Okay, I am gonna be perhaps a little Negative. Perhaps a little Controversial. So gonna stress that this is just My Opinion, and I totally understand why some folks enjoy c!Dream (not in the apologist sense but in the Funky Piss Baby Villain sense).
But I just. I just am so bored with his character, to be honest. Nothing interests me hgsjjdghdjhd.
His obsession with Tommy? Not particularly unique in concept nor execution. Like. I am a huge fan of villains who are obsessed with/are not driven by a hatred of their hero. I love villains who like to fuck with and toy with their hero or who see their relationship as some kind of natural status quo, some kind of balance. And when it comes to Dream and Tommy, it's just. Pretty basic.
His "genius intellect?" He is a dumbass. His smartest move was utilizing traitors. But his big plans largely worked not due to his smarts but due to his Threatening Combat Prowess and... everyone else kind of. Ignoring him??? He didn't Masterfully Manipulate New L'manberg into exiling Tommy, he threatened them bluntly if they did not comply. He was a generic abuser towards Tommy (and that's part of what made his actions scary-- he wasn't playing 4d chess, he was using similar tactics to irl abusers which is does not inherently make him or all abusers Smart). Pretty much everyone sussed him out as a bad dude at some point-- he was on a Hit List. He did not make Tubbo think he was his friend, Tubbo planned to kill him during the Green Festival and always remembered he was an enemy. He didn't get the discs by tricking anyone, he brushed off any and all questioning at the Community House very Obviously and only got the disc because Tommy told Tubbo to hand it over. And his grand villain plot? Was to use items of attachment against everyone by keeping them in a cartoonish vault. That's. That's not cunning. That's heavy-handed.
The only thing he's really got going for him is how threatening he can seem. cc!Dream can really put some oomph into some Standard Villain Dialogue. But his performance is just not enough to hold my interest on its own. It. Actually kind of makes me want to see his pov. Not because I want it to humanize him, but because maybe I'd finally get to see an actually cool aspect to his villainy and his character that as of yet I have not seen.
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when the sunlight dies
The sun is high in the sky before Sapnap can stand to sit up and face the world again, but he’s been awake since before dawn. He feels raw, hollowed out. If he lies with his back to the fire, and to George and XD, then he can pretend that everything is just as it was the day before. If he closes his eyes, he can pretend that he isn’t in the hunting woods, a familiar birch grove marked from a decade of their friendly manhunts.
In the end, though, the most basic of human instincts gets him up; he’s hungry. They couldn’t stand to eat much in the Crimson Forest, a combination of heatstroke and the relentless pace, chewing on the dried rabbit as they went to keep their energy up. The thought of food disgusts him but his stomach aches and growls until he gives in.
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I feel like there’s this whole subgenre of fic that just really, aggravatingly, doesn’t get bickery banter couples, which means that a lot of the content for them just ends up reading like emotional abuse.
Like! The thing about couples that bicker for fun, the thing that makes it romantic, is not ‘I hate this and I’m sad and hurt and uncomfortable, but I’ll put up with it because I love you and at some point you’ll start being nice to me’. That’s not fun bantering! That is, at best, a serious miscommunication!
The thing that makes it fun and (potentially) romantic is ‘We know each other so well that we can be rude and gross and weird together, we can transgress the rules of polite society with each other without actually causing any real hurt, because we know where the real lines are and don’t have to guess at them or use the rules from a game that neither of us wants to play.’
It’s fundamentally about intimacy, not about treating your SO like they don’t have feelings that matter.
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Lena was meeting her fiancee today, for the second time. In a dress with a frankly impractical cleavage and lipstick picked out by her mother, but at least they allowed her the boots. There was to be walking involved in this playdate, and no one was willing to risk a faked injury in heels.
Her fiancee arrived exactly on time, holding her hands unnaturally at her sides, giving off an incessant nervous energy that would’ve put Lena on edge even in better circumstances. Lena knew very little about her, but one thing had been clear from the start: she was weird.
Weird, and alien, and mandatory.
“Hello Miss Lena, pleasure to make your acquaintance,” the alien said, the same exact greeting as the last time, as if she’d memorised the one English line and refused to update it.
She was wearing the same tweed jacket, too, the same overly starched shirt, the same tight and hopeful smile. Holding out a bouquet in yellows and reds that may as well have been the very same one.
Only one thing was different, a greenish-yellowish smudge blooming on her cheek. It might have had something to do with alien anatomy. Might have been an alien fashion trend. Might have been there all along, and Lena simply hadn’t noticed.
"What's wrong with your face?" Lena demanded.
"N-no!" the alien stammered, forceful and defensive. "Nothing! What's wrong with your face?"
Lena frowned. She had never encountered such a horrendous liar. "Rude."
The alien seemed to shrink. "Apologies. Thank you for being me here. Would you like we go to walk?"
"No," said Lena. But she got up and walked toward the gardens, as per the El-Washington treaty, signed and filed and legally binding.
The botanical gardens around Luthor Manor were extensive and impeccably maintained. Lena had walked these paths since infancy, was intimately familiar with their rose bushes and fountains and orchid rows, all the corners lifted straight out of a made for TV romcom set. Perfect backdrop for bartering your daughter off for political gain.
"Every all your animals are very beautiful on this planet," the alien blurted out. She'd wandered off to, apparently, stick her face into a hydrangea bush.
Lena held off on a lesson in taxonomy. "They have their moments.”
The alien suddenly snapped upright, looking Lena straight in the eye. Her cheeks were flushed behind the bruising. “You are very beautiful,” she said.
Lena turned right around and headed for the water lily pond.
She’d crouched in the mud--leather boots clean up easily--staring at a frog’s vocal sac expand and deflate when the alien inevitably caught up with her. Lena could hear her dithering for a moment, and then she came over, plopping right on her ass in the mud next to Lena.
Their murky reflection rippled gently, uneasily side by side.
“You don’t really think that, do you,” Lena said.
“That you are very beautiful? I don’t think that. I was telling you reality.”
Lena shot her a sideways glance. “Right.”
The alien drew her knees closer to her chest. The frog went quiet for a beat and caught a fly.
“I don’t want this,” Lena confessed quietly.
“This?” the alien asked.
“You,” Lena clarified.
“Oh,” said the alien. “Uhh.”
Lena turned to face her. “Do you?” she asked.
The alien swallowed, looked at Lena, looked away. Nodded.
Horrendous, horrendous liar.
Lena rocked back to face the frog. “What’s your name? I forgot.”
The alien swallowed again. Lena likely should’ve offered her a drink. Likely, the treaty had a clause for that. “Kara,” the alien croaked. A bit like the frog. A bit like a person in an unfair and inescapable situation.
She didn’t provide a surname. But of course, Lena was well aware of that one.
“Kara,” Lena repeated quietly. Did they hurt you because of me, Kara? Are you as angry as I am, Kara? Or are you scared, instead? “I’m sorry, Kara.”
Kara hunched down further into her knees. “I’m sorry, Miss Lena.”
Lena held out her hand. Without looking, Kara took it. They stared at the pond in silence as their palms got sweatier.
When the mandated forty five minutes were up, Lena looked over to find Kara had fallen asleep. She seemed both exhausted and serene, cheek smooshed against her knee. Lena tugged on her hand and she jumped, head snapping up, blinking furiously. She shook her head, and looked at Lena, and her face melted into the sweetest, dopiest, most unselfconscious smile.
“Time’s up,” said Lena.
“Okay,” said Kara. “Thank you for giving me from your time.”
Lena let go of her hand. They stood and looked at each other, two fiancees surrounded by flowers. Kara lifted her hand, opened and closed her fist, an awkward imitation of a toddler’s goodbye.
She turned to walk away, back to her spaceship or wherever the fuck. The ass of her pants was caked in mud, a lovely brown apple-shaped stain.
Well, fuck, thought Lena. I might like her.
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Logan, What Do You Need?
Note: Hurt/Comfort; There is a positive, hopeful ending; Human au
I really hope you like this, it was a spur of the moment thing? And kind of a vent fic thingy???
Warning: Logan angst, talk of abuse that Logan didn’t realize was abuse because his parents relied way too heavily on him, talk of being forced to grow up too quickly, talk of emotional suppression, sick fic towards the end, talk of being sick, brief mentions of sex (no details literally just one line with the word).
Summary: Patton realizes Logan never expresses his own wants and doesn’t know how to say no to them. So he, Roman and Virgil decide to confront him about it.
Logan needs a hug, but the very problem with that statement is the word "needs". As far as he is aware, he is adequate without it and that is the very problem. He does not know any better.
Patton watches him move around the house and for the first time since knowing Logan for two months, it strikes him that Logan never asks for anything.
He initially chalks it down to being independent, but it is surely more than that. If they ask him to get something he drops what he is doing and just gets it, no questions asked. So Patton tests his theory in proper scientific fashion as Logan is always talking about and his results are conclusive.
Logan doesn't say "no" unless it is to spare the others some inconvenience.
Roman announces his intent to skate down the handrail to practice for a scene he is rehearsing and Logan immediately tells him no and chides him for his childishness. Patton watches intently as Logan twitches in response to Roman's audible complaint that Logan never let's him do anything fun but ultimately he stands his ground as one would a parent to a bad child.
And yet later when Patton asks Logan if he would like something to drink he looks at him confused for a moment but politely accepts and insists he can do it himself and that Patton should not have to trouble himself......
But that is of course troubling to Patton all on it’s own.
How could this math teacher at a fancy university be so concerned with the welfare of everyone except himself?
He notices Logan continues to quietly sit in his armchair as the others just invite themselves onto the couch for cuddles during movie night. It does not escape Patton's notice when Logan shifts his gaze to glance at them, nor does it escape his notice how Logan adjusts in his seat and refocuses his attention to the screen. Does he want to join? Why doesn’t he just park himself between them?
"Is he touch averse?" Roman asks one day, because of course he would ask, having been with Virgil a lot longer than the rest of them. When dysphoria hits Virgil and he feels like he’s crawling in his own incorrect skin he doesn’t want anyone to touch him, least of all himself and he resorts to baggy clothes of particular textures for comfort, avoiding the others physically as needed. Of course they give him space but that is why Roman asks. Is Logan just averse to their touch?
It was a question Patton was not terribly sure of the answer. It isn't as if Logan shies away from their touch, but he doesn't seem to actively seek it out either.
Patton knows that Logan had grown up with six younger siblings. Perhaps being the oldest made him feel overly responsible for them.
Patton isn't wrong.....
Logan is a very private person out of necessity. At a time when his family was in turmoil, when his father had lost his job and his youngest sibling was three as Logan was fourteen, it was necessary for him to take up any slack his parents provided.
Logan watched his mother cry and try to hide it... watched her stress and slave as she hunted for jobs online for his father while his father went out for interviews.
He watched them scramble for dinner and yell when they were frustrated. He changed his youngest sibling's diapers and took the others to school even when it meant he had to walk them. He made it his goal to give them what his parents could not provide because they were busy with their own worries and struggles.
But he learned very quickly that his opinions and voice, his needs and desires, hopes and wants must be thought of as third priority. There were siblings to take care of, a mother to console and listen to, a father to encourage. There was laundry to fold, siblings to round up and keep fed, homework to help with and baths to run. He had no time for much else.
Logan learned very quickly growing up that if he was sad to either cry quickly in a closet, or if he had no time, to just suck it up, push it down and deal with what needed to be done. Be Serious; be Grown Up and put on a mask of calm and collected logic because it was Necessary.
So what if he cried himself to sleep sometimes? That is life and life isn’t fair!
He had to be quiet or the siblings he shared a room with would wake up and he had to keep them getting their rest on a proper schedule. They had school and as such they needed to be properly asleep. So what if he lost sleep hearing every little snort and movement made by his siblings? Losing sleep was part of the deal and something he had come to terms with. Their lives, their grades, their time and energy was first priority and he as their parent eldest sibling, was third priority because he had his parents to console as well.
He learned the Truth very quickly: Being third priority is fine. He does not want for much. He does not need much. He can take care of himself and all those little things people enjoy frivolously like toys and television, hugs and kisses are distractions and are necessary for some people but not entirely necessary for himself.
He survived without them; he didn’t die so obviously he’s fine.
As long as they are happy, Logan is happy.
That is how those things work, right?
When his grades fell because of the lack of sleep and his mother spent twenty minutes berating him for not doing better, crying about how she didn’t raise him to just give up, and if only he could be more motivated because she had so much on her mind and therefore he needed to take up some of the slack, Logan vowed to work thrice as hard as he could. He lost even more sleep at night but had his schedule locked down and he could not budge from it at all or everything would have fallen apart. He managed to nap during lunch so he's be rested. Skipping one meal was fine so long as his parents were happy and he was giving them results. sometimes he would even skip his own dinner so his parents didn’t have to worry about paying so much for food. One meal a day was enough, it was fine.
He was fine.
He got sick a lot but he never let it show because his father somehow was under the impression that Logan was a diva and a wretch to deal with when he was sick. Logan didn't understand why his father kept insisting he was a whiny brat when he was sick but it meant he had to try his very hardest not to be a nuisance or a bother when he did fall ill. If it got bad enough to show he would get himself to bed and sleep as long as he could, trying to be as much a shadow as was possible while still being available for his siblings to come to for advice and tending to their general needs.
He learned to handle himself and take care of himself very early on into his life, choosing to ignore his needs for the needs of others and keep himself going on determination and self-beration as much as possible to make his parents proud of how responsible he was.
He had convinced himself that he was lesser than those around him and continued to tell this to himself even when he grew old enough to move out.
That pesky feeling that claws at his chest when he is upset, longing, wishing for things to be different, for him to be worth more..... it really hurts and pulses into his palms when he’s sad but he’s learned to easily ignore it. It’s commonplace for Logan to push aside his pain.
Because his pain isn’t something to take stock in. They’re proud of how responsible he is and he is responsible because he has foregone any emotions other than placating acceptance and understanding that others feel so deeply and openly and he is not supposed to.
He craves acceptance and praise but he can’t openly ask for it. That’s not how it works. That’s not how the world has taught him.
So he grows older and studies harder than he’s ever studied in his life. He gets job after job and helps support his family. When his father finally gets back on his feet it’s too late. They expect his income and he doesn’t have the knowledge or vocabulary to stop giving.
By now it’s expected for him to help support them. He wastes no time on activities of fun. That is for other people. He is cold hard logic. Tenderness does not come easy t him. He is not used to consoling people any more, he is used to offering advice and facts but only if people ask for his advice.
If others are crying or sick, he knows what to do. He knows to get them soft things, he knows to give them soup and medicine and blankets. He knows to make them comfortable, to give them what they need, to tell them they are wanted and loved and beautiful and good.
He knows nothing of that for himself. He does not ask and they do not just provide it wordlessly like he does.
He finally gets old enough that they do not need him to raise them and yet it makes no difference. the damage is done. Logan has no idea how to be a person, he just knows how to be productive and knows how to provide for others. His “responsibility” and “seriousness” is a direct product of his unwillingness to see himself as anything but third priority above all else.
He gets job he knew would make money at a high end university so he can provide for himself and his future partner or partners, whatever they decide. He has no clue what he wants.... he knows he does not want to be alone but the sinking feeling that he might be because others are just so much better prospects than him gnaws at his heels everywhere he goes.
When he finds Roman, Patton and Virgil he has no idea what to do. They say he is their friend. He does not know how to be a good friend but he tries He reads everything he can about how friends work and he tries hi hardest to give that to them.
They ask him what he wants. He doesn’t. He never thinks about things in that way. He either has something for necessity or looks at it longingly for a few minutes before dismissing it, knowing it’s not necessary to his life.
And then.... then they do something strange and they tell him they love him. He doesn’t know how he feels, he doesn’t know what he wants. He knows.... he does’t want to lose them. He knows he is comfortable with them in is life. He does not want them to go away and he knows if he lets himself he will cry at the very thought of being abandoned by them.
But he’s not stupid. H’s not allowed to want something. He’s never been allowed to want something after he was 14 years old. He is positive that as soon as they grow tired of him or he is not useful to them he will be cast aside.
As soon as he is not worth it and his usefulness tanks, they will no longer need him or desire his company so he swallows and tries very very hard to stay needed.
He does not know how to say no, not when any slip up might have him thrown aside and for once in his life, even if he can’t admit it, he doesn’t want to be alone.
He already has one family to worry about.... his parents are getting old and he needs to take care of them because it’s his duty and if they leave he doesn’t know what he’ll do. Will his siblings be ok in their jobs? Stable? Will they survive without him? And he can’t just let them survive, HE does that, he needs them to be ok and comfortable and happy in ways he isn’t supposed to be.
So he sends his family money all the time even when the three he lives with and would die for think it’s silly. He has no idea if they need it but he sends the money anyways because they always thank him. He's just making sure they and their families are taken care of and have nice presents so they can be happy during times like birthdays and Christmas.
Surely they need it.
If they had enough money they would visit him, right?
But he never gets any visits. Just thanks for the money. He tries really hard to visit them to, but.... they never visit in return and it is easy by now to push the pain back until he only feels it pulse in his chest and his palms and stays locked behind a prison of iron.
Sometimes he wishes they would just.....
But no, he’s not supposed to wish, and he should be grateful they talk to him at all and even more grateful that his partners all still love him.
And he is grateful, gods he’s so grateful he can barely find words for it. and besides, he shouldn’t want things. Wanting Patton, Roman and Virgil is too much to think about as it is. He’s already so grateful for them he can hardly express it and he’s not about to change the way he sees the world because nothing has thus far shown him that it’s possible.
In Logan's mind, keeping the same routines is natural. For all that he had been through before, he continues to be under the delusion that, no, things cannot change and are not meant to change. That his feelings are unimportant and his needs are simple wants to be cast aside.
At any minute Patton Roman and Virgil will grow tired of him if he so much as gives them any chance to dislike him.
So he decided really quickly that to keep them Logan will get what they ask of him, do as they request, give them advice and provide them with knowledge that is beneficial. Give them anything and do everything they need of him, but he won't talk about his feelings or what he likes. He won't tell you what he's really thinking.
Because he CANNOT lose them.
But Patton knows he cannot let this continue.
After two months of observing Logan's troubling behavior, he approaches the others with his findings as they hold a meeting around the dining room table.
"So it's come to my attention that Logan never asks for anything and gives and gives and gives and we don't really do much in the way of changing this routine. I think.... I think he doesn't know that he's allowed to have feelings or want stuff."
"What are you talking about?" Roman asks. "Isn't he fine? He never complains and he likes his space, how are we supposed to change that?"
"No, he's not fine. In all our time knowing him, has he ever cries in front of any of you?" Patton asks. "Has he ever asked for anything? At all? Ever?!"
Virgil shifts. "He doesn't ever know what he wants for Christmas, he won't even make up his mind. Do you know what he said when I asked him yesterday? He said he was fine.... He said he was perfectly happy just sewing is open presents. Do you have any idea how upsetting that is?"
"What's worse is that I don't think he knows that's upsetting!" Patton frowns and Roman nods.
"He's not touch averse." Virgil says seriously. "I know people experience touch aversion differently but when we do touch him he never shies away. It's like.... He wants it to last longer but is afraid or unwilling to actually ask for it."
"He raised his siblings for a long time." Roman says, finally understanding. "He's told me so. He says it in that nonchalant and unemotional way he does...." Roman waves his hand around. "But that was too much responsibility. What if he took on so much responsibility that he doesn't know that he can give it to other people? I mean even when we have sex he's more interested in making sure we feel good, which is admirable but.... you've all seen that he won't tell us if it was good for him too, he just kind of nods..... what if we're not giving him the kind of love he deserves? What if he needs more from us but he just doesn’t know how to ask for it? Does he even know he’s allowed to ask?"
Patton sighs heavily. "We need to confront him right now."
"But he's preparing lesson plans..." Virgil points out. "He's gonna hate it if we interrupt that....."
Roman stands and slams his hands on the table, making Virgil jump. "Oh... sorry Virg.... the point is, I don't care if he's mad. Let him BE mad, let him openly show how he feels, let him know we want to know! We need to know what he's thinking! I want a partner, not a yes man."
Patton nods and stands too and Virgil reluctantly follows.........
The three boyfriends stand at his door and Roman taps cautiously. When they get no response, they all nod and open the door a crack. “Logan?” Patton calls but they don’t get a response again.
