#'no i think you can fit the booklets in the three boxes'
justthatspiffy · 5 months ago
for somebody who does printing and also worked housekeeping it is hilarious how much of a baby i am about my hands. they are princess hands and they will never harden to the work required of them and every time i break a nail or get a paper cut or a bunch of microabraisions across my knuckles i WILL get emotional about it
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jurassicbarnes · a year ago
baby fever
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pairing: Bucky Barnes x Reader (MCU)
summary: In which Bucky can’t figure out why he feels so restless when everything is perfect in his life... until he does.
warnings: sex (18+), breeding kink!!! copious amounts of fluff and bucky being an adorable goofball
author’s note: ‘tis finally here!!! first fic on the new blog! also thought i’d do something new with formatting my fics! and once again, i couldn't help with keeping it short n sweet sorry! [wc: ~5k]
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Bucky doesn’t know what’s gotten into him lately.
There is this restlessness that keeps bugging him in the back of his mind. Sometimes it doesn’t let him focus on things. Mundane things, really. When he’s brewing the morning coffee. When he’s reading the paper. Or when he’s mindlessly scrolling through his phone.
He’s happy and it’s been years since he’s felt genuine happiness. He’s a free man, free to do what he wants. Free to talk, to walk, to wear whatever he wants. To eat whatever he wants. To feel whatever he wants. To love whoever he wants.
To love you enough and more to marry you and start his little family. He has all of this, he’s at peace. He gets to wake up every morning and is blessed to have the most gorgeous woman sleeping next to him. He gets to make a home with you, memories with you. Share your love for each other in your space, fill it with more love with things you love and care about.
And he has done that.
He’s a stable guy now, he’s got a wife and a home and the most adorable cat.
He can’t complain, he’s got no right to feel this restlessness. God knows, he doesn’t take a thing for granted in his life. Everything he has and everything he wants is right in the palm of his hands.
He should be happy. No, he is happy. He just wants to be… happier? Would it be completely selfish if he wants to be happier?
You’ve always told him, it’s a good colour on him. He’s gorgeous when he’s beaming and all smiles. Like a bright sunny day at the beach, warmth from the ocean water, warmth from the sun gently beating down.
You never fail to tell him that he has every right to be selfish, either. You love to spoil him rotten sometimes. Shower him with compliments, and constantly flirting with him – even though it’s been a whole year you’ve been married, been together for three years before that – not counting five years after the Blip.
Safe to say, he’s going to grow old with you. If science can help him do that, that is.
So why does he feel restless?
His question is answered one day in the most life-changing way.
The two of you were at the vet’s clinic, just a regular check-up for Alpine. She was seated in Bucky’s lap. He refused to get one of those pet carriers when the pet supply store owner urged him to buy one for Alpine. With the way she hissed at the cage, he could tell she didn’t like it.
While waiting for your turn, Bucky kept petting her back. Long, comforting strokes and soft scratches behind her ear, because she tends to get a little nervous during these visits.
The woman before you was called out. She was struggling with her newborn baby in the bassinet, and her dog whining – she looked helpless. While she tried to haul the bassinet and the dog to the doctor’s office – who refused to leave his spot because he didn’t want to go – you got up to help her.
“Let me help you, I can look after your baby while you’re inside.”
Much to her relief, the woman sighed. Your face is trustful enough, a kind smile on your lips.
“Thank you so much, sweetheart!” She said and handed you the bassinet. You told her it’s not a problem and she picked up the dog and went in.
When you came back, you left a seat to place the baby between you and Bucky. You look at your husband and the pure joy on your face lit up his heart. You picked up the baby. She wasn’t crying or throwing a fit, but she was just so adorable and you had to have her in your arms.
You cooed and called her all sweet names, talking to her in a different voice, a tiny one that made him smile on his own. He wondered what it would be like to watch you play with your baby like that.
That sudden thought answered his restlessness. The puzzle was finally completed.
It took him by surprise, though.
Does he want a baby with you? Yes, he’s pretty certain about that. One day he would want a little bundle of joy in his arms. Half like him, half like you.
But does he think he’s ready to be a father?
Are you ready to be a mother?
Yeah, those are the questions to which he doesn’t know the answers to.
But what he does know, is that he wants to have a baby. He just needs to know if you’re on the same page as him.
So Bucky… starts dropping hints.
They’re very subtle, considering he’s a 106-year-old, retired Avenger, determined to know your thoughts on having a baby.
The first one is when he brings home the mail after his daily walk around the block. You’re sitting on the couch, feet propped up on the coffee table, eating a bowl of fresh watermelon, Alpine lazily draped next to you. Some movie plays in the background. Bucky, very subtly, drops a bunch of envelopes and magazines next to your feet and hands you the hydrangeas he brings you every day.
A sweet smile flashed his way when you smell the lovely flowers. Since you’re very comfortable in your position – and since Bucky doesn’t want to distract you from his plan – he offers to put the flowers in the vase for you.
“Stay here,” he gives your shoulder a little squeeze and takes the flowers from you. “I’ll put these in water.”
A mumbled thanks and you adjust yourself, your feet now under you. And something catches your eye. A parenting magazine lies under the heaps of bills. You shuffle them away with your fingers and grab the thick booklet.
“Mother & Baby,” you mumble, confusion lining your expressions.
All the while, Bucky is peeping at you. Standing at the sink in the kitchen island, the water in the vase is overflowing. He realises that when the cold water trickles down the vase and his hand.
“Shit,” he curses under his breath, closes the tap and throws the excess water. The flowers shoved inside the vase, eyes never leaving you. Licks his bottom lip as a nervous habit and wipes his wet hand on his jeans. Trying to seem busy and nonchalant as he blindly arranges the flowers.
“Bucky?” you call out, eyes never leaving the front cover of the magazine.
The vase nearly slips from his grip, he scrambles up to attention – very nonchalant – and hopes that his voice doesn’t squeak terribly when he answers, “Yes, baby?”
Baby. Did he have to call you that right now?
He could have called you anything, honey, angel, sweetheart. But no, he just had to call you baby.
“I think you got somebody else’s mail by mistake,” you said, placing the magazine back on the table. He walks over to you, “We don’t have a subscription for ‘Mother & Baby’. It might belong to that new couple who moved into 1C. I saw them with a stroller the other day.”
“Oh, huh…” he feigns a chuckle, rubbing the back of his neck. “Yeah, uh, I guess I didn’t notice. All the mail was just shoved into the box.” He scoffs as if it’s the mailman’s fault when it was Bucky who stole the magazine from the top of 1C’s box.
“Will you please give it to them?”
“Yeah, of course.” he shrugs and picks it up. Slips into his shoes and as soon as he’s out and shuts the door, he bangs his head on it lightly. “Barnes, you fucking moron.”
The next hint is when Bucky offers to babysit their new neighbours’ baby boy. It was weeks after that magazine debacle. In that time he’d earned the trust of his neighbours enough to let him babysit their kid while the new parents had a date night to themselves. It was a win-win situation. They were thankful and Bucky got a chance to execute his plan.
You were more than happy to help Bucky. In fact, you were elated. As soon as you were introduced to baby Will by your husband, you picked up the chubby kid and kept him with you the whole time. You only let Bucky have him when he needed a change of diaper and clothes for bedtime.
“I guess, I’ll have to do all the nasty work with our baby, too,” he mumbles, struggling to get Will’s clothes on after he finished powdering and diapering his cute little tushie.
“Yes, obviously. We all have our duties. I carry it for nine months and then you take care of it after that.” You shrugged, hands on your hips.
But what Bucky hung onto was the fact that you didn’t oppose the idea of having a baby.
That made him smile, it was a small one. Though it took everything in him to not turn it into a grin. He was happier than before.
Another hint was dropped soon after that, because for some reason you just couldn’t take a hint. And for some reason, Bucky couldn’t grow enough balls to ask you.
“Do you think babies are adorable?” he randomly asks.
Both of you, strolling hand in hand, in a park. Which was filled with new moms with their newborns and toddlers running around. Did he bring you out here on purpose? Yes, yes he did.
“Of course, they’re adorable,” you said, leaning into his warmth, curling your hand around his bicep.
“I like ‘em,” Bucky comments, watching two toddlers running towards each other to meet in a hug. His heart melts at the sight. But nonchalance is still his motto. He truly doesn’t want to scare you off. Although, you’re stuck with him. But that’s beside the point.
“You know what I like?” you ask, your tone low and a bit dangerous. A finger curling around the chain of his necklace where his wedding ring is looped in. Bucky has tried wearing it on his left hand, but it keeps slipping off. And he’s afraid of losing it. Bucky hums in response, a slight furrow of curiosity between his brows. “The baby-making bit of it.”
He full-belly laughs at that. Head thrown back and eyes crinkling at the corners. “I couldn’t agree more, sweetheart.”
Laughter aside, Bucky came to his senses when he realised that both of you, in fact, need to go through the baby-making bit of it. Not that he didn’t think about it. He was just so preoccupied with the fact that he wants a child, the sex part had fused with excitement.
But every time you had sex, Bucky was incorrigible, horny, downright insatiable. It drove him insane that he would have to wear a condom for at least a few more days until he gets the courage to tell you what’s on his mind.
But the way he fucked you, he could tell something else would come over him. He felt like an animal in heat. He went hard and fast, was a bit sloppy at times, his cock would ache so much at the impulse control.
He swears, he could combust when he’d think about it. Think about not having to use that useless piece of rubber. Think about feeling your walls stretch around him. Think about nothing separating the two of you anymore. Think about filling you up, until he can’t anymore. Think about his baby growing inside your womb.
If he was being honest with himself, those thoughts were the only ones that helped his undoing every time you had sex.
So the fact that he was keeping it all inside his stupid little, fragile heart, didn’t help him.
God, why couldn’t he just tell you? You’re his wife, his other half, his soulmate. If he wants a baby, the two of you could start having the talk, at least get a headstart on the journey.
He’s pretty sure his emotions would burst out like an explosion. He’s taken back to the time when he was desperately and hopelessly in love with you, all those years back. When he met you in your restaurant, demanding the waiter to arrange a meeting with the chef because he wanted to give his compliments. You didn’t do that sort of thing at that time.
Now he thinks it would be a great meet-cute story to tell his kids. But how will he have them if he couldn’t tell you?
Just a few more days, and he’ll tell you. In those days Bucky conducts a little research. Google is his best option since he will not go to his friends to seek advice. Sam will only laugh in his face and Yori would start telling stories from his time – the old man could get a little explicit at times. Bucky could not live that nightmare again.
So in a world where people mostly searched, ‘My wife is pregnant, what do I do?’ Bucky searched things like, ‘How to get my wife pregnant?’, ‘How to get pregnant fast?’, ‘What are the best sex positions for assured pregnancy?’, stuff like that. He learned about the ovulation cycle. Learned how to record menstrual cycle frequency. Like any good husband would do.
Not that you will, but if you were to get a whiff of his search history, he would be mortified.
He knows there’s a fifty-fifty chance that your opinions on this baby matter could clash. But having absolute knowledge about this stuff is always good, right?
Bucky groans at the thought. He hopes there are no clashes in opinions. He drops his phone on his chest, heaving a sigh. The sunlight streams through the white cotton blinds as the wind gently blows them away. It’s been ten minutes since he’s been up. You’re already out of bed, probably cooking something. It’s Sunday, you like to take your time to make a big breakfast.
He finally gets up, padding over to the bathroom, splashes water on his face to wake his sleepy eyes. He notices that they’re out of toothpaste. Sighing, he checks the cupboard to get a new tube. While he was at it, he also noticed the box of condoms, which they’re almost running out of, too.
“This is a sign, Barnes.” he preps himself, huffing, “Man up and tell your wife you want a baby.” he nods to his reflection and brushes his teeth.
Bucky follows the smell of fresh waffles and berries and coffee, sweet maple syrup. Bacon and scrambled eggs.
But what really brings out his hunger is the sight in front of him when he enters the kitchen. You, standing at the counter, nursing a cup of coffee, dressed in his black button-up. Looking otherworldly, as always in his clothes. Always a pretty sight, always sexy. Always his.
The outline of your chest accentuated by the light material of the cloth. It leaves nothing hidden to his imagination. And boy, it’s running wild. Sweatpants hanging low, he feels himself twitch underneath the worn-out fabric.
Like a siren, you pull him in, and once he's standing behind you, he gives your waist a soft squeeze and your temple a loving kiss. Breathing in your sweet scent, combined with a hint of sweat and the activities that went down the night before. Hey, it was date night and you were wearing that particular dress he loves on you so much.
“G’morning,” Comes his sleep-tired greeting, thick with lack of use, but loving nonetheless. His mouth pressing on the area where your neck meets your shoulder, kissing languidly, running his tongue after he leaves a small nip.
Your reply comes in the form of a light giggle, the shoulder curling up against his honey kisses. “Morning… don’t tell me you haven’t had your fill yet?”
“With you?” More kisses to your neck, “Never.”
Soon his hands start to explore, pulling and squeezing wherever he finds soft skin. A little pinch your nipples, a harsh squeeze to your waist, deft fingers rubbing over your heat, slowly soaking your panties. You quiver, place the cup on the counter, afraid it will slip. His other hand massaging your relaxed shoulder. Lips as sweet as they are, keep pressing heated kisses along your neck and jaw.
“Bucky, we gotta at least get through breakfast… Please – oh,” A heavy sigh parts your lips when he nips at the pulse under the tender skin of your neck.
He can’t tell if you’re pleading him to go on or stop.
“Cheesy as it may sound, you are my breakfast, baby.” he cheekily says into your neck, hips pressed to your ass. His palm, large and callous runs under his shirt, pressing against your belly. That insane rush of electricity zipping down to his dick and he’s fully hard in seconds. Rutting against your ass once again.
The hand on your abdomen only seems to drive his brain towards the possibilities, and before he could gauge his words, he’s speaking, breath hot and clouding with lust when he says, “I wanna have a baby, honey.”
The way your body tensed before his own doesn’t go unnoticed by him. With a hand on your waist, he turns you around, cupping your cheek. Plush lips brushing against your own, reeling you into his touch.
“Let’s make a baby, sweetheart.” His voice is a husky drawl of a request.
And you’re astounded, “Bucky –”
“I know this is sudden for you.” he reasons, “But I’ve been thinking about it for a month now. And it’s killing me, not being able to tell you. We don’t need to do anything right now. I’m just –” he breathes hard, nose flaring, “God, the thought alone makes me so hard.”
A shuddered breath rattles out of your lungs, your bite your lip, but he pries it out with a gentle swipe of his thumb.
“Let me just fuck you right now. We can talk later. Just please, let me –”
“Okay,” you nod, fingers run through the short hair on his nape, the other hand fisting his shirt.
“Okay to what?” he stops to take a look at you, hand on your chin to make you look into his eyes.
“Let’s make a baby,” you kiss his lips once. But that just changes the entire course of this morning. A peck on his lips won’t cut it.
A sort of a growl leaves his lips, wetting his bottom lip, blunt nails holding you in a bruising grip as he turns you around once again. He rips your panties off your legs, using his foot to discard them once they reach your ankles. A nudge to your legs to part them and you brace yourself, a tight grip on the edge of the counter, anticipating his next move. Because, right now, you can tell he’s not the same Bucky anymore. Your affirmation on his request turned something entirely different in his brain – maybe he even short-circuited.
With a simple tug at the lapels of the shirt you’re wearing, he rips it open, the buttons falling on the granite countertops with a clattering sound. You’re bare before him in seconds, breathless before he even had a chance to touch you properly. A sweet whine parting from your lips when he squeezes your ass, his touch rougher than usual, spreads your cheeks and then –
“Oh, my God, Bucky –” he’s slipping his fingers inside you, collecting the wetness, holding your waist in a bruising grip. You roll your hips, trying to seek more of his touch. Your head feels heavy from the impact his words and his touch have on you.
You’re unbelievably wet, seeping down your thighs, down his fingers. Soaking him and still unable to stop yourself. His blood pumps a little harder in his chest, in his veins, breaths growing shallow with each passing of his fingers inside your tight, wet heat. Your legs start to shake after a particular thrust, unable to hold yourself up, crying out with tears burning behind your eyes.
You’re right there on the edge when his thumb stops circling and his fingers leave you empty.
“Why’d you stop?” you pant.
“I need to be inside you,” he groans, quickly taking off his shirt and sweatpants. His cock slaps wetly against his abdomen, twitching painfully when he touches himself. A few strokes, languid pulls that have his knees buckling, his hand joins next to yours on the counter and he lines himself along with your heat, “You sure you don’t wanna talk about this first?”
He can’t help but ask you, giving you an out before anything happens. He’s not sure why because he’s only wanted this for so long.
“Oh, Jesus – fuck, Bucky!” you pant, “Just fuck a baby into me already!”
The way he whimpers at your plea, desperate and frustrated, it’s hard not to comply with you, he slips right into you. He’s not met with much resistance, you’re impossibly wet and he’s sliding home in one long thrust. And the stunted breath that rags out of his mouth at the feeling of your walls clenching around his bare cock for the first time, it nearly sends him reeling.
Forehead on your shoulder, breathe hot on your back, Bucky holds off on fucking you right away. He can’t wrap his head around this feeling.
God, he needs a second.
“I can feel just how wet you are,” he whines, “Remind me, why did we ever use condoms?”
