#IF YOU'RE READING THIS AND PICKING APART THAT I WAS LIKE.
Hello! I hope you’re day is going perfectly 💕
Please can I request Natasha thinking reader got bliped when they don’t answer her calls and comes home to what she thinks is an empty house when really reader was just dead asleep the whole time and unaware anything was going on and ends up scaring Natasha by accident
*image above is not mine ♡*
pairing: natasha romanoff x reader ♡
genre: fluffy fluff ♡
summary: in which natasha believes she's lost the love of her life ♡
word count: 939 ♡
a/n: thank you so much for the request, angel! ♡ the song is "breathe again" by harrison storm if you wish to listen while you read. i wrote this whole thing in biology lecture an hour ago lol ♡ have a great day, my angels! you are beautiful and lovely, don’t forget it ♡
natasha's head felt like it was spinning. her eyes remained locked on the screen of her cell phone. your name flickered at the top of the screen, a dull ringing floating through the air.
pick up, natasha chanted incessantly. please.
"when you're done being dramatic, give me a call."
where those the last words she had said to you? the last thing you ever heard come from her moth?
"come on!" natasha roared, redialing your number. the horrible ringing ensued again, loudly mocking natasha's racing heartbeat. she closed her eyes, a fine teardrop splattering onto her cheek.
"please," she gasped. "please, baby. please pick up."
the voice mail message blared loudly and natasha threw her phone onto the ground. a sob broke from her throat as she kneeled on the ground, tears flowing freely down her cheeks. a large hand stroked her back and she glanced up to find steve rogers' bleak, blue eyes peering at her beneath teary lashes. her lips trembled as steve took her quivering body into his arms.
"it's going to be okay," he whispered against her flaxen locks. "it's all going to be alright."
all throughout the ride back to the compound on the quinjet, natasha tried her hardest to let steve's words penetrate her brain. it didn't work. the feeling of uneasiness hung heavy to her skin as she left the compound and quickly ran to the front door of her apartment. she wrenched the door open and sped inside, the silence in the air making tears build in her eyes again.
her words hung in the air for a moment, no response tumbling back.
you couldn't be gone.
you were not gone.
"y/n?!" natasha had never heard her voice sound so loud, so desperate. her eyes burned with tears, throat clogging with emotion.
the silence was the worst sound she'd ever heard. she remembered when she used to enjoy silence. when she'd choose to imbue your skin with purplish kisses over letting her soft words brush over your cheeks. how she wished she could talk to you now. to hear your voice again, just once more.
why had she fought with you before leaving? she had been so stupid. you had cried to her about not wanting her to leave, wanting her to stay in the protection of your home. you told her you had a bad feeling about her leaving, a fear that she wouldn't come back home. natasha had gotten angry. she didn't want to leave you either, but the world needed saving. you knew how much saving the world meant to her. you knew she couldn't stay.
she was so stupid. you weren't being dramatic or selfish. you were caring about her, giving her more love than she'd ever imagined receiving in her life.
natasha trekked upstairs to the bedroom, the one the two of you had shared for the past two years. she passed over the threshold, throat bubbling with a quiet sob as she gazed at the empty bed. it was slightly messy, the blankets strewn slightly sideways over the mattress. one of the pillows had tumbled onto the ground, the other lying untouched on the other side.
natasha stood up, shoulders shaking with sobs, and crept to your side of the bed. it was probably still fragrant with your warmth and sweet scent. she stooped to let her nose run over the sheets, when her foot hit something. her gaze shot downwards and she gasped.
you were lying on the ground, breathing deeply and clutching a pillow to your chest. calm breaths issued from your mouth, chest slowly rising and falling. your cheeks were pink with life and natasha had never felt so happy to see you breathing in her life.
natasha leapt to the ground, her arms latching onto you and shaking you harshly. you quickly came to, eyes fluttering open as you caught sight of natasha panting and crying over you.
"nat? baby, what's wrong?" you quickly sat up and grabbed her hands. natasha was crying so hard that she was nearly hyperventilating.
"i'm -- so -- sorry -- i'm so glad you're -- okay --"
"natasha, what happened?" you quickly hugged her, wrapping your arms around her. "it's okay, sweetie. i'm always going to be here."
natasha pressed her face into your chest, her arms tight around your waist. your fingers lovingly caressed her back as you patiently let her release all her emotions. she must've been through so much.
a gasp fled your lips as you realized why she must've been so upset. if she had just gotten home and was so upset and apologizing so profusely, did that mean that she thought that...?
"natasha, did you think that i --?" you paused, not wanting to make her cry more.
"you weren't answering," natasha mumbled against your shirt, her voice low and raspy. "i thought i lost you. i thought i'd never see my star ever again."
"oh, nat," you whispered, cupping her face and bringing it up to yours. you lowered your head and kissed her lips, lovingly, slowly, gently. "i am always yours. i'm sorry that i scared you. i've been asleep all day, i didn't even hear my phone ring."
"it's okay," natasha sniffled, grabbing you even tighter. "just don't leave tonight. stay here."
you nodded, kissing natasha's lips again before gently setting her head back on your chest. it didn't surprise you when you looked down a few minutes later and found natasha asleep on your body. whatever had happened, you'd find out in the morning. right now, you were just happy to have your love back in your arms, glad that everything was okay. you rested your head over hers, letting sleep overcome you as well.
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Warning: cursing, angst/comfort.
He was irritable. More than irratable. Today hadn't went well and the last thing Hanma needed was company. What he did need was a drink, and a quiet place to sit in so the headache throbbing against his temples could ease up a little. Which is why when he opened the apartment door to the sound of banging cutlery, loud music and animated chatter he physically felt himself tense.
"Baby! You're home!" Your voice was loud as you bounced towards your boyfriend. You had wanted to surprise him with dinner. Only he was early and seemed.. Off, which you knew meant the night was already off to a rough start.
"What's all this?" He tried to level his voice which was becoming increasingly difficult as he glanced around at the mess you'd made in the kitchen. He was in a foul mood and it only seemed to be getting worse.
"Dinner! We haven't sat down for a proper meal together in days Shuji. I thought this would be good for us, Yunno? Let off some steam" You smiled and heard him mutter something as he took off his jacket and slipped off his shoes.
"I'm going in the shower" He growled under his breath.
"Eat first! The food will get cold. Plus I stopped by the bakery and picked up those desserts you were eying. I know, I know, I'm the best" You joked lightly, trying to win a smile but Hanmas frown only deepened.
"I'm not hungry right now y/n"
"Shuji c'mon, I put in a lot of effort baby, I'd really appreciate it if you tried to reciprocate" You were never an impatient person but somehow his indifference was getting on your nerves. You had went out of your way to make his favorite food, rent movies and pick up dessert so you could stay in and spend some time with the man you've been in love with for the past two years and who you haven't hung out with in weeks. Yet here he was dismissing all your efforts like it was nothing.
"I never asked you to do that" He switched off the radio harshly and turned back to glare at you.
"I know. I wanted too. We haven't seen each other-"
"We see each other every fucking day y/n. We live together" The throbbing in his head doubled and with that so did his temper "God can you just leave me alone"
"For fucks sake! Have you always been this annoying? You weren't this clingy in the start of our relationship. I know because I never would have stuck around if you were" You heart felt like it was being ripped in two. Clingy? Annoying? He rolled his eyes when you didn't say anything and moved towards the direction of the bathroom.
You didn't want to be here. Not now. Not when he'd hurt you and walked away after. Grabbing a duffel bag and some clothes, you wrote a note just so he wouldn't look for you and left the only place that felt like home.
Thirty minutes later, Hanmas headache was gone. He still wasn't in the best mood but he had it in him to be civil. Stepping out of the shower to a dead silent apartment he felt a ball of unease curl in his stomach. Walking around the home you shared and realizing you had left was probably one of the worst feelings he'd ever experience.. And finding your note that read 'Sleeping at a friends' had done nothing to ease his anxiety.
He barely slept. Reaching for you unconsciously through out the night and hating the fact that you weren't there. He was such a fucking idiot. He woke up the next morning to the sound of dishes in the kitchen and suddenly he was bolting through the bedroom door.
You were cleaning up the mess of last night. He felt his stomach drop at the sight of you in a men's extra large tshirt that he knew wasn't his, your hair disheveled and your face bare. Where had you slept last night?
"Dumbass, do you know how fucking dangerous it was to leave the house at night by yourself? And you didn't tell me where the hell you were going" He watched as you lifted your head to give him a blank stare that made him wince. You seemed so done with him.
"I told you I was staying with a friend"
"Yes because that's specific." He rolled his eyes playfully, trying to bridge the space between the two of you. "Cmon let me take you to breakfast, pretty girl"
You shook your head " I'm only here to clean up and grab a few more things. I have class"
He rubbed his neck awkwardly "That's okay. What time will you be home? We can go out for dinner"
"I won't be home. I'm staying at my friends for a couple days" And he felt his heart stutter. He didn't want you to go.
"Y/n. Baby M'sorry. Stay here tonight. Please"
"I don't want to Hanma." He flinched at the sound of his last name "I'd rather not be somewhere where people find me annoying and clingy. I'll see you around"
You left, and before he could follow you and beg you to stay he heard the familiar sound of his phone ringing. Maybe you needed space he thought. Maybe you both did. Distance makes the heart grow fonder. Wasn't that the saying?
You didn't come home for three days. Three days and Hanma felt like he was slowly losing mind. You didn't answer his calls, barely responded to his texts and he couldn't do it anymore.
"Y/n. Come home, baby. I'm sorry. I screwed up, I know. I'm so fucking sorry. You're not annoying or clingy or whatever else the I fucking said, I was just frustrated and I said shit I didn't mean. I can't do this without you. Please. Please just come home-" He growled at the sound of your voice mail cutting him off. He wanted to hit something. Hard.
A few hours later he was splayed across the couch with his eyes closed. Maybe he should track you down? It wouldn't be hard but it would probably just make you angrier than you were. He heard the door unlock. Watching as you entered the apartment he felt his heart melt a little when he saw you dressed in one of his old torn hoodies .
"34 miss calls, Shuji" You said incredulously "One might call you clingy"
Sure it was petty of you but he didn't care, he sprang to his feet and was in front of you in seconds. He put his hands on either side of your face, his eyes wide, his body trembling.
"You came home" He gruffed. You looked at his messy hair and red, puffy eyes and felt all the anger and sadness you'd felt a couple days ago disappear. You kissed his chest lightly And felt him tug you closer.
"I missed you" You murmured.
"Fuck" He felt himself physically melt into you as he battled his emotions "Fuck baby, I missed you more. Don't do that again. Don't leave when you're angry. God, look at you. Perfect girl"
"Shhh. You'll make me cry" You sniffled as he dragged you towards the couch and brought you on his lap so he could hold you tighter.
"I don't care as long as they're happy tears" He pulled away to look at you "Where did you go?"
"I stayed with my brother" You ran a hand through his hair and he sighed nestling into your neck, relieved. That explains the men's tshirt. Thank fuck. He really wasn't in the mood for murder right now.
"Pretty darling, I really am sorry. I never meant a fucking word I said. This is home you know. The two of us. I'm never fully okay when you're not around"
"Shuji" You rubbed your nose against his "Who knew you could be such a mush"
"Don't tell anyone" He muttered
"And if I do? What are you going to do? Kill me?" Your smile at grew at his smirk
"Baby you know better than anyone I don't have to kill you to punish you" His hand slipped underneath your hoodie and you laughed.
"You're horrible" You said as his lips met yours.
"Only for you"
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𝐰𝐫𝐨𝐧𝐠 𝐜𝐢𝐫𝐜𝐮𝐦𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞𝐬 | 𝐡.𝐜.
- henry cavill x f!reader
warnings: abuse, crazy bf/ex, drinking, bruising, smacking/punching, word 'whore', implied cheating (in the sexual sense), potential typos, let me know if I've missed anything!
*please read all warnings before you continue reading*
synopsis: you and henry confess how you're feeling under wrong circumstances.
ruth speaking: y'all this is so bad lmao. anyways, I decided to write for Henry today, since I can't stop thinking about him. feel free to reblog and comment as much as you wish. have a good day :)
gif credit: @akiema
your boyfriend had just left the apartment with a scowl upon his face. his eyes were a dark shade of brown, and in the light, had appeared black. before, he had worn a smile as the pair of you entered your floor, an elder lady smiling at you both.
though he wore a smile, you were much worse. your eyes looked empty, like you were dead. and, perhaps you were, at least in a metaphorical sense. upon your face were barely-there bruises, though they'll start to form within the hour and be gone by the end of the week. a cut from where his hand had punched your plump lips, began to bleed.
but you couldn't feel. no. your hands trembled as you walked quietly to the shared bedroom, breathing shallow, chest heaving. you needed out.
hwbry, jeed hekp - y/n
you didn't know if he would get the message on time before your boyfriend came back. but by god did you pray he did. call yourself a coward for not ever telling him about your abusive boyfriend.
your hands shook feverishly, sweat gathering at your temples, eyes hazed over. you couldn't see, but you can hear. and you just heard henry's special ding on your phone. you whipped your eyes.
on my way, wait on the first floor - mr. bootylicious
you sighed, a sigh leaving your throat. you look at the bedroom, wincing. you couldn't take all your stuff. would henry even let you stay with him?
in that moment, you heard the door open. you smiled, running to the noise, thinking it was henry.
"henry, thank go-" your voice died down and you lowered your head to look at your shoes; they're far more interesting than your boyfriend.
"who's henry? huh? is that why you're so excited?"