He peers in and gasps, seeing the light on in the bathroom and a pair of legs sticking out of the door. “LOGAN!” Patton rushes in without question with Virgil and Roman on his heels.
They find him on the floor, passed out with fever. He was clearly on his way to the bathroom and they can see the bed covers from where he’s been trying to sleep. “Oh gods Logan why didn’t you tell us?” Roman and Patton help lift him up and Logan groans.
“Lemme go..... Got... gotta.... I....” But Virgil yelps and backs off as Logan heaves, puking all over the bathroom tiles and whimpering audibly. From the smell of the room this isn’t the first time he’s puked and Roman's eyes catch sight of the bowl by the bed.
Virgil touches his forehead. “He’s really burning up you guys.....” Virgil says. “Lo..... Lo can you hear us?” The other doesn’t give much of a response, clearly too exhausted.
Logan’s head lolls to the side as they bring him to sit against the cold tiles of the bathroom. He shivers and shakes violently and can’t really keep his eyes focused. Patton kneels and tells Roman to handle the bowl and bring it back as Virgil spends time cleaning up the mess. It’s gross as all hell but they’re too worried about Logan to care.
“Hey there buddy, I gotcha.” Patton says softly as he presses a cool cloth to Logan’s head.
Patton looks up when he hears Logan’s soft and barely audible words. He’s still shaking and has curled his arms around himself. “What?”
“I’m... s-sorry.... don’t... don’t hate me...” The hot, fat tears run down his cheeks with abandon then and Patton realizes Logan’s too sick to hold everything back. He just breaks and Roman brings the bowl just in time for him to heave again.
“Oh my baby, we don’t hate you at all.” Patton says firmly and with as much kindness as he can muster. Patton runs his hand through Logan’s hair as he continues to puke and sob into the bowl and Roman moves to sit on the toilet so he can run Logan’s back. Virgil comes forward and sets his hand on Logan’s hand and the sick one can hardly breathe. They’re ll saying soft loving things to him and he doesn’t understand. He’s sick... he’s pathetic and weak and can’t do anything for them like this....
“B-but...” Exhaustion steals him as he slumps against the bowl and stares off to the wall, laying against he bowl’s cold metal edge and panting softly from the exertion of throwing up. “I’m whiny...... a-and... awful.. .and... a b-bitch when....” He takes a big breath to continue and his stomach lurches. “When I’m....” He turns and heaves again and its just bile by now but it hurts so much and his stomach muscles are screaming in protest and pain. He whimpers and it’s the most pathetic and sad sound they’ve ever heard and Roman fights back tears as Virgil kisses Logan’s shaky hand.
“You are NOT a whiny bitch.” Virgil insists. “You’re not and you never have been! Logan you’re sick.. extremely sick! Let us take care of you!”
He’s too weak to protest any more. He shudders and his eyes flutter as Roman steals the bowl from him to rinse it out. He moves away and Logan actually whines openly, reaching weakly for Roman as he leaves. He’s too exhausted to hold back and all those ears of dealing with being sick alone, having to struggle for the bathroom, struggle to get up and move, to clean it all up himself, all of that just dies.
Patton pulls Logan into his arms against his chest and Logan cries again. He clutches at him as much as he can and can’t stop sobbing. His tears continue for ages until his nose is so stuffed he can’t even snuffle through it. When Roman comes back he reaches a hand out and roman doesn’t hesitate to take it. Virgil pets his cheek, Patton kisses the top of his head, ignoring how sweaty from the exertion.
Their touch is like fire, it’s like terrible wonderful fire. They’re all holding him in some way and he’s just on the floor with no more energy to cry or care. It’s NICE and he’s HAPPY and he’s too deeply sick to let this go.
They realize he’s fallen asleep when his fever breaks. Patton has been humming songs to him softly and Roman has told him what a wonderful person and boyfriend he is. Virgil’s been telling him it’s ok to ask for stuff and they finally see he’s out when is shivering stops.
“We need to get him to bed.” Patton ways firmly. “And I am not leaving his side no matter what.”
“You’re gonna get sick too, Pat....” Virgil points out.
“You think I care?” Patton sighs. “He’s not going to be alone when he wakes up, he needs to know this fever dream wasn’t a dream. He needs to know he can ask for help and that his actions aren’t healthy for him. He needs to know we WANT to help and love and cuddle him just as much as we do for each other.”
When Logan wakes, he’s surrounded by warmth on both sides. He doesn’t understand, his head hurts like crazy and he sniffles. Oh great, he had been crying..... He tries to move and feels an arm over him. He freezes and looks up to see Roman’s sleeping face.
Roman is Right There and he is Holding him and he is Asleep. Logan can feel warmth at his back too and very carefully cranes to see Patton is behind him, his soft curls falling against his face. Over in the chair is Virgil who appears to be sleeping in the chair.
Logan is Perplexed(tm). What the hell is going on?
He doesn’t dare move though, because he can feel their arms around him and hes still really tired. He remembers feeling sick and he remembers throwing up... and he kind of remembers trying to get to the bathroom and feeling dizzy?
But he doesn’t really remember much else except for a few soft little images of hem helping him. He can’t deny he’s cherishing those fuzzy foggy images in his head and he pulls Roman closer and nuzzles into him. He smells so good, he smells so Roman.
Why is this happening? Why are they here?
“You awake?” It’s Patton’s sleepy voice as his arms curl around Logan’s middle and gently try and rub his tummy. Logan isn’t ticklish like Patton is so the motion feels amazing and he whimpers.
“Why did you all stay? I am gross and possibly contagious....”
“No Lo, you’re sick and you need love and attention and if you aren’t going to ask for your help, we’ve all three decided we’re just going to start forcing our love and help upon you.”
Logan turns red and Roman yawns and lazily curls closer. “Mmm, don’ move lo....” He grumbles. “Gotta... love... bee... pancakes.....” he snores and Logan feels something in his heart clench. His stomach hurts again but not because he’s sick. He sniffles softly and holds Roman close.
“You are not..... Y-you are... this is not... a final nice thing before you all leave.... is it?” His voice is so hesitant and afraid.
Patton chuckles and reaches over to tap Virgil’s knee, startling him awake. “Virg, can you make this egghead understand we’re not leaving him?”
Virgil yawns and stretches, his back in pain from the chair. “I didn’t sleep in this painful fucking position in this uncomfortable chair all night so I could be in the room with you just to have you assuming we don’t love you.” He crawls onto the bed and moves to stand over Logan. Logan peers up at him as he’s sandwiched between Roman and Patton and blushes. “Logan, I know you took care of your siblings... I know you had a lot of responsibility thrown on you and I know one freaking morning f us saying this shit isn’t going to help solve things magically..... but you need to try and be open with us. We LOVE you. But this won’t work unless you’re open with us. And you need to let us do shit for you.” He flicks his forehead gently and Logan winces. “Ooh... sorry....”
“No it is.... it is alright. I just....” Logan swallows thickly and feels like he’s parched beyond measure. “I do not... desire to lose you all. And I do not.... feel like I can.... explain... or... or express... what I need to say......”
“It’s ok.” Patton kisses Logan’s cheek and Virgil scrunches his nose because he knows he’s going to get sick.... “Like Virgil said so, uh... eloquently.... we aren’t going to leave you. We love you... and we want this to work. We WANT you to be happy. We WANT you to tell us what’s going on in that big brain of yours.”
“Yeah specs.” Roman clearly wants to sleep more but he’s not getting it. “We wanna... make you happy too. A relationship’s gotta have equal stuff on all parts.”
Logan doesn’t know what to say.
“What do you want right now Lo?” Virgil asks as he sits carefully on Logan’s hips cause he wants to avoid accidentally hurting his tummy in case he’s still hurting. “Right now if you could have anything what would you want? You have permission, Logan, you always have permission to ask for what you want, to want things at all. So what do you want right now?”
Again Logan doesn’t know what to say. He does know what he wants. He needs.... “Water.” He says softly. “I need water.”
“I know what you need Logan.” Virgil says softly. “What do you want?”
Logan feels his eyes well up with tears, tears he thought he was out of. He doesn’t say anything for a moment, speechless and Virgil says, “Oh baby, it’s ok....” Patton sis up a little and touches his cheek to wipe away tears. Roman holds him a little closer and kisses his other cheek.
“I- I w-want-” He doesn’t even KNOW but just hearing him say he can ask, telling him he can have a want at all, something about that jut breaks him to pieces and exposes all the mushy little insides he tries so hard to hide away. They fawn over him until he can speak and he finally says, “this.... I w-want this... I want you... I do not want to be kicked out... I do not want to be alone I do not want to be without you!” He chokes on another sob. “I want you to stay with me f-forever, I want you to hold me I want you to- to...” It’s all so much and he feels really weird admitting all of this but they aren’t leaving him and he sniffles, embarrassed beyond reason but happy.
Virgil smiles brightly. “Good, cause that’ll be easy. We weren’t ever planning to leave at all. Now... I think I’ll go get you some water and maybe get you some toast. You’re gonna be in bed all day because I said so...” Patton nods in agreement to Virgil’s statement. “And I’m going to put on a tv show or movie you want to watch and I won’t take ‘whatever you guys like’ as an option. No matter what it is Logan, we’re putting it on for YOU. And then we’re going to spend the whole day with you. It’s a weekend anyways so you have all day and tomorrow to rest, get better and be doted on.”
Logan watches him go and his head buzzes with confusion. He is quite clearly overwhelmed and yet he isn’t panicking. His tummy and palms, for once, don’t feel that pulsing pain he feels when he’s sick and alone.
Maybe.... maybe this is ok.....
Maybe, just for now anyways, he can enjoy this.
Patton sighs happily and watches his dazed overwhelmed look as Logan watches Virgil leave and he knows it’ll take a long time for Logan to unlearn all the bad habits and perceptions he’s placed on himself. But he also knows they will do heir very hardest to get him to open up. He fell in love with him for a reason and his real personality slips through when he eats Crofters and enjoys it, when he gets passionate about topics on the news and in books. He has seen snippets of the Real Logan behind the mask and if they work really really hard and really really work to make things as they should be, Logan will be a better happier person and they all want that.
Besides, what is so bad about wanting anyways?
This is the first step and they’ll make it work. It’ll take time but it’s so worth it because they love him.
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I read an interesting BNHA fic the other day called “Burn Your Wings”!
The premise is the Izuku inherits both of his parents Quirks- but his father is a villain, and a father way more brutal than Endeavor besides, so he swears he’ll become a hero without ever using his fire. When he hears Todoroki’s story, he sees a kindred spirit in him- and realizes that together, they just might be able to help each other out.
The way @owhitekiwibird (at AO3 here) writes the mechanics of Izuku having his parents’ Quirks working in tandem is a really unique dynamic, and throwing One for All into the mix just makes for an even more creative use of powers! I definitely recommend reading this fic, I can’t wait for future updates!
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A rose and a lion?
This is still a wip but I had to delete the earlier post containing the less finished version of this sketch so posting it again for your enjoyment. It’s Xmas and I’m full of love so I feel the need to spread it around :)
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Title: In Pieces
Word Count: 3698
Summary: Thomas may not have the whole picture, but he has enough of it. for @justisaisfine’s Sanders Bro AU. Familial LAMP/CALM, plus “guess I’m an uncle now” Thomas.
Warnings: parental abuse, food mention, yelling, cursing, physical abuse depicted through acting, sort of crying, I have no idea how real movie sets/filming work so it’s probably not accurate woops
Author’s note: I love Isa’s Sanders Bro AU an abnormal amount, probably. So of course I had to write a fic for it because I have no chill. Credit for the AU and the entire basis for the fic (from this post) is all to them. Please, please check out the AU on their blog because it is amazing. This fic certainly pales in comparison, but I hope it’s not too terrible. Heh. I’m not sure how I feel about it, but here it is regardless! Huge thanks to Isa for also answering my anon asks for clarification about a few things. Hope some of this isn’t too far off course. Edited by yours truly, so all mistakes are mine.
Tags: @creativenostalgiastuff@helloisthisusernametaken @ren-allen @lizaelsparrow @princelogical @random-pianist @ravenclawicecream @erlenmeyertrash @milomeepit @at-least-seven-pretty-potatoes @rileyfirstname @pinkeasteregg @sassy-in-glasses@vigilantvirgil@generalfandomfabulousness@lacrimosathedark@thepoolofthedead @monikastec @heir-of-the-founders @yourworstnightmare999 @artistictaurean @kanejandkruge @cdragontogacotar@candiukas @damienswifeolicitydallysgirl@angst-patton@savingshae@noneed4thistbh@awesomelissawho@unikornavenger@bopthesnoz @spiralofsilencetheory@finger-gunsss @crownswriter123 @swlotakulady34
Roman grins brightly at Thomas—who has him shoved up against a brick wall with a prop knife to his throat—and the tension from the dramatic scene they’d just finished is suddenly cut (no pun intended) with one look. Thomas laughs and rolls his eyes, letting Roman shrug out of his grip.
“Good take, guys. Take a break,” the director calls out as she flips through notes.
Thomas hands the prop knife to one of the stage hands and thanks him with a sincere smile before following Roman to the snack table behind the assortment of cameras. The teen picks up a turkey club sandwich from the pile and shoves it unceremoniously into his mouth. Thomas picks up an apple. He doesn’t blame the kid, really; they’d been filming and rehearsing since six this morning without much time for a lunch break.
The constant movement on set is oddly comforting to Thomas. Stage hands hustle to get props and actors, the director is watching footage of the scene he had just filmed with Roman and talks about it in hushed voices with her producers. She casts a glance at Roman, and Thomas smiles. He knows that look. She’s impressed, and to be honest, Thomas is too. Roman is young—still a kid, really—but he’s got serious acting chops. It’s a wonder he didn’t break into the business sooner.
Thomas glances at the teen beside him and smiles faintly at the awed look in his eyes as he watches the action around him. They’re a few weeks into production on this movie, but Roman still looks like he can’t believe he’s actually here.
A few smaller kids for the orphanage scene—maybe five or six—chase each other around the set, shrieking in laughter. A few of the cast members seem vaguely annoyed at the added chaos, but Thomas doesn’t mind. They were quiet, talented, patient kids who knew to only wreak havoc between shots.
“Tag, you’re it!” a little girl shouts as she runs into a boy’s shoulder before sprinting away. The young boy—in his tattered clothes costume but his eyes bright and lively—spins around. His gaze seems to zero in on Roman, and the teen barely has time to react before the boy barrels right into his legs.
“Oof!” Roman says dramatically, doubling over—but not falling over, and Thomas is vaguely impressed by that—and capturing the boy his arms. “Argh, you cannot escape my grasp!”
“You’re it! You’re it! You’re it!” the boy yells, grinning as he tries to wriggle his way free.
“I’m it?” Roman announces, playfully holding onto the kid, “Are you sure about that? I’ll have you know, I’m a three time champion in the art of playing tag.” He’s grinning, something warm and twinkling in his eyes.
“Nuh-uh!” The boy barrels out of Roman’s arms, and the Sanders teen lets him break right out of his grasp.
“You don’t believe me?” he says, throwing the back of his hand to his forehead. “I suppose I’ll have no choice but to prove it to you!” The boy shrieks with laughter as Roman chases after him.
Thomas crosses his arms over his chest and watches his coworker chase the kids around the set. A few people stop and watch the chaos unfold as well, but most people don’t mind too much. They’re between takes anyway, and he’s keeping the kids occupied in the very least. Thomas watches as one of them leaps up onto Roman’s back and feels his heart jump, but Roman only stumbles a step or two before hooking his arms underneath the kid’s legs in a piggy-back ride and running the kid around the set a few times.
“Roman! Thomas!” The director calls out. “We’re gonna need to do that scene again. I want to try some different camera work. Be ready in five.”
Roman looks over at the sound of his name and nods. He lowers the kid on his back to the ground, says something to him that Thomas doesn’t quite catch, and they both exchange a mock salute before Roman jogs back to the table.
“You’re so good with them,” a voice speaks up as Roman returns by the snack table. Thomas looks over his shoulder to see Valerie taking a cracker off the plate.
Roman smiles slightly and lifts a shoulder. “I have three younger brothers.”
“Oh, that’s right!” Valerie says, having seen Logan, Patton, and Virgil a couple of times over the past few weeks. “You’re all so cute. I bet your parents are so proud of you!”
Roman seems suddenly very interested in the cheese cubes on the table by the crackers. He picks one up and pops it in his mouth. “I gotta get back to set,” he says, in a voice that sounds just a little tight to Thomas.
“Oh,” Valerie says to Roman’s retreating form, her voice still bright and friendly, if a bit confused. “Of course! Good luck!”
“What do you mean you can’t make it tomorrow?” the producer says, his voice rising. It’s a month or so later. Thomas stops mid-sentence and looks over towards the noise. A young intern with short hair and big glasses seems to shirk away from the volume, and Thomas sighs.
“I mean, I’m sorry, it’s just….” The girl stammers, adjusting the frame of her glasses.
Most people around the set are keeping themselves busy, ignoring the exchange. The producer is known for his temper, after all, and few people paid attention when the interns were getting reamed out. A small number were trying not to stare at the exchange, and a few others appeared to not be listening but—when looked at closer—could be shown to be listening regardless. Across the set, Roman Sanders seems to have fallen into the latter of the group, staring a little too intently at the script in his hands.
“I gave you this break!” the producer shouts at her, his face red. “This is a real job, sweetheart, and you don’t get to just come and go as you please!”
Out of the corner of his eye, Thomas sees Roman snap the script close and toss it onto the table in front of him. There’s something tight in his jaw, squared in his shoulders, something aged in his eyes… Even the producer looks taken aback when he realizes that Roman is walking towards him.
“I think,” Roman says, in a calm and measured voice that Thomas wouldn’t have even been able to hear if it wasn’t dead silent on set, “that she can hear you plenty well when you speak normally, sir.”
The producer blinks in surprise—even Thomas feels a bit taken aback by the new actor’s courage—before spluttering an indignant reply. “This isn’t any of your business, boy.”
“Perhaps not,” Roman replies, his voice still remarkably cool and composed. It stands in stark contrast to the producer’s indignant shouting a moment ago. “But it’s certainly hard to ignore when you’re screaming about it. Perhaps you should take a moment to calm down before discussing the matter further.”
Roman’s words seem to make the producer suddenly and startlingly aware of the people around them. At the sharp stare of the producer, most onlookers duck their heads and busy themselves with rehearsing lines, checking mics, finding their shoes suddenly fascinating. Thomas quietly meets the producer’s gaze with a steady one of his own. He doesn’t know what his expression shows, but Roman is right, and Thomas is fully prepared to come to his defense if the producer tries anything.
The producer grumbles something in a low voice and storms off. Thomas watches as Roman seems to relax back into his usual warm persona. Regular chatter and the sounds Thomas had come to associate with the backstage-between-takes bustle of the movie business filter back up. Roman flashes a smile at the intern, and Thomas reads his lips as he asks, “You okay?”
The young girl nods, smiling faintly back. The girl, by Thomas’s best guess, is probably around sixteen or seventeen, making Roman only a year or so older than her. But there’s a brief moment where Thomas can’t help but feel like Roman looks so much older for his age. A weariness and weight in his eyes, visible even across the room but only for a fraction of a second.
And then the bright, flamboyant, excitable kid is back as he laughs at something she says and responds easily. He shakes her hand, inclines his head, and then walks back to pick up his script and goes right back to rehearsing.
“Action!” the director calls a week later.
Thomas slips into character effortlessly, his hands fisting at his sides as he marches up to Roman and grabbing his shoulder. The fight is choreographed flawlessly—the coordinators were impeccable, honestly—and both Thomas and Roman had been working on this exact scene for weeks.
“What the—“ Roman says, delivering his line with just the right amount of surprise, eyes widening and ducking Thomas’s flying fist just in time. Thomas stumbles in just the right way, and Roman throws up his hands as if to protect his face. “Calm down!”
“Calm down?” Thomas snarls. “You nearly got us killed out there!”
Roman shifts his weight as Thomas delivers his line and is ready when the older actor barrels into him, sending him careening back into the ladder on set. It breaks away and collapses on top of him. Roman lets out a frustrated huff before scrambling to his feet.
“That wasn’t me! Would you just—“ he ducks another of Thomas’s punches, throwing an elbow in retaliation.
“Cut!” the director calls out, a slight note of annoyance. Thomas sees confusion and a bit of self-doubt flicker through Roman’s eyes, but Thomas is confused too. It was a good take. Or at least, it had felt good to Thomas.
