#it’s almost brown now but it’s just light enough that it’s better called dark blonde
I... don’t have any fearless merch 😔 but I did find a picture of myself from when I was 11 when Fearless came out ignore the tiara; it’s from a Dance recital... where I danced to Love Story IIRC actually so me then and me now, and I’m VERY excited to relive my childhood tonight, headfirst fearless 💛💛
I first became a fan of Taylor like... a month before Love Story was released so fearless is an album that really defined my childhood and I used to have this potable CD player and I’d just play the album over and over again often making up stories for my littlest pet shop toys to go with them so this just- it means A LOT to me.
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hello. tattoo artist sharon. that's it, that's the ask :)
Oh you did it now, Ellie 😈
Sharon Carter x Female Reader
(Image is how Sharon looks, not the reader)
Word count: 1k ish
Warnings: None, apart from first time tattoos, slight suggestiveness.
This is my first time writing a wlw fic and I’m wicked nervous so give me hell!
It’s something you’ve been dreaming about for what seems like forever, long before you met her, and it only got worse as you spent more and more time with her, fell in love with her, and moved in with her.
Problem is, needles, and the the thought of the inevitable pain that they could cause, had always made you shy away from getting a tattoo... but Sharon made it look so good. So painless. All her customers came out of her little room with a smile on their face.
Art made permanent. Ink etched into skin. And it would be her hands that transferred the beautiful image you had picked out onto you... and you knew better than anyone just how good her hands could feel.
You wanted the image on your upper thigh. Easy enough to hide it if you so desired, and easy enough to show it off if the mood took you. Always though, it would be available to Sharon.
You booked the appointment at her shop - under a different name so that Sharon couldn’t get over protective and freak out - and a week later walked in, eyes darting helplessly this way and that, clutching the image to your chest.
Sam saw you first, his smirk as he realised what you were doing almost outshining the gold piercings and numerous tattoos that adorned him. Next was his boyfriend, Bucky - slightly less adorned, but with the added accessory of black rimmed glasses. He tilted his head to the side, chuckled, and called for your girlfriend,
“Shar? Your uh... your two o’clock is here, babe.”
Your heart skipped when she appeared. Dark blonde hair pulled up into a messy ponytail that somehow managed to look stylish, crop top and tattered jeans to showcase as much of her personal artwork as possible. Sharon was beautiful, vibrant... and apparently mad if the way her brown eyes narrowed at you meant anything.
“Hi, honey!” Your voice is fake bright. “Can you do my tattoo, please? Pretty please?”
A smile slowly crosses across her face, and a very pretty laugh bubbles up, “I did wonder who was mean enough to name a child Ursula Scar.”
You chuckled at the look she gave Bucky who blinked in shock and turned to Sam,
“I thought it was a cool name.”
“Yeah, I know, Buck.”
At that, Sharon takes your hand, tilts your head so that you can meet her eyes. Her question - if you’re really sure, if you’re really ready - is unspoken. Your answer - yes, as long as it’s her marking you, now and forever - is only with a single nod.
Your hand still in hers, she leads you through to the small room, closes the red curtains, and asks you to show her where you want it.
A look crosses her face when you point to your leg, and suddenly your nerves disappear.
Technically it’s very unprofessional, but Sharon watches as you toe off your trainers, push your jeans down your legs, and sit back on the red leather chair.
Her fingers are warm when she touches you, even through the gloves. The first touch of the needle does sting, but the pain slowly ebbs into something manageable. It helps that Sharon’s sunshine smile is always on you, that her pretty voice is always talking to you, and that it’s her that’s etching this art onto you permanently.
Sharon’s already permanently underneath your skin. It makes sense that you can keep a tangible piece of her too.
It’s hours later when Sharon stops. Art bloomed from her delicate fingers to live on your thigh. You gently release your bottom lip from your teeth, let out the tiniest gasp when Sharon runs cool alcohol over your skin. You meet her eyes once more, just as she presses her lips to yours, sinful smile lighting her up more than all her colourful ink ever could.
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The Impossible Earth
Chapter Two: This is why we can’t go to parties
Word Count: 9,582
Pairings: Potential future romance wither either Natasha Romanoff or Wanda Maximoff. Past relationship with Agent Hill (mentioned)
Summary: Things still feel weird to you after your dream, in fact it’s making you more hyper aware of how odd things actually are around you. Yet something always makes you turn the other cheek. It’s time to start a new mission that might just change things forever.
Warnings: Mature language and some depictions of violence
You drove in silence. Your mind wandered back to your dream, truth be told you’ve been having the same one since you were seven years old. Once you heard that recurring dreams were messages your subconsciousness was trying to get to you or that some Devine entity was trying to talk to you. You were never one to believe in superstitions, even in a world where aliens and superhumans exist, you believed only what you could see and logic.
That was exactly the problem though. There was not an ounce of logic in this stupid dream or why you keep having it. This one however, shook you up the most because there was something incredibly off putting about that crow. Like it could see who you were from the inside out. Almost as if it was a wake up call but not from the dream, like it wanted its call to wake you up from inside of the real world. A chill rolled its way down your shoulder blades causing you to shudder. You shook your head trying to get that wild thought out of your mind. You tried to just think about the road, think about the route to work and even try to think about the different coloured cars ahead of you.
Part of you always felt a sense of abnormality now and then again. As if you are always constantly in a state of dreaming and trying to wake yourself up. Thinking back on it though, your doctor had mentioned that people with ADHD tend to be day dreamers and are prone to something called dissociation. Where at times your mind tends to wander outside of your body, the world slowing down or ebbing away as your mind goes blank. You gritted your teeth, you really wished that you could stop “dissociating” and just concentrate on what was happening in front of you. It did feel at times that your mind was raking through your memories, trying to remind itself of something that you had long forgotten.
“God dammit Y/N, stop it.” Your hands gripped the steering wheel as you scolded yourself. You bent over slightly and turned on the radio almost punching the on button. Your ears were greeted by the song “Rock and Roll” by Led Zeppelin, a song with potential to shout back at your thoughts to keep them quiet. You turned the volume up to max, your car vibrating with the bass and drums and you couldn’t help but tap your thumbs along with the music. In only a matter of moments you were dancing in your seat and singing along. The rush of serotonin flooding your mind, pushing away your sense of dread and your out of body feeling. You continued this way for another 30 minutes until the tall cylinder building came into view. You turned the vehicle right and began to drive down the long bridge over the water until the security booth came into view. Turning down your music you slowed down until you were parallel with the man waiting for your arrival.
“Hey Hank, you miss me?” you teased through a wide grin. Hank however didn’t reciprocate that smile, he kept his lip tight as he peered at you through dark shades. Seriously what was up with security? Did they always have to act like such hard asses?
“I need to see your ID,” he said in a monotone voice.
“I need to see your ID,” you mimicked Hank, furrowing your brows to look tough and crossing your arms. Hank’s lip twitched but it wasn’t in amusement. He sat there in silence waiting for you to prove your identity. You sat in silence along with him, copying his facial expression and his body language. Though it was clear your antics were only just irritating him. “My god fine.” You bent over to your left and opened up your glove box picking up a lanyard with your identification on it. You held up the card to his face and he took a scanner to it. The machine beeped and a green light flashed for the all clear. Hank nodded at you and pushed a red button that caused the barrier to raise. You started your car engine up again and began to head for the open road. “Lighten up a little there bud,” you called out to Hank as you drove by and headed for the sign that in big letters said S.H.I.E.L.D with a giant silver eagle spread through the middle.
Hank only shook his head as your car began to drive away. “Fucking moron,” Hank muttered to himself as he picked up a small radio. “Hey Coulson, your designated dumbass is coming in.”
You stepped out of your car and began to walk through the employee parking lot, they kept it under ground, well two floors underground because the building tends to get destroyed monthly. Sometimes it is yearly if the company is having good days. It was either always the bad guys or the avengers trying to get the bad guys. It wasn't good on taxpayer dollars really. You’d think with Tony Stark’s brilliant mind and Director Fury’s hard ass that they would come up with some alternative metal that wouldn’t break all the time.
You finally approached the elevators but the doors slid open before you even pushed the button. Inside a tall blonde stood, her face beaming with a smile as she made eye contact with you.
“Hey Y/N, how’s your morning going?” Her brown eyes glinted warmly as she regarded you. You offered a forced smile as your eyes met hers.
“Oh it’s just peachy, How is your morning so far Sharon?” You laughed slightly then looked at an odd bundle of pink fabric that she had drawn close to her body. “Don’t tell me that instead of black uniforms we’re wearing pink ones now, kind of defeats the purpose of trying not to be seen.” Sharon glanced at you for a moment in confusion before following your gaze to clothes she held in her hands.
“Oh it’s just a disguise for a steak out mission.” Sharon unfurled what was a pink nurse’s scrub top. You wrinkled your nose at it’s bright colour but nodded slowly in forced approval. She noticed your gaze and let out a soft laugh of her own. “Yeah not so easy on the eyes hey? But people tend to avoid dark colours in the medical world, you know so they don't look so menacing as they do things like take your blood.” Sharon’s brown eyes beamed with delight, you’re sure that she wouldn’t admit it but that twinkle told you she was actually excited to wear them as a disguise. You smiled warmly at her and crossed your arms over your chest.
“Yeah I do suppose that makes quite a bit of sense and hey, if we’re being honest I think you chose your disguise well, you have that face that's good for the doctoring stuff.” You blinked at yourself, that didn’t exactly sound like a compliment and surely enough Sharon was mirroring your expression. Your eyes widened as you tried to backtrack on your comment.
“No wait, what I meant is that you’ll pull it off because you have one of those kind faces you know? Like the kind doctors and nurses have.” Sharon only leveled your gaze, you couldn’t quite tell if you were out of the woods yet.
“Like let’s say for me for an example. I hate interacting with people so I don’t have a kind face. I would be the nurse you try to actively avoid because who knows am I nice or will I try to stab you with a scalpel? No one would know and no one would buy it.” Sharon raised her hand up to quit you from rambling on with a smile playing on her lips.
“I knew what you meant the first time.” She said punching your shoulder. “I just wanted to embarrass you.”
You held your hand up to your chest in fake hurt. “Sharon Carter, I cannot believe you would hit me with such a level of betrayal.” You giggled but stopped as you noticed Sharon was avoiding your gaze. Instead she was playing with her fingers slightly, wait, was that a look of guilt on her face? “Hey Sharon-” You held your hand out to place it on her shoulder, slightly confused at her mood change. Was it something you said? Maybe you shouldn’t have made that joke.
“Hm? What?” Sharon’s head snapped back up to look at you, another smile on her face and yet it didn’t seem genuine this time. You could feel your heart sink at the sudden change of energy around the two of you. She looked into your eyes but there was something really different about the way she looked at you. You couldn’t quite place what her facial expression was saying. It was almost like there was a hint of sorrow, the way you look at someone after they’ve lost a loved one or if something horrible had just happened to them. A sad smile with eyes full of pity, that's what it was, the odd expression you couldn’t quite place. It's pity. Why would you need to be looked at like a wounded puppy? You opened your mouth to speak, to question her but Sharon stopped the flow from your lips as she began to speak. “Sorry Y/N just lost in thought about my new mission and speaking of that I better be on my way.”
That sounded like a total lie if you’ve ever heard one. Sharon held her scrubs tightly to her chest and began to walk past you into the parking lot. She stopped herself and turned back to you. “But I’ll be tagging along on a mission you’re going on tonight, so I’ll see you then!” Sharon waved goodbye to you and you only waved back half heartedly as you watched her vanish amongst the maze of cars. You stood there, puzzled. Maybe that pity wasn’t meant for you and perhaps it was something Sharon herself was going through. Part of you chose to believe that and the other half sat in confusion and disbelief. You almost hadn’t realized the elevator door had closed as someone else had summoned it. Straightening your posture you put everything that just happened behind you and put on your work face as you pushed the up button.
You strode out onto the fifth floor in a hurried pace determined to make it to the staff room as quickly as you could. The night of a rough sleep began to feel heavy under your eyes making you feel groggy. Coffee. You needed coffee and so help you, you were going to get that coffee and you would bulldoze everyone within ten feet of you to get it. All you had to do was keep going straight and then make a left.
That moment of sweet excitement almost got ruined when a voice chimed beside you. “Agent Callaghan, nice of you to finally join us,” you didn’t even need to glance beside you to know it was Coulson. He walked beside you with his hands behind his back and his chin up as he held his head proudly. A stance he usually found himself in as he travelled these very hallways. A façade that most agents here kept. Always looking high and mighty as if somehow showing you were human was against the law. Even you walked like that, your back straightened into a better posture and your eyes looked ahead as if the world was beneath you. Typical agent stuff.
“You really need to stop aggravating our security.” He chuckled, his voice calling your attention back to him and away from your hunt for coffee. “He called you in by the way and he said you are my designated dumbass, I believe.” Coulson turned to you for a sense of explanation. Something like this happened every morning, you’d pull into work and try your best to get the security guard to smile at least but Hank has proven to be a dark force against happiness. Now he’s ratting you out to your mentor, how positively rude of him but you couldn’t help but laugh.
“Ah damn, I thought he and I were actually connecting back there.” You sent a smile to Coulson who only rolled his eyes at your response. Out of all the agent’s he has trained you were always the one giving him grief, all of his trainees and now graduated agents for sure gave him gray hairs but you seemed to speed up the aging process. When he was first assigned to look out for you all those years ago, he was angry at Director Fury for making you his trainee, something even you weren’t happy with. The first few weeks were hard for the both of you. Always butting heads and getting into arguments. You two could never seem to agree on anything and half the time he was pretty sure that you never paid attention to any of his words. Yet given time, the arguments slowly died down and the two of you actually became a pretty good team, even friends at this point, for you however it was more than just a friendship. Coulson was your father figure in life, considering when you were only six when your parents dumped you at the facility door and left without a word. In a way he did more than just train you to become an agent of S.H.E.I.L.D and even if he wouldn’t personally admit it, he raised you and you really looked up to him. Of course you would never let him know that either, so you settled on ultimately giving him a hard time and stirring up trouble when you could.
Your eyes finally located the staff room sign and you picked up your pace, almost skipping towards the room as you thought of sweet caffeine. Coulson noticed your change of pace and shot you a glance. Perhaps you were just eager to hear about your assignment of the day. That thought made Coulson smile to himself, no that wouldn’t be true but he had a very good idea about what you were eager for. You rounded the corner entering the staff room and made a beeline for the Keurig that sat waiting for you on the dark metal shelf. Without hesitating you reached for the cupboards above and began to dig out a k-cup, selecting the breakfast blend and holding it to your chest excitedly as you closed the small doors. As you plopped the pod in the machine you couldn’t help the smile that creeped along your face. You selected the biggest cup size and waited eagerly for your beverage.
“First order of business Y/N.” Coulson began but you raised a finger at him. He stopped his sentence and furrowed his brows at you in confusion. He watched as you slowly drew your finger to your lip and then pointed down at the Keurig. He followed your gaze until he found himself looking back at the Keurig, it almost taunted him, as if somehow a robotic beverage machine was saying “I have her full attention now not you.” Coulson let out a grunt of frustration. “As I was saying-.” Coulson began to speak again but you cut him off with a loud “shhh shhh shhh.” You pointed back at the cup again. It let out a loud whirring sound as the dark brown liquid began to pour itself into your cup. The older agent rolled his eyes, Here we go again, he thought to himself. Coulson tilted his head slightly to the left, clearly over your bullshit and attempted to speak again. You shot him a death glare and he thought better of it, holding his sentence in his mouth but his not so amused look meant he was going to get you back for this later.
The loud drone of the coffee machine came to an end, letting out a soft hiss indicating the job of coffee was complete. You grabbed a small tea spoon, plopping two scoops of sugar inside before turning to the fridge and grabbing out the cream, pouring in a generous amount. Coulson watched your movements, his eyes glancing up at the clock occasionally, there were more important matters to discuss but instead he is here playing the quiet game with you. After putting the spoon in the sink and the cream back in the fridge, you held the cup close to you, the warm smell of Java beans greeting your nose as you took in a heavenly sip. You closed your eyes slightly savoring the taste. You opened them to look at Coulson, sitting across from you with his arms folded over his chest.
“Now, you may continue.” You smiled but that wasn’t reciprocated. You glanced at the clock, it was only 0725, not even half an hour in and you’ve already managed to piss off a high ranking agent.
“Now is where I leave you to your duty of paperwork-” You immediately opened your mouth to retaliate but Agent Coulson held his hand up to prevent you from speaking. “I will deliver your mission for tonight around 1700 hours alright?” He picked himself out of his chair and began walking towards the door after flashing you a smug look. As he reached the door he turned around to face you. “Now you may continue drinking your coffee.” With that he vanished from the door. You stared down at your coffee cup almost ashamed but after one sip that shame was gone. It was worth the moment of bliss from your rather weird morning. Clutching the cup you strode out of the room and into the hallway of busy personnel.
The good thing about your office was also the bad thing about your office, it was at the very end of the hallway and away from all the people. It was Director Fury’s idea to keep you secluded to your own corner, in his words it was to “keep you from getting distracted by stupid ass people” and in a way you sort of appreciated that. Though when he said secluded he really meant secluded. So much so that only you, a select few agents and of course the director himself could access it. You kind of thought that it was weird. Yes you had been a part of S.H.I.E.L.D since you were a child but you only started agent work four years ago. Compared to Agent Coulson, you were still just a babe tripping through the woods trying to keep up with the rest. So why the fancy room?
You stopped in front of two large metal doors and picked up your lanyard. You waved it across the small black box, it responded with a small chime and the red light switched to green. With a loud groan the doors slid open and you marched into the desolate hall. There were no windows, no other doors and not even a few decorative paintings. It was just an empty strip that led to the foggy glass door that was your office. Once you had brought Sharon down through here without anyone else knowing, she said that the hallway kind of freaked her out because of the humming that she could hear through the foundations. That was another thing all together.
You noticed the odd whirring sounds when you were first shown to your new office. It almost sounded like heavy machinery was operating itself hidden behind the walls. Agent Coulson just assured you that it was the vents carrying sounds from the labs in the basements. Part of you believed him. It never showed to be any concern to you, so you just left it and now you hardly even noticed the droning noises.
Now that you were finally in your office you gently closed the door behind you and went to lean against it letting out a long sigh. The warm rose glow of the sunrise filled your room. Ahead of you sat a tall cherry wood desk, to your right a couple of black filing cabinets and scattered throughout the office a large assortment of plants. Sitting on either side of the door were two money trees, about the same size as you, in the corner closest to your desk was a large Aurea fern and placed strategically throughout the room were a smaller assortment of succulents. When you first started bringing in the plants Director Fury was pretty upset, saying that plants weren’t allowed in this type of working environment but you knew that was a lie. You’ve seen many of your coworkers with the odd small plant on their desk so it was just him telling you that you specifically weren’t allowed to have plants. Of course you didn’t listen and kept bringing in more.
The plants gave you a sense of calm, they grounded you and oddly enough they felt familiar, kind of like friends. Which was a little sad now that you actually thought about it. That plants gave you more of a sense of companionship than actual people. Perhaps it’s because of the deep rooted trauma after being ditched by your parents. Trusting people was difficult for you. At any given moment someone could give you a plate filled with so much love only to smash it on the ground in front of you later. Plants on the other hand, they just sit there in a quiet understanding and of course they couldn’t exactly leave but that wasn’t the point.
You took another sip of your coffee and made your way into the room but something was different about your desk. The sight made you want to slowly back out of your office and pretend you never noticed the mountain of paperwork on your desk. Coulson must have somehow made it in and out without you noticing to deliver your punishment for the coffee stunt you pulled earlier. You let out a loud groan and forced yourself to approach your desk. It wouldn’t be too late to toss the files out your window right?
“No Coulson it was crazy, the wind we have here is just absurd, yeah all the files, out the window and away they went, couldn’t grab them at all.” You muttered to yourself pulling your chair underneath you and pulled one file to look at. The process here was simple, read mission reports or lab reports and see all the information checked out and sign off on it. It was easy enough but it was so bloody tedious. Well here goes nothing.
Hours had passed by and it didn’t even look as if you had put a dent in the massive pile Coulson had delivered to you. You had gone through 56 of them to be exact. Alright, new mental note, don’t piss Coulson off before 0800 because maybe next time you’ll actually be outside instead of being cooped up in your office. Bitterly you glanced back at the pile, sliding a new file off and opened it.
This one was labeled The Terra Project. Man what was up with all these lab reports and their fancy names? You glanced down at the papers inside and blinked in confusion. Most of the contents inside were gone over with a black marker. You glanced upright at the date October 11th 1992, so this report was made over 21 years ago, odd, you shouldn’t be going over the briefing now. Was the file misplaced somehow? Usually with how organization goes around this place that is almost impossible. Unless someone tampered with the file and placed it back recently? You began to read the first page, well what you could through the blacked out information. This was a report on a test subject with the subject in question’s name blocked out, even their photograph was covered in thick black ink, cutting all ties to who’s file this was.
Age: Seven years
Species: Unknown, ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓
Blood type: Compromised
Height: 4ft 1” 121 cm
Subject remains unresponsive to new tests. Still remains heavily active when injected with ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ with Director’s lead we will attempt to induce subject with ▓▓▓▓▓ and ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ and ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ So far the subject is still displaying human like behaviors when given day to day objects and when playing alone. However when ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓
You wrinkled your nose as you read through the files, these tests were done on a child? It wasn’t the first time that S.H.I.E.L.D has interacted with children that had gifts similar to that of the Avengers or even ones with high levels of other worldly mutations in their blood. Whatever the reasons for tests were, the idea of a kid alone in a lab made you feel queasy. It must be absolutely horrifying for them. There was a tugging at your heart, almost like you could empathize with the child from all those years ago, however that wouldn’t make any sense. You’ve been in the labs yes, when assessing strange assets left behind from space or new technology made by some mad man. You however, never were a test subject. That would be a crazy idea alone but you would have remembered if you were a test subject. Shaking your head slightly you flipped through the pages looking for any place you needed to sign or stamp. You stopped at a rather strange piece of paper. It was crumpled terribly and the words were slightly faded. What made the sheet so strange wasn’t the fact it was damaged but the fact that it was covered in large splatters of some kind of brown liquid. You pulled it out of the file and tried to flatten it to make out the words.
Subject has been aggressively activated through ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ making their abilities stronger. It seems their emotional response to the pain from the ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ has caused them to ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ Subject has ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ Four of our lab men have been killed ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓. Subject remains aggressive ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ Subject is headed towards me. I am not sure how much longer I can keep reporting Subject is now in the room with me-
There were no other entries made to the report. Realization shot through you and you immediately dropped the paper on your desk trembling. That paper was covered in old blood. The person writing the report must have been severely injured or worse. You could feel your body shaking. What kind of experiment was that?! Your stomach began churning like you were going to be sick. Your heart started racing as a sudden image flashed in your mind.
A man sat cowered in the corner of a laboratory, his knees huddled to his chest and his hands covering his face. “P-please! Please don’t kill me I-I’m sorry we hurt you.” There were red splatters that decorated his white lab coat and over his fingers. They were holding an eye that was currently missing from his socket. “Please -” He opened his mouth to say a name but for some reason no sound came out yet his lips were moving. The vision began to hone in on the lab assistant with the sound of small bare feet tapping against the concrete. The room began to rumble and shake as the viewer got closer. The man let out a loud blood curdling scream.
His scream seemed to blend in with the one that ripped through your throat. You cradled your head in your hands as your eyes squeezed shut as if that could somehow help block out whatever just happened in your mind. Why was this in your head? The graphic image of the wounded man burned in the back of your eye lids, tears began to fall down your cheeks, you couldn’t seem to shake that visual out of your head. The paper must have had some sort of hallucinogenic property spilled in the process of the accident. When you touched the paper it must have absorbed into your skin. You desperately hoped that was the cause of such an aggressive image to show up inside of your head. That wasn’t a memory of your own and yet it felt so real like you were actually there.
Your breathing began to level out as you sucked in gasps of air, slowing down your heart rate but not fully sending your body back into a sense of calm. Slowly you rose back to your feet but your legs were still trembling, threatening to knock you off balance and send you back on the floor. You dragged your eyes to the file and it almost seemed to be staring back at you. Silently begging for you to pick it back up again. There was an undeniable sense of familiarity of it, as if part of who you were, was somehow buried inside of that file. Yet whenever you looked at that stack of paper, your body reacted physically wanting you to get as far away from it as possible. Like there was a deep rooted message that this was something you weren’t meant to see or have. You stood for what felt like five minutes eyeing down the file. Fighting with your head and your gut on what to do and how to proceed. This is getting ridiculous!
You rushed over to your desk and slammed the file shut, quickly picking it up and then shoving it in your desk drawer. The terrible sense that something horrible would come from this only made that nervous pit in your stomach sink deeper. You pushed it aside and aggressively sat back down in your chair, you glared at the stacked paper work beside you. You knew you should continue the task that Coulson had set out for you but the emotional chaos you went through just now was making the idea of work seem far fetched. Instead you leaned forward and placed your head on the top of your hands to stare blankly at the door.
A few moments passed before the door opened slowly and Coulson peeked his head through. The first thing he noticed was your tired eyes and blank expression. Ah, so my punishment must have gotten through to her. He entered the room even further, his arms carrying a large black bundle. You slowly drew your attention to what he was holding and then looked back at him.
“I assume you’re here to brief me on tonight’s mission?” Your voice didn’t come off as snarky or sarcastic as it usually did, instead it came out in a low tired octave, but only Coulson didn’t know why. He wasn’t here to see you get violently tossed into a gruesome vision of a S.H.I.E.L.D lab assistant getting murdered. Coulson did however notice there was something incredibly off with you. He cast his gaze to the ground wondering if maybe keeping you locked up inside all day was a bad idea. He straightened his shoulders and walked towards your desk.
“A small crew of us are going undercover at a party tonight, specifically a party at the Resorts World Casino. We have a possible lead on a weapons dealer for a Hydra Base located in New Jersey, We will be attending this party with 6 other agents and one who used to be an agent with us. You remember Agent Romanoff right?”
How could you forget her? Before she went to go and be a full time member of The Avengers, she assisted in some of your training exercises when Coulson couldn’t and damn did she ever pack a mean punch. You were almost certain that she hated you. The two of you never connected outside of practices, not in the same way you and Sharon did, in fact it really seemed like Natasha would actively avoid you. Though never did avoid her fist making contact with your face through training.
“Yes.” You answered dryly. Coulson raised an amused eyebrow at you before chuckling. Yeah he had seen the two of you spar together and Natasha never hesitated to hand your ass back to you. Though you would never admit it, Natasha was the main reason why you became so talented at hand to hand combat, having an ex-assassin as a teacher would do that. Coulson now stood in front of you, the only barrier being the desk and he presented the black bundle.
“This would be your disguise for tonight.” He waited until you reached forward and grabbed the metal hook sticking out of the top. You pulled back and watched as the black fabric seemed to go on forever until you finally dragged what turned out to be a bag beside you. Suddenly you realized what it was inside.
“You can’t be serious Coulson!” You exclaimed holding the long black bag before you. One thing you hated the most was wearing anything like dresses or skirts. Every time you wore them on a mission you always found yourself cursing under your breath, sometimes even ripping apart the long fabrics to allow you to move more freely. There was nothing useful about wearing them. They always got in the way or got trapped under your shoes or got snagged on doors. Not to mention while you’re rushing around hunting the bad guys, your hands can't help but go down and try to prevent the fabric from flying away and flashing everyone.
Now it was time for you to meet your collective doom again through swishy pretty fabric. “Why can’t I just wear a suit and pretend to be a busboy or something? There is truly nothing practical about a dress, I mean have you ever tried running in a dress and in heels? The dress is in the way and you could trip or worse, heels can only take you so far so fast before you risk snapping your ankles and god forbid you have to run on grass.” You glanced at Agent Coulson with a glare and held your arms against your chest. “Tell me Agent Coulson, have you ever tried running on grass in high heels? Or anything with dirt for that matter?” The lack of response only made you roll your eyes. “The heels sink down in the ground Coulson.”
“If we play our cards right, we won’t have to engage in combat and you won’t have to risk, what was that you said? Snapping your ankles,” his eyes gleamed with humor. He absolutely knew you hated flowy fabric, even on your days off no matter what the weather was you refused to wear them. Even when there was some sort of celebration, you stuck to pants or shorts, with the exception of the occasional romper. At least rompers allowed your legs to actually move around. However this was a black tie sort of event which meant if you wanted to blend in, you had to dress the part of a party goer.
“Coulson let’s be serious, when has S.H.I.E.L.D ever infiltrated a party without being discovered? When have we ever swiftly apprehended the suspects and left silently without someone being shot at or decked in the head.” You leveled his gaze. Coulson pursed his lips slightly. You made a fair point.
“Just put it on and be ready to leave in 30 minutes.” He said making his way out of the room so you could put your dress on. You watched him go with a sense of disdain. God why did it have to be a party and not some sort of public zoo scope out? You gazed back at the bag with furrowed brows.
“Alright fine” As soon as Coulson shut the door, you rested the black bag over your chair and slid the blinds down, cloaking your room in a temporary darkness before the fluorescent glow of the office lights adjusted in your eyes. You unzipped the bag and curiously looked at the gown. Of course it was strapless. The dress was long and for the most part was a gorgeous royal blue. The corseted bust of the dress was covered in small crystal patterns, swirling to accentuate the shape of the hips and the breasts and the shape of the back. For being quite elegant it also seemed slightly seductive. Teetering on the edges of fancy and wild. You had to admit that it really was a beautiful dress and maybe, just maybe if your life was different, you could see yourself being happy to wear something like this out. That would never be the case though.
You quickly began to disrobe yourself until you were practically standing naked in your office. Standing in your office in such a state sent a weird wave of un-comfortability over you. Quickly you folded your clothes and began to slide inside of the dress. The silky fabric graciously slid along your legs and up your thighs, almost making you excited to wear it. Finally you lifted it to the top of you and bent an arm behind you awkwardly trying to zip it up from the back. You were able to get it to the middle of your spine but no further.
“Fuck,” you whispered to yourself and all excitement to put on this dress died immediately. For something that was to make you feel so pretty it was unreasonably complicated to get into. You stood there with your arm wiggling behind you attempting to push the zipper up any higher than you could. With a loud groan of defeat you came to realize that this was going to be a two person job. But before you could run out and seek help, you reached into the beg and pulled out two separate black garters. You slid them up to your thighs, the first one holding a small Glock and the other held two throwing knives. You let the dress fall down concealing your weapons and grabbed the small black handbag that came with the dress. Something rattling around inside telling you that it was probably another gun. At least Coulson would keep you well armed in this thing.
You quickly jogged down your office hallway, the doors sliding open as you scanned your card and peeked your head into the busy room in front of you. You slid away from the doors but kept your back away from any peering eyes, it was much too low for you to saunter out looking for help to zip it the rest of the way up. You quickly scanned around, looking for anyone who you could easily trust to assist you with your fashion malfunction. Your gaze settled on a tall brunette. Her hair neatly pulled back up in a bun as she oversaw the employees below her.
“Maria!” You called out to her. Maria shifted slightly and looked down to her left before shaking her head and looking back straight ahead. Not actually hearing you. You shuffled a little closer to the edges of the doors hoping it would help carry your voice a little more. “Maria!” Agent Hill shifted but it was still clear that she couldn’t hear you or if she did it wasn’t loud enough to convince her that anyone was actually trying to address her. You closed your eyes and took in a deep breath.
“Agent Maria Hill!”
That got her attention. She whipped her head back to look at you with eyes wide in confusion. She mouthed a “what” to you before you started wildly beckoning her over with your hand. Maria glanced down and with her arm waved to present the work she was doing at the moment. You rolled your eyes at her and beckoned her with your hand again. She huffed in response but was soon gliding towards you. No matter how hard Maria tried, she couldn’t actually say no to you and a big part of that was because of your history together.
“What could you possibly need right now Y/N?” Maria’s voice slowed down as her eyes drank in everything you were wearing, her cheeks flushing at how nicely the corseted top of the dress clung to your frame, it was an enchanting sight and it sucked the air out of her lungs. Her eyes travelled down to your dress and she looked back up at you in pleasant surprise. “I wonder what strings Coulson had to pull to get your ass in a dress for the mission tonight. You look good.”
You ducked your head down in slight embarrassment as red coloured your cheeks. A couple years back you and Maria had actually dated each other. It didn’t really work out to say the least. You were both headstrong, stubborn women and that caused the two of you to clash a lot. It got to the point where it started to interfere with your day to day jobs. The two of you would constantly argue with one another, even in front of your coworkers and once in front of Director Fury. He had sent you both home that afternoon telling you both “to work on your shit” the two of you had officially broken up that day. Coming to terms that even though the two of you had high respect for the other, that you were both too different and too similar in ways that sent the two of you out of balance. However the two of you remained good friends. You glanced at her slightly hopeful.
“Are you coming on the mission tonight too?” You felt your hope wither down as she shook her head.
“No I’ll be stationed here, over seeing CCTV and media posts while your team is down there doing all the action.” She smiled at you warmly and then raised an eyebrow. “So what was so urgent you needed me to come over here?”
Right! You quickly turned around and revealed your situation to her. Maria let out a soft chuckle and placed her hands on your body. One hand at the small of your back where the close started and the other on the zipper. You could feel the dress tightening around you as Maria zipped up the back and within seconds your dress was fully done up. Her hands remained on you a fraction longer before she finally pulled away. You cleared your throat as you turned around and looked at her with a wide smile.
