#humour so dry everyone thinks he's serious
the thing that people get consistently wrong in modern wangxian AUs is that lan zhan wouldn't be a quiet serious man, he'd be a dry humour only sarcastic little bitch
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Pairing: Javier Peña x f!reader
Summary: You and Javier were having a casual relationship until a new woman came into his life.
A/N: I tried to be as non-descriptive appearance-wise as I could. Also, I hope I’ll get to finish part two because I literally cannot handle my own angst 🤡
Why did you ever think that you could do this whole ‘no strings attached’ thing?
And with whom? With Javier fucking Peña of all people.
Well, in your defence, Javier was an absolute charmer, that’s how you got there in the first place.
How well did it all start, though. You got a relatively good promotion and were sent off to Bogotá from your dead-end job at the foreign department. Of course, your new assistant job at the embassy was no fun at all—you spent most of your day sorting an endless flow of documents and listening to sexist remarks of your male colleagues. But it was a promotion nonetheless and you were gladly accepting all the challenges that came with it. Yet, no one warned you that one of the challenges would be absolutely unbeatable and his name was Javier Peña, an embassy womaniser.
To be honest, falling for Javier was quite easy. Too easy. He was a good-looking man with a dry deadpan sense of humour that made him even more attractive. And also… he had this aura around him—magnetic, captivating, mesmerising even. You just couldn’t take your eyes off him whenever you were in the same room and that, of course, didn’t go unnoticed by Javier. You did spend a considerable amount of time together when you stayed after work to help him and Murphy with an ungodly mountain of paperwork. Conversations were fun and never awkward, soon the three of you would even have some inside jokes and phrases. It seemed like a blessing to you—you and Peña got closer and hiding your almost highschooler crush on him was harder with each passing evening.
You ended up in his bed one of those evenings. It was rough, passionate, overwhelming but never actually intimate; his kisses left bruises all over you—not that you minded. And almost every night ever since you two would have sex. Either your place, or his apartment—and you would get lost in a mind-blowing, intense, all-consuming passion for a few hours, and then, once the afterglow fog would come off, it was time to leave. You liked it better when you two went to yours because, god, you cannot even attempt to describe how humiliating it was to walk away from his place in the early hours of the morning, disheveled and covered in hickeys, holding your shoes in your hands. Once you accidentally bumped into Connie, Steve Murphy’s wife—the pair occupied the apartment upstairs—and you honestly wanted to throw yourself off a cliff, though, you knew she would never judge you.
You knew perfectly well that you were an easy release for Javier, nothing more, nothing less. You were… comfortable. Understanding. Non-confronting. Friendly. A shoulder to cry on. A body to keep his bed warm. You knew all of that. But the naïveté has fogged your brain to the point of thinking that maybe, just maybe, he did care, somewhere deep inside. And you reserved your right to believe these little lies you told yourself like a nighttime fairytale as a vicious circle of your relationship with Javier continued. And then everything had changed, when a new aspiring agent arrived all the way from Mexico.
Her name was Maria, she was a few years older than you, more experienced and so much more beautiful. When she came into the room, people literally stopped from doing what they were doing just to look at her. It was your job to introduce her to everyone, and, you knew Javier too well now, he would not go past someone like Maria. The moment you were dreading so much hit you like a train-wreck—Javier didn’t even look at you as you and Maria entered their office. He talked to her, they laughed, and you quietly left the room.
That night Javier didn’t call you.
Hell, he didn’t even say goodbye before leaving the building even though he would usually detour to go past your office. With a masochistic stubbornness, you went to the window and saw him and Maria getting into his car.
Javier wouldn’t even properly speak to you since him and Maria became a thing. There used to be jokes, small talk, fun little conversations about nothing in particular, and now it was all gone. Just work stuff, short and dry, casual hellos and goodbyes. You were hurting, hurting deeply and silently, but you believed yourself to be a good person. Good enough, so that the overwhelming painful envy would never get you to cause any harm, not to Javier, not to Maria, not to your job. You did your best to remain your optimistic self but your mind was working against you so you had to silence it with something. Night shifts, more paperwork, you even volunteered to organise the document storage that had never known a touch of a human—the pain became duller but it never really went away.
Javier was different with Maria. He would take her out during daytime—that’s something you would not even dare to dream about. He brought her flowers, morning coffee. He would wait for her after work. You looked at Javier as he was watching Maria, and, boy, you could physically feel how your heart was breaking into hundreds of tiny pieces. You could clearly see it, even if Javier himself was in denial—Javier was completely infatuated with her, and why wouldn’t he be? Maria was beautiful, tall, smart, kind-hearted, cunning, glowing skin and shiny hair; she was truly a Jolene to your Dolly Parton. Sad thing was, you didn’t have any friends in Colombia to vent to, you couldn’t even run away or, in the moments of utter desperation, apply for transfer, so you had to suffer through Javier being happy with someone else.
The year 1992 rushed in with its changes—Ambassador Noonan was leaving her post in Colombia. She cordially invited you to leave with her to her new workplace in Boston, since you did a great job so far of being her assistant and, obviously, you gladly accepted. The bureaucracy of the transfer process left you busy and almost took your mind off anything else, including Javier. It was a warm evening after hours, you were in the ambassador’s office going through old reports that needed to be archived when someone knocked on the door.
“Come in,” you called and as the door opened, your heart sank into your stomach. Javier, surpsingly wearing a suit, a dark grey one, was standing in the doorway looking around at the boxes full of paperwork.
“Hey… what’s with this massacre?”
“Ambassador Noonan is leaving,” you said, gesturing to the paper chaos around you as if you had to explain yourself to Javier. Javier nodded with an exasperated sigh.
“Yeah, I figured that much. Everything is changing.”
“Yeah, it is.”
The silence hung above you two like a deadweight. None of you wanted to address the elephant in the room—you were simply unwilling to, and, as you wanted to believe, Javier was too embarrassed. The words “I’m leaving with Noonan” almost escaped your lips but you stopped yourself, and what was even the point of saying it? That was definitely not a fun conversation piece and Javier didn’t care about you that much. Besides, over a few months that he blatantly ignored you, you were way past the point where you could share unnecessary personal details with each other.
“So… where is Noonan?” he asked looking at you, as if trying to get information you were hiding from him.
“She and the new ambassador went to Gaviria, I think there’s an official farewell event or something.”
“Alright, well, can you let me know when Noonan is back?”
“Sure, I’ll call you.”
That’s some fine conversation right there, you thought sarcastically but didn’t utter a word. As Javier turned to the door, you, with no malice, said:
“Say hi to Maria.”
It felt like a whiplash.
“What is that supposed to mean?”
He slowly turned back to you, putting his arms at the hips. You felt his radiating annoyance—over nothing, by the way, you genuinely meant that.
“Nothing, just being polite.”
Javier hung his head down and shook it.
“Look, hermosa, I know what you and I had… it was great. But it meant nothing, it wasn’t serious, you know that, right? You can’t be mad at me because now I’m with someone else.”
Now you were starting to get angry.
“You sure do think a lot of yourself, Peña,” you seethed and was satisfied to see the change in Javier’s expression as he clearly didn’t expect the anger in your voice. “I’m not mad at you because you’re with someone else. I’m mad because you are acting as if we are total strangers. You could’ve at least been polite about ending our relationship…”
“There was no relationship.”
Like a dagger through your throat.
“You know what I mean! We could’ve at least stayed friends or good colleagues instead of you being a selfish, emotionally unavailable asshole!”
Finally, the months of built up tension in your chest were going away. You didn’t cry, you wouldn’t, never in front of Javier.
After a few moments of deafening silence, Javier loudly exhaled and slowly came up to the table to gently take you by the hand.
“I’m sorry, hermosa. I’ve never had to actually end… something like that. I always just walked away and everything somehow went back to normal. I understand that this wasn’t really fair to you. I am very sorry.”
The dumb little girl head over heels in love was ready to forgive. Eager even. And she would’ve forgiven him in an instant if he came with this apology a week after your no strings attached thing ended. Maybe two weeks. But not five months. Not when he moved on so quickly and carelessly, leaving you to pick up the pieces all alone in a devastating darkness.
“Thank you for your apology.” You took your hand away and you hated how much you missed his warmth. “But I’m refusing to accept it. It took you so long to realise that you hurt me, it’s almost ridiculous! I respect myself way too much to accept this sad excuse of an apology. Go back to ignoring my existence, Peña, I will continue to do the same. And yes, please, say hi to Maria.”
You stood straight and for a moment you felt taller than you had ever been, finally getting the strength to look Javier into his eyes that you used to get lost in. Javier staggered back. Surpisingly, you took no satisfaction or pride in seeing him so lost and confused, only a sweet pain of release. The kind you would feel when you ran around all day as a kid and then got into bed in the evening to finally relax, feeling the tiredness of the day leave your aching limbs.
At last, with a tired frown Javier nodded.
The flight back to America was exhausting. Noonan left before you did, on a government plane in a comfort that her status entailed. You had to fly commercial with two connecting flights to Boston. Leaving Bogotá didn’t seem too difficult—you said your quick goodbyes to everyone, except Javier who wasn’t at the embassy that day, and left.
Did you still love Javier? You weren’t even that sure now what those feelings were. You did still harbour certain tenderness towards him and it was absolutely stupid on your part. Were you ever going to tell him anything? No, not in a thousand years. You decided to move on, it was the right thing to do. Even though it hurt so fucking much.
As you landed in Boston, you took out the only photograph you and Javier had together hidden between the pages of the book you were reading. It was a quick picture taken by Steve at the embassy. Javier was sitting on the edge of your desk, you sitting behind him, both of you genuinely smiling at the camera. Your gaze fell on a little flower sticker you put at the corner of the photograph when it was hanging on your mirror back in Bogotá. Anemone.
You remembered an old conversation you had with a childhood friend with whom you lost contact after graduation. Two teenage girls, you were rummaging through an old book your friend stole from a library, The Language of Flowers.
“It says your flower is anemone.”
“Anemone?” You had never even heard of that flower before. “What does it mean?”
“It means… hopeless love. ‘Even if you don’t love me back, I will still love you’.”
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Imagine being Sokka’s childhood best friend who left to join the war and reuniting with him years later.
You and Sokka were friends before either of you could walk. Children were in short demand in your tribe so when you were born only 6-months apart it was a given you’d be playmates but you and Sokka also became inseparable almost instantly. You both had the same dry sarcastic humour and your personalities worked well together. For the first few years of your life all you were concerned with was staying taller than Sokka and Polarbear dogs but then fire nation attacked and killed Sokka’s mother.
After the brutal attack the remaining tribesman decided to make one final stand against the fire nation and all the eligible men began preparing to leave with one exception...you. You had just turned 11 and so based on past custom weren’t too young to go to war. Of course your tribe didn’t want to take a child but your only family was your father and he was leading the war effort with Hakoda. You had no other family left to watch you and so you managed to talk your father into bringing you along. Sokka tried to do the same but as he was 10 Hakoda said he was too young. Sokka had been furious to say the least. He didn’t see why you’d be allowed and he wouldn’t be, 6 months was hardly anything and his sexist attitude made it sting all the more. He pouted constantly up until the day you left when he suddenly sprinted to the shore at the last minute and hugged you tightly. “I’m still mad at you but if only one of us can go to war....well I’m glad it’s you and not one of the other kids”. You smiled “not quite a heartfelt goodbye but i’ll take it”. “Y/n come on” your father called and you nodded. “I have to go...”. Sokka nodded “of course, kick some fire bender butt for me and erm....don’t die”. You laughed “you too” and with a final smile to Sokka joined your father and the other men to go to war.
That was 5 years ago and you hadn’t seen or heard from Sokka since. You thought about him and home a lot but honestly life at war was very demanding. You were largely sheltered from it by your fellow tribesmen and didn’t actually engage in any combat until you were 14 but still you felt the burden of the impossible victory on your shoulders. Every time you took a step forwards the fire nation seemed to push you back three...but things changed when the avatar came back. It shook the fire nation and surely but slowly you were making gains in the war.
After one successful victory you were in particularly high spirits and woke up early to go and fetch some water for you and your father. As you returned to camp you set the water down in your tent and headed to get breakfast. The camp seemed different you noted, people seemed to be hurrying to the centre excitedly and so you picked up your pace. You suddenly heard a loud cry and worrying you were under attack began to run to camp. A large group had gathered and you looked for the threat but realised everyone seemed happy...not scared. Everyone was focused on a group of men who had come out of the war tent. The group of men themselves were all talking excitedly, focused on one man in particular. You knew every single man in this camp but couldn’t work out who this one was. He was definitely water tribe and young, around your age and looked oddly familiar. He had bright blue eyes and a sharp chin which suited him very well. Everyone seemed to know him and it frustrated you that you couldn’t work out who he was. He was talking to your father and Hakoda warmly and you stared at his face feeling you knew him. Then it clicked, it was Sokka.
Sokka had been nervous to walk into camp but the second he did everyone rushed to hug and welcome him. Sokka felt happier than he had in a long time. He stood next to his father unable to remove the smile from his face when he spotted your father and a thought occurred to him. "Where’s y/n?" Sokka asked when he spotted you feet away. You looked like you’d just arrived here and were staring at Sokka as if you couldn’t work out who he was. Sokka went to call out to you when you smiled. "Sokka?" you asked in disbelief and Sokka blushed. It may’ve taken you a second to recognise him but he’d know your face anywhere. "It’s me y/n" he smiled and your own smile turned into a large grin. You rushed forwards and hugged Sokka tightly. Sokka heard a lot of “awes” from the crowd but he didn’t process them, he was too focused on you. You pulled away and both grinned at one another babbling greetings and questions. Then there was an awkward pause where you both just stared at one another. It had been over 5 years since you’d seen each other and you had both changed a lot since then so it took a lot of effort to process. Sokka was pleasantly surprised to find he was taller than you now. As kids he had steadily caught you up over the years but you left before he could claim his victory. Now he was undeniably taller than you and he couldn’t wait to tease you about that but he noted you’d beat him in other aspects. Your arms were more toned and bigger than his, well defined and taut after the years of training and Sokka could see the same went for all your limbs by the shape of your neck and shoulders. Your hair too was longer and partially braided which Sokka had never seen before. Of course the braids symbolised battles you’d been a part of and Sokka felt proud not envious at how they decorated your face. Your face too was also more defined, your cheeks seemed higher and more angular but your eyes had remained striking and your lips still bright pink. Even the way you held yourself was different, you were a warrior now Sokka realised and that thought made him feel fuzzy.
When the silence between you got too awkward Hakoda coughed "y/n, Sokka has travelled here from his journey with the avatar". "What?" you cried in disbelief and Sokka just smiled lazily “yeah...”. "Sokka why don’t you go with y/n to our tent and tell her all about it over breakfast?" your father suggested. Sokka nodded and you led him away to your family tent. You kept staring at him convinced he wasn’t real. Sokka had changed a lot. The height difference was a shock but not the biggest. His face had lost its baby cheeks resulting in chiselled cheekbones and his hair was a lot longer. He was more toned too, not muscley per se but his arms had definition and you struggled not noticing. His eyes were the same though and they were the one thing that made you sure this was your friend. They made you feel at ease as they always did and you just turned to Sokka and laughed “I can’t believe you’re here”. “Me either!” Sokka cried “I...I imagined this day for so long”. “We all missed you a lot” you said worried Sokka was still upset you got to go when he didn’t “and thought about you every day” you added. “You did huh?” he asked with a smirk and you realised Sokka was fine. You did not need to be worried. “I said we, not me” you said pointedly and Sokka grinned “yeah but I know you meant you missed me, you just didn’t want to admit it”. You forgot how well Sokka could see through you and shook your head “okay I guess I missed you...now tell me everything! How on earth did you become friends with the avatar?”.
Throughout Sokka’s story you stared in awe and barely touched your food. Everything Sokka told you sounded insane and you made him promise several times that he was being serious. Sokka animatedly told each part of the story and you couldn’t help smiling at how enthusiastic he was. You’d missed this and him a lot.
“So you two all caught up?” your father asked suddenly entering the tent and Sokka shook his head “not even close! I was just telling y/n about our fight with the fire nation navy in the northern water tribe”. Your father laughed placing a hand on Sokka’s shoulder “well that will have to wait, y/n has training...maybe you’d like to join her?”. You saw Sokka’s eyes light up at the thought of attending actual warrior training and smiled. “Yes!” he cried leaping up “if erm...you don’t mind of course”. You smirked “it’s been five years since I saw you, do you really think i’m letting you out of my sight?”. Sokka blushed looking down but you didn’t notice. You were already tugging Sokka out of the tent “come on! If we show up first we get the good armour!”.
All-day you sparred and trained in water tribe drills. Sokka was equally exhausted and exhilarated. When his father declared the session over his exhaustion won however and he collapsed on the sand and crawled to the water. He heard a laugh and you appeared next to him “tired huh?”. “No! I could go for hours!”. You raised an eyebrow but didn’t comment. Sokka sipped his water and glanced at you. You were cleaning your sword and the sun reflected off it making your eyes shine. Your eyes had always been darker than the traditional light blue, they were a very dark blue and only when the sun shone on them was their true colour illuminated, like now. Sokka forgot how beautiful they were and looked away before you could notice him staring. “You were really good in training” he said softly and you smiled glancing at him “no sarcasm? Was that a genuine compliment?”. Sokka grinned “yes! You know I can be serious”. “Wow you have changed” you smirked and Sokka blinked “you think?”. You nodded your head “you’re more mature now, you have this sureness about you and an air of confidence like a leader does...it’s nice” you smiled “and then you make a goofy face and you’re back to the 10-year old I remember”. Sokka smiled and leant back on his elbows just enjoying this moment in the sun with you. “You’ve not changed a bit” he told you and you blinked “really?”. He nodded “I saw you earlier trying to work out who I was but I didn’t need two seconds to spot you”. “Well duh i’m the only girl here!” you cried but Sokka shook his head. “That wasn’t it, I’d know your face anywhere. I worried after you left I’d forget it but you’re exactly as I remembered...every detail like I pictured”. You blushed as Sokka spoke so softly but soon regained your bearings, “and you pictured me often?”. Sokka didn’t even blink “of course I did”. Your blush rose again at Sokka’s confidence and you saw he had a small smirk on his face. Sokka went to speak again when an alarm rang out. You both jumped to your feet. “What does that mean?” Sokka asked and you frowned “nothing good, come on” and ran back to the camp. Everyone was gathered around grabbing armour and weapons. “Dad, what’s going on? Are we under attack?” Sokka called. Hakoda nodded “yes, y/n get ready, Sokka.....”. “Dad I can fight, please let me come with you” Sokka said loudly and you looked at Hakoda to see what he’d say. Hakoda stared at Sokka before he looked directly past him to at you “how would you like to lead your first duo mission Y/n?”. You grinned “I’d love to”. “Great, Sokka stick with y/n and do everything she says, do as she does and you’ll be just fine”. Sokka nodded and rushed to your side. “This is so cool” he whispered and you smirked as you helped him put on his armour. “Don’t get too excited these things can get dangerous quickly, stay with me okay?”. “And you’ll protect me?” Sokka asked batting his eyelashes but his smirk fell away when without a second thought you nodded “of course I will”. Your low voice filled with determination made Sokka blush and look away. “You ready?” you asked and Sokka nodded “ready” and you rushed into battle.
Sokka did exactly what you said and the battle was a success. He was impressed at how much you’d learned and how great a leader you were. You largely kept the fighting away from him by making yourself the bigger target but when Sokka did engage you were always on hand to help push away any fatal blows. Sokka got out of his first battle without so much as a scratch and it was all down to you. When Hakoda declared victory everyone began to cheer and Sokka grabbed you “That was....you were amazing out there y/n!” Sokka grinned and you smiled “it’s nothing...”. “Are you kidding? There were men there twice your age and size but you knocked them aside like they weighed nothing”. “Well what about you?” you asked “you’ve clearly been training a lot since we left, I take back everything I said about your boomerang it’s a great weapon”. “Wow you’re admitting you were wrong? You had changed” Sokka smirked and you smiled.
As this was the first battle Sokka has successfully fought in he was due his first-ever warrior braid. Hakoda explained it wasn’t a large ceremony, he basically just went into a tent without a braid and came out with one but still Sokka was nervous. Of course he’d practised them lots, all water tribe children did for the day they’d get to add one to their hair but now the day was finally here....he was very anxious.
You waited with all the other men for Sokka outside the tent. It was taking a while and you wondered what was taking Sokka so long. “I’ll just check he’s okay” you told your fathers and walked through the flap of the tent. Sokka was fiddling with her hair muttering to himself angrily. He didn’t seem to like the type of plait he was making and would shake it out each time with an irritated mutter. “Sokka?” you asked and he jumped. “I can’t get it right!” he cried “I’ve been dreaming of this day since we were five but I can’t make it work. Sokka tried again seizing his hair tightly and you noticed his hands were shaking. You came to stand behind Sokka and pushed his hands away softly “let me”. You grabbed Sokka’s hair carefully and began to braid it into the traditional warrior plait pattern. Sokka watched and saw the concentration on your face as you twisted his hair effortlessly into a pattern. “There” you said softly tying a small band around it “your first warrior plait, is it okay?”. You held up a mirror and Sokka grinned at his reflection, he was finally a warrior! “I love it!” he cried “thank you y/n” and hugged you. You laughed and hugged Sokka back, “no problem, now come on let's show it off”. You and Sokka walked outside and Hakoda grinned. “My son is officially one of us” he cried and everyone broke out into cheers.
Everyone crowded around to congratulate him and Sokka’s cheeks hurt from smiling so much. The celebrations were well underway and all the men were keen for Sokka to join them but after a courteous sweep of them Sokka found his way back to you.
