#And he keeps trying to stab her.
Through a Blade
taegi, vmin | angst, sickfic | 2112 words
warning: blood, descriptions of injury and illness
When it happened, it happened quickly. Taehyung slumped backwards, a loud cry coming from deep within his throat. Yoongi sprang up. His mind spun with all the possibilities of what could have gone wrong.
"Taehyung!" Jimin screamed. He was the one who was next to the second youngest and he ended up seeing everything. Taehyung's blood spilled over his shirt as the blade was removed from him.
Hoseok turned to push the fan - or maybe she wasn't qualified to be called a fan - away. He didn't care if he was being rude, but Taehyung's safety was his first priority. He wanted to scream at her too, yell threats and tell her how horrible of a creature she was, but the staff took it over from there.
The room was chaos. Yoongi ran to the second youngest's side and lifted him up. Taehyung wailed, his eyes filling up with tears and immediately releasing them down his face. Jimin stumbled along beside Yoongi as he got Taehyung into the backstage area. The fansign was over. The fans could go all go home, for all he cared.
Taehyung was laid on the floor. Yoongi took off his sweater, pressing it onto Taehyung, trying to stop the bleeding. The other boys came running in, but he didn't care. He couldn't care. The second youngest's eyes were getting glassy.
"We've called an ambulance-"
"Good," Jimin managed to say at the staff member who came running up.
"Do you know what happened?" Hobeum asked. His face was white.
Jimin shook his head. "Taehyung was talking to someone. She seemed nice. I wasn't really looking at them, but I think she told him to lean closer. Then she hit him."
Hobeum didn't ask any more questions. His face remained pale.
"What did she look like?" Jungkook asked.
"Not our responsibility, I'm sure the staff will take care of that," Namjoon said. "It's our job to make sure that Taehyung is safe."
Despite all their protests, they all weren't allowed to stay in the hospital for Taehyung. In the end, only Yoongi and Jimin were allowed to stay, and even then, they had to stay in a private room and wear masks. The rapper was shaken up. His eyes were wide and his hands were shaking. Jimin tried to calm him down, but it was futile.
"Do-do you think he'll be okay Jimin?"
Jimin smiled nervously at Yoongi. "Of course he will be."
Yoongi sighed. He stared down at his lap. "Why... did she do that? What did Taehyung do to her?"
"I don't know..."
"What did he do to her?"
"I don't know. He was gentle with her when she asked him questions. I can't think of anything that he did wrong."
"But why Taehyung?"
"I don't know."
Jimin adjusted his mask, making sure that his voice was low. "Hyung, he'll be okay. He was brought in quickly. I'm sure he's going to be okay."
"What if he's not?"
"He will be."
Yoongi's eyes widened. He nodded. "He'll be okay. Jiminie said so."
"Is there any news?" Jungkook asked.
Jin shook his head. "I just called Jimin and he said there is nothing."
Hoseok blinked. He sat forward on the couch, his face paling. "What is going on with Taehyung? Why isn't anyone letting us know anything?"
"I'm sure he'll be okay," Namjoon said. "He has to be."
"That isn't comforting Joon," Hoseok said. "Thanks for trying though."
"Hey, Jungkook." Jin nudged the maknae. "Why don't you go take a shower and then reheat some of the food?"
"You're hungry?" Jungkook asked.
"Not really, but I figured you guys must be."
Jungkook nodded, a small smile growing on his face. "Thanks for thinking that way, hyung." In a rare display of affection, he patted Jin's shoulder before leaving.
"Yoongi shouldn't be there," Namjoon said quietly. "I should be there. I can't keep you guys safe."
"Huh, Namjoon, don't beat yourself up." Hoseok kept his eyes on Namjoon's sad expression. "It's not like you hurt Taehyung. Quite the opposite actually. You helped keep us together right after the incident happened. What do you say Jin?"
"Mmhm." Jin nodded. He couldn't think straight. Everything was a confusing mash of worry, fears, and concern in his mind.
Nearly four hours later, a nurse finally went up to Yoongi and Jimin.
"He's not alright."
Taehyung, after being brought in, had not undergone any scans. He had been losing blood too quickly. A drip was started and he was taken into surgery as fast as possible. The blade had gone in deep and injured his spleen, damaging it to the point of no recovery. The surgeons had no choice but to remove it. There was bleeding all over the place. There was an incision made underneath the left side of Taehyung's rib cage and it was taken out. At the same time, they were trying to get him out of shock. There were heavy stitches all over Taehyung's body, some of them having been done in a rush. Even after the splenectomy, Taehyung's blood pressure remained low and his pulse high. They did a blood test on him. Later that night, he was given a blood transfusion.
They - the hospital staff and the members, who had been filled on what was happening - thought that was the worst that was going to happen. But there was more to come.
Things were going to get a lot worse before they started to get better.
"When are we going to see him?" Hoseok asked.
Yoongi shrugged. "Just a few more days. Then we can see him."
"You don't sound too convinced."
"I am, don't worry." The rapper forced a smile, tears threatening to pool in his eyes. "Taehyung's going to be fine."
There was an infection at the site. It started up after two days after the surgery was done. Taehyung had been doing relatively well until that time. He had gained consciousness and had started asking to see the other boys. They started coming in and he almost automatically became a bit more energetic and cheerful.
But then, something changed. He started coughing.
Yoongi's breath faltered when Taehyung started coughing like that again. It was painful to hear, and judging by the look on the second youngest's face, it was painful to feel as well. Jimin had a similar look on his face.
"Should I call someone?" Jimin asked.
Taehyung shook his head. He wiped his mouth with a tissue and threw it into the bin beside him. "I'm okay."
Over the course of their visit, Taehyung got worse, not better. At the beginning of their visit, he had been talkative and excited, but he got more lethargic as time went by. His eyes were closing. He rested on his pillow while Jimin halfheartedly kept the conversation going.
The next morning, Taehyung started throwing up. Jin saw some of it, but he was kicked out soon after. He came back to the dorms, face red and teary. The others couldn't get any words out of him.
For Taehyung, it was getting progressively harder to breathe. The nurse checked his temperature and it was getting higher. He felt stuffy and overheated. The second youngest tried to take a little nap. He was too tired to think about anything else. The bin stayed next to him, though he was too exhausted to move himself over to throw up. He didn't get to take a nap. He threw up all over the sheets. Taehyung sort of got the message that the nurses had gotten annoyed. He couldn't care less. It wasn't like he threw up because he wanted to. It was more horrid for him than it was for them.
The evening was worse. Jimin was there with him for a bit, but he couldn't exactly tell. The chills running through his body took up all his thinking power. Taehyung shivered constantly, but there was nobody putting warm blankets over him and hugging him to make him feel comfortable. It also didn't help that he had stitches in and he couldn't move properly. And worse of all, he couldn't take deep breaths anymore. Everything was too exhausting. He wheezed and coughed, his chest and stomach in absolute agony. He was brought food at around seven o'clock, but he couldn't eat any of it. Jimin held his hand and tried to encourage him, so Taehyung took five bites for his sake. He promptly threw them up.
He was crying and sobbing and mumbling. Two doctors and nurses came into his room again around one hour later. Taehyung tried to stop them from sending Jimin away, but the only thing he could do was groan and say whispered threats. Jimin left the room. Taehyung was taken away to the X-ray room to get one on his chest.
The results came back to him a few hours later, at around midnight. He had caught a dangerous kind of pneumonia.
Taehyung lost consciousness sometime during that night. There was a needle inserted in between his ribs to take a fluid sample from his lungs to test it. There was some complicated pathogen that was there, Yoongi didn't quite catch it when it was told to him.
He felt nauseous.
Taehyung was dying. And he couldn't do anything. They weren't even allowed to visit him.
Taehyung was started on antibiotics later the next day. He was hooked up to the IV pole and was given them through there. He was also fed that way. His breathing got more and more wheezy and he eventually was put into a ventilator. The second youngest stayed unconscious most of the time. The strong antibiotics caused his skin to break out into painful-looking rashes. At the back of his mind, Yoongi was glad that he couldn't go. He didn't want to see Taehyung like that. No, Taehyung was far too cheerful, far too dorky and weird, to get that sick. But he was.
There were fluid in his lungs, and the fever wasn't getting better. The little moments of being awake that he had were spent coughing up blood and wheezing.
Taehyung's parents called daily to ask what was going on with their son. Taehyung's mom said that she was going to come over in a few days. Yoongi let Namjoon deal with those phone calls. He tried to focus on himself. Jimin was the one who called in every morning to the hospital asking if Taehyung was alright. The staff always said that he had "made it through the night and was here to fight through another day."
Kind of a morbid way to put it, if you asked Yoongi.
Those two weeks were living hell. There was always something going wrong. But then, they finally came up with another combination of medications for Taehyung and those started to work. It took another two weeks, but he started to improve.
It was a long while before Yoongi got to see Taehyung as his usual self. The nurses let him help Taehyung eat at one point. It was weird because Jungkook kept laughing at how hard Yoongi's hand was shaking. The rapper made the maknae take over after a while.
After Taehyung was finally well enough to come home, they made sure to be extra careful. They couldn't do this and that. Someone had to stay with Taehyung in the night to make sure that he was alright. He couldn't walk by himself for another two weeks. He got out of breath easily. Taehyung got disappointed easily.
Jimin kept him company during the day. The mochi voluntarily skipped out of practice in order to stay with his best friend. He knew that Taehyung felt lonely often. It was hard to answer all of Taehyung's questions. The second youngest always ended up asking why he had been stabbed.
"Jimin, I have a question," Taehyung said. He grinned as Jimin turned to face him.
"I told you Tae, I don't know."
"Oh... did they catch the person?"
"What did she say?"
"I don't think I've heard anything from her, no," Jimin said.
"How could she..."
Jimin shook his head. He patted Taehyung's arm. "Don't think about it. She's a bitch and she deserves to go to jail."
"Did I do something wrong?"
"No, goodness, no, of course you didn't," Jimin murmured.
Taehyung lowered his head, sighing. His eyes turned sad. He wanted to sit here and think "Why me?" for the rest of his life, but he couldn't.
"You'll be okay, I promise." Jimin said.
Taehyung's eyes widened. He nodded. "I'll be okay. Jiminie said so."
Champions of Astroyla Quote Book
I’ve been running a D&D campaign for a while now and have been keeping a small quote book for the crap we say and have been encouraged to share with the internet. For some brief context, here’s the players:
Me: The DM. Nice and simple.
Blank Canvas: Kensei monk tabaxi. A bit naïve to the world and not the most sure of herself, but fully embrases her combat prowess and enjoys friendlysparring sessions. @kestrelsparverius
Karim: Air Genasi genie warlock/storm sorcerer. Only 17, yest somehow one of the most mature members of the party; I think he tends to ground the party in “reality.”
Lisara: Wood Elf hunter ranger. Constantly drinking and encourages the party’s chaos, but not-so-secretly protective of the party.
Nitt: Kobold life cleric. An actual child (12 years old), he doesn’t want to hurt anyone and has been known to run from fights and is incredibly naïve, but can actually be relied upon to keep everyone alive.
Scoria: Earth Genasi eldritch knight fighter. She can reasonably be called the wine aunt and is regularly stuck babysitting Nitt, but also generally has a low tolerance level for people’s tomfoolery.
“Excuse me while I look up family friendly torture.” (Nitt’s player trying to help interrogate a bandit)
“It’s a flying f*ck you!” (Scoria describing how her magic missiles look)
“An extra f*ck you on the f*ck you sandwitch.” (Scoria, after steaing the cultists cart)
“Daddy magic.” (mentioned while talking about how some sorerers and warlocks get their magic)
“What do you know? Drugs and libraries do go together!” (Nitt after giving Ward (and NPC wizard) a magic mushroom)
“I’m going to put on Mage Armor now because it’s better to have the body condom on before you’re stabbed.” (Karim preparing for battle)
“Eyo Karim, where the butt runes at?” (Nitt)
“If you plish dirt, it’s still dirt.” (Karim, followed by) “Did Karim just call me dirt, Canvas?” (Nitt)
“Negative character development in the span of one mushroom.” (Me, after Scoria thought Nitt was her mortal enemy after eating a magic mushroom)
“In a vain attempt to get thins back on track after... books...” (Me, after Canvas’s “fun time” book collection was reavealed)
“Do you have any idea how little that narrows it down?” (Nitt, after Karim said they have to deal with an old problem they hadn’t finished dealing with yet)
“I’m the only one allowed to be the Kool-Aid Man!” (Scoria)
“We’ll explain when you’re older.” (generally said when they don’t want to explain things to Nitt)
“Where’d that gnome go?! When we find him, we need to tear out his eyeballs and shove them down his throat!” (Karim, after being downed by the circus ring leader’s fey summons (notable because he rarely has these kinds of outbursts))
“No troll dick in the quote book.” (Me)
“I will accept a head, but not head.” (Me again, related to the last quote about using something to prove they killed a troll)
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whoops, forgot to post it here instead, my bad
A little bit of my Luka/nette Blade Runner AU. Not quite to the shipping yet, but instead, please have some Kagami.
I realize that I tend to fixate on Kagami a lot. Is that weird?
The woman was dressed simply, but that fact made her stand out even more. She had her hair up in a bun, secured with hairsticks, which was different but still completely in tune with her persona. Her plain white blouse had not a stitch out of place and was spotless, cleaner than any piece of clothing he owned; her red skirt was adorned with cherry blossoms and barely made it to her knees. It was far more traditional and provocative than what most people wore in public, but the heiress to one of the largest Japanese conglomerates didn’t care for either modern fashion or the ogling glances she received.
Besides, the katana and pistol worn on opposite hips did much to keep others at a safe distance.
Anyone who knew her knew better than to mess with Tsurugi Kagami. Anyone else learned very quickly, usually the hard way.
