summary: you fantasized about meeting your soulmate all the time when you were a kid, but when you finally meet him you begin to think having a soulmate isn't all that it's cut out to be
pairing: oikawa x reader
warnings: swearing, angst
genre: angst to fluff
word count: 3.7k
a/n: It's my birthday! I turned 21 which means I can now legally do basically anything. It also mans this is the last fic for the seven days up until my birthday.
Everyone in the world is born with a soulmate, their other half. When you speak your first words the first words your soulmate says to you appear on you. Some people can go their whole lives without meeting theirs. They don’t search or they’re on the other side of the world. For some people this is okay and they simply marry someone else. You don’t need your soulmate to live a happy life. However, life is better with your soulmate. It’s the person who was made to understand and accept everything about you. Life wasn’t picture perfect, soulmates still fought. It was just better.
Ever since your parents explained to you what the words on your ribs meant you couldn’t wait to meet your soulmate. You fantasized about it everyday, what they would look like or act like. You were constantly daydreaming about the day you’d meet the person who said those words that were permanently etched into your skin. Of course you hoped you’d have easier words than “hey cutie” but at least you knew he thought you were cute. Now you were just hoping you didn’t say something stupid in return.
It was your first year at Aoba Johsai when you unfortunately met your soulmate. Where you learned he greeted nearly everyone with “hey cutie” and before you could respond he was whisked away by his best friend. It was your first year when you learned your soulmate was Oikawa Toru and it was your first year when you learned some people will do anything to be with whoever they want.
You overheard girls constantly going up to Oikawa claiming to be his soulmate and you constantly heard him tell them that they weren’t. You hated having the locker across from his. He got notes from girls who said that he was their soulmate but they were too shy to tell him in person. He got people trying to guess what his soulmate's first words were. You hated having a locker across from him because you overheard him tell Iwaizumi that he was tired of people pretending they were his soulmate.
It was your second year when you finally worked up the courage to talk to Oikawa and it was your second year when you learned you hated your soulmate. You walked up to the locker ready to explain that you were his soulmate and you were too scared to tell him when he yelled at you. Before you could get a word out he was telling you to go away.
It was after school and you stayed late in the library to tutor someone in your class. You went to your locker and saw Oikawa at this locker with his friends. You figured now would be the best time since it was just the five of you and the school was empty. You took a deep breath and took the three steps across the hallway to Oikawa’s locker. You were about to speak when he beat you to it. “Could you stop? God I am so tired of all of you pretending to be my soulmate when you’re not. Do you know how hard that makes it for me? You’re all so annoying just leave me alone.” You stood there as he yelled at you for trying to talk to him. You stood there as you felt your heart breaking when you barely even knew Oikawa. When he was done speaking you just turned and walked away as you felt tears streaming down your face.
It was the next day at school when Oikawa apologized to you for yelling at you. You just nodded and walked away, still too embarrassed to talk to him. It was a few weeks later when he started dating the volleyball team manager. That was when you had to listen to your soulmate talk about how he finally found his “soulmate”. You listened as he talked about his “soulmate” to his friends and about how amazing she was. You watched as she went up to Oikawa and pretended to be someone she wasn’t. You thought your soulmate yelling at you was the worst thing that could happen to you, but you were wrong.
It was a month after Oikawa had started dating her when you rounded the corner to the exit of the school and heard his girlfriend talking to her friends. You felt bad as you eavesdropped but the guilt you felt was quickly overtaken with anger. “We know he’s not your soulmate, so how’d you get him to believe you were?” One of her friends asked. “Well at practice one day I saw his soulmate mark. So I just went up to him and said it. Easy as that, he didn’t really question it since we’ve never spoken prior to that.”
“So you lied to him? How considerate of you. How long do you think you can keep that up?” You asked, turning the corner. “However long I want. It’s not like you’re going to tell him.” She scoffed and walked away leaving you in the hallway. You thought about as you walked home, you may not be on the best terms with Oikawa due to the fact he unknowingly ripped out your heart and stomped on it; but you also couldn’t let this girl pretend to be his soulmate. So you decided you would tell him.
The next day at school you went to tell Oikawa about what you heard yesterday, however, when you went to go talk to him he walked away from you. You thought he just didn’t see you so you figured you’d try again later, but he walked away from you again and again, and again. Every time you tried to talk to him he avoided you. You eventually found Iwaizumi and decided to tell him in hopes he would pass the message onto Oikawa.
“Iwaizumi, can I talk to you for a second?” He turned around as you approached him with the question. “Oikawa’s girlfriend isn’t his soulmate.” Iwaizumi rolled his eyes, mumbling whatever and turned around. You ran in front of him preventing him from moving , “I’m being serious. I don’t know how or when but at some point she saw his soulmate words and used them to make it seem like she was his soulmate. I heard her tell her friends yesterday.”
“Look Y/n,” he started off with a sigh, “She told us you were going to try to split them up. We didn’t really believe her at first, but you just proved her point. I don’t know what motive you have for doing this but you should really stop. First you tried to pretend like you were his soulmate and now you’re claiming his actual soulmate is lying about it? Just leave him alone.” He finished walking around you.
You turned around as frustrated tears started welling up in your eyes, “I am his soulmate asshole! You both are jerks, I don’t want him as my soulmate anyway. Wish him luck for me.” He turned around looking shocked at how genuine you sounded and how hurt you looked. He started saying your name before you cut him off, “Forget it Iwaizumi, he clearly doesn’t want me as his either.” You walked away leaving Iwaizumi with more doubts than what he started with.
Iwaizumi and Oikawa were hanging out at Iwaizumi’s house studying when Iwaizumi brought you up, “Y/n stopped me at school today.” He said testing the waters. “Oh yeah? What’d they say?” Oikawa responded, bored with the conversation already. “They said that they overheard Himari say she wasn’t your soulmate. That she saw your soulmate words and that’s how she knew what to say.” Iwaizumi stopped studying and looked up at Oikawa who paused what he was writing before rolling his eyes and continuing his homework.
“That doesn’t make any sense, besides Himi said they would try and break us up. What would she gain out of pretending to be my soulmate anyway?” Oikawa mumbled. Iwaizumi thought for a second before remembering the hurt look on your face and the sound of your voice. “Y/n also said that they were your soulmate, and before you say anything you didn’t hear their voice or the look on their face. They were really hurt.
Oikawa sighed, setting his pencil down and looking at Iwaizumi annoyed, “I don’t know why we’re still talking about this. Himi said this was going to happen and it did. This also isn’t the first time Y/n tried to claim to be my soulmate. Now drop it, please.” Iwaizumi shut up for the remainder of the time.
It was your third year and Oikawa was still dating Himari, Iwaizumi never brought you up again but ever since you talked to him something about her never sat right with him. Iwaizumi had a few conversations with you since then but never brought it up to you either. You were sitting behind the school eating lunch when Iwaizumi sat down next to you, “Show me your soulmate mark.” You whipped your head towards him in confusion mumbling “what?” with a mouthful of food. “Show me your soulmate mark.” He repeated and you slowly finished the bite you were chewing, still confused. “What? Why?”
“Ever since you talked to me last year about Oikawa and Himari something never sat right with me. So show me your soulmate’s first words said to you and I’ll try and help you.” He sighed while rubbing his face. The past year had been tiring for him, he brought you up one other time to Oikawa and Himari both, but as soon as Himari started crying Oikawa snapped. “Uhm no thanks, I can tell you what it says but I’m not lifting up my shirt to show you it.” You weren’t about to lift up your shirt just to maybe prove a point. Nothing is solidified unless you actually say something to Oikawa and you doubt that’s happening anytime soon.
Iwaizumi nodded, agreeing to your terms. “It says “hey cutie” but Oikawa says that to everyone. We won’t know if it is Oikawa unless I say something to him first anyway. For all we know someone else might say that to me. I don’t even know if I want your help anyway. They seem happy just let them be, they clearly deserve each other. Maybe the universe made a mistake.” You said and returned to eating your food.
Iwaizumi leaned back against the building thinking. He’s never seen Himari’s soulmate mark but he’s seen Oikawa’s. It was in the same place as yours so he’s not sure when Himari would’ve seen it. All he knows is Himari started being the volleyball team manager as one of Oikawa’s fangirls and never spoke to Oikawa, then she just randomly walked up and talked to him. It didn’t sit right with Iwaizumi and no matter how many times Oikawa said he was happy he finally found his soulmate he never actually seemed happy.
He was about to say something when someone beat him to it. “Seriously? Are you still trying to convince Iwa that you’re my soulmate Y/n? This is starting to get pathetic and you Iwa? Are you actually entertaining this? Come on Iwa-chan, let's go.” Oikawa said, hands crossed scowling at the both of you. “How do you know they’re lying? Have you seen Himari’s soulmate mark?” Iwaizumi asked, not moving from his spot next to you on the ground. Oikawa thought for a second furrowing his eyebrows and unfurrowing them, “No but what does that have to do with anything? Are you accusing my girlfriend of lying to me? I believe Himi, she said the words that have been on me for years. It's not like it’s a coincidence.”
“How do you know Y/n’s lying? You’ve never let them say a word to you. You’ve only ever yelled at them.” Iwaizumi got up from his place on the ground defending you. You aren’t the closest or anything but after the few conversations he’s had with you, he would still consider you a friend. He liked you a whole hell of a lot more than he liked Himari that’s for sure. You got up from your place on the ground and tugged on Iwaizumi’s sleeve. “Just let it go, I don’t care anymore.” You said as he turned his head to look at you.
“No you wanna prove you’re my soulmate so bad, go ahead prove it. Say your first words to me and we can move along and I can go find Himari and continue my life. You can finally leave me alone.” Oikawa said, walking closer to you and Iwaizumi. You shook your head fed up with it already. Even if he found out you weren’t sure you wanted him to be your soulmate anyway with all that he’s put you through. Every time Oikawa opened his mouth you seemed to get more angry with him. He was still talking when you cut him off, “Fine, I’m your soulmate you asshole! Are you happy now?!”
You didn’t give anyone a chance to say anything as you stormed off. After three years of knowing Oikawa was your soulmate he finally wanted to hear you out. You couldn’t believe the nerve of him or Himari. You still don’t know why she faked being his soulmate, his fangirls are just desperate you guessed. As you walked into classes now significantly more pissed off than you were before lunch, Oikawa and Iwaizumi were talking behind the school.
“Did you tell them?” Oikawa asked, narrowing his eyes. “You’re ridiculous of course I didn’t tell them, you really think I’d do that? Besides, they sounded a lot more believable saying that then Himari did last year.” Oikawa sat on the ground leaning against the school with his head in his hands. “I’m still having a hard time believing it, I mean why would Himari do that? Oh god I was a jerk to my soulmate for two years. And they didn’t say anything. I didn’t let them say anything. I don’t think I can make this up to them. I really fucked up.”
“Yeah you did. You’re gonna spend the rest of your life digging your way out of this one. That is if Y/n gives you the chance. Even if they do, I doubt they’ll let you forget about it. First things first though, you need to break up with Himari.” Oikawa nodded as Iwaizumi patted him on the back, helping him up from the ground. They got back to class and the first thing Oikawa did once school ended was find Himari and break up with her.
A few minutes after breaking up with her he went to his locker and found Himari yelling at you. “What are you doing Himari? It’s over, they had nothing to do with it. This was all your own fault, did you honestly expect us to stay together forever? Even if they hadn’t finally gotten it through my thick skull I would’ve found out eventually.” He said standing in between you and Himari. She huffed and walked away yelling various profanities at the two of you. Oikawa turned to you to apologize but you were facing your locker, ignoring him.
“I’m sorry, I really am. I know it doesn’t help at all but I am. I was too caught up in the fact that I might’ve finally found my soulmate that I didn’t want to be told I was wrong. It still doesn’t make up for the fact that I was a jerk to you. I’m going to spend the rest of my life trying to make it up to you. Please let me try.” Oikawa leaned against the locker next to yours as he practically begged.
You closed your locker looking at Oikawa with a blank look. “No.” Oikawa looked confused as he mimicked the word in a questioning tone. “Yeah, no. Look Oikawa, you’re my soulmate but it sure as hell doesn’t feel like it. You’re right, you treated me like shit for the past year and a half. I’m not about to just forgive and forget, because while you were off playing soulmates with Himari your actual soulmate was hurt and heartbroken because you couldn’t give them the time of day. So no Oikawa I won’t let you.” You walked off for the second time today, leaving Oikawa standing in the middle of the hallway.
“You kinda deserved that one sorry dude.” Matsukawa said, clapping Oikawa on the back. “I know I just don’t know how I’m going to make it up to them. I really hurt Y/n and I don’t know how to fix it. I’m scared I’m not going to have a soulmate for very long.” Oikawa tried following you out of the school but Iwaizumi stopped him telling him to let it go for today. Oikawa listened and begrudgingly went to practice. For the first time in his life he didn’t want to go to Volleyball practice. Instead he wished he was with you desperately trying to make everything up to you Trying to patch things up.
For the next few months Oikawa spent his time constantly trying to make things up to you. He told you he was sorry at least once a week and bought your favorite snacks as gifts to you. It started off with him leaving some chocolates you didn’t much care for in your locker. When you told him you didn’t really like them his response was, “Well why don’t you tell me what you like so I can get you the proper gifts.” You just shook your head and walked away after telling him thanks. You may have been mad at him but you weren’t rude.
The second time he tried doing something to apologize he did it publicly. Iwaizumi tried to talk him out of it knowing you weren’t going to like having all of the attention but Oikawa refused to listen. So he made this big grand gesture in the middle of the cafeteria at school. You didn’t say anything as your face grew red and you walked out of the cafeteria, leaving Oikawa walking back to his friends while Iwaizumi told him, “I told you so.”
He didn’t really try to do anything big after that, just small things to let you know he was there. Eventually he started walking you to and from school after learning you didn’t live that far from each other. Slowly you started to forgive him, but you weren’t about to jump right into dating. So you stayed friends. You let him walk you to school and sat with him at lunch. You went to all of his games that you could easily travel to. You were beginning to forgive him and that’s all Oikawa could ask for.
“I’m thinking about leaving Japan after we graduate.” He said one day while you were hanging out at his house. His parents knew you guys were soulmates and gave him an earful after hearing about what he had done, his sister still teases him about it whenever she visits with Takeru. You were hanging off of his bed when he made that statement and you sat up. “Where are you gonna go?” You asked, moving to the edge of the bed. “I’m not sure yet. I have a few offers but I think I’m going to go with Brazil.” He moved from his desk to the spot next to you on the bed. “Unless you think I should stay here.”
