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#mom come pick me up I'm crying
traumacure · a month ago
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i hate when people ask me to do something difficult or make some major change in my life and i'm like "i'll try my best" and they're like "NO. you won't TRY, you WILL DO IT." it's like??? okay yeah thanks for telling me failure is unacceptable even if i try my best and give it my all, thanks for letting me know my efforts don't matter if i can't fulfill your expectations, thanks for informing me that my very best isn't enough actually if i still can't do whatever it is you want me to do 🙃 that's totally not just gonna stress me out and put me under a ton of unnecessary pressure that feeds my destructively unreasonable pursuit of perfection
#why does my mom always have to do this shit like??#this is why i had a full on crying screaming breakdown banging my fists until they were bruised when i first failed my driver's test#the proctor hadn't even left the car yet she was just trying to give me my results and she just ran out bc she was scared of my tantrum#normally i can keep it together in public but i couldn't i just couldn't handle that failure it was too much for me#it wasn't just that i failed it was also that my parents tried to force me to get my license early#by making it clear they found having to drive me a burden and inconvenience that they were unwilling to do any more than necessary#they'd even forget to pick me up from school some days and i'd wait hours bc they couldn't even be bothered to do the bare minimum for me#i felt like such a pathetic disappointment and a let-down and a failure in that moment bc everyone's always expected perfection from me#i felt like such a burden all because my efforts have never mattered only the results i get so if i get bad results it's all worthless#when i crashed the car i couldn't come home for days because i couldn't take it i couldn't face them i knew they would see me as a failure#my precious 4.0 GPA is just an apology for what a worthless child i am in every other respect and it's not even enough anymore#even my perfect grades have ceased to redeem me in my mother's eyes nothing will ever be enough for her ever again#back when i was still enrolled i can't believe she had the audacity to get mad at me for not taking care of myself#when the reason i was neglecting myself so much in the first place was because of the pressure she put on me to always excel in school#it's just. nothing i do will ever be enough it's pathetic i'm so scared of losing my 4.0 because even if it's not enough it's all i have#it's my only claim to worth and i hate it i don't even like school i'm just doing it bc it's the only thing i'm any good at#and i'm not even doing it right now i'm taking a break bc online school was so bad for my mental health#but without school i feel even more worthless than ever i feel like such a failure every moment i'm not enrolled#and my mom just reinforces that feeling every day i know she thinks i'm a good for nothing fuck up now i know she does#why can't she just love me and take care of me like i'm actually her child and not just an investment that isn't paying off how she hoped#i need to be treated gently and given help right now but she just wants me to become more self-sufficient than ever bc i'm an ''adult''#it hurts it hurts it really does even my straight A's couldn't make me less of a fuck up#i feel so hopeless sometimes i don't know if i'll even be able to survive much less achieve anything i want in life#i'm so scared of dying as the same worthless fuck up i've always been#vent#🩹##🚬##💙.txt
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kanawhipped · a year ago
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they did that!
they actually made me appreciate watching a straight intimate scene. the power skam france has!
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afsalta · 10 hours ago
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fix you
a/n: hi! I received an ask a while ago asking if I wanted amelia to be pregnant in s18, and this is how I would want it to play out if she was!
also, i may not be posting for a little. my grandmother passed away yesterday, so life’s a little rough right now :( this was pre-written
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Two lines.
Two lines staring back at her, two lines that were aggressively red, two lines that she had been dreading seeing.
She'd ignored the symptoms for the longest time. Her late cycle was blamed on stress, weight gain due to the lack of care for herself, nausea stemming from how anxious she constantly felt.
It wasn't until Meredith noticed how Scout had been acting oddly and mentioned how clingy Bailey had gotten while she was pregnant with Ellis, as Scout had just finished crying after Amelia put him in his crib and put him back on her hip to calm him.
She snuck two pregnancy tests into their grocery run the next day, and maybe Meredith had seen it, but she knew not to say anything.
And now, she was on the floor of the bathroom, waiting for the results of the second stick to confirm her fear. That she was pregnant.
Having a second child had previously been hypothetical, and even the thought of it caused Amelia to feel ill. Now, she wasn't sure if she was about to puke because of the baby inside of her or because she knew about the baby inside of her.
And then, Meredith was behind her, running a hand up and down Amelia's back as Amelia heaved the little food she had forced herself to eat that morning despite how terrible she felt. "Amelia," Meredith whispered, sitting down beside her sister after she finished throwing up, "hey, you're okay." Amelia noticed how the other woman had started using her 'Mom' voice, the same one she used to comfort Ellis after she scraped her knee on the playground. She frowned. "How far along?"
"I don't know, maybe six weeks? I've only missed one period," she muttered, gripping the side of the ceramic bowl. "I can't do this, Mer; I can't bring another kid into this world." Meredith placed her hand on Amelia's shoulder and squeezed it gently.
"And you don't have to. You have options, Amelia; you're early enough that if you don't want to have this baby, it's as easy as going to a clinic and taking a pill." The neurosurgeon reached up, flushing the toilet and watching as the water swirled around. "You're hesitant."
"Link wants another kid," she muttered, staring at the water as it calmed in the bowl.
"Link hasn't been here except to pick up Scout, Amelia. You should tell him, but what he wants shouldn't dictate the decision you make."
"He wants another kid, and I don't know if he'll still love me if I don't want that, too. But I can't do it, Mer; I can't have another baby without losing myself, without compromising my sobriety or ruining everything I have; I can't do it." She leaned back against the cool ceramic of the bathtub, sighing heavily. "I have to tell him."
"You do. But, take some time to process it yourself, first. Go get some good sleep and think things through, make sure that you're completely sure of what you want, think through what you're going to tell him." The brunette nodded as her sister spoke, pushing herself off of the bathroom floor and wobbling slightly as she stood. "Maybe get some food in your body. You look like you're going to pass out." Amelia wrapped her arms over her stomach tightly. "Can I make you something?"
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"Hey, can you come inside for a minute?" Amelia muttered, pointing towards the living room behind her. "I need to talk to you." Link watched her with wide eyes, entering the house and dropping Scout's bag on the floor of the entryway, placing Scout in the pack-n-play in the room.
"What's going on?" Link asked, hesitantly sitting down on the couch across from her.
"I'm pregnant." He quickly flashed a toothy grin before shaking it away, matching the expression on her face. "And, I'm telling you because you have a right to know, but I'm not going to keep the baby."
"Do I not get a say in this?"
"It's my body. This baby would be inside of me for the next eight and a half months, and then I would be breastfeeding and recovering for god knows how long. Link," Amelia leaned forward, clasping her hands together, "I'm doing everything I can to stay sober and be a mother for Scout right now. And I'm telling you that I cannot continue to do that if I keep this baby." He pursed his lips and stared past her, nodding his head slowly as he processed and thought. Amelia watched his face as if she could see wheels turning inside of his brain. He ran a hand through his hair.
"When's the appointment?"
"A week from tomorrow," she muttered, pulling her sleeves down to cover her hands.
"Do you want me there? I can, I can drive you if you want me to hold your hand, or if you just need me to take Scout," he blinked quickly, finally meeting her eyes. "What can I do?"
"You're not upset with me?" Her eyes watered as Link moved to sit closer to her on the couch, placing his hand on her knee, his thumb rubbing soft patterns in comfort.
"No, of course not. I didn't understand why before; I thought you were just uncertain about it, but I don't want you to risk yourself or your health to have another baby, Amelia. So, so if getting an abortion is what you need to do, I'm on board." She brought her hand up to her mouth, biting at a hangnail on her finger as a tear fell from her eyes. "Why did you think I would be upset with you?"
"Things haven't been normal between us for months, and you want another kid so badly; I thought that you wouldn't love me if I didn't keep the baby," she whispered, tears falling freely from her eyes as she spoke. Link reached up and brought her hand away from her mouth, wiping her cheeks with his sleeve and holding her hand in his.
"Is it okay if I hug you?" He paused, waiting until she nodded to wrap his arms around her tightly, her head settling on his chest with a content sigh escaping his mouth. "Amelia, I love you no matter what; I don't need another baby to know that I love you and want to be with you," he kissed the top of her head. "I'm here. I will always be here."
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"Okay, heating pad, blanket, and that disgusting ice cream you love," Link whispered, handing her a carton and a spoon. Amelia smiled at him from the couch and took the lid off of the ice cream, digging her spoon in and scooping a large amount into her mouth, her eyes rolling back in enjoyment.
"Mm," she moaned, "this is the best thing ever." He shook his head in amusement.
"Can I get you anything else?"
"Sit with me?" He nodded, kicking off his shoes and sitting on the couch, gently pulling her towards him. She cringed at his touch.
"Still cramping?"
"Crampy and crappy," she muttered, spooning more ice cream into her mouth. "But sober and alive. And, I'm grateful for that."
"So am I," he whispered, placing his head on her shoulder and leaning it against her head. "Thank you for telling me why you didn't want another kid. And, I'm sorry for making you think I would be upset with you." Amelia sniffled and laid her head back.
"Thank you for being here, for putting everything aside."
"Hey, don't cry," Link laughed softly, bringing his arm around to wipe her eyes.
"My body's still trying to get rid of the hormones," she muttered, blinking away tears in her eyes that were wiped away by Link as soon as they fell down her face. "You're really comforting, even when you're mad at me."
"I'm not mad at you; I just think that we got so caught up in our lives that we forgot to be us. I forgot to check-in, and I'm pissed as hell at myself for doing that." He wiped away more tears from her eyes.
"Can we have this conversation sometime when my body isn't overwhelmed with hormones?" Link nodded and laughed gently, kissing the side of her head and adjusting his body so that she could lean back. "I'm not-I'm not just magically better now; I still need to work things through, and I need you to know that."
"I know. And whatever I can do, whether it's driving you to meetings or giving you space, just tell me. I love you, Amelia, and I want to work through this."
"I love you, too," she responded softly, shifting to lay against his body.
"Get some rest," he whispered, pulling a blanket over her body. "I'll be right here when you wake up."
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Haikyuu Boy's Girl Best Friend
Prompt/ Theme: The Haikyuu boys girl best friend tells you that they cheated on you and slept with her.
Warnings: Cursing, Violence, Manipulation. Drama
Characters: Bokuto, Akaashi, Kuroo
Category: Drabble
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You were sitting in your room at your desk working on some homework you had due tomorrow. Man if only I weren't such a procrastinator. You were about to get up to grab something to drink when you hear the familiar buzz of your phone. You pick it up and unlock it before clicking on the messaging app.
Hey Darling, I hate to be the one to break the bad news to you but somebody has to. Bokuto and I have been sleeping together, he says you're just sooo annoying and that he prefers my body over yours. He's with me right now actually.-G/n❤️
You feel your blood run cold as you real the text message, it was from Kotaro's bestfriend, G/n but it was sent from Bokuto's phone. You run downstairs and to your key rack, grabbing your car keys and sliding your shoes one before running outside to your car. You rush to sit down and buckle as you start the car, your mind running a thousand miles per hour.
You can't help the tears that cascade down your cheeks uncontrollably as you drive down the dark roads, the only light coming from street lamps. You pull into his drive way and quickly get out of the car to look at his bedroom window. You realized you had no idea what you were going to do, you had driven over in a rush. Swallowing, you walk up to his front door and open it.
Standing in the kitchen was his mother, she looked surprised to see you, but surprise quickly turned into worry as she rushed over to you. " Sweetie what's wrong!?", her concern was evident in her voice as she held your shoulders. " W-Where's Bokuto?", you manage to whimper out through your tears. She points upstairs towards where his room was and you run over to them and rush up towards his room, leaving her standing there worried and confused.
When you reach the door you take a deep breath before opening it quietly. You saw Bokuto and G/n sitting on his bed talking, they hadn't seen you yet. You stood there for a moment or two before you heard Bokuto's mother calling out " Y/n are you okay?" Hearing his mother Bokuto looked towards the door about to correct his mom when he saw you standing there; tears were cascading down your cheeks, your eyes were puffy and red and you were shaking.
As soon as he saw you Bokuto jumped off the bed and ran over to were you stood crying, holding you tightly in his arms. " My little owl, what's wrong!? You noticed the evident fury in G/n's face as she glared daggers at you. You buried you head in Bokuto's chest crying as you shakily pulled your phone from your pocket and clicked on your messages before handing the phone to Bokuto. You allowed him to read the text G/n had sent you and you quickly saw anger contort on his face. You were surprised considering you rarely ever saw Bokuto mad. He let go of you, whipping around to face G/n furiously. " You said I was sleeping with you", he yelled at her his voice irked. By now his mom had come up to his room, she gave you a hug as Bokuto popped off on G/n.
Needless to say, they aren't friends anymore and you couldn't  walk the day after.
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School had just gotten out and you were walking on the sidewalk towards your house when G/n, Akaashi's friend ran up beside you. You smile at her " oh hey G/n, how was school?", you ask politely. She just shrugs before you both go quiet, walking simultaneously together. You were comfortable with the silence, you didn't know G/n very well so you didn't know what to even talk about.
"Hey Y/n", she says suddenly, you turn to look at her, noticing she was staring at you. " I need to admit something", she mumbled abruptly looking at her shoes. You raised an eyebrow at her before you spoke " what is it?" She looks back up at you tears perked at the corners of her eyes, catching you off guard. " I'm so sorry!", she yells, bowing deeply before beginning to sob. You stare at her shocked before you notice people watching you both. You hold her shoulders, pushing her back into an upright position as you try to sooth her. Eventually she calms down, giving you an answer but not the one you were expecting.
"Me and Akaashi have been sleeping together behind your back."
Your memories are blurred after that, all you remember is her calling out to you as you ran from her, your back pack fumbling around on your back. You could feel your own tears fall on the ground your vision obscured as you run towards your house. People stared at you as you ran but you didn't care. The next thing you knew you were crumpled into a ball in your bed sobs echoing in the room.
You felt like you couldn't breathe as you only cried louder. You didn't even realize it when your phone buzzed violently beside, signaling you had a call. You just laid there crying, curled up in a surfeit of blankets and pillows.
You had no idea how long you'd been crying but it was pitch-black outside and in your room, it was dead silent. You hadn't moved in hours still curled if in a fettle position you stayed still so long your limbs hurt. You felt like your heart was going to combust at anytime. You couldn't help but ask why, why would he do this? You replayed every moment in your head, picking out every mistake you'd made and pondering if that was what made him cheat. You looked out your window, watching the wind brush past the tree leaves.
Finally, you grabbed your phone, sitting up in your bed. You unlock your phone to find fifteen missed calls from Akaashi, you forgot he had a game today. You click home to check your other notifications, only to be met with the picture of you and Akaashi you had set as your home screen. You can help the tear that comes rolling down your cheek, opening the flood gates to a second break down.
