“I can’t believe I didn’t think of talking to Joyce sooner.”
He sounded hopeful… Was it because he wanted to see Billy in a good home, or just because he wanted to be rid of the headache that was the shitty blonde? It had to be the latter right? Nobody wanted what was best for him, just to be rid of him. All except Neil and he fucking hated the fact that he held Neil in higher regard than all these fucks’ lives he’d been whirlwinded through. At least Neil had wanted him for something. At least to Neil he’d been useful, and not some pet project, or a burden to be shoved off onto someone else.
“Did you tell her how fucked up I am?” Billy asked petulantly, his voice a growl as he stabbed the nasty salisbury steak. It was better than starving, so he shoved it in his mouth and chewed.
“I told her you’ve got a temper, but it’s not my place to tell her what you’ve been through. That’s up to you if you want to tell them.” Billy’s brows raised, and he actually looked up at Hopper. He hadn’t told her… had he told any of them? On the one hand, no wonder none of them wanted him, they hadn’t expected a pathetic waste of space that was only good for one thing in this god forsaken world. On the other hand… he felt a lightness in his chest. Something like gratitude if that was even a feeling he could have. He didn’t exactly want it known that even his own father hated him. In a town this small, everyone had to know that Neil Hargrove had gone to prison but if Hopper wasn’t telling… maybe they didn’t know why.
“You think this one will work?” He’d finally asked, skeptical.
“If anyone will work, it’s Joyce and Bob the Brain.” Billy’s raised eyebrow had Hopper laughing, “That’s what we called him in high school. Nice guy, but a nerd through and through.” Hopper had gone on to tell him more about the family then. Joyce had two children, one of which he knew from school. Jonathan Byers was quiet, and if his little brother was anything like Jonathan, he’d be just as quiet and a little creepy too. Apparently Bob and Joyce were still dating but they were pretty serious. Bob apparently had been a great influence on the kids since their deadbeat dad Lonnie had left and Hopper thought maybe Bob would be good for him too. Billy stayed silent and bit his lip almost to bleeding rather than say he really fucking doubted anyone with a name like ‘Bob the Brain’ could be good for him.
A fic in which Billy, (who we all know desperately needs love) after a flurry of Foster homes once Neil has been aptly and justly punished for his crimes, is sent to live With Joyce Byers and Bob Newby.
This whole idea was sparked by this Ritz ad I watched one morning:
Like this small snippet? Did I catch your interest? Read the whole chapter on my AO3 here!
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Head canon ask for Luna & Serina / @shackledsculs
Thread reply (a.k.a., on this episode of How I Met Your Mother) / @asaraltu
Naught-ee ask / @kiryuiegerin
And whatever else my muse/limited time span can manage before the weekend!
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Just had a thought
you and katsuki had agreed early on you both wanted to be childless and as the years went on more of your friends started having kids. you haven’t changed your mind but you can’t help but feel a little lost and left out as everyone else is building their own little families. katsuki noticed your behaviour, he held a little guilt himself since he was the one that first said he didn’t want children. what you didn’t know was he had been talking to a civilian he’d saved a few months back who now had a number of German shepherd pups that were ready to be adopted. you came home from work one day and he quickly drags you to the front room, sitting you down and telling you to close your eyes. a few minutes later he tells you to open them and you gasp at the little puppy in your husbands hands, sleeping soundly. you take him into your arms, their big paws curling against your chest. ‘now we have a baby too’ he smirks
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hii:) i’m looking for a fic i read in 2019 (i think it was a tae fic) i believe they hated eachother but then they were roomates and they had insomnia and to help them sleep they began cuddling so they could fall asleep? it then worked and then they fell in love! it’s okay if you can’t help me try and find it:))
Ok so you didn't mention the ship
Sooo I'm not really sure if this is the one you're looking for
If it isn't, please drop another ask with the ship name
Fall Asleep (Fall For You)
WORD COUNT: 149954
“They say when you fall in love you can’t fall asleep, but now that I’ve met you I feel like I finally can.”
A University AU where Jungkook and Taehyung become roommates. But Jungkook has insomnia and can't fall asleep with other people and Taehyung can't fall asleep alone.
On a side note I got to read a super great fic. Even if this is not the one you're looking for, I would 100% recommend it :)
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Johnny talks his plus-one into a stroll through Pacifica, and she doesn't get murdered even a little.
That's gonna teach her.
For someone who’d fucked up no fewer than three would-be rapists at the tender age of definitely illegal, the baby edgerunner has sure internalized her trauma.
“It’s just a fucking camera feed,” he patiently reminds her. “Only guy in your head is yours truly, and I’d notice if I had company.” She flips him off, but her heart rate’s going down, which was the aim... right until the ganger has to ruin it.
For a split second, she’d been able to pretend that her input was on the other end of the line, which causes all sorts of conflicting emotions. Most prominent among those is frustration: with Placide watching, there’s no way she can call him without the gangoon picking up every word.
Still, some moral support would be good for her, might allow her to pull her head out of her ass and notice that she’s at least a match for Placide, what with half of his chrome streamlined for netrunning.
“What’s the difference to puttin’ on a show for the ‘Saka spies on the line?” he asks, only to back away at her surge of fierce, protective anger: “Whoa, I get it, let’s keep him outta the gig.”
Suits me fine, not dragging Arasaka into this.
Repost in celebration of 1600 hits 😊
Fandom: Final Fantasy XV
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Ignis Scientia/Reader, Ignis Scientia & Reader, Ignis x Reader, ignis/reader
Characters: Ignis Scientia, Noctis Lucis Caelum, Gladiolus Amicitia, Prompto Argentum
Additional Tags: Fluff, Eventual Smut, Porn with too much plot, like seriously self-indulgent overly-obsessive longwinded pining for Ignis, ode to Ignis' perfection, Ignis backstory, Ignis origins, Shy Ignis, surprisingly rough Ignis, trying hard not to be rough cause he's a gentleman Ignis, kind of failing trying not to be rough Ignis, Fluff and Hurt/Comfort, Iggy has some daddy issues, Ignis Losing His Composure in various ways, Angsty Ignis, Vulnerable Ignis, Ignis deserves someone as devoted to him as he is to everyone else, Needy in the dark but right back to badass in the morning Ignis, Smut starting chapter 5, Very long descriptive emotional smut, I'm serious every thought and feeling and action second by second is in the smut scene, Outdoor Sex, Kinkier stuff probably to come later
You're traveling as a guide with the Chocobros on their journey to Altissia, and lo and behold, you find yourself falling way, waaay too deep for a certain bespectacled tactician. If only the both of you weren't such shy overthinkers.
You also find out that Ignis is not quite who everyone thinks he is.
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Vee follows Placide and his dead chicken into Batty's Hotel for a mission briefing.
Her kind has never been allowed up here.
It’s nice to wholeheartedly agree on something with the dead terrorist in her head: they both can’t stand the music.
Placide stalks into the hotel’s lobby, and suddenly, everyone seems to want something from him. No one here’s afraid of the guy at all, never mind that he tells each of them off. If not for the terrible tunes, the fact that everyone is speaking creole, the VDB tags and voodoo graffiti, and how it smells all wrong, the scene wouldn’t be out of place in Kabuki.
Okay, it would be out of place in Kabuki.
Placide stomps up to a hardware store, leans on the counter like he was delivering an ultimatum, and slams the dead chicken down to make his point.
“Placide, my boy,” the recipient purrs, translationsoft dutifully interpreting every word. She’s an elderly woman, hair wrapped up in some sort of turban with a bobble on top, and unlike Vee, she doesn’t seem fazed by the headless dinosaur bird at all.
“For you,” he replies.
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lee. no more than fifteen chapters. no. more. there Better Be Fluff
the angst of demons:
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“The new Five is…they’re brilliant. But oh Alice, they aren’t you.”
Sam remembers Alice. This is probably sometime in the 5k or season 1?
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Instead of having a barbecue and a beer, Johnny meets the scariest guy since the invention of scary guys — according to the girl who docks Takemura.
He's never been more underwhelmed.
Rolland’s butcher shop features several vending machines together with roughly a dozen cooling counters and units. The guy behind the counter even wears a white cloth hat, a token nod to hygiene regulations if it was any less greasy. A woman is sitting on a chair in front of the display, and until a moment ago, they were chatting in Creole.
