“you’ve encountered [this spell] before” (forced truth) + dorian’s tendency to drink/make rash decisions when he shares more than he’d like = This
Male!Companions react to waking up alone after spending the night with Sole.
Hey all! So, just a heads up, I’m also working on this prompt for the Female!Companions for FO4, and also a bunch of companions from FONV and FO3, but if you have any specific requests or want me to add anyone, just let me know! Sorry this is so damn long, but I hope you all enjoy!
Also, there is a bit of angst in here with some mentions of suicidal thoughts, so just a heads up on that!
P.S. If you’re one of the lovely folks who has sent me an ask, I am currently working on writing them up and I will definitely get them out as soon as I can, I just really like the prompts y’all gave me and I want to do them justice :)
Danse sat up with a start, immediately trying to gain his bearings, only to find himself still in the bunker, in his own bed. He let out a shaky breath, still dazed from the heavy sleep that had claimed him. It had been years since he'd slept like that, the last time he recalled sleeping so peacefully was when he was stationed at the Citadel in the Capital Wasteland. Even more than that, he had barely slept at all since discovering his true identity. Danse shook his head, trying to clear it of its sleepy fog, he went to rub his eyes, and he felt his heartbeat increase tenfold as the memories of his night with you came flooding to the forefront of his mind. Even now he felt the heat of a blush rushing to his cheeks. He turned his head, expecting to see your peacefully sleeping form on the mattress beside him. When he didn't, he wasn't sure what to do. Immediately, a slew of emotions and thoughts ran through him, ranging from shame, to panic, to anger, and most of all, hurt. Before he allowed himself to arrive at any premature conclusions, Danse called out for you, looking around the room. Nothing. He stood up, holding the blankets around his waist to conceal himself as he made his way to the hole in the wall that allowed him to peer into the other section of the bunker. Still nothing. The slew of contradicting emotions bubbled up again, leaving him feeling slightly numb. He stood there, just staring, trying to grasp a hold of any clear thought, but they were inadvertently tumbling into his consciousness at an alarming rate.
All at once, one feeling prevailed over the others, and Danse found himself feeling extraordinarily guilty. Guilty for agreeing to last night, for jeopardizing his friendship with the one person he had left in his life by greedily pushing too far. What right did he have to you and your feelings anyway, when his weren't even real? The pain of being deserted by you was overshadowed by the knowledge that he didn't deserve you in the first place. Even when he thought he was human, he had trouble rationalizing his feelings for you, thinking you deserved better than someone like him. Someone as hard headed, as inexperienced, and emotionally ignorant as he was. But now? Now, he wondered why you even bothered to waste any of your time on him, even just as his partner, when it was proven that he's nothing but a machine. Why had you even suggested last night, when you knew the truth about him?
He simply couldn’t understand it. Why had you allowed him to be with you in such a way? To be with you so intimately? Why had you allowed him to touch you so invasively? Why had you spoken to him so softly, so earnestly? How could your gaze have been so full of admiration, of love? He was a goddamn machine, and you’d let him share a bed with you, make love to you. He didn’t even know what love was, didn’t know if it was possible for him to even feel it; and yet, you’d been more open with him than he had been with anyone before. And he wasn’t even human. He was at a complete and utter loss for any form of explanation or reasoning behind your actions.
Danse stood alone in the bunker, staring ahead with brows furrowed low at no single thought in particular. It was then that he realized his heart was still beating out of his chest, he took a deep breath, and prepared himself to leave the bunker in search of you. Because, even now, when you were at the center of his feelings of uncertainty, of guilt, of hurt, he still felt the need to seek the counsel of the one person left he could truly trust, the one whose opinions he had sought in the darkest hours of his existence. He needed you.
More than that, he needed to make sure you were safe. At least that's what he told himself as he dressed, donning his power armor, before he rode the elevator up to the surface, his iron-clad hands clenching tightly as he gripped his laser rifle.
As Danse arrived at the surface, he noted the sunlight bursting through the lone window of the bunker, indicating how late he'd slept in, and he mentally kicked himself for his irresponsibility. If he had woken at his usual hour, would you have still been beside him? Perhaps he could've spoken to you before you left, encouraged you to hear him out, begged you to stay with him. Even just as a friend, just as a partner. He felt he simply couldn’t cope with the loss of you, of the security that you provided him.
Danse shook his head in an attempt to banish these useless thoughts from his mind. He couldn't control the past, he had to keep looking forward. With that, he crossed the threshold out into the Commonwealth.
Danse returned to the bunker a few hours before sundown, feeling utterly at a loss, he'd been everywhere he could reach, everywhere you could've gone in the period of time you had had to get there. He checked every house, farm, settlement… everything in the bunker's vicinity. His limbs felt weak and numb as he approached the entrance to the bunker. He could feel heat rising up in his face as his chest ached. He felt like he needed to hit something. Tears of frustration and dejection threatened to spill over, and he brought a gloved hand up to roughly wipe away the first drop that fell. Though, through the blur of wetness, he spotted a silhouette in the doorway ahead of him.
"Where the hell have you been?!" You shouted, running from the bunker and straight into Danse's arms. For a moment, he remained still, unable to reciprocate your relief in his state of utter shock. In the next instance, his rifle fell from his grip and he was wrapping his arms around you, as tightly as he could without injuring you.
"I believe I could ask you the same question, soldier." Danse said, willing his voice to remain stable. You pulled away so that you could look up at him, your expression one of confusion,
"I thought I told you last night. I had to go to Greentop nursery in the morning and talk to the settlers about their mutant problem." He blinked at you in surprise. At least, you thought you had told him, but maybe it had slipped your mind. It didn't surprise you, given last night's activities.
"But… Why didn't you wake me?"
"Because Danse, I've never seen you sleep in, I wanted you to get some rest for once."
"I would have rather been with you." He said quietly. You opened your mouth to speak, but he continued,
"It was irresponsible of you to leave me uninformed, you should have woken me. You scared me, Sole. I thought…" he took a quick breath to steady his voice, "I don't know what I thought. I woke up and you were gone, I wasn't sure if you were in danger, or if you were angry with me, or whether or not you even meant to return."
"Danse, of course I was going to come back, I just didn't expect you to be gone when I did."
"And for that, I apologize. However, I implore you to understand--"
"Danse. It's okay, we're both here now, we're both safe. And I don't know about you, but I'm starving. C'mon." You turned towards the bunker and went to make your way inside. Danse stood a moment, watching you walk away. Feeling began slowly returning to his limbs, and for the first time all day, his heartbeat slowed to its normal rate. He reached down to pick up his rifle, a small smile spreading across his lips as he moved to follow you back into the bunker.
Deacon opened his eyes, only to immediately close them again, as the bright morning sun showed through the windows of Ticonderoga safehouse, and directly into his retinas.
“Damn,” He said, reaching over to grab for his shades from beside the mattress. Once they were placed onto his face, he decided it would be safe to open his eyes once again. Deacon groaned as he rolled his shoulders, and sat up, stretching his arms overhead.
God, he felt good. The tightness of his muscles serving as a reminder of the… ahem, events of last night. Last night, with you. How the hell had that happened? He almost couldn’t believe it. After so many years of being alone, of feeling emotionally inept, and unable to move on. Here you came, seemingly out of some sci-fi novel, with your futuristic, time-traveling backstory, and inhuman good looks, and for some reason, you’d thought he was, of all things, cute. That was the word you had used, he remembered it vividly, and of course he had feigned being annoyed by the use of the word to describe him, but in reality? He adored the fact that you thought so. No one had ever referred to him as such, and the fact that it confirmed you reciprocated the feelings he had for you; that was truly extraordinary. These feelings that he had tried so desperately to bury deep down, where they couldn’t meddle with your friendship, or your professional relationship, or his own crippling fear of being committed to someone again (given how well it went the first time). Now, he barely understood why he had tried so hard to snuff out his emotions if this was one of the possible outcomes of revealing them to you. He never dreamed that you could have returned the affection he had for you. However, if last night was any kind of indicator… yeah, he’d say the two of you had pretty strong feelings indeed.
At least, that’s what he had thought. Until he turned to you excitedly, looking to see if you had woken yet, and found your spot next to him quite empty. His jaw clenched at the sight, but he took a breath and resolved himself to looking around the safehouse for your belongings. His teeth worried anxiously against the inside of his cheek as he noticed the distinct absence of anything belonging to you. Deacon stood in the middle of the safehouse, bringing his hands up to roughly rub at his face.
“God dammit.” He said aloud, unable to keep something from escaping him. Deacon liked to think he had a good bit of self control, it came with the job after all, a spy with no sense of restraint and proper judgment didn't live very long. However, you had this way of making him forget everything he thought he knew about himself. There he was last night, doing the one thing he vowed he'd never do again. Falling for someone. Him! Deacon, the immature, sarcastic, dishonest, and unemotional agent of the railroad; and here he was, head over heels for a widowed, pre-war saint like you. What a pair you two would have made.
I suppose it really was too good to be true. He thought bitterly.
Deacon grabbed his things and set off into the Commonwealth without so much as a glance over his shoulder. He stared dead ahead, refusing to address the pressure he felt in his chest. Trying desperately to maintain his cool and unbothered exterior, to remain the type of person he was before he'd met you. He always knew he could change the way he looked in a day or less, but the way you'd changed his perspective of the world, of his place in it, and his future? He didn't think you could have changed who he'd turned out to be if you had all the time in the world. Deacon was firmly set in his ways, so much so, that even he couldn't change who he was. No matter how much he despised himself at times. But man, had he been wrong, all the disguises in the world couldn't mask the fact that, for the first time in years, Deacon had a priority in his life besides the railroad, and besides himself. And that scared the shit out of him.
Now he wasn't really sure what to think. If you had simply wanted nothing more than a one-night stand, you could have just told him so. At least then he would’ve been prepared for this shit. For you leaving him, seemingly without a second thought.
The sniper shook his head roughly as he kicked up the dust of the wasteland, his footfalls much heavier than they had any business being. He always had prided himself at being a good judge of character, at being intuitive, but he never would have expected something like this from someone like you. Someone who cared about the happiness of everyone else more than their own well-being, someone who was kind, and selfless, and empathetic, someone who constantly put their own life at risk for the benefit of complete strangers. Sure, he did that occasionally, but his life was worth a hell of a lot less. You were a good person, and always had been. From the moment he saw you, everything he heard about you, all of it pointed to the fact that you, even after all you’d lost, after everything you endured, you were a better person than he could ever hope to be. And now, for you to do this to him? It was completely out of character. Whatever, he thought, if this is all you wanted from me, then fine. It's all you're going to get.
As he approached the Old North Church, Deacon mentally prepared himself for the possibility that you too would be at the Railroad headquarters. He decided to simply not acknowledge your… ordeal, and act as though nothing had changed. Though, if Deacon was honest (which he rarely ever was), he would rather not have you as his partner anymore. With the way he was feeling-- the way he had once felt about you, it would be too complicated. He didn’t need complicated. The railroad missions provided enough of that.
He entered HQ quietly, and mulled about, visiting with the others and picking up missions left and right in an effort to acquire enough distractions to keep him out of the church for as long as possible. He figured that way, the likelihood of bumping into you would be decreased enough for him to get a handle on himself before having to face you. But, of course, his plans were all for naught, he realized as you stormed into the catacombs, your glowering eyes falling directly to the bald sniper in the corner of the room; the sniper who was trying desperately to make himself seem distracted as he felt your eyes burning into the back of his head. At least you had the decency to lower your voice as you approached him,
“Deacon!” You hissed, shouting his name as quietly as one could shout.
He continued staring at the blackboard, a hand at his chin as he feigned interest in what was written there.
“What the hell?” You asked, taking another step towards him, close enough that he could feel your hot breath on his cheek.
“Hmm? Something wrong?” He asked, turning his head towards you while his eyes stayed glued to the board in front of him. You took a step back, and the next thing he knew, you had extended your hand forcefully towards his face, leaving a stinging red mark imprinted on his cheek in its wake. Deacon’s head snapped back towards the blackboard at the power of your blow, his sunglasses barely managing to hang onto his face by the bridge of his nose.
I’m not sure if I deserved that or not…
He brought his own hand up to rub the spot you had just slapped, finally letting his eyes meet yours from beneath his crooked shades. He nearly gasped at your expression. Your eyebrows were knitted together above your tear-filled eyes, your mouth a straight line as your chin trembled slightly. He’d say you looked sad, but behind your eyes, all he could see was fire. The same fire he’d felt when he saw that you had deserted him that morning. Or, at least, when he thought you’d deserted him.
Almost without thinking, Deacon grabbed your hand and dragged you back to the more private area of the railroad HQ. Despite your clear vexation with him, you allowed him to lead you to the back of the church catacombs, near the emergency exit.
“Alright, you finally ready to explain yourself?” You asked, wrenching your hand from his grasp.
“Me? I’m pretty sure it was you who walked out on me, and who just slapped me in the face for asking a simple question.” Your nostrils flared at that and for a moment, Deacon thought you were going to do something violent again.
“Okay, look, I know I’ve fallen for your lies before, but I think it’s pretty damn ridiculous for you to think that I’ll believe this one. I was there, Deacon! You left me. You took all your shit and left me alone at the safehouse. I don’t care what happened the night before, even if it was awful for you, or awkward for you to see me in that way, or whatever, you still don’t abandon your partner. We agreed to that the moment I became an agent.”
Deacon’s jaw dropped to his chest at his realization, and your accusation. He had left you? When? How? When was he supposed to find that out?
“Look, Sole, I’m a liar, I’ll give you that. But I’m a good one,” you rolled your eyes at him, a scoff sounding from your throat, “so, I wouldn’t even attempt to lie to you if I could see that you absolutely knew the truth.”
“God, if you’ve got a point, make it, asshole.”
“Ouchies, no need for name calling there, slappy. I’m just trying to figure out the miscommunication issue we’ve got going on here.” You glared at him, and he was forced to continue.
“The truth is,” Deacon looked down at the floor as he spoke softly to you, feeling as though the words were being wrenched from his throat, “I only left because I thought you had first. I woke up, and you were gone. Your things were gone. I thought that was it, that you were done with our… partnership. Done with me. And hey, I can’t say I’d blame you. Especially if you’d really think I could just up and leave after spending a night like that with you.”
“Oh.” you whispered, before trying to explain yourself, “I wasn’t-- I didn’t just leave, I mean, I went up to give High Rise the MILA for Tom. I was gone for five minutes, Deacon. I was coming right back.” The two of you stood a moment, as realization washed over you. And a bit of regret, too. And a sprinkle of foolishness.
Finally, he brought his gaze up to meet your eyes. Hoping his apology was as evident on his face as it was on yours. You brought your hand to his cheek, soothing over the angry red mark that you had left earlier, and Deacon flinched slightly at your touch, his eyes falling once again to the floor.
“It really only took you five minutes to think that I had left you?” You asked gently, the anger that had once been prevalent in your voice dissolving into concern. Deacon chuckled dryly.
“Haven’t I taught you anything? When you assume the worst, it’s a lot harder to be disappointed.”
“Yeah, I guess that makes sense. But I bet it makes it all the better when you find out you were wrong.” Deacon smiled weakly at you, shaking his head.
“Yeah, no. I’m not seeing the appeal in being wrong just yet.” The hand that still rested on his cheek slid to the back of his neck, grasping firmly as you pulled his face towards yours. The pressure of your brow displaced Deacon’s shades as you crashed your lips into his. He toppled backwards against the wall of the catacombs as you pressed more forcefully into him, his arms falling behind him to steady himself against the cold brick, as your unoccupied hand slunk up to his chest, keeping him pinned between you and the wall. You pulled your head back, but kept your hands in place as you murmured,
“What about now?”
“Hmm?” Deacon’s ginger eyebrows raised above his glasses as his mind went blank. You cocked an eyebrow at him, a smirk forming on your face.
“Oh, right. I suppose so. Though, I think I’m gonna need a few reminders every once in a while.”
“Hmm,” you mused, “I think that can be arranged.”
The ghoul awoke with a purr, stretching one ruined arm out to blindly search for your sleeping body. He distinctly remembered curling up with you wrapped tight in his embrace before lulling off into the best sleep he's had in years. For the first time in months he didn't have the nagging ache of wishing you were pressed against him as he settled in for the night. The thoughts of you lying so close but so painfully out of reach were finally pushed from his head to make room for the sheer bliss of being able to touch you, to feel your unbelievably soft skin, to breathe in your sweet scent and relish in the closeness of your body against his.
That was of course, until this morning. Hancock opened his eyes lazily, his dark gaze sweeping over the mess of bed sheets and pillows that littered the plush mattress. The sight of the disheveled blankets bringing back heated memories of last night. Before his brow furrowed at the realization of the current situation he found himself in. Hancock slowly rose from the bed, his dark eyes searching the surrounding room for any sign of you. He found his trousers, his hat, his coat... but nothing of yours remained where they had been tossed last night. If Hancock had a nose, it would have been curling alongside the rest of his scrunched up face as he thought of you leaving in such a hurry this morning. Hancock felt a pain in his chest and immediately craved a hit of something, anything, to numb the hollow feeling that began spreading through his body.
Sunlight shone through the windows of the old state house, the beams of light diffused by the ringlets of smoke rising from the ghoul's mouth as he took yet another hit of jet, trying hard to keep his mind blank, but inevitably failing as his thoughts returned to last night's events. Coming almost in slow motion, he picked apart every movement; every touch, kiss, lick, and caress, nitpicking every action he had made and thinking about what he might've done to warrant your desertion of him. But deep down, he knew that his actions mattered little. You had assured him on numerous occasions that him being a ghoul didn't bother you, but you had never really seen him before. Not in the way you saw him last night. Had never felt his rough skin on yours, had never run your hands up his ravaged body, the softness of your touch only amplifying the harshness of his own leathery flesh. You had never uncovered the gross discoloration of his radiation-ravaged body. But last night, you had finally gotten a good, long look. And here he was, thinking that you of all people could’ve seen past that. You had been able to forgive him for his past, after all. Hadn’t you? But maybe that had been part of it too. Maybe you’d finally realized all that he really was. A reckless and cowardly poor excuse for a man, who spends his life in a haze of delirium rather than facing the pain of being alive. A pain that he had inflicted upon himself to break away from that same self-righteous fog that he’d found himself in in the first place. It’s no wonder you’re gone. Maybe you were never even really here. Maybe you were just another daydream of his, just another hallucination. God, if that was the case, he didn’t even know what he would do. After having you so close, being with you like this? He didn’t really see the point in living without you.
Hancock sighed heavily at the thought. He didn't know how long he sat simply thinking, his perception of time temporarily altered by the jet, but he had to do something to alleviate this torture, and if chems wouldn't do it... well....
"I need some air," he rasped aloud as he stood and headed for the balcony, donning his coat and hat on his way out. The mayor had to keep up appearances, after all.
He almost didn't see you as he stepped through the door, the way you leaned out against the rail, eyes closed, a soft, beautiful smile playing at your plush lips. Hancock could've stared at you until the world around him turned to dust, but you moved long before that musing could come to reality. Turning to look at him, your smile brightened further, and Hancock couldn't keep himself from touching you. He grabbed one of your hands in his, using his other to caress your pink-dusted cheek, affirming that you truly were physically there, standing in front of him.
"And what were you doing out here all by your lonesome? Trying to give a ghoul a little taste of heartbreak?" You let out a soft laugh,
"No, sweetheart," you called him affectionately, leaning into his light touch upon your cheek, "I thought that you would sleep longer. I just wanted to get out and enjoy some sunshine." You turned once again towards the morning sun, the rays highlighting every one of your perfect features. Hancock beamed at the sight of you, before turning and looking out at his city in thought,
"Hmm," he mused, "Sunshine, huh?"
MacCready had been lying on his back for a while now, staring at the crumbling ceiling of the dingy little room at the hotel Rexford. This certainly hadn’t been his idea of an ideal location for your first time together, but who was he to complain? It was safe, and private, and it had been a damn good night. But he’d been staring at the ceiling for what felt like hours, waiting for you to stir. He’d thought it was odd, given the fact that you always woke up first when the two of you traveled together, but he’d like to think you hadn’t yet stirred because of the way he had exhausted you last night, his chest puffed out at the thought of it and he let out a contented sigh. The thoughts of your night together spilled into his consciousness, and he stretched out his arms in front of him, snickering slightly at the soreness of his body, and suddenly, he couldn’t wait for you any longer.
“Geeze, you awake yet, sleepyhead?” MacCready rolled onto his side to face the lump under the covers. He ran his hand over the mattress, over to you, but as he reached the lump beneath the blankets, all he felt was plushness. He withdrew the covers from atop you, only to find… pillows? Just a pillow, and a blanket. MacCready’s body spasmed as he jolted out from under the covers on his side of the bed, his head flying from side to side as he looked for you.
“Sole?” He cocked an eyebrow at the empty hotel room, and as he noticed your absence, his expression quickly changed from confusion to one of anger. You had left? But why? Had he done something wrong? He didn’t think so… but maybe he just... wasn’t everything you expected from him. Feeling like he’d been punched in the stomach, MacCready climbed from the bed, grabbing his trousers from the floor and stomping around the room in pursuit of the remainder of his clothes, not failing to notice how everything belonging to you was no longer in the room either. Heat rose to MacCready’s face as he pulled on his duster, but he wasn’t sure if it was from embarrassment, or anger, or heartache, or some combination thereof.
What the heck? He thought, you were the one to suggest doing this, why would you do that if you were just gonna leave me like this? Right when MacCready had thought he’d found the one. The person who could help him move on from Lucy after everything he’d been through. You were perfect, not just for him, but for Duncan too. You were selfless, and kind, compassionate, resourceful, sometimes you were a bit of a sarcastic ass, but he loved that about you. You were a parent and a spouse, just like he had been. You were both lost, and broken when you found each other, just a couple halves that had made each other whole. You were his future... Or so he’d thought. But who was he kidding? You were so out of his league, the two of you weren’t even playing the same damn sport. He should’ve known this would be the outcome. But then, why the heck did you let it go this far? Sure, he was the one who had poured all of his feelings out onto the table, but he didn’t know what he’d expected you to do. He just felt like he would explode if he held them in any longer, especially when the two of you spent so much time together. He saw you every damn day, and all he wanted to do was hold your hand, he wanted to sleep beside you and hold onto you through the night, to have you run your fingers through his hair and tell him that you felt the same way. MacCready never imagined you’d do something like this to him, never thought you’d get his hopes up, dangling the future he'd always dreamed of having right in his face before ruthlessly snatching it away.
He rolled his eyes at his own ridiculous train of thought and groaned as he bent down to grab his rifle.
“At least you paid for the room up front.” he mumbled as he placed his hat on his head and made his way to the door.
MacCready’s footsteps fell heavily onto each stair as he headed down to the lobby, wondering where he’d go from there. He considered going and looking for you, but what was the point? Clearly if you wanted to see him, you wouldn’t have freakin left. Was he really petty enough to seek you out just to tell you how messed up it was that you’d left him the way that you did? Maybe… but he needed a drink first. To the Third Rail it was, then. What was it, 10am? He could drink at 10am. He could do whatever the heck he wanted, especially now that you were gone.
MacCready reached the bottom of the stairs, looking straight past the small crowd of people that were gathered in the lobby as he made his way to the exit. Just as his hand reached the door, he heard his name being shouted. His body shuddered at the sound of your voice, and he stood stock straight as he decided what to do. One fist clenched as the other hand pushed the door open and he crossed the threshold into Goodneighbor. The door never closed behind him, and he felt an iron grip on his forearm as he tried to head towards the Third Rail.
“Ow, hey!” He spun to face you, face slightly contorted in his confusion. What was he supposed to think now? He was still angry and hurt, but should he be? Ugh.
“Wait, Mac. I know how it must’ve looked, but really, it’s just a misunderstanding.” He stared at you, his deep blue eyes clouded with suspicion. He didn’t say a word, not wanting to ruin anything by making false assumptions or accusations. Instead, he waited for you to explain, wrenching his wrist from your grip as he folded his arms over his chest.
Before you could continue, Rufus came up from behind, asking quietly if he could go through the doors.
“Come on,” you urged, “let’s get out of the doorway.” You herded MacCready to one of the couches in the lobby, seating yourself next to him.
“Alright. Explain.” He said, brows still furrowed. You almost snickered at how put-out the sniper seemed. You couldn’t quite tell if it was an act or not, but knowing MacCready… yeah, probably not an act.
“Rufus was having some trouble with Drinkin’ Buddy.” You told him, “The bot shut down and no one could get him to turn on again. This morning, some sort of warning light started flashing, so he came up and asked if I could help him fix it. I would’ve asked you to come along, but you were still asleep, and I know how you hate being woken up…” You trailed off, waiting for him to say something in response.
Man, MacCready felt moronic. Why had he been so quick to assume the worst? Okay, maybe not the worst, the worst would’ve been… Well, that’s not important. He shook his head, finally letting himself breathe deeply again.
“You sure that was it?” He asked, uncertainty coating his tone as he narrowed his eyes at you.
You leaned forward, smoothing a hand up his chest to the back of his neck as you brought your lips to his. Your fingers fiddled with the hair at the base of his neck and held him to you as your mouth moved against his, trying to answer his question without having to use your words. This was better, anyway. You felt a hand move to your waist as he relaxed into the kiss, his strong grip pulling you nearly into his lap as he returned your fervor. Only when you needed air did you pull back from him, your heartbeat still racing as you watched his gorgeous eyes flutter open.
“Did that answer your question?” You asked cheekily. He smiled, face still pink from the heat of your kiss.
“I don’t know, boss, I may still need some more, ah, reassuring.” You snickered at that, and glanced back at Clair’s desk.
“Any more convincing and we may need that room again. You think if we go now, we won’t have to pay the hotel for a second day?”
God, I think I’m in love. MacCready thought as he nodded to you, a boyish grin spreading across his lips. At that, both of you scrambled off of the couch, quickly making your way towards the stairs and up to the hotel room.
The synth didn't sleep, but he didn't mind it. He stayed awake beside you in bed, replaying memories of the night over and over in his mind. Although he wasn't sure how comfortable it could be, he had his arms curled around you, holding you tightly to his synthetic chest while the memories of his favorite night (in either of his lifetimes) were running through his mind. You snored softly in his embrace, utterly at peace, as he gazed affectionately at your soft features. Nick didn't often feel blissful, and he never would've imagined himself in this situation, being completely content with the person he admired, and adored so adamantly, safely wrapped in his arms. He should've known it wouldn't last.
Without a sound, he felt as you slowly and gently pried his arms off of your body, climbing off of the shared mattress. Nick figured that you would give him an explanation; perhaps once you were out of bed? When you went to go and dress yourself? Before walking through the door? But you were silent throughout, even as he heard the door click shut behind you. Nick closed his eyes tightly, sighing to himself and wondering if the pain in his chest was substantial enough to cause him to short circuit. What had he done wrong? Even if it was nothing, he would understand why you had left. Even at his best, Nick could hardly amount to what any average human could give you, and he could never give you everything you wanted. Everything you needed, and deserved. He wasn't real. So he wouldn't blame you for leaving, hell, if he hadn't been so caught up in his own blissful feelings, he might've encouraged you to go. And he had, before last night had truly begun, he recalled asking you if he was what you really wanted. Then, you had seemed so eager, almost laughing at the thought that he couldn't be enough, after all this time the two of you had spent together, and all your pining over him. These thoughts circled through the synth's mind as he lay in bed, staring at the ceiling. He willed himself to grab a file and get to work, to do something, anything, to distract himself from the pain, but it was as though the weight in his chest was too much to bear. The height of his earlier high only amplifying the depths of his current low.
Every attempt to look through a case file was a failure, his yellow eyes roaming the first few lines of writing before his mind drifted off. To thoughts of where you could have gone, whether or not you would come back, and thoughts of last night. At the way you made his pistons fire at triple times their normal rate, the way you made his metal heart flutter in his chest, and the way you had come so beautifully undone in his arms. That was it. The moment he needed to remember for the rest of his days on this ruined earth. At that very moment, nothing else seemed to matter. He was sure he'd been foolish before, thinking you could never care for him in such a way. How foolish he'd felt then... it was nothing compared to now. The synth brought his metallic hands up to his face, the tips of his fingers displacing the worn hat on his head. He imagined tears flowing from beneath the heels of his hands as he dug them into his eye sockets, but of course none came. Would that have been acceptable? If he had been able to shed real tears, like a real human being, would you have stayed after last night? If he had been able--
The door to the agency burst open at that moment, interrupting the old detective's thoughts, and sending his head shooting back to see who had busted in so aggressively, his hat flying from its usual place atop his head.
The fact that the synth couldn't breathe didn't matter in this moment as he huffed a massive sigh of relief at the glorious sight of you, the light of the early morning sun casting a warm glow around your body.
"Oh doll..." the words escaped him as a smile began to spread across his synthetic lips, "for a moment there, I thought you were an angel." You giggled at that, your flushed smile causing the whirring in his chest to increase exponentially.
"I can't tell you how glad I am to see you, I was just about to open up a missing person's case on ya." You finally closed the door and made your way to his desk, leaning down to give his cheek a chaste kiss as you smoothed your hand over his chest, stopping to grab at his tie and pull him up towards you.
"Always the professional, hmm detective?" You smirked at him and he gave you a crooked smile before bringing his good hand up to stroke his thumb over one of your soft cheeks.
"Although," you continued, teasingly bending down to pick his hat up from the floor, "your uniform doesn’t seem to be up to the usual standards."
"Oh? Is that what you think?" He said, reaching for the hat before you held it behind your back, a mischievous grin forming on your lips,
"Sure is. You don't have your hat.”
“Oh? And whose fault is that?” He interjected playfully.
“And” you continued, “look at this coat, full of rips. It’s practically in shambles." you ran a finger down his side, allowing the tip of your fingernail to catch at the tiny holes littering the worn fabric.
"Hey now, my coat's always looked like that. You didn't seem to find fault in it when you were cold last night." You shook your head,
"Nope, I'm sorry Mr. Valentine, it's all in disarray, I'm afraid we'll just have to scrap the whole thing."
"Well now, if that’s what you were after, you could've just told me, darling. No need to insult--" His sentence remained unfinished as you tightened your grip on his tie, pulling him in for a kiss that was anything but chaste. He had so many questions left unanswered, but for reasons unknown, he couldn't seem to think of a single coherent inquiry to voice to you in this instance. Looks like it will just have to wait until later.
Preston felt uneasy. His eyes had opened slowly when he had awoken, his heartbeat had remained consistently calm, dapples of sunlight shone through the holes in the curtains beside the bed, indicating that he had slept through the night. Why did everything feel so… so peaceful? No nightmares, no panic attacks, the usual insomnia Preston tended to face in the wee hours of the morning had never reared its infuriating head.
Then he remembered.
It was all because of you. Amazing, incredible, infallible, irresistible you. Heat flooded to his face as a coy smile touched his lips. Suddenly, he felt he had to be near you, he had to see you to believe what his mind told him had happened last night.
“Mhm, good morning," he sighed, as he turned to face your side of the bed, "how are you-- ?" Preston's eyebrows creased as he noticed your absence, his voice trailing off as he realized his question had no recipient.
"Sole?" He sat up, rubbing his awakening eyes before glancing around the room of your Sanctuary house.
"Sole?!" Preston said, louder than the first time. Perhaps you had simply gone to the washroom? Or to the kitchen maybe? Rising from the bed, Preston fetched his trousers from the pile of clothes that rested at the foot of the bed, trying not to dwell too much on the thoughts that it inspired.
But... only my clothes are here. He reflected, feeling a pang in his chest, before reminding himself that you might want to be clothed, wherever you’d gone, even if it was just in your own house. He released a bit of his anxiety in a quick breath, before heading for the bedroom door, he opened it gingerly, glancing down the hallway before making his way to each of the rooms in search of you. He did so slowly, hesitantly, in fear of what he might find. Or, rather, afraid of what he wouldn't find.
Preston stood in the empty kitchen, numb, his fear utterly realized. He collapsed into a chair at the kitchen table, afraid to let himself think, but unable to do anything else in his current state. Why, why, why did he have to act on his feelings for you? He just had to tell you how you made him feel, he had to be vulnerable and had to “put himself out there.” He just had to be intimate with you, he had to ruin everything. Why couldn’t he have just been happy with the way things were, with you as his friend? There he was, his life in danger, unable to help the people who needed him most, the Minutemen in complete disarray after having failed those they vowed to protect, and there you were. Here to save their asses, to turn his disaster of a life into one full of hope, full of light, and now, you were gone. You had left because he was an inarticulate, inexperienced, greedy, fool of a man who couldn't keep his mouth shut and just settle for having you as his general, and as his best friend. Why had he needed more? He didn't deserve more, not with you, hell, the whole damn world didn't deserve you, so how did he ever think you could want to be with him?
But you told me you did. You said you cared about me and-- No. Actions speak louder than words, and your absence after the first night you two had spent together… that spoke volumes.
Maybe you finally realized that I'm nothing special. Not compared to you. Maybe you realized that, next to you, and without you, I'm nothing at all. Preston balled a fist and pounded it weakly against your worn kitchen table, the dull thud resounding through the empty house. He sighed, sliding the chair back with a groan as he rose to his feet, heading once again to the back of the house. Entering your room without you felt like a crime, but he figured he might as well remove his things, and put on the remainder of his clothes, before leaving.
He stared down at the pile of tousled fabric at the foot of the bed, slowly untangling each individual article, secretly hoping that, if he took long enough, you would eventually make your way back into the room. That you would give him some inconsequential excuse for your absence, and he could forget all of the confusion and uncertainty of the morning. As Preston gingerly began to re-dress himself, thoughts came unbidden to the forefront of his mind. The way your soft, gentle fingers had undone each of the buttons of his shirt, the pressure tickling his neck, then his chest, down his stomach to his naval, your hands wasting no time as they moved upward to push the silky material off over his shoulders. He recalled the feeling of the smooth fabric of his scarf, as it unraveled slowly around his neck, a chill creeping onto the sensitive skin before you had chased it away quickly with the heated touch of your sweet lips. He remembered the breathy gasp that had escaped from you as your hands grasped tightly at the lapels of his coat, his mouth colliding with yours over and over again as his mind screamed for him to stop, to slow down, to ignore the fire blazing beneath his skin.
This is your general! It had told him, this is your friend, your recently widowed friend, your friend that you desperately need to keep in your life! If you screw this up, how will you ever be able to forgive yourself?
He should have listened to his head then. Why hadn’t he? Preston was sure that, if he had, it would have spared him from the awkward discussion he was bound to have with his superior officer in the near future. It certainly would have saved him the pain he was feeling now.
At the same time though... Last night had been the best night of Preston’s life. Did he really regret having those memories now? Yes, he had to. After all, what did last night matter if it hadn’t made you happy?
Preston shook his head, releasing a breath he was sure he’d been holding since he left the kitchen. Pulling up his boots, he grabbed the remainder of his things and left the room, glancing back at the empty bed one last time before placing his hat atop his head and pulling the door shut softly behind him.
The beams of morning sunlight chased away the fog that had settled in the streets of Sanctuary, bits of bright blue sky peeking through the gaps in the clouds. Looks like it’ll be a nice day. He thought somberly, trying desperately to perk himself up, lest he bump into any settlers on his patrol. He wouldn’t want to worry anyone with his troubled expression, and he certainly wasn’t prepared to answer any questions about his current state. Preston started towards the bridge, planning to begin his patrol of the perimeter from there. He was so focused on his destination, he nearly failed to notice the hand waving him down from the side of the street. When he did turn to look, his breath caught in his throat.
“Sole!” He exclaimed, much too loudly, as he noticed you, nearly dropping his laser musket. A wounded settler was seated on the curb, you were kneeling next to him on one side, wrapping a bandage around his arm, with Sturges standing on the other, an empty stimpak in hand. As soon as he processed what he was seeing, the Minuteman lieutenant tried desperately to compose himself, a blush inadvertently creeping up his cheeks as his eyes met yours. He adjusted his grip on his musket, and cleared his throat, trying to hide his embarrassment.
“Is everything alright over here?” He asked, making his way over to the group, “What can I do to help, general?” you gave him a small smile, assuring him everything was alright, and finished tending to the settler who, as Preston found out, was a new arrival who’d run into a pack of mongrels on his way to Sanctuary. When they were all certain the settler would be okay, Preston quietly asked the general if they had a moment to talk, much to Sturges’ amusement.
“I’ll leave you two lovebirds to it, then. And don’t worry, your secret’s safe with me,” Sturges slapped Preston on the back as he passed by, snickering to himself. Preston felt heat rising to his face again and quickly motioned for you to follow him behind the house, hoping to get a little privacy. He took in a sharp breath, before releasing it slowly, and you smiled warmly at him. That’s a good sign, I suppose.
“How are you feeling?” He asked you quietly. Your eyes looked past Preston, almost as though you hadn’t heard him, and he felt a pang in his chest. Turning your head slightly, you glanced to either side, ensuring no one else was looking on, before turning back to him, looking into his eyes as a flush touched your cheeks.
“If I’m honest?” you started, and Preston’s breath caught in his throat, “I’m a little sore.” you said with a little smile, and Preston felt his knees wobble as his legs nearly gave out in relief.
“Heh, if I’m honest, me too.” He said, shyly looking down at his feet as he felt heat rise to his cheeks. “So, about that,” he continued, “last night, I mean. Did you, ahem, did you like--”
In an instant, your lips were on his own. The kiss was soft, but forceful, affirming all that Preston was uncertain of.
“Last night was… amazing, Preston.” You told him after you had pulled away, your hands resting on his shoulders, keeping his body pressed to yours.
“Then, when you left this morning ... ?”
“Sturges was looking for you when he found the settler on his patrol this morning, but he obviously didn’t find you in your bed, so he came to find me and--”
Preston groaned, an embarrassed smile forcing its way to his lips,
“He didn't see anything, did he?” You giggled at that,
“No, honey, he didn’t see anything.” You rolled your eyes playfully, before pulling at his shoulders, urging his ear to your lips, “But someone did. And I hear they really liked what they saw. You know who it was?” you whispered.
“Who?” you heard him breathe.
“Hmm, you really don’t know?” You sneaked a peek at his face, noting the goofy grin that spread all the way to his warm, chocolate eyes, and you couldn’t help but lean further into him. Preston drew an arm around you, his hand on your lower back, keeping you anchored to him, and all apprehension following this morning’s events seemed to be forgotten.
“You might just have to remind me.” He said cheekily, pulling you into another kiss.
The tightness in his chest was the least of the courser's worries as he woke to find himself utterly alone. You were gone, that, he knew. But where-- no, how? How had you woken and readied yourself without also waking him?
He never should have agreed to last night. Not only was it completely inappropriate, given your future position in the Institute, but it had distracted him from his main duty. The most important mission he'd ever been assigned: to watch over his charge, to keep them safe. To protect you. He had grown distracted, and now you were gone. The future director of the Institute, someone he respected and idolized, a person he cared about, more than anyone he'd ever come across in his existence, was just gone. His loyalty to you was akin to his loyalty to the Institute itself, and that was non-negotiable, unbreakable, hard-wired into him. You had won his devotion on your own, which made it that much more meaningful. And that much more painful when he realized that you might not feel the same loyalty for him. But why would you? And why did he care? He was allowed to feel allegiance towards you without you needing to return it, was he not? But … if you had felt this loyalty for him, you surely wouldn't have left him alone, correct? At least that's what it seemed like, but X6 wasn't particularly knowledgeable when it came to this subject. He didn't know, these thoughts confused him, and normally you were the one to help him make sense of his more... human tendencies and emotions, but clearly in this instance, he was on his own. You had treated him like no one ever had, like a real person, and so he thought he could start acting like one. Feeling like one. But he was wrong. X6 wasn't wrong often, and he hated the feeling. In his current state, every feeling he had was a negative one. He decided to shut it out. These feelings weren't helping him protect you, which was still his mission, reciprocated loyalty or not. Sitting around, contemplating his emotions didn't help him to find you.
The courser sat up and climbed off the mattress, grabbing his clothes that he had folded neatly beside the bed last night, noting that only his were present. After you had fallen asleep, X6 had untangled his body from your own as gently as he could, so as not to wake you, and had placed your clothes beside the bed in preparation for the morning. He had retrieved his courser uniform from the floor, with the intent of dressing himself and sitting on watch for the night, but you had stirred, sleepily requesting he return to the space beside you. He remembered hesitating, before folding his coat and placing it on the table beside your own clothes and doing as you had asked. Sliding beneath the covers, he had laid on his side, placing an arm around your waist. He remembered wondering if what he had done was correct, if he was doing this all right, but you had seemed happy, and that was all that mattered to him. So, if he had done nothing wrong, why had you left? Taken your clothes, and your bag, and your gun, and vanished without a trace? And when had he started caring about your happiness? Your health, and your safety, yes, he should certainly care about those, given the nature of his orders. But now he cared about how he made you feel. He wanted you to be happy, and he wanted to be the one to make you feel that way. But why?
X6 shook his head, attempting to clear it, and grabbed his rifle from the top of the dresser. It was distracting thoughts like these that had forced him into his current predicament, he wasn't about to make that mistake again. Placing his shades onto his face, he prepared to head through the door, and out into the wastes to search for you.
X6 surveyed the surrounding area outside of your home in Sanctuary: the gas station, Abernathy farm, Tenpines bluff, even the inside of Vault 111. Yet, there was no sign of you. He returned to Sanctuary and found your house still empty, the hollowness growing in his chest as he realized that your leaving really had been intentional. Elsewise, he would have stumbled across you, or some sign of you, by now, right? He stood in your old kitchen, his knuckles paled at the death grip he held on the edge of the counter, his jaw clenching as he tried to hold his emotions at bay.
How could he have agreed to last night? And why would you have presented the idea if you had meant to do this to him in the end? With a groan of frustration, X6 pounded a hand against the countertop, leaving a small indent in the shape of his fist. Not only had you left him, you had done so without warning, without explanation, and now he couldn't find you. He couldn't find you. That's what he did, he was a relentless hunter, a cold pursuant, he completed all of his missions efficiently, he followed Institute protocol, he followed orders. What he didn't do was get wrapped up in human emotions, he didn't throw caution to the wind and give into his most base desires. He was a synth. He didn't yearn, or want, or love. Or at least he hadn't.
Not until he met you.
The courser sighed, fists still clenched in frustration. He didn't know what to do, you were his mission, but if you commanded him to leave--? But you never actually had ordered him away... In his eyes, there was only one option for him to consider.
"Unit X6-88, ready to relay back to the institute. Alone."
A flash of blue, and he was back. No one asked him to report in, and he didn't offer. He started straight towards the SRB, wondering what the consequences would be for his behavior. A memory wipe would be the best outcome, especially if... Oh. But if they saw the memories from last night, what would happen to you?
X6 stopped in his tracks, turning quickly to go up the stairs that ascended to the residential portion of the Institute. Once again, he was at a loss. He didn't want to lose those memories, but more than that, he didn't want anyone else to see them. You were the first person he's ever met that treated him as a human, saw him as one, made him feel like one, and he couldn't bear the thought of what the Institute scientists would say about you, say to you, or do to you, if they saw what you had done with him. The courser looked down at his feet as he walked quickly, moving instinctively towards your quarters. He turned down the hallway, and recoiled at the figure that appeared as your door dragged open. X6’s eyes widened beneath his shades, and he cleared his throat to keep himself from gasping in surprise as your eyes met his.
"There you are! I was wondering when you would finally turn up, I finished with the meeting hours ago. I was just about to go out and look for you. Don't tell me you slept in this late?" You said with a grin that spread all the way to your glorious eyes. X6 couldn't form words, he just stood gawking at you, his mouth half open, looking like a complete fool. Right, the meeting with Father. How had he forgotten?
"Is everything okay?" You asked, your smile being replaced by an expression of concern. The courser didn't answer, he still couldn't keep his thoughts in order; instead, he stepped forward until his chest pressed against yours, urging you to back into your quarters. You did so rather hesitantly, a confused expression causing your brows to crinkle. When the door had closed behind him, X6 slowly reached out his arms, wrapping them tightly around you, just as you had shown him last night, he pulled you to his chest and held you firmly. The warmth of you, your soft hair and sweet scent calmed his strained nerves, and he finally allowed himself to take a deep breath and close his eyes, just for a moment. As quickly as he'd initiated it, he pulled away from the hug, squaring his shoulders and straightening his posture,
"I'm glad you're safe, ma'am/sir."
Reaction: joining the pirate!ateez crew.
this is a continuation of meeting pirate!ateez + treating pirate!ateez’s injuries. please read them (if you haven’t) or this won’t sense.
⎘ pairing: gn!reader x ateez.
⎘ fic format: reaction.
⎘ warnings: mentions of abuse, infidelity, murder, capital punishment, stealing, kidnapping, angst, fluff.
⎘ word count: 7.3k
⎘ author's note: this is the last part of the pirate au that follows a lineal order, the rest will be just random moments but containing the same backstory between the member and the reader.
this is all fiction. i am in no way claiming to know the members personally, nor do i know how they would behave truly in these situations.
pirates and piracy is nothing to glamorize or romanticise, it’s a crime. don’t suddenly start crushing on your good old local pirate, they’re not ateez and they certainly won’t behave like they do. other than that, enjoy this trashy reaction.
© atozfic, 2021.
if anyone ever asked why you did it, your answer was clear.
but, would anyone believe you?
your fiancé dearest wasn’t the most well loved man in town but he was far higher in the social ranks than you. he aided in providing the townsfolk with fish for their table, meanwhile all you done was serve them ale and mop up their drunken spillages. there’s no way they wouldn’t think you’d done it for the money you’d gain being a widow.
the blood had begun to dry by now, iron liquid turning to a flaky, rust coloured layer atop your skin. your clothes were in no better state, splashes of your own blood and his mixing together in some sick twisted cocktail. the dagger was still embedded in his neck while he now lay emotionless, breathless, lifeless on the bedroom floor.
it had all happened in a flash. while maybe it should have been a long time coming, with the years of off-handed abuse, the persistent cheating, the way he spoke to you like you were more a servant than a lover, you truly had not planned out the attack.
one moment, you were peacefully trying to climb into bed and get some rest for the night. the next, your fiancé was drunkenly breathing down your neck and quizzing you on why you’d been so eager to help that pirate the other day, why you’d so confidently disrespected him. you were going to ignore him, like you always done. but your eyes caught sight of the dagger he had gifted you, just in time for when your fiancé lay his first strike against your face, palm burning a pain so red in to your cheek.
could you really be blamed for piercing him with the dagger, after all that he’d put you through?
in the eyes of the law, yes.
and the law was golden here, could do no wrong. the law would sooner see you hung and burnt to ashes before it chose to address the blatant abuse you- and many others within their own relationships- had faced under the hand of your fiancé.
those first few minutes of seeing him dead felt like a weight lifted from your shoulders. every minute after was a panic of trying to piece your mind together and figure out what exactly you had to do now. finally, the only option left for you came to the front of your mind.
there was no time to waste on cleaning up or packing a bag, all you took with you was the dagger. the sun would soon be rising and, with it, the town would awaken to find it now had a dead citizen and a runaway murderer. in a zombified state, with your blood covered clothing and skin, you wandered the cold streets, a dampness in the air keeping you from passing out from both exhaustion and shock at how your night had gone.
it took longer to arrive at the dock than the other night, when you’d aided the injured man in walking back to his boat. the tavern was far closer to the dock than your house was. when you did arrive at last, the first moment of insecurity began to creep upon you.
what had you done? what were you doing?
the pirate was a stranger, at best, and a dangerous enemy at worst. who’s to say he’d care to hear your troubles, much less help you escape from them? you should turn back, go home, face the consequences of your action.
you spun around on your heal, stealing one last glimpse of the vessel encased by the darkness of the night, and took your first step back.
