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#Grand daddies of Slash
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I had another intense daydream about DILF Bakugou. It will be a continuation from my first one. 
Again, I am not a strong/good writer so please don’t come at me for mistakes. I also didn’t think I was going to get attached to the kids but haha I did. The oldest one’s name is Liam and the younger one’s name is Noah. 
Warning: Cursing and mutual pining.
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The elevator door opens at his penthouse apartment, it was 8:30am and you were already there. Seems kinda eager Y/N. You stir in the elevator trying to calm yourself down pressing your hand to your chest taking a deep breath as the elevator door opens. You almost forgot how to breathe when you saw Bakugou standing there in front of the elevator holding two cups of coffee. “Good morning, you’re early” he says. She’s on time, I like that. Drinking you in before handing you a badly painted ceramic mug full of coffee and turning to walk to the kitchen. You quickly walk behind him. “I don’t know how you take your coffee. I have creamer if you want” he says as he pulls it out of the fridge and places it in front of you. “Just a little sugar” you say pushing past his hands grabbing the covered sugar that was on the counter. He grabs it before you can and places it in front of you but not before you hands touch for a moment. You jolt your hand back and smile warmly as you put a spoonful into your coffee and take a sip. That was cute. It’s silent as you two take turns staring at each other while the other looks around the house or out the window. Bakugou was wearing a black tank top that beautifully showcased the muscles that were scattered with scars as a result of years of hero work. He was wearing black pajama pants that hung low enough for you to almost see his happy trail. God, he looks so good. Stay calm. After you both finish your coffee he stands up and leads you up the staircase. The apartment looks bigger than last night, the light beaming in showcasing it’s grandness. Bakugou tells you about the boys, one is 11 and the other is 3 ½. He goes on to talk about them like if they’re the best thing to ever happen to him. Who would’ve thought he had a soft side. He looks so happy when he talks about them. I can’t fuck this up. 
You walk behind him as he enters the boy’s bedroom but stop in your tracks before entering looking at the sign that says, “NO GIRLS ALLOWED” in big bold badly written handwriting. “Hi” says the older one staring at you, arms crossed and tense. No one can deny that he’s Bakugou’s child. “Hi, my name is Y/N” you said with a warm smile. The little one ran to you hugging both your legs together almost making you fall over. “I like your name. You’re pretty. Why are you here?” he said all in one breath looking up at you. “She’s here to hang out with us today,” he said, mirroring the older one. “Do we really need a babysitter?” said the older one under his breath but still loud enough for you to hear him. Bakugou looked at him and said, “Yes, you can do your own thing but Y/N’s here to mostly help your brother” he grunted annoyed at the older one’s questioning. Wow you can cut the tension with a knife. The little one hangs on your legs and you bend down to hold him in your arms. “You smell good. She’s mine now” wrapping his arms around your neck and red eyes staring daggers at his dad and brother. Yeah, he’s bakugou’s kid for sure too. “You can keep her” the older one says under his breath rolling his eyes pushing past you leaving the room. The rest of the morning went well, you spent most of the time with the little one. You guys had breakfast together. Bakugou made pancakes and eggs while the little one showed you his massive Almighty collection. The bigger one walking by from time to time just to see what you both were doing.
 After breakfast it was bathtime. You were giving the younger one a bath when Bakugou walked by. He looked in and he wouldn’t help but smile at the view of you kneeled down in front of the tub blowing bath bubbles, praising the little one for being so good at it. I think I did the right thing. Look at how happy he is. He deserves to have a content woman in his life. They’re perfect together. Don’t fuck this up man. He leans against the door frame. The little one notices and looks past Y/N at his dad. “What are we doing today daddy?” he says with a hopeful smile it’ll be something fun. “Yeah, what are we doing today daddy?”. You pause covering your mouth immediately after saying it. FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK. “U-Um I was thinking about the park, movie at home then dinner. How does that sound?” he said staring at the back of your head then at the little one. “YESSSSSSSSS” the little one jumped up out of the bathtub slashing your shirt as a result. You all laugh. You turn to grab the towel hanging on the sink and your eyes meet. His eyes are so intense. He probably wants to fire me. God, why would I say that. Little did you know Bakugou melted at the sound of you calling him that. Something about was so natural like it just melted off your tongue. The morning went normal as well. There were moments where you could feel Bakugou’s eyes on you. You peek at him for a second just for your eyes to meet and him to look away at the last second. When you arrive at the park you clench at your purse full of park necessaries. The two boys run away as soon as they see the playground. You sat yourself down beside Bakugou, not moving your eyes from the little one. Some time passes before you finally say, “I-I’m sorry about earlier, I didn’t mean to call you that. I-I was just repeating what he said” you explained not making eye contact. Bakugou’s heart broke a little. He didn’t mind it all. He was actually thinking about it the whole time. Imaging you calling him that over and over. “I didn’t mind,” he says, staring at you and letting out a little giggle. “I thought I made things awkward” letting out a sigh of relief moving her eyes to meet his. His eyes can really turn a hole into anyone huh. Her whole body relaxed as she put the purse on the side of the bench. “You didn't,” he said, looking out at the little one as he waved from the highest part of the playground. She sat there as they began to make small talk. “Y/N, come here. Come play with me!” the little one yelled at the top of lungs. “Coming!” you call out jumping to your feet, your breast giggling as you stand up. Bakugou noticed. Bakugou is left there watching you and the little one giggling and hugging each other. I can get used to this. 
The little one was playing in the sandbox while you were standing on the outside watching him and praising him for doing a good job. “Hey, I’ve never seen you here before” A voice says behind you, making you jump. “No, I’ve never been to this park” you say looking up at the man. He was pretty handsome, tall and wearing a bookbag probably full of park supplies. “Is that your kid? He’s cute” he says, waving at the little one. “No, I’m just the babysitter” you say, turning back around to face the boy. You turn your head to look at Bakugou and he’s already on his way over to you. “Hey man, can I help you?” He steps between you and the man. Bakugou towering over the poor man. “Oh shit, dynamight. I’m a huge fan” he says reaching out to grab his hand but Bakugou just stares at him. You are intensely staring at the two men until the little one grabs you and pulls you away from them and towards the swings. “Man, your babysitter is hot, but I’m guessing you already knew that. We’ve all been checking her out” the man said, staring at you and pointing at the group of men all staring at you as you push the little on the swing. “What?” he said looking around at all the men staring at you like a piece of meat. OH FUCK NO. He didn’t even notice how good you looked in that outfit. WHY WERE THERE SO MANY MEN HERE WTF. You bent over to tie the little one’s shoes putting your whole ass on display. He would almost hear the men gasp and whisper disgusting things about you to each other. Little explosion started in his hands. Calm down. The man walked away at that point seeing how angry he looked. He walked over to you and grabbed you by the wrist, “Lets go” he said almost growling. “Yeah, is everything okay?” you say confused. “Fucking extras..” he said looking around letting go of your wrist. You grab the little one and call out to the bigger that they’re leaving. The whole car ride was awkward. He kept looking at you from time to time and scuffing. What’s up with the mental gymnastics?. What happened? Did the guy say something about you? You barely talked to him. The next few weeks were filled with laughs, cuddles and love while you were in the Bakugou home from the little one and occasional engagement from the older one. Bakugou wanted to make you feel more at home so he would buy flowers and candles and put them around the apartment. It was a nice thought. 
One day you can hear him stirring and cursing under his breath in his office when you walk by. “Are you coming to watch the movie with us daddy” said the little one as he came into the office. “Nah. You guys can watch it. I’ll sit this one out” he said turning around in his computer chair to look at him. “No, I really want you to. We have to watch it like a family.” he looks up at him and attempts to do the world’s best puppy dog face. “I don’t think so” he twirls in his computer chair back to the computer. “I think It'll make Y/N pretty happy.” he says squinting at him. “Right Y/N?” Manipulative little brat “It would make me very happy” you straighten your back as you hear your name. “Okay” he says standing up from his chair walking behind you as you go to put on a movie while sitting on the couch. The little one was firmly placed on your lap while the older one was on the other side of the coach on their phone. Bakugou sat next to you placing his arm above the coach behind you. 30 minutes into the movie both Bakugou and the little one were snoring. The little one now wrapped around your chest drooling on your collarbone and bakugou knocked out on your shoulder. This felt nice. You continued and watched the movie trying your hardest not to laugh loud enough for both of them to wake up. Once the movie ended it was already dark out so you decided to shift your way out of bakugou’s grasp now firmly wrapped around your waist and bring the little one to bed. The older one watching your every move. 
You’re about to wake up bakugou still knocked out on the couch when you hear, “You’re not our mom you know”. You turn around to see the older one standing there, arms crossed. “I didn’t think I was honey” you say softly walking over him. He steps back and stares at you. “Y-You’re acting like-like our mom used to” he said in almost a whisper. “I’m not here to replace your mom my love. I’m just here to make your family’s life a little easier. I’m sorry if I’m stepping on anyone toes.” He huffed in response. “I just miss her sometimes and you kinda..” He stops himself. You sit down in one of the stools in front of him. “I’m here if you wanna talk about it” you say looking at him. You were unsure about what happened to their mom. Bakugou never mentioned her and neither did the kids. It was almost like she didn’t exist until now. “She left us a while ago. She told us she was coming back for us but she never did. I-I don’t know why” he looked like he was going to cry. You jumped out of your seat to hug him but he rejected it, pushing your arms away. “I can’t trust you. You’re going to leave just like her” he said as he ran to his room and slammed the door. You didn’t want to leave him like this. You couldn’t leave him like this. You waited a while and decided to make him his favorite meal, spicy ramen. You go in front of the door and knock, “I left some spicy ramen in front of the door. I figured you were hungry” you say leaning against the door. No answer. You can hear the door slowly creak open as you walk away and you smile.
 You walk away going downstairs to clean up the mess you made. “Hey” a voice says from the couch. Bakugou stretches his huge muscles and it makes your knees feel a little weak. “Hey sleepy head” you say lovingly. “How long was I out?” he said looking for a clock. “I’m not sure, A while I guess. I finished watching the movie a while ago” you said scrubbing the dish. “Oh” he said in a raspy voice. “Anything happened?” he said, reading your tense body language. “Liam brought up his mom” you said biting your bottom lip not meeting his eyes. “Oh fuck, that agan” he says wiping his mouth with his hand then rubbing his neck. “Yeah, he was pretty upset. Do you mind if I sleep over. I’ll sleep on the couch if anything. I want to make him his favorite breakfast in the morning.” you look up at Bakugou almost with tears in your eyes. She really likes my kids, wow. “U-Um yeah, you can sleep over whenever you like. We have an extra bedroom. I kinda like it better than you going home.” he says looking for your reaction. “I really only use my place to sleep and come back here anyways” you say giggling. “Then you should just move here” he says. 
You both stare at each other. “Yeah, I think I’d like that,” you said trying to conceal your smile.
Tag: @lil-miminini ❤️
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carpediemm-18 · 6 months ago
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Moment(s)
Pairing: Steve Rogers x Female! Reader
Summary: The moment Steve fell in love with you.
Genre: Fluff, because I am good at it.
Word count: 2500+
A/N: please don't post my work anywhere else. Likes, comments, and reblogs are welcome, I love them. Asks and requests are open. This is my official entry to Siri's 5K Soft Dark Challenge by @stargazingfangirl18.
Master-list
--❤--
“And that was the moment I realized, I was in love with her,” Bucky replied kissing his fiancée’s palm while he narrated his love story to you and Steve. Bucky and his fiancée were visiting your home for dinner and to invite you and Steve for their wedding, not that Bucky needed to invite Steve because he was his best man, but he wanted his future wife to meet you and get to know to you. After Steve, you were the one person he was close to. He often told you that you reminded him of his little sister whom he lost to time.
After wrapping up the scrumptious dinner and bidding the happy couple goodbye, Steve and you retired for the night. Laying in each other’s arms you couldn’t stop ranting about what you are gonna wear for his wedding, what should you wear for the wedding and without even knowing you fell asleep in Steve’s arms. While you slept peacefully, snoring without a worry of the world, Steve couldn’t stop thinking about how Bucky spoke about the moment he fell in love. “What’s the moment when I fell in love with Y/N?” Steve whispered as he skimmed his fingers over your bare arms and let his mind wander into memories.
Was it the first time he met? Maybe, probably or maybe not, his brain replied as he smiled remembering how he met you.
“oh my god,” a loud gasp fell from your lips. It was your first day of work and you were already lost in the humongous Avengers compound. You were hired by Tony and Pepper to teach piano to Morgan and while searching for music room, you wandered into the gym where Steve was working out. Well, he was mercilessly hitting the punching bag dressed in his trademark tight white tee shirt that outlined his huge muscles. You wanted to leave, hell you should have left but when America’s golden boy is looking all yummy, leaving was not an option. You lost the track of time and when the sheer force of his punch broke the bag, you couldn’t help but gasp and it caught Steve’s attention. He turned around to find you looking at him like a deer caught in headlights. Your eyes were as wide as saucers after being caught red handed by the man himself. “Hey golden boy,” you spoke in a squeaky voice instantly regretting your words and Steve choked on water that he was drinking. “I mean no,” you tried to give an explanation but the serious look on his face made you nervous and you started to laugh like a maniac. “I mean I wasn’t ogling at you,” you shrugged your shoulders and spoke more to regret instantly, “I mean what’s there to look. You have good no slash that great muscles, but I wasn’t looking at them.” You wanted to shut up but somehow your mouth refused to comply, “I was so totally not looking at that white shirt,” your gaze stopped at his sweat soaked tee shirt which outlined his abs. Steve cleared his throat and spoke, “eyes up here.” “Again, I wasn’t counting your abs,” you explained and regretted, and Steve couldn’t help but laugh at your awkward flirting. He thought he was the weird one but today he met someone who is weirder than him. “oh my god, please don’t be offended captain sexy,” you couldn’t believe your mouth and decided not to stay there anymore and ran away.
Steve chuckled making sure he didn’t wake you up. Nah, he didn’t fall in love with you in the first meeting. Maybe he was a little attractive, he found you cute and you were as awkward as Steve was. In Tony’s words, you might be his type.
Maybe it was your second meeting where he and you established a deep friendship that suppressed the decades of gap you both had. Steve’s mind again wandered into the memory lane to the afternoon when he met you again.
It was a rare and lazy September afternoon for Steve. There was no world crisis that needed his or the Avengers attention. The fall was making its presence felt, the leaves have started turning their colors into rainbow hues, the nip in the air was welcomed and the pumpkin smell everywhere was ushering in the festive season starting with Halloween. While Pepper and Nat were busy working on some charity that Nat started. Tony was in lab with Bruce. Sam was with his support group and Steve was alone in the compound or that’s what he thought was he made his way towards the kitchen to get some coffee when a familiar tune hit his ears. Initially he thought someone was back, but the tune was old school music and apart from him no one ever listened to it. Steve’s steps automatically followed the sound of music and it stopped in front of a door. He tried to open the door sneakily after contemplating for few minutes only to find you playing the piano as Morgan danced. You and her kept giggling in between until Morgan noticed Steve and ran to him squealing, “uncle, Steve.” Your fingers froze hearing his name because after successfully embarrassing yourself in front captain America, you managed to dodge him until now. “Hey,” Steve’s voice broke your chain of thoughts. You turned and without meeting his eyes muttered a quite sorry. A calm prevailed between you both and it was only broken when Morgan started laughing. “You both are so pink. I must tell daddy,” and she ran away. Steve rubbed his fingers on his forehead knowing Tony is gonna give him hell now. “So, you are Morgan’s teacher?” Steve finally mustered courage to ask you. You nodded not trusting your voice. “That song,” Steve gestured towards the piano. “That’s very old,” he asked in a surprised tone. “Yes,” you took your seat by the piano and gestured him to sit. “My grandfather and grandmother used to play this song often. They’d dance on this song, play together on their grand old piano. This song is a testament of their love and a symbol of true love for me. It connects me to them.” Steve looked at you mesmerized as you poured your heart out.
Steve’s lips curved into a smile realizing that he was falling for you that afternoon when you spent hours talking. And everyday after that. ‘That is love,’ his brain whispered but was it the moment he realized she is the one? Maybe, it was their fifth date where you asked him to move in with you.
It was 2 days after Steve’s birthday that you invited him out for a birthday dinner because Steve was out there saving the world on his birthday, so you had to reschedule. Although it was dinner you were hosting for Steve, he still insisted to pick you up because gentleman code. The location of date was a surprise for Steve and you really hoped he would be surprised. As soon as the car pulled up outside a quaint café tucked away in a closed corner of Brooklyn, Steve was indeed surprised. It was the same café that Steve and Bucky would often visit back in the day. While most of the things in Brooklyn changed over decades, the café managed to shield itself from those changes. Once in there Steve ordered the regular cheeseburger and milkshake and realized the taste remains the same. It was over his birthday muffin that you asked Steve to move in with him. You know Steve longed for normalcy and the Avengers compound would never give him that. It took Steve few days to accept the offer and as soon as the first evening of his moving in rolled in, he knew he made the right decision. He knew he was home.
Steve looked at you as you slept on the other side of the bed with your back facing him. Sleep was far away from Steve, so he placed a gentle kiss on your cheek and walked out in the balcony as his mind and heart again traveled back to memories when you made his heart swell.
It was the most happy and anxious time for Steve because Bucky was coming back. After spending few years and Wakanda getting himself fixed – that’s what he liked to call it, Bucky was coming back for good. Steve was excited because his best friend, his brother was coming home and on the other hand he was nervous how Bucky will adjust to life and his new environment. Just like Steve even Bucky has to learn to live in a world that he didn’t belong too. But it was even more difficult for Bucky because he has immense trauma to deal with, the emotional baggage, and the guilt. Even though Tony assured it was all okay now because he realized it was Hydra and not Bucky Steve was still apprehensive to leave him at compound. And that’s when you jumped in asking Steve to get Bucky to your shared home. “Y/N, are you sure?” Steve asked not believing what you just said. You just took his hand in yours and replied, “he is your family Steve. Your family is my family.” “And you are my whole world,” Steve smiled before sealing his lips with yours.
He still distinctly remembers the day and the days after that day when Bucky moved in. He was closed in himself not trusting anyone other than Steve. But you have been patient with him, giving him space but still hovering in case he needed anything. Steve had to learn everything on his own but he was glad, Bucky had you as his 21stcentury guide. From being Steve’s girlfriend to being his sister, Bucky and you took an epic journey. He knew he was in love with you, head over heels love. You made him feel things he never thought he’d feel. You tugged his heart in a way that even Peggy couldn’t. Steve rolled the gold wedding band as he thought about the moment of love with you and the thought took him straight to the day when he proposed to you, well it was exactly a proposal people would expect.
It was a usual Sunday in your and Steve’s life where you spent most of your morning in the bed, catching up with all the lost sleep. Steve being Steve was unable to sleep even on Sunday, so he’d get up as usual, go for his run and indulge in his activities while you slept. But of late, Steve made a habit of getting you breakfast or rather brunch in the bed. He’d make your favorite blueberry pancakes every Sunday and this Sunday was no different. By the time you walked out of bathroom after brushing your teeth, Steve was already done plating food. “I could get used to being domesticated with you,” you sighed as you took seat on the window couch. “Do you?” he asked a little shocked and you just ‘hmm’d’ tucking in the delicious breakfast. “Do you want to get married to me and have a future together?” Steve asked making you stop in your tracks. “Do you see a future with me?” You asked a little shocked. “You are my future,” these words from Steve brought tears in your eyes as you sniffled, “if only we had a ring right now.” “Actually, we do have a ring,” Steve ran to his wardrobe and came back with an old ring box. He opened it to reveal his mother’s ring. He slipped the ring on your finger and kissed over it sealing a promise of forever.
Steve smiled as he ran fingers over his wedding band gently and with every spin his smile grew bigger making his face ache, but he wasn’t complaining. He has waited decades to smile, to be happy, to be the person he was before world turned upside and now, he finally got that opportunity. He is going to live his fullest. And just like that he again slipped into the memory lane to the day of your wedding.
It was a beautiful and cold day in New York. Today was kind of the day when the world would like to sleep a little more soaked in the warmth of those soft blankets, but the Avengers compound was bustling with activity. Today was also the day when America’s golden boy, the symbol of America’s patriotism, Steve Rogers was getting hitched. Today was the day of Steve’s ‘happy beginning’. Steve expected himself to be nervous but on the contrary he was confident. As he buttoned up his blazer, he looked at his reflection in the mirror and never felt more content with himself and everything around him. He knew there would be roadblocks and hindrances, but he also knew he got you with him in all those situations. There was just one thing or rather one person he missed today, Sarah Rogers, his mother. She struggled all her life making sure she bought few more days for her sick son and her constant fight for Steve’s health and well being eventually became the reason she perished. Steve could never forgive himself for her death, no matter what anyone told him. How much he wished she was here today, or the day he came Captain America. How he wished he could tell her that he survived and made her proud. Tears threatened to spill from his eyes when he remembered your words, ‘Steve, your mother is always here,’ you placed his hand over his heart, ‘and as long as this is beating, she is with you.’ He blinked placing his hand over his heart feeling her presence. But Steve was in for a real surprise when he walked to the alter. In the first row there was a beautiful painting of a smiling Sarah Rogers sitting nicely on a chair. Steve looked at Tony with surprise as this was the same tattered pic of his mother from back in 40s. “Y/N,” Tony answered his question in one word and right on cue, you walked out with Bucky.
“What are you doing here?” your question broke Steve’s chain of thoughts. “What are you thinking about?” you asked sitting on his lap. “You,” Steve replied as he pulled you close to him wrapping his big hands around your body, “I can’t stop thinking about you.”You didn’t reply anything and a comfortable silence fell in between both of you while you watched stars and it was then it dawned upon Steve that there is no one moment but a series of moments, as small as this one right now or as big as your wedding day when you both danced on the same song that was associated with your grandparents and now it was your song, when he knew you are the one for him. Steve also knew there will be many more moments in future, and he was ready for all of them.
--❤--
Tagist: @stargazingfangirl18 @henrythickcavill @madbaddic7ed @tonystankschild @idowikeit @ilysmcevans
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gnocchighoul · a year ago
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Operation Hot Potato
Summary: 
“See? She’s just a baby~” you coo, gently wiggling the kitten in his face.
Lucifer grimaces. Takes another, larger step back. “If a baby is what you want, I’d rather give you one myself.”
(You bring home a kitten and try to hide her from Lucifer. Unfortunately for you, nothing gets past the House of Lamentation’s resident pet-hater.)
Word Count: 3.6k
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You found a kitten.
Well—kind of. It’s debatable.
You think it’s a kitten. She certainly looks like one—fluffy little thing with snow-white fur, blue eyes, a poofy little triangular head, and the most perfectly pink toe beans you’ve ever had the pleasure of squishing. 
The reason why you’re so hesitant to call her a kitten? 
She breathes fire. Hiccups fireballs. Sneezes flaming hot streams of… well, flames.
You learned that firsthand ten minutes ago, when you nearly got your eyebrows singed off by a particularly dangerous sneeze. All you wanted to do was give her a smooch on her wittle pink nose, you weren’t expecting to get blasted in the face with an orangey-red inferno.
But you know what? It doesn’t matter if she’s a little strange. You’ve sworn your everlasting love to your newfound daughter—your secret daughter that the demon brothers can absolutely not know about under any circumstances whatsoever, because you just know that Lucifer will make you put her back in the wild where you found her.
Your fire-sneezing, bouncing baby girl wouldn’t last another day out in the harsh wilderness (aka the dumpster that you retrieved her from). In the forty-seven minutes that you’ve had her, she’s grown accustomed to belly scratches, sleeping in your bed, and gnawing on only the finest tortilla chips in the Devildom. 
Her name is Tater Tot.
She sticks out like a sore white thumb among your colorful assortment of pillows. Not that she cares. She’s living it up in the lap of luxury. Tater Tot stretches—turns around with every paw in the air, proudly showing off her rotund little baby belly, and mrrps at you.
Its the cutest thing you've ever fucking seen. You just wanna SQUEEZE her. Ugh, who would've guessed that a little trash fire baby would steal your heart so quickly?
And it’s not like you broke the rules and brought home a pet on purpose. Tater Tot had chosen you. By choosing to rummage around in that specific dumpster that you just so happened to walk past on your way home from RAD, Tater Tot had effectively decided that you were to be her new caretaker. 
It’s fate. Kismet. You’ve wanted a pet for so long—dog, cat, dragon, gremlin, doesn’t matter. You’ve spent hours upon hours bitching and moaning to anyone that’ll listen about how badly you’ve wanted a pet to smother with your love. Nobody has been able to escape your woe. Everyone—the brothers, the angels, Solomon, and even your good buddy Diavolo (somehow, Barbatos has managed to evade you) have all been forced to listen to your lamenting about the pet-shaped hole in your heart. 
But finally—finally—your prayers have been answered.
With a fire breathing kitten. 
Oh yeah. Kismet.
You’re fairly certain that Tater Tot has never lived in a house. She had been perfectly content to snuggle up in your school uniform like some kind of tiny, pouch dwelling, heat seeking creature, until you had snuck into your bedroom and closed the door behind you. 
The second you set her on the floor, it was like a switch flipped. Tater Tot had shown off her unnatural strength by flinging her little puffball body around the room like a possessed tumbleweed, spastically crashing around the room and knocking over furniture and keepsakes alike.
You had finally cornered her under your bed and sat peacefully nearby, humming quietly to calm her. It didn’t take long for you to coax her out with snacks—she liked the chips, but passionately disliked the gummy worms—and within twenty minutes you had Tater Tot lounging with you on the bed, rubbing her soft little cheeks into your palm for rubs and scritches. 
You need to come up with a plan to hide your beloved child ASAP. It’s only a matter of time until either Lucifer hauls you off to his room or one of the brothers decides to camp out in yours for the night, and if word gets back to Lucifer that you’re harboring a fugitive animal… Well, favoritism or not, it won’t end pretty.
Though perhaps there is one person who can help you with this little secret.
Satan. The cat-loving fourth brother. 
Man oh man, he’s going to be thrilled with sweet little Tater Tot. You have to be careful though—you reckon that there is a 96% chance that he’ll try to steal her away from you. Trying to juggle custody battles and harboring your secret daughter from Lucifer all at the same time sounds like such a pain.
But… That would still be better than having to put Tater Tot back on the streets.
With the threat of big-meanie-Lucifer looming over you like a particularly gothic and pet-hating phantom, you come to a final decision. You’re just going to have to pull on your big girl pants and accept the soul crushing truth of the situation.
Satan is your only hope. 
But how are you going to sneak your daughter all the way over to his room?
You look around your own room for something, anything that can hide your beloved dumpster pet and—ohohoho.
 ~
“Darling?” 
You freeze midstep.
Busted.
“What’s up, Lucifer?” You try so hard to keep your voice calm and normal. So hard. 
Judging by the way Lucifer looks at you, you’ve failed. And you were so close. Satan’s bedroom is literally right there! Only a few yards away! If only you’d just had ten more seconds to yourself in the dark hallway... Alas, the warden your beloved Lucifer aka the resident pet hater stands between you and the dusty salvation that is Satan’s library of a bedroom.
You shuffle your feet a bit nervously. Readjust your grip on the cardboard box. A bit warily, Lucifer eyes it.
“What’s in the box?”
You panic. “What box?” 
Fuck.
Lucifer cracks a smile, though it doesn’t meet his gaze. He gestures to the cardboard box that you are currently holding near to your chest like some sort of ugly, cubic liferaft. 
“Oh!” You laugh. It’s too high pitched. Suspicious. “This box? It’s just some books for Satan, it’s nothing—”
The box sneezes.
Your mouth snaps shut and you thank all the fucking stars in heaven that this sneeze didn’t flambé you.
Lucifer’s eyes narrow accusingly. Tone icy and sharp, he says, “Books? Is that so?” 
Fuck fuck fuck fuck—
You wilt a bit under the intensity of his gaze. “They’re… cursed books? Yeah, so cursed and dangerous and only Satan knows how to nullify the evilness of these books so I’m gonna just slip past you—”
Lucifer takes a step to the left, planting himself firmly in your path and effectively thwarting your desperate grand escape. A single blade of moonlight cuts through the curtains and slices through the shadows, Lucifer now caught in the spotlight and—oh that fucker did that on purpose. Ugh, what a drama queen.
Red eyes practically glowing in the dark, he nods menacingly at the box. “Go on then. Open it.” 
“I dunno, I really shouldn’t because of the curses and—”
Clearly not in the mood to entertain your scheming-slash-rambling, Lucifer takes matters into his own hands. Before you can twist away, one of his hands darts out to knock the lid off of the box and—
Books. It’s filled with books.
He frowns. Lifts one up and—nope, there’s just more books underneath. “...What?” 
“Happy? Now if you don’t mind I really should get—”
“Let me help you with that.”
Your reflexes aren't fast enough. Before you can leap back or Sparta kick him away, Lucifer plucks the box right out of your arms… and reveals a squirming lump beneath your sweater, right inbetween your breasts. The box hits the floor. Lucifer stares at your newly acquired mass with a very particular sort of horror that you’ve never seen before. 
You panic. Again.
“...I grew a new boob. I think the Devildom air is toxic or something, but it’s okay! The more the merrier, right? We can still—gET YOUR HANDS OFF MY TIDDIES—”
Lucifer presses one hand to your lower back, trapping you, and yanks down your zipper, revealing the purrito that is wrapped kind-of-securely to your chest with a scarf. He recoils backwards, looking equal parts horrified and peeved off.
Time for Plan B.
93% sure that you can still recover from this situation that is rapidly soaring downhill, you stuff your hands into your pockets and then throw them outwards, flinging fistfuls of rainbow confetti into the air. “Surpriiiise! You’re a daddy! Say hello to our daughter.”
“No.”
“Her name is Tater Tot. Personally, I think she takes after you.”
The Tater in question shimmies out of her silky prison and tumbles nose first into your palms. You hold her right up to Lucifer’s face, grinning like a goddamn sociopath when he takes an alarmed step backwards. Little puffball paws desperately try to swipe at his nose. Lucifer looks downright offended by the assault of pink toe beans.
“See? She’s just a baby~” you coo, gently wiggling the noodle-limp kitten in his face.
Lucifer grimaces. Takes another, larger step back. “If a baby is what you want, I’d rather give you one myself.”
“As fun as that sounds, we have a perfectly good one right here!” 
“That thing is not a baby. Where did you find it?” 
There’s a concerned little scrunch in his brow that you wanna smooth over with your thumb, but when you try to close the distance between you two, he moves further out of reach. Frowning, you hug Tater Tot to your chest. She snuggles her face into the crook of your neck and purrs like the smallest biodiesel engine in all of the realms.
“I found her in a dumpster!” you say, perhaps a bit too proudly. 
Lucifer’s eyes widen. “In the city?”
“Why is that so shocking? Does the Devildom not have stray cats?” 
“That’s not a cat.” 
“Well yeah I kinda figured, what with the whole fire breathing thing and all, but—”
“It’s a chimera.” 
You stare at Lucifer. Try to gauge how serious he’s being. Tater Tot nibbles on your thumb with little needle-like teeth. 
Surely he’s joking. 
“...Like the lion-goat-lizard thing? That chimera?” 
Lucifer nods. 
Like you’re in some twisted version of the Lion King, you hold Tater Tot up in the beam of moonlight that Mr. Doom and Gloom had previously been occupying. Examine her totally normal kitten-features. The distinct lack of goat hooves. Miss Tater licks her nose. A Chimera? Her?
Surely he’s fucking with you.
But… it would explain the whole fire-breathing thing. Kind of. You’re not fully convinced he’s lying, but the truth doesn’t make much more sense.
But if she is a chimera… that’s so badass.
If Lucifer thinks for one second that Tater Tot being a nightmarish Hell creature is going to scare you into giving her up, then he is sorely mistaken. (You did choose to date him, after all. You're an expert at loving on Hellish beings.) At the end of the day, whether Tater is a chimera or a cat or whatever the hell else, you’ve already bonded with each other. She’s your baby and you are not going to let him get rid of her. 
If he gets Cerberus, then you get your funky little Tater Tot, dammit.
Lucifer watches this journey of emotions play out on your face. His eyes narrow. He says your name slowly, strained—a thinly veiled warning in his voice.
The grin that overtakes your face can only be described as evil. 
“We’re keeping her.”
“Absolutely not.” 
 ~
“You can’t be serious.” 
From the depths of your blanket fort, your hand emerges to flip Lucifer off. He scowls. 
“This blanket fort is only for Tater Tot and me.”
“Then perhaps you should relocate to your bed.” Lucifer growls.
You snuggle further into the black sheets cocooning you. With impressive speed, you had raced back to Lucifer’s room and stripped every piece of fabric from his bed in record time. From there, it was simply a matter of combining the dark sheets with a bunch of pillows and voila. You had created your very own anti-Lucifer fortress, right in the middle of his bed. 
Tater Tot army-crawls across your thigh and worms her way into the sheets, vanishing like a ninja.
"What?" You peek at Lucifer through a small opening in the fabric. “But then you would just ignore me and Tater Tot.” 
“Yes, exactly. I’m glad that we’re on the same page.”
“No! We’re not on the same page at all,” you scowl. “I’m not moving until you bond with her.” 
“Then I suppose you’ll be stuck there forever.” 
“Maybe I will!”
You can’t see him right now, but you know in the depths of your heart that Lucifer is rolling his eyes at you. 
Which, y’know. Fair. You are being a little bit ridiculous. But what choice do you have? The confetti didn't work and Lucifer needs to form an everlasting bond with Tater Tot. He needs to experience how lovely and precious and wonderful your little baby is, so that he won’t make you put her back in the dumpster where you found her.
You have one last tactic. It is by far the absolute worst. 
Talking to him. Like some kind of functioning, responsible adult, because apparently that's what you're supposed to do in a healthy relationship. Blegh. 
While you agonize over stooping to this final resort, Lucifer climbs into the bed without a word and settles himself in like he owns the place. Which he does. But that’s beside the point. 
One of your arms emerges from the blanket shield to poke at his pajama clad thigh. He doesn’t react. So naturally, you poke him again. And again. And again, until finally he sighs, “What?”
You squirm your way out of the stuffy blankets, gulping down air once you're free—sweet baby Jesus, fresh air has never felt so good—and Tater Tot flies out after you, rocketing across the mattress at the speed of light and tumbling around like a little white pom pom. While she does her own thing, you worm your way into Lucifer’s side so that you’re halfway on top of his chest. He huffs and lays there like a board, refusing to hug you, so you grab his arm and wrap it around your shoulders yourself.
Here goes nothing. 
“Why are you so against having a pet?” you ask, dancing the pads of your fingers over his chest.
Lucifer cracks one eye open. “The first and last time I allowed pets in the house, Satan brought home 48 cats. In one hour.” 
...You really should have seen that one coming.
“Oh. Well, I mean… Is that reallyyy a bad thing—ow! You jerk, I was just kidding.” You pout. “You didn’t have to pinch my butt that hard.” 
Lucifer snickers and pats your butt consolingly. “Mmm, no, I didn’t. But I wanted to.”
Briefly, you consider headbutting him right in the chin. But alas, that wouldn’t solve anything, so you settle for pressing a kiss to his collarbone, then reach a hand up to play with his hair, just how he likes. It’s not very ~vengeful~ buuut it’s bound to put him in a better mood. 
You trace cutesy little heart shapes on his right pec. “You know what I want?”
Lucifer closes his eyes—lets his head fall back onto the mattress. “We’re not keeping her.” 
You snuggle into his chest with a happy little hum. “Yes we are.”
“...Just for the night. Tomorrow you're putting her back where you found her."
 ~
You wake up in agony. 
It feels like you’ve had a lung ripped out and replaced with serrated knives. Or shark teeth. Each breath drags oh so painfully at your—just kidding. 
You wake up well rested and tangled in the bedsheets, your head hanging off the side of the mattress. You’re a little hazy-brained and your skull feels like it weighs a thousand pounds, but that’s probably because of all the blood rushing to your head. When you roll over and haul yourself back up onto the bed, a noise escapes you that is definitely not fit for polite company.
The murky depths of slumber threaten to take you again, so you pat around the bed with your hand, looking for your favorite demon-slash-body pillow. You pat. And keep patting. Where the hell is Lucifer?
You crack one bleary eye open, trying to find Lucifer and—
Where the hell is Tater Tot?
Your heart jolts in your chest as you realize a few things all at once.
One: Lucifer is missing. 
Two: Tater Tot is missing.
Three: You slept through breakfast, but that’s less important. 
You’re off like a shot, wrestling yourself out of the sheets and flinging them to the floor, then stumbling across the room to get to the door before your brain can even fully wake up. It’s fine, you don’t need 100% brainpower, you just need to find your baby. 
You’ve barely taken four steps into the hallway when you slam nose first into Mammon. He catches you, saving your face from becoming acquainted with the floor, and you grab him by the leathery lapels of his jacket. 
“Where’s Lucifer?!” you hiss.
Mammon desperately tries to squirm out of your feral grip. You shake him like a polaroid picture.
“Geez, knock it off would ya?! He’s in his office, what the hell is up with you? Wh—HEY! I’M NOT DONE TALKIN’ TO YA!”
Whatever the Weenie has to say to you is less important than finding your child, so as soon as you acquire Lucifer’s location, you haul ass to Lucifer’s study.
 ~
In a raging fury that could rival Satan’s existence, you fling open the door, ready to tear Lucifer a new one for not even letting you say goodbye to your beloved kitten and—
And your heart melts into a warm, gooey puddle. 
Lucifer is sitting at his desk. Tater Tot is draped across his shoulders.
Lucifer glares at you, but there's no real bite in his gaze. “Keep it down, Phobos is sleeping.”
You blink stupidly, your brain racing at a thousand miles an hour to catch up with whatever the hell you’re currently feeling that has you all mushy and moon-eyed. “Phobos? What the hell? That’s not her name at all.” 
“My love, we are not naming our daughter after potatoes. Her name is now Phobos. She and I came to a mutual agreement that it is far more fitting of a name for a creature of her pedigree.”
...You’re so torn. On one hand, you want to argue that Tater Tot is a lovely name for your dumpster kitten-chimera-thing, but on the other hand… he called her ‘our daughter’. As in your guys’s daughter. This can only mean one thing, and you clutch at your heart when you realize what’s happening.
They bonded.
It damn well might bring a tear to your eyes.
You make your way over to Lucifer, shove aside the papers on his desk, and perch your happy ass right on the hardwood.
With a bone deep sigh, Lucifer leans back in his chair. “Why do you always do that? My lap is available, you know.”
Tater Tot wakes up and lifts her heavy little sleep-addled head to meep at you.
You grin—hook your ankles around the armrests of his chair and pull him closer. “So… does this mean we’re keeping Tater Tot?” 
“... Yes, we’re keeping Phobos. But that’s it, no more pets.”
“Okay, wait. Hear me out. What about a dog?”
“Absolutely not.”
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Lucifer plucks another white hair from his RAD uniform and holds it up to the moonlight, scowling at the offensive thing. Why in all the realms did you have to find a white cat? The damned thing has only lived with you lot for two days and yet somehow its hair has already gotten over every article of black clothing in his wardrobe. It’s infuriating.
His gaze wanders across the courtyard to where you’re sitting pretty on Beel’s shoulders, clawing at his face with your fingertips and screaming in terror at how high up you are. He grins. 
He can put up with the shedding fur, so long as he gets to see how your eyes shine like the stars when you see Phobos.
Still though. Why couldn’t you find a black kitten? 
“Lucifer! There you are!” 
Lucifer flicks the cat hair—lets the breeze catch it and float it away. Before he can even get a proper greeting in, Diavolo is pulling him in for a bone crushing hug.
“You’re here a bit later than usual. How’s life with the new kitten treating you?” Diavolo asks.
Lucifer steps out of the hug and eyes Diavolo warily. “Just fine, thank yo—wait. How do you know about the cat?”
Diavolo blinks innocently. “Surely you told me about her, didn’t you?” 
No, he definitely did not—oh no. 
Lucifer stares, slack jawed and horrified, because in that moment, he realizes something that he refuses to accept.
No.
No. It can’t be.
Diavolo would never do that to him. He would ne—oh fuck, he absolutely did.
Diavolo planted the cat. He knew that you would find her in that dumpster and take her home.
Lucifer has never known a betrayal quite like this. Diavolo says something about heading off to his office, but he doesn’t hear him over the rushing in his ears.
“Diavolo.” 
The demon prince in question pauses in his escape to look back at Lucifer. “Yes, Lucifer?”
“Why did you have to pick a white cat?”
And oh, Diavolo laughs. A full belly laugh that quite honestly kills Lucifer. Just a little bit.
