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#also would be weird to see how the move would be perceived IF she does do that
reidscanehand · a year ago
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The Statistical Probability of Falling in Love
Master List to The Statistical Probability Series
Spencer Reid x BAUfem! Reader
Category: Fluff 
TW: Mentions of bullying, cursing, kind of a depressing mental space at the beginning, mentions of an erection, and again, like...desiring somebody beyond the realms of friendship. 
Also, good lord, he’s so awkward, so this is kind of overdramatic, but all in good fun. It’s also kind of super long because I have no filter. And I loved this request by @radtwinkie .
This request has taken me literal ages to complete and I am so sorry for that! It’s really just because I genuinely loved this request and thought it was so precious and lovely; I really didn’t want to mess it up...all that to say I’ve rewritten it at least twice, so I hope it’s close to what was imagined when requested. Thank you @radtwinkie for your patience and I hope you all enjoy! xx
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~ “Most of us have nicknames - annoying, endearing, embarrassing. But what about your true name? It is not necessarily your given name. But it is the one to which you are most eager to respond when called. Ever wonder why? Your true name has the secret power to call you.” - Vera Nazarian ~
Spencer is not a huge fan of nicknames. Part of it, of course, was the intense bullying he’d received as a child and teenager. Which was, frankly, rather hard to get past, even as an adult. He loved his BAU family, and for the majority of his time working with them, he felt loved and seen and accepted. But every so often Derek would make a comment that hit too close to home, Hotch would shut down one of his tangents with a slightly more annoyed tap than usual, Rossi would roll his eyes a little harder than usual, Penelope would seem genuinely overwhelmed, or Emily or JJ would be just a little too relieved to get to walk away as he began to ramble. It felt vastly unfair; Spencer wasn’t one to believe in karma, but there was something in him that felt like...maybe he deserved this acute loneliness. The brain he had been given, the intelligence he had...only for it to be received with...not hatred, exactly, but a sort of begrudged acceptance felt like a penance for the brain he was lucky to have, but never asked for.  
No one is perfect, but in those moments when he allows his anxieties and insecurities to get the better of him, Spencer can’t help but feel that his perceived imperfections are maybe too much? 
JJ is overly competitive, but Will loves that about her. Hotch is borderline humorless, especially when it comes to the job, but both Beth and Haley were able to see beyond that. Rossi is sarcastic, too wry sometimes for his own good, yet he is loved and respected. Derek can be testy to the point of meanness, and yet he always seems to be showered with affection by Penelope and many, many women. Penelope is quirky, sure, but always adored and never doubted. Emily could be borderline cruel and yet still manages to maintain a level of intimacy with the team that Spencer just does not seem to have. So, though nobody is perfect, Spencer is worried that he is so imperfect that his brain has muddled himself a hole he will never be able to leave. It feels like an absolutely hopeless situation...that is, until he meets you. 
It was after a particularly gnarly case in Los Angeles that Strauss decided to hire a new communications liaison. The publicity surrounding the case was fierce prior to the BAU’s arrival, but their involvement only brought more attention. The case was incredibly complicated and the investigation dragged on longer than anyone wanted it to. The press was practically vicious by the time the thing had been solved and, upon arriving back at Quantico, the whole team was shuffled into several meetings with Strauss regarding how best to handle press moving forward. Strauss didn’t want to add anyone to the team, nor did anyone else, really, but after an exploratory meeting with you, she was impressed and you were hired. 
Had it been literally anyone else in the universe in your position, Spencer’s convinced they would’ve fallen flat on their face. The team really didn’t want a new member, Emily and Derek were borderline hostile about it prior to your arrival, and Penelope was so nerve wracked by change that her thoughts flew from hacking every piece of technology you owned to hugging you like a teddy bear in a matter of seconds. Spencer himself didn’t love change. The balance of life at the BAU was temperamental at best with the type of work they did, so the addition of anyone was jarring. However, from the moment you walked through the glass doors of the BAU, Spencer knew everything would be alright. At least, for the rest of team. He was well and truly fucked. 
First of all, and rather most importantly to Spencer, you’re super nice. Not just “nice”, but rather so nice that the word itself feels inadequate. After your first case with the team, you noticed that Hotch was having a hard time. Well, everyone noticed (they are profilers, mind), but you were the only one to do anything about it. Spencer is still unsure of whether you were unaware of Hotch’s incredible reserve, or you’re just so kind you weaseled your way around it, because when you offer him a hug before boarding the jet, he not only accepts it, but leans into you and reciprocates. He thanks you for it. The team is dumbfounded. Not to mention the absolutely cracking job you’ve done of handling the publicity surrounding the case. You’re quick to underplay your work on this one, but it was a rural town in Mississippi and you handled the delicacy of the case with a level of grace and tact that blew everyone away. Thus, secondly: you’re rather mind-blowingly excellent at your job. Spencer swears you could be a profiler with the capacity you have for human emotion. Whether it be a newspaper reporter, a grieving parent, an obnoxious local television personality or the unsub’s family, you seem to have a knack for talking to people, making them comfortable, and keeping the entire team safe, well cared for, and out of harm’s way in the public eye. Spencer even heard JJ mention to Emily that, had you always been the communications liaison, the BAU’s position in the bureau would never be questioned. And finally, though Spencer’s a little ashamed that he has such a fixation on it: you are incredibly pretty, which is always just a little hard for Spencer to get around. And had you behaved like everyone else, he would have acclimated to it, as he had with the other attractive women he worked with. But, the thing is...you don’t behave like everyone else. 
~~~ 
It’s on your first case with the BAU that it happens. 
Spencer’s been careful not to say too much around you. He desperately wants to make a good impression, though at this point he’s not sure why. He wants you to...like him, he supposes. Not in a loving way (not yet, anyway), but just in a generally pleasant “you’re not so bad” kind of way. Thus far, to his mind, he’s gotten away with it. It’s sad, really, that he almost feels as though he has to pull off a trick, a magic trick of sorts, in order to make a good impression with new people. Truly, you’re so kind and lovely that he could probably be himself and you’d still like him, but that’s something Spencer’s not very willing to leave to chance. He’s cut himself off on at least three different tangents since the case started, worked carefully to correct people in a more gentle manner than usual, and allowed his answers to come at what feels like a more natural pace than he typically would. Hell, he even shook your hand when he met you, just to stave off what Spencer feels is the inevitable stasis of weirdness he’ll be in when you finally get to know the real him. He’s fashioned what he hopes is an appealing version of himself in order to get to know you. He’s damn near head over heels for you already, but nothing prepares him for this. 
While he’s worked hard to cut back on The Reid Effect in order to keep you at arm’s length, the Mississippi heat and intensity of the case are waning on his determination quicker than he’d like. There are obvious burns on the victim, dumped unceremoniously in a creek in a woodsy area, but the burns had gone unmentioned by the local cops prior to the BAU’s arrival to the scene. As it’s your first case, Hotch pairs you with Spencer and Rossi to go to the most recent crime scene to get a feel for the back and forth with the BAU and the local police department. Spencer can feel the sterile version of himself falling back with every second as the local PD prove themselves to be relatively useless. 
“The burns,” Spencer says, slowly, trying to forestall his corrective nature. “Why weren’t those mentioned in the initial reports?” 
“Oh, we assumed those were from the sun. Exposure, ya know?” answers Sherriff Riley. 
“That seems a bit...farfetched,” Spencer corrects, carefully, ever so slowly. 
“Now I know y’all don’t know nothin’ ‘bout the Mississippi sun, but-”
“Actually, this area of Mississippi sits in the 2 to 3, low to moderate range of the UV index, meaning that, while it’s advised to cover up on bright days if you’re prone to burning and wear the suggested average 30 SPF sunscreen, which is the average SPF suggested for the majority of the country, it’s not that far removed from what you’d find in Quantico or D.C. In fact, in a wooded area like this, it’s almost entirely unlikely that someone would sustain burns of this nature.” It’s out before he can stop himself and Spencer cringes inwardly at the quickness with which the facts fall from his mouth. He can feel you looming behind him, can almost feel your breath hitch as Sherriff Riley stares at Spencer blankly, attempting to take in what he just said. As is typical when this occurs, Rossi steps in.
“Basically, we think the unsub is burning them as part of the signature,” Rossi explains. 
“Oh,” Sherriff Bailey says vaguely. “Okay. We’ll let the medical examiner know, then.” Rossi smiles and steps toward another part of the crime scene, diverting the attention of the Sherriff. Spencer gulps, his throat suddenly dry as you sidle up next to him. 
“How did you know that?” you ask, quietly. Spencer can’t bring himself to look at you. He’s terrified that he’ll see some form of ridicule or rejection in your eyes and, even in the mildest of forms, his not really sure he could deal with it. 
“Um,” Spencer begins, awkwardly. “I have this...eidetic memory thing?” He cringes inwardly again as he phrases this fact as a question because he feels kind of ridiculous. 
“What does that mean?”
“It’s like...I’ll read something, or even, sometimes see or hear something, and I just...remember it. Auto-didacticism, to some extent,” he answers, trying not to sound as nervous as he feels.
“Like, forever?” you ask. “You remember stuff forever?” He gets it together to look at you because your tone is confusing to him. You’re not being rude or teasing him, you’re just genuinely asking questions.
“Uh, kind of...I don’t forget much,” Spencer says. “I can also read really fast, so I gather that information at a relatively rapid rate.” 
“How fast do you read?” you ask, turning your body to face him. Spencer stares at you for a moment, sifting through your facial cues and mannerisms, perplexed at the honest curiosity you’re exhibiting. 
“Well,” he swallows, scared that, at any moment, this genuine air of interest that you’ve granted him will shift into something he’s more used to. “20,000 words a minute.”
“Wow,” your eyes widen. You look down for a moment and smile to yourself. “You’re a proper genius then, aren’t you?”
“Actually, I don’t really believe that genius can be quantified-”
“That sounds like something someone who’s definitely a genius would say,” you tease, gently. 
“Then I guess I am a genius...because I did just say that,” he responds quietly. You stare at him for a moment allowing a gorgeous smile to play on your lips before throwing your head back in the prettiest laugh he’s ever heard. Spencer feels a grin growing on his face because you’re not teasing him meanly, but playfully. And you’re not laughing at him, but with him, at a joke he made. And he’s pretty sure you’ve complimented him. You, a pretty and sincerely nice woman, just complimented him, Spencer Reid, awkward nerdy man that he is, in the woods on an FBI case. And he made you laugh. And now he can’t stop grinning. 
“Got any other facts or figures for me?” you ask, again, so very genuinely. He just stares at you, unsure of what to say as his brain can barely comprehend what’s happening, let alone come up with a singular fact or statistic. “Seems like I’ve got you tongue-tied, Stats,” you smile. 
“Stats?” he asks, cautiously, your kind stare not allowing the bona fide grin to move from his face. 
“Do you mind if I call you that?” you ask, a sudden hitch in your cadence making Spencer recognize that you’re also nervous. “It’d be nice to...have a friend, you know?”
“Stats, huh?” he whispers to himself, his grin not abating. “I'd love that, actually, Y/N.” 
“Cool,” you smile, giving him a look that he’s damn near sure he’d kill to keep. “You feel free to make up a nickname for me too, if you’d like, Stats,” you say, walking away. 
And now Spencer knows he’s in trouble because he literally can’t stop grinning. Even when the case gets harder, the idea that you want to be his friend...that you think he’s worthy of a fun nickname, that you might think he’s interesting, that you’re - dare he believe it - playful with him.... he simply can’t wrap his head around it. 
~~~
It happens more often than he’d like to admit and being the baby of the BAU family (even though, much to his annoyance, you are definitely at least a couple of years younger than Spencer and he is still considered the baby) comes with its price. And when you’re a certified genius in possession of an IQ of 187 and the social skills of a scared butterfly, things like this tend to happen. For Spencer, it’s really not a big deal at this point. 
The team has been called to help the Sacramento Police Department due to a string of medically coerced heart attacks. The unsub is forcing heart attacks on his victims by delivering them an overdose of caffeine. The victims are all mild caffeine addicts, either drinking excessive amounts of coffee, tea, or energy drinks which the unsub is lethally dosing with absurdly high amounts of the stimulant. At the roundtable, Spencer chimed in with the average amounts of caffeine found in typical sources: 80 mg for the average energy drink, anywhere from 50 to 235 mg for the average black coffee - only to be cut off. He’s used to being cut off, either verbally or, as had just occurred, a gentle tap on the arm from Hotch. What he isn’t used to is your response. The briefing is over, everyone breaks to gather their go bags and prepare for the incredibly long flight to Sacramento when he feels a gentle pressure against his back, right in between his shoulder blades. He turns and almost smacks into you. 
“God, you have long legs,” you say, “you’re almost impossible to catch up to, Stats.”
“Sorry,” Spencer replies, not ever quite sure if people are joking or not. 
“Long legs are a virtue,” you correct, whether you’ve caught on to his apprehension or not, Spencer’s not sure, but he appreciates it either way. 
“How can I help you, Y/N?” he asks. He still hasn’t come up with a nickname for you. As you’ve grown closer over these past few cases, he’s not sure what to call you. You seem set on a platonic friendship, though he’s very quickly gained a completely understandable crush on you, meaning that his ideas on nicknames are tending toward the rather overly affectionate variety. Plus, your name suits you. It’s just as lovely and perfect as you seem to be, anyway. 
“I was wondering, Stats,” you begin, awkwardly, “if you could finish what you were going to say.” 
“What do you mean?” Spencer stares at you, a little lost in your eyes. 
“The average amounts of caffeine thing you were saying,” you amend, staring up at him all wide-eyed and curious again. “I was listening and, um, I think Hotch tapped you or something and you stopped? It seemed kind of rude, to be honest, but...well, I wasn’t quite done learning yet.” 
Spencer is so dumbfounded he can barely speak, let alone recall the average amounts of caffeine found in typical sources. You want him to finish a statistic. A borderline meaningless, completely random fact that he knows from a glance at a newspaper or medical article. You caught up to him in a hallway, nearly chased him down, to learn something from him. He opens his mouth to speak, the beginnings of a sound dying in his mouth. Once again faced with your abject kindness, Spencer finds that he can’t quite string two words together, much less finish his thoughts from moments before. 
“Have I done it again, Stats?” you grin at him, all twinkly and precious. 
“Done what?” he rasps out, still in a daze of confusion. 
“Rendered the resident genius speechless?” you sweetly tease, that delightful smirk toying with your mouth again. It takes Spencer a second to realize he’s straight up staring at your mouth rather than responding. 
“Uh, yeah,” he manages to say. “Uh, yeah”? What the fuck? His mind is moving again, but not in a helpful way. 187 IQ, my ass. “I guess you have.” 
“That’s kind of fun,” you whisper, mostly to yourself. You look back up at him and Spencer is once again bowled over by the fact that you’re just being kindly playful. You’re not being mean or even too terribly jokey, you’re just...God, you’re so sweet. “It’s nice to be able to keep you on your toes.” 
All of my body parts - tip to toe - will be at full attention as long as you keep looking at me like that, he thinks, jarred by the abrupt, ever-so-slightly salacious turn of his thoughts. He’s suddenly very aware of how very pretty you are, how good you smell, and how playful you might be in- 
“Is it?” he gasps, the air finally deciding to reappear in his lungs as he attempts to break through any thoughts of you in his bedroom. Despite how delightful those thoughts may be. 
“Yeah,” you say, wrapping an arm through his and walking you both toward the bullpen to gather your things. “It’s a nice reminder that even geniuses are human. I’ll hit you up for facts just to keep it interesting, is that all right?” You can hit me up for literally anything and I will worship the ground you walk on, he thinks, but all he can manage is a kind of nod. Spencer swears his body is on fire from your touch, but he feels almost sad as you begin to pull away. You squeeze his arm and look down before deciding to continue. 
“Just know that I’m always listening to what you say. No matter what it is,” you reassure him. And as you walk away, it’s not his sexual attraction to you that plagues his mind, it’s the fact that Spencer’s falling in love with you. 
~~~
Spencer had been quite certain that, almost a year into knowing you now, your relatively regular habit of sneaking close to him to ask him for a quick statistic or fact would assimilate his entire body to your presence, but no such luck there. You do it more regularly now, and Spencer’s very nearly got the hang of it. Part of it is the closeness, this he knows. And it has nothing to do with his semi-germophobic tendencies and everything to do with the fact that his lungs can’t seem to get used to how absolutely gorgeous you smell. And his eyes can’t seem to get used to how beautiful you are. And his ears can’t seem to get used to how melodic your voice is. Again, IQ Points? Almost entirely useless for something of this nature. 
At this point, he’s relatively sure you know the effect you have on him. It’s pretty hard to miss. He knows this because, obviously, he’s an incredible profiler, but you also both work with a bunch of incredible profilers who have all noticed your effect on him. 
“Seems like Pretty Boy has found himself a Pretty Lady,” Derek sing songs one afternoon. You’re all on the flight back to Quantico from a successful case in Montana. Despite the fact that you've most definitely just entered the jet’s bathroom, Spencer nearly throws his back out as he whips around in his seat to make sure you don’t hear. 
“I have not,” he defends, lamely, his cheeks burning. 
“Oh, come on, Spence,” Emily tags in from across the aisle. “You’re pretty obvious.”
“Well, obviously not, because she doesn’t know. And if she does, she clearly doesn’t want the same thing, so will you please, please not say anything?” Spencer knows he sounds frantic and desperate, but if any of them ruin...whatever this is between you, he’ll almost certainly kill them. JJ stares at him for a moment, her eyes widening at his panic.
“You don’t think Y/N likes you?” JJ looks genuinely surprised, as does Derek and Emily. 
“Not...not in that way,” Spencer murmurs, pretending to brush some lint off of his sweater so he can look away from them all. 
“Kid,” Rossi jumps in from his spot across from Emily. “She calls you Stats.”
“It’s just a fun nickname-”
“You always sit with each other on the plane.”
“I just sit near her, it’s not usually the other way around-”
“You hang out with each other outside of work.”
“I don’t have any other friends and she takes pity on me-”
“Reid,” Hotch says from his seat near the front of the craft, not looking up from his paperwork. “Don’t be dumb. You’re way too smart for that.” The conversation thankfully dies as you reenter the cabin, returning to your seat next to Spencer. He gives you a quick smile as you return to your book. He also tries to pretend everyone isn’t staring at the two of you, but it’s hard considering they’re all being annoyingly obvious. About twenty minutes later, you put your book down. At this point, JJ and Derek have fallen asleep, and Emily looks no more than a few minutes away from it. 
“Hey, Stats,” you whisper, very close to his ear now. So close that he’s pretty sure you can feel the heat from his blushing cheeks.
“Yeah?” 
“What’s the statistical probability of you allowing me to use your arm as my pillow right now?” Your playful smirk is toying so preciously with your lips that Spencer thinks he might agree to a root canal if you asked. 
“100% likely,” he smiles, trying not to sound giddy. 
“Thanks, Stats,” you sigh, laying your head on his arm. Your breath evens out rather quickly. Spencer attempts, he really does, to focus on his book, but the gentle weight of your head, the sweet smell of your shampoo, the adorable scrunch of your nose as you dream, all give way to him giving up on the book and deciding to simply stare at you. Stare at you in awe, it would seem.
“Don’t drool, kiddo,” Rossi whispers, “it’s unseemly.” 
“I’m not drooling,” Spencer argues weakly, his hand twitching with the desire to check whether or not he’s actually drooling. 
“Listen, Reid,” Rossi says, moving to sit across from you, next to a sleeping Derek. “I may not know what it’s like to have an IQ of 187, or an eidetic memory, or be able to read 20,000 words a minute, but I can imagine that it can’t be easy to wander through life with that kind of brain.” He glances at you and, as if on cue, you snuggle slightly into Spencer’s arm. Without thinking, he wraps his arm around you, thankful the armrest is already up, as you snuggle into his side, a small grin decorating your pretty face. Spencer stares at you, unabashed affection in his gaze. He looks back up to Rossi who is watching the scene before him with a wistful smile. “I’m sure it’s not easy to wander through life alone with a mind like yours. And if I had a girl like that-”
“But, I don’t have her, Rossi,” Spencer whispers, the truth of the statement creating a gentle, but unignorably present lump in his throat. He swallows, trying to keep it together. 
“I think you do,” Rossi disagrees. “Look, I know we tease you from time to time, and I’m sorry if that ever goes too far, but...if I may: don’t let this pass you by. Y/N is the only person I’ve ever met who fully recognizes and celebrates how lucky we are to have you. And that’s something you can’t lose, kid.” With that, Rossi stands, crossing back to his seat. 
Spencer rubs the back of his free hand over his mouth now that Rossi is looking away. He wasn’t drooling, but he knows he might as well be. Because he’s in love with you. And it’s a fact he’s been avoiding admitting to himself because he’s not at all sure what you’d do with this information. Or what he will do with this information.
~~~
The jet touches down in Quantico and Spencer gently wakes you up, but you’re so tired he lets you lean on him, nearly carrying you from the plane. When you get into the office, Hotch quietly orders Spencer to drive you home as you’re far too tired to get there safely. He agrees because he kind of planned to do that anyway, but it’s nice that he doesn’t have to bring up the concept to you. He gets your keys from your desk, and leads you to your car on the parking deck. 
Spencer helps you into the passenger seat, and you immediately are fully asleep again, which leads to him buckling you in. Your nose scrunches up in your sleep and, without thinking, he leans forward and places a gentle kiss on it. You groan slightly in your sleep and Spencer snaps his head back, hitting it on the roof of the car.
“Fuck!” he yells in pain. Your eyes pop open, suddenly very awake. You take in the scene over you with a great deal of confusion, as Spencer looms over you, clutching the back of his head. 
“Spencer!” you yelp, “are you alright?” 
“Yeah,” he grunts through gritted teeth, “just superb.” 
“What are you doing?”
“Um,” he winces, pulling his body out of the car. “Buckling you in to take you home.” 
“Oh,” you say. “Did you hit your head? Are you okay?”
“Yeah, I’m fine,” he whispers, now lying to you and himself. “Let’s get you home, Y/N.” He starts the car and pulls out of the parking deck, heading toward your apartment, which happens to not be too far from Spencer’s, a fact he is not proud to be thrilled about. You’re about five minutes down the road when you speak up again. 
“You still don’t have a nickname for me, huh Stats?” you tease. In the dark of the car, Spencer can’t see it, but can hear the smile on your face. He’s also relieved that you can’t see his renewed blush.
“Can’t say I have, Y/N,” Spencer smiles.
“And why’s that, Stats?” You sound like you’re fully enjoying yourself, but he’s still amazed at your ability to tease him without being mean. 
“I don’t know,” he states, surprising himself with his honesty, “nothing seems to suit you.” 
“Oh, really?” you counter. “Let’s see, I used to be called lots of fun and horrible things...my family calls me Y/N/N, which I actually can’t stand, but you knew that one. I got called ‘Four Eyes’ in school when I first got glasses-”
“Same here,” Spencer mumbles. 
“Ah, kids are nothing if not somewhat unoriginal,” you joke. “A mean girl in middle school called me ‘The Grotesque Girl’.”
“Seriously? How...why?” There are many words that run through Spencer’s mind when he sees you and not a singular one involves the word grotesque...or any of its synonyms. He’s rather horrified that you ever had to deal with that.
“Um,” you murmur, your voice slightly quieter now, “I don’t know. I’m not the prettiest of girls, and I most certainly wasn’t back then-”
“Y/N,” Spencer interrupts, trying not to sound as utterly in love as he is, “you’re one of the most beautiful women I know.” For the first time in a long time around you, he feels himself cringing inwardly at his overly honest admission. 
“You have to say that, Stats,” you say, somewhat wistfully, “you’re my friend. Besides it’s alright,” you perk back up, “not all of us can be as gorgeous as you.” 
“Y/N,” Spencer speaks slowly, trying not to reveal too much, even though his resilience is waning fast. “Please understand that when I say you’re one of the most beautiful women I know, I mean you’re actually the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met.”
“Stats-”
“I will brook no arguments,” Spencer insists, attempting to turn the conversation back toward more lighthearted fare. “I’m a genius, remember.”
“Well, fine,” you joke, and Spencer can hear the smile in your voice again. “I suppose if genius thinks I’m beautiful, I must be.” You’re quiet for a moment before speaking again. “You know I call you Stats in, like...a nice way, right?”
“Of course,” Spencer answers quickly.
“Good,” you whisper, partially to yourself. “I just...I know that bullying can be rough and kids call each other names and just...I...”
Spencer pulls into your apartment complex and turns off the car, looking at you as you stare forward, clearly trying to decide what to say. 
“I just so highly respect you,” you whisper. “And I know that you still get teased and you still get... I know that it can be really rough sometimes. And I never want you to think that I’m...making fun of you. I just want you to know that you always have a friend.” 
Spencer feels the tears forming in his eyes and he can’t confidently tell if it’s because of how overwhelmingly genuine your reassurance was, because he’s exhausted, or because you’ve, in the space of about ten minutes called him your friend twice. And he loves being your friend, really, but he has now admitted to himself that he wants to be way more. He covers your hand with his own and squeezes it. You squeeze back and his heart is melting. He sniffles, trying to control himself.  
“Let’s get you to bed, Y/N,” he manages to say. Spencer gets out of the car, grabbing your go bag from the back. 
“Stats,” you say, as you get out of the car, “how are you getting home?”
“Oh, I can walk from here,” he says, vaguely, rather looking forward to the ten or twenty minutes of silence to contemplate how best to work on his aching heart. 
“Would you,” you start, clearly a little unsure of yourself. “Would you maybe want to stay here?” 
Spencer doesn’t trust himself to respond. His brain and body feel as though they’ve separated in this moment. There are so very many thoughts running through his brilliant head and half of them make him blush. In this vast chaos, his body opts to simply stare at you. You look away for a moment, contemplatively, then look back at him. 
“It’s really late,” you continue, “and it’s kind of cold. And, not to be selfish, but it would give me far more peace of mind if I knew you were safe.” 
He looks at you, ever in astonishment at the utterly uncomplicated quality of your kindness. He simply nods, grabbing his go bag as well, and follows you into your apartment. He’s been here before, but this time feels entirely different. More intimate and intense, though he’s fighting at the feelings, trying to quash them with every breath. You easily convince him to share your bed. He’s mildly pleased by the fact that he pretended not to want to for about five seconds longer than he thought he would. As Spencer gets into your bed, you scoot closer to him than he thought you might. Arm to arm, leg to leg, you begin to doze off, which is the only reasoning he can give to the fact that you turn your body in towards his as you fall asleep. He watches you for a moment, allowing himself to prop his head on his arm and unabashedly admire you. 
“Got some facts about sleeping for me, Stats?” you ask, yawning, barely awake.
“Sure,” Spencer whispers, finding it easier to speak to you now that your eyes are closed, “you got enough energy to hear them?”
“I just like hearing you talk,” you admit. Another flutter pokes Spencer’s heart. 
“Alright,” he says, glad you can’t see the heart eyes he’s sure he’s giving you. “Um...humans can survive longer without food than they can without sleep. This discovery is mostly attributed to the 19th century Russian scientist, Marie Mikhaïlovna de Manacééne.” You hum in response and he smiles as he continues, “She conducted one of the earliest experiments on extreme sleep deprivation. She found that when she deprived puppies of sleep, they all died within four or five days, despite every effort to keep them alive, like food and water.” 
“That’s sad,” you breathe, the cutest pout in the world adorning your face. Spencer clears his throat. 
“Hmm, no more dying puppy facts, then,” he jokes, ashamedly proud of the breathily delicate giggle that escapes your lips. “When you sleep, your brain sort of unifies all of your thoughts and skills. So it reorganizes and strengthens when you sleep. That’s why sleep is important.”
“Mm, m’glad you never get a full night’s sleep then,” you hum. “Imagine if your amazing brain got a full night’s strengthening sleep? You’d be unbeatable, Stats.” 
“I think you’ll find I’m pretty unbeatable now, Y/N,” he jokes. You snuggle slightly closer to him, rendering him almost breathless.
“S’not true, Stats,” you tease. “S’why I like to keep you on your toes. S’fun to see you speechless for a second.”
“I’m not speechless right now,” he half-heartedly argues, just happy to have you so close to him. He can hear the slight tremor in his voice and hopes you’re exhausted enough not to pick up on it. 
“'Cause I’m indisposed. Half asleep Y/N isn’t at her full powers of genius incapacitation.” 
“Big words for a sleepy baby,” Spencer breathily laughs. 
“Mmm,” you hum into his arm. “You should call me that more often.”
“What’s that?”
“Baby,” you whisper, your voice fading as you fall further asleep. Spencer can’t breathe. This is too much. It’s so intimate and you’re so warm and beautiful, and you smell so good, and you just told him to call you baby. 
“I can’t call you that, Y/N,” Spencer mumbles, almost hoping you don’t hear. And the universe seems to take pity on him as you’re finally fully asleep. 
~~~ 
He may be a genius, but it always takes Spencer’s brain a second to click on when he wakes up. He’s actually spent an embarrassingly large amount of time thinking about this brief span of time between sleep and full awareness. He wonders if, due to the substantial abilities of his brain, it might take his brain a longer time to catch up to his body when he wakes up. He’s also wondered if it might go faster because of his brain’s capabilities. This thought process briefly cross his mind when he opens his eyes and it takes him a few minutes to fully process where he is. And the fact that you’re still asleep next to him. 
Next to him is a generous term for what you’re really doing. You’re nestled so closely into his side that Spencer’s scared he’ll wake you up if he breathes too deeply. As if aware of his thoughts, you nestle your head impossibly deeper into his chest, and it’s so precious that Spencer’s suddenly worried his now pounding heart might wake you up. He’s just happy he’s got a shirt on. If your head nestled into his bare chest, he feels positive he’d never recover. He returns his head to the pillow, finding that it slots just perfectly above yours. And that’s when the universe decides to turn the intensity up a few notches. 
“Mmm,” you hum into him, a sound that rumbles through Spencer’s chest with a warmth he’s only dreamed about. “Darling.” 
What. The. Fuck. 
Spencer blinks ten times, rapidly, not convinced he’s awake. He allows his eyes to flicker towards you. You’re still asleep. You have to be, you would never-
“Mmm, Spencer,” you keen gently, eyes still closed as your nose proceeds to give his chest an Eskimo kiss. He’s going to have a heart attack. This is it. This is the end. He’s going to have a heart attack and die, right here and right now. He’s equal parts terror and absolute joy as your arms snake out from their spot beneath your head, reaching towards him, one slipping behind his neck, the other finding a home on his chest. It’s then that everything goes south. Spencer assumes that you actually thought you were dreaming and the reality of touching an actual breathing human was so shocking that that’s what actually caused you to wake up. 
Your eyes flutter open, staring at his chest for a moment. You squeeze your eyes tightly, only to open them again a moment later. 
“Good morning,” you rasp, clearly uncomfortable, but still unmoving. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah,” Spencer lies, his voice gravelly with first use. “Why?”
“You’re trembling, Spencer,” you whisper, your hand pressing into his chest with an ever so slight pressure. Oh, that he was fully aware of as he’s trying desperately to control his body’s natural reaction to you, nearly pulling his hips off the bed as he pulls his groin away from you. 
“I’m fine,” he responds, surprisingly evenly for such a tremulous situation. “I need to...go to the bathroom.” He gets up and thinks he manages to mask his...issue, thankful that you have a guest bathroom. Once in there, he slams the door shut and turns on the sink as loudly as possible, allowing himself release...a release for which he feels mildly ashamed, but he eventually cleans himself up and reemerges. 
He’d assumed you’d be in your kitchen, but when he walks in there, you’re nowhere to be found. Spencer sighs deeply, because he knows you better than he knows himself and he knows that, because you’re not in the kitchen, he’ll find you sitting in your room, still in bed wanting to talk. Because he knows you know something’s up with him. 
He adds coffee grounds to the machine and water, turning it on before crossing to your bedroom, to what feels like inevitable doom, at this point. Because he didn’t pull away from you this morning. Because he stared at you until he fell asleep. Because he can’t come up with a simple nickname for you because he wants to call you something altogether more loving than what he’s sure you’ve envisioned. Because he’s in love with you and he’s worried you now know. His steps feel heavy as he walks towards what he’s sure is the inexorable begrudging acceptance he’s managed to avoid for a year. Spencer can feel a lump forming in his throat with the idea that your kindness to him might transform into the mildly resentful behavior of the rest of the team. He’s not sure he could bear even a slightly snide remark from you. It might actually kill him. He enters your room and you look up at him, a bewildered expression on your face.
“Spencer, are you okay?” 
“Yeah, I’m fine,” he sniffs, trying not to cry. His voice is still thick and heavy. It feels like it’s not in his body, as though the sound is coming from somewhere else. He can only really hear his heart, pounding so loudly he can hardly hear anything else. A warmth encompasses his middle and he looks down to see you, your arms wrapping around him, your head pressing into his chest. He wraps his arms around you as the tears begin to fall. 
“I don’t want you to hate me,” he chokes out, really crying now. 
“Darling, why ever would I hate you?”
“Because...because I ruined it, just like I ruin everything,” he sobs. 
“Sweetheart, you never ruin anything,” you coo, rubbing delicate circles into his back. 
“No, I do,” he cries, clinging onto you tighter. He doesn’t want to. He wants to run away, to go hole up in his apartment to try and get over this, but you don’t let go and he can’t seem to make himself let go either. “I ruin everything because I can’t...I can’t be normal. I can’t stop thinking, can’t stop remembering...my brain will never slow down and that’s-that’s why I can’t-”
“Shhh,” you breathe, pulling Spencer closer, if possible. His head nestles its way into the crook of your neck, but you don’t pull away. You begin to tangle your fingers into the hair at the nape of his neck, gently combing through it. “Darling, you never ruin anything. Oh my goodness, you brilliant genius, you. You make everything better just by being yourself. And I’m so sad that you can’t see it that way. Normalcy is overrated, anyway. And why else would you be so important to the team? So important to me?” you continue to ramble and Spencer continues to cry, the rumble of your voice calming the rougher edges of his anxiety. “Oh, baby, how long have you felt this way?”
“Forever,” Spencer manages to croak. “Until...until I met you. You make me...you make me feel better. Like it might be okay to...be me.” 
“It’s more than okay to be you, darling. It’s absolutely wonderful,” you whisper. It’s at that moment that it hits him, squarely in the heart. He pulls up his head and stares at you. Your eyes are glassy, your lips set a gentle smile. 
“You called me...you called me ‘darling’. Y-you called me ‘sweetheart’. And...and ‘baby’,” Spencer rasps, not letting you go. It’s barely a question, more of a statement because he can’t quite comprehend what’s happening. 
“Yeah,” you let out on a huge sigh. “Is that alright? A bit more intimate that ‘Stats’, but...it seems more appropriate.”
“How-” Spencer falters, not wanting to let himself believe it. “How is it more appropriate?” You stare up at him, a curious look in your eyes as you consider his face. He can’t breathe anymore. 
“Because I love you.”
Spencer is pretty sure his heart explodes. Because he’s staring at you, profiling your every micro expression, every look in your eyes...and you’re telling the truth. A grin tickles its way onto your mouth. 
“Have I done it again, Stats?” But he doesn’t respond. He cups your face in his hands, taking a deep, elated breath before closing his lips over yours. After what feels like an eternity later, he pulls back from you, but doesn’t let you go, pulling you into an impossibly loving embrace.
“I love you,” Spencer whispers. “I love you so, so very much.” He presses a kiss into your shoulder, into your cheek, into your temple, and another on the top of your head. You giggle into him and it’s like he’s floating on air. 
“I’ve loved you for so long, sweetheart. I thought you knew, I thought you didn’t feel the same way-”
“I couldn’t...believe that someone like you could love me. That’s why I couldn’t come up with a nickname for you because all I wanted to call you was-” he cuts himself off, afraid he’s going too far. You run your hands up his chest, cupping his face in your hands and pressing a small kiss to his jaw.
“What did you want to call me, darling?”
“My love,” he says, so tenderly it feels like the air could break it. The sweetest smile he’s ever seen grows on your face. 
“You are the most extraordinary person I know, Stats,” you say, wiping away the residual tears on his cheeks with your thumbs. “I was worried that I wouldn’t be quite enough for you-”
“You’re perfect,” Spencer interrupts. 
“Nobody’s perfect, Spencer-”
“You’re perfect for me, my love,” he corrects. A beautiful blush glows on your face. You wrap your arms around his neck, pressing another gentle kiss to his lips. 
“I could easily say the same about you, darling.”