I’m pretty sure most of the Tsurugi Corporation PR budget goes to paying off doctors and medical examiners, Luka mused. So many self-inflicted broken noses, cuts, stabs, and gunshot wounds follow in her wake, it’s amazing people still try and take a shot at her.
She glanced down, taking note of his attire, before raising a brow. “May I come in?”
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Cursed could be blessings sometimes, Wilbur supposed. He had extra time with Little Dove-weeks to say goodbye. But that also mean the opposite-he'd be without her longer. He wouldn't know if she could hear him, or when she was sleeping. He couldn't know what she was saying, or doing. Nothing. She might be alone with her brother and he'd have no idea. If something happened with Dream, he'd be just as clueless as the others.
He let out a shaky breath, watching desperately as Ghostbur turned away. His kids-his family. Gone, again. Again, again, again. He was alone. He was always alone, here. Just him and the trains rumbling past, leaving him behind. They never stopped.
He stood, pacing down the station, looking for anyway out again-but he couldn't get onto the stairs, and he couldn't jump the track-it was only a wall on the other side. He had counted every tile, he had memorized every crack in the wall. He had tried tearing through-ripping his hands o shreds in the process-but nothing ever changed. Everything always went back to exactly the way it was before.
He paced, mind whirling. He had to get out-Phil had to get him out. Things were wrong. Things were so wrong. His daughter....his daughter was hurting. And scared. She just wanted a hug and he couldn't give that to her. He couldn't give her anything.
He turned on his heel, staring at the wall, before letting himself fall back to stare at the ceiling. There was the dull pain of his head hitting the pavement, and then stabbing pain, and then nothing again. He couldn't die, here. He'd tried. He'd tried jumping in front of the train, but he always ended back in the same place. He tried slamming his head into the wall, but there was only pain. He'd tried everything. Everything until he stopped trying. It didn't matter. It didn't work. He had been here for years...he had tried every concievable thing he could to get out. Or just to move on.
But he was stuck. 🍋
(Y/N) had fun with her brother once again, the two able to catch up, though (Y/N) struggling to keep the things she was asked a secret. She had told Wilbur at night what they had done excitedly, but she didn’t know he hadn’t heard.
When she got to the train, she frowned seeing Wilbur laying on the ground. He looked sad and she wished so badly that she could talk to him and let him know she was here. Have conversations with him back and forth.
She wanted to move, she needed to move. She was sad and he was sad, she wanted a hug and he needed a hug.
Please. She begged in her head before she stepped forward.
It was heavy and hard, but she moved forward. It felt like all the gravity was pushing down on her as she made her way to him slowly, so slowly. But she...she made it! She hugged him...feeling like air to him as she still was invisible to his eye but she felt him...
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A Break of Routine
Had a random bout of inspiration, so now you get a little Bustopher fic. I tried to write everyone as in character (and British) as possible, but I’m not so sure if I succeded. Well. I hope you enjoy and all my love to all who read/like/reblog! ♥
Leaving an empty plate and the backdoor of Blimp’s behind, Bustopher Jones already knew that this particular Saturday wasn’t going to continue on in its tidy fashion as it normally would.
He usually didn’t allow a break from his routine, but his whiskers spread out and his ears twitched with the uncanny kind of knowledge that came from instincts that it was necessary just this one time.
And really, Bustopher was nothing if a creature of habit, but a little excitement now and then suited him just fine.
It was good to stay on one’s toes and always keep one eye open for new opportunities, after all.
No sooner had he turned the corner on his way to The Glutton that the cause of his foreboding feeling presented itself.
A kitten was cowering beneath a postbox, trembling and sniffling miserably.
Bustopher stooped down a little to see if he’d recognize the fur pattern, resulting in the poor thing squealing in fear and leaping into the gutter with a small splash.
Worried that the kitten would run into the street and get hit by a car or some youngster on a tricycle, Bustopher waddled to the edge of the pavement and sat down on his haunches, trying to look as unthreatening as possible (which was easy and hard at the same time – he had just too much girth to not look like a towering giant, but when he sat down he looked like someone had put a pair of pointy ears and a tail onto a very fluffy football). Now that he was leaning closer to the kitten, he thought to make out black and pale orange fur, striped hind legs, two black paws on the left side and two white paws on the right. He had to squint a little to detect said white, since it had rained the night before and the gutter was still not much more than a glorified muddy puddle.
“Do come out of the puddle, will you?” Bustopher suggested. As soon as he had spoken the first word, he saw recognition sparking in the kitten’s eyes. Splendid. There went one problem, now if only he would recognize her face… darn his severe short-sightedness.
With a few wet shlorps the kitten climbed back onto the pavement, tail hanging limp and tiny body still shivering like a leaf.
To Bustopher’s surprise, she did not need him to prompt her into saying anything. “Good evening, Mr. Bustopher Jones,” she said, ducking her head shyly and pressing her cheek to her right shoulder. The composed greeting was ruined by the way her lower lip protruded and her breath hitched at every other inhale.
“Good evening,” Bustopher answered. “I believe we have met before…?” It was a stab in the dark, but to his immense relief the kitten nodded.
“Would you be so kind to tell me your name again? I come around a lot, I meet a lot of cats everyday, you know. It is a lot to remember.”
The kitten rubbed her nose on her shoulder. “Electra,” she murmured.
“Electra? What a fine name that is.”
That seemed to please her; her tail wrapped around her paws instead of hanging limply over the edge of the pavement. “Thank you,” she said shyly, staring at his spats.
“Now,” Bustopher began carefully, “how did it come to be that you are here all on your own? Did you lose your way?”
With that, her brave composure fell away and Electra burst into tears.
“I didn- didn’t mean to! I just wanted to smell the flowers and Pounci pushed me and I fell off the coun- counter and the stupid big human took a broom and scared him and Plato away and- and-”
The rest of her words trailed of into a wail, and Bustopher didn’t quite know what to do to calm her, so he opened his arms.
Little Electra surged into his embrace. “There, there,” Bustopher said and patted her head, a little clueless about how to comfort her.
He sighed internally as she dripped mud onto his beautiful white spats, but holding her an arm’s length away wouldn’t help matters right now.
After patting her head for a few minutes, the poor little thing began to purr in an attempt to self-soothe, and Bustopher could have slapped himself for not coming up with that sooner. He joined in and gave his best. His body had enough mass that the resonation of his purr shook the kitten as if she was hugging a spinning washing machine.
(To the untrained human ear, his purr sounded not unlike an opera tenor humming to himself, while the kitten’s purr seemed to imitate the chirp of a cricket.)
“I’m better now,” Electra hiccuped after a while, trying to wipe at her eyes and nose with little muddy paws. Bustopher hastily groomed her face before she could smear more dirt into her fur, making her duck her head once more, her high-pitched purr starting up again.
“Very well,” Bustopher said, surveying his work and patting her head one last time. “I assume I am to escort you back home?”
“Oh, I can find my way back… somehow.”
Bustopher shook his head firmly. “That won’t do. I will accompany you, and I won’t hear anything else about it.”
Electra didn’t seem to be very opposed to that. She smiled, trilled and rubbed her newly cleaned face on his leg, creating a new stripe of half-dried mud on both his shiny black fur and on the side of her face. Bustopher sighed.
“Do you eat all day?”
They had made their way past St. James’s Square, stopping here and there to be hand-fed and petted by immaculately dressed humans who cooed over Bustopher’s new companion. One, who was a waiter at Fox’s, even called the chef from the nearest phone box to tell him that “their” cat was a father now. Bustopher liked the chef very much, he always knew just how much pepper to put into the stew, so he left the waiter’s misconception uncommented.
“Indeed,” Bustopher answered Electra with a healthy amount of pride in his voice, giving her a boost to jump up onto a low wall. “I have put a lot of thought into where I go next so the humans don’t notice me going to rivalling clubs on the regular. I am certain that they would be very scandalized indeed if they knew,” he explained smugly.
Electra looked very impressed. “That’s almost as clever as Mister Mistoffelees!” she exclaimed.
Bustopher pricked up his ears. “Oh?”
“Yeah, remember when he- oh, you weren’t there for that.” Electra bounced a little in excitement. “He- he conjured up Old Deuteronomy, because he was gone, you see, and then he was underneath the red sheet!”
“He was gone…?”
“Yes, because of Macavity,” Electra continued cheerfully, and Bustopher stumbled and almost rolled off the wall.
When Macavity’s name been screamed out shortly after Bustopher’s song at the latest Jellicle Ball, Bustopher had made himself sparse as quickly as possible.
He liked to think that he didn’t want to burden the tribe with him being quite useless at fighting other than sitting on his opponents, but the truth was that he was a little chicken-hearted when it came to Macavity and similar riff-raff, even if it pained him to admit it.
“Macavity took Old Deuteronomy?” Poor old lad. That couldn’t have done his old joints any good.
“Yes, but then Tugger sang Mister Mistoffelees’ song and Mister Mistoffelees brought him back. It was really easy, he said.” Electra’s lower lip protruded in thought. “I don’t think it’s easy. Cleaning the den is really hard, and at least I can see where I put my toys so I can take them back where they belong.”
Bustopher nodded and hummed, even though he was thoroughly confused. Mistoffelees? The very same Mistoffelees? Well, now that he thought about it, Munkustrap had said something about Mistoffelees moving objects without touching them and a trace of glitter following him when he was particularly excited. Maybe he should have listened more closely.
Deep, warm pride rose in Bustopher’s chest when Electra prattled on about how magical and mystical his tricks and how funny his pranks were, ranging from colouring the Rum Tum Tugger’s mane bright green to making poor Alonzo float at every third step.
“Well, I will have to give him my congratulations when I meet him,” Bustopher said, tail lifted high with pride.
There was something that Electra wanted to say, as her squirming and shy glances suggested. Bustopher’s whiskers twitched with amusement.
“Out with it. Never hold back from asking something. You never know who else you might do a favour.”
Electra ducked her head shyly and rubbed her cheek on his hind leg; it seemed to be a habit to reassure herself in that way.
“Why do you always leave so early? You never stay to dance, or for the Jellicle Choice. Don’t you miss it?” There was genuine concern in her voice, bless her little heart.
Bustopher took a moment to think. Well, why indeed? Perhaps he wasn’t strong enough to see all of them dancing so gaily, so free of worries and sorrows, with the certain knowledge that it would be the very last dance for one of them.
Maybe the unruly little row of toms that lined up to be inspected by him and the giggly heap of queens was enough for him to do a headcount, determine who was new and who wasn’t there anymore, then fool around a little with Jennyanydots and Skimbleshanks and leave until the next year, always the small fear lingering in his mind that there would be a new cat in the trio to sing his song next time, to replace the one that had left them for the Heaviside Layer.
Perhaps it was out of convenience. One couldn’t arrive in time for the last shift at the Tomb (and what a fitting name that was) if one was occupied with the Ball until the early morning hours.
Perhaps it was because – how had that American cat from The Drones Club put it again – he was a bit of a “cement mixer”.
He had more than enough reasons to not stay very long, in all honesty.
But as he looked down through his monocle at tiny Electra who glanced up at him through her lashes, ears flattened to her scull with uncertainty, he suddenly didn’t deem them very meaningful anymore.
“Perhaps I shall stay longer next year,” Bustopher said finally, and Electra gave a tiny trill, ears perking up.
“Mistoffelees will be so happy. And Jenny, too! And Munkustrap- have you listened to one of his stories before? He’s great at story telling, he’s our Storyteller after all…”
The latest story was told to him in immaculate details by the very enthusiastic kitten at his side, and Bustopher couldn’t help but regret that he hadn’t seen The Awe-full Battle of the Pekes and the Pollicles in person. It certainly sounded grandiose, and since Munkustrap had directed it, it must have been very orderly indeed, brimming with finesse and technique.
The long walk through London felt like it took them mere minutes, but time flies when a good story is told, and Electra thought the Rumpus Cat to be such a good story that she had to tell it three or four times. Bustopher didn’t mind, if the kitten was occupied he didn’t have to think of ways to entertain her or soothe her worries, and that suited him just fine. (It was a very entertaining story, as well. Munkustrap had outdone himself.)
No sooner had they reached the outskirts of the junkyard when a frazzled tom shot over the fence like a ginger bullet and hurried over to them, fur bristled with worry.
“Electra!” he called, his warm Scottish brogue tingling pleasantly in Bustopher’s ears.
“Where in the Everlasting Cat’s name have you been? We’ve been so worried! Oh, good evening, Bustopher.”
Bustopher chuckled and patted the offered forepaws. He did like Skimbleshanks very much. A little too serious sometimes, but he was so delightfully fussy.
Attracted by the noise, a second tom turned around the corner, and this one’s fussiness was second to none.
“Electra, thank Heaviside!” Asparagus Junior fretted, pulled her out of Skimble’s grasp and began to hectically groom the mud out of her kitten-soft coat.
“She got lost,” Bustopher explained, very amused at how windswept the two worry-warts looked.
“Very kind of you to bring her home,” Skimbleshanks sighed, relief rolling off him in waves, bristling fur finally flattening. He lifted a paw to scratch his chest, apparently forgetting that he was still wearing his trademark vest, and his claws got stuck. If cats could have blushed in embarrassment, Skimble would have done so as he tried to free his claws from the cotton wool as discreetly as possible.
“Oh, it was no issue at all,” Bustopher said lightly, mercifully looking away from Skimble’s fight with his vest and observing Asparagus, who had thoroughly checked Electra over and was now purring and grooming her ears, with her head rubbing up under his chin, eyes blissfully closed, finally completely at ease.
“Pouncival has been crying and making a fuss all evening, we better get you to Jenny’s den,” Asparagus told Electra after he had vigorously washed her behind her ears, Electra’s lip protruding again as she lifted a tiny paw to bat at Skimble’s twitching tail.
“Alright. Thank you, Mr. Bustopher Jones!” she said, giving a little curtsy and scampering away, pressing against Asparagus’ side. What a well-behaved little thing she was, Bustopher thought.
