noted. “My deepest apologies if I frightened you that first night. I have a… unique condition that is worsened by physical contact,” he explained, a conflicted expression crossing his face for a brief moment before he quickly suppressed it.
“Is that why you wear the gloves?” you boldly questioned, unable to suppress your burning thirst for answers as your stare shifted down.
“Hm?” he hummed, his eyes following your gaze to the white gloves which adorned his hands. “Oh… yes, that’s right,” he nodded, but he seemed a bit out of it as he stared down at his covered hands in silence for a moment.
“I apologize, I was not informed,” you bowed your head in shame, feeling guilty for possibly having caused the Prince any discomfort. You now understood why he’d reacted so strongly to your mere touch; you were unaware that he even had such an illness, but now that you knew better, you would be certain not to make that mistake again. “I won’t try to touch you again without permission,” you solemnly swore to him, intently studying the rug pattern.
“Do I make you uncomfortable, Princess?” the Prince suddenly asked you, drawing your eyes back up to his attractive face in surprise. When you did, you were intrigued to find him quirking his head to the side as he studied you with a look of what almost seemed like… curiousity?
“What makes you think so?” you hesitantly asked him, shifting your weight uncertainly beneath the scrutiny of his unyielding gaze.
“You cast your eyes down as if you are beneath me,” he observed, studying you as if you were a piece of art he were interpreting. “You are to be my wife… would that not make you my equal?” he quizzed, shocking you with his directness.
“I suppose so,” you slowly nodded, perplexed by the Prince’s sudden interest in you.
“Then look at me in the eyes and hold your head high when you speak,” he commanded you, but there was a gentleness to his tone that wasn’t usually there. You did as he said without question and lifted your head. Something about the way he was speaking to you made you want to heed him, and he gazed at you with piqued interest when your eyes met his at last. “Why did you come to me today, Princess?” he asked.
“I… I’d like to spend more time with you,” you finally managed to admit. “That was what I wanted to say to you.” You swallowed hard, your knees practically knocking together in anxiety, but you willed yourself to do as the Prince said, and kept your head up high, holding his stare.
The Prince’s perfect lips unexpectedly twitched up into a subtle almost-smile at your request, seeming impressed by your forwardness. In all the time since you had arrived, you had never seen him so expressive, and you were shocked to find that he looked intrigued by your words.
“Very well,” he abruptly nodded, closing his book and setting it down on his desk. “I’ll clear my schedule tomorrow so we can spend the day together,” he nonchalantly informed you, your eyes growing wide at his unexpected turn.
“R-really?” You cursed yourself for stuttering, but you couldn’t help being dumbfounded by the Prince’s sudden agreement to your petition.
“I’ll call on you tomorrow morning,” he said, seeming completely unphased. “Be ready.”
· ───────── ·𖥸· ───────── ·
You could hardly sleep at all that night, tossing and turning in anticipation of whatever the Prince had in mind for tomorrow. You honestly hadn’t expected him to hear you out the way he had when you barged into his study demanding to spend time with him, but he had seemed almost refreshed by your shameless candor, and you didn’t know what to make of that.
Nothing since you had arrived had been like you thought it would; not the castle, the kingdom, or even the Prince. But just when you thought you were beginning to understand even him and his closed-off nature, he’d surprised you, and now you weren’t quite sure what to expect.
You didn’t notice when exactly you drifted off to sleep, but eventually you felt the first peeks of morning light streaming through the window and landing upon your closed eyelids, rousing you from your dreams. Hushed voices filled the room as your always talkative maids fluttered in and flocked to you, seeming to be in a tizzy.
“Is it true the Prince really cleared his schedule today just for Princess Y/N?” Kai whispered excitedly to her fellow maids, not realizing that you were already awake. You thought about opening your eyes, but you wanted to hear what they had to say first, so you feigned sleep.
“Don’t you know it’s a sin to gossip, child?” Gerda firmly but fairly scolded the young girl in a way that only a loving martiarch could. “You shouldn’t meddle in others’ private affairs.”
“I heard he plans to spend the whole day with her,” Bae giddily chirped, the two young girls giggling madly while Gerda only sighed.
“Be that as it may, it’s none of our business,” she rebuffed, refusing to engage in their revelry. “But, if Her Highness plans to meet His Majesty on time, she had best not pretend to be asleep any longer,” Gerda said loud enough for you to hear, her voice sounding from just above you.
Knowing you had been caught, you gingerly opened your eyes, peering up at the gaggle of maids from beneath your covers. “I’m sorry,” you sheepishly apologized for eavesdropping, your ears burning with embarrassment.
“No matter,” Gerda shook her head, quickly putting to rest both you and the young maid’s childish behavior. “Let’s get you dressed.” She offered you a kind smile, holding out her arm toward you to help you up and out of bed.
The three maids made quick work fussing with your hair and fitting you into your underclothes, outfitting you in another of the beautiful gowns Taehyung had commissioned for you. This one was a crisp blue, like a mountain lake on a clear day, and the puffed sleeves it had were girlish yet elegant. When the maids had finished with you, you caught a glimpse of your reflection and were surprised by your own beauty. You had never been one for vanity, but you couldn’t deny that in this dress, you looked wonderful.
“The Prince won’t be able to take his eyes off of you, Princess” Kai cheerfully murmured over your shoulder, and you met her sweet, doll-like eyes in the mirror, breaking into a shy smile.
“We had better make haste,” Bae spoke up, breaking you from your thoughts. “His majesty wanted us to bring you to him by ten o’clock and that’s hardly a few minutes from now.”
Your eyes widened at this information, and you glanced at the wall clock, seeing that Bae was indeed correct about your impending tardiness. You quickly nodded and let the three ladies escort you through the palace to the great hall, where Prince Taehyung was said to be waiting.
You began to descend the grand staircase lined with an extravagant blue and silver carpet, your attendants following just behind you until you heard a small gasp from the two young maids, and you looked ahead to find the source of their surprise. There, at the bottom of the stairway, stood the Prince himself, looking handsome as ever in a fine blue suit adorned with his royal insignia, and he was staring right at you.
Your steps faltered for a moment when you noticed him, but you quickly got yourself under control, continuing to make your way down to the Prince as he watched you with a look on his face you couldn’t recognize. He looked… almost enchanted by you as you approached him.
When you finally reached him, he had masked his expression back into his regular one of polite contempt, but offered you a small smirk as he greeted you. “Good morning, Princess.”
You smiled back and lightly dipped down into a curtsy. “Good morning,” you replied, hoping that he couldn’t tell just how nervous you were.
“You may leave us,” Taehyung called over your shoulder to your lingering maids, the younger of whom were staring at you both like you were the leads of a romance novel. They quickly nodded and departed at the Prince’s dismissal, hastening back up the stairs and leaving the two of you alone in the great hall. “Did you sleep well, Princess?” he asked once the click of your maids’ shoes finally faded away to silence.
“Y/N.” You blurted out the word before you could stop yourself, causing the Prince’s dark, refined brows to knit together in confusion.
“I beg your pardon?” he replied, taken aback.
“You asked me to call you by your name,” you explained, trying your best to sound confident. “I’d like for you to do the same. Call me Y/N.”
“I see,” he remarked, eyeing you with a look of intrigue. “Very well then. How would you like to accompany me for the day, Y/N?” he asked you, making a show of using your name as you said.
The Prince seemed to be in much better spirits than usual today. You weren’t sure why or what had caused this change in him, but you weren’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth, and you decided you were just going to make the most of his seemingly good mood while it lasted.
“I’d be delighted,” you grinned warmly at him. You noticed, as usual, that the Prince’s hands were cloaked by his snow-white gloves, and you couldn’t help but stare at them. Even though he had somewhat explained the reason behind why he wore them, they still perplexed you.
“I cannot offer you my hand, because of my… condition,” the Prince awkwardly mumbled, shifting a bit as he spoke. “But here,” he said, extending his arm out for you to hold onto.
You tried not to let on how shocked you were as you reached out and laced your arm in his, the feeling foreign but strangely comfortable, and you allowed him to lead you onward, out of the great hall, and into deeper parts of the castle.
“This is the hall of portraits,” Taehyung said at last when you reached the mouth of a long, grand corridor. It was wide, with high ceilings and velvety blue carpet that ran underfoot, while tall antique-looking frames filled with images of distinguished-looking people lined the walls in meticulously organized rows. “Portraits of all the prominent members of the royal family dating back generations can be found here,” he casually explained to you.
“They’re lovely,” you admired as you studied them, your eyes landing on one particularly captivating oil-on-canvas painting of a lady. She was beautiful, with hair as white as snow and eyes as blue as the sea. Beside her, stood a man clad in full regalia proudly hovering above.
“She was quite beautiful, wasn't she?” the Prince suddenly said, startling you with his sentimental tone. Your head snapped to the side in surprise and found Taehyung looking up at the same portrait as you with a much softer look than you were used to seeing from him.
“Yes,” you smiled in agreement as you gazed up at the ethereal woman in wonder before looking back to the Prince with curiosity. “Who is she?”
“My mother,” he bittersweetly replied, his lips creasing into a firm line. “This portrait is all I’ve ever known of her. She died giving birth to me.” He somberly recounted, staring up at the well-aged piece of artwork as if lost deep in thought.
“Oh... I’m so sorry…” you quietly murmured, bowing your head in condolence. You hadn’t meant to pry into such private, painful matters and you instantly felt regret for having asked.
“It’s all right,” he assured you with a gentle wave of his gloved hand. “It happened long ago.” You were relieved that he didn’t seem too upset by the matter, but something about that made you strangely even sadder for him. It felt almost as if he weren’t allowing himself to be sad about it, but you chose to let it go for now.
You gazed between the lady in the portrait and the Prince, studying them both closely, and the thought that formed in your head fell from your lips almost instantly. “You resemble her,” you commented, smiling up at the woman’s strong but elegant features that felt so familiar to you. Those same striking features were present in the face of the boy you had known those years ago—of the man who stood before you now.
“You think so?” he questioned, lightly raising his thick brows. “I do in many ways, I suppose,” he thoughtfully concluded, his mind seeming miles away as he wistfully regarded the portrait.
“Hm?” you called back in confusion at his strange statement.
“It’s nothing.” He half-smiled, dropping the subject completely. “This room is quite boring, isn’t it?” he bluntly asked, his expression having grown disinterested as he flicked his eyes down the expansive hallway. “Would you like to see somewhere… more exciting?” he asked with an uncharacteristically daring twinkle in his eye.
“More exciting?” you repeated back to him, your forehead lightly creasing in thought.
“Come with me.” He wryly smirked, reaching out and gently winding your arm in his again.
You had seen many of the different rooms and halls when Sir Jimin showed you around, as well as that time you’d gone exploring on your own, but Taehyung seemed to be taking you into a section of the castle that you had never seen before, and you couldn’t help but question this.
“Where are you taking me?” you asked him, your arm tucked steadfastly into the crook of Taehyung’s elbow as he continued to press on.
“Somewhere different,” he cryptically replied to you, revealing no further information to your disappointment. You frowned to yourself, but decided to trust him, allowing him to lead you to the unknown location. Besides, you had to admit that you didn’t quite mind the proximity to the dashing Prince as the two of you walked.
Finally, after what felt like far too many turns and towering stairs, you came to a sturdy, well-worn door. The Prince wasted no time pushing it open, holding it ajar for you to pass through, and following through it right behind you.
The windchill hit you before anything else, and it took only seconds for you to realize you were now outside. It seemed the Prince had led you out onto some kind of balcony, extending from the tallest spire of the castle, and overlooking the breathtaking landscape below. Immediately entranced by the sights, you ran ahead to look over the railing at the daunting height, taking in the beautiful view of the snowy mountainside.
You heard a quiet chuckle over your shoulder as the Prince caught up to you, coming to stand beside you at the edge of the stone railing. “It is quite a sight, isn’t it?” Taehyung questioned, taking a deep breath of the crisp alpine air.
“It’s beautiful,” you mused, looking between the valley and the Prince in awe. Since the day you had arrived, Icestone had always seemed so stiff and tragical to you, but seeing it from the angle, it was impossible to deny its charm.
“I thought you might like it,” Taehyung proudly remarked, seeming pleased by your reaction. “The castle can get a bit stuffy, so I come out here to catch my breath sometimes.” He turned to look at you closely, his expression growing more somber. “You seemed to need the same… You don’t enjoy living here, do you?” he asked.
“No, that’s not it,” you hurriedly assured him, not wanting to seem ungrateful after how well you had been treated here. You knew better; far worse might have happened to you if you had been promised to a Prince not even half as benevolent as Taehyung. “Everyone has been so lovely to me since I arrived,” you insisted.
“Then why don’t you seem happy?” he pried, his tone uncharacteristically emotional. “Ever since my father sent you here, I have tried to make sure that you had everything you could ever want, but still, Jimin tells me every day how you seem so sad. Why?” he demanded of you, but it wasn’t anger behind his words; it was frustration, confusion, and… concern.
You hadn't even realized that all this time while Prince Taehyung claimed to be too busy to see you, he had been keeping an eye on you. You thought back to the many gifts you’d received since you came here, the beautiful room, the dresses, and everything else. You’d believed back then that they were just a formality on the Prince’s part to honor your kingdom, but only now did you realize it was Taehyung’s way of trying to make you happy. All this time you’d been so melancholy over the way he seemed to ignore you, that you’d completely missed the fact that he hadn’t been ignoring you at all.
“I do appreciate everything you have done for me, Taehyung…” you trailed off, quietly staring down at the falling snow below, “but none of that was what I truly wanted.” You didn’t know how to say exactly what you were thinking, but this was the longest conversation you’d had with your fiancé in years, and you wanted to try to be open about your feelings with him.
“And what’s that?” he intensely questioned, raising his sculpted eyebrows at you.
“To see you,” you told him with a soft smile, gazing up at him earnestly. “I missed you,” you admitted, knowing you were making yourself vulnerable by saying so, but you simply had to.
“How could you have missed me?” he quizzed, not seeming to believe your tender admission. “We’re practically strangers.” he brushed you off, his cold demeanor returning at last.
“We weren’t always,” you gently reminded him, a sad, sentimental look crossing your face as childhood memories replayed like an old music box in your mind. “We used to be friends.”
Taehyung stared at you for a long time as you spoke, your gaze fixed on the mountain peaks. He looked like he was trying to understand you, as if he looked at you for long enough he could figure out what was going on inside your head. A strange emotion shined in his eyes, like there was something he wanted to say, but just as quickly as it appeared, he extinguished it.
“That was a long time ago,” he muttered to himself, shaking his head as if to clear his own thoughts. “Things are more complicated now.”
“They don’t have to be,” you insisted, a hopeful twinkle in your eye despite the Prince’s rebuffs. Part of you still believed that the Taehyung from your youth was still a part of the man he had grown into, just as the girl you once were was a part of you too. But maybe such fantasies were too good to be true. You sighed. “Never mind.”
“I suppose I missed you too,” Taehyung abruptly admitted, taking you completely by surprise. His expression remained unchanged, his gaze unfocused as he stared out over the hills, but his words held great meaning to you.
“You did?” you nearly stuttered, taken aback by his unexpected confession.
“I used to look forward to your visits when I was young,” he said, a far-away look in his cerulean eyes. “As the crown prince, I was never allowed to play with any other children. I was always in lessons, or sitting in on royal proceedings, or being scolded.” His fine features contorted into a deep frown. “The only time I was ever allowed to be a child was when you would come to visit. I guess you could say you were my only friend… until I was forced to stop seeing even you.”
“Why weren’t you allowed to see me anymore?” you inquired, finally voicing aloud the question that had been weighing on your mind for years.
“I became… sick. My father locked me away in the palace to keep me apart from other people. For my sake and theirs.” He grimaced, gripping at the stone railing with his gloved hands, and you were sure that if you could see them, his knuckles would have been pale white. He was clearly uncomfortable talking about this, but he finally seemed to be opening up to you, so you felt that it was the right time to ask him more.
“Because of your... condition, you mean? With your hands?” you asked, nodding toward them.
“Yes, my hands,” he ruefully sighed, glaring down at the offending appendages in disgust, “cursed things.” He slowly reached for the tip of one glove, pulling it off, and revealing his bare hand to you for the first time since that night you ran into him while roaming the halls. He stared down at it, delicate snow flurries landing against the skin of his palm, and you wondered what exactly was wrong with them that made him glower at himself with such hatred.
“They look perfect to me,” you said, drawing his intense focus back up to your soft gaze. His lips twitched up at the corner in the barest hint of a smile at your words, but it didn’t reach his eyes.
“Sometimes broken things don’t appear broken from the outside. It doesn’t mean that they aren’t still broken,” he cryptically remarked, a profound somberness behind his words.
“Like you,” you absentmindedly murmured.
“What do you mean?” Taehyung asked you, making you realize only then that you had actually spoken your thought aloud.
It was too late to take it back now that it’d been said, you supposed. You decided to fully speak your mind for the first time since you’d arrived.
“You act as if you’re fine living way out here by yourself, but...” you explained, gathering up the might to look up into his sharp cobalt irises. “I think that deep down inside, you’re lonely here.” You knew you were making a bold assumption, but there was something in the ever-present sadness that always lingered behind his gaze that made you believe that you were right.
“Says the woman who smiles even though she is miserable,” he scoffed. “Aren’t we a pair?”
You chuckled, shuffling closer to lean against the railing. But as you did so, you misplaced your foot, the heel of your shoe getting wedged between two of the paving stones, and causing you to stumble backwards. You squeezed your eyes shut, bracing yourself for contact with the cold, hard ground, but it never came.
Your eyelids snapped back open, immediately locking gazes with the man who had stopped you from falling—the Prince—staring down at you with his hand wrapped firmly around your wrist. He pulled you forward, returning you to an upright position, but before you could even open your mouth to thank him, his stare locked on the place where his bare hand clutched your skin, his eyes growing wide as he suddenly let go and recoiled back against the rail in shock.
“I am so sorry,” you hurriedly apologized to him, “I’ve never been a very graceful Princess.” You awkwardly laughed, but the Prince said nothing and remained stiffly frozen in place. “Are you all right?” you asked, concern filling your voice as you took a step towards the startled prince.
“Don’t come any closer!” he barked at you, his voice suddenly more severe and commanding, stopping you dead in your tracks. But as strong and intimidating as his words were, his face portrayed a different emotion entirely: Fear.
You hadn’t meant to cause the Prince such distress, and you hurriedly spoke up once more in an attempt to set things right. “My apologies, Taehyung, I didn’t mean to startle you so—”
“Get away from me,” he seethed, cutting you off before you could even utter another word. His back was pressed hard against the carved railing, his hands gripping it like a vice, and the look in his eyes was more serious than you had ever seen from him. “Now,” he growled at you.
You shivered where you stood, swallowing hard as your gaze trailed down from the Prince’s dark expression to where his hands gripped the balcony. There, as if out of thin air, a veil of pure ice began to spread from the place Taehyung had touched, tendrils of glassy frost wrapping around the entire bannister like creeping vines. You couldn’t believe your eyes, you didn’t know how to make sense of what you were seeing.
“I said go!” Taehyung shouted at you, more desperately than ever before. There was something in his voice—a silent plea that moved your heart and told you this was not the time to ask questions—and you decided it was best to heed the Prince’s warning for now.
You dared to take one last look at his stormy, tortured eyes before you did the only thing you could think to do in that moment; you ran away. Holding up your skirt and trying not to trip over your own feet, you pounded down the staircase and through the palace corridors as fast as your legs could carry you, not stopping until you had reached your room. You flung open the heavy doors, shutting them tightly behind you, and collapsing back against them, your back sliding down until you hit the floor and brought your knees up to your chest, your breathing ragged.
You had no idea what had just happened. There were no words to explain what you had seen. The stone had frozen right under Taehyung’s hands… but that couldn’t be possible, could it? These troubling thoughts ran amuck in your head and plagued you until you slipped into unconsciousness that night, the last thing on your mind before you drifted away being that unforgettable look of fear in the Prince’s eyes.
