Congrats on reaching your follower milestone soon, dear! It was tough choosing a prompt because there are some really nice ones on the list—but I'll go with #2 aspectabund for Julie and Luke. I'd love to be less predictable and choose another 'verse than "gimme a chance" but I am weak. (Unless you’re really not feeling it, then I'd love to see a oneshot of your liking. No pressure. ♥️)
thank you!! and thank you for this prompt and pairing because I had actually imagined this exact scene weeks ago but I knew I wasn't going to be able to make it work in the full fic, so now I get to just write it as a deleted scene for you! in the timeline of the gimme a chance AU, this is set after the last deleted scene but before the scene with Alex and Reggie in chapter 6. just a little moment of Luke and Julie still not really knowing what they are but recklessly forging ahead anyway❤️ (with some Flynn backstory thrown in for good measure!)
aspectabund - letting emotions show easily through the face or eyes (Rated M for consistency, language, and a fairly suggestive setting)
Luke could study Julie in any light and find her beautiful, but there was something about seeing her under the dimmed interior lighting of the bar bathroom that felt particularly special. Maybe it was the way she seemed to glow underneath the muted lights that surrounded the bathroom mirror. Maybe it was because it was the first place he had ever experienced a softer, more vulnerable moment with her. Maybe it was because her presence alone somehow managed to turn even the grungiest of atmospheres into something beautiful and magical.
Whatever the reason, Luke had come to love the times he managed to steal away with her into the bathroom, losing himself in the feel of her lips pressed against his and her warm skin beneath his seeking fingers, every inch of him filled to the brim with thoughts of her and her alone. His port in the storm, the guiding light he couldn’t help but follow. Julie Molina, his brightest burning star.
Tonight was almost identical to every other night that Julie came by the bar. Another open mic, another flirty encounter exchanged via lyrics over shots of tequila, the background noise of whoever happened to be up on stage never quite loud enough to pull them out of their own little personal bubble. Dante was working, which meant Luke didn’t feel quite so bad about sneaking into the bathroom during his 10 to find Julie waiting, lips soft and inviting against his own, curves just as sweet as he remembered though always better than he imagined in his dreams at night. She had been driving him crazy all night in her cropped band tee and the jeans that he had a love/hate relationship with. Denim shouldn’t be allowed to look that good and then be that damned difficult to take off.
They had come together quickly, never willing to waste their stolen time together when there was a clock ticking and a bar still full of patrons just a door away. As much as it might feel like their own private world locked away in the bathroom, the real world still continued on outside without much cause for stopping. Tonight though, Luke couldn’t help but linger just a moment after he finally came down from the way Julie had left him gasping her name. Her head was still tucked into the crook of his neck, her hair even wilder than it had been when she first showed up. She was an absolute vision. A true goddess. It blew his mind she was even willing to give him the time of day, and he was constantly reminded of how lucky he was to have these small, stolen moments with her.
Julie seemed to notice his extra attention, pulling her flushed face clear of its hiding place and regarding him with a look that he couldn’t quite decipher. Soft, but still guarded. Their eyes met and he was so sure she would see it then. The love he was never able to fully hold back anymore. He studied her from head to toe, let his gaze caress every inch of her body with the kind of soft adoration that tended to make itself known the second she was within his vicinity these days.
“What’s going on in that head of yours?”
Her question wasn’t an accusation, but Luke felt the need to hide from her probing all the same. It wasn’t her fault he had fallen in love with her. He didn’t get to force that on her when she hadn’t ever asked for it or encouraged it in the first place. His mind blanked for a moment, scrambling to come up with a plausible answer to her question. He blurted the first thing he could think of, not sure where the thought had come from but willing to follow it to the end if it meant insight into Julie and steering clear of his own emotional turmoil.
“Where does Flynn think you are when you come here?”
Julie pulled back further, her legs closing slightly as if it would force him out of his position there. Luke didn’t retreat. Kept his hands alongside the dip of her waist, fingers softly stroking the bare skin underneath the shirt she still wore. He made sure his gaze was soft and steady. He wasn’t trying to chastise her, just maybe understand her a bit better. She had said Flynn didn’t know about the nights she came to the bar, but there was no way her best friend was missing the fact that three nights out of the week, Julie wasn’t home until well past midnight.
The answer seemed so ridiculous that Luke couldn’t help the laughter that bubbled up in his chest. Julie’s arms folded across her chest, nose scrunching into an adorable pout that he wanted to kiss away. She tilted her head to the side, hair falling over her shoulder, and he could practically read her mind through the look on her face. She was not amused. Luke backpedaled a bit, trying to explain exactly why her cover up seemed so flimsy to him.
“You tell Flynn you’re going to the library and then you come home looking like that and she just...believes you’ve been at the library?”
