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#hurt comfort
ao3feed-tododeku · 5 minutes ago
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At 2 A.M, All is Revealed and Walls Come Crashing Down
At 2 A.M, All is Revealed and Walls Come Crashing Down by Ocean writer
Izuku struggles with self esteem, so maybe a google doc for venting could work?
Or Izuku hates on himself, Shoto is a good boyfriend, and both of them need therapy *and may or may not get it by the end of this fic*
Words: 2066, Chapters: 1/2, Language: English
Fandoms: 僕のヒーローアカデミア | Boku no Hero Academia | My Hero Academia
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Categories: M/M
Characters: Todoroki Shouto, Midoriya Izuku, Aizawa Shouta | Eraserhead, Jirou Kyouka, Bakugou Katsuki, Uraraka Ochako, Class 1-A, Aoyama Yuuga, Tokoyami Fumikage, Dark Shadow
Relationships: Midoriya Izuku/Todoroki Shouto
Additional Tags: Hurt Midoriya Izuku, Midoriya Izuku Needs A Hug, Midoriya Izuku Has One for All Quirk, Midoriya Izuku Swears, Midoriya Izuku Angst, tododeku, Aoyama Yuuga is a Good Friend, Tokoyami Fumikage is a Good Friend, Todoroki Shouto Needs a Hug, Todoroki Shouto is Bad at Feelings, Protective Todoroki Shouto, Parental Aizawa Shouta | Eraserhead, Bakugou Katsuki is Bad at Feelings, Jirou Kyouka is a Good Friend, Uraraka Ochako is a Good Friend, Bakugou Katsuki is a Good Friend, Whump, Self-Hatred, Self-Esteem Issues, vent fic, Angst and Hurt/Comfort, Hurt/Comfort, Hurt, Emotional Hurt, Fluff and Hurt/Comfort, fluff will come later, Angst, Todoroki Shoto is a good boyfriend, Sleepy Cuddles, Anxiety Attacks, Panic Attacks, Google Docs, Study Date, Flashbacks, Cussing, Guilt, Guilty Pleasures, not sexual, They Are Kids, Relationship(s), Other Additional Tags to Be Added, Tags Are Hard
Read Here: https://archiveofourown.org/works/31934278
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ao3feed-todoroki · 15 minutes ago
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Big Boys Don't Cry
Big Boys Don't Cry by VooVoo
Lives back on track after the war, Students of class 3-A rest their weary hearts before their big send off into the wild world of professional heroism. Ranked at the top of his class, winner of this year's Sports Festival, nationally recognized for his heroic feats and dashing looks, Todoroki Shouto is one youth who's future shines bright as a student of UA.
But nothing is as it seems and Shouto is just waiting for the other shoe to drop already.
Watching little ant people navigate through the parks below, Shouto let his mind wander into a haze and for a moment he dreamed of summer: Of the sweat falling down the bare chests of young men competing in frivolous games of chicken. Girls laying languid in the sun, cooing and hollering for the winners. Hands holding, and vibrant candy wrappers and fruit popsicles; sticky on fingers and lips. Of fleeting love struck looks and the shy and sensual act of sharing a chilled strawberry-cream beverage. For a fraction of a second Shouto felt calm again.
Alternatively: Todoroki want's nothing more than to be happy, but that's hard when you're faced with the uncomfortable feelings in life, such as unrequited love.
Words: 1094, Chapters: 1/?, Language: English
Fandoms: 僕のヒーローアカデミア | Boku no Hero Academia | My Hero Academia
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Categories: M/M
Characters: Todoroki Shouto, Bakugou Katsuki, Kirishima Eijirou, Todoroki Rei, Todoroki Fuyumi, Todoroki Natsuo, Bakugou Mitsuki, Bakugou Masaru, Yamada Hizashi | Present Mic, Midoriya Izuku, Class 1-A
Relationships: Bakugou Katsuki/Todoroki Shouto, Bakugou Katsuki & Kirishima Eijirou
Additional Tags: POV Third Person Limited, Past Tense, Unreliable Narrator, Shouto's POV, Katsuki's POV, Friends to Lovers, Angst and Hurt/Comfort, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - PTSD, Anxiety, Mental Health Issues, Therapy, Overcoming Trauma, Psychosomatic illnesses, Night Terrors, panick attacks, Protective Bakugou Katsuki, Sad Todoroki Shouto, Todoroki Shouto Needs a Hug, Bakugou also needs a fucking hug, They hug dont worry, Gentle Bakugou cause I need that in my life, A lot of flashbacks forgive me, Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, Talks about violence, graphic depictions of trauma, Shouto's mother is a BAMF don't fight me on this, Todoroki Enji | Endeavor's Bad Parenting, but that bitch doesn't show up in this story so we can all breath easy, unique manifestations of self violence, nothing graphic, A whole lot of psychology, Introspection, Dream Therapy, unique therapy practices, Minor Original Character(s), Major Original Character(s), I needed to see these boys happy and overcoming their hardships, Tags will probably update as story goes on, Symbolism, Symbolism here there and everywhere, Enjoy this garbage
Read Here: https://archiveofourown.org/works/31933687
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ao3feed-bakusquad · 24 minutes ago
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Big Boys Don't Cry
Big Boys Don't Cry by VooVoo
Lives back on track after the war, Students of class 3-A rest their weary hearts before their big send off into the wild world of professional heroism. Ranked at the top of his class, winner of this year's Sports Festival, nationally recognized for his heroic feats and dashing looks, Todoroki Shouto is one youth who's future shines bright as a student of UA.
But nothing is as it seems and Shouto is just waiting for the other shoe to drop already.
Watching little ant people navigate through the parks below, Shouto let his mind wander into a haze and for a moment he dreamed of summer: Of the sweat falling down the bare chests of young men competing in frivolous games of chicken. Girls laying languid in the sun, cooing and hollering for the winners. Hands holding, and vibrant candy wrappers and fruit popsicles; sticky on fingers and lips. Of fleeting love struck looks and the shy and sensual act of sharing a chilled strawberry-cream beverage. For a fraction of a second Shouto felt calm again.
Alternatively: Todoroki want's nothing more than to be happy, but that's hard when you're faced with the uncomfortable feelings in life, such as unrequited love.
Words: 1094, Chapters: 1/?, Language: English
Fandoms: 僕のヒーローアカデミア | Boku no Hero Academia | My Hero Academia
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Categories: M/M
Characters: Todoroki Shouto, Bakugou Katsuki, Kirishima Eijirou, Todoroki Rei, Todoroki Fuyumi, Todoroki Natsuo, Bakugou Mitsuki, Bakugou Masaru, Yamada Hizashi | Present Mic, Midoriya Izuku, Class 1-A
Relationships: Bakugou Katsuki/Todoroki Shouto, Bakugou Katsuki & Kirishima Eijirou
Additional Tags: POV Third Person Limited, Past Tense, Unreliable Narrator, Shouto's POV, Katsuki's POV, Friends to Lovers, Angst and Hurt/Comfort, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - PTSD, Anxiety, Mental Health Issues, Therapy, Overcoming Trauma, Psychosomatic illnesses, Night Terrors, panick attacks, Protective Bakugou Katsuki, Sad Todoroki Shouto, Todoroki Shouto Needs a Hug, Bakugou also needs a fucking hug, They hug dont worry, Gentle Bakugou cause I need that in my life, A lot of flashbacks forgive me, Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, Talks about violence, graphic depictions of trauma, Shouto's mother is a BAMF don't fight me on this, Todoroki Enji | Endeavor's Bad Parenting, but that bitch doesn't show up in this story so we can all breath easy, unique manifestations of self violence, nothing graphic, A whole lot of psychology, Introspection, Dream Therapy, unique therapy practices, Minor Original Character(s), Major Original Character(s), I needed to see these boys happy and overcoming their hardships, Tags will probably update as story goes on, Symbolism, Symbolism here there and everywhere, Enjoy this garbage
Read Here: https://archiveofourown.org/works/31933687
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subconscious-dweller · an hour ago
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~Just a silly lil thang I made to promote my longfic~
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He realized, and released her hand. Blood dripped through the teeth marks in the glove and disappeared into the water.  
Iggy sat down hard, and hung his head.
“It’s ok, buddy. It was an accident. Barely hurt at all.” Her fingers grazed his back, stroking his wet fur.  
“I’m sure there’s some way to work on that reflex of yours..”
She’s willing to help me? Even after I bit her? For a human, she really isn’t so bad.
He thought, and reflexively gave her his paw.
~ Read more by clicking the source below! ~
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rulaineyu · an hour ago
Hi there! Your requests are open? TWT
If yes, can I request Childe, Xiao, Venti and Zhongli Comfort their gn!S/O, cuz they are upset and they think they are not pertty/cute/handsome?
Tbh, I need it right now:)👉👈
Thanks, bye!
hi! just wanted to let you know that requests usually take me a couple weeks at least so I won't be able to do rush requests, only commissions. thank you for your understanding <3
also I only take requests for max 3 characters so I took Venti out, hope that's okay!
How Childe, Xiao, and Zhongli Comfort You When You're Insecure About Your Appearance
Fandom: Genshin Impact
Characters: Childe, Xiao, Zhongli x gn!Reader
Type/Genre: Bulleted headcanons, fluff
Warnings: Insecurity due to appearance
A/N: More flowery language than usual haha
Childe
Hearing you say that you didn’t think you were attractive would confuse him at first.
Whatever could you mean? Haven’t you looked in the mirror recently? To him, you could never be anything less than beautiful. Even when your hair was a tousled mess when you woke up in the morning, or when you had a cold and was sneezing your head off, Childe always wondered how you still managed to look so damn cute.
When he fully realizes what he said, it would absolutely break his heart.
His darling? His entire world? His beloved angel does not think they are beautiful? How could this be?
Would immediately drop everything and focus his entire attention on you
Gently cups your face with his hands, his fingers so light and delicate against your skin that you can’t help but lean into his touch.
His eyebrows are knit in worry as he examines your face.