· ───────── ·𖥸· ───────── ·
For the next few days, Taehyung avoided you like the plague. He didn’t join you for dinner anymore, he didn’t call for you or visit you, and whenever you entered a room you thought he might be in, he always seemed to have just left.
You wanted to believe that it was all in your head, but after what you had seen that day on the balcony, you knew it was something much deeper than that. Taehyung seemed to have an ability you had only read about in books. Of course, you knew about the Fae and their mysterious magic—that very magic had saved your life when you were born—but never had you witnessed anything of the sort with your own two eyes. Until now, that is.
You couldn’t erase the scene from your head; Taehyung’s hands clutching at the railing, the ice spreading like ivy from his touch, and the look of utter helplessness in his eyes. The latter was the hardest for you to forget. You wished that he would give you the chance to talk to him, for him to explain himself, or for him to say anything to you at all, but days continued to pass with only silence filling the halls, and it was becoming too much for you to bear.
You had to see him today. The thought had galvanized in your mind like the icy stone of the castle walls, and there was no way anyone was going to stop you now. You were determined to get an explanation, an excuse—anything—from your fiancé about what you had seen, if only for the sake of getting over this game of cat and mouse that was impeding your pre-wedding preparations. How were you expected to marry this man in mere weeks if he wouldn’t even face you? You wouldn’t stand for it.
Your resolve burned like a fire inside you that could have melted the glacial palace to the ground as you dismissed your servants and trudged towards Taehyung’s private chambers unaccompanied. You knew it wasn’t customary or polite to barge in on someone unannounced, but you knew that if the Prince heard you were coming he would simply try to avoid you again, and you’d had enough of that already.
Flinging open the heavy oak doors, you strode into the Prince’s quarters with confidence, your eyes scanning the room until you found him. He was sat in a comfortable chair by the window, reading as usual, but he looked up at the sound of the doors being breached, and his face paled when he saw it was you there staring at him.
“Princess,” he addressed you, surprise clearly written across his stunned, handsome face.
“Y/N,” you promptly corrected him, deciding it was your turn to be short with him.
“Hm?” he confusedly questioned, his smooth forehead creasing.
“You asked me to call you by your name, and I respected your request,” you explained, trying your best to stand your ground. “Does the same courtesy not extend to my wishes?” you asked him, folding your arms firmly across your chest. You could tell that he was trying to revert back to formalities with you, but his clear attempt to distance your relationship wasn’t going to work—you simply wouldn’t let it.
“My apologies… Y/N,” he quickly amended, seeming caught off guard by your directness. “I wasn’t expecting you to drop by like this,” he remarked, uncomfortably clearing his throat.
“I’d think not since you’ve been avoiding me,” you replied, your words sharp as icicles. You had no idea where this confidence was coming from within yourself, but you willed it to remain as you pointedly stared down the Prince.
“Why would I be avoiding you?” he asked with an air of aloofness, playing coy with you. But you saw right through his act; you weren’t going to allow yourself to be dismissed.
“Because of what I saw on the balcony,” you boldly confronted him. “What you did.”
The prince immediately stiffened at your statement, sitting up straight in his chair, and his features contorted into a frigid, vacant stare. “I do not know what you are referring to.”
“Taehyung.” You sighed in frustration, tired of this childish game of hide and seek. “Despite the circumstances, I have tried my best to be patient and understanding of you from the first moment I arrived here,” you told him, your tone softening as you looked deep into his guarded eyes, pleading with him in earnest. “Couldn’t you please at least be honest with me?”
He stared back at you, studying your face as if deciding if he could truly trust you before finally his expression softened, and he let out a heavy breath. “Fine,” he coalesced. “But not here—let’s go and talk somewhere more private.”
You wordlessly nodded, grateful he was finally speaking to you at all, and you followed after him as he led you from his chambers and down the crisp castle hallway. You weren’t sure where he was taking you at first, but soon you reached the familiar steep staircase, and you climbed up with him to the secret balcony where the very incident had occurred just days earlier.
You stepped out into the brisk afternoon, the clouds downcast and full of precipitation as ever, and your eyes followed Taehyung’s back as he stepped towards the railing before finally turning around to look back at you at last.
“You understand what you saw, don’t you?” he directly asked you, gathering from the way you had barged into his room that you weren’t one to play ignorant about such matters.
“I understand.” You stoically nodded. “I am familiar with Fae magic… but what puzzles me is how Aspenia’s Crown Prince came to wield it?” You quirked a questioning brow his way.
“My mother was like me,” Taehyung explained, your eyes widening at the shocking admission. “She was born of the Fae, but she fell in love with a human—my father—and gave up her magic so that she could marry him.” You were perplexed. The Fae often tried to keep their distance from human affairs; you had never heard of any falling for one, but nonetheless, Taehyung’s parents’ story touched your heart.
“That’s rather romantic.” You softly replied. Giving up so much of yourself for the person you loved more than anything sounded like a worthwhile sacrifice to you, and the thought of it appealed to the hopeless romantic in you.
“I suppose it was.” he shrugged, not seeming quite as moved by the tale. “Until I was born…” Taehyung muttered, his expression going cold.
“What happened?” you tentatively asked him, hoping you weren’t overstepping too much.
“It’s not common for humans and the Fae to have children. They had no way of knowing… what I would become.” He grimaced, wringing his gloved hands out of discomfort over the sensitive topic. “The pregnancy was so hard on my mother that it nearly killed her… giving birth to me took all she had left. At first, I seemed like any other child, but as I grew older, I began to develop… abilities,” he somberly explained.
“Your magic…” you murmured, understanding registering across your face.
“I... was a child with unimaginable power. If I became too upset, or threw a tantrum like other children, things began to freeze around me, icicle shards shot out at anyone nearby, objects turned to ice in my hands, and I couldn’t control any of it.” He looked vulnerable as he told you this—more so than you had ever seen him—and your heart ached at the way his voice seemed to be filled with so much hurt. “My own father… he thought I was a monster. He blamed me for my mother’s death and locked me up to keep me from other people so I couldn’t hurt anyone. I wasn’t allowed any visitors—not even you.”
“How could he do that to you?” you demanded, incredulously, anger swelling up inside you. The thought of that sweet little boy you had once known sitting all alone in his room split your heart in two. “You were only a child… it wasn’t your fault.” You looked to him with empathy, gently placing your hand against his forearm.
“It’s nice to hear someone say that for once,” he softly smiled, gazing down at the place your hand touched him, but all too quickly it slipped away again. “But you’re about ten years too late.” He clenched and unclenched his jaw. “I grew up quickly. I learned to suppress my own emotions in order to control my powers, and I had these enchanted gloves made to help me.”
“That’s why you’re always wearing them,” you concluded to yourself aloud, the pieces finally coming together in your mind at last.
He wordlessly nodded, looking away from you to watch the snowdrifts on the mountainside. “If you wish to call off our engagement in light of this, I’ll take responsibility for everything,” he abruptly said, making your heart drop. “I’ll tell my father it was me who declined the match, and make certain that your reputation remains unsullied so that you can find a more suitable husband.” His words were empty and formal—practiced—and you realized now that the Prince must have been preparing these last few days to make such an offer to you. He had been preparing for you to reject him—to leave him.
“I won’t call off our engagement,” you firmly replied, not even having to think over your response. You had already made up your mind. You wouldn’t lose Taehyung—not again.
“You won’t?” he questioned, his expression a picture of disbelief as he turned back to study your face. He looked caught off guard by your unexpected answer, but you could have sworn that he also looked just the tiniest bit relieved.
“No.” You decisively shook your head. “My kingdom owes yours a great debt, remember? This is my duty to fulfill,” you reminded him, straightening your spine with dignity. “And also… I trust that you will be a fair husband and king when the time comes. So no, I won’t run from this… or from you.” Your promise rang out clear against the gentle swirl of the wind over the frosted hilltops, and you meant every word.
“You’ll marry me even after knowing I’m… that I’m cursed?” he quietly asked you, his glacial eyes focused intently on yours.
“Marriage vows typically stipulate ‘in sickness and in health’, do they not?” You playfully smirked up at him. “I think this applies.”
“I suppose we’ll find out at the altar,” he jested back, surprising you with his good humor. It was the first real laugh he’d shared with you in years, and you smiled warmly at the thought.
A gust of wind swept over the lonely mountain, blowing your way and sending a chill through you that made you shiver. Noticing it, Taehyung watched you closely, asking; “Are you cold?”
“Yes…” you reluctantly admitted, folding your arms over your chest in an attempt to retain warmth. “Speaking candidly, I don’t think I’ve been warm since I arrived here at Icestone,” you mirthlessly chuckled, feeling defeated by the wintery climate you still had yet to adjust to.
“I think I may know how to fix that,” Taehyung concluded, his mysterious offer intriguing you.
“How?” You raised an eyebrow in question.
“Do you trust me?” he asked you rather than answering, his intense irises piercing into you.
“Yes...” you hesitantly replied, mesmerized by the way he was gazing at you right now. You had no idea what he was thinking, but when he looked at you in such a way, you had no mind to begrudge him anything he could ask of you.
“Then come along.” His lips curved into a sweet smile that made your heart flutter. “There’s something I want to show you.” He held out his arm towards you like he had the day he’d shown you around the castle, and you gingerly reached out and accepted it, not even having time to think about if you were ready for whatever he had in mind before he was whisking you away.
He led you much deeper into the castle than you had ever gone before—or rather, as you had been only that night when you dared to explore on your own and ended up lost. Holding you securely by the arm, he brought you to a hall that felt vaguely familiar to you, and when you neared the end of it, you realized why. There, at the end of the hall, stood the beautiful, glassy mirror you had discovered that first night.
You approached the elegant object where it rested against the wall, and Taehyung turned to look at you as you stood before it. “Now hold onto me,” he directed you, as if preparing you for something. “And don’t let go, all right?”
You had no inkling what was about to happen next, but you knew that you trusted Taehyung, and so, willingly, you told him; “I won’t.”
You gripped tightly onto him, your manicured nails slightly digging into his jacket as he let out a deep breath and strided forward, stepping directly into the mirror. But, to your shock, the two of you never made contact with the glass. No—rather, you stepped through the mirror, and out into a beautiful garden, flower petals and butterflies fluttering by on the breeze, and trees in full blossom hanging overhead.
You jumped forward in awe, breaking away from Taehyung, and whirling in a circle to get a full view of the breathtaking arboretum around you. It was more beautiful than anything you could ever have imagined, as if it had been plucked right out of the pages of a storybook.
“What is this place?” you called out in wonder, beaming with excitement as a little bumblebee lazily buzzed right past your head and landed amongst a patch of vibrant yellow daisies.
“This is the garden of eternal summer…” Taehyung finally introduced his secret oasis, proudly surveying the landscape from a few paces behind you. “Some Fae friends of my mother’s created this place for me out of pity when she passed. It’s warm here year-round, and… it’s the one place in the world where I can’t freeze anything.” He explained, slowly removing his gloves and tucking them into his pocket, before reaching down to pluck a small pink wildflower from the grass by his feet.
Taehyung stepped towards you, getting close enough that you could smell his sweet scent of mint and vanilla, and he reached up towards your face, gently tucking the brightly colored blossom behind your ear, but being careful not to graze your skin. “The spell only applies to things from the garden, so it’s best to still be cautious,” he softly murmured, your proximity allowing you to feel the heat of his breath.
You gazed at one another for a moment, your eyes locked in a dreamy haze with neither of you having the courage to move away first, before finally Taehyung awkwardly cleared his throat and took a step back from you, ending your brief moment of intense connection.
“Anyway, since we are to be married, what is mine is also yours,” Taehyung said, gesturing broadly to the paradise around you. “You are welcome to come here whenever you like, Y/N.”
“This is incredible,” you giggled in absolute delight, your eyes eagerly drinking in all of the vibrant sights. “I could stay here for hours.” You turned back to the Prince, offering him a gentle smile of gratitude. “Thank you, Taehyung.”
“It’s nothing.” He nonchalantly shrugged, growing bashful. The more you spoke to Taehyung, the more you began to notice little glimpses of the kind-hearted boy you once knew, and it made you feel warm inside.
You wandered a few paces further, coming to stand beneath the shade of a beautiful cherry blossom tree, and you sat down on the soft grass. You glanced back at the Prince, patting the spot beside you with an inviting grin.
“Will you sit with me for a while?”
He studied you for a few moments, weighing the idea, before he finally caved and smiled back. “I suppose I could stay for a short time.”
He came to meet you where you sat, crouching down beside you on the lush green, and leaning his back against the sturdy tree trunk. You smiled to yourself, glancing up above you to see the small fluttering blossoms float by while bright, fluffy clouds moved across the sky.
“Do you remember when we used to lay in the grass and watch the clouds?” you abruptly asked the Prince, fond memories of your long past summer days dancing through your head.
“I remember,” he subtly grinned to himself, as if thinking the same. “We would lay out together all afternoon until the sun went down.”
“Come here,” you suddenly beckoned him, lying down on your back and reaching out to tug at the Prince’s sleeve and pull him down beside you. He made a sound of surprise, but didn’t protest, and the two of you laid side-by-side in the field, staring up at the brilliant blue sky.
“That one looks like a rabbit!” You excitedly exclaimed, pointing up at a particularly fluffy cloud. “Oh and that one is a shoe!” You giggled like a child at another peculiarly shaped one.
“This one’s a kite,” you unexpectedly heard the Prince’s deep voice from beside you, glancing over to see him gesturing with his large hand to a squarish cloud with a thin tail behind it. It made you happy that he was willing to play this game with you again, as silly as it was, and it gave you hope for your future together.
“They’re pretty, aren’t they?” you grinned, marveling up at the tufts of puffy white chiffon.
“Yes,” the Prince agreed, smiling shyly to himself. “Beautiful.” If only you had been paying close enough attention to realize he wasn’t looking at the clouds anymore, but at you.
· ───────── ·𖥸· ───────── ·
Little did you know, but that first day in the garden together would permanently change things between you and the Prince. It started up naturally; an unspoken agreement that the two of you would meet in your secret paradise every afternoon after Taehyung had finished with his work and stay long into the evening.
Each day you would wait for him, lounging beneath the outspread boughs of a tree while the breeze gently rustled through your hair, and the balmy temperature warmed your skin. And then suddenly, he would be there; his hair the color of sweet cream and his eyes like sapphires glittering in the reflection of a clear pool. He’d always look so formal and uptight in his regalia, but you couldn’t help but notice how he’d relax the moment his eyes found yours, and make his way over to you with the subtlest of smiles.
The two of you would easily while away the hours together talking, laughing, and lying on your backs in the plush green grass while the magical sunlight kissed your cheeks. While your relationship had become so strained and formal over all these years you had spent apart, it now seemed to retreat back to the simpler days of your past childhood, when the two of you were content to just share one another’s company.
The change didn’t happen all at once, but slowly. As days turned into weeks, more and more you witnessed brief moments of the happy, smiling boy you had grown to love in your youth returning to the face of the lonely Prince, like ice slowly melting away, and a new love entirely had begun to take root. What had started out as simply an attempt to rekindle your childhood friendship had blossomed into so much more, and you couldn’t help but feel that you were beginning to fall for the Prince.
While at first you had struggled to understand his reserved ways, you had now learned to see through the stony facade he put up for others, clear through to the man he was inside; a man who was thoughtful, kind, and seemed to care for you deeply. He rarely came right out and said what he was thinking or feeling, but in time you had become an expert at reading that through the things he did. Little gestures every day told you how he felt for you, and it was just as you were beginning to feel for him in turn.
On one peaceful day while the two of you were lounging about in the flowery garden as usual, you noticed a strangely conflicted expression come to cross Taehyung’s attractive features.
“What’s troubling you so?” you questioned the focused Prince, sitting up on your elbows in the grass to gaze at him while he lay on his back.
“The wedding is only a few days away now,” he said, his gaze fixed on the clouds above. “Soon we will be husband and wife.” Something about that statement seemed to be bothering him. Was he getting cold feet about the wedding? You couldn’t help but think back to how worried you had been when all of this began, and you tried to imagine how Taehyung must be feeling.
“You once gave me the chance to call off our engagement… but I’ve only now realized that I never gave you the same choice.” Your brow furrowed in deep thought. “How do you feel about all of this… the wedding?” you asked him.
“I don’t have any doubts,” he replied without hesitation, rolling his head to the side on the lush grass so that he could look into your eyes. There was a seriousness to his words, but they were filled with a soft fondness too that made your heart swell. “I won’t abandon you, Y/N. Not ever again,” he swore to you, “I promise.”
“Neither will I,” you vowed in return, a shy smile finding its way to your lips. “Snow or shine.” It was a big promise you were making, and you knew that, but you had fallen in love with the man who lay beside you, and you wanted to be by his side always—no matter what it entailed.
“That’s a sweet sentiment,” he murmured, smiling gently at you. “But our marriage isn’t going to be easy,” he solemnly reminded you. “Are you sure you want a husband who may never be able to hold you?” He cast his eyes down to his bare hands which rested by his sides, and looked deeply troubled, as if he felt that he was disappointing you with what he perceived as his own inadequacies.
“Maybe you could?” You tried to remain optimistic about your situation, sitting up to face Taehyung directly. “When was the last time you tried to touch a person?” you asked.
“Too long ago to even remember,” he shrugged, rising to mirror your seated position. “Well, until that day when I accidentally grabbed your wrist, but I must have pulled away fast enough to not have harmed you.” He nodded in conclusion.
“Or maybe your magic had no effect on me?” you suggested, the theory beginning to take shape in your head. It was the only reason you could think of to explain why his touch hadn’t frozen you on contact that day, and the more you thought about it, the more it made sense.
“How could that be?” Taehyung questioned, not seeming to follow your stretch of logic.
“When I was sick as a child, Fae healers used magic to save my life,” you explained, realizing that your connection to Fae magic may have resulted in your unusual resistance. “Maybe because of that… I’m immune to your curse?”
“That seems unlikely…” He seemed dubious. “But I suppose it’s not impossible,” Taehyung allowed, beginning to seriously consider your far-reaching idea. “Although I don’t know how we’d ever find that out.” He sighed in defeat.
“We could test it?” you proposed, your face suddenly lighting up with the idea. “Here, touch me,” you excitedly encouraged him, holding your arm out towards the skeptical prince.
“No,” he firmly rejected your attempt, swatting your arm away without making skin contact. “I will not risk hurting you.” His words were filled with a solemnity as solid as the ice of his castle walls, and you appreciated his will to protect you, but still, a part of you wished he would be a little more reckless with you—just this once.
“Won’t you please just try it?” you begged him, imploring him to give your theory a chance.
“It is too dangerous, Y/N,” the prince chastised you, softly shaking his head. “Besides, there are plenty of things in life we can do without ever touching hands,” he pointed out, trying to steer you away from the admittedly risky experiment.
“Like what?” you prodded, gazing up at him through your childish doe-like eyes.
“Well…” he began, his sentence slowly dropping off as he lost himself staring into your deep, trusting irises. No one else had ever looked at Taehyung like this—no one but you—and you smiled at him now just as you did years ago, making his heart flutter the way it had then too.
Without even thinking, he began to lean in towards you, your breath hitching in your throat as his face came within just centimeters of your own. You could feel his warm breath against your flushing cheeks, your eyes not daring to break away from his for even a second until the very moment that his lips met yours at last, and your eyelids finally fell shut in silent bliss.
It was a simple kiss, his mouth softly caressing yours while your noses intimately brushed against one another’s, but in that moment it felt more magical than any Fae enchantment.
You were under Prince Taehyung’s spell, your heart had become irrevocably and irreversibly his, and you didn’t mind. You wanted to be his and his alone—the boy you had once adored was now the man you loved more deeply than any other, and likewise, the girl you had once been had grown into the woman who longed to be with him. You wished that you could have stayed that way forever, but eventually the two of you were forced to part for air, and when you did, you breathlessly stared at one another with heated cheeks and longing eyes.
