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#and the conclusion of my fic
overthinkingkdrama · 3 years ago
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Old Souls
{A Scarlet Heart: Ryeo fan fiction}
Set immediately after the end of episode 20.
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Jin Woo froze, momentarily forgetting the storm around them. He turned back and looked at her over his shoulder and in his moment of hesitation she closed the gap between them.
“I’m right aren’t I?”
“So what? It doesn’t change anything.”
“How can you say that?”
“I’ve already made up my mind.”
“You weren’t even going to tell me, were you?”
Jin Woo tried to keep his face impassive, though every word was a twist of the knife. “I thought it would make it easier.”
“Easier for who? For you?”
“No, I just…I thought if you had to resent someone, better it was just me. Just his lookalike, a fool who knew nothing.”
“Is that all you take me for? Did you still think that was all you were to me? A substitute? You haven’t understood me at all.” Her voice trembled, “It wasn’t like that.”
“It doesn’t matter.” He said, “All that matters is I don’t want to be with you anymore.”
“Of course it matters. I have the right to hear the truth from you.”
“What exactly do you expect me to say?”
“Just give me the real reason. Don’t feed me a line about not seeing a future together.” She was shouting over the wind, “You should have just been honest with me from the start!”
“No you! You should have told me what I was before—” He raised his voice to match hers for the first time, “When you met me that day, you shouldn’t have hung onto me. You should have run the other direction. If I had known then what meeting you meant…I would never have approached you in the first place.”
With night starting to close in, the sky opened up at last. Rain began to fall in driving sheets, soaking them through in seconds. He turned again to go, but she caught hold of his sleeve and held him back.
“Don’t say you regret meeting me. You don’t mean that.”
He fought down his revulsion at his own words, pulling his arm away from her, “I’m sorry, but I do.”
For the first time that fierce look in her eyes wavered and her expression began to crumble. Dammed up tears spilled over, running like the rain, freely down her face. Her tears were more terrible than her anger had been, because he couldn’t even reach for her, to comfort her.
He couldn’t keep looking at her, and so he fled again. He made it ten more paces up the beach when his vision turned white, blinded by a flash of lightning. The air around him fizzed with electricity, making the hairs on his arms and the back of his neck stand on end. Almost at the same instant as the flash, he was deafened by a clap of thunder like a grenade going off. He ducked instinctively, throwing his arms over his head. When he recovered he looked back, and Ha Jin was on the ground.
A moment of primal fear gripped his heart.
“Ha Jin-ah!” He quite nearly flew to her side, kneeling next to her. “Gwaenchanha?”
To his relief she was awake, apparently unharmed. In her fright she must have dropped to the sand.
“Let’s get under cover. Quickly.”
Without thinking he grabbed hold of her hand and together they ran. He held up one arm to shield his eyes from the rain, looking around for somewhere to hide. Somewhere close by, closer than the pension. His gaze fell on a derelict old boathouse. It wouldn’t be comfortable, but it had four walls and roof.
“Come on.” He wrapped an arm around Ha Jin as they continued to run over uneven ground, holding her up when she stumbled. After a few moments he managed to force the door open wide enough for the two of them to slip inside and wrestle against the wind to shut it again.
The space was claustrophobic and the air stale. Jin Woo blinked, still wiping water away from his eyes. It was more a shed than a boathouse, stacked wall to wall with disused netting, rotting ropes, and yard after yard of old canvas. There was just enough space for the two of them to stand, facing one another. The only light came from the cracks along the edges of the door, and even that was quickly dying.
They stood in silence, listening to the sounds of the storm now raging outside and their own heavy breathing.
After a few moments Jin Woo started. “When the storm subsides we’ll—”
But Ha Jin cut him off, “I could never accept it,” She said, “No matter how many letters I sent without reply. No matter how many days passed without word of you…I didn’t let myself believe it. That you could really hate me.”
“Is that what you think this is about?”
“However far away you were, even though we parted so badly, I kept telling myself we were still in each other’s hearts.”
“Do you believe that? That Wang So died hating you?”
“You remember everything, but say we still can’t be together. Could there be another reason?”
“Would we have gone through all of this if he hated you? Would I be standing here now and would I—he, have fought so desperately to reach for you if he—if I had hated you?”
Jin Woo was losing track of his pronouns again. It wasn’t always easy. The memories of himself, of his past life, where he had lived as King Gwangjong, they mingled with those of his present. Sometimes the two bled together. He wasn’t Wang So. His experiences, his perspective, they had changed him. But he wasn’t exactly Jin Woo anymore either. Was he something in between? Or someone else entirely? He was still trying to figure that out.
“Wang So loved you, Ha Jin.” He said, “No. It went beyond that. You were an obsession for him. Because no matter how he grasped at you, he could never have you. Not in the way he wanted. Even when he thought he hated you, his hate was still a part of his love. And even that pitiful hate died with you.” Wang So’s grief overwhelmed him. It was too vast, too old, Jin Woo’s mind could not contain the breadth of it. Every time he thought he could comprehend it, it slipped away from him again, revealing new depths Jin Woo had never imagined. Against his own judgment he reached out toward Ha Jin. Taking her by the arms, he felt the wet fabric of her blouse where it clung to her skin. “You were everything. You were the only thing…and when you went away it was like all the light went out of the world.”
“Why then?” Her face was close enough he could feel her breath on his skin. Unconsciously, he’d begun to draw her closer, but he caught himself this time, dropping his hands to his sides and pulling back.
“Because I hate him.” His voice cracked as he spoke, “He…ruined…you. He ruined everything. He locked you up in that miserable place with him because he couldn’t stand the thought of being alone. He bound your wings and broke your spirit. And when he’d taken everything he could take from you he cast you out, to sicken and fade away, waiting for him. That’s why. I can’t let him do it again. I despise him.”
“Don’t say that. That isn’t what happened.”
“He’s a monster, Ha Jin.”
“Don’t talk about him like you know, when you haven’t even tried to understand him.”
“I will never understand him. I can’t. But you kept on trying too, didn’t you? However undeserving he was you gave him your empathy and your forgiveness. You would do so even now, because that’s the kind of person you are, Ha Jin. That’s why people wound and betray you. But I’m not going to let you this time.”
“He wasn’t only the way you said. To me he was—he was—” Ha Jin stammered her protests, but Jin Woo didn’t want to hear her defending Wang So.
He spoke over her, “Ji Mong talked about self-perpetuating karma. The same fates playing themselves out again and again over different lifetimes. I’ve always been making the same choices, the same mistakes. In my greed clinging onto you, giving into my ambition. Trapping the two of us in this cycle of blood and pain. But you don’t deserve to be dragged down with me. This tragedy is one of my own design. For me this is justice, but not for you. You deserve to be happy, to be free. While I…I deserve to lose you. I was warned a long time ago that if I tried to force an ill-fated love, against the will of Heaven, it would mean disaster. This has to end. I should be the one to end it.”
When Jin Woo had finished speaking, there was no immediate answer. Night had fallen as they spoke and the gale only made it darker. They stood there together in the boathouse as they started to shiver. Several strikes of lightning flashed outside, briefly lighting the room around them. Jin Woo tried to get a look at Ha Jin’s face. To his surprise he saw she looked calm, almost serene now. When her voice came back to him he could tell something had changed.
“Perhaps…” She said, “Perhaps you’re right. Perhaps the stars are set against us.” They always have been, he thought, why should now be any different? “I understand what you’re thinking. You’re trying to spare me pain in the future. I see that now. But I’m here, standing in front of you, telling you that I won’t be happier without you. I won’t be okay. Walk away from me if you must, but know it won’t end there. Even if we become like strangers, you’re someone I could never forget. No matter what name you go by, what world you fly to, I will find you and I will love you again.”
He felt more than saw her shift closer to him, sensing the warmth of her very near though not touching. He tried to back away further, but there was no more room. His heel butted up against a coil of rope, nearly throwing him off balance.
“But then again,” She said, and her voice was soft, almost a whisper, “Perhaps you’re wrong. Perhaps the fact that we’ve met like this, in this place, means that we’ve both suffered enough. Isn’t a thousand years of loneliness enough punishment for anyone? Maybe it means we’re allowed to try again, to love each other with all our hearts. Maybe it’s not a cycle at all. Maybe it’s something like redemption.”
“We can’t know that. It’s not a chance I’m willing to take.”
“Well, I am. Haven’t I lost as much as you did? I understand the risks too. But you don’t know Heaven’s will any more than I do. Is that a reason we shouldn’t try?”
“I wish I had your confidence but I don’t trust myself. What if I hurt you again?”
“You know, there’s something I learned from King Taejo. Your father. He said life was far too brief. He also told me that I should never let the fear of tomorrow steal happiness from today.” As she said this he felt her reach for him, wrapping her arms around his neck and pulling his mouth down to hers. His entire body stiffened, trying to hold himself back, but as the kiss went on he remembered something new. Beyond that hint of coffee, the sweetness of her lip gloss, he remembered the taste that only she had. The one that had lingered in his mouth for days after their first kiss. How the memory of that flavor had tried to drive him crazy long after that.
God, how he had wanted her. He could feel his hands beginning to tremble with desire as he wound her rain soaked hair though his fingers. Centuries of unfulfilled longing finally finding its object. The intensity of it scared him.
This feeling scared him.
Enough that he finally managed to push her away.
“Ha Jin-ah…please.” His voice was rough and uneven, “Don’t hang onto me. I can’t…”
“Why can’t you?”
“What if I change? What if I ruin everything again? What if I…break you? I’ve been carrying around my past like a bad omen. What if when it finally catches up with me, it falls on you too?”
“This is my choice to make.”
“How can I let you go through all of that again?”
“What makes you think it’s the same situation? Things are different now. Back then I was never once allowed to have what I wanted. Whatever I reached for was snatched away. Happiness, freedom, love…they were all taken from me. I had to watch the ones I loved fight and die around me. I had to watch others sacrifice themselves for me. That was the kind of world we lived in. Even though I knew the future and tried to change it, I couldn’t protect what I wanted. And even you. You used to tell me I wasn’t allowed to leave you, I wasn’t allowed to die without your permission. But we parted and I died. Neither of us could stop it. But we’re not in the palace anymore. And I’m going to fight for what I want.”
Jin Woo floundered for the words he needed, his defenses were abandoning him now, “I don’t know when or how, but things will fall apart again. Like they always do. I’ll break your heart or I’ll make you hate me. How could I ever make that up to you? How can I dare to love you after everything I did?”
“I thought you remembered everything,” She said, “Why does it seem like you only remember the cruelty and the pain? Where did the beauty go? The time you ignored propriety and carried me on your back because my knee was aching. When you stood by my side for hours in the rain against your father’s command. The day you drank poison to protect me. And the way those hands, which they trained for violence, became impossibly soft when they held me. Do you really not remember?”
“I’ve forgotten all the good moments, Ha Jin. I only remember is the way it ended.”
“Then, my darling,” She wrapped her arms around him again, pressing her head against his chest, “Let me remind you.”
Jin Woo could feel his resolve beginning to evaporate. The longer she held him, he knew, the harder it would be to let her go. “Even so…” He said, “I can’t stop thinking about it. How you died. How you waited. How I read your letter too late. I can’t…I don’t think I can forgive myself.”
“I forgave you a long time ago. I do so freely.”
“I…I hate myself.”
“But I love you. I’ll help teach you how.” She held him even tighter. “Did you hear me? I said I love you. Past, present and future. Whatever name you have, whatever world you fly to, whatever past lives we share. In pieces and altogether. I love you. I’m sorry it took me so long to say it.”
“Why? Why love me?”
Without letting him go she drew her head back, looking up into his face. He could just barely make out the storm lights in her large dark eyes. “Because you’re mine. My person.” And she kissed him again.
Jin Woo allowed himself to surrender to the softness of the kiss. Folding her into his arms again, finally allowing himself to hold her back. She had declared him hers and who was he to argue? Surrender was sweet.
He was unsure of how long they remained like that, holding on to each other. The storm winds still howled outside, not abating. He only spoke when he felt Ha Jin shivering.
“What was that? Are your teeth chattering?”
“I’m cold.”
