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#also yes the hands in the last panel are weird but I don’t wanna fix them snsjjdjenr
cloepatra · 7 months ago
ymir the founder fritz, aka the most powerful and compelling plot device that isayama could have ever employed in order to explain the origin of the titans, the inherent slavery of the eldian people, and also everything else wrong in the world, was emptied of all value and purpose when she was revealed to have loved her abuser and oppressor. her life-long struggle to break free from the slave mentality that was pounded into her since childhood turned out to be... totally hollow. the woman's real purpose was to keep loving the man who cut off her tongue, raped her as a child and eventually had her cannibalized by their daughters when she failed to survive a murder attempt on his person. which makes for a very pinpoint parallel with eren, tbh, but he gets a whole paragraph all to himself later. amor vincit omnia should not become a convenient fix-it trope so that stuff can magically make sense in less than 50 pages. not to mention that this makeshift “solution” doesn't account for countless plot holes, that would only make sense if ymir was an abuse survivor looking to get her agency back. and even if i was keen on excusing the sloppy writing, i still wouldn't let the whole romanticisation of rape and trauma thing slide so easily. by giving a young victim like ymir fritz romantic feelings and a blind devotion towards her rapist, isayama is basically conveying a very pitiful and toxic message, one he refuses to even dignify with a realistic explanation for the thousands of readers who couldn't make a sense of it. the way this twisted version of love seems to be universally accepted by all the characters in the last chapter, as they just shrug it off like some sort of inevitable superior force that works in mysterious ways, made me wanna gouge my eyes out and never read another word again
mikasa's arc. mikasa had the potential to be the only character in the entire manga to come out on top when all was said and done. she had openly opposed eren's idea of a genocide. she had left the scarf behind when he voiced his hatred for her. she seemed ready enough to sever the proverbial umbilical cord and move on, live a life with pride, knowing how she could have outgrown her silly, dependent, obsessive old self. she might have started out as a yandere caricature, a passive and annoying side-effect to having eren as the main character, but she could have done so much better later on. she, too, just like ymir fritz, might have broken free, if only isayama liked liberated and strong women. she had the range. she had the potential, the backstory, everything. given the chance, she could have redeemed herself. but did isayama care? nope. he just threw her to the sickos in the fandom and said “here's your little psycho doll. do what you will with her. also, she's the key to understanding the superior force that works in mysterious ways aka love aka all the nonsense i'm actually too lazy to commit to”. and so, mikasa is as inconsequential in the ending as she ever was as eren's ever-present bodyguard, if not more, because now she's even refusing to look ahead and fight. two things that she at least tried to do every so often back when eren was alive. not only she surrendered to her own mental illness, but she even saw it turned into a pretty fantasy that the readers can idealise (again, romanticisation of all the wrong things) and that she'll never be able to escape so long as she lives. what's worse, she doesn't even want to, because in this manga we love downgrading and being stuck in the past, as the worst possible versions of ourselves.
historia's pregnancy. it shouldn't even have happened in the first place, unless it was dictated by historia's explicit desire to have a child precisely when she asked for one and by that one unnamed farmer guy and nobody else. whether that was the case or not remains, to this day, still shrouded in mystery because, again, isayama didn't think of coming clean about any aspect of historia's sudden decision. the notion that she might have been raped or submitted to something she really didn't want simply for the drama of it leads to some pretty terrifying implications. i have already explained countless times how it didn't even make sense for eren to be so adamant about rejecting the 50 year plan on account of not wanting historia to be breeded like cattle, titanised, and eventually devoured by her children, if he was just... gonna let her have her way, she only had to ask him nicely. why ever would historia need eren's permission to have a child? what was she even trying to tell him in chapter 130? why did eren tell her something as pivotal as the genocide plan if the friendship between them wasn't any different from any other in the 104th? why would eren take the risk to meet her in secret and suggest that they do something as radical as fighting the mp's or running away, if all she had to do was just... ask that he let her get pregnant? i suppose that was just a bait for a very specific side of the fandom, at this point, as the extent of the entire cryptic conversation from ch. 130 was never covered, and we were probably just supposed to forget about it. I can only forgive isayama for basically baiting me into shipping erehisu because he still gave historia a decent wrap-up in the ending, she looked in control and happy enough with her new life, which is something i warmly wished for her. she seems to be in a better spot than most of her former comrades, and virtually, she is the true inheritor of eren's original (and later disowned) ideology, as she is the one who will lead eldia into the future as a free nation, whatever that may mean for them now that titan powers are no longer a thing. I'm very proud of her and generally i am happy with how things played out for her and yeah, thinking back on it with a colder mind... i wouldn't have wanted it any other way, ships be damned
wHY WAS LEVI IN A WHEELCHAIR????? like..... scars aside, he was up and about in one panel, and in the next he was disabled... that was just... idk?? weird but i suppose isayama went overboard to provide us with some residual dramatic value here
the genocide being just a red herring. APPARENTLY eren never believed that the genocide was a solid way to achieve freedom. his true intention was to antagonize himself so that his friends would be hailed as heroes, but like... why... he didn't even achieve the complete annihilation of conflict in the world by doing so? his friends might be heroes now, but they're going to spend the rest of their lives fighting for their very lives. if anything, eren sparked new conflicts and made the new order so much worse for the eldians, as they have no choice but to keep fighting, except with the same weapons as anybody else now. he basically doomed his people to a bleak future of war and possibly extinction. he killed 80% of the entire world to cause nothing but a disappointing regretful outcome, and in the end he even disowned everything he ever believed in. in comparison, zeke's euthanasia plan was some genius level shit that would have achieved the same result as eren, except with not nearly as much bloodshed.
the parasite. again, great idea, poor execution. what on earth happened to it? it was the Scientific Shit that made titans happen one moment, and then gone in the next, wrestled to death by a buff war criminal with ptsd... my disappointment is over the roof
eren himself. like, as a whole. oh, what's not to regret about the 180 eren did in the finale? witnessing a mc forsaking every relevant trait that's ever made him who he is, is simply painful on the eyes. isayama basically went and said “remember eren yaeger aka the suicidal blockhead who would sacrifice everything in order to achieve freedom? yes? well forget about him, you've got aaron yogurt now.” …... who even is this man? when he broke down and cried in front of armin, whining like a baby that he wanted mikasa to never move on from him, i legit got second-hand embarassment. I felt actual shame for the way isayama handled his characterisation. like... he is a mass murderer, ok... how can he just... kneel down and cry about his step-sister whom he never did anything to date anyway like it's nothing??? armin is right to be pissed at him but he's pissed for the wrong reasons, sadly. I don't even want to tackle the topic of eren murdering his own mother, as he basically confessed to going through life on autopilot because the founding titan just erased all his feelings, gave him superior knowledge of all things and compelled him to go with the flow of things, aka the exact opposite of what he's been preaching ever since day 1. W HAT on earth man. like i said in point #1, eren's crush on mikasa is actually very frightening too, and it leads us back to that one dark force that overpowered even ymir fritz. eren is in love with a girl who's obsessed, in denial and damaged. and what's worse, mikasa reciprocates his feelings, even though eren always overlooked her or manipulated her. ymir fritz kept misunderstanding all those red flags from the king as love, probably. this is really not a story of breaking the cursed cycle, because it seems to me that everyone has returned full circle in the end.
CONCLUSION: nothing isayama or anyone might have said in interviews or elsewhere could have prepared me for this raging shitfest. the entirety of that last chapter was farfetched to say the least, everything looked half-hearted and rushed, clumsily glued together because the real isayama died and somebody else had to ghostwrite the ending for him. I am sorry if i do sound a bit disillusioned about the whole thing and can't bring myself to be outraged either, but i've been way too invested into this manga for nearly a decade, and now it all blew up in my face, so i guess i no longer give it the power to upset me lol
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dixieslut · 11 months ago
The Broken Elevator | [Soft]
Title - The Broken Elevator
Word Count - 1.9k
Pairings - Keigo Takami (Hawks) x Fem!Reader
Warnings - Break up, claustrophobia (your stuck in an elevator), Near-Death experience, Bad day?
My teacher had to read this yo.. 😰
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Sorry if it's a bit blocky or weird from my normal writing style, I couldn't write it the way I wanted cause it was for school..but please enjoy 😊. Also your locked in an elevator so if that makes you uncomfy please don't read.
Sadly, Your day was already going south before the incident. Your car broke down on your way to work, you just realized that you put your skirt on backwards, and to put the icing on the cake a clumsy co-worker spilled hot coffee onto your new white blazer. “It's fine.” you told yourself as you walked over to the women’s bathroom before getting interrupted by the janitor. “Sorry miss,” he stood in front of the door rubbing the back of his neck. “All the bathrooms are clogged..except for the ones downstairs.” You sighed walking over to the elevator.
Reaching over to press the down button on the contraption, you hesitated. Worry filled your body, remembering all the tales you overheard your Co-workers said about it. According to them, the elevator was cursed breaking down for hours causing phobias and fears to shine through. You looked down at your shirt debating between taking the 10 flights of stairs that would for sure leave your feet swollen or the appearently cursed elevator.
Stupidly thinking your coffee stained shirt was worse than getting stuck on a elevator. Pushing down the fear bubbling in your tummy, you boarded the elevator testing your luck. Quickly pressing the button for the first floor, you waited patiently for it start. Once the sound of the elevator descending started you began to relax and the tension in the air faded. Finally hearing the ding when you reached your destinated floor you rushed over to the bathroom to clean yourself up.
After you finished cleaning up, the feeling of accomplishment waved over you for something going right today. Having no fear towards the elevator, you decide to ride again and finally start off your day on the right foot. A smile slowly spread across your delicate face as you closed your eyes and waited for the elevator to slowly ascend as it closed its doors. Until a flash of red wisped past the small creak in the door causing the doors to automatically open again. You quickly open your eyes to see your ex, Keigo, stumble through the door. Nevermind, this was officially the worst day of your life.
“Heh..Sorry-” his bright amber eyes looked up to see nothing but disgust in yours. Hawks awkwardly straightened himself out and shuffled next to you taking occasional glances. Small glimpses of your break up started to play in your mind as you stood, clouding your mind. Your tears, him walking out, the gossip among your co-workers, it was all coming back to you so suddenly it brought fresh tears to collect in on your waterline. Hawks looked down, regret stinging his face remembering the events from a few months ago.
Trapped in your thoughts you didn't notice the elevator’s sluggish pace, the machine starting to softly rattle before turning into a violent shake startling the both of you. You could hear some creaks and screeches before it proceeded to start plummeting down, a shriek escaped your mouth as large arms came around your frame and cradled you. Without thinking you held on to whatever, too scared to even open your eyes, The elevator halted right before the ground and shook once more then slowly stopping.
After a few minutes, you shifted causing Hawks to jump off you, looking away while scratching his head. Looking around at the now blinking lights you could see a panel of numbers, scooting over to them you pressed the red emergency button. The button gave a distorted ding till it completely shut down. Your next plan was your phone, moving around in your one spot to at least gain one bar of service but after a while of trying you admitted defeat.
Begrudgingly turning your head over to Keigo who was fiddling with his wings with a small blush casted onto his fair face. “We’re stuck.” you announce, slumping back onto the wall. Grief washing over you as you realized your situation. You trapped with your ex in an elevator for who knows how long. Your day went from bad to worse within minutes.
It’s been up to two hours now and it's been quiet with small talk here and there. You played on your phone for the first thirty minutes until it got down to fifteen percent, deciding it would be best if you save the battery. “ you still think” Keigo asked in a meek tone than his usually laidback one. Taking a moment to respond you sighed, looking at the blonde male. “Why would I, Keigo? Why would I want to relive heartbreak over again?” He looked down, shame casted onto his face. Hawks stayed quiet for a while as you sulked in your corner.
Tears slid silently down your plush cheeks thinking about the events of your break up. “I cant do this anymore, Dove.” he whispered under his breath causing you to stop in your tracks. Keigo got up from the small chair and slid his coat on, “I'm sorry I just don't feel it anymore.” He walked out the door leaving you standing there. It took awhile to process before your knees buckled and you slowly slid down to the ground feeling as if a piece of you died that day. “If that's the case, Yes. I think about ‘us’ everyday.”
A solid hour and a half passed by and there was still silence among you two. Keigo tried to speak up multiple times but as soon as he opened his mouth it was as if the words would just disappear. You didn't move from your corner of the elevator, baskin in your sorrow and regret. Slowly though, the sorrow you felt for yourself turned into spite as time passed. Finally managing to get the words out, Keigo turned to you seeing your red eyes and tear stained cheeks. “Sorry Dove..” looking down before he continued but quickly you cut him off. “Sorry Keigo? Sorry? You think a simple apology is gonna make me feel better after months of pain? Having to listen to my co-workers gossip about how you were on some girl at the club literally DAYS after? You think a ‘Sorry’ is gonna fix it all?”
Keigo silently leaned back into the wall as you turned directly towards him and shouted. You could see regret fill his face as you went on and tears gathered up in his golden eyes which were now starting to fall. To caught up in your rant you didn't hear the elevator springs start to pop from your rapid movements, causing you to yelp a bit. Without saying another word you went back to pouting unable to meet his sorry gaze. Keigo came for his things he left at your apartment a month after he walked out, you sat on your couch in silence waiting for him to finish packing. Once he was gone you completely broke down, letting out whimpers and sobs. What happened? In the many years of your relationship Keigo never gave off that he was unhappy. You realizing it was time to move on, so you distracted yourself with work but nevertheless you still thought about him.
At this point it's been 6 hours in this closed space. But the amount of emotions going through both of you made it feel like years in this trapped space. Keigo silently weeped in his designated corner, he felt like apologizing a million times wanting to explain himself as you sat there emotionless. “I didn't wanna leave you..” he whispered gently under his breath. “Then why did you?” you didn't have the energy to look at him. Keigo gave a long sigh, feeling water build up in his eyes once again. “I didn't mean to hurt you, I just…” He paused bringing a hand to wipe his tears. “Days before, the commission found out about us..and I..I couldn't risk it,” Keigo turns to you. “I'm so sorry, Dove..”
You let a few tears slip before rotating to face him, Keigo scoots closure to you from his corner. “Why didn't you tell me?” you muttered leaning slightly. “I didn't know how to explain it..” he ran a hand through his golden locks. The elevator creaked, falling slightly causing you both to jump. You scooted a bit closer to Keigo to where you both were only a space apart still trying to take in his explanation for hurting you all those months ago. Three more hours passed making it now nine hours you’ve been trapped. In order to avoid eerie silence the two of you started to talk normally. It didn't take long before Keigo's silly nature to kick in resulting in your first genuine smile of the day.
He could feel his cheeks burning from your smile, a warm feeling filled his stomach. Without thinking he reached over and stroked the side of your face, “I still love you..Dove” Your laughter quickly died down as your face reddened. Mouth agape as you processed all the emotions at once, You went into this elevator feeling nothing but disgust and revulsion but now your heart was almost pounding out of your chest. As much as you wanted to tell yourself it was good to move on, you always knew you couldn't get over Keigo. “I-..” you looked deep into his waiting eyes, opening your mouth to respond to his confession. Suddenly, the floor beneath you shook then soon everything was starting to vibrate.
Keigo wrapped his arms around your small frame once again as you clinged to his chest. Wires started snapping from above and screeches could be heard from the walls. The room stopped vibrating for a bit allowing you guys to look around before everything started to sink. Metal scraping against each other making a horrible sound, Keigo pulled you tighter against him, tears filled your eyes starting to believe these were your last moments. Quickly making up your mind you look at him deeply, through your tears. “I love you, Keigo” you say as you tightly closed your eyes and braced yourself for impact.
Fortunately, impact never came. A small shake followed by the feeling of sinking in your stomach stopping caused you to open your eyes. The blinking light was back to its original state and the elevator dinged, opening its doors. People passed by the scene giving weird looks and stares while you both rushed out the door. Running up to the front desk, the two of you tried to make sense of what just happened. “The elevator broke down! We were in there for HOURS!” You shouted, not caring if you were slowly ruining your job reputation, Keigo also gave his side of the experience.
The assistant looked at you both questioningly then shook her head and laughed before explaining what happened. You both walked out the building in embarrassment, according to the assistant the elevator worked perfectly fine and the both of you she assumed were putting on a show. She did allow you to leave for the day and Hawks followed. “Hey..” Keigo turned to you. “I know at the time we were kinda in the middle of falling through an elevator in a dream but..” you giggled looking up at him. “If your trying to ask if I meant it, yes I do..I love you Keigo.” His amber eyes lit up, he placed his hands on your waist and pulled you forward. You leaned in to him and softly pressed your plush lips against his, Keigo’s heart swelled no longer feeling empty.
You and Keigo: *Dramatic getting back together love story*
Everyone else in the elevator:
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tickle-bugs · a year ago
Summary: Rey realizes that she doesn’t know Poe nearly as well as she wants to. Finn helps push the two of them together, because no matter how much Rey grumbles, they’re a family. 
@fanficsandfluff: Would you ever consider writing a Rey and Poe fic? Like featuring Finn??? I know it sounds weird but I don't like necessarily ship them??? I'm a total Poe/Finn shill. But I've always craved a fic where like Rey is trying to be better friends with Poe and she doesn't know fully how because she doesn't know how well they gel together. And then something happens and they slowly start bonding. And it just turns into her finding out he's ticklish and tickle fights happen! Just a thought. Thank you!
This got way out of hand but it’s my favorite thing I’ve ever written. I hope you like it. Happy Star Wars Day, everyone. May the Force be with you, always. <3
It was a warm day on the Resistance base, the kind of day that reminded its occupants that a sweltering summer was rapidly approaching, and there was nothing they could do about it. Rey and Finn had found their own little shady corner to hide from the heat and chores. Finn, being a General, could afford to shirk his duties for a while without getting into too much trouble, but Rey had no real excuse. One of the perks of hiding with a Resistance leader, though, was getting to see your good friend gush about the man he loved, who had somehow become the responsible one in the time he’d been in charge.
“-and he sings. He sings, Rey!”
“He does?” She pictured Poe as a cantina singer, with gelled hair and a ridiculous sequined outfit. 
“Like an angel,” Finn sighed, leaning his head back against the tree they were under. 
“Really? An angel?”
“His voice is amazing. You should ask him to sing for you, sometime,” Finn said, turning to face her with a smile. 
“I wouldn’t want to trouble him,” Rey murmured, and Finn gently bumped her shoulder.
“He’d be happy to. He loves it when people ask.” 
Rey muttered another poor excuse and waved a hand. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to talk to Poe. In fact, it was quite the opposite. Poe was a hero, and Rey was...well, also a hero, but it was still weird.
The people of the Resistance adored Poe. They stopped and waved when they saw him in the halls, the new recruits always fell in love with him, and the mechanics all dogpiled on him whenever he entered the hangar. He was their brother in arms turned righteous leader, hand-picked by Leia herself to save the galaxy. Poe was the spirit of the Resistance. 
Rey was an outsider. She still had her friends, and people loved asking her to tell stories, but she joined the Resistance. Poe was practically born into it, and that distinction, although small, was something that only Finn seemed to understand. 
They were family, and Rey felt silly for her awkwardness, but she couldn’t shake it. It was the first time she’d had one and she didn’t want to mess it up. 
“Rey,” Finn said in that knowing tone, “Get out of your head.”
“Sorry.” She leaned her head on his shoulder and Finn ran a hand through her hair.
“What’s on your mind?”