"no, no. y-you have it wro-"
"bet you spread your legs for him instead of me, hmm? you mangy whore! clean this place up before I do something you'll regret."
you nodded your head, tears streaming down your face from his words. you began to pick up the crushed beer cans from earlier in the day, wincing at the stench which accumulated from them.
"b/f/n, can- can we talk?"
"just shut up!"
"I want to break up with you!"
after the words left your mouth, you froze, shutting your eyes as the mood in the room shifted to something much darker than the one before.
you began shaking your head, hands shaking too. you carefully began walking to the door, picking up stuff off the ground to make it seem as if you were busy with what he told you to do.
"answer me, women! damnit, answer me now!"
you looked up at him with a dark glare, before turning to run to the door, successfully running to the door of the stairwell. you heard him behind you, but he was too slow to catch up, his drunken state affecting him.
you reached the first floor, sighing as you pushed open the door, looking around the lobby rather fastly, eyes landing upon him.
you pushed the door open a bit more, darting towards henry in a beeline. you ran into his chest, arms immediately going around his waist, his around your back due to his stature.
"henry, henry, henry," you cried, shaking your head into his chest, squeezing him tightly. his hands ran through your hair, kissing the crown of your head. "shh, it's okay."
the moment was short lived, however. because when you pulled away to look up at henry, and he down on you, you heard your boyfriends voice and moved away from henry in a matter of seconds.
"so this is henry, huh? the man you spread your legs fo-"
"don't speak to her like that, man. it serves you no good."
"I'll speak to my girlfriend however I may please."
henry looked over his shoulder, not even noticing how he stepped in between the both of you. it was then that he began to notice the bruises on your face, as well as your busted lip.
you watched has henry's face clenched, his eyes no longer blue, but instead black. your hands shook at his reaction, stepping next to him.
"why?! why did you lay your hands on her?!"
henry grabbed your boyfriends collar on his shirt, arm going back to punch him. but you stopped him from doing so.
"henry, please, no. don't do it okay? don't do it, don't do it." you shook your head, pushing henry away from your boyfriend, though keeping him close.
"so I've seen you decided to come back, you-"
"stop talking, b/f/n. I know that you're drunk, very very drunk, so you might not even remember this in the morning and I'm sorry because of that, I really am."
"y/n, don't tell me to shut up! let's go!" he reached to grab you, but henry stopped his arm from moving closer to you.
"I suggest you hear what the lady has to say, huh?"
you continued, "but, umm, I, I need to do this. I'm breaking up with you. it's not me, it's you."
you looked up at your now ex-boyfriend, shuddering under his blank and dark gaze, glancing at henry to tell him you wished to leave. it was like his presence gave you confidence. if it weren't for him, you'd've still been laying in your bed, broken.
what shocked you, however, was that when you both left for the door, he just stood there, eyes glossy. perhaps he loved you?
"y/n, he doesn't love you. keep walking."
henry stopped walking however, going against his own words. y/n, come here."
you halted, not noticing how he had stopped. you turned around, jogging just a bit so you stood infront of him.
and he did something.
his hands lifted up your face so you looked at him, and he leaned down in a swift motion, resting his forehead on yours, close to your lips. "y/n, he may not love you. but I do. I love you."
and he kissed you, eyes closing shut and lips locking on lips.
you pushed yourself away after a couple seconds, looking at him.
"I love you too."
tagging : @blakerogue
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JEBUS X SUICIDAL READER HEADCANONS (Platonic + Romantic)
Hey ho here you go! I hope you enjoy and this is also my first time writing for anyone apart from the main trio, so please tell me if something is too ooc
• Jebus is probably like a best friend to you, and you're pretty lucky as he hates nearly everyone in Nevada
• He first picked up on your behaviour when you didn't want to go outside and looked seriously tired even tho you had done nothing the previous day
• And as strange as it may be he gave up "purging the wicked" for a day, and decided to spend time with you
• you try to lock him out? he'll kick down your fuckin door bitch, ain't no stopping him >:[
• got any wounds/cuts? he'll help you disinfect them, any sharp object you own will be taken away and any sort of rope too, for safety reasons
• he'll be like a therapist, allowing you to hug him, sit down with him and vent away your worries, if you don't want to he won't pressure you
• if it makes you feel better he will let you hold his sniper or his sword, definitely not his halo tho, that's a bit too far
• he would try to find a sensible place to take you, to the bakery maybe? come on man who can't resist a good sweet bun
• you two probably laughed like idiots at a tiky meme he found
• this man will deadass read you a bedtime story if needed, he doesn't care what the task is, so long as you at least smile a bit
• he likes to put his chin on your head or shoulder and engulf you in a hug from behind, he wants you to know you are loved and wanted
• you're banned from being alone for at least a week, he'll always keep an eye on you even if it means he might get a little hurt in the process (like if he didn't notice a grunt behind him and got shot, he wouldn't mind as long as you're safe)
• he would be absolutely heartbroken once he found out about how you feel, at first he wouldn't really know what to do, so he decided to experiment
• cuddle and snuggle sessions, flowers, fighting together against the AAHW and a simple walk through the park, he tried it all
• I heard some people really like his voice, so he will sing to you or just talk to you about random stuff, but he enjoys listening to you more, no matter what the subject
• random headcanon but I think he would take on a more caring and motherly role, especially if you're upset, the saviour will cook your favourite food, read books with you, maybe even write some stories!
• he thinks finger painting is one of the best ways to show how you really feel so he buys you a small canvas and some paint
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CIX as College Boyfriends
note: someone get me a guy like this pls, or a girl, i'm not picky
includes- CIX x gn!reader, college!au, mostly fluff, slight smut + some crack/having fun with the prompt
if you like my fics please reblog them with a nice comment or tag
comes over to help you study, but you end up tutoring him instead (blanks as soon as he looks at you)
holds your hand during lectures and blushes when someone notices
likes to study in the park, surrounded by nature, but ends up taking a nap with his head in your lap as you read definitions to him and brush through his hair
cooks you dinner (aka ramen) when you're busy studying for midterms and makes sure you stay hydrated and get enough rest
sends you cute motivational quotes when you're apart to help you through your day
studying? what is studying. would rather go on dates and make out with you than pick up a book
somehow, miraculously passes each semester through the "sheer strength of your love" (his words not yours)
is very corny, but it works to get him laid
goes down on you whenever you're stressed, or whenever he's stressed, or whenever someone somewhere probably is stressed (for good measures)
might seem like a typical fuckboy but ends up being your most loyal and long lasting boyfriend if you can put up with his cocky side
"hey, babeee, I know you're quite stressed atm so I just cooked you this small, little five course meal. don't worry, it's really not a big deal!"
is extremely selfless and will neglect his sleep and studies just to take some work off your shoulders by doing your chores
he just wants to see you smile and be able to fall asleep stress-free
brings you coffee once an hour when you're studying at the library and offers to tutor you
to your surprise, he turns out to not only be a great househusband, but also a genius at making difficult subjects sound logical and simple
buys oversized hoodies on purpose and "accidentally" forgets them at your place, hoping you'll wear them the next time he visits
sends you mirror selfies with his dick out while you're studying, then acts all innocent when your grades drop
doesn't like his roommate (at least not as much as you) so he's always hanging out at your place
can't focus on his online classes for 5 minutes before his hands begin to wander up your thigh
he is always either horny or sleeping, either way he doesn't leave your bed unless it is to pee or get snacks from the kitchen
buys you two matching bookmarks, matching beanies, mathing everything, so noone would ever get the stupid idea that you're not together
leaves anonymous hate comments, like "i can tell you're not brushing your teeth sometimes", under the facebook posts of the professor that gave you an F
scribbles in all of his books and sends you selfies of him suffering in the middle of his lectures
still lives with his parents, but sleeps over on your couch on most nights (is too shy to make a move on you and slip into your bed)
has a lot of friends but always makes time for you, even when his schedule is packed
taglist: @femdomlieeh , @sub-hoshi-enthusiast , @subbyboyhaven
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tbh for a long time i really resented the advice "pick a partner that you would want to raise kids with" because i don't want kids and i hated that all relationships had to come from this place of procreation-first. what about toxic friendships, after all.
it took me a really long time to realize it's a bastardization of good advice.
many of us are recovering from being raised by parents/caregivers that were in toxic relationships or were toxic themselves. we learned behaviors, thoughts, and patterns from these people, and we spend our adult lives untangling and dismantling the harm done to us.
the advice should be - is this the person you'd want a child to emulate? is this a person you'd want a child even around? is this a person you can trust alone with a kid - any kid, mind you - and know that the child is safe, looked after, loved? is the relationship you're in one you'd want children to see and repeat in their adult lives? or is the relationship one you hope they won't follow, after all?
to be honest, i knew when i was in a bad relationship. i'd tell people - i know, i know, i should break up with him. i know, i know. she's not actually a good friend. but the reality was that it's incredibly difficult to escape the-devil-you-know. it was easy enough to train myself to be okay with it; i have very little regard for the-self and the process of cutting people out was simply too threatening for my mental state.
but i wouldn't put a younger version of myself through the same thing. i'd picture her in the same situation. i would tell her, broody as she is - leave, you're happier outside of it, never let anyone talk to you like that, you're worth more than this. i'd tell her when you let him cross your boundaries, the fault is his, but you need to understand you're rewarding bad behavior if you don't do something about it. i would wish, fervently, i could restart the relationship and do it all differently, be-young-again.
and then i realized: i am the younger version of myself. a future version of myself is begging me to leave. to take my happiness seriously. i am a kid to fifty-year-old-me. and i need to take my own advice. it's okay if that sets me up to grieve.
pick a partner that you would trust a younger version of yourself with. pick friends you'd want your younger self to grow up alongside. pick love that makes you feel like you want everyone to experience in their life and feel with others, something magical and shareable and full of mist. pick a love that feels like you can grow in it. pick a love like: i will be proud of this.
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Robin #2 Review
This isn’t going to as long as my Nightwing #80 review, mostly because the art in Damian’s solo isn’t as...pronounced? Extravagant? Chock-full of symbolism? Deliciously gorgeous? And this solo’s colorist...I’m not a big fan, if I’m being honest. Melnikov’s art deserves better
But yeah I pretty much just have plot + character comments
Where are his other scars :( this kid’s been through it, where are they...that would’ve been a really nice detail to include - AND a nice parallel if the scar Damian got from the Heretic was there, too. He’d have gotten a matching set lol
Also why is the wound all the way over there lmao, the human heart is way more centered than that, all you’ve got over there is lung
And a large reason as to why I’m not a fan of the colorist - Damian is being whitewashed. Again. Like, bleached. The last issue’s colors/shading were way better than this one - did the colorist change or something? Unfortunate
Edit: okay I just looked at the last issue and noticed that there was no colorist. It seems like Melnikov did both the actual art (i love his style btw) and colored it, too. And in this issue, now there’s a credit spot for the colorist - Luis Guerrero. I mean, Melnikov doing literally of the #1 art by himself is impressive, and it looks good, but that’s tough as shit to do. It’s good that they got someone to color it for him, too bad the colors aren’t all that great y’know :/ at least they’re both pushing the green-eyed Damian agenda, I love them for that
Oh wow he actually, legit died. Add that to the scoreboard - what is that, like three, four canon deaths now? DC please stop using Damian as your punching bag, he is. 14.
Can I say that I’m loving how Rose has immediately designated herself as Damian’s big sister. Like, immediately. She saw him at the Tournament and was like ‘is anyone gonna look out for him’ and then didn’t wait for an answer. And she watched over him as she waited for him to wake up, I’m soft
I feel dumb for not figuring that out lmao. Though I’m slightly disappointed that there wasn’t a small arc of Damian trying to literally get his heart back from Flatline, I know a plotline like that is too cool for DC to do uwu
But that’s really interesting! I wonder why the island has that power - is the air infused with Lazarus pit mist or something? Lmao imagine they just have a giant air humidifier with green hot tub juice fueling it
*deep, long suffering sigh* DC, I will stomp you to death with my hooves
Ignoring that, I’m loving Flatline. She’s cooler at 14 than I ever was and ever will be. I like how this issue is showing her personality, and I’m digging it! She’s a fun character
Interesting! It’s a three strikes and you’re out kinda deal. Everyone is going to go into the actual tournament with only one free resurrection left, and they can actually leave if desired after they die the second time...I really like that.
And the thing with combat/killing only being allowed when the sun is out...I’m guessing you can only be resurrected if you die during the day. Now I’m curious as to why it probably doesn’t work at night...
The victor becoming immortal is also fascinating. I wonder who’s gonna get it? Definitely not Damian (they better fuckin not, he’s not supposed to win this, thank you)
I’ve already seen a lot of people getting upset over this. Over how as soon as Damian is told he can kill on this island, he goes bonkers an fuckin yonkers & kills like ten people
And I was upset too! Until I thought about it for more than two seconds, and then it made sense and I ended up enjoying this part of the issue
First off - read this. Read it again. And one more time to really get it in there.
This straight up states that Damian feels guilt & shame over his past kills, and would feel the same if he killed again.
But on this island, he’s not going to kill anyone, not permanently. It’ll all be undone within a couple of hours, if that. He’s not actually killing. And he recognizes that. That is the only reason he goes ham here - there are no consequences. It’s actually necessary to start the Tournament, so technically he’s helping everyone out
And imagine you spend the first ten years of your life killing. You end up living somewhere where killing is the most forbidden sin, with people who would die before they’d take a life. You spend four years with them, and go through a lot of new trauma, with your biggest outlet for your anger & pain completely taken away from you
Now you’re 14 - and everyone knows that 14 year olds are naturally bloodthirsty. If you gave literally any 13/14 year old a weapon and said ‘you can kill anyone and they’ll come right back, like a video game’, I promise you they would barely hesitate. Hell, I probably wouldn’t have. 13/14 year old kids have a LOT of pent up emotion. At 14, and especially in Damian’s shoes, can you honestly say you wouldn’t have reacted the same way?