He feels apologetic that you don’t see yourself the way he sees you—an ethereal being, radiant in all your flaws and imperfections.
“Darling, I’ve travelled all across Teyvat, and I still have yet to meet someone who can even dream of comparing to you.”
Xiao
Automatically blames himself for your insecurity.
Xiao is a man of few words. Not because he doesn’t have much to say, but because he’s usually too busy basking in your warmth to talk.
He’s so relaxed in your company that he doesn’t feel the need to force himself to fill the air between you.
Because of this, he wouldn’t compliment your appearance often. He didn’t think it was that important—of course you were beautiful to him, did he need to state the obvious?—but didn’t realize that you did.
He’ll feel guilty and at a loss at what to do. It was because of him, wasn’t it? If he was a better boyfriend, he would know how to comfort you.
Mentally beats himself up in his head, but pushes his feelings of inadequacy aside to comfort you first.
His hand is shaking as he hesitantly runs a hand through your hair. His voice is quiet as he speaks, but the slow blush painting his cheeks pink betrays his effort to convey the thoughts he usually kept hidden.
“To me...you’re beautiful. Please do not say otherwise.”
Zhongli
Zhongli prides himself in being well-versed in all subjects, including beauty and aesthetics.
So hearing you say you didn’t think you were attractive would surprise him to say the least.
You’re beautiful to him, but he knows that he’s not who matters here. It wasn’t that your mirror had broken and you suddenly found the reflection staring back at you ugly. You just weren’t confident in your appearance.
Makes it his mission to help you love the way you look. Life is short, after all—it would be a shame for you to miss out on the joys of loving yourself.
He will start talking about the way you smile whenever you see a bird eating from the bird feeder you set out, the way you bite your tongue when you’re concentrating, and the way you fiddle with whatever is in your hands when you’re lost in thought.
All these little habits and quirks are attractive in themselves, contributing to your overall charm. What you see in the mirror only shows a fraction of your true beauty.
“My love, you are a rare treasure found once in a flower field and never again. Not only do you hold beauty in your face, but also in your soul.”
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ao3feed-izuku-midoriya · an hour ago
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Yellow Scarf
Yellow Scarf by PhoenixOnFire101
It has been about five months since his student, Midoriya Izuku, disappeared. Leaving to protect those he loves from the threat of All For One. No one has heard or seen the kid in nearly five months since his disappearance.
OR Several months into his students disappearance, Aizawa notices a vigilante following him around during some of his patrols.
Words: 833, Chapters: 1/?, Language: English
Fandoms: 僕のヒーローアカデミア | Boku no Hero Academia | My Hero Academia
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: Aizawa Shouta | Eraserhead, Midoriya Izuku, there will be more, I promise
Relationships: Aizawa Shouta | Eraserhead & Midoriya Izuku
Additional Tags: My First Fanfic, I'm Sorry, Angst, Hurt/Comfort, I will update tags as I go I guess, Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, no beta we die like sir night eye, I'm Bad At Summaries, I'm Bad At Titles, I'm Bad At Tagging, Dadzawa
Read Here: https://archiveofourown.org/works/31931527
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the-witchs-word · an hour ago
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Chapters: 12/12 Fandom: The Grisha Trilogy - Leigh Bardugo Rating: Explicit Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply Relationships: The Darkling | Aleksander Morozova/Alina Starkov Characters: The Darkling | Aleksander Morozova, Alina Starkov, Mal Oretsev, Ivan (The Grisha Trilogy) Additional Tags: Animal Death, Angst and Feels, Eventual Smut, Some Plot, POV Multiple, Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, Did I say some plot?, i meant a lot, Teasing, Orgasm Delay/Denial, Dom/sub Play, Dirty Talk, Biting, Power Dynamics, Power Exchange, Mild Blood, Hair-pulling, Nipple Play, Grinding, Praise Kink, Held Down, Hurt/Comfort, Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms, Unhealthy Relationships, this was supposed to be porn without plot, now it's plot with porn, Vaginal Fingering, Anal Play, Hand Jobs, Riding, Topping from the Bottom, Light over stimulation, Cuddling & Snuggling, Daddy is mentioned, I don't know, it felt right, embarrassment ensues, So much angst, You've been warned Series: Part 2 of Grisha Trilogy Alternate Scenes Summary:
Mal and Alina have made it to Tsibeya. As they sit in the blizzard they discuss a few things. Meanwhile, The Darkling watches on from the treeline.
Another "What-if" that goes into what could have happened in risqué scenes.
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ao3feed-bnha-girls · an hour ago
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One Wrong Move
One wrong move by Epsilon110
Bones cracked. Flesh ripped. Blood spurted.
In that instant, Izuku learned what Thirteen truly meant.
Words: 3404, Chapters: 1/2, Language: English
Series: Part 2 of Untaken route
Fandoms: 僕のヒーローアカデミア | Boku no Hero Academia | My Hero Academia
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence, Major Character Death
Categories: F/M
Characters: Midoriya Izuku, Uraraka Ochako, Usagiyama Rumi | Miruko, Yagi Toshinori | All Might
Relationships: Midoriya Izuku/Uraraka Ochako
Additional Tags: Hurt/Comfort, Miruko is bad with peptalk, they are just sixteen, Manga Spoilers
Read Here: https://archiveofourown.org/works/31931863
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thecasperanfamily · 2 hours ago
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Past and Present: A Casperan Family Oneshot
The fic about Lin's inhibitor cuff that I promised I'd post six months ago and then completely forgot about. Bear in mind that this does include some reference to another one of my fics, A Shot in the Dark, but I don't think prior reading of that one is necessary to understanding this. Basically all you need to know from that is that Douxie had a very bad experience with an inhibitor cuff when he was in New York with Nari and Archie.
I hope you all enjoy, and I am so ridiculously sorry about the absurdly long delay.
CW: Injury and brief mention of past torture (the former is not too graphic and the latter is only implied, but thought I should warn you just to be safe)
~~~~~
The front door gave a familiar squeak as Douxie shouldered his way in, a bag of groceries in one hand, his phone in the other as he skimmed over a text from one of his wizarding associates currently situated somewhere in the highlands of Mongolia (HexTech’s magical cell service had remarkable reach).
“Shoes off,” Zoe called from the dining room without looking up from her latest project, which was strewn across the table in the shape of various bits and bobs of magical gadgetry.
“Hello to you too,” Douxie chuckled, stepping back onto the welcome mat and levering off his high-tops as instructed. He joined her in the dining room afterwards, dropping his groceries on the bartop that separated it from the kitchen. He stood behind her chair and leaned down to kiss her cheek. “Is Lin with Archie and Nari?” Zoe gave an affirmative hum and nodded. “New project?” he asked, reaching out to poke at a piece of circuitry. Zoe slapped his hand away before answering.
“Sort of. HexTech manufactures these things large-scale for the underground wizarding community, but I wanted to do some tweaking to the standard model and make a custom job.”
“...and what thing are you tweaking, exactly?” Douxie asked, watching curiously as she fiddled with a few multicolored wires, alternating between using her wand for its intended purpose, and as an impromptu screwdriver.
“It’s an inhibitor cuff for Lin.” If she noticed the way Douxie’s hands suddenly tensed on her shoulders, she didn’t say anything about it. “HexTech doesn’t actually produce any models small enough for a baby--I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone’s magic surfacing that young--but lots of young hedgewizards and witches have to wear a cuff to keep from having magic outbursts in public.” She stuck her wand between her teeth and reached for a small plate of metal engraved with restrictive sigils.
“I...uh...” Douxie cleared his throat. “...I don’t think he needs one of these, love.” Zoe finally glanced up from her work long enough to shoot him a disbelieving look as she took her wand out of her mouth. He tried not to shrink under her penetrating gaze. “His...outbursts haven’t really been very serious. Maybe a few books knocked off their shelves, the odd static shock here and there, but nothing worth--”
“You said he shattered a lightbulb on the other side of the room just two days ago,” Zoe cut him off incredulously, brandishing her wand at him as though to drive her point further. “And as someone with electric-based magic, I can assure you those ‘little static shocks’ are going to become a major concern as his powers mature. Plus, what are you planning to do about doctor’s visits? And school? The kid can’t stay cooped up in your house for all eternity, Douxie, and we can’t risk--” She stopped short with a sharp inhale. Douxie froze as the air around them seemed to suddenly press down on them like a cold, heavy hand. Zoe met his eyes just long enough to share a glance of knowing dread.
“Douxie!” Archie’s voice rang with terror as it echoed down the hallway, but the wizard was already halfway there, catching himself on the doorframe of Nari’s room as his feet slid across the floor. Zoe slammed into him from behind and the two of them fell into the wood nymph’s room in a panicked heap.
Dark blue flames were crawling across the floor, spreading out in a fierce, protective barrier around the quivering, crying child curled in the center of the room. Nari was huddled against the far wall, clutching her left arm against her chest as Archie crouched over her, wings spread open protectively. Douxie felt nausea turning in his stomach--while Archie seemed to be unhurt, Nari’s aura was practically screaming with pain and fear, though she herself was frozen in silent panic. Lin’s aura was a chaotic storm of confusion and anxiety, along with something Douxie couldn’t place, though it felt unsettlingly familiar. And it was growing stronger.
Douxie reached out with his own aura and grappled with the magic swirling around the room for a moment, feeling like he was trying to subdue a raging dragon with nothing more than his bare hands. He managed to part the wall of flames just enough to let Zoe dart forward and snatch Lin up off the ground. He curled into her and grasped her shirt with a small, trembling hand, his aura beginning to calm.
“Get him out of here!” Douxie barked, taking advantage of Lin’s momentary relief to smother the flames with his own magic.
“What good is that going to do?” Zoe argued. “It’s his magic, it’ll just follow him!”
“I think he’s reacting to Nari’s aura--maybe to all of us, I don’t know! Just get him out and calm him down! And whatever you do, don’t be afraid!”