Luke pointed towards the mirror behind them, and Julie turned to follow his finger. She seemed startled to see her own appearance: hair wild and mussed, cheeks still flushed with leftover satisfaction, lips swollen from his kisses, eyes shining in a way he had only seen right after he played for her and right after he made her fall apart with his touch. She tucked a stray curl behind her ear, smoothing the smaller hairs along her temple as if that would control them. It didn’t do much, just like Luke knew it wouldn’t. Julie’s mouth twisted to the side in an annoyed grimace, and she turned away from the mirror to look up at him once more.
“Well, no. I tell her I’m going to the library when I leave the apartment, and then I usually do go there for a few hours before coming here. She’s always asleep by the time I get home. Flynn is a strict lights-out-at-10 type of girl, unless Carrie is the one keeping her up.”
A light shudder worked its way down Julie’s spine and Luke didn’t even try to think about the ways Carrie might be keeping Flynn awake past 10. Instead, he chose to focus on the minor revelations about the inner workings of exactly how Julie ended up at the bar every Tuesday and Thursday as well as most Saturdays.
“Huh. That weirdly makes sense for her. Yet another reason for her to hate me, I guess. Sleeping that early is for grannies and kids.”
He delivered the last line with a teasing smirk. He mostly meant it as a joke. It was easier to poke fun at Flynn if he was doing it in a way that also kind of poked fun at himself. Then it wasn’t so much him shit talking her as it was him admitting he wasn’t always his favorite person either. Julie must have seen something behind his eyes or on his face though because all of the sudden she softened, her hands raising from where they had been holding her up on the counter to cradle his face instead. The move was so intimate it made him want to purr. He settled for leaning into her hold, head turned to sneak a quick kiss against her palm. When he met her eyes, the guarded walls in her gaze had melted, leaving only a gentle kind of fondness in their wake.
“Flynn doesn’t hate you.”
Luke snorted. Julie’s tone was soft and sweet, but he knew a lie when he heard one, no matter how nicely it was said.
“Yes, she does.”
He could tell she was about to argue, so he lifted one finger to rest against her lips, effectively cutting off whatever she had been about to say as he continued talking.
“Flynn hasn’t liked me since we first met, and I asked her who the cute blonde musician was without knowing it was Carrie. Then I made the mistake of going off about how I knew Carrie was a musician because, well, I just knew, and she liked that even less. But I was upgraded to hate the night you came to our show with her, and I made a complete ass of myself. It’s fine, Julie. I know the score. You don’t have to pretend she likes me just cause we’re...ya know...”
He trailed off awkwardly, not quite willing to label them as casual when that had become his absolute least favorite word in the English language lately. The finger that had been held to her lips curled back into the palm of his hand so he could raise it to scratch at the back of his neck. The sight seemed to soften Julie even more, one of her hands falling from its spot against his cheek to rest against his bare chest, directly above his heart. There was a tenderness behind the action that was new for them, Julie’s eyes warm and gentle as she regarded him. He wasn’t sure he liked the way it made his heart stutter and constrict, wished he had the extra layer of his shirt between them for the first time ever, but she was still perched on top of it where he had laid it down as a barrier between her and the countertop.
The sound of his name sent another wave of longing through him. His eyes had to be practically overflowing with the depths of his feelings for her by now. She had to be able to see it.
“Flynn does not hate you. She just...doesn’t understand you.”
He couldn’t quite believe that they were in a bathroom at Ebbie’s, half-dressed and still just barely back on the Earthly plane, and somehow, they were discussing Flynn of all people. Luke generally did his best not to think about Flynn, especially lately when he was certain if she ever found out what he was up to there wouldn’t be a place in this world he would be able to hide from her. He tried to play it off again, make a joke that would lighten the atmosphere and get them off of the topic that he was constantly pretending didn’t hurt as much as it did.
“Julie, Flynn isn’t the one I’m worried about hating me. That ship has sailed, and she’s the captain of it. It’s okay. As long as I have you, I’m not gonna worry about something I can’t change.”
Okay, so that was maybe a bit sappier than he should have worded it, but the sentiment was true, all the same. It was getting harder and harder for him to hold back those pieces of himself lately. The parts that wanted desperately to belong to Julie and no one else.
The delicate hand that had been resting against his cheek trailed a gentle path up to tuck itself behind his head, dislodging his own hand from where it had still been nervously scratching. There was a new look in her eyes, one he hadn’t seen before, not even when he had tried to take her home and had been offered a small acquiescence in the form of dropping her off at her own home instead. This look was much softer, almost endless in its depth and Luke felt his breath catch as if she had stolen it away herself. This was a look that felt precious and vulnerable and like maybe she was finally going to strike the word casual from the definition of their relationship. He dipped his head, forehead falling to rest against her own so he could bathe in that look for as long as possible. Julie didn’t pull away. Instead, her grip tightened over his heart and around the back of his neck. An invitation for him to close that small gap between them once more and bring his lips to hers.