“You think I want to be the reason you don’t follow your dreams? Hell no, Oikawa. Go to where you think is best for you and your future goals. Not where I’m gonna be. We can still facetime and call. Besides, you should be able to visit for the holidays. Who knows, maybe I’ll find a school in Brazil to go to.” Oikawa looked at you surprised, he knew you were starting to forgive him but he didn’t think you’d be willing to go with him.
“You don’t have to do that, you know. I couldn’t ask you to come with me. Of course I would love it if you would, but only if you think you’d be happy there. I’ve put you through enough Y/n I can’t ask you to do this as well.” You rolled your eyes covering his mouth with your hand. “Shut up for once. I’m not mad at you anymore, I’m never gonna let you forget it, but I’m not mad. I’m not saying I’m going to for sure go with you wherever you go and follow you blindly. I’m saying if I find a school I like and get accepted then I’ll move with you. I just got you to realize I’m your soulmate, I’m not quite ready to give that up just yet, Toru.” You finished your mini speech removing your hand from his mouth. You expected him to immediately start talking but he just stared at you for a while. “Toru? You’re freaking me out. Blink or something at least.” He didn’t say anything as he pulled you into a hug thanking you.
A few months later and you were helping pack boxes at Toru’s house, “I told you not to wait until the last minute to pack Toru. Now we’re rushing so you’re ready to leave on time.” You scolded sorting like things into boxes. “Maybe if my beautiful s/o hadn’t distracted me when I was supposed to be packing we’d be fine.” He said coming up and wrapping his arms around your waist pecking you on the cheek. You laughed as you lightly shoved him away, “Toru I’m serious we’re going to miss our flight if you don’t hurry up. I have orientation next week and you start practice soon. We need to get there early to settle into the apartment and look around the city so we’re not lost right away.”
He shook his head, laughing as he finally helped you pack his bags. Before you know it you’re in Brazil moving into an apartment with your boyfriend. Sure your relationship was rocky, but you couldn’t imagine spending your time with anyone else.
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If you made this quiz... come marry me
HLVRAI but the soulmates are a fucking disaster
contains discussion of ampu/tation, misunderstanding human healing abilities, canon-typical vio/lence, struggling with emotions, self-sabotage, and just totally fuckin things up for yourself, man :/
“how come he likes you again?”
“Shh, we’re just getting to the good part,” Bubby murmurs, his attention on Dr. Coomer, but right now Gordon’s distracted both by Coomer’s speech and trying to figure out how to get water from the cactus, and besides that this is important. Jaw set, Benrey reaches a hand out and tugs on the collar of Bubby’s labcoat.
Bubby jerks away, affronted— he likes other people touching him about as much as Benrey does— but whatever he sees on Benrey’s face must be enough for him to hesitate.
“...Ughhhhh,” Bubby groans, and gets to his feet.
Military aircraft roar overhead hunting for their group. Bubby allows Benrey to lead him a little farther away, out of earshot of the others, where he crosses his arms and scowls. “Alright, this better be good. Harold’s readings of the ‘Taxonomy & classification’ sections are always inspired; I don’t want to miss it.”
“huh?” Benrey says, then shakes his head— focus. “no, man, s’gordon— why’s he like you again but not me?”
"Gordon—? Oh, I gotcha." Bubby squints, looking Benrey up and down. Benrey stays still, hands loose like that will help, awaiting his verdict. Bubby purses his lips. “I mean, to be fair you did get his hand cut off.”
“wuh, buh— no, cuz you did too,” Benrey protests. “and it was an accident, i told him! but he’s all, myugh, all— rude and shit—”
“He’s always been rude,” Bubby points out.
“yeah but not, not like this! he's so sucks now, doesn't— doesn't laugh when i do sumn funny, he says mean shit— meaner shit, won't look at me, just yells and cries all the time like a baby—"
"Benrey. He got his hand cut off," Bubby repeats, irked. He glances again towards the others, obviously eager for this conversation to be over. "Of course he's being a baby. For once, he's allowed to be."
"yeah, but he's being nice to everyone else about it," Benrey complains, aware that he’s whining but unable to stop. "all, mmh, all grabby and shit, and— even to you, and it's your fault too, and you don’t even like— but with me he won’t, won’t even, uh…” touch me, Benrey nearly says, but manages to stop his stupid mouth just in time, stunned at himself. Touch him? Benrey doesn’t care whether Gordon touches him— he hates it, in fact, hates when Gordon gets in his face, or grabs his shoulder, or shoves him up against a wall…
Bubby must catch something of it anyways, because both of his eyebrows raise and he stops looking over at the others to focus entirely on Benrey with a thoughtful frown. Benrey shifts under the scientist’s gaze, grateful his helmet hides his warm ears.
"Benrey," Bubby says slowly. “Why do you even care?"
"man, i don’t," Benrey says immediately, but he can feel the strain of Sweet Voice in his throat and has to swallow. “he cares. gordon, he— y’know?? always talkin’ about arms and shit, grabbing me and makin’ me follow him cuz of em, and then he was nice, and then mean cuz of mine, and wouldn’t even say what i did wrong—”
“What do you mean, yours?” Bubby interrupts, glancing at Benrey’s bare forearms, sleeves rolled up in the desert heat. “What do you mean, he was nice? He’s been a little b!tch this whole time.”
“wuh? no— before,” Benrey says.
“Before he got his hand cut off?”
“no, way before. he made me show him my arm and then got all pissy.”
“He… made you show him,” Bubby says, wrinkled brow wrinkling further, “your arm…?”
Benrey scowls at him and balls up his fists. “yes! aren’t you listening? we were friends but then he was all, blugh, ‘Benrey be careful,’ ‘Benrey stop bleeding,’ ‘Benrey, Benrey, Benrey,’ all up on my ass, and then he—” Benrey has to swallow back Sweet Voice again, frustrated with himself. “then he got hurt, and now he— now he fucking hates me.”
For some reason, saying that last bit out loud hurts like getting his chest crushed by an unstoppable metal gate. It feels like all of Benrey’s emotions are yelling at him. Everything’s so loud and confusing that even though he’s a fucking adult, even though he should have this shit under control, this time he can’t stop his feelings from spilling out of him in Sweet Voice, a sliding scale of expressive notes and a kaleidoscope of hues that could clarify exactly how he’s feeling— if he only had the ability to see color.
Benrey glares bitterly up at the might-as-well-be grey motes of light even as they continue to pour out of him. Man, sometimes he fucking hates being him.
Bubby flicks Benrey’s helmet with a surprisingly melodic ding! that yanks Benrey’s attention back to the present conversation and cuts off the supposedly colorful song. “You goddamn moron.”
“wuh?” Benrey says, unthinkingly reaching up to rub the affected spot, as Bubby shoves up his sleeve to reveal a line of text in messy cursive on his thin forearm. Baffled, Benrey peers closer to find that it reads, You don’t know me, but I’m getting you out of here.
“Doesn’t whatever stupid species you’re from have soulmarks?” Bubby demands. “All humans have the first words their soulmate says to them on their right arm. If I’m right— and I practically always am— then he probably thinks you’re his soulmate.”
“huh?” says Benrey.
Soulmates? Soulmates? Gordon and him— He and Gordon— Gordon, Gordon thinks that they’re, that they could be— he and him— both of them— together?? Gordon, soulmate? Benrey?? Benrey and Gordon? Gordon and Benrey???
“Oh my god. You are an idiot,” Bubby says, but the twist of his mouth is sympathetic. Benrey can’t reply, nearly choking on what is probably an entire rainbow’s worth of Sweet Voice. “How does your, euh, species or whatever figure out who their soulmate is?”
By touch, of course, skin-to-skin contact— but Gordon’s in the HEV suit, which covers every part of his body except the gaping wo/und of his arm— no way he’ll let Benrey anywhere near that— and his head, on the rare occasions he removes the helmet. Maybe there, if Benrey could get close enough to touch? He'll have to, one way or another, now that he knows Gordon thinks they’re soulmates, because it’s not like he can just go on without checking… right?
That gives him pause. Because despite that old, buried part of Benrey that is shrieking in joy at the idea of him actually, finally finding his soulmate (and keeps blathering on about first kisses and colors and mleuh mleuh mluh), Benrey has organized most of himself around the idea that he doesn’t need a soulmate. The dimension-hopping, the resistance to touch, the many keep-it-casual friendships of the past few years— all of that has been because Benrey decided he was fine with being alone. He doesn’t need anyone else.
Gordon may be fun, and pretty, and laugh easily and play along with Benrey’s jokes and keep surprising him so much that Benrey kinda always wants to keep an eye on him just to see what this strange human will do next, but he’s also rude and yells all the time and gets mean about stupid stuff. Probably Benrey’d be better off as far away from this dude as possible.
Except… even before he knew they could be soulmates Benrey didn’t really want to be away from Gordon. Yeah, the guy’s being a pissy little rudeman right now, but Benrey has to take some responsibility for the arm thing (even though it was a freaking accident, ugh). And if some of Gordon’s meanness from before was just because he thought Benrey had, what, rejected him (which: HA!), then maybe he’s usually more like the fun guy he’d been before Benrey showed him his arm. Maybe they could actually really get along. Maybe... maybe, maybe, maybe.
Benrey ponders this through sneaking around the desert surrounding Black Mesa, through heated disagreements with fighter jets, through cold metal pipe crawls, until at last he sinks into a pit of Powerade™ with the rest of the Science Team, his eyes on Gordon.
The man looks tired. His shoulders are slumped, curved inwards to protect the awful stump of his arm (and what the hell, why hasn't he fixed that yet?). He's removed his helmet to splash his face, revealing dark hair in a tangled mess, the curls lank with days' worth of sweat and b!ood. His freckles stand out starkly against his unusually pale face. He cracks a grin when the rest of the Science Team turns to him, but the second they look away the smile falls and those light-toned eyes turn bleak.
That is, until he realizes that Benrey's watching him.
Gordon scowls and makes to turn away but Benrey's already moving, sloshing over even though he never gave his body permission to do so, heart thudding wildly in his chest. He stops right beside Gordon, on the side with the opening in his suit (and no arm). Gordon stiffens but doesn't look over.
Fumbling for words, Benrey removes his own helmet to buy time. He dips it in the Powerade™, upturns it, rubbing his thumb along the familiar dents, and bites his lip. "you, uh… you good, man?"
Benrey watches Gordon close those light eyes, hold them closed for a moment, then finally open them again. He seems to be focusing very hard on the Powerade™. He doesn't say a thing.
"...yeah," Benrey says. He feels dumb as shit and embarrassed, like he's some shy little youngling talking to his much-cooler crush. "okay. that's… fine. yeah."
Gordon still doesn't respond, just watches Benrey fiddle with his helmet, and Benrey's jitters are interrupted by a stab of irritation. He's trying here and Gordon's, what, just not gonna say anything? Just gonna keep ignoring Benrey, pretending he doesn't even fucking exist, even though the rest of the Science Team is just as responsible for his stupid arm as Benrey is? Can't be nice for two fuckin' seconds to the guy he thinks is his soulmate?
Fine. If being nice won't work, then Benrey can play a different game.
"what happened to your arm?"
Impossibly, Gordon goes even stiller. He still doesn't fucking say anything, and something in Benrey snaps.
"hey, buddy," Benrey snarls, reaching for the open wo/und of Gordon's arm, feeling light-headed and dangerous. "looks like you're a bit of a— looks like fucked you up there, huh—?"
Shockingly fast, Gordon twists his body to keep his wou/nded arm out of reach— and then keeps twisting, his left hand shooting up to bunch in Benrey's shirt and give him a vicious shake. Benrey lets it happen, relishes the shock of someone touching him with only shirt and glove between them because now Gordon's finally looking at him. Those light eyes are furious once again, Gordon's face is only inches away, and Benrey can't help the sharp grin spreading across his face.
"Benrey," Gordon growls, and Benrey wants to laugh in his face because ha, idiot, got you to talk to me, didn't i? "What can I do—"
"not much without a hand, huh?" Benrey says quickly because soulmate or not, now that he has Gordon's attention he doesn't want to let it go. "lil– lil clumsy boy, aren't ya?"
As Gordon's pretty mouth goes slack with shock, Benrey recalls with sudden vividness how he used to spend hours as a stupid kid imagining the day he and his soulmate would share their first kiss and color would sweep through their worlds. He'd hoped for something sweet, dreamed of something gentle and excited and certain, him and his someone somehow knowing they were each others' person even before their lips touched.
oh fuck, Benrey realizes, watching Gordon's lips twist and light eyes flash with rage. this isn't what i want.
"wait— hey," Benrey starts, but Gordon's tightened his grip on Benrey's shirt and isn't listening. He pulls his whole upper body back, chin jerked towards the sky but furious eyes on Benrey's own, almost like he's winding up for something. "uh, i. hold on, man, i—"
For a fraction of a second, as Gordon's face moves towards his, Benrey thinks Gordon might actually be going in for a kiss. His mouth opens, shocked—
Then Gordon's forehead connects with Benrey's with a CRACK, and the world dissolves into bright white pain.
"OW," Benrey howls. He's fallen on his ass into the Powerade™ pit, his hands clamped over his face because ow, ow, OW. "dude, what the fuck, man—"
"Fuck you," Gordon spits. "I can't believe I thought for even a minute that you— that we—" He makes a strangled noise, unable to say it, and that makes Benrey forget the pain for long enough to get angry all over again.
"yeah?" Benrey starts, dropping his hands to blink stars out of his eyes, already snarling up at Gordon. "well i—!" His heart seizes in his chest, mind going suddenly, violently blank. "uh. i. wh… wha?"
"What?" Gordon sneers, green eyes alight, and they're green, they're green, Benrey's never seen green before but he somehow knows this friendly-happy-safe color as deeply as he knows his own true name. Gordon's still talking but Benrey isn't listening, can't listen, too busy gaping, because it's not just Gordon's eyes that have sudden, perfect color— it's everything.
Gordon's green eyes in a warm brown face, freckles so dark they match the burnt chestnut of his hair, the sky behind him a soothing pale blue, the stains of lime-green alien viscera that say friendliness twisted into fear— then Gordon's arm, raw and b!oody red, hurt-pain-no-no-no, and the suit a searing orange that means—
"yo," Benrey interrupts hoarsely. "man, why's your suit so angry?"