“Thank you so much.” You ran your hands down your dress now that you were properly situated. You mostly wanted to divert the conversation from the awkward tension. The two of you were apart for a year now but sometimes hold habits would slip through before you or Maria caught yourselves. “I was afraid of who I would end up having to find out here to help me with the zipper, but I guess I got lucky.” Maria sent you an awkward smile before straightening her posture, her eyes looking to the right. You followed her gaze to see Agent Coulson, Agent Carter and four other men you didn’t really converse with very much. They must be coming to collect you for the mission. At least there would be two people you could actually talk to. Both were dressed for the mission tonight, though Coulson pretty much looked the same, just this time in a black tuxedo rather than his usual grey. Sharon on the other hand was sporting a champagne coloured dress and unlike yours hers actually had sleeves.
“Oh so Sharon gets to have sleeves and I get to have a good chunk of myself exposed?” You jabbed your finger into Coulson slightly as he got closer to you. Not wanting to fully push your luck to make it actually hurt but enough to show him that you were annoyed. Coulson only smiled at you and gently removed your hand away from his chest.
“I think the changes in style here should be the least of your concern Y/N, but if it makes you feel better I’ll have you know that the dresses are bulletproof.” Coulson beamed. He had brought both the outfits to the lab about a week prior to have them upgraded. Any bullet would bounce straight off of the fabric no matter how close or how far away they were shot at. It made him feel a bit better knowing that the three women on his squad would be protected in their evening wear. Of course the same technology lingered in the suits and he knew very well that the three women would be able to handle themselves, but the thought of anything happening to them or especially happening to you made his stomach twist with worry.
You glanced down “Ah yes I’m super glad that while my breasts remain impenetrable to bullets, every major artery in my neck is happily exposed for fashion,” you heard both Maria and Sharon stifle a laugh. Even one of the other squad members let a smile form on his lips. Coulson squinted his eyes and waved you away with his hand before walking up to Maria.
“I’m sure you’ll have us well covered from above?” Maria nodded her head and a look of understanding passed between the two of them. Unknown to you it was the look that said “Make sure she doesn’t get hurt.” Maria smiled at you and then ducked away to go back to her post overlooking the many computers below her. Coulson turned back towards his group, all of you huddled a little closer to hear what he had to say. “Agent Callaghan, You and Agent Carter will travel together, Agent -” You tuned him out as you shuffled closer to Sharon, he was still telling the rest of the men who would travel with who. You were actually kind of glad that he didn’t assign you to someone you didn’t know and maybe he knew that you would be a bit uncomfortable with that. Sharon leaned over and whispered in your ear.
“We’ll be taking my car, is that alright?” You nodded in response though part of you felt like you were forgetting something at that moment. You pushed it aside as Sharon linked her arm with yours and began leading you towards the elevator. You would only realize what you had forgotten when it was too late, that downstairs in the same exact parking lot you would be going to, a pill bottle sat nestled inside of your glove box and would be neglected for the evening.
You all arrived by 1945. Once you set foot inside of the busy atmosphere you could feel your heart racing in pace with all the action. It was overwhelming. The bright lights, the sounds of the machines, people laughing and glasses clinking. The fact of having to locate heavily armed and dangerous men in this place almost seemed bewildering. Almost. If S.H.E.I.L.D was good at anything it was smoking out a rat, no matter how intricate of a setting the rat was in and no matter how deeply that rat was hiding S.H.I.E.L.D would get it. You felt a hand wrap around your upper arm as Sharon pulled you aside and out of the way of entering and exiting people.
“Alright Y/N, I’m going to go stand by the coin slot machines and wait for Coulson’s direct orders. You remember where he told you to go right?” You nodded a bit distastefully. Agent Coulson wanted you stationed near the bar to keep a lookout for any of the men in question. You went over all the photographs in the car with Sharon before the two of you entered the casino. You didn’t doubt that any of them would visit the bar during their secret trade and if you were being honest with yourself, you’ve always wanted to use an expensive bottle of liquor as a weapon.
Taking a deep breath and you descended further into the casino, tilting your body to let other party members pass by. Your eyes took a sweep of the crowd as you moved. So far no Hydra agents. As you made it to the bar you swiftly sat in one of the stools with your body turned to the side, just to be able to keep a better view on things but also to not look terribly suspicious.
“Anything I can offer you darling?” You recognized the voice immediately. Natasha. You slowly spun around to face the brightly lit bar and sure enough there she stood.
Her red hair hung loosely on her shoulders with beautiful curls that danced with her every move. She wore a white top that stopped below her belly button in a ribbon, the neck of the shirt was a very deep v neck that deliciously exposed the flesh on her chest, seductively inviting but short enough to look professional. Much to your jealousy though, she wore a nice pair of dress pants that opened loosely around her ankles. So while you and Sharon had to be dressed in the most impractical of combat fashions, Natasha was actually dressed far more appropriately if she had to fight someone but in fairness she probably didn’t let Coulson run with her mission wear. She was working the bar though so a dress probably wasn’t in the job description.
You hadn’t realized that you had been staring at her for a while until she waved her hand in front of your eyes. You shook your head and regarded her.
“Agent Romanoff, nice to see you again,” you said a little more dryly than you meant to. She tilted her head slightly and leaned in over the bar table, her face suddenly closer to you. By that time you had fully turned your body to face the bar, your knees tucked under the short counter and your body now in alignment with Natasha’s. “To what do I owe the pleasure?”
“Not still mad at me for whooping your ass Y/N, are you?” Her green eyes glinted as she teased you. This caused your blood to boil slightly. You hadn’t seen Natasha for almost a year now, the last memory you had of her was striding down the hall ignoring you each time you called out to her before disappearing into the stairwell. So now she wants to play nice and act like you are actually another person in front of her. Interesting.
“I can’t say I don’t hold a grudge for that but if I remember quite clearly.” You drew out the r in clearly as you also leaned in until both of your faces were mere inches away from each other. You could feel the heat of her breath on your lips “Is that you don’t actually like me.” Natasha looked at you, puzzled.
“Don’t like you?” Natasha laughed before pulling herself back up again and grabbing a wine glass. You watched carefully as she took a clean towel to the outside of it, before her covered fingers made their way inside the rim of the glass, slowly swirling around the circular shape and for some reason that small action made you shudder. “Maybe I did hit your head a little too hard in those training exercises, I never hated you or disliked you Y/N.” She smiled at you. The odd fluttery feeling faded as you felt your insides heat up once again.
“Oh you made that very apparent by actively avoiding me at the base.” You crossed your arms over your chest. Why was Natasha suddenly playing nice? It threw your brain for a bit of a whirl. For two years this girl acted like she hated you but now she’s claiming that she didn’t. The last time you checked when someone actually cares about or even likes another person they tend to show it. You know by communicating or acting out small gestures to make you understand. Not turn their back on you when they aren’t tossing your ass on the ground.
Natasha stopped polishing the cup and froze for a second. She stared at the glass in her hands and you noticed something strange. A significant red colour swept over her cheeks but was quickly replaced by a look of regret. Natasha noticed your gaze lingering on her and she quickly turned her back to you, praying that the colouration of her face would die down as she began to fill the cup with rosé. Her heart was racing within her. Natasha chastised herself, forcing herself to breathe in order to calm herself down but her heart resisted and kept on fluttering. She swallowed deeply and stopped herself from pouring the wine before she accidentally overflowed glass. Once she filled in about 6oz she turned back to face you, her green eyes a bit softer this time but a playful smile on her lips.
“I had my reasons.” She placed the glass down and slid it in front of you. You glanced at the wine and then back at her.
“Oh I’m sure you did,” you muttered bitterly, not noticing Natasha slightly flinching at your words. You looked at the soft pink liquid once more and looked back at the Black Widow. “Are you trying to get me drunk on the job Agent Romanoff?” You grabbed onto the stem of the glass and pulled it closer to you still eyeing down the retired agent suspiciously. Natasha let out a breathy laugh and presented the glass to you once more with her hands.
“Think of it as a peace offering and perhaps even an apology.”
You grunted half heartedly in response but brought the glass to your lips and allowed the wine to enter your mouth. Your taste buds were washed over with a sweet yet savory taste, letting a small sigh escape your lips and you closed your eyes slightly enjoying the drink. Natasha watched you and fiddled with her fingers slightly thinking of what to say to you. How was she going to explain the reason why she avoided you so much when all she really wanted to do was talk to you? How do you even explain to someone the reason why you wanted to talk to them so bad but didn’t because of another force in their life? The redhead kicked herself slightly. Dammit just talk to her and tell her!
“Y/N Listen, I never actually hated you.” She swallowed hard. “The truth is I really-” Her words were drowned out by three loud bangs that cascaded around the entire casino. In a split second the air was filled with the terrified screams of civilians along with their stampeding footsteps as everyone tried to escape the room. You immediately slammed down your wine glass and got on your feet. You tried to pick out where the gunshots had come from but the blur of bodies running every which way made it hard for you to pinpoint anywhere. You quickly opened up your hand bag and drew out your caliber.
Someone must have spotted the gun in your hand because just as you had it firmly in your grip a bullet whizzed by. A sudden pain flared through your right temple causing you to cry out. The bullet only grazed you leaving a thin trail of red on the side of your face before it crashed into an expensive bottle of whiskey behind you. You hissed in pain. Your head snapped up as your hand rushed to your temple to touch the deep cut the bullet made. Blood began to trickle it’s way through your fingers. Great. You brought your hand down to your eyes. Your vision doubling for a couple seconds, trying to collect its bearings and for a moment the edges around your eyesight got dark. You gritted your teeth and forced yourself to stand up. There was a new wave of heat entering your blood stream. The hunt was on.
You scanned the crowd once more and you were able to see exactly who fired the weapon. An agent of HYDRA. He was tall, incredibly unkempt and wild looking. Even in his suit you could tell that he was indeed a bad guy. The hair on his head and his face was a fiery red. His vivid blue eyes pierced through yours. Your brows furrowed in concentration. Oh this guy was going to be easy to find. . You raised your gun to fire back but a set of hands grabbed your shoulders and pulled you over the bar counter and threw your body behind it. You landed on the ground hard knocking the air straight out of your lungs. You gripped at your bare chest with your bloodied hand trying to catch your breath. Then the pair of hands found your shoulders again and they pulled a body closer to you.
“Stay down.” Natasha’s breath was hot against your ear as she made her demands before standing back up and firing at the man who shot you.
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Hell Doesn’t Love Them (Part Two)
Warnings: Trauma, blood, canon-typical blood/injury, implied abuse, mentioned/implied self-harm. This is a Hotchner story.
Notes: Sorry about the cliffhanger guys, I hope I update quickly enough that it isn’t too painful! This one is getting pretty dark, but there will be light at the end of the tunnel I promise. Here’s to more of Sean & Jessica!
Previously On: PART ONE
Jessica woke with a start. She heard her father snoring from down the hall, and it wasn't unusual for her to be startled awake by that sound but she knew in her bones that it wasn't what woke her. She picked up her phone, unlocked it with sleepy eyes expecting to see a call or a text from Aaron asking her to watch Jack, that's almost always what it was. She wouldn't hear the phone but she'd feel it somehow. There were twelve texts and two missed calls and she realized her phone was on silent, she didn't recognize the number but it was the same one each time. She opened the texts first, and stared blankly when they told her who they were and what they wanted and the voicemails sounded terrified and frantic. The first one was left from inside an ambulance, she could hear the EMTs telling Sean to shut off his phone, and the rest were from the waiting room of the hospital. She called the number back and it went to voicemail, of all things, but she knew exactly where he was so she hurriedly threw on some clothes and rushed out the door. While her car warmed up she called her father's nurse and told her that she had to leave town for an emergency and there was a key under the planter on the right side of the porch, if she could please come and check on Roy as soon as she was able. When Sean called her back, finally, she was already on the interstate heading right for them. She hadn't even brushed her hair or her teeth. She was relatively certain Aaron wouldn't mind.
“JESSICA!” he shouted into the phone, pacing back and forth in the waiting room of the nearly empty hospital. He ran his hand through his long, dirty blonde hair and twisted his fingers in it, pulling when he got to the end. A nervous habit. “I'm sorry, I didn't know who else to call...I know it's late. Aaron's sleeping now, he's been sleeping all day and I'm the only one here and I don't know what to do.”
“Okay, okay, calm down. I'm about a half hour away. What happened?”
He recalled what he could, but it was patchy, only Aaron actually knew what happened and he hadn't been awake long enough to speak. All he knew was that they had separated to clean, and Sean was upstairs and Aaron was in the kitchen. He was cleaning in their father's office, pulling books off of the big book case that he thought was anchored to the wall when it made a horrifying creaking sound and came crashing down around his feet, each shelf just dropping to the ground with a stack of law books that nearly buried him. He tried to figure out how to fix the damage, and while he was upstairs trying to put the shelves back in place and sort the books somehow, he heard his mother scream, he hadn't realized they'd come back. He pushed the books aside, scrambled out of the mess, and nearly fell down the stairs calling out for his mother, afraid something had happened to she and Jack. What he found was his mother on the floor beside Aaron, blood and glass everywhere, and Jack was dialing 911 with the calmest hands he'd ever seen on a six year old.
“So what happened?” she asked, confused by the scene being painted for her. Sean was rattled, nothing was making sense, and she was taken back to a time when he was so little and he'd called her and begged her to come pick them up because Aaron was hurt bad and she was the only person he knew who had a car. Haley was out of town with the drama club, on a trip to New York to see a real Broadway play, and Aaron had come home to visit for spring break from university. She wasn't even sure he and Haley were seeing each other at the time, they'd decided to take a break when he went to college, just to see what happened. But Sean had called her and she'd jumped into her car and picked them up and Aaron bled all over her backseat but it wasn't their father that hurt him, he did it to himself while arguing with the man Sean had said. Their father couldn't hurt him anymore, he was weak and he was dying but he still had venom in the way he spoke to Aaron and Aaron had such a temper, had been so volatile in those days that he smashed his beer bottle, brown glass shattering all over the bedroom floor and dug it into his arm right in front of his father while screaming at him. Jessica asked Sean if it was like that night, and he was sure it wasn't, Aaron was too old for that, he didn't feel that way anymore, this was different but she still had her doubts. She'd seen how desperate and sad he was since Haley had died, and you didn't just grow out of those feelings.
The hospital's light shone bright far before you reached its parking lot, she could see it glowing in the distance white with its ominous red letters and the big blue H lit up on the tower. She knew Aaron was in there, she'd taken him there plenty of times in their youth, she knew the halls like the back of her hands. The doctors and nurses were different but the smells and the stories those walls could tell, they never changed.
“I'm here to see Aaron Hotchner,” she told the young man at the admitting desk and he pointed her in the direction of the elevator banks down the hall, a formality she hadn't needed but it made her feel better, like this wasn't so common, like she didn't belong here. The hospital was small, only two floors for the main wing and four in the tower, but she didn't need the tower, that was for the really bad stuff. Aaron was on the short list, regular admitting, and that was a good sign in her book. She caught sight of Sean at the end of the hall, pacing back and forth outside of a room, and he looked so different but somehow familiar, just like their mother only bigger and his shirt was white blotted with blood.
“Jessica!” he called and he rushed at her, arms wide open like a child and she pulled him in close like she used to when they were nothing but children haunting these same halls. She'd always held him so close, he was so little, too little to see what he saw, to know what he knew. He wasn't little now, he towered over her and he smelled like a man, he felt bigger than Aaron, somehow. There was more to him. “He's still sleeping. They said he lost a lot of blood, had to have a lot of transfusions so he might not wake up for a while.”
“Is he okay?”
“I don't know...” Sean's voice trailed off as he looked into the room, staring through the murky glass window at his brother sleeping and bandaged, hooked up to monitors he didn't understand. “He was in surgery for a long time, they said um...they repaired a radial artery bleed and he had some um...some nerve damage. I wish I knew what happened. They found glass in the wound but I don't...I don't know...” He ran his hands through his hair again, pulling it tight away from his face.
“He'll tell us,” she said calmly, patting Sean on the shoulder. She was always the voice of reason, even when she was falling to pieces on the inside. “When he's able. You should go take a shower or get some sleep, I'll stay with him tonight.”
“No, no I can't leave...” he was pleading, and she thought she saw doubt in his eyes, like he thought maybe his brother had tried something dark, something stupid. The house had a way of turning on him, getting inside of him. Just a flash and then it was gone and he wiped the tears from his eyes. “I can't go, I didn't drive here.” He thought he had her, in his sly, stubborn Hotchner way. He hadn't driven, he'd been in the ambulance and he had no way home except to walk and she wouldn't make him walk, not in the middle of the night.
“Sean, you look exhausted and you're covered in blood. Please. I'm not going anywhere, come back when you're ready, you can take my car.” She tossed her keys in his direction, knowing he wouldn't let them hit the floor. His reflexes kicked in and he reached out, caught them, a silent agreement to leave, to go shower and he knew he wouldn't sleep but maybe he'd call Derek and maybe he'd check on Jack and his mom, they hadn't called him all day or night. Hadn't bothered to check to see how Aaron was, it was radio silence until it drove him mad and he called Jessica.
The room was cold, too cold even for her taste. She'd worked in hospitals long enough to know why they kept the rooms chilly but she also knew Aaron hated to be cold so she rifled through a cabinet in the corner of the room until she found the stash of extra blankets she knew they kept hidden and pulled them out, three of them, to drape over her sleeping friend. She was careful to avoid the cords, his IV and his heavily bandaged arm propped up high beside him on a pile of pillows. His hand was limp and swollen, fingers just barely visible under the mass of gauze, yellowed at the edges from iodine and blood. He was pale and thin, though she knew it wasn't possible for him to really look thinner than he had when she'd seen him two days prior, it just felt wrong. Like he was different somehow. He didn't stir, not even a flinch when she draped the blankets over him and tucked them in where she could. His pulse was slow and his blood pressure was too low but it wasn't sounding any alarms. She touched his forehead, ran her fingers along his cheek and she spoke to him, told him a silly story about her day with her father and funny things he'd said that hadn't made any sense to the poor man at the mechanic shop as they got her oil changed but Aaron would understand it, he would laugh if he could. Night stretched into day, her eyelids were heavy and he hadn't moved, not even a little but each time the nurses made their rounds they told her his vitals were getting stronger and they expected him to be able to go home soon. She had her doubts, but this hospital was small and they didn't have the capacity to hold onto people, they were known for early discharge and that was something Aaron had always loved about them, even if it wasn't in his best interest. They did what they could, but rural hospitals just didn't have the budget or the staff to do everything their big city counterparts did.
When the doctor came through at 7am, he managed to rouse Aaron, just slightly. She watched him blink his eyes open, thick lashes fluttering against his cheeks and the first thing he asked was where he was in a voice that seemed nothing more than a far away rattle. She stepped in closer to him, hoping to enter his line of sight so he wasn't afraid, didn't think he was alone. The doctor told him what had happened, his best version of it anyway, and Aaron nodded and swallowed thickly and he looked at Jessica with the saddest eyes she thought she'd ever seen.
“Was having a good time...” he mumbled, only half coherent through the haze of medications being pumped into him, and she had no idea what it meant but it broke her heart somehow anyway. He licked his lips and closed his eyes. The doctor looked at Jessica and offered her a smile, told her he was doing great and they wanted to keep him a few hours more for observation but if he seemed to come around pretty well he could be home by dinner. She wanted to ask Aaron questions, ask him how it happened, if he did it on purpose, but she just walked around to the side of his bed and grabbed the hand that wasn't in a bandage, and she held on. She wrapped his hand up inside of hers and pushed all of her love through her arms, into him, because what else could she do? She loved this big stupid man with her whole heart, he was the brother she'd never had and he loved the sister she didn't have anymore and she didn't think she could live without him. He was sleeping again by the time Sean came back, and she was still holding his hand, she couldn't make herself let go. Her ribs ached and her lungs were on fire as she fought back tears. She told Sean what the doctor had said and he was angry he'd missed talking to the doctor but he looked better, he was clean and he'd shaven. He told her he'd called Derek and left him a voicemail which was probably going to make Aaron mad but he needed help. Jack was angry, he'd locked himself in Aaron's room and was refusing to come out and his mother was just sitting at the kitchen table chain smoking, which she hadn't done in decades now. They were falling apart and he didn't know what to do. Jessica held Aaron's hand and she smiled weakly at Sean and told him they would figure it out, one step at a time. They always did.
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𝙈𝙊𝘿𝙀𝙍𝙉; if they had a kid au.
Name: Quinn Mormont
Birth Order: First, two younger siblings
Siblings: Theodore ‘Theo’ Mormont (11), Aurelia Mormont (7)
Star Sign: Scorpio, Nov 17th
Personal Headcanon 1: When she was four she came down with a severe case of pneumonia that lasted several weeks and though she recovered fully, Quinn was left with mild but chronic asthma and carries an inhaler on her at all times. Unfortunately she is prone to asthma attacks, averaging at least one attack every month though luckily it has been over a year since one has been severe enough to send her to hospital.
Personal Headcanon 2: When she was almost eight she had learned the piano piece Kiss The Rain to play her little brother Theo to bed, she still plays it for him occasionally when he asks. She is very protective of Theo and is the one that he goes to when he’s having a bad day, sometimes just spending time in her room when she is studying and she privately feels quite warm and fuzzy inside knowing that they have such an easy bond.
General Appearance: Just below collar-bone length medium-brown hair, has a natural wave to it like her father, but she often embellishes it into loose curls by styling it, she also cut herself a fringe. Her personal style could be described as ‘grungy’, favouring second-hand clothing, layered fabrics and darker/grey-scale shades in her wardrobe, actively shying away from peer-set trends of fashion. She has light eyes of a blue-grey hue, which reflects her mothers side of the family, often outlined in darker eyeliner, she and all her siblings have blue eyes though hers . She stands at almost 5ft 4inches tall, thin and wiry with long fingers and long fingernails she paints in dark shades. She has long legs, though slightly shorter in the torso and did not inherit either one of her parents issues with her feet. Quinn has an oval-shaped face, wide doe-like eyes with long lashes, a chin and jaw akin to her fathers, quite plump and prominent lips and a lightly bulbous nose.
Personality: In a word: fiery. Whilst she was not known as a tantrum-prone child, she always did have an attitude, and though it persisted and arguably worsen when puberty came along — she was never quick to anger with her siblings, especially Theo and his suspected selective mutism. She is fiercely protective of Theo and Aurelia as a matter of fact and has, more than once, come to intense verbal rows with peers at her school in their defense, a few times nearly devolving to physical blows particularly when nasty rumours circled about Aurelia not being their actual sibling due to her blonde hair. Quinn isn’t overly studious but has maintained an average or slight above throughout her schooling, though flourished as a pianist and is often called on for school musical events or performances. She’s been known to argue and give attitude to her teachers, finding a clever balance between being argumentative but never disrespectful enough to warrant suspension from school. Quinn has a close group of a handful of friends that she’s known since childhood or early high school, all of which are familiar with Quinn and her family and vice versa. She’s never been bothered by her asthma and didn’t suffer any other long-term consequences from a childhood bought of severe illness, now knowing how to manage it she is diligent in keeping her inhaler on her person and is actually more responsible and world-wise than her years and adolescent sharp tongue would indicate. In the last few years she has begun to rebel against some of her parents rules and has had a handful of arguments with her mother and father regarding her curfew and dating, but in general she is a happy and adjusted, normal teenager with a bit of an attitude and (definitely inherited) fiery streak that hasn’t dulled since they day she was born.
Special Talents: Having studied piano since she was almost six and having fallen in love with the instrument, she is a very talented pianist. Originally she studied classic but has moved into contemporary in the more recent years. She has very dexterous fingers and a flexible hand-span which helps her playing.
Who they like better: At the moment she finds herself clashing with her mother more than her father, but she has a genuine and healthy relationship with both her parents, even in her turbulent teenage years and adolescent rebellion and couldn’t honestly say she favours one over the other. She loves them both.
Who they take after more: Physically she far more looks similar to her father owing mainly to her hair colour, save for her eyes, but in temperament she is very like her mother was in her youth which is likely why they have begun to butt heads more as Quinn is now going through her mid-late teenage years.
Face Claim: Joey King
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When a broken vampire adopts three broken kids in a broken world. enjoy this first piece of WIP
Terence wasn’t even sure what he was searching for, but this city had nothing out of ordinary at all. It was just as broken and abandoned as any place. He’d better visit the hospital to pick up some bloodbags before sunrise and then drive on to the next destination on his list. It was proving easier to find loot in hospitals the deeper he went into the apocalyptic zone. They didn’t have time to use them here. You’d either escaped or died and that was the end of it.
Terrence curled up his lip in disgust by the smell of rotten bodies on the main streets. There had been too much for the creatures to eat here. They had left the less interesting pieces of flesh and bones to decompose.
To be honest, he had met less monsters than he had expected. There had been so many when it all started.
He just opened the door to his black Renault Laguna when the screams sounded. Surprised he froze and looked behind him, trying to track its origin. He could swear they seemed human. Yet, those who were hard enough to survive at places like this didn’t yell like that. They knew better than attract all life in proximity.
Surely, three figures appeared from around a corner of a shop with broken windows. Their silhouettes clearly visible in the few street lights that were surprisingly still working. They didn’t look twice as they raced over the pieces of broken glass, their eyes wide with fear.
“Start the car!” One shouted.
“Wait for us!” Another screamed.
For a moment Terrence just stared at the three kids, running for their lives. The next, a great blueish monster rounded the corner, drool splattering from its mouth. It was gigantic, the size of a big workhorse at least, with a long muzzle filled with sharp molars. One giant claw shone yellow on every front paw.
Dammit, it had all gone so smoothly.
With a swift move, he was inside the car and the engine roared to life. His foot lingered above the gas as he looked into the rearview mirror. The kids were nearing, but so was the creature.
He could just leave them here. Less chance the thing would follow him and wreck the car that had never let him down.
Yet, something told him he wouldn’t be sleeping properly for the next few days if he did just that.
The doors slapped open in the hurry for the human kids to crawl into the car. Before the last one had properly made it to his couch, Terrence was already speeding away. He didn’t care about the screaming, neither that the three were somehow struggling to stay inside as he turned his wheel and rounded a corner with screeching tires.
“Close that damn door!” He yelled as he checked the size of their head start in the mirror.
He cursed and made a sharp bent into a small alley. The monster slowed down a little as its hips hit a building. Yet, it didn’t seem to be in much pain, running on adrenaline as much as they were.
The kids scrambled, but Terrence had no time to check on them. The next moment a loud bang told him the door was shut.
“Faster!” One of the kids screamed, like it was helping at all.
“We’re gaining on him!” Another yelled in the same unhelpful matter.
Terrence hissed angrily. “Just shut the fuck up. I’m trying to concentrate here!”
They drove straight over a round-a-bout, leaving the outgrown grass flattened in a straight line. Finally, the exit to the high ways came into sight. Most monsters wouldn’t go too far from the cities, he had found. Perhaps it was the fact that most food was between those buildings.
“If I lose this car, I will personally sue all of you,” he found himself hissing nastily.
That seemed to enrage one of his new passengers. “We’re about to die and you care about your car?!”
“I don’t see you driving me all around Eropis!”
“Shut up, he said he needed to concentrate!” snapped another one of them.
Great, he already loved this bunch. The perfect set of kids to pick up when you were known as a true loner to your own race. Just what he needed in these deadly apocalyptic lands.
The beast behind them broke into a trot and finally ended the chase.
Terrence sighed in relief, put the car on cruise and leaned back as they rode the empty highways.
“My god, we’re still alive.” A girl sighed from right behind him. “I really thought we were done for. I told you we shouldn’t have gone out during night!”
Terrence finally had the time to take them all in now. All were teenagers, about beginning of high school age. In the middle was a boy with brown hair, who had called for him earlier to start the car. Apart from that, he didn’t think he’d heard the kid talk yet. To the right sat a pretty blond girl with the nastiest scowl he’d ever seen on anyone. She could almost pass for a hungry vampire with the look of pure violence she sent them all.
“No-one says we’d have been safe if it had been daylight instead!” She snapped in reply. “Who knows how many monsters would have seen us then!”
The girl behind him had long black hair that had the tendency to fall over half her face. She was remarkably short, but seemed to hide that behind a mask of femininity. Her eyes and lips were hidden behind a mask of make-up, her voice was ridiculously high and her motions were exaggerated.
“As a matter of fact,” Terrence interrupted them before the girl behind him could reply. “Day is a saver time for humans. The monsters are more active during night and rely less on sight than we do.”
The girl sent the blond one an “I-told-you-so”-expression which was met with something that Terrence could only name a “death-glare” like he had never seen before.
“So what now?” The boy said, finally mentioning something useful. Terrence already decided he liked him the best. The quiet ones, were always the observant ones.
“What now is all up to you,” Terrence decided as he leaned back in relaxation. The danger was finally leaving his nerves, allowing him to think more clearly again. “You have two options: either I leave you at the next gas station and you make the way to the living world on your own, given you start acting like people without a death wish. Or you stay with me and go even further into the apocalyptic zones, which is basically just as dangerous, since at least you’ll have me to keep you from dying the first step you take.”
Three pale faces stared at him through the rearview mirror.
“Sorry,” he shrugged. “I don’t have the time and gas to drive you all the way to the saver places. Besides, you’d have to take a boat for that and I don’t know when and where the next one will arrive. There is little to come for after all.”
“So, it’s either die alone or die with a weirdo who likes his car more than his life?” The blond girl summed up grumpily.
The dark haired one snapped at her: “Stop that, he just saved our lives!” She moved in to his chair. “Thank you for that mister. Could you tell us your name?”
The blond girl merely narrowed her eyes at that.
“Terrence,” he answered cynically. “And don’t mention it.” He’d almost lost his car over it. Besides, he didn’t have any blood to spill on unnecessary fights with monsters. But what did these kids know about that? He didn’t think they had even realized yet that he wasn’t like them.
“I’m Lisa,” the girl told him politely. “This is Sander and Erika. Don’t mind her, she’s always in a bad mood.”
“Shut up!” the other reacted angrily.
“Now I am curious.” Terrence finally turned to face them, after all, the road was all empty and straight anyway. “How did you guys survive? I thought everyone left behind was dead by now.”
“Basement,” Erika growled before she averted her face to the blackness behind the window.
Lisa picked up the explanation. “We were at a restaurant for a school trip when it all happened. We were all sitting in the back, so we ran the other way, hoping to find an emergency exit. Instead we found an employee escaping to the basement, so we followed and he locked it. There was lots of food and drinks there. The employee left at some point, but never returned, so we decided to stay as long as we could. We were just about to run out of anything to drink, so that’s why we went out tonight.”
“Ha!” Terrence laughed as he turned back to the road sliding by in the darkness. “Who would have thought there’d be such lucky kids out there. I wonder how many more like you there are still hiding out there.”
“It doesn’t matter if we die,” Erika grumbled.
“So, what will it be?” Terrence asked matter of factly. “Die alone, or die with the weirdo who has been able to keep himself alive until now?”
He wasn’t even sure why he was giving them the choice. He probably shouldn’t have, because two behind him immediately replied with “We’ll stay.”
Erika scowled, but she didn’t say anything herself, so he took that as an agreement.
He was an idiot. He decided. He was a loner. What was he doing saddling himself up with three teenagers in this broken land?
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Occult Club (2017)
It was Friday, so Ruka Lichtenstein was summoning demons.
The classroom was dark, the curtains drawn, the drippy black pentacle still drying on the floorboards. She sat cross-legged at its edge, surrounded by spools of colorful thread, safety pins and bent sewing needles, the burnt tips of splintered matches, and rainbow scraps of half-cut construction paper.
Her feet were bare. She wore a homemade black robe fashioned from a faded bed sheet, and half of a skull mask scavenged from the theater department.
One by one she lit the mismatched candles, carefully positioned the paper chain around the rim of the pentacle, chose a safety pin to jab into the tip of her finger, and waited. When a drop of blood had welled up, she flicked it into the pentacle’s center to join the rest of the rust-colored stains.
Then the sole member of the Occult Club began to chant under her breath, unaware that every word she spoke brought her closer to madness, murder, and an untimely demise.
Exactly one month ago she’d been called to the counselor’s office to be informed that her extracurriculars were lacking. This was a nice way of pointing out that she had no friends, no apparent interest in anything beyond reading fantasy novels, and no chance of graduating unless she did something drastic. Like start a club.
Normally Ruka wouldn’t have cared about something as minor as graduation, but it occurred to her that she’d rather spend her time reading in the comfort of her house than reading secretly under her desk during class. The only problem was that people might actually want to join a new club if it sounded at all interesting, so instead of choosing an activity that was difficult, or boring, she went a step further and chose one that was illegal.
Technically, summoning supernatural entities from whatever realms lay beyond human sight was only illegal in practice. It was not illegal in theory. As ineffective as the distinction was, it was enough for her to get permission; after all, more practiced people than her had trouble summoning even the lowliest wisp.
Nobody could have imagined the degree to which she’d succeed.
When the powdery white smoke cleared from the air, she was looking at a boy. Colorful paper chains, cut from the same construction paper that littered the classroom floor, bound him from head to toe. He was dressed in tattered fabric that wrapped around his skinny limbs in shades of blue and red and lilac, tying and draping around him in an elaborate pattern. His arms were covered in layers of dingy bandages, leaving out only his long fingers. His hair was an odd, translucent blue-black, longer on one side than the other, and his eyes, enormous in a narrow face, were a dusky rose gold. He was lying on his back, looking at her upside down. He seemed rather shocked.
Ruka was unimpressed. “I thought you’d be bigger,” she said.