This kiss was different too. No edge to it at all, just a soft sigh of movement against one another. Neither one taking from the other, each simply offering a piece of themselves. A gentle understanding, a moment of true harmony together where they were on the same page. Luke had no fucking clue what, exactly, that page was, but he would stay there and reread it over and over again until he died if it meant holding Julie against him like this.
The timer on his phone chirped, the sound just barely audible through the material of his pants. It was a warning, their warning, that this stolen moment was fast coming to an end and if Luke didn’t get back out to the bar someone would come looking. Luke had never hated an interruption more in his entire life. For as long as he lived, he didn’t think he’d be able to reach his limit of basking in the presence of Julie Molina, but especially like this when it felt all the more precious and fleeting.
Slowly, she pulled herself back, their lips parting in a way that told him she would have continued to linger without the interruption. He almost gave into the temptation of ignoring the alarm so that he could dive back in, but then she pressed her fingers against her lips. The action, so simple and unassuming, nearly had his heart bursting. Because she wasn’t looking at him. Her eyes were still closed, her breathing fast and erratic. When she finally met his gaze a good ten seconds later, he was shocked to see a type of longing he had only recognized in himself reflected in the melted chocolate of her irises.
“You have to get back out there before Dante comes looking for you.”
Her voice was breathless and just this side of needy, like the thought of him leaving made her all the more desperate to keep him there. It was the strongest show of willpower that he didn’t haul her back into his arms for a repeat performance of when he first arrived in the bathroom. He nodded slowly, the sound of his metal chains and belt buckle clinking as he readjusted his jeans the only noise in the room. She slipped off the counter, offering his shirt back to him with a shy smile as she pulled her own jeans back into place. The cotton slipped over his head, and Luke silently cursed the way it obstructed his view of Julie, even if it was barely more than a couple seconds.
“See you back out there?”
He wasn’t sure why he asked. Julie always left before him, giving him a few extra moments to wash his hands and get his head back into work mode before he had to slip behind the bar once more. This time though, she wasn’t rushing to leave. Instead, she bit her lip, forehead wrinkling slightly before she gave a soft shake of her head. The walls that had disappeared in the last few minutes were firmly back in place when she met his gaze.
“I have to get some work done on a project for school. I cut my library time short tonight to get here earlier.”
It wasn’t really a rejection, but it sure as hell felt like one. Luke tried not to let it show on his face, but he wasn’t sure he managed to pull it off. He felt his own fingers at the back of his neck again and wondered when they had gotten there.
“Yeah, yeah, it’s cool. I get it.”
He shrugged a bit, tried to get some bounce back in his step as he moved towards the door.
He turned at the sound of Julie’s voice, just barely managing not to lose it when her eyes flashed momentarily with that same fleeting look of vulnerable longing.
“Next open mic is Thursday, right?”
She was trying to get them back on script. Trying to get back to that place that felt more familiar, less intense. Luke couldn’t fault her for her. He was the one that kept trying to push them outside of the confines she had created. He sighed softly, stepping close so he could press a quick kiss against her forehead.
“Next open mic is Thursday. I’ll be here.”
Her lips curved just a bit, her smile small but no less brilliant.
“See you then, Rockstar.”
He left then. Had to force his feet to move before he fell to his knees and begged her for more. More time, more stolen moments, more commitment, more of everything that he so desperately wanted from her and no one else. Luke threw himself into filling orders behind the bar, so busy he didn’t see Julie make her way out. If Dante noticed the storm cloud that hovered above his head for the rest of the night, he didn’t mention it.
He promised himself that when he saw her again on Thursday, he would let it go. Loving her didn’t give him the right to demand more. In fact, if he really loved her, he would find a way to be content with what she offered. Because if there was one thing he knew for sure, it was that he wasn’t ready to give her up just yet. And he didn’t think she was ready to give him up yet, either. So, he would stay, and he would accept what he was given, because every new moment meant another memory for him to carry with him when this whole thing ended. And somehow, that would have to be enough.
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✨AO3 Tag Game✨
tagged by: @letterfromvienna ! THANK YOU MY FRIENDDDD! 💞
1. How many works do you have on AO3?
I’ve got 6 on my current AO3 username (Pastafossa) and 10 on my hiatused username HarbingerOfWhimsy (didn’t want anyone giving me grief for reader fic 😂). So 16 total.
