Your comments on AO3 are more powerful than you know.
- A comment on a fic more than once gave me the idea or inspiration I needed to add another part to that fic. It helped me to produce even more of the content that the reader who left it enjoyed so much.
- A comment on an older fic reminded me that my fics don’t get lost 24 or 48 hours after posting. True, that’s when most fics get the majority of their hits, kudos and comments, so a writer sometimes feels like if a fic hasn’t done well in that time frame, it’s as good as gone. But some people discover and love such fics later on and that’s incredible.
- A comment once stopped me from deleting my AO3 account. For reasons, I was feeling really low, like I had no talent and nothing to offer. Like everything I was posting was banal and worthless. And as my finger was hovering over the ‘delete account’ button, a mail notification let me know that someone left a comment on one of my fics. I went to read it and it was absolutely lovely. And it complimented not just that fic, but my writing overall. It helped me get through a rough moment.
Your comments can mean so much more than you know. You have more capacity to do good and help content creation in the fandom, that you and others enjoy, than you realize.
So this is my little note, as an author, to say THANK YOU to all the people who take the time to leave a comment on AO3 or send an ask on Tumblr or write kind words in the tags of a reblog. It all means so very much! <33333
All of this! Thank you so much for all your support, it means to much. 💓
reminder that all my fics are rebloggable, tbh it really helps if you do
Painful. A sound that escapes when the scream has been suppressed. A low groan, a sharp hiss as the pain flares up.
Fearful. Legs quivering, fists trembling, eyes blown wide. A low squeak because there’s nowhere to run and nothing to do except watch it get closer and closer and closer.
Involuntary and panicked, a last, desperate sound to vocalize emotion when they’re trying so very hard to stay quiet.
Wounded. A keening, agonized sound, torn from their lungs in grief. It breaks into gasping sobs. It’s too much, it just hurts.
They always describe stabbings as punch in the gut. Fast, in the middle of a fight. You don’t even notice the knife in your chest until the danger has passed.
But what happens when it’s slow, intimate? When the knife trails across unbroken skin, and you pull uselessly at your restraints. Hot blood trickles down and all you can focus on is the push of the blade against your flesh. That horrifing feeling of something going where it shouldn’t- Because that’s where your skin is, your muscle, your bone. It’s foreign and painful and-
All you can do is scream.
Drugged whump is my fucking jam like
-Drugs that make the whumpee talkative and honest
-Promised pain meds that are actually aphrodisiacs
-Drugs that make the whumpee sleepy and vulnerable, becoming drowsy and affectionate even if they usually were terrified or disgusted by their whumper
-Drugs that make the whumpee angry, aggressive, and energetic - easily manipulated in this state to even attack others at the behest of their whumper
-Finally getting pain meds after living in constant pain for ages and being brought to tears by the relief
-Super strong pain meds that make the whumpee slow and stoned, unable to defend themselves verbally or physically
-An allergic reaction to some pain meds or antibiotics - will the whumper risk bringing them to the hospital? Do they have a doctor who will help on the hush? Do they leave their whumpee to suffer through on their own?
- MEDS A WHUMPEE NEEDS TO FUNCTION, do they have to struggle to live without them? Does the whumper give them meds but on the condition of good behavior? Does the whumpee refuse the meds? Does the whumper give them their meds but secretly replace them with something else?
-Drugs that make a whumpee hallucinate - what do they see? Are they scared? Are they emboldened?
-Sleeping meds, keeping the whumpee too drowsy and weak to try to escape
- Stimulants, forcing a whumpee to stay up for days, sleep deprivation, forced labor
- Drugs slipped into food and drink, not knowing what’s happening when they start to feel funny
-Whumpee being forced to eat or drink something they KNOW is drugged but having no choice
-Injecting a whumpee with a syringe, the sharp pain of the injection and then the terrifying realization that they’ve been drugged, begging the whumper to tell them what they just gave them
-The whumpee trying to drug their whumpee, maybe hoping to make an escape attempt, but being caught and forced to consume whatever it was themselves
- Starving a whumpee and then finally offering them some food, they know it is drugged but struggle to resist the temptation of the food, they are just so hungry
- Drugging a whumpee and letting them go, them being so overwhelmed with relief that they can finally escape, only to collapse just a few feet away from freedom
-Making a whumpee dependent on drugs, so they become even more dependent on their whumper, their Whumper threatening to take away the drugs as punishment knowing the horrible withdrawals they would go through from being cut off
- Drugs that paralyze the whumpee while leaving them conscious, the whumper getting to manipulate their body like a doll while they are horrified but unable to struggle
-Drugs that paralyze the whumpee’s legs, so they have to drag themselves anywhere they go
If you use any of these prompts, please @ me, I’d love to read it!
Thank u for the tag!!1. Only LGBTQ+ relationships2. There’s a lot of dialogue and no descriptions of places whatsoever3. Whump. So much whump. Why is that guy being tortured it makes no sense?? He just is ok.4. You might not be human5. The social outcast gets slowly accepted into the group and it turns out they’re baby
Tagged by @light-miracles
How to tell if you’re in a novel by me:1. Nobody dies. Except for maybe the antagonist. Maybe.2. Friendship and romance are equally important.3. There is a surprising amount of POC rep.4. There is no relationship drama. You can instantly tell who’s ending up with who and there are also no love triangles.5. Someone makes a subtle 4th wall joke.
tagging: @spookyboywhump, @brutal-nemesis, @simplygrimly, @pretty-thoughts-and-a-pen, @indigoatari, @whump-but-also-not
Thanks Erin! Let’s see…
- Little to no romance
- There are never more than two characters interacting with each other ever
- Senseless violence
- The men get captured and tied up, like, way too much
- The chapter titles are a little goof
Thanks for the tag!
- The characters are Not Straight
- Protagonists not being restrained and/or muzzled is a rarity
- The chapter titles are surprisingly often puns
- Needlessly drawn out descriptions of (negative) emotions
- Your name is weird and prone to misspellings, and your initials are unintentionally comical.
this is such a cute one omg
- Whenever you physically touch another human being it’s an extremely big deal and everyone involved is really emotional about it
- At least one person has clinical depression
- All women are Extremely Powerful and most of them are also terrifying
- Every third person has pointy teeth, Regardless Of The Novel’s Genre
- Everyone’s dad is evil, emotionally constipated, or both
i’m…… too nervous to tag anyone rip but if you wanna do this you’re encouraged to do so and say i tagged you <3
i’m gonna say i was tagged by @thewhumperinwhite i have that same feel!!
1. a character is scared of vulnerability and not great at communicating emotionally and their enemies like to exploit this and use it against them (besides friends or like a pet of theirs as well as any psychological traits of theirs)
2. whump. i like to torture my characters a lot whether that be circumstantial or someone’s inflicting it on them (mostly the latter) and you can be sure at any point they’re gonna be restrained in one way or another
3. long paragraphs of description and the inner workings of someone’s head and their understanding of things, which is mostly them realising how detrimental they are to their own wellbeing and the people around them
4. if i can’t think of a new word for like an action like talking or making a facial expression, i often either repeat words or when it comes to something like dialogue, i simply write the dialogue on one line and then describe how it came across in the next paragraph. also i have trouble whenever it comes to writing dialogue consistently between more than two people so the dialogue is usually directed to the one other person in the room and i make sure i get the circumstances to make sense that it’s them and only them doing so
5. i like either finding young and generally small characters who can kick your ass or stoic older individuals and find something about that kind of trait in a character that i can exploit and use to break them (e.g. sakharine with tintin because he’s a teenager and is a reporter that keeps interfering with crime and the former is just done with someone so young getting in the way)
i don’t know who i would tag, so just say i tagged you!! this is really neat and i understand how my style might appear and come across
Whump Blog Ask Meme
- What are your favorite whump tropes?
- Do you prefer illness whump or injury whump?
- Do you prefer whump in the form of writing or visual media?
- Do you prefer physical whump or emotional/psychological whump?
- Who is your favorite whumpee?
- What are the traits of your ideal whumpee?
- What are the traits of your ideal whumper?
- What are the traits of your ideal caregiver?
- Which archetype do you identify with the most: the whumpee, the whumper, or the caregiver?
- When did you first realize you were into whump?
- How and when did you discover the whump community?
- Why do you love whump?
- Have you ever felt insecure because you enjoy whump? How did you overcome that insecurity?
- What are your least favorite whump tropes?
- Are you interested in any niche whump genres, such as fem!whump or non-human whump?
- Do you have any whump media recommendations (whump blogs, books, movies, etc.)?
- When was the last time you got the whumperflies?
- What whump content are you currently craving?
- Who are your favorite whump bloggers? Tag them!