“The hell, if I knew,” you reply with a huffed chuckle.
“This has never felt so fuckin’ good,” he moans, starts moving, sliding out of you, leaving you almost empty before he’s rocking hard, back in. It’s enough to force the breath right out of your lungs.
“Do you know how many times I’ve thought about fucking you like this? With my bare cock inside you – Ah, shit.”
“Believe me, I have,” you’re surprised you could get the words out through your gasps.
This… new version of sex, where he can feel every soft glide of your walls, where you feel every smooth, hard ridge of his cock, drives you both insane.
Only makes him move faster, makes you spasm around him quicker. Your broken moans spur him on. He pulls you flat against his chest, his vibranium arm cool across your blazing torso, holding your body close to his as he picks up his pace.
It’s all primal. His instincts, animalistic. The only goal in his mind to fill you up full of him. His right hand travels down to your belly once again, feeling the outline of his cock moving inside you. Turns him on beyond his imagination. And he can’t wait to see you get round and big, to watch your breasts grow heavier, larger. He remembers reading they get sensitive, he wonders if you’ll come with just a touch of his hands, with just a swipe of his tongue when you reach that stage.
“Tell me you want this. Tell me once again,” he breathes out, fingers inch down to where he disappears inside you, again and again, collecting the wetness that trickles down your thighs only to help him circle your nub.
“I want this, Bucky. I wanna have your baby, oh please –” you writhe against him, push your ass back into his hips, your back arching away, cool vibranium fingers toy with your nipples.
“You have any idea the research I did for this?” he chuckles, helplessly, grinding into you, more so than thrusting, the tip of his cock brushing your sweet spot, deliciously, repeatedly once he finds that angle. “All the positions we could try out to get you pregnant? Just thinking of all the ways I could fuck a baby insida’ you. Drove me nuts, honey.”
“Bucky –” Your walls grip him tighter, and he almost stutters to a stops.
“You’re close, aren’t you? Shit, squeezing me like a vice, sweetheart.” You nod and at this point, you’re wailing. The only way to muffle yourself is when you turn your head, a hand at the back of his neck to guide him closer for a kiss. Your tongue laves at his, and he tries to keep up with his thrusts but they’re getting sloppy with the way you suck on his bottom lip.
A final push and a splurge of white-hot intensity distributes itself all over your body, starting from your belly, reaching up to your chest as it swells up, flushed. And he’s coming too, balls pulled up tightly, he grows painfully hard inside you right before he releases. Breath hot and heavy, sweaty chest shivering with the aftershocks.
“I wanna go again,” he says, panting, noses at the underside of your jaw. You turn around to face him, eyes wide, still trying to catch your breath.
“Really?” you croak out.
But he gives you that smirk, it turns your insides to mush, “What? Are you tired?”
“I’m not a super-soldier with an insane sex drive, baby. I might need a minute, though. I’m not sure if I can even hold myself up.” you huff out, resting your head on his shoulder, grateful for his arms around your body as it sags against his.
“That’s what I’m here for,” Bucky says before pulling out. He turns you around and picks you up before even a drop of his come can seep out of you. A yelp tumbling out of your lips as he hangs you over his left shoulder, your arms finding purchase on his body, though you know he’ll never drop you.
“Bucky! Put me down!” you squeal, all the blood rushing your brain for a second. His vibranium palm is secured around your legs, the other hand kneads your ass, as he walks down the hallway to your bedroom.
“Nope!” His answer is punctuated with a sharp spank on your ass.
He carefully settles you on the bed, body sinking into the soft mattress. You prop yourself on your elbows and watch him crawl up the bed on his knees. He stalks you like a predator, eyes hungry and dark, brimming with pure, unadulterated lust.
Your legs widen on their own, his hands rest on your knees as he settles between your thighs. That’s when you start to feel a sort of warmth trickle down your weeping cunt, but Bucky is quick to catch it.
“Not a chance in hell,” Two of his fingers gather the hot trail right before it soaks the sheets, he shakes his head, pushes it back where it came from. And oh, your head falls back, as a languid moan escapes your lips, you can’t help it. You can’t keep looking at the way he stares at you down there. Ready to devour you without a single breather.
He’s hard and sleek and glistening. Bottom lip trapped between his teeth, he curls his hand around his girth. Releases a shaky breath when his thumb grazes over the tip. He’s a throbbing, pathetic mess above you. Unable to control this insatiable appetite for sex that suddenly came over him. It’s surprising, but what else would you expect from a freaking super-soldier all set to breed you?
He slides himself between your folds, once, twice, a third time only to watch your writhe against the sheets. Hands caressing your curves, your breasts, tugging and squeezing. Legs somehow spreading wider.
“One more time and we’re done for today, yeah?” he asks, eyes finding yours, “I wanna try this one position I saw this morning.”
“Is that what got you all worked up?” you chuckle, “As long as you’re doing all the work.”
“Gladly,” he mumbles, and the slide is easy, and the moans that slip out of those plush pink lips, easier, softer. It’s so filthy – the wet, squelching sounds that now accompany your sweet love-making. Bucky leans down to be closer to you, a gentle hand cupping his scruffy cheek to guide him for a kiss as he sinks right in until there’s no room left.
Noses brushing, heads tilting, mouths divulging for deeper kisses, wet and warm and sloppy as he begins to move. He’s gentle this time, threading your fingers through his own next to your wild hair laid out on the pillow. His wedding ring lands on your sternum, right above your beating heart.
The overwhelming feeling from before, the primal instinct that had taken over him had settled down… for now. He just wants to make love to you, in your bed, create life inside you, for both of you.
He’s desperate, light-headed from all the blood rushing south. Even though you’ve done this countless times, you’ve never seen him like this. It turns you on beyond your imagination. How his hunger turned into anguish. How he’s the one that has turned into a pleading, whimpering mess.
You kiss him until he eases into your touch, delicate fingers running all over his hot skin, over the ridges of the muscles on his back, smooth and rippling. Over his erratically beating heart that you help calm down a bit. Tongue seeking out his own, to make him focus on this one feeling at a time. And he kisses you back, for what feels like an eternity.
When the need for air arises, he pulls away but presses his forehead against yours. Breaths mingling, hot and damp. Then he adjusts himself, in a way where he’s slipping inside you even more. Your calves are brought to be placed on his sturdy shoulders, secured there by his arms bracketing the outside of your thighs. It’s a good stretch, comfortable in a way that makes you purr like a kitten.
And then he begins his move once again, hips undulating, rolling deliciously, lazily. The sweet symphony of your love-making soon fills the room. Both of you moaning, panting, the sounds softer than before. He kisses you some more, pouring all his love, all his affection into this simple act because he cannot express it any other way. This right here, your cocoon of love and warmth, desire and lust is all you want, all you need.
He whispers sweet nothings, he calls you sweet names, he tells you how he cannot wait to start a family with you. How completely and hopelessly in love with you he is, and how it’s the only thing that helps him get up every morning. You, your love, the warmth that your offer him.
His lips catch a tear the dares to roll down the side of your face, tasting the saltiness. Legs giving out, slipping down his shoulders but he doesn’t stop moving.
Not when you’re both so close, not when your hand travels down to claw at his back, grounding him into you, not when you’re grinding yourself against him, and definitely not when you beg him not to stop.
Your soft hand around his sweaty neck urges him to look into your eyes. And he’s helpless when you whisper, “Come inside me.”
“Jesus, sweetheart –” He feels that tingling at the base of his spine.
“I want it, please, Bucky.” God, you don’t have to plead. Chest rubbing against chest, sweat sticking and fusing your bodies as one, hearts beating as one. Toppling over together.
“Oh, fuck me,” he all but whimpers, hips stuttering to an abrupt halt as he spills into you.
He stills once it’s all over. Those glazed, coral blue eyes gazing over your features. Lips pressing over the delicate frown between your brows, to ease it, to calm you. More kisses follow, on your eyelids, on your cheekbones, down your jaw and neck, and your clavicle, and finally a lazy one to your lips. You brush away the dampened hair that fall on his forehead, kissing him just as fervently.
“I love you,” he beats you by a fraction of a second because you utter the same three words right after him. A bite of your lip to stop the laughter from pouring out. The dimpled smile you give him clutches at his heartstrings. His chest swells impossibly large and he’s never been more in love with you.
“I hope this works,” you mumble, your knuckles gently brush over the top of his cheekbone. Eyes on his, soft and loving.
“It will,” He assures you, with a sweet kiss placed over the golden band of your wedding ring.
“If it doesn’t, we have all the time in the world to try more.”
“Hmm,” He grins, “Let’s hope we can try all the positions before we get pregnant.”
“But we can get pregnant and still have sex in those positions.”
“No, I wanna see which one worked for us.”
You laugh, “Why does it matter?”
“You never ask a man why the position matters.” He states it as it is. A stern but playful pout on his lips.
“That makes no sense.”
“We’re just gonna have to agree to disagree, sweetheart.”
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i hope you enjoyed reading! as always feedback is greatly appreciated! :)
(a little part ii)
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queenbastetsstuff · 6 months ago
Atem and Yugi attempt to build flat-pack furniture.
"Okay.” Yugi sighed, looking at Atem stood at his side. “What do we do now?”
“I assume we just put the pieces together.” Atem shrugged.
“Wait, you kept the instructions right?” Yugi asked.
“Of course, but we won’t need them.” Atem laughed. “How hard can it be?”
“Atem.” Yugi sighed. “Please.”
“Okay, okay.” He leaned over a box and picked up a small booklet. “Here.” He handed them to Yugi.
“Thank you.” Yugi smiled and flipped to the first page. “Okay, we need these three bits.” He showed Atem the pictures.
They both picked up the parts which looked similar to the ones on the paper. “No, this isn’t right.” Yugi said. “This says that we have to put screws in there.” He pointed to the top of the wood. “But there’s no holes.”
“Uh, maybe we have to make the holes?” Atem asked.
“I don’t think so. The picture shows the holes already there.” Yugi sighed in frustration.
“Well they must not be the right parts then.” Atem suggested.
“They look right though!” Yugi frowned at the booklet.
Atem stretched over the pile of parts in front of them to pick up another piece of wood. “This looks like it will work?”
“I guess.” Yugi said.
They laid out the pieces in the way the picture showed then Yugi retrieved the screws they needed from the bag next to him. He watched as Atem twisted them into place and handed him the small dowels when he’d finished.
It started well, the first pieces slotted together easily, and they were almost done when Atem sat back and put his hands over his face.
“What?” Yugi asked.
“It’s the wrong way around.” Atem groaned, looking back at the item which should have been a desk.
“What do you mean it’s-“ Yugi paused, realising that the legs were on the wrong side of the table top, and there was no way that they’d be able to use it with the hollow underside facing upwards. “Oh.”
“We’ll have to take it all apart and start again.” Atem said, frustration clear in his voice.
Yugi sighed and started un screwing the bolts that held the legs in place. Once they were back at the start they began again, making sure that this time the table top was the right way up.
“Are you kidding?” Atem asked.
“I’m sorry!” Yugi groaned, slapping the instructions on the floor between them. “This clearly shows that part.” He jabbed a finger in the direction of a leg. “Going into this part.” He pointed at the table top.
“Well, that’s clearly wrong.” Atem huffed. “This doesn’t make sense!”
“Maybe we should just call Joey? He probably knows what he’s doing more than we do.” Yugi rubbed his face in frustration as he sat back, staring at the pieces still spread on the floor around them.
“No, we can do this.” Atem said. “You solved the puzzle. I once ruled an entire country. Putting together a desk should be a simple enough task.”
“You’re right.” Yugi agreed, sitting back up. “Let’s just take the legs back off and start again?”
Their third time seemed to be going much better, they had the legs on and were starting on the shelves which sat on top of the desk.
“Now we just need four of these.” Yugi said, pointing toward the picture in front of them. He hummed in thought as he looked through the small bag of screws and dowels which came with the desk.
He frowned. None of the screws left seemed to fit the description of the screws he needed. The only ones he had left were short and they needed longer ones…
“Atem?” Yugi asked.
“Yeah?” Atem called from under the desk where he was tightening the other screws they’d already put in.
“We need to start again.” Yugi said.
A loud thump made him jump and Atem cursed from under the desk. “Really?” He groaned.
“Yeah… I can’t find the screws we need and I think we put them in a different part instead.” He explained as his boyfriend crawled out from under the desk and stood up.
“Why is this so damned difficult?!” Atem shouted, turning to the desk and glaring at it. “Can I just burn it?”
“Burn- No. You can’t” Yugi sighed.
“But, it would be easier than trying to put it together.” Atem argued. “We don’t even need the desk.”
“No.” Yugi said firmly. Atem sighed.
“Fine. Can’t we just use the other screws we do have? What difference is it gonna make?” Atem asked.
“Well… I guess we could try but-“
“Great.” Atem snatched the bag off him. “We’ll do that.”
Yugi sighed and held the shelves whilst Atem tried to use the screws which were clearly too short to attach them to the top of the desk.
“It’s not working.” Atem said, standing up and frowning.
“No.” Yugi agreed.
They both looked at each other for a moment in silence, sensing their annoyance growing in the situation, then nodded. They put down the tools in their hands and walked away from the desk, leaving the spare room they were attempting to set it up in and closing the door behind them.
“Tea?” Yugi asked as they walked into the living room.
“Please.” Atem smiled at him and flopped onto the sofa. “Mario kart?” He asked as Yugi made his way to their small kitchen.
“Sounds great.” Yugi agreed.
It was an unspoken rule between them to be able to walk away from stressful situations before one of them got too angry.
Yugi sent a quick text to Joey as he waited for the water to boil asking him to come over after he finished work and put the desk together for him. As expected his friend replied quickly agreeing to the task.
At least him and Atem could ignore that responsibility for the rest of the day.
This totally isn't inspired by the fact that I have to do all the DIY in our house because my husband gets too frustrated with the instructions and has threatened to burn a desk before cause he couldn't work out how two pieces went together. Gotta love IKEA.
31 notes · View notes
fredalan · 9 months ago
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The Nickelodeon Music & Sound Box Set and CDs
The Nickelodeon Music & Sound Library 1996
In June 1984, Fred/Alan booked it’s first major job, the turnaround of Nickelodeon. MTV Networks boss, Bob Pittman, asked Fred and Alan to try and bring their perspective to helping the kids channel climb out of the ratings basement it in which it found itself. 
Aside from the strategic thinking we brought to programmers Gerry Laybourne and Debby Beece, we knew we needed some executional magic. And since we had a counter intuitive philosophy for a visual medium like television –that is, innovative visuals and programming should leap from the sound– we started a brainstorm as to what Nickelodeon should sound like. The amazing pictures would follow when the animators were inspired by the music.
We were fascinated with bringing back the jingle sounds of Top 40 radio. We finally got there in the early 90s on VH1, but at the Nickelodeon moment we were focused on a sound that in our little minds was a spin-off/adaptation of jingles. That is, the a cappella singing of Black Americans. We’d already experimented for The Playboy Channel and Showtime with our new friends Eugene Pitt and The Jive Five. We loved the results and realized Eugene’s group could be the perfect engine for Nickelodeon. (Most of the tracks on The Nick Nick Nick Collection below are the soundtracks of these aninmations.)
With little prompting, Fred will recall the moment that Alan improvised on the opening of The Marcels’ “Blue Moon“ ... “Ni Ni Ni Nick-el-o-de-oooonnn!” What kid could resist it?!
Alan went on to finish the now classic song with our colleague (and my former record company partner) Tom Pomposello and Eugene, and the rest is a small part of television history. (I can’t think of any other TV network that had such wonderful music [or any actual music] as its branding centerpiece.)
A decade later, Fred/Alan had closed, but Tom continued to produce  special work for Nickelodeon, Nick-at-Nite and other cable channels. And Nick’s super smart, super talented worldwide creative director, Scott Webb, commissioned song after sound after song, eventually there was enough that he thought it was time to collect it all for the then global Nickelodeons to use whenever they saw fit.
You can hear it all if you scroll to the bottom of this post, and right below here is the transcript of the essays by Tom and Scott included with the CD booklets included in the box set.
When Geraldine Laybourne inherited the top position at Nickelodeon, the net­work had the unpopular reputation (with kids) of being the "good for you" channel. Parents thought the idea was great - but their kids wanted noth­ing to do with it. Her job was to tum Nickelodeon around and make it a place that really was for kids. For help she turned to one of the most media-savvy companies in the industry - the New York-based Fred/Alan, Inc. Partners Fred Seibert and Alan Goodman headed up a brain trust/consortium that specialized in creating network identities. Their track record was  impecca­ble, having helped launch the wildly  successful MTV (Music Television). At that time, I was a produc­er/creative director and composer associated with the company and the three of us immersed our­selves in our new Nickelodeon challenge.
Creating an identity for a network is almost like inventing a person. You have to decide what they'll look like, what they'll sound like and what they'll say. From the outset, we agreed to place equal emphasis on developing a visual style and an audio sensibility. Both qualities had to be appealing and unique to Nickelodeon.
Much of my work with Fred and Alan revolved around sound design ... and so began a series of great freewheeling conversations about what the sound basis of Nickelodeon would be. We started tossing around ideas and what kept coming up was doo wop music. The more we talked about it, the more sure we felt doo wop would be the ideal sound for a kids' network.
