#Has this been done for hundreds of pairings before
Demelonzostrap + Orestes, translated by Anne Carson
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Stark Spangled Rebirth
Chapter 5: Rescue And Requisition
Summary: Steve, aided by Peggy and the Stark siblings, heads to the HYDRA base on a rescue mission, but little does he know Katie has a mission of her own.
Warnings: Bad Language words.
Pairing: Steve Rogers x OFC Katie Stark
Word Count: 8.2k
A/N: This series is my contribution of sorts to the CATF 10 Year Anniversary Challenge. As always, some creative liberties taken. And for anyone who is interested, Katie uses the term Midnight Requisition which is a military term- “To steal, scrounge. To acquire supplies for a unit from another without their approval or knowledge, usually after business hours/dark.”
This is the LAST catch up post, Chapter 6 onwards is NEW CONTENT!!! And continues the story, I’m so PLEASED finally to be able to share it!
Disclaimer: This is a pure work of fiction and classified as 18+. Please respect this and do not read if you are underage. I do not own any characters in this series bar Katie Stark and the other OCs. By reading beyond this point you understand and accept the terms of this disclaimer.
SSR Masterlist // Main Masterlist
As soon as Howard Stark saw Steve, the Inventor’s face split into a huge grin and he shook his hand with vigour. Katie then explained that they needed his help to go rogue and bust the men out from behind enemy lines, causing her brother’s face to split into a huge grin and nod. The three agents quickly bustled around Howard’s tent, Peggy and Katie talking in low, hushed voices as they hurriedly grabbed various pieces of equipment before the four of them quietly and efficiently left the base, Howard slipping the guards on the perimeter gate a decent wad of cash for their silence.
It took them a little over an hour and was just starting to go dark when they reached the private airfield where Howard had stationed his plane. The waning light suited them, as Katie pointed out, it would be easier for them to operate under the cover of darkness, less chance of being detected. More money exchanged hands, something Steve had always hated, the fact that money seemed to be able to buy you anything you needed no matter how morally corrupt, but at that moment he couldn’t have given less of a shit if he tried. Before long they were in the air, Howard informing them that the trip of just over a hundred and fifty miles would take them roughly an hour and a half, which was far less than the four hours or so he anticipated it would have taken Steve in the jeep.
“You’d have run out of gas after about fifty clicks.” He had teased the soldier who had inwardly groaned as Howard pointed out the flaws in his plan. But then again Steve hadn’t been thinking all that much had he? He never did when it came to the people he cared about. He was a jump first, think later kind of guy, and the serum hadn’t done anything to change that part of his personality.
“So we’re here…” Peggy spoke, leaning forward slightly in her seat opposite Steve, pointing to the map in her hands as he checked the straps on his chute. “The HYDRA camp is in Kreischberg, tucked between these two mountain ranges.” She moved her finger a little right and from the distance it travelled and the scale on the map, Steve estimated they were no more than five miles out.
“Looks like a factory of some kind.” Katie mused, glancing at the map where she sat next to Peggy, flicking her braid back over her shoulder.
“We should be able to drop you right on the doorstep.” Howard called from the front of the aircraft, which was now shaking slightly with a mild bout of turbulence.
“Just get me as close as you can.” Steve called, before he looked back at Katie and Peggy, his voice dropping slightly. “You know you three are gonna be in a lot of trouble at the lab.”
“What else is new?” Katie shrugged, and Steve heard Howard chuckle.
“I’m surprised Old Chester ain’t sent you packing yet, Kiddo.”
“Well like you’re his best mechanical engineer, I’m his best front line agent.” She shrugged, “no offence, Peg.”
“None taken.” Peggy said somewhat sardonically, before she snorted. “We all know I’m the brains behind this operation.”
“Don’t hear me arguing.” Katie shrugged before she looked at Steve. “And you’re gonna be in just as much trouble.”
“Well, where I’m goin’, if anybody yells at me I can just shoot ‘em.” Steve replied, grinning a little. His spirits had been lifted exponentially now he was actually about to do something worthwhile, despite the fact he knew he was going to literally leap feet first into danger.
“They will undoubtedly shoot back.” Peggy fixed him with a look.
“Well,” Steve looked round at his stage prop shield that he had brought with him, which was leaning against the wall of the aircraft, “let’s hope it’s good for somethin’.” His knuckles rapped on the metal as Katie gave a little shake of her head and a side smirk, bending over to check the laces on her boots.
“Agent Carter, if we’re not in too much of a hurry I thought we could stop off in Lucerne for a late night fondue.” Howard called over his shoulder from the front of the plane and there was a moment’s silence as Peggy shifted a little awkwardly on the seat.
“Jesus, Howie, really? You’re doing this now?” Katie groaned as her brother chuckled.
“Hey, you asked me to come on this kamikaze mission.” He shot back. “I was just trying to lighten the mood a little.”
As the two siblings began to bicker Steve glanced at Peggy as he tugged on his gloves and the Agent rolled her eyes slightly. “Stark is the best civilian pilot I’ve ever seen. He’s mad enough to brave this airspace, we’re lucky to have him.”
“So are you two…do you…” Steve waved his arm between Peggy and Howard “…fondue?”
Peggy looked at him, completely ignoring his question and Steve supposed he couldn’t blame her, it was a personal question after all. His eyes then flicked to Katie who had stood up and was making her way towards the cockpit, swaying a little with the motion of the aircraft. With a swift flick of her hand she slapped Howard round the back of the head.
“Ouch, Kiddo! Do you want me to crash this thing or what?”
“Stop being a schmuck.” She shot at him before Peggy extended her arm towards Steve, a device held in her hand.
“This is your transponder. Activate it when you’re ready and the signal will lead us straight to you.”
Steve took it from her. “Are you sure this thing works?” he looked at it a little sceptically, turning it over in his hand, his attention flicking to the cockpit.
“It’s been tested more than you, pal.” Howard shot over his shoulder and Steve looked at him before his eyes flicked to Kate who was looking out of the cockpit window straight ahead of them. She raised her arm and pointed at something, her eyes narrowing in concentration.
“Howie…” she began to speak but before she could finish her sentence the plane lurched violently sideways and Steve gripped onto the side as the sky was suddenly filled with flashes and bangs from anti-aircraft shells which exploded all around them. Realising that it was now far too dangerous for them to take him any further, Steve shot to his feet and made his way to the door, grabbing his shield as he went.
“Get back here! We’re taking you all the way in!” Peggy’s voice rose but for the first time since he’d known her, Steve completely ignored the agent, exhaling loudly before he dropped and shuffled to the edge of the plan.
“As soon as I’m free, you turn this thing around and get the hell outta here!” he turned and looked up at Katie and Peggy.
“You can’t give us orders!” Katie scoffed, her hands on her hips.
“The hell I can’t!” Steve looked up at her, unable to stop the cheeky little smirk playing on his face, “I’m a Captain!” and with that he pulled his goggles down and flung himself out into the starry sky. The noise was deafening as he plummeted through the air, the sheer force of falling whipped his body with such ferocity he was sure his hair was going to fly clean off his head. With a sharp tug of the rip cord he deployed his chute and with a sharp jolt he was pulled upwards slightly before he began to fall at a much more civilized pace.
After what seemed like an age, Steve’s sharp eyes spotted the ground rising towards him and he landed heavily in a thud. With an easy, fluid motion he yanked his parachute down to the ground and then untangled himself from the harness. Once he was free, he glanced around and realised he’d landed on the outskirts of a thick, wooded area, the earthy smells of pine, dirt and damp filled his nostrils. He took a moment to get his bearings, pulling out the compass he had in his pants. He knew that from the direction the aircraft had been travelling in he needed to head due north. As the needle settled on the point, he realised he was currently facing East so he spun to his left and was just about to set off at a run when he heard something flying in heavily from above.
He spun round, just in time to see another chute sailing towards him and in a flash he whipped out his pistol as whoever it was landed with a thud some hundred yards or so behind him..
“At ease, Soldier,” a familiar voice, soft and quiet in the cover of night, spoke and Steve felt a cold feeling of utter shock and horror fill his chest.
“What the hell are you doing here?” He hissed as he strode towards Katie who was now untangling herself from her harness.
“Same thing as you.” She replied flippantly as she took a look around and began to take a few steps away from him.
“Are you insane?” He glared at her, his hand wrapping around her arm to stop her. He could have sworn she felt the tremble in his finger tips if it weren't evident in his voice.
“Not last time I checked, no.” She wrenched free of his uncharacteristically brash grip and spun to face him, her eyes blazing at him in the dim moonlight.
“You could get yourself killed!” He pressed, his voice carrying a little more than he'd liked. He failed to keep the element of concern out of it.
“Keep your voice down!”
“Damned it Katie, this wasn’t part of the plan!”
“No, it wasn’t part of YOUR plan.” She shot back. “It was, however, always part of mine and Peg’s.”
“Peggy knows about this?”
“Of course she does.”
“No way,” Katie snorted. “I'd guess Peggy is currently getting the full force of one of his verbal bashings.” At that she pulled out her compass. “We need to go North.”
“I know.” Steve said a little sullenly, a growl in his chest.
“So let’s move. Sooner we can fulfil our missions, the better.”
The plural of the word didn’t pass him by and through the downright anger and frustration, and dare he say it, fear he was feeling at the current situation, his logical side started to kick in and he knew there was nothing he could do about any of this now, bar keep her safe. So with a sigh, he shook his head and turned to follow her as she’d begun to walk away, his brain registering her last words.
“Missions?” he asked, stressing the word. “We have more than one?”
“One each.” Katie shot over her shoulder. “You’re on a rescue mission. Mine’s more of a midnight requisition.”
“Midnight requisition? For what?”
“Intel, tech, anything we can get our hands on.” She picked up her pace, scrambling up a slight incline. “I told you in the plane, I’m a damned good field agent and this isn’t my first raid. We’ve done a few over the past couple of months. But they’ve all been bust, well almost all anyway.”
“Bust?” Steve frowned “How?”
“They were smaller Nazi controlled labs.” She continued to speak as she weaved through the forest “The more we raided and the more intel we gathered, the more it became apparent we were right, Schmidt is marching to his own tune.” She paused and looked around. “The fight at Azzano wasn’t his first move, he advanced a load of troops into Norway a month or so ago of his own accord. Then, at Azzano, he opened fire on both Allied and Nazi troops alike. My guess is, and Peggy agrees, that this base will likely be under his control alone. And probably house more information about where his other ones are hidden.”
“This won’t be the only one.” Katie shrugged as she looked at her compass and turned right. “And without that information, Steve, we’re fighting blind. We can’t defeat HYDRA if we don’t know where they are.”
“You should have told me.” He replied, his tone still a little sullen. He didn’t like being in the dark.
“What, so you could blow the plan in front of my brother?” She scoffed. “He’d have refused to take us had he known what I was planning, he was bad enough when I had a full troop behind me.”
“You led a troop?”
“Don’t sound so surprised.” She chuckled. “You know I’m actually an ‘honorary’ Lieutenant, thanks to Colonel Phillips. Didn’t go down well at first, most of the men weren’t keen on taking orders from a woman.”
“So that’s what you meant when you called them all jerks earlier by the stage.” Despite himself Steve felt a smile curl across his face.
“Yup. They soon fell in line when a few of them ended up with my fist in their mouth. Not to mention a good number also found themselves on the end of a Phillips’ Special.”
“A Phillips Special?”
“Yeah, the term coined for when they’re stripped naked and made to run ten miles round camp by the Colonel.” She shrugged. “For all his bluster, Chester’s actually been really supportive of both me and Peggy. That, and he doesn’t like subordination in any form.”
“You don’t say.” Steve muttered as Katie continued, her foot-falls light and quiet as she weaved her way through the thicket of the trees.
They continued for about an hour, alternating their pace between a jog and a fast walk. Had Steve been on his own he no doubt could have run the entire distance a lot faster but he didn’t raise that issue, and there was no point being frustrated about it either. Firstly, there was nothing he could do about it, secondly, to be fair, Katie kept up a decent enough pace and thirdly, had he been running as fast as he could have he would no doubt have run straight into one of the various HYRDRA patrols they encountered within the woods. As it happened, the pace they were going at was perfect for his sharp senses to alert him whenever a passing patrol was near, enabling them to duck out of sight.
Eventually, the trees began to thin out and through the gloomy mist that had descended, which he had to admit was incredibly useful to keep their presence as covert as possible, Steve saw the perimeter fence and gate to the camp. He stopped dead, his arm out causing Katie to also pause and as he studied the gate, trying to figure out the best way in, he heard the rumble of trucks coming from his side. He spun just in time to see them approaching down the road which led through the wooded area and he crouched down, pulling Katie down with him.
“Reckon you can make the last one?” He asked, turning to face her.
“Yeah.” She nodded. “They’re not going too fast.”
Steve took another look around before he nodded and the two of them ran for the last truck, Katie springing up first and he heard her give a little sigh as he pulled himself up over the tail gate. “Crap.”
The reason for her curse soon became apparent as Steve landed in the back of the truck and came face to face with two HYDRA guards.
"Fellas." He nodded. There was a split second and they both lunged at him at the same time. He pushed Katie a little harshly to the right as he hit one with straight punch to the face, the other dropping with a groan as Katie had connected a well-aimed boot to his stomach. As both guards tried to scramble to their feet, Steve grabbed both their heads, smashing them together like a pair of cymbals before he tossed them straight out of the back.
“Impressive.” Katie looked at him, smirking and Steve rolled his eyes as she turned and looked carefully through a small tear in the side of the canvas of the truck. “They’re taking us straight in.”
“And then what?”
“I dunno, you tell me, you’re the Star Spangled Man with a Plan after all.”
“Oh for the love of…this isn’t some kind of fucking day’s outing!” He practically exploded and Katie groaned.
“Lighten up, Steve.” She turned away, looking back through the hole in the side of the truck. “It was a joke.”
“Well I see nothing funny about any of this, at all.”
“And you think I do?” Katie turned, her eyes once more full of an angry fire. “Let me tell you, Captain, my unit has seen things these last four months that no one should ever have to see. And you know how we dealt with it? By NOT dealing with it.” She brushed a piece of hair off her face. “We joked, made light of the situations we found ourselves in because they were downright fear inducing, and if we didn’t none of us would have lasted five minutes. So take that stick out of your ass and stop being so goddamned self-righteous.”
Steve blinked, but before he could respond to her angry outburst the truck slowed and then began to reverse. Eventually it came to a stop and Steve could hear someone at the tail of the truck so he gestured for Katie to get behind him, which she did. He simply raised his shield in front of his body and waited. The flap to the back of the truck opened and without hesitation Steve smashed the shield straight into the guard’s face, sending him flying backwards. Quickly and quietly, shield on his arm, he jumped out of the truck, turning to help Katie down and the pair of them turned left, jumping off the raised loading platforms and jogging, all the time keeping their bodies stooped and low.
There were lines and lines of tanks emblazoned with the HYDRA symbol and the two of them shared a glance at one another. It was clear to Steve that Katie and Peggy were right, Schmidt had been gearing HYDRA up to be far more than a science division for some time if this equipment was anything to go by. Together, they weaved their way through the lines of armoured vehicles, taking care to keep to the shadows and out of sight as they made their way towards a smaller outbuilding that looked like it led into the main base.
“Come on.” Steve gently nudged Katie and the pair of them ran across the ground. Steve hopped up onto a tank that was conveniently parked by the annex, offering his hand to Katie to pull her up. They both scrambled onto the flat roof and ran, hopping up onto a slightly higher roof before they reached a set of metal steps which led up the side of the huge base. Katie went first, scrambling as fast as she could up them where she paused on a platform approximately halfway up. She nodded to a thick, iron door which led inside the building and Steve moved to try it, shaking his head.
“Yeah, and you have the strength of like thirty men or whatever.” She rolled her eyes “Open it.”
He looked at her, narrowing his eyes at the fact she was bossing him around but he didn’t argue. He moved towards the door, shaking his head “This isn’t gonna-“ he gave a sharp tug and with a squeal the door pulled straight off the hinges “-work.” He finished lamely, looking from the door to Katie who stood there, arms folded, smirking.
“If only you had as much faith in you as I have.” She said a little sardonically and once more he glared at her. Pulling out her pistol Katie made to go in the door and Steve put his arm out.
“No, I’ll go first.” He stopped her.
“That’s not gonna work because you need to prop the door back up, so when that guard patrol comes back it doesn’t look like someone broke in.” She shook her head. Steve let out an exasperated sigh, more frustrated that she’d pointed out yet another potential issue he hadn’t considered in his haste and she smiled at him, “This is what I’m trained in, stealth.” She shrugged
She stepped inside, keeping herself flattened to the wall as Steve followed, leaning the door back up before he paused as they both looked around, finding themselves in a corridor of sorts.
“Any ideas on which way?” He asked and Katie pondered for a moment.
“Well, the front of the camp is left.” She frowned and Steve nodded his agreement.
“So we go right.”
“Keep behind me, stay in the shadows.” He couldn’t help himself but instruct her, but to her credit she didn’t argue, merely gave him a little salute as the two of them set off through the factory.
A short while later they reached another door, only this one was guarded, they could see through the etched glass window embedded within it. Steve signalled to Katie to keep back before he knocked. The guard turned and came towards them, and as soon as the door opened Steve punched him hard in the face before smashing his head between the door and the wall. As the guard went down he caught him, pulling him silently out before the two of them headed inside, taking care to shut the door behind them. They appeared now to be in the main munitions storage area of the factory, and it was busy. Guards swarming all over, people driving pickups laden with crates, and each soldier seemed to be carrying guns powered by some form of liquid that was glowing a bright, cobalt blue.
They dodged between aisles, using whatever they could to keep out of sight and as they snuck between a collection of huge metal containers of some kind, they both paused as they spotted what appeared to be racks of small, rectangular shaped metal items all containing the mysterious blue liquid. It was eerie, like nothing Steve had ever seen before and he gently moved to a closer look, picking one up.
“What the hell is that?” Katie whispered as he turned it over in his hand.
“I have absolutely no idea.” He shrugged “Except, to state the obvious, it looks like some kind of grenade. But, I’ve never seen anything like it before.”
“We should take them back to the lab.” She stated and Steve nodded his agreement, sticking the item into the pocket of his fatigues before they set off to continue their search heading even deeper into the base.
After another fifteen minutes or so of dodging as many HYDRA agents as they could, and subduing the ones they couldn’t, they reached a large room deep in the belly of the base and Steve took a deep breath as he looked around the room at the huge metal cages that contained easily over a hundred soldiers, if not two. He felt Katie still besides him as she also glanced around, her eyes flashing as she scanned the room, her attention instantly shooting upwards when they saw a warden walking above the cages on some kind of gangway, in which the large, circular tops of the cages were embedded. Steve also spotted another guard weaving his way amongst the large cells on the floor and took a deep breath.
“Right,” he turned to Katie. “I’ll take the one up top first, then I’ll drop down and-“
Katie took an exasperated breath, “don’t you trust me or something?” She hissed.
“Of course I do, but-“
“Then you go up high, I’ll take the one down below. I can do this, I’m not some fairy-tale princess that needs protecting. And whilst I appreciate your chivalry, as well you know, now is not the time, Soldier.”
Steve inhaled deeply and looked at her, her green eyes bored into his and he gave her a sharp nod deciding to go along with her, despite every part of his brain screaming at him not to. Without looking back, he ran around the side of the large room and found a set of metal steps which led up the side. He took them two at a time and then continued along the raised platform that ran round the side of the room, crouching as he went to keep out of the dim light that the small, barred windows let in. He spotted the guard coming his way and ducked even more, waiting, and once the man was within reach he grabbed his shield from his back and swung it with a huge arm straight at his face. The guard topped backwards and landed heavily on top of one of the cages out cold.
As Steve moved and began to search the guard for his keys, all the prisoners stood up, their eyes wide with shock and surprise.
“And who the hell are you supposed to be?" One of them spoke as the rest continued to simply stare at him in stunned silence and he didn’t miss the way a few of them eyed him up and down, taking in his helmet and shield painted in the stars and stripes of the American Flag.
“I’m…” Steve answered a little breathlessly as he hesitated for a moment as he began to look around for Katie, but he found no sign of her, “Captain America." He finished a little lamely, glancing back down.
"I beg your pardon?" Another man spoke, this one in a British accent as Steve grabbed the keys from the guard’s belt and ran back the way he had come. As heard he ran across the floor to the first cage, he heard the hisses and rumbles of excited murmurs he glanced up to see Katie jogging towards him.
"Merde," one of the prisoners uttered as all heads turned in her direction.
“Language!” Katie turned her eyes to the soldier who had spoken, giving a slight smirk which the man returned as Steve unlocked the cage he was in.
“You okay?” He asked Katie as they moved to the next cage and she nodded.
“Yeah, took him down with a choke hold then kicked him in the face for good measure,” she shrugged as they moved down to the next cage, then the next.
“Well, well, well, Lady Lieutenant!” A tall, wide man spoke and Steve saw Katie’s head snap in his direction, her smirk turning into a huge smile. “What took you so long?”
“Got here as fast as I could. I'll be outta here just as fast when Phillips finds out where I am.” Katie grinned, before she shook her head and sighed, her voice cracking. “Damned it Dum Dum, we thought you were all dead!”
“Take more than that to get rid of us.”
Systematically, they moved through the room, unlocking each cage as they went until they reached the last one, all the time Steve scanning the faces of the prisoners all as they all emerged, shaking hands and hugging one another. But the face he had been hoping to see wasn’t amongst any of them.
"Are there any others?" Steve whispered, pushing his way between the man he knew only as Dum Dum and an Asian man who was holding his dog tags up, looking slightly affronted. “I'm looking for a Sergeant James Barnes." He asked, turning to the British soldier who began walking alongside him and Katie.
"There's an isolation ward in the factory, but no one has ever come back from it." The British Man spoke.
“Alright,” Steve spoke, considering his options as he continued walking towards the door through which they had entered. "The tree line's northwest, about eighty yards past the gate. Agent Stark knows where it is.” He stopped and turned, nodding towards Katie, his eyes returning back to the group of men “You follow and take your instructions from her, you got it?”
The British man and a few others began to nod, the excitement and anticipation of a fight was easily sensed and Katie stepped forward, shaking her head.
“Steve,” she began to protest but this was one order he was not going to let her ignore.
“You said your mission was requisition.” His eyes locked on hers “So use these guys and do it. Get out fast and give ‘em hell. I'll meet you in the clearing with anybody I find inside."
For a moment he thought she was going to argue but she didn’t. Instead, she took a deep breath and nodded, her eyes still locked onto his. In that split second, Steve hesitated. There was so much he wanted to say, but, he couldn’t find the words to express what he was feeling. He wanted to tell her to stay safe, to keep herself out of danger, make sure she got out alive…but instead he looked at her, swallowing and she gave him a soft smile.
“I know.” She said gently, “you too.”
Steve gave her another curt nod, his chest tightening a little as he turned to go.
"Wait, you know what you're doing?" A soldier shouted after him, and Steve looked back over his shoulder about to answer before he heard Katie quip.
“He’s knocked out Adolf Hitler over two hundred times."
The prisoners furrowed their brows, before glancing around at each other with confused expressions on their faces and despite himself Steve gave a little chuckle, looking at Katie’s grinning face once more before he turned around and jogged out of the door, her voice ringing in his ears as she issued instructions to the troops.
“You heard the Captain. Now the base is heavily armed so we’re absolutely going to have to fight our way out. On the way, we grab as much tech and weapons as we can. Not only to use but also for further analysis by my unit….”
Her voice died down as Steve picked up a jog, shield on his back and headed off back the way they had come. It wasn’t long before a loud siren rang out and Steve took a deep breath, trying to push his worry away as shouts and loud explosions boomed in his ears, signalling the fight had begun. He continued making his way into the factory, fighting his way through a number of guards easily as gunfire sounded all around him, the angry yells and screams of fighting filled his ears as the freed prisoners began to engage with the HYDRA soldiers.
He fought his way up onto the gangway that circled the main factory floor, dispatching another guard with a swift, hard boot to the abdomen that sent him flying over the railing and he took a look around, the sheer size of the factory floor catching him off guard for a moment before he remembered what he was here to do. Pulling out his pistol he turned right, jogging round the gangway until he hit a dimly lit corridor. He continued round and, as he quickly made his way through in search of the isolation ward, he saw a short man in thick glasses, carrying a briefcase and a number of files in his arms emerge from a room. The man stopped dead, looked at Steve and then turned and sprinted away from him, heading round the corner. Steve began to run after him, but as he passed the room the man had emerged from, he slowed when he heard what sounded like someone talking, mumbling even.