- How are you doing today, buddy?
It had been at least 2 days since you had gone missing, which had been especially worrying since the palace had a neighbouring forest that wasn’t the most safe to be wandering around in. It was even more worrying since you had gone out with more than a few guards considering your status as a royal, and yet some undeniably disturbing force had appeared to have ripped you away without a trace. Even the guards had disappeared.
You weren’t aware of just how upset and even angry Edgar had been at your disappearance, most likely because you were in a state of shock when you had woken up, confused and in an entirely different part of the forest. Your head throbbled as you shakily got up and stumbled forward, a sharp pain making itself aware in your right side as a dark, bloody stain on your clothes went from just underneath your chest to halfway down your thigh.
It was enough that you were bruised besides that, feeling the tenderness of walking across grassy and mossy ground through the trees as you wrapped your cloak tightly around your body in a futile attempt to stop you bleeding so much and to hide to from view.
It was evening, and the fading sunlight slanting through the trees cast exaggerated shadows across the forest floor that raised the hairs on the back of your neck and you wearily looked over your shoulders. How long had it been? How could you not remember anything that happened? You blamed your lack of a sense of direction on your delirium and the pain in your head, growing more and more fearful as you felt you were going around in circles, where the forest just looked way too familiar every single time.
You were breathing heavily, shaking from tiredness, from your injury, from the cool air as night began to descend, curling yourself ever more into your cloak as your footsteps got more and more unsteady and you now were practically shuffling across the ground in an attempt to keep going and not lose hope.
You had been ignoring the pain, mainly of the wound that you were pretending didn’t exist, for a while, when you had become aware of a thudding of hooves and shouts in the distance. Well, it might have been a distance, but your eyes refused to adjust and the sound felt drowned out by the throbbing pain in your head.
There was a familiar voice you could make out, though, and you wondered how close you were to the outskirts of the town. Edgar had probably been deciding to personally look for you with more of his guards, feeling that fear once again on just how long it had been. You were too weak though to panic, legs collapsing underneath you before his hands caught you before you felt an urgent need to be painfully sick and managed to turn away to do so before you collapsed on the ground.
“I’m fine, I’m fine…” you found yourself deliriously repeating, swallowing and trying to breathe as your head was spinning, “I’m fine, I’m sorry, I…”
You couldn’t remember much after that, not even remembering your body’s desperate need to black out and rest at that point, though you vaguely recalled the sensation of being carried and then the sensation of passing through a forest, the sound of hooves thudding across ground under you.
Time again seemed to feel like nothing when you blearily opened your eyes, the familiar feel of the bed underneath and sheets that were pulled up to just below your neck. You became all too aware of the ache that spread across your body and you groaned in an attempt to push yourself up.
“Don’t,” a soft voice said, a hand gentle against your chest, “you’re injured enough as it is. You need to rest.”
You blinked up, one of the palace doctor’s trying to ease you back against the pillows. Your body didn’t appear to have a complaint, letting yourself lie back down. You felt tender and fragile, cursing the injuries that ached deeply in your body and were now accompanied by small hisses and slow, shaky breathing.
“You’re in pretty bad shape. Just relax.”
You heard the audible opening and closing of the door, followed by shoes against the wooden floor. You curled up against the pillow, unable to see who it was but you had a particularly good guess. It was a recognisably firm voice, but you felt somewhat nervous at seeing him. It was an inevitability, of course, and you were the only one he was truly soft around and had fondness for, but in this moment in time, you felt almost wrong despite the position you were in.
The footsteps stopped. “May you leave us for a while? I haven’t seen them since…well…what happened. I need to speak to them.”
The doctor seemed almost instant in his reply. “Of course, sire. Just ask me if you require anything.” His figure disappeared from view and was replaced with the visage of Edgar, as the sound of the door once again opened and shut.
You looked away from his concerned features, an additional sickness rising. No matter how much friendlier he was with you, it was still foreign to you that such a man could act like this towards you. Especially with what had happened. You felt like you blamed yourself, considering how insistent you were to go out. It was for something important, you tried to tell yourself. But you couldn’t make eye contact with him.
He sat down on the edge of the bed near you, feeling it depress right next to you. You just wanted to sleep all of this off. It was enough that you couldn’t remember what happened and how bad you felt about it, curling up more in the sheets as a result.
You felt a hand against your side and you flinched, whether from the nerves, or the pain, or both. He moved it away, and you heard the audible sound of him clearing his throat.
“I’m sorry I didn’t find you sooner,” he said, still not used to the softness in his voice, “I know the forest was unsafe, but…not like this.” He paused, reflecting on his remark as you still didn’t look at him. His voice became a bit firmer in tone. “Do you remember anything that happened?”
You shifted nervously, trying to ignore how any slight movement affected your injuries. You didn’t want to say anything, but he seemed insistent, and you became frankly more aware that you’d rather not push him away. Not that that would make you feel any less bad about the incident, of course.
“Mhmmm…” you murmured, staring at the wall opposite you, “I remember being out walking with the guards…I didn’t feel well. One moment everything was fine, next moment they had all disappeared and I woke up in a different part of the forest.”
There was a silence. “That doesn’t explain your injuries. Your right side was bleeding when I pulled back your cloak.”
You felt a warmth rise across your face. Of course he’d find out; not like you were already sick and embarrassed enough already being found in the forest heavily injured and delirious with no idea what had happened.
You swallowed. “Thanks for your concern, Edgar, but I woke up like that, confused, with no idea what happened. It didn’t even feel that long, but if I had an answer, I’d tell you.” That came out harsher than you thought, and you couldn’t help but look up at him. If he was stung by that comment, he didn’t show it. Still, you felt bad regardless.
“How long was I gone?” you asked, changing the subject. As far as you were aware, it had felt like time hadn’t passed at all. Magic certainly felt to blame, but for what purpose and how the events had come to pass was still more than incomprehensible.
He seemed to pause anxiously at this comment. You wondered how this man managed to have a fondness for someone to appear like this at their return from a disappearance.
You felt a panic in the pit of your stomach. “A week?” you repeated back in bemusement, feeling ever more worse about your disappearance. You hated causing worry, weighing on your mind more than anything else, and to know that he’d been searching for you for a week sat in your chest like a heavy rock.
You felt bad for showing emotion, even if he was used to it, but he could notice the distress in your eyes. You tried to push yourself back up, despite your injuries, but he put his hands on your shoulders to stop you.
“It’s okay…look at me,” he insisted in an affable tone and you couldn’t help but be fixated on those blue eyes despite yourself, “it’s okay. I feel awful I didn’t find you sooner.” He paused momentarily as you were unable to figure out a response. “I remember what you said when I found you. It’s okay. I only wish I had been with you when this happened.”
You couldn’t comprehend what he was talking. You didn’t want this from him, no, he shouldn’t be saying this.
“Don’t—” you started, almost pleading, “don’t say that. I disappeared for a week that you spent worrying about me. I never wanted that.”
You were begging yourself not to cry, not in front of him. This felt wrong, no matter how long you had been with him, or even just known him. You were more than vulnerable here, emotionally and physically, and here he was caring about you.
“I’m sorry—it’s a week neither of us expected and you’re here. Don’t blame yourself for what you couldn’t control,” he stated, appearing to search in your eyes for something, “and I know it’s not me, but in all honesty, time spent worrying about you is worth every minute if it means finding you again.”
Your voice seemed to stick in your throat, your mind ever more confused even after some of the delirium had lifted. Even after all this time, he had never said this to you, though ever since meeting him, there hadn’t been quite such a life altering event. You wondered how much it had spurred this on or if he had meant to say anything earlier. You’d been alone enough times but this seemed…like a whole different time.
“You’re just saying that.” Your eyes were shimmering, as you still felt in a state of disbelief. Did you want him here or what?
“No, I’m not,” he insisted, but his voice remained calm and understanding, “I know you don’t want to believe that, knowing me, but I mean it.”
“Why didn’t you say this earlier?” he asked, sounding demanding and feeling your voice crack under emotion.
He didn’t appear to be able to answer that, but he continued to look at you as if to make you believe what he was saying. You didn’t feel the energy to believe anything, physical or otherwise, but his eyes and furrowed brow seemed to be speaking enough words to strike up a trance. It was undeniable that regardless, you didn’t want him to leave.
“Just…” you managed to say, the words now stuck in your throat, “at least stay until I fall asleep again.” It maybe wasn’t the words to hear or say, but maybe you’d both know what each other meant at this current moment.
You could see that something was there, but you were more concentrated on how much your body hurt, whether out of a lack of energy or out of addressing what Edgar had said or how you really felt about what happened. If there was any anger about who or what had done this to you, it had not demonstrated itself from his current behaviour and words. This kind of care for another human being felt foreign to you, and maybe this wasn’t the time.