However, before either of you could say a word about what had just transpired between you, the sound of another entering your secret garden startled you both, and your heads snapped up in tandem to see Jimin standing just feet away with a troubling expression. He looked slightly out of breath, as if he had rushed here, and his uncharacteristically somber demeanor made your stomach plummet. Something was seriously wrong.
“I am sorry to interrupt, your highnesses, but I come bearing very grave news,” Jimin solemnly announced, lightly bowing his head in regret. “His majesty, the King, has… passed on.” The words made your blood feel like lead in your veins. The bad news you had been dreading all this time had finally come to pass, and you instantly looked to Taehyung with worry.
His expression was withdrawn, as calm and collected as he was the day you had first come to Icestone, and that you worried you more than anything. It was the times that Taehyung showed the least emotion that you knew he was in the most pain, and you desperately wracked your brain for any words that might comfort him, but found yourself at an utter loss.
“Taehyung…” you quietly murmured, reaching out for him, but the Prince simply held up a stiff hand to halt your movements.
“Thank you, Sir Jimin,” he vacantly replied, his tone more befitting of a political meeting and not of such heartbreaking news. “Now if you would both excuse me, I have some important matters to attend to.” Taehyung rose up from the ground without so much as a glance in your direction, hastening towards the mirror portal, and crossing back through while all you could do was helplessly watch his retreating back.
“Princess,” Jimin addressed you, a sympathetic look in his eyes. “Why don’t you allow me to—”
Unfortunately, Jimin didn’t get the chance to finish his sentence as you abruptly jumped up from the grass and took off towards the garden gateway, chasing after Taehyung in a rather unbecoming fashion. You didn’t care if it was embarrassing or improper; Taehyung needed you right now—you could sense it—and you simply couldn’t waste another second.
You traversed back through the mirror and into the cold halls of Icestone, your heels clicking furiously against the hard floor as you chased after Taehyung. You just barely caught sight of his coattails as he turned the corner ahead of you, and you blindly followed him, the only thought in your mind being concern for him.
“Taehyung!” you called out to him, but either he didn’t hear you in his grief, or he was choosing not to. You elected not to let either deter you, continuing to pursue him until you both ended up somewhere familiar—the tower balcony.
Taehyung was already standing in the center of the platform when you finally made your way to the top of the stairs. With his back to you, you could see that his hands were trembling and ungloved, as he had neglected to put them back on before storming out of the garden.
“Taehyung…” you tried to reach out to him, your voice much softer and more tentative this time.
“What?” He abruptly whirled around at the sound, his hand flying up, and you barely had time to duck before a shard of ice flew over your head and smashed against the doorway right where you’d been standing moments earlier. Remaining calm, you simply stood back upright again, raising your head high and looking Taehyung right in the face.
His eyes were red and puffy, glossy with unshed tears, and his expression was a mix of anger and horror when he realized it was you that he had almost struck with his frosty outburst.
“I told you not to follow me,” he snapped at you, seeming more worried for your safety than truly angry at you. “You need to go, I’m not in control right now and I might hurt you.” He choked out, his voice as unstable as his shaking legs were.
You said nothing in response to his warning, simply ignoring his words, and taking a step forward, moving closer toward the Prince. 
“What are you doing?” he exclaimed, trying to back away from you in fear. “I told you, I’m too dangerous.” He shouted at you, the very ground beneath your feet beginning to ice over like a frozen pond. The clouds overhead turned a dark grey, and sharp pieces of hail began to rain down from the sky—all Taehyung’s involuntary doing—but you ignored the sting battering your skin and continued to advance toward him. The entire balcony around you was slowly becoming encased in ice, snow, and sleet, the onslaught tumultuous and unyielding, and at the center of it stood the young Prince with pain in his eyes. “Why won’t you run from me?” he begged you, your body now less than a foot from his own.
“I can’t, Taehyung,” you told him, a bittersweet smile reaching your lips as tears pricked at the corners of your own eyes. “I told you, I won’t ever run from you.” You closed the small gap that remained between you two and threw your arms around his waist, his body tensing at first under your hold, but after a moment he relaxed.
As if finally allowing himself to break down, Taehyung leaned into you, his body practically collapsing into yours from the weight of it all, and you felt him bury his face in the crook of your neck, warm tears falling against your skin.
“Is it pathetic of me to weep for the father who hated me?” he humorlessly chuckled amid his crying, his voice husky with emotion.
“He was still your father,” you comforted him, your tone gentle and understanding. “You loved him.” You knew what Prince Taehyung had been through and you couldn’t even begin to imagine what it must have been like growing up entirely alone, but as you held him now you promised to yourself you’d never let him feel alone again.
“Please don’t go,” he whispered against your skin like a desperate prayer. “Everyone I’ve ever loved has left me, I don’t think I could bear it if I lost you too.” His voice was anguished, pleading with you, and all you could think to do in that moment was to clutch onto him even tighter.
“I’m here, Taehyung,” you assured him, rubbing your hand soothingly over his back. “I’ll stay right here.” Your promise was a sincere one.
The two of you remained in that position for a long time; you weren’t sure exactly how long, but when you both had grown too cold to stand being outside any longer, you turned to find that the tundra around you had now melted. Taehyung’s frozen world—the ice which had surrounded his heart for so long—had been thawed by your warmth and cleared away, and side-by-side you retreated back inside together.
· ───────── ·𖥸· ───────── ·
Days later, Taehyung had returned from his father’s funeral at the capitol. You had offered to accompany him, but he’d insisted that he would rather face this somber occasion on his own, so you respected his decision, and waited anxiously for his return as he set off for the main palace with his attendants. After what felt like days of your pacing and worrying, he had finally made it back home to Icestone yesterday evening—just days to spare before the next big affair that was to come: your wedding day.
Since Taehyung’s father had now passed, the nobles had come together and decided that your wedding day would also serve as both of your coronations; the two of you would become husband and wife, Taehyung would become king, and you, his queen. And at last, the long-awaited morning had finally arrived—the day you and Taehyung were to be married.
You could hardly sleep at all the night before the wedding, both from nerves and excitement, as your mind ran through hundreds of scenarios of what the day might be like. You had seen the prince after his return from the capitol, and he was thankfully in better spirits, so you didn’t have to worry about that, but that left room for your countless other more frivolous worries.
How would Taehyung look when he saw you tomorrow? Would he be happy at the sight of you coming down the aisle? Or would he get cold feet and run away? And of course, the one thought you tried, unsuccessfully, to push from your mind stuck out above all else. What would your wedding night with the Prince be like?
You knew the basics of what went on from reading romance novels and eavesdropping on the gossip of palace maids, but you had never experienced anything of that nature, and you weren’t quite sure what to expect. The idea of it in general unnerved you a bit, but you couldn’t help but think that if it was Taehyung you’d be going through it with, it wouldn’t be so bad.
As you laid in bed that morning, awakened by your own body long before your maids had come to get you up, you thought back to the kiss you’d shared in the garden just days ago. You reached up, lightly brushing your fingers against your lips, and you could almost feel the heat of Taehyung’s mouth against your own as you closed your eyes and relived the moment.
Taehyung was your first friend, your first kiss, your first love, and you were ready for him to be so much more. You were ready to marry him, and you hoped he felt the same way about you.
Before long your maids had come in to rouse you, finding you already laying awake in bed, and they greeted you with smiles of excitement that mirrored your own as they began special preparations to ready you for your big day.
You didn’t often wear makeup, not being one for drawing attention to yourself, but today you allowed the maids to dust your cheeks with a light rouge, lining your eyes with thin black feathered lines that accentuated your lashes, and painting your lips a soft rosy shade. They styled your hair in an elegant updo, with snow-white blossoms tucked between each carefully arranged lock, and secured your silver tiara and heavenly white veil at the crown of your head. Your dress, which you had seen only at fittings, was now fully complete, with intricate beading along the bodice, a billowing skirt, and a long, regal train that flowed behind you when you walked, and the delicate lace neckline flattered your shape and exposed your collarbones.
When the maids had finished the last of the ties up your back, they all stood back to gaze at you in wonder, seeming practically in awe of you. Curious, you brought your eyes up to the mirror, catching sight of yourself for the first time that morning, and you suddenly realized why all of your attendants were so speechless. You looked absolutely breathtaking—ethereal—and you felt more effortlessly beautiful than you ever had in your life. You couldn’t help but grin to yourself, wondering if the Prince would think the same.
“You look like an angel, your highness,” Bae dreamily complimented you, fawning at you in wonder as Kai vigorously nodded in agreement.
“Like a queen,” Gerda warmly smiled at you, pride swelling in her gracefully aged eyes.
You smiled back at them all, heat rising to your cheeks from their kind words until a light knock at the door interrupted your brief enchantment, and you called out a “Come in.” to whoever was on the other side. The door cracked open and you watched as Jimin came into view, beaming at you the moment you were within his sight.
“You are a vision, your highness,” he praised you, coming to stand just beside you at the mirror. “His majesty is the luckiest man on earth,” he leaned in to jovially whisper to you, dropping his right eyelid into a sly wink.
You giggled at his flattery, hoping he couldn’t tell how flushed you became from just the mere mention of your fiancé’s name, and you smiled pleasantly at him. “Thank you, Sir Jimin.”
“If you are ready, your highness, I have come to escort you to the throne room to commence with the ceremonies,” Jimin explained, politely offering his arm to you. “Shall we?” He smirked.
You nodded and grinned brightly at him as you reached out to take his arm, your maids sharing words of good luck to you as Jimin led you from the room and down to the grand throne room.
From just the mouth of the entrance hall, you could see that the high-ceiling, cathedral-like room was packed to the brim with duchesses, dukes, lords, ladies, and other high-ranking nobles. A long, white carpet stretched all the way from the massive entryway to the end of the aisle, which was obscured from your view at this angle. You could hear chatter, but as you approached, the royal guards took note of you and signaled to a small brass band who began to play a regal fanfare, announcing your arrival.
All at once, a hush fell over the room, and every set of eyes landed squarely on you. Suddenly nervous, you gripped tighter onto Sir Jimin’s arm, but he smiled at you in reassurance, and you instantly felt better. The parade of flower-petal toting young girls and beautiful maidens dressed in soft blue gowns commenced their procession ahead of you, and the band started up a romantic melody as you began your ascent up the aisle. It was hard to see with your wispy veil over your eyes, but even so, when the altar at last came into view, you could easily see him.
There, waiting for you just meters ahead, was the Prince; he was dressed in a stunning white suit with formal gloves to match, distinguished medals, ribbons, and regalia adorning his chest and shoulders, and his eyes seemed to light up the moment that they met yours at last, a grin breaking out across his perfect lips. It was a reaction you had only dreamed about, and to see him gazing at you this way in real life, on your wedding day, filled you with so much joy that you thought your heart might burst.
You hoped he could see how widely you were grinning back at him beneath your veil when you finally reached the Prince at last, and Sir Jimin ceremoniously released your arm, bowing to you, and going to stand with the other palace officials. You faced Taehyung, and he reached out towards you to gingerly lift your veil away from your face, laying it behind your head, and offering you a small, secret smile that seemed only for you. The clergyman who was waiting there at the altar bowed in respect to the two of you, addressing the crowd gathered before you, and beginning the wedding proceedings.
However, you could barely pay attention to a word the man was saying; your eyes saw only Taehyung, and his, only you, and for practically the entire ceremony you remained locked in a wordless gaze of enchantment, only speaking when directed to—as if you two alone existed.
Taehyung’s coronation came first; he knelt before the congregation and was handed the royal scepter, vowing before god and his people to uphold his duty as king from this day forth until his death. He looked so poised as they placed the intricate crown of blue and silver upon his head—like a born leader—and you couldn’t help but revere him with pride as you moved onto the wedding portion of the affair. 
Your heart was pounding in your chest as the clergyman presided over the two of you, going over the traditional rites you’d heard countless times at other weddings, but they sounded entirely new and exciting now that they were being said for you and Taehyung. At long last, you reached the highly-anticipated vows.
“Do you, Taehyung, King of Aspenia, take Y/N, Princess of Aurelia, to be your wife, to have and to hold from this day forward; for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, as long as you both shall live?” the man asked Taehyung, and you swallowed hard as you awaited his answer.
He looked deeply into your eyes, his warm gaze telling you without any words at all that he intended to keep every last one of the above promises and more, and his expression calm and even as he spoke out the words; “I do.”
You at last released the breath you hadn’t meant to be holding in for so long, relief and delight flooding through you at Taehyung’s positive affirmation, but now it was your turn.
“And do you, Y/N, Princess of Aurelia, take Taehyung, King of Aspenia, to be your husband, to have and to hold from this day forward; for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, as long as you both shall live?” the elderly officiant now looked to you, asking you the same powerful words in measured meter.
You looked at the man before you, the man you loved—the man you had always loved deep down inside—and you knew there was only one answer you could possibly give him. “I do.”
A group of formally dressed men approached you, bowing before you, and reaching up to remove your small Princess tiara from your head, replacing it with a much grander crown of glittering sapphires that was more befitting of the queen you now were. They had you recite the same vows as Taehyung, and you gladly did, prepared to do your best to serve Taehyung’s country as you had your own. When you finally completed the process, the clergyman looked between you and Taehyung, speaking again.
“By the divine power vested in me, I now pronounce you both husband and wife, King and Queen of Aspenia,” the mature minister proudly proclaimed, raising his hands up. “You may now kiss your bride,” he declared, smiling warmly at Taehyung and gesturing towards you.
Your pulse was racing, your hands practically shaking as your new husband leaned into you and captured your lips in a sweet, chaste kiss. It wasn’t as intense or passionate as the kiss you had shared in the garden, but it was perfect in its own way—special—and you beamed at one another as the two of you parted once again, joining arms, and practically floating down the aisle en route to the ensuing after festivities.
Your wedding reception was a joyous affair; the wine was flowing, a string band played a lively and spritely tune while scads of finely dressed people waltzed across the dancefloor, garlands of brightly colored flowers were hanging from the ceilings, and tables filled with delicious-smelling dishes and sweets lined the walls. Taehyung had clearly spared no expense for the occasion, and you appreciated every intricate detail as you took in the sights before you.
“Is it how you pictured?” A deep voice suddenly sounded from beside you, causing you to whip your head to the side in surprise. When you did, you found Taehyung standing at your side, looking down at you with a curious smirk.
“It’s even more lovely than I ever could have imagined.” You sighed in content, your lips and cheeks almost sore from smiling so much this evening. “Thank you,” you earnestly told him.
“Instead of your thanks... could the King of Aspenia trouble his bride for a dance?” He held out his gloved hand to you, a lighthearted look shining upon his normally more serious face.
“The Queen of Aspenia accepts.” You giggled, dipping down into curtsy before accepting his hand, and allowing Taehyung to lead you out on the crowded, bustling ballroom dancefloor.
You swore, the two of you must have danced the entire night; your hand in his, his covered palm resting against the small of your back, and your bodies pressed tightly together as you spun around again and again until the rest of the world seemed to disappear, save for you two. You could have stayed like that for eternity, content to remain forever in your bliss together, but eventually the party had begun to draw to a close, and you and Taehyung were separated as your maids whisked you away to ready you for what was to come next—your wedding night.
Hushed whispers and fussing hands met you in the candlelight of your private chambers as your attendants made haste to undress you from your intricate wedding gown. Your maids had drawn you a warm bath, and they gently scrubbed at your skin, dousing you in sweet smelling perfumes and oils before dressing you in a simple white nightgown, the material so scant that you could practically see through it.
You could barely focus as some of the older maids tried to warn you what to expect, your mind thinking only of Taehyung and nothing else, and before you knew it you were being shuffled down the hallway. You were practically shoved through the doors of his chambers, the maids quickly departing so as to give the two of you privacy, and you awkwardly crossed your arms over your starkly covered chest, taking a glance around the dimly lit bedroom.
It was then that you spotted him, the Prince—no, the King—standing by the window and looking out into the night. When he heard the shuffling of your arrival, he turned over his shoulder, and your eyes instantly met. You weren’t sure what to do or say, nervousness suddenly getting the better of you, and you quietly fluttered over to the bed, sitting down on it and staring intently down at the carpeting. How were you meant to initiate this?
You had no idea where to begin, but hesitantly, you reached for the ties on your nightgown, thinking this would be the best place to start, your hands shaking as you fumbled with the delicate fabric. Trembling with trepidation, you could feel Taehyung’s eyes on you, burning into your very skin, but before you could undress any further, his deep voice called out to you.
“You don’t have to do that,” he said, breaking the tense silence between you two. You froze, your eyes daring to wander up and meet his once again. “You seem so scared.” He frowned, his tone gentle but with an underlying sadness to it. “I won’t touch you, so please don’t worry.”
You blinked at him, your eyebrows knitting together in surprise as you processed his words. “You won’t?” you timidly questioned, staring at him from the bed with wide eyes. “But I thought that…” your voice trailed off, unable to speak aloud the fears that had taken root in your mind about your wedding night.
“That I would do whatever I pleased with you regardless of your feelings?” he questioned, his expression unreadable. “Do you truly think so little of your husband?” His tone was laced with unmistakable hurt as he stared at you with that intense gaze of his, and you realized how your words must have seemed to him. You knew that Taehyung wouldn’t hurt you; you trusted him.
“No… it isn’t that, I…” you fumbled for words, trying to find the words to express your inner thoughts. “Don’t we need to... consummate the marriage?” you meekly asked him, nervously fiddling with your skirt. If there was one thing you knew about, it was regal matters, and to your knowledge, all royal marriages must be consummated the wedding night lest they be rendered invalid, and land you both in trouble.
“You’re shaking like a leaf,” Taehyung quietly observed, his gaze dropping to your unsteady hands. “I would never force you to do anything you are not ready for, Y/N,” he firmly stated, keeping his distance as he remained across the room from you. “I will not lay a hand on you, I swear it. You don’t have to be afraid—not of me,” he promised you, his eyes much softer and kinder than you had ever witnessed. He made a move towards the door as if to leave you, but right as he tried to step past you, you reached out and caught his wrist with your small hand.
Taken aback by your touch, he snapped around to face you, his eyes trained intently on yours as he searched for an explanation in your stare.
“I’m not afraid,” you calmly said to him, still maintaining your light grip on his wrist to keep him close. Your words held the same sincerity that your eyes did as you gazed up at him, and Taehyung was nearly rendered speechless by it.
“What?” He finally managed to say, his face a mixture of both confusion and incredulity.
“I said I’m not afraid of you, Taehyung,” you repeated once more, willing your voice to sound strong and confident in spite of the way your heart was pounding wildly within your chest.
Taehyung’s collected expression, which had briefly faltered with the shock of your words, quickly became hard once more, as if he were closing up again to protect you from himself, and he carefully pried his arm from your hold.
“You have every reason to be,” he humorlessly scoffed, glancing down at his now exposed hands. “Everything I touch... turns to ice,” he said, his pained eyes as he studied his palms betraying his calm exterior. “I could hurt you... or worse,” he told you with deadly seriousness, as if to make it sound like a warning, but you could see that beneath it was pure worry.
“But your curse had no effect on me when you touched me before—we both saw it,” you argued, reminding him of the events you had both witnessed that day on the balcony. He had made full contact with your skin and nothing had happened to you then. “And besides that... I know that you would never hurt me,” you said with the utmost certainty, looking up at him with eyes full of love. “I trust you, Taehyung.”
He looked shocked by your confession, his face lighting up for just the briefest moment before it gave way to a look of frustration. “Why?” he asked, his thick brows furrowing in disbelief. “How could you be willing to risk everything for a monster like me?” he practically demanded of you, his ocean-like eyes stormy with anguish.
“Because I love you,” you said to him, your eyes soft and so full of all those fond memories of the sweet boy from your youth. You knew he was still in there—you had caught glimpses of him over the course of your time here—and you believed in him. “You’re not a monster. And you can’t keep pushing everyone away... aren’t you lonely, Taehyung?” you asked him, sorrow filling your own voice as you thought about how hard these years of isolation must have been on him.