“Do you have that jacket I brought you?”
She shrugged, “I think I lost it when we were running.”
He didn’t know why but he found himself laughing. They disentangled briefly and Jin Woo pulled out a raggedy old tarp for them to sit on, covering the chilly concrete floor with it. He sat down, nestling into a pile of nets that smelled like mildew and bad fish, but at least it was mildly more comfortable than standing. “Come here,” He said. He reached for Ha Jin and pulled her down into his lap, wrapping his arms around her, gently chafing her back and arms to warm them until the shivering stopped.
“Do you think we’ll have to stay here all night?”
“I don’t think it’s stopping any time soon. We should wait until the thunder stops and make a run for it.”
“I don’t want to run anymore.” She whined.
“Well I don’t want you to catch pneumonia, and we could both use some dry clothes.”
She didn’t protest more, resting her head on his shoulder. He listened to her breathing grow more even, feeling her chest rise and fall as she began to doze like that, completely spent. Despite what he had said, Jin Woo could have stayed like that all night. Even as his back began to ache and his legs fell asleep, he was so content. Peaceful, for the first time since this whole mess started. At unity with himself.
This won’t last forever, he realized. Though the thought didn’t trouble him as it should have. There was nothing he could do to change or run from it. There would be times, perhaps soon, when he didn’t feel this certain. When he would begin to feel afraid and try to push her away. He knew that about himself. This was going to be a daily struggle. To accept her love, to feel himself deserving of it. It wouldn’t be easy to stay this brave. They were both complex beings, a little of light and a little of darkness. Just to live, just to love someone with the whole of himself was uncharted territory. But he found himself thinking, for the first time, that that was okay. Because he didn’t want to run anymore.
This is the kind of thing other couples worry about too, he thought. It’s normal. For some reason that thought delighted him.
It was another hour or more before Jin Woo decided it was safe to venture out. It was still raining when they left and what little drying their clothes had managed in the meantime was rendered irrelevant by the time they made it back to their room. The two of them helped each other out of their wet clothes and warmed up their bodies in the shower. When the hot water ran out they buried themselves beneath the blankets on the bed, not bothering to dry their hair or put on those dry clothes they’d been trying to get back to.
Jin Woo should have been sore and exhausted, but those things seemed to vanish when she touched him, setting his heart pounding against his chest. He fought sleep, not wanting to miss an instant of this. Of course they’d had each other many times before, in a dozen different ways both here and in Goryeo. Jin Woo couldn’t say that this time everything was new. Rather it was as though each motion, each familiar sensation connected to a thousand long lost associations. There was no unspoken desire too secret, no door that remained locked between them. Instead, they had never been freer nor more shameless in the enjoyment of one another.
When sleep did come, it crept up on them like a thief, finding them still tangled up in each other. The last thought that passed through Jin Woo’s fast fading consciousness was that they may well still be barreling headlong toward a bad ending, flouting the gods and the stars, but he couldn’t care. Even if that was so, life was far too short to try to live without this woman. It was better, far better, to march toward calamity at her side than to face it alone.
When Ha Jin woke first to the patter of light island rain still falling outside, she was wrapped in Jin Woo’s arms. She stayed as perfectly still as she could, enjoying his warmth all around her, the smell of his skin. She felt so safe there, she didn’t want to leave. But even though she closed her eyes, sleep remained elusive.
Carefully she started to extricate herself from him, moving slowly so as not to wake him up. When she managed to get a little space between them she climbed out of bed, stubbing her toe in the dark as she searched for her luggage. She settled for Jin Woo’s instead and throwing on one of his t-shirts before slipping back into bed. She remained a little apart from him this time, watching him sleep as the sun rose and light slowly filtered in from outside.
Not so long ago she remembered waking in Jin Woo’s bed like this and being frightened by the smoothness of his skin. The lack of scars or visible traces of the 4th prince’s history. Now she thought it had been an illusion. Though she couldn’t see them, the mental scars they had taken from Goryeo were still very much with them. She wondered how much longer those would take to fade, if they ever would.
Absently she began to trace with her fingertips the places where those scars had been. The wound So had taken in his shoulder from that arrow, which had never healed quite right, always remaining puckered and red. The slash marks on his chest, she’d never been sure if they were from the claws of beasts or the blades of men. She’d never had the will to ask him. And then the one that had given him the most pain, the scar on his face left on him by his mother. She knew the shape of it by heart. She began to draw it across the bridge of his nose and down his cheek with her index finger. She was happy he would never have to look at it again. It’s a relief, she thought.
Her touch disturbed him and he rolled away from her in his sleep.
Staring in the half-light at his back and broad shoulders, Ha Jin felt suddenly, horribly isolated and alone.
There’s no reason, she thought, no reason I should be anything but happy. Why do I feel so empty instead?
Ha Jin couldn’t stay in bed any longer, so she got up and walked toward the sliding door onto the porch and opened it a hand’s breadth, looking out at the sea. The sky was beginning to brighten and the clouds of last night’s storm were being swept away, but as she watched the surf rolling in, she was struck with another pang of unutterable emptiness and she was hard pressed not to cry.
What the hell is wrong with me?
She heard a creak of bed-springs as Jin Woo got up, and though she didn’t look over her shoulder she felt him come up behind her, wrapping her up with him in a blanket from the bed and resting his chin on the top of her head.
“Why are you out of bed?” He said groggily, kissing her hair.
“I couldn’t sleep.”
“Who says we have to sleep?” He said, chuckling softly. But when she didn’t reply he remained quiet, holding her like that for a long time while they watched the sky slowly change colors.
“Well, if you’re not going to come back to bed, how about we go for a walk before the beach fills with people?” She agreed to this, and they finally dressed. Despairing of untangling her hair without considerable effort, she pulled it back into scarf, throwing on a sweater over a long sundress and not bothering with any makeup.
Her feet and legs were still sore from hours of unaccustomed walking the day before, but it felt better to be doing something than to remain anxiously in their room.
“Can I hold your hand?” Jin Woo asked, strangely bashful by daylight considering everything they’d done the night before.
She held her hand out and he took it. Jin Woo was positively beaming as they wound their leisurely way along the shoreline. Ha Jin didn’t want to do anything to dampen his spirits, trying to hide her strange mood beneath a false smile. Walking side by side like this, the hollow feeling in her heart not only lingered but seemed to grow. Something was missing, incomplete.
“You know, I always wanted to bring you somewhere like this again. I never had the chance, though.” He said, grinning, “This is so…I don’t know…domestic. Going for a walk on the beach. Like what normal couples do.”
“I guess so.” She replied, in a muted tone.
“It’s nice.”
They continued in silence for a while longer, Jin Woo perhaps reading her subdued mood, gazing out at the water. They walked until the path they were on ended abruptly at a rocky breakwater and they were forced to turn back, walking even slower on the return trip. Stepping into the footprints they’d left in the wet sand going in the other direction.
Without warning, Jin Woo said, “I want kids. Do you think you want children?”
“Why all of a sudden…?” Ha Jin gave a nervous laugh at the unexpected question.          
“I was just curious. I really want kids. At least two. A boy and a girl.” Ha Jin must have looked as startled as she felt because he continued, “I don’t mean right now. We can get married first if you want. I just thought you should know.”
Maybe in another moment she would have felt differently, but her head was in no place for a spur of the moment proposal. She tried to play it off as a joke, “Gee. Marriage and children. You sure made a turnaround from wanting to break up with me yesterday.”
“You’re right. Sorry,” He said, rubbing the back of his head with his free hand and looking contrite. “I’m not trying to give you whiplash. I’ve never been very good at doing things halfway, I guess. If I’ve decided to be with you, that means I want to be all the way with you. Without holding anything back. No need to rush anything, I understand if you want to time to find your feet. But I want to be honest.”
Ha Jin didn’t know what to say to this so she said nothing.
He went on, “I want to try everything with you, all over again. For the first time. I want to go on dates and hold hands and travel to places like this. I want to live freely with you while I have the chance. To live as well as I possibly can for you. I want another chance to marry you, properly this time. And I want a little girl who looks like you…”
Something finally clicked into place. The empty feeling at the center of her, the reason her happiness was incomplete, she had remembered. Ha Jin came to a standstill, her fingers slipping out of Jin Woo’s hand.
I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. My Han Byul. My little girl.
Jin Woo took another two steps before looking back at her, “What is it? Did I say something wrong?”
Through her sorrow Ha Jin tried to speak, but at first she couldn’t. Tears had started to fall, and once they started they wouldn’t stop. She was imagining the last time she had seen her baby, realizing as Jin Woo took her by the shoulders, searching her face for an explanation, he doesn’t even know. How do I tell him?
Finally she managed, “You and I…we had…we already…I never told you...the real reason I had to leave the palace.”
For a few more seconds Jin Woo frowned, eyes full of concern, trying to make sense of her words, but almost as quickly his brow cleared with a realization. He pulled her into an embrace. “Shh, it’s okay. It’s going to be okay.”
Between racking sobs she gasped, “You don’t…understand…I…”
“You don’t have to explain. I already know.”
“…What?”
“Here I’ve been wondering what I could do to repay what I owe you. I didn’t realize all this time there was something I could still give you. I’m sorry I didn’t think of it sooner.”
When she had caught her breath somewhat she said, “What are you talking about?”
Jin Woo smiled at her tenderly, wiping the tears from her face with his thumbs, “Do you want me to tell you about our daughter?”
They spent the next few hours with Jin Woo telling her everything he could think of about Han Byul. Not always in order, not always coherently, but with animation and warmth.
“First and foremost,” He said, as though reading her mind, “Jung kept his promise to you. She never lived in the palace as long as I was alive.” Apparently the 14th prince had remained fiercely insistent that the little girl was nobody’s but his own. Even long after Wang So knew the truth about her origin, he would never admit otherwise. It was only years later, under the influence of strong liquor and after much protest that he had even admitted that Hae Soo was the real mother, that she had begged him never to let Han Byul go into the palace.
So hadn’t found out about her until several years after Soo’s death, and even that was an accident on Jung’s part. “My brother broke his exile. Left his hometown and made the journey with her to Song’ak for your death anniversary. That was when I knew.” He said. On the day very So had met Han Byul, Jung’s exile was lifted. “We came up with an arrangement. He would bring his ‘daughter’ to the capital once a year. In return, I would never ask him to send her to the court.”
“Tell me again,” Ha Jin asked, “What she looked like.”
“She resembled you. She had your hair and your eyes. From what I heard she could be very stubborn when she set her mind to something. And naturally Jung spoiled her to death.” From everything So had seen or heard, Jung was the most doting father one could have asked for. “It’s funny, she had your looks and your spirit, but all of her facial expressions were Jung’s.”
That image made Ha Jin laugh, thinking of how wild the 14th prince had been in his youth, and then her laughter almost set her off crying again. “I really wish I could have seen her.”
“She would have loved you. She did love you in her own way. Jung taught her to love your memory. He would tell her about you the way I’m telling you about her now. She came to the stone pagodas every year to preform your rites.”
Ha Jin could tell that despite his demeanor, it wasn’t easy for Jin Woo to talk about these things. Especially when he spoke about his brother, his eyes grew clouded. They never fully reconciled, I suppose, after what happened with their mother…The thought made her sad and she dismissed it quickly. A conversation for another day.
“It’s so strange. I hardly knew her but I miss her so much it aches when I think about her.”
“Well, you’re a mother. She’s a part of you, even now. If you had gotten the chance to watch her grow up you would have been an amazing mother. You would be again, if you ever chose to.”
“Thank you for talking about it like this. You don’t know how grateful…”
“Don’t be grateful. I’m happy to do it. I miss her too. Whenever you like, as often as you like, you just have to ask and I’ll tell you everything all over again.”
After listening to all this, the hollow place in Ha Jin’s heart—the  place where she now realized Han Byul fit—didn’t disappear, but it was filled somewhat by Jin Woo’s recovered memories of the little girl, growing into a happy and healthy young woman, far away from the dangers of the palace. Even if she was far out of Ha Jin’s reach, it was a comforting to know that she had managed to protect her daughter in the end. And who knew if they wouldn’t see each other again someday?