Doo wop developed as street-corner singing. It was a people's music. You didn't need expensive electronic studio equipment you just needed your vocal chords and a desire to make sound: a natural for kids. Anyone could sing along with those doo wop nonsense syllables. And the beauty of using "antique" doo wop harmonies as a signature for a kids' network was that, for kids in 1984, it was a brand new sound! Unlike what their big brothers or sisters were listening to on the radio, this music was just for them.
One of our friends, Marty Pekar, had recently start­ed a record label and was working on a revival of doo wop music. He was nuts about one of the groups he was recording: the Jive Five. We all remembered their hit records from our teen years - "My True Story" and "I'm a Happy Man" (the latter was perhaps the last doo wop record to make the charts, and was a hit in 1965 while the Beatles and the British invasion were in full swing). It wasn't long before I started working with the great gen­tleman of doo wop himself, the leader of the Jive Five, Eugene Pitt. 
Now, Eugene is one of the finest singers who ever emerged from the genre. He can sing baritone or falsetto, but he's as good a lead singer and doo wop balladeer as has ever been. Eugene truly is the unsung (pun intended) hero of the Nick sound and his contribution to Nickelodeon as a singer and lyri­cist can't be overstated. 
One of the best choices we made was to work with this real-life street corner rock 'n' roll group, rather than studio musicians or jingle singers. This was honest-rootsy-gritty-folksy-get-down-and-be-real a cappella singing. Kids intuitively know the difference between real and sanitized. And we committed ourselves to always be authentic in our communication to our audience.
The other coup was the decision to treat "Nickelodeon" as a sound rather than a word. (Who knows what a "nickelodeon" is anyway? To kids, it's just a funny-sounding word.) Entire songs were written in which "Nickelodeon" was the only word. Playing with the word "Nickelodeon" musi­cally turned it into the ultimate audio logo - as distinctive and infectious as a jingle, without any offensive sloganeering attached. Just pure, lively, good-time doo wop. 
Once our doo wop tracks were married with the also-celebrated animated IDs, the ftnishing touch was sound effects. The initial sound effect tone (this time no pun intended) was set by the wild English sound effects maestro, Tom Clack, of Manhattan's Clack Studios. Tom is a veteran of the BBC and has created sound effects for about a million radio com­mercials as well as for TV and film soundtracks and record albums.
It was in Tom's studio that we post-scored many of the 10-second tracks for the original animated Nick network identity spots. Though there aren't many of these tracks represented on these CDs, it was Tom's comic sensibility and wacky perspective that informed the whole evolution of the Nick sound. He knew just how and when to punctuate the tracks with a sonic A-bomb or a sublimely subtte splat. ("Sound effects are funny when they're in sequences of threes," he once told me. "Listen. It's 'boink-­thwap-plink:' If you just go 'boink-thwap,' it feels quite unsatisfying.") The "Doo Wop Meets Sound Effects" music style is mainly reflected on disc one of this collection [The Nick Nick Nick Collection]. Discs two [The Flotsam Collection, The Jetsam Collection] through four [The Original Collection] contain music inspired by those early tracks. 
I saw that a big part of our job was to develop an audio identity for a kids' network that really spoke to kids. Our solution was the marriage of doo wop and wacky sound effects. It was one distinctive, unique way we would communicate the "voice of Nickelodeon." 
Did it work?
I'll never forget the time I was walking down Tenth Avenue in Manhattan. It was the spring of 1985. On the street where these little girls jumping rope and keeping time singing "Nick-Nick-Nick:-Nick-N-Nick­Nick-Nick, Nickelodeon." I thought to myself: "Well, I always dreamed of producing a hit record, but lit­tle did I imagine it would be the theme to Nickelodeon!"
Tom Pomposello Music Director/Producer/Composer
Tom Pomposello talks about successfully solving a problem using doo wop for Nickelodeon, but the real success was recognizing the power of sound. Sound is often over­looked in creating television and it is often more powerful than people think. For example, you can have your head buried in the refrigerator looking for a snack and miss what's on the screen, but you can't avoid the audio as easily. Sound and music also make a deep emotional impression, like the songs you learn as a kid and never forget.
It shoutd also be noted that it took guts for Gerry Laybourne and Debby Beece to approve the use of doo wop and wacky sound effects for the Nick sound. They originally wanted to go with something more traditional and expected. In any creative endeavor, it takes courage to take risks and be unconventional, but the rewards can be spectacular. 
Since the introduction of the Nick doo wop sound in 1984, many talented composers and musicians have built upon and diversified Nick's aural identity. We have always tried to stay away from mercilessly surfing the popular trends in kids' music. Instead, at the heart of our personality there has always been humor, surprise, play, and a love and respect for kids.
The music and sound on these CDs are powerful tools for communicating  Nickelodeon's personality. Consider sound as you go about solving your strategic and creative problems, whether you µse these CDs as tracks, elements or inspiration.
Have Fun!
Scott Webb Creative Director, Nickelodeon Fall 1995 
Co-conceived by Scott Webb and Tom Pomposello  Executive producer, Creator Director: Scott Webb  Produced and Directed by Tom Pomposello 
MUSIC  Production coordination & management: Barbara Powers  Production assistance: Melody Ann Mora  Digitally remastered and processed for CD by Danny Cavacco, This Way Studios, NYC 
DESIGN  Art Director: Laura Hinzman  Designer: Masaka Moribayashi  Illustrator: Sarah Schwartz Project Manager: Wendy Larrabee Production Manager: Nancy Morelli  Mechanical Production: Kevin Gepford 
Pomposello, Inc. wishes to thank Eugene Pitt and the Jive Five, Fred Seibert and Alan Goodman, Tom Clack, Beldeen Fortunado, Marc Chamlin and Geraldine Laybourne  Nickelodeon wishes to thank Robert Farro, Tom Harbeck, Greg Harrell, Lisa Judson, Anne Kreamer, Kim Rosenblum and Dennis Shinners.  
NOTICE TO NICKELODEON PRODUCER/PERSONNEL:  Use this music as much as you wish. And remember, each us requires you to file a music cue sheet or music usage report with MTV Networks, ASCAP & BMI title, timing, type of use, composer(s) & publisher(s). It’s a mandatory requirement of compliance. 
©1996, Viacom International, Inc. All rights reserved.  For promotional use only. Not for sale. 
Fred Seibert
The Nick Nick Nick Collection
Fred Seibert
The Flotsam Collection
Fred Seibert
The Jetsam Collection
The Original Collection
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cheri-translates · 11 months ago
[CN] S2 Gavin - The Stories Project
🍒 Warning: Detailed spoilers for content not yet released in EN!🍒
Trigger warning: Mentions of suicide
Features S2 Gavin but contains no spoilers regarding the S2 storyline
This is a continuation of The Broadcast Countdown Project. Do read that first!
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[ This was released on 25 August 2021 ]
[ Chapter One ]
Gavin and I are standing outside Door 501 of the 7th block in Pavilion Village.
This is also the home of Zhang Nian, the kidnapper who handed me an anonymous letter in the TV station before eventually committing suicide.
A thorough investigation of the case involving the anonymous kidnapper and his suicide has ended. The STF has also removed the cordoning around the scene.
I liaised with the TV station, planning to showcase the incident from start to end in a special episode of the show which will be aired in the last episode of “Inquiries”.
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Gavin: This used to be a crime scene. If you’re afraid, wait for me here. If you need any materials, I can head inside and find them for you.
MC: It’s okay, I don’t avoid such things... Also, I have a feeling that there’s definitely something behind this case worth seeing in person.
The husband and wife who were kidnapped had related the details to me, and mentioned that even though Zhang Nian had kidnapped them, they weren’t treated harshly at all.
It’s just that Zhang Nian was deaf and couldn't speak. He could only communicate with them with hems and haws, which ended up frightening them.
In hindsight, they realised that Zhang Nian never harboured malicious intentions towards them.
MC: What was Zhang Nian’s goal and what did he want to tell us? The answers to these riddles... they might be hidden here.
Gavin pushes the door open, and we step into Zhang Nian’s house.
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Gavin: This place was sealed off since the incident, which is why the arrangement of furniture we’re looking at is the same as when he was still alive.
In contrast to the dim and cold space I had imagined, the living room is well lit.
The cream coloured wood flooring, a white cloth sofa, a simple wall painting of the ocean... all of these elements set off one another in the indolent afternoon sunlight, displaying a warm atmosphere. 
MC: This place gives me such a strange feeling... the person who lived here must have really loved life...
Gavin: His fiancée decorated this place.
Gavin taps on a magnet on the refrigerator. Tiny colourful slips of paper are stuck underneath zebra, bunny, and elephant magnets. 
“Special discount for wax gourds on Tuesday, special discount for pork ribs on Thursday.” - It’s as though the weekly booklet of discounts from the supermarket had been copied down.
“Invitation cards, wedding dress, decide on the hotel.” - The ring which had rolled onto the zebra crossing in the news immediately flashes across my mind.
Aside from that, they have simple recipes on them.
MC: What a pity. If that incident didn’t happen, they would have had a perfect life here.
Gavin: All the furnishings and decor came to a halt when the incident happened to Xu Wen. He did everything he could to retain traces of her existence. As for his own life...
Gavin opens the refrigerator, showing me that it’s more or less empty aside from condiments which had been used a few times. 
White cold mist hover in the empty space, out of sync with the warm tones in the living room.
Gavin: This too.
He opens a wall cabinet to reveal a few boxes of ordinary flavoured cup noodles. The incandescent light in the cabinet is chilly, shining on plastic film surrounding the cup noodles.
Imagining the taste of cup noodles submerged in MSG, I once again turn towards the recipes stuck on the refrigerator.
Gavin shuts the cabinet, then points at the bedroom.
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Gavin: MC, I want to show you something.
[ Chapter Two ]
Gavin: During the investigation, we found these.
Gavin guides me to the bookcase, then pulls open a drawer at the bottom.
MC: A disability ID, marriage certificate, graduation certificate, guarantee card for a hearing aid and a bank book...
Gavin: We checked his background. He grew up in an orphanage. 
Gavin: Back then, the orphanage didn’t have adequate facilities, and didn’t have teachers or special medical setups for guiding people with hearing issues. He was always reclusive in the orphanage, and didn't have friends. 
Gavin: When he was ten years old, people from the orphanage and community sent him to school.
While saying this, Gavin retrieves a pile of books from the drawer and shows them to me - they are all sketchbooks, and the pages have long since turned yellow. It’s evident that they were here for a very long time.
MC: He can draw?
Gavin: In these books, there are some sketches of streets and still life. Some are comics modelled after existing works. Although I don’t know much about art, I think he could draw pretty well.
While flipping through the pages, I find myself affected by the exquisite details conveyed in these drawings.
Perhaps because he didn’t go through systematic training, he wasn’t limited to one style in the way he expressed his art.
A distinct and unique style leaving a deep impression seems to break through the sheets of paper, revealing the emotions the artist had hidden in his heart.
MC: ...he must have been a really talented artist. 
Gavin points at the wall - there’s a sketch hanging on it. It takes up almost half of the wall, and it’s mounted in a white frame.
MC: The person in the drawing is Xu Wen.
MC: ...it’s drawn really well.
Gavin releases a “mm”, and is unable to hold back a sigh.
Gavin: Extraordinarily well.
It doesn’t matter if it resembles the actual person. It doesn’t matter if it was meticulous or not. 
The person in the drawing has her eyes curved upwards with a smile on her face, and she looks like any other young girl you can find in a crowd.
But the limitless gentleness and happiness contained in her eyes - that’s a unique feature belonging only to one person.
Gavin: They seemed to be schoolmates. I read through Xu Wen’s background - she graduated from the same school for deaf students. But there weren't any questionable points in this case, which is why we didn’t probe further. If you want to know the specifics, we'd have to investigate again.
My heart hovers in the air, wanting to figure out everything about this matter.
But from the STF’s perspective, this case is already closed...
Gavin gives me an affirmative gaze.
Gavin: I know what you're going to say. I want to continue listening to this story too. He wasn’t able to speak, but he left behind a voice that he hoped for others to hear.
After a pause, he turns his head, once again glancing at the drawing hanging on the wall.
Gavin: I can feel such emotions.
Gavin says this softly, and the light in his eyes grow deeper.
Floating dust in the surroundings gather on Xu Wen's portrait. We stand in this warm and tranquil space, as though we can sense their story surging forth without a sound.
[ Chapter Three ]
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After this, Gavin and I gather information about Zhang Nian and Xu Wen from various sources.
A few days alter, we arrange to meet at a cafe to exchange materials collected from our individual investigations.
MC: I found the teacher from the school for deaf students. He said that when Zhang Nian first arrived at the school, he didn’t even know how to use sign language. He was gloomy and blue. 
MC: Only Xu Wen knew how to converse with him, and would teach him sign language after school. 
MC: After learning of his interest in drawing, she used her pocket money to buy him colouring pencils and drawing paper in secret without her parents’ knowledge. 
MC: They had a pretty happy time in school. Zhang Nian even organised a small exhibition in school, and many teachers and students supported it. 
MC: But after graduation, his days became a little more difficult.
He didn’t have a place to stay, and he couldn’t find work. While Xu Wen could rely on her parents for financial assistance, he could only rely on himself. 
MC: During this time, Xu Wen seemed to have been using her parents’ money to buy him stationery for drawing, and even accompanied him to set up a stall for his paintings...
MC: But they couldn’t earn money at all.
Gavin opens a few files in front of me.
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Gavin: Afterwards, he found a job in a finance company. He went around conducting financial transactions for people, and earned commissions based on the number of successful transactions.
Gavin: Not long after, this company was reported for illegal fund-raising. Both he and his boss were jailed for three years.
I recall seeing his ID from before - a crew cut and a white shirt along with a black suit which looked tidy and fitting.
Turns out he wasn’t working at a bank...
Gavin: Even during his time in jail, Xu Wen never gave up on him. She’d visit him every weekend and converse with him via sign language from across the glass.
Gavin: Of course, Zhang Nian behaved very well in jail, and gave his own drawings to many prison guards. After he was out of jail, he found a stable job.
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Separated by the scorching 3pm afternoon sunlight, the gaze Gavin gives me is deep with a tranquil light.
Gavin: Do you know why he planned this kidnapping and handed you the video clip anonymously?
I shake my head. This has been my biggest question.
Gavin takes out a few photographs from the file.
Gavin: Before the case was closed, these documents couldn’t be disclosed to the public, which is why I didn’t tell you at the time.
I scrutinise one of the photographs - an A3-sized sheet of paper is stuck on a door, with a few lines written on it.
From the format of the digits, they appear to be bank account numbers.
Gavin: He was behind this door.
MC: Then these bank account numbers...
Gavin: We checked them.
He points at the first line of digits, then speaks calmly.
Gavin: The first account is for an animal treatment centre. It treats stray cats and dogs which meet with accidents. 
Gavin: This one is for a 10 year old girl with hearing issues. She lives with a granny who sells fruits, and is currently saving money for surgery.
Gavin: The both of them had a habit of sending money to these accounts.
Gavin: Even though Zhang Nian continued sending money to them after Xu Wen passed away, he could only maintain his own livelihood with his income.
MC: What you’re saying is, if the video camera could capture this... and document them properly so that more people would know about them...
Perhaps he could help these people. Even if it was for the last time.
MC: ...but that was such a complex method. There was no need to do a good deed in such a roundabout manner, and even kidnap people to reach that goal.
Gavin silently picks up one of the photos from the table - it’s a note that Zhang Nian wrote before he committed suicide. A short message is written on it - It’s Wen Wen’s birthday today.
Gavin: Aside from that, he more or less did think of seeking revenge.
Gavin’s finger remains on the photograph.
Gavin: In Zhang Nian’s life, Xu Wen was the only one who gave him warmth. She was his lover. 
Gavin: After losing such a person, it isn’t difficult to guess what kind of an attitude he had when facing this world, and facing the people who caused such an ending.
Gavin: When people are in pain, their hatred will involuntarily become amplified.
Gavin: From this perspective, at least he didn't take things even further.
Gavin’s voice is dull, as though he’s mulling over something, or affected by their misfortune.
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I can’t help but reach across the table, gently bumping the tip of his finger with mine. 
Silence permeates the air. He curls his finger slightly, hooking it around mine.
[ Chapter Four ]
The files, photographs, and a few scattered pages of a notebook are spread on the table randomly, as though illustrating their entire story in front of me.
The car accident was a tragedy, but it wasn’t the only tragedy. I find myself hesitating to speak. When I open my mouth, I sigh.
MC: Xu Wen was such a good person. She tugged onto him from beginning to end, and never gave up on him for a single moment. She actually managed to pull him out of the abyss.
Even though she couldn’t hear nor speak, she used her gentle gaze to heal the person she loved.
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Gavin tidies the items on the table one by one, storing them properly.
His composed voice is mixed with ruefulness. He seems to be slightly moved, but has more or less come to terms with his emotions.
Gavin: From the perspective of an observer, there were many dismal and extreme traits in Zhang Nian’s personality. This is a point that can’t be denied.
Gavin: However, he was abandoned from the moment he was born. The path he walked on all these years, and the world that he saw - those are things we’d find difficult to relate with.
Gavin: Perhaps from the time he knew about the world, he realised that living was already something requiring courage.
Probably seeing such stories again and again when handling various cases, Gavin’s attitude is objective and calm.
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Gavin: No matter what attitude he had when he made this decision, he shouldn’t have done so.