And Damian has at least triple the usual amount of pent up emotion. Of course he’s gonna let loose! He isn’t disappointing anyone, he isn’t permanently killing anyone, there’s no guilt/shame or consequences. This is the first time he’s been allowed to ‘relax’ and vent in the only way he knows how in years. And I’m not pulling that out of thin air:
This is painted as a quip, but it’s not. I promise you it isn’t. He’s being 100% serious here.
He must feel great. The rush of adrenaline, the pride in utter & complete victory, and (as much as I hate to say it) the comfort of an old/practiced skill - something he knows he can do & do well, must feel fantastic.
This is the first time he’s been allowed to ‘breathe’ in ages. He can show off what he can do without holding back & without the fear of retribution.
I’m actually happy for him. Hopefully this will help him have a clearer head going forward, or he’ll at least be a little less tightly wound.
I have a theory, too - when Damian inevitably gets to a round where’s he’s fighting an opponent who’s on their third chance, he’s going to forfeit. He’s gonna be about to kill them, realize he’s actually gonna kill them, and then back off. Maybe then they’ll take the opening and kill him instead, leaving him on his last chance. And then maybe he’ll go home, maybe he’ll stay to watch the rest, idk. But I have a feeling that’s how he’s gonna lose
And look at his lil’ murder outfit! I love him so much, look at this stylish kid go, I wanna give him a fruit snack & a juice box
I have a feeling all of the big threats - these guys + Connor - are gonna have a big part to play in Damian’s story, which I’m excited to see.
So we have Respawn - interesting...lots of mystery around this guy, what with the Deathstroke (I almost wrote Deadpool ksjdsk) getup. I’m liking him so far, though, except for his weird half leather jacket...Jason would be rolling in his grave if he was still in there
I’m calling it now, XXL is gonna play a huge part in Damian’s character arc. I mean absolutely massive. This kid is almost literally Damian at 10, if Rose’s description is anything to go by, but more on surface level tho - I know Damian and XXL are likely vastly different, it’s probably more of a ‘how they present themselves and outwardly act’ parallel. But anyway, Damian is gonna get a glimpse into his own past from an outside / (slightly) more mature view. And that’ll no doubt affect him
Of course we have Flatline, whom I also want to give a juice box. Tbh I didn’t even know that Lord Death Man was a character that exists, so I’m just vaguely interested, but hopefully some of you are like OOOOH. If you are, let me know why you’re excited about this
And then there’s Black Swan. A deadly ballerina, nice. I’m very interested in her and her importance - during Damian’s little kill spree, she was focused on right before he killed her, and that does have significance. Every panel is important, so Melnikov wouldn’t have drawn a whole panel with just her startled face if she was a side/background character.
And of course we have Connor Hawke - I have seen so many people losing their minds (in a good way) over him, so I’m excited just because of that lol
But I don’t know much of anything about his character, if I’m being honest, but I really want to - if anyone wants to slide into my inbox & infodump, I’d greatly appreciate it
There’s a lot of emphasis on him. Like, a lot. He’s a big character, and although he’s stuck to the sidelines so far, it’s not gonna stay this way - I’m excited to see how he plays into everything and how everything is gonna go
Though...why is he pink...what is happening here...Guerrero our current colorist what are you doing
BIG SISTER ROSE BIG SISTER ROSE BIG SISTE
I am. Adoring their dynamic. This is so good, finally Damian has an older sibling figure that’s actively looking out for him and taking that role, he needs/deserves it.
I appreciate how she doesn’t tease him for it - she kinda looks like she’s realized something, or she’s just surprised by his taste in genres. Hopefully this comes back around in a good way
And the poor kid clearly expects her to tease him, if the way he immediately gets defensive and changes the subject and throws in an insult is any indication. I wonder what Rose would’ve said...
So Rose is here for Respawn...I mean it’s obvious that they have some kind of connection, but now it’s pretty much stated. Intriguing...
Lmao what if he’s Joey
B I G. S I S T E R. R O S E.
oh my god. ohhhhhh my god. oh my god i’m crying
This is his face right before he turns her offer to train him, someone get this kid a hug
He’s very clearly seeing/thinking about other people right here. The longing, sadness, and pain in his eyes is just heartbreaking. I feel like some people are forgetting the personal hell this kid has just been through. He’s not even out of it yet.
He is hurting so bad, and we can infer that he wants to agree with Rose - this hesitation isn’t just him remembering others - but he’s scared of it. Pretty much everyone that he’s let in has hurt him in some way. Dick (amnesia), Jon (grew up and left), Alfred (died), Bruce (Bruce), all of the Bats (p much forgot about him).
Damian had made so much progress since he first came to Gotham, and it’s so easy to knock what he’s built down again - and the shit he’s been through from Dick getting shot to the stuff that went down from the Titans has set him back at square one.
No wonder he hesitates. No wonder he looks like he’s in pain. No wonder he turns Rose’s offer down.
He is hurting so fucking badly right now. He’s covering it up with confidence and independence, but in this panel his mask cracks just enough to show us how he’s really feeling.
Damian mentioned that he had to do a fair amount of investigating to find the Lazarus Tournament, and this implies that his motivations aren’t just to win, if that’s it at all
I can’t wait to find out what he’s really up to
Please let them be frenemies, I need them to be besties that also try to kill each other DC PLEASE I need this
Their dynamic is already amazing. Big extrovert-adopts-introvert vibes
Damn. That’s a big-ass hot tub
And this calls back to Damian Not Being Okay - he’s hallucinating Alfred. Not only that, but he’s talking to the hallucination as if it’s real
Hell, in the last issue they had a full on conversation. This isn’t cute! This is the saddest shit I’ve ever seen, this kid is beyond traumatized. It’s gonna take years for him to fully recover, if he ever does. The fact that his brain is manifesting a hallucinations of Alfred for him to talk to & provide a voice of reason...I don’t think anyone expected his mental state to get this bad
Am I in love with Rose? Yes.
BUT okay it’s funny that this happens right after I talk about AlfGhost being Damian’s voice of reason / conversationalist
Rose is immediately filling that role. She’s calling Damian out, providing rational thought, advice, a present/alive older sibling figure, and she’s not letting him say no. She’s actively ignoring his attempts to brush her off, and that’s beyond good. I don’t think Rose would just up and drop him, either, so him letting her in will probably be the start of his recovery
And who knows, maybe when he lets her - and some other, hopefully - in, Alfghost will stop appearing, since Damian won’t need him anymore
Hey, did you guys hear that distant, muffled sound? Yeah, that was me screaming
Now I’m regretting not making a post about it - as soon as Damian’s solo was announced, like literally immediately, I hoped that Damian would get a ‘friend’ group of villains/villain-adjacents/anti-heroes, and that in the Tournament they’d teach him new tricks, how to have fun, and just some more humility / a different outlook on others and himself.
That he’d find a place among them - not as a villain! Definitely not, our baby is a hero at heart. When it’s in his chest, of course
But I was hoping he’d find acceptance. Support. Understanding. Everything he lacks from the other people in his life, who have never provided all three, if any at all.
This new cast of people that aren’t from the hero community could give Damian exactly what he needs. And I absolutely love that. It’s good that Damian isn’t falling back on the people that have hurt him, because they won’t catch him.
The fact that Rose is like “I’m gonna teach you how to have fun” really cements my theory. And it shows these people who were literally fighting to the death a few hours ago all hanging out and having a good time, and they obviously have zero hard feelings.
I hope some people actually come up to Damian like ‘hey the way you killed me earlier was so cool’ or just to chat about it. Maybe they’ll even offer some tips or pointers. I just want Damian to get some support. Or a new found family, but that might be a little ambitious lol
I can’t wait for the next issue - I already know it’s gonna be a blast
(also why does the moustache guy look kinda like an undercover Jason)
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I did not, as expected, read three books in the span of today—HOWEVER I joked on Friday that i was not gonna be capable of reading A Brief History of Time over the course of the weekend and I finished it in under 24 hours.
Suck it, past me.
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i know this is just the internet and you’re never really sure if you Know people but then i consider the friends i’ve made here my real friends but you’re all just inside my tiny computer <3
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headcanon request is open!! Can you write spending a lazy day with Wanda? Let's just relax!
*image above is not mine*
pairing: wanda maximoff x reader ♡
genre: fluffy headcanons ♡
summary: headcanons of spending a lazy day with wanda maximoff ♡
word count: 417 ♡
a/n: thank you for this request! i hope you all enjoy this! the song is "lazy" by surfaces if you’d like to listen while you read. have a great day, my angels! you are lovely and are doing so well! ♡
♡ lazy days with wanda are like heaven
♡ firstly, wanda will always make sure that you don't feel bad about taking care of yourself and taking care of yourself
♡ she believes in resting when you need it and thinks lazy days are self care
♡ she doesn't think there's anything wrong with them
♡ which is another reason why you enjoy them so muchl
♡ you two will usually prep for your lazy day ahead of time
♡ usually it's on a saturday
♡ so on friday night, wanda will get a mini fridge and stock it with snacks and drinks and put it right by the bed
♡ that way you won't have to often get up to get anything
♡ she'll prepare a breakfast that she can just pick up from the kitchen or heat up quickly
♡ and then you'll have breakfast in bed together, sharing sweet kisses in between
♡ then you'll turn on the television and watch movies while laying in bed, all cuddled up together
♡ you'll adorably take naps between the movies
♡ so when you both wake up you're confused because you fell asleep in the middle of harry potter 3 and now james bond is on
♡ wanda always giggles at the adorable face you make when you're confused
♡ and she'll kiss the puzzlement right off your lips
♡ you two will usually order in and have takeout for lunch and dinner
♡ sitting side by side, knees touching as you munch on food and talk about any and everything while watching television
♡ then there's usually another nap in between and by the time you wake up, its around 2 am
♡ and the both of you know that you're not going to go back to sleep until dawn
♡ so this is usually when the most tender and intimate moments happen
♡ during the daytime is when you're most playful
♡ but when the nighttime comes, you're more sappy and loving
♡ wanda will hold you close and pepper kisses all over your skin, telling you how much she loves you and loves spending time with you
♡ the two of you just go back and forth with lovesick confessions and tearfully kiss each other
♡ by the time morning comes, your bodies are tangled together, not even an inch of space left between your skin, as if even your hearts can't bear to be apart from each other
♡ and when you awake, you feel so lucky to love wanda, to be hers
♡ and she feels the same
♡ she would never trade you for anything in the world
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Becoming more and more worried about the future 😌
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i like things that are “literary”. what is literary? literary is: exquisitely well-edited. every sentence polished to perfection. a sort of melancholy downpour, everything connected. but maybe i only think that because it’s overcast today. on a sunny day, i might find that i’ve read choleric “literary” works. what is literary?
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Spent the last hour editing chapter 17 and trying not to laugh, because I’ve been sick all week and my chest hurts. It feels both good and bizarre to be laughing at a scene I wrote, and at things my characters says, which I also wrote.
In other news, my sister has chosen to disregard all alpha reader advice (which is to focus on the story experience) and is nitpicking apart my manuscript, but not in a useful way. She highlighted a space after a period at the end of a paragraph and flagged it for deletion. Wish I was joking.
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Someone was at my door and rang the bell even fucking grabbed the door handle and I came to realize I'm most likley part of the Baggins family because hell nope I'm not opening for you stranger person
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I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the door and knocked.. 'Just a minute', answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.
After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90's stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940's movie.
By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets.
There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.
'Would you carry my bag out to the car?' she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.
She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.
She kept thanking me for my kindness. 'It's nothing', I told her.. 'I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.'
'Oh, you're such a good boy,’ she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, 'Could you drive
'It's not the shortest way,' I answered quickly..
'Oh, I don't mind,' she said. 'I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice.’
I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. 'I don't have any family left,' she continued in a soft voice.. ‘The doctor says I don't have very long.' I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.
'What route would you like me to take?' I asked.
For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.
We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.
Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.
As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, 'I'm tired. Let's go now'.
We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.
Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move.
They must have been expecting her.
I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.
'How much do I owe you?' She asked, reaching into her purse.
'Nothing,' I said.
'You have to make a living,' she answered.
'There are other passengers,' I responded.
Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.
'You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,' she said. 'Thank you.'
I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light.. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life..
I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day,I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?
On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life.
We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.
But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.
PEOPLE MAY NOT REMEMBER EXACTLY WHAT YOU DID, OR WHAT YOU SAID ~BUT~ THEY WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HOW YOU MADE THEM FEEL.
At the bottom of this great story was a request to forward this - I deleted that request because if you have read to this point, you won't have to be asked to pass it along you just will...
Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance
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Pairing: Suna x f!reader
Tags/tw: dubcon, Suna's power complex strikes again, inexperienced/virgin reader, grinding/"dry" humping, Suna takes a couple pics (nudes) for blackmail, actually you know what blackmail lmao. There’s a lot of it really
A/N: Thank you @meiansmistress for beta reading my horny thots and letting me growl about proper dubcon lmao. This is the end result xD
"Can we meet again? Tomorrow?"
Your cheeks warm giddily at his eagerness, but you shake your head, forlorn. "I can't. My brother might be visiting tomorrow."
"So?" Takeshi hums. "I could come around before. Or after. I like seeing you."
You giggle. "I like seeing you too, but if my brother found out, I wouldn't be able to see you again. He says I'm too young to mess around with boys."
You’d met Takeshi in your marketing class a couple months ago, paired off for a project. He’s handsome and kind, popular with everyone—easily the kind of guy doe-eyed girls like you get smitten for.