Skimbleshanks seemed to know what he was thinking and snorted. “Oh, don’t be fooled by her. She’s a dear, certainly, but she ramps it up for strangers all the more.”
For some reason, the word ‘stranger’ struck him deeply.
To hell with it. What kind of Jellicle cat was he if his own tribe members only saw him as a stranger?
“When will we be seeing you again?” Skimbleshanks asked kindly, obviously expecting him to leave for one of his clubs now that the cargo had been delivered.
“Oh, you know, I just might stay a while,” Bustopher answered, and as he said it, the uncanny kind of knowledge that came from instincts told him that it was the right decision to make.
Skimbleshanks blinked, and then he blinked again. “Pardon me?”
“Why yes, you old dandy. I have been told that the most delightful stories are being told on the daily around these parts, and how could I possibly miss them? You know I’d kill for a good story.”
The gentle smile on Skimbleshanks’ face made him think of younger, easier days. “I do know that. How wonderful! Mistoffelees will surely jump for joy. You just have to see what he pulled out of the hat the other day.”
“I am intrigued.” Bustopher gave Skimble a playful little shove, making the ginger tomcat laugh. “I cannot believe that you all survived so long without me bringing trustworthy advise on how to muck around with the humans. One would think the entire tribe is eating wind pudding!”
“We just might, Bustopher, we just might. Aren’t we lucky to have you?”
Oh, and what a good decision this would turn out to be, Bustopher was certain of that.
A little bit of vocabulary: a “cement mixer” is 1930′s American slang and basically is a synonym for a bad dancer XD And “eating wind pudding” is 1930′s London slang and means going without food! I just couldn’t help myself. Thank you for reading!
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Ok I'm super interested in Kalani now 🧍♀️ Can I ask how she'd get along with each of the BTD boys? (Or if that's too many, just any you're interested in?) like, who besides Ren would she be able to survive? I can't help it wonder how she'd fare with Strade,,, they certainly share a penchant for kidnapping 🤣 I wonder how they'd get along
THANKS FOR THE ASK. I don't want to make this post super long so if you or anyone else is interested in Kalani's reaction to other murder boys feel free to ask! Yall are literally so sweet, I love answering these 😭😭❤
Kalani vs Strade- When Kalani first meets Strade, she doesn't want anything to do with him. Why is this 'old man' talking to her? However, she keeps a conversation with him to be polite. When she's leaving, she's conpletely caught off guard when he approaches her, so that's how she gets 'napped.
This could go a number of ways. You see Kalani has watched Strade's streams before- due to plot convenience she doesn't realize until she's in the basement- so that gives her advantage, at least one that most people wouldn't. Besides that she is physically capable to defend herself. And she just thinks Strade is dumb and easily excitable. If he were to kidnap her she could:
1. Convince him to let her live so they could work together. She would explain that she's seen his streams- might even play on obsessed fan role- and overall try to come at it from a business standpoint. Saving her would equal more interesting deaths, more views, and more money.
2. She would try to kill him like the mc in the "Strade Stabbed You Back" ending, due to blood loss and her emotional state, like the mc the initial stab doesn't equal instant death.
2a: Strade gets the knife back and it follows the in game ending, eye and all. Kalani isn't even focused on her pain just the fact that she 'lost' and to someone she thought was so stupid. She's in shock until she finally dies.
2b. Kalani keeps the knife and out of frustration she manages to hold Strade down and stab him over and over again. She's blinded by rage she wants this man dead- not because of the awful things he did- but because of the AUDACITY he had to do them to her. She is Kalani fucking Valdez, what gave him the right to even LOOK at her. He's long dead after she's done stabbing him.
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Next in the list we have:
And I thought the others had it bad.
A family consisting of the working father, the housewife mother, the intelligent older son and the spirited younger son. A happy, textbook family. Tatsuya himself used to follow Katsuya around, showing that the two brothers shared a close relationship.
However, kids grow. Even without the events that would follow, Tatsuya and Katsuya would begin to distance themselves as Katsuya finally adopted the role of the "older brother". Everyone can testify that children hate it when a sibling tries to boss them around.
The events that would mark the rest of Tatsuya's life took place when he was ten years old, the day he met his best friends. I believe that Tatsuya didn't have any "close" friends before he met the Masked Circle, which would explain why he latched onto the three kids he met that day so fast.
Jun took a special place in Tatsuya's heart, at first because he was the first friend he met, though later they would click and compliment each other in everything. However, unlike Jun, Tatsuya would never place Maya in a motherly role. She would always be Big Sister for him.
After all, he already has a loving mother to fill that role. And isn't that what big siblings do? Take care of you whenever you go out to play and teach you stuff? Big Sister Maya would come to stand in the same category as Katsuya. The difference between the two would be Maya's gentle hand that would make Tatsuya listen to her easier than Katsuya.
At this point, Tatsuya already developed his dislike for people getting into his business.
We all know what happens next. Alaya Shrine Incident. Tatsuya gets lightly stabbed and traumatized. Lil boy blocks his memories of his childhood friends as self-defense.
The Suous would suffer another tragedy when, in his search for the arsonist, Dad Suou gets fired. Little Tatsuya looks up to his mother to do something. And what does she do?
This would become a changing point in Tatsuya's personality. We can guess from his dialogue that he sees "passive attitudes" in a negative light. If people see an injustice, they should do something about it. I feel that this would be what made Katsuya stand a little higher in Tatsuya's eyes: Unlike their parents, Katsuya immediatly set to work and did everything he could to support their family and at the same time take care of his little brother.
Ironically, this would be the beginning of the strain in the Suou brothers' relationship.
Whenever Katsuya asked about his schoolwork or grades Tatsuya would think him strict. Whenever Katsuya inquired about any friends Tatsuya would think him overbearing. Whenever Tatsuya would try to set some distance Katsuya would get more insistent, making Tatsuya lash out and Katsuya to discipline him. Both get angry and stop talking for a while.
In his eyes, Katsuya took a role he shouldn't have, becoming a third parent instead of a sibling he should have been able to confide in.
Imagine if Makoto talked back to Sae in P5 and didn't do everything she was told. You get the Suou relationship.
The biggest concern is that Katsuya is the closest relationship Tatsuya has at the beginning of Innocent Sin. Without his childhood memories, Tatsuya has no reference of how to make friends while staying as himself, so he doesn't even try. His anti-passive view in life has caused more than one incident which made Tatsuya develop a Bad Boy reputation in Sevens and Kasugayama, which alienated him a bit more.
With no friends or expectations, Tatsuya slowly became indifferent when it came to his future. His parents hadn't moved on from their family tragedy years ago. Katsuya would forever dictate what was right and wrong. He had no other close companions to hang out with or impress. No view of the future except keep living.
Of course, a Bad Boy reputation will always attract certain kind of people, including admirers or people looking for a fight.
Innocent Sin brought an emotional rollercoaster for Tatsuya. He develops a wider support system and has things to look forward to (even if those things are taking down a shady cult).
Then the memories come back and Tatsuya has a purpose. Slowly, he's coming back to life.
In an instant all is ripped away due to two gods' game. Nothing mattered at all and he was just a chess piece in a wider scheme. They lose.
This revelation tears open an old wound that leads to Tatsuya to refuse to forget. He doesn't want to return to his aimless life. After punching Philemon in the face, Tatsuya's mentality changes once again.
By the time he recovers his memories in Eternal Punishment, Tatsuya decides to do things his way. Never again will he play by another god's rules. From now on he will do his best to make up for breaking his promise. And then... well, he will focus on his current goal.
What Tatsuya forgets is that there's people who care about him in this timeline as well. In his mind, Tatsuya is back in square one, so there's no one who would care if he went MIA for a few days (this isn't remotely true, Katsuya was always there).
Hovewer, now there's Katsuya, Anna, the friends he made in this timeline and recently Maya as well.
There was probably a small part in Tatsuya that believed he wouldn't survive this personal mission. He would die making up for his mistakes.
This mentality almost costed him his life at the hands of the Metal version of his friends.
As the game progresses, Tatsuya begins to trust his well-being on other people again, that there are still reliable adults out there and that there will always be something to fight for. Tatsuya must find his own personal purpose beyond his loved ones. Something that is solely his.
We won't see the end of his personal journey anytime soon, since that Tatsuya was sent back to the Other Side. At least now he has a plan in mind to help the Other Sumaru City and make up with his Other brother. He may thread this new path alone, but
Tatsuya cares now.
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Alright you opened your inbox it might take me a while to find some juicy questions but off the top of my head:
1. When/how did you get into spn?
2. Who is your spn fave (I've got some guesses but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I wanna hear it from you lol) When/how did you decide that?
3. This isn't a question, I just wanted to tell you that you are so valid, your opinions are fire (affectionate), and I love you bestie 💜
1. I got into it a while ago when I was with my ex (who ended up stabbing me in the back woops) bc she was very into SPN so I was like "yea Ill give it a try" and I HATED horror but for her I wanted to try it and I was hooked ever since.
2. Garth. Fucking love Garth. He's my werewolf baby husband buddy and I love him to death. He has never done anything wrong ever and He'S sO sTrOnG!!1!
3.🥺🥺🥺ILYSM AAAAA this means alot to me, I always think I'm stepping out of line with my opinions and that sucks but affirmation like this really help me keep going so thank u mutual ily❤️❤️❤️
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so first case phoenix gets hit on the head with a fire hydrant and gets fucking amnesia because of course he does. this isn't a plot relevant case but i think you need to know that he got amnesia for like 30 minutes and still won the case.
so maya returns after spending a while in the mountains to train, and there's something decidedly off about phoenix, and he's being a huge dick about specifically prosecutors with is weird bc he's normally an overempathetic you-could-pour-soup-in-my-lap-and-i'd-probably-apologize-to-you type of bitch but anyways
she's been accused of murder again because of course she has so phoenix defends her, and finds out that her aunt was behind everything because she wanted maya's cousin pearl to become the spirit channeling master instead of her
also along the way pearls gives phoenix this stone that allows him to see when people are lying and to 'unlock' the truth (yep that's right lawyer man has superpowers now)
so she's jailed, and they take pearls back to the office with them bc she is literally 8 and they vibe, they meet a new prosecutor (edgeworth is gone and phoenix won't say why) named franziska. she has a whip and is probably a wlw. she's the daughter of the prosecutor who was jailed last game, and she hates phoenix's guts for some reason
a couple cases later her and phoenix have a chat where they find out that the reason she hates phoenix so much is because she blames him for the death of her 'brother' edgeworth. YEP PLOT TWIST EDGEY LEFT A NOTE SAYING THAT PROSECUTOR MILES EDGEWORTH CHOOSES ✨DEATH✨ BABEY, and she thinks it's because phoenix beat him in court. phoenix thinks the same thing, and is really mad about it bc he devoted his whole life and like 100k for law school to trying to help edgey only for the man to dip
so then last case
phoenix pearls and maya are invited to this celebration of a bunch of cartoons that maya likes, but before they can do anything maya is fucking kidnapped and held for the ransom of phoenix defending this guy of murder. he and pearls are distraught but they talk to the guy and when he says he didn't stab the guy phoenix's magic stone doesn't do jack shit so they take the case
while they're investigating, they go to the detective's office to meet with this one detective (gumshoe) who's been helping them, only to find ✨ miles fucking edgeworth ✨
yep he lived bitch and he asks if they need any help and phoenix is like 'you should've stayed dead💛' and they leave
they go into court the first day only for franziska to not be there. they're all confused and then they find out she was shot in the fucking shoulder by the kidnapper. and then edgeworth comes in as the replacement and they get a call from the kidnapper like 'yeah i'm helping you that guys fucking soft he'll help you' so they're pissed but they go in
pearls channels big tiddy mentor and they keep rolling. edgey is convinced the guy is guilty, but phoenix literally can't lose. so they end up extending the trial and after the fact gumshoe tells edgey about the kidnapping and he agrees to cooperate. they also find out that the killing was the work of an assassin, oh snap
so phoenix goes to investigate more, and interrogates his client. turns out, he hired the assassin. not only that, but the assassin and the kidnapper are one in the same. plot twist bitches, he's evil, scar over his eye and all. he tells phoenix that he never lied, because he wasn't The one to stab the guy, and if phoenix doesn't prove him innocent maya dies. oh yeah, also he recorded the killing to blackmail the fucking assassin if need be
so they go into court, and after they tell gumshoe, the cops figure out how to track maya's location and they start chasing her, so all they have to do is buy time until they arrive. so they go back and forth for like 5 hours, with tiddy bitch just kinda vibing like 'these bitches gay! good for them' and eventually they end up getting the assassin to testify
they're on very thin ice, and phoenix accidentally proves that it's his client that did the murder, which pisses the assassin off. they haven't found maya, but franziska arrives with new evidence !! the assassin says that he'll allow phoenix to show him one thing, and if it doesn't convince him to betray the client then maya fucking dies
so phoenix shows him the tape of him doing the murder, and tells him about the blackmail shit, so he agrees to let maya go, woooo
they get her back, she's fucking traumatized but it's fine bc she knows what repression is, and they all go out to dinner, and then edgey informs everyone that he never meant the note to imply that he was actually dead, but that he was working on himself and he came back to help phoenix out but was going to leave again to heal and shit
so then they leave and brr brr drr drrr third game time
WOOOOO ok ok tell me about the third game i am invested now :o
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2, 7, 17?
2- Bunker: Burn or Keep
Keep- While i think burning it is fun there is just too much uselful info that should be passed into the hands of other hunters, maybe they will even do something with it unlike some people.
7. Abaddon: hot or just a redhead
Hot but very forgettable really, she wanted ti dom Dean and rights for that.
17. Demon Dean: Thoughts
Hmmm Demon Dean, i was confused and just wanted more of his thought process, like what happened when he woke up, what was going on his mind, all i got was that he himself was confused and unfulfilled.