"Why— what?" Gordon falters, blinking rapidly at Benrey, who is having trouble processing everything. The hungry cyan of the Powerade™, the sweet pink sunburn on Bubby's face, Tommy's eyes in dangerous yellow, the alarmingly green goop staining Coomer's white labcoat, even Benrey's own abandoned helmet in a grey that's not just grey because it minutely reflects all the other colors, every color that Benrey's been missing for so long suddenly wrenched into focus—
"...huh?" Benrey manages.
Gordon stands there, shoulders stiff, staring down at Benrey with eyes that should be friendly but mostly look very, very tired.
"You know what, man?" Gordon finally says. "Save it. Let's just move on."
He turns and sloshes away without even checking to see if the rest of the Science Team heard him. Coomer follows him easily enough, Bubby trailing after with a hard glance back. Tommy hesitates, but he's gotten good at reading Benrey even without the Sweet Voice. He pulls his sleeve down to knock carefully on Benrey's bulletproof vest and pads away, leaving Benrey sitting in the pit of Powerade™, alone.
It takes a long minute for Benrey to pull himself back together, to stop trying to blink away the colors in his vision and start trying to take stock of the rest of him. Experimentally, he sings a few notes of Sweet Voice— and for the first time in his entire life he can read exactly what they say and know exactly what he feels.
Green and pink, highly saturated and bright: joy, love, excitement, elation, affection.
Cyan and dark goldenrod yellow: too much, fatigue, fear, distress, intense worry.
A touch of indigo, but mostly deep, dark red: regret, regret, regret—
Barely aware of himself, he reaches across his body, clutching at the arm he still has, the same one Gordon lost— lost because of him, because of Benrey, because of his soulmate, because he and Gordon really are— they're really—
"oh," Benrey says. "oh, fuck."
haha, what a fuckin disaster :D
i base the sweet voice translations off of this
one chapter left! i'll be posting it (along with the previous chapters, slightly edited) on AO3 instead of in full on tumblr, but i'll post a link in the HLVRAI and Frenrey tags when i do :) thanks for following along; see you soon!
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Happy Birthday Blue @mybluebucketofsnow and Simon Snow! And happy early Midsummer! 💙
Many thanks to Karol @dreamingkc for beta. 💙
Summary: Simon desperately needs to find his soulmate. He turns to Miss Possibelf for help.
Read it on Ao3
(The poem below isn't mine. I only translated it to English.)
[Image ID: A picture of wild flowers on a field, title: Seven Flowers. Additional text: A birthday gift for Blue from Di]
I’m currently sitting in the Magic Word summer class with Miss Possibelf. There are only a few of us here.
Baz too. I think it’s his first time just like mine. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think he joined because of me.
That’s not true of course. I am not that important to him. I’m pretty sure I am nothing but dust and dirt to Baz.
Most of the time he pretends I don’t exist. Or maybe it’s me who's pretending.
Sometimes I completely lose track of what exactly is happening. When it comes to Baz, that is. My thoughts are all tumbled together into disarray whenever he's on my mind.
I try not to think about him if I can help it.
Anyway, I stayed behind this year for one reason only. I need to learn a way to find my soulmate.
The Mage never allows me to be at Watford during summer, that’s when the classes that ever mention soulmates are being held. (It counts as extracurricular, and there's not many spots open each summer.) But the Mage says that I need to be in the Normal world, staying close to the language.
Especially since I already know who my soulmate is, the class would be a waste of time. His words, not mine.
This year, however, the Mage is away on a mission to find some stolen artefact. It’s so important that he himself oversees all the searches.
The Mage and his men are going to every magickal home in Britain, including those on the Coven. (I guess he’s being thorough, although Penny thinks it’s barbaric and a violation of people’s privacy.)
So obviously with that happening, I took my last and only chance to take the summer class. No one has specifically told me I couldn't. The Mage wasn’t here and Miss Possibelf put my name on the list when I asked her to.
Hopefully, I will learn something of value.
“One of the most commonly used spells for love is Magic mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all. It is easy to cast and has ties to these lands. Thousands of children read this story in Britain. That is why it is the one I will be teaching you today,” says Miss Possiblelf and I catch Baz staring at me with an odd expression on his face.
Yes, I know I’m very pale, and look nothing like him.
Baz is gorgeous with his flawless long black hair, ocean deep grey eyes, the best combination of green and blue, and stark reddish golden skin. He's illuminating the room with his beauty, bringing light into the dullness of the classroom and the world.
I scowl at him and turn away, listening to the rest of the lecture. I don’t want him to see me in tears.
There’s something about Baz. Watching him makes my heart ache and tears swell in my eyes. As if his presence opens up some old wound I don’t remember getting.
Some days it hurts looking at him till the point of crying. (Most days if I have to be completely honest.)
That is why I try my best to avoid Baz at all times. And he’s doing the same to me, I think, avoiding me at every turn. There's nothing odd about his behaviour though. We’ve never been friends and most people want nothing to do with me in any case.
Nobody really likes me. Except for Penny and a few of the teachers.
When I was younger, I’d lie awake at night and wonder if I might fancy Baz. I probably do despite how painful it is to be in close proximity to him.
It’s bittersweet really. The only time I had any romantic feelings for anyone, it just had to be like this.
Not that it matters. Even if he did like me back and it didn’t hurt to look at him, nothing could ever come out of it anyway. I’ve had one relationship with someone who isn’t my soulmate. I’d never want to do that again.
It wouldn’t have been fair either to Baz or to me. And definitely not to my soulmate.
“There are vast possibilities to apply magic to the matter of heart, be sure to choose the subject that interests you the most,” Miss Possibelf tells us before the end of the class. “See you all on Monday.”
I know what I am interested in. But there wasn't any mention of that. Only the spell about the magickal mirror. And well I am not looking for the ‘fairest of them all.’
Pretty sure that’d be me. My skin may be golden-ish but it’s the fairest gold. I’m as pale as they come. And since my magic tends to take things rather literally, I have no chance of finding my true love with that spell.
It’s as if the school curriculum chose to have the only useless spell for me personally.
I need a better spell but I’m not exactly comfortable asking for it in front of the whole class.
All right, if I’m being honest here I am not comfortable speaking about anything that has to do with feelings. Not even with Penny.
There is no other way around it though. This is my last chance to learn anything about how to find my soulmate. I can’t find any information on my own. I’ve searched through the whole library. There’s nothing.
I do the only thing I can, no matter how terrifying it feels. I stay behind the class and approach my teacher, hoping I can ask her without it sounding too weird or embarrassing.
“Miss Possibelf,” I start, already halfway to blushing, my hands trembling slightly.
She lifts her gaze from the stack of papers on her desk, “Yes, Simon?”
“I… Well… I wanted to ask you something…”
“Regarding the class?”
I look behind me just to be sure that no one else has lingered by the doorpost. There isn’t anyone. The door is closed.
Has someone done that? Or have I? My magic? No matter, I have more important things to concentrate on.
“In a way, yes.” I need a deeper understanding, more information.
She looks at me expectantly and I am still not exactly sure how to phrase it.
“Was there some part of what we’ve covered today that you’d need deeper information about?” asks Miss Possibelf and not for the first time I am convinced she isn’t quite human.
“Yes… You mentioned Magic mirror on the wall today. But I wonder if there are any other spells with a similar effect… concerning soulmates…” I feel my cheeks burn like crazy speaking of these sorts of things out loud and pause, unsure of how to go on.
“Why do you ask?”
I take a deep breath, calming my nerves.
“I want to find my soulmate,” I confess, and a weight is lifted from my heart, a weight I didn’t even realize was there.
“I was under the impression you already knew who your soulmate was.”
“The Mage told me that Agatha was my soulmate. Since it’s in the prophecy.”
At least I'm guessing it is. The Mage never lets anyone read it.
“You don’t think she is?” asks Miss Possibelf and her face seems perplexed.
“I don’t love Agatha,” I answer, finding the nerve to admit this to myself and to my teacher. It took me years to realise and longer to stop fighting it. The Mage told me Agatha and I were meant to be and I wanted to believe him. It made sense. Except that it didn’t. “And Agatha doesn’t love me either, not in the soulmate way anyway.”
Maybe not in any sort of way. I don’t say that part out loud.
“I’ve been having dreams,” I admit, because at this point I have nothing to lose. “About my soulmate. But I can never remember them when I wake up. I haven’t told this to anyone before.”
For years I was afraid that something was wrong with me. That this was another proof I was a fake, a fluke, that I didn't belong in the World of Mages.
I was terrified to be thrown out of Watford if anyone ever found out. I never even told Penny. But I am done being afraid.
If Miss Possibelf decides I don’t belong at the school because of this, there’s nothing to it.
Our last year has technically ended. These are the summer classes some of us stayed for. We’ve already graduated. On paper at least.
Besides, without my soulmate, I will never truly want to be a part of this world. They can ban me if they want to. I’d rather go somewhere else and leave all of this behind anyway.
For a moment, Miss Possibelf seems deep in thought. But I don’t think she is planning to expel me for this.
“From what you’ve told me, the path to your heart could be blocked by someon— something,” she corrects herself but I’ve already heard what she said.
I try not to think about the implications of that statement. Who wouldn’t want me to find my soulmate?
“Is there a way to break the block?” I ask, hoping for a good outcome, for some hope.
“No,” Miss Possibelf shakes her head solemnly and I feel my heart sink into despair. “However, there is a spell that will show you your soulmate. It is strong enough to work around any interference. Once that is done, the thing that is blocking your heart will fade away.”
I can hardly believe my ears. That's the best news I've heard in my whole life. Even better than the day I found out about magic.
“Would you teach me the spell? I ask hurriedly, almost hysterically. “I need to know. There's only half a year left.”
I don't actually know when my birthday is. But the Mage has powers none of the other magicians possesses. (Except for me maybe.)
He found a way to pinpoint my age and said that I’ll turn nineteen this year.
If I don’t bond with my soulmate on the Winter Solstice of the year of my nineteens birthday, I will never be able to do it.
A bond is a sacred ritual that unites people in this life and beyond, at the other side of the veil. We would never be apart again. And our magic would merge forever.
The Mage told me that I was very important and I was doing a lot of good for the World of Mages. Because of that, my magic should stay the way it is until the last moment, Winter Solstice this year, the day I was to bond with Agatha.
Except she isn’t my soulmate. I know it in my heart. The bond will not work and I will lose any chance of ever finding my soulmate.
“There is one useful spell that is practised in the North, where I am from. It needs to be cast tonight — the midsummer night. It’s ancient and powerful magic.”
“You’re a Northerner?” I ask. I thought Miss Possibelf wasn’t British.
“Not that North, dear,” she chuckles. “The North of Europe.”
“Oh. But will it still work here?”
Magic only works in the region where people speak the words.
“Ancient magic transcends territory,” she surprises me and goes on. “There’s a ritual connected to the spell.”
I nod waiting for more.
“You need to climb over seven fences and then pick seven specific flowers at crossroads during the longest day and the shortest night of the year — the summer solstice.”
“That's the hardest part,” I object. “The crossroads. We don’t have that many here, if any at all.”
“Cross paths in the woods would be enough. There weren’t any big roads at each corner, back in the day. Remember that this spell is old and predates Christianity. So is the summer solstice.”
“Older than a thousand years?” I ask in disbelief. “I didn’t know these sorts of spells still existed.”
“Yes, that is what makes it so powerful. It is the only one in recorded history to help a person find one’s soulmate no matter the obstacles or involvement of external forces. The summer solstice and its magic cherishes love above everything else.”
“That’s really cool,” I blurt out to her. Because it really is. “Why are we not learning it in class?”
Miss Possibelf gives me a look that I am assuming is weathering or something else sad. (I'm not exactly great with facial expressions and what they mean.)
“As I mentioned before this spell predates Christianity,” she clears her throat, glancing behind me. (Towards the door, I'm quite sure.) “The headmaster prefers to keep us closer to the Normal British world and the Bible.”
I want to tell her that the Mage would never take away our power like that from us. However, something inside me tells me she’s probably right. (I try not to think about it too much.)
“Will we get in trouble if anyone finds out?” I ask, even though I don’t think I really care either way. I need to find my soulmate. I do care about Miss Possibelf’s wellbeing though.
“There aren’t any explicit laws stating the old magic is forbidden,” says Miss Possibelf carefully.
Penny told me something about the magickal laws we have and most of them are bollocks. Vague enough to convict anyone on a whim.
I thought surely those laws were created before the Mage. They weren’t according to Penny. So I just tried not to think about it too much. Until now, that is.
My teacher is choosing to trust me regardless of who I am — the Mage’s heir, the person everyone is afraid of.
I always believed it was because of my magic. But lately, I’ve come to the realisation that people are afraid I will tell on them to the Mage. As if I was that kind of person.
Maybe I was, once. But not anymore.
“I won’t tell anyone,” I swear and feel my magic enfolding us both.
I have no idea how I made this simple phrase into a magickal vow. I’ve never taken a vow before.
“I believe you, Simon,” says Miss Possibelf softly, “Even without your vow.”
“Of course. I understand how important it is to find one’s soulmate.”
Her eyes look almost through me, with a faraway glance.
I can’t help but wonder what happened to Miss Possibelf that she’d break the rules for someone else’s soulmate. Nevertheless, I don’t want to pry or to make her uncomfortable.
“So if the cross paths work,” I start, changing the topic. “Then I could climb all the fences around the barn and find some around school grounds and the Wavering Wood.”
“Yes,” answers Miss Possibelf, refocusing her gaze on me. “You need to gather all the flowers and place them under your pillow.”
She scribbles something on a piece of paper and gives it to me.
“Here is the verse, it includes the list of the necessary flowers. You will have to sing it with magic before you go to sleep.”
“I hope it doesn't backfire and flowers start growing in the room instead, with my magic being wonky as it is.”
“Songs never stir magic wrong,” she tells me, reassuringly with a small smile. “Not even as strong and somewhat unpredictable as your magic.”
‘Somewhat unpredictable’ is an understatement. I almost took a whole wing out once with my magic.
Miss Possibelf is too kind. Her words, however, stick with me.
“I didn’t know that, about the songs and magic.”
“Yes. The older the song the better. And you can't get older than this,” she points to the paper I’m holding in my hand now.
How do I know if you care about me
when you never say that you love me?
As soon as it's summer, I'll get the answer, my dear because I am asking the seven flowers.