“Sorry, guys,” the director sighs. “You were great. Our mic levels are off. Can we get a sound check? You guys take a break.”
Out of the corner of his eye, Thomas sees a relieved smile flicker across Roman’s face.
“Nice job,” Thomas tells him sincerely. “That would’ve been a good take if the mics had been working.”
Roman laughs. The two of them make their way over a few yards across the warehouse behind the cameras.
Roman’s three brothers sit near a stack of shipping cargo. Logan—sixteen, Thomas remembers—is sitting with his back against the cargo and a textbook propped open in his lap. Patton is talking quietly but excitedly with Valerie. And Virgil (Thomas still wasn’t sure he entirely believed that he is eight years old, given just how small he is) is sitting beside Logan, so close their arms are brushing. He has some kind of homework worksheet on the cement floor in front of him, but his eyes are glued to something in the textbook in Logan’s lap.
“Hey guys,” Roman greets warmly. “How are we doing over here?”
“Satisfactory,” Logan replies, his eyes lingering on the textbook page before flickering up to meet his older brother’s.
“Good!” Patton chimes in. “Valerie and I were comparing favorite Disney songs. She has good taste.”
Valerie laughs. “Why thank you, Patton. So do you.”
Roman smiles at the exchange. “Good to hear.” With a dramatic groan, Roman takes a seat on the floor beside Virgil. “What about you, Virge? Doing okay?” Thomas notices—not for the first time—how his voice seems a little softer when he asks Virgil.
The youngest brother nods.
Roman arcs an eyebrow. Thomas sees him exchange a glance with Logan over Virgil’s head. Thomas can’t decipher the unspoken conversation they seem to have, but whatever is exchanged seems to relax Roman a bit. The teen leans back a bit into the boxes behind them.
“Hey, Thomas,” Patton says suddenly. “What’s your favorite Disney movie?”
The question surprises the actor. “Favorite Disney movie… hm…” Thomas sucks in a breath through his teeth and rubs the back of his neck. “That’s a hard question. If I have to choose one, I suppose Aladdin.”
Patton nods thoughtfully. “That’s a good choice.”
“It was awesome talking to you, Patton, but I gotta go to makeup. You’ll have to teach me the words to ‘Almost There’ one of these days, though.” She smiles as Patton promises to do so, then hurries off. The five of them lapse into a comfortable silence for a moment before Roman breaks it.
“Thomas and I are about to shoot that scene you guys saw us walk through a few weeks back,” he supplies conversationally.
Thomas’s lips quirk into a smile at the memory. One of the days Roman had brought his brothers along a few weeks back, he and Roman had done a dry run through of the fight scene. Both Patton and Virgil had been about ready to tackle Thomas in defense of their brother—or more accurately, to ensure he didn’t get injured. He and Roman had then proceeded to go through the fight blow by blow in slow motion to show them how the fight wouldn’t actually hurt Roman at all.
“Yep,” Thomas adds. “You guys can watch your brother beat me up today, if you want.”
Roman snorts. “Something like that.”
“Thomas,” one of the actors—Terrence—calls from a few feet away, waving a book of papers, “Is this your script?”
Thomas jogs over and snatches it back, thanking him before heading back over to the brothers.
Logan has turned the page of his textbook—it’s a science textbook, Thomas can see now—and points something out to Virgil who is still looking at it over his older brother’s shoulder. Roman also seems interested in whatever Logan is saying quietly to his brothers. Patton raises his eyebrows, then shifts to sit across from Logan, who tilts his textbook towards his younger brother and points to a picture of a nebulous star.
Logan, who had always seemed to Thomas to be very quiet, is explaining something to his three brothers and Thomas has the odd feeling that if he were to try to listen in, he may be intruding. It wasn’t that the four of them were cold—to the contrary, they were some of the warmest and kindest kids Thomas had ever met—but they had a certain close-knit aura around them that Thomas felt was different than other families. Certainly different from his own.
“Hey! Thomas! Roman!” one of the cast-mates calls, jogging over. Logan stops talking, glancing up at the new face. “Are you guys coming to Marco’s after filming wraps today?”
Thomas thinks about it, but Roman’s response comes immediately. “Sorry, Alex. I can’t.” The answer hardly surprises Thomas—he’s not sure he’s ever heard the teen accept an invitation to do something after filming.
“I’ll think about it,” Thomas replies.
Alex opens his mouth to say something, looking vaguely disappointed, but the director’s voice cuts through the air.
“Thomas! Roman! You guys are back on. Same scene from the top. Sorry for the delay.”
Months pass, and Thomas can’t help but see the patterns.
Roman having this way of quickly shutting people down who yell during an argument, the way he never accepts invitations to do things after filming, how quickly he deflects any mention of his parents being proud of him… at first, Thomas had written the latter off as humility, but there was always something forced behind the smile and indifference that didn’t quite sit well in the older actor’s stomach. There was also something about the way Roman and his brothers interacted with one another that Thomas didn’t quite understand—quiet, tight-knit, and protective.
Thomas doesn’t really know what it all means. Or even if it means anything. He could be reading into things more than they really warranted. Right?
Thomas pops a grape into his mouth and wanders over to stand beside Roman, watching the scene being filmed from behind the camera. He and Roman just wrapped on a scene and were scheduled to be next anyway, so both of them had elected to linger around and watch the next scene get shot.
It’s one the of the flashback scenes for Thomas’s character, evidenced by the set being the kitchen of a home rather than a warzone. The actor playing younger Thomas—around ten years old—does bear a striking resemblance to 26 year-old. The only other person in the scene is the actress playing the mother.
“Don’t you ever stop talking?!” the mother demands, the fury looking real and tangible in her eyes. Thomas has to admit—the actress playing the mother was exceptional at her job. Thomas had filmed another movie with her before, and she was a really sweet lady in real life.
The kid, also, is quite good. “I’m sorry, I just… I wanted…” he stammers, stumbling back.
Before Thomas can even blink, the mother hits her son across the face with the back of her hand. Beside him, Thomas sees Roman visibly flinch. When he glances at him out of the corner of his eye, he notices Roman is looking very pointedly at his shoes.
“What did I just say, kid?” the mother growls. “God, you never shut the fuck up!”
Roman seems to be standing suddenly very still. Concerned, Thomas looks at him more fully, but Roman won’t meet his gaze. His arms are crossed over his chest, and there’s something about the way his shoulders are hunched ever so slightly that makes Thomas suddenly and acutely aware that this kid beside him is a kid. And somehow, he looks and acts much older than that.
Something clicks. His brothers and their relationship with one another, the way Roman always deflected questions and comments about his parents, the way he didn’t tolerate yelling and never went out after filming, the way he flinched just now…
Thomas doesn’t have the full picture, but it’s all in a hazy focus that is just enough. Whatever Roman is dealing with, Thomas can’t help but feel like it’s something much bigger and much worse than any kid his age should have to handle. It’s not something someone his age should have to shoulder.
At least not alone.
“Cut!” The director yells a moment later. “Great take. I wanna run that one more time, then we’ll move on. Take a break, though.”
It’s, apparently, all the encouragement Roman needs. Because the young actor turns without saying a word to Thomas and walks off the set. Thomas follows after him.
Thomas hesitates for a moment outside Roman’s trailer, his breath making small clouds in front of his face in the brisk late autumn air. He remembers the look of pure disbelief, quickly overshadowed by excitement, when Roman had learned he’d be getting his own trailer for the movie. Thomas hadn’t even thought much about it—Roman had a number of costume changes, plus a not in-substantial role that necessitated long days of filming—but seeing Roman’s vaguely awed look had reminded him of himself when he’d gotten his first big role in a movie. He’d been just a little older than Roman at the time.
Thomas knocks softly on the door. “Roman?”
There’s a brief pause, then a hurried and slightly muffled, “Oh, yeah. Sorry, I’ll be right there.”
“We have a while,” Thomas replies, slipping his hands into the pockets of his jacket. “But I was wondering if I could talk to you about something.”
Another pause, then the door swings open. Roman looks more composed than he had just a moment ago, his face now one of confusion and perhaps a bit of nervousness. “Of course. What’s up?” He shifts to the side, giving Thomas room as he steps up into the trailer.
The trailer is messy and generic; very little of Roman expressed in the small space. There’s a blanket on the couch that was provided when the temperature had started to drop. Some discarded shoes on the floor. Roman’s normal clothes tossed over a plastic chair in the corner. Roman shifts past him and rubs the back of his head before taking a seat on the far end of the couch.
“Roman…” Thomas begins, feeling suddenly unsure of where to start but knowing that he has to say something. He looks at the teen sitting in front of him and sighs. “Are you okay?”
Roman throws him a brilliant smile. “Of course, Thomas. Just, uh…” The smile falters for only a fraction of a second, then stays in place. He lifts a shoulder. “Y’know.”
Thomas gives him a soft, knowing look. “I don’t, actually. Not really.” He takes a seat on the couch beside him, leaning forward with his elbows on his knees. “And that’s okay. I don’t want you to tell me anything you don’t want to, or aren’t ready for. But…” Thomas holds Roman’s wide stare. “But I’ve got your back. And I’ve got your brothers’ backs.”
Roman is shaking his head, words tumbling out of his mouth even as his eyes start to shine. “Thomas—“ Roman says, and Thomas pretends he doesn’t hear the way his voice cracks just a little.
“I mean it,” Thomas says, with as much sincerity and earnestness as he can because he needs Roman to know it and believe it. “Any of you need anything—anything at all—you have my number. I’ll be there. That’s a promise.”
Roman opens his mouth as if to say something, then closes it. He scrubs a hand across his eyes and sniffles. “Okay,” he says, in a soft, choked voice. He coughs to clear it. “I… thank you.”
Thomas gives him a small smile. “Any time. I mean that.”
Roman releases a watery laugh. “Yeah, I know you do.”
Thomas thinks of Roman’s bright energy and aged eyes. Of the quiet way Logan always seems to have words pressing against his lips but for some reason, holds them back more than he speaks. Or the way Patton’s warm smile and sincere curiosity makes every person feel seen, even though Patton is so much younger. Or how Virgil looks at his brothers like he’d move mountains just for them.
“Good,” Thomas replies softly. “Because you guys are a good group of kids.”
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Do you know any fics where midoriya has a quirk?
Oh my dear sweet anon.You have no idea who you are asking. This my favorite genre of fics and I have read. So. Many. Here are some personal favorites! Thank you for the ask!
A beacon in the dark by NohaIjiachi
“My thanks.” He says, smiling back. “What is your name, boy?”
“I’m Izuku! Izuku Midoriya, sir!” The boy replies, excited, looking up at him. And Toshinori looks into the unmoving washed out green, into milky white pupils visible behind the mess curly hair, and realizes.
The boy is blind.
The boy that he distinctly saw dodge a series of fairly quick attacks, light on his feet and clearly used to some kind of training, the boy that had thrown him the bottle at the perfect height and perfect speed, the boy that has easily collected his spilled groceries and orderly put them back into the little plastic bag—
The boy. Is blind.
Burn Your Wings by oWhiteKiwibird
Izuku inherited his parents’ quirks, but he swore he’d never use his fire.
He knows first hand how—bright, burning, scorching, painful, terrifying—destructive it is, after all, and Izuku promised (promised his crying mother, promised his burning self, promised the laughing memory of his father) that he’d become a hero who stops that kind of despair.
Even if he has to burn his own wings to do so.
But when someone with the exact same pain, problems, and fears shows up… Izuku can’t help but try to heal them. And in doing so, he himself may be healed too.
//Child abuse //Injuries
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Skin to Skin
Pairing: Klaus Hargreeves x Reader
Warnings: anxiety, panic attack, mentions of ptsd and drug abuse
Word Count: 1, 560
A/N: honestly this is probably one of my favourite things that i’ve written in a while and i always end up hating most of my work. it's just a major hc of mine that skin to skin contact is something that's very soothing to him and I'm a slut for non-sexual acts of intimacy
Klaus wakes with a start, bolting upright like he's been shocked awake with an electric current. The sheets where he lay just a second ago are soaked with his sweat and he's gasping for air as though his lungs can't find oxygen.
It wakes you up too. You had fallen asleep next to a man who finally felt sage enough to actually fall asleep without the numbing haze of drugs just like you've successfully done for some time now, and you wake up heartbroken by the incredible pain and utter panic he has to endure.
The only noise in the room is his ragged breathing and you reach for him only to feel his skin slick with sweat. "Baby, breathe," you speak softly as you push his damp hair away from his face in soothing repetitive motions. "Breathe," He tries his best to focus on your voice, but other voices are louder and his body is taken over with tremors he has no control over. Pulling him close you, you hold him tightly as he shakes against you and continue to whisper comforting words like a mantra. "Everything is okay, you're safe, I'm with you."
The two of you stay like that— you don't know for how long, but you don't care either. Your voice gradually lowers in volume as his heart rate slows until you go quiet, and the only sound is that of his breaths syncing up to yours.
Once his symptoms have reduced considerably, you press your lips to his forehead, not minding the salty taste, and peel away from him carefully and in such a way that won't make him feel like he's being left alone. You swipe your legs so that they hang over the edge of the mattress and stand, causing the old wooden floor to creak the slightest bit. Even that light noise causes Klaus to flinch, and you wait a few seconds before moving again.
"Come with me," You extend your hand out for him to take. He hesitates, and it seems like he doesn't even notice at first, but then he reaches out with his own shaky hand and lets you help him out of bed. Keeping a soothing tone and a slow pace, you start to lead him to the bathroom. "Let's get you cleaned up, yeah?"
When your relationship first got serious, he'd apologize frequently for these terrible episodes, fell off the wagon a few times, and almost pushed you away for good, claiming he was a burden to you, but you've eventually reached this unspoken agreement wherein he realizes that you love him unconditionally— meaning you're not going anywhere. He had never really felt that kind of love growing up, so it was hard for him to accept the mere notion someone else could love him completely like you have.
You have him sit down on the toilet as you run him a bath, not adding anything to it that could possibly stimulate his senses in such a way that would trigger him. After making sure the water is the right temperature, you turn back to see Klaus waiting silently as he stares into space. He starts to mumble incoherently, and you promptly turn off the tap and approach him, bending down so you can make out what he's saying.
"I-I n-need- p-please- I-I can't—"
"No, Klaus," Taking his face in your hands, you gently tilt his head so that you can lock eyes. You don't know whether the current episode is characterized by his post-traumatic stress, or his powers, but you do know for sure that he can get through this, and you're going to help him do it. "You are strong. You don't need any of that, I'm here for you."
He fixes on your beautiful Y/E/C irises, taking in every hue and clinging to the memorized details like a lifeline. Nodding slowly, he lets you help him peel off his garments that have become stuck to his skin due to the perspiration.
You take his hand to walk him over to the tub— even though it's only two steps away, and you help him settle in. He exhales as he lets the warm water release some tension in his muscles. When he's ready, you take out a cloth and start to wipe him down, guiding his body's movements with your other hand as you try to clean away the traces of his panic attack.
All of this is done in silence— a comfortable one wherein you don't need to verbalize how much you care about one another because this moment alone is proof in itself.
The sloshing of the water with every move he makes is reminder of simpler times, and your hands glossing over his skin tells him that there is something he can find comfort in other than toxic substances. Your fingers start to trace idle patterns on his arm as you kneel on the floor. You touch him like he's fragile; like he could break if not handled with enough care. All that is true.
You decide to get him out of the bath before he prunes up or the water gets cold. You're careful not to leave him shivering for too long, wrapping a fresh towel around his tall figure and hugging him tight as you do so.
He still shaken, but seems stable enough, and you take the opportunity to go change the sheets, discard his old clothes, and grab him clean underwear. You do this quickly, without trying to make any noise, because you're scared to leave him alone there. Making your way back, you find him still standing motionless where you left him, and it breaks your heart to see how empty his eyes are. He's nearly catatonic.
Oh, how you wish you could make it all go away forever, and protect him from every possible threat. But you can't, so you just try your best to make him feel safe and loved.
You help him get into his clean clothes, guiding him through the leg holes, and then proceed to wipe away the remaining water droplets. You use the towel to dry his hair the best you can before sitting him on the toilet and pulling out the dryer. His hair dries relatively fast, being short, and you're careful to cover his face with your free hand so you don't burn his skin.
After putting away the hair dryer and hanging up the towel, you kneel down in front of him to meet his eyes that have been trained on the tiled floor. Head tilted upwards, you lock eyes once more, taking notice how some life has returned to his irises. You scan his features for any sign of serious panic, but the worst has passed and you let out a light breath of relief.
"Better?" you ask, and he responds with a small nod. With a soft smile, you caress his face and he melts into your touch, letting it overpower any other sensation.
You stand, prepared to lead him back to bed but before you can, he lurches forward, wrapping his long arms around you and buries his face in your stomach. The initial shock is short, replaced by relief and love as you step between his legs and ruffle his hair. The two of you stay like that for bit, allowing Klaus the time he needs to inhale you, and exhale all the darkness and anxiety.
He eventually pulls back a little, indicating that he's ready to go back to bed and you lead him there by his hand just like when you led him to the bathroom earlier. You lay him down, and press a long soft kiss to his forehead before turning to get your own fresh clothes.
You slip into some new pyjama bottoms, and remove your loose shirt in one swift motion. You're in the process of pulling over a clean shirt when you stop and decide against it.
Leaving the shirt on the floor to be dealt with in the morning, you walk back to the bed where you left him, and you lay on top of him, knowing the pressure makes him feel safe. The sensation of your bare torso's against one another is the most wonderful feeling in the world to Klaus. The skin to skin contact is therapeutic and more calming than anything else to him.
He winds his arms around you, letting his palms rest on your back for a moment before tracing random patterns with his fingertips. This simple gesture is enough to overwhelm you with feelings of pure love, affection, and relief.
Klaus slides a hand up your spine, leaving a behind a trail of shivers until it reaches its destination at the back of your head. Angling his neck, he leans in to press his lips to yours. The kiss is not sensual or wild passionate. It is soft, and it is powerful.
"Thank you," he whispers into your ear, lips brushing over your skin as he speaks.
"I love you."
"I love you more than you'll ever know," he says back as the both of you simultaneously allow yourselves to fall back into the lull of sleep.
Klaus truly feels at peace like this, because he knows that everything's going to be okay, that he's safe, and you're with him.
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Retracted Claws | 03
Genre: Hybrid/Mafia AU, Violence, Angst, Dark Themes, Fluff- Tae is soft for Reader.
Warnings!!!: Implications of past abuse (Mental/Physical/Sexual),
@tattooedbabymin @lunaxmadel @jiminslye @taelzia @shimiory @sabri-na130
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Taehyung woke up feeling sore to put it lamely. If he were to describe it, it felt like a dull pain you’d receive after a child hit you in the same exact place over and over again for 4 hours. A dull, annoying pain that honestly made him want to just go back to sleep until he woke up okay. He was warm when he woke up, and even when he knew why he decided to open his eyes anyway.
Slowly sliding his eyelids up, he came to see the sweater of his that he lent you a couple days ago to sleep in as it pressed against his nose. His face buried in your chest as he held you. Legs still entangled as he remembered doing and neither of you seemed to move an inch since early this morning when he came home. Now it wasn’t just the dull pain ringing in his abdomen that him not want to move, it was the position also. Laying with you so peacefully, who’d ever want to move again if they had the chance to hold you like he was?
He, against his better judgment, nuzzled back into your chest and closed his eyes. He wanted to relax a little longer, just a little longer next to you. He was nearly back to sleep when he heard someone knock at his door. When they peeked inside, they were met with Taehyung glaring over his naked shoulder. The intruder covered his laugh with his palm as he quietly shut the door behind him as he stepped inside. Taehyung rolled his eyes, quite frankly ignoring his friend.
“Tae, it’s nearly 4 in the afternoon. Like it or not, you need to get up.” Taehyung still ignored Jimin. Jimin smirked as he sat at the foot of Tae’s bed. He picked at his fingers, clearing the dirt under his nails, seemingly unbothered. “Namjoon is in the living room.” Taehyung immediately opened his eyes and shot up.