You were sat on the outskirts of the camp staring out at the ocean. “Not one for festivities?” Sokka asked sinking beside you and you shrugged “I don’t mind them...but peace and quiet are just as appealing” you smiled “that’s hard to get with a camp full of men”. As if to prove your point a loud water tribe chant broke out and you both laughed. “Well let's go for a walk then” Sokka said jumping up and you followed him. You and Sokka walked towards the ocean and you asked him to carry on his story. He talked rapidly about the attack of the northern water tribe. You listened and just let Sokka’s words sweep over you. You were mainly just watching him amused at how many expression he could pull at once and had to look away to stop yourself from chuckling. When Sokka finished his tale and took a breath you smiled “wow that sounds...unreal!”. Sokka nodded “it was, a lot of things on my travel have been like that, from moon spirits to banished princes, i’ve seen it all!”. “You’re quite the explorer aren’t you” you commented and Sokka nodded “yep, and you’re quite the warrior, we’re certainly doing our tribe proud”. “That we are” you nodded and silence fell. You were sat close together and an idea suddenly struck him. What would you do if he placed his arm around you? He wasn’t sure what made him think that, you and he had always just been friends but now...Sokka wasn’t too sure why that was. Out of everyone in camp you were the person he’s been most excited to see and that didn’t feel just like friendship to him. Without really thinking, caught up in the moment, Sokka went to move his arm when you noticed his movement and glanced down at his arm. Sokka blushed and pretended he was scratching it. “Are you okay?” you asked and Sokka nodded “yep just my arm fell asleep”. “Ow that makes sense, you know for a second there I thought you were going to put it around me...”. Silence settled and you realised Sokka had been planning on doing that. Sokka was blushing vividly and you blinked unsure what to do or say. “Sokka i...” you started when you heard loud gasps from camp and both looked up to see Appa. Sokka frowned confused, Aang wasn’t due back for another three days but here he was. Aang soon dismounted and appeared in front of you both “Sokka! Good you’re still here...”. “Yeah we just got back a few hours ago” Sokka explained "Aang this is y/n my friend from the southern water tribe and y/n this is Aang the avatar". "Wow" you said wide-eyed "it’s amazing to meet you". Aang smiled but it was a tense smile "Sokka we have to go" he cried. Aang explained Katara was in danger and worry ran across Sokka’s face. “We have to leave now” Aang said and Sokka nodded “sure just give me two minutes”. Sokka spun around and you were surprised to see he looked nervous. The tension from earlier had gone, this was more serious. "Y/n i’m sorry but i have to go..." he started to explain nervously when you cut him off. "Of course you do" you cried "Katara needs you!". Sokka smiled sadly "i know but it’s been so nice to see you again after all this time, so I was thinking...would you want to come with me?". You were utterly taken back "go with you?". "Yeah, you could travel with us? It’s dangerous and we get attacked a lot but i bet a warrior like you can handle it". You paused "Sokka i’d really like to but i made an oath to our elders to fight in this war...i don’t think i can change it and come with you no matter how much i want to". Sokka’s smile slipped but he nodded his head "it’s okay i figured as much but thought it was worth a shot". You nodded and touched his arm "are you planning on coming back soon?". Sokka bit his lip "i don’t know and we really have to go...i’ll try okay, i really will so hopefully i’ll see you soon". You nodded believing him but also studied his face again in case you didn't see him for another 5 years. "I’ll come back I promise y/n" Sokka told you and you smiled hugging him "i believe you". Sokka melted into you when Aang’s noises of impatience made him pull away. "Until then keep up the good work" Sokka smiled saluting you. You saluted him back as he walked away and flew off on the air bison with the avatar.
Sokka made Aang tell him absolutely everything and then they sat in silence waiting to arrive back in Ba Sing Sei. Fear filled Sokka’s mind but as scared as he was, you kept coming back into his mind. He wondered what you had been about to say before Appa arrived and wondered if you could possibly, maybe like him too. The fact he liked you was a new sensation for Sokka but he realised he had just been oblivious before and it had always been there. You had always been the one he came to, the one he liked being around the most, the one he cared about more than himself or anything. He’d always liked you he just hadn’t realised it. “Your hair looks nice” Aang said suddenly “the plait suits you”. Sokka touched it absentmindedly and smiled “my friend y/n did it for me”. “The girl you were with?”. Sokka nodded “yeah she’s my best friend”. Aang smiled “I bet it was nice to see her”. Sokka nodded “it really was” and blushed, he’d find a way to see you again and he’d been damned if he had to wait another five years.
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so why can’t you see (you belong with... each other?)
@whoreforthebauteam I don’t know if you want to be tagged in every chapter, but it was your present, so I am, I hope that’s okay!!
I take back what I said last time, this is my favourite scenario.
This is stupid, wildly inaccurate, probably an insult to every dance teacher that has ever walked the planet and also... just really stupid. But I had fun writing it, it’s almost 11:30pm, I’m tired and yeah.
We’re going with it. Ignore any errors and lack of continuity, I wrote most of this whilst fasting and literally just wanted to get it done so I can work on mr scratch
Erm, updates will probably be even worse after this because I have exams coming up and the next thing is completely... I don’t have any ideas, but yeah- just a heads up
previously: part one , part two , part three
read on ao3!
Chapter Four: Attempt Three- Penelope Garcia
Penelope Garcia loved love, in every single one of its forms. Her unfailing belief in love and its goodness was one of the things that defined who she was. It let her look at screens filled with horrors and was one of the biggest reasons for her to smile.
She loved the romantic love she had for Marissa. She loved the way Derek looked at Spencer when he thought nobody was watching him. She loved the platonic love JJ had for Hotch, and the way she would slip him chocolates when he seemed more pale than usual. She loved the love of a father Aaron had for Spencer, even though neither had experienced it properly.
She loved the ways in which people found love, and how they clung to it. She loved the way it made people smile and the things they were willing to do for it.
Which was why breaking up with Kevin had been the best decision about love she ever made. Because Kevin did not love her in the way that she deserved. And when she walked away from him one last time, she had felt relieved. Not sad, or angry. Relieved.
JJ and Emily had been ecstatic when she'd turned up at their apartment with a bottle of wine. They hadn't liked Kevin much, they thought he was a bit dodgy and not worth her time, but because she had seemed happy and it was easy to keep an eye on him to make sure he wasn't being a creep, they'd refrained from saying anything too obvious.
That same evening, she had phoned Derek and Spencer, who also then dropped their plans and they ended up having an impromptu party on a work night because she was finally free of Kevin and his existence.
When they turned up the next day, slightly hungover, Hotch had seemed like a disapproving parent- they'd exited the elevator with groans and complaints, Penelope massaging her forehead- and immediately gone silent when they realised he was standing there, holding a file, scowl looking slightly harsher than usual.
"It's lovely of you to join us. In the future, if you're going to be running three hours late, please inform either me or Rossi. Hell, tell Strauss. We've had people trying to track you down for the past hour and a half. Poor Anderson looked like he was going to resign from the FBI, and his face is never going to be the same after the frown lines you gave him," he had said, voice completely even.
"Hotch we're really sorry, we genuinely did not mean to cause such a big problem-" JJ had started, the first to recover.
He gave them one of his small, secretive smiles that seemed to light up his entire face and soften his eyes. "I'm joking. Everyone's fine. But seriously, please do tell us, we were beginning to worry. Is everyone okay though? It's not like you five to all be late on the same day."
Spencer looked between Penelope and Emily, who were smirking at each other, whilst JJ and Derek sighed but glared at the two mischief causers, warning them to not give away too much.
"I broke up with Kevin," Penelope blurted out.
Hotch's smile faded, and a look of concern settled over his features. "Oh, Penelope. Are you okay? Do you need some time off? You have lots of leave, I can clear it now if you'd like me to, there's no problem."
She started laughing. "Sir, we were having a party. I was never fully happy with him and breaking up with him was like- it was like coming into the office after a very annoying person was stuck with me during a case and finding that my handsome Unit Chief has sent me flowers."
Hotch seemed secretly proud that Penelope had broken up with Kevin because he had also never been a big fan of him, a fact that he had never really kept secret. When she mentioned the flowers he had sent her, many years ago, his jaw dropped.
"I wanted to let you think I didn't know. Now, shall we go?"
"Of course. Dave will probably want to hear about your reactions to my speech." When he saw how shocked they all looked, he continued. "It wasn't my idea!"
And Kevin had been completely forgotten by all of them.
Three months later, Penelope had met Marissa. As cliche as it was, they met a coffee shop. Their orders had been mixed up- she'd ended up with a flat white instead of the new toffee flavoured latte she had wanted to try- and neither had realised until it was too late.
When she'd gone back the next day, the barista had handed her a coffee without her even placing an order. She'd tried to tell them that she hadn't asked for it, but they had simply smiled at her, then pointed at Marissa, who had waved her over. Said that she wasn't a big fan of toffee, but she thought the pretty woman's boldness was something she wanted to be too, and if Penelope was willing to go on a walk with her.
One thing led to another, and a month later, they were officially dating. Penelope had never been happier in a relationship. Marissa's sarcasm and dry sense of humour balanced out her brightness and inappropriate jokes, but it wasn't just that made them compatible. It was everything else too. They just fit. And when Penelope stared into her eyes, still so mesmerised by them almost seven months later, she could see a future that would've never been able to have with Kevin.
Marissa was a dance teacher. Primarily contemporary and ballet, but she was thinking about branching into ballroom dancing, and it was exactly that fact that sparked Penelope's idea. Her original idea had involved flash mobs and individual confessions of love, but she also wanted to respect that Hotch enjoyed his privacy. And that he didn't like a fuss to be made of him, ever, even when it really was needed.
She didn't tell the others that she was planning anything, otherwise they would've started asking and it was such a good idea that she just wouldn't have been able to keep the knowledge to herself. It wasn't anything bad, she just didn't want to tell them and have it fall through because Marissa wasn't able or comfortable with doing it.
It was date night when her plan began. She had taken Marissa ice-skating, which had been an incredible experience and something that always made her feel like she was flying. Apparently some of the other people had taken some photos of them, holding each other and laughing at their own antics, so she was waiting for them to download. Marissa was laughing at something a child was doing, sipping her hot chocolate as she tried to warm herself up.
And Penelope knew, it was then or never.
"Sweetness, remember when you said you wanted to start teaching ballroom?" she asked suddenly.
Marissa tucked her hair behind her ear. "Yeah, but I still think it might be risky, because I've never been taught how to teach it and I don't want to mess it up."
Penelope took her hands and Marissa smiled. In some way, it reminded her of the way Hotch smiled- small and subtle, but absolutely everything to witness.
"If you want to do it, then you should. And I've seen you teach before, there's no way you could mess this up. But, and this is completely up to you, I have an idea. It could benefit both of us."
“Both of us? What is this plan?”
“You need to practice on someone to gain some confidence. So practice on my team. They’ll be delighted to help you, and then we can all spend more time together. They really like you. Much more than anyone else I’ve introduced them to. They’ll say yes.”
“Would they? It would be amazing if they did.”
“Of course they will.”
“Penelope, I love you so much. Thank you for doing this. I’m confused though. What do you get out of this?”
“The opportunity to go down in history as the best Cupid the world has ever seen.”
"What on earth- actually don't tell me now, I'll end up spilling your plan to the people involved," Marissa said, snuggling closer. Penelope pressed a kiss to her hair, smiling at the thought of spending more time with her girlfriend and winning the bet.
The next day, she went and sat with everyone in the bullpen, balancing her laptop on her knees as she worked. The rest of the team were working on individual consults, but Derek and JJ had decided to spend some time with their partners instead of just sitting in their offices. Rossi was doing his work from his office, and Hotch was in a meeting with Strauss and the Director. He hadn't seemed happy about it.
"Guys, what would you do if I said I can get Hotch and Rossi together but I need you to come to Marissa's practice run of a ballroom dancing lesson in order for it to work?" she asked, not even looking up from her screen.
"Start from the beginning," JJ said.
"Nope, because that will ruin my plan. Would you?"
“I mean, if Spencer didn’t mind, I would go. Any excuse to dance with the prettiest boy I know,” Derek said, a small and loving smile plastered across his face.
Spencer looked down slightly, cheeks tinged with a blush. “If it’ll help the two of them be happy, then fine, yes. But only if you promise to not make any comments if I’m not good at it.”
“Spencer, of course we won’t judge, dancing can be quite hard. And it’s not going to be a super serious session, it’s a trial run for Marissa and my attempt at getting them together, so it’s not the end of the world. JJ? Emily?”
“If Will can take Henry for the day, then sure, otherwise I don’t think I’ll be able to make it, is that okay?” JJ said, already pulling her phone out to see whether or not he was available. He responded moments later, saying it would be fine, and Penelope smiled.
“Sure. I’m excited to see whether your plan can top mine,” Emily said.
Penelope grinned. “Great! I’ll see you all at ten on Saturday then. Now I just need to get the two of them to agree…”
As she headed up to Rossi’s office, the four remaining team members all gave each other identical looks of fear. They knew that, realistically, Penelope’s plan couldn’t be that wild or dangerous, but they also knew how fiercely determined she could be when there was something she wanted to achieve. They also knew how adamant she was that everybody would find love, they just needed to be ready and willing. So they really had no idea what they were getting themselves into.
They assured themselves they would be fine, because they weren’t the ones being set up. And then they immediately felt extreme amounts of relief at the fact that Penelope had never once turned her match-making skills to them.
Rossi was working on the paperwork he’d stolen from Hotch’s office when Penelope knocked, popping her head around the door. The open blinds meant the team were able to watch through the window, and they did. They weren’t profiling, they were just observing for a bit of fun and to try and see whether or not they’d be able to get any more information from their exchange.
“Sir, what are your opinions on ballroom dancing?” she asked, not even bothering with hello.
“It’s okay. I don’t have particularly strong opinions on it either way. Why?” Rossi responded.
“Because Marissa would like to find out whether or not she would be able to teach ballroom dancing, so I have offered us up as guinea pigs for her to test on but she obviously can’t just do it with two couples, so I was wondering whether you’d be willing to come or if I needed to ask Anderson,” she said, tone not indicating any sort of ulterior motive whatsoever.
“If she’s teaching, you would need to be her partner so she could demonstrate. Who exactly is my partner?”
“Hotch of course. Sir, he could never say no to you. He loves you too much- us. He loves us too much. To say no. Or to deny us something small like this,” she said, realising as she spoke that it was too much, too soon.
Rossi went to deny that Hotch loved him- in any way, not just the one he’d found himself thinking about as he’d washed the singular plate and singular wine glass the previous night- but found that he couldn’t. Because Penelope was right. In some way, Hotch loved every single member of the team, in a way that Max Ryan and Jason Gideon would never have been brave enough to do.
It filled him with pride, a little sadness, and something close to admiration that he was too much of a coward to properly define. And then he realised that he had gone too long without speaking, because Penelope was beginning to shift uncomfortably.
“Sir? Are you okay? You kinda… disappeared for a moment there,” she said.
“I’m okay, just thinking. Of course I’ll tag along to the dance lesson, if only to give Morgan a few funnier nightmares. When is it?”
Penelope grinned, so wide and so beautifully, it almost hurt. He pushed the thought from his head. She was never going to lose her faith in the beauty of people. Not whilst she was able to find the beauty in everything, and not whilst she smiled without any shame or hesitance.
“Saturday and ten, unless we get a case, and if we do, we’ll sort it out after. Does that work for you?”
Even if hadn’t, he would’ve completely rearranged his career to make it. He didn’t just want to give Derek some funny nightmares. He also wanted to spend time with the team, and watch Hotch morph into Aaron as he smiled unabashedly and was dressed in casual clothes- he needed to get a grip.
“Of course it does. Thank you for inviting me,” he said, hoping that would end the conversation.
It did. When Garcia closed the door behind her, he groaned, then buried himself in the paperwork. Nothing would distract him more than trying to come up with a real justification for the BAU technology budget (Aaron’s preliminary notes just said: they don’t have to deal with a pouting Penelope.)
She just gave a thumbs up to the team, then went back into the bullpen. As she set about making her own tea, she realised that Hotch had returned from his meeting. It hurt a bit, to see him look so exhausted and disheartened. He always was, when he returned from those meetings with the Director, even with Strauss acting as a buffer between the two of them. So she made him one of her special coffees- with the added caramel and hazelnut milk- before heading up to his office, not bothering to knock because he had spent so long trying to convince them all it was fine to not knock that she couldn’t bring herself to do it.
“Oh hello Garcia. Did you need something?” he asked.
She set the coffee down and took the seat opposite. “Not in the conventional way.”
He smiled at the drink, taking a single sip, and some of the light returned to his eyes. “Oh? What do you mean?”
“Well you know Marissa right?”
“Of course I do, she’s lovely. Penelope, I really don’t think I’m the best person to come to if you need advice. Surely Derek or JJ would be better?”
“I don’t need advice silly,” she said with a smile, because her boss was just so good to all of them. “I need you to come to the dance studio on Saturday at ten because she wants to start teaching ballroom dancing and I’ve offered us up as test subjects.”
He blinked, and she realised how rude her demand had sounded.
“Only if you and Jack didn’t have plans and if you’re willing and actually able to of course,” she added hastily.
“Are you sure you want me there? I’m not… the best dancer, and I don’t want Marissa to be discouraged just because I have two left feet,” he said, looking slightly hesitant, but like he would say yes with a bit of encouragement.
“Sir, the worst of a dancer you are, the better. But I’ve saw you with Haley. You could give Derek a run for his money. There’s no pressure. I just wanted to ask because Derek, Spencer, Emily and JJ are acting as the other two couples. Rossi said he would come, but if you can’t make it-”
“Dave agreed?” Aaron cut in, meeting her eyes properly for the first time since they started talking. There was something behind the shock and slight glee that made her feel warm inside. She had been right- they both just needed a push.
“Yeah, he said the timing works for him. If it doesn’t for you-”
“No, it’s perfect. Jack doesn’t need to spend every waking moment with me, and he’s actually got a soccer camp that weekend, so I would’ve been in the apartment alone anyways. Of course I’ll come. It’s for you and Marissa after all,” he said, giving her the same smile usually reserved for Jack.
“Oh sir, thank you, thank you, thank you! Marissa is going to be so excited when I tell her! I promise you, even if it’s a disaster, you’ll have fun, and she will appreciate it more than you could ever imagine!”
“Penelope, it’s okay,” Hotch said with a slight laugh. “I’m not doing anything that out there.”
“I know that. But you’re just a good boss. You always have been,” she said, getting up and going to the door.
Hotch blushed and looked down. “Penelope…”
“Yes?” she asked, turning back.
“What does- what should I wear?”
She had to bite back a laugh, because there was her fierce Unit Chief, who had barely blinked when a gun was fired just to the left of his good ear, staring at her like she carried all the answers, with flushed cheeks, asking what he should wear to a dance lesson where the ulterior motive was to get him with his best friend. Not that he knew about that.
“Anything that’s comfortable,” she said, then left.
Marissa was indeed very happy when she found out, and when Penelope watched her face break into a grin as she processed the knowledge, she realised that happiness didn’t come from a relationship, but sharing it was amazing.
By some miracle, no out of town cases crossed their desks, which meant Saturday morning saw them all at the dance studio, dressed in t-shirts and sweatpants, stretching so they didn’t pull a muscle.
Hotch had paled slightly as Marissa explained that one.
“Okay, so what I’m going to have you do is pair up, and face each other. First I’ll describe how you’re meant to position your arms, then you’ll try and do it, and I’ll correct you if you’re wrong. Then I’ll just need you to follow my lead- I’ll demonstrate with Penelope. We’ll go from there. Is that good with everyone?” she said, after everyone had stretched for an adequate amount of time.
“Of course,” Derek said. Spencer nodded, looking slightly nervous, but Derek noticed and immediately placed a hand on his back to try and soothe him. It worked. JJ and Emily also nodded. Rossi grinned, and Hotch seemed hesitant, but stood up nonetheless.
“Great, so if you could all just turn and face your partners,” Marissa said, grinning when she took Penelope’s hands to press a kiss to them.
Derek and Spencer snickered at each other, which set off JJ and Emily, but Dave wouldn’t quite meet Aaron’s eyes. He was too afraid of meeting his eyes. Those beautiful and caring brown eyes that always sparkled with love whenever he saw his son, or his former sister-in-law that had really been his sister ever since Haley first confessed to her about her crush on him, all those years ago.
“Dave, are you okay to lead?” Marissa asked, pulling him from his thoughts.
“Hmm? Oh yeah, sure. Aaron is that okay?” he asked.
Aaron nodded, cheeks slightly flushed. “Course it is.”
“Great, so just place your arms… like this,” Marissa said, moving him slightly. It meant he was close enough to hear Aaron’s heartbeat. It was slightly erratic, and he frowned, wondering why. It wasn’t like him to be nervous about something like this.
“Okay, so ballroom dancing obviously covers a wide range of dance styles, so to keep things simple, we’re just going to a waltz. So hands where I’ve told you to put them- Spencer and Derek I am looking at you, and follow my instructions as best you can. We’ll go from there.”
Spencer laughed, whilst Derek pretended to be scandalised. Emily gagged, and Aaron couldn’t contain his laugh at their antics. It was the most beautiful thing Dave had ever heard, so fearless and carefree that it physically hurt him, and he was well and truly screwed. To try and move past the feeling in his stomach that he most certainly was not going to name, he placed his hands exactly where Marissa had told him, noting that Aaron’s breath seemed to catch in his throat. He told himself to not to read into it.
Which was funny, because Aaron was telling himself that he needed to get his heartbeat under control. That there was no deeper reason behind Dave’s refusal to meet his eyes. There was a completely reasonable explanation for the goosebumps that seemed to be spreading under his shirt, and there was no way he had been holding his breath without realising, only releasing it when Dave ran his hands down his arms.
“Okay, so person that’s leading, step this way,” Marissa instructed.
Dave did exactly as she said with no hesitation. Aaron flushed as the realisation that they were about to be dancing together, with all of their subordinates there to witness any failures. It was strange, but he felt like both Marissa and Penelope were watching him more intently than the others.
Dave had said everything would be fine, that there was nothing going on, but he couldn’t help the uneasy feeling forming in his stomach. The same feeling he instinctively got every time Jack appeared with glitter in his hands. He wondered when he started seeing the members of his team as children.
He also wondered how soon he’d be able to retire, now that more and more parallels between the qualified FBI agents who were trusted to carry weapons and talk down killers and his seven-year-old son were becoming clear.
“Where’s your mind gone?” Rossi asked, pulling him back into the moment.
Hotch stumbled slightly, but Dave’s arms were solid and firm around him, keeping him upright and leading him around their little area as though it was the most natural thing in the world to him.