Midsummer night I pick clover and timothy
karibacka and meadow wool and shy forget-me-nots
bluebells and violets and then I dream of you
and then I know you love me.
I’m on the brink of tears and don’t know how to properly articulate my gratitude to a teacher that took the risk of showing this to me. Not to her son, or her nephew — only her student.
All this just so I can find my soulmate.
“Thank you, Miss Possibelf,” is all I can say, clutching the paper tightly in my hand.
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Credits to Uoouwu
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*leans into microphone* That soulmate au where the name of your soulmate is written on your body with nothing changed except the name is written in Comic Sans
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h ur on my ig homepage and the only reason i follow that account is because they posted one of my posts and it showed up on my explore page
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Of Emeralds and Sapphires
of Emeralds and Sapphires
by TheDark hairedWriter 1205
Adrien is proposing.
How are proposes supposed to happen?
Words: 742, Chapters: 1/1, Language: English
Fandoms: Miraculous Ladybug
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: Marinette Dupain-Cheng | Ladybug, Adrien Agreste | Chat Noir
Relationships: Adrien Agreste | Chat Noir/Marinette Dupain-Cheng | Ladybug, Adrien Agreste | Chat Noir & Marinette Dupain-Cheng | Ladybug
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Canon, Marriage Proposal, Angst with a Happy Ending, Angst and Fluff and Smut, Ring Box, Adrinette | Adrien Agreste/Marinette Dupain-Cheng, Short & Sweet, Sad and Beautiful, warning for soft-hearted people, Soulmates, Song: Marry Me (Jason Derulo), Please Don't Hate Me
Read Here: https://archiveofourown.org/works/32080324
clingy duo but they respawn as new people and stumble across the old bench and feel connected to it for some reason they can't explain
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The Sound Of Your Voice On My Skin
Crosshair x Reader Soulmate AU
Word Count: 2.25k
WARNINGS: FLUUUUUUUFFFFFFF as a treat because that last episode broke my soul apart
Prompt: Anything you write/ draw on your skin appears on your soulmate’s.
It was out of fear of punishment that Crosshair had never dared to take ink to his own skin. He had heard whispered rumors from the other braver cadets that risked the wrath from the Kaminoans but after years of teasing and beatings from the normal clones he had developed an anxious complex and kept his mouth firmly closed around anyone except for his three other brothers. It was in the locker room shower after training that he strained his ears for any ounce of the forbidden information.
“I don’t understand. Every time I try to write my name or Kamino it’s like my hand spasms out and I scribble all over myself,” he heard a ‘reg whisper in agitation, “I can write it all down on flimsy just fine right before or right after but I can’t tell her.”
“Well that would make it easy wouldn’t it? I don’t think it’s supposed to be easy,” another ‘reg mumbled.
“Guys, stop. One of the trainers will hear you and we’ll get in trouble.”
The Kaminoans had forbade any cadets from attempting to connect with their soulmates because they believed that it would inspire desertion or distract them from their duties. They were right of course. Why would anyone want to risk their own life, natural born or not, when they could be with the person they were universally linked to?
Crosshair turned the water off and toweled himself off, preparing to meet his brothers in the mess for supper. When he met up with the rest of his batch, he could hardly focus on them talking about their prospective training. They had taken on specialized training years ago to better compliment each of their enhanced abilities. His being heightened eyesight, precision and focus. At the moment all of his focus was directed towards an incredibly valuable piece of contraband laying on the floor over by the trash cans. He had watched the pen fall out of one of the trainer’s pockets while they dumped their tray and now, something priceless sat rolled half underneath the bin.
His hands twitched thinking about the faint ‘hello?’ that had appeared on his wrist months ago. One singular reach into the void made by his own soulmate, one he hadn’t been able to answer. He scarfed down the rest of his meal as quickly as he could; earning a raised brow from Hunter before standing and trying to keep a casual pace. He purposefully dropped his cup so he had a visible excuse for reaching down. He grabbed the pen and tucked it into his long sleeve in one fluid motion.
That night as he lay in his sleeping pod with the internal light dimmer turned to the lowest setting he stared at his blank wrist, pen in shaking hand. He didn’t know why he was so nervous. All he had to do was write hello. Five simple characters. He knew he could wash the ink off before anyone could see. He inhaled deeply and brought the tip of the pen to his skin.
Minutes passed staring at the letters he had written. He stared at them so long they started to look strange, almost alien; like when you look at your own reflection too long. He sighed and rolled onto his side, just as he was closing his eyes, he felt a slight tingling. He saw more writing appear below his own greeting. He watched each letter as it was being written in real time and his heart pounded in his chest when he read ‘you’re really out there?’
He jolted upright hitting his head on the ceiling of his chamber, cursing silently to himself.
‘I was starting to think you didn’t exist.’
‘I couldn’t answer before. I’m sorry.’
‘That’s okay. Is it night or day for you right now?’
He was already running out of room on his arm so he rolled up his shirt and started writing on his stomach as small as he could, ‘it’s night, I’m supposed to be sleeping.’
‘Me too. What did you do today?’ He wanted to say more but he needed to keep space so he simply replied, ‘marksman training. You?’
‘My dad builds blasters and mods for them, he’s teaching me. Are you going to be a solder?’
‘Yes.’ His heart was pounding in his chest. He could fire a blaster his soulmate built one day.
‘Are you scared?’ He paused to think about his reply. He wasn’t actually scared of going into battle. He had been preparing his whole life for it after all and he would be graduating and sent off to fight next year. He had been mentally and physically prepared for it.
‘No. It’s what I’m meant to do.’
‘I’m sorry it’s very late and I have to be up early. Can I talk to you tomorrow?’
‘Of course. No arms though, I’ll get in trouble.’
‘Yes, they don’t want us to meet our soulmates.’
‘Don’t worry, I’ll find you someday. Sweet dreams.’
Crosshair smudged as much of the ink off of his skin as possible but left ‘sweet dreams’ alone so he could see it. He thought about what his soul mate might look like, what they enjoyed spending their time doing. He fell asleep with a small smile spread across his lips and for the first time in his life, he felt hope.
Two years droned on in a blur since the night Cross had been able to contact his soulmate. He had graduated and completed dozens of successful missions with his batch. He was only able to carve out a few minutes a night to write to her. He learned that she had been contracted by the GAR to work as a weapon specialist. Pride and excitement had swelled in his chest at the time, more so when he got to brag to his brothers about it. Despite the fact that they had never been able to exchange their names or their locations, he held out hope that he would meet her before the war ended.
“Cross, I know you have a grudge agianst the ‘regs and that’s fine but you have to play nice. This is our fourth transfer this year. They’re running out of places to send up for repairs and refuels.”
Crosshair simply huffed and rolled his toothpick between his teeth bringing up his rifle and resting the broken barrel across his shoulders behind his back, brows furrowed. Tech piloted the Havoc Marauder into the base and landed in a hurry that sent every worker running for cover, “and that means you have to stop flying like a crazy person Tech!” The genius of the batch simply responded with a snicker making the silver haired sniper smirk.
“Tech, see about repairs with the lead mechanic here. Cross get your rifle fixed and Wrecker,” Hunter turned to his largest brother who was still looking guilty for snapping the end off of Cross’s blaster, “try not to break anything. While you’re not breaking anything, resupply the munitions.” The three bothers gave a lazy salute to their oldest brother and sergeant before exiting off the ship and going their own separate ways.
You wiped your forearm across your brow to try to keep the sweat beaded there from dripping down into your eye while you listened to the ARC trooper before you plead his case as to why he deserved first dibs on the new blaster modification you were working on. The sight of a tall silver haired man walking into your blistering work room tore your attention from the clone momentarily.
“I’m one of the best you know. If you give me the mod, I’ll be able to show off your work to the higher ups and it’ll make me the best ARC in the GAR. It’d be a win-win.” You sighed and rolled your eyes, you liked Fives well enough but he bristled you. He was a fun drinking buddy when you were in the mood but gods above, he was too high energy to talk to sober for more than a few minutes at a time.
“Fives, I’ve told you before. This is a sniper modification, allowing the shooter’s bolts to be significantly less bright so their position isn’t as likely to be compromised. Therefor it’s not fitted for the DC-15S or your DC-17,” Fives lifted a finger and opened his mouth to rebuttal but you lifted your hand, trapping his words in his throat. “No, I will not attach it to your DC-15A rifle either. You hardly use it. Come back after it gets approved for production and maybe we’ll talk,” you slapped the face shield to your welding mask back down and waved your hand at him in a shooing motion praying he’d get the hint.
Much to your relief he sighed dramatically when you lit up the torch and turned on his heel to leave. He smiled brightly at Cross before chuckling and pointing his thumb over his shoulder in your direction, “careful with that one, she’s the best but she’s fiery as all seven hells,” Cross grunted in acknowledgement before moving from his position leaned against the wall, watching the ‘reg leave with a scowl on his face.
He made his way over to your work table, watching as you worked on a rotary canon. The barrels had melted to the rare point that they had to be cut off with a torch. It didn’t take you long to separate the melted barrels from the receiver. Cutting off the fuel to the torch and lifting the shield on your mask you turned your attention back to the lanky trooper you had never met before. You breathed out heavily while you removed your gloves and slapped them on the table, “how the fuck did they even manage to get rounds coming out of that thing long enough to melt it that badly?”
“Perseverance,” he snarked casually, bringing a genuine chuckle from your lips.
“What brings you into my humble little shop trooper?” flashing a wide smile that reached your eyes. He took the tooth pick out of his mouth and flicked it into a nearby trash bin before setting his rifle down onto the table that separated the two of you. You picked it up an examined it closely.
“Holy shit. This is a 733 Fire Puncher,” you grimaced at the fact that it was missing half of its barrel, “what did you do to it?”
The man crossed his arms across his chest defensively, “my brother used it to prop open the jaws of a Nexu after I drew my side arm.” Your eyes widened before doubling over in a boisterous laughter. “Can you fix it or not?” “Pffft can I fix it? That’s cute,” you fitted it in a vice and used a large wrench to start unscrewing the barrel so you could attach a new one. “My father works for Merr-sonn Munitions inc. y’know, the people who make this blaster. I’ve been working on them long before the war started, back when these were just concepts.”
Cross froze and peeled his eyes off of your working hands to look up at your face. He knew someone whose father worked for that manufacturer. His tongue was frozen in his mouth as the possible realization lapped in his chest like gentle waves. Could it be?
You discarded the remaining half of the barrel into your ever-growing pile of scrap and walked into the back room to find another. When you came back, new barrel in hand and a wistful smile on your face his heart started hammering in his chest. You were stunning. Nerves taking hold and seemingly stopping the flow of his blood. He watched as you threaded the barrel and used your wrench to screw it into place. He was already searching his pockets for a pen.
You lifted the rifle to your eyeline to look down the barrel, ensuring it was straight, “I know someone who wields one of these beauties,” you stated proudly. “You are the first I’ve met though that has one that’s...” you felt a familiar tingling on the top of your hand and looked down to see frantic randomized scribbles appear on your skin, “… part of the GAR…” you looked up to meet the eyes of the man in front of you and watched as he scribbled nonsense on his hand with gleaming eyes and a faint smile.
You almost dropped the blaster but managed to set it down somewhat gently before rushing around the table and taking his hand in yours and compared the markings. They were identical, you finally had him, right here in front of you. You looked back up to his eyes and watched how they softened under your gaze, twin smiles slowly growing over both of your faces. You jumped up to wrap your arms around his neck while he held you tightly to his chest spinning you around twice in joy and relief over finally meeting you.
“It’s really you,” you didn’t ask but acknowledged as shock wrang through your body. He grinned down at you before planting a soft and firm kiss to your lips, “yeah cyare.. it’s me.”
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I hope you expand on your Ari soulmate fic because it so good! I seriously love your take on it. ❤️
Thank you, lovely anon! It makes me happy that so many have enjoyed Wear Me Down. Is Ari an asshole? Yes, but he's a determined asshole and I truly think he would treat the reader well. I may revisit in the future.
Love, thanks and happy reading! ❤️
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soulmate au: 2 or 27 for rexwalker? (or rexanidala)
soulmate au prompts
2. the one where you have your soulmate’s name written on your body.
27. the one where you can transfer any injuries/pain your soulmate has onto yourself.
Once again featuring Marginally Less Terrible Jango, Hopeless Romantic Anakin, and Significantly More Awkward Rex.
Word Count: 5.9k
Anakin doesn’t have a soulmate until he’s ten years old.
He’s already been at the Temple for half a year by then, and heard enough about how not having a soul mark is a good thing, for a Jedi. It means fewer temptations away from the duties they’ve all agreed to take on. There are people with names on their bodies, including Obi-Wan, who has two, but everyone agrees that while friendship with one’s soulmate is fine, especially if that soulmate is a fellow Jedi, it cannot be allowed to become too deep.
“I don’t understand,” Anakin admits to Obi-Wan, one night when he finds Obi-Wan looking at the name that wraps around his upper thigh, the one in the unfamiliar alphabet and cultured, perfect strokes. It’s a few months after he arrives, long enough to think they won’t kick him out just for asking questions, but not quite long enough to know what’s normal yet. His own soul mark is several months away, not that he knows it. “Soulmates were one of the few things a mas--an owner couldn’t take away from a slave. They could get rid of the mark, but we still knew. They were important, something the universe gave us that we could keep, even if it was only in our memories. Why do Jedi try to make it not count?”
Obi-Wan gets a look on his face, the one he gets whenever Anakin has a question that’s more complicated and philosophical than what Obi-Wan was ready for, the questions about why that he has to think about because it’s all normal for Obi-Wan, who grew up here, in ways that it isn’t (and will never be) for Anakin with his Tatoo heart and slaveborn mind.
“It’s not about the depth of the relationship in and of itself,” Obi-Wan finally says. “It’s about how you go about it, how you let it affect you, and if you let it get in the way of your duties as a Jedi, or put yourself at risk of a fall. It’s.. it’s not banned, exactly, to love someone the way one would expect to love a soulmate, but it’s discouraged for our own safety and health. Losing someone you love hurts everyone, but for a Force-user to lose someone they consider so dear to their heart, there’s always a risk of losing one’s stability and going Dark.”
Anakin doesn’t entirely understand, but he pretends he does.
Obi-Wan scratches at the stubble he’s trying to turn into a beard, and says, “Okay, let me finish getting dressed, and then I’m going to tell you a few stories. You said you like learning through stories, right?”