“What?!” Momentarily forgetting he was holding you, he yanked you up with him. In the process, unsurprisingly, jerking you awake. He hissed as he felt the tug of pain in his side. He jumped when you touched his chest, trying to settle him down. He felt guilty for prying you from your sleep; especially since you got so little. Looking down his nose to you, he watched you check his back torso where he bled. It was no surprise he just ripped through your lame excuse of a stitch job. “Why is Namjoon here?” He asked Jimin while still looking at you.
“I gave him a call at the office this morning obviously. He brought all of his stuff after I explained the situation to him. So, hurry up, get out of bed and head down.” Taehyung groaned as he plopped his head down on your shoulder. You unconsciously pushed his bangs back, then turned to speak to Jimin.
“Who’s Namjoon?” Jimin smiled as he moved to sit cross-legged in front of you two.
“Namjoon is Taehyung’s personal physician. He treats his injuries directly when they come to the point professional medical treatment is required.” You nodded, though not understanding a lot of what just came out of his mouth. Once again being reminded of your very limited education and knowledge.
“Can.. can I meet him too? I’d like to apologize for my attempt at helping. What if I just made it worse?!” Taehyung smiled and shook his head, still resting on your shoulder.
“You just did what I asked you to. Don’t worry. He’s not a bad man.” You nodded as Jimin hopped off the bed.
“Well,” he started as he clapped. “I’ll go down and tell him you’re on your way with Y/n.” thus, without any further words from either himself or Taehyung, he was bouncing out of the room with a laugh. Sometimes, Taehyung can’t wrap his head around the man and friend that was Park Jimin.
Taehyung felt you slip away from him before he stopped your advances and pulled you back to his hip. That is before he decided to sling your legs over his lap and hold you around your waist. Smiling and resting his face in your neck. You felt heat creep up your neck and your face as your ears swapped between flattening and twitching. Your tail unconsciously wrapping around his mid-section. He chuckled at the way your tail tickled his skin.
“Taehyung, we need to see your- uh... Physician?” You semi-asked as he chuckled.
“He’s my doctor, Y/n.” Your ears perked up now finally understanding.
“Then we need to go downstairs.” Yet, he still didn’t budge. He wrapped his hand around your waist, slipping his hands under your- his- sweater. He smiled at the feeling of your soft skin under his thumbs as he rubbed minuscule circled on your hips. He just pushed his head further under your chin and let his lips ghost at your neck. A habit he’s starting to create and doesn’t plan on quitting.
“Just a few more minutes. It’s their fault for disturbing us.” He teased as you sat on silence with him. All without argument.
It must have been 10 minutes later that Taehyung’s bare-chested body entered the living room. His arm slung around your shoulder as he limped into sight. Jimin and a man you didn’t recognize sat on the couch. Jimin hissed at his friend’s state while the other man just sighed and cradled his head.
“You know, you could act like your actually concerned,” Taehyung hissed at the stranger.
“My worry is running thin, Taehyung.” The man got up and approached you both. You flinched, he was taller than you expected from when he was slouched on the couch. He shifted his gaze to you and you almost felt small. Well- smaller under his gaze. Taehyung said he wasn’t a bad man and you trusted him, but his stature frightened you.
“Good afternoon, sir,” you practically whimpered, locking your eyes to your bare feet. Taehyung saw you gnaw at your lip and watched your eyes shake as you slightly tried to keep your body from trembling. He nudged you to look back up, show the fear that it doesn’t have to control everything you do. You're still for a moment more before lifting your eyes back up.
The man was smiling at you.
He bent down to your eye level and introduced himself with that same smile, the deep dimples in his cheeks.
“Hello dear. You’re Y/n, right? Jimin told me a lot about you.” You nodded your head at him. “My name is Kim Namjoon. I’m Taehyung’s personal physician. Do you know what ‘physician’ means, Y/n?” You brightened up and nodded. Having just learned so.
“You’re his doctor, right?” Namjoon nodded.
“Correct. Very smart.” Taehyung watched you smile to yourself. Namjoon was good at what he did. He wasn’t just skilled in a profession for helping others with injuries or sickness, he was good at reading people. Judging from a professional standpoint what they may or may not know and how to speak to them accordingly. He was able to make people believe in themselves and raise their spirits with just a smile and a simple question. Sometimes, Taehyung thought he was some sort of psychic, not just a doctor.
The small greeting of you and Namjoon lastest as long as it could before Taehyung winced against and you were quick to get him to the couch, not too far from Jimin. You, as gently as you could, placed him on the cushions as Jimin whistled at the display of your strength.
“Being able to carry him here is impressive. You’re strong for a girl.” You blushed, not use to hearing something like that. You’ve always been scrutinized for your above human strength, so you always tried to manage it. Keeping it to somewhat normal levels for what you’d assume a human girl would possess. Or that’s what you told yourself when you were tied up and unable to move in the dead of night and blindfolded by a stranger.
You were dragged out of your thought when Jimin hissed. Taehyung had kicked him, knocking his shin with his heel. Jimin pulled his leg up and cradled it as Taehyung rolled his eyes before craning his head back.
“You’re not allowed to make her red. Knock it off.” Taehyung stated and Jimin was silent before he laughed at him. What a pathetic display of jealousy. Taehyung had seen your eyes shift, something they do when you start remembering the pain. They go distant, almost like they can’t reflect anymore. Lost. He didn’t like it, he hated it to be honest. So many more words can be used to describe the lost look you get or the nightmares you have because of the past. He resents the humans who touched you. Loathed the looks he was sure they gave you. He fumes vehemently at the thought of you being bound or tied, all while you bit your tongue. Knowing you couldn’t cry for help is the one thing he can’t stand above all else.
Namjoon, who hadn’t seen Taehyung nearly so possessive, let alone compassionate, let his lips lift up. He shook his head as he exhaled through his nose, gaining the injured’s attention with a tick of his brow.
“What’s so funny?” Namjoon just turned his back and open a case he had on the table. A large doctors bag filled with lord knows what.
“Oh, nothing. Just witnessing things that I’d thought I’d never get to. You really do know how to grow up, huh Taehyung?” If he wasn’t older than Taehyung and Taehyung didn’t respect him so much, he would’ve kicked him square in the back. However, he didn’t. “Oh, you’re learning self-control too?” Seems Namjoon expected that same kick he was tempted to still throw.
“I’m happy to deliver if that was a request,” Taehyung seethed. Namjoon only chuckled as he shook his head and dug a few things out of his bag. You sat next to Taehyung, knees together as you leaned on them, more than a little curious as to what Namjoon was going to pull out next. Taehyung watched your curiosity play in your eyes and twitch in your ears. It was endearing.
Soon, Namjoon was asking for your place on the couch. It was the closest possible area to be when his objective was to properly fix Tae up. You nodded, hopping up and standing you moved to stand behind the couch. Taehyung’s eyes followed you until he couldn’t see you anymore. Instead, he felt your presence behind him. He lazily reached his hand behind him and you took it without hesitation.
It was an odd sensation. Taehyung just wasn’t able to calm down unless you were in his sight or at the very least, he was touching you in some way. He almost felt vulnerable. Just what have you been doing to him to make him this addicted to you? He was almost ready to do some soul searching, that is until Namjoon decided that spraying on a little antiseptic spray was necessary.
Taehyung winced and unconsciously went to slap the stupid little spritz bottle away with his free hand. Fuming a little more than necessary. Namjoon was more than ready for the reaction he got and pulled his bottle away in time to pen his arm down with his free on and continue on the disinfecting sprays.
“Honestly,” Namjoon started as he let go of Taehyung’s arm and placed the small plastic cap back on the bottle. “Even children can handle a little antiseptic spray. You can take a gunshot, but not this?” Taehyung rolled his eyes.
“Spare me. I think you very well know that when you get shot shock is one hell of a drug. As opposed to you spraying me with your fucking stinging cleaner in a cup.” Sure, Namjoon could give him that. He was still a little baby though. “I’m not a baby!”
“I didn’t realize I said that out loud.”
“You didn’t. It was written all over your stupid face you fake doctor.”
“I can acknowledge you calling my face stupid out of jealousy, but I’m quite offended you still persist on calling me a fake. You literally stole my medical certificate from me in spite when I graduated.” You gasped.
“Taehyung!” You scolded. Silence fell. Taehyung looked back at you, surprised to hear you raise your voice. Okay, so that’s something else he learned about you. That look in your eye, the one that was unsure and wavering. You didn’t like stealing. That could be problematic, given his line of work.
“Don’t worry, I gave it back,” Taehyung reassured you as he squeezed and waved around your hand a bit.
“Yeah, after Jimin cracked your safe open.” Jimin laughed at the memory. The face of Taehyung’s shock when he saw his best friend break into one of his many safes still tickles his ego from time to time. Jimin still kept some secret skills to himself, just so he can make Taehyung fall flat from time to time. It was always worth the secrecy.
“You both suck,” was Taehyung’s ever-strong retort. What a child.
The room finally fell into silence as the back and forth banter quite. Namjoon had taken a pair of tweezers, plucking out the torn threads from before that still remained in Taehyung’s skin. A bit more cleaning and something to numb the area and he was threading his own stitching needle. Jimin had excused himself for a bit, not specifying why in particular, only saying he wouldn’t be too long.
You stayed put, standing behind the couch and gripping Taehyung’s hand. You stood shocked when Namjoon started pushing the needle into the skin and pulling it back together. Taehyung didn’t even flinch, just stared blankly forward. He looked almost bored.
Taehyung was used to this portion of his life. Having Namjoon put him back together physically. He used to feel like wich each cut or bullet wound, he’d lose part of himself. His humanity flowing away with his escaping blood. With each stitch Namjoon laced into him, he’d lose the chance to ever get that humanity back. Now though, things were different. As he let Namjoon sew him up, he let you make him whole again just by keeping your hand tucked into his.
The process was boring at best. It wasn’t very long before Namjoon was finishing up and wrapping Taehyung’s entire waist in a new, clean bandage. He gave him a bottle of pain medicine, Taehyung being more than little familiar with them. Namjoon stood as he looked at you.
“Y/n, a favor?” You gave him your attention. “Taehyung is good at skipping medical doses. Keep him on it until the bottle empties for me, would you?” You smiled and nodded at him.
“I don’t need to be monitored for the medication you know,” Namjoon rolled his eyes.
“I beg to differ.”
“You’re impossible.” Namjoon shook his head as he hoisted his back up his shoulder. JImin came back into the living room just in time to walk Namjoon out. The two left as you leaned over the couched back slightly.
“Um, so you don’t like medicine?” He blew out of his lips.
“What person like’s medicine?” That’s unfair, you didn’t even know what medicine tastes like. Was it a bother to take it? Did it taste bad?
“What does it taste like? Is it bad or something?” Taehyung looked up behind him to you. You really didn’t know?
“Have you never had to take medicine before? Come to think, when I first brought you home, you fought off the fever all on your own.”
“I don’t get sick easy, so I’ve never taken any.”
You shrugged it off, much like a lot of the twists and shortcuts Taehyung seemed to display over the course of you staying with him. The day continued as it should have. Taehyung hobbled to where he needed to be, you sticking to his side when you knew he was pushing himself and helping him whenever he needed it. Truth be told, it was almost annoying him.
No, it wasn’t you that teetered his patience. It was the sole fact he got hurt enough just walking around and doing what he should be in his own home became a task for two. He wasn’t handicapped, he wasn’t disabled, he wasn’t some helpless child who needed a crutch for every step he took. He was a grown ass man who could carry himself, but you wouldn’t let him. It wasn’t your fault, you didn’t know how to react to someone being hurt and not completely refusing you.
Taehyung, however, didn’t have much practice with patience. Come nightfall, he was already ready to completely be by himself.
He ran the sink as he leaned over the counter in his bathroom. Looking at his bare chest in the mirror as his damp bangs hung over his lidded eyes. He looked at the bandage around his waist, hiding and protecting the wound he suffered. When he really got down to it, that was his first wound in which he took for someone else. He took it for you, in your honor so to speak. He only received it because the people who dealt it showed you harm.
His sweats hung low on his waist as the sink continued to run and drain continuously as he stood in silence. Taehyung heard the sound of his bedroom door open and close faintly as he sighed in annoyance. It was just you who had entered he was sure, but some solitude was all he wanted.
You had entered his room, a small knock before entering as per usual. He wasn't sat on the bed like you left him minutes ago while you went to your own room to change. You had planned on just putting him to bed, but Namjoon stopped you down the hall to ask if he could check up on Taehyung’s condition. It’s only been a day, but he had figured he'd change the bandages and check up on him despite the short time span.
You asked Namjoon to wait down in the foyer for you as you went to tell Taehyung. Hearing the water in the bathroom you walked over and knocked a few times. He didn’t answer, so you knocked again. Perhaps he didn’t hear you? When he didn’t answer for the second time, you knocked louder yet again and spoke up.
“Taehyung?” That resulted in a response, though not one you really wanted. He quickly yanked open the door, starling you in the first place. You quickly rose your arms, you don’t know why exactly, but raising your arms felt like the only thing to do when someone so quick and unexpected happened. From the dark look on his face, your first thought that maybe something happened. Maybe, he had hurt himself or something. “Are you-”
“I’m fine,” he hissed at you. You flinched at his tone. Why.. why was he being so hostile? “Go away,” he demanded as he limped past you into his room to his desk. You were frozen for a moment, his words felt dull.
You turned slowly to see his back lean over his desk, lifting his laptop up to power on the screen. You watched the swirling circle of his loading screen as your eyes seem to follow the rotations. It was like hypnosis, maybe it would you drown out his harsh words. You thickly swallowed as you pawed at your nightshirt that hid the pair of shorts under them.
“Taehyung? Um Nam-” He shut you up as he slammed a book from his shelf down onto the desktop. You squeaked as he looked at you over his shoulder. His hair hiding a portion of his eyes that gazed at you. Only, he wasn’t gazing at you, he was glaring at you. He was shooting direct anger towards you, and you felt your chest constrict. His blonde hair seemed to darken in the room that wasn’t even hardly dark at all. The aura he emitted, it scared you.
“Do I need to repeat myself?” He coldly asked. You opened your mouth to respond, maybe even apologize, but he clearly didn’t want you to speak at all. He whirled around and somehow moved quicker than he had all day to stand at your toes. He gripped your bicep and began to drag you towards the door. You were forced to stumble quick backward, holding his back to keep from falling as he soon pushed you against the wall by the door.
The light switch dug into your back as you winced. His grip still on your arm was painful. Tight and pinching. You acted on complete impulse as you tried to pry his hand off your arm. He didn’t seem to like it very much.
“Get your hands off me!” He damn near screamed as he smacked your hand off his wrist, your claws marking his skin with vibrant red, raised skin. “I’m your owner, so act like the obedient pet you are and leave me be!” His voice, with no surprise, brought company. The door to his room swung open, and while you were safe from it to the side, Taehyung was knocked in the shoulder and shoved backward by the force in which the door was opened without any pretense.
He fell back onto his ass on the carpeted floor of his room as you slumped against the wall, sliding down to sit on the ground. You hugged your arms around yourself, shaking. Taehyung, he never showed you such negativity. The situation of being helpless under a man yet again, it brought back too much too quickly. Your brain was running like an out of control blender that shreds anything placed into it until it breaks. Until you break.
Namjoon was the furious body who stormed inside, curious as to why you were taking so long to get Taehyung ready when he heard his friend's loud voice. When he saw he knocked Taehyung flat, he turned to see what had happened to you, but couldn’t as you were soon scrambling to your feet and out of the room.
“Y/n! Wait!” Namjoon yelled as he ran to the hall to see you run down the stairs and in the distant sound of the foyer below, Taehyung’s front door opened and slammed shut immediately thereafter. “Fuck,” he cursed as he walked over to Taehyung’s body that just lay on the floor.
Taehyung was unresponsive, yet still very much awake. He stared blankly up at the ceiling at his mind was as blank as his stare. His side hurt, he could feel the skin pulsing from the pain as he saw Namjoon stand above him. The older man looked down at him, very much disappointed. Why was he looking at him like that? Had he done something wrong? Namjoon crossed his arms as he lightly pushed the toe of his foot against Taehyung’s side.
Taehyung jolted as the pressure against his wound was anything but gentle. The toe of his boot made Taehyung squirm as he brought his arm over his chest to try and throw Namjoon off him. Then, he saw his wrist. Covered in small scratches and tiny beads of blood dotting them. Like something had scratched him. When did he get those? He looked at his wrist confused before Namjoon slowly started adding more pressure.
“I think you need to relearn how pain feels, Taehyung.” Namjoon seethed as Taehyung was only able to focus on the feeling in his side. The burning pain and the pulsing of his blood around that one area. Yet his mind still reeled and focused on his wrist. What just happened?
You’re not sure why, but you had done exactly what was practically second nature to you at this point. You had forgotten about this feeling in the pit of your stomach the past week. The time you had spent with Taehyung, it made you feel like you were more human than your genes lead you out to believe. He made you feel human. Now, you were confused.
Here you were running again. Running out of his room, out of that house, out of the gates that separated his property from the rest of the city. Just running as fast and as far as your blurred mind would let you go. You don’t know how far you got, or where you managed to get to, but you only stopped when you turned a corner and turned just too short.
Your shoulder hit the side of the wall that you had planned on curving, and you feel ungracefully to the ground. Your cheek hit the ground as your skin tore and stung at the sensation of you dragging it on the hard, scratchy concrete.
Your bare legs and shirt covered torso was far from enough to keep you warm. It was cold out, the wind made sure to keep an ever constant chill in the air. You had no shoes, your hair was windblown and your face was red as your lay just heaving for breath. You were so tired as you lay on the ground. Then, you felt it, a drop of rain splash against your leg.
You remain motionless on the ground as the rain became and soon was coming down at a constant pace. You lay there and let out a shaky breath. It was just like then.
This was just like you were when Taehyung found you. Helpless and fragile, laying in the rain with nothing but a hopeless, lost look in your eyes. Then, that house came into your mind. That house with all those men who controlled you, all those eyes that tainted you, all those hands that touched. Maybe if you…
“No…!” You whimpered to yourself as you curled in further. Bringing your knees up to your chin as you curled and your tail flattened against your legs and ears hid into your rain-wet hair. You covered your ears as you tried to shut out the thoughts. The temptation. The urge to go back to that house. You shook, in both fear and cold.
The weather seemed to always reflect your emotions. When you went out with Taehyung o the mall only a few days ago, you were so happy. You felt so warm, and the sun shone so brightly that day. No cloud for miles and miles, yet by the time you got home that night, scared and involved in a gunfight, the sky had grown cloudy and grey.
You soon lifted your head and pushed yourself up. Moving to stand on your weak, wobbling legs you managed a semi-straight line of direction. You were so lost, nowhere to go and have no clue where to stay. Your eyes lost any hope of glimmer that had started to regain while in Taehyung’s arms.
“I’m your owner, so act like the obedient pet you are and leave me be!”
“A… pet?” You looked at your hands, your claws. You felt your ears twitch atop your head and felt your tail flick with sorrow. “Yes,” you muttered, “I am a pet. I should do as I’m told. I can’t… go back.” So, you started off, where you had no idea. Just away, away like your Master ordered you to.
You had walked further than you knew when you finally hit a point you needed to stop. You were sopping wet, hair mat and ears completely flattened. Your shirt clung to you as you dripped rain. You stepped under a canopy, looking inside a store. You backed up into the rain again, looking up to read the sign in neon lights. Though, you saw no reason why it would matter, not like you could actually read it.
The word ‘LIQUOR’ was foreign to you. Yet, the smell coming from beneath the front door seemed familiar. You didn’t go inside, you wouldn’t. A group of younger men were inside the store, you saw beyond the glass. They held bottles of something as they joked with the cashier. They must’ve been friends. Then, one of them noticed you.
He pointed at you as the others followed his line of sight and notice the pathetic, soaked hybrid girl standing outside the store’s main window. With a bit more conversation, three men left the checkout, then the store and soon you were lazily looking up to them as they stood in front of you.
“Scram,” the one in front of you said. You tilted your head slightly. “What are you, deaf or nothing?” You looked down.
“No, sir,” you whispered. He moved and violently grabbed a fist full of your hair. He jerked you around.
“Did I tell you to speak to me? Huh, you little hybrid bitch?!” You whimpered as a second men came to your side and looked at the cuff still attached to your ear. You had forgotten about it until he tried to touch it. Your reflexes kicked in as you pulled away from the man who held your hair and swung at the one to your side.