The boy blinked.
“Or…that you’d have horns.”
He said nothing.
“Or a tail.”
“Because…you’re from hell.”
This got an eyebrow raise. It occurred to her that there was a paper chain wrapped around his mouth that prevented him from speaking. Slowly, deliberately, she reached down and tore through it, aware that in novels the summonee had to make a deal with the demon in order to give it any power, and that even if he did lunge at her, the boundary line of the pentacle should keep him from going far.
“Pardon?” asked the demon politely.
It was her turn to raise an eyebrow. “Hell,” she said patiently. “You. You’re from there. Because you’re a demon.”
“Only you don’t have horns or a tail. Or a pitchfork.”
“Maybe next time,” said the demon, straining to look around the room, tendrils of his strangely colored hair dragging through the paint. “Did someone tell you to summon me?” She shook her head. “Then, erm, would you mind terribly telling me who you are?”
“No,” she said firmly. “You’d drag me back to hell with you.”
“Oh. That wasn’t actually what I-um. Why are you wearing a bed sheet?”
“Because you’re supposed to wear them during the ritual.”
“And the-ah-the mask too?”
“Ah. Well. It’s rather unnerving. I don’t suppose you’d consider-”
“And you won’t tell me your name?”
She stonily met his gaze. “Never. Not even if you cast a spell on me that turns me into a-”
“Ruka Lichtenstein!” The door to the classroom burst open and the principal burst through, followed by two policemen wearing the long charcoal coats of the supernatural division. The policemen had their guns out, she noted, only not the ordinary kind; they were the kind with the clear purple cylinder and the double trigger that supposedly worked on all manner of supernatural creatures.
When they saw the girl in the black hood and skull mask sitting cross-legged before the boy wrapped in paper chains, the one in the front, a young man with tar-black hair that stuck up in the back, paused. “Er-which one summoned which?”
Ruka sighed in annoyance and pulled off the skull mask, revealing a fifteen year-old girl with dark eyes and dark cherry hair. “He wasn’t supposed to know my name.”
“You, young lady, you are not supposed to be summoning supernatural creatures in our spare classroom!” spat the principal. “I gave my permission for you to study theory, and theory only. You are expelled for the rest of your time here-”
“Sir,” the second policeman interrupted. She had long blonde hair and sharp brown eyes. “We’ll have to ask you to step outside while we assess the threat.”
The principal opened his mouth and closed it, and quickly stepped back outside.
“Now,” the woman addressed Ruka. “Step away from him. Slowly. And describe to me in detail the ritual you performed to get him here.”
Grimacing, Ruka complied. “Standard procedure: pentacle, boundary line, candles…”
The woman raised an eyebrow. “No blood sacrifice?”
“Oh. I pricked my finger.”
Her eyebrow went even higher, but she just nodded. Meanwhile, her partner was checking the paper chains on the demon, tugging experimentally at them to test their strength. The demon’s head was tilted forward, and he watched the policeman with wide eyes.
“Please don’t shoot me,” he said. “I’ve only just gotten here-”
“Be quiet,” murmured the man, and then, satisfied that the bonds would hold, took a step back and stared intently at him. “What are you?”
The female police officer left Ruka’s side with a muttered, “Stay here,” to join her partner in staring at the boy. “Well, Marlowe,” she said after a moment. “If he’s a spirit he’s not any type I’ve seen before. He almost looks human.”
“Could be a demon,” said Marlowe. “Those are supposed to look human, aren’t they?”
“I’m not a demon,” said the demon. They both looked at him.
“No?” asked Marlowe. “Then what are you?”
“I suppose ‘where are you from’ would be the better question. Are you from the demon realms?”
The woman shot him a look. “Stop saying demon realms, Marlowe. This isn’t a comic book.”
“Fine, are you from another world?”
The woman sighed. “I don’t know why we’re bothering. If he was a demon, what are the odds that he would tell us?”
“What else could he be, though?” Marlowe dropped his voice to a whisper. “Look, Hannigan, something’s off about this whole thing. She’s just a kid; she shouldn’t have been able to summon him in the first place.”
Hannigan dropped her voice even lower. “Marlowe, she summoned him with her own blood.”
“What? Why didn’t she just sacrifice a bug or a hamster or something?” He turned to look at Ruka. “Why didn’t you sacrifice a bug or a hamster?”
Ruka shrugged. “I would have felt bad. I like hamsters.”
“Well, so do I, but-” he turned back to Hannigan. “How’re we supposed to banish him back to the demon-er, to his world-if there’s a blood tie keeping him here? No one on the squad could get around that-not even the exorcists-I mean, we could always call in a specialist but I don’t like them, they’re weird, and even then I don’t think-”
The boy suddenly twisted against the paper chains. “Don’t send me back! Please, it’s scary and weird and I’ve always wanted to leave-”
“Now hold on-”
“I’m not violent, I promise, I hate violence-”
“That’s not the problem here,” said Marlowe. “It’s the principle of the thing, you understand; otherworldly visitors and all that, doesn’t look good-”
Hannigan dragged him away to the corner of the room before he could finish, keeping her gun trained on the boy in the pentacle. “Don’t explain our policies to possible demons,” she hissed.
“Right. Sorry. But what are we supposed to do? If we say he’s a demon that’ll cause a panic, and people will want to study him, and-God-dissect him.”
Hannigan shook her head. “Separating him from the girl is out of the question; the blood tie is the only thing that could potentially keep him in line if he went berserk.”
“So-what? We send him to the Penitentiary with the girl? I mean, look at this place, she’s clearly been doing this for a while and if we don’t send her there she’ll probably do it again, maybe summon up something even worse.”
A strand of hair fell into Hannigan’s face and she brushed it away impatiently.
“We’ll question them separately,” she said. “I’ll take the girl, find out what else she’s been doing, and I want you to see if the boy’s dangerous. Do a simple psychological assessment, see if you can find out what he is, and if things turn bad, sedate him. If for some reason that doesn’t work, don’t hesitate to use force.”
When Ruka returned to the spare classroom nearly an hour later, followed by Hannigan, the curtains had been opened and the lights switched on. It didn’t look nearly so hazy and atmospheric with the sun shining on the blackboard; in fact, it looked rather childish.
Hannigan had taken her to the classroom next door and questioned her about her methods and her motivation, how long this had been going on, and if this was the first time she’d succeeded in summoning something. She’d admitted that no, it wasn’t, that only a few weeks earlier she’d managed to summon some ghouls out of a Ouija board. They’d moved in with her, but all they’d done so far was flicker the lights and levitate the cat.
She was going to be sent to the Penitentiary, a sort of prison for people who dabbled illegally in the supernatural. There were two of them: one for those who’d done dangerous things-like try to resurrect an undead army or, on an occasion that made the news, get possessed by murderous spirits so they’d have an excuse for murdering their family-and another one for those who’d done harmless or inadvertent things, like the old psychic lady who spoke to her plants and hadn’t realized they’d been listening until they’d swallowed the neighbor’s dog. Ruka, being underage and not intending to harm anything, was being sent to the latter. The latter, she’d heard, was less like a prison and more like a relaxed therapy home for people to stay until they found other outlets for their tendencies towards the supernatural. Perhaps this would bother most people, but it didn’t matter so much to Ruka. She had always been bored with school, and since this was her senior year, she only had a matter of months left in it anyway. At least in the Penitentiary she wouldn’t get scolded for reading in class or hassled about her extracurriculars.
The demon was still wrapped in paper chains, but he had somehow managed to move into a sitting position. There was black paint smeared on his face and on his clothes, and something about the way the light hit him suggested that he wasn’t quite solid. Marlowe was sitting next to him, cross-legged as Ruka had been earlier, but he scrambled to his feet when Hannigan came in.
“Well?” she asked.
“Not dangerous,” Marlowe reported. “Psychologically stable. Very polite as well.” He dropped his voice and moved closer to Hannigan. “I think he’s a demon, Hannigan, I really do, but there’s no proof.”
She looked sharply at him. “You were sitting right next to him. If he’d managed to get out of those chains he could have ripped out your throat.”
“Yes, I thought about that too, but none of the scanners detected anything wrong with him. I tested him for all the basic abilities and some of the demonic ones-you know, teleportation, kinesthesis et cetera-and they all showed up negative. I know what you’re going to say, it could be different for demons, but honestly Hannigan, if he didn’t sort of look translucent at times I’d think he was human.”
They looked over at him. When the boy saw they were looking at him, he froze. Marlowe turned back to Hannigan. “Like I said, we have no real proof that he’s a demon and not a wraith, so if we say he’s a wraith in our report, it wouldn’t be any more of a stretch than saying he’s a demon. Not to mention the repercussions saying he’s a demon would have. If it got out, there are people who’d want to kill him just on principle, and people who’d want to study him and all the satanic cults who’d want to-God, don’t even get me started on the cults. We can’t do that to him. He’s just a kid, Hannigan.”
Hannigan looked skeptically at him, then she looked at the boy and her eyes softened. “Fine,” she said. “But I still think sending him to the Penitentiary is the most supremely awful idea I’ve ever heard. Sending a demon into the midst of people who are supposed to be distancing themselves from the supernatural? Are they going to lock him in a cell? What are we supposed to tell Mori?”
“We say he got possessed and he tried to exorcise himself, only it went wrong and the ghost sort of went into his appearance, and now he’s hallucinating and he’s unstable, and sort of translucent-”
She silenced him with a look. “Right now we need to work on smoothing things over with the principal and the girl’s parents. We can worry about the details later.”
It was late in the afternoon when they left the school. People milled about in the cobblestone streets, selling luck charms or wisps in jars that they hastily hid when they saw the police car. The streets were narrow, the buildings stacked unevenly on top of each other, and the walls covered in faded layers of flyers advertising séances-the legal sort, for which one had to have a license to perform-and reminders that if a cult was larger than five members, it needed to be registered. The Yuleside Town had been around for a long time, and it showed in the old-style architecture and the dusty, boarded-up shop fronts covered in swirling graffiti. Ruka never went outside if she could help it. There were too many people and too many chances to get involved with the things her classmates gossiped about, like the curse vendors who sold dreams in bottles, or certain shops in certain alleys that were only visible if your watch was five minutes fast, or fortune tellers who told you your fortune whether you wanted to hear it or not.
She lived in an apartment on the fifth floor of a building with faded red walls. Marlowe followed her up the rickety stairs while Hannigan waited in the car with the demon boy, who was being advised on the things he should and should not say upon their arrival to the Penitentiary, and whose name turned out to be Phi Manifold, although no one could be sure it was his real name.
The door was open and her father was in his office. It was a small, slightly messy apartment with lots of windows and bookshelves. Vaguely threatening messages were smeared on the wall in ketchup. A fat black and white cat was floating calmly in the corner. Marlowe raised his eyebrows.
“Exactly how many ghouls did you summon?”
Ruka scratched the cat behind its ears, and it purred softly. “I don’t know. They’re invisible.”
He took a step closer to the ketchup on the wall. “They misspelled ‘beware’.”
Before Ruka could explain that it was the thought that counted, a tall, skinny man with thinning brown hair and wire-rimmed spectacles poked his head around the corner.
“Ru? Did you bring a boy home?” He caught sight of Marlowe and the hope drained from his expression. “Ah, a policeman. Was she reading in class again?”
“I’m here for something else actually, Mr. Lichtenstein,” said Marlowe, handing him several sheets of official-looking paper. “Were you aware that your daughter has been attempting to summon supernatural entities since the beginning of the school year?”
There was a moment of silence. The black and white cat slowly floated between the two men, purring contentedly, and disappeared around the corner.
“I’d noticed, yes,” said Mr. Lichtenstein.
“Were you aware that summoning supernatural entities is both dangerous and highly illegal?”
“And…is there a reason you let her continue?”
“Of course,” said Mr. Lichtenstein emphatically. “Ru is gifted. Her talents should be explored, not suppressed.”
“Then it should interest you to know, Mr. Lichtenstein, that just a few hours ago we got a call from her school’s principal saying that the halls were flooded with white smoke.”
“Really?” asked Mr. Lichtenstein eagerly. “Did she summon something?”
“Yes. As of right now it’s, um, unclassified, but it’s definitely not something we’ve ever seen before.”
“That’s a relief. Not that I dislike the ghouls, you understand, but just because we’re always out of ketchup-I assume it will be moving in with us?”
“Er, no. The unclassified supernatural entity will be-erm-dealt with in a more-erm-official fashion. Your daughter, on the other hand-well, she’s what I’m here to talk to you about. She’s broken the summoning laws on multiple occasions, which means she’s going to be sent to the Penitentiary.”
“The Penitentiary?” Mr. Lichtenstein’s eyes narrowed. “For how long?”
“Until she’s fit to leave-which is to say, until they believe she’s no longer inclined to summon supernatural entities. It can range from a month to several years, depending on how well she adjusts.”
“Years? But she’s so good at it-it would be a shame to make her stop right after she’s managed to summon something so fantastic.”
“People try for years to get half as good as she is! She could summon up the devil himself if she wanted to!”
“That’s precisely the problem. We simply can’t have teenagers summoning up powerful creatures every Friday. People could die, or get possessed, or seriously injured, or even sucked into the pentacle and spat out into the demon realms. You wouldn’t want that for Ruka, would you?”
“Good. So how about you take a look at these forms while Ruka goes and packs her things?”
Ruka stood in her room and stared at the suitcase on her bed. It was filled with books and t-shirts and her toothbrush, and she wasn’t sure what else to pack.
There was nothing on her walls. Her bed was rumpled and unmade, clothes lay strewn across the floor, and her schoolbooks sat untouched on her desk. There was a layer of books in various stages of being read spread over everything.
She wondered if she should feel more strongly about the prospect of the Penitentiary, but her feelings were rather suspended on the topic. It was like the range of the emotions one might have in her circumstances were all hanging around her head, and she was watching them with mild interest yet experiencing none of them.
It was just another place to sleep and read, and her father would visit her whenever he could. Besides, it wouldn’t take so long for them to realize that she’d never been that interested in summoning anyway; she’d only been doing it for the extracurricular credit. And even if she’d been starting to enjoy it despite herself, well, that was a part of her she could ignore until it stopped existing, eventually editing it out of her character. As long as she had her books, that was the only thing that mattered.
There was a soft knock on the door and her father came in.
“How’re you doing, Ru?” he asked. “Need help packing?”
Perhaps she was supposed to cry; that was what people did in these circumstances. But crying took too much effort, and then her father would feel pressured to say something fatherly, and besides, it would be disrespectful to people who cried when they were genuinely sad. She shook her head.
“Are you sure you’ve got enough books?” asked her father, peering at what must have been at least twenty crammed into the lining of her suitcase. They would last her two weeks, at most. “Or I suppose I should be asking if you’ll be able to carry this on your own…”
“I can carry it,” she said.
“And I suppose Mr. Marlowe will help you out if you need it. He’s a very nice man, you know. Technically he should be calling an exorcist right now to get rid of our ghouls, but he said that since our relationship with them seemed to be mutually beneficial he didn’t really have to.” He smiled. “Mutually beneficial. He’s not the one who has to pay for all that ketchup.”
He didn’t say what they were both thinking: that perhaps the reason Marlowe let him keep the ghouls was because the house would be empty otherwise. Aside from the hovering cat of course, who, in the absence of the ghouls, would be demoted to ordinary and non-hovering.
“Are you going to be all right, Ru?” her father asked softly. “I mean, I know you will be, and it’s not so bad where you’re going-more like an anti-supernatural sleepover camp than anything else, I’ve heard-and you hate school anyway, and now you won’t have to go to it-”
“I’ll be all right,” said Ruka, and then, because it seemed like it needed to be said, “Sorry. About this.”
Mr. Lichtenstein’s eyes widened. “Sorry?” he repeated. He put his hands on her shoulders and bent over to look in her eyes. “Listen, Ru. Never be sorry for being good at something. Even if it’s not legal. Or socially acceptable.”
“Or could possibly kill and maim people.”
“Exactly. You’re getting it already. Because you’re a very lucky girl, you know. Not many people can succeed just because they decide to.” He smiled sadly. “I know you, Ruka; I know it’s scary to care about things because you know you could be the best at anything you tried, and it would take so much effort and so much out of you and it’s far too much to ever let yourself think about. And it’s so hard to be content with just the knowledge that you could if you wanted to, because there’s never any proof and no one understands that you don’t need proof, so you shut yourself off from everybody because you’re afraid they’ll make you care about things.” He laughed quietly at the look on her face. “Sorry. Was that too true, too fast? I’m sure I haven’t told you anything you haven’t figured out yourself.”
Ruka didn’t respond. Her father’s grip tightened on her shoulders and then he let her go. “I’ll visit you whenever I can, and you’ll be back before you know it. Who knows? Maybe you’ll make so many new friends that you won’t want to come back.”
She snorted, and hugged him tightly, knocking his glasses askew. She didn't trust herself to speak.
“Ready to go?” asked Marlowe when Ruka emerged with her suitcase.
“One second,” she said, petting the cat, who’d floated back into the living room to say goodbye, and, taking a new bottle of ketchup from the shelf of ketchup in the refrigerator, wrote ‘goodbye’ on the wall beside the word ‘beware’, which had corrected itself since Marlowe pointed out its misspelling. She paused, and added, ‘see you soon’.
“God,” groaned Marlowe, straining to lift her suitcase. “Did you pack an entire case of encyclopedias? Maybe some dumbbells?”
“Just some books,” she said, putting the ketchup away. “I can carry it, if you’d like.”
“What-can you? I would have failed police training if they’d made us lift these.”
She picked it up, straining slightly, but she’d been carrying stacks of books around her whole life and she wasn’t about to leave any behind. As she stepped out the door, she looked back at her father standing in the middle of the apartment. He waved, and the door closed behind her.
A black iron gate with curling tips ran around the Penitentiary’s border, spectral and slightly uneven. In every other direction there was only moorland and haze.
Ruka sat in the front seat while Phi and Hannigan sat in the back. She didn’t know what had happened while she and Marlowe were away in her apartment, but Hannigan seemed more relaxed around the demon. They’d made her take off his chains-since she was the one who had put them on, she was the only one that could remove them-except for the ones around his wrists, which rather resembled bracelets. Somehow they’d gotten him a change of clothes, so he was now wearing a black knit sweater that was slightly too big and pale jeans that were slightly too small. The sleeves of the sweater completely engulfed his hands, conveniently covering the construction paper manacles and the bandages that he’d refused to remove. With his strange colored eyes and hair, he could have been an ordinary boy who’d been in a supernatural accident. He’d had his face pressed against the window the entire time like a child on their first field trip-which he was, in a way-and as the Penitentiary loomed into view, his eyes widened.
It was an old, remodeled factory, dark tendrils of blue ivy swirling thickly from the burnished metal roof and gradually thinning, the blue growing paler and paler until there was only polished copper at the bottom. Various additions had been built behind the factory front, unevenly pointed roofs spiking up like a shadowy town hiding behind it. There was a row of polished windows across the front, but they reflected the moorland and nothing was visible through them. It seemed to be well maintained and yet, thought Ruka, it looked rather magical and demented for a place that was supposed to be encouraging the opposite.
Before they could get any closer, Marlowe suddenly stopped the car.
“Alright,” he said. “Before we let you off, there are some things we need to talk about. First-and this is the most important-nobody can know that Phi is a demon. Got it? Nobody. As far as either of you are concerned, you met in the car on the way to the Penitentiary. Ruka, you can keep your story the way it is, just say you summoned a ghoul instead. Phi, from this point on, you are human, and under no circumstances are you to mention anything about the demon realms. You’re to say you were conducting a ritual that went wrong, and I’m sure Hannigan already went over this but if anyone presses you, say your memories are a little hazy. But no one will press you, because we’re going to talk to the head warden about your-uh-special circumstances.”
“Also,” Hannigan broke in. “I’m sure I don’t need to say this, Phi, but if you step out of line, the head-warden is authorized to use force to subdue you in any way possible.” The implications hung heavily in the air, and Phi nodded, looking ill. “Now,” she continued. “Normally, none of this would be happening, but the blood tie means these are special circumstances. Not much is known about blood ties, but it’s assumed that you giving him your blood, Ruka, gives you a certain degree of power over him, meaning that since there is a chance you could control him if he went berserk, you two can’t be separated. There is no way to safely test this, and blood ties have only ever happened before with classified, minor entities, but Marlowe and I will find out what we can.” She paused. “I know this sounds like a bit of a mess, but this is why there are laws against summoning. I’m looking at you, Ruka; it’s not a hobby to take up because you feel like it. People have died. Entire towns have been demolished. You’re lucky nothing worse happened.” She stared at Ruka for a long moment. “All right, Marlowe,” she said finally. “Let’s go.”
Hannigan knocked three times on a door painted the same navy blue as the ivy. Phi stood beside her and Ruka beside him and together they stared up at the Penitentiary.
A woman opened the door and smiled at the sight of them. She had long, thick black waves of hair wrapped twice around with a brown silk headscarf, dark skin, and a knee-length, plum-colored dress.
“Hannigan,” she said. “And Marlowe. It’s lovely to see you. And you must be Ruka and Phi. It’s lovely to see you as well, even though I’ve been told you broke the law. Probably shouldn’t do that, hm?” She ushered them inside and closed the door behind them. “Welcome to the Penitentiary,” she said.
They were standing in a high-ceilinged room filled with dusky blue light from windows set high on the wall, a faded, purple-checkered carpet beneath their feet. Plants of every shade of green spilled out of pots hung from the ceiling and the walls, and bookshelves twice as tall as Ruka stood against the opposite wall, piled with books and trinkets of tarnished silver. Lamps sat on miniature tables, hung with strands of red crystal. The furniture was mismatched, some wood and some floral with wrinkled lace doilies on the seatbacks. There were people too, young and old, quietly reading or sketching or looking out the window on the right-hand wall. For the most part they looked normal, but there was an elderly woman in the corner with antlers, a man by the bookshelves with the card suites tattooed across his cheeks, and a younger woman sitting by the window who had three glowing purple orbs bobbing around her head. Some looked up curiously at the sound of the door, but most ignored it. Ruka observed them. What sort of a person was sent here, she wondered?
“I’m Ismrelda,” said the woman. “In just a second I’ll show you to your rooms and let you get settled in, but you want to talk to Mori first, right Hannigan?” Hannigan nodded. “Then let’s do that. Oh, and you can leave your bag here, if you’d like,” she added, and Ruka set it down.
They followed her through the blue room, into a narrow hallway with red wallpaper. At the end of the hallway there was a staircase and at the top of the staircase there was a wide, airy corridor with white walls and a wood floor, lined with doors. Some of the doors were open, showing bedrooms in various stages of being lived in. At the end of the corridor they turned sharply, and stopped. There was a door set in the corner with a rusted plaque that read ‘head warden’, only someone had scratched out the word ‘warden’. Ismrelda tapped twice under the plaque, and a voice from the inside called, “One minute!”
They waited. There was the sound of hurried movement from inside. Then the voice called, “Come in!”
Ismrelda pushed open the door, revealing an office that had the appearance of being quite small when in reality it was quite large, due to the fact that every surface was covered in stacks of paper and folders and binders. Cluttered though it was, closer inspection revealed that everything down to the last sheet of paper was, in fact, arranged in neat rows and piles except for what was on the desk, which was utter chaos. There were coffee mugs everywhere, some half empty, some lying on their sides, and some appearing to have been shoved behind the filing cabinet. Behind the desk was an enormous window, blindingly bright, and when a tall figure jumped up from behind the stacks of paper on the desk, only their silhouette was visible.
“Marlowe!” it exclaimed. “Hannigan! I got your call. Special circumstances, you say? Of a confidential nature? And you’ll only tell me in person? I’m dying to know-oh, thanks Ismrelda, I’ll take it from here.”
Ismrelda was looking at the two police officers with undisguised curiosity, but she quickly left and closed the door behind her.
“Where are my manners?” asked the silhouette. Leaning over his desk, he shoved a great quantity of paperwork off of the chairs directly in front of it. “Sit down,” he said. “And I’ll figure out how to close the curtains. We can’t have the lot of you squinting the entire time.”
After several seconds of struggling with the mint-green curtains, he sat back down in his chair and surveyed the four of them from over the stacks of paper and folders. He had long, pale yellow hair, and heavy lidded black eyes shaped like almonds. He smiled widely.
“This is Jack Mori,” said Hannigan, glancing towards Ruka and Phi. “He’s the head of the Penitentiary.”
“Indeed. Not head warden, though-you may have noticed I scratched it out of my plaque on the door. Warden makes it sound like this is a prison, or an asylum, which it isn’t. Anyhow.” He placed his elbows on the desk, folded his fingers together and leaned forward with an expression of avid interest. “What are these special circumstances? Do I need to arrange a padded room? Perhaps one of those chairs with straps? I think we have one of those somewhere…”
“No,” said Marlowe quickly. “You’ll find this far more interesting, Jack. Only it’s crucial that this stays between us.”
“As always. So. Fire away.”
Marlowe smiled. “Well, Jack, the boy you see before you was summoned just hours ago by this young lady via pentacle. At the moment he’s not classified, but we believe he’s some sort of demon.”
He looked expectantly at Mori, obviously waiting for him to jump up or yell in shock, but all Mori did was raise an eyebrow. “How can you be sure?”
“Well, we can’t, not really,” Marlowe said, deflating somewhat at the lack of Mori’s astonishment. “The only real information about demons dates back centuries. But they’re the only supernatural creatures ever documented that can resemble humans.”
“It hasn’t occurred to you that he could be something else? Something undocumented, perhaps?” Mori smiled politely at Phi. “Tell me, are you a demon?”
“There you have it.”
“Wait just a minute,” said Marlowe quickly. “No offense to you, Phi, but I’m sure you understand if we’re hesitant to believe you. All accounts of demons say that they’re liars and tricksters, after all.”
“They also say demons eat babies,” Mori added. “Phi, have you ever eaten a baby?”
Marlowe sighed. “I just said demons are liars. Sorry, Phi. You seem like a really nice kid, and I have nothing against demons-I certainly don’t believe they’re all bad just on principle, but-”
“Shouldn’t you have had this conversation before you got here?” Mori interrupted. “The whole morality issue? For example, did you think that maybe a penitentiary for people who are trying to overcome their inclinations toward the supernatural isn’t the best place for a potential demon? No offense, Phi, I’m sure you’re a lovely houseguest-”
“That’s why I said there are special circumstances!”
“Then I repeat what I said earlier: what are the special circumstances?”
“You’d already know if you didn’t keep interrupting-”
“Shut up,” Hannigan announced, and both men fell silent. “Mori, normally I would agree with you, but there’s a blood tie between the girl and the boy, so we can’t separate them, and keeping them both at the police station is out of the question because if word got out that we suspect Phi is a demon, there would be a panic.”
“You don’t think the world deserves to know?”
She glared at him. “To know what we don’t even know ourselves? Until we’re certain of Phi’s identity, that’s a question that can wait. For now, here is the only place we can keep them without raising suspicion.”
“And you want me to keep anyone from finding out,” said Mori. “Do you have a cover story?”
“Yes,” said Marlowe. “Phi?”
“I was trying to summon something only it went wrong and I was possessed for a very short time by a powerful spirit,” he recited dutifully. “It messed up my appearance, and also my memories, so I don’t remember much about it.”
“That’s actually quite good,” said Mori, impressed. “Possession combined with memory loss can be used as an explanation for almost anything, and if you seem unsure on the details, no one will suspect you’re lying because you can’t remember.”
“Exactly,” said Marlowe. He glanced at Hannigan, who nodded. “Right,” he said. “There are a few things we’d like to discuss with you privately, so Ruka, Phi, would you mind stepping outside for a moment? It’ll only take a second and then they’ll show you to your rooms.”
It was the middle of the night and Ruka was staring at the plaster ceiling. The room wasn’t very dark; she could make out the sleeping form of her roommate on the other bed-or at least she assumed her roommate was somewhere in the mound of blankets piled haphazardly on the mattress.
She still wasn’t sure if her roommate was a boy or a girl, only that they were a skinny thirteen year-old named Oswald with a black bowl cut that completely obscured their eyes, and an unhealthy attachment to their Gameboy. They hadn’t spoken a word since Ruka had been deposited there, although at one point Oswald had punched the air.
Phi was in the room next to hers, no roommate due to his ‘special circumstances’, but there had been no question that his room should be next to Ruka’s. He was probably fast asleep. All in all, thought Ruka absently, he had taken this whole thing rather well, although she supposed anything would be a step up from the demon realms.
She sat up in bed and surveyed the room, empty but for her suitcase and the stacks of games littering the floor on Oswald’s side. It had to be past midnight at least. Half-heartedly she considered getting a book and a flashlight, but then she heard a click. It was so faint it was barely there-she couldn’t be sure she’d heard it at all.
In a novel the heroine would creep out of bed and down the corridor, perhaps with a candle, most likely in a long nightgown, to discover that the Penitentiary was conducting unholy experiments on its patients in secret, and that Jack Mori was a mad scientist with a skewed vision of future progress. She would have to hatch an escape plan to warn the world of what was coming, and there would be a showdown someplace dramatic, like the roof…
Ruka lay back down. She had no desire to be involved in any conspiracies, and even less of a desire to fight Jack Mori, whose appearance and personality suggested he was already in possession of some manner of special powers.
Her eyes slipped shut, but they only remained that way for several seconds before there was a quiet knock on the door.
She didn’t move. This was the Penitentiary. It stood to reason there’d be someone crazy enough to go around knocking on doors in the middle of the night. Unless she was going to be involved in some sort of hazing ritual that involved drinking animal blood or running naked through a field at midnight. She’d pass on that, thanks.
The knock came again, hesitant but a bit louder. She glanced towards the opposite side of the room. The mass of blankets presumably containing Oswald didn’t budge. With a sigh she dragged herself out of bed and pressed her eye against the keyhole, wondering briefly if this was wise or what she’d do if there was someone else’s eyeball looking back at her from the other side. She squinted, but it was too dark to see a thing.
“What?” she breathed.
Phi’s whisper seemed to waft out of the keyhole. “Ruka. Thank goodness. I thought maybe you were asleep.”
“I was,” she lied.
“What do you want?”
“Well, I was wondering if you have a hairpin. And if I could borrow it.”
Ruka paused. She’d never used hairpins, but she was well aware of their uses. People used them to pick locks. But Phi had been locked into his room for the night. She’d heard them do it. Somehow he’d managed to get out-perhaps through demonic means-but if he was already out of his room, then what use could he possibly have for a lock pick?
“Ruka,” came Phi’s voice out of the darkness. “Are you there?”
“I’m here,” she said, and then, because she couldn’t stand it when people feigned obliviousness to avoid conflict, “But I’m not going to answer you until you tell me which lock you plan on picking, seeing as you’ve already managed to get out of your room.”
Silence on the other end. She imagined she could see his eyes through the keyhole, glinting demonically in the dark. If he really was a demon, she had no doubt the door would make a flimsy buffer at best against his power, but it was the middle of the night and she was in no mood for such things. She opened her mouth and was about to say so, when he whispered, “You’re wrong. I mean, you’re right. About the lock picking. But about the getting-out-of-my-room part, well, I need to work on that. Because I did pick the lock on my door with a safety pin I took from that weird room you summoned me in, but only because it wasn’t strong enough to pick the padlock on my window. That’s the one I need to open, but I don’t have anything to unlock it with. You’re the only one I can ask.”
“Should have asked Jack Mori,” she said quietly, stifling a yawn. “He has longer hair than I do.”
She heard him pause, perhaps unsure if she’d been serious. “Wait. Is that a no? You’re saying you don’t have a hairpin?”
She did not, in fact, have a hairpin. “What if I do?” she said. “What will you do once you’ve managed to open your window?”
Again he hesitated. “Well. I imagine I’ll leave.”
“Obviously. Where will you go? You don’t know anyone here. It doesn’t make sense for you to leave.”
“Doesn’t matter. I have to.”
“Is it so bad here? It can’t be worse than the demon realms.”
“That’s not it. I mean, this is far better than the demon-er-well, where I’m from, but I still can’t stay.”
“Why? Is someone after you?”
There was another long silence on the other side of the door. “How could you know that?” he asked finally.
She shrugged wearily. “It’s a common enough plot device,” she said, and then, “Who are they? Are they bad?”
“I…don’t know. I think so.”
“And they were after you in the demon realms?”
“But you’re not there anymore. Now that I’ve summoned you here, isn’t it impossible for them to follow you?”
“No. I wish, but-” he scrubbed a hand down over his face. “It’s hard to explain. They’re not like me. They’re different.”
“You mean they’re not demons? Or they’re a different kind of demon?”
“I don’t know what they are. But they’ve been trying to track me down for as long as I can remember. I’ve been running for years.”
Ruka marveled at that for a second. “Why? What did you do?”
“That’s the thing,” he said, frustrated. “I don’t think I did anything. Or if I did, I can’t remember. I have no idea why they’re after me. And it’s not like I can just ask one of them while they’re chasing me.”
VALOR - DARTH MAUL
CHAPTER ONE: THE HUNTRESS AND THE HUNTER
SUMMARY: After attempting to kill a Sith lord unbeknownst to her, Ucilla Zykoff realizes she has made a grave mistake.
WORD COUNT: 3.4K
NOTES: Chapter one here we goooo! Love a couple who want to murder each other on sight. Sorry it took so long. I had so many ideas ready to go, then life got in the way. Anyway! I have a discord that my readers can use to discuss the story! It also let me share my silly memes and get to know y’all. Thank you for reading!