First off like him not having powers is such a wuss move like why do these writers suck? I have to headcanon that Lucifer gave the powers to Cain so he has none.
I'm just gonna say it, he is disgusting hot, the repulses me/turns me on duo, like the kind of hot that stems from thinking scum is hot, which is honestly not that far off from finding late seasons Dean hot.
His sexism is interesting, like all bad versions of tfw except Demon Dean are not disgusting sexists so he just is so much worse, villains rarely are shown in this show to be this bad, dude literally harassed a stripper and beat her security up and slutshamed a girl because she said no to his vacation plans like yes feminist icon because he stabbed a sexist Lester, who seems to be less sexist than Dean to me. Ya the moc also ends with him being disgusting to a dead girl like took me out but clearly they were trying to tell he is sexist like they know that is what he is.
Drowley hmm like i think he didn't fuck men but like lol they write such weird shit in, where does Dean kee finding triplets to have sex with...i just don't know if Carver's female triplets incest orgy here is a win for bi Dean, also like continuity, Crowley doesn't act like they fucked, its just more weird jokes.
He is a cringe demon like really pathetic, gets kidnapped that easily, his jabs at Sam make no sense, maybe if he had watched s4-5 he would know Sam has nothing to do with this and they both do like how is it even gonna hurt Sam who also knows this like yes s3 Sam but not when they know more info.
Overall i think Dean needs hunting and needs Sam hunting with him to ground him, make him have a purpose, be human and righteous as much as he can, and do it while having some support, the needing Sam is a symptom of not being able to function on his own and not a motivation for me so i think him wanting away from Sam when he already feels rejected and a burden with the s9 drama makes sense, i don't think his first instinct would be to possess Sam or something, now i can see him turning to sadism towards Sam because he has anger towards him and i can see him maybe wanting a purpose again and deciding its still hunting with Sam but what they gave isn't ooc to me, i think its interesting that Soulless Sam came back to Dean to have some direction though i can't read him well either, idk maybe Demon Dean would do that, but from canon he seems better off, the weird part is how nonchalant he seems, like he isn't as mad as he could be because i guess he doesn't care but he also seems to be restraining from giving into his demonic nature a bit.
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Gast is professor cloud's favorite student so the H&H boys try to kill him for that spot, probably getting foiled by lucrecia by accident or cloud on purpose and it probably just ends up like spongebob's boating school episode with patrick
Some Professor Strife lore, as facilitated by the server and @sheseesinthedark
Cloud went far enough back that Gast and Grimoire are faculty-age along with him
They both like Cloud’s maverick ways and are very surprised that he can actually be quite pleasant...sometimes.
Particularly if they bring bribes when they need to speak with him
Lucretia is unquestionably his favorite student, much to Hojo and Hollander’s irritation
When Shinra finally manages to start producing SOLDIERs, basically the entire Science department has taken a class or five with Professor Strife
“Hey...Didn’t Professor Strife’s eyes look kinda like...?”
When they see it again at some academic thing, his eyes are startlingly obvious.
This only makes them more terrified and/or awed of him
Professor Strife becomes an academic meme.
You can get an entire auditorium of undergrads to yell Rule #2 in unison, much like irl you can get an entire auditorium to yell CORRELATION DOES NOT EQUAL CAUSATION.
It works shockingly well at keeping idiots from sticking their dicks in the science
He frequently tells stories about idiots who disobeyed rule one or two. The Rule #2 stories have been known to make grown-ass adults grip their balls in terror
His student make him art about Rule #2
He has a whole collage lovingly arranged in his office around the very first art he was given: a giant poster hand-lettered with Rule #2
Admin tried to get him to take it down, but the students nearly rioted and they gave up
There is a competition, unofficial but quite ferocious, to draw him something that makes him cringe
No one has managed, though they have made many of their fellows "eep"
The one and only time anyone has ever seen him make a pained face (including the time he got literally stabbed on campus) was when one of his former students named him as their greatest inspiration in science
That student was by then known as Dr. Hojo
Hojo then went on to cure cancer
He is by far the coolest and most popular Professor on campus, much to his own consternation
This has consequences over time
One time ShinRa considered kidnapping him since he was pretty damn obviously mako-enhanced.
All of Science threatened to quit.
Cloud heard about this and had an existential crisis
He teaches shop and swordsmanship on the weekends
Admin told him he needed to look “more respecible”
He put a tie over his sleeveless ribbed turtleneck
They stopped asking him for things after that and the Rule #2 poster incident
He now has tenure and is unstoppable
Yes, his sword is with him during every lecture
He never gets any less dangerous.
One time Lu tried to put her hands over his eyes and do that sing-song “guess who!”
He almost suplexed her
He has helped babysit fellow Professor’s kids when they’re on campus
The kids love him
This includes Professor Grimoire Valentine’s son
This also includes eventual professor Lucretia Valentine’s son
Lu and Vincent got married because, thanks to Strife hammering home the point about not charging in like an idiot when you’re excited, Lu never got Grimoire killed
Hojo was the best man at their wedding
Cloud attended. It was the most bizarre experience of his entire life. He drank as much has humanly possible that day. It didn’t help things make sense.
The unexpected friendship trio of Lu, Vincent, and Hojo may or may not have occasional three ways.
Cloud doesn’t want to know.
Cloud DOES NOT want to know
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O Genji, Meet Your Death
The Caster of Chaldea — a new force, but unrecognizable. Unwilling to reveal their name, they journey as an unknown ally.
An Avenger, a Caster, a Shielder — and two Masters left among the wreckage of a city that once was.
Certainly, it were only a matter of time before things got worse.
“...Are we supposed to trust a Servant that won’t even reveal their True Name?! We just got a name out of Cadence’s Avenger, and now we have another Servant who won’t squeak!”
Olga made some sort of noise best described as ‘an exhausted, angry and terrified bear snarl,’ and placed her face into her hands for a fair few moments.
It’d been around an hour or so since our latest member was summoned. For lack of a better term, the young Servant was simply nicknamed ‘Caster’ — and unfortunately for Olga Marie, even now, nothing really stuck out that could give a clue to his identity.
‘...He’s still damp.’
It was hard not to notice that he was still dripping wet. Beads of water fell off the ends of his hair now and then, and his clothes remained a slightly darker colour from what seemed to be water that remained. In the vast heat caused by Fuyuki’s flames, he seemed almost unaffected — if anything, I could see him shiver a little bit, now and then.
‘...But that still answers nothing.’
...Still no answers. There was no point, I felt, in trying to pursue it — it’d only be a waste of energy, and one I couldn’t afford to think about where I was right now. It took ample effort alone just to maneuver this wasteland — and a lapse in my focus couldn’t spell anything good.
...At the very least — Kagekiyo, preferring to be incorporeal, remained nearby. I could still hear her, even though it were hardly more than a whisper.
“...Master. Do you trust them? This... Caster.”
...The voice sharpened, a bit. The being paused for a moment, before continuing.
“This Servant may be on our side, but...”
“...We’ve got reason to be suspicious, but we don’t have any other options.”
...I piped up, though keeping my voice down so Olga and Ritsuka couldn’t overhear me. Breathing out a sigh, and moving my foot out of the way of a burning wooden plank, I kept moving forward. Kagekiyo, likely not seeing the point of pushing forth, quieted for the moment.
Just in time for something to be heard — a shuffling amongst the flames.
Only for a moment — but enough to set all of us on edge.
A black, bleeding something—
—Bleeding wasn’t the word. It held a shape, even clearly only a shadow of what it should’ve been.
...Mana spewed from it, yet reconvened immediately.
...A mysterious being, armed with a shadowy lance, that turned its head and faced us.
Ritsuka was the first to speak, and the first to take a step forward.
“Cadence! It looks like we don’t have to wait long for our next fight. Me and Mash will cover all of us — so get your Servants into the fray!”
As if the two were perfectly synced, in an instant, Mash was already in front of us — her shield raised to hide us from what fate assuredly awaited us. A soft, blue glow emitted from it, but little more.
A few footsteps behind me could be heard as Kagekiyo manifested — followed by a wordless nod, before the woman shot towards the lancebearing foe.
The Caster stayed back, with us — I could only assume he were to prepare something.
The lancebearer, turned to face us, showcased silently the massive array of weapons on their back — spears of every possible sort, halberds, pikes, all of which it seemed intent on using. Answering Kagekiyo’s approach with a stab forward, the shadowed being forced Kagekiyo to a halt before it.
...There was a palpable silence, where neither party moved. Kagekiyo stared down the shadowy Servant, and gritted their teeth — I could swear I heard a curse under their breath, even this far away.
But this silent moment didn’t last long. In mere moments, the being launched themselves at the Lancer — dual blades at the ready, they attempted to catch the Servant’s blade...
...And, as they stood still as stone, the shadowy Servant’s spear made its move — the Lancer forcing its weapon forth, only for Kagekiyo to slap it aside with their left blade — following that up with an overhead strike with their right blade, intent on a simple bisection.
Unfortunately — this Servant stood dead still where they were, taking Kagekiyo’s blade as if it were little more than a strike of bamboo against a pillar of steel.
The being cursed under their breath—
...Something was off, about the Avenger’s voice, in that moment — yet in a moment’s notice, Kagekiyo had returned to normal, attempting a sideways slash that was promptly deflected by the strange being.
...Kagekiyo could be heard louder, now. Compared to that momentary burst of strange words, their normal voice now felt off. A sharp, venomous tone, yet corrupt and angered at every step.
Comparatively, that curse was...
“Kagekiyo! Have you found out their identity?!”
I yelled out, hoping the Avenger could hear me — even as the shadowed Lancer’s gaze turned to me, Kagekiyo blocked it off.
“It matters not, Master. Their name tells me all I, and you, need to know!”
...Their shoulders raised, grew tense, and their stance widened slightly. A guttural sound began to envelope her voice, holding it hostage like a parasite wrapping itself around its host.
...A Genji. Kagekiyo knew this being all too well. That distinctive anger, the fury building in their muscles and bones, told me everything I had to know.
...Even if we wanted to retreat, she wouldn’t allow it any longer.
“A Genji! He... He is a Genji! MASTER!”
A call for permission from the Avenger — one I knew was a rhetorical question. No matter my answer, with a stance like that...
‘...She’s intent on killing this being.’
“End this fight here, Kagekiyo!”
A beast from beyond gripped my neck ever-so-tightly, the Lancer now turning its gaze to me, rushing for the shield that only barely kept me alive.
The Caster beside me slipped behind Ritsuka — whispering something underneath his breath which could only barely be heard.
“There was a couple whose son’s name meant limitless life...”
—An incantation, surely — the Lancer coming to a halt.
...Yet, not from the words that the Caster spoke — from the intervention of the Avenger, almost the moment their foot first touched the ground, using the weight of their body and armour to fling themselves at the being like a battering ram.
The Lancer, in return, simply widened its stance and turned to face Kagekiyo — as they bounced off the shadowy Servant, like a bouncing ball off a brick wall.
Another strike — and another deflected attack. The Lancer kept striding towards me, even as Kagekiyo slashed at the being, only the sound of metal clanging against something remaining as proof the Avenger had done anything at all.
...An enveloping hatred, not unlike a beast — a person — unto itself. Pure rage, a burning flame of vengeance and passion, consuming the being standing between me and the Lancer.
One who, as the Lancer performed a simple strike, piercing their heart like a kabob, simply grinned.
“...The everyday, now, is only a dream.”
...A being of pure malice, anger, suppressing a cackling laugh under a voice snapping and burning with rage, gripped the very spear that was slung through their side — and, kicking the Lancer back, allowed the blade to tear directly through their chest.
...I could feel it now — a heat unlike any other, unlike even the burning fires around me. A heat that I, too, could now feel deep in my bones — as if my very own anger was being set ablaze, as fuel for the Avenger that stood strong before me.
“...Yes — everything in this world, all the Genji reaches, must burn!”
Their blades, now manipulated to trace a circle with their edges, aligned before me, the mask snapping clean in half to reveal glowing, purple eyes — fiery, filled with enough rage to burn to dust even just what they laid their gaze upon.
A face somehow familiar and separate — yet, fleeting, as the Avenger was off in a moment, hopping back and forth between the environment — marked only by a purple flash of flame, and a rise in temperature enough to induce nausea.
“...After all this time, I finally have my shot—”
The being’s blade fused into one ‘whole’ —
“Shogyomujo — Joshahissui!”
A flash of light, bright purple, dyed the atmosphere.
A gust of wind blew back wooden supports, crumbled the nearby buildings — put out, and spread, the flames around us in equal measure.
All the human eye could see was a single slash. A single slice, eloquently performed, by the Avenger. Even a swordsman may not understand such a maneuver, much less the normal man — all one could do was attempt to fill in the blanks that the mind could not truly perceive.
Even a shadowy Servant, the Lancer this being seemed to so certainly despise, stood nary a chance to its strength.
How could it?
In the wreckage, sat a bleeding, yet standing Avenger — laughing maniacally, their voices of concern, sadness, rage, and fury mixing together to form a horrible, amalgamate whole.
The face of the Avenger, their eyes leaking with tears, yet their voice cackled, and their eyes wrinkled from the fullness, the sincerity, of their smile. Even as their mask reconvened, and covered their face again, the image would remain — burned into my retinas, then my brain, like a photograph developed in mere moments under the stress of its surroundings.
My cheeks, surely dampened, grew hot even to me — almost instinctively, I wiped my face with my left hand before running to my teammate.
“...Kagekiyo, are you okay..?!”
...A moment passed, where their laughing remained, even before their gaze seemed to turn to me.
“...Master. Master, you would do well to remember the feeling of wiping a Genji from this world.”
...Caught off guard, my vocal chords failed me — the Avenger stood, the bleeding halting, and their hand rested itself on my chin — forcing my gaze up towards theirs.
“...It is a feeling of wonder. Of limitless joy — to wipe out the one thing you want gone. Master, remember this day, and remember it well — remember the satisfaction that makes my flame of vengeance grow hotter still.”