By the time they turned back up at the pension it was already lunch time. The ahjumma who owned the place greeted them both with almost too much enthusiasm and inquired—Ha Jin thought a bit cheekily—about how they had slept the night before. She served Ha Jin a double portion of rice, saying something in Jin Woo’s ear as she passed by. Ha Jin thought she heard the words “honeymoon baby” and something about red ginseng.
“What did she just say?” Ha Jin asked when she was gone, but he only turned bright red, filling his mouth with food and refusing to answer.
They whiled away the rest of the day in a senseless and haphazard way, enjoying each other’s company. Before she knew it dinner had passed them by and then the sun was setting. Where has the day gone?
“I wish we could stay here for a few more days. Two nights isn’t enough.” She said, as they were walking back to their room.
“We can come back if you like. Someday. When we both have more time to explore the island.”
“I’d like that.”
Ha Jin wandered into the en suite and caught sight of herself in the mirror. Her hair was a mess of snarls and rats nets. She let out an audible yelp as she untied the scarf that had been barely holding it in check. “I can’t believe you let me run around with sex hair all day.”
“I don’t think anyone noticed.”
“Tell that to the pension owner. No wonder she couldn’t stop snickering every time she saw me.”
"Bring your comb out here,” Jin Woo said, “I’ll brush it out for you.”
Ha Jin did as she was told, sitting cross-legged in front of Jin Woo on the bed while he gently began to work the tangles out of her long black hair.
“I’ve been thinking about something. I want your opinion.” He said.
“Mmm.” Ha Jin had her eyes closed, enjoying the sensation of Jin Woo playing with her hair, despite the occasional tug on her scalp. “Is it about having a baby? Because I’m going to need a few days to adjust to the idea.”
“No, it’s not about that.” He paused for a while before continuing. “What do you think about me, possibly, leaving my firm?”
“Why? To start you own practice?”
“No. I’ve been thinking I would quit practicing law all together.”
She tried to turn her head sharply to look at him, causing him to pull her hair. “Ouch.”
“Sorry.”
Ha Jin didn’t know much about his job, but she had always had the impression that he worked for a very prestigious and competitive law firm. And besides a few recent rough patches—most of which were in some way related to her—she knew he was very good at what he did. “Haven’t you always wanted to be a lawyer?”
“I’ve always wanted to earn my father’s approval.” He said. “I don’t think I’ve ever really wanted to be a lawyer.”
“What would you do instead?”
“That’s kind of the reason I wanted to talk to you about it.” She wished that she was facing him so she could try to read his expression. His voice sounded distant. “You know that Ji Mo—I mean Professor Choi is still studying what happened to us, don’t you? Looking into the possibility that there might be others like you and me. Other reincarnations. Other time slips.”
She hadn’t. She knew that he was looking for Wang Moo, but she had never even considered the idea that it went further than that. And Ji Mong had never mentioned it, perhaps on purpose to keep from upsetting her.
When she didn’t reply Jin Woo continued, “Well I’ve been thinking of ways that I could help him.”
“Help him? Why?”
“I don’t believe what happened to you and the Professor was an accident. I don’t believe it was an isolated incident either. I’ve always dismissed the possibility of the supernatural out of hand, but I can’t ignore everything that’s happened to me. If there is a reason you went back, then there’s a reason that you and I are here right now. There might be something bigger on the horizon. A greater purpose behind all of this. I want to find out what that is.” He ran the brush through the length of her hair several more times before saying, “There, all finished.”
Ha Jin swept her hair over one shoulder and began to braid it loosely for sleep. Slowly she turned to face Jin Woo, studying his eyes.
“What are you thinking?” He asked.
“I guess I’m just taken aback. I thought you would want to leave all of this behind us, to try to forget. But instead you want to dig further. I don’t know what to say.”
“The thing is, I don’t think forgetting is an option. I wish it was. I wish I could go on with my life as though nothing has changed, but I don’t think I can. Any more than I could disown a part of my soul. These memories of the past are a part of me, they’ve changed me. If this is who I am now, then I don’t want to live my life blindly. Does that make sense?”
“I think so.”
“Does it scare you?”
She began to say, “A little bit, but—”
He added hastily, “If you tell me not to, I won’t. If it would make you unhappy, then I don’t want to do it.”
“Let me finish. It scares me a little bit, but only because I’ve spent so long trying to run away from it. If you tell me this is where you want to go, then I’ll stick right by your side, and go there with you. I’m done with leaving you alone, okay? But there is one thing that bothers me.”
“What is that?”
“Didn’t you say, eventually, you’d had hopes of being invited to work with your father in the States? If this is what you want to do, it could mean staying in Korea. Perhaps long term. I mean, don’t you still want to live near you family again?”
He set the brush to aside and took one of her hands in both of his, “I don’t want to go anywhere.” He said, bringing her hand up to his lips and kissing it, “All the family I need is right here.”
Ha Jin felt her face begin to color but she didn’t bother trying to hide it, smiling at him. On a rogue impulse she sprang forward, pushing him backwards onto the bed, straddling his hips. Leaning down she kissed him once, softly, and began to sit up again, but he looped his arms around her waist and pulled her down onto his chest, kissing her again. Harder this time, and as he did he rolled them over so he was above her, looking down into her eyes.
“Don’t let me run away again.” She heard him say, “Even if I get scared. Even if I try to. You have to hang onto me like you did before and bring you back to you. Promise me?”
As he spoke he found the hollow of her collar bone with his mouth and kissed her there, over and over again, moving his knee upward and hiking the skirt of her sundress to her thighs. She tried to answer him, but found her powers of speech were failing her. “…Whatever happens…” she managed, “…I promise…” His hand slid slowly to the back of her knee, making her whole body quiver involuntarily.
She started to yank his t-shirt over his head. Jin Woo sat up briefly to finish the job, tossing it off the bed. He rested one hand on either side of her head, gazing down at her intently. And the expression in his eyes now was not quite that of Jin Woo, and not entirely of So either, instead it was something new and thrilling.
“Soo-ya.” His voice was low and earnest, and the use of her old name surprised her, “Saranghae.”
She reached for him, caressing his cheek with the blade of her hand, whispering back, “Me too. Saranghae, naui Hwangja-nim.”
  [The End]
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spacelabrathor · 9 months ago
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|| m.list || part I || part II ||
⇢ pairing: katsuki bakugo x fem!reader
⇢ chapter: part III of III
⇢ rating: e, 18+
⇢ word count: 19,678 [ao3]
⇢ warnings: hybrids, mildly dubious consent, biting, blood, knotting, vaginal sex, vaginal fingering, oral sex (fem receiving)
⇢ tags: wolf hybrid bakugo, aged up characters, slow burn, bed sharing
⇢ notes: please note the new warnings and tags before reading 
⇢ summary:
After the attack, the relationship between you and your hybrid Bakugo continues to grow closer and stronger. As it does, you can’t help but feel like the two of you are heading down an inevitable, slippery path towards something you can’t take back, until finally, you can’t bring yourself to fight it any longer. 
You go to the emergency room the next morning. Slipping out of the house before Bakugo wakes, wishing you could leave him a note to tell him where you’ve gone but knowing that you won’t be able to leave him if he looks at you like he did the night before. You leave him a breakfast set at the table, hoping that’s enough to tell him you’ll return, and tuck your arm against your chest as you drive into town to get the help that you need. 
You return in the early afternoon with seventeen stitches and a freshly wrapped bandage. Bakugo meets you when you step into your home with a soft whine, and then crowds you against the back of the door. His head bowed as he lifts your arm to his face and snuffles along the new bandage, his touch gentle even as his hand curls entirely around your wrist. 
You murmur to him softly, telling him you’re okay. That you’re alright and you’re back, that he doesn’t need to worry, as he grounds himself on the smell of you and the feel of your body against his. 
You lift a hand, slowly. Giving him plenty of time to avoid the touch but he simply huffs softly when your fingers slip into his hair. His eyes dropping closed, his breath deepening when your fingers rub soothingly at his ears, and you hold each other there, for a good long while. A reminder that all is well and that you have each other, still, at the end of everything. 
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Something shifts between the two of you, after that. Unavoidably, perhaps, after going through something like that together. 
Your relationship with Bakugo had always been a fragile thing. A house of cards built on sand, a tentative truce built on slowly added layers of trust and time, made entirely possible because of your complete and utter lack of expectation for him. Fostered by your feigned indifference to his presence while he came into his own, never pushing or pressing, but simply allowing him to be. 
You’d always known you were one wrong move from blowing it entirely. One accidentally crossed boundary from being ripped back to where you started with him. Back to bared teeth and low growls and hard, garnet eyes. One step too far away from him demanding to leave you and return to the shelter, where death waited certainly for him. 
So it’s disorienting to realize that things are different now. That your relationship with him has changed right to it’s very foundation, solid, now, beneath your feet instead of shifting. 
You hadn’t realized there had been an invisible undercurrent of tension between the two of you, before. You’d been so elated by the progress he’d made that you hadn’t realized you still felt you were walking on a knife’s edge of care - to not say the wrong thing or touch him the wrong way or do something inadvertently to trigger a horribly memory of the past. 
You don’t realize this until it simply isn’t there any longer, and instead of feeling like the ground has opened up beneath you, it simply feels like peace. 
Life carries on, as it always does, but instead of feeling like you have to flutter around the edges of the feral shadow that lives in your home, you realize you can simply be, with him. You can be the parts of you that aren’t gentle and deferential and eye-averting because you won’t drive him away with a single careless move. 
There is a strange kind of knowing between two people that’s revealed when you’ve shared blood and tears and you find its coming between the two of you a relief immeasurable. 
He doesn’t leave the trails to run now, and you don’t ask him to. 
The first few days back are decidedly unfun, the both of you clearly feeling the need to put on a stoic face for the other while slow prickling fear had been plucking at your nerves, but it’s not a week before the woods begin to feel like home to you once more. Your mind eager to rewrite your latest, awful memories with the years of tranquility you’ve known in the park, bolstered by the solid, steadfast presence of Bakugo at your side. 
He’ll return to ranging like he did before, you think. Eventually. But you learn through trial and error, thoughtlessly slipping around a bend in the trial when his eyes were caught on something in the trees and hearing the sharp intake of breath when he’d looked up and found you gone, that he needs to keep you with him for now. That that’s how he’ll move on from this, by keeping you close and keeping you safe and keeping you whole under his watch.
You know the memory of the attack weighs on him because he obsesses over the wound on your arm. Insisting on inspecting it every night when you change bandages after your shower. Crowding into your space and frowning. Lifting your forearm so he can snuffle along the edges of it, and though you don’t know what he’s seeking when he does so, he’s always more settled, after. Leaning against the bathroom door frame and watching you as you dress your forearm in clean bandages, touching at them to be sure they’re secure when you’re done. 
It heals well, all things considered. You keep it wrapped and clean and dry, tending to it meticulously, and get the okay to get the stitches out just under two weeks after getting them in. 
The skin left beneath them is puffy and pink, a jagged line that splinters and spreads across the bulk of your forearm, but the doctor assures you it will fade with time. 
You think it looks kind of cool, honestly, but don’t say so because Bakugo doesn’t stop frowning and touching at it, even once the stitches are out. 
He recovers even faster, which is no surprise. The scratches on his neck and the cuts on his hands fade to nothing in a few day’s time and you mean to keep careful track of the bruising on his chest and back anytime he walks around shirtless but they disappear just as quickly. Going yellow-green and then fading entirely and leaving him whole again. 
Physically, you both recover without complication. Mentally, well. That comes a little slower. Less linear. 
You don’t sleep. Not well, anyway. 
It’s more of a general unease, at first. An antsy feeling in your blood that begins to thrum before you begin your nightly routine that you don’t quite understand but that keeps you staring at your ceiling as the clock on your wall ticks the hours by. Lucky to get an hour or two of shut eye by the time the sun begins to peek through your window in the morning. 
It’s something you assume you’ll just have to get over, that you’ll just have to give your central nervous system a chance to come down after being so thoroughly run through, and it gives you long, long hours of restlessness to circle around thoughts in your own mind. 