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tennessoui · 3 months ago
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In Kuwsk, do anakin and obi-wan immediately move in to the same bedroom? Or do they keep their separate spaces? Im imagining that the twins share a room and are immediately like “you guys are together? great you can share a room now and one of us can move into dad’s room!!!” and obikin gets stressed about moving too fast like they don’t already live together
i absolutely love the idea that obi-wan and anakin try very, very much to do a normal dating thing for the first few weeks after they get together where they still live together but every night after an intense make out session on the family couch anakin slinks off to bed
SLASH
they're sexting or whatever, pretending as if they DON'T live literally a floor away, in the same house, and finally anakin is like fuck this shit!!! i'm gonna go have sex with my boyfriend (very quietly so the kids can't hear) and he gets out of bed to sneak down the hallway and to the stairs
and the door to the kids' room opens and luke is standing there rubbing his eyes and he's like "daddy? what are you doing?"
and anakin privately in his head is like "not getting laid thats what im doing" but out loud he's like 'oh, just getting some water'
and luke is like 'it's scary down there without a buddy i'll go with you'
and anakin is like 'ok 💔'
anyway i think they move in together within the month and the twins have grand plans to turn anakin's old room into a play room because they're young enough they don't care about sharing rooms but give them like two years and they'll beg to stop having bunk beds
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consistentsquash · 2 months ago
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10 HP Slash Recs for 2nd Person POV
10 HP Slash Recs with 2nd person POV
AO3 Collection for the list
Selection criteria
Intro friendly 2nd person POV fics
Completed fics in the 500-5000 words range
No repeat pairings/authors* Picked for variety in tropes and writing styles.
Normally I pick longer fics up to 30000 words. But because a lot of people don't really read 2nd person POV I wanted to start small and make an intro friendly list!
2nd POV fics usually are more introspective fics or straight up smut. This list is kind of evenly split between these two categories.
   a hero's song, a lover's lament
by soshy (2021)
Pairing - Fleur/Hermione
Genre - Greek AU
Rec - Hermione leaves for war. Fleur worries about her lover.
You think of all the things that pull her away. Duty, glory, fame. What use are they? They are nothing to the dead. Envy burns inside of you. Against such grand concepts, you are not enough to convince her to stay.
 A Dish Best Served
by katmarajade (2014)
Pairing - Lavender/Rose
Genre - Revenge
Rec - Ron left Hermione because of an affair with Lavender. Rose gets revenge fifteen years later. I really love how Rose has Hermione's brains and Ron's strategy mind. She is seriously good at revenge.
Daddy dearest can’t even look at you, can’t look at her. If everything you’ve heard about him is true, the morality and nobility and other such pitiful rot, this will destroy them.
 The Devil Wears Tartan
by kelly_chambliss (2017)
Pairing - Minerva/Pomona
Genre - Religion, friends to lovers
Rec - Minerva informed you, in a matter-of-fact tone, that Presbyterians were God's predestined people and that Papists were going to hell. :D Pomona tells her how wrong she is. They fall in love. It's a really sweet fic. The smut is wholesome.
Rec note - Like anything written by kelly_chambliss the female characterizations are just great and spot-on. They also have other amazing 2nd Person POV fics which I recced before on older lists!
 Going Down
by sdk (2020)
Pairing - Hermione/Pansy
Genre - Kink
Rec - Hermione has a kink. She makes it happen. Does Pansy actually know it's her? sdk writes some seriously good hot and kinky fics. Super happy to get the chance to rec another fics from them.
It's easier when you're wearing someone else's skin.
 A lousy history of tomorrows
by victoria_p (2005)
Pairing - Sirius/Remus
Genre - love, angst, reverse chronology
Rec - Classic 2000s Wolfstar with introspective Remus characterization. Shortfic showing their relationship from the beginning to right before the canon Sirius death. I really liked the technique of the reverse chronology. It goes nicely with the 2nd person POV. The prose isn't heavy on imagery unlike a lot of the 2000s Wolfstar fics. So it's definitely going to be easier to read if you are used to reading more modern writing styles.
You don't know that the next time you see his face, it will be the face of a madman, a killer, emblazoned across the front of the Daily Prophet, laughing at the deaths of your friends.
Rec note - This author is recced before by /u/pomegranate17 on their great Wolfstar rec lists. So definitely check those out.
 Byzantium
by eldritcher (2021)
Pairing - Snape/Albus Dumbledore
Genre - love, angst
Rec - Classic Snapledore with a seriously amazing Albus characterization and heavy imagery. This shortfic is written like a "Missing Moment" in PoA after Sirius escapes.
Your fondness for Severus is no fondness at all. It is a maelstrom of grief and guilt and hatred and remorse and want, and you mean to carry it to your grave.
Rec note - Eldritcher is in a league of their own for 1st person/2nd person POV fics. They write really technical fics without making them feel technical to the reader. So definitely check out their fics if you get the 2nd person POV bug.
 Courage, and How To Find It
by KLStarre (2016)
Pairing - Hermione/Luna
Genre - friends to lovers
Rec - Really sweet fic. Hermione thinks she should be in Ravenclaw because she is not brave like a Gryffindor. She doesn't really get why Luna is in Ravenclaw. This fic covers a lot of ground without a lot of words. I loved the Hermione characterization here.
It is fourth year, and you no longer hate Luna Lovegood. You think she is ridiculous, yes, and probably doesn’t deserve to be in Ravenclaw, but she seems harmless enough and you are happy in Gryffindor, now, more confident in yourself and in your friends. You have learned that being afraid does not mean you are not brave, and that is an important piece of knowledge to have gained.
 Crazy For You
by orphan_account (2007)
Pairing - Harry/Ron
Genre - friends to lovers
Rec - Harry tells his friends that he is gay. Ron can't stop thinking about it. This fic is hilarious and sweet in Ron's headspace.
It never affected you like this before—hell, it never affected you at all before—but for some reason, now, every time you look at Harry, he is gay. He is brushing his teeth, shirtless and gay in the loo every morning; he is eating curry takeaway and gay and listening to Quidditch on the Wireless; he is sitting in his cubicle at work, gay, scratching out a report on that illegal Obliviation in Dorking last week.
 Suspiria
by confessor (2021)
Pairing - Harry/Snape
Genre - Angst, Id fic, read the warnings on AO3
Rec - Classic old school Snarry that packs a seriously powerful punch. Definitely hot, dark and delicious. Really good writing that just makes the story flow. It's a beautiful fic. But definitely read the warnings.
The night is kind to Potter in a way it has never been kind to you. See how it falls across him, see how the deep blue of deep night colors the shadows of his face. Blue in these hollows, these edges, blue that colors him in, all these years between the lines. It’s quiet. Too quiet. You chew the inside of your lip, afraid of what might be said on a silent night.
Rec note - I got this fic from the WAYR post on this subreddit!
 A Quiet Full of Longing
by TheMostePotente (2010)
Pairing - Harry/Draco
Genre - Introspection
Rec - Draco is at his trial. But he's thinking about the future. A really clever and beautiful fic. Lots of twists and turns. Brilliant technique! The combination of the 2nd person POV and future tense really makes this fic. I know this is a bit longer than the 5000 word range for the list. But it's one of my favorite Drarry fics of all time. I really wanted to rec it. Beautiful writing.
This fic is probably my favorite 2nd person POV fic in HP fandom!
Despite all reservation, he will reward your grand gesture with a grander one. That feeling, that you'll fail before you'll even begin, is somewhat of a wish fulfilling prophecy you've come to fall back on
 Older Rec Lists
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strawbeariefaerie · a year ago
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𝐬𝐡𝐚𝐤𝐞𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐞𝐧 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐠𝐞𝐝𝐲
𝒃𝒚 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒇𝒂𝒕𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒕𝒓𝒂𝒈𝒊𝒄 𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒓𝒔, 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒏𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕 𝒅𝒆𝒔𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒐 𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒆. - 𝒄𝒉𝒂𝒑𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝒐𝒏𝒆, 𝒓𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒐 + 𝒋𝒖𝒍𝒊𝒆𝒕
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𝐬𝐮𝐦𝐦𝐚𝐫𝐲 || Once Upon a Time in the shiny pearly gates of an elite residential community not long ago, lived our dear sweet [y/n] Beaudelaire. a revengeful Juliet, a woeful princess within the lavish parts of these aristocratic folk. what will happen when she meets again with her once Romeo now fiend in the lovely auspicious event of her graduation party? especially when she’s out for his head.   
𝐩𝐚𝐢𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 || alternate universe AU tutor//counselor!ari levinson × [black//woc]fem!reader + bryce langely × [black//woc]fem!reader
𝐠𝐞𝐧𝐫𝐞 || angst + smut 
𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐝 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐭 || 9.7K
𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬 || +18 nsfw, daddy!kink, student-tutor relationship, age gape: reader is twenty two and ari is thirty seven: don’t like, don’t read, dark elements, sexual past // intentions // flashbacks + mentions lose of virginity + future manipulation//blackmail + somewhat dark/upsetting content + alcohol mention + emotional denial
𝐬𝐨𝐧𝐠 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐭𝐬 || valley of the dolls by marina . teachers pet by melanie martinez . imagine by ariana grande
𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐲𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐞 || romeo + juliet  ☆ 𝓈𝒽𝒶𝓀𝑒𝓈𝓅𝑒𝒶𝓇𝑒𝒶𝓃 𝓉𝓇𝒶𝑔𝑒𝒹𝓎 𝓈𝑒𝓇𝒾𝑒𝓈 ☆
𝐰. 𝐧𝐨𝐭𝐞 || hello my dearests! chapter two will come soon! ♡ anyways, enjoy reading cherubs!
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   THE BRONZE BELLS RING BACK AND FORTH FROM THE TOWER ABOVE, MARKING THE HOUR OF FIVE O’CLOCK.
   shuffling of waitresses and waiters bustle as they seamlessly welcome, seat and serve the arriving guests as they begin to enter the dining room. not breaking or huffing a single sweat as they carry the trays of prepared dishes while ice buckets of champagne and brandy dance around the golden framed accommodation.
   patrons young and old in fine silks and tailored stitches of embroidery situate themselves on the seats at the lengthen dining table. the seating arrangements that were made don’t crowd the banquet hall too much yet still very much wide that you only see eye level with the many persons right and left of you. 
   sharp smiles and provoking laughter, along with articulate chatter and conversations are not too loud yet not too quiet for anyone who had the nerve to add on nor the audacity to step in. devious hushed giggles and cruelly clever remarks still being heard, the affluent demons situate themselves comfortably before the grand feast.
   entertained by the mulled wine and glorious halcyon strokes of the Rococo paintings that ordain the burgundy upper fortifications. soft classical music soaks through while they breath in the malodorous rich phlox air, sitting blissfully. a rays of candlelight chandeliers and the whimsically painted ceiling of the golden cumulus clouds pierced through almighty arch angels shine above their privileged heads. glimmering in the sunlight swimming the room as the servers begin re-pouring the sparkling alcohol in their half empty glasses. 
   being settled in the middle of the table, our dear sweet princess- sits tracing the outline of her wine glass with a single finger. 
   the slight high pitch hum sends her deep in the labyrinth of her thoughts as she internally chants to remind herself who she is. more so the individual figure she is manifesting, someone who will give her strength through this tear dropping moment.  
   though here she is, green as the frog prince tale her neglecting father read to her to sleep when she was a child- she couldn’t help but not shed the ugly ivy shade. 
   for only the scene in front of her would make dutiful damsels cry in their lace handkerchiefs and shining knights in silver armor woe in pity- it gave all the more reason to.
   bare elbow resting on the table, it holds up her clenched fist. holding up her chin while she leans upset on forced straight shoulders. glossy nude lips pursed, sharp eyes puncture through the white cloth of the finely dressed table. once again restraining herself not to pout or let a sign of disgust crowd her face to make her emotions and thoughts obvious. 
   [y/n] [l/n] will prevail through this- well, until she starts to hear a giggle, and then a hushed whisper. 
   biting down on the inside of her cheek to ease the need of wanting to snap a snarky comment between the two individuals. for whom are speaking in front of her rather carelessly (for the fact that one of the which- his date or so you found out much earlier “fiancé” was excusable but it didn’t keep you from wanting to rip the woman’s tongue out) she simply rethinks her situation away from her prior knowledge and sit to a solid conclusion.
   it seems as though you’ve been replaced
   if it were possible, the tips of your ears tint up in a blistering crimson red as smoke curls, like a teapot screeching as the water was boiling over. although you don’t let that scream out nor the tears you’re keeping within. instead, slender brows arch and scrunch in their artful cynical manner. 
   your inflicting conscious attempts to cool down the bubbling boiling cauldron of vexes in the pit of your belly that you want to spite the man across. yet you’re unsure whether it’s because you feel like vomiting or because the scene in front of you is pushing a new level of internal disgust in yourself. 
   strange how you put yourself up with this in the first place is a whole heart mystery  
   listening in and out of your beloved friends conversations- centering around typical topics such as boys, books and bucks. [y/n] sits rather contemptible. 
   [y/n] doesn’t want to deal with the suffocating thick air of strained smiles, faux compliments, and forced giggles and chuckles. 
   all do nothing but rot her Dior perfumed presence the tragic princess is illed from this life.
   facing too many cold greedy touches to her bare highlighted shoulders and too many fabricated comments twined with vicious sarcasm and shaded in fifty shades of irony. it was all too much to handle, even when their pockets were dripping in gold and bundles of cash it was all a façade. apprehending the reflection of pure hatred in the rich folks split red irises, it has all been seen and taken accounted of hundreds of nonchalant times. 
   all fail to make you shiver, all fail to make you resign
   [y/n] doesn’t know how long she’s going to have to sit and look pretty, not for herself no but for an image. 
   all for the sake of her fashion designer mother, who urged her to have a gala for her high performance and decree. how can you say no to your own mother? even after all the vicious Hell she puts you through, she got you here. mistaking your own emotional withdrawal for strength at her cruel hands, she crafted her own perfect daughter. 
   one who showed no weakness, who gave no mercy
   despite this, she feels herself crumbling
   [y/n] doesn’t feel like talking or thinking about the silly and irrelevant ideals and prospects that don’t involve her sitting on his lap. 
   straddling the strong warmth of his thighs while your inner ones grind against his searing loins. wanting to act on the fine lines of either choking him or kissing him to death as your jeweled fingers play with the buttons of his expansive crisp white. 
   head full of toxic odium inflections you want to slash against the gentleman across it doesn’t mix right knowing you wish to be that women sitting next to him. the one who receives the cheeky whispers, who gets to feel his tongue when you two kiss. 
   instead, you ease the desire by taking a quick unnoticed swing of the moonshine in your silver flask. placing the vile thing back in your pearl Gucci clutch you grasp the item close to the ribs of your abdomen- quickly popping a mint in your mouth to mask the telling breath. keeping touch with your breathing, the shiny diamond ring on the woman’s finger almost made you choke the first time you saw it. 
   your heart nearly stopping dead in your chest when it sparkled and the hand that was twined with it was wrapped in another that also displayed the gold band. it threw you off completely and wrecked havoc on your heart and mind that you had to excuse yourself to cry in the bathroom. 
   now, your tears are nearly spent. the sight of dreaded thing only boils along with the other bittersweet things you find meaningless when it dealt with the gentlemen.
   the gentlemen across the dinging table, that broke too much of your heart and took too many pieces.
   [y/n] doesn’t want to look or hear the heart shattering display of affection that is proceeding right in front of her eyes. 
   knowing there was a certain unintentional catch to performing your celebrating gala you weren’t exactly sure what the decoy was. all until the deliberate provocative maneuvers were performed by the enemy himself. 
   that enemy, the gentlemen across from you, is puffing a thick Cuban cigar. not cowering against your bellicose gaze nor shudder of the battle cry that rings in the deep pools of your irises. he should know better not to play such a shrewd egocentric game when you’ve been playing it for years. 
   however the battlefield is empty, but you want war 
   you want it so bad it’s clouding your judgement, clouding every rational thought that brings you to reasonability. 
   if he wishes to avoid this matter let him be labeled as a wise coward. if he wishes to take you to battle then let him burn in the crossfire of his deserved loss
   you’ve had the experience of driving your victims in circles- questioning themselves on their own apprehensions and relation predictions. 
   it was fun driving them over the lines of their morals and boundaries. it was even more fun to sit in the passengers seat as you insisted for them to not hit the breaks and for-long the steering wheel. telling them they had no worries as they drove over the cliffs edge. yet in the end they always hit the breaks and they always begged for you to forgive them for it. 
   no one had the will to do so, no one could satisfy your hunger
   the deed at the moment- the childish yet very humorous game is more so a chore now if you were to admit. no longer a stringed merriment of imperious interest to drive your morphine high. on the other hand you aren’t going to ignore the piercing glance which soul purpose is to make you stare back. 
   the constant idyllic remarks that relentlessly grab your unwanted attention make him somewhat smirk as you notice it from the corner of you eye. the cocky grin almost willing you to shove that monarch title of yours in his face. slowly making him wish as you keeps his glare on you that you’d step off your throne and accuse him of revolt against the crown. 
   anything to make him hear your voice again
   the finger of your right hand that was still tracing the wine glass halts as you grab the chalice within your clawed hold. tapping the glass slowly with your shimmery white acrylics, all you see is red. 
   red, red, blistering red   
   [y/n] Beaudelaire is furious 
   if anyone truly knew her they would notice that she is indeed too quiet. that the way she purses her lips is a comprehensible threat that friends, classmates, and acquaintances are regretfully familiar with. 
   cause they all know, that once [y/n] Beaudelaire is simmering with the acrimony of the Gods there will be vengeance to uphold. and sooner than later she will be redeemed, even if it means a dead body being buried or burned she will get away with it.
   such wrathful repayment will have you second guessing your every daily decision, it will always come when you least expect it. although it will come (she sincerely promises) on a silver platter. polished and delivered by Karma herself that would make the War God Ares shiver and cower in fear and leave Athena in wonders on your foreshadowing strategies.  
   there are three golden rules you should know when you come across [y/n] Beaudelaire || never lie to her, never double-cross her, never get in her way
   you would think these simple laws would be easy to understand, follow and obey on the account that they’ve been written like a syllabus within the minds of her subjects- 
   then you are sadly mistaken
   there isn’t one event where an act of treason or mutiny were to be made against you, questioning your position of authority. you’ve known from the beginning that if you were constructing the building blocks of your kingdom a judicial system was to be constructed and laws were to be proclaimed. 
   even the rich have rules to follow in their own golden gate communities, you had your rules. it is no secret to everyone that the polished anarchy and shining throne that your seated on is built on the shameful secrets and corrupt deeds of your subjects. like a contract these vain money slicked cheats didn’t read the fine print. 
   the confidential information of the lieges were made as, somewhat clauses in contrary with whatever business you had to deal with or against them 
   everyone wished you the best of luck just as everyone wanted your throne, secretly wanting to burn you alive at the stake.  
  putting into perspective if they had burned you alive, taken the death enveloped in Holy fire nothing would change for their benefit. the anarchy, the high socially affluent class would crumple under new management. even the rich have rules to follow in their own golden gate communities, you had your rules.
   the crown, throne and kingdom was all for you 
   not because it was a birth right passed down, but because the socially illusioned world created didn’t exist for you created a system that only you understood how to control. 
   you worked hard to have the social and financial suitors of both potential allies not just in your own state but from all around. from the Beverly Hills to the Upper East Side there are people watching over you. nobody wished to mess with you although they loved the idea of it, you knew of people that are even powerful than anyone in this room it was frightening. 
   teaching yourself to be socially assertive and wiser in making decisions whenever it came to making ties and bonds. a trait these close minded sheep in wolfs clothing couldn’t buy with their mommy's and daddy's plastic.
   their silver spoon lives have been fed with opulent lies one mouthful at a time
   the princess thinks, amusing herself she can’t help but smirk rather wickedly down at the light amber liquid in her crystal glass. it keeps her distracted from the brute man across, knowing exactly what’s conjuring in that pretty mind of yours.
   coming off as innocent to the careless eye but if you knew [y/n] Beaudelaire nothing about the young lady is entirely innocent, at least not anymore. not as innocent as people loved and cherished, an element those poor simple fools took for fucking granted.
   it could all have been ruined from the gentlemen in front of her, her cruel parents, fabricated friends and crushed dreams. but she used to remember herself as the sweet heartfelt cherub that’s casted into the thundering storm. a storm she cannot escape from, how can someone escape from the troubles of their own mind? 
   sure she was naïve then, oblivious of the ways of the affluent world around her. so uncertain and troubled, always so quiet with her nose in a book and always first to raise her hand when her teachers asked a question. a stuttering mess whenever a handsome boy would speak to her, even when it was but the simplest things. 
   she remembers those days. when she wouldn’t let herself be seen out without satin hair ribbons that matched her plaid skirts, blazers and stockings. simple trademarks being her black glossy heeled flats, powdered sugar bubblegum, lip-smacking strawberry chapstick, and the tender playfulness of her blooming body.
   [y/n] Beaudelaire used to be pure- or whatever fucked up term that would describe a girl with no social experience. 
   now she’s considered an enigma. as many of her classmates and peers believe- a mystery, a paradox. 
   she was loyal, yet somewhat detached. platonic yet sensual, heartwarming yet tear wrenching. no one truly knows or understands her, nor wishes to. maybe the gentlemen some time ago wished but not anymore, the princess deems.
   the elegant dining hall that accompanies the Beaudelaire family fitted fifty five guests. all from her graduating class, extended family, business affiliates and close courtiers bustled with energy as the food is beginning to be served. 
   conversations ending and picking up quickly in between mouthfuls of buttered bread rolls and sips of ancient wine. the steaming rotisserie chickens and roasted lamb shoulders sit on plates of roasted vegetables next to the multiple wooden baskets of rolls. ivory bowls of rice pea soup and dishes of white and red sauced pastas are placed in commendation with trays of salads in front of each sitting guests.  
   looking down at the ivory china, the pea soup was the last possible thing [y/n] wanted to consume and the flirtatious comments that were happening in front of her only added to the fire that was tearing inside of her. 
   thinking otherwise, he was getting back at her from her actions earlier, he was equally as jealous as her
   [y/n] looks outside through the tall glass apertures, streaming in golden light the crowd of conversations and chatter going to the back of her mind. to help her recollect upon the events that happened earlier that day. 
   it’s a sunny breezy June day for the graduating class of Bradford for they had just arrived at the Osborne manor for lunch from the gardens of the Beaudelaire estate. considering it is the first week of summer break, long until she and her classmates are back to their books starting their third year of university. 
   they’ve decided instead of staying inside the fine Beaudelaire music room rehearsing their song for Madame Hautecourts (Bradfords founder) arrival next week, they’d rather spent it on the Beaudelaire estate. 
   surrounded by blooming flower beds, marble fountains and ivory statues. remotely unattended from any pressure bearing adults, it was heaven. enjoying the sound of buzzing bees and humming hummingbirds and the sight of elegant doves bathing in the birdbaths, their senior year was finally over and they were finally done with their studies.
   the rich white teethed teens drank fizzy bourbon sodas, smoked cigars and played cards as a celebration. smiled with nefarious charm as they told, listened and laughed along detention stories and parent-teacher mishaps that have happened throughout their high school years. 
   it was their right to enjoy their summer break as shameless young adults committing prohibited acts. they were legal enough to break the law, but wealthy enough to get away with it
   a golden ethereal moment [y/n] relished, yet couldn’t help but feel the peering stare of someone on her.
   in shock she met the eyes of a figure that was staring down at her on the second story balcony of the mansion. immediately upon seeing the heavenly cerulean blue of his fierce glare caught her off guard completely, for she has never set sight of them in person in forever. 
   unaware from his return over seas all together she surely did not invite the man yet here he stands. head up looking down on you with those ocean hues as if disappointed with the clutch of moonshine in your grasps and the lips of a drunk boy at your neck. 
   ignoring the large group of adults chatting upon the carved ivory balcony. talking with champagne flutes in hand while cigarettes sit fuming in between their dazzling ring fingers, not caring for their children below as they commit their sins. 
   the gentlemen’s- Ari Levinson’s sharp glare was still present and it viscously dripped in distain. maybe baring the same shock you were feeling- that someone had their hands and lips on his property. knowing that tell, he did indeed notice you’re holding onto this boys hand that he will later find out is your boyfriend, Bryce Langely. 
   yes, the older man heard it right from your mothers lips - boyfriend. 
   it was a little bit, a morsel of karma that you unraveled against him. having gotten over Ari, your traitor of a Romeo you now savor in the violent delights of being a woeful Juliet. even when you sometimes feared over your newly found beau, you would overshadowed that creeping chill to spite that man who shattered your heart.
   it came with its heartbreaking disadvantages but had abundances of limitless sinful privileges. obtaining a title that doesn’t include you ruining someone's will to live or playing a mind-fuck emotional waste game surely was your guilty pleasure. 
   granting all this, we all have learned from past mistakes- from past tragedies- that these violent delights that taste so virtuously divine, have their merciless violent ends. 
   this night will have its violent end and your wicked gaze told it all as it cascaded with Ari’s. so revengeful it was saddening, he thought as he exhaled the cloud of cigar smoke. feeling his fist tighten when the school boy of a boyfriend slipped his skinny fingers under the white satin of your slip dress. the beating in his chest increasing when you smirked, bite your lips on not the bastard but him. 
   breaking the stare wanting not to stare back, she straightens herself under the sun rays trying not to let him spoil the mood. instead of averting your eyes to the older man, you hold Bryce's bicep; lying your head on his shoulder. 
   the icy glare Ari returns was enough for you to wonder, were you going to regret doing this? 
   you’ve broken a vow, but that thought makes you bite your tongue hard in this falsehood. he broke his first, he promised he’d never leave you and he did. the pain its just as bad as you feel the metallic taste in your mouth. 
   I don’t belong to him, not anymore.
   glancing your attention back up to the floral balcony you see that your Romeo has disappeared and serves him right. but where are you the audience touching up on this elicit affair? 
   well, ladies and gentlemen, let us start from the beginning...
   it all started with a kiss. 
   a magical night that was the grand premier of [y/n’s] latest play, Romeo and Juliet.
   you were the leading actress playing Shakespeare's unfortunate Juliet. the prima donna of the stage, the blazing star in everyone’s hearts that snowy February night. 
   [y/n] was nineteen, open to the ways of the world and at the time your Romeo was a much older man. but in the heat of the moment- 
   when the dazzling stage lights shone down on her and the audience cheered in a standing ovation as the single roses and bundles of baby breaths were thrown at her feet. as you took your bow, the chorus of the angels above song for the romantic tragedy of a teenage tale to be your reality. 
   seeing your Romeo, your Ari, grinning proudly from the side lines throwing a red rose at the hem of your gown - your heart pounded in this truth/
   the romantically tragic tale was surely real when he snuck into her dressing room. 
   a bouquet of red roses in his hands asking her if she would like to take a stroll with him. when their eyes danced and fingers laced within each other as they walked towards the candlelit park. covering her with his own black trench coat over her revealing costume when the cold winds of January seared their cheeks. their lips met each other under a streetlamp as snow began to powder above them.
   that kiss was the tipping domino that shattered their flirty student-tutor relationship into a secret scandalous affair. the visits between them only began after that, both Ari and [y/n] always either announced a date with a letter informing them or a surprise visit.
   one of her favorite surprises, especially when it came to Ari- has been engraved in her memories for eons to come.
   maybe it wasn’t as sweet and virtuous as [y/n] Beaudelaire dreamed of and remembered, but how can it not be when she felt like she was in heaven.
   how could something be sin when it feels holy at the first touch?
   it might be the endeavor of the Devil cause she still feels the temptation of his large warm hands. groping and grasping the powder blue lace of her nightie that wrapped the smooth skin of her waist on that warm pink honeysuckle June night.
   a naughty moan erupted from her and a deep groan against him.     [y/n] could taste the bitterly addicting taste of honeyed whiskey on his dazzling smile and couldn’t help at all but to pull onto his loose velvet tie. shamelessly whining and urging him to come closer as she unbuttoned his shirt, roaming her hands on his sculptured muscled chest.  
   reality has withered into a forgotten thought for dear sweet [y/n] Beaudelaire. although they both know an important figure as Mr. Levinson shouldn’t have been in her room. let alone cup the petal soft cheeks of [y/n] Beaudelaire as he kissed her harder, dancing his tongue with hers.  
      desire, desire, desire...
   how she had desired - longed to feel his strong arms around her waist, his satin locks through her fingers, his muscled golden skinned everything against her. a thought struck her - what if her father and mother were to walk in any second?
   both home early from their business trips? simple, all hell would break loose- figuratively and literally, although how could this not make her swoon more. 
   the danger and chaos incited the princess, she felt like a precious Juliet.
   yet [y/n] couldn’t stop at the threat, couldn’t help the mesmerizing feeling of her plump warm lips against his sweet tasting ones. how he was her first kiss conflicted with the older man, it seemed she had much more experience than she was letting on.
   danger and pleasure mix well, especially when Ari Levinson was pumping his throbbing hard cock into the tight virgin hole of [y/n] Beaudelaire. gripping the religious brooch of his golden chain in the palm of her hand, he continued to pump deep in and out of her. symphonies of moans and sighs adorned their blissful bubble waiting and urging to be popped.
   whispering praises and soothing the dear girl as hot tears streamed from her eyes. kissing her temple telling her how well she did and how he loved her. 
   all while the droplets of blood curled with the puddle of nectar underneath their locked connection, soaking her rumpled Egyptian cotton sheets. his tempered hands gently caressed the curves of her summer ripe body, sucking her rose budded breasts and licking her honey slicked core. 
   the magical spell that she was under, the thrilling sin enfolding as he held the key to her own wrecking. how it felt so fucking goddamn right to straddle his lap and allow him to leave the dark cherry wine lovebites on her neck. ravishing in the sinfully divine reflections in his eyes, she flourished on their next encounter.      
   being this an unvarnished truth, it wasn’t just a kiss as you all know now. but the intensity, the pure desire radiating them both that full moon night as they ‘made love’ questioned dear [y/n] Beaudelaire whether or not it was an event she would regret for the rest of her days.
   conflicts her presently as she stares down on her food, not allowing the elements of the present to interfere to connect to that corrupt heaven.
   “promise me you’ll never forget this, forget me,” out of breath, you shushed in his ear and he stopped sucking the skin of her collarbones and gripping her rear entirely.
   angling his face to meet hers, he examines his artwork- her ruby lips now pouty, being overworked from crashing his lips to hers. the blooming hickies covering her neck, collarbones, and breasts like springtime poppies. 
   the sweaty bare sunkissed skin of her naked body underneath him and her leaking honey cascading with his salty brim coats both their inner thighs is nothing but aerial piety.
   noting the tears that glazed your eyes- the dear girl has never felt so defenseless, so vulnerable to heartbreak in her life. two droplet streams slip from her eyes and Ari’s heart weeps. 
   his precious princess being teary eyed will not do, not if he could help it.
   lifting her on his lap, he raises his warm hands to cup her cheeks. wiping the tears with his thumbs, erasing their short lived existence before softly pressing his lips to hers. keeping his hands in place as she grips the silky hair that drops onto the back of his neck.
   “how could I ever forget you? my angel, you are purely unforgettable. never ever forget it,” he hushes as he glides his thumb against her lips and onto her cheekbone. 
   he releases one hand to dig into his trouser pockets and reveals a shimmering piece that sparkles and shines in the moonlight, a heart locket. “when you wear this, i’ll know that your heart belongs to me. that I am worthy to have a place in your heart.” he glides his fingers around her throat, moving her hair to the side as he clicks the gold in place. 
   looking down on the locket, her fingers wrapping it close. “even without this pendent, my heart will always belong to you.”
   beaming at the sight of you in his gift his heart is off to the races. you belong amongst the lavish pearl, blush pink and fanciful moonshine strokes of Lawrence Alma-Tadema’s signature paintings. the posh gold necklace rests securely around your lower neck and the promising pendant tips a luscious glossy glow upon her breasts.
     she truly is art, to be seen and adored by everyone but only touched and worshiped by him/
   “tell me daddy, please tell me i’m yours,” you sighed heavily, bust along with the locket lifting against Ari’s chest as you move her face even closer to his.
   “no doll, daddy’s yours.” her giggle, a classical melody to his ears as she kisses him again sweetly. 
   he returns more passionately but stops immediately for the ding dong of the old grandfather clock announces the twelfth hour of the night, surprising as well as startling the girl.     “it’s getting late, I can’t stay for long.” he quietly hushes, his voice slightly raspy causing [y/n’s] inner demons lustfully scream but she pouts and carps.
        he’s leaving so soon, always so soon.
    “don’t frown, pretty girl. we had to stop at some point.” he smirks as he picks up his shirt from the floor, buttoning it up swiftly. 
   getting up from your bed to find his belt from under it, he walks by the blue lace he stripped you of much earlier in the night. fitting the leather with his belt loops he zips up his pants, looking to the small table aside your bed he see’s his tie missing among your things. 
   judging from the small giggle that escapes your cheeky smirk he turns to you and opens an outreached hand. the tie as he predicted is in your hands, yet you keep it clenched against your chest looking at him as if you aren’t keeping anything from him. 
   though with the raise of an eyebrow and the other hand of his that softly yet firmly grabbing your jaw makes you question yourself if this trickery was a good idea, “It isn’t kind to take daddy's things, princess,” 
   the comment leaves your smirk dropping and a pout to form. 
   Ari always kills your teasing games with gentle kindness, always had the patience for your devious fairy like temper. his authorized stance was a killjoy but he held the discipline you lacked that helped balance your relationship. 
   rolling your eyes you give him his tie, which he takes after giving a subtle kiss to your knuckles. “good girl,” your core clenches at those words. 
   Ari has the right mixture of dominance and softness that made the cocoons in your stomach break free. the fluttering butterflies of lust flying to your heart and heading down to soak your already sore core.
   hungry hands wander his muscled body, feeling and drinking everything in. playful eyes saunter down and lock on the front gaping tent of his pants. catching were your eyes lock on Ari smirks to himself, his dirty little girl. 
   he knows exactly what you’re thinking, purely naughty you are.
    “my eyes are up here, angel,” and with that remark your eyes snap to his eager blue and you feel your face heating up.
   the delicious ache between your legs from the previous adrenaline filled thrusts and pumps of Ari’s hips smashing into yours is like a VCR tape on repeat in your mind. leaving you bashfully smiling and shivering in cordial delight as you feel his white syrup drip from your puffy crux.
   biting your bottom lip, however you aren’t at all shy to sit up over your plush pink comforter and grab his shirt needily. averting his eyes on you as you cup his bearded cheek. your eyes turn to wet glass and Ari is scared you might shatter into tears again, but your angelic smile makes him think otherwise and your holy wicked giggles do most for his growing erection. 
   the very things you do to him, he will never be able to explain in words.
   “promise i’ll see you again, Ari. promise me we’ll have more nights like this,” lips ghosting over his purposely. 
   those same wandering hands slide over his chest slowly, working down exploring the front of his pants. rubbing the tent with rapacious fingertips he moans under your touch. if this feeling of intimacy was a type of bait they’re both now hooked.
   “undoubtedly princess,” he keenly moans as he leans into your spit slicked lips yet you pull away giggling. “oh no, you don’t.” he suddenly grabs your waist and lifts you up from the cream sheets of your four poster bed. carrying you bridal style as he twirls you around your pale pink bedroom.
   wrapping your arms around his neck you burst into a fit of hushed giggles, Ari smiles to himself. 
   such a darling princess, he thinks again, his darling princess
   setting her back down on her bed he tucks her in and pecks her nose, caressing her lovebiten gold lace adorned neck. “my dove, i’ll see you tomorrow. for now is best you sleep.” he whispers breath warm against your lips he pulls away. turning his body to reach the secret doorway until-
   “must you go? please stay, please,” you sit up, holding his face in your hands as he looks down at you. 
   tinges of sadness and tones of sleepiness shade deep in your eyes and Ari feels his heartstrings vibrating. how could he even think of letting you sleep alone? wouldn’t be a justified thing for him to take your purity, make love to you and leave you bare and cold all alone. 
   eyes shined bright as you looked up at him, so sweet and angelic and waiting for his response. he was unsure, of course his heart sang that he wanted to stay. yet questioned himself as to why he let himself corrupt your angel kin, why he allowed himself to fall in love with you. dreamt every night for you to warm the empty cold spot on his bed. 
   dreamt of making you his. 
   the killing absence is a tell. 
   Ari wants to stay, oh how he wants to stay.   
   although he is scared, terrified- that once he lays on your bed with the comfort of your warm sleeping body against his, he won’t ever be able leave. 
   terrified that all conscious awareness of knowing this love is forbidden will be erased cause he won’t care. as long as he feels your heart beat against his when he shuts his eyelids. terrified that this may be all a dream and he’ll wake up in his bed alone with you not by his side. 
   you can notice the troubling hesitation, even when his eyes are on you his mind is somewhere else. wrapping your arms around his neck, you pull him down on you until his clothed body is pressed softly against your bare one. until your eyelashes flutter against each other, until your lips feel each others breath.
   “please, stay,” your whisper soft and airy, your face as well as the pendent ravishing in complete beauty and elegance.
   you are truly his, and he will never let you go
   with that he doesn’t answer because he’s taking off his clothes again till he is bare and vulnerable just like you. picking up your sheets he slips next to you. “come, my dove,” he hushes and you shuffle against the sheets to lay on him. 
   each of your legs on the opposite of his sides, your naked breasts pressed against his warm lifting chest. damp face still parallel to his he sees a tear leak from your eye and hear a small sniffle.
   “what’s wrong?” hand at the back of your neck he pulls you closer. 
   “w-what happens if they find out about us? what happens i-if they tear us apart?” whimpering your voice breaks in between sobs.
   Ari cups your cheeks while he shakes his head, as if what your saying is impossible and hopeless. both you star-crossed lovers should know- 
   by the fate of the tragic stars above was this night destined to come. 
  “never. never would they be able to tear me away from you. [y/n] look at me, I would never let that happen,” his whispered voice euphoric as he holds the sides of your face.
   hushed sobs escaped your mouth, Ari wipes your tears with his rough palms. hugging you close until you calm down and your small hiccups can be heard. a small smile begins to unfold between the two of you and Ari folds a piece of your hair behind your ear. 
   you’re so beautiful when your bare and on top of him, it’s almost godly. 
   starry face, body and soul is just begging to be worshiped, he does worship you. “even if they try and succeed, they would be at a loss. For my heart would still belong to you, forever and always.” by that, your lips stretch in a tragic smile. 
   “forever and always,” you sigh as your lips meet his in a wistful kiss.
   lips passionate against yours, hands in his wild hair and legs intertwined you both fall in the black hole of desire again. both of you know that this was destined to happen, that they was no way to avoid or prevent this. 
        your heart his and his heart yours,          both eternal and forever blooming.
   when you two are finally spent and sore in the most wonderful of ways, you lie on your sides. facing each other by enjoying each others presence, tracing and retaining every freckle, scar and birthmark with caressing fingertips. grabbing the red lace ribbon that was initially in your hair, you tie it around Ari’s wrist. 
   tired eyes going dreamy, he lays to his side smiling and watching as you wrap and finish the lace with a bow. 
   “it isn’t much, but if- on the account, that they do tear us apart. please know that I will wait for you. always.” hushing, your bodies glow in the loves rays of the pale lavender moonlight present.  
   pulling you to his chest, your face finds the crook of his neck and breath in his natural scent. “and I to you,” he says kissing the top of your hair, wrapping his arms guarding you in the most comforting way.
    “Goodnight good night, my Romeo,”  
        parting  is  such  sweet  sorrow -
    “Goodnight good night, my Juliet,” 
        that I shall say good night till it be morrow.
   you remember after the night was more love and happiness you don’t know you could ever feel. in your opinion that morning the following day was like a perfect reverie. 
   Ari and you were woken up from their lovesick slumber by the sing song of the morning birds and the vivid yellow sun rays. giggled and admired the memory of last night as he pressed butterfly kisses over your hipbones and belly. 
   wearing nothing but Ari’s cream button up and him in his briefs they had a French breakfast out on the brick terrace barefoot surrounded by Persian buttercups and marigolds. 
   afterwords they took a bubble wash in her clawfoot bathtub and put on some clothes, smelling fresh of rose water and milky dove soap. walking down the staircase as he had to leave, you kissed him goodbye but he reassured you that he will be back that same night to see you again. 
   however with unfortunate timing, your parents returned that afternoon from their separate business trips. with greater outcomes than they both have expected, news of their return and latest success most likely cautioned Ari. he is one of her father’s most close old friends and obvious of his return he did not come to the celebrating lunch that same day which dishearten [y/n] but she knew that he would come around.
   and he did, time and time again through the end of your first year of college and following into the middle your second year. that is, until he stopped and disappeared from her completely when the summer season went by. 
   the day you thought would be a nice idea to stop by the private elite college to see Ari. you were surprised to find that everything in his office to find everything of his gone except a letter on the desk with your name on it. you’ve examined the empty room around you, the framed degrees on the wall and boxes of filing papers vanished. 
   the office clerk had informed you that he was here when you arrived, seeming to suspicious you told her that you were meeting him for ‘counseling purposes’. 
   now siting in his chair by his desk you opened the letter with shaky hands, prepared yourself to either be completely devastated or perplexed. slipping the letter out and forced yourself to take a deep breath as you focus on the cursive black ink.