...Surely, my heart was racing — surely, I could feel my body shivering.
They could tell, full well, that I was not a combatant — I was never made for the field. Surely, even now, I could understand that.
...And yet — their gaze was not one of scorn, and their crazed smile not one of anger.
Only confidence — in themselves, and in their Master.
“...You’ll recover from these fights, right?”
...I tried to answer properly — but all that came out was the worry of seeing their heart pierced yet again.
“Kagekiyo never dies, Master. Not until the Genji, and everything they reached, has burned to the ground.”
“...You’re not unlike me, Master. In your eyes, I see a hatred for those that have wronged you. Remember how it feels to defeat them — and you will never fall.”
...With that, the being let me go, and walked to Mash and the rest of our team. As I desperately attempted to cool off, while running to the others to ensure they were safe, Kagekiyo began to speak to them.
“...Our goal here is to remove this world, correct?”
...The Avenger appeared, now, to be inquiring to our mission — as Ritsuka stood up, breathing out a long, shaky sigh of relief, Olga took over.
“Y-Yes! Your defeat of the S—“
“—The Genji, right — has helped us, but we still need to find the Holy Grail and put an end to this Singularity.”
...The Caster listened in, curiously, as I finally caught my breath. Before I could add anything, the Avenger smirked, and began speaking once more.
“...Then the Genji control a place like this, too.”
“Avenger, we don’t ac—“
“If they rule unfairly, and cause only suffering, they are Genji. If they are my target, they are Genji.”
...Olga Marie found herself at a bit of a loss — the Avenger only responding to the woman’s confused gaze with a straight, calm stare.
So, I decided to speak up instead.
“...Kagekiyo, our goal is to defeat the Genji, if that’s how the Genji works. You could probably think of it as a much larger Genji — something that, if not outright worse, is easily similar enough to have allied and shared ideals with them.”
As Ritsuka listened carefully — giving me a thumbs-up from behind Mash’s shield — the Avenger waited a few precious moments, before nodding.
“...Then they are the Genji — and I will slaughter them, as I had the Genji before me.”
...As Olga stepped back, appearing to realize the futility of arguing semantics with an Avenger, my gaze turned to Kagekiyo — the visual of the crying, laughing being again coming into mind.
...The being now stood a resolute warrior once more, as if that burst of emotion had never even once occurred — like a switch was flipped, only for a moment. Like a pressurized pipe, being opened to release the fumes before it burst.
Comparing the two, without the mask and with it, they seemed fundamentally different —
...As if there were something more to the mask than simple decor.
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like other girls - in defense of lauren mallory (pt. 1)
lauren has been friends with jessica since elementary school, and she has always been painfully loyal. a boy ditched jess at their first dance in sixth grade and lauren tracked him down and kicked him in the shins so hard that he had bruises for weeks.
she realizes that she might be gay sophomore year, at a party at the end of volleyball season, when she kisses the pretty blonde captain as a joke.
a very small part of her (under the alcohol, the giddiness of how close to state championships they made it, the wild energy of the music and everyone else’s laughter) thinks oh.
she gets home that night, head spinning, and all she can think to do is panic.
angela’s dad is the pastor, she has lunch at his house at least once a week every summer, just like she has since they were six, and he smiles at her and calls her miss mallory and always remembers that she hates the skin of cucumbers–
lauren’s grandma, who bought her her first car, who lets her come spend the weekends in her house in seattle whenever she likes, who loves her, snapped the newspaper pages taut over news of canada allowing same-sex marriages, because they were just disrespectful and unnecessary and–
she hears a rumor that tyler crowley is interested in her. he’s cute, and he sits behind her in geometry, so it’s easy enough to flirt with him enough that he cracks and asks her out.
she holds hands, kisses him on the cheek and then on the lips. he picks her up for school in the mornings, she wears his jackets to basketball games and cheers for him smugly, and sometimes it isn’t that bad, and sometimes she lies awake at night biting her lips until they bleed.
jess squeals with excitement when lauren tells her–grabs her hand in a death-grip, almost knocking over the hot chocolate that they’re sharing onto lauren’s tragically incomplete math homework, and lauren’s stomach flutters enough that she can smile.
somewhere along the line, jess starts proof-reading the love notes lauren feels are only a fair trade for all the little chocolates tyler keeps sneaking into her locker.
it makes it a lot easier, somehow, to get the words down, knowing that jessica is going to be the first person to see them. picturing the way she’ll crinkle her eyebrows, leaning down over the paper with her chin in her hands and her elbows spread on the table, the way delight will twist through her smile–
lauren breaks up with tyler the same day she mentions at lunch that she’s just having a miserable day, and he sneaks into her french class next period with a latte from the coffee shop down the street and a pumpkin chocolate-chip muffin she hadn’t realized he’d noticed was her favorite. both of them taste like guilt all the way down.
when he yells at her in the parking lot later–are you even going to give me a chance, what the hell could you possibly have to be upset about?!–and then, when she says nothing, slams his car door, leaving her to walk home in the drizzle, she thinks i deserved that.
lunch is paralyzingly awkward for weeks after that, until tyler gives up and starts eating with the basketball team. lauren bullies tara galvez into switching seats with her in geometry.
by spring, things feel somewhat normal again. lauren’s gotten good at not looking at the basketball team at lunch, (except for the day they accidentally upend their entire table trying to stab the cafeteria hamburgers hard enough to break the plastic forks).
jess starts dating chris martinez, (a junior, she gushes, oh my god, we could even go to prom) and he joins their lunch table. lauren smiles at him as rigidly politely as she can, and slams small, petty kicks into his chair whenever she thinks she can get away with it.
once she manages to catch him right as he’s taking a sip of milk and it splatters all the way down the front of his stupid football jersey.
the next time she’s over at angela’s–perched in the bathtub out of habit, even though there’s enough room for both of them on the cold floor without jess there–lauren finishes painting her toenails and launches into a complaint whose viciousness surprises even her a little.
angela hums contemplatively along until lauren’s rant simmers off into crossed arms, then calmly recaps the little jar of orange polish and says i don’t like him that much either, he makes fun of all the girls in gym class.
spring break rolls around, and angela is out of town, but the rest of them meet up in the park on the only clear night of the week for a bonfire.
mike sneaks a bunch of tents out of his parents’ store and warns them not to rip anything, because these are the display tents and they have to be back tomorrow. eric and conner proudly display the cartons of pbr they talked eric’s older sister into buying. katie marshall shows up with an absurd number of marshmallows, and lauren lugs a bundle of wood out of her car and tries to think back on her family camping trips far enough to remember how to start a fire.
by the time she gets the fire going, chris and jess are sitting next to each other–on each other, really–sharing a blanket and whispering. jess is giggling–and lauren tells herself it’s the smoke she’s choking on.
just the smoke turning her throat and her stomach sour–
mike jokes smoke follows beauty and keeps brushing against her a little too obviously to be accidental, and she thinks fine and smiles at him, sharply aware of how he’s going to take it.
that one lasts less time, but ends more amicably–they never officially call it anything, and after a few weeks of messily hooking up (first in a tent, then in lauren’s luckily parent-free house, a couple unfortunately memorable times in lauren’s car, parked at various trailheads), lauren manages to cajole mike into admitting that he’s not that into it. he goes back to sitting next to eric at the lunch table, and that’s the end of it.
two weeks later, chris breaks up with jess and immediately gets together with katie scott.
lauren considers shin-kicking, but instead she ditches class as soon as she hears, and drives out to jess’ house. she stops at home, and then at the grocery store on the way, and when she knocks she’s carrying two pints of rocky road ice cream and the massive fluffy pink fleece that jess steals every time she sleeps over at lauren’s.
jess has the door open before lauren can even knock, and throws herself into a hug that almost tumbles them back down the porch stairs.
lauren’s arms are pinned between them holding the ice cream, jess’s curls are scraping awkwardly across her face and into her mouth, and lauren’s pretty sure that she can hear jess sobbing–but she can’t help smiling.
they eat ice cream and watch the emperor’s new groove–halfway through, lauren points to kronk and says mike like it’s the greatest epiphany of her life, and jess laughs so hard that she spits a half-chewed marshmallow onto the couch.
when the movie is over, they migrate to the kitchen. lauren perches on the counter while jess microwaves a plate of dinosaur chicken nuggets. she snags one, and then pauses–you know, i also bought some eggs.
oh my god, jess says. wait–
school doesn’t get out for a couple more hours, lauren says, which means his car is just gonna be in the parking lot…
they park on the side of the road, just around the corner from the school. jess clings to lauren’s arm the entire way there, giggling and whispering omigod lauren we’re gonna get in so much trouble this is amazing omigod and lauren’s stomach is light and fluttery and she can’t stop grinning.
they cover chris’ stupid black pick-up in dripping egg yolk–lauren has to throw the first one because jess is hiding behind her squealing, but eventually jess gets into it enough to snatch the carton–and then she starts whooping, and then they hear the school doors slam open and have to run, laughing so hard they can barely breathe.
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@thiskryptonite hmmmmm.... I’m torn right now. Don’t know why I even care or making a post at all let alone on this account I barely remembered the password to. But for some reason, I’ve been missing our friendship quite a lot. Even though I always had the feeling I was second best compared to everyone else on Corinth in your eyes. We chatted a lot, everyday and had fun plotting or just making up head canon stuff with Atlas and my Noah or Markus and Noah. But I’m terrified now and know I deserve it because I couldn’t make any of you happy by existing.
To this day I still don’t understand why after everything you so easily and instantly turned your back and ghosted me after Corinth. Worse, allowed others on there to then send me hate, spread lies, drag up ancient drama that was long proven to be lies and through in all the ‘ist’ words they could think of for that chef’s kiss of trying to cancel someone. But at the same time, I’m not surprised by it either. When I was posting just on invisionfree forums I had a buddy named Ryan who I was great friends with and I coded a lot of RPs for. Only for him to not like some of the members and some how I had mad drama with them. Then with him and then ultimately kicked out of the group I made. Later he told me he would tell them I was saying stuff about them and trying to get them kicked out of the RP. The more drama they stirred and the more I defended myself he hopes they’d leave but if the drama got to bad he’d gladly kick me out of the group as he knew no matter what he did or caused, I’d always come back to him and wanna be friends. I still wanna talk and post with him to this day.
Griffin did the same thing to me. A guy I, like with you, talked to everyday for hours. Personal stuff, random crap, our characters, plans for the threads we had whatever. He didn’t like that I preformed too many actions in a post to progress it so he begun telling people I was power playing and forcing him into things. He knew they took that in the worse possible light and not that I simply made my character do more than say a response and make one action. Ultimately he got the whole RP to ignore me, ridicule me if I popped up in the OOC and even tell me to kill myself and that everyone hated me. And I did try to do as they suggested. I still wanted to talk to and post with him though.
Then Sam, she was a friend who trolled the previous mentioned RP. She knew they believed I was trolling them and sending nasty anon hate to them and members. She knew this and ramped up what she did solely because the admin pissed her off and if they thought it was me, well, who could it hurt? Jay (not Corinth jay but another one) did much the same. He stole many of the ideas, coding, and interactive elements of my first RP. Told members many lies to get them to leave my RP to join his instead. I still let him back on my RP as I missed my friend and RP buddy.
I have a history of trusting the wrong people. Of opening up to them and investing in an actual friendship with them only for them to abuse me in the end as they know I’ll always come back. Even now as I am finishing up the revamps to my RP I’m finding myself wondering what you’d think and if you’d enjoy RPing there. Why do I do that to myself? I know I have episodes due to being bipolar and that I have abandonment issues like no other. That I always try to please everyone even at the cost finically, emotionally, and even physically, of myself. I wonder if I hate myself so much that I just do that to myself. I do sometimes think I deserve all of this, to be told to end myself, to have the friend I allow in to stab me in the back . To be used, abused, and then tossed into the bins. I even find myself thinking of it’ll make people happy that I just disappear and am never heard from again that I should do it. I fail at so much, making my online friends happy, keeping them, why did I fail to do what they wanted and end it?
I’m such a glutton for punishment I actually did rejoin Corinth around Halloween. Used one of my aliases just as Nolan is one. No one suspected and I was actually well liked and all I did differently was talking regularly to more than three people. It still wasn’t for me though, far too much of a clique. I left RPing on tumblr after that. I felt so great zero drama and no one playing Mean Girl games just because they knew I existed still. But now I’m almost done revamping my RP, I want to try it again. I hate that I allowed toxic people to get to me and feel like shit just because they have issues their immature minds tell them it’s ok to destroy someone with mental issues and end something they put so much hard work and planning into just because.... someone got a message from them I guess. I don’t want any drama this time. I just want to stick to my group and the couple I’m currently RPing in, in peace. But at the same time, I wanna run everything passed you and get your input like when I was first making it. I’m nervous, jittery, and feel like I wanna throw up. But not because I worry for the RP lasting or getting members. But because I’m waiting for when your Corinth buddies will attack my RP and me again. When whatever drama they have somehow is my fault again even though I don’t even know who those people are let alone their blogs or what they do. But I know it’s going to happen. That type of person can’t let it not happen. They have to destroy someone, anyone to make themselves feel better. I’m scared and not because I know this will happen again. It’s because I know I’m going to to fail and the first attack from them is going to make me feel like I failed them and need to end either my RP or myself just to make them happy and leave me alone again. Well this turned into a ramble. Guess I’ll sign off this account. I got that off my chest. Don’t think it’ll help, it’ll probably be ignored really and my little prophecy will come to pass. But at least I got it down for when it does.
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TW: blo/d, g/re, d//th, ghosts, demons
here it is, the aforementioned wip. I have more but I think this is enough for now. Also, there are no names because I haven't found the right ones yet. So when it says [name] or [her name], imagine a random name there-
“Let’s make this easier for both of us.” [name] crouches on the side of the alley, in the convenient nook in the wall that made him choose this particular passageway to have this conversation.