It’s on these nights that you hear him, moving through the halls. Floorboards creaking softly beneath his feet, betraying his presence as he slips from his room at the end of the hall and makes his way down it. Pausing, then at your door. For so long sometimes that the house settles back into a deep silence, before he steps away again, to go back to his room. 
You’re not sure what he’s seeking in those moments. Not sure what he can sense through your door, if he can hear your heartbeat or if he can sense whether you’re safe behind it, but he does it frequently enough that you know he can’t be getting much sleep, either. 
You become attuned to the sound when it slips beneath the crack of your door. The soft whine of wood beneath bare feet, and you don’t know if he’s doing it, this silent, cyclical patrol, for your benefit, or for his. 
But, you adjust. You get in the habit of brewing coffee every morning, sucking down a tall travel mugs worth every morning on the drive to the trails and learn to move a little slower when you walk up hills or you’ll find yourself utterly wiped by the summit of them. You find yourself blinking off exhaustion when you sit down across the table from him for dinner, knowing that sleep will keep stubbornly from you once you actually lie down for the night. 
You notice the faint dark circles that develop under Bakugo’s eyes, only visible when the sun hits him just right, and resist the urge to touch gently at them with your fingertips. 
You don’t say anything to him about it, because there isn’t anything to say. You stare up at your ceiling at night and listen to the sounds of him checking on you, and checking, and checking again, like a new parent hovering around the crib to be sure their newborn is still breathing and think to yourself that you’ll get over this. The both of you will, eventually. Right? 
You make it two weeks of sleepless nights before you get a prescription. A sleeping pill, just enough to settle your mind to allow you to slip under. You ask Bakugo if he wants something similar, if there’s anything you can do to help him rest better, but he simply looks at you across the table at breakfast like he doesn’t know what you’re talking about. As if he isn’t slumped in his chair, blinking heavy lids at you as he chews on his food. 
The pill works. You pop it thirty minutes before bed and fall asleep just minutes after your head hits the pillow. 
Then, the nightmares come. 
They’re not even of the attack. Not specifically, anyway. No clear scenes of memory, no film reel of what happened playing on a loop in your mind. Instead you dream of feeling - flashes of color, blinding and sharp, and splitting pain, setting your body on fire. Sinking, swirling, deafening pulls of dread and fear that fill up your lungs like smoke, that have you gasping for air and clawing at your throat. 
He nearly breaks your door from its hinges the first time it happens. You wake to the slam of it against the wall and to the sound of you screaming, a rasped, garbled, terrible sound, and flinch back from the sound of quick footsteps on the floor so hard you nearly tumble from the bed. 
It takes your tangled mind a blistering, terrified moment to realize that shadow looming over you, the hands fluttering over your sternum, your chest, are his. 
“Bakugo,” you rasp, wheezing, as your lungs constrict painfully in your chest, and he answers with a loud, trembling whine as his body curls over the top of yours on the bed. 
You grab his hands, have to, to stop them from touching at you blindly in the dark, and hold him there. Your chest heaving, spots touching at your vision as you return slowly to yourself. Realizing that you’ve soaked your sheets with sweat and that his heart is racing same as yours where he’s curled over you. 
“I’m okay,” you manage to croak after a minute. “I’m sorry.” Clearing your throat when you find it hoarse, and he grunts another throaty sound where his face is pressed somewhere in the juncture of your neck and shoulder. 
You stay like that for some time. Pressed down into your bedding from the weight of him on your chest as he half-kneels beside your bed. Listening to the tick of the clock on the wall and feeling the hard, pounding beat of his heart against yours. Threading your fingers through his hair, thumbs brushing at the roots of his ears and breathing deep when he shudders lightly at the touch. 
You remind yourself, then, that you’re okay. That you’re home in your bed and that you’re safe. That Bakugo is here with you. That he came running at the first sound of trouble, ready to protect you from all he could. You breathe deeply, forcing yourself to steady, to stop the tremor in your hands in his hair, and tell yourself that everything is alright, even if the hard thud of your heart in your chest feels a little bit like you're dying.
You drift off without realizing and wake in the morning to the sight of him kneeling beside your bed. His cheek pillowed on your chest, facing away from you. Lit with a beam of golden sunlight from your window, body heavy and breathing deeply in sleep. 
Seeing it makes your heart ache like someone reached into your chest and gripped it tight, and you have to let it out of you on a breath through parted lips like a mouthful of steam. Easing the sudden swell of pressure there behind your ribs, blinking back the emotion you feel like a pulse of warmth and home in your blood. 
You’d slept through the rest of the night, your slumber deep and dreamless. Because of him, you think. Because of the weight of him on your chest and the scent of him settling around you like a tangible comfort. 
You stay there with him. Reaching down and letting your hand find his hair once more. Threading gently through the mess of it, flaxen spikes in the early morning light, and let yourself simply sit in the understanding of the moment as it settles slowly around you. Remembering the night before. How he’d whined, thin and distressed, against you. How he’d curled over you instinctively, weighing you down to the bed when you needed nothing more than to just be grounded in the then.
How he’d stayed, until you’d fallen back asleep. Until he did, too, his breath rasping softly, puffing gently against the skin of your belly where your sleep shirt has ridden up. 
You don’t bother to look at your phone on your nightstand for the time as you lay there. Petting gently through his hair, massaging your fingertips around his ears, knowing that his internal clock is just as good as your alarm and not willing to leave this moment quite yet. 
You’re...calm, you realize. Settled deep into your body, your heartbeat steady and slow as you look down at the sight of Bakugo resting against you. The anxiety you’d felt before, that queasy sense of guilt or shame is nowhere to be found as your breathing syncs quietly to his and dust motes dance in the beam of light coming through the window. 
Maybe it’s because you’d gotten your first proper night’s sleep in weeks, you think, as you let the pad of your thumb gently trace the line of his hair across the back of his neck. Maybe it’s because you’re simply too tired of fighting this, now, after everything. 
You know when he wakes because he stretches. His whole body rippling softly with it as he comes to consciousness, muscles bunching and releasing as he comes back to himself, and he breathes in a deep, quiet breath and lifts his cheek from your belly before he seems to realize that something is different. 
You should know, by now, not to expect any particular reaction from him, because he always manages to surprise you. But you’re still a little amazed when his head turns to yours and your eyes meet, and he simply looks at you. Eyes a little squinted from the early morning light, the color of a cut gemstone. Looking over your face with an expression that’s soft and a touch confused, like he’s searching for something, as his ears softly twitch atop his head. 
Your fingers had stilled in his hair in case he’d wanted to pull away, but your hand is resting closer to his cheek now that he’s turned his head to see you, and you feel the warmth of his skin beneath your palm. 
He blinks at you, slowly, and then sighs. Softly, a quiet thing between you, and then pushes himself to his feet. 
His knees pop so loudly it startles a laugh out of you that’s far too loud for the quiet of the morning. He throws you a dirty look without any actual heat in it when you clap your hands over your mouth to contain a giggle and he grimaces through stretching his body out. Limbs gone creaky and cold from spending the night knelt beside your bed on a hardwood floor, no doubt. 
He grumbles, harmless and pissy, and leaves, slipping through the door out into the hall and turning towards the bathroom, and for once, you don’t bother to stop yourself from watching him go. 
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The same thing happens the next night. You take the pill, slip into a deep sleep, and are woken by the weight of Bakugo against you as your senses come back to you in a rush and you realize you were screaming into the dark of your room like you were being strangled. 
You pull him up into the bed this time, chest heaving and burning from lack of oxygen, and he goes. Lets you pull at him with desperate, hard hands and crawls over you there on the bed. Settling down beside you, his breathing a little quick, too, as you pull him close and cling to him. Using him like an anchor, like a mountain, to keep the room from spinning as you draw in gasping breath and try to hear anything over the roar of your heart in your ears. 
He stays that night, too, and when he appears wordlessly at your door when you bed down the following night, the warmth you feel thickening in your veins feels a lot like relief. 
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Bakugo is the first to rise most mornings but you beat him to it on a warm morning at the end of the work week. Mind consumed with an idea that had popped into it the night before, slipping out of the hold Bakguo’s sleeping form has on you and leaving him there to rest in your bed when you sneak through your cracked bedroom door and down the hall. 
It takes you twenty minutes to find where you’d stashed your printer, an old, outdated thing that had been left in the house by the previous owners, and then another ten to get it to connect to your laptop. The quality isn’t the best, the pictures you print end up a little grainy and smudged, but it works just fine for your purposes, and you bring the stack of printed papers to the kitchen, walking carefully when you pass your bedroom so you don’t wake him. 
You get to work after getting the coffee maker going, sitting at the table and cutting the pictures out with scissors. Still dressed in your sleep clothes and yawning, blinking blearily at the little stack of rectangular photos you end up with, but satisfied with your work by the time you fish out a roll of tape and begin taping the pictures on items across the kitchen. 
He joins you after a while, woken, likely, by the smell of fresh coffee heating in the air. 
You’re at the sink when he crosses the threshold of the kitchen, your back to him as you scrub lightly at some dishes you’d been too lazy to wash the night before, but you feel him enter the room as surely as if you’d seen him. Letting out a quiet sigh, feeling a bloom of something in your chest when you hear soft footsteps cross the tile and then feel the warmth of him against your back.
He rumbles softly in your ear as his chest nudges against your shoulder blades. His face tipping down towards yours, his nose touching to your hairline to snuffle softly at you. 
Your hands still in the sudsy water and you find yourself tilting your head a touch. Sighing again when his nose nudges behind your ear and you feel the press of his cheek against your jaw. 
“Good morning,” you murmur. Allowing yourself this, the indulgence of it, because it doesn’t spark fear in you any longer. Doesn’t make your heart spike in your chest, doesn’t make your belly twist with worry. All of that lost, it seems, to the nights you’ve spent with him in your bed. Breathing in his scent, feeling the weight of him against you deep in your bones. Attuning to the deep rasp of his breathing and the feeling of his arms as they pull you close to him. 
He grunts softly in response and you feel the whisper of his ear moving against your temple before he stands back to full height and lifts into a full body stretch. Joints popping, making him groan, and you can tell when he wakes enough to see your handiwork around the kitchen because he goes still behind you. 
Your lungs squeeze, just a quick little pulse of something as you rinse your hands under the tap and dry them on a dishtowel, turning until the counter is pressed against your back. 
He’s looking around the kitchen, eyes still squinted with sleep, hair a rumpled mess, and you give him a moment, to see if he’ll understand your aim. 
He doesn’t seem to, his eyes returning to yours after a moment. Exhaling quietly and waiting, clearly, for you to explain why the kitchen is covered in little pictures of hands with arrows to signify motion. 
“I’ve been thinking,” you say, feeling your heart in your chest. A touch of nerves or simply anticipation, you’re not sure. “There has to be a way for us to communicate better. So you can talk to me instead of me just talking to you.” 
One of his brows nudges up, barely perceptible on his face, but you read it, and you know you’ve captured his interest. 
“Have you heard of sign language?” you ask. Wishing, suddenly that you had something to do with your hands and settling for running the dish towel between them. It’s excitement, you think. Making you so jittery all of the sudden. Hopeful, that he’ll buy into this along with you. 
He shakes his head once, and you half expected that, so you continue on. 
“People who have difficulty hearing use it to communicate. It’s all hand gestures, so you don’t need to talk.” 
Both of his brows have lifted on his face, now. His eyes travel around the room again, cataloging the dozens of pictures of hand signs you have taped to every surface, before they return to yours. 
His ears twitch, flattening a bit. 
“I know,” you tell him. “There’s a lot to it. We’d both have to learn, but...I think it could be good.” 
He looks at you for a moment longer before he shifts his weight on his feet and leans past you. Plucking the little picture you’d taped to his water glass sitting on the counter, pulling it towards his face to examine it. He shows it to you, brow a little wrinkled, and you find yourself making the same face. Frowning lightly as you try to interpret…
You move your fingers into a curled shape and tap the base of it twice against your flat palm. 
His brow lifts at you, a little suggestive, and you resist the urge to push him. 
“It means cup,” you tell him, dryly. “I...guess.” You squint at the picture again and repeat the motion, still not entirely sure if you’re doing it right. This might be harder than you thought it would be. 