It’s chilly, and the place smells like it’s supposed to smell, no more flies than he’d expect and nothing seems to be actively rotting. Straight ahead is an honest-to-goodness collection of barbecue fare, plastic-packaged straight for consumption, and suddenly Johnny wants nothing so much as a grill and a bottle of lager, ice-cold straight from the freezer.
His plus-one tries to pretend that the meat’s all synthetic, of course.
Before she can get nauseated, he focuses on the second urge: “Grab a beer, Vee. Come on.”
She turns to look at him, about to turn him down, then reconsiders. “On the way out, yeah?”
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A Father’s Day Triptych
TW: past/referenced child abuse, emotional hurt/comfort, child neglect
(you can find it on AO3 here ♥)
Father’s day in the Hargrove household was always pulled taut with expectations of kindness and submission hanging over Billy’s head.
They didn’t always used to be that way. When he was a kid, Father’s days felt like a reprieve rather than a burden. Billy and his mom would prepare special things- a nice card that would make him laugh, those new fishing poles he’d been eyeing in the big sporting store a town over, a pretty cake with fresh fruit on top from the grocer down the way. His mother went all out. She’d get Billy all excited for it too. The strenuous relationships were softened for a day where they did everything they could to make him happy.
They really did… everything they could just to make him happy. Sometimes Billy still wonders why it had to take so much.
Around Father’s day, his mother would use all her spending money to make his father smile. It usually worked. And for that day, it was so good. It could hardly get better. Grilling and watching stupid baseball games Billy never cared about but would pretend to be interested in, just for him. Fake smiles almost became real. Hot dogs and hamburgers and watermelon always tasted better on those days when his father would put his arm around Billy amicably- when he would laugh at the card and compliment how Billy’s penmanship was getting better every year.
The year that she left was the worst.
The year that she left Billy stopped getting an allowance. He had no money to soften the edges of his father with fresh cakes and fancy presents. He panicked. He stole a stupid fishing keychain from a store and made a card from his school notebook paper. He presented them with shaking hands to his father who seemed glued to the couch, eyes bloodshot, surrounded by beer cans, baseball game so loud Billy’s ears felt sore.
He got a grunt and a lazy eye roll in response. A slurred groan of “your writing is sloppy”. A quieter admission of regret.
He got resentment. Billy was 9 and he knew it was resentment towards his very existence. He slid away to his room. There was no dinner to eat that night as his father passed out on the couch with the TV still on far too loud.
When Susan and Max came into the picture, Billy miraculously found a reason to be happy for it. Suddenly there was pressure taken off of him. He let Max know it too, as Susan encouraged them to go out and “at least get him a card”. They’d lazily look through all the forcibly funny and generic pieces of paper. Max was nervous that first year.
“It’s whatever.” Billy had grunted, looking through ugly green cards with stupid phrases on them. “She’s gonna bang him tonight, he won’t care about a dumb card.”
“Ew.” Max had whined, covering her ears and pouting. Billy couldn’t find it in himself to care.
It was never fun. Billy felt like he was on a leash all day long, obligated to do everything he could for his father just to keep him civil. Susan made a steak, the kids handed over the card, his father remarked how his penmanship was the mark of someone lazy and sloppy (no matter how hard Billy would try to make it as neat as he possibly could), and the day would end. And he could stop thinking about how this man still had a hand in his life.
Father’s day in the Hopper household was always bumbling and awkward.
By the time that first one came around, Billy was just beginning to feel less like a burden to the house and more like an addition. He’d found comfort in the space they all shared. They had a sort of routine set between all of them. There was still no second bed for Billy, so he still felt like he was imposing when Hop slept on the couch, but it was a sort of pull out couch by that point and Hop insisted and Billy decided not to pay it too much mind.
And that first Father’s day was just… awkward. Billy had completely forgotten the date- summer had just started for him and days were rolling by in hot and languid and lazy moments of feeling out every new situation. He had just started getting really serious with Steve. Not just touching for the sake of getting off but really starting to need and want each other in ways that scared him. In ways that made him want to keep things how they were- ways that made him scared to change a thing. It was a new and alien feeling for him.
El had inadvertently learned about Father’s day from Mike when he briefly groaned about dinner plans his family had. Billy found that out from El on their drive to the store to pick something up for Hop. She had to convince Billy it was a thing they should do, because Hopper was their father. He did fatherly things for them. He took them in and gave them a roof and food and asked how their days were and wished them goodnight and good morning, however groggily. He made stupid jokes that made them moan and he danced horribly to the old records he kept on their dusty shelf and he was horrible with laundry and he whistled as he did dishes.
He introduced Billy proudly in the grocery store once. It was the weekend after Billy had a really good basketball game that Hop had decided to attend. Hop bragged about it to some friend of his. Billy flushed red and elbowed him and tried his best to escape.
He thought about it every single day.
Billy and El bought a large cheesy balloon, ingredients to make a nice lasagna dinner, and a green and white cake from the bakery. The balloon was more for El. The lasagna was a little burnt. Hop was too nice to say he’d have preferred pie to cake, but he ate it anyway as they sat around the TV and watched whatever program was on. Billy only remembered as he fell slowly into sleep that night. He jolted awake quickly, remembering a sort of far off conversation months ago where Hop had proclaimed confidently that pie was the superior dessert of anything else- yes, even Eggo's with whipped cream and sprinkles. How he admitted cake was never his favorite.
Billy felt shame overcome him as he remembered, pushing himself out of bed and turning to the sofa with the immediate want to apologize for it. He wasn’t sure what came over him.
But instead of sending pleading apologies into the darkness, he just looked towards the sofa with a heavily beating heart and let his eyes adjust. And he thought about all that man had done for the two of them. Thought about how he took in these two stray kids. Thought about how he knew Hop was getting flack for it, because Billy heard the whispers and the snickers and the sneers about Hop running a dog pound. Thought about how he gave up his probably comfier trailer for the rundown cabin, gave up the main bedroom for the dusty spare bed, gave up the dusty spare bed for the couch, gave up parts of his sanity probably…
Billy didn’t wanna apologize anymore. He just whispered a thanks, even though it was hard to push up through his throat and would fall onto sleeping ears.
The Father’s days after that first one got better. They got Joyce, and along with her 2 boys that had their own rocky past with fathers and celebrations of them. Just four kids who feared and resented father figures. It ended up being better than Billy could imagine. It was never quite as awkward as that first Father’s day, but never quite comfortable either. That being said, it was never a bad day. The bar was low, but that didn’t matter. Billy found appreciation for the general ease all the same.
Father’s day in the Hargrove-Harrington-”whatever we’re together now and that’s what’s most important” household is filled with guilt and feelings of imposter syndrome.
They don’t celebrate it the first two or so years after they’ve adopted their first child. He’s just a toddler, he doesn’t quite understand yet what it is. And they… they’re still struggling with what it means to be fathers. They’re confident in their rights but they’re not immune to the judgmental voices, always eyeing them oddly when they’re out together with their boy or asking after the mother when they’re out separately. Always looking a little judgmental or harsh when they have to explain why the kid doesn’t look like them- whoever is with him at the time. Or getting looks of pity when the people clearly begin to assume it’s because they couldn’t get pregnant with whatever wife must be at home.
It’s hard to hear. It makes them question everything. If their boy doesn’t know what he’s missing, then there’s no need to explain.
Billy calls Hopper and feels his heart lurch when Hop and Joyce wish him and Steve a happy father’s day. They do it with joy and certainty. As if it belongs to them, too. Billy hangs up the phone and lays in bed for at least half an hour. Steve can’t get through to him.
It’s an odd feeling. A rough feeling. When they adopt their second child, a girl of 9 years old, they know they’re going to have to confront it. Their son begins school that year too. They find out about the day from their friends and television ads and store windows. The children are timid with them- they were adopted as supposed “problem children” from rough homes and tumultuous pasts. Billy and Steve don’t expect anything of them but they’re still not sure how to explain that. They figure ignoring is easier than explaining. Maybe it’ll make it go away.
It doesn’t work well.
And Billy… Billy’s just struggling being a dad. He couldn’t explain the job if he tried. He helps make lunches, he gives timeouts, he buys and subsequently sneaks himself some silly little snack foods when he’s hungry and busy and doesn’t have time to do more than rip open a pouch. He deals with tantrums over vegetables and he wipes mouths with napkins and he sings lullabies in the wrong key and he reads bedtime stories until he himself dozes off in the tiny bed with a small head on his chest and drool pooling onto his shirt.