You were curled back up in your blankets for who knows how long when you feels strong arms wrap around your shaking figure. You breathe in sharply startled by the sudden contact. You look over your shoulder to see who it is when you see Akaashi's worried face staring back at you. You immediately pull away from him using the blankets to shield yourself from him. He was confused by your reaction but takes note to keep some distance.
" Y/n, what's wrong?", he asks concern caking his voice. " Oh I don't know why don't you try taking a guess", you spit back at him with a sharp tongue. He was taken aback by your response and the fury in your eyes. " G/n told me you two Turtle Doves are sleeping together". you say. You see his eyes widen in surprise before he looks at you sympathetically. " And what proof did she provide exactly?", he asks. You then realize she never did anything but say they slept together and how sudden her " confession" was. He opens his strong arms and looks at you expectantly with a warm smile. You can't help the relief that washes over you as you bury yourself in his arms.
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You sat on your bed, staring at the ceiling of your bedroom tears staining your cheeks. You tilted your head to the side, starring at the picture that sat on top of your bed side table; it was a framed picture of you and Kuroo on your Two Year Anniversary. Your heart crumbled at the sweet smile that was spread across his lips. It broke your heart knowing it was all a façade. You look down at the phone in your hands starring at the message you had gotten on your phone.
"Hey love, I just wanted to tell you, me and Kuroo just fucked. He said he was tired of sleeping with someone who looked like a human roach, ouch. If I were you I'd disappear and literally never come back. At least Kuroo finally came to his senses, you never deserved him in the first place bitch.
Below the message was an attachment, it was a picture of her laying on Kuroo's chest while he slept. The message was sent from his phone. You couldn't believe he would do this, just yesterday he was telling you how much he loved you, and now? You felt like your world was falling apart, I guess he really was to good to be true.
You never saw it coming, there weren't any obvious signs; there was never any warning. The perfect boyfriend you thought you had was really sleeping with a girl behind your back. You couldn't fathom the emotions that tore you heart open. You had decided you were going to break up with him the next time you see him. You knew there wouldn't be a way to fix this, he already moved on from you when he slept with G/n.
You just lay there crying alone in your room, your heart shattering.
The next day you barely manage to get out of bed, the energy drained from your body. Regardless you get up and get ready before realizing Kuroo would be here in twenty minutes to pick you up. You quickly grab your bag and rush down stairs, hoping Kuroo would be late and you could make it to school before he even got here.
You run outside and start jogging towards the school. By the time you get to the school you know Kuroo's probably already on his way and has realized you walked by yourself. You know you aren't ready to face him so you hurry to get to your next class.
The rest of the day is stressful, you're doing your best to avoid him. I'm just now realizing how much me and Kuroo are together during the day. You think to yourself as you walk down the hallway towards your last class. You know you're going to have to confront him eventually but right now you really just couldn't.
You walk into your last class and sit down, at this point you were completely drained of all of your energy. You were only half listening as the teachers lecture dragged on for what felt like hours but was really on one hour. As soon as the bell rang you were out of your seat and jogging out of the school gates. You knew Kuroo didn't have practice today and you were scared that if you took to long he might catch up to you before you can get home. You keep a fast jog as you continue heading home.
As soon as you get there you grab your keys and unlock the door, opening it and running inside. You hurry and run up to your bedroom closing the door behind you before diving into your bed. You knew Kuroo would be at your house any minute now, so you were trying to mentally prepare yourself to see him.
You were correct, because a minute or two later Kuroo opened your door. He immediately rushed to hug you but you pushed him away. When you turned around to look at him you were surprised to see him in tears as he broke down crying. You felt your heart twist as he reached his shaky arms arms out, silently begging to hold you. You tried to maintain your composure but seeing him like that was too much for you and you collapsed into his arms.
As soon as he was hugging you he started to try to explain through his tears. " I-I never slept w-with G/n I-I swear baby please don't leave me!" Hearing him pleading broke your heart and you looked up at his face. " T-Then why was she on your chest in that picture?", you ask. " I-I fell asleep while we were studying, I didn't even know she said any of that till' this morning", he explained frantically. '' Kuroo, tell me you love me, please. I need to know that I'm enough for you." You barely managed to get the words out, your voice quiet and weak. '' Y/n, I love you more than anything, I will never get tired of you and there will never be anyone better", he said staring into your eyes hopefully.
That was all you needed to hear, you buried yourself in his arms, hoping he would never let go.
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ironwhumper359 · 3 days ago
Hi Taylor!! I’m a big fan of your new blog!! I’ve loved reading your works for long time so I’m excited to see what you’ll do on here! If you are accepting prompts, can I toss this one at you? In reference to your fantasy mix and match post: mix the fae and/or the only one without magic in an urban fantasy setting
💜💜 ~~riley
Rileeey, hi! When I saw your url show up in my notes on here I was like :0 I recognize them! I'm glad you're enjoying the new stuff, I'm enjoying writing it! This is urban fantasy in the loosest sense, in that it’s a fantasy au but takes place in modern time with technology and stuff, but it mostly turned into lab whump!
CW: kidnapping, unethical experiments, descriptions of burns/burning, dehumanization and using ‘it’ to refer to a Person.
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"Now, if you'll come this way, I can show you our most recently acquired specimen."
Dr. Hess led the Director through the halls of the laboratory quickly, heart racing in their chest. It wasn't every day that The Director came to visit in person, and Hess thanked their lucky stars it was the day they were set to begin a new round of tests. The Director liked to be impressed when they came to visit, and save for the new arrival, there hadn't been any breakthroughs lately that were sure to be particularly notable.
"What sort of specimen is it?" The Director asked, somehow managing to sound both interested in and bored by the exchange.
"Nothing like I've ever seen," Hess said truthfully. "A hybrid; the product of a union between a fae and a human practitioner."
The Director raised an eyebrow.
"That sounds like a powerful combination...any difficulty restraining it?"
"That's the thing," said Hess, shaking their head. "It hasn’t displayed any traits of the fae or the practitioner. Aside from a few physical characteristics that point to fairy ancestry, you could be forgiven for assuming it was completely human. Right through here," they added, opening a door and stepping aside to let The Director enter. 
The room had been prepared especially for today’s experiments by one of Dr. Hess’s assistants. Video cameras were set up around the room, and a table of various instruments sat waiting to be used. And in the center of the room, strapped down to an examination table, was the subject of the day. 
It lifted its head when Hess and The Director came into the room, its eyes blown wide with fear. 
“Please,” it said immediately. “Please, just let me go.” 
Hess ignored it, and instead pulled their voice recorder from their pocket.
"This is Doctor Riley Hess, recording experiments on subject 32-B in Room-S. Observing with me today is The Agency Director. Subject 32-B is the resulting hybrid offspring from a powerful practitioner and a fae's carnal relationship." 
"Please," the subject whispered, tugging weakly at its bonds. "Please, my moms have to be so worried, just let me go..." 
"Despite subject 32-B's parentage, they appear to display no magical aptitude whatsoever. Today's experiments will focus on the effects of anti-fae charms on their physiology. I hypothesize that since they show no aptitude towards magic or spell casting that they will also be unaffected by items and charms that are known to normally harm or repel the fae.
"I, I won't tell anyone," it begged. "I promise, please, just-" 
"Cease speaking, or you will be forcefully stopped,” interrupted The Director coolly. 
The subject clamped its mouth shut, and Hess picked up a fire poker, one of the many instruments that had been set out for them on the table. 
“Test one,” they said aloud. “Subject’s reaction to pure iron.”  
Hess pressed the poker against the hybrid’s bare arm. It’s eyes widened, but it did not flinch away or let out a cry of pain. 
“Subject seems to have no adverse reaction...to…” Hess paused as they lifted the poker away. 
The spot of skin that had been beneath the poker was not burned, as they’d seen happen with pure-blooded fae before, but it was not unblemished. A faint, red tinge was left behind, already beginning to fade . Hess met the subject’s eyes, and it swallowed nervously. 
“Describe the sensation of touching the iron,” Hess demanded, pressing the poker back onto its arm. 
“I...it’s warm,” the subject said. 
“How warm?” Hess pressed. “Be specific.” 
“It’s like...it’s like putting your hands under a faucet while the water gets hotter.”  
“Fascinating,” The Director murmured, and Hess felt a wave of relief. The Director was happy; work could continue for another month or two unhindered. 
The subject twitched, and when Hess looked back down its face had contorted into a wince. 
“It’s getting hotter,” it said, frowning up at them. “It…” they hissed, squeezing their eyes shut. “It hurts, please take it off now,” they said through gritted teeth. 
Dr. Hess glanced at The Director, who shook their head; the poker stayed where it was.
“Please, it hurts, make it-” the subject cut off with a gasp of pain, and it tried to jerk away, but the restraints held fast. “Please!” it cried tears springing to its eyes. “It hurts, please!” 
Dr. Hess didn’t move, just pressed the poker harder against the subject’s arm. It was screaming now, tears pouring down its face as it thrashed against the table. The acrid smell of seared flesh filled Hess’s nostrils, and they wrinkled their nose. When they were done here, they could do with a round of aromatherapy. 
Hess stood silently, the subject’s shrieks of pain echoing off the walls in a cacophony of misery, until at last, The Director made a cutting motion across their throat. Hess pulled the poker back, revealing a sickening, twisted mass of black and blistered skin. The subject sobbed, its whole body shaking as The Director leaned in closer to examine the burn. 
“Subject has sustained significant third degree burns after prolonged exposure to the iron,” Hess said into their recorder. “The longer the subject experienced contact with the metal, the more intense the burn became. Magical healing will not be administered, in order to compare natural healing times with a pure-blooded fae’s.” 
“P-please,” the subject choked weakly, but Hess continued to ignore it. 
The Director was intrigued now, and Hess needed to ride that wave for as long as they could. 
“Second test,” they said, picking up a new tool, and the subject sobbed again. “Subject’s reaction to salt.”
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darrengrave · 3 days ago
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God I picked up Pedro And Me and finished it in two sittings. I think it's the only comic I've read so far that's ever made me cry. Definitely the only lgbt media/history I've consumed like a starving man this month, a lot of which isn't light material either.
I already knew the general story from a documentary I found years ago about him, but I originally learned about Pedro Zamora in the weirdest way; I got super into a comic that Judd had written, found him on twitter and realized the guy himself is super interesting and not at all what I assumed he'd be like, and pretty quickly found out about Real World and Pedro because he still talks regularly about them.
Tbh....a LOT of what I've learned about the aids epidemic has been entirely coincidentally like that through pieces of art and media, often several degrees and references removed, with the exception of How To Survive A Plague, which was mentioned in one of my college courses but I had to go dig it up myself. I barely had any idea what aids and the aids epidemic was for years after I got into Rent.
No one I know in the real world ever talked about it, unless you count abstinence-focused sex educators who did the Mean Girls "if you have sex you'll get chlamydia and die," and some floating zeitgeist of awe and relief when Pep/Prep was put out in the market. I had to intentionally seek out most of the social and historical information. If I count the news, only very recently has the epidemic come up, to my attention, in regards to covid because Dr Fauci was so involved in the research (and I've listened to npr almost every day for the past few years).
To this day, of the people around me who lived and remember it, gen x and older, only my mom has ever really talked about the aids epidemic to me, in passing, because of her work as an ob/gyn RN and loosely following news in research developments, because she eventually told me about my great aunt who was trans, who lived for many decades after testing positive for hiv.
So I'm REALLY happy, and grateful, that there's an upcoming documentary coming out soon that's focused specifically on how heftily Pedro's life and work affected lgbt activism and sex education.
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huntersandslayers · 4 days ago
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then
It was nearly 1am when Bobby got the call. He'd never in his life heard his niece sound so frantic. She was crying, that much was obvious. She was sobbing so hard that Bobby could barely understand what she was saying.
"Ivy?" He asked into the receiver, trying to quell that heavy feeling that was sinking down to the pit of his stomach though he knew it was her. "Ivy darlin', what is it?"
Once the sobbing died down to sniffles and soft gasps, she voice whispered into the phone, "It's mom."
Bobby's brow furrowed. He hadn't spoken to his sister in years. He'd kept in contact with Ivy over the years, she was his only niece, after all, but not her mother. When Liv left the hunting life, she'd cut all ties with Bobby. Ivy never did though, never would. Even if she'd tried, he'd never let it happen.
"What about her?" He asked, but after spending a lifetime as a hunter, Bobby had learned to expect the worst.
"She's dead."
Her voice broke as she said it and that sound was enough to make Bobby's heart break where the news didn't. Liv had been a hunter for most of her life, didn't quit until Ivy's father had died. He'd expected the worst.
"How?" Bobby asked. Maybe an insensitive question, but in his line of work he'd learned quickly when to set pleasantries aside. He was upset that his sister was dead, that much was true, but he couldn't grieve yet; not until Ivy was safe.
"Vampires I think. The police said it was a bear attack but..." she sobbed again.
"Good God," he muttered, closing his eyes at the thought of Ivy stumbling home only to find her mother's body cold and bloody. "Are you alone?"
"Yes, but I don't wanna be. Uncle Bobby, can you come and get me? You're-" she sucked in a deep breath, and Bobby could tell she was fighting back another sob. "You're all I have."
Bobby sighed. As much as he wanted to go to her, it'd be days before he reached her.
"Sweetheart, even if I leave right now, I won't be there any time soon." Ivy let out a small noise that sounded a lot like a whimper. "Look, I know a couple'a of hunters in the area. I know you don't know them, but I trust them with my life. They're as close to me as if they were blood. I can send them to pick you up."
"Okay, yeah," she said, quietly, mulling it over before asking, "What are their names?"
"John and Dean Winchester."
John and Dean stopped by Bobby's after every hunt. John had insisted they did it just to see if Bobby had a case, or any new leads on the demon that killed Mary, but he and Dean both knew it was because they wanted to check on Ivy.
At first, she was silent. Mourning. That was something the Winchesters understood better than most. In time, she became more comfortable, opened up, considered them her family just as much as Bobby. She and Dean traded stories of growing up hunting. She told them about her life and her family, they told her about Sam and Mary.
When they heard Bobby and Ivy shouting from inside the house, they'd have to intervene. They didn't fight often, but when they did it brought to light things they usually left unsaid. Bobby didn't know how to be a parent, Ivy didn't have the heart to tell him that she was twenty years old (and she'd had her had independence long before that). She didn't need a parent.
Neither of them were wrong, but no one was quite right and somehow that made it so much worse.
"I'm not letting you go off on your own!" They heard Bobby yell.
"So I'll find a partner!" Ivy screamed back.