"You're eighteen, you're in college. How’s that too young?" He's perplexed as he protests.
Shinsuke has always taken care of you, ever since your parents' accident. You were about to graduate elementary school, and your brother had just started his final year of high school. Grams tried her best to take care of you both, but it turned out to be too much strain on her. By the time Shinsuke had finished school, she was too tired. So he got a job and took care of you all on his own, feeding you, raising you, helping you with school and paying for your university fees, even helping pay for your apartment once you got your acceptance. You owed him everything.
"Maybe, but he wants me to finish school first." You catch your lower lip between your teeth as you throw pleading eyes at him. You already feel guilty enough breaking your brother's rules. "Please? I can hang out again once the weekend is over."
"Fine, okay." Takeshi deflates a little before kissing your lips again, soft and sweet as always.
You walk him to the door, giggling while letting him continue to kiss you before opening it. Your plan had been to walk him down to the lobby, but the person standing outside your apartment makes your body lock up.
Your friend notices your change in demeanor immediately and his eyes drop to the floor under the newcomer's piercing stare.
"Is this uh, is this your brother?" Takeshi stammers out nervously.
"Yup, now beat it, brat. And don't come back here if you know what's good for you."
Takeshi glances at you and bows before quickly making his exit.
You whirl on him. "Suna! What’d you do that for? What are you doing here anyways?"
He’s somehow even taller than you remember, towering over you as he leans against your doorframe with an impatient, calculating expression.
Suna snorts. "You gonna let me in or what, kid? If you weren't so busy with your little boyfriend, you'd know already. Don't you ever check your phone?"
“Stop calling me a kid.”
“You’re not that much older than me.”
“So? Doesn’t change that you’re always gonna be the baby of the group.” Suna smirks at you and pushes forward, forcing you to step back and allow him into the apartment.
You huff and turn around, stalking away from him and heading for your phone where you left it on the coffee table.
Your brother had sent you a text nearly two hours ago.
Shin-nii: I know I was supposed to come tomorrow with groceries for you, but some extra shifts opened up at work so I can't make it until next week. I'm sending Rintarou by with some things for you today, so don't pick a fight okay? Love you.
You sigh at the text, a small worm of disappointment wriggling into your chest. Shin didn't come last weekend either, and you’re really starting to miss him. But at least last week he didn't send Suna. There was also a text from him, but it’s far less heartwarming.
Suna: Your brother probably already told you, but I'm almost there. What apartment number was it again?
Suna: You gonna answer me or not?
Suna: Brat, making me read the mailboxes. What is wrong with you.
You glare at the brunet's back as he slouches around your kitchen. He's putting away items from a bag you hadn't noticed him carrying. Out of all Shin's friends growing up, you'd liked Suna Rintaro the least.
Suna never paid much attention to you, but when he did, it was always barbed. He treated you like you were nothing but a nuisance. The twins hadn't exactly gone out of their way for you, but at least when they came around they were always nice to you. Aran was your favorite—he always brought your favorite snacks and let you talk about things going on in your own life, always inviting you to play games with them. He treated you almost like you were his little sister.
“You’re not staying, right?” you grumble, stalking into the kitchen.
“That’s a strange fucking way to say thank you,” Suna drawls, closing the fridge. You glance at the counter. It looks like he’d only put away the perishables, as there were still things that needed to go in the cabinets. You move to scoot around him. Even if you don’t like him, it would be inconsiderate to make him put everything away himself. Shinsuke raised you better than that.
Suna crowds you against the counter before you get the chance, and you lean back to create distance as he places his palms on the faux granite behind you. His hazel eyes study you closely and you fight the urge to hold your breath as something flashes behind them. A smirk slowly curves his lips.
“Wh-what?” you stammer. “Move Suna, jeez.”
“I was just thinking,” he hums, and the sudden playful edge to his tone makes you shift nervously. He leans closer and you try to go up on tiptoe as if that would let you get farther away from the man in front of you. There are barely centimeters between you, and you can smell his cologne and spearmint toothpaste. “What would your brother think of you bringing boys to the apartment he pays for?”
The question sucks the air from your lungs, and you gasp a little as you try to get the oxygen back. The thought of Shinsuke hearing that you’d brought a boy, a potential boyfriend, over to your apartment, breaking his number one rule after everything he’s done for you, sends your heart beating wildly. Shame and anxiety wrack your body from head to toe.
“Please don’t tell him!” you plead unabashedly, eyes going round as you stare up at the man trapping you. “I swear I won’t do it again.”
Suna chuckles darkly. “Hmm, I don’t know. You already did it once, what’s to stop you from doing it again? Really, I’d be doing you a favor by telling him. Can’t trust college boys for nothing.”
“C’mon Rin, please,” you whine a little this time, and Suna huffs out a laugh.
“Oh, so it’s Rin now, huh? Now that you need something, you’re a sweet girl? This what you use to lure boys back here? Man, Kita would be so disappointed.” Suna’s eyes are gleaming, clearly enjoying the way his words are making you squirm.
You feel your desperation grow, blinking quickly as tears start to wet your eyes. You don’t want to face Shinsuke’s disappointment, that little sigh of his, his light scowl and sad eyes. It’s so easy to picture it that your heart is already aching with guilt.
“Please, Rin. I’ll do anything, just please don’t tell my brother.” Your words are offered meekly, as you slump in front of him, lowering your head and no longer putting any effort into leaning away from him.
Not prepared for your sudden proximity, Suna shuffles back slightly as your front presses into his. He recovers quickly before you raise your head to meet his eyes.
His grin is devilish, and you feel damned as you nod dumbly, somewhat regretting it already. At your acknowledgment, he grabs your wrist and pulls you back into the living room.
Suna settles on the couch as you stand off to the side, his legs splayed. He's not saying anything so you don't know what to do with yourself, looking anywhere but him, but you can feel his eyes on you.
"You were always such a little brat, but you're kinda cute now," he says slowly, grinning and leaning deeper into your ratty couch cushions, making himself comfortable.
Your eyes widen at his words, brain scrambling for a response. "...Thank you?"
Suna snorts. "Take off your clothes and come here." He emphasizes the statement by patting his thighs.
"You heard me." His tone is even, almost bored, but there's an intensity to his eyes that makes you feel like a mouse between a cat's claws. A lazy cat toying with his kill just because it can.
"Rin," you complain weakly, heart thumping so loud that you swear he can hear it. How do you tell him that no one has ever seen you naked? You've had Takeshi over to your apartment twice, you've kissed him, flirted a little but that's it. You weren't even dating him yet, let alone… Your cheeks are on fire with embarrassment.
Suna sighs, rolling his eyes and pulling his phone from his pocket. "Whatever, it's either this or I make a call to nii-chan. So if you aren't gonna—"
"No, no!" You squeak, quickly reaching for the hem of your shirt. You can feel yourself shaking as you slowly pull the garment over your head and let it fall to the floor, hoping he doesn't notice as you unbutton your shorts and do the same.
He makes a noise of amusement as your matching lingerie set comes into view. "Aw, was this for the little boyfriend? How adorable."
You'd worn it, but you hadn't expected Takeshi to see it. It just felt exciting to be wearing something cute and sexy, but the mocking glint in Suna's hazel eyes makes you regret even buying the pastel pink lace.
He nods his head at you, a clear indication to continue, so you take a deep breath and unclasp your bra, deciding not to think about it as you drop it and quickly shimmy the matching panties off. You can't resist crossing your arms over your chest as soon as you can, wandering closer to the couch until you're standing in front of him.
"Come here," he says again, setting his phone on the cushion beside him.
You try to swallow the small whimper in your throat as you climb into his lap, straddling his thighs, but ultimately failing when he grabs your hips and pulls you snug against his crotch. The rough material of his jeans feels strange against your bare pussy. It all feels weird, to be completely bare while Suna sits fully clothed.
Calloused palms wander up your thighs, then your sides, smoothing over your skin. You're struck by how warm they feel, nice even. He's being gentle, the pads of his fingertips ghosting over the sides of your tits, not even asking you to drop your hands.
You flounder, confused. His actions aren't lining up with your expectations. "Wh-what're you gonna do?"
"I'm not gonna do anything," he drops his hands, that heated glint returning to his eyes. A shiver rolls up your spine as he continues speaking in that quiet, sugary tone. It's like he's casting a spell on you; you feel hypnotized, unconsciously leaning towards him. "If you don't want your brother to find out about your little rule breaking, you're going to sit right here and get yourself off. I want to see it."
"I—you—what? Th-that’s… I can't do that." Why do you feel so tingly?
"No?" He raises an eyebrow. "Don't know how? Figured you were a virgin but I didn't think it would be that bad."
"Rin," you whine in embarrassment, squirming, and the sound makes his pupils expand. You gasp as you feel him stirring and growing hard beneath you, looking down between your bodies instinctively, your eyes growing round and flashing back to see him staring at you intensely.
He picks up his discarded phone, holding it loosely in his palm. The unspoken threat has you swallowing your pride, wetting two fingers on your tongue and slowly reaching down to brush them over your clit. You feel strangely sensitive right now, the light touch enough to make you moan in your throat, trying to bite back the sound. Oh god, are you really getting turned on by this?
Suna's eyes track the movements hungrily but after a moment he exhales, and the disappointment oozing from the small breath makes your stomach flutter strangely.
"Mm, 's nice, but that's not how I want you to do it," he asserts, shaking his head.
He suddenly shifts lower and you yelp, tits exposed and jiggling when your hands grab at his shoulders for balance, his hands on your ass to help move you with him. He's leaning back more now, and there's more room for you, making it easier for you to situate your knees on the couch. The biggest difference though, is that now his clothed erection is more prominent, pressing against your damp folds.
"You make a lot of cute sounds, you know that?" He laughs softly, making your face flame.
"Sh-shut up!" You sniff, trying not to look so flustered, but Suna knows better. You've always been painfully transparent to him.
"You're gonna grind on me until you cum."
You swear you're going to get whiplash from him. Mocking words, compliments, then lewd commands— how does he transition from them so quickly?
"I don't want you touchin' yourself either," he drawls, clasping his hands behind his head. He sounds so unbothered despite how hard he feels beneath you. Even through his jeans you can feel the heat of him, the size. Even the slightest movement makes your breath catch. "You're going to do it all by yourself. Come on baby, show me how pretty you cum."
The tiny gasp ripped from your throat by the pet name earns you a snicker, but you can't help it. You weren't ready for the heat that rushed through you upon hearing it. It's so confusing, because you're not supposed to be enjoying this, right? You're not supposed to be thinking about the purr in his voice and how pretty it sounds. You're not supposed to be disappointed that he's not going to touch you, even just a little bit. This is supposed to be a chore, a payment, an exchange for Suna's silence. Your heart is not supposed to be pounding for your big brother's friend, who you thought you hated.
What is happening?
Before you know it, your hips are already moving, more sounds tumbling from your lips. Shaky breaths, breathy moans, barely audible whines. You can't help but close your eyes in shame as your juices coat his lap, making it easier to get the delicious friction that's making your clit throb. It feels stupidly good, makes your nerves feel charged and sensitive, and the sudden desire to feel his skin on yours takes over.
Still grinding feverishly, you shakily reach for the button of his jeans. You just need to feel him, that's all. Just a little bit. But Suna catches your wrists. He's smiling, but his eyes are dark, teeth gritted, as if he's restraining himself.
"These are staying on."
You whine and he huffs, squeezing your wrists in warning. "I mean it, you gonna be a good girl or not?"
"I am, just—" you whimper, hands fumbling at the hem of his shirt instead and pushing it up.
You're almost surprised when he lets you tug it over his head, but you don't spare much thought on it, taking less than a second to drink in the sight of his muscle definition before you're pressing your chests together. The extra contact is dizzying, your hardened nipples gaining extra stimulation and making your head spin. His skin is so hot on yours, making you moan out in relief as you bury your head in his shoulder, hugging him as you continue to hump him feverishly. The heat in your gut is swirling dangerously, spiking higher with each drag of your clit on his clothed length. You're dripping obscenely, so close to cumming.
"Fuck," he laughs. You wish he would put his arms around you, but he doesn't. "Who would've thought you'd be so needy, look at you."
"Rin," you gasp, head feeling too heavy to lift from his shoulder as your movements start to grow jerkier. The heat within you is starting to reach a fever pitch, leaving you shaking like a leaf as you try to force it to boil over. Something's stopping you, causing frustrated tears to well up in your eyes. Fuck, you've never wanted to cum so bad. Masturbating alone has never felt like this.
"That's right, baby. Moan my name when you cum," he hums, voice husky. "Shit, no wonder your brother wants to keep boys away from you."
You shudder and one last drag of your hips sends you flying over the edge, gripping his biceps as you babble and cry out, shaking uncontrollably as your orgasm rips through you. You can feel yourself gushing all over him, walls quivering and clenching around nothing. But as mind-numbingly good as it feels, you don't feel satisfied like you usually do.
You barely feel it as Suna shifts your limp body onto the couch, your chest heaving as you try to catch your breath, but you do hear the shutter sound of a camera, two clicks in quick succession. Blinking, you move to sit up, but Suna's thumb brushing on your over-sensitive clit has you falling back with a loud cry. You turn your head to see his phone between your thighs, and you hear it again.
Suna stands, staring at his screen with a satisfied expression. He told himself when this started that he was just fucking around, that he only wanted a little taste. You're one of his close friends’ baby sister after all, pure and innocent. You're supposed to be off limits, forbidden fruit, but one taste was definitely not enough. He's rubbing his clothed cock absentmindedly, squeezing it a little as the look on your face in the photo makes him throb. You're so fucking cute that it's almost funny, but it's doing something else to him, too.