You gently let him lie you back down and pull the sheets up. There were other ways you had been vulnerable with him, but honestly, saying anything about emotions wasn’t one of them. It was easy to shut down anything like that when you were alone even if the other could see it. This was a whole different level of vulnerability to comprehend considering too many things.
He appeared to reflect on something, briefly glancing away before looking back at you. “Of course,” he replied, a smile appearing on his lips, “I don’t have anything else happening right now.” He paused as you lay against the pillow, humming as your eyes closed. “I’d rather be here, anyway.”
The place had been abandoned. It was just an accident. Tintin was nonetheless careful though willing to find out more and the captain, despite himself, couldn’t help but investigate a little too much further even as he tried to keep to himself.
Of course the captain blamed himself. He blamed himself from being reckless when he always felt a need to be protective of the young ginger haired man even though he seemed more than capable to look after himself. And here he’d done the exact opposite.
The gun couldn’t still possibly be loaded - what kind of person would leave that there in the front room, if you could call it that since the whole place was falling apart and collecting dust, like that? The weapon was cold to touch, which was no surprise, but it was an unfortunate surprise that it was still sensitive when Haddock laid a hand on it.
He’d been so focused on it that it took a sharp, sudden bang from what he thought was an unloaded gun to realise that Tintin had been standing in the line of fire, studying the walls and tables nearby to see if anything had been left behind in a rush. The three of them has practically jumped out of their skins, Snowy having started barking in the captain’s direction at the noise and he had stumbled backwards, almost falling over in some of the debris littered about.
But he was more concerned about Tintin who, having previously been muttering to himself, had now gone disturbingly quiet. Haddock’s face went pale when he turned around to see a stain of red spreading across the young man’s beige longcoat, around the lower half and unsettlingly far too close to the middle of his back.
He’d frozen where he was standing, especially because Snowy had scampered over to growl at him in retaliation to what had happened to his owner. Understandable of course, even if he was unnerved by the white dog that had directed anger at him.
“Snowy,” he could hear Tintin hiss in a low, shaky voice, and the captain looked up to see him leaning very heavily with his shoulder against the wall with an arm tightly around his middle, blood visible on his sleeve, coat and blue jumper, “Snowy, it’s okay, it’s—it’s just an accident.” He seemed insistent and though his eyes were unfocused at first, he directed his gaze upwards at the captain. It wasn’t so much a glare, but enough in his pain there appeared annoyance and perhaps even disappointment as he stressed that last word.
Of course it was an accident, but Haddock had let his recklessness get the better of him. Tintin’s eyes said enough, and he could feel a sting as Snowy now glared at him before retreating hurriedly over with concerned yips towards his injured owner.
He had slid down the wall with a heavy groan, trying to keep the weight off of his feet as Snowy approached to lick his face. Even in the now dimming light, there was a tiredness and paleness in the young man’s face, eyes shining up at the captain.
“Tintin…” he could only manage to say, voice shaking with nerves and he trudged forward despite at the behest of Snowy. Tintin was calming his dog though, eyes nonetheless still fixated on him as blood continued to stain his clothes around his arm.
“Captain,” he remarked through his teeth, breathing heavily but with an evident sourness in his voice, swallowing painfully before continuing, “tell me what on earth possessed you to go around and touch just anything like that, more specifically, a gun?”
You were sitting in the library, just trying to focus on your reading when it happened. You weren’t one to be exactly noticed by others and frankly you preferred to keep it that way. The library was a form of solace that you never hoped to have disturbed, but it was quite the horror to have it be one person in particular.
Edgar wasn’t exactly one to exude the most pleasant of presences, I mean, his look felt enough of a giveaway by itself. He was a royal and most definitely taller than you, keeping out of his way all the time lest he catch onto how intimidated you were by how he looked and who he was. Revealing your vulnerabilities was too much, and certainly not something to let him know whatsoever. His reputation was well enough known for you not to add to it.
Although frankly, you had the almost undeniable feeling that you were being watched, hairs pricking up on the back of your neck as if someone was there. But you shrugged it off, getting on with things and not wanting to add to your paranoia. After all, didn’t it help not really being noticed by people? Why would you of all people stand out to a royal, of all people, let alone anyone else?
You were focused on a book on the table, trying not to fall asleep when you heard the wooden library doors open in front of you. You looked up wearily from the pages, doing a double take with wide eyes as you caught sight of him in those red and black robes and a self-satisifed grin you swore was his default expression 90% of the time.
“Ah,” he said, his regal voice deliberating over even the simplest of words as he considered you, “I’ve been meaning to talk to you about…something important.”
He approached you slowly, strolling over by the side of the long table covered with books, face not budging from a considerably disturbing expression of malice he didn’t even try to hide. Your body responded by shooting upwards from your chair that screeched backwards on the stone floor, your heart thudding against your chest to the point it made you feel sick.
There seemed to be an audible clanging of metal on metal further up ahead and your head snapped towards the doors, mouth open. I mean, did you just imagine that? Sure, magic was real, but you refused to consider anything about it in this moment in time.
Words were failing you, but to the contrary, your body (specifically your legs) were not. You were running on panic, and despite him being there did not stop you. To be fair, you weren’t even thinking, just fuelled by your desire to remove yourself from his presence as soon as possible.
You slammed right into the wooden doors, a lump catching in your throat as they refused to yield. You blinked, a tight feeling sitting in your chest. Metal clanged together in response, giving a look of confusion as the door didn’t budge. You tried again and even a third time, but anything you did, did nothing. You heard a low, amused laugh from behind you and you froze, swallowing, staring wide eyed at the doors that didn’t move in front of you. Oh god, you didn’t want to believe this. You didn’t want to believe that somehow this man had managed to lock the only way out of this place.
“As I was saying,” he said, sighing, his voice chillingly replaced by his more conversational tone that was still nonetheless intimidating, “I said I had something important to talk to you about.”
You cursed internally, feeling that prickle on the back of your neck as you heard him make a few steps forward behind you. This is why you avoided him, why you kept to yourself. You convinced yourself you wouldn’t be of note to be approached by a royal of all people for anything, and now you were locked in with him against your will. You were angry, you were scared, and you dreaded the fact that he was knowing exactly how intimidated you could be by him when you were around him.
You felt a sudden compulsion to turn around, too quick for you to be confused about your lack of intention to do so. He was standing a few feet from you now, your body frozen in fear and pressed against the wooden doors as you couldn’t help but look up at his piercing blue eyes, a malicious gleam that seemed to strike you at the very heart of yourself.
“What could possibly be so important to talk to me of all people by locking me in a room with you??” you stuttered, fire in your veins, fists balled by your sides and yet fear was something you couldn’t keep out of your voice especially when you couldn’t resist looking into those eyes. It was very clear he was noticing this reaction in you, his grin taking on a more condescending look, eyes raised in amusement at your attempt to be angry.
“I assure you, it’s very important,” he replied, lingering on his words as he took a couple more steps towards you, his eyes burning into yours, “that’s how I had to make sure that we wouldn’t be…disturbed.”
That last word sent an icy chill through your veins and it was enough that he was towering over you, a step or two away from blocking your escape entirely. The tightness in your chest increased and you felt suffocated, still unable to look away from his eyes as you felt an undeniable sickness grow in your stomach.
It was easy to say words were failing you and so was your body as you couldn’t understand your inability to stop looking in his eyes. Normally you’d be looking away and avoiding eye contact, but this new compulsion was…puzzling to say the least. Especially since he’d been able to shut the door of his own accord; but even with the use of magic that you knew was possible, you refused to deal with the possibility that Edgar of all people used it for controlling people, of all things.
His grin faded a bit, but a more conversational tone took over in his voice. “The very important thing I want you to do is,” he finally said, and your eyes caught the glimpse of a sharp blade he had produced in front of you, you yourself feeling like a deer caught in the headlights at this no uncertain possibility presented to you, “is simple. Just kill my nephew, Charmont…with this.” His grin grew wider and so many of his teeth were showing, almost as if he was a shark. “Just right through the heart. It’s all I ask.”
The prospect of murder ran through your head and you felt sick, frozen for what felt like eternity. Your heart was thudding way too hard against your chest and you refused to comprehend, refused to listen to what he asked in the most disturbingly civil tone possible. Your body seemed to yield against your will, about to reach up and take the damned weapon of choice, but you dug your fingers painfully into the door before somehow resisting enough to pull away and take several steps away, breathing heavily.
You could tell you were shaking but you proceeded to talk regardless. He had done enough trapping you in here, but it was horrifying enough that he was asking for you to outright murder. You should’ve expected this, but frankly you never pictured the prospect of him ever approaching you to do this. You were in the background, always trying not to catch anyone’s attention. Why you of all people?