Taking a deep breath, he entered the room, following the sound as it became clearer and then his heart stopped and he grew hot, his breathing deep as he knew that voice. It was weak but still so familiar, even if it had been months since he had heard it.
He hurried through another door, glancing towards the end of the room and saw the man he’d come to this very place for, strapped to a reclined medical chair.
"Bucky?" Steve shot over, pausing at the side of the chair and looking down at his best friend. Bucky’s eyes didn’t move, instead he kept chanting his rank and number as he stared blankly up at the ceiling. "Oh my God." Steve swallowed was his eyes travelled over Bucky’s body, taking in the restraints that kept him strapped to the chair. He looked tired, weak, sick even, and it hurt Steve to see him in such a state. Bucky had always been the strong one out of the pair of them, normally looking after him. But, well, now it was time to return the favour. He swallowed and began ripping the straps around him with ease.
"It's me. It’s Steve.”
"Steve?" Bucky murmured, his face breaking into a smile as recognition flooded his features.
"Come on." Steve helped Bucky to his feet, holding onto his arms as he steadied himself before he gently reached out and patted the side of his friends face.
"I thought you were dead," Steve sighed as Bucky frowned, his eyes fixed on where Steve’s face would normally have been, and when he instead found himself looking at Steve’s chest, he raised his eyes up wards, puzzlement etched across his face.
"I thought you were smaller.” Bucky swallowed and Steve kept hold of him, helping him to stand upright as he became more coherent. Whilst Bucky was gaining his senses, Steve took a quick glance around and his eyes focussed on a map pinned to the wall, various positions highlighted upon it across Europe. Committing it to memory he then slung Bucky's arm over his shoulder, for the first time ever bearing his friend’s weight.
"Come on," he urged as he began to lead him out of the lab.
"What happened to you?" Bucky asked as Steve pretty much hauled him out of the room, keeping him upright as he stumbled, his feet struggling for traction.
"I joined the Army." Steve replied simply.
As they made their way back down the corridor, Steve felt Bucky becoming able to bear some of his own weight, and then gently nudge at Steve to let him go so he did. Bucky followed behind a pace or two his arm clutched over his ribs.
"Did it hurt?" He suddenly asked.
"A little," Steve replied, his head still looking around.
"Is it permanent?"
"So far." Steve nodded as they continued.
Suddenly, there was a loud explosion which rocked the factory and the two men paused for a second before they picked up the pace. Eventually they emerged onto the gangway Steve had walked round before and immediately recoiled back as another explosion sent a huge ball of fire up into the air. Steve held his shield up to protect his face as Bucky ducked slightly, his hand gripping one of the railings, other hiding his face. Turning away from the railings, Steve started to head up a set of stairs immediately behind him, Bucky following. The heat was stifling and it made Steve feel like he was stuck in a furnace as they quickly sprinted up the metal steps and emerged onto another gangway. Taking a right, they began to sprint down it, explosions and flames roaring below them. Steve’s brow beaded with sweat and he wiped it with the back of his hand, taking another look down. He had no idea whether the fire had been started by the men led by Katie or some self-destruction ploy by HYDRA to prevent any of their plans or weapons getting into their hands, either way he found it hard to care. One less base to deal with he supposed.
Steve stopped dead, turning to his left to see two men on the other side of the factory by an elevator door. One was the shorter bespectacled man Steve had seen before, and the other he recognised also, but only from photos. Johann Schmidt, HYDRA leader. He was dressed in a long black trench-coat of sorts, a large silver buckle bearing the HYDRA symbol spanned his waist and he turned towards Steve as he handed the other man a silver briefcase.
“How exciting! I'm a great fan of your films.” Schmidt’s thick German accent carried across the factory as he began to walk over the gangway towards Steve. Steve took a deep breath, his jaw setting as he strode towards the man, the anger surging through his body. “So, Dr. Erskine managed it after all. Not exactly an improvement, but still impressive."
At that Steve swung his right arm back and bridged the two or so feet in between him and Schmidt with a punch straight to the man’s face, the impact forcing the HYDRA leader back a few steps.
"You've got no idea," Steve snarled.
Schmidt merely smirked, before standing up, cracking his jaw slightly and Steve frowned at the way the right hand side of his face appeared to have sagged away from his eye socket. "Haven't I?"
Quickly, the man’s fist flew towards Steve, but equally as quickly he raised his shield to block it. The metal vibrated in his hands and to his utter shock the item dented with the force of Schmidt’s blow. It was then that Steve recalled Erskine telling him how the man had taken the serum, and that it had enhanced him too. In a flash he reached for his pistol but Schmidt was too quick and laded a punch straight to the left hand side of Steve’s jaw. He was knocked completely off his feet, falling backwards onto the metal of the gangway, the pistol he had been holding slid straight out of his hand and over the edge. Schmidt advanced towards Steve but he threw all his weight into a huge double kick, which sent the man sprawling backwards.
As Steve got to his feet, the gangway he was on suddenly began to move backwards, separating him from Schmidt who stood up, the two men not moving a muscle as the metal walkway drew them both back to their respective sides.
"No matter what lies Erskine told you, you see I was his greatest success!" Schmidt yelled as Steve stood still, his chest heaving, as Schmidt reached up for his face, grabbing at the skin at the left hand side of his jaw. As Steve watched, to his horror, he began to peel back the skin revealing that it was a mask, and underneath was a grotesque, featureless red skull.
Steve swallowed, his face wrinkling up as he tried to understand what the hell he had just seen. What he was still seeing, for that matter.
"You don't have one of those, do you?" Bucky mumbled, his attention also on the man in front of them.
"You are deluded, Captain. You pretend to be a simple soldier, but in reality,” Schmidt tossed the mask down into the flames, Steve following it with his eyes before he glanced back across the factory room “,you are just afraid to admit that we have left humanity behind.” At that Schmidt turned to his right and walked towards the now open elevator “Unlike you, I embrace it proudly. Without fear!" he gestured with his hand as he made his way into the elevator.
"Then how come you're running?" Steve yelled back. It was a pathetic shot really, all things considered, but it was all Steve could think about saying given what had happened. As expected, Schmidt completely ignored him and merely smirked as he pressed a button to his right and the doors closed.
Steve paused, still not completely sure what the hell had gone on when a large explosion rocked the platform they were stood on, causing both him and Bucky to duck once more from debris that shot up all around them.
They needed a way out. Steve’s eyes fell back on the elevator and he followed the shaft upwards spotting a set of doors right at the top which led, he assumed, to the roof. He followed the line of the ceiling, noticing there was a thin gantry that led over to the side they were on, and he spun round to spot another set of steps which led upwards.
That was it, their only way out.
"Come on," Steve turned around, grabbing Bucky’s arm and leading him to the stairs. "Let's go. Up."
Together they hurriedly climbed and reached the highest walkway that stretched across the factory floor that was now burning, Steve felt, hotter than hell itself. Explosions rocked the catwalks causing everything to shake and Steve glanced at the flimsy gantry that led over to the side they needed to be on, then back to Bucky.
“Let’s go. One at a time.” He moved to help Bucky climb over the railings to allow him to cross first. Bucky made his way tentatively across the thin beam of metal and as he was roughly at the halfway point, it began to give way. Bucky picked up his pace and threw himself off the edge grabbing the railings at the other side, but the gantry collapsed behind him leaving Steve stranded.
Steve watched as Bucky hauled himself over and then tuned to face him, the realisation that Steve was stuck evident on his face as he looked back at him.
"Gotta be a rope or something!" Bucky shouted hopefully. At that point another part of the factory below them fell with a loud crash into the fire below and Steve swallowed, shaking his head.
"Just go! Get out of here!" he bellowed, waving Bucky away. Bucky shook his head, his hands gripping the railing around the walkway.
"No! Not without you!" He screamed back, desperation lacing his tone.
Steve looked over at him, then peered down at the fire, before taking another look up. If he stayed where he was, he was a dead man. If he jumped and didn’t make it, he was a dead man. But if he didn’t jump, well he had no chance of making it at all.
Decision made, he pushed the now broken bars of the railings in front of him, bending it out of the way to create a gap large enough to jump through. He took a few steps back, once more gaging the distance before he sighed and grimaced a little at what he was about to do. His thoughts flashed to Katie, his only comfort out of all of this was that she wasn’t stuck with him now and had a good chance of having made it out. With a deep breath he set off at a sprint before he launched himself off the side, over the huge chasm below. His arms flailed, as did his legs as he spun them to try and maintain momentum, the flames and explosions licking at his boots and with a loud grunt he landed, his arms gripping tightly onto the remainder of the railing beside Bucky. Bucky was quick to grab him, hauling him over, the pair of them falling to the metal walkway. Steve landed with a grunt on his back and took a huge breath, turning to look at Bucky who was led besides him, his chest heaving.
“Thanks.” Steve panted as Bucky looked at him, incredulously.
“You’re thanking me? Whatever, punk.”
Another large explosion rocked the gangway they were on and they both rolled over, before pushing themselves up, stumbling a little as they made their way hastily through the door, bursting out into the cold night air. Steve took a split second to gather his bearings, his eyes flicking to the front gate of the camp before he located a set of the metal railing type rungs the same as the ones he and Katie had used to gain entry at the side of the building.
“This way.” Steve instructed as he led Bucky towards it, and started to descend, all the time keeping one eye on his friend in case he lost his grip and Steve needed to catch him. When Steve’s feet finally touched down on solid ground he felt like yelling in utter relief, but they weren’t clear yet. Once Bucky landed besides him, they both set off at a sprint across the outside area of the camp. There were still a fair number of soldiers running around but they were too busy trying to escape the burning building to pay him and Bucky any attention. Nevertheless, they kept to the shadows and made their way out of the gate, Steve taking a sharp right following the way he had come with Katie before.
As they walked towards the clearing they were aiming for, the hushed sound of voices and chatter hit their ears and he heard Bucky take a sharp breath.
“Steve?” Bucky asked as Steve continued walking, his feet crunching over the frosty ground under his boots. “Is that…”
“No, it’s not HYDRA.” Steve assured him. “We found a bunch of other prisoners before you, got them out first.”
“We?” Bucky asked, “there was someone else with you?”
“Yeah, it was….” Steve trailed off as they emerged into the clearing and a number of men wheeled round, guns raised. As they spotted who it was, their weapons dropped but before Steve could say anything, Katie pushed through the middle and stopped dead, her chest heaving. She looked a little roughed up- some of her uniform was torn, there was a cut to her right temple, a trickle of blood having seeped down her cheek and the same side of her face looked a little red and bruised, but other than that, she seemed fine.
Steve felt relief flood his system at the sight of her, and without a word he strode quickly towards her and she threw herself at him, wrapping her legs round his waist as he held her tight, one hand supporting her lower back, the other gripping at the back of her head, fisting softly in her untidy hair.
“Thank God.” he mumbled, closing his eyes as he held her close, pressing his face into her hair.
“You’re late.” She stuttered and he let out a splutter of a laugh as he pulled back to look at her. “I thought you were gonna stand me up.”
“Never,” he shook his head, his eyes locking onto hers. They stood still, no attention being paid to anyone around them at all and Steve swallowed, his eyes flicking down to her mouth. His face dropped towards hers, and then a voice spoke from behind them, completely interrupting him and reminding him that firstly he was in the middle of a still heavily occupied with enemy troops forest and secondly, that they were most certainly not alone.
“Well, this is nice.”
Steve closed his eyes and let out a sigh as he set Katie onto her feet, stepping back out of her space, blushing furiously. She peered round him, as he turned and saw Bucky smirking at the pair of them. He jerked his face towards Katie, arching an eyebrow.
“Hey, Doll face.”
“Barnes.” She scanned him up and down, taking in his appearance before she smiled. “Good to see you in one piece.”
“Yeah, I hate to break this little reunion up,” Dum Dum spoke and they all turned to face him, “but I suggest we get moving and tie up with the rest.”
“The rest?” Steve frowned, looking around, and for the first time he noticed that there were a lot less men than he had anticipated “Where…”
“We split into three main groups. We took a few losses but most of us made it. My group managed to take a few vehicles.” Katie explained. “Some kind of tank, two trucks. We also found a huge storehouse too and loaded both trucks with as much as we could take, weapons, ammo, and equipment, what ration packs we could find.” She took a deep breath. “There’s an old abandoned allied base some ten miles South East which someone suggested would be easier for us to hold up in whilst we waited for help. I sent a group ahead with the seriously wounded along with support. Said we would meet them there.”
Steve blinked, astounded at her planning, although he knew he really shouldn’t be. He nodded and then looked around, before a huge explosion made them all jump and Steve turned to see an enormous fireball erupt into the sky signalling that the HYDRA base had finally gone up completely.
“Okay, let’s move.” He instructed, as Katie began to bark out instructions again, before she hurried forward and fell into step alongside Dugan, who pulled out his compass before he pointed and began to bellow out for everyone to make tracks.
“So,” Bucky fell into step alongside Steve, and Steve kept his eyes focussed ahead as they began to walk “Somethin’ going on between you two or…”
“Don’t know what you mean.” Steve replied, but couldn’t help the smirk that spread across his face as he continued to avoid Bucky’s searching glance.
“You’re a punk.” Bucky snorted, nudging him.
“Jerk.” Steve replied simply, the smile on his face growing bigger by the second.
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The Monster Right There | Hyunjae
Title: The Monster Right There | The Monster Hunter AU (with a dash of Girl vs Monster AU)
Genre: Horror, Sprinkle of Fluff, Angst
Pairing: Hyunjae x Reader
TRIGGER WARNINGS: Guns, Emotional Manipulation (not from main characters)
Hyunjae can’t remember the last time he felt fear, the last time he felt a cold flash run down his petrified body. He can recall other emotions easily.
Sadness - when his little brother Eric admitted to him that he didn’t know if he was capable of joining the family monster-hunting business.
Anger - when Jacob, his slightly older brother, let himself be pushed around by the other students at the academy when they found out he didn’t have a monster-hunting bloodline.
Happiness - he felt that when he managed to convince his brothers to follow him across the country and set up a new base with him.
He couldn’t remember the last he had felt fear. He couldn’t even remember fear itself and, he would have never remembered if you hadn’t come into his life like a meteor streaking across the night sky before falling into his backyard.
10 Minutes Before
He walked aimlessly throughout the estate’s backyard-- if it could even be called that. It felt more like a neverending forest. Based on what Jacob had told him, the backyard ran for about a hundred acres, maybe more, and the front yard was just the same.
But a monster was hiding here-- the physical manifestation of someone’s fears had decided these grounds were the perfect place to feed and, the job had to get done, no matter how daunting it was turning out to be.
Some lampposts showed him a path through, though he knew that he’d have to stray from it soon.
The sonar he held out in front of him was beginning to emit a slow beeping, and, at the edge of the dark screen, a neon green dot had appeared.
He followed it, pulling on a headlamp so he could see where he was going and, when the dot was no more than a couple of feet away from him, he stopped.
“Nie-hie-hie-hie,” Hyunjae heard the monster laugh. He lowered his hand onto the beam gun holstered at his waist as the monster continued to speak, “There’s nobody here to rescue you now, is there.”
“I don’t,” he heard an oddly familiar voice say as he turned off his headlamp and poked his head out from behind the tree. “I don’t need to-to be rescued,” your voice died off toward the end.
A cold flash ran down his body when his gaze landed on you. Your handheld lamp had fallen in front of you, and its light illuminated your face. He didn’t need the lamp to see the monster jumping in front of you gleefully. It looked like a spindly man as if it were half spider. He could see that as clearly as if it were happing in the daylight.
The monster stopped, leaned closer into you, and inhaled. In an instant, your image blurred. It looked like your being was being pulled outward, toward the monster, like you were a painting that had been smudged or a picture that had been captured while the subject was in movement.
“Argh,” you groaned in pain. A gasp finally made it past Hyunjae’s lips, and he jumped as if he wanted to move but didn’t.
“You can’t save them,” a voice snickered into his left ear, “You. Can’t. Save. Them.”
He couldn’t find it in himself to turn and look at the source of the taunting if there even was one. It had to be the voice inside his head. It had to be.
Move, he told himself. Move. Do something.
“Ha ha HA,” the voice laughed, “you have to understand, you’re good. But, not good enough.”
“You can’t even protect the one you love. What are the odds of you actually protecting your brothers?”
“Hyunjae! Y/N!” He could vaguely hear one of his brothers yelling.
“You can’t. Can you?” They laughed.
“Hyunjae!... Y/N! Where are you guys?!” Another of his brothers. Jacob, maybe, he found himself thinking momentarily.
“Face it,” the voice coaxed, “You couldn’t even bring yourself to tell them that you love them.” The voice tut-tutted, “Now they’re going to die, and you can’t even do anything about it. How weak are you?”
“Hyunjae! Y/N!” Another brother. Er--
“Weakling,” the voice taunted. “Weakling. Weakling. Weakling.”
“Hyunjae!” Jacob yelled when he spotted Hyunjae with a manifestation only a step behind him. He reached for his beam gun just as Hyunjae turned to look at him. His face was blanched, and his eyes were wider than he had ever seen them. They were eyes filled to the brim with fear, and Jacob believed Hyunjae had yet to realize it was happening.
Jacob aimed the gun.
Hyunjae twisted around. The manifestation smiled twistedly, its lips stretching until it turned into a grin, and they looked like wiggling worms on an ashen gray face. This one wasn’t spindly. No, this one was burly, and Hyunaje felt like it toward over him.
“Until next time,” the manifestation waved his fingers in front of Hyunjae as a goodbye, “creator.”
A physical manifestation of his own, he realized.
“Where’s Y/N?” Jacob asked him. But, his voice was still missing, and words refused to find their way out.
Your guttural scream called their attention. The manifestation was taking another jab at your energy.
“The box,” Jacob ordered as he took aim at the other manifestation. He fired a moment later, stunning it. He waited for the trapping box, a small copper thing that sucked manifestations into it, to land near the monster.
When it didn’t, and the monster turned and trained its eyes on them, he shot time and time again while it dodged them.
“Hyunjae,” Jacob yelled, “the box! The box!”
Hyunjae gasped like a bucket of cold water had been thrown onto him. He fumbled to take out the box in his pocket, “I have it!”
Jacob failed a few more times as the monster moved forward before he hit it, and he yelled, “Throw it!”
He did; and, when the manifestation was finally trapped inside the small box, they ran toward you, Jacob picking up the box along the way.
“What to-took you guys so long,” you whispered, barely keeping your eyes open.
Hyunjae shook his head when he choked on his words.
“It fed on a lot of their energy. We’ve got to get them back so Sunwoo can take a look,” Jacob told him.
You studied Hyunjae while he nodded wordlessly. Your eyes trailed over his pale face and down to his hands. They were shaking, almost imperceptibly but you could still see it.
Then, your eyes found his. It couldn’t be. Could it?
Jacob moved to carry you.
“No,” You croaked. “I want…” you struggled to say, “Hyunjae to carry me.”
Hyunjae lifted you into his arms slowly. You could feel his arms shaking, but, it wasn’t out of a lack of strength.
With the remaining strength you had, you lifted your arms and wrapped them around his neck.
“Hyunjae?” You whispered, eyes struggling to remain open.
He shuddered, and you took it as acknowledgment.
“Breathe. It’s…,” you said slowly, “okay. Everything’s going to be okay.”
You were almost out. Your remaining energy was forcing you to fall into a deep slumber, and while everything started to fade out, you felt his arms tighten around you.
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if I can never give you peace — two || Jungkook
Pairing: Jungkook x reader // Word count (chapter): 5.8k // Genre: Mafia AU, Hybrid AU, enemies to lovers // Ao3
↳ It starts like quite a few stories do, in your world. Girl meets boy, who happens to be a hybrid, girl buys him at an auction where hybrids are sold, boy falls in love with her, girl gets bored of him. Then it’s not so typical anymore, when the boy ends up forced into illegal fighting rings, until he makes a wrong move and the girl’s father decides he needs to be killed.
Where does that leave you? Well, you’re the one who handled Jungkook’s fight and generally organized his life, and, when the girl’s father, your boss and mafia leader, tells you he wants him ‘put down’, you’re the one who has to get it done. Except, instead, you let him escape, and everything turns out fine.
Until he comes back.
Warnings and tags (chapter): Descriptions of violence, Threats, kind of dark in general
First · Previous · Next
The car is late, you think as you smooth over the fabric of your skirt, your mouth twisted in a disapproving scowl. Annoyance is one of the few emotions that ever appear on your face, and you don’t even bother to hide it. You have only been standing there, waiting, for a few minutes, but it already disrupts your perfectly well-oiled routine. This is just one of the many changes that have come with Jungkook taking over, but it could be the one you are the least fond of.
You used to have the routine down to a T. You knew exactly when to leave your apartment so that the car would stop in front of you right as you reached the pavement. There were small hiccups every now and then — traffic, last-minute phone calls —, but most of the time, it went perfectly. You liked that. Having that kind of control, when your life had always been completely out of your hands, was comforting.
That went out the window the day you started working for Jungkook.
When the car stops in front of you, five minutes, that’s three-hundred seconds, after the agreed-upon time, you take a short breath before opening the door and stepping in.
There, of course, is your new boss, sitting with his legs widely spread on the leather seat. He changed your discreet sedan for a limousine, which you find obnoxious, but you didn’t protest. You liked to think that you were better than that at picking your battles
“Mr. Jeon,” you say with a nod, voice even.
Jungkook grins when you call him that. You know he enjoys the title, the power it indicates, particularly since hybrids are supposed to only ever have the same last name as their owners.
“Lot of work to be done today,” he comments, and you know he’s just saying that to rile you up. You used to report to Mr. X, but you worked on your own more often than not. Now, you’re basically Jungkook’s glorified secretary. You wouldn’t particularly mind the change if it didn’t mean that you had to sit and watch him superbly ignore your carefully crafted schedule, as he had every single day for the past week.
“Indeed,” you reply without batting an eyelid. “This morning, you have a meeting with Suga,” this one he should go to, he never misses them, “then you are supposed to eat with Fred Lucas,” chances were he wouldn’t show up to that and make you take him to a fancy restaurant instead, and you would be the one to have to handle the situation with him, “and later today I think it would be important for you to pay a visit to the Mystery Room.” That place was one of the few legal aspects of the business at the moment, if you ignore the drugs that get sold there, and it was not a location you should lose right now. “They have been quite… difficult, since the change in direction.”
That last one is new, and you’re not sure how Jungkook will react to it. Of course, there is plenty more work to do, but you’re trying out new methods to get him to do at least what really matters. You don’t understand why he would hire you if he doesn’t let you do your job, but hey, at least you’re alive. And so is your family.
You don’t know how long that will last, though. Unless Jungkook seriously gets his act together, it won’t take long for someone to think that they can do the same thing he did, and have him murdered. You’re even mildly surprised it hasn’t happened yet. That’s the thing, when a leader gets killed. It weakens the whole structure, and it gives people ideas.
The grin disappears from Jungkook’s face and he nods gravely at that last piece of information. That catches your eye, because it’s new. You tell yourself that maybe, just maybe, he spent the last week riding the high of his victory against Mr. X, and that he will be efficient if there’s trouble, at least.
“Cancel that second thing,” he says. “I want to eat at that restaurant I went to last week. You should get me a reservation there.”
“But you can go meet him,” he adds, and you blink.
“Mr. Lucas is expecting to see you,” you say, in case you weren’t clear.
“And he doesn’t get to demand my presence like that,” Jungkook snaps. You bite the inside of your cheek to stop yourself from wincing. His voice sounds harsh, cutting. Dangerous. “Did he think that I’d go ask for treats because a human joined us? That’s not how that shit works.”
Okay. He’s not wrong here, but you don’t know about this— approachto the situation. Fred is, indeed, one of the two human leaders who decided to immediately join Jungkook when the news of the death of Mr. X and the uprising of hybrids in various parts of your branches in the city spread. You wouldn’t be surprised if he expected a treatment of favor for that, too, but you’re not sure letting him know how little his gesture was appreciated was the way to go.
“I don’t think—”
“He’s replaceable,” Jungkook says with a dismissive movement of the wrist. “I’ll swap him for one of my men the second he makes a mistake. It would be a lot better if no one forgot that.”
The look he gives you makes his message crystal clear. You feel your mouth getting dry, but you know nothing is showing in your expression, and that at least is a relief.
“I’ll go to the meeting and get you your reservation, then,” you say, pulling out your phone. “Does the rest of the schedule work for you?”