“As if,” Zoe scoffed, and Douxie once again found himself thanking the gods for her near-supernatural sense of calm in the face of danger. She swept out of the room, clutching Lin close to her, her warm, steady aura wrapping around the child closely and brushing against Douxie as she passed. It was like a plug was pulled, and the heavy feeling in the air, along with the bone-rattling thrum of magic, immediately drained away. Douxie heaved a sigh of relief as the last of the fire flickered and sputtered out, leaving nothing more than a bluish scorch mark on the floor.
“Nari!” he gasped, streaking across the room and falling to his knees in front of her. She was trembling like a leaf, tears streaming down her cheeks. Archie moved aside, and Douxie felt his stomach turning again--Nari’s left arm was covered in a web of burns, the patterns crossing over her skin like cruel, artistic brush strokes. He moved to put his hand on her shoulder, and she flinched, her aura flaring up with panic. “Hey, hey, it’s me,” he breathed. He reached out and carefully brushed against her aura with his magic. “You’re safe, I promise.” He felt some of the tension leave her spirit as she finally registered his presence.
“...S-sorry,” she sobbed breathlessly. “I’m so sorry, I should not have--”
“It’s not your fault he scared you like that,” Douxie cut her off, his voice quiet but firm. “Let me see your arm.” Still sniffling, Nari gingerly held out her left arm, the burn marks catching the light like hideous gemstones. Douxie swallowed, pushing back the wave of guilt threatening to crash over him as he gingerly cradled her arm in his hands. “...What happened?”
“...I don’t think he meant to hurt her,” Archie said softly. “His powers just seemed to...flare up on their own. It didn’t reach me--I was on the windowsill--but Nari was right next to him, and the pulse struck her full-force. I believe her shock and pain must have frightened or confused him--whatever it was, his magic quickly became defensive, as you saw.” The Familiar paused and shook his head. “...At any rate, we should tend to Nari’s injury before anything else. I’ll fetch some bandages.” He rubbed against Nari for a moment before leaving.
All of sudden, Douxie was keenly aware that everything in him ached. Fighting against Lin’s magic had drained more of his reserves than he could have ever anticipated. Grief and anxiety were warring for dominance in his chest, as the dreaded truth washed over him: Lin was dangerous. Sensing his distress, Nari shifted towards him and curled into him, angling herself so that her arm wasn’t pressed against him. Douxie’s hand came up to cup her head against his shoulder out of instinct, his other arm wrapping around her carefully.
“...Douxie,” she whispered. “There was something about Lin’s magic. Something ancient. It...” She trailed off, taking a deep breath and pressing closer to him before she finished. “...it reminded me of the Arcane Order.”
“...I know,” he replied in a hollow voice. “I felt it too.” Archie slipped back into the room, padding up to them silently and dropping a roll of bandages and a tube of burn ointment beside Douxie’s knee.
“...What are we going to do?” Nari asked softly as Douxie began tending to her arm. He didn’t answer her right away. “...Douxie?”
“...I don’t know.”
It was only a half-truth at best. Douxie knew exactly what needed to be done. But everything in him was recoiling from the idea as though it burned him the same way Lin had burned Nari’s arm.
*****
He wasn’t sure how long he spent tending to Nari, only that it was probably far longer than necessary. Even as he began to wrap her arm, he could feel her magic humming and gently pulsing, mending skin and soothing pain. She would be perfectly fine by morning. But he still lingered, mind running in circles as he tried to forestall the inevitable decision he had to make. He could tell Nari sensed his unease, but she didn’t press him for it. After a while though, she became more and more insistent that she was alright, which was her way of telling him to stop avoiding the problem. He reluctantly took the hint and left her with Archie, steeling himself as he stepped back out into the hall and closed the bedroom door behind him.
Zoe was back in her seat at the dining room table, the mess of wires and circuitry now gone. In their place was a small, innocent-looking iron band, covered in runic engravings, lying in the center of the table where he couldn’t miss it. Lin was sitting on Zoe’s lap, drowsily suckling on a milk bottle as she gently bounced her leg beneath him. She looked up as Douxie came in, her eyes drifting over to the cuff for a moment, then back at him.
“...How is she?” she asked, avoiding the subject of the cuff for now.
“She’ll be alright,” Douxie sighed, running his fingers through his bangs tiredly. “Lucky she wasn’t human, though. A burn like that would have seriously messed up her arm otherwise.” He collapsed onto one of the chairs next to her with a sigh, propping his elbow on the table and resting his forehead against his hand. Zoe glanced at the cuff again, then down at Lin, who was clearly moments away from falling asleep altogether.
“...It won’t hurt him, Douxie,” she began. “All it does is--”
“I know,” Douxie interrupted a little too quickly. “I-I know what it does. And I know it doesn’t hurt, I just...” He trailed off with another sigh.
“...So then...what’s your deal here? Why does that little thing scare you so much?” Douxie shook his head wearily and pinched the bridge of his nose.
“Stripping him of his only defense doesn’t feel little to me, Zoe. I’ve had my magic suppressed before, and I was--” He shook his head again, as though clearing it of the unfinished thought. There was a long, weighty silence. Lin’s bottle slipped out of his grip as he nodded off, and Zoe caught it before it fell.
“This isn’t about what happened to you, Douxie,” she insisted as she set the half-empty bottle on the table. “This is about what’s best for Lin--for everyone around him, too. Look,” she continued, her voice uncharacteristically gentle. “I get that there’s something going on with you here. Something happened that you don’t want to talk about. Everybody has crap like that, especially when they’ve been around for as long as we have. But you can’t push your issues onto Lin. That’s not fair to him, and in this case, it’s downright dangerous.”
“I know,” he said again. “And I’m not trying to....push my issues on him, I just...I don’t know.” Zoe regarded him for a long moment, her piercing gaze sweeping up and down his hunched figure critically.
“...How about I take him for tonight?” she suggested. “His travel crib is still in my car and I’ve got some spare supplies at my apartment. You’ve clearly got some stuff to think about, and if your guess is correct, and Lin can sense emotions as strongly as that, he would probably feel safer at my place while you’re dealing with this.”
“...Yeah, okay,” Douxie quietly agreed. His gaze finally landed on the inhibitor cuff, and he swallowed. “...Better take this with you.” He pushed it across the table towards her. “...Just in case he needs it.” Zoe’s hand hovered above the cuff for a moment, before passing over it and coming to rest on Douxie’s.
“He’s going to be okay, Douxie,” she murmured. “I promise. Nothing is going to happen to him.”
*****
He was back in the warehouse again.
It had been a long time since he’d been here, but he still knew it the moment he saw it. He’d never forgotten the shadowy walls, the ice-cold concrete beneath his feet, the incessant buzzing of the electric lantern. He couldn’t move. Of course he couldn’t. He never could. He couldn’t see the ropes that held him fast, binding his wrists behind him, but he knew they were there, knew there was no use in struggling against them.
That didn’t stop him from trying though.
Where is the forest-child?
He was screaming, he always screamed no matter how much he tried to keep silent. He strained against his bonds, fingers clawing at the iron band around his wrist. He needed his magic, he needed to get out before he broke. And he always broke. He always failed. The words burned like molten lava on his tongue, hot tears streaming down his face as he tried and tried and tried to summon his magic--but the cuff around his wrist was secure, sucking his powers out of him like some kind of horrifying metal leech. He could taste his inevitable betrayal in his mouth, feel himself giving in to the fire that raged in his veins.
No. NO. PLEASE, NO.
It was over. He could feel it. He hadn’t heard himself say the words, but he knew he had. He felt the fire grow cold and leave him, felt the ice of horror creeping in to take its place. Archie’s body lay at his feet, but he still couldn’t move, couldn’t take his friend into his arms and beg for forgiveness, couldn’t rush to Nari’s defense as she screamed his name, over and over again, pleading for him to save her as the Order ripped her away... He couldn’t find her, the world was covered in blue flames. Blue like Zoe’s eyes, blazing with ferocity as she stood against the Order without him, doomed to failure but refusing to back down. Blue like Lin’s magic as he wept in the center of it all and Douxie could do nothing for them--
“Douxie!”
He bolted upright, gasping for air as Nari’s voice pulled him from his dreams. He felt her hand on his shoulder, cool and soothing against his heaving back, while Archie’s familiar warmth pressed against his legs. Instinct drove him forward as he pulled both of them in, hands trembling as he clung to them like lifelines. Archie pressed against his neck, the Familiar’s purrs vibrating through his body and anchoring him in the present. Nari’s hand stroked through his sweat-drenched hair as her aura swirled around him, breathing her innate calmness into him.
“S-sorry,” Douxie croaked. “M’sorry...”
“Shh...” Nari whispered, coaxing his head down until it lay against her shoulder. “Let your aura uncoil--there...” He shuddered as his magic began to settle, and winced at the sound of a few books and knick-knacks clattering to the floor. He hadn’t even realized he’d been keeping them aloft.
“Been a while since you had a nightmare that bad,” Archie observed gently. “...Do you need to talk about it?” Douxie shook his head without bothering to pick it up from Nari’s shoulder.
“...S’just the same one I used to have a lot back in New York.” He felt Nari tense, her hand going still against his hair. Douxie only clutched her tighter. “...You know that wasn’t your fault,” he murmured. She gave a noncommittal hum, but at least she didn’t try to argue with him. Archie settled down on Douxie’s lap, purrs never wavering as the wizard’s hand stroked across his back. Nari pulled back enough to look Douxie in the eye, ignoring his huff of protest when he was forced to lift his heavy head.
“You have been troubled since this evening,” she observed quietly.
“Been a bit of a troubling day,” Douxie replied.
“I do not believe Lin meant to harm anyone, Douxie,” Nari asserted. “I do not understand his powers, but I can feel his soul just the same as yours, and I can feel that he would never wish to hurt any of us. He is not evil.”