He wants to ruin you. Every inch of your purity, he wants to own it, to be the one who dirties you until you’re unrecognizable. Until you’re no longer the girl he and all his friends know.
You can see his cock is still straining against the material of his ruined jeans. He looks up and catches you staring and grins. "Looking at the mess you made? You soaked me baby. Such a messy girl."
"Did you take pictures?" You whisper, slowly recovering enough to sit up.
Suna shrugs and shows you, first the close up on your obviously soaked pussy, juices reflecting on your folds and thighs. The next two are almost exactly the same, taken on top of each other, and they're the ones that make you gasp. It's a full body shot and everything is exposed, your boobs and your face, which looks mortifyingly fucked out.
"I'm keeping these, and if I ever catch you with a boy here again, I'm showing these to Kita." Suna's eyes are boring to you, searching for your compliance. You don't even have to second guess that he's dead serious. He absolutely would show Shinsuke those pictures. Panic flares in you.
"B-but, that wasn't the deal—" you protest desperately.
"And," Suna cuts you off, "I'm gonna visit every now and then. Just to make sure you're keeping your half."
There's loaded intent in his voice that makes your heart pound. It leaves no room for doubt about what he means by that, and you're so conflicted about how it makes you feel.
That devilish grin of his is back on his face, and you tremble as he takes a step back and starts taking off his jeans. Embarrassment burns through you when you see that his boxers are equally soaked, even more so when the thick outline of his cock makes your thighs press together.
"Now," he purrs, his sharp eyes not missing a thing. "I'm sure we can find something else to do while these are in the wash. Can't go out like this, can I? Then everyone would know how messy you are. Just a little more, what do you say?"
Networks: @hqintheclub @anime-central
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Inches | Jujutsu Kaisen Drabble
Nanami × fem!reader
♡ Read the sequel: Reward ♡
Warnings: 18+, smutty smuuttt, big yummy cock 😋, smexy obedience game but he's so kind and gentle tho, counting cock inches lol, hella deep penetration 👀, tummy bulge 😌, a respectable sprinkle of praise kink, a dash of size kink, implied daddy kink(??), desk sex 😎, drabble
A/N: My thirst is real. Why is everyone in JJK so hot??? 😩 I wanna do some stuff for Gojou, and so many of the others too, but Nanami has stolen my pussy heart first 🥺 Maybe I'll do a part 2? Anyway, enjoy ♡
⚠️ 18+ CONTENT! MINORS: PLEASE DO NOT INTERACT ⚠️
Nanami's soft, monotone voice fills your ears as you lay on your back, craning your neck to watch him as he stands between your legs. He's so calm and polite, it almost sounds like a request.
But more than anything, it makes you want to.
His hands rest on the insides of your thighs, gently holding your legs apart as the tip of his cock just barely touches your entrance, your arousal pooling on the desk beneath you.
As he slowly pesses his hips forward, you feel him enter you, just a little but feeling his size deliciously stretching your walls apart.
But then he stops, resting with nothing but the tip buried inside you. You quiver as the sensation, and he makes a memtal note.
"Well?" he asks calmly but expectantly. You swallow, feeling the skin under his hands starting to burn.
"Good girl," he coos, skilfully running his fingers down the insides of your thighs and taking a moment –and not the first– to appreciate your fully exposed body laid out for him, devouring it with his eyes and hands.
A deep, almost inaudible groan resonates in his throat.
"Make sure you keep counting," he whispers, before gently easing his hips forwards another inch, allowing him to start to feel how your insides really felt around his shaft.
And again, this time allowing himself the time to relish the feeling of your walls clenching and squeezing around the thickness of his cock, exhaling just a little as one of his hands loosens the tie around his neck.
"F-Four," you stutter, your hips shifting as you begin to feel the stretch.
Nanami's hands slither to your waist, his thumbs gently kneading the flesh as his fingers claim the shape, closing around it for something to hold on to.
You cut yourself off with a sharp gasp as he presses the next inch inside you without pausing like he had before.
"S-Six," you shudder.
He notices the way your back arches off of the desk, the way your nipples harden as your chest pushes up towards him, the way your stomach quivers – he's observing every little reaction, and savouring every second of them you give him.
"Mmm, you're doing extremely well," he hums, his voice thick with lust. "Keep going."
He eases himself forwards again, this time a small grunt escaping his throat as he buries himself that little bit deeper inside you, feeling the pressure around him.
"S-Seven," you whimper, feeling him so deep inside you, the agonising stretch shuddering through your body.
"This is the last one," he says, running a thumb over your lower lip. "Are you ready?"
When you nod your head, he thrusts his hips forwards with force – you were just so tight, he had to – jolting the desk and making you whine out. Your arm thrashes out to the side in reaction, knocking his glasses to the floor with a clatter.
But he doesn't pick them up.
"E...Eight..." you breathe shakily, tears pricking at the corners of your eyes. You feel so full you can feel him pressing against your cervix.
He's panting above you, a few strands of his hair falling out of place over his face as he looks you in the eye.
His hand runs over the evident bulge of his cock, where he's buried inside you, stroking it sensually before applying a little pressure. You moan wantonly, biting your lip from the exquisite pleasure of his cock pressed and stuffed against your insides.
"Exceptional," he huffs, straightening his back and regaining a sliver of composure.
Repositioning his hands around your hips, he grips them firmly, making you whimper in anticipation.
"Now for your reward."
© imo-chan-imagines 2021
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☰⠀FEATURING⠀ⵓ⠀xiao x fem! reader
⁺៹⠀DETAILS⠀ⵓ⠀NSFW ະ masturbation (f) ະ kissing denial ະ fingering ະ name calling (master/kitten/bitch in heat) ະ guided masturbation ະ degradation ະ dirty talk ະ rough sex ະ unprotected sex ະ breeding (oh fuck)
ꕤ⠀NOTES⠀ⵓ⠀ so i accidentally posted this 🧍♀️ my clumsy ass self can't </3 anyway, @ameliahotson i hope you like this 🥺 i really did my best in writing this one because this was inspired by his birthday message and of course, this is xiao 🙏
you have always been extra careful with the things you do.
from the way you carry out commissions, on how you act in the public eye, and all the way to your day-to-day rendezvous━you always put a few layer of precaution and small rituals before you went ahead and go on your plans. that was the simplicity of how you wanted to live your life. in fact, a lot of people admired how keen you are in perpetually absolute you are in keeping this streak of flawlessness.
but there are days where the sun is veiled over by the dark skies, and there are times where you fail in upholding your perfect practices.
"a-ah," you whispered under your breath, your ears can pick up small whimpers every time your voice breaks under the pleasure. each desperate stroke of your fingers inside your cunt had your slick coating your hand and thighs. your legs shook as you try reaching out for an orgasm but you can't at how empty you still felt.
it's been days since xiao has been busy patrolling the nights. after a recent case of a demon attack in a house just a little far out of liyue. he was drawn to slaughter whatever evil lurks in the darkness, seeking the wrenched creature who had hurt an innocent man with his family.
this was unavoidable, of course, and you were left to stay worried while xiao does his best to get rid of the demon as fast as he can. and that fact pains you, seeing how little time he gets to spend with you during the night. as you were out in the morning and xiao is all cooped up in your shared room in wangshu inn, you two can't reach the intersection, just like how the sun is with its moon.
a part of you felt guilty to ever have the unyielding desire to have xiao all on your own. you miss him so, craving such intimacy in the wrong time. you support him and constantly leave messages that he can read when you leave before the rise of dawn. if you're lucky, you'd sometimes meet him and all you could give him was a chaste kiss as time was pulling you away from him.
these factors that kept on pulling you two apart was taking a toll on your personal needs and somehow you finally reached your end and just leave yourself drowning in the sea of lust, knowing how deprived you were of xiao's god-sent kisses on your parched soul.
"xiao, oh my god, xiao!"
you let go of that little scream, back arching, breathing labored and eyes shut at the sudden snap of the tightening knot on your core. your other hand quickly runs through your swollen clit, flicking it in high speed. both your hand ached at how much you fucked yourself to the thought of him. to imagine how he would be so attentive on your moans, how his eyes would solely look at the expressions you make when he hits deep inside you, these are what you missed the most. and sadly, all you can do is to think about it.
as your high slowly drifts away from your naked body, with the blood on your skin still pumping the gorgeous color all over, you weren't aware of the pair of eyes who intently watched you from the side.
"of all the reasons out there, i didn't expect to be called for something so naughty." xiao mumbles at the door, his stance almost looking as if he's disappointed but the small smile on his face says otherwise. you quickly shuffle to hide yourself under the messy sheets, giving your best to hide your exposed pussy. but you weren't able to do so when xiao himself had pulled away the covers and trapped both your hands on the top of your head.
"i know i told you to call my name when you need me but this is a different... type of need, f/n."
you looked at the side, trying to hide the shame filling your mind. and xiao didn't faltered, amusement dancing on his beautiful features. he trails lines across your cheeks, followed through your lips and down to your chin, pulling your face to focus on him.
"my dear, did you miss me that much?" he whispered, his deep voice felt so different at how much you missed hearing it. and your eyes went to look at his lips, closing in to feel the soft skin. xiao mirrors your action as well but the moment your lips almost touch, he pulls away and grins at the pout you gave him.
"i do, i do miss you so much xiao. please, i miss you." you went in to kiss him once more but you failed when xiao keeps pulling himself back, his smile still present on his face.
"hm... you seem to be so desperate to kiss me. do you really deserve me kitten?" with a vigorous nod of your head, xiao started gliding his hand up and down your side, leaving trails of his presence on your skin. your body twitches and jerks when he teases you on the inside of your thighs.
"xiao, baby, please." your eyes flutter close when another attempt in kissing him had been executed, missing how he would locked in yours as he praise you, make love to you, all those sweet and gentle moments matching the intense burning passion and lust had you craving for him.
but xiao pulls you back on your hair, erupting a choked whimper from you. "shh. be patient kitten. i'll have you but let's just—" xiao lets go of your hair and props your body up the bed, your back pressed on the headrest and he spreads your legs apart. "ㅡsay, can you show me what you were doing earlier? when you called my name?"
the odds were far against you, your recklessness in indulging in this lustful fantasies of yours had you speechless, your eyes were covered in this dazed confusion. but xiao beats you to it, reaching out to help you.
"i want to see you touch yourself f/n," he utters without a hint of hesitation, his hands grabbing yours from your wrist and let it set on top of your breast. "show me how you pleasured yourself."
"no buts, kitten. you can start by touching your breasts. what were you thinking back then?" xiao commanded you so, his golden orbs shine in desire to see you all sprawled out like this, feeling yourself, all to the thought of him.
it undoubtedlty gave him a sense of pride, knowing how much you're in love with him and only him. and he lets you know with a smile. you can't stop the fire lit inside you, mind following through what xiao tells you to.
"i was thinking about your hands on me." that came out as a hushed whisper, sliding your fingers on your chest, your thumb gingerly rubbing your perked nipples. "i always loved your fingers on my chest, teasing me." you can't force yourself to look at xiao but when you heard him groan, it was as if you're entranced by it and looked up to see him flushing red on the cheeks.
"and then? what did i do next?"
"your hands, they went down to my thighs," as you narrate all these lewd fantasies you dreamt of, your body seeks through every word said. you gently place your fingers on your thighs and rubs small circles on the bare skin. "and you would tease me once more, the tips of your fingertips brushes on my... on myㅡ"
"where kitten? where do i tease you? is it down here?" and you felt him, slipping a digit between your drenched pussy lips. you gave out a breathy 'yes' as your hips bucked up at xiao's actions. "did i do this?"
"you didㅡhahㅡ m-more xiao, pleaseㅡ". before you could beg, xiao slaps you on your thighs.
"stop begging me to fuck you, you slut." his words, despite being filled with nothing but the sick truth of your thirsty state had you dripping more, your hole twitches at how dirty it was. "you're acting like a bitch in heat."
and you pathetically moaned at his choice of words.
"oh, you like being a such a whore huh? wanting me to fuck her silly." xiao moves away from your body and stands as he leaves you on the bed. "on your knees, kitten."
still caught in the strong pull of his eyes, xiao lets out a 'tsk' before he pulls you on your legs and flipped you on your back, lifting you from your thighs and prepped you with your head down and your ass up.
"tell me, kitten, do you really want me to fuck you like this?" and he gives you a slap on your plump ass cheeks, the color red already coating your body deepens at the contact. you whimpered and went to move your head at the side, looking at xiao with half-lidded eyes, mouth agape to intake air in your lungs.
"i do, i miss you, please xiao. please justㅡ." you can see the way his lips never replaces the smirk he sports and closes in to you but never touching you.
"hm? what did you say?"
"i want you to fuck me." you answered with a shy tone, cheeks burning as much as the embarrassment you felt.
"aw, is that how a slut begs? i think you can do far better than that."
"please, fuck me with your cock m-master." the word master stirs this burning sensation in xiao's core, making him growl as he wraps a hand around your neck.
"beg like that, one more time." and you did, making xiao groans at your side, his cock painfully throbbing inside his pants.
"master, please make your slut cum on your cock." with a dreamy look on your face, a sweet smile on your face, your pussy twitching over the emptiness, you begged with such a sultry voice that you know xiao can't ignore.
and if only xiao has the mind to praise you for being such a good girl for him, he would but you were so needy, so greedy. he waited for the right time to spend this moment with you but you just can't hold back.