He’s trying. He gets frustrated at stores. He gets a little hot headed, a little loud. His heart breaks when they cry. He’s straddling the line between being a pushover and a hard-ass. He lays awake at night, staring at the ceiling, dreading ever becoming like Neil. He asks Steve, in the stillness of the night when the darkness acts as the weight of every horrible outcome imaginable, if he’ll follow Neil’s wretched footsteps.
“You’ll never be like him, Billy.”
“How do you know? What if it’s inside me already.”
“Maybe it is… maybe I won’t be able to help it.”
He stresses and he struggles and he wants to rip his hair out.
But that first father’s day comes around with their new daughter and newly knowledgeable son. And the two children blunder around the kitchen while their two dads are asleep. And then they wake the two parents up, both teary eyed and breathing heavy, faces full of apology and sorrow, asking for help to clean up the mess.
And Billy and Steve find the kitchen a single step back from full on disaster. There’s juice all over the counter and dripping onto the floor, the cereal box is all soggy from it, the toaster is smoking, a plate is broken on the ground, the fridge is still open. Their daughter pulls on Billy’s pajama pants and holds out her finger that’s bleeding. He gets out of her that she somehow managed to cut it on the butter knife she was using to cut up some fruit.
Steve gets busy cleaning things up. He asks their son to help do smaller things like close the fridge and grab some towels.
Billy takes his daughter’s small soft hand into his large, rough one and plants a kiss on it. It sends something like pure love surging through his heart. He guides her to the bathroom to put a bandaid on it and asks if she’s okay.
“Mmhm.” She nods and his heart softens. She sniffles. “M’sorry. We wanted… wanted to make breakfast and w-wanted to do something nice.”
She sounds like the weight of the world is on her small shoulders. Billy sees himself at 9 years old, doing his damnedest to get anything close to a damn smile out of his father while he sat unresponsive and unamused on the couch.
His heart yearns. It breaks and it pulls and it screams and it shouts. He pulls her in close and hugs her tight and tries to find the right words. Tries to tell her it’s made his entire year. It’s made him feel validated and happy and worth it, like all of that stress is worth it just to know that these two children got up early as hell on a Sunday morning just to surprise their fathers. Just to surprise the two of them. Just to say they thought of them, wanted to give them something, wanted to make them feel special.
“It was nice.” Is all he can croak out through his froggy throat.
“It’s a mess.” She sobs, but he just grips her arms tighter.
“It was wonderful.” He says and he’s crying too. He can’t get the tears to stop. He’s kneeling on the bathroom ground, the two of them crying to each other.
And Billy swears he’ll never get good at the father thing. He has talks with Hop about it, when he’s feeling vulnerable and Hopper’s able to get it out of him. By this point they’ve adopted another child- an older boy, a teenager. He’s rough and he’s jaded. He listens to loud, angry music. He kind of picks on the other two kids, even though he’d jump in front of a bus for either one of them. Hop asks how he likes it.
“He’s a lot like you were, y’know.” Hop tells Billy, who still doesn’t really see it.
Steve doesn’t have as much of a problem with the boy as Billy does. Billy and him just never seem to see eye to eye.
“It’s because you’re the same people.” Hop insists. Steve agrees. Joyce affirms with pity. “You clash.”
They clash hard. They get into yelling matches. Billy never puts a hand on him, but the arguments aren’t exactly great. Billy cries to Steve at night, fear shaking him down to his core, still able to see and hear himself yelling at that boy who fights tooth and nail back with him.
“You’re not a bad person, Billy.”
“Why do I do that shit?” He asks, knowing full well no one but him could ever really know.
It’s not like it’s anything too vitriolic. It’s not like it’s anything really poisonous.
It’s over the fact that he stays out too late at night, and Billy gets worried. It’s the fact that Billy found cigarettes in his room and he knows the bad effects of cigarettes. It’s the fact that he pushed his little brother one day and made him scrape his knee and he needed to learn some boundaries. It’s the fact that he lied about his grades when Billy felt they gave him no reason to do such a thing.
It’s fatherly things. That’s what Hop assures him as Billy cries on the phone with him.
“It’s things I would have done with you.”
Billy never ever knows what to make of that. What to make of what he’d be like now if Hop was his father from the start. If Hop was there from the beginning. If Neil hadn’t made him a monster in his own image.
Billy does his best to get through to him. Get through to his son now because he’s his son now.
Billy feels like the worst, most undeserving father.
As the kids have gotten older, they learned better ways to celebrate father’s day. They learn breakfast in bed isn’t really what the two of them would prefer- a nice lunch and getting to spend some time with them sounds better. A homemade card always goes on the mantle or the fridge with the rest of the collection. A few hugs because those are like treasured gifts in this house with kids who have a history of boundary and trust issues with parental figures.
The older son catches Billy alone in the kitchen.
“Hi.” Billy replies awkwardly back. The silence is jarring.
“I uh… uhm.” He’s struggling. Billy wants to do something more than just stand here, but he’s not sure what. He doesn’t want to push anything too far. He wants to be good at this.
The boy puts a small, wrapped box on the counter with an envelope underneath and slides it over.
“Happy Father's day.” He mumbles, suddenly fidgeting.
Billy stares at them.
“You didn’t have to.”
“I wanted to.”
There’s another pause, heavy with all the weight and worry in Billy’s heart. He reaches for the box, rips the paper open easily, lifts up the lid.
“It’s uh… it’s just a couple tapes of some of those… bands you like. And talk about. All the time.” The boy snickers, but it catches in his throat. He’s so nervous. “My friend’s family was getting rid of a bunch of their tapes and I know you’ve got your old tape player still so… uh… yeah.”
It’s a mixed bag of absolute classics. Some tapes he used to have, others he’s always wanted. Zeppelin, Ted Nugent, Def Leppard, Billy Idol, AC/DC, Alice Cooper… his heart skips. He lost a lot of his tapes after all the sudden moves he’s had to make. His eyes start to well.
“I… I don’t know what to say.” Billy pushes out on a whisper.
“Are they any good?”
“They’re… they’re awesome, kid.”
“There’s a card too y’know.” The boy adds, still shuffling nervously.
Billy slips it out from under the box, pulling his finger underneath the flap to open it.
It’s… it’s ridiculous. It’s one of the cheesiest cards Billy’s ever seen. He thinks back to all the stupid, jokey cards he used to pick out with his mother. The joke inside actually makes him laugh, loud and bright.
There’s words written underneath, quite a few scribbled out and then-
Sorry for all the trouble. I think I just don’t like knowing you’re right sometimes… but thank you for everything.
The words are nearly chicken scratch- wobbly letters clearly written with a nervous and shaky hand. The boy is damn near bouncing now, damn near trying to crawl out of his skin with nerves.
It’s the best, prettiest, most wonderful chicken scratch handwriting Billy has ever seen. He can barely see it now through his misty eyes.
“Your… handwriting is really nice.”
The boy scoffs loudly.
“Uh, thanks?” He sounds like he doesn’t believe it. Still, Billy could swear he sees the boy preen, just a little.
“Thank you.” Billy says, fighting back tears, trying like hell to hold himself together. “I’m sorry, too. I don’t… I don’t have to yell at you so much. At all. I’m sorry about it.”
The boy is just staring at him, eyes a little wide and a little shocked. Billy feels his heart lurch. He just wants to be fucking good at this.
“I’m gonna do better.” Billy asserts through a not-so-wobbly-anymore voice
The boy gives a small smile that grows a bit wider. If Billy isn’t absolutely crazy yet, he’d say that the boy’s eyes are getting a bit misty too.
“So are those tapes actually good?” The boy asks, clearing his throat and trying to seem casual. Billy sees more and more of himself in him.
“Hell yeah… do you think I’d have bad taste?”
His son cackles just a bit, rolling his eyes.
“Yeah, alright then. Whatever you say.”
There’s a pause. Billy takes the card and tucks it back into the envelope to save for himself- to put in a special place in his and Steve’s room. He then busies himself with shuffling through his tapes before his son says-
“We can… listen to some of them. If you want.”
Billy’s eyes shine with excitement and appreciation.
Listening to the tapes together is wonderful. They rib each other about what songs are better, what voices do and don’t sound the same, what the lyrics are like. They learn more about each other and maybe Billy is finally forced to admit that they’re a lot more alike than he realized.
And Billy starts to feel that maybe… maybe he can finally define what a father really means to him. And father’s days start to feel a bit more like they belong to him, too.
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Pacifica is dangerous turf — worst suburb in Night City, with room to spare.