“These hands haven’t touched another living soul in a long time,” he said, swallowing hard as if he were nervous. “I’m... not certain that I even remember how it feels,” he admitted to you, the loneliness behind his sad words unmistakable.
“Touch me,” you told him without hesitation, going against all of your better judgements.
“Do you know what you are asking for?” he hesitantly questioned you, his cobalt eyes piercing into yours. “We can’t be certain that you are immune to my curse… you could turn to ice in my arms,” he cautioned, reminding you of the deadly consequences of his cursed touch.
“I know,” you quietly replied, but you had never been more certain of anything in your entire life. “Touch me, Taehyung,” you repeated the words, gazing up at the new King with blazing determination, “I wish to be with my husband.”
Taehyung instinctively stepped forward at your words, unable to keep himself from you any longer, his much larger body looming over you, and you held your breath as he reached out a shaking hand toward you. Tentatively, the cold skin of his palm made contact with your warm cheek, and you both braced yourselves for a chill which never came. No—just as you had suspected, Taehyung’s curse seemed to have no effect on you, and you saw his lips curve up into the widest smile of relief as he looked down at you, caressing your face with his large hand.
You smiled back at him, and it was as if the spark between you two was suddenly ignited. Taehyung wasted no time reaching down to pull you up from the bed by your shoulders and into his waiting arms, his mouth finding your own almost immediately. His lips were soft against yours, but frantic too, his desperation for you clear in the way he held you so tightly to him as he kissed you. He had been waiting longer than you could imagine to hold you like this, and it was quite literally a dream come true for him.
His hands cupped either side of your flushed face, the roughness of his palms serving as a foil to your soft cheeks, and he was almost in awe of the sensation of your skin against his own. He was touching you, truly touching you, and you weren’t freezing in the slightest. Better yet, you were warm—tantalizingly so—and he was eager to touch even more of your body.
He slipped his hands beneath the thin fabric of your nightgown as his tongue dove deeper into your mouth, his hungry touch trailing up your bare legs, and behind your shaking thighs until he reached the curve of your backside. His large hands lightly squeezed at your untouched flesh, gently kneading it and drawing a deep, wanton sound from you that you’d never uttered before.
“Taehyung,” you whimpered, clutching tightly onto his shoulders as his hands explored your body beneath the thin material of your slip.
He grinned, adoring the sound of his name falling from your lips in such a way, and he was determined to hear it even more. He leaned in and captured your mouth in a sweet kiss, your noses softly brushing together as he pushed his tongue past your lips again and again, relishing in the taste of you. You were warm and sweet, like hot cocoa on a cold winter’s day, and you let him drink in your warmth with every brush of his lips against yours. You could practically feel the ice encasing him dissolving away, until only the beautiful man held behind it remained.
His wide palms took hold of your thighs from behind, and you gasped in surprise against his mouth at the sensation, his hands slowly prying your legs wider apart so that he could press himself between them as he kissed you deeply.
“I love you too,” he cooed against your lips in response to your earlier declaration, tenderly stroking your face with the pad of his thumb. “My sweet wife… the only creature on this earth that does not freeze under my touch,” the King affectionately addressed you, looking deeply into your eyes. “Surely, you alone were made to be mine,” he declared, taking your dainty hand in his own and lifting it to his lips to be kissed. “You belong to me now, and I to you.”
The look in his eyes was quite intense, but there was a tenderness to it too; Taehyung was now your husband—your king—and you, his queen, and although it was on the surface simply an arranged marriage of political convenience, you couldn’t deny that you had grown to carry true feelings for him, just as he had in turn for you.
“Yes, my king.” You nodded, willing your voice to remain calm despite the way you were in tremors in his tight hold. You knew Taehyung loathed formalities, but the words seemed to roll off your tongue, and he seemed to like it.
“Your king?” His lips twisted into a subtle smirk at your endearing use of his formal title, his grip tightening protectively around you. “Would my queen forgive her king if he breaks his promise not to touch her on this night?” he asked you, his lust-clouded gaze raking hungrily over your thin nightgown. Every word Taehyung said was driving you mad for him, and you were certain he could sense the way you yearned for him.
“Such a betrayal is not beyond forgiveness,” you shyly replied, your heartbeat thundering loudly in your ears. Flustered hearing Taehyung speak such desirous things to you, you forced yourself to look down, your cheeks heating furiously, but his fingers gently gripped your chin and lifted your face back up again.
“You need never hide your face from me, my angel. Look into my eyes and see only your adoring husband,” he beckoned you, your timid eyes traveling up to find his piercing slate ones. They burned with such passion, such need for you, and you were practically mesmerized by the emotion in them. Never in all the time you’d known Taehyung had his eyes looked so warm to you—well, not since the two of you were both children—and the mere sight made your heart swell. “If you wish it, I shall make you mine.”
“Will you be gentle?” you asked him, your wide, innocent eyes peering timidly up at him.
“Of course. I would never harm my most precious gift.” His lips lifted into a small smile, his fingers gingerly brushing your hair back from your face in an affectionate gesture.
Taehyung leaned forward and nuzzled his nose against your own, kissing you passionately, and entangling his tongue with yours once more. He pressed more firmly into you, easing your body down until your back fell against the pure, white sheets, and you collapsed against the plush bed. Hovering just above you, your soft thighs peeking out where your nightgown had ridden up, you looked absolutely ravishing beneath him, and Taehyung eagerly descended on you.
He pressed his lips to the delicate skin of your collarbone, sucking at it through his teeth and marking you over and over as his own, while his hands slid up your thighs until they reached the delicate hemline of your nightdress. Tugging at the thin ties of fabric, he pulled until it finally fell away, and he cast it off from your body, leaving you fully naked beneath his clothed frame.
You suddenly felt vulnerable, the only thing shielding you from Taehyung’s unyielding gaze now stripped away, and you squirmed beneath him, your hands fluttering to cover yourself. But Taehyung easily caught your wrists in his much larger hands, halting you, and pressing delicate kisses to each of your palms in an attempt to calm you. He looked down at you, taking in the full sight of your body for the very first time, and a fond smile came to grace his pink lips.
“You are beautiful, my queen,” he murmured in complete and utter adoration, his declaration and the mesmerized way he was gazing at you immediately helping you to feel more relaxed.
You managed to smile back at him, hesitantly pulling your hands from his light grip so that you could run your fingers along the fabric of his nightshirt. You wanted to see him the way he was seeing you right now, and following your gaze, he understood, reaching down to grip at the fabric of his shirt and pull it over his head.
Immediately your eyes were transfixed by the sight of his smooth, bare chest before you, and you couldn’t help but reach out to touch him, your tentative fingers curiously brushing along the warm skin of his abdomen. Taehyung’s eyes fell shut as you did this, a deep-reaching sigh of content leaving his lips at the raw sensation of being touched after years of living in isolation.
When he opened his eyes again, there was something new in them, a desire—a hunger— that threatened to consume you, and for some reason, you wanted it to. His hands found their way to your naked waist, wrapping his fingers around you possessively, and holding you in place as he leaned down to kiss you more and more, while you laid on your back beneath him.
His tongue painted a portrait of your mouth, his heavy body pressing yours down into the bed, but in a way that felt so safe and secure. You trailed your touch up his arms and down his back as he kissed you, earning a shudder of pleasure from him, and he suddenly rolled his hips against yours. You felt something hard and dense there—a foreign sensation, but you knew what it meant—and the moment that it made contact with your naked center, it sent a spike of white-hot heat through your lower body.
“Ahh—“ you unexpectedly moaned into Taehyung’s mouth, caught off guard by the wonderful feeling. He grinned against your lips at this, relishing in your sweet sounds, and his determination to wring them from you grew with every soft sigh that left your lips.
He ground his concealed erection against you at a tentatively slow pace, getting you used to the unfamiliar but enticing feeling, before he decided to push things further, trailing a hand up your bare thighs until his touch was ghosting your center. You were breathing heavy, wound up by his proximity to your most secret place, and you shivered in anticipation as he ran his fingers along the chasm of your damp folds.
Ever so gently, he plunged one of his long digits inside you, your whole body going rigid at the foreign intrusion, but it felt strangely good too. He watched your face with excitement as he began to move within you, pumping his finger in and out and flexing it between your walls.
“Please, Taehyung,” you whimpered, gripping tightly to his upper arms for some kind of stability. You had never experienced anything like this before, and even though it scared you, you trusted Taehyung to take care of you. 
“It’s all right, dearest one,” he cooed soothingly to you, stroking your cheek with his free hand. “I promise you’ll like this,” he explained, trying to reassure you with his soft words and gentle touches. “I just want to make you feel good.”
You nodded in understanding, giving him the approval he desired to continue, which he gladly did. He kissed you once more, his lips meeting the skin of your cheeks, your neck, and your chest until finally his head came down to join his hand at your burning heat. He pressed a gentle kiss to your lower belly, flicking his eyes up to yours and holding contact with you as he brought his lips to your glistening lower ones.
His mouth enveloped your folds, his tongue gently poking out and dipping into you, and you whined at the feeling, reaching down to grip onto Taehyung’s hair for security. You had never experienced anything of this nature before, and you couldn’t believe how incredible it felt. He focused his attention on your tiny bud down there, experimentally rolling over the spot with his hot muscle as if testing out the motion, and you instantly felt tendrils of delicious heat spreading throughout your entire body, making you moan out shamelessly loudly for him.
He seemed to be trying to time each suckling movement of his lips and tongue with each push of his fingers into you, balancing the immense pleasure with the uncomfortable stretch so that it wouldn’t hurt. “Does it feel all right?” he paused his efforts to ask, looking up at you with tender eyes and lightly glazed lips.
You could only nod, so overwhelmed by the symphony of new sensations that were hitting you all at once, and he smiled in satisfaction. 
“I’ve never actually done this before, so this is all new for me too… but tell me if anything feels wrong,” he candidly admitted, the fact that he was just as inexperienced as you were setting you more at ease. “I only want to please you.” He shyly smiled at you, his expression earnest.
“Kiss me,” you murmured to him, your voice like a siren to a lonely sailor on the harbor. When you summoned him so sweetly he had no will to deny you, and he quickly bobbed his head back up to meet your soft lips, the taste of his mouth strange from your juices but not unpleasant.
His tongue delved into your mouth, tasting every last inch of you, while his hands briefly abandoned your core to slide up your thighs, slowly rising until they stopped just beneath your breasts. It was clear that he wanted to touch them but was waiting for your approval, and so, gathering your courage and reaching down, you rested your small hands over his much larger ones and placed them over the swell of your chest. He instantly reacted, gently squeezing down on your tender flesh, and ghosting over your pert nipples with the pads of his fingers. He pressed kisses to each one, like offerings to a goddess, and you writhed in bliss.
No one had ever touched you like this, and after Taehyung had, you vowed to yourself that he would be the only one who ever would. He was your one and only true love—the other half of your soul—and you wanted the two of you to become one. You involuntarily rubbed your thighs together as he teased your breasts, the sensation making warm wetness pool between your legs, and this didn’t go unnoticed by your husband. He could sense that you wanted more from him, your hands pulling at his chest as if pleading with him, and he received your signals.
He briefly removed his hands from your body, reaching for the waist of his thin trousers before pushing them down, and stripping them off, exposing his fullness to you for the first time. You had never seen a man in such a way, and your eyes slightly widened when you realized how large he was, wondering how such a thing was expected to fit inside your small opening.
As if reading your thoughts, Taehyung quickly spoke up. “We’ll go slowly,” he assured you, reaching down to comfortingly cup your cheek.
You nodded in relief, and he pressed his body down against yours once more, reconnecting your lips. With his hardness now exposed, you could feel how stiff it was against you, and it wedged between your legs as you kissed, lightly rubbing along your folds. The friction it created was entirely addicting, and feeling emboldened, you tried rolling your hips down against him.
Taehyung hissed in pleasure, breaking your kiss to bury his face instead in the side of your neck, his teeth lightly raking over your flesh. Taking your advance as an invitation, he began to grind more forcefully into you, his hard length slotting perfectly along your dripping folds and making you both pant in pleasure. This was what it felt like to desire someone, to want someone to be a part of you more than anything in the world—you understood now—and you were ready for it.
“Take me now,” you suddenly told him, making the decision before your rational brain could catch up to your body’s desires. You wanted him to possess every part of you before you lost your confidence again; you wanted to become entirely his. “I’m ready,” you insisted, staring fearlessly into his mesmerizing oceanic eyes.
“It may hurt a bit, my darling wife,” Taehyung whispered somewhat worriedly to you, his voice gentle as his hand softly coddled your face. He wanted to make sure that you were fully aware of what you were getting into before you agreed to this. “Are you certain that you want this?” he asked you, peering deeply into your wild eyes for any sign of hesitation. “That you want me?”
“Yes.” You nodded certainly, your voice breathy and full of need. “Make me yours, Taehyung.”
He needed no further confirmation than your inviting words, reaching a hand down to wrap around his member and line the tip of it up with your center. He let out a satisfied groan as he pushed into you at last, his large hand gripping onto the headboard above you for stability and you felt a sudden rush of cool air across your forehead as he did this, glancing up to find that a small area of the wooden bedframe had now began to ice over right where he’d touched it.
You remembered Taehyung’s words about how unpredictable his powers could be when he was experiencing intense emotion, and it made you happy to see that he was feeling every bit as passionate for you right now as you were for him. However the reality of your bodies colliding interrupted your thoughts, your hands gripping at the sheets to brace yourself as Taehyung’s hard member fully entered you. Your walls were unaccustomed to such a stretch, and you felt a tightness in your lower body so intense that you thought you might snap in two as you cried out.
“I’m so sorry, my love,” Taehyung regretfully tutted, pressing soothing kisses to the side of your face. “If you want me to stop, say so at any time,” he reminded you, concern in his tone.
“No,” you quickly replied to him. Despite your discomfort, you decisively shook your head no, not wanting to give up a moment of your time together. You wanted to be with the man you loved more than anything, and there was just about nothing you weren’t willing to endure.
He gave you a few moments to recover from the initial shock, and sooner than you expected, the slight sting began to dull, and you became antsy for him to move again. You wiggled your legs and Taehyung chuckled at your adorable impatience, sweetly kissing the tip of your nose. Responding to your needs, he began to slowly rut in and out of you, each time pulling himself a little further out so that when he pushed back in he had the momentum to reach spots deeper inside you—the stretch intense, but gradual.
You mewled at the excitingly foreign feeling of him sliding between your walls, encouraging him to pick up his pace and thrust into your with more force. You had no experience with any of this, but you knew that you liked it, and you wanted Taehyung to keep going. This time he pulled out nearly to the tip, his hips colliding with yours as he rammed back into you, and his member filled you up to the brim, completely sheathing him within your tantalizing warmth.
“God, Y/N,” he groaned out, his mouth sucking down on your collarbone and contributing to the abstract portrait of blooming red, pink, and purple marks already there. “My darling Y/N,” he murmured against your skin, wanting to own every last part of you. He ground into your body harder in his insatiable lust for you, teetering on the edge of losing control from how beyond this world it felt to be moving within you at last.
He reached out and gripped onto the bedside table for support as he pounded into you, the wood becoming encased in frost, as ice spread from Taehyung’s touch all the way down the table legs and onto the floor, spreading through the room, but neither of you seemed to care. You were entirely too focused on one another, on the love you were feeling, and the beautiful moment your entwined bodies were sharing.
You could sense there was something building inside you; a pressure in your lower body that only seemed to be growing more intense by the minute, and you had no idea what the feeling meant, but you could tell you were close to its apex. Taehyung seemed to be right with you as well, if his ragged breathing and glistening forehead were any indicators. His thrusts were growing more reckless, less measured, and that strange feeling in your belly was becoming harder and harder to suppress by the minute.
“Taehyung, I…” your weak voice trailed off as you tried to speak but failed, interrupted by each hastening snap of his hips into yours. You didn’t have the words to express what was happening to you, but Taehyung seemed to understand you nonetheless, and he brought his mouth up to kiss you sloppily, no longer able to hide his primal, burning need for you.
“Let go with me,” he murmured to you between kisses, uttering the most beautiful sinful words, and cupping your face in his hands. “We’ll come undone together,” he rasped to you, using every ounce of his willpower to hold on longer for you.
You nodded in understanding, his words being the final absolution you needed to uncork the pressure mounting within you. Your body went limp under him, your toes curling as everything seemed to hit you all at once. Your vision came in flashes; Taehyung’s flushed face above you, the ceiling over your head, your bodies colliding in perfect harmony. You could sense Taehyung struggling, gripping onto you like he never wanted to let go, and his thrusts devolved into disorganized strokes, decreasing in rhythm until he shuddered against you, and you felt hot ribbons of liquid releasing inside of you.
The two of you shared heavy breaths like you were of only one body—not two—everything about you both so perfectly in tune with one another in this moment, and you laid together as a comfortably tangled mess amid the sheets.
“I love you,” Taehyung whispered against the shell of your ear, pressing a delicate kiss there. “I love you so much,” he told you again as if he simply couldn’t get enough of saying the words to you, repeating them again and again, and leaving a trail of reverent kisses behind him.
“Taehyung!” You giggled in delight, playfully pushing at his shoulders. You felt something flutter down from above you both and land against your nose, and curiously, you looked up to find its source, smiling broadly to yourself. “Taehyung, look!” you exclaimed, and he lifted his head to follow your line of sight all the way up to the air above you, where a seemingly impossible fluffy cloud had formed, delicate snowflakes floating down from it and lightly dusting the two of you in your blissful afterglow. “You made it snow!” You beamed up at him.
“It’s because of you,” he fondly smirked, gazing at you in adoration. “You make me happier than I’ve ever been—this is just my magic’s way of expressing that.” He grinned proudly down at you, smoothing your hair back from your face.
“Let’s see if we can make some more,” you giddily proposed, pressing your body up against Taehyung’s and pulling him down for a greedy kiss. He chuckled against your lips, your cute and admittedly forward actions amusing him.
“As you wish, my queen,” he playfully smirked at you, taking ahold of your hips and rolling the two of you over so that you were straddling his waist from above. “Let’s try again.” He grinned.
· ───────── ·𖥸· ───────── ·
It was no secret around Icestone palace that the newlywed king and queen were hopelessly infatuated with one another; from your wedding night on, hushed giggles and quiet gasps were heard drifting down the halls from your shared chambers long into the night and early into the morning hours, filling the castle with whispers.
You and Taehyung had become practically inseparable now, eating every meal together, spending hours lying in the secret garden, and playing out in the snow like any ordinary couple on Taehyung’s days off from official business. There was scarcely a moment that you weren’t by one another’s side. Which is why it struck you as odd on one particular day—only a few months after you’d been married—when you could not seem to find your husband anywhere.
It wasn’t like him to disappear without notice with even his servants having no idea where he had disappeared to, and you searched high and low for him in every corner of the palace. You checked his study, your chambers, even your special secret garden, but all turned up no sign of your beloved or any clue to his whereabouts. Feeling disheartened, you were just about to give up the search and start becoming seriously worried for him when you remembered there was one last place you hadn’t checked yet.
Hastening up the stairs as fast as you could manage, you practically burst out onto the tower balcony, finding just the man you were searching for standing nonchalantly against the railing, the sight of his broad shoulders from behind instantly filling you with relief.
“You nearly gave me a heart attack,” you called out to your oblivious lover, but he didn’t seem startled at all by the sound of your voice, as if he’d been expecting you. “Do you have any idea how long I’ve been looking for you?” you asked him, striding towards him in playful annoyance.
He turned to look at you from over his shoulder, smirking in self-satisfaction like this had been part of his plan all along. “I knew you would find me up here,” he chuckled, a twinkle of mischief in his brilliant blue eyes. “You always have.”