“I’m not murdering someone for you! I won’t have someone else’s blood on my hands!”
You sounded surprisingly coherent and indignant despite your nerves, having turned from him to avoid that undeniably magnetic gaze. Though you could feel his calm demeanour behind you, clearly not roused by your cries of resistance. You felt tears prick your eyes and it became even more evident just how scared you were not only of him, but the fact that he could see you like this.
He took a step or so towards you from behind, and you instantaneously froze. Emotions were bubbling underneath but you couldn’t get yourself to do anything else as you heard his cruel laugh run down your spine before he spoke again.
“Well, I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but…it appears you don’t have a choice in this.”
You could feel your body begin to move without you willing it, turning around and raising a hand to take that Edgar was still holding, forcing yourself to pull back and turn away because you couldn’t understand how your body was doing this, as if it didn’t belong to you anymore. You did try and hold yourself back, trying to grab your arm and pull it back as he looked on, amused, as if this was simply some sick puppet show that he was watching. Your own mind seemed to not feel like your own, head swimming at the prospect of simply trying to resist.
You could feel your body fail as you took the dagger from his hands as he looked very much pleased with himself and you gazed at the weapon in your hand. You didn’t understand…he couldn’t…possibly do this? The possibility that he was able to get your body to betray itself like this was feeling like its own dagger through your heart, and you felt a sudden burning sensation of anger across your face and through your veins as you manage to use the semblance of control you had to throw the thing as far as you could across the library with a clang at the other end.
It was then seeing his face drop momentarily to one of displeasure and even surprise before malice dripped from his signature, sinister grin that replaced it. “If that’s how it’s going to be,” he exclaimed, as if disciplining a rowdy child, “then so be it!”
The once angry emotion that you temporarily embodied had faded, taken over by wide eyed fear and panic and sudden unbearable agony that ran from your head and down your spine. One second you could breathe and now it felt like your chest was on fire and everything was burning—
You didn’t comprehend that your body had hit the floor in front of him, the impact of such mental and physical agony making you collapse almost completely and you felt the disgusting feeling as tears uncontrollably sprung from your eyes. Was he expecting you to beg at his feet? The entitlement could not be more obvious as you tried to hold yourself up, making every inch the effort to resist his gaze and ever so much, his obedience.
You felt his shoe press against the underside of your chin, clearly not content with simply demanding your attention. You couldn’t help but turn your head to look up at him, your focus on resistance draining as his piercing blue eyes now felt icy with his more than contemptuous gaze down at your figure on the floor.
“Oh, really, what did you expect?” he condescendingly remarked, pressing his shoe now against your throat and you sharply inhaled as if it wasn’t already hard enough to breathe, “Maybe you should’ve known what I do to people who don’t give me what I want.”
He removed his shoe from your throat and you forced yourself to look at the floor with whatever resistance you had left, but it was evident from your head that was throbbing and the rest of your body that was aching to hell and back that you seemed to be fighting a losing battle. You could feel and taste a metallic liquid drip from your nose and you became all too aware that this man could very much kill you like this if he didn’t need you alive.
“Please…” you could hear yourself say, hear yourself sob, and the fact that you had been reduced to pleading at this man’s feet hurt more than what you were being put through, “…don’t do this.”
He laughed, darkly amused at your attempts to beg in your condition. There wasn’t much else you could do, wasn’t much else you could say to him. “It’s a bit late for that now,” he said, feeling his blue eyes burn into the back of your head, “It’s not like anyone’s going to believe you over me, especially someone that always likes to avoid the attention of everyone else.”
There was the sick feeling in the pit of your stomach that had every right to confirm your paranoia. It seemed you had nonetheless caught his eye and your attempts to avoid attention still put you very much in his regard. Someone people didn’t really know much about. Of course it didn’t come to your mind that keeping to yourself would attract certain attention, and frankly you were kicking yourself that it had led you to this.
“Now, if you don’t mind, why don’t you go over and pick up that dagger of mine that you so carelessly threw and do exactly as I say?” he demanded, at first in a civil tone before it became laced with spite. He spat enough poison as much as what you felt was running in your veins and your head felt dull, vision swimming with both pain and tears, feeling yourself stumble to your feet and over to the dagger, shaking.
You were aware that this wasn’t you doing this, something in the back of your mind feeling like it was telling you to stop but it was drowned out by the mental invasion; you picked the dagger up and it seemed to have a different gleam to it. This wasn’t you, was it?
You heard Edgar’s footsteps behind you until he was standing next to you; you looked up, his blue eyes appearing more soft and his grin appearing more genial, albeit with a hint of menace. He reached a hand out to gently cup the side of your face in what felt like an almost loving gesture, gingerly wiping away the blood under your nose with his thumb. You didn’t even flinch.
“That’s it,” he said affectionately, nevertheless with sinister undertones, pretending nothing had just happened, “that’s better now, isn’t it?”
There was a loud ferocious barking, angry voices and scuffling outside the cabin door, and Tintin’s head snapped around against the bars of the cage, eyes wide with panic. It could have only been one dog making that noise, causing that kind of chaos for the crewmates that had only recently left the cabin where he was being kept. He felt a sick feeling of anger and fear rise in the pit of his stomach, dreading what could be happening to him right outside that door.
He cursed, wrists chafing against the rope around them, overcome by more fear than anything else that burned especially across his face and through his stomach. He felt a numbness creep up his legs, his shoes scuffing against the floorboards in his attempt to free himself or at the very least, be able to stand on two feet.
He stopped, sensing the noises outside and trying to listen closer. The voices were muffled and though he couldn’t hear, there was definitely a level of threat involved. Tintin was normally level-headed even in situations like this, but this was involving his dog. His throat was dry and he swallowed, feeling the unmistakeable racing of his own heart. No, no, no, don’t, please don’t, he’d never let anything happen to him—
The voices got quieter, Snowy’s barking fading into the distance along with a few footsteps. Normally his instinct was to do something, but the racing panic and now anger simmering underneath the surface seemed to put him in freeze mode. He did manage to have some strength to pull himself up though onto his feet with one of the bars though, his body shaking with adrenaline.
He heard the door open and shut behind him as he managed to stand. He felt a mix of emotions - fear, panic, anger, disgust, distress - at anything happening to his trusty little white dog. Would they kill him? Maybe. Would they hurt him? Almost certainly. But it was also certain they were doing this so they could force his hand to help them, he guessed. His hands felt dirty and he felt terror and nausea simultaneously just thinking about it. He couldn’t, wouldn’t think about him doing anything to help them or what could be happening to Snowy.
That kind of stroll on the floorboards with a lighter shoe was pretty much recognisable. Of course. Who else would it be? He only ever talked to somebody when he wanted something. He didn’t have any friends. It was nothing but what he wanted and what he could get from anyone. What a sad life.
“If this is about my dog—” he bitterly remarked, trying to get his voice to remain cold, before he heard the familiar interruption of that faux affable, almost mocking, laugh.
“I believe you heard the commotion outside,” Sakharine replied behind him, a sick politeness in his tone, “I assure you, nothing bad will come to him—”
Tintin finally spun around, making direct eye contact with the man in red in front of him. The audacity in his voice and the clear coldness of his eyes demonstrated nothing but pretentious bullshit, to be frank, in his own mind. He stepped forward as close as he was able to, unable to help the fire burning in him to come straight out of his own mouth.
“—unless I don’t help you, of course,” he spat, refusing to stop looking this man in the eye, “You could not frankly be more obvious about what you want and why you have him, so stop acting so damn nice about it.” He laughed, a laugh laced tremendously with venom.
Sakharine’s smile faded slightly, threat underlining his expression. He was perturbed by the boy’s reaction. Nonetheless, he was confident that this could be a breaking point. Let him be angry; not like there was much he could do. He could only be like this for so long.
He stepped forward so he was barely a foot away from him, the boy’s spiteful expression not budging. Though it was an obstacle to what he wanted, he was fascinated by the fire in his blood. He could see it in his eyes. I mean, he’d ended up here, hadn’t he? Such an eagerness for adventure and mystery at a young age that he forgot not to involve himself in business that clearly had nothing to do with him.
“You know,” he remarked, “I do wonder why such a young boy is involving himself in something like this. It seems considerably reckless of you to interfere with what the…adults are doing.” He grinned at that last part, his voice taking on a more patronising tone by the end. The boy’s expression took on more of a disgusted appearance, demonstrating that this wasn’t the first time this had happened.