WARNINGS: general sci-fi violence
AS THE SUN BENDS BEHIND the horizon, the cover of night encapsulates the city. With the rising of the moon, the mission is awoken.
Dusk phasing into night elapses with a stillness, but as a gust of sudden wind shakes the shutters as it passes, a chill runs up her spine. Startled by the sounds for a fleeting moment, a sigh passes through her lips before turning into a bemused hum. Cool air drifts over her skin, soothing yet awakening. With the seasons beginning to change towards a wet, flourish spring, the air is crisp and dry from a winter willing itself to create one last frost before retreating once more. She would be offworld long before the petals started to bloom.
Once the last of the day's shadows unite into one blanket of darkness, Ucilla Zykoff stands from the measly excuse of a bed to glance out the window through the slits of the shutters. Her icy blonde hair is pulled back with a tie resting against the nape of her neck, a few hairs escaping to try to obscure her sight. Her golden eyes watch figures tuck into their homes, counting down the seconds until their lights are shut until the next morning. It will not be long before the impenetrable sound of the night life masks her task from wandering eyes and ears. Tucking strands of hair behind her ear, the young woman leans back on the wall of her room. Cobwebs cling to the fabric of her clothes as she does so.
The establishment is nothing to rave about, though the dusty room and a firm cot above a noisy cantina is a luxury in comparison to other make-shift lodgings. The bounty hunter has grown used to rocks boring into her spine, cramped spaces, and days without sleep— typical for someone in this line of work.
Across from her, a sniper rifle stands against the opposite wall. The durasteel has seen better days, but so has she. Ucilla pushes herself off from where she leans, making her way towards her weapon. It is surprisingly light due to Ucilla's modifications. Positioning her sniper rifle in her hands, Ucilla now waits patiently for movement off in the distance. The barrel of the gun sits between the slightly ajar shutters, invisible to any bystander. Waiting was part of the job, and she has become very good at it.
Ucilla scans the rooftops of the city buildings using the scope attached to her weapon. The infrared colors become all too boring as the sight hardly changes over a period of minutes. The job is similar to any of the other hundreds she is taken: hunt, locate, go for the kill. All her missions become an identical cluster after a while.
The night carries on and Ucilla's eyes are beginning to sore from being trained on movement. All she wants is to get the job over with and allow herself to indulge in the reward. Bounty hunting is not a line of work that she believed would ever suit her, but with the hefty rewards for high targets, the comfort of credits is enough to keep her coming back. Even though Ucilla could buy a small house or decent apartment for what she currently has in Republic credits, settling down never seemed to work out well for the Scaki. She had not even returned to her home world, despite having every reason to do so.
Where once soft mummers acted as a hush over the city, now the lights and the noise of cantinas flood the dark alleys and streets. The city is preoccupied by dreams or by those wishing to live in dream, opting for late nights in hopes to escape from the trivial lives they find themselves in. As such, Ucilla would remain unbothered.
As the sound of drunken men and flirtatious women reverberate as echoes under her feet, Ucilla uses the increasing noise from the cantinas around the area to mask the sound of her ignited weapon. No one would hear a whirling buzz or the unexpected cry when a tankard had drowned out all their senses.
Ucilla is good at her practice. She must. There are many hunters who would not bat an eye in killing her if she stood in the way of an expensive bounty. Trial and error led her to where she is, and it did not take long before her use of stealth, accuracy, and efficiency turned her into a highly sought out freelance bounty hunter.
Though she would never admit to it openly, Ucilla has a slight advantage on her associates. One being evident by the cylindrical weapon always hidden at the bottom of her satchel that has not been ignited in years.
Ucilla learned long ago that studying a target is far more beneficial than making things quick and messy. After all, depending on the target, the price typically rises each week. For instance, in the scope of her rifle, Ucilla now spots the man who disclosed a long list of individuals working for one of the galaxy's biggest crime syndicates: his bounty doubled just two days ago.
Over the week and a half, she spent watching Jaro Linst, Ucilla had memorized the snitch's schedule. In the morning, he wakes early to have a large breakfast. He stays indoors during the days, but he typically makes a run to a shop or the market before noon. He seldom has guests, but when he does, their either men being paid to protect him from the Hutts or Twi'leks being led by chains. When night envelops the area, he is bold enough to bring his guests to the rooftop of his hideout. Linst's eyes are always shut as he takes the first breath of the nighttime air, absorbed in the taste of prolonged freedom.
Just as she suspected, Linst reaches the top of the building with a drink in his hand and his broad, tall body open to whatever blaster fire she could afford to waste.
However, unlike most nights, his face is turned downwards, and he is not entirely alone.
Trailing behind the man, a figure in all black has their face hidden by a heavy cloak with a hood. This offered no indication as to who this mysterious person may be. Not that it mattered. Her bounty was clear: kill Jaro Linst and get the reward, no matter what happens.
Her sniper-rifle is angled towards her bounty but, given the fact that Linst may have more hunters on his trail, Ucilla decides on removing the additional threat first. In the scope, the hood still conceals the face of the new target.
She pulls back on the trigger.
The shot rings out near silently and in perfect alignment.
But it never reaches the head of her target. Instead, it ricochets off a familiar weapon and embarks on a mission straight towards her forehead.
Ucilla dodges the attack, rolling her back against the wall of her hotel room just in time as the red blaster fire digs straight through the opposite wall. Imagining if she had frozen for half a second more, Ucilla offers her blessing to the makers for her reflexes.
Clutching the gun to her chest, Ucilla finds herself now semi-frozen in fear. An icy feeling coursing through her veins offers no help in alleviating the shock. Instead, she releases the breath she was holding from stupor, blinking away the cloudy vision.
The brightly colored weapon that shot her fire back was one she had used long ago. This time, the blade was not lilac in color. Even the most uneducated creature could sense the danger that flows through the shaft, the deep dreadful color that exuberates caution.
A bleeding kyber crystal resides in that blade, crimson in color.
Wasting no time, Ucilla lowers herself to the ground, carefully making sure the lightsaber wielder could not see her through the shutters. Cursing in every language she knows, Ucilla crawls on her belly until she finds the brown satchel at the foot of the cot. In haste, the blonde slips the strap over her head, hugging across her chest tightly, but there was no time to adjust. She flings the rifle over her shoulder before hurriedly skidding out the door.
On her way out, Ucilla pushes through drunken patrons to reach the bar to slam down a handful of credits on the counter in front of the inn keeper, continuing to walk towards the exit as she does so. The inn keeper raises his voice, calling out that she owes him more, but his voice is drowned out among the crowd and she is already gone.
Lifting her wrist closer to her face, the Scaki swipes through her holocom until Jaro Linst's bounty appears. Despite the large sum, Ucilla presses down on the option to forfeit. There was no chance she would go near a mission that was compromised by a Dark sided individual.
Ucilla could not calm her heart, the organ forcing blood to pump fast through her body. The reverberation echoes in her ears. But the headache is nothing in comparison to what the Sith could do to her.
She was almost to the heart of the city when an impeccable drought in the energy stifled her movements. The atmosphere is heavy, darkness tingling at her senses. Ucilla's hair stands on end at the sensation. Against her better judgment, she freezes.
Moments later, Ucilla's thrown off her feet, landing hard against a wall before crumpling down.
The blow had torn the breath right out of her. Gasping, Ucilla reaches for her chest, gripping the long, worn leather vest tight in her palms. From the inside pocket above her heart, she pulls out a circular object, yanking the pin out of place before dropping it to the ground.
Footsteps draw near. Instead of wasting her time, Ucilla prances from her crouch and bolts up the side of the wall, using rails and the closeness of the buildings as her foot and handholds. She forces her body to move swift and precise, just as she was taught years ago. By the time she reached the roof, the smoke bomb had gone off. All Ucilla can do is hope that the distraction is enough.
Ucilla is left without much of another option. The shingled roofs were difficult to adjust to at first, some coming lose from her added weight, but eventually her footing held on and she was off like a speeder. Running along the tops of the buildings, jumping to the next one with grace and stead, Ucilla knew when to dodge attacks and when to advert her direction. It was not the first time she was running away from a foe, and she had a feeling it would not be the last.
Daring to look back, Ucilla feels her heart drop. The man following her copies each step, leap, and now, he is close enough to claim her dead, for real this time.
With no other option, Ucilla calculates her jump. Instead of throwing herself far enough to reach the next building, she leaps down several stories. Thankfully, they had come across the hub of the city and a canopy breaks her fall, bouncing from the cloth and onto the ground once more. The moment her tall boots hit the earth, she is off running again. With so many people wandering the streets, Ucilla hopes she can blend in, even though she is seemingly the only one in worn clothes and dashing through the streets.
The city is vast and incredibly narrow— easy to get lost in— but Ucilla had been here for quite some time, learning every back alley and corner shop during her weeks on the planet. With this knowledge in mind, surely, she has some advantage over her opponent. How likely is it that they, too, has memorized back alleys that leads to the shipyard?
Ucilla felt as though she could feel their breath on her neck, their fingertips just centimeters from gripping her hair. As if possible, her legs pushed harder than ever before.
Ducking into a back alley, Ucilla used her petite figure to maneuver through the garbage, boxes, and drunks that scattered the path. To her surprise, the person following was not prepared for the turn nor the obstacles in their path. They had fallen behind. She takes this moment to press her back against a wall between two strangers, pulling her hood further to hide her face.
It was not long after when Ucilla feels the dark ease away. She needs to know if he still lingers. Before she can make it safely to her ship, she will have to know how far behind the hunter is and if he can easily make it onto her ship or destroy it in some way.
Any normal foe would have mistakenly moved on from the area, never to find her again. Though she has never faced off against a Sith before, nor does she know anyone who has, what Ucilla does know is that there is no telling what a creature fueled by uncontrollable emotions with an unpredictable nature will do.
Before the drunken men could ask once more if she would like a drink, Ucilla pushes herself from the stone wall, cautiously making her way through street after street, back alley after alley. Her heart hammers in her chest no matter how she tried to stop it. Without knowing what kind of species the dark side wielder is, she has no conclusive answer if he can hear her labored breathing. As she sticks to the shadows of the city, Ucilla sends silent prayers to the makers to spare her this time.
With each step nearing the shipyard, the amount of people out and about grow less and less. By the time she was within blocks of her ship, only a few stragglers walked the streets. She felt lucky, allowing herself to walk faster even if the passersby gave suspicious looks.
Ucilla is no more than a block from the garage where her ship was located when she tumbled to the ground, a powerful blow toppling her, a wrestling match ensuing to determine life or death.
Kicking the figure off her, she throws a punch blindly. The huntress's punch misses the figure's jaw by a second, but that does not stop her from swinging again.
To her surprise, the saber is not ignited, nor does he go to reach for the weapon. The Force wielder instead copying her hand-to-hand combat. Maybe they thought she deserved a fair chance, or maybe they were simply trying to torture her into submission.
The hunter was the first to strike a powerful blow.
Ucilla's nose begins to bleed upon the impact of a fist, knocking her dazed for a moment. In the haste of her backing up and the figure coming forward, Ucilla did what any bounty hunter would have done.
Perhaps the cloaked Sith was not expecting the blaster to be drawn and the trigger to be pulled so fast, because the hunter is thrown off balance by a bolt embedding itself into their shoulder. A sound akin to a growl shakes Ucilla to the core.
When his head turns back, the hood from his cloak falls, just enough to give Ucilla a picture for her nightmares.
A male Zabrak. How interesting. Ucilla's eyes run over the intricate black tattoos on his face, trailing from where they start down to where they disappear beyond his dark robes. The red and black contrast is frightening to some degree, but Ucilla has faced worse. His appearance matches the fiery energy he exudes. Horns adorn his skull, several points wrapping around to remind Ucilla of a crown. Glowing, boiling amber of his altered eyes catch her attention.
So full of hate and anger; a storm that brings no calm in the wake of its destruction. There is a moment where Ucilla wonders what happened to this Sith, the journey that led him here to strike her down.
A Sith deals with the lust for absolute power, the destruction of the universe to make their strength known. To conquer is all they know, no matter who stands in their way.
He bares his teeth, and Ucilla can feel the rage coming from him. Rather than sticking around to anticipate his next move, Ucilla shoots several more times in the Zabrak's direction then begins to run to where her ship waits.
She can feel his decision, the way his anger directs his actions, how his natural rage bubbles over, destruction always existing, white-hot. There was no other warning before the Zabrak throws the dual blade at her. Instincts kick in. Ucilla turns on her heel to hold out her hand, something she has not done in years.
In midair, the blade is still. One entity aims to kill, the other refuses to let death take her.
The blade then falls, dust splashing along the steel. Both watch the unignited weapon on the ground. Simultaneously, both look up, their eyes meeting with new sentiment.
The tension is heavy in that street. Neither can predict what the other is thinking nor what moves they plan on making. However, there is something that Ucilla can read off the Zabrak. The squint to his eyes combined with wrinkles forming on his forehead tells her that his mind races with questions. After all, he most likely was not expecting the night to end with a woman one-upping him in the Force. Like a switch, Ucilla suddenly feels the anger exploding from the Zabrak; he is not going to let her get away.
But Ucilla is faster. Her secret is already out, and she has no time to waste. Reaching up, she uses the Force to bring down the archway, the stones and rubble falling on top of the tattooed Zabrak. She hears him cry out in anguish, but she does not stay long to hear anything else.
Ucilla is quick to slip into the cockpit of her ship. Her voice has once again resorted to curses in a number of languages as she flips various switches. A loud sigh of relief exits her when the sound of the engine roaring to life reaches her ears. As she activates all the right gears to get her off the dry planet, she takes one last look down to the earth: her blood runs ice cold.
There, close enough to stop her if he wanted with a single slash of his crimson ignited saber, is the Sith. His hood has now returned atop his crowned head, though it does little to obscure his glowing amber eyes.
His actions, or lack thereof, surprise Ucilla, the woman he had been hunting for a good mile through a city. And now, he stands there, seemingly unfazed, without care as she makes a successful escape. Escaping was certainly part of the plan, but the fact that the Zabrak has forfeited in spite of being so close to winning is annoying to some extent.
Before Ucilla has another moment to dwell on the Sith nor giving him another moment to reconsider, the YT-1210 lifts off from the ground. The Scaki's focus is drawn away from her foe despite knowing that turning her back on an enemy is a recipe for disaster. To her fortune, the Revenant makes it into the atmosphere and into hyperspace with ease.
The coordinates are placed. A safehold on Duro. Ucilla had not been there in quite some time and if she were lucky, an enemy-to-partner would be there, too. At least she would have someone to listen to her story.
The ship is set to autopilot, allowing for Ucilla to lean back in the pilot's chair, her leg bent to hold her knee against her chest. Though she is safe at the moment, Ucilla can not be sure for how long. What would she do if the Sith tracks her to Duro? Would he make her wait in anticipation as he had done in the shipyard?
For the first time in millennia, a Sith had revealed himself. At least to her knowledge: dead men tell no tales. Perhaps telling Bane about her encounter is for the best. If she becomes a successful mission for the Sith, at least someone would know what happened to her.
If anything, Ucilla knows of one plan that has not failed her yet. Just as she had done long ago, running has always been part of a good plan.
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
@bonesaldente @blue-space-porgs @jayden-rose-leon
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CHAI TEA AND BEER CANS !!
pairing: ash lynx x eiji okumura
word count: 1.7k
summary: ash and eiji meet under different circumstances, featuring smitten ash, adorable eiji, and wingman shorter.
In theory, allowing Max and Jessica to open a coffee shop as a cover for gang transactions was a discreet and clever plan. It would allow Ash and Shorter to work out strategies without concern of anyone barging in, it would give the gang an ample amount of space to rest, and it would keep the pesky cops off their backs and provide them with a steady alibi. Ash had thought of everything and It was foolproof.
Well - mostly everything - what he hadn’t counted on would be a very adorable foreign exchange student coming into the cafe every day to study and drink chai tea. Nor had he expected to grow so fond of him.
Standing in the back of the coffee shop Ash sighs, running a hand through his hair and examining the map one last time before muttering a very long string of obscenity, “Who the fuck does he think he is? Making demands like this?”
Shorter shrugs, looking highly unconcerned with the whole ordeal and taking a swig of the beer can he’s been steadily sipping for the last hour, “Dunno man but he asked Sing for the same thing.”
When Dino had died everyone thought things would calm down and they could all go back to normal lives, Sing could enroll in school along with Skip, Ash could start the writing career every knew he so desperately wanted, and Shorter could start working full-time with his sister Nadia.
That’s what they all had hoped would happen.
But of course - it didn’t end up happening how they wanted - it never did.
Not with the Spanish Mafia acting up with outrageous demands and Yut-lung disappearing overnight along with the Golzine fortune.
“We can’t give him the whole west side, that’s absurd.” Ash slams his fist on the table, letting out a tremor cracking against the already frail wood, “I offered an alliance to both Jorge and Estela and they still have the audacity to give me demands? I’m doing them a favor already.”
“My plan to seduce Estela and turn her into a double spy Cherry Valence style I am more than willing.” Shorter gives a wolfish grin, his white tears contrasting against the violet mohawk.
Ash glares at him, though the fond smile tugging at his lips doesn’t do much to make him look annoyed, “I can’t believe you’re still crushing over her, she’s fictional you dipshit.”
“Fictional and hot,”
The moon had finally succeeded in tugging down the sun and replaced the azure in astral midnight, speckles of pearls dancing across the heavens like alabaster countertops sifted with crystalized sugar varnish, the prominent crescent moon deftly casting its brilliance on the cafe, glittering rays flooding into the establishment with enough force that none of the cheap fluorescent lights draping above them where needed. Winter had encroached far too quickly for Ash’s liking and snow-dusted the ground like a fairytale, that mixed with the dark sky made it look far later than it really was.
The shop lingered open late into the dusk, members of the gang handling night shifts as Max and Jessica watch over during the day. Though no one actually expected someone to get a coffee at six o’clock - so when a black-haired boy hurries into the shop with a shiver in his lips they each snap their attention to him instantaneously.
“Heh - America very cold.” He mutters to himself, rubbing his light brown hands together to try and gain at least a little warmth in the very cool building, he doesn’t seem to notice the two men looking at him incredulously until Shorter coughs, seemingly swallowing his beer down the wrong windpipe, “Hello! You are open, yes?”
Elbowing Shorter Ash moves to go behind the counter, forearms resting easily against the countertop and a bored look dancing across his pale features, he says nothing, simply waiting for the drink name with quite a bit of impatience.
Eiji stays silent for a moment, lips curved in small ‘O’ as he tries to read the menu, eyes squinting lightly before returning attention back to Ash, “May I please have a Chai Tea?”
“Yeah, that’ll be $4.25,” Ringing up the order he nods at shorter to start the drink, “To go I assume?”
“Well, I was planning to study here for my quiz of math, though it is quite late..” The boy trails off, biting his lip in a way Ash can only see as childish, none of the sexual innuendos seen from all the other men in his past.
Ash’s face stays the exact same, bored and uninterested as he deadpans a quick, “We close in ten minutes.”
“Do not worry! I quick tea drinker, like flash!” He grins such a bright carefree smile that Ash has to swallow the lump in his throat, finally sizing the boy up.
His hair hangs in small tufts of matte-black, such deep ebony it almost rivals the night sky. Big round eyes leave him looking very youthful, add that his almost porcelain skin and hickory eyes and the man ends up looking early teens, making what he says next almost unbelievable. His eyes danced with wonderment and he seemed almost too vulnerable, body language open and eyes showing an untouched child-like naiveté.
Ash wishes he could capture that innocence in his hands and devour it.
“I come to America for college and people here drink tea very quickly, so I try to drink tea quickly!”
Shorter finishes off the warm cup of tea and hands it to him with that same animal grin, eyes trailing him up and down, “No fucking way you’re in college.”
“What do you mean?” He cocks his head in such a juvenile way Ash has to fight back a simper, instead answering his question in an uncharacteristically warm voice.
“He means you look like you’re sixteen,”
Laughing at the offended look on the boy’s face Shorter nods, only halting when the boy lets out an indignant response, “I’m nineteen!”
“Sorry kid, you just have a real baby face..” The purple-haired man sticks his hand out, to accept the cash, reaching over Ash only for the blond to smack his hand.
“I do not have face of baby! I have face of nineteen-year-old boy!”
That does it, ash lets out a chuckle, “Just take your chai tea kid, we’ve gotta get back to work.”
Furrowing his browns in an utterly adorable way he puffs out a gust of wind from his lips, lifting his black bangs ever so slightly, “I am not kid! I am Eiji!”
Ash decides he likes the name quite a lot.
“Well, Eiji, the cafe is closing so you better be on your way.”
He hums in disappointment, “I really thought I got here with plenty time to study for maths,”
At the devilish grin that appears on Shorter’s face, Ash smacks his shoulder, green eyes warning him not to say anything stupid.
He does anyway.
“You know what, I think I hear Nadia calling me so I’ve gotta go, but ya know what Eiji? My bud ash is real good at math, “He claps ash on the back, “And I’m sure he could help you.”
The way Eiji’s eyes light up makes every excuse die on Ash’s tongue and he instead nods, subtly kicking Shorter’s shin from behind the counter, “Really! Thank you, Ash!”
His heart beats a little too fast at his butchered pronunciation of the name - the accent making it sound more like saying achoo than anything, “Yeah, um, no problem.”
Throwing a wink over his shoulder Shorter grabs his jacket and heads out the front door, “See ya tomorrow Ash.”
Eiji turns too, offering his bright smile and yelling out, “Sayanora Shorter!”
Doing a military salute he hops onto the motorbike and starts off, leaving a very excited Eiji and a very inquisitive Ash who each make their way over to the corner table, one with his hands cupping a yellow mug and the other with a can of beer.
Ash sets his beer can on the table and swivels to see a gawking Eiji, his extensive copper-colored eyes glued to the blond’s waistline with such curiosity it almost made him look like a boy seeing snow for the first time, pure wonderment. Looking down to see what the older boy was gaping at so intently Ash finds a lump swelling in his throat. Snugly tucked into his black skinnies is a Smith & Wesson Model 27 revolver, weighing his belt down quite significantly, though Ash had the surmise that wasn’t why Eiji staring.
Nerves set in the pit of his stomach like a ball of lead, scratchy, suffocating, and Ash finds himself almost worried about the complete stranger’s reaction, so with an effort to gladden the mood the younger boy takes it from his pants and holds it out, smirking as Eiji’s eyes grow impossibly huge, “Wanna hold it.. or... some shit?”
“You let me?!” He basically squeals, flapping his hands in elation with phenomenon painted across his face, exhilaration palpable in the sweet-smelling shop.
Ash feels his heart fill with so much warmth he thinks he might burn to death. He’s almost a bit irritated, this man has the absolute audacity to not be scared of him - the absolute audacity to look this adorable when ash is already fawning over him and losing control of his galloping heart. So with a sheepish look at the ground, he hands over the gun.
In truth, the gang leader has no idea why he lets Eiji hold the gun, the very same gun Ash never trusts anyone with, never lets anyone touch. He can’t explain it - can’t explain the warmth he feels around Eiji and why he already trusted this boy with everything in him. Can’t explain why Eiji is so distinctively different from anyone else he’s come to know. And that infuriates him more than anything else.
Breaking Ash’s train of thought the raven-haired boy gives him a smile and shifts the gun’s weight between his hands curiously, tilting almost his head before placing the metal device back into the blond’s hands, “Thank you for trusting me, it very heavy.”
Ash laughs lightly and smiles, “Yeah, I guess it is. Now let’s get to math shall we?”
Then without a glint of fear in his eyes, Eiji nods.
And Ash falls.
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Into the Unknown
OC: Koiki Inagaki but likes to be called Koi
Hair Color: Dark Navy Blue
Eye Color: Orange
Quirk: Darkness Solidification and Umbrageous
It has been about a week since the entrance exams. Koi was nervous. Did she pass? Did she not? Would she be ok after this? Would Katsuki still want to be with her if she wasn’t accepted into UA? Would Izuku still be her friend if she got in and he didnt?
These were ridiculous thoughts to have but she couldn’t help herself. She was paranoid and scared. She was so lost in her thoughts she didn’t even realize her grandfather sat next to her until he put a hand on her shoulder. She shrieked to which he chuckled and handed her an envelope. She jumps up and runs to her room screaming and slams the door.
She stared at the envelope for 5 minutes before tearing it open. A little disk fell on my bed and then a flash of light sparked. She falls off the bed in shock staring up at the hologram of All Might on her wall. She blanked out on most of the message but resurfaced when he says “You passed the exam. Welcome Koiki, you’re now a part of the hero academia.”
I started ugly crying and quickly dialed Katsuki’s number. “Hey babe, I just got my letter from UA...wh...why are you crying?” “I...I...passss and...I...wwwiiillll...be...UA...” I said over my sobs. I could hear Katsuki shuffling and in the background All Might’s voice going through the motions and accepting Katsuki as well. He started cheering in excitement and explosions could be heard. I chuckled finally being able to calm down. “Please don’t destroy things. Your mom will have a field day yelling at you.” “I don’t care what the hag thinks. I’m going to UA and will be a pro hero.”
Time Skip to the First Day at UA
I knocked on Izuku’s door waiting to walk with him to school. It was amazing to hear that he also got to UA. He opened the door smiling and we waved his mother goodbye before heading to the first day of the rest of our lives.
We found out that UA had accepted 41 students from the entrance exams. It was a first time occurrence, but they felt they couldn’t chose between two students. We never knew who would have almost not made it and we didn’t care. We were fortunate to both end up in class 1-A.
As we opened the doors, we were met with a class full of students already. “Are we late?” I asked. “I don’t think so.” Izuku responded as we watched to see Katsuki and the kid I almost fought at orientation for the exams arguing. “Well this is going to be fun.” All of a sudden the class turned to us, mostly staring at Izuku. “Uh, hi.” He mumbled. “Good Morning. My name is Tenya Lida.” The jerk greeted. “I’m Izuku Midoriya. This is Kioki Inagaki. Nice to meet you.” Izuku introduced.
“Midoriya, you realized there was something more to the practical exam, didn’t you? You must be very perceptive. And I completely misjudged you, I admit.” He started. “You sure did. Glad you realized before I had to teach you.” I said simply. Lida looked at me. “Well my impression of you didn’t change.” He commented before continuing his conversation.
I huffed a little annoyed and went to take a seat. I could take the seat behind Katsuki but it’s better to sit with new people and not distract him. As our class had an odd number of students, the last row of seats had 5 desks instead of four. I decided to sit in the empty middle seat between a tall guy with brown spikey hair and a kid with red and white hair.
“Hey, I’m Rikido Sato.” The kid with the brown spikey hair greeted holding a hand out. “Kioki Inagaki, but most people just call me Koi. Pleasure to meet you.” I smiled as I shook his hand back. We chatted a little bit before our teacher arrived interrupting conversations.
“Hello, I’m Shota Aizawa. Your teacher. Right let’s get to it. Put these on and head outside.” He instructed as he tossed sets of uniforms to everyone. We all got changed and met him outside where he shared we would be having a Quirk assessment test instead of going to orientation.
Bakugo was up first to toss the softball as far as he could while using his quirk. I watched in aww as his hand flamed up and exploded shooting the ball into the sky like a rocket. Aizawa showed Bakugo’s distance of 705 meters. I whistled impressed. That’s my man. He grinned at me with pride.
Aizawa shared that we would all be competing in 8 physical exams to test our quirks and the student with the lowest score would be expelled. This sent everyone in a frenzy but if this is what it takes to be a hero, so be it.
The first test was the 50-meter dash. While the other students went, I had to figure out the best course for me. When it was my turn, I was paired to go against a boy with blonde hair and a girl that had pink skin. When the machine said go, I started running to gain momentum. My eyes lit up as I used my quirk to create wings on my back. Jumping in the air, I was able to glide the rest of the way finishing in exactly 6 seconds. I dismissed the wings not to over do myself right away.
“Woah! That was amazing!” the girl I ran against complimented. “Oh thanks!” I blushed. “I’m Mina Ashido,” She introduced. “I’m Kioki Inagaki.” I introduced back. She grinned and grabbed my arm dragging me to her group of friends which they introduced themselves as Denki, Eijiro, and Hanta.
The assessments continued on. The next test was the Grip Strength. Using a little bit of shadow, I covered my hand in a protective layer to not strain it as I gripped it as much as I could but got to about 100 kilograms.
The third test was the Standing Long Jump. Similar to the 50-meter dash, I created wings again so that when I am high in the air I can stay afloat. This worked successfully and I was able to get to the mark I needed to be. I looked back to Izuku had fallen just before the mark he needed to make. I gave him a sad smile as I helped him up. “It’s ok. You’ll do better on the next test.” He smiled back and nodded but I could tell he wasn’t feeling as confident.
The fourth test was repeated side steps. I created a wall on each side of me and I side stepped to climb up and down repeatedly until time was called. When it was time, I moved off to the side to lay down on the grass. My legs were screaming.
When it came to the ball throw, I formed a shadow down my arm and hand to create a a large paddle. Taking a deep breathe, I tossed the ball in the air and then swung as hard as I could with the makeshift paddle. The ball flew and Aizawa showed me the score. “670 meters. Not bad.” I grinned and went to stand by Bakugo.
I watched as Izuku went up. I could see he was having some doubts. “If Midoriya doesn’t shape up soon, he’s the one going home.” Lida commented. “Huh? Of course he is. He’s a quirkless loser.” Bakugo barked out. I smacked the back of his head to which he glared at me. “He’s just nervous. Leave him alone.” Lida stared at us confused. “He has a quirk. Did you not hear about what he did in the entrance exam?” We looked at him shocked before turning back to Izuku who finally tossed the ball. I gasped when Aizawa used his quirk.
“I took your quirk away. The judges for this exam were not rational enough. Someone like you should never be allowed to enroll at this school. You’re not ready and don’t have any control over your power.” Aizawa continued to lecture and belittle my best friend. I growled wanting to step in and defend but Bakugo held my hand tight trying to calm me down to not doing anything rash. Finally he let Izuku try again.
I was in awe watching the power that flowed subtly in his hand and shooting the ball 705.3 meters. “Mr. Aizawa, You see? I’m still standing,” Izuko challenged proudly. Our class mates were cheering him on but Bakugo and myself were still baffled. Growing up, Izuko never had a quirk... did he? I frowned wondering if my best friend has been lying to me all this time or was he that self conscious.
Bakugo raged, exploding his hands, and running towards Izuko for answers. On instinct I formed a shadow wall between the two boys while Mr. Aizawa utilized his scarf to restrain my boyfriend. “Stand down.” I sighed letting my quirk disappear and continuing with the rest of the tests.
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Hey Neighbour! - Part 6
Word Count: 3K
Pairing: Ally Mayfair-Richards x Reader
Warning: Mentions of Phobia’s and triggers.
A/N: Well it’s been a hot minute... I hope you guys enjoy! This hasn’t been well edited I do apologise in advance! x
Tags: @waitingfortheendtocome @natasha-danvers @creepingwolfberry @coconutlipss @saucy-sapphic @minavenable @pearplate @r0an0ke @mssallymckenna @grilledcheeseandguavajelly @venablemayfairgoode @veteranwerewolf95 @chewbacca0805 @pluied-ete @supremeinlilac @nyx-aira @witchxaf @black--widxw @fireflyglass @cordeliafoxxe @d14n4ol @bluevelvetbitxh @amethyst-bitch @lezzzbehonesthere @msvenablezcane @citizenoftheworld-stuff-blog
Hey Neighbour! - Part six
It had been three weeks since your spontaneous sleepover with the brunette next door, granted it wasn’t the most ideal first sleepover for you both but you enjoyed capturing that peaceful look on her face as she rested close to your body. Since then you have managed to take Ally out twice just the two of you, seeing her so relaxed in your presence was rewarding enough especially since the Senator had been stressed with the upcoming election making your time together that little bit more sentimental. When Ally had to work late you would take Oz with you, Ally had learnt to accept your offering now and only kissed you with gratefulness and when there were nights where you had to stay late at the new job you gotten at the local gallery Ally was more than happy to return the favour resulting in the two little mischievous duo growing closer in their developing friendship.
‘As if they don’t see enough of each other at school,’ you think amused, as you watch the pair play in the yard as you wait for Ally to join you all. The orange and red leaves filling the big trees greet you with the fall air as the light breeze flows through them in the garden as you sit on the back porch. The sound of footsteps at the side gate startles you from your daydream, a small smile gracing your lips as the familiar sound of grumbling reaches your ears as Ally struggles with the gate lock. Taking a sip from your afternoon brew you wait patiently for the brunette to greet you.
“You really need to get that lock looked at,” her voice frustrated but you can’t help but glow in her presence, a small tinkle in your eye showing your amusement with her ongoing battle with your lock.
“I’ve had it checked, there’s nothing wrong with it,” you chuckle, as Ally pouts walking over towards you as you pass her a freshly brewed beverage. She sits close to you and kisses your cheek as she takes in the pair that have chosen to focus on their game than greet one of their favourite people. Ally scoffs into her cup as she responds.
“I don’t mind paying for a new door-”
“Ally-” you warn, knowing she would. Her big brown eyes grow soft as she looks at you, leaning closer to you until her nose is an inch away from your own.
“That damn door takes precious seconds off me from seeing your gorgeous face,” she flirts, almost grinning as you fluster under her stare and her words.
“Dork,” you tease, ready to sink back into your chair but Ally pulls you close again leaving your lips a breath hair away from one another.
“Only for you, Honey.” she whispers, her lips twitching into a soft smile making you melt that little bit more. Reaching forward you peck her lips and brush your thumb across her sharp cheekbone. Eyes linger on one another for a moment as you both allow your thoughts for one another to swirl deliciously around your mind.