“Okay, so... Bandomeer, I think. Melida/Daan and Mandalore, definitely. And we can round it out with what happened a few days ago,” Obi-Wan mutters. “I--most of those are planets.”
“I’ve heard of Mandalore,” Anakin volunteers.
“Yes, most have,” Obi-Wan indulges him, but he looks a little nervous. “Anakin, I... these stories all have to do with some very painful times in my life, times when I almost left, or did leave, the Jedi Order. I think--”
“You left the Jedi?”
“For a year, when I was a little older than you, but I came back,” Obi-Wan says. “I’m... can you put on some tea? It’ll make this conversation easier.”
“Is it about your soulmates?” Anakin asks, clinging to the doorframe just before he exits.
“...one of them,” Obi-Wan says, passing a hand over the mark on his thigh. “It’s... she’s why Mandalore is on this list, but that story won’t make as much sense unless I tell you about Bandomeer and Melida/Daan first.”
“Because you left?”
“Because I already knew what leaving could cost me,” Obi-Wan corrects, gentle but oddly stern. “Go put on the tea, Anakin. I’ll only be a few minutes.”
Three months after Anakin hears about the times Obi-Wan was forced to leave, did leave, almost left, and threatened to leave (for Anakin’s sake!), the name of his soulmate comes in.
“That’s not a name,” Anakin says.
“That’s not a name,” Anakin says, more upset than he’d like to admit. The soul mark sits neatly on one side of his lower abdomen, warm and precisely lettered and absolutely terrifying.
CT-7567, in a dark, desaturated blue.
“I don’t think your soulmate is a droid,” Obi-Wan tries to joke. It falls flat.
“They’re a born slave,” Anakin says, and watches Obi-Wan stiffen. “Droids don’t get soulmates. Slaves do, but sometimes ma--owners don’t let slaves have names. They just give ‘em a number and that’s it. Supposed to make us more pliant and keeps us from having thoughts of individuality.”
“Them, Anakin, not us. You’re free.”
Anakin looks up at him, lip wobbling, and he knows a Jedi shouldn’t cry, not when he’s already ten, but he wants to any way. “My soulmate isn’t.”
“O-oh, okay, we’re crying now,” Obi-Wan mutters, clearly overwhelmed, and pulls Anakin to his chest. “It’ll be alright, dear one. Your mark means you will meet one day, and when you do, you can free them. Alright?”
“Skywalker? Sounds like a slave name.”
It’s a refrain that CT-7567 hears almost every time one of the adults sees his mark. They mention Tatooine sometimes. One of the bounty hunters that covers their weapons training gets angry if people point out the slave thing, and CT-7567 isn’t the only person to get a slave for a soulmate. She doesn’t explain it often, but there’s an incident when Rex is three that gives him a little more information.
“That one’ll be angry,“ the bounty hunter mutters, her lip curling when she hears the cadets gossiping about their marks again, sees CT-7567 pulling up his shirt to show off his own. She’s always like that, about the clones who have slave soulmates. CC-1010, who knows everything about everyone, says that she used to be a slave before she killed her way out. She’s definitely scary enough. “Name like that... Tatooine, human, might be a slave or might be freeborn from a line of slaves. Either way, that one’s going to be angry about it.”
“How do you mean, sir?”
Her eyes flick to his, and then back to the slugthrower she’s cleaning. “Tatooine slave culture knows things. Your mark on this “Anakin” is going to be your number until you get a name, and they’re not going to make the mistake of thinking their soulmate is a droid. They’ll know you were born to a purpose.”
It takes another year for CT-7567 to learn that she means ‘you were born a slave.’
(It takes two more for him to pick a name.)
Anakin is not the only one in the Temple to have this kind of soul mark popping up. He is not even the first. The Council is investigating it, apparently, but they don’t have much to go off of. It didn’t start until a year or two before Anakin came to Coruscant, but enough Jedi are affected by the CC and CT soul marks for it to be concerning. Anakin gets called in to provide some information on what he knows about slave-designations in these circumstances, which isn’t much, and is barely more than what they already know, but they assure him it’s helpful. Something about corroborating the information a raised slave is taught culturally with the information a Shadow can collect from a community that doesn’t trust them. Obi-Wan explains that it’s about how Anakin knows information that was collected and taught, instead of information that has to be gathered, bit by bit, and analyzed.
It’s a long way of saying that Anakin knows things that other people don’t, because he wasn’t raised in the safety of the Temple.
Anakin doesn’t know many of the others, but he does know one even before his soul mark comes in, because their Masters are friends. They talk about it, and three years after they first connect over this, something happens.
“It changed! Anakin, Ani, it changed!”
Anakin drops the datapad he’s been doing history homework on, and looks up as Aayla, already in the suite, grabs his shoulders and shakes him a little.
“Aayla?” Obi-Wan calls, coming out of the kitchen with a rag in one hand and a wet plate in the other. “What in the--what are you shouting about?”
Knight Vos follows Aayla in--it’s a bit early to call him a Master, given that Aayla’s still not knighted, but it’s getting close--and leans against the door, arms crossed. “Kid was right. The mark changes when the soulmate picks a name.”
Aayla pulls down the shoulder of one sleeve, and Anakin sees that the designation number has changed. It’s not a regimented CC-5052 anymore, but a short, sweet Bly, with a flourish at the end that probably means this person is always going to be excited to sign their name.
“We already knew that,” Obi-Wan says. “When people transition, their name changes on their soulmate as well. This is the same thing.”
“We didn’t know that it applied to born slaves the same way,” Knight Vos says. “All we had was anecdotal evidence from the kid. Trustworthy, yes, but no data to back it up. And now we know.”
“I wonder how it’s meant to be pronounced,” Aayla says, and obligingly lets Anakin poke at the name that swirls on her shoulder in a vivid yellow against the blue. It’s pretty, he thinks. The handwriting and the color and what it means that the soulmates they’ve all gotten are finding ways to be people.
“How long until mine changes?” Anakin asks, even though he knows that nobody here has that answer. “Do you think all of them are going to find names? Or...”
“If they don’t by the time we find them,” Aayla assures him, wrapping an arm around his shoulders, “they will once they’re free.”
(In one life, the Jedi would have held their tongues and ducked their heads, hidden in denial and ‘we are their only option’ and ‘the Senate will use them regardless; we are a kinder fate than men like Tarkin’ and would never use the words ‘slave army’ to describe their men.)
(In this life, they are primed, from the moment a little freed boy explains exactly what a soul mark like this means to people like his, to see their army and say ‘we will free you.’)
Anakin has his eyes fixed on the name from the moment his mark burns and twists and changes. He’s sixteen by then, and on a mission with Obi-Wan that prevents him from running to break into Knight Aayla’s room and show off to her the way she had to him. He’s not even on planet, but at least it’s not the middle of a fight. That could have been bad.
“I got a name.”
“For the assassin?” Obi-Wan asks, raising his head hopefully. “Did you get through to the guild?”
“...no, I meant, uh, my soulmate.” Anakin lifts his shirt, waits on that unfortunate dash of disappointment, and then Obi-Wan’s face lights up and the man practically scrambles over to get a better look. Anakin tries not to let himself read too much into it. It’s... nice, he thinks. That Obi-Wan is excited for him.
“I feel like half these individuals are picking names of exactly three letters,” Obi-Wan says, but he’s smiling as he almost touches the mark. He doesn’t, in the end, but Anakin wants to laugh at it anyway. “Rex, then. I look forward to meeting your young man.”
Anakin feels his face flare. “We don’t know that it’s a boy. I mean, there might be places where that’s a girl’s name. Or a species that doesn’t have our genders. Or--”
“I have a feeling,” Obi-Wan says, and laughs when Anakin pouts at him. “Oh, I wouldn’t bet my saber on it, but a few credits, at least. Nothing solid, but I was prone to visions as a youngling. Qui-Gon was never very good at dealing with the peculiarities of such a connection to the Unifying Force. He tried, admittedly, but he was very much a man of the present.”
Anakin spends the rest of the mission silently cheering on his soulmate for picking a name.
For taking that step to saying “I’m a person.”
Someone tries to assassinate Senator Amidala. Anakin and Obi-Wan are assigned to protect her. There’s an incident with a robot, and Obi-Wan is... pulled aside.
(Anakin finds himself thinking, more than once, that he could have fallen in love with this woman if he wasn’t so attached to the idea inked into his skin.)
(Senator Amidala doesn’t have a soulmate. She’s free to choose, she claims. He doesn’t envy her, but he does respect this.)
(Anakin likes the security of the universe telling him that there’s someone he’s meant for.)
Obi-Wan disappears to investigate something, and returns just before Anakin and Padme are set to leave. He looks... grim.
“The assassination is more complicated than we thought,” Obi-Wan says. “As in, the main assassin was expecting this to fail, so we’d come find him after he killed the subcontractor.”
“He wants to talk to us,” Obi-Wan says. “But, specifically, to the two of you.”
“So, you’re Anakin Skywalker.”
Jango Fett is a shorter man than Anakin, shorter even than Obi-Wan, but he’s not small. The armor bulks him out further. There’s faint scars on his face, here and there, and he seems more amused than anything when Anakin slips in front of Padme to actually be the bodyguard he’s supposed to play.
“What’s it to you?” Anakin challenges, and pretends he doesn’t see the way Obi-Wan pinches the bridge of his nose and sighs.
Fett smirks. “One of my boys has your name on him.”
Anakin stops breathing for a moment.
“One of your boys?” Padme prompts, and Anakin tries to remember his job.
Fett’s smirk falls away and he palms his face. “Three million of them, and counting. I’ve had people cross-referencing soul marks as they pop up, in case anyone’s connected to someone... important. Special attention on the confirmed Jedi.”
“Three mill--you’re behind the ident number marks,” Anakin realizes. “The slave-born.”
Obi-Wan’s face looks carved from stone, and Anakin realizes that the mood he’s been in since he called Anakin and Padme was because he’d figured it out before he called.
“Yeah, Umiett said you’d be the one to make that connection,” Fett mutters. He shakes his head. “Listen, I’ve got three million clones that are more sentient than anyone told me they’d be, and I’ve spent the last few years trying to decide how to get myself out of this contract without abandoning them in the process. Tyranus gave me the job to assassinate Amidala, but I’d already had her shortlisted as one of the Republic members most like to help me get these boys citizenship and legal rights. Once I heard Skywalker and Kenobi were involved, turning this into a discreet way to get your attention seemed like the obvious solution.”
“You tried to kill me... to get my attention... so I’d help you.”
“I didn’t try to kill you. I subcontracted to a former acquaintance that I knew wasn’t good enough to get past two Jedi.”
“Right,” Padme says, seeming unimpressed. Anakin agrees. “Okay, three million sentients, all your children--”
“--yes, something that’s very illegal in the Republic at that scale,” she says. “Unless--”
“Kamino’s in the Rishi maze. Dwarf galaxy, not actually part of the Republic. Isolated.”
“Okay, that’s... going to make this more difficult,” Padme says. “Where does your citizenship lie? Are you still Mandalorian? I’m not as familiar with your role in recent politics as I could be. I know there’s something about all violent dissenters being sent to Concordia, but you--”
“If I thought that hut’uunla Duchess would listen to me, I’d have already reached out,” Fett dismisses. “That’s part of why I focused on Kenobi and Skywalker when doing the research. Skywalker’s got the background to argue slavery, and Kenobi’s got connections in Mandalorian politics.”
“And I’m to be your voice in the Senate.”
“Not mine. The clones’.”
Anakin looks to Obi-Wan for guidance, because this man was involved with the attempted assassination, but...
“Who is Tyranus?” Obi-Wan asks.
“Oh, you’re going to enjoy this. The man calling himself Darth Tyranus is Count Dooku of Serreno.”
Anakin hasn’t heard Obi-Wan swear that colorfully since the last time he got stabbed.
Things... progress. Quietly. Fett mentions there being a Sith in the Senate, something he picked up from a particularly ugly visit from the Count to Kamino, the kind of visit that involved veiled conversations intended as mocking, bragging monologues.
“He really is a villain,” Obi-Wan mutters, as if Anakin hasn’t seen him monologue to captured criminals on occasion, or get so caught up in The Banter that he lets something slip that he shouldn’t have.
Anakin and Padme go to Naboo to ‘keep her safe,’ and Obi-Wan hares off on a falsified investigation, keeping the Council updated the entire time. Anakin doesn’t like splitting up, not when so much is happening, but they have no idea who the Sith in the senate might be, if they even exist. Anakin doesn’t even have time to say goodbye to the Chancellor.
All this contributes, for Anakin is already stressed, and excited, anticipatory and afraid, and then the nightmares come. Padme’s more aware of his fears than she might have been, as much as they talk about slaves and freedom and how she makes things happen with words and legislation. Anakin’s a little in love with the idea of this woman, though he won’t act on anything until he meets his soulmate and figures out what they’re meant to be for each other, but... friends, at least. Padme is going to be a friend, possibly for life, and Anakin’s going to love her no matter what.
She coaxes out the truth, and then tells him, ‘well, your mother would know more about this than you, since you left at nine; it would be entirely reasonable to ask her for advice,’ and then smiles like they’re sharing a secret crush instead of plotting the violation of his orders.
They save Shmi.
Padme doesn’t get the advice she was using an excuse from Shmi, but from a long, tired conversation with Beru Whitesun. As it turns out, when a family’s been freeing slaves for generations, they know what they’re talking about. Even Anakin remembers the Whitesun reputation. Padme’s notes are copious.
Anakin cares for his mother, and talks to his stepbrother, and gets an idea of who these people in his life are. He can’t imagine they’ll make contact often, but he’s glad to meet them. Cliegg--his stepfather, and isn’t that a thought--isn’t a particularly soft man, or a smooth one, but his gruffness has a different energy on Tatooine than it would on Coruscant. Anakin approves.
Obi-Wan calls. Padme explains. Anakin is shamed by his Master and then has to defend that particular title when Owen and Beru stare at him and the comm in matching horror.
“Master-Apprentice,” Anakin says, just a little panicked. “Not Master-Slave. He’s my teacher, practically family, not... you don’t need to worry. I promise.”
“I’ve seen them interact,” Padme says, and then shoots a small, smug smile at Beru. “Obi-Wan’s somewhere between father and brother to Anakin. It’s very sweet, when they’re together, and very entertaining.”
Beru, who’s had three days to get used to Padme, smiles and nods. “Alright then. I’ll take your words for it.”