“Don’t touch that!” You weakly screamed as you staggered back away from them into the rain once more. You shivered with the chill that racked your body and refused to leave. You hadn’t felt warm in so long. You breathed heavy and watched as the rain took the fog of breath from you and scattered it into the air. “Don’t… don’t touch my earring.”
Next thing you knew, you were being dragged into the small alley beside the store the men were previously in. A man threw you to the ground as you fell into a puddle as your teeth clenched. You wrapped your arms around your head as you sucked in a handful of water. You choked and coughed as your knee bleed with the impact of the ground and seeped into the water beneath you.
It was so cold. “You raise your voice and hand to a man?! You’re not even human, you shouldn’t raise anything to someone so above you! You may have legal rights, but no one will accept you for who you are you half breed!” One man had thrown his bottle at you, it shattered as it hit your arm and the glass cut into your skin.
You screamed and cried as the onslaught continued. They dug glass into your skin, cutting and carving into you like clay. They kicked at your stomach, hit your head, stomped you into oblivion. It hurts, it hurts so bad! You cried- sobbed- as they continued to beat you. Sentencing you for being different.
After being kicked onto your back and repetitive stomps to your gut, blood dribbled from your lips and down the sides of your face as your squinted upwards. The sky was so high, so cloudy and dark. It was so late by now and the lights from the city made the overcast appear auburn in color.
You reached your cut up arm and shaky hand towards the sky. Your fingers reached towards the clouds, and for what? A prayer, an angle maybe? Maybe if you gave a pleading, begging hand, something would reach out and grab it.
One of the men kicked your wrist, knocking it down above your head where you felt another man hold it there. The restraints, this sensation, it felt familiar. Too familiar it sent a shiver of fear down your spine. Feeling hands creep their way up your ankles to hold you down and a different pair holds your hands above you by your wrists. Finally, the shadow of the third man stood above you. He moved to stand with both feet on either side of your chest, standing straight over you.
He looked down at you, yet you couldn’t make out any details in his face. It was blurry, everything was. He lowered himself, squatting just above your stomach as he rested his elbows on his knees and tilted his head at you. Even as close as he is now, you still couldn’t see his face. Though this was no different than being blindfolded you guessed.
“Enough playing around now, you stupid cat,” he spoke. Your ears were halfway drowned in a puddle of rainwater, and his voice was murky. Dark and disgusting, so much so you wanted to puke. The scent you smelt earlier was so much stronger in his breath and he smelt like smoke and sweat. The pleasant scent of rain did nothing to mask his revolting smell. You coughed slightly and a bubble of blood only came from your lips, splattering on the skin of your neck and dissolving slightly with the rain. You felt stained.
Then, you found yourself screaming.
You felt a sharp pain your shoulder. It stung and almost seemed to sizzle and burn despite the wetness around you. You tried to kick your feet, yet they were held down. Your arms were restrained as you screamed, louder and louder as the pain in your shoulder only got worse and worse. You thrashed your neck around, your hair moving to cover your eyes and face. You were like a bad dream come to life.
Blood gushed from your shoulder from where the assaulter had punctured you with the remnants of the broken glass bottle from earlier. Pulling it out and plunging it back into your skin with twists and turns, your shirt was torn and your skin was visible and so stained with punctures and blood.
“Scream! No one is coming to save you!” He laughed as you did so. All you knew how to do was scream. Tears dripped from your eyes as you tried so hard to thrash, to move, to escape maybe. It hurt and it was so cold. You just screamed and sobbed, weeping into the damp night air.
There you were, assaulted, beaten and trapped by strangers in an ally. Lost and alone without any comfort all while you cried and yelled. You had no more hope left as you let your eyes wonder one last time.
Moving your ears under your hair to look at the window beneath the man who squatted above you, you swore you saw an outline in the front of the ally. You were probably imagining things. Materializing your false hopes, but then the outline spoke.
“What are you doing?!” The three men startled and soon were releasing you immediately to make an escape. The voice was one you hadn’t heard, even muffled by the water in your ears, you didn’t recognize it. You heard them running towards you while the three assaulters ran away with their hypothetical tails between their legs. Yet, while your so-called rescuer came closer, there were two sets of footsteps. Two people were running to your aide.
“Oh my god,” this voice was not the one who was responsible for chasing off your attackers. This was, this voice, was familiar. “Y/n?” It shook with sadness. You moved your frail, tired eyes that still was hidden under your matte, wet hair and a short figure dropped to their knees at your side. You remained still and unmoving as tears still made their way down your face.
The man who dropped to you pushed your hair away, looking at your red stained lips, and cut cheek with your swollen eyes. You heard the man hiccup as if sad for you.
“Jimin, you know this girl?” Your eyes widened at the stranger's voice. This stranger who saved you had just spoken the name of someone you held dear like a friend. You looked at the man at your side as you opened your mouth.
“Jim--in?” Your voice was so hoarse, worn out from screaming and weeping so. It hurt to speak, to swallow, to breathe. Jimin nodded as he reached out and grabbed your hand.
“It's me. I’m here.” He choked. He looked at you. Wet, soaked even, bleeding and hurt. Your eyes looked so dull. “Why are you here?! Y/n, where is Taehyung?!” Your eyes lidded at the mention of the name. Jimin shook his head. “No, it doesn’t matter. We need to get you home.”
“Home?” You questioned as if the word itself was another language. Jimin nodded.
“Yes. Home.” You wished you had more strength, but you didn’t. Your eyes rolled up as you shut them and fell unconscious. “Hey!” Jimin shouted as he looked to the stranger in which he was with. He held an umbrella over his head while Jimin had his hood flipped up. “Come with me. Please help me take her back!” He pleaded to his friend.
“Of course.” He knelt down. “Place her on my back, I’m taller and my shoulders are wider. She’ll stay on my back more and it’s quicker that way. You and lead up back.” Jimin nodded as he gently picked you up. Your shoulder still bled, leaking blood as it stained down the back of your shirt. He placed you on his friend’s back and soon you were hoisted up.
Jimin held you in place on the back of his friend and boss at the Hybrid Rescue Center. The bags under your eyes were deep in darkness as he leads the three of you back to your home. Back to Taehyung’s manor.
In Taehyung’s room, Namjoon had moved Taehyung into his desk chair long ago. He was lecturing him all while his gaze was focused on his wrist. The haze that clouded his mind was gone and like the rain outside, it cleared his thoughts as the memories of what happened no so long ago played in his brain. It ran non-stop, like a horror movie he wasn’t able to shut off.
Taehyung has done awful things his whole life. It’s what his entire existence revolves around. Illegal actions, violence, murder, and theft. Complete operations that takedown organizations and expose secrets of cults or groups. He was the solid and pure definition of a bad man who does awful things. Yet, the fact that he committed that action he did just a while ago wouldn’t leave his conscience.
He called you a pet. He screamed and scolded you. You wanted to take care of him and make sure he was alright. Yet, he acted like the stone-cold killer he is and he acted on impulse. He grabbed you in a way he swore he wouldn’t, he hurt you and scared you. The look of fear in your eyes was stamped on the back of his eyelid. To the point, he was terrified of blinking, because in the split second of blackness that blinking brings, he saw your terrified expression directed solely at him.
That look you gave him was meant for him. You were scared of him.
Taehyung was angry, so angry at himself. He’s never felt a level of such loath for himself before like he’s feeling now. He tugged at his hair, growling at himself as he listened to Namjoon scold and reprimanded him. He deserved it, all the words that were thrown at him and the angry tone of his older doctor’s. So, despite himself, he sat and listened to Namjoon. He sat and waited until Namjoon finished so he could go and be angry at himself, by himself. However, Namjoon never got the chance to truly finish his lecturing when someone plowed into Taehyung’s room.
“Namjoon, are you in here!” Jimin’s cracked voice broke as he saw the two men at Taehyung’s desk. Jimin was bent out of shape and out of breath. His sleeve seemed to be stained as he walked into the room as the doctor met him halfway. Jimin looked at Taehyung’s slumped over body and whispered into Namjoon’s ear something.
“What?!” He screamed and it got Taehyung to perk his head up. Namjoon looked back at the sulking man and Taehyung twitched. The look he received, it was a mixture of so many emotions and feelings. It made his stomach churn. He turned back to Jimin. “Is she downstairs then?”
“Yes, Jin is with her.” Taehyung’s ears perked up, that’s a name hadn’t heard in a while.
“Jin is here?” Namjoon asked and Jimin nodded.
“Please, hurry. It’s bad. Really, really bad,” Jimin pleaded as Namjoon eased him.
“I’m coming.” Jimin nodded as he ran out of the room leaving the door wide open.
Namjoon turned back to Taehyung. “I’m leaving, someone else needs my attention. You’re not bleeding through your bandages and you're mobile enough to take care of yourself for now. Don’t do anything stupid while I’m gone and stay put.” He grabbed his bag of medical supplies and left the room, slamming the door shut. Taehyung starred in a daze.
Someone else needed his attention? Namjoon is a private doctor and as such he had little clients so his schedule is open most times when he is needed. Taehyung being his main client for the past 3 years. Who else could be in such dire need that he should leave? Then, the thought of Jimin being here and asking for him registered.
Perhaps it wasn’t someone Namjoon had actually been assigned to, but someone Jimin knew. Jimin did have quite the social life, so maybe one of his friends had gotten hurt and he was desperate for help. If that was the case though, Jimin is a normal civilian to most eyes, he could easily just go to an ER for help.
All the scenarios he ran through his head just weren’t lining up. Jimin brought some girl back to Taehyung’s home for Namoon to help. So what? There were so many holes in everything he thought up. Why was Jin here, Jimin’s boss? Why did Namjoon look so shocked and give Taehyung a look so charged of emotion? Why did Jimin think to bring back his friend to his manor specifically? All among this, the pit of black resting uneasily in his gut grew. Like there was something going on in his house he didn’t know about.
He looked at his door as he stood up and walked to it. He placed his hand on the doorknob. Namjoon told him to stay put, but who’s to say he would listen? He hadn’t listened to Namjoon before, and this is his house. He could do as he damn well pleases. That was the only thought he could muster as he opened his door into the hall and stepped out.
His bare chest and sweatpants graced the halls as all was silent in this rainy night. Though, the closer he got to the stairway the more he could hear a certain commotion downstairs. He managed to limp down the stairs, one by one as he leaned on the railing. Soon he was heavy in painful breaths as he clutched his side. The sound from earlier was louder and easily pointing him in the direction of his living room.
“It’s not stopping!” Jimin. He was speaking loudly and he sounded panicked let earlier when he came for Namjoon.
“Just press it against her shoulder harder,” that was Namjoon as he directed Jimin.
“I need a new rag. This one has too much blood on it,” That was Jin’s voice. It’s been a while since Taehyung had heard it. He’s only had the chance to meet Jimin’s official boss a handful of times. Apparently, they were very close and often hung out after Jimin’s work hours when he wasn’t at Taehyung’s side.
What was happening just beyond a few walls in his home?
“Just hold on!” Jimin seemed so sad in his voice. Was this mystery person so important to him?
“Jimin, you need to go and get her some new clothes. These are too tattered and are getting in the way. We need to strip her and clean her before we can redress her properly.” Jin had taken over the task Jimin once held and was up to his feet and rushing out of the living room. He stopped short when he came to face Taehyung just around the living room entry corner.
Jimin looked panicked as he looked behind him and then back to Taehyung. He pushed his friend's shoulder.
“Taehyung?!” Namjoon heard this and cursed under his breath. He couldn’t go to help Jimin now, he could only keep hoping he could keep Taehyung out. “What are you- no, you need to go back!” He yelled. Taehyung’s brown furrowed.
“This is my house, don’t give me orders!” He looked over Jimin’s shoulder. “Who’s in my living room?” Jimin stiffened. “I want an answer!” He still didn’t get one as he just shoved Jimin aside.
“No! Tae!” He tried to reach him before he rounded himself into the wide open room, but was too late. Taehyung strode into the room and was barely past the threshold when he stopped walking. Jimin appeared behind him, staring at the back of his friend’s head.
Namjoon had looked over his shoulder at the face of Taehyung before returning his attention back to the issue at hand. Jin knelt on the ground, pressing something against the someone whose face was hidden by his large shoulder width. However, Taehyung could clearly see the cut up legs and torn clothes of the person’s lower body and stomach. He held his gut around his wound as he couldn’t tear his eyes off the motionless tail that hung off the couch cushions under the woman they were working on.
“Namjoon,” Taehyung’s voice shook. “Who is that?” Namjoon stopped momentarily before he sighed and touched Jin’s shoulder. Jin quickly got the message and stepped away for a brief moment to get out of the way of Taehyung’s line of sight. Exposing the face of the mystery woman who was staining his couch.
His knees buckled and he found himself crumbling before he could breathe a word out. His eyes grew and he felt his strength leave him in a single instant. Jimin ran and caught his arm from behind as he supported Tae’s weight. He was numb as he kept his gaze on your face. You were unconscious, red, wet, hurt. Your shoulder dripped blood and he felt his stomach twist violently.
Jimin quickly grabbed a trash bin and pushed Taehyung towards it as Taehyung then almost immediately vomited. He hacked as Namjoon went back to work on you. He cut off the top part of your shirt to properly treat your shoulder. He and thrown a towel over your breasts to keep them hidden from the men’s eyes.
Jin focused on cleaning the smaller cuts on your skin and placing band-aids of all sorts on your body. Using fabric stretching ones, to waterproof to even the stupid Hello Kitty ones he kept in his briefcase for ‘emergency papercuts’. He deemed that you needed them more than himself.
Jimin sat with Taehyung as he kept himself weak on the living floor, face hovering over the putrid-smelling trash bin as he felt his eyes sting. He gripped the bin as if he was holding onto his sanity as Jimin rubbing his back. He couldn’t think to begin what was going on threw Taehyung’s mind. Namjoon had explained quickly the scene in which he broke up and lead to Y/n running out.
There was no way to sugar coat that this was Taehyung’s fault. His harsh words lead Y/n to leave and subsequently lead to her current condition. Jimin knew that, Namjoon and Jin knew that and even Taehyung knew that. It was all Taehyung could think about. Nothing seemed to matter at the moment than his own sins he just forced onto the small shoulders of someone he held so precious.
Taehyung wasn’t sure how long he stayed on the floor. When he knew that he was safe from any further puking, he moved to lean against the wall. He watched mindlessly as Namjoon worked and soon he had taken you somewhere with Jimin and Jin. Taehyung felt like a statue, unable to move and have zero free will. He felt frozen in time.
He was fading in and out of unconsciousness when someone touched his shoulder. He lazily looked up and saw Jimin. It was brighter in the room than before? Jimin had a different change of clothes on too.
“You slept here all night, you must be sore.” Taehyung remained silent at his words. Jimin sighed as he picked Tae off the floor and dragged him up the stairs and into his room. He pushed him into the washroom and instructed him to take a shower to clear his head.
The shower did nothing of the sort. He still felt as cloudy as he did beforehand. His mind was like the steam-fogged mirror he stared blankly at. He left his washroom with a towel around his waist and water dripping from his hair. There in his room was Jimin, sitting at his desk. He looked at his friend before he pointed at the pile of clothes on his bed.
“Get dressed,” he instructed. Taehyung felt like a mindless doll as he did as he was told. Putting on jeans with frayed holes in the thighs and a white t-shirt along with a green windbreaker he finished by towel rubbing his head. He wished that scrubbing at his hair would knock some sense into him. Dropping the towel on the ground, Jimin got up. “Taehyung, I want to tell you where I found Y/n.”
“I heard what you said and what you did from Namjoon, and frankly I’m not happy with it all. I know it’s part of you and it’s in your blood, but you need to learn restraint. Don’t forget, I’m responsible for Y/n’s belonging to you. As an agent for the HRC, I have the right to take her away as well.”
Taehyung looked over his shoulder, glaring at Jimin. “That sounds an awful lot like a threat.” He hissed as Jimin faced him with a glare as angry as the one he received.
“It is.” Taehyung clenched his fist as Jimin continued. “She was across the city by the Liquor store down by the HRC building. If I hadn’t stayed late and walked home with Jin, I wouldn’t have found her. If I hadn’t, Namjoon says she would’ve died Taehyung.” Taehyung hated hearing that it made his blood freeze and boil over in his body like he was going into shock. “If she had been found dead, you would’ve been considered an accomplice to her murder. It was your indiscretion that caused this.”
“I know that already. Did you really wait around to tell me something I already figured out?”
“No. I came to ask if you wanted to see her. She’s already awake.” Taehyung spun around.
“She’s okay?!” Jimin felt a wave of relief wash over him when he saw the glossy look in Taehyung’s eyes. It seems that the overwhelming state of anger was gone and he was solely concerned for Y/n well being. He moved to Jimin’s front, grabbing his arms as his side ached with a dull pain. “I want to see her, I need to see her please.” Taehyung bowed his head as he pushed it against Jimin’s chest. “Please, I’m begging you to let me see her.”
Jimin was speechless as he smiled at the top of his friend’s head. “Well, color me impressed. It seems you are capable of asking for something.” He huffed out a breath of positive air. He knew it was going to be okay now. “Very well, let’s go. She’s in her room with Namjoon.” The two left and Jimin soon stood in front of your door and knocked. “It’s me. I have Tae with me.”
“Come in.” Jimin opened the door and Namjoon and you were in sight. Namjoon sat on your bedside with an almost completely unrolled batch of bandages with blood soiled ones at his feet on the floor. You sat up, eyes closed as he rotated your arms. “Sorry, I know it hurts,” he said easily to you.
“It’s okay,” your voice was still not up to 100%. You were handed water by Jimin who pounced to your side. You thanked him and took small sips as Namjoon had instructed you too. Drinking too much too quickly would upset the stomach. You gave the glass back to Jimin as you looked at Taehyung in the doorway. He seemed to flinch at your gaze.
It didn’t understand. The way you were looking at him, it didn’t seem harsh at all. You should be looking at him with anger and hatred for what he’s done. But, your eyes showed only sadness and guilt. He knew you, he knew you were probably blaming yourself for something and it made him feel all the worse.
“Namjoon, Jimin,” Taehyung called. “May we have a moment alone?” The two nodded as they left you both alone, shutting the door behind them. Taehyung moved and walked slowly to stand at your side, looking down at you.
You couldn’t look up into his eyes right now. So, you focused your eyes on your hands that rested on your lap.
“How is your side?” You asked him.
“I need to tell me you hate me,” he told you. He didn’t give you an answer to your question, instead spit that out of his mouth. You moved to look up at him. His face was soft and his eyes glistened as his fists balled at his sides. You looked at him with furrowed and inquisitive brows.
“I spoke out of line and drove you away. In turn, I’m responsible for all your pain. I’m the direct cause of all of this,” he looked at your shoulder. You must be in such pain. Seeing the small band-aids covering you and all the bruises that you had on display with only a tank top on. “So, please don’t look at me like you still care about me.”
“I do though. I would never stop caring.” He grits his teeth as he fell to his knees at your bedside and placed his palms on your mattress.
“Don’t lie to spare my feelings,” he ducked his head so his face was out of your sight. “I can’t accept that as the reality of things.” Taehyung wasn’t familiar with the action of forgiveness. He felt like he needed to be dammed for what he’s done. Yet, all you did was moved your hand to place it on his head.
“I wouldn’t lie. I promised to be truthful the moment you let me stay here. I’m still your hybrid.” You pet his head as you felt him tense up. “You’re my owner, my Master. I am your hybrid, and that I will stay. I belong to you.” He shook his head. You were your own person, and he wished he could go back and take what he said to you back.
“You belong to no one,” he said. It was quiet for a while as you soothed Taehyung. “Y/n, would you let me hold you again?” You smiled as gave him a small ‘yes’ in reply. He was soon climbing onto your bed and sitting behind you, shifting you forward from the headboard to rest against it instead.
He wrapped his arms around your waist as he pushed his lips against your injured shoulder. His legs were propped up on either side of you under your covers as you leaned against him. It was like you weren't’ scared of him at all, but the look on your face just yesterday told him you were.
You leaned against him as you felt him start to tremble. According to Jimin, Taehyung was actually very vulnerable. If he allows himself to get too attached, then the feelings he projects onto someone are strong. Yet, he’s still unfamiliar with so much. His life was cold and he has been living as nothing more than a cold-blooded mafia killer for so long. Of course, Jimin didn’t justify Taehyung’s actions with that reasoning, but he asked if you could forgive him.