         My Dearest Dove,
         I beg hat you won’t be disappointed. won’t be mad or even put this on yourself, it kills me to see you cry. 
         I didn’t have the heart to tell you this sooner and with that I dread itself though I will be back in a couple of months. 
         Know that the sun will blaze and the moon will shine and the planets will orbit into oblivion. 
         For my love for you was gifted by the stars and with that I beg of you to do the most and wait.  
   it was soiled with a teardrop as you finished reading the last words. the letter left a sore pain in her heart that was laced with amorous longing. leaving his office with the letter in hand, salty melancholy tears on your tongue and a prolonging ballad hum in your tender voice. 
   you didn’t blame him for taking a job opportunity over seas as you later found out but it hurt knowing he didn’t tell you of this earlier. so you did what he asked you to do, to wait for him.
   the lovely burning hours of wasting through your summer retreat daydreaming of your runaway Romeo to return turned into days. then with greatest unfortune days into weeks, and weeks into months till now it has been a solid year without a single phone call, letter, or personal appearance.
   until now that he sits across from you.
   the sheer heart shattering thought rattled in her mind that last summer day and with that tears threaten to glaze and drop from her mascara lashes at this moment. 
   our princess, our Juliet already accepted that it was an incident… 
   incident be damned.
   the man is no ordinary man but a public figure. Mr. Levinson could not risk his professional career to a scandal. thinking you probably weren’t worth the risk in his eyes, you’re blinded by the truth of how utterly wrong you are. 
   everyone knows that he has worked and had an extensive history with the justice department in the earlier years of his life. eventually in some time in his life settled as a criminal behavioral specialist teaching a division of B.A.U students at Harvard.
   when people young and old see him, they see a hardworking risk-taking man who risked his life for our country and to help many others in need. on the other hand when girls [y/n] age see him they see dollar signs, because of course the man had the opportunity to retire, but saw fit that the rank of superior director of future agents would be a better use of his time.
   for just that fact alone is the true reason for his previous failed marriage, how and why it came to an end. Hell even you knew that he was divorced, you would see and notice the picture frames of a little girl that was always placed on his desk. whenever you tried to say or ask anything about it he always changed the topic, seeming empty and broken. you knew that the little girl was Ari’s daughter, you just didn’t want to push the subject but he would soon open up to you later on.
   part time however, Mr. Levinson was an advocate as well as counselor for Ivy Leagues. the very first the two of you met was the day he was gathering and advising students for college preparatory programs and collecting college applications. 
   when you stepped inside the counselors office, and took a deep inhale of the incense soaking the air. the soft eye contact he given as you chanted about your aspirations and ambitions. the way he held your hand when you started to speak on your mental and social troubles. telling you that you were safe to speak your mind on any topic. 
   once you left his office that day, you felt the singing sensation of wanting to see him again. memorize his face so its like an oracle for your mind to fantasize, remember his smooth voice till you can hear it in your dreams. an unforeseen crush was formed and with that you started finding new ways of seeing him, which meant more visits to the counselor office. 
   you wanted to talk to him more, speaking on topics that didn’t revolve around your sweet cynical ordeals but for but for him to get a taste of your sweet cynical- well you get the picture.
   you wanted to get to him to touch you. so shy touching your hand and shoulder from time to time realizing he was getting much more comfortable around you then what was appropriate for him as a counselor. 
   you wanted to get him to kiss you. during that prophetical freshman year of university when the Shakespearean performance commenced you did get that kiss. 
   if you were being truly honest with yourself, you don’t at all regret it. 
   you truly don’t.
   he was your counselor, he was somewhat of a tutor at times but it wasn’t at all professional when they had been continuously flirting and teasing each other. an affair fueled on both sides as you two tried on riling the other person up until they had no clue what happened when your hands found each others. 
   it was nerve racking trying to convince yourself that you were just using him so he’ll pull some strings to get you an even closer advantage into Harvard than you already had. 
   Ari knew [y/n] was younger- but the intelligence, sophistication, and charm that you were gifted he couldn’t help but fall head over heels.
   it was wrong, a disgusting thing to do he thought and thought. but with your consent and the love you gave back to him made those thoughts stop. he was under loves heavy burden and oh did he sink stepping forth into your siren like song. 
   Mr. Levinson was never a man to settle when he could do so much more, even when the man was ensured with millions of dollars the government owned him in his missions adding onto his current affluent job the man was indeed wealthy.
   you’d have to be in order to be around such prosperous bluebloods, where old money and power come hand in hand. these upper class folk think they rule the world and by him being a respected figure, people laid countless loyalties to him.
   it isn’t fucking fair.
   how could he still sit there, thinking he helped you when he took the sharpened sword of your trust and loyalty to only just stab you with it. through your already browbeaten and broken heart you gave with shaking hands and pitiful eyes.
   where you carried the broken pieces of her heart where ever you went, like a pathetic souvenir of some sort that you bragged for some reason. you were and are so emotionless, so deprived of such that you mistaken it as strength. so desperate that Ari Levinson himself helped stitch and glued back together.
   all that to just shatter it within his grasp, letting the ambrosial blood gush on his hands and wipe it all over your fucking face.  
   so rather then turning into the broken clueless little girl you outgrew, you instead picked up the bleeding smithereens and put them together yourself. with the will of an iron fist the burning sensation of your blood, sweat and tears you forced yourself up. swearing you will never fall to a defeat like this again. 
   yet this won’t excuse your thoughts, you swore that you will only exchange the same treatment back to him when the opportunity occurred. 
   and now is the perfect time, as he sits at your will to find and make amends.
   a spiraling storm begins to unravel within the mind of [y/n] Beaudeliare, she will not be silenced from her treacherous heartache. she will see to it that she will have that man begging on his knees for forgiveness, and maybe set him on fire if it suits her liking.
   snapping out of her day dream [y/n] couldn’t help but not sneak a quick look at him, I mean he is across the table. 
   peering from the setting sun she looks to him and she wishes she hasn’t. the face she fantasizes of at night yet curses in her daydreams holds the apple of her eye and she feels Cupids skilled golden arrow rip through your heart once again.
   soft toffee hair parts on top his shoulder blades, dark sultry beard slightly trimmed going in stark contrast against his white pressed dress shirt. wondering eyes lingered onto his wrinkle free collar to see the three top buttons loose revealing his golden Star of David chain and a trail of dark chest hair. 
   the woman next to him was indeed beautiful and held more mature features than her. if anyone were to see these two sitting together they’d assume they were together but think twice to see that the man is Ari Levinson and he is already married to his job then be shocked again when they find he’s engaged. you believe the woman's name is Miss. - soon to be Mrs - Liz Earl, but dismiss it every time she introduces herself. 
   asking her to repeat her name saying it always slips your mind, pretending she didn’t exist when she tried to speak to you. thus on the account of you responding you tried to make her question whether or not you liked or despised her.
   it wasn’t right at all to be this petty and you know it. you aren’t acting like yourself by taking your pain and convicting it on the poor women. although you can’t deny the connection she has with Ari that makes your blood pound with resentment. you especially cannot deny that you haven’t seen him wrap his arm around her waist or chuckle along to whatever she had to say or kiss her while they lit their thick cigars. with that you rolled your eyes at your sincerity even though you were wrong doing so. 
   Ari would catch you within his actions and your vicious feedback. he wasn’t blind to your raging sorrow and he wasn’t petty enough to actually comment back at you or play in the game you were initiating. 
   but he hates to see you this way
   is he the only one who sees the tears in your eyes?     the falseness in your smile and remarks?     the ache in the way you try so hard to present yourself that everyone seems to fall for?     what is he suppose to do?
   Ari can’t exactly grab your face and kiss you for the whole world to see but he wants to, he can’t avoid you any longer. desperately trying so hard to move on, even now that another women is holding his hand and kissing him he still personally wishes it was you. longing to see you again from the very beginning of his voyage he sees you now, heartbroken and patience gone to waste. 
   the very last thing he wanted for you, a deed he should have never put on you. even though you hate his existence, Ari wishes for you to simply look at him. 
   not look at him behind his back or when he didn’t know you were staring, he wants to meet your irises to his. you’ve been driving him in circles as you planned, all he wants is to hear you sweet voice yet he can’t get over your arrogance. 
   your self righteousness that made him fall for you in the first place
   on the other hand, his presence was enough to make you shift and either burst into a mess of tears or throw a fucking bitch fit. although you will not show any sign of torment, not a single weak manifestation. especially not for the man that treated someone of your worth as a shameful sin when he worshiped you behind closed doors.
   “Miss. Beaudelaire,” a deep voice rang and you turned your head to the mayor sitting on the right of your father.
   “it’s wonderful to hear that you’ve been doing so well in your classes. the Beaudelaire residency endures their traditional status.” Mr. Waldeyer Hartz exclaims, peering at you from across the long table which catches everyone’s ears.
   a gleaming smile is revealed and you pull your bottom lip in between your teeth, they will be in for a surprise.
   [y/n] can’t help but enjoy the attention, she hasn’t worked years of college hell as President of the Student Body and claimed Valedictorian while crushing any competition to not enjoy time in the spotlight.
   from the corner of her eye she catches Ari clapping, bringing a chorus of clapping from all others. the gesture leaves you bashfully smile and when your eyes meet his the beat of your heart flutters in that dear nostalgic way. 
   a strong proud smile displayed on his face that lights up his eyes in some magical way. the lovely gesture only you got to see, cause it is only meant for you and only you.
   though that divine thought once warm and sensational leaves you empty and cold. you aren’t the women in his life no more, thinking again you weren’t even his to begin with.
   how can someone be loved and be claimed as such when they are buried like a dirty shameful secret?  
   you’ve grown up at the receiving end of heartbreak. whether it’s the cruel torment you’ve received from your classmates from your early school years. your parents toxic high expectations and standards they whipped you up to fulfill. to simply feeling broken when you keep disappointing yourself realizing you haven't gotten over your treacherous Romeo. 
   your Ari.
   it’s too late to head back now.
   you’ve put to time, effort and power into getting yourself here. it will not be shot down for a cry of remorse and validation. you will never put yourself forth in that again. 
   “actually, Mr. Hartz. there have been some alterations.” you say, chest empty and heart cold.  
   “you say? do tell!” Mr. Hartz cheers, while the guests peer their eyes on you from the sudden attention.
    “i’m not attending Harvard anymore for my last year. in fact i’m transferring to Princeton, right father,” you say and your father smiles at you nodding his head. 
   “those individual service programs and essays did work well in the end, and not to mention Mr. Levinson’s considerate word and recommendation letters. it was quite simple to please the Princeton officials,” you smile, teeth gleaming and eyes bright.
    “you hear that Levinson! your star pupil will be competing against you in the big leagues now!” Mr. Hartz exclaims, cackling and erupting in boisterous laughter along with her father and a couple other of his close friends.
   she doesn’t even spare Ari a glance but she imagines the rage and offence on his confused face. unsure as to what happened but he traces back to the hours and hours of you and him together- 
   were you merely just using him? 
   the gentlemen's clapping stops and he looks at you again. you’re completely ravishing as the cheers continue and you start making your mini speech but its all hazy in the back of his mind.
   is this some sort of back biting trap you set out for him to fall for or has he been clueless this whole time thinking you really felt for him?  
   he may have left you, but it was for your own good
   how could he stay by your side just to ruin your life knowing that the love you two share will never be accepted? how could he have stayed when the love he feels for you tears at his heart? knowing he can never truly have you?
   breaking his vows and promises to you of course, but if this all was a sort of plan of yours. so, has he done the right thing at all for leaving you? 
   yes and no. its all so complicated even when the answer is in front him, drinking her strawberry rose from her crystal glass. 
   he still loves you, if it was possible its a galaxy stronger than before. its ripping his lungs and heartstrings wanting to know- urging to know if you feel the same.
   “an Ivy League image is to be bestowed upon you young lady. keep up the good work and don’t disappoint us.” your father says and you wince, knowing it isn’t as sweet as he spoke. 
   with that everyone goes back to their own silly privileged conversations as the dessert course starts to be served. 
   the smell of chocolate, fresh strawberries and lemony puffed pastry fills the room. plates of powdered berry oven cakes come in varies colors and sizes. trays of dark chocolate covered strawberries and white chocolate red velvet croissants replace the empty dinner dishes.
   “oh, [y/n] you have met up with my grandson have you?” Ogden Osborne, the principle of Bradford adds nonchalantly. 
   sipping from his wine glass gesturing to the shiny blond young man no more than a seat away from her. “he just so happened to transfer for Princeton himself and I believe you will both have some classes together. am I right Bryce, my boy!” he chuckles and the young man laughs lightly giving her a flirty smile.
   as if on que, Maya Langely - who has been siting to your left excuses herself from the table to chat with Finn Earl who you recently found out is Liz Earl's son. switching seats with Bryce Langely, you find yourself staring face to face with the shiny blond with the bottled green eyes.
   “hello [y/n/n]. it’s been a while, hasn’t it?” Bryce smiles fondly, a bit too sweet as he reveals his wolfish smile. sitting closer to you, gibing you a rather tight hug yet his hands slip under the table to grip your ass roughly.
   the eyes of her father and mother and Mr. Osborne don’t notice this yet Ari grits his teeth in a seething sneer.
   Ari knows boys like these, he knows they treat everything of the opposite sex as a chess piece. a challenge in their selfish and heartless games. does his Juliet know Bryce flirts with everything with a beating pulse while she isn’t around? 
   apparently not. little naïve [y/n] kissed her devious demon for a boyfriend after settling in the dining room when Ari himself stumbled upon hearing her blond beau. hidden away in a coat closet making out between some girls legs as he went to find a room to smoke in.
   “it has, hasn’t it? a whole year! it’s your fault you’ve moved away and haven’t kept in contact with me!” you joke and he laughs and gleams that boyish smile that makes all the schoolgirls blush, gripping your ass tighter. 
   [y/n] and Bryce always play this game, pretending to not know each other. though they were childhood best friends they’ve grown apart due to well, growing out of each other. realizing they had different likes and interests as all childhood friends do. 
   even throughout high school they both never associated with each other, they weren’t within the same social circles and they sure didn’t have the same friends. with this you’d imagine they never get along yet with two horny and danger seeking teenagers anything is possible.
   you won’t ignore the sexual eagerness in his eyes that is overlooked by plenty but you don’t care for him. you do not care for Bryce because your legs lift from underneath the table to slip under Ari’s one pants leg. 
   caressing the leg with the front of your ivory Prada heels making Ari’s gaze shoot to you when he was in midst conversation with Liz. staring at the dessert options you don’t return the stare but continue with your footwork.
   guests begin to grab what desserts catch their eyes and you place a mini raspberry dome cake on your plate. cutting your fork into the lemon cake and taking it into your mouth, the whipped cream and raspberry jam covers your lips. licking them coyly, Ari’s stare is nothing but punishing. 
   it brings you back to all the times you purposely acted up to just have his attention. always succeeded you did as he would whisper dirty things in your ears about what he was going to do once the two of you were alone. at this moment you’re proud to know it still works like a charm once you feel his warm hand clenching your ankle.
   ignoring the warning glare you chat with Bryce, joking and teasing the rest of dessert despite your fear of him creeping up your spine. occasionally, just to piss Ari off- you’d whisper and giggle sweet nothings in Bryce's ear whilst caressing your bare foot against your suffering Romeos hardening manhood. 
   leaving both you and Bryce smiley and giggly like schoolchildren and Ari sexually affronted trying desperately to hold in a moan.
   smirking, feeling accomplished when Ari starts to sweat and hide the growing pleasure from the woman next to him. she asks if he feels alright, Ari’s respond is short of nothing but murmurs and a grunt while he shifts in his seat. keeping the small sly smile, you remove your foot all together to just place it back, rubbing his now solid cock. dipping a single finger in the cakes syrupy sweetness of jam and cream, taking your coated finger you take it in your mouth. 
   [y/n] could feel the burning eyes of Ari against her but you pull out your signature doe eyes. letting a slight pout come into the equation, Ari feels his heart melt and he wants to yank your foot when you start rubbing harder. maybe steal you away, pull you close in the dark corner of a secluded empty room and return the teasing favor. 
   wanting to do so he can’t even shift, your motions building up inside him he feels like he’s going to bust in his pants any second. so he then removes your foot giving you the coldest glare that even makes you stop. excusing himself from the table, alarming his fiancé but you roll your eyes at this action. Ari’s expecting you to follow him. 
   how fucking typical for the man who still thinks he owns you. you will not follow him, you won’t hop along. you aren’t his clueless bunny no more.
   sudden clanking is erupted from across the table, to see sight of her dearest uncle clanking his pudding spoon against his wine glass catching everyone’s attention.
   “everyone attention! i’d like to make a toast. this year has indeed been hard for us all, but when you look upon the reckoning there we see the clearing of a new resolution. it amazes me to this day that we see the youth taking charge of their futures, and I am utmost proud of my youngest niece. [y/n/n] Beaudelaire for carrying on our bloodlines legacy and continuing to bring honor upon us. ‘here here!’ for our dearest princess [y/n/n]!”
    “here here!” the table cheers, raising their glasses of wine and champagne towards the dear princess, smiling and praising for your victory.
   seeing sight of her father and mother smiling proudly at her, all their business friends and affiliations congratulate you once again. friends giggling, pecking your cheeks in swift hugs and your male classmates holler praises and throwing flirtatious winks. 
   the table continuously cheers and Bryce presses a kiss to your cheeks while you take a sip of your glass of white wine. yet you feel disheartened.
   all this time you have thought you’d be sharing this moment with Ari. despite its what you’ve wanted, you feel melancholy and abruptly bitter. 
   this isn’t right, this doesn’t feel right whatsoever. 
   for how have you planned this to emotionally collapse on you when it was meant to make you feel better? how have you been focusing on yourself and loving yourself to only wish to be in the arms of the man who hurt you the most? 
   is this how that unfortunate Capulet girl felt?     having no escape from the raging love she felt for a person she couldn’t have? 
   growing up, [y/n] knew that the storybooks on her bedroom shelves told no lies, the magical tales bared no falsehoods. being the innocent small girl she was, wishing upon stars by her windowsill when she couldn’t go to sleep you prayed for a prince to save you. 
   that night, the stars knew all your downhearted disputes, your troubling sorrows as you wept every single one to them. have they truly listened to you that North Star night ago, have they believed you? 
   the wise astral beings above know all and see all but are they working in your favor? 
    I reassure you this ladies and gentlemen, no matter how tragic or wicked the stars may be - they don’t act without purpose.
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dearcat1 · a year ago
Text
Vineyard in Italy
Artist: DearCat 
Pairing: Toni Stark/Xanxus
Tags/Warnings/Rating: T
Prompt: Day 2 [Scars]
Summary: Scars tell stories on her skin, Xanxus hadn’t realized that before.
Story
In all the years they've been together, Xanxus has found thousands of reasons to complain. Mostly because Xanxus likes to be spoiled and Toni enjoys spoiling him, enjoys having someone whose reaction to her grand gestures is not exasperation but not so well hidden delight. 
There had been actual, honest fights amongst the pretended ones, too. Especially after Afghanistan. Because Xanxus had just gotten her back and now he might lose her to this superhero business. He didn't trust S.H.I.E.L.D. one bit. 
But they'd managed somehow. The mafia assassin, the Varia Boss and Iron Woman, the face of Stark Industries and the engineer behind its success. 
It sounds like a bad joke. Pair of alcoholics with daddy issues and fear of abandonment. They made it work, between engineering binges and mind-blowing sex. They pretend the conversations never happened, they're both allergic to mushy shit. 
Extremis was never a fight. 
Xanxus had been desperate and Toni had been dying. She'd been in no position to make a choice so Xanxus made it for both of them. Toni, she hadn't been the happiest, but she hadn't resented him for it. They both know she would have made the same choice.
To be absolutely honest, Xanxus doesn't regret it. Not even for a second. Xanxus is a selfish asshole, he won't lose his woman to heroics, no matter how many laws he has to break in the process.
He's mafia already, civilian laws mean nothing to him.
So no, Xanxus doesn't regret it. He's just surprised. He splays his hand open over her naked chest, fingers brushing the arc reactor, casting shadows on the walls. The glow of the damn thing mocks him.
Varia assassins can be vain, Xanxus isn't. Toni is, he knows. She used to hate her scars. Xanxus hated them too, for entirely different reasons. Those scars had been proof of his failures. They're gone now, extremis saw to that. 
And yet, Xanxus finds himself surprised at missing them. The proof that his woman is as tough as nails. That there's much that's tried to keep her from him and nothing that accomplished it.
The other ones are gone, too. The ones he'd loved from the beginning. The signs of wear on her hands, the little burns on her fingers, the slashed x on her forearm from an explosion gone wrong. Xanxus loved those. The ones that came simply from Toni being Toni. 
Toni stirs under him, hands coming up to trace circles on his back, smooth fingers caressing his own scars idly. "Come on," she pulls him down, climbing atop of him and resting her forehead against his shoulder. "I've got a meeting tomorrow." 
With the Accords Council, Xanxus knows. And Xanxus knows he's asked for too much already but haven't they given enough? Toni to the world and Xanxus to Vongola. Not all scars are skin deep. 
"Maybe not," Xanxus says before he can stop himself. "Maybe," he continues, because the words are out now and he might as well. "Maybe we can find a cabin somewhere in Italy, with vineyards. The two of us." Start a family, he doesn't say. Little brats with Toni's hair and genius and Xanxus's eyes and temper. An interesting thought.
His people will come, Xanxus doesn't deny it. Her people, too.
Toni straddles him, eyes curious and cautious but not judging and Xanxus turns his head, kisses her wrist where a burn scar used to be and waits.
"Italy?" 
Her lips peck his and Xanxus concentrates on the amusement in her voice, the fond exasperation. He nods. "Italy, the food's better." 
"Can't deny you that," Toni kisses him once and stands up, pulling him along. "FRIDAY?"
"I'll let Miss Potts and Colonel man know." 
She picks up her sweatpants and his shirt, drops her phone on the night table. Xanxus ignores the strange lack of scars on her skin and follows suit in dressing himself. "Tell the shitty shark for me," Xanxus leaves his uniform on the floor, puts on jeans and an old shirt he left behind long ago. 
Xanxus doesn't quite believe that they're doing it until they're in the quinjet, stealth mode with FRIDAY taking them who knows where. He’s sitting on the co-pilot spot, Toni caging him in, both their lips red and shiny. 
He pulls her closer, lets one of his hands rest on her belly and kisses the tip of her fingers.
“There will be more scars, you know?” But for all that she’s rolling her eyes, Toni’s eyes are soft and Xanxus bows his head, lets her cradle him closer. She’s always been far too good at reading him. 
Not that Xanxus wants to linger on this line of thought, on the terrifying reminder of how close he came to losing her. “The shitty shark will find us soon enough.” Maybe six months in, at most.
“Oh, please,” Toni rubs circles on his back, not at all fooled by the change of topic. “My Rhodey-Bear will be first.”
True. But Rhodes and Xanxus are, perhaps unsurprisingly, on the same page when it comes to Toni. He’ll come to visit but he won’t tell a soul. Squalo is as subtle as a grenade to the face. Then again, the mini-boss isn’t the old man and Xanxus is willing to fight for this. He’s given Vongola enough, far more than they deserved. 
Perhaps now the next scar he’ll earn will be something stupid, like a mistake chopping vegetables or, knowing his luck, he’ll inadvertently sit on one of Toni’s tools. She keeps forgetting them on the strangest of places.
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scarletmanuka1 · a year ago
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So, my post earlier today that had me wallowing in self pity kinda blew up on me but it showed that I’m not alone in the Starker fandom as someone not into the popular Daddy kink and Fem!Peter themes. Doing what I should have done to start with, I decided to write my own Mob Boss Tony fic. I hope you guys like it. Warnings: Canon typical violence, attempted non-con by original character, a little bit of blood. 
Grease Monkey - also on AO3
“Peter,” F.R.I.D.A.Y said, lowering the volume of his music so he could hear her, “it’s eight o’clock.”
“Mmhmm, okay, thanks, Fri,” he hummed, biting his lip as he reached up into the innards of the engine bay to make another adjustment. “I’ll just be another five minutes.”
“Peter, you said that five minutes ago, and five minutes before that, and five minutes before that.” If it was possible for an AI to sound exasperated, F.R.I.D.A.Y had nailed it.
“I know, but I’m almost done and when I’m finished, there’ll be no way the cops can ever outrun Happy in this car.” Something nagged at the back of his mind and he paused, rolling out a little from under the car. “Wait, eight o’clock? Why is that important tonight?”
There was a long pause and if F.R.I.D.A.Y had been human, Peter would have sworn that she was sighing. “Boss is hosting a party for the alliance tonight.”
“That’s tonight?” Peter squawked, and pushed himself clear from under the car, scrabbling to his feet. “Crap, are you sure? I thought it was only Thursday?”
“No, Peter, it’s definitely Friday night and people have been arriving for the past hour.”
Grabbing a rag as he hurried past the workbench, Peter scrubbed the oil off his hands and hurried up the stairs, taking them two at a time. He hesitated at the top, torn between going to get changed or heading out to see Tony right away. The way he looked right now, in his ripped and stained low slung jeans and a shirt that used to be white but was now so filthy that the graphic of the molecular structure of caffeine printed on the front could barely be read, he knew that he wouldn’t be impressing anyone. Tony had been working on an alliance with several different factions of the organised crime networks on the East Coast and if tonight went well, he’d be the most powerful mob boss in the country. Peter didn't want to do anything to jeopardise his partner’s hard work and he knew that his appearance would be judged harshly. Decided, he turned towards the bedroom but stopped when F.R.I.D.A.Y spoke. 
“Peter, Boss requests your presence immediately.”
“I was just going to get changed…”
There was a pause as the AI relayed this information to Tony and then she said, “He asks that you come now.”
Immediately, Peter turned back and headed towards the main living areas of the mansion. Tony had known where Peter was, and was intimately acquainted with how he looked after hours spent under the hood of a car so if he didn't care, then Peter wouldn’t either. Of course, that didn't stop him from feeling horribly self conscious as he emerged into the grand foyer and into a crowd of elegant women in flowing evening gowns and men dressed in sharp suits and even sharper tuxedos. One woman, with her hair coiffed in a tangle of curls and intricate braids, a plunging neckline, and towering high heels wrinkled her nose as Peter walked by, and recoiled from him as if terrified that he'd get oil on her gown. He gave her a polite smile which turned into a grin as he saw Tony.
His partner was surrounded by the who’s who of organised crime and they all seemed to be hanging onto his every word, deference and respect oozing from them. Each man had something pretty hanging off his arm, laughing gaily and fluttering their lashes at their host. Tony ignored them all as his gaze fell on Peter and he beckoned him over. “There’s my little grease monkey,” he said fondly, pulling Peter into his arms, careless of his expensive suit. “I thought you might have forgotten about my little shindig,” he teased, kissing Peter’s temple.
Blushing, Peter gave him a bashful smile. “Um, I kinda did? I got too caught up in working on your car.”
“Ah, the upgrades that you were telling me about.” Tony twisted, his arm slipping around Peter’s waist and pulling him so that his back was flush against Tony’s chest. “You should hear what Petey’s been working on for my fleet,” he said, his voice full of pride. “By the time he’s done, there won’t be a cop in the country who can chase us down. The cars will all look like nondescript saloon cars but they’ll give a NASCAR a run for its money.”
“Interesting,” one of the men said, eyeing Peter thoughtfully. “Tell me, Stark, will you be sharing these...advances, with the alliance?” He licked at his lower lip, hungry eyes on Peter.
Tony’s arm around Peter tightened but when he spoke, his voice held only faint amusement. Peter knew that his eyes would be hard though. “It all depends, Romano. I’d be willing to share the technology with those who show loyalty to the alliance, but it will be the technology only.”
Romano’s eyes lingered on Peter a beat too long before dropping away. “Pity,” he murmured. 
One of Tony’s hands came up to cup the side of Peter’s throat in what could only be described as a possessive manner. He breath was hot against Peter’s ear when he spoke. “Why don’t you head up for a shower and a change of clothes, Petey? Dinner will be served soon and you must be famished after working all day.”
Peter tilted his head a little so he could press a kiss to Tony’s cheek and said softly, “Okay. See you soon.” With one last squeeze of his waist, Tony let him go and Peter hurried out of the room and headed upstairs.
He couldn’t help but linger a little in the shower, the hot water feeling divine on his aching muscles but eventually he turned off the water and quickly dried off. He wrapped a towel around his waist and headed out into the bedroom to get dressed in one of the many suits that Tony had had tailored for him, his hands trailing over the garment bags as he debated over which one to wear. Just as he settled on a dark blue three piece suit that he’d worn to his university graduation, he heard the door open and close. He turned, expecting Tony but froze as he saw Romano instead. “I think you may have gotten lost,” he said as politely as possible. “Dinner is being served in the main dining hall.”
Romano looked him up and down, his eyes lingering on the tightly wrapped towel. “Oh, I think I’m in the right place, sweetness.” He took a step forward and Peter took one back.
“I don’t know what you think you’re doing, but I’m with Tony and we’re exclusive. I’m not interested, Mr Romano.”
Romano’s eyes narrowed. “Now, now, that’s not very hospitable, boy. Aren’t you interested in doing your part to cement this alliance?”
Allowing some of the disgust he felt for the man to show on his face, Peter glared at him. “This is a sure fire way of not seeing this alliance through.”
Romano advanced again but Peter was now backed against the dresser and had nowhere to go. “What are you going to do, precious?” he practically purred, lifting his hand and grabbing a fistful of Peter’s hair, twisting it harshly. “You gonna tell on me to your daddy?”
“He’s not my ‘daddy’,” Peter spat. “He’s my partner and I’m not going to tell.”
Romano forced his knee between Peter’s legs. “That’s what I like to hear. You just gonna take it, like a good little boy?”
“Oh, I didn't say that,” Peter said, and then he was pulling the knife out from where it was stashed in the second drawer of the dresser and in one fluid move had sliced it across Romano’s throat. 
Eyes wide and hands clutching at the blood that was spurting from his throat, Romano staggered back, making a gurgling noise. 
“I can take care of myself,” Peter snarled, shoving Romano away from him. “I don’t need to go running to anyone for help.”
It was then that the door opened and Tony stepped into the room. He took in the scene with an arch of a manicured brow and watched as Romano fell to his knees and then toppled to one side, his last breath bubbling out of the slash in his windpipe. “Another one who couldn’t keep their hands to themselves?” he asked.
“Yeah,” Peter confirmed.
“I’ll have housekeeping send someone in to clean up.” He stepped around the body and reached out to cup Peter’s cheek. “You okay? He didn't hurt you?”
“No, I’m fine.”
“Okay, well, maybe take another shower before getting dressed. You’re filthy again.”
Peter glanced down to see his chest covered in blood. “Ew. yeah, I need another shower.”
“Don’t be long, dinner’s ready and there’s your favourite for dessert.”
“Oooh, apple pie?”
“The one and only. With that custard you like too.”
Peter pressed a kiss to Tony’s mouth and then pulled away, grinning. “You’re the best.”
“You know I like spoiling you, Petey.”
“I’ll just be another five minutes, you know, unless I get interrupted again.” He glanced down at the corpse at his feet and nudged it with his toe.
“I’d like to think only one person would be stupid enough to underestimate you, love, but you never know. I’ll put a man on the door to keep people out.”
“Thanks. See you soon.”
Tony kissed him again and with a smile said, “I’ll save you a seat next to me.”
“You’d better.”
“Oh, Petey, there’ll always be a seat for you by my side. I couldn't do this without you.”
“Damn right. It’s you and me, always, Tony.”
“Always,” he confirmed, and then left the room to allow Peter to clean up. 
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onebadwinter · 6 months ago
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Baron Helmut Zemo Tropes
Taken from Here and Here
Anti-Villain: Sometimes verges on this, though it's a case of Depending on the Writer.
Arch-Enemy: After his father's death, he takes this role to Captain America and leads the Masters of Evil after inheriting the title.
Aristocrats Are Evil: He's a baron after all, and believes his aristocratic heritage entitles him to rule.
Avenging the Villain: Helmut's original motive was to kill Captain America because he killed his father. Eventually, Helmut came to the realization that actually, Heinrich was an awful father and an even worse person.
Badass Normal: Has no powers, but regularly fights the likes of Captain America and the Avengers. He usually has a contingency that will allow him to deal with his opponent's plans anyway; it's only when these contingencies fail (as happened during his battle with Moonstone at the end of the initial run on Thunderbolts) that he's in trouble.
The Big Bad: Of his fare share of arcs, particularly those involving the Masters of Evil.
Brain Uploading: He only survived being decapitated because Techno uploaded his consciousness to a computer.
Butter Face: A Rare Male Example. He has the body you'd expect of somebody who can keep up with Captain America in terms of physique... but that handsome form is contrasted by a hideously malformed visage. For a while, he had a young, dashing look again after hijacking the body of the Helmut from another Earth, but only two years later his face got disfigured again. When he got Carla Sofen's Moonstone, he used it to fix that, but when Melissa broke it again...
Calling the Old Man Out: During his trip back in time, he ran into his father while the latter was gleefully doing mad science for the Nazis. Helmut had long since discarded any Nazi prejudices he had once had, and was fuming watching his father put down other races, the handicapped, etc. Finally he had enough and started beating the hell out of him while giving a "Reason You Suck" Speech. Quite the sign of Character Development for the guy who started out worshiping and avenging his father's memory.
Captain Patriotic: At the beginning of the Thunderbolts, he disguised himself as Citizen V, supposedly the son of a previous hero who'd gone by that name, whom Zemo had killed. Zemo went the whole hog, even decking himself in a cape designed after the American flag.
The Chessmaster: Zemo has a plan for everything, and lays them out months in advance.
Cool Mask: Wears a tighter fitting version of his father's mask.
The Cynic: Has a generally negative view of humanity.
Daddy Issues: He loved his father, and his father loved him... until the Adhesive X incident, where he became outright abusive in every way. Originally, Helmut blamed Captain America. Now, he acknowledges that his father was just a horrible human being.
Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: He once shot the Grandmaster, one of the Elders of the Universe and a being way outside his normal weight class, through the head. Admittedly, there were mitigating circustances that allowed him to do this, and the Grandmaster did get better (because, hey, comics).
Disney Villain Death: Many, many times (see Never Found the Body below).
Even Evil Has Standards: Arranged the death of one of his ancestors during a time-travel jaunt, after he found out the man was a rapist and a mass-murderer who did it all For the Evulz. He later clashed with another ancestor when he thought he was harassing a girl (the two were actually in love, and he quickly apologised).
Evil Genius
Evil Is Petty:
The Faceless: He rarely ever removes his mask, due to his face being horribly scarred in a accident.
Facial Horror: His head has been slashed up so badly that it's practically a skull, with ribbons of flesh draping over his eyes and sliced-off cheeks and lips. The sight of his face visibly disgusts everyone in the original Thunderbolts.
Freudian Excuse: Raised by his father to believe in his inherent superiority. There wasn't a lot of dad hugs down in that South American jungle, mostly just rants and lectures.
Good Scars, Evil Scars: Hideously disfigured beneath his mask.
Grand Theft Me: After becoming a "ghost", his mind was transferred to the actual son of Citizen V (Techno noted it was basically him playing a joke). That is, until an energy conflict - the V-Batallion tried to teleport Citizen V as the body was being sucked into a portal - made his mind be expelled into Techno's machinery. But given he arrived at Counter-Earth, this meant Zemo could do a literal case of the trope, and took the body of his self from this world.
Heel–Face Revolving Door: Cannot make up his mind which side he is supposed to be on. He even once took a bullet for Cap despite being his sworn enemy.
In the Blood: The arrogance and the drive for control certainly are.
Joker Immunity: Unlike his father, he can never seem to be put down for long.
The Leader: Of the Masters of Evil and the Thunderbolts.
Legacy Character: To his father, Baron Heinrich Zemo XII.
Manipulative Bastard: Zemo's very good at getting other people to do what he wants, playing on their emotions and desires.
Master Swordsman: One of the best in the Marvel Universe. Zemo's dueled the likes of Captain America and survived several decades worth of warfare on a time travel jaunt.
Nazi Nobleman: Started out as one, though he's moved away from fascism in recent years. Nowadays his goals align more with Dirty Communists.
Never Found the Body: During the run of Thunderbolts alone he was declared dead on four separate occasions, all of which turned out to be false. In each instance, his body was never found. By the fourth time, most of the team just assume he'll turn up eventually (not that they want him to).
Noble Demon: He's much more noble than his father,for sure.
Purple Is Powerful: Signifies his aristocratic leanings.
Secondary Color Nemesis: Purple, to oppose Cap's blue and red.
Take Over the World: He insists it's to save it. Some people (like Songbird) aren't convinced.
Taking the Bullet: Once leapt in the way of an energy blast an insane Moonstone aimed at Captain America. Messed his face up bad.
There Are No Therapists: This guy is seriously messed up and would probably have turned out differently if he got professional help.
Token Evil Teammate: Alongside Techno, he serves as this for the first iteration of Thunderbolts. While most members of the team fall somewhere between The Hero and the Anti-Hero, Zemo shows no signs of having softened whilst playing-hero, and alongside Techno manages to almost conquer the world and turn it into a Darwinist nightmare. He also constantly mocks his teammates for wanting to be heroes, calling them "weak" and "traitors to the cause" when they show the smallest signs of heroism outside of their pubic duties.
Unlucky Thirteen: He's the thirteenth Baron Zemo.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: In his mind, at any rate, after some Character Development, he becomes determined to take over the world for its own good. That doesn't mean that he's not an Axe-Crazy terrorist who's willing to perform some truly heinous actions for the sake of the "greater good." Zemo: I would never have hurt a world I worked so hard to save.
Western Terrorists: More like this than a Nazi.
Wicked Cultured: When being held at swordpoint by his worst ancestor, an evil aristocrat who believed only in the absolute of power, said ancestor's son (who'd struck up a friendship with Zemo) asked what was more absolute than power. Zemo's answer? "To be, or not to be."
Worthy Opponent: Sometimes sees Captain America this way, and definitely sees Sharon Carter this way.
Xanatos Speed Chess: He's good at incorporating the gambits of others into his plans, as evidenced by his deft manipulation of Moonstone when they were both members of the Thunderbolts.
One of his nastiest acts of spite was destroying a box of Cap's treasured belongings, including some of his last links to the past, right in front of his eyes.
What was his initial plan in founding the Thunderbolts? Pretend to be heroes, earn America and the world's trust, become famous and respected, and then gather knowledge on the other heroes to... sell to the criminal underworld? Eventually, Moonstone points out this is a freaking stupid plan.
Taken to the highest extreme possible. When he actually did have the power to implement whatever change he might have wanted, Songbird shut him down with the intention of killing him out of not trusting him. What were what he believed could have been his last words?
MCU Zemo Tropes
Adaptational Attractiveness: He's quite handsome here, while his comic counterpart usually has to wear a mask to hide his hideously charred, disfigured face. This is true to his first appearance in the comics as a one-shot villain, before he was scarred upon becoming a recurring character.
Adaptational Heroism: In The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, when he does don his iconic comic book alter ego, unlike in the comics where he was a straight-up one-note supervillain, Zemo here is depicted so far as an Ambiguously Evil Anti-Hero ally of Avengers Sam and Bucky without mostly ever betraying them until his escape from the hotel in the fourth episode with most of his redeeming and justifiable qualities shown upfront more than his villainous qualities that Civil War mostly showcased, but still likely an on-and-off antagonist simultaneously during his Enemy Mine with the two superheroes.
Adaptational Nationality: In the comics Helmut Zemo is German, but here he is a Sokovian. Ironically, his actor actually is German, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier sees a bit of his German accent creep in. He also has a vast array of vehicles and a private plane in Germany, and seems very familiar with both Berlin and the German language. Whether this is a Retcon into making him part German or just a Mythology Gag is yet to be seen, though he does identify Sokovia as "his country".