But Johnny wants to show her something, and he's convinced that it's safe.
Vee walks out of the chapel and takes a lungful of air that’s maybe not fresh, but at least isn’t saturated with incense. The day is already hot, which does nothing for the aroma of rotting trash and worse. Suddenly, she’s glad that the samurai isn’t here to see this.
She knows where the butcher shop is, and it’s not far. Johnny thinks that the place is built like an anthill, but to her, it has always been like this.
“You’re not a kid anymore, Vee.” The dead rockerboy walks a few feet next to her, smoking an imaginary cigarette that smells better than their environment by literal miles. “Take a look around.” He warps over to the palisade ahead: the intersection Potomac/Pacific Blvd lies below, mostly deserted at this time of day.
It’s Pacifica. There’s a van with more colours than a neon ad, two malfini in front of it, brandishing full autos. The girl on the other side of it, next to the palm on the boulevard, must be their output — maybe not by choice.
“No, other direction.”
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𝐬𝐮𝐦𝐦𝐚𝐫𝐲 || the one where the gang graduate high school and bucky buys a van.
𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬 || angst, talks of break-ups, injury mentions, talks of accidents, mentions parental death.
𝐧𝐨𝐭𝐞 || um...surprise i'm starting another bucky fic? this is going to be one of the very few actual written chapters and a majority of them will consist of journal entries from bucky's pov.
"So, Barnes, what are you planning to do once we've graduated high school?" Natasha asked, before taking a sip from her red Solo cup. Everyone else had plans, ones that they had shared in the summer before their Senior year; all except Bucky.
"Mmm, haven't decided yet," came his response, circling his prosthetic finger around the rim of his beer bottle, "part of me wants to buy an old van and do it up. Travel America, and then eventually the world."
They were big dreams, even he could admit that, but after the gnarly accident two years ago which had nearly ripped his life from him, Bucky only had big dreams. "Oh yeah? Need a travel buddy?" Steve asked, stretching his legs out slightly.
Bucky and Steve had been best friends since early childhood, having gone to the same preschool and buddied up ever since Bucky punched Steve's preschool bully. Practically attached at the hip, or that's what everyone said, so it came as a surprise to the entire group when Bucky said, "no. This is more of a solo thing, Steve."
Steve just shrugged, accepting his answer and took a sip from his bottle of beer. "I can't believe we're graduatin' tomorrow," he remarked, peeling the label off the brown stained glass. "Four or so years together, and now it's coming to a close."
Sam just sighed, rolling his eyes as he playfully punched his boyfriend. "You're so sentimental, babe." He teased, before resting his head on Steve's muscled shoulder. "But, that's part of the reason I adore you so."
Bucky gagged, earning a glare from Sam and a playful swat from Steve. It's not that Bucky hated romance, far from it, but rather he was jealous he didn't have that special someone in his life. He could remember a hundred things he loved about Dot, but ever since the accident, it's like he disgusted her.
"Barnes, you're just jealous that you haven't got anyone to be all sappy with." Sam observed, earning him a punch from Bucky. He was jealous, rightfully so, but yet this was not something he appreciated being pointed out to him every five seconds.
"I think you'll find it was Dot that broke up with me, thank you very much. She's the one who was disgusted with my appearance after I woke up from that coma, but it's not as if she's having to live with the painful reminder of the fact that she was orphaned aged fifteen." Bucky grumbled.
Sam gulped, trying to figure out a way to apologise. Not that he knew the full in's and out's of that complicated relationship, however, for Sam didn't join the gang until the beginning of their Senior year when he started dating Steve. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean it like that."
"I know," came Bucky's response, "plus you didn't know what happened either. I guess the end of this era for us is bringing about more emotions and feelings than I'd like to express."
It didn't take long, but one by one the gathering dwindled in size until eventually everyone had gone home; getting much needed sleep for the big Graduation event. Soon enough, the big day came and Bucky could have sworn the entire day had passed by in a haze.
The next day, Bucky went out and spend two thousand, five hundred dollars on a van and a further six thousand converting the van into a camper; allowing him to travel America in comfort. The black journal came next, and soon enough Bucky was ready to document the biggest adventure of a lifetime.
feedback appreciated :)
perm taglist || @tinymalscoffee @starbxcks @romantizzity
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Johnny kicks his plus-one out of Takemura's sleeping bag before her bladder ruptures, and then they go find the Voodoo Boys.
Johnny has never been an early bird, but at some point, he wakes up because he needs to piss.
Unfortunately, the owner of the corresponding bladder is snuggled up in a sleeping bag that smells like her input and is reluctant to leave.
He endures that for twenty minutes, then asks: “Ever heard of Tycho Brahe?”
“Don’t know ‘er,” Vee mutters, face still buried in the bedroll.
“He was an astronomer. At one point, he attended some king’s party and refused to leave for a piss because it woulda been rude. Ruptured his bladder, died in horrible agony a few days later. My point bein’, go take a fucking leak!”
She drags herself out of the sleeping bag and shrugs on the corpo dog’s trench coat. “Gotta get chrome for that asap.”
He only pretends to stay back in the van — is in the same body, after all. “Get a dick while you’re at it,” he calls after her. “Don’t have to squat that way!”
“Fuck off,” she replies, flips him off and staggers away from the car, wearing nothing but a coat, a pair of biker boots, and two guns.
Johnny can’t say he disapproves.
“Got all the dick I need,” she informs him once she’s back, climbing into the van.
“Really?” he needles while she gets her threads back on. “Don’t see ‘im anywhere.”
Vee’d thought that one up during her leak, but the next one’s spontaneous, and her grin shows a dimple that makes her extra-cute. “Got you in my head,” she quips, feeling pleased with herself.
“Jesus H. Christ.” Despite himself, Johnny has to laugh and gives her a thumbs-up. “Let’s find you some coffee and get to that chapel before they close it again.”
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Off the Only Path I Knew - Chapter 3 - Friends Part 2 (Jamie)
Start from the beginning
Jamie couldn't sleep. The events of the night were still spinning around in his head. Dancing next to John, he'd felt himself drawn to him. The idea of pulling John close had been so clear in his mind, Jamie had to look down at his hands to check they weren't on John's hips.
This was crazy. John was his friend. A very dear, important friend, but that was it. Jamie was straight. He liked girls, always had.
He'd never had a real steady girlfriend. Though Laoghaire saw their relationship differently, Jamie had never been very serious about her or interested in taking things to the next level, physically or emotionally. Now there was Annalise, and though she was a bonny girl, Jamie was having a hard time picturing a future with her. With both women, Jamie just didn't feel the spark his father assured him he would when he met the right girl.
That was what he was holding out for, the spark that told him he was with the right person. He wanted someone who lit a fire in him in every way but could also be his best friend. Someone who would love him, support him, and push him to be a better person.
And why should he settle in the meantime? Every other lad in school had seemed obsessed with bedding any lass who would come within ten feet, but Jamie was willing to wait for the right one. He didn't want to share that part of himself with anyone he didn't love.
That didn't make him gay. It just made him a man who was willing to wait for the right person. And when he met them, he would know it.
Poor John. The last thing Jamie wanted was for him to feel embarrassed about admitting he had feelings for Jamie. And Jamie would be devastated if it affected their friendship; John was just too important to him. So tomorrow, he would talk to John and let him know that nothing needed to change between them now that Jamie knew the truth.
Satisfied that he had himself sorted, Jamie rolled over on his side and closed his eyes. Below him, he could hear John's breathing, a comforting rhythm he'd begun to associate with safety and — strangely enough — home. No, he thought, I can't let any of this affect our friendship; I need him too much.
Finish Reading on AO3
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When Vee tries to get in touch with the VDB, she finds the chapel closed.
Time not to spend the night in Pacifica.
“So,” Vee says to the guy on the other end of the line, “far as I understand, you can get me in touch with Maman Brigitte.”
Mr. Hands is just a silhouette on the holo, the only visible part of him being his namesake extremities. “It’s your lucky day,” he exclaims. “They got a task that needs doin’, so I volunteered you. Do it well, and you’ll get your audience with Brigitte.”
She glances to the passenger seat, where Johnny is rolling his eyes. “Nothing I love so much as jumpin’ through burning hoops,” he complains.
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These Abundant Skies
Chapter 9: Reach Out Your Hands
For the first time in eight years, they really saw each other. Or he really saw her. Maybe she’d seen him long before this moment. He’d been obscured first by his prejudice and then his own despair. By all of the hellish things that had happened during the war.