“Nowhere interesting,” he said. Dave was always so smart, and everything he said had a purpose. If he knew Aaron was thinking about the younger members of the team as children, he’d never hear the end of it.
Dave stepped back, pulling Aaron flush against him as Marissa demonstrated exactly what they were meant to be doing. Aaron turned so Dave wouldn’t see the colour rise to his cheeks. It was beautiful to see the other members of his team, just having fun and enjoying themselves like there was nothing wrong in the world.
“You don’t give yourself enough credit. Even if nobody else does, I find that brain of yours fascinating, no matter what it is you’re coming out with.”
“I was just thinking about the team. And how far they’ve come. And how I have no idea when I became their pseudo-parent, but that it doesn’t fill me with fear anymore,” he confessed.
“You’ve come so far too. And you’ve always been like family to them,” Dave said. Family. Nothing more. Certainly not anything romantic.
Hotch couldn’t help but laugh. “If Max heard you say we were like a family-”
“He’d murder me and they’d never catch him. I know.”
“Guys you’ve done really well, and this has really helped me, so I think we’re good to call it a day now. We’ll just do some cool-down stretches and then you can all go back to normal and pretend this never happened. Unless you want to go for lunch. That’s also an option,” Marissa said with a slight laugh.
“Lunch would be amazing, I’m starving,” JJ said.
Derek shrugged. “We don’t have any plans, do we, pretty boy?”
Spencer shook his head. “Also Marissa said she would try and show me that new magic trick, and lunch would be the perfect time to try and understand how it works.”
“Aaron?” Marissa asked.
From behind her, Emily and Derek cringed. It was stupid, but hearing Hotch be referred to as Aaron always felt weird. It didn’t matter whether it was Jessica, Erin, Marissa or Dave doing it, there was just something about their boss being known as anything but his nickname that felt like calling a parent their first name.
“If I won’t be intruding,” he said.
“Never!” Penelope exclaimed, grinning even wider when she realised that Dave’s hands were still on Hotch’s waist. She tapped Marissa on the shoulder, subtly gesturing to the sight. Marissa had very quickly realised what was going on, so a lot of what she had done was to try and aid the attempt.
“But before we do, Dave, do you mind if I use you and Aaron to demonstrate one last thing? It won’t take long, I just want to do it before we go,” she said.
Derek frowned, and Penelope let out a quiet gasp when she realised that Marissa didn’t really want to demonstrate something, she wanted to push them even closer than the morning already had.
She was going to win the bet!
“Oh sure. Aaron, you mind being my partner one last time?” Dave teased.
“Never,” Aaron said, voice strangely vulnerable. Something flashed across Dave’s face, before he smirked and adjusted the way his hands were positioned.
Marissa led them through a different type of waltz. Aaron stumbled and missed the steps a few times, but Dave carried him through flawlessly, and was so confident as he glided around the small studio, Aaron following him without a shadow of doubt because of the trust between them, that it was almost impossible to pick up on.
“And Aaron, twirl into his arms!” Marissa shouted, as the music reached a climax and Dave let go of his one of his hands, forcing him to spin outwards. Her plan was for them to meet the others eyes, and see the love that everyone else had apparently picked up on, and do something about it.
What happened was slightly different.
Aaron overbalanced as he turned into Dave’s arms, which wouldn’t have been the end of the world. Unfortunately for everyone, at some point during the final dance, his laces had come undone. So not only did he overbalance, he stepped on the aforementioned undone lace. Which also would have been fine, if it had just been that, and that alone. But because it was combined with the overbalancing, he did not manage to meet Dave’s eyes and see something more than friendship reflected in them.
He did however, manage to make an absolute fool of himself as he fell to the ground, reflexes too slow to stop himself from hitting it face-first. The noise of pain he let out was enough to make Emily stop laughing at his misfortune.
Dave immediately crouched down next to him, gently turning him and shifting him into a sitting up position so they could check that he didn’t have a concussion or any other injuries.
“My face really hurts,” Aaron whined after blinking a few times, feeling more oriented.
“I mean you did hit the floor pretty hard,” Emily teased. When Penelope hit her arm, she pretended to look completely innocent.
“Aaron, I’m so sorry-” Marissa started.
“You didn’t do anything wrong, don’t feel guilty. Besides, that was the most fun I’ve had without Jack in a while. I would definitely do it again, just with my laces actually tied properly. Dave, why are you looking at me like that?” he rambled.
“I think you’ve broken your nose,” Dave said, sounding nonchalant but panicking because he had no idea what he was meant to do in this situation.
“Oh,” was all Aaron said.
Morgan leapt into action the moment he processed the words. “Dave, get him to the hospital. They can make sure that nothing else is wrong and fix his face properly, without causing more damage. And you’re his proxy. Because it’s just a minor thing, the rest of us don’t need to be there, but we will all go for lunch so that we’re together if there’s any news. Okay?”
Everyone nodded, quickly gathering their things and departing. Before she left, Garcia gave her boss a kiss on the forehead, feeling terrible that things had gone downhill, but also grateful that he wasn’t mad, had ended up having fun, and that Marissa’s confidence didn’t seem too shaken.
Derek shook his head as he watched the women argue over something, whilst Marissa showed Spencer the magic trick she had promised him. How the bet had gone from the joke it had started as to this was beyond him, but he wasn’t blind. He had seen them dancing. They loved each other. It was just a matter of making them realise that it was romantic, not platonic.
An idea was forming, but until they got confirmation that Hotch- not Aaron because that was weird, no matter what Marissa said- was fine, he would put any and all thoughts about it to one side. He was a bit annoyed at himself for being such a romantic though. It meant he needed to actually come up with a decent plan.
Hotch did end up being fun. The doctors were- in Morgan’s words- fix his face without causing more damage. And whilst he passed their tests without any issues, they did decide to keep him in overnight, just to make sure he didn’t have any sort of delayed confusion or injuries.
Dave stayed until visiting hours ended. A fact that was not lost on the rest of the team.
Before he left, Aaron called out his name, and he turned.
“Thank you for staying,” Aaron whispered.
“It wasn’t difficult to. It’s never been difficult with you,” he replied, wishing he could put it more eloquently, but he had no idea how to.
Aaron just smiled, wishing he could say something intelligent too, but he was tired and his head was killing him. “Have a nice evening Dave,” he settled on in the end. It wasn’t much, but it was something.
“Sweet dreams Aaron,” Dave said. It didn’t sound sarcastic, so Aaron smiled.
He dreamt of dances and double beds and drenched shirts, but throughout all of it, Dave seemed to be watching over him like a guardian angel, so the sleep he had was peaceful. Strange, but peaceful.
He would cling to that feeling of peace when he entered the office on Monday, because something was definitely going on.
Only it seemed like Derek was plotting. Aaron wasn’t sure how he felt about that. All Derek knew was that soon, the other members of the BAU would be buying him coffee and deeming him the best matchmaker of all time.
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hi could you do some todoroki headcanons please and good luck on your exams !! i’ve got mine coming up in like a week too it’s so stressful😩🥲🥲
oh bestie good luck on those!! 😩 and thank you! i hope you don’t mind that these will be a bit informal as i do my work
ah he’s so cute
he’s got this dry sense of humour that he develops when he notices people laugh at his comments
oh my god i can totally see everyone having a serious discussion when suddenly, here comes todoroki with his dumbass energy
it’d be like someone’s having a discussion: “What do you think of Stain’s ideologies?”
todoroki will come in and be like, “Who?” and they’ll reply “You know, Stain the hero killer?”
and literally with the straightest face he'll just go: “oh right...evil ninja turtle.”
and then walk off, leaving his classmates behind him with their head in their hands
lets make this a bit romantic too
when he gets comfortable with you, expect kisses against your cheek, neck, hair, arm, hand, lips, leg- literally everywhere
he never knew of the concept of PDA, so when you shied away from the flurry of kisses at first because everyone was literally right there, todoroki froze, nodded solemnly and backed off
you have to explain what PDA was, and why you were so shocked, and explain to him what you like
he feels better after that
he likes cooking with you, because when youre teaching him to cut you go in front, or behind him depending on your height and hold his hands, or let him hold yours as you chop away
the contact calms him
9 times out of 10 he’ll come up behind you anyway and just wrap his arms around your waist and sag against you, cheek resting against your shoulder and head tucked safely into the curve of your neck
as you can tell he also likes cuddles
he is TOUCH starved so pls give him all the touches you can
again, he takes a second to warm up to it bc what is this?? what are you doing?? why does it feel nice??
but then once he’s comfortable with you then he’s the sweetest, clingiest boy ever
he’s also your personal heater and AC obviously, everyone agrees on this
he also, when you’re down, has made a habit to give you little ice creations
he’ll create some ice in his palm, and then heat up his left finger and carve away at the chunk until it begins to resemble...something, anything
at first it was not good, he wasn’t good at it but as time went by he become SO, so talented at it??
he realised how satisfying and relaxing it was, and he also loved giving you them and watching how your eyes lit up with every new creation he gave you.
its something he keeps for only when you need a pick me up, because he likes the sentimental value :(( so he doesn’t give them all day everyday
please play with his hair, please tie it up into a pineapple tuft on his head, put clips and headbands and pin it back and style it :( he loves it so much
he would absolutely walk around the UA dorms and school with them in, brightening slightly when someone asks about them, as he takes that opportunity to talk about you instead
thats all i can think of right now so <3 cute bf todoroki <3 would recommend 10/10 <3
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Hey shawty glad to see you’re back! Got any headcanons about Shuu?
I Shuu have!
Aha haa... I'll just get on with it.
Shuu Tsukiyama (random) Relationship HC's
Shuu is a versatile partner. He's smart, eloquent, cultured, hot... He's a good all-rounder.
He has a dry, slightly sardonic sense of humour, so as long as his partner is cool with that (I know that style of funny isn't everyone's taste), it'll be an entertaining relationship. I think Shuu has been called a lot of things (ahem), but I don't think funny is often one of them. A partner that finds him hilarious for the right reasons will be appreciated by him.
You know how he appears flamboyant in the anime/manga? I don't think that's his all-the-time behaviour. I think at times he's pretty chill, quiet(!), y'know, relaxed. When he's in one of these moods he gets cuddly, tactile... Type of mood where he just wants to lie on the sofa and watch tv. It wont happen much, but his S.O should take advantage of the peace and lean into him.
Speaking of tv, Shuu doesn't tend to watch much, but would probably enjoy shows like Money Heist. It's clever, it's fast-paced, it's in Spanish. He may be annoying and start speaking Spanish during/afterwards until the novelty wears off. Be warned.
Loves Disney films. Also loves Disney musical theatre. If his S.O wants to watch The Lion King? Shuu is game. I mean, he's already seen it a few times, and has met the performers, but he'll tolerate it again for his partner.
Right, his family... Now I don't think he'd be quick to introduce his partner to his dad for many reasons. Not that he's embarrassed or anything, but because he'll want time alone with them for a while. Plus his dad is busy anyway. BUT - everyone in the household will be aware of Shuu dating someone. I think he gets "checked upon" -with and sometimes without his awareness-, and his S.O will also be "watched". I wouldn't be surprised if Mirumo and the close family/employees know a lot about Shuu's partner before they officially meet. May be an off put if that partner is a particularly private person. Worth mentioning.
Shuu will introduce his partner to Chie early on. Despite what he says, he values her opinion. Actually, I think he'll care at least as much about her thoughts on his S.O as his dad's.
Alright, may come as a surprise to no one, but Shuu has a tendency to get carried away at times. He get's a little intense, a bit hyper focused. His partner may need to get firm with him. Ground him somewhat, bring him back to the here and now. He wont purposely neglect his partner whilst he's busy pursuing whatever has piqued his interest, but his attention will shift and it could make his partner feel insecure. For that reason, if his partner is particularly sensitive they may feel... Pushed aside at times.
An indication that Shuu is serious about a relationship is he will start talking about his mum. How is this an indication? Well, Shuu doesn't remember her much, so the few memories he has are extremely precious to him and he would not share them with anyone flippantly. He has this heartbreaking expression that is a mixture between happiness and melancholy. He'll try and finish whatever he was saying on a lighthearted note (I also imagine Shuu uses humour for self-preservation), but his smile wont reach his eyes.
Going on from this, Shuu in a relationship - a committed, serious relationship - will treat his partner like gold dust. He knows how fragile love, relationships, life is and he wont take it for granted. Very pampered partner.
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42. “I turned out liking you a lot more than i originally planned.”
44. “Why should we date?” // “Because we’re attracted to each other.” // “I’m attracted to pie, but i do not feel the need to date pie.”
35. “Tell me again.”
Drabble Prompts; fluff | angst | funny // Requests; OPEN
notes; alskdaslkdalskdjaklsjf this is one of my favourite pieces that I’ve ever written. Thank you for requesting and I really hope you like it. I am absolutely in love with how it came out.
Everyone told you that getting involved with an idol was a bad idea, that you would get your heart broken or worse. The logical side of you knew they were probably right. What chance did an unknown girl that worked at a café have with someone who could quite literally have anyone he wanted. You knew deep down you shouldn’t get involved, but when he was around, the logical part of your brain kind of shut down.
It was a few months ago now that he started showing up at the café, always in the middle of the night and always ordering the same thing; hot chocolate and whatever biscuit was available that day. For a long time, you didn’t even realize he was famous, you just assumed he was a weird college kid that didn’t sleep.
It was his odd behavioural traits that tipped you off and had you googling it. He always sat in the back, even though no one was ever there at that hour anyway. He hid his face if someone ever did happen to walk in. You learned later that his name was Hansol, or Vernon member of Seventeen.
You asked him about it one night, nearly giving the poor boy a heart attack as he tried to gauge what you were going to do with the answer. He eventually gave in and that’s how you started chatting with him. You learned about his past, his fears, what he loved about being an idol and what he hated. You learned that he came to the café when he couldn’t sleep and wanted time to himself, time to pretend at being normal.
You felt for him, wishing you could correct some of the points of stress in his life or ease his burdens. It started off innocent enough, but soon the little chats started to grow into flirtatious conversations. The fine line between café guest, idol and anything outside of those two categories growing steadily blurrier between the two of you.
You never intended to get involved with an idol, but that is just what life had planned for you.
»»————- ♡ ————-««
“We have your favourite tonight” you mused when the familiar hooded boy crept into the empty café. “Chocolate chip?” he perked up, taking his usual seat in the corner where people picked up their coffee. You hummed in response, nodding as you made the all too familiar order with ease.
“You know… I didn’t think I would like you at first” he said, watching as you set two cups of tea along with the biscuits down at his table. You slid into the seat across from him, raising an eyebrow at his sudden declaration.
“I was worried you would…” he trailed off, trying to think of the best way to phrase it. “Try and steal your DNA from an empty coffee cup?” you supplied, breaking off a piece of cookie and popping it into your mouth. “I already looked it up, not a huge market for illegally acquired human DNA” you shrugged, watching as his eyes widened, trying to figure out if you were being serious.
“I’m joking Hansol” you finally put him out of his misery, laughing a little as his shoulders dropped and he let out a relieved sigh. “I don’t think I’ll ever get used to your weird sarcastic sense of humour” he grumbled a bit, taking a sip of tea now that he knew his DNA was safe.
“C’mon, just admit it, I’m hilarious” you grinned, finishing off the cookie you had started. He rolled his eyes and started picking at his own sweet treat.
“I turned out liking you a lot more than I originally planned.” He said in between bites, looking up to gauge your reaction before he continued. “Yes, dry sarcastic humour and all” he deadpanned, watching as you chuckled softly.
“You know, you’re not half bad yourself” you answered, if you were being honest you never thought you would like him as much as you do either. You thought he would be another stuck-up rich kid that would belittle you for being a café worker.
After the two of you were finished with the cookies, you gathered the plate and brought it behind the counter. You started to clean up a little bit from the day shift, cleaning the dishes in the counter. Hansol watched as you did this, badly trying to hide it by having his phone out; you could clearly see the screen was off.
»»————- ♡ ————-««
“Go on a date with me” Hansol told you one night, the two of you sitting in the dark recesses of the coffee shop. You laughed at his proposition, standing up and gathering the dishes. “You don’t mean that Hansol” you told him, brushing off his request. He left it alone for the night, but continued to bring it up every subsequent night, hoping for a different response from you, hoping his persistence showed you that he was being serious.
»»————- ♡ ————-««
The eighth time he asked you felt the urge to snap at him, it was cute at first but this little game he was playing was starting to get annoying. You decided to indulge him, if for no other reason to put an end to whatever he thought would happen between the two of you.
“Why should we date?” you questioned, pausing your motions as you looked over at him, eyebrow raised and hoping he had a valid answer. He paused for a moment, taking a second to think about it before answering.
“Because we’re attracted to each other.” He said, like that would just solve all the obvious barriers that were present between the two of you. You smiled at his simplicity; it was obvious he didn’t realize what dating you would mean. What it could do to his career and your life. Flirting alone in a dark café was one thing, but dating was a whole other circus you didn’t know if you could handle.
“I’m attracted to pie, but I do not feel the need to date pie.” You told him, holding up a piece of pie from the display case for extra emphasis. If he wanted this to happen, he had to understand what it meant, and right now it was obvious he had not given it enough thought. You never straight up told Hansol no, and he recognized that. He knew he had a fighting chance so long as you didn’t say no.
»»————- ♡ ————-««
He didn’t show up for a few days, it worried you. You thought that maybe last time you had been too harsh with him, that you had stepped over some invisible line. Your shifts were long and cold, you felt the emptiness that was left behind when he wasn’t there.
You were incredibly relieved when you saw him walk through the door, not even trying to hide it from reaching your facial features. With a little too much enthusiasm you put together his usual order, hissing when you splashed boiling water over your hand. Shaking it off you quickly brought the tray over to him, not even sparring a second glance at your red burn.
He frowned when his eyes settled on it, silently getting up and filling a small cloth with ice from behind the counter. He pressed it to the area giving you an apologetic glance when you whimpered at the coolness of it.
“I talked with my company” he told you, leaving you entirely confused about what he was telling you. You raised an eyebrow at him, taking the ice filled cloth from his hands as he sat back down.
“You’re worried about something bad happening if we started dating right?” he asked, smirking when shock passed over your features. So that’s what he had been up to. “We have a plan… if you’re willing to listen to it” he said slowly, leaning his elbows against the small table separating the two of you.
“This is the last time I’ll ask. Go on a date with me y/n” he said, his eyes pleading for you to give in and trust him on this.
“Why should we date?” you said in a whisper, your resolve slowly shrinking as it became obvious that he was 100% serious about doing this. He smiled a little, clearly expecting the question that he had gotten wrong last time.
“Because I think I’m in love with you” he said softly, his eyes twinkling in the dimly lit room. Your eyes narrowed, looking for any sign of hesitation or farce on his part… but you found none. He meant every word of what he was telling you. Your heart raced as you finally allowed yourself to consider the possibility of letting your heart rule rather than your head.
“Tell me again.” You whispered, a smile breaking out over his features when he realized that you wanted this just as much as he did.
“I’m in love with you y/n” he hummed, his fingers reaching out to brush some hair back behind your ear. “You’re the only person who has ever wanted me and not the persona that I created” he explained, your heart swelling with every word.
Everyone warned you about getting involved with an idol, but no one warned you about falling in love with one.
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Zombies and Vampires (A continuation of Only Lovers Left Alive) Chapter 4
It was 8:30pm when I knocked on Andie's door. I stood there no longer than a minute before I could hear the door unlock and see her standing before me. Andie blinked in disbelief at my presents, I suspect she was hoping I was Adam. She soon stepped aside allowing me entry. I gander around while taking note of the surroundings she now lives in. I'd say it is an improvement from the back seat of her car. When I heard the door click softly from behind me I knew that I could gently pursued her into my arms again.
"Mackie, what do you want?" Andie grumbled.
"What makes you think I want something?" I smile smugly knowing full well of my own intentions.
"There always is." Andie rolled her eyes at me and covered her breasts with her arms, trying to block them from my view.
"I am here to grovel at your feet." I joke and she arches a brow unamused by my words. "Fine I'm here to talk about Adam." She groaned as soon as I mentioned Adam's name.
"I don't need another lecture about the men I date." Andie said sharply. I know she can keep hold of grudges for long periods of time against her exes. In other words I don't think she's ever let go. Then the next will end up the same way adding to the forever ending list.
"Well you're getting one." I matched her sharpness. "They never stop cheating on you. Adam is the same and don't you fucking dare forgive him. You've tried that before it and it never worked in the past. This time will be no different. You need to start seeing someone who isn't a musician. Someone like me. I know I am far from perfect and I'll leave Zoey in a heartbeat for you. You know that." I lectured, although I would say a lot more subtle and less jeering than I have been in the past.
"And you also know I wouldn't do anything to hurt Zoey. So get your head out of your ass, because I will never be your girlfriend. I wouldn't let you have a quickie, or let you touch me with a ten foot pole in a shape or form for that matter!" Andie added.
"Are you sure, you would pass up on the chance to be with someone as handsome? Dishy? Striking? Sexy?" I saunter closer with my voice a deeper octave than normal.
Andie laughed. "You aren't any of those. Not to me....Okay I admit I may have had a tiny crush on you once. I was young." She shrugged rather dismissively. My eyes grew wide with shock. Did I hear her right? "It turned out to be more of a fleeting thing. I was too busy gawking at someone else shortly after." She said with a dry humour about her.
"Which one of your exes was he?" I mocked.
"Does it matter? Face the facts, I won't ever date you and why don't you stop hurting Zoey. You've hurt her repeatedly. She deserves better than you!" Andie swiftly shoves me out of the door soon after.
I do feel like it could have gone better. I didn't even put up a fucking fight as she got rid of me. I will have her! I just need Adam fully out of the picture. Zoey too.
Rowan and I arrive outside Andie's door late morning. In all honesty it's nearly noon. It was all down to Rowan being late picking me up, she blamed it on Oscar. The boyfriend we're still waiting to meet. She said, "Oscar is being a real dickhead right now," as I slid into the passenger seat of her car. She just rolled her eyes at me when I gave her a stern glare. And once out on the road she turned up the radio. Although, when Andie opened up her door to us, she seemed to be okay. Or rather that's what she was trying to pass off as. I know her too well to know she was in a bad mood.