“Your shoulder must hurt a lot.” She spoke softly. You nodded as you closed your eyes. He was so warm.
“Taehyung, would you let me stay here?” Taehyung tightened his grip around you as he kissed your shoulder over and over again along the bandage. He trembled as he tightly held you flush against his chest.
“Please do,” he whispered. The dampness on your bandage you felt leek onto your skin wasn’t from any blood that may be pushing from underneath it. It was the result of the salty tears Taehyung shed. “Please stay. I won't- I won’t ever yell at you again. So please, stay with me.” He took a shaky breath. “I don’t want to be alone again.” You nodded.
“I know. I don’t either.” You smiled as you turned to see the side of his face at your shoulder. His eyes shined with his tears as you gently pushed your lips to his cheek. His eyes widened as you looked at you. You smiled widely at him, feline fangs on display for him as your ears perked up with happiness. “I’ll stay. Don’t worry.”
- Pt. 4?-
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19.“Please don’t let me be alone.” with Billy please, my love
It had finally happened. You had told Billy the first time he had ever crawled through your bedroom window with a busted face and bruised chest that his father was going to hurt him bad one day. You’d been trying to convince Billy to move in with you. You wanted him away from his father, away from the pain and abusive words that were flung at him. You had gotten together the last few months of high school and your fling had turned into something much more serious over the past year.
Max had called you in a panic, she had told you the fight was worse than normal and you really needed to come. You could hear smashing and hollering in the background as Max talked hurriedly and in a frightened voice. You had gotten off the phone with her after telling her to get out of the house and drove over there as fast as you could. You parked crookedly behind Billy’s Camarao and flew out of your car and up the path that lead to their porch. You heard commotion in the house and slammed the door open to see Billy laying on the floor by the fireplace while his father struck him repeatedly. You noticed instantly how little Billy was reacting and the blood smearing his face. His arms were up in a weak attempt to protect his face.
“Get off him!” You hollered and grabbed Neil, ripping him away from Billy, only managing to knock him back by taking him off guard. You moved passed Neil and knelt on the floor near Billy. “Baby? Baby, can you hear me?” You whimpered as you brushed Billy’s hair out of his face. You cried out as he looked at you in a dazed way and blood and spit was smeared across his cheek. You leaned your forehead against his temple and closed your eyes tightly. “You’re going to be okay,” you breathed.
“What the hell are you doing here?!” You heard Neil holler and stood up, turning to face him, your eyes wild. “Get out of my house!” You felt Billy’s hand weakly touch the back of your leg, cautioning you, worryingly.
“You should be fucking arrested for this!” You shouted at Neil and angrily grabbed the vase full of shells that sat on the mantel, hurling it at him. He dodged it and looked at you, his eyes furious but you threw the other vase at him and hit him. “Get out! Get out!” You screamed as you continued to throw things in Neils direction and finally grabbed the fire poker, holding it threateningly. “Get the fuck out!”
“This is my fucking house! I’m not leaving!” Neil said. “I should call the Sheriff on you!”
“Yeah, why don’t you? I’m sure Sheriff Hopper would love to hear what you would have to say after he talks to me!” You shouted before you backed up behind Billy, he had slowly sat himself up but he still looked confused and you could tell he was dizzy. You leaned down and wrapped an arm around his middle. “Grab my neck, baby,” you whispered to him and he did, slowly. “I’m gonna help you stand,” you explained and he nodded weakly. You continued to aim the fire poker at Neil as you groaned, helping Billy stand as he leaned heavily on you. “Back up!” You shouted when Neil took a step towards you.
“If you take him out of here, don’t you ever step foot in this house again!” Neil warned as he pointed at you, glaring.
Billy clung to you weakly and swayed a little on his own two feet. His arm was around your neck but the other tried gripping at the front of your shirt without much success, smearing his blood on the light fibers. “Neil? Move,” you said, your eyes were literally begging. You wanted to get Billy out of the house and you knew if Neil really wanted to, he could stop you.
“Don’t ever bring him back here,” was all Neil said before he threw his hands up and walked back to his room, slamming the door.
“Babe,” Billy mumbled, his voice sounding distant and off.
“It’s okay, baby. Come on, we’re going to go to my house,” you told him before you dropped the fire poker. You got a better grip on him before slowly trying to lead him to the door.
“Your house?” Billy asked as his head rolled back and his eyes closed for a moment.
“Yes, babe. My house,” you said worriedly. You realized Billy really did seem out of it and you didn’t like it. You wanted so badly to take him to the hospital but Billy had made you promise months ago that you never would in these situations. He didn’t want the questions or more problems with his father. He had said if you wouldn’t promise him that he wouldn’t come to your house anymore when he was hurt, you had had no choice.
You managed to get Billy out of the door and nearly had to completely hold him up when you got down the steps. “Baby, I need to take you to the hospital.” You tried as he swayed dangerously and almost fell to the ground, taking you with him. “You could have a concussion.”
“No,” Billy slurred and one of his legs almost gave out. “I’m f-fine,” he argued and you saw his eyebrows scrunch together even with his eyes closed.
“Baby, you’re not fine,” you told him as he fell against your car and you held him there before getting open your passenger side door.
“I said, ‘I’m fine,’ dammit!” Billy hollered in a moment of lucidity. He dropped into your seat after that and looked dazed again and worn out. You bit your lip and closed the door before going around to get in. “I’m sorry,” Billy mumbled quietly. “I-I shouldn’t have yelled.”
You didn’t speak as you started the car and backed away from his Camaro before turning around. Billy knew you didn’t like to be yelled at, you despised it. He had learned early in your relationship that if he yelled, you left. You had finally explained to him that your father would yell at you often and you wanted no part in a relationship where your man would yell at you the same way. Billy had been doing his best to stop himself from ever yelling at you.
Billy silently leaned back in his seat and seemed to rest his eyes for a moment. You glanced over before shaking his leg a little. “Hey, hey, hey,” you said and saw his eyes open a bit. “No sleeping until I can get a look at you. If you have a concussion you need to stay awake.”
“Okay,” was all Billy said before he leaned up a little in the seat. He seemed to try and focus on the road but he kept scrunching his eyes shut and rubbing at them.
“Almost there,” you assured after a few minutes. He stayed awake until you pulled in at your apartment and got out. He slowly got himself out but was leaning on the car heavily. “Let’s get you inside before someone sees you,” you said and wrapped your arm around his middle as his arm came over your shoulders.
You managed to get him inside and helped him up the stairs to your apartment. When someone passed in the hall Billy kept his head down until you got the door open and helped him in. Once the door was shut and he wasn’t in public his knees nearly gave out and you stumbled to keep him up, his loud boots scuffing the floor.
“Baby, baby,” you said, slightly panicked that you would drop him. “Bathroom. We’re gonna get you in the tub.”
“The tub?” He mumbled, his eyes dipping closed as a look of confusion covered his features.
“Yeah. Take a nice warm bath?” You said, hoping he would agree to it so you could wash him up and hopefully relieve some of his aching.
“Yeah, sounds nice,” he slurred and you guided him to your bathroom. You managed to set him down on the closed toilet but winced at the loud bang as he dropped onto it. After seeing him sit okay for a moment you turned to start his bath.
You were knelt down on the floor, pulling his boots off when you noticed him staring at you. “What’s up, babe?”
“Are you mad at me for yelling at you?” Billy asked after a moment, his head was still back against the wall and his voice still sounded tired and not completely like Billy yet.
“No, baby. I’m not mad,” you said honestly as you undid his belt and pants. “You apologized,” you reminded. You reached up and started unbuttoning his shirt after pulling it out of the waist of his jeans.
“I still shouldn’t yell,” he mumbled, seeming to be scolding himself. “You’re my girl.”
You smiled sweetly at Billy as you helped him sit up so you could remove his shirt. You pulled him up to slide down his pants and boxers and helped him step out of them. “Okay, let’s get you in the tub.”
Getting Billy into the tub was nerve racking but luckily he was aware enough to lower himself down carefully. You watcher him for a moment as he seemed to relax and rest. “I’m gonna go grab you something to drink.”
You had turned and only managed one step towards the door when the sound of moving water hit your ears. “Please don’t let me be alone!” Billy asked quickly and when you turned you saw a worried expression on his face.
You didn’t know if you should smile because Billy wanted you near or worry. “Okay, babe. I’m here,” you said, kneeling back down beside the tub and resting your arms on it. Billy’s hand came out of the tub and he held the back of your neck, dampening it a little. You looked into his eyes and he looked back into yours. He stared and seemed like he wanted to say something for a moment but it passed.
You helped clean the blood from Billy’s face gently, it took sometime as it was dried on a bit now but you didn’t want to hurt his bruised flesh. You gently washed his back and massaged as you went, hoping to calm him and frowning as you found harsh red spots you had to avoid. Billy was leaning up in the tub with his eyes rested as you did your best to make him feel better in anyway you could.
“I want,” Billy began before he seemed to lose what he was thinking.
“What, baby?” You asked and unplugged the drain, letting the dingy water out of the tub now that Billy was cleaned up. He remained quiet so you simply helped him stand. You turned on the shower and checked the temperature before having Billy stand under the spray, rinsing off the dirty water. He washed his own hair as he seemed to be thinking and you turned to grab him a towel.
“I want to move in,” he said finally as you helped him out of the tub. This surprised you and it showed clearly on your face. “I mean, only if that’s still okay,” he tried backstepping a little.
“Of course it’s still okay,” you told him as he wrapped the towel around his waist. “I just want you to be sure about it,” you explained. You knew Billy was still a little out of it. He was just seeming to come around and though you thought him moving in was a good idea with everything that had happened, you worried he would change his mind in the morning.
“I’m sure,” he said quietly before wrapping his arms around you, pulling you into his warm chest. You wrapped your arms around his damp back and rested your head on his shoulder, feeling the occasional bead of water drip from his hair. “No one has ever cared for me like you do,” he quietly admitted. Truth be told, Billy had been scared for his life until he had seen you at his house. You stood between him and Neil without a single thought for yourself. You had fought his father away from him and protected him and Billy wasn’t going to forget it. “I love you,” he finally whispered.
Billy had never uttered those words to you before and the swelling that began in your chest seemed like it wouldn’t stop. You pulled back a little and looked at him before pressing a small kiss to his lips. “I love you too,” you told him and when the words left your lips he kissed you.
“I guess my dads good for something, huh?” Billy said quietly after with an awkward smirk.
“I wouldn’t go that far,” you said but gave him a small smile. “Come on,” you said, taking his hand. “Let’s get you in bed.”
Tag List: @shieldmaiden25 @buckysjuicyplums
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Just A Boy
Also on Ao3 ... made for @jemariel
graphic violence warning
“Just be a normal dad,” a thirteen year old Dean said jokingly as John drove him to school. It was the first time in a week that John had been here to drive Dean and Sam to school. Sam was already at elementary. Now it was just the two of them.
“A normal dad,” John laughed. “Ouch.”
“You know what I mean.”
“Sure. You want me to tease you and embarrass you like normal dads do,” John laughed. It was the first time in a long time that he had laughed so easily. It was contagious. Dean laughed too. “Do you like anyone?” John grinned.
He was rewarded with his son turning a fantastic shade of crimson. He glanced between Dean and the road.
“Well,” Dean said after an excruciatingly long moment of his face burning brighter and brighter, “there’s just this boy…”
The car fell silent. It had never been this silent. Dean swallowed, his smile gone. The blush remained but it was draining as he stared at his dad’s now pale face. There was no more laughter. There was no grin or glance. John didn’t look at him.
“We’ll talk about this tonight,” John promised without looking at Dean. They were in front of the school and Dean couldn’t get out of the car fast enough.
It was eight short hours later that Dean was climbing back into the car. Sam was in the backseat detailing the project they were working on. It was about the solar system. John was still icy silent.
“That’s cool, buddy,” Dean said, encouraging his brother despite the fear that was clamping down on his gut.
The family of three filed out of their car, all of the doors closing at once. Sam and Dean followed their father to their motel room like ducklings. Dean dropped his bag next to his bed and Sam sat down at the desk, pulling out his homework worksheets.
“Do you have anything to say to me?” John asked, closing the door. Dean looked from Sam’s swinging legs to his father’s stone cold face.
“No, sir,” Dean said, standing straighter to impress his marine father.
John wiped a hand over his mouth, steeling himself for the conversation. “Do you have a crush on anyone?” He had rephrased the question but Dean missed the nuance- the chance to save himself.
“He’s just a boy at school.”
“Sam, get out,” John ordered. Sam’s feet stopped swinging. He looked over his shoulder at his father.
“I’m doing homework, dad.”
“I said get out!” John yelled. Sam jumped and grabbed his things. He ran outside and John closed the door again.
“I mean… I don’t like anyone. Not a soul, sir. I’m sorry, sir.” Dean rushed, feeling the impending beating. He didn’t understand what was wrong with his answer.
“Dean?” Cas was sitting in front of him. Dean blinked a few times, shaking the memory. He stared into the blue eyes that searched for him.
“What were you going to tell me?”
Dean swallowed hard. He had been about to confess to Cas how he felt. He was going to tell him that he was in love with the angel who had rescued him and stayed by his side. He clenched his jaw.
“Dean!” Will called. Dean kept walking. He stopped at his locker and winced as he moved his backpack so he could change out his books.
“Dean!” Will tried again. When he was close enough he stopped. Dean’s left eye was swollen shut and heavily bruised. His arm was in a cast and sling under his coat.
“Don’t talk to me, Will,” Dean warned. His voice was scratchy and his throat was bruised.
“Dean,” Will whispered, worry seeping into his voice. Dean dropped his backpack and slammed his good fist into Will’s nose. The other boy covered his bleeding and probably broken nose with his hands and looked up at Dean, the green eyes shining with tears. Dean punched him again and again.
“I’ll be gone soon, and this… this will be over. Like you never even met me,” Dean rasped.
“I…” Dean pressed his lips together and clenched his jaw. His hand on the table was now a fist. He looked up from the table, finding Cas. “I can’t,” he sighed and got up, walking out of the room.
“Dean,” Cas said, following him. “You can tell me.”
Dean turned around, slamming Cas into the wall. Cas looked surprised but unhurt. His brows knitted together but he didn’t say anything.
“I. Can’t.” Dean took a step away from Cas, running his shaking hand through his hair. “I’m not allowed. I’m not supposed to. I’m… I don’t know, Cas. Take your pick.”
“You are allowed to feel the way that you do,” Cas said gently. Dean whirled around to face his angel.
“What the fuck did you just say?”
Dean slammed his fist into the side of Cas’ face. He was shaking and his eyes were filled with hurt and tears. He didn’t allow them to spill. He just took another step back.
“You are allowed to feel this way,” Cas said again.
“I’m not allowed anything.” Dean was breathing fast but he didn’t know why. He felt shame as he looked at Cas. He closed his eyes. “I’m sorry.”
“No. You don’t get to apologize. Tell me how you feel,” Cas demanded. Dean opened his eyes.
“I love you,” Dean said through gritted teeth, his eyes icy and focused on Cas. The words were there. They existed aloud now. They stayed there, thick in the air between them. Dean choked on a sob, his ice exterior melting.
“I fell down the stairs,” Dean said as they led him to the x-ray machine in the emergency room. He had walked from the motel five miles away. The lie was smooth and empty. It was all they needed to hear.
If falling down the stairs was the equivalent of the only man you had in your life to call a father beating you, yelling that he didn’t raise his boys to be fags, then yes, Dean had fallen down the stairs. He had fallen down the stairs with his arm between a fist and the edge of the bathroom counter.
If falling down the stairs included your father repeatedly asking you and every time you said boy, his hands tightened on your throat while you screamed, then Dean had been falling down the stairs for hours.
“Dean,” Cas looked at his breaking hunter. “I l-”
“I’m not allowed!” Dean yelled. “I’m not allowed to hear you say those words back to me. I’m not supposed to… I can’t.”
“You deserve to hear them back especially when I mean them, Dean,” Cas said seriously. “I’m not allowed to love either. I’m not supposed to love a human. I’m not allowed to be in love. That doesn’t change that I am and have been.”
“Shut up,” Dean choked.
“No.” Cas stayed where he was even though he wanted to reach out. “I love you.”
Dean shoved him into the wall again. “I love you,” Cas insisted. Dean punched him. “Dean.” His hits were getting less powerful as he started to crumple under his angel’s words. “Dean, it’s okay. I love you. I love you.”
“Stop,” Dean begged, his head falling against Cas’ chest. “Please.” Cas was quiet. He wound his arms around Dean.
“Where the fuck were you?” John demanded when Dean walked back into the motel room.
“I went to the emergency room,” Dean said in a flat, scratchy, voice. His face was unreadable and he took off his jacket to show his dad the cast and sling. “You only broke my arm and two of my ribs.”
“Do your homework. You have school tomorrow,” John said. Dean looked at the clock. It was past midnight.
“Who do you like?” John asked quietly, his hand on the doorknob, ready to leave.
“No one, sir.” Dean answered without turning around. The door opened and closed. Dean crawled into bed and stayed there, staring at the ceiling until it was time to get ready for school.
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Loss of Yesterday Chapter 2, Begin.
gif credit: nameforthedevil
Pairing: OT7 x Reader
Genre/warnings: eventual smut, angst, romance, mentioned abuse, snowleopard!reader, non!idol AU
Rating: General for this chapter, overall explicit
Word Count: 1656
Synopsis: Being a hybrid could be hard, but being the property of a less than caring owner, and a rare snow leopard on top of that, complicated your life even more. Fate has an odd way of changing things as you unceremoniously fall into the lives of seven wealthy businessmen.
Note: Hello lovelies! Here is the much anticipated chapter 2 of Loss of Yesterday! I hope you all enjoy this installment as much as the last. I still can't believe how much love and attentions my story has gotten so far. THANK YOU! I love you all. This chapter will introduce a few of the guys and give a bit more insight on the reader. Warnings for this is mainly the mentions of abuse, so if that is triggering for anyone please be warned that is a main theme in this story.
To say Kim Seokjin was in a bad mood, was the understatement of the year.
After the whole bar fiasco, a multitude of calls, promising favors, and having to give a few on the house drinks, he finally made it to his home with your still unconscious body in his arms. He was the CEO and owner of a famous restaurant/bar chain, so having this huge building custom built from him and his friends was easy to acquire.
The large complex he lived at was lavish with multiple floors, named the Bangtan Complex. It was built by all seven of them via pooling in their money together.
All of them were products of their wealthy families, inheriting large sums at a fairly early age. Having always been closely knit friends as long as they could remember it only made sense to live together and work with similar goals.
That goal was to help hybrids in every way they could. But right now, Jin wanted to get rid of this bothersome hybrid. At least she hardly weighed anything at all...
His long legs carried your weight out of the parking garage and onto the fourth floor of the building. This floor was for his and the other six’s lounging pleasure, the floor was decorated with various posters, bookshelves, chairs, couches, and a multitude of TV’s.
He deposited your still sleeping floor on the large (and expensive) sectional couch. His long legs took him to the nearby kitchen as he pulled out his phone.
Kim Namjoon couldn’t fight the yawn that escaped his lips as he walked towards his Mercedes Benz parked in the garage connected to one of many hybrid clinics he owned and managed. His shift was supposed to end nearly two hours ago, but this past week had been especially hectic for him and his staff. The flu ravaged his staff this year, causing himself and many others to work into overtime. Luckily he was spared the flu, but it still cost him hours of valuable sleep.
Namjoon was renowned for graduating at a young age and acquiring his degree in hybrid health, medicine and physiology. He always knew what direction his life was going, even as a child he wanted to help hybrids. He was one to never believe in the race separation and differences the world saw in hybrids. Kim Namjoon wanted to help and so he used his knowledge to do just that. His parents supported him wholly in his endeavors, providing him with the money and resources to start his own clinic. After years of hard work and dedication, Helping Hybrids, became a large multi-clinic company that spanned cities. To say he was proud of his work was an understatement, but some days, even he needed a break from the chaos...
The silver haired man loosened his modest navy tie as he unlocked the car and climbed in the driver side. He groaned and rubbed the back of his neck. He could feel an oncoming cramp from being hunched over his desk for so many hours. No sooner did he buckle his seat belt did the familiar, and at this point annoying ringtone being echoing from his pocket. Namjoon was quick to answer the offending device, not bothering to check the caller ID.