In contrast to the practised manner in which Gavin handles his emotions, I remain immersed in the regretful ending experienced by the two.
MC: Aside from her, he had nothing else.
The furniture, the recipes underneath the magnets, and the drawing hung on the wall... these images flash past me one by one.
MC: If I were the one who experienced this, and the only important person in my life was gone, I’d lose my connection with this world. Perhaps death would be a form of liberation.
Before I can finish speaking, Gavin raises his voice, cutting off my impending sigh.
Gavin: It wouldn’t.
He looks at me resolutely and decisively.
Gavin: No matter when, death will never be a form of liberation. Pain can always be treated. 
Gavin: Whether it’s because someone important is no longer around, or if you were to lose contact with someone, it’s inevitable to carry some pain.
Gavin: Perhaps time is needed, and perhaps meeting a certain someone is needed, to gradually put an end to such pain, and to use various methods to put an end to such pain.
Gavin: But things will always get better.
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Gavin seals the brown paper bag which is filled with materials related to Zhang Nian and Xu Wen, then places it at the corner of the table which has been warmed by the sun.
I watch as his palm presses against the paper bag, a moment of hesitation surging past his slightly lowered gaze. Almost at the same time, he looks up at me -
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There’s only certainty in his eyes.
Gavin: No matter when, never give up on yourself. Xu Wen was constantly pulling him out of the abyss. He shouldn’t have given up like that.
[ Chapter Five ]
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By the time Gavin and I walk out of the cafe, much of the sun’s heat has dispersed. Wind blows over from the river, and it’s refreshing and soothing.
Countless little flowers with names I’m unaware of bloom among the grass along the street, swaying in the evening breeze of midsummer.
MC: The weather is really nice today.
After sitting down for an entire afternoon, I can’t help but stretch, relaxing my shoulders and back.
Before I can take a few steps, I suddenly remember the moment I met Zhang Nian face-to-face, causing me to halt in my footsteps. He had walked towards me in a timid manner, a sincere and apologetic expression on his face.
He had handed me a letter, its edges creased from being pinched. Then, he turned away hurriedly before running away.
Too much time has passed. Even his Evol has lost its effectiveness.
Gavin senses that something is off about me, and draws a few steps closer. I wave my hand at him, signalling that I’m fine.
Having second thoughts, I can’t help but sigh with emotion.
MC: If only Zhang Nian was willing to contact me earlier and tell me about what exactly happened...
MC: If only I could tell him how nice today’s weather is. I wonder if he’d have made such a decision.
Gavin responds decisively from beside me.
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Gavin: He wouldn’t. 
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Gavin: If someone told him that the weather would be nice today, he’d have definitely held on for a while longer.
Gavin: But he couldn’t always wait for someone to pull him along and bring him out of the abyss. He had to muster his courage and walk out by himself.
I nod quietly, gripping the notebook in my hand. 
MC: Gavin, aside from the original plan for this episode, I think I’d need to add some new content...
Gavin halts in his footsteps, immediately reading the thoughts in my heart.
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Gavin: Are you thinking about how there are many people in the world like Zhang Nian?
MC: Mm.
There are definitely some people who are shouldering pain alone, and are hesitating at the crossroads of life and death.
MC: Although this tragedy can no longer be salvaged, we could prevent even more tragedies from occurring.
I turn towards the direction of the river, looking afar at the boundless sky.
MC: I want to tell them about the beautiful scenery all around the world, and the beauty of the four seasons.
MC: Tell them about the colours of sunset, the sounds of the ocean...
MC: And tell them that as long as they’re willing to wait for a while longer, there are still people on earth who will love them.
MC: I want their eyes to be able to see the world that I see. I want them to believe that this world is always worth it.
Realising how overly idealistic and visionary my words are, I give Gavin a smile.
MC: ...I might have sounded too exaggerated.
Gavin: Nope. It will be a very meaningful show.
He suddenly reaches out, combing my hair which has been blown messy by the wind. His fingers linger on the ends of my hair for a long time.
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The corners of his lips curl upwards slightly, and he brings me into his arms.
Gavin: Thank you.
Gavin: This world is always worth it.
His voice is far too soft. For a moment, I wonder if I misheard.
MC: What did you say? I couldn’t hear you clearly.
Gavin chuckles, then raises his volume.
Gavin: Since the weather’s pretty good, want to go for a drive?
MC: Did you drive here today?
Gavin: Mm. It’s rare to have such nice weather, so I took the car out for a drive.
MC: Wow~ That is rare. It’s been such a long time since I sat in Captain Gavin’s car.
Gavin takes my hand, striding with large steps as he leads me forward.
Gavin: Let’s go. The car’s in front.
- End -
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Filming for the special episode of “Inquries” came to an end. When the final episode aired, the show became a trending topic. After watching it, many members of the audience provided assistance and support for organisations targeted at disabled individuals. Although Zhang Nian and Xu Wen have already left this world, they’ve enabled people who experience difficulties in life to obtain warmth. Such warmth continues to last. I guess being able to allow more people to believe that the world is worth loving, and to do what little they can to help those in need is what it means to be a person in the media industry.
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More S2 content: here
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mirohlixie · a year ago
Never Enough (Hyunlix) Pt. 1
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Pairing: Felix x Hyunjin Word Count: 2.4K Genre: AU, love, dystopia
Synopsis: In a world where being different from the conventional gender and sexuality rules means death, the gay youngster Felix struggles to hide his true sexuality. He is doing well until he meets Hyunjin, an undercover hitman hired by the government to get rid of all the "different" people in hiding. The moment the two meet each other, both of their lives change forever, but will it be enough?
Content warnings: AU, homophobia, discrimination against LGBTQ+, explicit language.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~♡~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~He looked up from his notebook, out of his window. The wind was blowing and rain was falling out of the sky in thick drops. The poor boy got bored from being inside all the time, but the weather wasn’t very forgiving. It had been like this for a couple of days now and it didn’t look like it was going to change soon.
“Felix,” a soft voice called from downstairs. “Do you want to come down for tea?” It was the same old story every day. He’d be in his room, usually reading or working on song lyrics all day. Some time afternoon his mother would start to wonder what he was doing up there all the time, and call him down for tea. He always said no, like he was going to do now. He simply didn’t feel like being among other humans.
All Felix longed for was to take a long walk, anywhere. Just him and nature and no other people. A place where he could be alone with his thoughts without feeling like it was a sin to even have them cross his mind. Because that was what his thoughts were: a sin. A boy like him should not be thinking about the things he thought of. Even better, it was forbidden. If anyone ever found out about the words dancing in his mind, he’d have to pay with his life.
At first, Felix had been pretty good at hiding his thoughts. He’d be among his family and laugh and have fun with them. However, as he grew up, he found it harder and harder not to let the words slip his mind. The safe storage that was once his head slowly began to deteriorate. His subconscious longed for the freedom that would come with the exposure of his secret. However, that moment could never exist. He didn’t want to die. Not because of this.
“Please Lix,” his mother called again. “You’re never downstairs anymore. You’re withering away in that room of yours. Wouldn’t you like to be with us just for a little? Just one cup of tea?” Felix knew his mother would keep asking until he’d give in, and he couldn’t give in.
Especially today his mind had been like a time bomb. Every time he looked in the mirror he had to withhold himself from saying those forbidden words. From saying those words that would essentially cost him his life. He could not even imagine what it would be like if he was among others. If his reflection alone was already enough to make him break, then what would a living human being do to him? How would he ever be able to resist their curiosity?
“No,” he called down. “I’m about to go on a walk,” it was an impulsive excuse and he hadn’t known why exactly he’d thought it would be the perfect one. However, now he’d already said it and had to follow through with the plan. He hopped from his bed and quickly put on a pair of shoes. He looked out the window, sighing when he saw the rain, and sprinted down the stairs to put on a coat.
“In this kind of weather?” His mother questioned, raising an eyebrow as she saw her son appear in the hallway. “It’s raining cats and dogs.”
“I know, but I like the rain,” Felix lied. “So I’m going on a walk. I’ll be back before dark, mom,” he zipped his coat and gave his mother a kiss on the cheek before walking out the front door.
The cold wind hit him in the face like a brick and he had to take a deep breath before he could find the courage to actually walk down the driveway and leave the perimeters of his parents’ house.
“I like the rain,” he muttered to himself as he pulled the hood of his coat closer to his face and started to conquer the strong winds fighting for dominance over him. “I’m such a bad liar.”
It was empty in the streets, which was perfect. The last thing Felix needed now was encountering someone he knew. He wanted to be alone. Completely alone. The rain started to get less intense the more he walked, which was a welcome change. The wind still stayed the same, pulling at his clothes and trying to push him back towards his home.
He loved the thundering sounds the moving air brought with it. It completely masked any other sound coming from him and his surroundings. It made him feel safe; safer than he was at home. Safer than he was anywhere.
Here he’d be able to speak his mind without care. Here he’d be able to be himself just for a second. He took a deep breath, looked around him, and smiled a little before uttering the dangerous words.
“I am different,” he whispered at first. Fear grabbed him by the throat as he checked his surroundings again, afraid someone would’ve caught him anyway, but there was nobody there. “I like men,” he elaborated. “I am a sinner because I like men instead of women,”
To Felix, it was hideous that this detail about himself could cost him his life. Unfortunately, it was the truth. Having a sexual and romantic attraction to people of the same sex was not allowed. Falling for or having a relationship with someone of the same sex was not allowed.
It was crazily old-fashioned and absolutely the highest form of discrimination, but yes; your sexuality could get you killed. If you were pleaded guilty of being "different", it meant immediate death, as ridiculous as that may sound. No trial, no bail. If there were enough grounds to convince the government you were gay, you were done for.
Not only men loving men or women loving women suffered this tragic and brutal fate, but every person who was different. Every person who didn't fit the standard boxes of society, the standard boxes being women loving men and men loving women. There was no room for nuisance.
Why these rules existed in today’s day and age? Nobody knew. The simple answer was that it had always been like that. People who were different were a threat. People who were different didn't have a right to walk this earth. To them, the lives lost did not matter, which was absolutely disgusting in Felix’s opinion.
To them, it was merely a way to make sure the earth wouldn’t get overcrowded. The way Felix saw it, they were just scared of change. In ancient times it had been normal to be a man romantically involved with another man. It was the modern-day society that had made it into a sin. The few people who rejected this idea and showed resistance awaited the same fate as these "different" people. Nobody was safe, so it was better to pretend you agreed with it.
Felix's parents also lived by these rules, so ever since Felix found out his preference wasn't towards women, he'd hidden from them. They couldn't find out, or they would probably report him to the state. Their own son meant nothing to them if he was different.
Of course, tracking down every single "different" person was difficult, and seemed nearly impossible, since you’re not exactly born with a sign on your head that says you’re different. However, the government had its ways to track you down, may it be legal or illegal. These ways were sneaky and far from agreeable. You never knew who you could trust and who not. Living in this world was a true hell for people like Felix, but there was nothing they could do.
“I’m fucking different!” Felix shouted into the wind, knowing nobody could hear him here with the wind raging around him. “I like men and there’s nothing I can do!”
“Are you sure you accept the terms and conditions of this task?” The lady on the phone had asked him for the tenth time. “Are you sure you are willing to take this task upon you and deal with the consequences that may come with it?” Hyunjin had nodded before realizing she would not be able to see that.
“Yes, ma’am,” he’d said. “I accept all of it. I am ready, I promise,” he’d looked at the booklet that had fallen onto the doormat this morning. He’d been waiting for it for a while now and today had been the day it had finally arrived. He’d almost jumped when he’d heard the sound of the booklet hitting the fabric. It was dumb and he knew that, but to him, this seemed like the only option.
It was fucked up, Hyunjin knew that and would never try to deny it. However, he needed the money he’d get out of it. Not for himself, but for his mother. His dear mother, the woman who’d raised him to be the man he was today, was a sickly woman now. She’d been diagnosed with a rare disease that could only be helped with expensive treatment. Without the treatment, the chances she’d not see the end of the year were very big. If she did get the treatment, it would give her the rest of her life back.
That’s all Hyunjin wanted for her; She had to see him grow up. She had to see her grandchildren grow up. He couldn’t lose her, not in a society like this one.
“Ten grant,” he’d whispered to himself. That was what he’d receive if he went through with this. It was enough to pay for his mother’s treatment and her medicine. It would be enough to keep her alive. It would cost him a part of himself, but that would be worth it if he was able to save the woman who meant the most to him. But was ten grant enough in exchange for a life? Because that was what this task entailed…
The task he was about to accept, was that of a hitman. The government granted rewards of ten thousand dollars to those who were willing to go undercover and find out which members of their society did not follow the law concerning sexuality. Well, those who found them received only three thousand. Those who then also managed to end those so-called moles would receive the full ten grant. His job would be to be among the people and find out who was hiding their true, forbidden sexuality and to simply end their lives.
The government needed undercover hitmen like this because there were way too many moles for their normal police forces. The standard procedure was execution in the name of the state, according to the legal methods, like they to criminals who got the death sentence
These hitmen were different. Their methods were technically illegal, but if they got caught, they would be let off again before they could even go into trial. The government would close their eyes for crimes like the murder of these moles as long as the hit-man had an official permit given to them by the state. These hitmen were highly necessary since there was no way the government could punish every single mole, and other than that they'd gotten better at hiding their true nature as well.
“Then I would like to congratulate you with your permit,” the lady on the phone had said. “You know how it works. Find someone you think is suspicious, figure out whether they genuinely are or not, and then eventually end their life. Send the body over to the morgue and receive your ten grant. Try not to get caught. It's such a hassle to make them drop the charges,” she’d explained once more. “If you have any questions, do call us. The last thing I would like to add, is that the most important aspect of this job is instinct. Make sure you follow it. Don’t be a fool. Don’t ignore the signs.”
“But how will I be certain if it’s one of them?” Hyunjin had questioned. That’s what the moles were often referred to: them. Not us, but the other.
“You will know,” the lady had assured him. “I promise. I have to move on to the next call now. I wish you much wisdom and luck, Hwang Hyunjin. We are looking forward to seeing your first catch soon,” and with that, she’d ended the call. Hyunjin had sat on the couch and contemplated the idea for the rest of the morning, fumbling around with the permit that had just been activated in his hands.
Was he actually going to kill someone only because of their sexuality? He knew they were deemed evil. They were different, that's what everyone had always been told over the past centuries. They didn’t deserve a place in this society, according to the government. It was never completely explained why this difference from the rest was such a bad thing. They were still people, weren't they? Was he really capable of taking another human’s life?
He shook the thought off as he was walking outside in the rain with his hood pulled over his hair a couple of hours after the call. He needed the money, so he was going to succeed. He didn’t care how much it would cost him, or how long it was going to take him to find someone. He was going to try the best he could and that was all he could promise right now. After all, it would take a while before he’d find the first person, wouldn’t it? They were called moles for a reason.
That’s what Hyunjin thought before he saw him; the person who would change his life forever. The person that truly caught his attention. At first, he thought he was just looking at the back someone who had lost his mind, yelling meaningless words into the wind, but when he listened more closely, alarms should’ve started to ring immediately in the back of his head.
“I’m fucking different!” The figure with the blonde hair yelled into the wind, probably thinking nobody would be able to hear him over the loud thundering of the air. “I like men and there’s nothing I can do!” Hyunjin bit his lip. Bingo, he thought. This was going to be easier than he’d expected.
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Sweet Pea//my greatest adventure is you
Request: Can you do a dad (newborn-ish) sweet pea imagine
hey! title is kind of stolen from a quote i saw on pinterest and part from my own brain so its okay! how are you all? i hope you’re good! i also hope you like this! its cute and sweet and just very nice! byeeee 
Two weeks ago your life changed completely. 
And for two weeks you and Sweet Pea have been living in a post baby, sleep deprived, bliss. 
Days of the week have long been forgotten, neither of you know the time. It’s either light or dark and that’s good enough for you. Both of you have only been outside a handful of times and they’re only for two hours at the most. 
You’ve worn nothing but pyjama’s, washed your hair enough times to count on just one hand and smell like baby puke and milk. 
But it’s perfect. 
Everything and everyone revolves around the perfect bundle of joy that you’ve brought into the world, and that is how it was supposed to be. You’ve had visitors from just about everybody you know. 
Family, friends, neighbours, as well as their family and friend. You’ve had everyone wanting to come and see your daughter, all of which bring toys, clothes, keepsakes, balloons, flowers and everything in-between. 
Which is of course lovely and very helpful. Especially when you’re dealing with the fullest nappy and think you’ve run out of wipes but Sweet Pea finds three packs of them under a pile of clothes that are yet to be worn. 
Plus, they also bring you presents to which you definitely aren’t complaining about. You’ve got so many pairs of pajama’s you’re not gonna need any for years. 
But it also brings problems. 
Because you and Sweet Pea may have read every baby/parenting book, blog and magazine known to man. But what they don’t prepare you for is how you’re supposed to fit everything into a tiny two bedroom house. 
“How does a tiny baby need all of this equipment?” You ask, staring at the black hole of boxes that is your living room. Even sat on the couch there’s boxes and bags stacked around you and the two of you honestly have no idea where to start. “I mean, what the hell even is this?” You add, picking up some sort of weird looking piece of plastic. 