Obi-Wan sputters a bit at the claim, in the background, and Anakin is... just a little upset by that.
“I think your mother would want to speak with him,” Cliegg claims, and Anakin hesitates, because this is a mission call, for all that gossip is happening, and he really shouldn’t break more rules after the big one he’s clearly, blatantly completely ignored to come to Tatooine in the first place. Cliegg holds out a hand, eyes on Obi-Wan. “As would I.”
“Well,” Obi-Wan says. “I suppose I do have a moment.”
Anakin and Padme arrive on Kamino.
“Your mother,” Obi-Wan says, in lieu of a greeting, “is oddly terrifying, did you know?”
“She’s... still recovering,” Anakin says, brow furrowing. “She can’t leave the bed for anything other than the ‘fresher for weeks, probably. And she’s nice, how is any of that terrifying?”
“It’s her energy,” Obi-Wan notes. “Quietly intimidating, I’d say. Very odd, really.”
“What did you even talk about?” Anakin asks, and then blushes as Padme giggles at him, like she knows things that he doesn’t. She probably does. She’s older than him. Still.
“Ah, that,” Obi-Wan says, looking away for a moment and--blushing? Obi-Wan’s blushing? “She rather aggressively informed me of what is considered normal on Tatooine for a relationship that is, as Padme put it, ill-defined but close and familial.”
Obi-Wan rolls his eyes and steps forward, pulling Anakin into a hug. Oh. “I’ve been informed that the manner in which I show affection to you is rather understated and ambiguous, by Tatoo standards, and that leaving things unsaid isn’t enough.”
“I consider you my brother,” Obi-Wan says, into this hug that is stiff and uncomfortable, but sincere and full of effort. “And I do love you very much, dear one, even if I’m rather unpracticed in showing it in ways that would... translate, shall we say.”
“Oh,” Anakin says, because he can’t think of anything else. He hugs back.
There’s a moment there, where Obi-Wan relaxes and Anakin shifts, and everything feels just a tiny bit more right, and then someone coughs.
“If you two are done?” Fett drawls, and Anakin mourns as Obi-Wan huffs and pulls away, hands back to being tucked into his sleeves in front of him.
“Quite,” Obi-Wan says back, with the strained smirk of someone who’s been dealing with the same frustrating sentient for a solid week without the option of just bashing their face in.
Fett rolls his eyes, and gestures for them to follow him. “I’ve got a bunch of the Alphas and CCs waiting on you, along with anyone we know for sure has a Jedi soulmate. Kenobi’s already spoken with them all, got confirmation that we probably haven’t missed any connections.”
“I know the list of everyone who reported a CC or CT soul mark to the Council,” Obi-Wan huffs. “I have it memorized.”
“Because of Anakin?” Padme asks.
“His mark came in when he was ten,” Obi-Wan says. “I was his legal guardian until very recently. Given the circumstances, it was reasonable that most of the information on the ident-code marking situation be shared with me in the same way that his school reports and medical records were. He was a minor until a year ago, Senator, and as you so rightly pointed out, my role in his life is certainly that of the family member who raised him for the past decade.
“Master,” Anakin hisses, well aware of his blush. “You’re embarrassing me.”
Obi-Wan looks at him, amused. “I’m told that’s rather the point, dear one.”
Padme looks away, clearly fighting back a grin, and Fett’s expression is mocking, at best.
They enter the section of the facility where other people are a moment later, and Anakin is... not quite as ready for the sea of identical faces as he thought he’d be. One small boy in different tunics from the rest runs up to Fett with a call of ‘Buir!’ and falls into step with them, grabbing Fett’s hand and peering curiously at the rest of them.
“This is Boba,” Fett tells them. “He’s the only unaltered one.”
“The one you claimed at birth,” Padme clarifies.
“Decanting!” Boba pipes up, and then smiles winningly at Padme. “I wasn’t born. I was decanted. He claimed me at decanting.”
Fett looks like he wants to run a hand down his face. “Yes, Boba’s the clone that was provided to me as part of the payment I demanded when I first signed on to the project. He’s the only one I technically have legal claim to.”
“All the others are Kaminoan property until claimed by the Senate or Jedi,” Obi-Wan adds, and Fett nods in his direction. “Preferably the Jedi, of course.”
“The Nulls are with Kal Skirata,” Boba pipes up. “He adopted all of them and Kaminiise didn’t care that much because they thought the Nulls were all failed experiments anyway.”
Fett grimaces at the look that gets him from Padme. “They’re not mine. None of them would have wanted to be, anyway, but it stands that I haven’t spoken with them in years.”
“They’re precedent,” Padme corrects. “One I should have been made of aware of if you want this to work. Can you put me in contact with this Skirata individual? What’s his, and their, citizenship status?”
Anakin steps back to Obi-Wan as Padme drills Fett for information, and keeps his eyes wandering for threats--unlikely, if Fett is genuine, and Obi-Wan says he is--and trying to figure out the best way to keep track of which clone is which. They do feel different in the Force, but Anakin’s not as used to using that sense for identification as most Jedi. He sees a few scars and tattoos, but he thinks he’s going to have to--
“Anakin? Why did you stop?”
Anakin ignores his master, because one of the clones, one he can’t even see, is glowing so strong and right and calling to him...
“Anakin, please answer me.”
“I can feel him,” Anakin breathes out. “My soulmate. I think I can feel him, in the Force.”
“Ah,” Obi-Wan says, relaxing. “Yes, that tends to happen, when we look. Fett assured us that he’d be at the meeting, dear. Just a few more hallways to go.”
Those hallways pass in a blur, because he’s there his soulmate is there and--
A room, full of clones that look older than Anakin, for all that they can’t be, and more clones that don’t.
There’s a clone in full kit, helmet included, but Anakin knows, just knows, that this one is his.
“Troopers!” Fett barks. “Kenobi’s brought some friends in. Senator Amidala’s going to be working on the citizenship bill with us. The other Jedi is Anakin Skywalker. You can guess why he’s--”
The fully-armored soldier takes a half-step forward.
Fett sighs. “By the ka’ra, Rex, you’re going to embarrass yourself and me. Take your bucket off, kid, let him see you.”
“Some tact, Fett,” Obi-Wan snaps, and for all that it’s quiet and intended to be subtle, the clones absolutely hear him.
They also seem amused. Apparently Obi-Wan’s been hanging about for long enough that he and Fett have a dynamic, one the clones have gotten used to and find hilarious.
Anakin only sort of notices this, because the clone in armor, still unpainted, pulls off his helmet and for all that it’s the exact same face as Anakin’s seen a thousand times over in the last fifteen minutes, there’s something uniquely beautiful that has nothing to do with the blonde hair or the nervous smile.
“You’re Rex?” Anakin asks, even though he’s sure, he’s absolutely convinced, that this young man is his soulmate.
“Yes,” the young clone says. He looks about Anakin’s age, and Fett’s told them time and again that the clones are basically the age they look, for the most part. Anakin’s going to take it slow anyway.
“Obi-Wan already said it, but, um, I’m Anakin,” he says, and tries to find something to do with his hands that isn’t just taking his soulmate and hugging him ‘til all the suns set. He looks down, and settles for mimicking Obi-Wan and just tucking them into his sleeves. He looks up at Rex, and tries to smile, but he’s so nervous about all of this that it probably doesn’t look like much. He thinks he hears someone snickering.
“Oh good,” someone mumbles. “They’re both hopeless.”
Anakin snaps his head around and glowers at the little group the comment came from, but he has no idea which one said it. All four look amused, and have varying degrees of shit-eating grin in place.
“If you didn’t outrank him, Rex would totally be shooting you right now,” little Boba says. “I think he’d deserve to do that.”
Anakin doesn’t have to strain at all to hear Fett’s groan.
“Alright,” one of the older clones says, and everyone stands a little straighter. An authority among the clones? Official, or more of an informal primus inter pares situation? “Rex’ika and his Jedi can go get to know one another, and none of us are going to make fun of them for it, because I know damn well how many of you have been mooning over the idea of your soulmates despite knowing literally nothing about them.”
“So’ve you, Alpha!”
“You want a boot up your ass, Wolffe? Because if you keep talking, that’s what you’re getting.”
“Boys,” Fett says, and they settle down. “Now, the Senator has some questions for you, and you’re going to comply when she asks, because it’s going to keep your little brothers alive. You understand?”
One clone raises a hand, and Fett sighs.
“Yes, and little sisters, Valierra,” he adds. He mutters something under his breath that sounds like “kriffing Basic.”
(Anakin later learns that Mando’a is not a gendered language, and Fett’s frustration is entirely about the fact that ‘brothers’ isn’t gender neutral. Anakin tries to ask why he doesn’t just say ‘sibling’ or use the Mando’a word, and there’s apparently a whole thing with some instructors wanting to encourage the clones to learn to be Mandalorian, and others wanting to cut them off from anything to do with the planet.)
(Anakin... tries to understand. He’s still confused about why ‘siblings’ isn’t on the table.)
“Go on, Anakin,” Obi-Wan says, looking somewhere between amused and exasperated. “We can catch you up later.”
“I got enough from Beru,” Padme assures him. “You can pop in to help us fine-tune later.”
Anakin nods, just a short jerk of his head, and then looks to Rex. The man is glaring at a little at a little group of other clones, but when Anakin reaches out and takes his hand--takes his hand--Rex turns and stares at him with wide eyes and a flush that Anakin’s sure he’s mirroring.
“We should talk,“ he blurts out, and he can feel Obi-Wan’s despair at how completely inept Anakin is at this whole ‘personal interactions’ thing, but that’s fine, because Obi-Wan’s a bit of a slut, and Anakin doesn’t flirt with everyone he meets, and he’s been waiting for his soulmate like a sensible person.
(“Or a romantic,” Vos had pointed out, once. “Most people date at least a little if they don’t meet their soulmate by, like, fifteen. I mean, culturally I understand why you want to wait until you meet your soulmate, but it’s not really a matter of sensibility, just personal preference. Obi-Wan’s not less sensible for sleeping around.”)
(Anakin does not like this argument, and so he ignores it.)
(Well, no, he agrees that people should be allowed to flirt if they want, but he doesn’t like the implication he’s gotten from a few other padawans about how he’s ‘awkward’ for not knowing how to talk to people that he wants to impress somehow.)
(So, he’s going to claim it’s sensibility.)
“Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do!”
“Kriff off, Ponds!” Rex barks out, immediately pinging on the exact clone that said the words, and Anakin bites a lip to keep from laughing at them both.
“Out,” Fett orders. “We’ve got shit to do, stop being a distraction.”
“Being a distraction, my dear, is a skill that Anakin’s put far too much effort into developing just to drop it on your command,” Obi-Wan says, light and airy and not at all like he just dragged Anakin and Fett for no Force-damned reason.
“Come on,” Rex mutters, tugging Anakin to the door with a blush that only grows as the other clones catcall them on the way out of the room. Anakin hears at least one particularly dirty comment get cut off by a smacking noise and a reprimand from a clone he thinks is probably Alpha.
The second they’re out of sight, Rex slows down, and glances back at Anakin.
Anakin tries to smile in encouragement. He’s not sure it works, really, but Rex smiles back, so it can’t be that bad.
“Here, Alpha told me to use the mini conference room,” Rex tells him, when the get to a nondescript door with a number on it. “It’s not completely secure, but we can lock the door so it’s mostly private.”
“Can I kiss you?” Anakin asks, and then has to fight to not clap a hand over his mouth.
He was going to go slow. He was a moron who’d promised himself to go slow. Rex is mostly an adult but there are ways in which he isn’t, and Anakin might not be fully an adult either, but that’s not really an excuse, and--
“Yes, please,” Rex says, and oh Anakin really likes the shy grin on him. It’s pretty.
(This man, he thinks, could easily bench press Anakin a few times over, but he’s blushing like a storybook maiden, and he’s doing it for Anakin.)
Anakin moves slowly, because this isn’t something he has much practice with either, but he takes Rex’s face in his hands and leans in, pressing their lips together with only the slightest tilt of his head, just barely less than chaste, and a firework goes off inside his ribcage.
His soulmate! He’s kissing his soulmate!
There’s a ‘stop projecting’ nudge from Obi-Wan in the Force. Anakin tosses up a shield and focuses back on the kissing. He pulls away, and the goes to just... peck a bit. Just small, chaste, tiny kisses because he doesn’t want to stop. Because for all that they just met a few minutes ago, this feels right.
Warm hands, larger than his own and steady in a way he thinks he really likes, settle on his hips.
“We--mm--really should talk,” Rex manages, and Anakin... well, Anakin stops kissing him.
Rex apparently likes it as much as Anakin does, because he lifts up onto his toes to kiss Anakin again before fully breaking off. He grins, clearly sheepish, and shrugs. “Sorry.”
“Don’t be,” Anakin says, and then Rex pulls him down to press their foreheads together, radiating warmth and hope and affection that Anakin hasn’t earned yet, but is definitely going to.
“This is a Keldabe kiss,” Rex says, and his nose brushes against Anakin’s as he shifts. His hands are still on Anakin’s waist, and Anakin decides to wrap his arms around Rex’s shoulders. It’s nice. “I like, um, I like the other kind of kissing too, but this means a lot to me, and it’s one of those Mandalorian things they actually let us pick up.”
“Fine by me,” Anakin says, and he, hells, he hasn’t even asked for proof of the soul marks, but he doesn’t need to, really, with the Force as insistent as it is. “So. Talk?”
“Yeah. Let’s talk.”