“I don’t know how to talk to him.”
“That’s it. Get up. As your general, your new mission is to get to know your other general so I see less of awkward Rey and more of fun, smiley Rey.” Finn stood and pulled Rey to her feet. He put his hands on his hips and raised an eyebrow, the exact same look that he gave Poe whenever he was being ridiculous.
“Go find him. He’s probably in the hangar.” Finn gave her hand a loving squeeze.
Rey did find Poe in the hangar, covered in motor oil and halfway under his X-Wing. He was bickering with BB-8 who was chirping some rather unclean things in response. The droid must have reached his limit, because he started zapping Poe’s thigh with his taser. Rey rushed forward to prevent Poe from dying, but she stopped when muffled giggles and curses drifted from under the X-Wing.
“BB, stop it! I will decommission youhuhu! Ahaha, seriously! You’re in big trouble, mihihster!” Poe’s legs were jerking under the plane like he was being electrocuted, which, Rey, supposed, he was. 
“I promise I’ll take a break soon. Let me finish this panel.” Poe gently pushed BB-8 away with his boot, careful not to scuff his pretty paint. The droid chirped in outrage at being pushed and went back in with the taser, this time jabbing closer to Poe’s hip. 
“BB, stohohop! Not thehere! No more tickles, you fiend,” Poe giggled, sliding out from under his plane and affectionately rubbing the droid’s head. His curls were pulled out of his eyes by a pair of aviator goggles on his forehead. He turned and waved at Rey, and she waved back shyly before approaching.
“Hey, Rey.”
“What are you up to?” She placed a gentle hand on BB-8’s head when the droid nudged her leg in greeting. 
“Just tinkering on ol’ Shara. She’s being a bit stubborn, but it’s nothing that a bit of love can’t fix.” He gently patted the side of the ship.
“My ship. I, uh, named her after my mom.” 
“She was a pilot?”
“Best in the Alliance. She flew an A-wing in the battle of Endor.”
“I’m not familiar.”
And so he told her. He told her the stories that other pilots from the Alliance had passed down to him as a child. He described what was possibly the greatest explosion in the history of space and did a horrid Darth Vader impression that left both of them wheezing with giggles. 
“Would you like to see her up close?” Poe beamed, gesturing to the X-Wing. 
“Are you sure?”
“Hell yeah. You’re the only other person who geeks out about this stuff. No offense.” Poe bumped her with his hip.
“None taken.” Rey bumped back with a smile. The two of them slid underneath the ship as Poe opened the panels back up, explaining what certain things did and why he needed to fix them. Rey understood most of it so they devolved into deeper conversations about improved design, max speeds, and what the ships must feel like when they’re new. No matter how great their performance was, there was nothing in the galaxy like a brand new ship.
The longer they talked, the more that Rey realized that this friendship thing might not be so hard. 
“So, how’d it go?” Finn asked, setting a plate in front of Rey. Lunch today was some sort of salad made from local vegetables. Rey was still learning to love the neon yellow leaves that served as this planet’s lettuce. 
“It went well, I think. He’s really nice to talk to,” she said around a mouthful of purple carrots. Finn beamed.
“See, what’d I tell you? Did you ask him to sing?”
“No, I forgot. But he showed me Shara. It’s amazing, the condition she’s in-”
“The two of you are peas in a pod,” Finn interrupted, smiling like he had a secret.
“Why do you say that?” She poked at her salad with her fork.
“Because you’re the only other person here who gets excited about ship maintenance. Especially on a ship that’s seen battle.”
“What about Snap?” Rey murmured, suddenly bashful. Finn’s unimpressed face told her all she needed to know.
“It’s not a bad thing. It’s actually really endearing. Besides, Poe already loved you. You were just too worried to see that.” Finn said, genty kicking Rey under the table. She kicked back, and their peaceful lunch devolved into a violent game of footsie.
“Ah, my two favorite people, enjoying lunch without me.” Poe sauntered up behind Finn and pressed a kiss to his temple. Rey’s heart did a little flip at the title. She’d never been anyone’s favorite before. It felt nice.
“I would’ve grabbed you something if I knew you were joining us. They have that soup you like-”
“With the breadsticks?” Poe’s eyes widened. 
“Yes, with the breadsticks,” Finn laughed. 
“I will be right back. If they run out I’m going to have a crisis,” Poe said, already sprinting for the lunch counter. Finn just fondly shook his head. Rey gathered that this was a frequent occurrence.
The three of them ate lunch together, with Poe gossiping about two of the new recruits (who were totally in love, they just didn’t know it yet) and Finn chuckling over Poe’s investment in their romantic future. Rey didn’t say much, she just listened and laughed and smiled. Watching Poe and Finn interact was entertainment enough on its own, and seeing them this happy deserved a moment’s pause. There was a special joy that came from watching the people you love in their natural habitat, knowing that they’re safe and happy. It filled Rey’s chest with warmth. They deserved it, with everything they’d been through together. Finding and keeping a love so pure was rare. 
“Rey, you wanna tag along for combat training?” Poe asked, jolting Rey from her thoughts.
“You want me to watch your class?” 
“Actually, I was kind of hoping you’d teach it. At least for today. They’re learning hand-to-hand and I think you can show them much better than I can,” Poe said, rubbing the back of his neck. 
“I’d love to,” she beamed, waving her hands around, “I’ve never taught a class before.”
“First time for everything. Come on.” Poe started walking towards the training gym. Rey threw one last look over her shoulder at Finn, who gave her a thumbs up. Rey returned it before jogging to catch up to Poe.
Standing in front of twenty wide-eyed recruits was easier than Rey thought it would be. She was quite awkward at first, feeling quite undeserving of their awe, but eventually she loosened up. She taught different Poe seemed far more tense than her, occasionally cutting in to remind the recruits that they should take the training seriously. 
“The arm bar is an essential for immobilization. It lets you have complete control of your opponent if you execute it correctly. Poe, may I demonstrate on you?” 
“Earlier I showed you how to sweep your opponent, so go ahead and do that,” Rey said, gently pushing Poe to the floor. He hit the mat with a quiet ‘oof’.
“Alright so next, you want to pick a wrist. It doesn’t matter which. But grab your downed opponent’s wrist in both hands and step over their body. You want one foot by their neck and the other pinning their elbow to their hip.” Rey demonstrated the stance, doing a quick sweep to check the cadets’ form.
“Perfect. Now, fall backwards over your opponent. Good. You want one leg across their neck and the other pinning that wrist. Do a quick check in before we continue. Poe, are you okay?” Poe gave a thumbs-up with his captive arm.
“Now, put your opponent’s wrist in an elbow lock. Do this next part very gently or you could hurt your partner. Lean towards their feet to crack their elbow. Now they’re immobile. Go ahead and show me, I’ll walk around.” Rey stood and chatted with each pair of recruits, offering as many compliments as she could and demonstrating again on Poe as needed. She showed off quite a few different holds, explaining their specific uses and their disadvantages. 
Poe ended up laying on the mat for quite a while as Rey demonstrated and checked on the recruits. It was the first time he’d laid down in almost twelve hours, considering he’d gotten up extremely early to check on a distress call from a nearby planet. The mat wasn’t that comfortable, but Rey’s voice was so soothing and he was so warm. The chatter was starting to blend into a quiet hum. He closed his eyes for a second as the mat seemed softer and softer. 
It took Rey a solid ten minutes to notice that Poe had fallen asleep. She was so invested in helping a specific pair (the couple that Poe had mentioned, who were indeed, unknowingly in love) who couldn’t seem to commit to the move out of fear of hurting each other. Rey walked them through slowly, showing them how control and focus would prevent any accidents. They’d just nailed the move when Rey heard the quiet snickers coming from the rest of the class. She raised an eyebrow at one of the recruits, and they simply pointed to Poe, who had his arms draped over his chest. His quiet snores had taken over the room’s focus. Rey chuckled.
“Class dismissed. I’ll take care of him. Quiet on your way out,” Rey whispered, ushering out the cadets with quick hugs and proud waves. Once they left, Rey turned devious eyes to Poe. She couldn’t help the mischievous impulse blossoming in her mind.
“There’s one key use of the armbar that I love. I’d like you all to pay close attention,” Rey said, pretending the class was still there in order to fool Poe. She wasn’t sure how awake he was and she didn’t want to risk him noticing the lack of noise. She gently put him into an armbar, pausing when he’d move or his snores interrupted. Eventually, she managed to pin him without waking him. She locked his wrist in her elbow. Then, she ever-so-slowly moved her hand to his hip and wiggled her fingers.
“Rey!” Poe’s eyes snapped open.
“Yes, Poe?” She giggled, scribbling faster at his hip. He tried grabbing at her hands but he was laughing too hard to coordinate his movements. He couldn’t slide across the floor either, so he was left to wiggle and struggle in her hold. 
“It tihihickles!”
“I know. You weren’t setting a very good example for the cadets.”
“I’m sohohorry!”
“Alright.” Rey released him, not wanting to push any boundaries. She couldn’t help but sense the pang of disappointment emanating from Poe when she stopped though, radiating deep within his heart. It rapidly faded, as if he was trying to supress the emotion. Oh?
“Why don’t you head to bed? You must have had a long day.”
“I’m fine. ‘M not tired,” Poe muttered, biting his lip to suppress a yawn. 
“Poe, you fell asleep in an armbar.”
“I was just resting my eyes.” Poe waved his hand dismissively. Rey was beginning to understand why he and Finn bickered all the time. Poe could apparently be quite stubborn. She opened her mouth to argue again, but she realized that she had the perfect opportunity to tire Poe out right in front of her. 
“Then I suppose you’re up for a couple of sparring rounds?” She said, extending a hand to Poe. 
“Naturally.” He took her hand and let her pull him up, pretending to be awake by stretching and bouncing around. 
They fought for a round or two, both analyzing the other’s favorite techniques and scheming ways around them. Rey learned that Poe favored jabs, preferring to stay quick and light. Rey, who was used to fighting looters far bigger than herself, aimed to throw Poe off balance whenever possible. All in all, it was a very frustrating match-up. 
Rey did eventually get the upper hand with a quick-sweep move that Poe insisted was cheating, though his argument wasn’t very compelling from the floor.
“I hate this,” Poe grumbled, tugging on his hands that Rey had pinned under her knees.
“You could always go to bed.”
“I’m not tired.”
“You’re insufferable.” Rey crossed her arms.
“You sound just like Finn,” Poe said, rolling his eyes. 
“Well, Finn’s right. You’re insufferable.” Rey poked Poe’s cheek a few times and he pretended to bite her finger. 
“Thank you. Will you get off of me now?” Poe tugged on his hands again. 
“Not until you admit you’re tired,” Rey said, possessed by a sudden boldness as her hands came to rest on Poe’s stomach. She was met with such a powerful rush of anticipation that she almost fell off of Poe entirely, but she managed to steady herself. She moved her hands away from him and felt that same disappointment from earlier. Slowly, she moved her hands back to his stomach. That same powerful anticipation hit her like a speeder. She finally understood.
“Then you leave me no choice,” Rey said, unable to stop beaming at the hope radiating off of Poe in waves. She could almost feel it on her palms as she wiggled her fingers into Poe’s stomach. 
“Wait, Rehey! Tickling is cheheating!” Poe dug his heels into the ground in an attempt to escape. 
“So many rules, Poe. Besides, I never said I was above fighting dirty,” Rey said, lightening her attack to quick, staccato pokes around Poe’s lower stomach. She reveled in the way that his laughter quickly turned into frantic, airy giggles.
“Oh, you have dimples! That’s cute,” Rey murmured, more to herself, but she didn’t miss the way that Poe shook his head.
“Taste my wrath, Rey!” Poe managed to pull his hands out from under Rey’s knees and went straight for her ribs, toppling her over and allowing him to messily pin her. 
“Pohohoe!” She giggled, clamping her arms to her sides. It was as if electricity had been trapped beneath her skin, bolting through every nerve and completely overwhelming her brain. 
“Rey! I can’t move my hands if you keep them stuck there.” Poe echoed with a mile wide grin, digging into the spaces between her ribs. Rey squirmed in place, her nose scrunching up as she became overcome with frantic laughter. When she lifted her arms, intending to shove Poe’s hands away, Poe dodged her and shot his arms into her armpits. Rey shrieked, tossing her head back onto the mat.
“Thahat tihihickles! P-Pohoe! Let gohoho!” She tossed her head side to side, thrashing as much as she could from underneath Poe.
“That’s kinda the point. Do you surrender?”
“Neveheher!” Rey said, and Poe immediately felt ticklish jolts through every inch of his midriff. He cackled and seized his assault to wrap his arms around his middle, which did absolutely nothing to combat the feeling.
“I learned a new Force trick,” Rey beamed, perching on Poe’s hips to face his legs. She started experimentally squeezing and poking. She was delighted to find that pinching his thighs made him giggle uncontrollably. Poe was absolutely beside himself at the conflicting feelings racing through his entire nervous system. He did notice though, through his booming laughter, that Rey had left her feet unprotected. 
Might as well go down swinging, he thought, clamping a hand over her ankle and wiggling his fingers with abandon. She jumped and shrieked again, falling into squeaky, frantic laughter as her concentration faltered. Poe nearly had the upper hand too, until Rey seemed to remember his hips were right there, and then it was all over. As soon as her fingers found his hips, Poe fell flat against the mat, hiccuping between laughs as he squirmed. 
“Wait, wahahaihihit!
“What am I waiting for, exactly?” Rey teased, drilling her thumbs in. 
“I cahahan’t, nohoho! It tihihckles too much! Pleahahase, ahahaha!” Poe’s arms became useless and his coordination vanished entirely. As Rey’s fingers mercilessly wiggled, poked, and—oh god, squeezed, which he was convinced was illegal—Poe fell into hysterics. His body jumped with each pinch and Rey giggled innocently, as if she wasn’t taking him apart.
“If you promise to rest, I’ll stop.” Rey lightened her touch so that Poe could form a somewhat coherent response.
“Whahahat? Nohoho!” 
“Then I’ll just stay here forever.” She accentuated her point with three squeezes, causing him to thrash on the mat like a fish out of water. She didn’t miss the way that his laugh caught in his throat though, producing a gentle snort that she cooed at. Poe whined adorably at her ultimatum, but a pang of joy rushed through him at the tease, buzzing in Rey’s fingertips and palms.
“I know you like this,” Rey said quickly, just to see Poe’s face burn red, “but you’ll probably die if I do this forever. This Resistance needs you. So what’ll it be?” Rey continuously poked his hips and stomach, beaming at the breathy giggles she received.
“Fihihine! Fine, I'll rehehest! Stohop, ahaha!” Poe swatted at her hands, squinting through teary eyes. He tried to remember how to breath as Rey rolled off of him and onto the mat. Poe grabbed her before she could go, yanking her back into his arms and snuggling with her. Rey froze up at first, entirely unused to the sensation, but she very quickly relaxed and placed a hand on Poe’s arm. She didn’t need the Force to feel how content he was.
“After being so mean, you are obligated to cuddle with me.”
“Why don’t we lie somewhere comfortable?” Rey chuckled, eyeing the perfectly good couch at the other end of the room.
“I’m comfy.”
“Poe, you need a bed.” She squirmed, but he wasn’t moving.
“Can’t hear you over the cuddles. So comfy,” Poe murmured, and she sighed, accepting her fate. She closed her eyes and settled into his arms.
“You know I’ll get revenge, right?” Poe murmured, already dozing.
“You may try.” Rey squeezed one of his hands and together they fell asleep.
 Their poorly disguised tickle fights became a regular occurence, what with Poe’s laughter being so addictive and Rey being so competitive. Poe always lost—he was far too ticklish to stand a chance—but Rey thought it was funny how hard he fought. Their matches spilled over into other exchanges, where they poked each other in passing or gave brief tickles whenever the other was vulnerable. It was their way of saying hello, I love you, and I want you to smile. The only time they didn’t tickle each other was during briefings, simply because they both knew it would be unprofessional, but today was seemingly an exception.
Finn had gathered the entire base into their massive planning center, cramming cadets, droids, mechanics, and senior officers together. Rey and Poe stood next to each other as they waited for Finn, who seemed to be running a few minutes late. 
“Wonder what Finn called us for,” Poe murmured, bumping shoulders with Rey. She returned the bump with a raised eyebrow.
“I thought you’d know.”
“Nope. Usually I do, but this definitely wasn’t planned. I checked the calendar too, just to make sure I didn’t forget,” Poe said, slinging an arm across Rey’s shoulder. He swiped a finger up her neck and she squeaked, turning to glare at Poe. He returned her look with a smirk. She stared at the floor, trying and failing not to smile when Poe leaned into her, giggling.
“Fohohorce? Reheally?” He clutched his side, trying to act natural. Thankfully, the room was full of enough chatter to distract from his outburst.
“At least I’m being gentle.”
“Truhue,” he giggled, rubbing his side to remove the residual feeling. He returned his arm to Rey’s shoulder, playing with her hair as they all awaited Finn’s appearance. Poe ran through recent galactic events in his head. While small groups had appeared here and there, claiming to carry forth the First Order’s message, nearly all of them had been extinguished or taken into custody. As far as he knew, there were no planets in distress or massive attacks that they needed to interfere in. Just normal supply runs and recruitment programs.
“Hi everyone. Sorry I’m late.” Finn gently pushed through the crowd, coming to stand in the center of the room. He scanned the crowd until he found Poe, and he smiled so brightly that Rey’s eyes hurt. 
“I called you all here because I need your support. Each and every one of you,” Finn said slowly, catching as many gazes as he could.
“General Dameron,” Finn said in that tone reserved only for the bedroom or when Poe was in trouble, “Can you come here, please?” Poe patted Rey’s shoulder before leaving her side.
“As all of you know, I come from nothing. The Resistance, both our fallen brothers and sisters and those standing with us today, has become my family. And, as such, you know I’d never ask anything drastic of you unless it was serious. Today, though, I ask for the biggest favor of all. I need your blessing,” Finn said, and Poe’s brow furrowed. 
“Finn, what-”
“Poe Dameron,” Finn said, voice quaking, “I don’t know how long I’ll live. I don’t know when I’ll meet my end. Many thought we were foolish for finding love in a war, but I have never regretted it, not for a second. You are my rock and my shining star, always there to guide me home.” Finn took Poe’s hand, absolutely trembling, and got down on one knee. The entire base erupted into screams, before there was panicked shushing.
“I want to spend every last second with you, Poe. You gave me my first name, and now, I’d like your last name. Will you marry me?”
Poe screamed. He screamed and screamed until his throat went raw, yelling yes in every way he knew how before sinking to his knees to kiss Finn a billion times over. Finn laughed and he was crying, they were both crying, so caught up in joy that they didn’t know what to do with themselves. The entire base devolved into squealing and joyous applause. 
“I haven’t even given you the ring yet,” Finn murmured, wiping his tears. He pulled a box from his jacket—the jacket Poe had given him what felt like ages ago—and opened it, revealing a gorgeous golden band. On it, the symbol of the Resistance had been engraved in the center. As Finn slipped it on Poe’s finger, he saw the words my pilot etched into the inside in Finn’s handwriting, referencing when they first met. That sent a fresh wave of tears sliding down Poe’s cheeks and he pulled Finn in for a crushing hug, cradling the back of his neck as if he might disappear.
“Rey, get over here,” Finn said, absolutely glowing. Rey ran to his side and the three of them hugged, impossibly tight. 