When you lift your eyes from the picture back to his face, he looks away. Like you caught him staring, even though you hadn’t noticed it. 
“What do you think?” you ask him. Making a show of taping the picture back to the glass when you set it back down on the counter. “Will you practice with me?” 
He seems to consider it for a moment, more for show than anything, you think, but he eventually nods. A mask of feigned indifference firmly in place over his expression, like he could take it or leave it, but you know him well enough now to see the glint there in his eye and know it belies an intense level of interest he’s not willing to voice. 
“Good,” you tell him. Letting out a sigh that carries with it any quiet apprehension he would say no and clasping your hands together in front of you. “Now, what’s for breakfast?” 
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The house ends up littered in pictures of hand signs, though it often takes the both of you to confer on what exactly it’s telling you to do before either of you uses a new sign for the first time. 
It’s slow and clunky, though you at least have the benefit of pairing the spoken word with the item when you sign it, but you don’t give up, and neither does he. 
Meals become practice time for signs for anything not tangible, like verbs or modifiers or emotions, a spiral bound textbook spread out beside you on the table when you eat breakfast and dinner. Doing your best to demonstrate the sign and practicing in sync with him as you both eat in otherwise comfortable silence. 
It feels like one step forward, two steps back most days, your brain struggling to retain this sea of new information, as the two of you muddle through learning something new together without much particular grace or finesse. 
But then one night you ask Bakugo what he wants to eat for dinner and watch as he goes quiet for a moment. Thinking, clearly, his ears swiveling atop his head, before he looks up and pinches the space between his thumb and pointer finger on his flat palm. 
Your mind whirls, then. Racking your memory, because you know that one, you know it. 
Meat. 
It clicks, you hear the word in your mind as if he’d spoken it aloud, and you’re stunned at the feeling that floods you. Rushes through you like water, churning, filling you up to the brim, because he just spoke to you. 
You feel a little breathless as you turn to the fridge and pull out a package of chicken, holding it up for his inspection. He nods, eagerly, and you chew hard on your lower lip to keep the swell of emotion you feel in your chest in check when you nod back to him. 
“Okay,” you say. Voice a little wobbly, smiling so big it makes your cheeks ache. “What else?” 
He thinks for another moment, his brows drawing a touch on his face. He lifts his hand slowly, first two fingers forming a “v”, and then he taps the pad of his pointer finger against his cheek, turns his hand, then taps the pad of his middle finger in the same place.
This one comes to you immediately. Vegetables. 
You breathe deliberately, lungs tightening with a helpless sort of laugh. Nodding to him when he continues to watch you for confirmation that he did it right. 
“Like a stir fry?” 
He nods again, quick, sharp. As excited as you are, maybe, though he refuses to really show it, so you let out a watery sigh and nod to him once more. 
“That sounds great. Excellent choice.” 
It has you thrumming as you begin the motions of preparing the meal. Your heart beating like a drum in your chest, your cheeks hurting from the smile you can’t wipe from your face. Feeling a bit like you’re floating, because for the first time, you’re able to give Bakugo something he requested. Because he’s no longer relegated to nods and head shakes and accepting whatever it is you put in front of him that day for lack of any way to communicate a want for anything different. 
It ends up being the best tasting stir fry you’ve ever made. You tell him so, finger still resting on the page of the sign language textbook, and he huffs out a soft, unimpressed sound you know not to really believe. He cleans his bowl and gets up for seconds so you think, as you watch him across the table as he dutifully copies your hand motion for the sign for “to run”, that he thinks so too. 
You finish the lesson at the table as the sun starts to go down through the window over the sink and he stands at last and gathers the empty bowls in one hand to bring them to the sink. 
You nearly miss it, the motion half hidden by his body as he turns to go, but you see him raise a hand to his face, pressing to his mouth before pulling straight back, and it hits you like a current of warm air when you head the words sound in your head as if they’d come from his lips instead of his hands. 
Thank you. 
You help him with dishes, then. Focusing on lifting the stain of soy sauce from the porcelain of the plates to keep yourself from giving in to the distant but very real urge to tear up and feeling the presence of him beside you as he scoops leftovers into a glass dish somewhere inside of you like a living, breathing thing. 
Warm and full of life, bright with the promise of possibilities and the chances and of a whole new world that’s been opened up between you.
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There’s a lake tucked away in the far northeastern corner of the park and on an unseasonably hot afternoon, you decide to bring Bakugo there. 
It’s remote, off the path and only really findable if you know what you’re looking for, and though he looks unimpressed when you tell him you have a surprise for him, you catch the soft tic of his brows on his forehead. 
You step off the trail and have to push through some brush and bramble, the little deer trail you usually use grown over through the summer, but you persevere because you know it’s worth it. The sun is hot overhead, even in the shadow of the forest, and nothing sounds better to you as sweat darkens your temples than a dip in cool, refreshing water. 
Bakugo follows closely behind you, his presence sure and steady, close enough that you hear the quiet sound he makes when you finally step through the brush and into a secluded, grassy clearing. 
Ahead is the lake, the water gleaming with the reflection of the sun, and the breeze that drifts by you feels heavenly as Bakugo steps up beside you. 
Your arm aches distantly and you rub a palm over the scarred skin, meeting his eyes when Bakugo looks down to you. Grinning, instantly, at the light you see in his expression. An eagerness, a spark of life there you hadn’t realized you’d missed out here on the trails, and after you reach up to slip the collar from around the base of his neck, you nod your head towards the water and tell him to go on then. 
He lingers for a moment, eyes searching over you, emotion shifting clearly over his face, before his jaw pulses, decision made, and he pushes off. Jogging away from you for the first time since the attack, thrumming with anticipation of something fresh and new. 
You watch as he cuts through the thick grass of the clearing and can’t help but throw your head back and laugh when he runs straight into the lake. Not slowing, no hesitation. Splashing through the shallow water at the edge, dressed still in his hiking boots and his pants and his shirt and soaking himself instantly to the skin. 
By the time you make it to the water’s edge, he’s in the deep center of it. Breathing deeply, catching your ear, as he glides easily through the water. Swimming for the first time in who knows how long, his eyes closed against the sun overhead as he gives himself over to the feeling of it. 
You watch him for a long while until you realize that your cheeks have begun to ache from smiling and then allow yourself to sit there on the gentle slope that leads to the edge. Holding your palm up over your eyes to shield them from the sun so you can watch Bakugo swim around in the deep, dark blue of the water to your heart’s content. 
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You spend the next few hours there. Sitting on the banks of the lake, your hiking boots and socks set beside you, your pants rolled up over the ankles. Feet submerged in the cool water, grateful for the shadow from a tall oak that casts across you as the hot sun makes its way across the blue sky. 
Bakugo swims the entire time, coming out only for you to help strip him of his heavy, water-logged clothes and boots, and then an hour later when you spread out the contents of your lunches on the front of your pack in a make-shift picnic blanket. 
He eats stretched out beside you, clad only in underwear that clings wetly to him, breathing deeply in what sounds like contentment as he chews, before he pushes off again. Jogging back into the lake and diving in once it hit his waist. Shaking his head like a dog when he breaks the surface again and beginning to swim around again.
Your only regret, as the hours pass slowly and easily, is not bringing him here sooner. You only have a week or two of weather warm enough to swim but you vow to make visits here as frequent as you can before the weather begins to turn. 
He draws your attention when he comes stalking up to you, splashing through the shallow water until he stands before you, his chest dripping with lakewater and rising and falling with heavy breath. 
He looks at you with some intention and your brows wrinkle. 
“What?” you ask, because he clearly wants something. 
His ears twitch atop his head as his mouth turns. He looks back over his shoulder to the lake and back to you, which you read as clearly as if he’d spoken aloud. No sign needed there. 
You snort and shake your head. “No thank you,” you tell him. “I’m good here.” There’s no worse feeling than putting dry clothes on a wet body and you’re looking to avoid that for the long hike back to the car. 
He frowns, ears turning backwards, and you don’t bother to hide the roll of your eyes from him. 
“You’re doing great,” you tell him. Waving him away, back towards the water. “We can stay as long as you want, get back to swimming.” 
He watches you for a long moment, his eyes traveling down your form in a strange way, like he’s cataloging something he’s seeing there, and you get just a second to see something like trouble cross his expression before his hand darts out to you. 
“No,” you hiss, jerking away, but his hand finds your wrist and he’s strong. Yanking you to your feet, pulling you towards the water’s edge as your free arm windmills and you barely resist the urge to shriek at the top of your lungs.
He pauses when your bare feet touch at the edge of the water, your arm stretched out tight between the two of you as all of your weight leans back and away from him. You’re glowering at him but he’s unbothered. 
“You dick,” you accuse, and his mouth twitches, traitorously, into something like a smirk. 
Time stands still for a moment, with you perched on the precipice of the lake, before you groan and throw him the most deeply unimpressed look you can manage. 
“Fine,” you say, and his ears perk up atop his head, even as his expression remains set on something entirely pleased with himself. You know you can’t physically stop him from dragging you in there and he seems set on doing just that. “Let me get out of my clothes first. If you get my pants wet, I’m making you walk home.” 
He relents, then. Satisfied, dropping your hand and watching you as you take a step back and begin to strip. 
You turn away from him, annoyance and something else making your cheeks feel sunburned and warm, and make a show out of spiking each article of clothing onto the ground when you pull it free, though you know he won’t care. 
When you turn back, the intensity of his eyes on you has something cinching in your belly, and you fold your arms over your chest and the old sports bra there and do your best to frown at him.
“Happy?” you ask, and the look he passes you indicates that yes, he very much is. 
You stand there for a minute, bare feet sinking softly into the sandy soil, just to watch the smug look on his face shift into annoyance at you taking so long, because that’s an emotion you’re at least prepared to deal with from him. 
“Is the water cold?” 
His mouth twitches again at the corner. He shakes his head in an obvious fucking lie. His nipples are hard on his chest, pebbled up in the gentle breeze, so you know it isn’t warm. 
“You’re the worst,” you tell him, holding up a hand to keep him from reaching for you again as you inch your way towards the water’s edge then step gingerly in. 
It’s colder than you remember from when your feet had been in earlier, but you think that’s the dread talking. 
“Give me a second,” you tell him when he huffs impatiently again, wading out until the water reaches up to your knees. 
It’s cold. Goosebumps break out over your legs and down your arms and you shiver hard, cutting him a look. 
He pats the surface of the water appeasingly, like that means anything to you, and you decide then that you’ve indulged him enough and it’s turning him into a brat. 
You make it one stride backwards, backpedaling through the water, before he catches you and you do shriek then. Pounding your fists on his back as he throws you over his shoulder and carries you out to where the water turns dark with depth. 
“Bakugo,” you hiss. “I hate you so much. I hate you so much. It’s so cold Bakugo - put me down - ” 
You get one look at his expression, shit-eating, before he dumps you unceremoniously into the water. 
It’s not so much cold as it is freezing and you gasp desperately for air when you finally paddle up and manage to break the surface. It’s deeper than you can touch, your feet kicking uselessly through water, and you cling to the first solid thing that appears in front of you, blind as you blink the water from your eyes and cough hard to clear your chest. 
When you finally manage to open your eyes, your stomach dips down to your feet in a whoosh that has nothing to do with the lakewater in your lungs. 
Your arms are wrapped around Bakugo’s neck, his face is just inches from yours. His eyes look like wine in the afternoon sunlight, dark and deep, and you feel his hands drift through the water to rest at your hips to steady you as you float against him. 
You cough one last time, face contorting into a frown to show your displeasure with him, but his mouth just does that twitch that makes you want to splash water in his face. 
Your mouth drops open so you can curse him out some more but snaps shut when his arms tighten around your waist and tug you close to him. Your arms tighten around his neck reflexively and you lurch back when he suddenly ducks his head to yours and begins to sniff your face. 
You go still, hanging off the front of him in the cold water. Feeling your heart in your chest, pounding, as he inspects you. Snuffling along your jawline, then up. Dragging the point of his nose across your cheek, then to your ear where he sniffs some more. Inhaling deeply at your hairline, the back of your neck heating as his hands settle more firmly around the curve of your waist. 