The man who has just entered narrows his eyes, but he doesn’t look suspicious. [name] watches him shift into a defensive stance, and he shakes his head.
“There’s no use fighting,” he calls out, watching the man’s face swivel in his direction. “Just tell me what I need to know, and no one will be h-”
He is ready when the man leaps at him with inhuman speed, hand reaching out to grab him. [name] twists before he has the chance, and then a spurt of black blood splatters onto the stones of the alleyway.
The man gapes at him in surprise, clutching his side as if he’d never been injured before. [name] grins, and that’s incentive enough for the man to rush at him again, this time spinning in an attempt to shield himself.
[name]’s foot slams into the man’s chest as he stabs forward, and the man who is a monster lurches back. [name] almost falls from the impact, the man’s chest like steel against his bones. But he regains his footing quickly, keeping his eyes trained on the man’s clenched fists. “I’m going to ask you a few questions, and you are going to answer..”
The man’s eyes dart to the entrance of the alleyway as [name] strides closer. “What’s the question?”
“Do you know who I am?” [name] asks, resisting the urge to cough as he comes closer to the man’s stink.
The man is fast, [name] has to give him that. He almost makes it out of the alleyway before [name] can catch him by the throat. But his fingers close around the man’s cold neck, pinning him against the wall before he can fight back.
“Who are you?” the man who is not a man asks, cocking his head to the side as much as he can manage. “What are you?” He’s not used to being caught, and he’s not used to needing an escape route. He’s used to playing the cat in this scenario, but now he is a trapped mouse, and he knows it.
[name] knows the man doesn’t expect an answer, but he gives one anyway. “It won’t matter long for you.” He lets a hint of the fury he keeps boiling inside rise to the surface, and the man’s face pales. “But you can call me… Julian.”
“Julian,” the monster in the form of a man tries to say, as if he is tasting the word on his tongue. “A human name. But you are no human.” [name]’s fingers tighten around his throat, but the man simply laughs. “No matter. My master will have you in your place soon enough.”
“He can try,” [name] breathes, throwing the man to the ground. He reacts too quickly for a mere mortal as he leaps to his feet, but [name]’s fist is already waiting, and the man topples to the ground. [name]’s boot digs into his throat, holding him down with a force he hopes the man doesn’t see is weakening. “Many have tried. Do you know how many succeed?”
The man smiles as if he is not facing death, black blood glistening on his unnaturally white teeth. “When you look the Devil in the face, what does he say?”
[Name]’s breaths are steady as he presses his toe farther into the man’s throat, blocking off his airways. He leans in close to the man’s face, watching his eyes flare with rage and hate as he finds he cannot escape the hold. “He tells me all my imperfections, all my flaws, everything wrong in my twisted, rage-filled heart… and then he invites me out for dinner.”
He lets a smirk curl his lips as the demon claws uselessly at his leg. His muscles twinge in exhaustion, though. He has to wrap this up before he collapses too, but the man will not give him answers, and he already knows that torture never works on demons like him.
“You see,” [name] whispers into the man’s ear, “When you look into the Devil’s eyes too many times, you find he stares back. And perhaps he sees a mirror.”
The man doesn’t have time to scream before the knife slices into his neck, and his head is separated from his body.
No sooner does the blood spurt up than it disappears into black smoke, along with the severed head and body lying on the cobblestones. [name] waves the thick smoke away, resisting the urge to cough. He’s done this often enough that it shouldn’t bother him anymore, but there is still a tug that urges him to follow the trail of smoke as it snakes out of the alleyway.
He ignores it, allowing his shoulders to slump for the first time in hours.
“That was dramatic,” a voice sounds in his ear, and he sighs, not bothering to flinch. This, he has become immune to the surprise of.
He knows he isn’t imagining the disapproval in the voice.
“I’m a dramatic person,” he answers, running a hand through his hair. He knows better than to look for her in the alley, hand slung on her hip. He can imagine her standing there all he wants, but he’s been through too many disappointments today to turn and see nothing.
“That you are,” she agrees, her voice following him as he wipes his knife on his shirt. There is no blood, all of it vanished into smoke, but he cleans the blade out of habit anyway. He surveys the alley for any leftover traces of the fight, but other than a few overturned stones, there is no sign he was ever here. “There are better uses of your time.”
“I could say the same to you,” [name] shoots back, but this is an old conversation. She knows he won’t be swayed, and he knows she is there to stay. “One would think ghosts have other things to do than haunting old friends.”
He can practically see her rolling her eyes, even though she isn’t really there. “What kind of social life do you expect me to have?”
The same conversation, repeated a thousand times.
He sheathed his knife at his side. “You always were a social butterfly.”
“And you always had trouble letting go,” her voice whispers. A cold shiver sweeps through [name]’s body, but he ignores the familiar feeling. He’s always assumed it is [her name]’s remnants hovering around him, but lately he’s been feeling it all the time.
After all, there is a ghost in his ear, a phantom hovering at his shoulder.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t find information,” he says, reaching into the void to find his bag. It’s always disconcerting to see his hand disappear into nothingness, but, as with all the other strange happenings in his life, he ignores the jittery feeling that overtakes him, the urge to jump in and see where oblivion leads.
He retrieves his bag, searching in the front pocket to find his hand mirror. She answers him after a few seconds, a note of annoyance in her voice. “I wish you would stop looking.”
“Do you know what I wanted to say, [her name]?” he ignores her comment, wiping the dirt from his face as he studies himself in the mirror. “When he asked what the Devil says to me?”
She doesn’t respond, so he continues, “I wanted to say that when I see the Devil, he laughs in my face. I wanted to say that when the Devil laughs at my arrogance, scorns me for my passion, invites me to join him in hell, I laugh back at him. Because when the Devil laughs at you, you know you’re too far gone to care about offending him anymore.”
There is silence, a ringing in his ears as he tucks the mirror back into the bag and drops it into the void, watching it disappear into thin air. When she finally speaks, it’s the same words she’s said a thousand times before.
“You need to stop this chase for answers, [name],” she pleads, her voice bulletproof with her resolve. He cannot break through.
He ignores her, too, and when he emerges from the alleyway without a hair out of place, not a single human is able to tell that he just killed a demon.
QOJSJQJJDQJJSJW OKAY OKAY BUT SERIOUSLY THIS WAS PERFECT AND GAVE ME CHILLS??? THE WRITING IS EXCELLENT AND- OMG SUMS YOU GOTTA KEEP GOING- I CAN ALREADY TELL IT'S GONNA BE SUCH A PERFECT STORY- IM SO JEALOUS I CANT SEE STRAIGHT OMG OMG OMG-
THIS STORY WILL BREAK ME WONT IT-
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April Contest Submission #22: Lake Town Sunrise
Words: ca. 3,800
CW: loneliness, moving, high schoolers, mild angst, language
If anyone had asked Anna what she felt about moving halfway across the country to a tiny place called Lake Town during the fourth month of her senior year, well — she would have lied and said she didn’t mind at all. But no one had, so she didn’t have to lie to anyone. Not even herself. And she hated the move.
Anna had no choice in the matter but the seventeen year-old felt like she had no right to complain to her beloved grandfather, who had sacrificed his entire retirement life to raise her from an infant. If he wanted to move, there should be nothing holding him back. But Anna had to admit she wished he’d waited a few more months. Just a few more months and Anna would graduate and be out of his hair. On her own.
Until then, Anna was adjusting to an entirely new life in a new place with new people and new schoolwork. The piles of catch-up homework were her worst nightmare. She didn’t like to have bad grades so she was devoting all of her energy to her classes in an effort not to disappoint herself. As a result, she hadn’t had the time or energy to make a single friend from November to March, and as a social person, the loss of friendship was starting to drive her crazy. Nobody back home even returned her texts anymore; they’d completely moved on and Anna was stuck by herself in a town with only a lake she had yet to even visit, just trying to keep her head above water.
Just because she hadn’t made any friends, however, didn’t mean she hadn’t picked out a couple people from her classes she’d love to be friends with. One girl stood out to her in particular. She was in Anna’s writing class and they often paired up when the teacher required it. Her name was Elsa and she had the prettiest long white-blonde hair Anna had ever seen; usually worn in a braid or a ponytail. Every once in a while she let it loose in gentle waves; those were Anna’s favorite days.
Elsa was a quiet student, never talking with anyone around her. Anna noticed she usually had a sketchbook open and a pencil rhythmically scratching away. She’d give anything to know what Elsa was always drawing, but she couldn’t stare too long or the blonde would eventually glance up and catch her eye, causing them both to look away quickly, blushing.
Yesterday Elsa hadn’t come to school and Anna had found herself rather disappointed. She always looked forward to English class but without the other girl to pay attention to, Anna had stared at the clock, willing the hands to move faster. Was Elsa the only reason she enjoyed this class? They had barely had a complete conversation beyond relevant English topics. Still, Anna found herself begging the fates to let her see that sketchbook when she walked through the door to room 37b today.
A sigh of relief escaped her lungs when Anna rounded the corner and saw Elsa at the desk beside hers, legs crossed, focused entirely on the pencil meeting her paper. Anna approached; Elsa looked up and smiled when she saw who was there.
“Hey,” she smiled back. “I missed you yesterday.”
“Oh yeah,” blonde eyebrows softened, “My grandma was a bit under the weather so I had to stay home and take care of her.”
“You live with your grandma?” Anna asked, pleasantly surprised.
“Yeah, it’s just the two of us.”
“Me too,” Anna encouraged, “but with my grandfather.”
“Oh wow! I don’t think I’ve met anyone else here in the same boat.” Elsa closed her sketchbook as Anna took a seat.
“It’s definitely a unique experience,” Anna laughed. She watched the fluorescent lights glimmer in Elsa’s eyes when she nodded in response.
Anna’s heart raced quietly while she pulled out her English notebook and folder. There were still a few minutes left before class began. Maybe she could think of something else to say before the chance was gone. But it was Elsa who took another stab at conversation first.
“What are you doing for spring break?” Elsa asked.
“Oh!” Anna smiled, excited. “Ever since moving here in the winter I’ve been drowning in either snow or catch-up homework, so I’m finally gonna take a break in the nice weather and see what this famous lake is all about! I’ve never even gotten…” she trailed off at the sight of Elsa’s grimace. “What?”
“Sorry,” Elsa said, “it’s just - you don’t want to be anywhere near the lake during spring break.”
“I mean I know it’s gonna be crowded—”
“You don’t understand. That lake is the only interesting thing in a 200 mile radius. Everybody in the entire state who can’t afford a real vacation will be swarming the town - especially the lake. All fucking week.”
“Oh.” Anna sighed, crestfallen. She had hoped to spend some time with her new classmates at the lake; they were still strangers to her after all this time. She had thought maybe she’d even make a friend there. But not now. “Wait, where does everybody go then? If the whole town gets taken over?”
“Well, some have to stick around to run the shops and everything, but most everybody scatters off to vacations of their own.” Elsa explained.
“And what about you?”
“My grandma doesn’t go anywhere. I’ll be around.”
Class started abruptly and the conversation was cut off. Anna didn’t hear a word of the lecture, as her thoughts swirled around her head. Thoughts of the forbidden lake, of people who got to experience “real” vacations, but mostly of Elsa. Elsa had talked to her for so long today - and seemed to enjoy it! Anna felt light and airy, like something was trying to lift her heart right out of her chest. Was this what it felt like, to be on the verge of friendship? Anna hadn’t even experienced these butterflies the entire time she dated Kristoff back home.
Wait. Did she have feeling-feelings for Elsa? Was that - was that allowed? Would Elsa ever —
The bell rang.
Everybody scrambled to pack their backpacks up, except for Elsa and Anna. Elsa jotted something down on a corner of a page in her sketchbook, then tore it out as Anna watched.
“Here,” Elsa held out the ripped corner. “That’s my address. Meet me there after school today when break starts. I wanna show you something.”
Anna took the paper and watched dumbfounded as Elsa left the classroom. Shaking her head out, she looked at the address. It was a five minute walk from her house.
When she flipped the piece of paper over in her hand, the other side (probably unintentionally) had part of a sketch. It was a person, cut off just below the shoulders. Anna stared in disbelief at her own freckled face smiling up at herself in graphite.
Anna ran all the way home, making her 12 minute walk in 8 minutes. She found her grandpa sitting in his chair, working on a puzzle. Huffing and puffing from exertion, Anna made her way through the living room to the hallway, saying, “Hey, Gramps,” as she passed.
“In a hurry, child?” the old man replied, glancing up briefly from his puzzle.
“I made a friend, I’ll explain in a minute!” Anna called out as she jogged farther into the house.
She reached her room and threw her backpack to the ground before stripping off her clothes and staring at her closet, hoping something would jump out at her. Her chest heaved as the cool air helped dry the clammy skin of her torso. What was she supposed to wear to Elsa’s house for the first time, where she was going to quote-unquote ‘show her something?’ Was it something casual, something fancy? After a moment she settled on a cute tie dye t-shirt and black jeans. It was spring break after all, she should be able to wear something comfortable.
Anna glanced at her signature twin braids in the mirror. She pulled the hair ties out and ran her fingers through the locks, letting it fall apart into structured waves. Yep, that’s cute! she thought.
On her way back out through the house, Anna told her grandfather she was going to a new friend’s house, and that he should order a pizza for dinner. He had no complaints, but reminded her to be home by 10. Soon, Anna was out the door, headed in the direction of Elsa’s house.
This time, she walked deliberately slowly. Anna didn’t want to be out of breath when she got to Elsa’s house, nor did she want to get there earlier than Elsa might expect. Anna had rushed herself rather hard ever since that final bell rang, but now as she passed houses she had never seen and heard birds enjoying the spring afternoon, she had a few moments to think about what had happened earlier. Precisely: the conversation, the realization, and the invitation.