Sweet Pea looks at it, a frown on his face before it lights up and he searches through some papers on the small table beside him. He holds a booklet up, a triumphant smile stretching across his lips before he starts reading. 
The smile slowly starts to fade the more he reads to himself and you sit in silence, an eyebrow raised while you wait for him to tell you. 
“Oo, erm. Apparently it tells you why the baby is crying.” He says, looking between you and the what you now realize is the instructions. 
The only way you can describe his expression is puzzled, as he takes the baby crying machine from you, placing it beside the instructions and just staring at the two. 
“Who the hell bought this?” He asks, resting his chin in his hands. You run your fingers through his hair, trying to calm the curls down a little and he lets out a content sigh, giving you a tired smile as he does so. 
You mirror it and nudge his leg with your own. You lean your head on his shoulder, and he places his head on top. The two of you look over the paper and plastic again, reading and re-reading the instructions as it takes a while to actually understand what they are trying to say. Its seems both you and Sweet Pea have ended up developing baby-brain.
“I think it was your Auntie Agnes.” 
“Of course it was.” He chuckles and kisses the top of your head.
“What are the options?” You ask. 
“Hungry, tired, changing, attention, stressed.” He says and you send him a look. 
“Stressed? What an earth could a baby be stressed about? They don’t pay taxes, they don’t have to work.” You reply grumpily making him laugh and kiss you again.
“Technically we don’t have to pay taxes.” 
“Technically we do if we don’t want to go to jail.” You reply. 
“Who says I’d get caught.” He replies proudly. 
“Me.” You reply bluntly and he stares at you offended. 
“True though.” You tease and grab the strange device from him, looking it over a few times before looking back at him. “So, where’s this going?” 
“Back of the cupboard normally. Proudly on display when Auntie Agnes actually comes to visit?” 
“Deal.” You agree. “I’ll find a place for it and you start on that box there.” 
“Which one?” 
“The huge red one right in front of your face.” You huff and he flips you off. 
You send him a sarcastic smile in return before disappearing into the kitchen to find a space for the stupid bit of plastic. 
“Why this one specifically?” He calls after you. 
“Its from Toni and Cheryl and I’m excited to see what ridiculous things Cheryl has spent a fuck-ton of money on.” You reply, your voice giddy but muffled by the cupboard you’ve currently got your head in. 
Sweet Pea shakes his head, a small giggle escaping his lips as he listens to you excitedly ramble about what it could be. 
He pulls on the end of the bow and it falls off the wooden box and onto the carpeted floor. A bemused smile takes over his appearance as he carefully picks the lid up and places it beside him.
“Holy shit.” His eyes widen. “Y/n? Y/n get in here!” 
“Wha-ow! Shit.” 
“Did you hit your head?” He asks, sending you a sympathetic smile when he notices you standing in the doorway, rubbing your head.
 “Yeah.” You nod and flop down beside him again. “So, what is it?” You ask excitedly. 
“You’re not going to believe it.” He replies and moves further towards the box. You follow him until your sat on the edge of the sofa and your eyes widen when you look at what it is. 
“Is that?” You ask, looking at him and then back at the present. 
Staring back at the two of you is a giant rocking horse. Like it’s massive, like Toni could definitely fit on it and it would look normal, massive even. Hanging around its neck is what looks like a diamond encrusted dummy and you and Sweet Pea just stare at each other in disbelief. 
A red, handwritten card sits on top of it and you grab it, turning it around and reading aloud. 
‘Y/n and Sweet Pea, 
Congratulations on your new arrival! We can’t wait to meet her properly. You’re going to be amazing parents, and we’re always here if you need us. Hopefully we’ll be able to organize a play date between her and JJ soon, but until then enjoy new parenthood. 
Love Cheryl, Toni and JJ.
ps: I told Cheryl you didn’t need a giant horse or diamond encrusted dummy or the other 5, very expensive gifts that are currently being shipped from Italy, but she didn’t listen, so sorry in advance. And again, congratulations!! We’re so proud of both of you!!’
“Another 5 gifts from Italy?” Sweet Pea repeats.
“Another 5, expensive gifts from Italy.” You correct. 
“They have far too much money for their own good.” 
“God knows where this is going to go.” You shake your head, a smile tugging at your lips as you tuck the card back into the box and place the lid back on top. “Which one should we do ne-��� Your interrupted by a small cry and the two of you stop what you’re doing to listen, waiting to see if she’ll settle back down. The crying only grows louder and you and Pea share a look. 
“I’ll get her.” He says and you expression softens. 
“You sure?” You ask.
“Yeah.” He replies, fighting his way through the boxes and bags trapping the two of you. “I just googled how much that rocking horse is so I’m gonna go cry with her.” He says making you laugh. “You keep going down here.” 
“Wait, how did that happen? You get to cuddle a cute baby and I have to figure out where to put bottles and diapers and...horses?” 
“Unlucky.” He shrugs and gives you a sarcastic smile before running up the stairs. 
Two minutes later and she’s stopped crying. A relieved smile takes over your face as you fold what seems like the millionth baby grow. But twenty minutes after that, Sweet Pea hasn’t come back down yet, and that makes you suspicious. 
Because he’s either fallen asleep, or he’s just pretending to still be busy so he doesn’t have to help with this. If he’s asleep, you’re joining him, whether he’s on the bed or under it, you don’t care. But if not, you bet his ass you are dragging him back down the stairs.
You slowly make your way up the stairs, balancing a few pieces of clothing in your hands to put away. The door to your bedroom is cracked open slightly and instead of going straight into the nursery, you hold back and watch as Sweet Pea rocks her gently. 
His back is to you so he hasn’t noticed your presence, and he’s pulling the funniest faces at her, the sight making your heart melt. Your entire universe in one room, within two people, one tall and the other tiny. 
It makes all the chaos worth it. 
“There once was a shoe, who’s best friend was a lace.” Sweet Pea starts, balancing a baby book in his hands as he keeps tight hold of your daughter. “They went everywhere together. But one day, the shoe stepped in a puddle and the lace got dirty so-what kind of story is this?” He complains, shaking his head as he puts it down. 
“Okay, Daisy. I’ve got a much better story to tell you anyway.” He whispers into the dark room and carefully sits down in the rocking chair. “So, me and your mom have known each other for so long. Longer than you can even comprehend, not that you can comprehend much at the minute. But one day when your bigger you’ll understand. We’ve known each other since we were younger than you, thats right, we were best friends before we were born. And there hasn’t been a day that she hasn’t been around. And they’ll never be a day where she isn’t here for you either. Both of us are always going to be here.” He says, his voice gentle. 
His tone is full of so much love that it makes you tear up...stupid hormones. You can’t wait to spend the rest of your life loving your little family, and you’re so happy that its Sweet Pea that you’re doing it with. You can’t imagine a life without him, you never want to. 
“You have your entire life ahead of you and we’re going to make sure you live the best one you can. Because you can do anything. There’s a whole world of possibilities out there. Sometimes it feels like there isn’t, but you’ve only been here two weeks and you’ve brought so much wonder and magic to mine and your mom’s world, so who knows what you’re going to do to the rest of it.” He continues and you hug the clothes your holding tighter to your chest, despite the fact that you’re crying all over them. 
“We’re going to love you no matter what. No matter who you are or who you love or what you do. As long as you’re safe and happy, thats good enough for us.” He says, a sweet smile on his lips as he stares down at her in awe. “Now, go to sleep and have the sweetest dreams you can think of and when you wake up, your mom and me will both be here for you. Thats a promise.” He whispers, pressing a soft kiss to her head before placing her gently back in her crib. 
You take that as you cue to walk in, avoiding the creaky floorboard that you and Sweet Pea have already memorized the position of. He hears the door open and his smile grows when he notices you. You return it, your eyes tired and your hair messy and your clothes the same as they were two days ago. But to him you look the most beautiful you ever have. 
He has never loved anyone more, well, apart from Daisy. But you’re the reason she’s here and he’s never ever going to be able to thank you enough for that. 
You quietly place the pile of clothes on top of the drawers, vowing to put them away tomorrow. Them, the presents downstairs and the the rest of the world can wait, you want to enjoy this for as long as you can. 
Sweet Pea grabs your hand and pulls you gently towards him. The two of you lean over the crib, watching Daisy sleep peacefully. His hands rest gently on your shoulders and you give them a squeeze, your fingers intertwining.
“Do you think babies can dream?” You wonder, looking up at Pea.
“I really do hope so.” 
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inhanf-archived · a year ago
11. ovipositor
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Squares/Prompts used:
#kinktober2020:   11. ovipositor
Warnings: Smut adjacent
Pairing/s: Emily Prentiss x Reader x Spencer Reid
Authors Note: I've never used an ovipositor before but I did some research. I mean absolutely no judgement on anybody who used these toys or partakes in this fetish, the reactions of the characters in this story are based in humour as a coping mechanism. I don't think they would judge anyone for this either and I hope it doesn't read that way.The G'lorp is a real toy, it can be found here.
Word count: 1640 AO3
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You could hear them laughing before the key even entered the door, a rare and welcome sound when your partners were returning from a case. Padding softly to the kitchen to put on the kettle you were pleased to see their smiling faces join you moments later. ‘Good result?’ You enquired, setting up three mugs. ‘Eh, entertaining, let’s say that instead.’ Emily half grimaced and embraced you from behind, burying her nose into the crook of your neck and inhaling your scent.
‘Entertaining isn’t a word I normally associate with the BAU, not unless it’s family dinner or karaoke night.’ You filled the mugs with hot water, letting Emily stay wrapped around you and turned your head to look at the unusually quiet Spencer Reid. He was grinning and adding milk and more sugar to his coffee but there was a definite blush in his complexion. It was only when Em released you to finish making her tea that you noticed the package on the breakfast bar. ‘Open it’ Spencer hadn’t even looked at you, now fixing himself a snack and Emily had busied herself with rooting for cereal.
To say you were skeptical would be an understatement but you trusted that it wasn’t a head in a box so you sat on one of the stools and prised the box open. Skepticism morphed into major confusion and you slowly turned the box three times trying to make sense of it’s contents. You could feel them both looking at you now but you took another moment to compose yourself, not wanting to laugh in their faces if this was something they’d been working up to.
‘See this is how she beats us at poker.’ Em said, grinning into her bowl of muesli. Spencer has a hesitantly optimistic smile on and was nodding sagely. You looked down at the box and up into each set of brown eyes in turn, waiting for them to give some kind of hint. Their grins had you thinking they’d done this for the lols but you could never be totally sure. Emily had a great many kinks hidden behind those big brown eyes, maybe this was one of them. You kept your poker face, allowing your lips to mimic the small grins on theirs and waited them out.
Em cracked first, snorting into a fit of laughter. ‘I’m sorry, there was this shop and you really had to be there to get the joke but we both wanted to see your face so.’ She shrugged and gestured to the box which you now reached into. Gripping it round the middle you placed the only flat side of it down onto the counter. It’s main shaft was bright pink, the flat base a dark blue and the little tentacles were purple. Emily was surprising a fresh fit of laughter and even Spencer was chuckling into his coffee. Your own grin was demolishing any remnant of your poker face and you crossed your arms and cocked your head to the side, taking in the strange silicone object.
It was massive, easily twelve inches long and as thick around as your wrist. It had a hole in the base and the top tapered to another wide slit. You had a million ideas about what they wanted to do with this thing but for all your open mindedness you had no clue how it was going to be pleasurable. ‘Penny for your thoughts?’ Em asked tentatively. ‘Oh Penelope would have many thoughts on this, she’d probably keep fluffy pens in it in the batcave.’ The three of you dissolved into giggles at that visual. Clutching her side Em leaned against the opposite counter top and waited for your eyes to meet hers. ‘Really, what do you think?’. You sighed and wiped away the tears from your cheeks. ‘Honestly?’ ‘Honestly.’ They replied in unison. ‘It looks like you searched Doctor Who on PornHub.’ You answered honestly and with a miraculously small number of chuckles. Spencer spat his last mouthful of coffee back into the mug and bent over the breakfast bar counter, his head in his hands and shaking with laughter. Em cocked her head and gave the thing another look nodding her agreement with you.
Tearing your eyes from it you looked back into the box and extracted what looked to be a reusable egg carton and a booklet which you opened with hesitant curiosity.
‘G'lorp: Bringing sex to a (w)hole new dimension.’
You scanned the booklet for a word, a phrase, anything you could find that might give you a clue about what G’lorp actually did. It was on the last page that you found images of other equally brightly coloured and unusually shaped silicone creations and the word ovipositor. It suddenly dawned on you and you picked up the egg box and flicked back to a FAQ page you’d dismissed earlier. Recipes for gelatine mould.
Your partners were both around the kitchen island now, Spencer looking at you with a grin and biting his bottom lip, Emily sat on the countertop, legs folded, her huge brown eyes watching you over her mug of tea. ‘I have a few questions.’ You state with more calmness than you truly possessed. They nodded in unison again. You opened your mouth to speak and closed it again, unsure of how you were going to ask them without you all dissolving into giggles again. Deciding to pick the G’lorp up, it was far less scary now it had a name, you looked at it instead of your waiting partners, tracing the different textures in the silicone with your fingers.
‘Who did, no what did, what did you want to do with it? Well who also I guess.’ They smiled but the giggles seemed to have faded for now. ‘At first we just wanted to see your reaction, it’s not something either of us ever knew about.’ Em spoke up, glancing to Spencer to make sure she was on the right track. He nodded and reached across to the box and took out a small ziplock baggie with several yellow balls in it the size of large chicken eggs. ‘We were laughing about it in the hotel room and decided to test it out.’ ‘To see if it’s named after the sound it makes. It kinda surprised us both how nice a feeling it was to squeeze them through it.’ Em finished and took a long drink of tea.
You were all looking at the ball eggs now and putting G’lorp back into the box you reached out to Spencer to see what they felt like. He extracted one and placed it in your outstretched palm. ‘It’s a little lubey, that’s how you get them into it.’ Reaching into the bag he pulled out what looked like a large golf tee and placed another ball egg on top of it. You’d taken G’lorp from the box again, and held it in one hand with the slippery egg rolling in your other. Taking the dildo from you Spence lined up the hole in the bottom with the tee’d up egg and with a small schloop noise it went in. He handed G’lorp back to you and you gave him back the egg, wanting to grip the massive toy with both hands now it had lube all over it.
You could feel the ball inside and with a little pressure you could move it back and forth inside the shaft. Grasping the toy below the ball you pushed it towards the tapered end and it flew out and across the kitchen to land in Emily’s empty cereal bowl. ‘There’s a messed up sport in there somewhere’ Emily said with a wry grin as she washed the milk off the slippery egg and handed it back to Spencer. ‘Ten points to Gryffindor’ you and your boyfriend echoed and the prior calm was lost again to laughter and theoretical discussions about hippogriff reproduction and the likelihood that G’lorp was a distant relative of the flobberworm.
The G’lorp and its egg ball children stayed in your closet for a while after that night. None of you had any great interest in trying it out but there wasn’t enough disinterest to throw it away either. You were seriously considering gifting it to Penelope for her pen collection after unearthing it while cleaning one Saturday when Spencer came into your room and stretched himself across your bed, taking it out to examine. ‘I think you’d like it Y/N’. You pulled your head out of a garment bag full of lingerie and looked up at him from the floor. Giving the silicone toy an affectionate look you made a spur of the moment decision. ‘Okay’ Spencer rolled onto his stomach in surprise. ‘Okay?’ You nodded and repeated yourself. ‘Guess I’ll go make some fresh eggs then’ Spence took the box and left your room. You could hear him quietly saying ok to himself all the way down to the kitchen.
The three of you stood at the foot of Emily’s bed. You’d laid out an old duvet, anything involving this much lube required protective coverings. Emily had been as surprised as Spencer to hear you’d given them the go ahead and now that you were all here, fresh eggs made and G’lorp freshly cleaned for the event none of you really knew what to do. You weren’t as giggly as you had been the night they brought it home, but you could only insist so many times that you had no desire to role play getting eaten out by Davy Jones from Pirates of the Caribbean before you collapsed onto the bed laughing and thrust the toy at them. ‘Let’s just get on with this yeah?’ You rolled your eyes and laid back as they joined you.
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scorpiofangirl1109 · a year ago
My Cats OC Part 81
part 80- https://scorpiofangirl1109.tumblr.com/post/649236276616232960/my-cats-oc-part-80 
hello everyone! welcome to part 81 of my series on kiki! this is going to be the start of the 2nd mini series within the series. and this is going to be part 1 of the series.
this will be a cats human au series and i think you guys are all going to love it!
in part 1 kiki will be 2 years old!
munkustrap knew that he wanted to be with demeter from the moment that they had started to date. she was the one he was supposed to spend the rest of his life with.
he had never been this happy in a relationship before. his relationship with kiki’s birth mother had not been the best looking back now. and munkustrap just so happy he found what true love is.
but most importantly to munkustrap, he found someone who clearly loved his daughter kiki as much as he did. when he had first become a single father munkustrap worried a lot about fating again.
he worried about people not wanting to accept kiki into their lives or that they would not want to be with him. plus munkustrap wanted to make sure if he did date and brought someone into kiki’s life that it would be good for her and his partner was ok with understanding kiki was his first priority.
so when munkustrap started to get serious about proposing to demeter, he first went to talk to her father skimbleshanks. admittedly, munkustrap was slightly nervous about asking demeter’s father for his and jenny’s blessing to propose. but munkustrap wanted his permission before proposing. 
when munkustrap told skimbles he was planning on proposing to demeter, he watched the man sit there in thought for a moment before eh began to speak.