You rolled your eyes but came to stand beside him nonetheless, leaning casually against his firm shoulder, and he quickly made room for you, guiding you to stand in front of him along the railing so that he could wrap both arms around you from behind as you gazed out at the crisp new snow atop the mountain peaks. 
“What are you doing way up here, hm?” you lightly interrogated, inclining your head to the side so you could catch a glimpse of his profile. “Is there something on your mind?” you gently questioned him. He’d told you once that this was where he came to think when things got too overwhelming, and you began to worry that something must have been troubling him.
“My mind hasn’t been at peace since the day I met you, dearest,” he lovingly teased, pressing his lips affectionately to your temple while you scoffed and gently shoved at him in jest. “But actually… I came up here because I wanted to show you something.” He carefully chose his words, intriguing you with their vagueness.
Turning in his hold so that you could face him directly, you looked into his eyes with curiosity ablaze in your own. “Show me what?” you said, your creased brows making that small indent in your forehead he found absolutely adorable.
Without a word, he suddenly backed away from you, reaching into his pocket and pulling out a small leather-bound book, holding the object up as if showing it off to you. You cocked your head to the side as you studied the old tome, but nothing seemed particularly extraordinary about it to you. It was—by all accounts—just an ordinary book, and you lightly frowned at your husband in confusion. “A book?” you quizzed.
“The book isn’t the surprise,” he hinted with a knowing smirk, waiting for you to catch onto his little surprise. Sensing you were lost, he wiggled his bare fingers against the book cover, and your face suddenly lit up in realization.
“It’s not freezing!” You yelled to him in surprise. “You’re holding it without your gloves and it isn’t freezing!” You repeated as if saying it out loud would make it make sense to you. “But how…?” you stuttered in question, wondering how this object seemed to defy his curse.
“Well... I realized that I only seemed to freeze things whenever I was emotional. Fear was the catalyst, and the more scared I was, the more out of control I became.” He explained to you, studying the mundane book and running his hands over it. “But since we’ve been together, I’ve finally figured out the antidote. The way to control my powers is the opposite of fear,” he said, looking up and raising a sly brow at you.
“The opposite?” you pried, mulling over his words. “What is it?” You had no earthly idea what could possibly be powerful enough to undo his curse, but you were eager to find out.
“Love.” He grinned at you, his smile as bright and as beautiful as it had been the first time you’d met him all those years ago as a child. “The answer was love—it was always you, Y/N.” There was undeniable love in his voice when he spoke, a love more powerful than you had ever thought you’d experience, and Taehyung’s eyes regarded you like you were the most precious treasure on this earth—and to him, you were.
As you stared back at him, tears of joy forming at the corners of your eyes and threatening to spill, you couldn’t hold yourself back any longer. You ran forward and leapt into Taehyung’s arms, and he was more than ready to catch you, spinning you around and lifting you up with his sturdy forearms. He looked up at you with all of the stars in his eyes, and you were certain you must have been looking at him just the same as he brought you down to meet his lips in an intimate kiss. It was a moment of pure bliss.
“In all my life, I have never loved another as I love you,” he sweetly murmured to you, holding you securely in his warm embrace. “Will you stay by my side forever?” he asked, surprising you with the fact he even had to ask you this after how deeply and strongly you felt for him.
“Of course I will,” you laughed, squeezing him tightly and nuzzling your nose against his. “I love you, Taehyung. I’ll always love you,” you promised him, meaning it with every fiber of your being. You glanced down at your slightly swollen stomach, placing your hand over it and gently caressing it as you looked deeply into Taehyung’s eyes. “We both will,” you told him, hoping that he would pick up on the news you’d been waiting to for the right time to tell him.
“No…” he gasped in surprise looking down at your very newly pregnant stomach. “You are?” he excitedly asked, holding both your hands and gawking at you with an adorable smile.
“I am.” You proudly grinned back. “We’re going to be a family,” you happily announced, and he pulled you tenderly into his arms once again.
“I don not know how you did it, but you have officially melted the Snow King,” he quietly chuckled, stroking his hand through your hair. “I swear, I will spend every day for the rest of our lives repaying you for the warmth you’ve brought to my heart,” he swore to you, the two of you embracing one another as a gentle snow began to sprinkle down from the skies above—a sweet testament to your everlasting happiness.
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evien-stark · 5 months ago
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✧I Need You✧  Chapter 199
A mostly decent night’s sleep did wonders for the mind and body. It also had you running a little late to start your life the next day. Tony was gone, as usual and as expected. But it would have been nice for him to at least let you know you were sleeping so deep you were likely to be in trouble. It was hard to hold the thought against him, though. He’d probably left well enough alone on purpose. As you did to him, sometimes. Still. You were hurried and harried as you rushed through a shower and getting your face and hair ready, picking out a vibrantly colored power suit and a pair of killer heels that would boost your confidence enough to get through the day. Back-to-back-to-back meetings lined your schedule. And while the people waiting for you now weren’t likely to actually say they’d been waiting too long, their moods would be worse for it. Nothing you couldn’t amend, however. Which was why before you actually stepped out for the day you stopped at the labs. You’d expected Tony to be working on something, as he always was, a routine the two of you were very well used to at this point. It was why when you bumped into him immediately getting off the elevator you were more than a little startled. 
His hands on your arms steadied you from a wobbly break, and his amused grin cleared the haze. “Looking for someone, honey?” 
“You- actually- …- oh- I’m sorry-” Getting a rushed start this late in the day was doing you no favors. Your thoughts were a little bit frantic. Even more so when you spied the person he was talking with in the hallway. “Dr. Linnet, how are you? Am I interrupting something?” Tony was with Deja of all people… this was an interesting turn of events. Did he put himself back in therapy?? But- why here? Why in the labs? Though she’d been stationed more on the Avengers base upstate, she certainly still had an office here for use. ...maybe they’d been talking in his labs for the comfort of a familiar environment? She smiled warmly. “Not at all. We were mostly through. It’s nice to see you again. It’s been a while.” A very less than sly way of letting you know she was thinking about you. And all your missed appointments. Oh well. Very luckily, Tony saved your embarrassment at having to find an excuse to why it had been so long since you and your therapist had last spoken. He gave your shoulders a little rub before putting his hands in his pockets. “We were actually about to come see you. Hoping to catch you before you left.”
Blankly you nodded. “I actually have to run.” Feeling a sudden sense of desperation. Like you were being backed into a corner. Tony and your therapist wanted to speak to you. That felt bad. You needed to get out of here. They needed to know you couldn’t stay long enough for whatever the hell this was.
“I know you do.” Tony must have sensed your sudden anxiety. He reached out again, putting a soothing touch between your shoulder blades in a light rub. “Look- can you keep your schedule clear March thirteenth?” 
It was weird that he’d ask something like this- and that he’d do it in front of the doctor. ...or with her. This was what they’d wanted to come talk to you about. ...but finally you were able to see past yourself. And into him. He was wound up about something, too. A little frayed at the edges. 
He needed your attention. Your assurance. The two of you looked at each other for just a little too long. The elevator doors reopened. You hadn’t even realized you’d terror-pressed the button a few seconds ago trying to get away from them. You held an arm up to keep them open but gave him a nod. “Sure, Tony. Whatever you need.” Letting him know. Whatever this was… Even if it was something that was going to end poorly for you… you’d be there. ...god, what if it was an intervention? Better not think about it. His smile gave you permission to back away. But before you did you put your other hand on his chest to anchor yourself and lifted up to press a kiss to his cheek. “I’ll be back around six.” 
Despite present company and the social faux-pas, he seemed unable to help himself from reaching up to cup the side of your face and direct you closer in for a proper kiss. You surrendered. It was simple, sweet, and quick enough to not be entirely awkward with a third party standing there. “I love you.” There was a shimmer of gratitude there. “I love you.” Murmured back to him. Stealing one last quick kiss. You then stepped backwards into the elevator and gave a little wave. “Bye. Nice seeing you, doctor.” Trying to be polite. She still wore that smile and returned the gesture. “You, too. Have a nice day.” 
The doors closed and you let out a shaky breath. It was better not to think about what the hell you’d just gotten yourself into. ...and whether or not the two of them were talking about you in your absence. Or in the moments before it- No. Don’t think about it. ...don’t think about it… 
                                                             --- 
As expected, no one had the guts to say anything to you about being late for their afternoon meeting. You cut that one short, too, so that you wouldn’t be late for anything else. Which was rude. And not a behavior you often gave into. You made sure to… ease the room a little bit. This was cheating but, there were more ways than one to be good at your job and keep partners and business friends happy. Using everything you owned to your advantage was just fair play. You even let them pick another time for a much lengthier meeting about whatever it was they were talking about… your mind was a little far away. And it stayed that way for the remainder of the day. Which is exactly what you didn’t want to be doing. Exactly what you promised yourself you shouldn’t and wouldn’t do. But. You still did it. Because how could you help yourself? What were Tony and Deja doing? Was he worried about you? Sure he’d have every right- there was a lot to be worried about sometimes. You had long moments where nothing was okay. Thousand yard stares that turned into PTSD meltdowns and panic attacks- and then you bounced back into moments of normality- ...yes. Yes Tony had every right to maybe try and seek a therapist’s advice about what he should do. How he should talk to you. How he could maybe get you to try and seek steps on the road to recovery- But why would he do that immediately after yesterday? Had something gone wrong? Had you done something bad to him? Had the intensity in your office actually upset him in some way? ...had you missed that somehow? All of this was making you feel a little sick. There was a lot wrong with you, fine. You understood that. You had barely healed from any single event that had scarred you, yet you preached for others to do so and advocated heavily for the use of therapy for all your other teammates so that they could get the help they needed. Yet you… ...you refused. Quietly. Didn’t set up appointments and blew off the rare ones that you did. It was just- you just- … The sky was lit up in dark oranges and pinks, sun setting a shadow across the city. You were in your head and lost. Happy was in the car parked on the opposite side of the street waiting for you to get in so he could take you home. And someone grabbed your wrist. Your instincts lit up and you quickly turned your arm up around the other way and then sent a jab into your would-be attacker’s chest. He rebounded, throwing his palm up which you tried to deflect with a strike to the inside of his arm but he pushed around you, planting a blow against your chest to stun you and then finally got a good grab on your arm, wrenching it high up, and with the force of his weight, walked you right up into the side of the building. This all happened in a matter of seconds. He was faster than you, no question. There were ways to get out of this. You weren’t scared. ...and if you were, you definitely couldn’t allow that to show. But you stayed there. For lack of… better options. “You have to be the dumbest man in this city.” Warning him as you turned your head as far as it would go, gritting your teeth at him. “I need your help.” His voice was softy, and his desperation now that you were a little more focused on him was obvious. But before you could answer him the sound of a gun cocking caught the both of you unaware. Happy was very grounded. “Hey bozo, wanna try that again?” You imagined he was pressing the barrel against this guy’s head. 
Because his very next move was to let go of you and step back with his hands up. You wheeled your arm around, trying to work out the ache in your joint, and then tapped Happy’s side with the other one, trying to get him to lower his weapon. He was reluctant as always, but did as he was silently being told. Then finally you saw the guy that had grabbed you. He looked homeless and helpless. Wearing torn heavy clothes, sporting a scraggly patchy beard, and dirty, short curly blond hair. His eyes were gentle. “I’m sorry- I didn’t mean to hurt you, miss.” 
“You didn’t hurt me.” Perhaps protesting a little too much. 
“Well- I didn’t mean to scare you. I need your help. Please.” 
Happy made a face. “There’s better ways to ask for change.” 
Everything about this man was strange. He was no regular vagabond. That was for certain. But there was… something else about him. Something that was pinging your delicate senses. Making you a little uneasy. So you… you looked. Looked a little through him. Paused the world for yourself as you stepped into the one that you owned. Looked with that second pair of eyes. There he stood. But something- ...something lurked inside of him- And when you looked- A pair of red eyes stared out from his chest. 
It startled you back into reality- literally- and your sharp inhale and step back had Happy anxiously aiming his weapon again. He knew to trust your judgment more than his own. Even if he may not have known why that was. 
The scraggly man across from you widened his eyes and really held his hand up in a pleading motion. “Please- you’re the woman from the TV- you said I needed help and I do-” 
This finally made it make sense. “You’re Danny Rand?” You put your hand up on Happy’s arm again, urging him with a little push to put his gun down again. 
His nod was just about as solemn as the puppy-dog eyes he was giving you. “Yes. Please help me.” 
It was times like this you regretted your sassy, cutthroat business ways. You should have never opened your mouth…                                                             --- You made sure Happy drove home as quick as possible as you did not want to be in the car with this guy any longer than necessary. Once at the Tower you then yanked him up to a secure conference room and sat him down. Pepper had been waiting to get your signature on something and she threw the weirdest glance your way but wisely did not ask any questions. You instructed her to get something hot for him to drink and eat from the cafeteria. Only when she brought him a hot cup of tea (as per his request) and a bowl of noodles with some protein, you re-entered the room. He was already finished. It had only been five minutes. You locked the door behind you and the two of you stared at each other. 
Until he decided he was done waiting. “Are you going to help me?” 
“Undecided.” You put your hands behind your back and started a slow pace around the room. Thinking. “If I do- it- ...this is a strange situation. I can loan you a lawyer, is that what you want? Is there anything to prove you are who you say you are?” 
His parents had died in a plane crash- same as he was said to. So there were no bodies to exhume to try and match DNA to. 
He sighed. “Why won’t anyone believe me?” 
“You’re supposed to be dead.” Putting it very plainly for him. “And now you’ve come back fifteen years later- it reeks of a cash scam.” 
“I don’t care about that.” He let a little of his frustrations leak out. Seems like you weren’t the only one to accuse him of this. 
“You can say that all you want, but that’s how it looks. You want to reclaim your company I have no doubt.” When he just stared at you, you tried to force it out of him. “Right?” 
His lips pressed together but then he folded his hands atop the table and admitted it. “Yes.” 
“Right.” Because you usually were. “So some random guy is claiming to be Danny Rand to get his hands on Rand Enterprises and the billion or so dollars that go with its market.” 
“I am not a random guy. I am Danny Rand!” 
You didn’t let his outburst deter you. “Prove it.” 
This seemed to take the wind out of his sails. “I don’t… I don’t know how.” 
“Well you better start thinking up some ways. Because I can get you the best lawyer money has to offer, and it won’t make a difference unless you have something credible.” Why was this being put on you? Why was this your job to clean up? Sure, you felt sorry for the guy, but- 
“Do you believe me?” He was gazing at you now. Like he was trying to see through you. Finally you stopped moving and crossed your arms, gazing back at him. “I believe… you believe you are who you say you are. But  that’s not enough.” He wasn’t being deceptive, that was for sure. He really did believe himself. As for if it was really true? And he wasn’t just an escaped patient of a psychiatric hospital somewhere who had been lost on the streets? Who knew. But that was exactly the sort of defense the Meachums would work up. It’d never even see the inside of a courtroom. 
A heaviness enveloped him so strongly. It really did make you feel bad for him. His head dipped forward and he shook it a few times. “I just… I just wanted to come home. But home is not how I remember it.” 
“Of course it isn’t. You disappeared fifteen years ago. A lot has changed since then.” Trying to ease up on him. He was… he was understandably sad. “...how did you survive that plane crash? Where have you been all this time?” What was the story he’d made up for himself? 
You expected some pause. Time for him to gather himself, make sure he got all his facts straight. But he was so casual as he said some of the strangest things you’d ever heard. “Our plane went down over the Himalayas. My parents didn’t survive. But I was saved by two monks of K’un-Lun. They took me to the city. They helped me. They raised me like their own. And trained me.” 
Where? While it would be silly to expect to know every city in every place in the world, you were sure you’d never heard that name before. “K’un-Lun?” “It’s a protected city. The gates appear every fifteen years. Otherwise there’s no way in or out.” 
“...every fifteen years.” What a convenient time frame. 
“That’s what I said.” 
You’d started pacing again. “...and so these… Monks. Took you in. And trained you in… martial arts? Buddhism?” 
“That’s right.” 
“...didn’t you ask for pork with your soup?” 
He flustered a little. “Is this really important?” 
“It is if you want to sell this to anyone. You’ve got some conflicting ideologies here.” Of course as soon as you pressed on the finer details the story was starting to fall apart. Which meant that you’d been accosted by a homeless person who you’d then brought back to the Tower- ...for what reason exactly-
“This is the truth.” 
“You got the better of me coming out of that building, I’ll give you that.” Maybe he hadn’t intended to fight you when he’d grabbed you, but when you’d tried to defend yourself, he’d definitely displayed some finer skills. But so what? He could have trained at any gym in the city to learn martial arts. This was starting to seem like an elaborate setup not to upset the Meachums or make a power grab for Rand Enterprises- but to do something to you. 
Deciding you’d had enough with the rouse you put your hands on the table and leaned in. “You’re enhanced.” Laying it out there very plainly. 
“What do you mean by that?” He seemed a little confused. 
This was tipping your hand pretty heavily. How could you tell him you knew that without telling him how you’d figured that out? “You’re fast, you’re strong- faster and stronger than most regular people I know. And I… think I saw something, when you attacked me-” 
“I didn’t mean to attack you, I just wanted your attention.” He sighed. Even more frustrated than before. But when you didn’t relent he stood up and pulled his coat open, exposing part of his chest- exactly where you’d looked and seen something lurking. “Is this what you mean?” 
“What is that? A tattoo?” Making vague hand gestures as you pointed. 
He pulled his coat completely open and did the same with his shirt exposing what looked like a very slim dragon tattoo- as you’d surmised. “This is the mark of Shou-Lao.” 
“...and that is?” 
“Shou-Lao is the dragon of K’un-Lun.” 
This left you staring at him blankly before your nose wrinkled. “Yeah. Okay. Shou-Lao is a dragon that lives in a magical city that only shows up every now and again.” 
He raised his fist and you expected maybe he was done playing games and had a mind about him to strike again while he had you in close quarters. But while you took a defensive stance he stayed there. He stood there as his fist started glowing yellow. And then more nonsense came out of him, “I defeated him and took on the powers of the Iron Fist. I was meant to be the protector of K’un-Lun but I wanted to come home.” 
A dragon- Those red eyes- ...was that what you saw…? 
Beeping at the door indicated someone was keying in a code- you knew exactly who and were a little more than grateful to see Tony come in, although less so when you caught the sight of Peter in tow. Danny’s little lightshow came to an immediate halt and Tony very noticeably put himself between you and Danny. “Hey, honey. Pepper said you’d be in here. Didn’t realize you had a… guest.” His distaste for this grizzled man standing in the conference room with you, shirt undone, was on full display. 
Danny gave a small bow. “I’m sorry to invade your home. It’s nice to meet you-” He then looked over your way. “Is this your husband and son?” 
A little heat flashed quick across your face. “This is my fiance and our intern.” 
Peter finally gave you a little wave. “Hey, Mrs. Stark.” ...he still hadn’t stopped calling you that. Maybe because neither you nor Tony really minded or had made a real effort to correct him. 
Tony put a hand on your shoulder and turned you closer towards the door. “Her fiance needs a word with her. Do you mind?” 
Danny crossed his arms, closing himself off. “By all means.” 
It didn’t take much nudging for him to get you out of that room. And once the door was closed- “What’s with Weary Willie in there? Everything okay?” 
“Uh…” This came out a little high pitched as your patience had run dry and your brain was just about all out of juice. “That’s Danny Rand. Supposedly.” 
“Sure it is.” “He’s just gotten back from a magic city in the clouds where he killed a dragon.” 
A noise ejected out of Tony, something between a snort of laughter and a scoff, and he lifted a hand to his chin. “Yeah. Okay- well. You’ve done enough as a concerned citizen. Let’s find out what hospital he wandered out of so a kind nurse can put him back on his meds.” 
It was… extremely hard to say this, especially with Peter looking on. But. “...I think he might be telling the truth.” 
Tony’s brows scrunched right up and his mouth opened, probably with some sharp quip in mind, but he stopped himself. Tried to speak again. Stopped again. Took a breath. And then- “...what?” 