"That's not the point, Ivy Jade! You don't have any experience hunting without your parents. It's not safe!"
"Bobby," she sighed, a hint of resignation in her voice, ready to give up. "How can I get experience if you won't even let me try?"
"Everything okay in here?" Dean asked as he and John made their way inside. His brow cocked as he glanced between the two of them.
Ivy's eyes lit up at the sight of the other hunters. Bobby could practically see the lightbulb going off.
"I can go with them!" Ivy said, but Dean must've predicted the statement as well because at the same time, he said, "Ivy, you can't hunt with us.”
Her face fell.
"Why not?"
Was it because she was a girl? Because she wasn't as experienced as them? Did they see her as a liability or were they just scared, like Bobby was? No matter the reason, she was already formulating an argument against it in her mind.
"Because you're...you!" He threw his hands up and ran them through his hair.
"What Dean means," John cut in, "is that you're Bobby's niece, so you're family by default. We don't want you getting hurt."
"And if I'm with you guys, I won't be," she all but pleaded. "You won't let anything happen to me. Besides, it's not like I'm completely new to this. I'm good with a gun, I know all about the salt and silver bullets. I help Bobby research all the time so I have the monster knowledge. It doesn't have to be forever, I'm just asking for a chance. Please John, please Uncle Bobby?"
The older hunter rolled his eyes and huffed out, "Fine."
A year went by and Ivy was still hunting with John and Dean, for the most part. The two of them, along with her Uncle Bobby, were well and truly family. And then John stopped checking in with them, stopped responding to Dean's calls, stopped coming by Bobby's after a hunt.
He was family, and he was missing. So Dean decided there was only one option.
It was time to get Sam.
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honeyedtulips · 5 days ago
idk if you’re still taking requests or not but if you are could you do a nat fic based off the song go ahead by rilo kiley 🥺
go ahead
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*image above is not mine ♡*
pairing: natasha romanoff x reader ♡
genre: fluffy blurb ♡
summary: natasha just wants you to be happy ♡
word count: 777 ♡
a/n: thank you so much for the request, angel! ♡ here is the song if you'd like to listen while you read! have a great day and keep smiling my angel! ♡
🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷
the words left natasha's mouth and kissed the air for the umpteenth time that afternoon.
"are you sure?"
you looked at natasha, nodding once again as you smoothed out your clothes. "i'm fine, natasha. i'm sure. you usually never ask after me like this."
the truth of the matter was that you were going to dinner with an ex-friend, someone who had treated you very poorly in the past and even left you with a few scars. natasha didn't trust you going to meet this person at all, especially after all they'd done. sometimes she just didn't understand your way of giving people second chances. you hadn't been dating her for very long, only about three months, but natasha was still feeling things she had never felt in her life.
like this.
wanting to shield you from anything and everything because she loved you so much. she was used to being the mama bear of the avengers, the one who would look after everyone and make sure they were okay. however, with you, she could tell this was something different. this wasn't just her being her usual caring and selfless self and looking after people. this was her wanting to protect you because she didn't know what she would do if she lost you.
and that scared her.
"i'll be gone for about two hours," you said, picking a pair of shoes from the closet. natasha folllowed you, right on your heels like a toddler trailing behind their mom.
"two hours too long," natasha grumbled, quietly. you heard her anyway.
"i can handle myself," you assured her, sliding your shoes on. "we'll be in a public place and i'm driving myself back. there's nothing that can go wrong."
"go ahead," natasha said, crossing her arms. she expelled a deep breath, resting her back against the wall. "you're a grown woman and you can do what you want. i want you to be happy."
"thank you," you whispered, kissing natasha's cheek. "i love you, talia."
"i love you too," she whispered, leaning to kiss your lips. you hummed against your mouth, noting the way her lips were grabbing yours so tightly. it was like she didn't want to let you. like she was worried about something.
natasha was never worried. why would she be now?
"i'm going to go so that i'm not late, love," you said, pecking her lips one last time. natasha smiled, but it didn't reach her eyes like it always did. you strode out of the room, natasha once again on your heels like a cute little cat.
"i'll see you later, tony," you bid the philanthropic genius, who was sitting on the couch, goodbye. "don't wait up for me."
"alright, kid," tony said, raising a hand and waving gently. "stay safe and make sure to call us if you need anyth--"
"please don't go!"
two equally shocked gasps filled the room. you and tony both turned to natasha, mouths hanging open. natasha was standing still, her arms crossed, looking like she hadn't said anything. however, you knew she had. you had never heard her voice sound so strained with emotion in your life.
"w-why?" you said, shakily. "what's the matter? you've been acting a little off all day."
"baby, she doesn't deserve you," natasha said, firmly. "you've given her so many chances and the only reason she's coming around now and actually responding to you is because you're a superhero. you're an avenger. she didn't care before all this happened and now she's just trying to use you! i can't see you come home with tears in your eyes because she hurt you again. i can't do it! i hate seeing you cry."
you were speechless. natasha wasn't a robot, but she was very guarded with her emotions. you had never seen her spill out so much at once. you had indeed told natasha all about how your ex-friend had never responded to your many attempts to rekindle your friendship. you hadn't thought that she was really listening. she had actually remembered everything.
"please don't go," natasha whispered again. "stay with me. someone who appreciates you and loves you and will not let you down."
you smiled, nearly feeling tears build in yours. "yes, natasha. i'll stay."
natasha opened her arms, grinning when you fell against her chest. she loved holding you. she could do it forever. she was probably selfish in her thought that she wanted to be the only one to do it. she just wanted you to be happy, full of joy like always. she never wanted anyone to hurt you. natasha would fight the damn moon if it threatened you. she knew she would.
love,
honeyedtulips x♡🌷
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noyasboxdye · 6 days ago
Text
Pretty boy - Sugawara Koushi
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Notes: It's his birthday today so take these hcs. I'll make an actual fic for him later on when I'm finished writing my other fics and shit.
pairing: Sugawara Koushi x gn! Reader
WARNINGS: age gape (he's 18 turning 19 and you're 19 turning 20),
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How y'all met:
Your mom asked you to pick up your brother Daichi and his friend (Suga) from their game since it was late.
So the game ends and you're waiting for Daichi and Suga to finish changing and getting the rest of their things so y'all can leave.
Daichi takes forever to change so Suga ended up being finished first.
Daichi just told him to go outside where you were by the door so he did.
At first, you were confused as to why he was standing so fucking close to you.
Then he saw how you were side-eyeing him and how you would scoot away every time he got the slightest bit closer so he introduced himself.
He'd heard (and seen) a lot of you. You were basically Daichi aimed to be for the majority of his life.
So he told you he was Daichi's best friend- the one you were supposed to be picking up along with Daichi.
Everything was pretty much fine after that.
It became a regular thing for him to start up conversations when he bumped into you.
And after a while of those you both had created your own bond.
Catching feelings:
He hated that he liked you, it was humiliating to him. Especially since he was about 95% sure you didn't like him.
He felt even worse since you were his best friends brother. He didn't know how Daichi would take it but something was telling him it wouldn't be well.
Especially since the last time, Daichi talked about you was the first time Suga had actually seen Daichi mad.
All he said was "jeez you're brothers fucking hot," and he was fuming about it.
So imagine how he would act if he just said "Hey yeah I like your brother," that would not go smoothly at all
So he kept it to himself. He decided that keeping it to himself and waiting for the crush to go away was the best option.
The crush "went away" after a few weeks and he was safe to start hanging out with you and Daichi again.
The feelings came back after y'all hanging out for a few hours though.
Which resulted in him telling Daichi, he didn't really care as much as Suga thought he would.
Confessing:
He didn't plan on confessing. It was extremely accidental
He had come over and you were supposed to be at university and he saw that your parents weren't home so he had just started yelling to "Daichi" about how much he liked you.
"Daichiii he called me fucking gorgeous!! Can you believe it! I'm gonna kiss him one day I swear, he's so fucking cute oh my fucking gods he's so perfect ugh!!"
"Daichi? Where the hell are you?!" he says storming around the house "DAICHI!" he roams the entire house before storming up the stairs.
Bursting into his friend's room and seeing you on your little brothers' bed.
He just stood there. At first, he thought he was dreaming but then he remembered that he slipped on ice before entering the house.
So he just stood there using the if I don't move and I can't see him then he won't see me tactic.
He started crying after you said his name though. Like full on sobbing because not only was he embarrassed as fuck but he also had just unintentionally confessed his undying love for you at the same time.
So he was sobbing and you comforted him. He stopped after a few minutes and you both talked everything out.
You both decided that you didn't want to start dating right away.
First date:
After a month or two you both ended up going on your first date.
He was really nervous.
He didn't know how to act on the date so he was mad awkward in the beginning.
But he ended up treating it like it was just a regular hang out in the end but with holding hands and stuff like that.
He had a lot of fun. Y'all went to the movies and to the arcade.
Y'all went to your house after. He had gotten hungry again so you made him dinner.
Then you both watched a few more movies while cuddling.
By the time you were both finished, it was close to 3am and you were both exhausted so he just stayed the night.
He slept in Daichi's room so he could tell him about the date and stuff.
Then they stayed up 'till 5 talking about the date and other random shit.
Daichi threatened you both that if you hurt one another he would fight y'all.
Pre-time skip:
When you would be home on your vacation he would tell you about high school drama.
He used to make you watch bob ross with him.
Your house was basically his second home so he would come over whenever he wanted.
Late-night baking was damn near an everyday thing for the both of you. Especially on weekends, y'all would be baking like y'all gon die if y'all don't bake.
Late-night drives were a huge thing in both your platonic and romantic relationship. Especially when he got his drivers license he would just randomly pick you up since university was only a little under an hour away.
He plays with your fingers a lot. He does it even more if you wear rings.
He lays directly on top of you like a starfish but on top of you.
He'll do random trust falls at the worst times. Like you'll be in the middle of cleaning or something and he'll just fall back and almost hit his head on your dresser.
I think he has cousins that he's really close to like siblings type close. And I think that they would love you so much.
Post-time skip:
The kids love you at his job. He'll bring you in for career day and the kids will just be all over you.
If/when y'all get kids he's like the best dad ever. He's so sweet and kind and lovely.
He's the type of parent that gave their kid all the good snacks and everyone wanted to trade with them at lunch.
When he brings the kid to his school the teachers are in love they're just completely showering them in compliments.
He visits you a lot at work.
He also likes giving you massages.
Valentines and Christmas are his favourite holidays to spend with you.
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Anime ask: Violet evergarden
haven’t heard of it | absolutely never watching | might watch | currently watching | dropped | hated it | meh | a positive okay | liked it | liked it a lot! | loved it | a favorite
don’t watch period | drop if not interested within 2-3 episodes | give it a go, could be your thing | 5 star recommendation 
fav characters: Clara (the dying mom), Claudia, and Amy Bartlett/Isabella York (who is one of my anime doppelgangers). Also Gilbert, but that has more to do with him being my type than anything.
least fav characters: Dietfried. The man has some sketchy morals.
fav relationship: Violet and Leon, because they worked so well together and they really did have amazing chemistry. But also Violet and Gilbert because they look too much like another pairing I love, and if that pairing can't be happy, then they better be!
fav moment: when Violet walks across the pond as if she's flying for one brief moment. I cried some big, happy tears. I also love when the prince finally asks the princess to marry him. It was cute.
headcanons/theories: I don't think it's so much of a headcanon as just picking up some crumbs, but I'm pretty sure Claudia and Cattleya are one of those on again-off again couples, but not because of messy fights, they just get really wrapped up in everything else and forget to actually date. Also Benedict would gladly dress up as a dandy, or maybe even in drag, given half a chance. Have you seen his shoes?
unpopular opinion: at some level, I wish Gilbert really was gone. I know what I just wrote, but watching Violet bloom (pun not intended) like that was so beautiful, and she has so many other options that don't come with history/baggage and a large age gap.
how’d you find it: pinterest. I was looking at Diarmuid/Artoria ship art on pinterest (not to repost or anything, just to look at), and a bunch of Violet Evergarden art was mixed in, a couple of them in wedding settings. It actually took me a good second to realize it was a different show! Anyway, the art (and a co-worker) said there was a good possibility that this Saber look-alike and Lancer look-alike would wind up together and I had to get some ship satisfaction somewhere.
random thoughts: I loved it, personally, but I know it's not going to be everyone's cup of tea. My sister loves shows that make her cry but hates anime, and I thought she'd actually enjoy it because it's a good story and doesn't do "anime things". She did, kinda. She did enjoy parts of it and liked that it didn't "behave like an anime" but couldn't get past some of the episode's storylines and wound up dropping it. Also, cosplay.tory and lunatiquerose on Instagram have some fantastic Violet cosplays.
(And you really should watch Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress. Yes, I read those tags.)
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calgarycanuck · 6 days ago
Text
To Capture a Moment (M. Barzal)
Author's Note: This was a prompt from the ever amazing @thatflyersfan, so thank you for this! The prompt was "taking polaroid photos", and I'm a sucker for childhood friends to lovers, so this is the product! I hope you enjoy it, and please let me know what you thought either in an ask or in the tags. Enjoy!
Author's Note 2: If you reblog this, I'll send you an ask thank you and mention you in an appreciation post (if I do this!)
Warnings: Mentions of sex, one or two slightly NSFW scenes (but VERY mild), a mention of a breeding kink (literally mentioned in one sentence), marriage, pregnancy, Santa, but the rest is just fluff!
Word Count: 9.3k
Enjoy reading!
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If anyone were to walk down the hall of your and Mathew’s hallway of your new home, they would see it lined with polaroid pictures. These polaroid pictures show the relationship between you and Mathew from the young age of five to now sharing your new home, married, and with two children. A hallway that was the epitome of a picture is worth a thousand words.
Age 5
“Mathew, please, just stand next to your sister, please,” Mathew’s mother requests. Her tone was close to begging. Your parents had to deal with a family emergency, so they sent you to the Barzal’s to be babysat. Mathew’s mother decided to take Liana, Mathew, and you to Lafarge Park.
Currently, you are sitting on a bench giggling as you watch Mathew sigh as he gets up from where he was sitting next to you. He groaned as he got up and stood next to his sister. He wraps his arm around her but doesn’t smile. At the touch, Liana screams and begins to cry. It was close to her nap time, and the smallest things were making her fussy. Mathew’s mother sighs and goes to pick up her daughter to try to comfort her. Mathew grins widely and sits back down next to you.
“I don’t like taking photos,” Mathew says bluntly. You look at him but are squinting as the sun is in your eyes.
“You like taking photos in your hockey gear,” you point out.
“Yeah, but I don’t like taking photos,” Mathew emphasizes the word photos as if that were enough explanation. It wasn’t. “You know what I mean?”