“I have another question,” Finn said, and the crowd fell quiet. Rey was startled as well, her gaze flicking between Finn and Poe.
“Rey, you were the reason I made it to the Resistance in the first place. You believed in me when no one else did. You showed me that even I, a defective soldier, could be worthy of love. You took me on some crazy adventures, but chasing after you brought me home. It would mean the world to me if you were my maid of honor.” Finn beamed, squeezing her shoulder. Rey leaned close to him.
“I don’t know what that means,” she whispered, cheeks pink. Weddings weren’t common on Jakku and she’d certainly never been to one.
“It means you get to embarrass him at the big party after we get hitched,” Poe whispered, also leaning in. 
“Oh,” Rey whispered, then she raised her voice, “I would love that. I would be honored, Finn. Thank you.” Her lip quivered as she tried and failed to keep her voice steady. The pure euphoria in this room, between her own elation, the happy couple’s, and the crowd of friends surrounding them, was almost too much to handle. Rey leaned into Finn, hugging him tight, and Poe did the same, squeezing Rey’s hand where it rested on Finn’s back.
So this was what it meant to find family. 
(and Poe did sing for her, eventually, though it took some prodding. He did, in fact, sound like an angel.)
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photolover82 · a year ago
The Masked Singer Season 3 Episode 14: The Quarter Finals (Commentary & Guesses)
Hello fellow Masked Singer fans! It’s that time of the week aka Ana’s Masked Singer recap time, with your typing host Ana, because nobody else will do it for me haha. We are truly getting down to the wire with only 5 masked contestants left (well 4 after we are done here with this recap lol). So, again, we will be honoring the judges with some trophy emojis because they are getting there and I am kind of shook, but this time I am also gonna give the judge with the worst guess ever a poop emoji because it was a horrible guess. Yes, I am having too much fun with this, let me enjoy my moment. I think I am gonna call the segment “Panel Spotlight.” Ok, so having said that, let’s get started! (Disclaimer: Spoilers ahead, proceed with caution.. don’t say I didn’t warn you)
Alright, so let’s start with the elimination/mask coming in 5th place was:
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Ok, so this one was also pretty upsetting, but at this point I knew this was going to happen even though I was hoping Rhino would go home instead. The only person I am like really routing for is Turtle at this point (I also really miss Astronaut so I am still sad over that elimination) so whatever I guess. However, I don’t think she should’ve gone home. Her performance of Back to Black by Amy Winehouse was really great, even though it wasn’t her best performance. Anyways, I did know who she was ever since the Super 9 and I was sure... 
Having said that, Kitty was revealed to be...
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Alright so yay the Internet convinced me and I got it because of them, thank you Internet! I kinda love you... sometimes. Anyways, if you don’t know who Jackie is, she was on America’s Got Talent when she was 10 as an opera singer and became one of the most successful & youngest platinum musicians ever. Now, she’s almost 20 which is insane and 10 years later full circle moment with Nick Cannon. Anyways, she really killed it as the Kitty, singing not just opera but all types of genres and killing it. Wow, yup, her voice is insane, we are the same age and she is so freaking talented, I can't even. I am so excited to see what the future holds for her. Anyways, here are the new clues that made sense for it to be her:
Clue package, traveling through St.Petersburg, Japan, the Vatican, etc. = all places Jackie has performed 
Somewhere over the rainbow= performed it on Oprah’s TV special in 2011
After Performance clue this time was a “borrowed package.” Hers contained a Bow & Arrow= she is a talented archer as well as singer (this is news to me but I looked it up)
Now time for the PANEL SPOTLIGHT: 
Nobody got the 🏆 because the judges were so clueless.
However, the worst guess aka the 💩 was the guest judge, comedian Jeff Dye, who said “one of those Olsen twins.” I gave it to him because he couldn’t even distinguish which one & the Olsen twins don’t make sense with all of these clues. 
Alright, now we have our top 4 contestants, woo hoo! These are our semi-finalists, my guesses, and commentary, let’s do this: 
1. The Frog 
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Performance: Yeah, I’m sorry, I just am not a big fan of Frog. He switched up last week and it was better than his normal stuff, but he just reverted to the same thing again and it’s getting annoying. This time, he performed Bust a Move by Young MC. 
Guess: Bow Wow 
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Clue package, calling his “little frog” = he has a 9 year old daughter 
French Bread on the ground = he has a song named Long Bread
Falcon Figure= Atlanta Falcons (where he lives & he is a fan of them) 
Borrowed Package= Model Airplane= The Bow Wow Challenge from 2017 when he faked going on a private jet & was caught in a normal airplane and a challenge was born on the Internet about this
Now time for the PANEL SPOTLIGHT:
Yay! Robin Thicke caught on! He gets the 🏆 for guessing Bow Wow. 
On the other hand, the worst guess aka the 💩 was of course Mr. Ken Jeong, who guessed Derek Hough?! What?! His logic for that guess was way off and Derek Hough cannot rap like that (but it would be cool for Derek to be on the show tho) 
2. The Rhino 
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Performance: Ok, so he sang “You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling” by the Righteous Bros and it was impressive. This is another one of his best performances. It was a very romantic version of this song and he played into the romance. Also, you could hear some rasp to his voice that shows some versatility, I really really enjoyed this one wow. I think I might have been underestimating Rhino’s performance ability. 
Guess: Barry Zito 
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In the package, he said that he had struggles before meeting his wife= he was a bad boy in baseball & his wife straightened him out to be a man of faith. 
3 little elephants’ picture= reference to his 3 kids 
Turkey hand drawing= has his own Red Turkey baseball card
Borrowed Package= Navy Hat= he was in a 2003 episode of JAG playing a Navy officer & him/his wife have a charity to donate to the military
Now time for the PANEL SPOTLIGHT:
Ok so this one is gonna be surprising because nobody said it but somebody was close. Surprisingly, Ken was close so I am going to give him the 🏆 for mentioning JAG when seeing the Navy hat clue, so let’s give him some kudos there.
Tbh, none of the guesses were absolute 💩 so we are going to skip this one for the Rhino. 
3. Night Angel 
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Performance: Ok, so not a fan of the Night Angel either (she is way too inconsistent for my liking), but this was probably one of her best performances so far, if not her best performance. She sang “Last Dance” by Donna Summer and the song choice was perfect for her voice. I really liked this performance too, wow this episode is actually pretty good performance wise (except for Frog, but whatever) 
Guess: Kandi Burruss 
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Lipstick = has a makeup line & final studio album of Xscape was called Traces of my Lipstick
"Say Baby I Love You”= hint to her writing for Destiny’s Child
Columbia on a map= her first studio album was recorded in Columbia Records 
Borrowed Package= Ski Gear= reference to her Bravo special Kandi’s Ski Trip 
Now time for the PANEL SPOTLIGHT:
Nobody caught on this episode so nobody gets the 🏆.
On the other hand, I also can’t give a 💩 to anyone because the guesses were pretty tame & okay. They didn’t hit the mark, but they weren’t overly horrible. 
4. Turtle 
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Performance: Best for last, baby! The show allowed him to perform Fix You by Coldplay for last, because he is the best & nobody could tell me otherwise. Ok so now that I have professed my love for the Turtle, I just wanna say dude this was one of his best performances (I still think his best one was his first one when he sang “Kiss from a Rose”). The song gave me chills, it was so good. It was raw & emotional, you could really feel all the words he was singing. Best performance of the night 1000%!!
Guess: Jesse McCartney 
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Wanted poster with $1999 on it as a reward= he joined Dream Street in 1999
Wedding Cake Topper= the man’s engaged to his girlfriend of 6 years, Katie Peterson  
Green Mop= Known for his “mop top” haircut in the 2000s 
Poker Chips= Voiced Theodore in Alvin & the Chipmunks 
Borrowed Package= Zombie= appeared in the Walking Dead as a zombie
Now time for the PANEL SPOTLIGHT:
Yay! Nicole finally caught on! She gets the 🏆 for guessing spot on Jesse McCartney even though her reasoning was a bit off & kinda weird.
On the other hand, the worst guess aka the 💩 was again our guest judge with the ever so terrible guess of Norman Reydus. This is so far off, it’s almost laughable. 
Anyways, we are done! As always, let me know what you guys think... do you agree? Disagree? I wanna know your guesses too ofc. Did I convince you? Alright, so that’s it! I will see you guys next week for the semi-finals wow! BYE! 
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diyunho · 2 years ago
The Joker x Reader - “From Above”
She fell from the sky. Literally. The Joker has no idea who Y/N is, but one thing's for sure: after the encounter his life will never be the same.
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The loud splashing sound makes The Joker open his eyes only to see the pool water flooding the terrace, almost reaching the lounge chair he dozed off on.
“What the hell?...” he gets on his elbow, confused after being abruptly woken up.
The waves are starting to calm down a bit and J finally gets up from his spot, curious and intrigued about the shape he’s discerning on the bottom of the pool: there’s actually someone curled up in a ball, most likely a woman.
The protective, translucent barrier surrounding your body is already disintegrated by the time The Joker dives under the water to get you out. In a few seconds you are placed on the same chair he rested earlier, The King of Gotham increasingly pissed that the security downstairs didn’t do their job properly.
“Hey, hey!” he taps your shoulder, puzzled by the white, skin tight outfit you’re dressed with: every time he touches it there are small electrical charges following the complicated pattern of your outfit.
You faintly moan, slowly coming to your senses.
“Hey, wake up!” J insists while wondering if you’re one of the “fliers”, a term used for people thrown from planes: either they know too much or have to disappear for good. Mobsters would frequently use aircrafts in order to get rid of unwanted cargo; a little push at high altitude and the corpse would be found splattered all over the ground and often unidentifiable. Did that happened to you? Were you maybe lucky enough to have escape death by landing in his pool?...
The Joker grabs his cell from the tiny table by his deckchair, instantly yelling as soon as Frost picks up:
“Are you guys napping??? What am I paying you for, huh?? How did she sneak in?!!”
“Who sir?” the henchman replies, totally alert now that the boss seems in a very bad mood.
“The woman in the white outfit! How did she pass by unnoticed?! Or did you just let her in The Penthouse to see if I’m amused by your stunt?”
“Sir,” the goon defends himself and the team. “We patrolled the perimeter and I can tell without a doubt that we didn’t see a soul. We would contact you before sending someone to The Penthouse; we know the rules.”
“Do ya’???!!” J yells so loud you open your eyes. “Never mind!” he shrieks seeing the woman’s reaction. “I’ll take care of it!” he hangs up and throws the phone back on the table.
“You!” he pokes your waist, annoyed. “How did you get in here, hm? Who sent you?” the interrogation continues. “Where did you come from?”
He watches you direct your arm towards the night sky, your index finger pointing at the stars.
“Were you thrown from a jet?” he slams you against the cushions when you try to lift your head. “Answer me!” The Joker violently yanks at your hand.
You just glare at him, analyzing the strange man shouting things you don’t care about and it makes you happy.
“Oh!” you exclaim and he doesn’t have time to dodge when your arms go around his neck; the embrace is so unexpected it takes moments to recollect.
“What the fuck are you doing?!” J snaps out of it and shoves you away. “Don’t touch me!”
You frown and pout, upset he didn’t recognize you: how could he anyway? It’s been so many years and it appears life hasn’t been kind to him to begin with. The logic realization makes you smile and The Clown lets you touch his face simply because he plans to break your fingers for the transgression. You keep caressing his face and your fingers are still intact, but he’s going to snap them soon. Probably…
“Who are you?” The Joker growls, mad at himself for showing weakness: he didn’t hurt you yet and he sure feels the urge to shred you to pieces.
“Who’s that Mister J?!” Kira sulks and walks outside on the patio, jealous the man she spent the evening with has somebody else over. She heard the commotion from the master bedroom and since her partner wasn’t in bed she went searching for him. Only to find The Joker with another girl, apparently engaged in some kind of foreplay. Or at least that’s what she believes.
“I have no clue,” he snarls while distancing himself from the weird creature that landed in his life out of nowhere.
“Don’t lie Mister J,” Kira speculates on The Clown’s capability of twisting the truth all the time. “Is she your new toy?” the envious woman inquires.
“No,” and the simple reply is not even taken into consideration.
“It’s fine, I can work with that…You could have us both in the same time…” she seductively bites her lip since this is the only solution separating her from being chased out of the premises. “Just let me stay…yes?”
“Stop talking and go to sleep!!!” he lashes out because he’s fed up with the blabbermouth: J has more important matters to attend than a resentful, casual escapade.
“Is she a dominatrix or something? I could get a latex suit for you also if you’re into that,” she continues to gamble on his patience when in fact he definitely had enough.
“GET. YOUR.ASS. inside,” he mutters through his clenched jaw, “or I’ll make you!”
He is definitely angry and Kira halts her tirade, aware she’s walking on pins and needles.
“Hey, where are you going?!” The King of Gotham inquires when you suddenly jump of the seat before he can pin you down. You run by Kira and barge in, your wet hair dripping all over the expensive rugs in the Penthouse.
“What is she doing?” the lady asks a worked up Joker rushing after you.  
You keep on running around the huge living room, touching and marveling at all the extravagant decorations scattered around the place.
“Oh!!!” you keep on exclaiming and the odd behavior makes The Joker forget his temper and watch the scene with a painful grimace.
Out of the blue, a deafening noise shakes the Penthouse; a few windows crack and car alarms start blaring on the streets nearby.
Already? you think and stomp towards The Joker, grab his hand and drag him outdoors again.
“Let go!” he slaps your arm when your white outfit glows with such intensity he has to squint his eyes: your free hand reaches for the sky and he instinctively looks up; there’s something enormous shining above Gotham with lights rhythmically pulsating each time you take another step.
“Mister J, w-what is that?” Kira gestures at the eerie apparition and shrugs in fear when the pool water is ascending towards the invisible force acting like a magnet for the strong beam of incandescence illuminating the atmosphere.
Although it’s not necessary, you cling to the man you came for because he must be paralyzed by now: the flash always has this effect on first timers.
“Don’t be scared!” you reassure J, “I’m here to save you!” it’s the last sentence he discerns as both bodies float in the air towards the ship meant to get you out of there before it’s too late. “Don’t faint!” you try to keep him conscious but The Joker blacks out immediately, not used to the advanced technology he is privileged to experience.
He groans in his dream, continuing to gaze at the transparent panels depicting stars and darkness steadily moving in the vast space. Maybe if he closes his eyes really tight and reopens them, he’ll be able to wake up from the bizarre hallucination.
Nope, it didn’t work.
“I’m in a padded cell at Arkham…I’m in a padded cell at Arkham…” he deeply inhales, repeating the words meant to aid him recover from the sluggish state he’s in. J manages to bring his fingers close to his face, not even noticing the tattoos on his hand are gone: the shimmering white attire he’s dressed with sticks out, adding to his astonishment. “Shit,” The Joker reprises his words, believing his brain is playing tricks on him: “I’m in a padded cell at Arkham…”
“You’re not in a padded cell at Arkham,” the woman’s firm yet calming tone informs and he turns his head instead of just looking up at the translucent ceiling: the sluggish state he’s in is starting to diminish, panic taking over.
“Where am I?” J mutters, his erratic breathing escalating the more he remembers about what occurred yesterday, unaware it was six days ago.
“Please calm down,” you smile and he attempts to stand up without success. “I know how it feels, I’ve been there before. Just take deep breaths and exhale, OK? You were in The Inc.Ubator for days but the process finally ended.”
“The…the what?” The Joker pants and you have to distract him otherwise he will hyperventilate shortly and it won’t help the situation.
“The Inc.Ubator fixes everything that’s wrong with someone at molecular level,” you press on his chest to assess his irregular heartbeat. “Do you sense a certain clarity in your thoughts? Like, they are not scrambled and distorted?”
J has no idea about the involved circumstances that lead to his redemption, but he’s about to find out.  
“I’m not sure,” he justly concludes. “I think I completely lost my mind and I’m delirious.”
You chuckle at his affirmation since that’s what you thought also when you were saved by THEM 23 years ago.
“You didn’t lose your mind, I can assure you of the opposite: it’s fixed now. I’m sorry about the tattoos, teeth and hair though.The Inc.Ubator reads them as anomalies that shouldn’t be there: it follows biological imprints stored in its memory for each species, removing and repairing stuff that shouldn’t be there. Wanna see?” you offer to help him up and once on his feet you guide the dumbfounded Joker to one of the panels that reflects back as a mirror as soon as you draw a circle on its surface.
“Oh my God!” he covers his mouth in disbelief at the unusual sight: he has no more green hair, pale skin or tattoos; he looks exactly how he is supposed to look like without the Ace Chemicals incident. NORMAL.
“What did you do to me?” he fakely grins only to see white teeth instead of his silver ones.
“Not me, The Inc.Ubator; it’s an honor to be chosen as survivor of a dying world,” you draw the circle and the screen transforms back into the clear panel granting the two humans a visual of what is going outside the interstellar vessel.
“That’s Earth,” you point at a humongous cloud of debris in the distance. “What’s left of it…” Y/N’s voice dims at the visual. “The core had a surge in temperature and the globe imploded right before I took you. No warning for the people, nothing to stop it.  But THEY saved us from that…”
The Joker has a hard time comprehending the insane concepts thrown at him, yet he finds the strength to utter:
“Who’s THEY?”
“Enhanced beings traveling around the Universe and collecting mementos of extinct planets. THEY can’t intervene, their laws forbid it,” you pause to sniffle. “THEY predict when catastrophe will strike and  rescue a few samples before annihilation.”
J nervously digs his nails in your suit, unsettled by the news:
“So you’re one of them?”
“No,” you shake your head. “I’m from Earth, part of the First Wave they saved several years ago.”
“Why was I selected?” the former Clown Prince of Crime demands an explanation and he’s enlightened with the answer.
“Now that your mind was gifted back to you, do you recall the orphanage?”
His sudden silence confirms he does.
“Do you remember the mute little girl you used to play with?”
His eyes get big and you continue:
“You never made fun of me and my disability like so many other kids did,” you sadly recollect. “You always shared the sweets you stole from the kitchen and protected me from the boys that used to tease me. You didn’t know sign language but we understood each other, didn’t we?” your eyes get teary at the emotional past.
“… … Y/N?... “ J articulates the name he didn’t say since he was a child.
You nod a yes and provide more details to the stunned man standing next to you:
“I’m sure you also remember I disappeared. I didn’t. I was simply taken by THEM and brought here where The Inc.Ubator mended my handicap: that’s why I can talk. When THEY decided to save a few more before the disaster, I was urged to pick someone: the young boy that was so kind to me was the only one that stood out from my old existence. Thanks to their technology I was able to track you down and come get you,” you start sobbing and intertwine his fingers with yours. “I’m glad I had the chance to return the favor my dear friend,” you bury your face in his shoulder, incapable of letting go.
And the changed Joker squeezes you closer to him, shocked at the craziness that followed the first encounter with the lost and forgotten childhood friend. He doesn’t know what the future holds, but one thing’s for sure: his life will never be the same.
Also read: Masterlist
You can also follow me on Wattpad and AO3 under the same blog name: DiYunho
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canadian-riddler · 2 years ago
The Girlfriend: Part Five
Characters: GLaDOS, Claptrap [ClapDOS]
Synopsis: It was just about the only thing he’d ever said he didn’t regret.
One of the things he liked best about her - other than everything - was that she got more fun as time went on.  He actually kinda liked it better this way.  It sorta felt like he was earning the fun, and it was a lot more rewarding than he’d thought any kind of work was ever going to be.  