Just yesterday she was silently disappointed that Elsa was missing from class, and now they’d had a nice interaction, Anna thought she might have a crush on her, and Elsa invited her over to her house! It was all so sudden and exciting. Confusing, but exciting.
Do I really like her? Anna wondered. Well, comparing her feelings to what she used to feel around Kristoff was pretty telling. She thought Kristoff was cute and nice, and she liked how it made her feel when he told her how much he liked her. But maybe that wasn’t what love feels like. Maybe it’s more like what Elsa makes her feel… comfort, acceptance, longing, excitement. Not to mention how attractive she was, with her gorgeous hair and perfect face and shining blue eyes, bluer than anything Anna had ever seen…
Anna might have a little bit of a crush on Elsa. In fact, it might be huge.
But could Elsa ever feel the same way? They were both girls, so Anna felt it was unlikely Elsa had ever had a similar thought toward Anna. However, Anna felt the piece of paper in her pocket. The one with the drawing on the back. Why did Elsa draw her? Was this the only one and it happened to be on the exact page and corner she tore out? Or did she sketch Anna a lot?… Is that why sometimes when Anna was watching her draw, Elsa would glance up directly at her — because Anna was actually her subject?
She sighed. There was so much to think about all of a sudden. She almost wanted to go back to obsessing over her homework and ignoring everybody. But then she saw a mailbox with Elsa’s address and her heart rate took off. That was a normal reaction, right? Totally, for sure.
Anna wiped her clammy palms off on her jeans and consciously corrected her posture as she approached Elsa’s house. It was painted a nice sky blue, with navy shutters. There was an old car in the driveway, which disappeared past the other side of the building. In the front yard was a big pine tree looming over the house, at least three times as tall. As she approached, Anna noticed Elsa sitting at the base of the pine tree, under its canopy created by trimming the lowest branches. She waved from her shady spot when she noticed Anna.
“Hey!” Elsa called out. “You came!”
Anna jogged the last few steps and ducked under the branches to join Elsa’s shady dwelling. “Of course I came!” She grinned widely and plopped down across from the blonde, folding her legs into a criss-cross style. “This tree is amazing,” she remarked, looking up through its branches, barely able to see the bright sky filtering through them.
“Thanks,” Elsa patted the trunk she was leaning her back against, “she’s a good one. Great for quiet afternoons. But this isn’t what I wanted to show you.” She stood up, grabbing her sketchbook and brushing off her pants. “Follow me?”
We made our way across the lawn, past the car, and followed the driveway around the side of Elsa’s house. The drive stretched back past half of the small backyard, all the way to a strangely tall garage. It was wide enough for one car but was more like two-stories tall. Maybe a past owner had it built especially for a big vehicle or boat.
We stopped at the regular service door beside the big garage door and Elsa grabbed the handle, her fingers lightly trembling as they reached out. She was nervous to show Anna whatever was inside. Anna was racking her brain trying to guess what it could be. A boat for the lake they can’t go to? A weirdly tall truck? A collection of four wheelers? A quiet place perfect to trick Anna into a serial killer’s lair? No, of course not that one, jeez.
The door opened, the lights flicked on.
Anna’s jaw dropped.
She was wrong about everything.
Inside the garage, the entire space was transformed into a secret hideout of some kind. It like walking into a crazy treehouse but within the walls of a garage. There was a structure made out of lumber, expertly crafted together to form multiple separate areas as well as an elaborate winding staircase/ramp combo that wrapped around the walls, leading up to a partial upper level. All of the woodwork was bright blue with handpainted details which gave it all a realistic ice effect. Where the ceiling was visible there were tinted skylights letting in natural light, bathing everything in a blue glow.
To furnish the hangout, Elsa had a desk she clearly used for homework and art, a futon, multiple bean bag chairs, and who knows what else on the upper level. Anna reached out and laid a hand on Elsa’s arm. “This…” she shook her head out in disbelief. “This is not what I was expecting you to show me - but it’s incredible!”
“Thank you,” Elsa blushed slightly as she dipped her head down in gratitude.
“How did you do this? You made it all yourself?” Anna asked, touching the glossy surface of the painted wood beam closest to her.
Elsa scratched her neck, “Well, when I was little I always dreamed of having an ice palace, a place to get away from my daily life. I love my grandmother but sometimes I just needed to be a kid. As soon as we learned shop in middle school, I knew what I had to do. I asked permission to upgrade the garage and beyond that, my grandma doesn’t know or care what I do out here. She’s never seen it.” Elsa laughed. “So I’ve just been creating this space for myself over the years. I finally finished it last year with the paint job and everything. Oh, and I made the skylights myself by cutting holes through the roof and installing windows, weatherproofing the cracks. That was the hardest part of the whole garage.”
Anna smiled in disbelief. This quiet girl had a whole universe of creativity inside her head, and when the subject was something she was passionate about, she wasn’t quiet at all! Anna had never really been friends with an introvert, and apparently she had been missing out big time.
“You are…. so cool,” Anna finally said. “This is amazing!” She spun around, walking farther into the ice palace, looking up as the homemade skylights twisted in circles. After a minute, she got too dizzy and fell, landing on a beanbag with a thwump.
Elsa laughed and joined her on the nearest beanbag. “You really think so?”
“Of course!” Anna said.
“You’re the only person who I’ve ever invited here. The only one who’s ever seen it.”
“Wait, what?” Anna’s thoughts halted. “How is that possible?”
Elsa rubbed her arm anxiously, “Well, I… I don’t really have many friends. Or any friends, really. This place is my safe space, where I can get away from the world and truly be myself. Here I can read and create and relax, and nobody is here to judge me. I’ve never minded being alone.”
“So,” Anna tilted her head, trying not to come off as rude. “Then why did you invite me?”
Elsa’s cheeks bloomed with pink. “You’re the first person I’ve ever wanted to invite.”
Anna’s expression softened as Elsa continued, “I feel safe around you. Even though we didn’t talk much before today, I’ve wanted to get to know you ever since you first walked into my English class.”
Anna’s heart soared. “I’ve felt the same way about you. I lost all my friends when I moved… and as an extrovert, I struggled with that a lot. But I had so much homework to catch up on, I couldn’t find the time to reach out to anyone here. So instead I cut myself off from making friends and buried myself in class work. But the whole time I’ve lived here, I couldn’t help but feel drawn to you. I wished and wished and wished that you would be my friend, but it felt like I waited too long and I’d be stuck alone for the rest of high school.”
Elsa held her hand out for Anna to take. It felt so smooth against Anna’s palm, she never would’ve believed the hard work these hands had been through if she didn’t see it with her own eyes.
“Well I think it’s safe to say we’re friends now,” Elsa said.
“Absolutely,” Anna agreed. “Good luck getting rid of me at this point!”
A couple of hours passed before Anna even checked the time. “I should probably be getting home,” she sighed. “Could we do this again tomorrow?”
Elsa nodded enthusiastically. “I’d like that. And actually, I was wrong before, about the lake. Everybody else’s spring break doesn’t start until Monday so the droves won’t be hitting town until tomorrow night. The lake would be pretty deserted if we got there really early.”
“Yes!” Anna made a fist.
“I mean like sunrise-early.”
“Yikes. Okay. No problem!” Anna wasn’t a morning person, especially when she had the choice to sleep in, but this was a great exception.
A sunrise on the lake with her new favorite person? Sounded like a dream come true!
Anna didn’t even dream that night. She woke a minute before her 3:30 alarm and sprang out of bed. Flipping on lamps here and there, she went to the kitchen to prepare some food. She made an egg scramble which her grandpa could reheat when he woke up, and then she made more sandwiches than she’d ever made at one time, leaving two in the fridge for his lunch, and taking the rest with her to share with Elsa later.
When her lunch pack was filled with ice and sandwiches, Anna went back to her room to write a note for her grandpa and change into her swimsuit. She didn’t know if there would be any getting in the water at this lake on an early spring morning, but she was ready just in case. Then she put a light green t-shirt on over the swimwear, along with dark blue jogging pants and a black and white tie dye hoodie. She probably clashed but Anna preferred to wear lots of different colors, not caring if they went well together.
A bit of a long walk later, and Anna arrived at the street corner Elsa told her about. It was right at the lake. Anna set her lunch bag on the pavement and leaned against the street lamp pole. She felt in her pocket for that ripped piece of sketchbook paper, gently running her fingers over its edges. Before long, Elsa approached in the dim lamp light.
“Good morning,” Elsa said in a quiet voice. The way it sounded so …intimate made Anna’s stomach butterflies go for a loop.
“Morning, Elsa.” Anna smiled, picking up her bag.
Elsa led the way toward the lake where they found an empty pier. They walked all the way to the end and sat on the edge, dangling their legs over the dark lake. It was about a ten foot drop beneath their feet to the surface of the water, where it gently rippled just for them.
They sat quietly in the darkness until the faintest tinge of light started appearing along the horizon. It was a gentle pale blue, barely discernible from the rest of the sky at first. Slowly, it gained more light, moment by moment. Soon the light blue was joined by pale yellow, then peach. When a brilliant pink appeared on wispy clouds, Anna couldn’t help but feel it was a metaphor for how quickly and beautifully her friendship with Elsa had bloomed.
Her feelings for Elsa developed like a brightening dawn.
It was light enough now to see each other if either girl dared to turn. Anna felt for the paper in her pocket and slowly pulled it out.
“Hmm?” Elsa answered, still staring at the pink clouds, now turning orange.
“Do you draw everyone in class?”
“What do you mean?” Elsa asked.
“When you’re sketching in your notebook, do you draw our classmates? Or anyone in particular?” Anna’s heart was beating so loud she was sure Elsa could hear it.
“Oh. Um,” Elsa hesitated. “I don’t draw a lot of different people. Only the ones who mean something to me.” She glanced sideways at Anna. “Why?”
“This piece of paper you wrote your address on…” Anna held it in her hand. Elsa’s head turned to look. “I couldn’t help but notice this drawing on the back. You probably didn’t mean—”
Elsa swiftly took the paper from Anna’s fingertips and gasped when she saw the sketch. “Anna, I can explain.”
“Hey, don’t worry,” Anna placed a calming hand on Elsa’s. “You don’t have to explain anything.”
“I don’t?” Elsa asked, her face visibly red even in the low light.
“No.” Anna said. “I was just making sure I understood how you felt, before…” she trailed off.
Anna reached up and touched Elsa’s chin with her thumb and first finger. She gently tilted Elsa’s head as her eyes asked an important question. Elsa’s breath shook as she nodded slightly. Anna leaned in sweetly, but with purpose, as she let her lips softly brush against Elsa’s. They both let out a nervous breath before closing in again. This time, Anna could really feel the connection between their lips. Anna’s eyes fluttered closed.
She no longer needed to see the picture perfect sunrise, for the colors bursting in her heart and behind her eyelids were even more beautiful.
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Magnum is feral and unhinged in a very obvious way, she will try to stab you the moment she sees you if left unsupervised. She's very reckless and bloodthirsty.
Ska is more chill looking, but extremely danger still. She's the type to manipulate you, and keep her chill Facade until she thinks it's necessary to reveal her batshit crazy side. She'll rarely physically attack someone, seeing it has being too low for her.
Liv? The worst, she seems all sunshine and rainbows, very kind, but that's just a trick she's willing to play until she has the perfect occasion to strike. She is a BIG sadist.
Ark is a nice dude who has been Magnum's childhood friend, he's immune to their antics and truly, truly thinks they aren't that bad. He often get mocked by the girls for many reasons, since he tends to be softer. They keep him mainly because his Air Manipulation is useful to them (and Magnum has a very fucked up 'i love you but also I will insult you at any given opportunity' friendship with him)
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Word Count: 2.6K
At Your Parents’ House
Blood. On the walls, on the floor, on the ceiling. Redness covers the white paint of the living room walls as bloody footsteps form a path to the kitchen. Your father is slumped over with his head propped on the marble counter, a shotgun by his side.
As you take a step backwards, you now notice your mother’s body laying on the carpeted stairs. Her veins are popping out of her face and her eyes are cloudy. Upon taking a closer look, you notice the bullet hole on the side of her head.
Your hand trembles as you place it before your mouth, shoving down a scream. The smell of blood and brain matter has filled your house and you hold back a gag.
Quickly, Levi wraps his arms around you and physically turns your body so that you’re facing away from the carnage. Once he places you down, his hand carefully rests on your back as he tries to give you some kind of comfort.
“I’ll go look, ok?” He says and you simply nod. From behind, you can hear as the soles of his shoes begin to fill with liquid as each step he takes squeaks. He quietly nods at Erwin who puts a still-unconscious Hanji on the couch before making his way past you.
They whisper to each other so you won’t hear them as they now walk from the kitchen to the hall, carefully examining your mother’s body from afar. You decide to take the opportunity to get a closer look at your father.
You touch his head, which is matted with blood, and push his hair aside in search of a bullet hole. As soon as you realize there isn’t one, his hand wraps around your wrist, pulling you closer to him and all you can do is scream while trying to set your arm free.
His skin is so pale that it seems like all his blood is drained. His mouth hangs open while saliva drips onto your arm, his once caring eyes now filled with an insatiable need to take a bite out of your flesh.
Your feet slip on the mixture of blood and saliva beneath him and you fall, pulling him with you. It takes every ounce of your remaining strength to push him off of you and push his head off to the side in the hopes of keeping his mouth away.
Not five seconds pass before Levi rushes back into the room, pulling a knife out of his pocket and stabbing the man right in the head, a few splatters of blood landing on your face.
With a kick, he frees you from your father’s grip and extends his hand to help you back on your feet.
No tears form in your eyes, and instead you burst into laughter. Both men look at you with concern in their eyes.
“My dad just tried to kill me!” You cackle, as if it was the funniest thing anyone has ever said. “I’m his baby and he tried to KILL ME!”
Your body slumps forward and you place your hands on your knees, trying to balance yourself as you keep on laughing. You laugh until your lungs and stomach hurt, until you’ve been laughing for so long that you forget for a second why you were laughing at all.