“No.”
Mathew gives you a curious look, and you want to point out his hair is getting long, but his mother calls Mathew back over to take the photo.
“But I don’t want to,” Mathew whines.
“Mathew,” she says in a mother’s knowing tone, and Mathew gets up exasperatedly. He stands next to his sister. He opts not to put his arm around her this time and looks at you before the picture is taken. You smile widely at him and wave. Mathew wears a giant grin on his face in response. His mother notices Mathew’s wide smile; she smiles when she realizes you are the reason for Mathew’s smile. She takes the photo quickly knowing that Mathew’s smile is short-lived.
“Yn, come take a photo with Mathew,” she calls to you. You skip over to Mathew. Surprisingly, Mathew doesn’t complain about taking another photo. Then again, though, Mathew never complained about anything when it came to you.
“Mom, can we do the fancy camera? The one that prints out right away?” Mathew asks.
“Sure, sweetheart,” Mathew’s mother says and pulls the polaroid camera out of her purse. Mathew insisted she bring it today, and she guesses this was why. “Smile,” she directs and snaps the photo. Once the photo is printed, she places it in her wallet.
“I’m going to hang it on my wall,” Mathew tells you after the photo is taken and that he did. After he got home later that day from dropping you off at home, Mathew begged his mother for the photo. He tapped it on his wall next to his hockey posters because to him, you were just as important. As Mathew moved around for hockey, that photo always followed him around with a few others. It sat in his wallet, and when he felt homesick, he’d look at it with a wide smile. Now, it sits amongst the many polaroid pictures on your wall.
Age 6
Whenever you and Mathew were together, Mathew’s mother always brought the polaroid camera with her. Mathew always loved taking those kinds of photos with you. In the past year, you and Mathew have taken countless polaroid pictures that lined both your walls and his.
Today, you were sitting in a local hockey arena watching Mathew play. Well, you were watching the empty ice getting ready for warmups. You were wearing one of Mathew’s sweatshirts as you shivered in the cold of the arena. You were clutching the mug of hot chocolate Mathew’s mother gave you in hopes of warming up. When Mathew got on the ice for warmups, you smiled widely. Even at such a young age, seeing Mathew would bring a smile to your face and make you all warm and fuzzy.
You walked towards the glass to get a better look at your best friend. When he skated by you, you tapped softly on the glass to alert him you were there. When Mathew turns to see you, he gives you a giant smile from beneath his helmet. He takes a few moments to stop and looks at you for a moment. Mathew’s mother takes the polaroid camera out of her bag and quickly snaps a photo of the two of you in this exact position.
That photo remains on the Barzal mantle till this day.
Age 7
The annual Christmas Fair was back in Vancouver again, and Mathew was super excited to see Santa this year. He figured that his dream of playing in the NHL would come true as long as he asked Santa for it for every year of his life until it happened.
You were both standing in line waiting to go inside the Fair. Despite being bundled up in your warmest sweater, jacket, gloves, and hat, you were still cold. One would think that after spending copious amounts of time in a hockey arena watching Mathew play, you would be used to the cold, but you weren’t.
“Are you cold, Yn?” Mathew asks concerned. He can see you shivering but trying to hide it.
“Just a little,” you lie.
“Oh, here,” Mathew says and walks over to you. He wraps his arms around you in a giant hug to keep you warm. You feel your cheeks warm at the touch, but you, at the age of seven, think it’s just you already warming up. You rest your head on Mathew and wrap your arms around him. “No, keep them in your pockets, so you can keep warm.”
“What about your hands?” you worry.
“Don’t worry, I play hockey; I’m used to the cold,” he reassures you and flashes you his signature grin. Mathew’s mother wasn’t able to capture a polaroid photo of this event, but your mother was able to pull out her phone to capture the moment. Even at the age of 7, Mathew would do absolutely anything for you.
Eventually, yours and Mathew’s families end up inside the fair and in line to see Santa. Now, a hot chocolate in your belly and a warm meal, you were slowly warming up and didn’t need Mathew to hold you anymore. He was bouncing with excitement as you both got closer and closer to the front of the line.
When it was Mathew’s turn to see Santa, he walked up, and you waited in line for your turn. A sudden gust of wind made a giant shiver rack through your body, and Mathew noticed from where he was sitting on Santa’s lap.
“Is everything alright, son?” he asks.
Mathew looks up at him with worry. “My best friend is cold, and I don’t like it when Yn’s cold. I’d rather be cold instead of Yn.”
“Well, maybe we should finish here quickly, so you can go and make Yn warm. What do you say?”
Mathew nods enthusiastically. “Yeah, I like that.”
“So, what do you want, son?”
Mathew looks into Santa’s blue eyes and is about to ask for an NHL career. He then looks at you and sees you shivering. Mathew’s heart stops and realizes that it doesn’t matter if he got the NHL career if you were cold. You couldn’t be cold because if you were cold then you’d get sick. If you were sick, then who would be Mathew’s best friend? “I want Yn not to be sick.”
“Oh, is that so?”
“Yeah,” Mathew nods. “I can’t have my best friend sick because then who would be my best friend.”
“Well, then, I’ll be sure to grant your wish, son,” Santa says. In all his years of doing this, he’s never heard this one before. “Keep Yn close, okay? Yn seems like a special one.”
Mathew always kept those words close to his heart whether or not he remembered who told them to him.
Age 10
For the past ten years, you and Mathew have taken a photo on yours and his birthdays. It was always you on the right and him on the left. Whoever’s birthday it was would be holding the gift the other got them. It was tradition.
It was your tenth birthday, and the day was coming to a close. All your friends had left, and it was just your family and Mathew’s family who were still there. You were on your third piece of cake, and Mathew was trying to convince you to give him a bite, too. He looked nervous.
“Are you okay, Mathew?” you ask after finishing your final piece and giving Mathew a piece.
“I have a gift for you,” he mumbles.
“Oh!” you thought you opened all your gifts.
“Can I give it to you?”
“Yeah, sure,” you answer. Mathew gets up to grab the gift, and you throw out the plate in the trash.
“This is for you,” he says and passes the bag to you. You gently take the wrapping paper out of the bag; you set it to the side and pull out the box. You gasp when you see it. You smile and jump up to give Mathew a hug. You wrap your arms around him.
“Thank you for the polaroid camera, Mathew,” you whisper as he wraps his arms around you.
“Of course, Yn. It’s time you had your own, so we could take all the photos we want.”
“Come on, let’s go and get my mom to take a photo of us.”
You and Mathew go and find his mother. When you find her, you take the camera out of the box and hand it to her. You and Mathew position yourself against the wall, and he wraps an arm around you. You hold the box in your hand and smile. Mathew, though, isn’t looking at the camera; he’s looking at you with the widest grin on his face. All that mattered in his life was making you smile. If he made you smile, then Mathew always wore the happiest grin on his face.
Age 13 - Stargazing
Your parents had to go out of town to take care of your grandparents, so you were staying with the Barzals for the weekend. You were both currently laying on in his backyard on a blanket staring at the stars. It was your favorite pastime — laying together looking up at the stars.
You were both lying next to each other, shoulder to shoulder. You turned your head and looked at Mathew, but you looked to find him already looking at you. “It’s pretty,” he says.
“It is,” you agree and turn back to the sky. Mathew, though, remained looking at you.
“Do you have your polaroid camera?”
“Yeah, right next to me. Why?”
“Let’s take a photo,” Mathew answers. He sits up and leans over around you to grab the camera. In the process, Mathew’s arm brushes your stomach briefly, and his face grows warm at the touch. Somewhere, between the ages of 12 and 13, Mathew has developed a crush on you. He didn’t tell anyone because why would he? At this age, Mathew would get teased for having a crush on you, so he didn’t tell anyone. Besides, he wasn’t even sure if you liked him, too.
Mathew lies back down next to you and rests his head close to yours. He lifts his arm up and positions it so that the both of you are in frame. You both smile, and Mathew presses down the button.
The photo comes out, and Mathew’s heart warms at the picture reflected.
“Can I have my camera? I want a picture of the stars, too,” you ask. He hands you the camera, and his hand brushes yours briefly. You thought nothing of it, but Mathew’s heart was racing. “Thanks.”
“You’re welcome,” Mathew whispers, and you give him a curious look. “What?”
“Nothing, you’re just acting weird.”
“I’m not acting weird; you’re acting weird.”
You laugh. “Whatever. Doesn’t matter.”
Mathew watched you take a photo of the stars in the sky, and he came to one realization: he never wanted to live in a world where you weren’t there.
Age 16
It was Mathew’s 16th birthday, and you were sitting on a garden chair watching him have the time of his life with his friends. As you both started high school, you both found yourself in different friend groups. That wasn’t to say, however, that your friendship wavered. It just meant that you both weren’t next to each other all the time. You were okay with that new realization. You were okay with it because that meant that you could work through your new found feelings for Mathew. You didn’t know when it happened. One day, you were eating lunch with Mathew, your friend, with normal hair and normal eyes and a normal laugh. You were eating lunch with Mathew, your friend, who was normal looking. The next day, though, you were eating lunch with Mathew who had the most beautiful smile, the most beautiful eyes, the softest hair, and was the most beautiful man you’ve ever seen. He was no longer the boy you grew up with. He was Mathew, and you finally understood what all the girls were talking about. It was difficult for you to breathe around him because you wanted him to hold your hand and love you. It went from Mathew being your best friend to you loving Mathew as more than a friend, and it scared you.
You were sitting there smiling when Mathew caught your gaze. He looked you in the eyes and waved. You waved back and warmth filled you. He excused himself from his friends and walked over to where you were sitting.
“You brought the polaroid camera,” he says as he brings a chair next to yours and sits.
“Well, we’ve taken the same photo for the past sixteen years. We might as well continue tradition, right?” you tease.
“Yeah, tradition,” he whispers giving you a look that makes you melt. He leans his head close to yours with a soft smile. “Can I tell you something?”
You nod trying to suppress a shiver.
“Somewhere in the past —”
“Yn, can I borrow your polaroid camera, please?” Liana interrupts as if knowing what Mathew was going to say. You tell her yes, and you see Mathew, out of the corner of your eye, blush and shake his head while also glaring at his sister.
“Um, you were saying?” you ask hoping to rebuild the bubble you both just had.
Mathew looks at you trying to figure out if he wants to continue. “Um, somewhere in the past five or six years or so, I screwed up.”
“Screwed up, how?”
“I fell for you,” Mathew whispers, a blush overcoming his face.
“But, you’re sitting right now,” you say oblivious.
Mathew laughs his laugh, and you melt into a puddle. “I fell in love with you, Yn.”
“Oh. Oh!”
Mathew laughs again with a bashful smile settling on his features. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to fall in love with you.”
“Are you still sorry if I were to tell you I fell in love with you, too?”
“I wouldn’t be sorry, then,” Mathew says and leans his head close to yours. He takes one hand and cups your cheek. He rubs soft patterns on your cheek as he begins to tilt his head. “Can I kiss you?”
“Please,” you beg. Mathew places his lips on yours softly as your hands go to his neck and begin to softly playing the hair at its base. It was a kiss full of fireworks. All the noises around you mellowed out. All the emotions you feel for your best friend come out in one kiss as it deepens. You both pull away when a flash from a camera startles you both.
“Sorry, I just had to,” Liana apologizes, handing you back your camera with the photo printing.
“You didn’t have to,” Mathew grumbles angrily.
“It’s okay. Don’t worry,” you tell her, taking back the camera. You look at the photo and smile. Mathew was gently holding your face as he kissed you softly. You both had wide smiles on your faces as you kissed each other. “See, we have a photo of our first kiss.”
Mathew kisses your forehead softly. “Here’s to many more.”
Age 18
“Yn, come outside, please?” Mathew begs with a pout on his face. “I want to take a photo with you.”
“But we’ve been taking photos all day,” you groan. It was reaching 9pm at night, and the joint graduation party for you and Mathew was over. You were both lounging on your bed reminiscing about the future. Mathew was going to have this amazing NHL career, and you were going to college.
“I just want this one,” Mathew says as he gets off the bed. He looks at the many polaroid photos sitting on your wall of both your family, friends, and him. He was in most of them. He picks up your polaroid camera and grins at you. “Please? My parents bought sparklers, and we haven’t used them yet.”
You get up because Mathew could get you to do anything as long as he gave you that grin. “Okay.”
Mathew takes your hand and leads you both downstairs. “Liana, can you take a photo of us?”
“More photos?” she asks. Liana was just as fed up with taking pictures, too. “Yn, how do you put up with him?”
You shrug with a smile. “It’s easy when I love him.”
“I love him, too, but I can’t put up with him,” Liana mumbles following you both out the door. Mathew inquires about the sparklers and is directed to his mother’s car. You and Liana stand out in your backyard. “What kind of photo does he want?”
“I’m not sure, but I know he wants a polaroid photo.”
“He’s obsessed with those,” Liana comments as Mathew walks up to you two. He hands the polaroid camera to Liana and ushers you over to where he wants to stand. He takes two sparklers out of the box and hands one to you.
“I want to kiss you as we hold the sparklers,” Mathew mumbles against your skin. His words sent shivers down your spine.
“Okay,” you whisper as Mathew lights yours and his sparklers. He looks at you with a wide smile and wraps the arm that’s not holding the sparkler around your waist. You wrap your arm that’s not holding the sparkler across his shoulder and lean in for a kiss. “Liana, take the photo when we kiss, please.”
Liana makes a comment about how disgusting the two of you are before saying an “okay.”
Mathew leans in with a smile and kisses you. You kiss him back with a smile just as wide closing the space between you two. You see the flash out of the corner of your eye and pull away slowly to set the sparkler out. When they’re out, Mathew pulls you in for another kiss full of love and passion. He never gets enough of kissing you; if it were up to him, he’d kiss you for every moment of every day.
“The photo’s ready,” Liana interrupts, not wanting to watch her brother kiss anyone even if it were you. You both separate breathlessly and observe the photo. He wraps his arms around you and settles your back against his front. He rests his head against yours and holds you tightly against his chest.
“We look cute, babe,” Mathew whispers into your ear. You look into his eyes and break out into a smile.
“We do look cute,” you agree. You were about to say something else, but the flash of the polaroid camera interrupts your words.
“Sorry,” Liana apologies. “You guys just looked really cute.”
Mathew kisses your cheek, and his heart bursts with love. He loved you so much that there were no words. From where they were sitting on the back porch, your parents and Mathew’s parents were looking on with love. You and Mathew were perfect for each other, and they knew that your relationship would stand the test of time.