“This is Dr. Kim,” his tone laced with many years of practiced professionalism.
“Get home, now! I think she’s shedding on the couch, you know, the good one we all like. This is such a pain.” Jin groaned.
“Woah, slow down Jin. Who are you talking about?”
Namjoon nearly rolled his eyes and sighed heavily. “Jin, it’s been a long day, I’m on my way home, it’s not like you to bring home stray animals.”
“I-it, er-She’s a hybrid Namjoon! Why would I call you about a stray cat or dog?!” The older man squaked in exasperation.
A beat of tense silence passed.
“Is she injured in anyway?” Namjoon continued on, cutting off any complaints the other male may have had.
“Well, yeah bruising, and she fainted at my bar, that’s how I found her.”
“Leave her be, I’m on my way,” the revving car engine was the last thing Jin heard before Namjoon ended the call.
The doctor cursed as he quickly sent a text in the group chat.
Meeting cancelled, emergency, will detail later. ~RM
“Joonie-ah, what’s so important that you had to cancel our meeting? You know it’s hard for all of us to get our schedules to align.” Jimin reprimanded his older friend and colleague.
The blond haired vet technician stood by the entrance of their shared complex with Jung Hoseok. The aforementioned red head was on the phone with his most recent client and spoke smoothly in English.
“Sorry hyung, Jin called with an emergency, he has a hybrid with him and she’s not well.”
Both paused and gaped at the older man as though he grew a third head. That was unexpected news to say the least. In the years they all lived together, they’ve never had a hybrid live with them. All the men donated to respected hybrid charities and hired many hybrids in their individual businesses. Something about owning a hybrid like the majority of the world seemed wrong to the businessmen.
“A hybrid? Your jokes suck, so you must be serious.” Hoseok also known as Hobi, hastily put his phone away as Jimin unlocked the door.
“What kind of hybrid is she? Is she hurt?” Park Jimin was quick to morph into his work persona, he, like Namjoon, were dedicated to helping all hybrids in need, no matter what the circumstance.
The trio of attractive men stepped inside while Namjoon filled the others in about their unexpected guest.
“It’s about time you showed up! She hasn’t moved an inch and I can’t tell if she’s breathing, is that a normal hybrid thing?!” Jin’s exasperated voice echoed. His earlier frustration had ebbed away, and was replaced by concern after actually getting a good look at you. The bruises were bad, and he didn’t like how gaunt your face and neck appeared to be. The last thing he wanted was someone dying in their hands!
“I doubt she'll die, Jinnie-ah, the rescue squad is here.” Hoseok commented, hoping to lighten the tense atmosphere.
Namjoon and Jimin were quick to act, they walked to where you were and quickly took vitals, halting any intrusive thoughts the eldest had.
“She’s cute! A snow leopard? Aren’t those rare, hyung?” Jimin resisted the urge to fawn over your fluffy ears and matching tail.
“Extremely. She’s severely malnourished, and almost too small for a hybrid her age.” The doctor was quick to observe. He held your small wrist between his fingers and looked at his expensive Rolex watch, timing your pulse.
“Aw, I wanted to pet the pretty kitty.” Hobi crooned as he leaned over the back of the couch watching his friends work. His expressive eyes raked over your form, his dimples vanished at the worn state you were in. You clothes were baggy and full of holes and tears, and your face was dirty with some cuts and bruising.
“How long has she been unconscious, Jin?” Namjoon’s deep voice shook Hoseok out of his observations. He stepped back and made his was over to Seokjin.
“About two hours now. Will she be okay?” He shook his dark hair out of his eyes and crossed his arms over his chest. Worry still evident on his handsome features.
“Jimin and I will be sure she’s in better health.”
Jin swallowed his nerves and nodded. He couldn’t figure out why he felt so much concern over you. He hadn’t see you like this before, having only seen you melding into the high class throngs of people at the parties he had to attend occasionally. He needed a distraction.
“I’ll make her something to eat, I assume she’ll like meat of any kind?” Jin wasn’t called the mother of the group for nothing. He shed his work blazer and made his way to the large, fully stocked kitchen.
“Jin-momma is at it again! Let us know how the kitty is when she wakes up.” The red head tailed the other man as he left.
“When will the others be back?” Jimin asked the older veterinarian. Namjoon knew that it was probably for the best the the other three men weren’t present, hybrids were extra sensitive to scents and already have four men here was going to be overwhelming for her when she would come to.
“Within an hour or so, her pulse is good, lungs sound healthy.” The blond nodded and tenderly moved the sleeves of her large sweater up her arms. A shocked gasp left his lips.
Jimin swallowed thickly, at the large, dark bruise on your left forearm. The bruise held deep shades of purple and red and vaguely resembled a large handprint, shadows of individual fingers evident.
Jimin’s eyes met Namjoon’s the older man's lips were pursed together in a deep frown.
“I knew these bruises were far from accidental. I… I'm confident now, that whoever her owner is abused her.” That disgusting word left a bitter taste in his mouth.
“Namjoon, a-abuse?! Why would anyone hurt a hybrid! People adopt them to better both of their lives! I-I just can’t imagine what kind of sick person w-would-” Jimin’s normally soft voice became frantic with a mixture of anger and fear, not realizing he dropped the older man's honorific. He jumped at the sudden feeling of a strong, firm hand on his shoulder.
“Jimin, she’s here with us, we’ll help her.” Namjoon’s eyes held confidence and reassurance.
The vet assistant nodded and firmly squeezed the older man's hand, releasing a breath he hadn't realized was stuck in his throat.
“Yes. We'll do everything we can.” Both of them resumed their work, feeling more invigorated with the need to help you.
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Saturday morning, I read Cupboard Love by the amazing @shealwaysreads and immediately had to make a loaf of bread and also do this painting. Everyone needs to go read it bc food as a metaphor for love is the best trope, it’s a law, I don’t make the rules.
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Machine of Ice
Rei is 18. She’s working through the summer at the ice cream shop five blocks down from her house, just like she has for the previous four summers. The manager likes her for her quirk. She coats the bottom of the display case with ice, and so long as she does this two or three times a day, the ice cream never melts. The sublimating ice fills the shop with a cool vapor. The manager painted cartoonish mountain ranges along the wallpaper some years back. They’ve renamed the shop ‘Mountain Top Ice Cream’. The mist makes them popular. The popularity makes them profitable.
And more than that, Rei saves her boss a small fortune in cooling costs, and he pays her under the table every month for it. It’s illegal, Rei knows, being paid under the table and using her quirk for work. But she’s not sure how illegal, and her family needs the money.
Her dad has a quirk work permit. The process for getting one is long and complicated and costly. Rei assumes eventually she’ll have to get one too, and follow in her father’s footsteps of supplying industrial cooling for meatlockers at the same places he does. She can’t work illegally forever, and she doesn’t have many skills to offer beyond her quirk. She’s started the paperwork now that she’s graduated. She’ll need work beyond an ice cream shop that’s only busy in the summer.
Rei got paid today. It’s in physical money, so that it doesn’t appear in any books. An ice cream shop hiring an ice-quirked person with no quirk work permit is cause for suspicion, her manager’s told her, so this is a benefit to them both. He gets her quirk. She gets a tax-free salary.
Rei counts it as she walks back home, hot sun bearing down on her neck as she hunches over the money afraid the sight might raise suspicion. Vapor coils off her neck, ice sublimated instantly to steam. Rei is forever comfortable in the cicada-swamped heat because of it. She finishes counting. It should be enough to get her family through enough meals until her next payment. And with 1,000 yen to spare, for when her mom inevitably asks to borrow some…
She stops just shy of her own driveway. The front door is cracked. Low and clipped voices sound out, muffled, from within. Mom must have guests over. Rei shoves the money deep in her bag and keeps her head low. She can hopefully make it to her room unnoticed.
She’s seized by the hand the moment she cracks the front door. It’s her mother’s grip, wiry and weathered fingers ribbed with the silver bands of rings. She pulls Rei in close and flashes a smile, eyes squeezed shut, necklace clanking with the snap of her head. “This here is my lovely little Rei. A gorgeous doll, isn’t she?”
Rei steadies herself, jarred but not totally unbalanced. She gets a clear look at her company for the first time—it’s a tall, brawny, broad-shouldered man with piercing red hair and an unkind face. He’s well dressed in a suit that Rei can tell is real satin, a look posh and proper that her mother has been trying to imitate for years. He exudes a pressure of someone raised to believe they are always the most important person in the room. Rei doesn’t say anything.
He extends a hand to her. “Enji Todoroki.”
She takes it, and his grip is firm, restrained, as though signaling that he could crush her hand if he felt so inclined.
“Todoroki,” Rei’s mother whispers in her ear, a quick jab to her daughter’s ribs. “He’s related to Endeavor.”
That word holds a particular weight when it comes to Rei’s mother. “Related” is played like the winning card of a deck when her mother is passing judgement on someone. Related means blood-ties to wealth, connections to influence, networks to power. “Related” is everything Rei’s mother envies.
Enji barks a laugh. He shakes his head and loosens the tie away from his neck. “My apologies. I guess I’m not entirely recognizable like this.”
Flame erupts with a snap along his jawline, his eyes ablaze. Rei’s mother lets out a shriek of joy, and Enji cracks a smug grin.
Rei recognizes this man. She doesn’t follow hero news all that much, but even she knows this face. He’s the man second behind All Might. He’s the man who controls fire like the Gods. He’s the man Rei always found unsettling on the news for his anger and his sternness and his cold, cold eyes under a halo of flame.
Rei takes a step back. Enji’s flames vanish, and Rei bows. “It was nice meeting you. I can make you some tea if you like, but unfortunately I’m very busy today. I have to continue job hunting, if you’ll excuse me.”
Rei ducks to leave, but her mother’s grip finds her shoulder again. When they lock eyes, Rei knows there’s a piece to the conversation she has missed. The impish smile on her mother’s face curls wider, rapture in her eyes.
“Don’t worry about that another second. Enji here can burn those papers up for you I bet.”
“I need those forms!”
“Shhhhh,” her mother answers. “You don’t need them, dear! You’ll never ever have to work another day in your life dear!! None of us will. God finally. Endeavor wants to marry you.”
Enji lets out a laugh. His eyes seem a bit softer. “This is ironic. Usually asking a woman’s parents for her hand in marriage is the hard part. But let’s not be too hasty. I’m not looking to marry you, Rei Nagase. I’m simply interested. We can start with dinner. I’ll leave everything up to you after that.” He reaches out, and takes Rei’s hand once more. His grip is softer now, but his hands are still so much stronger than hers. “I do think our quirks are very, very compatible. I think any children between us would be a great benefit to this world. I think I can help your whole family out greatly, move them out of this hovel, and give them a life of comfort.”
Rei’s hand is sweating. She’s uncomfortable with the heat now, in a way her quirk can’t seem to cancel out. She feels the money burning in her pocket. Just 40,000 yen, enough for the month’s electricity and water, a month of instant meals, and 10,000 yen for her mother to shop around with. Not enough to fix the leak in the ceiling with mold around its seams. And not enough manage the cockroaches in the ground floor cabinets. And not enough to replace the fridge, which burnt out four years ago and which Rei freezes over twice every day to keep working.
“I don’t… have enough money to go out to dinner, sorry Mr. Todoroki.”
Enji laughs again. His grip becomes firmer. “I’ll pay for the whole thing of course. I’ll even pay for the inconvenience of stealing away a few hours of your night. How does 150,000 yen sound?”
Enough to fix the leak
Enough to kill the cockroaches
Enough for a new fridge
Enough to quit the ice cream shop, where for the last four years her boss had been—
“What do you say, Rei Nagase?”
“I…” Rei drops into a bow. Her whole body feels numb. “I would be honored to, Mr. Todoroki.”
“This Friday at 7?”
“Yes, sir. Thank you. I’ll sure we’ll have a lovely time.”
“I’m very pleased,” Enji responds. He releases her hand and angles himself toward the doorway. “I’ll make it a magical evening, my flower, I guarantee it.”
The door shuts behind him.
Rei pulls herself back up.
Her mother is speaking, wildly fast with sentences running through one another. She’s crying with joy, it sounds like.
Rei’s ears are buzzing. That face had filled her with cold dread for so long. Endeavor has been a hero since she was a little girl. He’s scared her since she was a little girl. How old must he be now? 26? 27?
Her mom is grabbing the phone, dialing, still rambling. Rei feels at her purse to ensure the money is still there. Maybe she won’t even need it anymore. 150,000 yen for a single night of her time. Just a single night. What kind of life does this man lead? What sort of life is he offering…?
Her mother is hugging her. Rei hesitates, and returns it.
Maybe his cold eyes aren’t dangerous. Maybe he is sweet under that shell, and it’s all just a show for the media and for the villains. Maybe he can be a caring husband, and a good father. Maybe he wants just one child, and Rei won’t owe him anything beyond that.
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jean moreau has been dead for years. he’s been dead the second his father decided to give him to the moriyamas. he’s been dead from before he stepped foot on the plane that took him to the states, before he slid into the car that drove him to edgar allen.
he was dead long before he met his executioners. he nods stiffly when questions were asked and responded curtly, his english accented heavily and his nerves skyrocketing. his hands shook and he was reprimanded for it.
jean made sure that there would never be second reprimands for his shaking hands nor his dying heart.
he’s departed quietly from his hope when he kissed his siblings goodbye; a silent promise to keep them away from their father’s debts.
jean moreau is not a fucking martyr and if he ever returns to france his father will pay. he isn’t a fucking martyr he’s a sacrifice, a barrier between his father’s debts and pain and loyalty to the moriyamas.
jean moreau is furious but directs his rage into his practice, into learning english with kevin day, into remaining still as the number three is tattooed neatly on his cheekbone. jean moreau directs his fury into masking his expression and following riko’s orders and avoiding reprimands.
he’s never successful no matter how hard he tries. he’s a battered warrior stripped of weapons and thrown in a pit to fight against a wolf with his hands bound behind him.
on days when he’s ripped to pieces and staining the floors with his blood, kevin patches him up without further comment. they’re both bound to die at the hands of riko moriyama and they’re both waiting for the end to come.
on other days, he realises he never got the opportunity to bid the sun goodbye and wants to crack and weep and forget he exists.
there is a single silver lining in the darkness of evermore. jean moreau learns japanese with kevin and riko, he’s forbidden to speak french and he wants to scream his frustrations out at riko’s smirk. jean took refuge in speaking french, in remembering his brother’s dramatic pronunciations as they grew up, of his mother’s idioms and lullabies, of his sister squealing and spitting rapid fire french - she sometimes pronounced things differently too and jean’s heart aches when he realizes he won’t ever get to hear that again.
the silver lining comes when he’s battered and bruised and a patchwork of scars and burns. kevin sits by his head and holds onto his wrist, tapping quietly as they wait for the painkillers to kick in - kevin’s snuck some in to help. jean doesn’t whimper, but he does press his face into kevin’s thigh and curse himself out for crying. it only subsided when kevin starts talking to him; nonsense words and sentences that he strings together to get jean out of his own head.
it takes him a minute to register that kevin was speaking in french. he finds sanctuary in the words they share and the secrets they keep.
his next silver lining comes years later, months after kevin left and joined the psu foxes. it comes in gentle murmurs and kind eyes; bleached hair that holds a rainbow. it comes when renee walker speaks to him and offers him something rare and valuable at evermore; friendship.
she comes and brings him back from the brink of destruction with their little conversations on the phone.
how was your day?
I cannot play this week. I do not think Riko will remain sane for long. I do not think we will speak again renee.
would you like to talk about it?
despite every doubt and flinch and sickening crunch of bones after a blow, jean moreau wakes up and sees kevin day’s face and he wants to nothing more than to bury himself in his grave and finally rest.
he nearly begs through the haze of pain. kevin speaks in french, frantic, distant; scared? he vaguely registers nathaniel neil josten replying.
“jean,” renee would say several minutes later. “edgar allen is falling. you’re not returning back there.”
he wants to laugh. how. how could anyone keep him hidden from edgar allen when riko will dig his claws into him and fly him back.
renee caught onto his line of thought and smiles something soft; reassuring and full of promise. jean learned that renee follows through with her promises and that not even riko can stop her.
jean moreu was dead for a long time, he’s been dead before he even met his executioner, he’s been dead before he spoke to the other prisoners set to suffer a fate similar to his own.
he’s been dead for so long that when something akin to hope flickers in his chest he panics. he doesn’t feel it when his eyes start to water but he does feel the sting of his tears against the fresh cuts on his face. he’s used to the tightness that wraps around his chest, the rope that holds him down and digs into him until he’s all raw marks and terrified cries.
and there’s the hope that he’s free. the hope that he could be safe, the strangeness of the word in his mind, on his lips, in the shake of his hands and the desperation in his heart because jean wants this. he wants to latch onto the blooming hope that burns through him and never let go.
the third silver lining comes in the form of one jeremy knox; jean’s heard of him from kevin dozens of times before when the dead of night terrified them and sleep refused to linger long enough for them to actually rest. jean’s played against the trojans before, but he’s never felt the need to speak to jeremy before.
but he’s there, he’s a constant force in jean’s life as he moves from hospital to hospital and then from that to therapy sessions. he’s there when jean moves into the usc dorms, he’s there when jean stands by the window and holds onto the frame as he stares out, as he stays still as sunlight - warm, soft, gentle - settles on him.
jeremy knox makes jean feel like he’s teetering on the edge of a breakdown; he’s the prince of fairy tales, the one that smiles and stops wars, the one that can rally a kingdom with a single look, the one who rescues and protects and supports the damsel. he’s a fictional being who embodies all the things that jean’s hoped to meet in life but never had when he was under riko.
jeremy is everything jean had stopped believing in while he was a raven.
jean is everything jeremy shouldn’t see, shouldn’t be around, shouldn’t have taint the bubble of sunshine that seems to follow his every way. jean moreau is the broken pieces of a nightmare put together hastily with stitches and bandages and jeremy is a being made of happiness and stardust and good.
he isn’t made to withstand jean but he seems trapped in a gravitational field and dodges every asteroid that surrounds jean.
jeremy continues avoiding all the asteroids. he continues moving past all of jean’s curt replies, all the quick glares and scowls, the drop of a conversation. he dodges all that and continues talking, continues grinning and gesturing wildly (but not wild enough that jean would flinch and try to even his breathing again, jeremy’s seen what fast touches do to jean and he’s spoken to the offender to stop it.) in jean’s line of site. he chatters on and on and offers to buy jean sorbet because he doesn’t like ice cream as much.
jeremy is careful understanding and patient touches, he’s little rays of sunshine peaking in between clouds on a dark day, present and a promise.
jeremy is gentle touches and warmth against jean’s back, he’s never ending trust and encouragement, he’s a map that jean explores cautiously with shaking fingers and nervously bitten lips.
jean feels like a piece of him rights itself as he learns about himself through jeremy. he learns about places on his body that can be touched - his shoulders, his arms, his torso. he learns about the places that will have him retching and crying and retreating back into a field of panic panic, he’s here, he’s going to -
jeremy knows that no one is allowed to touch jean’s neck, no one is allowed to touch his thighs purposely either. and jeremy knows above all else that jean’s hair is forbidden territory marked by scabs and scars and a tender scalp.
but jeremy’s a map of unexplored territory, he’s a sanctuary of comforting touches and embraces, he’s the gentle thrum of melody, he’s the eye of a storm and jean could feel himself being lost in everything that was jeremy.
jeremy tilts his head back, he taps a melody against jean’s wrist, he hums the parts of the song he doesn’t know and sings the parts he does. he shows that this can be safe, that it isn’t about pain and retribution but can be about support and reassurance. he pauses briefly when jean’s fingers brush against his chin and looks down at him. jean is sprawled on jeremy’s chest, eyebrows furrowed and eyes darting from jeremy’s face to his neck to usc trojan’s logo on the hoodie he wore.
“okay?” jeremy murmurs, jean glances back at him and presses his chin against jeremy’s chest. he can hear the gentle thud of his heartbeat and calms down to the count of it.
“now i am,” jean whispers, he scowls when jeremy giggles and is jostled off his chest.
jeremy’s laughter filters in the quiet of jean’s dorm room, brushing away the silence that envelopes them when jeremy’s thinking too much and jean’s too tired to speak.
jean finds courage seeping into his bones because of jeremy, because of his little raspy giggles and his weak attempts at stifling it, because of the look in his eyes that makes jean feel like he’s staring at a star - burning and bright and alive.
he surges up and cups the back of jeremy’s neck. he brings their faces together, huffs of laughter brush against his lips and the warmth of his cheeks feel so strangely pleasant. jeremy wraps a hand around jean’s wrist, his other hand coming up and resting on his waist.