Jungkook frowns, and the tiniest feeling of satisfaction spreads in your chest. You know he’s just applying pressure and waiting for you to crack, but you won’t.You’re used to contorting yourself to please everyone. You’ve made it work for years, and it will take much more than those childish games for you to snap.
Or, at least, that’s what you’ve been telling yourself for the past week.
“Fine.” Then he closes his eyes and leans back in the seat. You raise an eyebrow at the sight. You know it’s not because he trusts you, but because he doesn’t think you have the guts to do anything to him — and because, even if you did, he’s pretty confident he wouldn’t have any trouble stopping you. You hate that you find something endearing in that vision. Jungkook was genetically designed to be handsome, and he is.More than that, though, when you look at him right now, even though his long bunny ears are skillfully hidden under a headband, he looks cute.
And he could — and would — take less than a second to snap your neck.
“This afternoon should be fun at least,” he mumbles under his breath, and you hide your grimace.
Shit. That can’t be good.
It’s been clear to you from the very first day that Suga knows exactly what he is doing. It’s also been clear that this isn’t his scene. Being at the forefront of operations, taking the lead — it’s obvious that he would much rather stay in the shadows. You’re not sure how important he was to Jungkook’s organization before, since no one has bothered trying to inform you of that, but you suspect that he’s usually more the type to be in the field.
Right now, though, he’s standing in front of a small group, exposing what the recent developments have been. Sitting behind Jungkook, you listen to him attentively. Those reunions should become less frequent, but right now things could still change completely, and you cannot afford to be taken by surprise.
You are, however, starting to feel less and less comfortable with the fact that nothing seems to be coming out of them. Sure, Yoongi informs you of the people who have sided with Jungkook and of those who are openly opposed to him — a minority, so far — but there is a large group in between that seems to be in no hurry to take position. And you don’t like it.
It hasn’t been long since Jungkook has taken over, but you should at least have gotten someintel by now. You’re not sure what isn’t working here. For now, you don’t want to risk provoking anyone by offering your services. Worry is starting to gnaw at you, though. You could all be driving into a dead-end street at full speed, and that stupid struggle you’re having with Jungkook just isn't worth dying over.
“So not much has changed,” Jungkook comments, tapping his fingers onto the table. He looks nonchalant, but you notice a muscle in his jaw twitching. You wonder if he understands more than he lets on.
“Things have been stagnant,” Yoongi admits without batting an eye. “There hasn’t been any open rebellion, but communication is lacking.”
“That needs to get better.”
“We’re working on it.”
They probably are, but it doesn’t look like that’s going well. Word has reached your ears that some of the branches have been keeping hybrids at bay as discreetly as possible.
“What about that Mystery Room thing?” Jungkook asks, frowning. “What’s going on over there?”
“The what?” Yoongi frowns.
Jungkook looks puzzled — pissed, actually — for a second, then glances at you over his shoulder, and the attention of the whole room suddenly shifts to you. You straighten your back, swallow.
“The owner of the bar has missed a payment to us,” you state calmly, “and it seems that he has no intention of making it and is trying to get out of his contract with us. It would be better if we didn’t lose it right now.”
“What do you mean, ‘it seems’?” Yoongi asks, narrowing his golden eyes at you. His voice sounds more like a hiss, and this time, you struggle to hide your reaction. You haven’t forgotten what it felt like, when you thought he was going to kill you. It’s affected you more than you’d like to admit.
“I have a contact who—”
Yoongi clicks his tongue, and you close your mouth.
“I’m going there today,” Jungkook informs him, and Yoongi nods.
“I’ll be around.”
The two men have a silent exchange of looks. Their relationship is somewhat atypical, not something Mr. X had with anyone. It looks like they genuinely rely on and trust each other. You suppose someone else would find it touching, but you don’t have it in yourself. Especially not when that means they both have it out for you.
“Haven’t you been following what we’ve been talking about here for the past week?” Jungkook snarks at you, and you blink. “Any information you get from now on needs to get to Suga so he can factor it in.” At that, you give him a disbelieving look. That just won’t work. It can’t. Not for the first time, you wonder how much he underestimates you, exactly. If he knew anything about the way you work, about how many contacts you have and how much information you’re usually juggling with, he would never ask that of you.
Yet you nod. You don’t know yet if you’ll send a believable amount of intel to Suga, or just absolutely drown him under it until they tell you to stop, but once more, this just isn’t worth fighting over.
Especially when fighting over something can so easily mean dying over it, in your current situation.
“Will do, Mr. Jeon.”
He looks displeased, and you know it’s because all he’s waiting for is for you to slip.
“I shouldn’t even bring you to these meetings. You’re not even taking any notes. That’s fucking useless.”
It takes everything in you to bite back a scoff at that. You could tell him you don’t need to take notes when Yoongi is talking about minimal changes in a landscape you know on the tip of your fingers, that maybe you would if he said anything of value, and that this wouldn’t be an issue if people actually feared him.
You marvel at how annoyed that quip makes you. You suppose you don’t like it when your competence is questioned. You don’t like the threat either, though. You don’t want to risk falling out of the loop.
“I’ve gotten you a reservation at that restaurant,” you say. “If things are done here, I’ll be on my way to meet Mr. Lucas.”
Changing the subject. Deflecting. Trying your best to live to see another day. It seems like it’s all you’ve been doing for the past week. You know you can keep it up for a long time, you’re patient enough. You also know that this game is set up to make you lose.
Right now, as Jungkook looks at you, clearly not amused by your attitude, there is a terrifying moment during which you fear that he might just drop the charade. The only point of this whole thing is to get rid of you. He could decide he only wants to do that any second.
“Yeah, right. Be on your way.”
He dismisses you like you’re some low lackey, but that, at least, isn’t anything new, and you know how to handle it. You bow politely, then exit the room.
“You really wanna keep her around?” Yoongi asks once you’re gone, and Jungkook groans.
He doesn’t know why he had expected you to break easily. He’d seen you work for Mr. X, do that same shit he makes you do and survive as long as you had, so he should have known you’d be good at it. He supposes he’d been used to you making decisions for him, back then, and had thought that was a normal thing for you, that you wouldn’t enjoy being in the position of taking orders. But you were, after all, just someone who worked for others that whole time.
Not that he gives a fuck about it. He couldn’t care less why you did the things you did. All he wants is to give you a taste of your own medicine. Dangling a false chance of survival in front of your eyes and let you handle the rest yourself. So as long as you push through… well. He’ll let it slide.
It’s not like you can keep doing it forever anyway.
Fred Lucas worries you. He’s always smiled too widely, been too loud, made too many jokes. You know Mr. X considered him to be some sort of buffoon, but also kept his distance from him. Mr. X didn’t like people who pretended to wear their hearts on their sleeves.
“Always a pleasure to see you, (Y/N),” he greets you warmly when you walk up to him and you give him a nod. If he’s upset that Jungkook isn’t there, he doesn’t show it, just like you don’t show your distaste for his use of your first name. “I’d like to discuss with just you, though,” he adds, eyeing Hector, who’s standing beside you. The fact that you still have him by your side is the only good thing that has come from working for Jungkook so far.
You don’t like that. You’re all too aware of the fact that this is his land, and that the only reason why he’s saying that is that Hector is a hybrid. If that gets back to Jungkook, it wouldn’t be good for Fred — but you don’t think he’ll go down without a fight. You glance at Hector, who looks as placid as always and offers no help. The gears in your head are turning fast. Before, you were protected by how indispensable you were considered by Mr. X. That is clearly not the case anymore, but Fred likely isn’t aware of that. Yet.
On the other hand, sending Hector away would show weakness, and you can’t afford that.
“Hector goes where I go,” you say.
Fred’s smile widens even more.
“Of course, of course, can’t trust anyone those days, can you?”
You wonder if it’s a jab at you and how quickly you changed sides, but he is more or less in the same position, so you could just be paranoid.
“Come on, come on in, let’s get ourselves a drink.”
You don’t want a drink, but you do follow him in. The sooner you do that, the sooner you will be out of here.
Fred has a lot of things to say. Most of it isn’t relevant to anything that is happening right now, but you’ve never been able to tune things out. You always worry you’ll miss an essential piece of information. So you listen as he babbles about his business — getting weapons in and out of the city, something he is decently good at — but also about his family, his friendships, and his favorite kind of alcohol. You let him pour you a glass, even if you have no intention of touching it.
“I hear you,” you manage to interrupt him, “but I am curious to know why you wanted a meeting with Mr. Jeon. It seems to me that you have the situation here under control.”
Flattery has always worked on Fred, and you have no issue in using that against him.
“Of course we do,” he gloats. “It’s just— There are a lot of rumorsfloating around those days, you know?”
You do know. You suspect Fred has heard the same things as you. You also suspect most people have been very careful not to let those things reach Yoongi’s ears.
“People are talking about a ‘human opposition’ forming,” Fred gasps dramatically. “Can you believe it? Some people are really not happy about being led by a hybrid.”
That seems to be more concrete than what you’ve heard, which means that Fred could be exaggerating things… or that he was contacted to join that opposition. And you don’t like that second possibility, not at all. You trust Fred about as far as you can throw him, and that means you certainly don’t trust him to not try and play both sides.
“That was to be expected,” you reply calmly. “I do not doubt that Mr. Jeon knew such a reaction was coming.”
Fred narrows his eyes at you, trying to gauge what you knew then and what you know now. Which isn’t much, but that’s not something you plan to let slip out.
“Do you know of anything specific?”
You see from the glint in Fred’s eyes that he knows the game is on. If you know something and he doesn’t tell you, he will look suspicious, but he could also reveal too much, and you doubt he wants to play his cards so soon.
“I— don’t, unfortunately,” he finally says, and you nod. Either he hasn’t heard of the Mystery Room, or he is voluntarily hiding it from you. Regardless, that limits how useful he is to you. “But the word on the street is that Jungkook may not know what he’s doing all that well.”
You send him a sharp glance. He’s taking a risk in telling you that, you both know it. That doesn’t make the information any less precious.
“I see. And, again, I don’t suppose you know where this— ‘word on the street’ is coming from?”
He shrugs, a true picture of innocence, and maybe you’d have believed it if Fred hadn’t been in the business for longer than you. He knew, he just wasn’t telling because he wanted to preserve his opportunities if something happened.
“I have to go, then. Thank you for the drink, Mr. Lucas.”
“Please,” he says, holding out his hand. “Call me Fred.”
That won’t be happening.
“Goodbye, Mr. Lucas.”
Once you’re out, you take a second to collect yourself, Hector following like a shadow and waiting for you silently.
“Is everything okay?” he asks after you’ve mulled over the conversation that just happened for several minutes.
“It’s fine,” you say as a reflex. You couldn’t stop thinking about how Fred had taken a gamble when he’d proclaimed his allegiance to Jungkook. He’d bet on him coming out on top, and yet you didn’t trust it. You couldn’t think of a reason why he would do that instead of carefully waiting to see how things would go, like everyone else. You didn’t like this. Not one bit. “We need to get to Mystery Room,” you add.
“Of course,” Hector nods, gesturing towards the limo, and you don’t bother repressing a groan this time.
“God. That’s so tacky.”
That brings a smile to Hector’s lips, but you don’t smile back. You never do. Instead, you climb in, roll your eyes at the whole thing, and let yourself be driven away. You can’t come to a conclusion about Fred Lucas just yet, but you have no intention of forgetting about him either.
It takes you a few seconds, once you’re out of the car, to understand that something isn’t right. You’ve never been good with feelings — instincts, as hybrids call them — and the air doesn’t feel particularly tense or charged to you. Hector stands a little close to you for comfort, and you piece things together from there. There are a few cars around, but not too many, which isn’t surprising considering it’s the middle of the afternoon. Still, you can hear voices from inside, and you know there’s an argument going on there.
“Let’s go,” you say with a decided nod, and Hector leads the way, shoulders tense, ready to pounce if needed. You trust him to do his job, and that’s a lot, coming from you.
You frown when you walk into the bar, taking a few seconds to let your eyes get adjusted to the lack of luminosity, and that frown only deepens when you hear the argument going on and recognize Jungkook’s voice. God. The concepts of subtlety and discretion are completely lost on him, aren’t they?
Making your way through the room, you try to evaluate the situation. Yoongi is leaning against a table, looking bored out of his mind, though you’re sure he doesn’t miss anything from what is going on in the room. As if to prove your point, his golden eyes flick towards you for a second when you approach, before looking away, clearly uninterested. Other than him, it seems that the only other people present are the owner and various employees. You think it’s stupid and dangerous that they showed up here basically alone but, for the millionth time today, you grit your teeth and don’t say anything.
There are five men around, including the bouncer and a security guard. They’re probably armed, and that’s to say nothing of anyone you cannot see. Outside of Yoongi, though, no one pays attention to you, not until the bartender asks loudly “Mojito, as usual, Miss (L/N)?”
It’s a bit early for that, actually, but you give him a nod. The Mystery Room isn’t quite your scene — you’ve always been one to prefer classy restaurants — but that doesn’t change the fact that you’re well-known here, and everywhere, actually, which is something that everyoneknows, except your own boss. That is obvious by the way people’s attitude shifts when they see you. The owner bows to you politely. You acknowledge it with a curt movement of your chin. Jungkook raises an eyebrow at that. He doesn’t look happy about it.
You wait until you have your glass in your hand to say something. The silence that fills the room is heavy, and you can feel Jungkook’s anger emanating from him, having lost the men’s attention. He’s the man who murdered Mr. X, took over half of his operations without anyone noticing, and their fucking boss, and they’re still treating him like a low-life hybrid.
“You haven’t been paying what you owe us,” you say, almost lightly, when you get your drink. “Has business been slow?”
You know it has. You know people aren’t too sure what to think of Jungkook yet. You also know they’ve still made money. Better yet, you’re sure the men in the room know youknow that. You’re giving them an obvious way out. All they have to do is say “yes”, and you’ll come up with something. You won’t let them go off scot-free, but there’s no need for this to end in a bloodbath, either.
“That’s not the issue,” the man says, voice raspy, and you don’t let it show, of course you don’t, but you’re still taking the hit. They’re underestimating Jungkook.
This might be the last mistake they make.
“I think it would be better for everyone if we could work through whatever issue there is,” you say slowly.
Better for them, really, especially because this is you giving him a second chance. There won’t be a third one.
“I’m afraid we don’t, uh, approve of the recent change in direction,” he replies, a stupid grin on his face. He’s mocking you and your infamous overly procedural speech. You know people say you can’t accept who you’re working for, that you can’t take the idea of having blood on your hands.
You may not care, but you’re well-aware of it, and you really don’t appreciate him saying that to your face. You’ll have to make an example out of him.
You sigh and shake your head at his answer. You’re not going to enjoy this. You’ve seen people’s attempts at rebellion against Mr. X, even if those were few and far between, and no matter how much of a fight they put up, it never ends well. For them.
You’re prepared to just leave the place and arrange for it to be set on fire during the night, when Jungkook’s voice snaps you out of it.
“What’s your problem with the change in direction, fucker?”
The mood changes immediately. Hector’s hand on your shoulder gently pulls you back, and Yoongi hops off the table to come stand next to Jungkook, hands in his pockets. He looks nonchalant and relaxed. He could probably easily kill everyone in this room and not get a drop of blood on his jacket.
The owner squares his shoulders and walks up to him. He’s slightly taller and much larger than Jungkook.
You barely have the time to widen your eyes at the word, to think about all the ways Jungkook has made it clear that he’s not your typical rabbit-hybrid before his right hook connects with the man’s jaw, so fast you would have missed it if you’d blinked.
A moment of stunned silence follows, during which the man stumbles backwards, hand coming to cup his face in disbelief. And then, he seems to decide that it’s a good idea to retaliate. The dozens, hundreds maybe, of fights you’ve seen Jungkook win flash before your eyes. He doesn’t stand a chance.
People start moving around you, but it seems like it’s only a fistfight. No guns are drawn, for now, and you’re reminded of how much you fucking hate watching people fight. You take a step back, bored already at this stupid display of strength and violence. Still, you can’t help it when your eyes are drawn to Jungkook. There’s a— curiosity within you. How much has he truly changed, in the past two years?
For one, he certainly isn’t pretending this time, isn’t trying to make this fight last for a few more rounds. There iscertain showmanship there, though, you note. He’s giving time for the owner to recover while he takes out some of the other men with hits of surgical precision. He wants them to seewhatever he’s going to do to their boss. Hector and Yoongi keep the fight contained, don’t let anyone escape or call for help, but Jungkook doesn’t need their help. No one here is a threat to him, and it doesn’t take long for the men to be on the floor, groaning in pain.
The owner pushes himself up, spits some blood on the floor. Jungkook turns to face him and beckons him closer with a flick of his hand. He looks amused.
“You fucking piece of—”
This time, Jungkook doesn’t go for the head. His fist gets the man in the ribs, and that first punch is followed by dozens of others, not giving the man any respite, not letting him breathe. When the man falls back, Jungkook doesn’t stop, though the hits slow down, based on what you can see and hear. You have to clench your jaw to stop yourself from grimacing at the sound of flesh hitting flesh, of the bones underneath clashing. It was drowned out, back when he fought in a ring, but knowing it was there disgusted you back. You don’t know why, you just hate it. It makes you sick.
When Jungkook finally gets back up, he hasn’t even broken a sweat. There are five men on the ground, clenching different parts of their bodies and crying out in pain, and he isn’t even out of breath.
“You should fucking reconsider,” he spits out.
They won’t have to. This place will be gone soon enough.
His eyes meet yours as he walks out, and his expression turns to a disgusted scowl. It almost draws a scoff out of you, but you hold it in, and instead, you follow him dutifully.
Jungkook doesn’t speak to you in the car, eyes instead on his bloody knuckles. It will heal fast, you know, and that’s probably why he doesn’t bother taking care of it. When the car stops, you look outside and find yourself faced with your own apartment building. It’s not even five in the afternoon yet. You turn around to give your boss a quizzical look.
“You’re not needed anymore,” he shrugs. He doesn’t sound like he’s playing this time, though you’re still sure that he wants to get on your nerves.
You hate that it’s working this time.
“The day isn’t—”
“I think you’ve proved exactly how efficient you are today,” he says, obviously dismissing you. “I have no fucking idea how you got this job.”
You bite your tongue not to reply. You don’t care about the job, you don’t care about his opinion of you, you barely even care about the Family. You should just nod, give him the usual “yes, Mr. Jeon,” and walk out. But something keeps you in place a little longer than it should, and that’s how much you hate jobs that aren’t well done.
Your voice sounds distant to your own ears when you say what you’re supposed to, your body doesn’t feel like your own when you walk out and close the door. Your breathing quickens while you hear the car leave behind you like it’s all happening in a dream, your head spins, and you stand frozen in place, staring right in front of you.
Is this your life now? you wonder, feeling your heart thumping like it’s trying to get out of your chest. Are you going to let yourself be so disposable, so mediocre, let everything you’ve spent years building fall apart? This isn’t the time for pride, you’re well aware of that, but it’s still eating at you inside.
You walk back to your apartment like you’re in a trance. There’s a heavy weight on your chest, and you realize you have to make a choice. If things stay like that, you suppose Jungkook will have your head at some point. This is a fight of patience. One you cannot win. But if you make yourself indispensable, then maybe, maybe you can survive it. You’ve done it once already.
You brush aside the little voice mocking your reasoning, telling you that you’re doing this because you don’t want to lose your status. Not because it’s wrong, but because you know that’s not enough of an incentive for you to take a risk. You need something stronger than that. Even if you know it’s a lie.
That doesn’t stop your hand from trembling as you dial Yoongi’s number. You’re happy there’s no one to see you, because God, you couldn’t take your carefully crafted facade crumbling right now.
“Yes?” he answers quickly. If he’s surprised to hear from you, it doesn’t show.
“What are the plans for the Mystery Room?” you ask, satisfied that your voice doesn’t quiver, even if you’re a mess right now.
There’s a silence at the other end of the line, and you suspect he’s considering not answering you, so you take the initiative.
“You need to at least replace the owner,” you say, kicking off your shoes. “You can convince him to sell to us,” — convince, one of your favorite euphemisms — “or get rid of him and get the place from his family. Burning the place down is also an option. We can’t let what happened slide like that.”
“Hmm,” Yoongi says.
“Also, it would better if Mr. Jeon could avoid fighting with people. The last thing we want is people who think they can challenge him.”
“He can take them.”
“That’s not the issue. If people think they have a chance, they’ll keep trying. We don’t want them to do that.”
Another, longer silence.
“Why are you telling me this?”
“Because he’ll listen to you.”
“And you think I will listen to you?”
You roll your eyes. It’s strange, you know you’re gambling your life right now, but the tension you were experiencing earlier has been replaced by an eerie calm. You feel detached from everything.
Maybe you’ve been doing this for too long.
“You don’t have to,” you say, “but this is my job. I’m good at it. If you just let me do it, it would be far more efficient than whatever has been going on for the last week. I know you don’t trust me, but you can probably come to the same conclusions as me in this situation at least.”
Your heart is hammering in your chest. This is an explicit critique, something you would never have risked with Mr. X, and it’s the most open act of defiance that you’ve ever done — and it’s to convince them to let you workfor them.
“We’ll see about that,” he replies dismissively, and your shoulders fall at first, but then he adds, almost reluctantly, “I’ll take what you said into consideration.”
“Good. We also need to talk about tomorrow’s meeting. I’ve gotten some important information about the opposition to Mr. Jeon, and I think—”
As you explain the situation to Yoongi, you feel yourself calming down. Maybe it’s because you’re doing something that’s familiar to you, you’re not sure, but you can breathe again, and that solidifies your conviction that you’re making the right decision.
Finally, you’re ready to take back your life.
Tag list: @chaiwivluv @mintyrae @btswdwsmhrdt @xxquenwxtchxx @fekitza @kimmieloveswho @deeepvibes @lonleycoffee @gookiebts @kpop-baka @taecallsmenoona @mimiinluv @dabbingangels @jooahchu
116 notes · View notes
Characters: Professor!The8 x Reader
Genre/Warnings: Smut, public sex, spanking, dirty talk
Summary: You didn’t like poetry class but you did like the professor, although he was a bit strict. You shouldn’t have fallen asleep in his class. Now he has to punish you.
Word count: 2.817
a/n: This very self indulgent fic of mine...
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The only thing worse than a Poetry class, you’ve decided, is a Poetry class at nine in the morning -- but it was the last one with any seats open, so it’s the one you’re stuck in. It’s been almost two months since the start of the semester, yet it’s only by the grace of good, strong coffee that you’ve been managing to get to class on time on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
This particular Tuesday is especially rough. You were up way too late last night studying for a Biology test later in the day, and since Bio’s your Major and Poetry is just a throwaway Class you have to take to graduate…let’s be real, you’re really just phoning it in today.
Ugh. You drop your bag next to your usual seat in the middle of the lecture hall and melt into the chair, an Americano in hand. Your first instinct was to skip this morning and sleep in, but your Poetry professor has a wicked strict attendance policy. Somehow, even though there are like a hundred students in the class, he knows you all by name and he doesn’t have to take roll to know who’s missing. Your participation grade just mysteriously drops. And considering the grades you’ve been making on your papers in this class? You can use all the participation points you can get. Poetry analysis is just not your thing, it turns out.
Really, the only redeeming thing about the class is the instructor himself: Professor Xu Minghao. You’re reminded of this as he saunters through the door to the lecture hall, auburn hair and a pair of black-rimmed glasses framing his handsome face. He’s got his favorite orange scarf draped around his shoulders today, which contrasts nicely with his charcoal suit and black necktie. He’s always dressed to the nines, unlike most of the other faculty in the English department, who seem to still be dressing themselves out of their grandparents’ moth-eaten closets. If you have to study poetry, thank God you’re able to do it with a professor who looks as good as he does. And let’s not get started on how his voice sounds… like warm chocolate melting in your mouth.
Professor Minghao sets down his lecture notes and his well-worn copy of Selected Works of the Romantic Poets on the table in the front of the hall. He scans the room and smirks. Someone, or multiple someones, must be missing. Good thing you showed up today. He turns to the blackboard, picks up the least-used piece of chalk, and quickly writes something on the board.
“Good morning, everyone. So good of you all to join us today,” he smiles as he addresses the room. “We’ll be discussing Lord Byron this period. Can anyone tell me Byron’s actual name? This should be no challenge at all...assuming, of course, that you’ve all done the reading for today.”