You felt pretty dumb. It was hard standing under Tony’s scrutiny. And unusual. But to be fair to him you really had just said a guy had fallen out of a mystic cloud city after killing a dragon. A little skepticism was more than fair no matter how much he loved you. 
Even Peter couldn’t seem to help himself. “Are you feeling alright, Mrs. Stark?” 
“I’m fine. Thank you.” He was probably asking that because… you were supposed to be smarter than this, probably. But you seemed to be buying this nonsense story- and with no evidence to back it up. ...none that you could say in front of Peter, anyway. “Look- ...whether or not he is telling the truth-” Tony put his hand up. “I want it clear that my vote is that he’s not.” 
“Okay. Noted. But either way- I’m going to give him one of our lawyers. We need a pro bono in our folder anyway.” 
The purse of Tony’s lips made you feel awful. “Is this really a good idea? This will look like Stark Industries is backing this guy’s story- and his fight for the Rand Enterprises throne.” 
...he was making a good point. As always. Maybe you weren’t thinking clearly. This would have been a good time to sleep on all of this and come to a decision tomorrow morning. You took a deep breath in and then let it out. “No you’re- ...you’re right.” Deflated, as you said this. You wanted to wash your hands of this. Give the guy some cash and send him on his way. But it didn’t feel right. Maybe he was Danny Rand. And if you didn’t help him… 
Tony put his hands on your arms, thumbs stroking absently. “Honey-” 
“I’ll get him a good lawyer that’s not on our payroll.” You had to do this. Something was telling you you had to do this. 
It was tough for Tony to trust your judgement on this one. Everything in his better sense was telling him you were getting grifted. But you wouldn’t fall for something like that normally. So what was it that was eating you up about this? ...he’d just have to let go of his feelings about this and trust you. “If you think that’s the right play, I’ll stand by you.” No matter what came of it. 
Your smile was relieved as you leaned up to press it against his cheek. “Thank you.” You gave him a small pat on the chest and then separated yourself from him, holding a finger up to him and Peter. “Give me a minute, I’ll finish this and then come upstairs with you.” Not sure what they needed, exactly, but letting them know they’d soon have your undivided attention. 
Going back into the room, Danny looked up, having reseated himself when you’d stepped up. He was just a touch more desperate than before. Probably realizing his help was slipping through his fingers. “Listen- I don’t mean to inconvenience you- and you’ve been very kind to me-” 
“Danny, I’m going to give you some money. And the name of a very good lawyer. I can’t make any promises that he’ll win your case for you, but it’ll be a start. Go to a hotel. Get a good night’s sleep. Take a shower. Get reoriented. Figure out how to prove you are who you say you are. Then call him in the morning and get to work.” 
He looked at you, considering what you were offering. And then for the first time he smiled, put his right fist against his open left hand and bowed. “I’m grateful, really. Thank you.” Instead of bowing yourself, you offered your hand. He seemed to still remember what that meant, and he gave you a hearty shake. “This is the last time I’ll see you.” Saying it like he knew it was the truth. 
Maybe because he knew his well had run dry here and that he couldn’t ask you for anything more after this. Maybe because he knew you wouldn’t make an effort to seek him out again. 
“For now.” This wasn’t a lie but… there was no reason to tempt fate otherwise. 
                                                            ---
As she disappeared back into that conference room against his better judgement, Tony put a hand on his hip and let out a deep breath. This seemed like a whole lot of trouble. But- 
“Mr. Stark?” 
“Yeah, kid?” Half turning to give Peter the better part of his attention. 
“I mean- that’s a pretty crazy story…” Seemed like the kid was struggling with how to say something like why does she believe him, she’s usually so smart. But there was no kind way to phrase that. And so he just let the sentiment linger. 
“I guess out of everything we’ve seen it may not be the craziest. But… pretty close.” This was a mess. Why was it always her? 
Peter crossed his arms and shuffled a little. “Why does she wanna help him so bad?” 
Tony huffed out a little breath of amusement and shook his head, mirroring Peter while he folded his arms. “Well. You read what they wrote about her the night you two met. Something about a bleeding heart.” 
“Do you think she’s right? About him?” 
“Doesn’t matter what I think, kid.” 
This really seemed to confuse Peter as he looked up at him. “Why’s that?” 
“I trust her.” Making sure this went out into this little world they were creating. But… there was also- “She’s also the boss around here.” 
“Oh.” It only took a few seconds for Peter to grin about this. Pretty obvious. He laughed a little. “Yeah- I guess that’s true, isn’t it?” 
Tony couldn’t help his own little grin. “About the truest thing there is.” 
He just hoped she wasn’t getting herself tangled in yet another mess. ...and if she was, that he could figure a way out of it for her before it got too bad. 
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babbushka · 5 months ago
Good morning Mrs Z! Hope you’re having a wonderful Sunday so far! Could you please do #62 & #64 from the Smut Prompts for a pregnant wife & Mob!Kylo? I loved last weeks prompt you did for them finding out they’re pregnant & id love to see some needy sex pregnant sex for them. Thanks again Mrs Z!
Anonymous said:  Hello! Happy Sinday baby! If its not too much trouble id like to request “Get your hands off my wife” for Mob!Kylo Pleasee! Thank you  
(1.1k, cw for pregnancy; NSFW: pregnant sex, PIV, comeshot, come eating, come marking, Kylo being a big emo softie)
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“Get your hands off my wife.” Kylo snaps, when Dopheld helps you climb out of his sleek black car.
You can’t help but smile, even though the poor driver winces and drops your hand like it’s burned him. New York City never sleeps, but you and your husband are ready for bed after a long day of meetings and doctor’s appointments, and of course, the all important celebratory dinner. You’re pleasantly full and looking forward to something of a long soak in your bathtub once you get up to the penthouse floor that you call home.
“It’s fine, Kylo.” You soothe your husband as he slides an arm protectively across your back, hugging your pregnant stomach to his side. “He’s just helping.”
“Sorry Mr. Ren, it’ll never happen again, I promise.” Dopheld says quickly, not wanting to be killed – or worse, lose his job.
“Don’t mind him Dopheld, have a good night.” You ease the kind boy’s fears with a warm smile, and Dopheld nods.
Everyone knows that Kylo’s been in an even more possessive mood than usual as the result of your pregnancy, particularly with your bump starting to grow. You’re a little more than five months along, actually having just come back from a checkup to hear that everything is on track and as it should be.
Kylo isn’t in the business of taking chances though, and if there’s anyone that’s going to be touching his beloved, it’s going to be him. He practically shields your body with the breadth of his shoulders as he walks you both through the lobby and into the private elevator that’s just for your floor. He’s tense, so tense, and you know that can only mean one thing --
“Please. I need you. Now.” Kylo blurts out the second the door of your apartment is closed behind you, and you grin.
You’re lucky that your belly isn’t so big yet, or at least, not big enough to compromise Kylo’s love of missionary. He strips you of your soft and comfortable designer clothes, and lets you get comfortable on the bed while he works on getting himself naked. It doesn’t take long at all before he’s crowding your space, desperate to be close to you, to be right on top of you and ease his cock into your wanting pussy.
“Ohhhh that’s good.” You hum happily as you adjust your hips to better take him, take all of his length. Kylo starts thrusting almost erratically, and you chuckle out an adoring, “Careful handsome, we have to be careful.”
“IknowIknowIknow,” He moans, already overwhelmed, so in love with you and how beautiful you are, how perfect your body is, the body that’s growing and housing his child. Kylo peers up at you with those wide eyes of his and bites his lip, “Are you sure it won’t hurt them?”
“You heard the doctor, they’re safe, just be gentle with me.” You assure and reassure him, letting your legs fall open as he pleasures you, pleasuring himself.
Your sex drive has been through the roof from the pregnancy, and Kylo has never once shied away from meeting that challenge, that desire. It is a special kind of pride, however, when Kylo is the one begging to fuck you, because Kylo doesn’t ever ask for anything else. He fucks you now, slowly and carefully just like you asked, his cock thrusting in all the way to the base of his shaft, and then pulling out all the way to just the flushed cut tip.
The drag is sweet, his hands gripping your thighs tight and holding onto them so you can focus on receiving the pleasure he gives you, and with the curve of his cock, every time he thrusts in, he rubs against your gspot and you moan.
“Oh – Kylo! Yes honey, right there, yes!” You encourage him to go over that spot again and again, and he does – he always listens to you, to what you tell him. He fucks that spot, stimulates it as his hips grind against yours, your body twitching, toes curling in the expensive satin sheets.
“Fuck, I love the sounds you make.” Kylo shudders out, the muscles in his arms flexing as he holds himself up over you. You know he wants to ram into you, wants to rail you hard and make you scream – but that’s not what this is about, not tonight.
“I love you,” You whimper as your orgasm washes over you in a thick wave of pleasure, and he immediately captures your lips in a searing kiss as you sigh and moan, “I love you Kylo.”
Panting against your mouth, he grunts and groans, fucking you slowly and listening to the squelch that your pussy makes from how wet you are for him. That tight velvet heat has him hooked, he could live there, he could live here between your legs forever and fuck you into oblivion like this.
“C-can I come on your tits? Please? Please, (Y/N).” He asks so sweetly, kissing you and drooling against your cheek.
“Yes honey, come all over me.” You nod. Ever since the pregnancy, he’s refused to come in you, some strange belief that it’d do something to the baby. But you love the way it feels when he splatters his load all over you, love how hot and sticky it is, how it marks you, claims you as his.
So he does, he pulls out of you and aims for your chest, pearly white come shooting out of his cock as he jerks himself off with a loud grunt and a moan, coming and coming onto you. His aim falters just a little, and some splashes onto your chin, but you simply run a few fingers through it and lick it off while he watches with glazed over eyes.
Settling down next to you with a sigh, Kylo pulls you onto your side and rests his hand on your stomach.
“There’s a real baby in there.” He whispers, voice hoarse, like he still can’t believe it. Five whole months, and still, somehow it all feels like a dream.
“And they’re all ours.” You grin, body relaxing and leaning against his. Just then, there’s a fluttering of activity in your stomach, and you recognize that as a kick, your baby saying hello. You snap your gaze up to Kylo’s with a grin, “Did you feel that?”
“Yeah,” He swallows, choked up with emotion as he huddles himself close to you, kissing you and wanting nothing more than to treasure you for the rest of your days, “I did.”
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To my dear @unbeknownstunknown, whose prompt was: „Is it just me or is that star literally looks like it’s about to hit us?”
Sorry not sorry for this xD <3
Nico di Angelo was a big softy. Well, if you asked anybody, they would tell you he was a grumpy old man in the body of a young Adonis, but-
He was a big softy, under all of his layers and masks and depression. Or at least, that was the only reason he could think of why he did what he did. Usually, he wasn’t an impulsive, humanitarian somebody, but when he saw a young man, no older than himself, wretched and hurt on the side of the road, he felt compelled to stop his car and help him. As a doctor, whose life was literally about taking care of others and stitching them together, he thought nothing when he inspected the young man. The injured was in a pretty bad shape: his ankle was sprained, his body was covered in bruises. The only part of his body without any marring or scare was his beautiful face; it was like whoever did this to him, didn’t want to disfigure that perfectly bow-shaped, plump mouth and those sparkling, captivating eyes.
Nico tried to talk with the man, he asked about his name, what happened with him, does it hurt, where should he take him, and so on, but the man never answered. He just sat there, blinking at the doctor with his big, sea-green eyes surrounded by long, black eyelashes. That was when Nico sighed and decided that he is too nice for his own good and offered the man to take him home.
It never crossed his mind that he might have picked up a supernatural being, who needed to be feed. With sexual energy.
He didn’t suspect a thing before he felt an unfamiliar presence; a strong, starving presence, so empty and gnawing. The man next to him stirred, and in one moment he was limp and injured, the next, his mouth was against Nico’s bare skin, desperately trying to appease his hunger. Nico never felt like this; he felt like he was burning, he couldn’t get enough of the strange, unknown man.
The taste of the supernatural being was like a drug: honeyed and sweet and so bad for you; and like a drug it made Nico forget anything except for getting more of it. He felt himself being dragged himself down, down, further down where he could not recollect anything, except for the man, the incubus between his legs. He felt he was floating, but nothing felt right compared to the other man who made him see the stars.
„Is it just me or is that star literally looks like it’s about to hit us?” Nico asked in a floating voice. His eyes were unfocused, staring out of the panoramic sunroof of his car but not seeing anything except for blinking lights.
“Oh, dear, you are soooo out of it!” Laughed delightedly the incubus. “I like it. I like you, so I’m going to keep you!” He declared and started stroking Nico’s disheveled hair in a smoothing motion. “I’m Percy, by the way. Thank you for thanking care of me!” That was the last thing Nico heard before falling into the black void of sleep.
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springday-aus · 6 months ago
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Bad Boy!AU with Seungcheol
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Group: Seventeen 
Member: S.Coups / Choi Seungcheol 
Genre: fluff, romance 
Additionally: college!au 
Type: Bulletpoint AU 
Word Count: approx. 2.5k 
don’t worry, Seungcheol isn’t even really a bad boy
he’s really just… misunderstood?
actually that’s not a good word for it
it’s in the sense that his reputation makes him to be seen as a bad boy
it’s probably because of the leather jacket
and the motorcycle
and the piercings (mainly the ears)
and the tattoos
it also doesn’t help either that he’s keeps a small circle of friends
there’s nothing wrong with rolling with a smaller group
it just means a lot of people don’t actually know him and that causes more rumors about his personality
he hangs around Wonwoo and Minghao the most
Wonwoo is known to be handsome, but is also super cold to strangers
(more of a shy thing than a rude thing—a whole different story)
on the other hand, Minghao is one of those people who are brutally honest
(which makes him seem like an inconsiderate asshole)
and because people tend to lump people together
they just assume that Seungcheol is the same as those two are: cold and rude
in reality, he’s just a bit more reserved than others
makes people earn his trust, but some people found that unreasonable apparently
people are just so judgmental sometimes, especially in a small town where everyone wanted know everything about everyone
so, for college, Seungcheol picked out a city to study
because the larger populations lets him blend in with the others
tbh, let’s be real…. he def isn’t the only one who’s wearing all black on a college campus lmao
Wonwoo at some point: “look, we’re twinning”
Seungcheol: “it’s not twinning if you only wear black and keep wearing black”
Wonwoo: :(
anyways
he chose to study business
basic but it’s simple
it ensures that he’s going to have a stable job and by the of the day that’s all that matters to him
stability
also the business suit he has covers everything nicely, so it isn’t like he has visible face tattoos or piercings
not that it’s bad, but….. capitalism, you know? homeboy would like money
so, while his hometown called him a bad influence on other kids
the college sees him as another hottie in the leather jacket
he’s probably would’ve been the campus heartthrob—had it not been for the fact that he went to same school as Wonwoo, Mingyu or that new freshie who calls himself Vernon
there was one time in his theology class that he took off his leather jacket right?
the arm muscles flexing and the tattoo sleeve……….. it’s safe to say everyone took a double take during class that day
as for his academic marks……….
I mean, yeah, he doesn’t have the top grades to make it on a dean’s list or anything, but
he’s got academic scholarships and that’s enough tbh
he might not be a genius prodigy like Jihoon, but he isn’t stupid
Jeonghan: “wait, you’re not cheating off of him?”
Seungcheol: “no, Jeonghan…………. are you?”
Jeonghan: “yeah, no, I thought it was like a thing that we all agreed to”
Seungcheol: “Jeonghan, no”
Jeonghan: “Jeonghan, yes”
so he’s not like a major try-hard like all those A+ obsessive people from high school
but he does make the effort
he’s just trying to live a nice, quiet life on campus to graduate—just like everyone else here
although
there is this habit of his that he’s been trying to break: being late to class
his attendance record isn’t great……….
like he’ll be there….. but he’ll be there like five to ten minutes late so it doesn’t really matter but
it’s like a personal pet peeve about himself
granted, it doesn’t matter when most professors don’t even take attendance
but it’s also because he works really late hours at a nearby convenience shop on campus
so………. the end result is tardiness
and he’s trying to work on it
which is also how he meets you
you see, Seungcheol met you in a………… unique situation
so, Seungcheol has found it easier to go around in his motorcycle, especially in a city
and especially on a college campus
and it’s like 20x faster than walking
it’s also good for when he’s late for his morning classes because he can easily make it to the other side in campus in like 2 minutes vs the original 10 minutes
so on a bright Tuesday morning
after he overslept his alarm (once again)
he quickly got dressed and hopped on his motorcycle to get to the other side of campus for class
….. only for him to quickly stop after hearing your scream
he didn’t necessarily hit you per say but it didn’t mean you managed to pass by untouched
you were rushing off to class too
on all days to be late………. it just had to be the day you had a midterm that’s 30% of your final grade
so you were rushing through
unable to see the motorcycle that was heading your direction
which is your fault but that’s also his fault for not seeing you until you screamed when he nearly hit you, running over a toe or two
he immediately stopped, running over to you
Seungcheol: “oh my God, are you alright?”
You: hair messed up, in pain, and survived the heart attack he gave you
You: “sure”
Seungcheol: “are you sure? I can take you to the hospital or—”
You: no, no, I am already as late as is and, and, and…….”
you trail off, remembering the motorcycle that laid a couple of feet away
You: “instead of the hospital, how about a ride instead? I cannot miss this midterm”
Seungcheol was taken aback from your commitment and strange request, but complied nevertheless
Seungcheol: “are you sure?”
You: “absolutely, hustle man, hustle—we gotta go”
Seungcheol scrambles, starting up the motorcycle and handing you a helmet
which you gladly grab and attach yourself behind him with your arms on his waist
he’s a bit flustered from your proximity
what if he was a murderer and you just hopped onto his bike?
I mean, he obviously isn’t but still
You: “sir, chop-chop, pls move, my ass needs to get to McGregor”
Seungcheol: “yes, right”
it takes less than a minute to get there, especially since there weren’t many others on the pathways
you hastily get off his motorcycle, tossing his helmet back at him and running off
You: “thank you!!!!”
Seungcheol: “you’re welcome?”
he watches as you run into the building, with nothing more on your mind than your midterm
how odd
he shakes his head, clearing his head of you before going to park his motorcycle and locking it—he’s got his own problems to worry about right now
(he re-told the story to a couple of his friends, in which Jihoon said: “watch yourself, you could get a lawsuit coming one of these days” and Seungcheol just rolled his eyes)
it’s about two weeks before he sees you again
so fun fact, his college requires community involvement/field assignment
and he chose to be in the big brother program
so he’s a big brother to this adorable 6 year old girl named Rose
he filled his requirement long ago, but he highkey loved it so he remained as a big brother to Rose 
who he has to take out trick-or-treating for the Halloween event the program set up 
can you imagine Seungcheol in his leather jacket and tattoos and piercings with a little group of 6 year olds
the chaos
Rose: “what did you dress as?”
Seungcheol: “uhhhhhh….. Danny from Grease”
Rose: “who’s that?”
Seungcheol: oh my God I’m old
they get a door that’s got some fake cobwebs and bright purple string lights
Seungcheol: “go ahead little ones, knock on the door”
they yell out trick or treat and the door creaks open to…….. you
you and your friends happened to be gathering together for Halloween and decided to meet up at your friend’s old house which was in the neighborhood that Seungcheol was in
you all originally planned to watch a bunch of bad supernatural movies and give out candy to little kids
all of y’all took turns at the door and it was your turn
you give the kids a sweet smile in your doctor’s costume
(or, at least, he’s assuming it’s a costume—maybe it is and maybe it isn’t)
after you pass out the candy, Joshua, the other chaperone, rounds up the kids and Seungcheol’s eyes met your widened ones
You: “oh! it’s motorcycle dude!”
Seungcheol: “motorcycle dude?”
You: “........ you were the one who hit me with his motorcycle right?”
Seungcheol: “has anyone else hit you with a motorcycle?”