"my poor kitten, you really can't resist fucking yourself, huh?"
and xiao buckles himself, pushing himself close to your rear, his dick pressed flat on the crack of your ass. he gives you experimental thrusts on your lower lips, jerking the head in and out of your hole. you wiggled your butt up, lusting over the fact that you're finally about to be fucked good by xiao butㅡ
"be patient, kitten." xiao gives another slap on your ass, making you whimper out your surprise. "i'll fuck you like a bitch in heat, just wait, will ya?"
"yes, master. i will."
"good," he mutters before he roughly pummels inside your already leaking cunt, the sound of your arousal from your previous orgasm was so lewd, you felt your insides stir while xiao savors in the feeling of your slick warmth around him.
"you keep tightening around me, as if you want me to breed the bitch out of you, don't you, kitten?"
you cried out loudly when xiao hits the walls of your sensitive cervix, pressing your legs farther with one another, his length smoothly rutting in and out of your sloppy hole. "shit, you really want me to knock you up, huh?"
and his pace increases, his thrusts precisely hitting every delicious spots inside you, his hands were so tight around your thighs it was bound to leave bruises on your skin but you don't care. you were close, so close that xiao can feel your insides spasm around his cock.
"are you going to cum? go on, milk me dry kitten." xiao himself was getting close too, his dick twitching inside and when you clamped down on his cock, he growls as you milk the load he shoots inside you.
xiao's hips shakes but his hold never faltered as he fills you up. you were left breathless, chest heaving pretty hard underneath but you were lifted up and placed down on your back.
"xiao? iㅡi'm still too sensitive, please." xiao observes how your body still jitters in the post-orgasmic feeling butㅡ
"no, no, you told me you want me to breed you, right? an adeptus breeding a silly, slutty, human like you." once more, you felt him lock down your legs at your side, knees reaching your chests. you felt so exposed, hands quickly covering your face but xiao glared at you and thrusts back in your cunt so stuffed of cum.
"fuck, do you even know how tight you are around me? so wet, so filthy and yet you still want me to fill you up." you felt partly numb underneath but your insides burns in pleasure, your core sent electrifying jolts throughout your body that you teared up from how good it feels.
"t-too much! aㅡhah... too much!" you cried out while looking at xiao, feeling his body desperately jerking in and out of you, his chest pressed down to keep your body from moving too much. and that had you coming again, strings of broken sobs matching the wrecked beauty of your face had the adeptus blushing at you.
"you look so beautiful, being fucked like this, kitten. but you can give me on more, you can do that right?" he asks, his body filled with such bliss, his cock that continues in roughly stirring your insides had most of his load pouring out, his cock covered with both your cum.
it was too much, the feeling was too much. you can feel how full you are, how much you were dripping from below but you wanted to come undone, for xiao.
"i'm close xiao, please, please cum in me?" your glossy eyes begged with you, the small smile on your face had his heart beating fast, he felt the knot on the lowest pits of his core break that he finally came with you.
"shitshitshitshitshit." he moans right behind your ear, driving out this blissful orgasm with you. for a few minutes, both of you was just there in each other's embrace, catching both your bearings and when you finally did you two can't help but laugh.
"you were too dominant, were you that annoyed that i got carried away?" you asked as xiao peels himself away and gently placed down your shaking legs and let it relaxed on the bed. he looks down at your cunt and saw how much of his load had already spilled out and blushes.
"for once i thought you were in trouble so i quickly went to help you. didn't expect to see you doing that but a part of me felt sad that i neglected you that much." he answered, standing up to get a towel from the bathroom connected to the suit. and when he went out, you were just there in the bed, looking so beautiful as your skin glowed under the moonlight dancing inside the room.
"may i?" he waits for your reply and you nodded with a smile.
"i honestly can't feel my legs so i won't be going anywhere anytime soon." with that, he blushes once more.
"you're so adorable xiao, what a cute flipside."
"shut up, let's get you cleaned up first."
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Language Learning Stats
*Different resources give slightly different answers, but in general, these are the results:
Elementary: 1,000 words
Intermediate: 3,000 words
Advanced: 6,000- 8,000 words
Highly educated native fluency: 25,000 words
A1: 550 words
A2: 1100 words
B1: 2200 words
B2: 4400 words
C1: 8800 words
C2: 17600 words
1000 words allow you to understand about 80% of the language which surrounds you, as long as it is not too specialized.
In theory, it sounds great. JUST 1000 words and you understand that much! Unfortunately, the remaining 20% is what really matters.
Just look at this sentence:
“I went to the … to buy …. but they told me that they can’t … .’
Sure, you understand a lot of words. But does it really help?
3000 words allow you to understand about 95% of most ordinary texts (Hazenberg and Hulstijn, 1996).
It seems like a lot. Sure, on this level, you will be able to hold a decent conversation. You will also be able to get the general ideas and concepts of most of the articles.
BUT…general comprehension is not the same as full comprehension, as it involves some guessing.
Still, there is no shortage of enthusiasts who claim that such level is high enough to start picking up new words from context. However, researchers tend to disagree and say that the “magical” number of words which allows learning from the context is….(drum roll)
5000 words allow you to understand about 98% of most ordinary texts (Nation (1990) and Laufer (1997)). Such a vocabulary size warrants also accurate contextual guessing (Coady et al., 1993; Hirsh & Nation, 1992; Laufer, 1997).
It means that you can function surrounded by this language without bigger problems. Sure, you will struggle if you want to formulate your thoughts really precisely, or when you encounter specialized vocabulary.
But other than that, you will be fine.
10,000 words allow you to understand about 99% of most texts (Nation (1990) and Laufer (1997)).
This is the pinnacle of language learning. A counterpart of having the vocabulary of a college graduate.
With that many words, you can express yourself with amazing precision and pass for a native speaker if your accent is good enough.
Wondering what are the most common words to start learning? Here's some help:
(total is about 600 words. add in some grammar and you're off to a great start!)
EXPRESSIONS OF POLITENESS (about 50 expressions)
‘Yes’ and 'no’: yes, no, absolutely, no way, exactly.
Question words: when? where? how? how much? how many? why? what? who? which? whose?
Apologizing: excuse me, sorry to interrupt, well now, I’m afraid so, I’m afraid not.
Meeting and parting: good morning, good afternoon, good evening, hello, goodbye, cheers, see you later, pleased to meet you, nice to have met.
Interjections: please, thank you, don’t mention it, sorry, it’ll be done, I agree, congratulations, thank heavens, nonsense.
NOUNS (about 120 words)
Time: morning, afternoon, evening, night; Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday; spring, summer, autumn, winter; time, occasion, minute, half-hour, hour, day, week, month, year.
People: family, relative, mother, father, son, daughter, sister, brother, husband, wife; colleague, friend, boyfriend, girlfriend; people, person, human being, man, woman, lady, gentleman, boy, girl, child.
Objects: address, bag, book, car, clothes, key, letter (=to post), light (=lamp), money, name, newspaper, pen, pencil, picture, suitcase, thing, ticket.
Places: place, world, country, town, street, road, school, shop, house, apartment, room, ground; Britain, name of the foreign country, British town-names, foreign town-names.
Abstract: accident, beginning, change, color, damage, fun, half, help, joke, journey, language, English, name of the foreign language, letter (of alphabet), life, love, mistake, news, page, pain, part, question, reason, sort, surprise, way (=method), weather, work.
Other: hand, foot, head, eye, mouth, voice; the left, the right; the top, the bottom, the side; air, water, sun, bread, food, paper, noise.
PREPOSITIONS (about 40 words)
General: of, to, at, for, from, in, on.
Logical: about, according-to, except, like, against, with, without, by, despite, instead of.
Space: into, out of, outside, towards, away from, behind, in front of, beside, next to, between, above, on top of, below, under, underneath, near to, a long way from, through.
Time: after, ago, before, during, since, until.
DETERMINERS (about 80 words)
Articles and numbers: a, the; nos. 0–20; nos. 30–100; nos. 200–1000; last, next, 1st–12th.
Demonstrative: this, that.
Possessive: my, your, his, her, its, our, their.
Quantifiers: all, some, no, any, many, much, more, less, a few, several, whole, a little, a lot of.
Comparators: both, neither, each, every, other, another, same, different, such.
ADJECTIVES (about 80 words)
Color: black, blue, green, red, white, yellow.
Evaluative: bad, good, terrible; important, urgent, necessary; possible, impossible; right, wrong, true.
General: big, little, small, heavy; high, low; hot, cold, warm; easy, difficult; cheap, expensive; clean, dirty; beautiful, funny (=comical), funny (=odd), usual, common (=shared), nice, pretty, wonderful; boring, interesting, dangerous, safe; short, tall, long; new, old; calm, clear, dry; fast, slow; finished, free, full, light (=not dark), open, quiet, ready, strong.
Personal: afraid, alone, angry, certain, cheerful, dead, famous, glad, happy, ill, kind, married, pleased, sorry, stupid, surprised, tired, well, worried, young.
VERBS (about 100 words)
arrive, ask, be, be able to, become, begin, believe, borrow, bring, buy, can, change, check, collect, come, continue, cry, do, drop, eat, fall, feel, find, finish, forget, give, going to, have, have to, hear, help, hold, hope, hurt (oneself), hurt (someone else), keep, know, laugh, learn, leave, lend, let (=allow), lie down, like, listen, live (=be alive), live (=reside), look (at), look for, lose, love, make, may (=permission), may (=possibility), mean, meet, must, need, obtain, open, ought to, pay, play, put, read, remember, say, see, sell, send, should, show, shut, sing, sleep, speak, stand, stay, stop, suggest, take, talk, teach, think, travel, try, understand, use, used to, wait for, walk, want, watch, will, work (=operate), work (=toil), worry, would, write.
PRONOUNS (about 40 words)
Personal: I, you, he, she, it, we, they, one; myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, themselves.
Possessive: mine, yours, his, hers, its, ours, theirs.
Demonstrative: this, that.
Universal: everyone, everybody, everything, each, both, all, one, another.
Indefinite: someone, somebody, something, some, a few, a little, more, less; anyone, anybody, anything, any, either, much, many.
Negative: no-one, nobody, nothing, none, neither.
ADVERBS (about 60 words)
Place: here, there, above, over, below, in front, behind, nearby, a long way away, inside, outside, to the right, to the left, somewhere, anywhere, everywhere, nowhere, home, upstairs, downstairs.
Time: now, soon, immediately, quickly, finally, again, once, for a long time, today, generally, sometimes, always, often, before, after, early, late, never, not yet, still, already, then (=at that time), then (=next), yesterday, tomorrow, tonight.
Quantifiers: a little, about (=approximately), almost, at least, completely, very, enough, exactly, just, not, too much, more, less.
Manner: also, especially, gradually, of course, only, otherwise, perhaps, probably, quite, so, then (=therefore), too (=also), unfortunately, very much, well.
CONJUNCTIONS (about 30 words)
Coordinating: and, but, or; as, than, like.
Time & Place: when, while, before, after, since (=time), until; where.
Manner & Logic: how, why, because, since (=because), although, if; what, who, whom, whose, which, that.
2K notes · View notes
As It Was, Baby
— Pairing: Bucky Barnes x Fem!Reader
— Summary: Living right across from James Barnes was certainly an experience, but a much different one than most people expect. A neighbor who is respectful, funny and brings you food every now and then is any girl’s dream. Too bad you’re only his neighbor and nothing else. Or, at least, that’s what you thought.
One stormy night changes everything and discovering that you mean more to the Sargent than you expected has life-altering consequences.
— Word count: 6.6k
— A/n: This is the THIRD chapter of the series, if you haven't read the first & second, i recommend you do. if you enjoy, feedback is appreciated & highly encouraged. mistakes/errors might be here, let me know if you find any.
◦➳ soundtrack ♫ ◦➳ nyx masterlist ◦➳ join my taglist
series masterlist — PREVIOUS CHAPTER —
Cuddling becomes a thing between you two.
Once James shows up late at night with his pillow tucked under his arm and the shy smile you've grown to love so much, asking for each other's company is left behind.
You just show up and it's understood.
All it takes is a pillow and a toothbrush, a couple of knocks and just like that, the other opens their door wider to let the comfort in.
March is filled with late knocks and great nights of sleep.
You knew James had some issues sleeping sometimes—he had told you that during dinner once, but now you could see the results of what good and full nights of sleep did to him.
There was a glow and a new easiness to his steps.
It was torture.
The way James strutted through the hallways always haunted you—he had this way of walking and carrying himself that screamed confidence, and matched with his almost constant frown, it made for a very strong image.
Now, besides the strut — swag, the motherfucker had swag — you also had to deal with his good mood.
Silently, you prayed for your gods to grant you the strength and patience required not to jump him.
It was easier said than done. It would've also been easier if you didn't know now how he looked with bed hair or what his sleep-drunk rambles were about, but no one said life was easy.
If those new details you loved so much went away only for your peace of mind, it would also mean his grumpiness and lack of sleep had made a comeback and you would rather eat out of the subway floor than to see that.
Life gets busy, but the late-night cuddles make it better.
Unfortunately, you see very little of him during the days and nothing at all for a week where he and Sam have a mission to follow up, so when April rolls around, you're missing him like crazy.
Which is why when he texts you that he's back on Thursday, you already plan something for the weekend.
You wake up Saturday morning with a smile on your face and a plan.
After a morning of cleaning up the apartment and cooking a delicious lunch, you text James.
You up? Come over :)
You're turning off the oven when he replies.
Do I smell pasta? Tell me I smell pasta.
God, he's so easy. You chuckle at the screen and type back. Never heard of your super-senses failing you before. Get your ass in here and set the table. Unless you're busy, of course...
Your message gets the "read" check and you wait for James's typing bubbles, but you receive a gentle knock on your door instead.
You hold yourself back from running to the door—super-senses also meant you could easily embarrass yourself if you didn't pay attention to what you did.