“y/n!” the first call of your name felt like an illusion, something you’d simply imagined hearing. until the same voice called out again, this time closer and with more panic laced around their words. “y/n, wait! slow down!”
even though your brain screamed at you to run, your heart and body pulled you to a halt, back turned to the approaching pirate.
“will you turn around?” he spoke softly, softer than most people spoke to you. it was somehow both comforting and, yet, moving you to tears. “can i please see your face, one last time? we’re preparing to set sail today.”
you turned around slowly. at first, when his face registered the sight of your blood stained body, you felt like a monster, the widening of his eyes and the anger on his features not helping this feeling. then, he rushed forward, soft hands on your cold skin, eyes searching your own for any sign of pain.
“who’s blood is that?” he whispered, hand clasping you cheek gently and forcing you to look him in the eye.
“seonghwa...” you mumbled, the tears spilling over the threshold of your eyes.
he was smart, this pirate of yours, for he needed no more words to grasp a sense of the situation. “you done what you had to, okay? we don’t weep over men like that.”
“i didn’t know what else to do...” a sob broke your sentence, the intensity of the night finally sinking in. “i don’t know what to do.”
“you don’t have to worry, understand?” at some point or another, his hands had drifted down from your cheeks to your hands, slender fingers interlacing with your own and tugging you oh so gently over to the ship he’d come barrelling down from, where two other men now stood on the deck, the map in their hand completely ignored while they watched you two. “i know what to do. i’ve got you.”
the wood creaked under every step you took on board, seonghwa mumbling an incoherent string of words to the two men before he brought you down a small set of stairs and into the privacy of a room, his very own quarters.
“you’re going to be safe from now on, i promise.”
“...so that’s why i had the kim’s royal sigil.” you huffed out, irritated by the drop of sweat you couldn’t wipe off thanks to your arms still being tied behind your back.
at some point during the interrogation, the man who’d introduced himself as hongjoong lowered his sword from your neck and the remaining members of the small crew had crowded around you. some wore sceptical looks on their face, while others carried their arms crossed over their chests. you felt like you were under a microscope, nothing but a pathetic organism for the eight men to observe and pick apart.
slowly, the hostility in all their features disappeared. scowls melted into friendly faces, crossed arms unwrapped and welcomed you in with open arms. in a matter of seconds, the men went from looking like a group of terrifying pirates to a bunch of young men on a voyage with those they considered their own found family.
only the captain remained frowning, an air of disgust on his face while he continued to stare down at you.
“let’s get those ropes off of you,” the one you’d learnt was named san made his way over, flicking out a pocket knife. “can’t have our royal guest melting to death under this sun!”
“not so fast, san.” the captain finally changed his expression, not to something welcoming though. his arm shot forward to push san by the chest back to where he’d been standing, fierce eyes zeroing in on you once more. “why should we believe you?”
“what?!” the combination of dehydration, exhaustion and the lack of food had piled up over the days since your grand escape and now this man had the audacity to test your patience.
“i’m sure you speak the very same language as me, don’t play dumb.” hongjoong took a step closer, leaning down to your face and blocking your view of the apologetic men behind him. “answer the question. tell me why i should believe you’re telling the truth?”
“why would i be lying?”
“a question isn’t an answer.” the arrogant captain quirked an eyebrow. “but, seeing as you asked, i imagine there’s many benefits to lying about being tied to the kim dynasty’s royal courts, never mind claiming to be the child of another king.”
“hongjoong.” someone stepped in at last, tugging on the man’s arm. “ease off. if what they said is true, they’ve been through enough. there’s no need for us to add on to that pile of misery.”
“seonghwa’s right.” san chimed in too, looking down at you with a smile. “i get that you’re apprehensive because of... your own history with the kim’s. but let’s at least give them a chance. who knows, maybe they’ll result useful to us.”
the minutes of silence were deafening, not only for you but the surrounding crew awaiting for their captain to speak. with one final glare aimed your way, he shoved past them all, saying nothing but “one week. if you can’t prove your use by then, you can walk the plank.”
thus began the most dire week of your life. when you’d made your great escape, fleeing down the vast halls of the palace and launching yourself in the opposite direction of that cursed alter, you’d believed it was a moment of life or death. if only you’d known then that was only the practice for the real thing: this.
for the first few days, you aided the youngest two of the crew in their tasks, scrubbing the ship’s deck till it was squeaky clean. in it’s polished reflection you found the captain’s scowl, far from impressed with your work. come the fourth day, san invited you to help him sharpen the swords, prompting a lesson in swordsmanship which ended with you two laughing and the captain rolling his eyes.
on the fifth day, the tallest pirate, who went by the name of yunho and had a bright smile contradicting his rugged look, asked you to help him in running a few errands when the ship docked for the day. most of the errands involved you distracting business owners whilst yunho stole from them. not the most morally correct thing you’d ever done but, if the kim family and your own had taught you anything it was that morality got you nowhere in life. sometimes, it payed to be corrupt. hongjoong scoffed at your return, not so quietly telling yunho anyone else could have helped him do the very same thing.
on the sixth, you stumbled onto the deck to find a frantic mingi pacing back and forth, a hand in his hair and a map in the other.
well, part of a map.
“what’s wrong?” mingi turned to you, panic on his face.
“i accidentally ripped the map... and the wind blew the torn part into the water,” his eyes drifted over to where the edge of the boat was, as if he were replaying the memory of it all. “i can’t remember what that part of the map looked like!”
snatching the paper from his hand, you skimmed over it before landing on a familiar name. “is this the jeonsa archipelago?” mingi nodded affirmatively. “i know what the rest of the map looks like.”
“uh huh. guess all those lessons in cartography have turned out to be useful.”
that night, as you tried your best to get rest atop the lumpy mattress and the torn blanket you’d been given, the captain popped his head into the room. you were beginning to think that scowl was tattooed onto his forehead.
“you can stay.” he spoke behind a clenched jaw, like it pained him to say it. “but don’t mistake this for me trusting you.”
there were days, when you were cramped inside that barrel and scared for your life, that you fantasized about touching dryland again. the nights that you managed to sleep- and dream instead of the usual plague of night terrors- were filled with images of trees sprouting out of firm ground, of little towns filled with happy people, of the feeling of standing still and not having to think about how your body was subtly rocking side to side.
not once, in all your fantasies and dreams, did it feel like this.
“the woman who runs the inn is called mrs. jeong,” yunho walked a step a head of you, his large build shielding you from passer-by's and onlookers. the sword attached to his hip and the clothing he wore marked him as a threat to everyone else, a man it was best to not get on the wrong side of. far different to the man you’d come to know onboard the aurora. “she may come off as hostile but she’s kind enough. she’ll give you a job till you earn enough money to head wherever you want.”
he felt cold, distant, like the step between you both was actually worlds apart and he was struggling to reach you. the fact he spoke whilst still staring straight ahead, moving like he was on autopilot, didn’t help the sinking feeling in your chest. was he not affected by this as much as you were? were you foolish for thinking you were even friends, much less something else? something more?
had you imagined the ways he’d glance at you when he thought you weren’t looking? the times he’d given you his left over food, claiming he couldn’t eat any more despite his stomach growling in hunger a couple seconds later? the nights he kept you company beneath the stars, letting you recount myths about them while he pretended to hear them for the first time?
“how do you know mrs. jeong?” you questioned him, mostly in hopes to keep the conversation going. you were afraid you were already beginning to forget what his voice sounded like.
“she’s a... family friend. known her my whole life.” he still hadn’t turned back to check on you. maybe if you grabbed his hand in yours, it would shock him enough to catch his attention. “took care of me and mingi when we’d get ourselves into trouble.”
the little voice in your head that made up your conscious wouldn’t shut up, spilling out insecurities you’d pushed aside for too long and now yunho’s cold actions were bringing them forward. he seemed bored talking to you, like it was more a chore than a pleasure.
you gave up on getting him to talk, his tone more painful than his silence. it hurt to see how disinterested he seemed. not once had you seen him smile, heard him laugh, felt his eyes on you. it was like you were already strangers again, you nothing but a burden of a parcel he needed to drop off to someone.
“this is it.” you two came to a stop outside a small building, no bigger than an average home and with a little red sign above the door reading keeper’s inn. “there wasn’t enough time to let mrs. jeong know about you, so just tell her you’re a friend of jeong yunho. she’ll be willing to help.”
“aren’t you going to come in?” the words slipped out before you could stop them, but at least it won you a moment of yunho’s eyes landing on you, only to stare past you at whatever obscure object lay in the distance. you managed to bite back the question of if mrs. jeong was his wife. it was none of your business anyway.
“it’s best i don’t, can’t have her guests associating her with a pirate. it would be bad for business.”
nodding to no one in particular, you moved closer to the inn. through the window, you could see a gathering of people sharing drinks around a table, a lonely man sat in a corner and a middle-aged woman manning the bar. perhaps it wasn’t his wife, after all.
you spun on your heal, finding yunho already had his eyes on you whilst you’d had your back turned to him. with the intention of saying your final goodbye, you opened your mouth. and out poured something you never expected.
“i don’t know how to get unused to having you around.”
“you don’t have to!” yunho’s voice finally sounded alive, filled with urgency as opposed to the lethargic mood it had carried earlier. “i mean,” he cleared his throat. “no one is forcing you to leave. the choice is all yours.”
“is it?” your question was genuine. all this time, you’d repeated to yourself over and over to not grow comfortable on the ship, you were nothing more than a passing traveller they were aiming to rid themselves off, you were heading nowhere but back to dryland.
“yes. you’re not a prisoner anymore, y/n.” that familiar look returned to his eye, reminding you of the man you’d come to know. “you’re a free person, you can make your own decisions.”
“what if i decide i want to stay with you?”
“is that what you want? would that make you happy?”
“i think so.”
yunho stepped forward, hand catching your own in it’s gentle hold. “then let’s head back to the ship... let’s go home.”
yeosang did not believe in coincidences.
his father had always been a man of reason, a trait he'd very quickly instilled in his son. when young yeosang had proclaimed something was a miracle or an oddity of life, his father had chimed in to educate his son calmly, helping him develop his rational thinking skills. at first, he'd hated his father for killing the child-like wonder in him. but, as he grew and came to realise how the real world worked, he'd never been more thankful for the man he'd been raised by.
and, yet, his typically cynically logical brain was trying it's best to find any loop hole to deem what was happening in front of his eyes as a coincidence, one of life's happy accidents. he didn't want to consider that it could be a sign of something greater, something bigger.
the little boy just liked to wander off, that was all.
there were only a few days remaining until the aurora would be setting sail again, whether or not they managed to find hongjoong's treasure within that time. still, in a last minute attempt to actually contribute something to the search other than his own drunken misery and regret fuelled tears, yeosang had made his way off the boat that day with one plan in mind: search for the treasure.
it was only an hour into his search when it became interrupted, the sound of a smaller, more immature voice calling out for his attention.
“does anyone know you're here?” had been yeosang's first question upon turning around and seeing the little boy, who carried wonder in his smile and a birthmark under one of his eyes.
“what they don't know can't hurt them.” the little boy carried wit too, which yeosang could only imagine he'd gotten from you rather than his other parent. yeosang hadn't even needed to mention you directly for the kid to know exactly who he was referring to. “why are you sweating so much?”
“do you always walk around speaking like that to adults?” yeosang's question wasn't one of anger, but curiosity. the boy had a fire in him he recognised, yet couldn't quite put his finger on it. “besides, you shouldn't talk to strangers.”
“but you're not a stranger.”
“how am i not?”
“you're y/n's friend.”
“friend is a lose word.” and how lose it was. was enemy a better word suited to how you viewed him now? yeosang couldn't tell, he'd been confused ever since you'd shown the slightest bit of care for his injured, drunken self. surely you wouldn't rush to check an enemy's injury, not with that amount of concern in your eyes. “and watch it, y/n is your parent. you should always show your parent respect.”
“but y/n doesn't show their dad any respect.”
oh how yeosang burned to hear such knowledge, the only man yeosang had ever truly hated in his life was being disrespected by his only child. the man who'd driven him to leave you, who'd taken his father from him and then robbed him of the life he'd always wanted for you two.
“c'mon, let's get you back home. it's getting too dark for someone you're age to be wandering the street.”
yeosang felt odd the entire walk towards wherever the small child was leading him by the hand. it wasn't a bad feeling, just a new one. it was like something was falling into place, something he wasn't even aware of yet. there was one thing that he couldn't get off his mind, though, a comment from some elderly woman passing by him and his mini companion.
“your son clearly gets his good looks from you!”
it had been nagging at his brain from the moment he’d heard the words, like a spider infesting his mind, spinning a web of confusion and questions. it occurred to yeosang that you never had said who you’d had chinhae with. sure, maybe that was because he didn’t deserve to know but the town was small, small enough for everyone to know each other by name.
surely, whoever it was, yeosang had known them at some point.
when the boy came to a stop, the first thing yeosang heard was yelling. angry yelling, followed up by your name and several curse words attached to the end of it, all coming from a familiar voice.
“...you let that son of yours run wild, what kind of parent are you?!” yeosang noticed the way chinhae physically flinched at the man’s loud voice, choosing to cower closer to a stranger than approach his own grandfather. it made him feel sick. “you’re just as useless as when you were a kid! there isn’t a day i don’t regret having you as a child!”
what followed was the vision of you storming out of the bakery, tears already running down your angry face. you froze at the sight of him and you son, hand in hand, the little boy scared and yeosang furious.
as if he needed more reasons to hate your dad.
“chinhae... i was worried.” you seemed exasperated, dropping to your knees and pulling the little boy to your chest, mouthing a thank you in yeosang’s direction.
“i’m sorry.” sure, he needed to be disciplined but right now, the little pout on his face and the way he wiped the tears off of your own pulled at your heartstrings. punishment could wait, you just wanted to enjoy the fact your son was okay first. and, then, find a place to sleep, even if just for that night.
“yeosang.” his eyes were on you instantly. “can we stay wherever you’re staying? just for a few nights? i can’t take chinhae in there.”
he wanted to ask why you two couldn’t just go stay with his father, why you wore no ring on your finger, why your son had a similar mark under his eye to the one he had. but it wasn’t the time nor place and he really just wanted to be the one to take care of you.
both of you.
“of course. you can stay with me as long as you need to, don’t worry. just, uh, beware my roommates can get kind of rowdy.”
it was only once the sun had set and the moon had risen, the town had all gone to sleep and the streets had emptied themselves, that you and san crept out of the warehouse.
there was no greater feeling, you decided upon exiting, than inhaling air and not having to face the stench of dead fish. the pirate seemed to agree too, taking more than a few deep breaths and exhaling happily.
in the hours you two had wound up trapped in there, you’d come to learn a few things about the pirate. for starters, he was actually tolerable when he finally quit complaining about you saving his life. dare you even say, charming. secondly, he was terrible at playing i spy, not quite understanding the point of the game was to look at an object in the room, not simply imagine one.
he’d told you all about the man he’d referred to as wooyoung who, contrary to your initial worries, was not someone you had to fear. well, fear more than any other average pirate. considering you’d just thrown away your life in honour of saving one, and spent several hours trapped with that very same man, san claimed you clearly had guts made of steel.
when that topic became boring, san answered your questions about life on the run. he’d scoffed at first, claiming he wasn’t really an example of being on the run, since he and his crew never attempted to hide their identities. he quickly shut up when you reminded him he was sat next to a pile of fish guts, doing the very thing he claimed he wasn’t: running.
“so,” he finally broke the silence that had settled between you both, walking shoulder to shoulder through the sleeping town, him heading towards his ship and you heading nowhere specific. “you’re going to go on the run.”
it wasn’t a question, yet you answered it nonetheless. “yes.”
“i’ve heard it’s lonely to do it alone.”
“i’ve heard there’s safety in solitude.” you kicked a stone from beneath your foot. “easier to spot a group of runaways than just one.”
“not only are you as dumb as wooyoung, but you’re just as annoying as him.” san huffed, a pout in his voice you’d notice creeped out every time a conversation didn’t go the way he wanted it to. how anyone could believe he was a cold blooded murderer baffled you, he seemed far more like a baby in a man’s body.
“i’m starting to think you have a crush on this wooyoung, from how much you bring him up.”
“if i ever do that, you have my permission to shoot me.” you laughed, more than aware of the fact that roused a smile out of him. “if you’re done being annoying now, how would you feel about coming back to my ship? you’ll get further by ship than by foot, trust me.”
you went from walking nowhere in specific to heading for the safety of san’s ship, the underlying issue of the other pirates on board not something either of you wanted to address quite yet.
the ship was big, bigger than you’d accepted, with a distinct paint finish and an easily recognisable flag waving from the top of it’s mast. the pirate spoke little once on board, only taking a moment to tell you to watch your steps, the wood already creaking easily with every move you two made.
the journey was deemed a success at last once san had safely brought you down to the quarters and tugged- more liked dragged- you into an empty room. in it sat two individual beds, not the most comfortable looking but they looked comfier than the floor of that warehouse and the room smelt far better too.
in silence, the two of you crawled into your respective beds. like you expected, the mattress was lumpy and the sheets felt damp but at least you were safe under them, safer than you would be trying to run off into the night all by yourself.
“san.” you whispered after a while of laying quietly in the dark.
“y/n.” not expecting him to be awake, you were shocked to get a reply.
“should i really be here?”
there was a rustling of sheets, prompting you to open your eyes and find san sat up in his bed, nothing but a dark mass within the dark room. “technically, no.”
“but let’s think about that later.” he paused, laying back down onto his bed. the sound of the sea remained constant, waves crashing up against the boat in a disorganised pattern. “like when we’re too far out at sea for anyone to do anything about it type of later. i mean, the captain might force you to walk the plank, but i’m sure you’re a good swimmer.”
“if i’m forced to walk the plank, it better be followed by you doing the same.” you closed your eyes at last, chest rising in sync with the moving water. “i saved your life twice already, better catch up to the debt you owe me.”
since dropping down half dead at your doorstep, song mingi was convinced you were his guardian angel.
it was something he’d been bold enough to directly say to you, while you were busy applying the last bit of ointment to his healing wound. his confession had startled you, causing you to drop whatever tub of cream you’d had in your hand. he could not help but note how cute your cheeks got when you blushed, or how you humbly smiled and denied his statement, all while you were helping him recover from a wound.
a wound that, bare in mind, not once had your pried into knowing how he’d gotten it.
that’s what mingi had decided he liked most about you: your ability to mind your own business. for a whole week, he’d made a home out of your poor sofa, sleeping the pain away of his injured self. you returned to the house everyday that week, with a smile on your face and a bag of fresh produce in your hand. in a routinely manner, you’d change his bandages and then head straight to cook up some food, welcoming him easily to your dinning table and allowing him the honour of sharing a meal with you.
he suspected that you had to know something was off about him, and not just because of the blood he’d spilled all over your doorstep. you’d removed his sword from him that first night, unstrapped his holster, lay his gun down gently. they items weren’t what an average, meek-minded businessman carried around.
still, no questions were made.
the only question you’d ever actually asked him, other than his name, was how he was feeling. his answer was always the same.
“i’ve been worse.”
the day he left at last, weapons strapped to his body and a tub of that special ointment he swore you’d laced with some form of magic, you still hadn’t asked him any questions. you fed him one last time, walked him to the very same spot you’d found him and wished him good luck before bidding him farewell, not once turning back to see how the pirate was frozen in his spot, eyes glued to your retreating figure.
he’d watched until you slipped back into your house, until he could no longer see you.
to mingi, it felt like a definite ending. had you two been a book, the way you’d met would have been the first chapter and that goodbye would have been the final one, closing off your story just like that. but, books sometimes had sequels.
it was months later. mingi had fluctuated between remembering every thing about you and disregarding every thought of the kind stranger who’d put him back together. he’d continued on with business as usual, not even bothering to explain to the rest of his crew what had happened to him. all they needed to know was that he was injured and, now, he wasn’t.
and you? at first, you’d kept an eye out for any sign of the tall man within the town. this was excused by the fact you just wanted to ensure he was alive and well, nothing else. when weeks had passed and the man hadn’t passed by anywhere near you, you’d began to wonder if it were all a strange dream. this theory was thrown out the window when you found the large stain of his blood on your cushion. forgetting about him seemed like the best option, so that’s what you tried to do.
and then a knock came.
it was late into the night, when the crickets were singing and everyone was sleeping, including you. the knock was loud and repeated, like there was an urgency behind whoever was banging on your door. after the initial shock of waking up, you sluggishly made your way through the small home to the front door. raising a knife you’d grabbed from the kitchen, you pulled the door open.
the knife dropped out your hand in shock.
“i didn’t know where else to bring him,” mingi, in all his tall, large, living glory stood with two strangers. one who seemed a little taller than him and another who had both arms thrown the men’s shoulders and sickly look on his face. “i’m sorry for waking you up.”
ushering them in, you rubbed at your eyes and pinched yourself. the pain you felt reaffirmed that you weren’t dreaming, that mingi was very much real and very much stood in your home again. only, this time, he wasn’t your patient, a man by the name of hongjoong was.
from the discoloration in his wound, and the nasty amount of puss pouring out of it, it was easy to tell it was infected. while you cleaned him up and rubbed a cream onto the stranger, mingi and the other man seemed to be sharing a conversation through their minds, facing each other but saying nothing.
“you’re lucky,” you paused, standing up finally and washing your hands in the sink, eyes focused on your patient, who seemed a little less pale than when he’d arrived. “any later and you may have died. just keep applying this and you should be fine.”
the man took the tub out of your hand, eyes shifting between the two taller males before falling back on you.
“you know, we could do with a nurse on our boat.”
your lover was early.
the ship had arrived a day earlier than he’d predicted, leaving wooyoung with more time to anxiously await your arrival.
were you even going to come?
the first hours had been bearable. he’d sat himself on the crow’s nest and watched the sun rise over the horizon, trying to not let his mind get caught up in the hopes that the next time he watched the sun rise, you’d be next to him at last. come mid-day, wooyoung was fighting against every cell in his body to up and run to your door. he wanted to see you, to hold you again after so long. but it had to be your choice, you had to come to him.
he wouldn’t know what to do if he saw you look upon him with fear instead of love.
that evening, he couldn’t sleep in anticipation for the next day. his mind was moving too quickly, urging him to stand up, pace around, rid himself of the unwanted energy in whatever way he could. he chose to lay back, eventually, and let his mind drift back to those nights he’d be restless and you’d keep him company.
from a young age, wooyoung had trouble sleeping. his childhood was plagued with intense nightmares, leaving him shaking and crying under the blankets. this died down as wooyoung grew older, his brain no longer finding the fear in monsters and dark shapes, not after coming to realise people were far more scary than anything his brain could conjure up. by the time adulthood hit, he’d rarely dream at all and, on the nights where his sleeping mind tried to scare him, he’d wake himself up and find something to do to pass the time before the sun rose.
you’d bore witness to only a handful of those kind of nights, each time choosing to sacrifice your own sleep to keep him company in his restless state. the possibilities were endless during those hours of the morning, sometimes you’d sit in silence while each of you read a book, other times you’d venture out into the empty streets, hands interlaced while you both enjoyed the calm of the night.
there was one night, however, that wooyoung didn’t wake you up. the nightmare had felt more like a sign than a threat, to wake up to do what he’d been putting off for so long. that night, while you snored away softly, wooyoung wrote the dreaded letter. when he was done with that, he made his best attempt at sketching you, needing to carry some form of you with him wherever he went, even if it was a messy and incorrect portrait of your sleeping figure.
he’d watched the sunrise that morning while walking away from the home he’d grown to share with you, wishing that time would pass quickly and he’d soon see you again, a smile on your face while you tell him to take you with him.
the morning finally came, marking exactly two months since he’d left you. the moment of truth had arrived, where he’d soon find out what your decisions was.
if you appeared, he’d run to you, scoop you up in his arms, cling onto you so tight you’d have doubts about him ever letting go again. he’d tell you about the misery he’d been through waiting for this day to arrive: the sleepless nights, the lonely mornings, the troubled eating.
if you didn’t, he’d return to the ship with his head bowed. heart broken into pieces but accepting your decision. he’d spend the rest of his days being thankful that he met you, but regretting every moment he’d lied to you.
wooyoung knew there were eyes watching him the whole day.
perched against a wall and fidgeting his hands, people cast him looks of curiosity as they passed him by while his crew pretended to not be watching him from the deck of the ship, taking turns at passing around a binocular to zero-in on exactly what he was doing.
hours passed, the sun rose and fell, meals drifted by and wooyoung remained in that same spot. there was no sign of you, though, and his resolved was slowly slipping away, exhaustion and hunger begging him to give up and go eat something.
he sighed, pushing himself off the wall. he couldn’t deny it anymore, torture himself any longer. you weren’t coming. maybe, if he had the nerves to, he’d walk to your house and knock on your door, beg you to come with him. you deserved better than that, wooyoung knew.
“wait!” he froze in his spot, mind going blank. had he imagined that? surely. “wooyoung!”
his head whipped around faster than the speed of light. there you were, chest heaving from having sprinted there and a small bag in your hand. he’d always thought your reunion would be more emotional, with more tears and questions and some begging on his end. however, all you did was walk right up to him, a shy smile on your face while you said the only thing wooyoung wanted to hear for the rest of his life.
“do you still want to show me that sunrise?”
your head hurt.
your arms hurt.
your legs hurt.
opening your eyes felt like trying to part the red sea. when you achieved it, you were blinded by the light above you, forcing you to very quickly shut them again. a noise- similar to a laugh- rang out around you, causing you to groan in pain, a constant pounding against your head.
“wakey wakey, sleepy head.” that voice felt familiar.
“shit jongho,” another voice, familiar in a less immediate way, joined the room. were you even in a room? there was no brush of the wind, no burning heat of the sun, you had to be indoors. “think you miscalculated your own strength.”
“trust me, it was nothing like the hit i took when they ambushed me.” there it was again, that voice. you could taste his name on the tip of your tongue yet your puzzled mind was struggling to conjure up an image of who it was.
fighting against your headache, you forced your eyes open again, blinking rapidly till your pupils adjusted to the influx of sudden light. you were laying in a bed, all sorts of wooden furniture surrounding you. two men stood a few feet away, one who’s face filled with relief at the sight of you awake and one who glared at you.
if it weren’t for the gummy smile on his face, you’d have perhaps been intimidated.
“nice to see you’re alive, pretty boy.” it pained you to speak, throat dry and croaking out your words. your eyes scanned over him, noticing the lack of bruising on his face and colour in his skin, a nice healthy glow to it. “you certainly look better than the last time i saw you.”
“can’t say the same for you,” the red haired boy stepped closer while the other seemed to be giggling over the nickname you’d anointed to his crewmate. “you look like shit.”
“you’re such a charmer, you know?”
“i’ve been told, once or twice.”
“are you two about to fuck?” both your eyes snapped to the other boy, who was struggling to contain his laughter by now. “i’m just asking so i can get out of your way before anything happens. or, if you wanted, i can stay. i don’t mind either way.”
“wooyoung, i won’t hesitate to punch you.” jongho more or less groaned, rolling his eyes in frustration at his friends antics.
“alright, alright, i was just saying.”
“then say less.”
“did you just tell me to shut up?!”
“don’t act so surprised, it was about time someone told you to.”
“how did i get here?” you interrupted the pirates and their bickering, the sound of their voices doing nothing to help soothe the pain in your head.
as if reminded of your presence once more, the two men looked at you before looking at each other. the one who went by wooyoung nodded his head, as if giving jongho the go ahead to explain things.
“that’s actually a funny story,” he paused, hand coming up to rub at the back of his head while he forced out some fake laughter. “a hilarious one. ground-breaking comedy. you’ll cry of laughter hearing it. you’ll never stop-”
“jongho’s been stalking you.” wooyoung chimed in, tired of his friend dancing around the reality of the situation. “well, technically so have i. but only because he asked me to!”
“i wasn’t stalking!” jongho’s cheeks flushed a colour similar to his hair. “i was keeping track of an enemy who’s proven themselves to be hostile more than once.”
between wooyoung’s wit filled comments, aimed to embarrass his friend, and jongho’s struggled protests, the two managed to relay the story of how, after you’d helped jongho escape your old crew and return to his own, jongho couldn’t fight the need to know what had happened to you. upon research and word-of-mouth, he came to learn you were on the run from your old crew, who figured they’d much rather punish you for your betrayal than attempt at tracking down the aurora and jongho once more.
according to the two men, they didn’t mean to stumble upon you in that back alley, neither of them even knew you were on that island. but fate lead them there. there being the sight of you, semi-conscious and taking the beating of a lifetime from some of your old crew, your old captain standing back, too lazy to get his hands dirty. without much consideration for consequences, the two had intervened, fighting with both their fists and their swords till the other pirates retreated in defence of their own lives and ending the fight, but not before jongho slipped and landed a punch to your head instead of the bastard who’d been attempting to hit you, and thus knocking you out cold on the wet pavement.
“well, thanks for saving me.” you announced when they were done, sitting up in the bed and hissing at the rush of pain through your body. “now, if you don’t mind, i’ll be on my way.”
“not so fast.” wooyoung giggled again as jongho whipped out his sword, pointing it at your neck.
“you’re welcome for the life-saving part, but i’m afraid you’re not leaving. welcome to the teezers crew.”
Maybe it's because i still try to have some kind of hope in this show, but the fact that they cut the eddie/lucy scene where as ak said she told him she didn't want to replace him, but maybe the 118 is just growing and that our dear kristen saying they don't know if they can keep ak make me think that maybe she won't coming back, ofc they can't say omg everyone hates her because we mad a big mistake
Yeah, when the episode ended and they had cut her scene with Eddie (add it to the list of specific moments she mentioned that never made it to screen), I started to have a tiny bit of hope. I'm not holding my breath because they may be banking on the fact that since they cut most of her stuff the GA may forget about the kiss for the most part by season 6, and that the "joking" scene in the truck would shut down the idea of BL (for now) so people online would go back to defending her as "bi-besties" with Buck. Just like the did with Tay Kay. And oh look! It's happening, exactly as predicted. So they absolutely could be working on a soft revamp for the character. 🤷🏻♀️
However, they do have solid evidence most especially and most recently with Tay Kay that this approach doesn't work. The GA was ambivalent mostly about her coming back in season 4 and a lot of fandom took her obviously terribly treatment of Buck to mean they wouldn't get together. (Which is why I am so baffled that people think the show "made it clear" that BL were incompatible so we shouldn't worry. Like, have you seen Tay Kay? She called him "needy" right after we learned his painful backstory and even though it never made sense for him to want her after 2x06 it certainly didn't stop them from dragging BT out for a whole fucking season. ANYWAY) But come 5a when everyone saw Buck being miserable with her and how she ignored him and his light was just so dim, people starting singing a different tune. And then she was there all the time taking up screentime and then we got Ghost Stories and the GA officially got fed up with her. I think we were ALL looking forward to a fun, lighthearted episode (which we STILL never got the whole season) and to see all that stuff get cut so we could watch the most pointless procedural show about NOT first responding? To watch her half of the investigation which ended up having NO bearing on what Lou did, or how the case turned out? It was incredibly disappointing and the GA was done. The show continuing to drag it out for the whole rest of the season didn’t help either and I doubt they’d be able to bring her back though KR making sure to show them ending amicably after Buck was was so upset sure was...a choice 🙄
But in L’s case, she started out badly and never recovered for the GA after all the push for her in the interviews instead of talking about the actual main characters, and then the kiss. And we got a break for Boston, but 5x13 was so awkward and cringey and we saw her doing things we’d normally see Buck do on a call and after 5a being so light on things actually happening for the mains, people were tired of them not getting the focus. Then we had 5x14 and the whole high-rise save debacle which even the GA noticed was a WEIRD storyline to have for someone with so many more years of experience than Buck, instead of going to Ravi who has been a delightful and loved addition to the recurring character line-up. We just got to see him and Buck working together in 5x13 and making the save through good planning, so him making the save out of luck and then worrying that he might mess up and someone could die would be a natural thing for a probie to go through and Buck helping him through it would be a very full circle moment from 1x02. We also got her insulting Chim, insulting marriage to a group of mostly married people and someone who desperately wants to be (in another call that would have flowed better with someone like Chim or Ravi around), and all her otherwise superfluous moments.
So while the cynical part of me who is trying to quash any hope so I’m not disappointed and angry when she’s not fucking gone even though she never should have existed says to brace for impact, there IS a part of me that says the numbers are loud and they have precedence for knowing how this turns out and they can’t afford to do it again. Losing 1.5 million viewers and .6 key demo over the 2 seasons KR has been mostly at the helm is still a lot even if they’re not in the danger zone (though airing up against sitcoms helps). Plus two of the most hated characters ever on the show being her creations, and having to entirely cut a whole storyline because a 2 minute scene got SUCH backlash, and everyone dragging the finale as being incredibly lackluster and overly full of emergencies instead of showing us the main character’s storylines wrapping up, especially May’s after all the focus on her not being sure what to do in May Day, and Eddie’s after his arc is one of the only things that got consistently positive reactions from fans for all of 5b, and season 5 generally being criticized for poor planning/pacing issues/mains doing nothing, it’s a LOT of bad all at once and a lot laid at the feet of the showrunner. Which Tim picked and Tim signs off on decisions from, so he’d be in the hot seat too.
I’m just going to spend this hiatus manifesting some good changes and season 2/3 vibes coming back around for season 6, and all our mains getting the focus and screentime and storylines they deserve. We saw some incredible work from Ryan, Kenny, and Aisha especially this season and I hope the overwhelmingly positive and “it’s about time” reactions will result in more for them in the coming season, and for the love of all that is holy can we please get Oliver something to do outside of having to simper after KR’s self-insert women? The man is literally begging.
Firstly, we have Hunting Palismen! Palisman Pairing Day… Eda mentioned in Witches before Wizards that witches get their STAFFS when they graduate, which;
Does this mean that Witches get their Palismans prior to graduation… But they only get the staffs needed to wield them upon graduation? Or did the rules change in the last thirty or so years? Is Belos trying to get kids to graduate ASAP to enter his workforce, bind them into a coven as early as possible?
WILL WE SEE THE OTHERS WITH THEIR OWN PALISMEN I am SO excited for this episode, will we see Willow, Gus, and Amity with palismen? Background characters with palismen, and cameos for Boscha, Skara, Viney and the Detention Kids??? Palismen would provide SUCH an opportunity for aesthetic and character symbolism, I am HYPED…!
I do have to wonder- Will kids actually make their palismen, or are they just figuring out which type they’ll pair with? Eda said she made Owlbert, but she’s an exception- So it’s possible that Palismen are premade and assigned to witches… Is this another change from Belos, or how it’s always been?
If kids aren’t making palismen anymore, could it be due to palisman wood dwindling as a resource, so they have to reuse some? That’d be interesting… And of course, Luz doesn’t pair with any particular palisman of her own! Is the Cardinal from the trailers a Palisman she tried to assign herself towards, but it just didn’t work out- And now the two are working together, perhaps to eventually find out that it CAN work?
Will Luz perhaps go reach out to the Bat Queen to figure out what her Palisman should be, maybe even adopt one? Again, I adore the idea of Luz adopting a broken palisman for a HUGE list of reasons, found family and whatnot, and also the idea of conservation and rehabilitation, giving these palismans a new home of sorts, how it defies the prejudice that some people have about adopting previously-owned or abuse pets, shelter pets, etc.
Perhaps Luz will start off with the idea of finding a lost and broken Palisman –like herself- with the Bat Queen, only to stumble across Kikimora and the Emperor’s Coven trying to attack! She of course helps, but this also makes me wonder- With the mention of a ‘foe’ that Luz is working with… Is she working with the Golden Guard? It’s an idea I’d considered beforehand, hence why she has his staff- After all, GG is a rather diplomatic person who will initiate deals and alliances with his enemies without anyone really asking him to!
Again, there’s that shot from the trailer that looks like his own staff was made from a wild witch’s… Will we see the Golden Guard give a flashback, some backstory into how Belos killed and consumed his Palisman, before converting GG’s staff into the technological one we see today? Does the Golden Guard want to secretly, covertly defy Belos’ extermination of Palismen and their wood, due to his own sentimental feelings and morality- Or is he just trying to use Luz, and she sees a mutual goal she can help him with?
Perhaps the Golden Guard arranges for a deal with Luz- He’ll stop hunting Palismen if she helps him with this… And/or he’s secretly going against Belos, but in a way that still benefits everyone! It’s possible the Cardinal that Luz has on her shoulder is a broken palisman she befriends- But what if it’s GG in disguise? What if that’s his own palisman, a new one he befriended after the first was killed by Belos, and GG has decided that no more… No more palismen will be hurt!
Him siding with Luz for this one incident could add to the Golden Guard’s placement between Lilith and Kikimora in the intro… And it’d add to his general ambiguity as a character, as someone who DOES disagree with Belos and will gladly go against him from time to time, but otherwise supports him for the most part. GG could be a contrast and parallel to Lilith, as someone in the Emperor’s Coven with his own morals that makes him defy Belos behind his back, even if overall he still agrees- Except he’s operating more on moral principles, compared to Lilith’s needed bias with her own sister.
We might see Kikimora figure out the Golden Guard’s treachery and get deeply angered, especially since she’s had to deal with this kid for so long- So she sees an opportunity for some vengeance and transforms into that Hand Dragon… And it’s possible we’ll see GG be banned from the Emperor’s Coven for this, which would REALLY change things up, quickly, as he becomes a rogue agent of his own, one that Luz begins to sympathize with and wants to convince to join her cause…
Or, GG’s mistake will be tolerated. He might remain hidden, and/or he makes up for it… But he also might get punished, as I’ve speculated before!
Then in Eda’s Requiem, we have a ‘special witch’ from Eda’s past, obviously Rayne… And they’re enlisting her help in a rebellion against Belos??? This could be a trap, what if it’s not public that Rayne has officially replaced the Bard Coven leader… Their promotion could be EXTREMELY recent, by the events of this episode actually!
Are they rebelling in part because they don’t want this position, and/or they accepted it as a means of infiltrating Belos’ network and providing information to the rebellion? Could Rayne be associated with the investors at Blight Industries, who seemed interested in the Abomatons and other inventions of Alador- Because the Golden Guard implies the potential for a private army? We might see other pockets and cells of rebellion, some with less altruistic motives, come into play- Especially with Willow and Gus’ protest emboldening everyone.
Is Rayne being ideological, or do they have their own motives? I’ve speculated before that the original Bard Head was their father… Did Belos kill their father, leading to Rayne’s disillusionment? Is Rayne trying to protect their father, and that’s how they were enlisted as his replacement in the first place? Did Rayne’s father also plot against Belos and was deposed and/or killed for this, and now Rayne is following in his footsteps?
We could see the show suggest and delve into the idea of a full-blown rebellion against Belos, with Rayne possibly working at the helm, but who knows? Maybe they’ll have to betray Eda after all –again, for their father- or so they can prove themselves to Belos and be promoted as Coven Head… Either for personal gain, or because they’re trying to work against the Emperor from within!
Which could lead to a painful misunderstanding, fully justifiable on Eda’s behalf, that Rayne doesn’t care and just used her… Which isn’t entirely wrong, either- And Rayne can only accept this in agonizing silence, because they can’t tell the truth, at least not yet…
Or, Eda and Rayne knowingly work together to get the latter the Bard Head position! Maybe Eda forgives Rayne a little when she finds out, and respects the mischief and trickery and scamming! Rayne’s betrayal could remind her of Lilith, but if Rayne was actually altruistic in THEIR motives, that could change things for Eda… But it’s called Eda’s Requiem, so we might expect angst and a genuine betrayal, a loss of friendship- And THAT would hurt!
And then, Knock, Knock, Knockin’ on Hooty’s Door has him attempting to help the trio! Baseless speculation I shall throw out, will he try to turn himself into an autonomous creature to help, only to transform into a terrifying owl monster, the one from the trailer? Maybe from trying to split the curse further with Eda and Lilith? Or will this just be a breather episode where the characters are allowed to mostly just exist and interact with one another, enjoy each other? That’d be nice…
Can I request a Thomas (tmr) x f!reader soulmate au maybe where he comes up to the glade after she’s been there for a while with her name on his wrist. And that brings back her memories of him? Thank you!!
Of course, sweet Anon! 😊 I don't usually like AU, but I actually do like the soulmate trope lol. Also, this took too long, I know. I've been so unmotivated and I have no idea why and I still have like 4 more imagines to do hahahahahaaa......ugh
Aaaanyway...*cough cough* this is...what it is. I have this disease, called "backstoryinitis" where I add too much backstory to an imagine, so, uh, sorry?
Wiping a bead of sweat off your brow, you stopped hoeing the ground when you heard the loud alarm that rang every month.
Another month, another Greenie...
You'd lived in the Glade for a couple years now, so you were used to new kids coming up in what everyone called the Box every month. It's really the only way you could keep track of how long you were stuck in this place.
Every month, you wondered if there was going to be someone like you sent up; a female. Being the only girl in a group of dozens of boys, it got lonely. Of course you had friends, but it just wasn't the same to you. And what was even weirder, you had a tattoo on your wrist, a name.
At first, when you came up in the Box without your memories, you actually thought it was your name, until you remembered your actual name.
Looking at your wrist every day and night, you tried to comb your brain for any sliver of memory that could answer your hundreds of questions that you had. Why was this name on your wrist, and who was this person? You hoped you'd find out, one day.
You ran alongside your friend to the Box, Chuck. Well, more like closest person you considered a younger brother. He very well could've been for all you knew, but he was just one of over fifty other boys that could've been a relative. But you always called Chuck "baby brother," not that he enjoyed that nickname, in public at least. He did get teased a bit by the other guys if you called him that within earshot, so you eased up on the name a bit. But you couldn't help that protective sister side of you when you thought Chuck was getting too close to the Box when it still hadn't come up all the way.
You looked around at all the excited faces of the other boys, anxious to see the new Greenie, anxious to hassle him more like.
You always tried to be nice to Greenies, remembering how poorly you were treated when you arrived in the Glade a couple years ago. No one would really take you seriously because you were a girl. You didn't even get a job assigned to you until a few months later, of course besides the stereotypical doing the laundry and helping Frypan in the kitchen, until you almost burned down the whole shack. Turns out, you were a terrible cook. Fry still teases you about it from time to time.
Eventually, you gained everyone's trust, even Gally's, that kid definitely took some convincing though. You thought he hated you if you were being honest, but in time, you saw through your anger and understood why. Some mysterious girl just shows up with a name tattooed on her wrist when nobody else did? It probably would've freaked you out too. Thankfully, everyone stopped asking you about it when you didn't even know yourself.
You winced softly when a dull pain shot up your hand, the ink in your wrist started to itch. Huh, it's never itched before? You tried to think nothing of it when the Box finally came up all the way, Gally reaching down and opening up the hatch doors.
Everyone peered over the sides of the heavy metal doors, trying to get a good look at the new Greenie. Of course, it was another male, cowering in the corner in terror like so many other boy you've seen. An odd feeling washing over you, like nostalgia but mixed with an almost sense of overwhelming joy. The feeling was so all consuming that you didn't even notice the new Greenie taking off in a dead sprint until all your fellow Gladers started to whoop and holler, obviously finding the Greenie's fear amusing, the boy faceplanting only adding to their boisterous laughter.
You rolled your eyes, mumbling to yourself, "The dude's just scared."
Of course, the Greenie being terrified out of his mind didn't stop the Keepers from deciding to keep him in the pit until he calmed down, a sentiment you did not share. Newt chuckled, gaining your attention quickly. "What're you laughing at?" You asked.
"Nothing, just adorable how you feel for the Greenies."
"Oh, shuck you."
"Why so defensive?"
"I am not." You pouted, crossing your arms. "It's not like he's the only one that's totally freaked out on the first day. He shouldn't be locked up in the pit."
"That is true, but you know it's for everyone's safety, including his." He said, walking away.
"Yeah, yeah..." You sighed, uncrossing your arms and choosing to lean against the hoe that you were holding, eyes completely focused on Alby and the new Greenie. To say you were curious would've been an understatement.
It was strange, you usually didn't have such a peaked interest in Greenies like this before. You felt yourself drawn to him, for some unknown reason. And another thing that was strange, your wrist tattoo had been tingling ever since he came up in the Box, but you just wrote that up as a coincidence. There was no way it could be correlated...right?
You turned to Alby, quickly making his way to you with almost angry expression on his face. "What's wrong?"
"Do you know the Greenie?" He asked, his expression not changing.
You furrowed your brows, a nervous chuckle escaping your lips. "Of course not, why would I?"
"Your name is on his wrist."
You froze, your confusion clearly etched on your face. "W-What?"
"You really don't know him? If your name is on his wrist, then I think it's pretty safe to assume that the name on your wrist is his."
"No, that's...impossible. I..." You were at a loss for words, how could this be happening? All this time, you just thought, maybe you had a partner before your memories got wiped and got their name tattooed; but now, you had no idea the hell was going on.
"The Greenie also claimed he didn't know where the tattoo came from, or who the name belonged to."
"You didn't tell him...about me?"
"No, not yet. I wanna keep this under wraps until we figure out what the shuck is happening here."
"But Alby, everyone knows about my tattoo, if someone sees his-"
"He's wearing a long sleeve. If he knows what's good for him he'll listen to me when I told him to cover it." Alby sighs, hardening his expression once more. "I swear, Y/n, if you know something about this-"
"I don't." You assured, you were just as confused as he was.
"The bonfire tonight will be a good opportunity to talk to the Greenie, everyone'll be too drunk to notice."
"Alby, you still trust me, right?"
"That remains to be seen."
The anxiety that you felt the rest of the day finally bubbled to the surface when the bonfire party started. You pretty much avoided the Greenie all day. You didn't know if you had any reason to be scared, but so many fears plagued your mind. So many "what ifs." But were sure nothing would be worse than having to wait to find out.
Looking over to see the Greenie and Newt sitting together away from the bonfire, Alby gave you a look, stern but not stern enough for you to feel threatened, although you still felt nervous.
Slowly walking over to the Greenie, you kept telling yourself over and over that this is the moment you've been waiting for ever since you were sent to the Glade, the moment you found out if this boy was the one who's name was permanently engraved onto your skin. You could finally have some sort of closure, maybe not complete, but just knowing would be enough.
You nervously cleared your throat, both boys looking your way as you stood above them. "Hey, Newt." You quickly started, "thought I'd introduce myself to the Greenie." You gave Newt a look that told him to leave the two of you alone.
Newt chuckled. "Right, of course. I think I'm gonna get myself another drink." And off he went, leaving you and the Greenie in an awkward silence, but more of an anxious silence on your part.