“all i want for my children is for them to be with someone who truly makes them happy. jenny and i can see how much demeter loves you and how much she loves that little girl. you both make her so happy which is all jenny and i could ask for. so you have our blessing to propose to demeter.” skimbles smiled. 
munkustrap felt like a weight was lifted off of him knowing that skimbles approved of the proposal. and he knew jenny would approve as well. he was glad they were on his side. 
the next step munkustrap did was go ring shopping. he wanted to make sure he wanted to get something special for demeter. she deserved nothing but the best. secretly, munkustrap had been saving money for while for an engagement ring for demeter. so he had the funds to do so. but choosing a ring was hard.
eventually munkustrap find a ring he felt would be great and most importantly demeter would love. it took a few days for it be sized for demeter but soon munkustrap got it and nwo came the hard point. not to let demeter find out or see the ring.
when munkustrap came home from the jewelry store demeter was thankfully taking kiki to get her hair cut so the house was empty.  munkustrap carefully tucked the ring box in a special place where he knew demeter wouldn’t look and kiki would not find it either. 
munkustrap worked on the proposal as he wanted it to be special. of course he wanted to involve kiki in the proposal, or at least have her there. the proposal was more than just about him and demeter getting married. it was about the little family that include the two of them together and how they’d be bonded forever. 
during munkustrap’s planning somehow tugger had found the hidden engagement ring munkustrap was going to give to demeter. this caused munkustrap to panic. 
his brother was not to be the best at keeping secrets. hell when he told tugger that he was going to be a dad, tugger had accidentally let the secret slip even though munkustrap and graciette had only told a couple of people the news. 
so munkustrap was worried his brother was going to accidentally spill the beans about the proposal. he was hoping that tugger would not let the thing slip as he wanted this to be special and not have the news be spilled too early. 
tugger seemed happy about munkustrap proposing though. he and demeter had a rocky start at getting along at first but after some the two had started to get along great and were like brother and sister. 
“it is about time you proposed brother. i am happy for you.” tugger had said giving his brother on the pack.
munkustrap worried as demeter was in the next room with kiki helping the toddler get dressed so she could go have a fun day with tugger and misto as munkustrap and demeter were helping one of their friends pack up their house so they could move.
“shhh...i don’t want demeter to know. you have to promise me you will not tell anyone to know. especially demeter. so i am begging you to stay quiet.” munkustrap said. “i will do anything for you to keep this secret.”
after a lot of begging and a bit of bribery munkustrap was able to get tugger to be quiet.. and just in time as kiki came running out of her room crying out for her uncle tugger to hold her as demeter walked behind kiki. 
munkustrap was thankful that tugger did keep his end of the bargain and did not spill the beans on the proposal.  this helped munkustrap tremendously as it helped him keep this under wraps.
eventually munkustrap had what he felt was the perfect plan together and was ready to propose. he decided to propose to demeter when they went to their favorite restaurant with kiki.
it was the first place they had gone out to on a date and where they had eaten he first time they took kiki out with them. so the restaurant meant a lot to them and their little family. 
the actual day of the proposal, munkustrap told demeter he had made reservations for the three of them to have dinner at their favorite restaurant that night. 
demeter asked "what’s the occasion?” as usually they tended to go for special occasions such as date nights or family dinners. 
munkustrap just shrugged and said “I want to treat my 2 favorite girls to a nice dinner. plus i think it would be nice to go as the three of us. it has been a while since it was just three of us at dinner.”
demeter eventually agreed and everything was set now. munkustrap got himself and kiki ready letting demeter get ready knowing she took longer and he did not want to rush her. 
he dressed kiki in a nice dress, courtesy of her auntie bomba.  and he got dressed in a nice short and pants. the one thing munkustrap did struggle with though was kiki’s hair. he struggled to get kiki to sit still and eventually once demeter was done she had to take over as usually she was the one to do kiki’s hair. 
once the trio was ready they left for the restaurant. in his pocket munkustrap had the ring and he was getting a bit nervous. this was actually happening. ‘
the staff knew munkustrap and demeter well and took them and kiki to a table, having gotten a booster seat ready for kiki. once kiki had some crayons nd a coloring booklet she was perfectly happy. 
the staff was in on the proposal as munkustrap had called the owner and asked if they could help with the proposal. and they had been more than happy to help them. 
the meal was great and munkustrap was happy that kiki was eating all of her food. even eating the little bit of salad he had put on her plate. usually kiki put up quite the fight about eating her veggies so this was a big deal. 
because kiki had done so good munkustrap told kiki they could get a little dessert which made the toddler happy. munkustrap was going to be proposing during dessert so kiki eating all of her food and veggies was the perfect cover. 
when demeter took kiki to sue the bathroom munkustrap took a deep breath and felt his heart pounding a bit as he was nervous now that this was going to be happening. even though he didn’t think demeter would say np, he was still nervous. 
once kiki and demeter came back, the manager came out giving them the desserts and told them to enjoy. the manager gave munkustrap a look that said ‘good luck’ as he put the sweets on the table. 
munkustrap took the ring box out of his pocket and held it in his hand ready to propose. by this point demeter had noticed there was a message written on her plate in meted chocolate. it spelled out ‘will you marry me?’ she thought it was  mistake at first 
but that was when she saw munkustrap was down on one knee with a ring. this caused demeter to gasp in shock and she teared up a bit. she truly couldn’t believe this was happening. 
“demeter from the day we met i knew we would always be in each other’s life. first as my friend and now you have made me the happiest man in the world. you have shown me what true love is and allowed me to experience true happiness that i never felt before. 
you were willing to take me as i am and love me for who i am and i am forever grateful for that. i enjoy everything about you and i am so lucky that to have you in my life. 
but most importantly you were willing to accept my daughter as your own and . i could not ask for a better mother for my precious kiki. you were ok with me being a single dad and didn’t care.  
i truly cannot imagine my life with out you in it and love the little family we have created. so demeter will you marry me?” munkustrap asked smiling widely. 
demeter was in tears still and it was easy to tell she was surprised but so happy. kiki was not quite sure what was happening but she was excited because she could tell her mama and daddy were happy. 
several other sin the restaurant had noticed and all were watching, and several of the staff members had stopped to watch the proposal.   
“yes! of course i will marry you!” demeter said wiping away her tears with the back of her thumb. 
munkustrap smiled and took the ring out sliding it onto demeter’s ring finger. it fit perfectly and it looked so beautiful on demeter.
after this munkustrap and demeter shared a kiss as the onlookers who had watched clapped and a couple of them cheered for the very happy coupe. munkustrap had a few tears of joy in his eyes. he was so happy.
demeter was just as happy and she wiped away the last of her tears. this truly was the best day of her entire life and was so happy that she was going to spend the rest of her life with munkustrap. 
once everything had calmed down kiki asked munkustrap and demeter “mama? daddy? what happen? why everyone cheer? and why daddy get on the floor and why you cry mama?”
demeter explained what had happened to kiki and what it meant. “it means we get to be a family forever. what do you think of that?” demeter asked smiling down at kiki. 
kiki smiled really widely at this, her little face beaming happily. “i happy!” she told her parents. 
this munkustrap happy and he leaned over kissing kiki on the top of her head. “me too baby girl, i am happy too.”
and that was the truth because it meant his little family would be bonded and he couldn’t wait for the rest of his life with his family to begin. 
alright that is part 81! let me know what you guys thought and i will see you all for part 82 and the 2nd part of this mini series!
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tangotechnologies · a year ago
20. things you said that i wasn’t meant to hear
Soda doesn’t let people in. Figuratively, but literally, too. Their penthouse is off-limits to basically everyone but Rome and a handful of coworkers as near as she can figure, and their study, library, archive, whatever it was—the long room with all the bookshelves and glass cabinets—was even less forgiving.
Point is, it’s unlocked, which surprises her.
They’re out of the house for something job-related—top-secret, an urgent call from their handler, Rome wasn’t allowed to know. She’s fine with that, but she’s a little bored. The place is barren. Nothing but white walls, windows, and glass furniture. If that wasn’t a heavy-handed metaphor, she thinks.
She has nothing to do but go exploring, so she does. It feels a little invasive, but she figures Soda must have trusted her enough to leave her alone in the house. She isn’t sure if she should be flattered or not.
It’s technically two stories, but the second is better described as a series of mezzanines than a real floor, taken up mostly with dens and absurd bathrooms; a modest thing when compared to some of the penthouses she’s seen in pictures. Still more than a single person could ever have use for, though. She’s also seen pools in more than a few, so that’s what she’s looking for—it hadn’t been on the patio, though that had been the pleasantest place by a long shot, or even the gym.
Their “archive” was the last place she’d looked—it didn’t make much sense, but then again, sometimes the magazines did show private pools in long windowless hellscapes. She didn’t know. She wasn’t rich.
There is not a pool in it, though it could have comfortably fit one.
It’s the only room in the house that looks lived-in, and still, then, like a museum or trade-show floor more than a home. She’d wager the fact it spanned both floors’ height had something to do with that.
She had seen glimpses before, but being in the room alone was a different matter entirely. It was intimidating. Human skulls and ancient bones stared at her from behind glass doors, on display beside a lifetime’s worth of war artifacts and half a dozen kinds of memorabilia she couldn’t recognize. Almost all of it was inscribed with Octarian. She didn’t look.
There was a desk with an old-fashioned computer at one end, and a staircase to a “second floor”—a half-story furnished like a proper nook—at the other. What catches her attention is the long wood tables lined down the center. If they were furnished with cabinet drawers and boxes, they were carpeted with paper—notebook scraps and printed packets, yellowed booklets, authentic salt-stained scrolls. She picks a packet up. It’s a blog post also written in Octarian, detailing some cultural celebration. Soda managed to print out the website formatting with it.
Another crinkled scrap has a handwritten recipe. One packet is held together with rusted staples on top, covered in typewritten font and marked with a date from fifty years ago. Rome has no idea what she’s looking at.
After a moment’s hesitation, she fishes around in one of the smaller boxes instead. Maybe there’s a translation, or at least something in Inkling. It’s beat-up, its label scribbled out with thick black marker, but she doesn’t think much of it. Her fingers close around something smooth, small and plastic, which she tugs out for a better look.
It’s a cheap tape recorder—the kind you could buy for a 160 G at a convenience store. She clicks the play button, half-expecting it to whir silently, but a voice chirps to life as if it’d been waiting.
“A—gent Three, reporting FO—R DUTY!!”
She drops it like it’d burst into flames and with an awful clatter.
It’s tinny. Crackling. Choked with background noise. But she knows that voice—fifteen year-old Soda’s drawl that splits the silence gleefully, already talking a mile a minute. Rome has to struggle to recollect herself.
“—so I left it rottin’. A—nyway, nothin’ real to report. Dipshits don’t know how to come back at a killer like me, bitch! Killer like badass, I mean. ‘Course. Their leader’s all locked up with me and they can’t do jack shit about it! So I mean to say, it’s been quiet. I’m just fuckin’ around. More worried ‘bout the date I got tonight!”
Soda’s voice hesitates here, which is good, because Rome is reeling.
Fifteen—the summer they’d spent living with Rome, the one they’d spent disappearing and making excuses. For their cryptic ‘agent work’. So this was— She had learned in the end, the night Soda came limping home with their legs cut open. She’d treated their wounds and waited for them. But they’d never told her anything.
“If I’m bein’ honest, it makes me nervous. I don’t know if they’re planning something. Not that I won’t gut ‘em like fishes if they try and pull a fast one on me, but I got me things to worry about, you fuckers.”
She thought it had ended with the broadcast. After they’d come home for the first time in days, bruised and hardly coherent, they’d brushed past her fussing to turn on Inkopolis News. It was past midnight. She’d waited for them. She’d sat on the couch with Soda dozing in her lap, the flickering television the only light, watching the Squid Sisters announce the Great Zapfish had ‘mysteriously’ returned. Soda smelled like iron.
They’d insisted it was nothing worth worrying about. Told her they were still the same girl they used to be.
Rome still saw the changes. Darker lines under their eyes. Always looking over their shoulder. All she could do was hold out a hand that they never took.
“You ain’t gonna keep me from enjoyin’ all that surface life has to offer! If I miss another date I’m on my roomie’s hit-list—boy, would she light me up if she knew all I got up to. But you poor jealous shmucks ain’t got a chance in hell to get me for that!”
She sinks into Soda’s chair without noticing.
A few inches from her hand, the tape recorder clicks, whirs, and clicks again.
“Is this—? Okay. Uhh... Fuck, I don’t know what was on it.”
Soda’s voice—older now—pauses, as if weighing the possibilities, and comes to the conclusion that whatever it was isn’t worth preserving.
“I’m tryin’ to find old stuff for Tartar... Can’t remember the last time I used one of these. Started keepin’ logs on paper instead after Octavio taught me how.”
There’s an intermission of rustling, and their voice sounds farther off when they speak again. Rome can’t place how old they must be—a few years at least, their voice less like it’d been at fifteen and closer to what it was now: low, roughened, and mellow.
“Must’ve been when I was still living with Rome.”
She can hear the melancholy in it.
Soda huffed a laugh from years ago. “Dammit. What a fuckin’ mess I made of that. ... Not like I could’ve done anything else. ... Like, was I in love with her? So much. Would the Octos have used that against me? Wouldn’t put it past ‘em.”
Then they move on. Like it wasn’t important. Start talking about a place called the Deepsea Metro—Rome isn’t listening anymore. After awhile, the recorder clicks off again.
Her hands are clammy. Trembling. Soda keeps their house ten degrees colder than it should be. She stands and in the same motion picks the tape up and drops it back in the box unceremoniously. It doesn’t matter to her if they figure out she’d found it.
She shoves the chair out from under her and darts from the room with its rows of empty-eyed skulls. In the quiet white hall outside, she catches her breath.
Their infatuation hadn’t come as a surprise—not that it wasn’t jarring to hear. They’d never been good at hiding things. She’d thought. They’d told her once they kept the penthouse a secret because they didn’t want people making assumptions. If others knew, they’d think Soda was just another rich person using common man tactics, but it had just happened to come with the job. They’d confided, smiling sideways, that letting her know had been an accident.
Soda doesn’t let people in. Literally, but figuratively, too.
You liar. You don’t feel bad at all.
You’re just scared someone’s gonna see you for what you think you really are.
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dangerouslcve · a year ago
Unforgiven - Taron Egerton
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Pairing: Taron Egerton x reader
Warnings: None.
Summary: There is something so achingly familiar about Taron Egerton. He captures your attention from the moment you see him at Rada, your new acting school. He is the one bright spot in a place where people are constantly judged, the students and staff are rude, and security cameras watch your every move.  
Except Taron wants nothing to do with you- he goes out of his way to make that very clear. But you can't ignore nor shake the feeling that you know him. You were being drawn to like a moth to a flame. You need to find out what Taron is so desperate to hide, even if it shatters you...
Read previous chapters on Wattpad @ kayegerton
Chapter Two - The Perfect Strangers
    You stepped into the fluorescent lit lobby of Rada five minutes later than you should have. A tall elegant woman with a leather booklet clamped under her arm was already giving orders to the group of kids standing before her, which meant you were already behind.
"Remember it goes class, theater arts, then dorms. I do not want teens roaming these halls after curfew." She says using a firm tone with them. The kids nod along. "You can pay for your student housing after class." she says before removing the leather booklet out from under her arm looking down. She had to have been late forties. You hurried to slip in with the group tucking a strand of hair behind your ear. You were still getting used to this whole school swap, apparently you weren't the only one enrolled here, the group of well dressed kids in front of you gave that away. This school was so much more different than the school your parents had sent you to in Scotland. The 'Royal Conservatoire of Scotland'. You had made many friends there but of course your parents wanted the best education for you and sent you to a school where only rich kids went. Rada. You weren't fond of this idea, working around rich kids who only think about themselves but you couldn't say or do anything to change your parents mind. Once it was made up their was no changing it whatsoever.
"I'm sorry could you repeat that? Class, theater arts and..." you trail off not sure what the woman said afterwards. She raises an eyebrow looking up from her papers. The kids in front of you glance your way.
"Glad you could join us Miss Y/L." She says and you feel your cheeks heat up in embarrassment. You hated being called out in front of everyone. You smile nervously watching her shake her head squaring her shoulders.
"Class, theater arts, and dorms. If you are staying in the dorms you must pay the fee with this lovely lot after your after noon classes. Theater starts starts in the evening. I suggest you check your schedule, it was written on their." she says and the kids around you begin having hushed conversations. You nod looking over at the office where the money for student housing would go.
"Got it." you felt your stomach heave. How much would you have to pay for student housing? It's not like you could go home every night. It was a seven hour drive from Bloomsbury to your home back in Glasgow. You wish you could go home, already within two minutes of being at Rada you were treated as if you were mentally disabled. For three years now people treated you like you were an invalid because of what happened. You were stuck in a hospital for two months straight going through awful treatments to prove your quasi-stability after the two months so you wouldn't have to go in for those brain scans each month for a year afterwards. You were actually surprised your parents enrolled you into drama school and not some reform school in America or a medical institution because you were 100% they thought you were insane at some point during 2007.