“I don’t exist to be patronised, Mr Sakharine,” Tintin stated, addressing him in that familiar way, “My age is not important when the adults are busy committing to illicit business affairs.” He repeated it back similarly, malice heavy on that word in particular. He didn’t know if he had forgotten his fear or just ignored it, but he wasn’t in the place to debate that.
Sakharine was about to say something, but the boy clearly had the attitude to interrupt him. He’d pay for it dearly, evidently.
“And before you spin some sort of story right now, yes, I haven’t forgotten about my dear dog,” he said, practically snapping at the man, “I doubt harm will not come to whilst he’s with you.” His eyes appeared to burn both hot and cold at the other man, refusing to budge. He had not been one to shy away from these circumstances of intimidation.
Sakharine was not one for sentiment (maybe apart from his falcon, but that felt different), but the persistence of this boy about his dog demonstrated enough how easy it was to use others’ for his own gain. He didn’t care what happened to that white little mutt that meant so much to the ginger brat just so long as he got what he wanted from him.
Though frankly, with the way the boy was going with this, he might just have his men break a leg or two or even half drown the damn thing to get him to stop.
He laughed in his usual faux affable tone. “Perhaps,” he said, stressing very specifically on that word, “You’re far too attached to that thing to be involved with these affairs, so you should be…very glad I haven’t thrown it over board to die.” He similarly did so with the last sentence, displaying a sick grin as he studied the boy’s reaction to this response.
Tintin’s eyes flashed in anger, mouth twisted in scorn and teeth bared. “It’s very obvious life has no value for you unless it gives you what you want,” he viciously remarked, face pressed against the bars, “I’ve seen it all before. You’d step on anything to get what you want because the only person that matters in your life is you. That ‘thing’ is my dog, and if anyone’s blood here is going to be spilt, it’s mine.”
He appeared so serious, Sakharine almost wanted to laugh. “How noble of someone so young to throw yourself in front of your dear dog.” He displayed a contemptuous grin. “I’d say brave, but that doesn’t suit you. This isn’t a decision for you to make.”
The boy’s clear eyes appeared to shine more in the dim light, despite still maintaining the direct eye contact with him. Was that just him? The boy might be beginning to break. It was amazing that this attachment to this dog was enough to start such a ball rolling. For the boy’s spirits and capabilities, this seemed far too easy.
He took a step back and went to turn away, but the teenager couldn’t help but let out a particular desperation in his voice. “You have no right to make that decision! You have no right to take what isn’t yours!” He turned back around, relishing this moment. Those eyes were burning with emotion, that fire across his features. As endeared as he felt to that, this brat had no idea what he was dealing with.
He turned back, making a long, menacing step back towards him, faces now only inches apart. The boy’s brows furrowed, trying to maintain his anger despite the air of distress in his eyes. If no one else was going to put this child in his place, then he would.
“Listen here, you actual child, I think I’ve made it very clear that I am not one to preach to about fairness!” he exclaimed contemptuously, a sneer across his face, “You’re on my ship interfering with my business, I don’t care if it was rather you you’d want me to hurt instead of your dear mutt! Maybe if your parents taught you better, I wouldn’t have to be dealing with a brat and his dog like you!”
He stopped, taking in his reaction. Normally he’d come back with a quick response, but he was speechless. His clear eyes glistened more in the light, mouth shaking as if he was trying to say something. His brow remained furrowed, now full of a new emotion that perhaps he hadn’t felt in a while. The boy was probably used to this somehow, but maybe this time Sakharine had hit a nerve.
Tintin’s mouth was shaped in a scowl, disgust, anger and distress roiling especially underneath the surface. He couldn’t speak for a few moments, cursing this fresh vulnerability at the older man’s exclamation. He’d heard similar stuff before, his reputation with enemies beginning to precede him. But this villainous type seemed to hit him out of nowhere, and it was probably all the more painful when they had his dog besides.
“I don’t think anyone has been able to show you exactly what you’re dealing with,” Sakharine continued, voice softer and all the more sinister, “you’re a child, Tintin, if that is your real name, and I have no idea how someone your age is getting involved in business that is no concern of him.”
“You’re hurting others just to get what you want! Besides, you stole my ship!”
“You broke into MY house with a clear idea of what you were doing! You seemed it think it was fine and dandy to snoop around a place you didn’t belong!”
“I doubt it had ever crossed your mind that I had simply found a nice ship at the market before you got involved. Who else was I supposed to suspect but you when I had bought it, clearly trying a bit too hard to convince me to sell it to you?”
Their voices had risen not so much in volume, but emotion. This boy had been too much of a smart ass from the beginning, and finding out he was a reporter was enough of a breaking point. If he was getting this conversation more in his control, he’d turn it back around. He wasn’t about to be outdone by a literal child. It was beginning to go absolutely nowhere as a result.
“I was trying to be reasonable,” Sakharine responded, a faux affable tone returning to his voice, “but since you have continued to not understand who you’re dealing with, I think I’ll go ahead and have your precious mutt’s legs broken. Call it a small comfort that I won’t make you watch.”
Tintin’s face appeared to drain of colour as Sakharine’s face split open at a sick grin at what he just said.
“You touch my dog and I’ll–” Tintin said, voice now cracking before he was interrupted.
“Or you’ll do what?” Sakharine asked mockingly, malicious amusement clear in his voice, “What could you possibly do in your situation if I touch that poor little white dog of yours?”
Anger and distress was now boiling on the surface, and Tintin could feel tears collect in his eyes. He was not one to do this, this was not him. Even for someone his age, he was usually strong-willed. But, perhaps, not enough for Snowy.
The older man was relishing in this new sight of this pesky ginger brat finally be compromised this emotionally. He was in the authoritative position here and seeing that release of tears, though pathetic, be somewhat enjoyable. It had taken threatening to hurt his trusty little animal to break him so easily.
“Don’t you dare,” Tintin said, voice shaking with a quiet anger, “he doesn’t need to be a part of this.”
Sakharine stepped back and turned, sighing. “If you’re going to remain this stubborn and refuse to cooperate, I’m afraid he’ll be even more involved. You two have given me enough grief already.”
The tears were carving even more of a wet path down Tintin’s face now, watching Sakharine as he turned and began to walk away. He pressed his face as much as he could against the metal bars. “Fine! Do whatever you want, but don’t you dare touch my dog!” Tintin snapped, voice bitter and angry despite how broken it felt. The older man refused to stop but merely smiled self-satisfactorily away from him as he strolled back towards the door.
Let him rant, he thought. They could wait. It was enough to get him to even attempt to cooperate, but even better that he found it easier to break the boy’s spirits. Maybe leaving him on his own in there would put him in his place whilst he was none the wiser about his dog, and shouting would get him nowhere.
“Listen to me! Don’t you even think about it!” Tintin began to shout as Sakharine opened the door and stepped through, not even thinking to look back as it finally shut. He heard the footsteps as he felt a sob rising in his throat. He wouldn’t, no he wouldn’t. This wouldn’t happen to him, despite everything that others had thrown at him.
Now that he was alone, he began to feel the fresh release of tears as they burnt across his skin. He was angry, of course he was angry. There was too much he was angry about. But he was scared, he was upset, he had no idea what was happening outside of his current prison, things he’d refuse to admit to himself. He opened his mouth to shout something again, but stopped, coming to the realisation that it was hopeless.
He stepped back, sliding against the bars on the opposite side until he was sitting again. His wrists felt raw from the rope biting his skin and he leant his head back until he was staring at the ceiling. The sob that had settled at the back of his throat finally escaped from his mouth, and he shut his eyes as hot tears fell faster down his face. His dog brought at least solace and affection in dire situations like this, but now he had no idea what was happening to him.
“Snowy…” he finally spoke into the silence, voice quieter than ever, “I’m sorry.”
Before the beginning! Your Tintin whump fics have had me in tears omg they’re incredible
aWWWWW THANK YOU!!! i love writing them so much and it makes me so happy that you enjoy them so much!!
okay, so i wrote a few Tintin whump fics before this current one (more to come though). they’ve usually involved Tintin getting hurt in so many different ways, two of them involving Sakharine not caring to literally maim a child and his dog (especially Snowy because y’know, the bastard knows it’ll get him places if he threatens him). Tintin literally jumps in front of a sword to protect Snowy (he’s just dumb enough to throw himself into anything really to solve crimes and protect his dog), also has a building collapse on him rescuing Snowy, gets poisoned because he’s in the way of the current mystery and then gets brutalised by Haddock’s traitorous crew before Sakharine threatens to murder Snowy if he doesn’t tell him where the scroll is. y’know, all in the life of a teenage boy reporter.
as @another-her says, if your name is Tintin and you’re a reporter, your life is bound to be a living hell if you search for things in the name of answers and poke your nose around in business that isn’t yours.
i say these things in a way as if i’m not doing these things to him in the name of whump, but he gets into a lot of dangerous adventures in the comics and cartoons, so i guess it feels wildly appropriate regardless.