"Sorry I haven't introduced myself yet, been a busy day." You forced a smile, taking a seat next to the Greenie.
"Do you guys throw parties like this every time a new...Greenie shows up?" The boy asked, a slight bitter tone to his voice.
"Yeah, pretty much. We only really started this tradition a year ago, we thought we might as well celebrate another month of surviving here, also welcoming the newbies."
"Yeah, well, doesn't really feel like a warm welcome, despite the bonfire." You chuckled. "Are you...? Uh, never mind."
"Well, just looking around, you seem to be the only girl here. Why is that?"
You shrugged. "Beats me. I came here just like everybody else, no memories. I wish I knew. Speaking of, have you remembered your name yet?"
The Greenie frowned. "No." He whispered, suddenly rubbing his sleeve covered wrist.
"What's wrong?" You asked, noticing his discomfort.
He sighed. "Uh, nothing. My wrist just hurts a little, might've sprained it or somethin'."
This was taking too long, and the bonfire party was starting to die down. It would be over soon, you had to speed this up.
"Alby told me..." You started, nervously taking a deep breath before continuing, "about your wrist."
The Greenie looked to you with wide eyes. "He told me to keep quiet about it, why would he tell you?"
"Because...the name on your wrist is mine."
He furrowed his brows, his mouth slightly agape, rolling up his sleeve slightly, just enough to see the top of the outline of your name. "Wait, really? How is that...?"
"I don't know. But I'm guessing," You rolled up your own sleeve, "this is your name?"
You held up your wrist, the light from the bonfire illuminating the ink enough for the Greenie to read what it said, "Thomas." Thomas' confused face mirrored your own, both of you feeling a strange mix of emotions all at once. He reached out, you flinching away slightly. "Can I?" He asked.
You nodded curtly, extending out your wrist for him to hold.
As soon as his skin made contact with yours, you felt a spark of electricity rush through your whole body, so intense that it made you jolt with a quiet gasp. Thomas seemed to have felt the same, his grip on your wrist tightening as he felt the same rush.
You suddenly felt like you were hit in the head with a brick, sharp flashes of images of you, but not in the Glade. These were different, you saw yourself smiling, laughing, with an older woman, smile lines and subtle wrinkles around her eyes, tuffs of greyish white hair scattered about in random spots amongst her lush natural colored hair. You instantly teared up...this was your mother...you remembered your mother.
"I remember." You and Thomas said at the exact same time.
"My name is Thomas." He confirmed, tears welling up in his golden brown eyes, giving them a shine. "I remember everything, my family, my friends, why I came here..."
"I remember my life before here too. I was...taken. They took me away from my mama." You quickly felt a surge of anger rush through you. "W.C.K.D. They did this."
Thomas sighed. "I know..." He took hold of both your hands. "I remember you too, Y/n." A slight rosy blush spreading across his cheeks.
"Me too." You said softly.
You both had worked at W.C.K.D. together, you both had the same distain for the company and wanting to take them down together, both of you being betrayed and sent here. You knew it was dangerous for W.C.K.D. to send you both to the same Maze trial, how could they make such a stupid mistake.
"We have to get everyone out of here, Thomas."
Well, that escalated quickly. Hope you enjoyed it regardless, Anon😊
Finally Ready Re-write
So, one of my most popular and personal favorite (because Piers makes me hormny) is “Finally Ready”, but I felt like I could have done it better. So, I decided to rewrite it, and I think this one is much better. This is a lemon between the sexy Zigzagoon man and an oc for a story that I am trying to make myself write but haven’t because constructing a full narrative is tricky and I get stuck on details. Since it’s that time of the month and my ovaries are being total hoes, I was able to get this done though :) No, oc is not a self insert for the most part (okay, maybe kinda, but ya girl is Ageosexual, and I need this); personality and backstory, ect are made from scratch; though some personal experiences have been used as well as details from real events that I’ve heard about.
I tweaked the ages a bit to fit the narrative of the story I’m trying to write. At the time of meeting, Dahlia was just a few months shy of 18 while Piers was around 21. They didn’t start dating for a few months after, so she was fully 18 at the time and had just turned 19 around the time this takes place, so ages are all on the up and up. Also, in this, kids are eligible for the Gym Challenge at 13, so that’s how old Marnie and company are. Also, both Victor and Gloria are in the story and they are twin siblings, though that's not super important for this pieve.
TW: mentions of past child abuse, mentions of past sexual abuse (not penetrative), mentions of past alcoholism, CPS sucks at their job, mentions of near-fatal injury, hints of PTSD, NSFW, MxF intercourse, mentions of masturbation, oral sex (female receiving), loss of virginity (in the physical sense). Let me know if I need to add others.
Check bottom of story for notes about certain things in this piece before commenting. I was lucky enough to have no nasty comments on the old version of this, but there are more hints here for certain things.
Also, the art isn't mine. I found it on google a while ago, and for the life of me I can't find the source. I'll remove it if the original artist asks, but I wanted to add it because, well, just LOOK AT IT!
Piers would be lying if he said it wasn’t driving him crazy; this waiting. He knew what he was in for when he asked Dahlia to be his girlfriend, but that didn’t mean it was an easy thing to do. Hell, the tension was there even before he asked her out officially, and it had only built over the ten months they had been boyfriend and girlfriend. He had to keep telling himself that even though it was driving him crazy, it needed to be done.
The two of them started off as friends after being introduced to one another by Piers’ younger sister, who had befriended Dahlia on her Gym Challenge journey. Honestly, the Unovan girl had piqued his interest from the get-go, and he could tell from the look that his sister gave him when she noticed his interest that she had planned this. Little devil decided to play Cupid, and she wasn’t half bad at it. Things escalated from there after Dahlia saved Marnie from an out of control Perrserker that had spontaneously Dynamaxed just outside of Hammerlocke, receiving grievous injuries that had very nearly cost her life. She was in rough shape, even after she was released from the hospital, and had to drop out of the Gym Challenge because she was still recovering and couldn’t strain herself; she was allowed to pick up where she left off this year and had just recently taken the title of Champion from Victor. Piers insisted that Dahlia stay with him and Marnie in the spare room they had at their flat while she was recovering since she was still too injured to be taking care of herself and it was the least he could do after she risked her life to save his precious baby sister.
Dahlia would have trouble sleeping most nights due to the pain of her injuries and Piers was an insomniac a lot of the time, so they had many late night conversations. It started out with little things like music and pokemon, but eventually started becoming deep conversations about their lives and whatnot. They’d both been through a lot in their relatively short lives. He and Marnie had been orphaned when he was about ten years old and Marnie was two; their dad in prison and wouldn’t be allowed near them even if he wasn’t, and their mom had fallen ill and passed. She had both of her parents growing up, but they were neglectful to her and her younger brother at best and abusive at worst. Both had to take over the duties of caring for their younger siblings when they were just children themselves. He and Marnie spent some time in the care of their local government until he was old enough to take on the Gym Challenge. He saw it as a way to make some money and possibly get the attention of the Spikemuth Gym Leader so he could get a position as a Trainer in the Gym, thus allowing him to get both himself and his sister out of the state-run system they had been forced into (We’re going off Pokemon World logic, folks; kids can wander around the wilderness full of dangerous creatures, so this isn’t that much of a stretch). He caught Morpeko to cheer Marnie up about the fact that he was leaving for a while and to keep her company while he was away. She had to take care of her baby brother because if she didn’t, no one would. She and her brother had eventually been taken away from their shitty parents by the state and bounced around from place to place. Eventually, her brother got adopted, but the family could only take him. She was promised that she would be able to have regular visits with her brother, but over time those visits became less and less frequent due to her own emerging behavioral issues, such as teenage alcohol abuse, and her being shuffled around to so many different places until she just stopped being able to see her brother. Piers became a Trainer at the Spikemuth Gym right after his Gym Challenge and eventually took over as the Gym Leader when he was just fifteen years old. Dahlia was sent to different Troubled Youth facilities over the years until she got sick of the abuse she had been receiving and ran away with her trusty Zorua that she had caught. She managed to steal some money over the years and used it to buy a ticket to the furthest place she could afford to start afresh, Galar. By this point she had accepted that she had gone off the rails and her brother would be better off without her in his life for the time being. Since sixteen was the age that minors were allowed to leave on their Pokemon journey in Unova and Dahlia was seventeen, nobody bothered looking very hard for her after she went missing.
Due to her traumatic past, she was very nervous and shy, and this triggered Piers’ natural protective instincts, drawing him to her even more. She got him better than anyone else had before, and she was pretty cute looking in his humble opinion. He gave her the warmth she had been missing in her life and understood her pain in a way no one had even bothered to try before; not to mention she found him very attractive. He asked her to be his girlfriend as her recovery drew to an end, not wanting her to leave, but she was hesitant. She hadn’t really made many friends before Marnie, much less been in a romantic relationship; she was pretty socially stunted and wasn’t sure how to go about something like this. She also knew that romantic relationships usually meant having sex with the person you are in the relationship with, and she was worried that her previous trauma caused by some of the staff or other residents at some of the facilities she had been sent to would make it too hard for her to handle. He assured her that he was in no rush and didn’t mind waiting for her to be comfortable with things; they could take things as slowly as she needed because he really cared for her.
That’s how he found himself where he is today, ten months later, sexually frustrated but holding fast to his promise. He had been taking care of the issue himself up until this point because he outright refused to seek relief in another while in this relationship; he wasn’t that kind of guy in the first place, but he REALLY wasn’t that kind of guy with Dahlia. She had so many reasons not to trust anybody and he didn’t want to add to that. That being said, he did really want to take things to the next level with Dahlia. They had gotten to the point that they could snuggle on a daily basis, she was sleeping in his bed now, and they can have pretty steamy make-out sessions without her getting super uncomfortable, but he wasn’t sure if he should even bring up anything further yet. How would he even go about it? He didn’t want to make her feel pressured or uncomfortable; he wanted to make her feel good, wanted to introduce her to a level of intimacy that he knew she would enjoy and benefit from, wanted to show her how much he loved her, and he really wanted some sexual contact that wasn’t his own hand after all this time. The fact that she had a habit of being so fucking cute and sexy without even knowing it didn’t help either, but he didn’t want to risk freaking her out, so he kept it to himself and soldiered on until he could figure out what to do.
Tonight, they were having a movie night, just the two of them. Marnie was staying over at Gloria’s for the weekend, so they had the flat all to themselves. They were snuggled up on the couch with him behind her, holding her close and burying his nose in her jet-black hair. She always had such nice smelling hair… He didn’t really care all that much about the movie; he’d had his eyes closed for the past twenty minutes to be honest. He was too busy breathing in the calming scent of her shampoo and indulging in her warmth as she would occasionally giggle or make some comment on whatever was happening on the screen. He loved this. It felt so nice to have her so close, to hold her soft body in his arms.
Of course, Piers' mind didn’t stay as wholesome as he would have liked and it wasn’t long before he felt his pants getting a bit… tight. His eyes snapped open as he realized what was happening and a light blush dusted his cheeks. He tried to move his hips away from her, but the couch didn’t really give him much room to work with. He was about to make some excuse to run to the bathroom so he could rub one out and get it out of his system when she readjusted herself in his grasp and ended up pressing her ass right into his raging hard-on. He clamped his mouth shut, but it wasn’t enough to keep from letting out a little grunt at the friction. He slapped a hand over his mouth, but it was already too late; she had heard that. He could tell because she had tensed up.
“Shit!” He thought, mortified at his slip of control.
He heard her swallow the lump that had formed in her throat and noticed her breathing pick up a bit. He was about to apologize and try to calm her down, but she pressed her ass into him a little more as if to confirm her suspicion for herself. He clenched his jaw and fought back the groan that was trying to escape his throat when she did that.
“Stop! Stop! You’re gonna be the death of me, woman!” He screamed in his head.
“P-Piers?” She stammered as she turned her head so her violet eyes stared into his cyan ones, her cheeks dusted red.
He sighed in defeat; there was no pretending it didn’t happen. “Yeah, I know. Sorry, Love. I was just thinkin’ about ya, and… well…”
“It… It’s nothing to apologize for…” She said softly as she broke eye contact. “I should be the one apologizing… I know it must be hard for you… Moving so slow with me, that is…”
“’S fine, Love, really.” He said, taking her chin in hand and making her look him in the eyes again. “All that matters is makin’ sure yer comfortable. There’s no need ta rush nothin’. I’ll be fine.”
Dahlia looked away again and chewed her bottom lip like she always does when she’s nervous. Piers was about to try and say something to try and put her at ease, but then she did something that shocked him. She turned herself around completely to face him and pressed her body to his. Before he had a chance to fully process this, she had pressed her lips to his and wove her fingers into his hair, which he had left down today. It was rare for her to initiate a kiss, and she had never initiated a make-out session before. He groaned as his eyes slipped shut and his arms snaked around her again to pull her closer. She licked his bottom lip to ask for entrance, which he readily gave; this level of boldness was wholly out of character for her, but damn it was hot as Hell. She dove right in with little hesitation; it was clear she was still new to this, but she had improved significantly since they first started dating. Piers, not wanting to let her have all the fun, started wrestling her tongue with his own in an attempt to steal dominance away from her, but the way she was kneading his scalp was really making it hard to concentrate.
When the need for oxygen became more than they could bear, they broke apart with gasping breaths, still remaining tantalizingly close. A string of saliva still connected their mouths momentarily as they stared at each other and tried to catch their breath.
“Where… Where did that come from?” He asked breathlessly.
“I… I think I’m ready…” She said as her blush deepened.
“You think?” He questioned. “Lia, I don’t want pushin’ yerself fer my sake! It really is fine! I can go take care a’ this real quick an’ we can just forget about it!”
The young woman shook her head and gave him a peck on the lips. “It’s okay... I-I want to…”
“Then how come yer shakin’ like a leaf?” He countered, feeling her body tremble.
“I’m just nervous is all! Honest!” She assured. “W-well, maybe a bit scared too, but it’s gotta happen sometime, right?”
“It doesn’t gotta be right now though.” He said, removing her hands from his hair and holding them to his chest. “I want ya ta like this. I want ya ta be comfortable. Let’s talk about this, ‘kay? What’re ya scared a'?”
The girl gulped and looked away again. “W-well… Nobody’s seen me fully naked before… It’s kinda embarrassing… A-and, what if I’m not very attractive naked?”
The older man gave her a soft smile and gently kissed her knuckles. “Yer seriously worried about that? Lia, Love, I don’t want ya for yer looks, I want ya for who ya are! ‘Sides, I betcha look absolutely stunnin’! Already do in my opinion.”
Dahlia smiled and looked back up at him. “Thanks. I know it’s silly, but I can’t help being nervous about it.”
“‘Salright, Darlin’. Is there anythin’ else yer scared a'?” He asked.
“W-well, you already know what happened… Back then…” She said, her voice getting a bit shaky. “I’m worried I’ll have a flashback and freak out…”
“If anythin’, an’ I mean anythin’, makes ya uncomfortable, I’ll stop an’ help ya.” He said sternly. “You say the word an’ it’s done; no need ta feel bad er nothin’.”
“I know. I trust you.” She said, relaxing a bit.
Piers nodded in understanding. “Right, anythin’ else?”
She started chewing her bottom lip again, still nervous though not as much as before. “I’ve never actually done ‘it’, as you know. I… I heard it hurts the first time around. If it’s true, I want you to be the one to do it, but I’m still a bit scared…”
“That’s a buncha Trubbish, Love!” Piers assured. “Damn geezers spreadin’ lies ta scare the youngins inta stayin’ in line. It don’t have ta hurt much at all, s’long as the bloke yer with knows what he’s doin’.”
Dahlia nuzzled her cheek into the back of his hand. “ I trust you, Piers. Please? I really do think I’m ready for this.”
“If yer sure, we’ll give it a shot.” He said with a loving smile. “But, ya gotta promise ta tell me if ya want me ta stop. No pushin’ yerself past what yer comfortable with, got it?”
Dahlia nodded. “I promise, Love.”
“Alright then.” He nodded. “Let’s get ta the room. It’ll be more comfortable than this ol’ couch.”
“Okay” The girl said as she got up from the sofa.
Piers got up after her and took her by the hand to lead her to their shared bedroom. He locked the door once they were both inside out of habit, but then realized what he did and unlocked it again. Marie wasn’t going to be home until tomorrow some time, so it was safe to leave it unlocked, and he didn’t want Lia to feel trapped. He let go of her hand and briefly contemplated turning on the main light for the room. It would allow him to see her better, and he really wanted that, but he didn’t want her to be uncomfortable. He decided to turn on his bedside lamp instead before turning to his blushing girlfriend.
“Alright, first things first, the jumper’s gotta go.” He said, grabbing the bottom hem of her hoodie, but not lifting it until she raised her arms for him to do so.
“Good girl.” He practically purred as he tossed the article of clothing to the side and looked his girlfriend up and down.
It was rare for anyone, even him, to see her without her hoodie on; it was something like a security blanket for her and she felt vulnerable without it. She even made enough of a fuss about it that Leon, driven by his overwhelming kindness and desire to make sure everyone had a "champion time", convinced the League to allow it so long as it had the Gym Challenge logo on it like the normal uniform does. She even has a “sleep hoodie” for Arceus sake! He’s gotten to see it more frequently at home as she’s gotten more comfortable, but it still did a lot for him even though all she had under it was a pair of skinny jeans and a band t-shirt of some kind; not exactly something you’d call “sexy”.
“Now, get yerself situated on the bed.” He instructed as he started removing the tank top he had been wearing. “Middle’s best so we’ll have plenny a’ room.”
Something about the way he instructed her… It did something to her she didn’t quite understand, but she loved it. With a quick nod, she climbed onto the bed and got herself settled into the pillows. When she looked back over to Piers, her mouth went dry. He had already removed his tank top and he had this smirk on his face and this look in his eyes that made her body turn to mush; the fact that the dim lighting exaggerated the dips between his ab muscles to make them more pronounced didn’t help matters at all. For as skinny as he was, he was also lean with a fair amount of muscle definition. He didn’t have as many tattoos as one would expect when she says that her boyfriend is a rock star, but Dahlia doesn’t care either way. The ones that he does have are in plain black ink on his pale skin; his old Gym Challenge number on his upper-right arm, and Marnie’s name and birthdate on the left side of his ribcage. He looked beyond sexy to her, especially right now. Sure, she had seen him shirtless before, but this was a totally different context than just lounging around the house on an abnormally hot day, and she was looking at him with a hunger she’d never felt before.
“Like what ya see?” Piers asked with a chuckle.
Dahlia realized she was shamelessly staring at him and quickly looked away with a pout as her blush spread down her neck and the tips of her ears turned red. “Sh-shut up!”
Piers laughed and climbed over her on the bed, nestling his body between her legs and kissing her forehead. She was so cute. “Don’t be like that, Love, I’m glad ya do.” He then grabbed her gently by the chin to make her look at him. “Yer still sure about this, yeah?
“Yeah.” She confirmed shyly as he gently turned her head to face him.
“Well then,” He said as he started to lean in, “where were we?”
The kiss turned hungry and desperate almost immediately, Piers’ tongue sliding into her mouth the second Dahlia allowed an opening. He’d been wanting this for so long that he was practically starving for it. As his tongue ravaged her mouth, one of his hands tangled into her long hair while the other kneaded the flesh of her hip that was peeking out from under her shirt. She moaned into the kiss and tangled both of her hands into his hair, tugging at his locks as her grip tightened. Piers groaned and ground his clothed erection against her core when she did this. They hadn’t even talked about the things he likes in bed, but it seemed like she knew he was into having his hair pulled, or maybe it was just an accident on her part. Either way, he was loving it!
Eventually, Piers pulled away, but he started peppering kisses along her jaw and down her neck before she had a chance to complain. He tugged at her hair slightly to indicate that he wanted her to turn her head that way, and she complied with a breathy gasp. Maybe she liked having her hair pulled too? He’d have to make note of that, but for right now he was more focused on the flesh of her neck that he now had access to. At first, it was just kisses and licks, but those quickly evolved into nips and then to hickies. He knew he probably should have asked before marking her up like that, but after all this time, he would allow himself this one selfish act; he needed to see his mark on her. Everyone assumes Raihan is the "feral" lover of all the adult Gym leaders according to magazine articles and online forums, and they aren't wrong, Piers would know from their occasional hook-ups, but little did they know that Piers had just as much of a feral side and almost always left marks. Dahlia didn’t seem to mind though, if the way she moaned and craned her neck to grant him even better access to her flesh was anything to go off of. As he sucked and nipped the flesh of her neck, he let his hands wander underneath her shirt, just running his hands along the smooth skin of her stomach. The feeling was strange and it made Dahlia squirm a bit because it tickled, but she decided that she liked it and had no intention of stopping him from doing it.
“Is it alright if I take this off now?” He mumbled into her neck as he tugged on the bottom of her shirt.
Dahlia nodded and they both sat up so he could more easily remove the garment, and she slipped her arms out of it as he lifted it over her head and tossed it somewhere in the room. He pecked her lips and asked if he could touch her, to which she replied with a shy “yes”. She leaned back with her arms behind her to support her as he gently kissed her and started massaging and squeezing her breasts over her lace trimmed bra, her eyes slipping shut as she let out little mewls and gasps at the sensation. Piers then slipped his hands under the lacey fabric, which made the girl’s sounds increase in volume ever so slightly as he continued to test the waters with skin to skin contact. When he didn’t receive any indication from Dahlia that he had crossed the line, he started to roll and slightly pinch her rapidly hardening nipples while pressing into the soft mounds of flesh. He’s been with both men and women before, and he very much enjoyed both, but breasts were the one thing that made him have a preference. They were so soft, and she was so sensitive to his touch that he couldn’t help but get excited. Big breasts, little breasts, it didn’t matter to him so long as he got to touch them, but hers seemed to fit in his hands perfectly.
“Do ya mind if I take this off now?” He asked once he thought she was worked up enough to be receptive to the idea, nibbling her earlobe for extra measure.
“S-sure.” She said with a tone that was a mix of nervousness, excitement, and pleasure all in one.
With permission granted, he reached behind her back and unclipped her bra with relative ease before sliding the straps of it off of her shoulders and down her arms. He was able to catch a glimpse of her breasts as he slid the garment off of her completely before she bashfully covered herself with her arms, squeezing her eyes shut and while turning her head to the side. He snatched her hands up with his own and layed a kiss on the back of one of them.
“Now, now. We’ll have none a' that, Love.” He said in a tone that was gentle, but scolding with a hint of playfulness. “Unless you’ve changed yer mind?”
“N-NO!” She cried out and looked back over to him. “I-I don’t want to stop! I’m just embarrassed is all…”
“Ya ain’t got nothin’ ta be embarrassed about, Lia.” He assured with a loving smile. “Yer absolutely stunnin’ jus’ like I thought ya’d be. Promise.”
He watched as she took a deep breath and let go of the tension in her shoulders, then he let go of her hands so they could rest at her sides again. He pushed on her upper stomach a bit with his hand to indicate that she should lie down again, which she did and looked up at him with a little smile. His smile grew as he leaned in and kissed her again, slower this time, but no less passionate. She opened up for him right away and he slipped his tongue inside to explore at a much more leisurely pace this time, rubbing it against hers to coax her into reciprocating; it really didn’t take much coaxing though. While their lips were locked, he started to toy with her breasts again, causing her to moan and sigh into the kiss.
He happily swallowed her pleasured sounds before eventually pulling away and making his way across her jaw then down her neck once again, stopping his descent from time to time to give the spots she seemed to react most to earlier a bit more attention. All this while still squeezing her breasts and rolling her nipples with his dexterous fingers. Once his head was level with her chest, he kissed the top of the right one before moving his hand out of the way and licking at the sensitive nub of flesh slowly and repeatedly, lightly at first, but quickly adding more pressure with each pass of his tongue. Dahlia gasped and squirmed under him, moaning loudly when he took the perky bud into his mouth and started to suck on it. The sounds she made were intoxicating to him, truly beautiful and delicious. He continued to attend to her left breast with his hand while sucking on the right one and used his free hand to unbutton and unzip her jeans before switching sides and unbuckling his belt and unfastening his own pants. Even though he was still confined, the little bit of breathing room he got by doing this provided instant relief to his throbbing member that was far past ready to go at this point.
Once he was satisfied, he lifted his head and sat up to admire his handy work. The poor girl looked absolutely debauched already and he hadn’t even finished undressing her yet! She was breathing heavily, her lips were parted and swollen from their activities, her cheeks were practically glowing red and, best of all, her half lidded eyes were glazed over like the pleasure and excitement had drugged her. Her neck and chest were littered with his lovebites that probably weren’t going to be going anywhere anytime soon and he felt his dick twitch at the sight of them. She was gorgeous.
“These’re next, if yer ready.” He said, grabbing the hem of her pants and praying she wouldn’t back out now when they were so, so close to the promised land.
Dahlia nodded quickly and lifted her hips to make it easier for him to shimmy the fabric off of her body. She was still nervous, but she was also very excited for whatever he decided to do next, never having someone treat her like this before. No one had ever made her feel good like this, had ever cared about making sure she felt good like this. Because of this, she didn’t feel like she needed to be afraid, she didn’t need to fight him off and run away. She was still nervous, sure, but she felt safe enough to let him keep going.
“So wet already, Lia?” Piers said with an audible smirk as he looked at the well-formed wet spot on her lacy panties, his voice taking on a dark tone that sent shivers up and down her spine. “Naughty, naughty.”
“SH-SHUT UP!” She snapped. “So much for that moment!”
He laughed out loud before leaning over her again and whispering in her ear. “Ta think ya was so shy before.” Without warning, he started to rub her clit through her panties, hard.
Dahlia’s eyes widened from the pleasure as she let out the loudest moan yet as she involuntarily arched her back, pushing herself into his hand.
“It really gets me goin’, ya know? Seein’ ya like this.” He cooed into her ear as he worked. “Won’t be long now b’fore yer ready for me. Arceus, I can’t even put inta words how excited I am ta finally have ya. Yer so damn sexy. There were so many times I had ta make up some bullshit excuse ta get away and jerk m’self off. I’m honestly surprised I didn’t lose it.”
Dahlia was a moaning and trembling mess by this point, and Piers really wanted to see her face, but her reaction to his dirty talk was way too enticing for him to pull away from her ear right now.
“Bet ya’d like that now, wouldn’t ya?” He growled, slipping his hand into her panties to rub her directly now. “Ya’d love for me ta bend ya over the edge a' the bed an' have at ya, huh?”
Dahlia moaned pathetically and bucked her hips in-time with his fingers’ movement, desperate for more.
“Use yer words, Love.” Piers commanded, finally sitting up to watch her writhe in pleasure.
“Y-yes!” She whined, picking up on the fact that she was going to have to give him what he wanted.
“‘Yes’ what, Love?” He teased. “I d'know what ya mean.”
“YES! I’d like that!” She cried out. “I need it! I need YOU!”
“There’s a good girl.” He praised as he slid the final obstructing garment off of her and inserted one of his long fingers into her core.
Dahlia gasped and clenched down on his finger as he slid it in and out of her while using his other hand to push her hips down by their center and rub her clit. Arceus, she loved having a musician for a boyfriend more than ever right now; he was so good with his hands. He slowly added another finger and her moan mixed with a little whine at the stretch, it had been a long time since she had touched herself so thoroughly, and her fingers were nowhere near the size of his.
“Ya gotta relax, Love.” He soothed, applying more pressure on her clit to distract her. “Jus’ take a deep breath an' relax yer body.”
The girl did as instructed, letting the tension out of her muscles as best as she could, which did offer a fair amount of relief.
“Yeah, jus’ like that.” He said and started scissoring his fingers inside of her. “Good girl.”
Piers smirked at how much simple praise seemed to have an effect on her, causing her to tremble and weep with pleasure. He had begun to suspect she had that kink before this night, and her reactions this whole way through just proved it for sure. Hair pulling. Praise. Got it. She also seemed to be a natural submissive, but that could just be due to her inexperience; she could start to get more dominant as she got comfortable. Either way, this step in their relationship was going to be really fun for them, he could tell.
When he felt like she was adjusting well to the stretch, he stopped scissoring his fingers and instead started rubbing on her inner walls in different places. Dahlia cracked one of her eyes open to see that he had a look of concentration on his face, like he was trying to solve a puzzle or something. She was about to ask him what he was doing, but whatever he was looking for, he must have found it because a gasp was ripped from her throat as she felt white-hot pleasure shoot up her spine.
Dahlia practically screamed in ecstasy as her back arched and twisted and her fingers clawed at the sheets beneath her.
“There it is.” Piers said smugly as he started focusing on that spot while using his other hand to keep up the stimulation on her clit. “Hey, Dahlia. I overheard ya talkin’ ta Sonia about wantin’ ta get that birth control implant thing. Did ya ever end up doin’ it?”
Dahlia didn’t answer him, too lost in a haze of pleasure to even process what he has asking, much less form a response.
“If ya can’t answer me, I’ll have ta stop.” He threatened while slowing his movements. “I need ta know if I have ta grab a condom ‘r not.”
She seemed to hear that loud and clear because her eyes snapped open and she responded immediately. "Y-YES! YESIDIDPLEASEDON’TSTOP!”
Her response was all jumbled up, but Piers got the information he needed nonetheless, so he picked up his pacing again, applying more pressure on that special spot inside of her. It wasn’t long before she came undone from that, screaming and shaking as her body tensed all at once before going slack and leaving her gasping for air. It was certainly a sight to behold.
He stared at her blissed out state as he slid his fingers out of her core and brought them to his mouth to lick off her sweet nectar, humming in approval at the taste. Oh, he should NOT have done that. He had planned to go easy on her, he really did, but that little taste had him hooked harder than a hungry Basculin; he needed more. ONE more orgasm than he had planned shouldn't affect her potential soreness tomorrow anyway, right?
With that thought, he repositioned himself between her legs and began his descent, starting by laying a kiss on her rib cage just below her breasts and slowly kissing and nipping his way down her belly, letting his hands grope their way down alongside him until he got below her navel. He pulled her knees up with ease as he nipped at that cute little muffin top she hated so much and wrapped his arms around her thighs to hold them in place.
This seemed to snap Dahlia out of her dazed state, her wide eyes shooting down to meet his half-lidded ones. "W-What are you doing!?!"
Piers released the flesh that he had between his teeth and smirked up at her. "Oh, I think ya know exactly what I'm plannin'. Do ya have any legitimate objections, or are ya jus' bein' self-conscious again?"
"I-I… W-well…" she stammered before turning her head to the side in an attempt to hide her embarrassment at being called out.
"S'what I thought." He mumbled into her skin as he got back to work.
He nibbled on her left thigh, getting dangerously close to her soaked sex, but switched to the other thigh instead of diving in. He couldn't help but chuckle at her pathetic whine when he did that. What? Did she seriously think he wasn't going to tease her a bit after being so troublesome? She'd learn soon enough he supposed; for as seriously as he took the matter, he was still as devilish as his Type specialty, and no "misdeed" was going to go unpunished.
He decided to be merciful for now though; this was her first time after all. He gave her thigh one good bite, just hard enough to make her yelp and leave a deep red mark, before dipping his tongue between her folds and giving her clit a hard lick. Her body jolted with a shriek as she reflexively tried to clamp her thighs shut only to be prevented from doing so by his iron hold. She was shocked at how sensitive she still was, but Piers was just amused. He'd be able to get what he wanted quickly and move onto the "main act". Perfect.
His nose nuzzled into the dark curls of her pubic area as he took her sensitive little nub into his mouth and gave it a good suck. She wailed loudly and thrashed beneath him as he continued to lick and suck at her. Her hands flew up to his head and clamped down on his hair, nails digging into his scalp. Her pleasure-addled mind couldn't figure out if she wanted to push him off of her to put an end to the onslaught or pull him in further to get more, so she just held him there as she involuntarily bucked into his mouth. Piers moaned into her when she did this, and the vibrations had her seeing stars. It was a good thing Piers got off on having his hair pulled like this, because it wasn't likely she'd be able to stop herself now; though he did take a mental note to grab a pillow for him to hump into next time so he could get some desperately needed friction as his own excitement had his hips twitching.
Piers readjusted his hold on one of her thighs and released her clit from his mouth. Before she could even catch her breath, his skilled fingers took over stimulating the little bundle of nerves while he moved his mouth lower so his tongue could find its way inside of her. He excitedly lapped up her fluids like a man dying of thirst, moaning and groaning into her as he did so. He pinched her clit slightly and she came undone again, harder than she ever thought possible. Dahlia screamed his name and threw her head back as her body shook like she just took a critical Thunderbolt to the face. Her juices gushed out of her and onto Piers' eager tongue, and he drank them down like they were a fine wine, moaning at the exquisite flavor of her.
When her body finally went slack again, Piers released his hold on her legs and removed her hands from his head so he could sit up and enjoy the view. She looked like her brain was totally fried, eyes glassy as she panted, whimpered and trembled with the occasional aftershocks of her orgasm. He wiped some of her excess juices from his chin with the back of his hand and stared down at her until she started coming back down to earth. When she finally regained her senses, he quickly set himself on top of her and kissed her feverishly. Dahlia had always thought that tasting herself would be revolting and never understood why that was something people were into, but it turned her on even more, if that were even possible.
Piers broke away from the kiss and looked down at her. He was breathing heavily now as well and looked like an apex predator crouched over a fresh kill. "Arceus… I love ya so goddamn much… Yer perfect."
Dahlia let out a breathy giggle and reached up to brush his sweat drenched bangs out of his face. " Well, look who's talking, Mr. Silver Tongue."
Piers laughed and flashed her a wolfish grin. "I aim to please."
"Speaking of pleasing…" she said, biting her bottom lip and snaking her hand between them to cup and grope him through his pants, causing him to gasp and moan. "Do you want me to… return the favor? I haven't done it like this before… Ya know, consenting and all that, so I'm not sure if I'd be any good at it, but-."
Piers cut her off with a quick kiss and smiled down at her. "As great as that sounds, I wanted ta focus on takin' care 'a ya t'night."
"Well, that hardly seems fair to you." She reasoned. " I think I could handle it okay, really."
He shook his head and pecked her lips again. "Maybe next time, Love. I want t'night ta be about you, I'll get mine soon enough. I gotta do a few things before that anyway ta make it a more… pleasant experience for ya."
"You didn't give me that option." She grumbled. "I could've at least shaved or something."
Piers couldn't help but laugh at her petulance. "Been a while since someone's tried this hard ta get me ta let 'em suck my dick!"
Dahlia's cheeks flushed beet red at his vulgarity and hid her face with her hands. "I'M JUST TRYING TO BE FAIR!"
Piers laughed harder at this and pulled her hands away from her face. "Ya c'n owe me one if ya want, but trust me, if I let ya do it now, ya'd never wanna do it again. My diet has been literal garbage the last few days, and spunk from a bloke who eats like I have is awful; trust me."
Dahlia glared and lightly smacked his arm. " I keep telling you to knock that off! I'm gonna start pre-cooking meals for you so you HAVE to eat healthy while I'm out and won't drop dead by forty!"
Piers rolled his eyes. "I know, I know! Guess I've got a bit 'a extra motivation now though."
Dahlia smirked. "I guess ya do."
"Ya still sure ya wanna take this all the way?" Piers questioned, becoming serious again. "We don't have ta if-"
This time, Dahlia was the one to cut him off with a kiss before pulling away and nodding.
"I wanna hear ya say it, Love." He said as he kissed her forehead. "I wanna make sure yer really okay with this."
"Yes, Piers, I do." She said, looking into his eyes. "Please?"
Piers smiled and pecked her on the lips before getting up and quickly removing the last of his clothing. Dahlia decided to hazard a glance over to see what he was working with, and wasn't sure if she should be intimidated or fascinated. First off, it turns out that somehow his hair isn't dyed that way! Not unless he dyes his downstairs too and she highly doubted that. Second, she didn't know what was considered an average size for a guy, never cared enough to even think about it, but it seemed big to her and she wasn't sure how that was supposed to go inside of her when his fingers felt big already. Third, it was kinda… pretty? As pretty as a dick could be, anyway. Maybe it was just because she wasn't being forced upon, but his looked a lot less… weird than any she had seen before. It stood tall and slim-ish, pale as he was for the most part, but it started to redden as it got closer to the head, which was an angry shade of red and dripping with pre-cum, likely from how neglected it had been all throughout their activities; it was almost like it was grumpy about it!
Dahlia didn't have much time to dwell on it though. Piers was eager, thankfully too eager to notice her staring again. He climbed back on top of her, bracing his weight on one arm while the other hand reached down to gather some of her slick and gave himself a few pumps with it to coat himself before guiding his cock to her opening. She winced in discomfort slightly as the head of his cock breached her opening, and she let out a loud, strangled gasp when he suddenly surged forward a few inches after her internal barrier gave way for him. Though it didn't hurt, she understood why it was called "popping your cherry" now; it was sudden like a pop and the sensation was kind of similar in feel to when you blow up a gum bubble until it pops, just… ya know... inside of her. She didn't feel the terrible, tearing pain she had heard so much about, just some stinging discomfort from the stretch, but that wasn't very bad at all.
"I-it's okay, Darlin'." Piers comforted, but he struggled to speak through the feeling of her velvet walls clamping down on him. "J-jus', relax. We're a-almos' there. Deep breaths."
Dahlia wasn't sure if that last part was for her or for himself. He was trembling and breathing heavily with his eyes shut tightly, clearly struggling with himself not to move after likely taking her sudden sound as a response to pain.
Knowing what he was probably thinking, she reached up and cupped his face in her hands, causing him to open his eyes and look into hers worriedly. “Hey, I’m alright, relax. It’s a little uncomfortable, but it’s not anything bad.”
His expression eased as one of her thumbs rubbed soothing circles on his cheek. She smiled at him lovingly, to which he nodded and took a deep breath before he started pushing his length the rest of the way in with a deep moan. Dahlia’s breath hitched as he moved; she could feel every little bit of progress he made, her walls stretching to accommodate him. When he bottomed out, Piers stopped to catch his breath; both of them panting. He filled her in ways Dahlia didn’t even know were possible, and her walls fluttering around his sensitive member felt like heaven to him. As he looked down at her and leaned in to kiss her, his long hair slid off his shoulders and formed a curtain of black and white around them. He knew he wasn’t going to last very long this time around, but who could really blame him given the circumstances? He would just have to get her to cum again quickly, but that shouldn’t be a difficult task given how reactive she’s been thus far.
He pulled away and stared down at her, looking deeply into his lover’s eyes. She stared back at him for what felt like hours, but was, in reality, no more than a minute or two. The intimacy of the moment made Dahlia’s heart feel so full that she thought it might burst at the seams; she really did adore this man in ways she never knew she could, and he cared for her in ways she never dared to hope for. She leaned up to capture his lips again while she tangled her hands into his silky locks once more and shifted her hips to let him know that it was okay for him to start moving. Piers let out a throaty groan into the kiss as he held his upper body up with one arm braced beside her head and used his free hand to grip her hip for better leverage. He started to pull himself back slightly before surging back in fully, going a bit further with each thrust to test the waters and make sure she wasn’t experiencing any unnecessary pain. The slow pace was driving him up the wall, but he needed to be sure before he could let himself indulge fully.
“P-Piers!” Dahlia moaned as she pulled away from the kiss to breathe. “P-please! More!”
As she pleaded for him to pick up his speed, Dahlia hooked her legs around his hips and started lifting her own to meet his gentle thrusts, trying to get more of the shocks of pleasure she felt every time he pushed his way back into her. Her movements caused her to inadvertently tug on his hair again, right near the roots, which served to spur him on. Piers reached behind him to grab her legs and pulled them over his shoulders in order to allow himself to reach deeper into her as his thrusts rapidly increased in both speed and intensity. Before long, the headboard of the bed was slamming into the wall behind it with each powerful thrust of his hips while Dahlia’s high pitched wails of pleasure mingled with his deep, desperate moans in the most beautiful kind of music either of them had ever heard. The younger woman tried with all she had to keep up with her partner, but the position made it difficult as each snap of his hips sent shockwave after shockwave up her spine and tightened that now familiar knot in her belly. Her inhibitions had long since abandoned her, and his were nowhere to be seen at this point either. All that mattered in that moment was each other and the pleasure they were receiving from their union.
“I-I fuckin’ love ya!” Piers groaned out as he felt himself getting close. “I love ya so fuckin’ much! ARCEUS YA FEEL SO FUCKIN’ GOOD!!”
Dahlia gasped for every breath as the knot in her stomach pulled impossibly tighter and tighter. Her body was shaking and her walls were squeezing his member like a vice.
“I-I love you too! I love you! P-Piers! Piers! PIERS! PIERS!!!” She screamed as her hands moved from his hair to his shoulders where her nails dug into his skin.
“Cum fer me, Darlin’! Cum fer me!” Piers all but commanded as he gripped her thighs so hard there were sure to be finger sized bruises there by morning.
In an instant, Dahlia’s world went totally white as her third orgasm crashed down on her with enough force to put a Tyrantrum’s Head Smash to shame. The pleasure ripped her mind to shreds to the point it would be terrifying if she weren’t too far gone to process it.
“AH! THAT’S IT, LOVE! THERE’S A GOOD GIRL!” Piers shouted as his hips snapped into hers at a brutal pace in search of his release. “SO GOOD! FUCK! FUCKFUCKFUCK! AHHHH!!!”
It hit him like a Draco Meteor seconds later. He slammed himself into her one last time and shot rope after rope of cum into her. All that build-up had paid off with an earth shattering orgasm for himself. Normally, he wouldn't scream like that unless he was the one getting railed, but here he was, making just as much noise as the young woman beneath him, if not more. The warmth flooding her, the knowledge of what exactly it was that he was flooding her insides with, the powerful twitching of his dick inside of her, and his cries of ecstasy made Dahlia squirm and mewl at him. It probably would have made her cum again if she weren’t totally spent already.
Piers’ body shook as he let go of her legs and collapsed onto his equally shaky partner, completely exhausted. If his brain was working right now, he would be worried about putting all of his weight on her like this, but he wasn't exactly all there in his post-orgasmic haze. He felt Dahlia gently running her fingers through his hair while they both tried to catch their breath through the shivers of their aftershocks, so she didn't seem to mind anyway. At least, that's what he thought until he nuzzled his face between her breasts and started to come to. That's when he noticed something was off with his girlfriend's shaky breaths and whimpers.
"Lia?" He mumbled sleepily and tilted his head up to look at her face.
The girl was still absent-mindedly running her fingers through his hair, but she was also looking up at the ceiling with tears running down her cheeks. What he had thought were her attempts to catch her breath were actually sobs that she was trying to suppress.
His eyes widened in horror and he quickly pushed himself up so he could look at her properly. His fatigue was gone in an instant as he shifted into protection mode.
"Lia!? W-what's wrong?! Are ya hurt!?" He questioned frantically while brushing her hair out of her face. "Shit! Shit! Shit! What happened!? I knew we shouldn't have done this yet, I knew it!"
Dahlia shook her head quickly before wrapping her arms around him and burying her face into his chest to continue sobbing.
"H-hey, it's okay, Love. I got ya, it's okay." He soothed.
Piers held her tightly and withdrew himself from her so he could maneuver their bodies to where they would be laying on their sides. Once he got them settled, he started gently rubbing her back and whispering sweet things to her until her breathing evened out and her tears stopped. It felt like it took forever, but that was just because his mind was racing a mile a minute trying to figure out where things had gone so wrong. Where HE had gone wrong.
It was a good few minutes before she composed herself and pulled away slightly so she could look up at the older man currently holding her. Her eyes were still red and watery, but she was feeling much better. She knew she had worried him though and felt awful about it. Piers was so engrossed in his worried thoughts that he hadn't even noticed that she had moved. He just kept rubbing her back and holding her to him while staring at the wall. He was actually startled when she reached up and cupped his face in her hands. His body jumped as his eyes snapped down to look at her.
"Hey." She whispered with a sniffle.
"Are you okay?" He asked, his voice shaking slightly.
"Y-yeah…" She said, looking away in shame seeing and hearing how much her outburst had upset him. "Sorry about, well, that."
"No." He said sternly. "Don't apologize; ya didn't do nothin' wrong. Jus' tell me what happened. What went wrong?"
Dahlia sighed and nuzzled back into his chest. "I-I don't know… Nothing really…"
"That didn't look like 'nothin', Love." He said with an exasperated sigh, holding her closer "I need ya ta tell me. Did I hurt ya? Did I not notice ya was freakin' out? Did ya not like somethin' I did? Did-"
"No! It's not that! It's just… I… I don't really know…" Dahlia interrupted, knowing that he was starting to fall down a rabbit hole of doubt and self loathing again. "I guess I was just… overwhelmed? That last one was so intense, and there were just so many emotions going crazy in my head after I snapped out of it, and I didn't know how to handle it, and before I knew it… I was crying! I tried not to… I knew you'd think you'd done something wrong, but you didn't, Piers! You made me so happy!”
Piers rested his chin on her head and tried to calm himself down because he knew his anxiety was starting to feed into the younger woman’s. "Do ya promise?"
"I promise." She assured. "I'm sorry for making you wait so long for that. I was worried over nothing and you suffered for it. And now, I've gone and ruined it for you."
"Hey, look at me." The older man ordered sternly, pulling back enough that she had room to do so.
When Dahlia tilted her head up to look at him, he captured her lips in a soft, loving kiss before she even got a glimpse of his entire face. When he pulled away from the kiss, he rested his forehead on hers so she couldn't break eye contact and escape the stern, disapproving glare he was giving her. "I told ya not ta apologize. Ya didn't do nothin' wrong. Ya don't need ta feel guilty about not feeling comfortable 'til now, and ya didn't 'ruin' anythin', so stop it."
"Fine, just stop thinking YOU did anything wrong. Deal?" She said, pecking his lips.
"Deal." He said with a sigh, letting go of Dahlia and sitting up.
"W-wait! Where are you goooooing!?" Dahlia whined and clung to him. "Snuggles!"
Piers couldn't help but smile at her childish behavior, which made her smile up at him before putting on an exaggerated pout, making him chuckle. "We gotta get cleaned up, Love. I’ll cuddle ya after."
She yawned nuzzled into him. "Don't wanna."
"Trust me, I don't either." Piers said as he pried her arms off of him. "But, I don't want ya gettin' an infection or somethin' 'cause we was bein' lazy."
Dahlia looked at him in confusion as he slid off the bed and stood up.
"I swear to Arceus, the sex ed in Unova must be as bad as it is here." Piers grumbled as he stretched his arms over his head. "Makes me even more glad I decided ta research it and tell Marn about the Delibirds and the Combees m'self. I'll never understand why they skipped that 'a all things." Piers then scooped the girl up in his arms and stumbled his way to the attached bathroom, his legs still a bit jelly-like. "Ya might get a UTI if ya don't get cleaned up properly after a good ol' romp in the sheets. Can happen with blokes too, but it's more likely ta happen with you lot."
"Oh…" Dahlia blushed, embarrassed at her own lack of knowledge.
"Don't beat yerself up over it." He said as he sat her down on the toilet and kissed her forehead before fetching some clean washcloths from the bathroom cupboard and running them under the faucet. "Ya didn't have yer folks around ta tell ya, and I know how great my sex ed program was. I wouldn't even know if I wasn't so concerned about Marn gettin' false information."