~ “Nobody is perfect until you fall in love with them.” - Unknown ~
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jae-canikeepyou · 7 months ago
Text
| into you | j.jh
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pair: jaehyun x fem!reader
word count: 7.7k+
summary: as the uni campus’ social butterfly, it’s a given you have a lot of friends, invited to almost all gatherings and all adore you. for the latter, jaehyun does too. he’s so into you and likes how you’re his happy place. or; jaehyun— an unsocial, often misunderstood person, finds his behaviour different with you and perhaps wants to keep you for himself, not anyone else.
genre: fluff + elite!au
a/n: i’m back after a while since i’ve been so so busy! this is not proofread again and i’m sorry if there are any grammar mistakes down there :> this is not canon with “letting go” scenario in case there’s any similarities with the characters. hehe anyway i hope you all enjoy reading! ♡ ~j.
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seated at the front row in the amphitheatre-shaped lecture hall, jaehyun frustratingly put his hood back on to hide himself from those who were staring from all around. they were definitely whispering about him, hands by their lips to conceal their voices in case he heard them. he hated this much attention, all because he chose stay of out school and classes— and claimed that it didn’t interest him.
so did coming today.
but the point was his attendance for this class was on the line and his busybody parents were sick of receiving phone calls or mails that kept filling their boxes, all for the same reason; that their son could be expelled despite handing assignments.
he rolled his eyes at the heat creeping up his ears as the whispers grew louder. he slammed the thin granite table, causing everyone to flinch at the sound and his presence. “can i have some quiet?! i can hear you guys talking crap about me!” he turned around at the pairs of eyes, soon frozen like meerkats.
they ticked him off. he couldn’t stand being in the same room with people who repeatedly questioned his existence of being here. he knew that rumours were going around, that the ‘jeong jaehyun’ in high school got into an private elite university— it could be anywhere but never expected it‘d be this campus. it was written in the judgment of their faces.
“chill man,” a guy his age swung his lollipop with legs on the desk. “some are curious why you decided to show up today since first semester’s a week away from ending, while some even wonder why you got into such prestigious and elite university.”
jaehyun’s eyed him slowly from legs to head. “who are you supposed to be?” he snorted at the stranger.
“just a guy who wants to break the distraught you’re trying to start.” he kicked his legs off the desk and stood up on his suede shoes, showing off his pearly whites.
he looked at everyone whose eyes averted from the two of them. “our town’s a small neighbourhood, so everybody knows everybody. we know exactly who you are, jeong jaehyun.”
“excuse me?” he swirled his tongue that it was evident he was pissed. “careful what you accuse me of. you and i both know it’s not going to end well-”
“they’re near they’re near!” a voice echoed the hall, cutting jaehyun’s attempt to intimidate the young man any further.
and with that signal alone, jaehyun could see and observe ladies fixing their hair and make-up, while the guys gave fistbumps to those near them. he rolled his eyes at him returning the favour to them as the guy unbuttoned his collar. “what’s wrong with you?” jaehyun was utterly weirded out. “with everyone?”
the crimson-haired guy only gave a flirty grin with raised brows. “this happens everytime.“
the door swung open with the professor rushing in. the students swifted heads, it wasn’t the first time he ever was late. he was young and good-looking, and it was hard to believe he still a bachelor. he gestured someone at the door, then the held-in giggles and mumbles were soon replaced with whispers of awe, as you walked in carefully with a tower of binder folders halfly covering your view.
clearly the guys around him have been secretly admiring; some had the confidence of taking selfies even if you were far, while others took a picture with their eyes so you were marked in their memories. ladies flocked towards the flustered professor like little chicks and surrounded him.
and that’s when the comments started coming in.
“park seojoon is so hot.” “hey remember to use ‘professor’.” “i guess genes runs in the family.” “his sister is ethereal too.” “i see her weekly and y/n’s a goddess.” “y/n! are you coming to the party tonight?”
jaehyun knew who you were through social media and common friends. and he included himself part of the people who admire you. he also remembered because he bumped into you during orientation. he wouldn’t usually care about passerby’s and strangers and although that was a brief moment and short eye contact, something about you was hard to not forget. you had people and friends under a charming spell he couldn’t describe, and that was in a good way.
you tucked a strand behind your ear and became shy afterwards as they whistled and cheered towards your gesture, making you heat up a thousand degrees higher. you should be used to this but every time it happens, you were just as flustered as your brother.
jaehyun’s legs got up on its own and was surprised at himself for making his way to help you. he picked up the fallen binder files and scattered papers while the whiskers by your eyes creased up in shyness.
he hitched a breath realising that the clumsy you was adorable too.
“thank you.” a smile then appearing at the corners of your lips caused jaehyun to freeze for a while. yuta wouldn’t miss anyone’s reaction. he slid his chair close to jaehyun’s as the he came back, nudging his chair for him to give into your beauty.
“i know a person with heart eyes when i see one. now you understand why we’re whipped for y/n. isn’t she a babe- agh.” he held the back of his head from the smack.
“don’t call me that, nakamoto.” you hissed sharply with how confident and careless he could get, especially with people you weren’t familiar with. you looked at the guy in a black sweater and let out an embarrassed sigh. “i’m sorry about my annoying best friend. yuta tends to be chatty when he feels lonely.” you winked at him.
it was jaehyun’s turn to flash short chuckle, its faint sounds perked not only your ears, but yuta’s as well. “not a problem. i know a lonely person when i see one.” jaehyun emphasised through his gaze.
“i’m not lonely! i have y/n and my men!” he whined and turned towards you. “see what you did y/n?”
“it’s good to finally see you, jeong jaehyun.” you ignored yuta and brought out a hand for a greeting.
you pursed your lips to stifle a laugh, jaehyun’s ears quickly turned from pink to red. he gulped loudly and took your hand in his, eyebrows lifting at how you knew his name.
lost for words and you both locked eyes where he forgot to let your hands go. “we take the same course together? i know your name because you’re the only one missing from the class-” you said, shaking his hands to subtly let him know it had been a minute since your hands felt his vainey flesh.
“okay young lad that’s enough time holding my sister.” seojoon separated your hands and jaehyun snapped out of his admiration, inhaling quite stressfully with how stupid he looked. “get to your class y/n.”
“alright, i’ll see you at tea hour.” you waved at the boys.
“as long as you’re treating i’ll go.” yuta hummed in a monotonous voice, fixing his laces that went untied.
“i’m not talking to you dimwit.” you flicked his forehead, leading to your satisfaction of the nut-like sound from it. “jaehyun, because you missed yesterday’s class, prof assigned me to assist you, along with the other topics you’ve yet to cover. i’ll be expecting you at the café near campus.”
before you stepped out of the hall, yuta pulled your sweater, yanking you back. “are you going to taeyong’s party tonight? you never miss an event!”
you puckered your lips, pinching his cheeks that a cute gummy smile came out from it. “you know my rules. as long as you’re driving me home, i’ll go. see you later.”
jaehyun nodded yet was still in a daze. he realised what you said when yuta pushed him. “gross. don’t act as if we’re already close.”
“hm? was i really? i think it’s normal when you’re making a move on my best friend.” he brought out his laptop and typed his password.
i wasn’t. “whatever.”
and to say that jaehyun didn’t feel butterflies flying uncontrollably in his stomach would be an understatement. they made the intestine churn in ways he couldn’t imagine, and he himself wanted to deny that what he was feeling was just from the influence of others. but wouldn’t that mean his feelings were temporary? because if it were, he should perceive you an ordinary person.
yet here he was outside, still admiring you before he entered the café. he found it was amusing of how oblivious you were of his presence— you were too immersed into this assigned task by professor, but others found it funnier when jaehyun looked stupidly in-love and cowardly the lad looked, despite having the overall aura of a stuck-up.
as the sun’s rays brightened the city and the wind’s breeze made the trees leaves dance, only then had you raise your head to see jaehyun waving at you. ten minutes early, not bad for an actual first impression. “hey,” he greeted, making you smile with his low but gentle voice. “am i late?”
you took your bag from across and asked him to sit down. “no no. you’re just in time, it’s really nice to have an early bird around.”
his dimples deepened at the compliment. “how about the project? is it too late? you think i can still catch up?” jaehyun cleared his throat.
“that depends on your dedication. based on the record professor gets, you’ve been doing your tasks and homework quite diligently. he’s just worried about your habit of not attending his lectures might lead to procrastination when second semester starts.” you gave him a slice of cheesecake to eat. “he’s still teaching us another subject.”
“it’s quite the contrary.” he dove in for the dessert. “i don’t have the will to procrastinate at all.”
“then good.” you twisted the pen in your fingers. “let’s get started?”
for that span of two hours, how he wished it could be more. who knew you would have a lot of things in common with him? that time alone was not enough to talk about vinyl and jazz singers and pretty much everything that were overlooked by people. he brought up his favourite spots in the city and how they became a safe haven to escape the reality.
to cut the explaining short, his shell slowly started to open, bits and new things were showing. if you were surprised he was a good person, jaehyun himself couldn’t believe he was able to converse with people normally. being the awkward and shy type, doing this almost seemed impossible.
was it your magic that caused him to do so?
you learnt that jaehyun was rather special and by special it meant he had gifts that you believed were way beyond human limits. he never studied in a library, rewatched lectures or written his notes. and the professor mentioned how jaehyun received good grades in most of the things he submitted.
to be very honest, you were a little jealous. from how he was sitting in front of you, he didn’t seem to be interested but was definitely listening. and you sort of gave up in continuing anyway. “i don’t understand why i’m told i need to guide you when you’ve already caught up with everything.” you let out a soft chuckle that seemed more of a question.
“i was waiting for you to stop..” jaehyun said quite blatantly and stretched his arms and you were hurt because if he didn’t want to, he could’ve said so. heck, even more so, he shouldn’t have come here and wasted time-
“..because it looked like you were forced to do this by prof.” his smile then faded seeing you mirror the same. “are you alright? you’re a little pale..”
your eyes widened. “oh uh, sorry, i assumed-” you sputtered and probably died inside with what he said. you cursed in your mind. dammit y/n.
jaehyun raised his brows, making you more flustered and panicky. you sighed and waved your ‘its-nothing’ hand. “assumed that i’m brusque and a stuck-up?”
he pierced his eyes at you and you weren’t going to lie, he scared you a bit. but that fear immediately disappeared when a gentle giggle and adorable dimples replaced it. “i get that a lot, but don’t worry. i’m different from what people think. they think i’m not friendly, a-and a loner too.”
“you’re not.” he heard you counter him, slightly slamming the fork down. “if you were, you wouldn’t be here with me. or even bothered to come.”
his heart became warm through your words, that act of kindness torn down his walls of inferiority and his perception towards people changed. “thanks.” he checked the time on his watch and twisted his wrist to show to you. “don’t you have a party to attend to?”
“lee taeyong’s?” you stood up to leave the café. “i feel like skipping it for tonight. i’m not in the mood for parties somehow.”
“because i’m a better company for you?” jaehyun teased and boy was he proud with his remark, you didn’t even deny it. “you don’t have to go if you really don’t want to. it’s better to have time for yourself sometimes.”
“you’re saying from experience?” you asked, putting pressure on your words about his claim of being alone.
“it’s more of an advice for you.” he winked.
you thought he was quite observant even though he barely socialised with others. he noticed the light in your eyes sparkling, in which he felt his chest squeeze. you twirled in your toes as you hugged your laptop. “say.. are you up for a movie marathon?”
including now, it’d be the fourth time you both have rewind the specific scene just for that certain song jaehyun kept singing nonstop. and although you loved his voice, having the song on replay would be a little too much and the purpose of the marathon might go in vain. it seemed jaehyun was way into it, so interrupting him would be mean of you so you sang along.
“the nostalgia still hits me ‘til this day.” jaehyun tossed a bag of chips from your kitchen island to you.
jaehyun kept saying it may sound stupid and corny coming from him, but as a child he liked the whole high school musical series; and he pretty much became one when breaking free started to play.
because you both couldn’t decide where to watch the beloved movies by everyone, the marathon ended up being at your apartment. it was subtle, yet quite obvious to you he didn’t want it to be held in his place. you thanked your psychology course for giving lessons to notice even the little things in behaviour.
“how many times do i have to keep telling you it’s okay to like it? not like anyone would tease you for it.” you giggled as you opened the bag and popped a couple of chips into your mouth.
“yeah sure, but i know you would.” he squinted his eyes for you to admit that that was your plan eventually.
“have i?” you singsonged, sipping on the large cola cup.
he pointed at the hairbrush you held and suddenly you bursted out in laughter since jaehyun was obviously— maybe a little— offended with how you mimicked him singing earlier. “okay you caught me.”
jaehyun felt his entire body heating up. still in denial about actually being into you, he took a challenge upon himself and scooted next to you. his arms slightly brushed and touched against yours. “you in for hsm 2?”
“well we are having a marathon, might as well go for camp rock later.” you shrugged and eyed him with a confirming gaze.
“uh-huh.. but i’m still a fan of the trilogy.” jaehyun stole the chips in your hands.
“now aren’t you cheeky.” you gasped at his playful behaviour, and you didn’t dislike it. perhaps you prefer this naught over yuta’s as it didn’t get into your nerves or have the urge to hit him because of the hyperness.
he sat deeper into the beanbag. “i’m comfortable in here. your house feels too homey.”
“so is it my fault that you’re in your comfort zone?” you stated, taking the bag of chips back into your arms.
“yes.” he protested with frequent waves of his palms. “you’re too kind and i might come here to visit often.”
“suit yourself.”
since he arrived here it had him wondering, why did he decide to show up today at campus when there was actually a pure human being like you? he just needed a person— just one— to knock onto his heart. yet with many people in his life trying to do the same thing, none held the correct key. and somehow,
it had to be you.
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you’ve lost count of the number of times jaehyun has been hanging at your crib since then. it became a normal routine but never have you been to his place. it was always yours and you didn’t mind that. though he did promise, you respected his decision.
you found out he could be little dorky and corny but that was the unique trait about him. like friends at kindergarten, you both were still at a get-to-know-each-other stage. so that day, he created a schedule where he would hang out with you on wednesdays and fridays, claiming that he didn’t want to be seen by others, e.g. mr. nobody with ms. golden girl.
however, since then, people close to you have been looking at you rather differently. it wasn’t because they sometimes see jaehyun following you around, they sensed a different aura from you. you could feel their piercing stares from all directions, as if you were the centerpiece of a watch. there was something a little different than usual.
and you tried to ignore this ominous feeling for now.
yuta shook his legs vigorously, in which was an unsightly act to see for someone on the soccer team. you could see him from afar with his hands by his lips, biting it as he waited for your arrival at the university’s sports ground. jaehyun jogged towards you with his bag slung diagonally across his torso. he poked your neck and as a person with severe tickle spots, that caught you off guard into a fight-me position to the doer.
“chill, it’s just me.” jaehyun had both of his hands up, whiskers appearing just by the sides of his nose.
“jaehyun!” you relaxed your limbs. “got a better way of greeting? i don’t like being surprised.” you pulled the hem of his sleeve, missing how he pursed his lips in glee when you both instantly became close, like it was overnight.
he let you grab him as you both walked towards where yuta was standing by the bleachers. “i’m sorry?” he giggled loud enough only for you to hear. “i thought i’d get a priceless reaction from you.”
you rolled your eyes that it almost hurt doing so. “be glad i have enough patience for you.”
“and i didn’t have enough patience last night!” yuta joined the conversation seeing you and jaehyun before him. “where have you been? you said you were coming to my place yesterda- why is he here?” he looked at him then at you. “with you? again?”
“ever thought that i want to have my own ‘me’ time for once?” you took off your cardigan and placed it on the bleachers. you could feel jaehyun chuckling softly when you made reference to his remark.
and boy was he proud. “you’re emphasising on that quite often nowadays.” he helped you carry your bag as you to settled down.
“that’s because i never realised how true it actually is until i say it out loud, since being in everyone’s eyes does pressure me.” you balled your fists to nudge him lightly on the arm, and for him to dramatically receive the attack did put yuta in an awkward position.
“uh hello? i’m still here!” in front of you and jaehyun, yuta snapped his fingers several times to divert attention. “what’s going on with you two? how are you both suddenly so close when you’ve just met for the first time two weeks ago?”
jaehyun swifted his head towards you, and the telepathic exchange of words between you and him had yuta clicking his tongue in disbelief. “you were right, he will react.” jaehyun’s voice prolonged while munching on a corn dog.
“told you so.” you flicked your hair and turned to yuta as you continued talking. “bestie, we’ve been seeing each other since then.”
what the hell? the way yuta’s face turn sour at your smile towards jaehyun, he could almost faint right then and there since he swore he saw mr. dimples smile subtly at you too. “and with just that i’ve been replaced-”
“no i would never replace my best friend.” you held his palms hoping he would calm down from his high emotions, but he immediately pulled his hand away from you, much to your dismay. “hey, i’m here to make amends-”
“yeah?” he clicked on a pen and wrote something on a tissue, soon grabbing your bag from the seat and fished out your wallet. “then you’re treating me my meals for a month. i have another order right now.”
now it was your turn whose face became sour. “a month?! i can’t do that- hey!”
yuta tossed your credit card up in the air and upon seeing his eyes darken— though that was all in your head—you gave in and sighed heavily. you stomped your way to the caféteria while yuta comfortably put one leg on the benches with a satisfied grin. “man she’s easy to tease.”
“is that so? then i know now who she gets it from.” jaehyun said through his chews on his food, making yuta’s ears perk up at the response.
the atmosphere lingering between the two of them invited dark clouds. both could sense the change in their moods, and they both weren’t liking it.
yuta spun and played the ball on his hands then forearms, later let out a scoff when jaehyun raised his brows. he didn’t like the vibe jaehyun was giving and so did the latter. “i do it for fun. it’s natural between us.” yuta said.
“hm? she told me she doesn’t like it when you do.” he saw you on your tiptoes as you struggled to tell the order to the person at the high-levelled counter. but another scoff came out from yuta. “you got a proble-?”
“yeah kinda.”
“i don’t think so. i can tell it really bothers you when y/n hangs out with me.” jaehyun sat up straight at yuta’s comment about him.
“i should be. because i’m her best friend and who knows what type of person you are.” he did a few tricks with his legs. “but if you really want to know then your attitude is what i have problems with.”
“i remember telling you it wouldn’t be good for you when accuse me wrongly.”
he let out a monotonous and rather mocking laugh, taking jaehyun aback but he anticipated this kind of response from him. “and what? you’ll go berserk like you did years ago? as a high school freshman? beating the innocent up or whoever comes your way?”
“look i don’t know where the hell that came from but it’s not what you or everyone else thinks.” jaehyun aggressively crumpled the hotdog wrapper in his palms.
“c’mon you don’t have to hold it all in,” yuta set his ball aside and rested his hands on his waist. jaehyun was getting uncomfortable the more he listened to him. “unleash that side-”
jaehyun rolled his tongue, nodding his head to test him. “alright, i guess i don’t have to when i have feelings for y/n. thanks for the advice.”
what the..? yuta stared at him when there wasn’t a change in his expression. jerk- “now you’re talking. you wanna fight? let’s do that-”
“tsk yuta! the bill’s too expensive!” you whined and gently put down the tray.
while yuta clicked his tongue at your sudden entry and with how quickly you came back, for a moment jaehyun wanted to hug you for being his saviour. he was so close to lose his temper towards your best friend. the relief seen in his tensed shoulders, but you interpreted it otherwise. “are you okay?” you asked while you sat down beside him.
he hummed, folding his arms and looking at the distance, clearly avoiding eye contact with yuta. “mhm, i just realised the deadline is coming up in three days.” he excused.
you managed to utter out a giggle as you finally ate, finding out how jaehyun’s ears always turned red when given attention to. “you’re stressed about it?”
“aren’t you?” jaehyun drank the remains of his soda.
“not really since i finished mine. but, if you’re worried about your progress, i can help you.” you swirled the fork in the air like a wand. jaehyun smiled to himself when yuta took his ball to throw a fit.
“i’m not worried about the project. but there’s an annoying bug i’m trying to hit so help me.” jaehyun’s dimples appeared deeply again and as the darkening ombré sunset shoned his side profile, there you witnessed how pure he actually was— and you missed out on yuta’s frown towards jaehyun.
you gulped and almost choked on your own saliva, eyes still locked in jaehyun’s. his hair caught in the wind, making it look fluffy and his entire demeanour softer than you usually see him. you hitched a breath since jaehyun seemed like he had no plans to avert his gaze too. both of you were definely mesmerised and hypnotised, and for jaehyun it was just like that time. he remembered the colour palette of your makeup while you recalled the perfume he wore.
in the recent marathons with him you’ve never been this close, physically speaking. so this close-up really debunked the impression you heard from people, especially from yuta.
however, as you were oblivious with the pressure behind jaehyun’s words and even smiled back at him, yuta flicked your temple. he was indeed a worry wart and sometimes he would like to flick you just this once for being too much of a social butterfly. he knew it was in your nature to be kind and always on the look out for others. he’s fine when you were with anyone except with this guy you befriended. not him.
he dodged your flying limbs in attempts to hit him. “oi, you’re not going to ask how i am? if i’m worried?”
the pain from the flick remained on your temple. “no? you look fine to me-” you stared at your phone. the message reminding you of the singles elite party a month from today at 8pm. “a party?”
“yeah if you attended the previous party you’d know that there’ll be another one after taeyong’s.” yuta took off his shoes in change for his casual.
“hm. i’m don’t feel like going.” you jumped off the bleachers to dust off your pants. “probably gonna be boring.”
“i’m the one who’s holding it this time!” yuta put you under a headlock in his arms. “you’re ditching your best friend?!”
you giggled and ticked his sides and followed it with a playful hug. “just kidding. i heard from momo! i’ll be there.” you brushed your hair up into a messy bun while spotting jaehyun starting to feel out of place. “oh! do you wanna come to the party, jae?”
yuta mentally facepalmed and it was given he didn’t like what you did. but your eyes were quick to see his reaction and you slapped his chest. he glared at you while his hands caressed it. why did you have to invite him? it was the whole purpose why he decided to hold a party; maybe you’d finally appreciate his hardwork, or perhaps, notice him as someone more and as not a best friend who only worries and teases you.
jaehyun nodded in response, no words needed. a smile crept your lips as if you were given chocolates on valentine’s. “cool.” you pulled him on the wrist after hearing the coach calling yuta, followed with a loud whistle. “ah yuta, we‘ll get going! see you.”
“mm yeah..” yuta hummed, seeing you both vanish in the distance. “see you..”
━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━
your sulking self laid sideways by jaehyun’s lap, head rested on a pillow. it’s been too long since yuta avoided you, purposely ditched your hangouts, seenzoned your messages and ignored your calls. as if these weren’t obvious enough for you to know something was up. there definitely was but you couldn’t put a finger to it. so you forced jaehyun to let you stay at his place, being it your apartment was currently invaded by your brother’s friends from abroad.
but honestly it was also because you discovered jaehyun’s unit was blocks away from yours. fate was gladly on your side.
“y/n, you know i can’t work properly when you’re like this.” jaehyun sighed while he adjusted his sitting posture and lifting his laptop.
you slightly and lazily your body turned upright, seeing his dimples beginning to show themselves. “let me be.” you complained.
jaehyun put down his laptop. “i can’t. you’re in my way of cramming hours. plus, how long have you been coming here? it’s getting too frequent..” he paused when your eyes were no longer on him— rather they were on your phone, staring at the last conversation from yuta.
he couldn’t bring himself to say that he was reason why yuta acting the way he was to you. and for all honesty he would keep this matter to himself. “did i do something wrong?” you asked.
“of course not. he’s probably in his emo phase. guys have them a lot more than you think.” jaehyun typed on the keyboard for the remaining parts of the essay. “but he’ll get out of it eventually.”
“fine i’ll trust on that.” you sat up and scooted over to see his progress. you submitted your assignment hours ago. looking at jaehyun, it seemed he was struggling at some parts. were you unconsciously pressuring him? the beads of sweat began to roll down his temples and that made you giggle if it was the case. uh-huh. he was really feeling that way.
he gulped so loudly that it came out as a weird noise. he hoped you didn’t hear that. but the way you pursed your lips to hold the laughter in only had him discontinuing his report. “d-don’t do that.”
“do what?” you snicker.
jaehyun rolled his eyes and poked your forehead. “you’re too distracting.”
oh how the tables have turned. that comment flipped your head upside down, your heart in a frenzy and stomach churning. it wasn’t “so”, but “too”— that only meant he wasn’t concentrating on his work for a while.
even so, you waited for him to finish despite questionable feelings you’ve been feeling. his coffee cup already did seconds and thirds. and suddenly you remembered the happy hour the local café was promoting and there was a few minutes left until it ends for the day. you had to bring him there.
but you decided that because you wanted to be out of that suffocating air jaehyun caused.
the more you walked faster, the more jaehyun’s wrist reddened and hurt. but he let you be as he liked how you were comfortable with someone like him. your hair flowed with the wind, the remains of your shampoo left a sweet scent. was it lavender? and the wind blew stronger, making the scent clearer to the nose. his heart skipped beats, because it was indeed lavender. he swore in his head. scrap aside the frequent marathons and meet-ups. lavender’s all the more reason why fell for you quickly than ever.
and when the local café closed early for the day, you almost lost sight of the pedestrian signs. jaehyun pulled you in as the light emitted red. though you had your emotions get the best of you, you realised how childish you were for something so minor. you laughed in awkwardness, he did too. “i didn’t want anyone to see this side-”
warmth. that was all you thought of right there. you were in his embrace.
“..of me.” you soon mumbled in his chest, realising later of the action he just did. “jaehyun-”
“it’s okay. i don’t too.” his hand gently caressed the back of your head, treating it with care as if he held a newborn baby. “so can i keep you?”
that warmth became hotter, almost boiling that you weren’t able to breathe properly. “i’m sorry.” he said, that must’ve surprised you.” jaehyun chuckled.
surprised? of course you were. how was it natural for him to do skinship? and that smoothly? you both weren’t at that stage yet, let alone have a relationship with mutual feelings. even yuta couldn’t hug you because of how conscious you felt.
but then again, you looked up. you saw his ears. it was red, the usual reaction whenever you were with him. was it normal though? you were never aware of it up until now.
because it was so clear now.
“i’ll see you tomorrow? i have to help my mom with some things.” you lied as you scratched your neck.
jaehyun nodded and pulled away. “alright, go on ahead.”
you poked his dimples because he has been staring at you like he had questions to ask. “what is it?”
maybe he didn’t notice or maybe he did, but he was leaning closer, his head tilting to the side and eyes staring into your soul. you knew what he was about to do, you feel like letting him do so but at the same time you weren’t sure of your feelings.  
just a little more and you could’ve locked lips but..
your phone vibrated.
in panic you looked at your device and eyes widened that brought jaehyun aback.
“ah yuta!” you brought your phone so close to your face, not believing your best friend’s announcement on social media, in which he then followed up with a text message.
the light in your eyes was something jaehyun liked seeing, but didn’t so as well.
“oh! he said the concept for the elites’ party is live wardrobe. all singles will go through a ballot draw. it’s for the clothes to wear for the night..” you locked your phone. “tsk i wanted to wear my favourite dress.”
“i think you’ll look great in whatever gown is chosen for you.” jaehyun pat your head while you were immersed in your phone. “now go. it’s getting late.”
“i’ll expect the same for you.” you replied.
he laughed and that didn’t want to make you leave just yet. “nah don’t. i’m just ordinary in a suit.”
━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━
funny how he was so damn wrong.
fate let him draw red, and confidently chose a suit once it was his turn to change. it was as if he knew this attire would go well with him. a suede texture with a black outline on its collar accentuated his brushed up light brown hair, while his black under-shirt contrasted with his porcelain skin. gladly it wasn’t halloween, or else you would’ve mistaken him for a vampire.
he had you feeling all sorts of things, and you didn’t know why when you were nothing more than friends.
an hour ago he was in his usual casual wear. now he was surrounded with ladies who already seemed like they were friends with him for decades. you could see jaehyun was uncomfortable but he kept his cool with folded arms as he leaned against a column. the comments from them irritated you, because at one point they were badmouthing him— and the second he showed up they flooded him with compliments of his good looks and how they named him the “model elite”.
you swirled the wine glass in your hand, the other arm hugged your waist. you rolled your eyes at the falseness these people have towards him. “can’t believe it.” your fingers curled as irritation began to cover your sight. “look at them trying to make a move on him. erlgh too close. they weren’t like that before.”
sicheng rolled his tongue, hands in pockets and walked to be in front of you. “really? you weren’t like that before too.” he pointed out.
“i agree. recently you’re stuck like glue whenever you’re with him.” yuta gestured.
“am so not?” you gasped while your eyes trailed to jaehyun, who was still had patience for the ladies surrounding him. “i just like how he’s a good friend.”
“doubt it.” sicheng poked your cheek. “you wouldn’t feel like this when you have feeli-”
not this again. “i’m grabbing a drink.” yuta suddenly cut the conversation.
“get me one too!” the younger one yelled and after he was satisfied with the gesture, he winced as you pinched his sides from the remark he said earlier. “ow! y/n! it’s true though! i know what i’m seeing!”
truthfully, nothing about sicheng’s words or actions bothered you. but if there was anything that did, it was your own heart. as of tonight, you began to question your feelings towards jaehyun. when did it start? how was it possible to like someone so quickly? “i’m telling you i don’t.” your eyes trailed to him, not realising the rush of heat creeping your cheeks.
jaehyun was approached by yuta, who was giving him a glass of beer. the ladies fled after stealing pictures of the guy and he took the drink in his hands. then they headed towards the garden of the mansion. wonder what he’s here for?
“nice party you have here. concept’s cool.” jaehyun started to break the lingering silence because he knew how awkward this was going to be with your best friend.
“yeah, never knew you’d end up in red. it’s y/n’s favourite colour.” yuta’s voice lowered. there was an impact jaehyun could describe but assuming that would be too rude of him.
“really? i didn’t know.” he hummed. aren’t you a little too happy, jaehyun told himself. he shook it off, for he doesn’t expect him and you to go any further than this.
“now you do. so can you back up for a while? take a week off or something from y/n.” yuta raised his brows.
this was the same feeling from before. he knew this feeling because he felt the exact same way. he wanted to be selfish for once. not like he hated yuta, it was just.. he always had to appear whenever he didn’t want him to. then he would mess his mood. he interrupted his joy of admiring you. jaehyun licked his lips to dampen them. “i’m sorry, who are you to tell me what to do?”
yuta grinned and leaned against the column as he mirrored jaehyun. “don’t you get it?” he asked, his tone rising. “i love y/n. you entering the picture just ruins everything.”
my hunch’s correct. he does love y/n. “if you love her you wouldn’t ignore her.”
“it’s because you’re with her! and she does the same to me! it’s like she’s found someone else-”
“you’re being dramatic.” jaehyun pushed himself off the column and turned to him. “y/n’s sad and moping around because you treated her like she’s all alone. you have no idea how much she waited for you to contact her.”
“what do you know, smartass? you’re just another guy trying to fit in when you know you couldn’t. no matter how much you tried, everyone’s afraid of you. and now you’re telling me you have feelings for y/n? please.” his lips jutted with sounds of disbelief while his body posture challenged jaehyun. “y/n’s kind to everyone she meets. it’s who she is. but to think you have hope to be with someone like her? if you ask me, all i see is a greatest mismatch.”
jaehyun usually didn’t give a damn of the comments about him. he couldn’t care less of any of those. in fact he’d hear them through one ear and out they went. but when he said anything, it irked him.
you see, that was the thing— right now, he actually listened.
he turned a blind eye on yuta’s words and let it off for the night. he was given a drink and maybe the alcohol didn’t work its way on him than it did to guy. in the end, yuta was probably spilling tea even if he didn’t intend to.
“what i feel for y/n has nothing to do with you. just like people can’t control the tides,” jaehyun lightly knocked onto yuta’s chest. “i can’t control mine.”
the footsteps echoed in yuta’s ears, he could hear them despite the noisy hall. “rghhh!” he grabbed hold of his glass and threw it towards jaehyun.
sounds of shattering glass met the ground, as well as catching everyone’s attention. then there was silence. jaehyun began to lose his patience as he turned around. his smirk challenged him. ouch. this was the fight yuta was looking for, seeing jaehyun’s heavy breaths only made him stand on his toes.
jaehyun punched him in the jaw though he knew it wasn’t worth his time. but he wanted to give him a taste of stepping beyond boundaries. yuta punched him back too. he made sure the star of the night was the other— shone the brightest and reveal his true nature. he didn’t count the number of hits he received, as long as jaehyun stayed that way.
“i told you it wouldn’t be good if you provoked me!” jaehyun growled. “you’re asking for show? i’ll give you one!”
“huh..” yuta wiped his bleeding lip. “you sure about that, beast?”
jaehyun held himself for the next punch, feeling all of the pairs of eyes on him. yours included. that was what he feared. “aw. what impression does she have on you now?” yuta’s cooing words caused jaehyun’s eyes to soften.
all bleeding and bruised, jaehyun’s injuries have matched with his suit. he clenched his fists as he frustratingly left the hall.
in your peripheral, your eyes trailed his direction and your legs followed him by heart, without realising yuta calling out your name several times. everything went blank, not thinking things straight because while everyone watched, no one understood. you glared at yuta before heading outside, a more disappointed sigh was the only response he got from you.
yuta was then nudged by sicheng. the latter could see the change in his expression. “what did i tell you?”
“you don’t have to tell me.” yuta dusted his pants.
“i’m still gonna.” sicheng rolled his eyes and poked the lad’s temple. “that’s what you call ‘stupidity’. if only you confessed to her before maybe things would be different between you guys.”
“i don’t want things to be different dude.”
“i’m gonna state the obvious, you probably already know this but.. you lost this battle.”
“crap..” yuta’s voice changed from a nervous chuckle to a soft sob. “i liked her first.”
you spotted jaehyun sitting atop a metal barrier just in front of the carpark— head down to mend his injuries and scratches. he sniffed from the cool night breeze before hopping off. “you’ll hurt your feet.” he pointed at the heels you had dangling in your hands.
his gaze softened when you pointed at his face, especially the black eye. “touché.” he chuckled, later feeling your cold hands against his throbbing flesh. “it’s no big deal-”
“i’m sorry about yuta’s behaviour.” you sighed. “don’t let it get into you. he’s an airhead when he’s drunk-”
“you sure? he seemed pretty sober when he said- ah.” he pursed his lips to speak any further. “nevermind.”
now that gotten you curious. “what did he say? spill it!” you whined, causing jaehyun mouth to curve a little in amusement.
jaehyun prolonged the silence and grabbed your shoes, leading you towards his car. once he unlocked it and opened the door, he bursted out in a loud, healthy laugh. “he said he was head over heels for you.”
you pushed him to the driver’s seat and slammed the door, rolling your eyes at the pun. “that was so lame!” you sat on the other side. “but i know that already if you thought i didn’t. i subtly turned him down ages ago. guess he didn’t take the message.”
“clearly.”
as you tended to his wounds, one question still had your curiosity at its peak. jaehyun was quiet through-out, so it was hard to bring the topic up for a while. until your eyes and his met.
“what did you tell him before he threw the glass at you?” you dabbed the cotton onto the beaten area. “it must’ve pissed him.”
he dropped his car keys and let out a nervous hum. “uh..” he didn’t know what else to say. right when he was finally about to tell you, you suddenly giggled.
“unless you told him you like me and that made him angry, but i doubt that happened.” your lips shrank to a circle, cursing at yourself for assuming too much. girl the guts you have was incomparable—
jaehyun’s large hand held yours while you continued to apply medication. the warmth, the heat and the building tension of skinship made you weak. “you’re right.”
your smile and breaths changed in an instant when he fixed himself on the seat. he smirked a little, finding how cute you were. it drove him crazy.
“i like you, for the longest time, since the orientation. i’m so into you that i couldn’t help myself be selfish and have you to myself— i- i don’t know what i’m saying.” he sighed, pushing himself away in embarrassment with arms above his face.
“t-thanks.” you fiddled with your fingers.
“i’m not asking for an answer. i just wanted to let you know.” he said. “gosh this is a bad timing for confession.”
“then is it a bad timing if i said i’m into you too?” you looked away and out in the distance. you could see his reaction on the window’s reflection. he was shocked, but an uncontrollable smile was forcing itself on the surface. it was written in the dimples.
“no,” his husky voice called you to look back. “you’re just about right.”
503 notes · View notes
theposhsworld · 7 months ago
Text
Levels of Feminine Power
The more feminine energy you have, the stronger, more successful men you can attract.
To become desired by a gardener is easy, but only woman having enormous sexual energy can be desired by an emperor.
Some people are gifted with such energy from birth, and some need years of trainings to reach the same level.
You decide for yourself which level you wish to reach. Everything depends on your feminine energy and your skill in directing it to the necessary channel.
The more you have, the more you can achieve, the more men will be in your life.