When you open it, both of you start smiling at each other from ear to ear.
"Hi," he says.
"Hello," you laugh.
James steps inside and gives you a tight hug, taking in a deep breath inside your hold.
"Why does it feel like three thousand years since we've spent time together?" he asks, not letting you go.
Glad that his heightened skills can't pick up on how much your insides feel like brand-new honey just because he holds you like you're something precious, you breathe in deep, too. "Cause it has. You're a busy man or whatever."
"I'd say I'm quitting my job, but if I do that, no one pays for our streaming platforms," he jokes.
You two finally let go and James closes the door behind him with his foot.
"Ever heard of piracy?" you ask with a fake-serious expression.
He hums thoughtfully, tapping his chin. "Sounds familiar... and illegal." He looks down at you. "I kinda work for the government? It's a job that tries stopping people from committing crimes."
You two start moving towards your kitchen, and you have to fight off the smile in the name of the teasing. "James, darling, I hardly believe that all those streaming platforms you give hundreds of bucks to every single month are gonna go bankrupt anytime soon." You snort. "They're what we call gazillionaires and in this household, the rich are hated. The agenda here is communist, baby. The dream is to eat the big Mouse, not give him my money."
At that, James starts laughing with his whole chest. "You have an iPhone! You begged me to take you to Disney this Christmas."
You point an accusatory finger at him, face still impassive. "Hating the capitalist industry is necessary even if we indulge in its bullshit every now and then." You shrug your shoulders. "They have Mulan and Moana, I can hate the Man, but appreciate the art."
"The way I could hear the capital M in that man, wow," James chuckles.
"Glad you're aware."
James leans against your kitchen counter and shakes his head at you, smiling with a hint of sadness. "God, you two would've gotten along ridiculously well."
There's no need to ask who 'you two' is at this point.
More than once you heard this coming from James—the hole Steve Rogers left behind could be seen from space and had a gravity of its own.
Apparently, he was much different than what the media portrayed him to be and you two would've been the best of friends if he hadn't gone back to a past he didn't belong.
It's a sore subject, but you try making light of it whenever you can.
"Glad to know he was up with the agenda." Before James's mind dives too deep into the river of memories that always leads him towards sadness, you pass him the plates. "Can you set the table for me? I just gotta call my mom real quick."
He looks at you with an amused glance. "Finally stopped ignoring her?"
With a roll of your eyes, you take your phone and start going towards the kitchen's balcony. "She's a menace and must be kept under tight supervision. She behaved this week, so," standing in under the threshold of the balcony, you wiggle your phone. "She gets a phone call."
"You're a very generous daughter!" James calls loud enough for you to hear with the balcony glass closing.
Your mother's constant and expected worry isn't exactly the cause for you to keep her at a certain distance—her nagging towards your love life is.
It all comes from a place of love, you know it, but it's still annoying and often overbearing.
Explaining to your mother that having a partner doesn't necessarily equal happiness and fulfillment is the same as trying to explain physics to a toddler—it's all met with empty eyes of someone who heard, but registered none of your words.
After the call in which you update her of your life the best you can and expertly avoid her prodding questions, you come back to the kitchen where James had already set the table and placed the food in the middle.
"Were you going somewhere?" you ask him as you sit down. He frowns at you, and you point at his not-homey clothes. "You arrived in fifteen seconds."
"I live three steps away from you."
With a suffering sigh, you roll your eyes at him. James loves being difficult for no reason—it's his favorite way of teasing.
He takes pity on you and as he pours you two some drinks, he answers with a smile. "I was gonna meet Jack before you texted me."
Putting food on your plate, you do a quick mental search for the name. "Who's Jack?" you ask, passing him the pot and the cutlery.
James passes you your cup. "Mechanic. I told you about that bike Steve had and left for me and how I didn't want it, remember?"
"I finally found a decent mechanic for it." By 'decent' James meant a mechanic that worked within the parameters by which his high-demand brain asked for. "What's that face for?"
You chuckle at being caught. "You say 'decent' and I hear 'flawless work ethic, asks no questions'."
James stares at you silently for a moment, staring like he's seeing something new.
"I... how do you know how I like my workers?" he asks with a small smile.
"James." He's a peculiar man with peculiar tastes, and you thought he knew you were aware of that by now. "You and Yori get along well for more than one reason."
"So you're saying I'm demanding like an old man?" he takes the first bite out of your food and immediately closes his eyes with a smile spreading through his face.
He hums lowly and appreciatively, and your chest warms up at watching him enjoy your food so much.
"You are," you start eating too. "It's cute."
James opens his eyes and deciding to ignore the jab at his old man mannerisms, he points at the plate with his fork. "Delicious, as usual." He eats another bite as you mumble out a thank you, then adds. "And I don't know where you see the cuteness in this," he gestures broadly to himself.
"You just pointed it out."
While he pretends to be exasperated by the comment, you can see the smile on the corner of his lips.
Happiness looks good on him.
(Granted— anything looks good on that man. He pulls off dog tags and you used to hate those before meeting him. A part of you that struggles to maintain your sanity hopes for the day when he won’t pull something off and you can be assured that underneath all the serum, he’s still human and not a god, but no luck so far.)
You turn on one of your playlists to play as you two sit in silence and eat together, and as the plates clear out, the flutter in your stomach starts feeling both soft and electric, a tell-tale of anxiety starting to bubble.
When you woke up, you were sure you’d be fine with asking James to join you at the Affordable Art Fair, but as the moment approaches, doing so becomes harder.
Being an artist means you share more in common with Steve Rogers than just the love for the man sitting in front of you.
It’s why you refrain from talking about your subjects so much— the first time you did, James had smiled with so much happiness and longing in his eyes that it broke your heart in too many pieces.
Not even a Kintsugi art could fix what that smile made you feel.
The event is something of a tradition to you.
“Spit it out before you make me anxious too,” James’s voice almost startles you, and you lean in against the fridge’s door with your hand over your heart. He chuckles at that. “Is it that bad? Are you kicking me out? Planning on stealing Alpine from me?”
The teasing makes you a little less worried, but you don’t miss the glance he throws your way when asking whether you were gonna kick him out or not.
“No, I’m not kicking you out, don’t be ridiculous.” You two move around each other like planets gravitating a star as you clean the kitchen. “Even if you eat all my snacks and leave cat fur on my black couch.”
“Not my fault.”
“I just know you’re not trying to blame Prince Alpine for something,” you narrow your eyes at James. “Anyway. I wanted to know if you wanna come with me to the Affordable Art Fair. I finally saved up enough to get some stuff and I wanna pick out some paintings to hang on these boring dry walls.”
James looks at you with a confused frown. How do people stand when he frowns at them the whole time? My god.
“That’s it?” he asks.
A smile grows on his face. “Lemme grab my jacket and my wallet.” Before you can say anything else, James is heading towards the door, but before he leaves he stops at your doorway. “Can Sam and Jo join us later? I told them I’d meet up with them today for drinks.”
James is going.
Trying to fight the feeling of whiplash, you stutter an answer. “Uh— yeah. Yeah sure, I’ve been overdue to meet this Joaquin fella anyway.”
“Sam officially passed on the wings to him a few weeks ago so we’ve been training him a lot.” The smile on his face softens. “Be nice to him.”
You fake a gasp. “I’m always nice!”
The laughter that erupts from his chest says that he can call and smell your bullshit from the doorway just as well as he can from up-close. “You’re intimidating as fuck when you meet new men. Specifically men. And if I hadn’t almost made him cry two times these past weeks in training, I’d say go for it, but this is his day off, so—be nice.”
He waits until you nod in agreement to leave and not ten minutes later, you two are out of the door.
As it turns out, all your worries are completely in vain.
Taking James with you means you have one of the best experiences at the Fair.
He seems to have a guidebook to asking all the right questions about the arts, listens intently as you explain or give your opinion, even offering some of his at a certain point.
The ghost you worry about is apparently left at home — if James thinks about his best friend, he hides it well this time — and you two navigate the corridors filled with art walking so close to each other that your arms constantly brush.
At some point, James stops in front of a painting that captures his attention.
It’s one of a man—a soldier, and he’s sitting in the middle of the military camp with his head hanging down, earphones on, and a phone in his hands. The soldier’s eyes are hardly visible, but the soft smile on his face is.
He turns to you. “Where do we buy it?”
The smile that takes over your face doesn’t leave for the rest of the visit.
You abandon all pretense of not being the happiest person ever because he’s with you, link your right arm into his, and lead him to the buying section.
After you two have walked and seen almost everything, you realize that three hours had passed since you arrived and because of that, it was your favorite time again.
James sees it in your face before the words are out of your mouth.
“You wanna eat,” he says, and you nod eagerly. He laughs fondly, then pulls you by the arm. “I saw a café close by, we can grab something before we meet the boys.”
It’s rare for the two of you to be outside together, which is why you still felt hesitant at the beginning of the day.
James may be your neighbor, but Bucky Barnes is a public figure.
Sgt. Bucky Barnes is almost a celebrity, actually, and it’s easy for you to forget that.
He makes the two of you go to a table far at the back, and you notice as soon as you’re sitting down that you can see every inch of the place from there.
“You almost never talk about art with me.” You stop with the scone halfway to your mouth, and James looks both highly amused at your deer-in-the-headlights look and apprehensive at bringing this up. “It’s ‘cause of him, right?”
There’s never a point in lying to him, so you nod. “It makes you sad.”
He takes a bite of his croissant, and you can almost see the gears turning in his brain.
“I don’t wanna be sad about it forever,” his voice is nothing but a whisper. He looks up at you. “Can you talk about it more?”
You smile at him. It takes a lot of strength to work and see which parts of us we hide and for what reasons.
He smiles back. “I kinda miss the nerdy artsy talk.”
Fondly, you roll your eyes— the sass and the flair for the dramatics is a continuous thing between you two.
“I bet you do.” Even harder than fighting against the part of you that wants to fight Rogers, is accepting the one that wishes you could’ve met him. Watching James closely, you try testing the waters. “Did he leave it behind? Art, I mean. I know you two talked more over the phone for the past years, but did you see any indications of the ‘nerdy artsy’ boy when he came back?”
James eats his food as he thinks about the answer.
“Hm. I think a lot of it was gone— when you said Steve’s undiagnosed problems were probably a lot bigger than what most people caught on, you were more accurate than you imagine.”
Remembering the conversation — one of the few — you two had about Rogers and James’s grief, you wince a little at thinking back on your words.
James shrugs. “Yeah.” He takes another bite, and grabs the tomato you picked out of your food from your plate, then eats it. “He was real fucking talented, tho.” His voice gains a fondness you haven’t heard before, and this time, his smile tilts a little more towards happiness than sadness. “He used me as a model a lot; we didn’t have money for the classes and he liked testing out new styles and all, so I learned how to pose real good.”
“Were you a good model?”
“Hell yeah,” James laughs. “I’m gonna tell you something I haven’t told anyone before—” you perk up at that, shoulders straightening subconsciously. “Most of my memories pre-Hydra look like that to me now: art. Kinda like— oil on canvas, you know? Paintings. I don’t remember a lot, and I’ve made peace with the fact I never will; some stuff comes back sometimes if a word or a place triggers it, but I mostly got images that look like a walk in a museum… I always wonder if that’s ‘cause of him.”
An artist and his muse, and the tragedy behind the beauty of their final piece.
You swallow down your food and the knot formed in your throat at his words.
“It might be,” you whisper back to him.
James’s smile stays on his face, and he adjusts his baseball cap—his nervous habit is usually fiddling with his fingers, unless he has an accessory on.
“What drew you to it?” He asks you.
Now that is a question you love.
“Behind each stroke, carved marble or painted mural, it’s a message. And I fucking love that,” you giggle. “Art is shape shifting and reflecting the state of our society through the most complex, or beautiful, or ludicrous messages. Someone can paint a canvas with the literal intention of saying ‘fuck you’ and the result can be… marvelous. And all it takes is someone with a willing eye to see it.”
James listens to you with his mouth parting slowly and when you’re done, he throws his head back with the biggest smile and groans. “Fuck!”
You know him enough to hear the unsaid words. He would have love you.
When he looks back at you, even his cheeks have a little more color. “Fuck!” he exclaims again, making you laugh. “I’m gonna have to ring that Dr. at Fifth Avenue and borrow that stupid fucking rock of his, I don’t give a shit for the consequences. You think we could pull that off? Pop in the past real quick for a meet-up with that asshole?”
Laughing, you nod at him. “Sure we could.”
You two start brainstorming ridiculous ideas for the plan and you see James ignoring his pinging phone in favor of the conversation, but when it starts ringing and you see Sam’s name flashing on the screen, you imagine it’s time to go.
“Pick up before he cries,” you say.
You get the tab from the table and before James can protest, you’re up already with a smug smile on your face.
The way James greets Sam is still heard as you walk towards the line. “Did we get married and I didn’t get the memo? Well, we must have, considering the number of messages you just sent me, darling.”
Laughing to yourself, you have fun imagining these two and their bickering when they met and hated each other.
That’s something else you would’ve loved to see.
With the bill paid and your purchases in hand, you and James take the subway again, this time to meet Sam and Joaquin for drinks.
On the way to the restaurant and bar, James tells you all the funny incidents that happened to Joaquin in the past weeks of training, making you laugh so hard sometimes that your knees almost give out in the middle of the gross NYC subway.
James seems to enjoy making you laugh like that.
You know things weren’t exactly as they said because Sam also enjoys story-sharing and the little details of difference are always enough to hint you the bits James altered just to make it extra funny.
Once, he told you, “You laugh with your whole body, it’s so damn funny. It’s like—” he proceeded to do an impression of you folding in laughter and leaning against the closest thing. “You always laughed like that?”