Mark Hoffman wasn’t exactly known for doing anything with finesse. Despite the brutality of Kramer’s traps, though, at least he managed to have structure and a so called philosophy to his work. No one had really suspected him, and frankly this gave him more to do besides his police job. There seemed less of a thrill in just cold bloodedly murdering people in a more hands on sense when he was still upheld as a detective lieutenant.
Of course, he still wondered when things started to fall apart for him. He’d had a good run without suspicion for a while, but some prick had him figured out almost from the start which was not exactly what he needed. Of course, he was used to thinking on his feet, but frankly this wasn’t the way he wanted to go with things, even if he managed to lead him straight to his own demise without incriminating himself too much, he thought.
That goddamn Peter Strahm, the special agent who already took issues with him. Didn’t help that that man already had anger issues, even if he was clever enough to figure out the new Jigsaw apprentice identity. He already had other things to deal with without this shit.
It was easy enough to know he wouldn’t trust him, especially when his voice was on the tape in the other man’s hand. Pure bait really. Sure, the special agent had managed to bloody his face in the process, but shoving him in the glass coffin was the last laugh. Witnessing the agony of him having his bones split and his body crushed between the two walls seemed satisfying from where he was, his blood splattering like ketchup onto the glass top.
But he’d have to be frank, though it was easier to get away in his position with what he was doing with such underhanded techniques, it didn’t mean outright murdering someone right there so close up didn’t cross his mind. He’d be lying if he said he didn’t have certain fantasies of graphically murdering particular people; Strahm, especially, seemed like he’d died at his hands hundreds of times already in his head.
He’d been able to properly do this to his work partner, Lindsey Perez, by the time he’d been found out to be the next Jigsaw apprentice. At this point, he was exposed enough as it is, but finally at least he was able to satiate his want for up close and personal murder by repeatedly stabbing Strahm’s work partner and get to watch the light extinguish from her eyes. That was twisted beauty of it all.
If he could, the idea of Strahm being led to a place, isolated from his co-workers, was already wonderful in of itself. He was intelligent but unfortunately hot-headed; someone to get out of the way. Sure, the glass coffin trap worked as intended, but he could at least dream. He wouldn’t kill him at first, but enjoy the idea of unnerving Strahm all the more to see him explode in frustration and anger as he investigated a particular building.
Any attempt to contact any help from the outside would of course be shut down; standing in the shadows as he’d watch Strahm hear only static on the other end. He’d nonetheless traipse through the place, gun pointed ahead as his paranoia was reaching boiling point. No one would find him here, least of all before it was too late.
A shot would ring out from behind him. Maybe another. It didn’t have to be a thought out dream, just something to make this agent suffer. He’d stumble forward, inhaling sharply and shouting as a burning pain shot through his leg, blood dampening his jeans. It’d be as close to his foot as he could get in the dim light of the building, enough that the prick would be trailing blood behind him, limping. Even if he decided to find a way out, his injury would slow him down considerably.
He’d spin around to a degree, obviously angry and incredibly suspicious, but before he could react, Hoffman would appear out of the shadows, switching the lights on and displaying a cruel combination of contempt and sick satisfaction, shooting the man again and watching as he dropped his gun, stumbling around and grabbing onto his bleeding shoulder. He was already a whole mess of emotions without being shot, frankly enough, and seemed almost too easy to get rid of.
“I know who you are!!” he’d accusingly shout, an expression of burning hatred on his face. He still remembered those last words as the walls closed in on the agent, unable to stop his fate unfolding. He remained silent, watching him be graphically crushed, his screams echoing in his head. But in this dream, he could back this injured man into a wall, unable to reach for his gun, menacing him with a knife and allow himself to indulge in his own response as he sliced it repeatedly through the agent’s stomach, a rough, choked cry of pain escaping from his throat.
“Oh yeah?” he’d reply smugly, baring his teeth in a sick gesture of enjoyment. He leaned forward, his face now only inches from the other man’s to take in this bastard’s dying expression. The agent’s blood oozed red and slick onto his hands in the bright light of the building. “Why don’t you go and try telling your little friends about me yourself?”
His eyes would shine even more threateningly in the cold, sterile light, almost wanting to laugh as he could see any anger start to dissipate and life ebb away in his eyes. If he was asking to die if that’s what it took to prove Hoffman’s guilt, he got the first part he wanted.
He’d shove the knife in one last time, Strahm’s body hitting the floor as he stepped back from him. Blood pooled on the floor around him. and covered Hoffman’s hands and the knife, but he’d feel satisfied. He’d smile grimly, breathing heavily and relishing in the taste of the blood of the damn bastard, his corpse lying against the floor almost like the classic crime scene chalk outlines.
Sure, Mark Hoffman wasn’t one for doing anything with finesse. But he preferred it that way, even if the Saw traps by Kramer’s standards provided him with a way out without being suspected. He wouldn’t approve, he remembered the philosophy. Kramer didn’t say what they were doing was murder, but where was the fun in that?
At least he was still able to dream about it. The ability to relish in murder without any consequences. At least he had that, at the end of it all.
NEXT - (If you're working on a project already? or else an old one is fine too) 💛
I am!! Note: it is quite graphic. I’m currently working on a Saw fic for a couple of Whumptober prompts.
“He’d be lying if he said he didn’t have certain fantasies of graphically murdering particular people; Strahm, especially, seemed like he’d died at his hands hundreds of times already in his head.”
(Nicked from iambickilometer):
drop one of these bad boys in my askbox and i will post, without editing
- FIRST — the first two sentences of my current project
- LAST — the most recently written two sentences of my current project
- NEXT — the next line. meaning i will finish the sentence I’m on and write a new one, which you’ll get.
- [insert prompt here] — you post a prompt, and i’ll write three sentences based on that prompt, set in the same time/setting as my current project
- THE END — i’ll make up an ending, or post the ending if i’ve written it
- BEFORE THE BEGINNING — three sentences (or more) about something that happened before the plot of my current project
- POV — something that’s already happened, retold from another character’s perspective
GJWIGUDJSN PLEASE GUYS
GIMME AN ASK
It was normal enough, Tintin walking down the street, hands in his coat pockets alongside Haddock back to Marlinspike Hall, Snowy happily trotting by his feet occasionally scaring some pigeons.
“There’s just something odd about this whole thing,” Tintin said, frowning, talking about their latest mystery with the captain, “Even I can’t understand it.”
“Whatever they’re hiding, we’ll find out somehow, the damn blasted fools,” the captain remarked, but quickly changed his tune, “maybe once we get back to Marlinspike and clear our heads, something will come of it.”
Tintin hummed, briefly and quietly in response, eyes focused on the street below him. He occasionally glanced up at the crowded area in front of them, trying to keep an eye on Snowy before he ran off chasing something.
He did a sly double take though, narrowing his eyes as he caught a glimpse of a figure in a beige suit and hat making eye contact with him. He looked down and back up and the man’s eyes had shifted for a second before catching his eyes again.
It was hard to shake off, and he was about to discreetly tap the captain’s arm when in his distraction he failed to notice someone brushing past him in a hurry without apologising. Snowy started barking at the sudden impoliteness that had taken Tintin off guard.
“What in blistering–” the captain turned around, about to curse at the gentleman but he had far disappeared into the crowd to do anything about him. Tintin touched his arm.
“It’s fine,” he reassured him, “Someone’s just in a rush, that’s all.” Tintin hoped he could be convincing after what he saw earlier but didn’t manage to tell him, far too wrapped up in his own thoughts. He would if he was just seeing things this time. He hoped.
The walk home was generally pleasant after streets merged gradually with more green areas, the road soon turning into gravel as they managed to let themselves in at the gates. Tintin felt a bit unsteady on his feet, blinking wearily up at the sky in the afternoon light, but managed to walk up the steps of the hall and be let in by Nestor, Snowy bounding eagerly past him into the main area of the place.
He stepped in out of the sunshine, removing his coat and murmuring a polite ‘thank you’ to Nestor as he took it, and went to ascend the stairs, Snowy starting to follow suit. There was a voice behind him.
“Hey, lad,” the captain said, sounding concerned, “Are you alright?”
Tintin didn’t realise he’d been holding onto the banister so tightly, the unsteadiness creeping ever more into his muscles. It took enough just to stay upright without his legs collapsing beneath him.
He blinked properly, feeling like the room was beginning to spin around him. Snowy was quiet, standing on his hind legs and pawing at his owner’s trousers, giving small whines.
“I’m fine, captain,” he replied, letting out a breath he didn’t realise he’d been holding, “I won’t be long.”