Level 1: Physical Authority
The first level of feminine power is physical authority and the skill to attract.
It is given to us at birth and generally depends on our physical appeal. But it doesn’t define everything.
Only the power of our sexual energy defines whom we attract, whether it is a beggar or a minister.
Level 2: Maintenance
The second level of feminine power defines the skill to keep. To maintain space, men, and money.
This level already defines the space we take: someone lives in a hut, someone in a palace.
The power of one who lives in a palace corresponds to the number 108. So it all depends on you, whose wife you will become.
In fact the woman creates a man. If you will fall in love with a shoemaker and marry him, he can become emperor despite his low origins. History knows such cases.
But if he remains a shoemaker, you should blame only yourself.
It will mean that you did not develop and did not save energy but only lost it in the course of time and didn’t manage to use it as you should.
(I personally would chose a man that is already accomplished and not put all my energy into trying to make a millionaire out of a shoemaker, but I like the idea of bringing your man even higher than he is already!)
Level 3: Social Power
A skill to earn money yourself is the third level of feminine power, social power.
This level is named the whirlwind and that’s why if a woman manages to organise and successfully develop her business, in Russia people says, that she is “unwound”, she unwound her whirlwind.
Ritual to unwind
As you inhale, you connect you hands before your breast, as if in prayer.
As you exhale, you lift your hands and enter into a power stream, connecting your palms above the head.
As you take the next breath, you lower them again down to the level of your breast,
On the pause between breaths you turn palms downwards and lower them to the level of the solar plexus. Focus on the energy.
As you exhale you lift your hands above the head again along your sides and clasp them, binding and directing all the fingers upwards.
Rising on tiptoe, you do a corresponding number of turns: 3, 7, 17, 34, 73, 108, 117.
The Problem with the 3rd Level:
Masculine energy starts to dominate on the third level and if a woman directs all her power towards earning money, she starts to loose feminine energy of the second (sexuality) and the fourth (emotional) levels.
A man ceases to perceive her as a woman; he sees and feels a partner in her, a friend, sometimes a competitor, but not a woman. And this doesn’t depend on age or appearance.
This is the main problem of many businesswomen, they have achieved the third level of authority, but the manifestation of feminine energy is blocked.
If we don’t know how to fill and increase the energy we can only do business, and don’t have the energy for love.
In an ideal case there should be no more than 25 percent of masculine energy, and 75 of feminine.
If the parity is broken, your masculine energy starts to supersede the energy of your man. Therefore a man starts to lose power near such women, turning into a “milksop”.
For this reason strong and successful men subconsciously stay away from strong and successful women
Masculine energy starts to dominate in you when you took too much responsibility on yourself.
You earn money but not because it brings pleasure to you, but because you need to maintain yourself or survive.
Domination of masculine energy leads to the development of female illnesses. The organism doesn’t forgive neglect of our nature.
So how can you be simultaneously successful and feminine? To earn money yourself without turning into a man?
Money will come thanks to creativity. A woman is an embodiment of the creative energy of the Universe.
Therefore those few women who discovered their talent and are engaged in creativity, no matter what the sphere, are successful and rich, while maintaining their feminine energy.
Because earning money isn’t their overall aim. To get money enough to live is the job of the man.
Does such responsibility oppress the man? No, that's just the point, that responsibility makes a man even stronger.
And a woman pays for it with illnesses. Nature is wise and it is necessary to follow her rules. The feminine belongs to the woman, the masculine to the man.
Ritual to Seperate Energies:
This ancient technique is called “The cocks”. It will help you to separate masculine energy from feminine and help you to accept and love yourself.
This ritual also takes away the fear of success, fear of publicity and fear of popularity.
Close your eyes and keep your legs parallel
Exhale, then lift your hands above the head and connect them in a triangle.
As you inhale, lower the triangle down to the level of the breast, mentally dividing energy in half: white to the right, red to the left.
As we exhale we turn the triangle downwards and lower it to the ground. Repeat this three times.
Then sit down, put your elbows in the concavities above the knee and wait until the hands are joined.
Whichever hand moves more quickly shows what energy prevails in you.
When the hands join, we lift them up to the chin and put our thumbs under the chin, and with index fingers press on a point under nose (the point of pre-memory).
The other fingers we make into the shape of a megaphone. And in this megaphone we do 8 exhalations and three times shout “cock-a-doodle-doo”, welcoming the sunrise.
Having shouted “cock- a-doodle-doo”, we then slide the thumbs upwards along the face to the top of our head, from there we straighten our fingers and lift our hands towards the sun.
(Okay I must say this exercise is super weird lol did anyone do this or does anyone have a demonstration of it?)
Level 4: Authority of Emotion
If you are fine with the masculine and feminine energies and are able to overcome these fears, you can pass to the fourth level of feminine authority.
The fourth level of authority is emotional authority. It is at this level of charm when a woman becomes an idol, when everyone is in love with her.
Having reached this level, she becomes well known; it is the level of glory.
When a woman reaches this level, money appears by itself.
Ritual "Whirlpool":
Opening the whirlpool from the level of the heart helps you to attain emotional authority. As always we stand with our legs parallel to each other.
As we breathe out, we lift our hands and connect them above the head.
With an intake of breath we lower the triangle to the heart
On the exhale open a horizontal whirlpool.
During the pause between breaths we imagine how we are applauded by admirers, how they as for our autographs as we bathe in the light of glory;
then, with the next breath we close the whirlpool and put our hands on the breast.
Level 5: Great Authority
The fifth level of authority is an existential authority. It is the level of the personal plane, of billionaires, of great authority.
A woman of the fifth level becomes a governor, the prime minister, or owner of a big corporation.
Level 6: Mental Authority
The sixth level is that of mental authority. A woman defines about what and how mankind thinks.
She can write only one book but receive everything: glory, and money, and a man, like, for example, J.K. Rowling, the author of HARRY POTTER.
Or she creates a fashion brand, as Coco Chanel, or as Catherine the Great, she creates a new country, expanding both physical and intellectual borders.
Level 7: Spiritual Authority
The seventh level is that if spiritual authority, of the connection between the highest powers and people.
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codenamesazanka · a month ago
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one thing i can’t get over is how excellently Horikoshi tackles The Mutant Metaphor, a staple in science-fiction, especially superhero science-fiction, the idea of using mutants/super-powered power to stand in for an oppressed minority group. Which one? Any one you want: non-white people, queer people, Jewish people, disabled people, etc.
The issue with this metaphor, though, is that the creators often don’t think. They want to make an anti-discrimination statement (which is good), modeling the fictional oppression after irl oppression (which has always been what speculative fiction is about - holding up a mirror to our reality) but in doing so, they end up comparing a irl minority group to people who have supernatural and often destructive abilities - which is also often the reason they are feared and hated. Needless to say, that’s bad, because irl, oppressed minority groups aren’t different from everyone else, aren’t dangerous, and have done nothing to warrant fear and hate.
But here comes Horikoshi with his quirks and heteromorphs, making the metaphor his own, and doing it well. IMO, it’s one of the best of very few examples doing it right. He has thought it through; he delved into all the implications and consequences, big and small; he’s made it allegorical to real dynamics and experiences, while adding it’s own unique elements. He did this by simply making the majority of population in his universe superpowered, then followed the logics of how that would change society.
My favorite element of this logic, my fav aspect of his metaphor is how he’s made the differences between the people in his world a social construct, which I think is the root factor that many writers miss and why their metaphors fail. The problem isn’t that some people are inherently dangerous or bad or irreconcilably different - that’s bullshit, people simply aren’t; the problem is that they are wrongly perceived to be, and that perception is what allows for justifications of their oppression. That’s what a social construct is (in simplified terms): the way humans conceptualize a thing, the way humans invent arbitrary categories and classifications, rules grounded not in objective reality but in how people choose to view the world, shifting it to their liking, then structuring their lives, beliefs, and institutions based on it.
This might seem weird to say about My Hero Academia, where people do have wildly different types of abilities, whether it’s literally looking like a lizard or being able to kill with a touch. Quirks and the differences they make in people aren’t a social construct - they’re real. Yes, but see— when nearly everyone has a superpower, the standards change, the threshold is moved, a new norm is created. Building from that basis, what does become a social construct is how quirks are perceived, how they’re reacted to, how ‘human’ they’re believed to make someone, how they’re valued or not.
One way this manifest is the fuzzy borders of what make someone a heteromorph. We’ve seen the characters called heteromorphs - they have quirks that alter their bodies, making them look like cement, or have bright pink skin, or multiple arms. But how altered does an appearance have to be to make someone a heteromorph? Jirou looks ‘normal’, but her earlobes are jacks - does she count? What about ReDestro, who has a big nose and pointy ears (which, btw, doesn’t seem to have anything to do with his Stress quirk)? Is Hawks with his wings a heteromorph?
Moreover, this is all based on surface level traits. As i’ve pointed out in a previous essay: Spinner is called a heteromorph because he looks like a lizard man, and his skin is replaced by scales; but Endeavor has fireproof skin and organs like extremophile bacteria you find in a volcano, which is not ‘normal’ either. But one gets targeted by the CRC.
Heteromorphs are discriminated against in society, presumably because they don’t look “human”, and so some people just don’t considered them human. (There are other hints of these prejudiced criteria tho - the CRC uses the word 汚れ kegare which means “unclean, impurity” (translated in the official Viz version as “sin”), which is a concept often connected to the Japanese religion of Shintoism, and was/is used to discriminate against the irl minority of burakumin.)
But what is “human” in a superhuman world? Spinner is as human as Hawks, who is as human as quirkless Deku, who is as human as Iida - i’m pretty sure at a genetic level, none of them have more ‘human genes’ than the other. and yet the perception of how their quirks (or lack of) affect them is what informs their different experiences in life.
Anyways, i’m eager to see Spinner’s Heteromorphic Discriminatic Arc. Please, Horikoshi-sensei 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼
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thecarnivorousmuffinmeta · 6 months ago
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For each member of the Cullens, what do you think it would take for them to realize the extent of how unhinged Edward is and what do you think they would do about it, if anything?
Well, we’re going dark places today, aren’t we?
Alice
Alice is already fully aware of what Edward is, she simply doesn’t care.
There are visions that Alice misses, Edward thinks Alice misses the vast majority of Biology due to being hyper focused on Jasper (and likely missed the school massacre that Edward was seriously planning) but there is a lot she doesn’t miss.
Every time Edward thinks about how great it’d be to smash Mike Newton’s head like a watermelon, every time he considers devouring Bella, every time he enters her room unannounced to stare at her while she sleeps unawares, the time Edward considers genocide of the Quileute Tribe because of Jake’s telling Bella a story he doesn’t even believe, Alice knows.
It changes nothing for her.
She roots for Edward and Bella’s relationship, not because she knows for a certainty it will work out, but because it might. And that slim might, where Bella Swan might survive and become Edward’s lover as well as her own Barbie is worth everything they put Bella through to get there.
Also damningly, Alice cares very little for how good Edward is for Bella just as she cares very little for Bella period. Bella is Alice’s excuse to party and a dress up toy, but Alice will cut contact with her to a) please Edward b) prove a point to Edward.
Worse, Alice will take Bella to Italy, a city where she knows Bella will be killed with a 90% chance upon entry, on the slim chance that they might prevent Edward’s suicide. Yes, she vaguely explains the risk Bella’s taking, but she doesn’t say it in clear terms nor does she waste much time arguing.
Edward is far more important to Alice than Bella.
What I’m getting at is, thanks to her gift, Alice is intimately aware of just what Edward is capable of. She doesn’t care. And yes, there’s something to be said that Edward, more often than not, does not act upon these futures and he shouldn’t be condemned for choices he does not make. However, he does make some of them, and Alice knows.
There’s nothing I think Edward could do to either inform her that she was gravely wrong in how she perceived him or drive her away. Alice would be disappointed he’s thrown the family into such disarray but most likely would try to steer him away from whatever choice would cause such a rift.
She would aid, abet, and enable him because that is what will keep the Cullens together. Which is something Alice very much wants.
Carlisle
Carlisle lives in a river in Egypt, the water is made of double think. There are strong hints that Carlisle’s family is not quite as gung ho or altruistic about the diet as he is. Instead of being appalled, Carlisle quietly lowers his standards, and gives enthusiastic applause when Edward does things like choose not to brutally murder the serial rapist who nearly raped Bella. This is big growth for Edward! He also takes measures like sending family members who have accidents to their victims funeral, in the hopes that something, maybe, might make them see humans as people worthy of life.
If you asked him though, he’d talk about how amazing his family and the Denali are for the diet, and how he’s so proud to be a part of this community that values human life. LOOK HOW MUCH THEY VALUE IT.
When it comes to Edward, I think Edward holds a special place in Carlisle’s heart. He was not only the first person he turned, but Edward left and came back, to Carlisle this signaled that he’d found meaning and purpose in preserving human life. More, Edward... is very good at hiding what he is and is desperate that Carlisle above all others never see it.
Rather than have a conscience, most of the time, what stops Edward from “you name horrific action” of the day is the thought of “What would Carlisle say?” 
My point being, from the outside, especially to Carlisle, Edward truly does look like a noble soul. There are... flags, but they’re easily ignored or written off as issues with Edward’s emotional maturity.
Where Carlisle starts getting concerned is with Bella. Edward leaves for Alaska, great, Carlisle’s proud he was able to make that decision and know his limits. ThEn EdWArd CoMeS BaCK.
Edward comes back, in a week, nothing has changed, and he refuses to leave. Carlisle talks to him, Edward’s thinking he’s better than Hamburger and he can’t let her win, what he actually says to Carlisle is something along the lines of “I can’t run from my fears” Carlisle does an upside down smiley face then says, “Yes, you can, please do” And Edward doesn’t.
Things with Edward and this girl get progressively weird, but Carlisle is very proud that Edward sees the value of human life and not murdering a girl for being nearly hit by a van (this is how low Carlisle’s standards have become), and then Alice goes, “Oh, by the way, Edward is in love with this girl!”
Carlisle just sits there, “Alright then” and quietly puts aside his dreams of moving to a town where Edward doesn’t eat Bella Swan.
But I’m getting off track, this isn’t about canon where Carlisle can explain Edward’s actions away as noble but extreme, emotionally immature, and misguided.
Eating Bella’s not enough. Carlisle will see this as a tragic accident, something he foresaw, but something he assumes will haunt Edward for eternity. And, as it will haunt Edward for eternity (though not for the reasons Carlisle assumes) there will be nothing to make Carlisle question Edward’s character. He was young and foolish to think his limits were endless, but this was a tragic accident.
And it’s something, that in canon, Carlisle is hoping won’t happen but expects with helplessness.
I think there are a number of things that could do it. Had Edward eaten Biology, had he decided to defy Volturi law by eating Saint Marcus’ Square, but staying closer to the realm of possibility...
Had Edward forcibly aborted Bella, murdering her and her child in the process, or else if Renesmee didn’t have her gift, and Edward murdered her after her birth (assuming Jake didn’t get to it first).
Those actions cannot be excused away nor cannot be seen as tragic accidents. They are premeditated and evil, and yes evil is a strong word, yet here we are. This is Carlisle staring in the face of madness.
And that’s what it will take.
If Edward cheats on Bella, then while Carlisle is sad and disappointed, affairs happen and passion fades. More, Edward and Bella married awfully young and barely knew each other, this perhaps isn’t surprising.
If Edward eats a human Bella on the day she’s supposed to be turned, in very suspicious circumstances right at the last minute. Carlisle will know, deep down, but never allow himself to believe it. He’ll think Edward is utterly devestated and had let his guard down on that last day in anticipation of Bella’s turning.
This though, there’s no denying this.
I don’t believe Carlisle can kill Edward. Murder is not in his nature, and more, Edward is so dear to him. And now that this has happened, Carlisle would blame himself in part because surely, the human Edward Masen would never have become this. 
He’d likely reach out to Aro. Eclipse has happened, but not Breaking Dawn, and more everything is in question. He has to know the truth from a man who has seen Edward’s very soul. He goes in person, likely tells Edward his plans, and Edward rages but that doesn’t stop Carlisle.
Rosalie (more on her below) would never forgive Edward, ever, she is done. She and Emmett likely go with Carlisle to Volterra to hear the truth of what Edward is. Esme stays behind with Edward, torn in half, but unable to leave his side in this time of crisis. With that, her and Carlisle’s marriage completely dissolves on the spot. Alice stays with Edward as well, which means Jasper does to, though this likely starts the gears in head and he begins to contemplate leaving his wife. Though I imagine he won’t act for some time.
By the time Emmett, Rosalie, and Carlisle reach Volterra the coven is broken.
If Bella survived, if Edward murdered Renesmee while she was out of commission for three days, then I imagine she too goes to Volterra. Not for truth, but so that Aro can murder her, because there’s no point in living anymore.
Emmett
It would have to be beyond the pale extreme because Emmett gets more hints than most of the family (i.e. Carlisle and Rosalie).
Edward doesn’t really confide in Emmett, per se, but he does say some pretty damning things on their hunting trip in New Moon and give off varying vibes of crazy. Rather than realize that Edward, perhaps, is dangerous, Emmett only gets the feeling that Edward might not be alright in the head. Mostly, Emmett doesn’t want to think about it.
So he gets to listen to Edward raving about how Bella could be crushed by a meteor, wondering why Edward even cares when two days ago he didn’t give a flying fuck about this rando tasty human.
To Emmett, Edward has been laughing madly to himself for days, is now a  paranoid wreck, and is starting to creep him out but... Maybe if he ignores it, Edward will go back to normal?
Not helping is that Emmett doesn’t care about human life. He’s constantly telling Edward to treat himself and eat Bella, in a manner that suggests he vicariously wants to live through the delicious experience (as well as get Edward to calm down). 
If Edward eats Bella, Emmett will slap him on the back and say “Good job, bro!” If Edward eats Bella after the whole “love” thing, well, that’s weird, but, uh, “Sorry, bro?” If Edward murders all of Biology...
Then Emmet might do a double take and think, you know, maybe something’s not right with Edward.
I think he’d suggest he and Rose take a very long vacation and wait for things to calm down. Hoping that, if he ignores this, it will go away and Edward will return to a... saneish person.
What Rose thinks is a different story.
Esme
There is nothing on this planet that could tear Esme away from Edward. Esme’s purpose in life, the thing that gives her joy each morning and each night, is her family which you can condense down to Edward: the best and brightest of all of us.
We see it in canon.
The day after Edward decides he’s in love he acts like a lunatic. The car smells like Bella, as he kidnapped her for a ride home (Bella did not realize she had, in fact, been abducted. Edward does for two seconds then says to himself, “No, no, this is--completely necessary. I’M A MONSTER”
Jasper, Alice, Rosalie, and Emmett get to ride home in this Bella smelling car. Edward keeps laughing, like he’s in an opium den, it’s fucking weird. Edward offers no explanation, the car always smells like Bella, what are you talking about?
Edward then skips to the piano, giggling to himself, and sits down to compose. An action he hasn’t done in years. He’s still grinning and giggling to himself, by the way. Alice joins him at the piano, being equally cryptic and weird as usual. For some reason, Rosalie leaves the room in complete humiliation and shame. This is never explained to anyone watching.
Esme is sitting in the room, taking this all in, and thinks nothing. Instead she smiles, at beautiful Edward, and asks him to play the song he composed for her. She’s so glad to see him filled with joy again. She tells him that he is the best and brightest of all of them.
Esme later gives Edward her pretty much express permission to eat Bella if the girl is causing him such pain and misery. Luckily for Bella, Edward’s in love. So he passes on that and assures Esme the most wonderful thing has happened, he is in love.
My point being, Edward could drop the corpses of the students he murdered in Biology so he could more efficiently eat Bella at Esme’s feet and she wouldn’t blink. It wouldn’t even process for her. Esme would continue carrying on as Esme, nothing changing, while the rest of the family stares agog at the city Edward just murdered.
There is nothing Edward could do or say that would ever change Esme’s mind and she will always treat him as her favorite child.
Jasper
With his gift, I imagine Jasper suspects. Edward loathes Rosalie, despises him, and his feelings for others are... strange. He holds indifference and contempt for mankind and when it comes to Bella. Woof, what a cocktail.
He has no proof though, but I imagine if the smallest thing comes into his lap, that suspicion would become a certainty.
As for what he’d do, it’s hard to say.
I think, in most scenarios, he’d look the other way. Yes, Edward is a monater, but Jasper to is a monster if for different reasons, he has no room to judge. More, Edward is in many respects the heart of the Cullens, far more than Japser himself is. If Jasper goes causing strife, making accusations the others may or may not believe, then the coven could collapse.
This place, these people, are what Jasper thinks he’s been searching for all his life. For the first time, he knows peace, and is trying to live a life where he doesn’t persist in agony every time he succumbs to eating. Jasper is not going to risk that falling apart, even if he finds Edward unpleasant.
And if Edward keeps it to himself, or if the occasional human is the victim, then that’s a price Jasper is willing to pay.
Jasper might actually get concerned when it comes to Bella. For all Bella’s not very close with him, he holds her in very high regard. He nearly devoured Bella, and she forgave him, she forgave him his monstrously brutal past and has never flinched from him. She is a reminder of what humanity can be and why it’s important.
If he realized the threat Edward is to Bella, not just in eating her, but on a level much darker than that, then he might start to act and would probably try to get Bella to leave while she could. However, he also likely knows Bella would never listen, because she doesn’t see what Edward is and nothing would convince her otherwise. Not to mention, as soon as Jasper knows, Edward will plot against him so that no one in the family will ever listen to a word he says.
Not to mention that Alice, of course, must know and doesn’t care. That will be quite the blow to Jasper taking any action.
Barring extreme circumstances, Jasper does nothing, he just watches and waits to see what the others do.
Rosalie
For all that Edward doesn’t bother to be nice to Rosalie, and is ready to lay into her at a moment’s notice, he’s very dear to her. He is, in all regards, her brother and she cares for him deeply as she does the family as a whole.
Rosalie has no idea what he truly is and it would take a lot for her to accept it. More, unlike Carlisle, although she prizes human values and tries to hold herself to human standards her morals have slipped enough that she genuinely advocates murdering Bella Swan in her sleep so that Rosalie won’t have to move.
Murdering Bella won’t be enough, Rosalie will see it as the accident that could have been avoided if Edward hadn’t insisted on being a fool. 
I think, for Rosalie, the best way to drive it home would be a sexual crime. Had Edward forced Bella’s abortion in Breaking Dawn, that would have done it. First, it’d be such a messy, bloody, affair at that point and would look like a horror show (which means Edward’s more than likely to eat Bella in the process). Second, this would be Edward taking the child that Bella wanted, tearing it from her and murdering it, and performing the most vile action that Rosalie can likely even contemplate.
I don’t know what she’d do, I don’t think Rosalie’s capable of killing Edward, she cares for him too much, even after something like this. However, I think she would make an ultimatum to Carlisle “either he goes or I go” and then would never speak of Edward again, he’s dead to her.
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elia-de-silentio · 8 months ago
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Vanitas and affection: a complicated relationship
In light of recent chapters and waiting for the next to deliver our new dose of pain, I've decided to make a bit of analysis on how Vanitas relates to affection.
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Vanitas enters this world, and gets the first of a long series of traumas. A classic: mother dies in childbirth, the baby is blamed for existing. Vanitas had internalized this thinking from his father ... or maybe it was a reasoning he made on his own (he says that his father 'must have hated him', but does not recall the man actually telling him so), and his father did not correct him - either because he subconsciously agreed or because he wasn't the most emotionally attuned man in the world.
After all, the only thing certain about Vanitas's father is his tendency to self-sacrifice: he abandoned his birth family and respectable profession to follow the woman he loved in her travelling caravan, even if he didn't like the rest of the people there; he gave up his life to save his son.
And this latter part is what furthers Vanitas's trauma, as he will feel an extra dose of guilt for causing his father's sacrifice.
After the death of his family, he is taken by the Chasseurs to be trained and become one of them. His strong hatred for vampires fueled him, and it's likely he was quite good at fighting, given what we see of him now. But alas, he caught the attention of Moreau.
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Vanitas's damnation was his high empathy. As Luna will later point out, he would be able to escape; but Moreau had faked his death by killing a kid that looked like him, thus triggering his trauma of 'other people sacrificing for his sake'.
And then, he thought that even if he escaped, someone else would be tortured in his place. The reasoning is actually more based in self-loathing than reality, as attested by the existence of n.70 and 71; so he turned his reason for being there into trying to get more torture and lift it from the other children whenever he could.
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Then he gets saved. Well, he likely doesn't perceive it like that, because Luna is a vampire, especially the Vampire of the Blue Moon whose blood Moreau injected him to try and turn him into a vampire. Nevertheless, there appears to have been a somewhat peaceful period between the escape from Moreau and the start of the series: we see Luna take care of him and Misha, giving them shelter, teaching them about malnomens and trying her hand at life lessons; we see little Vanitas do most of the chores, even if with a standoffish attitude; we see little Misha basking in the happiness of a somewhat stable and nice family situation.
Then something terrible happens.
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It is revealed that due to Moreau's experiments, the kids are not exactly human anymore, but they aren't vampires either; their body can't substain this state of being, and they will die if they aren't turned into kins of the Blue Moon. Misha accepts, Vanitas refuses, wanting to stay human. Next thing we know, they are both kins of the Blue Moon with Marks of Possession, and Luna is dead.
As of the time of this writing, it is not clear exactly what happened; we know that Luna died, and that Vanitas played some role in it. Misha outright accuses him of killing her, but the framing of the actual events is quite ambiguous.
Vanitas, on his part, seems to have conflicting feelings: he says he wants to take revenge on Luna for drinking his blood, but when he's half-delirious, he mutters that he didn't really hate her; he appearently made Misha some promise that he didn't keep, and he is crushed by guilt as a result.
But whatever happened, his consent on the kin-making was ignored (just like it always happened in Moreau's laboratory) and another person that was close to him died either at his own hand, or because of him. And he gets some other trauma on top of an already long list.
Moreover, he was surprised to find out that Misha was alive. So, for some time, he believed the person who he loved like a brother was dead. Add good old grief to the mix.
So, we get to the Vanitas of the very first chapters of the manga. An outgoing, cocky individual ... a mask. After all, every time he has shown his actual feelings of anger and grief, it didn't turn out very well for him in the end, did it?
It also allows him to annoy and gross out people, specifically Noé and Jeanne. Nobody really likes his arrogance and pushiness, so they won't give him the affection he doesn't deserve.
Then, the aftermath of the Bal Masqué. Vanitas is provoking Ruthven, and Noé goes unexpectedly to protect him. To take risks for his sake. This already scares him, but then Noé has the gall to go and try to understand him! His reaction has to be more extreme: he flat out tries to attack Noé with a knife and tries to get him away, whereas he had been pretty much stalking him up to this point. But Noé refuses; and Vanitas is maybe just a little comforted and moved, enough to stop trying to push him away.
Then there is the Catacomb Arc, where a new character is introduced: Roland. He doesn't show spite to Vanitas, but still sees him with condescension, denying that he is acting out of his own free will. And this, to the former Chasseur who was left by the rest of them in Moreau's clutches, is untolerable. Roland means well, but he's going at it the wrong way.
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After the fight with Roland, there is another argument between Vanitas and Noé. Vanitas does exactly what Noé had done before: shields him. This sends Noé on a sermon about how Vanitas, as a human, is weak and shouldn't take such risks, which infuriates the other boy: he bites back by calling Noé overconfident, citing the Ruthven accident as an example. This confuses Noé, because didn't he want him to become his shield?
I suspect that this was both Vanitas tendency to sacrifice himself for others, and a sign of tentative trust towards Noé. He does the same thing the vampire did for him ... and got rebuked, and called weak for his trouble. Noé's attitude is too patronizing to be seen as an actual sign of concern,and his already bad mood sours considerably.
Well, there is to say that after a similar crisis repeats itself a chapter later, complete with anti-vampire slurs on Vanitas part, Noè amends ... by using him as a fake hostage against Roland, which is still better that treating him as if he was weak.
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Now, Noé might be naive in a lot of regards, but he is not stupid. From that moment onwards, he gets that Vanitas will be treated as an equal. He won't force him into dangerous situations, but he won't even treat him like he's too frail for it. He will be incouraging, but not condescending. And the result is that he actually snaps Vanitas out from his trauma-induced flashbacks, and gets him to be more open and trusting than he has ever been.
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In the Gevaudan arc, Vanitas's emotional connections get shaken on two fronts: Noé 's and Jeanne's.
In this arc, he is the one to encourage and support Noé. He gives him advice on how to handle Astolfo; he gets worried about him when he's captured by Chloé (even if he expresses it in his own way).
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He saves Noé from getting lost into Jean-Jacques's memories, listens to what he has to say, and concedes to what he wants, where at the start of the manga he was all 'my way or the highway'. He even almost (almost) admits that he was worried about Noé!
He still receives some actual support: demostrations of Noé's spirit which are good for the soul, and a proclamation that he believes in what Vanitas thinks about the origin of Malnomen, the first time a vampire says something like that. Vani plays grumpy, but he is obviously very shaken, in a positive way.
He finally shows Jeanne some actual support: he is cold to her after he was unwillingly vulnerable in her presence due to his illness, but pushes that aside rather quickly, in order to help her realize what she truly wants (saving Chloé instead of killing her) and that she's right to want it. He reminds her that she's a person, not a tool.
And she's grateful for it, and has definitely no qualms about expressing it. The result is that our hero spends days in blue screen, to then have a complete freakout at the possibility of being actually in love with Jeanne. He's so out  of it, he ends up oversharing his feelings of being undeserving of love to a Roland who he doesn't like and a Olivier he has never met before. Still, it's the first time he flat-out says his issues.
This brings us to his rooftop conversation with Noé. I really liked the vampire's behaviour here: he was comforting in a sort of roundabout way, à la Vanitas. He said that he is happy Vanitas is the way he is, even if he still doesn't like him very much. Translation: you're a way better person than you think you are, and you deserve to be loved. This is coming from a totally unbiased place, I'm not a weird person who would like you or something.
And this is the last conversation we see between the two of them: as of the time of this writing, Noé has been compelled to drink Misha's blood, and Vanitas has just arrived on the scene.
Vanitas has seen his self-loathing perspective challenged and has changed a lot in the span of a rather short time, and I really don't know how he'll react to Noé learning the details of his past; he sure won't want any form of compassion. Personally, I suspect he'll be very cold to Noé for quite some time, possibly even trying to drive him away, before a reconciliation.
Thanks to anyone who bothered to read my ramblings!
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valleydean · 7 months ago
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You know I think that if something had happened to Castiel’s vessel so he had to be in a female one JUST for one episode that it would have absolutely shattered Dean. Dean has always perceived Cas as a Man, when they first met Cas was a dick, than Cas was a buddy and a nerdy little guy, etc etc. He’s never thought of him as being anything else despite the fact that he knows, on some level, that Cas does not have a gender and is just in a vessel like he’s seen with all the other angels. Cas is a man so Cas is his best friend and that is all Dean lets it be in his mind.
But I think that if Dean was forced to confront the fact that Cas has the possibility to be something that Dean allows himself to be attracted to (a woman) it would finally shatter that barrier in his mind that blocks his ability to let himself think about what he feels for Cas, even after Cas returns to his true vessel.
How it happens isn’t too important. Maybe something traps Cas but only traps his physical body so he’s able to escape and find the Winchesters in a different vessel.
The episode could go down like this: We open on Cas being held captive, maybe continuing from the cliffhanger last episode. He isn’t able to escape his bindings, but he’s able to etch away the enochian markings that are also binding his true form. He leaves his vessel. Supernatural title card.
Sam and Dean are in a bar. Dean is shooting the breeze with Sam and preforming masculinity, par for the course. A woman approaches Dean at the bar, and he immediately puts on his best flirty face and gives her a quick compliment. She tilts her head and squints in confusion, revealing to the audience that she is Cas.
“Dean, it’s me.” Now it’s Dean’s turn to be confused.
“I’m sorry, have we met? I uh, tend to move around a lot.”
“It’s me, Castiel.” Insert Sam reaction face here.
Cas then explains the situation, apologizes for the vessel “she was the closest one to you two I could find, I intend to keep her safe and return her to her family as soon as possible” and they all set out to rescue Cas’s body. They all go out into the parking lot and Cas gets in the Impala first, and while he’s out of earshot Sam says “Dude, you just flirted with Cas” to which Dean tells him to shut up.
Now, what’s very important is that there is NO sexual tension throughout the episode. Also the actress is never objectified because gross. Cas does not act any differently than he normally does around Dean because his vessel’s gender doesn’t matter to him, and Dean is just VERY VERY confused about his feelings and kind of uncomfortable about the fact that he even has to think about it in the first place.
There are moments where Dean looks at Cas in an odd way throughout the episode. Not in a sexual way, but just that you can tell the gears are turning in his head. Cas isn’t a nerdy little dude? Cas is a person I would allow myself to be attracted to? etc. etc. Cas is unaware of this. Dean’s staring is pointed out by Sam “Dean, stop staring at Cas all weird and focus”
“I’m not!” pauses, quieter because they’re creeping through the warehouse where Cas’s body is being held “I’m not ‘staring at Cas all weird’, okay? I’m looking at him normally. It’s just Cas.” Very obvious that he’s trying to convince himself more than he is Sam.
Eventually they free Cas’s body and he returns to his vessel. He is a little hurt, but nothing he can’t heal. He thanks the woman who allowed herself to be his vessel. She is very sweet and notably has very different mannerisms than Cas did when possessing her, and her voice is different just like how Jimmy’s is. They all get into the Impala and drive her home to the city Sam and Dean were at the start of the episode, where she lives. It is unusually tense for a them all just having a victory. Dean keeps glancing in the rear view mirror, but he’s looking at Cas with the same weird look he did earlier, not the woman. Sam notices, furrows his eyebrow, and suggests music. The Impala revs on into the night with music playing.
Last five minutes of the episode. They drop her off at her house, make sure she’s okay. She makes a quick joke about how she’ll have to “explain to my boss about why I missed work yesterday with no notice, but other than that I’m fine” Cas smiles softly, Sam chuckles, Dean doesn’t laugh and takes a second too long to give a polite smile because he was distracted. Cas thanks her again and she goes inside. Because Dean doesn’t, Sam breaks the silence and offers for Cas to come back to the bunker with them. Dean’s head shoots up and he looks at Cas weird. Cas says he appreciates the offer, but he needs to get back to his current mission “you know, before I was kidnapped”. Again, Sam fills in for what should be Dean’s suggestion “Okay man, we’ll make sure to call us if you need anything”. Cas says he will. Sam opens his arms to give Cas a quick hug, and after hugging Sam Cas moves to hug Dean. Dean stiffens, but after a moment he softens and reciprocates the hug with a quiet “I’m glad you’re okay, Cas”.
They part ways and Sam and Dean get in the car and begin to drive away. Dean is still being a little quiet, so Sam asks him if he’s okay.
“Yeah, why wouldn’t I be?” Dean asks, with a twinge of defensiveness.
“Okay, okay, just asking. Music?”
Dean obliges and turns on the radio, which plays “Communication Breakdown” by Led Zeppelin. The Impala drives off down the sunny rode. End credits.
This than has ramifications throughout the rest of the season where the next time sees Cas he’s acting weird again, which slowly progresses to Dean letting himself be a little closer to Cas each time to the point where he lets himself be casually intimate with him, showing his internal thoughts with his actions of him processing that episode.
What do you think?
i read this twice just to make sure i got every detail and i’m salivating at the mere possibility. like?????? spn was cowardly for not doing this!!!!! if dean ever saw cas’ victorian lady vessel from lily sunder, all bets would be off!!!!!! this is making me wanna hotwire a car and drive it off a bridge!!!!!!!!!!! also great zepp song choice there
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busghost · a month ago
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is the actual original sirin still alive?? the way i perceived things was that the original her died and kiana was a part of her moving forward for her. kiana+hotv being parts of sirin but also separate from her and are just carrying on in different ways
I think that how you perceive that is entirely up to you. I mean what is a soul? There certainly isn't a frame of reference irl for a soul getting a new body but I guess it's fun that fiction lets us imagine that.
Personally, I think they both were Sirin in their own weird ways and that Kiana IS Sirin just as much as HoV was. In the Second Eruption manga it does show Sirin wishing to feel Cecilia's embrace again and then she wakes up in K423 and finishes her thought so I always took that to mean that they are one in the same. To me it seemed like two Sirins in there but one of them (HoV) refused to acknowledge that there could be good in the world or that it was worth anything, like Sirin at her worst and the other woke up because of the good in the world.
But you wouldn't be wrong to have a different opinion. Plenty would say that the original Sirin is gone and Kiana is the embodiment of her wish to be loved and HoV is the embodiment of her desire to destroy.