He does this, now, this intense inspection of you, but you find you’re still not quite used to it. Not while looking at him anyway, seeing the intensely focused look in his eye as he goes. His mouth warm when it brushes over your cheek, close to your mouth, his breath puffing softly against your skin. 
It feels more intimate like this. Facing each other, instead of him snuffling along the back of your neck in the morning in the kitchen or when bedding down together for the night. It feels more like a human thing. A romantic thing, though you know not to attribute any such motive to the action. 
Before you can do anything to react, though, he satisfies whatever curiosity he was chasing and draws back on a quiet, rumbling sound. 
You clear your throat, feeling something lodged in it, and when his eyes meet yours, you shake your head at him. “The worst,” you remind him, and he lifts his lip in a silent, entirely heatless bare of his teeth. A gruffly affectionate tease, as much as anything.
You think of a dozen other things to call him but he pushes off then. Propelling himself backwards into the deeper water while you squeak and cling to him as he floats through the water. You’ve been to the lake a hundred times in your years as a ranger but you’ve never ventured out this far into the depths, and the sight of your body disappearing into the dark water around you has your lungs feeling a little tight. 
But he seems content to float with you. Keeping you centered on his chest like an otter as he drifts easily on his back, his grip around your waist loosening when he seems to decide you won’t push him away. 
And that, somehow, is how you spend the rest of the afternoon. The water isn’t terrible once your body adjusts and when it becomes clear Bakugo isn’t going to bring you to shore where you want to go, you resign yourself to riding around on him as he swims his fill. 
Your arms stay wrapped around his neck as he kicks easily through the water, shifting you to rest on his back when he tires of floating and wants to swim properly, and all you can do is hang on as he tows you slowly around the expanse of the lake. 
For all his attitude earlier, he listens when you tell him it’s time to get out so you can dry on the lakeshore before heading back to the car and he paddles you easily back to the shallows. Half-carrying you out of the water, even when you gripe and protest, until he plops you down on your butt on the sandy soil and drops easily to the ground beside you with a heaving, contented sigh. 
Any lingering annoyance with him is carried away on the breeze when you feel the warm bake of the sun on your bare skin and once you’ve settled your body back into the grass, feel yourself begin to drift off almost at once. Exhausted from your tussle with him getting into the water and from the long hike out to the lake before it, breathing in deeply and smelling nothing but grass and wild water and the open, fresh air around you. 
You drift in and out for some time, blinking finally awake only at the distant sound of a bird in the trees. You slowly return to yourself, body feeling stiff and warm all over from the heat of the sun, and when you turn your head, you find Bakugo there. Laying on his side, right beside you. Facing you, his cheek resting on the pillow of his bicep where his arm is curled beneath his head. Eyes closed in sleep, his ears loose atop his head, still damp from his swim. 
Your arm is outstretched towards him, resting on the ground near his face, and the sun glints off the shiny pink of the scar that criss-crosses your forearm where it’s resting in the grass. You wonder if he was inspecting the scar again when you dozed off, or when he did, and you feel something pulse in your chest at the thought of it. 
You pull your hand to your chest, cradling it there, and the movement makes his eyes slide open. 
You smile down at him, because you can’t help it. You reach for him before you can talk yourself out of it and pet your fingers against his ears. A soft brush of a touch before you withdraw them, and he simply breathes deeply and watches you do it. 
“Sun’s going down,” you tell him. Voice coming out a little raspy. “Time to go home.”  
He doesn’t stir until you’re up and fully dressed and slipping your pack onto your back. Watching you from where he’s laid out on the grass, his head still resting on his arm. 
You look out at the setting sun and then down to him, smiling again, a little helplessly, because his expression as he looks up at you is something you’re not sure you’ve seen before. A little soft around the edges, his brows lightly drawn on his face. 
“What is it?” you ask him. Because you can, now. 
He breathes quietly, staring up at you. Thinking, his eyes traveling over your face in search of something, and then he takes his free hand and rubs his flat palm over the center of his chest. 
Happy. 
He watches you, then, like he always does. To see if he’s done the right sign, if he’s made sense, and you nod to him immediately. Repeating the motion over your chest as your throat tightens with some emotion, so he knows that you are, too. 
Because you are, really. God, you are. 
“You ready?” you ask, and finally, he nods. Pushing himself to his feet on a soft groan, unfurling like a wildcat. Stretching his arms over his head as you gather his clothes. They’re still damp but you hand them to him all the same. 
He dresses in silence and then the two of you head off. Ducking beneath a bough of bramble and onto the small path through the brush you’d walked to get there, moving in quiet tandem until you reach the main trail. 
From there, the path is open and clear and the two of you walk side by side, as you always do now. Listening to the sounds of the forest beginning to settle for the night as you make your way back to the parking lot and your car, to take the two of you back home, where warm food and a soft bed and a night of sleepy television shared on the couch awaits you.
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The day spent in the sun and the water wipes you both out and you end up ordering takeout for dinner. You eat at the table so you can practice more from your textbook, eating straight out of the takeout containers as you trade hand signs back and forth in an easy sort of silence that fills the space between you like a warm blanket. 
Bakugo ends up finishing your leftovers and the two of you clean up after. Moving together in the space of the kitchen in sync, accustomed, now, to the flow of your lives together. 
You go to change into your sleep clothes, wanting out of your trail pants and the waistband that’s digging into your full belly, and when you come back out to the living room with a laundry basket perched on your hip, Bakugo is already there. Sprawled in his spot next to yours on the couch, his head propped up on his palm as he flicks through channels on the television. 
You’re too in your own head to pay any mind to what he lands on to watch, tipping the laundry basket on its side beside you on the couch and beginning to pair socks. Cozy and content and full of warm food, feeling as if you could nod off at minute as your hands work into a mindless, comforting rhythm. 
You notice the presence of him beside you on a couch in a way you never did before and you feel it, distantly, in the back of your mind as you work. 
You’d always kept such a deliberate distance between you, always averted your eyes when he’d come from the shower shirtless or fully bare, but you’ve become acquainted with his body in an unavoidable way since he began bedding down with you every night. 
Not in...that way, of course. Your nights now usually end by slipping into your bed with Bakugo following soon after. His hair still damp from the shower, the mattress dipping as he slips in beside you. 
He’s gotten into the habit of checking you over, then. Or, at least that’s what you think he’s doing when he rolls onto his hip towards you and tips your face towards him. Tilting your chin up as he snuffles along your hairline, his nose brushing the shell of your ear. Rubbing his cheek against yours, rumbling softly in his chest as he inspects you, for what, though, you don’t quite know. 
After a few nights, the effect of it became quite powerful. A proper conditioned response where the feeling of his breath puffing softly against your skin has your eyelids weighing heavy and a soft sigh slipping from your lips. Your hand curling around one of his wrists as he leans over you and smells you, scents you, until he pulls away at last and you’re nearly on the precipice of sleep from that touch alone when he shifts back to his side of the bed and settles back against it with a heavy sigh. 
Your bed is a bit oversized for just you, always has been, and the two of you usually fall asleep like that. With you curled on your side facing your window and Bakugo resting on his back with his arm thrown up over his face. His breathing when he sleeps is deep and slow, a little raspy, and you find it a balm, a soothing, thick little vibration of the air whenever your mind tries to slip towards the darker corners of your memory. 
Your sleep with Bakugo in the bed beside you is deep and dreamless, an overwhelming respite from the nights you’d spent staring at your ceiling, and you think that’s why you can’t quite give it up. Can’t tell him to return to his own bed, to his own room. Welcoming him every night with a soft murmur of his name and turning into him when he draws you near to satiate whatever it is he’s looking for when he scents you. 
For all that you fall asleep apart, though, you wake up invariably together. You’re not sure if it’s gravity or the shape of your mattress, or if the two of you just seek each other in the night, but you wake every morning to find yourself tucked up against him. Your face nudged against the hollow of his throat, your fingers curled loosely where your hands are pressed between your chest and his. 
It’s through this, those quiet moments where you wake before you force yourself to slip from the bed, when you learn him in a new way. Unable to stop yourself, your mind slow with sleep and warmed with comfort, as you memorize the feeling of him beside you. As you feel the immense weight of him against you, as your toes rub softly against his shins beneath the sheets, dwarfed entirely by his size. As you draw in deep, slow breaths of his scent until the smell of him is buried somewhere deep in you, rooted like a towering oak, til it nearly feels like a part of you. 
So even sitting here on the couch with him sprawled out beside you, lazily scrolling through channels, you can feel him. You’re aware of him in a way that feels a touch prickly around the edges. A little new, as if he hasn’t been sharing that spot beside you on the couch for months at this point. 
You finish the socks in the laundry basket, an impressive mound of matched sets beside you on the couch, and move on to the other clothes, shirts and shorts, gone deep in reflection in your own mind, when a noise from the television catches your attention. 
He usually picks action stuff when he’s in charge of the remote, preferring fast-paced stories to keep his attention, but the scene on the screen when you look up is quiet and darkly lit. When you glance down beside you, though, he’s watching with as much attention as you’ve ever seen him give. 
His head is still propped up on his hand but his ears are pricked softly forward on his head, and your mouth opens to ask him what’s captured his interest when you hear another sound that has your head whipping back to watch the screen. 
It’s a soft, wet sound, one that makes goosebumps prickle down your arms, because you recognize it at once. 
The two leads are kissing, on the screen. Reclining on a bed, lit by flickering firelight. Curled against each other, mouths pressed together. Learning each other, it seems. Pushing and pulling, lips sliding against each other and then drawing back. Soft, wet smacking sounds every time they part, whispers of exhales and breaths when a flicker of tongue moves between them. 
Your body heats from root to tip, feeling like a tea kettle. Breathing out through your nose as you dare a glance back down to Bakugo and find him watching. Blinking slowly, like he’s not particularly invested, but not looking away as the actors kiss, the remote tossed somewhere down by his feet and long forgotten. 
You force your hands back into motion, taking a soft t-shirt from the pile of laundry and beginning to fold it in your lap. Having to start over when a soft moan sounds from the television and it makes your hands startle, staring down at your lap in the dim light of the living room to keep your eyes from him at your side. Embarrassed, but trying not to be as you continue to fold. Sure that he can hear the hammer of your heart in the space between you but determined to let nothing on as you hear the sound of skin on skin come from the television. 
It’s not like he’s watching a porno or anything, you rationalize as you chew on your lower lip and continue to work. You recognized one of the actors, it’s obviously a mainstream movie, and you don’t need to be giving him weird hang-ups because you feel a bit like you’re watching a movie with a sex scene in it with your parents. 
Light flashes through the room, bright daylight from the screen as the scene shifts and the plot moves on, and you try to be subtle about the way you let a breath out through your lips in a whisper of relief as the sounds of car traffic and loud conversation from the scene fill the empty quiet of your living room again. 
The movie ends right when you finish with your basket of laundry and you take it as a sign. Pushing yourself to your feet, a clear signal to Bakugo that you’re not down for a double feature tonight. Yawning behind your hand as you tell him you’re going to shower, leaving him there where he’s stretched out on your couch in his sweatpants and t-shirt that’s rumpled up a bit over his belly. 
You turn the knobs in the shower to tepid and use the little thrill that trickles down your spine from the cool water to clear your head as you wash your hair and scrub down your body with lathered soap and a washing cloth. Life with Bakugo is going to be full of these little awkward moments, and the sooner you learn to deal with them, the better off you’ll both be. 
You get changed back into your same sleep clothes after, rubbing a hand over the mirror to clear it of steam as you shove your toothbrush in your mouth and brush your teeth. Cracking the door of the bathroom to let the hot air escape out into the hall, palming at the towel you still have trapped over your head to wring any lingering water from your hair. 
Bakugo appears in the doorway a minute later, taking the open door as the signal you’re all done that it is. He leans against the doorframe to watch you complete your nightly routine, which in turn has become his nightly routine. Waiting for you to clear out of the bathroom so he can shower but content to watch you as you go through the steps it takes to prepare yourself for sleep. 
He seems tired, standing there beside you. Unsurprising, given he swam for like five hours that afternoon, but you still can’t help but watch him out of the corner of your eye before you spit and rinse your mouth out below the tap. 