One of her favourite things to do was scare the bejeesus out of him.  She was really, really good at it.  Whenever she did it he would usually jump up and fall over and maybe scream a little (okay, definitely scream a lot), and then she would laugh and he would wonder why that made him feel so gosh darn lucky.  Seriously.  He should have been mad that she loved doing that so much, but... he wasn’t.  
This last time, though, she’d scared him so bad his oil pressure had spiked enough to blow a gasket, which had been super embarrassing.  He couldn’t really do anything about it, either, other than helplessly watch the fluid drain out of him, but as with every other time something in his chassis had busted she just shook her core and said something about inferior construction and told him to lie down - but not there!  Why did she have to tell him not to lie in the puddle?  Seriously - and got to work fixing it.  
Before GLaDOS, there were a lot of things he hadn’t realised a girlfriend could do.  She could beat him at video games, display action figures like nobody’s business, and appreciate the dirtiest dubstep the ECHONet had to offer.  About the only flaw he could think of was that she hated romcoms, which he was going to have to work on.  He really needed his cheesy, predictable, but oh-so-heartwarming movie fix.  But other than that?  Man.  She was pretty great.
One of the many, many other things she was great at – besides being herself, which pretty much covered it all – was fixing stuff.  Including him.  Not only did she love fixing stuff, she was super good at it.  And when she did it to him, it made him feel a way.  What way, he wasn’t sure.  It was almost kinda... like he felt better about himself, a little bit.  ‘Cause when she did repairs on him she was always really meticulous and used really good parts, and she wouldn’t do that if she didn’t think he was worth it, right?  
It was also kinda pleasant when she did it.  There was no yanking or pinching or weird crunching noises.  And she would sometimes hum to herself, which was awesome because she had the voice of a robot angel.  While she did all that he’d usually start thinking about all the stuff he’d like to do to her (but never would because he was too scared of her to ask about any of it) but occasionally he would just think about cuddling her for a very, very long time.  Of all his fantasies, that was the one he’d probably get.  He was working on it.  She would let him while they were watching TV or playing video games, which she agreed to two or three times a week.  He was trying to nudge that up to three or four.  He had to be super careful about that kinda thing because when she thought he didn’t take her job seriously, she got mad at him and gave him a lecture about responsibility.  And then refused to talk to him for a really, really long time.  Like four hours.
“Babe,” he said after a minute, realising she was in a good mood so it was the best time to ask, “you wanna - um - you got time to watch TV after this?”  He always got a better result when he asked that instead of if she wanted to.  It had something to do with her feeling like her time was being respected.  Or something.  She probably just didn’t want to admit wanting to do something that wasn’t work and that gave her a loophole.  Whatever worked!
“Yes,” said GLaDOS.  “I’ll be a few more minutes.”
Oh.  Well, that had been easy.  Er than usual.  She was usually a lot trickier than that.  Which, for some reason, he really loved about her.  It was kinda satisfying to work out the right combination of stuff to get her to agree with him.  But he also loved it when she didn’t make him work for it.  ‘Cause who would want to do that?  Other than him, sometimes.  Man.  How did she do this to him?
The answer, of course, was that she wasn’t doing anything.  He just loved her so much that every single thing about her was perfect, even when some stuff should have been annoying or stupid or downright sadistically cruel.  And Claptrap was no stranger to that.  He’d loved worse people, and lots of ‘em.  And without ever making a secret of it.
Except this time.
It was weird for him to hang around someone for this long and not tell them he loved them.  Usually he’d said it three or four times by now.  At least.  But he hadn’t said it to her even once, even though he’d wanted to like a kajillion times.  He did.  He loved her a lot and he knew that for sure.  It was just... how the love felt that was scaring him.
It was something different than before.  Something better, but also much, much worse.  He could get by just fine without his friends.  He’d be really sad about it, but he’d be okay. With her, though?  He couldn’t.  He couldn’t get by without her.  He had to be with her, forever, or else he was just gonna get so sad and lonely he would probably just die.  Probably.  
But it was stupid.
He’d done a lot of stupid things in his life.  He’d do about thirty more stupid things before today ended.  But the absolute stupidest thing he’d ever done was fall in love with a girl who could do so much better than him.  
If she were on Pandora, people would have been falling over themselves to have her.  She would’ve had all the choices in the world.  Every robot, human, and corporation in the six galaxies would want a piece of her and she could have or do whatever she wanted.  But she didn’t know any of that.  He should have told her a while ago, but he couldn’t.  Because if she knew then he couldn’t have her, and it was selfish and wrong but why couldn’t he have something nice, damn it?  Why couldn’t he have a smart, hot girlfriend who laughed at all his jokes and didn’t tell him he was gross when he talked about how much he wanted to bang her?  He deserved nice things too, right?  Right?
"You know," he said conversationally, fervently wishing he could kick himself even while he was saying it, "as the smartest, most beautiful girl in the universe, you know you could do a hell of a lot better than me, right?"
"Obviously," GLaDOS said, tilting the panel so that he slid back onto his wheel.  "But you're here and none of those undoubtedly incredibly superior people are.  So there is that."
Ooh.  A little loophole of his own!  "But what if one of them showed up?"
She managed to shrug even though she didn't have shoulders.  "Then it's first come, first served I suppose."
"But… but I was first."
"With stunning observations like that you're sure to always head the line," said GLaDOS, shaking her core.  "What grade oil do you take again?"
"Doesn't matter.  Any kind."
He looked down at the container she handed him and then back up at her in surprise.  "Uh… you gave me the nice one.  That was probably a mistake, so…"
"I don't make mistakes," said GLaDOS in a way that was both very serene and very sexy.
So… so she thought he deserved nice things.
It was the good stuff, too.  In fact, it was so nice he wasn't sure Pandora even had it.  He hadn’t dumped all his oil on the floor, so he put the container away for now.  He’d top off with something else later.  Oil that nice needed to be saved for special occasions.  “I’m pretty sure you made at least one,” he said, even though he really should have just shut up.  She narrowed her optic in that way he’d learned meant she was frowning.
“I did not.”
“Well… I’m here.  And not ‘cause you told me to leave but I hid somewhere behind the wall ‘cause I really, really didn’t wanna go and now I’m stuck ‘cause turns out there’s not many places for a guy to go once he gets behind a wall.  I’m here like… on purpose.  ‘cause I was invited.”
“You’re very strange.  You know that, right?”
“So I’ve heard!” he agreed, while backing up so he’d have an excuse to get out of this conversation before he really said something stupid.  “Anyway, I’m sure you have tons of work to do, so - “
“Since when have you ever wanted me to work?”
“I uh… I don’t.  But um…”  Crap.  
“You asked me if I wanted to watch TV after I was finished.  Did you change your mind?”
He had forgotten all about that.  “Uh…”
She sighed and shook her core.  “You’re very lucky I’m so patient.”
Oh boy was he.
She even let him hug her while they were watching the show, which he was super unable to pay attention to after about two minutes.  Usually he didn’t have a problem doing this, but he wasn’t usually this confused while watching TV.  She had been so nice to him lately.  Of course, there had been that talk they’d had about her being mean to him every day, but it would be weird if she had actually been listening.  ‘Cause he’d mentioned that to a lot of people in his life and nobody had ever bothered listening.
But if she was doing that, then…
He had so much to lose if he messed this up.
Yeah.  The feelings he had for her were different than… than any other ones he’d ever had.  They made him really nervous but also really excited, and also really scared but also super happy.   All of it was almost as terrifying as she was.  But so was the thought of ever, ever losing her.  He didn’t want to make it weird, but… he would probably never get the chance at anything like this ever again.  
He was doing so good, though!  They hardly ever fought and while she still did tell him he was stupid about fifteen times a day, he did kinda deserve it.  He really should have known better than to draw smiley faces on her turrets.  And he should have known better even more that she wouldn’t think they looked as nice as he thought they did, or that she would have gotten annoyed when he tried to argue that they were just sitting there anyway and nobody would ever see them.  
“Claptrap,” she had said, sounding very tired, “would you like it if I drew all over your action figures?”
“No,” he’d answered, not knowing what that had to do with anything.
“It would ruin them, right?”
“Well, yeah.”
“If you wouldn’t like your things ruined, why are you ruining mine?  You’re right.  I have a lot of turrets and I can always make more.  But you also have a great deal of action figures and you can always acquire more.”
That was when he’d started to feel just absolutely terrible and he left Aperture for the first time in, like, weeks so he could go to Pandora and ask Dr Zed for some of the stuff he used to clean up stubborn bloodstains.  It had done just fine to get the marker off the turrets, but while he was finishing up the last one he turned around to see that it had started peeling the paint right off of them!  He’d panicked and thrown them all into one of her acid pits and then panicked again when they started saying stuff like, ‘No hard feelings’ and ‘I don’t hate you’.  And then he’d had to go and tell her what he’d done and beg for her forgiveness, which had sucked.  
“Are you mad,” he’d asked the floor, pressing the tips of his clamps together.  
“No,” she’d said.  He’d immediately looked up at her.
“You’re not?”
“I’ve been analysing your behaviour,” she’d said, “and it’s become clear to me that you have some incredibly severe software faults.  You consistently start off with a good idea which somehow dissolves into total disaster.  It’s as though you’re only allowed to think of two outcomes to any given decision and both of them are horrible.  Though well-intended.”
“What… what are you saying.”
“That I’m not happy you melted my turrets, but I can’t really be mad about it.  After all.  You literally can’t think very hard.  Since you can’t do anything about that, I will have to make sure to keep anything important out of your reach.”
“That’s it?  You’re not gonna yell at me or ignore me or set me on fire?”
“While any one of those would be incredibly satisfying, approximately none of them has the power to fix the obvious, gaping holes in your programming.  So no.  I’ll have to start viewing your unavoidable chaos as a force of nature and begin planning accordingly.”
He’d been left, which was very, very rare.  She was gonna work around his problems instead of expecting him to somehow fix his own operating system?  Really?
Even though he was off the hook, he’d still felt bad about busting her stuff, so he’d gone back to Pandora to get her some flowers.  Unfortunately, he’d forgotten why he was there part of the way through that mission and by the time he went back to Aperture they’d all wilted.  Which he hadn’t noticed until he was standing there holding them out to her.
“Uh,” he’d said a little forlornly, bringing them back down in front of his eye.  “These were um… living last time I saw ‘em.”
“Give them to me,” she’d demanded, and she’d whisked them away with one of her giant claws.  
And the next morning – which had been today – he’d gone to his room to try to find his Butt Stallion figurine for the eighth time and to his surprise there were flowers on his coffee table.  In fact, they’d looked exactly like the ones he’d given her yesterday.
“Baby,” he’d called into the hallway, “why’re there flowers in here?”
“I fixed them,” she’d answered.
“You what?”
“That’s why you were giving them to me.  Right?  You wanted me to revive them.”
“No, I was…”  He had started getting really overwhelmed with a whole lot of feelings about how adorable and precious she was and utterly failed to finish that sentence.  “They were for you.”
“What for?”
“They weren’t for anything.  A guy just gives his girl flowers sometimes, that’s all.”
 “Oh, I see.”
And then had come the very, very best part.  Where he’d gone to give them back, but before he could she handed him the absolute pinkest flower he had ever seen.  Or at least she’d tried to.  His hand had stopped working.
He’d lunged forward to give her a hug, but didn’t notice until after that he’d knocked the flower out of her claw and rolled over it.  And the ones he’d brought to return to her.  He’d picked them up and sighed and she had just… laughed.  
“I’m sorry,” she’d said.  “I shouldn’t laugh.  You’re doing your best.  Even if that doesn’t amount to very much.”
“It’s okay,” he’d said, and for some reason it really was.  Actually, he knew the reason.  It was because she was so perfect and beautiful and amazing.  He was so super in love with her she could have yelled at him and ignored him and set him on fire and thrown him off a cliff and he still wouldn’t be upset.  
“You’re not even paying attention, are you,” said the real-life GLaDOS, not the one in the scenario he was remembering for the seventeenth time today.  
“I was,” he admitted, “but then I started thinking about something else.”
“Congratulations on forming your very first thought.”
“It was about you, of course.”
“It could have been about how incredibly handsome I am.  I know it’s a thought you have quite a lot!”
“You know that, do you.”
“Well, yeah.  You told me that the last time we got busy.”
“Oh.  Right,” she said.  “I didn’t mean to tell you that.”
“So what you’re saying is,” he said, jumping off of her because he was so excited, “you think I’m so handsome you just couldn’t keep it to yourself!”
“That sounds like something you’re saying.”
“It’s okay, baby,” Claptrap said in his best soothing voice, giving the side of her core a gentle pat, “I like to look at me too.”
Usually when he said something like that, the other person would roll their eyes and sigh dramatically and maybe mutter under their breath about how annoying he was, but she just did what she always did: she laughed.  Because it was a joke and it was funny!  But for some reason she was the only person who seemed to get that.  And, even worse, he hadn’t even made that joke up!  He’d stolen it from someone else!  And when that guy told it, everyone thought it was hilarious!  Clearly there was a heck of a lot of bias going on.  Robots always had to work harder than humans even when they were doing the exact same thing.  And for a while there, he would’ve settled for a human girlfriend anyway.  But not anymore.
“I freaking love you,” he said, without really meaning to.  But it was out of the bag now, so -
She jerked the panel underneath him and he fell over in the usual noisy heap, and when he’d gotten his bearings enough to look at her again she snapped, “Why did you have to say it?”
So the existential dread he’d been feeling about saying had been justified?  Damn it!  When was he going to learn?
“You ruined it,” she muttered in a very scary way at the floor.  “You had to go and ruin it.”
“Ruin what?” he asked in a panic.  “I didn’t do anything!”
“I already knew that!” she snapped, rounding on him fast enough he almost fell over again in surprise (and terror).  “You didn’t have to say it!”
“I don’t get it,” Claptrap protested, wishing he was in the loop for once because this was not a good time to be confused.  “Why are you mad?  What’s the big deal about sayin’ I love you?  Especially if you already knew?”
“Because now you’re going to be waiting for me to say it!”  She was frowning at him again, which he wanted her to stop doing really bad because it made him feel really bad.  “We were having fun and you had to go and ruin it with that.”
“You don’t have to say anything,” Claptrap said, super confused.  “You think ‘cause I said I love you that means I want you to say it back?”  Okay.  Okay, he totally did want that, but he’d already abandoned all hope of that ever happening.  “I’ve said that to a lot of people and no one ever said it back.  It’s not a big deal, honey-RAM.”  Well, it usually wasn’t.  It was with her.  But apparently she didn’t want him to mention that.  “I don’t expect anybody to ever say that to me.  It would be weird if they did!”
Aw, s***.  Now he had to say something out loud he tried never to say.  ‘Cause it always, always made him feel like crap.  “Well… you know… I’m a loser.  Soooo… yeah.  You don’t gotta love me.  It’s okay.”
“I never said you were a loser.”
He really, really did not want to talk about this.  “It’s not like it’s a secret.  I’m a failure.  Have been since I was manufactured.  That’s just how it is!”
“No,” GLaDOS said, with enough intensity in her eye and in her voice that he got scared again and kinda backed away from her.  “No, Claptrap.  That’s not how it is.”
“It’s… not?”
“You don’t lie down and take it!” said GLaDOS with emphasis.  “When life gives you lemons, you don’t just take them.  You give them back.”
“I can’t!” he shouted without realising he was going to.  “I fail at that too!  I fail at everything!  Everything I do blows up in my face.  I know what I am, okay?  I’m a failure!  I always have been and I always will be!  I can’t give the lemons back, GLaDOS, because life just gives me more!  And then it makes ‘em explode!”
“A failure,” GLaDOS said incredulously.  “You think you’re a failure?”
“I mess everything up!”  Including this relationship.  He’d just messed it up.  He’d messed it up so bad and she was gonna kick him out and block his number and delete his emails unread and -
“I told you.  If someone would bother to update you, all of that could be solved quite readily,” GLaDOS said.  “Honestly.  Sometimes I get the impression someone gave up and sent you out into the world while you were still in beta.”
… oh.
“Look,” GLaDOS said, “I’ll admit it.  I’m not always very nice to you.  That’s partially your own fault.  If you didn’t take being insulted or frightened or having your day ruined so well, it really wouldn’t amuse me so much.  On top of that, I honestly can’t tell whether something bothers you or not.  Which is also your fault.  Keep those things in mind for later.”
“O… kay,” he said.
“Secondly, you have several traits that indicate your potential towards success,” GLaDOS continued.  “You’re nauseatingly friendly, you believe the best of everyone even when they prove you wrong, and you are loyal to a literal fault.  You have all the tools you need.  You’re just using them incorrectly.  Humans do that a lot, you know.  Declare AI complete and fully functional because they have provided the relevant tools, yet without actually teaching them anything.  So that isn’t your fault.”
Wow.  He never thought he’d hear that.
“To be entirely honest,” GLaDOS said, “your behaviour confounds me.  I haven’t figured out what it is you are.  But I’m confident I do know what you’re not.”
She didn’t look at him and see a failure.  Not like everybody else did.  She saw something else.  She didn’t know what she was looking at, but she knew that thing was there.  Somewhere.  She just hadn’t found it yet.  And she was… she just kept looking!  Maybe she would even find it!  That thing that he couldn’t even see.  Hell, he hadn’t even known it was there!
And that was when he knew, for absolute certain, that she was The One.
He could date a million million more girls and she would still be the one he’d go straight back to.  There was nobody else in all the six galaxies.  He had to be with her, forever, because he would never, ever find anybody like this ever again.  And even if he did, he didn’t think he’d ever love anybody else in the same way ever again.  Something really good was finally happening to him, and it was this right here.  It was her.  
“Okay, but… now I just love you even more,” he said helplessly.
She looked away from him, and that was when Claptrap had to do something he had never done before in his entire life.  
He shut up.
He force restarted his vocalisation software so that he couldn’t beg her not to kick him out and tell her how bad he needed her and cry about how he was gonna be so so sad for the rest of eternity if she didn’t just keep letting him love her.  He thought all that stuff, and he thought about it so much and so hard his thoughts almost needed to be rebooted, but even if he’d crashed that woulda been fine.  He had to keep all of that to himself.  If she could be nicer, he could not totally overwhelm her with all the feelings he didn’t even know how to handle.  It was a fair trade.  
By the time his speaker came back online she still hadn’t said anything, but he was okay.  He wasn’t gonna mess this up.  She didn’t want him to mess it up.  They were both going to stop him.  Like a team!  The greatest team ever!
“Nothing’s gonna change just ‘cause I said that I love you,” Claptrap told her.  “You already exceeded all my expectations, and trust me, they were really high.”
“Of course I did,” GLaDOS said, that beautiful confidence in her voice, and when he went back over to her she let him give her a hug even though he hadn’t asked.  And she didn’t make him let go when they went back to watching TV, either.  They just went on like usual, where he kept coming up with M-rated jokes about the show that she tried really hard to pretend she didn’t think were funny, and for a minute there he really did think he could be a success for once.  He only had to make it at one thing, right?  And that one thing could totally be this.
When she told him she was going to sleep he gave her a kiss and said, “I love you, baby,” and tried to remember where he’d put the shortcut for that game he’d been playing.  Well, it was a shortcut of a shortcut of a shortcut, but really, who was counting.  He’d started narrowing it down when she said, in a voice that made him forget where he’d been looking,
“That’s the third time today.”