Adaptational Nice Guy: His comic counterpart and that of his father were literal Nazis who wanted mass genocide and world domination, and while the Helmut of the comics did grow out of the former, he still tends to try the latter. This version of Zemo, despite being on a black ops killing team, has a much simpler and more sympathetic motivation, while his father was merely a civilian. Neither have any ties to HYDRA (aside from Helmut's exploitation of HYDRA's Winter Soldier project), while the versions from the comics are both prominent members of that organisation.
Adaptational Wimp: In the comics Zemo is a major adversary of Captain America and the Avengers, with a particular emphasis on his skills at fencing and manipulation. While this version retains his cunning, he is also presented as much less of a direct threat to anyone despite being a former black operative; when Black Panther decides to bring him in alive, he goes down with barely a struggle. Most of his success ties into this, with him exploiting his lack of obvious supervillainous affect to stay under the heroes' radar until his plan requires him to show his hand, then relying on Steve and Tony's flaws and personal issues to do most of the work for him. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier shows that he hasn't forgotten how to do his own dirty work, however, putting his soldier skills to use alongside his usual guile and strategizing once he gets back into the fray.
Adaptation Personality Change: In the comics, Zemo is generally depicted as an unapologetic villain who is primarily driven by a selfish desire to rule over others. His film version, on the other hand, has a much more sympathetic motive for his villainous actions, as he's just a victim of the Avengers' collateral damage in Sokovia seeking revenge for the death of his entire family.
Affably Evil:
Alas, Poor Villain: His defeat in Civil War is treated as an utterly somber affair, with him having nothing left after completing his plan and hoping to commit Suicide by Cop at T'Challa's hands before trying to kill himself when T'Challa refuses to be consumed by vengeance as Zemo has. Even though he got what he wanted (up to a point), it doesn't change the fact that his family is gone forever.
The Alcoholic: Following his escape from prison in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Zemo reveals himself to be a little bit of a tippler, partaking in shots, champagne, helping himself to Sharon's expensive liquor collection, then taking more shots at a club. He apparently approves of the way they party in Madripoor.
All for Nothing: He wanted to destroy the Avengers and was content with them dividing. Thanos's arrival and the events of Endgame undo all of that. In fact, the Avengers are no doubt more beloved than ever as a result.
Anti-Villain: Despite the grim and often hypocritical in hindsight actions he resorts to, he does have some good traits and was hoping for a cleaner way to get what he wanted first. Also, his motive — revenge for the collateral damage-induced loss of his family — is at least a little sympathetic.
Apple of Discord: His Evil Plan is to find evidence that Bucky Barnes murdered Tony Stark's parents while under HYDRA control and show it to Stark, so Bucky's friend Steve Rogers and Tony will turn on each other over whether to spare or kill Bucky, and the Avengers will be ripped apart as they side with one leader or the other.
Arch-Enemy: Since the death of Ulysses Klaue, it seems Zemo has taken his seat as Wakanda's most wanted for the death of King T'Chaka. Not a day after he breaks out of prison, Ayo is already hot on his trail to capture him.
Aristocrats Are Evil: It's revealed in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier that he is a nobleman like his comic counterpart. Though unlike said counterpart, his upbringing had nothing to do with him becoming a villain since his father was by all accounts a decent man in this universe.
Badass Longcoat: The events of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier have Zemo wearing a stylish winter coat, complete with Conspicuous Gloves.
Badass Normal: Unlike most of the Avengers, he's just a plain old human. But, through sheer patience and ingenuity, he still managed to tear them apart. During the trip to Madripoor he proves to be no slouch in combat either, reminding everyone he was former special forces. He also comes much closer to permanently stopping Morgenthau than Falcon or Bucky have ever managed so far, largely because he's fully willing to kill.
The Bad Guy Wins: Downplayed. Zemo has achieved his goals but with never with the fully desired outcome.
Batman Gambit: He's good at finding ways to make other people do things for him by exploiting their predictable behavior.
Beard of Evil: He has grown a beard during his eight years in prison as seen in Episode 2 of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
Beware the Superman: His return in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier reveals his own take on the idea. While he is against the idea of a Super Soldier on principle, he is not specifically against them as people, but more how they are precisely put on a pedestal, their flaws washed away/ignored and subsequently inspire Blind Obedience. He specifically notes how the personal loyalty inspired by Steve Rogers to Sam and Bucky (then, even now) precisely drives them to such extremes—even breaking the law much like they did to free him. Sam and Bucky do not protest the point. He admits that Steve was not corrupted by the power he was given but points out there was only one of him compared to the many who would abuse it. He is proven right on this point by John Walker taking the super soldier serum and going off the deep end.
Big Bad: Of Captain America: Civil War. He exploits and exacerbates the ideological differences between Captain America and Iron Man, resulting in the eponymous Good vs Good conflict that threatens to destroy the Avengers.
Big Damn Villains: As Sam, Bucky, and Sharon are pinned down by bounty hunters in the Madripoor shipyard, Zemo suddenly makes a grandiose entrance in full villain garb on a ledge, killing several assassins by shooting a nearby gas tank with his pistol before going to ground and taking down the rest in close combat, opening up the heroes' window of escape.
Blue Blood: The Falcon and The Winter Soldier reveals that he was always a baron. While the fall of Sokovia took away most of the power of the title he still has a lot of money and connections as a result of his position.
Breaking the Fellowship: Thanks to his efforts, the Avengers are severely compromised, with several of the foundational friendships that held them together torn apart and anyone who sided with Cap imprisoned or branded a fugitive. Even Tony and his supporters still bear physical and mental scars caused by fighting their friends.
The Bus Came Back: After being imprisoned at the end of Civil War, Zemo returns in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, with the title characters seeking his assistance in tracking down the source of the Flag Smashers's Super Soldier powers.
Cape Busters: Has a personal grudge against the Avengers and plots to destroy them by pitting them against one another. By the time of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, he has apparently narrowed his vendetta to all super soldiers, stating that they "cannot be allowed to exist." At the same time, as stated above in Beware the Superman, his is more nuanced compared to other versions of this trope.
Character Tic: He has a habit of tilting his head whenever he's attempting to manipulate someone. It seems to be a subconscious thing he does, as he immediately stops doing it when Sam notices and lampshades it in Episode 4 of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.
The Chessmaster: He plays all the Avengers like pawns. He frames Bucky for a crime, to have the world hunt him and lure him out of hiding. This partially causes the Avengers to turn on each other, divided over Bucky's innocence. He takes the UN interrogator's place, extorting information out of Bucky and using the trigger words to activate Bucky's soldier conditioning. Before finally showing Tony the tape of what really happened to his parents, sending him into a murderous rage to kill Bucky.
Colonel Badass: He used to be a Colonel in the Sokovian Special Forces, and he is one of the most effective foes the Avengers have faced — though not because of his combat abilities, but because of how effective he is about executing his plans.
Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: In Civil War, he's never called "Baron Zemo", the title he goes by in the comics, and is instead referred to by his military rank Colonel. This is subverted in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which reveals that he was Sokovian royalty and has several characters address him as "Baron".
The Comically Serious: His stoic demeanour tends to stick out when he's in the same room as Sam and Bucky, like when he awkwardly jumps to the defense of Marvin Gaye's "Trouble Man" soundtrack, or his crappy dancing in Sharon's nightclub.
Composite Character: He takes Klaue's role as the man who murders King T'Chaka.
Cool Car: He actually has a lot of these. His family owned an impressive collection of classics, with plenty of Rolls' and Bentleys in his garage. It's a taste he himself had acquired, as he, Sam, Bucky and Sharon make their getaway out of Madripoor in a super-charged muscle car he had stashed in the docks.
Crusading Widower: His wife was among the civilian casualties in Sokovia. He keeps a recording of her last voice message on his phone.
Cunning Linguist: Zemo's multilingualism allows him to assume different identities. Aside from his native Sokovian, he speaks English, German, Russian, and presumably French, given that he was able to convincingly impersonate a French-speaking psychologist.
Death Seeker: Once he has put Iron Man against Bucky and Cap, he first attempts to persuade Black Panther into killing him, then decides to shoot himself. Black Panther catches the bullet before snagging him a headlock so he can face justice.
Determinator: He manages to find new resolve after Civil War, and Iron Man's sacrifice has done little to change his views. With Iron Man dead and Captain America retired, he decides he will stop the creation of any and all super soldiers in the world no matter what happens.
Divide and Conquer: His plan against the Avengers, seeing that there's absolutely no chance he can fight them on his own. He even compares the Avengers to some sort of a mighty empire, which can only be felled by using this tactic.
Driven to Suicide: Tries to goad T'Challa into killing him, and then to shoot himself when he refuses. Neither works out for him; making enemies of a guy with Super Strength and a bulletproof suit was a bad idea, evidently.
Elites Are More Glamorous: His family is Sokovian nobility and he was colonel in EKO Scorpion, Sokovia's black ops kill squad. Even if Sokovia was a developing Balkans country, that still makes him pretty dangerous.
Enemy Mine: Downplayed Trope. Despite not personally hating Sam and Bucky, the latter two consider their alliance with Zemo this due to Civil War and the damage he caused; the only reason they tolerate him is that he can accomodate them with the resources they need to take down the Flag-Smashers. To his credit, Zemo doesn't hesitate in helping their cause because of his Beware the Superman beliefs, even expressing interest in facing Karli Morgenthau herself.
Even Evil Has Standards:
Evil Genius: While he has combat training, his greatest strength is his intellect. Aside from his abilities as The Chessmaster, Zemo was able to crack the encrypted HYDRA files on the Winter Soldier program that Black Widow released to the Internet and build a very effective EMP bomb in his hotel room.
Face Death with Dignity: When T'Challa finally catches up with him at the end of Civil War, he's completely calm and fully prepared for T'Challa to kill him to avenge his father, even seeming to acknowledge that in his mind T'Challa's revenge against him is just as justified as his own revenge against the Avengers. Later, in episode 5 of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, he's completely calm and accepting when it looks like Bucky is going to execute him, and later he calmly walks away with the Dora Milaje when they show up to take him into custody, knowing there's a decent chance he's going to be executed in a spectacular fashion in Wakanda for killing the king (for some reason the Dora Milaje went to all that trouble just to turn him over to the U.N. where he'll be held in the same prison that used to hold Captain America's half of the Avengers, but he's got no way of knowing that).
Facial Scruff: His brief appearance in the second episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has Zemo with this due to his time spent in prison. Downplayed in that it looks relatively thin despite having been locked up for eight years at this point, and he shaves it off shortly after.
Fantastic Racism: He has a distaste for enhanced individuals in general, and super soldiers in specific. Specially if such super soldiers are put on pedestals he deems completely unearned.
Flaw Exploitation: He turns the Avengers, particularly Steve and Tony, against each other through a series of Batman Gambits with the ultimate goal of making them fight each other to the death — or if not that, at least to the point of no longer being a cohesive unit. In particular, he reveals to Tony the truth of what happened to his parents knowing that he'll go into an Unstoppable Rage against Bucky and that Cap will prioritise keeping Bucky alive even at Tony's expense.
Friend to All Children: Invoked in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. In the fourth episode, Zemo earns the trust of a few children in Latvia by offering them sweets in exchange for information. But he also uses to opportunity to manipulate them into thinking Bucky and Sam aren't to be trusted.
Four Eyes, Zero Soul: When he infiltrates the UN compound to activate the Winter Soldier, he wears a pair of glasses as part of his disguise.
From Nobody to Nightmare:
Gambit Roulette: The final part his master plan relies on little other than his assumptions on the personalities and capabilities of various characters after studying thousands of pieces of intel from HYDRA and S.H.I.E.L.D. that Black Widow dumped online back in Winter Soldier. The whole thing would have fallen apart if...
Godzilla Threshold: Sam and Bucky see recruiting him to stop the Flag-Smashers at this...and ultimately cross it when they run out of options.
Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: Even if any of the above had happened, Zemo still would’ve won because his entire goal was for the Avengers to disband - whether through an amicable parting-of-ways or a bloodbath - it was always a matter of how big his win would be. The only real flaw in his plan was the interference of Black Panther, and the creation of the Sokovia Accords, both of which he’d have no way to account for.
He Who Fights Monsters: He wants to take revenge for the death of his family, which he blames on the Avengers for causing collateral damage in the Battle of Sokovia. In doing so, he is responsible for the deaths of dozens of innocent people himself. He even earns someone coming after him for revenge in T'Challa.
Hidden Agenda Villain: His motives remain unclear for much of Civil War and are only revealed as the final battle is taking place.
Hidden Depths: Like Sam, he's a fan of Marvin Gaye and considers "Trouble Man" a masterpiece.
High Collar of Doom: He does the Marquee Alter Ego and Not Wearing Tights through the whole of Civil War, but his winter gear in the third act features a large collar turned up, giving off this vibe. His supervillain gear in Falcon and the Winter Soldier also features one of these, albeit with his comic self's fur trim included.
Human Shield: Thanks to his EKO Scorpion training, is fully capable of taking hostages to hide and shoot behind, as a group of assassins in Madripoor discovered.
Hypocrite:
Interrupted Suicide: After explaining his motivations to T'Challa and apologizing for the death of his father, Zemo tries to shoot himself in the head. T'Challa, however, has none of that, and stops him to make sure he pays for his crimes and turns him over to the authorities.T'Challa: The living are not done with you yet.
It's Personal: Zemo has a personal vendetta against the Avengers. His family was killed during the Battle of Sokovia and he simply wants revenge on those he holds responsible. As pointed out in Beware the Superman, he extends this to any Super Soldier held in such high regard, which is why he has no problem teaming up with Sam (who's more or less Badass Normal like himself) and Bucky (who is a Super Soldier, but isn't exactly held in high regard).  When he, Sam, Bucky, and Sharon come across the HYDRA scientist responsible for creating more Super Soldiers after the failed Siberian Winter Soldiers, Zemo quietly and stoically shoots the man before the team is attacked.
Jerkass Has a Point: In episode 4 of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Zemo explains why he doesn’t believe that super soldiers should be allowed to exist. By his own previous statements, Sam would probably agree with much of what he says, and John Walker spends the rest of the episode illustrating his arguments.
Kick the Son of a Bitch:
Kill and Replace: Murders the psychologist who was supposed to be evaluating Bucky and takes his place, taking the opportunity to activate Bucky's brainwashing during the evaluation.
Knight of Cerebus: He's a Villainous Underdog, but he manages to tear the Avengers apart through tactics. Unlike previous villains, his methods includes manipulating Tony into trying to execute Bucky to avenge the deaths of his parents and turning on Steve in the process. Averted in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier when his Laughably Evil side lightens the mood.
Know When to Fold 'Em:
Laser-Guided Karma:
Laughably Evil: Downplayed the next time he makes an appearance as he becomes The Comically Serious in an Endearingly Dorky kind of way when he joins in Sam's conversation with Bucky to praise Marvin Gaye's "Trouble Man" soundtrack, or his lame dancing in Sharon's nightclub.
Manipulative Bastard: He is very skilled at manipulation, having studied the Avengers' psychological profiles in order to exploit their individual weaknesses and play them against each other.
Man of Wealth and Taste: Zemo is a baron and more than loaded, owning a private jet, a fleet of classic cars, a personal retainer, and plenty of money and stashed resources.
Marquee Alter Ego: In Civil War, Zemo does not wear a mask — or any kind of costume at all, unlike his comic book counterpart. This changes in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
Master of Disguise: Zemo uses prosthetics and heavy makeup in order to convincingly make himself look like Bucky Barnes in the security cameras, fooling just about everyone into thinking the latter was responsible for the UN explosion. He later pulls a Kill and Replace on the psychiatrist who was intended to interview a contained Bucky with no one none the wiser until things start going wrong. Although the latter example is downplayed as when Tony finally discovers the real psychiatrist's body, he looks decidedly nothing like Zemo's impersonation of him.
Misplaced Retribution: Zemo holds the Avengers responsible for all the damage Ultron caused; while Tony and Bruce did create Ultron (after the former was influenced by Wanda), the "end all human life" thing was still his idea. The rest of the Avengers, however didn't know about Tony's plan, and did their best to stop Ultron once he went rogue.
Moral Myopia: He seeks to avenge his family, but he ends up killing multiple innocents who surely had family of their own. He acknowledges this, seeing as how he apologizes to Black Panther for killing his father but by that time he’s hoping to be killed so he can join his family, either by T’Challa or his own hand, so it’s more about easing his conscience rather than remorse for what his actions indirectly caused.
Movie Superheroes Wear Black: Instead of the purple and gold costume he had in the comics, he sticks to dark civilian clothes. Near the end of Civil War, he has a pitch-black coat with a large collar. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier trailers and promo images however reveal he’ll be getting a new costume featuring his signature purple mask and even incorporating the classic ermine trim on his collar.
Nazi Hunter: As part of his Adaptational Nice Guy he's no longer a member of the Nazi-affiliated and fascistic HYDRA group, but is shown to despite and openly oppose them, telling Karpov that "HYDRA deserves its place on the ash heap". The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has him openly despise Nazis and reveals that he'd been hunting down and killing HYDRA members for years as part of his quest to destroy the Super Serum, long before the destruction of Sokovia.
Necessary Evil: How Bucky, and especially Sam, view him in their fight against the Flag-Smashers. No one knows more about the super-soldier serum and Hydra than Zemo, and fortunately for them, they have a common enemy in the Flag-Smashers.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: While his plan does succeed in its goal, it does allow Steve to find Bucky, after fruitlessly spending two years scouring the Earth for him, and gives them an ally who can get the brainwashing out of Bucky's head.
Nice to the Waiter: He is quite friendly and courteous to both a staff member of the hotel he stayed at for Civil War, and his old family butler.
No-Nonsense Nemesis: Zemo is an extremely pragmatic man who knows full well that he's just an ordinary person in an extraordinary world, and realizes that it will give him no quarter if he were to dally about with regards to his vengeance. He has no choice but to be utterly cutthroat if he wants to complete his goal. This is especially shown in his first full-blown action sequence in Falcon and the Winter Soldier, taking down assassins after himself and the heroes in a surprise attack that wouldn't be out of place in a first-person shooter game.
Non-Action Big Bad: Although he has military training, he never directly fights any of the Avengers in Civil War, acknowledging that he could never physically stand up to the likes of them. Instead, he relies more on subterfuge and deception. Becomes a Subverted Trope by the time of Falcon and the Winter Soldier, showing he's fully capable of taking down several assassins after the heroes, though all of them are still normal humans.
Not So Above It All: After being freed from prison in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Zemo shows that he isn't a stoic and unpleasant individual 24/7. Notably, he jumps in on Sam and Bucky's conversation about Marvin Gaye's Troubleman soundtrack to give his own thoughts on the record, and he can be seen thoroughly enjoying himself Madripoor, drinking quite a bit of hard liquor and awkwardly dancing at the Little Princess nightclub.
Nothing Left to Do but Die: After getting Tony to fight Steve and Bucky, Zemo decides to listen to his wife's voicemail one last time, before deleting it and attempting to commit suicide.
Nothing Personal: He tells T'Challa that he is sorry for killing his father and that he seemed like a good man in Civil War. While conversing with Bucky for the first time since the events of that film in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, he says this verbatim about using him to tear apart the Avengers.
Not Wearing Tights: He doesn't wear anything remotely resembling a costume in Civil War. However, he dons the purple mask in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
Outliving One's Offspring: His son was a casualty from the Avengers' fight with Ultron.
Old Money: He is generationally wealthy due to his family being Sokovian royalty.
Only Sane Man: In The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, it says a lot about Sam's present circle of associates that (other than Sharon Carter) Zemo is by far the most mentally well-balanced individual Sam has around him at his job.
Papa Wolf: The reason he's out to destroy the Avengers? His family was killed in their fight with Ultron.
Patriotic Fervor: Averted. As Zemo himself remarks ruefully, while he served in Sokovia's armed forces, his drive for vengeance isn't out of any love for the country, as he never actually had much patriotic feeling. The Falcon and The Winter Soldier shows that he does have some serious grievances over how it ended up, though, even chastising Sam and Bucky for not visiting the memorial.
Politically Correct Villain: As part of his Adaptational Nice Guy he's no longer a member of the Nazi-affiliated and fascistic HYDRA group, but is a fan of Marvin Gaye and understands Trouble Man (Sam's favorite album) to be a condensation of the African-American experience. Also berates Sam for stereotyping himself as a "pimp" just because he's flamboyantly dressed.
Purple Is Powerful: The Falcon and the Winter Soldier sees Zemo don a purple mask, coat, and gloves as he resurfaces to the criminal world.
Put on a Prison Bus: Zemo is taken to prison by Black Panther before he can commit suicide, ultimately sitting out the next few years until his return in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.  And it happens again in Episode 5 of the aforementioned series, where he's taken by the Dora Milaje to the Raft.
Pyrrhic Victory: Zemo succeeds in fracturing the Avengers and getting the majority of them branded as fugitives, but he is also captured by Black Panther and still has to face prosecution for the murders he committed. It also works vice versa on his capture being a Pyrrhic Victory for the heroes. Best summarized by the following exchange:Everett K. Ross: So how does it feel? To spend all that time, all that effort, and to see it fail so spectacularly? Helmut Zemo: ...Did it?
Revenge Myopia: Getting his revenge was worth anything — including inflicting upon others the same pain he complained about suffering. Lampshaded at the end of the movie, when T'Challa observes that the revenge he seeks has consumed him. Worse still, because he tore the Avengers apart, they had no gameplan and were unable to present a united front against Thanos, leading to even more families the universe over being devastated by the Snap.
Rogues Gallery Transplant: Downplayed. While Zemo is still an enemy of Captain America and The Falcon as he was in the comics, he also ends up becoming an enemy of Black Panther's, due to his involvement in King T'Chaka's death. It extends to the entire nation of Wakanda as well, as they immediately dispatch Ayo to apprehend him when he escapes from prison in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
Royals Who Actually Do Something: His noble lineage while serving in the Sokovian special forces makes him this.
Secretly Wealthy: He may have been living the gritty villain life in Civil War (probably to fly under the radar), but The Falcon and the Winter Soldier reveals that he is a wealthy Baron like his comics counterpart. Sam even reacts with "So all this time, you've been rich?"
A Sinister Clue: Zemo is left-handed and is the Big Bad of Civil War. Shooting a gun with his left hand starts off his Big Damn Villains moment in Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
Sucks at Dancing: While the gang rests and spends the night at Sharon's club in Madripoor, Zemo's dancing moves leave him wanting. Let's just say he was channeling his inner Commander Shepard.
Suicide by Cop: After apologizing to T'Challa for killing his father, he says that he seemed like a good man "with a dutiful son", saying this last part with a meaningful glance, obviously hinting that he's fine with T'Challa taking vengeance upon him now. When T'Challa refuses to do so, Zemo attempts to just shoot himself, but T'Challa thwarts this effort as well.
Superhero Movie Villains Die: Subverted. After completing his plan to turn Iron Man and Captain America against each other, he first attempts Suicide by Black Panther. Attempts being the operative word, as T'Challa refuses when he realises how close he came to turning out like Zemo. As a result, Zemo attempts to shoot himself in the head, but Black Panther stops him and turns him into the authorities, leaving him incarcerated but very much alive.
Supporting Protagonist: Of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, as most of Bucky's and Sam's story and dynamic are sometimes told from his viewpoint during his team-up with them.
They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: There's nothing from his looks that would suggest that he's more than just an everyday guy.
Took a Level in Cheerfulness: He's much more upbeat in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier than he was in Captain America: Civil War. Which makes sense: in the latter he had just lost his family and was on a revenge quest whereas in the former the stakes aren't as personal and he's had time to grieve for his family in prison, meaning he has the time and temperament to joke around, make fun of "allies" and dance badly.
Took a Level in Kindness: Downplayed, but in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, he's much friendlier with Sam and Bucky than he was with Tony and Steve in Civil War. Justified, as this time around he's working together with them to take down the Flag-Smashers and even then he still takes the time to engage them in relatively civil conversations.
Tragic Villain: He pursues his vengeance purely because he feels he has nothing else to live for without his family. This is highlighted by his decision to goad Black Panther into killing him and, when that doesn't work, shoot himself.
Tritagonist: Of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, when he teams up with Sam and Bucky in their crusade to defeat the Flag Smashers, while being more developed as a character in contrast to his debut in Civil War along the way of the narrative.
Tranquil Fury: Despite spending the whole movie on a murderous crusade, Zemo avoids all the theatrics of Loki or Ultron and seldom even raises his voice. This includes when he finally spells out his motives to the heroes.
Troll: Even when he's not manipulating or killing everyone around him, he's kind of a dick, as seen in his reappearance in Falcon and the Winter Soldier, reciting Bucky's trigger phrase, knowing it doesn't work, just to upset him, needling Sam about his experience in the Raft, and later telling his retainer to serve Sam and Bucky them any food that's gone off.
Truer to the Text: Zemo in Civil War was a borderline In Name Only depiction of him. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier retroactively adds a lot more aspects of the original comic character, such as his noble status, his costume, and his physical prowess.
Unknown Rival: To the Flag-Smashers, particularly Karli Morgenthau. Do to being enhanced with the super-soldier serum, Zemo considers the Flag-Smashers to be dangerous individuals, and is more than willing to form an Enemy Mine with Sam and Bucky to take them down. Karli on the other hand, isn't even aware that Zemo exists until he shoots her and destroys the serum right in front of her. Even then, she seems more content to get up and run than to try to confront him for his actions.
Unwitting Instigator of Doom: He successfully managed to break up the Avengers, hoping to bring down the most powerful team of beings in the universe to avenge the deaths of his family. Unfortunately for him, it worked a little too well, as they don't stand on a united front when Thanos arrives and, despite putting up a good fight, get flattened by the Mad Titan. Said Mad Titan then uses the Infinity Stones to wipe out half of all life in the universe, turning the world into a total mess that it spends five years trying to recover from until the Avengers find a way to set things right. Even when they do undo the Snap, the world falls into utter chaos once again trying to handle those that were restored to life, leading to the Flag-Smashers taking rise and causing just enough trouble to force Bucky and Sam to bust Zemo out of jail to help them.
Villain Protagonist: So far of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, when he teams up with Sam and Bucky to take down the Flag Smashers, getting more screen time and more of his development unlike in Civil War.
Villain Respect: As of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Zemo develops this towards Sam Wilson due to his refusal to be ehnanced into being super soldier while maintaining his idealistic outlook. He also concedes that Steve Rogers was not corrupted by the power he held but holds him as an exception.
Villainous Underdog: He's not a Physical God, not an alien, nor a Super Soldier. He's just a former military colonel with patience, a simple yet effective plan, and The Power of Hate. This is exactly why Sam and Bucky decide to bring him into their crusade against the Flag-Smashers.
Weak, but Skilled: Invoked. Zemo is a professionally trained special ops colonel who has the combat skills to take down regular men with ease. However, he knows that no amount of skill can destroy a group of enhanced individuals like the Avengers, and so relies on his manipulation and espionage skills to turn them against each other instead.
Weapon of Choice: A Smith and Wesson 6906 pistol, which he uses to execute the other Winter Soldiers and attempt suicide.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: Zemo's objective in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier is to stop the creation of any and all super soldiers, believing that they create symbols of facism like the Red Skull once did. He accomplishes this in the fourth episode by shooting Karli Morgenthau multiple times and then smashing the remaining vials as Nico is helping her escape him.
What You Are in the Dark: When Zemo corners Karli and discovers the last of the Super Soldier Serum in her possession, rather than take it for himself, which would have made his mission a lot easier, he smashes the vials and would have successfully destroyed them all had Walker not intervened.
Wicked Cultured: He's a connoiseur of music and art, as revealed in Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: He has quite a sympathetic motive for his mission of revenge against the Avengers, namely that he blames them for the death of his family.
Xanatos Speed Chess: He's not in control of everything that happens in Civil War (for one thing, he has nothing to do with the Sokovia Accords), but he's good at taking advantage of unexpected situations to further his plans. Even more so in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. In Civil War, at least he still instigates most of the events, but in the show, he's broken out of prison without having expected to and is more or less thrust into an ongoing conflict he has nothing to do with. He still manages to play the heroes and the villains—that he utterly disagrees with—and so far has gotten away completely unscathed, once again having succeeded at what he set out to do.
He's the Big Bad of Civil War and is more than willing to commit mass murder to achieve his ends, but the times he acts polite or remorseful are genuine. He states he'd rather avoid unnecessary deaths if he can, has a few standards, apologizes to T'Challa for killing his father, has regular courteous interactions with a staff member of the hotel he's staying at, and even eventually apologizes to Bucky for using him. Considering he's just a grieving man who's dedicated to avenging the deaths of his family, it makes sense he wouldn't act like a cackling maniac.
By The Falcon And The Winter Soldier, he is shown to be fairly courteous to those around him (who, apart from his family butler were his enemies before) and he is capable of holding civil conversations with Bucky, even offering him a genuine apology for his actions in Civil War. He also agrees to join Sam and Bucky's crusade against the Flag-Smashers, without the driving of a hard bargain one might expect from him. He is also fully willing to lend his resources from the criminal underground to Sam and Bucky to take the Flag-Smashers down, no questions asked.
While none of the Avengers die as a consequence of his plan in Captain America: Civil War, he accomplishes his main goal in dividing them and is content with this. While the looming threat of Thanos forces them back together in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, the reunion turns out to be temporary — by the time of Spider-Man: Far From Home, WandaVision, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, the Avengers are still very much defunct.
In The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, he successfully killed the man who recreated the super soldier formula and destroyed all but one of the remaining samples while inadvertently leading to John Walker gaining the Super Serum for himself. This turns in Zemo's favor after Walker brutally executes a defenseless Flag Smasher in broad daylight in front of civilians, corrupting the image of super soldiers in the public eye. He willing gives up a chance at pulling a Villain: Exit, Stage Left to visit a memorial and allows him self to be captured, his work done.
He framed Bucky Barnes for bombing the United Nations, then relied on everyone else including Captain America hunting him down for it, and further that no one but the Avengers would even be capable of killing Bucky, to get access to Barnes and his knowledge of HYDRA bases.
He arranges for his ruse to be discovered by the media, relying on Tony to find out and make amends with Captain America, so they'll both find the Siberian compound where Zemo reveals to them that Bucky killed Tony's parents.
His entire plan is based on assumptions from the S.H.I.E.L.D. intel on the Avengers he's studied that Captain America's over-protectiveness of his friends and Iron Man's complex over the death of his parents would mean not only that the two would turn on each other if Bucky's involvement in the Starks' death was revealed, but that Steve wouldn't have talked to Tony about Bucky's potential involvement beforehand.
His setup gambled on the fact that it is a conflict that only works if there are no voices of reason to hold either of them back. The fact that the airport fight left only two active members of the Avengers, Bucky and a third party present in the Hydra compound in a place where no one would interfere was a happy accident for him since most of the Avengers present could have prevented things from reaching the breaking point. Of course, this is covered under Heads I Win, Tails You Lose.
Notably, this is also why he finds Bucky a bit tolerable, since he is being bewared of.
In a stark contrast to his comics depiction, he lacks any affiliation with HYDRA and outright states that they deserved to be brought down. A conversation in Falcon and the Winter Soldier reveals he despises the Red Skull and those who idolize him, and he kills Doctor Nagel while the man is gloating about being a god.
Despite his profound hatred of the Avengers, he declined to unleash the other five Winter Soldiers and shot them dead rather than risk someone else doing so, as they were worse than Bucky and would do untold damage to the world given the order. He also seems uncomfortable with the concept of experimenting on humans in general.Zemo: If it's any comfort, they died in their sleep. Did you really think I wanted more of you?
Zemo was "just" a special forces operative, but when his family was killed, he used his intel on HYDRA to take on the Avengers and came closer to destroying the team than any previous villain.
Falcon and the Winter Soldier reveals that at some point, he became involved with the criminal underground, under the simple but accurate alias of "Baron".
A) Captain America and Bucky had captured Zemo before Iron Man arrived (then again, he was in a fortified bunker that would take serious fire-power to break through).
B) Iron Man had not figured out where Cap and Bucky were headed in the first place.
C) Iron Man had not come alone, meaning there might have been someone to restrain him or talk him down after he learned the truth.
D) Black Panther had succeeded in killing Bucky during one of their three fights during the course of the film (of course it’s highly unlikely that he even knew the Black Panther existed).
E) Captain America told Iron Man that the deaths of his parents were orchestrated by HYDRA.
Zemo hates the Avengers after the collateral damage they caused killed his family. So he decides to split the team up and in the process causes collateral damage that kills other people's family members.
Zemo believes that "gods" like the Avengers should not be allowed to exist. Sam points out that be decreeing who deserves to exist, he's speaking like a god.
Tortures and kills Vasily Karpov for information. Karpov is not only a still loyal HYDRA operative but one of the main leaders of the Winter Soldier project and ordered the death of the Starks and his slow death is just desserts. He does the same to  the HYDRA scientist responsible for making more Super Soldiers in Falcon and the Winter Soldier, finishing his work from Siberia.
He also happily participates in the interrogation of Doctor Nagel, the Mad Scientist who recreated the Super Soldier Serum via human experimentation, and personally guns the man down.
Zig-zagged; he knows very well that he can never kill the Avengers himself, since more powerful men than him have tried and all have failed, which is why he makes a plan to get them to kill each other for him.
In the secret HYDRA lab in Madripoor, he and his comrades come under attack. Not knowing where the assailants are, Zemo makes a quick getaway, causing Sam and the others to think he bailed... only to show up moments later when the assassins are in plain view, making it much easier for him to take them down.
 When the Dora Milaje apprehend him a second time in episode 5 of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, he surrenders himself without a fight, presumably both because he knew he had no chance of victory and because he had already achieved his goal of destroying the current iteration of the super-soldier serum.
He uses Bucky's Trigger Phrase while the latter's locked in an apparatus, making him go on a rampage. By the end of Civil War, he himself is locked in the same apparatus.
He kills T'Challa's father in the course of his Evil Plan. After T'Challa learns the truth about this, he foils Zemo's attempted suicide to ensure he faces justice for his crimes.
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copias-thrall · a year ago
Text
There’s a New Papa in Town
The whole clergy was buzzing about it. Something had happened during the Ritual in Mexico. Sure, there had been hushed whispers about whether or not The Cardinal would meet the same end as the Emeritus brothers—but when the shaky footage of Papa Nihil had leaked, the Sibling’s dorms had erupted into bedlam.
And then the power had gone out.
*power play; power imbalance*
Ghouls slithered out of the darkness—not the feral but somewhat tame band Ghouls—the ones that still hissed and snarled to communicate and watched each human with hungry eyes. Phones were confiscated, and the Siblings were escorted back to their rooms—locks clicking from the outside—where they lit candles and talked softly to their roommates.
And if some of them though they heard howls and screams in the distance, they convinced each other it was just the wind through the old bones of the Abbey.
The next morning, Siblings awoke to the sounds of keys turning in their locks; they warily emerged into the halls where they were once again escorted like kindergartners to the mess hall (and if anyone noticed a slight dwindle of their numbers, no one said so). Sister Imperator stood at the head, stick straight as usual, flanked by her personal Ghouls.
After everyone had sat down, Imperator raised her hand—a subtle order for silence. When she had everyone’s attention, she spoke—her commanding voice loud enough the fill the hall even without the aid of a mic.
“Good morning, everyone. Last night there were higher than normal winds that knocked out some of our wires. The Ghouls were kind enough to help you back into your rooms for your own safety. You should thank them for their assistance.”
When no one spoke, the Ghouls at her side made “go on” motions, and the hall was briefly filled with the murmurs and mumbles of thanks.
“Very good,” said Sister, her voice clipped. “I’ve been told the electricity should be back on soon, but until then we’ll just have to make due with a cold breakfast.”
No one moved—some Siblings were literally at the edges of their seats—waiting to see if Sister Imperator would talk about It. The steel in her gaze seemed to meet everyone and no one at once. She lifted her chin and clapped twice.
“Chop chop! A power outage will get no one out of their chores or lessons. Breakfast hour still ends promptly at 9am.”
Slowly, the crowd in the hall began to move—quicker when they realized they’d have to fight over the potpourri that was set out for breakfast. Sister Imperator turned to leave, her Ghouls following a step behind, and it wasn’t until she’d reached the doorway that she’d turned her head over her shoulder and said,
“And I expect each and every one of you to be extra diligent in your chores today—Papa will be returning home tomorrow morning.”
She left the room before what she’d said even reached half of the gathered Siblings.
Excited chatter broke out as the game of telephone both amplified and muted the importance of her words. By lunch the rumors were flying, but without power, there was no confirming any of them. Their phones had been returned—all mysteriously without charge.
By dinner, everyone had stories of Copia’s favorites being summoned or taken by Ghouls. Some argued that meant The Cardinal was out of favor while others argued for it. That night, Sister Imperator imposed an early curfew and again had them locked into their rooms—for safety—since the power was still out.
At 6am sharp, the bells chimed out—not just a ringing of 6, but a whole unholy hymn. The Siblings were instructed to put on their ceremonial garbs and meet at the main entrance—some very lucky to get a spot outside, the rest congregating down the main hall. The Siblings found banners and their religious totems all done up in blue and gold—but any whispered speculation was quickly silenced by a sharp hiss and a jab of claw.
At 8am, the congregation saw Sister check her watch, and soon after they heard the low rumbling of a car and tires crunching across stone gravel. Some Siblings bounced on their heels, other clutched each other’s hands, and some swallowed in dread.
The Clergy limo finally pulled into view, and Imperator’s Ghouls rolled out a carpet, fibers blue and trimmed in gold. The door opened, and the band Ghouls emerged, sinuously—their polished masks held high, their uniforms new and still a rich black—to flank either side of the carpet.
Then.
A boot emerged.
Over the boot a hem—beautifully embroidered in golds—fell.
Then two legs came into view and with them a shock of blue vestments.
Aether and Swiss both leaned down, each lending a hand to help—
The Cardinal—
No, a freshly painted Papa Emeritus IV—out of the limo.
Like a butterfly out of a cocoon, Copia emerged, resplendent in his new colors and wearing his new title like a fist of iron. Gasps and sharp intakes of breath blanketed the crowd.
Mountain reverently placed the mitre on Copia’s head, and Copia give him the slightest of nods.
“Ah! Papa. Welcome home,” said Sister Imperator—her tone now laced with an emotion that could have been described as joy.
Copi—no, Papa—spread out his arms. “It is good to be home with my flock.”
When he was met with silence, Imperator said, “Well, is this how you welcome home your new spiritual leader?”
Claws were back jabbing in sides, and the congregation erupted into whistles and cheers—some genuine, some not—as Papa IV gestured with the subtly and grace of a ruler who knows not to waste their energy with grand movements.
Sister Imperator held out her hands, and Papa IV began to make his way down the blue carpet, stopping here and there to place chaste kisses on hands and unbless heads—his Ghouls following in his wake. When Papa IV reached Sister, he clasped her hands in his and leaned forward to kiss each cheek. He murmured something in her ear that became a hotly-debated topic for many meals to come—was it Madre, or was it Mater? Or—as some snorted—had it just been a non-verbal Mm?
Some poor fool—just loud enough to be heard—asked, “But where’s Papa Nihil?”
Dewdrop made a throat-slashing motion before Rain elbowed him.
Papa IV bowed his head, then turned to face his—his—congregation.
“It is with heavy heart I regret to inform you. Our dear Grand Papa has joined the Olde One.” Papa IV pointed a gloved finger to the ground. “This was a tour too many.”
The white noise of many whispers all up once filled the air, and Papa IV sliced his hand in front of him for silence.
“But what is a simple Cardinal to do when his superior insists on playing his solo?” Papa IV shrugged, an echo of his nervous rat persona. “Please, un momento di silenzio for Nihil, per favore.”
The congregation all bowed their heads, startled when Papa IV immediately clapped.
“Come! I have been hearing the beautiful Imperator prepared a welcome feast.”
Papa IV practically glided down the main hall, shaking hands and kissing foreheads. He paid particular attention to his favored—who had seamlessly reintegrated into the crowd and were beaming. They had apparently been tasked by Sister Imperator to carry out the celebration’s plans.
The only surprise came when Papa IV stopped in front of Sister Doreen. Sister Doreen had always been vocal on her disdain for Copia, saying her papal love would always be for Papa III. She’d often make chittering noises behind his back. Now she stood, pale faced, as Papa IV considered her. He held out a gloved hand, fingers now adorned with his ceremonial rings.
A Ghoul flinched as if to make for her, but Sister Doreen faltered only for a second before kneeling and kissing his rings. The whole hall let out an exhale it didn’t know it was holding as Papa IV gave her an unblessing and chucked her under the chin as permission to rise. He’d continued on down the hallway then, only pausing briefly to whisper in Cumulus’ ear.