"C'mon, you're pissed off. Don't act like you don't want to kick Adam in the balls." I smirk at the thought. I've seen her do it too.
"Adam...Adam is a cheating bastard, what more can I say?" She says and allows us in.
Rowan sits on the kitchen counter top once we're in, which is just about sturdy enough to take her weight. This place is falling apart, but it's better than her living in her car. Well when she had one. She hasn't mentioned about selling her Volkswagen, but it's clear she's had to sell to make ends meat. She hates asking for money, hence why she'd rather sell her belongings first.
"So, are you?" Rowan now displays a smirk on her own face, with her arms folded under her breasts.
"What?" Andie is pretending like she doesn't know, but she will out her feelings. She always does.
"Andie..." I warn her, as she knows I will find a way to get to her.
"Alright, alright...I was hoping he was...different." Andie sighed heavily.
I can tell she's still hiding something much deeper. The truth, her true feelings. I just need to coax them out of her. Although, I am sensing it will take quite a lot too. Perhaps even after a few drinks.
"Well, if it makes you feel any better Oscar is being a dickhead." Rowan complains, yet I still don't believe her excuses.
"What's he done?" Andie's voice is soft, but I know she has her suspicions about Oscar too.
"I asked him if I looked fat today, and he hesitated!" Rowan was good at trying to be convincing, however as Andie is venerable herself right now, I think she might believe her this time.
"Jerk!" Andie rolled her eyes. Nope, I was wrong as she gives me a side glance of disbelief.
"Let's get you out of here!" Rowan jumped down off the counter, as she spoke.
"Where?" Andie asked, while flapping her arms about her in a huff.
"Go on a Detroit History Tour?" Rowan suggests, knowing full well we've all taken the trip before. Not since we were kids, obviously. Andie enjoys that shit though. So, I guess if that's what she wants, then that's it.
"I'm not in the mood. If you're serious though about getting me out, let's just go on a drive. You know, just see where we end up." I much prefer Andie's suggestion.
"I'm in!" I replied, then I grab Andie's jacket on our way out.
I thought I would be more in the mood today to have the girls around for company, oh but how I was wrong. I just couldn't turn them away. I needed to feel less crappy about myself and get Mackie out of my head. I had lied about liking him when we were younger. I have no idea why I chose to tell him this lie. Then again most of the time these days I find myself lying to my friends. Yet on the other hand I'm glad Mackie was easier to push out of my door than I expected, as I thought he would put up more of a fight.
We've been out on the road for a few hours. We went through a drive through of a little local take out, before parking on the edge of town. Which wasn't too far out from the drive through. I ordered my usual egg fried noodles, with their house special source, topped with veggies and a coke. I know there's a lot about the town I grew up in that I hate, but I have to admit there's stuff that is still awesome. Like this take out food, I miss it sometimes when I'm away. Also there's a couple of places I still enjoy going to, like the club for example, where I started out playing live. Besides the shitty stuff that's happened here, all my real friends are here still. None of them have ever left Detroit though. Zoey has wanted to a few times. Usually when she and Mackie break up. She even bought a plane ticket once to stay with me, but Mackie convinced her to stay. Just like he has done every time. Apart from the time he tried hooking up with me. I couldn't. Zoey is my best friend and Mackie is a bastard. A big red flag. I know what he can be really like. Even if he wasn't a bastard, he's not my type.
Anyway after eating and chilling for a while, we decided to go for a walk. Rowan complained more about Oscar, once she ran out of her rage, she then went on about how much she loves him really. I don't know what to think of Oscar really. We've never met the guy for one. They all pick on me when I'm single, but they don't pick on Rowan for not meeting Oscar. I mean if this guys exists, then why can't we meet him? They've been together for three years! And, god if anyone over steps the mark with Zoey and Mackie, he'd kick off and start breaking things. A childish way to 'solve' the critics and their comments. Also, his tactic too when the break up, when everyone believes they won't get back together. It can be a min filed. Another reason why I wouldn't date Mackie. Rowan and I have tried telling her to leave him for good, again he somehow makes up with her though.
Zoey and Mackie however at the moment seem to be in a good place. Shockingly. She's praising the fact their anniversary is coming up soon. And he's made big promises that she won't give us details on yet. It'll be their Eighth anniversary and she's counting it down. She knows my concerns especially when it comes to the promises, but I don't want to squash her happiness either. Later on they try to get me to talk more about Adam. I flat out refused. I have nothing to tell them. I don't know who he is. The truth would be a great starting point, but I can't tell them still. I might have got them off my back about Adam today, expect I know the subject will come up again.
A/N: Just a quick note.
I know this is a really short chapter and shitty, but it is only a link chapter. So I hope it isn't too terrible, haha.
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Safe Embrace: Part 2
Request: hi babes i love your writing!! may i request a tommy one shot with the prompts: sad (10,15,16) and humour (22,24).. sad but happy ending? maybe reader was attacked randomly while going home? also can u also include that they’ve been dating for a long time <3 thank y so much
Requested by Anonymous
Thomas Shelby x Female!Reader
Word Count: 1.1k
Warnings: Mentions of violence, blood
A/n: I could have made this series one part, I really could have, but I know I wouldn’t have been inspired to write that much if I had. I hope to write more oneshots soon, I just have horrible writer’s block when it comes to that sometimes. Anyway, hope you guys enjoy!
Y/n’s eyes fluttered open at the sound of water being poured out of a faucet. Though she’d slept well, her eyes still were heavy with exhaustion as she struggled to keep them open. Stretching her limbs, the spot next to her, Tommy’s spot, was cold as usual. He was always an early riser, heading to the betting shop in the early hours of the morning. With a sigh, she pushed herself onto her elbows as the sound continued. Before she could investigate, though, she winced at the weight placed on her forearms, forgetting the cuts that littered her skin.
“You alright?” Tommy questioned, having just exited the bathroom, and rushed to her side. She nodded, falling back onto the pillows. “Up for a bath?” he smiled at her, brushing a strand of hair out of her face, earning one in return.
Solemnly she nodded before asking, “What time is it?”
“Ten,” he shrugged, helping her to sit up and wrapped an arm securely around her waist as he walked her to the bathroom.
Y/n sighed, leaning into his sturdy form. “You should be at the shop,” she whispered into his chest to which he snorted.
The man clicked his tongue as they entered the small room, steam fogging up the mirror. Tommy helped guide her to the toilet to sit as he tended to the bath. “I’m not going anywhere until I know you’re okay, ya understand? The shop can wait, it can always wait,” he said, tone far more serious than she thought it would be as he turned the faucet off. Y/n nodded, eyes trailing the seams of the tile to avoid his gaze.
Once the water had cooled enough, Tommy helped her out of her nightgown, running his hands up and down her arms as she fell into his chest, tears running down her cheeks, ashamed of her bruised appreance. Using the pads of his thumbs to dry her tears, he helped her lower herself into the steaming water, sitting on the floor next to her as he watched her muscles relax.
Taking a washcloth, he carefully washed the dirt off her arms, placing delicate kisses on each of her cuts. “Can you tell me what happened?”
Biting her lip, she shook her head, fresh tears pricking the corner of her eyes. His words, his touches, were all too gentle, making her think she was broken. Making her feel like a broken piece of china that could never be used again.
“Hey, love, you don’t have to,” he assured her, giving her hand a squeeze.
“I do,” she insisted, a single tear sliding down her cheek only to be captured by Tommy’s finger. She felt he was owed an explanation as he tended to her. “I, um, I left Polly’s early,” she started.
Tommy’s lips turned up in a sad smile, hoping it would encourage her further. He remembered hearing her say that the night before. Polly, Lizzie, and her all went out to celebrate something, he couldn’t remember what. Knowing the three, he didn’t expect to see Y/n until morning, hungover and tired.
“And I know not to walk home alone. I know better,” a light sob interrupted her as more tears cascaded down her cheek.
Tommy wished so desperately at that moment to be able to hold her, but the tub allowed for no such thing, so he tried his best to hold her, allowing her head to rest against his shoulder, tears soaking the material of his shirt. “Don’t say things like that,” he muttered into her hair. “It’s not your fault. None of this is.”
She swallowed, hoping her tears would dry up, before continuing. “But I… I was coming home and these two men- They just came out of nowhere! And I-I don’t…”
“It’s okay, you’re okay,” the man found himself repeating the statement over and over, unsure who they were meant to benefit.
After a while, Y/n’s tears ceased and Tommy was able to continue ridding her skin of dirt. When he was finished, he pushed himself to his feet, exiting the room with the promise that he would return. Y/n sighed, leaning against the back of the tub, waiting for him. She didn’t have the strength to force herself out and knew she probably would need help getting out anyway. Just as her eyes fluttered shut did the man return.
“Polly brought some salts, said they should help the pain,” he informed her, holding up a cloth pouch. “She didn’t say what to do with them. Think ya have to eat ‘em,” he mumbled to himself, trying to remember if his aunt had told him what to do and he just forgotten.
Y/n laughed, shaking her head. “What kind of an idiot are you?”
Tommy pouted at the questioned but was glad she felt well enough to tease him. “The kind that doesn’t like being called names!”
“Those are bath salts, dear. You put them in the bath and soak in them,” she smiled at his raised brow. There was a reason people went to his aunt for medical advice and not him. Grumbling, he dumped the salts into the warm water, rolling his eyes in the process. How he hated being wrong.
“Never heard of ‘em, but if Pol says they work, I guess they work,” he said, taking a seat on the lid of the toilet as he searched his pockets for a cigarette. He pulled a pack out of his pockets just as their bedroom door flew open, exposing a frustrated Polly.
“Thomas Shelby, I was trying to have a serious conversation with you!” she shouted, glaring at her nephew, but her eyes softened when they grazed over Y/n.
The man shrugged as he traced his lips with a cigarette before placing it between his lips. “And I am trying to subtly avoid it.”
The older woman huffed, “Don’t act like a child.”
“I’m not,” he mumbled as he tried to lit the cigarette. “I have no time for a conversation of any sort, not while my wife needs my love and attention.
Y/n rolled her eyes. “I’m not your wife, Tom,” she said with a smile.
“Not yet, you aren’t,” he informed her before turning back to his aunt. “So please, leave us in peace. We can talk tonight.”
“Fine, but you let me know if she needs anything. And don’t listen to a word your brothers say until you talk to me first.” With that Polly stalked out of the room. It was clear to Y/n that everyone in the betting shop had decided to test their luck with the woman. They did so much longer, she was sure someone was going to get hurt.
“So, you want me to be your wife?” Y/n asked as she wrung her fingers together, afraid he was merely joking.
Tommy nodded, a trail of smoke seeping out between his lips. “Have since the day I laid eyes on you.”
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Movie Monday: The Dark Knight (2008)
It’s no secret that movie sequels are a mixed bag. Not only do they have to expand on an established universe with characters and settings we’ve seen before, but they must tell a new story with elements distinctive from the first film. This has led to some interesting results over the years with sequels like Aliens (1986) and Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) which are regarded as some of the best films ever. On the other hand, there are sequels that make you wonder what kind of drugs the directors were on to even conceive ideas like these, whether or not the first film was actually any good, such as The Last Exorcism Part II (2013) and Jaws 3-D (1983). During the modern age of movies, sequels can appear practically anywhere, whether or not someone asked for them with few ever managing to match up to their original pictures. Fortunately, The Dark Knight (2008) falls into the former category.
Following the success of Batman Begins (2005), fans demanded a sequel almost immediately. In May 2007, Warner Bros. answered their pleas with 42 Entertainment launching a viral marketing campaign featuring the now-infamous “Why So Serious?” tagline with a fictional campaign website about the character Harvey Dent, promoted by the caption, “I Believe in Harvey Dent.” In the months leading up to the film’s release, the website began removing pixels, revealing the first official image of Heath Ledger’s Joker; decorated with many “ha ha’s” and clown graffiti. After Ledger’s untimely death in January 2008, Warner Bros revised their marketing campaign, shifting their focus to the Joker with new promotional websites and posting memorial tributes to Ledger on the film’s official website. Less than 7 months later, The Dark Knight was released.
Though Batman Begins was a critical and commercial success, The Dark Knight exceeded every expectation. Christopher Nolan expanded on an established world, giving it a deeper, darker, and more suspenseful narrative that kept surprising me when I originally watched it. At a runtime of two-and-a-half hours, you’d expect to lose interest halfway through; however, The Dark Knight makes sure your anticipation grows every minutes. There is no way to predict what will happen next and your jaw will drop in surprise nearly every scene as Batman and the Joker battle wits to decide the fate of Gotham City. If you know anything about the Joker, you’d know he’s Batman’s worst enemy for a reason. With a legacy spanning over 80 years, the ‘Clown Prince of Crime’ is so renowned that even if you read only one comic he stars in, you’d know he’s Batman’s antithesis is almost every sense of the word. The Dark Knight definitely captures the complexities of his and Batman’s conflict as Joker continues to surprise both Batman and the audience right until his final scene.
The Dark Knight takes place a year after Batman Begins where Batman (Christian Bale), Lieutenant James Gordan (Gary Oldman) and the new District Attorney, Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) have almost destroyed organised crime in Gotham City. However, the presence of a mysterious and sadistic criminal mastermind known only as the Joker (Heath Ledger) creates new, unprecedented wave of chaos in the city. After coercing the remaining mob to his side, the Joker robs them blind, taking their money, men, and territories. He uses this accumulated power to stage a series of horrific and strategic attacks against the city and its citizens, each attack aimed personally at Batman and Dent while the rest of the city is swept up in the anarchy. The Joker remains ten steps ahead of everyone, constantly outwitting the heroes and manipulating them all to further his own agenda and plunge the city into madness. The film ultimately reveals what happens when the forces of good are pushed closer to the fine line of heroism and vigilantism, each seeing a different result.
Christian Bale already gave a great performance as Batman, blowing everyone away in Batman Begins. However, The Dark Knight gives him the chance to properly define his role as the Caped Crusader. Though Batman Begins showed him as a novice, the sequel allows him to come into his role as Gotham’s protector with his martial art skills, tactical thinking, and the occasional dry-witted retort. These are arguably the key factors that make this film stand out; Bale brings the character to life as he fights a one-man war against his nemesis. The Dark Knight also presents a human element to that is rarely seen as he is torn between his role as the Batman and the normal life he left behind, with his chance to return to normalcy continuing to slip away, making the audience feel for him. The Dark Knight is the film where Jim Gordon becomes Commissioner Gordon as he delivers a solid performance, working with the law to bring Joker down. He’s definitely one of my favourite characters and that’s saying a lot considering who else stars in this film. His role is definitely more prominent as he is promoted to the commissioner, allowing him to feature more frequently.
On the side of evil is the Joker, played to perfection by the late Heath Ledger. Though Joaquin Phoenix delivered an amazing performance in Joker (2019), providing a unique spin on the character, Heath Ledger’s Joker is definitely the best live-action version to date. With a performance that is equal-parts astounding and consuming, Ledger keeps the full attention of the audience and other characters, as they keep guessing what the next step of his plan will be. We come face-to-face with a villain bearing the coldness of a psychopath and a personality that remains as mysterious and inexplicable as the scars on his face. As insane as he appears, he easily shows off why he’s Batman’s nemesis apart from his psychopathic humour, he’s one of the few villains to effectively outwit Batman and keep it that way. That’s not to say Ledger doesn’t bring humour to the role, only he does it in a way that is unique to this interpretation... with subtlety and honesty. His words and mannerisms made me laugh but also convinced me there was nothing in this man but evil and madness.
I also want to credit Aaron Eckhart who plays Harvey Dent/Two Face. I don’t want to give too much away if you haven’t seen the film, but Eckhart’s performance is one of the best things of this film. He starts with a supporting role which we unknowingly see progress into something else that turns the film on its head, and by the time we realise, it’s already too late. While Joker represents madness and unpredictability, Dent is straightforward and determined with his motivations and that never wavers. You can understand his need for vengeance and how Joker manipulates him into becoming what he despises the most. He never realises this either because he believes he’s punishing the people who deserve it, something that was cleverly introduced in his earlier scenes. This makes his transformation come across as believable while still being terrifying. While Tommy Lee Jones portrayed the character before, he honestly pales in comparison to Eckhart who delivers a cold and more serious performance that is more reminiscent of the Batman comics.
Nevertheless, none of this would be possible without Christopher Nolan, the man behind it all. This time, he pairs up with writer (and brother) Jonathon Nolan, this is the darkest and grittiest Batman film yet and it’s still one of the best. At times, you forget this is a comic book movie as the dialogue and the scenes feel very real and grounded. It is both the story and the characters that drives this film and both Nolan’s knew exactly what they were doing when making this film. They have delivered on all fronts and delivered arguably one of the best films of all time, still beloved and acclaimed by movie and comic-book fans to this day. At the same time I have to applaud the brilliant scores by James Newton Howard and Hans Zimmer. The score sets the mood in every scene, giving an epic and thrilling tone and really bringing the adrenaline during the action sequences.
This is regarded by many to be the best comic-book movie of all time and it shows. From the acting, the writing to the score, there is virtually no flaw to speak of. Nolan, Bale, Ledger and the rest of the cast and crew brought their A-game to a film that still excites many moviegoers the world over with few reaching the same level of praise.
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hey al! hope you're happy to know i have now developed a serious thirst for stevie y, thanks to you. it's to such an extent that knowing he has a horse named mario just makes me more intrigued!! who is this man!!!!
Who is he!!! Tbh I feel like every thing I learn about him is better than the last, so here’s a long list of Stevie Y Facts That Bring Me Joy:
obvs the horse named Mario to start off with (tbh I’m 99% sure it’s one of his daughter’s but the coincidence is just too funny)
in an interview it was mentioned he had a half-empty pack of Reece’s Pieces on his desk which was another almost too perfect coincidence considering the Sid fannon
knew Sid had a hockey crush on him and called him to tell him he was “sorry he couldn’t play” when he missed Detroit’s first game against the Penguins *SHREIK*
seems to be DELIGHTED to be around Sid every time he sees him
like Sid, stuck the Stanley Cup in a life jacket and drove it around on a jet ski
there’s a photo of him in Sid’s basement. FACTS.
and I quote “I’m exhausting myself trying to say healthy”
and I quote “I can do whatever I want at the end of the day”
He was called both “pretty” and “beautiful” in an interview and his reaction was *chef’s kiss* adorable
Him trolling Kirby Dach about smoking weed
Joking (???) about doing yoga while on a zoom call about draft picks. Hard to tell if he was being serious or not but the mental image is enough to do me in for all eternity
on the topic of zoom calls in the ones on youtube half the time he wears a scarf with his sweaters (i know this isn’t interesting, again i just think it’s cute)
Got booed (lovingly) at his own jersey retirement ceremony for saying he wasn’t as good a leader as everyone thought he was and didn’t deserve all of his accolades
on that topic got called annoyingly humble by steve dangle
described as a “work out warrior” who has “legs like tree trunks”
had a wicked mullet
likes Prada suits?
wears cool ties like one with tiny skulls on it
was the Robin to Brendan Shanahan’s Batman
was surprised that Justin Bieber recognized him at a concert, and I quote “people don’t normally recognize me in Florida.”
“No pain threshold like Steve Yzerman” (idk, could be useful)
described by friends and family as a: modest, shy, polite kid who barely allowed himself to dream. A very quiet and introverted, reflective person, who any time someone gave him a compliment he got embarrassed. Soft-spoken and serious and stern.
described specifically by Sean Avery as: Solid but sarcastic. A ball buster with humour you didn’t expect. A dry humoured, cutthroat motherfucker that if he didn’t like you, you were dead. You had hours on earth.
Another Sean Avery story: when following Steve around his years with the Red Wings, when hit on by the “the most beautiful women (Sean Avery) had ever seen” turned them down with the line "I appreciate the offer but You're not worth 42 million." As in “I’m not going to divorce my high school sweetheart wife of 32 years for you. sorry.” (side note hockey players get paid way too much 😂 I guess you can buy all the horses named Mario you want when you’re worth 84 million dollars.)
ages like fine wine. not just my opinion--FACTS!!
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Would you mind sharing some tips on writing eskel as well? I've heard people complain about how eskel is basically written as geralt with a scar, but I'm not sure how to NOT do that? How do you write him as himself and not a copy of Geralt?
Ahh, Anon. Eskel. Well, believe it or not, this was harder to pull together than the one for Lambert. Eskel’s a character quite close to my heart and I’ve used him across a wide range of stories to explore issues close to home. I’ve broken down some core principles, so I hope this is both informative, but flexible enough for you to twist and warp as you see fit. A lot of his traits are interwoven, but I’ve tried to sort them into some sensible order.
My usual disclaimer: personal interpretations; mileage may differ. Remember that everyone engages with media differently, etc.
TLDR: In the books, it’s said that he and Geralt look so similar that they could be mistaken for brothers, but for the scar on Eskel’s face and Geralt’s white hair. They’re close. Eskel’s life is governed by quiet pragmatism, whereas Geralt is governed by idealism. Eskel doesn’t involve himself like Geralt does; he’s capable of operating inside societal norms and is well aware of his emotions/needs (enough to have sound mastery of them). He prefers the life of an anonymous witcher, not because he isn’t special in his own way, but because that is the life he chooses.
Special shoutout to those in the Cake Shop who helped me answer the question “how do I talk about Eskel without showing my whole ass?” @lohrendrell, @tumbleweedtech, @frenchkey, @octinary, particularly.
Eskel knows how society works. He’s able to live within its boundaries.
“It was Eskel’s behaviour which was most unlikely; he got up, approached the enchantress, bent down low, took her hand and kissed it respectfully.”
“Vesemir hawked again. But Eskel, dear Eskel, kept his head and once more behaved as was fitting.”
Blood of Elves
Eskel is often written as the “diplomatic” one. Part of this stems from the “eldest child” syndrome he has—polite, responsible and Vesemir can “count on him”—but also because he understands society’s rules and his place within it. He doesn’t chafe against the yoke like Lambert or stumble awkwardly through like Geralt. It’s not that he’s passive, but he has accepted the world for it is and rather than rail against it (Lambert) or believe that he can change it with enough personal suffering (Geralt), he has decided to operate within its framework as best he can.