You could even say that HoV is a Herrscher personality that appeared after Sirin woke up in K423. Herrschers share the same memories as their hosts after all and Herrschers aren't necessarily evil (see: 3rd Herrscher, Senti) so you can't just handwave HoV as "oh she was just gonna wind up that way anyway.
Kiana sees HoV as an equally valid Sirin despite HoV telling her that she is the only true Sirin. Your opinion might say that one of them is more like the og Sirin than the other and has a better claim to being her.
Or maybe neither are! Maybe they've both changed too much from how Sirin was in 2000 for either to be her.
This kind of non-answer isn't really satisfying I feel but there isn't really a solid answer to give. It's not something one would think about often and even if mihoyo gave an official statement I feel you'd still have people debating the topic. And that's really interesting to me! I love hearing what people have to say on this cause there are so many opinions backed up by so many points of view.
still sad we never got a proper name for HoV, Herrscher of the Void is a title not a name ;-;
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shihalyfie · 8 months ago
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A meta and analysis on Yagami Taichi
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Being the face of Adventure and arguably the rest of the franchise, Taichi has the honor of being an important figure in the realm of shounen anime overall, which has the unfortunate side effect of very often being described with things that don’t actually match him at all -- the way people often talk about him (especially mainstream press) tends to portray him like a stereotypical shounen hero who charges aggressively into everything and is hot-blooded all of the time. That’s not...quite on the mark.
I think “impulsive” is certainly a correct way to describe him, but in a very different way than one might think -- and, in fact, Taichi is much more of a multifaceted character than he’s often pigeonholed as. How? Well, let’s talk about it!
Taichi in Adventure
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The main reason it’s probably incorrect to call Taichi “hot-blooded” by nature is that, in actuality, he is far more often too chill than otherwise. It’s not that he aggressively charges into everything without any rhyme or reason! Rather, it’s more like he takes everything very easily and has a “don’t worry about it!” attitude.
In fact, I think our friend the Animation Chronicle explains it better than I can:
If he doesn’t know/understand something, he acts while he tries to figure it out...
So in other words, rather than our conventional version of “being impulsive” meaning beelining to the most aggressive possible action, rather, it’s more like “the first thing that pops into his head” -- even if it’s a fairly easygoing or relatively harmless-seeming solution, he just goes for it because it sounds like it’ll work and he doesn’t see any reason why not.
That said, it’s also made abundantly clear by multiple sources that his ideas do come with some kind of consideration:
From the Animation Chronicle: “He appears to move with reckless abandon, but he actually does take in his surroundings and he takes good care of his juniors in the soccer club.” 
From the Adventure novels: “Taichi treated everyone without discrimination, as equals. That attitude of his didn’t change, even towards Koushiro. If Taichi hadn’t invited him, Koushiro was sure that he would have never gone to summer camp.”
Sora and Koushirou even back this up personally in Adventure episode 16, when Koushirou points out that Taichi had always been kind to his juniors, and Sora recalls an incident when he’d foregone an opportunity to score a goal because he’d known Sora was more likely to pull it off successfully.
So in other words, Taichi is, fundamentally speaking, not someone who does things for personal glory, but does want to work for other people’s sake. It’s just that, in trying to carry that out, he has a tendency to default to the first thing that pops into his head. Or in other words, Taichi’s primary way of thinking is “act first and figure out the details later” -- and this has both good and bad things about it.
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Firstly, the fact that Taichi has such an “action-first” philosophy means that he’s capable of acting very practically in situations when others would freeze up. A very good example of this is Adventure episode 21; after angsting for half an episode considering quitting the fighting and enjoying his life at home, the moment he realizes that everyone else will be in danger if he leaves everyone be, he immediately instinctively steps in to help everyone. It’s not necessarily that Taichi doesn’t feel the stress or danger of fighting; it’s just that when he sees the practical impact of people he cares about getting hurt in front of him, all bets are off, because he needs to help people now.
The second thing is that, as Koushirou points out, he’s very kind to his juniors, and people in general -- he doesn’t really pay much mind to things like seniority, and is more concerned about treating everyone in accordance to their practical capabilities. This means that he’s someone who has a certain sense of charisma, especially since he’s appreciative of people’s abilities.
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This is best indicated in Adventure episode 28, when two important things about Taichi are brought to the forefront:
Taichi’s natural charisma and ability to appeal to people makes him someone good at “bringing people together” -- indicated by the fact that the group hadn’t taken long to completely fall apart after he’d momentarily departed in Adventure episode 20, but came back together after he’d rallied them. The Adventure kids, coming from rather different social circles and backgrounds, were not originally the type to stay together or be particularly tight with each other by default, and so, during the first half of the series when they still had ways to go in terms of having any kind of meaningful bond with each other, they were unconsciously dependent on the charismatic Taichi to keep them together.
Taichi is a “natural leader” in every sense -- “leader” meaning not only someone who pushes people forward, but also someone who recognizes others’ abilities and is willing to delegate rather than trying to do everything by himself. This was briefly demonstrated in Sora’s Adventure episode 16 flashback when she remembers that Taichi willingly gave up the opportunity for a goal when he understood she could do it better (it’s reflected in his soccer position, too), but also here in Adventure episode 28, he gives the task of solving the card puzzle to Koushirou because he (correctly) determines that Koushirou, not himself, is best equipped to do the job. Also note that the episode makes clear that everyone agrees to it specifically because Taichi appointed him to the position -- much like how “understanding everyone’s abilities and delegating properly” is an important and necessary skill for a leader, everyone trusts Taichi to make that decision, and therefore trusts in Koushirou because he was appointed by said well-informed decision.
So those are the good things about him. What about the drawbacks?
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The first is that Taichi is, unfortunately, a little emotionally insensitive. He doesn’t mean badly, of course -- you can’t deny that his penchant for teasing or trolling people makes him quite a fun person to be around -- but he tends to lack a bit of emotional insight and is prone to crossing the line with his remarks. Again, this is a symptom of him being too chill about things at times; he tends to react with “what’s the big deal?!” -- a statement that one should absolutely not say when arguing with someone, and which tends to get Taichi in hot water, especially with Yamato.
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While the trope of “the shounen hero and the cool rival often having friction” is quite common in anime like this, Adventure’s play on it is actually quite different from how it would usually be played elsewhere. In most other shounen anime, this kind of relationship would have to do with something like the hot-blooded protagonist wanting to charge in and the cool-headed person wanting to be more “rational” about it, but in Adventure, Taichi and Yamato are pit against each other due to reasons that have to do with emotions. Yamato, contrary to what his character archetype might suggest, is someone who’s openly passionate and emotional, and is also someone who goes out of his way to care about others and their welfare -- so he often gets into fights with Taichi because he perceives Taichi to be insensitive and not putting sufficient thought into the others.
Yamato’s reactions are certainly extreme -- Adventure episodes 9 very clearly depicts him as the one losing control of his emotions and escalating the argument with Taichi to a full-on fight, whereas Taichi wanted him to calm down -- but he’s not fundamentally wrong in that this is an aspect Taichi needs to improve about, because it is true that Taichi tends to take the first suggestion of “what’ll get something done” that pops into his head, but also has a problem of vastly underestimating how dangerous things might be.
Again -- and this is very important to stress -- it’s not that he doesn’t care about others, and it’s not that he’s unaware of the dangers around him or the potential for repercussions! As Sora says in Adventure episode 16, he is conscientious of his surroundings and aware of potential risks. He has always put thought into his actions, and he doesn’t just charge into things with no rhyme or reason. He just has an abysmally poor sense of judgment, because he’s so naturally chill that he thinks “it’ll be fine, don’t worry!” -- and thus starts stubbornly locking down on what he wants to do because he’s so sure it’ll be fine and that everyone (usually Yamato) is overreacting.
If you want a specific example about Taichi’s tendency to misjudge: in Adventure episode 9, Taichi and Yamato get in a fight when Yamato perceives Taichi as too insensitive about Takeru’s potential welfare, which weirds Taichi out because Yamato’s being awfully overprotective. On its face, it might seem hypocritical because we later find out in Adventure episode 48 that Taichi is just as overprotective of his own sister, but it’s important to note that in the relevant episode, Taichi states that he has to go out of his way because Hikari continually fails to vocalize whenever she’s hurt or in pain. This implies that Taichi sees Takeru as someone who’s clearly capable of taking care of himself because he expresses himself better (and thus, Taichi doesn’t understand why Yamato has to go out of his way for him). Indeed, Takeru ends up latching onto Taichi because he sees him as treating him with the independence that Yamato won’t -- but Takeru has his own very deep-seated emotional issues that he just happens to be very good at hiding, and while Taichi is certainly always looking out for Takeru, he never seemed to have become aware of this problem.
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This difficulty in judgment leads into a certain pattern of behavior that Taichi exhibits that only comes up in very specific situations, but is so consistently depicted that it’s basically an inherent trait of his: what I call the “Yagami Taichi stress response”.
Taichi is the kind of selfless person who prioritizes others’ welfare over himself, and there are times when it will often fall into almost self-destructive levels. (This is a trait he actually shares with his sister, although the two of them naturally deal with it in very different ways.) His first priority is “helping everyone”, and especially “helping anyone who’s in trouble” (especially when it’s happening right in front of him). Which means that whenever he feels that others are depending on him for something, he ends up often taking too much responsibility for everyone’s welfare, and starts cracking under the pressure.
Because Taichi is the kind of person who prioritizes “action first” and figuring things out as they go along, this means that his reaction to stress is basically becoming a completely unfocused mess. Or, in other words, he lets the thought of but we have to do something!! completely consume his head, methodology be damned, and he starts panicking and doing everything in every which way to get it done, to the point he starts lashing out at others or becoming an emotional wreck because of the stress. The first time we see this is Adventure episode 16, where, being the only one with a working Crest and feeling that he and Agumon have the responsibility of protecting everyone, starts pushing himself and Agumon to carry everyone’s burdens, resulting in everything going wrong and the dark evolution to SkullGreymon at the end of the episode.
Again: It’s important to remember that, even at his “worst”, Taichi’s main priority is helping and protecting others, which means that his way of responding to that stress is basically determining that he’ll take all of the responsibility onto himself. That involves things like forcing himself to “work harder for everyone’s sake”, or becoming dangerously self-sacrificial, or at least allowing himself to become an emotional wreck because as much as he knows better, his one strongest thought is always we have to do something!!
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Taichi exhibits more of this behavior in Adventure episodes 48 and 49, to the point he gets unusually aggressive with Koushirou (which is also explicitly pointed out as him not acting like his usual self) once he starts panicking about Hikari’s welfare. Again, note that all of this stems from we have to do something!! -- he basically starts panicking because despite Koushirou clearly doing the best he can, once things start going south, it’s just not enough.
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So, speaking of things going south: because Taichi often misjudges situations, whenever things go wrong, he takes it badly. This is someone whose first course of action is to “act first and work it out as we go along,” but the number one thing he can’t stand is seeing other people get hurt, and so when other people do get hurt because of the consequences, Taichi shuts down -- for instance, when he learns that his ploy to attempt to get Greymon to evolve ended up hurting Koromon and everyone around him in Adventure episodes 16-17, and when his taking the Digital World too lightly (taking Koushirou’s explanation of it being “like a game world” at too much face value) ends up getting Sora in trouble and his own life in danger.
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Which leads to a certain degree of irony: Taichi’s behavior isn’t normally out of solely recklessness -- mainly really poor judgment and a tendency to underestimate things -- but when he does slip up and start having to deal with consequences, he does become reckless. But because this recklessness is out of a desire to “not let anyone else get hurt”, it results in him being reckless specifically with his own welfare --  he’s the kind of person who “takes too much responsibility onto himself”, and his way of responding to the issues of “someone might get hurt” and “but we have to do something!!” means that he, by default, responds to everything with “okay, then I’ll be the one who gets hurt!” Or in other words, his solution to preventing other casualties while still doing something to help others involves becoming dangerously self-sacrificial. Because in the end, Taichi is the kind of person who hates seeing people being in trouble or hurt in front of him, and his instinct is to always protect people, no matter what.
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But, again: Taichi’s way of “action first” is not a fundamentally bad thing -- remember, Adventure episode 21 established very well that this trait of his is very good for bringing him out of his biggest bouts of hesitation, because he has a very practical understanding of the need to fight in order to prevent more casualties. This is especially because the final arc of Adventure deals heavily with the concept of “collateral damage”, or the question of how to handle fighting to save people, when people are inevitably hurt (or, in this case, dying) in the process.
Yamato accuses Taichi in Adventure episode 43 of not being conscientious enough about the friends they’ve lost in the process, but once Yamato succumbs to his resentment and personal beefs and starts selfishly picking a fight with Taichi in Adventure episode 44-45, Taichi indicates that he is keeping his fallen friends in mind -- it’s just that, to him, not continuing the fight is an insult to everything they’d died for (especially because, indeed, more people will get hurt if they don’t do something). 
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And, ultimately, in Adventure episode 50, Taichi does conclude that Yamato, Jou, and Mimi are right about one thing: while he’s always been right about them needing to do something, they do at least need to be careful about how they go about it so that they don’t incur more sacrifices along the way. Fortunately, Taichi is a soccer captain and perfectly capable of quickly coming up with a suitable plan on the fly (he even cites it in this episode, and in fact had already demonstrated an ability to come up with tactics when necessary back in Adventure episode 20) -- it’s not that he’s never been able to do flexible thinking, it’s just that his natural tendency to be “too chill’ about things and overestimate the efficacy of the first thing that popped into his head was something he needed to learn to think through a little harder.
And so, the final episodes of Adventure indicate him finally starting to tap into his capacity for that -- thus truly becoming the definition of the Adventure group’s “leader”.
Taichi after Adventure
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We learn in Our War Game! that Taichi still has a bit of a way to go in terms of the “emotional sensitivity” part, most notably when Taichi starts getting defensive when he accidentally disrupts the computer connection, and Koushirou (most likely correctly) pinpoints this insensitivity as the likely reason he and Sora got into a nasty fight prior to the events of the movie. In fact, while Taichi already clearly had some shades of this in Adventure, when his “teasing” of others or stepping over their boundaries could sometimes go a little too far, it’s especially indicated here that Taichi is very, very bad at dispute resolution, because he keeps trying to deflect blame for his own actions and indirectly accuses Sora of being the irrational one in regards to their argument. (Again, for anyone entangled in a dispute with a friend: “dismissing the other person’s feelings” and going for the ad hominem, instead of at the very least acknowledging them in the process of making your point, is the number one worst way to handle this.)
Of course, Taichi wouldn’t have gotten this far if he didn’t have the natural charisma to compensate -- again, he’s fundamentally someone who cares about other people and attends to them. But, unfortunately, he’s still bad at knowing how to deal with other people’s emotions and learning to deal with them with proper empathy...
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...So, in fact, it’s striking that the Taichi we initially meet in 02 is someone who, most of the time, seems to come off as very mature and put-together. The fact that he so willingly turned over his goggles to Daisuke at the beginning of the episode is a really huge deal, frankly -- even if you don’t subscribe to the theory that there’s any major sentimental backstory to it a la V-Tamer, that’s still an item he’s kept on him since he was a tiny child and clearly must have a huge amount of attachment to, yet he immediately handed it over to Daisuke the moment he felt Daisuke was worthy of it.
It’s actually quite a bit of a swerve for those of us used to the more “playful” Taichi who sometimes took things way too lightly, but it’s also important to realize that this is the Taichi that Daisuke and his friends see. This is especially in light of the fact that Daisuke starts off the series with a very severe inability to be assertive, so Taichi, who’s always been naturally assertive from the get-go (almost too much sometimes), is everything he is not, and therefore admires.
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Taichi is still Taichi, which means that he’s still subject to the Yagami Taichi stress response, and he gets very close to blowing up angrily at the others when they show up late. But unlike how he had a whole train of being rather out of control when emotionally compromised in Adventure episodes 48-49, he gets himself together fairly quickly and admits that he also didn’t want to force everyone to come if they didn’t want to (to the point where he had even thought about going alone with Hikari in the worst-case scenario -- again, note the tendency for self-sacrifice and putting responsibility on himself).
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We also see him about to lapse into it again at the end of the episode, when he freezes up because he’s not sure about what to do in regards to the potential of hurting Agumon in the process of getting him back -- but Yamato manages to get him back on his feet, rather literally, and with a punch to the face.
This punch tends to be really often misinterpreted as if violence is just a fact of life when it comes to Taichi and Yamato, but it is very, very important to understand the context behind this scene and how it differs from the two’s relationship in Adventure. Whenever the two fought back in Adventure, it would be a very vicious argument with the two genuinely angry at each other, and with Yamato accusing Taichi of being insensitive and thus becoming hostile and resentful towards him. In this scene, however, Yamato has become conscientious of Taichi’s own feelings and reasons for hesitating. This is evidenced by the fact he only does a single punch and holds out his hand to Taichi right after -- said punch was strictly meant as one meant to snap him back to reality, and Yamato holds out that hand knowing that Taichi will not take it as anger or resentment, but rather “I did this because you needed something to get you back into focus, I know you also know this and won’t take it as an insult, and I understand your feelings and want to help you.”
It’s important in establishing the level of deep trust Taichi and Yamato have where they understand each other’s positions now without fighting over it -- the two of them even point out in the next episode that the reason they can get away with this is because of how much worse they used to go through before, but now, the two of them treat each other with mutual sympathy, understanding, and support, and devoid of condescension whatsoever. And because of that, Taichi is able to “snap out” of his hesitation much more quickly than he would three years prior, because now he has Yamato’s emotional support, and Yamato even frames the situation in a way the “we have to do something!!” Taichi would understand: if they don’t do something, Agumon will continue to be the Kaiser’s slave destroying everything that he himself would never want to see destroyed, and even if they end up accidentally losing him in the process, it would arguably be a bigger mercy to him than it would to let him continue in this state. It’s all very practical reasoning that works best with Taichi’s way of thinking, and because of that, they’re able to push forward into the events of the next episode.
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But just because he’s become more mature doesn’t mean he’s lost his characteristic charisma or ability to be playful or a tease -- after all, Taichi has always had a penchant for a bit of a smug personality, sometimes even bordering on the petulant. This especially comes out when he’s with Agumon, but, really, Taichi is a person who really likes fun.
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On another interesting note, however, Taichi sends Sora off in 02 episode 38 when he’s very heavily implied to have caught on that Sora is about to confess to Yamato, and pushes her on without giving her grief for it. Regardless of whether you subscribe to the theory that Taichi has his own unresolved feelings in the situation, the important part is that he understood that this was a grave enough situation for Sora that this did not merit teasing her or insensitively poking into her feelings on it -- in other words, it’s a huge contrast to Adventure episode 26 when he was clearly at a loss on how to deal with her when she was emotionally compromised, and Agumon and Gabumon commented that he wasn’t as mature as Yamato in dealing with this.
But now, Taichi is much more capable of showing actual empathy for others and understanding when it’s the time to hold back on the teasing or potential insensitivity, and for that, Agumon compliments him on the same maturity he’d failed to express three years prior.
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By the time we get to Kizuna, the fact that Taichi is one of the lead protagonists is for obvious meta reasons (he’s the protagonist of Adventure, after all), but it also makes sense that a movie centered around the millennial existential crisis -- and, specifically, the issue of career uncertainty -- would have him as a major player in it. Remembering that Taichi is fundamentally the kind of person who operates as “act first, deal with it later,” it makes perfect sense that the terrifying pressure of dealing with something as vague and uncertain as career pressure would be something that Taichi would continually put off. Again, Taichi is a very practical-minded person who usually works best with things that are clearly happening in front of him, so “wide-ranging” things are things he plays badly with.
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Despite Taichi being very clearly depicted as “out of it” for this movie, at the very least, certain fundamental personality traits of his haven’t gone away -- for one, he’s still one of the most expressive characters in the movie (to the point many a fan has commented on his jackpot of facial expressions) in terms of petulance, sometimes getting a little defensive, and driving poor Koushirou a little nuts with his tendency to be reckless with electronics. He also gets a bit cocky during the battle with Eosmon, which, again, tracks with his tendency to do that every so often (and to be fair to him, everyone was guilty of severely underestimating Eosmon at the time, so it’s not like this was a major miscalculation on Taichi’s part).
Moreover, much like in 02, Taichi and Yamato are understanding of each other’s feelings to the extent that Yamato is the first person Taichi calls to dump his feelings about his existential crisis over. Even though they’re still prone to some mild bickering at the beginning of the movie, they immediately go back on high-fiving terms right after, so it’s a very far cry from the time back in Adventure when Yamato would look down on Taichi for being insensitive.
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But here, we have this one line that basically represents the source of all of the problems Taichi ends up going through in this movie, including the reason for his loss of Agumon: Taichi is trying to “force” himself to become an independent person, and in the process is pushing Agumon away, and, on a more metaphorical level, his own self.
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Taichi moved out of his parents’ house under the pretense of not burdening his family, but Hikari’s comment about their mother wanting him to drop by indicates that it’s not likely they necessarily wanted him to move out -- and despite that, Taichi is miserable in his daily routine of walking back and forth from school and working at a part-time job and eating convenience store food. He’s clearly lonely, yet he won’t allow Agumon into his room (it’s stated that his visit midway into the movie is his first time here). He keeps his old goggles and Digivice, yet he shuts it in a drawer and only opens the drawer to stare at it from time to time, and when Agumon finally does visit and finds his AVs, Taichi freaks out and pins it as an “adult thing” before he finds himself in the awkward situation of basically gatekeeping his own partner with a societal standard he doesn’t even understand.
I should point out that the AVs are not strictly porn, if you want to be really technical about it; it’s “gravure” videos, involving a cosplayer dressing up in sexy/high-exposure outfits and striking suggestive poses, but it’s not actually explicit porn. Moreover, a toned-down version of this scene exists in the Shueisha Mirai version of the novel, where the issue is not about AVs but rather the fact that Taichi only has alcohol in his fridge -- absolutely nothing non-alcoholic, despite how impractical this is -- because “[he’s] an adult, after all.” So the point of this scene is that Taichi’s being performative, or in other words trying to do Adult Things because That’s What Adults Do. And since a Digimon partner is representative of the inner self, and especially established in 02 to have relevance to one’s “less dignified and more childish dreams”, Taichi looking down on Agumon, i.e. looking down on himself, becomes the reason why he ends up losing him at the end of this movie.
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As things get worse for Taichi and the crisis escalates, we actually get another glimpse of the Yagami Taichi stress response -- Yamato confronts him on whether he’s okay with going in to save all of the Eosmon victims despite knowing what’ll happen to their partners. Taichi, frantically (Hanae Natsuki’s voice acting really sells it here), has an emotional outburst and professes that, no, of course he’s not, but, again: they have to do something!! Because in the end, Taichi is a selfless person who understands that bad things are happening to people now, and the important thing is saving them now and dealing with the consequences once that’s done with, and even Yamato admits that, as much as he hates it, this is the correct answer.
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Taichi does, unfortunately, lose Agumon at the end of the movie, but there are multiple indications he’s already on his way to getting him back, given that Taichi’s starting to address all of the problems he was neck deep in at the start of the movie. In the middle of the movie, after having shut his goggles in the drawer all of this time and only pulling it out whenever he was depressed, he decides to embrace the courage they initially symbolized and puts them back on his neck, and when we reach the climax of the movie, he uses Hikari’s old whistle to wake everyone up. This needs to be distinguished from all of the “nostalgia” everyone else had been drowning themselves in by looping themselves eternally in old memories from a desire to never move on from them; symbolically speaking, Taichi’s blowing of the whistle represents acknowledging the important things in your past, and making productive use of them to move onto the future, rather than the unhealthy reactions of either drowning eternally in nostalgia, or performatively shutting everything out about your past in a bid to reach some arbitrary standard of adulthood.
Hence, Taichi’s thesis -- the one he had failed to write at the beginning of the movie -- is only filled out once Taichi embraces that past version of himself, because his thesis summary is about reflection on his past experiences, and making use of those to think about how to apply them to the future.
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This is, obviously, intended as a lead-up to the 02 epilogue in which Taichi becomes an ambassador -- or in other words, someone who indeed specializes in “bringing humans and Digimon together” and offering proposals on how they can coexist in the future. Agumon, of course, is an important part of this job (look at his suit and bowtie!), instead of Taichi shutting him out and treating him like someone who doesn’t belong in his adult life.
Of the careers depicted in the epilogue, Taichi’s is the most “furthest-reaching”, since, as a diplomat, he has influence over a pretty huge range of things, which fits with Taichi’s tendency to shoot for some pretty high things -- and, also, conceptually, it works well with what we’ve always known since Adventure to be Taichi’s true specialties as a “leader”: having the charisma and understanding to bring people from different places together, and to lead them all forward.
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ultrastormy-ocean · 7 months ago
Text
OK, so I decided to do an analysis of the Last, this will be mostly on why Naruto does not actually love Hinata, so NaruHina shippers be warned, this is not your meta..
Starting off with this screenshot,
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Can I call bullshit??? Why do Shikamaru, Sakura, and Sai get their own birds, but Hinata and Naruto have to share one???? Like-- Sai could have made another one...
It wouldn't have taken too many resources, and they could have covered more ground, but they had to seat Hinata and Naruto together.. It just doesn't make sense..
Not too long after that they go into this cave with a spring at the bottom, Hinata's vision is distorted when trying to look past it, so they don't know what's at the bottom.. They end up jumping into it and once they reach the bottom they come out into open air and find it's filled with giant orbs that can throw you into a genjutsu..
Naruto and Hinata started floating after being caught, I don't know what happened to the gravity, but they're genjutsued now, illusions await..
But then Hinata's bag opens and out comes her scarf, but why the fuck did her scarf decide to go over to Naruto??? Like, it was in her bag, shouldn't it have gone down?? Not over to Naruto?? Is this supposed to be a red-string of fate??
(Side note, why did she made him a red scarf?? His favorite color is orange.. Also, baby Naruto having a scarf wouldn't make sense cause Hiruzen probably wouldn't give him one, I doubt he could afford it, and even if he could who would let him buy a scarf?? Also he would have gotten orange, not red)
If that wasn't odd enough, it then decides to wrap around him,
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Scarves don't just move on their own, especially not around a person while they're trapped in a genjutsu
To me it almost looks like it's trapping him
Naruto shouldn't even be able to be caught in a genjutsu, since he's a perfect jinchuuriki Kurama can just break him out of it..
The only genjutsu I can think of that could actually work on a perfect jinchuuriki is a sharingan genjutsu, since sharingan is the only thing that can control a bijuu.. Well there's wood style as well, but we're talking genjutsu, not brute force..
So he should have never been caught in this genjutsu
Also, why in the Last did Naruto and Hinata meet in winter??? I swear they met in summer in the anime, and Hinata was being bullied cause of her eyes in both versions.. Like??
DO YOU NOT KNOW WHAT THE HYUGA CAN DO???
It does not make any sense, besides, in Hinata's backstory there was never her being bullied, that did not come until much much later when they decided to retcon it...
Naruto was the kid who never talked to anyone... During stage 1 of the chunnin exams he acknowledges everyone else in his head and has nothing to say about Hinata...
Just that she's quiet and "weird"
Literally has never had a conversation with her before, then The Last comes around like "He protected her from the horrible bullies that made fun of her!!!" it's not out of character, but it literally never happened..
That also takes away some of the significance of Naruto being a lonely, love-starved child who everyone mocked...
His first bond was with Iruka and his second with Sasuke (or vice versa, it depends on how you perceive it)
If they had made her growing to admire him cause he acted out against his abuse and tried to be himself in ways she didn't have the courage to it would have aligned with the already existing canon, and it would have been way more interesting as well..
Then we have a scene of Sakura saying, "Maybe he doesn't know what love is"
Ok excuse me what?
I'm pretty sure he knows EXACTLY what love is
And he knows the difference between loving a person and loving food..
Sakura I love you, but seriously??
If he doesn't know what love is, I want you to explain his entire relationship with Sasuke, you don't even have to see it as romantic love..
What about that time Sakura lied to him about being in love with him, if he didn't know what love was he wouldn't have realized she was lying..
What about when he recognized that Haku loved Zabuza, and even managed to get Zabuza to cry??
I could go on and on about how Naruto definitely knows what love is, and what the difference between loving food and a person..
I did see someone say that Naruto "mistaking" love for food and people to be the same is supported by him mistaking Kurenai's pregnant belly for being fat..
He's an orphaned 16 year old who has no siblings and he has probably never been allowed that close to a pregnant person before, never mind had pregnancy explained to him..
Feelings and appearances are not the same thing
They are extremely different, so you can not say Naruto not understanding that she's pregnant and not fat means he doesn't understand what the difference between the types of love are..
He's always known what love is, he's always known how to tell.. Even if he had not experienced it for a long time
SO WHY THE FUCK DOESN'T HE KNOW IT NOW???
Towards the end of the genjutsu, he sees Hinata and Sakura talking about how she was going to give the scarf to him..
And yes, this entire genjutsu is just showing Naruto Hinata's feelings for him, even though most of the scenes are when he's there and has never acknowledged her feelings..
Like the time where she confessed to him while fighting Pain, you know, the one he only thought of 1 time after that and it was not to return her feelings..
But he just looks
Sad
Like come on, he looks sad when learning the girl he's supposedly in love with loves him too... If he were actually in love with her, wouldn't he look at least a little happier?
Like, maybe a twinkle in his eye, or a smile, but no, he's standing there, a small frown on his face, while learning this girl is in love with him..
So Sakura breaks him out of the genjutsu and apparently was the first to get out, and Shikamaru says this, "Thank goodness Sakura, who's resistant to genjutsu, was with us.."
Sakura?? More resistant than Naruto??
A PERFECT JINCHUURIKI?!?!?
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Here Sai mentioned his genjutsu dream which was about him and his older brother, after he stops talking Naruto looks at Hinata then makes this face, he was obviously thinking about his genjutsu dream
He looks so sad
Not like someone in love
He honestly looks like he pities her and is reluctantly accepting his fate, he is someone who just wants to make everyone happy regardless of where his heart actually lies..
When Naruto was going to talk about his genjutsu dream to Hinata, but then decided not to, he still looked so sad
Then this scene comes up,
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He looks so sad, and immediately keeps his eyes off of her, he is quiet, sounds unsure of himself, like he doesn't want to say it...
When he was watching Hinata knit the scarf back together, he still looks real sad and guilty, he looks like he's at war with himself...
If you find out the one you love is in love with you too, you would not be this torn about it..
So they find an old looking city and decide to investigate, they agree to split up, but for some reason splitting up means Naruto and Hinata stay together..
If they're looking around this place, why didn't everyone either stay together or split up?? Why are Naruto and Hinata the only ones who stayed together?? It's like the 4 birds and the fact Sai could have made another one
Sakura
Sai
and Shikamaru
Are all on their own, so I don't get why they would make Naruto and Hinata stay together... I mean for ship reasons yes, but it's not the best course of action and Shikamaru should know this cause he's the genius..
They could have covered more ground if they all split up
They then come to a jump, Naruto makes it but for some reason Hinata under jumps so Naruto has to catch her, causing them to end up holding hands after he saved her..
She was jumping much farther earlier in the movie, so she should have been able to make that, I think they did this just for Naruto to help her even though she could have made the jump by herself..
As Naruto and Hinata explore this one house Naruto ends up running into a cobweb and in his attempt to get if off he falls down the stairs..
Hinata has some ointment on her so she gives it to him, but he can't reach the area that needs it so Hinata helps him..
But before she does Naruto brings up the fact that she gave him ointment in the chuunin exams, she responds with, "You remembered all this time.."
He looks away then says, "Actually, I just remembered.." he forgot about her once again.. It's not a good thing when you keep forgetting things that the supposed love of your life did for you..
He still looks very sad even when she's helping him put ointment on his injured back..
Normally when people are helping him with medical stuff he's protesting or at least making a face
But here??
He just looks
Sad
Maybe even guilty
This poor thing
I love Hinata, but she obviously doesn't make him happy
After they settle down for the night Naruto goes to see her cause she had wanted to talk to him about something earlier but they were interrupted, but when he came to see her she said it was nothing and that she wanted to be alone...
Here he's looking at her while they're over looking the city, they still haven't found Hanabi and Hinata looks really sad, I would say he looks concerned, or slightly surprised or something like that
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He looks so so guilty and sad, it actually hurts me to see..
All of those facial expressions take place in 13 seconds
Yes
I counted
He then gets up and says they should return to the others
Later he and Hinata are by a lake, they start talking when this happens..
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He doesn't sound genuine, at all, besides, what kind of a confession is that??
He really doesn't look like he means it
It looks more like he's accepted his fate
And this literally came out of nowhere
He had been watching her knit, and they've been together for who knows how long
He's been sad ever since he realized her feelings are still strong, which has been basically the entire movie
It seems more like guilt to me
OK so when Hinata agreed to go with Toneri and marry him Naruto does look concerned and surprised
But if your friend just decided to go with the guy that's been planning on destroying your planet
Wouldn't you be concerned and surprised?
He ends up chasing down Toneri and Hinata, but again, you'd probably do the same if your friend was being carried away by this dude who wants to destroy the planet
He ends up demanding Toneri give Hinata back with Toneri replying, "Give her back?? She came to me willingly"
Again
Your friend being taken by a dude who wants to destroy everything
OH BY THE WAY, that was originally a Sasuke and Naruto thing, soo you got that going for you too I guess...
When Naruto was knocked into a 3 day coma, he ends up saying "Hinata" while unconscious
Like
Only once
Not like, "Hinata, Hinata, Hinata"
Just, "Hinata"
And once he does, Sakura, who's tending to his wounds says, "So, you finally get it, you blockhead.."
Get what?? His nonexistent feelings for Hinata?? Or that Hinata has feelings for him??
Also, he's unconscious, he could be dreaming about her being taken again.. And he hates the idea of losing his friends
He was dreaming about her leaving to go with Toneri right before he woke up shouting, "Hinata!!"
Sai mentioned that he kept groaning out Hinata's name while he slept, and other embarrassing things, and that he got to listen to Naruto's mushy side..
This is very weird to me, why does he keep groaning her name?? I think he's just concerned about her, groaning someone's name in your sleep does not automatically mean you have feelings for them
Also, what mushy things?? I need to know, what does Sai mean by mushy?? Does he mean romantic or something else?? Some people see affection as mushy, some see concern as mushy, some see romance as mushy, you have to be more specific..
But let's be honest, most emotions are probably mushy to Sai..
Then for some reason Naruto starts acting like a kicked puppy, which doesn't make any sense what so ever..
So Shikamaru ends up bringing Naruto to Sakura, who's very exhausted and on bedrest from healing him to make sure he didn't die..
WHICH IF YOU HAD FORGOTTEN KURAMA HEALS NARUTO
But anyway, he goes to her and tells her everything, she's surprised that he confessed his "love" first..
She then says, "Long ago, when you said you loved me.. Was it cause I loved Sasuke? You didn't want to lose to him.."
He then lowers his head and looks away after she says this, this really makes me think it was a comphet crush, not cause of what Sakura says, but cause of how he responds to what she says..
(Not to mention all of the evidence in the OG and Shippuden)
Continuing she says, "It's real this time, isn't it.. She's a good person, almost too good for you" then he responds with, "But she went to Toneri.." where this next thing happens,
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Why are they showing Sasuke??
I mean, it could be cause Sakura loves him
But why when those things are said specifically??
Like come on, couldn't you have had Sakura say those things, then a quick flash of Sasuke, then have her say, "I understand how she feels very well"??
It makes it seem like it's Sasuke who feels that way, instead of Sakura talking about her feelings..
(I also want to say your feelings changing is fine, idk why Sakura makes it sound almost like a crime)
ANYWAYS
They go to save Hinata, and while they're breaking into Toneri's palace Naruto turns to Sakura and says this, "I have a debt to you that I'll never be able to repay.."
exCUSE ME w h a t???
What debt?
BITCH I NEED ANSWERS
Is the debt her making him realize his "feelings" for Hinata?? Cause I can assure you that's not what happened, it looks like she ended up making him drown so far into guilt and peer pressure..
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This part always gets to me, like, why do you have to do the same thing, IN THE SAME COLORS, as Sasuke and Naruto's thing, which happened when they were 17, aka 2ish years before this..
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A lot of people use this to say he really loves Hinata
But
Did they forget earth was about to be destroyed??
And he's accepted that she has feelings for him??
And the looks of guilt
And sadness
And the look of what looks like him accepting his fate?
And the dude he's punching tried to kill him, his friends, and the entire planet??
I'd be mad too
Not to mention they didn't have to steal the Sasuke/Naruto combo attack thing once, no no, they had to do it twice
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This scene
OH THIS SCENE
It feels very very forced to me, he doesn't even look that happy... AND WE KNOW HE WOULD HAVE WRITTEN SASUKE'S NAME DOWN
He has said multiple times that he wanted to know Sasuke and wanted to be with him, even since they were really small but he could never work up the nerve to talk to him..