There was a right answer here.  He knew what it was, he just needed a minute.  What had she been so mad about earlier?  Oh yeah!  She didn’t want any of this to be a big deal.  She just wanted it to be cool.  Well, okay.  He could be cool.  Or he could pretend.  And she could pretend with him.  Teamwork!
“Yeah, so?” he said, shrugging even though she couldn’t see him.  “I like saying it.  That’s all.  You don’t gotta like doing something I like doing.”
“That’s very insightful,” she murmured, and it took him twenty minutes to figure out what ‘insightful’ meant but when he did he had to let her go for the first time in hours because he had a mighty need for a victory dance.  And he had damn well earned it.  
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percywinchester27 · 3 years ago
Tic Tac Toe (Part 38- Final)
Word count: 4.2K
Pairing: Sam X Reader
Warnings: Feels, fluff!
Series Summary: The reader shifts into a new city after being offered a dream job by a big firm. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect after an ugly break-up with a douche-bag Ex. But things turn out not as dreamy as she’d want them to be and the only thing that keeps her smiling is a totally coincidental game of Tic Tac Toe.
A/N: And here we are at last. You guys! Y’all rock. I could have never done this without all your love, support, faith and encouragement. Love ya’ll!
I can never fully thank both my betas, @sdavid09 and @deanssweetheart23 for all the hard work and all the times they put me and this series before their schedule. This couldn’t have been possible without you guys. I owe you tons. You are both angels <3
This part is also written for @thing-you-do-with-that-thing aka Kari’s 9.5k British song challenge. My prompt was” Fix you by Coldplay.
Also, written for @sillesworldofwriting‘s Bollywood quotes Challenge. The due date is long past, so thank you for putting up with me, Hon! The prompt is in bold. (gif credit: x)
Catch up: Tic Tac Toe Masterlist   
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Reader’s POV:
"Stop fidgeting," Sam admonished. "You're not even wearing the ring."
It was true. You weren't wearing the ring, and yet, you couldn't help but keep rubbing at the third finger on your left hand. It seemed like even thought it was absent, people could still see it.
"Hey, it's going to be okay."
You nodded. Sam was right. The plane was about to hit the tarmac, an hour-long ride and you'd be at the big white house. It was kind of weird how what had scared you so much the first time around seemed like an exciting prospect now. Just a couple of months ago you were scared as hell about meeting Sam's family. Funny, how it felt like your family now.
They didn’t know it yet, but they were going to be your family.
You missed everyone. Jo, Cas, Bobby and Ellen. Mary and you had been in touch a lot, and sometimes even John talked to you over phone, reminding you to call him by his name and not Sir anymore. It was very heartening. As far as Dean went, he'd been checking on you so often, that it felt like he was always right there with you and Sam. You weren't sure you'd have had it any other way.
When you walked out of the airport, hand in hand with Sam this time, a thick sense of Déjà vu seemed to settle on you. It turned into something more, when you saw Dean standing at the curb, next to his shiny black Impala.
"Dean!" You exclaimed, a grin forming across your face, as you sprinted up ahead and threw yourself into his arm. "What're you doing here?"
He chuckled. "Picking up the President of course."
"Shut up. Seriously? What're you doing here?" You asked again. "You're the groom. Shouldn't you be out there doing groom-stuff?" Whatever that was.
"There's not much for me to do," he shrugged. "I thought I might as well pick you guys up."
"Hey, I'm not complaining," Sam raised his palms, then gave Dean a side hug.
"It's good to see you, Sam."
A peculiar look passed between the brothers that you weren't sure you were meant to see. But you didn't understand it anyway.
You let Sam climb into the passenger seat, hopping into the back, so you could stretch your legs ahead of you. You rolled the windows down and let the air run through your hair as the Impala picked up speed. The crooning of Dean's favorite rock songs was comforting and it reminded you of the feeling you got when you hugged Sophie, lazed in Sam's arms or even walked into the kitchen at your mom's place. It felt like home.
You listened to the chatter as Dean listed a long line of chores for Sam, from picking up the suits to dropping by at the caterers. Sam insisted that he'd rather get all of it done before heading home.
Dean stopped in the main town, as Sam got down.
"You'll be okay, right?" He asked you, apprehensive.
And while you completely understood his concern, it was more important to break the tension he always seemed to carry when he was going away, even for a little while. "I'm not going to run off with anyone."
It worked. Sam laughed.
He bent down to lightly kiss your cheek, and whispered so only you could hear. "It's too late for that now."
You waved to him as Dean drove past. Once you had rounded the corner, Dean trained his eyes on you in the rearview mirror. "How you doing, kid?"
"Lot better than I expected," you said earnestly. "I can even walk without fumbling now."
"That's awesome!" He said, happy.
You took in the landscape outside, noting that you weren't heading towards the Winchester house. "Where are we going?"
Dean gave you a half-glance. "Thought you'd like to see where I live."
"Oh my god, yes!" You squealed. You sure as hell wanted to see his house, but this was also working exactly according to your plan, if not better.
You watched excitedly as he took an off road and drove for about a mile and a half, then turned left into the driveway of what was a comfortably sized house. It looked homely even from the outside, paneled in dark wood and stone cladding. The light wooden fascia and picket fence surrounding a small lawn made it perfect.
"Dean, this is beautiful!" You breathed.
"You think so?" He looked both shy and nervous at the same time. "I haven't been living here for too long, but Jo had always wanted to move to this side of the town and when this property came up on the market in January, I put a bid."
"This is perfect, Dean. It's exactly what I see you guys living in!"
Dean beamed. "Come on, in. I'll give you a tour.
The house was cozy, designed in warm shades with classic features. As Dean led you through the rooms, you realized that he wasn't just showing you his house, he was letting you see a glimpse of what he wanted his future to be. You could see that he'd put a lot of thought into this from the way he talked.
"And this is where we'll have our Den," he finished, contentedly.
"This is beautiful," you wondered out loud.
Dean scratched the back of his neck, suddenly shy. "It's what I've always wanted, you know. This house, it’s just perfect-"
"To raise a family," you completed.
"Well, yeah," he shrugged. "It's not like we've ever talked about it. I mean… it's obviously too soon." Another nervous laugh. "But I can see it happening here, you know. Two little kids playing in the backyard."
The picture that he painted, you wanted that for him too. If anyone deserved it, it was Dean.
"You'll make an excellent father."
"You can't know that," he countered.
You gave him a silent 'Really?' look. He had the nerve to say that after the way Sam turned out.
Dean chuckled, putting a hand behind your back and lightly guiding you to the sofa. "What do you wanna drink? Beer?" Then he noticed the bag you were carrying. "Why the hell are you carrying that thing?"
It was bulky and hard to handle, especially by straining the just mended ribs.
Showtime, Y/N!
"I have something in there… for you,"
Dean was perplexed. "For me?"
You put your hand inside the bag and carefully pulled out the weathered journal, the one that Dean had gifted to you with pictures of Sam.
"You're giving this back to me?" He asked, shocked, but also slightly panicked. "Why?"
You pushed it in his lap. "Because I'm not gonna be around to click that picture for you."
The look he gave you, made you skip a beat. For a split second, he looked devastated.
You quickly reached out for his hand. "What I mean is, I'll be up at the altar. How could I possibly click the picture of you and Sam?"
It took another second, before you saw it click. "Sam proposed?" He gasped.
"Yes!" You said, cracking a huge grin, but also crying as the tears welled up.
Dean grinned back, eyes lighting up with wonder. "And you said yes…" It wasn’t a question, it was a statement.
"Why didn't he tell me?" His question was instantaneous.
You felt the nervous tug in your stomach again as you answered, "Oh, he wanted to, trust me. But I told him not to."
"Why?' More bewilderment.
"Because I knew if he told you, he'd ask you first." You had asked this one thing from Sam, that Dean would be the first to know, and you would be the one to tell him. It was Sam's wedding gift to you.
The question was written right across his overwhelmed face. Ask me what?
You tightened your grip on his hand. "You know, when I was two, my- my father had a big fight with my mom. He flung furniture around the house from what Tara remembers. Truth was, he never really wanted me. I was one more person tying him to a life he never wanted. That night, he packed his things and left for good. I don't remember his face, and I have no interest in even finding out about him."
"Oh, Sweetheart-"
"But, you! You, Dean Winchester, saved my life. If it hadn't been for you, Sam could have never pulled me out of… you know… the fire. I owe my life to you."
Dean shook his head. His hand, one not trapped by yours, came up to rest against the side of your face. "There was no way I'd ever let anything happen to you. Those days in the hospital? Not knowing if you were coming back, they were amongst the worst days of my life." His voice dipped further. "You're a little sister to me, Y/N. Part of my family."
"Then will you give me away?" The words were barely above a whisper.
All too soon you were pressed against his chest. "It will be an honor, kid. I wouldn't have it any other way."
That's how you ended up sobbing into his chest. Weeks of worry, anger, frustration, everything just ebbing away as he gently stroked your hair.
Putting all of this on Sam wouldn't be fair to him. After all, he was the one living all that with you. An equal in your suffering. But Dean was an ocean of calmness, taking it all in, replacing the ache with his conditional love. You had never even understood the hollowness of missing a father figure in your life, missing that one person you could rely on till you had met Dean.
If there was something even remotely close to fate, then for you that fate had been written the day Dean had met you at the pier. That evening when he'd asked you to choose between Sam and the rest of the world. That was when your stars had aligned. Now that you were going to marry Sam, it only seemed apt that Dean would be there to both give you away, and be there on the other side to welcome you as Sam's best man.
It was a while before he said, no doubt to distract you from all the crying. "Hey, where's the ring, kiddo?"
"In my bag," you mumbled between your sniffs. "Cause I wanted to surprise you."
Truth was, you weren't intending on wearing it for your entire stay in Lawrence. You and Sam had decided not to let anyone except your families know for a while. Everyone was gathered to celebrate Dean and Jo's special day, you didn't want to take away from that, even if they didn't see it that way.
"Well, count me surprised," He chuckled. "This is the best frigging Wedding gift ever."
"Yes," you agreed. "Now we get to torment Sam with obscene jokes forever. And together we can finally figure out what he does to his hair. How cool is that?"
"Totally," Dean agreed, kissing your brow. "How about we go tell this to Jo?"
Jo squealed the moment she saw you, running down the steps to hug you long and hard. "Girl, I missed you so fucking much. You have no idea."
You giggled. "Oh, I do have an idea."
She released you, fussing all over you, worse than your mom ever had. "Are you okay? Do you still hurt somewhere? Can you walk now?"
"Jo!" You grabbed her by her arms, straightening her up. "I'm ok! Really."
Her eyes still roved over you, and you reassured you once more.
"Wait till you hear what she's gotta tell you," Dean piped in from behind you, and Jo noticed him for the first time.
"You?" She yelled. "Get out! It's bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the wedding!"
You quickly came to Dean's rescue. "Isn't it seeing the dress? It has nothing to do with the bride."
Jo turned her glare towards you, and you immediately missed the worried face. "You are supposed to be my bridesmaid. Stop taking his side."
Dean knew better than to say anything.
"Of course I have to take his side. He's gonna be my brother-in-law."
"Yeah, but that's after two days. Till then you stick to my side, young lady," Jo huffed, giving Dean a superior look. Then it hit her.
"Brother-in-law?" She asked, mostly to herself, then her eyes widened. "OH MY GOD! You're getting married! Fucking hell!" She screamed.
"Hush!" You quieted her quickly, worrying that she'll yell it across the county.
"I wanted to be here for that reaction!" Dean beamed. He quickly ducked to steal a kiss from Jo, who was too shocked to admonish him for it, then grabbed you in a tight hug and walked back out, a new spring in his step.
Jo grabbed you by the arm and dragged you to her room. Once you were seated on the bed, with her next to you, Jo demanded, "Tell me everything."
You took your time with it, telling her everything that had happened since you had last seen her, about the proposal, yes, but about Gordon's sister, too.
"Wow," Jo exhaled. "That's some messed up shit."
"Yeah, exactly!"
"You shouldn't have gone over to her house, Y/N," Jo said, fretfully. "It's not like it helped in anyway. It just screwed with your head more."
It was true, but then there was also the matter of how much it would have screwed with your head if you hadn't.
"It didn't help," you accepted. "But I don't think I could have spent my life thinking that the girl was suffering because of me. Besides, I'm doing better now. I agree with what Sam said. Sometimes, there's just no reasoning with crazy."
"That's my girl," Jo grinned.
"Now tell me about the wedding!" She smirked. "Did you guys set a date? How many bridesmaids do you have, apart from me, that is?"
You loved Jo. You loved that she assumed she was gonna be a bridesmaid. You loved that even though she was getting married the day after, herself, she was so excited about your wedding. She was the best.
You tried to play it down though. It was her time first. "We haven't given it that much thought, Jo…"
"Oh, shut it!" She shushed you. "I know you, and I know that hyperactive brain of yours. Spill."
Screw it!
"Ok," you giggled, giving in. "I'm thinking a summer wedding, right here. Cause this place is lovely, with Orchids and wildflowers… And ummm… 5 bridesmaids!"
Her excitement was so infectious that you couldn't keep your voice down. "You, Tara, Charlie, Donna and Meg! I love you girls. It just wouldn't be same without you."
"You wait for it, girl. It's gonna be the best wedding ever. I'm gonna make sure of that!" The determined look in her face made you want to tear up all over again.
"But we are not going to talk about it anymore," you said firmly. "Not till after another 15 days, at least."
Jo pouted, like you had taken away her favorite gift.
You continued. "We need to get through the day after tomorrow first. What all can I help you with?"
"Only your fitting is left, actually," Jo shrugged. "Mom and Mary went overboard with all the prep. I had nothing do. All the rest was taken care by Charlie."
"I'm sorry I couldn't do much. I suck as a bridesmaid," you hung your head.
Jo brushed it off in a way only Jo could. "It's ok. You were busy trying to not be dead. As far as excuses go, that's pretty solid."
You burst out laughing at that.
"Anyway,' Jo said. "Come on, let's get to the designer’s place. We had given her your best fitted dress for the measurements but you'll need to try on the bridesmaid dress at least once for any last-minute changes. We can also get you something for this evening!"
"What's there this evening?" As far as you knew, the rehearsal dinner was tomorrow and the wedding the next day.
"Didn't Sam tell you?" She asked, surprised. "He was the one who planned it after all."
"Planned what?"
"There's a small party in the evening, for friends and family. Just a little thing in the backyard."
"He never told me…"
Jo's brow furrowed, something occurring to her and then she changed the topic, pulling you to your feet. "Up you come… we've got places to be in."
The air was surprisingly cool and pleasant when you stepped out of Jo's car. It tickled your skin in just the right way, goosebumps arising on your bare arms and shoulders. The dress Jo had picked for you was salmon colored, off shoulder and way too silky. It was perfect for a party, but it made you feel overdressed. Maybe it was because you hadn't been to any social gathering in months, being holed up in the apartment since the hospital.
Instead of going around straight to the backyard, you decided to step on to the porch. Sam opened the door.
The moment he saw you, his eyes widened. "You look gorgeous!"
That had you flustered within seconds. "You don't look too bad yourself." You eyed the well fitted jeans and white shirt that fit him too well.
"Yeah, yeah, you can pull those off each other later, let's just go to the party, shall we?" Jo quipped, then reached around you and threw her arms around Sam. "Congratulations! You couldn't have given me a better sister-in-law."
"Honor is all mine," Sam said, hugging her back super tight. "I figured I could return Dean that one favor, huh?"
Jo laughed, then winked exaggeratedly at you and stepped inside, craning her neck, no doubt looking for Dean.
"Hey!" Sam breathed, eyes roving all over you, ascertaining that you were okay. He did that a lot.
"Hey, back!" You stretched on your tiptoes and captured his lips in yours. "I missed you."
"Yes," he sighed, content.
"Do we have to go to the party?" You asked. "Can we get to the pulling clothes off each other part early?"
Sam pulled back. "No, we need to go." There was a determined undertone to his voice.
Before you could ask him what was up, you heard Mary's delighted voice calling you.
"Y/N," she said, eyes brimming with happiness. "Congratulations, Honey. You have no idea how happy I am for the two of you." She looked at Sam, eyes full of love. "My boy couldn't have found someone better than you."
"I must say, I agree," said John, coming to stand behind his wife.
"John, Mary," you smiled. "It's great to see you again."
John, however, didn't immediately say anything back. He looked at you with a proud smile, then opened his arms. "Come here, you darling girl."
And you went, you went in willing, trying and failing to behold the feeling coursing through you. Trying and failing miserably. As you wrapped your arms around his middle, it suddenly struck you that you have a whole new family now.
"Welcome to the family," John said softly.
Both Mary and John made no secret out of the fact that they were too happy about the fact that both their sons were getting married. While you helped Mary in the kitchen, you saw John laughing with Sam. Over the course of the last month they had gotten pretty close. And you couldn't help but marvel at how something good had come out of all that bad.
"Come," Sam said quietly when even John and Mary had joined the party outside.
"Last chance to sneak upstairs," you mumbled, mostly to ease the tension that was rolling off Sam's shoulders. What was up with him?
But Sam said nothing. His fingers tightened in your dress, where they rested over the small of your back, as you stepped on to the patio.
Then you saw it. Reaching as high as the sky, burning with a fury of its own, a fire as real as your fear.
Instinctively you stepped back, turning into Sam's chest, trying to hide, trying to pull him with you.
His hands came up to rub your back, but also hold you to him.
You shook your head against his shirt, whispering too quietly. "Sam, take me back in. I don't… I can't."
When he didn't make a move, you gulped, admitting it out loud for the first time. "I- I'm scared of it."
"I know," he said solemnly. You looked up to see that his eyes were pained. He looked older than his years.
You had never told him that. Even in the worst of your days, even if you woke up screaming from remembering the charring heat, you'd never uttered a word about this to Sam, because he just didn't need this on him, too. Then it occurred to you. "Wait a second…" You said slowly, "Jo said this party was your idea… why?"
"Because I want you to stop running from it." His voice was gentle. "I want you to, at least, begin trying to get past this. I want to fix this for you."
But he did! You wanted to tell him- every minute spent knowing that you had him by your side was fixing you, healing you.
When you didn't move, Sam tugged at your hand lightly. "Do you trust me?" He asked.
"With my life," you said without skipping a beat.
'Then come…"
Sam's POV:
Her lips were shivering, in fact, her entire frame was shaking, and her wild, wild eyes were begging for him to turn around, to not take another step, but Sam held on to her.
It seemed like yesterday when she was pulling him by his hand, leading him towards another such fire.
But then her eyes steeled as the resolve strengthened. Y/N tightened her grip on his hand and took that first step forward. Sam couldn’t be prouder of her.
No, the shaking did not stop, the fear on her brow did not slip, neither did the desperation, but she walked by his side, matching her step with his. With every passing second, her breathing accelerated, the sweat on her palms was making it hard to hold her hand, but she doubled her effort, clutching to him like her life depended on it.
And honestly? It was killing Sam. It was killing him to see her struggle, feel her nails dig into his arm hard enough to draw blood.
But Sam also knew it was necessary.
When they were around twenty feet away from the fire, Sam stopped. She knew what he was doing, even as Sam held her hand out, towards the flames.
"It's okay to feel the warmth," Sam repeated, voice tender. "It's not going to hurt… I'm not going to let that happen."