You: “so it is you!”
you two chat a bit, especially since they have to start moving to the next house
Joshua: “bro, we have to get moving, stop flirting in front of the children!”
Seungcheol: “I’m not flirting!”
he turns back to you
Seungcheol: “I’ll see you around, please don’t sue me”
You: “sue you?”
Seungcheol: “I’m a broke college kid”
You: “so am I dude”
Joshua gives him another look and another warning before they start to move to the other house
You: “you know, if you have spare time, you’re welcome to join my friends and I—we’re going to be making fun of Twilight later together”
Seungcheol: “I might take you up on that offer”
You: “well, we’ll be here, so”
you give him a smile that makes him stutter for a second, before he waves you goodbye to join the others
Rose: “Joshua says you like the doctor”
Seungcheol: “well, Joshua’s not that smart”
Joshua: “hey!”
he doesn’t know what compels him to go back to the house
but he does
(it might have taken a word or two from Rose and Joshua to encourage him)
and he has a really good time with you and your friends
hearing Seungkwan roasting Robert Pattinson was something Seungcheol didn’t know he needed
Soonyoung’s attempt of creating bgm on top of the soundtrack was also equally as hilarious
and then there were your side remarks with him throughout the movie
which he did enjoy
he left the house that night with a couple of new numbers in his phone
Jeonghan would be proud of him for making new friends on his own
after that night, you and Seungcheol hang out a bit more
you get to know each other
turns out the so called bad boy is actually just a major softie
surprise surprise, I know
he’s got a tattoo for his mom (a little heart on his heart)
he’s great at braiding (due to braiding Rose’s hair)
and he picked up sewing to patch up the holes that his friends created in their shirts
major heart eyes for Seungcheol
and he learns more about you and your little quirks
at some point, he even shares some things that happened back home
which was a bit hard for him to do but you were incredibly understanding
people just suck sometimes
one good thing about cities is that everyone minds their own business so
anyways
while he’s met your friends, you’ve also met his
you and Jeonghan are now the chaotic duo that Seungcheol wishes he can undo
Jeonghan: “are you fucking cheating? in front of my salad?”
You: steals another $50 bill from the monopoly pile
You: “no”
Jeonghan: “pay me off”
Wonwoo: “we are sitting right fucking here”
anyways
you two continue to hang out together as time goes and it’s great
sometimes you even hang out with him and Rose and it’s super cute
especially when you watch Seungcheol care for Rose like an actual sister
maybe that’s when the heart eyes started
he just……….. knows how to take care of people
he’s very attentive and understands that different people have different needs
it’s all……… very attractive
he’s very attractive
not in just the physical aspect
the inside *chef’s kiss*
Seungcheol doesn’t know when he started liking you either
maybe it was the way you really listened to what he said
you encouraged and supported him to do what he wanted
and told people off if they did say something about him
along with telling him to ignore them because it’s all stemming from jealousy and hate
and he knows that but it’s always nice to know he has someone on his side
so, what changes?
one movie night, there’s some generic rom com that you’ve already forgotten about
the blanket you’re both sharing isn’t the only heat you’re feeling
his knee knocks lightly against yours
your shoulders touching his
his fingers lingering on yours
then he’s moving closer
and closer
and then your lips meet
it’s soft, but firm
and that was the first day you started dating
dating bad boy!Seungcheol is basically the same as being friends with him only needier
he opened up to you as a friend
but as a boyfriend
you’re seeing EVERYTHING
he’s lowkey touch-starved so he’s very….. handsy
his hands got cold once and he straight up put his hands up in your hoodie
You: “thErE ArE pEOpLE aRouND sIR”
Seungcheol: “head empty, hands Cold”
lots of movie dates
(you asked if you should put on Twilight again and he said he could only take it one decade at a time)
lots of dinner and takeout dates
(the amount of menus you two have collected is insane)
lots of game night dates
which include Seungcheol’s friends
you and Jeonghan still team up to cheat, leaving the you two in the top to fight for the winning spot but Minghao always calls you two out
and then you start openly cheating
(Jeonghan literally flipped over an operations board one time)
you’ve also seen his tattoos
there are cute small ones and then there are bigger ones of flowers and patterns
You: “does it hurt more if you color them in?”
Seungcheol: “no, I was supposed to get them filled but Rose likes to color them with her markers”
You: “why are you two so fucking adorable”
You: “can I color it in?” c:
he let you
it was so much fun
on some days with Rose, you both color together on a shirtless Seungcheol
speaking of which
she loves you
Rose: “I told you you liked the doctor”
You: ?
Seungcheol: “shhhh, finish your cupcake”
oooh, also—lots of motorcycle rides
during the night is when it’s the most beautiful with all of the city lights
sometimes you stop by a park and just hang out to talk
not often bc like midnight murderers are a thing, but sometimes
it’s always a nice impromptu date
also, it’s been long overdue but he took you to the doctor’s once and brought up the whole running over your toes thing
and your toes are fine but
he still highkey feels kind of guilty but the kisses you give him compensate for the guilt
so bad boy!Seungcheol isn’t really bad just misunderstood
but like…. are we complaining? 
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babyveeandlittleprince · 6 months ago
I need to know about doctor mama lo taking care of a sick baby Virgil if you would like pretty please. I dont wanna ask on the in character blog cuz I feel like it would be weird to ask for details and lo seems kinda busy anyway lol.
hey tumblebee!! yeah yeah lets do this, Im gonna write it so that ppl who dont follow the other blog can understand too
WARNING IF U HAVENT ALREADY BLOCKED THE TAGS ILLNESS TW AND VOMIT TW THEY ARE VERY PREVALENT IN THIS
also this is a VERY long headcanon!!
so last night vee got ill, he had been regressed in the afternoon with patton and he was acting much more fussy than usual - not being entertained by his cartoons, not having the energy to play with his rattle, pretty much constantly whining and pouting and he gets very wriggly when he's fussy
patton assumed it was because vee had been upset earlier that day. at one point vee started gripping his stomach, and patton assumed its because he was hungry and could smell the food roman was cooking
but when dinner came around no matter how hard patton tried he couldnt get vee to eat a morsel - he kept turning his head away from the food and whining. at one point patton and logan both managed to convince him to eat a spoonful but his face crumpled with a wince and it looked almost painful for him to swallow it. it was at this point logan noticed he had a faint sheen of sweat on his forehead
things fell into place quickly after that - logan checked his temperature and it was indeed slightly higher than was healthy, they noticed vee's hands were trembling and he was constantly on the verge of tears :(
while patton cleared away dinner and excused roman who wanted to go and craft in his room, logan took vee to his bedroom and tried to check for more symptoms, since vee was non verbal and unresponsive totheir questions. he tested his tummy by pushing it a little to see if the pain got worse when he released it (this is a test for appendicitis) but there was no reaction thankfully except vee being upset by logan not cuddling him. he checked his throat for any redness or infection, nothing.
vee's crying became more pronounced and eventually he was in constant tears, occassionally pleading 'mama mama' through sniffles and hiccups and whines of pain :(( Patton brought him a baby bottle of cooled tea made with fresh mint leaves since that is supposed to help stomach pains. though he left the room again since logan thought it was best not to crowd virgil. Vee's crying had dissipated but he was strangely silent and seemed almost loopy now. he only drank a little of the tea before he pushed it away with a gag.
logan immediately took him to the bathroom knowing what was coming, and sure enough vee threw up into the toilet, crying between gags. logan dutifully managed to keep vee in his lap the whole time and held his hair and rubbed his back, telling him he was such a good boy the whole time
Thankfully it didnt last long as there wasnt much in vees stomach to be emptied. he was shivering and sweating and flushed and had lost all energy. he wasnt even crying anymore, just whimpering under his breath. with a bit of a struggle logan managed to show him how to rinse his mouth out with mouthwash - though he had to hold vee over the sink and pat his back to make sure he didnt swallow it
during all of this patton wasnt able to help because of his heightened empathy, if he sees someone throwing up the likeihood is he will too and that wiuldnt be very helpful! so instead he drives to the store to pick up some medicine and ice pops - and comes back with half the store including some actual baby medicine smh - ((im actually begging u to read that linked post i think its so funny))
it was originallly meant to be logans night to put roman to bed but understandably patton took on that task instead. after roman was drifting off patton pokes his head into vee's room. he had hoped to find lo and vee asleep but they werent. they were lying in the dark with an in the night garden audio story playing on a portable speaker and with vees salt lamp and star night light lighting up the room in a soft glow.
logan offered a strained little smile and nod to patton as he stroked vee's hair and cuddled him close. vee was completely out of it honestly. his body was wholly lax against his mama, his lips were in a permanent pout and his eyes were puffy and wet. he barely even acknowledged his papa coming in, his teary eyes just settled on him for a moment then dropped back to the bedsheets without a reaction. he kept lifting his thumb up to suck on it but logan kept capturing it and apologising as he brought it away. Vee shouldnt suck on his thumb and logan doesnt want to give him a paci while he's ill. understandably, baby vee was completely miserable.
patton asks if logan thinks vee could handle a popsicle or plain crackers at the moment but logan disagrees. he doesnt expect either of them to get much sleep so he will make sure vee eats something in a few hours. with a gentle kiss on vee's forehead patton goes off to bed, confident that logan will be able to look after vee and will come get him if theres any issues
logan and vee really dont sleep much at all. Vee drifts off for a few minutes at a time then gasps awake from vivid fever dreams. logan keeps ice cubes in a bowl by the bed for vee to suck on if he needs to cool down and wraps a couple in a flannel to press to vee's head when his fever rises in the middle of the night.
around 3am logan jolts awake and realises he had drifted off. and vee isnt anywhere in the room. he panics momentarily, bolting up from the bed and dashing to the closet to see if virgil is in there - which he tends to do when he is overwhelmed - but then he hears sniffling from the bathroom.
he finds vee, no longer regressed, curled up against the side of the bathtub with his bangs clinging to his sweaty head. vee is the palest person logan knows but he looks positively grey at the moment
'can i help in any way?' he asks, aware that he doesnt need to baby talk at the moment but still eager to look after this bundle of miserableness
virgil just groans under his breath and clutches his knees to his chest. 'i.. i didnt know what to do with the..' he gestures vaguely to something on the floor
logan notices virgil, being not regressed anymore, had obviously wrestled off the diaper he had been changed into the night before and not known how to dispose of it
'its ok, ive got it' logan wraps it up in a bag and puts it in the trash can they have in the room for just this purpose
'sorry.. m stupid' virgil croaks
'You're not stupid.' logan says firmly as he washes his hands 'You're ill and probably delirious from the fever. it's alright virgil'
theres quiet for a bit longer, virge's head pressed against the porcelain edge of the bathtub likely in an attempt to cool his fever. logan stays there with him for a while just waiting. then suddenly virgil starts sobbing and buries his face in his hands.
'sweetheart, tell me whats wrong please' logan hurries to kneel beside him, lifting his hands away from his face. that wouldnt help the fever
'i dont feel well' virgil cries pathetically, tears rolling down his face.
logans heart breaks 'no, you dont. i'm sorry little one, i know its not nice'
at the nickname virgils thumb raises to his lips again, which logan hurriedly intercepts. 'i'll make you a deal, okay? you're allowed to use a pacifier, but you have to use the same one everyday until you are better. we will need to sterilise it every night too.'
vee sniffles and nods, then chokes 'm not a baby right now though'
'that doesnt matter. you dont need to be regressed to want one of your pacis, vee'
vee is unresponsive and starts scratching at his pyjama pants. logan gets a feeling he isnt saying something. then he notices virgil's pout is much more infantile than his adult ones. 'are you feeling little, baby?'
with a harsh shake of his head vee starts crying again. he whispers 'dont wanna be a b...' then cuts himself off and whimpers
logan cards his fingers through virgils damp bangs. he knows what virgils mind has jumped to. 'were you going to say you dont want to be a baby?' he lifts virgils chin up to look at him 'or that you dont want to be a burden?'
virgils pale lip wobbles 'same fing'
'no sweetheart, no no no,' logan sits on the tiles beside vee and pulls him into his lap. virgil goes willingly. logan rocks his baby as he says 'youre always always allowed to be a baby and its never ever going to upset your family. even if you're an adorable wonderful brave baby boy alllll of the time' he scribbles his finger on virgils rosy cheek and delights at the tiny smile it earns him. 'but especially when you're feeling yucky. you feel a bit yucky today dont you, little one?'
vee nods with a pout
'but yknow whats not yucky? softies and pacis and diapers and lots and lots of cuddles with mama' he holds virgil tighter to prove his point. vee sighs and drops his head to nuzzle against his mama's neck. logan feels he still has a slight fever. 'i know what might help you feel less yucky. does my sweet baby want a sweet ice pop?'
thankfully vee nods against his shoulder and grips tight onto his pyjama shirt, preparing for when logan lifts him up
he first makes sure to change vee into another diaper and even decides that he should wear one of mama's t-shirts as a light dress so he doesnt get as overheated by his pyjamas. at this point vee actually giggles for the first time pretty much all day as he feels the tshirt swish lazily around his legs. logan makes a mental note to observe whether little vee might want to try wearing dresses if the feeling sparks this much joy (at this point logan is unaware that vee has secretly been trying skirts and dresses in his room for months, and roman found out a few weeks ago, but vee isnt ready to tell the cgs yet)
by the time vee is in his diaper and mamas tshirt dress and has a paci and jiji clutched to his chest he is a lot calmer and happier. he's still very ill and exhausted and teary, but theres a tiny smile on his face instead of a pout. in the kitchen he picks a strawberry ice pop and it goes down well, logan convinces him to have a cracker too though vee is in such a young headspace by then that he is just sucking on it, which logan supposes is fine too
by the (real) morning vee is still regressed and has managed to have a couple hours undisturbed sleep. its not much but its better than nothing. logan didnt fare much better. by then vee misses his papa and asks for him and logan hands the responsibility over to papa patton, trustinf the other caregiver enough to catch up on a quick power nap himself
but yes, the main thing is vee thought being ill was a burden enough that he shouldnt be regressed too, but logan makes him see that its okay. vee is regressed pretty much the whole time he is ill over the next few days because its stressful and painful and its a lot easier to feel comforted when ur a baby
yeah! gosh that was long, theres probably a billion spelling mistakes! feel free to ask follow up Qs if i missed anything u wanted to know abt this event
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wingsonghalo · 6 months ago
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Lunch with Steven: A Perryshmirtz Fanfic- Chapter 3
Eyo, here I am with chapter three!! Happy Perryshmirtz Week!! I still have not finished chapter 4 (chapter 5 is finished though)!! PRAY FOR ME
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Chapter 3
Doofenshmirtz was surprised how easy it was to be friends with a platypus. Well, platypuses, really, but his friendship with Perry had always been overshadowed by their jobs. His cordial, familiar relationship with Steven allowed him the connection he could never have with his nemesis, and his professional interaction with Perry was exemplary, not bogged down by his need for Perry’s company and companionship. It really wasn’t appropriate for them ever to have been so close, anyway. There was no reason for their professional relationship to be overcomplicated with something like friendship or affection.
It wasn’t until he almost called Steven “Perry” one day that he realized there might have been something wrong.
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Perry was living even more of a double life than usual. A triple life, perhaps? Perry, Agent P, Steven; it was impossible to distinguish which he truly was. But at least this friendship was proving to be rewarding. Heinz’s behavior towards Steven became more and more friendly and familiar, and he found himself returning more and more of the doctor’s smiles and offering up his own opinions willingly on that notepad without having to be asked. Despite being certifiably mad and incredibly misguided, his nemesis was surprisingly insightful on some matters, and they shared a lot of the same tastes in movies and music. Perhaps this friendship was not such a bad idea after all. He could relate to another person without fear of compromising his professional integrity, and his nemesisship would remain undisturbed.
Sometimes he worried that the evil scientist would grow to like “Steven” more than Perry, but he ignored these worries. After all, it was not Agent P’s job to be liked by his nemesis. Or to be his friend, for that matter. No, he would keep this to himself. He could have his friendship with Heinz as Steven and still maintain a separate professional relationship as Agent P. There was no need for the two aspects to intersect.
It wasn’t until he found himself wanting to write down a response to Heinz’s monologue one day that he realized there might have been something wrong.
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Heinz Doofenshmirtz was feeling torn.
On the one hand, he enjoyed his friendship with Steven. Steven was a funny, smart, and interesting guy. His interactions with Steven were engaging and oftentimes intellectually stimulating. He was also a polite little platypus, offering to cover the bill (“bill”…ha! Platypus jokes!) for both of them every other time, despite being (to the scientist’s knowledge) an unemployed animal. Steven seemed to enjoy Heinz’s company as well, since he kept meeting him for lunch and all, even though he did tend to roll his eyes and sigh a lot whenever the doctor said something exasperating (which was often). Were all platypuses quite so snarky?
But on the other hand…
On the other hand, Heinz felt guilty. Every new tidbit that he learned about Steven, he found himself filing away mentally for future reference…with Perry. He wanted to know all the answers Perry would give to his questions for Steven. He wondered if Perry had the same outlook and opinions as Steven, or if Perry enjoyed the same movies and books as Heinz’s friend did. He found himself wanting the camaraderie and familiarity he had with Steven to spill over into his relationship with his nemesis. He spent so much time thinking about Perry during his lunches with Steven that sometimes it was hard to separate the two in his mind. It was on one of the many subsequent occasions that Heinz nearly called Steven “Perry” that he realized: No matter how close he and Steven became, the other platypus would never be Perry. He stared at the table, feeling suddenly quite ashamed of himself.
His platypus friend, curious about Heinz’s sudden silence,  scrawled “What’s wrong?” on the notepad, and the doctor found he couldn’t stay quiet about his nemesis anymore.
“I have this…” He cast around mentally for the right word. “Friend,” he decided. He swallowed. If he was going to talk frankly about his feelings regarding Perry, he might as well be specific. “He’s…suave, and cool—I mean, this guy has the spunk and determination of a hundred men all crammed into one adorable, portable package—and he’s also really skilled with a grappling hook, I mean really skilled…” He trailed off as he regarded Steven’s confused face. Perhaps he should have kept the grappling hook thing to himself.
“Anyway, I’ve known him for years, and he’s one of the most important parts of my life, but sometimes I feel like I don’t truly know him at all. Every time I find something out about him, it’s a huge surprise. Like, just the other day, I found out he prefers the crusts cut off of his sandwiches. Kinda like you do!” he added, pointing to the lonely-looking crusts on Steven’s plate. The platypus looked down at the crusts and back up at Heinz with a slightly panicked expression (how strange), seized the crusts, and stuffed them suddenly in his bill. “Oh, I guess you do eat crusts?” the scientist asked. Steven nodded with a pained-looking smile, and then grabbed his water glass and downed the whole cup. He rolled his paw in a “go on” gesture after he’d finished.
“Well…” Doofenshmirtz paused, trying to find his train of thought again. “You’d think after knowing a guy for so long, you’d start to put together the puzzle pieces and eventually have a full picture. But every time I learn something new about Perry, it’s like it’s a piece to a completely different puzzle. I’ve got all these mismatched pieces and I have no idea what kind of picture I’m trying to put together. I just know that it’s probably a much better picture than mine.” He didn’t even realize that he’d used Perry’s name until he was finished speaking. He felt a brief flash of dread, but squashed it down. It wasn’t like Perry was an extremely uncommon name or anything. He looked up from the table to gauge his friend’s reaction, a little nervous at having suddenly dropped something so emotional and sentimental on his companion, and was a bit startled to see that Steven looked near tears. He was usually quite understated, but maybe he was a softie underneath his cool demeanor, like Perry was? Was that another platypus thing?
“You ever feel like that, Steven?” he asked, in an attempt to encourage a response. Steven nodded vigorously, making a sniffling noise. He scrawled something on the notepad and then held it out to the doctor.
“Maybe he doesn’t know what his own picture looks like either. That’s why you need each other to fill in the blanks,” it read.