Shit. There was reading? You must have forgotten to do it while you were busy cramming for the Biology test. You slide lower into your seat and pray he doesn’t call on you.
“George Gordon Byron,” answers a pretty girl in the front row. He grins at her and you can’t help but roll your eyes. Although you secretly wish he would smile at you like that...
Professor Minghao spends ten minutes going off on a tangent about Byron’s affairs with various women before he picks his copy of Selected Works of the Romantic Poets up from the table and tells everyone to turn to page 62. You ran out of Americano fifteen minutes ago. Now you can’t stop yawning.
“For today’s analysis, we’ll be taking a look at ‘Darkness.’ Let’s read over it together and see what we can glean, shall we?”
He clears his throat and begins to read, his deep voice carrying all the way to the back of the lecture hall.
Professor Minghao’s rich voice reading Byron’s words in such a rhythmic meter is so soothing, your head starts to bob. By the midpoint of the poem, you absolutely cannot keep your eyes open. You feel yourself start to drift away…
You’re awakened by the sound of your classmates shuffling their papers. As you groggily look around, you notice they’re gathering their things. The guy next to you gets up, scoots down the row, and exits the lecture hall, which is when it dawns on you with sudden horror that class is over, and you slept right through it. Your heart nearly stops as you look down to the blackboard.
Professor Minghao is looking right back at you, arms crossed, with the smirk he usually reserves for absent students. Oh shit. He raises a hand and crooks his finger, gesturing for you to come down from your seat. You swiftly run down the stairs and stand across from him, on the opposite side of the table.
“Oh no, that won’t do at all,” he says. “Come closer.”
You hesitantly circle around the table, coming to stand in front of him. It’s just the two of you now - all of your classmates have left the room.
“Did you have a nice nap?” he asks, towering above you. Somehow you never noticed how tall he was until this moment.
“I’m so sorry, Professor, I really didn’t mean to--”
He puts a finger to your lips to quiet you. Despite his rudeness, a bolt of desire sparks at the base of your spine. How is he so handsome? “Your intent matters not, I’m afraid. The fact is that you did. I know you’re quite aware of my policy on class participation. I’ll have to deduct points.”
“Professor Minghao, please, I...I’ll do anything -- I’m not good at poetry like the rest of the class. I really need the participation points…”
“Anything, you say?” He raises an eyebrow.
“Anything,” you reply.
“Well then, it’s a good thing you’re wearing a skirt today, my dear. You have some class participation to make up for. Now bend over the table.”
You think you must have heard him wrong. “Professor…?”
He reaches out and strokes your cheek with the back of his hand. “You did say you would do anything, did you not?”
“But...here? Isn’t there another class in here after ours?” Your heart is starting to race.
Professor Minghao shrugs his shoulders slightly. “If there were another class in here - which there is not, I assure you - then we would have quite the audience, now wouldn’t we,” he chuckles. “Well then, shall we get started? I’m sure you have other classes in which to grab a few winks today. Bend over the table, dear.”
You nod sheepishly and obey. You lay your torso against the table, leaning into your forearms, leaving your rear end dangerously exposed. Out of your field of vision, you hear Professor Minghao shift slightly behind you.
“My, what a lovely sight you are,” the Professor says as he lifts your skirt and smooths it down over your back, out of the way. Hearing that voice complimenting you… it’s enough to make you shudder a bit with lust. You bite your lip, hoping he keeps talking.
“You know, I plan my lessons very carefully,” he says. “A lot of work goes into selecting each poem for you all to consider. Which ones will help you develop your skills. Which ones will bring out your latent abilities.”
You feel his hand slide into the waistband of your panties. He tugs your waistband up and you wonder why your professor is giving you a wedgie, but then his hands stray further down. He pulls your panties taut against your now quite sensitive clit, and you gasp at the sensation. Oh, is that what he was doing?
“It hurts me when my students don’t appreciate the care that goes into each class of mine. Truly, it cuts me to the bone. Do you not appreciate my class?”
He cups a hand to your right asscheek and begins to massage it. The warmth of his hand in the cool air of the classroom is a welcome feeling.
“I’m really sorry again, Professor, it’s not that I don’t appreciate it, I just--”
You wince and grab tightly to the table as he gives your bottom a light smack. The motion pulls your panties tighter against all the right spots, and you moan softly.
“I am uninterested in your excuses, my dear. But listen to what delightful little sounds you’re making. Those sound like noises of appreciation to me. But perhaps I need to hear them again, just to be sure.”
This time you brace yourself in advance, knowing what’s coming. He spanks your ass again, a little harder this time. You yelp a little, but somehow the pain actually feels nice, almost comfortable, and your yelp involuntarily becomes another moan. He spanks you twice more for good measure. You can practically feel your ass bruising beneath his large hand, but the static hum of the pain is mixing with the pleasant feelings emanating from between your legs each time you move so much as an inch. Spanking wasn’t something you had ever thought of getting off on before, but damned if Professor Minghao isn’t doing his best to make it happen.
Once more, you brace yourself for impact, but it doesn’t come. Concerned, you raise your head slightly and look back, over your shoulder, at the Professor.
“Was...was that it?” you ask.
He gives you a strange look. “You’ve made up your participation points -- you’re free to go.”
Your brain’s gone fuzzy with lust, and you’re fairly certain you’ve drenched through your panties. Your body still wants more, and let's face it, your mind does too. How often do you find yourself face-down, ass-up with the hottest professor in the department?
You lick your lips seductively. Or what you hope is seductively, anyway.
It doesn't escape his notice. “Were you perhaps wishing that your punishment were not yet over?”
“Oh yes, Professor. In fact, I...think I feel another nap coming.” You fake a yawn for extra effect.
“Is that so?” He gives you a wild grin, as though he is cooking up a mad scheme meant just for you. “Turn over, dear.”
You do as he says. As you wiggle over onto your back, you squeal in surprise as he seizes you by the panties, pulling them down around your ankles and carefully over your shoes. He tosses them onto a nearby chair for safekeeping.
Professor Minghao leans over you, his hands perched by your shoulders. His hair drapes around your face like a curtain. He leans in closer to whisper in your ear.
“Last chance. Shall I continue?”
You quiver with need as you nod.
He stands up, pulling a condom from his pocket. He slowly releases his erection from his slacks, letting you take in the sight, and you can’t help but gasp slightly as he gives himself a long stroke, deftly applying the condom.
“Do you like what you see, dear?” he says, looking at you lasciviously. “You’ll have it soon enough.”
You shiver with delight as he leans back over you and begins to kiss down your neck. He scoops you up, one arm under your neck and one beneath your hips and you instinctively wrap your legs around his torso as he lifts you.
In the space of five steps, he has you pinned to the blackboard, a cloud of chalk rising from the wall with a puff as your back makes impact. You slide your arms around the professor’s neck, pulling him closer, settling your legs around his waist. In this position, his erection is pressing right against you. The sensation only makes you want him more.
“Professor, please! I don’t want anyone to walk in on us…” you say as he kisses you, and you do mean it, but you’re also pretty sure that you might explode if he doesn’t hurry up.
Professor Minghao smirks at you, and God but that smirk does terrible things to you. You try your hardest to remember exactly what that expression looks like so you can think about it later. When you’re...alone. In your room. Doing things.
“I truly doubt it will happen but if your concern about it will dampen your pleasure, I am happy to cut to the chase.”
Still pinning you to the blackboard, he moves his hips to line himself up with you. You moan as he pushes forward, filling you up with his impressive cock.
“‘Come slowly, Eden,’” he says softly to you, in that voice you know from class means he’s reciting verse, though it’s taken on a low, gravelly tone as he begins to thrust. You’re not sure whether it’s weird or super hot that he’s spouting poetry while he’s burying himself in you.
“‘Lips unused to Thee ’” he says, as he nibbles and sucks on your lower lip, letting his tongue slip in where it may for the occasional deep kiss while he grinds his hips into yours.
Okay, it’s super hot.
You feel like you need something to use as a counterbalance to him pressing you into the blackboard, so with one hand, you tangle your fingers in his hair. With the other, you dig your fingernails into his back. He makes a noise of delight at that and grasps your hips with his strong hands in response. You’ll never be able to watch him write notes on the board the same way again.
“‘Bashful -- sip thy Jessamines, as the fainting Bee,’” he continues, reciting the words quietly, and you cannot believe that he can even remember a poem while he’s fucking you, much less speak it from memory, you can barely recall your own name.
“Oh, God!” you gasp as a wave of pleasure washes over you.
“‘Reaching late his flower, round her chamber hums --’” every one of his grunts and thrusts follow the meter of the poem to be expected of someone who has spent their life dedicated to the study of poetry.
Sweat begins to bead on his brow as he picks up his pace. He grins devilishly at you, those deep amber eyes holding you in their gaze, and you can feel yourself getting closer to the edge. A cloud of tingling warmth spreads across your body. Your muscles tighten, anticipating release, like the coil of a spring waiting to be loosed.
“Don’t stop,” you manage to squeak out, holding onto his shoulders for dear life.
“I wouldn’t dream of it, dear,” he replies, his kiss pushing your head back into the blackboard.
Your climax comes over you gradually, a pulsing electric pleasure, and all of your thoughts fade into the sparkling white haze. Professor Minghao keeps his mouth on yours, kissing you as you orgasm, his tongue muffling your cries of ecstasy.
“‘Enters and is lost in Balms,’” he says, breathing heavily through the words, and you know instinctively that the poem has come to an end. Shortly after, you hear his own moans of euphoria. He throws his head back and trembles as he comes, digging his fingers into your hips just as you held fast to his shoulders.
He rests his forehead against you for a moment, gathering himself, then carries you carefully to the table. He lays you gently down and disentangles himself. Pulling tissues from his lecture bag, he turns around to discreetly take care of the condom.
Your legs feel like they’re made of jelly, but they seem to be usable, so you carefully pad over to the chair to retrieve your underwear.
“Um, Professor? What poem was that?” you ask, pulling on your panties. “The one you were reciting?”
“‘Twas Emily Dickinson ‘Come Slowly Eden.’ Lovely, is it not?” he smiles.
Maybe it’s just the oxytocin from the sex making you want to bond with the professor, but you find yourself nodding. “Yeah, it was nice. It’s...about sex? I didn’t even know people wrote poems about sex.”
“Indeed they do,” Professor Minghao leans against the table, a soft expression on his face. “As it happens, quite a few poems that appear on the surface to not be about sex are, in fact, about sex. Poetry is about life, you see, in all its glory and often, all its vulgarity.”
You mull it over for a moment and come to the quiet realization that...Biology is the same, in a way. The study of Life, from the largest things to the smallest. Maybe Poetry wasn’t so hard to understand after all.
“I promise not to fall asleep in your class again. But...if I don’t understand something, could I...swing by your office sometime?” You bat your eyelashes at him.
He laughs, tipping your chin up and placing a firm kiss on your lips. You melt into it. “I shall always have open office hours for you, dear.”
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二 ᴀᴄQᴜᴀɪɴᴛᴇᴅ 🍒 ʟᴅʜ
POST BY sunnysaranghae3
Pairing: Donghae x Reader
Word Count: 2k
Auditions have always been nerve wracking. Although Aera has been past this stage, she and Irene will never get used to it. It always starts with the CEO pointing out the small details. Just like today, two juniors were still not present despite being half an hour past the call time.
“Did you prepare all the music?” the CEO asked.
“Yes, it has been finalized as well. All the clothes are hanged and prepared—”
Director Lee asked, “What’s wrong? They’re Ji Chun Hui seonsaengnim—”
The CEO gave her the hangered clothes and said, “Who prepared them? Why are the hangers in different shapes? If the models would look at these pieces, you’re giving them an excuse that they’re just clothes from the prior season.”
When the CEO finally settled, the director got wary again. She explained that there are twenty-five models both seniors and juniors, excluding Aera and Irene.
Models are inspected before bringing them to the designer. Like idols, the management checks these models especially the rookies. The only difference is that there are auditions for every fashion show because the models are all independent. Fixed groups do not exist. Their walking and attitude are checked during the auditions.
From twenty-five, only fifteen models are picked because there will be about ten top models. Aera and Irene will be present in the auditions as demonstration and guide.
As the CEO puts on her glasses, the music starts playing and the first group of senior models line up. And again, Aera will never get used to this. Their CEO always had the highest standards and all her juniors are watching.
Some people might be confused as to why and how Aera became a model. She is standing at a hundred and sixty-eight, but she is one of the top models of ESteem. The thing is, when she wears five-inch heels, she walks as if she runs in them. She becomes a different person. And she totally owns the runway.
Aera was the first to walk down. Her eyes change, and she gives the CEO a glance. But when she was about to turn, she stopped her, “Aera-ya, can you tie your hair?”
She ties her hair loosely, and she pulls her hair back. She looked at the CEO, and she just gave her a nod. With a graceful turn, Irene came next and they finished.
It would always be a terrifying thing when your boss suddenly points you out. Even if you have done your job properly, they will always have something to ask you about. But she likes it this way. Every single day is always a new day to improve.
Time flies when you work. The CEO asked her and Irene to dye their hairs into a lighter shade because it would be the S/S collection—spring and summer season—collection. And in fifteen models, all four rookies were chosen to be sent to designer Ji Chun Hui.
Being a senior does not mean power. For Aera and Irene, it’s a pressure to be a senior because you have to set an example to juniors. People expect you to set higher standards each time you accomplish something. In terms of both junior and senior high school students, they need to be complimented, yelled, and fix them so that they can improve. Everyone needs to work together to see the results.
Today is a Saturday. Aera has not spoken to Donghae this morning because she left while he was still sleeping. She did not bother to wake her up anymore since he was tired for sure.
It was a little after noon when she, along with everyone, were able to wrap things up. There was also a ringing on her phone, but she declined it because she and Irene were in the middle of clarifying things to the CEO about the auditions earlier. Although the CEO didn’t mind it, she was uncomfortable with the vibrations on her hand.
As if on cue, someone was walking down through the halls of the office. And because of the big glass walls, it can clearly be seen who they were. Why on earth is Donghae here?
It was a relief they were almost done with the small talk. Aera looked at the man to see him looking at her in the eyes. She avoided him, and then she looked at Irene. Irene gave her a confused look. Both women knew that a menacing atmosphere was starting to cover the place.
Aera and Donghae have talked about this before. They have cleared with each other that they should not see each other around in public because it was dangerous. Especially that he is in ESteem building, there is no reason for him to come. So why was he standing there because he obviously looks as if he is waiting for someone?
Lee Donghae is playing a dangerous game. He thinks he is a man of control sometimes. This time he should be resting and waiting for you at home. Or maybe even in his cafe to check things out since he was out of the country for a while. Not be standing there and waiting for her.
He should leave, she thought to herself as if talking to him pryingly.
Before she knew it, the CEO had given the man a brief look and opened the door. There was a slight terrifying twinge in her chest at the sight of him.
“Annyeonghaseyo, Lee Donghae-ssi. May I help you with anything?” the CEO had swung open her office glass door. She continued, “I think you’re in the wrong building.”
What the hell is he doing there? He should go. But Donghae was frozen, he was thinking of stuff to tell the CEO as an excuse. The sight of Aera has taken his breath away. He shall not fuck up answering.
”Annyeonghaseyo, sajang-nim. I’m here for… Kim Aera-ssi?” his eyes slowly travelled to land on the lady’s figure. On his lady’s figure.
”Oh? Audrey-ah?” the CEO gave her a look. She then asked, “Wae?”
”Ah, actually… I’m waiting for her and Irene-ssi? Uh, because… we’re all friends with this person but this friend is busy but she… sent me to give her an invitation,” he explained.
Goodness, Donghae is so stupid. Aera wanted to laugh at him right now. He was never good at lying.
”I didn’t know you are friends with one of my children?” the CEO looked at her again.
Donghae was fast to speak, “We are acquainted, me and Aera-ssi.”
Aera waited for her boss to say something. But instead, her eyes went back to her. She seemed to be waiting for her to say something instead.
”Yeah, we’re acquainted,” she pulled off a smile.
The CEO just nodded with a little ‘alright’ before walking to her seat. She just smiled at the two women and said, “Alright. I guess I’ll see you again after your break. Take good rest but make sure you don’t forget your figures.”
There was a couple free time before Seoul Fashion Week. So the seniors were allowed to leave for two to three days before getting back to hustle. The management will be busy on those days to focus on rookies and models who needed improvement.
All three walked out of the room quietly. Irene was the first to speak when they were a few meters away from the office of the CEO. She said, “Oppa, that was awful. You suck at lying so much.”
He could only chuckle at that.
”Where are we going, anyway? Invitation to where again?” Aera asked Donghae.
”Invitation to my parents’ house. They wanted us to come home to Mokpo for Seollal, and then we go to Incheon to your parents in the morning,” Donghae explained.
As they went down to the lobby, Irene smiled, “Y’all got so much to do on the holidays.”
”Tell me about it, I just want to be home with her,” Donghae said.
“Enjoy your holidays, lovebirds,” Irene chuckled softly in almost a whisper and gave Aera a cute smile. She then told Donghae the drill, “Follow us to my place. I still have to give her the cookies I baked before you guys head out of the town.”
It has always been like that. Meeting in Irene’s private parking area, picking her up in an exclusive place, or moving to another place separately. Although it brings so much hassle, all of those who knew their relationship would help them with it.
Donghae is always willing to go for the extra mile just to protect Aera. If only people would know how much he begged his members and the others not to say anything about it, they would pity him. They had talked about revealing their relationship to the public before. But he cannot afford it just yet not because of his career, but his heart will break if she gets notorious threats and hurtful words by the public.
Aera is all he has. She is the love of his life. And if anything threatens his love to crash, he would die. Donghae would fall apart. And that is how much he loves her.
Descent of Man
Pairing: Commander Joseph Lawrence (The Handmaid’s Tale (TV)) x femme!Reader
Warnings: SPOILERS, Canon-Divergence, Non-Canon, Post Season 3, Repression, Oppression, Dystopic Future, Dystopian Themes, Older Man/Younger Woman, Mentions of Pregnancy, Mentions of Death, Traditional Gender Roles, Religious Extremism
“Straighten your back, dear. Don’t slouch.”
“Yes, Aunt Lydia.”
You tighten your grip on the handle of your red leather suitcase as you walk up the concrete path that leads to Commander Joseph Lawrence’s front door. Nerves in your legs tingle back to life. The drive from the Red Center was long, and Aunt Lydia had counselled you to mind your patience when you’d grown restless. But now, as you make your way to the crescent-shaped steps, you can’t help but hope for even one minute more in the van.
The overcast sky looms grey and ominous overhead.
“Remember, the Commander is a very powerful man.” Aunt Lydia’s cane clacks on the concrete alongside your footsteps. “He is very well respected, Ofjoseph. This is quite the opportunity for you.”
“Yes, Aunt Lydia.”
The old Victorian becomes grander and more imposing with every step you take towards it. Your gaze lifts higher and higher: first floor, second storey, then dormers and a tower that let light into what must be the attic. Stonework and Roman arches over the windows and doors signal the age of the house—it has to be at least one hundred years old.
“He has suffered great losses recently, as you well know.”
“Yes, Aunt Lydia.” She had recited the story over and over—and made sure you could tell it back to her, too. Your and Aunt Lydia’s footsteps fall into stride along the concrete path, fast approaching the stairs up to the house.
“His dear Wife, Mrs Eleanor Lawrence—may God protect and keep her—and then his Handmaid, too.” The Aunt tuts. “Oh, that wretched girl. I’d had such hopes, Ofjoseph—but you won’t disappoint me so, will you, dear?”
“No, Aunt Lydia.” The knot in your gut tightens.
“No, good girl.” Aunt Lydia modestly raises her brown skirts to ascend the concrete steps with grace. “Posture,” she says pointedly, brow arched, looking back at you with an appraising, approving glance before she knocks on the large black front door.
Just before you bow your head to look to the concrete beneath your feet, your eye is caught by something to the right, attached to the burnt-orange bricks that make up the gloriously antiquated home.
It’s a black wooden plaque, with three golden numerals in the centre framed by a golden ovoid ring.
You glance down quickly. You should not even be making an attempt to read, whether it be letters or numbers or anything. If Aunt Lydia saw recognition register on your face, she’d march you straight back to the van to return you to the Red Center for the swift removal of one of your fingers.
Leniency, for your first offence.
“The Commander has been very gracious in accepting you, Ofjoseph. You have a privileged place here.”
“Yes, Aunt Lydia. Praise be.”
“Mm,” Aunt Lydia hums in righteous agreement. “Praise be.”
…But still, it strikes you as unusual, as you stare at the grey concrete, that such a plaque should even exist, now. Such decorative tiles are relics from the time before Gilead—forbidden, now, and what’s more, utterly useless. How could such an inscribed plate remain intact when there are no more street signs to direct your way let alone numbered houses?
The front door swings open, shocking you out of your thoughts.
“Blessed day. Come in, Aunt Lydia.”
A female voice. Younger? Deferential.
A Martha: one of the two you’d been told to expect here.
“Blessed day, Sienna, thank you,” Aunt Lydia replies pleasantly. “Come along, Ofjoseph,” she says promptly, without a look back at you as she steps inside.
The interior of the Commander’s house greets you like, once, a warm hug might have done. Off the foyer is two sitting rooms, and they seem dark, but not sinister inside. The walls are papered with cranberry-red brocade and muted-toned, aging florals, or else—painted with rich, deep hues of colour. Dark-stained wood pocket doors with etched glass inserts lead to one sitting room and an archway with a stained-glass transom at the top leads to another. The heavy, patterned curtains inside make the sitting rooms feel cosy and private—even, dare you think, warm. Full and ornate bookshelves, rugs of paisley and Persian patterns, and an abundance of leather seating furnish the cluttered rooms.
“This way, please,” offers the Martha named Sienna, gesturing through the open pocket doors.
You follow Aunt Lydia, your eyes struggling to adequately absorb every detail of the room. Lamps on side tables, artworks from many different Schools arranged effortlessly on the walls, chests, sculptures, a chandelier, a fireplace.
Cushions and blankets strewn over the leather couches. Stacks of books lazing on armchairs.
An old, freestanding record player in one corner.
Knowledge, art, and music all reside here.
The house is lived in. Still. Even now.
“Can I getcha a tea, some coffee, Aunt Lydia?” comes a man’s voice from the far end of the room.
Before you can think better of it, your gaze snaps to the sound of his voice—relaxed, even casual in tone. He stands just inside another arched opening, hands tucked into the pockets of his trousers. A generous head of ghost-white hair tops his head. He has thick grey brows and a white beard peppered with silver and grey. Thin-framed glasses rest on the bridge of his nose. He wears a waistcoat, and a buttoned vest with a scarf tied like a cravat, in an ascot knot.
It’s the first you’ve seen a man of Gilead not dressed in a black suit and black tie.
“Commander Lawrence,” Aunt Lydia smiles, with only a slight waver in her voice. “Blessed day, Sir.” Your raised wings catch in her periphery and she glances at you with beady eyes.
You drop your head immediately, quickly and quietly pretending like you’d been studying the many colours in the Persian rug beneath your brown boots.
The Commander’s gaze flicks to you—not that you see it—before he looks back at the Aunt. “Hi, yeah,” he says, “blessed, good morning.” He calls down the hallway, “Sienna?”
You shift on your feet, tightening your grip on your own gloved hands where they rest in front of you. The Commander’s casual, informal, incorrect greeting stirs a sense of unease in your stomach. Was he merely distracted or… wilfully disrespectful? Could you even think such a thing, about a man like him?
Beside you, Aunt Lydia bristles, drawing in a sharp, quiet gasp. But she settles herself quickly.
“Sienna!?” calls the Commander again, louder this time before turning back to his guests.
Well, his one guest, who brought with her the newest member of his household.
“’d you say coffee, Aunt Lydia? I think Beth made scones.”
“Ah…” the Aunt hesitates, gathering herself in a way you’ve rarely seen her need to do. “Oh my. Tea would be a delight, Commander,” she recovers. “No need to waste your delicacies on me!”
“Hm,” Commander Lawrence huffs a mirthless laugh in response to Aunt Lydia’s self-deprecating smile, and the resulting silence is broken by a set of hurried footsteps that quickly enter the room.
“You called for me, Commander?”
The young Martha, her rich brown eyes wide, a sheen of sweat making her warm-brown skin glow, her voice slightly breathless.
“Auhm, yeah,” says Commander Lawrence, swivelling to address her. “Tea, please, Sienna—and bring three cups, would ya? Some of Beth’s scones, too.”