“That’s....not really what’s been bothering me.” Nari tilted her head inquisitively, and Archie shifted under Douxie’s hand to look up at him with curious eyes. The wizard heaved a sigh and reluctantly began to explain himself. “...Until he can learn to control his magic, it will have to be suppressed. It’s....pretty normal for young wizards these days, but...” He took a deep, frustrated breath. “...When Zoe told me he needs to wear an inhibitor cuff, all I could think about was what happened to me when I was....forced into one. In my head, I know she’s right, that this is what’s best for him and for everyone, that it’s nothing like what happened to me, but... I just keep remembering that feeling of being completely helpless, cut off from the only thing that could keep me--us--safe. I’d been scared plenty of times before that, but that was the most terrified I’d felt in centuries. I don’t want to do that to him. I don’t ever want him to feel helpless.”
Silence fell between the three of them. Douxie’s hand had stopped stroking Archie’s back, though his thumb continued to rub back and forth idly against the cat’s shoulder. Nari’s hands were clenched in her lap, her aura pulled in tight around her as though out of shame. Douxie put his hand on her shoulder and squeezed gently.
“It wasn’t your fault,” he repeated in a firm whisper.
“I-I know,” she stammered, raising one of her hands to cover his. Her statement echoed the one he had given Zoe earlier. The wizard’s heart twisted in his chest.
“...You seem to have forgotten one crucial detail, Douxie,” Archie mused. Douxie looked down at his Familiar in bewilderment. “You were not so helpless as you believed. If I recall correctly, you were walking free again before the day’s end.”
“...Only because the two of you saved me,” Douxie reminded him, wondering what he was getting at.
“And you do not count your friends--your family--as one of your strengths? Oh, I can only imagine how well Zoe would take that,” Archie smirked.
“Archie!” Douxie yelped. “That’s not what... Of course I... If you say anything to her...!”
“Then what makes you think Lin would ever be helpless?” Archie interrupted his stammering with a pointed look. “He has all of us just as much as you do. Regardless of whether that boy has access to his magic or not, he will be protected. As will you.” The Familiar gave a short huff of finality, a draconic way of saying that Douxie did not have permission to argue with him right now. Douxie gave a sigh that shifted into a soft laugh after a moment. He glanced over at Nari to find her smiling gently, and she gave him an affirming nod.
“...Of course I know all of that, Arch,” he murmured. “It’s just....It’s hard to forget how I felt in that moment, that’s all.” He returned to methodically stroking his Familiar’s fur. “...But Zoe was right. Regardless of how I feel, this is what’s best for him. I guess it’ll just take some time for my heart to sync up with my head.”
“Well...as immortals, time is certainly something we have a lot of,” Nari reminded him. “For now, I believe the most pressing matter at hand is that of getting you back to sleep. You expended a great deal of magic today. You need your rest.”
“Always playing the Mum, aren’t you?” Douxie chuckled.
“Gods know you need it,” Archie grumbled.
“Archie is correct,” Nari said. “You do not exactly have a history of proper self-care, Douxie. So, while you look after Lin, we will all be looking after you.” She gave him a gentle shove, and he fell back onto his pillow with a dramatic huff. Archie moved from Douxie’s lap up to the space between his neck and shoulder, settling there with a purr. “I will stay and guide your spirit into restful dreams,” Nari whispered, as though she had sensed Douxie’s apprehension. Which, knowing her, she probably had. She laid her hand over his heart, and he felt her aura flowing within him, bringing rest to his tense muscles and silence to his troubled thoughts.
He was asleep within just a few moments.
*****
Lin was his usual, cheerful self when Zoe brought him back the next morning. The inhibitor cuff on his wrist was glinting cheerfully in the morning sunlight drifting through the windows. Douxie forced himself to ignore the jolt of unease that shot through him at the sight of it. Lin reached for him as soon as he saw him, leaning out so far that he almost fell out of Zoe’s arms.
“Were you a good houseguest, young man?” Douxie inquired, balancing the baby on his hip and taking his travel bag from Zoe.
“Yeah, he slept like a log,” Zoe reported, tossing her keys onto the kitchen counter.
“Mm. Evidence would suggest otherwise,” Douxie commented, taking note of the dark circles around Zoe’s eyes and the way she was stifling a yawn as she dug around in her seemingly bottomless purse.
“Hmm...? Oh, no, he’s not what kept me up. I was working on... Dammit, where did I put it? ...Ah, this.” She pulled a very large and somewhat battered-looking sketchbook out of one of the dozens of interior pockets and spread it out on the table with a flourish.
“Another one of your projects?” Douxie asked, unable to make sense of the hastily scribbled equations and sketches that covered the pages.
“You said you didn’t like the idea of him not being able to access his magic at all. But he obviously needs a way to suppress, or at the very least, weaken it. So I was up all night drawing concepts and potential schematics for a custom inhibitor cuff. See that little monitor there? I was thinking he could use that to adjust how much magic the cuff actually inhibits. Now, a project like this would probably take a few years to finalize, but I bet HexTech would be more than happy to fund it. Hell, they might already have some unused blueprints for something like this somewhere in their archives. I can’t imagine this is the first time that--” She was abruptly cut off as Douxie pulled her into a hug, burying his face in her shoulder and squeezing her tightly with one arm (the other was still full of Lin).
“You’re amazing,” he whispered. “You’re brilliant, absolutely bloody brilliant, and I don’t know what I ever did to deserve you, but Zoe I swear--”
“A-alright, alright, easy, Doux!” she blustered, though she made no attempt to push him off. “It’s not even done yet. I can’t even promise that this is possible. But....I think it’s worth a try. That is, if you’re okay with it.”
“I’m more than okay with it, I’m... Gods Zoe, I love you.” He felt her give up the pretense and relax into him.
“...I love you too,” she murmured. One of her hands came up between them and caught hold of Lin’s. He cooed contentedly as his fingers wrapped around Zoe’s. “...We’re going to be okay. No matter what comes next, we’re going to be okay.”
“...Yeah,” Douxie breathed. “Yeah, we are.”
Thank you so much for reading. ✨
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tripleburger · 2 hours ago
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Ink and Honor
Ch. 41 - Valeera, Sylvanas
Jaina leans her head against the back of the sofa, the angles of her jaw even sharper than usual when bared to the firelight, bone structure prominent and magnificent against the shadows. Her long, graceful neck slopes elegantly down to the curve of her collarbones, anchor pendant heavy on its chain, its silver contrasting the gold trim of her corset as it rests above her breasts. Sylvanas ducks her head, refocusing on her liquor as she tries to control the abrupt, embarrassing tilt of her ears. 
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i-am-bella-donna · 2 hours ago
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Just Allergies Chapter 4
AO3 | Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
Story Summary:
Sore throat. Congestion. Headache. Chills. Fatigue. Craving of death.
…It was probably seasonal allergies.
Pairings: Platonic Dukeceit
Word Count: 1,781
CONTENT WARNINGS: FOOD, SICKNESS
A/N: I hope you all are having a better week than I am. Have a good day/afternoon/evening/night!
The first thing Janus noticed was the cocoon of warm blankets that surrounded him.
Second—the soft humming that filled his ears.
Third—the hand slowly stroking his hair.
Janus peeled his eyes open.
Surprisingly, he found himself back in his bedroom—and if the warmth radiating from behind him was any indication, he was not alone. He glanced upward and fought the urge to yell at the two unblinking eyes staring down at him. It was unclear what was more startling—the fact that Remus was willingly allowing his lap to be used as a pillow, or the sheer relief in his expression.
“I—” Janus started before breaking off, cringing as pain shot through his throat.
Remus shook his head, the movement looking odd from where Janus lay. “Don’t try to talk yet,” he instructed. He gently looped his arms under Janus’s shoulders and lifted him up, adjusting him so he was leaning against Remus, back-to-chest. He handed Janus a warm mug from the bedside table. “Sip it slowly, okay?”
Janus obeyed, pleasantly surprised by the saltiness of the liquid. Not tea; not water with honey. He tugged loosely at Remus’s sleeve and pointed at the mug, raising an eyebrow in a way he hoped would get his question across. What is this?
“Oh, that’s chicken broth,” Remus explained. “You don’t have to drink all of it, but try to take as much as you can.”
The next few minutes lapsed into an easy silence as Janus sipped the warm broth. When the mug was finally empty, he handed it back to Remus, who set it aside and wrapped his arms around Janus.
“…You scared me,” he muttered, resting his head on Janus’s shoulder and squeezing his eyes shut. “I thought you fainted. It took me a while to realize you were just asleep.” Remus paused for a moment, before adding as an afterthought, “Also, I left you here while I tested the bacteria. Congratulations! You have strep throat!” Despite his faux-cheerful tone, he gave Janus a squeeze of sympathy.
Janus whined softly. “Hate being sick,” he whispered.
“I know, Janus,” Remus whispered back. “I know. But I’ll help you get better, okay?” He gave Janus another tight squeeze before pulling away. “I made some food while you were out. Be back in a second!”
Janus gave a weak nod and smiled as Remus bolted. As sick and miserable as he was, at least he was not alone.
He was in good hands.
~~~
Some food.
Some food.
…Clearly, the two of them needed to have a discussion about what some meant.
Janus stifled a laugh as a tray piled precariously with food—cream of wheat, pancakes, toast, eggs, and even a pitcher of milk—was set on his bed. “You better help me eat this,” he murmured.
Remus grinned in response. “With pleasure, my dear Snakey!” He pulled two plates out of thin air—literally—and joined Janus on the bed, sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with him and setting the tray across their laps. Remus shoveled eggs and pancakes onto his own plate as Janus took a bowl of cream of wheat, thanking his lucky stars that Remus had included a softer food option.
Remus kept up an endless stream of conversation as they ate, updating Janus on his most recent expeditions in the Imagination and his plans for next week, when Janus would be helping Remus host a ball at his castle. After all, Remus may have ruled the kingdom, but Janus was his advisor. It took a combined effort to manage the innerworks of the Subconscious and the Dark Imagination—nightmares, repressed dreams, fears, and more. Everything the Light Sides were too afraid to deal with.