Dahlia smiled dreamily as she watched him; she was so lucky to find such a sweet and responsible guy. Maybe it was the chemical cocktail still coursing through her body after their love making, but she could feel herself falling for him more and more by the second.
"What's with the dopey look?" He chuckled as he walked back over to her and handed her one of the warm washcloths.
"I love you so much." She sighed.
He laughed while using the other washcloth to clean himself off. "'Cause I know a bit 'a basic sex ed?"
"No, silly!" She said, playfully poking him in the side, causing him to chuckle and squirm away.
Piers finished cleaning himself up and tossed the washcloth into the hamper by the door. "I'm gonna go get us some water. Make sure ya pee before headin' ta bed, 'parently it helps too."
With that, Piers left her to do her thing and made his way through the bedroom. As he passed the bed, he noticed a decent sized red spot on the sheets and winced. He knew there was a chance Dahlia would bleed when he took her virginity, and he was glad to have the confirmation that none of those scumbags that had abused her had managed to get that far with her, but he still felt bad about making her bleed. He tried to reason with himself that it was largely up to Dahlia's own anatomy, that he had done all he could and that she had assured him that he hadn't hurt her, but seeing that spot of blood made that little voice in the back of his head start whispering poisonous words to him again; telling him that she had lied for his sake and that he was terrible for doing that to her. He shook those thoughts away and decided that it would be best to wash the bedding now to hopefully get the stain out. Sleeping on sheets NOT covered in their fluids and sweat would feel better anyway. With a sigh. He removed the soiled bedding and threw it on the floor before getting a fresh set from his closet and getting it in place. On his way to the kitchen from his room, he stopped at the small laundry closet where the washing machine was kept so he could toss the sheets in and start the wash cycle. With a sleepy yawn, he continued onto the kitchen where he got two bottles of water from the fridge and stumbled his way back into the bedroom.
Dahlia was already curled up in the blankets and trying to fight off sleep, though she was quickly losing that battle. Piers watched her eyes flutter shut for a second before they would snap open again only for the process to repeat; it was pretty damn adorable. She perked up a bit when he made his way over and sat on the side of the bed. He handed her one of the bottles of water, which she happily accepted; all that noise they had made really dried out her throat. She quickly sat up and twisted the cap off before gulping down about half the bottle in a matter of seconds while Piers sat with his back to her, sipping on his water and staring at the wall again.
Dahlia twisted the cap back onto her water bottle and placed it on the nightstand. She then came up behind him, resting her chin on his shoulder and wrapping her arms around his midsection. "You better not be thinking about what I think you're thinking about, mister. We had a deal."
Piers reached up and ruffled her hair. He was kind of surprised to feel her bare breasts against his back; he had assumed she would have gotten dressed in her normal sleep attire and had planned on slipping on some pajama pants to make the normally shy girl more comfortable. "How was it for ya?"
Dahlia started tracing random patterns on his stomach as she nuzzled into his neck, making goosebumps appear on his skin. "It was the best thing ever and you might have created a monster. Now, stop trying to change the subject."
The older man sighed and hung his head; she wasn't going to let it go. "Ya promise I didn't hurt ya? Yer not sugar coatin'?"
"We already went over this. Don't you trust me?" She whispered, hurt evident in her voice.
“‘Course I do! It’s just… I made ya bleed…”
“I was under the impression that was normal?”
“It can be, but-”
“I jus’ wanted ta make sure... I’d ‘a made a real arse outta m’self if I had. Goin’ on about it not hurting ‘if the bloke yer with know’s what he’s doin’ an all.”
The girl giggled “Yeah, you would’ve, but you didn’t. Can I have my snuggles now?”
Piers snorted a little laugh through his nose and rolled his eyes with a slight grin. “I suppose cuddles are in order after all that.”
“Yay!” The younger woman cheered and quickly removed herself from him to make room on the bed for him.
Piers took a few more gulps of his water before twisting the cap back on and setting it on the nightstand. He pulled himself the rest of the way onto the bed and pulled Dahlia into his embrace. She took the blankets along with her and snuggled into him once they were both sufficiently covered, nuzzling into him with a content sigh.
“I love you, Piers.” Dahlia mumbled as his warmth and scent lulled her into the best sleep of her life.
“I love ya too, Darlin’.” He replied with another yawn as he pulled her closer and drifted off as well.
Just a little bit before noon the next day, Marnie returned to an abnormally quiet home. Normally, Dahlia would have been up for a few hours by now with at least one pokemon roaming around, but the place was like a ghost town; the lights were all out, the blinds were still closed, and there were no breakfast dishes on the drying rack beside the sink like there usually would be on any other Sunday morning. She called out to both Dahlia and her brother as she shut the front door behind her and stepped further inside. When she got no reply, she hugged Morpeko close and made her way down the hall toward Piers' room. She noticed that the door was open a crack, which was abnormal since both he and Dahlia liked to keep it shut if they were in there. Maybe Dahlia had managed to drag him out of bed at a reasonable hour to go somewhere? She hadn't gotten a text from either of them saying they would be out and there was no note on the counter when she walked by, but maybe they just forgot?
She called out again, but still got no reply, so she cautiously made her way over and opened the door a little bit more so she could see into the darkened room. Both adults were in the room, sound asleep with Piers snoring slightly. The older man was laying on his back with his arms wrapped around the younger woman, who was snuggled into his chest. They were both covered from their midsection down by the blankets, but they were totally bare above that. Thankfully, with the position they were laying in, the most the young girl saw was a bit of side-boob, but it was more than enough for her to figure out what she was looking at and what those two had gotten up to while she was away, and that was way more than she wanted to know. With a blush, she covered Morpeko's innocent little eyes with her hand before quietly shutting the door and scurrying off to her room to unpack her overnight bag and maybe bleach her brain to get that little scene out of her head.
As for how Dahlia was sexually abused but still technically a virgin in this, no one had gotten that far. The assaults were either interrupted, or Dahlia managed to get away because at that time she didn’t value her life enough to comply for her own safety, but did very much value the fact that her body was one of the very few things that she could control at that point and was far more interested in keeping someone from taking that from her than keeping herself alive. I’m not saying that this is the proper attitude to have in the slightest, that’s just where she was mentally at the time due to everything she had been dealing with outside of those events. In real life, you should fight like hell to avoid getting taken to a secondary location, but there are times when compliance may be required in order to keep yourself alive long enough to get out of the situation, and your “sexual purity” should never outweigh your life. Also, this was not done because I really wanted her to be a virgin for this, but because my knowledge of the after-effects of full-on rape is thankfully limited and I feel me trying to capture it would be horribly inaccurate and disrespectful. There are some situations where it’s best to stick with what you know. I’ll let you use context clues here.
Also, the abuse is not just for a “tragic/more interesting backstory” or to “glorify/romanticize” anything, it is to set up some areas where these two can connect and to bring more attention to how flawed the CPS system in, well pretty much everywhere, is. In the story I hope to write eventually, there will be many pieces from many real stories because, unfortunately and disgustingly, this shit is real and happens everyday. While the service is severely needed, it is underfunded, understaffed and full of well-meaning policies that are the stuff that the road to Hell is paved with. Reform is needed, and those poor social workers that actually give a damn need to be paid better and given better benefits to handle the horrors they have to witness, otherwise you end up with uncaring and underqualified social workers being the only ones that last. If you can somehow help a child in need, you should because the system fails many of them and they can use any kindness they can get.
Hello sweetie! 🌸 A lot of people in the fandom say that Draken and Inupi become friends 'cause Draken starts seeing Emma in Inupi, because of his looks. What do you think? I'd like to know your opinion on this. I hope I've made the point. Anyway thank you so much for keeping drakemma very much alive. 😘 You're amazing. 💌
Hi, anon❣ Thank you so much for the question. Before I answer, I'd like to make clear that, as always, this is just my personal and humble opinion, I may be wrong and I'm very open to different views.
I've read this idea around a lot, too, and I find it very interesting, but, to be honest, I'm not sure I am of the same opinion, firstly because I cannot see how this is supported in canon (and in fact I think it's not at all), and secondly because I don't think I like the idea of Inui being mistaken for someone else once again, it'd be unnecessarily sad and cruel. But let me explain why I'm saying this.
First of all, as we know, Koko used to see Akane in Seishu. Now, Koko and Seishu's backstory explains very well how and why that happened: Koko is traumatized by Akane's death, feels guilty for mistaking the two siblings and for saving Seishu instead of her when the fire happened (the severe burns will eventually led her to death), so he ends up overlaying and projecting the idea of Akane on her brother, cancelling Seishu's persona for years in the process, perpetrating pain and affliction to Seishu and to himself (Koko and Seishu's relationship makes me want to cry, seriously, it is one of the creepiest and saddest stories in tokrev in my opinion, both of them are consumed with trauma, both end up harming each other and suffer like hell, and both deserve better...).
Anyway, what I'm trying to say here is that, from a narrative standpoint, Koko seeing Akane in Seishu is directly connected to Seishu being both Koko's friend and Akane's brother, the three characters are connected and it's exactly this link what "allows" Koko's trauma to evolve in that specific way and to cause such bad consequences on Seishu.
Now, let's just imagine the exact same story, but with Seishu not being Akane's brother: what would happen in this scenery from a narrative point of view? Would Koko equally lose Akane? Yes, he would. Would Koko equally suffer trauma? Yes, he would. Would Koko's trauma equally evolve in a tragic and devastating way? Yes, it would. Would Koko's trauma affect Seishu? No, it wouldn't. It wouldn't demage Seishu specifically in that case because Seishu would not be part of the scheme. Indeed, in canon, Seishu pays the price of Koko's trauma because he is simultaneously Koko's friend and Akane's brother and because he was saved "by mistake", which leads Koko to feel guilty and to lose his mind. In summary my point is: all of this happens because sadly the three characters (Koko, Seishu, Akane) were linked, Seishu's only fault is being, in Koko's eyes, what's left of Akane.
On the contrary, Draken and Emma have nothing to do with Inui, they don't have a common backstory or anything. What would be the point in repeating the same instance in which the poor Seishu is made invisible by someone else's suffering once again? Especially when this someone else is not correlated to him in any way. From a narrative standpoint, it just doesn't make sense. Draken, unlike Koko, would have ZERO reasons to project the image of his lost love on Inui. Actually blond hair is the only thing that Seishu and Emma have in common and I really think it'd be not enough to justify such a behavior on Draken's part.
In the end, I'd like to add what is, according to me, the reason why Draken and Inui become friends, the reason why their friendship lasts and they support each other and and help each other. As we know, to some extent Seishu used to take advantage of Koko's abilities in making money to reach some of his goals in Black Dragons. When Seishu and Koko part ways and Seishu is left without that "money machine", he has to learn how to be "financially independent" and I think here comes his friendship with Draken. Inui, thanks to Draken and the bike shop, learns how to make money by himself with an honest job. Probably Draken and Seishu created a solid friendship working side by side over time. I guess it's just as simple as that. I think Inui respects Draken a lot because he finds in him a healthy friend, someone trustworthy. At the same time I think Draken respects Inui because he finds in him an emotionally recovering person, someone who is trying to deal with past mistakes, sufferings and regrets, just like he's doing himself. I think Draken genuinely respects Seishu for who he is and that's the kind of friendship someone with Seishu's past deserves. It makes sense. I truly doubt Draken is unconsciously searching for a replacement for Emma, I doubt he's looking for her in other people. It'd be totally out of character and inconsistent with the way he deals with Emma's death, in my opinion. While Koko's trauma and pain led him to delirium and to see Akane in a different person, Draken faces trauma in a healthier way, he succeeds in doing something for himself, he focuses on his career and, as we know by now, he goes as far as still fighting to bring Mikey back and to protect his friends. In other words, Draken misses Emma, loves Emma, suffers for losing her, but he manages to go on with his life because he knows that's what Emma would want. Admitting that he sees her in Inui would mean admitting that Draken is actually very much out of control (like Koko was) and I don't think that's the case.
That's why I just can't see Draken doing the same thing Koko did to Seishu: the two just face pain and loss differently, which is totally realistic because different people deal with trauma in very different ways.
Having said that, I'd like to make it clear that I don't mean to say one is not excusable while the other is simply exemplary. Trauma is trauma, I wouldn't go as far as depicting Koko as a total and irredeemable monster: he was deeply demaged and corrupted, he needed help, just like many other characters. The fact that on the contrary Draken succeeds in not doing such things, despite having undergone similar pain, is again indicative of the fact that trauma is trauma and people face it differently depending on the circumstances and many other factors (let's not forget that there's a timeline in which Draken is on death row for killing people and according to Takemichi he did that to avenge Emma's death). This is a very prevalent message in tokyo revengers, we can see how different characters with backstories and traumatic pasts ends up totally demaged, recovered or (partially) redeemed. I'm glad the author conveyed such a message, to be honest.
I also think, on an additional note, that separating Koko and Seishu was for the best and maybe, once they've fully recovered, they can finally have a sincere and genuine friendship where Koko sees Seishu exactly for who is and where Seishu forgives a redeemed Koko. Or I'd also like for them to be healthier individuals and care for each other, whilst staying separated.
joan - what do you wish the series would cover next, or what kind of turn would you want to see it take?
!! okay this is a really fun question. ‘cause i’ve thought about this a lot. timeline-wise, I only got really involved with the fandom around the release of ATHD, and ever since then i’ve really enjoyed imagining the “next” events of the series. sometimes theories, sometimes just AUs, but it’s always fun!
and see, there are tons of things i’d love to explore in the context of canon. like sides switching from light to dark, or a side shutting themselves off, or serious backstory elements like the formation of roman and remus. tons of stuff that’d be super cool to think about.
but they’re not stuff i’d actually want in canon necessarily, you know? and they’re mostly not stuff i’d ever expect canon to actually do. so here’s a little incomplete list of things i’d love to actually see in the series, and which I think are (semi)-plausible:
1. Roman’s arc. had to add this one. I’m pretty sure it’s coming up after PoF (and it better) and I am so, so excited. roman’s been a slow-boiling pot of emotional turmoil for a while now and I just wanna see it spill over!
and look. don’t get me wrong, i love the pintroverts so much, but—yeah, i really wanna see thomas and nico go through a rough patch. thomas, and by extension roman, are pinning so many expectations on nico. they’re emotionally unready and using nico like a way to redeem themselves and feel better, instead of confronting their own issues. not to say the relationship can’t work out, but i can figure there’ll be some bumps on the road.
and possible failure with nico would be a great catalyst for roman’s full breakdown. he’s got everything riding on this guy! he calls nico “a chance at happiness”! and he’s the romantic side, he wants this to work out, so thomas will trust him again. and if it fails, it’ll break roman into tiny, tiny pieces.
plus, i know the season finale is probably going to be a two-parter, like with virgil’s episode? and i don’t know if i actually want roman to duck out, but i am really excited for some parallels to virgil’s arc. acceptance instead of redemption, being more than your function, every side being valued, and virgil and roman continuing to become closer together. if i do not get a remix of “you make us better” but virgil to roman, i will riot /j
2. Logan’s arc. then following roman, our braincell boy! logan is another steaming pile of issues who’s been repressing for far too long. i want to see him admit he has feelings. i want to see him cry. maybe this is the angst demon in me, but come on, he deserves it.
an aspect of logan that’s really fascinating to me is his relation to thomas’ own self-image and needs. logan defines himself by his use to thomas—he has the least belief in himself as a separate entity. and he’s felt sidelined for a long time, possibly ever since thomas became a youtube.
i think it’d be super interesting to see more of how their dynamic was before thomas made the career switch, how logan feels about it, and how his “lack of feelings” is an extension of his refusal to acknowledge his own personhood. he doesn’t let himself want or feel—and he’s actually kinda similar to roman in that regard. roman and logan are narrative foils in a lot of ways. which would make it kinda cool if their arcs were somewhat consecutive—logan helps roman value himself, and roman returns the favor.
oh, and i’d love it if virgil and logan could come full circle, too? virgil comforts logan during the whole thing, maybe even talking to him about cognitive distortions or using techniques logan taught him to destress. they’re really good friends and i wanna see more of that.
3. Janus becoming part of the group. i have so many feelings about janus. he’s poised to join the gang and start helping thomas from the inside, but his acceptance is still conditional, fragile, and fragmented. roman loathes him, logan resents him, and virgil has a history with him. and janus is gonna have to try and get through all that.
i already love his dynamic with patton, i really want them to be friends. i think a logan and janus debate would be fucking fantastic. i am begging for roman and janus to talk things out. and i really, really want to see virgil and janus become friends again.
but maybe what i’m most interested in is janus himself, and his relationship to thomas. i still love interpreting the “is that fair to him” line as referencing janus’ complex and difficult role as the keeper of all lies. he’s still hiding an orange side from us, probably, and he’s trying to keep everything stable.
what happens if he slips up? what happens if he gets close to patton and starts having new priorities? how did that affect his relationship with virgil? i want to really explore janus’ character and motivations.
and also janus and remus content. give it. this is an order.
4. Remus. Literally anything remus. Please I’m starving, I just want to see my trash boy, when will he return from the war?
Seriously, though, I’d love more remus. his thoughts on nico. his motivation, his daily life, his relationship with janus and the other sides. i think he could really be great friends with all of them if he was given time to settle, and my intruality heart says he deserves to be chaotic besties with patton.
and! and his relationship with roman!! i really wanna see them grow closer and be bros, while working through the deep complexities of their issues with one another. because right now roman has so many projections of remus as his worst enemy and the epitome of everything he doesn’t wanna be, and remus just…doesn’t care about all that. that’s so interesting!!
remus is just such a refreshing character in so many ways. he’s so blunt and open and honest, he doesn’t hide or repress anything, and that’d be so much fun to explore! plop him in the middle of the other sides and see how long it takes for stuff to explode. i wanna see him break the status quo just because he can.
5. Patton’s arc. oh, you thought his character development was done? not even close. he learned a lot from moving on, but pof proved he still has a long way to go. and tbh I think he’s in a really precarious position right now.
yeah, he’s finally opening up to janus and the others. but he’s also very vulnerable, very unsure, and very ready to throw himself out of the picture if thomas needs him to. he asked if janus thought patton was just bad for thomas, and he seemed ready to take that advice and leave thomas be.
which is. concerning. and I think as patton learns to pull back and let thomas--and everyone--stand on their own without him smothering them, as he learns to have faith in others and not feel pressured to fix everything himself, he needs to work on his own self-worth, too.
patton, like a lot of the sides, is separating himself from his function. and that’s gonna be painful and messy and probably include a lot of backsliding. i wanna see him talk to the others, really talk to them, and get the support from his friends he needs! and that includes:
6. virgil continuing to support his friends. virgil has been doing great character-development-wise, but again, he has far to go! and what I want to see more of is stuff like FWSA. him beginning to truly support his friends in the way they’ve supported him.
his friendships with roman and logan are so sweet and I wanna see more of that. please. and I wanna see him bond with remus and janus again, and most of all, I want patton and virgil to really sit down and talk about stuff. they’ve been going through it for a while and I want them to talk.
the sad part, of course, is that post-pof they’re probably in an even worse place. there’s a reason patton didn’t show up in FWSA even when matters of the heart were involved. they’re on thin ice around each other, and throwing janus and roman into it will just make everything more complicated.
but I believe in them! they’re good friends, and I think if they try, they can work through it and learn more about each other.
7. bonding between the dark and light sides. basically already covered this one but guys. i want everyone to bond. i want logan and remus sharing cool facts. i want janus and virgil being snarky best friends. i want patton and remus teaming up to make stuff happen, and janus calling logan out on his repression, and virgil and remus listening to mcr and just. them, okay? them. glad we had this talk.
8. a breaking down of the dark sides and light sides altogether. i don’t necessarily mean anyone becomes a dark side (although it’s such a fun idea.) I mean really digging into the morality and formation of the “sides”, and eventually dismantling them.
the dark and light sides aren’t good and evil. they’re sides that thomas wants around, that are useful, and sides he doesn’t. and as janus becomes wanted at the table, and as patton and roman pull away and become less useful, it’ll be interesting to see how those dynamics shift.
the issue of identity is really at the heart of sanders sides. how much of you is you, and how much of it is what others want? are you beholden to others’ expectations, and how do you find personal worth? what defines you--by what measure is a man? how does a person change and grow? can they? or are they always, at the core, what they began as?
these questions obviously don’t have simple answers, but they’re stuff I wanna see talked about. i want to see the difficulty of even finding the line between selfishness and selflessness when you exist to serve another self. actions can be selfish and selfless all at once, a mass of contradictions that’s anything but black and white. and I wanna see more of that.
an idea I toy with sometimes is having a brief, or not so brief, reversal of dark sides and light sides. remus and janus, and maybe virgil, become more listened to. and roman, patton, and logan become the sides in the background. i dunno if it would actually happen, but I think it’d be interesting to consider--because once again, it’s about use versus value and wants versus needs.
if thomas wants a side, will they stick around? what about if he only wants to want them? what if he wants them as a friend but doesn’t need their function? what if they don’t think he wants them? what if any number of things?
i want to see discussion and deconstruction of the sides as a whole. i want to see them really dig deep into their purpose and formation. i want everything laid bare. and then finally, I want:
9. thomas ends the series by letting go of the sides. i am such a fucking sucker for bittersweet open endings like that. it wouldn’t be a full erasure of the sides, they’d still exist in the mind palace, probably hanging out and having movie nights and being a family. but they wouldn’t talk to thomas anymore.
i think it could be a really profound note about not only letting go of parts of your life and moving forward, but how c!thomas should work to stand on his own. yes, the sides are parts of him, but he’s more than the combination of their input. he’s his own person. he’s real. and I think he needs to work on being more self-reliant, in the moment, and start to discover his identity not in pieces, but as a whole.
the sides weren't bad for him. not in the slightest. they’ve helped him understand and come to terms with any number of things. but sometimes people grow and move forward, and they have to say goodbye to some parts of their life. that’s a fact. and with the ongoing theme of moving on and chasing the future, i think thomas would reasonably do that--end the series with a goodbye.
10. and...orange side. i’ve talked a lot about my ideas for the orange side, but suffice it to say, i’m looking forward to them. whoever they end up being.
so yeah, that’s a very long post about my ideas that isn’t half as long as it could be dhfgsjhs i’ve considered writing something like a canon divergence AU, or just rambling on tumblr, but for now that’s what I got. and this is all to say, hire me, sanders sides writing team /j
SnK Chapter 139 Additional Pages Mini Poll Results
The mini poll results are brought to you by /u/staraves, /u/berthototototo and @momtaku. We closed the poll with 3,417 responses. Thank you as always for supporting the chapter polls!
RATE THE FOLLOWING ADDITIONS FROM LIKE TO NEUTRAL TO DISLIKE
The additional pages for chapter 139 were not particularly well received, at least according to the slice of fandom who took our poll. Three of the four new major moments were voted more disliked than liked, with the one favourable moment being the returning spectre of war (oof). Sadly for Mikasa, her moments were the least divisive, with low numbers of like votes compared to neutral or dislike. The moment where the child finds the tree was more disliked than those, but the likes were a little higher compared to neutral.
TLDR: these pages did little to quell the salt brought out by the first version of chapter 139.
I didn’t think we’d get sucked back into this after chapter 139 lol
Eight additional pages and we still don't know if Levi opened his tea shop smh
Ymir’s convo with Mikasa just created unnecessary murky water. I thought I understood Ymir’s motivations well before these panels: that she needed to see a woman like her, so taken and tortured by unconditional love, free herself from those chains and do what’s right. What’s needed. To show her that it can be done. Or maybe that unconditional love ends the Titan curse. Now I can’t tell whether she just wanted to see someone go through what she did to end the curse. Or she just needed to inflict that pain onto others. I don’t know what Ymir needed anymore. And I don’t know if Titans can ever truly end. I’m left so confused and unsatisfied.
From the way the tree grows throughout the panels and how the buildings at the time Mikasa was at the end of her life looked so different compared to the modern looking buildings which were present during the war, we know that our characters, like eren wanted, lived their lives peacefully. It like looks around a hundred years passed after Mikasa died that this war is taking place. Human conflict never ending has been a big part of the story since the beginning. Even eren has shown thinking this all the way back in season 1. This is a very fitting ending to the series.
I found it acceptable, but I think there should have been more between them during the work from the beginning, so we were left with a question like "who is this girl that Mikasa always sees in her dreams or when she has headaches?"
I loved it. Mikasa showed Ymir that love is not akin to slavery and they helped each other let go. It felt very human.
Well I thought 139 was pretty bad already but I respected that some liked it but now with the extra chapters it’s not just bad it’s hollow for me. Everything is meaningless and the author did it on purpose imo.
Well I thought that the extra pages made the chapter more poetic, of course it doesn't fix the fundamental flaws I had with the chapter to begin with
Well the art isn't shit. And I like the ominous feeling the final pages gave instead of that tragic love story bullshit with Mikasa talking to a fucking bird.
The conversation had aura of sadness. Ymir realized that her life would has been happier if she allowed the king to die and focused on her daughters. Yet, when Mikasa thanked her, Ymir understood that even while sacrificing her life to save him was wrong and her afterlife was full of pain, her choice opened a chance for Mikasa and other people to be born.
Ymir and Mikasa's conversation was sad.
I felt nothing about Mikasa and Ymir's convo because Ymir is severely underdeveloped by Isayama. I don't understand her. Neither do I feel anything for her.
Further butchers the Eren-Ymir dynamic. Mikasa didn't care abouy the titan curse and had no knowledge of the events that led to the 2000 year cycle, yet she's thrust into the spoltlight? She had no clue about who Ymir was, but somehow the final conservation of the series is between them two
Conversation was terrible ymir did not say ONE WORD.
i wish ymir could have done back and forth with characters even if she cant speak. i dont see how it wasnt possible for her to talk to eldians through telepathy.
Aside from Mikasa and ymir conversation, the last chapter satisfied most of my questions, and ended as I believed it would, what hold me from saying it's a masterpiece is the huge plot holes that isayama putted, but these plot holes doesn't make the Manga less of a masterpiece.
Ngl the war continuing was dope asf
Eren was a good character but a horrible person, why are people mourning his death
These pages cement that either isayama has no clue what people enjoyed about his manga... or that he purposely wanted every single subset of fan to be disappointed. I don't know which of the two I'd prefer.
paradis getting bombed is one of the top 10 comedy moments of the year.
Before, the fanbase was divided on whether to like or hate the ending. Now, Isayama has united us all to hate on the hot mess that is 139..... TOGETHER!
To be honest I expected more from Ymir
can't believe granny mikasa is still wearing that raggedy ass scarf
Absolutely terrible conversation that makes little sense - love that Mikasa magically learned Ymir's backstory offscreen and I love seeing her so passive and kind to the person who is the reason why she had to kill the love of her life (as well as Ymir also being the one who enabled 2,000 years of suffering under Titans and then eventually the Rumbling) - really adds to the vibe that Mikasa lost every hard edge she used to have in favor of being reduced to being nothing but gentle, kind, and of course in love with Eren.
I think it was also nice to see the development of modern technology and buildings, Shiganshina as a sprawling metropolis and Mikasa living a long life with a family. Maybe it's just me, but I find simple stuff like that impactful; when you're so attached to a world and its characters for so long, only to witness 60-70 years of growth in the span of a few pages. It's like watching your kids grow up or something (idk, I don't have kids)
Honestly one of the only parts I liked about 139 was the fate of Paradis being left open ended and then this happens
Don't get me wrong, I still loathe the ending, feels like a part of me is incomplete. I do love the additional pages wherein Paradis is nuked and Mikasa kinda moved on, as it invalidates the reason why some fans still liked the ending. Funny if you ask me.
Boy am I salty that we get more Ymir being silent while others talk over her. And words cannot describe the anger I feel at seeing the Survey Corps lead a long happy life, after the Warriors’ forgotten deaths and flat-out character assassination. But there is some sense of catharsis over seeing Paradis get destroyed, and the little kid finding the tree. It doesn’t fix the mess of a final arc we had though…
Answered Mikasa's headaches, established the connection between Ymir and Mikasa more clearly, stayed true to the central theme of how conflict never ends and is part of human nature (world is cruel) but there is joy and meaning to be found (but also beautiful). Also liked the final panel going back to the Titan tree, never really answering the mystery of the Titans.
i like it 5% more , it's "fine" and has a more epic feel to the timeline
Some of the ending fits the themes of the story (like conflict always existing as long as there are two or more people alive, and the cycle of hatred continuing with the Eren tree). I can understand Isayama writing a depressive ending, since the whole series has a lot of depressive moments, but it doesn't feel impactful because we don't know how anyone's life continued. We know a little bit about how Mikasa lived on, but what about all the other characters? Do they still live in Paradis? Do they experience the destruction? Have they tried to stop it? It's just a little too vague, but then again there's not a lot you can do in 8 pages.
How do you shit the bed on the ending twice?
Some pages were good (Mikasa-Ymir, Mikasa and grave), but the tree...
While very flawed, the actual ending pages—I thought— were actually quite sweet. I liked how the story ended at the tree, just as it began, with Mikasa's (hopeful) path to moving on having just begun. It was a hopeful, yet sad, note to end on—fitting with the rest of the story. The new epilogue is far too nihilistic, and while realistic, ends the series on a thematically confusing note.
While I preferred the open ending, I'd be lying if I said the new ending didn't intrigue me. I love the imagery of the kid approaching the tree.
Ending Enjoyers are the most oppressed minority.
DO WE FINALLY HAVE THE ANSWER TO MIKASA’S HEADACHES? DOES THE PANEL OF KING FRITZ BEING IMPALED SHOW THE REAL HISTORY OR JUST WHAT COULD’VE BEEN? WHAT’S UP WITH YMIR’S ADULT APPEARANCE? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON YMIR AND MIKASA’S CONVERSATION, IF ANY?
The final panels focusing on Ymir were interesting for sure, but did little to settle any of the longtime mysteries. Here’s a sample of some of the thoughts shared by respondents:
Mikasa has headaches because she has read the ending
I like their conversation it made since for Ymir to see the person who freed her.
Mikasa was trying to rebel against Eren erasing memories
mikasa's headaches are never explained and dont need to be.
ptsd and fear of losing her family was a much better answer to her headaches.
Ymir poking into Mikasa's head is a good explainatio n for her headaches.
Mikasa's headaches are left up to interpretation. It seems to be implied that Ymir caused them. There's no context with the Fritz panel and the dialogue has nothing to do with it. Just really confusing.
The convo between Mikasa and Ymir was a nice touch that helped add more context to the entire ending.
Ymirs adult appearance i believe signifies her maturing and moving on from her really dumb stockholm syndrome ways.
even Isayama realizes this is kinda fucked up and therefore it's adult Ymir who is love with Fritz and not the child version. Oh My God Please Isayama please stop describing Ymir's feelings toward her master as 愛 what the fuck is wrong with you.
I think all the what ifs around Ymir pretty much ruined the potential of her suffering having a message of any kind. Her relationship to Mikasa is shaky at best, her realisation doesn't have any significant changes to the story line and gives me deux ex machina vibes.
A poor attempt to justify Mikasa been the person Ymir was waiting for
Mikasa's headaches come from trying to understand this plot. Fritz committed sudoku to escape this series. I don't think the Ymir-Mikasa connection makes any sense, nor is it important. Maybe if Mikasa got some attention earlier to set all this up, give it some foreshadowing, it could've worked. But as it stands it feels contrived, drawn out of thin air.
Bullshit, those headaches are just the Ackerbond
King Fritz being impaled is just a glimpse of how things could have been if Ymir had the strength Mikasa showed killing Eren.
It’s a parallel to Mikasa’s own vision with living with Eren. Mikasa used hers to break her love with Eren to kill him, and Ymir used her vision to break her love of King Fritz and end the Titan power.
Yeah, it makes sense. Ymir just wanted to see what Mikasa would do in the future but couldn't as she was an Ackerman. Just Ymir's imagination or what she wished she did. That's her true self finally revealing herself. It was alright. Just glad we finally got some more motivation for Ymir's character.
I thought we already had an explanation of the headaches?? So I'm not sure why this is necessary. Confused about the panel of Fritz
I mean what Ymir went through was tragic and I feel like mikasa made her realized that you have to let go of that person no matter how hard it is and I feel like their conversation was fine with me bc Ymir finally rested in peace
I only ever got more questions from these new developments. None of my questions were answered.
I believed that King Fritz being impaled shows the real history that Ymir retroactively changed in the Paths to show to Mikasa that she was able to do the same thing, which is what the Titan powers “disappeared.” However, the flaw with this is that there should be no Titan powers at the start of the story and AoT pretty much never should have occurred.
BRO I DONT FUCKING KNOW, ONLY YMIR KNOWS
Dislike that King Fritz impaled because can of worms
About King Fritz being impaled, I think it was rushed honestly or Yams on a gun point, I never liked when something is to be left to the viewer where it depends on the viewer's own perspective. Shit like that only works when it is the intended purpose of the whole story itself. Also I never liked that half of the focus went into detailing Ymir's past, I know that it needed to be uncovered but to be directly involved? It also kinda makes my Naruto's Kaguya final boss ptsd comes back
LMAO NO! we had an answer already, in the very first episode Mikasa was having an headache because Eren guided Dina to kill his mother and the reality changed, her ackerman blood noticed it and "sent her a message". This reason if bullshit.
Stupid ass open questions
I liked the Eren-Ymir connection a lot more...
I literally didn't understand any of it. It think it was too rushed.
I was satisfied, because Mikasa love for Eren is different from Ymir to King Fritz
It’s symbolic, Ymir is finally free of her “love”. This whole plot was pretty badly done, but at least this provides some explanation
I like this a lot. At least it cleared up the headaches and Ymirs connection with Mikasa just as Eren mentioned.
Adult Ymir = self actualized/at peace with her choices Ymir.
Adult Ymir looks hot af.
Mikasa first got her headache after Carla was eaten. Why would Ymir try to "peek into" Mikasa's mind then? This reveal doesn't make any sense.
I would theorize on that if Mikasa's character wasn't as flat as Ramzi
Do we finally have the answer to Mikasa’s headaches? : Yes, I think it's due to Ymir.
we didn't have a clear answer to Mikasa's headache, especially that extremely strong one at the end which transported Mikasa to paths with Eren, it makes no sense it being Ymir, that additional panel is insufficient and makes things more unclear. Ymir adult appearance shows to me her finally understanding everything, letting go and moving on.
I think that the headaches had something to do with the special powers of the Ackermans. A part of those special abilities were the headaches too, that's what I understood.
I wanted to learn more about the Ackerman tbh :(
Mikasa has become a love advisor to the gods LMAO
After the reveal of Ymir loving King Fritz and the comparison of that love to Eren and Mikasa's love... I've lost interest in both characters.
I interpreted it as Ymir not loving King Fritz. The reason why she stayed in paths was because she loves her children. She continued to serve her descendants, every subject of Ymir, her children. Because of love
That fact that you're even asking this proves that everything was left vague and up in the air for people to draw their own conclusions. Which at this point only leads to arguing and people insulting each other's reading comprehension. GREAT WRITING!!
Making a parallel between Eren/Mikasa with a Sex Slave and her Rapist is one of the worst false equivalencies í've ever seen.
I think it was meant to show Ymirs regret. That ultimatley despite her love for Fritz, Mikasa helped her realise that she should have chosen her children. It was meant to illustrate just what Mikasa showed her, that toxic love is well toxic, and that familial love is pure.
It is not enough to answer all the questions....but it remains relatively satisfactory
I think it was nice to see that it was like we were going to see Ymir for the last time.
The panel is just Ymir wishing she was able to overcome her bonds and attachments as Mikasa was able to.
The panel is symbolic. It's meant to show Ymir abandoning her love for Fritz and letting him die in her mind.
if ackermans cant become titans, why can ymir still look inside their head?
how does Mikasa even know about Ymir?
ymir is a simp
Yes, I do believe we have our answer now finally in regards to Mikasa's headaches. It pretty much confirmed what I already theorized even before the additional pages was released, so I liked it, and I'm glad that at the end, Mikasa and Ymir had a brief moment. It doesn't need to be anything more than that, so yeah, I'm pleased with that too. King Fritz being impaled panel I believe is Ymir's wishful thinking, what she wished she could have done instead of passing that burden to Mikasa. In a way, vicariously experiencing doing the right thing through Mikasa is what freed her.
Ymir finally shows up, after the horrible decision to leave her completely out of the initial conclusion, only to have people talking AT her again... I'm so tired... I'm glad it showed that her true desire, was that she hadn't moved and had let King Fritz die, but it feels so out of place in the same chapter that Eren claims she loved King Fritz. What a mess...
Ymir is an adult because she's free from paths and can go to heaven and join her daughters.
I think she alters history so that she survives and therefore the curse disappears from the timeline
Ymir realized she could've been a way better person than what she was.
"Fritz being impaled" is no different from "Aaron Yogurt lives with Mikasa". Just an alternative scenario that never happened, it is just a vision. "Conversation" between Mikasa and Ymir is weird. Like how Mikasa suddenly knows everything about Ymir and her love to king Fritz? Where did it come from? What is this "goodbye forever, Ymir"? It is like Isayama expects me to cry over this or something.
Ymir regrets not having the strength to let Fritz go the way Mikasa let Eren go. It is beautiful and poignant.
WE SEE THAT MIKASA HAS A FAMILY AFTER EREN’S DEATH. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THIS?
Many readers were upset with Mikasa’s constant thoughts of Eren even years after his death in chapter 139, but we now see that she lives a long life with another man. This did not please 29.2% of respondents who resent that her character arc ends with a “who’s her man?!” mystery (that’s somewhere the Mikasa fans and Historia fans can commiserate).
However, 27.6% of respondents were happy that she was able to move on from Eren enough to have her own family, while still clearly caring about Eren. 18.7% think that because we only see Mikasa visiting Eren’s grave throughout the years it means she hasn’t really moved on from him at all. 17.3% thought that this part of the epilogue was pretty unnecessary, preferring the more ambiguous ending of the original chapter. People had much to say about this, resulting in 7.2% of “other” responses.
I absolutely love getting to see that Mikasa got to have a family & was not alone at the end of her life.
I WANTED HER TO LOVE EREN FOR 10 YEARS AT LEAST!
Happy she moved on. Torn on the topic of "Why she gotta have a man?": Mikasa's life and family is being used to mark the passage of time and generations, because we're here to continue our lineage/species. I'd like to know what else Mikasa did with her life but this is a framing tool.
Her having a family would have been a good thing...if she actually moved on. Now it just kinda makes Jean seem like a cuck and Mikasa still a simp for Eren.
Happy if that man is Jean, if it’s not... I don’t want it. I mean, with Farmer kun at least we knew some background information. If it isn’t Jean, we know literally nothing about him... and she’s the female mc, so. But I’m upset that we didn’t get to see her doing something to else other than visiting Eren’s grave.
How come Mikasa's way of "moving on" was to be lumped with some faceless husband and become a baby machine like Historia while male characters who lost their loved ones like Niccolo, Levi, arguably Kenny, etc are shown to be moving forward without a romance shoved in? Thank you for ruining Mikasa's character Isayama, I won't let this misogyny go to waste.
Honestly idk. I’m a ErenxMika fan and mikasa is my fave in the show. So I’m happy she moved on, I kinda wish it was with someone else not Jean.
I think showing her aging and visiting the grave is fine, I wish that her marital status was left ambiguous. To be clear, this is a mix of two answers. Yes I like showing her age and still visiting.
I understand her thinking about Eren her whole life, but wish we could have at least seen her be happy with her family.
I wanted Mikasa to move on, but not like this. I can understand visiting Eren's grave with her husband if he's Jean, but why is she taking generations of her family to visit someone who wiped out 80% of the global population?
I wish she had an actual personality and moved on from Eren at the end.
She deserved more layers in her story.
I wish that her epilogue could've been a little bit more conclusive - I liked that she moved on, but the debate about who she married is very annoying (it's probably Jean but we'll never actually know)
I am fine with it, the girl has to move on. However, i find it weird how the family has to visit eren's grave. I believe in mikasa's love for eren but its just odd to make the fam tag along
I don't give a fuck about Mikasa or her family and I'm mostly pissed it's implied she got with Jean just because Eren was dead. Doubling down on forced shipping bullshit only made this shit worse and makes Jean look as pathetic as Eren and Reiner did in the original chapter.
I think it is unfair towards her husband since she loved Eren forever she could ve adopted some kids and lived happily with them instead of marrying someone she doesn't love
i think it was a realistic ending, visiting a grave once a year is not obsessing
why is she honouring eren when he commited mass murder. isayama isn't condemning eren for his actions
Why is the epilogue about her too? Did Yams forget that he has other characters?
With Eren gone, I'm glad she ended up with Jean. However I'm also pissed that her character revolved around one man, and then the only thing people talk about is Eren vs Jean
Woman doesn't need a man to move on with her life. We all know mikasa only loved eren. She just wanted be with him. She never showed any interest in having a family. So I think showing mikasa having a family after eren's death was unnecessary.
Would've much rather a cool scene with the 104th mourning Eren. There are much better ways of concluding her character than marrying her off to someone we don't even know.
I liked that mikasa moved on but still remembered eren for the rest of her so i'm okay with it
I liked that she moved but hate that she still simps for Eren after being married
I liked that she moved on and fell in love with someone else, but it bothers me that she wore the scarf her whole life, since it makes it hard to say if she actually moved on or not even though she had children with someone else. She could have kept the scarf without always wearing it.
I'm glad she was able to find happiness elsewhere, but I can't help but feel bad about the guy she ended up with. I realize stuff like this does happen irl, and other stories hace done something similar, but it's still a bit weird with the way they decided to show her taking her entire family to the tree. Better than what we had before though.
Don't care. After everything that went wrong in this ending, Mikasa ending up with another man is the least of my concerns.
Don't care, it's Mikasa
I liked the fact she married someone else because EMs are mad.
I love her moving on, but did she? She keeps the scarf and literally dies with it. She makes her generational family visit his grave. What the heck does she say to them? “Yeah this man killed billions, by crushing them to death. Ahh what a lovely, my beloved, my dear, I want you to come back.” WHAT THE HELL? If that doesn’t glamourize Eren then idk what does. This was a punch to the face to any Mikasa fan. And I love how yams makes her the main character in one chapter and in doing so, shits on almost every character.
have you ever considered the fact that we were shown her in the tree because... it's the setting of every event of the last pages? i mean, it's not that she went there 24/7, it's isayama finding an organic way to tell us a whole lot of information that would generally take an entire chapter, if done with dialogues and changes of scenarios. and i'm still surprised that people keep repeating that she is underdeveloped and nuance lacking.
I mean good for her I guess.
I dislike that she evidently never managed to overcome Eren's death. The most significant parts of her character as shown in these pages are that she kept returning to Eren's grave and that she kept the scarf until her death, both imply that her connection with Eren was the most important thing in her life for her entire life. A complete and insulting regression of Mikasa's character development.
I will NEVER get over this. He just used Mikasa for a cheap sequel bait involving her descendants.
She shouldnt have moved on
Given eren and mikasa's love for one another being portrayed as eternal, it felt tasteless and out of character to move on in this way. Moving on can mean different things for different people and people learning to live life in different ways after experiences like that. I believe other ways could have been explored for a character who was so deeply in love with one person. Imo opinion, it sends a bad message (I have similar feelings about historis's treatment).
I wish we saw other people getting older, I'd rather see what happened to Falco/Armin/Reiner/Levi since I found them more interesting than her
I wished she had moved on completely from Eren before he died. Idc if she ends up with someone after that or not, I just want her to forget him. (but only of her own choice and not cause eren asked her to forget him)
I would have liked a little character development for her in the end. And of course we did see some leading up to the rumbling, but it all flopped in 139. Just like the second option, I really didn’t like how she didn’t move on from eren despite all of his wrong doings. If the power of the titans was said to be vanished, surely Mikasa’s ackerbond with Eren would have broke. I seriously hate it
I'm both glad she could move on, and annoyed that it's causing so much discourse. Let her be fucking happy.
I'm glad she married and had kids, but never truly let go of Eren's memory.
I'm glad she started a family without Eren, but still cherishing him for her whole life just feels wierd.
I'm happy she moved on but I can't stand that cute lil memorial for a guy who committed genocide
I'm happy she moved on but I hoped we were able to see her moving on phase that is not connected to Eren (unlike the ones in the panels wherein all is about visiting Erens grave) I appreciate her love for Eren and her visiting him every year but not when her whole ass family is with her.
I'm happy she moved on, but at the same time it felt fast paced so I felt nothing from it.
I'm pretty sure all of Mikasa's grandchildren are talking behind her back. 'Get up sis we have to go that grave grandma never shuts up about'
I’m happy she can move on however it being part of the reason for the removal of the curse of the titans is annoying as fuck and she still visits his grave with the scarf like atleast get rid of the scarf
she betrayed eren in the end it wasn't real love before
Good let the shippers tears flow
I don't like that she had a family and relationship with ?Jean, without moving on emotionally from Eren, simultaneously managing to somehow cuck both.
I don’t like Eren being memorialized and moreover, it contradicts chapter 138
I don’t really have a problem with her starting her own family, vice versa with her never moving on from eren
I don't like all this importance given to Mikasa and her future out of all the other characters
I don't like how Mikasa still wears her scarf until the end of her life while being married.
I don't like Isayama did not develop the Hizuru plus Azumabito plot like Mikasa travelling to Hizuru with Kiyomi eeeeeeeeeek…
It's funny how there were a lot of people saying that they wished they could have explicitly seen Mikasa eventually move on from Eren in some way and that's why they weren't satisfied with her conclusion, then these extra pages come in and it shows that she indeed married and had a family of her own while still holding Eren close to her heart and now people are mad again saying things like, "Omg look how she's literally forcing her family to visit Eren's grave with her she's so disgusting!," as if Jean wasn't Eren's friend too lol. Seriously what more do you guys want? You ask for more and then when you actually get it you get mad again. This fandom confuses the hell out of me sometimes.
It is whatever i dont hate it i dont love it it is just alright
It just play into whole nothing mattered in the end, which I dont like
It makes me feel like Eren was still alive, especially since he had Titan marks on his face even though the Titans were erased. This is confirmed by the fact that his corpse created another Titan tree. I feel like she was still attached to him as her Master.
It makes sense to me with her character
It seems like the story was trying to simultaneously say she moved on but also never moved on, like trying to have its cake and eat it to. I think it's sad that Mikasa's life is just reduced to being shown visiting Eren with her family and then dying. Hiding the husband makes it worse because it implies that he doesn't matter at all and in that case, why even bother?
Mikasa having a family is literally and easily the worst part of these extra pages.. her ending should've been left ambiguous or she should've spent her life cherishing her memories with Eren.. giving her a family is too forced and goes against the themes of eternal love and soulmates.
Mikasa loving Eren who murdered billions, doesn't make any sense, why she killed him in the first place that's some serious poor writing that glorifies hypocrisy.
Mikasa moving on by marrying another man is out of character for her, she was always fixated on one person, that was Eren. This is totally out of character for her and I HATE it.