Age 21
You were in New York for the first time during the hockey season. In past times you’ve been in New York, it was either before the season or after the season. This was the first time that your school schedule lined up perfectly with a chance to go see Mathew play on Long Island. You met the WAGs for the first time tonight, and you instantly loved them and them the same. You were currently standing next to Sydney, who took you under her wing, at the glass as warmups just began. You had your new polaroid camera and ready to snap one of Mathew.
“Do you and Mathew have a strong connection to a polaroid camera?” Sydney asks.
You nod with a smile. “Yeah. For as long as I can remember, we’ve always taken photos with a polaroid camera. We have millions of photos together.”
“Yeah, I’ve seen them. Mathew displays them proudly across his apartment. He loves them, but he loves you more,” Sydney teases.
You don’t reply except for smiling bashfully and shaking your head playfully. You were about to say something when Mathew interrupted you by bumping into the boards in front of you. He looks at you, and his heart grows a million sizes seeing you wearing his jersey. You smile when you see him and wave. He begins to show off in front of you with his stick handling. You shake your head playfully at his actions, but you use the opportunity to snap a photo of Mathew. It’s of him concentrating on the puck. You tuck it into your purse to observe later on.
“Did you want me to take one of the two of you?” Grace asks, who was on the other side of you and has also taken you under her wing.
“Would you? That’d be great.”
“Of course,” she says and takes the camera from you.
“Can Grace take a photo of us?” you ask Mathew. You were suddenly nervous that he was going to be embarrassed of your tradition.
“That would be amazing,” he tells you genuinely. He leans against the glass on his side, and you do the same on your side, smiling at Grace. Once the photo is taken, you, once again, put it in your purse to look at later. Mathew waves before rejoining the rest of his team.
“You guys are cute,” Sydney comments with a smile.
“Oh, to be young and in love,” Grace comments and both girls laugh. You put the camera in your purse, and you smile as the heat rushes to your face. Indeed, to be young and in love.
Later that night, you and Mathew were sitting on his couch when you pulled out the polaroids from the day. Mathew looks at the polaroid that you took of him without him knowing and blushes. You notice it and kiss his cheek.
“You look good, babe,” you tease.
“Yeah, but this one is better,” he says pointing to the photo Grace took of you. His hold on you tightens as he rests his head on the crook between your shoulder and neck. “Wanna know why?”
“Why?” you giggle as Mathew’s breath tickles you.
“Because you’re in it,” Mathew flirts.
“Shut up,” you say bashfully as the warmth reaches your face.
“It’s true,” he whispers. “I’m not ready for you to go back to school. I want you here forever.”
“Don’t worry,” you reassure. “After I graduate, I’m going to get a job here in New York, and we’ll be here forever together. Don’t worry; you can’t get rid of me that easy.”
“I wouldn’t dream of it,” Mathew says and places a kiss on your cheek.
Age 22
Mathew is sitting next to your father with a bouquet of flowers and your polaroid camera on his lap. Mathew’s leg is bouncing as he anxiously waits for your name to be called. It was finally your graduation day. You’ve been working hard for the past four years, and it was finally paying off. Mathew was so proud of you, and he was so happy that he got to be here at his super smart, super beautiful girlfriend’s graduation day.
A name a few before yours was called, and Mathew and your family perked their attention to be ready when you were called. In moments, your name was called, and you were walking across the stage. Mathew and your family all stood up to cheer for you. Mathew put the flowers down on his chair and put the camera up to take a photo. He snapped one exactly as you were handed your diploma. He put the photo in his wallet with the same one from when you were five.
As you were walking across the stage, you caught Mathew’s eyes, and he winked at you. You smiled bashfully, and as you sat, you felt the warmth on your face. The rest of the celebration went by quickly as you all threw your caps in the air and cheered. You were done! You finished! You were officially a college graduate! You said tearful goodbyes and congratulations to your friends before making your way to your family and Mathew.
Mathew stood to the side as your grandparents, parents, and siblings embraced you and congratulated you. He could see the impatience in your eyes as you greeted each and everyone of them, wanting to greet Mathew. As you hugged your grandparents after your parents, your mother walked over to Mathew.
“Hand me the polaroid camera. I’ll take a few as she comes over to you,” your mother says, and Mathew hands her the camera.
Finally, finally, it was Mathew’s turn to see you. “Congratulations,” he says to you softly.
“Thank you,” you whisper.
“These are for you,” Mathew says and hands you the flowers. You both vaguely notice the flash of the camera as your mother took a photo of Mathew handing you the flowers. You take the flowers and smile behind them embarrassed. One of your siblings takes the flowers from you, so you can properly embrace Mathew. He wraps you in a giant hug and kisses your forehead. “I’m so proud of you.”
“Thanks, baby.”
“I can’t believe that my girlfriend is a college graduate,” Mathew comments as you pull away to look at him. He leans his head down and kisses you softly. You reach your hands to wrap around his shoulders and pull him closer to you. You both deepen the kiss but not too much as your father was right there watching you two. As you and Mathew kiss, you both, once again, vaguely recall a flash of the polaroid camera. It didn’t matter. When you both were together, especially kissing, the entire world faded away. Finally, you both pull away with breathless smiles.
A few weeks later, you were both back home in Coquitlam, and it was nearing the end of your graduation party. Mathew was sitting on the back deck with his parents, Liana and your dad as the night winded down. In your hand, you held the two photos your mother took and wanted to show Mathew.
“Mind if I steal him for a moment?” you ask resting your hand on Mathew’s shoulder.
“Please, he keeps talking about you, and it’s making me sick,” Liana says. Everyone laughs in response, and you take Mathew’s hand and lead him away from the group.
“What’s up?” he asks.
“I want to show you the photos from graduation,” you tell him. “The polaroids.”
You and Mathew find a spot in the backyard and sit. Mathew sits first and opens his legs for you to sit in between. You rest with your back against his chest, and his arms reach around your waist to hold you tightly. He kisses the side of your cheek as you show him the photos.
“Here’s the first one,” you say and show him one. It’s the photo of Mathew handing you the bouquet of flowers. Smiles are adorned on both your faces, and Mathew’s eyes are laced with nothing but love for you. “We look good.”
“You always say that,” Mathew teases.
“Doesn’t mean it’s not true,” you reply looking at your boyfriend of many, many years.
He kisses your temple. “What’s the next one?”
You flip to the next photo and show it to him.
“Now this one, this one, we look good,” Mathew says, giving you a raised eyebrow. It was a photo of Mathew giving you your congratulatory kiss.
“We do look good,” you comment with a smile.
Mathew was contemplating on whether or not to tell you about the photo he took of you while you walked across the stage. He opted against it wanting to keep the photo to himself for the moment. “This is our thing, isn’t it?”
“What do you mean ‘our thing’?” you ponder.
“You know, all couples have their thing. This is our thing, taking polaroid photos,” Mathew explains.
“I guess it is,” you hum. “It’s not a bad ‘thing’ to have.”
“It really isn’t,” Mathew says and kisses you. He will be forever indebted to his mother for starting this tradition that the two of you have.
Age 24
On your first night after moving to New York, Anthony and Mathew insisted on taking you out to celebrate. You were tired, though, from unpacking and settling in all day, so you told them you didn’t want to do anything crazy. Why was Anthony tagging along? You didn’t know. He was there to help unpack, and he said you three should celebrate, so here you were.
You let Anthony and Mathew pick what they wanted to do as you showered and unpacked your stuff in the washroom. You walked out freshly showered to Mathew and Anthony having wide smiles on their faces.
“What if we took you to Times Square?” Mathew says. He walks over to you and wraps you in a giant hug. You hum in response, but Mathew isn’t sure if it's from the hug or agreeing with going to Times Square. You wrap your arms around him and breathe in his scent. You missed his scent before you moved in with him. You spent a few years back home with a job before you moved to New York. You wanted to be on your own for a bit before making the trek across the continent.
Anthony clears his throat to signal that you and Mathew weren’t the only two in the room. You both pull away, and Mathew’s face is crimson red as he meets his friend’s eyes. “So, Times Square, yes or no?”
“Sure, but not too late because I’m tired,” you reply. Getting to Manhattan from Mathew’s, no your apartment, Long Island apartment was long. You told them the train would be easier, but Mathew and Anthony would rather drive, so driving it was. The entire night was a blur. You were tired and exhausted, and the ecstasy you felt from being in the City with your boyfriend, finally, was too much to handle. You were over the moon overjoyed.
The three of you stopped for a moment in the main square of Times Square, and you looked around in awe. Mathew was watching you with nothing but love in his eyes as you took in the sight. He spent every night over the past few years wishing and dreaming of the nights and days he’d get to have you by his side. Anthony, on the other hand, was rolling his eyes at his best friend’s love sick nature.
“Did you bring your polaroid camera?” Mathew whispers into your ear.
“Yes, why?” you ask with a smile on your face that makes Mathew melt into a puddle.
“Let’s get Beau to take a photo for us.”
You watch as Mathew asks Anthony to take a photo of the two of you; you giggle quietly as Anthony rolls his eyes but says yes. Mathew walks over to you and wraps his arms around you. Anthony holds the camera up as you and Mathew smile for him. However, instead of looking at the camera, Mathew is looking down at you as you smile at the camera. He’s looking at you, the love of his life and the light of his life. Anthony snaps the photo but rolls his eyes at the lovesickness of his best friend. The photo prints, and you throw it into your purse to look at later. You continue to explore the awakeness of the Big Apple with your hand in Mathew’s. You fell in love with the city, and you were excited to be living in the lively state of New York.
Later that night, you’re getting ready for bed and standing at your dresser in the bedroom. You set your purse on it and take the polaroid camera out. Next, you take the photo out of your wallet and look at it. You smile at you and Mathew in the photo. As you’re looking, Mathew walks out of the washroom with his sweats hanging low on his hips without a shirt on and wraps his arms around you. He holds you close against his bare chest and rests his head on your shoulder breathing in your comforting and familiar scent.
“What’re you looking at?” he asks in a low husky voice that sends chills down your spine.
“The photo from tonight,” you say in a low voice as Mathew pulls you closer into his body. “You didn’t even look at the camera.”
“It’s a waste of time to stare at a camera when the best part of my life is right there,” Mathew flirts. He kisses your neck in between words pulling a soft whimper from you.
“You’re such a flirt,” you teasingly scoff. You rest the photo on the dresser and turn around, so you’re facing Mathew. You rest your arms on his shoulders and feel the expanse of the muscles there. You watch as Mathew’s eyes begin to darken and fill with need and desire.
“How else am I supposed to keep my girl satisfied?” he smirks.
“I can think of a few ways,” you tell him confidently before closing the space and placing a kiss on his lips. Mathew instantly picks you up, and you yelp slightly at the sudden touch. He carries you to the bed and places you down slowly. In between kisses, you tell him, “I love you.”
“I love you, too. More than anyone or anything in the world,” he replies. One day, he knew that he’d be getting Anthony to take a photo of the two of you with an engagement ring on your left hand.
Age 25
Engagement Party
Four months after you moved to New York, Mathew proposed to you. He got down on one knee during a date-night at home. You knew something was up when Mathew was nervous the entire night. You, obviously, said yes to forever with your best friend and the love of your life.
Now eight months later, Mathew’s family was throwing you both a small engagement party to celebrate the engagement about a month before your wedding. It was just both of your immediate families and close friends. You didn’t invite many people knowing the majority of the important people in your life would be flying to Vancouver for the wedding in about a month.
You were wearing a white sundress that made you feel like the bride that all movies and books describe. You were surrounded by your family, but most importantly, you were celebrating getting married to your best friend and love of your life.
It was getting late, and you were sitting on Mathew’s lap. You were resting your head on his shoulder with your arms wrapped around his neck and his arms wrapped around yours. The steady breathing from him and his warmth led to you falling asleep. He was tracing small patterns on your hip as he continued to talk to the small group of people around you. At some point, you heard Mathew tell someone to grab his sweater, and he threw it over your shoulders. You were so tired and didn’t tell him you were cold, but he just knew.
You didn’t know when you fell asleep, but you just did. No one noticed you were asleep until someone asked you a question, and you didn’t respond. Mathew looked down at you and noticed that you were sleeping. You looked adorable and comfortable in his arms. Mathew’s heartbeat quickened as he realized that he got to spend the rest of his life with the person in his arms. He got to spend the rest of his life with the person in his arms who looked so at rest, so beautiful, and so happy.
Liana quietly gets up to grab your polaroid camera from your purse. She knew that you’d want to have this documented.
“Get used to this, Mathew,” your dad began. “Yn will be falling asleep in your arms like this forever.”
Mathew smiled at your father’s words and rested his head against yours. He’d be more than okay with that. Liana didn’t tell Mathew he was going to take a photo. She knew that you’d far rather that the photo was candid and not scripted. Liana approached the group quietly and snapped a photo. Mathew was too absorbed in holding you that he didn’t notice. Liana left the photo on your nightstand where you found it the next morning. You smiled at the photo when you saw it knowing you weren’t making a mistake with who you wanted to spend the rest of your life with.
Wedding Day
You woke up the night after your wedding day curled into Mathew’s bare chest. You opened your eyes and a wide smile erupted across your face. You ran your fingers along Mathew’s stomach, and your breath hitched in your throat when you caught sight of your wedding band on your left finger.
“Morning, baby,” Mathew says in his morning voice that still makes your heart flutter. He runs his left hand across your back, and his wedding band sends chills down your spine.
“Did you know that we got married last night?” you ask sweetly.
He gives you a low chuckle. “Yes, I do know that.”
You giggle. “I love you.”
“I love you, too.”
You both lay in bed for a while in silence before Mathew says anything again. “Liana gave me the photos she took on the polaroid last night.”
“Oh,” you say as you sit up. You and Mathew put Liana in charge of taking a few polaroid photos of the two of you knowing she’d be the best one to do so. Mathew also roped in Anthony, but you both had more faith in Liana.
You sit up against the headboard as Mathew gets up and grabs the envelope that Liana gave him before you both left the previous night. Mathew pulls you against him as he rests against the headboard, too, and hands you the photos. You look in the envelope and notice six photos.
You pull out one and smile at it. It was your first dance with Mathew. Liana took the photo perfectly just as the song was coming to a close and Mathew was twirling you with your dress splaying out around you. Mathew had nothing but love in his for his new wife and a giant smile on his;he had tunnel vision when he looked at you. The entire world faded away except for you. You remember Mathew placing a kiss on you just as you reentered his embrace. Your heart was beating through your chest as Mathew and you continued to dance to the remainder of the song.
“We look good,” you tell him, showing him the photo. Mathew grabs the photo from your hand and is careful to only hold the corners. You’ve been on his case many, many times about not smudging the photo.
“You look good, babe,” Mathew corrects. “You always will look better than me.”