Breakfast ended with Remus forcing Janus to drink a spoonful of a dark purple liquid—an abominable medicine mixed with a sorry excuse for grape flavoring. Despite this, though, Janus could not deny that he was feeling much better, both physically and emotionally, than yesterday. He was still angry at the Light Sides, but he was no longer overwhelmed with self-hatred. He no longer felt worthless. If he had to face the others again, he would be able to do it with his head held high.
And it appeared that he was about to test that ability, as he was being summoned. By Thomas, no less.
Too surprised to resist, Janus found himself and Remus, whose arm had been wrapped around his shoulders as the pair watched a video on deep-sea creatures, appearing in the middle of Thomas’s living room.
Where not only Thomas, but Pattton and Logan, were present.
…Well. No amount of support from Remus was going to make this easier. At least Virgil and Roman were not present to add fuel to the inevitable fire.
“What’s up, sluts?” Remus asked casually, keeping his arm around Janus and kicking his feet into his lap. “Since when do you summon Jay and I?”
Patton winced but did not refute the question. “Well, Kiddo, we—that is, Logan and I—wanted to speak to Janus about…yesterday. Would you mind giving us a few minutes?”
“No,” Janus spoke up before he could stop himself, trying to keep his voice as normal as possible. “Remus stays.”
The other three looked vaguely uncomfortable, but they all nodded at the condition. Logan kept his eyes trained on the wall. “In that case, Janus, we brought you here to apologize. We…stood by and allowed Roman and Virgil to antagonize you, even as you visibly began to show signs of distress.”
Thomas shrugged and scratched the back of his head, his expression apologetic. “I didn’t know about this until a few minutes ago, but I wanted to make sure you were okay.”
Janus felt the blood drain from his face, his mind overcome with shock. They—
They actually cared?
Not just about his ability to carry out his function, but about his emotional health?
How long had it been since anyone—barring Remus—had cared about him?
Green-painted fingernails snapped in front of his face, dragging him back to reality. Remus met his eyes, expression unreadable, and Janus could tell he was waiting for a signal—he would provide silent support, but would not intervene unless Janus requested it.
It was touching, really. However, Janus simply wanted the conversation to end. “Apology accepted,” he croaked out. “Water under the bridge.”
“But it’s not that simple!” Patton exclaimed, his brows furrowed in distress. “What Roman and Virgil said was completely uncalled for, and you shouldn’t have to act okay when you obviously aren’t! Don’t lie about your feelings, Janus.”
Ah, the irony of that sentence. Nevertheless, Janus did not have the energy to fight.
He let out a sigh. “You are not responsible for the actions of anyone else. I am accepting an apology from the two of you, not Roman and Virgil. The two of you are much ni—” He was cut off as another round of painful coughs seized him.
Embarrassment and humiliation, if you are capable of murder, now would be a lovely time.
Remus was quick to spring into action; kneeling behind him and rubbing a soothing hand between his shoulders. Much to his embarrassment, Janus could make out alarmed expressions of the other three in his peripherals.
The scathing judgement of my peers; just what I always wanted.
“Is…something else wrong?” Logan asked once the coughing died down. Janus gave an okay sign as he collapsed backwards onto Remus.
“Nope!” Remus exclaimed, his voice strained with false cheer. The underlying message of one wrong word and your brains will get painted on the wall went unsaid.
Unfortunately, Logan was never bothered by the threats of Remus.
“You appear to be flushed, Janus.” Logan, please shut up.
Patton gasped. “Kiddo? Are you sick?”
Why does the universe hate me?
“Not in the slightest,” Janus murmured, cracking his eyes open. It might have been more believable had Remus not been practically supporting his weight.
“Remus, is Janus sick?” Logan asked, turning to him and raising an eyebrow.
Janus internally facepalmed as Remus froze. It was against his function to lie, but against his moral code to tell the truth—not that it mattered, as his silence appeared to be a dead giveaway.
Thomas watched him with a heartbroken expression, and Janus could practically sense his sadness. “Why didn’t you say anything?”
Patton nodded, distress written all over his face. “We care about you! We can help!”
We can help.
Janus scoffed, hiding his face in the soft ruffles of Remus’s shoulder. “Right. Sure. Totally.”
And just like that, the discomfort in the room immediately skyrocketed, tension growing palpable.
“Can you clarify?” Logan’s voice was monotone, almost robotic.
Janus hesitated. Lucky for him, though, Remus chose that moment to intervene.
“What he means,” Remus all but growled, “is that you bitches would’ve done shit. Sure, you feel bad about not stepping in with Roman and Virgil this time, but what about every other time? And what about all the times you ignored him? Scorned him?” His voice dropped an octave. “Do you really think that after everything, he would go to you for help?”
Silence.
“Ree…” Janus said, lifting his head to look his brother in the eye. “It’s okay.”
“But it’s not!” Remus insisted desperately. “They hurt you, Jay, so much—”
“Please—” Janus interrupted wearily. “I—” I don’t think I can take an argument right now.
Remus must have understood, for he sighed and fell silent, pulling Janus to his chest. Someone cleared their throat in the background.
“Janus?” Patton said quietly. “Remus is right. We all owe you an apology, in more ways than one.”
“Can we”—Janus was cut off by another cough—“can we just do this later?”
“Of course,” Logan replied. “In the meanwhile, how can we help you recover? Can I ask what is ailing you?”
Janus zoned out as Remus reluctantly explained the situation. He was just so tired—
“You wanna take a nap, Jay?” he heard Remus whisper into his ear, gently brushing his hair from his face. He nodded.
“Being out here is likely strenuous for him. Perhaps you should take him back to his room and allow him to rest.”
“I can bring the Kiddo some soup!”
“Tell Janus that I hope he gets well soon.”
The next thing he knew, Remus was sinking out with him. He was slipped into bed, and a moment later, lips pressed gently against his forehead. “Sleep well, Janus.”
Janus mumbled out an incoherent reply, unsure of what he meant to say. He was warm with the knowledge that he mattered, not just to his brother, but to Patton, Logan, and Thomas.
They cared about him.
And with that thought, Janus fell asleep with a smile on his face.
Taglist: @imma-potatoo @mychemically-imbalanced-romance @all-panic-nodisco
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kazeohiku · 3 hours ago
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updated my fic 🥰 come get some bktd angst! mind the chapter and fic warnings pls
https://archiveofourown.org/works/31522094/chapters/79044706
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pacmagician · 3 hours ago
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A few years ago an extended family member did something incredibly shitty and I don’t want any sort of relationship with him but a lot of people in my family are still friendly with him.  I just worry people are going to start expecting to me to act like it never happened after they think enough time has passed when I have no reason to think he wouldn’t do something awful again.
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ao3feed-todoroki · 3 hours ago
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Dear Shoto Todoroki
Dear Shoto Todoroki by CopperComforts
Shoto's letter to his younger self, if he could tell himself everything.
Words: 670, Chapters: 1/1, Language: English
Fandoms: 僕のヒーローアカデミア | Boku no Hero Academia | My Hero Academia
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Categories: Gen
Characters: Todoroki Shouto
Additional Tags: Todoroki Enji | Endeavor's Bad Parenting, Traumatized Todoroki Shouto, Young Todoroki Shouto, Younger Self, Letters, Letter to your younger self, letter style writing, stylized writing, Late Night Writing, Drabble, Comfort, Emotional Baggage, Emotions, emotionally hurt todoroki shoto, talking to yourself, Todoroki Shouto is Bad at Feelings, Numb Todoroki Shouto, Encouragement, Hurt/Comfort
Read Here: https://archiveofourown.org/works/31929748
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ckbookish · 4 hours ago
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Defying Kübler-Ross
for @marzue
Bruce lay facing his window.  His bed felt hard and lumpy though he knew that was his imagination.  It wasn’t like the bed time story of a princess and some pea beneath her mattress.  No, Bruce’s discomfort was stimming from the center of his chest.  There lay a dull ache that no feather pillows or silk sheets could sooth.
The clouds out the window were tall and pillar-like.  Bruce tried to remember what his dad had called them.  His dad knew all sorts of things about clouds and trees and animals.  Bruce felt a tear run down his nose.  Had known.  His dad had known.
A floorboard creaked in the hallway, but Bruce couldn’t bring himself to sit up, or even hide his face deeper into his bedding.  He felt drained.  No, drained was too simple a word.  He felt empty.  There was no feeling left aside from the ache.  It radiated out of his chest and into his limbs.  It sank into his bones and ate them from the inside out, making him feel impossibly heavy and light all at once.
Alfred knocked lightly on the door.  At least Bruce thought it must be Alfred.  The maid had quit last week, when Bruce made a mess of the dining room, after she had refused to set the table for three.  The cook had left two weeks ago after Bruce had dumped his dinner in the trash for the fifth time saying it tasted worse than sewage.
Only Alfred and the gardener remained.  Though Bruce knew they too would leave eventually.
“Master Bruce?”  Alfred's voice was softer than it used to be.  “It’s a fine day. Seems a shame for you to waste it in your bed.”
Bruce didn’t answer.  He didn’t talk much anymore but to scream.  It left his voice feeling neglected and abused in equal measure.
Alfred sighed and walked over to the bed.  He didn’t sit down or reach for Bruce like his mother or father might have done.  No, Alfred was still Alfred.  He might bandage a skinned knee but he didn’t do affection.  Which is fine with Bruce.  He didn’t want any.  He had to deal with the weight of pity as it was,  affection would be too much.
“Master Bruce, you have already laid here for half the day.  Lunch will be soon.  I want you downstairs.” Alfred spoke more sternly than he normally did.  He had only raised his voice at Bruce a few times in the past four months.  But Bruce knew his patience would soon run out.
Continue reading on AO3
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respectable-username · 4 hours ago
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Oh look, another quick one-shot! This time, a quiet scene between Grian and Mumbo.
Read on AO3 or keep reading below
---
<Grian> Hey Mumbo
<Grian> Where are you?