Snowy was making quite the fuss, but when he heard a hesitant silence, he resumed climbing the stairs, trying not to continue worrying the captain. He wanted to look back, but his head was swimming and the floor felt like it was moving underneath him. He walked uneasily to his room, Snowy worriedly whining at his heels.
He shut the door, the room spinning so much that Tintin thought he was going to be sick. He stumbled forward, his legs finally giving way underneath him as his knees hit the floor, an agony like fire running through his stomach. That wasn’t an accidental brush of his arm, he thought, mind running. He’d been distracted.
He’d been so concentrated on this sudden rush of pain and weakness that he was forgetting Snowy’s frantic scrabbling and loud barking at the door, fortunately managing to attract attention as heavy footsteps made its way to his door.
He barely managed to register a rough hand on his shoulder, his body now curled up on its side and he had his arms around his stomach, no strength left in his body to even breathe properly, let alone hold himself up. Everything was moving and swimming around to much for him to focus, but he could nonetheless hear the captain’s voice, distantly.
“Oh Tintin, you damned fool, why didn’t you tell me?” he less asked and more worriedly stated, slipping his arms under the young boy, “I got Nestor to get a doctor, I knew I should’ve—”
Tintin sharply inhaled, swallowing as he grabbed the front of Haddock’s jumper, eyes that were normally full of calm and inquisitiveness, now wide with panicked agony. “It was them,” his voice came out in a hoarse whisper, “they knew what we were doing, they were watching us…they were working for them…”
“Tintin you’re not making any sense—”
“They brushed against me on the street and ran off—”
A wave of pain hit Tintin and something that sounded like a raw screech escaped his throat. Snowy was there, whimpering, distressed by the pain his owner was in. Anger flashed in Haddock’s eyes though, as he lifted the young boy, half-limp, from the floor who was now clearly overtaken by the delirium and breathlessness of whatever substance that these people had plagued him with.
“Those blasted attempted child murderers, god what I’d do—” he started, but looked down at the poor boy, able to do nothing but suffer these ill effects, “the doctor should be here soon, but I’m here, and I’m not leaving.” He carried him over to the bed, Snowy bounding frantically over before jumping on the bed and curling up next to his owner. He yapped quietly, looking over at the captain.
“He’ll be fine, Snowy,” he muttered, glancing over at the door, “just whenever this damn doctor will get here, it’d be perfect.” He was angry, but fear was evidently sitting there in his voice. This boy was so young and he cursed himself every time he left him alone, especially showing signs of how troubled he was.
He knew Tintin didn’t want to bug people with his feelings and Haddock hated insisting. He was still just a boy despite consistently able to put himself at risk to solve mysteries and catch criminals, but seemed to be more ambivalent to talk about how he really felt. He didn’t want to constantly hang around the boy, but it seemed very much the instinct with his interests to be around him. He couldn’t help it.
Hopefully the people responsible for this would be made to suffer for this. He’d make sure of it.
“I didn’t say kill the damn boy!!”
“You said to break the bones in his body—”
Sakharine aggressively shoved Allan against the wall of the cabin by the front of his long coat. “You simple minded—” he spat, “there’s a difference!! I still want him alive!! You think I can get a scroll from a dead wretched little brat??”
The man in red let go, trying to remain calm and adjusting his own jacket, still with a glint of fury in his eyes as he looked at the other man. He sighed exasperatedly, briefly glancing away. “Did you manage to get him to say anything important?” he asked, a rigid firmness in his voice.
Tom, standing behind Sakharine, exchanged nervous looks with Allan.
“Well??” Sakharine angrily insisted, looking very expectantly at both of them.
There was a small silence. “Nothing, boss.”
He looked at both of them like they’d just lost their entire minds. Not that he didn’t always think that, but this was baffling enough as it is for even these two.
“What do you mean, nothing?”
“He said nothing.”
“You beat him within an inch of his damn life and he said NOTHING??”
Sakharine was more infuriated than ever, mainly showing it in his eyes, before his voice leapt up louder and more aggressively this time. Allan and Tom practically jumped out of their own skin at his raised voice before trying to stammer out a reply. Predictably, they were cut short.
“I’ve had grown men break before they’ve hardly had a finger laid on them but you couldn’t even get a teenage boy to crack??”
Sakharine wondered who he had more problems with; his idiotic crew who couldn’t get answers from a literal boy to the little brat himself. He didn’t understand how such a young person would not give in despite the physical suffering he was put through. What had this ginger brat been up to that made him that defiant to remain quiet through that?
If the simple minded crew couldn’t get an answer out of him, he’d do it himself. He couldn’t refuse to say anything forever.
They were interrupted by a noise outside the door, followed by a low growl and barking. How in god’s name had that stupid mutt of the boy’s manage to get onto the damn ship??
The door swung open to reveal one of the crewmates, the small struggling bundle of white fur snapping at him with the fur of his neck in his right hand. “Found this mangy dog looking around, boss,” he remarked snidely, trying to avoid being bitten, “must have been searching for its young master.”
Before anything else happened, Snowy managed to wriggle free, landing on all fours with a thud, baring his teeth and barking ferociously at the people that surrounded him. Sakharine was about to bat the damn dog with his cane to get it to shut up before it stopped, bounding over to the metal cage on the other side of the cabin.
Sakharine narrowed his eyes at the sudden change in the behaviour of that dog. It had gotten all the way here and the first chance it got, it had leapt straight towards the boy, a curled up bruised and bloodied figure. It whined, pawing through the bars, standing on its hind legs to get him to wake up. Clearly distressed, it eventually poked its head through, pulling on the boy’s blue jumper to get him to respond.
“What on earth—” Allan made to say, taking a step forward before his path was blocked by Sakharine’s cane who was fixated on the dog’s behaviour around the boy. There seemed a particular thought running through Sakharine’s mind as the dog desperately tried to get his owner to wake up. A noticeable shift in the latter’s movement despite his injuries caught his attention.
“Snowy…?” It was quiet and cracked, but audible. The crewmates observed a more malicious glint in their boss’ eyes almost as if to know what he had in mind. It didn’t help also observing the particular sickly, self satisfied grin that formed soon after on his face at this vocalisation.
Not looking back, he took the cane from in front of Allan. “I’ll handle this,” he remarked, “unlike you lot.”
He strode forward towards the dog, obviously named Snowy, who turned to him defensively, growling viciously under its breath. “Oh for god’s sake,” he muttered, batting at the dog with his cane, “will you shut up—”
He finally kicked it and it responded with a yelp, managing to tumble over into the metal cage. “Finally, you dirty little mutt,” he dryly remarked and stepped in, slamming the door with a loud clang behind him.
Tintin, the boy, flinched in surprise and managed to lift his head, displaying the mess that had been made of his face. Sakharine wasn’t one for hands on work - his henchman did that for him - so naturally he felt the physical inclination to recoil. Of course, despite the bruising along his cheekbones and the blood that had run down mainly from head wounds and especially a vivid dark purple bruise around his right eye, there was still a sense of defiance in his face.
Whether that was by the curl of his split lips upwards in an expression of disgust or fire that seemed to burn in those clear pupils of his, he could see it. He was almost endeared by it.
Almost. Unfortunately, it was an obstacle and he wasn’t about to be a victim of sentiment. Maybe what he was about to do next would make him see sense. Not like those traitorous crewmates back there managed to be of any help in that area.
Snowy almost darted forward but Sakharine was quicker this time, abruptly yanking the dog with a grip on the fur of his neck. He yelped again, but this time he was more whimpering than growling, flailing his legs. He turned down to look at Tintin, whose eyes seemed to burn with a new kind of anger but also remained cold, reading almost like a new level of fiery disdain specifically for what was happening to his dog.
Sakharine raised his eyebrows in a faux affable gesture. “Why don’t we try this again?” he asked, a sickening politeness in his words. Tintin merely glared at him.
“Put him down,” he stated through gritted teeth, a sneer across his bloodied lips.
Sakharine wanted to laugh. This felt like Marlinspike Hall again, but with more control over his side. This brat wouldn’t be able to walk away with an attitude like that this time.
“Perhaps you’re forgetting something,” he continued in a conversational manner, as if to ignore that rebellious tone in Tintin’s voice, “I still need to know what you’ve done with that scroll.”
“I said I don’t—”
Tintin was cut off by a vicious kick to his ribs and he practically choked out a scream, eyes widened from the unbearable pain. Not long ago he felt like he’d had one or two broken and the kick did enough to make the pain flare up, but he was not able to do much about it apart from a choked scream that tore itself from his throat.