Even though he wouldn't really admit it, he would have wanted to spend the end with Sasuke..
Don't even get me started on how he promised to bear the burden of Sasuke's hatred and die with him, which is kinda what he's saying here, so that's another thing that Sasuke and Naruto did first..
During the end credits we see a picture of Naruto and Hinata standing next to each other on their wedding day, they have camellias somewhere on their person and they're amongst their friends..
Camellia flowers were always associated with Naruto and Sasuke.. Also, he looks very tired, and his smile isn't very happy.. He kinda looks miserable..
He looks so sad for like, 90% of this movie
When he's not sad he's either determined, mad, or at the start of the movie before he realized Hinata's feelings were still very strong
Even his smiles look sad
How people call this a really romantic film where Naruto realizes he is in love with Hinata I'll never know
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alicemitch09writes · 7 months ago
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(un)loving miya atsumu
two. 
poor unfortunate girl
It was the start of the semester, and the whole school was brimming with life from the newfound camaraderie and fanfare brought by the new year.
You were a second year now, at the cusp of your high school life. Sophomore year. A new year, full of new beginnings.
With the new year, it also means a new year of club activities. With that in mind, your mind wandered, thinking of what you could do as the new manager of the Inarizaki volleyball club.
Too deep in thought, you hadn’t noticed a certain libero opening his arms to receive you, expectantly, twirling you a few times before leading you into his classroom and sitting you on an empty seat.
“There we go,” says your senpai, which brought you back to reality.
“Akagi-san!” Blinking, you looked up, realizing that there were three other familiar gazes from your seniors. “Senpais!”
“Nice receive,” comments Ojiro, causing you to the libero to laugh. Behind him, Oomimi offers a slight nod in greeting.
“That’s some heavy thinking there, (L/N).” Kita comments, his golden-brown eyes soft.
"Well, I've got a lot on my mind, actually." You explain, fixing yourself.
“Penny for your thoughts?”
“Just club things.” You shrug, hands on your knees. “Maybe a little about home.”
“Ah, that’s right, your sister’s graduated, right?”
“I hear she’s going off to the Netherlands?” Kita adds.
“Eh? How did you know that, Shinsuke?” asked Ojiro, arms crossed over his chest.
“My older sister.” He replies. “They were in the same class and are good friends.”
Smiling fondly at the mention of the older Kita, you had to nod at that. “That’s right. She’s just finalizing her documents before she leaves.”
“And when is she leaving?”
Humming, you turned your head to the window, watching the clouds gather and scatter. “Summer, I think. Early summer, maybe.”
“That’s a lot of thinking alright, (L/N). Yikes.”
Laughing at your senior's comment, you drummed at your fingers, smiling at them all.
“Here,” Oomimi hands you a canned drink. “You need a break from all that thinking.”
Your smile grows, wrapping your fingers around it. “Thank you, Oomimi-senpai.”
Despite being told, you couldn’t help yourself. As your seniors began talking about something, you stared at the drink in your hand, rolling it around. Everything drowns out as your thoughts run. There was much to be done in the club, but with Kita as the new captain, things would surely come around. Then there were things at home to worry about, with your sister leaving to do homestay abroad.
And at the back of your mind, you’re reminded of something else.
With a sigh, you uncap your drink and take a sip.
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freshmen year, last year
Overhead, the bell rang, announcing the end of your fourth period class, Social Studies. The class representative calls out to your class, “Stand! Bow!” with a smile, your teacher bows at the class before leaving, everyone then moving about for lunchtime.
Settling back in your seat, you stare at your notes for a good minute before putting them away, readying yourself for lunch.
Just as you plucked out your lunchbox, a voice calls from the door. “(Y/N)-CHAN!!!!!!” two abnormally tall, familiar, dark-haired boys appear, one rushing to your table. “Lunchtime, lunchtime, lunchtime!” the older Miya twin engulfs you in a hug, giggling.
“’Tsumu, shut up.”
“So, we’re eating here?” You ask, seeing as the twins walked straight into your classroom.
“Nah, we’re eating in the cafeteria,” Osamu says, flicking his twin’s temple. “Someone just got a tad little excited.”
“Oi, can’t I be excited to see my (Y/N)-chan after a brutal day at school?”
“We’re halfway done with the day, you idiot.”
“I see,” Nodding, you untangle yourself from Atsumu’s arms. “Atsumu, get off me.”
“Che, stingy (Y/N)-chan, don’cha love me?”
His response was a blank stare from you and Osamu, he looks away dramatically, clutching his chest.
“Such a drama queen.”
“Come on now, let’s eat.”
He quickly recovers from that and the three of you leave the classroom, chatting along the way.
“…you’re thinking about dying your hairs?”
“That’s right! Don’cha think it’s smart?” rice flies from Atsumu’s mouth, much to your disgust. Beside him, Osamu quietly eats.
You stare at the boy, long and hard. “We’re just two months in of freshmen year and already you’re thinking about breaking the rules. You’re shameless.”
At that, Osamu snorts into his meal.
“I-I mean! I’m tired of getting mistaken for Osamu,” he argues, a rather valid point. Because they were identical twins, it was hard to tell them apart however apparent their differences were – Osamu was slightly taller and bigger, Atsumu has lighter hair and eye color, and there was their voices, Osamu has a deeper voice compared to his twin. Then again, you did grow up with them.
Swallowing, you chose your words carefully. “Well, have you considered the cost?”
“No problem! Our auntie owns a salon and will be happy enough to give us discounts!”
You twitch at that, but made no comment. Instead, you turn to the sensible twin. “And what are your thoughts about it?”
Osamu shrugs. “Eh, anything to make him shut up.” Atsumu deflates. “But having dyed hair does sound kinda cool.” Atsumu puffs his chest, a smirk on his face.
“And you both know how hard it is to maintain, right?”
“We’ll be fine!!!!”
He says that now, you and Osamu thought at the same time.
Thankfully, Inarizaki is one of the few high schools in Hyougo that allows their students to dye their hair – so long as it’s not a distracting color, like pink, green, or purple.
“By the way, (Y/N)-chan,” you look up, meeting Atsumu’s light brown eyes. “where’s Mika-nee-san?”
Of course.
“In her class, you idiot. She’s not her sister’s keeper.” Osamu replied.
Atsumu pouted at that, but quickly put a smile on as he excitedly talked about what color he should dye his hair. Osamu was quick with a retort on every suggestion, which was helpful in a way. Then it was settled that you’d come with the two to get their hair done because you have to be there.
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Sighing, you watch as the boy quickly turned on his heel took off, absolutely red in the face, before dropping your gaze on the letter in your hand. Seriously, it’s 2011, why are love letters still a thing?
“Must be the thought that counts,” you mutter to yourself, slipping your backpack to your side to put the letter in. The thought that boys can be so sentimental with their feelings sticks to you, considering just how much of the Japanese populace tends to be really shy, and expressing themselves can be such an uncomfortable subject. Then again, when they're adults reality hits and it sucks from there.
Turning on your heel, you walked out to the gates to find your best friends waiting for you.
Osamu straightens at the sight of you. “There you are,”
“What took ya so long?” Atsumu demanded, practically stomping on his heels.
Shrugging your backpack strap in, you paused, briefly deciding on your response. Eventually, you tell them. “Something for Mika-nee.”
Atsumu instantly perks at the mention of your sister. “Oh?”
“What, like a love letter or some shit?” Osamu asked, hands in his pocket.
It was meant to be a joke. But then you were silent, looking slightly guilty, and nodding once. “…yeah.”
Osamu's eyes widened slightly. "Well...shit."
“WHAT!?”
Stepping in front of you, Atsumu grabs you by the shoulders. “Please tell me you threw it away, or at least tore it up. (Y/N)-chan, please!” he shook you back and forth with every word, his voice rising.
“Oi, stop that.” Thankfully, Osamu came to your rescue, practically dragging you away from his brother. “You coulda asked instead of manhandling her!”
“This is serious, ‘Samu!” To which he receives a deadpan stare in return, unamused.
“It’s not my place,” you say finally, patting your friend’s hand in thanks. “it’s up to nee-san.” What you don’t get is why people in school turn to you instead of her directly. Some even befriended you for the sake of getting to her!
Atsumu’s brows furrow together, practically growling and seething in place.
“That’s true.” Osamu agrees with a nod. “Can’t be helped since Mika-nee’s kinda popular.”
You snort, tugging at your straps. “Kinda? More like really popular.”
She was part of the student council as a secretary, an honor student, pretty, charming, sporty, practically the embodiment of the perfect girl in those shoujo mangas she liked to read. She was well-loved everywhere – at home, in school, heck even your local community adores her like their own! Because of how radiant she was, many perceive her as untouchable or a league out of their own.
You realize all this way back even when you were kids, unfazed as her popularity just grew as the years come. With how amazing she was as a person, many were shocked to realize that her little sister was just…a downgrade version of her.
Honestly, as much as you didn’t care about it, it kind of bothered you. Comprised of three children – there was the pretty older sister – Mika, you, and the sporty youngest boy – Kaoru. Oh yeah, there was you in the middle. Just boring old, you.
You were always kind of easy to miss, easy to forget.
You didn't mind, you didn't care. You keep telling yourself that.
But deep down, it did.
At the end of the day, you had to suck it up and let things be, after all, at least the only thing you had to worry about was maintaining the team, your academics, helping around the house, and keep your best friends in check.
At least one thing people knew about you was how reliable you were, they could easily entrust you with a task or a secret, and you'd have no problem doing away with them.
It's why your older sister can be herself around you, snorting ugly at weird jokes, bantering with your brother, squealing over her TV dramas, and openly gushing about some hot model with blond hair-
Oh. 
So that’s why Atsumu was adamant about dying his hair.
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Come Monday, Atsumu and Osamu were sporting a brand new version of themselves (thanks to the dye).
Atsumu went with blond, Osamu went with gray.
Of course, they stood out.
It was much easier to tell them apart, it made them look even more attractive, garnering more fans and admirers. And most importantly, last Sunday…
“Oh wow! You guys dyed your hair? How cool!” gushed your big sister, practically running around the sofa to have a closer look.
Reaching out a hand, she lightly ruffled Atsumu’s hair. “Blond really suits you, Atsumu! You look really handsome!”
There was a flush on his face, followed by a silly grin. “D-Damn right! Ya got good eyes, Mika-nee!”
Giggling, she looked back at Osamu. “Oh, and Osamu went with gray! So cool! Not everyone can rock the look, you know.”
“Thanks." he says, letting Kaoru climb on him. "(Y/N) helped me choose a color.” Behind him, Kaoru plays with the ends of his now-gray hair, which he didn't mind.
Despite having to maintain both their hairs, some hefty hair products, and conditions they have to follow, the twins eventually owned up to it.
Atsumu, most especially, seems to have this sort of newfound energy now that his plan was a success.
“It’s only a matter of time before Mika-nee falls in love with me!” he says happily, falling back on Osamu’s bed, on the bottom of their bunk beds.
A smack on the head was his response, from one unimpressed Osamu. “Keep dreaming, you scrub.”
“Shut up, ‘Samu! You’re just jealous because I’m happy and in love!”
Osamu’s jaw noticeably tightens something glints in his eyes. Worried, you tried to call him, but with a roll of his eyes, he gets off the ground and out the door, muttering how he’ll get some snacks because he’s hungry.
“The hell’s his problem?” Atsumu turns to you.
You sigh, leaning back on one of the two study chairs in their room. “He’s probably tired of you whining about your big crush on Mika-nee.” Like I am.
“Well, I can’t help it, (Y/N)!!!!!!” grabbing a pillow, he laughs into it like a silly school girl. “She finally noticed me! Even called me handsome because of my new look!”
“Yes, I know. I was there.”
Pulling the pillow away, you could see how bright and bright just at the mention of her. “Gah, and when she smiled at me? Ugh! I swear cupid was using a gatling arrow gun because…dang.”
Sighing dreamily, there was a glazed look in his eyes, slacking his hold on the pillow.
You never thought you'd see the day Miya Atsumu being hopelessly in love, but here he is. Just that, it's not you.
Honestly, it hurt to see this, paying witness to him openly gush about his love for your big sister. Knives, it felt like knives stabbing through your chest, a lot of them each time Atsumu opens his mouth.
Clearing his throat, as though to alleviate the pain, you lift your leg and lay your feet over your knee, flexing and unflexing your toes. That smile on his face was precious, so precious, but it’s not for you. Heck, it’s only been a week since they got their hair dyed!
“Does Mika-nee still get love letters?” he asks.
“Yeah,” you reply truthfully, bearing the pain in. “some directly, some leave it in her shoe locker, some by me.”
“Um…um…” you look up, seeing the bashful look on his face. “…h-how…uh, d-does…does she read them?”
“Yeah,” you reply again, truthfully. “She reads them all. Gets flattered.” But that’s it.
“Seriously?" A pause "All of it?”
“All of it.”
“Wow," he says in amazement. "She’s so considerate of other’s feelings.”
You hum. You didn’t tell him that after reading, she’d feel guilty because she’d have to turn them down and return said letter. She was considerate of other’s feelings, but not in a way that you’d expect her to just accept their affection. Some of the times, she'd feel awkward about the confession and read it aloud with you in the room, needing someone to share the burden with (even if it's not yours, and it was a cringey experience more than anything).
“…so, um…” Atsumu bites his lip, head low as he fiddles with the pillow. “…(Y/N)-chan…can you…can you help me?”
As much as you didn’t want to, knowing exactly what he was going to ask from you, you were an idiot who would do anything this idiot would ask of you. “Anything.” Your voice was thick, raw, quickly you had to clear your throat, pretend that you had a dry throat.
He looks up, eyes sparkling and full of hope.
If only he knew how much you adored this look of his, how much you were willing to fight the moon, stars, and sun that would vie for anything as ethereal and beautiful, they were nothing compared to Atsumu.
“Please help me make a love letter to Mika-nee.”
And the idiot you were, you nod, swallowing thickly, then said “Of course.” Further adding, “Anything for you.”
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Closing the door behind you, you slump against it. Lazily, you called out. “I’m home…”
It took you all of four days to compose what Atsumu deems as the "best, most romantic love letter than puts Romeo and Juliet- no, Orihime and Hikoboshi to shame!" Charming and charismatic (both debatable, if you asked Osamu and yourself), he absolutely sucked at trying to say things in a sincere way. Come to think of it, whenever he was around your sister, he was reduced to a silly puppy. There were hearts in his eyes, would practically kiss the ground she walks and sing praises whatever she did, but words just absolutely failed him whenever he strikes up a conversation with her. In the many rare instances it goes well, he manages to always wound up looking like an idiot. 
Four days. It was four days of cringe, four days of mentally exhausting yourself, four days of having to force a smile and be the best friend to the wielder of those eyes - those gorgeous pair of golden brown eyes, reminding you of the sun with how easily you can blind yourself, of how much it burns, of how warm it made you feel. Only, you could bathe under the sun for too long until you get burned.
“Welcome home!” came your energetic little brother’s voice, skipping down the stairs to greet you.
Smiling tiredly, you push yourself and lazily take off your shoes, noticing how there’s another pair of shoes you don’t recognize.
“Kaoru…”
“Hmm…?” the little boy walks up to you, his big (e/c) eyes blinking at you expectantly. “Who’s here?”
Your brother breaks into a grin, almost excited-looking. Slapping his hands to his mouth, he giggles behind them, excitedly again. It scares you. “Kaoru…”
"It's the nice onii-san!"
You tilt your head at your brother in question, as far as you know the only onii-sans he knows are the Miya twins next door.
"Kaoru-"
"Kaoru," you hear your sister's voice somewhere in the house. "is (Y/N) here?"
"Yes, nee-san!" giggled the boy, looking at you before dashing towards the kitchen, or wherever your sister was.
Groaning, you decide to follow after him, curious to the other house guest over. Atsumu's letter lay heavy in your pocket, four days worth of pouring his heart out, with you as the messenger.
"(Y/N)?" called your sister.
"Here," entering the kitchen, you were greeted to the smell of something rich and flavorful. "Are you cooking?"
A giggle. Two giggles. One from your sister, another was from someone with a deep voice. Someone male. Quickening your steps, you stood in your kitchen entryway, finding your sister - your older sister, hugging some guy's arm as they hovered over the stove. 
“W-Wait, Mika-nee who is-?”
“(Y/N)!!!!" she turned to you, head against the boy's shoulder. "I have a boyfriend now, (Y/N)! Meet Reiki!”
Oh, shit.
Oh, shit.
Oh, shit.
Oh, shit.
Oh, shit.
Oh, shit.
Deura Reiki.
He was the son of the school’s cafeteria cook, essentially making him a coworker to your mom and uncle. You’ve seen him a couple of time when you hitched a ride to and from school with your uncle, or when your uncle had to pick up supplies Reiki was quick to join. You forgot that he was sometimes in your home, in the kitchen, cooking something up while your sister had that look – the same look Atsumu had for her.
You pocketed Atsumu’s letter deep in your pocket.
“Sis, I know who Reiki is,”
Reiki laughs, a blush on his cheeks. “Hey, (Y/N)!”
“Hey, Reiki…” you tightened your hand on the letter, feeling it crumple. “C-Congrats.”
From behind you, Kaoru pops up and runs towards your sister's boyfriend, who in return, playfully ruffles with your little brother's hair.
“Thanks!”
No. No. No. No. No.
Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit.
Atsumu-
How were you going to tell him? 
He would be crushed, absolutely crushed!
There was so much hope in his eye, how could you tell him? Mika-nee has a boyfriend now. You couldn’t give her his letter, it was no use.
You had to lie to him to protect him. Even if you had done so, it still wouldn’t change the fact that if you told the truth, he’ll be hurt either way.
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Come the next day and news spread of Mika and Reiki getting together. Dread filled you the rest of the day, especially seeing the light in Atsumu's eyes just fade away, as though a thick cloud-shrouded over - dark, rumbling, ominous clouds, seeing your sister with someone else. He was off for the rest of the day, unresponsive, moving around like a doll. It hurt you to see him this way.
But what could you do?
Nothing would change. 
Facts were there: Mika doesn't like Atsumu that way. It was that simple.
Could you tell him that though? When he's done everything he could to get her to notice him, to acknowledge him?
You tried calling out to him during practice, but he would just shrug off and smash into the ball hard, slamming against the floor as though it were a meteor. Swallowing, you watched him grab another ball from the cart, throw it in the air, and hit it with all his might.
Worried as you were, you let him be - allowing himself to release all the hurt and pain he's been feeling. Volleyball did that to him, it was his joy and love.
However, you worried that he was pushing himself. Serve after serve, its impact increasing after each ball that your senior liberos were sure to receive bruises from receiving them. During a practice match, he was also being too demanding, too vulgar with his language, antagonizing, and even trying to get into a fight with Suna (who, of which, didn't even budge when Atsumu started calling him an 'imported piece of Aichi meat').
Equally mortified and aggravated by his animosity, without waiting for the Coaches to intervene, you blew on your whistle, calling for a break. Apparently, it was a good decision, the coaches and your captain turned to you gratefully.
Getting to you feet, you decide you've had enough.
"Atsumu," you call out, tone serious. Said teen was being held back by Ginjima and Aran, the latter grateful at your appearance. "a word, please?"
"Why?"
Not budging at the acidity in his tone, you sighed, firming your tone. "Outside. Now."
Scoffing, he practically pushed Ginjima off him, Aran had already released his hold and watched as the younger boy walked towards you, stomping angrily with each step. He bypasses you, nearly knocking you off. Turning on your heel, you follow after him, feeling everyone's eyes on the both of you.
"Since when were you in charge of breaks?" he says to you hotly, the door was in sight. "Match was far from fucking over and Suna was fucking slacking on me, that ass thinks he's so good, was just giving him a piece of my mind but he just fucking-"
"Are you done?" you frowned, both of you finally out of the gym. "I can understand if you're not feeling yourself, that you're off from what happened, you could let it out through volleyball but not on your teammates. Got it?"
Atsumu's hands balled into fists, swallowing down hard that you could see his Adam's apple bob.
"Got it, Atsumu?"
"...you wouldn't understand how I'm feeling, (Y/N)." There was no honorific, that cutesy '-chan' at the end of your name. But he sounded so defeated, so raw, so hurt. As for his question, how dare he? When you've-
"Don't insult me like that, Atsumu. I'm your best friend." That's what you'll always be. A fate you've come to accept. "Of course, I understand what you're feeling. Not entirely, but I can empathize on the pain. But you also need to understand that you can't let your emotions get the best of you, especially when it conflicts with volleyball."
There was truth to your words, backed up from years being his best friend, from years watching over him.
Atsumu surrenders to you, dropping his head on your shoulder, his abnormal height folding over yours.
Sighing, you reached up to ruffle his hair, feeling hot tears on your shoulder.
The two of you stay out for a while, longer than expected, but no one in the club dared to interrupt, knowing how much their hot-headed setter needed this with one of the few people who know him best.
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You thought he'd be better for the next few days, after a much needed cool down, a breather, you talking him down.
Atsumu seemed fine, seemed to come around a few days later. He was laughing, smiling, and less bitchy - much to your and Osamu's relief. There were no apologies said to Suna, no animosity, but the middle blocker was rather apathetic and even called him out for being so 'whiney' in a teasing way, had his tone not be so nonchalant and deadpan. It was better, you guessed, seeing how Osamu joined in and the two were now poking fun at Atsumu.
But you knew him, saw him through his facade. His eyes weren't as bright as they used to be, his smiles seemed forced, was at times absent-minded during practice, lunch, or on the way home. It worried you so.
You'd like to believe that he'll get over this heartache, that he was stronger than that.
You thought you could help him get over it.
Well, you thought wrong.
"Did you know?" Atsumu cornered you, asked you after practice, his voice almost quiet, shaky, raw. His words had so much weight on them, from days of probably filling his head. "Did you know about them?" he repeated, almost desperately, reflected in his eyes.
Opening your mouth, you wanted to say 'no', to assure him, only to realize seeing Reiki and your sister from the corner of your eye - close, full of smiles, their eyes filled with pure love many times. It might have been going on for some time, but you didn't really focus on it too much.
Atsumu took your silence as a yes.
"Y-You knew..." his face fell, hurt written all over. "...yet you kept assuring me that it'll be fine, even helped me write a letter-"
And suddenly, a switch inside him flipped.
"How dare you!?"
"'Tsumu-"
"You knew? You knew all along that she has a boyfriend but didn’t tell me!? Yet you kept assuring me, just to keep my hopes up!?" his voice kept rising and rising, he's regarding you in a new light like he's never seen before. "What gives you the right to toy with me like that, I thought I was your friend?"
From the other side of the gym, much to your horror, the whole club was watching, unable to do a thing. Not even the coaches could ease the situation. Aran looked like he wanted to intervene, same with Ginjima, Suna's eyes were the biggest you've seen, away from the screen of his phone, not even bothering to record - he's not that sadistic, Kita and Akagi was watching you two worriedly.
"Atsumu-"
"I thought I was your friend!?"
"'TSUMU!"
"You are! Just- Atsumu let's talk-" before you could reach him, he pulls his hand away, as though your touch was poison. The look in his eyes - it was as though you were trash, rotted, poisonous, detrimental to his being. "...A-Atsumu?"
"Don't you fucking touch me,"
Without waiting for another word, he stormed off the gym. Osamu was quick to run after him.
And you?
You just stood there - frozen, numb, heartbroken.
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Atsumu didn't talk to you all week, adamant on avoiding you at all costs. 
There's not much you can do about it, however, things have changed. If before, whenever you and Atsumu fought, it was you who gave him the cold shoulder and he'd be too whiney and lonely and come back to you, as though nothing happened. You didn't say a word, silently grateful to have him back.  It's just how it is: letting his anger run its course or his pride waste away, you were there waiting when it was done. (Osamu would see-saw his time between you and his brother, per obligation)
Now, things were different.
Now, things were serious.
This was Atsumu's heart you were talking about.
Funny as it may sound, but when it came to matters of the heart, it wasn't a laughable matter for someone so sensitive, delicate, and emotional.
Seeing him hurts, knowing that yes, you were at fault to some degree, but at the same time, it hurts because he didn't know about the circumstances of you liking him for years, and you blindsided by your sister's new boyfriend.
What could you do? It was out of your hands!
But for Atsumu, it was a matter of trust which you broke, his hope which you crush, his heart, which you failed to protect.
And it hurts you, each time Atsumu ignores you, walks past you, not bothering to acknowledge your presence - it sends a painful crack to your heart, but you had to bear it. He was hurting. Osamu tries to mend things between you two, earning only a scoff from his brother at the mere mention of your name and a sad shake of your head. It seemed it would take a while for things to return to normal. Whatever normal means anymore, you don't know.
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"How long are you gonna stay mad at (Y/N)?" Osamu asked his brother on the way home.
Atsumu says nothing, glaring harder into the ground, his mood souring at the mere mention of your name. 
Beside him, his twin sighs. "You're such a child."
"Shut up,"
"You're blaming (Y/N) for something so stupid."
"I said shut up!"
"I can't believe we shared the same womb when you're coming out dumber than I am,"
"SHUT UP, STUPID 'SAMU!"
It was unfair. They were brothers, twins, they were supposed to have each other’s backs! Osamu was supposed to be on his side, not yours. As much as they bicker and fight, it was an unspoken rule that you stood by family. But then you came in and Osamu was quick to switch alliance, and he hated it.
"They're having crabs," Osamu says, helpfully. At this, Atsumu perks up a bit. He may like fatty tuna, but crabs were a hard contender. Plus, your uncle picked up the best crabs! "(Y/N) invited us."
He paused at the sound of your name. Darn Osamu for knowing his weakness, and you. But crabs!
"Fine," he sulkily replies, Osamu grins in victory.
When they got home, the twins immediately changed and dashed towards your house, which was just right next door.
Kaoru was the one who greeted them at the door, grinning ear to ear at the sight of his favorite 'nii-sans'.
"Atsumu-nii! Osamu-nii!" he launches himself at the twins.
"Hey little buddy," Atsumu laughs, ruffling your brother's (h/c) hair.
"Are the crabs ready?" Osamu asked, taking Kaoru in his arms.
With Osamu's arms around him, Kaoru pulls him and his brother into your home. He laughs at Osamu's comment, practically seeing him drooling with hunger.
"Not yet! Nee-chan, uncle, and mom are still at the market picking up the crabs!"
Osamu nods, a dreamy look in his face at the mention of crabs.
"Hmm...crabs." Atsumu echoes his thoughts, mouth watering already.
"Kaoru, who's here?" a familiar voice calls from inside, making Atsumu stop.
"Atsumu-nii, and Osamu-nii!" Kaoru called back innocently.
The twins enter the living room, adjacent to the dining room, where utensils, plates, and plastic bags were set out. Atsumu nearly smiles at the sight of Mika, still in her school uniform with her (h/c) hair in a messy bun and donning an apron, until a figure popped up behind her.
"Oh hey, man," he greeted toothily, voice amazingly deep for someone so lanky. "I'm Reiki."
"My boyfriend!" Mika added, opening her palms as though presenting him. The teen flushes at that and the two share a laugh. Atsumu feels something unsettling in his chest.
"Osamu," his twin greets.
"A-Atsumu," he found his voice, quieter than usual and lacking his usual energy, but they didn't notice that save for his twin.
"Where're the crabs?" Osamu asked immediately, waddling towards them with Kaoru in his arms.
"Ah!" from the apron pocket, Mika plucks her phone and unlocks it. "They just bought it and are on their way now!"
"Yay, crabs!" Kaoru cheers, waving his hands in the air.
"Crabs~" Osamu joins in.
"You like crabs?" Reiki asked.
Mika tucks her phone way, about to answer when Atsumu beat her to it. "Like, more than that, we love it!"
"Liar, you like fatty tuna, Atsumu!"
His heart warms at that, seeing that she remembered his favorite food.
"And Osamu here just likes food in general." Mika further adds with a laugh.
"So, if you were in death row and you were granted one last food to eat, what would you choose?"
Osamu's face falls, groaning. "I can't decide, man."
Everyone laughs at that, Kaoru patting Osamu's shoulders sympathetically. Atsumu laughed at his brother's moment of weakness when he noticed the couple from the corner of his eye, smile faltering when Reiki tucked loose strands of Mika's face behind her ear.
Clearing his throat, he asked aloud, "So, Reiki-san, you get along quickly with people, huh?"
"Hehe, yeah. Maybe." he replies, a small smile on his face. There was a falter in his smile and tone, a telling that it may not be the case. He almost smiles, thinking that maybe there's one person in this family who isn't sold on him.
Keyword being: almost because Kaoru then opens his mouth. "Reiki-nii and Nee-chan are friends!"
That surprises him and Osamu, but mostly him, knowing just how introverted you can be.
"They are?"
Reiki laughs nervously, scratching the back of his neck. "I hope so, man. (Y/N) scares me."
"True that." Osamu nods.
Mika slaps Reiki in your defense. "She's just protective, s'all!"
"Thankfully, we kinda bonded over food."
"Reiki-nii's a great cook! Like Nee-chan!"
"So, you're saying Mika-nee's a bad cook?"
"Osamu, how dare you!" Mika laughs, playfully reaching out to smack his brother.
Atsumu felt out of place, unable to join in the fun seeing your sister next to her boyfriend, some degenerate, normie, lanky guy over him? Seriously! What does he have that Atsumu doesn't? He even looks like a twig! Sure, his voice is deep - almost as deep as Osamu's, Atsumu's voice can change, too!
"A-Anyway, is there anything we can do to help while we wait?"
"Nah, bro, we already cooked the rice and prepared the stuff, we just need the crabs." says Reiki, pointing behind him with his thumb.
Osamu's eyes twinkles at the mention of crabs, with Kaoru laughing again.
"Um, so while waiting shall we play some games?"
"That's a great idea, Atsumu! Oh, I have some card games in the room-" she gestures to take off the apron, but Atsumu volunteers himself.
"No worries," there was an awkward crack in his voice, he hoped nobody noticed "I'll get it! It's on the bookshelves, right?" He's been here long enough to know where people keep their things.
Mika's face lightens, her smile nearly blinding. "Thanks, Atsumu!"
He loves it, yet at the same time, he hates it.
Not wanting to see your sister's face, Reiki, or the two even canoodling in his presence, he quickened his steps up, already familiar with the structure of your house to know where your room is. You shared a room with your sister. He especially didn't want little Kaoru to pick up on why Atsumu-nii was acting strange, hoping that Osamu was enough distraction.
Looking up, realizing where exactly he was, he nearly blushes. It was easy to tell which part of the room belonged to whom - Mika's side was wider, livelier with a pop of color, posters, pictures, and makeup. Yours was simple, organized, with the occasional stuffed toys and figurines won from arcades or festivals from years back.
Hung up on the walls, in those cutesy photo holders, were a series of childhood photos of you three siblings. Unable to help himself, Atsumu smiled at each and every one of them.
Finding the bookshelf, he spotted the deck of UNO cards beside what seemed to be a new card game. Intrigued, and curious, he took that deck as well and was ready to leave the room when his eyes landed on your study desk, specifically on an unclosed drawer.
Curious, he walked towards it, pulling it wider, he was met with your stationary set – pads of paper, erasers, sticky notes, pencil lead, and letters.
Atsumu found a series of love letters in your room, all addressed to him. From you.
He stared at them, a stack really of it, and it stared back.
Before he could help himself, he took one letter, opened it, sat down, and read it.
When finally, you, your mom, and uncle arrived with the crabs, Atsumu rushed out of the room.
At first, you were unsure how to feel seeing him in your home, even though you invited them over. Atsumu smiled politely at everyone, you included. Before you could approach him, your uncle was calling you to help him cook the crabs.
Although dinner was fun and delicious, with jokes shared around and heartfelt conversations that mostly centered on the twins’ volleyball career and Mika and Reiki, you couldn’t help checking on a certain blond-dyed teen.
Though he was smiling and laughing, even playfully taking Reiki’s crab, something was off about it. You’ve known him long enough to know when he was faking or hiding something.
What you didn't know was that the more he felt your gaze on him, the angrier he became, his disgust in you increasing. And that only spurred and fueled his hate. Of you. 
Brought completely by revenge, he devised a plan that he would 'apologize' to you, needing the help of his brother, Suna, and Ginjima. The three had been begging him to make amends with you, so they happily agreed to fetch you for him. Everyone was practically begging him to forgive you.
The next day, in front of the whole team, in lieu of a pseudo-apology, he presented your letters – delighting in seeing your eyes widen, and read one by one aloud, in the club room, with everyone there. Even the coaches.
He had just finished the third letter, cackling at your words, unaware of your turmoil, when Aran appeared to stop him.
“That’s enough, Atsumu.”
“Ah, c’mon Aran-kun, I’m just getting started!”
“’Tsumu-“
“Neh, 'Samu, remember how Mika’s always receiving love letters, right? Who knew (Y/N) would write love letters, too, huh? And they’re for me! All for me! I’m touched, (Y/N)!”
You just stood there, head down to the ground, face unreadable, feeling everyone's eyes on you as Atsumu put you on the spot.
"It must’ve killed you to see Mika get all my attention, so you thought you were doing good by writing to me same way it worked for her, huh? You’re adorable, (Y/N)! I mean, I know you've liked me for years, but then for you actually become the club manager just to see me every day? That's something else, (Y/N)!"
Unable to take it anymore, angrily, you threw your phone at him, smashing it into pieces just above his head. Not wasting a single second, you grabbed your things and ran out, before hot tears spilled down your face in front of them all.
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After that humiliating scene, you ditched school for a day. Made a flimsy excuse that you weren’t coming in, via your mom because your phone was in pieces and you had no way of communication. The whole day was spent crying your heart out, tears spilling the moment you ran off during practice, uncaring of your duties, up until you reached your house and locked yourself into your room. When all your tears dried up, you still haven't left your bed. Staring into nothing, with a heavy pang still in your head, your mind wandered.
Your dad had walked out on you when you were younger, and you saw her bitch of a girlfriend.
"Don't tell your mother, okay?" he had told you, and you were stupid enough to agree.
Papa could do no wrong, you said to yourself as he kissed your forehead.
Then he walked out, bags and all, your mom kneeling on her knees, begging him to stay, you were there, whilst your big sister was out, your baby brother was sleeping, watching the scene unfold.
Something in you died that day.
Men were disappointing, Miya Atsumu was no exception.
No, that wasn't fair. You couldn't generalize it to all men.
After all, your uncle was there to help pick your family up, forcing your mom out of her depressive state, helped the family moved to Hyogo once the divorce settled, and helped her find a job. Your upperclassmen - Captain Wada, Akagi, Ojiro, Omimi, and Kita, were super helpful may it be in terms of academics or something else. Coach Oomi and Coach Kurosu were always helping you managing the club, challenging what you think you knew. Your baby brother, Kaoru – as much of a pain he was – loved you.
It wasn't fair to generalize that all men were worthless, just a select few.
For example – your deadbeat of a father and Miya Atsumu.
The next day – a Friday, decidedly forcing yourself out of the wallow sadness and hurt you've been in, you marched up to the gym, dressed in your Inarizaki VBC issued tracksuit.
Everyone stopped at the sight of you, some doing a double-take, the gym instantly fell silent, a tension so thick and known was building.
"Ah, (L/N)...?" Akagi called, voice wavering.
Gazing at him, your eyes flit towards the rest of the team, who all shifted under your gaze. Steeling yourself, you continued onwards, taking purposeful strides towards Captain Wada.
"(L/N)! Are you-"
"Captain," you greeted, cutting him off, clipboard raised. "according to my observations, despite a strong lineup, we still need to work on our blocks for the incoming games. The middle blockers tend to go easy and we need the freshmen to adjust."
You were only months away from Inter-High, it's time to get to business.
Blinking, it only took a couple of moments to bring him back, realizing that you were strictly in it for business. "I see. Has this been brought up with Coach Kurosu or Coach Oomi?" 
"Yes. In addition..." more reports came in, straight to the point and business-like. While this was happening, the rest of the team had their eyes locked on you - a mix of curiosity and nervousness brought by your presence. Atsumu, who had just walked in with his twin in tow, stiffened at the sight of you, before sneering and walking on. Osamu sighed after his twin, eyes darting to you worriedly.
"These are all noted. Thank you for bringing this to my attention, (L/N)."
Nodding, you lowered your clipboard. "Do you have something to say to me, captain?"
"No. It's all good. Thank you again, (L/N)." he smiles kindly, you pointedly ignored that sad look in his eyes.
Nodding once, you resumed your managerial duties. Strictly, managerial duties.
Although worried, Coach Kurosu nodded at the sight of you, arms crossed against his chest.