Draco might as well have been blind, for how he saw her true inner light now. It seemed absurd that he hadn’t been able to see it before. It glittered out of her, prism-like in its vivid iridescence.
His Occlumency ocean whirled at a steady thrum, but it was the furthest thing from ominous. The waves rocked, the sky was clear, and the surface of the water reflected glittering light from the stars above it. For the first time, the temperature of the water and air didn’t feel cold and desolate. The wind caressed the water, almost lovingly, present but comforting and mild.
It felt tepid, as if warming under the sun. But that was impossible. He’d never seen the sun in his mindscape. Only small beams bursting through the ominous clouds from time to time.
Blaming the loosening of his sensibilities on the Firewhisky once more, Draco lifted his shoulders off the ground slowly, as if in a trance, to lean closer. She stayed where she was, never breaking his gaze even though he was now above her. He leaned heavily on one elbow behind him, his other arm still raised and attached to hers by their palms. He settled over her, mere inches between them. He was so close he could count the freckles on her nose and cheeks, with only starlight to aid his vision. The little brown specks formed in sporadic clusters that seemed to have a collective purpose, dusting sweetly across her flesh.
Draco thought for a moment that her freckles deserved their own constellation and wondered if he could find stars in the sky to match the pattern on her skin. His chest grew tight with nerves and a strange feeling he’d never felt before.
artwork by the INCREDIBLY TALENTED @nadiapolyakova
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🕯🕯 Liam lets his hair grow out a little so the roots are his natural brown but the rest stays blonde 🕯🕯
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I managed to get two chapters edited tonight, so here is Chapter 4. Things are heating for Kagome and she begins to discover who she really is. Meanwhile, the Northern Kingdom is making plans.
I want to thank y’all again for your love and support!
Inuyasha sighed as he set his feet to the carpeted floor. The dreams were becoming more and more intense, as if the blue eyed woman was in danger, wherever she was at. It made for an uneasy night, filled with tossing and turning. His inner demon clawing at him to protect her. The problem was he didn’t know where she was at and he couldn’t just go run off and look, especially now that Naraku was increasing his violence at their borders.
Rubbing his face in frustration, he strolled into his bathing chambers and grabbed the wash rag, as he felt a large aura approach from the west. Sesshomaru must be arriving soon, the asshole always liked to make an entrance. Knowing his father would want all of them together for breakfast, he hurried to get changed into something more appropriate. Grabbing a red button down tunic, he was just leaving his bedroom, when he bumped into Miroku in the hall.
“Monk.” Inuyasha nodded his direction.
“Good morning, friend. You’re up earlier than usual.” Miroku greeted him cheerfully.
“Couldn’t sleep well, besides the asshole is arriving soon. You know how Father is about family time.”
Laughing, Miroku only nodded as they strolled down the hall towards the dining area. Sango, Izayoi and Ayame were already seated at the table, talking amongst each other, as Toga and Koga stood near the opposite doorway. Giving everyone a short hello, Inuyasha sat in his usual spot, to the left of his mother and rubbed his eyes tiredly.
“Dear, did you not sleep well?” Izayoi asked, a concerned look crossing her features.
“Nah, weird dreams, tossed and turned a lot.”
“If you don’t feel up to it today, maybe you should stay home and relax today. I’m sure with your brother arriving soon, we will discussing upcoming events in the meeting room anyways.”
Nodding again, he turned towards his plate. Peaches were always his favorite, the sweetness of the spring along with the beginning season. Grabbing one from the clay bowl in front of him, he heard foot steps approaching from the hallway.
“Sesshomaru! You made it!” Toga boomed, causing Inuyasha to wince, his ears flattening just a little bit, his head still pounding.
“Yes, Father. Your letter was urgent, Kagura and Rin, come say hello.” Sesshomaru gestured to the group behind him, Rin squealing in her bright orange dress, as she ran to give her grandfather a hug. Laughing at the sweet sight, a very pregnant Kagura waddled into the dining area as gracefully as a seven month pregnant woman could. “Are those peaches?” She mused, giving Inuyasha a mischievous wink.
Chucking at her antics, he tossed his favorite sister-in-law a ripe peach before taking a bite of his own. Nodding a hello at his brother, Inuyasha watched as Sesshomaru carefully helped his wife into the seat before taking his own. A smiling Rin, being carried by Toga on his shoulders, came to sit at the front of the table.
“Father, she must be able to sit at a table normally, she is too big for your shoulders now.” Sesshomaru said, disapprovingly.
Grabbing the child, Toga sighed and rolled his eyes at his oldest. He always has had a stick up his ass. Setting the giggling girl next to Inuaysha, who gave her his half eaten peach and winked at her, just as her own mother did to him. Watching the scene unfold before her, Izayoi smiled at her family, before announcing everyone to dig in.
Breakfast was the normal affair, only one slap this time from Sango to an embarrassed Miroku. Kagura and Ayame chatted about babies, while Inuaysha, Koga and Sesshomaru glared at each other most the time. Sighing to himself, Toga beckoned the house nanny to take Rin to the gardens to play. As the child said her goodbyes to everyone, Toga decided it was time to get to business. In the meeting room, a long wooden table sat, surrounded by chairs. It was when everyone took their seats, they began.
“Naraku is spanning an attack soon.” Toga stated, concern in voice. “He was seen in our borders just two days ago. It is time to force our hand.”
“Are you sure?” A too quiet Kagura asked, absentmindedly rubbing her belly. Sesshomaru covered her hand with his own, before turning towards the King, “If you are certain, we need to protect the borders. There are innocent people, many refugees from the fall of the Eastern Kingdom.”
Surprised by his care towards his subjects, Inuyasha stood to walk over to map hanging along the wall. Hung between bookshelves that wrapped the room, he took a red pin and marked the wildflower meadow, his heart giving a painful thump as he knew it was the same area as he saw the unknown woman. “It was here, that I smelt his men, graveyard and death. The forest burned around the area Miroku, Sango and I were camped at.”
“It was maybe half a mile from the eastern border.” Sango agreed, coming next to stand to Inuyasha, pointing at the border line on the map. “That is a long way from the castle that Naraku resides in at the moment, so they must either be looking for something or taking hostages. We know of the horse hanyou in that area, with the village, but didn’t have time to look closer or check on him.”
Nodding his head, “We know that when he killed the king and queen, he was absorbing their powers. I sent a scout out along with the page boy to scout the area of the fire. He came back with news of a fox family burned to death.”
Gasps filled the silent room, Koga standing angrily, fists clenching, “So, now he’s after demons too? What is it he is looking for exactly?”
“I don’t think it’s a something, it’s a someone.” Izayoi added quietly.
Eyes turned abruptly toward, waiting for an explanation. Toga sighed, before gesturing everyone to sit again. If his wife’s suspicions were correct, and she was hardly ever wrong, it was her, he was going come after. “Everyone remembers what happened that night, over twenty years ago, correct?” Seeing their nods, meeting Inuaysha’s gaze, “We have reason to believe he is after the lost princess. It was rumored that she would grow the be extremely powerful, she also was to be the one to bring peace again across the kingdoms, uniting us in more ways than one. No one ever found any clue that she survived or died that night and I believe Naraku is searching for her. He is trying to claim as much power as he can until he does find her, so he can destroy her as well.”
Murmuring to themselves, Miroku stood, “If she is still alive, she wouldn’t be much younger than Prince Inuaysha and I now. How has she been able to keep herself hidden all this time? Fairy powers are set to grow as the person gets older, their wings growing in time with powers. She must have some type of concealment charm, making it that much harder to find her.”
“I agree Miroku,” Toga stated, “That is why I haven’t been able to locate her. To be honest, the last time we saw her, she was a babe, I don’t know what she would look like with or without a concealment. The only way to find her would be other mythical creatures to identify her. Most have been hiding in the forest for safety. They don’t really talk to anyone, or venture out to the villages.”
“She would still have blue eyes.” A quiet rumble came from across the room, where Inuaysha had remained seated. Raising his eyes quickly, he caught his father’s smirk and blushed a little.
“Either way, whether Naraku is after her or not, we still need some kind of plan for when he does cross our borders again.” Koga spoke, still angry about the fox family. His wolves could be next.
“I agree. What did you have in mind Father?” Sesshomaru asked, looking to his father.
“Here’s the plan….” Toga smirked widely, everyone coming closer to see what he had in mind.