Snowy was now throwing up more of a fuss, though quietened into whimpers as Sakharine singlehandedly ripped his sword from its holder, an agonised cry coming from Tintin as the blade was held to the dog’s throat.
“Don’t play games with me, you stupid boy,” he seethed, watching Tintin’s clear eyes appear to set alight with multiple emotions in the dimness of the lower decks, “you knew exactly what you spoke about earlier, so unless you want your dear dog you love so much to die, I suggest telling me where the scroll is.”
Tintin didn’t think he could get any angrier, or even show more of it with how much pain he was in. “You’re sick, you know that?” he spat, hints of distress clearly making themselves known with the shake in his voice and the shine of his eyes, “Don’t you even dare!”
Sakharine laughed, amused. “Only because I know how to get the job done, you insolent child,” he remarked, the blade glinting underneath the dog’s jaw, “so would you rather let your dog live compared to remaining secretive about scrolls that were none of your damn business in the first place?”
The sickly grin appeared back on his face, and Tintin couldn’t help but flick his eyes between the other man’s face, the blade and the black, pleading eyes of his beloved dog, Snowy. He wasn’t remotely in a position to argue, emotionally or physically. He wasn’t just a boy though, even though he knew he was always that despite everything that he’d done. He couldn’t possibly let this man get away like this; he just wanted a nice ship and he’d thrown himself face first into this mystery with the criminal dealings underpinning it all.
But he couldn’t bank on solving this mystery and catching criminals at the cost of his own dog. How much could come close to how much Snowy meant to him? Even if he wanted to figure out the means to stop these people. Not like he didn’t know that these kinds of people had many ways to play dirty. Of course they would.
Of course he would.
“It’s be a real shame to stain such lovely white fur…” Sakharine trailed off with faux sympathy in his voice, before the cracked voice of the boy spoke up, fervently.
“Stop!” he cried, feeling nausea in the pit of his stomach at the description, “just stop! Please, don’t!”
Sakharine stopped, moreso at the distress in the boy’s voice, however much he tried not to. Not like he had the strength, anyway. The shine in his eyes was very clear, as if something was going to fall from them. He was grinning now, contemptuously, self-satisfied, as if the mere idea of reducing what appeared to be a strong-willed boy almost to tears was enjoyable, in of itself.
“And why is that?” he asked, that grin not budging in the slightest.
“I…” Tintin started, hating himself for saying it, “I don’t have the scroll on me.” Evidently putting emphasis on that last part. “It’s still on the mainland, because it’s in my wallet that was stolen from me.”
Sakharine raised an eyebrow. That explains why the brat didn’t have it on him. He frowned; it was frustrating enough that this was the case without it being back where they started. But he appeared satisfied enough, pulling the sword away from the dog’s throat and dropped him as if was diseased. Predictably, the dog scampered over, now more concerned for the worse state his owner was in, licking him and whining in his face. The boy was more or less zoned out now, eyes bright with tears, a hand absentmindedly stroking the mutt’s head.
He looked down, patronisingly, though his voice remained clear to the crewmates outside. He could see anger and hurt boiling behind that deadened expression. “Never underestimate the influence of the bond between a boy and his dog,” he spoke, his voice once again sickeningly polite, “especially when he forgets to value the life of the animal over business that had nothing to do with him to begin with. Anyone can be influenced if you just do it right.” He glared over at his henchman, but didn’t say anything else.
He left the metal cage, putting his cane back together, the boy and dog barely flinching as metal hit metal. “It’s a real shame,” he said aloud, his thoughts wandering with a malicious undertone, “Killing that damn animal would’ve been frankly enjoyable.”
The building had collapsed somehow with not much warning, the instinctual feeling to get out immediately. Snowy had first let out a confused whine, sensing something wrong as dust and small rocks fell from the ceiling, scurrying over to his owner, who was clearly engrossed in some important markings on the stone walls, dragging on his trousers in an attempt to get him to leave.
“Snowy, what is it?” Tintin finally asked, regarding him, before glancing up to judge the situation. The support beams of the house were giving way, sloping downwards as bigger rocks started to tumble down. He stopped momentarily, Snowy ferociously now pulling him towards an exit and refusing to leave without him.
He was snapped out of his reverie by a rough hand on his arm as he was hurried forward. “Tintin, for the love of god, get out of there! D’you wanna have a building collapse on you??”
The loud voice of the captain was clear as day as he was pulled along, half jogging, Snowy following behind. The building fortunately wasn’t too big, him having run down a narrow hallway to get to him. Haddock kicked himself whenever he realised he’d left the boy alone, albeit with his trusty dog. It was instinctual, despite everything that had happened. He was only a teenager and yet had a remarkable knack for getting himself into risky situations due to the need for adventure and discovery.
He couldn’t blame the boy, in some way, of course. He’d been quite the same growing up, and with his alcoholism, well, that just created enough problems in of itself. But he’d been working towards something that didn’t involve so much of that.
Tintin had taken a glimpse behind him, momentarily catching the image of Snowy further behind than usual, the whole building now completely crumbling apart. They’d made it into the brilliant daylight, but Tintin broke free in a panic, leaping back into the building with a single cry of–
–and the captain tried to grab back onto him, but the boy was agile and young and was already way ahead of him, scrabbling up into what was now effectively rubble towards his dear dog who had tripped, catching one of his legs under a rock. The dust was particularly full force and Tintin was coughing but remained set on freeing Snowy.
Haddock was panicking and there seemed hope of all three of them, by the skin of their teeth, getting all out at once. Unfortunately, as Tintin stumbled forward to prise the rock off his dog’s legs, Snowy leapt and was able to run almost full pelt towards the captain, both of them witnessing as rocks had now fell far too heavily to do anything. Haddock managed to glimpse one of them knocking the poor boy out before the building collapsed on top of him.
Tintin didn’t know how long it’d been, having felt the dust cloud in his throat and a sharp pain at the back of his head as everything finally crashed down around him. Snowy had been freed, running with fervour towards the captain after his owner urged him forward with less concern for himself.
It wasn’t so much waking up, but sliding in and out of consciousness as he heard barking and shouting, before brilliant sunlight shot through his vision and he squinted. A pained groan escaped his throat, before a panic rose in his chest. Some of the heavier rocks were pinning him down in a whole load more of the rubble and a large rough wooden beam had pinned down one of his legs in the most twisted position. Any attempt to move just caused him more pain, even breathing.
He blinked in this new light as he heard the shuffling and crunching of rubble around him and there was the sound of whining next to his ear, followed by warm licks to his face. He gave a short series of laughs, offering a small smile to Snowy’s concerned face and attention.
“What were you thinking, lad?” a familiar voice called, one more out of concern than anger and he looked to see the captain stumbling forward towards them, Snowy now a bit more happily wagging his tail after searching through what was left of the house to find him.
It was hard to respond properly, feeling suffocated by the rubble and much movement prevented by any pain that hit him in every attempt to do so. He knew he usually ended up in these situations, far too eager to discover things and resolve mysteries. Although to be honest, some of the danger he put himself in involved Snowy - the bond between a boy and his dog was not to be underestimated - especially in this case.
It took effort to push away the heavier rocks that pinned down his front and he took a sharp intake of breath as he sat up, Snowy licking his face in worry at the noise he made. Coughing was an entirely different problem, feeling like he’d cracked a rib or something, letting out a hiss of pain as he clutched his chest in a haze of panic.
Once again, he felt a rough hand on his shoulder. He glanced up to see the captain looking at him, his face tight. He was probably preparing himself for the moment where Tintin claimed he didn’t need any help and his injuries weren’t too much to worry about. But in this case, he felt like he had no energy, physical or otherwise, left to protest.
“Hey, lad, I didn’t mean anything by that. We’re just worried for you, y’know,” the man said, “That was quite a feat, Tintin, but you look shaken up as all hell from that. Especially your leg, right there.” Haddock looked over at his leg under the wooden beam, twisted at an odd angle. Tintin winced every time he looked over at it.
“I’d be careful with that, if I were you–” Tintin began to say, but his words caught in his throat as the captain moved over to lift and pull the beam away, the pain becoming more apparent with every shift of it.
Tintin made a noise between a choke and a sharp inhale as in the process of shifting the beam, it ended up accidentally dropping slightly on his leg, the captain cursing before managing to lift it off entirely. He took a breath, hissing at the new sense of freedom from the rubble, yet at the familiar inability to not move around without pain.
He looked up at the captain, feeling faint and hating how he must have looked. He reached a hand out to Snowy, scratching the back of his head as he sat nuzzling into his owner’s side.
Curse his constant need to put himself in danger for mysteries. At least he was alive, he guessed, but it was enough for him to worry his friends in the process.
Nonetheless, he couldn’t help but wonder what the markings were inside the house before it collapsed.