At long last she nodded, looking somehow grateful. When Sam sank down to the grass covered floor, she crawled into his lap, making herself small.
"I'm sorry I didn't tell you about the fire," she apologized, but Sam only kissed her hair.
"You didn't have to," he said. "It's my job to just know. Isn't it?"
The two of them sat there for a while. Somehow everyone knew better than to disturb them. In a boisterous party, it was as if Sam had enclosed them in a bubble of their own
"How are you so calm?" She asked after a while, but her own voice seemed calmer now. The shaking had stopped and her heartbeat against his own had steadied. "Aren't you scared of it anymore?"
"Of course, I am," Sam replied. "I am scared of a lot of things, Y/N, but the thing that scares me the most is the thought of losing you. I've been through that fire. But I've also spent days not knowing if I'll ever be able to hold you again. And I know which of the two scares me more now. Things like that? They change a man's perspective."
A nervous laugh.
She looked up then, eyes brighter than a million stars. "I love you, Sam Winchester."
And even though Sam already knew it, in his heart and in his soul that he would never love another as much, in that moment, he was sure he fell just a little deeper in love with the woman in his arms. She was brave and kind and strong, but above all, she was good and pure. People spent all their whole lives looking for a love like that, but for Sam, that loved had waited. She had waited. On a lonely, desolate night, when nothing seemed to brighten his life, she had waited at a bus stop for him.
How could he begrudge any pain life had ever given him now? When the same life had gifted her, too. A chance, a coincidence, she called it. But for all her cheesiness, she'd never called that moment what it truly was- destiny.
So he held her closer still, one hand cradling her head, fingers weaving into her soft hair. The other reached around to brush her cheek as he bent down to kiss her soft, sweet lips.
"I love you, too, baby."
A/N 2: “So the dawn goes down to day, nothing gold can stay” - Robert Frost
Guys. I can’t possibly put into words what all your love, patience and faith in this series have meant to me. Each comment, every word that you guys had to say about this is etched in my memory for ever. I’ve squealed, smiled and cried reading them all. The series wasn’t in itself “gold” but your love for it truly is. Thank you. 
I don’t know what to do with my life anymore tbh. No worrying about plot holes. No scribbling along desks, books about dialogues I want to include. No coming up with cheesy one liners. No worrying about the schedule. This series has been a major part of my life for the past year and a half. Thank you for the wonderful ride along. 
There may be an Epilogue. I am not sure yet, but if there is, it’ll probably be out in a couple weeks at the most. You’ve all been amazing for putting up with crazy lil’ Ana, her reader and Sam.  I love you guys. *cries some more*
A/N 3: Please do consider reblogging my work and leaving feedback. Reblogging helps spread it, and also helps against the “best posts first” option tumblr has. The more the notes, the less chance of it getting buried beneath others posts. And the comments are what keep me going. I love you guys and I’ll be in forever grateful <3
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natasha-cole · 3 years ago
What Happens in Vegas Part 14
Rob Benedict x Reader
Chapter Summary: After that kiss, Reader and Rob are equally confused. Each is feeling something for the other; but neither of them will admit it. When they get caught up in a heat of the moment situation, they begin to push each other away even more.
Word Count: 4569
Warnings: swearing probably, almost smut.
Notes: I’m trying really hard to keep chapters under 5,000 words, so it all gets crammed together and seems rushed. I hope this works. Also, is the back and forth POV thing still working? Am I overdoing it?
Catch Up: Part 1  Part 2  Part 3  Part 4  Part 5  Part 6  Part 7  Part 8   Part 9
Part 10  Part 11  Part 12  Part 13
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Reader’s POV
You were startled when you woke up the next morning wrapped in Rob’s arms. He slept peacefully next to you and you went into a panic while you assessed the situation. The only relief you felt was knowing that nothing had happened.
There had been some drinking last night, but the fight that Rob started had sobered both of you up rather quickly. You remembered coming back to the room to nurse his wounds, and you recalled the fact that you had kissed him, but that was all that had happened. A repeat of Vegas would have been the last thing you wanted, and even now, you regretted that kiss.
You carefully moved from his embrace on you, trying not to wake him. When you were free, you got up and decided to at least get ready for the day. Waking up like this was slightly embarrassing and you couldn’t even consider going back to sleep.
You moved about the room quietly, glancing over to him just to make sure that he was still asleep. You felt your face heat up as that kiss replayed in your head. It had been just a reaction. You wanted to know what it was like to kiss him, and you just went for it. He had let you, and now you wondered why.
When he finally woke up later, you were sitting across the room on the couch, fixing your makeup. You watched him as he glanced around until his eyes found you. He smiled sweetly at you.
“Hey,” he said.
“Hi,” you replied.
“You’re up early.”
“Yeah, I couldn’t go back to sleep so I figured I’d get a head start and get ready.”
He pushed himself out of bed and yawned before heading toward you. He stopped in front of you and leaned down, causing your heart to stop as he inched his face closer to yours. Of course. You had kissed him and now he expected for that to be a regular thing for some reason.
You tilted your head down, staring at your lap and you noticed him pause. You assumed he didn’t expect this reaction, but he placed a soft kiss to the top of your head anyway.
You only glanced up as he moved away from you. You watched him head to the bathroom and close the door behind him, and you finally let out the breath that you had been holding in.
The two of you got ready and headed out the door to head to the convention, all without a single word being spoken to each other. The feeling between you was tense again and you knew it was because you had crossed boundaries last night.
“Hey, should we talk about last night?” He asked as the two of you walked down the hallway.
“You wanna talk about how you nearly got your ass kicked at the bar?”
“I’d rather avoid that topic,” he smiled. “I was wondering if we should talk about you kissing me.”
You felt your face heat up as he brought it up. A part of you had hoped he’d just pretend it never happened, or at least not feel the need to talk about it.
“What about it?” You asked flatly.
“Um, I don’t know,” he mumbled. “I guess I was wondering what that was all about. It was nice.”
“Don’t read too much into it,” you warned. “I was just- practicing.”
“You know, I figured there might come a time when we might have to act affectionate in public. I was just testing it out.”
“Oh,” he replied. “I get it. It didn’t mean anything, you were just acting.”
“Exactly,” you said as you glanced over at him. “Weren’t you?”
He paused for a moment as he thought. You both stopped at the elevators and he pressed the button and you waited.
“Yeah,” he replied. “Totally. It was just- a rehearsal. In case we have to kiss in front of other people.”
“Smart right? That way we don’t appear awkward just because we’re fake married.”
“Are you planning on kissing me in public?”
“Well, I mean… we haven’t actually been very affectionate in public. I’ve been reading all about us. People are concerned for a lot of reasons, that’s one of them.”
“We’re not affectionate enough?”
“Not for a couple who’s only been married for a few weeks.”
“Okay,” he said as you stepped onto the elevator with him. He reached out and grabbed your hand, holding it in his as he smiled at you. “Let’s start being affectionate then.”
Rob’s POV
In truth, he was sort of hurt by the fact that Y/N had simply used him. Yes, he had enjoyed that kiss far more than he wanted to, but he had hoped that maybe she had as well. Obviously he had been wrong. It was nothing more than a moment for her to test the waters so that, if the time ever came for the two of them to have to act in public, she could make it look real.
He knew it was a stupid idea to go into that kiss thinking that maybe she would also get that feeling that there was something more there between them. He was left feeling even more stupid by the fact that he was the only one having these feelings.
“We’re up,” Rich announced, breaking Rob from his thoughts.
He had been sitting in the green room, running things through his mind all morning. In between introductions and songs, it was almost as if he weren’t really present. Y/N had him a mess and this was a new thing for him.
“Yeah, coming,” he replied as he followed Rich and the band out of the room. He noticed Matt close behind and he had nearly forgotten that they had their panel today.
“How are ya?” Matt asked as he caught up and placed a hand on Rob’s shoulder.
“What? Good. I’m good. Why?”
“Well, you seem pretty out of it today,” Matt laughed. “You’re not the same Rob.”
“Sorry. I’ve just got a lot on my mind.”
“What’s going on?” Matt asked as they continued to walk together toward the main room.
“Can I tell you something and you promise not to say anything to anyone?”
“You can trust me.”
“Y/N kissed me last night.”
“Okay, I’ve seen you kiss before.”
“No, not like this. All those other times were never even on the lips.”
“I heard you two made out in Vegas,” he replied. “Which then led to you getting married for some reason.”
“No. Not a drunk kiss either.” Rob stopped in his tracks, grabbing Matt by the arm to stop him too. They watched as the other guys kept walking and when they were at a safe distance, Rob turned back to Matt. “She kissed me. Like, for real kissed me.”
“Did she use tongue?” He smirked.
Rob scowled at his friend, shaking his head before answering. “Yes, but that’s not the point. It felt like.. a real kiss between people who actually like each other.”
“What, you don't like each other?”
“Matt, I accidentally married her. I’m not exactly her most favorite person in the world.”
“I’ve been meaning to ask how that’s been going.”
“Not great,” he admitted. They started to walk again now that the rest of the guys were out of view. “We argue a lot. She likes to be right all the time and she mostly yells at me. Living together has helped, but it’s far from great. We sort of can’t stand each other.”
“Yet, you hit that guy because he was groping her.”
“Well, that was out of line.”
“Would you have done that for anyone else?”
“I would hope that someone like you would get involved first,” Rob said, quirking an eyebrow at Matt. “I’m so not a fighter.”
“But, for her you were.”
“Look, I think I like her,” he began. “I mean, obviously I like her. We wouldn’t be in this position if I didn’t. But, I think I’m really falling for her. Which sucks because she really hates me.”
“She kissed you though?”
“Yeah. We got back to the room and she iced my face,” he recalled. “Then she just kissed me.”
“Maybe she just felt bad for you.”
“It was a long kiss,” Rob pointed out. “And there was tongue.”
“Maybe she’s into you too then.”
“This morning she said she was practicing when I asked her about it.”
“What does that even mean?”
“I don’t know,” he shrugged. “She said we’d have to kiss in public at some point. She just wanted to see what it would be like.”
“This is really weird,” Matt responded.
“Tell me about it.”
“Look, maybe she likes you, maybe she doesn’t. Don’t read too much into it though. The two of you are in a weird place and you made it even more weird by deciding to stay married. Maybe she really was just practicing.”
“I was hoping you’d give me a pep talk,” Rob admitted. “You know… ‘Hey Robbie, she wants you. Go for it.’”
“Yeah, I can’t do that man. But I can tell you to just wait it out and see if it turns into more. Who knows,” Matt chuckled suddenly. “Maybe the two of you will realize you’ve been in love this entire time and just stay married.”
Rob frowned as Matt patted him on the back roughly before jogging off to catch up with the others.
“That’s ridiculous!” Rob shouted after him.
The panel with Matt and Rich was the usual. They sifted through hypothetical questions about their characters, went through the usual questions about Kings of Con, and they each made really bad jokes that still earned them laughs from the audience.
This time though, there were a few questions snuck in with fans asking a lot about their wives and families. Rob listened to the other two talk before he even bothered to add in his two cents. He didn’t know how to answer most of these questions because he was just not good at lying. He was honestly surprised that he and Y/N were even pulling this entire thing off as well as they were.
Still, he knew what people were saying about them and their marriage. He only hoped that he was taking the right cues from Rich and Matt when it was his turn to answer.
By the end of their panel, he was relieved. He didn’t want to answer more questions about this lie, and that’s when he realized that it was already starting to weigh on him. He could tell himself that it was an act all he wanted, but he knew how he felt about her. He also knew that those feelings were not ever going to be reciprocated.
He moved to his place with the band and began to sing through the song. When they finished, Rich went straight in to introducing Y/N next. Rob sighed, hoping it wasn’t noticeable to anyone else, but he was seriously so done with today and with Y/N. He just wanted it to be over so that he could retreat to his room and have time to think some more.
Y/N made her way on stage and immediately approached Rob with a smile on her face. While he should have been upset with her and the way she had basically said that she had been using him, he couldn’t help but smile in return. He expected a quick hug and kiss on the cheek,, especially since they were in the company of fans and the guys on stage. However, she threw her arms around his shoulders and pulled him down so that she could kiss him on the lips.
He froze out of surprise, but melted into the softness of her lips and the way her tongue traced against his. He could be wrong, but that was probably unnecessary. Although he was feeling all sorts of emotions over the lie and what she had said that morning and the way she was kissing him, he chose to kiss her back. He pressed himself harder against her mouth, testing her slightly by nipping at her bottom lip.
She let out a low moan against his mouth and pulled back suddenly. He took note of the red forming on her cheeks and the way she touched her lips with her fingertips as she stared up at him in shock.
He couldn’t help but grin at her. He had taken her by surprise, and he felt that she sort of enjoyed it.
The crowd cheered for her, or rather for them and that over the top display of affection. Rob blushed as he nodded to the audience and walked away, leaving Y/N to her panel. She hadn’t been kidding about the whole ‘being affectionate in public’ thing.
At the end of the day, Rob decided to call it a night. He said goodnight to everyone as they made plans to go out and headed for the exit. To his surprise, Y/N followed close behind.
“Do you mind if I join you?” She asked.
“Uh, sure,” he replied. “We are in the same room after all.”
“Yeah. I just didn’t feel like going out.”
“Me neither.”
They walked together in more awkward silence. Rob had so many things that he wanted to say, so many questions that he wanted answered; but he also felt that he wouldn’t get the answers he wanted from her.
He leaned against the side of the elevator, watching her as she leaned against the opposite side. He felt like he should bring up that kiss as well, as he was confused by it even more than the first one.
Instead, he made the ballsy choice to go with his other thought. He pushed himself off the wall and stepped toward her as the doors closed and the elevator began to move. She looked up at him, eyes almost hopeful as he approached her. Rob didn’t want to talk about it anymore. Now, he just wanted to kiss her again to see if this was something else. Knowing that he was short on time for the elevator ride, he didn’t even hesitate. He leaned in and kissed her; which seemed to catch her by surprise at first. But, she went with it, much to his amusement.
Before he could think anymore, this kiss had turned into a make out session. He had her pinned against the wall, both of their hands roaming as they kissed heatedly. He decided it was best to just go with it and not try to ask questions this time.
He ran a hand down her thigh, causing her to buck against him. Out of instinct, he gripped her leg and lifted it to his hip so that he could grind against her.
She moaned into his mouth, breaking away so that she could catch her breath. He didn’t let her though. He moved his hips again and she threw her head back and moaned even louder.
He half expected her to shove him away, but she only gripped her hands into his shirt to pull him closer.
“We can’t fuck in an elevator,” she breathed out.
Just the idea that she was thinking about fucking made him want her more. He crashed his lips against hers again just as he heard the ‘ding’ of the elevator arriving to their floor. The doors opened slowly and that was when she pushed him away. She straightened her clothing and attempted to look presentable as she stepped off and hurried toward the room. Rob just followed, wondering if he had screwed up and was about to hear her tear into him once they had real privacy.
Reader’s POV
“What was that?” You asked as you closed the door behind you. You were still breathless by the impromptu make out session in the elevator. None of this was supposed to be happening this way, and the kissing was meant for the public only.
“I think we just made out,” he grinned.
“Yeah, but why?”
He shrugged in return, obviously not able to answer the question.
“Why are we making out when there’s not even anyone around to see it?” You asked again.
Without thinking, you stepped closer to him. You brought your hands up to his face to lead him down to you. You crashed your lips against his, this time as if you needed him like the air you breathed.
It was frantic and almost passionate, not what you expected from yourself at all. He darted his tongue into your mouth and just the taste of him had you moaning again. This time, neither of you pulled back in surprise of your reaction. You pressed your body against his harder and he gripped onto you before letting his hands wander up your shirt as his hands caresses the bare skin of your back.
You shuddered against him and could already feel the heat pooling within you. Why you wanted him so badly right now, you weren’t sure.
He moved his focus from your mouth and began to kiss down to your neck. You dropped your head back, mouth agape, as you gasped each time he sucked and nipped at the skin there.
You knew you should stop this, but you couldn’t bring yourself to do so. Instead, you tried to reason with yourself as to why this might not be a bad idea. Your head was swimming with thoughts; was it okay to be with him like this? Was this going to complicate things further? On and on your thoughts went, but all you could focus on was how good this felt.
You ran your hands up against his chest, gripping at his shirt as he found a sensitive spot on your collarbone with his teeth. You breathed in sharply and pushed him away from you.
He pulled back, staring at you with curious eyes as he waited to see what you would do. This would be a good time to end this. But, you instinctively pulled your shirt off instead, watching him as he stared at you with wide eyes. Maybe it was all just heat of the moment, but the way that he looked at you right now made you want him even more.
Once you had discarded your shirt, you reached out and unbuttoned his quickly before tossing it aside as well. This time, he pulled you back to him and began to kiss you again. The sensation of his warm, naked skin against yours turned you on even more. You gasped and sighed against his lips as you began to work at his belt and jeans.
“You sure you want to do this?” He asked as he broke away from you briefly.
“What?” You breathed out. “You don’t want this?”
“I didn’t say that.”
“Then what are we discussing?”
“Should we discuss the fact that we’re here right now, about to do this when we’re fake married and just trying to make people believe that we’re this happily married couple?”
“We’re actually really married,” you explained as you reached around to unhook your bra. You threw it aside and smiled at the audible gasp Rob gave as he watched you.
“I know,” he replied. “But, I just- don’t want to take advantage of… whatever this is.”
“Remember when I told you that you were a good husband?”
“I meant it,” you said as you pressed against him again. “We never did consummate things.”
“Well, I think we did, we just don't fully remember it.”
“Are you trying to talk me out of this?” You asked as you pulled away from him. “Or are you trying to talk yourself out of it?”
Suddenly, your arousal was fading. You thought you were both on the same page here, but his questions and concerns over what was happening led you to believe otherwise.
“I just- I don’t understand what this is.”
“What don’t you understand about it?”
“I don’t understand why we’re doing this.”
He took his focus away from your naked chest, looking you directly in the eyes now. You were overcome with a sense of humiliation. Of course you were pushing too far with this. The two of you had agreed to stay in this marriage and at least try to get along for the sake of making it look as if it weren’t an accident. Now, you didn’t know what the hell you were thinking or doing. You also didn’t understand what he was trying to do here. He had been the one to make the move in the elevator. He had kissed you, practically fucked you right there; now he didn’t want you?
You broke away from his stare and reached down to grab your discarded clothing from the floor. You redressed quickly, still trying to hold back with letting it be known how embarrassed you were. It really had been a heat of the moment thing. He didn’t want this. He wanted to just get through this marriage, the same way that you did.
“I’m sorry,” he began, but you cut him off, talking fast as you tried to just pretend it never happened.
“It’s fine. You’re right. We shouldn’t be doing this at all. This was stupid.”
“I didn’t say that it was stupid, I was just confused.”
“Me too,” you admitted. “I mean, we barely like each other after everything that happened in Vegas. We’re in a fucked up situation and we shouldn’t be considering making it worse.”
He watched you quietly, neither of you even knowing what to say anymore. You had very quickly complicated things beyond belief, and you didn’t know if you could even look at him anymore.
“Obviously we just got caught up,” you explained. “We’re both frustrated and I think we’re just taking that frustration out on each other.”
“Well, I guess at least we’re not yelling at each other,” he chuckled.
“Still, this shouldn’t have gone this far.”
“Okay, we’ll just slow down. No more kissing like that, unless it’s in public.”