You smile bashfully at your husband’s words and smile into his chest. He tightens his grip around you before grabbing the envelope, placing the photo in it, and grabbing another. He smiles at the photo of him and his mother dancing together. “Look, it’s your mother-in-law,” he comments.
You look at the photo and smile. “Indeed it is.”
“Is it weird that she’s officially your mother-in-law?”
“Not really. I mean, it’s different, but not weird. Your mom has always been in my life, so it’s not like I don’t know her. Is it weird that my parents are your in-laws?”
“Yes, absolutely. The amount of stares that your father has given me? He never scared me when we were growing up, but in the past few years, he has.”
You laugh and place a kiss on his cheek. “Don’t worry. He’s just being protective of his child.”
“It better be just that,” Mathew mumbles. You grab another photo from the envelope and smile at the photo of you and your dad dancing together. Both yours and your father’s eyes had tears in their eyes knowing that this was it. This was what you both knew was coming but weren’t ready for. You were starting a life with Mathew and forming your new family, and your father was losing his child to the man who loves you as much as he does.
You put the photo back in the envelope and grab the next one. It was the photo of the kiss after the officiant said, “you may now kiss your bride.” You and Mathew both had wide smiles on your faces as you leaned in for the first kiss as a married couple. You remember how eager Mathew was to kiss you and how much he needed to kiss you. Sometimes, it makes you wonder how he goes on long roadtrips without kissing you. Mathew’s hands were sitting on your waist under the edges of your veil with his gold wedding band reflecting the light of the ceremony’s venue. Your arms were wrapped around his shoulders with the light reflecting off your grandmother’s tennis bracelet, your something old, and Mathew’s grandmother’s gold bracelet, your something borrowed. The space between you two was non-existent as you both needed to be as close as possible to kiss. You and Mathew both had a professional photographer at the wedding, but there was something more special about the photo being taken by someone who you loved.
The fifth photo is of you and Mathew giving each other a bite of your wedding cake after biting it. You both opted for a traditional two-tiered cake with white fondant and flowers around the base. Mathew had his left arm on your waist, your veil taken off to preserve it, with his right hand holding a fork close to your mouth. You had your dominant hand resting on his chest with your nondominant hand with a fork in it to feed Mathew a piece of cake. You both were looking in each other’s eyes but midlaugh. You couldn’t remember what he said that made you laugh so hard, but you did.
The six and final photo Liana took was of your send off. To reminisce from your high school graduation party, you and Mathew opted for a sparkler send off. Sure, it was cliche but much of your relationship with Mathew was a cliche. You and Mathew were standing in front of his car as your family and friends held sparklers cheering for you all. Mathew had his hands cupping your face and giving you a kiss with a wide smile on his face. You had your arms in his hair holding him close to you. It was a perfect ending for the day of your dreams with the man of your dreams starting the life of your dreams.
“I can’t wait to see all the professional photos,” you tell him as you put the envelope on the nightstand.
“Who really needs professional photos?”
“I mean, we have all those polaroids from growing up but not many from last night, so we do?”
Mathew looks at you and smiles. “I guess we do.”
The professional photos were exactly what you were hoping for. Each time you looked at them, your heart beat just a tad faster and your stomach did somersaults. Mathew always did have that effect on you.
Honeymoon
After the wedding of your dreams, you and Mathew were off to Paris for a honeymoon of your dreams. Sure, it was very cliche, but, again, everything about yours and Mathew’s relationship was a cliche.
It was halfway through the trip when it dawned on Mathew that you both didn’t have a polaroid photo together. He was shocked to say the least when he realized it. That same day, you and Mathew were heading to the Eiffel Tower, and Mathew figured it was the best opportunity for a photo op, so he threw the camera into your purse and made a mental promise to get a photo of the two of you.
You and Mathew purchased your tickets and took the elevator to the top of the tower. On the descent, you and Mathew got off on the second level to get more pictures opting to take the steps down. You were looking at the Parisian skyline with Mathew holding you against his chest. Your arms were crossed against your chest with Mathew’s arms on top of yours. The metal of his wedding band sending shivers down your spine.
“Can we take a photo?” Mathew mumbles against your ear.
“Yeah,” you whisper back. You aren’t sure why you whispered, but you didn’t want to break the intimate moment.
“I’ll go find someone to take it for us. Polaroid, right?”
You smile softly. “Yeah.”
Mathew asks one of the working attendants to take a photo for you two. You hand the polaroid camera to the attendant. You and Mathew take the same position you were just in; however, now, you were both facing away from the skyline. You smile for the camera, but, as usual, Mathew isn’t looking at the camera but at you.
“Your husband wasn’t looking at the camera, would you like me to retake it?” the attendant asks.
You laugh softly. “No, that’s okay. Thank you.”
The attendant walks away as you look at the photo. “Why don’t you ever look at the camera? We rarely have any photos of us — polaroid or digital — where you look at the camera.”
“I think I’ve said this already, Yn, but there’s no need to look at the camera when all I want to look at is you.”
You smile and shake your head playfully at your husband. “Okay, smooth talker, take a photo of me?”
“Gladly.”
Mathew took way too many pictures of you on his phone, but his words were “it’s important to capture your world in someone else’s eyes” which he did.
Age 27
Three weeks after giving birth to your first son, Isaac, you and Mathew were exhausted to say the least. Being new parents and with the stress of the end of the regular season coming soon, you and Mathew were just plain exhausted.
Mathew was at a hockey game that night. Somehow, despite the exhaustion of being a new father, Mathew was still playing well. He managed to have a four point night; the commentators said something about his new found “father strength.”
The game ended about an hour ago, and Mathew would be home any minute. Finally, finally, Isaac was sleeping and wasn’t crying. You posted a note on the door for Mathew telling him that if he woke Isaac, you were going to a hotel to sleep. Mathew, chuckled to himself, when he read your note. He walked into your apartment, and his heart melted at what he saw. You were sitting on the couch with Isaac sleeping on your chest. You were stroking his back to keep him quiet. Every few moments you’d kiss his head out of love.
You left the polaroid camera on the kitchen counter after taking a few photos of Isaac and your new family. Leaving the camera out allowed for Mathew to take a photo of you without knowing. He puts his stuff down quietly and picks up the camera. He takes it out of the case and snaps a photo. The flash of the camera startles you slightly. When you look over to the flash, you smile when you see your husband. Mathew places the photo facedown on the table and walks over to you. He takes his tie off and rests it on the side of the couch. He sits next to you and kisses your forehead. “Hey,” he whispers.
“Hi,” you whisper back.
“How was Isaac?”
“He was good,” you tell him. “I’m tired. I’m not sure how I’m going to get through the rest of his life.”
“Hey, we’ll be okay, okay? We’ll figure it out, okay?” Mathew reassures.
You nod. “Yeah, we’ll be okay.”
Later that night, you put Isaac down for bed and enter your bedroom. You fell asleep easily that night in Mathew’s arms with a soft smile on your face. Yeah, everything would be okay.
Age 28
Shortly after giving birth to Isaac, both you and Mathew were hit with a really bad case of baby fever. Everytime you or Mathew held Isaac, the next immediate thought you both had was “let’s have another baby.” Every time you saw Mathew doing skin-to-skin contact with Isaac, your heart would flutter with love for your husband, your son, and a strong desire for another baby.
Seven months postpartum, you finally felt comfortable with approaching your husband with the topic of having another baby. Mathew was super excited that you brought it up. At first, trying to conceive was slightly painful. You were both patient with the process knowing it would happen when it would happen. You finally conceived after six months of trying.
Five months later, you felt comfortable announcing it to the world. You bought a whiteboard and wrote a message that said, “Baby Barzal #2 coming soon.” Also, you placed the ultrasound photo on the top corner with a baby jersey with “Barzal 02” on it. You took a photo of it to post both on yours and Mathew’s instagrams. You smiled at the messages you received from your friends, family, the WAGs, and Mathew’s teammates. You both opted not to tell anyone except for immediate family wanting to enjoy the news on your own for the time being.
“Mathew, do you know where the polaroid camera is?” you call out realizing that you had a polaroid of the baby announcement for Isaac but not baby number two.
“On the dresser, probably,” he called from Isaac’s room. You could hear the scrunch in his nose as he changed Isaac’s smelly diaper.
“Thanks, babe,” you call back and walk into your bedroom. You grab the camera and walk back to where you have the pregnancy announcement still sitting on the floor. You snap a photo and smile as you place it on the wall.
With baby #2, your heart was full and excited for what would be coming in the future.
Age 29
“Anthony, please?” you beg.
“Why do you guys always get me to take the photos of the two of you?” Anthony whines.
“Because you’re the best at it!” These words do not convince him further to take a photo of you, Mathew, your daughter, Shannon, and your son, Isaac. “What about, if we have another baby, we name them Anthony”
“What? No,” Mathew yells. “No way. No more kids”
“Just give me the camera,” Anthony sighs. You, who is holding Shannon, and Mathew, who is holding Isaac, walk out to the door of your new house. Shortly after finding out you were pregnant with your second child, you and Mathew began looking for a house to live in, figuring an apartment, no matter the size, was too small for the family you both wanted to build.
Mathew holds Isaac in his right arm and wraps his left arm around your waist. You hold Shannon in your left arm with your right arm wrapped around Mathew and look up at him and smile. He smiles back down at you. Anthony knows, after taking way too many polaroids for you two, when to take the photo — when you both inevitably kiss. As he expected, Mathew leans down and kisses you with a wide smile. Anthony holds up the camera and snaps a photo. You both pull back as Anthony hands the photo and camera to you.
“One of your future kids better have Anthony as their middle name or something. Don’t say you’re not having more because we both know the way Barzy is,” he grumbles as he walks back into your newly finished house.
Mathew goes into Isaac’s bedroom to put him down for a nap as you put Shannon down for a nap and grab the tape to put this new polaroid photo on the wall. You put it up and smile at the rows and rows of photos that line the walls. You stand there looking sentimentally at all the memories.
“Hey, you okay?” Mathew asks and rests an arm around your waist.
“Yeah, just look at all the photos from our lives,” you tell him. You rest your head on his chest as you both your eyes trace over the photos. The photos spanned from many different parts of your lives, both together and separately. On the wall, there are many photos of you and Mathew from when you were young, to young adults, to adults living together in New York. On this wall tells the story of how you were best friends from a young age to being lovers to finally being married. The wall tells the stories of you and your friends from high school and college, and it tells the story of Mathew’s hockey career. The wall tells the story of your engagement and marriage. All the photos are a piece of who you both are.
“Here’s to many more photos on this wall,” Mathew says.
“And to maybe another wall dedicated to polaroid photos,” you add on getting a smirk from Mathew.
“The more kids we have, the more photos we’re going to have.”
You giggle. “I thought you didn’t want any more kids.”
“We make some really great kids, so maybe.”
“And it's not because you have a breeding kink?” you tease, and Mathew blushes at your words.
“Maybe it’s because you look great pregnant.”
“So, maybe more kids?” you suggest with a smile.
“Maybe more kids,” Mathew confirms with a kiss on your cheek.
Despite the wall being 75% filled, you knew that your best days were still ahead of you. You couldn’t wait for the future photos that will tell the story of yours and Mathew’s lives together.
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babycap · 7 days ago
✍️ girl Idk why I have this concept stuck in my head but can we get Sam meeting his child? Like the day they’re born and the emotions he has? I can’t get over how good a father he’d be
✍️ - synopsis; who doesn't read the netflix description before picking out the movie? send me a ✍️ along with a character and a concept, and I'll write a short drabble or headcanon!
Eyes Wide Open ✗
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pairing: sam wilson x reader
summary: Sam's been many things in this life—son, brother, uncle, friend, soldier, civilian, hero. Today, he takes on a new title: father.
warning(s): cursing (as always), pregnancy, childbirth, hospital setting, medical setting and procedure(s)
headcanon, bulleted format (but still a lil long because you know I'm nothing if not wordy lmao)
( masterlist // library blog // ko-fi )
Sam had spent the last several hours pacing the room, sneakers squeaking relentlessly against white tiled floors
"Sit down," you beg hoarsely, snapping his attention up to your face. His eyes widen in surprise, eyebrows loosening from the tight knit they'd been in at the center of his forehead. "You're driving me crazy."
At the sight of you awake, he crosses the room and is at your side in an instant, thumb brushing along the hot skin of your cheek. "Need some more ice chips, baby?"
"No, Sam," you huff exhaustedly, throwing your head back into the pillow. "I need Dr. Ramirez to get his ass in here and tell me it's time to have this baby. I'm fucking hot and exhausted and starving."
"I know, baby—gonna get you the biggest damn cheeseburger you've ever seen after."
"Fries and a coke, too," you remind him, eliciting a laugh from him as he helps you sit up in the bed, hands gripping at the arm rails before another contraction sends you groaning.
He rubs your back soothingly, trying to talk you through your breathing, but feeling just as helpless as he had since you'd checked into the hospital for your induction early in the morning.
He'd watched you whimper as they'd administered the pitocin, grit your teeth each time they'd checked your cervix for dilation, and cry out in pain when they'd finally broken your water for you.
All he could do for you was hold your hand, talk you through it, and give you those damn ice chips—food and water forbidden until the baby'd been born in case of an emergency where you'd need to be operated upon.
Sam prayed to God like his daddy'd taught him, on his knees and head bowed, that there'd be no such emergency.
Dr. Ramirez comes sweeping in the room right on time, white coat billowing behind his pink scrubs. "So, how are we doing, mom and dad? Ready to have a baby?"
"What do you think?" You ask him irritatedly, huffing out a breath over another particularly sharp contraction. The machine to your right whirs, recording the activity on the constantly scrolling screen. Dr. Ramirez chuckles to himself, sliding on a pair of purple nitrile gloves as he watches the screen, eyes roving up and down the peaks and descents of the graph.
A nurse gathers your thighs up in her hands, holding them apart as you grit your teeth against your obstetrician checking the state of your cervix's dilation with his fingers. Sam takes your hand into his, the slightly roughened skin of his palm a familiar distraction.
"I think Baby Wilson will be joining us in no time," Dr. Ramirez smiles over the material of your hospital gown, wiping his hands on a towel. "Labor's progressing perfectly. Keep up with those ice chips."
Sam's lips purse next to you as he tries to hide a grin at the way your nose crinkles up, unable to maintain control of your face and emotions on today of all days. Dr. Ramirez doesn't seem to notice, getting up from his stool to pat you on the arm. "I'll be in to check on you in the next hour if active labor doesn't begin before then."
"This isn't active labor?"
He laughs, shaking his head on the way out. "Just hang in there, mama."