Even if he wholeheartedly disagrees with something, he will feign interest. His one big tell is the inability to maintain eye contact when something truly bores him, probably because he’s well aware that his eyes might give him away.
Eskel would have pinched the bridge of his nose in despair had been present when Geralt skewered that rodent in the dark. Triss notes that Eskel “behaves as he should” and Eskel is able to conduct himself in a manner that encourages Triss to assist with Ciri, because he knows that is what’s needed at the time. He doesn’t see himself “above” a little bit of deference if it achieves the end goal, which leads me onto the next point…
Eskel is a pragmatist, not an idealist.
Eskel and Coën bestowed a look which was entirely devoid of respect on the old man.
Blood of Elves
Eskel: Saved this lost knight once... You know, woods, dark, wolves. The standard. Told him "Give me what you find at home" and all that... No kid this time, but his mare had just foaled.
Geralt: Eskel and Scorpion... Bound by fate. An enchanting tale.
Eskel: Mock me all you want. You're just jealous.
Dialogue, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Eskel gets a bad reputation for not picking up Deidre and leaving her to “suffer”. In reality, Eskel was pragmatic in making his decision to leave her where she was. A princess would live a far better life in a palace, surrounded by luxury, than he could ever give her. I’ve debated whether he puts much stock in “destiny” either, since he claimed law of surprise a second time—sometimes I write this as him asking the world for a second chance to get it right, because his decision bit him in the ass. There may have been a small concern at taking on the responsibility, particularly given the timing of his “acquisition”.
After the whole Deidre debacle, Eskel carried a collective work about the phenomenon of the “Black Sun”. He concluded that the Council of Wizards meddled too much in state affairs, botched it and, had they not sent Sabrina Glevissig, Ademeyn might not have been ostracised. In other words, Deidre was a victim of the machinations of the Council. Is Eskel dogged by regret and thoughts of “what could have been”? I think so. Why else would he take such great pains to find an explanation beyond something as erroneous as “fate”?
Another aspect of this pragmatism is the realistic way he views his relationship to Kaer Morhen and the witcher brotherhood. He doesn’t view Vesemir as a father figure (contrary to what our beloved fanfiction tropes would have you believe) and treats him with detachment (if not open disdain as evidenced above). This suggests he has a better grasp of the reality of his training years than Geralt—a leap, but it matches the rest of his approach to the Path (see next point). They weren’t trained as gallant knights to rescue damsels from distress, but as monster hunters that would live on the periphery of society.
He is notably disturbed by performing the Trial of the Grasses on Uma and walks away. Like all witchers, there is certainly some residual trauma there, particularly because he almost lost Geralt during the whole process.
I think this foundational understanding of his place in the world meant that he never quite developed the sense of “unworthiness” that Geralt carries with him. This doesn’t mean that Eskel isn’t very aware of his worth and his place; he is conscious of his scars (touches them when he’s anxious or contemplative) and saves his smiles for his friends and family. He is aware of how the world views him—resigned to it, perhaps fatigued by it in some ways—and manages himself accordingly.
As an amusing aside, he once caught a vampire by getting a woman drunk on drugged alcohol and using her as bait (with her consent, of course), but I can just imagine Geralt clutching his pearls at the very idea and it makes me grin.
Eskel chooses anonymity. He chooses the simple life of a witcher and takes a certain amount of pride in it.
Geralt: You too. How are things?
Eskel: Same ol', same ol'. Another day, another drowner.
Geralt: That it?
Eskel: I'm a simple witcher, Wolf. Don't fight dragons, don't fraternise with kings and don't sleep with sorceresses... Unlike some.
Dialogue, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
“And the lord barons and village elders,” added Eskel, “have their heads full of the war and don’t have the time to defend their subjects. They have to hire us. It’s true. But from what Triss has been telling us all these evenings, it seems the conflict with Nilfgaard is more serious than that, not just some local little war. Is that right, Triss?”
Blood of Elves
Eskel prefers a quiet life on his own terms. He chooses to walk the Path with his own morals and chooses not to engage the way Geralt or Coën do (both intervene and find heartache and pain), whereas Geralt wants a happy family, Eskel prefers his solitude. He chooses to be an anonymous witcher, chooses simplicity instead of glory, or even a sense of grand accomplishment. He finds accomplishment in carving out the life he wants, because his early life was characterised by a lack of agency. In summary, if Geralt is high drama, then Eskel is maximum chill.
He never gained Geralt’s renown—deliberately, as I’ve stated—but he has a reputation as a solid witcher; professional, reliable and competent. He has undertaken a number of notable feats, including the rescue of a young girl from the stomach of a basilisk and the slaying of a manticore (neither of which he got paid for due to the lack of contract).
We can extrapolate a little from what he doesn’t say or do. In the Blood of Elves, when Triss commented on their treatment of Ciri, he listened rather than bite back like Lambert and lament like Geralt. After they discussed what to do with Ciri, the conversation turned to the situation in the Northern Kingdoms. Eskel asked a question initially (as above) but went silent when it turned into a debate about neutrality. He’s the closest example we have of a witcher that pays more than lip service to the neutrality of the order (besides, perhaps, Vesemir).
Eskel is quiet, but he’s not “slow”.
Geralt: Something about Yen bothering you? C'mon, grow a pair, give it to me straight.
Eskel: You grow a pair and admit she tricked you. More than a few times.
Geralt: That was then. Yen's changed.
Eskel: Right. Fine, never mind... Let's go.
Dialogue, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Geralt: We shouldn't. Rather not tire out my horse for no reason.
Eskel: Ah... Honestly can't see what all those dames see in you. You're a stick in the mud.
Geralt: Pretty damn handsome stick, though.
Eskel: Debatable... Let's go.
Dialogue, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
There can be a tendency to paint Eskel as a little bit dim, because some of his rebuttals to Geralt amount to “no, you” and he has this lovely, warm accent in the game that drops the ‘g’ and uses the word ‘ain’t’. However, I propose that Eskel has a dry sense of humour, has grown up dealing with Geralt’s sass and knows the best way to shut him down is to disengage with a one-liner and move on.
You also have one of my favourite examples of Eskel’s intelligence, which is the fact that he spent months hunting a katakan and dragged it to Kaer Morhen for an autopsy to figure out what was so special about it. I’ve gone into this in more depth in a “headcanon” post, which is more focused on what I have built Eskel as (including a love of poetry and literature).
Other bits and pieces:
He is perturbed by Geralt’s relationship with Yennefer and points out her poor treatment of him (and her poor behaviour when she arrives at KM); he remarks that Yennefer plays Geralt like a “cheap fiddle”. Ouch.
He has a feathered bonnet he wears on special occasions.
He has a lot of luck with the ladies when wearing a mask—don’t worry, Eskel, we love you without one—which suggests an innate charm that he can deploy effectively.
He’s infamous for sleeping with succubi and doing fisstech. While some might try to base his entire character on this, it only suggests that he knows how to have a good time and, in his own words, loves a woman with horns.
He enjoys drinking and laughing with his loved ones, and there is evidence that he has a close relationship with Lambert as well as Geralt.
He is a lightweight when it comes to alcohol.
There is still plenty of scope to explore issues of self-esteem and Eskel’s expectations of the world (and how it treats him).
My headcanon that he has an army of grannies that feed him on the Path because he is a “good young man” that helps them out.
Some random headcanons that aren’t wholly based on canon material.
He appears once with a goat.
His hands “emanate with power”, more so than Geralt. He is known for an astounding mastery of Signs.
I’ve avoided discussing anything to do with kink or NSFW; I’ll let you make up the fun bits by yourself (but I’m personally partial to Eskel any way he comes, to be honest; the lad loves to please his lovers).
Chonkskel for life. There is no other way.
In conclusion, Anon. Eskel is not Geralt Lite. I view them as two halves of one soul, yes—even if you just view them platonically, they’re bound by the life they have lived together—but Eskel is the balance to Geralt’s chaos, the calm to his turbulence. They find effortless acceptance and love in each other (evidenced by the way they fall into each other’s arms in the Blood of Elves).
On his own, Eskel is a simple man in that his wants in life are simple, but he has his own clear moral code of neutrality, a dry wit and an easy charm. I always advise people to drink some bourbon, listen to Tennesse Whiskey and read about sultry summer evenings before sitting down to write Eskel, because that’s how he feels to me.
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You know what Ravensthorpe friendship has serious potential that I never see talked about? Hytham and Randvi!
Hytham and Randvi is a broship that has serious potential. Both stuck in Ravensthorpe all the time. Both were brought into that community. Both spend all day pouring over scrolls and maps and letters and all that administrative stuff that needs to get done but is overlooked by most people. It has the potential to be a brilliant mlm/wlw friendship. Randvi with her confident personality and Hytham being shyer could make for great interactions.
Just imagine them co working together, either in the bureau or in the war table office. Either silently working in unison or Randvi in exasperation venting to Hytham about maps, and correspondence and keeping track of all the alliances and not getting enough credit. Randvi getting Hytham to open up about his likes and dislikes and asking him blunt and embarrassing questions. Them really bonding about the circumstances that lead to neither of them getting to leave the town very often. Randvi occasionally just brings an entire bottle of wine and they just drink it, work abandoned.
Then both of them find solace in each other when Sigurd returns distant and different and cold towards Randvi, and at the same time Basim leaves for longer and longer amounts of time and tells Hytham less and less. Both feeling confused and lost.
I imagine not everyone in Ravensthorpe is fully aware of the nature of Hythams work or the presence of the order in England. It is kept mostly within the inner circle.
So as Sigurd and Eivor and Basim are off getting more and more deeply entwined with the Order, there’s not too many people in RT that Hytham or Randvi can share their worries with except each other. At first they just spoke to each other because there weren't that many other options but soon a surprisingly strong bond grew. Randvi didn't really spend any time with Hytham and Basim at first, thinking they were distant and strange and even after coming to RT, Hytham is so shy that he would unintentionally come off as standoffish.
But as they began to speak more and more both their personalities started to come out around each other and soon they would make their co working days a regular thing. She liked to hear more about where he was from and where he had travelled and if there was anything she could do to ease his injury and how he de-codes these Order letters, and he liked to pick her brain about how she ended up marrying Sigurd and joining the clan and her fighting style and Eivor and her opinions on the different members of the town, and Eivor again.
Later down the road they both noticed each other's love-interests interest in them before they do. Randvi would ask Hytham plainly and bluntly, making him go bright red. He would ask her indirectly, making her laugh.
Randvi teasing him with her dry sense of humour and him not getting the joke until after a second. Hytham is not very good at friendly insults and dry humour but after enough time with Randvi he starts to pick up on it and snipe back, much to her joy
Randvi is a social butterfly whom everyone likes and Hytham wants to learn her secrets.
Well that was a bit long but I stand by what I said!
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Batch no10 from my reading challenge (from episodes 91-100 of the podcast Overdue), please mind spoilers.
1. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
2. Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
3. The Passage by Justin Cronin
4. Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman
5. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury -- What makes this book is the prose, at the end of it. It is beautifully written, truly. After this and The Martian Chronicles, I think I can count myself as a Bradbury fan. This novel had some strong themes that I found very compelling, the question of age and wishing you were a different age than you are. I don’t know how much I can relate to that feeling directly -- sometimes I wonder what it would be like if I could relive my life with all my memories intact, but that’s not the same as just suddenly being young in the present. I wouldn’t want to be a kid NOW, that’s for sure. I could relate to Will’s position, however, seeing people want things that shouldn’t be so important to them, as Jim does. I have the same age difference with my dad that Will has with his, which is an important character dynamic element here. It is something that weighs on me a lot, and sometimes I wish he hadn’t waited so long to have kids, so he could be in my life for longer, and I in his. I did tear up at one line, near the end, about needing to live and experience life and relationships with other people while they’re around instead of dreading their end, which I am not great at. This made me want to use some of the creepiest ideas from this story, e.g. an evil person who can go undetected by transforming into a child, in a story of my own. A beautiful, evocative, creepy story that I would read again.
6. You Shall Know Our Velocity! by Dave Eggers
7. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
8. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
9. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
10. The Crucible by Arthur Miller
11. Batman: The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale -- A genuine impression of this comic story in isolation is bound to get a little tied up in the spin-off reading project that it sparked -- instead of just reading this comic story, I tackled a collection of 800+ Batman-related comic stories, and read them in approximate chronological order up to The Long Halloween. I’ve also read Dark Victory now, which I actually prefer to The Long Halloween, maybe because it feels more personal and more of an underdog story. Anyway, to the story itself. The art is what makes this story, there were several iconic frames from earlier issues that I remembered perfectly, even though I have no memory of having read The Long Halloween before. I love the caricatured character designs, they’re so entertaining. I enjoyed the theme of the organized crime element kicking and screaming as it's killed off and replaced by true comic book villains. Funny that Gotham didn’t quite learn that lesson and waited until early s2 to kick off that same transition. This is the introduction of Two-Face, who has turned out more recently (since moving on to other comics) to be one of my favourite Batman villains. Definitely Two-Face >>> the Joker. I feel like I’m not commenting on the “book” all that much here, but to be honest I find it hard to separate from my thoughts on Batman comics as a whole right now.
12. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
13. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
14. Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell
15. Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
16. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
17. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
18. Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
19. Animal Farm by George Orwell
20. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
21. The Mummy, or Ramses the Damned by Anne Rice
22. Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
23. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
24. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
25. Replay by Ken Grimwood
26. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
27. The Secret History by Donna Tartt -- I enjoyed this book more than it deserves, probably. It's a character-driven book by someone who doesn't excel at developing characters -- the level of shallowness in the development of Richard, Francis, Charles and Camilla in particular was pretty embarrassing. (Bunny, Julian, and Henry were decently characterized.) Charles and Francis are functionally interchangeable, just swap out the sexual perversity as needed (as Tartt seems to view both homosexuality and incest, on even terms). Camilla has a serious case of Sexy Lamp Syndrome. They're all cardboard, really. I did enjoy the spectacle of the lead-up to the murder (not a spoiler, exposited on the first page) and the manhunt afterwards. One of Richard's back-handed virtues is that he's so empty of characterization that you can drop into his head like an RPG character and feel like you, too, are making friends with rich, pretentious classics majors. That was kinda fun, and I felt gratified while Richard slowly gained their friendship. Richard's group of friends are only enjoyable in that it seems obvious to me that we're not really supposed to like them. They're entertaining in their despicable-ness, and also in how endearingly stupid they all are. Richard's stupidity alone had the power to annoy -- seriously, how dumb does a person have to be to not buy a space heater when their apartment is unheated. His most irritating fault, though, is that he's never around for anything. So much of this book is just people filling in Richard (or Richard filling in other characters) on what he missed when he wasn't around, usually because he was napping. As of this novel (this is my first book by Tartt) the author has not quite figured out how foreshadowing works. I was annoyed when, for e.g., Bunny's habit of zeroing in on a person's deepest insecurity and teasing them about it becomes plot-relevant, and Richard is all "ah yes he ALWAYS does that" and I'm left here like... fucking WHEN? Show don't tell, ma'am. I also feel like the intrigue of the book falls apart around the 80% mark. After the funeral, I couldn't really give two shits, the book seemed to expect me to care a lot more about Henry and Julian than I was ever prepared to do.
It sounds like I really hated this book, huh? Nah, I didn't, it was fun, kept me engaged for the first 4/5ths at least. I pick at it out of a kind of fondness, I think.
28. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville -- This book had a bit of an advantage because I already knew about all the worst bits (for a given value of worst, i.e. the chapters on whaling) and had no idea about all the best bits. As an experience overall, it was a bit like being approached at a maritime pub by a butch autistic girl with a dry (yet dirty) sense of humour, falling head over heels, and then listening with fondness while she infodumps about the whaling industry. (IDK why she’s butch, this is my lesbian sailor fantasy, go away.) And we’re playing footsie in bed the whole time, because in this scenario we’re expies for Ishmael and Queequeg, and it’s all unexpectedly queer and kind of wonderful. The first 20% of this book with Ishmael and Queequeg bought a lot of patience from me for the rest of the book’s considerable length. And honestly, I can’t say I minded all the chapters on whaling. Did I digest a lot from those chapters? Not a ton, no. That’s OK, though. What snippets that sunk in, I appreciated. Also thank you to everyone who did not spoil for me that Melville’s actually hilarious. I laughed out loud so many times.
29. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
30. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
31. A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J Gaines
32. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
33. The Giver by Lois Lowry
34. Dracula by Bram Stoker
35. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
36. Oh the Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss
37. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
38. A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
39. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov -- I read this book and The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum back-to-back, which created this unintentional through-line in reader's interpretation, namely: can talented writer's craft compensate for uncomfortable subject matter for net enjoyment? And for Lolita, the answer was yes. The subject matter, of course, is VERY uncomfortable, to absolutely nobody's surprise. It is such an uncomfortable topic that it is difficult to talk about aspects of this book that make it (they say, cringing all the while) honestly a really good book. Because it is, it's a good book, it deserves its critical accolades. The prose? Fuckin amazing. I loved the wordplay, the way Nabokov turns a phrase is masterful. To my surprise, there were scenes (especially the confrontation with Quilty at the end) that made me laugh aloud. I felt fortunate to be fluent in French, for sure; I'd bet if you're not, Humbert's habit of sprinkling in French like a teenager fresh from a study exchange year in Paris prooobably gets pretty annoying. With French fluency, though, it only adds to the beauty of prose, and completes Humbert's insufferable character portrait. Humbert's exactly as revolting as he should be, aka VERY, which makes me wonder how anyone ever took his perspective at face value. It made me so incredulous when he would complain about Dolores's juvenile interests and habits, like yeah bud, that's 'cause she's a kid. SHE'S A KID. WHAT DID YOU EXPECT. On a final note, I would like to thank Nabokov from the bottom of my heart for not making any of the molestation graphic, and having it overwhelmingly take place "off-screen". That was a huge relief. I would have DNF'd, if it had been otherwise. The lack of graphic-ness, though, made me wonder how the hell people use this novel as a defense of written CP. I suspect people who use that argument have not read the book.
40. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
41. World War Z by Max Brooks
42. Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin
43. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
44. Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
45. Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
46. Eddie and the Cruisers by P.F. Kluge
47. The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr & E.B. White
48. The Hairy Ape by Eugene O’Neill
49. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
50. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
51. The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe
52. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote -- I think my overall impression can be summed up in one word: nonplussed. I have difficulties with books that were pioneers in their respective genres, in that, though I know their tropes seem tired only because they were the first ones to use them, that doesn't increase my enjoyment of tropes that would be tired if I found them anywhere else. In Cold Blood also has a weird pacing problem that seems like it should have been easier to avert -- Capote goes to such lengths (too far, you might say, with all the embellished scenes and details he couldn't possibly attest to) to make this crime into a Story, you'd think he'd pace it better. By... hm, maybe the 45% mark, the reader pretty well knows exactly how the rest of the book is going to play out, aside from maaaybe (SPOILERS) the reveal that Perry killed all of the Clutters himself, although I feel like that's telegraphed when the book spills the quote about Perry wishing his sister had been at the Clutter house too. (END SPOILERS) All the stuff I showed up for happen in that first half, and the rest of it is an exploration of Perry and Dick, who both exemplify "cool motive, still murder". I didn't give a shit about either of them. I also had zero interest in Capote's dogged campaign to try to convince the reader that Perry and Dick were mentally ill. Seriously, he wants them to have been mentally ill so bad, and that mentality has a lot to answer for, in general but especially in the true crime genre. That whole idea of "only a mentally ill person could do something so evil" is horrifically ableist, the mentally ill are way more likely to be the victims of violent crime than the perpetrators of it.
53. Big Blonde by Dorothy Parker
54. The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County by Mark Twain
55. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
56. No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre
57. In The Woods by Tana French
58. Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
59. Battle Royale by Koushun Takami
60. Summerland by Michael Chabon
61. At the Mountains of Madness by HP Lovecraft
62. Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers
63. Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! by Richard Feynman
64. Dune by Frank Herbert
65. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum
66. Tiny Alice by Edward Albee
67. Go Tell It On The Mountain by James Baldwin
68. Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric Kimmel and Trina Schart Hyman -- I enjoyed the podcast episode for this book more than I enjoyed the book itself, because the episode had some background information on Hershel and the significance of the character in Jewish culture, which added a lot to the weight of the book. The illustrations were the best part, the goblin designs were charming and fun to look at. I didn’t really buy how the Goblin King was ultimately tricked, my suspension of disbelief couldn’t quite make it that far. I’d like to read more books about Jewish characters where Jewishness is an important part of the book.
69. The Reader by Bernard Schlink
70. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
71. King Lear by William Shakespeare
72. Medea by Euripides
73. Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare
74. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
75. The War of The Worlds by HG Wells
76. You Are A Monster (Choose Your Own Adventure) by Edward Packard
77. Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
78. The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
79. A Kidnapped Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum -- This was very short and just as forgettable. There’s a somewhat interesting parable in here about the necessity of malevolence in the world, but it’s not powerfully made and I’d go to Pixar a dozen times before I’d pick this up again. It assumes a lot of previous knowledge about this extended Santa Claus ‘verse that Baum had written, like OK bud not everybody’s done the Santa Claus homework. Also, fuck LFB forever for his attempts to egg on the genocide of Native Americans.
80. Don't Go Back to School by Kio Stark
81. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
82. Secret of the Ninja (Choose Your Own Adventure) by Jay Leibold -- I feel like Leibold actually wanted to write a regular, non-CYOA book, but somehow he ended up with the opportunity to write a CYOA book so he just shoved one of his special interests into the format. I did kinda like that he clearly did more than the expected amount of research to write a kids book about ninjas, but to be honest, it got a big bogged down in the exposition and the anchoring in real history, so that in the end, he really just took this way too seriously. There aren’t enough choices, and when there WERE choices, they felt railroaded. Like when I chose to go back into the past to ninja times (because of COURSE I did), the book was like, are you sure? There are other options that are not time travel? Like, fuck off, of course I want to time travel, are you kidding me?