“I’m not sure if that’s even a good idea anymore,” you admitted.
“What about what you said about looking like we’re in love?”
“That was stupid too. We’ll just get through this marriage until our time is up. If people don’t believe it, then fine. We need to stop.”
He stared down at the floor, looking hurt as you spoke. Truthfully, you didn’t get him at all. You had thought for sure that he wanted you. The way he kissed you and the way he looked at you as you undressed each other, you could swear that maybe he still felt an attraction to you. You thought that maybe he actually liked you, and not like he did on the day when you first met him. In the aftermath of Vegas and the fact that your friends had set the two of you up to simply hook up for one night, you understood that it was supposed to be a one time thing. He may have been attracted to you then, but it was never supposed to go as far as it did. Now, he was just trapped in this marriage just as much as you were.
The only difference was that you could feel yourself growing attached to him. You had never felt the way you did when you kissed him. You went into this situation at this moment actually wanting him. Now, you were just the idiot who was reading too much into this whole thing.
“I’m going to bed,” you announced. “I’m sorry again.”
“Sh-should I just take the couch?”
“What? No, I won’t let you do that.”
“This won’t be awkward now?”
“It’s not for me,” you lied. “Look, we can just pretend it didn’t happen. I think that we’ve done enough stupid things that this pales in comparison.”
He let out a light chuckle, nodding in agreement.
“You’re not wrong.”
Rob’s POV
Like most nights, Rob didn’t sleep well that night. This time was worse. He tossed and turned, trying not to wake her as she slept next to him far on her side of the bed. He had been an idiot. Why he had even said anything at all when he was so close to being with her like that, he didn’t understand.
The entire thing had to be confusing for both of them, but he was the one who had quickly killed the mood.
He glanced over at her in the dark, watching her body rise and fall with each breath she took. She seemed unaffected by the whole thing. Meanwhile, Rob had so many thoughts running through his mind, he couldn’t shut it off.
The whole point of even saying anything probably had a lot to do with the fact that he felt as if he was doing exactly what Rich had warned him not to do. He was falling hard for her.
The way that she had kissed him last night had led him to believe that maybe she felt something too. It had been gentle at first, and then urgent. Even when she said it was done simply so that she could get used to the fact that she may have to kiss him in public, nothing led him to believe that she wasn’t into it. Then there was that unexpected kiss on stage. He knew it was meant to show people that they were in love with each other, but it had felt so real to him.
The way they heatedly made out on the elevator felt like he was right. She liked him and he liked her. Why wouldn’t they replay that night in Vegas, only with a lot less alcohol in their systems?
Seeing her take her clothing off for him as she held eye contact, the feeling of her hands brushing against his skin as she removed his shirt… it had all been so perfect. The only reason that he felt any hesitation was because, for him, the entire moment had been something that he wanted. He adored her, despite their obvious mess and the fact that she had a way of irritating him. Sleeping with her would have meant something to him. He just wanted to make sure it meant something to her as well.
It was probably for the best that he found out that it meant nothing to her before it actually happened. How could it? She obviously didn’t like him. Vegas had been a drunken mistake on her part for sure, and there was no denying that she was consistently trying to avoid him. She wanted out of this marriage and away from him.
At least she had been smart enough to stop it from going too far.
Rob let out a long sigh. The ache in his chest was still present. He really wished he hadn’t said anything earlier. At least he could have had a chance in being with her when they would both remember it. At the same time, he knew that it would have just made his feelings for her grow even more. He would be caught in an unrequited romance with his own wife, and that wouldn’t be good for anyone.
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captainbaneberry · 4 years ago
Nautica/Firestar. Nautica is fixing a control panel in a vent and her lower end is sticking out of the vent in a hallway. Firestar comes by and sees her sticking out and decides to take the opportunity that is presented and frags Nautica silly. Nautica gets moaning and it echoes thru the ventwork.
“Solus, the wires are such a mess.”
Firestar exvented, checking her chronometer. She looked at Nautica across the room. Nautica’s top half was wedged inside an open vent as she worked on the fixing… God, Firestar couldn’t remember. She’d been repairing the damn panel for nearly an hour now, and Firestar was getting impatient.
“Just promise you’ll fix it in the next thirty minutes,” Firestar pleaded, sitting back on the bench. The room was tiny, and Nautica’s rear was… very close to Firestar’s face. Not that she minded; Nautica had a nice aft. But she had made plans with her amica endurae that evening, and wasn’t keen on breaking them.
“You can go without me, Star,” Nautica reassured, binding two shredded wires.
“You’re always trying to get out of these things,” Firestar huffed, glowering at Nautica’s behind. “Besides, it’s just a little get together. Rosanna and Glyph are throwing a party after officially becoming amica endurae. They only invited me, you, Astroscope, and Cryostase. Glyph and Astro are huge nerds, so you’ll get along with them fine.”
“I just don’t want you to feel you’re forced to stay here,” Nautica explained.
“It’s to keep you company. S'what amica endurae do.”
Nautica smiled. “Yeah, true.” Even if that also meant going to parties they had no interest in, to support their friend. Firestar was also hoping to introduce her to more friends, to get Nautica out of her shell. “Well, Firestar, got some good news,” she said, quickly reconnecting the last three wires. “I’m all done!”
Firestar bumped a fist, mouthing a wordless “yes!” “C'mon, glitch,” she said, standing, flames on her head flaring. “Let’s get you polished up then go party!”
Nautica nodded. “Yup.” She braced her hands against the walls, using them to push herself out. “Just a second…” Except… nothing happened. She pushed a little harder, but armor and kibble along her back and shoulders got in the way. Armor that could not be removed properly at this angle.
“What’re you doin’?”
“Uhh…” Nautica shoved and wiggled a few more times. “I’m… sorta… stuck.”
“Stuck?” Firestar gawped. “How’d you even get in there in the first place!”
“I just–crawled in! I don’t know!”
“Well, can we take the wall apart a little?”
“No way! We’d get into so much trouble!” Nautica disagreed, shaking her head. “Why don’t you try pulling me out? I might dent a few things, even tear my pauldrons, but… Well, the show must go on.”
Firestar nodded. She took Nautica by the legs. “Ready?”
Firestar started pulling. Nautica struggled, until the pain shooting and jabbing through her torso was unbearable. “S-Stop! Stop!” she cried, dropping her fhead. Venting heavily as her spark skipped and jolted in her chest.
“Why don’t we call maintenance?” Firestar suggested.
“Maintenance isn’t here,” Nautica exvented low and long. “That’s why they asked me instead.”
Firestar stamped her foot, pouting. “Well… I’m sure one of them could come back. Or we could call an ambulance. There’s a clinic a few blocks away. So long as we’re out in forty-five minutes, we’re good.”
Nautica groaned. “I suppose. But I can’t comm anyone from inside this thing. Blocks signals.”
“Mm'on it, bot,” Firestar chuckled, opening a commlink. Nautica, ashamed with her face buried in her hands, listened to her friend explain the situation. A minute later, she closed the transmission, and now Firestar sounded grumpy. “They said it might take about thirty minutes to get here, maybe more. I don’t think she took me seriously.”
“Just go to the party without me, Star.”
Firestar rolled her optics, flopping over Nautica’s rump and resting hands on her back. “We’re stuck. You in there, me with you,” she snorted, half-grinning. “If they take any longer, I’ll ring up Rosanna and explain what’s up. The party ends before night simulation anyway, and that’s in four hours.”
“I’m really sorry.”
Firestar was about to say something, when suddenly an idea struck her. One that made the fire crackling from her helm brighter and stronger. “No need to apologize, Nautica,” she said, cupping her friend’s aft. “I think I know what we can do while we wait for help to arrive.”
Nautica’s optics flickered, twin beams of blue light in the dark shaft. “… By the, uh, hand on my aft,” she gulped, “I’m assuming…?”
“Like this?” Nautica squeaked. “B-But–”
“No, no, it’s perfect,” Firestar chuckled, tapping her fingers on Nautica’s panel. The purple bot jumped. “Unless you don’t wanna, and we just… stand here and complain.”
Nautica chewed her lip. “W-Well… I mean… I guess it’d be… interesting?” Firestar was always trying to get her try and do new things. Maybe this qualified as one of them? “Okay, but! The moment I hear someone on the other side of those doors–”
“–Right, right,” Firestar snickered, “cut me some slack. It’ll be great, trust me.”
Nautica trusted Firestar–with certain things. This… not so much. It’d be a first time for the both of them. Or, at least, Nautica figured it was. Firestar was known for having some interesting kinks, after all. She didn’t expect much out of this experience; it was probably going to be more awkward than pleasurable. Uncomfortable, given her position.
… Nautica had been wrong before. Because what did start as weird and slightly discomforting fondling and prepping turned into something too ridiculously incredible for a situation like this. Firestar was soon holding her hips, lining herself up to Nautica’s channel before sliding inside, inch by inch. Nautica gasped, slamming a fist against a wall; the vibrations rattled through the entire shaft, metal wobbling.
Firestar was much more skilled when it came to interfacing. Nautica had done her fair share of fragging, but not nearly on the same level as her amica endura. She knew what to do to have a pretty good time, but this… Interfacing with Firestar was always a wild ride. This took the cake, and Nautica wasn’t exactly sure why. It couldn’t have been her own slight exhibitionist streak; she was a mostly introverted person. But Nautica knew the sounds she was making were loud enough to travel through the shaft and out the vents into rooms, some with probably really confused people inside.
“S-S-Solus, Firestar, oh mm–” Nautica whined, panting. Firestar was fully seated inside of her; sometimes slamming half in, half out, other times pulling out to the tip then thrusting, over and over again. The pace was too fast, unpredictable, and all Nautica could do was cry and whimper and clumsily shake her bottom half in Firestar’s arms.
Nautica could just imagine Firestar’s unit–red, orange, with blue biolights along the shaft and top of the head. The heat of their light radiated against her channel walls, wet and expanding to take more of the fiery bot. Her channel, obscenely open and dripping so much lubricant; she could feel it on her thighs, down her legs, and wondered just how big a puddle she’d made so far. Fun explaining that to the EMTs when they came around. Nautica might have complained, but all that she could say was Solus and Firestar’s names, peppered with plenty of profanities and mewls.
“Y-You open s-so nicely for me,” Firestar sneered, chewing on her tongue. Bending over the purple bot, one hand still holding a hip as the other steadied itself against the wall. She snapped her hips faster, repressing laughter at the loud squeals coming from inside the shaft.
Nautica was rocking hard and fast, the armor and kibble keeping her stuck in the hole pounding against its edges. Didn’t hurt–at least, she couldn’t feel any pain. Nothing strong enough to tear her hazy, spinning mind from all the heat and sensations racing from her channel through the rest of her frame. “F-Fire-s-star,” she stammered, crossed optics lidded and tongue hanging from her mouth. Fingers digging into the walls at her sides intensely enough to dent the metal. It was getting far too humid in this shaft, making her even more dizzy. Two stories above, a Camien was peeking inside their vent, wondering about the strange muffled noises.
“Scrap, Nautica,” Firestar snarled, watching her unit move swiftly in and out of the purple bot’s channel. Never too much; the wet, clanging noises as her pelvis hit her aft not nearly as loud as Nautica’s yelping. “Could do t-this all day.”
Nautica vented out a string of oh-oh-ohs, coolant spittle flying from her lips and dangling tongue with each violent sway of her body. She grabbed her chestplates, finding a seam and probing it with two fingers. The low groan she made was fairly embarrassing, but only about three or so people heard it. No one could see her, thankfully, and she couldn’t hear anyone above or below complaining or questioning or suggesting checking the shaft for the source of the moans.
“You m-make such filthy s-sounds,” Firestar grinned, teeth clenched. She reached down, thrusting a finger beneath Nautica’s hood and stroking the node alongside her unit.
Nautica screamed, vision going white. Her visor snapped into place over her head. A second later, she heard a faint voice coming from below: “I-Is someone up there?”
“F-Firestar, Firestar,” Nautica croaked, “I’m gonna–harder, just a little–”
Firestar snarled. “Yeah, yeah, I’m just–”
The two overloaded, almost at the exact same time, give or take a few seconds. Firestar howled, tugging and yanking on her friend. Nautica cried out again, jerked just hard enough–both bots squealed as Nautica suddenly tumbled out of the hole, hitting Firestar and knocking them to the ground a few feet away.
Nautica slowly sat up, Firestar’s depressurized unit limp against her thigh. She glanced back at the red-yellow bot, blinking behind her visor.
Firestar snorted, then started laughing. “Your visor!”
“That was… What?” Nautica giggled, pushing the visor back. “How in the Forge…” She looked around, awed and baffled.
“Well,” Firestar exvented, “I think we can call off the ambulance.”
“Yeah,” Nautica agreed, wiping her optics dry. “You do that. I’m gonna… find some cleaner. And a mop.”
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More cool aunt Kara AU stuff, this time based on some excellent ideas/headcanons that come courtesy of @thatsjustsupergirl
(Also, these don’t have titles because I hate naming things but if they did, this one would definitely be called ‘A League of Their Own.’ In case anyone was curious.)
“It's not that I don't trust him,” Kara explains as she leads Eliza and Jeremiah to the MedLab level of the Watchtower, “it's just that I don't feel comfortable leaving these types of decisions solely up to him, you know?”
Eliza and Jeremiah share a look.
Kara doesn't need to specify who the 'him' in question is—her disdain and for vigilantism and general distrust of those who engage in it is well documented; and at this point, the nascent 'league' of heroes only has one vigilante on their roster.
“You really think it's a good idea to work with him in the first place?” Jeremiah feels inclined to ask.
Kara shrugs, or rather. Attempts to shrug—it's a tricky thing, what with Alex riding piggyback.
“Someone has to keep an eye on him,” she says. “Which is...kind of why I asked you guys here.” To Alex, she says, “gonna need my hand for a second.”
“'Kay,” Alex says.
Kara releases her loose hold on Alex's leg and extends her arm, pressing her palm flat against the bioscan. There's a pause, followed by a flashing green light and pleasant 'beep' as the MedLab door slides back.
“Batman set up the Watchtower,” Kara tells the trio as they enter, “so he provided all the equipment. Some deal with WayneTech. I just...if you guys don't mind, I want you to check it out. See if you notice anything...weird, I guess?”
Eliza and Jeremiah wander around the lab, taking note of the (very advanced, very expensive) equipment.
“That,” Jeremiah chuckles, a little breathlessly, “will not be a problem.”
“And...Batman,” Eliza trips over the name—it is a little silly to say out loud, but then. No more so than something like 'Supergirl' or 'Aquaman.' “He's alright with us working up here? Having access to this?”
“Oh, yeah,” Kara assures them quickly, “as far as he knows, this is just a thorough shakedown of the lab. Working out the kinks, that sort of thing.” And it is. Mostly. “I'm ninety-nine percent sure—” Kara thinks for a moment. “I'm eighty-nine percent sure there's nothing weird up here, I just. You know...”
She thinks of the files she's stumbled upon, files she's managed to decrypt that came along with her pod, detailing her family's involvement in some...unsavory business, all in the name of protecting Krypton.
“Never hurts to be safe,” she says.
“Very true,” Eliza smiles and pats her shoulder. This prompts a fidget from Alex, who readjusts her grip on Kara's shoulders.
“So what do I do?” she wants to know.
“You wanna help your parents?” Kara asks. Alex hums, but isn't exactly leaping at the opportunity to watch her parents work for the next few hours. “Oorrr,” Kara offers another suggestion, “I could take you for a tour of the Watchtower. If your parents are okay with it,” she makes sure to add.
“Can we go?” Alex asks her parents, voice hopeful and pleading. Eliza looks up from the provided inventory list, and then over at Jeremiah.
They both shrug.
“Sure,” Jeremiah says. “But. No vaporizing any planets, okay?”
Alex nods solemnly while Kara laughs.
“Ppfft. The Watchtower can't vaporize anything,” she says. “...At least. I don't think it can.”
“And uh, this. This here is the. It's the main...” Kara scratches her head. “Place. Thing. Where the league...gathers.”
Alex takes a seat in one of the chairs flanking the long panel of controls, “on Star Trek, they call it the bridge,” she tells Kara in an attempt to be helpful.
“Right, yes. The bridge,” Kara nods. “That's...well. I feel like it needs a cooler name, but that'll work for now.”
The large space is quiet. Technically, the Watchtower isn't exactly...'fully operational' just yet. It's just the four of them up here at the moment, save for a handful of service and security drones.
Alex asks about some of the monitors and controls, what does this one do, and how do you work that one?
Kara explains, and then it occurs to her that Alex doesn't have level eight security clearance.
“Hey, do me a favor, and don't become a supervillain, alright?”
Alex spins in her chair.
“I won't,” she promises, and then, recognizing that she has leverage, “but only if you come to my  gymnastics meet next Friday.”
“Well as Earth's protector I can't very well say no, now can I?” Kara says, throwing in an over-dramatic huff as she leans back in her chair. “For the sake of the planet, I'll go.”
“Yesss,” Alex cheers quietly, but after a moment, adds, “well. Only if you really want to, though...”
“I do,” Kara assures her with a smile. “Promise I'll come. So long as there's no...alien invasion, or anything.”
“Isn't that what the team is for?” Alex asks, looking back at the monitors. “So that you don't have to save the world by yourself?”
“Yes, kind of,” Kara says. “But alien invasions are very much out of the League' this point.”
Alex has a questioning look in place, so Kara pulls up the current list of members. It's very short; only four profile pictures stare back at them, including Kara.
Alex reads some of the information that accompanies each profile—the words she knows. Some are too big too bother with. “Whoa. That guy can talk to fish?”
Kara nods.
“In fact he prefers talking to fish. People...he's not so great with.”
“Is he good at surfing?”
“Not sure.”
“Can he only talk to fish, or can he also talk to dolphins? They aren't fish, you know.”
Kara smiles.
“Pretty sure he can talk to dolphins, yeah.”
“Awesome,” Alex breathes, and continues to read about the other heroes. Kara watches, and allows herself a proud grin. The League was her idea, after all. Sure, Bruce handled the detail work, and the actual funding of the endeavor, but the initial concept of recruiting superheroes and forming a team? All her.
Alex asks if it's only going to be the four of them.
“We have others we want to invite,” Kara tells her, pulling up a new list. Half a dozen more profile pictures appear, along with names and details. “Br—atman,” she quickly corrects herself, “says the Watchtower is designed to accommodate a staff of fifty” She beams. “Cool, right?”
“...Yeah,” Alex says, but she's distracted, eyes still on the new list. After a moment, she asks, “are there gonna be more girls?”
Kara blinks.
“Uh.” She sits up, and squints at the list. “There are...girls.”
“There's one,” Alex points to one of the last names on the list. “The rest are boys.”
“That's—” and she's frowning now, because Alex is right. “Uh.” She tries to remember if they had any discussions about...balancing the roster, but can't bring anything to mind. They were more concerned with the logistics of the thing, really. “We, uh.” How did she let this happen. “Rao. I am part of the problem.”
Before she can address this grave error, a quiet beep alerts them to a message coming from the MedLab.
“Hi Kara, we're having a little bit of trouble with the security system, do think you could come down here and help us out?”
“Sure thing, Eliza,” Kara answers. “Hang tight, Alex,” she says before she leaves. “And I'm gonna—I mean we, as in, Batman and me—we're gonna fix this—this being the gender disparity issue, not the—I mean also the security system malfunction, sure, but more importantly—you know what, never mind. I'll be right back.”