You sneaked a peek at the two other students who were standing away from the group. They were dressed in all black, the beautiful blonde standing beside the boy with untamed hair looked your way and flashed a smile and waved at a boy in the group of kids you slipped in behind. On your first day at the royal conservatoire you met your best friend Allie during the tour of the school. She had been the most outgoing one of the group of people, her personality fit yours perfectly. You missed her terribly and wished at this moment you were back in Scotland with her rather than being here at a school where everyone knows everyone and you feel like the outcast of the bunch. You were certain if Allie were here with you at Rada this would have gone smoother and you would have been so much more excited than how you felt right now. She would have been at your side the whole time cracking jokes about the other students or the Teacher who was scribbling something down in her booklet. You and Allie never left each others sides. Well... That was until you both had to.
At your side today were two girls and a boy. The girl next to you was easy to figure out, tall blonde perfect skin. She extended a manicured hand to you and flashed a toothy smile. You took it giving her a confused look.
"I'm Olivia." she says shaking your hand before her smile fades as she pulls her hand away. Her waning interest in you was evident when she turned on her heel walking to the couple matching in black. She was like the British version of the girls who attended the royal conservatoire. You couldn't tell if you should feel comforted by this or not. Beside you a short boy with black hair and freckles stood watching the door, looking as if he were to be expecting someone any minute to barge through the main doors. You pity anyone who does, they will be lectured by the Walmart version of the queen. The boy to your left stood with his arms crossed over his chest, his hair slicked back watching the teacher speak. He black long sleeve shirt hugged his muscles. When he caught your gaze he held it. His piercing blue eyes staring into yours and you feel froze to your spot not able to look away from those beautiful eyes. His pale skin practically glowed under the lighting making him just that more gorgeous.  A loud clearing throat noise echoed through the halls and you looked back at the teacher in front of the group. A blush spread across your cheeks as you glance at the beautiful boy next to you again. He was still staring at you.
"You will receive a limited amount of phone time each night. The rest of the time you will be very busy, I'm sure." she states narrowing her eyes at you before walking over to the table with a box sat on it. "Dump your belongings here after that you all are excused." she says holding the booklet to her chest before her eyes land on you. "Except for you. Y/n stay with me." she says and you nod walking over to her with the group watching everyone dump their belongings into the box before walking off talking. You sigh dumping your belongings into the box. Your phone still in your pocket. "You forgot your phone. Look, you get an hour of phone privileges every night. You will be alright." she smiles. Her first kind gesture since you arrived.  You take your phone out of your pocket looking at the texts before you drop your phone in with your belongings.
Call us when you can darling, if you get any headaches tell them. They know what has happened. We love you. - m & d xx
You sigh. Of course the teachers know, seems like everyone knows about what happened that night. You scroll down and find a text from Allie.
Please call me every night, I want to know everything about Rada. I love you! See you in a couple months Cariad! x
You smile softly at the text before you drop your phone into the box feeling your stomach drop. You were truly alone now. The teacher lays a hand on your shoulder and smiles.
"Don't worry, you will get it back. Don't try to sneak it. We watch your every move." Jesus maybe this is a reform school.
"Ouuu they are watching you!" a girl says over my shoulder as if she were telling a ghost story. You turn around noticing a tall thin girl with black locks that fall around her shoulders. Her eyes dance with excitement.
"Bugger off Azalea." The woman says grinning a bit, they must get along well. Azalea searches  her pocket for a moment before pulling out her middle finger acting surprised. The woman sighs beside you shaking her head. "Just for that you get to give this dearie a tour of the grounds."
"Wonderful. I was just thinking I could use a new slave." she smirks tapping her lips with her index finger. The woman beside you rolls her eyes jotting down furious notes before she looks over at you again.
"If you have anymore personal belongings dump them in or you will serve detention." She raises and eyebrow an you pat yourself down to show her you have nothing else on you. She nods before you hear Azalea laugh under her breath. The boy who stood beside you dumped his things into the boxes. Lots of electronics... "Save yourself the trouble." she glancing at you before turning her attention to the Drama school bad boy. Azalea laughs under her breath behind you as he dumps his belongings. His head shoots up.
"Azalea." He says evenly.
"Cam." she replies. You turn to Azalea.
"You know him?" you whisper curiously. She glances at him.
"Please... Don't remind me." she groans pulling you away from the teacher. You look over your shoulder, you notice he is watching you go with a smirk on his face. You both exit the building and into the school yard which was surprisingly overgrown and not exactly kept the nicest. "So what do you think of of she-man back there." you laugh quietly following her to a stage area outside. "Woman or man?"
"Woman. Is this a test?" you say hopping up onto the stage beside her. She looks at me grinning.
"Yes. One of many. You passed that one though." she frowns before she continues on with what she was saying, "That building over there in the field with the other stage is Bliss. That's what we students call it anyway," she shrugs "That is where we have social night on Fridays and some of our classes." The building had a modern look to it, almost like it came out of 2020.
"So we meet up at the end of the week there and perform?" you ask watching her pull out a pair of scissors she must have taken out of the hazards box next to the box for your belongings. This felt more like a school for kids under lock down than drama school. Maybe this is why your parents sent you here instead of keeping you at the school in Scotland. You sigh, missing your dog and best friend more than ever right now.
"Yep. Fair warning, you will hate the classes here. You wouldn't be human if you did not. The only fun thing is theater. You never know what you will learn and you my dear have come just in time because in two days you get to witness these nut jobs perform in Bliss." she smiles handing you the scissors she took out of her pocket. You look at her confused and she turns away from you. "Cut my hair like yours."
"What?" you gasp. Had she really just asked you that?
"Cut my hair like yours. I like it, it's sexy and edgy and I want it." she says looking out at the yard of kids who were  looking at papers and talking.
"But Azalea your hair is so beautiful.." it was true her hair shined under the sun which meant this girls hair meant more to her than this school.
"Oh fiddle faddle. Chop Chop dearie." she says in a posh British accent making you chuckle as you weigh the scissors in your hand. You had only cut hair a handful of times from what you can remember. You cut Allies hair after she broke up with her boyfriend of two years but that was the only person you remember cutting hair for. "Don't tell me you have never cut hair before." she sighs exasperated.
"No I have." when you were younger. Which you don't remember.
"Well then chop chop. We haven't got much time. Your first class starts in 20 minutes." She hands you the hair tie over her shoulder, you hesitantly take it before pulling her hair back into a loose pony where you begin to cut evenly. The hair falls to the old stage floor and she gasps turning around picking it up. You sit quiet for a moment before you watch a smile spread across her face as she turns back around. "Good job. Keep going."
You continue to cut her hair in a peaceful silence before you notice a large scar on her shoulder. You stop and stare at the scar being reminded of the one you have on the side of your head. You tried your best to remember what had happen that night but it was useless. You couldn't remember and you never would remember.
"Azalea... Your shoulder it's-"
"Scarred? Yeah I know." she takes your hand and presses it gently to the scar you could feel how deep it went into her skin, it was warm almost hot. "You scared of it?" She teases and you shake your head slowly feeling close to a memory before it disappears entirely.
"No." you answer pulling your hand away before you continue cutting at her hair. "How did you get it?"
"Remember when you clam up when someone asks you how you got that gash on the side of your head." she says and you look away nodding. She takes her hands through her hair. "Touch up the back. Make me real pretty, make me look like you." she says turning away and you gape at her. 'Make me look like you.'
You cut the last piece and sit back admiring your work. You did really good, it was almost like your mind took over and did it for you. "Your haircut is done." you finally say laying the scissors down on the wooden stage.
"Sweet." she says turning around taking the scissors and throwing them into her bag along with her hair. You didn't even know she brought a bag. "Come on, I will give you the rest of our grand tour before we head to class." You didn't have much choice. You scramble off the stage dropping onto the ground wiping off your hands before you follow her. "Inside is our state of the art gymnasium, this place is basically a school just for teens who want to be actors and actresses. One of the actors who used to go here donated a shit ton of money to make that gymnasium. Must have been one of those work out freaks." You groaned. Gym class was never your forte. "Sis on my dead body. Coach Bragg's is Satan in the flesh."
You laughed as you had to practically jog to keep up with the strange girl in front of you. The lawn in the area close to the school had been well taken care of, but now it was starting to become overgrown in some areas.
"I know what your thinking, for a rich school like this they could at least get someone to take care of the grounds. Trust me they do. She-man in there is head of the school and she is a neat freak. She is absolutely furious with the team of people we have every two weeks come out and take care of this place. It's been about two months since they came out. I'm pretty sure they are done with her." Z laughs and you chuckle. "Anyways, we come out here a lot us outcasts and hang with each other. It's one big pharmapalooza."
That was a word you recognized well. Z snorts.
"So someone is home, I saw a light go on up there. Well my dear Y/n you may have seen other drama school parties but you have never seen Rada kids throw a party."
"What is the difference?" you asked curiously. Surely they would be the same, its just parties. You had never actually been to the parties at the royal conservatoire
"You'll see." she pauses before turning around to face you laying a hand on your shoulder. "You'll come over and hang out tonight okay?" she smiles and you are taken by surprise with the invitation. "Promise?"
"Thought I was just your slave" you joke and she smirks.
"Rule number two, don't listen to me." she laughs "I'm certifiably insane!" she pats your shoulder started her quick walk again and you trail behind her sighing. Wait.
"What is rule one?"
"Keep up!"
She skids to a halt and you have to jump out of the way before you run into her slamming your calf into a stone bench making you clench your teeth. "Cool."
"Cool." you repeat through clenched teeth taking a look around at the kids standing in groups talking. Most of them were violating the dress code which you had read when your parents had drove you here because you had nothing better to do. A group of guys dressed in black hoodies taking puffs out of the cigarettes that rested in between their lips or pointer and index finger. You could tell they already thought they were the shit. You rub your calf as your eyes land on a group of girls whispering with each other as they mess with their hair. You were surprised they did not get detention with those clothes they were wearing. The sideways glance from the blonde with pounds of makeup on made you quickly advert your glance to a guy and girl who were hugging each other. They looked like they were meant to be... Then you realized it was the couple from inside who were kissing and hugging each other.
Azalea noticed your eyes running all over the kids who stood outside in groups talking.
"We all do what we can to make it through these tiring days." she says taking a seat on the bench underneath the magnolia patting the spot next to her for you. You wiped away a mound of wet leaves and flowers that fell off the tree, but just before you sat down you noticed another dress code violation.
A very attractive dress code violation.
He wore a black leather jacket over his white shirt, a red scarf around his neck as his ray bans covered his eyes from the sun. He was all that you could look at, in fact everything else paled in comparison and for one long moment you forgot about everything.
You took in his golden brown hair and his matching tan skin. His high cheekbones, his sharp jawline, the soft shape of his lips. In all the books you had read the love interest was always mind blowingly gorgeous except for that one little flaw. The small gap in his canines, that small curl at the end of his hair, and the mole on his neck. He'd risk being unapproachable.  But approachable or not, you always had a weakness for extremely attractive men. Like this guy.
He leaned up against the brick wall of the building his arms crossed over his chest and for a split second an image flashed in your head you saw yourself folded into those arms. You shook your head but the vision stayed so clear you almost took off after him. No. This was crazy. Right? You were well aware that this instinct was absolutely insane. You didn't even know this guy.
He talked to a shorter guy next to him with a toothy smile like most of the kids here. They were laughing so hard and so genuine, it made you weirdly jealous. She tried to remember the last time she laughed that hard, being so carefree and happy but as always she couldn't remember.
"That's Taron Egerton." Z says crossing her feet at the ankle stuffing her hands in her pockets watching you closely. "Seems like he captured someones attention."
"Understatement." you agree, suddenly feeling embarrassed at how much of a fool she must have looked like a fool to Azalea.
"Well.. I mean if you like that sort of thing."
"What's not to like." you say honestly look over at Azalea who let a breathy laugh past her lips shaking her head.
"The kid next to him, is Roland. He has been here the longest. He has been here before me, that's saying a lot. He is cool though, he has some sticky fingers though anything you want he will get it for you. He knows this school system like the back of his hand so he is an expert." you nod along with what she is saying before turning your attention back to the two boys leaning against the wall.
"What about Taron? What's his story?"
"Oh she doesn't give up." she talks to herself before she exhales. "No one really knows to be honest. Came here from Wales around the same time I did. He holds pretty tight to his mysterious man persona. Could just be your typical College asshole." she shrugs and you scoff.
"I'm no stranger to assholes." you say. The first guy you met at your school in Scotland was a dickhead but ended up becoming your best friend. You missed Richard and Allie they always knew how to make your laugh somehow.
You glanced again at Taron. He took his glasses off and slid them inside the pocket of his jacket before he turned to look at you. His gaze caught yours, you watched his eyes widen and then quickly narrow in surprise. When Taron held your gaze, your breath caught in your throat. You recognized him from somewhere. But surely you would remember meeting someone like him who was so handsome. You would remember the feeling of how absolutely shaken up you were like you were now.  You realized you still locking eyes, he flashed you a smile and a jet of warmth shot through your body and you couldn't help the smile that spread across your face but then he raised his hand in the air
and flipped you off.
You gasped and looked away.
"What?" Azalea asks oblivious to what had just happen looking up at you. "Never mind. We don't have time. I sense the bell." As if on cue the bell rang and everybody begins to walk inside talking. Azalea tugs on your hand talking about where to meet her next and when but you were still reeling at the fact you just got sent the bird by such a perfect stranger. Your feelings of getting flipped off by Taron vanished and now all that remained was the thought of what the hell was this guys problem?
Just before you went into your first class, you dared to glance  back. His face was blank, but there was no mistaking it... he was watching you go.
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halfway-happyyy · a year ago
Okay... so I spent a good portion of yesterday putting together a baby bouncer toy for my 4 month old nephew that just did not want to be put together at all. Now I can’t stop thinking of Alex with a pregnant s/o and coming home to find her trying and failing to put together a baby toy and she’s just really frustrated. Alex is all like “babe it’s okay. I’ll do it” but he ends up having a hard time with it as well. Do you think you could write something for this?
Hi friend! This was a cute suggestion, so thanks for sending it in! Hope you enjoy 💕tw: pregnancy
“What have you got on the go today, kid?”
You glanced out the garden window, at the rain hammering down on your plants and you breathed a near-silent sigh of relief. “Not much… except that I’m going to be ambitious and put together the bright stars baby bouncer mum and dad bought us.”
Alexander whistled on the other end. “Ambitious is right… we’re not due for another two months.”
We. As if pushing a nine-pound baby out of your body was something he had in common with you.
Arching your back, you waddled over to the coffee maker and took the coffee that had been poured for you a few moments ago. “Yeah well these next two months are going to absolutely fly by, Alex.”
“This whole thing has flown by, kid. Feels like just yesterday you found out you were pregnant.” Somebody on the other end could be heard saying something to Alexander and he cleared his throat. “I’ve got to get back to the meeting, but I’ll be home in good time tonight, okay? We can do dinner together.”
You smiled at the thought of it. “Sounds good, babe. See you then.” You allowed yourself a few more tentative sips of the warm liquid before you and your dog Milo headed out into the living room to start unboxing the bouncer. “How hard could this be, hm?” You asked to no one in particular as you scratched behind the dog’s velvet-soft ears. “In two months, I’m going to have a living, breathing, pooping, crying creature in my care… this is going to be a piece of cake, hey Milo?” An hour passed and all you had managed to put together was the frame of the bouncer and even then- it seemed dodgy. Possibly too dodgy for a baby. So, you took a deep breath and began to take the metal frame apart. You then scoured Youtube for fifteen minutes for a tutorial and to your utmost pleasure and surprise, there was a how-to video for your exact model. You tried to follow along as best you could but there was something that just was not working for you. Maybe the model was defective? Maybe you needed to box the entire thing up and bring it back to BabiesRUs? You had been about to admit defeat- at almost seven months pregnant, this was the last thing you wanted to be doing on a rainy Thursday afternoon. But then you considered how satisfying it would feel to conquer the Everest of baby bouncers and you set right back to work. It was going better than it had the first time- pieces were fitting into place, metal poles were sliding into the right holes and just when you figured you were starting to get somewhere, it started to come apart. Another two hours had managed to edge by you, and you were ready to walk away.
“Honey, I’m home!”
You doubt you had ever been more relieved to hear Alexander’s voice than right in this moment. “I’m in here,” You sighed, utterly dejected. You could make out the familiar sound of his keys in the glass dish in the front hallway, and the sound of desert boots as they hit the back of the wall in the front hall closet.
“Well, that wrapped up way quicker than what I had originally planned- woah,” He murmured when he caught site of you, splayed out on the hardwood floor. “You’re still working on this?”
“Yes, Alexander. I’m still working on this.” It held much more venom than you had intended it to, but if it bothered him, he never let it show.
“Okay- let me just change into some different clothes and I will uh… I’ll get right down on the floor and help you.” He gestured to the bedroom down the hall and disappeared.
When he returned, he was clad in a pair of worn denim jeans and a holey t shirt. “Alright, kid. Let’s do this. How hard can it be?”
A puff of air escaped your mouth in exasperation, and you shrugged your shoulders expectantly. “That’s exactly what I said when I began this godforsaken endeavor.” You picked absentmindedly at a spot of polish on your fingernail and lifted your gaze to his. “Alex… if I can’t put together a baby bouncer, how the hell am I going to care for an actual baby?” Your voice had begun to falter, the threat of tears prickled in your eyes.