“Oh! I forgot to ask, there’s a fair coming to town at the end of the week. I thought if you would like… I would really like to take you and Amelia with Oz and I?” she asks shyly, making you fight the urge to smile wide at her obvious hesitance.
“I know it’s not exactly just us two but I-” you stop her by kissing her hard on the mouth, making her eyes widen slightly. Pulling back you cradle her face in the palms of your hands and grin.
“Will there be candyfloss there like at the old fair by Grandpa’s?” Amelia asks, her eyes full of excitement and wonder as you pull up into the nearby car park. She adjusts her beanie hat before pressing her nose against the window eager to capture the colourful lights and fast moving machines as the children scream with laughter. You chuckle as you watch the colourful lights reflect through her innocent gaze enjoying how her mind is capturing this new bright world.
“Well it’s not a fair unless there’s candyfloss right?” Amelia nods to your fair statement, licking her lips in anticipation. With the engine switched off you turn to look at her from the front seat.
“Are you ready, Munchkin?” your answer is an ecstatic nod and a loud cheer.
Once you have helped Amelia out of the car and adjusted her coat, you took hold of her hand and wandered over to the brightly lit fair. Coming closer to the entrance way you notice the familiar blonde curly hair and signature beanie hat that is so similar to Amelia’s making you call out the young boy’s name gaining his attention. His brown eyes light up when he notices you waving at him, tugging at his mother’s hand who seems to be in conversation with an older couple. His tugs seem to work as his mother ends her conversation with the couple and turns to her son giving him her full attention before her brown eyes follow his pointing finger. Ally smiles brightly as she waves you over, making you pick up your pace as Amelia drags you forward eager to greet her best friend and her best grown up friend besides her uncle and Grandpa, of course.
“Miss. Ally!!” Amelia screeches through the crowd making a few heads turn in your direction, causing you to laugh at your expressive daughter. Ally doesn’t seem to pay attention to the few scowls and bends down ready to capture the running child that speeds ahead into her arms. Ally swoops her up and kisses her cheek before talking animatedly with her, laughing as Amelia explains to her about the candyfloss. Oz quickly steps towards you, a little less chaotic than Amelia and hugs you gently as you brush your fingers through his soft blonde curls before adjusting his beanie to fit more securely on his head. Once the two had enough of the grown ups they immersed into their own conversation next to you as you greeted Ally. Siding next to her you decide to lace your fingers through hers before kissing her softly on the cheek.
“Hey Senator,” you murmur, a secret smile appearing onto your lips. Ally smiles and winks playfully at you before tucking your laced hands towards her making you flush against her side.
“Hey, Dancing Queen. Are you ready to lose at a few fairground games?” her challenge, makes you squint your eyes at the fighting talk before grinning.
“You're on, neighbour.”
“Alright ladies, three shots for 5 dollars.” the teen mumbles his eyes fixated on the bright screen of his phone, his lack of enthusiasm even in front of the children makes you chuckle quietly. Leaning over you whisper into Ally’s ear as she eyes the three stacked coconuts, Amelia and Oz shift eagerly on their feet waiting for you to pass the boy your money so they can try it out.
“You think if he realised you were senator he’d maybe crack a smile,” you tease, watching as Ally smirks at your comment, dark eyes sparkling under the fair lights.
“Let’s find out,” she whispers back, winking at you before turning her attention onto the young teen.
“We’d like four rounds at it, Samuel.” Ally’s use of the boy's name startles him from his scrolling. His eyes clash with her own as his cheeks turn red with embarrassment, stuttering over his words.
“Miss. Mayfair-Richards, I- uh of course! Please go ahead,” he eagerly takes the money that you offer him, biting your lip to hold back your laughter. Ally plasters on her senator smile and takes the three softballs from him, passing them to the children.
Oz takes his first shot just missing the coconut by an inch making him pout, Amelia pats his shoulder in comfort and reassures him that his next go will be better. As her words predict Oz throws his next shot and manages to knock the middle coconut to the ground with a loud cheer, you reach down slightly to high five him as his mother beams with pride. Amelia takes the final shot, you watch her bite her lip in concentration as she eyes the remaining two coconuts. You whisper some encouraging words into her ear before she throws the ball wobbling the coconut but not managing to knock it off it’s stand.
“NIce job, Munchkin!” you cheer, eyeing her pouting lips.
“But I didn’t knock it off, Mommy.” she mumbles sadly, leaning her back against your legs.
“That was still a killer shot, Amelia-cakes! Besides we got three more rounds!” you exclaim, watching her sigh and nod determined to try again. Unbeknown to you, Ally smiles softly as she watches your exchange with your daughter. Your tenderness and love towards your daughter makes her heart pound faster with each exchange, the softness in your eyes as you smile wide encouraging the best out of her makes you almost too perfect for her to comprehend.
“You're so good with her, Y/N.” Ally compliments you, quietly. You both watch as Oz helps cheer Amelia on as she successfully hits one of the coconuts off. You smile sheepishly, feeling your cheeks warm at the sincere compliment.
“Thank you, I like to think I’m doing a good job.” you mutter back, brushing some of Amelia’s hair back from her face as she beams at you.
“Did you see Mom?!” her excitement makes you beam back with equal enthusiasm.
“I did indeed, baby! That was awesome!” you praise, high fiving her as Ally cheers her on.
After the second round is finished and Samuel hands the two their stuffed animal that Oz shyly offers to Amelia who beams in return. You look at Ally and grin now that it’s your turn.
“Alright Senator, you ready?” you taunt, pretending to warm up on the spot making the brunette in question laugh as the children giggle at your antics.
“So ready,” her voice determined, as her eyes sparkled with a challenging glint.
You both complete your rounds with you managing to knock them all down with ease while Ally manages two knockdowns with the third one stubbornly unmoved on the stand making you grin smugly at the brunette who glares playfully at you.
“Would you like to pick from our top tier selection?” Samuel asks, his enthusiasm still evident as he glances at the Senator in hopes of validation. You eye the stuffed animals before pointing at the pink bunny.
“That one please, Samuel.” you demand, enjoying his annoyed expression as you use his full name. He grabs the large stuffed animal and shoves it into your arms as you grin turning towards Amelia ready to hand her the stuffed animal knowing you have no use for it, her eyes make you pause though as she subtly looks towards Ally who seems to be listening to Oz’s strategy with hitting the coconuts. You frown at her odd expression before she gestures for you to crouch down so she can speak to you.
“Give bunny to Ally, Mommy.” she whispers into your ear, pressing her own stuffed animal to her cheeks as she holds in a giggle. Ally turns towards you at the sound of her giggling with a confused frown.
“You two okay?” her voice full of bemusement. Winking at Amelia you step towards Ally and hold out the bunny for her to take.
“For the prettiest Senator in all the states,” you gush, a charming smile gracing your lips as her eyes widen. Your heart beats rapidly as you watch her delicately take the stuffed toy from your hands with a soft expression, her teeth resting against her top lip as her eyes take in the offered gift.
“My aren’t we quite the charmer,” she mutters, not fully directing the words at yourself but knowing she meant you. Brown eyes lock with your own as you wiggle your eyebrows, making her laugh. She moves towards you and kisses your cheek before wrapping her hand around your bicep and leaning in close turning to face Amelia and Oz.
“Shall we move onto the next one?” her question is met with cheers as the pair race ahead, keeping within your line of sight at all times.
Glancing over at the Senator you take in her relaxed look enjoying the peace that seems to surround her in this moment, grateful to be able to witness and be a part of it with her.
Walking through the fairground was like walking through a fantasy world full of bright colours and strange creatures dressed in striped clothing wearing fuzzy wigs. Amelia had wanted to go on one of the bigger rides that Oz and Ally weren’t overly fond of so you all decided to meet back up at the food yard after you both had finished on the ride, needing the food energy. You and Amelia had met a lovely clown named Bazil who offered Amelia a lovely flower balloon before finding Ally and Oz by one of the many benches that surrounded the food trucks, you were giggling as Amelia tried to do an impression of Bazil as you made your way over to the pair. Your laughter soon came to a halt as you noticed Ally’s distraught expression as Oz pats his mother’s back in comfort, quickly walking over you kneel in front of the distressed brunette who was breathing rapidly and cupped her cheeks forcing her to lock in a gaze with you.
“Ally, I need you to breathe with me okay? Oz grab your mothers water from her bag please,” you instruct calmly, Ally’s glazed brown eyes seem to struggle to focus on you and your words as you try to gain her attention once more.
“Ally, it’s Y/N okay you’re safe and breathing, so I need you to concentrate alright sweetheart.” she barely nods but you take it as a win. “Okay great, can you tell me five things that you can see, taste, smell? Focus on your breathing.” your commands seem to be listened to as her eyes begin to dart around before she closes her eyes tightly and shakes her head.
“It’s too much, too many lights and clow- clowns,” she manages to stutter out, making you finally realise her distraught state. You remember the brief conversation you had, had with Ally about her phobias and how much she’s improved since losing Ivy, however sometimes fear has a nasty way of catching you off guard.
“Ally look at me then, focus on me.” you speak softly and calmly still, as Oz holds an upset Amelia. Ally’s eyes lock with your own in an instant as her lips begin to stutter words that barely reach your ears.
“Your lips are so-so soft,” she mutters, her thumb brushing over the facial feature. “Your smile it- it could light up a- an entire planet,” she continues, her breathing becoming less erratic as she begins to relax, coming back to the present, to you.
“That’s it. Good girl,” you praise, coaxing her. Her eyes brim with tears as she collapses forward wrapping her arms around your shoulders.
“I’m so sorry, so sorry,” she repeats, desperately clutching to you. Rubbing your hands along her back in circular motions you feel her shiver slightly under your touch. Looking over you notice Oz and Amelia hesitate to reach for Ally unsure on how she will respond, Amelia looks the most unsure not having experienced these moments with Ally before but Oz seems to understand and tentatively reaches for his mother placing a hand onto her shoulder. She turns her head from the crook of your neck to look at her son and reaches for him moving from your safe clutches to comfort her son and herself. She breathes in deeply as she takes in his familiar shampoo smell, Amelia places a comforting hand on her shoulder next after watching her best friend communicate without scaring the woman. Ally pulls back from Oz to look at Amelia and smiles reassuringly. Amelia’s wide sad eyes take in Ally’s tear stained face silently asking her if she’s okay.
“I’m okay now, Amelia-Cakes,” Ally whispers, her voice hoarse from her struggle. Amelia nods and that’s all she needs before she leaps forward and wraps her small arms around Ally’s waist.
“I’m glad you’re okay now, Ally.” she whispers, into her stomach making Ally smile. Brown eyes clash with your own as she mouths a ‘thank you’ which you brush off with a reassuring grin.
“Alright, Kiddos. Shall head back home? We got a ton of candy floss that I’m just waiting to get my hands on,” your voice light and full of positivity as the two pull away from Ally at the mention of the sugary treat.
“We gotta share Mommy!” Amelia reminds you, her tone stern as she raises an eyebrow at you making you question who’s the real parent in this relationship. Raising your hands up in mocking surrender you nod solemnly.
“I promise I’ll share, Kid.” you watch Ally’s small smile appear onto her lips, still slightly shaken from her experience. Grabbing hold of the stuffed pink bunny, you reach out your free hand to Ally grasping her hand gently and tucking her close. Amelia and Oz stay dutifully in front of you both as you walk back to your separate cars.
“Are you sure you’ll be okay to drive?” you ask, suddenly aware of the two parked cars. Ally grins, reassuring you that she’ll be fine for the ten minute drive promising to meet you back at her house.
“Alright I’ll see you in a few minutes, darling.” you promise, kissing her temple briefly as Amelia takes to your side. Ally tilts her head slightly at the new endearment but doesn’t comment and smiles before stepping round to the drivers side, taking that as your cue to leave you head over to your own vehicle with Amelia and watch as Ally sets off.
Finally you arrive outside your home and switch the engine off glancing briefly into the mirror you watch Amelia’s tired gaze fixate onto Ally and Oz as they wait patiently on their own porch for you both.
“You alright Amelia?” you ask, practically seeing the gears turning in her head. Young eyes lock with your own through the mirror as her small brows furrowed.
“How come Ally was super scared of Bazil and their friends?” her innocent question makes your heart sink as you quickly look across at the woman in question before turning your attention onto your daughter.
“You know about Phobias right? When someone has a rational fear of certain things or objects, like how Grandpa is super terrified of spiders and how he freezes whenever he sees one,” you explain the best way you can, watching as she nods along to your words remembering the many times your mom had to calm your dad down whenever one would turn up in the old house.
“Well that’s what happened to Ally but with the clowns, some people can find clowns very scary as well as other things. But we aren’t there to judge them on their fears because everyone’s fears are valid right?” Amelia nods seriously, making you feel a sense of pride.
“Everyone is unique and different and we should always be kind right, Mommy?” Amelia reiterates, her confused frown no longer appearing on her face but a look of understanding.
“That’s right, now I think Ally could do with another cuddle from her favourite Amelia,” you smile softly as Amelia giggles into her hands before removing the belt.
“I’m the only Amelia silly,” she says through her giggles. You laugh at the sound before helping her out of the car and heading towards Ally’s home next door.
Once inside you instruct them all to go and sit on the couch while you make them all a hot chocolate, watching as the two youngsters cheer as Ally passes them their candyfloss and follows them into the living room. Placing the four mugs onto a tray you carefully bring the tray through to them and warn the two to wait a few minutes while the hot beverages cool, placing them onto the coffee table that faces the TV where a woman with long blonde hair hits the young man with a frying pan. Ally sits in between the pair as they both snuggle up into her side slowly chewing on the sugary pieces of candy floss that you’ll regret giving them later when they have to go to bed. Taking a seat on Oz’s other side you allow yourself a minute to reflect on your evening sighing as the feeling of content surrounds you, your eyes taking in the three people on the couch who are all transfixed on the movie in front. Ally's previous dark moment seemed like a distant memory but you can see the tear stains on her cheeks and the red puffiness that surrounds her brown eyes.
After the movie had finished and Rapunzel had reunited with her parents and fallen in love with Eugene, you slowly go to move from the couch after glancing over at a sleepy Amelia whose head has found its way in the crook of Ally’s neck. Your movement seems to startle Ally out of her daydreaming state as she frowns.
“Where are you going?” she whispers, not wanting to startle the other two. You smile softly and reach down to brush a few strands from her face, tucking the piece behind her ear and gently brushing your thumb across her cheekbone.
“It’s getting late, I should get this Madam to bed.” you fill her in, as her mouth forms a perfect ‘o’ looking over to the clock on the wall above the TV. Her expression suddenly becomes shy as she bites her bottom lip as she debates her next words.
“I have a well made-up guest room,” her suggestive words make you pause your brushing strokes.
“Ally-” Her hand on your forearm makes you pause.
“I don’t mean it like that… I just don’t want to be alone tonight.” her confession breaks your heart as you take in her conflicted features. Nodding you agree to stay but move towards the front door promising Ally you would be back soon with an overnight bag for yourself and Amelia knowing you can’t have Amelia sleeping in her day clothes as she would expect to do it more often.
Returning back quietly half an hour later, you both take the two sleeping children upstairs as Amelia stirs slightly in your arms from her Koala bear like position.
“Are we having a sleepover Mommy?” her mumbling makes you grin softly as you press your lips to her temple.
“Yes, me and you are staying in the guest room.” you explain quietly, not wanting to wake Oz who remains asleep in his mothers arms. Ally nods to the slightly ajar door that meets the end of the hallway.
“That’s the guest room, I’ll be there in five minutes.” she informs, adjusting Oz in her arms as she opens his door with her foot. Nodding in acknowledgment you move towards the guest room and skilfully navigate your way towards the bed, the moonlight being your only source of light as you bring back the covers and place Amelia on the bed. Her eyes opening slightly at the moving around, you instruct her to lift her arms so you can put her nightgown on. She dutifully follows your instructions as her eyes close again and remain closed as you gently tuck the duvet around her before turning the nightlight on. A light knock on the door announces Ally’s presence as you whisper a ‘come in’. Ally’s head pops through the ajar door as she glances at Amelia’s sleeping form, smiling softly.
“Everything okay?” she asks, keeping her voice down. You nod before heading towards her and closing the door behind you as you follow Ally out into the hallway. The brunette folds her arms across her chest as she paces slightly in front of you.
“Y/n I just wanted to say how sorry I am for ruining our evening. I knew suggesting the fair was a bad idea, I thought I’d-” she trails off with an exhausted sigh making you move forward and take her slumped form into your arms allowing her head to rest against your shoulder.
“You have nothing to say sorry for, okay? I can’t possibly understand the amount of fear that runs through you whenever your phobias appear but what I do know is that they don’t define you and it doesn’t make you any less of person for having those fears but what those fears can’t do is keep me away from you Ally Mayfair-Richards, you understand me?” you feel her relax against you at your reassuring words.
“Ivy would have rolled her eyes at me and called me insane,” she mumbles against your shoulder, as you tense at her confession. You had known the cruelty of Ivy’s behaviour towards Ally in the last few months of her life, even going as far as taunting Ally by having the cult dress up as her fears to terrify her day in, day out. If you were being completely honest with yourself, the woman got what she deserved in the end.
“I’m not Ivy, Ally.” you pull back slightly so you can look at her properly. Pinching her chin softly you lock onto her brown eyes. “She was a vile, jealous human being who never deserved to have you or Oz in her life. You aren’t insane Ally, your fears are as real as you and me and no one can take that away from you and have the nerve to tell you otherwise,” your voice soft and full of truth, brushing away a few stray tears you kiss her salted lips gently.
“I’ll be across the hall, alright? You need me, come and get me,” you whisper against her lips, feeling her nod before leaning the crown of her head against your own for a moment before moving away and heading towards her room. You stand there for a moment debating whether to go after her and comfort her more but decide against it knowing she needs her space to think and reflect on her own thoughts without you smothering her. Heading back towards your room for the night you quickly change into a long shirt and crawl into bed next to your daughter who instantly snuggles into your side. With your eyes still wide awake you think about the hurt brunette a few meters away knowing that sleep won’t be coming easy tonight for you both, staring out into the moonlight you picture her distraught face at the fair and how tight she clung to you, shaking your head you continue to debate with yourself.
‘Don’t be stubborn and go to her,’ you argue with yourself. Looking down at your sleeping princess, you brush her wild mane out of her face making her squirm slightly at the touch before rolling away from you.
“Mom is going to see Ally across the way okay, sweetheart.” you whisper, watching as she peeks an eye open and nods through her yawn.
“Okay, Mommy.” she mumbles, before closing her eyes again snoring softly.
Finally, making your mind up you slowly move from out of the bed and head towards the door, anxiety creeping up into your chest as you second guess your decision hoping you’re making the right one. Opening the door quietly you take one last look at your daughter who continues to sleep soundly in the soft bed before turning around and closing the door.
“Oh,” you hear a faint voice in front of you as your eyes lock with Ally’s. You both fluster as you both come to the same realisation.
“Sorry I just couldn’t sleep and I-” before she could finish her sentence, you move quickly forward and cup her jaw before kissing her softly.
“Let me hold you tonight, let me take care of you.” you mutter against her lips. Before she can nod, you guide her back into her room and let her climb back into her side of the bed before you move to the other side and slide in next to her, your arms open wide. Ally accepts your invitation willingly and snuggles deep onto your chest as you wrap your arm around her waist, half her body resting against yours as limbs tangled together under the duvet, shifting into a more comfortable position.
“Thank you for this,” her words like a whisper, barely reaching your ears. You respond by holding her closer to your body needing her to be close as possible, your bare legs wrapped around her own. You both remain quiet for what seems like an eternity until you feel the vibrations of Ally’s voice.
“She didn’t get me, not like you do.” Ally's voice is hoarse as you allow her to speak her mind. You place your other hand against hers that rests on your chest, squeezing it gently before opening your heart to her.
“I’ve spent my whole life feeling like I wasn’t worthy of love, that unconditional love. Seeing my parents have that most of my life I used to think I did but then all of a sudden in a matter of a few seconds and a crappy letter that idea of love just stopped existing for me… but then I met you.” you confess into the dark, Ally’s hand hesitates above your shirt as her eyes seek for permission which you happily give watching her hand reach under your shirt and rest against your hip, her thumb brushing softly against your skin.
“From that first night I saw you through my kitchen window dancing with Amelia, I just knew that I had to get to know you more. Your smile was intoxicating and watching you with your daughter, so carefree and full of joy… you were like a magnet attracting me to you. I had dated a little after Ivy but no one had ever come close enough to making me feel how you make me feel Y/N,” her words spoke to your heart as you felt that familiar warmth spread across your chest. Her head moves from your chest to look up into your bright teary ones.
“I’m falling hard for you and I’ve never felt less scared in my life,” you allow her statement to sink in before launching forward and capturing her lips in a heated kiss feeling her body press against your own as she deepens the kiss.
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the story of us
this was requested by @fantasylover16. I genuinely had so much fun with this thank you! I hope you enjoy. Also I said nb jack frost rights and I meant it.
masterlist; my links
This is a story about two people.
One died three hundred years ago and has been alive since then. They have white hair, whiter than the stars, than burning light, than heaven itself. They have blue eyes that remind you of cracked ice in melting winter. They have ivory skin, some say like porcelain, it's more like liquid opal.
The other is twenty two years old. He has black hair, like jet fuel, and midnight. He has green eyes that hold oceans lost to time, that hold memories. He has brown skin that reminds you of cool forest floors and water glistened rock.
This is a story about who they are.
"Percy!" His roommate shouts from the kitchen. "Get your butt down here and tell me if the blue skirt goes better with these glasses!"
He laughs as he pulls a sweater over his heads and grabs his phone, slipping it into his back pocket. He feels the press of his pen as he pats himself down to make sure he has everything and when he is satisfied he bolts down the passage and stops short of the kitchen where Hazel Levesque is parading in front of their grand mirror on the opposing wall. She is decked out in black platform ankle boots, white fishnets that draw out the colour of her skin, slightly dark than his, a bright blue skater skirt and a soft pastel blue crew-neck not unlike his own.
"You Hazel Levesque," He grins bright and unrestrained, "Are a vision."
"Yes," She mutters still swopping between two pairs of clear-framed glasses and scrunching her nose, "But is it enough to bring my crush to their knees?"
"If Reyna doesn't bow down to you I think we can assume she's in desperate need of glasses."
"Well then maybe I should take both pairs and offer her one." She muses, pulling at her afro distractedly.
He snorts, turning to the counter and grabbing a bowl and whatever cereal he can reach first.
"Well," Hazel turns to him, he can see the smile she's trying so hard to hide, "Shall we be off then?"
He blinks at her, blinks again, points an unsure finger at his chest.
"Oh you don't expect me to brave Reyna on my own do you? Besides we're matching today it'd be quite ridiculous if we went out separately."
"But—" He looks to his bowl, as barren as the desert, "But my cereal?"
"I'll buy you breakfast on the way!" She waves the concern off, grabbing his hand and pulling them both out the door.
Despite their height difference, she makes it look far less like he's letting her pull him and far more like she has the strength to straight up carry him across the country.
"Hazel," He giggles, "Slow down."
"I can't Percy," She shakes her head vigorously, practically running through the park next to their building and into the bustling streets beyond. "If I don't do this now I'll lose all my courage and spend eternity in self-damned misery." Her brown eyes, turning honeyed as they catch the sun through the round glasses framing her face, flash bright and bold.
He stops them, pulling her in for a hug, unable to stop the laughter shaking his body." You have never been a coward Hazel Levesque. No matter the day, time or outfit you have always been brave enough to stand up and do what's needed. And telling Reyna you have a crush on her is just another battle you absolutely can win." He pulls them apart, setting a steady green gaze on her excited one. "Now let's get some coffee, and a mint tea for you because you're hyper enough as it is, and then we'll go find the love of your life and I can finally show you the google-doc I have for your wedding."
She strangles his ribs in another hug and then takes a deep breath as she steps away. "What would I do without you Percy Jackson?"
"Let's never find out," He smiles, slinging an arm over her shoulder and directing them towards the Chaos House.
As per its namesake, walking into the café is like being lost in a crowd of sleep-deprived, adhd kids all connected to caffeine IVs. In short: it's chaos. Its their favourite place on earth.
Being hit with a wall of noise after the quiet of awakening nature feels like being sucker punched directly in your ear canal. Percy cannot help but grin as he takes in the racing patrons and the sound of coffee beans being ground and the smell of cinnamon and honey and endless activity.
They immediately spot a group of their friends and bolt for the booth they're all squished into.
"Reyna isn't here." Hazels voice is pitched with panic, "Oh gods what if she's sick today? What if she fell in a ditch on her jog this morning?" She stops right in the middle of the café, brown eyes wide. "What if she knew I was trying to do this and decided to stay home today to avoid seeing me?"
He grabs her arms already shaking his head. "My darling, I need you to take a deep breath. You are spiraling."
Wildness is still tracing her expression but he feels her shoulders rise and fall as she gulps air.
"Okay," He says gently, "Now we're gonna go to our table, have a good time with our friends and if and when Reyna shows up you're going to tell her how you feel and I'll meet you back at home so you can let me know when the wedding is."
She smacks his shoulder gently, nervous giggles escaping her. "Alright fine. I hate when you get reasonable. It's very disconcerting."
"Good thing it's rare," His lips twitch, and they finally start towards their friends.
A loud chorus of hellos and how are you’s ring around his head as they get nearer and he feels right at home amongst it all.
"What's up losers?" He flops down next to Jason, pressing a shoulder into the blondes side in a hug.
Annabeth sits next to the blonde, squished between him and Piper, a leg over Jason's thigh and her hand intertwined with Piper's. Frank is on the opposite side, a casual arm slung over Leo's shoulder. Hazel squeezes in besides Leo and sighs dramatically.
"What's wrong Levesque?" Piper frowns, reaching over to clasp the girl's hand.
"She's feeling put out because she had something very important to do today and her plans are being delayed because a certain someone isn't here."
And just as their friends start reassuring and ribbing her in equal parts Percy's phone rings. With a frown he pulls it from his pocket, as he gets up and waves to say he'll be back in a minute.
"Hello, this is Percy Jackson."
He's not paying attention to his surroundings as he listens to the person on the line so when his shoulder slams into somebody he almost topples to the ground. When he turns around to say sorry there is nobody there; his frown only deepens but then the voice on the phone is pulling his attention and he makes his way outside.
This is story about they meet.
The conversation is a whirl of information about his upcoming course and what his supervisor needs from him. By the time he ends the call and tucks the phone back in his pocket his whole body feels like it's taken on the sky all over again. He has the urge to check if another grey streak has graced his hair. Instead he leans against the wall, ignoring the way his clothes catch against its roughness. He can feel the cold seeping through the cracks in the brick and into the threads of his sweatshirt.
He looks down, pulling his arms over his chest in an attempt to keep the warmth in but as he takes his arms away from the wall he sees the frost outline of his fingers. A clear, already melting handprint marking the brick like a graffiti tag. He steps back, away from the wall, to find his whole body outlined. It reminds him eerily of the chalk markings they do at murder investigations. He's not entirely sure this isn't prophetic.
The frost, little beads of ice skittered in shape, is melting at a rapid rate but the colour catches Percy's eye. It's not the usual dulled, muddy ice that coats his windows in the morning and sits atop the grass each night. It is blue, bright and pure, and looks... happy?
He's definitely going insane. The lack of coffee is getting to his brain and he has officially going mad. He should go inside and get warm and sit with his friends and have 3 espresso shots in a row.
But the phone call is still rattling his nerves and he can't bare to face the café without all his wits about him. So he studies the melted frost outline, curiosity moving him forward to trace it with his fingers. He doesn't expect to feel cold like winter mornings and snowball fights and sleigh rides coursing through his bloodstream. It's shocks him right into a new state of being. It reminds him of a poem his mother used to say at the beginning of each winter. The poem was long enough that he was always asleep by the end of the last verse but he recalls the first part clearly now
Jack Frost was in the garden;
I saw him there at dawn;
He was dancing round the bushes
And prancing on the lawn.
He had a cloak of silver,
A hat all shimm'ring white,
A wand of glittering star-dust,
And shoes of sunbeam light.
The thought is so ridiculous Percy has to laugh. It bursts out of him unexpectedly but once he starts he cannot stop. It feels like the world has turned on its side but he's still walking upright. Everything is slightly dizzying but strangely amusing from this angle. He laughs harder, ribs aching, cheeks stiff, and eyes bright. He's sure people are staring at him like he's mad but he cannot stop. Until he stumbles over the pavement and is falling to the inevitable crunch of his facial bones.
It happens almost in slow motion. He sees the ground coming towards him, bubbling up like it's going to swallow him whole. He stared it down, refusing to close his eyes, as if challenging it to hurt him, to take him as he goes. But then hands, freezing cold even through his layers of clothing, wrap around his waist and he is being hauled up in a rush of wind and dizzying speed. He bumps into a hard chest and feels as if he's stepped into a freezer.
"Hey," A voice low and playful crackles through him, "You okay?"
He turns around slowly, and is not at all prepared for the site he is greeted with. There is so much all at once, startling and glowing and fracturing. His eyes catch an warm icy gaze, blizzard white hair, pale skin, cold-kissed lips, hands running with blue veins and silver rings.
"You okay?" The stranger repeats, looking at him with concern.
He honestly doesn't know if he has the ability to talk. His mouth opens, his throat bobs, but words are lost cargo.
"Can you hear me?" The stranger asks, accompanying the question with sign language.
Percy responds automatically, raising a fist and moving it back and forth; his head accompanies the action but still no words come out.
They smile at him, and start signing another question. He doesn't bother to stop them, tell them they aren't deaf, he can hear, he just can't talk. He's speechless.
Are you okay? They sign.
He nods, and the words stuck in his throat finally tumble out. "Yes, yes," It is croaky with overwhelming emotion, "Thank you for catching me. I’m sorry I uh—" He doesn't have any respectable excuse for being mute for the entire first half of their interaction. He is just completely struck by everything the stranger is.
"Ah so you can hear me," The stranger laughs. He decides the sound is what makes stars. "Well I'm glad you're okay. I'm Jack."
Percy snorts. This cannot be real. Ice, him thinking about Jack Frost, and suddenly his saviour's name is jack? What has the universe been doing with its time to plan this?
“I'm Percy," He stares at them curiously studying the snowflakes that seem to cling to their floppy white hair despite the snow season being weeks away, and the blue eyes that hurtle him to the Abraham lake in Canada. A holiday his family had taken a mere year ago and one of the most beautiful places he's ever seen.
His demigod senses are peeking out their window, as curious as he is. The action puts him on high alert. His instincts are usually only alerted when he's in danger or............. in love.
"What are you?" He cannot stop the question. His mouth has a self-controlled function and no way to override it.
Jack raises their brow, "What are you, Percy?" His name sounds like luxury rolling off the stranger's tongue.
But the question throws him off guard and before he has time to drool over them again he is pulling his pen out and twirling it between his fingers anxiously. "Are you here to kill me?"
That barks a laugh from Jack, who looks so entirely amused he can't help but wonder if he can frame the moment to keep with him forever; a brow quirked, a slight dimple on their right cheek as their smile grows, and bunched freckles as their nose scrunches slightly.
"Get a lot of assassination attempts do you?"
“You have no idea," He feels his eyes roll in annoyance, an automatic reaction after all these years.
"No Percy," Jack says softly. It brushes across his skin like cool paint and snowy pine leaves. "I am here because the moon told me to be."
"The moon?" He sputters, "What do you mean the moon?"
"I mean exactly that. I talk to the moon and it answers."
He can feel his legs grow weak. "The moon— the moon— the....... moon," He mutters, staring at Jack.
They are silent as he attempts to compartmentalize his thoughts. "You know what?" He finally speaks, "That's not the weirdest thing I've ever heard. The children of Demeter talk to grain so this isn't that far out of reach."
Jack just looks at him with a patient, gentle smile on their face.
"So what are you? A child of Selene?"
"I am not a demigod." They shake their head. "I was chosen by the moon three hundred years ago. I am the spirit of winter."
The silence stretches between them like taffy. He isn't sure he's heard this right.
"You're—" He cannot even bring himself to say it.
"Yes, I'm Jack Frost."
Percy's legs give our from under him. Jack is not quick enough to catch him but he lands on a pillow of snow right before he bruises his knees. "You're Jack Frost?"
"Yes. And you are Percy Jackson."
"How—how do you know?"
"I've been alive for a very long time. I know a lot of people."
He just hums, trying to wrap his head sound another layer of myth and fable that makes up the fabric of the world.
"Why are you here?" He finally gutters out. "I mean I know the moon told you to come but why?"
"I uh have a theory but I need to ask something of you in order to know if I'm right."
He frowns, staring up at the stranger. No not stranger. Can you even call someone who's been around for centuries a stranger? What are they a stranger to? They have seen and heard and learnt and loved more than he ever has or ever will. It's more like he is the stranger. "What do you need me to do?"
"I just need you to summon water for me."
A thousand questions sit like caught snowflakes on his tongue but he let's them melt instead of spilling them into the world. Instead he gets up and concentrates on all the water sources surrounding them.
A reservoir one hundred miles away, fire hydrants near bursting with unused pressure, a small pond in a small park about five miles south, and of course the ocean in front of them, no more than fifty miles within reach.
"How much do you need?"
"Give me fifty liters."
He closes his eyes and imagines the pond, the water rippling within it. He imagines holding it in his palm as he would a basketball ball. When he feels a cool sensation wash over his skin he opens his eyes once more and sees a swirling blob of water surrounding his hand, dancing to the beat of his pulse.