Izayoi sighed, knowing her husband’s wild antics were only the just beginning.
Kagome and Shippo were just beginning their walk through the forest that day, having felt better this morning about traveling so much in such a short time. As they walked, she kept a watchful eye on their surroundings, occasionally seeing other creatures flitter about. A while ago, she saw two unicorn, white and pure, with long, beautiful manes, grazing about near a stream. She watched as small butterflies flittered through the air near a few patches of wildflowers, reminding her of home.
At one point, she could’ve swore she saw a pointed green hat, hiding in a bush along the worn pathway. Smiling to herself, she tuned in to listen to whatever story Shippo was wilding telling her, walking a few spaces ahead. Unknown to her, a man with a chilling smile, followed closely behind.
“And theeeennnn, this old man, who looked like a ghost, but also a monkey, rose outta a pickle barrel, thanking the group for saving him! He was the monkey god! His followers, the three monkey sprites, were so embarrassed about leaving the sacred rock in the forest, while they scoured for nuts and….” Shippo waved his hands about, when a snap of branches caused them to stop abruptly.
Grabbing Shippo and putting him on her right shoulder, Kagome turned around just in time to see a small tan pouch fly through the air, heading straight at them. As soon as it landed, a foot or so in front of her, smoke began to bellow out about, making Kagome’s eye water instantly. “Shippo, run!” She screamed loudly.
Scurrying up a tree as fast as his little paws could, Shippo watched as Kagome fell to her knees, eyes shut tight, as her head hit the grassy path below. Unsure of what to do, Shippo backed into the tree branches, hiding from sight. Looking to his right, he saw the two unicorn they had seen previously, watching from afar. A small flittering creature stood on the female’s head. Looking back down to Kagome, he watched as a short, fat man with a covering across his face, lift her lifeless body over his shoulders and began to take back here they direction they came from. Jumping from the branch, Shippo took off towards the direction of the stream, tears beginning to fall down his face.
Kagome wasn’t sure what was going on. She couldn’t move her body. She was aware of everything around her, but couldn’t speak or try to run away from this man. I refuse to be taken she thought angrily, her temper rising.
“You cannot escape Mukotsu’s potion.” The man spoke gleefully. “I will make you my bride this very evening.” A small abandoned hut came into her sight and he carried her inside, bolting the door behind him.
So his name is Mukotsu, similar to Bankotsu. I wonder if he is with Naraku’s men. Wait, did he say bride?! No way, that’s disgusting! Kagome began to seethe, slowly moving her fingers trying to get some type of motion. The man, Mukotsu, set her on her stomach and laid a white, almost yellowed, veil upon her head. He turned and dug through his bag, not catching Kagome struggle to move her hands.
“You are very beautiful, your eyes are a color I have never seen before. Bankotsu didn’t tell me you were this pretty, and a virgin, no doubt. I think I will keep you to myself for a few days before taking you to Naraku.” Mukotsu began to laugh, grabbing a candle to light. “But first, we shall perform the wedding ceremony, then I will take you. Do not worry,” He said, grabbing her chin, noticing the fear in her eyes, “I will be gentle. I am not my brother. You will be happy with me.”
What is up with these men and their long monologues and trying to own me? Kagome thought dryly, squeezing her fists, getting the feeling back in her hands. As Mukotsu busied himself with whatever it was he was doing, Kagome shut her eyes and took a deep breath. Kaede’s words came across her mind, “Close your eyes. Breath in and out. I want you to look into your heart and feel the tug on your soul, one that reaches down within you. That is your power.” As she began to tug on the pull, she could feel her skin growing hotter, like an internal flame expanding around her.
Opening her eyes, she saw the man move back with wide eyes and a glowing, pink vibrant barrier surrounding her. Smiling to herself, she laid there, making her barrier as strong as she could, watching the now silent man, as hoof steps came barreling toward the hut. The man, now terrified, cowered in the corner as Shippo burst though the door, riding atop a female unicorn, with what looked like a tiny woman with wings flying next to him.
No one said a word as another unicorn, slightly bigger than the female, trotted up behind the three and lowered his horn towards Mukotsu. “How can this be? You aren’t supposed to be able to break through my poison barrier?” Before he could finish answering his own question, the large golden horn stuck through Mukotsu’s gut, drawing the life from his body. Kagome watched with wide eyes, but wasn’t frightened. These animals were good souls and had just saved her. The male withdrew his horn, picked up the now dead man by his collar and drug the lifeless body outside. Where, she couldn’t say, but she never saw the man again.
“‘Gome! Are you okay?” Shippo asked, jumping off his unicorn’s back, walking slowly toward Kagome’s barrier.
“Child, you can let your it down, it is okay. We will not harm you.” A soft, gentle voice came from above her. The little winged woman was flying right near her head, outside the barrier. Closing her eyes again, Kagome wasn’t sure exactly how to let the barrier down, hell, she wasn’t sure exactly how she did it in the first place. Taking a deep breath, she pulled the barrier inside of her, exhaling loudly, as Shippo rushed to hug her. As more feeling in her neck returned, she turned her head into Shippo’s body and smiled.
“Young one, she’s been poisoned,” the tiny woman told Shippo, “We need to get some water. Althea here has healing powers in her tears. Argus will take you the stream, hurry back.” The flying woman instructed and he crawled atop the male unicorn and hung on tight, one hand carrying a bottle.
Althea, she guessed, lowered her body near Kagome, and began to sniffle around her ears, making Kagome giggle to herself. The woman set herself down on the floor in sight of Kagome’s vision and began to speak, “You are her, the lost one. We watched you as you began your journey this morning, following you along the way to make sure you were safe. Do not worry my child, whenever your friend returns, we will help you drink the healing tears to rid your body the rest of the poison. You can already begin to move, can’t you?”
Nodding, the little woman laughed, clapping her hands together, “You have marvelous healing powers inside of you, so his poison wouldn’t have lasted long anyways, but you were still strong enough for a barrier. You are more powerful than you realize.”
“Shippo….doesn’t…..know.” Kagome managed to ground out, her voice hoarse.
“Shhh child, we figured. We only allowed him to see us, once we realized you were in danger. You were very brave to send him away when you did. He only knows of us, but we will see to it he promises to keep our secret. You can see that he has a good soul.”
Kagome nodded, swallowing as best she could, as Shippo and Argus? she thought, came back into the hut. Shippo rushed over with the bottle and the little woman instructed him to hold the bottle near Althea’s eye. Three tears fell into the bottle, and Shippo helped lift it to Kagome’s lips to help her drink. Within seconds, Kagome smiled, She felt so much better already and could stretch! Slowly sitting up, she looked at Althea and nodded her thanks. In return, Althea, laid her head in Kagome’s lap. “What’s your name?” Kagome asked the little woman.
“Calliope. You must be Kagome Aureila.” Her voice becoming more excited.
Laughing softly, “I think you’re the first person to say my middle name so excitedly.”
“It is a beautiful name, your Mother Kaede knew of your beauty. It means golden one, which I feel is befitting for you.”
Blushing a little bit, Kagome played with Althea’s mane, as Shippo sat quietly beside her. Argus stood at the doorway, facing out, as if watching the area around him. “Are you a fairy?” Shippo asked, almost silently, his eyes betraying his awe.
“Yes, young one.” Calliope laughed, almost like bells. “We allowed you to see us to help your friend here. She is special.”
“She is! She’s my friend. My name is Shippo!” He told her excitedly.
Laughing together, Kagome turned towards Calliope. “We must be going soon, we need to get to the castle, but I am so incredibly thankful you saved me. That man, he was one of Naraku’s men. I didn’t know he was following me.” She admitted sheepishly.
“Kagome, just like the gnomes told us, we are here to protect you and help you. If you should ever need, call on us. You need some rest, today has been an eventful day for all of us. It is near sundown already. We will stay with you until you set out again tomorrow.”
Smiling at her, Kagome grabbed her knapsack, knowing Shippo probably grabbed it earlier, and began to get ready for the nightfall. Sometime later, as they lay on the worn out futon, Kagome held Shippo tight against her, gazing into the eyes of Althea, before shutting them completely, falling into a deep sleep.
“It is her.” Calliope whispered, stroking Argus’ ear at the doorway. “I just hope she knows what awaits her. We must help her in every way we can dear Argus. Tomorrow, I will tell my mother of her, how she hides and where she will go. Let us hope King Toga can protect her too, though I think after today, Kagome is beginning to recognize her own. She will be a great leader.”