Mikasa single-handedly ruined the series after being a failure of a third main character.
Mikasa visiting Eren's grave versus Mikasa visiting Eren's grave with her family. Seriously, only shows me that Isayama cannot come up with anything else for her.
She never moved on so I feel really bad for Jean and all their kids. Imagine your mom non stop talking about her highschool ex instead of your own father.
i feel nothing. she moved on, but she still mourns for her friends killer. interesting idea, shit execution.
I had no objection to those who saw this future for her, but showing it in the last issue was in poor taste I think.
I think it's nice to see that she always thought about him, right until the end.
you cant even know if its her, its seen from behind
i don't like the idea that she had to get married to have a fulfilling life. cause there were other ways to show a woman has a fulfilling life other than marriege. her visiting Eren's grave throughout her life is understandble. but with her whole family? I wish her conclusion was left ambiguous. and it feels ooc to me that she just ended up with sb without any build up. we don't even see her face or her life to know if she is happy. if just see the back of her head. and are we suppose to just accept marriage = happiness??????!!!!
I don't really like it but I can't imagine it differently for this character
Realistic. A lot of people lose loved ones and choose to continue their lives. Mikasa always wanted to live a quiet life surrounded by family and she did just that.
WHO IS THE MAN WITH MIKASA AT THE GRAVE?
Speaking of not liking Mikasa’s character revolving around a debate over which man she ended up with…... which man did she end up with?? Seems quite a lot of people are sure it must be Jean with 49.1% of the vote. The rest of the votes are almost evenly split between it being deliberate vagueness so as to let fans go wild with their own headcanons (25.7%), and not giving a toss either way (25.2%).
IS THAT JEAN?!?!??!?!??!?!?
it's jean's hair, jean's typical hat, jean's height, and jean's crush since the very beggining. this wasn't ambiguous at all.
i just don’t want it to be jean LMFAOO
Cruel because she never got to be with the man she loved, yet beautiful because she got to create an apparently happy family. Very in theme for Mikasa
It'd feel pretty cheap if Mikasa married Jean. Isayama shows she still has that scarf and she's placing a rose on Eren's grave....makes it seem like she never got over Eren but married Jean as a replacement since he was in love with her anyway. It's not a 'win' for Jeankasa shippers at all.
I think her ending up w/ Jean after Eren’s death makes sense, but I wish they had shown them being a good duo at some point during the last arc. Wish they also hadn’t included Mikasa’s grandchild.
Dove Ellen did a shit job at keeping Jean away from Mikasa
I'm happy that Jean at least got what he wanted most
Jean deserved better
JEAN WON BABY. Nice guys finish first
it's also a shame that the identity of her husband is such a big deal. Isayama has always been a troll, though, so I think he made Jean a suspect on purpose.
i am sure farmer or his brother gardener are the fathers jean is only there still simping for mikasa like she does for eren
I only want her to be with eren
I think he is armin but we have to wait for anime to see the hair color
Jean being the husband is just another slap to a character’s face. It would have been better had Mikasa simply adopted a child and raised them then just ship her off with Jean. The amount of love she showed to Eren isn’t going to be replaced and Yam’s screwed it all up by not having Eren show any love back for 99% of the series. Why did it become about love in the end anyways? That was a subplot I wanted developed and answered, but not put as the forefront at the very end.
She loves jean !
If Mikasa was going to think all her life about Eren and making him a priority, it was not necessary to leave her with another man and have children, because it shows that she was not 100% focused on her family and Eren was still the one. Most important part of her life and her true love, besides that this just started an endless ship war, leaving Mikasa as a shipping tool since people use a single argument "he had sex with her" basically leaving her as a trophy
She and Historia got completely and utterly FARMED. Eren took a fat L. We smokin that yeager pack REST IN PISS
WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON THIS PANEL?
The dire scene of destruction received the only mostly positive response of the additional pages! War in the distant future could have any kind of connotation, so what was the message here? 29.3% of you think that eternal peace is just not something that can ever exist, so of course war would return eventually. 27.8% think this scene being included made the message of the story essentially pointless and nihilistic. 23.7% think this was representative of the alliance’s whimsical peace being reduced to rubble (even if they were all already gone), making Floch the victor. 19.2% cannot make any judgement as there was just no context to work with.
Erwin died for this shit
If the world suddenly achieved eternal peace, that would make for a terrible and unrealistic ending. Nothing, including countries and kingdoms, lasts forever. Sucks to see the home of all these characters get destroyed but that's just how it goes.
Paradis being destroyed after Eren killed 80% of the world proves that his plan was the worst one possible, rendering his entire character and arc worse than worthless. The story itself is a complete waste at this point.
Paradis being destroyed ultimately as a consequence of the alliance's actions proved the yaegerists right. Floch redeemed, never monged
When I see that the island become fascist, I know for sure that the world would never forgive them.
Paradis destroyed in the future welt realistic to me and I liked this addiction
Everthing that happended before was pointless in the end.Although Paradis getting bombed was realistic,it ended up destroying Erens character more as he waa proven wrong and now he just looks like a dumb person.
Humans in general suck so make sense if paradis is ruined and EMA na the scouts arent responsible for it bec theyre implied to be long dead
I accept the author's vision and opinion! To be honest, seeing there's a war again breaks my heart. It makes me feel that all these deaths were meaningless, but I guess it's in the far far future. So a peace for some centuries is much better than no peace at all. I want the work to be the way the author wants it to be, so since this is how he wanted it to be, that's how I want it to be too.
I wished paradis was nuked a little earlier so that armong and friends all witness the futility of their peace bullshit
Showed the point of Shingeki, humans are the real demons, if the world was wiped out it would just be Eldians vs Eldians
“I would be happy to give up my life, if doing so could change something”. Tell those bootlickers that nihilism is never the theme of the story. A total retcon
People whining about nihilism need to get a grip. Nihilism is based.
I'm surprised at people calling this ending nihilistic especially after chapter 137. the inevitability of conflict doesn't detract from life's precious moments, isn't that the whole point? "the world is cruel - but also very beautiful"
At least actions of allience have some consequences now
At least before you try to believe that Paradis survived despite the dangerously low possibility of that happening but now we don't even have that luxury.
At least Eren delayed the destruction of paradis. Erwin said even if the eldians were alone War is inevitable.
I see the war in the added panels as a direct response to Eren's dumass genocide plan and it probably could have been avoided with a better plan like maybe using the colossal titans in the walls as an army to protect Paradis. Literally any other plan probably would have been better than his genocide one. And if the genocide was going to happen anyways, then Yams should have at least had a better exploration of Eren's thought process before the final chapter and tied up his loose plot threads.
I honestly thought it was brilliant seeing Paradis at war in the unspecified Future. I also love how it's unknown whether this was right after Mikasa and everyone died, or this is many generations in the future, where some conflict, for some reason was brought up, and we don't know why. It emphasis the fact that war and conflict is always a part of human nature, and there's no way to acheive eternal peace, but Eren brought the 2000 years of human suffering at the hands of Titans to an end, and he gave the Eldian people a chance, and to be on equal footing with the rest of the world. But eventually, peace treaties and negations were bound to fail. The Paradis Island's government group IS LITERALLY NAMED AFTER THE MAN WHO KILLED 80% OF HUMANITY. Eren also assumingly destroyed many nations, races, civilizations, cultures, and histories, by flattening out most of the world as well. It would take A LOT of time and effort to rebuild outside civilization to back to a stable point. I also believe that over time, Eren would be seen by both sides as an Angelic, and a Devil. Think about it, Ymir Fritz was portrayed as a Devil by the marleyan goverment, and everyone else outside the walls, while the Eldian Restorationists and Grisha Yeager saw her as a divine being. I belive the same happend with Eren.
As commander erwin once said, war will continue until there is one human or less. So afterall despite everyone's beliefs of being able to end the war and live in peace, the war never ends and the cycle of hatred can never be broken.
As much as I disliked the ending originally, I felt as though I could've lived with it. Granted, eren as a character didn't make sense and ultimately contradicted himself, I still could've tolerated the ending. Paradis being destroyed and the power of the titans potentially returning just kind of says "hey the story always repeats itself, nothing matters." The survey corps efforts ultimately did not matter. Were they fighting for all of Paradis or just the friends of eren? Because all eren achieved with saving his close friends. I understand eren wanted them to survive more than anyone, but you can't tell me he was not fighting for Paradis as a whole.
At least og chapter 139 left things ambiguous but with the extra pages it really took alot from the series and leaves you with the feeling of "what was the point of it all??" Especially how much it takes away from eren's achievement of ending the titan powers
Rest In Peace everyone who died for no reason
So you're tellin me Hanji's death means even LESS now? 😒
By having the alliance save the remaining 20% of the world and Paradis eventually getting destroyed, Isayama unintentionally wrote the most pro-genocide ending he could have. ""If Eren had completed the rumbling, Paradis would have survived"" is an extreme take, but it's the only alternative the fanbase is left with after Zeke's plan and Hange's plan are thrown out the window for the fumbling arc. At least the AnR ending wouldn't try to lionize Eren as some fallen hero rather than the villain he became in season 4. If Eren had been portrayed as a villain, I think this ending would've been way more compelling. Also, the manga originally ends on an optimistic note, with Armin, Reiner, etc. becoming ambassadors of peace with Paradis's future left ambiguous. Now, we know that it eventually is destroyed. We've been following this country for 4 seasons, and its eventual doom is shown in an epilogue panel?? How lame is that.
At least paradis is destroyed lmao thats what you get for being monged
ARE TITAN POWERS AND PATHS SET TO MAKE A RETURN?
A plurality of respondents (41.6%) think that the Power of the Titans is bound to return one day, given the ominously familiar tree at the end. 35.1% can only throw up their hands and accept the unknowns at this point. 21.1% think that the titans were specific to Ymir’s wishes, and that the tree leaves open the possibility of other mysterious powers emerging. Kudos to the lovely 2.2% who just want to call a tree a tree.
I like the idea of titan powers, or something similar, returning to the world.
If the power of the titans comes back, what did eren die for
If there’s a new titan spawning tree, then what was the point ?
If there’s an indication that the titan power is back then the survey corps sacrifices were for nothing
I like the fact that the hallucigenia is still alive and would actually unironically love to see a sequel. I also love the theme of history repeating itself, which was a major theme through the entire story.
Would be down to see more of the world because fuck it big man's fighting, so I'm down with Beren.
The hint of Titan powers returning ruins the experience for me. I didn’t like that the hallucigenia died off-screen, and this raises even more questions
The idea that Hallu survived in wrens head creating the new tree is stupid. If it’s not hallu and Titans are a manifestation of someone’s pain, then wtf is hallu
It makes more sense that the power persists considering it's an actually living being and not Ymir's.
no clear indications that the titan powers did come back. As far as we know eren got rid of them and that is just a big tree
HOW HAS YOUR OPINION ON THE CHAPTER CHANGED WITH THESE EXTRA PAGES?
There were only a handful of additional pages, but they changed the trajectory of the ending and overall story a fair bit. Unfortunately for a plurality of respondents (36.1%) it did nothing to change their negative opinion of chapter 139. For 31.5% of people, it actually made the ending *worse*. For 21.7%, the extra pages improved their opinion of the chapter overall, and for the happy 10.7%, their already positive opinion of the chapter remained unchanged. You guys know what true peace is.
The extra pages are like rainbow sprinkles over a spaguetti ice cream. Its a sweet addition but the ice cream is already weird.
I really liked this chapter, for me, this is the perfect ending
Hated it before, hate it a bit less now
Hated the ending, now even more.
Where is the "my neutral opinion hasn't changed"?
I like the additional pages, but still don't think they make up for the rushed but still "good" ending
i think the first ending was not right so i like the second more
The additional pages just made things worse. We didn't need to see this.
extra 8 pages ruined everything for me
If I'm honest, this ending is fine - or it will be, when it is presented in the anime. It isn't the ending I wanted, and it doesn't feel like a fitting conclusion to AoT. But it's what we got, and its just fine. I just wish it was better.
I think ending the series with the Survey Corps reaching the ocean was a perfectly quaint way to wrap everything up. These 8 pages are just a bunch of nonsense and have nothing to do with the rest of chapter 90.
These additional pages aren't needed, he should've focused on the problems which 139 had like Armin thanking Eren for genocide
If anything, these additional pages confirmed why Eren's plan sucked.
i prefered the open ending, it gave the opportunity for a more hopeful ending . The additional pages made the ending feel much more hopeless
I do feel like an ending I like very much has been swapped out for one that I hate. That's not a pleasant feeling.
No matter what Isayama add to the chapter, "The Stockholm Syndrome" being the key plot point and comparing Ymir relationship with king to Mikasa love for Eren is just awful way to end the AoT.
I accepted the first ending and felt content overall, after it had a chance to sink in. I'm still waiting to see if I can feel ok about these additional pages. Outlook is not good.
I accepted the other ending. Not great but not as bad as others made it out to be. This new ending is absolute shit, it answered all our questions in exactly the wrong ways and sets up for Beren which no one wants.
These pages really weren't necessary. The Ymir-Mikasa conversation was a good addition, except the flashback or what if or whatever that King Fritz impaling was? I think the whole MIkasa moving on undermines the purpose of the last two chapters even though it made sense she would move on. I just didn't need to see that. I also didn't need to see another war breaking, but for me it was still good with the whole "There is no eternal peace". Still my opinions unchanged
I liked it before, I liked it after.
Before, I gave the chapter a 9 out of 10. Now, I feel like the story ends too far into the future, and introduces events which, while entirely feasible and logical, do not add to the story in any meaningful way. It’s like if Naruto ended with the first three pages of Chapter 1 of Boruto: yeah, OK, fine, I guess that happened, but is that really where you want to end your story? 6 out of 10 for me now.
I liked the ending without extra pages, and with extra pages I like it even more. Thank you Isayama
CARE TO ELABORATE?
Mikasa's open conclusion in 139 was okay and I thought it was perfect. It was implied that she will move on with her life but not from her love for Eren. These additional pages are utterly unnecessary especially if the message we're getting from her visiting Eren's grave, with her scarf is that she'll remember him til the day she dies. It's as if we don't know that already. AND mikasa doesn't need any man to move on nor she needs to move on from eren in the first place. Idc, my headcanon would always be her adopting and raising a kid and dying a spinster lol
Paradise getting destroyed made the chapter better for me. I also kinda liked that Mikasa was able to move on.
pretty much everything in the new panels was already implied in 139. Like I don't really care to see mikasa die of old age and have war still exist, it all makes sense and it already did in 139 but yams always feels the need to hand hold these fans who can't use their brain longer than 2 secs. HOWEVER, the tree stuff at the end was cool and based, so I like this chap more now
137-139 already ruined the series for me so these pages were just meme material.
139 + 8 pages: It’s trash but with a sprinkle of fire so it’s a dumpster fire chapter. Ruined the whole journey of reading AoT. It felt that the ending ruined 6 years of my life
139 chapter was a great ending and an open where people could interpret the ending however they wanted, together we got this ending
139 genuinely angered me with how bad it was. The 8 pages are hilariously bad.
139 had bad writing and these extra pages didn't make it any better.
139 made me laugh (in a bad way), and the additionnal pages just made me laugh even more. By then, I kinda moved on, I think?
139 sucked because he left it too ambiguous. These extra pages sucked because they gave no substance, and also felt unsatisfying like original 139
139 sucked. That is all
139 was a decent enough ending to this story, Eren was never really the monster that he had the world think he was, there was hope for the future of Paradis and the remains of the world due to peace negotiations and no more titans or military. The war after just kind of invalidates all that and makes it feel pointless. Eren did let his friends live long happy lives but he also wanted to end the cycle of hatred and protect Paradis but the protection of his friends came at the expense of Paradis possibly a 100 years down the line which doesn't sit right with me. Original 139 had its problems but it didn't make me feel like what happened in the last 48 chapters didn't mean that. War just amounts to more war, it feels cold.
139 was annoying enough as it was, but at least it made the story have a decent ending, the extra pages just show that the entire story was for nothing, so I'ma stick with 139 or even AOR
139 was dogshit, but at least it was directed. The extra pages just make it even more incoherent.
Despite Eren's poor conclusion at the end of 139, there was some saving graces, and the chapter ended poetically in contrast with chapter 1. Now, the saving graces don't exist for Eren (Achieved nothing, titans still exist, Paradis is wiped out on top of 80% of humanity) and the symbolic/poetic ending with Mikasa at Eren's grave with no walls is gone.
Mikasa wasn’t a good enough character to deserve to be the center of both the ending and the extra panels. Her character is so vapid that there’s basically nothing even interesting about her aside from which man ends up with her.
I mean I feel like the sub is angry that their theories were wrong and isayama pulled an amazing chad move(IMO) by changing everything. I’m not saying I liked it but I like that he pissed everyone off. I think at this point we need to leave AOT alone for the next year or at least until part 2 comes out and then we will have a better understanding of the ending.
The ackerman branch and their protection vow is the part of Ymir that felt obligated to protect king fritz. When Mikasa killed eren, the vow was broken and the panel shows how things would have turned out if Ymir had made the same choice as Mikasa. I thought it was nice that Mikasa was giving Ymir peace by telling her that she'd live the live she created for her with fulfilment, but the parallels between Mikasa and Ymir came so late in the story that it doesn't feel like the resolution of anything and it feels like Mikasa was shoehorned into something that had originally nothing to do with her. This moment would have landed better if it was formerly built up.
I orignally had a Negative Opinion on the ending, but still loved the rest of the series, and still respect Isayama's creative decisions. But these final pages, while not majorly changing the ending, provied more closure, world-building expansion, and added a sense of realism to the story. I feel as if this updated ending, if executed properly with the Anime's Part 2, will absolutely break audiences, and I feel as if this ending CAN AGE WELL GIVEN ENOUGH TIME!!!
A great journey along the way even if the ending was pure sh*t. I only wish Isayama gave himself more time to present the themes he had difficulty conveying. Overall I’m excited for his next work, and look forward to another great series.
A hopeful ending after stopping the rumbling felt so out of place and naive. I'm glad the extra pages went for a realistic conclusion to the paradise-world conflict. The disappearance of hallucigenia-kun felt a bit strange too, so I'm glad it didn't magically vanish from the world
a lot of the positive stuff from 139 remains for me, but the these panels really aren't necessary, the amount crammed into this chapter really lower my perception of it
A realistic and tragic ending that still butchered eren's caracther lol, but it's better than what we have gotten initially.
a terrible ending somehow got even worse.
About what? I liked it. Get over it
Added some more context and showed that eventually, they were screwed. We don’t know if it’s 50 years or 200 years in the future.
All those pages added was just more disappointment. Eren’s death meant nothing cause Paradise got destroyed. Mikasa’s life is just weird cause her existing without Eren just doesn’t feel right (Yams should’ve made her less Eren dependent if he wanted to do that kind of ending). I would’ve prefer seeing Armin, Levi Reiner, Falco Gabi’s lives honestly.
Already disliked the final chapter/rumbling arc. The extra pages make me dislike it even more. It continues the trend of creating new questions rather than answering and sequel baits.
Already really disliked the ending, objectively it is way worse with the extra pages, but I don't care anymore
I appreciate the panels but at the same time prefer the ending without them
I chose "my negative opinion hasn't changed" but despite that, the fact that ultra Chad king, lord Floch was proven right is very satisfying
I did not like the extra pages, but I can't be disappointed more then I already am.
Already wasn't a fan of the ending, and the extra pages are more of the same stuff I dislike. War coming back does make sense, but just makes Eren's ultimate "plan" and driving force completely useless in the end. At best, he helped his friends live their lives out before their future children died horribly in a war. He never ended the cycle of hatred he talked so much about.
Although I like that Eren's refusal to rumble 100% of the outside world had consequences, overall, it only meant that the whole manga essentially lost its meaning, as Paradis was destroyed anyways, and the titan powers are likely to reappear.
I've grown to like the "Beren" ambiguous ending more than the peace deals ambiguous ending.
He should have used those extra pages to better explain Armin thanking Eren for genocide.
Can't fix horseshit even if you sprinkle truffle powder over it
All things considered, I liked how the manga ended. Eren being a slave to fate became fairly obvious once we learned about his inherited future memories, as well as how the Attack Titan worked. I'm not surprised that the series ended with Eren dying for his friends.
Can’t get any worse I guess
refuses to elaborate further
WHAT LED ISAYAMA TO CHOOSE THIS ENDING?
Speculation runs amok as to why the new pages include quite drastic changes to the ending. The plurality of respondents (45.3%) think Isayama spent too much time reading feedback and let his doubts sway him into attempting improvements. 32.7% think a new post-post-apocalyptic adventure must be on the way! 22% just think this was always Isayama’s vision; the initial magazine print just limited the pages that could be published.
Ready for Beren sequel woot
Lesson of the day, kids: NEVER let fans sway your opinion on the story when you're already having a hard time reaching the end. By reading online reactions to the story it's painfully obvious who Yams ultimately tried to please.
I think problem here is Isayama thought everyone is smart enough to understand the narrative impact of eren and the story's ending. Isayama later even apologized and said he thought everyone would but feels sad that fans dislike it, which just further proves my point. we let him down because many people just want a badass character without emotions or feelings or any of that shit...truly the worst fanbase
All the additional chapters did for me was hint at a sequel/spinoff.
I wonder if this was the ending Isayama really wanted. I’m looking foward to his interview so I can understand his choices a little better…
editors made him fuck up the ending (possibly to prepare for Beren), the true enemy was capitalism all along
Very neutral on the whole Beren thing. I highly doubt it's setting up some ""Darling in the Titan Academia Shippuden Ultimate"" sequel series. I think it's just Isayama's way of saying the story goes on, both the good and the bad. It's bizarre that he chose to show it by implying titan powers still exist, though.
I actually like the mini set up of a sequel, even if it doesn't exist.
I'm fucking confused. I can't prove it but I don't think a lot of this was Isayama's idea.
He could have explained what he had and cleaned up stuff more and provided conclusions to Connie's character and show Levi with a a teashop. Instead went for sequel bait.
Ngl though, I kind of liked the sequel bait and the memes it brought
If in 4 years isayama release a spinoff of Attack on Titan I'll make a sincere reddit apologize comment for doubting the giga Chad himself
I won't forgive them if we get a sequel.
if there will be an aot next gen, i'd watch it for the memes lmfao
Honestly really like Beren, and imagine mad max world with titan powers holy shit I’d be in love.
if snk2 happens i hope old man reiner shows up, realizes titans are back, gets real fuckin' pissed and goes on a one man quest to kill the worm.
ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO FINAL SEASON PART 2 OF THE ANIME?
After all these years, we’ve reached the end of the journey. There are no more mysteries to be solved. 36% of respondents are still keen to see how the anime brings the manga pages to life, albeit not with the enthusiasm they could’ve had. 25.3% are still all aboard the anime hype train, but 16.4% will only watch if the anime has a different, original ending (copium is a powerful drug). 13% will watch for the inevitable spicy memes, and 9.3% have given up on their dreams and died (inside)...
I can't wait for final season part 2 and can't wait to read the manga volume 34.
Overall, if the ending was given the pages it needed to make such drastic changes then the ending would feel more satisfying. I hope the anime version does it more justice.
Hopefully the anime will adapt the final arc faithfully to the manga but fix the wording and spotty pacing of the last chapter. But since Isayama has had the anime make changes before there's no reason to think he couldn't do it again.
I'm sad about this whole thing but at least the anime OST will be great.
i like the new panels they will be pretty to see animated
regarding the season 4 part 2 of the anime I'm going to be watching it until chapter 123 is adapted then dropping it.
hope that anime doesnt follow yams clownery
I don't want mappa to create their original ending since they've been so faithful to the manga, it would be weird for season 4 to suddenly be so different. But I hope they just animate the original 139 without the extra pages.
Hopefully anime will deliver the ending much better, that's all
Hopefully the anime will add more context to everything
I still hope the anime will have more scenes like Erens conversations with Reiner, Connie, Jean and Annie. Can't wait for the new OST and hope that the paths episodes will be done by the Ghibli team that helped out in the Ymir paths scene in S2!
I need to stop thinking about this series
If I watch S4P2 will I finally be free?
LET’S SETTLE THIS. WHAT ARE WE GOING TO CALL THE CHILD ON THE LAST PAGE?
The mysterious child who appears at the end needs a name. Why? Indeed.
(At the risk of explaining the joke, apologies to the confused people who’ve never read Naruto’s epilogue. But don’t worry, I’m as baffled about Kevin as you are.)
He needs a name?
What? Where did those two names even come from?
Anything but the two above
Beren is the only way to fix the shambolic ending
Someone save that dog
it's not eren's kid so it should technically be bikasa
What's up with these choises???
The kid looks like a Kevin, now that you mentioned it.
The dogs name is buster
My name is Kevin :)
Beren and his dog are cute.
The child is the MC of Chapter 0 (hopium)
It’s not the child that is the sequel, it’s the dog. It’s name: Dogren.
Albus Severus Yeager (Hope you get the reference)
Bymir. Eren might have been the protagonist of the series but that kid is the new progenitor of the new titans(wasn't that a DC series?). It's gotta be Bymir!
🅱️eren and Sarmin Kirstein for the laughs
Fucking Boruto fuck it
Depressed Hitler Jr.
dumb, who walks around alone in a forest
why the duck kevin is an option ?
I dont care about the kid I just want the dog to be safe
Wtf do we name the kid's dog?
Can we call Berens dog Balto? Or 🅱️alto
I hope the dog falls in the tree and gets dog titan powers
Doge titan doge titan
I would like the name Mamoru, which means Earth in Japanese, if I'm not mistaken.
Seno (or Xeno). (Reason: It's the future. People might have forgotten who Eren was or even the past. And also, Xeno means foreign to me, so the boy is a typical "foreigner" with no "subjects of Ymir" Lineage)
Some Norse relevant name of the last surviving human, Lifthrasir
Something dope like Shulamith (i think its a girl)
The Little Elidian That Could
It's better to leave him unnamed.
Does it matter?
Justin Case (get it? just in case Isayama does wanna make a sequel and more money hahaha i hate it here)
Ellen becomes tree (growing)
Ugh i cant look at the word 'Additional' anymore
You've been monged
This entire manga was like a perfectly executed backflip until the landing in which the guy broke every bone in his body then died
You know that feeling when you buy some ice cream after waiting in a queue for 20 minutes? And then, that fucking ice cream just falls to the ground? That's chapter 139 for me.
I have some mixed feelings
Paradis destroyed. History retconned. Floch was right. Not to mention the additional pages could’ve addressed other characters rather than destroy Paradis or show Mikasa bringing her family to another mans grave. No Historia dialogue. Eren offered to erase her memory of his rumbling plan. Did she know or not that he was doing the rumbling?
I didn't even know of these extra pages before seeing this poll, so thanks for that!
I didn't thank y'all for the hard work on the palls before so Imma do it now, it was really fun to see the reactions of the community (except... some). Also those 139 poll results must have been hell to deal with so kudos
BEST FUCKING ENDING EVER
I still like the real ending better than the fan edits, I think they misunderstood Eren's character quite a lot. I hope the anime will make Eren and Ymir's objectives more comprehensible, Armin harder on Eren's actions, and maybe even a nicer final scene for Reiner, Jean, Historia and Mikasa.
I still love this series very much, and appreciate Isayama for creating it. While I do think he wrote himself into a corner/fumbled with his story threads towards the end, I enjoyed the journey. Eren will always be GOAT; I just wish he hadn't died.
I still think the ending was suitable but to be honest, I expected something more elaborated and with a deeper meaning. Something impactful that made me suffer and be sad for a whole week. The ending, as much as I'd like to understand Isayama's ideas, was weak and I really want to like it entirely but I just can't.
I like the idea he was going for but the execution is trash
Amazing survey, thanks for giving me a place to share my feelings about these pages. Shinzou wo Sasageyo.
You seriously don't want to ask me this question because I've already written a 30 page essay about how the ending sucked and I'm still no where near done. Ill save you my rambling but just know it exists.
I still don’t understand how either ending has managed to ruin the series for some people.
i still wanted an Eruri reunion :<
I subjectively liked those pages
I think 1 more chapter is needed to closure all points yams want to tell.
In my opinion, it just shows that the cycle of misunderstandings, love and thus hatred goes on. If people are so different and not accepting of change and differences, this will always happen through greed and means to an end. Most importantly, it hints at Titans returning to a destroyed apocalyptic environment, which would be awesome. Although, since the hallucigenia was seperated from Eren one has to wonder: Do the titans truly return, does the hallucigenia form anew from Eren's head? Or is it just his legacy; a giant, forever living tree. I'd say it's somehow the former, we know so little about the actual sorce of life. The "all is well in the end" ending that everyone wished for is not realistic in my opinion. Either start the story of humanity anew with 20% left, or show that in the end, it may have stopped the titans, but not the brutality of humans. It is not perfect, because for a more epic and truly amazing story end there should've been no people beyond the walls in this caliber, and that was already established years ago. So yea, the extra pages give more sad, nostalgic and inevitable substance.
I`m disturbed and annoyed by the way the addictions seem to have been interpreted by a broader audience as "Paradis is destroyed by war, the Titan Curse is back, Eren fought for nothing". I wonder if it`s me who`s being naive or it`s the fans who can`t handle ambiguity. I`ve been feeling suffocated by the amount of harsh critisism of aot since 139 dropped and the addictions made it even wosre.
idgaf what other people say the series isnt ruined its still goated. Ending couldve been better but is still alright imo.
Even if most of the story post-time skip was ripped from The Eternal Champion, (and the romance being just as bad as it was in that novel) I still loved some of the moments in the Rumbling Arc. Ramzi and his last coins along with Eren on Cloud 9 while killing innocents was fucking amazing. (I'm not a sociopath, I swear) while I love some moments, I also hate quite a few. Zeke being assassinated in more ways than one, Hanji doing Armin RTS cosplay, and, of course, Eren being a simp.
Paradis getting carpet bombed in retaliation for the Rumbling makes perfect sense and is consistent with what Floch, Eren, and the Yeagerists warned would happen. My issue with this isn't that its bad writing, however; its that these extra panels come right after a whole arc dedicated to saying "Peace can be an outcome!" All the ending plus its extra panels prove to me is that AnR chads were ultimately proven right in that an Alliance ending would not only suck but ultimately doom Paradis and the descendants of our main cast. But hey! At least Mikasa got to confess to Eren and vice versa! Right?!
Much rather would have had the ending have been Mikasa visiting Eren's grave like in the original chapter, not sitting there crying and getting visited by Birdren, but cradling or strolling a small baby, telling him she's ready to finally live her life or some shit like that, nd then leaving, with a big shot of the now wall-less Shiganshina (like a previous panel, so maybe cut that one out so this one hits harder). No husbandobowl, no cringe, just Mikasa moving on her with life and being given a purpose to nurture instead of fighting, as her own woman, in a free world. That or Eren paths ressurrection and they fuck happily ever after, not like there's a big standard of quality for the ending.
the nihilism is hitting too hard and is very unsavory. Aside from not allowing Mikasa to find happiness on her own terms like Levi, I don’t like all this mess made with not understanding Ymir, Titan powers, and paradise’s en. I will say that I don’t think Eren fought for nothing. Anytime we act in life, we take a risk. If we’re not willing to risk everything or fail, we can’t make significant change. That was a core message of the story. Eren risked it all to primarily save his friends (his most precious people) and perhaps secondarily defeat Titans (as in defeat the curse of his people). the fact that he could even act coherently at all seeing past, present, and future all at once—is incredible. So even if paradise didn’t accept the worlds olive branch, or armin failed again once more, or the world never forgave, erens act isn’t meaningless simply for failing to bring eternal peace. He still accomplished long lives for his friend and temporary Titan reprieve. And even if none of that had been attained, his actions still wouldn’t have been meaningless. Because it’s a risk we had to take, whether we wanted to or not. Life is full of unknowns. We must accept that and act.
Ending is still dogshit, but with Paradis getting nuked as the Yeagerists knew it would, makes it better. They had a point, and the manga would suffer if the ending was happy in spite of that.
Ending was absolutely shit on, everything getting destroyed reflects my feelings about what I hoped to happen to the cast in the present day. I mean cmon everything getting destroyed with no characters to mourn it is just cheap
Eren becoming a SIMP instead of talking about freedom didnt get fixed. We could have the same ending but Eren just talking about freedom( and saying stuff that actually fix the plotholes instead of "idk why i did it, only ymir knows". Like dam that was just retarded). 8 pages cant fix bad writing. I wanted EM to happen but damn this is not how it should've happened, way too forced. Rest of the ending is just neutral to me.
Eren did all that for short-term peace, and potentially didn't even get rid of titans completely, thus the cycle of hatred is bound to repeat.
Eren pulling a Lelouche is just bad, Armin thanking him is no good, peace with the world should have been uncertain, just like peace with Yeagerists was left ambiguous, Reiner still sniffing letter, Eren and Mikasa love nonsense still there...etc
Eren really did nothing.
Eren was an idiot. The new ending shows that his actions made no sense
Eren was still completely retconned and Historia turned out to be no better than her mother. Adding a cherry on crap is still crap.
Eren's sacrifices ultimately change nothing
even though i disliked the original ending, i could at least somewhat understand the themes that isayama was going for. extra pages make the message more muddled. for instance, the original final panel seemed like that mikasa let go of her sadness/guilt over killing eren.
Even though I had big problems with how the story ended, I was still satisfied enough with Chapter 139 to call the ending decent. These eight additional pages, however, make the ending straight up bad. Everything the main characters did was for nothing in the end. Paradis got destroyed and it looks like the cycle of Titans is about to continue. Sure, Eren achieved his goal of giving his friends long lives but all of their descendants are screwed now. In the long run, nobody achieved anything. The original ending had some hope to it but this ending is completley cynical and it just does not go well with the hopeful moments seen in the original ending. Ymir getting a conclusion now instead of just disappearing is good but there is so much wrong with the new final pages.
Ever since the fight between the alliance and Eren started, the story, characters, and overall theming has sunken down deeper then the Marianna Trench.
Everyone died in vain, all the fights, all the struggles were for nothing. Discarding Zeke's plan for this is supposed to be better? This is just mindlessly mass murdering people for no apparent reason.
Everyone was able to continue their lives just as Eren had hoped for. He died as a slave to fate. While everyone else is moving on, conflict doesn't stop. Eventually war would come and time eventually destroys everything. Eren's head, which was buried at the tree, still contains the powers of the Hallucegenia and thats why the tree grew so large. Titan powers will return, probably with that kid that discovered it.
Everything AOT built up to is that Eren sacrificed himself to be the bad guy the world needed to heal, but it ended up that the world descended into war anyways, Paradise is destroyed regardless of what Eren wanted. The last pages emphasize how much of a useless struggle Eren and the rest of Paradise faced when against the world, not even a literal god who could predict the future could maneuver around this shitty ending.
Everything felt pointless
The equivalent of a mediocre, expiried icing on top of a cake made of poo. A poor attempt to make shit a tiny bit better
Gee thanks Yams the Nazis won
Gone from a 2/10 ending to a -10/10 ending
Even after having to stomach the idea that in the SNK universe diplomacy doesn't seem to exist all the while crazy nationalists and wars run rampant, seeing the tree at the end was almost even more disappointing. Excuse me, but why on earth would it grow from Eren's head? Why is the head important? I thought the centipede was blocked from getting back to it and that broke the curse? Does anyone, including the writer, know or understand the logic here? And is Isayama implying that there was another centipede host running around before Ymir whose buried head had been sprouting the giant tree for who knows how long just waiting for another host, Ymir, to stumble along? Just why did we get this origin story as an epilogue rather than at a time in the story when it would have felt like an important revelation and made solving the mystery of the titan curse feel satisfying? And I am fine with the idea that the centipede was a species of animal that continues to exist in the world before and after titans, but the choice to show the tree growing big and strong in the final panel makes the whole genocide thing feel pretty pointless - just as the story in general. The cycle continues because Eren was a genocidal dick and Mikasa an incurable simp. Nothing changed and nothing was learned. I don't understand how Ymir could move on because of Mikasa, especially now after these added pages. It didn't make sense before, even less now. As a reader, I feel completely empty and dissatisfied. There was no reason for me to pick up this manga and invest my precious time reading it. It was just another scam. But I guess Isayama made a nice fortune with it, so, well played, sir.
Every franchise I loved in the 2010s died with a whimper.
Half assed ending and the extra pages are set so far in the future that nothing really matters anymore.
He should've left it as it was. I started to accept the first ending but then when the 8 chapters released it just went downhill at that point.
I think it's bitter and realistic. It been made on purpose to not please anyone. It's about human's nature and the cycle of life, starting and ending and starting all over again. It's how life goes. Defenitely different from every other story and with huge impact. I'll never forget this story. Great job Isayama. Thank you.
(sorry for my english, i'm using google translate, i hope you understand a little) Chapter 139 alone manages to destroy all those beautifully themes of chapters 122 and 131. Even the chapter ""Sinners"" is greatly weakened … but at least Eren and Mikasa's conclusion was consistent. In chapter 139 we know that Eren doesn't want Mikasa to forget him, and he doesn't want her to love anyone else. In chapter 138 (chronologically later), however, he tells her the exact opposite for her own good. It is obvious to the reader that Eren means ""forget me and be free"" in a romantic sense. But Mikasa refuses to forget him and wraps herself in her scarf. It is tragic, but extremely poetic and coherent. What appears on the additional pages is simply narratively incorrect. Why after she has clearly expressed her will, we see her with a new family? Without any build up, with a man who has never considered in 139 chapters? It is forced, it weakens chapter 138, it weakens a love intended as ""eternal"" from the whole production of Attack on titan."
I feel like most people don't get that this didn't really happen, this part of the manga was purposely supposed to be the movie the castes characters are watching on the last fake preview. Why? Well, the "end" kanjis Isayama used for the first ending are the ones commonly used for manga endings. But, the kanjis used for the "end" of the extra pages are the ones commonly used in movies on Japan. After realizing that, I don't think those are Mikasa or Jean at all but actors in a movie. I really wish Isayama was more clear with this as to not cause confusion, but then again Isayama-sensei is usually quite ambiguous at that's something I like about him.
I wanted to see more of mikasa and Jean being married and had a families, Armin and Annie married and had a families, and other friends families to, and more to see more pages of their conclusions. And see their are life’s are like now for example what are they doing and do they have a different jobs. Do they even have family like were they married and have children. That’s what I wanted see more of it. Or Eren is secretly a live and married mikasa and have kids. And some of their friends doesn’t know he’s alive or some do but secretly.
I'm genuinely angry we didn't see Levi's tea shop. It's the one thing I wanted. He should have gone full Uncle Iroh. Forget AoTnoRequiem, I'm gonna write my own doujinshi about Levi and Gabi's Tea Shop Adventures. The first arc will be "The Gang Tackles the Post-Rumbling Property Market".
I'm happy that Aot will continue
Maybe I'm in the minority but I liked the final ending. I feel that everything was fully completed. Yes, some parts have flaws, but I still enjoyed it. Paradis was safe for long years, but while fighting is a part of a human nature - eternal peace wasn't possible and people went into a war again. This time Paradis lost. Yet, there is still some light in the darkness, because maybe one day the titan power will be used again, but this time not for destroying, but for creating something good.
My disappointment is immeasurable and my day is ruined
Reiner should have been the hero instead of Armin. Eren should have been more vicious. And making it all about Mikasa at the last Chapter was stupid.
Reiner was absolutely fucking ruined
Saw this fizzle-out ending coming from le mile away lads, frankly been somewhat resigned over a year since I realised that the Marleyan perspective and the Human cause were never going to be elaborated on or given the platform, perspective, or even any importance to the plot that they deserve, and that Isayama ignored the idea entirely. With that in mind, a relatively petty ending was inevitable in any case. Pretty lame I think but eh, it's a fun piece of fiction even with that shortcoming.
See you guys in Ermiar: Attack on Titan Next Generations
See you later space cowboys
Still a great journey up until this point.
Still confused about how I feel about the war being shown. The only reason the war makes sense could be to show Eren was wrong. Genocide is never the answer. Even if it bought them time nothing can erase that. BUT at the same time it does also imply the alliance's peace talks lasted barely a life span so like??? Doesn't that mean Eren might as well have gone with the full 100% deaths???
“I'm sad that ""power of love"" turned out to be the extent of Mikasa's character arc (damn it, Isayama...) but I like the idea of her moving on, while still not forgetting the place Eren had in her life. I just wish the narrative actually condemned Eren so I could read these scenes with something other than rage.
PLEASE WHICHEVER MEMBER OF THE POLL TEAM WROTE “NOT EVEN THE FOUNDER YMIR KNOWS” AS A POSSIBLE ANSWER!!! I HATE YOU!!!! I HATE THAT WE HAVE NO ANSWERS!!!! AHHH!!!! (I spent a good few minutes laughing so hard that I ended up choking, so thank you for that, but also I hate you. You have no right to be this funny, damn.)
Wait, I wrote this down and continued the poll only to get to “Attack on Titan: Next Generations”. Please… This is so funny, but why did this amazing manga come to this…
Watching season 4 part 2 with a lot of excitement over chapter 119 animated (Porco and Colt, my beloveds…), and sniper Gabi; some enthusiasm over Path chapters since I know the voice-acting will carry the chilling atmosphere those chapters had; and the rest for the memes.
I don’t think there will be an original ending per se, but probably just an expansion on the extra pages. Maybe we’ll get Alliance side of the extended epilogue, confirmation of Mikasa’s husband, or (the one thing I’d like to know tbh) the little kid’s name and background.
But most of all, I’m just tired. Man, I just want this to end…”
AoT is not a happy manga. It is a dark and sad manga. The happy ending we got was nice for our characters but AoT needed something more, something darker. Their whole island getting ruined was well deserved after how they stopped Eren from fulfilling his path,
Hopefully the Fanmade ending, AoT AnR, will be so good that I can pretend it’s the canon ending.
AOT no requiem is what we should have gotten
Does mikasa even clean that scraf
The ending is good.
The ending is trash
The ending isn’t as bad as people say it is
The Kino is almost there but you fumbled hard
Floch being proven right was kino, rest was more garbage. Read AoTnoRequiem
Floch did nothing wrong
Floch was proven right, that's the only good thing. The rest is still shit and the ending is still ruined.
Fuck armin fuck mikasa fuck chapter 139, nothing make fucking sense. Seriously a tree, a fucking tree. What is the point of wasting your time into a manga about an island if the island goes to shit in ONE PAGE CMON!!!!! In demon crybabby at least we see the planet going to shit in several chapters not one panel.
No but you guys are cool
no hecc u
no it was just like having a bad meal and then drinking water to remove the taste but it was actually toilet water.
FUCK i CANT believe how they ruined a series which had been a 10/10 up until that point
Holy shit I hated the last chapter but now it just doesn’t make sense what Isayama wanted to portray
Honestly I feel like the Mikasa Jean part kinda pissed me off(as you see I’m not a fan). But I think everything else makes sense in context of 139
Honestly the pages didn’t add anything interesting to the history other than more plot holes
I think the chapter was perfectly fine without these pages. Why was there so much focus on Mikasa’s family? What happened to everyone else? The extra pages don’t really explain things better, it just takes the fun out of the deliberately vague ending. The original ending let us decide what happens to Paradis afterwards, whereas these pages answer questions nobody really asked for. Not only that, but why did Mikasa need to have a family to show that she “moved on”? She still wears the scarf and still visits Eren’s grave, with “My most beloved, my dear” written on his headstone. I personally think it would’ve been better if she stayed independent, because this doesn’t feel like she married happily with this second guy.
why must I suffer.
They should have revived Erwin even if he didn't like it.
The whole Rumbling arc (123-139) has been riddled with bad writing (Pie scene, Hange's stupid death, Zeke talk no jutsu by Armin, Past shifters helping Armin, Kaya seeing Sasha in Gabi, "To save ZA WARUDO", Stormtrooper Yeagerists at the port, Eren not knowing why he did everything, Armin thanking Eren for committing genocide) either because Isayama was somehow forced to change his original plans OR he is just a hack writer. Chapter 139 was already garbage, these pages don't change anything
The whole series amounted to Eren not having a clue what's going on, but feeling compelled to commit genocide anyway. Zeke's plan was better. Eren's plan was just a knock-off Karl Fritz plan, but with other countries suffering.
I think the destruction of Paradis make the story better and for me now it moves from mediocre ending to fine ending. Other things in additional pages don't change my opinion and for me they are meaningless
I respect people's opinions really, but all the salt and rudeness and toxic negativity some 'fans' are throwing are just too much and it's honestly killing my enthusiasm over something I really love. Sorry for the rant. But thanks snkpoll team, as always! Stay safe.
There were some very good panels added to a less than mediocre chapter.
The New Ymir panel is a plus. Miksa moving on is a plus. Paradis being destroyed, although it fits the themes of the story, is worse than the open ending we got originally. I would prefer if the whole world was destroyed by the war, not only Paradis. Portraying theme of the never-ending cycle of violence. It feels like it was done for the sequel set up. So the kid could find titan powers in post-apocaliptic world.
I'll try to keep it brief. Although the cycles of war are a theme of aot, humanizing the oher side and try t understand them is also there. With this the idea the wars continuing was disappointing. The curse being broken, would allow for the rhetoric of how the eldians were treated to be changed. They dont have the potential to turn into monsters or weaponized. Also the eldians also suffered from eren's actions and it was eldians who stopped him, showing that they didn't agree with it. These things make it really interesting how the rest of the world and eldians would now interact. The extra pages seem to reject this by showing conflict will continue. Side note the way historia was treated also hurts what could have been an interesting aspect for the future. Instead of seeing what type of leader she can be, she was forced a family and allowed a borderline fascist group to take over. I think i gave my opinion on why I also hated how mikasa was treated as well. The messaging here leaves a really bad taste in my mouth. Just give them a family to move on when there are other aspects to be explored.
I'm glad they lost, since it only would make sense the alliance knew they were risking their island to stop Eren, they succeeded but also failed, it made the chapter better, but the chapter still sucked since imo it isn't satisfying or enjoyable to watch our main character fail and get embarrassed
Isayama unintentionally keeps romanticizing war criminals. Visiting the grave of a person responsible for billions of deaths is not "wholesome". The last chapter is just full of apologetic nonsense for Eren, these new pages change nothing about it. Paradis being ultimately destroyed only reinforce the disgusting idea that leaving 20% of the population alive was a mistake, instead of the nihilistic approach Isayama likely was going for.
It added some small details, but nothing that drastically changed the story. We knew conflict would return, a panel showing it doesn't change much, at least for me. Same with Mikasa missing Eren. It really seemed to reinforce what we already know.
It answered some questions about the ending
Karl Fritz's decision to retreat and build Paradis also led to a long period of avoiding war between Eldians and the rest of the world. He didn't have to kill 80% of the world to do it, so what was the point of genocide?
I really don't care I just want to know about Levi 🥺
No, I don't have the time I'm voyaging to Japan to shit in Yams Sauna
Not only was Eren’s plan just a straight contradiction to his entire character, but what he did “for” the alliance was meaningless. Every character minus Levi had such a poorly handled send off with the additional pages.