Most of the crowd had their eyes glued to Papa IV’s form as he paraded away, but a few saw the Ghoulette walk over to Sister Doreen and hand her what looked like a square of cardstock.
The rest of that day was filled with pomp and ceremony over Copia’s ascension to Papa—the power having come back on sometime during his arrival. Papa IV sat contentedly—a Sister in his lap, a Brother feeding him fruit, a gaggle at his feet—as he watched most of the congregation gorge themselves on food and lose themselves in wine.
By midday, most of the Siblings were passed out drunk or in a food coma. Even some of the Abbey Ghouls lazed about, their tails slowly swaying in their stupor. The Band Ghouls had long since disappeared with their chosen Siblings. 
Papa IV—looking a little more lax, a little less bright—dislodged his harem.
“It has been eventful, no? It is time for Papa to rest—no, no: not that kind. Enjoy the rest of the festivities.”
The Siblings pouted, but a well-placed kiss here, a cheek-stroke there, went a long way to easing the disappointment as they watched their new Head saunter off to his chambers. 
His new chambers. The one guarded by two Abbey Ghouls, as befitting his new status.
It was a suite in the Emeritus wing, and either a trusted Sibling or Ghoul had carried over his possessions and his babies. Papa IV disrobed down to his tight suit, and bustled about, searching through drawers and boxes until he found the treats.
“Ah yes, sweet ones. Here you go.” The rats with their twitching noses and quivering whiskers rushed over to him as he opened their cage and let them take the treats off his fingers. “Daddy is celebrating today. You shall partake too, yes?”
Copia hung up his vestments, running his gloved hand along the fine embroidery, and he waited.
It wasn’t long before he heard muffled talking outside his door, and then a sharp rap. Copia put on one of the under robes, and answered the door. Sister Doreen stood there, hands clasped in front of her and looking pensive. Papa IV eyed her, then addressed the Ghouls.
“Yes?”
One of them held up the card—an invitation—for Papa’s inspection.
“Ah, thank you, Ghoul.”
Papa IV took the invitation and pretended to peruse it—but he already knew what it said. Knew it entitled the barer access to him to play.
“All is in order. She may enter.”
Papa IV didn’t even glance at the sister again until the door clicked shut behind him and he was seated in a chintz armchair. He caught and held her gaze—defiant still despite the contrition in her body language.
“So,” he said, “what has you seeking an audience with Papa?”
A glare crossed her face before she schooled it.
“You know why.”
“Do I? I must admit ignorance.”
“You ‘invited’ me here. Your Dark Excellency.”
“Sì. But you have come here why?”
Papa IV stood then, and Doreen flinched before holding her ground. He touched her head.
“Have you come to beg?” He slipped his hand down to grip her jaw. “Or have you come for … something else.”
Now she did glare at him.
“What if I’ve come for nothing, huh?”
Papa IV released her and stepped back.
“Then you have only wasted our time and you may go.” He gestured at the door.
“I may go,” she repeated.
“Sì.”
“And then what?”
“And then nothing. Life passes.” He paused. “But a warning: you continue to mock me at your peril.”
Doreen blanched.
“Ah. Not from me, child. I am unmerciful,” Papa IV spread his arms wide, “but some of your fellow Siblings. They are … fervent in their worship, yes? Best you be keeping your rat noises to yourself, mm?”
Doreen considered him.
“And if I don’t go?”
Papa IV crowded into her space, growling lowly. “If you stay I’m going to bend you over everything in here and you’re going to let me.”
He looked down at her again, his skull accents still stark against the white paint, his colorless eye practically glowing.
“Choose.”
Doreen crumbled to her legs and clutched at his robes.
“Please, P-Papa.”
Papa IV ran his hand through her hair.
“You have made an excellent choice, my child.”
He wrenched her head back.
“Now, up on your knees. You have a lot to atone for.”
“Y-yes.”
“Yes what?”
“Yes, Papa.”
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kittystargen3 · 12 months ago
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I’ve added chapter 31 in Return of the Survivors.  Below is a small selection.  Please click a link to read more.  
https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13534569/1/Return-of-the-Survivors
Alternate Universe- What if Anakin's mother survived and Anakin never went dark side. Padme has the twins on Tatooine and survives. Anakin tries to help the surviving Jedi, while still keeping his family secret. Meanwhile Darth Sidious has been crowned emperor and is going after the remaining Jedi. Rumors have it he's looking for a new apprentice. Anakin gets to be a daddy.
Chapter 31 - Han Does Something Heroic
It took Han several minutes to get his voice back.  He remembered hearing stories of Jedi when he was a youngling.  They were the heroes to many tales.  But when he was about Luke’s age the empire rose to power, and for a while after such tales could get you arrested.  There was a time when an old wookiee taught him about her religion.  An all-powerful Force supposedly controls everything.  She seemed to think that Han had a powerful destiny, thanks to this Force.  ‘ But she was wrong.  Hokey religion, there’s no mystical energy field controlling my destiny.’  
And so Han faced one of his old heroes, long since given up on.  He crossed his arms and looked down on the little man.  
“Feel the Jedi have failed you, you do,” said Yoda.  
“What?” Han squinted at the man.  
“Apologize, I do.  Good peacekeepers, we were not.  Failed you, no doubt, we have,” Yoda finished.  Han glared at him and was so engrossed in this interaction that he didn’t hear another man approach.
“Han, it’s Anakin, nice to meet you again.  And you’ve met Yoda.”  Luke’s father, who he’d met earlier, greeted him.  Han stopped glaring at the Jedi and shook hands with Anakin.  “We’d like to invite you to have dinner with us.  Luke has already given us a recount of his grand adventure on the Millenium Falcon, and Leia is very interested in helping you with your political assignment.”
Han was going to make an excuse about needing to do work on the Falcon, which fortunately always needed work, but before he could say anything Chewy growled, “Graaaaahraaaaawraah.”  
“That’s good then, I’ll have them set two more places.”  Anakin then walked away into the next room.  
Han learned over dinner that night, this strange family he was almost certain he’d blame Chewy for getting them involved with, were almost all Jedi.  Not just Master Yoda, their weird friend, but Anakin was a knight, and all three of the children, Luke and Leia, and even the youngest Leo, who proudly insisted he was six and a half, were all training to be Jedi.  
“They’ll have their next trials when they are between ten and twelve, or whenever their teachers say they’re ready.  They’ll build a lightsaber as part of it and then they’ll officially be eligible to become Padawans.” Anakin explained.
“The old way, that was.  How to recreate The Gathering without Ilum, we must figure out,” Yoda hummed.
Han found all he could do was nod along, not having anything to add to the talk on Jedi ways.  Chewy then insisted on getting a detailed account of what happened to the Jedi after Yoda left Kashyyyk, and how they got to Tatooine.  Most of the story went over Han's head, told in the difficult backward-speak of Master Yoda.  
“A sight on Melren at last, I had set up.  A place to gather together in the real world, we finally had.  His secret relationship, Then Anakin revealed.”
“Wha-” Han uttered without thinking, as he rushed to put the sentence back to a logical order, trying to make sense of the words secret relationship .
“To the Jedi originally attachment, and thus marriage, were forbidden.” Anakin specified.
“Never good at following rules, you were,” Yoda coughed.  
Anakin smiled cheekily.  “By then the twins were two and Leo was on his way.  There was a bit of a ruckus over whether to kick me out or not, and it did separate us for a time, but now we’re together again.”  Anakin looked down and everyone was quiet for a moment.
Han felt an awkward weight to the silence. Almost as if there was more to the story than what they were prepared to share.  Anyways, if Han became aware of it, it must have been obvious to everyone.  Han knew he was never the best at socializing or dinner parties. He was impressed by Anakin’s story, though.  Always a deviant from social norms himself, he liked the story of one who got away with it.  “Ah, I take it you, Ma’am were not a Jedi.  What did you do back then, and how did you two meet.” Han turned to Padme and asked.
“I’ve been a politician for as long as I could talk, practically.” Padme started.  “I was a senator, representing Naboo in the republic.  And my life was in danger when rivals were threatening to kill me.  It was a bit much, but I was persuaded to take a Jedi protector, Young Anakin and Master Kenobi.”
‘ Master Kenobi… She doesn’t mean... ’ Han thought, but their conversation didn’t stop for him to contemplate this.
“Bit much, they weren’t merely threatening to kill you then.  They attempted! TWICE!”  Anakin interjected.  “And that was not even how we met.  We met ten years prior.  I was a nine year old and she was pretending to be the handmaiden to the Queen…  Then I raced in the podrace so they could get the part for their ship, and I won.  Because of this they won my freedom too. And they brought me with them when they left Tatooine, so I could become a Jedi… And then we were standing in front of the Gungans, asking them to help defend Naboo and she stepped out and revealed that all this time she was the Queen!”
Han’s eyes opened wider.  ‘ A Jedi, a Queen, a Princess, and two Princes, all slash Jedi Initiates.  This family isn’t crazy.  It’s insane! ’ Han thought, though somehow he didn’t doubt their truthfulness.  The whole thing was too unbelievable to make up.  
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She’s My Collar pt. 4
Tags: @nowhereiswhereibelong​
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I jolt awake in terror clutching my chest and looking around wildly before my eyes adjust to the dark and I remember I’m in my own room. I try to focus on calming my breathing back to a normal level and hold my head in my hands. A thin film of sweat covers my forehead and the cool air against my back is an indicator that is also covered in sweat due to my nightmare. I take a deep breath and contemplate my next move carefully before I think fuck it and decide to throw caution to the wind. I fling the covers off of my body and get up turning my lamp on so I could see properly. I look around for clothing to throw on and find a pair of shorts and one of Tommy’s shirts he had lent me after getting a beer dumped on me by a drunk asshole at a show. I slip my feet into my slippers and make my way over to the boy’s apartment.
The music flows out of the open window near their front door, which is now nailed shut from the cops kicking it down so much. The potent odor of marijuana is also spilling out of the window along with a particularly shit faced girl who runs to the railing and proceeds to spill her guts over it. I hear Tommy before I see him as I crawl through the window into the living room.
“You guys are gonna fucking freak.” I hear Tommy say and I find him just in time to catch his face going between a girl’s legs going to town.
I avert my eyes and make my way around his public show into the kitchen to try to find any of the other boys. I successfully locate Nikki in the kitchen tearing through the cabinets in search of something. He nearly falls into me turning too fast, but luckily catches himself at the last minute.
“Hey Riv!” He yells excitedly messing up my hair. “Have you seen our rubbing alcohol?”
“I don’t live here Nikki.” If he’s looking for rubbing alcohol I know he’s up to no good.
“Come on River don’t be a fucking buzz kill.” He sighs annoyed with my concern for his well being.
“Under the sink.” I roll my eyes and he gets a goofy smile on his face running to get it.
I lean against the wall and watch as Nikki tears into the living room like a bat out of hell. A man laughs, egging Nikki on as he dumps the liquid on his leather jacket clad arm and uses his lighter to cover his arm in flames. The man clearly had never been to one of their shows if this little production had him wowed. Nikki flashes a shit eating grin my way and walks towards the man little fires falling from him singeing the carpet in his wake. The man backs away seeming genuinely scared that Nikki will burn him and I know Nikki will accidentally burn him so I spray his fire with the spray bottle I kept on the fridge to discipline them.
“River what the fuck?” Nikki scoffs at me in disbelief crossing his arms like a toddler throwing a tantrum.
“If you light the building on fire the band is fucked out of a living slash rehearsing space.” I say shrugging.
“You know you could at least try being less of a loser.” Nikki grumbles at me and I’m about to fire back for him to shove it when I see Vince adjusting himself in his pants coming out of the bathroom.
“Have fun? Did you enjoy the ride?” I directed him.
“I know she sure did.” Vince laughs giving Nikki a high five. “When did you get here, River? You normally say no to our invites to party with us.”
“I couldn’t sleep.” I shrug.
The moans of the girl Tommy is “performing” on suddenly cut through the noise of all the millions of other things going on in the apartment. I turn to go deeper into the kitchen and look in the fridge for a beer to ignore them. The boys on the other hand go to check out the show. I take a sip of the beer and try not to cringe too much at the taste. I wasn’t a big drinker in general and I especially disliked the taste of beer, but it was the only thing the boys had in their fridge. I squeeze my eyes closed as the grand finale comes to an end in the living room and try to pretend that what was happening in there wasn’t happening. Tommy rounds the corner and catches sight of me, eyes closed squeezing a beer between two hands and stops dead in his tracks. I peek my eyes open and see Tommy stopped in front of me slowly turning a deep red shade all over his face.
“Hey.” I say cracking a smile and he smiles back, but he still looks embarrassed.
“Hey. How long have you been here?” He asks rubbing his neck nervously.
“Long enough.” I take a sip of my beer. “I couldn’t sleep.”
“Can I?” He asked motioning to the fridge and I realize I’m blocking the door for him to get into it.
“Oh yeah I’m sorry.” I shuffle to the side and he cracks open his beer and chugs some of his beer leaning on the counter near me.
“Do you wanna talk about it?”
“Just restless. I’m fine.” I lie not wanting to put a damper on his night.
“Want to take a shot with me?” He smiles wildly and I nod my head agreeing. Which was my first mistake that night. My eyelids feel as if they are a million pounds and my head feels like someone wacked me upside it with a brick. I groan and try to pull my covers over my head from the blaring light of the window only to be met with some unseeable force holding them down. That was about the time I noticed that not only was this not my cover, this was not my room at all. I sit up quickly, far too quickly and everything spins around me. I groan again and hold my head in my hands until I regain stability. I hear soft snoring next to me and look over to see Tommy laying on his stomach in just his underwear a small pool of drool next to his mouth. I look down and see I’m only in his shirt and my panties and a panic sets in my bones. Did I fuck Tommy last night?? I need to get to my apartment and quick.
I scan the messy bedroom and locate my shorts and bra discarded on the lamp in the corner and slowly make my way to them so as to not make much noise. I pull my shorts on and try to find my slippers. They seem to have been kicked haphazardly in front of Tommy’s door luckily and I slip into those before tip toeing out of the room. I close the door softly and turn to leave smacking right into Nikki’s chest.
“Well well well look who is doing the walk of shame this morning.” Nikki chuckles and I place a finger over his mouth shushing him.
“Not now Nikki. I have a killer hangover.” I whine in a whisper.
“Here come in the kitchen let a professional teach you how to treat a hangover ya big baby.” He motions for me to follow him and against my better judgement I follow him.
“How do you possibly do this all the time?” The dull thud in my brain is churning my stomach and I’m almost worried I’ll blow chunks right then and there.
“I told you, I’m a professional.” He smirks as he hands me a glass of mystery liquid. I take a drink and choke on the harsh burn of a jack and coke.
“Nikki what the fuck is your problem?!” I cough. “I’m hungover, why would you give me more alcohol?”
“Hair of the dog.” He shrugs.
“I’m going to my apartment. Where things make sense.” I storm out of their place as best as I can considering I have to crawl out of a window with Nikki calling out that he’ll see me later at the show.
Oh fuck I forgot about the show tonight. I try not to make too much noise getting to my room as Mick is sleeping vampire style on my couch, which seemed to be the new normal for us. Once I’m safely in my room I flop and the bed and shut my eyes praying when I wake up this hangover will be long gone.
The boys are rowdy as ever tonight in their favorite post show booth at The Rainbow. Tommy and Nikki have bashed each other's heads on the table more times than I can count and Vince would disappear every so often for the bathroom, but would return with pupils the size of saucers and a mouth ready to shout along with the overgrown idiots with whom he shared a band. Oh not to mention they had a girl sucking their dicks under the table. I tried to ignore the fact Tommy was struggling to keep his expression neutral as the girl gave him his “turn”.
“I have to go to the bathroom.” I announce not that any of them are really paying attention besides Mick who nods to acknowledge me.
Instead of heading to the bathroom I stand outside listening to the sounds of the strip to calm myself. There was no need to get worked up. So what if you guys might have slept together and you couldn’t remember it? He was an on the rise rockstar that was their thing right, so why did it hurt so bad? I took a deep breath and collected my thoughts again before I went back inside to face the music, but I hoped the girl had moved on to Nikki by now. To my delight (and also surprise) the table girl is gone entirely. Just as I’m about to ask where their personal dick sucking machine has gotten off to a blonde slides in next to Nikki.
“Aye River!” Nikki acknowledges me in his state of drunken friendliness. “I want you to meet Beth.”
“Hello Beth.” Vince winks her way and I can already see the cogs of his brain trying to calculate a threesome at the very least. And taking Nikki’s girl at the very most.
“Hey.” I smile trying to play nice. She seems like most of the groupies the guys regularly fuck, a rich girl that likes coming to the strip to blow guys and daddy’s money on drugs.
As the night continues on Vince and Tommy trade places with him ending up right next to me. The booth is crowded and I try not to let my mind wander everytime Tommy’s fingers brush against my knee or when he tucks his face into my hair to laugh excessively from boyish joy and alcohol mixing.
“Alright well we’re gonna move on to the next bar you coming T-bone?” Nikki slurs holding Beth’s hips against his own and sways in the spot next to the table from being intoxicated.
“Nah man someone’s gotta make sure Riv gets home safe.” Tommy tosses an arm around my shoulder and I feel my face heat up.
“Suit yourself.” Nikki shrugs and a smug smirk falls over his face. “Remember kids the only sure fire way to prevent unwanted pregnancy is to swallow.”
He’s out of my reach when I lunge up to try to whack him which only increases his enjoyment at my embarrassment. He gives me the finger as he and Vince walk away snickering with Beth calling a “nice to meet you” back to the rest of us.
“Ya coming Mick?” Tommy asks as we pile back onto the strip.
“I have to go make sure things are cool with the she-beast at home. River leave the extra key under the mat for me just in case.” He rolls his eyes walking to his car.
Tommy and I have walked home at night alone more times than I could count now and yet there was this thick awkward silence between us this time. He normally would toss an arm around my shoulder or hold my hand, but his hands are jammed in the pockets of his leather jacket and he walks a few paces ahead of me. Just as I’m about to ask him if things are okay he starts to speak.
“You left.” Is all he says softly.
“What?”
“You left this morning and didn’t say anything.”
“I was just really hungover and wanted to sleep in my own bed.” I half lie to him.
“Do you even remember what you said to me last night?” He huffs.
“Tommy I don’t really remember last night.”
“You said you always wanted to sleep in bed and wake up together.” Neither of us continue walking at that point.
“I-”
“Did you mean it?” He asks looking at the ground.
“Yes Tommy.” I admit “You’re my best friend at this point. I feel safest when I’m with you.”
“Yeah. Best friend.” He repeats.
I take the few steps to bring me right beside him and snake my arms around him to hug his middle and by the grace of god he hugs me back. The rest of the walk home is quiet, but the silence doesn’t feel heavy anymore. I convince (not that it took much convincing) Tommy to shower and sleep at my apartment instead of me sleeping in his gross apartment again. My back is to the door and I can’t see Tommy enter my room but I can smell the men’s body wash I forcibly bought for him. The mattress dips and creaks slightly as he settles in next to me and the warmth the shower brought him radiates towards me in waves. An involuntary shudder rolls through my body and the next thing I know I’m being pulled against Tommy’s warm skinny body. I glance over my shoulder to see Tommy staring down at me with an unreadable expression.
“You don’t remember any of last night?” He asks barely above a whisper.
“Nope.” I copy his tone.
“So then you don’t remember…” he trails off and brings his hand up to cup and stroke my cheek and his tongue darts out to wet his lips quickly.
“What?” My eyes flick from his eyes to his mouth and back up again.
I can hear my heartbeat in my ears as the distance between us begins to shrink. My eyes flutter close and I’m sure I stop breathing when our lips ghost over each other not quite fully connecting them.
I hear the sound of shattering glass. Then I smell the fire.
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anangelicday-mrwolf · 11 months ago
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Wolfsbane : Noblesse Fanfic (post-ending)
(previous chapter)
Chapter 30 – Wrong Start
“I give you 10 seconds for you to confess, whoever it is.”
Muzaka’s statement resonated in the air, left unanswered by his closest and most trusted warriors.
None of the four warriors could fancy what was in their lord’s head, and they were busy exchanging looks among themselves, until Garda, as the most experienced of all warriors, decided to be the vanguard.
“Pardon me, my lord, but... I am afraid we have no idea what you want to discuss with us.”
“Isn’t it obvious? I mean, can I make it any more obvious?”
Muzaka sighed from the bottom of his guts, as if he just encountered the gravest tragedy he has ever witnessed.
“Don’t you hear that? Our little girl throwing a raging, hissy fit as we speak.”
Oh.
No mouth in the area ever moved, but an identical sound rang in their heads in synchronization.
In fact, questions had been ringing in their heads even before Muzaka summoned them.
‘What on earth had happened to Lunark?’
‘Why is she so mad?’
‘Shouldn’t we stop her? At this rate, she’ll blow up at least 10% of our land.’
By the time damages caused by Union’s biological weapons were almost as good as gone, out of the blue thundered new cacophony undeniably from a work of destruction.
It turned out Lunark was to blame, slashing and trashing like a bull that has spotted a red flag, as reported by two rookie warriors that were dispatched to find out the cause of it.
And she was doing one hell of a job, so vicious that they could not even get close, let alone ask her what was wrong.
“But it seems her reasons are still functioning. She’s wreaking havoc at that infamous forest. But really, does anybody have any idea what’s gotten into the girl? Whether it is condolence or understanding or reprimand that she needs, I’ll be able to choose one only when I find out why she’s doing... All that. Anybody? Please?”
Nobody moved a muscle to Muzaka’s inquiry-slash-request, for they were just as clueless as he was.
That is, all except one.
Garda learned about Lunark’s rampage from new warriors, who were already throwing a talk party of their own regarding the grey-haired warrior’s behavior, and she ran to the spot right away to check what was going on.
And she could pick up Lunark’s voice even before reaching the forest, from which the former usually stays away.
“Aaaaaaaaaagh!!”
She managed to catch a glimpse of the younger warrior from afar, who was screeching an array of unrecognizable vowels and syllables, with her hands shifted into battle stance as she was hurling towards whatever she could reach, air, trees, or leaves afloat.
Garda had no choice but to retreat, partially because she got scared for her own life, and partially because she was beyond puzzled, never having seen Lunark so unbridled.
Luckily, she could spot Lunark’s face right before she turned away, which left a concerning impression in her head.
‘It looks to me she isn’t mad. She’s whipping up embarrassment from the depth of her soul. Just what could mortify and set her off like that?’
*****
Few days later, Frankenstein’s island
‘Just what did he do?’
The white-haired man had been asking himself ever since the lord of the island returned at last.
He did remember that Frankenstein said he would be visiting wolfkind; however, he was wondering whether he ate the Dark Spear on his way.
Because the atmosphere from the blonde human was so dark, so violent.
That was when 3rd Elder’s experience with mind games from Union kicked in, and he attempted to analyze Frankenstein’s mental state based on what he could make out of his islemate’s facial expressions.
As a result, he could identify a number of emotions: extreme irritation, fury just as extreme, remorse greater than either of the two, and, most importantly, self-hate.
Because of which, 3rd got highly conscious of his every breath and step, despite the fact that he was lodging on this island upon Frankenstein’s permission and consent.
On the other hand, unbeknownst to the scientist, he terrified that the former could have noticed his alliance with Helga.
So he ended up asking Frankenstein if there was something troubling him, ready for a lethal slap in the face.
It’s nothing.
Came a reply with a face that THERE IS DEFINITELY SOMETHING, before the speaker fled the scene.
That did not do any good to relieve 3rd Elder of his fear, but at least he was convinced that the reason behind Frankenstein’s foul mood lay not with him.
When he walked away, Frankenstein’s steps were immediate, rushed as if he never wanted to talk about it ever again.
‘That just made it more curious for me, but I guess it’s none of my business, whatever it is. What matters is that Frankenstein knows nothing about my deal. Speaking of which, looks like the recorder and tracker in me really didn’t work.’
He already knew the answer; had they worked properly, upon his return Frankenstein would have cornered him almost as if he were going for a round of a full torture.
So all in all, regardless of what had taken place with the wielder of Dark Spear, 3rd Elder could not deny that it was all good for him.
It was so good to know Helga’s promise came with a reason.
It was very good to find out her accomplice was truly talented.
‘And I’d say she’s also talented, having discovered and won over such competence, especially considering the original alliance of the said competence.’
Though Helga did relay to him the course through which her accomplice had agreed to act as an accomplice, 3rd Elder was still mystified.
‘Anyways, I’d say nobody knows about my ‘betrayal.’ Which means I should focus on my job and do it right, on the day she mentioned.’
*****
Time never stopped its magic, and at last came the day marked on everyone’s calendar.
<I was wondering whether we could make it...>
<But here we are.>
“Haha, amen to both of you.”
Tao, who had found himself in front of computers for once, laughed at the screens hosting virtual conversation with four recipients at once.
Nonetheless, the man’s face held a hint of anxiety, and Adne somehow detected it like an X-ray.
<Mr. Tao, was it...? There’s no need to be so anxious.>
“Haha, was it that obvious? How embarrassing. And I have been calling myself an expert, with tons and variety of experience when it comes to computers.”
Tao laughed, scratching a side of his head, when Adne offered a word of comfort.
<Experiences does not really grow on par with poise. Besides, anxiety is not so bad, although this is from someone who just told you not to be so anxious. It’s a proof that you are responsible and conscious of the weight of your task.>
“My, I’m starting to feel small in your presence. We should be calling you the real expert.”
<An expert? Me? That’s preposterous. I am no expert.>
But I wanted to be one.
Tao blinked, wondering if he had just heard the werewolf doctor whispering.
Before he could ask if he had said something, however, Adne beamed in satisfaction.
<Most importantly, Mr. Frankenstein recommended you. And that’s more than enough reason for me to trust you.>
“Aww, come on, boss! You should really stop being a proud daddy.”
<I dare you to shout that in my face one more time.>
Tao felt his body turning rigid as a biting voice speared his eardrums.
So did Takio and M-21, watching the scene right next to his chair.
Frankenstein’s face, lighting up an entire monitor that was assigned to him, was brimming with annoyance.
<Thanks a lot, Tao. I’m already starting to think that I really shouldn’t have volunteered as an audience.>
“Aww, don’t be so mean, boss. There’s no way we’re leaving you out for the grand premiere of the event.”
<I would like to second that.>
Said Lascrea, who had been listening like a rock until then.
Because she was standing next to Yuhyung, who decided to be the operator for Lukedonia, only part of her face was visible.
The only one who has not spoken was the doctor from KSA.
Or rather, he decided not to speak, overwhelmed by the presence of werewolves, nobles, Frankenstein, and a group of people who had shared with him blood and sweat in battles.
But of course, that did not mean KSA would be left unspoken for the duration of the event, though it was because Tao directed a word to everyone at the scene.
“So, are we all ready? Status report, please.”
<Yep! All set!>
<Uh, same here...>
<...I believe we are ready as well.>
Adne was the last to send an okay, after a bit of delay, to which Tao responded with a nod completely void of a smile.
“So, shall we begin?”
Right on cue, Yuhyung took the invisible mike from Tao.
<Now, please follow the instructions I had left for you. First, run the program I installed for you.>
Tao’s fingers danced across the keyboard, for he had fully memorized Yuhyung’s instruction manual; and Adne and KSA’s doctor followed suit.
The two humans provided feedback whenever things were lost or stuck in the middle, and they reached step by step closer to the initiation of the QuadraNet.
By then M-21, Takio, and even Lascrea were having a hard time hiding their excitement.
“Okay, we’re almost there! Just a little bit more!”
Tao’s encouragement fueled everybody to the last stage.
<Now, once this file is activated, all four servers will be linked. And like I told you a number of times, we must activate the file at the exact same moment.>
“On a count of three. One... Two...”
Three.
Four fingers stabbed the enter key in unison, and not long after they held their breath in waiting, pleasing hum of machines and blue light began their duet.
<...Well? It looks like things went okay here.>
Asked a voice from monitor connected to the KSA’s headquarter, somewhere between anticipation and concern.
<W-w-we’re okay!>
<Uh, same here...>
Came voices wild with wonder, and Tao was about to laugh in reply, when an eerie whirring noise, pitched so high and so ominous, began to bore through everyone’s ears.
The fact that it took place just when they were literally less than an inch away from completion was horrifying enough, but they had yet to realize the real horror was yet to reveal itself.
Beep. Beep. Beep.
Beep-beep-beep-beep.
BEEEEEEEEEP!!!!!!
Monitors linking Lukedonia, KSA, and wolfkind also emitted similar noises, and soon Tao found his screens being painted with tiny numbers and alphabets one by one.
“Tao? What is it?”
“What’s going on?”
Barked Takio and M-21 in alarm; they did not define themselves as computer-friendly type, but they had enough knowledge to tell that such phenomenon takes place usually when there is a technical issue or its sort.
Not to mention Tao’s face was all they needed to see that something has gone terribly wrong.
“No, no, no...! Our server...!”
Tao yelled as he was slamming the keyboard with his entire fingers.
And right then Murphy’s Law decided to spit in their faces.
Pzzt...!
Everyone’s face blinked off as if promised, and instead the monitors were refilled with noises that made the RK’s eyes bleed just by staring.
“What the heck is going on...?!”
*****
“Tao? Mr. Jang? Doctor? Dr. Adne?”
Frankenstein was almost wailing for everyone’s name as well.
To no avail, of course.
“What is it? Just tell me what the hell it is!”
Frankenstein’s cry scattered into an echo unreciprocated, as he was clutching onto his monitor.
So he had no idea there was a pair of blue eyes watching him from his back.
‘Stage 1 is complete.’
Cause disturbance with everyone’s server the moment QuadraNet comes alive.
Therefore, make sure no one can pay attention to anything other than the sudden technical chaos, including what he and Helga will stir up in the future.
It was not an easy task, but they made it.
The 3rd Elder silently removed himself from the back of the stage, his mind winding back to the face of their accomplice, who happened to be featuring on one of Frankenstein’s monitors just a while ago.
(next chapter)
Perhaps it would feel a little rushed to bring about trouble so soon, when the previous chapter featured Frankenstein and Lunark’s first kiss, but now things will start taking the wrong turns. I mean, it’s no fun if there are no troubles or challenges in a fic lol. By the way, I started adding links on each chapter that can take you to previous/next chapter (you can find the link to previous chapter at the top, and the link to the next chapter at the bottom). I’ll add the links to all previous chapters very soon!
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bigskydreaming · a year ago
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Tbh, what I wouldn’t give for this reboot or softboot or shutthefuckupboot to end with just.....all the original and New Teen Titans from pre-Flashpoint continuity to just replace their current counterparts, be the ages they’d be if not for the constant reboots and with all previously created Titan kids present and accounted for (Lian, Robert, Cerdian, Ma’ri, Irey, Jai and Jake).
And like....just fucking roll with it. Don’t even try explaining it. Nobody knows. Nobody cares. Some Cosmic Meta Overseer or the Grand Vizier of Inter-Universal Post-Temporally Anomalous Hijkinks or whatthefuckever shows up and is like “your appearance here and now is strange and unnatural and defies all logical explanation...” and the Titans all just look at each other and shrug. 
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Stranger Danger,” Dick says. “We’ve been here the whole time.”
“I had a nightmare where Roy was always wearing this baseball cap that he never washed and everything was different. It was all quite troubling,” Garth contemplates. “But then I woke up and it was all just a dream. Except Roy was still there, but you can’t win them all.”
“Fuck you, Fish and Chips,” Roy says amiably.
“Blimey,” Garth says, dry as a shoreline at low tide in the middle of a drought. "Watch your bloody language in front of the wee ones.”
“Neptune’s beard,” Cerdian groans into his hands. “Why are our parents so embarrassing.”
“And what’s the big deal about using bad words around us? Its nothing we haven’t heard from like, supervillains trying to kidnap us,” Lian says. She’s bored and polishing a knife her mother must have given her as a gift slash way to piss Roy off - though at this point he errs on the side of just sighing and being glad its only lethally sharp, rather than the lethally sharp and poison-edged gifts from before his and Jade’s current ceasefire. “Or from all of you when you’re scaring the supervillains from trying that ever again.”
“They’re just worried about corrupting us at a young age,” Robert says. His mischief is only somewhat masked behind the baby-faced innocence he only has a couple years left to make the most of. “Nobody wants one of us to grow up to become an evil world-destroying supervillain. That would be terrible.”
Donna eyes her son and sighs. Then pivots a glare on the rest of her teammates. “When I figure out which one of you is responsible for teaching my ten year old to embrace nihilistic humor....”
“It wasn’t us,” Dick protests. “I warned you against letting Jason babysit.”
“You always blame your brother.”
“Well yeah, but that doesn’t make it not true. I mean, we love Jay, but there’s a reason Kori and I don’t let him babysit the kids.”
“Anymore,” Kori tacks on. A smirk edges up the corner of her lips. She tends to be more amused by that particular subject than Dick, but then again, she hadn’t been the one who had to explain smoking tree stumps scattered across the Wayne estate to Bruce.
Ma’ri frowns up at her father. “I thought you said that was because you wanted me to at least get to poo-berty before Uncle Jace teaches me more about how to blow things up bigger with my starbolts.”
“Daddy can have more than one reason, sweetheart.”
“Ahem.” The omnipotent and absolutely baffled guardian of time, space and cross-dimensional wankery cleared his throat. He would be peeved at being so blithely forgotten about and ignored, if not for the fact that he had never before experienced being ignored or being peeved as a result, so he lacked the vocabulary to explain his current mood. “If we could get back to the matter of your inexplicable presence in the here and now, and potential ramifications it might have on the intended trajectory of current space/time events.”
“That’s a lot of big words that don’t interest me.” Wally yawns and stretches. “I’ll leave the resident brainiacs to sort this all out. Someone call me if like. There’s a bank robbery. Or Godzilla attacks New York. We haven’t gotten to fight a nice old-fashioned giant monster in awhile, I feel like.”
Victor joins him in edging for the door. Technically speaking, given their particular powers and expertise, they were among the most suited for dealing with their unexpected visitor. 
But of greater concern to them is the gleam they’d both noticed in Lilith’s eye while she sits back quietly taking stock of their guest. Her head rests against her hand and one finger is casually tap-tap-tapping against her temple in a rhythm that to two of her oldest friends, might as well have been the Morse code signal for “danger, danger Will Robinson, danger.”
After all, it was the kind of (memorable) image she tended to present right before she did (memorable) things like - oh, (quite memorably) pissing off the entire pantheon of Greek gods, just for the hell of it. And also, the drama. Can’t forget the drama.
They successfully pull the ripcords on their parachutes and eject out the doorway just as Grant Emerson sidles past them and joins the commotion.
“Hey, does this have anything to do with why there’s apparently some guy running around in a mask and acting like a giant asshole while telling everyone he’s me?” Grant asks as he wanders over next to Roy. “I’m thinking I should sue, actually. On account of ‘emotional damages.’ Get it? Heh.”
Roy rolls his eyes and looks over at Dick. “Speaking of never being left alone with someone’s kids again....”
Dick hums and gives a little half-shrug of acknowledgment. “Yeah, I get that.”
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luvknow · 2 years ago
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KINGPIN | han jisung
genre: hitman!jisung x fem!reader | light angst ; swearing ; drug cartel ; guns ; blood summary: your dad, kingpin of a secret drug cartel, hires a hitman slash bodyguard named jisung so both yours and his life are well-protected. you find your life is a little more exciting with jisung around, but not always in the best way. wc: 15k
There’s an eerie chill in the company building as you made your way to your Father’s grande office that sat ten floors below the surface - The Office in Hell, as you’d call it. Maybe it was the poor insulation of the windows or the mob of men who encircled you and invaded your space bubble, but them and the chilling air was something you could never get used to. The awkward elevator music going down didn’t ease your nerves, either. Why your Father ever insisted on such measures like an entire escort crew for your ‘protection’, you’ll never understand, but you knew better than to argue. Besides, you practically grew up with these men - it was like you had eight uncles.
Well, some of them watched you grow up. Some had, uh, disappeared and had to be replaced in the process. That’s daddy for ya.
The extravagant but incredibly outdated seemingly infinite corridor had the huge cliche oak doors at the end. The two handles, gilded in bright gold, were shaped like the Rod of Aesculapius in honor of you getting accepted into medical school. Although you didn’t follow your Dad’s footsteps and go to business school, he was still very proud of his little Princess for making a name for yourself and this was his daily reminder of how accomplished you’ve become. Business school was what brought this crazy kind of life upon your father anyways, and he’d worry everyday if you got involved in this lifestyle. So he thanked God you got into med school.
Two of the men opened the door for you as if even the Rod of Aesculapius did not deserve to be touched by your hands. It’s been a while since you’ve visited home that you forgot how much they treated you like royalty, like an actual princess. You supposed they weren’t exactly wrong… Drug Pusher Princess had a certain ring to it, didn’t it?
Your Dad sat in his favorite leather chair staring at some paperwork with his glasses resting on the tip of his tiny nose. If this were anywhere but ten floors below, you might have believed he was doing real paperwork for the Soju company, but the wads of cash next to the wooden cart of cocaine made it less convincing.
You saw your Dad’s eyes light up and sparkle when he realized it was you. “My little girl!”
“Hi, Dad,” you greeted warmly before walking over and giving him a big hug. Kingpin of a massive drug cartel, CEO of an international Soju brand, and Professor at the University, your Dad’s number one job was to be your number one supporter and love you endlessly. Really, you couldn’t hate him for living life on the edge like this after he and your Mother got divorced - he was still the best Dad anyone could ask for, and that was the most important part, right? Being filthy rich helped you oversee the cocaine, too.
“It’s not everyday a Dad gets to see his only child. This calls for a drink. Jisung! Get the good whiskey from the glass case!” he called into the neighboring room.
“Yes, sir,” you heard an unfamiliar voice.
“Dad, it’s like one in the afternoon…”
“A celebration does not wait for five o’ clock, Princess.”
From the room over came a man who you’ve never seen before carrying a tray with ice, two crystal tumblers, and a huge vial of liquid gold whiskey. He must be new, at least in the last couple of years since the last time you’ve visited. He was definitely different than the rest of your Dad’s henchmen. He was on the shorter side, so it probably wasn’t his strength that got him hired. Maybe he was intelligent? A hacker, perhaps?
The man could tell you were staring - no, analyzing him, so he dared to look back. He knew better than to glare at the King’s Princess, but you could tell he didn’t like how you were already judging him after five whole seconds.
After pouring your drinks, handing them off, and exiting the room you dared to ask. “Fresh meat?”
“Hardly,” your Dad chuckled. “I hired him shortly after your last visit a couple of years ago.”
“What does he do?”
“He’s my right hand and my Hitman.”
“Whoa, what!? Dad! You said you would never do that kind of thing!” you whined worriedly.
“You don’t understand how dangerous this business is.”
“Uh, yeah I do! How many times have you called me while I was doing my rotations at the hospital to keep an eye out for your men? I literally see everything.”
“That’s exactly why I hired Jisung, a Grade-A Hitman. I don’t want to involve you anymore than I have to already, so hopefully he’ll lessen my calls to you while you’re on duty. And you don’t want your old man to end up in the hospital either, or worse yet dead, now do you?”
“No…”
“Ok then, end of discussion.”
“No, not the end!” you leaned over his desk to whisper so neither that Jisung guy nor even the wall of men behind you could hear. “Where did you find him, anyways? Off the street? What if he’s working for someone? Or-or worse, trying to overtake your empire?”
“With Jeongin’s help, we did an extremely extensive background and everything. No record of him ever getting involved with another group. And to answer your question, yes, I found him off the street.”
“What the hell, Dad! You’re so careless!”
“I’ll drink to that.” Without your consent, he clinked your two glasses together with a cheeky grin on his dumb, wrinkly face. “Lighten up, Buttercup. There’s no need for your inherent apprehension on such a happy day.”
You didn’t answer before sipping on whiskey with the glass between your pouty lips. Your eyes naturally drifted around the room trying to see how much it changed since the time you cried to your Dad about how you thought about dropping out due to the immense pressure. There was a place for everything, and everything was in its place, so nothing had changed other than the unfamiliar man in the next room. While your Dad busied himself with another glass, you dared to get up and peak into the room.
Jisung was wiping down a pistol. Knowing that he was ‘off the streets’, you bet it was unregistered. The sight of a gun and being in its presence really made your skin crawl. You didn’t know Jisung at all, but if he was your Dad’s Hitman, there was no way he’d be reckless with a pistol, right? So at least you knew he was skilled with a weapon. He wore all black and the piece of clothing that stood out to you the most was his leather jacket.