Aunt Lydia’s incredulous voice cuts through the room like a warm knife in soft butter. It’s so abrupt, so much shriller than you are used to that your gaze flicks upwards.
The Aunt’s round, wrinkled face is dropped in an expression of pure shock. The room is silent, even Sienna’s retreating footsteps have ceased, as the three of you look between each other—stunned in the face of this blatant and brazen flouting of Gilead-sanctioned decorum.
It seems, as tested as Aunt Lydia has been since arriving at the Commander’s house, that this act of hospitality extended to you, a Handmaid, is the extent of what she can handle.
For the first time since meeting him, you spot a hint of a smile flicker across Commander Lawrence’s face, as elusive as the passing of a shadow, or a ghost. “Three, Lydia,” he says quietly, with a self-assured confidence that dares her to question him further—especially since he refused to use her title.
The air is thick with tension. You hold your breath.
Aunt Lydia’s lower lip quivers as she searches for words. Her brow creases, her small eyes flitting between his as she holds the Commander’s gaze.
You hear her suck in a breath before she speaks again.
“Th-hank you, Commander Lawrence.” Aunt Lydia swallows. “Praise be, you are most generous, Sir.”
Everything breathes again. Footsteps recede down the hall once more, the walls themselves sigh with relief. For a moment you almost think you hear birdsong outside—but that’s next to impossible, over all the radio chatter.
“Welcome,” the Commander replies, lazily omitting words in his speech once more. His tone is breezily self-assured once again, but his dark eyes have hardened into a cold stare. He turns his gaze on you. “Sit.”
You look to the floor so quickly there’s a twinge in your neck, and you drop into the nearest seat. “Yes, Sir. Thank you, Sir. Under His Eye, Sir.”
“Alright,” the Commander cringes at your nervous rambling. “No problem, just, yeah. Siddown.”
You clasp your gloved hands together in your lap, your eyes fixed on the tiny balls of lint that have gathered near the seams. Everything about this man, from his clothes, to his manner, to his home, is contrary to what you’d been told to expect.
“Please,” says the Commander to Aunt Lydia, gesturing and offering for her to take a seat also. He walks around one of the armchairs, picks up a stack of three books and unceremoniously drops them on top of the existing stack on a nearby side table so he can sit down, too.
Aunt Lydia, frazzled and just barely recovering from the disrespect afforded her by the Commander, uneasily sits down on one of the brown leather couches. She sits like she’s perching on it, not quite setting down all her weight, on an angle to take up only the smallest possible amount of space.
She clears her throat. “Commander,” she forces a smile, shifting to face him, “it is my great hope that Ofjoseph will bring some,” she pauses, anxiously looking around at the many artworks and stacks of books that decorate the room, “stability, to your household, Sir. By His Hand.”
“Thanks,” says Commander Lawrence. “’ppreciate it.”
“I…” Aunt Lydia stammers again, stumbling over the Commander’s audacious disregard for social custom. It’s unorthodox—or rather, much worse—it’s a deliberate, transparent, shameless violation of his role as a Commander in the Republic of Gilead.
Lost for words, Aunt Lydia merely nods her head in deference. Her fingers flex around the gilded handle of her cane.
The Commander hums to clear his throat as Sienna brings a laden tray into the room. One teapot, three teacups, a plate of scones, and one small ramekin of butter.
The Martha sets it all down on the coffee table and the porcelain rattles softly in the stifling silence.
“Thanks, Sienna,” says Commander Lawrence, leaning forward to pour himself a cup of tea as the younger Martha leaves the room. “Hey, uh,” he sits back in his armchair, cup and saucer in hand, “you.”
You feel his eyes on you. This is how he chooses to address you? To draw your attention to him? ‘You’?
The stillness in the room is expectant, now. You tell yourself to lift your head.
“Ofjoseph?” Aunt Lydia prompts you.
Commander Lawrence speaks over the top of her. “Look at me.”
You lift your gaze to meet his. There’s nothing hard or soft in his stare, nothing warm or cold in the way he regards you. He merely sees you—his eyes observing, his lips in a line that neither smiles nor frowns.
He’s a wall, but built to defend or protect, you can’t read right now.
“My last Handmaid was a bit of a rabble-rouser,” he says easily, his voice nonchalant, “so I'm gonna say to you the same thing I said to her, ‘kay?”
You swallow, absorbing his candour. Aunt Lydia had told you never to speak of the last Ofjoseph, even if it was asked of you. But this particular question posed by the Commander requires more than a passive response. You get the sense that a number of conversations with him will be like this, and so you steel yourself to speak with a clear voice. “Yes, Commander.”
He keeps his gaze locked with yours, and brings his steaming teacup to his lips. He takes a slow sip, eyes trained on yours, and you resist the urge to shrink and shrivel into yourself.
The Commander swallows and sets his cup onto the saucer. It clinks, and after letting the small sound land for beat he says lowly, “You’re not gonna be any trouble, are you?”
Your breath catches, your voice stalling in your throat. Staring at him heats your blood, makes your palms perspire in your gloves. The man is dignified; he holds himself almost regally wherever he sits or stands. Is it the power he holds that makes him handsome, or is innate attraction purling in the pit of your gut?
…What will the Ceremony be like with him?
“No, Sir,” you say, your voice so soft it cracks. You gulp and collect yourself. Timidity does not seem to be a quality Commander Lawrence respects—another lesson you’d ardently learned only to be proven useless in his house. With more confidence, but not too much, particularly for Aunt Lydia’s benefit, you say, “Praise be to you, Commander, and may He make me truly worthy.”
You can feel Aunt Lydia’s presence lift with pride. You can see the smile spread across her face without needing to look at her, and can hear her words in your head without her needing to speak them.
‘Very good, dear,’ comes the Aunt’s voice in your mind.
The Commander looks you over, stoic as ever. “Ya,” is all he says in reply.
“Ofjoseph is one of our most promising Handmaids, Commander, allow me to assure you,” Aunt Lydia chimes in, now, finally, feeling on equal footing again. “Since the horrendous tragedies that your household has withstood, we thought it right and just that you be unburdened in at least this regard, Sir.”
“Unburdened?” the Commander replies flatly, his stalwart gaze now fixed on the Aunt.
You’re not sure whether you can look away from him. Does he wish for your eyes to remain on him? Does he expect you to look at him and from him at your own discretion? Would he like you to use your own judgement?
Regardless, it is clear that the decision of the Red Center Aunts to provide a pious, docile new Handmaid as consolation for his wife’s death is—at the very best—unappreciated by the Commander.
But whether or not Commander Lawrence appreciates the gesture and the gift that the Aunts have made you into is, ultimately, not your concern. Your first and last and only priority is that you fall pregnant with Commander Lawrence’s child as soon as humanly possible—or it’s the Colonies for you.
However, you being his sixth Handmaid, the Commander needs you to fall pregnant with his child just as quickly—given, especially, the sudden exodus of most of Gilead’s children seemingly overnight.
“Forgive me, Commander,” Aunt Lydia frowns, her eyes softening apologetically. “I only meant—”
“’s fine,” he interrupts, setting his cup and saucer back on the tray. “Tea’s gone cold, anyway,” the Commander stands from his seat and straightens his waistcoat, clearing his throat. “You can find your way out, Aunt Lydia?”
“Certainly, Sir,” Aunt Lydia assures him, mirroring his movement and standing from the sofa, somewhat uneasily on her injured leg. On instinct, you rise to your feet too.
“Til next time,” the Commander says, his voice laced with sarcastic fondness, as he strolls from the room and into what must be his private study. He doesn’t spare you a single backwards glance as he pulls another set of pocket doors closed behind him.
Silence settles over the sitting room like night.
Just like that, the visit concludes, and the realisation washes over you.
You’re not leaving with Aunt Lydia, when she goes, which she’s sure to do in just a moment.
This is it. The transaction is complete.
Your place is here. This house is now your home.
“I’ll be back the day after the Ceremony, dear,” Aunt Lydia says, leaning on her cane to stand. “In about, oh!” she pauses, looks at you with bright eyes, “seven days! Oh, sacred number. Blessings, Ofjoseph. May God bring forth His miracle.”
You muster a smile for her. Despite how this woman screamed at you, berated you, withheld your food and your sleep and denigrated your sense of self until you believed you were worth nothing more than being impregnated and delivering a healthy baby, her absence from your daily routine will be an adjustment.
You say, “Under His Eye, Aunt Lydia.”
She cups your cheek. “Under His Eye, dear.”
The Aunt makes her way to the door, met by Sienna and the second Martha, Beth, who stand in the foyer to see her off. The front door closes behind Aunt Lydia, and as soon as the latch locks it’s as if a dark, heavy storm cloud lifts from the house.
The Marthas sigh and relax, chattering eagerly and bickering animatedly about tonight’s dinner and even complaining about the Commander’s fussiness as they strut down the hallway to the kitchen. From the other side of the house, you hear a flare of music go up: some kind of Big Band era song, with trumpets and tubas and horns playing vivace—lively and fast.
The sun peeks out from behind the shroud of overcast sky, lighting up the sitting rooms with the glow of mid-afternoon.
You take a breath.
This old house feels alive.
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aot boys + kissing your best friend prank
a/n: Has this been done hundreds of times before? Yes
Am I probably late to the trend? Definitely
Will that stop me from posting this? No.
PAIRINGS: armin x gn!reader; eren x gn!reader; connie x gn!reader; reiner x gn!reader; porco x gn!reader; jean x gn!reader
Armin - you carefully angled up your camera to face Armin as you sat down beside him. "Hey" he smiled at you as he saw your approaching figure. "What are you watching?" you ask, nodding towards his phone. He tilts the screen to face you and starts talking about the video. He starts stuttering when you place both of your hands on either side of his face and shuts up when you place a soft kiss on his lips. You pull away, hands still on his face, and giggle at his pink cheeks and wide blue eyes staring at you. You try and remove your hands from his face when he takes yours in his, holding them in place. "why'd you stop?"
Eren - He was mindlessly scrolling through his phone so he didn't notice what you were up to. "Hey Eren" you call him, tapping his leg. "What do you want?" he asks, still glued to his phone. You gently tuck a strand of loose hair behind his ear before grabbing his face and turning it towards you. "What the hell are you doing?!" he violently leans away from you, causing you to fall onto his lap. Your wide eyes lock with his green ones for a second before he turns the tables and kisses you instead. He pulls away and chuckles at the surprised look on your face. "fucking finally."
Jean - He was too busy rambling about something stupid Connie and Sasha did that got him in trouble, so he didn't notice the phone camera that was pointed towards the both of you. "It's like taking care of two kids sometimes, I swear!" he complains. You laugh as his stressed expression and he seems to lighten up a little and he smiles a bit - just bit. You think it's the perfect time for your little prank so you grab him by his shoulders to gently pull him towards you and quickly peck his lips. His stares at you for a moment before his smile gets wider, the tip of his ears a little redder, as he snakes his arms around your waist. "If I take you on a date, will I get to kiss you again?"
Connie - He doesn't notice you set up your phone in the background, too focused on the movie the two of you were supposed to be watching. He's laughing about about something you don't really notice when you suddenly squish his cheeks together and place a quick kiss on his lips. You laugh and run off, leaving him to process what just happened. "NONONO WAIT COME BACK" you hear him chase after you. You feel his arms wrap around your torso and turn you around to face him. He presses dozens of quick kisses on your face and neck. In between giggles you hear him say "I liked that. can we do it again?"
Reiner - You set up your phone beforehand so you could just casually lounge around with him on the sofa. You chose a random movie, knowing you were going to be watching Reiner's reaction instead. "Hey rei" you call his attention once you see he's immersed enough in the film. Before he even has time to reply, you place a quick kiss on his lips and giggle when you see his eyes widen and his cheeks flush pink. However, it was your turn to get flustered when he gently cups your face and gently brushes your cheekbone with his thumb. "If it's alright with you, I'd like to kiss you properly this time" pls let him
Porco - He was too busy talking about something you honestly didn't pay attention to, that he didn't notice the way your phone was pointed towards him from the coffee table in front of you. "Hey you're not listening!" he teases, nudging your side. You smirk at him before placing your hands on his forearms to hold yourself steady as you lean in to kiss him on the mouth. He grabs your wrist and pushes you away. A small pout forms on his face as the tips of his ears slowly turn red. He rolls his eyes at you but loosens the hold he has on your wrists. His fingers gently draw random patterns on your forearm as he mumbles "if you wanted me to shut up, you could have just said so."
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bitch move but let’s party, there’s exactly one (1) word that I know I use enough to easily find 40 sentences using it
“Owfuckshit gimme a minute, I’ll be right there!”
“Fucking N.E.X.T. Labs surveillance state,” Jessie mutters.
His words spill out of his mouth in a cloud of condensation like it’s deep winter and not the middle of summer, and his eyes go wider than you’ve ever seen them, a split second of delighted what the fuck wonder on your brother’s face before he locks it down, like he always does, so as not to scare you.
“Fuck yes,” she told him.
When she’d settled down again to a less active misery she said, “This isn’t going to make me fuck you.”
Jessie Chilton, that motherfucker…
Now you’ve gotten too cocky, shame the fuck on you for wanting one nice shiny thing for yourself.
“Are you seriously gonna steal a fucking pizza off me?”
If Tash got down on her hands and knees and followed the line of toppled dominos she would never find a single inciting incident; there were hundreds if not thousands of them and the whole arrangement would spell out fuck you, Tash over and over into infinity.
“Oh, for fuck’s sake.”
What the fuck is the next would-be employer going to think when they see that the first chance you got at slightly better retail you decided to haul off and steal something?
Oh, fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.
“What the fuck do you call this?”
You are twenty four and on top of the world, sinister in sequins, a force to be fucking reckoned with.
“They didn’t have time for me to be mentally fucking ill.”
When you are Jonas are driving away he asks you if it was worth it, and you tell him to fuck off.
“Hey, Jessie,” says your archenemy, who is standing in the hallway of the building where you live in the middle of the afternoon while you are caught unawares in a pair of fucking pajamas.
Bastard, bastard, bastard if he’d done it already knowing what was coming her way; how the hell could you fuck someone knowing their fate was sealed?
“Oh fuckchristshit, not him!”
“What the fuck are you doing here?”
“Maybe because you dumped my favorite car in a fucking lake.”
Who the fuck does she think she is, invoking your brother like he’s in charge of you?
It disorients her immediately, and even when she remembers where she is and who she got there and whose fucking room this is, it hardly brings her any comfort.
You’re not so sure, a smoking crater might be a nice change of pace from the fuck-all you’ve been doing, but that’s not something one says in polite company so you shrug and agree.
Not here, not now, she refuses to die wearing nothing but her underwear and a borrowed t-shirt in Jessie fucking Chilton’s bed.
“Get the fuck out of my apartment,” you say.
She doesn’t have many thoughts about Mothwoman, except for the Mothwoman who exists in a very specific fanfiction series where she’s reimagined as a lesbian vampire who fucks like there’s no tomorrow.
You slam the window behind her, good fucking riddance, and seriously consider flinging yourself dramatically back into bed to take a two or five or ten hour depression nap about the humiliation of it all, but no.
“Well, I’m telling you to fuck off.”
“You took fucking public transit to rob an art museum?”
“What the fuck?”
It’s stupid, all stupid, and you’re angry at N.E.X.T. Labs for installing these judgey AIs in every ATM in town and at your bank account for drying up and at your brother for leaving you in a position to get patronized by a fucking robot.
“I think that your brother and Traceuse don’t fuck.”
“I don’t even care, I just really want to get fucked up and have a burger.”
Sure, it happened this month, several days late and with an apologetic note from Jonas that pointedly did not explain where he was or how he was acquiring fucking drachmas, but it’s time to face the facts and accept that your brother has become a bit unreliable.
“I was born in here because my mom’s a dumb bitch who didn’t want to stop hanging out at the bar even though she was nine months pregnant, so when labor hit her fast and fucking furious there wasn’t time to call an ambulance and Maud made her come in here where she wouldn’t disturb the other patrons and it would be easier to clean everything up on account of the drain in the floor.”
“What the fuck, I know you,” Jessie says, stopping short before she can steamroll right over the kid.
“Did you fucking change your last name to match your gimmick?”
“Cover your face, for fuck’s sake!”
In this case it’s the kid, the stupid fucking kid in his stupid fucking hoodie and glasses, who’s still running a few blocks on but doing a piss poor job of it.
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Genre(s): lots of angst, a tiny bit of fluff, lovers to exes (is that even a thing??)
Requested: nope! But it’s connected to my other work Bittersweet.
Pairing(s): kim hongjoong x reader
Word Count: 617
Synopsis: in which you run into the love of your life, bringing back a rush of memories that you had tried hard to bury.
Warning(s): none that I can think of!
Taglist: @soleilsuhh @leggomylino @skz-c1ty @hhaech-n
listen to hate everything by golden
You didn’t know what had just happened. Or, you did, but maybe your mind was just trying to process what happened, and your shaky breaths and racing heart didn’t help at all.
Maybe you were wrong, maybe you had not seen Hongjoong. Maybe you imagined it. But then you realized that you had seen Hongjoong, that you were right. Even with his mask on, you could recognize his eyes and his voice from anywhere.
What a coincidence you thought. It’s been exactly a year since your break up, 365 days exactly. You felt like your whole body was shaking as the memories started to rush back, from the first time that you met, to the last time that the two of you talked.
You were sure you were over him, that you didn’t care for him anymore. He was just a high school boyfriend after all. But the ache in your heart and the tears brimming in your eyes told you otherwise. You held back a sob as you remembered one of your most prized memories.
It was just another day like any other, Hongjoong walking with you hand in hand as you made your way to the bus stop. You had realized that you were in love with Hongjoong, and even though that scared you, you had accepted these feelings with open arms.
You looked over at him, still in awe that he was yours. He was yours and yours only, and the thought filled you with giddiness.
“Yes?” he replied, a small smile on his face as he looked over at you.
“I think I’m in love with you.”
Hongjoong froze for a moment, causing you to stop walking as well. You suddenly start to feel anxiety wash over you. Maybe it was too soon to say that. You had never told anyone besides your family that you loved them, but you were one hundred percent sure that you loved Hongjoong.
You glanced up at your boyfriend, butterflies erupting in your stomach as you saw his expression. His frozen expression had softened, a small smile on his face as his eyes shined with pure love and adoration for you. “I’m in love with you too.”
You always had a horrible memory. Sometimes, you couldn’t even remember what you had for dinner the night before. But you remembered that exact moment so vividly. You remembered the excitement that coursed through your veins after Hongjoong’s confession, the adoring look in his eyes, the way that he squeezed your hand in confirmation as if to say yes, I love you, I love you I love you.
And then you were suddenly remembering the phone calls, the dates, the cuddles, the deep talks, and it felt like your whole world was collapsing around you again. The tears falling down your face felt like they would never stop, your nose becoming runny and your sleeves starting to become wet from the amount of times that you had wiped your tears away.
You felt ridiculous, crying over a boy, one that probably never thought of you. You had never done that before, had never felt your heart ache at the thought of your other exes, had never felt so sad.
All of this was new, the crying, the aching in your heart, the memories making everything worse. It was then that you realized that you were heartbroken, that Hongjoong really was your first love, and it felt like no matter how long it had been since the breakup, there was always going to be a part of yourself that would still love him.
It has been 365 days since your breakup, and you were still in love with Kim Hongjoong.
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lourivers + superhero au
"Jesus," Rivers mutters, then closes the door behind her.
"Lou's fine," Lou says, not even bothering to turn and look at her. They're staring intently at their reflection in the bathroom mirror, brow furrowed, a pair of kitchen scissors clenched tightly enough in their right hand that their knuckles are turning white. The tiny room smells of burnt hair.
"Give me those," she says. "You're just gonna fuck your hair up more." Lou hands over the scissors, for once without making even a token attempt at arguing with her. The handle of the scissors is hot to the touch. Their hair is choppy and uneven, clumps of it already lying blackened on the tile floor. Rivers steps around it carefully and stands behind them. "How short do you want it?"
"I liked it long," Lou mumbles.
"Shouldn't have gotten it set on fire then, probably."
They sighs and tilt their head back into her hands, and she brushes a strand of hair off their cheek. "I forgot I was still flammable."
Rivers stares at them in the mirror, but their eyes are closed. Probably specifically to avoid her gaze. "How do you just forget that you're—"
"It feels like I shouldn't be," they snap, eyes still closed, but it's all exhaustion and no heat. "So."
Their fucking superhero costume—Rivers guesses that's what she's supposed to call it but it still sounds stupid even in her head—lies crumpled on the living room floor, still warm enough that Rivers could feel the heat radiating off of it when she got back to the apartment. Fireproof jumpsuit, form-fitting, a sexy black-and-white marketable version of Lou's old firefighter uniform. Before the house fire that wasn't a house fire, before the voice on the dispatch that Lou heard but Rivers never did, before the transformation that still doesn't make sense to her. Before the flames leaping restlessly between Lou's outstretched cupped palms now.
Their hands are the only part of them that is fireproof. The rest can burn so easily.
"Put out the fire or you're gonna burn this place to the ground too," Rivers tells them, sharp, and they close their fists and the flames extinguish silently. "Chin-length okay?" What they should've done is cover their hair entirely while they're out defending Chicago or whatever the fuck they call burning down part of the city center to stop Ruthless, but Lou insists the hair is part of it. Their image. And if they're that goddamn determined to get themself killed, Rivers figures there isn't anything she can do to stop them.
"Chin-length's fine." They're silent for a moment, and Rivers raises the scissors to the first lock of hair. "I'm not out here trying to burn shit down, you know," they burst out then as the blades slide together with a soft snick. "I'm doing my best with the hand I've been dealt, and—" Lou cuts themself off, and sparks fly from between their clenched fingers. An ember lands on their forearm, joining a hundred other burned pockmarks, and they hiss out a long breath.
"I know." She keeps cutting, methodical and careful. This isn't something she's done before, but it requires a steady hand and a good eye, and she has both of those, and Lou's letting her do this, trusting her with it. She won't fuck it up. "I just don't want to be cleaning up your messes forever."
Their lip curls. "If I'm such a horrible burden to bear, you can leave anytime."
"You know I don't think that." She refuses to be goaded. It's been a long enough day without that. "But I did just spend the last twelve hours trying to put out your fires. I don't want to have do it again."
"No casualties?" They don't say they're sorry. Not that Rivers would want their apologies anyway. But still.
"No. Everyone's safe. Somehow. Hospitalizations but no deaths."
They exhale, leaning back a little. "Okay. Alright. Good."
Rivers works in silence after that. It's not the best haircut in the world, but it's better than what Lou would've managed if left to their own devices. Once she sets the scissors down on the bathroom counter, Lou finally opens their eyes again and inspects themself in the mirror, tilting their head from side to side. Choppy hair falling down around their jawline, none of it singed. Their face looks sharper like this. More like a superhero from the movies than the girl Rivers met at the Fire Academy seven years ago. There's a smile pulling at their lips now, small and secretive.
"You love this," she realizes aloud, watching them angle their face as if for an invisible camera. "More than you ever loved firefighting."
Lou doesn't reply. They don't even pretend to look guilty.
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Little Mouse Ch. 8
↬ pairing: frat boy!jk x f. reader
↬ genre: college au, future smut
↬ wc: 4.2k
↬ warnings: cursing, fuck boy!tae, oc kicks tae a few times, shy but flirty jk, tons of inner turmoil, procrastinating!tae, some making out on oc’s couch, mention of dry humping, pet names (cutie, doll), serious!tae, reader x tae if you squint
↬ date: April 14, 2021
“Why am I friends with you?” you groan, glaring at the man that sits across from you, slunk in his seat, man-spreading so wide he almost trips another student with his foot.
“I often ask myself that,” the man beside you hums, looking up from his textbook for the first time in thirty minutes.
“I find that offensive,” Taehyung pouts as he straightens up in his chair, his chin resting in his palm as he leans forward toward you. You grimace, leaning back in your chair.
“You’re offensive,” comes your snarky remark, earning a chuckle from beside you. Taehyung looks at Jungkook, a scowl on his face, “you two teaming up against me isn’t fair.”
“Would you rather we leave?” you ask, shutting your laptop and pushing it away. Taehyung’s eyes widened, shaking his head quickly.
“No, I need help with the assignment. That’s why I asked for a study date,” he pouts, looking at Jungkook, who’s writing in his notebook but still paying attention to the conversation. “Jungkook’s the one that tagged along as soon as I mentioned I had a study date with you. Or maybe he just heard the word date and panicked?”