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— ✦ || home
title . our song
characters . zhongli
type . soulmate au , angst
morax: the god of contracts, the god of war. the archon of the geo element, and the prime of the adepti. morax went by many names, forms, and titles. rumours say he was the lover of a less-powerful god, who died in the archon war.
the relationship between the two was never confirmed, so it’s a normal thing to discuss the topic of what really went on between the geo archon and the dust goddess. some theories say they were lovers, some say even soulmates. some say they were strictly friends, or friends who were yet to confess to each other. it all sounded like some teenage love story.
until it wasn't.
the consultant of the wangsheng funeral parlour, mr. zhongli, cared more about the forgotten parts of liyue’s history and culture rather than the mutterings of conspiracies about the lord of geo and the goddess of dust.
zhongli did not care for those rumours, because he already knew the truth.
he continued walking quietly while hearing a specific song play in his head over and over and over again. it was one which he could never forget, a tune which he could never let go of. he would never forgive himself if he did.
everyone in the land of teyvat had a soulmate, and everyone had a unique song that would play in their head and their soulmate was the one person which they would have the same tune with. since this was a complicated way of finding these so-called soulmates, lots of people didn’t care whether their loved one had the same song as them or not, while others went on vigorous searches for the one that’s their ‘meant-to-be’.
your ‘soulmate song’ would never leave your head, you would forever remember the song as long as you lived. if your soulmate dies, however, it’s possible to forget the song altogether.
zhongli knew that his special soulmate song was the one he shared with guizhong.
it was the song that he and guizhong used to sing together during their morning walks around the nation of liyue before all of the destruction happened in the archon war. they used to watch the glaze lilies bloom while the sun set in the horizon during the peaceful times, humming the same tune.
but now she was gone. even if she was, he promised himself he would never forget the song they used to sing.
but, for now, the preparation for the rite of parting was his current concern. he saw the traveler approaching him by the statue of the seven. the statue of himself. requesting aether to borrow the cleansing bell from an old friend of his, zhongli bid the traveler farewell as he watched him and his floating companion scurry off to find madame ping.
he stared back up at the statue, sighing. from behind him, a melodic voice hummed a tune that he never thought he’d hear again. zhongli froze in surprise. he started humming along to the tune, and the two of you had hummed together for at least 3 seconds before he turned around and saw someone who was not guizhong was staring back at him.
“you know the tune?” he inquired, posture still seeming calm but his eyes widened in surprise and slight excitement. were you guizhong’s reincarnation? had his lover finally come back after all these years of walking alone?
yes, he decided, guizhong was back. you were back. finally back.
zhongli had spent the rest of his day with you (but also assisting the traveler with preparing the rite of parting here and there) and he got to know you and what you were in liyue for.
you had told him that you were from fontaine, and you were in liyue to trade or sell some things from your home nation because they had lots of new technology to offer which the other nations didn’t have. he nodded along throughout your story, indicating he was listening and silently cuing you to continue.
zhongli had told you that he had to leave to meet up with another person, who you learned was “aether”, a traveler. so you bid each other farewell and parted ways.
heading to the place he agreed to meet with aether at, zhongli couldn’t stop thinking about you, about guizhong, and about the song. it brought a small smile to his face.
the next few days, aether was busy taking commissions from the adventurer’s guild and accepting small tasks from citizens of both liyue and mondstadt, and clearing out the surrounding areas of monsters. zhongli wondered if aether and paimon had encountered xiao while killing some monsters.
zhongli had nothing to do. it’s not like 50 people die in liyue everyday, so the wangsheng funeral parlour wasn’t very busy. he found you putting a ‘back in 20 minutes’ sign on a small stall by the other shopkeepers near the docks, meaning you were going on a small break. he took this chance to invite you to have some lunch with him as he had realised he had (very surprisingly) brought his money this time, and you had accepted his invite.
once again, the two of you were walking side by side down the streets of liyue, gazing at the structures, merchants, and the water. he let himself smile a bit. he remembered doing this with guizhong outside of the harbour, watching the stars slowly appear and light up the gradually darkening sky. he started humming while you joined in.
then, a third voice started humming along with you.
all three of you stopped humming, realising that someone’s tune was wrong. zhongli turned to see the new person: it was childe. the harbinger was smiling brightly at you, eyes widened in happiness, while you reciprocated his reaction. zhongli, on the other hand, took a few moments to process what just happened.
the song childe hummed matched yours. the one zhongli hummed didn’t.
you weren’t soulmates. your song wasn’t guizhong’s song.
he mentally cursed himself. how could he have just jumped to a conclusion during your first meeting? he only heard a few seconds of the song, but immediately assumed yours was the same as his out of excitement for his loved one to come back! how could he have been so... stupid? naïve?
“we’re... soulmates?” you gasped happily, still staring into childe’s deep-ocean eyes.
“i... never thought i’d find mine,” childe confessed.
zhongli still continued walking alongside them, staring at the floor as if the rocks used had some deep historical meaning behind them which he was clearly interested in. many thoughts were spinning through his mind in embarrassment.
he should have confirmed that your tunes were the same.
he had failed to realise that you were no reincarnation of guizhong. guizhong was dead. she would never come back, no matter how much he hoped. what’s gone is gone.
he only had one soulmate, and would only ever have one soulmate, and that was guizhong. he had one chance at this messed-up system, and he lost it decades ago.
but the worst thing was that he convinced himself that he truly was your soulmate. he had believed in his false fantasy for far too long... so when the truth finally revealed itself, it hurt more than it should’ve.
instead of tears, zhongli’s chest tightened with a snakelike, suffocating grip.
he bid farewell to you and childe, using the excuse that he had to go back to the funeral parlour, turning the opposite way you and childe were walking and heading off.
as much as he hoped he could, zhongli didn’t cry.
you see, archons can’t cry.
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Paring: Potion Master!Jaehyun x Medicinal Herbalist!reader
Genre: angst, fluff, magic!au
Summary: A dark stairwell welcomed him as he started his descent to the kitchen. His feet scrunched as they met the cool tile leading from the stairs to the open kitchen. The glass he had left sitting on the counter earlier that week was full, but that’s not what had him standing speechless in the kitchen. Next to the water was a vial of medicine with your distinct penmanship labeling it.
Prompt: Soulmates 12 “We can’t win. Either I have you and my soul sings but your cries, or we’re apart and your soul rejoices but mine dies.”
Continuation of Dyspnea. I would recommend reading that one first, however, this might be able to be read without knowing what happens in the first one.
Shadows danced around the room as the oil lamp's flame flickered in the hidden room. He shouldn’t say hidden room, more like forgotten, but not to him. Oh no, the walls lined with long shelves and tables became so familiar to Jaehyun that he could tell you which board creaked when one stepped on the end and which wall had the most cracks running through it.
It was forgotten, because he was forgotten. That’s what it felt like. His heart had been ripped out, thrown on the floor, and stomped on. Isn’t that what he asked for, insisted on. He had created that damn soulmate indicator potion and you left, but again he was the one that told you you should go. The world became less bright. Flowers that he would buy to decorate the house no longer allowed their smell to cover up the old houses must. Brewed coffee no longer woke him up. The now dry cake in the fridge you had made that day…
Jaehyun yelped as his hand jerked away from the hot stove. Red spread across his hand and he hissed as the stinging pain increased. “Shit,” he raced into the house. The small bathroom that sat adjacent to the kitchen held his small medicine cabinet. You had made sure it was stocked and filled with every kind of medicine he could ever need. He pulled out a large box full of balms and vials of medicine. Using his uninjured hand he rummaged through the items. He lifted up the small can that read burn salve. Prying the open the lid he looked in to see an empty can. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” he leaned forward, his head resting against the cabinet. The can dropped to the floor as a shaky breath escaped his lips. There’s only one place he can go to get more burn salve, “This has got to be some fucking joke.” Tears pressed at his eyes and for the first time in three week, Jaehyun wept. Sobs wracked his body and he buried his face in his arms.
“It’s okay,” an anguished sob ripped out of Jaehyun as the hallucination of your voice, your arms wrapped around him. The dim light of the bathroom lit fickers of shadows around the room. His eyes caught sight of a shadow hanging over him and kept him company as daylight faded away to a pitch black night. Another shadow joined them, reaching out to the one comforting him. Their hands connected and Jaehyun didn’t have the energy in him to look away as more tears escaped him. He leaned further into the cabinet as a cold and light pressured touch pressed on his burned palm. Soothing little circles encouraged him to close his eyes, to shut out the pain surrounding his heart, “That’s it. You're okay, Jaehyun. I love you.” He let the wet drops that hit the back of his hand and words whispered in the night lead him to a dreamless sleep.
Bright lights peaked through closed eyelids. Jaehyun squeezed his eyes tighter trying to fall back into darkness. Once he realized that he wasn’t going to be able to sleep any longer, he pried his eyes open to the sunlight shining down through the skylight in his room. His room, how he got here, he doesn’t know. Maybe he drug himself there in the middle of the night in a sleep induced haze or maybe he had gotten there sometime after the sunset. No, he remembers sitting on the bathroom floor with you- with a figment of you comforting him, “That’s a really shitty move to pull.” His voice came out in hoarse cracks. He turned his head into his pillow blocking the sun further from his sight.
A door creaked slightly and it took just a moment before Jaehyun realized that it was his door. Soft steps moved across the floor toward him, “Jaehyun.” Oh how he had missed that voice. It was so much clearer than the voice his mind had supplied for him the night before. “Honey,” a light touch moved his shoulder slightly. Jaehyun wanted to cry again.
He wanted to reach up and grab you and pull you into bed with him. To hold you in his arms and beg you to come back. To reject the soulmate bond, “Come downstairs when you're ready.” His arm moved slightly and he had to stop himself from reaching out and catching nothing but air.
Light moved further across his room and based on where it sat on his desk he had been laying awake staring at his ceiling for a few hours now. The light yellow of the walls had been your idea, so was the emerald green oversized chair sitting in the corner, and the fronds of spearmint hanging from the skylight. He sat up and glanced around the room again, catching more traces of you. Tears pressed at his eyes again and he pressed the palms of his hand into his eyes. He stopped as he felt thick wrapping press into the tender skin on his face. Confusion took over his thoughts before the pounding of his head had him leaning forward, hands flying up to his temples in an attempt to soothe the pain.
A dark stairwell welcomed him as he started his descent to the kitchen. His feet scrunched as they met the cool tile leading from the stairs to the open kitchen. The glass he had left sitting on the counter earlier that week was full, but that’s not what had him standing speechless in the kitchen. Next to the water was a vial of medicine with your distinct penmanship labeling it. He didn’t remember getting any medicine out last night, in fact he remembered being out of the medicine he needed. That didn’t stop him from unscrewing the little jar and typing the contents back. He stood at the sink looking out through the window in front of it. The sky was so bright and beautiful. The children and family strolling the streets were happy. He was envious. They have their happiness, but his was tied to another.
Wooden shutters rattled as the pale blue door shook in place. Jaehyun startled as he heard two sets of feet storm through the shop. “No,” he heard your voice carry through the door. “I can’t do it anymore. I can’t do this anymore.” He heard your voice get thick as you spoke to the second person.
“Please, listen to me,” Taeyong. Jaehyun braced his hands on the lip of the sink as he eavesdropped on the private conversation. “We are soulmates. We were made for each other. You have to get over this li-”
Your gasp slipped under the door. Jaehyun knew he should be listening but he couldn’t help it. It was you and his heart clenched as you stood on the other side of the door. “Don’t you dare say another word.” He could imagine you, hands clenching the hem of your shirt and eyebrows drawn together in anger. “Soulmates aren’t supposed to feel this way, Taeyong. I’m supposed to be happy but my heart hurts, and last night when we and he-” He knew you were crying now. The urge to race out and wrap you in his arms was nearly too great. He grabbed the handle ready to turn when.
“I know,” Taeyong’s voice was soft. “I know you're hurting, and I know that he’s hurting. What about me? Am I supposed to just let you go and hurt myself?”
“If you truly want me to be happy. Then yes. I need to be with him. The universe may have said that you and I were supposed to be soulmates. But how can we be if this, you and me, is what is killing me,” Jaehyun should really stop listening. The cool metal of the handle had warmed under his hand. Your voice had been broken, pleading. Jaehyun was ready to take you in his arms and never let you go.
“Well then,” Taeyong swallowed hard. “We can’t win. Either I have you and my soul sings but your cries, or we’re apart and your soul rejoices but mine dies.”
“I’m so sorry. I love him so, so much. I can’t give him up. They say my soul was made for you, but my heart beats for him,” her voice was firm and strong. Jaehyun was so in love with you. No amount of time short or long would change that.
Jaehyun heard a foot tapping fast on the floor. He held his breath, waiting for Taeyong to speak, “Okay,” a sigh of relief escaped Jaehyun and he clamped a hand over his mouth. “Maybe,” a loud swallow could be heard through the door. “Maybe we do this differently. Perhaps the universe didn’t want us together like this.”
“Thank you,” joy filled your voice and Jaehyun smiled as he heard Taeyong let out a small oof. “Thank you so much.”
“Anything for you,” Taeyong said lightly. His voice didn’t carry love or regret, but hope for something new, for something different. “I better go. I’ll talk to you later this week.”
Another moment passed, before the knob in Jaehyun’s hand started turning. Jaehyun finished twisting and pulled open the door. There you were light pants and a loose shirt hanging from your frame. You were so beautiful. He opened his arms slightly and you raced into them. The scent of homemade soap and spearmint lifting from your hair and skin. Jaehyun held onto you tight. The two of you stood in silence letting the minutes tick by. Jaehyun kissed your cheek, tightening his grip on you. A sob finally broke the silence and Jaehyun cupped your face in his hands, “You’re okay. I’ve got you. I love you.” You didn’t respond to him, opting to kiss him. Jaehyun didn’t mind the salty flavor of your lips or the way you clutched his arm in your grip as if your life depended on it. All he knew was you were home and he had a lot of time to catch up on.
tag list: @infnteen @stayctday @qianinterprises
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anyone but her (draco x muggleborn reader)
**requested by Anon. thank you for inspiring me to write something today!**
| summary: soulmate au, Draco x Muggleborn Slytherin Reader
warnings: language |
The day that two tiny golden initials appeared on the inside of Draco’s wrist was the most exciting day of his life. Two neat little letters right above the Dark Mark that would forever mar his skin. His soulmate was near and better yet, here. They were both at Hogwarts. He wouldn’t have to travel far and wide for her, or wait fifty years to see her face.
Once he figured out who it was, they would be together. She would be someone strong enough to hold him together when he felt like he was breaking apart. She would be smart and cunning like himself, or perhaps entirely the opposite to balance him. She would be strong enough to keep their family safe from the Dark Lord.
The day that two tiny golden initials appeared on the inside of Draco’s wrist put his life into perspective. He was meant to fiddle with the Vanishing Cabinet today, but that wouldn’t do for today’s plans. Draco Malfoy’s life would not be a repeat of his father’s; entangled with the Dark Lord at the expense of constantly putting his family in danger. Draco would not live to put his soulmate or their children in the same circumstances.