"Is this enough?"
"Plenty," They smile and then their hands are reaching out and as if the water knows they're calling to it, it bounces over in little bubbles. As it touches their fingers a ray of light bursts from the contact and it turns to ice. Jack sucks in a breath, watching in amazement as the water freezes and hits the ground in a flurry of snow.
"What?" Percy cannot hold in his curiosity any longer. "What is it?"
"The moon was right." They look at him, eyes sparkling with something more than awe or curiosity.
"About?" He prompts.
This is a story about their destinies.
"We're what?" Percy whispers. He has never gotten loud when he was surprised or angry or sad. He has always been soft.
"I usually need my staff to solidify water but if I use elements touched by my soulmate I can do it without aid."
"This is ridiculous!" He sputters. There is absolutely no way this is real. Seriously? Soulmates? He would laugh if he wasn't so outraged.
"You don't believe in soulmates?"
"It doesn't matter what I believe in!" He growls, "This whole ordeal is completely insane."
"What would it take to convince you Percy Jackson?" Jack just smiles, it is shining with happiness like it hadn't before.
"I have no idea because I have never heard of or encountered a soulmate." He hisses.
"Do you know why you can see me?"
He shakes his head, thoughts swirling faster than the hurricanes his further looses.
"Because you believe in me."
"I thought you had control over who sees you and who doesn't?" He raises a brow.
"Only with children. I can choose to show myself whether they believe or not. I have the ability since enough of them do believe." They say. "But adults are different. If they don't believe I cannot make myself appear to them. I am simply a ghost of their childhood past."
"I don't understand." Percy cannot wrap his mind around this. "How do you know you can only make ice out of whatever water I touch?"
Jack looks around for a brief moment before catching sight of something behind them. In a split second they are there and then they're back.
"Watch," He pours the water from the bottom he'd nabbed over his hand. It falls to the floor as liquid as it had started out.
"That doesn't prove anything, how do I know you're not just making sure you don't turn it to ice?"
"I cannot touch anything without freezing it, especially water." They worry at their bottom lip with their teeth, thoughts flying across their face. "It's like your friend Leo." They nod their head towards the café where Percy can still see his friends snuggled into the booth. "He doesn't necessarily turn everything he touches to ashes but he will always leave a warm imprint no matter how or what he has touched."
"How do you know that?" He gapes.
"Immortality gives you a lot of time to know the world." They shrug. "Now do you believe me?"
"I don't know." He answers truthfully. "I mean if we are soulmates..." He tries to form the question into some semblance of sense and order. "Does that mean I'm tied to you? That we have to like I don't know get married and spend eternity together?"
"No," Jack says gently, "No you can deny this bond if that is how you feel. It does not mean anything except that the universe put our souls in the same constellation. We are free to pick and choose who we love."
“And how will it work if we do decide to get together?” He frowns, “I will age but you will always stay the same.”
They look at him, head tilted, ice eyes bright. “But you know that’s not true.”
Everything in him barrels forward like a tidal wave. It cannot be. No-one knows. Not even his mother. “What isn’t true?” He will play this carefully, like the strings of a harp. He will not let his life crash through the ground.
“Why are you hiding it?”
“I’m not hiding anything.” He is adamant in his stance. He will not bow.
“You are denying the life you chose.” Jack considers him. “Why?”
“I’m not denying anything.” He huffs, “I’m just taking it slow.”
A snort bursts of them, arrogant and amused. “You are taking becoming a God slow?”
“I want to live with my friends before they figure it out!” He cries, all the fear and terror and worry burning through him.
Jack moves closer, presses a cold hand to his shoulder. “It is okay to be scared and angry and worried but do not forget that you are worthy of the title and you should wear it like a crown, not a burden.”
“There is always some burden in this much power.” He is bitter. He is right.
“Come,” Jack pulls them together, “Go meet your friends.” The hug is so cold but comforts him to the bone. “And when you are ready to make a decision, just whisper my name and i will answer, no matter where i am, or how far apart we are.”
He studies the person before him, beautiful and strange in an inviting sort of way, like no matter how much he learns about them he'll always want to know more. "Well you are very pretty."
They laugh, and the sound lights up the ocean inside him. "Thank you."
“Live Percy Jackson.” Jack Frost whispers.
And then Percy is standing outside a café, an icy wind dancing between his fingertips, and the impression of a freezing hug still clinging to his clothes. He realizes he feels happy. He feels safe.
This is a story about their love.
[image id: a poem by John P Smeeton titled "Jack Frost in the Garden" the poem reads:
Jack Frost was in the garden;// I saw him there at dawn;// He was dancing round the bushes// And prancing on the lawn.// He had a cloak of silver,// A hat all shimm'ring white,// A wand of glittering star-dust,// And shoes of sunbeam light.
Jack Frost was in the garden,// When I went out to play// He nipped my toes and fingers// And quickly ran away.// I chased him round the wood-shed,// But, oh! I'm sad to say// That though I chased him everywhere// He simply wouldn't stay.
Jack Frost was in the garden:// But now I'd like to know// Where I can find him hiding;// I've hunted high and low —// I've lost his cloak of silver,// His hat all shimm'ring white,// His wand of glittering star-dust,// His shoes of sunbeam light"
the background is a light blue and white marble. end id]
Tags: @fantasylover16 @queen-of-demons-and-hell @nishlicious-01 @leyontheway @caffeinated-croissant
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Ann’s Journal Entry #7
“So, movie night tonight?” Thera asked as we both transmatted to the Tower courtyard after just finishing our mission on Europa.
“Actually, I’ve got somewhere to be.” It was currently six’o’clock, so I had a few hours until nine.
“Really?” Thera seemed a bit surprised and curious.
“I can’t believe I forgot to tell you!” I exclaimed. I had told her all about meeting Lana, Mace, Jacks and Alex, and had forgotten to mention that I was heading to the bar to meet them at nine. I quickly told her where I was going.
“Glad you’re making new friends.” She said with a smile. “It’s good to have a fireteam.”
“I’m heading to my room to take a shower and hang out. Then I’ve got to get dressed and ready.”
“I should probably take a shower too. Hey, if you don’t mind after we both finish, I’ll head over to your room. We can hang out together. You still haven’t shown me that new painting of yours.”
Nearly an hour later (both Thera and me take long showers) I heard a knock at my door and opened it. Thera came in. Since she had given me the code to her room, I had given her mine. I closed my sketchbook and put it on my nightstand. Poppy floated over to Scout.
“This is the new one?” Thera asked, passing my small bed and going to the corner of my room where my art easel sat with a canvas on it. It was a painting of the Traveler I had done from one of Thera’s stargazing spots. “It’s amazing! Wish I could do art like that.”
“Do you think that it’s a skill I had in my past life? And that’s why I’m so good at it?”
“Maybe. Maybe that’s why I’m good at cooking. So, you going for casual tonight?”
“Honestly, I’m not sure.” I stated. I hadn’t thought about what I’m going to wear.
“Oh, I asked Lana’s Ghost, Sparks and he asked Lana. She said that you could just wear casual, since that’s what everone else will be wearing.” Poppy told her.
I sat there for a minute then looked at Thera. “I don’t have any nice casual clothes.” I stated.
I wanted to look nice, yet casual. Not the usual hoodie and jeans that I always wore.
“I’ve got you. Come on, let’s head back to my place.”
We walked over together, our Ghosts floating ahead of us, lost in some conversation between the two. I never was quite sure what they talked about, but I knew that they enjoyed each others company greatly.
After we arrived at Thera’s room she had me sit on the bed and she went over to her close, slid back the sliding door and dug through the hanging clothes. She pulled out an outfit, plus shoes and then went over to her dresser which had a jewelry box on top. She grabbed the accesories then put them with the outfit.
“Now, put that on.”
I walked down the streets lit by the streetlights and the Traveler up above. Finally I reached the right bar. Lana, Jacks, Alex, and Mace should be in there waiting for me.
Thera had picked out the perfect outfit for me. A red/orange shirt, one of her many black leather jackets (she had tucked a knife into the pocket of it for self defense), and black skinny jeans with one of her many pairs of boots. Also, golden earrings, and a necklace.
Poppy would be staying home. Ghosts didn’t really show up to bars or parties with their Guardian much. She had told me that the chaos of things like that didn’t really entertain her as much as others, and that Glint had decided to come over to hang out with her after Crow finished his work while I was gone.
I walked in and immediately spotted Lana sitting at the bar with three others sitting beside her. An exo who had dark blue plating and yellow eyes, who I knew had to be Jacks. Alex who had blue skin and dark blue hair (it looked black but if it was in the right light you could see it was blue) with orange eyes, and who had told me he was an awoken earlier today, sat to the right of Mace. He let his light brown, almost blonde hair, fall over his face a bit.
Alex looked towards the door and saw me, then waved me over. I went and joined them, sitting beside Jacks.
“Hey!” Lana greeted.
“So, when are we gonna get to hear those stories? Or are ya gonna want to hear some of ours first?” Mace asked in his southern accent.
“After we get drinks.” I said. “Never actually been to a bar before. What do you guys think I should get?”
I had had alcohol before, just it wasn’t an all the time thing, and I definitely knew I couldn’t hold a lot. Certainly not as much as Thera could.
“You drink a lot?” Mace asked.
“Not really. I don’t drink hardly at all.”
“Get her somethin easy.” He told Lana, who called over the bartender and ordered me a drink. Jacks got him another glass as well. The others were already working on theirs.
“Okay, so what kind of story would ya’ll like to hear first.”
“Whatever you think is the best one.” Jacks said, taking a sip.
And so I began, telling one of the many stories I’ve had. This one about a gamble me and Thera had taken once, and that she had been destined to make sure she won it, no matter the cost. That had led us into a bunch of trouble.
The night was filled with laughter and conversation and drinks. I had felt a buzz coming along soon enough, and after the third glass I knew I was starting to get really drunk. Without Poppy there to knock it out of me, I knew I was on my own and decided not to drink anymore.
“You’ve got some good stories.” Mace stated, taking the final sip from his glass and turning down the offer to have it refilled by the bartender. But then decided a bit more wouldn’t hurt.
“Thera’s got even better ones. Maybe next time I’ll bring her with me.”
“That’d be amazing! I’ve always wanted to meet her in person!” Lana said excitedly.
“Well, I’d like to call a toast.” Said Alex, holding up his glass. “To new friends!”
We all raised our glasses and clinked them together. “To new friends!” We all cheered in unison, then each took a sip.
I watched Mace drink nearly a quarter of his glass then say, “Well, I better get goin. My Ghost’ll get mad if I stay out to late. She’s always worryin about me.” He went to stand and nearly fell, if it hadn’t been for him quickly grabbed the top of the bar.
Jacks sighed and stood, helping Mace up. “I’ll make sure he gets home.” The two walked off.
“I should head off too.” Said Lana. “We should do this again sometime. Uh, say next Friday, ten, maybe? All five of us?”
I nodded and smiled. “Yeah.”
She nodded and left.
“See ya later, Ann. You okay? Need help gettin home?” Alex asked while walking out the door. I shook my head. I would be fine. I followed behind and we all headed our separate ways.
I made it back to my room.
Poppy turned to me. “Oh, hey, your back! Glint just left.”
“I’m gonna take a shower and head to bed. I’ve been talking all night telling them stories, and I think if I talk to you about my day I’ll run out of voice.”
Poppy bobbed up and down in a nod. “I’ll make sure to heal your hangover in the morning.”
I nodded then turned to the bathroom.
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[cw:] sub!atsumu, softdom!reader, femdom, oral (f. receiving), riding, pegging, mommy kink, puppy kink, minor dacryphilia, collar-play, restraints
! haikyuu manga timeskip spoilers. atsumu is 24. !
a/n: oh my god i haven’t written for leisure in literally 10 years i hope this is bearable LOL. @luvsicksubs wrote a lil tidbit about sub!atsumu a while ago and i have not known peace ever since so big thank you to ari for the inspo! pls enjoi :9
Atsumu’s been gone lately. A lot.
You know it’s not his fault. The Jackals' practices have been brutal lately. So when Atsumu does eventually trudge his way back to your shared apartment every evening, he can only muster up enough energy to shower and collapse into bed. You’ve had to wake him more than once, chiding him to get up and at least dry his hair before bed.
“You can’t afford to get yourself sick by sleeping with wet hair, ‘Tsumu.” You’d whisper, shaking him gently awake. Usually he’d just groan in response and bury himself further against your body heat beneath the comforter--unwilling to give up even a second of precious, blissful sleep. You’d even gone so far as to physically pull his heavy, six foot athlete’s body out of the bed and into the bathroom to dry it for him once or twice.
It’s for his health, you reason. You can afford to pamper him a little--especially when he’s been working so hard. And the way his body slumps while he sits, his features softening--long eyelashes kissing the tops of his cheeks as he dozes off into half-sleep at the feel of your fingers tussling his hair with the gentle heat of the blow dryer… He becomes so soft in those moments, like putty in your hands.
It’s dangerous, because it makes you crave the sight of him like this--fragile and reliant on the comfort of your touch--even more.
You sigh. Reminding yourself again, for seemingly the millionth time since this excessive practicing for the championships started,
‘It’s not his fault.’
He’s been good. So, so good. Trying so hard to make sure you know he loves you and he’s sorry. Texting you to check in whenever he has the chance.
> how are you today?
> how’s work going??
> what’s for lunch??? ლ(≧ڡ≦ლ)
Sometimes sending videos of himself and Hinata hashing out new plays (only the ones they’ve mastered, though. You may be intimately familiar with every embarrassing piece of him, but he still wants to try to look cool in front of his girlfriend.)
And it helps. It really does. But you also know the texts are just as much for his own sake as they are for yours. You know how needy Atsumu gets when you two are apart.
You remember the time he’d called you from his hotel room after an away game in Tokyo. How he whined into the phone at the sound of your voice when you whispered.
“Touch yourself for me.”
The way a soft cry escaped him at your command--your name leaving his lips with a breath.
You want to feel him like that again. To see him beneath you, squirming and desperate--begging for you to just touch him, just sit on his face, his cock, anything you want just please--
You abruptly stop your line of thinking--not daring to continue dwelling on this recurring fantasy. Atsumu doesn’t deserve the punishment you crave to dole out on him to relieve this frustration.
… But he might want it.
Championships are tomorrow. Just 24 hours stand between you and the feeling of Atsumu Miya’s taut muscles beneath your fingertips.
You take a breath, summoning the remnants of your willpower.
You could do this. You would make certain that the wait would be worth it.
For both of you.
The Black Jackals win their first match because of course they do. Honestly, sometimes you feel a bit bad for the opposing teams. Their skill, their teamwork, their passion, their absolute willpower to win is stifling. Atsumu texts you that they’re going out for celebratory dinner and drinks. Bokuto’s idea. (Obviously). He promises he’ll be home as soon as he can. They’ve all got tomorrow morning off, and a whole day before the next round of matches. Some indulgence is well-deserved.
You type out your reply.
> Take your time and enjoy yourself! You’ve earned it. 💕
Knowing you’ve got at least two hours or more before the boys’ exhaustion ushers them all home, you decide to spend some time... preparing.
You’re reclined on the couch, watching something you can comfortably give your half-assed attention to while scrolling on your phone. You hear the front door unlocking, the handle turning, and your heart leaps into your throat. The thought of finally, finally having Astumu all to yourself makes you absolutely giddy.
You turn expectantly, and can’t help the way your lips curl upward into a smile.
Atsumu pushes the door open and turns toward you, already smiling when he opens his mouth.
“Hey.” You murmur.
“Hey.” He breathes back, and you watch the way his features relax at the sight of you. The way the confident, assiduous Atsumu Miya--a man who wakes up every single day and strives for perfection in everything and every one---melts into something softer.
Something that’s silently begging for you to tear him apart and piece him back together again.
He slips off his shoes, drops his gym bag to the floor, and brings his long, heavy body to lay over yours on the couch.
His face--tinted pink (presumably from the drinks)--buries itself against your neck, lips pressed to your skin.
Your fingers assume their familiar position, nestled in the blonde locks atop his head.
“Missed you…” You say lowly against his ear.
The small shiver that runs down his spine does not escape your notice.
“I’ve been here every night!” He protests.
“You know what I mean.” Your fingers press against his head, tugging on the strands the slightest bit.
“Mmm…” He affirms softly--your skin keenly feeling the gentle hum against its surface. He knows what you mean. He’s been here, yes, but it’s felt more like the ghost of him--wisping into your bed for a few hours and gone again in the morning.
“You were really in the zone today.” You comment. “I felt bad for the other team.”
He huffs out a small laugh. “Don’t. They played fine. We were just better.”
“Hmm…” You take your unoccupied hand and run a single finger up the curve of his spine.
He exhales, and you listen for the tremble in his breath you know will be there.
Just a little more.
“Either way, you were so good.” You can’t contain the coy lilt your voice takes on. You know damn well what you’re doing--using the very words that always make him quiver. He knows what you’re doing, too.
Atsumu thinks he doesn’t mind.
It’s quiet for a beat. The two of you simply basking in the warmth of your bodies pressed against each other. You stretch beneath him, and… readjust yourself in a way that presses your breasts against him just a little bit more...
And Atsumu finally, finally breaks.
He inhales sharply, and lets the subsequent exhale freely pass against your neck. A muffled word that sounds a lot like a plea leaves his throat.
“What was that?” You ask, purposely grazing your lips against his reddening ear.
“Please…” He begs.
You consider being mean for a moment. Consider pushing him to his limit in desperation. The way those sharp brown eyes would turn glassy and tearful, his dark brows pulled together, pleading you to hurry up and take him--touch him--let him touch you--fucking anything. However you want, wherever you want. Make him vocalize that burning desire, and only concede when he well and truly begs.
But that can always be arranged another time.
You’re far too heady with desire yourself to enact such cruelty on him right now. Not after he’s been so good.
You shift your weight, moving to switch your positions by sitting up and pressing him beneath you. Your straddle his hips, purposely pressing your weight down against his pelvis ever-so-slightly.
“You’ve been working so hard, ‘Tsumu…” You murmur, lowering the top half of your body to lean over his. Hands sliding under the hem of his shirt, running up along the taut muscles that tremble at your touch. “Such a good boy…”
Atsumu’s bites his lip in an effort to stifle the deep moan that leaves his chest. The way his body almost involuntarily reacts to that phrase every. single. time… It’s just too good to pass up.
You wet your lips.
“Let me make you feel good.”
And you press those lips ever-so-softly to the juncture between his jaw and neck. Soft touch turning to a light bite, and then back to a soothing kiss.
Atsumu is crumbling--his hardening length pressing insistently against you.
“I got everything ready. We can use whatever you want: rope,” and you press a slow open-mouth kiss to his neck,
“your collar,” then one to his collarbone,
“a toy,” traveling down to his pecs,
“the strap…” ending just beneath his belly button.
You look up at him from beneath your lashes, watching keenly for his expression to shift in interest at any certain one.
Atsumu doesn’t give an immediate answer, his gaze unable to meet your own. Your hands trail back down his body, grazing a nipple with your fingernail just to see the way he twitches at the sensation.
“C’mon baby, how am I supposed to treat my good boy if he doesn’t tell me what he wants?” You purr, bringing your hands to the hem of the worn, oversized t-shirt covering your top half down to the juncture of your thighs. You’d snatched it from his dresser earlier to lounge in. Another carefully plotted detail. You knew just how riled up he got at the sight of you wearing his shirts. Even more so if he lifted it only to find those black and gold lacy panties underneath… Or if there was nothing…
Stretching your body, you pull the shirt up and off of your torso, tossing it aimlessly behind you. Atsumu’s gaze immediately returns to you--spotting that very set’s match: a black bra with intricate gold stitching around the lace adorning your skin. His hands are on you in an instant--palms sliding up your ribs to reach your breasts and gently squeezing around them.
Astumu had never been good with the concept of patience.
Normally, you’d stop those big, calloused setter hands in their tracks--admonishing him for not asking permission, first. But this was about him. About fulfilling every whim his exhausted mind and body had the energy left to want. You could allow a little insubordination tonight.
“You even wore my favorite.” He grins, that cheeky, self important tone of his sneaking back out. You smile coyly and tilt your hips downward, pressing your bare core against his still-restrained cock. He inhales sharply--dropping the attitude once more.
“Part of the reward.” You grin. “Now, what does my good boy want?”
His eyes drift upwards from their fixation on your breasts, meeting your gaze.
“I want…” He bites his lip. “Wanna make you feel good.”
Your eyes widen at the admission, but he’s speaking again before you can inquire.
“You’re always so patient with me when practice gets like this. I just want to... To give you a reward, too.”
You’re taken aback for a beat, pleasantly surprised at the acknowledgement. Atsumu still manages to surprise you with how observant he is. One of the more unexpected traits he shares with Osamu. Your eyes soften and you reach up to gently cup his face. He turns his head to kiss your hand and murmurs against your palm.
"Let me taste you. Please."
He knows how you get when he’s busy like this. How--despite your authority and confidence in the bedroom--you still long for his affection and crave his touch when he’s gone.
And this… This is the perfect way for him to express his gratitude while still pleasing both of you.
“Okay.” You breathe, moving to kneel over his face. “Whatever you want,” you gently drop your weight toward his mouth. “my sweet boy.”
He practically preens at the praise, moaning against your core. Again, Atsumu demonstrates his struggle with patience and savoring the moment. In an instant, he’s gripping your thighs and pulling them closer against the sides of his face. You know you could sit your entire weight atop him and he’d thank you, but tonight calls for something gentler. It’s enough to know you’re the only person who gets to see him like this. The only one who gets to watch the diligent, cocksure Astumu Miya, one of--if not the--best setters in Japan, become so vulnerable and desperate beneath you.
He flattens his tongue and runs it slowly up from the start of your opening to the top of your clit.
“Fuck, ‘Tsumu…” You moan, hands rushing to grasp at his hair. He groans, too, at the sensation of your fingers tugging--the hum sending a vibration through your body. You grind your hips, silently urging him on, and his tongue laves at your clit with small kitten licks. The feeling of those tiny, gentle laps against your most sensitive spot, so diligent and soft--it’s like electricity coursing through you, running up into every limb.
“Mmhmm.” He hums against you. He knows just how you like it. When he services you like this--like the obedient puppy he is. “So wet… Y’taste s’good...” He says, hot breath fanning against you while he catches his breath for a moment.
You press yourself back against him insistently. “Who said you could take a break? Use your fingers, too.”
His mouth is back against you immediately, right hand sliding beneath your thigh to reach your opening. Carefully, he presses two fingers against it--testing the give, while his tongue continues to lick and suck at that sensitive nub. Spit has dribbled down from his mouth to where his fingers are pressed, and he slides his digits against the wetness, adding to the natural lubricant. Then, finally, he pushes those long middle and ring fingers up and into you. They slide in easily despite the way you feel yourself clench around the intrusion. He was right--you’re soaked. He finds a comfortable rhythm to compliment his tongue’s lashings easily and your head falls back, a deep moan escaping past your lips.
“‘Tsumu… ‘Tsumu, fuck just like that--you do it so well for me, baby… Right there--”
You’re cut off by the feeling of his fingers curling within you--searching, and then pressing against that spot so nicely.
Your thigh muscles twitch against his cheeks--breath fleeing from your lungs at the sudden rush.
“Yes, ‘Tsumu--fuck yes.”
You chance a look down at his face. Those long lashes closed, brows knit together in concentration while he pleasures you. Atsumu’s a pretty boy, but you think he’s prettiest like this.
Fuck, you want more of that desperate expression. Want to edge him over and over until he’s drooling and can’t remember his own fucking name.
You’re getting close. That climbing ecstasy rising dangerously high within you. You pull yourself off him before you can climb too high, and the release of suction from his mouth makes a small, wet pop.
“You eat it so well, baby. So, so good for me, pretty boy.” You coo, caressing the sides of his face. His lips are pink and wet and you return your hips to their place atop his length. His lip wobbles with a whimper, back arching against you in search of more.
“I think you’ve earned your reward now, don’t you?” Your eyelids fall, half-closed seductively while you lean your chest toward his face. You reach behind your back and release the clasp of your bra. His hands tighten themselves into fists, trying to restrain the urge to reach up and touch. The fingers of your left hand splay out against his chest, holding your weight, while the right moves down to pull off his boxer briefs. Then, your wet folds are sliding against his erect, bare, length. Slowly, up and down.
“Mmm please can I--can I touch--”
You interrupt him with a small lick against those still-wet lips and chuckle quietly to yourself.
Oh, so now he’s ready to ask first?
“You can.” You affirm, reaching down to line him up with your entrance. His breath is coming harder now, those hardened pecs rising and falling beneath you. The anticipation is rapidly unraveling him. Atsumu’s hands are on your back, tugging your chest back down towards him. As they slide forward around your ribcage to grasp your breasts, his gaze flits up to you.
“Mmhmm.” You nod--knowing what he wants. His mouth closes around your nipple, sucking with that perfect amount of harshness to tighten the coiling pressure in your lower body. His tip rests right against your opening. You can see the precum dribbling out of him--can feel the way he’s pushing himself slightly further up--desperate to get inside. Were this any other time, you’d reprimand him for such impertinence. Tie his hands above his head and deny him completely. ‘And you were being so good, too, asking permission and everything. You wanna be inside that bad, maybe I should remind you how it feels to be on the receiving end, hmm?’
But, honestly, he’d nearly tipped you over the edge with just his mouth earlier. You were becoming impatient, yourself.
Finally, blessedly, you sink yourself down onto his cock, revelling in the way his mouth falls open and his head flings backward against the couch pillow with a cry.
“Mmm.. ‘s it that good, baby?” You tease.
“‘S been a while… So tight…” He hisses, almost like it’s too much.
“Yeah?” You tease. Your hips are gradually picking up speed. Slowly rising up, up, up, as far as you can go before it feels like he might just fall out of you, and then your hip fall again, taking his full length deep inside.
“‘Tsumu…” You say, rising back up again. “I wanted to pamper you tonight... “ and you slide back down. “Give my cute, sweet boy a reward for all his hard work.”
Atsumu keens, whimpering beneath you.
“But I think I wanna be a little selfish, too.” You breathe, leaning in close enough for your breath to fan against his face. “Is that ok baby?”
A high pitched moan leaves Atsumu’s throat, and you clench around him.
“Yes…” He sighs between ragged breaths. “Yes... Please, I--”
“Please, what?” You interrupt him.
“P-please…” You watch his Adam's apple bob as he swallows. “Please, mommy…”
“Ohhhhh, that’s my good boy.” You moan, restarting the rise and fall motion of your cunt around him. “Gonna make you feel so good. Just the way you deserve, ‘Tsumu. But you have to promise you won’t cum until I say so, mmk?” You’re holding his face, running your right index finger along the line of his jaw with a feather-light touch.
And Astumu Miya shudders beneath you, staring up in reverence. The way those big brown watery eyes look at you… He’d look so cute with a collar clasped around his neck right now.
He nods. “I--I won’t. I promise. Please.”
Your hand moves up to stroke his hair softly. “Good boy.”
You restraighten your back in your seated position atop him. Your hands come to rest against his chest for leverage, and you begin riding him in earnest. Atsumu’s eyelids fall closed again, head thrown back while his mouth hangs open in pleasure.
“Is this what you wanted ‘Tsumu? Just want to feel me fuck myself on you until I’m satisfied?” You tease as you bounce. You slow to almost a halt and grind your hips in a circle, feeling the way his cock buries itself to the hilt. Atsumu’s hands are balled into tight fists against the couch. He’s moaning freely now--little cries escaping him as your cunt eagerly swallows him down over and over and over again.
“So good… You’re so good inside me, ‘Tsumu. Stretching me out so much every time. I know you know how good that feels.”
“Ahnn--!” He keens at the memory. The way your soft hands had pressed his legs up against his chest. Wetness from the lube dripping down so tantalizingly slow between his ass cheeks. The cock of your strap buried within him. How utterly full he had felt, stretched around it while you softly cooed praises at him, stroking his cock.
Fuck he wanted to cum like that again.
More than that, he just wanted to cum. His hands clench and unclench--mouth hanging open while he revels in memory--in the feeling of your tight, wet, heat sliding up and down him just how he likes--how he needs.
“I told you it was OK to touch, baby.” You reach down to grasp his hands with your own, bringing them to rest on your hips. “Hold onto me while I fuck myself on you.” You whisper.
Atsumu’s eyes open at that, watching your body bounce on him. HIs left hand hastily comes up to grasp a breast, relishing the feel of the soft, pliable skin in his grasp.
You gasp lightly at the sensation of his hand grazing your sensitive nipple. “Fuck yeah. So good for me baby--so good. Gonna make you cum in me like this--”
Atsumu’s head falls back against the cushions again, his expression knotted in pleasure. “You feel so good. So good… Please… Please I’m-- Ahh!-- I’m getting close.”
“Aww you’re close already? You wanna cum baby?” You shouldn’t tease. You know you’re close, too. That cresting peak getting closer and closer with every push of his cock into your deepest places. Your breath is ragged from the exertion of your body. You reach behind you blindly, refusing to miss an instant of Atsumu’s delicious expression. Eventually, you find the small bullet vibrator you’d stashed beneath the cushions earlier. You bring the toy to your clit and immediately feel it; that powerful wave looming just behind--threatening to take you over the edge. You steele yourself the best you can, inhaling deeply.
Atsumu slides his eyes open at the sound and unleashes the mostly ungodly, moan. His voice trembles when he speaks.
“Can I--can I come? Please--please baby let me come. Let me come.” His hands hold fast to your hips, grip growing steadily tighter as the sensations continue to climb. Faster now--exponentially faster. He’s not sure he could stop if he wanted to.
“Mmmm hearing you beg like that… Good boy. You can cum, baby. I’ll even cum with you for being so good. Go ahead. Cum in this tight pussy.” Your words are rushed, breath catching here and there. “Give it to me.”
And Atsumu shatters.
The way his cry lilts up--high-pitched and unabashed. That wave crashing into him so hard and so completely it takes you down under with him. Atsumu’s mind is empty. Nothing but blinding white as he expends everything he has in him in an instant. His name spills past your lips over and over like a mantra while you ride out your high. The two of you so in-sync, it feels as though your cunt convulses in time with his every pulse. Everything feels so, astonishingly good and intimate.
You’re both breathing heavily, eyes shut tight as that shared bliss slowly dissipates. You let yourself come down to rest on his chest. It’s suddenly very quiet save for your shared breaths. Eventually you rise onto your elbows, face directly over his.
“I love you…” Atsumu murmurs, eyes slightly flitting about while he studies the intricacies of your face. He memorized them all long ago, but even in this he is never sated. Your eyes soften, chest fluttering at his tone: so tender and soft.
“I love you, too.” You say, gently caressing his face. “So much.”
Atsumu can’t help the smile spreading across his face. In one quick motion, his arms are around your neck and tugging your face down toward him. His head tilts, lips melding themselves against yours when they make contact. The kiss is unusually tender, his lips trying to convey what his words cannot: how he is so thankful and lucky to have you. You, who understands how dear his passion, his career, is to him yet helps him remain grounded so that it does not consume him entirely. You, who remains so, so patient when he is away. You, who is always there to help him take care of himself when he is too busy or exhausted. You, who holds him when he finally fractures under the stress of giving his everything all the time--and who helps him put his pieces back together again and get back at it.
Your head returns to its resting place on his chest. His heartbeat steady beneath you, lulling you to sleep. You both need to get up, clean up, and get into your actual bed, but the bliss of finally feeling Atsumu’s hard body beneath you. Knowing it is completely yours, at least for a short while… You don’t want to relinquish it for even a second.
There’s another beat of silence before you speak.
“Wanna go to ‘Samu’s and get tuna tomorrow?” You ask.
Atsumu groans his approval loudly--so much so one would think he hadn’t just finished a massive meal with the Jackals. That signature cheeky grin returns to his face.
“Oh my god I love you.”
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Oneshot Rocker x Reader.
Summary: Rocker overhears an interesting conversation between reader and little Victoria Kay (in this fic, let’s imagine Victoria’s five)
Word count: 1010
(Image from SWAT wiki web page)
Celebrations were in full swing at the Kay household on the day of their youngest child’s fifth birthday. Deacon had invited many of his colleagues from swat, equipment technicians, chemical analysts and medics amongst the many officers too to share the joyous day.
You walked across the garden to sit down on an outdoor sofa next to Chris who was chatting with her goddaughter, the star of the day. It had been Chris’ idea months ago to hold a birthday party for Victoria and it didn’t take much to convince Deacon since he and Annie had decided now was the right time for a party for her since she would be old enough to actually remember it.
Your heart melted at the adorable sight of Victoria. She was wearing a golden tutu, and to add to her already fabulous outfit, she had on glittery fairy wings along with a sparkly tiara on top of her dark blonde hair, and had a golden wand covered in gems in her hand.
“Y/N!” the birthday girl excitedly called out as she wriggled from Chris’s lap over to yours.
“Happy birthday princess Victoria,” you greeted her matching her enthusiasm and giving her a tight hug.
“Oh score, all the kids have left the bouncy castle! I can finally get a go on that thing!” Chris exclaimed. You smiled at her excitement. “You guys wanna join in?” She asked.
Victoria shook her head no and you replied “It’s okay thanks, you go ahead. Just make sure you get there before Luca and Street can hog it,” you were dead serious and Chris knew it as she hurried over to the inflated castle.
You caught up with the birthday girl about what her favourite presents were so far and what flavour her birthday cake was going to be. “Chocolate with strawberry icing,” she was all too happy to tell you.