Jungkook’s cheeks burn, using his long hair to shield himself from your grinning face. You giggle, placing your hand on his thigh, squeezing it before moving his hair out of his face to kiss his cheek. That only makes him blush deeper, a small smile appearing on his lips.
You keep your hand on his thigh, feeling his muscles clench as he does his best to keep studying, but the fiery touch of your palm has his body igniting. Jungkook didn’t have any pending assignments, he always completed his work ahead of time. In fact, at the moment, he was reading the next few chapters to get ahead and hopefully have a better understanding of the material when it’s presented in class. As soon as he’d heard about your study date with Tae, he asked to tag along, and who was Tae to say no?
“How far have you gotten with your essay?” You ask Taehyung, wanting to go back home and have lunch, maybe take a nap.
“I have the header done,” Taehyung grins proudly.
“Just the header?” Jungkook asks, brows raised in alarm. You’d been together for nearly two hours. How had that been all he’d done?
“Yeah, y/n’s beauty is distracting,” Taehyung shrugs.
You kick him under the table.
“Ow!” Taehyung yelps, rubbing at his shin.
“How are you ever going to pass this class if you can’t even write a 500-word essay on a time you failed to achieve a goal? Five-hundred words, Tae!” you huff in annoyance, picking up your laptop and sliding it in your backpack.
“I can’t focus,” he pouts, staring at the blank screen of his laptop. “Besides, I’ve never failed to achieve my goals. I’m pretty amazing as it is.”
“Sure, see if that’s still the case when you get and F and have to retake the class next semester without me nagging you to get shit done,” you roll your eyes, grabbing the rest of your belongings, not surprised to see Jungkook has done the same.
Taehyung’s eyes widened with fear, turning to his laptop and immediately beginning his assignment. You shake your head, sighing heavily. Would he ever get his shit together?
You decide to push all thoughts of Taehyung and his procrastination behind, rising from your seat and taking Jungkook’s hand in yours. It surprises him, but he welcomes it. He takes your backpack with his free hand, shaking his head at his friend as the two of you head out of the library, leaving behind a very fucked Taehyung.
Jungkook squeezed your hand, smiling when you looked at him. Ever since you’d woken up wrapped in his arms Sunday morning, he’d been more comfortable with your touch and even initiating it in some circumstances.
You’d spent Sunday morning in his arms, Sunday afternoon on a date, and pouted when he had to go home later that evening after he’d gone to your place to watch movies and cook you dinner. Now it was Wednesday, and you found it hard to find time to see him. You weren’t a couple, but you were definitely hoping it would head in that direction, eventually. Did Jungkook hope for that too? You really hoped so. You’d come to like the shy, studious boy, who made your heart race and kissed you like his life depended on it.
Your breath catches in your throat when he stops, ignoring the grumbling of the students that were walking behind you. His hand cups your cheek, thumb stroking your skin, and your heart flutters in your chest.
Jungkook can feel his heart hammering in his chest but he doesn’t care, he presses his lips against yours in a brief kiss. He couldn’t help himself. You looked so cute.
“Come on,” you grin after, ignoring the flit of your heart.
Jungkook smirks, knowing he ruffled your feathers as you avoid eye contact.
“You sure know how to take my breath away,” you mutter as you lead him through the swarm of students stepping out of buildings as their classes end. Jungkook holds your hand tighter, smiling to himself.
“Would you like me to do it again?” He chuckles as you make it to the parking lot. The both of you stay on the sidewalk, Jungkook letting your hand go for a moment to move to the side closest to the curb.
“Do you want to come over?” You ask as you look both ways before stepping into the parking lot to get to your car.
“Sure,” he agrees easily as you spot your car and unlock it. Jungkook opens your door for you and you thank him with a kiss to his cheek. He blushes, moving to allow you to get in before he shuts your door. He opens the backdoor to set your backpacks on the seat before getting into the passenger seat.
“Are you going to the party on Friday?” Jungkook asks as you pull out of your spot and heading toward the exit.
“I don’t think so. I have an assignment due at midnight and I have gotten little done,” you sigh as you stop at the traffic light.
“Do you need help?”
“No, but you can come over. It probably won’t be as fun as the party though,” you shake your head, passing the row of homes that neighbor the university. You didn’t live too far away, but you still had to drive to school and back.
“Just being with you is enough. You’re fun,” you wonder if your heart can fly out of your chest? You bite back a smile but fail miserably. Jungkook notices anyway, smiling to himself.
“Finally,” you groan as you kick your shoes off and welcome Jungkook into your home, despite him having been there before.
Jungkook sets your backpacks on the loveseat before you tell him to make himself comfortable. You go to your bedroom, changing out of your jeans and shirt into a pair of soft shorts and a drop shoulder oversized sweater.
You swear Jungkook’s jaw nearly drops to the floor when you join him in the living room. You wink at him, loving how he admires your outfit.
You wonder if he’s feeling the way you feel about him when he shows up looking like a Greek god when you meet up. You hope so.
You sit beside him, turning your TV on. He eyes your game system, and the bookshelf overstuffed with video games, figurines, and manga.
“Can you pick something for us to watch while I order lunch?” you ask him, handing him the remote before you order food on your phone. Jungkook scrolls through your Netflix, seeing what you’ve watched before, not only to get a gist of what you like, but so he can pick something you’d enjoy.
He’s a bit surprised to see the horror movies you’ve watched, “I didn’t take you for a horror fan.”
“I haven’t found a movie that scares me,” you answer as you move closer to him. Jungkook gasps when he feels your thigh press against his. He looks at you, but you’re still staring at the screen. “The one that got me the most was the one where the landlord has cameras in the apartment and watches the tenants. I didn’t sleep that night wondering if there were cameras in here. All the other movies I’ve watched were kinda boring.”
“I’ll find a movie for us to watch next time. Something that will terrify you,” Jungkook chuckles, picking an anime instead.
“I’ll hold you to that. As long as it’s not mainly jump scares. I feel like that’s just an easy scare,” you frown. Jungkook nods in agreement, blushing when you place your head on his shoulder.
Biting his lip, Jungkook wonders if you can hear the thunderous beating of his heart as he lifts his hand to grab yours. You smile softly, looking up at him, seeing his rose-tinted cheeks and bashful smile.
You knew you could easily fall for him if you weren’t careful. You weren’t sure if you wanted to… too afraid to get your heartbroken. But when he looked at you, really looked at you, falling for him didn’t seem as terrifying. You didn’t want to rush whatever this was, but wondering also was going to drive you up the wall. Did he feel the same way? Should you ask what you were? It was a bit soon, right? Sure, you’d hung out a few times and slept at his place a couple times and made out, but what if he thought you were just casual? What if Jungkook didn’t want to date you to become his girlfriend? Agh!
“Everything okay? You look upset?” Jungkook asks, noting the way your brows furrowed. You shake your head, smiling. Everything had its timing, and it was probably too soon to ask what you were. As long as he didn't play with you or your feelings, you’d see how this developed. Maybe you could ask Taehyung how Jungkook felt about you?
“Yeah, just hungry,” you lie. Jungkook quirks his head; he knows you’re lying, but he bites his tongue. He doesn’t want to push for an answer, so for now, he’ll let it go.
Just as he’s about to speak, your phone vibrates beside you. You apologize as you reach for it, huffing when you see who it is.
You show Jungkook your phone, “Captain Tae?”
You laugh, shaking beside Jungkook, “I haven’t changed his contact name. He said he wanted to ‘sail into my heart’ when we met in class. He wants me to read his essay when he’s done.”
“So, Tae has liked you since the semester began?” Jungkook asks, curious. He’s nervous, his hands clamming up. Did you like Tae the way you seemed to like him? He hoped not.
“No! God, no!” you exclaim, shaking your head. You turn to face him, unlacing your hands as you sit with your legs crossed. You ignore the way your sweater slips off your shoulder, exposing your bra strap.
“He was sitting next to me in class when we had to exchange information in case we missed a day. He flirted with me and I shut him down, which shocked him. He said nobody’s ever shut him down before. He liked it. I told him we could be friends, but I wasn’t interested in anything more. I’d heard about him and the frat…”
“So Tae likes you?”
“No,” you chuckle. “Not enough to date me, just fuck me. That was months ago, though. He still slips up, but I shut it down immediately. He was the same way when he met Amelia.”
“How d'you become friends?” Jungkook is genuinely curious about how you met Taehyung and why you’d befriended him without hooking up first or at all.
“Taehyung’s persistent, but he’s also pretty funny and fun to be around when he’s not trying to hit on you. We mostly hung out to study, we still do, but he rarely gets his work done ‘cause he wants to fuck around until the deadline looms over him.”
“Sounds about right,” Jungkook sighs. He loved Tae, but if he kept going the way he was, he’d flunk out of school.
“I’ll text him back later. I’m sure he’s still at the library staring at a blank screen,” you scoff, setting your phone on the coffee table before curling up to Jungkook again. He bites his lip, wrapping his arm around your shoulders.
After the two of you have eaten, you resume cuddling on the couch. This time, Jungkook has his back pressed to the arm of the couch, one leg stretched out on the couch and the other on the floor. You sit between his legs, your back against his chest with your head on his shoulder. He wrapped his arms around your waist, holding you close.
You don’t think you’d ever felt so at ease with someone. You have one of Jungkook’s tattooed hands in both of yours, playing with the rings on his fingers absentmindedly as you try to pay attention to the show, but it’s useless. You find his hands more entertaining, lacing your fingers with his instead.
“Having fun?” Jungkook asks with a breathy laugh.
You look over your shoulder at him, nodding with a sheepish smile on your lips. He grins, bringing your hands to his lips, kissing your knuckles before turning it over and placing a gentle kiss on your wrist.
“Cutie,” he says, blushing.
You can feel heat rising in your cheeks. Jungkook can’t help but caress your cheek, feeling the warmth beneath his palm. You turn your body to face him, kneeling between his legs. You don’t miss the way his eyes flit to your lips and back.
With great gentleness, Jungkook cups your face, leaning forward until your lips touch. Jungkook kisses you softly at first, wanting to savor the taste of your lips, the warmth of your skin. You grip his sweatshirt, pulling him closer. You startle him, earning a gasp from him.
You smile into the kiss, your forehead pressed against his. He traces your bottom lip with his thumb, his eyes locked on yours before you’re kissing him, moving to straddle him. He holds your hips, moaning when you tug on his bottom lip.
Jungkook’s hands don’t stray from your hips, holding you as you continue to kiss. Your tongue pushing past the seam of his lips, hands weaved in his hair.
“Jungkook,” you moan his name in a heady tone that has him groaning in response before your hands are gripping his sweatshirt, tugging as you fall back onto the couch, pulling him with you. He barely has enough time to catch himself before he smothers you with his broad, muscular body. Not that you’d mind being smothered by him.
Your legs tighten around his waist, pulling him closer, your hands threading through his hair. Your name escapes him, breaking the kiss to catch his breath. He trails kisses from your lips to your jaw before kissing your neck. You don’t think you’ve ever experienced anything as euphoric as his lips on your skin. You want him, desperately, even more so when he places kisses on your collarbone.
“Jungkook,” his name spills easily from your lips, tugging your sweater and bra strap off your shoulder to allow him more access to your body. His lips greedily kiss your skin, nipping lightly enough to have you arching into him. Your hands slide under his shirt, feeling the muscle beneath. He curses, looking at you for a moment before his lips capture yours in a fervent kiss that leaves you pulsating.
You tug on his locks, earning a delicious moan from his kiss-swollen lips. You hold him closer, your lips kissing his neck, gently nipping the skin near his mole. A mole you adored as much as the one under his lip. You’d love to spend the day kissing each and every one of them.
“Fuck,” Jungkook groans, losing himself to the pleasure. He knows you two should stop before getting too carried away. However, you felt glorious beneath him. The taste of your lips alone was intoxicating to him.
Another moan of his name escapes you, your hips rolling against his. Your thin shorts do nothing to hide the wetness that he caused. Jungkook can feel it, his cock throbbing in response. A wanton moan of your name leaves his lips, his hands clutching your hips tightly, his lips moving perfectly in sync with yours before he’s begrudgingly pulling away, panting.
“I think we should slow down,” Jungkook says, his eyes still dark with lust. You untangle yourself from him, sitting up and running a hand through your hair to make it look less disheveled.
“Ye-yeah, we should,” you agree, catching your breath. Jungkook blushes, carding a hand through his hair before moving back slightly.
Jungkook presses one last kiss to your cheek before you’re curling into his side once again. You try to focus on the anime show still on the TV, but you figure it’s pointless considering how much has gone unwatched while you were occupied.
“How about some ice cream?” you ask Jungkook, who perks up.
You lead him to the kitchen, giggling when he lifts you onto the counter, his hands on your thighs. His lips brush yours briefly, his forehead pressed against your own.
Jungkook’s mind races with so many thoughts, so much he wants to say to you, but he can’t. The words fizzle out on his tongue, dying before having a chance to live.
Instead, he caresses your cheek, traces your lips with his thumb and kisses you.
“Flirty Fuck Boy?” Taehyung asks with a smirk and a raised brow. You swipe your phone off the table and pocket it, ignoring Jimin’s text.
“Can you not?” You huff in annoyance. You’d found Taehyung the next day. Surprisingly, he finished his essay last night and needed you to proofread it.
You’d only agreed because you wanted some insight on the Jungkook situation. Sure, you could have asked Jungkook directly, but why start that conversation with Jungkook, when you could easily get some insight from Taehyung? Yeah, it made more sense in your head now that you were sitting in front of Taehyung in your favorite coffee shop on campus.
Taehyung slurped on his milkshake, not wanting coffee, not even iced. You’d offered to pay, so he knew something was up.
“Why’d you agree to meet me so easily? Missed my beautiful face?” Taehyung asks as he pushes his tablet toward you. You take it, moving your mocha iced coffee to the side.
“Not even a little bit,” you mutter.
“So… you think I’m beautiful?” Taehyung beams with pride, smiling brightly. You roll your eyes. Was it worth it? He’d already hit on you four times, and you knew it’d only go up from there.
“Do you need my help or not, Tae?” you ask, brow raised as you look up from his tablet. He nods, “I’ll be a good boy.”
“Doubt it,” you retort, but he shuts up as you read his paper. You fix a few spelling errors here and there, but overall, his paper isn’t bad. It’s worth at least a B- minus or C+ and Taehyung didn’t care to get anything higher than that.
“What do you think?” Taehyung bites his lip nervously, resisting the urge to stand behind you to reread his assignment.
“Hush! I’m reading it again,” you hush him.
“You know, I like when you hush me. No one’s done that before,” Taehyung muses as he takes another drink from his shake, groaning when he gets a brain freeze.
“Press your tongue to the roof of your mouth,” you instruct without looking up from the tablet.
“A wizard,” he whispers as he does it, feeling relief shortly after.
You ignore him, your lips moving as you read to yourself. You fight the urge to rewrite it for him, but you’re proud he’s at least got something to turn in before class tomorrow.
“Here,” you hand his tablet back to him after saving the document and double-checking to make sure it actually saved. The last thing you needed was to erase his work by accident.
“Is it decent?” Taehyung asks, sounding unsure of himself.
“Yes, you can try rewriting it if you want, but that should at least get you a high C,” you shrug, taking a sip of your coffee.
“How are things with Jungkook?”
“Fine, fine,” you answer. Taehyung looks up at you after grabbing his backpack off the spare chair at your table. He unzips his bag, sliding his tablet inside.
“Just fine? I thought you two were a thing? Did something happen? You looked so happy yesterday…” Taehyung trails off, thinking about the previous day. You’d been quiet with each other, but you were supposed to be studying and one of you kept kicking him while trying to play footsies under the table. He also didn’t miss the way Jungkook would stare at you when he thought you weren’t looking and then you to him when he wasn’t looking.
You debate asking him; you know you should be having this conversation with Jungkook, but you didn’t want to embarrass yourself in front of him if you’d misconstrued things.
“Does Jungkook like me?” You blurt out, startling Taehyung.
Tae quirks his head, giving you an incredulous look, “well duh!”
“No, I mean more than a friend? Like a girlfriend…?” you clarify. Taehyung bursts out laughing loudly, capturing the attention of the other students in the cafe. You kick him under the table as he clutches his stomach, tears streaming down his cheeks as he finds it hard to breathe. His face is red, and he’s running out of breath as you glare at him.
“I’m glad my love life is a joke to you,” you grumble. Taehyung stops laughing slowly, letting out a few chuckles before he’s wiping at his eyes.
“First of all, cutie,” you flip him off. Taehyung ignores you before continuing, “you should be having this conversation with Jungkook, not me. Second of all, are you two that oblivious? God, aren’t you two always all over each other? Dry humping in public?”
You gape at him, “I don’t dry hump him in public!” you hiss.
Taehyung snorts, “sure, you just hump him at our parties with Jimin on your ass.”
“It was one time!” you protest.
Taehyung waves you off, “that boy is so into you it’s nauseating. In a good way. I’ve never seen him take an interest in someone, and I’ve known him longer than anyone at the frat. He’s no virgin, but he doesn’t hook up or sleep around like the rest of us.”
“So he likes me?” you ask, wanting confirmation.
“From what I can tell, he does. It’s pretty obvious. He wears his heart on his sleeve. He doesn’t seem like the type to lead you on. If he wanted to fuck you and dump you, he’d have done so already.” Taehyung shrugs as he finishes his shake.
“Does he want a girlfriend?” you bite your lip. You knew you’d want him as your boyfriend, eventually. You were fine with just dating him at the moment, getting to know him, but you’d like to know if he wanted more someday.
“That’s something you’d have to ask him, doll. I know he has a fat crush on you, but that’s all I can tell you. Honestly, I don’t even think it was my place to talk about how he feels, but you’re my friend and I can tell you’re hesitant to put your heart on the line, I get it. You should talk to him, though. Isn’t it better to know for sure instead of wondering?”
“You’re right. I just… I like him.” You sigh, looking down at the table.
Taehyung moves to the chair beside you, two of his fingers lifting your chin to make you look into his eyes. You don’t think you’ve ever seen your friend this serious in your time of knowing him.
“Talk to him, y/n. Tell him how you feel,” Taehyung’s gaze bores into your own, your face flushing with heat as his penetrating gaze. His tongue peeks between his lips, licking his bottom lip before biting it, deep in thought. “And if he rejects you,” Taehyung pauses, his thumb stroking your cheek. Your breath catches in your throat, your eyes unable to look away from him. “Then it’s his loss. Anyone would be lucky to have you by their side, Y/n.”
You’re unable to respond, his thumb still caressing your cheek before he smiles. You’re distracted for a moment, looking down at your phone as it vibrates. Taehyung looks down at it, seeing the hearts beside Jungkook’s name. His heart aches slightly before he ruffles your hair and grabs his backpack, slinging it over his shoulder.
“Thanks for the help, doll. I got things to do and people to fuck,” Taehyung waves at you as he gets out of the chair and walks around yours. He stops, “talk to him.”
With that, Taehyung leaves the café, leaving you to respond to Jungkook’s text. He was asking if he could see you, and your heart thuds in your chest.
You gather your belongings, shoving them into your backpack haphazardly before zipping it and slinging it over your shoulder as you grab your coffee and your phone. You leave the café in a panic.
Could you do this?
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© jjungkookislife - I do not allow reposts or translations of my work on any platforms, this includes Youtube.
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[COMMISSION ORDER] BATCH 1 // SLOT 3:
Bro and Mom had an unhappy attempt at marriage, but some time apart might have done them and their libidos some good.
There is comfort in a full stomach. Meals are good for clarity, for decluttering the mind of hunger. Not all types of hunger, but— most. Some. Other types are fulfilled by the hand spread across her soft thighs, slipping to her belly, and higher still. Handsome touches— Can fingers be handsome? —distract from intentional kisses just below the curve of her earlobe. It's her turn to touch, to turn in place until his hands rest on the small of her back and hers curl behind his neck to stroke down the nape. Held, like something gracious; there's no choice to make besides gifts of more kisses smeared lower and lower.
Lips to pulse, to clavicle, parting around wet exhales to warm skin. Everything is put on hold by that beautiful face, tipping up to meet eyes. Touches sweep fringe back from a brow full of lines, age she hasn't been present for, and it leads to wonderings.
Why did they come apart? Were the seams too loose, the words too bitter, the love too stale? It doesn't feel that way, not when every splay of his fingers feels all-consuming, encompassing, eager to hold where once they let go. Their closeness is magnetic, drawn to each other despite impossible opposites. His temper, her temptation. His raised hand, her raised glass. Never speaking, always babbling.
Doubt pours out in wet exhales, leaves her bones hollow and cold, only to be immediately soothed by a firm grip to her hips. Missing-you aches bloom between her thighs like flowers. He used to plant seeds in that garden, delve his tongue and fingers until she arched, long ago.
They're older, they're wiser, they're sprawling together as though time away hasn't mattered. She's missed the way his kisses sear to her breasts, the way everything actually feels right for once, the way his eyes fall shut when bedsheets and comforters are mussed impossibly. Once upon a time he loved her, and oh how she loved him. Cherished their sunrises. Admired the stars hung in the sky for her. All torn it into pieces with grasping, greedy, ungrateful words and cruelty.
Legs fall apart around the pair, welcoming home and begging and a reminder that they had fun before. Off-black jeans hit the floor, kicked free of his body, eager to meet her at the middle. A celebration, wet and tacky, kissing below as scarred knuckles tear at the bedsheets. Hips writhe in tandem, catching the heat of his dick, grinding it into her swollen folds. Airy groans escape him, as though he's never had anyone but her.
"Never," he whispers, sincere, meaningful, honest in reply to her whispered question, "Just you."
And she believes him, with each piece of her old broken heart. The way their hips slot together again and again and again until her chest hitches with trembling cries is proof enough. Trading the taste of expensive cigarettes, his cheap cologne, her drugstore lipgloss. Her gut goes hot, tight, an orgasm creeping up just as his gruff sob of her name filters through the haze.
Their limbs tangle together in afterglow, cores warm with sore thighs. Slick seeps into the mattress topper, mixed like a slurred prayer. In five— ten years, will she be allowed to have it this way forever? To spend her mornings in his arms? She has to ask. Gently, quietly, against the curve of his unshaven jaw, "Do you think we could ever do it over?"
"What." Nervous. Felt in the thud of his heart, pounding under her hand between post-orgasmic tremors.
"This," she clarifies, meaning so much more. Every way their bodies touch, all the times their minds connect. They mull it over, slightly undignified. Weighing a hundred sins against the feathers of hope unfurling in empty birdcage chests. His heartrate jumps; a conclusion reached at last.
He inhales to reply.
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Blighted Empire: Ch. 10
The Lions Den
...A curious and surprising aspect of the wyvern, when compared to similar reptilians, is the loyalty and commitment that exists between mates. Whereas creatures such as the highdragon bond chiefly for reproduction and to guard territory, the finicky wyvern more often than not bond with a singular mate, or rarely a carefully chosen few...
...Hunters have observed this for hundreds of years, leaving an impact on legend and folklore. In the tale 'Braun and the Snowy Wyvern', the hero Braun tracks a great, Snowy Wyvern that has been ransacking the farmlands. In the tale's conclusion, we learn the creature was acting not only in vengeance towards a fallen mate but also in the hopes of finding a hunter worthy of slaying it...
...Indeed, it is not unheard of for a hunter caravan to be chased for leagues by a grieving wyvern, determined to lay with the remains of its partner a final time...
Lowering his focus from the page, Dorian massaged sore eyes. Light that usually shone from high windows was extinguished by night; he worked under flickering candles, lingering for as long as possible. However curfew approached and he knew there was no delaying the inevitable solitude he'd retire to.
Across the table Kat shifted, having stayed to offer mute company. Now she reached the same conclusion, voicing as she stood to collect reading materials.
“Come on, Dorian...if we're here any longer we'll catch the Templar's patrol.”
Dread gathered from a tiny point in his chest, spreading to his limbs, weighing them down against his seat.
“Yes, I know, I just...” He reluctantly unfurled, lamenting along the way. “I can't stand the thought of stepping into that room...and him not being there. It's stupid, isn't it? I'm stupid, aren't I?”
“You're stupid,” She freely agreed- though added. “He said he wanted to talk, didn't he?”
They exchanged books while conversing, stacking piles and sliding tomes into their correct places.
“Yes, but...that might not necessarily be a good thing...” Dorian agonised, hands working clumsily. “...He's probably humiliated - thinks I made a fool out of him. I...I did take advantage a bit, didn't I? Holding his hand all over the tower, letting him stay in my room, practically encouraging him to carry on like a lovesick pup...He should be furious- I really wouldn't blame him...”