Good survey design and questions. I'm taking a break from this fandom because I can't stand seeing a single braincell being abused over and over again. Imagine writing a story on the damaging effects of ignorance and hatred only to attract the very idiots who happily perpetuate that shit. Let's meet again in winter and settle this once and for all.
Only like it more because it stops people reducing Pieck to her ass because of Jean. Also, let's be real, if Mikasa couldn't have Eren (and she didn't remain single) it was ALWAYS going to be Jean
so every single thing that eren ever lived for was totally pointless?? cool cool cool. i've been saying for YEARS that turning eren into some villainous enigma was a dumb move and now it looks like i was right lol. jeez i admit i was never an eren fan and especially not after he started uhhh killing everybody but you know what...at this point i just feel bad for him. now i'm nostalgic for the eren before the timeskip because at least then i could understand him and he was a unique kind of hero. if only he was in a manga where the author didnt hate him, although ironically this has made me like his character more than ever if only because of salt about his wasted potential. guess i'll re-read chapters 71-74 to cope or something idk
So far these extras only serve as a sequel bait. The main message hasn't really been altered. Eren killed himself so these opportunistic rats would have long lives. The only people discontented are the ones who think Mikasa should've stayed a devout virgin for Eren and Eren stans in general. The destruction of paradis is so far up the future that not even us doomers can cackle about it.
The chapter was rushed and vague, but on the bright side it left some open ended topics which I enjoy. Armin had already said conflict is inevitable, we didn't need to see that future war. We don't know if all Paradis was destroyed, but edgy fans like to jump to that conclusion, for all we know, only that city "New Shiganshina" was destroyed. Mikasa was just visiting Eren's grave on his death anniversary, she wasn't being obsessive, her future with a random family wasn't needed. Beren and the implied continuation of the magic/worm/curse SUCKS. For me that's what really made the story pointless. The extra pages did more damage than help.
The conclusion being "hurr durr humanity will always be at war" is just really dumb and shallow.
The entire motive of Rumbling, conversation between Mr. Kruger and Grisha was useless, Eren's desire for freedom even his love for his Mom all was made useless at the end by this clown Isayama.
The entire story justifies genocide by saying if we don't genocide them they will genocide us. It's not as politically intelligent as it wants to be. I don't like the sequel bait. This has become just another popular shonen.
Didn't like the final panel. Would have preferred the one where EMA were running towards the tree together like what was on the volume cover. I think that would have been the most fitting out of all the rest considering the story began with the three of them, so it would only make sense for it to end with them as well. I hope to hear further elaboration from Isayama in the future so maybe I can make better sense of why he decided to officially end it with a tease of the titans coming back or whatever that was supposed to be. That was the only part of these new pages that left me flooded with questions that I was hoping I wouldn't be asking...
Everything with the founder is uneededly complex and opaque. Making romantic love and Mikasa the central point of the climax was a mistake. Eren being able to use power of paths to affect the past and Ymir reviving past shifters (ergo any Eldian), and paths existing outside of time, makes them so cosmically powerful that their choices become comical. Based on what the story showed there is no reason Eren couldn't just revive everyone from Marco to Sasha, or just beam all the info of the outside world into past commander Erwin's head or deprogram every Eldian in Marley's ghettos. Instead he threw a nuclear temper tantrum, after spending the first 100 chapters growing out of that mentality. And I think that, that is a bad thing.
Floch was essentially the only character who made it out the end of Isayamas wild ride unscathed. A good character beginning to end. Should have listened to Floch, or better yet, common sense, and did the full rumbling. Because Eren was too horny for Mikasa and the alliance was too obsessed with "morals", the island was destroyed likely killing atleast the grandchildren of the alliance, and now the story of aot will repeat once again, causing much more untold ssuffering. Thanks for nothing Eren, the alliance, and especially Isayama.
From now on I will stick to manga written by women: FMA, Noragami, Akatsuki no Yona, Kono Oto Tomare, Fruits Basket (Just in case anyone wants any recs)
“Fuck editors. Between this rushed nonsense and Kentaro Miura passing I feel like the two most powerful and influential Japanese stories to effect me as a writer and story teller were taken from me abruptly and I just have to accept it.
After so much emotion and interest and sheer passion invested in Berserk and Attack on Titan, I feel like I’ll never get closure for either of these epic stories. The last two months have been rough in that regard. I wanted to take away something from the ending that I could hold onto for the rest of my life. Titan was so deeply powerful, it needed an ended that felt like it took the time honor the immense journey Isayama took us on. It made me feel like Isayama didn’t even care about his characters as much as he did.
As a writer he is allowed to disappoint his audience. But he let down the characters that he created and treated them like they were just props for plot devices. Perhaps my mistake was that I didn’t see them that way and cared too much about this story.
Am I the only person who assumed he was going to stop at 145. The 13 plus 9 thing seemed less meaningful compared to 145, as that was the King who created the walls. We saw that number constantly. I feel like he had 6 more chapters in him to explore the effects of the rumbling and Erens motivations.”
Gabi did nothing wrong
Genocide is whack as fuck.
Goodbye AoT. Wish it didn't have to end this way
Great ending fuck you
What was the point of Historia’s character, if she wasn’t in the story at all past season 3 it wouldn’t even change a lot.
While I don't like the ending or the additional pages, they've made me appreciate a lot of the earlier parts of AoT, and the manga as a whole, more.
why!!!!!!!!!!!!! what was it all worth YAMS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!? WHHHHYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!
Wish we saw Floch memory shred
wish I could've known what was the origin of the Walls Titan and what happened to Yelena, but well, whatever
Guys, you didn't liked the ending,read the fan-fics, don't hate isayama. If you liked the ending, don't bitch about people trying to enjoy fan-fic. Also, don't try to sell your favourite fan-fic as canon as dm editor and kondansha. Don't spoil it for anime-onlies. Attack on Titan was entry point to whole different world for me. I liked every character, every music and literally everything about Attack on Titan. Never felt the shear adrenaline rush about watching anything other Attack on Titan. Even now thinking about ep 5 ending, AT and CT reveal scene, declaration of war give me chills. I think the ending was something that people can be content about. Really sad that we won't get anything extra in future(at least not the og cast).
I actually liked the chapter, these pages just made it all meaningless
I actually liked the ending better.
I actually was somewhat satisfied with chapter 139, but these extra pages made me create a negative opinion on the ending.
I already disliked it, but somehow some of the few good things I DID like about it were crapped on, making me hate it even more which I thought was impossible.
I already disliked the original 139 chapter, and these additional pages just solicited that. More than anything, I did not understand the odd and undue focus on Mikasa out of all people in the end, with her apparent obsession with Eren all the way to her grave literally right next to his and with the small hold scarf around her neck. However, I will say that Paradis being destroyed after the world had time to rebuild entirely makes sense. Armin can’t talk-no-jutsu his way out of this, and it only proves that Floch was right and Eren’s 80% was the most stupid thing he could have done.
I always felt like Ymir's thoughts and feelings were left a bit too open, so even just a few extra things are good to have.
I am assuming that the war is for whole different reason and not rumbling. War is a common thing in any nation's life. Regarding Mikasa, though I liked her moving on, all of her panels just being around Eren's grave didn't assure me that she moved on. Had we got just one panel of her being happy with her family and her husband, I would have no problem with it.
I am free
Aot was a mistake
Loved it before, still love it now. Peace.
LOVED these pages and the fact that erens genocide did not solve any problem.
Make the titans 5x taller, constantly hardened skin, transformations the size of bunker bombs. Add in some magical powers and paths fuckery and we got the ADVENTURES OF BEREN a dark comedy
I think no matter what, I seriously love Shingeki no Kyojin. This was the work that inspired me to think for the first time that the way you tell a story is way more important of what it is about. I aspire to one day write something that I feel proud of, as Isayama-sensei did with his work. No matter what this manga will forever hold a special place in my heart. And honestly I'm so grateful that it has been animated so beautifully by the multiple animation studios it has gone through, it deserves it. I apologize to whoever will have to read my lengthy responses, I'm just too passionate about this manga, sorry.
What I have the most problem with is the freaking tree at the end. In 139, we see Eren take away the power for all Eldians to transform into titans, but there's hardly any closure for the hallucigenia. In my theory, hallu-chan is life itself (as implied by Zeke in his conversation with Armin) so, as long as living creatures still exist on the planet, the worm won't die or go away. It might take up different appearances, but its existence is tied to life. The hallucigenia might be under that tree, but we don't know if it will lead to more titans or another kind of power. Thanks for listening to my absolute bonkers theory!
I want Beren to eradicate earth
I wish Historia had a larger role in the final arc, and that' where my disappointment rests.
I'm not pleased with the direction Isayama decided to take this story.
I’m still on hopium. However for the ending to really be good the entire rumbling arc needs to be revised and that’s basically impossible. Just hope mappa animators get some good treatment
I'm thankful I was a part of this community, theorizing chapter to chapter, the memes, people I spoke with. I think I'll remember the reddit folks more than the manga itself
I'm tired. Hopefully Part 2 will have great animation for the amazing moments that will be in it, but it will come to the same hollow ending sadly. But I wouldn't miss it because I still enough this series for the most part.
I've wasted so many goddamn years on this shit
Ymir Freckles shoulda lived and take Historia away from all this royal bs
Words cannot describe how much this ending hurt me.
Yeah the about the wars, I don't know if it's the same war that would result from Marley vs the Paridisians. IDK if that would make much sense because shit looks pretty advanced in the panel with the bombings. So IDK. Also I think the clear implication of Bob and the tree is that he's gonna find the Titan power again. It looks exact to Ymir finding her tree, soooooo.....why else would it be drawn??? Also I just really like the way the tree is drawn. Also, if that IS Jean, then LMAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
I like each of the individual scenes but I feel like with the exception of Ymir and Mikasa's meeting, that too much is still left unexplained. I also liked the ambiguity of the original manga ending.
i like how Floch was proven right and it shows that the rumbling was the only way forward
I like how they show how war still continues and that this cycle is one of inevitability
I like it more as it shows that Eren not doing a full rumbling lead to his entire country being obliterated. It’s a bit of realism the original chapter 139 lacked.
I like it more now because we got a complete ending in previous ending things are left very open, mikasa was 19 and has no family or friends in paradis so she needs to start over again by having a new family so it makes sense why she got married and paradis was at peace for a few centuries which is good if eren did 100%rumbling paradis would survive but there won't be any peace it may last only for 10 years at max
I like it showed the consequences of the alliances actions.
I like it slightly more for the extra (yes, it's not much) context that connects Mikasa to Ymir. I also love the art of the final few pages and it's cool to see the ravages of time and war from one vantage point.
I like Mikasa's development in the future and I find the war against Paradise Island very realistic, counting as the world was at the end of the story. The only thing that maybe I didn't enjoy about this 8 pages is that tree becoming like the tree where Ymir found titan powers the first time, because it means the story is kinda open to another circle of titans and stuff and I don't think I'd like that.
I like more Mikasa moving on and the realistic aspect (it´s settled in the future and wars are recurrent in time). I like less and less the Ymir resolution
I like paradis being destroyed basically. The rest is bad/meh tier
I like the way the cycle is shown at the end, there will always be conflict, its not because of the titans, and the clarity of the endings message has gotten better, its still not perfect, its a little bit rushed, but the extra pages made it better. I hope that they take some extra time for the dialogue between Eren and Armin, it could help a lot.
I liked a more bleak finale
I liked how the ending had a significant element of unanswered questions. The additional material has given us some answers while raising new questions, so ultimately my feelings are unchanged. I still enjoy the ending overall, but there was some poor dialogue choices by Isayama.
I liked it a bit, but it doesn't change that the last chapter sucked and the entire series(mostly time-skip) sucked.
I grew to like the original chapter 139 after weeks of thinking about it. These extra pages truly make the story meaningless imo. What was the point of all this suffering. If Erwin learned about this outcome, would he think the mountain of lives lost was worth it?
I don't know if constant twists over being able to foresee the trajectory of this story was a good move in the end. It leaves more questions than answers. Although we are given tools to figure out enough. I guess I'm just tired of the simpleton one-note meme-like ""interpretations"" I've been seeing. It'll be a few years until the collective fanbase has a more consistent opinion on this series. Or maybe we'll constantly be fighting (poetic). Either way, I'll seclude to my own space from here on out. I'm grateful for the podcasts and polls ye have done. It's been one hell of a journey. I wouldn't be surprised if there was ever an ""End of Evangelion"" treatment to Attack on Titan.
Ymir being in love with the King was very random and I disliked it. Eren being a slave to his powers could’ve been more enjoyable but it ended up w/ him coming off as a nonsensical character. Suddenly he’s a hero, not a genocidal maniac.
Ymir plot is the biggest plothole, if she love Karl Fritz she should have lived with him, but she chose to die for that spear, whitout regenerate herself. This should be changed.
Zeke was proven right. Would have gotten the same results without the genocide.
AoT no Requiem is Kino
AoT No Requiem is my new personal canon. I didn't like ANR theory but it's better than the bullshit 139 chapter.
At least I‘ll still have Berserk...can’t have a disappointing ending If your story never ends :,)
At least it’s done
At least Levi got a good ending I guess.
At least the ending to Game of Thrones didn't justify genocide.
At least the memes that came out of this were good lol.
At this point the 8 pages could just be a weird movie ending when considering that it follows the caste AU where rather than saying "end of a series" its "end of a movie" in japanese
We need more World Building
We were dead-ass calling Eren the greatest MC of all time with the best, logical character development ever. Clown moment.
Attack on titan was a great experience
Attack on Titan will forever remain my favourite show/series
Attack on Titan, your ending might've been shit and full of bullshit and asspulls, but I still adore you. I wish Isayama and his wife a happy life, he deserves it after so many years of consistently delivering a great story for people without breaks or hiatuses.
Authors should never let never themselves be influenced by fan comments because a fan service ending made of retcons is bound to be a complete failure.
i havent smiled in 2 months
In summary, maybe good idea but very bad execution.
I liked the pages, though I wish they clarified more things that weren't very clear.
I love Attack on Titan manga/anime even with this rushed nonsense Rumbling arc and conclusion of this story. Without this Rumbling arc (130,131 are exceptions) this manga would be one of the best. But it is what is it. Now my,and maybe perhaps other fellow Titanfolk people, hopium is anime original ending or the people behind Anr project will deliver fan ending which is the perfection to end this story,which will become the headcanon of many of us. I am writing off roads, but how to end rhis additional thoughts. I am still happy I was part of this ride even the end was downfall, still enjoyed most of it,even these last chapters and pages, thanks to memes, which were the best of it
I love that even the pollsters are done. I don't think I've seen this level of memery and (barely) hidden salt in any poll before this. Anyway, please allow me to acknowledge about the poorly written political allegory (I mean, titans are Jews and once ruled a global empire? Seriously?) and misogyny (looks like every recurring female character's fate in this series is to either die or get impregnated? Oh wait, or they can become a fascist a la Rico and Hitch. Nice.) which is sort of concerning but...ehh what do I know. I don't even know what to make of Eren. Is it too late to say SnK ended at chapter 50/73/80/whatever other number is popular these days?
I personally say despite the reactions to the ending, Attack on Titan was a fun ride and I miss it.
I personally think the story went down hill since they reached the ocean. AOT should've never changed to a political and philosophical story. Even Isayama admitted the themes ended up being to much for him as a writer. Eren should've never been turned into a (fake) edgelord.
I love this series and I still love this series despite thinking the ending is lackluster. Eren nearly surpassed Lelouch for anime protagonist to me but alas it wasn’t meant to be. Maybe AotN requiem can save some of us that enjoy fan fiction.
If I'm being honest, I feel the series in general got weird after a while, particularly after the timeskip. Like, it was already weird to begin with, but at least it was so in a way where it was definitely still great. The Return To Shiganshina arc in 2016 was really the honeymoon phase of the series for me, or when I felt it was at its best. But after that, it started to go downhill from there as it drifted somewhat from its roots, and it was definitely still good despite being weird, but not as good anymore. The series made certain decisions that really just felt arbitrary or out of place. For starters, Historia seemed to become so big in Uprising, but then she was essentially written out of the story and made not that important anymore because of a pregnancy subplot that already felt sudden and forced and out of nowhere to begin with, and had no real payoff for all the emphasis and foreshadowing and time it was given either. Then, they had Levi sabotage himself with the Thunder Spear against Zeke, which was essentially character derailment. Levi would have never done that back then. And they gave too much time and panels to Gabi and Falco for too long. I like Falco as a person, but I feel he took certain scenes that would have been better for Historia to have, particularly as a titan. And I'm sorry, but with all due respect, I was not curious to see what Eren would have been like in another world. Also, weren't Eren and Zeke supposed to be rivals who clash? That feels like a dropped idea now. I also think Eren should have been more concerned about Zeke dying than Historia becoming a titan if he knew titan shifters would be saved and didn't want Historia eating Zeke. Otherwise, it feels so overcomplicated and done in a roundabout way for no reason when it would have been so much easier if Historia just became a titan. And in general, I think Eren and Zeke would have made a better enemies of humanity duo at least as a temporary measure. I liked that Historia strongly opposed genocide and would prefer for her to remain that way and temporarily be Eren's other light foil opponent alongside Armin. I understand much of this is just my personal opinion. But even so, it felt like the series later on could have been noticeably better if it was just given some tweaks.
Is AOT still antiwar? I owe an apology to all those saying not was fascist or was open for fascist readings. I was blind by my love of the series. I did not read the first article and ignored salient points. The reason I write this is that I feel that's why the ending is bad. Simply because it refuses to entertain the idea of the piece and wrote Eren in a way where he was forced to commit genocide and where him succeeding probably would have been a good thing. It is kinda weird how the paths lets yams excuse Eren's actions as a closed time loop he has no real control over. Like I interpreted his break down in chapter 123 if I recall as him choosing the course of events based on possible futures and realizing the human cost of his actions. But this later chapter demonstrates no he had no real control ever and it is a closed time loop. Kinda sad to on thematic level the one character desperate for freedom was a slave and it's only a blip in series. Like you would think that be a pretty big thematic arc but the ending kinda of sells it for the ymir plot.
Isayama master troll
Is ok to believe the ending wasn't that bad, but I cannot take seriously anyone who says that Attack on Titan is a "master piece" unironically.
It's not that serious as other people make it out to be tbh, and that's coming from someone that adores cohesive and deep narratives.
With some time I moved on and barely care. Rumbling arc haven't become better with those additional pages. Most characters still feel like a caricature of themselves there. I think the theme touched after timeskip ended being too complex for Isayama to handle and all of his weaknesses as a writer came to light. Events that should've got the focus, explanation and especially careful treatment were barely touched while things that could've been left to imagination or never moved the plot filled the pages. Why explaining plotholes, forgotten threads? No, let's exibit the destruction of paradise that is so vague, it only makes the point of "war, war never changes". Yes, it was explicitly told in the story before, but character arcs (I.e. Gabi) were there to show that it's not true, it could be broken. Why mourn for 80% of humanity and those who suffer the Rumbling consequences? Pfft. And Schrodinger Mikasa she moved on but she didn't. It's hard to believe she is happy, the only scenario that comes to mind is Jean with wig pasta. Tree finale doesn't feel earned. I guess it was meant to be tragic, but hopeful - cycle continues, but maybe this time it will be broken. But only joke "Beren and his dog Tukasa: New Generation" comes to mind.
“Your question about watching the new season of the anime was very badly constructed. The only choice to choose from that involved not watching the anime was ""I refuse to waste any more time on this franchise"" (which is what I picked, not because that is how I feel but because it is closest to the reality of not watching the new season). This question needed a few more possibilities such as ""I don't care for watching (the) anime in the first place, so of course I'm not going to watch the next season"" (which is how I actually feel), or ""I'm undecided at this point in time"" (as I MIGHT watch it if an anime original ending occurred and it was brilliantly executed).
With regards to the question about the Isayama and the ending, I actually think that this was an early draft of how Isayama envisioned the ending (though not necessarily his original draft), and that he deliberately cut down the character development of a lot of characters (e.g. Eren, Zeke, Reiner, etc.) to shoe-horn Armin and Mikasa back to prominence. There was also not nearly enough foreshadowing to imply Eren's ROMANTIC feelings for Mikasa, or any reason for his pathetic display in chapter 139. Chapter 139 destroyed much of what made SNK a great series (and to a lesser extent so did chapters 132 through 138), though at least the final few extra pages were a return to realism (even if it was too little, too late).
What also helped me accept the ending more was by a perceived parallel to chapter 69. I think Isayama intended for Eren to undergo a similar development to what the 145th King Fritz did, where the ultimate power of the Founding Titan turned Eren into a compassionate individual who wanted to stop the rumbling in such a way as to ensure a paradise of peace for his closest friends. Re-read chapter 69 with Uri as Eren, Kenny as The World, Helos as Armin, and the peace of the walls with the post-rumbling peace negotiated by Armin.
I still love SNK (like a bad divorce where there's still love but also too much pain). If any of the fan projects manage to deliver on a solid and convincing ending, then I'll probably discontinue believing in Isayama's ending and will take a fan ending as my new headcanon.
Lastly, thank you all for making this survey and for participating in the community. I think you still have a lot of room to grow with regards to survey because several of these questions were very narrow in what answers they allowed, but excellent initiative all the same. Perhaps it would also be a good idea to end the survey with two open questions: one for (constructive) criticism about the survey itself, and one for allowing people to share additional thoughts on the ending (not covered by the survey itself).”
“I tried giving this anime a chance, I really did. I know many animes take a while to get into things, but 64 episodes in, and I have given up on this shitshow completely.
In the first season, I had high hopes. We were introduced to many cute waifus early on, such as Mikasa, Sasha, Armin, etc., but they show almost no skin. Fan service is essential for any anime, but the directors and animators of this show were so arrogant they thought that they didn't even need to include it to be successful. This is a recurring problem, and there are so many missed opportunities in each season, including Gabri wearing a night dress instead of a tight bikini. The only skin we ever see is in season 3 part 2. After the whole erwin and armin, fiasco we end up seeing armin shirtless, but it turns out she is flat AF.
I skipped season 2, so I will just talk about seasons 3 and 4. In the first part of season 3, it is pretty much just talking and no action. The most exciting part was when Armin has Aaron chained up and there is mad sexual tension, but of course, it ends with nothing sexual happening at all. I stopped watching season 3 part 1 right there.
In season 3 part 2, people whose names I forgot who were Aaron's friends are suddenly evil and titans? Aaron fights them and blah blah blah and suddenly we go to his dad's story which is completely irrelevant to the plot. I skimmed through the last few episodes and saw no titans fighting so I just stopped watching.
With season 4, I was hopeful because a new studio was taking over and maybe they could improve this heaping pile of dog shit, but my hope was quickly extinguished when i saw gabriella's attire, as i mentioned earlier. This last episode was straw that broke the camels back when they did not play the ost i wanted at the end when Erin transormed. RIght when i finished that episode I spammed all of MAPPA's staff telling them how worthless they were for not playing you see big girl.
This might just be the worst anime of all time, and that is no exaggeration. It is somehow number 2 on the rankings right now, so I am gonna make as many accounts as I can and rate this trash a 1. Anyone who enjoys this anime is too easily entertained and must have a very low IQ”
Birb was better then tree
Blessed. I hope results for this are close to the truth and yagercucks or 139 fanboys don't give multiple answers
Bad ending, still the best shit I have ever watched/read. Thank you Isyama
drink water and stay hydrated
At this point in the story I only cared about 2-3 characters and they didn't show up in the extra pages, hopefully because they lived long and happy lives.
At this point, we don't really care. It was a fun ride till we hit this point. Goodnight.
AOT IS FUCKING FIRE AND IF U DONT AGREE UR A BAKA
in the aftermath ; dabi/t. todoroki
pairing: dabi x reader, touya todoroki x reader, established relationship
warning: spoilers for bnha chapter 301 (mild canon divergence from that one scene of dabi in chpt 301), inferences to an unhealthy relationship
a/n: horikoshi chose violence and heartbreak by releasing dabi’s backstory on valentine’s day weekend and i have a lot of feelings about it
The couch is falling apart.
It’s the first thing you notice when you finally step into the room, and then you take in the peeling wallpaper, almost rotting vanity, and finally, the man laid out on said couch. The fabric of it is peeling away in some places, revealing the plain white beneath - the sight of it makes you think of patches, and scars, and marred, magenta skin held together by madness and medical staples. Dabi’s eyes are closed, you realize, and you could almost fool yourself into believing that he’d finally decided to grant himself some peace, albeit in the form of a turbulent slumber. And then they slide open again, stark turquoise burning bright against the dullness of his stare.
“Really roasted myself there.” His voice is hoarse, even jarring and harsh to your ears. There’s a crease between your brows as you take a few steps closer, reaching into your pocket to pull out a pack of cigarettes. Silently, you hold one out to Dabi. His gaze slides over it, and then over you. Somehow, it unsettles you - like somehow, he’s not registering that you’re there, or that he can even see you at all.
You’re not sure which of those options terrifies you more.
“Yeah,” you say, moving to pull it back. There’s a lighter, heavy in your other pocket, and if the absence of a blue flame at the end of your cigarette means that you won’t have to risk the experience of seeing the body and couch in front of you go up in a garden of blue flames, you’ll gladly use it. “You look like the fucking couch,” you add. There’s two ways his response to that could go; Dabi could find the humor in that and maybe laugh at your comment, or he could dismiss it (and maybe you) in a display towards not giving a shit about anything. Most days it’s like walking a tightrope between his mania and his complete and utter apathy. Most days it’s like choosing between two poisons, and you know you wouldn't be able to make a choice that doesn’t kill you. Because there isn’t one.
This time, he doesn’t laugh. But a smile does tug at the corner of his lips - and god, it looks painful, because the miniscule action is enough for the staples to pull at his skin, nearly tearing into it even more as it flirts with the possibility of drawing blood. “C’mere,” he rasps, motioning to the stick in your hand. You pass it over. He takes it in his fingers, rolling it in between the digits. “Can’t feel anything.”
“Does it hurt?” The question slips out, but you wouldn’t be able to hold it back anyways. Dabi hums, long and contemplative, and when he offers you the cigarette, the end of it is glowing a dull shade of blue. You accept it, and take in a long drag, tilting your head back to watch the smoke rise to the ceiling.
You’d seen him smoke, a couple of times. Mostly on slow nights, when all the two of you would do was hide out in whatever shitty abandoned building served as camouflage from pro-heroes and cops. Or, later on, when he had joined up with the League and dragged you in with them, it would be nights where he could steal minutes to himself outside of the bar, and you’d pretend you didn’t notice because you were too busy nursing a drink at the bar. The part that always fascinated you the most would be when the smoke spilled out between the seams of his staples, and you could forget about the way his blood trickled out in the same way, and stained your hands when you had to help him force everything back into one piece.
“That’s not what it fucking means to not feel anything,” he bites out, and you can see his jaw tense. So it’s a yes, and he won’t say it. “Don’t be stupid.” Your lips press in a thin line, and you sink to the floor next to the couch, leaning against its side to let your arm hang over your propped up knee. He’s not the only one to walk out, more than the worse for wear; you can’t move without a brief stab of white-hot pain, even if you know that it diminishes in comparison to the man still laying on the couch. It’s enough that you want to spare yourself the experience of biting back at him with equal venom.
“And that doesn’t answer the question, either.” When he doesn’t say anything, again, you keep talking. “Those injuries.” Another exhale. “They could kill Endeavor.” A moment passes, and there’s a hand at your shoulder, squeezing it in a way that threatens to literally burn through your layers.
“I wouldn’t allow it.”
“I could’ve killed him.” There’s a calm behind your admission, the same calm of a deadly ocean masked by tranquility. Once - and sometimes, when you try, you can remember her - there was a version of yourself that wouldn’t have been able to say the words without falter, wouldn’t have been able to hold onto the idea of a murder quite like that. The grip on your shoulder goes slack.
“I know,” Something in Dabi’s voice makes you tilt your head to look up at him, and you lock eyes with a man already staring at you. This close, you can make out the still-healing wounds on what remains of his unmarred skin, and there’s a patchiness to his hair where the black dye hadn’t fully washed off. Seeing it bothers you, just a bit, and you want to do something about it.
“Get up.” The eyebrow he raises is equal parts disinterested and curious. Maybe even wary, but you’re not here to explore the nuances of what a single eyebrow can mean.
“Doll, I can’t move.”
“I’m being serious.”
“So am I.”
“Sometimes, I can’t really tell with you.” Half-lidded eyes open slightly as he comes close to grinning again, a thumb brushing over your cheek for the fraction of a second. It’s enough that you sigh, and you squash the cigarette against a white tile to extinguish it, leaving behind a spot of darkened ash. He watches you push yourself to your feet, offering a hand to him that’s pushed aside so that he can force his body to get up from the couch himself. The display is one that is already painful to an outsider - each movement is a Herculean effort, skin pulled taut and threatening to split open until he’s looming over you once more, overshadowing your presence in the room.
Until wordlessly, you take an arm in yours and pull it over your shoulder. His weight comes crashing into you like a wave, and if you weren’t so used to it - to needing to pull this body out of death - and if you were anyone lesser, you probably would’ve collapsed, too.
For a second, you wish that you weren’t able to handle him like this. Because it would mean that you’d never been forced to carry him through moments like these.
“Where you takin’ me, princess?” he drawls, the words sliding off his tongue as he sags against you. The light elbow to his ribs makes him tut in disapproval, but there aren’t any words said against the action.
“Bathroom,” you mutter, because being used to him against you like this doesn’t make it any easier, and if you waste breath or lose focus, the both of you could end up on the floor together. And Dabi would really, truly reduce you to ash for the humiliation he’d suffer from it.
“Bathroom,” he repeats, and you can hear the suggestion in the smirk he’s likely to be wearing proudly. So you choose not to humor him with an answer towards or against the insinuation behind his intonation.
Using a foot to nudge at the bathroom door is - fortunately - enough to prompt it to swing open, and you maneuver him into the too-small space. Dabi hisses as you end up jostling him against the counter, and a few more muted swears escape his clenched teeth before you’re able to get him to sit against the tub.
“Fucking shit.” You step into the tub as he lets the words out, kneeling in it and reaching for the shower head.
“It’s your hair,” And as you explain, you take the risk of having him tilt his head back slightly. “You - I don’t know what shit you used to get most of the dye out in five seconds-” and that was really one of the only parts of his plans that you didn’t understand, but it was a detail small enough that you wouldn’t push.
“Somethin’ wrong with my hair or some shit?” The tone’s abrasive, but he’s still sitting still, and he doesn’t move to lash out in a way that’ll end the conversation in its entirety. Tonight is - despite everything - shaping out to be a calm one for him, a rare in-between of the polarity and calm he lives his life with. Or maybe it’s because of everything that happened, because his scheming and plans that once felt like little more than paper towers finally burned to cripple the Japan’s now-former Number One.
Dabi isn’t smiling. Instead, he allows his head to be further tilted back as he stares up at the ceiling, a pensive expression making it feel as though the body you’re sitting with isn’t really here with you at all. And it shouldn’t reassure you, but it does.
Because that smile - that effortless, unfazed, half-thought out gesture on him - is synonymous to his lies.
You still haven’t answered his question. You reach out, like someone blinded, to card your fingers through the mostly snowy white locks. You let yourself imagine that he leans into the touch because the gesture is a sweet one. If you were to pull yourself back to your reality, you knew it would be likely that he simply lay there and let you do as you wish.
You turn the shower on, and lukewarm water replaces your fingers in his hair. His lips move and he murmurs something you can’t quite grasp, but it’s gone before you can think to ask. The moment suddenly feels just as fragile, as though a misspoken word, one wrong move, or anything that could be regarded as a mistake coming from you could shatter it.
The tips of your fingers are becoming laden with black as the remains of dye works itself out from his hair, and its stark contrast against the porcelain of the tub makes the white look ghastly. It’s as you begin to press your thumb to the darkness to try and swipe it off that Dabi speaks again, and if your head weren’t angled down towards him, you wouldn’t have heard it.
“This is what being evil is.”
It should’ve been simple enough to take a hold of the meaning behind his words, and pull them in to understand it. But your movements falter, causing your already damp jeans to receive a wayward spray of water.
This could be lying here, with him, carrying out mortal attempts to wash away traces of atrocities committed.
This could mean living with the badge of honor labelling this society’s villains. You wonder if there would ever be a world where he didn’t wear it so proudly, flaunt it in the faces of any and all who cross paths with him.
“I don’t think we’re evil,” is what you settle on finally saying, shutting the water off and placing the shower head back in its slot. You end up resting your head in your arms, turned to him as you balance precariously on the edge of the tub. When you close your eyes, you can see him at the forefront of your mind - spinning, deranged, falling into hell in a tango of death.
“Yeah?” His breath ghosts the shell of your ear in the single syllable, and you realize he shifted closer under the blanket cover of your shut eyes. “Then what the hell are we?” His forehead presses against yours, skin and piercings ice cold. As if it was the touch of death.
“I think,” you start, letting out a breath before you open your eyes again, “I think we’re just people.” Sitting like this, with him, is an intimacy rarely granted. This close, and you can make out water dripping from strands of white hair, white lashes, the bridge of his nose. It’s all drowning in a sea of turquoise. He hums, and a hand presses against the back of your neck, keeping a grip there. Blunt nails dig into your skin, and they probably leave crescent indents. “Heroes are the ones like gods, and we’re just the ones trying to challenge them.”
Dabi stares at you. You feel it under your skin, like fire ants biting at you and injecting enough poison to kill you.
And then he laughs. The laughter belongs to a maniac, to someone so deranged there might not be a way of going back, and it grates on the years you’ve spent with him. With his madness. A madness that could be infectious, but you’re too afraid to peel back the layers of yourself to see if the infection has found roots in you. The sound of his laughter suffocates the pocket of space you occupy together, and you’re no longer lost in a sea of blue fire, but you think that maybe you’re drowning in something worse.
Eventually, he stops. There’s an ache in your neck by then, but you still can’t move it. Dabi has to take a few more rasping breaths before he can think to speak again, and there’s rivulets of thick blood running down his face from his eyes and mouth.
He cries tears of blood.
You hate the sight of blood.
“Heroes are gods,” he repeats, the traces of a chuckle leaving his lips. “You really fucking got me whit that shit, you know that?” An incredulous wheeze escapes his throats. “So then this is blasphemy? So then we’re sinners? Sounds pretty evil to me.”
“Only if sinning is evil.” His lips turn in a sneer, and you’re released. It’s like a breath of fresh air from the smoke and fire clogging your lungs, so you move to stand back up. “But sinning is just doing the things gods don’t like, isn’t it?”
You smile, then, and you step back onto tile. Your hands go to your pockets, and fingers find the now-damp cigarette pack.
“Hold it.” A lazy finger beckons towards you. It might be all he can do at the moment. You shouldn’t.
You crouch down next to him anyways.
When Dabi finally kisses you, it’s hard, and painful, teeth clashing and more blood drawn. You pull back with a line of it running down your mouth, and he brusquely wipes it away with his thumb.
This will be the closest you come to a thank you from him. Somehow, you know that the day he finally says the sentiment to you out loud, it would very well be the last time he says anything to you at all.
The final day feels as though it’s come too close to you.
SO i just finished wonder egg priority and i think that with confidence i can say it has been one of my favorite animes like... ever ?? and not even from hyperfixation or obsession over it just... its so fucking real yet so simple in a way that i havent rlly seen shown in any other shows you feel ??
but first i wanna talk about how sexy the art and animation is real quick... HOMIE ITS SO GOOD LIKE EVERYTHING ABOUT IT JUST... serotonin... the characters are all so unique and iconic and fun but not over the top in their designs yknow ??? they seem like regular every day girls but they stand out and theyre all sO CUTE !!!! also i love how the style is like this soft bubbly slice of life lookin stuff with bright happy colors and the most beautiful scenes you could find but they also have the SICKEST fight scenes complete with whimsical animal helpers and terrifying villains and crazy weapons unique to each character. and the animation. god DAMN shawty i am obsessed with everything in this show. i might make a post solely about the art later lol bc i wanna get into the other stuff.
so the themes in the show right ?? it starts just as this cute lil magical girl kinda deal but within the first episode we see that like.. oh damn... thats kinda heavy... tbh i was a little shocked and thought about stopping bc yknow bad mental health BUT i was so intrigued that i had to keep going and i am SO GLAD that i did. because this show just so beautifully discusses all these heavy topics in such an eloquent and artistically expressive way. and also like, , the juxtaposition of the charming childlike vibe with bright colors and 14 yr old girl protagonists against the dark themes of suicide and so much else,, i think is just perfect. bc a lot of heavy animes are more of the seinen genre and have some middle aged dude as a protag or make the entire color palette dim or offer little relief to the pain of these heavy themes right ?? but NO not wonder egg bitches B) because these problems arent just things that ppl face later in life or just problems that need to be talked about among adults or the edgy seinen watching squad,, these are REAL problems that face people of every age, gender etc and i think its awesome that wonder egg addresses that. some may cringe at the thought of their high schooler watching animes that discuss sexual harassment, suicide, abuse, self harm, eating disorders etc,, but in reality it is the most comforting thing i have ever come across and is basically jsut free anime therapy. because not only does wonder egg present these themes to the viewers as something real that happens to all kinds of people (making said people feel heard in a way that maybe they hadnt before), but it also makes sure to vanquish all of these forms of trauma. and the way the trauma is vanquished isnt always beautiful and it isnt always just magically gone with a poof. the struggles of overcoming or living with that sort of thing are shown in such a real and relatable way that addresses every hardship trauma survivors have to go through. and i just. god i cry bro.
oh m y GOD and the lgbtq+ rep in this show ?? like shawty... as soon as i saw episode one i was picking up on some gay/lesbian themes but then again im sapphic and project that a lot so i tend to see that sort of stuff like... everywhere... but NE WAYS... episode ten made me FUKCING CRY BRO LIke i cant believe there was a whole trans character with a whole trans pride hoodie like LKGHKDGH my heart is just so.. so fucking full thinking about him. bc like yeah i know there are trans characters in anime but i feel like theyre always very ambiguous about actually being trans or not or erased or portrayed as a harmful stereotype or theyre constantly misgendered and still refered to as their assigned gender at birth and i hate it. HOWEVEr... Kaoru.. *chefs kiss* it was so amazing to see a character straight up say “yeah im trans” in such a casual yet powerful way bc i personally have never seen that before. and i love love loved how he went into his backstory and talked to momoe about gender bc i think thats what she rlly needed and that it helped her find herself and it makes me so happy oh my god,, and the way they talked about it never seemed forced or like it was the focal point of his existence yknow ?? like yeah he existed to help momoe overcome some of her trauma but he also just existed to be HIM yknow ?? also... personally, i headcanon momoe as a trans girl even though i dont remember it being explicitly stated plus the school scenes of her and stuff would seem like they suggest otherwise ??but,,, SHAWTY THE AMOUNT OF SUBTEXT and her complicated relationship w gender is... something i feel like a cis girl would not go through so harshly yknow ?? with all of the questioning and feeling detached from femininity or feeling like ppl dont see her as an actual girl and only like her as a guy or for her masculine traits,,, but dont take my word on this bc i myself am a cis girl but that was just my take on it as someone in the lgbtq+ community trying to educate myself on the transgender community :) either way,, wonder eggs portrayal of momoe and kaoru and the way that momoe becomes so passionate about expressing herself the way she wants to as a girl is just... good lord im gonna cry its so perfect,,,.so ... i just love this show way too much. i also am honestly super lost about the relationship btwn acca and ura-acca ?? bc i was gonna mention ura-acca as a canonically gay guy bc when i was watching i interpreted ep 11 as him being in love with acca and being jealous of Azusa (bc i mean,, they lived together (i swear to god there was only one bed in that apartment) and had a daughter together and def loved each other and also when Frill said they were husbands and then when ura-acca said he wasnt attracted to azusa but he was def jealous of their relationship ??) but then i saw somewhere that theyre brothers ?? which would make sense ig since they look kinda similar and accas daughter called ura-acca “uncle”.. but at the same time its ANIME SO THEY ALL LOOK SIMILAR and referring to gay couples as siblings is an EXTREMELY common euphemism soooo... IM JUST LOST HERE... but yeah i tried doing research and found different things so i cant say anything for sure >:( however,,, if they are canonically a lil fruity for each other... when frill refered to acca as ura-accas husband i imploded dude you never hear that sort of wording in anime.. but if theyre related i am so sorry.
god this is so much longer than i planned it to be oops but i also love the theme about like.. relying on friends to help carry your weight but at the same time not becoming completely dependent on those friends and using their support to learn how to love yourself and rely on yourself yknow ?? bc that is exactly what healthy friendships look like. bc i think ai sort of had a codependency thing goin on with koito maybe ?? but now she has a whole squad of funky friends that are so so different but all struggle with different kinds of trauma and although they fight over it, they always get through it with each other together. and they push each other no matter what to be the best versions of themselves and they teach other that getting hurt is okay because theyre always gonna be there to pick up the pieces no matter what happens. they can give each other space when they need and adapt to meet each others needs but theyre always able to balance it out with their own needs and thats such a beautiful thing in friendships especially at their age like damn i wish i had that maturity when i was 14 but no all i had was depression. another thing is that through these friendships you get to see all the different sides of each girl; you get to see them being strong or a shining light to their friends when theyre hurting but you also get to see them being hurt and weak and allowing themselves to be on the receiving end of the comfort. their friendships allows them to have weaknesses but it also allows them to highlight their strengths and thrive off of each others. I LOVE FRIENDSHIP DUDE
next i wanna briefly mention some of the themes connected to suicide that ive noticed. a big one is the survivors guilt that ai feels once koito is dead. several times she screams that she wishes she couldve gone with koito and she dreams of a “perfect world” where they committed a double suicide. one of the main reasons for her troubles is that she blames herself for koitos death and feels like it should be her thats dead... but at the same time she feels like too much of a coward to do anything now that koito is gone. she just has all these complex and contradicting feelings that wear away at her in ways that ppl that havent gone through the suicide of a loved one could never imagine. a lot of the times when things like this are portrayed in media i feel like its more in a way thats meant to guilt trip those that have taken their own lives and paint suicide as this selfish sin thats unforgivable but... not only does wonder egg reject that idea and instead portray it as a heartbreaking tragedy with,,, so so many terrible reasons, but it focuses on the feelings of ai separate from koito without blaming her in any way. not once did i feel like the show antagonized koito or that ai blamed koito for doing any of this, but they simply mourned her loss and touched on ais reaction towards the event but separate from koito herself if that makes sense. and i think that discussing survivors guilt without painting koito as the bad guy is something so beautifully done in wonder egg that can really resonate with those that have lost a loved one to suicide and have struggled with these same things.
okay i think this is the last thing ill mention,,, but HOMIE THE PARALLEL UNIVERSE BIT AT THE END. I AM. OBSESSED. i am such a whore for anything about the multiverse okay n e ways...,, not only did this make a super epic trippy ending of season one and add a little bit more magical girl whimsy to the show,, but it had such a powerful message. from the perspective of og ai,, finding out that you killed yourself in another world is... i mean its definitely not a surprise but at the same time it rlly makes you think how close og ai herself couldve been to that point and what decisions led her out of that dark place in her life. if i were in her shoes i would be terrified and id cry bc the thought of going back to such a dark place and actually going through with something like that is my worst fear and probably something that ai fears too. but at the same time,,, think from the perspective of ai two !!! like yeah its true that theres this awful terrible version of ai that dies but theres also a whole version of ai that is a superhero magical girl fighting off monsters to save countless ppls lives !! and she has a badass lizard and a gang of awesome friends !!! at first i was worried that ai two would be jealous of og ai and compare herself to her and feel inferior but like.. THEYRE LITERALLY THE SAME PERSON AND CAPABLE OF THE SAME THINGS !!! and ai two realized that !! just within the span of one episode, she went from the version of ai who took her life,, to the version of ai jumping in front of a friend to take a bullet for them and save their life. and that just inspired THE SHIT OUT OF ME. i think that ai was sent another version of herself to sort of beat her own worst enemy yknow ?? those doubts and fears that shes no good or that shes that same bystander from episode one and that she hasnt changed at all. but getting to interact with her parallel self and see her grow was just what she needed to realize that while yeah sometimes the worst thing can happen and things can be terrible but on the other hand sometimes the most wonderful thing imaginable can happen because she has the power to do either.
so im gonna go ahead and stop rambling bc i got all my thoughts out that i wanted to for this post :D but yeah lol i might make another if i feel like it sometime. long story short: this show is perfect and it is going on my favorite of all times.
Hey guys!! So, as you noticed, there was no update today either, like I had commented that I may try and do if possible. The reason I didn’t post today, though, is because I remembered that I wrote a little introspective thing about TPWP a few days ago that I wanted to post before the next chapter, if possible. I spent the last hour and a half intermittently touching it up (while also talking to friends, ha). I wrote this after waking up at five in the morning and not being able to go back to sleep, so I was fairly tired and rambley when writing it, ha.
Anyway, this is pretty long discussion about something that’s bugged me about TPWP for a little while, which is why I’ve made Taka so sexual despite not really thinking he would be like that in canon. In my attempt to write about that, my exhausted self also went into another problem I have with TPWP, which is the fact that neither Taka nor Mondo are really like their canon selves anymore. And while that was a purposeful thing, I never could pinpoint why, and I think I managed to in this post, so there’s that, ha.
Now, it’s getting late and I’m very tired, so I’ll add my introspective thingy in a read more. It’s about 5k words and goes over a lot about Taka and Mondo’s interpretation in TPWP.
Hey all! So, I wanted to go over something that’s been bugging me for a while in TPWP, though no one else seems annoyed by it. But I kind of am, so I just wanted to… I don’t know. Discuss it in case anyone else also has problems with it, but just isn’t bringing it up in comments. And the thing that I wanted to talk about is the fact that I’ve made Taka and Mondo so sexual in this story, despite this not really striking me as something Taka, in particular, would be like. In order to discuss all that, though, I have to go through a bunch of other explanations about what my main goal in this story has always been, as a kind of backstory. So, buckle up, my friends. This is a doozy.
See, while I didn’t have much of an idea when I started writing, the one thing I knew I wanted to play around with was the idea of dismantling Taka and everything that makes him tick. In the game, he is shown as a strict, passionate, highly motivated character, spending so much time studying and trying to better himself that he lost sight of who he is other than that. He doesn’t have friends and confesses to Makoto that he doesn’t even understand how people make friends through connecting over things like television, since he’s so detached from anything other than his goals. The writers even comment on how he is almost mad with his passion and righteousness.
That whole persona seems so unattainable to me. I’m someone who seeks ‘perfection,’ right? I’m a perfectionist and it burns me so much to know that no matter what I do, there will always, ALWAYS be faults in the things I create. I put myself and my creations against others and always find myself lacking. It burns me and makes me feel so… I don’t even know. Unhappy. Upset. Things like that. And I’ve gotten much better with this over the years, right? I accept that my work will not be perfect, and that anything I can create is enough since I created it and I enjoyed creating it. But the feeling is still there. The unhappiness. The discontent.