Standing beside him, you blew the whistle, everyone's attention turning to you. "All right, start stretching!"
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He had a crush on your big sister, had always been for years. As his best friend, you were expected to act as an intermediate between them. Cliché as it may sound.
He hated you because you never told him how she never got the chance to know because she was madly in love with her boyfriend, a boy she's been engrossed with. He would also never know that she never saw him in that way, seeing him only as her sister's friend, a sort of younger brother.
But you didn't care.
You didn't care anymore if you got hurt or not, you didn't care.
The same way you lost care about how your big sister would fare in whatever she’s doing.
You locked yourself away. Purposely numbing yourself with all the hate people had towards you, hardening you from the inside out.
This was punishment for all the times you failed to be a better person, sibling, daughter, and friend.
The one time you failed your mother, leaving her broken beyond words when he left.
The one time you failed your little brother against his bullies.
The one time you failed to protect your first love’s heart.
The one time you failed to be there for your best friend after a bad day, held back by your cowardice.
You deserve this, you tell yourself. You did.
The kindest gesture you could offer was just being in the background. An active bystander. An extra.
Everything you did was for them, nothing waited for you afterward – you don’t deserve them.
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imtryingmybeskar · 3 months ago
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Chapter Eight of Red Letter Day. 18+. Violence, mention of child murder, allusions to arousal but no actual smut. 5.1k words
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Neither you nor Max made a move to discuss anything that had happened when you stayed over - not him feeding from you, nor the arousal you both felt as he did, and certainly not you accidentally flashing him. You drove him to his office that morning, despite his reassurances that he was quite happy to catch a cab. When you pulled in to the parking lot at the basement of the office, you felt a little shy suddenly. As if you didn't know how to be around him and what was an appropriate goodbye. Which was stupid because nothing had actually changed. At least that was what you were trying to convince yourself.
"So...where do we go from here?" Max said. You turned to him with a look of startled incredulity that he was openly referring to what you had thought you were both ignoring.
"What do you mean?" you queried, trying very hard to sound unbothered by his question. He looked at you strangely.
"Maya. Where do we take our investigation?" Oh. OH. You found yourself relieved that was all he was talking about. But with a slight flare of what felt suspiciously like disappointment. You pushed that part way down inside and ignored it. He was still looking at you strangely, probably because you hadn't answered him and were staring blankly instead.
"I don't know," you blurted. "Did you have any ideas?"
"Just one," Max sighed. "But its a real last resort thing. We could get in a lot of trouble if it went wrong."
"What were you thinking?"
"I don't know that I want you involved," Max said bluntly. "Seriously, this could land us in a lot of shit. The fewer people that know the better. Can I...I mean is it okay if I get your number? Message you if I think of anything?"
You narrowed your eyes at him in an overly-dramatic way, your words softened by the slight smile at your lips. "As long as you don't abuse the privilege. No dick pics."
Max huffed a laugh and held up three fingers. "Scouts honour," he vowed.
"When were you a scout?"
"I could have been a scout. You don't know me!"
"You weren't though, were you?"
"...No."
*** *** ***
To your mild surprise, Max stayed true to his word and did not send you anything that wasn't related to your investigation. Over the next week, he kept you updated with the few additional articles that he had found about Maya's case, and about Apex Corp (not that there was much to tell there, only that he had dug up evidence of a customs charge on something when their team came back from Romania). Most of what he told you related to what Nicole was doing, and you suspected it was to try to make you feel better about having been followed. The following Friday night found you curled up on your sofa with a glass of merlot, your attention divided between peeking outside of your flat periodically, a film that was essentially just background noise, and reading and replying to Max's messages.
"She was parked up outside my apartment for a bit last night, but then she must have gotten bored."
"I also told her that I fired you."
"Sorry."
"I made it seem like...how do I put this? Our business was concluded?"
"Max, did you tell her I was a prostitute?"
"No, I just hinted at the fact that I'd got what I wanted from you and then released you from your contract. She bought it for some reason." You could sense the wry tone even through the text and it made you smile. You weren't sure Max had ever been this self aware in his life, and if he had he sure hadn't cared what a bastard he was perceived to be before now.
"I figured that if she thought you were out of my life she would leave you alone." The thought behind the text made you smile wider and before you knew it you were actually grinning at your phone.
"Thank you. That's very thoughtful. Let me know if she does anything weird?"
"Of course."
And then, silence.
At first you assumed it was because he didn't want Nicole to see that he was still in contact with you. Then you told yourself he was just busy at work, or with the investigation. But by the time the next Friday rolled around and you had heard absolutely nothing from Max for an entire week despite messaging him several times, you began to get worried that something had happened - that maybe he had got himself into shit with the plan he had refused to drag you into. And so after you left your own office for the day, you travelled to his, hoping that you weren't messing up anything he had set in motion, but also wanting to be kept in the loop of what was going on. And...you missed him. You hated admitting it to yourself, but you missed his stupid jokes and the ridiculous way he thought he was so smooth and you missed his face making all those exaggerated expressions. You missed the softer Max you had seen glimpses of over the past few weeks, and you even missed some of the Max that you had first known. Though perhaps not his smarminess. Or egotism. You didn't really know how to deal with the revelation that perhaps you did like him - as a friend and maybe as more. But you wanted to spend more time with him, maybe talk about stuff outside of the Apex mystery...
"Back again? Nicole's sneer came from behind you and cut through your musings as you stood in front of the elevator doors, waiting for the interminably slow lift to arrive. "I thought Max let you go?" She smirked nastily at you, almost as if she knew something you didn't.
"Mr. Phillips wanted me to come back to consult on one particular account," you lied, smoothly. "I know the director of procurement from years back. I'm surprised he didn't tell you," you added, a slight smug tone to your voice. Nicole's smirk vanished.
"He only tells me about important meetings. Not these...trifles he seems to be so fond of." You had no real desire to be stuck in a small space with Nicole, especially with that awful perfume she favoured, so you elected to ignore her insults and instead walk the few floors up to where Max's office was. She was waiting for you when you got there, the door to Max's office open and with her leaning lazily against the door frame. There was no one inside. She smirked again. "Oh yes, didn't I mention? Max went home early today. Guess this meeting can't have been that important after all," she purred as she stalked past you and into her office. God, you hated her. Worse than you had ever hated Max. He had just been an idiot, but she was deliberately cruel and awful. And a literal fucking stalker. Pursing your lips, you took the elevator back downstairs, deciding to swing by Max's apartment on your way home. After all, you knew where Nicole was. It couldn't hurt to go and talk to him.
As you got back into your car and began to make your way to his apartment, you found you were increasingly troubled. That Max could be hurt, or someone had found a way to kill him properly. Why else wouldn't he have answered your messages? You took a deep breath and talked yourself down to a more rational state. He must be fine. Even if Nicole had been lying about him being at work earlier that day, Max was fairly well known in the business community. He couldn't just go missing without someone noticing. He was fine, and you knew that whatever he was doing it really wasn't your business anyway. He didn't owe you any explanations and he had all but said outright that he wanted to protect you from whatever strange situation was occurring with Apex Corp. But...you were still going to try to see him, just to reassure yourself that he was okay. To see if you could help him in any way - to try to get this whole situation done with as soon as possible. And then maybe...maybe you could get to know him better.
The concierge, who had been so helpful to you the last few times you had come here, greeted you brightly as you entered. Perhaps a little too brightly. You gave yourself a shake. It was part of the man's job to greet people. Paranoia and tiredness from the weeks' work were getting to you, that was all. As you approached Max's door, you took some time to fix your hair and touch up your make up and a part of you hated yourself for bothering to do so. You knocked and the door was answered. But not by who you were expecting. Your stomach dropped like it had been transmuted into a lead weight and the smile on your face, which you hadn't even realised had been there as you had thought about Max, briefly turned to an open-mouthed look of shock before you took control of yourself again. A very handsome man stood before you, his lush hair and chiseled cheeks looking like they had come straight out of a modelling agency. He was dressed in Max's silk robe and apparently nothing else. As he saw you, he gathered the robe more tightly around him. "Can I help you?" he asked.
"Hi!" your voice was high, frothy with false friendliness and now you yourself sounded way too bright for the situation. "Um, I'm sorry to interrupt your evening. Is Max around?"
"He's just in the back right now. Can I...take a message?"
"No, no its okay, thank you. Uh...he and I used to work together until very recently and I had something work-related I wanted to discuss with him. I can see him another time-"
"Michael, I know this gorgeous little Italian place a few blocks awa-" Max halted abruptly as he saw you in his doorway, his eyes growing wide. "Hi. You okay?"
"Yeah, I'm good, just wanted to discuss that account I left with you. I'm feeling the pressure for an update. I didn't mean to interrupt your evening. I'll go."
"No, its ok." He came up behind the man who was presumably Michael, put his hand possessively on his lower back and murmured at him to go get ready in a commanding tone. Michael's eyes lit up at the contact and he smiled as he bid you farewell and moved off into the flat. Max turned back to look at you, a wary expression on his face. You watched until the other man was fully out of sight before turning your attention back to Max. You could feel the righteous anger blazing in your eyes and in the curl of your lip.
"Really, Max? You couldn't think of another fucking restaurant in the city to take a date to?! You have to go to my favourite?" Max opened his mouth to retort, but you weren't in the mood for his bullshit. "You're a piece of work, do you know that? I can't believe you've been ignoring me and ignoring everything that's actually important just to get laid!" you hissed at him, venomously. "I can't believe that I thought that you might be in trouble. That I was helping you by staying away. And most of all, I cant believe that I actually thought you'd changed. What a fucking idiot I am! Goodbye Max. And good luck with everything." He caught hold of your arm as you went to leave.
"It's not like that," he protested weakly.
"Okay, so what is it like?" He remained silent. "You're dating this guy, right? You've been totally ignoring me, right? So what about what I said was wrong?" Max released you and looked down at the floor, his lips pressed together and his jaw set grimly.
"You're right," he admitted, his voice quiet but unremorseful. "Everything you've said. And you're better off without me in your life."
"Damn fucking right," you muttered to yourself as you stalked away from him, seething at the fact that on top of everything else he had the audacity to try to fucking guilt trip you for being angry at his behaviour.
*** *** ***
The memory of the night you had spent at his apartment kept Max warm for several days afterward. Metaphorically speaking. He hadn't meant to see your breasts as you had reached forward for your coffee and had averted his eyes as soon as he had realised what was happening. But it was too late. And it was both a source of torment to him and a beautiful memory. You had both agreed not to speak of that night, and hadn't needed words to come to that understanding. He knew you found him attractive, knew you probably wouldn't find it unpleasant in the slightest to fuck him. But for the first time in his life Max found that he didn't want a random fuck. He didn't think he could bear to have just one night with you. He would rather have nothing at all than a mere taste and have to give you up again, and he resigned himself to being miserable with his pre-packaged food and his hand around his cock until he could get the fuck over you and be himself again.
He kept you up to date with everything he found out about Apex Corp, but it wasn't enough and Max knew more drastic measures were needed if the investigation was to progress further. Nicole had been outside his flat every single night since you had stayed over. He was just glad he knew where she was, and that it meant that you were safe. She had begun to be more secretive and furtive around the office too - installing a lock on her door that only she had the key to, turning up for work at odd hours and departing just as suddenly, and Max was pretty sure she had been trying to snoop around his office and on his computer. He was trying to care more than he did, but instead, always in the forefront of his mind was you. How much he missed you when he couldn't see you. How good it had been to have you opposite him at his desk again. How much he wanted to invite you out - not even on a date necessarily, just to sit with you while you ate and chatted with him again. If his heart could beat, every single thump would bear your imprint and he hated himself for it because he found it impossible to hate you.
He took the plunge and put his plan into action the Monday after he had last seen you, managing to slip away in a cab before Nicole knew where he was or where he was going to.
"Hi there!" Max gave his cheeriest, most charming greeting, laced around the edges with just the tiniest hint of hypnosis. Just enough to make his target feel a little warmer than they would normally, to feel well disposed toward this new visitor. He need not have bothered. As soon as he looked at Max, he heard his heartbeat increase, saw his pupils dilate, smelt the rush of chemicals through his blood. He leant on the wood-topped counter of the front desk of the police station and smiled warmly at the man sitting behind it.
"Hello sir," he replied, the waver in his voice undetectable to anyone who didn't have supernatural senses. "What can I do for you?"
Max sighed deeply. "This is going to sound very strange," he ventured. "Please bear with me."
He bullshitted his way through the story he had prepared. How he was concerned that his young niece was involved with a vampire. How she was too good and pure and precious for a monster like that. He clutched at his metaphorical pearls and asked what could he do to save her? She was only nineteen, not nearly old enough to make those sorts of decisions for herself. There had to be some recourse, something that the police could help him with? The man at the desk was sympathetic but said that given that she was technically an adult, nothing much could be done unless she was being hurt or was afraid of her boyfriend for some reason. Max sighed and nodded at this as if it was the answer he was expecting, thanked him for his help and went to leave. He could tell that the man was disappointed to see him go and he drew it out to the last possible second before he turned back.
"I don't want to be creepy," he began hesitantly. "I know you're at work so feel free to tell me to leave. But uh...you wouldn't want to get a drink sometime would you?"
Of course Michael agreed. And Max began his campaign of manipulation. He supposed he should feel bad. And occasionally he did, especially when he made him believe that they had been intimate when they absolutely had not. He would come on to Max, straddle him while he was on the couch, run his fingers down his chest and sink to his knees in front of him, and Max would stroke his face gently and look in his eyes and make him sleep for a time. And when Michael awoke he would have false memories of them together, and would turn to Max, and hold him close and tell him how good he was to him, how amazing he made him feel. Sometimes that was difficult. But then memories of your face would come to him, that night when you had come over when you were frightened and anxious by Nicole being outside your apartment and he knew he would do anything to protect you. He was already in hell. What were a few more stains on his conscience? The end game, the goal he inched closer to every day, were the records of Maya Daniels' case. If he could see the police report of the scene, see the coroner's report too, then maybe he could see whose blood had also been present and this nightmare could start to unravel. He was close. He had almost succeeded a few days before you accosted him at his apartment, the plan being derailed at the last minute by the irritating presence of a visiting police captain. But Max was patient in most ways that mattered. Eternal life tended to have that effect.
Michael was an extremely beautiful man, and at any other time in his life, Max would have delighted in taking pleasure from him in all sorts of ways. But he really wasn't enjoying what was going on between them. It was all work and zero play and Max found it both irritating and exhausting pretending to be interested in someone he wasn't. He had used to be so good at it too. And he missed the communication that had blossomed between you, but he couldn't risk Michael seeing any of those messages. He had found himself suggesting the restaurant as a date venue simply because he wanted to glimpse you if he could, stupid and dangerous as that was. Going there, the place where he had first felt the stirrings of the feelings he held for you, felt in some way like he was physically close to you, even though he wasn't. Seeing you at his apartment was absolutely not part of the plan. But then suddenly you were there - real, immediate, and angry with him once again for something he hadn't truly done. Okay, he was dating Michael. But not in his mind or heart or any way it counted. And he was doing it for you. But he wouldn't have told you any of that, even if you had been disposed to listen to him. He needed you to be out of the picture as much as possible. What he was planning was so very illegal and he was strangely anxious about it. Even though he had literally murdered people in the past. He really was a ridiculous man, he thought to himself with a wry, lopsided smile.
"What?" came Michael's voice from in front of him.
"Huh?"
"You're smiling. Its adorable. What are you thinking about?"
"I'm...thinking of something very naughty." Michael approached Max and slid his arms around his waist, gently pulling him closer.
"Oh yeah?" he asked in a low voice. Max laughed, in what he hoped was a self conscious manner and looked away from Michael's face as if he were shy.
"I...haven't been entirely honest with you," he began. Michael arched a questioning eyebrow at him but remained silent. "I uh...have a thing. For...for your uniform," he all but whispered. Michael smiled widely at him as he ploughed on. "And uh...I know its terrible but...it would drive me wild if we could do some stuff. At your office. Its been on my mind for days and I-"
"Yes," he said, firmly. Max's brow wrinkled in genuine surprise. He hadn't even got to the hypnotism yet. "I know the desk guy on tonight. I know where the CCTV is. My uniform is in my locker. I'm sure I can grab us half an hour or so." His voice grew even deeper, even more seductive as he added, "Maybe even longer." Max was excited. But for a very different reason to Michael.
Max left him asleep in the corner of one of the shower cubicles in the locker room, having stolen his credentials and badge to give the illusion that he should be here, and having forced the details of his logins and passwords out of him a couple of days before through his mesmerising ways. He knew nothing about the police or how they operated and just hoped that Michael was of a high enough rank and Max himself was a good enough bullshitter to grant him access where he needed to. He didn't have much time, but it turned out he didn't need much. Once he had got away from the front desk and the cells, the police station was strangely quiet for 8 pm on a Friday night. He found an unlocked room with a computer to work at that was out of the line of sight of anyone who might come in unexpectedly and once he had logged in, he found the coroner's report easily. The police were still puzzling over the case and it was a relatively high priority. Maya's blood had been diluted with the blood of someone called James Knight. The name rang no bells for Max so he pulled up the records associated with the name and hissed softly in disgust when he did. A child. Eight years old. Maya had fed upon and killed a child. A vile and revolting crime. The worst of the worst. Max suddenly found himself very glad that she was dead. He was about to return to Michael when he decided to look up Nicole while he had the chance. There were two extremely interesting points in her records. One, the name of an ex-spouse. The other...he turned it over and over in his mind as he helped an extremely docile and giggly Michael from the station and got him home safely. He wondered how he hadn't been able to see it before.
*** *** ***
You lay in bed, staring at your ceiling, still seething and choosing to focus your anger solely on the fact that Max would have the gall to take a date to what he knew was your favourite restaurant. You couldn't go back there now. Max had tainted it with his sly, gross, underhand-
Your own voice cut silkily into your roiling mind with a simple statement of fact.
"He hasn't tainted anything. You just wanted it to be you."
A surge of annoyance rushed through your veins as you cursed your own self for also turning on you.
"No one turned on you, idiot. You got jealous and you threw a tantrum. He owes you nothing. You made it perfectly clear you didn't intend to be with him like that. So he got with someone else. Deal with it."
Your chest felt hollow at the realisations the rational part of you was helping you to come to. And at the fact that maybe you had missed your chance to get to know Max better. Fuck. After what he had done for you, at the very least he deserved that you make this right with him as best you could. If you really were the closest thing he had to a friend then the way you had behaved might have really hurt him, and you found that thought caused a painful squeeze in your chest. You didn't want Max to be sad. Or hurt. Especially not from anything you had done. You turned over in bed, thinking about how much simpler life had been when he had been a bastard and you had been able to hate him in peace.
You went to his apartment again the next morning, a bottle of good red wine in your bag and with apologies on your lips. You knew Max wouldn't drink it, but you had some half baked idea that you could give it to him for Michael to have, and perhaps he could get some benefit from it that way. The lovely concierge informed you that Mr Phillips had left very early this morning and asked if you needed him to take a message? You declined and went straight to the only other place you thought Max might be.
The office occasionally had workers present on the weekends, a situation more common once the vampires had taken over. But everything was deathly quiet today as you made your way through the lobby. The lift seemed to be broken, or at least it wasn't responding when you pressed the button to call it. Fucking typical. The lights flickered ominously and your footsteps echoed in the terrible, dingy emptiness of the stairwell as you began your ascent to Max's floor. Various imagined conversations with Max started and stalled repeatedly in your mind.
"I apologise for how I behaved yesterday..."
"Max, I'm sorry. I was a dick..."
"Your boyfriend's cute. Sorry I was an asshole..."
You hoped he could forgive you. And you hoped you could be big enough to find it in yourself to be happy for him. As you approached the correct floor, you heard an enormous crashing sound, as if something had been thrown heavily against a wall. Not wanting to be too close to Max if he was throwing a tantrum over something, you silently and slowly opened the door from the stairwell to the office floor. A rhythmic thumping was occurring every ten seconds or so - a slowed down version of what you had heard against Max's office door on your very first day here. But this noise was more metallic, more precise, and when you turned the corner you saw what was making it. A fire extinguisher had been wedged in the doors in the lift and they were hopelessly closing on it again and again and again. The guttering of the buzzing light inside the narrow box revealed long, dark, macabre spatters of blood making forensic patterns inside the lift and over its doors, and your stomach and throat were gripped inside by icy fingers of fear.
"So...Max," came a perfidious coo. "Are you ready for round three? Do you think you can take me...baby?" Another crashing, splintering noise and the sound of Max groaning heavily in pain. You moved closer to the sounds, which seemed to be emanating from Max's office. "Answer me!" Nicole hissed and Max gave a sharp yelp in response. "No one is coming for you. You pathetic, shit-stain excuse of a vampire. I get to kill you again and again in such terrible ways. And when I think you've suffered a fraction of what you have put others through and you're begging me to end your miserable existence, then I might consider killing you for good."
By this time you were just outside his office, crouching down to keep small and out of sight at much as possible. You could see Nicole standing with her back to you, Max kneeling on the floor in front of her, his hair gripped in her claw-like hand and his head angled up so that he had no choice but to look at her face. His office was ruined. Broken bits of his desk and computer lay everywhere and there were more long streaks of blood up the walls and over the carpet. Even the potted plant in the corner had been strewn around the place.
Max mumbled something you couldn't catch and Nicole laughed icily. "Oh but I can kill you. Properly. I have your sire's blood. I know you've been investigating me and who I work for. I also know that you're so amazingly stupid that you barely got anywhere. We covered our tracks well. I allowed you to see that customs charge from Romania as a little tease. Just enough so you might work out that I could genuinely hurt you. But I think you were too dumb to understand the threat." She sighed deeply. "Working for you has been the most irritating and BORING thing I have ever had the misfortune to experience. Even tormenting you was boring." You heard the smile as it crept into her tone. "Until now."
Suddenly, the glint of a knife in the hand that wasn't holding him, and you reacted before you thought about what the hell you were doing. Grabbing the bottle of wine from your bag, you ran into the room and smashed it as hard as you could over Nicole's head. She gave a grunt of pain and stepped forward somewhat. The collision between the glass and her skull seemed to have almost no impact at all. And when she turned to you, you understood why. Her face was a mess. Pulsating with black, wormlike veins under the surface, her eyes a festering wound of red and yellow, and her fangs fully extended, blood dripping from her chin. Her perfume was still overwhelming, but now the floral bouquet of it was infected with the sweet smell of rot and the metallic tang of blood - the personification of a decorated sepulchre.
"Ah," she exclaimed excitedly. "Look who's here, Maxie. Now we can have some real fun!
Tagging @pinkninja200 and @readsalot73
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thanksjro · 11 months ago
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More Than Meets the Eye #30 - The Cybertronian Judicial System is a Friggin’ Joke
Have I mentioned that I’m not a huge fan of court case stories? I think they’re pretty boring, on average, so the last couple of issues have been slightly dragging for me.
Anyway, back to Megatron’s trial. 

Our issue opens up with a full back shot of Ultra Magnus.
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Artists take note, he really is built like a capital T.
As Magnus reads out Megatron’s statement retracting his “guilty” plea, we get some decent points as to why. See, telling a guy that you’ll stab him in the brain, so his trial can be over as quickly as possible, maybe isn’t such a hot idea. Megatron wasn’t a huge fan of that, or of how those memories they would’ve yanked outta him would have been used to fuel the Autobot propaganda machine. Why, you may ask?
Well, I don’t know if you knew this or not, but Megatron… doesn’t particularly care for the Autobots, nor the rhetoric they uphold.
I know, I was surprised too!
There’s also the fact that Optimus Prime is the judge on this whole thing. You know. Optimus Prime. Off and on leader of the Autobots, whenever it suits him. The guy who fucked off into space for a year after the war. The guy who threw a hissy fit when someone pointed out that he was compromised the last time they did something like this with Megatron. This guy:
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Yeah, there might be a slight conflict of interests here. Remind me again why this had to be a military trial?
Anyway, enough of that, it’s time for a fight scene.
A swarm of Decepticons storm the arena, going after Megatron so they can help him escape. Magnus, though acting as Megatron’s defense, cannot abide by this disorder in the court.
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Wild to think there’s a tiny little Pringles man with anxiety in there, isn’t it?
Optimus joins the fray, because there really are, just, so many guys to deal with here. A dude goes to collect Megatron, stating that they brought teleport packs for this little shindig. Megatron isn’t super jazzed about that though, not bothering to grab on before the dude gets shot to death. There’s a brief recess, I guess so the janitorial staff can deal with the mess of corpses littering the courtroom.
Meanwhile, in the present day, Rung’s building a model spaceship in Swerve’s, which is a very brave thing to be doing, seeing how sticky and gross bars can be. Brainstorm’s brought a flask to the bar, and proceeds to pour the contents into a funnel sticking out of his arm.
Our bartender for the evening- I’m assuming it’s evening, but I doubt the concept of time has any real weight in space- is Bluestreak. Bluestreak was stationed on Earth for a while, which is some Phase One stuff, and took a liking to human media while he was there. He’s the guy who handles movie night these days, seeing as Rewind’s too busy being dead to do it, and I doubt Chromedome has the emotional bandwidth to take over for his late spouse.
Bluestreak’s favorite movie is Zulu, a film glorifying the colonialism of the English over the native populace of an African kingdom. Make of that what you will.
Whirl wants to watch À Bout de Soufflé, or Breathless, as it was translated for the English-speaking world, which is a French New Wave film about a criminal who shoots a cop, hides from the police in a journalist’s home, who he seduces and likely impregnates. She eventually finds out what he did, reports him to the police, but then has a change of heart and lets him know what she’s done. He runs, but is shot, and dies in the street. The film is notable for its final scene, in which the following dialogue happens, between the dying criminal Michael, his lover Patricia, and an officer.
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Of course, any poignancy would almost certainly be lost on the average comic book reader, and is also somewhat nullified by Whirl praising the film with internet lingo.
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Then again, I suppose Whirl would be the type to dismantle any deeper reading of his interest in such a film, lest he be subjected to the horrifying ordeal of being known.
Over with Skids and Riptide, it’s revealed that Megatron’s been teaching classes on the Lost Light, specifically on the Knights of Cybertron. Riptide’s getting an education, because he’s been feeling pretty lost since the war ended- we’ll get to the potential whys of that later on. Swerve isn’t a fan of this community college thing that’s going on, stating that Megatron’s using it as a distraction, so he can devise plots most foul.
Back in the past, Autobot high command is having a talk about what Megatron’s demanding, and man is it a doozy— turns out, since the trial’s happening on Luna 2, the trial proceedings are subject to the laws of the moon. One of these moon laws is the right to request being judged by the Knights of Cybertron. Now, this is a problem, seeing as the Knights of Cybertron have been AWOL for the last several million years, but the law is the law, and you can’t just go ignoring it when someone’s pointed it out.
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Bro, your SIC just suggested y’all pull the trial so you could slap it on Cybertron, thus negating any need to pay attention to the Knight law. That’s such a gross miscarrying of justice, it’s genuinely baffling. You’ve got bigger issues going on than flouting. My god, Optimus, you were a cop—
Oh wait, that’s right. Carry on, then.
Back on the Lost Light, First Aid’s checking to make sure that the coffin Rodimus they revealed last issue is true and proper dead. Now, this may seem like a given, but you’ve got to remember that Brainstorm was mostly dead for over a year and a half, and nobody fucking noticed, so it’s probably for the best that they’re checking.
First Aid’s been pretty withdrawn since Ambulon died, so this autopsy is really good for him, since it got him out of his room. Pretty fucked up that it would take a dead body to get him out and about. Has Rung checked in on his poor son of a gun, or has he been spending the last six months getting his professional rocks off psychoanalyzing a genocidal warlord?
Our coffin Rodimus died from having parts of his brain removed, and potentially died screaming.
Yes, that is a Furmanism, thank you peanut gallery, moving on—
Ratchet hands the phone over to Ultra Magnus, saying that a call has to be made, and it can’t be by him, because the callee is mighty upset with Ratchet at the moment.
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Oh, I guess he’s fine after all. This must be where the sci-fi bullshit really starts kicking in for the series.
Because seeing your own dead body is likely very traumatic and awful, Rodimus is taking a while to string together his thoughts on the matter. Megatron doesn’t particularly care, because he’s not terribly sympathetic to this sort of thing, and the two get into a spat, where it’s revealed that they’re co-captaining the Lost Light.
Because things weren’t chaotic enough on this fucking ship. Need to mix in some peacocking between the McDonalds twunk and the man who killed half of Beijing.
Back in the past, Optimus Prime visited Megatron in prison to have a little chat. It’s not about that little rescue attempt, though the fact that those Decepticons may have been released from the Lost Light’s brig is certainly interesting. No, Optimus is here to sit way too close to his mortal nemesis on the floor of his room and talk about how Megatron is a sneaky bastard.
You remember the Hellraiser puzzle box from a couple issues back? Yeah, that was a communicube, one that was passed to Optimus to suggest that the trial be held on the moon, so the arena there would be able to hold all the people wronged by Megatron. This seems pretty damn convenient in hindsight, but Megatron swears that the legal loophole wasn’t his only intent when he sent the cube.
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Because it’s all about you, isn’t it, Megatron? It’s all about how you’re perceived by future generations. Fuck the guys who had to actually deal with what your personal choices caused to happen.
Megatron wants to make amends with all those who were wronged by him. This doesn’t include being acquitted of his crimes, which, y’know, good- at least he’s being slightly realistic about how this is going to turn out for him.
What he wants to do is find Cyberutopia, so the Cybertronians have a replacement planet, since Cybertron kind of sucks now.
Oh, sorry, did I say realistic? I take it back.
In the present, Rodimus is still bummed out about being dead. Still, the day doesn’t stop just because it’s a bad one, and he calls in the experts.
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CHROMEDOME YOU PROMISED TO STOP THIS SHIT
Yeah, no, Chromedome’s fallen off the wagon again, and does his thing on the coffin Rodimus. As he does, Megatron suddenly gets squeamish, Brainstorm pulls out his early early-warning device to lean on the fourth wall, and it’s revealed that the coffin that coffin Rodimus was in was built in the fashion of the Spectralist faith.
All Chromedome can suss out of coffin Rodimus’ memories is the really big important stuff, which includes the speech at Rivet’s Field inviting folks to come join the Knight Quest. Aww, that’s sweet.
With the analysis of the innermost energon complete, the results are in— the coffin Rodimus is a Rodimus. A real one, from the near future. Bummer.
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I suppose denial is one of the seven stages of grief, isn’t it?
As everyone argues over whether or not Rodimus is going to die, Nightbeat brings up a good point— there aren’t any numbers carved into the coffin Rodimus’ hand. Rodimus is about to reveal some Ratchet-original wisdom, when things start getting really weird; whole sections of the Lost Light are disappearing.
Over at Swerve’s, Tailgate is regaling his peers with the story of his derring-do against Chief Justice Tyrest. Everyone is very impressed, and this includes our good buddy Getaway.
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Jeez, think you’ve got enough antagonist shadows on this guy? It’s almost as if the art’s trying to tell us something about him.
Getaway lays it on real thick, saying that Tailgate could totally be the next Prime, with how courageous and awesome he is, all while completely ignoring Tailgate’s personal space and having a weirdly tiny hand. This seems to seriously bother Cyclonus, who is watching this shit go down from the doorway. Our purple space jet leaves once the drinks start being poured and conversation starts happening. God knows he hates talking about his insecurities.
Then the Pipes is Friggin’ Dead alarm goes off. But Pipes has been dead for a while now, so that must mean something else awful is happening.
Back during the trial, I guess because Optimus has a soft spot for Megatron, he allows him to join the Lost Light’s Knight Quest… even as he says that he could keep the guy locked up until Rodimus and pals find the Knights. However, there are rules to this, and one of the rules is that Megatron must publicly denounce the Decepticon cause.
It is a slow and painful experience for everyone involved, as he reads the statement he was given. It’s an immediate call to action- or rather, inaction.
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Geez, think they could’ve made it any more obvious that this was being ghostwritten? I can’t wait to see how long it takes for “Megatron was blackmailed into saying this by the Autobots” to be a plotpoint.
Outside the prison, Ratchet and Rodimus are taking in the brand new Rod Pod, which is genuinely ridiculous in how large it is. Rodimus admits to having taken Atomizer’s list, though he knows that trying to use it to keep those who voted him off would be a pretty shitty thing to do.
Also, no one’s told him about Megatron coming along on the trip. As captain.
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Or you could, I dunno, lock him up from the start. Or, if you want to give him a chance to prove himself, slap him into a bottom-rung role, like bilge cleaner, or sewage mucker, or whatever the equivalent would be on a spaceship full of giant gay robots. We don’t have to give the guy any power to hold him to scrutiny— any minimum wage worker will tell you that scrutiny comes far harsher for those who actually carry out orders than those who give them.
But what do I know? I’ve never fought in a several million year war, and I don’t plan to.
Getting back to the list, it seems as if Ratchet and Rodimus are on the same wavelength, in that both agree it’s only going to cause trouble and hurt feelings to keep the thing around. Rodimus destroys it with his usual flare, only to be blindsided by the fact that it was fake this entire time. How does Ratchet know this?
Because his name wasn’t on it.
...Man, that’s gotta sting. No wonder Rodimus was upset enough to not take his calls.
In the present, everyone’s in a panic, as they all bolt for the shuttle bay and start pouring into shuttles. The Lost Light is disintegrating around them, which is sort of a problem. Despite this nightmare scenario happening, Rodimus and Megatron still find the time to be assholes to each other. That’s dedication right there.
As the two bicker, multiple shuttles zip away from the rapidly disappearing ship, including the Rod Pod.
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Man, now it really is the Lost Light.
144 notes · View notes
episkygrant · a year ago
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Use Me // G.D.*
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Summary: Grayson offers himself to sexually deprived best friend Y/N—whose kinks are purely through domination.
Warnings: Mature content [sub!gray, and it kind of sucks lol].
Words: 2.6K
Tags: @hereticryan @dearestbailey @livexdolan @dolans4lyfe @graysavant @graydolan12 @rhyrhy462 @dolansontheblock @vinylhazza @cherryaestheticss @pineappledols​
Y/N was in a weird place in her life right now.
She was single. But by absolutely choice—she's not a woman keen on relationships very much. She's very much wholeheartedly delved into "hookup culture" that L.A. has swarmed her in ever since she moved there three years ago. Hasn't had a boyfriend since, but why would she want one? She wants to have fun in her twenties and maybe settle down a little later down the road. Now, she's here for herself and herself only.
Her relationship status wasn't what was actually bothering her. It was Y/N's total lack of a sex life ever since quarantine started in March. It's not that she lived alone—she lived with her two best friends, who she could never see herself having sex with. For one, one of them has a girlfriend, and two, she just doesn't see the other in a more-than-friendly way. However, her escalated horny-state may just as well have affect her morals if her desperation sinks to a rock bottom status.
Her vibrator and dildo just isn't doing it anymore for her.
Sure, she cums, but it's not the same mind-blowing orgasm that skyrockets her into a state of euphoria when she—okay, this next part might be another reason as to why there's a lack of a gentleman in her life. Y/N fully thrives on being dominant, her instant turn on and fetish one might label it as is making her men submissive and take her strap-on she keeps hidden under her bed. It's a side she very much likes to hide from her roommates, who have heard her have sex plenty of times before, always thinking she's on the opposite end of the pleasure.
Ethan and Grayson Dolan wouldn't ever expect her to be this kinky. No, she wasn't overly kinky, and yes, her sexual affairs were made known to them, but it was still something they just wouldn't think about when it comes to her. No matter how many times either of them have possibly fantasized a night with her in bed—particularly, a certain younger Dolan twin.
It's very quite obvious that Grayson has had a crush on her since the very beginning. Y/N had always seen him as nothing more than one of her very close friends who had lent her a place to stay when she needed it—and way too innocent for someone such as herself. His perceived barrier of a confident and bold man was nothing more than a facade; with her, and maybe everyone else, he was a lot quieter and pretty shy as opposed to the act he pulls in front of the internet. She wonders if it's a side he only shows to her due to his harboring affections, but he could never be able to handle her.
Plus, she would never want to ruin the friendship. She'd rather him a lifelong friend than a night of fucking—no matter how wet she is right now.
Y/N was so frustrated; holding her vibrator against her clit and praying it would do something other than cause a mere buzz against her vulva. She even tried imagining herself pegging a man, hoping her imaginative mind would turn her on and bring her to a climax but instead just a pathetic dull throb—it just wasn't the same as actually performing the action.
She shoves the vibrator and redresses herself before waddling over to the kitchen, trying to focus on her hunger than the ache between her thighs. She's clad in a pretty tiny pair of shorts and a small tank top, slightly sweaty from trying to bring herself to a high that ended up disappointing her.