“is this okay?” he whispers, watching jeremy’s eyes brighten up impossibly so. jeremy nods, his nose bumping against jean’s affectionately.
jean brushes his thumb against the side of jeremy’s neck and mumbles nonsense when jeremy tilts his head to the side, an opening for a kiss if he’d like. instead, jean brushes his lips against jeremy’s cheek, marking a path across the freckles there before moving to kiss jeremy’s temple and repeating the same pattern on the other side.
jeremy’s huffing softly, chest rising against jean’s with silent chuckles. he sighs happily when the little journey jean maps across his face stops at his lips and grins when he feels jean’s lips press against it.
maybe jean is everything that jeremy should stay away from, a patchwork of scars and a passionate distaste for affection, a shell of a boy haunted by a ghost and one that’s been dead for so long that he’s forgotten what it felt like to feel something other than immediate fear that he must repress behind a mask of indifference.
jean moreau has been dead for years and maybe, just maybe, jeremy is the reason jean starts to feel a little more alive every day.
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Better | Bucky Barnes x Reader (Part 1)
Summary: Doctor!Bucky has a day off but instead of leaving the hospital to go home, he decided to spend it at the bedside of the woman he loves.
Word Count: 4592
Pairing: Doctor!Bucky x Doctor!Reader, Doctor!Bucky x Platonic!Nurse!Wanda, mentions of Steve, Sam, Natasha & Sharon as minor characters
Warnings: Swearing, Mentions of Abuse & Alcoholism, Surgery, Organ Donation, IV & Needles, Emotional Distress, Physical Pain, Drugs, Hospital Stay
A/N: Doctor!Bucky is my guilty pleasure.But I have more Bucky AUs and a Chris Beck one-shot coming soon!
It was the hint of orange against the dark blue sky that marked the start of dawn. As Dr. James Barnes found himself awakening from his slumber, he rubbed his eyes to look up at the pasty white ceiling of the dimly lit on call room where he had taken refuge after his ten-hour surgery. Working long shifts that typically lasted twelve to fifty consecutive hours depending on the circumstances had become a routine for him. Although he did appreciate taking a day or two off once he had reached his weekly limit, he could not get himself to go home that night. His lack of sleep, combined with his aching limbs as a result of being on his feet for almost a whole day, meant that he could not even drive home. He had no choice but to stay within the premises for the night.
As he climbed out of bed, he retrieved his navy blue scrub shirt from the tiled floor of the on call room and shrugged it on, rubbing his eyes again as he let out another yawn. He ran his fingers through his jet black mane, noticing that a few strands of his hair were still partially wet. He had found some time for a quick shower before he had made it to the on call room, but he had just been too lazy to dry his hair. He tucked a few loose strands behind his ear before making the bed. It took him a moment to be completely rid of his fatigue and he remembered the beeping sound that had woken him up. His picked up his pager that rested upon the nightstand where he had left it before he had crashed a few hours ago.
Upon checking his page from Wanda, his most-trusted nurse, Bucky picked up the phone and dialed the extension code for the nurse's desk at the post-op ward. "Hey, this is Dr. Barnes returning a page." He said, groggily, to which he earned chuckle from his favorite nurse.
"You told me to page you when Y/N wakes up, Barnes." She told him. "Did you forget?"
"... Right. Sorry, I'm still half asleep." He let out another yawn. He had completely forgotten that your surgery had been last night. He had been planning to sit in the gallery and watch Dr. Romanoff operate on you once his shift had come to an end. But with an unexpected emergency pulling him away for the night, he had only managed to get a glimpse of you in post-op by the time he had returned from his surgery. Had Wanda not urged him to get some shut-eye while he awaited for you to wake, Bucky would have probably dropped to the floor. He was too exhausted to even be worried about you, it seemed. But hearing Wanda mention your name had fully woken him up in an instant. "I-I-I'll be over there in a moment..." He said between a yawn, clipping his pager onto his waistband before slipping into his black tennis shoes.
"I figured. There's a cup of coffee here at the nurses' desk with your name on it. I'll see you when you get here, Doc." With that, she hung up.
It took Bucky a few moments to gather himself before he walked out of the on call room. Perhaps, it was a good thing that he had the next two days off from work, thanks to his overworking nature that had resulted in him reaching his weekly limit of hours he could work. If he were in the OR at this state though, he probably could not even tell the difference between a vein and an artery if he wanted to. It was for the best. If anything, he needed to be forced to take the time off. Plus, he was planning on spending his time off by your bedside if you needed him. It was just an added bonus.
He jogged his way up the stairs to the nurse's desk on the post-op floor. "Wanda, you're a godsend." He picked up the cup of coffee and took a sip, feeling the bitterness of the dark roast seep down his throat, followed by the urge to spit out this concoction that was the farthest away in taste from his usual vanilla bean latte. "Never mind. Actually, I take that back. You're not a godsend. This coffee is absolutely disgusting and it's such a disgrace to humankind."
The perky nurse let out a laugh from behind her computer screen before shaking her head. "Don't you dare be such an ungrateful little shit, Barnes."
He rolled his eyes as he set down the coffee. "Don't you dare speak to your boss like that."
"Why? What are you going to do? Fire me?" She asked as she looked up at him, her eyebrow raised.
Bucky rolled his eyes playfully at her attitude, even though he felt like it was way too early in the morning for them to be bickering like this. Even though Wanda was only a nurse, the two of them had known each other since he had been a pre-med student at NYU. Aside from Steve, whom he had known since childhood, and Sam, whom he had only met while they were both residents, Wanda was someone who had become a younger sister to him. Having lost her own brother at a young age, she too had accepted him as a brotherly figure over the years. Their constant sibling-like banter was just proof of how close they really were and almost everyone at this hospital knew about their bond. "Or I could trade you with Sam for Sharon."
"Asshole." Wanda rolled her eyes back at him before taking back his coffee, taking a sip of it and watching his face fill with disgust.
He leaned against the desk, shifting his weight from his left leg to his right. "Has anyone from her family been down to see her yet?" The look in his eyes filled with concern and the tone of his voice was softer than it was before, it was hushed. For some reason, a part of him feared that the others might hear him and come to know of his deepest secret, his love for the woman he worked with.
She shook her head as she turned away from the screen once again. "Not that I know of. I did notice her mother go in and out of her father's room until visiting hours were over. And then I saw her sitting at the lobby when I went down to get coffee. She seems to be sticking around the premises but I don't think she intends to go and see her daughter."
He let out a sigh of disbelief before shaking his head. A part of him knew that he should not be pissed at your situation; it was none of his business. But he could not help but be angered by the way your family was treating you after what you had just done for them. Perhaps, it was because he valued human life so much that he respected your sacrifice, or it was because he valued you as a human being much more than they did. But Bucky was not going to let anyone else treat you like shit. He was sure of it. "Unbelievable."
Wanda raised her eyebrow at him. "Please don't tell me that you're going to go out there and yell at them? This is none of your business." If there was anyone in this entire hospital who knew about Dr. James Barnes' feelings for Dr. Y/N Y/L/N, it was her. "And I don't think she would want that."
"No, I know that but I have to say... they're the ungrateful shits here, Wanda."
"It was Y/N's choice, Bucky." She reminded him. "It was her body and her choice."
"You know, she said those exact words to me when I told her not to risk her own life to save the man who destroyed her childhood. She sounded just like Steve that I wasn't even surprised. He taught her well." He laughed at the thought of how his attempt to talk you out of donating your liver had been defeated. "She's better than any of us could ever be."
Though you hadn't been as close to him as you were with Steve, Bucky had taken a strong liking to you over the last few years. You had first come to this Brooklyn hospital to take up a fellowship in cardio-thoracic surgery with the incomparable Dr. Steve Rogers. As you were a career-driven woman who was extremely focused on the job, Steve had taken you under his wing and taught you everything you knew as a surgeon and as a human being.
"She's a natural, Buck." He would beam with pride for his young fellow while he drank with his best friend after a hard day's work. "You would love her." Bucky and Steve had been best friends since childhood. They had graduated high school together before going off to NYU for pre-med. After being neck and neck with their MCAT scores, they had also attended Columbia Medical School together. They had survived the competitive stage of residency and trained together under the best cardio-thoracic surgeon in the country, only to return to their hometown of Brooklyn and work side by side. They were practically inseparable.
If Steve had only known how right he had been back then about how much Bucky would love you if he ever met you, now that Bucky had realized it himself. You had first met him at one of the worst points during your fellowship, having lost your first patient while you had been training under Dr. Rogers. It had been Steve's decision to let you fly solo for that particular procedure, but things had slipped out of your hand in the matter of a millisecond. You found yourself sobbing in an on call room and beating yourself up for it. A life was lost on your operating table and you had taken an oath to do no harm. It crushed you when you realized that you had disappointed your mentor, after all those sleepless nights of studying so hard to get yourself where you were.
It wasn't easy for you to be alone from such a young age, especially with no support from your family and no real friends. You had lived on your own since you were eighteen years old, having fled your abusive home to find yourself a safe place here in New York. After your impeccable grades had managed to get you into NYU with a scholarship, you had pushed yourself through the next eight years of schooling while you worked two part-time jobs to make ends meet. Your mother hadn't even bothered to show up at your medical school graduation even though you had sent her an invite, not that it really mattered to you anyways. You had come to terms with the fact that you were all that you had. You had built a life for yourself and a career that was going to be your backbone; you didn't need people, you thought. But that night, even your career had seemed to be letting you down.
That was when you had met Dr. Barnes, the next best heart surgeon in the hospital, who had managed to scramble into the nearest on call room that night for a power nap, only to run into your tearful self. He had asked you what was wrong and you had poured your heart out to him. If you had been so worried about disappointing Steve, you might as well ask Steve's best friend about how to handle it. As it turned out, he somehow possessed a different approach to teaching than his best friend. He claimed that Steve shouldn't have let you take on that patient until you had been prepared for what you had now missed, but he understood the reason why he had done that. After all, Dr. Rogers did have a reputation for being a little unconventional in his teaching. It was one of the reasons why you had been determined to work with him in the first place. "I feel like I failed him." You had told Dr. Barnes in the midst of tears. "I don't think I'm good enough for this, Dr. Barnes."
"We've all been there, Dr. Y/L/N. We've all lost patients. We've all blamed ourselves for the things that are always beyond our hands. There are some things that we as doctors can't control. Steve didn't get where he is without losing a single patient during all those years of training. I didn't get where I am without losing a patient. We are not perfect. We're human. You shouldn't blame yourself for what happened. You should learn from it and be better the next time around. Steve can be a jerk sometimes, I can tell you that. But if he told you to walk it off, you walk it off." He had told you, making you chuckle through your tears. "I'm not going to tell you that the road ahead is easy. But you signed up for this so you have to deal with the good and the bad."
"I don't think I can ever be as good as him." You admitted, sighing in defeat. "I don't think I could ever be as good as you."
"Then you should probably aim to be better than us."
Looking back at that conversation now, Bucky couldn't help but realize that you had in fact been better than the two of them. The years had managed to mold your extremely formal mentor-student relationships with them into a much more genuine and beautiful friendship. Steve had become family to you, after having learned of your own familial situation. With his friendship came your friendship with Bucky, Wanda, Sam and Natasha. They were your family now, not the people that you shared blood with. Your biological family hadn't been the best but the family that you had found for yourself in New York were much better.
When you had learned from Natasha that her recent patient with liver failure happened to be your alcoholic father whom you had fled all those years ago, a part of you refused to remember that you even had actual parents. But you were human, after all, and you were bound by your emotions. Looking into his file, you had come across the fact that he was going to be put on the donor list. As they had not found a match for a liver transplant, you had volunteered to get tested and found that you were a perfect match. Your mother had been selfish enough to save her husband's life that she had accepted it. Dr. Romanoff stood by what was best for her patient as any doctor should be. Sam and Steve had respected your choice, commending you for coming forward to save the life of the man who had once ruined yours.
But Bucky had somehow tried to talk you out of the surgery, fearing that it would put you in danger. A liver transplant was no joke. Not to mention that he did not agree with the fact that you were willing to give a piece of your own flesh to save your father's life, expecting absolutely nothing in return. But you had convinced him that as a doctor and as a human being, this was the right thing to do. Even though Natasha was a great general surgeon, he did not undermine her expertise. He was just worried that something inevitable might take you from him during this surgery. He realized that he had loved you so much that he did not want to lose you. But thankfully, the things beyond the control of a doctor that he had once told you about did not get in the way when your own life was on the table.
The beeping sound of the cardiac monitor was a constant reminder that you had survived this surgery. Not that you even doubted Natasha's ability to perform a partial liver transplant. She was definitely the best general surgeon at the hospital. But your fear of the unforeseeable factor had been present ever since you had agreed for this surgery. Even when the anesthesia had been administered and you found yourself slowly losing your consciousness, you had hoped that you would wake up from this on the flip side of the eight hour procedure.
Wanda had been at your bedside the moment you opened your eyes. You had been thankful to see a familiar face, not that any of the hospital staff were unfamiliar to you. But a part of you had expected that you wouldn't be waking up to your mother or an extended family member sitting next to your bed in anticipation of you waking up. Clearly, you had been right about that. Despite the fact that you had now saved your father's life, they could not be bothered about your well-being. They never were,
Being alone as a doctor was not that much of big deal but being alone as a patient sucked. Not only did you have to deal with the nerves before the surgery and the physical pain after it, but there was also the two month recovery time that could not be spent alone in bed rest. You did not know how you were going to survive that, but as you were used to being alone for all these years, you need not to worry. You'll cross that bridge when you get to it.
After checking your vitals and bringing you a cup of water to ail the dryness in your throat, the nurse had left the room. You had asked her about your father's post-op condition but she hadn't said anything about that. It made you worry for the slightest. What if he had suffered the complications of this operation? What if his body had rejected the piece of yours that you had voluntarily given up? That would have made your sacrifice so pointless. You did care about him, even though he had been so horrible to you. It wasn't because he was your father. You had stopped thinking of him that way years ago. But you were a doctor and he was a patient. You had what it took to save his life, ironically which was his blood, and you had made the call to step up.
The sound of footsteps against the cold tiled floor of your hospital room made you gently turn your head towards the door. Wanda had adjusted your bed to help you sit upright but it was still a little uncomfortable for you. Now that the anesthesia had slowly worn off, you were starting to feel some pain in your side. But your chapped lips curled into a weak smile when your eyes landed on the handsome doctor who had just entered the room.
His hair was not as perfectly coiffed as you remembered but it was still as silky as you remembered, the dark strands glistening against the light of the morning sky. His ocean blue eyes looked calm and a lot less blood shot than you were used to. The Dr. Barnes you knew and loved was a sleep deprived mess who cared more about his patients than his own health. But the man who stood before you looked refreshing, like coming up for a breath of fresh air just before you thought you were going to drown. You felt safe in his presence, you had always did.
"I wasn't expecting any visitors at this time and I certainly wasn't expecting a visit from you." You managed to croak out, taking another sip of the water that the nurse had handed you earlier. "But I'll take it."
"Why would that be the case, Dr. Y/L/N?" The man chuckled as he pulled up a chair next to your bed and sat down. You noticed that he was still wearing scrubs and it made you wonder. Had he been working all night and decide to stop by before he headed home? Or had he just arrived at the hospital for the start of his shift and decided to check on you before he was to begin his morning rounds?
"Because I went against your advice for the first time ever. You told me not to go through with this transplant and I did." You reminded him as you sighed. "I just assumed that you would be mad at me."
"Well, it was your choice." He just shrugged. "And now that I think of it, you may or may not have followed another one of my advice."
You let out a soft chuckle, followed by a wince at the pain that you felt in your side, now that the anesthesia was finally wearing off. You knew that you had the option to control your own pain medications through IV but you did not want to fall back into a deep sleep, especially not when James Barnes was sitting before you. "I thought you hated me." You admitted. "You didn't even come down to see me off before the surgery. Rogers was there, even Wilson and Carter. But you were nowhere to be seen."
"I'm sorry, I couldn't be there. I wanted to. But a trauma came in, flail chest, I had to go down for a consult and I was held up." He replied as he reached forward to take your hand in his. "How are you feeling?"
You gave him a nod as you smiled weakly, feeling his gentle grip against your hand. "For someone who's missing a pound of flesh, it's not as painful as I thought it would be. But then there are also several tubes attached to my body and that's not the most attractive thing on the planet." A part of you was worried that you probably looked like a disaster. Along with the IV that was pumping fluids and medications into your body to keep you hydrated, you also had a catheter in your bladder to prevent you from having to get up to go to the bathroom, and several drainage tubes in your abdomen to drain the blood and bile from your body after the surgery. A part of you was embarrassed to have Bucky see you like this. Despite the fact that he was a doctor, who was definitely used to dealing with much worse on a daily basis, you couldn't help but wonder if he thought you were unattractive like this.
"A pound of flesh?" He asked, giving you a confused look.
"Shakespeare." You clarified, wincing again at the pain. A part of you wanted to up the dose on your pain medications. But you feared the risk of the nausea and other complications and side effects that would follow. "The Merchant of Venice takes out a loan and promises to pay Shylock a pound of his flesh... if he doesn't pay back the money on time. It's a good play. You should read it sometime, you know... if you ever find yourself with a day off from cutting into people's broken hearts." You fought the urge to laugh but you failed, feeling the pain in your abdomen only growing by the second.
"Oh, I don't think I could be able to handle Shakespeare. I wasn't the best student in my English class and I was more into the science side of things."
"And you have the medical degree to prove it." You stated with another laugh, only to wince again at the pain which continued to get worse. "Oh fuck..."
Bucky leaned over in his chair to reach for your PCA remote on the bed side, his eyes filled with worry as his lips curled into a frown. He looked over at you for approval. "Do you want me to do it?"
"I thought I could avoid having to pump all those drugs into my body but..." You paused and bit down on your bottom lip as the pain took over your entire abdomen, making you hold your breath for a moment in hopes that it would dissolve. But it only got worse. "Please..?" You shut your eyes as the tears pricked at your eyes, hoping that Dr. Barnes wouldn't notice them stream down your face.
"Y/N..." He hated to see you in pain. "Are you sure you don't want me to page Romanoff?"
"Oh shit, that hurts like a bitch." You felt him squeeze your hand before pushing the button for another dose of pain meds to pump through your IV. "No, no... it's fine. She'll be down here for rounds anyways. Don't bother rushing her to get to work this early in the morning. She's not a morning person and would probably kill you. Just give me the meds. I should be fine."
He nodded as he watched the computer screen, making sure the medication was being pumped into your IV as it was supposed to. "If you start feel drowsy, you just let me know, okay? Don't try to fight it. You lost a lot of fluids. You need to rest." He still hadn't let go of your hand and you squeezed it tightly as you waited for the pain meds to kick in.
"Don't you have rounds? You should go. I should be fine once the drugs kick in." You loosened your grip on his hand wanting to let him go back to work, but he still held onto it, never letting go.
"I went over my weekly limit and I got the next two days off. I just thought I might stick around so that you won't be alone." He told you, making the pain stricken tears finally stream down your face. You couldn't hold them in anymore. Perhaps it was the medication or the emotional trauma that came with having your abdomen cut open. You felt stupid. He had been right. Your family did not care about you. You were alone. He was only here because he pitied you.
"You don't have to do that."
"But I want to."
As you began to feel drowsy, your mind refused to believe what you were hearing. Did Dr. Barnes just say that he wanted to spend his day off by your bedside? You shut your eyes, trying not to lose your consciousness as you slowly felt the pain begin to numb away. Bucky still hadn't let your hand go as he sat down next to you. "You were right, Dr. Barnes." You whispered but you weren't sure if he had heard you. Perhaps, you had just thought it in your head and he hadn't heard you. But he did not respond for a moment.
"Well, you're better than me, doll." You heard him whisper and then you felt his warm breath against your eyelids. It took you a moment for you to realize that he was leaning over your bed. You then felt his free hand stroking your hair before your felt his soft lips press gently against your forehead. You felt it all, the love that he had been holding in his heart for all these years. He probably thought you wouldn't have noticed. But you had.
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