Doofenshmirtz stared at the heartfelt words for a moment. He lowered the notepad. “Steven…” he murmured, meeting his friend’s eyes, which were bright with intensity. “That’s really cheesy. Like,  oh, wow, cornball alert.” Steven’s face underwent a rapid series of emotions: confusion, surprise, hurt, shame, and outrage. Heinz laughed as the platypus snatched back the notepad violently, glaring at him. “What? Awww, don’t be like that, Steven,” he said as his friend ripped the notebook page out and crumpled it into a ball. “It was good, it was good!” the scientist soothed, but the way he was still holding back giggles did not make the statement very convincing.
Steven was a little frosty with him for a while after that, but by the end of their lunch, it was clear that there were no hard feelings. His little teal friend even covered the check this time. He waved the platypus off as he left to go do whatever platypuses do, and Steven had given him a friendly nod and a promise to meet again next week. He pattered off down the sidewalk, Heinz watching his retreating form fondly.
When the platypus was out of sight, Heinz stood, ready to return to DEI once more. He started to slide out of his booth, but did a double take as he noticed something on the floor opposite him, under where Steven had been sitting. He retrieved the object.
It looked like a miniature wallet, tiny and square and brown. Was it Steven’s? Or had someone else left it here? Maybe a very rich child? Examining it, he contemplated turning it in without looking inside first, but quickly decided that that wouldn’t be very evil of him. Making up his mind, he opened the wallet.
There was a picture of a wall-eyed pet platypus sleeping under a tree. “A platypus,” Heinz observed. Then he turned the wallet sideways, and several very familiar photos tumbled down, accordion-style. The doctor gasped. “Perry the Platypus?!” he breathed. His eyes scanned over the photographs of his nemesis and himself. What was Perry’s wallet doing here?...
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Perry’s heart was still hammering a little. The intensity, the longing, the raw emotion in Heinz’s voice when he’d talked about his nemesis had left Perry feeling like the air had been punched out of him (and he knew quite well what that sensation felt like).
The doctor had been so impersonal, so professional during the past few weeks at their job. He never invited Perry to have dinner or planned events with him anymore. He didn’t say much about Vanessa or Charlene or Roger or his parents (unless they were relevant to the day’s backstory). The secret agent had been torn between relief that their working relationship had become simpler, and heartbreak that Heinz seemed to no longer have any desire to be anything more than a nemesis to Perry. He’d thought all of the scientist’s feelings of warmth and affection for Perry had been transferred completely over to Steven. Which was for the best, really. They were professionals. And it wasn’t even as if he was losing any of that companionship with Heinz, because he was also Steven. He was reaping the rewards of both a close personal connection and a distraction-free working relationship. Steven was Heinz’s friend; Agent P was Doofenshmirtz’s nemesis. That was the way it should be, logically.
But illogically, this had broken Perry’s heart even further.
Had Heinz really given up on him? Didn’t everything they’d been through together mean anything? Was he really willing to just…throw in the towel and replace him with some other platypus (even if the other platypus was also him)? Perry vacillated between fierce determination to tell his nemesis the truth about his alter ego, crushing fear that everything would collapse and he would be left with nothing, and an overpowering longing for things to just be the way they had been, complicated, ridiculous, beautiful frienemesisship and all.
But then, the evil scientist had completely floored him.
He’d noticed Heinz looking contemplative and melancholy, and asked him what was wrong, and the doctor had surprised him by suddenly talking about him, Perry. Of course, Doofenshmirtz never mentioned Perry by name; references to his nemesis were usually classified under “a friend from work” or “this guy I know”. But this time seemed a bit different. This was no casual reference.
“He’s…suave, and cool,” Heinz had begun, speaking slowly, choosing his words. The next part came out in a bit of a rush: “I mean, this guy has the spunk and determination of a hundred men all crammed into one adorable, portable package.” Perry barely resisted rolling his eyes as the man continued, “And he’s also really skilled with a grappling hook, I mean really skilled…” The platypus blinked. Was his skill with the grappling hook really so notable that it occupied the third slot in a list of his attributes?
The evil scientist glanced up at Perry’s surprised expression before continuing awkwardly, “Anyway, I’ve known him for years, and he’s one of the most important parts of my life,”—Perry felt himself flush under his fur—“but sometimes I feel like I don’t truly know him at all.” You and me both, Perry thought to himself. “Every time I find something out about him, it’s a huge surprise. Like, just the other day, I found out he prefers the crusts cut off of his sandwiches. Kinda like you do!”
Perry glanced down at his uneaten sandwich crusts. Drat! He hadn’t realized his nemesis would notice something like that. Without a moment’s hesitation he crammed the pieces of bread in his mouth. He choked them down, ignoring the unfamiliar taste. The doctor looked baffled by his behavior. “Oh, I guess you do eat crusts?” he asked. The platypus nodded and offered him a winning smile to assure him that everything was all right. The crusts stuck in his throat, and he glugged his water to wash them down. Hopefully none of this was coming across as suspicious. He gestured for his friend to keep talking.
“Well…” Doofenshmirtz continued, “You’d think after knowing a guy for so long, you’d start to put together the puzzle pieces and eventually have a full picture.” Perry blinked. He’d never thought of it like that. It was a surprisingly apt metaphor. “But every time I learn something new about Perry,”—the platypus nearly jumped at hearing his name so suddenly—“it’s like it’s a piece to a completely different puzzle.” Perry felt his heart sink with grim understanding. He felt exactly the same way about himself. He hadn’t known that his own identity problems were affecting and worrying his nemesis this way, and a flicker of guilt sparked through him. “I’ve got all these mismatched pieces,” Heinz continued, “and I have no idea what kind of picture I’m trying to put together. I just know that it’s probably a much better picture than mine.”
Perry’s vision briefly blurred at this last statement. Even when he was complaining about the secret agent, the evil scientist always spoke so admiringly of Perry and considered the platypus to be much better than himself. He wanted to tell his nemesis that it wasn’t true. Perry’s picture would always be confusing and incomplete and flawed, but Heinz’s experiences were so varied and colorful and—okay, he’d admit it—interesting. Heinz made the kind of picture that was both frustrating and captivating to behold, like abstract expressionism. Paint flung at a canvas, chaotic and unconventional and beautiful in its own way.
“You ever feel like that, Steven?” the doctor prompted then, and his friend nodded, trying to get ahold of himself. A million things raced through his head in response, and it felt like he couldn’t say any of them without giving too much away. He settled for something cryptic, but earnest and heartfelt. “Maybe he doesn’t know what his own picture looks like either. That’s why you need each other to fill in the blanks,” he wrote, and handed it to the man sitting across from him.
Heinz contemplated his words for a long moment. Perry watched his face intently, willing him silently to understand what he meant and to appreciate the sentiment behind it.
“Steven,” his friend said softly, putting down the notepad. Perry leaned forward slightly, anticipating something he couldn’t predict: a quiet admission that perhaps Perry was right, a thoughtful expounding of Perry’s words, a statement of appreciation for the platypus’s wisdom. “That’s really cheesy,” Heinz finally said. “Like, oh, wow, cornball alert.”
The spell was broken with an abruptness of a bubble being pricked. A hot wave of embarrassment and indignation washed over the platypus. How dare this moronic cheesehead laugh at him?! As if what he had said was much better than what Perry had said! He was sorry he even considered the idea that Heinz might understand emotions so complex. He yanked the notepad back and tore out the now maudlin-seeming words, despite his “friend”’s protests and continued laughter. The platypus crushed the paper into a ball, imagining it was his nemesis’s stupid insensitive head.
Despite this egregious faux pas, the rest of lunch went on fairly without incident. As much as he wanted to, Perry found he could never stay angry at Heinz for very long. The doctor didn’t bring up the picture analogy again, but he did keep talking about Perry. The platypus covered the cost of the meal, and, after checking his watch under the table, indicated to Heinz that he had to go. The evil scientist waved him off, they promised to meet again next week, and the platypus hurried away to transform from Steven into Agent P.
It occurred to him, as he ran down the sidewalk, that Steven was a much better friend than Agent P.
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Thanks for reading! Next chapter (hopefully) up tomorrow! <333
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chaoticpanpan · 6 months ago
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Been thinking about Boris lately so,lets write out some headcanons I have for him.
💭 : Boris is someone that can sense you are not happy and will try everything to get you to smile. Albeit it might sometimes be strange ways but, he is doing it in good spirit. His issue though is he will not stop till he's accomplished this
💭: Boris and Kamal co-own a house together. Now you can take that as them being a couple or just friends living together. I like to think after the Habitat Boris and Kamal got together and talked,worked things out(apologies given),worked on themselves a lot and decided to buy a house. Boris has money so it was no problem to get one.
💭: He's not a dentist anymore but, takes dental health seriously still. Don't ever let him find out you aren't taking care of your teeth. Even big softies like him get aggravated. Since he isn't a dentist anymore he owns his own floral shop. Finally he is happy and can do what he has wanted to do.
💭: Strict on bed time. Boris by no means would ever hurt anyone...well other than his little spurt of teeth stealing haha. Those days are over though. He does have tendencies though to be more upfront on things as this. Don't go to bed on time or try to stay up past it? He'll scold you like a parent would and after a banter back n' forth end up in his arms being craddled and walked around the house till you do sleep.
💭: I keep mentioning "you" Flower Kid,Kamal, and Boris end up being friends also. FK coming over a good bit spending time with them both. Boris loves he's finally got good friends to spend time with and be with. He cant contain himself sometimes. It's all surreal for him. After what went down in the Habitat Boris wasn't sure anyone would want something to do with him.
💭: "Tickle Monster" Aka:Boris Habit. I yern for this headcanon. It's such a sweet one I've been seeing go around and yes Boris uses a tickle technique probably often on Kamal and you for either silly or if you cop a fake smile/feel down. You both can try to hide but, that man will find you and get you eventually. He loves hearing the genuine laughter coming from people. It makes him happy and makes you end up passing out in his arms in the process. He doesn't stop till you got your "smile checkup" from him.
💭: Boris kinda "adopted" Flower kid after finding out their life wasn't sunshine as happiness even though they brought happiness to the Habitat and him.
💭: He loves to sing and do Karaoke. Oh yes, you and Kamal will hear Boris often singing. He mainly sings songs in his native tongue though he does have a spot for some "Bop" songs. If neither of you can sleep he will sometimes sing Russian lullabies. They are very calming to hear especially with his deep voice.
💭: I mentioned fake smiles. Yeah Boris doesn't like that. He doesn't like people hiding their problems. Especially you two. When he eventually finds out he's saddened and disappointed. Boris has went through many things and to see anyone not happy and trying to hide feelings breaks his heart. He becomes "Smile doctor" Boris then.
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I'm gonna write more but, this is just the start.
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esunspot · 7 months ago
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How I wish it could’ve went
In a perfect world, we would’ve spent July 2, 2020 almost exactly the same. Instead of saying “그만하자,” I would’ve asked you “그만 할까?” As of right now, it seems like this would have made the world of a difference.
I think our conversation would’ve played out similarly. Of course it would have had slight alterations but we would have still spent the majority of the night sitting in my hammock, expressing how we truly felt for one another. We would have still learned the deep reverence we felt towards each other as individuals, and acknowledged that we always made love. I think I would have had the courage to ask you then, “How could we make love if only one person loved the other?”
We would have still fallen asleep crying, kissing each other softy. When you would leave in the middle of the night, you would have still come back to reach over that ridiculously large bed to kiss me thinking i was asleep. I would have still been secretly awake, feeling it and knowing that you had your own, subtle way of showing me that you care for me deeply. This small act meant, and still means, the world to me.
Instead of finishing the conversation the next day with a set “let’s end us,” you would have still come over to watch Hamilton with me. We would have laughed a lot harder, cried a lot harder, but held each other a lot tighter. I would hope that we would both feel a small glimpse of the pain of what it would be like to leave one another. And it would ultimately cause us to appreciate each other a whole lot more.
Our relationship started off backwards, and this is where we would have finally reached the beginning. 
You would leave and it would have been okay. The only sense of anxiety we would’ve felt was positive--simply eager and excited to see each other again. I think I would have still felt a strong sense of sadness and guilt. But it would’ve been channeled into ambition; I would’ve been ready to make up all the pain you previous lover had caused you, and the scars i had left you too. I think you could’ve been ready to start new again too--maybe take a few steps forward and not be so scared since you were finally able to trust the process a little bit more.
I would have slept that night thinking about how these commitment issues were a struggle that both of us had to overcome separately. But even still, it doesn’t mean that we would have to do it apart without us cheering for one another on the sidelines. I think I would’ve truly realized what it would mean to hold someone’s hand and let them lead me, but also tell them when I needed to stop and take a break, or maybe take another turn.
Nonetheless, you would have forgotten your almond butter at my apartment. At the time, I was so fascinated by the science of making butter. I was so intrigued by how hot the almonds got in the blender! Hopefully you thought it was cute.
Instead of waking up the next morning, July 5, 2020, feeling alone, anxious, and terrified. I would’ve woken up feeling okay. You were still here, and we both had decided to not walk away but rather take another turn--together. I would’ve pretended to be annoyed at the fact that you left the butter--probably made a joke about how you just don’t like my cooking and left it there on purpose. But really, I would’ve been glad to just stop by your place, drop off your things, and give you a big hug saying I’m beyond grateful for you, and I intend to be there for you--actively engaged, generously caring, but also extremely gentle with you and the pieces of you that you left in my care.
I would’ve never felt the urge to distract myself by visiting acquaintances. And my neck would’ve never ended up bruised, my vagina would’ve never been left with scars, and my entire mind, body, and voice would’ve never been taken away from me again.
When I would show up at your door, you would’ve opened it and embraced my hug a little tighter than usual. You would’ve invited me in, and I would’ve said “just for a little bit,” knowing that I was probably going to be there for over an hour. I think we would’ve made love again, but it would’ve been more gentle and passionate than before. Afterwards, you would hold me from behind like usual... and I would feel safe, beautiful, and at home.
I’m sure I would’ve had the courage to tell you that I intend to make you feel that same way--nothing but safe, cared for, and appreciated. I was ready to show you that you always had another place to call home, and i was ready to take it at whatever pace made you the most comfortable while expressing my needs too. We would’ve finally started working together as a team, and I’m certain this time we would make it. We would’ve finally started trying.
Weeks would pass and things would’ve been great. Maybe a few bumps along the road--you would’ve had some spouts of anxiety, and I would’ve needed some assurance to maintain patience and security. Slowly but surely, our insecurities would’ve subsided and we would’ve finally started our relationship together.
But throughout this entire time, I would’ve still been pregnant. When I finally would have the courage to take a pregnancy test, you would’ve been there. In fact, you would’ve bought me the test yourself and would wait for me as I took it. Immediately, I would’ve started crying and you would’ve been silent--almost like all your insecurities, fears, and pressures were flooding back. I would’ve told you everything I was scared about, including the specific details of my past traumas. And the whole time you would’ve listened and held me, asking me if I needed anything at all. 
You would’ve asked me, “What do you want to do, Anna?” And i would’ve pushed for your response if I had asked you that question. You would’ve stayed firm with not responding, and encouraged me to come to the conclusion on my own accord--”It’s your body, your choice.” 
I would’ve told you with certain intentions of receiving an abortion as soon as possible. But “soon” was going to be tentative. I think I still would have been scared of the doctor’s, and you would’ve been reminded of how hard that day was when I had to go to the OB/GYN a few weeks prior. You would’ve given me tons of research, encouragement, and gentle affection to reason with me logically but also hold my hand to let me know that I’m not alone.
I would have noticed your own anxieties about this, and I would have told you the truth. “You’re going to make the best dad ever one day, but that day isn’t anytime soon.” We would’ve been able to talk about our dreams as future parents and share our childhood memories with one another in depth. With this, I would’ve realized that being with you already feels like I’m with family. And most importantly, I would’ve realized that I already have too many people to take care of right now--including myself--and I shouldn’t have to squeeze room for my own child, room should’ve already been there.
And so, with your support, I would have received a surgical abortion at 18 weeks. It would have still been invasive, it would have still been painful, but it would have felt nothing short of rewarding. After all, making love to the man I cared for most resulted in a mass donation to science and the future--which ultimately meant that I we were both investing in future families and creating life in our own, unique way.
Afterwards, I would have still been sad and scared--traumatized from having to go through something that invasive again. But this time things would’ve been different: it was my choice. You would’ve been there to remind me that we were able to make something so beautiful out of this accident, and if anything, there was a powerful purpose behind it. You would’ve seen all the blood in the bathroom and the truth behind how it’s hard for me to complain about pain, and you would’ve been ready with your cleaning supplies, pads, and comfort food to make sure I was okay.
From there on out, we would’ve moved forward feeling nothing short of proud knowing that we had overcome something so terrifying together. I would’ve been so honored to have someone so supportive, patient, and courageous as my partner. I would’ve been so proud of us as a couple for the strides we had made in our communication, teamwork, and trust in one another. And most importantly, I would’ve been extremely proud of myself for making it through this--it would’ve been a hallmark in my healing, and it would’ve been a tangible reminder that my traumas do not define me. 
I’m certain we would’ve made it to the next winter together. Instead of missing the previous one so much, we both would’ve looked forward to our second set of holidays together--more pretty lights, movies, and trips together. 
I’m not sure how the rest would be played out in an ideal world, and i guess that’s what leaves the excitement in my life for me--the anticipation and surprise of not knowing. It makes everything so much more rewarding and grand--and that’s something I can imagine but wouldn’t dare to put into words (I don’t want to jinx it). Whether or not we would’ve worked out doesn’t matter to me, I think this scenario of just a few months would’ve already been worth a lifetime of happiness and success in my mind. 
But strangely, this isn’t an ideal world. And I’m not sure if I wish it were.
You still left me and kept me wrapped around your finger. He still raped me, strangled me, and stalked me on multiple occasions. And you still aren’t really here. The days you would bring me food, talk to me for hours on end, and ask me on a daily basis how I’m doing truly mean the world to me. But it isn’t enough for me to diminish the spite and anger I have towards you for all the hurt you brought me. Shaming me the moment you discovered I was pregnant, yelling at me without considering the fears and violations I’ve recently experienced, and leaving me to wait for you on a day where I saw the first image of the life we had created together. These are things I’m not sure if I could ever forgive you for.
I’m in a world of pain and you are only a speck of that, and right now... everything is about me. It isn’t selfish to say this at all, it’s the right mindset for me to have in order to get through this. I have the means to care for my child, and I know for a fact I’m going to be a good mom. Maybe not a great one, I’m sure my sass will clash with my child’s, but definitely a mother who will protect her child fiercely, provide and care for them endlessly, and love them unconditionally--with so much passion that my love will be more than enough for them. Opportunity and a village of inspirational and loving individuals is something this child will never run short of. And this child will have the most beautiful, wonderful, and phenomenal life I can’t even dare to imagine fully. But you are not in the picture--you can be if you’d like.
I want this but it’s hard for me to come to this conclusion knowing that I’m going to be hurting my child’s father. I’m going to be the reason why you may not be there to open gifts with them on Christmas mornings, teach them how to ride their first bike down a mountain or tie a figure-8 knot on a harness, and nurse them back to good health when they scrape their knees from falling off a tree (or rock, probably a rock). I can do all these things in your place instead, but I don’t know if I could potentially hurt my child like this. And as much as I love you, care for you and your family, and have good intentions to bring only joy into your life, you would never stand a chance against the love I have over this precious being in my stomach.
But you would always be their biological father, and knowing you I don’t think you could ever live the rest of your life without getting to know them. And I’m not sure if you being rushed into this would bring out the best in you at all. And I am most certainly not willing to take the risk of bringing trauma and resentment into my child’s life. So whether the answer is to give birth and present you with custody filings or receive a surgical abortion, at least I know both of my options involve the creation of life and investing into my child’s future. Whether this child is born soon, or in the next several years, my decision is going to be based on what’s best for me and my future children.
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