You laugh until you fall to your knees, punching the floor before Erwin and Levi wrap their arms around you, pressing you in between their bodies. The laughter dies in your throat and you close your eyes, hoping to smell your mother’s cooking instead of blood.
“I’m fine.” You whisper after a few minutes.
“You’re not and that’s ok.” Erwin says, a caring tone in his voice. “Why don’t you sit on the couch with Hanji while we get things ready?”
“No, I want to help.” You say, pushing your arms up and releasing yourself from their grip. “There are a few backpacks in the closet down that hall.”
“Alright, how about we separate and go through the house faster so we can leave soon?” Levi suggests and Erwin nods in agreement.
“Levi, go through every room and get all the medicine and medical supplies you see. I’ll go see if I can find anything useful, like a map or something and Y/N, get us as much food as you can.”
You begin the search, looking around the kitchen and pantry, you realize they are fully stocked and you start thinking about all the times your mother took you to get groceries, letting you choose one treat every time.
Nearly every bit of food in the house is in cans: fruit, protein, snacks. In the fridge, you find a frozen cheese lasagna. You ponder for a second if you should cook it or leave it, not wanting to let it go to waste. But as you try and pick it up, you realize that you don’t have the space for it.
Suddenly, you remember something, and rush towards the stairs after leaping over the pool of blood on the floor.
“Erwin?” You yell and his head pops up quickly. “There is a safe in my mom’s office.”
“Is it in the locked cabinet on her desk?” He asks and you nod.
“The key is behind the calendar taped to the wall. The combination to the safe is my birthday.” You respond.
A puzzled look takes over his face and he shifts awkwardly. You gasp in mock offense, placing your right hand above your heart. “You don’t know when my birthday is?!”
“I forgot, I’m sorry!” He panics and you flash him a smile, letting him know it’s not a big deal.
“My birthday is...” You begin, but a quiet voice finishes your sentence.
You turn around to see Hanji sitting up, awake. Heavy tears flow down her face and her nose is now a bright shade of red.
“That’s Y/N’s birthday.” She says and you open your arms, inviting her in for a hug. She doesn’t waste any time and rushes to your arms, burying her face in the crook of your neck as she muffles her hiccups.
When you look up, you notice Erwin is already gone. You try to push Hanji away, hoping to look at her face but her grip around you tightens, unabling you to move at all. So you stay that way until she’s ready.
She finally pulls herself away and frowns her brows in confusion, tilting her head to the side while pointing to an area behind you. “What’s that on the floor?”
You look behind you only to find a piece of paper and, even from afar, you recognize your mother’s handwriting. While grabbing the paper, you can notice some of the ink is smudged by teardrops.
Not being able to bring yourself to look, you hand it to Hanji, who begins to read it outloud.
“Y/N, If you’re reading this, it means I ran out of time. I emailed every radio and tv station I could find but nobody believed me.
A few years ago, me and a few other scientists developed a virus that could cure terminal diseases such as AIDS and Huntington’s, and at first everything was going ok, until it wasn’t anymore.
The patients started dying a week after getting the first injection but they didn’t stay dead for long. They came back as monsters and we did everything in our power to cover it all up. No one could know what happened other than us.
A month ago, the virus was getting studied again in the hopes that it would be more effective as a gas and we were able to change its state, but the results remained the same. We couldn’t figure out what was wrong or what was bringing them back.
Last week, an unauthorized person pulled the virus out of its protective capsule, breaking the container it was in and setting it free. When I noticed what had happened, it was too late. Several people had already left the building and the spreading process had already begun.
It left through the vents and I couldn’t do anything about it. I’m so sorry I failed as a scientist and as your mother.
At the lab, there is a map with the coordinates of a safe place I put together for you. Find it and survive.
You were my biggest creation and I am so p…”
Hanji stops and her voice dies in her throat. “It ends there.”
The state of shock has finally dissipated from your body and tears begin to flow down your face. It finally hits you that your parents are dead, Moblit is dead, life as you know it has ended.
You think about your classmates who simply went out to celebrate the night before, who invited you to join them but you had practice early the next day so you said no. The classmates who always tried to make your classes more tolerable.
They are a mess of rotten flesh and blood, salivating as they stare at a living human being. Their cloudy eyes show no sign of life and yet, they are walking through the city, desperately trying to fill up the hole where their souls used to be.
Hanji presses her lips on your forehead, “A positivity seed has been planted in you.”
You smile through the tears and, in response to her caring gesture, you whisper the words “I love you” barely audible but enough for her to understand you.
Her thumb brushes against your wet cheeks, wiping away the tears. She holds your face in her hands, stars in her eyes as she looks at you and your heart skips a beat.
“I’m sorry about your family.” She says, a sad smile on her face.
“I still have you.” You respond, tenderly grasping her wrists. “And Commander Dumbass and Captain Bitch, I still have a family.”
“Even if it’s incomplete...” Hanji sighs, trying to avert your gaze and you nod.
“I’m sorry about Moblit.” You say and she pulls her lips in and shuts her eyes, trying her hardest to hold back the tears.
“You were right for not letting me go back.” She says, “That doesn’t mean I have to be ok with it.”
Carefully, you examine the living room, looking for a specific object. Hanji’s hands let go of you and you rush up the stairs, the brunette following closely behind.
When you rush into the office, you’re received by a very surprised Erwin, who clearly did not expect you to enter the room.
On the wall, nearly touching the ceiling, is a small vent. You pull the desk, dropping everything to the floor before climbing it.
“Ok, you’ve officially lost your shit!” Erwin says, rushing towards the other side of the table, ready to catch you in case you fall.
“I haven’t.” You say, opening up the compartiment and pulling out a small, wooden box, “A month ago, I came to visit and I made a small memory box.”
The blonde man picks you up by the legs, making sure not to hit your head on the fan before placing you down. You smile at him in return before handing the box to Hanji.
When she opens it, a picture of the five of you rests above everything else and tears fill her eyes yet again but this time a smile sprouts on her lips.
Quickly shutting it close, she holds the box in one hand while the other pulls you in for a hug, “Thank you.” She says as she shoves the chest in her bag.
“So I just realized something.” Levi says as he enters the room, a knife in hand as he polishes it. All eyes are now on him. “If the virus is a gas, then…”
“How have we not transformed?” Hanji completes his sentence and he nods.
“Maybe we’re immune?” Erwin suggests while putting the gun in the back of his pants, his pockets filled to the brim with ammunition.
“Look, whatever the case is we can talk about it when we get out of here.” Hanji says and you all agree.
Levi’s bag is filled with bandages, medicine and rubbing alcohol. He somehow manages to add a tissue box and some basic cleaning supplies in there too, ready to sterilize a space in case someone needs stitches. He flips one of the sharp kitchen knives around for fun.
Erwin is carrying basic hygiene items, such as toilet paper, toothbrushes and soap. Alongside a second gun and more ammunition, he also has a map, pens and paper. He is left with a decent amount of space left in his bag, so he places a few water bottles inside.
Hanji shuffles through the closets of the house, grabbing a few coats and other clothing items. She shoves a few boxes of matches in her pockets and some batteries, then hooking a couple of pots on the zippers of her bag. The wooden box hidden underneath everything.
Your bag has food: an insane amount of canned goods and protein snacks, and then decide to add a bottle of vodka. You quietly thank your mom for helping you. You take your dad’s shotgun, much to Erwin’s excitement and a few more water bottles.
“We should take my dad’s car.” You say, looking for your keys so you could lock the door behind you but when Hanji reaches for your hand, you are reminded you don’t have to. “The one we brought here is in bad shape after running over the… creatures.”
“What car does he have?” Levi asks, opening the door to the garage.
“A minivan.” You reply and Erwin’s eyes go wide with excitement. He rushes past the black haired man, pulling the key out of his hand.
“DIBS!” Is all Erwin says and you can’t help but laugh.
On top of everything, you grab a few tools from the workbench and four sleeping bags from the closet in the garage. Your heart aches once you notice the thick layer of dust coating them and you wish you had come home to visit more often.
Levi sits on the passenger’s seat, looking at a map handed to him by Erwin, who is too busy adjusting his seat to pay attention to the paper.
in the back seat, Hanji’s body is pressed against the window as her knee touches yours. Your eyes have been focused on the carpeted floor ever since you got in the car.
Her hand wraps around yours but you don’t move an inch. Once she realizes you will not look at her, she brings her lips closer to your ear, “Lay your head on my lap.”
You nod, pulling your legs together before placing your face on her thighs. As you close your eyes, you feel the warmth of a jacket covering your torso and you smirk in response, Hanji’s hand moves up and down your arm, trying to keep you warm.
Clipped to the sun visor was the remote to open the garage door. You hear the loud noise it makes in the process and your limbs tighten until it becomes muffled and you realize Hanji is covering your ear with the palm of her hand.
As Erwin pulls out of the garage, you can hear the sounds of dragged footsteps, loud grunting and a car alarm in the distance. You begin to think to yourself.
“Thank you mom, for always looking after me and getting us enough supplies to go through the beginning of this hell.
Thank you dad, for teaching me how to survive in the wild. Thank you for the life you gave me so far, I’ll make the best out of it.
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The Magnus Archives Relisten: Episode 56 - Children of the Night
Jon: Note: several pages are missing from the file around the time that he apparently did not die of lung cancer in the institute.
I love the "trying very hard to remain professional for the recording while also clearly pissed off" tone here.
There’s a sharpness to them. They’re hunters. But over the years I’ve become a hunter as well - Statement of Trevor Herbert
Yeah, you don't even know how true that statement is, Trevor...
Perhaps if I’d been faster, able to keep up with Dupont more easily, I would have realized my mistake. (...) Maybe even if he’d had a name that didn’t make me think of Dracula.
There's something a little bit funny about this. I mean, it's mostly tragic and horrific, but "the guy's name made me think of Dracula and that contributed to me killing him" is still just ... a little bit funny.
I will never forget the moment I heard Alard Dupont scream. (...) Dupont was still screaming, that horrid sound overriding all other thoughts. (...) I couldn’t focus, couldn’t do anything, so I hit him again. Hard. In the head. And then he was quiet, and everything was horribly still.
The way this scene is presented, with the discordant background music rising to a crescendo to mimic Dupont's screams and then disappearing with the words 'Hard. In the head.' is really effective.
After that I spent over a decade in a very serious spiral. I don’t remember much of it, except that I spent most of it so high that looking back I’m genuinely astounded I never OD’d.
I'm not sure Trevor was still fully alive at this point, hence why he didn't die. The Hunt was keeping him alive.
I could feel it in my blood. It was a hunt and I always felt stronger on a hunt.
Well, this is rather on the nose, isn't it? (No, I didn't realise on the first go. Not knowing there was a fear called The Hunt made this a lot less noticeable.)
Thousands and thousands of spiders. She opened her mouth at last, as if to scream and more poured out.
This episode had me fully convinced that the spiders and the worms were more or less the same thing because Trevor's encounter with spider-lady so closely mimics some of the descriptions of Jane and the worms, what with the scream-of-creepy-creatures. I even referred to this lady as "the spider hive" for a while when I was talking to a friend about it. (I also felt kinda bad for her, like, "Spider Hive lady just wants to be WARM! Don't stab her, that's just RUDE!")
I will miss the hunt.
They are not being subtle here!
As for the spider person, the only proof of its existence seems to be that I am far too unlucky for it to simply be an old tramp hallucination. - Jon
Jon has gone from "I WILL PRETEND TO BE SKEPTICAL ABOUT EVERY SINGLE THING, SO HELP ME!" to "Oh fuck it, what's the point? It's real. Of course, it's real. Even if it being fake makes more sense. Especially if it being fake makes more sense."
Martin: I mean, I–I didn’t ever actually meet him. I just heard some of the other researchers mentioning it.
Yeah, as evidenced by my commentary on the first Trevor Herbert episode, I COMPLETELY FORGOT THIS! My memory for media is lousy - but hey, that makes it extra fun to relisten! (Though I still do actually think Trevor Herbert died when Martin thought he had. He just Avatar-ed at that point, hence him still being around.)
Martin: I lied on my CV.
Man, this revelation, though, I was expecting something humorously harmless but I wasn't expecting THAT ... And him being all dramatic about it, too! (Mind, "I lied on my CV and I really don't want to be fired" is plenty of reason to be dramatic, just not in the context of MY JOB IS A SUPERNATURAL MURDER TRAP THAT OCCASIONALLY INVOLVES BEING ATTACKED BY WORMS!)
Martin: For some reason my lie about parapsychology got me an interview with Elias and – and then a job here.
Yeah, I think your shoddy lie had precisely zilch to do with that, Martin, and maybe you should've been a bit more suspicious about that but eh, desperation move, you don't look a gift job in the mouth.
My impression of this episode
So when I first listened to this, I didn't find it particularly notable. I was even wondering why so much of this episode was dedicated to an event that actually wasn't supernatural but just plain old murder. In hindsight, of course, that part of this episode isn't about vampires, it's about Trevor succumbing to the Hunt. That realisation makes this episode hit a lot harder. Also, Martin's revelation was an interesting plot point!
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Find the Word Tag
I have so many of these to catch up on, sorry for the delay y’all 😂 Thanks @scmalarky for this one! These are all from The Ex Quest.
Unfortunately, before he could think of anything, the nearest goblyn stabbed him through the heart.
“I thought it might look better out of natural light,” said Trickster, letting go of Llanedd and taking a step back as if trying to take in the full experience, “but alas. That dress is certifiably hideous.”
In what Llanedd would begrudgingly admit was the perfect finishing move, Trickster threw the remainder of his wine down the front of Llanedd’s dress.
Beside her was an only-slightly-less-muscled man who was either part orc or really needed to find a new dentist.
Tagging @catharticallysarcastic @cozy-kaye and @notwritinganyflufftoday to find Captain, Feel, and Keep, if you want :)
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