Leaning his head toward her tiny hands, Argus snuffled in agreement. He remembered the fallen king and queen, how they were always so gentle with his kind. He would protect this new one at all costs.
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Sooooo, I couldn't wait until tomorrow to post Chapter 3, because as I'm writing this story and getting so many good responses, I became super impatient, haha. This one is a little shorter, but Kagome has began her travels. Enjoy!
Kagome woke with a start, head pounding, she groaned and turned over, snuggling closer next to Shippo. They had traveled to the next village over and asked for a place to sleep, arriving near supper time. The local inn let them stay the night for free, most likely feeling sorry for them. Covered in dirt, sweat and black soot, her dress resembling a dirty towel than anything, Kagome and Shippo went to the spring and soaked, quietly mulling over the past night events. She wondered if Naraku’s men had captured Jineji as well, knowing it was no use to go back and find out. Exhausted, they both crashed onto the bed after eating a quick meal downstairs and passed out for the night.
Slowly opening her eyes, Kagome realized it was still dark, not yet dawn. The innkeeper had given her a map to the castle before they had retired yesterday, so she sat up, going over to her bag and pulling out the worn piece of paper. Shippo was still sleeping, so she set the map on the bed and went to wash her face. She wished she had thought to bring an extra pair of clothing, knowing it was this and her cloak for the time being. Feeling a little refreshed, Kagome sat softly on the bed, so she didn’t wake Shippo, and began to study the map near the soft glow of the lantern.
The innkeeper had said if you follow the path north, you would get to the castle in four days, but Kagome wasn’t sure if she had that kind of time. Something urged her to go through the forest, knowing it would take her only two days if she traveled on foot, but needed to make sure she and Shippo rested and stayed safe. Fingering the blue pendant around her neck, she sighed softly, knowing that they should get going soon, the room around her beginning to lighten with the rising sun. She always loved the forest, especially as a little girl, so she wasn’t exactly afraid of it, but she hadn’t ever been this far away from home and with everything that Kaede had told her, wasn’t sure who she could trust. Lost in thought, she felt soft paws on her cheek, and turned to see Shippo with sleepy emerald eyes looking at her with worry. “Is it time to go ‘Gome?”
Nodding quickly, “Yeah, we should get breakfast and go. We are heading through the forest, it is much faster and I worry those men will catch up to us, if they haven’t already gone back to Naraku.” Kagome shuddered. She hadn’t ever met the man, but his name gave her this awful feeling in the pit of her stomach.
Washing his face quickly with a rag, Shippo, grabbed his bag and pulled an apple from it, only to hand to Kagome. After reaching for it, Kagome took a bite and handed it back, Shippo shook his head. “I smell food downstairs, we can grab something there.” He muttered sheepishly, “It was my last apple and I wanted you to have it.”
Smiling softly, Kagome took a huge bite. The apple really was delicious, she internally thanked the Kamis for a tasty fruit and tossed the core towards a bin near the door. Strapping her boots on, Kagome kneeled so Shippo could jump to her shoulder. Youkai lived around here peacefully too, so she wasn’t worried about something happening to him, but he was little and she felt better if he was near. Walking downstairs, they were greeted with a cheerful hello front the innkeeper’s wife and settled for some breakfast.
After promising to be safe, they settled onto a grassy path that went straight into the forest, growing darker as it went. “Are you sure we shouldn’t stay on the road?” Shippo asked, burying into Kagome’s arms, feeling little uncertain.
“I’m sure. It’s half the time and I think we’ll be safer. Those men could be going down busy roads and villages. This way we are still outta sight better.” Kagome didn’t tell him about her secret, or that she could see small flying fairies over in a distance, or that something had called her to the forest.
“Does this one have a name?” Shippo asked.
“The map called the it Inuyasha’s Forest, the innkeeper mentioned that a white haired man protects and is often seen lounging about in a tree, watching over travelers. I wonder if we will see him?” Kagome wondered.
As they began their brisk pace through the forest, Kagome began to feel eyes on her back. Coming to a slow walk, she quieted Shippo who was telling her a made up story, and turned to her left. She watched as small man with a pointy green hat scurried behind a large tree.
Kagome urging Shippo to ground, slowly stepped toward the large trunk of the tree, “It’s okay, I won’t hurt you.”
“You’re a fairy.” A meek voice spoke.
“Excuse me? I didn’t catch that.” Kagome asked nervously. She wasn’t sure how well Shippo could hear from over here.
“You’re a fairy. Why do you walk with a youkai?” Brown eyes peeked at her from around the tree. Kneeling down, Kagome sat so Shippo was blocked from his view and looked at the small man’s shoes. They were the same color as his hat, but not as pointed and had a fine layer of dirt.
“He’s my friend and we are traveling together. He doesn’t know that I’m a fairy, so if we could keep that to ourselves, I would be grateful. What’s your name?”
“Aiko Barkhide, pleased to meet you.” He mumbled, outstretching his hand with a blush across his nose. His mother would skin him if he forgot his manners. “You’re really pretty.”
Giggling softly, “Thank you Aiko, my name is Kagome. Would you like to walk with us for a while? My friend Shippo is really nice, I think you would get along with him.” Something about this small man, or child as she guessed as he talked more, seemed to be safe. He knew who she was beneath her concealment and Kaede had said only other mythical creatures would know who was, she thought painfully. She missed her.
“I can walk with you for a little while. My ma will be wondering where I am if I don’t get home by dark.” The small child said bashfully. He stepped out from behind the tree and straightened his dark brown tunic and looked at Shippo. Bounding over, Shippo introduced himself and they began to walk back along the path they once were on.
“Where are you traveling to?” Aiko asked, walking next to Shippo.
“We’re headed to the castle! They are going to help us with Kagome’s mama. She was taken away.” Shippo quickly explained, a frown marring his childlike features.
“Taken? By who?”
“Naraku’s men. The same ones who killed my family.”
Stopping suddenly, Kagome and Shippo watched with curious looks as Aiko kneeled to the ground and began to dig into the soil with his fingers, his hands glowing softly. Closing his eyes, he whispered a few sentences, the stood up and looked at him as if nothing had happened. As Shippo began to ask what he did, many other gnomes, dressed similar to Aiko, stepped out from the trees and underbrush, surrounding them.
“Aiko! Is this them?” A small woman, slightly taller than Aiko, with sandy colored hair walked over, reaching for Aiko’s hand. Nodding, he turned towards the woman. “Ma, the bad man Naraku hurt their families. They came for refuge like our family did.”
Aiko’s mother turned to study the two travelers, watching as Shippo stood beside Kagome slightly trembling, and Kagome’s hand gripping tightly around her bag strap and a confused look on her pretty features, recognizing the young woman to be a fairy. She was hiding her features though. These two must have seen a lot recently for them to be scared of a bunch of gnomes she pondered. Stepping slightly forward, to not scare them, she introduced herself. “I am Faeyore Barkhide, Aiko’s ma. He whispered to us to through the soil about you two. I am so sorry about your families. Anytime you travel through this area, you have our protection and are always welcome. We shall accompany you as long as we can.” She gestured to the group around her.
Kagome’s shoulders sagged with relief. This woman must have known what she was and didn’t say anything, but offered protection instead. She felt like she could trust this woman, even though she couldn’t read her soul, and wondered if she was in charge. “Thank you. My name is Kagome and this Shippo. We are traveling to the castle and would love to walk with you for a little bit. We planned on stopping for lunch soon. Would you like to join us?”
Taking her kindness with great consideration, Faeyore sent a man to go grab some food for everyone and gestured to the travelers, mentioning of a field nearby and a stream that they could rest at. As everyone settled around a few rocks, the man returned with food and passed around fruit, nuts and some fish.
“These are delicious!” Shippo exclaimed with his mouth stuffed full of grapes.
“Shippo! Chew first, then speak.” Kagome reprimanded, then giggled softly at the boy. Watching them with fondness, Faeyore began to talk to the young woman, wondering if she was in hiding or if she was related to the royals who had perished long ago.
“Kagome dear, do you know who you are?” Faeyore had a sneaking suspicion Shippo didn’t know.
Eyes widened slightly and Kagome nodded. She glanced quickly at Shippo, but he was preoccupied with Aiko and they were examining some bugs on the ground. Boys. “How did you know?” Kagome whispered.