He noticed you peaking in almost immediately and raised his brow. What could the accomplished Princess be looking for? You watched him eye you up and down so slowly that you felt like you might as well have been naked. His gazing and the slight curl on his pretty lips was incredibly intimate and hardly appropriate, especially for a first meeting. Maybe seduction was part of his specialty. Or was he mocking you with it?
“Who are you?” you asked hoping your tone was strong enough to hide your embarrassment.
“Jisung.”
“Where are you from?”
“Off the street,” he teased. “At least that’s what you assume, right?”
“Were you eavesdropping?”
“It’s hard not to when it’s my job.”
“Your job is to protect my Dad, not eavesdrop on uninvited conversations.”
“Spying is just a small fraction of my job, love.”
“Don’t call me that.”
“Are you picking a fight with a Hitman already, Sugarplum?”
Your Dad interjected at the perfect time to break up the tension between his precious prodigal Princess and his right-hand unbounded Knight. Jisung was not bothered since he was accustomed to arguing with the enemy, but you on the other hand might as well have steam coming out your ears. You may have gotten the last word, but the smirk on Jisung’s lips let you know that he didn’t care that you won this battle because in the end, he was going to win the war.
“Not a fight,” you corrected before flashing your Dad a fake smile. “Just some bantering.”
“As you always do - it’s what you’re best at, after all. Just like your mother ~”
“Dad!”
Jisung didn’t try very hard to hide his snickering and now you could check off ‘Dad embarrasses you in front of his Hitman’ from The Drug Cartel Bingo sheet.
“Are we going out for lunch, or what?” Your Dad began to push you out of the room before you could object. “Jisung, I trust you can take care of my office while I’m away.”
“Of course, sir.”
“Excellent. I’ll be sure to order you something.”
“A bit generous for office-sitting, don’t you think - ow!” Dad nudged your arm with his bony elbow, shoving you through the doorway and forcing you out the office in general so you both could finally get going to lunch.
“You were never nice to strangers, you know,” he scolded while you two and eight men stuffed into the elevator. “Every time we went to parties or ran into friends on the street, you were always so suspicious of them.”
“Yeah, because all the girls at school only liked me for our money, so I figured the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree.”
“Well, you weren’t wrong. But Jisung’s different, ok? He’s a good kid, he’s just a kid.”
“‘Just a kid’, yeah a kid you found off the street who can wield a pistol? Seriously, he’s a total stranger! What makes him so special!?”
“Ok I lied, he’s not from the streets, or whatever you kids call the bad neighborhoods these days.” Dad made you wait until you both got into his completely blacked-out car limo thing before continuing. “He’s one of my teacher’s assistance.”
“You’re kidding, right? You have a TA as your Hitman? Is this not like… conflict of interest?”
“Not when he’s my best and most loyal student.”
“How did you convince him to join you in this kind of life?”
“He doesn’t look like it, but Jisung’s a total suck up, so it wasn’t very hard. Of course he was surprised at first when I offered the position, but completely willing. Did the whole drug test, psychological test, multiple physicals, hazed him a bit and everything - he’s perfect. I like him a lot, too - might even offer him a permanent job once he graduates and it doesn’t look like he’s leaving anytime soon, so you better play nice and get used to his company. He’s family now.”
“These men are not real family, Dad.”
“Tell that to your eight uncles.”
Lunch was filled with the most extravagant salads, daytime cocktails, and Dad only ordered the finest cuts of meats. Even for his Hitman, he ordered nothing short of a Michelin star special. There were many moments in your life when you thought your Dad was too nice for his own good and your ‘inherent apprehension’ as he worded it was at an all time high towards everyone around him because of those thoughts. It would break your heart if anyone were to get too close and bring down his entire empire he built just so you, him, and even your Mom could live a happily and worry-less. You didn’t care how many Hitmen or guards he considered family - you were his real and only family and you were the only one truly looking out for him, even if that meant you would be put in danger.
Just don’t tell Dad you care too much, otherwise he really might think you’ll take over as the head one day just so he wouldn’t have to do it anymore.
When you both arrived back to his office, Jisung was exactly where you left him - except instead of cleaning a pistol, he was cleaning a silencer. Immediately upon seeing you and Dad, he got up to bow. Ugh, he was a total suck up!
“See, I don’t even make him do that,” your Dad defended. “Most loyal TA, I’m telling you.”
You only rolled your eyes. “I’m heading back to the hospital.”
“Jisung will escort you.”
“No,” you said flatly.
“C’mon, it’ll give you to some bonding time! And the hospital isn’t exactly in the safest part of the city.”
“Oh my God, I’ll be fine -”
“That’s an order,” Dad said in his strictly no funny business tone. “Am I seeing you again soon or through facetime for the next two years?”
“I promise I’ll visit more often. I just hate going up and down the elevator and walking the mile-long hallway.”
“I’ll hold you to that promise. Just ask one of your uncles to carry you next time, or something. Jisung, text me when she’s at the hospital.”
“Yes, sir.”
You didn’t even bother arguing your Dad’s over-protective measures. “Bye, Dad.”
“Bye, sweetie!”
You’re out of the door before Jisung could catch up and he thought how this must be the med student in you. He clearly remembered that was how all the med students walked around his campus like they always had somewhere to be and were more important than all the other ‘smaller’ students. He was never a fan of them and he wondered if he was about to add another person to his list.
Why was Dad’s elevator music always this awkward and cliche?
“So… you TA for my Dad?” you asked, trying to play nice, as your Dad had put it.
He chuckled a bit before responding - or maybe it was a scoff. “So you figured out I’m not from the streets?”
“Yeah, I’m sorry about that… I’m not as trusting as my Dad.”
“No worries. You’re just smart. I would harass a stranger if they got near my family, too.”
“I didn’t harass you…”
“What would you call it then?”
“Being protective.”
“Whatever helps you sleep at night.”
Jisung’s car was already outside of the company building. At least you think it’s his car, but could a business grad student really afford an all-black Ferrari? There was no fucking way.
“This is your car?” you asked incredulously.
He thought you’d be used to these types of cars by the way your Dad lived his life, but maybe he was wrong. “Yes and no - more like your Dad gave it to me.”
“He’s just giving out cars now?”
“No ~ Think of it as a business car.”
“Business cars are shitty silver-colored sedans that have to be manually opened with a key, not a shiny black Ferrari with butterfly doors!”
“Would you rather take the subway?”
“No…”
“Well then,” he began before fluttering the car doors open. “Your chariot awaits, Princess.”
“I have a name, you know.”
“Your chariot awaits, _____.”
Damn, so he knew your name. Was that all part of being a Hitman? Knowing their name, their background, their entire life… or did he just have to know what their face looked like before he shot a bullet through it? Did he just know your name, did he know everything about you, or somewhere in between?
The beginning of the car ride was silent until Jisung hit the highway and began weaving in and out of the lanes like those douchey car dudes who revved up their engines any chance they could get to show off how big their dick was. What the hell was wrong with this guy!? He must have been used to this kind of driving from all the chasing or whatever the hell he does, but that didn’t mean he should be driving like this with a good ol’ civilian like yourself in the passenger’s seat!
“Are you trying to take me to the hospital or put me in one!?” you shrieked loudly while gripping on to the handle on the roof like your life depended on it.
“What do you mean? This is normal driving for me.”
“You’re trying to kill me, aren’t you? Is it because I said you’re from the street? I said I was sorry! Is this part of your scare tactic, or something?”
“I could never hurt you. I’d lose my job,” he teased.
“Then please, for the love of God, slow down!”
“I would if we weren’t already here.”
“Huh?” Looking outside the tinted windows, as much as you hated to admit it, Jisung was right. You arrived safely in front of your hospital with your heart beating faster than his driving. “Oh… That was fast…”
“You’re welcome.”
The sarcastic man left the car first, running around to flip your door open like some chivalrous Knight. It was weird labeling him as a Knight - that and Hitman weren’t necessarily synonymous, but both were somehow appropriate. The door flipped open and Jisung held his hand out for you, but you took a pass on that.
“Thank you for driving,” you muttered to him, feeling a bit awkward. “I guess I’ll be seeing you around?”
“Of course you will. Have a nice day, ______.”
“W-Wait!” Jisung turned back around and raised his brow, which you now figured was his curiosity quirk. It was quite cute, but don’t tell him that. “How much do you know about me?”
He pursed his lips tightly together as if he was too embarrassed to answer. “Do you really want to know?”
“Never mind, you already answered it.”
Then he breaks out laughing. Ah, even cuter than his eyebrow quirk… What was with you and simple things that boys do that made your heart leap? You hated it. Well, he was definitely charming like a Knight.
“Have a nice day, _____,” he repeated. “Call me if you ever need a ride anywhere.”
“Thanks, but I don’t have your number.”
“I’ll text you so you’ll have it.”
“Wait, you have my number?”
Jisung only winked before getting in his car and driving off as fast as you arrived.
“Have a nice day, too,” you muttered to no one. “This is why I hate mobsters.”
When you walked into your unit, you saw all of your lady classmates eyeing you teasingly. Oh no, did they see everything? Now the whole department’s going to know about Jisung because for some reason med students do not know how to shut their mouths when it came to juicy gossip. They erupted in a song of oohs and ahhs, but luckily it was only your closest friend Somi who rushed to your side with heart eyes and open ears.
“Is that the famous guy you’ve been seeing?” she teased. “You didn’t tell me he was a whole man.”
“What are you talking about?” you asked innocently.
“Oh, come on, the entire hospital saw you come out of his car! We could hear the engine from a mile away. No one expected little _____ to date a man like that ~! He’s tasty, dude.”
“Somi!”
“A whole ass meal.”
“Ok, that’s enough!” you blushed.
“He’s hot.”
“Look, I’m not seeing him! He just works for my Dad, that’s all.”
“Well, maybe you should pretend you are.”
“What do you mean?”
“Dr. San didn’t seem too happy seeing you with him ~”
Dr. Choi San, the apple of everyone in the entire hospital’s eyes. Name any person in any of the departments, patient or faculty, and they’ll tell you how much and what they love about Dr. Choi San. You were no exception - you’ve had a major crush on him since your volunteering years as an undergrad student and he was still in med school. If you thought he was hot then, well damn, how would you describe him now? Like McDreamy from Grey’s Anatomy? You’d talk here and there, and at times you’d follow him on rotations, but there wasn’t much interaction beyond that. You simply admired him from afar at this point. But to hear he’s upset about you being with Jisung? A total stranger? Man, if only your ego could fly higher than space.
“Really?” you grinned happily. “Do you think he’s jealous?”
“Oh, yeah.”
“Well, in that case then yes, that is the guy I’m seeing.”
“Ugh, you dog… I love this side of you. So what’s his name? Does he have any brothers?”
Let’s see how long you can pull this off.
unknown [13:15]: Hey, Princess. It’s Jisung.
old man [02:45]: Hey, hun. Are you working overnight?
you [02:48]: Yes, why? What did you do this time?
old man [02:49]: Room 430.
“Dammit,” you cursed. A long, tired, heavy sigh escaped your lips as you dragged your feet to the fourth floor. Dad had a pretty good streak of keeping his men away from your hospital, but at 2:45 in the morning was the regression back to day zero.
Room 430 was one of the fancier and completely private rooms, so it was just one of your Dad’s men that was hospitalized. You walked in expecting to only see him unconscious on the bed, but you were welcomed with that and an unscathed Jisung reading next to him. It’s been a couple of weeks since you last saw him, so it was a little awkward, but you were mostly embarrassed because now he’s seen you in your scrubs and white coat with messy hair and droopy eyes.
“Hey,” he greeted casually.
“Hi. You look completely fine, what are you doing here?”
“It was my fault this happened, so I wanted to stay until he wakes up. Plus, I was hoping I’d see you.”
“Did you need something?”
“No. I’ve just missed you since our first meeting. That’s all,” he teased.
You rolled your eyes. “Ha ha… But you’re ok though, right? No bullet or stab wounds or whatever you guys go through nowadays?”
“Completely fine. No need to worry, love.”
“I said to not call me that!” You sighed again for the millionth time that shift. What was the point of arguing with him? “What happened tonight? Why did you say this was your fault?”
“Some guys tried to scam us during a delivery and we got ambushed. They were merely pawns in the enemy’s operation though, it didn’t take long for us to eliminate them, but Mingi here got stabbed from behind and I failed to watch his back.”
“Same old thug shit as usual.”
“Exactly. God, I feel so stupid.” The Hitman ran a hand through his messy hair before rubbing the tired from his eyes. You almost felt bad. His sleep schedule must be as fucked up as yours was, maybe even worse. Who knows what times of the day Dad needed him? But what do you say to a Hitman having a crisis?
“It’s not easy working for my Dad, but you’re doing fine. He likes you.”
“Yeah? How would you know?”
“You’re alive, right?” You saw Jisung’s eyes widen in fear for a split second before you laughed. It was entertaining to see his face express something other than pure cockiness. “I’m kidding! Half kidding… he told me likes you.”
“Wow, look at you. Who knew you could smile,” he teased again. He liked your smile. It was charming in its own way - in a way that was you. He liked the color of your blush after he told you, too.
“Shut up… What did the doctor say about Mingi?”
“He’ll be just fine,” a familiar voice said.
Behind you stood Dr. San with his signature charming smile on his lips and a clipboard with Mingi’s paperwork. You felt your heart leap in your throat, stopping you dead silent and that did not go past Jisung. The way your eyes widened, how your back stiffened - you were a totally different person around this guy. You saw Jisung do the eyebrow thing at you and you glared back, telling him that he better shut up or else.
“How are you, _____?” Dr. San asked gently.
“Good! I mean, I’m well. Tired, but well!” Oh God, were you stuttering?
“Yeah, overnight shifts can do that to you. Do you know these men…?” he hesitated, mostly indicating to Jisung rather than the unconscious patient on the bed.
“Close family friends.” At least you weren’t lying. “How is Mingi?”
“He didn’t lose too much blood. He has his stitches, so once he wakes up he’s ready to leave whenever.”
“And the reason for the IV?”
“He seemed dehydrated, which may be the reason he’s unconscious. Rather than fainting from blood loss, he fainted from the sight of it. The IV should help him recover and get his fluids in check quicker.”
You couldn’t help your face from falling flat. God, what kind of weak men did your Dad employ nowadays that they couldn’t even stop an ambush and fainted from the sight of their own blood!? Really, it was unbelievable, and even Jisung thought the synopsis was ridiculous.
“Thank you for the debrief. I’ll take it from here.”
“Sounds good.” Dr. San headed towards the door, but stopped himself and laid a hand on your shoulder. You instantaneously tensed up and prayed it went unnoticed, though Dr. San was known for paying close attention to the small details. “Call me if you ever need anything,” he said. And then he was gone.
“S-Sounds good!” you called out the door.
“He reminds me of those doctors on all the dramas,” Jisung scoffed. “Totally theatrical with that exit. What’s with that guy? Is he in love with you, or something?”
“More like the other way around… Although rumor has it the day you dropped me off a couple of weeks ago, he was not too happy to see that. Why, are you jealous?”
“You like that guy!? Why!?”
“He’s a smoking hot doctor, what else can I say?”
“He has no personality! Where’s the gall? The entertainment? What a bore… so he’s threatened by me, huh?”
“He… may be jealous because I may or may not have told a few friends that you’re this guy I’ve been seeing…”
“Oh?”
Jisung got up from his seat with the widest smirk on his playful little lips. Even his strut to you was playful, like you boosted his ego out of this atmosphere and into another one. He ended up centimeters in front of you, leaning his face in to see if he could get some sort of reaction out of you the same way Dr. San did, but better because HE was better. He heard your breath hitch in your throat and that was all he needed.
“I don’t remember consenting to this, Princess.”
“I know, I’m sorry! I got a little too excited hearing Dr. San was jealous… And everyone would not shut up about asking if I was seeing anyone.”
“Are you even seeing someone?”
“No, but whenever I said no, all the nurses tried to set me up with their sons so before I trapped myself into a series of bad blind dates, I lied and said yes and now here we are… But by next week, everyone will forget I ever said anything, so there’s no need to be upset, right?”
“Does that mean I win in the end?”
“Win what, against Dr. San?”
“Mhm.”
“I mean, I guess? I didn’t think this situation called for a winner or loser…”
“Silly girl, there’s always a winner and a loser no matter the circumstance. And like hell am I going to lose you to a guy like that. I always win in the end, anyways. So if you must, by all means say I’m your incredibly sexy, irresistible, and delicious boyfriend.”
“Jeez, are you always this competitive? And I’m not a trophy…” you muttered. “Why don’t you go home and get some rest? It seems like you’ve had a long day.”
“I did, but I’m not tired. When does your shift end?”
“At six in the morning.”
“I’ll wait for you. You look like you could use the company and we can get breakfast after.”
You wanted to object, and maybe it’s because you’re a little disoriented due to lack of sleep or because breakfast sounds so good right now, but you didn’t. “I’d like that.”
“See, look at us getting along. Your father will be happy to hear about this.”
“Oh, he’ll be ecstatic.”
“Why the hyperbole?”
“If he hears stuff like I’m getting along with his Hitman or anything remotely related to The Business then he’ll think I’m that much closer to taking over.”
“And that’s the last thing you want, right?”
“Exactly -!”
“_____, get back to work,” Dr. San said uncharacteristically strict while passing the room.
“We can talk more during breakfast,” Jisung reassured. “Have fun with the rest of your shift.”
“Thanks. You have my number for some odd reason, so text me if you need me.”
Jisung’s laugh was the last thing you heard before you left the room with a newfound burst of energy.
Maybe you were wrong to judge him too quickly. He seemed like a totally normal guy, right? But no, that couldn’t be it. He was first and foremost your Dad’s Hitman. There was nothing totally normal about it at all. But at least he acted normal around you. That was all that mattered for now.
The last hours of your shift went as normal other than receiving a lot of compliments of how you’ve adjusted to the overnight shift life quite easily. Even Dr. San was giving you more attention. Could it be because Jisung was here and Dr. San was feeling jealous and territorial? No, _____, you were in over your head… Well, whatever the reason, you’d have to tell Jisung later that he was winning.
“That guy is yummier up close,” Somi giggled brightly just as she was clocking in and you were clocking out. “Good catch. You should bring him to the faculty party as your plus one.” You groaned as a reply and left without saying anything. “Does he have any brothers or not!?”
The rising sun was shining brightly through the floor-to-ceiling high glass windows in the lobby. Your Dad was one of the few commissioners who donated to the hospital so they could redo the lobby and it turned out so beautiful. It was the little things like this that made the overnight shift worth it. Jisung texted you to meet him outside and he already had the car pulled up and ready to go. The sun hit him and his car just at the right angle as if whatever God that was up in the sky was letting you know that hey, this dude isn’t so bad! Give him a chance and be his friend! But again, maybe you were being delusional due to lack of sleep.
Like a gentleman, he opened the door for you once again.
“You don’t have to keep doing that,” you told him.
“Princesses never open their own doors.”
“Why do you keep calling me that? Am I a prissy brat, or something?”
“Before I met you, Mr. _____ kept on referring to you as his Princess. I guess I got attached to the nickname. I kinda like it, don’t you?”
“No!”
“Fine fine, I won’t call you that anymore ~ Whatever the Princess wants.”
You buckled your seat belt extra tight and held onto the overhead handle before Jisung even settled in his seat. He stared blankly at you, unable to believe that you were being this extra and dorky. So he’s a crazy driver, what student wasn’t these days!? He didn’t bother responding - rather, he just drove safely like a nerd.
“See, is that so hard to do all the time?” you scolded.
You had absolutely no idea where Jisung was taking you. He didn’t even ask where you might want to go. He could be kidnapping you, for all you know, and you were letting him! The idea sounded ridiculous, but it was all fine when he pulled up to a local diner.
“I know what you’re thinking - it’s not your typical bottomless mimosa and avocado toast kind of place. But their french toast is to die for.”
“Is that really what you think of me?”
“It’s what I think about all daughters with a terrifyingly powerful father. Besides, I don’t know anything about you.”
“You’re such a liar! You knew my number before I even met you! I bet you know everything about me!”
“Not everything ~ Like I didn’t know you could look so good in scrubs,” he winked. “I only know the basic stuff - like your academic and athletic accomplishments, your allergies, your past pets, favorite color, etcetera etcetera.”
“Yeah, that’s totally basic knowledge… How did you even find all of that out?”
“Mr. _____ gave me your file the day before you came to visit. He thinks we’re going to be spending a lot of time together, so might as well get to know you a little bit.”
“Couldn’t we have done that the normal way? You know, like a regular ass conversation? Wait, I have a file?”
“It sounds worse than it is. It’s actually kind of cute. Like his weird mobster version of a scrapbook.”
The diner looked like those old school types you see in American movies. The booths and bar stools were a candy red, the walls were turquoise, everything was accented with tacky chrome, and there was a jukebox busting out the oldies in the corner. Although this place was a bit odd, it was still home-y in its own way. The hostess sat you two at one of the booths by the window that overlooked the busy city.
The menu was ginormous. There was a whole side just for drinks! On normal days when you had class or had rotations in the morning, your go-to drink was anything with three espresso shots in it. You can’t remember the last time you had a tall glass of cold orange juice with your food. Breakfast was always one of the hardest foods to choose from because both sweet and savory options were just too good to pass up. You were probably just shopping with your eyes. You trusted Jisung, for whatever reason, on his french toast suggestion, so you’ll order that.
The man of the hour already knew what he wanted to order and was flipping through his phone while you were looking. You noticed all of the bloody cuts and bruises that dressed both of his hands and your loud gasp made him look up at you.
“What?” he asked.
“Why didn’t you tell me about this?” Instinctively, as if Jisung was one of your kiddie patients, you tenderly took one of his hands and ran your thumbs over the dried-out scars. He hissed in pain, so they must have been deep cuts.
“They’re just small cuts, it’s not like I could die like Mingi.”
“But they could get infected! Who knows what rusty, dirty stuff you touched last night. We have to go back after breakfast so I can take care of it.”
“You mean so you can take care of me ~?”
“No, you idiot -”
“Are you two lovebirds ready?” the cheery waitress asked.
“Huh? Lovebirds?” You guessed it did kind of look that way because of how you were holding Jisung’s hand, but didn’t the scrubs and his blood (was it even HIS blood?) sort of prompt a stranger’s eyes that you guys weren’t together? … Ok, maybe not. “We’re not -”
“Yes, we’re ready!” Jisung held onto your hand tightly before you could pull away. He didn’t have to look at your face to know you were mortified and that only made him stifle his giggle. “I’ll have the cinnamon french toast special. How about you, baby?”
Hey Google, what’s the cruelest way to kill your Dad’s Hitman? “I… will have the same thing. With orange juice, please.”
“Coming right up!”
She took both menus and the second she walks into the kitchen, Jisung is lying down on the booth laughing it up like a hyena.
“You should see your face!” he giggled.
“You think you’re so funny, huh?”
“I think I’m hilarious.”
“If I don’t like my food, you’re paying.”
A bullet whizzed in between you and Jisung and then there was shattered glass everywhere. Time paused. There wasn’t enough time to cover your face, so bits and pieces stuck to one side of your cheek and you can feel the blood trickle down like they were tears. While the rest of the restaurant ducked under the tables and counters for cover, you were too mortified to move on your own.
From under the table, Jisung took your hands and pulled you down with him before other gunshots were fired.
He picked off as much glass as he could on your cheeks before holding your face in his hands. Your eyes couldn’t focus on one space at a time like you were trying to take in as much detail of what was happening as possible, but the tears were getting in the way. You were terrified.
“Hey, look at me,” he said sternly. You did as you were told, but then the tears started to fall. This couldn’t be real. “Listen to me, ok? Stay here and don’t move.”
“D-Don’t leave me…!”
“I promise I’m not leaving without you. I’ll be right back, ok? Promise me you won’t move.”
You nodded, wondering how could he be so calm under this circumstance? He must be used to it, after all. Before leaving, he pulled out his shiny pistol from his hidden holster and made his way towards the shooter or shooters.
From the broken window, you could hear indistinguishable yelling and multiple gunshots. He was alone out there. And who knew how many shooters he was up against! There was no way he could do this alone. But you were defenseless and had absolutely no way of helping other than doing what you were told and staying put under the table.
Then the shooting stopped. For a solid five minutes, there was complete silence, with the exception of your loud breathing and other innocent people’s soft crying. Everyone’s breath hitched in their throat when the doorbell rang. You heard heavy boots travel towards your direction and that’s when you knew you were the target from this whole thing all along. Daughter of a Kingpin, of course! What else could be the reason? Were they going to kill you? No, that would be stupid. What would they gain out of that? They must be here to kidnap you and force your Dad to pay them in billions so you could come home.
The boots stopped right at your table and you felt like you could die right there. You had no clue what this man even looked like, but he was easily the most terrifying man you’ve had the pleasure of meeting. He didn’t move at all while he was there. It was like he was teasing you, like he was making you wait and then when you least expected it, BAM! He’d drag you from under the table and throw you in their blacked-out van.
Another gunshot was heard from inside the diner and the man in the heavy boots fell to the floor with a big thud that vibrated the whole restaurant.
Jisung was the next face you saw when he crouched down to check on you. Before he could ask if you were ok, you lunged out from under the table and went straight into his arms.
“Are you ok?” he whispered while holding you tightly. You could only nod while your face was buried in his shoulder. “We gotta go, Princess. You can fall in love with me some other time.”
Reluctantly, you pulled away. There were splatters of blood all over the poor Hitman’s face and it was horrifying.
“Blood…” you muttered, trying to wipe it off.
“It’s not mine,” he reassured. “C’mon, I need to take you home.”
He took your hand and the both of you booked it to his car before any of the diner staff or customers could question you. Just outside, the streets were empty of people and cars and sirens could be heard far off in the distance. It was a total mess in the parking lot with five huge ass men laying in their own pool of blood.
“Holy shit,” you said, all wide-eyed.
“Yeah… This job gets a little messy at times,” Jisung sighed.
The car ride to your apartment is silent. Hell, you didn’t even question how he knew where you lived without having to ask you. All of what just happened happened so fast… like in a matter of seven minutes. You’re still completely shaken up about it, but what mattered was that both you and Jisung left as a whole with no major wounds. You had a bloody cheek with glass in it, but did Jisung even get a scratch on him?
He parked the car and did the courtesy of walking you all the way up to your room so he knew you were safe. The air between you two was tense at the moment and now might not be the most appropriate time for Jisung to be thinking this, but holy shit, were you filthy rich or what. The lobby of your apartment complex had a full blown marble fountain smack dab in the middle of it! True, you were in medical school, so your money was hard-earned, but didn’t your Dad own this building, anyways? And of course you lived on the highest floor in the farthest corner of the entire complex. You must have an incredible view.
“Don’t leave home for the rest of the day, ok?” Jisung demanded once you reached your room. “If you have work later today or tonight or any other day, call me. I’ll drive you.”
“Ok, but you have to come inside first.”
“Why?”
“You need to clean up. Your scratched up hands, all the blood, you can’t go out in public like this the whole day.”
“I can do that later -”
“Please?” you begged. “I don’t want to be alone right now.”
With your teary puppy dog eyes, how was he supposed to refuse? “Ok, but I can’t stay long.”
Your home isn’t exactly how he imagined it. Rather than huge expensive paintings and fancy golden vases and marble counter tops, your home was quite simple and clean. Minimalist was a good way to describe it, with bits and pieces of what made your home totally you. His personal favorite touches were the scattered coffee mugs, the ginormous fuzzy rug in the living room, and pictures of you and your friends hung up in different places.
You led him to the kitchen table. “Sit,” you ordered like he was your puppy.
He did as he was told while you ran to the bathroom to get your emergency kit full of all kinds of stuff that only hospital faculty could get their hands on. You came back with a huge plastic case and Jisung’s eyes widened.
“Damn, do you have the whole hospital in that thing!? You’re not gonna give me a shot, are you?”
“No, you idiot.”
“Good, I don’t do well with needles.”
“You don’t do well with needles, but you can shoot a perfect head shot?”
“Yes, and never forget that.”
You started at his face, taking a damp warm towel and wiping off the sticky blood. Jisung could have easily done it himself, but it was nice to be cared for like this once in a while - like he meant something to someone. He watched how your eyes moved bit by bit to make sure you wiped his face clean entirely. You could feel his eyes etching his name into your soul, but somehow you were able to ignore it this time. Maybe because you were too busy worrying.
“Stop worrying,” Jisung scolded.
“How can you tell?”
He then harshly poked your forehead. “Your eyebrows make you look stressed. You’re going to get wrinkles if you keep doing that.”
“Sorry,” was all you could mutter out before you started cleaning his hands.
His hands were surprisingly warm - a striking contrast to your icy ones, like your blood was running cold. But they were soft - much softer than his calloused ones, and they felt nice. First, you wiped away the dirt and dry blood. Then, you took out the sanitizing solution and cotton swabs.
“This is going to sting,” you warned.
“Like… A lot?”
“Oh, yeah.”
“Wait wait wait - ah -!” he shrieked loudly while yanking his hands to his chest. “Bro, that shit hurts!”
“Give me your hands back!”
“No!”
“Oh my God, how old are you?”
“Old enough to reject medical care if I want to!”
“You’re such a child. Some bad ass Hitman you are,” you sighed before packing up the emergency kit and putting it back in the bathroom. “If that gets infected, don’t come crawling back to me to fix it.”
You take a moment for yourself in the bathroom to calm down and try to process what happened this morning. You got into Jisung’s car, drove to the diner, ordered food, and then got in the middle of a shoot out. Somewhere in between there had to be some indication the shooting was going to happen, but you couldn’t recall any suspicions. Maybe they were just too good and neither you nor Jisung noticed them. Even though that was all over with, who’s to say that it won’t happen again any time soon? And how was your Dad going to clean up all the blood?
After collecting yourself, you joined Jisung back in the kitchen only to see him talking on the phone.
“I’ll be right there,” he said before hanging up.
“Is that my Dad?” you asked.
“Yeah. He wants me back at the office so I can tell him what happened. I told him you were safe and sound here at home.”
“You’re leaving…?”
Jisung walked up to you and laid his heavy hands on your heavy shoulders. “I have to report back to him now that you’re involved. If I don’t soon, you could be in really great danger, and I don’t want that to happen. Like I said, call me or text me if you need a ride anywhere, need to go to class or work, or just want to talk. Understand?” You nodded, trusting his every word. “Good. Now get some rest, Sleeping Beauty.”
“Can you text me once you get to my Dad’s?”
“Are you worrying about me now? A little backwards, isn’t it?” he teased. “I’ll text you as soon as I get there. I promise.”
Jisung left you to your own devices and you spent the following half hour closing all of the blinds, covering all of the windows, and crawling under your fluffy blankets waiting for Jisung to text you he was safe at your Dad’s. For a Hitman, he was acting more like a bodyguard than anything, but you can’t complain. Without him, you’re sure you would have been kidnapped by whomever was at the diner. You’re thankful for him, and he’s great company, too. Your mundane life was a little more exciting when he was around.
jisung [07:56]: I’m here at your Dad’s.
you [07:57]: good.
jisung [07:57]: Raincheck on breakfast?
you [07:59]: only if you’re paying.
jisung [08:01]: Sure thing. Rest well, _____.
You fell into a deep sleep.
The next time you saw Jisung was the following day when you told him you had an 8:00 am lecture. Jisung’s circadian rhythm may have no reasonable cycle, but even he knew that 8:00 am was way too early for class to start! His business lectures didn’t even start until nine! You felt terrible when he pulled up with messy hair and barely-opened eyes, but you were too terrified to travel without him. Besides, he offered! He’s totally consenting to this.
“Hey, sleepyhead,” you teased. You held out one of your coffee thermoses to him and his eyes lit up like the sun. “Figured you needed some of this.”
“God, you have no idea.”
Jisung continued to drive you to and from places for weeks, whether it be to school, the hospital, or even to the grocery store or some general store. You thought he’d act more like a chauffeur than anything, but really he was acting more like your husband.
Grocery shopping often went like this:
“Kale? Really?” he gagged. “Can’t you buy some good food? You know, like meat and beer.”
“Do you live at my apartment and eat my food?”
“I will if it means you’ll eat good food. I should cook for you. I bet Dr. San can’t cook.”
Shopping at the general store went like this:
“Why are you buying such expensive towels? Just get the cheaper ones.”
“These are softer. Stop policing my shopping!”
“Quit throwing your money away!”
And then dropping you off at work went like this:
“Have a nice day at work, honey ~!” he screamed out the window. “Love you! Stay away from Dr. San!”
The rest of the week went about the same way and you were already tired of seeing Jisung’s annoyingly handsome face for that many days straight. On your only day off, just when you thought you were going to have a whole day of relaxing and staying home, a knock came at your door. At first, you’re terrified. Only a handful of people know where you live and nothing ever gets delivered right at your doorstep. You take one of your chef’s knives from the kitchen and approached the door cautiously.
“_____? It’s Jisung, open up.”
“Oh, for the love of -” When you opened the door, you pointed the knife lazily at him.
“Whoa, chill!”
“I didn’t call for your services.”
“‘Services’, what am I, a stripper? I know you didn’t. I’m here because your Dad wants to see you.”
“God, I hate it when he does this! He never gives me a heads up or anything! It’s my only day off, do I really have to go?”
“Yes. He said this is urgent. He also said to change into some work out clothes.”
“Why?”
“You’ll see.” You groaned in protest and dragged your feet back to your room to change. “Cute jammies, by the way.”
“Shut up.”
After changing into some clothes that you haven’t touched for months, Jisung drove you back to the Office in Hell. You had a feeling this had to do with the diner shooting earlier this week, which made national news. You for sure thought there was going to be some wanted pictures of you and Jisung fleeing the scene, but all the anchors mentioned was that all suspects ended up dying on the spot. Dad must have done something or paid some ungodly amount to the police so that you and Jisung were completely erased from the story, but you weren’t complaining. You didn’t want a bunch of reporters or police asking you questions.
The elevator ride down and the walk down the hallway doesn’t get any shorter the more you travel through it, but you would much rather have Mr. Hitman beside you instead of eight men in suits and sunglasses.
The second you walked through the door, you’re Dad ran to you and hugged you tightly.
“Oh, Sweetie, are you ok?” he cooed, checking the scars on your cheek where the glass hit you. “My poor daughter! Those fuckers are going to pay -”
“Dad, I’m fine.”
“Of course you are, all thanks to Jisung, right? Did I raise your pay yet like I said I would?”
“Yes, sir.”
“Excellent.”
“So what was so important that you called me here unannounced on my day off?”
“Right.” Inside your Dad’s fancy Dior suit jacket, he pulled out a pistol that matched Jisung’s and handed it over to you like it was a tv remote.
“Whoa, what the hell, Dad!?” you flinched, bumping your back into Jisung. “Why are you giving that to me?”
“You need it for self defense.”
“You think I know how to use that?”
“No, and that’s why Jisung is going to teach you. He’ll teach you how to shoot a gun, defend yourself if someone tries to kidnap you, the whole package.”
“Dad, you know I don’t want to be involved in this any more than I already am!” you whined, refusing to take the gun. “I’m digging a deeper hole for myself the more I’m around either of you. I can’t be doing this kind of stuff, I’m about to graduate!”
“I know. You know I fully support the life you chose as a doctor and I did my best to separate this lifestyle from you. But now you’re involved. People know your name, your face, where you work, and it’s my fault and there’s nothing I can do about it other than to give you what you need to protect yourself. I can’t let you walk around defenseless. Can you do this for me?”
You hated that he was right. If you were to walk away, he’d probably have Jisung and a bunch of his other men escort you everywhere you go and that’s the last thing you want. Reluctantly, you took the pistol from your Dad’s hands and he couldn’t look any prouder. You know the doljabi test that babies take when they turn one? The one with a pencil, some money, a sports-related thing, and various other objects that predicted the fate of your future? You’re almost positive your Dad snuck in a gun or a knife in there somewhere and your dumb ass took it so now fate was playing games with you and here you were with a heavy pistol in your hands.
“Jisung’s going to drive you to the shooting range and then to the gym for self defense. Sound good?”
“Do I even have a choice?”
“You know I love you, right? Do this for me if you love me, too.”
“... Ok. Love you, too, Dad.”
He held you tightly one last time before you left with Hitman slash bodyguard slash self-defense trainer Jisung. He was silent for a bit thinking that saying anything would ruin the sentimental moment you were cherishing, but by the way you eyed the new toy in your hands, he figured he had to distract you somehow.
“Some couples have matching clothes, but you and I have matching pistols,” he teased, lifting his shirt to reveal the same one on his holster.
“Tch, couple. As if.”
“What, you don’t think we’d make a cute couple? The waitress at the diner thought so.”
“A Hitman and his boss’s daughter. Sounds like a drama.”
“I’d watch sixteen hours of it.”
The shooting range was indoors, so the drive didn’t take you out of the city. The inside was all black with the targets that you could barely see at the opposite side of the room. For a place colored black and filled with guns, you thought it’d be scarier, but somehow it was familiar. Jisung led you to the one all the way down at the end.
“Ready to play?” he asked while hanging up the target for you.
“No. I’m terrified, actually.”
“You’ve never shot a gun before?”
“Does it look like I have?”
“Right… Show me how you think you should stand.”
You awkwardly did your best to have your back straight, feet facing towards the target, and aimed your gun straight ahead with your arms straight.
“That’s good if you were just shooting here and not moving, but you’ll be moving a lot. Turn your hips like this.”
Jisung had his hands on your hips before you know it and if this was anyone besides him, you might have blushed a deep red. But simply because this was him, you can’t get over how overused this drama-style flirting situation was. He guided your hips to face slightly to the side and kept your torso facing forward.
“You want your hips to face the side so you can quickly turn around and shoot someone from behind if you need to. Does that make sense?”
His fingertips creeped under your shirt on accident and touched your skin. You felt the goosebumps travel through your arms. “Y-Yup!”
“Ok then. Lift up your arms.” His hands made sure your elbows were bent and shoulders steady before returning to ghost the skin of your waist. “Ready, aim, shoot.”
You pulled the trigger and the bullet totally missed.
The breath of Jisung’s hyena laugh tickled your ear and you couldn’t help but laugh, too. You hit him in the chest with your free hand.
“Don’t laugh at me!”
“I can’t help it! You were totally off!”
“Ugh, ok let me try again.”
Again and again you readied, aimed, and fired and the closest you got to a good shot was the shoulder. Your playlist the entire time was a grown man’s giggle.
“You’re kind of cute when you’re shooting. Like the personification of ‘pew pew’.”
“If we were to leave this facility and get into a shoot out, I would not survive, so can you please shut up and help me!?”
“Ok ok! Maybe it’ll be easier if you square out your hips like this.” Mr. Professional Hitman applied more pressure to his grip on your hips and evened out the spacing of your feet and the angle of your hips.
“Does that feel better?” he whispered.
Whoa, your heart was beating fast. “U-Uh, I-I guess…”
“Ok. Try one more time and we can try again some other day.”
You would rather die than try again some other day, so you focused all of whatever energy you had left into this one final shot. You pulled the trigger and the bullet whizzed through the target’s chest slightly to its left.
Jisung whistled, impressed that you caught on. “Right through the heart, baby.”
“Fuck yeah, finally.”
“I guess that’ll do for now. Ready for self-defense training?”
“Now? Like, right now?”
“It’s now or never. C’mon, the gym’s close by.”
Actually, the gym was right across the street. Jisung told you to go to the room that was under your Dad’s name and that he’d meet you after he was done changing into his own gym clothes. The room in your name had the floors covered in gross gym mats and all of the walls were mirrors. It reminded you of a boxing gym, but without all of the equipment. It was kind of creepy.
The door opened to reveal Jisung in sweatpants and a sleeveless shirt - completely different than his normal black jeans and leather jacket get-up. This time you could clearly see his biceps and deltoids and you had to force yourself to look away before he caught you. It was too late. You were never going to hear the end if this.
“Like what you see, Princess?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Your high-pitched voice gave you away. “I understand the gun training, but do I really need self-defense training? Do you really think I could defend myself against some huge dude?”
“I highly doubt that you can, but that’s why I’m going to show you some basic tips and tricks. Ready?”
“No.”
“That’s the spirit. So tell me this, Princess. If I’m walking up to you with my hands grabbing your arms so you don’t hit back, what will you do?”
Jisung did just as he described and took hold of both of your wrists so tightly that it was hard to believe he was playing with you. “I’d kick you in your nuts,” you said, fake-kneeing him and making him flinch.
“Ah, careful! Good, that was the right answer. What if I have my hands on your neck and try to cut off your circulation?”
His hand found his way to your neck. Rather than thinking of the right answer, you were thinking of something slightly less appropriate. Only slightly… should this be feeling good?