The pinging of his communicator dragged Mumbo from his redstone-induced haze. He put down the stack of repeaters in his hands to ping the coordinates of this latest project back to Grian.
It was only a couple minutes before a burst of rockets could be heard from the sky above, followed shortly by a Grian swooping in to land with perfect ease amongst the mini chest monster that had sprung up beside Mumbo's contraption.
"Hey G," said Mumbo, noticing the lack of spark in Grian's eyes. "Everything alright?"
"Do you mind if I just sit and watch for a bit?" asked Grian, already starting to sit down in the grass amongst the shulker boxes.
"Of course not," said Mumbo.
"Thanks," said Grian, leaning back against a box as he drew his knees to his chest.
Mumbo gave Grian one last concerned look before turning back to his massive contraption.
He was almost finished the next module of the machine. He just needed to figure out the timings on these last few repeaters.
If this signal goes through there it should take 2 ticks. Which means that signal needs to take longer. Better make it 3 ticks total. Then that should trigger this one 2 ticks later. Yes, that should be right.
Mumbo stood back, taking in one last look at the wiring, crossed his fingers, and pulled the lever.
The whole module broke.
Mumbo sighed, walking back over to the machine. It looked like the second piston fired too early, causing it all to get out of sync. That means he had to add another tick of delay there and another there. That should do it.
Mumbo tore down the broken part of the contraption and started rebuilding with the required changes.
"How do you stay motivated to keep going when your redstone keeps failing?" asked a small voice from behind him.
"Trial and error is just part of redstoning," said Mumbo, turning to face Grian with a smile. "Or should I say trial and error, and error, and error, and error, and small success, and error, and error, and error."
"That sounds awful," said Grian.
"It's just part of the fun," said Mumbo, gesticulating with the spare pistons in his hands. "You expect things to fail, so you keep the bits you test as small as possible, and use the way it fails to figure out how to make it work next time. And then when it does finally all work, it's the best feeling ever!"
"I failed and now everyone hates me," said Grian suddenly, pulling his knees closer to his chest.
"Oh Grian," Mumbo said, putting down the spare components and walking over to sit down and hug his long arms around Grian's small body. "I'm sure they don't hate you."
"I messed up and now they're all mad at me and they keep sending messages about how I messed up and hurt them and I don't know what to do and I'm so sorry but I don't know how to fix it and..."
Grian's train of thought was cut off by a sob. Mumbo pulled him in closer as the floodgates broke open.
Grian buried his face in Mumbo's lapel. He knew he should be worried about ruining Mumbo's suit with his tears and snot, but, well, it's Mumbo. Mumbo doesn't care. Mumbo doesn't get angry. Mumbo's just so... Mumbo.
"What happened?" asked Mumbo gently, stroking Grian's hair as the stream of tears slowly let up.
"I made it all about me again," said Grian, voice slightly muffled by Mumbo's shoulder. "I put so much time into planning the whole thing, so much time into making sure everything would play out correctly and would make sure everyone had a good time, and the one time I ad libbed, it was on something entirely selfish and now everybody's mad at me. And they should be. I can't believe I broke from my plan."
"Have you said sorry yet?" asked Mumbo kindly.
"Haven't had the time," Grian replied. "The meeting ended and I got a half dozen private messages and I freaked out and came right here."
They sat together in silence as the cogs turned in Mumbo's brain.
"Is there a way to make the selfish thing apply to everyone?" Mumbo eventually said. "Then it won't be selfish anymore."
"I don't know," said Grian.
"Well," said Mumbo, pausing again to think, "could you ask the others how you could do that?"
"What do you mean?" asked Grian, looking up from Mumbo's shoulder.
"I mean, you always plan so much of everything by yourself, Grian," said Mumbo. "You don't have to do it all. If the others are the ones who've recognised the mistake, maybe they'll have an idea of how to fix it."
"But why would they want to help me after I just bungled everything?" asked Grian.
"Because it was one mistake, and because they're your friends," said Mumbo. "I mean, you said they private messaged you about the issue, right? It's not like they've locked you in the stocks outside Town Hall and started throwing rotten vegetables at you!"
Grian let out a small chuckle. "Not yet anyway," he said.
"So, why don't you message the group, say you're sorry, and ask how you can fix it?" said Mumbo.
Grian curled back into himself again. "Because I'm scared," he said. "What if things go wrong? What if I say something to make it even worse?"
"And pigs could fly in the next update," said Mumbo. "But we can deal with that problem when we get to it."
"Hasn't Zedaph already made pigs fly?" said Grian.
"He did what?!" said Mumbo.
"He shot them with shulkers I think," said Grian.
"That's ridiculous,"  Mumbo said with a smile. "Anyway, back on topic. Let's try writing that message, ok?"
Grian pulled out his communicator, temporarily set it to only send to himself, then hesitated.
"What if I send the message and it doesn't fix anything?" said Grian. "What if everyone still hates me?"
"Well, I don't hate you," said Mumbo. "I'll still be here. You're one of my best friends, G. Even if everything else falls apart, I'll always be here for you, ok?"
Grian nodded. He took a deep breath and pulled up his communicator again.
He typed out his message. Then edited it. Then edited it again. Then undid half his edits. Then fixed the 'to' line. Then hit send.
Then put the communicator back in his pocket and crossed his arms against his chest.
"Good work, Grian," said Mumbo with a smile, squeezing his fellow Hermit.
"I hate this," said Grian. "I hate the waiting. I've already thought of three better ways I could have worded that message."
His communicator pinged.
"I don't wanna look," said Grian.
"Take as much time as you need," said Mumbo.
His communicator kept pinging.
Grian took a deep breath, then another. He pulled open his communicator and looked at the screen.
And burst out crying.
"What happened?!" said Mumbo, alarmed.
"They... they accepted my apology," Grian said between sobs, smiling through his tears as he faced the small screen towards Mumbo. "They don't hate me."
Mumbo relaxed. "See, I told you so," he said warmly, squeezing the small Hermit again. Grian gently pushed him in retaliation.
"I can't believe they're all being so nice after I was so thoughtless," said Grian, trying to wipe away the tears with the sleeve of his jumper.
"Of course they're being nice," said Mumbo. "You made one mistake, and now you're trying to fix it. They know you're a good person, G. One mistake doesn't make you a failure."
"Thank you so much Mumbo," said Grian. "Just, thank you for being there and for being so... so Mumbo-y."
"Any time, G," said Mumbo. "You know I'll always be here for you, no matter what."
"Can I just stay here for a minute?" asked Grian, resting his head back against Mumbo's shoulder. "It's just... it's just all a lot."
"As long as you like," said Mumbo.
And so they sat there, as the sun set in the distance and the wind ruffled the grass around them, the half-built contraption throwing strange shadows across the ground. It wasn't working, yet, but it would be. It would be with a little bit more trial and error.
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corysmiles · 5 hours ago
Text
Hunted. Part 7
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Friendly Giant AU
CW// language, dark themes, violence, blood, burns, vague eye injury
Notes: One more left :] uh oh
part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6
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Tubbo woke up feeling just as tired as he had the night before...if not more. His head ached and his eyes were still sore from crying. He was sure if he looked in a mirror he would look awful.
Tommy, Wilbur, and him had been stuck in their house for half a day without any sign of Techno or Phil. And even then, he’d only seen Tommy once. 
Although it was probably good Wilbur hadn’t come back to talk...He didn’t think he could talk to Wilbur after the night before.
Tubbo knew he overreacted, but he couldn’t help but direct his anger at Wilbur. He’d been the one stupid enough to get them caught-it was his map after all.
With a groan, Tubbo rolled over and shoved his face into his pillow. He wanted to scream, to let out all the stress he’d felt for the last day and go back to everything being normal. But the only thing screaming would accomplish would be Tommy checking up on him. Again.
He had barely even gotten a solid hour of sleep... He was so used to the gentle breathing and purring of his giant friend, sleeping under sheets was almost impossible. The stillness of the mattress was just another reminder of what Wilbur had done.
“Tubbo, you up?”
Tubbo whined as light poured through his open door. Standing hesitantly in the doorway, his brother held out a plate with a piece of blackened toast on it.
“Want breakfast?”
“What time is it?” Tubbo groaned.
“Noon.”
Tubbo nodded and waited for his brother to plop down next to him. Unceremoniously the plate was shoved into his hands.
The toast was a bit burnt and there wasn’t anything on it, but he couldn't really blame Tommy...he didn’t think their dad had gotten groceries in a long time.
The bread tasted like shit, but he couldn’t remember the last time he ate. He scarfed down as much as he could until the burnt taste started to make him feel nauseous.
“Thanks, Tommy.”
“Don't thank me, I got to take out my rage on that bread,” Tommy grinned.
Tubbo laughed, “It definitely tasted like it big man.”
Tommy shoved Tubbo backward onto the bed with a huff, “Shut up.”
After a few seconds of silence, Tommy's grin dropped.
“Hey dude,” Tommy swallowed nervously, “You feeling any better?”
“I don't know. How am I supposed to feel right now?”
Tommy gave him a tight frown, but he wasn’t even certain of how he felt. He felt useless, for one, and miserable too. But he also felt tired and sick and lonely in ways he’d never felt before.
His brain tried to push back against his grief, but everything reminded him of the giant he had come to adore.
“He’ll be alright, he’s a big man Yaknow,” Tommy hummed, gently placing a hand on Tubbo’s leg.
“He’s unconscious Tommy.”
A sputtering breath left his brother's lips as he tried to come up with a response, “Yeah but- I’m sure, I know he’ll be fine. I’ll kill him if he’s not.”
Finally, Tubbo let himself relax. His shoulders sagged against his brother’s with exhaustion.
“I hope so...”
The two sat in silence for a couple minutes with Tommy’s hand slowly rubbing against Tubbo’s leg. The comfort was nice, but a selfish part of Tubbo wished the touch was from his giant friend instead.
“Tommy...Do you think I was too harsh to Wilbur?”
A soft hum left Tommy’s lips, “Don't worry about him right now Tubbo...He’ll get over it.”