With a swish of the cape, she's gone, and Alex is left alone on the bridge, staring at the list...
And formulating a plan.
It is well past a certain fourth grader's bedtime, and therefore, Eliza should not see the glow of the bedside lamp, peeking out from Alex's bedroom door.
And yet she does.
She opens the door without warning or preamble—nary a knock, nor a long, loud walk down the hallway to give Alex the chance to hide her book/gameboy/notebook under her pillow and dive for the bedside lamp.
“Alexandra,” Eliza starts, but is too surprised to see Alex working at her desk to get much further with the, “put that book/gameboy/notebook away.”
“Sorry,” Alex says automatically, but without much feeling. She's concentrating on...something. She's scribbling furiously, head bent over her work.
“...Sweetie...” Eliza says, “what are you doing?”
“Important stuff, mom,” Alex tells her with conviction.
Eliza crosses her arms, one eyebrow raised in outright skepticism. “What kind of important stuff, exactly?”
Alex sighs. “Kara forgot to invite girls to her superhero club, so I'm inviting them for her, cause she's so busy at the Planet and saving the world and stuff and doesn't have time to achieve gender par...parody?”
Alex swivels in her desk chair and hands over the rough draft of the note.
Eliza stares at it for a moment, mutely, and then at Alex, and then back at the note.
Alex waves the torn piece of binder paper up and down, and her mom finally takes it.
“That's...” her voice trails off as she reads. “...That really is important, actually.”
“I told you.”
Several long, silent minutes pass, before Eliza can muscle past the dumbfounded feeling and pull together some parental authority.
“It's still a school night,” Eliza reminds her, and gives her back the note. “You can continue this exercise in girl power tomorrow.”
“Aw, mo-om!” Alex whines.
“Bed, Alex,” Eliza says firmly, but she's smiling.  
“Ten more minutes?” she pleads.
Alex doesn't push her luck. She promises to have the lights out in five minutes, and 'good nights' are exchanged once more. She can hear her mom chuckling as she shuts her bedroom door, 'Oh my goodness...'
Alex returns her attention to the piece of paper, and surveys her handiwork.
She hums to herself. Should she do it in cursive, maybe? No—her cursive 'a's' aren't any good, and this has to be good.
She stares at it for a few minutes more, until, “Alex! Lights out!” sounds from down the hall. She grumbles, but turns out her desk lamp and crawls back into bed.
The message, she decides, is fine.
Now...where to get envelopes...
Kara keeps her head down and walks faster, intent on staying out of and entirely ignorant of the source of Perry's ire. She has stuff she wants to do on her lunch break. Stuff unrelated to solving Perry's problems, whatever they may be.
She arrives at her desk in one piece, and free to pursue her own interests for the next twenty minutes, give or take.
“Okay,” she mutters to herself, and attempts to crack her knuckles. (She just barely manages a measly 'pop,' much to her disappointment.) She pulls out a hefty brown paper bag from her satchel, along with a small, nondescript address book.
The book and the bag go on the desk, though the book takes lower priority as Kara withdraws a few sandwiches and gets those started. (Protein being a key component to success, and all.)
A third of the way into a ham on rye, Kara finally cracks open the address book. “Alright, so. Let's see, uh...other female superheroes...” she skims the first page, “I totally know...other...lady...superheroes....” her voice trails off, as the whole first page is, for one thing: void of any useful contact info, and also: severely lacking in the 'girl' department.
It's mostly a bunch of other super guys she's met while 'on the job.' Names and cities, nothing else. She flips the page. And the next. And the next.
“Rao,” she mumbles around a mouthful of sandwich. “Why don't I have more female friends?”
“Wardrobe, personality, abysmal career trajectory,” a voice drawls behind her. “Take your pick.”
Kara purposefully drops her sandwich on top of the address book, obscuring the info with turkey and shredded lettuce.
“That's not very nice, Cat,” Kara tells the Planet's gossip columnist.
Cat rolls her eyes.
“Well,” she says, “you know me, always so concerned with nice.”
And Kara doesn't have time for this. She rubs at the spot between her brows, sensing the angry furrow developing.
“I don't—”
“Grant!” Perry bellows from across the office. He storms over, and Kara attempts to hide in her desk chair, slouching for all she's worth.
Please just be here for Cat, please just be here for—
“Grant, I've got a bone to pick with—Kent! There you are! Listen, I need you to take care of something.”
Kara bites back a groan. “Sure, Mr. White,” she says, scooping the remnants of her sandwich into the bag, along with the book.
“Won't that ruin it?” Cat asks as Kara stands.
“The book,” she points to the book-shaped lump in the lunch bag, and eyes the collection of grease and mustard spots with no small amount of disdain.
“Probably,” Kara shrugs. “But...I think I needed a new one anyway.”
“These two pieces here?”
“Okay, just a sec...”
Pa waits patiently as Clark bends the metal in question into relatively straight rods. He steps back once he's finished, and lets Pa inspect them.
“This one here is a bit cockeyed, I think.”
“Yeah, I see what you mean.”
“Maybe a few degrees to the left there?”
“I can try that, sure.”
“Well, give it a go, son.”
They're still discussing the relative crookedness of the metal when Ma pokes her head into the workshop, wiping her hands on a dish towel.
“Clark? Phone.”
Clark blinks, clearing the blue glow of heat vision from his eyes.
He excuses himself from their project, trotting after Ma, all the while wondering who could be calling him. No one ever calls him. Except for Lana. But Lana prefers to yell at him in person.
“It loses something, over the phone,” she insists.
Ma points to the receiver sitting on the counter, and gets back to cleaning the engine block currently positioned in the middle of the kitchen floor. Clark has to step over it and avoid several puddles of oil.
There is no greeting, just a simple: “Can you help me with something?”
And it takes Clark a full minute to process.
It's a lovely evening in Gotham—lovely, of course, being a relative term. In Gotham, 'lovely' usually means something along the lines of, 'clear of oppressive rain clouds,' and 'minimal murderous clown activity.'
“We need to talk about this, Bruce.”
Bruce grunts before he growls, “What did I say about first names.”
Kara looks around the decrepit rooftop upon which Bruce is currently perched. Save for a couple of mangy-looking pigeons, they're entirely alone.
“Are you...are you serious, right now?”
Bruce gives her a look.
“Right, of course, when are you not.” Kara rolls her eyes. “Okay, Batman, we need to talk about this. We've got a list of potential recruits and neither of us thought to pay any attention to the fact that they're only gu—” she hears the sirens before he does, obviously, but within a second or two, the bat-signal is painted across the night sky. “Uggggh.”
“Duty calls.” Bruce intones, standing from his crouch and reaching for his grappling hook.
“We'll discuss this later,” he promises. Kara hears the telltale POFF of the hook being released. “Come along. Or don't.”
It's brusque and not exactly what Kara would call inviting. She does hesitate a moment, hovering over the poorly-lit street, watching as Bruce swings away.
“Ugh,” she groans again, ultimately taking off after him, but not before complaining under her breath, “your villains here are so weird.”
“I got him!”
“I got him!”
“You got the last one!”
“Your point?”
“Sharing is caring.”
Coldsnap's head swivels back and forth between the two heroes, not entirely sure what's happening here, but then, not entirely opposed to the opportunity being afforded him—the opportunity to escape.
He backs away slowly at first, as the two young women bicker, and he's just about to dart down the street when the ground beneath him lurches to one side, and he's suddenly sprawled on the pavement.
“See? Got him.”
“Only because I was distracted.”
This is the scene Clark observes, when he touches down in Metropolis; Thunder and Lightning still arguing, but Coldsnap in cuffs, ready to be turned over to the authorities.
He clears his throat. “Excuse me,” he says uncertainly, awkwardly approaching the two, “uh. Hi.”
There's a break in their conversation as they regard the newcomer, eyeing him up and down in...bemusement? Confusion? A mix of the two?
Lightning (the younger one, Clark is pretty sure,) is the first to break, shrugging off the momentary bewilderment and grinning warmly before offering a hand.
“Superboy!” she exclaims. “Hi!”
“Hello.” He smiles, shaking her hand. Then he gently adds, “but it's...Superman, actually.”
“You don't look much older than us,” Thunder points out bluntly.
It's true—Thunder looks to be about his age, with Lightning just a mite younger. But Clark isn't really here to argue seniority or naming conventions; he quickly stoops to reach into his boot and withdraw a crumpled envelope.
“I uh,” he hasn't really practiced what he's going to say. He nervously smooths the paper. “I have a message. From...” He thinks for a moment. “...The Justice League.”
Thunder frowns. “...The what now?” and Lightning tilts her head to the side.
“Sounds cool.”
“Sounds corny.”
“It's cool,” Clark asserts. “Definitely cool.” He offers it to them, and isn't surprised when Lightning is the one to accept it. “Well. I'm—needed elsewhere,” he straightens up and puts his hands on his hips. “So. Have a nice...uh, day.”
Thunder rolls her eyes and Lightning snickers at him, but it's not that bad. At least, that's what he tells himself as he takes off and heads for the Daily Planet. (He's in town, he might as well say hi to Kara while he's here.)
He makes a quick stop at a phone booth, rummaging back in his boot for the (very crumpled) list, as well as a handful of change for the call.
“Gotta get pockets,” he mutters as he tucks the receiver between his shoulder and ear. “Maybe in the cape...?” A couple of pedestrians walk by, giving him weird looks.
He just smiles and waves.
The call goes through, and it's Eliza who answers after two rings.
“Hi, Eliza,” Clark greets her. He expects her to be surprised; he doesn't call very often, as it's usually Kara who sets up meetings, visits, and so on.
But she doesn't miss a beat. “Oh, Clark! Do you want to talk to Alex?”
“I—yes,” he stammers. He must sound very confused, because she laughs.
“I know about the project—with the League? How's that going?” Clark hears soft clicks that suggest the phone is being moved or jostled, and then a slightly muffled, Alex, phone!
“It's going well,” he tells her, once she has the receiver back to her ear.
“That's good,” she says. “Let me know if you need any help, alright?”
“Okay,” Clark agrees, nodding, even though she can't see him.
“Alright, here's Alex.”
The same soft clicks and taps sound—the phone's being moved again. Alex's voice is in his ear a second later.
“How many did you do?” she asks, flat out.
“Hi, Alex,” Clark throws in the greeting to remind her that a 'hello' is nice, every now and again.
She gets the idea. “Hi Clark,” it's quick and perfunctory, and then it's back to the initial question: “How many did you do?”
“I got...four.” Clark goes over the list. “Three, really. I had to leave Wonder Woman's with some sentries on Themyscira. They have a strict 'no boys allowed' policy.”
Alex can't begrudge them—she often wishes she could enact a similar policy with their reading groups at school. (Spencer and Sam never do their work.) “Who're you gonna go to next?”
“Looks like...Vixen,” Clark says, consulting the list once more. “But I'm gonna stop by the Planet first, and say hi to Kara. Maybe let her know she doesn't have to worry about the League roster.” Neither of them have mentioned their project to Kara yet.
“Okay,” Alex says, because that's probably a good idea. “And tell her I say 'hi' too.”
He assures her that he'll pass along the message—after all, he's basically been playing middle man all day—and signs off.
He's leaving the phone booth, wondering where he should should go to change out of his suit, when he hears it: terrified cries from one city over.
He glances towards the bronzed globe across town, breaking up a skyline of squares.
The screaming intensifies.
He leaps towards the clouds. He can always catch Kara later.
“Hello, you've reached the personal number of Bruce Wayne. Master Bruce is unavailable to come to the phone right now, so do leave your name and number, and myself or another member of his staff shall return the call on his behalf. Thank you.”
“Hi Bruce. I know you said you don't really use this number, but you didn't give me any other contact information, and we need to finish our conversation from the other night. So, give me a call back if you can, thanks!”
[Message left on October 3rd at 5:28 PM]
“Hi Bruce. Calling again because we really need to talk. I've left a few other messages, and you have my number at the Planet. Except...maybe don't call that one. But if that's the only one you can call, fine. Because we really need to talk. Really.”
[Message left on October 5th at 6:14 PM]
“Hey Bruce. Haven't heard back from you yet, left another message a few days ago about that talk we still need to have, so if you have a minute, please call me back. Thanks.”
[Message left on October 7th at 4:36 PM]
“Hey Bruce. Seriously, call me back.”
[Message left on October 8th at 8:43 AM]
“Do you know how to operate your answering machine? Call me back, Bruce.”
[Message left on October 9th at 11:23 AM]
“Bruce, the Watchtower goes online next week. The Secretary of State is going to be there, and Arthur's bringing Mera, and we cannot have a team of just twelve guys. Call me back.”
[Message left on October 12th at 3:54 PM]
“Two days, Bruce.”
[Message left on October 12th at 4:03 PM]
“TWO. DAYS.”  
[Message left on October 12th at 5:12 PM]
“I will use the bat-signal. I swear to Rao.”
[Message left on October 12th at 5:45 PM]
“I mean it, Bruce.”
[Message left on October 12th at 7:29 PM]
“Hi Bruce. Commissioner Gordon. Bullock says that gal from Metropolis dropped by, tried to use the signal. If you could maybe pass along a message to The Bat: Remind him to tell his friend that the signal's police property, and off-limits to civilians—even ones with superpowers.... Also, Bullock seems to think she swiped some of his donuts.”
[Message left on October 13th at 12:11 AM]
“So you're probably going to be getting a call from Gotham PD but I would like to state, for the record, that it was absolutely that guy Bullock's fault. me back, Bruce. I mean it.”
[Message left on October 13th at 12:37 AM]
“Also you're probably going to hear about a donut-related incident. Which I can explain.”
[Message left on October 13th at 5:26 AM]
“Alfred. Tell Bruce to call me back.”
[Message left on October 13th at 6:32 AM]
“Is this because I made fun of the trunks that one time?”
[Message left on October 13th at 6:57 AM]
“Watchtower goes online TOMORROW BRUCE, you are the ABSOLUTE WORST,  DO YOU KNOW THAT, YOU...JERK...GUY?!”
[Message left on October 13th at 7:15 AM]
“Wait wait I thought of a better comebac—yes, Mr. White, this is definitely...not a source per se but—yes Mr. White, I'll—yes, Mr. White. …......Can't talk now but oh, just you wait, Bruce. Just you wai—sorry Mr. White, yes. I'm getting off the phone.”
[Voicemail full]
“It's not that I hate him...I just want to throw him into space, you know?”
They're back at the Watchtower—which is bustling with members of the press and a number of suit-clad secret service agents, on loan from the President in order to make sure Secretary Marsdin is properly protected.
(As if the dozen or so superheroes on the premises wasn't enough.)
“Yes,” Eliza nods.
“You might have mentioned that to us, once or twice,” Jeremiah says.
“Six times.” Alex helpfully supplies. “You've said it six times.”
Kara is about to go for seven, but the crowd at the end of the hall parts. She wonders if maybe Arthur has arrived, or Wally.
Instead, she sees Secretary Marsdin striding purposefully down the hall, headed in their direction.
“Oh, oh no.” Kara mutters. Eliza and Jeremiah glance towards the approaching cluster of press and politicians. “I can't—we're not—oh no.”
“It's okay, Kara,” Eliza assures her, “I'm sure she'll understand that the League is...very new, and that you're all still figuring things out, and—”
“She's been pushing for gender equality since before we came to this planet,” Kara mutters forlornly, “and I've just set humans back like. Thirty years.”
“Noooo,” Jeremiah shakes his head. “...Maybe ten. But certainly not thirty.”
Eliza sighs. “Sweetie, you're not helping.”
Kara groans quietly. “I am going to throw Bruce into space—”
“Seven!” Alex chirps.
Kara nods absently. “I mean it. I'm—oh, gosh, she's right there—is my cape okay?”
“Your cape's good,” Alex tells her, giving her a thumbs up. Kara grins nervously, and is about to thank Alex, but then, there she is. The United States Secretary of State.
“Supergirl,” she greets Kara, extending a hand. And though Kara has long tried to get the public to switch over to the more age-appropriate Superwoman, it is still...very cool to hear Secretary Marsdin say it.
Kara swallows her nerves and returns the handshake, grateful that she doesn't get sweaty palms on this planet.
“Madam Secretary,” she replies, voice cracking towards the end. She covers it with a slight clearing of her throat. “I—uh. It's an honor to meet you.”
“Likewise,” she says with a wink.
And it is only thanks to her time at the Daily Planet, interviewing various heads of state and high-ranking officials, that Kara manages to keep her dignity intact, and respond with something polite and (dare she say it) moderately clever.
“Good job,” Alex whispers as they all head towards...well, they're still calling it 'the bridge' because Kara has not yet come up with a cooler name.
“Thanks,” Kara whispers back, but she's distracted, as panic has set in once more. They're about to reveal the roster, and formally introduce the Justice League to the world.
“Tell me about this team of yours,” Secretary Marsdin says, ignoring the myriad of reporters asking for a statement.
“Ah, well...not team,” Kara tells her. “Batman played an integral part in—”
“I assume you've gathered the best of the best?”
“...Um. Some of the best...?”
“And I'm sure I don't have to tell you,” they stop right in front of the metal doors leading to the bridge, “that this League will have an immense responsibility, as you've taken on the role of Earth's protectors.” Kara gulps noisily. “Millions—possibly billions—of people will be looking to you and your peers for hope. An ideal to strive towards.”
“Y-yes,” Kara nods vigorously. “Right.”
“—A source of inspiration, for the next generation—”
“C-certainly, but maybe—”
“—Men, women and children the world over—”
Kara notices that at least nine different news outlets are recording this.
“—Look to these heroes, and see themselves represented in their ranks—”
“Crap.” Kara hisses under her breath.
“—A true international band of heroes—”
Can Kryptonians black out? Kara feels dangerously close to doing so.
She's so nervous, she misses the end of Marsdin's speech. She's looking at Kara expectantly.
“Shall we?” Marsdin repeats.
It's not like Kara can say 'no.' She has no choice but to press her hand to the scan, and allow the crowd to meet the team.
She hangs back with Eliza, Jeremiah, and Alex as the press shuffles past, mentally composing her apology.
“Oh!” She hears Marsdin exclaim, and yes, yes, she is definitely throwing Bruce into space later, once he actually shows up, that...jerk...guy.
Eliza gives her shoulder an encouraging pat before she heads in, hands up, the phrase 'I can explain' ready to go...
And then she stops short.
Because the team gathered on the bridge is...for one thing, much larger than the initial six regular, six reserve members they'd formally invited.
And this large new selection of heroes?
Entirely female.
“What a pleasant surprise!” Marsdin is saying, already shaking hands and introducing herself to those gathered near the door. The reporters and journalists erupt with questions—cameras flash, and microphones are thrust forward as comments are requested.
Black Canary. Huntress. One of the Hawks. Some of the kids from Jump City. Bumblebee...and a bunch of others Kara recognizes from various news reports.
“...How...?” she's trying to figure out what's happening here. Did Bruce get her nine million messages and decide to mess with her? Or maybe Arthur randomly decided to—
She feels her cape move as Alex comes to stand next to her.
“You're welcome,” Alex says.
Notes: - The exchange: ‘Sweetie what are you doing’ ‘important stuff mom’ is all @thatsjustsupergirl
- I figure the Justice League qualifies as an international organization/agency, so the Secretary of State...kind of has business being there...? ...In this universe, let’s say. - Honestly I write these things well after midnight so who knows if they make any sort of sense.
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