83. Six Characters in Search of an Author by Luigi Piandello -- In my opinion, the bulk of the amusement that is to be gained from this play can be gained just from reading the premise, so here it is: six fictional characters show up to theatre to ask the director if he can stage the story for which they were created, since their original author never finished and published it. The characters are dismayed when they are portrayed by actors instead of themselves, and when adaptational changes are made to their true story. There, that’s it, you’ve got all the good bits. This is another poor translation, I need to find some better translated works -- the wording was so convoluted at times, I would have to read a sentence multiple times to get the idea.
84. This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz
85. The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
86. Extra Innings by Baseball Prospectus
87. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami
88. Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
89. Here We Are by Dorothy Parker
90. The Misanthrope by Moliere
91. The Mystery of Chimney Rock (Choose Your Own Adventure) by Edward Packard
92. Bossypants by Tina Fey
93. The Homecoming by Harold Pinter
94. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
95. The Unnamable by Samuel Beckett
96. The Stand by Stephen King
97. Grendel by John Gardner
98. Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut
99. Persuasion by Jane Austen
100. Beowulf by Unknown
101. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
102. Fifty Shades Darker by EL James -- I mean, this is just more of the same. Or less of the same, depending on how you look at it. It's the first book, but with a token, failed attempt to be more story-shaped, and with less variety in the sex scenes. I was absolutely boggling when Ana & Christian get back together IMMEDIATELY, it really drives home the reality that the first two books are one fanfic and the end of the first book was probably just a relatively more dramatic chapter break. This book wants me to sympathize with Christian really, really bad, and I will say that it succeeded in one aspect -- I, too, am very angry that Ana couldn't just fucking use her Blackberry. The nicest thing I can say about this book is that it is an easy read, though a maddening one, and the unintentional hilarity accompanied with the experience of being gratifyingly mad at an easy target means that I can't say I had the worst time reading it. Sometimes I just like to get mad at something, yknow? Also thanks, book, for reminding me of my favourite candidate for a fic that actually COULD make a decent fanfiction-with-the-serial-numbers-filed-off, you were an extremely silly segue to a much more rewarding reading experience.
103. Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James
104. Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth
1 note · View note
Can you write an X Reader story with Tom?, where Tom "falls in love" or is attracted to Reader, but she is dating someone else (a Slytherin boy maybe or... from another house) and tries to make she his even if he is rejected at first.
(Perhaps even try a more extreme approach, for example at Professor Slughorn’s party under the table while she is sitting next to him).
Can you write something fluff and smut? Thank you very much.
(sorry if I wrote something in English that is wrong...it’s not my language...I hope you understand). ★
First of all, your English is great, second of all, this prompt is amazing.
･ ｡ﾟ☆: *.☽ .* :☆ﾟ.
Summary: You’re already spoken for when Tom Riddle asks you to Slughorn’s party, but luckily (or unluckily), Tom is hardly known to give up on anything he wants so easily.
Content warning: explicit sex.
･ ｡ﾟ☆: *.☽ .* :☆ﾟ.
“No,” you frown, turning and striding away as quickly as you can, hoping he doesn’t follow but –
“Why not?” Tom says at once, falling in close step beside you.
“I don’t need to give you a reason to turn you down, Tom,” you mutter.
“But you have one.” His eyes are trained on your face, watching for anything he can glean.
“And why exactly do you want to go with me?” you say dryly, weaving through the students milling in the hall between classes and rather desperately hoping that he falters at the question and leaves you alone.
“You want me to list your virtues?” he asks in an equally sardonic tone and not shying away in the slightest.
Damn. The boy’s persistent. “I’m not looking for an ego boost,” you say with a roll of your eyes. “I’m just surprised.”
“Surprised that I want you to be my date?”
“Perhaps if you indulged me, the reasons would become clear,” Tom says delicately.
You shoot him a look. “Nice try.”
“You seem to have already made up your mind regardless,” he replies at once, eyes narrowing.
You exhale slowly, holding your books a little tighter. You hadn’t wanted it to get to this, but it looks like you have no other choice. “I already have a date to Slughorn’s party,” you say, frowning again.
Tom stops walking, catching your arm and making you stop, too. Your heart thrums nervously in your chest. “Who?” he asks quietly.
His expression has gone perfectly smooth, but you’re hardly fooled. It’s well known that Tom’s tenacity is rivalled only by his intolerance of failure, a combination that won him his place as the best student in your year – you can only imagine how he’s processing the fact that it hasn’t done him any favours with you. “That doesn’t concern you,” you say with deliberate sharpness, pulling your arm from his grasp.
His expression doesn’t change, his dark eyes levelled on yours with a heavy, inescapable scrutiny.
Your stomach twists with guilt and nerves in equal measure. The truth is that you’re (reluctantly) already spoken for, Axel Pembroke asked you out three months prior and you’d been on quite a few dates since. Whilst you aren’t exactly head-over-heels for the boy, your family adores him, he’s polite and innocuous, and he doesn’t seem to mind (or perhaps notice) your lukewarm feelings towards him.
Which is exactly why you’d tried to shut Tom down and get away so quickly. Intelligent and quiet, observant and shrewd, beautiful just to top it off; Tom makes you curious, you want to say yes to him, and that makes him more than a little dangerous to you.
So here you are, turning him down so abruptly that it must be fairly easy to interpret it as callousness.
“Tom,” you say quietly, “I… maybe if I wasn’t… already…”
He blinks, his attention as unrelenting as ever, but you’re suddenly wondering what people would say if it got out that you’d told him such a thing whilst dating Axel.
“I should go,” you say hastily, forcing your eyes away from him. “I hope you find another date.”
You hurry off, and thankfully this time Tom doesn’t follow.
･ ｡ﾟ☆: *.☽ .* :☆ﾟ.
In retrospect, you should have known he wouldn’t give up that easily.
The dinner party is a long, tedious affair made all the worse by the fact that Axel is too busy discussing the merits and flaws of the Holyhead Harpies line-up for the coming Quidditch season with the boys next to him to have spoken much more than two complete sentences to you all night. His attentiveness to you, you’re learning, is apparently extremely fickle and entirely dependent on whether or not he’s around his friends. Even worse, the seat beside you is empty and you’ve been forced to spend the evening in silence as you pick at your food at the end of the table, wishing time might pass faster.
Around seven-thirty the door to the chamber swings open and everyone looks up as Tom walks inside, dressed in smartly-fitted but simple black dress robes and looking so strikingly handsome that you catch several people at the table trade furtive glances with each other. “Apologies, Professor,” he says with a polite nod at Slughorn, “the meeting with the Headmaster ran overtime.”
“Not to worry, Tom my boy!” Slughorn says jovially, leaping to his feet and sending his napkin flying into Phoebe Minks’ soup. “Take a seat! The night is still young!”
Your blood runs hot and electric under your skin. There’s only one seat left at the table and it’s next to you.
“Of course, sir,” Tom says smoothly, eyes flicking to you with humour as he approaches.
You avert your gaze, trying (completely in vain) to catch Axel’s attention – he’s half-turned from you so as to better hear some fifth-year Gryffindor’s rundown of the previous season’s highlights and is not paying you any attention in the slightest.
“Good evening,” Tom says softly as he takes the seat beside you.
You nod silently, suddenly very preoccupied with refilling your goblet.
“Tell us about this meeting then, Tom!” Slughorn calls from the other end of the table.
“Dull affairs, I’m afraid, sir,” he says back with a good-natured drawl. “I’m due to supervise the third years on their first trip to Hogsmeade next month.”
“Oh? Nothing else?”
“No, sir,” Tom says with a razor-sharp smile, “I’m sure whatever you were discussing before my arrival was of infinitely more interest.”
Slughorn chortles but returns to his conversation with the aristocratic-looking Ravenclaw seventh-years beside him. You glance desperately at Axel. Please turn around, you will him, please turn around so that I don’t have to talk to –
“The aforementioned date, I presume,” Tom says softly.
And you can’t avoid turning to him. His elbows are resting on the table before him, slowly tilting his crystal goblet in small circles and watching the liquid shift inside. He’s not looking at you but it’s obvious where his comment is directed.
“And yet you end up beside me regardless,” you mutter.
“Funny, isn’t it?” Tom says, giving you a delicate smile.
Your eyes dart across his face suspiciously, but his smile doesn’t budge.
“Your chemistry is overwhelming,” he says smoothly, nodding at the back of Axel’s head. “I can see the appeal.”
“Stop it,” you mutter pointedly, frowning at your goblet again.
“No, I’m quite serious,” he continues, smile widening, “your rejection makes perfect sense, now, how could I possibly compete with such enamoured affections?”
“It’s not usually like this,” you say quietly, embarrassed.
“Oh?” Tom asks, lifting his goblet to his full lips and watching you closely. “Normally you’re utterly infatuated, are you?” He takes a slow sip, not looking away.
Damn him, you think angrily, wrenching your eyes off his beautiful face and feeling heat on your own. He knows exactly what he’s doing.
“Well, in the absence of your date’s conversation, perhaps my own might suffice as an adequate substitute,” Tom says smoothly, lowering his goblet and setting it down on the table before him.
“And what would you want to talk about?” you ask with an unmissable brush of sarcasm.
“Oh Quidditch, naturally,” he says with a smirk, glancing briefly at Axel again.
You shoot him another look but his amusement doesn’t falter. “You’re hilarious,” you drawl.
“Well what would you like to talk about?” Tom asks quietly, tilting his head and giving you a strangely penetrating look.
You blink. Something about his demeanour makes the question very easy to answer honestly. “I’d rather talk about anything other than Quidditch.”
Tom breathes a small laugh and he turns towards you. “Well in that case, I’m very well prepared to please you,” he says very smoothly, “I know next to nothing about Quidditch and I’m quite determined to keep it that way.”
You laugh too, and then get very annoyed at yourself for doing so. “This isn’t a date,” you tell him quickly, leaning in a little closer and speaking as quietly as you can.
“Of course not,” Tom replies smoothly, his lips curving into a smile as he lifts a hand to his cheekbone and leans against it thoughtfully.
“Just a conversation,” you continue very intently.
“It’s normal to converse with other people at a dinner party.”
“Utterly commonplace,” Tom smiles.
You hesitate, suddenly wondering exactly which of you you’re reassuring. “Alright,” you say slowly, lifting your goblet. “Let’s talk.”
･ ｡ﾟ☆: *.☽ .* :☆ﾟ.
You’re hardly surprised when he’s sitting next to you at the next Slugclub dinner party, too. And the next. In fact, Tom is mysteriously beside you at every one of Slughorn’s gatherings all term, and you’re quite certain that Axel might have drawn issue with someone talking to you so much if he’d bothered to turn around even once.
Not that he has any reason to be bothered, of course. They’re just conversations, nothing more. Maybe Tom’s dry, bitingly observant sense of humour makes you laugh more than anyone else ever has, and maybe he asks questions with direct, astute candidness that make it unavoidably obvious that he’s paying very close attention to your answers, and maybe he’s the most beautiful person you’ve ever seen in your life – but they’re just conversations.
“Slughorn is having another dinner this weekend,” Tom says casually as he falls into step with you in the Charms corridor.
“Is he now?” you say wryly, trying to ignore the excitement curling in your stomach.
“Go with me.”
Your smile fades and you stop walking, looking up at Tom in surprise. He stops too, his regal features settled into something serious and impenetrable as he looks back at you.
“You mean… sit together?” you ask carefully.
“No,” Tom says plainly, “I mean as my date.”
You blink, glancing around nervously. “Tom, you know that I’m going with –”
“If Pembroke paid you any less attention you could strangle Slughorn to death right on the table and he still wouldn’t stop talking to Blakeslee and Dunn about which broomsticks the Americans are using this year,” Tom interrupts, arching a brow.
“He’s my date,” you say coolly.
“He’s not your date,” Tom retorts immediately, all humour vanishing as he steps closer. “Don’t insult yourself by considering that a date.”
“I told you that we’re just having conversations, Tom,” you whisper angrily.
“Oh? Are they just conversations?” Tom breathes.
But all you can do is stare at him as the hours you’ve spent talking to him in Slughorn’s parties swim across your consciousness and you realise with mounting horror that no, no they were not just conversations. You swallow hard and look away. “I don’t want to have to turn you down again,” you say through gritted teeth.
“Then don’t,” he says bluntly, not moving away.
“I know you want to choose me.”
You shoot him another look of warning. “Stop it,” you hiss.
“Stop lying to yourself,” he hisses back, leaning closer.
“I won’t throw Axel under the bus just because I have feelings for you, Tom,” you say angrily.
Tom immediately stands up straighter, triumph glittering in his eyes as he looks down at you and you realise exactly what you’ve just said. Horror washes over you in a cold wave and you turn on your heel and flee, barely paying attention to where you’re going in your haste to get away from him.
You’re already dreading the coming weekend.
･ ｡ﾟ☆: *.☽ .* :☆ﾟ.
You seriously consider not going until Axel starts getting suspicious as to why you’re so reluctant and you’re forced to swallow your mumbled collection of excuses, put on a nice dress, and follow him to the party. Tom looks up from where he’s sat at the far end of the table when you enter and you quickly avert your eyes as warmth erupts on your skin, giving Slughorn a very forced smile at the head of the table.
“Excellent stuff in the last match, Pembroke,” Slughorn winks, “I’ll have to have a word with Begonia Pincushion from the Wimbourne Wasps – old student of mine, you know –”
Axel immediately starts gushing in excitement and walks off without you to sit next to Slughorn, leaving you quite alone and without an open seat beside him. You blink, embarrassment filtering through your chest as the other party-goers awkwardly look between you and Axel – now so engrossed in his conversation with Slughorn that he hasn’t even noticed the whole room staring at you standing by yourself.
“There’s a spare seat here, if you’d like,” a Hufflepuff girl you don’t know offers quickly, smiling at you as she gestures at the chair beside her.
Your eyes drift unbidden to Tom at the end of the table and find him already looking at you, composed and inscrutable. His group of Slytherin fanboys fill the seats around him, but there’s a space. There’s a space on his right. You don’t think for a second that it’s just by chance.
“Thank you,” you say to the Hufflepuff girl, feeling brazenly reckless, “that’s very kind, but I think I’m spoken for.”
And you resolutely turn and make your way over to Tom, ignoring the way his lips slowly curl into a knowing smile as you approach, the way the other Slytherin boys immediately turn away and fall into deep conversation with each other, they way they don’t look at either you or Tom again.
Tom turns to you as you sit down, lightly resting his head against his hand the same way he had the very first time you’d talked to him, his expression somewhere between satisfied and amused. “Hello,” he says dryly.
“Don’t push it,” you mutter, seizing a goblet and filling it.
He breathes a laugh. “Did I just witness the final straw?”
“I’d rather not talk about it,” you frown, glancing down the table where Axel still hasn’t noticed your absence.
Tom’s amusement slowly fades as he looks at you, his own brow furrowing. “Are you alright?” he asks quietly.
Your eyes flash to his, something thrumming unignorably in your chest. You nod and force yourself to take a sip of your drink.
“You look beautiful.”
You blink, something fragile fluttering in your chest as your face floods with heat as you stare at his calm, attentive expression, his posture unmoved.
“Am I allowed to say that now?” he asks smoothly, smirking slightly.
“I think that counts as pushing it,” you mumble, knowing he’s bound to have noticed your blush as you look away.
“You’ll have to tell me when I cross the line,” he says softly.
“I am,” he smiles, lifting his goblet.
You try to smother your own smile with very dubious success, having to hide it behind a sip of your drink instead.
“So,” Tom says a good two hours later, setting down his empty goblet, “I think it only fair that you give me a definitive answer, all things considered.”
“An answer?” you echo, arching a brow.
“Are you going to be my date?” he asks lightly, looking at you.
You falter, eyes darting to Axel at the front of the table. Most of the dinner guests are a little tipsy on the heavy wine Slughorn always serves, and loud, boisterous conversation fills the room – though nothing can drown out Axel’s brazen lack of acknowledgement that you’ve been sitting with Tom all evening. “I… don’t know…” you say, frowning.
“You’re not seriously going to consider him after this, are you?” Tom says at once, leaning towards you with a dangerously sharp look in his dark eyes.
“What do you want me to do, Tom?” you breathe. “Our families get on, he’s not horrible to me –”
“He’s not horrible to you,” Tom repeats, scathingly unimpressed.
“I have no good reason to end things with him!”
Tom’s eyes flash and his hand is suddenly on your thigh under the table, his fingers pressing hard into your skin and your heart just about stops. “No good reason,” he echoes softly, gripping you tighter. “Is that true?”
“Tom,” you whisper, frozen in place.
“Is it?” he asks silkily.
You can barely breathe. Tom’s grip is loosening but not to let you go – his hand is moving, agonisingly slowly, relentlessly, sliding up your leg. “Tom,” you say again, barely audible.
“Have I crossed the line?” he whispers, his palm pushing up your dress as it slides higher up your thigh.
When you don’t reply, Tom’s lips curve into a smile and he turns quite casually back to his plate, hand still on your thigh under the table as he reaches forward and lifts his goblet. “You did agree to tell me if I did,” he says softly, his fingers grazing up the inside of your leg and making you supress a shiver.
And you beg yourself to tell him to stop, to ask him to take his hand away, but heat is flooding your stomach and his hand is warm and firm on your skin, and there’s a burning look in his eyes when he glances at you that makes something between excitement and desire spark in every part of your body.
Tom’s hand moves higher and you lean your elbows on the table in front of you, staring unseeing at your plate as his fingers brush the hollow where your leg meets your hip.
“Are you going to choose?” he asks quietly, watching you.
You look up across the table in fear that someone, anyone might have noticed – but no one is paying you any attention in the slightest, the rambunctious conversation drowning out Tom’s words and the wine blurring their awareness of everything else.
Tom lifts his goblet, his eyes fixed on your face. “Tell me to stop,” he says softly, sliding his fingers across your underwear and making you grit your teeth to stop yourself from reacting.
“Tom,” you try again, barely audible.
His fingers are playing with the top of your underwear, and you look over at him, arousal and fear and nerves and excitement tearing in your chest. Tom’s eyes are alight with amusement, his attention still on your face as he smiles, brings his goblet to his lips for a slow sip that you watch him take, captivated.
You grit your teeth again and say nothing.
Tom’s smile grows and suddenly his hand is gone. You blink, cheeks flooding with sudden embarrassment and dread at what has just occurred, wondering if he’ll tell people what you’d let him do, wondering if he’d done it all just to mess with you –
“Make your choice,” Tom says smoothly, leaning back in his chair very languidly.
“You’re seriously trying to seduce me?” you manage to say under your breath.
“It appears to be working,” he smirks, glancing at you.
Your blush returns and Tom’s eyes roam your cheeks looking very pleased with the reaction, when he suddenly stands. “Some music, perhaps, sir?” he asks Slughorn with an unaffected smile.
Slughorn is delighted by the suggestion (of course he is), and in mere minutes the dinner party is milling around the room in small groups of conversation, reedy music blaring loudly from a large golden gramophone by the fireplace.
“Axel,” you say quickly, approaching him where he’s talking to three other boys you don’t know very well.
“Oh – haven’t seen you much tonight,” he says casually, glancing at you.
“No – listen, do you want to dance?” you offer, nodding at the small group of other couples a few feet away. Please say yes, please say yes, please give me a single reason to choose you, please do something –
“I’m in the middle of something,” Axel says distractedly, turning back to the three boys, “maybe later.”
He’s already back in conversation before you can reply. You stare at him, your disappointment almost as potent as your absolute absence of surprise.
A hand around your wrist makes you jump, and you wheel around to find Tom already insistently leading you towards the back of the room. “What are you –”
But Tom just casts one last look over the party before he tugs you into a very small, shadowed alcove behind a large wooden column out of sight and pushes you hard against the wall. “You’re going to have to be very quiet, can you do that?” he asks softly, resting a forearm on the wall above your head as his other hand slides up your leg again – though this time the touch is anything but slow.
“Tom,” you gasp, looking back out of the alcove – but no one is there. No one can see you.
“Tell me to stop,” he whispers again as he leans down. Your breath catches in your throat and suddenly Tom’s lips are pressed against your neck and his hand is sliding teasingly along the band of your underwear again. Anything you might have said dies in your throat.
“Go on,” he murmurs against your skin. “Tell me to stop.”
“Tom,” you breathe again, your hands lifting without conscious thought and lacing around his neck.
You hear his little laugh, feel it brush warm across your neck, and he’s pulling your underwear down, and with a touch that feels like fire he slides his fingers against you. Your moan barely slips out from between your lips before Tom’s arm drops from the wall above you and his hand presses firmly over your mouth. “Didn’t I say to be quiet?” he tells you softly, but his fingers are stroking at you and you can barely breathe, your eyes closing tightly as dizziness and pleasure storm in your body.
You hold onto his arm just to stay grounded, his hand over your mouth stifling the noises threatening to escape as his fingers send pleasure coiling low in your core, his lips teasing your neck and making heat spread tingling across your skin.
Tom lifts his head and looks down at you breathing hard beneath his hand, his fingers making you shift with pleasure. “Can you be quiet for me?” he murmurs.
You nod. You would have agreed to anything he’d asked you in that moment.
Tom’s hand vanishes from your mouth and he’s kissing you, soft lips, tongue hot against yours, and you’re dizzy and delirious, kissing him back without thinking, without caring about anything else –
“Look at you,” he murmurs against your mouth, “legs spread for me, so wet for me –”
“Tom,” you moan, whisper-quiet.
“Say it again,” he commands softly.
He kisses you hard again and you feel the pleasure in your gut start to build and build. “There,” Tom murmurs, pulling back, “there it is. You’re going to come for me, aren’t you?”
“Ask me for it,” he says softly.
“Tom, please –”
“Tell me you’re mine.”
You look up at him. Tom looks back with his burning dark eyes, his hand cupping your jaw and pulling your closer to his lips barely breath away from yours as his fingers keep building the smouldering pleasure in your core. “Tell me,” he whispers.
And you nod.
His fingers slow against you and your head falls back against the wall in frustration, your eyes falling shut.
“I want you to say it,” he murmurs, tilting your face up to his again.
You look up at him, and for a second you just stare, watch his eyes drag across your face, drinking in your expression. You try to focus, try to ignore the achingly slow caress of his fingers between your legs, the pleasure right out of your grasp, the dark heat in Tom’s eyes that’s making you crave giving in, making you wonder why you’ve been resisting at all.