2. What’s your total AO3 word count?
All totaled between both: 466,387 holy shit ok, and 80% of that is The Red Thread, which has been mostly been done in the past year. I’m on a ROLLLLL. 💪
3. How many fandoms have you written for and what are they?
Between the two usernames I have on AO3, I’ve hit Daredevil, Falcon and the Winter Soldier, The Mandalorian, Dragon Age, and Mass Effect!
Before that, I dabbled in fanfic for Supernatural, Mutant X, Moonlight, TMNT, Doctor Who, Haven, and iirc I had a Lizzie McGuire fic floating around when I first started. Most of those are looooong gone, though.
4. What are your top 5 fics by kudos?
1. A Warm Blanket, my Mass Effect, F!Shepard/Garrus Vakarian one-shot fic, remains my most popular fic to date. ❤️
2. The Red Thread, my epically long, years-spanning Matt Murdock x Reader saga! 🥰
3. Ya’ll gonna laugh but I got stuck with a pregnancy prompt in a Dragon Age, Cullen x Inquisitor fic challenge despite hating the topic and I couldn’t get out of it because I was running the fucking challenge, so I forced myself write it, hated it the whole time, but folks enjoyed it. So that’s the story of This Pregnancy Keeps Dragon On. No pregnancy fic ever again please. 😂
4. Carl Hates You Jim, my Dragon Age fic on what the guards always stationed outside the office door thought of the Inquisitor banging Commander Cullen in the noisy sex scene in game!
5. “You Wanna Try That Again?”, my Din Djarin x Reader smutty af entry into the fandom! Delicious, delicious smut, this is the fucking waaaaaay. 🔥
5. Do you respond to comments, why or why not?
I try to respond to every comment if I can, though things get busy sometimes. But for me writing has always been a social activity. If I was just writing for me, I’d leave it in my docs. Fic is something I want to share, it’s something I write partially so I can make people feel things and invoke emotion. Responding to comments is also one of the things I love about an ongoing fic. It feels like an adventure we’re all taking together! I love that so, so much. Also I’m an extrovert, I need the energy of social contact, gimme
Got a bit long, so rest behind the cut!
6. What’s the fic you’ve written with the angstiest ending?
THERE ISN’T ONE, WE ALWAYS GET A FUCKING HAPPY ENDING except those angsty ask fics I’m working on you know who you are
Me on every fic so far:
7. Do you write crossovers? If so, what’s the craziest one you’ve ever written?
Every now and then! My Daredevil crossover with Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Hubris, is my craziest so far. Just two himbos... and their handlers. Bless.
8. Have you ever received hate on a fic?
I’ve gotten one or two shitty comments over the years, or been told by crusty Old Writers Shouting At Clouds and hipsters in Fanfic groups that ReAdEr FiC iS sO cRiNgE, but I’m long past the point where I care.🤣
9. Do you write smut? If so, what kind?
I definitely write smut! As for what kind, idk, just whatever I feel like fits the characters. I’ve written smut with D/S or switching dynamics, clothes ripping, edging, super emotional, very feral, touch kinks, oral kinks, biting kinks, mutual masturbation, Armor Stays On, little bit of bondage. I even did a parody fic for a Bad Smut contest, that was wild. The only thing I can think of that’s truly consistent across all my smut is that there will be mentions of emotions/feelings, and there will be a lot of sensory descriptions cause I find that the BEST. 🥵
10. Have you ever had a fic stolen?
I unfortunately have! A reader alerted me a few months back to someone who’d taken Red Thread and made a few little changes and posted it to Wattpad. First time I’ve ever had it happen, so that was kinda wild.
11. Have you ever co-written a fic before?
I haven’t, although I’d be open to it eventually if I had time for it!
12. What’s your all-time favorite ship?
*whispers* There’s no Shepard without Vakarian. Shepard x Garrus is a thing of beauty.
13. What are your thoughts about writing dialogue in another language in a fic?
I’ve toyed with it a little in Red Thread, where I have Ciro speaking a little Italian, though not much. I think it can be done, and I’ve seen some really creative ways it’s been done, but as of yet I wouldn’t feel confident doing it with any serious regularity.
13. What was the first fandom you wrote for?
It was either Lizzie McGuire or Mutant X, and they were both terrible. 🤪 But at least they’re proof of how far I’ve come!
14. What’s your favorite fic you’ve written?
Definitely The Red Thread. It’s a huge behemoth of a fic, but it’s also my love song, essentially, to my favorite fictional work ever, and to my favorite characters. <3 It also makes me proud to look at, because I’ve put everything I’ve ever learned about writing into it. Because I started it a few years ago, you can literally track the little changes I made as I grew more comfortable and honed in on my own style. I’m really, really in love with that fic! ☺️
no pressure tags: @ithinkhesgaybutwesavedmufasa @shurisneakers @ezrasbirdie @krissology @buckysbiota
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