It turned out that she had a question for you, “y/n do you know when uncle Donnie’s going to be here?”
Uncle Donnie? Who’s Donnie? You asked yourself. A clue popped into your mind.
“Vic, are you talking about Sergeant Rocker?” You asked taking the chance she would know his formal name.
“You mean daddy’s friend with the brown hair and blue eyes who I’m gonna marry some day,” she replied deadpan.
At that you immediately chuckled as you put together the clues of his first name, hair colour and eye colour.
“Yeah I think we’re talking about the same person kid.” It appeared that someone had developed some what of a schoolgirl crush on LAPD SWAT’s 50-David. “So he’s gonna be your husband huh,” you entertained her dreams, finding quite the amusement in it.
“He’s so handsome, he looks like a prince, don’t you think so y/n,” Victoria continued innocently in her own daydream.
“I gotta agree with you there little one,” you replied, because could anyone honestly disagree at the sight of the spectacular man?!
“Happy birthday princess,” a familiar voice called out walking towards you and Victoria.
“Uncle Donnie!” Victoria beamed as she run towards Rocker. He lifted her up to hug her, however their time was cut short when Deacon came to pick her up stating some family had just arrived and wanted to meet the birthday girl.
As you two were left alone, Rocker came to sit down beside you. He offered you a small bowl of chocolate covered marshmallows which you greatly accepted, and he began digging into the bowl he had also gotten for himself.
“You know she has a crush on you right,” you said smiling as you were pretty sure he already knew considering how adorably obvious it was.
Rocker laughed, “Yeah, it’s actually quite funny, but she’ll grow out of it soon, find someone in her own class to crush on.”
You chuckled as you both smiled at each other. He then placed an arm on the top of the sofa behind you, almost as if to put his arm around you.
“So,” Rocker began with a smirk as he moved to fully face you, “you think I’m so handsome that I look like a prince huh.”
You couldn’t help it when your jaw dropped in shock as he repeated Victoria’s words, the words you had admitted you agreed with. You felt your cheeks flush red and your whole body heat up with nervousness in the presence this great man. As floored as you felt, you tried to play it off cool.
“Oh come on, you know just how good looking you are, it’s no surprise or big deal,” you said as calmly as you could, just able to hear your voice above the sound of your own heart pounding. You felt embarrassed at how dumb struck this one person was able to leave you.
Rocker grinned before saying, “well in that case, how about on our next day off you let me take you out on a date? You’re pretty hard to resist yourself you know y/n.”
This was the second consecutive sentence coming from him that had left you greatly surprised, but this time pleasantly so.
You had been interested in Rocker ever since a chance encounter with him at the local bar after a shift. When you two got into small talk you realised that both of your work for swat, and from then on you saw more of each other, although confined to only a work setting. You couldn’t help but gaze for a little longer than you should every time you saw him crossing your path in the hallway, and you took any opportunity you could to engage in conversation with him if you happened to be working on the same case. You kept things professional of course and didn’t let on to your growing feelings for him, and all that time you didn’t think he saw in any other light than as a colleague, so you were elated when he asked you out.
“Yeah, that sounds nice,” you replied returning his bright smile and accepting his offer of a date.
The pair of you spent the rest of the day at the birthday party beside one another, chatting to get to know each other better whilst also flirting and teasing each other with innocent jokes, in addition to taking every excuse you both could to brush arms or press sides. There weren’t many moments in that day where you didn’t have smiles on your faces, as you were both excited that you would be starting something with each other.
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Their Princess all grown up Chapter 5
Duke moaned as she slowly came to. She rubbed the tiredness from her eyes when she realized that her hands were not only tied behind her back but to someone. She scrunched up her nose when she was hit with the smell of a very pissed-off Alpha. Well, two actually but the one tied to her was absolutely livid. Duke looked up and saw a young man maybe her age, a couple of years older at most smiling like a mad man at them.
Duke groaned as she remembered how they ended up in their current position.
A few hours earlier
The small group landed in an underground subway of all things and soon learned that the ninja was mute. As the group continued to walk down the subway they ran into what looked like a modern version of a mad scientist lab. Duke and Tunnel Rat were about to keep exploring when Roadblock grabbed the two and hid them behind a large barrier with the rest of the group.
Tunnelrat was glaring daggers at the large Alpha but Snakeeyes pressed a finger to his mouth making a small shush motion as he pointed to the flooring above them.
Duke looked up from their hiding spot and saw a young man talking to someone on a large screen. She sniffed the air and soon realized the man in the lab coat was a beta.
He was telling the person on the screen to never interrupt him in the middle of work and something about making the person's replacement?
What did he mean by that?
Duke ducked as she saw the beta, turn around, and walk to the railing. She could feel the wheels in her head turning trying to place where she had heard that voice before.
“I know,” he whispered.
“I know the teeming masses will call you unnatural, immoral.” he purred. Duke covered her mouth hoping to stop her heavy breathing. She had barely been in the room with him for a solid three minutes but everything about him.
Just screamed wrong.
Her heart was pounding so loud she didn't even notice that Scarlet had already pulled up information on the man. She barely heard her say his name.
“Brian Bender. Goes by Mindbender.”
Duke looked back up at the man. Why did that name sound so familiar?
“He’s wanted by the feds for multiple crimes against nature. Very intelligent. Also has the same less than popular thoughts on Alphas and Omegas.
But you’ll always be my babies.” he said with contentment. As he stood up a wave of pheromones hit his nose that smelled a little familiar.
Duke shook her head, quickly pushing that feeling aside.
“Okay, so we take him to the feds.” She said.
“No,” Scarlet said, waving the recording. “I got what I need, let's head out.” Duke shot the woman a dirty look before she vaulted over their hiding place with her gun and snuck on the floor that Mindbender was on. Weems, Tunnel Rat, and Roadblock following her lead.
Mindbender typed away on his computer and saw the reflection of a young woman with blonde hair and bright blue eyes holding a gun to his head.
He glared at her and soon realized that the scent he had caught a whiff of earlier.
He rolled his eyes as he realized where he had seen her before.
She was some random teenager at the time in high school that the Commander had taken an interest in at the time.
He took note of the Alpha and Beta behind her. She had obviously taken the lead.
“Brian Bender, you’re under arrest.” She said with strong authority in her tone.
It was honestly kind of hilarious. He couldn’t help but burst out laughing at the trio.
The blonde looked shocked and lowered her weapon for a brief second before baring her fangs and raising it again glaring daggers at him.
Mindbender continued to laugh. After a minute he wiped away the tears and leaned closer to the keyboard behind him and smiled
“Doubt it.” He said smugly as he pressed a button.
As Duke glanced at the other members of her team sneaking up behind the deranged doctor a look of confusion in her eyes but her face determined but before she could give another order electricity coursed through her body.
She could hear the other members of her team crying out as well but she could barely process it. Duke colloped to the floor, her breath shaking as her vision went in and out.
She saw the scientist walk up to her but stepped over her. Duke weakly turned around trying to process what was happening but just as her vision went black she saw him press a button and a dark blue goop spewed from something in the ceiling that seemed to be trying to take a form but failed.
Mindbender smirked as he turned to the group of soldiers on the floor. The Omega, the only one still semi-conscious. He walked up to the blonde grasping her chin, tilting her face up, turning her face side to side examining her before letting go of her face letting her fall to the ground, Duke letting out a small grunt of pain.
“Maybe you grunts have some use after all,” he said in a chirpy tone. That was the last thing she heard as her vision blurred and slowly faded to black.
Duke's face scrunched up in disgust as she felt the strange blue goop pour into the humanoid shape hole she and Scarlet were tied up in. It landed with a gooey splat as it filled up just enough to where the two women could keep their heads up. It felt slimy and unnatural against her skin.
She could hear Roadblock yelling at the crazed Beta about how he couldn't do this while Weems made a joke/plea to the ninja to Houdini them out of their current predicament.
Mindbender cackled and smiled at the soldiers.
"You see grunts. I can do whatever I want because Cobra lets me.”
He continued to walk, letting his hand slide against the railing as he continued.
“Once you five are recycled in my biomatrix, you will be reborn as the first group super soldiers for Cobra.” He said excitedly. Leaning over the railing a mad glint in his eye.
He turned on his heel and threw his hands in the air.
“No more pesky Omega heats for blondie. Nor ruts for Mr. Ninja, muscles and red!”
He let out an excited laugh as he clasped his hands.
“You'll actually have a purpose besides to breed!” He turned around and leaned over the railing once more, resting his chin in his palm.
“How amazing is that. You will be the first unit in Cobra’s first Bioviper army!”
Mindbender turned back around and began to fiddle with the machines to get it ready when he heard a screen flicker on behind him. He turned around and saw the familiar face of an older Omega woman.
Her hair was deep black, almost purple cut into a bob that was a beautiful contrast to her pale skin, her lips painted red. Her dark brown eyes practically glared daggers into his soul as she adjusted her rectangular glass on her button nose.
Mindbender huffed in annoyance at her.
Anastasia, Better known as The Baroness, was the Commander's, right-hand woman.
“Doctor, I heard there was a security breach at the lab” She purred in a deep Russian accent. She was calm on the outside but he knew just how dangerous she actually was.
She was the only Omega that he was truly afraid of. But given her history, it was wonder why the woman was so cold and calculating.
Mindbender smiled and waved his hand nonchalantly.
“Handled it. Just a group of green shirts busted in and tried to arrest me. Go figure.” He chuckled.
Baroness cut her eyes at him.
“Then I expect to have a full report when you're done.” She said calmly before her screen flickered off.
Nicky “Tunnel Rat” Lee was not having a good day.
The small Omega crawled through the fabric pipework and looked for his team.
He had been lied to by a superior, dragged into something he wanted no part in. Shot at. And now he was crawling through a literal mad scientist lab.
Tunnelrat almost let out a loud whoop as he finally spotted his team. He took out a small pocket knife and cut the thick fabric open and crawled out.
“I know I disobeyed orders, didn't want to.” He said with a laugh as he cut the rope that held Duke and Scarlet.
Duke rubbed her wrist and smirked at him as she got herself up out of the slimy blue goop. “Expect yourself to be a court-martialed soldier.” She said with a laugh
Scarlet soon followed, elbowing the blonde as she chimed in. “I outrank her. You’re pardoned.”
He was about to help Mr. Ninjaman and Weems but the Snakeeyes had already gotten out and was uniting Weems binds.
Just as they were going to make a break for it a large gooey thing landed in front of them.
Duke watched in horror as it sprung in the air twisting and turning until it took a very large humanoid form and roared at them.
DUke grabbed a grenade that had been on TunnelRats belt and threw it at the thing once it lunged at them and it exploded with a loud boom.
Her ears were ringing, but she couldn't worry about that now. She looked back up at the railing and saw the crazed Scientist run.
Duke let out a growl and jumped on a dangling wire and climbed up it quickly.
Mindbender saw the Omega coming up to him and fast.
Her bright blue eyes were cold and icy as she glared at him.
He couldn't shake the feeling that he had seen that exact same expression just moments ago.
Duke made it to the railing and threw herself over it with a firm grunt. She spotted Mindbender running away from a computer and she could somewhat hear a monstrous roar through her still ringing ears.
She turned to see her team fighting more of the blue slime things, but when she turned back around the madman was gone.
Duke snarled “Where's Mindbender!” She snapped.
She saw Snakeeyes bolt after a figure in a lab coat that ran into an underground train that quickly sped off.
And just like that Mindbender was gone.
Duke saw electricity spark into the vat that she and the other had been in and more of the monsters came out of it.
“We need to shut off the power!” She hollered
“It’s locked!” Tunnelrat screamed.
Roadblock's eyes lit up as he got an idea.
“How about we light up this factory-like the fourth of July!” He asked.
“How?” Scarlett questioned.
Moments later everyone had grabbed a piece of tech whether it be an actual weapon or a cable that someone *Duke* had ripped off one of the machines and fought back while Scarlett and Weems dealt with the generator.
As Duke stabbed another Bioviper and saw therest of her team begin to head for the exit.
She heard Weems swear and saw him jump off the railing and head back to the machine he and Scareltt had rigged to blow.
It had gotten unplugged in the scuffle.
She saw him heading up the stairwell so she continued to head to the exit as well.
He has only a few steps behind her.
She heard him let a startled yelp.
She turned around and saw him yanked back by another Bioviper.
She ran back, she had to get him out.
Electricity was flying everywhere. She was on the stairwell now.
But he only smirked and looked ot the Bioviperes holding him back.
SHe didn't hear what he said to them.
There was the boom.
“No!” She screamed.
Duke felt herself be blown back in the explosion.
Shards of metal bursting apart hitting and cutting into her arms.
She felt a large hand yank her by the collar of her shirt and thrown over a shoulder. She watched in horror as the machines around them were blown to pieces.
At that moment all Duke could see was the fire.
Roadblock ducked and rolled as they were hit with the last blast of the explosion in the air. He rolled on his back holding Duke tightly until the explosions ceased.
A wave of pheromones quickly hit his nose but he couldn't process that now as he saw doors open and people scrambling to get out, he picked up the Sargent and bolted for it with the others.
They were headed for the helicopter they had arrived but it was soon nothing but worthless hunks of metal as debris from the building hit it.
Snake Eyes quickly “commerderd” a vehicle and Scarlett threw the doors open. Roadblock set Duke down carefully and went for the driver's seat as Snakeeys left it to check on the others before disappearing altogether once more.
Scarlett looked at the blonde Omega. She was shaking.
Scarlett felt guilt as she looked over the Sargent.
Anyone could tell she was in distress.
They all were.
They didn't know what was happening until it was too late.
The flood of distressed and frightened omegas hormones quickly flooded the van.
TunnelRat bolted to Duke who had begun to rock herself back and forth. Her head between her hands.
Scarlett got up but Tunnel Rat snapped at her.
“Back off!” He demanded.
“She’s going into a stress-induced heat. We don’t need to make decisions that's going to do more damage to her in the long run cause you can’t keep your knot in check!”
Tunnel Rat carefully pried Duke’s hands from her hair. Her tight bun now in disarray, her cheeks stained with tears.
“Sarge can you hear me.” Tunnel Rat asked her.
“Okay, that's good. I need you to focus on your breathing okay.” He continued. Duke let out a shaky breath a choked sob finally leaving her throat.
Tunnel Rat pulled the taller Omega in a hug. Duke buried her face in the crook of her fellow Omega’s neck inhaling his scent.
Tunnel Rat continued to take care of Duke shooting dirty looks in Scarlett’s direction until Duke managed to pass out.
“Will she be alri-”
“Not. A. Word.”
Scarlett paused as Tunnel Rat turned to her.
“You have lied to us and to who knows how many people.” He snarled.
“We lost a man in the field cause of your secrets!” Tunnel Rat pointed at the sleeping blonde. “She’s most likely about to go into a stress-induced heat cause of this.” Tunnel Rat let out a hollow laugh.
“And if she does she’s going to have to go through by herself cause her mate isn't here! And I am sure as hell not letting you guys- No offense Roadblock.” Tunnel Rat quickly added. The large Alpha had been nothing but kind and respectful to all of them. So it didn't seem fair to lu,p him in with Scarlett.
“None taken.” He chimed. “I get what you're trying to say and you're right.” Roadblock glanced at the three in the back. He reached in his pocket and felt Weems dog tags against his palm.
They had been pulled off in the skirmish. Roadblock was lucky and managed to catch them before everything went so, so wrong.
Duke let out a small whimper and the three silenced themselves. They could figure it out once they got back to base. Right now everyone just needed to rest.
Anastasia walked up to the now-destroyed building taking in the damage.
Under Control. Yeah right.
Anastasia says Mindbender rummaging through the rubble. She would ignore him for now. RIght in this instant, she needed to salvage any footage she could find and maybe figure out who the group of soldiers were.
She slid down the crater that had once been a lab with ease and took in her surroundings, closing her eyes and taking in a deep breath.
Her eyes snapped open.
There once a mix of scents of course. Alphas, betas, and omega. But one, in particular, caught her attention.
One she hadn't smelled in over twenty years outside of the tiny pink baby blanket that the cub had been placed in. That scent in particular going stale after all these years. But she wouldn't forget it.
After all. How could any mother ever forget the scent of her own cub?
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Getafix’s mistake - Chapter 20. Avaricum search
Hello everyone! How are you? I hope you’re all fine! Welp, one week more, here I bring you the next chapter! 😊 This time, we’ll see what happened with Obelix. As all of you remember, he took the wrong way, but… will it be useless? Or maybeeeee Obelix will find someone who will help him find Asterix? If you wanna know, you’ll have to read, and if you’re enjoying this story, please, can you leave a review? Just if you want. I love to hear your thoughts about this.😊
Well, I’d like to give a special thanks to @drummergirl231-2 for helping me editing this story. I’m really, really, really grateful to her, she’s awesome!
Okay after say all this, here you have the next chapter of this story, I hope you all will like it!
Obelix ran and ran without stopping. He couldn't stop himself. He knew… he felt his best friend's life might depend on it. He didn't want to fail him again… because by Tutatis! He had already failed him… despite permanently having the extraordinary strength conferred by the magic potion, he hadn’t been able to protect Asterix… to protect his brother. He hadn’t been able to prevent him from being recaptured by the Romans and taken away from him. Obelix didn't think he could forgive himself if something happened to Asterix.
The red-haired Gaul didn’t understand the reason why he hadn’t yet reached that Roman's car, especially knowing that a while ago, he had almost reached him. Obelix was very fast. He knew it. He knew he was even faster than the HGV (Heavy Gaulish Vehicle), with which his mother and Asterix's mother had come to visit them on their last birthday. And they had brought those precious gifts…. Obelix never told anyone, not even Asterix, but being able to add a helmet as magnificent as that to his collection, even for a short time, was a gift greater than a hundred wild boars. His parents had always known how to make him happy. For that reason, he loved them so much…
The menhir dealer shook his head. This wasn’t the time to think about such things, although he loved his mother very much. He also wanted his best friend back. He wanted him safe in the village. Thinking of Asterix, what surprised Obelix most was that extreme obsession the Romans had seemed to acquire for his best friend. All they had done since Asterix was affected by Getafix’s potion was kidnap him, threaten to take him to Rome, kidnap him again, and finally, to the great consternation of the red-haired Gaul, take him away while he had been searching for Getafix.
Obelix didn’t know what had happened. He couldn’t understand how it was possible that the Romans had captured the blond Gaul again. He didn't understand it, but to tell the truth, he didn't care, either. All he cared about was getting to Asterix and bringing him home again where he would be safe. And when he did, this time he would make sure not to take his eyes off him for a single moment.
The sky above the great Gaul had been dyed with its peculiar nocturnal darkness, and the moon, along with a lot of stars, adorned it as if it were a painting. It wasn’t that Obelix understood art, but Impedimenta’s brother – Homeopathix – would sometimes send her gifts like that from Lutetia, claiming they were far better for adorning the interior of a hut than the shields her husband had, which he considered vulgar and old-fashioned. Honestly, Obelix wasn’t interested in shields or paintings… no, he preferred his collection of Roman helmets. For him there was no better decoration than that…
The red-haired Gaul shook his head again. It wasn’t the time to think about those superficialities. No, Obelix should only have one idea in mind: finding Asterix no matter it would take. Nothing else mattered to him at all.
The great Gaul kept running without stopping. On the horizon, he detected small lights… different from those of the stars. Did that mean he was already reaching Avaricum? But he still hadn't met that Roman and his best friend… Obelix didn't understand it… he was pretty sure his speed hadn't slowed since he stopped at that junction, so how was it possible he still hadn't met up with his best friend’s kidnapper? Where were they? Had the earth swallowed them up? Or perhaps they had already reached Avaricum? Obelix didn’t know what to think. He only knew his friend was in danger and he had to help him as soon as possible. But how was he going to help him if he didn't find him first? Furthermore, it was even more strange to him he hadn’t found them, because while running, he came across another cart occupied by a Gaul. Obelix wasn’t surprised when he saw the surprised expression on his compatriot's face as he passed him. It wasn’t the first time he had passed a running cart, and the reaction of its drivers was always the same. But… thinking about it, if he had come across a cart on the way, why hadn't he come across Asterix yet?
A loud noise suddenly rang out, ripping the silence of the night, cutting it as suddenly as a piece of cake cut with a knife. Obelix stopped in surprise when he heard the noise. He didn’t know where it had come from, but the force and magnitude of the noise made him fear the worst. What was that noise? Where did it come from?
Obelix looked around frantically, trying to locate the source of that powerful roar.
The same noise, but it sounded very close to him. Where was it coming from? Obelix couldn’t determine the origin of that noise. It was strong, powerful, like the thunder that falls in those great storms… those storms that make the Gauls believe the sky will fall on their heads.
When the noise was heard the third time, it seemed to Obelix that it was coming from somewhere below him, at his feet, so looking down, he tried to discover where the noise could come from. But he didn't see anything strange about himself. He was the same as always… the same striped pants, his big brown shoes, his chunky belly… it was all the same. So… where was it coming from? What was the origin of that noise? The red-haired Gaul stared down and was surprised when hearing the noise again, oddly enough, it came from inside him… from his belly to be exact. What noise was that? Why was it coming out of him? It sounded like a mountain of rocks falling all at once from a high altitude, and Obelix knew what a pile of rocks sounded like when plummeting, because on one of his adventures with Asterix, climbing a mountain, he had accidentally hit a small rock that had caused a huge rockslide. Obelix hadn’t wanted that to happen. It had been an accident… an accident that, fortunately, didn’t harm anyone. But as always on those occasions, Mr. Asterix had reminded him that he should be careful and control his strength…
And again, he was thinking about what he shouldn't. The important thing was finding his friend, not thinking about what they had done together. But… that noise… he was puzzled… truly puzzled. What could it be?
The noise sounded again, and this time, Obelix finally managed to identify what the noise was. It was neither more nor less than his stomach, which roared loudly, demanding food. Now that Obelix thought about it, he hadn't eaten for a long, long time. He hadn't even remembered to eat… not with all the issues that seemed to have plagued the village all at once. And if it was really that he was hungry, maybe that would also explain, at least in part, the pain in his belly that he now felt.
The menhir delivery man shrugged his shoulders and started running again. There was little he could do to solve his hunger problem. What he could do was get to Avaricum, and once there, look for his friend. Maybe that Roman had managed to get there and had hidden Asterix somewhere in the city. At this thought, the red-haired Gaul accelerated in his pursuit. Just thinking about how scared his best friend must be made his heart sink, and a feeling of helplessness seized him. His best friend didn't deserve that… he didn't deserve it at all!
In a few minutes, the great Gaul had finally reached Avaricum. As soon as he arrived, he began to walk the streets looking window by window and calling his friend.
"Asterix, are you here?"
On another street:
"Where are you, Asterix?"
His screams were such that little by little, all the lights of the city began to turn on. Many of the inhabitants were frightened by the noise they heard, believing that something serious had happened.
"What is this ruckus? By Tutatis!"
"What happened? By Belenos!"
"Is there a fire?"
Others, on the contrary, reacted in a naturally angry way when discovering the origin of the screaming:
"What do you think you're doing? For the love of Tutatis!"
"Don't you know what time it is?"
"Some of us have work tomorrow!"
The red-haired Gaul ignored each and every one of the voices he heard, only interested in hearing a single voice… the voice of little Asterix telling him where he was… but unfortunately, that was precisely the only voice that didn’t reach his ears. Where was he? Why couldn't he find him? In a way, this situation seemed strangely familiar to Obelix. This was not the first time he had walked the streets of a city looking for his friend. Although on that occasion, when the great Gaul was about to give up, he heard the blond Gaul calling him. Obelix clearly remembered that moment, when Asterix called him back then… his voice conveyed such anguish and urgency that the menhir dealer's heart almost stopped. In the blink of an eye, he reached the place where the voice of the Gaul warrior had come from and found him on the verge of drowning. That was one of the worst experiences the great Gaul had ever had in his life.
But unlike that time, Asterix was now a child and in the hands of a captor. Perhaps the man who had kidnapped his friend prevented him from speaking, and therefore he wouldn’t be able to find them. Obelix no longer knew what to think. His head ached with so many doubts, so many possibilities, so many probabilities everything could have happened in a different way…
Lost in his thoughts, the great Gaul didn’t realize that he had continued running and shouting without stopping, practically waking up the entire population of Avaricum.
A door suddenly swung open before his nose and Obelix didn’t have time to stop, which resulted in hitting the door, destroying it completely, and causing the owner of the door, who had come out to identify the source of the noise – and shut whoever it was up – to be considerably infuriated because of his now demolished door. At the same time, the person who had opened the door was surprised that just colliding with a door could destroy it. Actually, the man who now looked at the remains of what was once the access to his home only knew one person capable of performing such a feat.
The homeowner turned his gaze to the place where Obelix had fallen after the impact and was surprised to recognize him. All the anger he could have had until then instantly disappeared, and a feeling of joy replaced it.
"Obelix!" the young Gaul said excitedly. His blond hair covered half of his face, but his smile was clearly visible.
Obelix, after colliding with the door, had rolled on the ground until he ended up face down, so he could only see the feet of the Gaul who had come out onto the street. For a moment he thought he was going to get a good reprimand for what had happened – he more than deserved it, after all. But when he heard his name, he immediately recognized the voice of the man who had said it.
"Justforkix?" he asked with a mixture of joy and disbelief. As far as the great Gaul knew, his chief's nephew lived in Lutetia, not Avaricum, so what was he doing here? Well, that didn't matter. To tell the truth, Obelix was glad to see a familiar face in a strange city. Rolling himself over, the great Gaul rose… with Justforkix's help, who had approached the great Gaul for precisely that purpose.
"Yes, it's me. By Tutatis, how are you dear friend?" he asked him as he helped him get on his feet. Obelix staggered a little, but immediately regained his balance and replied:
"Oh, I'm fine…"
Instantly his gaze went to the door of Justforkix's home, and seeing what he had done, he lowered his eyes in shame and added:
"Oh, by Belenos, sorry about your door…"
Justforkix looked at Obelix, and then at the wooden remains… and although it bothered him a bit that his door had been smashed, he also felt he couldn’t be angry with the great Gaul, so looking at him with a smile, he said:
"Oh, it doesn't matter. It can be repaired, as if nothing happened… besides, you should see Aba when she gets angry with my father. What she breaks is nothing compared to this, by Tutatis.”
It was true. His wife had quite a bad temper… and sometimes her relationship with his father wasn’t easy… rather, disastrous since Justforkix’s father was a man of very little patience. He had trouble tolerating certain customs of his daughter-in-law since she was a Viking. For this reason, when they had an argument, Aba ended up destroying everything in her path. That was precisely one of the reasons the young couple moved out of town.
Since Justforkix had been in his uncle’s village “training to be a man,” he hadn’t cut off contact with Asterix and Obelix, two men he had come to admire deeply. For this reason, he had sent his carrier pigeon to notify his move.
“Gee, I knew SMS was fast… but I never imagined he was that fast,” he said, surprised by the speed with which his winged friend had sent his message, but his surprise turned to uncertainty when he saw the face of the red-haired Gaul.
“SMS? What does your pigeon have to do with all this?” Obelix asked surprised. He didn’t understand what Justforkix was saying. He didn’t understand why Justforkix was in Avaricum… he didn’t understand anything at all.
Justforkix looked at Obelix in a way that made the great Gaul feel as if he had grown a second head. He couldn’t bear to be looked at that way. It made him feel stupid.
“Wait… aren’t you here thanks to SMS? I… had sent a message via SMS to tell you that Aba and I had moved to Avaricum and that you could come visit us whenever you wanted,” said the blond Gaul, trying to make sense of the situation.
After these words, everything made sense to Obelix. Now he understood what the young Gaul was doing there and what he was referring to when he spoke of SMS. He looked sympathetically at Justforkix, and seeing his expression of utter bewilderment, he felt it was his obligation to explain what had happened.
“No, the truth is that I’m not here because I received SMS’s message. I’m here looking for Asterix, who…”
Justforkix blinked upon hearing the reason for the great Gaul’s visit, he knew very well the two friends were inseparable, consequently… it was unthinkable to find one of them without the other. The blond Gaul chided himself mentally. He should have realized that sooner. Now concern filled his voice when he spoke again:
“Asterix? Why? Has something happened to him?”
Obelix lowered his head, all the memories of recent events replaying over and over in his mind… starkly reminding him he should have been more careful and watched over his friend better. His gaze went back to Justforkix who had remained expectant, waiting for an answer. Seeing him standing there, in the middle of the night, he began to say while wringing his hands,
“Well yes… what happened…”
But he could not continue, as a new voice was heard from inside the building.
“Justforkix? Where are you? Have you found out what all the fuss was about?”
Aba’s voice grew louder as the young Viking approached the place where the gateway to her home once stood. Her reaction to seeing the current state of her battered property was immediate.
“Oh, by Odin! What happened to the door?!”
The young woman appeared in the doorway with a look of fury that could pierce anyone’s soul. Her gaze went to where her husband was standing and she was surprised to see the immense shadow of a person behind him.
“Oh, hi Aba. Look who’s here,” said Justforkix, hoping that seeing the red-haired Gaul would help her forget what had happened with the door.
Aba approached to see what the blond Gaul was referring to, and when she recognized the menhir delivery man, she was thrilled, and with a much happier voice without a hint of threat, she said:
“What a surprise! It’s Obelix, by Thor! Does that mean Asterix is around here, too?”
The tension instantly returned at the mention of the blond warrior. Obelix seemed much sadder instantly, and his voice perfectly reflected his mood.
“No… Asterix isn’t with me and I… well… I need help finding him.”
Aba and Justforkix looked at each other puzzled. What could have happened to Asterix that made Obelix act in such a distressed way? It must have been something important. Justforkix only remembered one occasion when he had seen Obelix like that: when they went to rescue him in the land of the Vikings and he insulted them to his face. The young Gaul saw the look of pain and betrayal on his Obelix's face then and instantly regretted what he had said, but it was already done, and at that moment he believed Obelix would never forgive him… but not only did he forgive him, but he and Asterix also came to his aid again when he needed them.
"Don't worry, we'll help you… but first we need you to tell us everything that happened," said the blond Gaul to reassure the great Gaul. He was willing to do anything for him, in the same way he would for his wife.
At that moment, Obelix's stomach rumbled again, reminding the great Gaul he had been deprived of food for a long time. The young couple were surprised to hear that noise, and Obelix blushed at the expression on their faces. This lightened the mood a bit, enough for Justforkix to smile warmly and say:
"My friend, come in, eat and sleep here tonight. You tell us everything, and tomorrow without fail we’ll do whatever is necessary."
Obelix's face lit up at the mention of food and a place to spend the night, but above all at Justforkix’s words of commitment to help him with whatever he needed.
"Thank you, thank you very much," he replied with sincere joy. Now he had more hope he would find his best friend.
After dinner – emptying Justforkix and Aba's pantry – Obelix told his friends everything that had happened: how Asterix had taken that potion that de-aged him, how he had been captured, the rescue, Getafix’s disappearance, and how Asterix had somehow been recaptured and taken to Rome. He told them that in his pursuit of the Roman, he had reached the crossroads and had chosen to go to Avaricum, believing this was the path the Roman would have chosen, but now he wasn’t sure of it, since he hadn’t found him on the road or in the short time he had been in the city.
Justforkix and Aba listened attentively. They’d been glad to hear Asterix had been rescued, but a feeling of rage grew when they heard he had been caught again. After Obelix finished telling his story, there were a few moments of silence and then Justforkix said:
"Knowing how fast you can move when you are under the influence of the magic potion, it would be very difficult for me to believe that this Roman managed to reach the city before you reached him, but that possibility also exists."
Aba nodded her agreement, and added:
"If so, this Roman has most likely sought lodging in an inn, by Odin." To tell the truth, the young Viking had adapted very well to Gaul customs, especially to cities. So, knowing the people could reside in inns was no longer something new to her.
"It would be the most logical thing, and it is also very logical to think if he is here, he’ll try to leave the city as soon as possible," added the blond Gaul.
"By Tutatis, what do you mean, Justforkix?" It was Obelix who spoke this time. If that Roman was here, and intended to escape, he would be there this time to prevent it.
"I mean that, assuming he is here, he’ll probably set out again tomorrow morning, even before dawn to avoid being tracked… or simply so that no one sees him leave," explained the younger Gaul with conviction.
"How can you be so sure?" asked his wife. She didn’t doubt her husband's reasoning, she just wanted to understand what had brought him there.
"When I lived in Lutetia and led such a carefree life, I often spent nights partying, and when I came home, I would see those who were preparing to leave. That is why I know," said Justforkix again. Certainly, when he lived in Lutetia, he had come home many times at dawn, and on the way, he had met some travelers – most of them sinister-looking – leaving the city, taking advantage of the darkness that still prevailed. At that time, the blond Gaul had never questioned what prompted these people to leave the places where they had spent the night so soon, but upon hearing what was happening with that Roman and Asterix, he imagined his friend's captor wasn’t very different from the ones he had seen long ago.
"Oh Justforkix, you’re a genius!" Aba praised him while hugging him, the Viking woman had to admit Justforkix's reasoning was very correct. In addition, it coincided with what her father – the chief Timandahaf – had told her many times. He explained that when they invaded new lands, they always did it before dawn, since according to him, the hour before dawn is the darkest hour, so that is the perfect time to attack.
"I wouldn’t say that. Just that I know this from experience, more or less," replied Justforkix, smiling shyly.