The sight of him sleepy and warm and domesticated still takes you a bit aback, for all the months you’ve lived with him. It’s almost hard for you to conjure the memory of what he was like, back then. Back when you’d seen him in that kennel run and seen that hard, guarded intelligence in his eyes. Back when he’d lifted his lip whenever you got within a few feet of him. Back before he trusted anything, or anyone. When his life had given him absolutely no reason to do so.  
There’s a softness to him, now. To a part of him, at least. 
The animal is still there. You saw it on the trail on the day of the attack. Saw it and heard it and felt it vibrating in his chest, a vicious, ripping thing, so you know it’s still there within him. He’s not human, still, and he never will be. 
But this side of him...the one you see in these quiet moments...it’s just as much a part of him too. It’s every bit a piece of him the way the snarling animal is, you just think he’s never had an opportunity to show it to anyone. Never been safe enough to. 
You hang the towel over your head around your shoulders and pump a few streams of face wash into your palm. Scrubbing it lightly over your cheeks, watching yourself in the mirror to keep yourself from getting too wrapped up in your own thoughts about him, watching the thin gel suds up and lather on your face. 
You rinse beneath the tap a moment later, taking the towel and patting it at your face, where your skin has gone tingly and clean, and let out an easy breath. Relaxed, feeling strangely at home, when you hang the towel on a hook on the wall and turn to move past him, to give him the bathroom. 
His hand closes around your wrist as you slip past him in the doorway, and it stills you. 
You look up at him, a question on your lips, but the look in his eyes has something in your chest squeezing tight. 
“What is it?” you ask, voice coming out quieter than you mean it to, because he’s stopped you right in front of him. Just inches between you as he stares down at you with something like a soft confusion settled on his face. 
He ducks down towards you and you huff a soft sound of fondness. Tilting your head for him, so he can snuffle and smell at the facewash that’s probably still pungent on your skin to his nose. 
His finger curls beneath your chin and you sigh quietly, nodding. 
“It’s a new brand, I know - ” you tell him, feeling his nose drag against your cheek, but then his face turns to yours and his mouth presses to yours. 
You freeze. 
Your lungs squeeze, painful in your chest as your body goes deathly still against his at the press of his lips against yours. 
He draws back after a moment. His brows are drawn down on his face, his fingers still resting beneath your chin. Looking like he does after trying a new sign. Did I do it right? 
“Bakugo,” you breathe, your heart kicking so suddenly in your chest that you think he must be able to feel it. “What - what was that - ” 
He leans down again and this time you’re ready for the soft pressure of his mouth. He holds himself there, still against you, and it’s only then that you realize your hands have fisted up tight in the front of his t-shirt. 
His mouth is still against yours. Not puckered or pursed, just a steady, soft pressure where the two of you meet. 
He runs his tongue absently over his lower lip when he draws back again and you shiver back a curl of heat you feel spark in your belly. 
He looks at you again, brow softly furrowed. Eyes searching for something in yours, before he looks away. Looks over your shoulder, his mouth twitching down in a way that has you bringing your hands to his face. Your heart leaping in your chest when you curve your palms around his cheeks. 
“No,” you tell him. “That was alright, it’s okay.” Because you can see what looks like embarrassment, like shame, touching at the edges of his expression and you cannot bear to see it. You refuse to let him feel it, standing here with you in the threshold of your little bathroom. 
Your thumbs trace along his cheeks as you look up at him. The first time you’ve ever touched his face like this, but you feel him lean into the touch, only just. A featherlight pressure as he leans lightly into your hands. 
“Were you,” you try. Swallowing heavily, trying to hear your own thoughts over the hammer of your heart. “What you saw in the movie, earlier? You were doing that?” 
His eyes slide to yours, ruby dark, and you shiver again. 
He nods, and your hands move with the movement of his face. 
“Oh,” you breathe. Feeling yourself sway against him as your mind whirls. Feeling lightheaded, suddenly, as you try to sort out what you should do. What you can do. What you’re allowed to do. 
Then you feel his hand curve around your hip, big and warm, soothing against your bare skin when it slips beneath the hem of your shirt, and you decide you no longer care what’s allowed. 
“You - ” you say. Swallowing again as you shift on your feet. As you move closer to him, drawn into him like gravity pulled you. “Do you want to?” 
Your heart is beating so hard in your chest you feel your ribs aching. 
He nods, his eyes dropping down to your mouth before finding your gaze again, and you feel a flash of heat so bright through your body that your knees nearly wobble. 
“Oh,” you say again. Stupid, all of the sudden. Unable to take your eyes from his, your thumbs tracing over the curve of his cheeks as his hand closes around your hip, keeping you close. Breathless, swimming in it. Feeling like you might faint and grateful for his hold on you. 
“It’s, uh,” you say. Shaking your head softly before looking back at him through your lashes. “It’s more like - ” 
You draw his face to yours and he goes. Let’s you pull him down until your mouths meet, and this time, you kiss him. 
Your eyes fall closed as you press your lips to his. Deliberate, with intention, and you feel him mirror you. His eyelashes brushing your cheeks as his eyes close and his mouth firms against yours. A more insistent press, more strength behind it, and it has a sliver of heat slipping through your blood. 
You pull back, feeling a little dazed. Swirling a little, leaning against him. “Like that,” you whisper. 
His thumb beneath your chin slides over the edge of it, touches softly at your lower lip, and then he leans back in. 
You stay there with him. Held close by his hand on your hip, his other curving around your cheek. Holding you steady as he learns on you. As he leans close and breathes slow and presses his mouth to yours again and again and again. 
He is deliberate in his movements. Quiet, with focused intensity you can feel shivering across your skin as he tilts his head and kisses you this way and that. In no hurry at all as he catalogs the best way to do it. Learning from the way you sigh softly against him, the way your hands tighten where they’ve slipped back down to grip at his shirt. 
It’s utterly disorienting. Your mind softens like jelly, useless for anything besides following his lead and stumbling blindly after what feels good, because you’ve kissed men before in your life but Bakugo is no man at all. 
His lips feel human, pressed to yours. Warm and full, tantalizing, but you can feel the ridge of his canines beneath them. Can feel the edge of his fangs, the soft bump of the outline of them when he tilts his head the other way and pulls you closer in a way that makes your spine want to ripple with a shiver. His hand on your cheek is sure, large and gentle, cradling your face, but he’s making a deep, low rumbling sound in his chest that you can feel where you’re pressed against him. 
The animal is there, just below the surface of him. And it’s pleased, it seems, as his lips find yours again in a firm press and his hand flexes where it’s curled around your hip. 
It’s nothing like you’ve ever experienced. Even just this, this quiet, slow trade of kisses in the hallway light, has you feeling like you’re balancing on a knife’s edge between two chasming unknowns, terrifying and thrilling in equal measure.
You end up pulling yourself back from him, after he shows no signs of losing interest. Keeping him from following you with hands pressed firmly to his chest, because you feel like you’re caught in a riptide and being towed out to sea and you need to breathe and catch your bearings. 
You blink up at him, stunned, stupefied, and you aren’t ready for what you see there in his face. The dim flush on his cheeks as he looks down at you. The wet pink of his mouth, the dark cut of his eyes. His ears perked forward on his head, nearly trembling. 
He’s breathing as heavy as you are, his chest rising and falling beneath your palms. His eyes fall to your mouth, you watch them, and you barely hold him back from leaning down to you again. 
“Bakugo,” you rasp. Voice like gravel, heavy in your mouth. You think you might topple over if he wasn’t holding you up. 
He watches you intently for a moment, his lips parted as he breathes deeply, and then his hand leaves your cheek and your eye blearily tracks the sign he offers. 
It takes more than a second for your brain to come on. To be able to pull together the cognition needed to understand what he said to you.
Good? 
That cuts your strings. Makes you sag against him, a soft, breathless laugh slipping from your lips. You nod, your cheek nearly brushing his chest before you manage to get your feet beneath you and stand up straight again. 
“Yeah,” you tell him. Pushing yourself up with palms flat on his chest, watching his ears twitch softly in response. “Yeah, it was.” 
He seems content to stay there with you forever, so once you manage to get your head back on straight, you end up pushing him into the bathroom for his nightly shower. Promising, when he drags his feet, that you’ll be waiting for him in bed when he’s done. 
It’s not until you’re drawing back the covers on your bed that the intimacy of the statement hits you and you stand there at your bedside for a minute as the realization washes over you. 
You wait for anxiety, for the dread and fear from before to surface, but look out into the hall through your bedroom door, where he’ll come through to join you when he’s finished, and none comes. In its place settles a deep, warm sort of knowing that softens the edges of your senses like sleep. 
You turn off the bedroom light and slip into the bed. Laying on your side and watching the light cutting across the floor from the hallway through eyes that feel heavy the moment your head hits the pillow. As if the enormity of the day, spent in the sun and in the water, and of the moment you just experienced, hit you all at once. 
You mean to wait up for him but you stir when you feel the bed dip beside you and realize you’d drifted off. 
You murmur his name, turning to him in sleep-slowed instinct, and he’s there. Hair still damp from the shower as he curls over you and presses his cheek to yours. Scenting you, as he always does. Sniffling at your hair, dragging his nose along the line of your jaw. Satisfying himself that you’re here, whole and well, beside him. 
His mouth brushes yours, this time. Once, then twice, a soft caress of touch that you return as your fingers thread into the hair at the base of his neck on a soft, wanting sound. 
You drift back off before he even finishes scenting you. Curled up against him and falling quickly under to the heat of his body and the smell of him that’s enveloped you like a warm, spiced, feather soft blanket. 
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Kissing you just becomes something he does, after that. Not often, not all the time, but it becomes an expected part of when he scents you, in the morning or at night before bed. 
He seems to enjoy it, in a way that you weren’t sure a hybrid would, so far removed from any way other animals show affection. But he huffs quietly when he does it, a sigh sounding thing, and shows no signs of stopping as the days since he kissed you for the first time turn into a week, and then two.
You’re able to fool yourself, with the gentle comfort you find in it, that that’ll be the extent of it. That it doesn’t need to mean anything more than the show of comfort he clearly sees kissing to be, that in fact it doesn’t mean anything more. Telling yourself this is how you sleep at night and how you allow yourself to not tell him to stop. Leaning into him instead, when he reaches for you in that way. Curling against him, your face tilting up towards his. 
Allowing yourself the warmth it gives you when he presses a tender kiss to your lips at the end of every scenting and not forcing yourself to consider what comes next on this slippery, inevitable slope you find the both of you slipping down together. 
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Something wakes you in the middle of the night. Draws you from the recesses of your sleep, tugging lightly at you until you blink yourself blearily awake. Staring into the dark of your room, a little disoriented, unsure of what it is that’s brought you around.
You rarely wake in the night now that Bakugo beds down with you and the feeling is strange as you realize slowly that you’ve done just that. 
Then you hear a sound from behind you, so soft you think your mind may have made it up. You try to roll onto your back, to follow the sound blindly, and it’s only then that you realise Bakugo is pressed up against you. His arm thrown heavy over your waist, his nose and mouth pressed somewhere near the back of your shoulder. 
It takes you a moment to understand what you’re hearing, but then you hear him utter another soft sound and you realize that Bakugo is dreaming.
His breathing is strange. Deep, in the way it always is in sleep, but stuttered too. Whispering through his parted lips as he exhales, catching a bit in his throat as he breathes in. His body jerking softly, almost imperceptibly, as some dream plays itself through his mind. 
You lay there for a moment, blinking in the dark, barely able to make out the features of your nightstand in the dim light coming from the window on the far wall. Still struggling to push the lingering sleep from your head, trying to catch up to the moment, because you’ve never known Bakugo to sleep any way but soundly. 
You lay there, trying to decide if you should wake him, if it seems like he’s having a bad dream, but that question is answered for you when his body nudges hard against yours and his voice breaks on a soft moan. 
The hair on your arms stands as realization washes over. As you catalog the labor of his breathing, the gentle, rhythmic motions of his body against the bed. Against you, another groan slipping from his throat, a low growl of a thing, that has you biting back a shiver. 