“_____ ~” Jisung teased. “What’s your answer?”
Oh, right. “U-Uh, aim for your eyes.”
“Good girl.”
You couldn’t recall how long you and Jisung were practicing, but you’re sure you had bruises on weird places of your body right now because for questions that you couldn’t answer, Bad Ass Hitman made you the offender and he’d play a little too roughly with you so you knew what to do in that scenario. Somewhere near the end, you’re sweaty, tired, frustrated, and ready to go home.
“Jisung, I’m tired,” you whined.
“I know, but we have to keep going for a little longer. I have to go through everything on the list Mr. _____ gave me.”
“Can’t we do that another time? I need food, I need a shower, and I need sleep before work tomorrow.”
“We can’t fall short on this, _____. You and I got lucky that no one touched you at the diner. But what am I to do if I’m not with you and someone takes you away, hm? Your Dad will be devastated! And I’ll never forgive myself for not taking the time to help you defend yourself.”
“I can defend myself! I’m not totally helpless you know! I answered most of those questions right, didn’t I? I don’t need you to babysit me all the time just because my Dad told you to. You don’t have to act like you care, in fact you didn’t have to do anything involving me ever. Just lie to my Dad and say you did and hell, I’ll even be your alibi, but stop acting like you care about me when really you’re just looking for my Dad’s approval and that approval is gone the second you step away from me, right?”
The air was tense. Then Jisung walked up to you, swept his feet from under you so you’d fall on your ass, and towered over you. His legs were on both sides of your hips so you couldn’t move your legs and his hands were occupied with pinning your arms to the mat. Everything happened in less than a second and it took you a couple more to adjust your eyes and realize what happened. You focused on Jisung’s face. His lips are pursed, brows furrowed, and overall he looked hurt.
“If I’m the enemy trying to take you away from me and I have you in a hold like this, how are you going to escape?”
Take you away from him?
You didn’t answer. You couldn’t because what he thought about you all along was right - you were just the weak, defenseless, stuck up daughter of his boss. You felt like crying, but that would only further confirm his speculations, so you held it in.
But that’s not what he thought about you at all. You may be this little Princess he’s looking out for, but if anything were to happen to you, he wouldn’t know what to do. He’d probably go on some rampage, thinking irrationally and only doing what he could to get to you or find you or whatever these other mobsters wanted with you. He couldn’t let anything happen to you. He wouldn’t. He didn’t know what to do with this effect you had on him, but it was his fault for deciding to roll with it.
It’s been a minute since Jisung asked you the question. Since that time has passed, you noticed his face softened and you couldn’t tell what he was thinking. He was hurt - you said right to his face that you thought he didn’t genuinely care about it you at all. He couldn’t blame you, because you were right - this all started out because he was protecting you the way your Dad had ordered him to. But wasn’t it more than that by now?
You’re still pinned down and even when both of you realized it, neither of you moved from your positions. Instead, as if from the pull of the Earth’s core, Jisung leaned down almost too slowly. So slowly that you even bothered to strain your neck and meet his lips halfway.
His hands tightened their grip on your wrists like he was afraid you’d slip away. His lips were soft, and they were sweet like cherry-flavored candy. You tasted sweet, too, but more like honey. He could kiss you for hours. He should have done this earlier.
Your ringtone echoed through the room.
“Phone!” you yelped in a panic, crawling out from under Jisung. Your fingers were all twitchy and had a hard finding your phone in your bag. “H-Hi, Dr. San?”
Jisung involuntarily chewed on the inside of his cheek when he heard that name coming from your lips.
“Right now? Can you give me an hour? Ok, thank you, I’ll be there soon.” When you turned back to look at Jisung, he was already packing his gym bag. “I got called into work.”
“Ok,” he said briefly. He sounded annoyed.
Again, the car ride was silent and awkward. Jisung had been good about driving safely while you were with him, but today he went back to his old ways, like the very first time he drove you to the hospital. You looked at him and was going to ask what was up, but he looked angry. Did he regret what just happened in the gym…?
No, it wasn’t that. It was that stupid handsome Dr. San who ruined his one and only perfectly imperfect kiss with you and you jumped at the opportunity to answer the phone and get away. What a childish way reason for him to be bad.
“I… didn’t mean what I said earlier,” you began awkwardly. “I don’t think of you as a babysitter or someone who sucks up to my Dad like that… I’m sorry.”
Jisung sighed. “Then what am I to you?”
You couldn’t answer that.
Even though he was annoyed, Jisung still opened the door for you, but avoided eye contact once you arrived at the hospital. You said your quick goodbyes and he watched you walk in just like every other time just so he knew you were one hundred and ten percent safe inside.
Halfway to the door, you turned around.
“Would you want to go with me to a party next weekend?” you asked quickly like a high school girl asking out her crush.
Jisung did his lovable eyebrow raise. “Go with you? As what, your bodyguard?”
“No. As my date.”
“Whoa, as your date?” You couldn’t tell if he was smirking because he was scoffing and couldn’t believe you would ask him such a stupid question or because you sent his ego into space again. You hoped for the latter. “Why don’t you ask your precious Dr. San?”
“I kind of don’t want to go with him.”
“Why not?”
“Because I kind of want to go with you more.”
He bit his lip and you couldn’t help but think about kissing him again. “You’re lucky I like you.”
“So…?”
“I’ll go.”
He swore your smile lit up the night sky brighter than the moon. “Pick me up after work?”
“Anything for you, _____.”
You talked about kissing Jisung to Somi your entire shift.
The next time he kissed you was ten hours later after the overnight shift.
“Kiss me,” he demanded when he dropped you home. Your back was pressed against the door as he towered over you.
“Seriously?” you blushed.
“Do I look like I’m joking?”
“What’s the magic word ~?”
“Kiss me now?”
You were looking for please, but that was close enough, right? From then on, kissing was normal. Almost too normal, like you couldn’t keep your lips away from each other.
From the weekend you kissed him to the weekend of the party, you and Jisung hung out everyday all day. Sometimes it was training as your Dad’s Hitman and his precious Princess, but it was mostly as two people who liked each other. The other stuff was arbitrary. For once, you guys did normal things together, like cooking, shopping, playing games, and your favorite - kissing.
The hospital faculty party was going to be the first ‘date’ together publicly as a couple. Jisung always thought the firsts for anything were awkward, but not this - not with you. He was surprised to find out that everything with you happened naturally.
“Whoa…” was what Jisung said when he picked you up for the party. He knew the attire was formal, but never in his time of knowing you did he think he’s see you in something that made you shine like the stars. You were going to make everyone in the room turn their heads.
“Whoa yourself, even if you are in all black. Again.”
“I’m sexy though, right?”
“Very.”
The party wasn’t some adult house party or at a dinky banquet hall. No, this one was at the most expensive hotel in the city in the biggest ballroom. Decorated with jewel tones and gold accents, this party was the most extravagant party you and Jisung had ever attended. Everyone can thank your Dad for booking it. Anyone who was anyone was at this party and you wondered who was keeping it down at the hospital, but that wasn’t your problem tonight.
You spotted your group of friends over by the bar and where there was most traffic for the hors d'oeuvres. Typical. You took your hot date by the hand and walked over, finally getting the chance to introduce him to them, especially Somi.
“_____! Is this who I think it is!?” she gasped loudly.
“Guys, this is Jisung. Jisung, these are my co-workers.”
“Is that really all I am to you?” Somi and a couple of others fake-cried.
“Shut up.”
While Jisung was distracted with the food, Somi leaned in to whisper to you. “Hey, don’t look now, but Dr. San is staring.”
“Really?”
If Somi told you this months ago, you would have been all over that. But now you were just genuinely curious as to why. When you looked back, it was certainly true that he was staring, but he had his hot date right next to him, so why did it matter? Something was off.
“Jealous?” Jisung teased.
“Only that you have food. Sharing is caring.”
“No way, get your own!”
You disregarded Dr. San’s stares for the rest of the night. Your attention and affection were for Jisung and Jisung only. Whether it was his arm around your waist or your hands playing with his, there was always some sort of skinship shared between you two and you neither of you wanted to separate any time soon. So he took the initiative to pull you to the dance floor.
“Does my Dad’s Hitman know how to dance?”
“Of course! There’s a lot of things you don’t know about me, baby.”
“I’ll know all of them eventually.”
“Ok, bet.”
The songs changed from upbeat bops, to goofy bops, then finally ended with the slow and sexy songs allowing Jisung to hold you close like he always wanted to. He’s done so behind closed doors a few times already, but this was different. He got to show you off to the whole world. To your friends, to strangers, and especially to Dr. San.
“Safe to say that I won, right?” Jisung asked, referring to the night that Mingi got stabbed.
“By a landslide.”
“What do I get?”
“Another kiss ~?”
“You know me so well.”
Your man dipped his head down and kissed you with all of the passion he held in every cell of his body. Even during the kiss, you could feel yourself getting light headed and all the blood went to your cheeks.
“Whoa,” you said once he pulled away. “When did you learn how to do THAT?”
“Like I said, there’s a lot of things you don’t know ~”
“I think I need a drink after that.”
His cute laugh rang in your ears. “Ok, I’ll be at our table.”
You got a couple of sodas for you and your date so you could boost your blood sugar back up. While waiting, you overlooked the entire room full of people you worked. Even then, your eyes still found their way to Jisung. He was happily talking to Somi and the rest of the girls probably talking about how you two met. As if knowing you were looking, he returned your gaze and did his cute little wink so he could see you blush again. Well, it worked, because now you were smiling like an idiot and staring at your shoes.
“_____,” Dr. San said, tearing you away from your thoughts.
The handsome man was smiling down at you when you looked up. He was wasn’t with his date at the moment, so it was just you two.
“Dr. San, hi. How are you?” you asked.
“I’m doing well. Yourself?”
“I’m doing very well.”
“Really? I knew there was something different about you.”
“What do you mean?”
“You’re smiling a lot more. Your cheeks are practically glowing. It’s charming.” Cutely, he pinched your cheek.
You didn’t think anything of it, but oh man, did Jisung think otherwise. Now he was angry. It wasn’t your fault, and maybe he shouldn’t even be angry in the first place, but like HELL was he going to let some fucking tacky-ass doctor be friendly with you like that.
“Is someone else making you blush the way I used to?” Dr. San asked.
“I-I guess? You knew about that?”
“Of course. I thought you were cute, too. I could still make you feel that way.”
“Dr. San…?”
He took steps closer to you. “You should be with a real man.”
Just in time, Jisung stepped in between before this creep could touch you again.
“Back off,” Jisung sneered. Uh-oh, this wasn’t going to end well…
“I’m not doing anything,” Dr. San said calmly. “We’re just talking.”
“It doesn’t look that way to me.”
“You’re just a thug. What are you even doing here? She’s too good for you.”
Before Jisung could land a punch on him, you held him by the waist and laid your chin on his shoulder. That stopped him dead in his tracks and he hated how weak he fell when you held him like that.
“Don’t do it,” you whispered. “He’s not worth it. Let’s go home, ok?”
Your Hitman didn’t answer. Rather he took your hand and walked swiftly towards the exit.
“See you Monday, _____ ~” Dr. San sang tauntingly.
“What an asshole… Can’t believe I ever liked that guy.”
When you arrived outside, Jisung let go of your hand and wiped the sweat on his nice dress pants. He walked a few steps ahead of you to take some time to cool off before he talked because he knew if he didn’t, he’d say something wrong and maybe you’d run away. After running a hand through his hair, he turned back around to see you smiling and waiting patiently. It was so hard for him to believe he had you.
“Are you ok?” you asked.
“Yeah… Sorry, I don’t know what got into me. Just seeing him with you like that… It really got under my skin.”
“You must like me, huh?”
“Nah, that can’t be it…”
“Hey!”
“You know I’m kidding,” he said, his hands finding their way back to your waist. “I like you. A lot. Almost too much.”
“There’s no such thing as too much.”
Your annoying ringtone yet again ruined the moment between you and your man. Normally, you had your phone on silent, but you only let it ring when important people like your Dad, Jisung, and Dr. San were texting you. You checked and saw it was a message from Dr. San.
He sent you a picture of your Dad in a room with no windows tied up to a chair and beaten bloody with only “₩10B by 3AM” and an unknown address written.
“J-Ji-Jisung…” you stuttered. “W-What does this mean…?”
“What’s wrong?” His eyes narrowed at the image on your phone. Now he was furious. He knew there was something wrong with that guy from the get-go. “I’ll call for our crew in the car. Let’s go.”
You and Jisung sprinted to his car in the eerie underground parking lot. What if Dr. San was watching you right now? Watching you run away with a man that wasn’t him. Watching your every move so he knew you were following his demands.
Panic flowed through your entire body and you were finding it hard to breathe evenly. Your Dad was your entire world and now someone - Dr. San, of all people - had him. What were you to do without your rock? The only man who ever believed in you?
“What are we going to do?” you asked once you both were in the car. It sounded like you were crying, but no tears were present.
“We’re going to get your Dad, but it’s going to be messy.”
“But what about the money? I have it, won’t that be easiest?”
“First thing’s first about this line of business is to never trust anyone. Even if we have the money, who knows what they’ll do in that time? We’ll get the money, but we need to be quick and we need to be prepared to fight back, is that clear?” From inside his suit coat, he pulled out his pistol and gave it to you. “Are you ready to show me what you’ve learned?”
“What about you?”
“I have mine,” he said, revealing the one on his belt. “I brought yours just in case because I knew some shit was going to go down. This night sounded too perfect to be true.”
“I-I don’t even know the time…! What if it’s past three already!?”
“It’s 10:25. _____, look at me.” Through your panicked and shifty eyes, you tried to focus on Jisung’s calm and handsome face. It was helpful when he held your hand. “We’re going to find him, but I need you to stay calm, ok? I’ll be right next to you the whole time.”
“Don’t leave me.”
“I could never. Are you ready?” When you nodded, Jisung wasted no time and started the car. “Let’s fucking go.”
First thing’s first - go to your Dad’s office and find ₩10B lying around. That shouldn’t be too hard, right? You knew the password to the safe that was embedded in the wall and hidden behind one of the bookshelves. That was probably what Dr. San was looking for.
Dr. San… Who was he in all of this? Was he like your Dad, the leader of the pack? Or was he more like Jisung, the guy who did all of the dirty work? And why would an accomplished doctor like him need a side hustle like this? How did he even have the time!?
Entering the long hallway that led to Dad’s office was scarier at night with the possibilities of an ambush. Ahead of you, Jisung pulled out his pistol, indicating that you should do the same. With shaky and unsteady hands, you followed his lead. Despite the circumstance, dressed in your formal wear holding a gun next to your man made you feel kind of invincible - like you could do anything with Jisung by your side and look good doing it.
The office really looked like it came from hell when you entered. Everything was flipped upside down, all of Dad’s papers were everywhere, the books on his shelves were on the floor, and the cocaine corner was completely empty. Dr. San’s men did major work in such a short amount of time.
“The safe is behind the shelf,” Jisung instructed. “I’ll watch your back while you open it.”
“You know about that safe? And know that I know the code?”
“Mr. _____ trusted me almost too much.”
The safe combination was rotated between yours and your Dad’s social security number and you had to get it right in three tries or else you were locked out for twenty-four hours. This time it was yours. You’ve never opened it before or even knew what was in it, so when you opened it both you and Jisung could not believe how much money was stashed.
“So this is where my paycheck comes from.” Jisung handed you one of the many black duffle bags your Dad owned. “Start counting, babe.”
Even with ₩10B in the bag, there’s barely a dent in the safe. You both knew your Dad was filthy rich, but this safe was downright NASTY. When you save Dad from this whole mess, you’ll convince him to never do this drug stuff ever again. He could live luxuriously and then some with just half of what was in the safe.
The next step was to go to the unknown address. Jisung couldn’t imagine what you’re feeling right now. You must have been scared, furious, worried, or all of the above. With one hand on the wheel, he reached over to hold on to yours and there’s a wave of relieve that washed over you. It didn’t last long when the GPS lead you to an empty warehouse under a bridge with only your men’s cars filling up the property. The second they saw Jisung’s car, they all came out. Did Dad really have this many men in his army? You don’t even think you’ve seen some of these men before.
“Miss _____,” the leader of the pack greeted politely. “What’s the move?”
“I-I don’t know… Why are you asking me?”
“You’re next in charge, aren’t you?”
“Uh… Jisung, help?” you nudged.
“We’re going to go in there, give them the money, and demand Mr. _____ back. Be prepared if they disagree or things get heated. There are two number one priorities here - bring back Mr. _____ alive and keep _____ safe. Is that clear?” All the men nodded obediently. “Go!”
A couple of the men broke down the door. Instead of the building being an intricate maze of hallways and arbitrary rooms, it was just one big, empty gray space and your Dad was tied to a chair right in the middle of it, not moving.
“Dad!” you cried out, running past all of the loyal men.
“_____, get back here!”
Jisung couldn’t let you run alone in such an open room with potential shooters hiding God knows where, so he ran after you and kept an eye out for all hidden corners and crevices. The tears you kept hidden these last few hours all flowed freely the closer you ran to him. It felt like you were running a marathon on the longest treadmill. The closer you got, the more you could see the fresh blood oozing out of his body and when you reached him, you knew why he wasn’t moving.
He was already shot dead.
“Dad?” you whimpered, shaking him by his cold, limp shoulders. “Come on, wake up…! I’m here!”
“_____, it’s a trap,” Jisung warned. “We have to go -!”
“No, not without my Dad -!”
“_____, look at me.”
Jisung tore you away from trying to untie your dead Dad and held you by your face. Your crying and sobbing echoed so loudly throughout the room. It broke his heart to see you this way. He hoped to never see you like this ever again.
“We have to go. It’s not safe for you here. My priority is to keep you safe, remember?”
“But Dad -!”
“I know, baby, I know. You know what we’re going to do?” You shook your head. “You’re going to take over your Dad’s spot. You are going to rule this Kingdom and we’re going to get our revenge.”
“Revenge?” Revenge sounded good.
“Yup. You’re going to sit in your Dad’s office and run that shit like nothing happened, right? You’re going to keep this business running. And we’re going to find Dr. San and find all the other men responsible then we’re going to get our revenge. And I’m going to be right beside you the whole time, ok? Do you trust me?”
You could only nod. His plan sounded perfect.
“If you want to do this, we have to get out of here. Now.”
You let Jisung take the lead by helping you up. He dropped the bag of money next to your bleeding Dad, took you by the hand, and ran. There’s no shooting to be heard, no other footsteps, hell you couldn’t even hear any breathing. Was anyone even here? Why the fuck did they even bother if they already killed your father!?
“Grab the body and take it to get prepped for a memorial. Watch out for snipers,” Jisung warned.
The rest of the men stayed back when you and Jisung left to get you safe inside the car.
“Why did you leave the money? Dad was already shot,” you asked.
“Dr. San or whomever he works for only wanted the money. They didn’t care about negotiating. They have that place bugged. If we didn’t leave it, something bad was going to happen to you. I’ll throw away ₩10B any day as long as you’re left untouched.”
“Dr. San… no wonder he tried to get closer to me. Not too obvious, but not too subtle, either. He knew a lot about my relationship with Dad, too.”
“Like what?”
“I told him I chose med school because I didn’t want to take over Dad’s business. He knew if they killed my Dad, the company’s Drug Pushing days would be over. God, I’m such an idiot!”
“Hey, that’s not your fault. You had no idea some tacky doctor could be involved in this life.”
“Yeah, and now I’m going to be. I’ll be doing exactly what I never wanted in the first place. But this is for Dad. I have to do this, right?”
“You don’t have to do anything.”
“You’re right. Now I want to.”
“_____-”
“It’s ok. This is for Dad - I can do this. I-I think… You said you’d be there with me, right?”
“You can’t get rid of me that easily, Princess.”
“Good... Where are we going now?”
“To your home. You need rest, you had a long day. Then tomorrow, we’ll clean up your new office, and I’ll show you the ups and downs of this God-forsaken business.”
“I’m both terrified and excited.”
“Maybe you were meant for this job all along.”
“Dad used to say shit like that, too. Maybe you’re both right...”
Your heart was incredibly heavy when you arrived home. You needed your bed to hold all of the weight of your sorrow. Seeing your Dad dead and tied up like a pot roast was one kind heartbreak, but realizing he was gone forever was another. You couldn’t be alone tonight.
“Don’t leave me,” you begged Jisung.
“Do you want me to stay tonight?”
“And tomorrow... Maybe for the whole week... And then some...”
His light chuckle rang in your ear and he pressed a kiss to your forehead. “Anything for you.”
EPILOGUE
Life is simple. Life is spent calmly after your Dad’s memorial and taking over the Soju business and cocaine side hustle. It took you a while to adjust from med student life to business student life, but you’re thankful for Jisung who helped you with the transition and studying every step of the way. It wasn’t as bad as you thought - then again, business students don’t have overnight shifts.
Being the CEO meant you knew the recipe of the Soju and who to pay in whatever amount. You were more like the overseer. As time passes, you’ll learn the rest of the ins and outs on the go, so you’re not as worried.
Besides, you have your hands full with cocaine, among other things.
“_____?” Jisung opens the door to your office with a triumphant smirk on his lips. “Dr. San’s ready to see you.”
“Thanks, love,” you said. You take your shiny pistol out from your holster. “Can’t wait to see him.”
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blackcatanna · a year ago
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Playing Kazama's Route Because I Guess I Hate Myself Part 1: Kyoto Winds
So, I'm going to play through everybody's routes on Hakuoki and vent my feelings and frustrations on here! I've already done Saito and Iba but I will play them again soon, too. Next up is Kazama, mostly because I'm curious to find out if this fucker has any redeeming qualities. Maybe if you're into nonces. Idk.
Wow, I had forgotten how gloriously campy this intro is :') I love it so much!
Playing through the prologue because it sets the tone of blood, death and assholes. This game is much more violent, tragic and much less horny than I had predicted and I guess I'm into that.
Aw, Chizuru bae is so lonesome and vulnerable <3
Kodo flashback! HIIISSSSSSSSSS!!! >:(
Just taking a moment to appreciate how beautiful and romantic the nighttime environment and music is <3 At least, until people start getting slashed up X_X
OKAY GAME, WE GET IT: CHIZURU IS HORNY FOR HIJIKATA. GOD.
Okita is enjoying this waaay too much X_X
Chapter 1
WIGGLE WIGGLE WIGGLE
Thank you for untying me, InouBAE!
THEY'VE BEEN DISCUSSING THE SITUATION SINCE MORNING BUT NOBODY THOUGHT TO SUGGEST MAYBE NOT REVEALING MORE SENSITIVE INFORMATION WHILE I'M IN THE ROOM?! I'm surrounded by idiots -_-
Apparently, "They are all truly gentlemen." Uh-huh.
Hooray for Chizuru calling out Okita for being a douche. And Hijikata for calling everyone a bunch of kids! Where is the lie? :')
Um, why has the camera zoomed in on Nagakura's crotch? Chizuru, please control your thirst. This is a life or death situation.
Now Saito's telling Okita to stop being a prick and Okita's response is, "hehe." X_X
Casual suicide jokes... Reminds me of my friends at uni X_X
RUN FOR YOUR LIFE 8O I can't see how this could possibly backfire...
OMG Kondou describing not recognising a girl as "The shame of a lifetime!" XD
"Maybe it's time you spilled your guts, kid." Is he... Is he telling me to commit seppuku?! O_O "I looked at him and nodded." GOODBYE CRUEL WORLD.
Although, with Harada threatening to strip me, suicide doesn't look like such a bad option X_X Tell me, Inoue, WHERE ARE THESE GENTLEMEN YOU WERE TELLING ME ABOUT?!
Feminist Hijikata wants to kill me regardless of gender :') We stan a woke queen.
Feminist icon Sanan also thinks that gender is irrelevant but doesn't want to kill me because THEIR JOB IS LITERALLY TO PROTECT PEOPLE.
You search so hard for Kodo and he turns out to be such a treacherous snake :'(
Bad feminist Hijikata calls the Shinsengumi "sons of bitches" for feeding me to him as his page. The Shinsengumi are strong, independent bitches in their own right.
Escaping execution but being quietly upset about having to wear ugly boy clothes for the foreseeable future is a mood.
More of Hijikata threatening to cut off Okita's tongue, please!
What does Chizuru have against afternoon drinking :P Clearly she has never enjoyed a long glass of Pimm's on a warm Summer afternoon! I guess she is pretty young...
Hijikata isn't here so can I please sneak out with you guys instead of staring at the wall all day?
Reeeeeeally want to pick the yes to dressing like a girl option but apparently that's not what Daddy Nonce wants :( HE'S NOT EVEN SHOWN UP YET AND HE'S ALREADY RUINING MY FUN! >:(
Well, now we're literally running away from Nagakura and Inoue. I'm getting High School flashbacks.
Wait, why is Heisuke being weird about Saito being in my room? Did this happen last time too? Maybe I just forgot or maybe it's because I was hanging out with Heisuke and Harada before...
This dinner is terrifying.
Survival of the fittest? More like survival of the FATTEST! Amirite? Anyone? No? I'll stop.
Takeda admittedly has a point about you not earning your place in the Shinsengumi. And he has great hair. So I can almost forgive him for being a mega bitch.
"His swordsmanship is decent, BUT he is well read and possesses a cunning mind for military science." Not sure if a translation error or Hijikata just hates nerds?!
Does accompanying Hijikata as his page get me bonus Kazama Sexy Points purely because it pisses Hijikata off?
Chizuru once again being in mortal peril but getting distracted by Iba's beautiful face is relatable af.
"Takeda huffed smugly to himself and WADDLED out of the store." What a majestic image we have been blessed with :') The bitchiest penguin ever to waddle this Earth!
Iba happily munching his bean jelly is a MOOD.
Chapter 2
Okita telling you that you're here to keep him company on his rounds is exactly the kind of bullshit that I'd expect from him X_X
Guess I'm just running into a battle...
Oh, it's Kazama. Sitting on the windowsill like the edgy bastard he is.
Aaaand he just killed a guy on his own side. Classic edgelord move.
And apparently I have to thank him for this display if I want him to be my waifu.
Seemingly, Chizuru is thirsty for this slut and is being REALLY FRICKING OBVIOUS ABOUT IT X_X
OH HE DID NOT JUST CALL ME THE SHINSENGUMI'S BITCH. Although, it is somewhat accurate XD STILL A DICK MOVE AFTER I THANKED HIM SO NICELY, THOUGH.
AND HE SAYS THAT I HAVE MANNERS, BUT WHERE ARE YOUR FREAKING MANNERS, YOU EDGY THOT?!!!
I have a feeling that a lot of this will be typed in caps from now on -_-
Oooh he winked! I cannot handle this intense eroticism!
Surprise Saito! My favourite flavour of surprise (see, "Shinsengumi's bitch")!
The Shinsengumi are grateful for my efforts and, thus, have gifted me with the great gift of sweeping <3
Hijikata and Iba are so cute <3
Kazama's being edgy again X_X and murdering people. Classic Kazama.
Oh wow, he's actually calling us peasants.
Aw, we're talented peasants <3 How generous of him!
HOW DARE HE TRASH TALK OKITA LIKE THAT! Wow, I'm actually defending that asshole X_X
Hijikata baring his teeth like an angry doggo XD
I'm super mad at Kazama for killing that poor Shinsengumi guy :'( Such a thoughtless waste of life :'(
Now he's mocking Nagakura's obedience to the Shogun. What are your lofty ideals, Kazama? Ah yes, you want to subjugate and enslave the human race. How... noble...
Okay, so, apparently, Kazama is being a huge, murderous pain in the ass because he's just OH SO CONCERNED for the pride of his human allies. I don't buy it.
Ah, Hijikata called Kazama a petulant child :') Truer words were never spoken!
Okay, now Hijikata is saying that they don't deserve an honourable death?! Wow, Hijikata. That comment is not going to age well, I can tell you.
So maybe I agree with Kazama here!? He still shouldn't have murdered that guy, though.
I seriously don't understand why Hijikata is so keen to slaughter these guys and potentially lose more of his men just to force them to suffer a shameful death?! Maybe he doesn't see dying that way as dishonourable but I have no patience for people forcing their ideals onto others.
Aaah! Kazama throwing Hijikata's insult back in his face is pretty brilliant!
Kazama just sliced me in the face! Sexy?!
Sexy Points with Kazama because he's confirmed your full BROOD MARE potential.
Kazama likes calling people bitches so we have that in common.
So, now Hijikata respects them for committing seppuku?! I am CONFUSED.
Oh, now I'm getting Itou's origin story?! This is unexpected!
Wait, have I broken the game and accidentally romanced Kondou?! What is happening right now?! X_X
Oooh! I'm getting sword training! Yes please! This is better than sex :D
Feminist icon Kondou isn't going easy on me just because I'm a girl :D
Chapter 3
Aka: Sanan's breakdown!
"Those were his last words." O_O I... hope that that's not true...
Okay, now he's throttling me! I take it back! Somebody fillet this crazy fucker!
OMG WAS THAT CRUNCHING SOUND MY NECK?!
But why is he choking me when he could be sipping on my delicious blood? O_o
The awkward moment when your creepy brother is a hotter woman than you X_X
Apparently, Kazama's gazing at me with bloodlust. How romantic.
Haha! Apparently Kazama's hand is "pale and grasping like the tentacle of some hideous subterranean monster." X_X Hot.
Yay! Rescued from tentai boi by HajiBAE and SanoCUTEY! And Harada is calling out Kazama for being a creep :') This is a good day.
Kazama's response burn is weak. The culture and the nose of a dog? What does that even mean? Even if Harada's nose looked like a dog's, that'd still be pretty weak, imo.
Ha! Saito's response is basically just an Uno reverse card but I'm always here for calling Kazama out on his hypocrisy.
Omg, now Yamazaki is kidnapping me and Shiranui's calling him out! None of these hos have any chill!
Amagiri is taking a break from fighting to read Shiranui for being a hotheaded pain in the arse.
Hijikata is rightfully calling me an idiot for drawing my sword on Kazama :')
Kazama's insults are so blunt and childish but it's so funny! He just called Hijikata a weak shit! Apparently, fighting him is an honour and Hijikata isn't giving this diva the attention he believes he deserves.
Hijikata needs to stop calling me Kid X_X
"Sleazebag" = accurate.
Ooh, Sanan is paying me a late night visit! How risqué!
Of course I want to learn more about the water of life but The Grand High Nonce would apparently disapprove so I guess I'll have to wait until another route to find out :'(
Apparently Kazama's not going to abduct me TODAY. How reassuring.
I relate to Kazama admiring the beauty of the temple but he lost me by being a hypocrite again. Apparently, he doesn't understand how humans can destroy their creations with their wars. KAZAMA IS FIGHTING WITH THE PEOPLE WHO WANTED TO BURN KYOTO AND THEY PARTIALLY SUCCEEDED. Kazama can only destroy things, as far as I can tell.
Now he's ranting about how they lie, deceive and kill. Pot kettle black? "If they want something, they'll steal it." UGH, KAZAMA, YOU HAVE REPEATEDLY TRIED TO STEAL ME YOU HYPOCRITICAL FUCKWIT. HE'S SO FRUSTRATING. SUCH AN INSUFFERABLE COMBINATION OF PRETENTION, HYPOCRISY, CRUELTY, HUBRIS, I could go on XD I should stop... For now...
AAAAAH HE JUST SAID NOT TO TRUST THE SHINSENGUMI BECAUSE THEY KILL THEIR OWN MEN WITHOUT BATTING AN EYELASH. THAT'S WHAT KAZAMA DOES WHEN YOU FIRST MEET HIM! BUT I GUESS IT DOESN'T COUNT TO HIM BECAUSE THE MAN WASN'T PART OF HIS SUPERIOR RACE!
Sen = <3
Chapter 4 (This is where I went to sleep)
I feel like we could have got away with killing the guy who was SENTENCED TO DEATH if fricking Sanan hadn't shown up and revealed his alive-ness!
Aw, Itou is concerned about my arm!
Aaaaand he's ruined it by being a cunt XD "Would you like to know?" "Yes." "I won't tell you." X_X
Heisuke, Saito... HOW COULD YOU LEAVE ME... WHEN I NEEDED TO... POSSES YOU... I HATED YOU; I LOVED YOU TOO... BAD DREAMS IN THE NIGHT.... *Continues singing Wuthering Heights and dances around the room dramatically*
"And then they were gone" :'(
Tbf, I'd be pretty mad if my comrades had been doing such dangerous, fucked up experiments behind my back.
"I am more concerned about the soldiers being left behind." - lies!
Wait, Sanan knew Itou "really well"?! Their only interaction until now was Itou being a mega-douche to him. I have so many questions!
Aw, Sanan trusts that our friendlings will return <3
Ooh! Going on a manju adventure with YAM!
Kazama strolling down the street and everybody being pushed out of the way by the douchebag waves rolling off of him.
Okay, so Kazama has come here alone to get pissed amongst humans?! That seems implausible...
"I might even allow you to pour me a drink." BLEUGH BLETCH BLUUURGH.
I CANNOT WITH THIS THOT AND HIS HYPOCRITICAL BULLSHIT. HOW DARE HE BRAG ABOUT HOW COOL AND DOWN WITH THE KIDS HE IS TO BE DRINKING WITH HUMANS AND THEN SLAG ME OFF FOR ASSOCIATING WITH HUMANS?!
If I'm supposedly so curious about the demon lifestyle, can I PLEASE just run away with Sen? :'(
WHY IS NOBODY ASKING WHAT I WANT?!? X_X I WANT TO GO WITH THE COOL DEMON LADIES!!!
"Yukimura. What do you have to say about this?" FINALLY!!! THANK YOU, KONDOU!
I really want to go but the game won't let me XD
Souji is correct. I clearly have rocks for brains XD
"Gosh" Appropriate reaction.
AAAAAAAAND MY BELOVED SHINSENGUMI IS IMMEDIATELY ENDANGERED BY MY POOR DECISIONS.
Ooh! Physical contact with Kazama! Sure, he's violently grabbing me but this thirsty bitch will take what she can get XD
Harada has the best put downs :') "Barging in here to get yourself a wife! You think you'd get the point by now after all these rejections..."
"You fools have no idea of her worth." BITCH I AM A well, not human but SENTIENT BEING! THEY TREAT ME WITH MORE RESPECT THAN YOU EVER DID YOU MASSIVE CREEP. I AM MORE THAN JUST A WOMB, YOU HO!!!
"She is most valuable when used by a fitting partner." THA FUCK DID YOU JUST SAY?!???! NOPENOPENOPE. A FITTING PARTNER WOULD NOT "USE" ME, BITCH.
"HA! So you decide to take her against her will just because you're too scared of the rejection you'll get from flat-out asking her out, huh?" YES HARADA!!! YOU CALL OUT THIS FUCKING NONCE!!! ALL RAPISTS ARE COWARDS!!! "You're so lame and creepy." WHERE IS THE LIE?!??
Meanwhile, Hijikata just makes it clear that he'd happily slice through me. Good to know.
I shall WIGGLE my way out of this situation! What do you mean it didn't work?!
YAAAS KONDOU! YOU FIGHT THAT BITCH!!!
OMG I JUST FELL ON TOP OF OKITA AND NOW HE'S SLUT SHAMING ME! XD
"Tell me... How is it? On top of me. Does it feel good?" O_O O_O O_O This game just got a lot more spicy!
Just fuck already! If only to piss off Kazama X_X
Aw, poor sick Okita <3
How dare they mention that the new HQ has a huge bath for warriors to bathe together and not have another thirst scene :P
Now Harada and Nagakura are slut shaming each other for having their tiddies out in Winter :')
Does this count as sexposition? Politics + tiddies?
"Itou dies." This is what happens when you base a game around true events! Problems aren't solved with the power of love and friendship! X_X
YES SAITO, PLEASE PROTECT ME FROM THIS MURDEROUS NONCE!
Chapter 5
At least in the normal route where nobody loves me, I don't get shot at by cannons O_O
There are a lot of typos in this chapter already. Perhaps the developers didn't expect anyone to be INSANE enough to romance Kazama.
DON'T TELL THIS RANDOM GUY YOUR PLANS YOU FOOL!!! IF THIS GETS INOUE KILLED, IMMA BE SO MAD!!!
NO INOUE!!! DON'T DRINK THE CRAZY JUICE!!!
NOOOOOO!!!! INOOOUUUUEEEE!!! :'(
Yes Queen, you call out those murdering cowards :'(
FFS I just got hella shot X_X
NO YOU GUYS ARE THE MONSTERS!!!
Apparently, I'm a "Noble Demon specimen" BITCH WHERE?!
"Why was Kazama helping me?" UM, HAVEN'T WE BEEN THROUGH THIS?! BECAUSE HE WANTS TO "USE" YOUR FERTILE WOMB TO BREED A NEW LINE OF DEMON CHILDREN.
"Shoot me? To death?" XD
"Kazama glared coldly at the pile of dismembered corpses on the floor" :') So romantic!
OMG IT'S THE BETTER DRESSED VERSION OF ME!!!
"Actually a man." UM, A CHILD, SEEMINGLY.
The whole creepy demonic family together at last :')
STOP CALLING ME ADORABLE AND LITTLE YOU CREEPY DEMON CHILD.
"What you're doing is disgraceful." YOU TELL HIM KAZAMA.
"Mind if I kill your family, right here and now?" O_O Kazama has zero chill! Thanks for asking, though, I guess. Go for it, Kazama XD
Oh, apparently I'm going to "talk to them" X_X
"Kodo, I could murder you over a thousand times, and it still wouldn't be enough for me." This is the most I've ever liked Kazama.
Doesn't Kazama work directly with Kodo in various routes?
Why can't I vanish like smoke? :'( Where are MY cool demon powers? :'(
"Turns out the only one capable of keeping you safe when you needed them most was me -- not them." HOW DARE YOU!!! INOUE GAVE HIS LIFE PROTECTING ME AND YOU'VE NEVER PUT YOUR OWN PRECIOUS NECK OUT THERE FOR ANYONE IN YOUR ENTIRE LIFE YOU POMPOUS ASS!!! YOU'VE NEVER HAD TO WORK FOR ANYTHING IN YOUR WHOLE LIFE, HAVE YOU?! YOU WERE BORN A DEMON PRINCE AND THAT MAKES YOU THINK THAT YOU'RE BETTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE?!? BECAUSE YOU HAVE POWERS YOU DIDN'T EARN?!
"If your idea of a good time is seeing the rotting corpses of your friends, be my guest..." 8_8 :'( No, they can't all be dead! Surely not! Kazama don't say things like that!
The Yodo are going to betray the Shogunate?!? I must warn them D:
Wow, this just got heavy and real sad.
Wait, did he just admit to meddling in the war?! He is such a hypocrite!!!! Aaaaaaah!!! Somebody call him out on his bs!!!!
SEN AND KIMIGIKU <3 SAVE ME!
Even Shiranui sees that humans have a variety of complex motivations X_X
I AM NOT YOUR FUTURE WIFE!!!!
Do the Shinsengumi just assume that I'm dead?!
Great, now I'm on a road trip with this cunt.
"I've never actually been this close to a man before..." Calm down! That horse is third wheeling so hard right now. And what about that time you fell ON TOP OF Okita?!
Welp, that's it for Kyoto Winds! Onwards to Edo Blossoms! I still don't like Kazama but at least murdering the ever-loving FUCK out of Kodo is a cause that I can believe in. Although, one of the reasons that I hated Kodo in Saito's route was because he was helping the same sex pest I'm now galloping across the country with. Huh. 
This is the most that I’ve ever used the word, “nonce” in my entire life and this is only the first game.
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quicksilversquared · 2 years ago
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Lost Heart Ch. 17
Stabilizing
Magic can be a dangerous thing to play around with, particularly when that magic is tangled up in a curse. When Nathalie Sancoeur experiments with magic that she doesn’t fully understand, it sends her on a path to become Paris’ most dangerous supervillain and tips the balance between superheroes and supervillain.
But which way will the balance fall?
links in the reblog
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Ladybug and Chat Noir went over to visit Chloe right after school let out. She was thrilled to see them, of course, and immediately called for room service so that they could have snacks while they talked. As they sat down, she was clearly hiding a nervous smile.
It only took Chat Noir a second to figure out what his old friend was no doubt thinking- that she was going to get to use her Miraculous on a more regular basis, or even keep it, if they could think of a safe way for her to do that. They were going to have to (gently) let her down on that, but hopefully the news of Mrs. Agreste's safe return would keep her from being too disappointed.
Of course, the other news that they were going to be sharing wasn't going to be quite so good. He and Ladybug hadn't wanted to share all of their news with Chloe, of course, but there was no real way to get her to understand who was and who absolutely was not allowed to visit Mrs. Agreste without letting Chloe in on everything.