“Oh baby,” Alexander leaned over to you and threw an arm around your shoulders protectively. “Don’t do this to yourself.” He pressed his lips to the top of your head. “I think they make these things purposefully difficult to assemble, you know? Like they’re testing us.” He reached for the instruction booklet beside you and flipped through it, determinedly. “Together, we’ll get through this.”
“Your excessive positivity towards this is kind of turning me on,” You sniffled.
Alexander wiggled his eyebrows seductively. “We’ll get this thing set up in no time, and then I can show you just how positive I can really be…”
Another hour had cinched by and like you, he had felt the need to dismantle the entire thing again. “Alex, I’m telling you I did the same thing, I think we just need to watch the tutorial again.”
His face dropped. “There’s a tutorial?”
“Uh… yeah.”
“You mean to tell me that I’ve been tinkering with this thing for over an hour and there is a Youtube tutorial for it?”
You nodded. “It’s not that great, but you might find it more useful than I did.”
Alexander took a deep breath and pulled it up on his phone. “If this doesn’t work, we’re packing it up and returning it.”
He watched the full five-minute video three times before he felt confident enough to begin building it again. You were skeptical about it to begin with; he just was not fitting the pieces into the right spots because they just kept popping back out. Beads of sweat began collecting on his forehead, god knows what his blood pressure was. He swore in Swedish under his breath and tossed the instruction book halfway across the room. You watched, mildly amused, as Milo took flight down the hallway. “Okay, two things.” He whispered through clenched teeth.
He pinched the bridge of his nose between his thumb and forefinger and inhaled a deep breath. “First thing: we are ordering in tonight.” He released a heavy sigh. “Second thing: I know someone perfect for this job. Someone whose patience and positive temperament knows no bounds.” Alexander leaned towards you to press a kiss to your burgeoning bump. “This, my little beach ball, is a job for uncle Gustaf.”
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lastchancevillagegreen · a year ago
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Also In Today’s Post Wednesday, 19 May 2021:
The third installment of Indicator’s Columbia Noir series.  I’ve been buying these as they are released but I haven’t opened any of them up yet.  I think now is the time to do so.  I’ve been enjoying watching film noir again (for the longest while I gave up on it) but my enthusiasm for the movies that fit the notion of film noir has been increasing. 
I knew my taste for noir would eventually return and when Indicator began releasing these sets either last year I knew I wanted to participate before they vanished.  Indicator is certainly one of the best home video labels in the world and when their titles go out of print, they command top dollar.  All their work is top notch, their booklets are better than anyone (and I do mean anyone) and their bonus features are usually exhaustive.  And while I can’t say I’m a fan, each of one these movies features a Three Stooges short that involves the tropes and cliches of film noir.  I may not be a Stooges fan, but you can bet I’ll be watching them.
Before I do crack them open, I’ll need to get through that box set of Andy Milligan films from Severin.  There are so many great home video boutique labels in the world today it is impossible to buy everything you desire.  You really have to be choosy today who you buy from and what you buy or else your home will be overrun with DVDs and Blu-Rays!  I’m a physical media person but more and more I am choosing streaming over ownership.  I hate to say that, but there it is.
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ecofinisher · a year ago
The adventures of Super Nathan 4 - Chap 5
Chapter  5 
The next day the kids were attending school and they were attending language lesson learning along with the teacher the alphabet.
„Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z,“ The teacher finished counting the letters along with the students, then smiled at how well the kids had memorized the alphabet. „Very well kids. You all have progressed really quickly. You must have practiced a lot at home, right?“ Questioned the teacher watching all students nod. „Super, so this means we‘re all one step ahead of Mrs. Vergas‘ class,“ Mrs. Donner joked making a few students chuckle.
„Is Mrs. Vergas from the other first class?“ Asked the raven-haired boy in the first row earning a nod from the teacher.
„Yes Duarte,“ Responded Mrs. Donner. „So I will ask you to take out the new alphabet booklet you all received yesterday. It‘s the blue one with the first three letters of the alphabet,“ Explained the woman watching the students search under their table for the booklet, while she leaned against the desk waiting.
The students had placed their booklet on their table having it opened on the fourth page, which announced the second chapter of the booklet and the teacher picked up her own booklet to show the kids the next page of the chapter, which the kids moved to afterward and waited for the teacher to explain.
„Here you have two columns with words and you have to connect one word from the first column with the other. For example, the first word here is shep. Then you gotta find on the second column, the word that fits here. Do you think the word scaper fits here?“ Questioned the woman watching the kids shake their heads. „What about the word narian?“
„That‘s for word number 7,“ Responded the brunette boy in the first row, which sat in front of Nathalie. „Veterinarian,“
„Very well Jake,“ Complimented the teacher connecting the second word of the second column with the 6th word of the first column. „See, it‘s not that hard,“ Mrs. Donner said, then watched Rouven raise his hand up.
„I know it! I know it!,“ Called the son of Luka making the teacher giggle.
„Yes Rouven,“
„It‘s shepherd,“ Responded the raven-haired boy earning a nod from the teacher.
„Exactly. Well done,“ Answered the teacher. „Now it‘s time for you all to try it on your own,“
The students began to work on their books as the teacher got back to her seat to work on her computer for her school lessons.
Nathalie worked on the task like her other classmates, then looked at Eireen, which already had found four words, then the blonde glanced at the brunette, which looked down at her sheet.
„Is your mom okay?“ Questioned Eireen getting the attention of the brunette girl.
„Yeah,“ Whispered Nathalie. „My dad said everything is alright. She‘s alive,“
„Oh this is good, then“ Eireen commented. „Can we go together to the break?“
„Sure. So far I don‘t have a girl friend. We can be girl friends too,“ Nathalie answered making Eireen smile.
„Cool,“ Eireen responded, then she looked at the other students doing their tasks and moved on hers along with her desk mate.
Nathaniel sat in the office behind the comic book store sorting out mangas out of a box, then carried them out to the store crossing the entire room to go to the manga section, and began to spread them out to its specific place. Nathaniel heard a ringing as the door opened and the redhead noticed Rose Lavillant enter into the store looking around for Nathaniel, which she found then she made her way towards the tall man and embraced him.
„Hey Nath, how are you doing?“ Questioned Rose watching Nathaniel continue to sort the books on the shelf.
„I‘m fine,“ Nathaniel responded. „Not to 100% but sufficient to handle the day,“
„You know I asked the others at the work if I could leave earlier so I could accompany you to the hospital to see Lila. You‘re okay with that?“
„I‘m fine. Thanks for your offer“ Nathaniel responded, then Rose placed her hand on his shoulder to pat it.
„When she gets better the next couple of days she will be back home to rest for a few more weeks until her arm is better. You and Nathalie will be able to see her more often before she‘s able to get to work again. Which is kinda good cause you can repeat things you weren‘t able to do during the time she was gone…..also you need to do things where she doesn‘t use the broken arm,“
„Yes, I know what you mean,“ Answered the redhead while putting the comic books in order while chatting with the blonde woman. „You know what‘s sad about that accident? The Taxi driver is in a worse state and in a coma which he may not get out of it…….I don‘t even know how Lila escaped that,“
„She had guardian angels watching over her. This is why she‘s still here with us,“
„It‘s funny sometimes. We‘re not really strongly religious like my grandfather used to be in the past, but there are times that I feel god is always around,“
„There I give you right, Nath,“ Confirmed the blonde. „I will head to the supermarket to get some croissants. Shall I bring yours too?“
„It‘s not needed. Marinette brought me this morning some and wanted to make sure I‘m alright,“
„Alright, I‘ll text you when I‘m off,“ Rose mentioned walking towards the exit. „See you this afternoon!“
„See you later, Rose,“ Nathaniel commented waving at the blonde, which afterward left the store.
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roll20 · a year ago
Guest Blog: The Kobold King’s Tour of Tome of Beasts II
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At Kobold Press, we know our monsters—and the Tome of Beasts II Compendium expansion for 5th Edition D&D on Roll20 contains a true menagerie of beasts. It checks all the boxes, from the creatures of the Void to demons, undead, and dungeon crawlers. Frankly, we’ve stuffed this book too full of monsters to fully describe here.
To give you a sense of what’s in this compendium, I'd like to focus on three elements that are well represented in this book; arctic monsters, backers’ monsters, and fantastic familiars and animals.
Friends for Frost Maidens
This first category was born from, honestly, a stroke of luck. While considering themes for Tome of Beasts II, I realized that wintry-flavored monsters could be a nice counterpoint to the desert and jungle themes featured in the first Tome of Beasts. So we commissioned more than 30 of them, from the CR 1/4 harefolk to the CR 24 ancient boreal dragon to the CR 5 ice elemental and snow giant. It’s a great expansion for any winter-themed adventure and any adventure set in Icewind Dale—these are monsters that will surprise and confound players who think they know it all.
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Backer Monsters, Strange and Glorious
One fun element of any Kobold Press monster book is the crazy selection of backer monsters we include in these pages. As always, the competition is brutal to get a monster written and included in the book. This time, backers’ monsters include the chameleon hydra, the ice bogie, and the Conjoined Queens. The latter is a compelling fusion of human and insectoid horror, and trust me: It’s horrifying. 
My personal favorite, though, is the snake with 100 mage hands. But I don’t need to describe it—just look at that art!
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While not every one of these monsters will suit every taste, they bring a ton of variety, high-fantasy strangeness, and just plain fun to the game. Tome of Beasts II’s backer monsters span a wide range of challenge ratings and game design styles, and they bring rich troves of D&D flavor. We can’t wait for you to discover these new voices.
Familiars and Fantasy Animals
Finally, small creatures and the everyday magic of fantasy animals are covered in the first appendix of Tome of Beasts II. This includes many new familiars (aviere, some beetles, a blood imp, the compsognathus dinosaur, the keyhole dragonette, the light drake, and more), as well as ordinary and not-so-ordinary animals. The animals really expand the range of everyday encounters and the options for lower-level encounters. Alligator turtles and balloon spiders are a good start, along with leech swarms and giant honeybees. Frost moles and ghoul bats add something sinister and strange to the Northlands and the lightless caverns below the ground. 
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Then, we get to one of my very favorites in this appendix: the carrier mosquito. Yes, they are what they sound like, and they are no doubt every goblin’s dream flying steed. Getting into the air really changes the equation for goblins who can call such massive insects theirs, and something about a giant mosquito (with all that implies about their attacks) really gets under players’ skins. 
This appendix goes to show you: A monster doesn’t have to be a towering dragon or a CR 21 demon lord to be interesting. For my games, the fantasy animals are going to be getting a workout at the table.
So, there you have it! This has been a quick tour of three portions of Tome of Beasts II, highlighting just a few of the ways that it can expand your game and surprise your most monster-savvy players. 
If you’ve liked what you’ve seen, make haste—there are new monsters to be had! Truly a tour fit for Kobold royalty! You can follow Kobold Press on Twitter here, or keep up with Wolfgang here. Support Kobold Press and their Warlock Booklets project here, and head to their website for all sorts of updates. 
Help us support Code2040! As a tech company, we are striving towards a more equitable industry and one of the ways we’re doing that is with matching donations to Code2040, “a nonprofit activating, connecting and mobilizing the largest racial equity community in tech to dismantle the structural barriers that prevent the full participation and leadership of Black and Latinx technologists in the innovation economy.” Learn more and donate through our Tiltify campaign here: roll20.io/Tiltify-Code2040
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yierknives · a year ago
Should you buy the JBL Flip 3?
Introduction of JBL Flip 3 Bluetooth Speakers
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Time has flown away, and we are already at the third installment of the Flip series from the JBL Company. Sounds like a movie review? Well, yes, but it is not a movie we are reviewing, but a portable Bluetooth speaker. Doesn’t sound so exciting now, am I right? Well buckle up and be ready to be blown away by the specs and features that even movie critics can’t wrap their brains around.
With a splash-proof design, the JBL Flip 3 can brag that it can play your favorite music for up to ten hours. It connects to your Bluetooth device, probably your smartphone and the list doesn’t end here. It can also be used through or with any other device such as the tablet or your personal computer it is compatible with almost everything.
The Bluetooth speaker can be easily carried around as it weighs only 15.9 ounces. You can impress your friends with one of the seven colours available. We prefer the black model, but we will not discuss taste here. You can put in a vertical or horizontal position, whichever you prefer, although, in a vertical position, you will get more bass, just so you know.
A downgrade or a negative point of this speaker when compared to Flip 2, the previous model, is that it doesn’t come with a case, as its older brother did. Other than that, everything seems alright. It is durable and waterproof, perfect for those hot summer days when you go to the pool. The USB and Audio entrances are covered by a flap.
This is the third generation and the cheapest of the current JBL Flip series.This kind of rugged and robust go-anywhere Bluetooth speaker is becoming increasingly popular. There are plenty of new players, but JBL, who’ve been at the party from the start, continues to improve and develop the Flip line.
The latest Flip 3 has seen some significant improvements over the Flip 2. It now comes with more volume and a better battery life. But is this enough to persuade you to part with your hard-earned cash?
JBL has a fairly standard boxing process and that hasn’t changed between the Flip 3 and the previous version, or any other JBL product for that matter. In the orange and white box you’ll get the Flip 3, a bright orange micro USB cable, and the warranty and information booklets.
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Build & Design
Everything is clearer in hindsight, and looking back it was really around the time of the JBL Flip 3 where the company really began to nail down its design philosophy. If you remember the Flip 2, you know that it was basically just a hunk of plastic.
This was the first Flip to introduce the fabric covering which gave it the splashproof build and a way better grip. It also comes with an attached string for hanging from places which came in handy when hanging it from my pack on a hike and also just for hanging it somewhere in the bathroom during a shower. Of course, as the Flip 4 is newer there’s some expanded functionality, like an actual IPX7 waterproof design rather than just a splashproof covering. As far as button placement is concerned, the Flip 3 again blazed the path for the Flip 4 as they have almost identical buttons and functions. That said, it was different from the previous version which had all of its buttons along the top (or the side depending on how you orient the speaker). The Flip 3 has them embedded into the fabric of the speaker and also on the hard plastic portion on the back.
The Bluetooth pairing button, volume controls, and call answer/end button are all found along the side of the speaker blending into the fabric. Along the spine are the power button and the JBL connect button which allows you to connect multiple JBL speakers together. The current version of this feature lets you connect up to 100 speakers together, but unless you have a lot of friends or a lot of money (or both), I don’t see too many people needing to connect more than three. Under that are five small LED lights that let you know how much juice you have left and further down you’ll find the AUX input and micro USB charging port hidden under a sealed flap.
The JBL Flip 3 supports the JBL Connect feature, which by the touch of a button allows you to connect the speaker wirelessly to a maximum of one JBL Connect speaker. Having done so, you can listen to a single audio source through your two speakers.
Other speakers that support the JBL Connect feature include the JBL Extreme, JBL Pulse 2, and the JBL Charge 2 Plus. You can of course also choose to pair the JBL Flip 3 with another Flip 3.
It’s important to note that since the JBL Flip 3 came out JBL has introduced a more advanced version of the Connect feature called Connect+. JBL Connect+ allows you to connect up to 100 speakers together. Unfortunately, JBL Connect and JBL Connect+ are not compatible, so you won’t be able to pair your JBL Flip 3 speaker with one of the newer models (such as the JBL Flip 4).
Battery life
Battery life was another area that JBL improved on when making the Flip 3. When compared to the previous Flip 2 it was a huge improvement. It has a 3000 mAh battery that provides roughly 9.5 hours of constant playback which is going to get you through most of the day without a problem. Of course, the new Flip 4 adds a few hours to that and maxes out at 12 hours of constant playback.
Sound Quality
The JBL Flip 3 speaker has the power to fill a small- or medium-sized room with sound. In fact, compared to other speakers of its size and price, it’s noticeably louder.
The bass fares particularly well from the two built-in 8-watt speakers. JBL has tuned the Flip 3 more to a pop/R&B sound, so if that’s the type of music you’re planning to play the most then it will be the perfect fit.
At higher volumes, there is some distortion in the higher range, so drums such as high hats can sound a little tinny and some of the definition is lost if you push the speaker to its absolute limit. The newer JBL Flip 4 fixes this issue but it’s also slightly larger and slightly heavier.
Due to the small size of the speaker, one can’t expect concert hall levels of sound reproduction and separation, so we must say for its size and its price it’s a great choice, eclipsed only by its successor the JBL Flip 4.
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All in all, the JBL Flip 3 is one of the best value small transportable speakers currently on sale.
There are certainly ones with better water-resistant qualities and ones that offer more power. However, it does a lot for the money, and it does most of it very well indeed. It’s rugged, it has plenty of modern-day connectivity, it’s light, and what’s more, it sounds great for the price.
We think that the latest JBL Flip 3 has improved enough to be well worth your consideration if you’re currently looking for this kind of speaker. If you’re looking for something with more water resistance, better battery life, and more output, it’s worth checking out DinDinModerm to find out.
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● A variety of high-quality Bluetooth speakers are available. ● Delivery from the local warehouse, within 3 days. ● Manufactured in our own factory, cost-effective. ● Excellent pre-sales and after-sales service. ● Free returns ● Excellent materials, safe and durable. ● Pursue innovation and optimize design ● We listen to customer needs and feedback.
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