“He’s probably not taking this well either though,” Tubbo frowned, “I think I should apologize...”
Tommy squeezed Tubbo’s shoulder reassuringly and stood up from his bed. His shoulder popped loudly as he stretched his arms above his head.
“You don’t have to right now, but I’ll go with you if you want. I’ve got more toast to give out anyway.”
Tubbo smiled thankfully and waited for Tommy to grab more of his awful toast. He held it proudly even though Tubbo thought the smallest breath would make it crumble.
Softly, Tubbo knocked on their older brother’s door waiting for the teen to yell at them. Although, after a few seconds there was still no "fuck off" from Wilbur.
“Maybe he’s sleeping,” Tommy shrugged.
It didn’t stop a nervous frown from spreading across Tubbo’s face.
“It’s noon Tommy.”
“I mean you just got up,” Tommy pointed out nonchalantly.
Tubbo sighed and knocked again a bit louder, “Yeah but this is Wilbur.”
When there was yet again no response Tubbo really started to worry. Wilbur barely ever lied down to sleep, and even then naps were practically unheard of.
“Wilbur?” He shouted, “I just wanted to apologize, I uh... I was too harsh I know. Also, we have breakfast for you- if you want that...”
Tubbo’s mouth pulled into a frown when they were only met by silence. Wilbur was never that quiet...Even when he was upset the gentle strumming of guitar strings always came from his room.
And it seemed like Tommy was finally worried too.
“Hey big man, come on can we talk?”
Tommy stepped forward and knocked so loud Tubbo was worried he’d break the hinges. But there was still no response from the older teen.
“Wil? You in there?” Tommy yelled with his face pressed against the wood.
“Where could he have gone?” Tubbo frowned. Their dad had locked everything before he left...it wasn’t like Wilbur could just walk out.
Tommy hummed and told him to hold on before disappearing back into their room. Now alone, Tubbo felt the dread start to swirl and tighten against his chest. He wasn't thinking when he got mad at Wilbur...He didn't mean to hurt his brother.
“Got it!”
When Tommy got back he proudly held out a small metal hairpin. He hunched over next to the door handle and deftly jabbed in the pin. He fumbled a little bit with the metal, twisting and pushing until finally the door popped open with a soft “click.”
Immediately both boys rushed into the room.
Wilbur wasn’t there.
His bed was messy and his guitar was still out of its case, but there was no sign of the older teen.
“What- I- how did he leave?” Tommy sputtered, throwing open Wilbur’s closet for any sign of the boy.
“I don’t know...”
Tommy looked all around, checking his drawers and the window for any sign of his escape but there was nothing. It was like Wilbur had vanished.
“Somethings going on Tubbo...”
“What do you mean?” Tubbo frowned, watching unease spread across his brother's face.
“I don’t know, I just feel it,” Tommy grimaced, “Wilbur’s missing, and Techno and dad have been gone for almost a day...I know he’s mad but why would he leave us for that long?”
“Maybe he came when we were sleeping?”
“When’s dad ever quiet?” Tommy questioned.
Tubbo’s face scrunched up, “So what? You want us to break out when dad's already mad at us? Because you think something might be wrong?”
Tommy tilted his head to the side before nodding at Tubbo. A sly grin tugged at his mouth.
“Exactly, come on what’s the worst that can happen! We get in more trouble? We’re already grounded forever.”
Tubbo tried to argue but Tommy was already on the move, throwing on his backpack and boots. He grabbed the same pin he used on Wilbur’s door and popped it into the front door.
“Tommy maybe we should think about-”
“Got it!” Tommy interrupted.
Tubbo tried to pull his brother back, but Tommy was already out the door. He guessed he had to follow, there was no way Tommy would give up now.
Outside the thrum of the village loud. People ran around with kids and bags of groceries while others sat down to eat on small blankets in the grass. Everything seemed okay... Perfect even.
“Look everything’s fine, and we should go back before dad finds out and kills us,” Tubbo groaned, tugging on Tommy’s shoulder.
Tommy smirked and yanked Tubbo forward, sending him stumbling into the grass.
“Nah, let’s check out the headquarters. If anything’s up they’ll know.”
Tubbo huffed and brushed off the dirt from his pants. He couldn’t believe he was letting Tommy rope him into more trouble.
But a small part of his brain yelled that this was the only way to help his giant friend. Even the possibility filled him with determination.
When they finally got to the headquarters both froze in confusion. 
The doors that usually stayed wide open were locked shut...and no guards patrolled the outsides like normal.
Tommy knocked loudly on the wooden door hoping for anyone to let them in. For a few seconds, they were met with silence until a soft shuffling came from inside.
“Who is it?”
“Ponk?” Tubbo asked, “Where is everybody?”
“Oh- Tubbo? Fuck, is anyone with you?”
Tubbo frowned at the worry in Ponk’s voice. The doctor was usually so calm but even through the door, he seemed uneasy.
“Just Tommy-”
“Come in.”
Tubbo backed up as the wooden doors cracked open. Ponk’s face came into view, and Tubbo was sure he hadn’t slept in at least a day. Bags hung under his eyes, and his back was hunched over in exhaustion. Ponk looked even worse than he did.
“Quick quick, close it behind you,” Ponk demanded before running off into a different part of the building. Tubbo frowned at the harshness from Ponk... 
Maybe Tommy was right and something was wrong.
“What the fucks up with him?” Tommy muttered.
Tubbo shrugged and followed Ponk further into the building, no one else seemed to be there. It was odd that in the middle of the day not a single guard member was there...and none were outside either.
The only sign of life in the building was the dim light coming from the infirmary. Softly Tubbo pushed open the door and found Ponk now hunched over someone’s sleeping form.
“Ponk whats-”
“Shhh,” Ponk hissed, interrupting Tubbo completely, “Sam’s resting.”
Tubbo frowned and moved to sit next to Ponk on one of the rickety wooden seats. In the cot, Sam lied still; his skin looked sickly white.
“Fuck...What happened?” Tommy whispered, looking up at Ponk with wide eyes.
The doctor just sighed. His head fell towards his chest in exhaustion.
“He was tranquilizer, by Wilbur we think-”
“Wilbur?!” Tommy yelped before being immediately shushed again by Ponk.
“Sorry, sorry,” Tommy said quickly in a hushed voice, “Why would Wilbur do that though?”
“Trying to get the piglin out we think, don’t know why he’d want to...But Sam was keeping watch of the thing,” Ponk grumbled before pulling a small clear vile of liquid out of his pocket. Silently he poured a small bit into a spoon and stuck it into Sam’s mouth.
“It’s good you boys are here, I really thought Sam would recover quicker, but the antidote isn’t working too well on him,” he sighed, “I'm worried he might have an allergy to it. We’re gonna need you to watch over the town for a bit, Jack’s already helping.”
“What?” Tubbo frowned, “Where's everyone else? In case you forgot, we’re not actually guard members yet we-”
The older man silenced Tubbo with his hand and hunched over in his seat. He took a deep shaky breath before placing down the vial next to him.
“You don’t need to know, you’re right it’s not your responsibility. Just please make sure everything’s alright out there.”
Tommy stood up with a furious expression, “Ponk dude tell us-”
“I can’t Tommy!”
His brother immediately deflated in the same way he did whenever their father yelled at them. 
“Why not?” Tubbo butted in, standing next to his younger brother.
“You’re both kids, this shouldn’t be something you need to worry about-”
“Okay whatever, but our dad and brothers are missing Ponk!” Tommy shouted, making Tubbo flinch from the harsh tone.
His brother’s words finally seemed to get through to Ponk. The doctor hung his head down as his arms crossed over his chest protectively.
“I’m sorry... I just- I can’t tell you,” he whispered.
“It’s okay Ponk,” Tubbo hummed, making Tommy growl in confusion, “We’ll just go yeah?”
Ponk nodded and reached out to grip Tubbo’s hand. The fingers dug into his skin painfully, but by the sad look on the doctor’s face, he knew it was supposed to be reassuring.
“Whatever,” Tommy growled, “Bye Ponk.”
Once they were back in the village square Tubbo felt the weight of the situation push against him.
His family was missing, the guard was gone, and something was clearly wrong...
Not to mention the fact that somehow Wilbur had escaped, and Ranboo was still probably unconscious deep in the forest.
The tension in his heart only grew as he saw family’s walk by unbothered and happy. Whatever god had decided that his family deserved this much pain would pay if he ever found them.
“Come on Tubbo we can’t stay here,” Tommy’s voice echoed against his ears.
“What are we supposed to do?” Tubbo asked softly.
Tommy’s hand grabbed his wrist reassuringly, and when Tubbo looked up he saw a small smile on his brother's face.
“Well, to start off we should probably go wake up your lover?”
“He’s not my- what?” Tubbo frowned as Tommy dug into his backpack.
After a few seconds, he produced a small vial of liquid...the same vial Ponk had been giving to Sam.
“The antidote? How-”
“Wilbur’s little pickpocketing lessons finally paid off,” Tommy grinned before tossing the glass vial into Tubbo’s hands.
He fumbled with it for a moment before bringing it up to his eyes. Sure enough, it was the same one from before. The glass was still half full- he just hoped it would be enough. If anyone could help them find their family it was Ranboo.
Tubbo followed behind Tommy as they ran to the wall. Strangely, the lever controlling the gate looked like it had been used...The guard only ever took it down in emergencies, when they couldn’t just climb over.
“That can’t be good,” Tommy whispered at the sight.
Tubbo nodded and watched as his brother jumped up onto the wall, dragging himself up. As soon as Tommy sat on the edge Tubbo followed suit. The cracked stone dug into his palms, but after so many nights visiting Ranboo he barely felt it.
The two moved quicker than they ever had before. Going out in the morning was dangerous, they both knew it. Everything was awake, and without the cover of darkness, they were much easier targets, which meant they had to be fast
The whole time, Tubbo clenched the vial as close to his chest as he could, he couldn't afford to lose it. Every branch his foot caught on and every rock he stepped over was dangerous.