“I’m yours,” you whisper.
Tom’s lips curve into his most dangerous smile as he leans back in, kissing you very softly as his fingers press a little harder, as you breathe harder, your arms wrapping around his neck again and he’s not slowing down anymore and you’re right on the edge, feeling yourself start to tip –
“You’re mine,” Tom says softly, and it breaks over you so hard that his hand smothers your mouth again, holding you tightly as you shift and writhe beneath his touch, unable to stop the moans.
Somehow, no one notices the two of you slipping back to the main party, no one comments on it, and for the first time, you’re glad that Axel pays you less than no attention because your absence passed him by entirely without detection.
“Time to go?” Axel asks you near ten o’clock, shrugging his coat on.
“I’m afraid you’ve lost your date, Pembroke,” Tom says smoothly from where he’s standing beside you.
Axel blinks at him, and you expect that a similar expression is on your own face, too. “Excuse me?” Axel says disbelievingly.
“Perhaps you might be more attentive, next time,” Tom continues casually, offering you his arm. “Very rude of you to ignore someone for weeks on end, you know, and that unpleasantness when you arrived tonight… shameful…”
You don’t hesitate before slipping your arm through Tom’s, and he immediately gives you a heated, knowing look that makes you smile up at him reflexively.
Axel’s gobsmacked gaze turns to you. “Are you serious?”
You shrug lightly, feeling strangely empowered.
“Goodnight, Pembroke,” Tom says very pleasantly, stepping towards the door and leading you with him. “Do find a new date to the next gathering, won’t you? Mine is spoken for.”
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A place to call your own
Pairing: Oz x fem!Harris!reader
Request: thank you 😊It's an Oz request(I still miss him) . I mean, I LOVE Willow and Tara, but what about my favorite werewolf? what if instead of Willow, Oz fell in love with the other witch, yn? she's Xander sister and they have been together since high school. what do you think?
Requested by: @ateliefloresdaprimavera - sorry about the wait love 💖
Being Xander’s sister was, at times, trying. He was a minute older than you and never let you forget it. He made fun of you, knocked on the bathroom non-stop when you were using it and made jokes at the most inappropriate times. Despite this, you did love him and he did often protect you like a big brother. He was the only one he thought should be able to tease you.
That was why it was simultaneously scary and exciting to be moving out of the family home and in with Oz. Even if you hadn’t been ridiculously in love and pleased to move in with him, it beat taking Xander on in hand-to-hand combat over who gets the grand prize of living in that dank basement.
You had both graduated high school and you were starting college in the fall. Oz was taking a year out to focus on his band and was going to join you in your studies in a year.
Xander had been shocked and tried to talk you out of it at first, worrying that if Oz started touring, he would leave you for someone else - leaving you heartbroken. You appreciated his concern, but you wished he wouldn’t always muscle his way into your relationship. After talking it over and him seeing how in love you and Oz were, he tried to be supportive.
You and Oz had been together since high school. He had seen you in the crowd at the Bronze before his set, drinking and laughing with your friends. When he eventually got up on stage, the Bronze was slow that night. Nobody was on the dancefloor and the band was starting to waver from the energy they usually held.
It was hard for them to get into the music when there was no energetic crowd. You had smiled softly, watching Oz, nodding your head in time before stepping onto the dancefloor. You began dancing by yourself to begin with, but you didn’t appear embarrassed at all.
Oz smiled as you had caught his eye, a smile that he only ever reserved for you. As if this smile, that tilts off to the side slightly in the cutest way, only started happening since he saw you.
People stared for a while but eventually more and more of them joined you, including Willow and the others. You hadn’t even used any magic to bring the crowd in.
Even before Oz got to know you, before he had even spoken to you he thought there was magic about you. He thought you were special. He was proved right, and told you as such, almost every day since he had this thought.
Not just because of how much of a powerful witch you had become in the time since you had known and started to date him. But because of the way you cared for others, the way your heart was never closed to someone that needed any kind of assistance.
You were a practicing witch. Your main practice working with healing and herbal remedies. It fit your personality perfectly. You cared so deeply for people and it made Oz fall deeper and deeper in love with you.
This type of magic came in handy if the Scoobies or yourself ended up getting wounded in a fight. And it especially came in useful once you realised you had a werewolf for a boyfriend. You sat with him, bars between you, every full moon. You never left his side despite him insisting you shouldn’t have to.
You wanted to, though. You were his, by his side for always.
Oz adored you. You were confident but not overbearing. You were in tune with him and very empathetic. He particularly loved the way you were able to find the beauty in anything, but not oblivious to the world’s horrors. You were well-rounded and he fell in love with you so deeply. As you did with him.
He wasn’t a man of many words, but the words he did utter where usually for you. They were sensitive and completely from the soul. He could be so meaningful, make you feel so blessed to be with him. He was also incredibly funny, his dry humour matching yours.
You complimented each other so well. You could pick the other up if you were to ever fall. Your vices were his strengths and vice versa. You had moved in, your friends helping you move your boxes into your new place. You settled in together. He loved the way you smiled so excitedly at the prospect of living together.
It was a place you could call your own. Just for you and him. A place that meant safety, protection of the other. Where you could return after long days and challenging nights. This meant that no matter how long you spent apart, how much you missed each other, you would always come back to each other.
It was a promise. That this was serious. That this meant so much to you. You had smiled over at him when your friends left, unable to stop grinning the entire day. You eventually settled into bed beside each other, settling to finish the rest of the unpacking the next day.
It was the first morning waking up side-by-side in your shared home. In each other’s arms without having to be ripped away from him. For one of you to go back home or leave to go somewhere else.
This morning was yours. Just the two of you.
You woke slowly, settling into the warmth of the sheets. You saw that the morning sun had risen and you muttered something, sliding the curtains open to let the light in.
The glow of the late morning sun filtered in slowly. The glow of the room warming you from the inside out. The light danced around you, casting soft patterns around the room. The sun was shining, everything was well. Your mood couldn’t falter when he was here with you. Lying by your side.
He had rolled over, his body pressed against yours. He liked your warmth, enjoyed the sensation of you by his side. His soft breathing telling you he was still asleep. You couldn’t help smiling as he instinctually wrapped his arm around your middle. It was protective and he was ensuring you were still there.
You were in a nest of blankets and bedclothes. It was the way you usually slept but together it was so much sweeter. Wrapped up together, bundle in such warming adoration.
“I love you” He whispered through a small smile. He pressed several soft kisses to the back of your neck from where his head was resting. You sighed, this was bliss. You couldn’t imagine waking up anymore without him being there.
You turned, rolled back so that you could face him. Still in his arms. His hand rubbing soothingly against you as you pressed yourself comfortably against him.
He had dyed his hair black again. You liked it this way. You liked it any way he styled it, really. You ran your hands through his hair and he closed his eyes at the sensation. That small smile on his lips again. The soft one, that he only did when it was you and him. When he was comfortable.
Your fingers massaging his scalp a little before you just rested your hand there on the nape of his neck. You leaned in, pressing such a soft kiss to his lips. It was a peck against his lips, chaste but full of so much feeling.
So many possibilities stretched before you. Your entire lives, you were sure of it. Oz was so full of heart. His feelings were always yours. He spoke them as if they were casual things. As if he was talking about the weather or the like.
But his words could be so moving. They could mean so much and he spoke them as if these were thoughts everyone had. Could say them so nonchalantly. You made sure he knew just how much you felt for him. How you adored him. How you loved him.
You shared such natural physical affection. He enjoyed it. The way your love appeared to vibrate through your body and into his. At a mere touch.
There was nothing you couldn’t face together. You knew, somewhere within that you would never lose him. That real, honest love such as this could never die. Nor dry up. The well of your love held an everlasting abundance.
You had so much hope. For the future. Only with him.
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The Dark Moon
BIG MASTERLIST | TW REWRITE | KO-FI
Stiles Stilinski x Reader! Half-sibling!Mccall
Word count: 3956
Warnings: Mentions of injuries, blood, poison, death, seizures, dead bodies, swearing (always), etc.
A/N: Wow. This is the 4th Season already?! I noticed while writing this entire chapter this morning that we were starting season 4. This is crazy. Enjoy and I didn’t have time to proofread!
↪ PLEASE RESPECT MY WORK. DON’T COPY, TRANSLATE OR CLAIM THEM AS YOURS. NOT ON THIS WEBSITE OR ANOTHER. ALL RIGHTS ARE RESERVED.
I glanced around, sighing, not knowing what to expect and seeing a different scenario from the one that I was used to seeing every day. There was a lot of people in the street, wandering through street markets, trying to get the best deal.
"This doesn't seem so bad." My boyfriend rubbed his hands together.
"It's not the town, it's the plan." Lydia rolled her eyes as I chuckled. "Stiles. This could be the stupidest plan we've ever come up with. You're aware of that, right?"
"I'm aware it's not our best." His voice lowered.
"We are going to die." The three of us started walking.
"Are you saying that as a Banshee or you're just being pessimistic?"
"I'm saying it as a person who doesn't wanna die."
"Okay." Stiles's tiny gesture made my chest pound like crazy. He had grabbed my hand, scared I would get lost as there were many people. "Would you just mind restricting any talk of death to actual Banshee predictions?"
"This plan is stupid and we're going to die," Lydia said in a cheerful tone, attempting to make the hazel-eyed boy happy.
"Oh, thank you." He smirked.
It was night when we arrived at a building. The door was being watched by two men. They both smiled at us, especially eyeing Lydia and me, which made us feel a little bit uncomfortable.
"Estamos aquí para la fiesta." I murmured to them, letting them know that we were there for the party taking place inside the building.
One of them smirked, shaking their head as if to let us know that we weren't invited to go inside. I shifted my gaze to Stiles, who was searching for something inside one of the pockets of his trousers. As soon as he found what he wanted, he lifted it. A black card. And even though it seemed like just an item without much meaning, one of the men standing in front of us stopped smiling.
Stiles noticed that there was a camera just above them, lifting the card so whoever was behind it could see the object. Automatically, the door opened and the men had nothing more to do than let us go inside.
When the door closed behind us, we sighed, worried about what we could find. There was a small corridor, walls were of an intense red that was making my headache. And it seemed like the door in front of us and the walls embracing us shook.
As Stiles opened the door, we were hit with loud music, colourful lights and the smell of alcohol and sweat. Bodies ground against each other, following the compass of the music.
Stiles clutched my hand harder as his other hand rested on Lydia's arm. He didn't want us to get lost in the crowd. We ended up in front of the bar, where three drinks were placed in front of us even though we haven't ordered anything. I furrowed my eyebrows as Stiles sought money inside his pocket.
I felt a hand gripping my shoulder, and jerking around I was met with a man. "No. On the house." He offered us an insincere smile. "Most American teenagers don't cross the border to refuse a drink."
"We didn't come to drink." Lydia clarified, dropping what seemed like a bullet with a skull on it inside the drink.
Of course, we were taken out of the party, to the insides of the building where everything was dark and where now, a woman stood before us. "Severo hates this music. Me? I've always loved the music of youth." We were sitting in front of her, while there were men all around the room, keeping an eye on us. "This kind, especially. It has a savage energy."
"We're here for Derek Hale." I was the first one to speak aloud.
"Is that so?"
"We know you have him. We've heard you can be bought." Lydia was the one continuing while Stiles placed money on top of the table with a loud thump.
"It's 50,000 for Derek."
"Now, where does a teenage boy get money like this? Japanese mafia?" A woman behind us loaded her gun, making Lydia and I jump in our seats as a man did the same next to Stiles. "Not smart to come alone."
"What makes you think we came alone?" The boy next to me smirked, and I couldn't help but take the grin out of my face. Malia, Kira and Scott had come with us.
"You brought a wolf into my home?" She got up from her chair.
It was my turn to smirk. "No, of course not. How could we do that?" She seemed to relax, but only for a couple of seconds due to my following words. "We brought an Alpha."
"My friends..." She sighed as she turned around. "I don't think you're aware of your poor timing. Do you know what the dark moon is?"
"The part of the lunar phase when the moon is least visible in the sky," Lydia said in a robotic tone.
"But do you know its meaning?"
"Some people say it's a time of reflection. Or grief." I intervened.
She glanced at me. "Grief and loss, mija. I wonder why, when you and your friends have suffered so much loss, you would risk it again for someone like Derek Hale."
"'Cause, we don't like to lose."
One of the men next to Araya stopped us from continuing talking as he started speaking to someone on the other line of the walkie talkie. I couldn't help but have a tiny smile on my face when I heard the voice of my brother through it. "Stiles. Take 10 off the table."
As the button-nose boy did what my brother had asked for, I decided to speak up. "Maybe you should just take the deal." Lydia nodded her head, smiling at the woman in a sickeningly way.
"While I'm keen to follow the warning of a Banshee," She glanced at me. "And of course, the one of a Siren. I'm going to have to decline."
"Aaaa... Come on. Just give us Derek. You don't want him anyway. Haven't you noticed what a downer he is? No sense of humour, poor conversationalist." I tried to maintain a serious expression as Stiles's continued speaking. "Just come on, take the money."
Araya grabbed the walkie talkie once again. "Severo? Show them how the Calaveras negotiate." When Araya left the room, the three of us were manhandled by the men. And I wasn't a Banshee, but even I could feel that Scott, Kira and Malia were in great danger right now.
Thinking back, we ended up here because Scott had gone to Derek's lot, just to find that he wasn't there. He had found bullets, and sending a picture to Deaton, he had learnt that it was the mark of a family of hunters based out of Mexico. The Calaveras.
Lydia said that he wasn't sure he was dead, but she also wasn't sure if he was alive, which was perturbing.
"He is awake!" Kira informed us as Stiles and I got closer to my brother, who was lying down on the floor of a dirty and abandoned bathroom, where we have been taken. "Guys, he's awake."
"Scott, you okay?"
"Yeah." He tried to get up. "They don't have him. They don't have Derek."
"We know." I sighed, offering him a smile that he sent back, trying to let me know that he was alright. "But right now, they've got Lydia."
"Lydia? What do they want with Lydia?" He asked rapidly.
"We always have the same question and it is always answered the same way," I spoke as everyone glanced at me. "The power of a Banshee."
My brother rapidly got up from the floor, trying to open the door with his bare hands, which wasn't working.
"We already looked for a way out. I think a lot of people have." I furrowed my eyebrows as Kira talked, not sure of what she meant until I saw the marks on the walls. Marks of people who desperately tried to escape, scratching the walls with all of their strength.
Malia was leaning against a column. "I say when that door opens again, we take out whoever's standing in the way and run for it."
"What about Lydia?" Kira asked, and I sighed, knowing Malia's next words.
"What about her?"
"We're not leaving without her."
Stiles shook his head, getting closer to her. "Because we don't leave without people. Remember, we talked about this? Rules of the wild kingdom don't apply to friends."
"Is that what you would do as a coyote, leave her for dead?"
"If she was weak and injured, yeah. If hunting had been bad that season, I would eat her. Then I'd leave."
"Mmm. Believe it or not, that's progress." I crossed my arms over my chest. "Stiles and I've been trying to explain everything to her."
"All right, guys, we're not dead yet." My brother interrupted. "And that means Araya wants something."
Kira glanced at the dark-haired boy standing by her side. "But if the Calaveras don't know where Derek is, that means they didn't take him from the loft. Right?"
"Maybe he left on his own." Stiles completed.
Scott glanced at the floor. "Maybe someone else got to him."
We couldn't continue with our theories as the door abruptly opened, showing three men that quickly walked to us. However, we were soon met with darkness.
When I opened my eyes, my head was aching and everything around me seemed to move in circles. My throat was dry as if I haven't drink anything in days. I gradually noticed that I was tied to a chair and that my brother was tied to another one, right next to me.
The door of the room where we were now opened, showing Araya with another man and Lydia. "Oh, God," Lydia murmured as she saw us.
"Let her go. Look... you've got me. Just let the others go." My brother begged as Araya smirked. Her gaze moved to me. My brother followed her gaze, and it seemed like he had noticed from the first time that they had taken me too. "Why did you bring her?"
Lydia was chained to another chair as Kira came inside the room, also chained while a man grabbed her. What was going on? "So, let me explain what's about to happen." The man grabbing Kira spoke. "This one, the fox, has an immunity to electricity. So she's going to turn the dial on the Alpha. If she doesn't, I turn the dial on the Banshee and the Siren."
"No. I'm not doing this." Kira tried to resist.
"I see. Are you sure? One of your friends has the power to heal. The other? Not so much." Severo smirked. "And the other one might end up dying." Who?
"What are you doing?" Scott glanced at the old woman. "Is this a game to you?"
"This is a test, lobito. Let's see if you pass. We're going to ask some questions. You answer them, nobody gets hurt." She walked around us, but I had to close my eyes and lean my head down as everything continued moving around me. "You don't answer, we turn on the dial."
When I looked up again, my brother was looking at the fox girl. "Do what they say. Okay. Whatever they want. I can take it."
"So... We don't know where Derek is. We want to find him as well. You know who took him."
"What?" My brother asked her. "How would I know that?"
"That doesn't sound like an answer to me."
"We don't know." Lydia intervened. "Why do you think we came here?"
"Kira, turn the dial." The woman ordered, but Kira shook her head. "Should we turn the dial on Lydia instead?"
My brother quickly spoke up. "No, no! Do it, Kira. Do it."
"Let's start at one." As soon as she said that, my brother grunted, his hands gripping the chair he was sitting on, trying not to scream in pain. "Tell me! Who actually has Derek? Who had a reason, a vendetta particular to the Hales?"
My brother continued panting. "I said I don't know."
"Oh, you don't know because you haven't figured it out yet. So think! Who could've taken him?" They turned the pain even stronger. "Who had the power? The power of a shapeshifter?"
"I-I don't know."
"Oh! Someone who could have turned without you knowing. Turned, but not by a bite!"
"I don't know!" He screamed.
"Y-you.." My voice was a mere whisper, but swallowing I was able to scream. "You are going to kill him!" There were tears in my eyes. "You are going to kill him! Stop!"
Araya laughed, shaking her head. "No, mi amor." She smirked. "You will die first." I furrowed my eyebrows, feeling the temperature in the room dropping. I was cold. "Something told me lobito right here was going to be hard to peel." Her gaze shifted to my brother. "Your beautiful sister has poison running through her blood." My brother quickly glanced at me. "The longer it stays in her system, the more difficult to take it out. She can end up having seizures." I closed my eyes for a couple of seconds, feeling dizzier than before. "Say the name, Scott."
"Kate." What? Kate Argent?
"Okay," I heard Araya's voice. "Stop the machine." Severo did as he was told as another two men walked to Scott and Lydia, freeing them. My brother quickly walked to me, extending his hands to touch me. However, my body started shaking and I couldn't make it stop. "Severo bring the shot."
The door of the room opened again, this time two men were grabbing Stiles and Malia. Stiles's eyes widened as he saw me shaking while being tied to a chair. Before he could step forward, the man grabbing him stopped his movements.
"Don't dare any of you to touch her now." Araya's strong voice resonated through the room. Severo walked to me, stabbing the side of my neck with the syringe. I could feel the liquid running down my blood. Severo unleashed me, lying me down on the freezing ground as my body continued shaking.
"W-What did you do to her?? You old troll." I wanted to smirk at Stiles's use of vocabulary, but I was too busy being scared of the constant shaking of my body.
"She will be alright," Araya replied. "She has more water in her body than a human. The liquid we injected plus the water will do a quick job in removing the poison."
"N-nice." I tried to sound sarcastic.
"Fever might be a side effect of the poison, but you will be alright."
I watched as my brother talked to Araya while I was leaning against Roscoe with the others. Stiles was constantly asking me if I was alright. I felt a little weak, but my temperature was back to normal.
Scott finally walked to us. "So what now?" My boyfriend asked.
He shrugged. "She thinks she knows where we can find Derek."
"She gonna tell us where?" Malia asked while she leaned her head against my shoulder. My hand went up to play with her hair.
"Uh, actually, she's giving us a guide."
Stiles's face transformed into confusion, but it went away as soon as a big motorbike stopped in front of us. "You know her?" Stiles asked my brother.
As soon as the person took their helmet off, we saw a beautiful black woman whose neck seemed to be scarred. "Braeden."
"She's a mercenary," Lydia added.
"Right now, I'm the only one who's gonna take you to la iglesia."
"The Church?" I questioned. "What's The Church?"
"It's not a place you'll find God," I smirked, liking her way of talking.
Getting inside the jeep, we followed her as she took us to la iglesia.
There was a comfortable silence inside Roscoe. The three girls were sitting behind as I sat on the front between my boyfriend and my brother. "Okay, I'll ask." Malia was the one interrupting the silence. "Who's Kate Argent?"
Kira put her hand up. "Uh, I'd like to know, too."
"Well, we were at her funeral. So, I'd like to know how she got out of a casket that was buried six feet underground." I chuckled, nodding my head that was resting on Stiles's shoulder as he drove.
"She was never in it." I glanced at my brother.
"She was Allison's aunt," Lydia spoke, and I could feel the pain in her voice. The pain of someone who recently lost her best friend. WAnd a total sociopath."
"You don't have to talk about it now if you don't want to." Kira whispered while glancing at the back of my brother's head.
"Um, yes, he does." I was going to scold Malia as if she was a curious child that didn't know when to keep her mouth shut.
"Yeah, she's right. You guys should know. You need to know."
"All right." Stiles sighed. "Kate was the one who set the fire that killed most of Derek's family."
"Some of them survived, like Cora, and Peter." Scott added.
"A very angry Peter," Lydia appended.
"Yeah, he's the one who bit and turned me." My brother sighed.
"And the one who scratched me." I added.
"And the one who finally caught up to Kate and killed her." Lydia explained.
"And we saw her buried." Stiles and I replied at the same time. He took his eyes off the road for two seconds to place a kiss on my forehead and ask once again, if I was feeling alright.
"No." Scott shook his head. "We saw a casket, remember? She wasn't in it. The Calaveras heard that Kate had been killed by an Alpha's claws. They wanted to make sure she was really dead. Her body was healing. More and more, as she got closer to a full moon. She was coming back. So they switched out the bodies. If a hunter is bit, they have to take their own life before they change. The Calaveras, they treat the code like law. They make it their responsibility to enforce it."