"Mama," Sam repeats, a dreamy sort of joy evident in his voice, when the door closes, leaving just you and him and the army of medical machines to the right of your bed. "Maybe in less than an hour, you'll be a mama. You ready?"
"Guess I don't have much of a choice at this point," you joke, permitting only a soft laugh to jostle your sore ribs as Sam presses kisses into your knuckles.
And you really don't have much choice—twenty minutes later, and your contractions are less than a minute apart, the pressure against your cervix unbearable. It's time to push, Dr. Ramirez announces as he rushes into the room, a team of nurses behind him, but you don't need him to tell you that. You'd felt it, known it instinctually already.
Deep breath in, push, deep breath out. That's the rhythm Sam is coaching you through, deep and steady voice praising you and promising you that you're doing so good, such a good mama already, so many cheeseburgers in your very near future.
He doesn't even flinch at the way you're clamping down onto his hand for dear life, squeezing harder with every push. He doesn't let you see the tears that well up in the corners of his eyes at the sight of your legs shaking, veins in your neck straining, and throat croaking from overuse and yelling out in pain. He'd give anything to be able to do this for you, to trade places with you.
The nurse announces your son's budding arrival into the world first. "I see his head—keep going, mama! He's almost there. Give us three big pushes."
"Come on, baby." Sam's voice is heavy, raspy with emotion. "Three more big pushes, and our boy is here. Right here, on your chest."
And they're right—three more pushes and the doctor and nurses are scrambling, holding up your newborn son for the two of you to see. One look at him, his cries filling the room, and you collapse back into the pillows, relief and exhaustion and love pummeling you halfway to death. Sam peppers every inch of your face with kisses, pausing only to let out shaky little laughs, the relief and happiness practically stuttering out of his throat.
"Wanna cut the chord, daddy?"
He gives you a look, warm brown eyes brimming over with tears, as you nod him on, reaching out for the cool rag on the bedside table to press against the burning skin of your forehead.
Sam cuts the chord, hands shaking, before they whisk your son away, cleaning him and swaddling him and placing a little blue hat atop his head of thick, black curls.
"Thank you, baby," he whispers into your ear as the nurses and doctor works on cleaning you up, your son's lungs emptying out into the room. "He's perfect. You did so good. So good, honey."
You really did, you think, as they press your baby boy against your chest. He is perfect. Tiny dark curls protruding out the sides of his hat, little pinkened fingers curled up around his daddy's, plump bottom lip stuck out as if he's pouting. Sam jokes about that, says he's got a look on his face that looks just like you.
But when your newborn son opens his eyes, Sam stops laughing, stops joking. Instead, a little cry about strangles him, heart seemingly pausing in his chest.
Brown eyes, deep and warm, surrounded by a frame of wispy, curled black lashes. Sam knows those eyes—he'd know them anywhere.
Your son has Darlene's eyes, the grandmother he'd never meet. Sarah's eyes, the aunt waiting (with two overly-excited cousins in tow) just one floor down to meet him.
When you hear the hitch in his throat, catching the tears that reflect against his cheeks in the fluorescent lights, you motion for him to pick up the swaddle of light gray blankets. "Here," you say gently. "Hold your son."
It's toothy and white and reaches from one ear to the other, the smile that breaks across his face when he finally gets his son in his arms. His cheeks swell with pride, eyes now spilling over with tears that he doesn't move to wipe away. "Hey, buddy," he coos. "Hey, little man. You know who I am, don't you? Yeah, that's right. I'm your daddy. Been waiting a hell of a long time to meet you, little man."
"He looks like you," you tell him because it's true. "Nine months of carrying him around, all those hours of labor, and he looks just like you."
Sam laughs, pressing his lips gently to his son's forehead. "Daddy owes mama a whole lotta cheeseburgers."
And he does owe you that cheeseburger—you'd kill for one right now, a burger with all the fixings, a large basket of fries, and an ice cold soda to wash it all down with, too.
But watching him rocking your son back and forth in his arms, the tiny little babe that looks so much like him, that sports his mother and sister's eyes, with that dopey look of pride and love and bliss, dulls that pang of hunger just a bit... the food can wait just a while longer.
Long after Sarah and the boys come by to visit, after Bucky shows up with a stuffed bear and a beer for Sam (and, quite thoughtfully, a bouquet of flowers and a kiss on the cheek for you), and after Sam's brought you an unprecedented feast from your favorite burger spot in town, he's rocking your boy in his arms, humming a song low and sweet and slow.
It's a hymnal, you recognize it. One he said his daddy used to sing on Sunday mornings, bustling around the house getting ready for church. As Sam sings it to your son, it feels like a hymnal, a song of praise and blessing and gratitude, and like a welcoming all at once.
Welcoming Sam into fatherhood, welcoming another Wilson son into the world, and welcoming those brown, familiar eyes into your lives.
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neonacity · 7 days ago
Text
Chapter 9: In Memoriam
Preview:
“Only the dead have seen the end of war.”
An NCT mafia AU with OT23. Summary: Working for the mafia comes with many layers. There’s excitement, violence, loss, and betrayals. Yet there’s also friendship, family, loyalty, and code. The last thing it needs? Love and all the complexities it brings.
TW: violence, death, mentions of sex, drugs, and other illegal activities. If you’re uncomfortable with any of these, feel free to skip. Author’s note: This is purely a work of fiction. In no way am I supporting all the illegal activities and behaviors that might be mentioned in the story nor am I implying that any member of NCT acts whichever way I may write them here.
Chapter: 1/ First Stage
Chapter: 2/Overture
Chapter: 3/The Conductor
Chapter: 4/Crescendo
Chapter: 5/Canzona
Chapter: 6/Rapture
Chapter: 7/Proem
Chapter: 8/Ophelia
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10 Years Ago. 
Location: City of Seoul
It was dark, damp, and cold. Even with more than half of my face covered by cloth, I could tell from the stale air clinging to my cheeks that I'm currently somewhere with poor air circulation, most likely underground. The little skin exposed from my tightly bound arms was covered by a light sheen of sweat and what I can assume are bruises from the way my flesh throbbed. Above me, I could pick up the sounds of distant cars and the soft trickle of water from overhead pipes. 
I tried to give my shoulders a little wriggle but stopped at the sharp pain that shot on the base of my neck. It was a harsh reminder of the blow that I received there from the butt of a gun, the last thing I could remember before I passed out.
It was supposed to be an ordinary day out with my mother. It was a routine visit to the family's private doctor—one of the few reasons I was allowed to leave the prison I call home. Everything started the way it usually does; my mom kissing my father’s cheek who, as usual, barely looked up from the papers he was reading, her holding my hand and telling me secretly how we will snuck into the mall after our appointment, and me smiling, squeezing her hand back to thank her. Thinking back, I should have noticed the small but telling signs that pointed to the abnormality of the situation. How my father's hands tightened when my mom kissed him or the fewer number of guards that were assigned to us for our little outing.  
It happened 20 minutes into our ride. Unfortunately for me, I only noticed something was off when our car suddenly spun out of control from the driveway after swerving from two plateless vans that showed up around the corner. The next thing I know, there were gunshots ricocheting around us, and there was my mother pulling me back against her chest as she tried to unlock the door on her side. She was unfortunately too slow to do it, her cry filling my ears as I watched her get grabbed by the hair before her head was slammed  against the window. That was the last I've seen of her before I blacked out myself. 
I was brought back into my current reality by the sound of my voice breaking into a sob. I didn't know how long I had been out, but the soreness on my hands and feet could tell that it's been a few hours since we had been ambushed. I have always been warned about this kind of situation, been trained for it even, but all those don't seem to make a difference now when you're finally on the spot, cold and helpless. 
"M-Mom…?"
My voice cracked as I tried to call out into the room. I could tell from the silence surrounding me that I was alone, but the confirmation that I got when no one answered me was enough to make tears prickle my eyes and mix with the sweat that has already collected behind my blindfold. I tried wriggling my hands again from behind me as desperation and panic started rising from my chest like a wave. Before I even realized what was happening, I felt my chair crashing to the floor in my pointless panic and struggle. I grunted in pain and tried to roll over to no avail.
The sound of a door being unlocked caught my attention as I tried to control my quiet sobs. Whoever opened it stopped on the threshold of the room before finally making their way towards me. 
One. Two pairs of steps. One was dragging their other leg as if they were injured, the other was wearing cheap rubber soles. 
"Heh. The little princess is awake, I see."
I flinched from my spot on the floor as the man knelt in front of me. I could smell cigarette breath as well as the hint of alcohol in the air as he spoke. My legs tried to kick back to put more distance between us but my feeble attempt only caused him and the other person in the room to chuckle at me in amusement.
"Feisty. Just like her mother."
The mention of my mother made me freeze. It took a few seconds for the statement to sink in, before I was finally thrashing and screaming profanities in the air. 
"Ah shit. Shut your trap, little girl. You're not doing yourself any favors here."
"WHERE'S MY MOTHER!"
"Back upstairs entertaining our boss. Don't worry you'll have your turn later," the other man who remained standing said in a sleazy voice that reminded me of maggots crawling on dead flesh. I thrashed harder, ignoring the pain shooting on my legs from the ropes binding me.
"You think the boss will let us have a turn on this bitch?"
The man asked his partner again, clearly unbothered by the fight I was trying to give. The other answered with a grunt before stretching up. "No idea. She'll be a good punching bag though. Probably will last longer than her mother. Mamba's getting pretty tired of the lady."
The mention of the name made me freeze. Though I haven't been fully exposed to the outer workings of the family yet, I am not entirely left out of the loop when it comes to the basics. "Mamba" is one of the earliest names that has left its mark on me as soon as I realized who I was and what I'm expected to do. My father made sure that I know what it means, and its weight was even more emphasized on my consciousness by how often it is uttered in conversations of those in the higher circles.
Mamba is the leader of the Serpents, the sole competition of my father for full control over Korea's underworld. The two crime families have been toe-to-toe in the past decades, with one group always trying to do something to entirely wipe out the other. Things have calmed down in the past few years as the faction focused on overtaking parts of South Korea that my father didn't have much interest in as well as certain zones in North Korea, but it seems like the former has gotten tired of being handed over scraps from the less powerful cities.
My fear and shock must have been so obvious that it caught the eye of the two guards above me. To my horror, the one with the sleazy, hair-prickling voice shuffled closer to me again and bent over to get a closer look at my terrified state. 
The realization made ice slowly creep through my veins. This isn't a normal kidnapping. This is a long overdue war, the very same one that people from my own family had been regarding with watchful caution for years.
"That's right. You realized it now too, doll?" he sneered in a tone that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand. I felt my chair get roughly lifted from the ground before his hot breath hit my face. 
"You and your mother are never getting out of here again. So I suggest you start praying now before we—"
I reared my head back and slammed it blindly against him.
A loud shout ripped through the room. I couldn't see, but judging from the crack I heard, I must have made a good target on the asshole’s nose. I didn't get the chance to do anything else though as a backhanded slap made my cheek snap sideways. 
"You slut! I'll make you pay for that, you goddamn whore—"
I could hear the faint sound of a gun's metal being pulled from a holster. I couldn't care less though, even when blood started trickling from the corner of my lips that caught the ring of my attacker. There was only one thing going through my mind again and again, like a chant and a prayer to whoever god is listening. 
My mom. My mom. I need to get out of here with my mom. 
"What are you doing? Don't be stupid. The boss said not to touch her until he says so," I heard the other man say above the heavy breathing of the one in front of me.
"SHUT UP. Bitches like this one need to be taught a lesson. Put them in their place."
"You'll be the one put in your place if you kill her now."
"I won't kill her. I'm just going to put a hole through her leg."
The soft cocking of a gun screamed back at me in the split second of silence that followed his warning. 
Bang!
My body froze at the sound of a bullet slicing the air. Another one tore through the room and for a moment I wondered where I was shot.
Except there was no pain that assaulted my senses. Instead, I could hear hurried footsteps running towards me before my blindfold was pulled up from my eyes. 
"Noona! Are you okay?"
"Tae..yong."
"Come on, we don't have time." 
I blinked back quickly to gather my senses as the boy of 16 dipped out of my vision to undo my binds. My eyes found the owners of the voices earlier sprawled on the floor with matching holes on their foreheads. 
"—go. We need to go."
My attention snapped back to Taeyong who was currently trying to haul me up from my seat. His face was pale even in the dim light of the room but there was a definite set on his brows that shook me back to attention. 
I tried to stand up and stumbled a little, my balance off after being tied to the chair for god knows how long. He lifted my arm pressed against him and draped it over his shoulders to steady me as we both wobbled to the door. The moment we got out of the room where I was being held, I was assaulted by the sound of shouts and gunfire echoing around us. An explosion from upstairs shook the whole building and rained dust over the two of us. 
"Shit. We don't have time. I'm sorry, can you run? We really need to get out of here."
"Taeyong, my mom. Mom is still here. We need to get her."
"Jihoon is taking care of it—"
"Jihoon—but did he get her already? She was—I heard—she was with the boss," I pressed, my voice rising as the pair of us emerged from the basement and started making our way to what I can assume is the exit. Taeyong gritted his teeth and suddenly pushed my head down to shoot at someone behind me.
"Just a little bit more, you'll be safe outside," he said as he hauled me up again to my feet. 
"Give me a gun."
"You're injured—"
"I can still shoot, just give me one!"
He shot me a torn look before pulling a handgun from his holster. I quickly grabbed it and tried my best to steady myself on my feet as we both made our way to the exit. 
We were able to escape through one of the backdoors of the building which opens up to a clearing fringed by a dense area of trees. The first thing I noticed when I broke through was the number of cars parked outside and the crowd of people weaving between them. Men—my father’s men to be exact. Before I could take in everything though, Taeyong pulled me towards one of the vans, guided me inside, and slammed the door behind us.
Panic rose in me again when he started the engine. My hand shot to grab his arm, forcing him to look at me. 
"Wait! My mother—"
"Noona, Jihoon's assigned her. We can't go back even if I want to, your father said I need to get you back as soon as possible."
"I'm not leaving until I make sure she's safe!"
"But—"
"Please. Your radio—just please let me make sure she’s safe first."
He hastily pulled his right earpiece and handed it to me. I didn't waste a second and pressed a small button to the side to quickly talk through it.
"Jihoon. Where's mom? Are you two out of the building?"
Nobody answered at the end of the other line.
"Jihoon? Jihoon!"
I looked up at Taeyong with eyes filled with fear. He turned the other piece that's still on his ear to echo my question, only to be met with the same silence.
"I don’t understand. He should have found Goomah by now," he said through gritted teeth as he grabbed for his gun again. 
"How—maybe he couldn't. We need to go and help him."