"Hey Y/N," Grayson greets when he suddenly appears in the kitchen. He stopped short at the sight of her ass poking out from her shorts, and he gulps before looking away—it'd be wrong to stare. "W-What are you up to?"
She stands straight up and turns to him, sporting an innocent smile. "Nothing much, just hanging. What's up with you?"
She was trying her best to ignore his flustered expression and his diversion of his gaze from her, but quite frankly, she thinks it's rather cute. Grayson swipes his tongue over his dry lips and replies, "Nothing much myself... E's getting some groceries."
Groceries was a code word they'd like to use when Ethan promptly excused himself to talk to his girl. He was shy himself about it and had used the joke initially the first time it happened, but now it had become a running between Gray and Y/N.
"Ah," Y/N nodded, swiping off a layer of sweat from her forehead.
"Did you just workout? Go for a run?" Grayson asked confusedly, noticing her worn-out look.
Y/N sucked in a deep breath and lied, "Oh no, uh, it's just really hot in my room."
He frowned. "Is the air conditioner not working? Let me go check it out."
He turns around and starts moving down the hall when Y/N remembers that she had left her sex toys on the bed. She quickly darts after him though it was too late as he was already entering the threshold of her room. "Wait-"
She catches him frozen in front of her bed, staring at the toys sprawled out all over her bed; thank God one in particular was still hidden. His face immediately shifted into a bright red tomato shade as he continued to stare, obviously not having expected to catch what he just caught. "O-Oh..."
At this point, Y/N couldn't allow herself to feel embarrassed. She was amused, actually. "Oh come, you surely cannot be surprised that I have all this, Gray. You know me."
"Yeah, well, I didn't know you'd have this much of this shit," he mutters, though she could see the wheels of his mind spinning already—fantasizes of her using her toys on herself, rolling her head back and moaning, making herself cum with a open mouth and hot breaths falling off of her lips.
She really needed to get him out of her room before she does something she might regret.
"Well, we are in quarantine, what else am I supposed to use when I'm sexually deprived?" Y/N blurted out, wishing that she hadn't said so much.
"My cock?" Perhaps Grayson had also said a little too much.
Y/N's eyes widened and her eyes shoot towards him. "What?"
He looked as though he wanted to bite his tongue and start making dumb excuses profusely, but he changes his mind and proceeds to muster up his courage. "If you're so sexually deprived as you say you are—and I think you are—then use me."
"Use you?" she laughed nervously. "Grayson, I'm not sure if-"
"Yeah, yeah, we're friends and all, and you want nothing more," he breathes out, saddened slightly by his last few words. "But you and I are clearly both craving some physical action and we're standing right here together... so use me."
"Grayson, you don't understand, I don't think you'd be interested in what I have to offer. Most men aren't," she warned, waving her hand around frantically.
"I'm not most men."
"You wouldn't be able to handle me."
"Prove it," he spoke determinedly, crossing his arms with a serious look on his face. He wasn't backing down.
Y/N raised a brow and bent down near her bed, pulling out the strap-on—a black silicone six-inch dildo connected to a study harness. She throws it up in the air for him to see, and says, "Hmm?"
His eyes widened slightly, but he just shrugs it off. "I can take it."
"Oh really, Gray?" Y/N had to admit, his insistence in playing into this kink of hers was rather hot. Perhaps it wouldn't be such a bad idea, dominating over her innocent best friend and pegging him until he's sore...
"Yes really," he said, taking a step closer to her. "Use me for you sexual pleasure, baby."
She eyed him up and down, thinking hardly to herself if she was really going to go through with this. They did have the house to themselves and she was going through a terrible dry spell... as long as it's a one time thing that they don't talk about after this, everything should be fine, right? He knows her feelings just well, he knows exactly what he's getting himself into.
"Fine. Think you can handle me? You can take it? Let's do it, then," Y/N smirked, taking a large step forward and placing her hand on Grayson's shoulder. She leaned in to his ear and whispered, "Go to your room and strip for mama, baby boy, then get on all fours. I'll be there in a few minutes."
Grayson nods his head before darting off excitedly, making her smirk. She goes to prepare herself—slipping on a tight black and skimpy lingerie with garter belts and wrapping the harness of the strap-on around her waist. She grabs a few more essential items before skipping down the hall to Grayson's room, where the door was already shut. She opens it and nearly freezes at the sight before her; his ass high in the air, facing her, while he's on his hands and knees on his bed. His round, plump cheeks are marvelous and one of them tainted with a slightly faded palm tree tat that she cannot wait to run her fingers over—this must be the best ass she's ever seen on any man ever.
Props to you, Grayson Dolan. Props to you.
"Good boy," Y/N praises as she shuts the door behind her, sauntering further into the room. "You really are a good boy, aren't you, Gray?"
"Yes mama." Grayson turn his head to spare a look at her, his jaw immediately dropping and erection hardening than it was before. "Holy shit."
"Ah ah ah, good boys don't swear," she tsked, shaking her head while she chastised him. "Don't make me punish you, baby boy."
"Sorry mama," he mutters, turning his head away again.
"S'okay, love," she replies sweetly, settling her items down before crawling right behind him. "The safe word for us will be honey. Just yell it out if you want me to stop."
Y/N wasn't planning on gagging him as she does to all her other sexual partners; for some reason, she actually wants to hear Grayson's oh-so powerful screams and erotic noises as she stimulated that sweet prostate of his.
She places her hand on Grayson's lower back and slowly slides her palms onto his cheeks, gripping them slightly before releasing. He groans, and after her thumb brushes over his small tat, she spreads them to give herself better access to his hole. She leans in and teasingly circles her tongue around the muscle, then makes him gasp sharply when she enters her tongue inside.
"O-Oh, oh," sputters Grayson, who had clearly never experimented such a pleasure before. He didn't think it'd feel as nice as it looks, but holy fuck, it does.
Y/N smirks against his hole and continues eating him out of a bit, then pulls away and grips his ass cheeks once again. She reaches over and grabs the full bottle of lube she had conveniently kept underneath her bed, and after pulling the lid open squirts a nice gallop of the liquid onto her fingers. She rubs them around Grayson's hold and eases more noises out of him, then plunges her finger right into his tight clenching muscle.
"Ah!" Grayson squeals, arching his back up slightly.
Y/N giggle and speaks soothingly, "Relax, baby boy. Mama's got you."
His body grows less tense and his relaxes from his stiff position, continuing to moan as she thrusts her finger in and out of his constricted asshole. When she finally feels as though he's stretched out enough, she pulls out and reaches for the lubricant again. She pours an excessive amount onto the dildo, slithering the device up and down before gripping the toy around her fingers.
"You ready, baby boy?" Y/N questions for reassurance as she places the tip at his entrance.
"Yes mama, I am," he tells her, gripping the sheets of his bed underneath him.
She smiles and slowly slides the toy inside, listening as his breath hitches inside his throat. She doesn't go all the way in just yet, only stills, allowing him to adjust to the feeling of something inside of him. Grayson's breathing is shaking as she begins to wiggle the toy inside of him, very carefully moving it around thrusting her hips against his ass.
"M-More," Grayson whispers out in the crack of his voice.
Y/N tilts her head to the side. "What was that, bub?"
"I-I want more, mama," he speaks a little louder. "And I want you to go faster."
She nods her head and begins to pound inside of his tight ass, her fingernails digging into the skin of his hips for balance as she does so. Grayson's moans increase in volumes as the toy moves in and out of him at a quicker rate, his tiny hole clenching around the heavenly toy used to penetrate him.
"Fuck, fuck, fuck!" he belts out as soon as the tip glazes over his prostate, causing a heightened intensifying pleasure to tremble his legs so dearly. "Fuck mama, use me! Use me! Fucking use me!"
Y/N growls and sits herself up a little, placing her hands on his shoulders and forcing his upper body down on the mattress. His face is shoved in the bedsheets as she lifts his ass higher, placing a sharp spank to his right ass cheek. "What the fuck did I say about swearing, cock-slut?"
"Mmm," murmurs Grayson at the degrading name.
That's when Y/N begins to pound mercilessly inside of him, slapping against his ass so roughly that his skin turns a vibrant red. Grayson's caught in a state of euphoria and so is she, feeling a tingling sensation building up inside her core. He's trembling profusely underneath her, screaming out incoherent words along with her name.
"You wanna cum, don't you, baby boy?" Y/N tutted, slapping him across the ass. "Gonna cum from me pounding into your little hole, huh?"
"Y-Yes I am, please," he whimpers in a plea, feeling the head of his cock throb. "Please let me cum, mama."
Her pussy clenched as she watches him unwind and whine as he busts all over the bedsheets, eliciting more ungodly sounds sprouted from his heavy lungs before he completely collapsed to the bed. He was withering around and panting for breath—a sight that Y/N couldn't help but feel herself nearly goddamn explode at. She rips the harness off from her and lays down beside him, placing her hands between her legs and pushing her fingers between her folds. Grayson watches from his slumped position and she brings herself to her climax through her rubbing, eventually cumming all over herself in just a few moments—she moans delightfully, not having felt such an incredible sensation for what has felt like forever.
Grayson nudges her and murmurs, "Y/N?"
"Yeah?"
"I'm hard again." He had sat up and hovered on top of her sprawled out body, with a darkness overwhelming is typical bright eyes that sent shivers down her spine.
She raised an eyebrow—at this point, fuck her just friends rule. "Oh you are, huh?"
"Mm-hmm... and I think it's time I show you a side of me you haven't seen before, either."
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katatonicimpression · 2 months ago
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Monet and Bullying
I've done that thing where I wrote a bunch of loosely themed rants about Monet St. Croix again.
This is part one of five and is about bullying.
Right, so in New X-Men #128, Monet says the following:
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(Ignore the awful art and how white she looks)
Presumably she's referring to her schooling before she moved to the US - she's definitely not popular in Generation X, but "bullied" doesn't seem accurate.
There's no reason to think she's exaggerating here. It's very believable that she was bullied when she was younger, and it would explain a lot of her defensiveness later on in life. Even though she's wealthy and privileged, she was also an African Muslim attending private school(s) in Monaco (~80% Catholic) in the 1990s. Her family situation was troubled and she is (arguably) neurodivergent. It's not hard to believe that she'd be singled out by bullies. In fact, it'd be weird if she wasn't.
I have two things to say about this:
1. In Generation X, Nicole says this:
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So, you have this detail where her sisters see her as the "normal" kid who looked out for them.
This is kind of a theme for Monet. I've talked before about how she's the "popular girl" who isn't actually popular. She's perceived as having a lot of social capital (which she arguably does - she's kind of a celebrity), but she has very few friends. Hell, the same run of New X-Men even jokes about that
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(Ignore the awful man and the dead Darkstar)
Even within her family, it's the same thing. She's perceived as her dad's favourite by her brother and sisters, but in reality he doesn't listen to her and barely respects her. And there's no indication she's actually a favourite at all.
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So there's a running theme with Monet that her social wellbeing is misjudged by those around her.
2. I've talked about this before, but Monet is definitely a bit of a bitch. She makes mean comments, she's unkind to people BUT this isn't the same as her being a bully.
With the exception of a few ooc bits of writing scattered around, the overwhelming majority of Monet's bitchiness is either punching up or comedic. This isn't to say that the other characters are fine with how she acts or that they should be, but simply that she doesn't punch down often and doesn't repeatedly victimise people.
In fact, we see her stand up for the little guy a lot - her interactions with Trinary in X-Corp are a good example of this.
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Monet has been the victim of bullying and abusive behaviour on so many occasions and, while she does lash out sometimes, has never inflicted on others half of what has been done to her.
I just... I just really love her, okay?
---------------------------
Women
Relationships
Faith
Morality
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concussed-to-pieces · a year ago
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Late July
Fandom: Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Pairing: Agent Whiskey [Jack Daniels]/Reader
Rating: Holy shit explicit.
Summary: Upon hearing about you from Tequila, Jack Daniels seeks you out with a full set of emotional baggage to work through. You happily oblige, helping him craft a scene that just might grant him some peace of mind. Enjoy!
Tag List: @huliabitch @wrestlingfae @cookiethewriter @culturalrebel @jackierey09 @crookedmoonsaultpunk @duker42 @agirllovespasta @nelba @pedrosbigdorkenergy @lestrange2703 @youmeanmybrain @luvley-shadow @theocatkov @miscellaneousjunkk @reluctantlyresponsibleadult @buttons-beads-lace @gooddaykate @lackofhonor
[!TRIGGER WARNING!: This installment contains consensual non-consent (surrender play), light domination, roleplay, unprotected sex, frank discussion of safe words, usage of safe words, dirty talk and light bondage. Remember that fanfictions are not research and that you should never engage in any activity if you do not trust your partner. Stay safe!]
There was just something about you that put people at ease, and Ginger Ale noticed during the interview process. "You have a gift!" She had praised you, her smile unexpected and bright. "I can see why Tequila recommended you for this position."
Granted, being the 'head of first impressions' at a distillery that was actually a front for a secret intelligence agency had its ups and downs, but you enjoyed the work and (if you were honest) the exciting interactions with the Statesman agents. 
Tequila, of course, would practically drape himself across your desk as he regaled you with (hopefully) exaggerated tales of his heroics. The two of you were sexually involved but preferred to keep each other at arm's length out of the bedroom, neither party particularly keen on surrendering your freedom and committing to anything serious at this point of your lives. You admired his dedication to Statesman, and he in turn respected your desire to have a successful career. He also was blatantly mooning over a certain analyst.
Ginger Ale was quieter and sharper than Tequila, her dry humor a joy to witness. She was the one who had done your interview, and she had given you the full behind the scenes tour once your background check went through. She was beautiful, charismatic and smart as a whip. You hoped to one day be as self-assured as she was.
Champ tended to keep to himself for the most part, though you had encountered him several times in the past when he dozed off in a certain chair at the end of a sunlit hallway. The elderly man was like an old tomcat, you decided, able to prowl but more than willing to take it easy.
Whiskey was often away managing the affairs of their New York headquarters and as such, was the one that you interacted with the least. He would come breezing in at all hours, a slow smile and a wink directed your way before he would saunter past. The rare occasions that he engaged you in conversation were nerve-wracking, as you were a little starstruck due to the glowing accounts both Champ and Tequila had given of his prowess in the past.
Ginger Ale was a bit more down to earth, thankfully. "He's just a man who's lost a lot, and his reasons for wanting to change things for the better may not be entirely altruistic." She had informed you concisely when you queried about the origin of one Jack Daniels. You had picked up on the veiled sadness in his dark eyes, the age that seemed to weigh him down that wasn't entirely related to years.
So when the aforementioned Statesman agent had drunkenly expressed a certain desire to you at a company party, you couldn't hide a little spike of curiosity. Mainly because the two of you interacted so rarely. Hell, you wouldn't even call yourselves friends. Tequila must have told him about your side activities.
"Ever since I lost her, I can't fuckin' bring myself to raw anyone else." The confession had come out of left field, but you had done your best to play it off like it was normal. Lord knew you had done enough paperwork in your career at Statesman to understand that agents would just kind of…say things thoughtlessly if they believed they were in a safe environment. A hazard of the job.
"What do you mean, Mr. Daniels?" 
"Call me Jack. Jesus, I ain't that old." He had hiccupped sharply, grimacing. "I just mean I...it's like a mental block. I wanna', I'm excited about it, and everything's fine until I try to come and boom. Python shrivels up like a damn salted slug and I'm left holdin' the bag tryin' to explain myself." He stared into his glass, looking pensive. "Real mood killer."
"Any idea why this might be?" You had prompted, leaning against the bar and idly scanning the throngs of people around you. It wasn't every day that so many of the company's rank and file rubbed elbows with the higher-ups, but you had to assume these economic mixers were what had kept the company (and intelligence agency) on such an even keel. It was a grounding experience, a way to remind the suits of their humble beginnings.
He scoffed out a breath. "Oh I know exactly why. When I lost her, I...we had only learned a little while before that she was havin' a baby. We'd been havin' a rocky time and we were actually thinkin' of breakin' up, but that news…" Jack had tilted his head to glance your way, his brown eyes distant. "If I hadn't gotten her pregnant, she wouldn't have been out shoppin' that day, y'know?" A sad smile had quirked his mouth beneath his mustache. "My fault."
At the time, you had made a noise of sympathy and gone to lay a hand on his arm before you could think better of it. He, instead of shrugging off your touch, actually ended up twining his fingers through your own and giving your hand a light squeeze.
Agent Whiskey's past was a shadowy affair in the Statesman organization. Though to be fair, no one really asked anything about anyone. Ginger Ale reasoned that the less people knew, the safer they and Statesman were in the event of a security breach. 
Anything you learned from any of the agents, you tended to keep close to your heart. It was your nature to gather useful information and foster trust for a rainy day. That personality facet had served you well as you had climbed the ranks from intern to head of first impressions, and knowing that you were someone that could be counted on to hold your cards close put many people at ease.
Including one Agent Whiskey.
"Tequila said you were good at helpin'. I'd be much obliged if you'd consider takin' a crack at my sexual baggage."
...
"Alright so for your words, you've decided on 'sixth' as your 'yes I'm into this', followed by second for 'slow down but don't break character', first for 'slow down and do break character' and finally neutral for 'full stop'." You tapped the customary notepad on your lap, glancing over at the man across the table. The two of you were currently sitting in the kitchen of the vacation cabin that your parents had willed to you, the modest dwelling often your staging ground for affairs like this. The warm wooden decor tended to make your partners feel more at ease and less vulnerable. Perceived safety was, after all, incredibly important when crafting scenarios.
Jack nodded. "Gears are easy for me to remember. Simple." 
"Got it. And no kissing on the mouth. Can I kiss you in other places, or would you prefer I didn't at all?"
"Kissin's fine." Jack allowed. "Whatever you wanna' do is fine, just not on my mouth." You jotted that down. "Hey, I uh...I just wanted you to know that I really appreciate you agreein' to help. I dunno' if this will work, but…" Whiskey rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly. "Thanks. When Tequila mentioned your...extracurriculars, I figured he was jus' bein' outta' pocket again."
You grinned at that, giggling a little. "Does he get weird a lot?"
"I mean, he's uh...well, he's got his moments." Jack replied with a smile of his own.
"So," you hummed once you had checked your notes again, "after looking over all the information we've compiled, and the ideas you gave me an outline of, I'm thinking that you may want more of a 'surrender-play' kind of experience." 
Jack raised an eyebrow. "Dare I ask how that's different from what I already suggested?" 
"Look, you and I both know that I couldn't keep you from moving if you wanted to. Now, if we had a real working dynamic going on and I believed that you would listen and trust me implicitly so that you don't end up hurting yourself or me, then we might have something. But as we are right now, that's not gonna' happen." Whiskey inclined his head with a rueful chuckle, acknowledging the truth of your words. "So I propose that it's more of a scenario where all the agency is removed."
The agent leaned forward, folding his hands on the table. "Explain."
"You need a scenario where you aren't in control and there's not even a chance of you being in control, taking any responsibility or guilt from the equation." You elaborated. "Basically, you would surrender your control so that you can indulge guilt-free. A lot of people do this coupled with a roleplay aspect in order to test new things that may be out of character for them."
"You coulda' jus' said you wanted to tie me up, sugar." Jack drawled. "I'll show you some good knots."
"You don't have any issues with being secured to...I guess a chair, probably? We'll keep you upright. If we sprawl you out on a bed that might be a little too vulnerable." You reasoned, waiting for his nod before you wrote it down. "I know it sounds contradictory, but I want you to be comfortable in what we do. Should I leave your clothes on?"
"If you can stand to, I'd appreciate it." The man answered with a cheeky wink. "Bein' naked and restrained is a little too close to the job description." He sighed after a moment, tipping the chair backwards as he laced his fingers behind his head. "Now I warn you, if I'm supposed to be an unwillin' party, I may display a little less Southern hospitality and a little more Southern history with my language, if you catch my drift."
You pursed your lips, squinting at him. "...is that your way of saying you might use a naughty word or two?"
You received a lazy finger-gun in reply, "bingo, cherry pie. You got any names you ain't a fan of bein' called?"
"Oh! I mean, I've heard just about everything in the book." You straightened up as a thought occurred to you, and then pointed back at him sternly. "No slurs."
"Ma'am," Jack sounded aghast, "I am not that breed of Southern gentleman. My lingo can verge on the spicy, but I sure as hell wouldn't stoop to that level." 
You narrowed your eyes to drive your point home. "I really hope not." The agent inclined his head once more, putting a hand over his heart in a display of sincerity.
The front legs of the chair met the floor with a soft clatter, once again putting him on stable footing. "Now, I been wrackin' my brain tryin' to drum up a good premise like you asked, but I ain't exactly big in the screenwritin' department. I figure it could be kinda' like I'd been kidnapped? Drawin' a blank on why my kidnapper would be rawdoggin' me, maybe you can come up with somethin'?" He queried hopefully. 
You furrowed your brow in thought, going silent as you carefully considered the hodgepodge of contributing factors. "Oh, I think I can manage."
...
This deck had been rigged from the start. In theory, you knew that he knew that. Still, he was certainly acting like it stung his pride a bit that he'd fallen into your 'trap' so cleanly. 
Everything was going according to plan. 
Whiskey struggled against the binds that secured him to the kitchen chair. His whip was safely confiscated. Lasso out of reach. Hat was still on his head. He had specifications, after all. 
You left him to wriggle for almost half an hour while you got yourself ready. The man was a secret agent, after all. If he hadn't been restrained for much longer than that at any given point you would be very surprised. 
You finally opened the bathroom door, sauntering out into the cabin's small kitchenette. "Miss me, love?" You crooned, committing to your role as villainous vamp stereotype number six. You had worn a plain set of underwear and an oversized white t-shirt, soft and see-through from the amount of times it had been washed. You got the feeling that if you went more elaborate, you might scare Whiskey off or make him too uncomfortable to really get into it. This scene was all about trust, and he hardly knew you. But he had sought you out for this. All you had to do was follow through.
"Was beginnin' to worry that you forgot about me, ma'am." The agent drawled back, his smile tightly sardonic and his low voice curling hot in your belly. "You fixin' to untie me yet?"
You clicked your tongue, the noise disappointed. "Whiskey, sweetheart, where's the fun in that? If I untie you, you'll just kill me."
"Can't blame a man for tryin'." Jack was absolutely in his element right now. He looked furious. 
You ambled around behind him, slinging your arms around his neck and resting your weight on him briefly. "Remember," you murmured in his ear. "If you need me to slow down, or need to stop entirely, you say…?"
"Second, first and neutral." The agent replied readily. You patted his cheek.
"Good boy." You praised. 
"Ain't my first rodeo." Whiskey's tongue darted out nervously to wet his lips and you wanted to reassure him, but you knew you had a job to do.
"Now, can I get you a light refreshment? Something to drink? Maybe some chips?" You offered, moving to the small refrigerator that you had stocked a little earlier in the day. Planning was imperative for engagements like this. "I have water, sweet tea, Coke…"
"Dammit woman, stop beatin' around the bush! Why the hell do you have me hogtied to this damn chair?!" Jack erupted. 
"So rude." You chided him, removing a water for yourself and then leaning casually against the counter. "You really want to know, Mr. Whiskey?"
"Obviously." He scowled.
"Well be a patient boy and maybe I'll tell you." You hummed, not making eye contact as you unscrewed the cap on the water bottle. "It was more than enough trouble for me to get you here in the first place, big shot. Don't rush me."
"Listen, I'll be the first to tell you that I probably ain't who you're lookin' for." He said bluntly. "I'm just a simple liquor tycoon, nothin' more."
"Mr. Whiskey, if you continue to insult my intelligence maybe I will decide I've got the wrong man. And then I'll just get rid of you." You swirled the water in the bottle, fixing him with a thoughtful look. 
"You're talkin' a mighty big game, woman." Jack grumbled. 
You sloshed some of the water on your thin white shirt as if by accident, and began daubing at the gauzy fabric aimlessly. "Whiskey-"
"It's Jack." He spat.
"Oh, we're on a first name basis? How exciting!" You teased him, laughing when he muttered angrily under his breath. He was clearly enjoying the role of 'belligerent definitely-not-a-spy'. "Alright then, Jack. I won't beat around the bush, as you so tactfully put it."
"Hallelujah, some goddamn cooperation." He replied in a sulky tone.
"So, Jack, I need you to come inside me. Strictly so I can bypass Statesman's biomechanical security systems. It's nothing personal, I just assumed you would be the easiest target, you know?" You remarked with a shrug. "The flirty cowboy with the filthy mouth." He stared at you and you raised an eyebrow, half-convinced that his reaction was legitimate. "What? You do have a reputation."
"I hate to break it to ya', but you got the wrong beverage. You're lookin' for Tequila, ma'am." Jack retorted, his voice a little raspy. "You want...what?"
"I need you to come inside me so I can use the your genetic signature to bypass the security." Granted, you were pretty certain that Statesman used exclusively fingerprints, retina scans and time locks, but Whiskey had told you to weave a good story for the setup, not necessarily an accurate one.
Jack swallowed hard. "You've got bats in your fuckin' belfry, woman. You expect me to-"
"Oh no, that's the beauty of this arrangement." You interrupted him, still smiling. "I don't expect you to do anything aside from sit there and stay still while I ride you." 
"Jesus fuck woman, you--shit, isn't there some other way to do this? I ain't keen on the prospect, but if there's literally any other way…" 
"Sorry. This is the only solution that my superiors could get behind." You sighed, feigning regret. "And we might be here a while, from what I've heard." Jack's eyes darted to yours and he flushed, working his jaw. "Don't look so glum! I'm one of the best in my field. I'm sure I'll be able to compensate for your...lack of investment."
"You touch me and I swear to God-"
"Ah ah, naughty boys get gagged." You threatened gently, walking your fingers up the side of his face to stroke them back down his jawline. Jack glared at you, his dark gaze fairly luminous with fury and maybe just a touch of poorly-veiled interest. "Be a good boy and I'll let you talk as much as you want. Maybe I'll even let you play with my tits, hmm?" You asked, cupping your breasts through your still-damp shirt. "Would you like that, love?"
"I…" Jack trailed off, then snapped his eyes back up from your chest. "No!"
You tapped his nose, winking. "Oh I think you would. Don't be so stubborn, Jack." You cocked your head to the side. "No one from Statesman even knows you're gone. No one is coming to rescue you." You informed him, all the playfulness evaporated from your voice. "You're mine now, Jack. My own personal key-card."
"You won't get away with this." Jack snarled.
"I think I already have." You knelt between his legs, running your hands over the jeans that covered his thighs. He squirmed, trying to dislodge you, but you just moved with him. You dug your nails into his thighs. "You keep wiggling and I'm going to have to tighten the ropes, Jack. Is that what you want?"
"Oh you filthy fuckin' woman, you absolute bitch, let me go!" 
"Hmm," you tapped your chin as he kept jerking and straining against the knots. "No." 
Jack froze when your fingers unbuttoned the button at the top of his fly. "Now wait, wait just a damn minute, y-you can't--" he tried to plead.
"Oh I can. And I will." You looked up at him. "As long as we're in the right gear?"
"Sixth, sixth." He affirmed, flashing you a quick smile. You nodded and seamlessly resumed your play.
The zipper of his fly opened devastatingly slow, the agent exhaling raggedly when you pulled up his shirt and palmed his groin gently through the fabric of his boxer briefs. His cock was already half-hard, and you pointed that out with a mean little smirk on your face. "Oh no, looks like someone's interested." You crooned, rubbing your index finger over the head of his still-clothed dick.
"Fuck off, you...y-you-" he swore, rolling his shoulders as if he was testing his bonds. "You little bitch."
"Temper temper." You chided, ducking your head down to mouth over the fabric of his boxers. Jack gasped out another swear over your head, his hips twitching up to meet you before he slammed them back down. "Methinks someone doth protest too much." You snorted, splaying your fingers on the newly-revealed skin of his stomach. "We could make this so much simpler if you would just give in, Jack." You didn't miss the way his skin jumped at your touch, and you smiled against his boxers.
"You'll--you'll have to do better than that." Whiskey breathed. "You think just any ol' woman can get me up?"
You stood, leaning in close and pressing your mouth to his ear. His whole body flinched when you wrapped your fingers around his cock and gave him a nice, slow stroke. "Oh, poor thing. You must believe you're really special, hmm? God's gift to mankind every time you take someone to bed." You mocked, your teeth and tongue laving over his earlobe. "We're all so lucky to have you, Jack."
"Hhn-" Jack's shoulders went stiff, the man obviously biting his tongue. 
"You don't have a choice, sweetheart. I'm going to get you hard. Then, I'm going to use your cock. And all you have to do, my lovely, handsome cowboy, is come inside me." You informed him, drawing a finger beneath his chin. "More than once, preferably."
"I'm not usually a man to voice my own shortcomin's, but I must warn you that this will be a futile-" Whiskey's words hitched in his throat when you stroked him again. "Fuck, no, don't touch me like that, you--"
"Stop playing hard to get, Jack." You murmured, slinking your free hand up the back of his neck to massage his scalp right beneath the band of his hat. "Give up."
"Never." He hissed even as his head lolled forward, granting you more access to rub his neck. 
"Pity." You settled back down between his legs and wrapped your lips around his cock. 
"No, no, dammit-" Whiskey growled, his hands clenching into fists at his sides. "Don't you fuckin'...no, no, don't use your tongue the-ah f-uck--" His protest died in a pitiful groan when his cock met the back of your throat. "Oh, you--fuckin'--you've got to be shittin' me woman, the whole-?" He grunted out haphazardly as you relaxed your throat and took him all the way down to the base. "You think y-you can take advantage of me jus' cuz' it's been a while since I got laid? Fuck you."
You hummed around his cock, wanting to giggle when he twitched and swore loudly. Your fingers dove past the hem of your underwear, and you moaned against him as you ran your index in slow, steady circles around your clit. 
"I ain't fuckin' you, and I sure as shit am not gonna' come in your pussy." Jack snarled. 
"Oh yes you are." You sang, rising to your feet and slipping your panties off. The white t-shirt came next, baring your breasts to the air-conditioned environment. 
Jack seemed to forget that he was supposed to be vehemently against this yet again as he just...watched while you teased your nipples. You tugged at the taut peaks, rolling them between your fingers and making a show out of the whole bit. 
"I can't wait to have you inside me, filling me up, just pumping me full of your come." You said with a smile, sauntering over until you would be in reach if his hands were free. Jack's tongue made a nervous reappearance and you tugged his chin upwards so you could see his eyes. "Are we still in gear? Or do we need to shift?" You asked. He seemed slightly dazed.
"Oh! Uh, sorry, s-sixth." He stammered. "Sixth, holy shit."
"Mm. Don't disappoint me and maybe I'll let you live." You remarked smoothly, swinging one leg over his lap and straddling him. Jack's shoulders were rigid again and you kneaded at them surreptitiously, trying your best to keep him in the scene and out of his own head.
You were well on your way to soaking wet with arousal. There was nothing better than when you had a partner that trusted you, regardless of whether you had truly earned that trust. Just the fact that they had blind faith in you to execute the endeavor that they needed...it was heady and sweet and you loved every second. 
You rutted your pussy against the underside of Jack's cock, the man snapping his teeth at the sensation. "Too good?" You taunted, laughing when he swore again.
"I can't believe that you think I'm fuckin' enjoyin' th--look, any dick perks up at heavy pet-" 
Cutting Whiskey off mid-sentence was quickly becoming a favorite pastime, you realized as you angled your hips and let the head of his cock push past your pussy lips. "In, just a little, give you a taste, sweetheart…" you sighed, rocking your hips forward and back but not allowing him to sink any deeper into you. "There, that's not so bad, is it?" You cajoled as he shuddered beneath you. "Just keep being good, my sweet cowboy, and this will all be over so much sooner." 
"No, no-" He struggled to move, to do anything, but you had made certain to tie him exactly as he had specified. "Dammit, when I get free of here, I'll--"
"Shh, you think too much." You tapped your index finger to his lips, smoothing it over the bristle of his mustache. "Focus on your job right now, and everything will be fine." 
Jack turned his face away, inadvertently presenting the thick column of his neck to you. And you, channeling your inner villain, leaped at the opportunity to lick and bite at the bared skin. He made a strange noise, a combination of a moan and a whine that had you raising an eyebrow. 
"Is someone a little sensitive there?" 
"No, I am not." He answered through gritted teeth. "I hate that you're touchin' me, that's all!"
"Hmm, it doesn't sound like you hate it." You mused, suckling gently at the spot where his jaw met his throat. You were very careful not to leave marks, as that had been another specification. Whiskey struggled underneath you again, only succeeding in pumping his cock up into you slightly.
"Don't, don't--" His voice actually cracked and you smiled, nuzzling your nose beneath his jawline and letting his dick settle deeper.
"Oh no, it seems like you do want to fuck me after all." You shrugged nonchalantly, leaning back and stroking over the base of his cock with two fingers. "Warming up to the idea of being my little fuck toy, Jack?" You teased, noting the way his knuckles whitened from his grip on the rope and his Adam's apple bobbed with the force of his convulsive swallow at your words. "I could just keep you here like this forever, you know. All tied up, helpless for me…" You squeezed the base of his cock and he gasped, trying to stifle the noise. "Soon, I'd have you trained so that you couldn't come from any other pussy aside from mine. Wouldn't that be fun?" 
Without waiting for an answer, you let the last few inches of his dick enter you. You leaned back on his thighs, feeling the muscles coil and strain beneath your touch as you reached down and grazed your clit. You could feel the heat of his gaze on you, those brown eyes fixated on the motions of your fingers even as his cock split you open. You were grateful that he was secured, you weren't sure if you would have been able to take him otherwise. His cock curved thickly against your back wall, the engorged head throbbing back and forth over the area that made your whole body shudder in delight. 
Whiskey's jaw was taut, his shoulders set in a rigid line that made you ache to get him to come undone in you.
"You're so quiet." You pouted, raising your hand and brushing your wet index finger over his slack lower lip. "Aren't you having a good time?"
His chest abruptly expanded, like he had forgotten to breathe for a moment or two. "Fuck you." Whiskey seethed, making you chuckle softly. "I ain't nobody's goddamn fuck toy."
"Sweetheart," you chided as you sat up. "That's not a very nice thing to say to the person warming your cock right now." You deliberately clenched down on him and Jack swore under his breath, shaking his head. "I can make you feel so good, Whiskey, if you just give me what I want." You insisted, cupping his face and pulling halfway off of his cock. 
"N-N...No." He replied weakly.
You sighed, rolling your eyes and shaking out your shoulders. "Well, I tried." Your hands landed on his shoulders and you gripped down to steady yourself, your hips meeting his own with a wet slap! of skin. Jack's chest heaved, his eyes closed and head tilted back as you began to ride him roughly. "All I wanted was for you to come in me. I don't feel like that's asking for much!" You complained petulantly, rolling your hips against his when he was hilted in you with an agonizingly slow grind of your body.
Jack bit out a low "fuck," those tense shoulders trembling under your touch. You tucked your face into his neck to tease the sensitive area even more, your tongue tracing random patterns that made him squirm and writhe underneath you. "I don't--can't, can't, don't make me--" he tried to protest, his words fractured and pitiful. 
"Yes you can, and you're going to." You snapped, taking a handful of hair at the nape of his neck so you could urge his head back further, leaving his throat at your mercy. "You're coming in me, Jack! Give up!"
...
"First!" He choked out, and you immediately slowed to a crawl. Your touch on him gentled significantly, no longer demanding but cradling, caressing. 
"Easy, easy." You soothed, the unrelenting assault of your perfect hips gone to a slow and careful rhythm, back and forth like a porch swing in the summer heat. Your eyes searched his own, concern shining through.
Jack was speechless, his blind panic melting away at the sound of your regular voice. What the hell just happened? He licked his lips, only now realizing how dry they had gotten. "Sorry, I uh-"
"No apologies." You murmured. "You have nothing to be sorry for. Would you like to stop now?"
Whiskey took a long moment, running a mental check on his body. Nothing was sore, nothing seemed out of line. Everything was raring to go. 
Everything aside from his brain, that is. The damn thing wouldn't stop conjuring up scenes of you pregnant and everything going to absolute fucking shit. It didn't matter that he had zero attachment to you, it didn't matter that you were on birth control. This was how it always was. 
Every damn time things got serious with a new interest, "oh, let's start a family," Whiskey just wanted to curl up into a ball. Without fail, like clockwork, he would shut down. 
And then the accusations would start, the distrust, "How come you can do it with protection but not without?" and it was disheartening, crushing to go through again and again. Explaining didn't seem to do a lick of good, it was always just that he was stringing people along, that he was a damn selfish prick, that he didn't care about what his partner wanted.