"Good for her." The were coyote intervened. "I wouldn't do it either."
"Would you kill half a dozen people to get out? Because that's what she did."
Kira sighed, placing her hand on my brother's shoulder. "So Kate's a werewolf now?"
"I don't know. You know, there's a saying, sometimes the shape you take reflects the person you are." I nodded along with my brother's words, remembering Jackson Whittemore. What was of him now?
"What kind of shape is sociopathic bitch?" As soon as the Martin girl spoke, the car was hit by something, making Stiles stop driving as we all got startled. We all got out of the car as Braeden got off her bike to ask what had happened.
"I don't know. It felt like we hit something." Stiles and Scott were examining Roscoe.
"Scott, we need to get there by night. It's too dangerous otherwise."
My brother sighed. "Go." Stiles made a gesture with his hands, trying to let him know that it was okay for him to leave with Braeden.
"Not without you."
"Dude, someone needs to find Derek. We'll figure something out. We always do. Just go."
I walked to my brother, kissing his cheek and embracing him. "Be careful, okay?" He nodded his head, wishing the same for me and sharing a look with Stiles. A look pleading him to take care of me.
Before he walked to the bike, he was stopped by the fox girl. "Scott... I can't think of anything else to say except for be careful. And...and I know 'Be careful' sounds kind of lame and I'm totally sure the second you're gone I'm gonna think of something much better, but I..."
"Uh, 'Be careful' works for me." I smiled as they embraced each other.
I sighed. "They are so cute," I whispered while wandering close to Stiles as his hands rubbed Roscoe's side, making sure that there wasn't any scratch.
"We are cuter." He replied while biting his lower lip and inspecting his jeep. I laughed and nodded my head and watching my brother disappear with Braeden.
"Guys," Malia grunted. Therefore, I turned around to look at her. "I don't think we hit something. I think something hit us." She was holding up what seemed like giant teeth or claw. I couldn't differentiate them, to be honest.
I sighed, leaning against the jeep as I examined my boyfriend inspecting the hood of his car. A screwdriver in his mouth. "Stiles, baby. Don't hate me. I know you love Roscoe but maybe we should just walk." He glanced at me with wide eyes. "It's getting colder and darker." I made a gesture to the girls as they rubbed their arms.
"Hey, I will never abandon this jeep. You understand me? Ever. Ever. Ever."
Malia glanced around. "Work faster, Stiles." She paused as her eyes continued examining the whereabouts. "There's something out here with us." I gulped.
However, night had fallen upon us and Roscoe wasn't working. Malia continued in front of us, glancing around, prepared to attack whatever was observing us. Kira had grabbed her sword while Lydia and I tried to help my stressed boyfriend. "Lydia, could you please hold the light still for a second? It's really hard to see anything if you keep shaking it like that."
Lydia scoffed. "I'm shaking it like this because we're in the middle of nowhere with your broken down jeep and we're being attacked by yet another razor-clawed monster. And I'm terrified."
"Well, just be slightly less terrified." He answered back. "You hold this." He handed me a big metal piece.
"What's this?" I inspected it.
"I don't know. I'm hoping it's not important."
"Oh god." I sighed. Things got worse as the next thing that happened was Malia running towards somewhere or something. "Malia!" I yelled. Kira ran after her while Lydia told Stiles to continue fixing the jeep.
"You... you please don't do that ever again!" Stiles scolded Malia as he drove. The jeep was finally fixed or so we were hoping.
"Do what?" She innocently asked.
"I... I thought you just took off. I thought you were running."
"I was running."
"No, I mean, like, I thought you were leaving."
Malia pouted, looking between Stiles and me. "I wouldn't leave without you guys." We glanced at her. "I would never leave without you two. Them I would leave."
"Yeah. Uh, it's progress." Stiles sighed. "I feel like the dad of a teenager girl." I nodded my head. Stiles and I had taken the paper of teaching Malia what she shouldn't do. The actions she must separate between a human and a were coyote.
"Don't do it again, okay?" I begged. "You scared us." She apologized. "And that doesn't look good."
"Are you sure?" Kira looked worried as the rest of us. "It looks deep."
"I can feel it healing." I sighed in relief.
"You didn't see anything?" The Martin girl asked.
"Barely. It had a strong scent, though."
"Like what?" I asked while offering her water from my bottle.
She smiled at me as if she was a little puppy, grabbing the plastic bottle. "Like death."
When we finally arrived at the place where Scott and Braeden where we noticed that they were grabbing a young boy. Malia asked if that was Derek, to which Stiles replied 'Sort of'. That young boy was Derek Hale.
Derek Hale was a teenager once again.
TAGLIST: @og-baby-ob14 - @savemypostcards - @cas-loves-pizza - @used-avocado - @mvrylee - @bilesxbilinskixlahey - @honeydoll-stark - @arieltheworldisamess - @softpeteparker - @kit-kat-katie99 - @thatsuperherosidekick - @bexbetterxthanxwords - @big-galaxy-chaos - @littlemiss-forgotten - @enchantedcruelsummer - @coldfreakeggsexpert - @merla123 - @sammypotato67 - @weirdowithnobeardo - @maggiesblogsblog - @itskindyl - @bobo-bush - @moongoddesskiana - @multifandxm353 - @irwxnhugsx - @xoprincessmel - @iclosetgeek - @andreagf956 - @niawoods - @anerroroccurrrrred - @perrytheplatypus11 - @trustfundparker - @nmriia - @steve-harringtonnn - @trustfundparker - @brithedemonspawn - @weirdowithnobeardo - @my-soul-is-the-moon - @azayamari - @poguestyle17 - @bibliophilewednesday - @10minutesofscreentime - @momentitodebruh - @drikawinchester - @perrytheplatypus11 - @my-soul-is-the-moon - @linkpk88 - @royalreadery - @sweetest-serpent01 - @teenwaywardasgardian - @sadcupofcoffee - @maliyamay - @seninjakitey - @tairisceana - @thegirlwhoimagined - @mackingjj - @daphnen21 - @malfoystilinskii05 - @caitsymichelle13 -
People in bold means it doesn’t let me tag them.
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headcanons about sieghart and jellal (or just jellal if you haven't seen RAVE)
Sieghart my beloved,,,,,,,my king,,,,,, I miss him
Absolute dry, deadpan humour. That doesn't sound any different from his normal tone so no one can ever tell if he's joking or not. Every conversation is like a game of russian roulette with him.
Easily the most well travelled person that Haru and co. have ever met. Has been to almost all corners of Symphonia and knows loads about the history and lore of a lot of cities and cultures.
A ridiculously light sleeper. He travelled by himself for a long af and was always on the lookout for danger so he had to be alert. Probs gets 4 hours max and does little cat naps for the rest of the time.
Even though he is a great hand to hand combatant and no doubt one of the best magic users in Rave Master he absolutely sucks at any sort of weapon and he vehemently avoids using em at all cost. No one can ever know.
When he chills out and becomes allies with the squad they think his serious look is something grim or kinda unnerving but that's just his thinking face.
Looks composed but is reckless. Genuinely would do a last resort move first. If his arm was stuck under a rock his first thought would be to cut off his arm.
Despite an aspect of his magic being based on speed he's not very fast outside of that. If he doesn't use Meteor he is slow af.
Still isn't completely used to being pardoned for his crimes and not being hunted by the government so he still avoids major towns and cities. Its gonna take a while.
He has lots of leftover scarring from his time when he was abused in the council prison. Some have faded but most won't.
Is drawn to open spaces on his travels. Beaches, large fields, glades whatever. He likes being out in wide spaces where he can see on forever.
If these two were in modern AU they'd be cousins and everyone would say they look alike but they wouldn't see it.
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Wine and Whine
One Shot- Thor x Reader
Summary- Requested By @buckybarnes101
Hello! Can I please request a Thor smut with enemies to lovers? Maybe they're all on holiday and Thor and the reader get locked in somewhere? Just fluff and smut really. Thank you x
Warnings- 18+ TURN AWAY NOW!/ Fluff Thor/Smut Thor/ Swearing
AN- Thank you for being my first request! I’m absolutely thrilled to be writing this! I hope you like it?
The team decided to take a break for a few days, destroying Thanos had consumed everyone for the past five years that no one had seriously taken a stress-free environment break for a while. It was your idea, you suggested visiting Wakanda to relax before everyone went off on their separate adventures. Though you loved some of them more than others, you had become a family, one unit and you wanted to hold onto that for a little while longer. Clint’s family, Pepper and Morgan, all came along too. You were able to reflect on fond memories of Nat, Tony and Steve.
You all sat by the roaring fireplace of the cottage T’Challa had provided you with. You looked around soaking in the laughter and chatter that escaped everyone’s lips, a smile forming on your lips. That was until you saw Thor, you quickly regretting bringing Thor along on the trip, you’d always thought he was obnoxious and stroked his ego a little too hard. In the time you’d known him he’d always speak over you or do the tiniest things to annoy you.
Thor did this on purpose, he knew what made you tick, and he got great humour out of annoying you, just like he did with everyone else although he seemed to notice it bother you more. Of course, he did it because he liked you, that was the type of person Thor was. Finding it difficult to be affectionate and put down his walls, he’d rather annoy you and listen to you moan at him than you not speak to him at all.
He was howling away and bragging about him being the one who punished Thanos the most. You rolled your eyes, was this god serious? Could you deny he was amazingly eccentric? No. Could you deny he was extremely charming? No. Could you deny he was devilishly handsome? No. Was he incredibly irritating? Yes!
“Why does it look like your killing Thor with your eyes?” Sam leaned into your ear whispering. You’d obviously been staring at him for too long if Sam had noticed. You rolled your head back with a huff.
“He’s annoying Sam, his voice is too loud” You pouted letting your eyes fall on Thor again.
“I think someone has a crush” Sam elongated the word crush teasing whilst gently shaking you. You rolled in your lips trying to hide your laughter.
“I don’t not have a crush on him okay Sam. He maybe charming and a spicy specimen but…no” You didn’t even know how to finish that sentence; you’d just kept giving him compliments explaining how attractive you thought he was.
“Besides, you can find someone attractive and not like their personality Sam!” You hushed him turning your evils to him. Sam nodded his head puling a funny face to mock you. You sneered at him returning the funny face.
“What are you two whispering about over there?” Rhodes spoke up.
“Well…” You watched Sam sit up in is seat, adjust an upright posture, cross his knee over and clasp his hands together.
“I do believe Y/N fancies-“
“Wine... I fancy some wine!” You jumped up from the floor interrupting Sam, faking a smile. Feeling the heat rise up to your cheeks you composed yourself as everyone looked at you.
“Sounds like a good idea! I could go for another beer” Thor raised his glass at you requesting another knowing it would wind you up. You looked over at him, he was wearing his cheesy grin. You scoffed raising your eyebrows…you were not his god damn servant.
“Get one yourself Thor.” Quickly turning on your heels you walked past Sam, flicking his head on the way out of the living room calling him a ‘douchebag.’ You heard the heavy footsteps that you identified as Thor’s following you. All the alcohol was kept in the basement which is where you and Thor headed for. Swinging the door wide enough for Thor to enter you listened to the door shut behind you.
“Fancy wine huh?” Thor questioned leaning his body weight against a rack of wine. You looked at him reaching for a bottle wine on the exact rack he had leaned on. You stood on your tip toes, your body inches away from his. You concentrated on grabbing the bottle.
You felt his breathing tickle your skin as he towered over you, unknowingly you laid you free hand on his chest, steadying yourself as you finally gripped the bottle and lifted it up. You looked at your hand and slowly looked up to meet Thor’s eyes, his smirk was gone and his face was relaxed and gentle as he searched into your eyes. His hand settled on your back pulling you closer to him. You wet your lips which suddenly began to felt dry. Was Thor going to kiss you? Nah, you awkwardly coughed and stepped out from Thor’s touch.
“How’s your day been?” Thor asked quickly trying to override the awkwardness.
“G--good” Your words fumbled as you tried to compose your beating heart and the flutters that you felt in your panties.
“Good” Thor repeated not actually knowing what to say, before you could walk up the stairs to reach for handle of the door you heard it lock. In sync you both moved your heads to the door upon hearing the click.
“Have fun you two” You heard Sam’s voice snigger as his footsteps disappeared from ear shot.
“No no no no no” You mumbled, placing your wine bottle down, rushing up the stone stairs and fiddling with the doorknob. You sized Thor up demanding he opened the door.
“You have superpowers. Open it!”
“Maybe I don’t want to open it?” Thor closed the gap between you, you felt as though the air was being sucked from around you.
“Please just open it” The words escaped your mouth so quick you weren’t sure it was even English, Thor grinned, enjoying watching you get nervous.
“Are you nervous around me Y/N?”
“Pffft, no. You’re so annoying and”
Thor cut you off crashing his lips onto yours, he was getting impatient at you and didn’t want to listen to you stumble over your words anymore. You melted into the kiss, after letting it go on. You were surprised you hadn’t pushed him away. Thor placed his arm under you bum gesturing for you to jump up. The kiss was lustful as you jumped wrapping your legs around his lower waist feeling his cock hard. He stumbled as you carried on kissing, his teeth pulled at your bottom lip wanting to explore, pushing you against a wall you clung onto him, your hands wrapped around his neck gripping and pulling on his long dreadlocks, he growled into the kiss and smiled enjoying you pulling on him. He freed one of his hands whilst the other kept you up against him, you felt him move your panties to one side and gently stroked your clit testing the water. You gasped at Thor’s advances; he took your moans as a ‘please carry on.’ Thor inserted his fingers inside you, your gasps getting louder as his fingers increased with speed.
“Fuck Thor” You cried out burying your head into his neck squirming, relishing in the pleasure he was giving you.
“That feel good huh?” Thor grinned as he looked down at your head stuffed into shoulder, you managed to mumble a ‘yeah’ and nod your head to answer him. A few seconds later you realised he’d stopped and was using his hand to unbuckle his belt and expose his cock, you felt it hit your walls. Your insides turned squishy knowing you were just about to get fucked by Thor. He looked deep into your eyes affectionately brushing the knotted hairs that hung over your face letting his hand settle on your neck and his thumb on your cheek. He smiled once more placing the most tender kiss on your lips. The tenderness of the kiss felt real, you felt as if your lips matched together perfectly. He wasn’t hungry in this kiss he was loving and soft. He slowly inserted himself into you, you wailed his name as every thrust had you craving more. The concrete wall began rubbing you skin as his thrusts got harder and faster.
“Be quiet” He demanded sniggering, as much as he loved hearing you, whine for him you’d completely forgotten the group of people not too far way. You bit down onto his shoulder to control your moans. Before you knew it Thor had you cumming, he slowed down as he listened to you cum for him. Thor set you down from the wall and around him. Your legs gave way wobbling, luckily Thor caught you before you could meet the floor.
“You okay?” He smirked, the smirk that used to make you cringe inside now made you feel weak. You thinned your lips and pointed your finger at him.
“1 minute” You said catching your breath and regaining your composure.
“Mhm, I’m good”
Thor engulfed you in a hug, you let your head lay on his chest as he rubbed your back lovingly. It would be a few minutes before Sam would open the door. You quickly pulled away from Thor and picked up your bottle of wine heading straight up the steps leading to the open door with Sam leaning on it.
“You get your wine?”
You waved it in Sam’s face as you walked through the door highlighting that you definitely got your wine.
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Hi! I hope you are doing okay with all the discourse going around. Im white and raised in a very white society so i will never have a say in it, but i was wondering, is there any way i can educate myself more in asian/chinese culture? Im aware i consume content thru western lens and because of that i dont really get all the nuances of the shows, but i would like to have at least some backround. Im guessing just watching the shows doesnt give enough of that, can you maybe reccommend some blogs or books to check out? (If you dont thats totally fine and im sorry if i said anything offensive)
Hey friend! Not offensive at all, no worries. Honestly, I’m not too sure. I think just keeping an open mind about things is a really good start. I’m not really sure which blogs to recommend but if I could recommend some dramas? Since it’s probably easier to watch a show then read a book?
《The Story of Minglan》 is a good one to sort of parse out the intricacy of historical Chinese society in the Song Dynasty, keeping in mind that different dynasties have different practices, so even amongst different time periods there were differences. 《The Story of Yanxi Palace》 is another good one for Qing Dynasty (circa 1740s) if you wanna get into imperial harem stuff. (Or you can watch 《甄嬛传》 or 《如懿传》 for harem stuff. I just think The Story of Yanxi Palace is the most palatable, most aesthetic, and most fun out of the three. The other two are kinda tragic?) There are other dramas but I feel they’re not as... accessible?
Chinese historical dramas come in 3 flavours: serious dramas, idol dramas, and those that ride the fence. What I mean by idol drama is...everyone in it is young and hot and the writing is eh and the acting is eh. More often then not there’s a lot of modern elements to it. The Untamed is so popular because it’s idol drama done really well. (xianxia and wuxia genre used to be more quality when I was a kid, but now they’re kind of ehhhh.) I would say Minglan and Yanxi are both successful because they ride the fence.
On the other hand, serious historical drama has A LOT of politics and can be quite dry especially if you’re watching it through half-assed subtitles. The actors typically are more seasoned, older. People jokingly say that idol drama is what mom watches and serious drama is what dad watches, and honestly given my parents’ tv habits...it’s pretty accurate 😂.
Some really well known ones from the past 20 years are:
The 《铁齿铜牙纪晓岚》 series 1-4. I would only recommend part 1-2, 3-4 are not as great. This one has quite a bit of humour but it might fly over your head a bit because of the language barrier. The story surrounds a well known government official and scholar named Ji Xiaolan 纪晓岚, his frenemy and colleague the (EXTREMELY corrupt) prime minister He Shen, and the Emperor Qianlong. For better or worse these three are depicted as both liege and subjects as well as friends. Trying to see Ji Xiaolan and He Shen one up each other while Qianlong tries to balance his court and rule the country is quite interesting. I won’t pretend this is an easy series to follow, but it’s actually quite fun.
《汉武大帝》 - is about Hanwu Emperor of the Han Dynasty circa 150 BC? He’s one of the most famous emperors of distant history. It’s basically about the course of his life and the many people that featured in it.
《大明王朝 》- my memories of this one is very vague, but it is about the Ming Dynasty (the dynasty before the Qing Dynasty c. 1500,1600.)
《The Advisors Alliance 军事联盟》- 2017 two-part television series based on the life of Sima Yi, a government official and military general who lived in the late Eastern Han dynasty and Three Kingdoms period of China. circa 150 AD.
As a side note, a lot of serious dramas for a while now have been focused on the Qing Dynasty, just because it’s the last imperial dynasty before Imperial China fell into decline, WWI and WWII ravaged the country and communism happened. Even a lot of idol drama are about the Qing Dynasty (I feel like I should do a post about this, just to string things together haha).
So for the Qing Dynasty, because they are Manchurian, their last name is Aisin Gioro or in Chinese Aixin Jueluo 爱新觉罗. Their earlier emperors are much more well known than their later ones and have been the focus of MANY dramas. (You’ll notice their names in the beginning spell very different than the Chinese names you’re used to, but once they take over China, the emperors’ names start to become more and more mainland Chinese and less and less Manchurian.)
Nu’er Hachi 努尔哈赤/ Nurhaci - The granddaddy of Qing Dynasty, but was never officially Emperor of China during his life time.
Huang Taiji 皇太极 - Nurhaci’s oldest son. He led the campaign against the Ming Dynasty but died before the campaign was over
Fulin 福林, Emperor Shunzhi 顺治 - Huang Taiji’s 9th son. He is the real first Emperor of the Qing Dynasty. His uncle Duo’Ergun 多尔衮/ Dorgon was his regent as well as his commander-in-chief. Dorgon was the one who won the war against the Ming Dynasty and instated his nephew as the Emperor. Fulin was 6 years old when this happened, and now you may wonder why the fuck is that? It’s because Fulin’s mother, Huang Taijii’s widowed concubine Consort Zhuang (name: pu’erji-jite bumubutai (pinyin) 博爾濟吉特 布木布泰/ Bumbutai Borjigit, Da-Yu’er 大玉儿) remarried her brother-in-law Dorgon. Whether Bumbutai and Dorgon were actually in love is....contestable. Certainly one of my favourite serious dramas that depict this part of history is《大青风云》.
Xuanye 玄燁, Emperor Kangxi 康熙 - Fulin’s third son. Very famous. Very long reign. Serious drama associated 《康熙微服私访记》， 《康熙王朝》
Yinzhen 胤禛, Emperor Yongzheng 雍正 - Xuanye's 4th son. His reign was highly contested because some ppl believed he forged the succession document. It’s probably not true. He was an efficient emperor but very austere, very severe. Not well liked. The best serious drama about him is probably 《雍正王朝》and the aforementioned《甄嬛传》. The former is 100% politics and a fictional re-telling of historical events whereas the latter is 100% harem drama and 100% made up. 《步步惊心》is an idol drama about a girl who transmigrated back to this time and fell in love with Yinzhen. Lol.
Hongli 弘历, Emperor Qianlong 乾隆 - Yinzhen’s 4th son. I think he’s the longest living/reigning emperor of Chinese history. SOOOOO many dramas were made about him or set in his reign. Of the serious drama category: 《铁齿铜牙纪晓岚》 that I mentioned earlier is really good. There are others but I won’t name them here. 《如懿传》 is a serious drama about his harem, but really terrible? I really didn’t like it (just my personal view). Incidentally it was released around the same time as《The Story of Yanxi Palace 延禧攻略》which is also about his harem and MUCH better in my opinion, because the actor for Hongli in Yanxi is much better skills-wise. 《还珠格格》was the OG idol drama about Hongli’s children. I gave a brief synopsis about it here. It was made in the 90s but damn...so nostalgic.
There’s many more emperors after him, but they’re not as important.
Okay yeah, so I’m not sure if any of this is really helpful, but definitely watching serious drama gives you much better context and understanding of Chinese culture than idol drama. I mean when the drama has flying and magic...the historical relevance sort of falls to the side. 🤣
ADDENDUM: I made a typo earlier. Fulin is Huang Taiji’s 9th son, not Nurhaci’s son. Also Abahai is Huang Taijii’s mother’s name (wikipedia lied to me on this one XD).
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