Besides, Chat Noir knew how close Chloe had been to his family. She knew their dynamics. Even if they didn't willingly let her in on everything, it wouldn't take her long to piece things together. He would prefer that she made those connections while he and Ladybug were the only ones around her, instead of, say, in the middle of her father's very packed hotel restaurant during the dinner rush.
And on top of that, they would be pulling in all of the bonus superheroes for the final battle, so the two of them might as well tell Chloe the whole truth now instead of in a few days.
"We need your help," Ladybug started out, and Chat Noir tried not to wince at that. Chloe was totally going to misinterpret her words. Thankfully, Ladybug wasn't one to let her words hang and get Chloe's hopes up too much. "We've made a few discoveries lately, and one of them has to be hidden from public view until this is all over. You have to promise me that you won't let it get out."
Chloe looked confused now. "O...kay? I promise?"
"It's a person," Ladybug explained. "A person who Hawkmoth wanted brought back more than anything. They were under a curse and now they're awake again."
Chloe let out a gasp, sitting up straight. "So is that- is that why the fights got easier for a bit? There were over a week where you didn't call me or Rena Rouge or Carapace at all. And then- and then that last fight was harder again, super hard, and Hawkmoth is a lady now- was Hawkmoth defeated by a bigger supervillain and now the bigger supervillain wants this person, and we have to smuggle them out of the country and-"
Chat Noir had to laugh at that. "You were so close up until that smuggling bit. We had a confrontation with Hawkmoth and found out his goal of de-cursing this person. We knew that we could achieve it peacefully, without giving up our Miraculous. He told us his identity-"
If Chloe's eyes got any bigger, they were going to pop out of her head. "He gave up his identity? Who is he? I gotta get back at him for breaking in here and demanding my Miraculous and threatening me, the ass-"
"We'll get to that," Ladybug said hastily, picking up the story from Chat Noir. "So yes, he called a truce. But by that point, Mayura was in the picture. And I'm sure you've heard us mention it before- she's been using a cursed Miraculous. It's the same one that Hawkmoth's wife used to become a superhero-"
"Hawkmoth's wife used to be a superhero?" Chloe's voice reached the approximate pitch of a dog whistle, and Chat Noir tried not to flinch. "Are you serious? Oh, that's going to be an interesting reunion," she added with a snort. "She's going to beat up his ass, isn't she?"
"Anyway," Chat Noir said hastily. "Cursed Miraculous, Mayura. Hawkmoth's wife used it, and the curse took a price of body, sending her into a coma. Mayura used a price of Soul. She's heartless at this point. It can be cured, but only once we get her contained. And as you might have guessed, she and Hawkmoth got in a fight, and she took his Miraculous. So until the Purple Lady is defeated, we need to keep Hawkmoth's wife out of the public eye and out of his house."
Chloe frowned. "Wait, why would anyone even notice her? There's thousands and thousands- millions, actually- of people in France. She's just one person. Why would anyone bother taking note of her if she went out?"
Chat Noir smiled, exchanging a look with Ladybug that clearly said let me take care of this. He pulled up a picture of his mom on his baton as he talked. "Well, you see, she's a bit high-profile. In fact, I think you might know her?"
He turned his baton screen towards Chloe, showing off the selfie that he had snapped the night before of himself, Ladybug, and Mrs. Agreste. Chloe's eyes flew wide in an instant, and a hand went to her mouth as she gasped.
"But-! But that's Mrs. Agreste! She's alive and okay and- oh my god I can't believe this," Chloe gasped, eyes already starting to water. "My father thought that she was dead for sure after she was missing for a few months, because how often do people really get found alive after that amount of time? But she is alive, and Adrien can have his mom back- oh!" Chloe sat up straight, fixing them with a serious look. "I can see where you're going with this, and yes, I can get her a room at the Grand Paris and set it up so that so none of the staff know that she's there, on the condition that Adrien finds out and gets to come visit whenever. I don't care what story you have to spin if you don't want him to know that Mr. Agreste is Hawkmoth- oh my god Mr. Agreste is Hawkmoth."
"Was," Ladybug corrected. "He no longer has his Miraculous."
Chloe's expression had turned dark. "That piece of shit. He's a terrible father, a supervillain, a would-be kidnapper, a thief-"
"He'll be going to jail," Chat Noir assured her. "We made that very clear from the start, that turning himself in would not excuse him from any of the charges that the city prosecutor wants to throw at him. And from what we've heard, it's a pretty extensive list." Really extensive, actually. He and Ladybug had gotten to see the list when the mayor called them in to discuss the new Butterfly holder. The two of them hadn't been able to tell him much, besides confirming that yes, there was a new Butterfly, that they were training to be at their best during the fights, and the citizens of Paris needed to be moving out of the way quickly when there was an akuma in the area. They also confirmed that there were plans in place to end the attacks for once and for all, but they couldn't risk sharing the information with anyone.
Mr. Bourgeois hadn't been happy about being left out of the loop, but he also could acknowledge that he wasn't part of the main superhero team with only minimal whining.
"Can I punch him before he goes?"
Chat Noir tried not to sigh. Ladybug looked like she was trying hard not to laugh.
"No, seriously, can I?"
"Not while transformed," Ladybug said after another pause. "...but I'm not going to stop you if you want to punch him as yourself."
"Excellent." Chloe clapped her hands together eagerly. Then she frowned. "Okay, so that's the old Hawkmoth. But about Mayura-slash-Purple Lady? I can't think of anyone who Mr. Agreste would trust enough to tell about something like that except for Mrs. Agreste. Mrs. Agreste and- oh, gosh. Nathalie."
"She's good," Ladybug said, glancing at Chat Noir. "I can see why you said that we shouldn't even try to hide anything. Yeah, it's Nathalie. But we can undo the damage that the Peacock has done to her. We just need to take her down first."
Chloe nodded, looking seriously overwhelmed. But she sniffed and pulled herself together. "And my condition? That Adrien gets to find out about his mom?"
"Mrs. Agreste has already requested the same thing," Ladybug told her with a smile. "So we will be putting together some sort of cover story so that he can come and visit."
Chloe beamed. "Oh, great! I'll go get a room set up right away," she told them, getting up right away. "There's one up on this floor, actually, and daddy never rents it out because we don't like having strangers up where we are. It's still cleaned regularly, though, since my mom uses it when she comes to Paris. I'll go mark it as occupied in the computer, and then put in a do-not-enter note."
"And for meals, we were wondering if you would be able to bring them over to Mrs. Agreste," Ladybug told her. "So that we don't have too many people finding out about her. The more that know, the more likely that it'll get leaked to the press, and then who knows what will happen."
Chloe nodded. "Yeah! I'll just have them bring up two meals whenever I eat, and I'll carry one over to her. The one that you're going to have to worry about telling people is Adrien," Chloe added. "He's going to be so excited. And I would bet anything that he's going to want to tell his girlfriend."
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  As soon as it was dark, the superheroes made the move. Mrs. Agreste was greeted to the Grand Paris with a warm meal, a gift basket, and several changes in clothes set out on the bed. One hour after she settled, Adrien was "officially" told about his mom's return.
The story that he was fed was that she had simply been found, and that due to ongoing investigation it was vital to not tell anyone about her return, including Nathalie, the Gorilla, and any of the other household staff.
Surprisingly, though, his father had hesitated after saying that and then told Adrien that it would be all right for him to tell his girlfriend and only his girlfriend, as long as she didn't tell anyone. Adrien puzzled over that as he headed up to his mom's hotel room, but it was Plagg who figured it out.
"He wants you to have a support system," Plagg said, peeking out of Adrien's jacket. "And he approves of Marinette."
"He does, and I'm going to end up having to introduce Marinette to my mom as my girlfriend." Adrien groaned, running his hands down his face. "It was supposed to just be an excuse to be able to keep doing my superhero duties."
"But you like pigtails, don't deny it," Plagg teased. "You had fun on your date. You want to go on another one."
Adrien flushed, but he evaded instead of answering. He pointed at Plagg. "Ah-ha! You do know Marinette's name! You just like pretending that you don't."
Plagg yawned widely. "I don't know what you're talking about."
"You do so, you little liar." Still, there was no heat in Adrien's voice. He paused as he reached the top floor of the hotel. "Do... d'you think that I should tell Marinette? I mean, technically I have Chloe to talk to, but..." He trailed off. Even though he had technically been friends with Chloe for longer, it just wasn't the same somehow. "Marinette was there for me when Father and Nathalie were fighting."
"I think you could tell her," Plagg said, with surprisingly little hesitation. "And that you should. She's good for you. And she's trustworthy. If you tell her not to tell anyone, she won't."
Adrien nodded.
Chloe was waiting for him in the hallway, looking eager.
"I have the key to her room," she told Adrien, grabbing his arm and pulling him along. "She's doing well, and she just had dinner, and she really wants to see you. If you want to stay over tonight-"
"I'll think about it," Adrien said noncommittally, knowing already that he wouldn't. His mom needed to rest, and she couldn't (or wouldn't) do that if he were around. "Has my father already...?"
The weird flash of emotions that crossed Chloe's face as she tried not to react (or, rather, tried not to give anything away) was hilarious and totally made the question (which Adrien already knew the answer to) completely worth it.
"Not here," Chloe said after a moment. "I know she was at a different place before for a night, so maybe he saw her there."
He hadn't. Adrien knew (because he was Chat Noir) that his father didn't dare leave the mansion to visit his mom, since Nathalie would notice and might try to follow to figure out what he was up to. There was also the fact that his mom was very, very ticked at his father and him seeing her at the moment probably wasn't a good idea.
Chloe pulled a key card out of her pocket and swiped it, then pushed open the door. "Mrs. Agreste? Adrien is here-"
"ADRIEN!" There was a flash of blue and blond, and then Adrien was being swept up in a bone-crushing hug. "My darling boy- oh, how you've grown-!"
"Mom," Adrien managed, feeling far too emotional considering that he had known where his mom was for nearly two weeks now and had already seen her awake and up. He sniffed, then buried his face in her shoulder. After a few minutes, he realized that she was rocking him gently.
"I'm back, darling, and I'm safe," she was crooning, stroking his hair. "And I'm not going away again, I promise. I'm staying here."
Adrien nodded, not trusting his voice to speak.
After a few more minutes, he felt composed enough to lift his head back up. His mom beamed down at him, her own eyes a little watery.
"So Chloe has been telling me a little about what kinds of things you've been up to in the past- oh, gosh, year and a half? Year and three-quarters?" Mrs. Agreste shook her head, looking overwhelmed. "It's been so long, it's hard to believe. But I want to hear it from you."
Adrien beamed. He wouldn't be able to tell her everything (at least not yet- he was hoping that he would be able to tell her that he was Chat Noir since she used to be a superhero, too), but he could catch up some, at least. "Yeah! Yeah, I can do that."
"Your father already told you not to tell anyone else, right?" Chloe asked, interrupting the moment, and Adrien looked over to see her hovering awkwardly by the door. He had to do his best not to laugh at the barely-disguised venom in her voice. "Even your girlfriend?"
"Father told me that I could tell Marinette, actually," Adrien told Chloe, not missing the way that his mom perked up at the mention of a girlfriend. Great. He and Mari were going to have to stage a mutual break-up sooner rather than later, before his mom go too attached. Maybe they could claim that the stress from finding out that his father and Nathalie were supervillains wasn't great for a relationship and they were taking a break, then "decide" later on that they were better off as friends. "He said so specifically. I didn't even ask about it."
Chloe groaned and rolled her eyes. "Of course he did. He actually likes Marinette."
"I want to meet her!" Mrs. Agreste said at once. "Adrien, could you come over with her after school tomorrow? Is she free? Are you free?"
"Uh- tomorrow is Tuesday, so normally Marinette and I do our homework together after school. We'll both be free," Adrien said, though he winced a little at the idea of giving up any of their homework time. He was back to having trouble getting any good work done on his homework at home, and he knew that Marinette tended to be pretty busy in the evenings, too, so she had to get her work finished before then.
Mrs. Agreste beamed. "That's great! You can work on your homework here, too," she added. "And we can chat while you do that. I'm just curious, and of course, I'm confined to this room until-" She caught herself, leaving her words hovering awkwardly in the air for a moment before finishing the sentence. "Until the investigation has finished."
"I'll ask," Adrien promised. "I'll tell her tomorrow. I know I can trust her," he added, more for Chloe's sake than his mom's. "She was the one that the Gorilla brought me to when Father and Nathalie were fighting a few days ago, and she didn't pry or tell anyone. She was just there when I needed someone to talk to."
His mom awwed. Chloe only looked unimpressed for a few seconds, then shrugged. "If you're sure, I guess."
"I'm positive."
Chloe headed back to her room after that, leaving Adrien with his mom. She ushered him over to the room's table, where a platter of petits fours rested. "Tell me everything! Chloe said that you're still doing fencing and basketball and Mandarin and piano, and that you've been doing more modeling, and that you started school- and a girlfriend!"
"That's a recent thing," Adrien admitted, hoping that he wouldn't have to make up any stories about dates that he and Marinette hadn't been on. "Really recent. Uh, like, less than a month recent?"
There was a flicker of concern across Mrs. Agreste's face at that. "And you already trust her to not tell...?"
"We were friends before that," Adrien hastily assured her. "We weren't that close for most of my first year because she was nervous around me-" and he never had figured out what that had been about- "but then our friends started dating each other and we hung out more and got closer. And then this year, Marinette and I have got closer and started hanging out more." Adrien couldn't help but smile softly at the memories. They had started playing video games together, with Marinette teaching Adrien some of her moves so that they would be more evenly matched and so that they could absolutely dominate with they played as a team. Sometimes he went over to her house on weekends and she taught him how to cook or bake (they were still very much on the basics). She tagged along to a lot of his photoshoots, making them more fun and learning at the same time. Now they were doing homework together, getting it done faster than they would if they were apart. Adrien always enjoyed hanging out with her, no matter what they decided to do. "And then we decided to try dating."
"Oh, that's so sweet!"
Adrien told his mom about school after that, then about his increased modeling schedule and the commercials and voice acting that he had done. By the time he finished with that, Mrs. Agreste was clearly getting tired.
"I should go home now, I think," Adrien said once he finished the story of how he had had to take lessons for voice acting so that his character's voice stayed consistent. "I have a lot more stories, of course, but..."
"I've been getting tired easily," Mrs. Agreste admitted. "But yes! Tell your girlfriend and see if she can come over and then stay for dinner tomorrow."
"I will, Mom," Adrien told her, unable to keep the smile off of his face. It was so nice to be able to say that again, and he wasn't sure if he would ever be able to take it for granted again. "I will."
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  Adrien was glowing.
Marinette had to smile as her fake boyfriend bounced into her family's living room, a beam on his face. After well over a week of him being distracted and worried, the change was welcome.
She knew why he was so happy, of course. Adrien had been scheduled to see his mom again the previous night, and their reunion must have gone well. Marinette wondered how much she should ask, because as his friend (and fake girlfriend) she would be happy but curious about what had made him so happy, but as Ladybug, she knew that he wasn't allowed to tell anyone and so she didn't want to put him on the spot by asking.
As it turned out, she didn't even need to worry.
"I had a fantastic evening yesterday," Adrien told her at once, shucking his shoes at the door and bounding over to hop up onto a stool. "Something really, really good happened. And Father told me that I could tell you, as long as you didn't tell anyone else."
"He did?" Marinette squeaked, not entirely sure what was surprising her more: the way that Adrien was volunteering the information when he was supposed to keep it under wraps, the fact that Mr. Agreste of all people, who most understood the importance of keeping his wife's recovery a secret, had told Adrien that he could share the news, or that Mr. Agreste had apparently mentioned her specifically instead of, say, Nino.
Adrien nodded eagerly. "Yeah! He was telling me that I couldn't tell anyone for safety reasons, and then he decided that it would be safe for me to tell you, as long as you didn't tell anyone else." He glanced around the room as he finished talking, checking to make sure that it was empty. "Your parents are both downstairs, right?"
"Right. And I would never share someone's secret unless they wanted me to," Marinette promised. She frowned briefly. "I wonder why your father said it was all right for me to know, though."
"I figured that out, actually! Or at least I think I did." Adrien leaned forward to wrap Marinette up in a hug. "I'm sure he knew that I would have trouble not having someone to discuss it with, and he likes you. And he thinks that you're my girlfriend, too, which I'm sure helps." Adrien released Marinette and sat back, letting out a breath. "Okay. So. It's- my mom. She's back."
Thankfully, Marinette had managed to recover enough from the shock of Mr. Agreste telling Adrien he could tell another person to be able to react properly. "Really? That's great, Adrien! Is- is she back home now?"
Adrien's hair flew around his head as he shook it frantically. "No, she's at the Grand Paris, so Chloe knows, too. It's- uh, the investigation is still in progress, so the news can't get out at all. And that includes our household staff."
Marinette nodded seriously. After all, she knew even better than Adrien how disastrous it would be for certain members of the Agreste staff (well, one certain member in particular) to find out that Mrs. Agreste was awake and recovering. "Okay. I understand. But that's still so exciting!" she exclaimed, reaching out to give Adrien a hug. "So you got to see her yesterday evening?"
"Yeah, and I got to tell her about a bunch of the stuff that's been happening while she's been gone. But Chloe spilled the beans about me dating, so now she wants to meet you today after school. And you've been invited to dinner, too," Adrien added after a moment of thought, reaching over Marinette to snag a fresh croissant from the basket on her far side. "Can you come?"
"I'd love to!" Marinette assured him at once. "I'm eager to meet her."
It didn't take long for Marinette to finish her breakfast (or for Adrien to finish both the first and second croissants that he had grabbed), and then they headed to school together, hand in hand. Outwardly Marinette was smiling, but inside she was so, so confused. Each new person who knew about Mrs. Agreste was a potential risk to her safety. Mr. Agreste did not seem the type of person to take risks needlessly- he hadn't started coming out of his lair until he was being pressured to by Mayura, with the sole exception of the times when he had taken the city off guard as Scarlet Moth. So for him to start taking risks now seemed strange.
Strange enough that Marinette really wanted to talk to Tikki.
"Oh, I forgot to use the bathroom before we left," Marinette fibbed as soon as they reached the locker room. "Mind if I make a stop before we go up to the classroom?"
"Go ahead. I'll just go on up. Want me to carry your bag?"
Marinette handed over her school bag, then headed for the bathrooms. A quick scan told her the bathroom was empty, so she headed for a stall so she could talk to Tikki.
"Adrien told me," she told Tikki in a hushed voice. "And his father told him to! Do you think that Mr. Agreste suspects...?"
"I think that for once, he actually considered Adrien and decided that he would benefit from having a support system," Tikki told her. "Which is true enough. But I do not think that you have been around Mr. Agreste enough- either as yourself or as Ladybug- for him to figure you out."
Marinette let out a considering breath. That...was true. It was just that it was weird that Mr. Agreste had picked her specifically out of all of Adrien's friends as the person that he could tell. When she expressed that, though, Tikki shook her head.
"Think, Marinette! Mr. Agreste has never approved of Nino. When he met Alya, it was right after she had dragged Adrien into an akuma attack zone. You're the promising designer that makes smart, safe decisions- and now you're Adrien's girlfriend. I'm willing to bet that Adrien's bodyguard told Mr. Agreste where he took Adrien when Mr. Agreste and Nathalie were fighting, and that would factor into his decision, too."
"You think so?" Marinette looked to Tikki again. Her kwami only nodded. "Still. He's lucky that I am who I am and I already knew. I feel like a lot of people would be really confused about the need for complete secrecy without getting the full story."
Tikki giggled. "Well, you know what they say about ladybugs and luck, Marinette! Maybe that helped us out a bit."
"Maybe." Marinette opened the stall door, heading across the bathroom to wash her hands at the sink. "No matter what, though, I'm glad that Adrien trusts me enough to trust me with something like this. It really means a lot."
"You two have become good friends," Tikki commented, watching as Marinette splashed in the water for a few more seconds. "Think about where the two of you were at this time last year! You've come so far."
"Yeah, last year I was so focused on asking Adrien out that I hadn't even considered calming down and just becoming Adrien's friend. And look at all I was missing out on!" Smiling, Marinette turned the water off and turned to dry her hands. "C'mon, Tikki. Let's go upstairs. Adrien is waiting for us."
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clacclo · a year ago
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ROSALITA (COME OUT TONIGHT)
Spread out now Rosie doctor come cut loose her mama's reins
You know playin' blind man's bluff is a little baby's game
You pick up Little Dynamite
I'm gonna pick up Little Gun
And together we're gonna go out tonight and make that highway run
You don't have to call me lieutenant Rosie and I don't want to be your son
The only lover I'm ever gonna need's your soft sweet little girl's tongue and Rosie you're the one
Dynamite's in the belfry playin' with the bats
Little Gun's downtown in front of Woolworth's tryin' out his attitude on all the cats
Papa's on the corner waitin' for the bus
Mama she's home in the window waitin' up for us
She'll be there in that chair when they wrestle her upstairs `cause you know we ain't gonna come
I ain't here for business, I'm only here for fun
Rosalita jump a little lighter,
senorita come sit by my fire
I just want to be your lover ain't no liar,
Rosalita you're my stone desire
Jack the Rabbit and Weak Knees Willie
you know they're gonna be there
Ah sloppy Sue and Big Bones Billie
they'll be comin' up for air
We're gonna play some pool
skip some school act real cool
Stay out all night it's gonna feel alright
Rosie come out tonight,
Rosie come out tonight
Windows are for cheaters
chimneys for the poor
Closets are for hangers
winners use the door
Rosalita jump a little lighter,
senorita come sit by my fire
I just want to be your lover ain't no liar,
Rosalita you're my stone desire
Now I know your mama she don't like me
`cause I play in a rock and roll band
And I know your daddy he don't dig me
but he never did understand
Papa lowered the boom
He locked you in your room
I'm comin' to lend a hand
I'm comin' to liberate you confiscate you I want to be your man
Someday we'll look back on this
and it will all seem funny
But now you're sad your mama's mad
And your papa says he knows that
I don't have any money
Tell him this is last chance to get
his daughter in a fine romance
Because a record company Rosie
just gave me a big advance
My tires were slashed and I almost crashed
But the Lord had mercy
My machine she's a dud out stuck in the mud somewhere in the swamps of Jersey
Hold on tight stay up all night `cause
Rosie I'm comin' on strong
By the time we meet the morning light
I will hold you in my arms
I know a pretty little place in Southern California down San Diego way
There's a little cafe where they play guitars all night and day
You can hear them in the back room strummin'
So hold tight baby `cause don't you know daddy's comin'
Rosalita jump a little lighter,
senorita come sit by my fire
I just want to be your lover ain't no liar,
Rosalita you're my stone desire
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ROSALITA (VIENI FUORI STANOTTE)
Lasciati andare Rosie, è arrivato il dottore a sciogliere le briglie che ti legano a tua madre
Sai che moscaceca è un gioco da bambini
Tu passerai a prendere Little Dynamite e io Little Gun
E insieme usciremo nella notte
e ci lanceremo sull'autostrada
Non ti devi sentire sottomessa Rosie,
nè provare verso di me sentimenti materni
L'unica amante di cui avrò bisogno sarà la tua morbida, dolce lingua da bambina,
e Rosie, tu sei unica
Dynamite è sul campanile tesoro, agiocare con i pipistrelli
Little Gun è in centro davanti a Woolworth's a dimostrare il suo ascendente sugli altri ragazzi
Papà è all'angolo e aspetta l'autobus
Mamma è alla finestra e attende il nostro ritorno a casa
Sarà ancora seduta su quella sedia quando arriveranno perchè, e tu lo sai, noi non torneremo,
ma non sono affari nostri comunque piccola mia
Sono qui solo per divertirmi e Rosie, tu sei l'unica
Rosalita salta un pò più agilmente
Señorita vieni a sederti accanto al mio fuoco,
voglio essere solo il tuo amante, non sto raccontando storie, Rosalita, sei il mio desiderio più grande
Jack the rabbit e weak Knee Willie,
ci saranno anche loro sai?
Ah, Sloppy Sue e Big Bones Billy
verranno a prendere una boccata d'aria
Compreremo i biglietti di qualche lotteria,
salteremo la scuola faremo tutto alla grande
Fuori tutta la notte, ci farà sentire davvero bene
Perciò Rosie vieni fuori stanotte,
piccola mia, vieni fuori
Le finestre sono per chi si muove di nascosto, i comignoli per i poveri
I gabinetti per gli impiccati,
ma i vincenti usano le porte
Rosalita salta un pò più agilmente
Señorita vieni a sederti accanto al mio fuoco,
voglio essere solo il tuo amante, non sto raccontando storie, Rosalita, sei il mio desiderio più grande
So che a tua madre non piaccio
perchè suono in una rock'n'roll band
E so che tuo padre non mi sopporta,
ma lui non ha capito niente
Tuo padre si infuriava per il tuo comportamento,
ti rinchiudeva nella tua stanza
Vengo a darti una mano
Vengo a liberarti, confiscarti,
voglio essere il tuo uomo
Un giorno ripenseremo a tutto questo
e ci sembrerà triste,
tua madre non ne vuol sapere
E tuo padre dice che
non ho il becco di un quattrino
Ma ora tu digli che questa è l'ultima possibilità di far vivere a sua figlia una bella storia d'amore
Perchè una compagnia discografica, Rosie,
mi ha appena dato un grosso anticipo
E le mie gomme erano state tagliate e ho quasi sbattuto, ma il Signore ha avuto pietà,
E la mia auto ora non vale più niente, è rimasta bloccata nel fango da qualche parte nei pantani del Jersey
Beh, tieni duro, rimarremo svegli tutta la notte perchè Rosie, lo voglio con tutte le mie forze
Quando incontreremo le luci dell'alba
tu sarai stretta tra le mie braccia
Conosco un posticino che fa per noi nella California del Sud sulla strada per San Diego
C'è un piccolo locale dove suonano
la chitarra giorno e notte
puoi sentirli strimpellare dal retro
Perciò tieni duro piccola, perchè papà sta arrivando
Ah, cantate tutti
Rosalita salta un pò più agilmente
Señorita vieni a sederti accanto al mio fuoco,
voglio essere solo il tuo amante, non sto raccontando storie, Rosalita, sei il mio desiderio più grande
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ecfandom · 2 years ago
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okay SHORT sneaky peaky because you all have been insanely patient with my crazy long waits between updates.
Gentle reminder, you can help me find more moments to write, here: https://ko-fi.com/ecfandom
Washington D.C. | 2007
Fans. Lex hated fans more than the deafening silence of being stuck awake with her thoughts. More than this time of year that always managed to turn her into something she wasn’t--depressed, angry, victimized. Lexa loved her life. She loved her sister and her job, her adopted hometown, her friends from all walks of life. She loved those hot summer mornings when the lawn mowers grumbled in the distance, and the sky was blue for as far as the eye could see. She even loved the unrelenting winters, with the sounds of snowball fights ricocheting around the neighborhood and the gusts of air so cold it stole your breath away. Life had been hard, at times, but it was a good life. It was a life made up of good memories and even better people, and Lexa was proud of it. She had worked hard for this life. Year and years of intention all focused on finding the positives. And yet, here was this fan. This dusty, old, ugly ass fucking hotel fan with the power to tear her carefully constructed, wonderful life to shreds.
Lexa tore her eyes away from the fan and grabbed her phone from the bedside table. It was two in the morning, but her hotel room that sat practically atop the National Mall, which was washed in fluorescent light all night long from the White House’s various security measures. During her first stay in the capital nearly ten year ago, the Army rep who had driven her to her hotel had talked about the hotel’s proximity to the White House as if it were the dream of all dreams. During her first night, she’d seriously contemplated texting the number he had given her to reach him to ask what shit hole he must have been staying in to think this was grand, and if he might perhaps like to switch.
She sighed and unlocked her phone, bringing up her text messages. She found her sister’s name and fired a message off.
Lexa: There’s a fan in my room.
Being the middle of the night on a weekday, Lexa expected the text to go unanswered. When her phone dinged almost instantly, she grabbed for it like a child grasping out for their parents’ hand after being momentarily lost in the grocery store.
Anya: Can you turn it off so it’s not spinning? That might help.
Lexa: Why are you up?
Anya: Can’t sleep. Did you try turning it off?
Lexa: Tried when I first got in. Can’t figure it out. Just kept turning the light on and off or making the stupid thing spin faster.
Anya: Try not to look at it. Just close your eyes. It’ll be morning soon.
Lexa: Okay. Thanks. Love you
Anya: Love you too. Go to sleep, I’ll see you soon. 3 sleeps.
Lexa closed her eyes and flung the phone aside, not caring where it landed. In five hours it would be 7 o’clock, her alarm would go off, and a car would be waiting to parade her around like a zoo animal.
“Just don’t look at it,” she murmured.  “Just don’t,” she reasoned with herself, as if it were that easy. She blew out a breath and pinched her eyes shut, trying to keep out the images of the spinning blades and the growing roar of a phantom helicopter.
Lexa rolled over and pressed her face to the cool fabric of the pillow, but the fan was there behind her lids. The blades spun, the room grew hot and dry like the desert, and with a frustrated whimper, she was tossed back into memories like an unwilling time-traveller.
Kandahar, Afghanistan | 2007
As she spun, Lexa giggled wildly, her long, wavy curls flying behind her like a flag the faster her father spun the playground roundabout. Her cheeks ached from smiling so hard, her throat itchy from the unbridled squeals of delight. She could feel Anya’s body pressed tightly to hers from the strength of the centrifugal force, could feel the frown her older sister was so desperate to have on at all times slipping from her face as a chuckle bubbled up from her chest. Even teenage angst couldn’t keep the delight of this spontaneous summer outing from making its mark on the Woods family.
Her father’s face flashed round and round at imperfect intervals, a smile always there. Her mother’s voice, worried and fond, floated over the rush of the wind in Lexa’s ears, warning her husband to slow down a little, that Anya’s face was turning green.
“Faster!” Lexa squealed in response, desperate for this fun to never end. “Faster Daddy!”
But as she spun, his face began to change. The flash of his pale skin grew darker and course, like weathered leather left too long in the sun. A beard appeared on his face and his voice changed to something low and gruff.
Lexa frowned and strained to understand. “Daddy?”
“Lexa.”
“Daddy, why--”
She felt her hands losing their grip on the bars of the roundabout as it spun faster, and the sound of the wind it generated deafened her. She could no longer hear her mother’s voice, and her side was cold where Anya was no longer pressed to it. Above it all, her father’s voice--only it wasn’t-- grew louder as she began to slip. She panicked, struggling to hold on.
“Daddy!”
“Lexa--”
“Daddy, don’t!”
“Lexa. Lexa, you’re okay. I’m right here.”
Lexa’s vision blurred as hot tears filled her eyes. The world was spinning too fast now. It wasn’t fun anymore. She had two fingers, then one, left on the bar. It hurt. It hurt to hold on, her whole body ached with the effort of it.
“Daddy,” she whimpered, just a fingertip on the bar now, “please don’t go.”
“It’s alright, Lexa. I’m right here.”
For a moment, she saw her father’s face the way it’d always been--his marvelous green eyes, his dark, brown hair so silky it shone in the sun. He smiled at her, and she wished she could reach out and poke at his dimples the way she always did. She clung to the sight of his face as best she could, but as her fingers slipped, so too did his familiar face. The pain of holding on grew until every inch of her body, every miniscule movement was excruciating, intolerable, and she knew she had to let go.
“I’m sorry, Daddy,” she whispered. “I love you so much.”
“It’s okay, Lexa. Everything’s going to be okay,” he assured her, letting her know that it was time to let go. “I’m right here, kiddo.”  
She let go, her body flung into nothingness until she landed hard, her world slowing to a standstill. She lay there, eyes clenched against the grit blown in gusts over her face. The ground beneath her fingers was cold, and fine. Different than what she’d been expecting. She curled her fingers an inch. Was that sand? She frowned, but it sent a shot of searing pain through her head and she groaned.
“It’s okay. I got you.”
That voice again. Not her father’s, but so familiar. So very familiar. She forced one eye open, confused when she saw nothing. Was she asleep? Why was it so dark? What was happening? She forced the other open, just a crack. Something in the darkness moved, fast, slashing against her vision. She strained to see. Stars. There were stars. Not asleep then, just night. That movement again...she squinted against whatever ran warm and thick into her eyes in a continuous stream. Her vision adjusted as she focused on the repetitive slashing, the gusts of wind sending sand and more of the warm, thick something across her face and into her eyes.  Blades. Helicopter blades? She went to push up onto her elbows, and cried out, pain exploding through her shoulder and stomach.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, stay still. You’re alright.”
Lexa turned towards that voice, finding the back of a large man kneeling beside her as he rummaged through something on the ground.
She opened her mouth to speak, but it was sticky and full. Full of metal? She swirled her tongue around. No, blood. Must be blood. She spit, flinching when the gust of wind from the chopper above her blew it back in her face. “Hey,” she tried, but her voice was so weak, so hoarse and nearly toneless. She cleared her throat, agonizing at the pain that rolled through her. “Hey,” she said again, just as hoarse, but this time her voice cracked and the sound of it caught the man’s attention.
He turned, and for the briefest of seconds, she saw her father’s green eyes. Just as quickly, they were gone, and a warm, but concerned blue filled their spots. He leaned over her and smiled.
“Hey, Stump. Welcome back.”
She stared at him, confused and disoriented. “Roan?”
His smile grew, and he nodded, pleased that she could recognize him. “Yeah, yeah, it’s me. We’re gonna get you out of here, okay?”
“What happened?”
“I don’t know, Kid, but whatever it was, it’s over now. I’m gonna get you out of here and you’re never coming back, you hear me? You did good. I just need you to hang on now, can you do that for me?”
She closed her eyes, searching her mind for her father, for the sound of her mother’s voice, for Anya’s warm weight pressed against her side. None of it came. Just pain. So much pain, everywhere.
“Hurts,” she whispered, flinching as something fluttered against her stomach and stung.
“I know, I’m sorry. Almost done.” He tore open a packet of a hemostatic agent and poured the powder over the gunshot wound in her shoulder. “Medics are helping out our guys, and as soon as they’re done they’ll be right here, okay?”
“M’fine,” she mumbled, cold and tired. It was all too much--the sound of the wind, the frigid night air, the pain. She just wanted to sleep. “Just gonna close my eyes for a second,” she mumbled, already beginning to doze off.
“No, no sleeping, Stump. Come on now, Kid. Stay with me.”
“Just one minute.”
“Nope, no deal,  Stump. No deal. You hang on for me, and I’ll get you out of here. I’m gonna get you out, okay? I’m gonna get you out.” She was too tired to hear the way his voice cracked, or the way he swiped a massive paw across his face, swatting at tears. “You should’ve never been here,” he whispered. “You don’t belong here.”
She heard the shuffling of sand around her, felt her body roughly pushed onto its side as something probed at the bare skin of her back. New voices entered the mix above the roar of the bird. Was that thing going to continue hovering there kicking shit into everyone’s eyes, or was it going to hurry up and land?
“Don’t you dare give up on me, Stump!” That familiar voice again, so soft now, like a dream. “I know you don’t want to go home, Stump, so I’m gonna send you to my uncle. I already talked to him and he’s waiting for you, okay? He does cars. You like cars, right? You and your sister, you can both go. You’ll like Maine,” he said, stumbling over his words, desperate to keep her listening, keep her conscious.  “I just need you to stay awake, alright? That’s the deal, Stump,” he begged. “Just stay awake!”  
Lexa’s eyes fluttered. They were so heavy. She would just close them for a moment. Just a second or two. Just to rest.
Washington D.C. | 2017
Lexa woke with a start, her heart beating up in her throat and deep in her ears, her head pounding with each rush of blood pumped violently through her body. The room was spinning as her eyes adjusted to the strangely-lit room. As she focussed and stayed her breathing, the room slowed and she reoriented herself. The hotel room. Washington D.C. Summer, 2017.
Her eyes found the spinning fan above her, it’s rhythmic blades immediately hypnotizing. The helicopter blades of her dream, a memory rather, flashed before her eyes, then the blades of the fan again as she tried to shut it out. She clenched her eyes shut, forcing herself to picture something, anything, else.
“Butterflies,” she said to herself. “Butterflies with clown noses. And googly eyes. Butterflies with clown noses and googly eyes and yellow shoes.” She said it to herself, out loud like a mantra, her brain automatically painting the picture in her mind as her ears heard the words. “Cows in boxers. Boxers with read hearts. Red hearts and--” Phillips’ face, red with blood, his eyes wide and unseeing.
She slammed her fists against the bed and growled at the intrusion. “Cows in boxers!” She yelled, not considering the other hotel guests. “Cows in boxers and butterflies with clown noses!”  She saw them again and laughed quietly at herself, groaning at the ridiculousness of her situation. One of these years, she’d get up the courage to say no to this freak show parade and finally leave this all behind in her past where it belonged.
She swung her legs over the side of the bed, and pressed her bare feet to the cold, laminate wood floor, taking a moment to reinforce what was real. Satisfied, she grabbed her phone and slowly made her way to the shower, her battered body stiff and sore as it always was in the morning. “I’m getting old,” she thought, wryly. Her ankle cracked and popped with each step as she shuffled across the bathroom tile and turned on the shower water, kicking the door closed behind her. Three more nights, “sleeps,” as she and her sister had taken to reassuring each other in their youth during periods apart. Three more sleeps and she could go home, get back to her friends, maybe pull her bike out of storage like she’d been meaning to do and get it running again.
She jumped when her phone unexpectedly dinged on the from the counter. There weren’t many people she knew awake at five in the morning who would be texting her on her week off. She stared at the preview of the text message from the unfamiliar number on her screen. Curiously, she unlocked it and slid the message open.
Hi Lexa. I wasn’t sure if you put my name in your phone yet...it’s Clarke Griffin. I’m sorry to text so early, I hope it doesn’t wake you. I’m just getting off a shift, and I was thinking about you. I just wanted to apologize for the way I acted at the parade. I was caught off guard, and I was weird about things. I just want you to know that, despite my stunted social skills, I do want to work on that friend thing and Ellie would love to see you when you get back if you’re up for it. I hope you’re well. We’ll see you soon.
Lexa stared at the screen and read the message over again, then a third time. She couldn’t have kept the smile from her face even if she’d wanted to. We’ll see you soon, she read again, chewing at her bottom lip in barely restrained glee. Someone was thinking about her, waiting for her. It took her completely by surprise that something so simple could make her so impossibly, wonderfully homesick for the first time in a very long time.
***
Clarke stared at her phone and blew out a breath. No going back now. The text was out there, flying through the digital airways straight towards what was sure to be impending doom and embarrassment.
“You okay, there? You look like you just sent a sext to your mom,” said Nylah, toweling off as she walked into the locker room from the showers.
Clarke laughed. “Nothing that terrible.”
“You sure?”
“Actually...not entirely,” Clarke said, laughing again. “I don’t know what I’m doing with my life.”
“Do any of us?” Nyla sat down next to Clarke on the bench in front of the lockers, her skin still steaming from the shower, the smell of Lavender wafting off her. She was a sight to see, wrapped up in the tiny towel that covered the important bits and no more. With all that smooth, golden skin on display, Clarke couldn’t help but recall the way it had felt under her fingertips during their little twenty minute foray in the hallway of the bar next door. A little bit of kissing and a brief stint at second base had been the extent of what her booze enabled, touch starved body had allowed before she’d come to her sense. And yet, as lovely as Nylah had been and was, Clarke found herself shocked to find that it wasn’t Nylah’s slight, feminine curves that she missed, or the satin feel of her skin. She didn’t usually have a type, but as she sat there, taking in the smell of Nylah’s floral soap, the heat radiating off her body from the shower, and all of that beautiful skin on display, it was the handsome sort of ruggedness of a certain firefighter she found herself wanting.
Her thoughts wandered back to the text she’d just sent, and she blushed, suddenly wanting to be alone again to bask in her impulsive stupidity.
“Whatever it is, you’ll figure it out,” Nylah said, squeezing Clarke’s leg above the knee, knowing that she’d gotten all that she was going to get out of Clarke during this particular conversation. Clarke was a painfully private person, and any glance into her personal life was considered a great feat by the nurses that worked under her. Only their boss for the past eight months, they had all come to quickly respect her quiet, sure leadership, and kind smile. At twenty-eight, she was the youngest NP at the hospital, but she had a nurturing quality about her lacking in even the most seasoned veterans. Nylah patted her thigh. “You always do.”
Clarke smiled at her, but her thoughts were already elsewhere. “Thanks,” she sighed, as Nylah got up and disappeared behind another row of lockers.
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