“I can see your wings, but I don’t think Shippo can, if that’s what you’re worried about. Mythical creatures can recognize their own kind, it helps to know who we can trust. Why are you hiding it out here though? Inuyasha’s Forest is safe for all mythical creatures, King Toga forbid any harm to those who reside in this haven and his son, the hanyou protects it.”
“He does? What does he look like?” Kagome leaned in, even more curious about this hanyou. Maybe this was the man she saw in the wildflowers.
“A lot like his father, but a lot like his mother. Most of the time, he’s grumbling about something, you don’t want to get on his bad side. He has a nasty temper. He’s never alone though. He always has two of his guard with him, though I suspect they are really his friends. He comes through this way every so often. He passed through yesterday in such a hurry, I didn’t get a change to talk to him very long, just let his horses rest and drink some water, before running off again.”
“I wonder what happened. Either way, I thank you for not telling Shippo. He’s just child and while I know he has a good heart, this is a big secret for anyone.”
“You have my word, that unless you are showing your wings, I will not tell a soul. Do you know where your parents are or who their names are? I know of some fairy families near here, but most have been killed by Naraku and his men. I may know them.”
Closing her eyes quickly, Kagome shook her head slightly, “I lived with my mother, Mother Kaede, she was a human priestess, until I came along. They took her too, but I don’t know if she is alive anymore. That’s why I’m headed towards the castle. I have to talk to King Toga, I need his help.”
“We will help you there for the rest of the evening dear. Should you ever need it in the future, you also have our alliance. We may be small, but we can connect with nature. We should get moving. I would love to hear about your mother.” Faeyore smiled at Kagome warmly, helping her gather her bag. As they started into the forest, Faeyore couldn’t help but wonder if she was the lost child of the King and Queen. She has heard rumors of the queen escaping, but nothing of the child. She looked so much like Queen Kikyo. The bunch of gnomes helped Kagome and Shippo to the next village and wished them a good night before scurrying away into the night. Before leaving, Faeyore and Aiko hugged them both, dropped some coins in their pockets, whispering good luck. Checking into the inn, Kagome and Shippo settled in for the night, falling asleep quickly.
Nearing the castle, three horses pounded the ground at top speed, panting from exhaustion, but Inuyasha urged them forward. They were almost there, he needed to hurry. ”Inuyasha! We must rest the horses, they will not make it by night fall.” Miroku yelled from his right a little far back. Sango didn’t say a word, but he could see agreed with Miroku.
“Fine! We’ll stop and rest, but we are close to getting home. I’m going run ahead, while y'all two slow asses get them to the stables. Make sure they are tied up and rested before coming to see my father!” He yelled back at Sango and Miroku, jumping off his horse, coming to a stop. Giving Sango his reins, he turned and jumped into the trees, not giving a sparing glance back or catching the worried looks of his friend’s faces.
Inuyasha bounded from tree to tree in the dusk, coming up on the castle’s wall. He loved his home, the castle grounds, his friends and family, but there was something about the forest. He knew his father teased him about it and even declared it to be Inuyasha’s Forest, but he couldn’t help but lay in the trees for a nap or walk along the canopy to watch the sunset. As he quickly jumped over the castle’s stone wall, scaring the night guard below, he ran for the throne room, knowing his father was most likely still awake and could feel his youki coming. Bursting through the throne room, he smelt two scents in the grand entrance, and before he could speak to his father, he heard a bark.
“Hey dog breath!” An arrogant voice called from his left.
“King Koga.” He gritted, holding his breath, while he spoke. He hated the smell of wolves.
“Ha, some manners. I know your mother taught you better than that.” Koga scowled at the prince. Inuyasha couldn’t wait until he was king so he could give the wolf ruler a good punch in the face. Or maybe cut off the ugly tail protruding from his back.
“Koga! Quit teasing him!” A loud, but strong feminine voice came from the dais, the owner with red hair and a mate mark on her neck. “Inuyasha dear, are you alright? You look startled.”
“Yes, Your Majesty, I am fine. Where is my father? I must speak to him, it’s urgent.” Inuyasha bowed as he spoke to Queen Ayame. He liked her, she always put Koga in his place.
“I am here, my boy.” The baritone voice coming from behind him. Turning quickly, Inuyasha walked over to his parents and gave his mother a kiss on the cheek, before turning again to speak to his father.
“My boy, what is it? Our fellow king and queen were getting ready to retire when you arrived very suddenly. They are here to visit and talk negotiations for our borders with the Eastern Kingdom.”
“Father, it’s about the Eastern Kingdom.” Inuyasha exclaimed, beginning to gather everyone’s full attention. “I was hunting in the forest with Miroku and Sango, near the eastern border, along the village with the horse hanyou and his garden. The forest was on fire and I smelt Naraku’s men.” He left out the part about the unknown woman.
“Are you sure? Being in our borders calls for war. Are you absolutely sure my son?” Toga asked sternly, his eyes growing brighter with every word he spoke, as he put his hand to Inuyasha’s shoulder.
“Yes Father, I’m sure. I was in our land the entire time. They were there, along with villagers they had captured. I smelt death among them too, so they had to have been killing.”
Nodding quickly, he turned towards King Koga, with an angered expression, “Koga, it is time. We must gather all of our forces and train together. I’ve heard vastly evil things about what Naraku and his men have done to our people. Now that he is in my land, it is time to attack.” As he began to think things out, he let go of his wife’s arm and beckoned the page boy close by. “Send a message to my son, King Sesshomaru, ask that he come pay a visit and what has happened here. I suggest you be quick and quiet about it, do you understand me?” The young page boy with sandy brown hair, Hojo, nodded fearfully and took off throughout he corridor, leaving a speechless room behind.
“Toga, I need to get back to my home and gather my men and our defenses, time is precious.” Koga said.
“Sesshomaru should be here within two days, can you wait until then? We can plan out our defense system across the land and then get back home to protect it. I plan on staying at the border’s wall, making sure my home is safe.”
“I agree dear, we must do this together.” Ayame reassured her husband, taking his hand in hers.
“Okay then, let’s retire. Tomorrow will be a long day for all of us. Thank you Prince Inuyasha for the warning, it could really help up take down the evil bastard.” Shaking the hanyou’s hand, Koga led Ayame to their suite. Inuyasha’s mother, who had been silent this whole time, lifted her plum skirt and sat herself upon the dais, next to her husband and grabbed his hand, squeezing it lightly.
“My son, you’ve had a long day, where are your friends?” Toga asked, lightly patting Izayoi’s hand, silently reassuring her fears.
“They are arriving and putting the horses away. I wanted to get here as fast as possible.”
Nodding, Toga sent his son to bed and began to take this own wife to their bedroom. “My dear, Inuyasha hasn’t been quite himself lately. He’s been spending so much time in the forest. I’m almost afraid to ask him about the dreams of the princess again.” Izayoi quietly spoke, as they walked towards their bed chamber.
“He still talks of Princess Kagome? It’s been sometime since he has asked anything of her.” Toga responded in surprise.
“Not as often these days. I do catch him gazing longingly at the flowers in the garden still. Do you really think she was his mate?”
“I do, love. I think she is still alive too, hidden very well, but alive. Demons go crazy when they’ve smelled their mate, whether they know it or not, and then when that scent is gone from the earth. It’s like a crack appears on their soul. Remember when we heard of the fall of the eastern kingdom, Inuyasha has nightmares for months and was always so angry?”
Izayoi nodded, her finger tapping her chin, “So you think from the time we met the princess and he smelt her, he unconsciously knew?”
Chuckling, “He said she smells nice. The only other time he mentions someone’s smell is King Koga’s and how much he can’t stand it. I don’t know if he realizes exactly what she is to him, I can only hope he finds her.”
Laughing along with her husband. Izayoi smirked tiredly, leaning her head on his shoulder, “I hope we find her soon. I couldn’t bare to imagine if Naraku did first. I don’t even know what she would look like nowadays. It’s been two decades.”
“I agree, but we can’t give up hope. I can feel something is going to happen, good or bad, I’m not sure, but it think it will turnout for the best, for everyone.”
Inuyasha grumbled his way down the hall. He didn’t like being ordered to bed and he certainly didn’t like the wolf king, though his wife wasn’t that bad. She could put the flea bag in his place. He always stunk and his attitude was even worse. I wonder if father ever put the wolf in his place, he thought happily. As he readied himself to bed, his thoughts began to drift back to the meadow, reminding him so much of the smell he remembered all those years ago. As he slept, striking blue eyes filled his dreams.
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