“I don't see it that way at all-” She shot a frown his direction. “-and I doubt he does, either. You took care of him- watched over him, helped him keep busy- and look, we're practically friends now! I'm sure he's thankful.”
None of this out-balanced Dorian's regret, shoulders hunching as he muttered;
“You didn't see the way he looked at me this morning...”
“And what way was that, then?”
A glimpse of those freshly-inked features bounced in his mind- huge, panic-stricken eyes, darting above a quivering mouth...
“...Like he couldn't believe where he was...Like he'd just woken up drunk in someone else's bed and wanted to leave before they had any funny ideas about it...”
Katerina snorted away his grief, patting his shoulder and consoling.
“Or maybe you're overthinking it...”
“Maybe, but...” He was unconvinced, smothered by that dread. “I can just tell...things aren't going to be as they were...”
Done tidying, the pair headed for the exit and Kat shook her head, typically practical.
“Maybe they won't be,” She advised, guiding him along. “But maybe...not in the way you think.”
The two friends parted ways and he dawdled in the long corridor, entrenched in shadow and especially unwelcoming. Grief embedded into his chest like misplaced shrapnel, slowly piercing, steadily infecting. Dorian considered for the dozenth time what it would be like to collapse into a vacant bed, cold biting from the thought.
It was pathetic, really.
Yet insulting himself accomplished nothing. Certainly it failed to drown out his misery.
There was only one thing to do- muster courage- and some dignity- and confront the unavoidable.
He trudged onwards as if through inches of snow, painfully unhurried, struggling with each step, apprehension building the longer it took to climb. Upon reaching his door he hesitated, fingers unsteady as they grasped the handle...
Whether he's there or not- it doesn't matter.
I fulfilled my duty to him.
He knows...how I feel.
He must know by now...
As long as he realises that-
and as long as he can...tolerate it...
...I can rest easy.
Self-soothing to the best of his ability, he turned the handle and pushed.
There sat Evallan; relaxed at the writing desk, skin glowing by a dim candle that illuminated whatever task occupied. His head tilted as the door creaked, an unwavering gaze pinning Dorian, freezing his motions.
Tongue heavy, he fought to react to this unexpected sight, mouth stammering with stupid, meaningless words...
“O-oh- you're...you're here...”
“...It is almost passed curfew, no?” He remarked in that characteristic, tepid manner, straightening as he did.
“Well, yes...” Dorian blathered while Evallan stalked towards him. “...but- but I didn't think you'd be...”
He was loomed over; a brow arched while a hand moved to softly click shut the forgotten door, then remaining poised as if to corner him. Dorian's heart leapt to his throat, pulse hysterical and thoughts to match. He reflected- not for the first time- that Evallan was rather intimidating when he towered like this, with all his severe focus trained upon you...
...Yet also rather striking- and definitely arousing.
“And where else would I be, Dorian Pavus?” He uttered almost inaudibly, syllables whisking against skin from how he edged forward.
READ THE REST ON AO3
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im so happy i found your account i love the angst to fluff so much 😭😭 if you're feeling up for it can i request suna forgetting your birthday or anniversary? i know it's so cliche and has been done hundreds of times but i just love it so much lol 😫
aren’t clichés the best tho? i got you hun
Forgetting s/o’s birthday
Pairing: Suna x gn!reader
Genre: angst to fluff
Warnings: none (well it’s angst so there’s bound to be some—message me if so)
a/n: I had so much fun with this one
Today is your birthday and you’ve been looking forward to it for a while now
Especially because you‘ll be able to spend it with Suna
He’s been quite busy with practice lately
You didn’t want to bother him too much and wanted to let him concentrate
So you haven’t been able to see each other a lot
But today you planned to spend the evening together by having dinner and cuddling by the tv watching a movie
7pm; the table is set and dinner is nice and warm. The pillows and blankets are already in the living room and the movie is ready to be played. All that’s left to do is wait for Suna to arrive in about an hour. You’re so excited to finally spend time with him, that you find it hard to sit still.
It’s already 8:45 and still no word from him. He usually says something when his going to be late, so you’re a little worried, wondering if something happened. You grab your phone, looking at the time one last time and decide to call him.
He picks up a few moments later. “Hey babe.” You hear his husky voice on the other side of the line. He was asleep. Your mood turns a little glum as you think that he forgot your plans, but you try to convince yourself that he was probably just tired and overslept.
You pick yourself up and ask him as best as you can without sounding disappointed, “Aren’t you coming over?” However, you weren’t actually expecting him to ask why, not remembering that you two made plans today, on your birthday.
After a couple minutes of silence, you hear him, “oh yeah! Sorry, it slipped my mind. I’ll be there in fifteen minutes,” then he hangs up the phone.
You let out a tiny sigh of relief. Even if he forgot, you were still happy he remembered after. You decided to take the opportunity to reheat the already cold dinner in the microwave. Once that is done, you place it back on the table just like before.
You hear the sound of the door bell and skip your way to the door. You open it and greet your boyfriend with a joyful expression, happy to finally be able to hug him. However, the bright smile on your face fades when he speaks.
“So where is it?” You stand there without a clue of what he’s talking about. Seeing the confusion on your face he adds, “You know, my jacket. I need it for practice tomorrow. But don’t worry, I brought you another one.” You freeze, staring in awe at his face, then at the hoodie in his hand and back at his face.
He forgot… and to make matters worse, he didn’t remember like you thought he did…
You fight the urge to cry, turning on your heels and storming to your room. After you grab his team jacket, you throw at his chest in frustration. “There you go. You can keep both.”
“What do you—?” Before he could finish, you shut the door in his face. He stands outside your door, struggling to understand what just happened, unable to come up with a single reason why you’d act like that.
He start making his way home, hardly paying attention to what’s happening around him as your angry expression imprints in his mind. Suddenly, the pocket of his trousers vibrates. He pulls out his phone and sees Atsumu’s number on the caller ID.
“What’s up? Make it quick, I’m busy”
‘Tsumu laughs on the other end, “thought as much. Don’t worry, I don’t want to take up the time you reserved for them.” Suna is a little confused and before he can ask anything, the voice on the phone continues, “just tell y/n ‘Samu and I wish them a happy birthday. I tried calling them, but they didn’t answer.”
Suna’s heart drops as he realises he forgot your birthday and forgot about the plans you made to spend the evening together. Without a second thought, he turns around and sprints back to your house. Upon arriving, he rings the doorbell and knocks on the door continuously.
He thinks to check if the door was unlock and to his surprise: it was. Walking in, uninvited, he search the house for you, but his guilt grows the more he searches.
He looked for you in the living room, only to be met with soft looking pillows and blankets, which he knew were meant for both of you. Then, the kitchen, where he sees the dinner you prepared gone cold, again, from sitting on the table for so long.
When he gets to your bedroom, he hesitates a bit, but walks in anyways when he hears movement coming from inside. The last thing he’s expecting is to see you fully dressed, as if you were going out.
“What are you doing?”
“Oh you came back? Forgot something else?” You shoot daggers at him through your eyes and sharp tone. “Well whatever it is, look for it yourself. I’m heading out”
Suna starts to panic seeing how mad you are. He knows he messed up and that you’re probably more upset than mad in reality. “Where are you going at a time like this?” You don’t spare him a glance and carry on with your business.
“A bar or something. Got to cheer myself up on my birthday somehow.” Your words break his heart. You brush passed him. “Leave the key under the pot outside,” you say as you place your key on the furniture beside the door frame.
You’re already halfway down the corridor when he chases after you and grabs your wrist, pulling you and caging you in his arms. You struggle for a bit; hitting and pushing him away, but deem it useless as he isn’t letting go.
Once he’s feels you stop, he speaks, “I’m sorry.” With those words you begin sobbing into his chest; hands gripping the back of his shirt tightly. “I know, I’m sorry.”
“No, you don’t know! You have no idea,” you scream at him as you cry louder than before. “Do you have any idea how I felt when you showed up at my door to ask for a jacket when we had a whole evening planned out?”
His chest tightens thinking about how you must’ve felt, “I know, I’m sorry.”
After a while, your sobs seize and Suna’s grip softens, but he moves his arms down to your waist to make sure you don’t run away. He waits until he feels like it’s okay to speak and then continues, “baby, I really am sorry. I don’t know I how could forget something so important, and I’m not going to make up excuses because there’s no excuse for forgetting such an important day.”
You huff, hearing that after what happened, but he’s having none of it and gives you a tiny squeeze to draw you attention back to him. You stare up at him, contemplating what to do next. He looks down at you hopefully, waiting for you to forgive him.
The moment you sigh in defeat, his eyes light up. He smiles, bending down slightly to give you a warm hug and whispers into your neck, “can we have dinner and cuddle like we planned?”
You hug him back, having missed his touch for a long time. “Fine, but you still have a long way to go before you’re fully forgiven, understood?”
“Yeah, don’t worry. I’ll make sure to make it up to you,” he reassures you, giving you a kiss on your forehead. “I love you.”
“I love you too.”
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This is the start of a 5+1 fic i thought I’d share. I promise it eventually has a point lmao. It’ll be on ao3 when it’s complete
title: acts of service
summary: “Can I touch you?” Barnes asks. It’s maybe the most jarring thing Barnes has ever said to him, and that’s saying something considering Barnes has graced him with such hits as let’s take the shield, Sam and we’re breaking Zemo out of prison, Sam but he can already feel the ghost of a hand hovering over his back as if asking for permission.
“To relieve the tension,” Barnes says as if Sam is particularly dense.
The first time it happens, Sam falls asleep almost immediately afterwards.
They’re fresh off the heels of a reconnaissance mission that leaves every joint in Sam’s body feeling all forty years of his big age on this miserable space rock. It probably doesn’t help that his wretched D.C. rental has got to be a hundred degrees in the sweltering summer heat and to top it all off, he’s pretty sure Mercury is in retrograde. He’d only chosen this place because it was cheap and close to the hangar for nights when he didn’t have the energy to fly back to New Orleans.
“This place is worse than mine,” Barnes says neutrally, messing with the busted AC unit.
“Why are you here again?” Sam grumbles. Barnes had followed him back from the base for some reason or other that he couldn’t be bothered to think about right now.
“Seriously,” Sam says, flopping onto his bed and wincing when it exacerbates the throbbing pain shooting up his back. “Just leave me here to die.” At least he’d had the sense to toe off his boots first, which just leaves him to stew in the miasma of sweat in his uniform.
Barnes lets out a long-suffering sigh, and seriously, why is he still here? Sam isn’t sure he can deal with Barnes’s dry wit on top of everything else he’s got going on in this little corner of hell tonight, which, judging by the way the AC sputters and coughs before giving up completely, he’s pretty sure is going to be A Lot. He feels a weight plop down unceremoniously next to him.
“You need to take your suit off,” Barnes says, and does he really have to sound so grumpy all the time? “You’re going to be more sore in the morning if you don’t.”
He has half a mind to leave it on just to spite Barnes. Sam grumbles something unintelligible into the comforter and hopes Barnes gets the idea. He hears yet another sigh followed by the feeling of a zipper running down the length of his back.
Sam still has no idea what Barnes is doing in his apartment at 2 AM in the dead of summer. They’d technically agreed to go separate ways after dealing with the Flagsmashers – Sam had been perfectly fine with that; hell, he’d been under the impression Barnes had been more than fine with it. Neither of them had brought it up again when all was said and done, though. And now every inch of his body aches and he’s too exhausted to start another argument tonight. He can already feel a migraine coming on.
“Can I touch you?” Barnes asks. It’s maybe the most jarring thing Barnes has ever said to him, and that’s saying something considering Barnes has graced him with such hits as let’s take the shield, Sam and we’re breaking Zemo out of prison, Sam but he can already feel the ghost of a hand hovering over his back as if asking for permission.
“To relieve the tension,” Barnes says as if Sam is particularly dense.
Again, Sam grunts into the mattress. It’s less assent and more begrudging resignation to whatever the hell Barnes means by ‘relieve the tension’. For all Sam knows, Barnes has also decided he’s had enough of this partnership and plans to kill him in his sleep – and okay, he knows Barnes would never actually do that, but again – Mercury. Retrograde. Pisces. He’s more focused on the tension building at the back of his head and the way his lower back feels like it’s been run over by a large truck, all thoughts of which come screeching to a halt when Barnes digs his thumbs into Sam’s shoulder blades.
Sam hisses on reflex because it hurts like a mother, but the second Barnes’s fingers ease up, the relief is so instantaneous that it leaves Sam floating and feeling like he’s just inhaled a Xanax or three. The groan he lets out is honestly obscene.
“W’th hell,” he slurs. Now that the pain has subsided to a manageable level, Barnes’s knuckles gently knead his shoulders, rolling back and forth across his spine.
“Where else?” Barnes asks with a grunt.
It must say something about how quickly Sam is able to recalibrate to a new normal because he mentally shrugs and just twists his neck a few times, ignoring the little sparks of pain that flare up and hoping Barnes gets the message. He expects the white hot pain this time when Barnes’s thumbs settle at the base of his neck. The chill of the vibranium when Barnes gently wraps his fingers down the front of Sam’s throat for better leverage? Decidedly less expected. And he concludes immediately that the goosebumps spreading across his back and down his arms are a Completely Normal biological reaction to the cool metal. He’s absolutely not examining it any further than that, no sir.
And again, the relief is immediate. Barnes’s fingers roam down the backs of Sam’s arms, prodding, kneading, grinding until a jolting sensation runs from his elbows to his palms, which suddenly feel a little less strained. His palms had been shot to hell from all the shield practice lately, but how the hell had Barnes even known that? Sam melts into the mattress. He’s not sure he could move right now even if he wanted to, limbs loose and coaxed into the consistency of jello by Barnes’s stupidly strong fingers.
“Where else?” Barnes asks again, monotone. His motions are strictly utilitarian, clearly seeking to achieve maximum relief with as much economy of movement as possible.
Sam isn’t actually being serious, and he genuinely expects a sarcastic response, but despite how incredible the last few minutes have been, his migraine is still steadily growing. It shouldn’t surprise him when Barnes’s fingers retreat, only to settle again on his temples. The pain causes his vision to flash. In its wake he feels all the tension leave his head. He’d just been fucking with Barnes, but Barnes had gone and literally scared his migraine away. Honestly, it’s far and away the best massage Sam’s ever had.
“Wh’re’d y’learn t’do that?” he says, because the pain has been replaced with a reprieve so intense that he can barely keep his eyes open at this point.
He can’t see it, but he knows Barnes rolls his eyes. “Go to sleep, Sam,” is all he gets in response. In the absence of any other complaints from Sam, his hands wander over Sam’s scalp, gently seeking out and destroying every problem spot with faultless accuracy.
Sam sighs into the mattress, quickly losing consciousness. Vaguely, he’s aware of Barnes speaking, but the words come out garbled like his ears are underwater.
The next morning, Barnes is gone – probably left the instant Sam fell asleep. Sam wakes up in a puddle of drool and the stench of his uniform nearly causes him to gag, but holy hell. His neck, shoulders, back, his everything feel like they’ve quite literally had the stress and aches and cramps wrung out of them, and the high lasts well through the morning. It’s the best night of sleep Sam’s gotten since the re-Blippening and he refuses to think about the fact that Barnes was responsible for it.
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Hi I'm so glad ask box is open again yay thanks for your hard work
How about Yandere ichiro,samatoki,jiro reacting to their gf breaking up with them because she thinks she's not good enough
Feel free to ignore *yandere* part or switch jiro with jyushi if you if you're not ok with this ask
can i get uhhhh yandere hcs for ichiro and samatoki 👉👈 ily - another anon
━━ ∘◦ ☆ ◦∘ ━━
Pairing: yandere!Ichiro Yamada x Reader; yandere!Jiro Yamada x Reader yandere!Samatoki Aohitsugi x Reader
Genre: Yandere Fluff (it’s like fluff but...yandere)
Warnings: Yandere content
A/N: Yandere characters and AUs always terrify me, but I’m here to deliver for you guys! Threw it under the cut just in case it was triggering, but it’s not too intense so hopefully it’s along the lines of what you wanted! Enjoy~
(Under the cut for sensitive (yandere) triggering content)
⋘ ──── ∗ ⋅◈⋅ ∗ ──── ⋙
the moment you tell him that you want to break up, he’s frozen in place and staring at you with wide eyes
his head is already running at a hundred miles and hour and it takes everything he has not to immediately ask you a thousand questions
he tries to stay calm, asking you why you’re saying this and that’s when you tell him that you don’t deserve someone like him
he lets out an audible sigh and his face softens, intensity dropping back to his happy, jovial self as he shakes his head
he reaches out his hands to grab your own and pulls you in close to him
as you stare into his eyes, his hold on you stays firm as he smiles longing at you
he tells you that you should never say things like that
because you’re the only person that he would ever truly love and that you belong to him just like he belongs to you
Ichiro will tell you that you can’t leave him just because you think he deserves better
because the only thing he wants and the only thing he has ever wanted in the world is you
this quells your fears and as he pulls you into a hug, you feel his arms tightening around you
“Really, Y/N...did you think I would let you leave me so easily like that?”
he won’t let you out of his tight hug then until you promise him that you won’t leave him
and even then, he makes sure that the next few days you’re doing nothing but cuddling with him so he can keep an eye on you
from then on he’s going to be super attentive to your needs for the the next few weeks, keeping you by his side and being a bit more possessive
always wanting to make sure that you’re getting as much love and care as you deserve
and always remarking about how perfect the two of you are together and how much you need the other to survive
I can imagine him asking you why you were thinking that you weren’t good enough for him
hopefully it wasn’t a friend or family member that said anything, because if so...you might not see them for a long time
you pull Jiro to the side one day after school and you’re already shifting nervously, trying not to cry
Jiro can tell and he’s immediately wrapping his arms around you, worriedly asking if you’re okay
his first reaction is to ask if someone’s done something to you, his eyes narrowing in anger
you shake your head and explain to him that it’s not like that and that nobody has told you anything
that’s when you tell him that you think the two of you should break up
Jiro pauses for a moment before scowling and demanding to know who said something to put these thoughts of breaking up in your head
you reassure him that nobody said anything, just that you’ve been thinking about it a lot and you think that Jiro can find someone better than you
it takes him a minute to understand what it is you’re saying but when he does, he’s shaking his head and saying no
he tells you that what you’re saying is ridiculous and that he could never be with anyone other than you
because you’re the only person in the world that he can be with and that if it’s not you, he would never be happy with anyone ever again
he’s very intense about it and he’s holding you a bit more tightly than he usually does
you still look pressed so he lightens up on his hold and instead pulls you into a hug and kisses the top of your head, rocking you back and forth in his arms
“Y/N, we deserve each other. Don’t you understand that we were made to be together?”
he makes you promise that you won’t say things like this again, before he turns back into his smiling, energetic self
whenever Jiro gets angry like that, his personality tends to do a total 180 until he’s happy again
and now that you’ve reassured him that you’re not leaving him, he’s back to patting your head lovingly
I can definitely imagine him taking every opportunity after that to remind you of how perfectly the two of you work together as a couple
and how he’ll never let anything come in between the relationship, even your feelings about potentially being inferior
Samatoki comes home to find you sitting on you couc sniffling and he’s immediately kneeling in front of you, grasping into your hand with his own
he demands to know what’s happened, asking if someone’s hurt you or if you’re okay
you nod, but say that you need to tell him something, looking up at him with worried eyes
he reassures you that he’s here for you no matter what, holding your hand tightly, his ruby eyes flaming
However, when you tell him that you think the two of you should break up, he pauses for a moment before dropping your hand and immediately standing up
he stares down at you and simply says no in a sharp tone, his eyes dark and serious
this sends a shiver through your body as you explain to him that you think he can find someone much better to date that you, and that you don’t think you’re worthy of being his lover
Samatoki hears your words and doesn’t react at first, making you a bit nervous because you both know that he can have quite a temper
he has to hold back from throwing everything on the table to the ground out of anger and frustration and he reminds himself that he needs to reassure you
so finally, he calms down a bit and sighs heavily, taking a seat beside you on the couch and turning to face you
he puts one hand possessively on your thigh as he stares intimidatingly into your eyes
“Y/N, I love you more than anything in this world. You’re not leaving me and that’s final”
Samatoki practically growls at you that you’re the love of his life, telling you that you’re the only person he ever wants to be with
and saying how pissed he is that you’re even thinking that you’re not as perfect as you are in his eyes
when he gets possessive, it’s a cross between anger and desire so it can be a bit difficult to tell what he’s going to do next
you can barely speak at his intensity, only nodding and listening to him tell you how he would burn the world down if it meant keeping you by his side
but eventually you do speak when he makes you swear that you won’t leave him for such a silly reason as this
once he’s calmed down a bit though, he only wants to be close to you and remind both you and him of how perfect the two of you are together
so he wraps his arms around you and pulls you into his lap, lathering you with kisses and lovebitesmarking you as his and holding you so tightly that you can barely move
he reassures you that you’re perfect in every way and he definitely spends the rest of the night showing you as much in...a different way...
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Their Booth (Human SquirrelCrow) - Part 2.
He’d be lying if he said her room was any different from what he expected. Light yellow walls that became vibrant in the strong sun, white bedsheets patched with warm orange stripes, a bookcase piled with texts on film theory and more Stephen King novels than Crow thought existed, another bookcase completely stacked with Blu-rays and obscure DVD’S, and an entire wall plastered with film posters. It was honestly quite scary to look that way and find a hundred pairs of eyes, mostly behind the gleam of a weapon, glaring back at you.
Spirited, flashy, intense. It was just what he imagined. It was her.
It was welcoming.
She throws her bag across the room, slumping back on her bed. “I’m so tired.”
Crow sets his own bag down. “Why?”
“It’s just been a long day.”
“Oh really?” Crow begins scanning the pile of books. “What have you done?”
She kicks her boots off. “I got ten pages of the new script done.” She says, sitting up to pull her coat from her arms. “Took me around two hours.”
“Wow.” Crow deadpans, pretending to look wide-eyed. “I only had to run three marathons today. How did you survive?”
He only sees the coat for a second, floating like a ghost, before his face is covered by green.
“It’s not my fault you’re a freak.”
In the darkness, Crow chuckles. He’s smiling by the time he pulls the coat off. “Takes one to know one.”
Squirrel has an arched brow, as well as her boot armed back, ready to throw.
Crow gently puts the coat on her door. “So, what do you want to start with?” He unzips his bag, scrambling for his English textbook.
The ginger girl groans, but mercifully lets Crow’s face go un-booted. “Ugh! Seriously! We just got out and you want to study!”
Crow rolls his eyes, but the laughter warms his throat. “That’s kind of why I’m here, Squirrel.” He looks to her door uneasily. “At least it’s the only reason your mom didn’t kill me.” Sandstorm had been nice enough, told him that she’d heard nothing but great things about him from Squirrel (her daughter had denied that - blushing) but he could feel the warning squeeze as he shook her hand, and he could have sworn he’d seen her nod when he’d looked up in question.
The familiar flash of a mother’s eyes. If you like your kneecaps in their normal place, no funny business.
She hadn’t needed to say it. Crow had nodded vigorously. Message received.
“Oh, please.” Squirrel sits up again, her hands slipping her hair back over her shoulders. “She’d kill you regardless. She’s like a shark. And what do you mean? You don’t hang out to study! That’s like the opposite of hanging out!”
Crow paused, taking a seat beside her on the bed. Truthfully, he didn’t care about studying. He was on course for an A, and as far as he knew so was Squirrel. But her parents wanted to make sure she kept on that road. It had been Leaf who had begged Crow to give her a hand. As much as she loved her sister, she had her own studying (and girlfriend) to see to. Squirrel apparently hadn’t been too on board with the idea. It was ‘too humiliating’ apparently.
It was when Fireheart suggested asking Bramble to come back and help her that Squirrel finally resigned to texting Crow non-stop until he agreed.
He’d actually agreed after the first text.
Crow knew full well how little Squirrel wanted to see Bramble anymore. The idiot still hadn’t mentioned Squirrel’s film to her. Whenever he was mentioned Squirrel shifted and made a face that Crow hated to see her make.
He suspected that she still wasn’t over him just yet.
And while that was understandable, it cut into Crow for more reasons than one.
That was why he wanted to make sure they got some work done. If her parents walked in and saw Crow wasn’t doing what he was meant to come over for, he had no doubt they wouldn’t hesitate to sack him off and call Bramble back.