So, when I saw Taka and his madness to become better, I wanted to take that and see if I could deconstruct it. If I could break Taka down to his core, expose all of the secret little things inside of him that he must be hiding to present such a ‘perfect’ front, and turn it on its side. To give Taka reasons for his madness to better himself and then take it apart. Or, in other words, the entire premise I had for this story was to take Taka and break him down. And then, then I would build him back up. Into something less ‘perfect,’ less rules oriented, but a hell of a lot happier. Because in canon… Taka didn’t really strike me as happy. Not based on the things he would say to Makoto in both free time events and the school mode.
In order to do that, of course, I had to completely break apart the things that made him so rule oriented in the first place. And to someone who has spent almost their entire life building up this one persona, that sort of thing can be terrifying and uncomfortable. And it can lead to a lot of confusion and scrambling afterwards.
Chapter 17 was where I made the biggest break for Taka. I’d been chipping away at him for the first 16 chapters, and then 17 was the one where I took my sledgehammer and went to town. That chapter was the one in which Taka realized just how unhappy and discontent he had been growing up. He’d always stuffed that down and ignored it in order to keep going, forcing himself to ignore his pain so that he could become all that he wanted to be. He wasn’t even conscious of doing this since it was so deeply engrained in him by that point. Like I said in the very first chapter, Taka would run so fast and so fervently from his insecurities growing up that he didn’t even notice that they were occurring within him. Or if he did, he ignored them until it all went away.
In chapter 17, Taka stopped being able to run. His feelings for Mondo created a huge rift inside him and he didn’t know how to handle it. And then, after his conversion with his father, he realized that he’d been forcing everything down for all of his life, to the point that he didn’t know who he was. He wanted to be an upright, moral individual, but how could he be if he is in love with a man? How can he be when he can feel such impure, base desire for someone, a man especially? And I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with a man loving a man, not at all! Just… it went against the carefully constructed morality Taka, personally, had spent his entire life forcing himself to abide by, and that was a huge blow to him. He couldn’t comprehend it and he just… fell apart.
But he didn’t fall apart alone. Mondo was there to catch him as he fell, was there to help gather the pieces, and Taka latched onto that. He didn’t know what was happening or why, but he knew that Mondo was a vital component to all of it. In a way… Mondo was everything to him.
The main point is that I wanted to break Taka’s character apart, mostly because I cannot imagine someone being that moral and upright while not being completely miserable (or without actually being completely immoral, like all those people who preach righteousness while actually doing horrible things behind the scenes without care). There’s a sort of misery in enforced righteousness, especially considering how horrible the world can be. I liked Taka and I wanted him to be happy. And I couldn’t, for the life of me, imagine him being the way he was portrayed in the game and also being happy. Maybe that’s just me projecting, but… I don’t know.
But deconstructing years of a carefully constructed persona is— like I said— terrifying. And for someone like Taka, whose entire life plan was crafted around a certain image? I can only imagine that would be like jumping off a plane into a black, inky darkness, no idea where you’re going to land. But Taka did that, because the only other option was to continue living with intense unhappiness, lying to himself to keep his sanity. But the problem with lying to yourself is that it gets so much harder once you know the truth. It can be done, of course, but it leads to even more unhappiness and pain and Taka… Taka realized that he didn’t want that. He didn’t want to be in pain anymore. He… he wanted to be happy. Which is an incredibly hard thing to accept when you’ve spent years silently accepting your own unhappiness as a fact of life.
As such, everything that has occurred since chapter 17 has been Taka’s attempt at constructing a new personality, in a way. A personality that marries the beliefs and goals he has always had while also combining them with a new sense of happiness and contentment in his life that before now he’s never felt. And this… this is so, so hard for him to do.
And it gets harder when his and Mondo’s relationship shifts. When he gets a taste of something he’d previously not allowed himself to ever, ever feel. Which brings us to the questions of why, exactly, I put so much sexual content into this story, despite it not seeming like something Taka would really want to do in canon.
Because… it’s not about pleasure. Right? It was never about pleasure or desire. It was about Taka allowing himself to feel something that every human feels (or, you know. Not every human. But a lot). It was about making Taka acknowledge that he is feeling these ‘impure,’ ‘sinful’ desires and allowing him to feel it. And, of course, this can be overwhelming. Taka has never allowed himself to feel these sorts of things before, had always pushed them so far down he couldn’t even see them. So far down he could pretend they weren’t there.
But they were. They always were. Taka can feel desire and attraction. He can feel them just fine. The whole point of the sexual content was to show Taka that it is okay to feel like that and that it’s not wrong or immoral. That Taka can feel attracted to someone, a man especially, and not feel ashamed. But more than that, it’s about allowing Taka to acknowledge that can be who is he in general without shame. That he doesn’t always have to be ‘perfect’ or infallible. That he can just be… Taka.
The biggest problem in all of this, however, is the fact that Taka is not the only character in this story. He’s not the only one going through a metamorphosis. Because Mondo? Oh, you can bet your sweet behind I was making Mondo go through his own metamorphosis, too.
Because everything I said about Taka up until now? I also feel about Mondo. I view Mondo’s tough guy, biker persona just like I view Taka’s upright, moral one. It’s a facade. Something that is hiding what is truly going on under the surface. It protects their soft, gooey innards, keeping them both safe whilst also providing them a sense of being. Of belonging.
But it’s not healthy. Hiding behind a persona, not letting your true emotions show. It’s unhealthy and leads to, you know… pain and unhappiness. And Mondo… Mondo also strikes me as a somewhat unhappy character. His disconnect in the game is less towards other people, however, and more towards himself. Makoto acknowledges many times after speaking with Mondo during free time events that he has a hidden side to him. A softer, ‘cuter’ side that he tries (and fails, ha) to keep hidden.
Like with Taka, I wanted to break Mondo’s carefully constructed persona and remove this hidden person inside him. I wanted to bring that person to the surface, finally allowing Mondo to stop feeling like he has to hide behind anger and rage and being ‘strong’. I wanted… I don’t know. To allow Mondo to not feel so ashamed of his weaker side, I guess.
This was a lot harder to do than with Taka, though, for a couple reasons. One, I was not writing from Mondo’s perspective in TPWP, which means all of his metamorphosis was being seen through the eyes of another. Which is not always easy to portray, sadly. For another, Mondo has a huge reason to keep his inner self hidden and locked away. Taka’s reason is shame and a desire to prove himself, right? This, in my eyes, is fairly simple to deconstruct. All you have to do is find a way to remove the shame and realize that it’s okay to feel what you feel. And yes, this is challenging, but… it’s not impossible.
Mondo, though? What’s keeping Mondo back isn’t just shame and a desire to prove himself. No. What’s holding Mondo back is guilt. Mondo feels guilty for his weakness. He feels guilty that his supposed ‘weakness’ killed his brother. He feels guilty that this same ‘weakness’ is preventing him from telling the truth, from accepting the responsibility for his supposed crime. Mondo, in many ways, hates himself. In this story, at least. And guilt is a much, much harder emotion to deconstruct than shame. There’s also the fact that I made Mondo an abuse survivor, which adds another element into this all that I won’t get into since this whole thing is already much longer than I’d initially intended, oof.
Anyway. The point here is that both Taka and Mondo are going through this metamorphosis at the same time. And I did this purposely since I wanted to have them help each other grow. Right? Because I view Taka and Mondo as very similar characters. They both have a need to prove themselves and a sense of inner righteousness that guides them in what they do. They just took opposite paths in their expression of these things. But ultimately, at their core, Taka and Mondo are very similar in my eyes.
Honestly, that’s part of why I had them hate one another in the beginning (on top of the fact that they didn’t get along in the game at first either, ha). That was each of them seeing themself in the other, and absolutely hating what they saw. Because they hate themselves. Because they cannot stand the persona they’ve created. Because it’s such a painfully false front that it’s almost offensive to them to see it on another.
Chapter ten was my way of letting them acknowledge a sense of self love for the first time. By accepting the other as flawed, but still fundamentally good, it allowed them to see themselves in a somewhat positive light for the first time. To accept that this person they once hated with all of their heart is… not that bad when it comes down to it. And not only are they not that bad, but they’re actually kind of amazing, really.
I… hm. I don’t really know where I’m going with this. I am very tired and am kind of just rambling at this point. I guess I just… I wanted to acknowledge that I’ve changed both of these characters a lot from canon, Taka especially. And this change has been expressed in a great way in Taka’s increased sexuality. And that I know this, that I know this isn’t really what canon Taka would act like, but that’s kind of the point. As much as I love Taka as a character, he’s kind of one dimensional. All of the characters in Danganronpa are. I think, in a way, they’re meant to be. But when you spend time with them, during the free time events and the school mode, you begin to see a slightly more well-rounded picture.
But it… it still feels a little flat to me. A little hollow. So, in this story, I just… wanted to flesh out these characters that I like and see so much potential in. I wanted to take them, give them tragic backstories, and see if I could find a way to give them balance. To keep them somewhat the same as they once were, to not fully remove their canon aspects, but not have that be their sole, defining characteristic anymore. Taka is still the Ultimate Moral Compass, and Mondo is still the Ultimate Biker Gang Leader. But that’s not all they are. Not by the end of the story.
Now, did I succeed in my plan? I… honestly, I don’t know. This entire thing was never something I consciously thought of while writing. It was more… a desire of mine, which might be why I’m having such a hard time describing it here, ha. It’s up to all of you to determine if I succeeded in writing these characters in a way that respects their canon characterization, while also adding a sense of balance within them.
Also— not to sound pretentious (though I know I am, oof. I always am when dead tired, sorry)— but in a way, this whole story was a metaphor for self-acceptance and self-love. And allowing yourself to find peace in who and what you are, no matter what. I made Taka and Mondo literary parallels in this story for a reason, giving them similar backstories (Taka was abused by bullies and neglected by his father; Mondo was abused by his father and neglected by his mother. Mondo’s brother died, leaving a hole in his heart; Taka’s mother died, leaving a hole in his heart. Taka watched his grandfather fall from grace and used that as a catalyst to ‘better’ himself, thus hiding all the unpleasant and unsavory aspects about himself; Mondo watched his brother die and used that as a catalyst to ‘better’ himself, thus hiding all the unpleasant and unsavory aspects about himself… etc.) to showcase this metaphor, in a way.
And it… it was to show that them helping the other grow symbolizes allowing yourself to grow, too. It symbolizes taking all the harsh and ugly parts of yourself that you hate, seeing it in another person, and realizing you actually love them, really. It symbolizes showing kindness to yourself for your faults, something I personally struggle with. By having Taka and Mondo love one another so fiercely, even without fully knowing why… it symbolizes, in my mind, letting you love yourself.
And, like… I know how pretentious this sounds, ha. And I don’t think I really succeeded in portraying all of this, unfortunately. But I just… I don’t know. I love the idea of Taka and Mondo and I wanted to write a story where they love one another unconditionally, while at the same time learning to love themselves too.
In many ways, I wish I had made this story take place over the span of a longer amount of time. Three months is just… it’s too quick to do everything I wanted to do in this story. Like I’ve said before, this story was never meant to be so long, word count wise. And a lot of what I wrote about here was not really planned when I started writing. While I wanted to deconstruct Taka, I didn’t really realize how long that would take, oof. Or what it all would entail. I thought three months would be plenty of time in universe, but then more and more things started happening, and by the time I realized it would need more time to progress naturally, I had passed the point of no return, pretty much.
If I could do this story all over again, I think I’d make it take place over the span of a year instead. I’d start the school year in April, like it’s supposed to be in Japan, and extend the amount of time Taka and Mondo were enemies. I’d have them become friends shortly before summer break and when they come back, have them go through the beginnings of their friendship like I had it in the story, but allowing it more time to progress. Taka and Mondo would still have their fight on Halloween, since that’s kind of an important aspect of that chapter, but they’d have had a longer time to be friends before that occurred. And then, after that, they’d have their physical relationship progress a lot more naturally and less hurriedly, the relationship spanning from perhaps right before winter break begins to the end of the school year in Japan, which is March. It would give them more time to come to terms with everything and accept themselves.
Part of me honestly kind of does want to change around TPWP to do this, but it would change a lot of fundamental parts of the story, which would be a lot of work. And if I was planning on publishing this story, I’d definitely do it since I think it would fix a lot of the problems that I have with how this story progresses. Three months is not long enough to completely deconstruct your entire personality, really. A year is a lot better and makes more sense to me. But, as it stands, I… I like TPWP. Is it perfect? No. But… that’s kind of the point? Nothing is perfect and if I allow myself, I’ll keep digging myself into more and more holes with this story, and at some point, I just… have to acknowledge I did the best I could and move on. Also, I do think that having it take place over three months isn’t completely unrealistic. Not with how unhappy both Taka and Mondo already had been. And there are some things that would be unrealistic if it took place over a year, too, so… eh.
I really don’t know where I’m going with this anymore, dear god. I’m going to go back to my original point real quick and hopefully finish this now hour long, rambling rant I’ve for some reason been going on. Jeez.
So. The purpose of the sexual content in this story. It— like a lot of other things in this story— was more meant as kind of like… a metaphor. It’s not about the sex, it’s about self-acceptance. Taka spent so many years denying himself and his sexuality, fearing it and feeling ashamed of it. By allowing himself to be sexual and intimate with Mondo, he’s accepting that aspect of himself and embracing it. But, because he spent so long denying it, he doesn’t quite know when it’s too much. He’s spent his life pushing down his discontent and discomfort to become what other people want him to be, and as such, he doesn’t quite know where his own boundaries lie.
And I’m going to be quite honest with y’all: Taka doesn’t enjoy the sexual acts quite as much as he thinks he does. No, I’m not saying that Mondo is taking advantage of Taka, or that Taka hates what they’re doing, not at all! Just… Taka feels uncomfortable with the things he and Mondo are doing, but because he enjoys the sensation and enjoys being close to Mondo, he pushes down the feeling of discontent, like he’s done all of his life. He just… doesn’t know what else to do. He knows he likes being close to Mondo, knows he enjoys the things they do together, but can’t quite put his finger on the fact that he doesn’t really enjoy being sexual. That he only likes the sexual acts because it’s the only way he can be close to Mondo in the way he wants, both physically and— in a way— emotionally.
And part of Taka does realize this, right? The deep, deep, hidden part of himself that only comes out at night when everything else is silent. I call this the ‘introspective’ part. But this is a hard part of yourself to access and acknowledge. Especially when you’re young. I, personally, am a very introspective person. It’s why I can write about emotions and feelings decently, and why I am currently writing this little introspective about TPWP. But it was a lot harder for me when I was a teen to realize what that introspection meant. It’s why I didn’t realize I had undiagnosed anxiety until I was eighteen and in college, which was ironically a lot easier for me than high school was. It took me being out of the situation I was in to look at myself and realize exactly why I felt what I felt, even though I knew I felt that stuff much earlier.
Taka’s still in his bad situation, though. He’s still struggling with the desire of what he wants and what he’s forcing himself to settle for. And, basically, he doesn’t understand why he’s unhappy at being sexual. He knows on a base level that he is, but he can’t quite place his finger on the why. Which is, as I’ve said, because it’s not really what he wants. He’s settling for having Mondo in whatever way he can because he thinks he has to. But it’s not what he wants, and it’s honestly killing him inside to be so close to his desired outcome, but not have it. He hates that the only way he can have Mondo is in such a shallow, debased way, but he’s forced himself to believe that this is all he will ever have, and that he must be happy with it or else he will lose it, like he’s lost every good thing in his life before that point. And the thought of losing what he and Mondo have is just… it’s too much for him. He’s still figuring himself out, still building his new personality from the ruins of the old, and he kind of needs Mondo to help prop him up as he does this.
(Which is, by the way, unhealthy in a relationship. It’s very codependent and can lead to some negative outcomes in its own right. But this rant of mine has been going on for almost two hours, so I’m not going to get into this right now. Just know that I know, and that it’s not intended to be portrayed as a good thing. None of Taka’s coping mechanisms are, which is why they all fail in the end, leaving him discontent. But as of now, Taka kind of needs Mondo, so he’s overlooking the potential negative outcome and is just allowing himself to have Mondo. Make sense?)
In the end, the only way for Taka to fully come to terms with everything that is swirling within him is to have Mondo acknowledge the love they share for each other, since he can’t accept everything about himself until Mondo does. He needs Mondo to look at him, look at his flaws, and say ‘I love you no matter what. You are not perfect, but I still love you.’ And while Mondo has done this to some degree, it’s not the love Taka not-so-secretly desires. But, like I said earlier, Mondo is going through his own metamorphosis and isn’t quite at that stage yet.
All of this comes to a head in the last three chapters of TPWP. Does everything get resolved by the end? No. Of course not. There’s just not enough time for that. Discovering yourself takes years, really. And you never finish. Even if I had elongated the amount of time this story takes place to a year, there still would be things unresolved when the story ended.
That being said, the main problems both Taka and Mondo are going through reach a conclusion. I don’t want to go too much into this to prevent spoilers, but just know that everything I brought up here? Gets some form of acknowledgment in the last chapters and gets some manner of resolution. And everything else was initially intended to be resolved in sequels, which may or may not be written, who knows. But TPWP ends in a way that even without further writing from my part, I firmly believe that all of y’all can see where Mondo and Taka will go from here. That it won’t be easy, but that they will eventually figure themselves out.
So… yeah. That insanely long and complicated rant boils down to this: Taka and Mondo being sexual is not really about them being sexual but is about them understanding and accepting their love not just for one another, but for themselves, too. It’s a catalyst. And I didn’t go over Mondo’s views on this all, and I won’t since this has gone on so long (plus I’ve not written Mondo’s perspective on those chapters yet, so even I don’t fully know, though I have ideas), but believe me when I say it’s more than just sex for him, too. That’s one of the reasons why I didn’t really want to categorize this story as explicit at first, since it’s never been about the sex to me. It’s… more than that.
I don’t know if any of this made any sense, but I think I’m going to stop now. Maybe I’ll go back when I’m less tired and expand on this (and I’ll let y’all know if I do, writing after this break if I added anything or not) (I added a little to some parts and took out a couple of parts, but mostly this is the same thing I wrote between 5 and 7 am when I couldn’t sleep, ha), but for now, I’ll leave it.
And— final thing (that I added after trying to fall back asleep and failing, ha)— maybe I’m being more pretentious about my writing than it deserves. Maybe I’m saying all of this to try and excuse the flaws in my writing, like I always do internally. But… I don’t know. This is legitimately the sort of thing that went through my head whilst writing. I knew I wanted to put these elements in my story, even if I wasn’t consciously thinking about it, but trying to do all of that is just… hard. And I’m limited as a writer, I’ll acknowledge that. My thoughts are too big for my head and trying to write them all down is complicated for me. It’s why this little introspective is so long and rambling. It’s my way of trying to not just get you all to figure out what I mean, but also get myself to understand it. Because, while I know what I mean on an abstract, metaphysical level, I don’t really understand it all myself in a concrete, definable level. And this rambling is me trying to make sense of that. Does… does that make any sense at all? Or is this just gibberish? I don’t know. I think I understand it, but I have no idea if anyone else will. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Anyway. I hope this didn’t come across as too pretentious or like I’m trying to show off how ~~intellectual~~ I am. That’s not my intention at all. It’s just… it’s how I think. And it’s how I show myself to the world, in a way. My written work is always so personal to me. I put a lot of myself into my work, sometimes intentionally, but often unintentionally. And I’m not saying I went through any of what I put Mondo or Taka through. In fact, almost none of it relates to my life at all. I was never abused by anyone, nor was I bullied in school. I have a fairly good relationship with my parents and was well liked by my classmates, even when I didn’t really go to class often due to illness. I am not impoverished, nor have I ever really faced high expectations from family or the people around me. I’ve never really had to anguish over my sexuality, since I accepted myself as asexual pretty easily, though I still struggle to be open about it with everyone. And I’ve never lost a loved one.
So… no. It’s not that I’ve gone through what the characters have gone through. But… the emotions. The feeling. All of that… it’s me. Even if it’s imagined or created, I feel everything that I write and put down. It’s why angst comes more naturally to me, since I’ve felt a lot of negative emotions in my life. And most of it is self-inflicted. Like… I mentioned that I never had high expectations from family, but I did from myself. I expected so, so much from myself, and I still do. And while I was always well liked by my peers, I still felt alienated from them, like I… I don’t know. Didn’t really belong. And I feared that if they ever got to truly know me, THEN they’d hate me, and that was just… I don’t know. Too much for me. The thought that these things could happen. That I could have good things and then, through my own personal failings, lose them.
These fears are where I come from when writing. My fear of being hated and isolated. My fear of never being enough. My fear of letting everyone down. My fear of always being alone and losing the people I love. I write about it in my stories and I… I find a way to fix it. To show myself that even if something like that did happen, it… it can get better. You can still be loved even if you are flawed and kind of broken inside. And maybe I don’t believe that I ever will find love, maybe I can’t believe that anyone would look at me like that if they truly got to know me, but it’s still nice to read about it. To see my fears in characters I love and have them be okay in the end. It’s why I always like to have at least somewhat happy endings in my stories. I need to see that it’s okay. That even if the worst-case scenario happened… I’d still be okay.
(Also, I know people are going to ask this, but please know that yes, I am okay. I get like this sometimes, where I think a lot about stuff, and it can be overwhelming, which is why I write it down. It’s funny that I’ve never had a diary or journal, since it seems like something that would help me, but writing things down for my personal perusal never made sense to me. It’s why I always post things like this. It’s really personal, but it helps me feel better. Like I’m being understood in some way. So, just… know that I’m doing alright. I just wanted to try and explain something that has been bugging me in this story for a while now that I finally found the words for. And by letting it out into the world, I can remove it from my chest, I suppose. But introspection doesn’t really upset me much. It’s cathartic more than anything. Painful and confusing while going through it but relieving once it’s done. All I ask is to be heard, that’s all. And understood if possible. If you’re willing.)
(Also also, please know that I wrote this little introspective several days ago while very tired, and I’m over this burst of emotions by now mostly. So, again, I’m really okay. And I’m not pulling a Taka, trying to pretend I’m doing alright when I’m not. I do mean it, ha.)
(Also also also, but y’all can see where I get my writing style from when looking at this, ha. This is basically my thought process written down, which is why TPWP is written the way it is. I write like I think, which is long, rambling, and emotive. Just a little fun fact. ^-^)
Day 3: Favorite Arc
This arc will forever be in my heart because of so many things. It has the most memorable villian in all of One Piece, and that is Doflamingo (the second most memorable villian is Crocodile). Doflamingo would have singlehandedly won this arc for me even without his dynamics with Law-- oh, I enjoyed every single interaction between them, from the attempted murders, to the tortures, to the fight scenes. Add both of them together, and it’s just too good.
Doflamingo as a villian is simply amazing, and he is a fresh breath of air to watch. He’s this manipulative bastard who, no matter what he does, simply has to manipulate everyone around him. If charm and deception doesn’t work, then it is by force. His plans are never directly told to the world, and like most One Piece arcs, the villian does make the situation very dire -- in this case, it’s the annihilation of everyone in Dressrosa that’s on the line. The stakes are always very high in One Piece, which makes the victory against the villian incredibly satisfying. More importantly, there simply wasn’t a moment when I wasn’t entertained when Doflamingo was on screen.
Then, there’s Law’s backstory. Setting aside the fact that it’s about Law, my favourite character, Cora-san’s appearance automatically won my heart. Even though it’s been only 7 episodes, I’ve decided that I would die for the man. He’s just so kind, and his compassion is boundless. If I were him, I’d have said, “fuck that kid, he stabbed me!” But no, this man has to feel the pain of the kid that fucking stabbed him, and did everything he could, including betraying both the navy and his brother, to make sure that this kid is free. What a guy.
Finally, Doflamingo and Law’s dynamics ... Which just glued me to the screen, because Doflamingo never ceases to mock Law and to try and torture him psychologically as well on top of physically, and Law’s reactions are also interesting to watch. When he said, “Maybe I am just like you” (Paraphrased), I wondered if he truly thought so, because that’s really interesting. Does he really think that he’s just like Doflamingo, or is it just something he said off the top of his head to Doffy’s taunts?
shows up a month late to the wedding with an essay disguised as a fic on why i don’t think they’d have a wedding but also definitely get married
Marriage had never been on the cards for Dean and Castiel. But then there was a routine hunt, some ill advised cover stories, the allure of cheap real estate and now they're proud owners of a fixer upper motel and according to the rest of the town - married.
Dean's thoughts on marriage throughout the years.
“So, are you back or you getting your things?”
“Just be quiet about it. I’ve put Dean to bed, he doesn’t need to-”
John stands in the doorway, still wearing the same clothes he’d walked out in three nights ago.
“Ron said he saw you at the bar the other night. He said he was worried you were about to do something…”
“I didn’t- Mary I’m not going anywhere. I needed some time to cool off but- Mary, you’re my wife. This is my family.”
At a standstill. The couple don’t move, don’t budge.
“Mary…” he pleads.
“I’m going to bed.” She heads to the stairs, then turns – a small act of forgiveness, “There’s dinner in the fridge.”
He stands in the doorway, hesitates as he watches her leave, before crossing the threshold back into their home.
“Dean? What are you still doing up?”
The boy appears from where he’d hidden himself behind the kitchen door frame.
“Are you going again?”
“No. No, I’m not going anywhere.”
“Then why did you-”
“-Dean.” He snaps, then breathes, “I’m back. Ok? I’d never leave you.”
He doesn’t answer straight away. Takes the time to take the food out of the refrigerator.
“Then why did you yell at her?”
“One day… you’ll understand. Sometimes mums and dads fight and sometimes we need some time apart but when you’re married and you love someone, you keep at it, even if it’s hard.”
The boy considers this, sitting on a chair at the breakfast table as his dad microwaves his dinner.
“You think I’ll be married when I’m big?”
“One day you’ll find a beautiful girl and she’s gonna make you very happy.”
“Will I yell at her sometimes too? And need “time apart”?’
“I hope not.”
The microwave beeps, John takes the plate out from the tray and sits beside his son at the table.
They sit in silence. Their little family.
“How did you know when you wanted to get married?”
Sam, John and Dean sit at the table in the corner of their little room in the cheapest motel in town. The guns are laid out, dismantled on the table. Dean watches his father, intent on mimicking every gesture as they clean the rifles with rags made from Sam’s old baby clothes.
Sam is equally focused on his own task, colouring in a homework sheet full of bees and flowers. His feet swing on his chair, unable to quite reach the ground. He doesn’t even look up when he asks his question, just continues punishing the paper with a red crayon.
John considers Sam’s question as he begins clicking his rifle back together.
“The moment I first saw her.” He says finally, “When you’re in love, you just know.”
A little smile appears on Sammy’s face but he pushes it down. Feigning aloofness, an impressive feat for a five-year-old, he swaps to the yellow crayon.
“What’s love feel like?”
“Like you’d do anything for her. Just being around her makes you happy.” John pauses, he’s calm tonight. Dean can’t help but feel it has to be the calm before a storm even with no clouds in sight. He starts to put his rifle back together. “She loved you both,” John adds, “she loved all of us. That’s why we’ve gotta keep doing this. Because when you love someone, you never let them go.”
Sammy nods sagely, he goes back to his colouring. “I’m gonna ask Penny Roberts to marry me.” He declares. “Because I love her.”
John lets out a laugh. Dean almost flinches.
“A ladies man already Sammy?” He chuckles.
Sammy looks proud of himself. “What about you Dean? Who are you gonna marry?” Sam asks.
“I’m not gonna get married.” He replies, “I’m gonna be a hunter.”
John is smiling at both of them. He looks proud. It’s nice.
They leave town the next week. Sam and Penny don’t quite manage to get married.
“You know, I didn’t realise…” he’s not sure why he’s bringing it up. It’s water under the bridge. Well, not really. Nothing ever seems to be under the bridge. “I didn’t realise you were so serious about Jess.”
Sam doesn’t answer him.
“You were really thinking about asking her to marry you?”
“Well, it doesn’t matter now. I won’t make that mistake again.”
“You don’t know that.”
“Are you kidding? You’re the one who said there’s no getting out of this life. Marriage, white picket fence, it’s not for us.”
“We’re gonna get Yellow Eyes-”
“And then what? I don’t know if this even ends with him anymore. And even if it does… You were right. That apple pie life or whatever’s not for people like us.”
Dean drops the subject. He knows Sam’s right. He doesn’t bring it up again.
She smiles in her sleep. She does it often and he can only imagine what she sees in her dreams that makes her smile like that. She never mentions them in the morning. Maybe it’s a fantasy life she dreams about, beaches and sunrises. Or maybe it’s something closer to the life they’re living.
It feels weird. The two of them and Ben. Their life together.
He knows he doesn’t smile like that when he sleeps. He knows he often wakes her, limbs thrashing and pained moans. Dreams about Hell and monsters and Sam… Sam who’s still stuck down there and is going to be for the rest of his life.
He pushes the thought to the back of his mind. He can’t think about it, can’t dwell or he’ll be stuck there forever. It’s not what Sam wants- wanted.
Lisa shuffles a little in her sleep, her cold toes bump against his leg.
Sid had asked him last week if he was planning on marrying her.
He laughed it off at the time, turned it into a joke because he didn’t have an honest answer.
Does he want to?
He loves her. He knows that. Her and Ben, he wants to protect them, make sure they’re safe and, being here, having a home with them is… it’s nice. But marriage would mean more than that… Well, firstly it’d mean a wedding and he’s not sure how he’d explain to Lisa’s friends and family why he hasn’t got a soul on his side of the church. There’s no one to invite anymore anyway. Well, he could try Bobby, but he can barely imagine the gruff old man at an honest to god wedding reception. Other than that there’d be…. Cas?
Dean shakes his head, there’s an idea. Son of a bitch angel probably wouldn’t even bother RSVPing.
And then after?
It’s after that really terrifies him. Proposing to, marrying Lisa would mean he was making a real commitment. Acknowledging that that part of his life - the hunting, his family, Sam, Dad, angels and demons - is really, truly over.
The sun’s creeping over the horizon. He’ll have to get up for work soon. Another day of his normal, happy, apple pie life.
Lisa’s not smiling anymore. She’s too deeply asleep.
He can admit it to himself here, alone, in the early hours of the morning. He loves her. He loves Ben. And a part of him loves this life but… he still can’t acknowledge that it’s his. That it’s going to be his. Forever.
Maybe one day he will. Maybe one day he’ll be ready.
But it’s not today.
“Two attractive, newlyweds. Probably watched Falling Inn Love one too many times. Saw the motel on the internet, fell in love with it, just wanna go out there and live their Fixer Upper dreams. They buy the inn, work hard at fixing it and all goes well until they hire a handsome handyman, Steve, who challenges their already rocky young marriage because Cas was never truly onboard with the motel dream in the first place-”
“Is this a backstory or holiday rom-com.”
“Both.” Charlie grins. “Ooh!” She jumps up to grab a small box out of her bag, “Don’t forget your rings!”
She throws two cheap, silver-plated rings at Dean.
Dean frowns, “You don’t think this is a bit… We could just you know -”
“-I’ve already done your fake papers and backstory so suck it up and go fake marry your boyfriend for the week.”
Dean gives Charlie a glare across the war table. She gives him a shit-eating grin in return.
Dean sighs, there’s no fighting her. “And you’re-”
“The hot, mysterious FBI agent with a dark secret from the big smoke, forced to come to the small country town to investigate the murders.”
“Have you ever considered writing for Mills and Boon?”
“Why did we let you plan the hunt again?”
“Because you love me. Not as much as you love your new husband, but you do love me.”
“I am questioning both of those things right now.”
“Told you the marriage was rocky.”
Dean rolls his eyes and goes for a casual attitude as he slips the rings into his pocket for later. But his heart’s already racing as his brain tries not to overanalyse the implications of acting out Charlie’s melodramatic fantasy.
March 21st 2021
His nametag says Larry. His complexion says he doesn’t get out much. His belly says he drinks too much beer.
“What can I do you for fellas?” he asks as they walk through the door.
Dean shifts in the bulky cardigan Charlie insisted he wear. Larry can probably sense the uncomfortable energy edging off him. Nerves that don’t have any right to be there. It’s just a case after all.
“A single please.” Cas answers.
“Too easy.” Larry smiles. He gives Dean a suspicious look. “So, what brings you two to town?”
Dean tries to slip into his Hallmark-movie cover story, “Well,” he starts with an expression that he hopes comes across as giddy and not manic, “we’re newlyweds. Just got married a couple of months ago, and we’re looking to buy a motel. You know a real fixer upper. And we saw the ad for the motel just outside town and it looked just like what we’ve both been dreaming of, don’t ya think hun?”
“Yes.” Cas nods, awkwardly. Great now they both look like weirdos.
“Moreton River Motel?” Larry’s eyes narrow.
“That’s the one.” Dean smiles, he throws an arm around Cas in what he hopes is a casual, loving way but he overdoes it and half hits Cas on the side of the head. Why hadn’t they decided to go with a less personal cover story? Like business partners? Or very good friends?
Larry leans back in his chair. It creaks ominously, “Look, I don’t want to scare you two off. You know, not to say I wouldn’t want some friendly competition so I’m not saying this because I own the only other motel in town but… you know that place is haunted?”
“Haunted?” Cas says in a completely monotone voice.
“Yeah, they say the last owner killed himself but- not to sound wacko- but he was killed by ghosts! And he wasn’t the only one…”
A manic glint enters Larry’s eyes as he leans forward to tell them of the suicides in Room 4 and the woman who died of fright in Room 12 and the child who drowned in Room 6. How the motel was run into the ground, how the old man kept it until a year ago when he electrocuted himself with a razor. He lets his voice go into full-on spooky-story-on-Halloween-night mode and it’s weirdly soothing. Dean lets his arm actually relax around Cas’s shoulders as the facts of the case wash over him.
They already know all of them of course, read all the accounts of the deaths in the local news and the police files classifying them all as tragic accidents and suicides. It’s sounding like it’s probably just a ghost or potentially a few of them. They’ll be out of here within a week if not sooner.
Dean absentmindedly rubs circles into the fabric of the Cas’s own cardigan. He’s wearing it paired with a polo shirt curtesy of Charlie’s “costume design”. It’s not a good look but as Charlie put it, the goal was for them to look “unintimidating”. Cas is still giving Larry his customary stare which looks like he’s (and up until recently actually was) staring into your very soul, so Dean’s not sure if the polo and cardigan completely offset that.
Larry finally finishes his story, eyebrows raised for their reaction.
“Well,” Dean removes his arm from around Cas, “that does sound scary.”
It’s clearly not quite the response Larry was after. He hands them the keys to their room and he stares at them sceptically as they leave.
It’s all going swimmingly.
“Bronte, the estate agent, has agreed to give us a tour tomorrow morning at 11am.” Cas informs Dean as he hangs up his phone.
“Perfect, that gives Charlie time to talk to the police before we get there and find out if there’s anything more we don’t know.”
“Have you let Sam know we’re here?”
“Sam’s busy with Eileen working on getting the bunker sorted, it’s not like he needs to know where we are at all times.”
Cas gives him a look.
Dean sighs, “I texted him while you were on the phone.”
The bed dips as Cas sits on the edge, he moves and leans back against the headboard. He sinks into the pillows, it’s moments like these where Dean could almost forget he used to be an angel. All of that stiffness is gone and now he’s just a guy in a dopey looking cardigan fiddling with his wedding ring-
The reminder sends a bolt of nausea? -jealousy? -fear? -something, through Dean’s stomach. That’s right, pretending to be married.
Cas had been particularly blasé when Dean had unceremoniously chucked the ring at him and told him Charlie’s backstory. Dean’d tried to keep it light, treat it like a joke to not betray the way his own heart was doing somersaults at the concept of pretending to be married to Cas.
Cas for his part had just nodded, agreed to the plan and slipped the ring on like it was no big deal.
It’s not like he has a problem pretending to be a couple. They are a couple. Have been since Cas came home. Since Dean got his head out of his ass and actually told Cas that he felt that way too. No, Dean is quite happy being a couple. Enthusiastic even, it’s just…
“I don’t think I can wear this very long. It’s staining my finger.” Cas’s voice cuts through Dean’s ruminations.
Dean jerks his head up as Cas takes the ring off his finger and places it on the bed stand. A green stain encircling his ring finger.
“Well- yeah I think Charlie got them really cheap so… I mean we only have to wear them in front of Larry and the real estate agent.” Dean replies as he takes his own ring off and throws it on the table by his side of the bed.
Cas is giving him one of his soul-searching stares.
“You seem troubled.”
“No. I’m fine.”
“You say that most often when you are troubled.”
Dean shrugs and shifts closer to Cas, “Why would I be troubled? The world’s not ending, we get to go house hunting for haunted motels tomorrow and Charlie’s promised to shout lunch. Things are looking good to me.”
Cas tilts his head, unconvinced.
Dean decides to shut up his scrutiny with a kiss. It seems to work.
Thankfully, it also seems to shut up the voice in Dean’s head that’s still thinking about those rings and why they freak him out so much.
March 22nd 2021
“Well, this place is definitely haunted.”
Dean puts the EMF meter back in his pocket.
“More than one ghost then?”
“I’m thinking given the EMF and the number of deaths, we’re looking at several.”
“In that case we call Charlie, get a full list of probable suspects and try and hit all the graves in one night?”
Dean hums in agreement as he checks out the room’s adjoining bathroom. It needs an update but it’s a good layout.
For a motel that’s been out of commission the last few years, it’s not really in that bad a shape. The view out the window is kind of beautiful, a couple of miles off the interstate, hidden amongst the forest and mountains. For a roadside motel it’s strangely peaceful. Much nicer than that other place we’re staying, Dean thinks to himself.
“How you two going?” Bronte the Real Estate agent steps back into the room, smile and thick makeup plastered over her bone-deep exhaustion.
“Really good thanks.” Dean replies.
“Did you have any other questions? About the building? About the business?”
“No, I think we’re gonna go home and think about it.” Cas says.
“The building out the back, did that use to be a laundromat?” Dean asks before he realises he’s even thinking about it.
“Uh, yeah, I think so.” Bronte looks through her notes, “I don’t think it has any machines anymore though. So it would need to be replaced.”
“Ok… And the water system is still working?”
“Oh yes, the previous owner also installed rain tanks so you’ve got your own water supply, but I think he mostly used that for the house and the pool.”
Cas is giving him a strange look. Bronte’s looking hopeful. Fourteen months is a long time to be trying to sell a dilapidated and extremely haunted motel.
“We’ll come find you if we have any other questions.” Cas says firmly.
“Ok, I’ll just be down by the reception.” Bronte heads back outside.
Dean looks over to Cas, “What was that about?”
“We’re not actually interested in buying the motel.” He states, matter of fact as always.
“I know.” Dean replies back, a little snappy.
“You’re not… actually interested in buying the motel?”
“No, I was just getting into character.” He takes a seat on the old lumpy mattress. All the mattresses would need replacing but the bedframes are solid wood. With a sand and a polish they’d come up good. Not that it mattered, they aren’t…
The wallpaper’s a faded seventies print and the room smells like stale cigarettes and coffee and liminal spaces.
“Is it weird that I find shitty motels kind of homey?”
“Dean… You have a home. We have a home.” Cas pauses, “Although lately you’ve seemed less interested in being there.”
Dean shrugs, “I don’t know man, it’s just, with Sam’s whole hunting headquarters thing there’s always people around. And that’s not- that’s a good thing I mean that’s what the bunker’s for but…”
“It doesn’t make it feel like a home.”
“Something like that.”
“You do realise if you bought a motel there’d be people coming and going all the time. That is the point of a motel.”
Dean freezes, he wasn’t thinking of actually buying the place. He hadn’t said that. Had he?
“That’s different though.” He starts, and then continues while he’s at it because apparently he is thinking about it, “And this place has its own house attached. Maybe it could be good for Sam’s little thing too. I mean a place for hunters to stay without worrying that housekeeping’s going to find their weird shit and think they’re part of some cult or a serial killer or whatever.”
Cas is sitting on the bed opposite him, head tilted.
“Besides,” Dean carries on while he still has the courage, “this place has been on the market over a year. It’s haunted as hell, no one’s going to want to buy it and that agent’s absolutely desperate to sell.”
“Are you saying we shouldn’t get rid of the ghosts to continue to drive the price down for our own benefit?”
“Look man, there’s gotta be some perks to being a hunter. And if being able to buy cheap haunted real estate is one of them…”
Cas laughs softly, and Dean can’t help but smile with him.
“Okay.” Cas says.
“We should buy it.”
Dean blinks, “Sorry?”
“Well, we don’t have any other real plans. And I think it would be interesting to learn how to run a business and you don’t want to keep hunting forever.”
“I didn’t say that.”
“You were looking at civilian job applications last week.”
“Yeah but… I’m sorry are you seriously saying we should buy a fixer upper motel?”
“Like you said, we could turn it into a resource for hunters. And a home for us that’s not the middle of Sam and Eileen’s hunting operation.”
Dean’s mouth goes dry as his mind goes into overdrive. “A home for us” Cas really has a tendency to drop massive statements into casual conversations.
“Okay yeah,” Dean agrees.
Oh god we’re buying a motel.
Dean stands up just as the temperature of the room plummets. The sound of a scream echoes from the bathroom.
Dean sighs, “Well, we should probably let Bronte know the good news before Casper murders us.”
March 29th 2021
“You bought the motel?”
“What about the ghosts?”
“Well, they’re gone… now.”
Sam stares at his brother in exasperation.
“You used a haunting to get a hold of cheap real estate?”
“I don’t know why more hunters don’t do it.” Dean throws his feet up on the war table, Sam puts his head in his hands. At the other end of the table Eileen and Charlie are trying not to laugh.
“I can’t believe you and Cas are retiring to run a charming B&B in the woods.” Charlie teases, “That’s is quite possibly the gayest thing you could do.”
Dean grimaces a little, “It’s not a B&B, it’s a motel. And we’re not really retiring. It’ll be a pit stop for hunters. Somewhere they know they can go to rest up.”
“Whatever you need to tell yourself.”
Sam is shaking his head at Dean.
“Nothing,” Sam insists, “it’s just… this is not how I saw our lives going.”
No, Dean has to agree. It is not.
April 18th 2021
There’s a polite, but insistent, knocking at the door.
Dean places his coffee on the bench and walks over to open it. They’re not expecting visitors. Bronte the real estate agent had visited the day before to see how they’d gone moving in and to announce her imminent retirement to the Bahamas. But apart from her no one else has been very keen to visit them unannounced.
On the porch stands Larry, a Tupperware container in one hand, looking around hesitantly as if afraid one of the ghosts might still be lurking waiting to kill him.
“Hello?” Dean says.
“I just wanted to say welcome to the neighbourhood.” Larry puts on his friendliest smile but it doesn’t quite cover up his obvious fear of the place, “As a neighbourly thing, not a professional rivals thing.”
Larry holds out the box of cookies in his hands, “My fiancée made these for you and your husband as a welcome gift. Speaking of, where is your husband?”
Dean freezes. Oh fuck.
They hadn’t gone on with the newlyweds story. Bronte had been so stressed about selling the place that she didn’t care if they were a respectable married couple or three rats in a trenchcoat who wanted to turn the place into a front for the Macedonian mafia. And besides her, they’d barely spoken properly to anyone in town since moving in. Charlie had been bummed her elaborate backstories had gone to waste but it had been such a simple hunt in the end…
Dean’s panic must have shown because Larry’s got an apologetic look on his face, “Oh I’m… I’m so sorry. Did- Are you two no longer together?” He winces at his own directness.
Dean shakes himself, “What yeah, no yeah absolutely.”
His brain races for a way to explain how they’re together but absolutely not married.
“I’m so sorry, you’re just not wearing your wedding ring and I thought-” Larry continues.
“Oh um, no I was just doing some renovations so I… took it off.”
Larry nods, “Oh, ok well anyway.” he holds out the box again and ploughs on and over that little speedbump, “Here are some cookies. Also, there’s a community barbecue happening this Saturday in the town green. You and your husband should come. Be a good opportunity to meet the rest of the town. I’ve been telling everyone about you and I don’t know if you’re into old films but they do showings every month-”
“-That sounds really nice Larry. I uh, gotta go though. Thanks for the cookies.”
“Oh, ok bye-”
Dean shuts the door with a bang cutting Larry off mid farewell.
He takes a few steps back, stands in the middle of his new kitchen. His new kitchen which he owns with his husband. Husband. Shit. Well, he clearly hadn’t thought this whole make-up-a-backstory-to-kill-ghosts-then-accidentally-fall-in-love-with-the-haunted-motel-and-buy-it-to-start-a-new-life-with-Cas thing through. They’d only personally told Larry though? Maybe they could just gaslight him a little? Claim they’d never pretended to be married in the first place.
He can hear Cas coming down the stairs. Cas who even now doesn’t realise that he is unofficially fake-married for life. It won’t bother Cas though. Dean knows that. It’ll just be another human thing that Cas is not that upset by. Dean, on the other hand, is upset by all manner of human things.
“Who was that?”
“No-one.” Dean lies.
“I mean, it was Larry. He brought us cookies. Wanted to welcome us into the neighbourhood.”
“Oh, that was nice of him.” Cas crosses over to grab the cookies out of Dean’s hand so he can inspect them.
Why is Dean freaking out? Isn’t he past the freaking out stage? He’s accepted, after several months and a few minor breakdowns, that this is a pretty permanent thing. He wants Cas here, Cas here as a romantic partner in a permanent kind of public way. That’s basically being married. Larry and the rest of this town don’t even know them. What does it matter what they think? It’s fine. It’s cool. It’s-
“Are you ok?”
“Yeah.” Dean shrugs but it comes out more like a twitch. He’s not convincing anyone.
“You look like you’re freaking out.”
Cas continues to stare at him. Staring again in that quiet, non-judgemental, annoyingly patient way he does while he’s waiting for Dean to sort himself out and manage to put a whole sentence together.
“Larry thinks we’re married.”
“We did tell him we were.”
“And he’s told the whole town.”
“So according to everyone we are now going to know who doesn’t already know us… we’re married.”
Cas takes a seat at the kitchen bench.
“I mean, not that that’s a problem. I don’t- I don’t have a problem with people thinking we’re married I just…”
Dean trails off, he’s not sure where he’s going with this. Cas opens Larry’s cookie box and offers him one.
He takes it, it’s a good cookie. Cas agrees with him, they’ll have to get the recipe off Larry’s fiancée.
It’s all fine.
April – September 2021
They don’t really talk about it after that. They do their own thing, concentrate on getting the motel up and running and continue telling the people in town their fake backstory while Sam and Eileen give them more and more ridiculous looks.
They don’t wear the rings if they’re alone. Mostly because the cheap nickel stains Cas’s finger after a few hours and it still feels like a costume. Just another cover story like the FBI badges that have sat unused in the Impala’s glovebox for months now.
Six months in the FBI badges do get a use. On a hunt in Iowa with Sam – a group of fairies messing with some local kids. It’s a clean hunt and they decide to stay the extra night rather than legging it straight back to their respective homes for the sake of nostalgia or something. Sam elects to take a nap before dinner (God when did they actually get old?) and Dean finds himself in a local jewellery shop buying two plain bands of real silver.
They’re nothing fancy but they’re expensive enough that they shouldn’t stain Cas’s skin even if he has to wear it for an extended period. Still, they’re a proper commitment.