"I checked and both of your trackers were intact before we broke in. She was on the top floor," Taeyong quickly explained as he unstrapped his seatbelt again. It took me a few seconds before his words sunk.
Tracker?
...like everyone knew we were going to be taken.
We were never given one before.
Why were we being tracked?
"Sir, Mamba dragged Goomah with him into one of his safe holes. We can't break through it right now."
I didn't have enough time to dwell on my question as the line cackled and came alive. Both Taeyong and I froze as we listened to it. 
I froze at the sound of Jihoon's voice. He clearly wasn't speaking to us. I was about to jump in and bombard him with questions when another voice answered him. 
"How secure is the safe hole?"
Father.
"Level three resistance. But probably can be taken down when we blast the whole building."
"Does it have an escape route?"
There was a moment of silence.
"It leads to an underground road, sir. Goomah's tracker says they are headed there now," Jihoon answered, his tone emotionless.
My heart jumped to my throat. I looked at Taeyong who was staring ahead, face etched with what looked like foreboding horror.
"You can't get her before they escape?"
"It will take a while...sir."
The line went quiet. It was only for a few seconds, but it was enough time to make my world start to crumble around me. When the voice spoke again, it decimated everything to ashes.
"Bomb the whole building before they leave."
"NO! FATHER—WAIT—"
This time, the line went quiet for good. 
A blinding flash and explosion knocked me back to my seat before I could fully haul myself out of the car. My ears rang from the explosion as the ground beneath me shook. 
I couldn't hear or see anything, but I knew I was screaming.
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"—up!"
"Wake up!"
I almost jumped up from my covers at the sound of the voice above me. The light in my room was on but even its blinding glare didn't stop me from turning my head wildly, my hands grasping for something to hold. Something grabbed my arms and I hurriedly took purchase of it, my fingers closing in on a set of shoulders. 
"Hey, it's okay. It's okay. You're alright."
My eyes finally locked at the man in front of me. Taeyong sat on the edge of my bed, looking equally shaken. 
"Taeyong…"
"Yes, it's me. It's just me. You're safe. You're here with me," he said softly as his eyes scoured over my face. I felt one of his hands move towards my back to gently rub circles on it. Before I could say anything else, he gently pulled me towards him and pressed my face against the crook of his neck.
"I'm sorry I barged in. I heard you screaming and I just had to check…" he explained quietly as he continued rubbing my back. I kept quiet as I tried to calm down my breathing, still shell-shocked from my nightmare. Before I could stop myself, I reached out a hand to grab onto his shirt. 
"What was it…?"
I kept quiet. It took me a while to notice how much I was shaking until Taeyong took my free hand and held it on his own. He didn't say anything, but his silence was enough to tell me that he knew exactly what my nightmare was about. It's been years since he had to calm me down like this, but it has always been the same dream, the same memory.
"It's okay… You're safe… It's just a nightmare."
My face crumpled and I pressed my face closer to him. No, it's not just a nightmare, and we both know it.
"It's happening again."
"What is?"
"I'll lose someone—you"
He stilled for a few seconds at my words. How long has it been since we found ourselves in this kind of situation? When was the last time I was this honest and vulnerable, and him this open? 
The past few years spent covering up everything seemed to fall away like paper blown away by a gust of wind. All those years that I spent trying to live my life differently as I left everything behind... All those moments he tried to keep up with my silent request for us to act nothing more than simple associates. All of them, gone. 
"You're not going to lose me. You've never lost me…" Taeyong answered quietly as he buried his nose into my hair.
"Then don't do it. Don't let him use you."
"We don't really have any other choice."
"We do. I can tell him—"
"You're not going to tell him anything you don't want to do… We both know that."
That made me stop. Tears started pooling in my eyes again and I felt him hold me just a little bit tighter. 
"I'm so sorry… I'm so selfish."
"No, you're not. You have your reasons," he stopped briefly before speaking again. "And I have mine too."
I slowly pushed myself from his hold so I could look at him. Taeyong spoke gently, as if he's trying his best to explain everything without adding to my doubts. 
"I want to do this for the people who mean a lot to me. I didn't want to at first but then I realized, if I win this, everyone will be happy, right? You, our friends, even me… So don't beat yourself up over it, okay? And you’re not going to lose me. Because I’ll win. You know I will."
I didn't say anything. When Taeyong squeezed my hand that he was still holding though, I felt myself squeezing it back. 
"How can I help?"
The smile he gave me was enough to chase away some of the heaviness on my chest. 
"Just stay with us… with me. A mafia head needs a good wingwoman, right?"
I felt my lips twitch into a small smile despite myself. I will probably regret letting this honest moment happen between the two of us after trying to keep a distance for so long, but for now, this is enough. I nodded and gently moved my hand that he was holding between us. While he didn't pull me back, I felt his touch linger for a little while longer before letting me pull away. 
"Taeyong! Where are you?"
The two of us looked at each other one last time before turning to the door of my room. He must have left it slightly ajar when he barged in because we could hear voices from the first floor living room float to where we are.
I wiped my tears with the sleeve of my shirt and tried to fix myself before following him outside. We both stopped on the second floor to peer at the crowd of people that had collected downstairs, Taeil standing out from the crowd. He looked up to us and lifted a folded piece of paper. 
"We have a letter from Jihoon."
Taeyong and I exchanged glances briefly. 
"Let me see," he said, turning to  go down the stairs to join the rest. He hadn't made two steps before Taeil stopped him though, his voice quiet. 
"It's not for you," he said slowly before his gaze landed on my unmoving form. "It's addressed to her." 
--
Tag list: @hen-marks99, @negincho, @nctisthecity <3
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I think never having the nurturing and loving mother has affected me into adulthood. For example, whenever I get sick I've always, and still do, want comfort. Like when I was younger I'd cry and want my mom to coddle me, my dad wasn't around much, and my mom never did. She never really cared and I'm realizing with my bf I want to be coddled by him a bit. It's like soo weird some of the stuff my childhood had like imparted on me. But I guess those are just things that are who I am, at least for now. Wasn't too bad of a day just didn't feel good at all. Feels like a massive head cold/sinuses. Like when I bend over to pick something up my cheek bones actually hurt from the sinus pressure. But I'm pretty sure it's not COVID, just a bad head cold. But also leave it to me to go the entire time without catching COVID and then I somehow get a head cold. Cool. But ooh well like I said I'll take that over COVID any day of the week. Plus I've been kinda feeling sick since i had my period which was a little over a week ago. I think being on my period and not sleeping just seriously took it out of me and my bodies like trying to heal itself. I can definitely tell my bodies trying to heal itself. That's why all I want to do is sleep but I've been having a hard time doing that... Stupid period. Honestly fuck my periods anymore. They just totally wipe me out and make me feel soo weak. Like honestly I on a normal basis sometimes have problems with my body feeling weak, actually not really unless I got my period or I'm sick. My bodies usually ok as long as I take care of it. If I don't like if I don't eat or drink before we go out and do a bunch I end up screwed. So yah so long as I take care of my body and try to give it at least food and water it does ok. Until my period comes along. Then my body just can't take anything. All I want to do is sleep and I just feel entirely fatigued and weak I hate it. And I've been taking iron and it's like to be honest I don't notice much of a difference. I still get beyond exhausted. My periods haven't really been bad either... Minus the last one. The last one was a really weird one. But since taking the iron my periods are pretty much back to normal and honestly even a bit shorter then before but the fatigue... Nothing helps that shit. And I really try to not get exhausted it or be a blob but it's hard when the first like legit 3 days I'm dead. And it's like I don't really get cramps too bad, it's mainly the fatigue that kills me. Anyway, that went wwaayy off topic. I'm trying to not let myself feel sick even though I don't feel good I'm trying not to be a baby about it because I realize someday I'll be sick but I'll have kids to take care of and no matter how shit I feel there aren't sick days for parents.... Unless you're my mother but she was an alcoholic, still is to be honest. Anyway, no idea where this came from 🤷 but here it is.
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fluffywolf86 · 7 days ago
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I just need to vent this out...
Under this cut I am about to get emotional and show a side of me that I never let anyone see. Maybe it's my middle age catching up with me.
I love the sound of silence. I love being alone. I am fine, this is fine.
This is the first time that I have been alone in this apartment in a while. My boys are off doing guy things for the weekend and I should be happy, to have some me time. Why don't I feel happy?
I turned on Borderlands 1 to play a few rounds. The song, "Ain't no rest for the wicked" by Caged the Elephants is the intro song and I cried while watching the Characters demo their abilities! WHY?! I have never gotten emotional during that before.
Next I decided to watch some youtube. A commercial comes on for something or another, I look up and see happy smiling babies and I just started bawling again. I have seen that same ad a hundred or so times and never once has it ever made me cry.
I picked up a clear package that has my sons school photos in it, looked at his happy little face, and guess what I did. If you said cried like a bitch you got it right. I even heard myself say, "Oh my god, I love you so much. I wish I was a better mom. I wish you would talk."
Yes, my son is a non verbal autistic child. Everyone tells me that it's not my fault and that I did everything right. So why do I still feel like a horrible mother? I have so much negativity inside me, and it's all about what a huge loser I am. How I am not good enough for my boys, how they would be better off without me, and that all I do is let everyone down.
Maybe this is the problem. I spend so much time taking care of them, I give everything I have to keep them happy, healthy, safe, and loved. I try to be everything to everyone in my family. I get told that I am always putting everyone else before myself, and if I don't stop doing that and make time for me I will crash and burn.
Is that what is happening tonight? Am I having a mini break down? Well after spending time alone in a hot bath with with my lavender honey epsom salt, some candles, and some soft music... I think I'm all cried out and now I feel calm and peaceful. I think I'm just going to go to bed and just try and get some rest. I think a full nights rest is what I really need.
if you read this, thank you for sharing your time with me.
Thank you,
Fluffy
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thegreenwitchproject · 9 days ago
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Series Journaling
The idea for series journaling came to me today while I was thinking about working on the book I was supposed to writing instead of typing this up. To be blunt, I have a mental illness that makes it difficult to stay motivated on my stories. I wanted to come up with something that makes me want to continue creating and keeps me motivated and excited for my writing.
Series journaling is not a replacement for a Series Bible, it adds onto it in more creative ways. I plan on making it more similar to an art journal. Some ideas below could be added into your Series Bible if desired. I'm not sure if anyone has ever had an idea for this kind of journal, but I'm sure I'm not the first person. Not all of these ideas are original.
Ideas for your Series Journal...
Meanings or ideas behind the names of characters, places, objects and anything else inportant to the series or MC
Did you choose a name because it had a personal meaning to you? Does the name have meaning? If you made up the name, did you give it meaning?
What inspired the story or characters
Keep track of the books, movies, games, art, music, etc. that inspired you to begin writing this story. Having a list full of inspiration can help you pull yourself out of writer's block because you know where you can go to to respark excitement for your story.
What symbols are important to the series or MC
Think about the common symbols in your series. Did you choose to add those symbols or did they occur natually? Are you using a well-known symbolism or did you create something new or personal to you?
Journal entries from the characters POVs
I think this could be really fun to do for side characters. Or in multiple POV situations where several MC are present in a scene but only one POV is in the final draft.
Scenes that you love but won't make it to the final draft
Instead of trying to force them into the story because you can't bear to get rid of them; keep them in your series journal. They'll have a loving home and you won't need to cry over needing to delete them. win-win.
Scenes and short stories about the characters or world that only you will see
Sometimes you need to write something just to make yourself happy. Knowing that no one else will see these scenes and stories will make it easier to losen up and write without limiting your writing. I find myself constraining and overthinking my writing a lot becuase I know my mom will want to read my stories, and making mom friendly stories can be exhausting.
Playlists for the series, world, settings and/or characters
Personally, I find making playlists really fun and inspirational. Music can help you get into a certain mood or mindset and that can help you while writing. You can share playlists with people to give them a sense of tone and personality for the series, world and characters.
Bonus: You can pick songs for certain points in your storyline. For example, So far away by Avenged Sevenfold would be the intro for one of my MCs.
Quotes and poetry that remind you of the world or characters
Like books and movies, they can help keep you inspired.
Scenes and short stories from altered timelines
I think it's interesting to think about how one action or event (or lack thereof) can change a story. It can give you ideas for your story that you would have never thought about. Just make sure your characters are still acting within their character or moral code; unless you want them to break their moral code (with good reason) and have a break down. It can add a good amount of internal conflict.
What happens to the world and characters after the series ends?
Every story and series has to come to an end, but to writers the world and characters continue to live in our heads. That's how it is for me, anyways. You can write short stories, journal entries or create a map of events to continue the story or get closure without feeling like you need to write another book or series; unless you want. It could inspire another book or spin-off series.
Character correspondence lists
This is less about what your characters like and more about what represents your characters. Example, your characters favorite color is purple but yellow represents their personality because they are the sunlight in everyone's lives. I think this could help add small details to your characters or how others describe them that will give them more life.
Setting correspondence lists
Similar concept as above, but it could be more literal. What sights, sounds, textures and smells are in the setting? Is there any symbolism in the setting? you can be really detailed or create a basic list. It could help create or write settings especially if you don't like writing settings.
RPG sheets for characters
I love playing pathfinder and D&D so for me this sounds really fun. What class would they be? What race would they be? How much of their personality would change? How much of their personality would stay the same? This is probably the least helpful idea for actually writing.
Favorite quotes your characters have said
What made this quote matter so much to you? Was it the moment they got the courage to stand up for themselves? Did they say something so profound it shocked you? I think this can help you keep an interest in your characters. When writers lose interset in their characters halfway through a story it sucks for the writer, but it can make readers throw your book. If you can't root for your MC how can you expect the reader to?
Favorite settings in the series
Why are they your favorite settings? if you can pinpoint the elements that makes you love a setting then you can make more settings you love in later projects. Rose bushes and doves can't be present in every setting you write but cut roses and photos of doves could be easy to include and it could help create motifs in your writing.
Favorite scenes in a series
What makes them your favorite scenes? Similar to above, pinpointing elements can help you continue creating scenes you love. You can break it down into categories; favorite love scene, favorite action scene, etc.
Create playlists and correspondences for relationships
I think this can create little elements and symbolism to relationships that readers will love. You can do this for any relationship; lovers, best friends, brothers, sisters, etc. Don't just focus on healthy relationships. Think about the symbolism and elements that can be used to show readers that a relationship is unhealthy without being told. Obviously, physical, mental and emotional abuse shows a relationship is unhealthy, but not all unhealthy relationships are abusive.
Artwork that makes you think of your characters and world
You can use your own art or you can print out pictures. I'll probably use a mixture of my own art and pictures. Try to choose art and images that reflect the mood you want for your characters, world and story.
Feel free to add onto this list and ask questions. I hope this helps someone.
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