The thought of that made his fists clench.
“Well, it might be better if you remember I’m not here to hang out.”
“Oh, so this is just work for you?” She sighs like one of the actresses she would direct. “And here I thought there was something special between us.”
That shouldn’t sting as much as it does. She doesn’t mean it. She doesn’t even know.
“Not my fault you’re wrong.” He plays along. “Look, let’s just do an hour at least. Then if your parents come in, they’ll keep of your back for the rest of the night.”
Squirrel pouts sulkily and Crow knows she’s considering it. She never let it look like she was giving up. She always had to show some restraint, real or imaginary. He turns back to the textbook now. He scans through for subjects she needs work on. He’s split between starting with Poetry or Analysing the role of women in Dystopian Fiction.
There is a creaking that moves across the bed towards him. Two hands curl on the base of his skull, digging in softly. He knows from the extra weight that she has balanced her chin on her hands. It’s not a lot of force he needs to keep himself up, but the heat on his face is slightly worrying.
He feels her elbows on his shoulders. “Can’t we make it half an hour?” She asks her human table.
Somehow, he shrugs. “If you want your mother to get the belt, sure.”
“You’d like the pain.”
“If it’s yours, then you’re damn right.”
They both talk so simply, words rolling off in the natural balance they’d built.
She sighs, her hands move off his head and onto his shoulders. His body is dragged back a little as she curves back with a contemplating mutter. A twist of shame and a happy flutter simultaneously come over the boy. He almost feels he could lose his balance. The fear of discovery is what keeps him stoic. He wonders a little if he’s always been like this about these things. He doesn’t think it was like this around Feather, but how could he know? Denial was probably his eternal security when it came to his own pathetic attempts of keeping cool.
The fingers on his shoulders all tap then slap down lightly. “An hour and then a movie?”
“Can I pick it?”
“Will it be Breakfast Club?”
He didn’t know how many times she’d seen it, but four was enough for him. “An hour and something new.”
Squirrel leans forward again; she practically sings into his ear. “Can I still pick the new film?”
He says yes, if only to make sure she can’t see his eyes widen.
She doesn’t as she falls back, shoving him gently. “Let’s start with poetry then. I’d rather get the worst done quickly.”
It doesn’t go quickly for her, Crow can see. After every point she makes she checks the clock and audibly gnashes her teeth when she sees only another minute has passed. With an actor’s heart, she falls back dramatically at least half a dozen times, murmuring a prayer. Crow learns not to pay her the attention after the third time. They needed to get the work done. It turns out the best trick to get her back up is to just tap her ankle with the textbook, gently prodding her like a woodpecker, until she sits back up.
But as dramatic and reserved as she was, she definitely isn’t an idiot. She doesn’t stumble on her points. They come out smooth and rehearsed with the diction of someone who knows what they’re talking about. Presumably because she knew if she struggled it would mean more time on the stuff she hated. That makes it go just a little quicker.
She actually answers them easier than when Crow has to speak, to her evil delight.
“I thought you were meant to be the tutor here.”
“I’d call myself your warden more than anything.”
Crow isn’t as annoyed as would have been. He can’t deny that she’s smarter than him here. Bragging rights were hers.
Besides, she looked happy.
Also, he’d get his chance to brag eventually. They’d have to move onto math sooner or later.
They only get two interruptions through the whole hour. The first is Sandstorm, under the guise of checking in on them, asking if they needed anything. Once she saw her daughter actually working, Crow was relieved to see her grin at him thankfully before heading away. He’d been holding in that breath of relief like an ancient treasure.
The second is Moth, carrying in an iced tea for Squirrel and a mocha (with a froth of whipped cream stirred in) for Crow. She’d been getting drinks for her and Leaf and said she felt guilty if they weren’t getting anything as well. Crow has to admit, Leaf had great taste in women. Moth was almost unnervingly friendly and bizarrely just as much of a genius as her girlfriend, she’d already been offered a medical scholarship. It was even more amazing considering what Crow had heard about her… background.
Leaf had been right about that Hawk guy. She didn’t mention him much, but when he came up and Moth was in the room, the girl shook with such sheer fear that Crow would not have imagined it was her brother they’d mentioned.
Apparently, she was doing better though. For reasons that Crow knew were none of his business, Hawk had been thrown out of his and Moth’s home. Where he was now, Moth didn’t know and didn’t want to find out. The others respected that. All they needed to do was stand by her and help if she needed it. But her auburn hair looked less withered, her cheeks had more colour, and she showed off her impressive height without the scrunched gait she had seemed to linger in before.
As long as she was happy, Leaf was happy. Crow and Squirrel just did what they could to make sure it stayed that way.
And that was easy when she was so damn nice. That mocha had been delicious.
Five minutes later, they call it a session.
“That’s a wrap!” Squirrel stretches her arms up triumphantly. The sleeves she wears are too big and roll down clumsily. She says it makes her look bigger. Crow doesn’t get the logic but he says nothing.
“For today.” Crow spites playfully.
His friend makes a raspberry. “That’s all that matters.” As if the tension and stress has evaporated, she jumps off of the bed, rushing over to her Blu-ray collection. Crow still feels like he should whistle at the multitude of titles she owned, they must have made up at least $300. He’d mentioned it once. She’d shot back if it was necessary to own a dozen pairs of running shoes. He had tried to tell her how each shoe was more adaptable to certain tracks or states of weather, but she was about as interested as he’d been about why it was necessary to own, like six, various versions of Blade Runner.
Whatever they did with their money, they decided, was their own business.
“What to watch. What to watch.” She pulls cases out one by one, her face igniting with thought at every cover.
Crow rolled his head back onto the head of her bed. “Pick anything.” He isn’t that fussy about these things. Whether it was some art-house thing he wouldn’t understand, or some Disney flick where Squirrel would know the words to every song in the thing, and sing along right in front of him, he’d sit and watch.
“Oh okay, then-”
He just makes it. “Not Breakfast Club!”
“Don’t you get bored of watching that thing every day?” He asks flatly.
“Do you get bored of running around the same track every week?”
Oh, he is so not ready to play this game. “Okay, whatever. Point taken.” His eyes close, listening to her fumble through the films. Every so often he hears her murmur something like “Nah, not his best film” or “Bit too sappy for him”. She’s analysing her decisions around him. Crow doesn’t know what to think about that. It makes her sound like she knows him so well. It’s a little embarrassing. But then he considers how she’s clearly trying to pick something she thinks he’ll enjoy. And it’s based on the tastes she associates with him.
Crow’s stomach goes light. Did she often think about what he liked? Was he that easy to read? He inhales, his nostrils feel numb. He knows he’s overthinking this. All he really knew for sure was that she wanted to make sure he enjoyed her pick.
He’s content with that.
She pulls out Jackass with a smirk, shaking it at him. “Too close to home?”
“It’s in your hands.”
“Touché. I’ve already picked something anyway.” She rises, holding a film called Little Miss Sunshine. Crow doesn’t recognise it. The title makes his mouth twist though. You never knew what you were in for when it came to Squirrel.
“What’s it about?”
She places the film in the player, looking back at him with a glint. “I find it best when you go into films without knowing anything about them.”
Crow regrets asking. This girl could be impossible. “That’s not very smart advice.”
“Like, what if I hated horror movies and someone stuck one on without me knowing? Or if some weirdo stuck on some porno flick or something?”
Squirrel stands up, swipes a lock of hair behind her shoulder and holds the cover up with a terse look on her face. “Does this look like some horror porno to you?”
“Knowing you, I can’t trust the cover.”
She chuckles, sitting down on the end of the bed with the remote. She’s a mix of irritated and playful. “Tell you what, if at any point some guy ends up cut in half or gets his dick out, I’ll turn it off. Happy?”
“Is this secretly some plan to get rid of me?”
She shrugs. “Don’t need a plan, the door’s right there if I need to kick you out. Now do you want to watch the movie or not?”
He’s not that bothered about the film. But he knows she wants him to watch it, and he knows he’ll enjoy hearing her talk about it. So they watch it. Crow actually enjoys it quite a bit. Some road trip movie about a family taking their youngest daughter to a beauty pageant. It’s acted great, and there are enough twists to keep Crow entertained (the ending scene is genuinely hilarious to him though).
And when he looks like he’s enjoying it, the faces Squirrel makes make his night.
She always likes having a discussion after every film they watch. It’s clear that she loves film with a passion. Every character, every scene, even down to the ways the camera moves, Squirrel has an opinion on it all. And it’s not like she’s pretentious about it in anyway. She’s convincing and always leaves Crow points where he can offer his own point. He doesn’t do it much (He’d rather hear it from someone who actually knows what they’re talking about). It’s just fun. She’s passionate about this and Crow likes to see that.
Although she does slip sometimes.
Such as tonight. She’s talking about how the protagonist is able to go against the conformities of beauty and success when Crow hears her voice tighten just a hint. He realises it’s odd to notice these things, but maybe he is odd when it comes to her. He’s seen her like this before, not in a while but it still leaves him cold.
“Isn’t that the point though?” Crow says. They’re sat at the head of her bed, side by side. “They realise she can do things her own way. That’s a good thing, isn’t it?”
“Of course it is.” Squirrel lays down, her ginger locks look like gleaming spiderwebs on the pillow. Her face is hardened on the ceiling. She pauses a moment. “It just sucks though, doesn’t it?”
“Like, the fact those pageants exist. I mean, I get that it gives some kids confidence or something. But there’s at least ten more kids who watch that shit and think they’re too fat or too, just, like, not normal to do anything in it?”
“I feel like there’s some projecting going on here.” Crow says slowly, leaning onto his elbow. The bed is remarkably soft and he almost falls off.”
Squirrel narrows her eyes at him. “You think I’m wrong?”
“I never said that.” Crow flicks a strand of hair over her nose, she creases and blows it away. “It’s bullshit, any idiot can see that. But why are you so worried about it? Have you got a pageant life I don’t know about?”
She punches his elbow, but she’s laughing. “You wish, perv. I just don’t think it’s right, that’s all.”
“I agree with you on that. But it’s not like you’re conforming to anything right?”
She blinks at him.
“I mean, you make movies and you’re really good at it.”
Was he putting too much effort with the ‘really’? He doesn’t try to think about it. “I haven’t heard anyone hate on your festival picture, and reminder.” He pokes her arm. “You came in the top five in that national contest!”
Her eyes flutter. “It was actually a regional contest.”
Crow waves a hand at the air, as if batting away wasps. “Who the hell cares? Fact is, you’re great at it!”
“Great.” It’s just one word. But Crow hears something different in how she says it. Small and curious, perhaps suspicious. It’s infrequent, but Crow panics whenever he hears it on her. He feels like the signature on a poorly made painting. He tries to picture what normal was for him and he thinks back to when thought of Squirrel or the idea of friends with nothing but disgust.
That normal was impossible to want, yet Crow missed the routine of not giving a shit.
He can only go with it. Keep his face like stone. “Obviously. Every idiot is great at something.”
Maybe remembering her own self, but her eyes still glimmering, Squirrel sits up with a cheeky look. “Oh, you mean how you were great at running?”
The relief of the straight line is temporary. “Yeah exact-” His eyebrows curve up. “I’m sorry. Were?”
Squirrel smiles at him with a look that’s almost sympathetic! She pats his back like she’s a mother comforting a child. “Don’t look like that Crow, just because you can’t run it doesn’t mean you’re a loser to me.”
He starts ranting about doctors’ orders and muscle strains as she laughs hard. He ‘argues’ his point for what might be ten minutes before Fireheart sticks his head in to ask about the racket. Crow has the sense to look apologetic while Squirrel explains they were done with the tutoring.
“Sounds like it too.” Fireheart says his arms crossing. Though his hair burns ginger like his daughter’s, there is a seasoned hardness on his face. Crow doesn’t want to get on his bad side.
“Sorry about that.” Crow says, easing away from the man’s daughter just a little. Fireheart smiles, unoffended.
“I’m kidding. It’s fine.” He nods to Crow. “Thanks for coming to help. It’s good to know Squirrel is getting some work done.”
Squirrel blushes furiously, “Dad!”
The man laughs genially, “Lighten up, kiddo!” Off of his daughter’s sulking look, he looks back at Crow. “Would you like me to give you a ride back home?”
The boy thinks that’s his signal to go, but before he can agree Squirrel cuts in. “We were actually just going to give Feather and Storm a call before he goes. It’s been a while.”
Crow is surprised by the change in plans, but he doesn’t object to it. It has been a while since they last spoke to their friend. Plus, he wasn’t in any hurry to go.
“Ah.” Fireheart makes a sound of agreement. “Yeah, that’s a good idea. Well just give me a call if you want me to take you home, or I could call Ashfoot to come get you if you like?”
The friendliness of the man encourages Crow a little. “Thanks. I’ll let you know.”
Fireheart nods again. But this time he gives Crow the spasm of an eye that almost looks like a wink. And was that a smirk? Crow feels his throat dry up again.
Squirrel sighs irritably once he’s gone, “That’s why I want a lock.”
Crow coughs to cover his unwinding nerves. “So we’re calling Feather and Storm?”
The girl beams, reaching to her bag to pull out her laptop. She slides her belly across the bed, lifting her legs and resting them on Crow’s knees. “Of course, we are! You’ll want to see her again, no doubt.” He thinks she’s smirking. Crow’s eyes dim.
It isn’t. But what can he say. As far as she knows, nothing was different about him. That hurt a little. It almost made it look like there was no point in thinking he could ever move on. But he had, he’d done it before she’d left.
But the idea that Squirrel would realise that scared the shit out of him.
Her legs swing away from him as she walks towards the door, “I’ll go ask Leaf if she wants to join. Don’t jump out the window or anything.”
Crow picks his head up, mimicking being annoyed rather than perturbed. “You know me.”
Squirrel blasts him a wiggle of her brows and then she’s gone. Taking her presumptions and theories with her. It’s strange to be alone in her room. It’s like she’s never gone. Crow sighs at the way his stomach is throbbing. He’s stuck in a paradox. He didn’t want to be found out. But the way she misjudged him, or his feelings, still stung no matter how stupid it really was.
She no doubt was going off to Leaf about him seeing Feather again, like it was some Romeo and Juliet type bullshit. That wasn’t it at all. If they looked at him when he saw his old crush again, there wouldn’t be anything like that. He missed Feather terribly. She was a great friend to have around. They all missed her like that.
But that added glow that came to her face so long ago. That was gone.
Or rather, it’s spotlight was centred on someone new.
So I wanted to add some more to this Human AU idea. It will come in small parts this time, compared to a massive one shot. That way I can alternate between this and ILYL. Now this is done, back to working on the main fic. Expect the next part of this after that chapter is released.
Thanks for reading.
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Love Conquers All
[Assorted Masterlist] [Forehead Kiss Drabble Masterlist]
Pairing: Ernest Sinclaire x Clara Mills (MC)
Book: Desire & Decorum III (early in the book ~chapter 2-3)
Word Count: ~800
Synopsis: The ever sullen Ernest finds reflecting on the past even more painful with the loss of Ledford Park; luckily, his fiancee is by his side to remind him he is never alone.
A/N: Happy birthday to the wonderfully talented and always supportive @princess-geek ! I’ve never written Ernest before, I hope I did him justice.
The path from town to Edgewater ran parallel to a glistening stream. The warm, golden rays of the sun reflected off its surface like hundreds of tiny diamonds. Each seemingly offered a glimmer of light and hope in the reflection of all of those who happened upon the natural treasure just as the two lovers now found themselves.
It wasn’t uncommon for a natural silence to fall between them on their walks. The pair didn’t need to fill every moment with busying conversation to pass the time. They simply enjoyed the company of each other. Knowing the other was beside them was all they needed. However, this time was different. His grey-blue eyes weren’t quite distant, but their focus was lost in another time or place.
Clara’s fingers lightly fell over his forearm, “Ernest?”
His sullen countenance lifted slightly at the sound of her voice, calling him back to her. Ernest attempted to shake the ghosts of his past away; yet, they continued to pursue him.
“Pray tell, dear sir, what it is that is causing you such grief?” She laced her fingers with his own, standing in front of him.
“My Clara, you need not trouble yourself,” Ernest attempted to begin, but her steady, reassuring gaze reminded him what he had already come to know; there was nothing he could hide from her, nor was there anything he wanted to. He shifted slightly, his gaze overlooking the water. “I was considering all that needs to be done to restore Ledford Park. I admit the daunting task ahead led my mind to wander back... All those I’ve lost— one by one, they were gone, and it was too late, and now—”
She offered a gentle squeeze of his hand, giving him a moment.
“Even their memories, it seems, have been erased from the family estate. I'm all that's left” He sighed thoughtfully, turning back toward her. “Have I failed them?”
"You could never fail them." Clara lowered her gaze before slipping up on her tip-toes and brushing a lingering kiss on his forehead.
His eyes closed at the gentle touch of her reassuring lips. He had learned a long time ago that she was his strength and his courage. It was his love for her that had carried him this far.
“You will survive this, my Ernest. Our path has not been easy, but together we always find a way.”
“Love conquers all obstacles,” the words slipped from Ernest's lips.
Her eyes glistened at the quote. It was the one she had chosen to represent their love—past, present, and future.
He brushed a curl of her hair behind her ear. “You give me the strength to conquer the ghosts of my past, my Lady. With all we’ve overcome to arrive at this moment, I regret to be the cause of one more such obstacle.”
“You’re not. We walk this path together. For all the good, for all the bad, and for everything in between,” Clara replied, a soft smile gracing her lips. “We shall remember those we have lost, but also, look forward to all those we have yet to meet. Neither of us can rewrite the past, but the future belongs to us. Ledford Park is in you. You will rebuild it. It might not be the same, but that’s the thing about life; it changes us all. Sometimes it’s gradual, and we don’t even notice. Other times, adversity arises, and it is how we respond that defines who we are to become. You will become my husband, and I, your wife. You are the most brilliant, kind, and noble man I know. You will overcome this and write a legacy for your family. You will tell our children the stories of your past, and they will tell theirs. The memories of those who are gone will never be forgotten.”
Ernest cradled her face tenderly in his hands. He rested his forehead on hers for a moment, breathing in the subtle scent of the roses from the garden that lingered on her skin from the morning. His head tilted to the side as he drew her lips to his own. A delightful shiver tingled down their spines at the lingering embrace.
As they parted to catch their breath, a persistent warmth remained on their cheeks.
"I once believed myself a knowledgable man, astute in all the ways that mattered. Then I met you and found I knew not." He turned once more to the stream, gesturing toward their reflection in the sparkling waters. "This is the only future I need. With you, I know we will find a way."
Love conquers all obstacles. Those four words would always remind them of the challenges they faced to be together, but they would also act as a promise that no matter what the future held, their love was strong enough to overcome it all.
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Prompt: diamonds @choicesaprilchallenge2021
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I hope to one day live in a world where differences in gender and sexual orientation are presented in media as openly and casually as differences in clothes or hair color. A world where writers try to work orientation into the character description the same way they try to write in appearances, rather than treating it like a plot twist to be revealed later, and to have it be so common and natural that it gets its own trope like 'good thing the MC has a mirror handy in chapter one, or else I wouldn't know what they look like' to be poked fun at but overall accepted. A world where we don't have to rely on writers, actors, designers etc. to tell us on social media whether or not they 'headcanon' a character as LGBTQ+, while the canon property remains ambiguous at best and outright contradicts it at its worst.
Because 'the author is dead.' If something is not confirmed within the actual property, it is not actually canon. And as long as something is not canon, there WILL be people who discredit it, counter it, deny it, and - worst of all - attack people who wish for it.
The other day I made a post about how RWBY brands itself as 'progressive' when it comes to LGBTQ+ issues, but that it's all talk, and this can be evidenced by the fact that the RWBY wiki has 148 characters in the page for "major" characters - one hundred and forty eight major characters - and only four of them have been confirmed in the show as being on the LGBTQ+ spectrum. And someone came into my comments and said "Boo fucking hoo. Get over it and just watch the show anyway."
Regarding this whole situation with Jaune, I actually don't think that Miles was baiting. (I never thought in my life that I'd be defending Miles Luna of all people, but here we are. There are plenty of legitimately scummy things Miles has done in the past, but this one thing isn't one of them, and attacking him for it would only serve to cheapen our testimony when we do bring up those actually scummy things.) He got a fan-ask about potential Jaune relationships if Jaune were to pursue mlm relationships, and talked about those hypotheticals. When the fans took these clips out of context and started calling him out for queerbaiting, he explained the situation in full. That's what happened, and tbh I think that was fine. Yes it was another instance of Miles sticking his foot in his mouth, but for once I don't think it was actually indicative of problematic behavior. Someone asked him to talk about hypothetical pairings, and he did. That's it. He never claimed that Jaune was actually part of the LGBTQ+ community. That would have been baiting for sure, considering he has never once been written as such in the show.
But I'm startled by the amount of people who saw the clips out of context and immediately started talking about how 'it's canon now' before it was corrected.
'Canon' is what happens in the official universe. Nothing else. Even if Miles had said the exact words "Jaune is bisexual," that would still not be canon, because it does not appear in the official universe. If Miles had said the exact words "Jaune is bisexual," that would literally be 'Word of the Author,' which is not the same thing as canon.
This is not me 'opposing' bi-Jaune, btw. This is not me trying to 'deny' it (Miles already did that anyway.) I would love a bisexual Jaune, and I've personally headcanoned Neptune to have had a crush on him at the Beacon dance for years now. But the fact remains that me liking a concept and a writer/VA voicing casual support for those headcanons is not the same thing as 'canon,' and furthermore, even if the writer/VA had actually said that it was a real ship and his intention the whole time, it would still not be canon until it is confirmed in the actual property.
In this single instance, I don't believe Miles was baiting the LGBTQ+ community. He was just speculating about hypothetical pairings. Rooster Teeth and CRWBY do have a long history of baiting as it is, however, and it's valid to be hurt by what feels like yet another instance of it. Such as when they released the bumblby song with the V4 soundtrack and then immediately began tripping over themselves to absolve themselves of the incident and threw Jeff Williams under the bus by saying he had written it completely without prompt and included it without approval, and not to 'read too much into it' because they 'assured us' that it wasn't real and wasn't even used in the actual show. Or when some of the animators posted dozens of tweets directly teasing and promoting Fair Game and then the RT management tripped over themselves to throw the animation department under the bus and say that they didn't approve of those tweets and so they were totally absolved from the fact that the ship was heavily promoted by official sources and had romantic subtext written into dialogue and then Clover died and they spent all of V8 writing Qrow to talk about how much of a bro-friend he was while the other characters started a random smear-campaign against said dead bro-friend. Or the fact that the RT official merch store was selling partner-based merch and the Blake and Yang partner jacket had a line in the description teasing "are they friends? Are they more? Either way give us money lolz you just gotta have this jacket" and then the RT management threw their marketing department under the bus and claimed that they hadn't approved of the product description so they're completely absolved from the fact that their official store was baiting so openly.
Over and over and over this has happened. RT writes subtext into their work that could be read as romantic, but not only do they never actually confirm it, they actively try to deny it. And then their official side releases like OST's and merch and marketing campaigns contain heavy hinting or in some cases outright claims that are once again either never confirmed or outright denied, and then their VA's and writers go onto panels or podcasts or record commentaries or post tweets talking about how they personally read a character to be X or Y, and the fans take it as canon, when it never was, while RT once again refuses to confirm it and goes out of its way to deny it.
There are only four canon-confirmed on-screen LGBTQ+ characters in RWBY.
I know we wish there were more. I know RT has promised there will be more. I know how important it is to have more. And I know how much it hurts to finish watching the season finale and to say "maybe next year" for eight years in a row.
At what point do we stop giving RT credit they never deserved?
Headcanon Jaune to be bi. Write that into your fanfictions. Ship him with Neptune if you want. Ship him with anyone else. Ship him with Weiss because he can still be bi even if he dates a girl. Ship him with Blake because they could still be bi if they were together. Ship Noah's Arc and Bumblebee going on group dates together and fighting over what movie to see. Ship whoever you want with whoever you want.
But please try to remember that none of that is canon yet, because RT likes to be thought of as 'progressive' so they're constantly baiting it, but they're too cowardly to write it into the actual property so they will always find somebody to push in the path of a bus when they get called out, rather than actually commit and canonize it.
Keep posting your bi-Jaune art. I really do love seeing it. But please don't call it canon. Miles has already stated that it is not canon, and even if he didn't, it still would not be canon until it is in the show. And until these things are actually canon, Rooster Teeth doesn't deserve the praise it would bring if they were.
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