That couldn't be further from the truth, of course, but maybe that was his own fault for not dropping the bomb before getting attached to someone. He just couldn't ever seem to justify asking a person on their second or third date, "hey so what's your thoughts on having kids?" It felt manipulative, cheap, and if he was being honest, he knew for a fact that sometimes just the idea of having children was enough to scare a potential interest off. 
You were the first person to try and help Jack really wrap his head around this whole issue. And yeah, that was the whole point in sussing you out, but…
Tequila didn't tell him that you actually gave a shit, or at least you were damn good at acting like you did. Whiskey bit his lip. "I'm okay." He said finally, trying for a smile.
"Anything chafing? Do you need some water?"
"I…" Jack trailed off. "Huh, I admit I am a bit parched. But that means you'd have to get up." He realized unhappily.
"Were you enjoying yourself?" You asked, sounding curious. 
Whiskey got the hysterical idea in his head of you pulling out some sort of satisfaction survey at the end of your engagement, the notion making him smirk slightly. "God, yeah. I...yeah." He flushed a little bit. "Dunno' if I ever got this far after…after all my mental hangups and stuff. The fact that I don't have a say in the matter seems to be helpin', though."
"Okay, don't go anywhere. I'll get you some water." You patted his thigh, cautiously settling your feet on the floor and then going to stand with a quivery little gasp that absolutely stroked his ego.
Jack couldn't help his own groan at the loss of your heat, his eyes rolling into the back of his head. "Damn it woman, has anyone ever told you that your pussy is fuckin' perfect?" He muttered, his usual honeyed words suddenly clumsy in his mouth. "I mean, hell."
You laughed, bending over to dig in the small fridge for another water. Whiskey felt his entire body throb at the sight of you presenting yourself to him like that, and he sucked in a breath at your obvious teasing. Even in the soft light of the kitchen, he could see the glisten of the wetness between your legs. Hell yes, he found himself thinking stupidly as you turned back around. 
"I'm just glad that you're doing alright. That's the most important part to me, after all." You assured him, unscrewing the cap on the water and tipping it to his lips.
Jack gulped greedily, feeling a few droplets escape his mouth and run down his neck to blot his collar. "I am. One hundred percent." He said firmly after he had slaked his thirst. "Let's keep goin'."
"If you're sure, absolutely." You acquiesced, smiling again. Placing the water bottle on the kitchen table, you then swung your leg over his thighs like you were vaulting back into the saddle. Jack held his breath, waiting for you to welcome his cock back into your body. And God he was so hard, he couldn't remember ever being this hard, what the hell--
But strangely, you didn't immediately resume from where you had left off. Instead, you put your arms around his neck and actually rested your forehead against his own, bumping his hat upwards. 
Jack swallowed roughly, confused. 
"Let me take this from you." You whispered. Whiskey felt pinned by your stare, he felt as if you could see every terrible thing he had ever done, every transgression laid bare under the weight of your gaze. "Let go of it. I have you. I won't let anything happen to you." 
The words washed over him, soft and sweet. Your fingers slipped up into the hair at the nape of his neck to toy with the mussed ends that lurked there. The whole exchange was oddly intimate and Jack found himself at a loss yet again, simply grating out, "sixth," when he couldn't come up with anything else to say.
You reached down and stroked his cock, rubbing the head of it against your clit. And Jesus he could feel you, the difference in heat, the slick--
"Are you gonna' take it from me, sweet girl?" He hissed through his teeth like it wounded him to ask, trying desperately to cling to the illusion that he wasn't willing. "Take everythin' I've got?"
The blur between reality and this playdate was getting messier by the second. He wanted to fuck you, wanted to bury himself in you, spend every last drop inside the hot embrace of your quivering cunt. He wanted that. Jesus Christ, this wasn't part of the bargain.
This was a pantomime, specially designed pornography that existed only to coax a very specific reaction from his confused body. So why did he wish he had met you years ago? Why was he suddenly hoping and praying that the sounds you were making were legitimate instead of exclusively for his benefit, hoping that you were also enjoying this?
You angled your hips and sank back down on his lap, your hands going to your breasts where you proceeded to fondle and tease them until your nipples looked like they ached.
Whiskey fucking ached himself to wrap his lips around one pert little peak, swirl his tongue across the tip and make you come undone, rut his dick up into you until you cried out his name and soaked him--
Whoa cowboy, he chastised himself, a little startled by how sharp the longing was. You just kept fucking yourself on his cock, that hot, wet little pussy molded perfectly to every ridge of his member and he had never been this hard, this ready in his life. Despite the air conditioning in the cabin, your skin shone with sweat from all the work you were putting in and Whiskey couldn't recall a time where he had been more appreciative of someone else accomplishing a task within his field of vision.
Your hand slipped down, down, and Jack found himself following the trajectory until it delved between your legs and you started playing with yourself. "Jack," you crooned his name and it was like a prayer, reverent and soft, tender enough to coil itself around his lungs and choke him to death without a whisper of protest. You parted your legs even wider in his lap, exposing yourself to him so he could watch his cock slide in and out of you, so he could see himself fucking you open.
"Are you gonna' come for me, sweet girl?" He gasped, craning his neck and managing to tilt his head so he could mutter into your ear, "you just gonna' wrench one out for me, beautiful?"
"Mm, no, I'm not coming until after you come." You whimpered, still moving your hand. "But I'm so close, Jack. I want to come."
Your plaintive whine had him ablaze. God, he had never wanted to please someone so damn badly in his life. "I know you do, sweet girl." He murmured huskily, exhaling hot over the shell of your ear and loving the way you quivered in his lap. "You're so good, lettin' me blow my load before you get off--gonna' pump me dry when you come, aren't you? Just keep me inside you until that little pussy is all fucked out," he growled, barely aware of the words that tumbled from his mouth. 
All he knew is that you were all a-tremble at his voice, your body as hot as late July against his chest, your eyes heavy with adoration that he did not deserve and God, he couldn't get used to that look even if it was fake. What if you stayed? he wondered absently. What if you stayed?
Oh fuck, he was about to come. Panic jabbed like the blade of a knife between his shoulder blades and Whiskey went silent, his teeth bearing down on his lower lip and his eyes slamming shut as he focused harder than he ever had in his life.
The smell of you, the sounds, the heat, the little spasms of your cunt around his cock…
Yes. Yes, God yes, he could do this-- 
"Come in me, sweetheart." Begging him, pleading, demanding, "Jack-!" You cried his name.
Whiskey groaned hoarsely, so low it was almost painful, and let go. He bucked his hips up against you as best as he could, minute little thrusts while he came harder than he had in years. "Oh," he snarled, gritting his teeth, "fuckin' Christ woman, I think you've ruined me, Jesus fuck."
Your hands threaded through the hair at the nape of his neck again and you held him, not tightly, but just enough to keep him steady, anchored. "There," you said abruptly, the snide, put-upon tone of your role contrasting wildly with the gentleness of your touch, "was that so difficult?"
Jack burst out laughing, not overly concerned with how strange of a reaction that was. Hell, was he relieved? "Jesus fuckin' Christ, you're great." He remarked breathlessly. "I don't even know what just happened."
"Oh?" You replied, raising an eyebrow. "The mess between my legs seems to allude to you possibly having an orgasm. Jury's still out though."
He grimaced apologetically, glancing down. "Sorry darlin'. It's been a while, y'know?" You rose up off of him again and he grunted as his cock slipped free from your body. Whiskey felt half-drunk, relief and release combining into a potent cocktail that left him boneless in the chair. 
You quickly put your shirt back on and then crouched at his feet, beginning the arduous process of untying him. Jack just sat there, watching you drowsily. He couldn't do much else, really. "Any numbness or chafing?" You asked quietly, stirring him momentarily from his daze.
"Nah, nothin' yet." He replied, straightening his freed left leg and rotating his ankle in his boot. "A little stiff, but I've survived worse than that." 
"And how do you feel?" You questioned, "physically and emotionally."
Jack gnawed at his lower lip, trying to force his sluggish brain past the haze of serotonin in order to give you a satisfactory answer. "...good." He said finally, scrambling to elaborate, "or uh, better, I guess. More okay than I've been in a fuckin' while." It wasn't a lie, he was surprised to discover. He hadn't actually put much stock into this endeavor, figuring it would be a fun little diversion that would end just like every other time. Of course, it didn't hurt that you were easy on the eyes, prettier than a peach if he was being honest with himself.
Your smile was bright and Jack's stomach knotted confusingly. "I'm glad."
His right leg was released and he shifted his weight in the seat, groaning happily when his hip popped. "Hey, wait." The agent belatedly realized, "you didn't-?"
"We were here for you." You reminded him. "Not me."
"Whoa now, that don't seem fair at all!" Whiskey protested, taken aback by your nonchalance. "You just put in all the work!"
Your laugh tripped down his spine like an aftershock. "Don't get bent out of shape! It's standard policy, Mr. Whiskey. Once the desired result of the scene has been acquired, the scene ends and I start with aftercare."
"B-But--you didn't get to get off though!" 
"Me 'getting off' wasn't specified in our planning." 
"I needed to specify that shit?! I figured you'd just kinda'..." His right arm was free now and Jack seized the opportunity to make a certain gesture, raising his eyebrows. "I mean, I was at your mercy!" He continued, bewildered. "You totally coulda' just kept goin'-"
"Yes, and that's exactly why when the desired result has been achieved, the scene ends." You interjected firmly. "Because you trusted me enough to let me take control, and I'm not about to break that trust by doing something selfish on a whim."
Jack exhaled hard, scooting his hat a little further back on his head so he could study you. You didn't look disappointed, or annoyed with him. He wondered how many times you had fielded ignorant questions like his own and he cringed at himself. "I'm...shit, I'm sorry. I don't have any right to be all shitty about it." He apologized as you moved out of his field of view to untie the rope securing him to the back of the chair. "I just feel like you worked so hard an' got nothin' out of your end of the bargain."
"It's sweet of you to be concerned about that, but don't take it personally, okay?" You assured him, "I do this because I enjoy it. The whole experience, not just the finale." The ropes around his chest sagged and Jack slid forward a bit in the seat, relaxing. 
"Can I get that water again? Christ, I need a cigarette and a tumbler of the strong stuff after all that." He joked, clumsily tucking his cock back into his boxers. You pressed the bottle to his hands and he nearly dropped it, chuckling self-consciously. "Whups, sorry. I had my fists all bunched up so my fingers are stiff." Jack proceeded to down the rest of the bottle, wiping his mouth and mustache with the back of his hand after the fact. "So...what exactly is it you do for Tequila?" He queried nosily.
You laughed at him and God, God he loved the sound of your laugh. "That, Mr. Whiskey, is on a need-to-know basis. Just like this little soiree between the two of us." You chided, your eyes bright with good humor. "I would never violate a partner's trust in me."
Jack tipped the bottle in your direction, as if making a toast. "I'll drink to that, partner. What's next on the menu?"
"We'll talk out the scene and wind back down. Get cleaned up. I'll probably…" you paused, squinting at the clock over the sink. "You want some pizza? There's a joint not far from here that serves pies and chicken wings until midnight."
Jack groaned appreciatively, "I knew you were my kinda' gal. Lead the way to the debrief, ma'am."
It didn't really matter in the long run, he supposed. You obviously weren't interested in anything serious (if only because he figured that your flings with the stereotypical 'bad boy' Tequila would have become more regular in spite of the younger man's painful crush on Ginger Ale), and he could respect that. Still though, he couldn't help feeling a touch morose over the possibility of never engaging with you again. 
He toyed with the idea of asking you for another 'appointment', but dismissed the thought almost as quickly as it arrived. Better to quit while he was ahead.
Or rather, he amended ruefully as he settled down across from you in the diner booth, his hair still damp and curling slightly beneath his hat from the quick wash he had indulged in at your cabin, better to quit now before I make even more of a fool of myself.
Part Two
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sunfoxfic · 7 months ago
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Ngl, I'm super pissed that Zoe and Chloe are half sisters.
I have half sisters. It's not a fun or quirky detail to add into a story for the sake of drama. Especially for a children's show, there are very real people who will watch this show and see their actual real life family represented as a cheap reveal.
It may not seem like a big deal, but at least in America, it's really weird to have half siblings. There isn't a whole lot of representation of them in media because the nuclear family is seen as superior and because of that, it's really hard to conceptualize what it can be like, even if it's your own family. I was 8 or 9 before I properly realized what it meant that my sisters and I didn't all have the same father.
I can't speak for what it's like in France, but I do know that it's a heavily Christian country, and Christianity is a huge proponent of the nuclear family. After all, if you have half siblings, that implies 1) someone divorced and remarried, 2) someone had children out of wedlock, and/or 3) someone cheated, all of which go against Christian values. (This isn't to say that these things can't be sucky on their own, but being forced into a nuclear family can also suck.)
Theoretically, I'd love to see half siblings in children's shows. In fact, you can't hear me sing the praises of The Dragon Prince for exactly that louder than I already am! TDP did an excellent job at it. I see myself in Ezran; I see the way he doesn't really understand the complexities between Callum's and and Harrow's relationship. I see myself in Callum; I see the way he views the disconnect on account of only sharing one parent. TDP handled it really well. I sincerely doubt that Miraculous will.
You see, as a kid, I didn't need secret half siblings who have a weird rivalry relationship. I don't even need that now (re: The Shadow of Kyoshi by FC Yee, The Outcast by Taran Matharu). What I needed was to see half siblings who love and care for each other even if it's not the same as it is with full siblings. I want to see one or both of them with shared custody between two parents; I want to see how the parents that they don't share interact; I want to see some of the "weird" family dynamics that often come along with having half siblings, like having step parents/step siblings and/or divorced parents.
The relationship between half siblings isn't different than full siblings simply on basis of the fact that they only share one parent. Genetics do not a sibling make, nor do they a sibling unmake. Half siblings have "weird" relationships for other reasons. For me and my half siblings, it was because they had a complicated relationship with my father (their step father) and because they were significantly older than me in age. It also may be because they're seen as outsiders by society (because of stigmatization), because they don't live together 100% of the time (because of custody schedules), because they have different cultural/racial backgrounds, etc. I can't list every factor in a half sibling relationship that may cause a disconnect that simply does not exist in full siblings.
At the end of the day, a half sibling relationship needs to be handled with care because it will affect how children with half siblings perceive their own families. My perception of my half siblings was skewed for a very long time -- I was angry because I felt "weird" for having half siblings. Now I know that I was angry, but I wasn't angry at my half sisters or my parents, I was angry at society. And if there's a rivalry between Chloe and Zoe, the show will be fostering exactly the type of relationship that I never want anyone to ever have again. Or if they show the half siblings as a moral failure of Chloe's parents, they'll be fostering unfair resentment that, again, I never want anyone to have. It's exactly the type of feelings I had toward my sisters and my parents for a long time and it wasn't fair.
(Side note: I genuinely have no idea which parent Chloe and Zoe will share, and either one worries me. If I had to guess, I'd say that she's Audrey's daughter that lived in New York and is coming back to live with Audrey now that she's living in Paris, but that doesn't make a whole lot of sense? What about Zoe's father in that scenario? Audrey can barely remember Chloe's name yet she has a daughter named Zoe? But if they are villainizing the parent for having kids with two different partners, that's more in line with how they've characterized Audrey, which I could and should talk about in another post.)
I also can't imagine they're handling it well as a plot point. Like, little children who have half siblings aside, it's cheap and poorly foreshadowed. They never mentioned a half sibling nor gave any indication that either parent would want a kid with another partner; Audrey doesn't seem to like having one kid and Andre still seem very faithful to Audrey throughout all of this.
Though the show has reeked of "we're going to make this as dramatic as possible while simultaneously moving the plot forward at a very slow pace" for the very long time (which isn't a wholly bad thing; I have a complicated relationship toward the pace of the show that I'd be happy to expand upon), this feels too far. They could manage Chloe's character arc without giving her a sloppy foil. If they'd planned ahead I would quite literally love for Chloe to have a half sibling, but the implementation of Zoe as a character into the plot feels unfair and poorly executed.
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nightswithkookmin · 10 months ago
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still same anon. this was another one of my asks from months ago. basically it was a comment I made about jikook's intimacy. it was from this interview: https://youtu.be/T--BOS8oTec the moment I'm talking about happens from 3:00 minute timestamp onwards. i was saying how despite this moment being "skinship" or whatever, it kinda hit different? there's also intimacy there. bc you see how jimin doesn't have to say anything and jungkook immediately understands what to do and starts massaging his neck. jimin literally threw a glance at him, tilted his neck a lil and jungkook didn't need a second more to know what to do. I wanted to talk to you about it since I know that you're not big on skinship defining jikook's relationship, but I think there ARE jikook skinship moments worth noting and this is one of them imo.
Oh ok. Thanks.
SKINSHIP IN CONTEXT
I think skinship by it's very definition is an intimate act depending on the level of familiarity between the parties involved in the act.
From my understanding of skinship, it's basically interactions that would otherwise be viewed as sexual outside of their culture but viewed as acceptable platonic behavior between the same sex or even the opposite sex.
The objective of skinship is to be intimate with another person on a level that's only next to romance.
I remember my sister telling me how shook she was when she found out for the first time, around 2011 when she first moved to Seoul, how she couldn't even keep her pants on at a 'Jimjirban' because all the gals in there were expected to walk around butt naked in the spa. No towels, no pants, no robes butt nakedttt.
'Mehn, this doesn't happen where I'm coming from' she said to her companion.
A. I'm black.
B. I'm not flat.
C. I'm wearing my pants.
Her very naked friend, a native SK, whom she says she'd only met for like a week, then grabbed her underwear and pulled it down her thighs exposing her deforested vagina to the winds and a dozen other curious gazes. All females.
'For a second, I thought I had been tricked into an orgy of a sort. I was very naked without my consent. Wind whistling through my shy butt cracks. Watching very naked females of varying ages stare on with pride and smiles on their faces as if I had just saved a village or something and when I jiggled when I walked I could hear them gasp, amazed- Goldy, how is this not gay?'
'You think skinship between their men is weird, wait till you see their women. Wait till a very attractive Korean girl is breathing down your neck and caressing your nape and complementing your skin while showing you pictures of her boyfriend on her phone.'
She says it took her a while to get used to the skinship between women in SK and seeing the men interact in a certain way messed with her brains for a while. She said she felt her intelligence was being played with most of the time.
I guess if you want to look at Jikook's skinship as intimate then there's nothing wrong it.
Skinship is intimate at the very least.
But skinship, for all intent and purposes, is platonic and nonsexual in nature. And maybe this is a fatal flaw on my part. Or maybe thanks to my sister, I'm desensitized to this form of interaction but I have a hard time seeing Jikook's intimacy as platonic or even seeing most of their skinship as romantic- in anyway. It will make sense in a bit, hold on.
I have a hard time equating skinship with romantic intimacy. But that's just me.
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I wasn't able to click on the link you sent but I'm guessing this is the moment you are talking about?
I wouldn't call this skinship. I mean it is but I wouldn't call it that. Skinship is meant to show how close two people are. How familiar they are with eachother.
This doesn't show how close Jikook are. But It shows how caring and affectionate JK is as human being, as a dongsaeng, and as a boyfriend.
I'd rather we celebrate that. JK doesn't get highlighted enough. He caters to the people he cares about. He is an attentive person.
Hate to be a grinch but I can pull up a couple of times JK has done that very gesture with Jin or Tae or Hobi. Remember Soop? Remember when Jin complained of feeling cold and JK went up to him immediately and 'warmed' him up?
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Of course, Jimin kept stealing glances at him like he could throw a shoe at the back of his head if he could but that's beside the point.
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The man is an empath. He's said several times he feels a lot of pain watching his hyungs go through it. Fact is, Jk cares about people. He's kind, loving and he shows this aspect of him through gestures like these.
He does it for Jimin. He does it for all the members because as he's said, they are all a family.
It's stressful hearing people claim he doesn't give a fuck about Jimin, that he doesn't care about JM because he shows affections for others besides JM.
At some point we would have to make a distinction between what acts flows from their unique personalities because of who they are at their core and what act flows from them being a couple.
Most people who see Jimin as a natural nurturer and what not are able to separate this identity from his ship moments but JK isn't accorded the same privilege. It is why most people are quick to lash out at him when he interacts with others in the same way he interacts with Jimin.
When JM acts nurturing towards V or RM or Suga he is seen a good, kind person.
When JK does something affectionate it's seen as a beautiful Jikook moment or Taekook moment or Jinkook moment and is soon swept under the carpet, soon forgotten and never tied to the personality of JK- perhaps because most of these shippers don't care to know who JK is as a person and as a human.
When Jimin does something affectionate its 'awww Jimin is such an amazing person' even if that act is merely performative sometimes.
I try not to engage in conversations that perpetuate this horrifying discrimination against either of Jikook. They are both individuals.
There are a lot of Asks sitting in my box highlighting the various ways JM is awesome and kind and amazing as s boyfriend to JK and not a single out of 500 plus posts talking about how empathetic JK really is. How thoughtful he is to even pack motion sickness drugs to go on trips even though he doesn't get motion illness and JM is the one that often complains about motion sickness on trips.
The heteronormative lens, on opposite ends of the spectrum in the shipping community, which dictates we perceive on Jikook as either feminine or masculine is a telltale sign of the misogyny and misandry prevalent within this fandom.
The fandom's heteronormative lens filters Jimin as the wildly feminine archetype, wildly fragile, sexy and womanly right down to the way we praise him as the 'good woman' in his relationship with JK- loyal, faithful, nurturing, kind, silent in that he continues to perform Jikook even when Jikook are not in a great place. etc.
Yet because he is seen as womanly or feminine, the part of the fandom that hates women hate Jimin. That's where all the slut shaming, bullying and harassment stems from- misogyny.
Jk is viewed as the opposite of that. By most, he is very masculine man and as such harbors all the traits of masculinity the modern woman detests- toxic masculinity, cheating, disloyal, fuckboy who treats women like shit. All forms of hatred and intolerance towards men is projected on to him especially by male intolerant people or dare I say feminist women within the fandom.
And you see them in the way they are always fighting for Jimin against JK as if Jimin were a fragile faithful woman whose man don't treat him right thus further perpetuating the heteronormative stereotypes of Jimin.
What's disconcerting is Jikook are both men and yet depending on how their masculinity or femininity is perceived, they are both treated very differently.
You hear Tuktukkers talk about how Jikook is as a result of heteronormativity and thus prescribe Taekook as the ideal homonormative ship- because to them, Tae and JK are both seen as two whole men.
To them Jimin is just not man enough to even be gay- isn't that the foundation of homophobia?
Gay men not seen as men at all?
Whereas amongst Jokers, Jimin's manliness is often forgiven and JK's is abhorred. Jk is too much of a man and men just ain't shit.
This may sound like an over simplification but Tuktukkers hate women, Jokers hate men and either side suck. In my opinion.
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Jimin is a nurturer he cares about people including his boyfriend. JK is an empath he feels the pain of those close to him including his boyfriend and is often moved to ease or take away some of that pain.
It's thus annoying to hear people out here yell and complain on every turn each time JK interacts with the others how JK 'doesn't act exclusive' with Jimin or how he doesn't care about Jimin.
Should he not care about anyone besides Jimin just because he is dating Jimin?
It's annoying when they say the same about Jimin. Jimin nurtures everyone ergo there's nothing special or exclusive about the way he nurtures JK.
Nonsense such as these are spewed without taking into account that those acts in themselves speak directly to who these people are as human beings first and foremost; secondly, to how they feel about the person at the recieving end of their affections.
If they are treating everyone the same it's probably because they love everyone too- in a non romantic way of course. It's their love language. They love others with the same heart they love eachother with.
It doesn't take away from how they feel about eachother. JK admiring another member does not mean when he admires Jimin it's nothing. It just mean he admires Jimin too.
Not everything has to be romanticized or given a romantic context. They are each expressing themselves and their feelings for their bandmates. It's about them not their bandmates or their relationship with said bandmates.
Certain moments are just attestation to their love language be it platonic or romantic and it says more about who they are as people than what their relationship with the other person is. It's not all about their relationship.
People need to start treating Jikook as individuals. They are humans first before a ship. Shipping them shouldn't take away from their authentic expressions of self.
That's how they each end up getting cussed out in these streets left and right.
It's ridiculous.
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This is JK being JK. Imma leave it at that.
This is from the same interview where Tae was talking about how they love showcasing their bond.
It's ok to celebrate it. Just see it for what it is- as flowing from JK's kind self. This is not Jikook. This is JK. Jeon Jungkook.
Don't fume or act disappointed when you see him do the same kind gesture for another member just because of the meaning you are imposing on this moment. Know what I mean?
That being said, there are certain Jikook 'skinship' moments that crosses the line of skinship right into sexual foreplay.
If 'skinship' leaves you 'sexually excited' it's not skinship. Nobody can tell me nothing.
Make of this moment what you will. Just be responsible with it. I think. But don't mind me. I'm grumpy.
Signed,
GOLDY
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sanoiro · 6 months ago
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Lucifer Meta: “Choices”
“Choice is a funny thing…-“
Those were Dad’s words not mine back in 3x26. Before P2 dropped I was always saying that episode should be considered one of the core episodes if we wanted to understand S5 and Dad as a whole.
“Give someone different options, different circumstances, will they themselves end up different?” -Dad in 3x26
Lucifer S5 P2 spoilers ahead (I will add more screenshots later on)
I always liked the idea of Lucifer having a choice although his vulnerability theory of mine back in S2 was born out of a different thought.
But angels self-actualise however that applies to wings, a face and powers. In Michael’s case it was his posture as broken as he felt. Otherwise how we could explain that only he tried to urge Chloe on killing him but was rather docile when he believed he would face an immediate death.
Now what we didn’t know is that Gods also self-actualise. Therefore it is a genetic trait if you like. So let’s take this concept when we study Lucifer.
Lucifer has made his own choices over the years and the choices he made were the ones that brought us to the events of S5. However something doesn’t add up. Like yes, he chose that face in Hell because of his shame and how he viewed himself. Lucifer admitted it in 4x08 and Dad confirmed it as well in 5x11. So what is the two things amiss? Well one mostly throughout the series? His glowing red eyes.
The majority of the fanfiction out there express his eyes as an evidence of his Devilness, a connection to Hell while I believed for a very long time it was a manifestation of him being the Lightbringer but what does that constitutes?
Back in S2 Mum constantly calls Lucifer her ‘Lightbringer’, Lucifer lights up Azrael’s blade alone fleetingly when angry at his mother in Trip to Stabby Town. When the Medallion of Life is put on the blade his pain over Chloe flames it up for several seconds before it stops. Only when Lucifer assembles the sword, the medallion and the binding element, also known as Amenadiel’s jewelry. But there is again something amiss. Lucifer does flame it up in 2x18 but Mum’s words suggested that with all the pieces gathered she could do it herself. In a sense it is how Michael did it. No lightbringing power needed but what is that power?
I’m sure you remember back the finale of S3 where Lucifer’s face is licked by fire, his Devil face shows and his eyes glow red. Cain then agrees with Lucifer that ‘You cannot escape what you are’ moving forward in 5x16 Lucifer says I love you to Chloe and he is set on fire very much like he did in S3. Then we see a light we have associated mostly with Mum and Chloe wakes up.
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So let’s think of this.
Lucifer apparently since his birth is known as the Lightbringer for no apparent reason. He lit the stars sure but only Mum and Dad are adamant on calling him that the only two beings in the universe that were omnipotent and above all? Omniscient. But they had a pitfall. Not even Mum could see she would be sent to Hell. That leads us to believe that there are choices which lead to as Uriel said to ‘patterns’. Different choices, different patterns. A thousands paths we can take but we cannot which one eventually will be taken and probably Dad and Mum held an optimism.
So let’s assume that when it came to Lucifer they knew one thing. That he had the ability to become a God - perhaps that is why Mum searched for him as he was also a key on changing things, if he became God then essentially she had won but she knew his potential. Now that’s another interesting thing…. Potential.
Dad in S5 tells Ella that the darker the darkness the brighter the light. In Lucifer, Dad mournfully notes that his son has so much light it blinds even him (aka Lucifer).  Perhaps what we as perceived as unseen darkness -even him- is, in reality, a blinding light. Like a torch, you have no idea how to adjust your eyes to and everything seems like it's not light but darkness. So Lucifer had to go from being blinded by his own light to target it outwards in order to light the room. That was his potential. 
Lucifer’s potential for goodness had to be harvested as was his ability to love. He liked humanity, respected them to a point, loathed them to another. Still does actually. But here is the thing. Potential think of Lucifer like a piece of coal or a battery whatever suits you best. Coal can be used to start a low grade fire that can spread from there but by itself it is but a black piece of nothing. So what if what we witnessed in the past five seasons was Lucifer being a slowly burning coal?
Let’s go back to Pops in S1. Lucifer is vulnerable when he takes Chloe out of the flaming restaurant and although he was burned he managed exceptionally well. In S4 he gets out of the exploding building albeit Chloe is far away and his clothes are not burned… Now let’s go to 5x10. Funny if you think that Lucifer manages to stop the chemist flame from burning which is weird as yes he stops the oxygen source to the flame so it us put out but two things happen. One his sleeve gets burned but it is also put out once the flamer does. Lucifer blames it on the polyester mix when we know he does not wear any and if he does it should have spread more.
If Lucifer was completely invulnerable then his suit would have been fine like it was in S4. Sure we have seen bullets not hurt him but have an issue with his clothes but to quote 4x02, it’s all about fire not the suit-superman effect.
Now in 3x23 Lucifer realises that Chloe does not need him but she choose to have him in her life and as such he is willing to leave his 2x12 miracle knowledge behind. In 5x06 Chloe talks about vulnerability which is based on a choice of Lucifer to be vulnerable around her. But with that choice to forward their relationship in 5x07 Lucifer is also making the choice subconsciously to expose himself to her emotionally and physically. At that point that choice stops his vulnerability probably because there is nothing to fear from her anymore. His vulnerability per 5x10 made him felt something he self actualised physically the vulnerability he felt but when she accepted him in her heart and stared a physical relationship his exposed himself differently emotionally.
Therefore Lucifer is still by choice vulnerable to Chloe but not physically as now he is in a healthier place. He opens up to her he is giving a conscious choice to be vulnerable to her while his body stops this stress induced self actualisation -perhaps- of being physically vulnerable. When he is hurt he shows it, he tells her what is going on even if it takes some time. Perhaps at the kitchen at her apartment Chloe didn’t draw blood from his body but certainly did from his soul and he allowed that.
When Mum in S2 said that Chloe was the key she was correct but not for lighting up the flaming sword but lightening up Lucifer. Lucifer needed to reach the point of choosing to be emotionally vulnerable around her and realising he was capable of love and that he loved Chloe, loved humanity.
In 5x16 when Lucifer is starting to burn up, most I’m sure went back to Michael’s words of Lucifer burning to the crisp if he went to Heaven as he was banned. But here is the thing Lucifer made a sacrificial move like the kid in 509 did for the family business. The ring simply bought him time. Lucifer left Heaven but I do not believe he was banned from there or at least I believe that Heaven had a safety net. We saw that even Gods have limitations so let’s think of this:
If Lucifer had listened to Mum and went to heaven the ring would have bought him some time but eventually he would have been either expelled or died(?). Again there are many things to consider here:
-What does it mean to be a God? Is it about power? Is it about being a Creator? Is it about the choice to become a carer? Lucifer became a carer in Hell albeit a rather unconventional one and as we may see things will change.
-Dad and Lucifer have a common thing they love humans and humanity in general. No other angel aside from Amenadiel and only due to his son does do far and in Amenadiel’s case it is not unconditional.
-The fact Lucifer was willing to be God not just for Chloe but because the system was rigged and he loved humans like Daniel and thought that he had to protect the innocent or at least provide a chance for a second chance.
-The song in the end when Lucifer is presented as a God, we listen to the Klergy sing that in a sense it was always mean to be.
I know I have been all over the place but let’s return to the whole lightbringer Lucifer now. So remember Dad when he gets angry. He is meteorologically inclined. In the family dinner and not only there we hear a thunderstorm rumbling close by, lighting ominously lit up the room in a way that Lucifer’s eyes light up in a very eerie yet calm way in many instances, in Le Mec’s case included.
There was always something brewing in Lucifer so when he gets to Heaven, with the same attributes Dad had and to a very different level, Lucifer experiences a metamorphosis. Now Mum and Dad didn’t have physical bodies but Lucifer did. Dad as well Mum in S5 provided us with a manifestation of a human body but they were not born in a flesh like celestial body like their kids did. So when Lucifer gets in heaven he is experiencing what Mum did in S2, he bled light but in a place of souls not on the earthly plane.
Again Lucifer’s body changes but he is not a ‘flesh sack’ as Mum puts it like Charlotte’s body was in S2 for Mum. He is still Lucifer that’s still his body but when Lucifer gets to Heaven he makes a choice again not just a throne to save humanity but his own life which of course leads us to the passage of the Revelation. 
In the end, Chloe was the key and fuel for the coal to lit up to a full blazing fire. Not bad :) I mean he lit up Heaven long before he took off his ring ;) 
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“I choose you, I love you”
Michael, the Dragon & the ‘Virgin Mary’. But that’s a meta for another time, one that I have written in the S&S but will be updated for S6.
“And no matter how badly you want to nudge them in the right direction You know they need to find it on their own.”
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felikatze · 2 months ago
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SIGIHSBISBS IM SORRY FOR RAMBLING AGAIN
I think that the reason why "redemption through death" works for A **IS** because his redemption is not just him yeeting himself at the very end but rather also his own redemption is already the entire process of lobcorp where both him and the Sephirah cycling through their own personal self made hell and to be "punished for their sins in the past" which they try to redeem themself from trying to improve/become better than they are now and the his death at the end is hmm it kinda morbid but kinda a "reward". Like exactly how you said about the ghostness of the sephirah and like everything inside the facility including both the employee and the manager honestly. Throughout a lot of lob we have the sephirah talking to A about this process of how they are not allowed to die but simply cycling over and over again through a repetitive loop, unable to move on since certain someone does not refuse to let go therefore they cannot move on even in death so by "freeing himself" from that in the end he in turn also finally be able to free everyone else who is trapped in the cycle which is also what other Ssphirah were expecting from him I.e the most evidence being Hokma at the end of suppression prefer for the end that would finally come for all of them saying "give a proper end to everyone in herein, and for yourself". I would like to add in like, in Angela's case it is bad for her since she is the being that has never been allowed to live her life or would ever actually benefit from the result of the thing that she has to suffer for or would earn the freedom like everyone else but talking about Lobotomy Corporation's meaning to Angela is another whole can of worm but tldr I think I tend to see lob a little differently since I does not use really Angela as a base to think of a personal value of lob as a whole since that journey to her is something entirely different than everyone else in game and Angela's own definition is very different.
I would not say this action is perputating the cycle since its final is actually very different from Carmen's despairing death imo and lor doesnt really prove that A's ending is something that is I guess, a wrong solution for himself either? As lor Binah has when talking about A's journey she said that "the cycle has been broken once" but at the same time I understand if this solution and conclusion would unvibe some people since on the surface it kinda just "man beat depression and canon ball himself into the sun" yeah
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OH YEAH IT'S. PURGATORY. that's it.
maybe if everyone is already dead, that includes A and we can also see him as a ghost. Since, "I was the first witness to his death and one of the culprits to his murder" (paraphrasing angela). so in a way it's like also his own ghost story.
problem is in his case death is mainly metaphorical and not actually physical lmao
in a weird way you can also apply a very like... buddhist? reading to it, i.e the cycle of reincarnation ending once you reach nirvana, even if the main symbolism is rooted in judaism
angela's personal feelings do taint a lot of how we perceive A because she's just the most outspoken abt him post lobcorp so a lot of readings, including my own, change a lot depending on whether or not you include angela!
so like, to A and the Sephirah, the cycle of suffering was broken, but to Angela, it was perputated, since she wasn't a participant in the sins being atoned for and she like you said wasn't allowed to live.
Thank you for rambling actually because now i see that a lot of the ambiguity does come from Angela's reading of the story.
Since lor puts so much focus on her and her feelings about this, and since that leads to "what happened to angela was wrong and fucked up and shouldn't have happened" but that doesn't exactly mean that to the other characters it was wrong and fucked up, since vry often the patron librarians do agree that they were actually also looking forward to uh being dead and this changes because now they have to live and like might as well have a good time am i right.
also their whole lives' work got destroyed so they're still kicking as long as that's not fixed
it's the right solution to the characters involved but the wrong solution to outsiders, is what i'd sum it up as. that also gets reinforced by roland as an outsider supporting angela's view of "hey isn't that kinda fucked" because yeah it was.
honestly i do not mind when people ramble at me about stuff i care abt at all!! it's so nice to see different takes and feelings on this stuff.
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