The answer was yes, and the sadder answer was that for years, you hated the way you laughed exactly because of that.
“Some people don’t like when you almost fall on them ‘cause you’re laughing like an idiot,” you had told him.
James had looked almost as offended as your father did when you had shared those thoughts.
“I love your laugh. Please, fall on me any time you want.” He had sounded so serious that you had blushed, that was until he added with a choked laugh. “It’s better than you falling off the chair, anyway.”
“Let that go!”
He had let the chair incident go, but making you laugh continued to be his pastime.
Whenever you caught yourself tearing up at his dry humor and sarcastic remarks, you always sent a silent prayer to your grandparents and their promise that one day, you’d find a friend who would appreciate the light and humor inside of you.
It’s with laughter on both of your faces that you find Sam and Joaquin in the bar.
You and Sam hug each other, then Sam and James, and when you stand in front of Joaquin, James does the introduction.
“Jo, this is Y/n. Y/n, this is our new angel Joaquin Torres, but you can call him Jo, too.”
“Hi, Jo,” you smile at him.
“Hi!” He looks like an excited puppy— a very cute one. “I’ve heard a lot about you.”
You throw a menacing glance towards James and Sam, then look back at Joaquin with the softest smile you can manage.
“Delete everything these two have said from your head.” You widen your grin. “Unless it’s good things, then believe every line.” You turn to Sam. “Are we getting free drinks or they haven’t discovered you’re Captain America yet?”
Sam’s laughter is one of your favorite sounds in the world.
“Girl, I don’t want free drinks, I finally get paid money now for all the hard work I put into this country, I’m buying a first-round for us,” with that, he leaves for the bar.
“Hey, is it true you bought little witch hats and capes for Alpine and did a photoshoot with him?” Joaquin asks with a grin.
James sighs loudly, pretending to be upset about the whole deal again, and you three slide into the booth where Sam and Joaquin had been waiting for you two.
The answer is easy and quick— you whip out your phone and tap on the screen and point it to Joaquin.
For a screen lock you have Alpine sitting on the couch with a witch hat on.
Joaquin bursts out laughing.
“This is amazing!”
“I still have glitter on my couch from this so no, it isn’t amazing.” James does a really good job with the frowning and pretending to be mad thing.
You smile wickedly at him.
“My baby loved it, thank you.”
Joaquin looks between you two amused and a little confused. “I thought Alpine was yours,” he says to James.
“It is,” James huffs.
“When you go to his place and I’m there, we’ll both call Alpie at the same time and you’ll see who’s his parent.”
“So I’ve been demoted from my parental figure, just like that?” James frowns at you.
Even with his best game face on, you can see the hint of a smile on his face.
“I’m playing with you, Buck.” You throw him a wink, then look back at Joaquin. “You’ll see who’s his favorite parent,” you correct yourself.
The bickering continues until Sam returns with the drinks and from then on, it’s absolute chaos.
Overlapping conversations take over the table for the better part of the next hour, and you, Sam, James and Joaquin take turns talking to one another and you get to know Joaquin better—an easy feat to do considering how open and genuine the boy is.
It’s easy to find your footing in the middle of the three men.
Growing up, only one man had ever truly made you feel safe and comfortable.
All the horrible experiences you — as most women in the world — had with men nearly made you lose hope for their gender as a whole, but it was sitting amongst men like them that reminded you of what a good upbringing and a good dose of personality could do.
They were funny as hell, they were a little bit of a mess, and after only three drinks it was safe to say you thought they were a perfect team.
Some could say it was the alcohol talking — I’m looking at you, Sam — but the reality was, they were just that amazing.
Which is why when you’re reminded of why you hardly ever go out with them, it hurts even more.
After showing Sam that you could whoop ass in pool once, he always made sure to invite you to the table for the sole purpose of making bets and draining money out of misogynistic men, and given how much James loved playing too, you three were a pretty invincible team.
That boy needed some practice.
You four were having a wonderful time at the pool table, drinking and slaying it — your palm hurt a little bit from all the high-fives you shared with Sam and James, because outch — but you were happy.
Having a dandy time.
So when James leaves to get the next round of drinks and doesn’t return for a while, your James-spidey-senses start tingling.
You’re standing against the wall next to Sam, leaning your weight on the cue stick when you notice.
And you notice it first.
Their voices aren’t raised, but your head finds the conversation almost turned into a fight a split second before Sam and as soon as you two notice it, you two leave the sticks behind with a quick apology to the other players and are on your way towards the bar.
James is standing with stiff shoulders and a set jaw while another man as tall and as broad as him is talking with his finger pointed towards James’s chest and immediately, you smell the trouble and the anger.
You catch him mid-sentence. “—suppose to get them out. If that’s not your fucking job, then whose it is?” When the man sees Sam approaching, his eyes widen in recognition. “There he is. The Captain of the hour.”
“Sir, can I help you?” Sam asks in a tight voice and way too much politeness for your taste.
The man doesn’t even notice you standing next to Sam.
“No, you fucking can’t. That’s exactly what I was telling the Sargent over here— that none of you can fucking help. None of you can do your jobs, apparently! My baby is gone and it’s his fault,” the man jabs a finger in James’s chest and while you applaud his patience and self-control, yours is getting much smaller. “The Christmas Costico party.” The man glances with pain, poison and grief at Sam. “You might’ve stopped that fucker of a scientist from blowing up the entire building but he was in charge of evacuations and—” he chokes on his words, and your chest tightens.
The Costico party was a mission that happened in November and as you recalled with a lot of pain, there had been casualties.
A madman scientist and its experiments gone wrong had resulted in the death of six civilians that had been in the blast zone just before James and Sam arrived, but apparently, this man thought either one of them could’ve done something to stop an accident that had already happened.
“What’s even your purpose, huh, man?” he continues. There are more people watching by now, but your fists are tied for another reason. You can sense the anger in the man boiling up and you know neither Sam nor James can fight him. “If you can’t do your fucking job of protecting people from these crazy fucks, what. Is. Your. Purpose. Sargeant. Don’t think I don’t fucking know you— don’t think I haven’t recognized your face, what’s your worth if stay alive all these years by sheer fucking magic but can’t save the people who are really worth it, huh?”
“Okay, sir, I’m gonna have to stop you right there—” Sam starts, coming up to stand between James and the approaching guy.
Unfortunately, the man seems to be aware of how much trouble Sam could get for laying hands on a civilian.
“Don’t fucking touch me!” He yells. You can feel Joaquin arriving right behind you, as the man yells. “I wanna know what he’s gotta say for himself.”
James opens his mouth, but before anything gets out, your patience has run out.
You didn’t train martial arts your entire life to let tall man blinded by grief act like babies and hurt the people you love.
You step between James and the man, right beside Sam and that’s finally when he sees you.
“He doesn’t have shit to say to you,” you say loud enough for him and everyone around to hear. The man opens his mouth again but you lift your hand high right in his face. “It’s your turn to shut the fuck up,” you say even louder. “I am sorry for your loss, I truly am, from the bottom of my heart. I know what losing a person we love can do to us, but I won’t stand here and let you speak to Bucky however you please just because you think you can take your grief and anger out on him.”
The man and everyone else are silent for a second, dumbfounded by your explosion.
“Who are you?” he asks.
“It doesn’t matter who I am. What matters is— Sam might not be able to land a finger on you, but if you touch Bucky one more time, I’m gonna teach you that a six-foot tall man can get knocked out just as easily as the next guy,” you say with conviction. “He isn’t the reason you’re angry—”
“Of course he fucking is!”
“SHUT UP.” Your voice is deep and loud enough that even Sam’s eyes widen as he looks at you. “I said he isn’t the source of your anger. Bucky doesn’t fucking control every single twist and turn of fate and the reason something horrible happened to someone you love is because another horrible person did things that lead to that. Taking your anger out on Bucky is what you think will make you feel better, but it won’t. It won’t bring your baby back. It won’t end the grief.” You knew it wouldn’t.
Even through hooded and probably drunk eyes, the man saw in your own eyes and the tone of your voice that you knew what you said and meant every word.
“But it will make me incredibly pissed off, and if you think I’m bluffing when I say that if you touch him I’ll fucking end you, you’re even dumber than this little act of yours is letting out,” you add in a lower tone. “So I’m gonna have to ask you to leave before the patron does.”
With those words, his eyes go around the bar to where everyone’s attention has been drawn to all of you.
He takes a moment to calculate his outcome and you can see by the looseness in his steps that the alcohol must be clouding his judgement enough to pick a fight with a super-soldier, but not enough to see when a battle is lost.
He leaves without a word, the security guard of the place escorting him outside the door and as soon as you see he’s definitely out, both you and Sam turn around to James at the same time.
The patron of the bar starts yelling at everyone that the show is over and to get back to what they were doing.
“You good?” Sam asks him.
James looks around him, his eyes darker than you’d ever seen and his face set in a pained frown.
He shakes his head. “I need some air.”
When James heads out to the smoking area, Joaquin points at him.
“Shouldn’t we go after him?”
You sigh deeply, and Sam echoes you.
“Give him a few minutes,” says Sam.
“I’ll check on him in a couple,” you guarantee.
That’s the reason why James hates taking you out in public.
He’d explained to you that being what he was came with an exposure that’s even bigger now because of social media and TV and everything in between.
He’d said he didn’t want you exposed to all of that because it could feel like poison— random people yelling in your face, thinking they’re entitled to a piece of you regardless of what that piece is.
How nothing feels truly real anymore if you don’t keep things close to your heart and private.
You wait only two minutes and then head outside too.
James is sitting surrounded by a cloud of smoke from a cigarette he must’ve gotten from someone, distant enough from all the other smokers.
You take a seat by his side even though you hate the smell of cigarettes, but he puts it out as soon as you do.
The silence stretches for a second as you breathe in deep, trying to find the right words.
“That wasn’t my fault,” James is the one to break the silence, and his voice sounds much deeper whenever he’s sad. “And I know you’re right and he was just finding a place to let out his anger, but…”
He grows silent, voice trailing off. You wait patiently for the end, but when it doesn’t come, you glance to your side to look at him.
“It brings back the feeling of endless battles, I guess.”
The words hurt in new places.
You’re reminded of when James told you about the little small piece of peace he had in Wakanda and good gods, you’d go to the ends of this earth at this point to find this man some more peace.
“You deserve peace, Buck,” you whisper to him.
He looks up at you and the sadness that resides in the place where his laughter lines live makes you feel like putting your fists up again.
“When my dad passed away—” the words make James’s eyes widen. Your father is as much of a sore subject as Steve Rogers is. “I thought I’d never step foot in a museum again.”
He looks at you with wide eyes, and you chuckle sadly.
“Yeah.” The grief comes back fresh like a tsunami; one moment you’re surrounded by the smell of smoke, the next you’re surrounded by the scent of your father and the pounding pain that comes with his absence. “I hated the MoMa for years, Buck. Four long years of pretending that not going there made me saner than not, and when I finally stepped foot in there again with Molly, I had to leave because I had a panic attack and started sobbing like a baby.”
“I… I can’t imagine you not going to artsy fests every weekend,” he offers with an awed look.
You nod at him.
“Four years without touching pencils. Stencils. My painting room was locked for so long that when I walked in, I had an allergic reaction to all the dust,” you laugh bitterly. “And you know what? I thought I deserved it.”
“I know, I know, baby,” you interrupt him. “But I did. My father and art was all that I knew. A package deal. So when I made it and he didn’t— I didn’t deserve art in here, you know?” you point at your own head. James nods solemnly, listening intently. “And you… all you ever knew was how to be brave, Buck.”
His posture changes with your words. Instead of leaning in towards you as he was, his shoulders hunch back as if he was stung, but he needs to hear these words, so you continue.
“You’ve always been brave. You were drafted not once, but like— three, four times? You lost everything and had to do the hard work to get it back, more than once, may I add.”
With a shaky breath, you grab one of his hands between yours, and looking into his stormy blue eyes, you say.
“You might be a soldier, but that’s not all that you are. It’s not all that I see, at least. I see… I see a marvelous friend. A great biker, a funny teacher, and thoughtful advicer. I see someone willing to leave at three in the morning to help an old, stubborn man do some secret thing to help deal with the grief of his son not because he thinks he has to, but because you’re that nice and you wouldn’t do Yori be stupid alone.”
By the end of your speech, James is blinking away a couple of tears, and you’re doing your best to fight your own because this is not your time to cry.
“I guess what I’m saying is…” You swallow the other knot stuck on your words. “I see someone my dad would love. And someone who deserves peace. Everlasting peace. No assholes yelling bullshit at you in bar kind of peace.”
James gives a choked laughter at that, and he wipes his face on his shoulder, not wanting to get his hand from your grasp.
“You think your dad would’ve liked me?” he asks in a small voice.
“I know he would’ve.” You sigh deeply, feeling how his heart seems lighter now. The storm has passed and you can see the blue skies in his eyes again, even if the lighting around the area is shitty. “Ridiculously well, actually.”
“Good to know.”
“You good, Buck?” you ask him.
He stares at you instead of answering for a few moments, and then drags you by the hand towards a hug.
“Thank you, baby,” he whispers in your neck.
The shiver that goes does your body can’t be missed by him, but you squeeze back just as hard.
“Always here,” you whisper back.
He stays in the hug, and you two relax in each other’s hold. Before he pulls away, he says. “C’mon. We should go back before Sam takes Jo as a pool partner and loses all the money we bet.”
You two go back inside laughing and when Sam throws you the ‘is he good’ check-in look, you wink at him.
As long as you’re around, you’d do your best for him to be.
That’s what friends are for.
NEXT CHAPTER —
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