Obelix in turn smiled kindly, and directing his gaze to the young man whom he had trained to be a man, he said:
"Well, Getafix once told me that experience is a form of knowledge, and if what you say is true, we can find Asterix going to the inns here early tomorrow morning! Oh by Belenos, that's great news!"
Justforkix looked at Obelix in surprise. He knew the great Gaul wasn’t one of the cleverest people, nor did he consider him an idiot, but he had to admit that those words, even if they were from the village druid, were the most accurate at that moment. But on the other hand, the blond Gaul didn’t want to give Obelix false hope, so adopting a serious attitude, he spoke again:
"It isn’t an absolute certainty, but there’s a greater chance if we do it like this."
"So what are we waiting for? We must go to bed as soon as possible. If not, tomorrow we won’t be able to get up.”
After saying these words, the Viking woman got up ready to do what she had just said. Justforkix smiled at his wife and seconded her decision by being the next to get up.
"You're right, Aba. Well Obelix, you can sleep here if you want. It's a room reserved especially for guests."
Obelix looked where the blond Gaul was pointing, and then turning to the young couple, he smiled as he said:
"You’re very kind… both of you. See you tomorrow. Good night."
"Good night,” they both answered at the same time.
They all went to bed, knowing they had to get up early. They had to get as much sleep as possible.
When they got up the next day before dawn, the three of them hurried through the city, looking for every inn, every enclosure in which that Roman could have spent the night, but their search was useless. They found nothing… no trace of the little Gaul or his captor. They asked in each establishment if there had been a guest who matched the description Obelix gave them and who was also accompanied by a child, but none of the places they asked gave them the answer they expected. It seemed plain and simple that Asterix wasn’t there.
"Oh by Tutatis, where is Asterix?" Obelix sighed in exasperation at not having found his best friend. In this moment, the hopes of finding him had reached an extraordinary low. The great Gaul had never felt so distressed in all his life.
Justforkix looked sadly at the red-haired Gaul, and putting a hand on his shoulder, said:
"Sorry Obelix… that's all we can do."
Obelix breathed a resigned sigh. He knew they had done everything possible, but he was still unable to shake off the frustration he felt since his plan had failed.
"I know, I know, but if that Roman isn’t here, it means that he didn’t take this path… he would have taken another…"
"Yes, he probably did that… and what do you plan to do now? Go back the way you came and chase him?" asked Aba, who had been silent until then. Although she had not spent as much time with the two Gauls as Justforkix, she could see the friendship that united them was true and unbreakable. She had never seen anything like it among her people. It was something that puzzled her.
"I don't know…" replied the great Gaul in a pained voice.
“Obelix, this’ll seem crazy to you, but what I would do is continue to Rome,” proposed Justforkix.
The menhir delivery man blinked a few times, wondering if what he had just heard was serious. “What?” he asked incredulously.
“Justforkix, by Thor, have you gone mad?” Aba added in turn.
Justforkix looked at his wife and then at Obelix, he knew that such a reaction would be the most likely after presenting his idea. The blond Gaul took a deep breath and explained:
“Maybe I have, but if that Roman chose another path, perhaps he did it precisely for this purpose… to mislead Obelix. If so, he’ll have chosen a longer path to get to Rome. What I mean is that if you go directly there…”
“…I would arrive before the Roman and could rescue Asterix!” Obelix cut him off, who seemed to have understood what the younger Gaul was trying to say. The young people of today are full of good ideas.
“Exactly!” concluded the blond Gaul with a smile on his face.
“Oh Justforkix, I love you!” Aba said suddenly as she lunged to give her husband a hug.
Obelix looked at them, and although he knew it wasn’t the same, he wished he could hug Asterix… let the little Gaul know he was out of danger. He wanted Getafix to find an antidote for his friend. He wanted to get old Asterix back so they could speak together as they used to, hunt together, beat the Romans…
Obelix shook his head. To get the old Asterix back, he first had to find him and bring him home.
“Okay, I’m going to Rome,” he said with new and renewed determination. He waved to say goodbye to the young couple, but then Justforkix raised a hand to stop him from saying anything else and said:
“Correction, we are going to Rome.”
“What?” Obelix asked totally and utterly confused.
“You heard. We’re going to Rome. We’re coming with you, Obelix… the two of us,” explained Aba. The young woman was afraid her husband had only referred to himself and Obelix when he’d said, “we are going,” so she decided to clarify by using a tone of voice with which Justforkix had learned not to protest if he didn’t want trouble.
Obelix stared at the young couple, perplexed. He had found them in Avaricum, they had looked for his friend with him, and now they were ready to accompany him to the capital of the Roman Empire in order to continue helping him. Honestly, Obelix didn’t know if he was worthy of such kindness. The great Gaul blinked several times since, for some reason, his eyes had become wet and his vision had begun to blur. Then he cleared his throat and announced:
“Okay, everyone to Rome!”
Okay, did you liked it? What do you think about Obelix finding Justforkix and Aba? I’ve to confess after seeing the movie ‘Asterix and the Vikings’ I loved Justforkix development, and I wanted to add him in this story. Also, I thought Obelix could really need help to find Asterix, and now he has someone who will help him. I hope you liked it. If so, could you leave a review sharing your opinions about it? To read your reviews is what moves me to continue writing, so, you may are helping others to enjoy this kind of stories. 😉
Okay, after say that, I really hope you all enjoyed this chapter, I also would like to thank to all the people who’d read this story and: @elianemariane17 @theholypencil @alyxox02 @lilacivories @coconuttyglittersmurf @alternaterobin2336 @transparenthairdoturtlemuffin @hakuneki07 @mattythemeeper @komizerim for their likes
See you in the next chapter 😉
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Wind - Adam du Mortain x F!Detective Evelyn Johnson
Day 1 of @wayhavenmonthly - Compliment.
Pairing: Adam du Mortain x Evelyn Johnson (f!detective)
Fanfiction: The Wayhaven Chronicles by Mishka Jenkins.
Warnings: Angst! Angst! And slight fluff.
Word Count: 1.5k
A/N: All characters are owned by @seraphinitegames .
Summary: Nothing. I am just gonna leave it as a surprise.
▪︎AO3 ▪︎ Link ▪︎
Evelyn had been busy with more than a few tasks since their previous mission. The Maa-alused were now given a safe land to create a home at, and there were no signs of Trappers in the past few weeks. The Agency kept trying to find out about the ‘Leader’ of the rogue supernaturals, but so far, they had no luck. Unit Alpha was sent back to their original place, as Unit Bravo resumed their routine of patrols of the city.
“Yeah, I’ll work on it. No need to get the Mayor involved in this, I am already tired with handling one Friedman today.” Evelyn said, finally packing her stuff to leave the office. Tina giggled, the thought of Douglas’s fixation on Eve always made her crack up. “Fine! And don’t forget our night out for tomorrow! You won’t get to make excuses anymore! I even managed to convince Verda for this one!” She squeaked in excitement, her curls bouncing on her shoulder. Evelyn sighed. She knew there was no backing out of this.
Even though Unit Bravo trusted her to handle herself, because of her excellence in combat, the thought still didn’t fit well with them, of her going anywhere without at least one of them by her side. But it was her life, and her choices. “Yeah I won’t back out this time…” She rose her hands in defeat, earning a smile on Tina’s lips.
“Are you sure that… you are doing the right thing?” Tina’s tone covered nothing but concern. Evelyn’s brow furrowed in conflict. It was probably a longshot, but she had to do it. There was a 95% chance of her being disappointed, from the given history… but she had had enough. No more games.
She gave a tight nod, and smiled, leaving the station. The wind had been chilly. The spring almost over… the coming monsoon already humming in the air. Her beige trench coat swayed with the current, as her dark blonde flicks blew across her face, her hair tied back into a ponytail. It was a good night for walking home. Her thoughts had been occupied with her decision, an unsaid script printing in her mind, every word weaving perfectly. This was it. She would finally talk to Adam.
Just the thought of his name made her heart flutter, the thought of his icy green eyes on her making blood creep at her cheeks. Why am I even bothering so much? He barely acts as if it affects him. She thought. But she very well knew that it did affect him. Just like it did to her.
She changed her course, and headed in the direction of the warehouse, obviously unaffected by the fact that it was too dark, and the forest was too dense. “Detective.” There it was, the heavy voice, the musky scent. “Adam?” She turned around and found him standing behind, in his woollen grey coat and the black tight tee.
Adam looked over at Eve, concern and worry hugging his expressions. But the look on her face was entirely different from his, the blush crept on her cheeks, her heart almost screaming to come out of her chest, as she swallowed nervously. Her light brown eyes glimmered in the dark, catching his utmost attention.
“What are you doing here at this hour?” He approached the matter at hand directly, avoiding to be distracted by anything else. Everything she had planned to say to him vanished into thin air. Just the sight of him already leaving her speechless. “I…um, oh well… I was just coming to you guys. At the warehouse.” It was completely classic of her to not being able to talk to anyone. Adam’s similar behaviour not helping either of their situations.
Adam frowned disapprovingly, “Is there something urgent that you couldn’t have called me— us, to pick you up?” He stuttered. Sometimes he couldn’t believe the fact that he had been embarrassed in front of the detective more than in his entire life. Evelyn expected his reaction to her walk through the forest at night.
“Well… I wanted to… um, talk. To you.” It was visible enough, how much she struggled to confess the truth, catching Adam completely off-guard. “Talk?” He asked nonchalantly. He wouldn’t dare to show his nervousness in front of her, not when he knew exactly what she was talking about.
Her eyes suddenly met his in an instant, showing nothing but uncertainty, and vulnerability in her usually intimidating and bold gaze. “What are we?” The question came out before she could control herself. It had become too distracting, too overwhelming. The spark just lingering between them, the flames touching and slightly burning the edges, but not enough to set them alight.
Adam pressed his lips in a thin line, glancing away. Why is he trying so hard? He cursed himself. He hated hurting her. But he also couldn’t get himself to admit to the possibility of him deserving Evelyn’s affection. There were moments, when his long and thick wall would weaken, bits and pieces of letting her in, but the gaps would immediately fill themselves as she would leave.
“Please Adam. You can’t keep doing this to me. At least say something!” Her voice rose slightly, as the buried frustration started surfacing. He couldn’t look at her. He knew if he would… he would give in. But he wasn’t ready. Not yet. Eve couldn’t believe him. She was standing right in front of him, the question hanging in the air, and still he would dare to avoid her gaze.
“Fine! Just know that I won’t be polite from next time! If there would be one…” She scoffed and started walking back towards the road. The words managed to cut through Adam’s heart, he could hear her quiet sobs as she walked away from him. His fingers curled into a fist as he forced himself to try to go after her. But his stubbornness got the better of him.
“Aah—!” Evelyn’s voice reached to his ears, instinctively making him run to her. To protect her. He wrapped his arms around her, stopping her fall, as her eyes were shut closed, ready to bare the pain. As soon as she realized she wasn’t hitting the ground, her eyes slowly opened… finding Adam’s arms around her.
She could feel the heat radiating off of him, even though their thick coats hugged them. He couldn’t get himself to look away this time, just as he realized how beautiful she was under the moonlight. There was depth in her light brown eyes, a glow, which he understood… was only reserved for him. Her tears were dried as she took in Adam’s features. They had never been this close before. She couldn’t believe it was possible, for him too look more handsome than he already was.
Adam’s hand hesitantly reached to Eve’s face, the back of his fingers trailing her warm cheek. His touch set her heart on fire, a sudden intimacy she wasn’t sure they were capable of. “Has… anyone ever told you, that you have such… beautiful eyes?” He whispered, completely unaware of his own words, as she captivated him. The sudden confession made Evelyn’s pulse go even higher. Did he… just say that she had beautiful eyes? It was nearly unbelievable, but she knew she wasn’t dreaming… because usually at a time like this, she would wake up in shock.
“Adam… I…” Her speechlessness conveyed enough of what she felt by his words. Both of them remained unmoving until a rustle of the bushes and trees due to the strong wind captured their attention. Adam’s eyes suddenly snapped, as if he had been zoned out before. He realised that none of them were willing to break the contact.
He brought himself to clear his throat, “We… we should get you back to your apartment.” He broke away. The instant gap between them left Eve feeling cold, in a different way, but she was too overwhelmed to object him. His voice kept echoing in her mind, as the awkward silence lingered all the way back to her apartment.
They reached to her appartment door, an instinctive déjà vu passing over both of them. With a hint of nostalgia. “Um… thanks… for walking me home.” She murmured, an unknown joy still spreading across her heart. She knew that they certainly didn’t talk, yet, she wasn’t willing to break the moment she was enjoying. They will talk, but not then. Adam gave her a nod and started walking to the stairs.
Despite himself, he turned to glance at her one last time, finding that she was looking right at him. He didn’t regret what he said. Her eyes were the most beautiful ones he had ever seen, and no one could object that. She gave him one last smile, and went inside the apartment.
Unusually, he smiled to himself… and made his way downstairs.
This was my first time writing twc fanfiction, I hope you all enjoyed reading it, as much as I enjoyed writing it!
Tagging: @homeformyheart , @otherworldlypresents .
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I had just about the most fucked up night’s sleep last night, so of course my dumb ass had fucked up dreams to match.
For context, I fell asleep at 8pm which never happens, woke back up around 11pm, tried to fall back asleep for an hour before realizing it was useless, tossed and turned in misery and boredom on my phone with my fiance backed up against me on one side and my cat backed up against me on the other so I had damn near no room whatsoever, and then ultimately passed out again around 3am, was half-awake around 8am-ish, and then didn’t actually wake up and get out of bed until almost 1pm.
Yeah. I’m screaming, too.
I can’t remember at what point in my broken sleep that any of these dreams happened, or between which intervals of waking up, so we’re just going to run with it.
The first was that I was in what was meant to be David Bowie’s house. It was a huge house, but not exactly fancy. If anything, it was kind of basic. Kind of reminded me of a childhood friend’s house from kindergarten back in, like, 2002. So just imagine what an ideal big suburban house looked like in 2002 and you’re pretty much there. The most striking part of the house, however, was the staircase. It was really wide and angled with large platforms at each turn. About halfway up there was a tall wall against the front of the house with a massive window and a fat windowsill the perfect size to sit on (though that wasn’t the primary function). And all along the stairwell, straight on the walls, were paintings that David Bowie had done himself. He wasn’t a spectacularly talented painter or anything but the audacity of just painting straight onto the bare white walls of what was likely a very expensive house was super ballsy. I remember I was on one of the platforms of the staircase, laying in what looked like a very cheap, very low-to-the-ground wooden bed. Like envision a homemade doll bed out of planks of wood but size enough for a human woman to fit (not that I’m very tall so it wasn’t even that long and I remember being a little scrunched up anyway). It had a thin little mattress and a thin white sheet that I was covered with, and I was trying to sleep. And David Bowie saw me and inspiration must have struck because he then began to paint me just like this on the wall that I was facing, on the right side of the large window. And again, he wasn’t a spectacularly talented painter so the little thing he did of me was not a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination. If anything, it looked kind of like the paintings I used to try to do when I was younger with shitty anatomy and wonky facial features. But he was so proud of it, I didn’t dare say anything to damper his happiness. The one thing I did question, however, was why it appeared like my head was poking out of both ends of the blanket. He went on to say that the one “head” was actually my head and the other “head” at where my feet ought to be was actually him trying to include my cat curled up at the end of the bed. Which made sense once I realized that the cat “head” had orange-y brown and white fur like Tex does in real life and my “head” had black hair.
An interjection real quick just to say that the fact that Tex was laying at my feet in my dream is very accurate because when I woke up at, like, 1am, he was literally laying right between my calves so that I had absolutely zero leg room whatsoever.
The second dream was the one that got me really upset and fucked up in the head. My fiance and I were in Walmart and we were accompanied by a girl who I knew back in elementary school. She looked exactly the same as she did back then, with long blonde hair down to her ass and bright blue eyes and a certain sense of confidence that was almost condescending. The background of this was that apparently my fiance and I were taking a crack at polyamory and she was the third in our relationship. She was, however, unfortunately extremely controlling. She took over the entire shopping trip and insisted that she control what we bought and what we were going to eat. Some of the contents i remember her grabbing were a plastic container of fresh, pre-cut mixed vegetables (I think it was probably carrots and kale and some other stuff, so basically like a salad mix), a tan cardboard container of a dozen frozen eggs, and clear goose milk in a very fancy glass bottle super similar to a bottle of Sheridan. My fiance went along with it, claiming that we needed to start eating healthier anyway, and he seemed relatively content with this girl’s new role in our life. I, however, was quickly spiraling. I began feeling as if my fiance liked this girl more than he liked me, or that he felt she was better for him than I was or something, and her outward, dominating nature not just in general but around him specifically was just really starting to rub me the wrong way. I started falling behind, dragging my feet through the store, I think I was also hugging the only thing I had a say in getting to my chest as if in an effort to keep my heart from breaking through my ribs and exploding across the fucking linoleum floor. At one point I’m pretty sure my fiance stopped and pulled me aside for a moment alone and asked me what my problem was, and I said something along the lines of this being a mistake and that “I’m too competitive to be in a polyamorous relationship” or something. He kind of expressed a sentiment along the lines of it being too late now or something, and I remember standing in the register line beside my fiance watching this woman ring up all of this stuff that I didn’t want nor was I going to eat and just kind of having an existential crisis about it all. I think at one point I even likened her to the personification of my eating disorder, in a way? Like her being super controlling and telling me what I was and wasn’t allowed to eat and making me feel like I was unworthy and unlovable and not good enough or something. Though there are aspects of the whole thing that don’t actually make any sense in the ED allegory but still, whatever. It was a thing.
Another interjection to note, though, that this also makes a bit of sense in terms of the eating stuff since my ED has been kicking my ass hardcore this week and especially last night because I skipped dinner so I was starving when I woke up in the middle of the night but wasn’t about to get up and get food despite the fact that all I had to eat yesterday was a handful of chocolate chip cookies and a goddamn fucking fruit cup.
The third and final dream was luckily probably the most uplifting, especially after the polyamory thing. I was at a hotel with my parents, my fiance, and my mother in law. We were packing up to leave, so I remember going through the room and carrying things down to the truck and just the overall back and forth of it. And I remember the staircase up to our room reminded me of my university’s old student union--they had an outdoor staircase encased in brick with a large window that looked out to where the old union used to be. So I remember stopping for a minute there to look out this window and kind of reminisce for a second before going back up. I also remember grabbing my two childhood baby dolls from the nightstand by the bed (which is where I actually keep them in my own bedroom in real life) and thinking to myself that I needed to take extra care with packing them and ensure that I was putting them someplace that was not going to damage them. This was all very basic until I went back into the hotel lobby for another round but suddenly the method was different. The lobby was very big and everything was painted a dingy gray-tan and dark gray-brown and there was crunchy carpet and coffee-colored linoleum and warm aesthetic lighting shining on what looked like some sort of stage even though it was actually further into the ground instead of raised. And there was a winding, walled off ramp leading down toward the “stage” that was filled with a queue of people. The whole thing essentially reminded me of the former version of what is now the Epcot Experience building in Epcot, back when it was tan and kind of rundown and hosted like special booths for Food and Wine or guest services for annual passholders and shit like that. It just overall very much had the same sort of vibes, as well as the same feel as waiting in line for it’s a small world at Disney World just with the way the ramp lead down into the main attraction below. But anyway it turned out that now in order to get back up to my hotel room, I was going to have to wait in this line and brawl the other people there for permission or something? Though this rule also seemed to have zero effect whatsoever on my parents, my mother in law, or even my fiance. It seemed this was only applicable to me. I think I had just come back from standing in line and then going upstairs to cart more of our stuff to the car when I reentered then, and I had only really taken five minutes but in that span of time, the line had grown exponentially. There was also a gate now at the line’s entrance, and a perky blonde girl about my age was standing at a podium tracking everyone who stepped in line. I almost turned around and gave up because I didn’t think it was worth waiting in line, but the girl called me back over and encouraged me to get in line anyway. I walked up to the podium after someone else, who entered after telling her that their number was 17. I guess people had been assigned numbers before they got in line, maybe in an attempt to organize who was going to brawl who or something. Either way, it felt a lot like when you pull numbers at the deli or the DMV. So I walked up to the girl at the podium after the person in front of me was granted entrance and she asked me what my number was. I told her I didn’t have one. She said “Well, what number comes after 17?” and I hesitantly replied “Eighteen...?” which evidently was not the right answer as the girl then started exclaiming about “Why not one??? Why not one?!?!”, though not in an angry way but more like an “incredulous laughter, this is ridiculous” sort of way? And then there was a tanned guy in a neon t-shirt who was way too enthusiastic for his own good, and also kind of buff, who cut his way through the crowd and appeared next to the girl. I suppose he was maintaining the line and calling the next challengers up to the plate or something. He insisted that I was, in fact, number one and then grabbed my wrist and began weaving back through the crowd guiding me to the front of the line. We had to squeeze past a shit ton of people, some of which I remember being extremely fat and insistent on not making room for us to get past, until we reached the very front of the line. He placed me as the third person in line, behind an unidentifiable person in spot one and my best friend’s best friend in spot two. Standing behind me in spot four was my childhood best friend who seemed super confused as to what was going on. She kept looking at me like she was trying to understand a language she didn’t know. And the guy simply explained to her, and this was his exact quote, “Sometimes someone comes along who is faster and stronger.” And my childhood best friend just immediately went “Oh, it was [myaekingheart], wasn’t it?” as if now it all made perfect sense, like no wonder I was the one butting ahead in the line because I was apparently supreme and superior and so it made sense that I was given special treatment and allowed to skip the entire line, though this was not said in a condescending or rude or bothered manner but rather a simple show of ultimate comprehension. But really, the only reason I can think of for my actually getting brought to the front of the line was that I remember it was already nightfall out as we were packing up the car and my dad had mentioned something about needing to get this done quick so we could get a start on the drive back home and be back before it got too late because he had to be up at, like, 3am for work in the morning and I hated the thought of being the reason why he could get hurt at work the next day because of sleep deprivation because I was the one taking too damn long to get a job done. But, like, despite all of this, it was also kind of comforting/reassuring to hear this exchange between this guy and my childhood best friend about my being strong and supreme and shit, especially after the legitimate blow to my self esteem that the weird polyamory dream had on me.
hidden in the sand pt. iii
in which feelings are discovered under early morning light, finally.
psst, part one and two on my account :)
after the war.
another nightmare—no, memory, rages through todoroki’s head. he’s drowning in blue flames, bakugo is bleeding out on the ground, midoriya is lost in the sky. there’s unspeakable pain all around him, inside him, and there’s no way out.
he sees bakugo fall from the sky, hears the sickening thud of him hitting the ground.
he sees midoriya erupt in black and green light, running out of energy, running out of time.
he sees his brother’s horrible smile, the old scars and fresh burns pulling at his skin.
this is a nightmare. this isn’t real. it’s over, so you can wake up. just wake up. wake up!
todoroki bolts upright with a massive gasp. he’s completely still for half a second before he plants his face in his hands. his eyes sting and he wills the tears away, wills the fear away, wills himself to calm down. it doesn’t work.
it’s over. it’s over. it’s over.
you’re safe now.
it’s over. it’s okay.
without hesitating and without checking the time, todoroki yanks his phone off the charger and calls the first contact in his favorites list.
inhale—it’s too warm—
“i’m up—oh, todoroki, hey—“
“nightmare,” todoroki sucks in another breath, voice weak and hitched. “i know it’s late, it was—it was horrible. i had to watch them fall—had to—“
“hey, hey, shh,” sero cuts him off. “you don’t have to relive it. you're okay now.”
todoroki bites his lip hard enough to draw blood, shuts his eyes tight. he refuses to cry. not now. “there were—“ another crack in his voice; he tries again. “there were so many things i could have done differently.”
he doesn’t need to spell it out for sero to know exactly what he’s talking about.
the war. it’s still not over. they've all been dealing with the effects, the aftershocks, in their own ways. the dorms are quieter, classes still haven’t resumed, even after sending a number of students home for a short amount of time. everything is wrong.
todoroki had stayed here, then, when the majority of his classmates had gone.
“hey,” sero starts, drawing it out, like he’s thinking something over. “todoroki?”
todoroki peeks one eye open. “sero.”
“why don’t you… come over?” sero murmurs. “might be better than laying there all on your own, after a nightmare like that.”
todoroki wipes a stray tear from his cheek with the back of his free hand. it takes him a moment to process sero’s offer, and no time at all to make up his mind.
“of course,” sero says immediately. “to be honest with you, i couldn't really sleep either. i can at least keep you company, you know?”
“i’ll leave the door unlocked.”
the line beeps, and todoroki heaves a heavy sigh. he slips out of bed, fixes his twisted t-shirt. leaving his phone on the pillow, todoroki exits his dorm as quietly as he can. as expected, the hall is silent and empty. light bleeds out from underneath sero’s door.
todoroki tiptoes in with no preamble, not allowing himself time to second guess his actions. sero is in the middle of kicking something under his bed when todoroki crosses the room and sits right next to him.
purple fairy lights are strung up around the ceiling. the light cascades around them like they’d entered another realm. sero’s room is, by far, the homiest, coziest room on this floor, including todoroki’s own. his curtains were pulled open, window cracked just a bit. a breeze blows in and sero’s hair blows with it.
sero peers carefully at todoroki, hardly processing the way their thighs are pressed together, the way todoroki smells like the air after a heavy rain, the way his heart pounds in his rib cage. he wasn’t even the one who had a bad dream.
todoroki is clad in gray and blue, pajama pants and a slightly too big t-shirt, wrinkled and soft. his hair isn’t smooth like usual, but frizzy in the back where he likely had it pressed into his pillow, sticking up on the red side in odd places. sero’s never seen todoroki so pulled apart, so raw, except for on a battlefield.
this was different.
this was… intimate.
sero may be sitting by his right side, but todoroki radiates a lulling kind of warmth.
and despite all that, the shorter boy looks like he might dash for the door at any moment, still strung up from his nightmare. even in this dim light. sero can see the dark, almost bruise-like colors under todoroki’s eyes.
sero reaches for him without thinking, fingers ghosting over the small of todoroki’s back. “how long has it been since you’ve had a proper night's sleep?”
how many nightmares have you had and haven’t told me about?
“i—ah, can’t remember,” todoroki replies. he leans into the touch, just barely. it’s instinct at this point, to fall into sero’s orbit, to turn toward his light. already, he feels closer to earth than he had in the silence of his own dorm.
prior to attending ua, todoroki hadn’t known what closeness could feel like, but with sero, there was no other option besides closeness. he never wanted anything else, anything less. closeness with sero was different from closeness with anyone else. and now that todoroki’s gotten a taste of true connection, true closeness, it’s like he can’t—doesn’t want to—live without it. sero’s touch makes his skin prickle through the fabric of his shirt.
despite his nightmare, despite being shaken, terrified, todoroki considers curling up next to sero like a cat. he just wants—what do you want?—to be held. that’s it. it must be.
sero takes his hand away.
“why don’t we, uh—do you think you could sleep better here?” sero whispers hurriedly, tensing like he might stand or make a run for the window. “in my bed? i can take the—“
then he really does stand, gesturing vaguely to the hammock todoroki has seen him fall asleep a number of times in. todoroki reaches for him, this time, cool hand taking sero’s wrist.
“stay,” todoroki blurts out. “stay by me.”
sero turns to meet his eye, deep brown on dull gray and blue. his brows pinch together helplessly. todoroki doesn’t look away, giving sero a solid, sure look.
sero feels infinitely heavier and, somehow, lighter, than he had just moments ago.
it takes some time, some adjusting, but eventually they’re both settled side by side on top of the covers on sero’s bed. cool night air flows over them. the fairy lights have been unplugged, leaving only the moon to brighten the high planes of each other’s faces. glow in the dark stars dot the ceiling. their sides are touching, and sero tries to soak up some of todoroki’s radiating heat to fight off the goosebumps.
sero talks into the open air, he’s not sure how long, trying to keep quiet. he mentions the betrayed look on iida’s face when he’d walked in and found sero and a few others with their feet on the couches or chairs they were sat in. he mentions something bakugo had said, something particularly bakugo-esque, trying to mimic the blonde’s rock salt voice. that makes todoroki chuckle, and sero’s chest blooms with warmth. he talks todoroki through the complexities of his younger self’s favorite anime.
then, sero turns on his side, hands flat between them. todoroki’s eyes are closed.
“are you asleep?” sero asks, not entirely expecting a response.
“not yet,” todoroki replies. with his eyes still closed, todoroki shifts until he’s on his side, too, hands tucked under his cheek. red hair falls, splays across his forehead.
and sero—clueless, hopeless sero—in a moment of quiet awe, silent confidence, lifts a hand to brush that hair back, revealing todoroki’s forehead.
the wave of pure adoration hits sero so hard he nearly leans forward to plant a kiss in the center of the other boy's forehead.
todoroki’s eyes blink open. they shine in the moonlight, brighter than they’ve been in weeks. they shine with exhaustion, with contentment, with something else close to… daring, maybe.
unthinking, sero sighs and says, “you look really pretty.”
it’s true. it’s always been true. sero has thought so since the first day of school. but somewhere along the line, it became a new kind of pretty. a kind of pretty that almost felt like it was reserved solely for sero. todoroki had opened up a lot since starting here, sure, but there’s a certain look to him whenever they’re alone that always leaves sero breathless, wondering if todoroki smiles at everyone else in private like that, too.
sero hadn’t ever wondered something like that about anyone else before.
todoroki flips onto his back and shifts until his head is over the edge of his bed, just like sero had been all those weeks ago in his hammock.
sero tilts his chin up, already grinning. then todoroki smiles, upside down and pure, and time seems to slow.
it’s a look sero’s never seen before, a look he’ll likely never forget.
of course, sero’s never been shy of telling his friends how much he appreciated them, loved them. he’s never shied away from consuming them in his arms, hoping to share his gentleness and kindness. he never wants anyone to forget just how important they are to him.
but this—this was starting to feel different.
sero has no idea when it started.
not even the shadows of the room can hide the way todoroki flushes, all the way down his neck. his eyes widen, just a tiny bit. then his mouth opens, and sero turns away before todoroki can say anything at all.
he slaps his hands over his face, groaning half to himself. “i'm sorry, wow, i really—i’m really tired and i guess i just—“
that same cool hand takes sero’s wrist again, featherlight as it drifts down his forearm. then todoroki pulls, pulls sero’s hand away from his face, pulls it closer to him.
“don't apologize,” todoroki hums.
sero blinks. then blinks again. he turns his head, and suddenly the distance between them is no distance at all and too much, all at once. heat crawls up the back of sero’s neck.
todoroki had shifted, brought his legs up until one knee is nudged into sero’s thigh. both hands wrap around sero’s forearm, gently, almost like he’s coddling it.
sero can hardly catch his breath before todoroki pulls again, lifting sero’s hand up to his lips, ghosting a kiss over his knuckles. sero watches, in a trance, as two toned eyelashes flutter shut, as lips graze over his skin. he’s burning.
his only coherent thought is: holy shit.
“is this okay?” he does it again, kissing those knuckles a little more firmly.
“yeah,” sero responds, trying to keep his voice from shaking. “yes.”
the smaller boy cracks a small smile, a pure one, a tired one, and does it again.
maybe sero’s dreaming. that’s got to be the only explanation, right?
not long after, todoroki falls asleep, just like that; he holds sero’s arm close, dragging cool fingertips over his skin. his cheeks are still tinged a light pink.
sero shifts, just a little, just enough to hook his ankle over todoroki’s. they fit together, somehow. it just… works. like it was always meant to be that way.
he breathes a goodnight into the air and is out like a light.
bright light and a chilly breeze washes over sero—and todoroki—the very next morning. the sun has just barely crested the horizon; the sky is freckled with puffy clouds, painted pink and orange.
the raven haired boy wakes first, which is a first in and of itself, squinting away the sunspots in his eyes. he’s very warm on one side, and his neck hurts a bit. as he starts to lean forward and stretch his arms over his head, he realizes.
shoto todoroki is curled into his side, lips parted, sound asleep.
his cheek is pressed into sero’s ribs, legs stretched over sero’s own, a hand tossed over his stomach. his hair is a mess and sero’s pretty sure he might be drooling a little bit, but this warm toned light makes todoroki look more alive than he’s looked in weeks. his forehead is free of worry lines, and there are red lines from his position etched into his chin.
“you look really pretty.”
sero inhales sharply at the memory. fuck. exhales jaggedly at the memory of todoroki’s lips pressed into his knuckles, of his fingers exploring the skin of sero’s hand. fuck.
he takes another look at the two toned boy practically attached at his hip and tries to smother the butterflies in his belly, the electricity soaring through his veins.
shoto todoroki is asleep in my bed.
shoto todoroki is asleep on me, in my bed, in my room.
shoto todoroki kissed my knuckles.
oh, how desperately sero wishes he’d kissed him back now, indulged in the feelings he hadn’t acknowledged until only last night.
i do not have a crush on shoto todoroki.
the boy in question takes a deep breath, muscled shoulders rising as he starts to shift. his head pops up, a mess of pink cheeks and disastrous, disgustingly endearing messy hair, and he squints at the light pouring in from the window.
all the air is knocked from sero’s lungs.
“mornin’, sero,” todoroki mutters, unable to even keep his eyes open. “‘s too early. ‘m goin’ back to sleep.”
then he drops his head back down and squeezes impossibly closer to sero.
sero leans back, careful to not disturb the other boy, and plants his palms on his cheeks. nothing in the world is strong enough to smother the stupid grin growing on his face. nothing in the world is strong enough to settle sero’s pounding heart.
i have a crush on shoto todoroki.
they'd never slept so good in their lives.
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