He doesn’t say anything much when he brings them home. Cas doesn’t either but he wears the ring more often now. Dean does too, even when they’re not in public. Or even when it’s around Sam or Charlie or the rest of their family.
And he doesn’t think too much about it - because if he does it makes him a little sweaty and his thoughts tend to spiral - but it’s nice to have a constant reminder that somehow he’s ended up loved, even if he put the ring on his own finger both times.
And Cas. Cas, who is sat struggling with an Allen key as he puts together the furniture for one of the motel rooms. They haven’t been anywhere today and they’re not going anywhere but he’s wearing his ring on his fourth finger like he does almost every day now.
It’s a small gesture, an acknowledgement of this fake little marriage of theirs. But there’s something about it being fake that’s currently making Dean feel even warmer than he ever thought he could. Because it’s not real, there were no vows or promises. Every day it’s a choice and every day Cas seems to wake up and make that choice and it’s still kind of hard to believe but it’s comforting to see the proof there on his finger.
February – March 2022
It takes almost a year to get the motel up and operating. The first weeks pass by in a blur and at least five small things seem to go wrong for every big thing that goes right. It’s stressful and there’s a few moments where Dean finds himself stopping and wondering what the hell he was thinking giving up hunting and a life he understands to pursue owning a fucking business. But then a hunter named Anya turns up, so grateful to find somewhere to break a curse and clean her guns without being questioned. Then the old couple on their road trip across America who grill Cas on every recommendation he has for places to see. Soon there’s a young family whose kids adore Miracle and before they leave the little boy gives Dean a crudely drawn artwork of Miracle chasing a squirrel and it was sweet and unprompted and the mother wishes him and his “husband” well before they leave. These are human connections Dean hasn’t really ever experienced and this life is nice in a way life never was before.
They celebrate the end of their first month with a night off, leaving the motel in the mostly trustworthy hands of Charlie. They go out for dinner and Dean has thoughts of hitting a bar afterwards but by the time it reaches 9pm he pretty much just wants to go home. He’s washing his hands in the bathroom when it hits him that it’s been a year to the day since Charlie threw two cheap rings at him in the bunker and told him he was married.
He can see Cas sitting across the diner in their booth because he’s still not fancy enough to go to a proper restaurant even for what is apparently kind of their wedding anniversary.
He lets it sit for a moment in a way he rarely does. Larry, their ever-friendly competition and also apparently just their friend, had come around to congratulate them on the first month earlier that day. He’d also been there to deliver an invitation to his own wedding. An invitation addressed to a Cas and Dean Campbell. Two people who don’t actually exist but are feeling more like real people every day.
And he’s happy.
He has a home and a legitimate job and is taking his partner out for anniversary dinners and getting invited to other people’s weddings and local barbecues. It’s still not a normal, apple pie life by far, and he’s glad for that too. Because that’s part of him and he doesn’t want to lose that. If anything, he wants to make it permanent, wants to really build up their storage of silver bullets and holy oil and whatever else travelling hunters might need. Make a permanent spot on the map. A place that might have been a lifeline to his own Dad back in the day. Something to be proud of.
There’s a lot of things he wants to make permanent. Lots of things he never thought he’d get a chance to make permanent. But he’s glad he’s getting that chance. That daily chance to keep making these commitments.
Larry gets married on a beautiful summer day. His fiancée, and now wife, Jemima, looks sweet and beautiful in her princess-style dress. It’s very small town, very middle-class and very out of Dean’s comfort zone.
He watches as the happy couple exchange their vows and whilst it’s very sweet he still can’t imagine the idea of himself up there. Even opposite Cas. It’s too performative, too rehearsed and there’s nothing he can imagine he could ever say in front all their friends and family that could ever properly encompass the way he feels about the man sitting next to him.
Cas takes Dean’s hand in his and Dean’s heart swells. This, however, is perfect.
“So, where did you two get married?”
“Wyoming, up in the mountains, at a little wood cabin.” Dean responds.
“We had a grizzly bear crash the reception.” Cas adds.
“My little brother tried to fight it off.”
“Like Archie from Riverdale.” Cas elaborates.
Gretel, the petite town florist, nods seriously, eyes wide, “Jinkies that’s intense.”
“It was,” Cas agrees, “but it was a very beautiful day.”
Dean takes another sip of the punch. Whatever Larry’s mum’s recipe is he needs to get it off her. This stuff is delicious. Not as nice as a good beer but…
“Do you have any photos?” Gretel ventures.
“Huh?” Dean asks through his punch.
“Of the wedding?”
Dean looks at Cas. Cas looks at Dean.
“Well you see…” Dean begins, “bit of a crazy story there too, my little brother was in charge of the photos, and after the bear…”
Dean proceeds to lead Gretel through a long-winded story that probably doesn’t leave Sam in a very good light. It’s pretty unbelievable but then again, it’s still more believable than the real story of how they ended up here.
“We really need to get our facts straight on that one.” Cas says after Gretel leaves to congratulate Larry and Jemima.
Dean nods, “Yeah,, I’m pretty sure last week I told Martin we got married in Texas and you fell off a horse.”
“I wouldn’t fall off a horse.” Cas pouts. “I’m very good at riding horses.”
“Have you ever ridden a horse?”
Cas gives him one of his looks. It doesn’t answer the question.
Dean shakes his head with a laugh and downs the last of the punch, “I’m gonna get more punch.” He declares.
More punch was a mistake. Or maybe not. Dean’s feeling great. He also needs to vomit. But that’s just part of feeling great. Viva la vie as the Roman’s say or something like that.
It has been way too long since he got properly smashed. And that’s a good thing. a voice that sounds a bit like Sam’s says, Alcohol dependency is not a good thing.
“Shuddup Sam,” he mumbles into his seat.
Cas chucks him an amused look from the driver’s side.
“Maybe you shouldn’t have taken Gretel on in a drinking competition.”
“Mrsuas slefks.” Dean replies.
The passing streetlights throw dancing shadows across Cas’s face as he drives. Light catching in his eyes or highlighting the shape of his cheekbones. Dean’s caught in a realisation that it’s the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen. He wonders if this is how Larry felt seeing Jemima walk up that aisle today.
No, he thinks, that wouldn’t even compare to the warmth and love he feels blossoming in his chest. He’s happy for them but it was never the same. It was never improbable- never impossible for them. They never lost everything then discovered the true happiness in getting a second chance.
No, Dean’s lucky in ways no other human will ever understand. He thinks back to all his years alone. All his years with Sam. All his years dancing around the things he felt around Cas. He’s the luckiest bastard alive.
“Do you remember when you met me?”
Cas’s eyes don’t leave the road, “Yes.” He says. Of course I do.
Dean tries to straighten himself up in his seat. This is important but he’s finding it a little difficult to fully control his limbs. “You said… you said that good things do happen.” He leans over to the driver’s seat and points seriously so Cas will know this is important, “You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me.” He pauses, “And I’m so glad I married you.”
Cas’s eyes don’t leave the road. “You never actually married me.”
Dean shakes his head. He needs Cas to pull over. This is important he needs Cas to understand. To look at him.
He moves over in the seat and tells Cas as much.
They pull onto the side of the road. Cas turns the car off and looks at him. Something almost akin to fear in his eyes.
Dean takes Cas’s hands in his, “Cas,” he whispers, “I did marry you. I am marrying you. Every day when I wake up- when we wake up and we do our fake little marriage thing that’s us getting married for real. I marry you every day in a million tiny ways and I’ll marry you in a million more. And I don’t need to vow that in front of all our friends and family to keep good on that promise.”
Dean can feel Cas stiffen in his hands. They’ve been doing this for a year but they have a very long track record of leaving important things unspoken.
“Unless you wanna…”
Cas shakes his head, “I just want this.”
Cas remembers how to breathe, and his hands grip tight onto Dean’s.
“I love you.”
“I love you too.”
Cas leans in and kisses Dean chastely on the lips. Like he might have if they ever had had a wedding. It’s sweet and it’s perfect and it’s nothing like he imagined getting married would be like but he’s looking forward to repeating it every day for the rest of his life.
Cas goes to deepen the kiss and Dean pulls away.
“Sorry, I think– I think the punch was a bad idea.”
“So was that-”
“-No. No, I meant that. Remind me to repeat that in the- in the morning.” The world sways a little and it’s not from being in love. “Or not the morning, maybe like next week.”
Cas bats him softly on the shoulder and pushes him back over the other side of the car.
“Just don’t vomit on me or I’ll divorce you.”
“No you won’t.” Dean mumbles. And he knows it’s true. From the smile Cas has on his face and from everything they’ve been through. Cas isn’t going anywhere and they don’t need a piece of paper to tell them that.
Life has found a rhythm. A proper rhythm. There are still good days and bad days, but for the most part there’s just normal days.
Now there’s an established garden and a growing business. There’s always a hunter or two staying with them but there’s also families, backpackers and blow ins with nowhere else to go. The fullness of human life that inhabits these kinds of places and Dean is glad to have them here.
There’s a night, and it’s after a good day. Not because anything incredible happened but just because it’s spring and the sun was particularly warm and the clouds particularly beautiful and Dean’s indulged in a few beers and Cas is sitting on the couch making inane comments at whatever show he’s watching.
Dean isn’t really listening to him as he cleans his guns on the coffee table. His back still hurts a little from trying to get blood out of the carpet in room 3 after those vamps had decided to try and attack the young woman staying in there. Turns out they hadn’t known exactly whose motel they’d snuck into until their heads were hitting the carpet. The woman had left pretty quickly after that and Dean was once again feeling grateful they’d decided to go with dark carpets in all the rooms. Although god forbid anyone ever brought a blacklight here.
Cas’s show ends and he hands the remote over to Dean.
“I’m going to bed.” He announces.
“Ok, I’ll be there in a bit.”
Cas hums and leans down to press a quick kiss to the side of Dean’s head and then he’s gone.
He should probably check the boundary sigils tomorrow he thinks to himself as he reassembles his rifle, deftly placing the parts back together as his Dad taught him so long ago. His mind wanders back to his father as it does sometimes. He wonders what John Winchester would think of him if he could see him now. John had once told him that all he’d wanted was for Dean to have a home, to have a family, to be able to settle down and live the normal life John and Mary had lost.
When he was little, and for a good time after that, he’d dreamt of that too. The mythic John and Mary’s white picket fence, American Dream, marriage and the nice house in the suburbs. He has enough experience and history now to know it was never quite as perfect as John had tried to convince himself. Still, marriage had been something to aspire to. Marriage meant you’d done life the good and proper way, you’d conquered all your demons -it was the happily ever after with everyone in their proper place.
He knows that this isn’t quite what John had in mind for his happily ever after. He’s not even sure if it really is that. Life is too messy for something as simple as a ‘happily ever after’.
But he is happy.
And he has his own normality and sometimes that includes killing vampires in room 3 and having the Queen of Hell show up unannounced for lunch with him and his brother but it also involves being invited to town barbecues and having inane conversations with the guy they buy their groceries from. It’s the apple pie life in a way that would never be the apple pie life John imagined for him.
And it’s damn good.
He finishes and puts the guns back away. Turns the television off and makes sure the devil’s trap at the front door is covered by the mat, the lights are switched off and the doors are locked.
Cas is already asleep by the time he’s finished brushing his teeth and made it to their bed.
He places the silver ring on the nightstand as he does every night and slips under the covers beside his sleeping husband.
“Hey Cas,” he says even as he knows he can’t hear him, “I think I’m gonna marry you tomorrow.”
Cas doesn’t respond but he doesn’t have to. Dean already knows it’s a yes.
in defense of chapter 139 (spoilers!)
it's still hard for me to get my thoughts in order so this might be a little disjointed but:
the (seemingly) extremely unpopular opinion: i liked it. a lot.
first let me go over the things i'm !!!! about that don't need further discussion: EXTRA FUZZY CONNIE!!!! jean and connie live!!! jean and connie see sasha and get some closure!!!! lmao this is just the jean and connie show isn't it
okay next. did the chapter feel a little rushed? yes, of course. is there stuff i wish was elaborated on? yeah, no shit. i wanted to see how the battle with hallu-chan ended. i wanted to see historia's side of the story. i wanted to see ymir's side of the story. if yams ever decides to come out with a series of epilogues or something that go more in depth, i would 100% support that. i want more. however, i'm still happy with this chapter because even though it didn't answer all of my questions, it was thematically consistent with the rest of the work. the ending made sense with where the entire manga has been building up to. it wasn't some kind of ass pull that came out of nowhere.
on ymir... i'm a little conflicted on how her story ended. i interpreted her backstory like this: she was in "love" with fritz the only way she knew how to be. fritz slaughtered and enslaved ymir's people, and yet he gave her attention, favor (i'm assuming), and sex (which we know to be rape, but she probably did not). this of course isn't actually love, but to an orphan with quite literally nothing else and no one to teach her differently, it must be love, right? it's got all the right ingredients (but we know it has none of the necessary dynamic).
so with all of that, ymir had no concept of what love actually is until mikasa came along. mikasa, who, much like ymir, loved someone so much that she dedicated her whole life to him. who would willingly lay down her life for him, just as ymir did for fritz. they're incredibly alike wrt the people they love, but with this major difference: mikasa is able to put herself and the world first, even if it means killing eren, while ymir has chained herself, intentionally or not, to fritz for 2000 years. mikasa ends up being the real inspiration for ymir - that's why we saw her smiling at the end of 138, because she sees the real, true love between eren and mikasa, but mikasa is still free, so ymir can free herself too.
actually, now that i've typed all that out, the more i realize that i like it, i just wish we saw it, rather than me interpreting a whole character based on a handful of panels.
now i guess i'll talk about reiner and levi? first off, i'm so so so happy that they both survived. levi was arguably the most damaged character through the whole series, and reiner was actively suicidal - i know a lot of people thought they were going to die as the end to their character arcs, but i'm so glad they didn't. i'm very happy that they both get the chance to rest and heal from everything that happened. reiner gets the chance to figure out what he wants to do with his relationship with his mother (and he's still simping for historia alskdfjasld), levi can live quietly (with the kids!!!!!!). they've both found something new to live for and i love it
also,,, gabi and falco are so cute i love them so much (wish udo and zofia were here too tho,,,)
okay. to the meat of the chapter.
i can't fit all of my thoughts on eren here, i'd have to write a whole essay on him, but i will say a little. i didn't see this chapter as a character assassination at all - i saw it as us finally seeing what was under the hard, cold mask he's been wearing since the time skip. because like, we know eren. at his core, he's the same emotional person he's always been - more grown up for sure, and more of an edgelord, but still him? and he must have been in constant pain, seeing all of time all the time... my poor boy. and even knowing that he has become an irredeemable monster, he still wants to live with mikasa and his friends, winning their freedom at the cost of his own... that's tragic, man. that shit hurted.
"thank you for becoming a mass murderer for us" excuse me??? armin??? sir hello?? is this allowed hello??? armin what the fuck?
also,,, did eren reincarnate as a bird? is that what that was implying? what was up with the birds through the story then?
eren and armin finally seeing the world together... i am in Pain
hooooooly shit, that dina reveal was not at all what i expected out of this chapter. like i knew the theory was out there, but i didn't expect it to be confirmed at all? i've seen the interpretation that eren just directed her into shiganshina, or that he directed her straight to carla, and tbh i like the second one more. it's darker and more messed up and i just think it's neat. ymmv, though.
i don't know how anyone thinks this is a happy ending, rather than bittersweet or outright tragic. like sure, our favorite characters are alive (except the obvious), but the world is still massively fucked and will be for the foreseeable future. 80% of humanity is dead, there's probably even more wildlife gone, and most of nature has been absolutely flattened. ecologically speaking, eren might have pushed this world into a mass extinction. additionally, removing titan powers from the world wasn't a magic ticket to peace - all it did was level the playing field between countries, and we can see that where the alliance becomes ambassadors and it says in the narration "this fight won't end until either the eldians or the rest of the world is wiped out". the equivalent to this would be to magically remove all nukes from existing and stop them from being made in our world - would it magically bring peace? no. of course not. would it put countries on a slightly more equal footing? perhaps.
basically, what i'm trying to say is that the fight hasn't ended, it's only been brought down to a human v human level, rather than human v titan v technology. what the implications of that for the world are, i don't know, and i wish yams had elaborated on that a little.
what eren did, then, with the rumbling, was give back the world's choice. there's no more titan threat, no more of his friends being forced to fight and die in 13 years, no more babies born with their choice to fight already stolen from them. he gave them freedom by eliminating the titans - exactly what he said he was going to do.
also on that note, what is up with the jaegerists? it seems like in and before the rumbling, all the extremists died out? maybe? like floch and his ilk, and that's why they aren't rushing to massacre the rest of the world, but who really knows... i want more post-rumbling worldbuilding...
finally (i think), that brings me to mikasa. i'm... not mad about the way we see her story end, tbh. i've seen people saying she just stays on paradis forever with eren, alone and practically in exile, but i don't think that's it? like we only see the gang 3 years in the future. mikasa loved eren so much, she dedicated her life to him from the time they were 9, and in the end he died because she killed him. let that sink in, y'know? the love of her life didn't just die, she killed him herself. if it were me, it would take me a lot longer than just 3 years to heal from that. and i think that's what we see her doing there at the end - resting and healing from undoubtedly some of the worst moments of her life. healing from grief isn't a quick or linear process; you don't just get over something like that. i know the saying goes "time heals all wounds" but sometimes it doesn't.
if we saw her maybe 10 years down the line, it might be a different story. maybe she would be in a much better place, with her own new family and goals. maybe she would be worse off, still missing eren and stuck in the past. i don't think that would be the case, though who knows? but for 3 years in the future, i think chilling on paradis with the memory of eren was the right place to leave her.
here's what i like to think happens in the future (and this is why i love semi-open endings, because some things are concrete but there's so much left open to interpretation): over the years mikasa heals, as does the world. she goes traveling the world with armin, and sees the rest of her friends often. she and levi are close - you can often find them having tea together. on occasion, she returns to paradis to share stories of her adventures with eren('s grave). in the end, she lives according to her definition of happiness, whatever that may be now, and though she never forgets eren, she keeps moving forward, and much like reiner and levi, finds a new purpose in life.
annnddd... that's all. unless i come back to add something i forgot about later, but we'll see if that happens.
Love Is You - chapter 2
a/n: I made some new additions to the chapter while reading it. Wattpad, AO3 and Tumblr versions will be all different than each other😅 Whenever i read it before posting it on somewhere, i cannot stop myself and add new stuffs…
Ps: Severus is making an appearance in this chapter and we will see him more and more with each chapter😏
Also i am linking Sirius x Scar relationship post here, you can learn about their backstory😌
Scarlett has spent the night at her own house, of course she didn’t want to go back to their family house and even how much she needed a company tonight, she couldn’t go to her parents either since she didn’t know how to tell them what happened tonight.. Scarlett couldn't sleep even for a second; the moment she closed her eyes the bedroom scene appeared in her mind non-stop. So she decided to go to work early, there was no point in trying to sleep. She fixed herself as much as possible and headed to the Ministry of Magic. She went to the Minister of Magic's room directly, as the deputy minister she had to acquaint him about the conferences in Paris.
"Good morning sir."
"Good morning Scarlett. I wasn't expecting you that early. Have a seat please."
The Minister Dorian Blackwood poured some tea for themselves and opened a biscuit jar while she was sitting. They talked about Paris conferences for almost half an hour. The Minister has noticed that something was off with Scarlett since he knew her since she was little. But he decided to stay silent, if she wanted to talk she would.
"Before i leave, i need to tell you one more thing Dorian."
"Sure, i am listening."
Scarlett was scratching her hands and biting down on her lip. She was having second thoughts but she believed she had to do that. "I…I want to resign..."
Dorian raised his eyebrows in surprise, that was something he wasn’t expecting at all. "May i ask why? Because i see you as the next minister and i know you want that too, Scarlett. That was our plan."
"I do, i still do want that but i just can't work here anymore." She took a deep breathe, she continued to talk but her voice was shaking. "I don't know how to explain this at all but yesterday i found out something including a third party and i and Sirius are no longer in good terms. I don't want to come across with someone here and that someone is not Sirius..." Couple of tears escaped and ran down on her cheeks.
"Oh my dear girl...” Dorian walked up to her and rubbed her back to ease her pain a bit. Scarlett was like a daughter to him and he cared about her dearly. “I guess i understand the situation... but i don't want you to resign. Maybe we can do something else."
"What is that?" Scarlett looked at him questioningly.
"I am guessing that someone is not as important as you here so...I can do it right now."
She shook her head. "No not fire her, that won't be fair. It is my personal problem, Dorian."
"Okay whatever you want but just let me know if you change your mind, i can do anything for my lovely deputy minister. But i really want you to stay Scarlett, i don’t think you thought about that decision very clearly."
"I thank you for your kindness and for everything Dory but i don't think i will be in a good state of mind for a while. I don't even want to stay in London. Please accept my resign." Scarlett was almost begging at this point. The minister thought for a while then nodded slowly.
"I can't force you Scarlett, it is your decision in the end. But i am really upset about it, i will miss my partner in crime” Dorian gave her a sad smile. “Give me a week to arrange some stuff then you can fully resign. And you don’t have to come here this week, i will take care of it myself and promise me you will take care of yourself."
She nodded. "Thank you for your understanding, i am not happy about it either but that will be the best for everyone i guess... I cannot promise but i will try..."
Then she left the room before crying her eyes out, this was way harder than she thought. Then she went to the law department to arrange the divorce papers, this was even harder than the resign talk for her. It was hell of a day and she just wanted it to finish already. After the work, she went to their house to get some of her stuff since she didn’t have much in her house because it hasn’t been used for over 20 years. Unfortunately for Scarlett, Sirius has left the work early and he was at home. When he heard the door, he rushed to the doorway it had to be Scarlett.
"I knew you will be back Scarlett!" Sirius cheered with happiness, though he was looking rough. Apparently he didn’t have good night either.
"I didn't come here to stay, i will take some clothes then leave. I will be moving out as soon as possible." Scarlett said sternly without looking at him.
Before he could say anything else, she started to go upstairs where their bedroom was. Sirius followed her immediately like a puppy. She didn't want to enter the room after what she has seen yesterday but she had to, so she took a deep breath and started to pack a bag, avoiding looking at their bed.
"Scar, baby, we can talk and solve this, please."
She let out a laugh angrily. "We can solve it huh? You cheated on me right here, in OUR bed and now you are waiting for me to forget everything!? You have no idea how hard it is for me to be in this room right now. We are done, understand!? You will get the divorce papers in couple of days."
She took her suitcase and got out of the room as fast as possible. "I will take the rest of my stuff later."
"Scarlett..." he called out her name and held her hand before she could walk out the outside door.
She stood there for a second then turned to look at him for the first time today. The tears were collected in his moon coloured eyes, ah how much she loved his eyes. She has never seen him looking so sad, he was always the cheerful one with a grin on his lips. Seeing him like this gave her pain, she was very angry with him but the love she had for him wouldn’t disappear in a day. Then without a second thought she pressed her lips against his softly. It was a quick kiss, but it was full of mixed emotions. Then she pulled away and mumbled a "Goodbye." before she apparated and left Sirius there crying silently.
2 days have passed since Scarlett moved out and still she haven't talked to her kids or her parents about what's going on between her and Sirius. The twins were 21 years old so they could understand the situation, but she still didn't know how to tell them about it at all like their marriage was going great and in one night everything went upside down. Leonidas was working in New York and she didn't want to tell him through a letter, this would leave him with so many questions. He would probably come to London for Christmas, so Scarlett decided to wait till then. But Carina was working at Hogwarts and Scarlett got ready to go there, she didn’t want to lie to Carina through letters acting all was well. 2 hours later Scarlett was wandering around the castle, she hasn’t been there since she graduated. She didn't know where Carina's room was exactly, so she decided to go to the potions classroom since Carina was Professor Snape's assistant. She wasn’t ready to enter that class at all and that was why she avoided coming to Hogwarts for years but right now this was such a small problem beside the other things. Scarlett knocked on the class's door and heard the deep voice she knew very well saying "Come in." Severus Snape was ready to scold the person who interrupted their study but when he saw who it was, he stood there in shock, he couldn’t say a single word.
"Mum!?" Carina asked in surprise, she wasn’t expecting her at all.
"May i talk to my daughter privately, it is important." Scarlett requested but she was not looking at him directly.
Severus didn’t talk for couple of seconds then nodded lightly. "Yes. i will finish rest of the potion by myself Carina, you can leave."
Carina nodded and rushed to her mum. "Is everything okay mum?" She asked while they were leaving the class. Carina noticed she wasn’t looking any good, she wasn’t even wearing her signature red lipstick that she always do and that was concerning.
Carina escorted her to her chambers but she has started to panic, her mum’s silence wasn’t helping the situation at all.
"Mum could you please tell me what happened? Are my grandparents okay?"
"They are fine." Scarlett sat on the bed and motioned Carina to sit next to her. Scarlett's eyes have already filled with tears.
"Mummy? Are you alright?" Carina held her hand softy.
Scarlett shook her head as no, she was squeezing Carina’s hand to gain some power. "Carina, i and your dad... are having a divorce..." end of the sentence she was crying her eyes out.
"W-WHAT!? What happened mum!? I saw you two like 10 days ago and you were totally fine. What's that now?" She was in pure shock and couldn’t know how to act.
"We were... we were good at least that's what i thought... But apparently, we weren't because when i turned back from Paris, i found him..." she started to sob uncontrollably at this point, saying it out loud made it worse for her. "cheating..."
"Did you say cheating!? Daddy was cheating!?" This sentence was something that Carina has never imagined hearing in her life.
Scarlett just nodded; she was unable to talk.
Carina hugged her mum tightly "Shhh mummy, everything will be fine, we will get through it..."
She was trying to calm her mum down, but she was devastated herself too. Carina has always wanted a relationship like her parents had. They were the most in love couple she has ever seen in her life. But she just heard that her dad has cheated on her mum after all those years even they weren’t having any problems. Carina had no idea what to expect for the near future right now but she knew that she will be her mum’s side no matter what.
@snapefiction @lizlil @elizabeth-baelish @misselsbells06 @mais-e @lunnybunny12 @anfre109 @entirelymesmerising @wolvesofwinter13
@mrssnivellussnape i am tagging you too since you seemed interested but i can remove you if you’d like 😊
If you wanna be on my taglist, let me know!
Hyello, okay so. I don't have the emotional energy to take in and discuss everything in that chapter so imma just gush over the info cause I am a ✨whore✨ for world building.
So obviously MOC SPOILER
hi bestie HELLO guess WHO!!! finally ANSWering!!! altho im gonna answer separately and space everything out all Neatly bc im all over the place so strap IN we’re going on an moc RIDE!
THERE'S A WHOLE SIREN COMMUNITY?! AND YN AND IT MUST BE WOOYOUNG WERE FRIENDS? SIRENS HAVE A FULLY FLEDGE COMMUNITY WITH PRIESTS AND SCHOOLS AND MULTUOLE CITIES TO SOME EXTEND??? MAYBE EVEN AN ENTIRE PLANET WITH SIRENS MAYBE THEIR ORIGIN PLANET? HOW MANY TYPES OF SIRENS ARE THERE AND IN THE COMMUNITY HOW DTRICT ARE THE DIFFERENT ROLES?!?! ALSO DOES THE SIREN COMMUNITY ALLOW FOR DIFFERENT TYPES OF SIRENS TO BE TOGETHER? OBVIOUSLY THEY SHOULD BUT ARE THE CHILDREN THEN HYBRID TYPES, LIKE WHEN WE GET BLUED DARK SKIND BABIES OR CAN A SKREN ONLY BE ONE TYPE. WHAT POWERS DO SIRENS HAVE AND DOES THE POWERS REFLECT THEIR PERSONALITY AND DO THE DIFFERENT TYOES LEAN TOWARDS CERTAIN JOBS. LIKE WE JUST LESRNED THE OCEAN GOTTA BE PRIESTS BUT MOON ISNT STRICT WHAT ABOUT FIRE. AND IS YN INSTIC TO PULL OUT A HEART CAUDE HER PERSONALITT, TRSUMA OR IS IT RELATED TO THE MOON. ALSO CAUSE ITS A RED MOON WHICH IS COMMONLY A BLOOD MOON, IS YN THEN A SPECIAL MOON SIREN AND THATS WHY HER POWERS ARE STEONGER OR HER INSTICTS TO USE THEM ARE STORNGER BUT THEN THE MILITARY FUCKED HER UP. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
now this is the thing im biting my tongue on SO HARD bc it’s my favorite aspect of the world building and the universe and everything involved in it bUTIHDFKJG THERS SO MUCH I WANNA SAYYYYYYYYYY in short that one dream sequence holds more hints and information than ANYTHING from previous chapters, i think that it’s probably the MOST IMPORTANT dream to date. while we’ve seen some crazy ones in the past, this one is both the biggest hint and the biggest window into y/n’s past by FARRRR. even tho that whole scene was dialogue i think there’s so much to pick up on from it and so much to see and learn from it and it’s one of my faves bc there’s so much to unpack from it !!
Like yes the story and the development is freaking ✨yes✨ I love it. Genuinely think moc should be released as books. But I just cannot deal with the emotions rn.
But also now all I'm going to be thinking about how many sirens are actually out there. And if yn knew her parents and wasn't just an orphan the military found in the streets... How the fuck did she end up in the military grasps. What happened to her parents what happened to the community, is it still out there? Guess I gotta go back and reread the galaxies and the backstories, obviously I must have missed or have forgotten something. Ugh how the puzzle pieces are puzzling (or something). Moc is a drug and I'm not going sober anytime soon
(obviously you don't have to respond to my questions, this is more just an insight into the spiralling of theories going on in my mind)
releasing moc as books? a dream and a half, i can say that much slkjdlgkjlkf but back to the sirens... how many are out there? we heard early on that hongjoong was looking for ‘the last five’ but then seonghwa debunked that and said that was a mistranslation over time that was passed down and such, but beyond that, we don’t really know much about sirens as a whole? there are some hints in the galaxies and planet descriptions but if that dream sequence is a puzzle, i would say we have a handful of pieces that can be put into place based on what we’ve learned so far!!!!
Okay I lied, I am ready to unpack a little of the ✨emotions✨
When hongjoong explained that hwa tried to stop San only for San to detain him and in a sense make him watch the scene unfold. And then realising hwa had to go through that again, only being even more helpless. I don't doubt hwa loves San, but to see the events happening again, with someone he clearly loves as much as he does yn even if he also loves joong, and to see the desperation and determination must have been just. Horrible. Just absolutely soul breaking horrible. I can imagine him vowing to himself after San that he would never let something like that happen again. That of any of the crew got out of control like that, that he would fight harder to stop them. That he would would do absolutely everything in his power to stop it. And then being helpless as he watched yn do it. Just pure heart wrenching pain. And it must have been beyond terrifying to see someone you love ready and determined to kill themselves partly from rage and partly from desperation. With the backstory, that scene becomes almost as cruel as the warehouse scene with San. The only redeeming quality is no one needing life saving surgery in a time crunch, otherwise they would be the same level of ✨never again✨
honestly i think the two crew members i torture the most are san and hwa bc i just keep putting them thru all this shit and hurting them so much but really this was the defining point of why seonghwa was so afraid. before we kinda just knew he was afraid of yn and hongjoong was mad about it. in this revelation we get to see the source of the trauma and how it was amplified by it being someone he loves as dearly as he loves yn. and for sure when first reading that scene of yn and jisung in the brig, it’s meant to evoke a sense of anger and rage like yn is so angry to a point where she would do this sort of thing, but my hope with that scene was also to show that desperation. that when looking back at it after having already seen the rage and the aftermath, that reading it again shows how desperate and hopeless she was in that moment. which is exactly the same emotion that was evoked back in that warehouse scene with san, except it was relayed differently because the warehouse was a more immediate sense of desperation. this brig scene was meant to emulate that but in a slow burn kinda way where the veil of realization is pulled off after the fact and not in the moment!!!
Just to make sure you don't misunderstand. Those asks were compliments. You are an absolutely incredible writer. And the fact that you aren’t afraid of hurting your characters *cough cough* SHOOTING SAN?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!!!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? *CLEARS THROAT AGRESSIVELY* just makes the story much better. No one gets plot armour, making it more realistic (?) and really draws in the writer and sorta imitates the fear and desperation the characters feel
PLS don’t worry, i live for every moment and i live for these open and raw and genuine conversations i didn’t take any as an insult i PROMISE!! i think part of the nature of this whole trope of space pirates and criminals is that hter is no guarantee of safety! i don’t wanna have to cut corners to make sure everyone stays unharmed and undamaged throughout the story when the nature of the world i’ve built thus far is a wildly dangerous one!!! i always say that i try to be as realistic as i can, all things considered, and i think that’s the biggest thing that adds to the ‘realism’ in my mind so im so happy to hear that you see it and appreciate it and enjoy it!!!
YN GRIPPING SOMEONES HEART??? YOU WRITE THAT SO FUCKING WELL. LIKE ENIGUH DETAILS THAT WE KNOW WHATS GOING ON, BUT ALSO NOT SO MANY DETAILS SO IT GETS DETACHWD FROM THE STORY. LIKE THE LACK OF CLEAR SUPER MANY DETAILS REALLY MADE IT THAT *YOU ARE EXPERIENCING THIS, NOT JUST READING IT* LIKE IT MADE IT WAY MORE EMOTIONAL AND OERSONAL AND THE READER REALLY GOT IMMERSED IN THE MOST HORRIBLE WAY THAT KUST MADE IT ALL RHE MORE BETTER. ALSO JOONG AFRAID????? JOONG REALISING HE GOT A FULLY FLEDGED HEART RIPPER SIREN WHO CANT CONTROL HER BODY TO MOVE THROUGH A HARMLESS DOOR BUT CAN DEFINITELY KILL IN A HEARTBEAT (OR TWO 👀) ALSO THE CONTRAST OF REMOVING RHE BLOOD COLOURED WHITE OLASTIC AND HAVING A CLEAN HAND UNDERNWATH. THE SYMBOL OF IT ALSO BEKNG A TRASH CLEANERS SUIT. LIKE SHE WASN'T SUPPOSED TO ACTUALLY USE THE TRASH PROTECTION DUIT FOR ITS INTENDED PURPOSE. ALSO THE OART WHERE SHE SAYS SHES FINE EVEN TJO SHE ISNT. AT FIRST I READ IT AS HER TELLING HERSELF TO LIE BUT THEN I REALISED ITS HER ADMITTING SHE VERY MUCH ISNT. AND SAN NOT KNOWING???? AND KISSING HER HAND AND UGH AND SEONGHWA KNOWING. I BET HE'S LOWKEY GETTING MORE AND MORE AFRAID OF HER. LIKE YN IS READY TO KILL HERSELF AND ANYONE AROUND HER TO KEEP SAN SAFE. AND SHE INSTICTUALLY GOES FOR THE MODT AGRESSIVE METHOD POSSIBLE. IHHHHHHHHHHHHH I FUCKING LOVE YOU AND YOUR WONDERFUL WTITING AND YOUR TWISTED MIND THAT CAN CREATE ALL THESE FUCKING SCENES THAT GOT ME THUNKING AND FEELING ✨EMOTIONS✨
truly one of the HIGHLIGHTS of the chapter simply bc of how shocking and sudden it is!! for me, that was one of the easiest scenes to write in the chapter, oddly enough? it was something that when it came time to write it, i knew how i wanted it to be and was able to just sit down and write it out the way its written in the final draft of the chapter. i really love playing with those aspects of fiction and storytelling. tangible to a point, without spelling it out. i think it’s obvious that i really love delayed realization in writing, but i really like playing with how the brain processes information and for me personally, i don’t pick up on things right away! i can realize them in a snap or it can take me a bit to go ‘oh god that’s what happened’, and i like playing with that in y/n’s character a LOT.
and in that same vein of thought, there are some layers to that scene as well when compared to the door scene. in the door scene we saw hongjoong clearly tell y/n ‘you need to do this to save san’ yet she wasn’t able to do it despite trying and believing hongjoong. then in the heart scene we saw y/n clearly tell herself ‘you need to do this to save san’ and she did it then. so there’s a lot at play in that parallel alone too. and with that internal monologue she has of im fine vs not fine, then san kissing the hand that touched a literal real actual beating heart for me that was a sort of self indulgent scene and i was really worried about it coming across as too cheesy or something like that, but that is something that’s gonna impact y/n as a character and her relationship with san when they have the conversation of ‘oh hey i put my hand through a man’s chest for you’
i think part of why this chapter was so difficult to construct and write as a whole definitely is because of all the undertones and nuances throughout, and in a lot of ways it’s so so much to even think about that it’s almost too much packed into one chapter alone, but even if you don’t pick up on all the nuances throughout, i’m hoping to revisit them and bring them back around in that delayed realization style again bc that’s one of my favorite things to do ofc :3
on dazai’s backstory
okay so!! one of the most prominent mysteries of bungou stray dogs is dazai's backstory prior to his and mori's assassination of the previous boss. i've seen tons of speculation on it, and i thought i'd chip in with my personal thoughts and deductions! please note that for this analysis i'll be using wattpad user darkestjay8686's interpretation of the fifteen light novel, as i do not speak japanese nor have access to the original fifteen light novel. any alterations done to this translation are for ease of understanding (for example, changing "the hand of chuuya" to "chuuya's hand"). any and all of these changes are purely the result of personal preference and are not at all meant to either change the meaning of the passage or insult darkestjay8686. seeing as, once again, i do not speak japanese, i am operating under the assumption that this translation conveys the original intent as well as can be expected. for verification of certain quotes, i cross-checked @looking-for-stray-dog's excerpts of the novel.
with all of those disclaimers out of the way, let's get down to it!
1. on mori and dazai
there has been a lot of discussion on mori and dazai's relationship, and most of what needs to be said has been said. maybe i’ll discuss some things that i feel are often overlooked in a separate post! still, put briefly in a disorganized list, because formatting on tumblr is difficult:
when dazai and mori met, dazai "was nothing more than an attempted suicide patient."
dazai was already suicidal when he came under mori's care.
whatever "broke" dazai happened before mori (assuming that dazai's detached behavior comes from a place of trauma in addition to possible mental/personality disorders).
dazai served as witness shortly after to mori's assassination of the former boss.
mori did not know dazai intimately before PB's demise.
mori remarks that he underestimated dazai's darkness and wisdom, implying that he hadn't known dazai well enough previously in order to gauge these things.
we also know that dazai "was not a subordinate of Mori, nor of the mafia…[nor was] he…an illegitimate child, an orphan mori had picked up, or a medical assistant." their meeting is described as a "fateful encounter."
another interesting thing is that it takes a year for dazai to drop the childish mask we see him keep up around mori, seeing as this scene is where mori realizes that he's made a "miscalculation."
2. on the previous boss and dazai
dazai likely knew the previous boss on a personal level.
A distorted, crimson haze emerged from the other side of the subspace, and a figure appeared.
"There... there is a nostalgic face. Hey, brat... are you in good health? Have you been bullied by the doctor?"
It was the old boss floating in the air, wearing a traditional, black robe.
"Hey, there." Dazai smiled stiffly. "It's been a while. How's your back pain? Your complexion is looking nice. Wasn't it a good thing you died? Boss—no, previous boss."
this implies that the previous boss (thus abbreviated as PB) knows dazai, despite being clearly insane and severely ill in the one moment where we know dazai was present.
see: "nostalgic face"—PB views dazai as someone he's known long enough to view as nostalgic.
see: "brat"—PB views dazai with disdain. as he was clearly not in his right mind during the one time he and dazai are undeniably in a room together, i doubt he even realized dazai was there, and definitely not well enough to actually remember his face.
see: "are you in good health?"—we know for a fact that dazai attempted suicide at age fourteen (though we do not know if this was his first attempt). may indicate that PB is aware of dazai's attempt. >>could also just be a generic greeting that i'm reading into. who knows?
see: "have you been bullied by the doctor?"—the term "the doctor" indicates a sense of familiarity; PB does not need to specify further. this means that PB knows that dazai is in mori's care, or at least in regular contact with him. >>please note that it is unclear how much knowledge PB has of the outside world in death. >>furthermore: while this is more of an interpretational piece of evidence, the phrasing here comes across as mocking. PB is bitter that dazai was complicit in his assassination. one would not be bitter in such a way unless they felt somehow betrayed.
see: "dazai smiled stiffly."—possibly invalid due to translational errors and liberty, but dazai is capable of keeping his cool even in the most dire of circumstances. to intentionally mention that his smile is stiff could indicate one of two things: one, that dazai is pretending to be uncomfortable on purpose, or two, that dazai is honestly uncomfortable and stressed and is attempting to disguise this. as the first does not make sense in this particular situation, the latter must be true. >>please note that dazai was already out of his comfort zone in this scene, as the previous events had clearly taken him by surprise. make of that what you will.
see: "how's your back pain? your complexion is looking nice."—all imply that dazai knew both a) the exact issues of PB's illness, and b) how PB looked before said illness severely affected him, or at least knew him in illness long enough to draw an accurate comparison. >>could also just be generic mocking, as dazai at least knew that PB was in poor health. not necessarily indicative of further knowledge.
see: "wasn't it a good thing that you died?"—this can be taken a multitude of ways, but the way i initially interpreted it is that dazai has a personal opinion on the way PB was running the port mafia. in this interpretation, "good thing" is being applied for the people. however, dazai is explicitly amoral. so what could this mean? dazai may be saying that it is a "good thing" in a purely business sense. maybe he was projecting his own suicidal tendencies onto PB. maybe he was saying that it's what PB would have wanted in his right mind. no particular conclusions to draw here, but i thought it was worth analyzing.
see: "boss—no, previous boss."—dazai instinctually refers to PB as "boss." if he had not frequently referred to him this way in the pass, he would not have made the freudian slip. the correction, too, gives his words a certain level of mocking. you were the boss, but you're not anymore. dazai must have known PB or known of PB long enough to both form an opinion on him and to view him as "the boss."
conclusion: it makes the most sense that dazai knew the boss on a personal level.
thus begs the question: if dazai referred to PB as "boss," why was he not already a part of the mafia? multiple theories:
dazai was a part of the mafia, but mori simply didn't know and dazai did not correct him. extremely unlikely, as dazai says that being in the mafia might be worth a try, which means he hadn't tried it previously, as well as hirotsu claiming that dazai is "unrelated to the mafia."
dazai performed some other duty for PB separate from mafia duties.
dazai was PB's son/ward, and "boss" was what PB insisted he be called.
however: dazai was asked to join the sheep when he was young ("a long time ago" when he was fifteen). as far as we know (or can ever expect to know), the sheep exclusively recruit "down-on-their-luck" youth or homeless kids. this means that dazai must have been defined as one of the two at some point. with our two remaining conclusions (the first having been crossed off an account of unlikelihood), we can justify this in two ways:
if dazai performed some other duty separate from the mafia under PB, it gives him ample time to have a life outside the mafia. we do not know enough to speculate on what that life may have been, just that he was likely homeless at some point when he was very young.
if dazai was PB's son/ward, he must have either run away at some point or simply been out and about enough for the sheep to mistake him as homeless or "down on his luck."
either conclusion is equally likely, and thus equally unlikely!
hence, undeniable conclusions (tl;dr):
knew PB prior to his death.
did not know mori very well, if at all.
traumatized before he and mori assassinated PB (assuming his behavior and outlook is a result of trauma in combination with a personality/mental disorder).
at some point was frequently on the streets.
even if you disagree with these conclusions, please be kind! feel free to add anything if you think there's something i overlooked/misinterpreted.
I think for sure Ted had some religious trauma and I think he was Catholic. And also he calls AM God at times. And Benny had an entire tribe worshiping AM in his story.
!!!!! I think this would be very applicable to the game version; I've wondered for a long time just why, exactly, Ted's scenario is the way it is. By that I mean the castle, the cathedral, that stuff; the beginning portion with the Dark Room and such seems to be intended as something to raise paranoia and tension, and the various narrative concepts (the books, the sex, the deals, the discussion of moral choices) are, of course, intended as big giant arrows at Ted's own (perceived or not) failings and flaws.
[Gonna be talking abt Ted's sexuality (as in activity etc, not orientation) in a brief manner, no details but still discussion/mention of it under the cut]
The cathedral/church makes more sense – and, thinking of it, all the demonology and summoning stuff – when you apply religious trauma to Ted's backstory. As far as I know, Catholicism is very very heavy on sexual sin and guilt, which would explain why AM would fixate so strongly on Ted's sexuality; if Ted was raised in an environment where sex is a sin and a very, very heavy one at that, then internally, subconsciously, he really does condemn himself for it. He's just maybe not very aware of how he feels; AM attempting to dig into it to cause him more pain, then, would take on an interesting turn as Ted would not even fully understand why he's so bothered by AM's mental games.
It would even add to the whole thing, because he would be calling AM God... AM, who frequently and loudly condemns Ted for his sexuality. Paralleling God – who, in most Christian, Catholic, Protestant, etc, etc, condemns sexuality unless very specific behaviors and actions are met. Goddamn, that's fucked!
It's a fascinating perspective, anon, and I thank you for sharing it with me!! Ted, being subconsciously and deeply affected by his religious upbringing, paralleling his spirituality-that-he-thinks-he's-abandoned to fucking AM. And AM is fully aware of it. And he milks it for all its worth ;_;
As a quick sidenote – this works doubly for the short story. My first inclination was quite similar, but it lacked the religious trauma (which I've sadly glossed over, but i don't think i could properly and rightfully articulate my thoughts in a manner that would do the subject justice, and i don't think i could address it here); instead, i simply thought that Ted, just as a lot of middle class white Americans are, was raised in a religious family (whether that be Christian, Catholicism, etc, and i guess now i should point out that, if you didnt know, the two have some pretty big differences) but as he grew up, he lacked any interest in keeping it up. So he just kinda let any kind of religious practices (going to church, praying, following scriptures, etc, you get my meaning) fall to the wayside, maybe even deciding later to identify as an atheist. But when AM took him and the others.... nothing like a cruel, sadistic AI set on hating you to awaken some strange, twisted up version of your childhood faith. Which is what we get in the short story.
And taking that into the direction you point out, anon... Goddamn, that's fucked!!!! I love it!!!
Moving on – oh, that whole thing in Benny's scenario was definitely intended as that, even if it was maybe just for AM to stroke his own ego. It's interesting to me, though... maybe its because of my own flawed background (which i know is a tad bit unusual), but it didn't truly read to me as a... metaphor? Yes, i think thats what i mean, a metaphor or a parallel to the Christian God. It doesn't feel that way to me, but again it might just be me; instead, it feels more like... hm.... like an overlord. A dictator, a ruler, a brutal tyrant. He's controlling the village and he's demanding payment, he's demanding blood. As far as I could see, the villagers didn't really seem to actually... worship him. They were afraid, and they had ceremonies he cultivated, but it didn't read to me as worship. I'm genuinely wondering why now, because as I said – AM as the village's demented God seems to be the intent!!! But he feels more like their monstrous, blood lusting tyrant than anything else.
I'm inclined to say that I'm missing things, because I tend to be oblivious, and also because I'm ofc coming from my own specific experience with religion. It's interesting to try to make sense of, though.