Draco took a seat in the common room, spreading his long legs out on the small table between two black leather couches. She would surely be a Slytherin - a pureblood one at that to preserve the Black-Malfoy line. He felt like a predator lying in wait for her in the grasses of a savannah. Maybe that was too dramatic - more like a hunter who has set a trap, waiting for his prey to spring it. No, that was too … possessive? If there was one thing that he admired about his parents’ marriage it was that Lucius and Narcissa regarded themselves as rulers equal in power.
He was a king waiting for his queen.
Hurried whispers carry from the girls dormitory into the Slytherin Common Room in confirmation of Draco’s suspicions.
A Slytherin girl she was. And in 6th year, same as him.
As familiar faces came into view, his heart dropped into the pit of his stomach. Three girls held the forearm of the one person that Draco hadn’t considered as an option. The last person that he would consider for the title of ‘soulmate’.
It couldn’t be her. His father would kill him. The Dark Lord would hurt her. It could not be her.
But it was. There was no denying that the two initials that glimmered on her wrist were d.m. No denying either that when she looked into his silver eyes that it made him feel different. Seen. As if he had been truly looked at for the very first time.
There was no denying that his soulmate was Muggleborn.
Draco didn’t remember bolting from the Common Room. Well, at least, he didn’t remember it how Blaise had described it to him. To his memory, he had left coolheaded, and said “I need to get to class.” before stalking away to gather his thoughts. Blaise told it differently.
“You told her that you didn’t know who d.m. was and made a break for it. You ran, Draco.” Blaise says, tipping his head back as he roared with laughter.
“Shut up, Zabini. You’ve said it five bloody times by now, I don’t need to hear it again.” Draco growls, lazily spooning at the bowl full of soup before him. It took all of the self-restraint in his soul to not look at her, seating five places down from him. He didn’t cast a glance in that direction once. By the end of dinner, he was feeling quite proud of himself for not giving into temptation.
But then she tapped him on the shoulder.
Draco didn’t turn around. He could feel her closeness through their bond, as much as it disgusted him to admit it. It wasn’t her lavender perfume or the sound of her voice that clued him in to who stood behind him, but this treacherous feeling inside him.
“I think we should talk,” she says softly.
The words leave Draco’s lips before he really thinks about the consequences of them. He says them like a coward, with his back still to her. He wasn’t even brave enough to say them to her face. “I think you should have never come here. I wish I hadn’t met you.”
He feels her leave just as he felt her come to him.
Blaise sighs from beside him.
She stayed away for two months before cornering him in the common room late at night near the Christmas holiday. She had considered writing a letter, or taking the easy way out and having Pansy or one of the other girls talk to him for her.
Even Blaise serving as a messenger was considered as an option. Hell, Crabbe and Goyle were on the table at some point as foolish as an option they were. She wasn’t even sure they knew how to read, let alone express feelings.
They were all the coward’s way out. If she had chosen to do it one of those ways, she was as cowardly as her soulmate was.
“I get it, Draco, I really do.” she says from the shadows as Draco entered the Common Room. He startles slightly, having expected everyone to have gone to bed long ago while he was tinkering with the Vanishing Cabinet in the Room of Requirement.
His guilty conscience travels there first.
“I wasn’t anywhere suspicious.” He says pathetically.
She makes a face. “I don’t give a damn about where you were or who you’ve been kissing in the hallway. It doesn’t matter to me.”
Pansy, Astoria, Merlin knows who else in the last few weeks. He had been doing anything to remove the two tiny golden initials on the inside of his wrist.
Let the bond be with anyone else, anyone but her, he had thought. Not that it would actually work, but he had to try.
Her eyebrows knit together in confusion, but anger is rising to her chest. She stands from her seat on the black leather couch, arms crossed over her chest. “Okay? After all this time, all you have to say is “Okay”. You know what, Draco? Fuck whoever sick, sadistic bastard thought it was a funny little trick to bind our souls. I reject it, I reject you.”
“Really?” he breathes, shifting his weight uncomfortably from left to right. He looks like a child caught in a lie. The hopefulness in his voice is a lie.
All Draco ever wanted was to not be alone. All he ever wanted was a soulmate, someone meant to be with him forever. And here he was about to throw it all away for his father’s pride and his stupid family name.
“Really.” She says making for the exit.
She isn’t looking at him to notice the way his eyes widen with the fear of losing her before he even really knows her.
“Wait-” he pleads. “Wait, I-I’m sorry.”
She stops but refuses to look at him. Hearing Draco Malfoy apologize to someone for the first time shocks her into listening.
“Can we start over? I’d like to start over.”
Shrewd, calculating eyes meet his own as she weighs his proposal. For the first time, Draco feels like he has met his equal. Something about him scares her. Perhaps it is the unknown or perhaps it is the fact that she truly is his match.
“Yes.” she says simply.
And then she’s gone, having slinked away to her dormitory.
Draco is left with nothing but the sound of his heart pounding in his ears and hope for a second chance.
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New Fic Posted: Lilyflour and Other Endearments
My most recent fic, Lilyflour and Other Endearments is live!
This work is a similar-age Tomarry AU in which Tom Riddle secured an Enchanter's Apprenticeship upon leaving Hogwarts instead of going to work for Borgin and Burke's.
Under the mentorship of Pandora Lovegood, Tom has learned how to splice different charms together to create a cohesive network of spellwork, how to be patient even when the first six attempts of a new runic construction end in failure (that took months and twenty snapped quills to really sink in, but who's counting?) and even how to march to someone else's (rather odd) drumbeat instead of his own steady stride.
But what Tom hasn't learned how to do is ignore the little things, which makes tuning out the new next door neighbors who recently opened a bakery impossible.
I had such a fun time writing this fic and getting to delve a bit into my version of a magical bakery as well as how Tom would handle a Lovegood as his mentor. I hope you all like it.
Lastly, this fic was written for the Harry Potter/Tom Riddle | Voldemort Solstice Fanwork Exchange 2021, which has some fantastic fics in the collection. Check them out!
Lilyflour and Other Endearments
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Archive Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Fandom: Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling
Relationship: Harry Potter/Tom Riddle
Characters: Tom Riddle, Harry Potter, Pandora Lovegood, Lily Evans Potter, James Potter, Hermione Granger
Additional Tags: Bakery and Coffee Shop, Spells & Enchantments, Baker Harry Potter, Apprentice Tom Riddle, Alternate Universe - Soulmates, Soulmates, Soulmate-Identifying Marks, Magical Bakery, Tom Riddle is Not Voldemort, Tom Riddle is a Sweetheart, He's still got a dark side, Don't worry, I just can't resist a pun, you'll see, Fluff and Humor
WC: 6.6k /// Status: Complete
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Your blog fills me with serotonin
I want something a little hurt comforty-
:) keep up the good work!-Smog
Awww thx u Smogs!
And if you guys want some hurt/comfort from me you need to send in the characters and which AU you're talking about and I might elaborate more on it
Because I am totally in the mood for that :)
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Helmut Zemo x GN!Reader
My Masterlist • Series Masterlist
“Madripoor could give New York a run for their money.” Sam jokes, as your group passes through another line of shipping containers. Sharon leads the group, with Sam and Bucky walking behind her, side by side. Helmut and you follow, his hand in yours.
“They know how to party.” Helmut agrees.
“With that bounty on your head, the longer you’re in Madripoor, the less likely you’re leaving.” Sharon says, bringing the mood down immediately. She stops, gesturing to a nearby container, “Alright, he’s there. I’ll keep an eye out while you talk to Nagel.” She holds out a pile of earpieces, one for each of you. You all take one. “But hurry. We're on borrowed time.” She warns, before leaving to scout the area. You all place your ear pieces in, and walk towards the container. Sam opens the door with a creak. He pauses,
“Hey, Sharon. You sure this is the right one? It's completely empty.”
“Positive, it has to be.” You hear from your earpiece.
“Unless Selby set us up.” You remark. Sam steps into the container. You and Helmut follow him, with Bucky hovering warily by the door. Helmut heads to the back of the container, examining the wall with his flashlight. He runs a hand along the side, before giving it a shove. There’s a small thud as the wall moves, revealing a passageway. Helmut looks back at your group, Bucky and Sam pull out their guns. You do the same, before following Sam into the corridor. You hear music playing as you approach. The four of you enter what you assume is Nagel’s laboratory. There’s test tubes and various scientific equipment that you can’t identify all over. Your eyes scan the lab before you notice a man working away in a corner. Sam heads to the record player on a countertop, pulling the needle from the record.
“Dr. Nagel?” Sam asks.
“Who are you? What do you want?” Nagel says hurriedly.
“We know you created the super-soldier serum.”
“Get out of my lab.” He begins to walk away, only stopping when he spots Bucky.
“You know who he is, right?” Sam says, grasping hold of Nagel’s arm. Sam gestures towards Helmut. “This is Baron Zemo. I know you've heard of him, too, right? You seem like a pretty smart guy. So you better become conversational real quick.” Sam pushes Nagel against a wall. The man turns to look at your group.
“How about a counter proposal? Make me a better offer and I'll talk.” Sharon’s voice comes through your earpiece.
“Guys, we have company. Every bounty hunter in the city is here. We gotta go.”
“Okay.” You say to Nagel, stepping forward. “You give us what we want, and we don’t kill you.” He looks you up and down. Bucky’s clearly thinking along the same lines as you. He drags Nagel to a nearby chair, holding his gun against Nagel’s temple. Nagel continues to hesitate, Bucky fires a warning shot beside Nagel’s head.
“Okay. Okay.” Nagel says quickly. He sighs, before explaining, “I was brought into HYDRA's Winter Soldier program to pick up their work after the five failed test subjects in Siberia. When HYDRA fell, I was recruited by the CIA. They had blood samples from an American test subject with semi-stable traces of serum in his system. After much labor, I was able to isolate the necessary compounds in his blood. I was a god. I did what no other scientist since Erskine was able to do. But mine was going to be different. No clunky machines or jacked up bodies. Mine was going to be subtle, optimized, perfect.” A chill runs through you at the thought of the serum being so accessible, and that you’d never be able to tell who was a super soldier until it was too late. Helmut senses your unease, and glances at you. You offer him a brief smile, before returning your attention to Nagel.
“How have we never heard about this?” Sam asks.
“Because, before I was able to complete my work, I turned to dust. Then when I returned, five years later, the program had been abandoned, so I came here. The Power Broker was more than happy to fund the recreation of my work.”
“How many vials did you make?” You ask him. He hesitates, Bucky tightens his grip on his gun.
“Twenty. Karli Morgenthau stole those, so, I can only imagine what the Power Broker has planned for that poor girl.”
“Where’s Karli now?” Sam asks.
“I don't know where she is. But a couple of days ago, she called and asked if I could help someone named Donya Madani. Poor woman has tuberculosis. Typical of overpopulation in displacement camps like that.”
“Well, what happened to her?” Nagel shrugs,
“Not my pig, not my farm.”
“Is there any serum in this lab?” Bucky asks.
“Now what?” Bucky says, turning to you and Sam. Just then Sharon rushes in, looking worse for wear,
“Guys, we're seriously out of time here.” She gasps. There’s little warning for what happens next, save for Helmut’s brief surge of determination. Then everything happens at once. There’s a bang. Nagel goes down. Sam’s pinning Helmut against the wall, and Sharon’s pulling the gun from his hand. Where did he even get that from? Sam turns to you, looking almost accusatory. Then the wall explodes. Test tubes rattle and heat flares. Someone’s pulling you up from the floor and then you’re out in the fresh air. You pull away from the person, leaning against a container to catch your breath. You look up, and it’s Helmut.
“Are you alright?” He asks, concern evident on his face. You nod, straightening up.
“We need to get the others.” You say, hearing gunfire echo from where you’re guessing Sharon and the boys are. He holds onto your arm.
“Wait here, please.” You nod, waiting for a moment before following. You pull your gun out, scanning the area. You spot Sharon and the boys firing from under a container. Then there’s another explosion. As you shield your eyes from the blast you see someone drop down beside the bounty hunters. It’s Helmut. You watch as he fights off several men with skill. You race towards your group pulling Sharon out from the rubble.
“A little warning would have been nice before Zemo’s stunt with Nagel.” Sam calls out to you.
“You think I knew he’d do that?”
“Sam, I met him yesterday. We’re not at the stage where he runs every decision through me.” You retort. You look around frantically. No Helmut in sight. Bucky seems to have noticed his disappearance.
“Go find him.” Bucky tells you. You nod in reply, running in the opposite direction from your group. You soon reach the spot where Helmut left you, and you’re not waiting long before he returns. He pulls his mask off.
“I believe I told you to wait?”
“I’ve been here the whole time.” You attempt an innocent look. He shakes his head with a smile.
“Let’s go.” He takes your hand, pulling you gently as he begins to run.
“Helmut, I swear if you’re escaping I won’t help you.”
“I’m not, come on.” He takes your hand as you two run towards an open container.
“What are we doing?” He gestures to the inside of the container with a grin. You look inside, “I’m driving.” He nods,
“Fair.” You sit in the car, luckily the keys are already in the ignition. It doesn’t take you long to find the others. You pull up beside them.
“Supercharged.” Helmut smirks at the boys, and you resist the urge to smack him.
“You're going back to jail.” Sam states, annoyance clear in his tone.
“Do you want to find Karli or not?” Helmut argues.
“He's right. We need him. And there's two of us, and at least 20 of them.” Bucky adds. Helmut pushes open the door, allowing Bucky to slide into the backseat behind you.
“Fine. But if you try that shit again-“ Sam begins.
“Wouldn’t dream of it.” Helmut assures him. Sam sits next to Bucky with a sigh.
“Well, that was one hell of a reunion.” Sharon comments, shutting the door after Sam.
“Come back to the States with us.” He tells her.
“I told you I can't. Just get me that pardon you promised me.” She nods at him, before heading off.
“Thanks for everything.” Sam calls back to her. You put the car in gear, and set off to the airfield. Goodbye Madripoor.
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Winter Still Ends
“Well, do we have to do anything about it?”
“Huh!?” Kuramochi is still red, but it’s not as vivid, as he levels a confused look at Kazuya.
“Well, like.” Kazuya scratches his cheek as he glances away. “We barely know each other, and I don’t know about you, but I’m just here to play baseball. So let’s just play baseball, be teammates. I don’t really want more than that.”
Miyuki just wants to play baseball. Kuramochi just wants to understand. Fate made them each other's curveballs.
Fandom: Ace of Diamond | Chapters: 1/2 | Words: 16,029 | Published: Jun 7, 2021 | Updated: Jun 7, 2021 | Status: Incomplete