The moment Ranboo’s den came into view Tubbo felt his heart beat faster. His legs propelled him in front of Tommy while his mind yelled at him to go see his friend. He sprinted through the winding maze of tunnels while Tommy ran breathless behind him.
At last, Ranboo came into view.
Tubbo let out a worried breath and immediately ran up to his giant friend. The large weighted net still rested over his unconscious body. The only sign of life came from the giant’s slow breaths.
“Fuck...Tommy cut the net, I’m gonna try to give this to him,” Tubbo called out before gripping a large section do the giant’s fur in his hands.
As carefully as he could he climbed up the giant’s side. Usually, he’d get help from Ranboo, but there wouldn’t be a kind hand or tail to help him up this time.
Tubbo was almost completely out of breath by the time he reached his face. His arms ached from pulling his body up, but the sight of his friend’s sleeping eyes tugged at his heart.
Careful to not spill any, Tubbo uncapped the vial and kneeled over the giant’s mouth. He stuck his arm in between his lips before pouring in the rest of the vial’s contents.
When he pulled his arm back out it was sticky with saliva making Tubbo gag as he wiped it on his friend's fur.
“Have you cut it?” Tubbo yelled down to Tommy who was still running around the sides of the giant.
“Mostly!” Tommy yelled back as Tubbo carefully slid down the giant’s chest back to the ground.
He anxiously eyed Ranboo’s face hoping to see any sign of movement, but after a few minutes, there was still nothing.
“Did you grab the right vial?” Tubbo asked.
“It was the only one, how could it be the wrong one,” Tommy argued nervously.
Still, a tight frown crossed Tubbo’s face as he walked closer to the sleeping giant. Slowly, he sat down next to Ranboo’s hands and pet his fur.
Tubbo couldn’t hold back his tears any longer when there was still no response from his friend. His back shook with sobs, and his heart squeezed uncomfortably in his chest.
“I’m sorry...” Tubbo whispered with his face pressed against the giant’s fur.
He only looked up again when a soft pressure pushed back against him. Tubbo’s head shot up in surprise as a familiar tail wrapped around his body.
“Ranboo?” Tommy shouted ecstatically.
Tubbo could only grin as one giant eye blinked open at him.
“Good to see you big guy,” he smiled, pulling Ranboo’s tail into a hug.
A soft purr vibrated against Tubbo’s body. The familiar touch was almost enough to make Tubbo forget about why they had come. 
Almost.
“Ranboo...we need your help,” Tubbo sighed as he pulled back from the hug.
The giant let out a slow growl at the loss of touch while his other eye blinked open.
“Wilbur and- and everyone really. Everyone’s missing, and we don’t know what happened. Michael too...”
The giant stared into his eyes before letting out an even deeper growl. This time Tubbo backed away in confusion, he’d never heard anything like that come from Ranboo.
“Big man are you-”
Tubbo didn’t even get to finish his sentence before he had been swiped up in Ranboo’s hand along with Tommy.
“Hey! Warn us first!” Tommy yelped as he pushed against the giant’s prodding fingers, “What's wrong with you!?”
Ranboo just purred again, letting out a soft happy chirp as he pulled the humans close to his chest.
“Okay dude, I love you too, but we’ve kinda got a bigger problem,” Tubbo called out nervously.
The giant didn’t even seem to notice his friend’s plights as he plopped back down onto the ground.
“Why’s he acting so stupid?” Tommy growled as he pounded against the giant’s fingers.
“Hey, dickhead! Didn't you hear Tubbo!? Wilbur’s gone! And your pig son!”
Ranboo looked down at Tommy and tilted his head to the side.
“Yeah come on fucking look at me. Michael. And. Wilbur. Are. In. Trouble,” Tommy growled hitting Ranboo’s hand with every word.
The giant chirped sadly at Tommy’s words before standing up, shaking both of the humans around.
Tubbo yelped and grabbed onto the soft fur while the giant let out a series of loud hisses. They had almost no time to recover before Ranboo was moving, his long strides got them out of the den in seconds.
“I hope he knows where he’s going,” Tommy frowned.
Tubbo couldn’t help but agree.
He’d never seen Ranboo in a state like this. The giant didn’t say a single word only stopping to tilt his head up and sniff around.
He was acting more like an animal than he ever had. If Tubbo didn’t trust him he would have found it unsettling how the giant’s eyes passed over them without any recognition.
Tubbo always joked he was like a cat, but he didn’t like seeing Ranboo actually act the part.
The giant marched forward for what felt like an hour before he finally slammed to a halt. Tubbo was about to call up to him before he noticed how weirdly quiet it was around them.
Normally the forest was filled with noise- the sounds of giant toads, birds, and bugs filled it with sound. But now there was nothing...not even the smallest chirp of a cricket broke the silence.
It was unsettling.
Ranboo was the first one to break the silence. Both humans were dropped to the ground as the giant knelt down next to a large hole in the dirt. Tubbo noted it was most likely some sort of underground den. He remembered his father warning them about those.
Slowly, a deep growl shook out of the giant's chest, and Tubbo realized anxiously that Ranboo was baring his teeth.
“Oh my fucking god,” Tommy yelled, “He's really about to go after a fucking gopherbear.”
Tubbo frowned and backed away from the giant. His mouth was wide open now as he hissed and growled at the hole.
“Nothings even coming up what the-”
Tommy’s words stopped and Tubbo’s breath caught in his throat at the sight in front of them. A giant hand appeared over the edge of the hole before a head and body followed suit.
A longhorn giant...
Tubbo couldn't even process what he was seeing before Tommy had yanked him behind a tree.
“Holy shit...” Tubbo gasped as Ranboo growled even louder.
Unfortunately, the longhorn didn’t seem to be too afraid.
“What do you want?” it growled making Ranboo’s ears twitch backward.
Ranboo chirped angrily reaching out to grab the other giant before he pulled back with a loud hiss. Where his hand had been just moments before a pile of sizzling slime burned into the grass... And small burns covered his fingers where the goo had splashed against him.
“Don't you dare fucking touch me,” the longhorn growled. Even though he was much shorter than Ranboo, the giant’s confidence made Tubbo feel queasy.
Something was definitely wrong.
Ranboo bowed his head to the giant and rubbed at his burned finger.
“Give...give back,” he coughed out.
The longhorn laughed triumphantly walking forward to the bigger giant.
“Ah, so you can talk? I’m not fucking sharing my meal.”
Tubbo frowned from the tree him and Tommy had hid behind. AT first he thought Ranboo was delirious until he picked up on soft crying sounds from the cave...The guard was in there.
Ranboo’s tail whipped out angrily at the giant’s words, but didn’t attack.
“Give...back,” Ranboo growled again.
Tubbo frowned at the injured sound of his friend’s voice. The harsh coughs he let out sounded painful.
“Go find your own,” the longhorn snarled, dipping his head so his massive curled horns were on display to Ranboo.
In contrast to the longhorn's rough appearance, Ranboo’s fluffy tail and face looked almost domestic.
Although his next actions wouldn't be considered that...
Ranboo snarled at the longhorn and whipped out his tail, smacking it directly in the legs. It cried out in pain and immediately more slime shot out from the hole, some hit the grass but most of it caught on Ranboo’s fur.
Tubbo watched in fear and Ranboo clawed at his burning skin, trying to get the slimy substance off of him.
In his distraction, Ranboo didn’t notice the longhorn rearing up to hit him, and when the horns jabbed into his leg Ranboo let out a massive yelp.
“We have to help. Ranboo's hurt and our family's in there,” Tubbo whispered, yanking on Tommy’s shirt.
His brother pulled him back before he could move, “We’ll die if we go out there don’t you-”
Tubbo didn’t even wait for his brother to finish before dashing out from their cover. Behind him, he heard Tommy shout, but he was only focused on his friend.
Ranboo wailed at the sight of Tubbo and tried to push him away with his tail, but Tubbo wouldn’t give in. Fire burned in Tubbo's eyes as he yanked out his sword and pointed it forward at the longhorn.
“Oh how cute, you’ve got a pet?” it laughed at Ranboo.
The taller giant cried out again trying to whip it with its tail before more slime shot out at him. The scent of burning skin just made Tubbo even more furious.
“Don’t fucking hurt him!”
This time the giant’s eyes fell to meet Tubbo’s. Its predatory eyes and sharp teeth immediately filled Tubbo with dread...he just hoped his stance didn’t show it.
This is what he’d been trained to do anyway. How could he join the guard if he couldn’t stop some giants?
Although the logical part of his brain argued that most guard members never had to fight alone...
“Tubbo god fucking damnit!”
When Tubbo turned he was met by his brother's terrified expression.
“I’m not letting you get killed alone dumbass.”
“Adorable,” The longhorn grinned as it quickly lunged forward at the humans.
Tubbo barely had a moment to react before he was in the giant’s fist. Over the roaring in his ears, he heard Ranboo wail out in pain.
The longhorn laughed breathily, its hot breath dripped against Tubbo’s face.
“I always like it when humans fight, thought you’d be better kid.”
All of a sudden a deep voice boomed against the trees.
“Let him go!”
Tubbo had never heard Ranboo yell before...
This time when Ranboo’s tail whipped out at the giant, the full weight of it slammed into the longhorn.
The giant’s hand loosened before its body tumbled on top of Tubbo; the weight alone was almost enough to knock him out. He heard a couple more loud shouts before the body was rolled off of him. 
Ranboo stared down at him with worried eyes before another large shadow fell over Tubbo.
When Tubbo turned he was met by another giant. This one much more disheveled looking with slime dripping from its arms.
“Schlatt! I-”
The moment the jelly giant met Ranboo’s eyes it flung its arms forward sending slime flying. Ranboo snarled and slammed his tail into its head, but he was too late.
Tubbo barely registered as Tommy knelt above him trying to pull off the slime from his face.
The searing sensation of it against his eye was the last thing Tubbo felt before he finally gave out. 
At least his family was safe.
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