Your body reacts, loose still, from sleep and helpless to the sudden dip in your belly, the heat you feel there when you feel his lips part against your shoulder and his breath comes out a hot, low pant. 
“Bakugo,” you murmur. Knowing you should wake him. That you should stop this, because he’s asleep and doesn’t know what he’s doing. 
His breath stutters against the back of your neck and you can’t help but breathe against the feeling. Your toes curling against the bedding beneath you as his arm tightens around your waist and he snugs you back closer to him. 
Oh. 
Your entire body singes with heat, a white hot scorch, when his hips nudge against your rear and you feel him there. Hard in his sweatpants, nudged up tight to the swell of your ass. 
He moans softly. Whimpers, into your ear. A broken, ragged sound, and then your hands fist tight in the bedding when he grips you tight and rolls his hips on a deliberate, sinful grind against you. 
“Bakugo,” you try again, feeling breathless. Your mind whirling already as you reach back for him, feeling like your bones have turned to honey. 
Your hand searches around behind your head blindly as you breathe hard in the dark and ends up bumping his face a bit hard. 
You can feel when he comes around, because his entire body goes stiff. Goes rigid against yours, every muscle bunching tight, and you feel his heart start to race where it’s pressed between your shoulder blades. 
You try to twist onto your back so you can see him, because the sudden rush of his breathing against your neck has your heart kicking up too. Because he sounds overwhelmed, as he pants there into your throat. His entire body coiled tighter than a drawn bow string as he realizes where he is. What he’s doing with you in the dark. 
But his grip on you is too tight for you to move and you’re trapped there against his body, against the long, hard line of him curled up against you.
“It’s okay,” you tell him, shaking your head against your pillow. Your fingers find his hair and thread through it. Wanting to comfort him even as something like slow waking arousal spots at the darkness of your vision. “It’s alright.” 
His head drops further. Sliding down the pillow until his forehead is pressed against your shoulder and a whine escapes him. Loud, in the quiet of the room, desperate, and it’s all the warning you get before his hand grips tight around your waist and he ruts his hips hard against yours. 
“Ohh,” you breathe, head tipping back against his as your body presses back instinctively. Your back arching, pressing the curve of your ass against him. Shuddering at the firm press of his cock against the space between your legs. Where you can feel yourself going heated and slick, your body responding to him like you were always meant to do this. 
“Bakugo,” you whisper, your head tilting when his mouth finds your throat. “We should - we shouldn’t - ” 
His lips part over the beat of your pulse, wet and hot, and then he lets out another desperate sound as his teeth close down in a hard little nip that has your body lurching against him. Has your hand fisting in his hair as your sex throbs between your legs, empty and aching. 
His tongue laves over the skin, soothing the sting of the bite, his breath hot and puffing against your skin. He whines again, his hand sliding from your hip to beneath the hem of your sleep shirt. Fever hot against the soft swell of your belly.
His palm grips down there, feeling at where you’re plush and soft and groaning at the feeling. Sounding a little lost, overwhelmed as he grips hard there and pushes on your belly to nudge you back against another roll of his hips. Guiding you against the hard line of his cock, straining against the confines of his sweatpants but enough to make your eyes roll back in your head as you begin to help him. Breathing hard as you nudge your hips back as he rolls his forward. Gripping at the sheets beneath you with your free hand as you begin to move together. 
You feel drunk as you pant in the dark and let him use you. Drugged, your mind syrupy slow and feverish, giving yourself over to instinct. To the way your body moves against his, meeting every nudge of his hips against yours, shivering a soft groan every time you feel the clothed press of his cock slip between the backs of your thighs. 
His mouth won’t stop against your throat. Tasting you, smearing his mouth over your skin. Panting and nipping at you, like you’re spread out before him as a feast and he doesn’t know where to begin. 
You’ve begun to haze over, delirious and drifting in the distant promise of pleasure, so you don’t notice when he begins to shift around behind you. His hips jostling yours a touch, his hand leaving your belly to reach somewhere behind you. 
You miss his touch at once, whining softly, but then your head snaps back against his shoulder at the feeling of his cock springing free. Smearing against the curve of your ass, hot like a brand. Heavy enough to make your mind flash on something sharp and hot, lungs clenching hard on a moan. His cock is soaked with prespend, dampening the fabric of your sleep shorts where it’s pressed against it.
You’ve lost your mind. Lost hold of yourself entirely, must have, because when you feel his breath puffing desperate and hot against your throat and feel him begin to guide himself between your legs, you moan, loud and sinful, and whimper, “Yes, yes, p-please - “ 
The sound he makes when he slides between your thighs is wounded. Punched out of him, ragged and torn as his hand returns to your belly and grips you tight to him. Trembling against you as his cock pulses hard and thick between your legs. 
Your sex clenches down so hard it’s nearly painful. Hollow feeling, achingly empty once you feel the fat nudge of the head of his cock against your sleep shorts, against where you’ve begun to leak slick into the bedding below. 
“Bakugo,” you whine, and his palm grips gently over the curve of your belly. A touch that feels like an apology of some kind, penance, and you don’t know why until his mouth opens over your throat and he bites down so hard that you scream. 
It whites out your brain for a second. The pain, dizzying, blinding, as you feel your blood begin to fill his mouth where his teeth are still clamped over the juncture of your neck and shoulder. 
Your entire body begins to shake like you’ve been doused in ice water, but then the pleasure comes. Follows hot on the train of the pain, searing at the ends of your nerves when he grunts and releases you from his fangs and begins to lave his tongue over the hurt as his hips begin to fuck against you. 
You go boneless against him. Swimming in endorphins from the bite throbbing on your neck, distantly aware of the blood you can feel trickling down your shoulder as your body jostles with every hard rut of his hips. Clinging to him with a loose arm thrown back, just trying to hang on while he fucks his cock into the slippery space between your thighs again and again. As he soaks the sleep shorts seperating him from your sex with sticky, copious prespend, his hand firm on your belly as he guides you back against him in continuous motion. 
Pleasure has taken root in you. Has fogged up all your senses, made you blind as you rock there in his grip. You’ve gone deep to instinct, like this. Your body moving in tandem to his, seeking him, needing him. Blood too heated and thick in your veins to battle with any rational thought. Any doubt or anxiety. All there is is you and him. Your bodies moving together in the dark, breathing rushed and fast. Panting against each other, trembling, as you both chase towards the promise of something like release. 
You startle in his arms when his teeth close around the bite again, a whimper dropping from your lips as your body flashes hot with predicted pain, but he simply presses his mouth against the wound with what feels like reverence and goes rigid against your back on a broken groan. 
You feel him, then. Feel his cock jerk where it’s buried deep between your thighs, feel the feverish spit of his seed as it coats you in hot, thick lashes of cum. As he groans his release against your throat, his palm spasming where it’s gripping your belly tight. 
He comes down slowly. Pressed tight against your back as he catches his breath. Softening his hand on your waist when he feels how hard he has you gripped. Whining softly in his throat when his mouth drifts over the bite and he seems to realize what he’s done, opening his mouth to lick over the broken skin. Lapping up your blood, making you shiver against him as the pain and pleasure prickle down your spine at the feeling. 
He turns you to your back, eventually. Lit faintly by the light coming in from the window, but you see enough of his expression in the dim light that it has you reaching up and curling a hand around his cheek. 
“It’s okay,” you tell him. Voice coming out raspy as you smooth your thumb over his cheek. 
His eyes are wide as he stares down at you. His chest still rising and falling, lips parted in a pant and stained dark with your blood. He looks afraid. 
You shake your head at him. Body feeling suddenly like it's made of stone. Heavy, sinking into the bed beneath him. Floating, hazy, but grounded here, with him. 
“It’s alright,” you tell him. Needing to soothe him, to get that look from his face, because you haven’t seen it since the attack and the sight of it has emotion beginning to thicken in your chest. “You did nothing wrong.” 
He looks down at you for a long moment, his eyes searching over your face then drifting down. Lingering on the aching bite mark on your shoulder, another distressed sound falling from his lips as he touches at it with a gentle thumb and you flinch softly away from the little spark of pain. 
You breathe out slowly and make a decision, then. Sure, even in the swirling mess of your mind, and you slip your free hand down between the two of you. Beneath the waistband of your sleep shorts and lower, gliding your fingertips through the slick mess of your sex. 
You bring your hand up and breathe his name as you press your fingers to his lips. Glistening in the low light of the room, wet with your slick, and you hear the breath rush from him as he turns his head instinctively and closes his mouth around them. 
He moans, broken sounding, as he tastes the proof of your arousal from your fingertips. Shifting over you, his eyes squeezing shut on his face as he holds your wrist and licks your fingers. Sucking on them, breath puffing through his nose as his mouth flushes wet at the taste of your sex on his tongue. 
You swallow heavily at the plush heat of his mouth around your fingers, petting at his cheek with your thumb. Feeling your sex distantly throb at the feeling, still heated and warm. 
“I liked it, Bakugo,” you tell him. A confession, whispered in the dark between you. A feeling sinking in you line a stone that you’ve ended up, now, where you always would. That the inevitable between you two has finally arrived and that you’re helpless to do anything to stop it. 
He sucks on your fingertips until there’s none of your slick left. Letting them drop from his mouth, your hand thumping quietly to the bed beside your body, but he follows it down. Groaning softly, curling his palm around your cheek. Tilting your face to his until his mouth meets yours in a kiss. 
It’s chaste, if passionate. A press of lips to lips but the feeling of his body over yours has you sighing and lifting your hands to slip through the hairs at the back of his neck. Too tired of fighting this, of doing anything but giving into it. 
Your lips part beneath his and the first touch of your tongue to the seam of his mouth has him shivering over you. He opens to you and moans softly when you taste into him. Slow and languid, gripping at the hair on the back of his head. Wanting him closer, wanting him deeper, as your tongues brush and he lets out a soft, desperate sound. 
You breathe together this way. As he learns this new thing, this new way. As his mouth opens over yours and you feel the points of his canines against your lower lip, as you suck on his tongue and he presses you harder down against the bed on a shuddering sigh. 
Your lips are swollen and wet when he finally draws back and you let your head rest back against the pillow. Dazed and breathless at the sight of him looking down at you with a look on his face like you’re the only thing that matters in the entire world. 
You touch at his cheek, affection a clutching, aching thing in your chest, and he turns his face to nuzzle against your palm before he shifts over you and begins to move down. 
Your thighs part easily for the shape of his body as he follows his nose. Snuffling down your body, smearing the hot, wet of his mouth against your sternum, your belly, as he travels lower. Nipping softly to make you lurch on a quiet moan, soothing the sting with his tongue right after. 
The feeling of your sleep shorts sliding over your hips makes you shiver, because they’re sodden. Soaked with your slick and his cum, making you shudder as he draws them down your thighs and lets them fall wetly to the floor beside the bed. 
You feel his hands curl around your thighs, then, and it draws your eye. Makes you look, which in turn makes your back arch helplessly on a breathless moan.
Because he’s there, between your legs. Staring up at you in the dim light as he presses his mouth along the inside of your thigh. Holding you steady and sure in his hands, eyes dark, as he makes his way towards your center. 
He settles himself down onto the bed and presses himself close. Gives one last look towards you between your legs, for disapproval, for anything, but all you can do is nod on a pathetic whimper, and then he lowers his face to your sex. 
You startle softly when he presses his face against the juncture of your thigh and your cunt and simply breathes. Hands nearly trembling where they’re holding onto your thighs as he draws in the scent of you here, where you’re heated and soaked and covered still in traces of his cum. Moaning softly, nudging his nose deeper. His eyes dropping closed like he could get drunk just from this. From the offering you’re giving to him as your legs slip over his shoulders. 
The first touch of his mouth to you has you gasping. Jolting against his body, your hand darting down and gripping in his hair between his ears, as he tastes you slowly. Long, slow licks of his tongue from the base of your entrance all the way up to your clit. Breathing deeply, still drawing in the scent of you as he crowds close and begins. 
It’s like nothing you’ve ever experienced and it makes the wires cross in your muddle, delirious mind. 
He moves with intention. Slow and sure as he licks you from root to tip. His eyes closed as he drinks you in, a flush on his cheeks like this is some great indulgence to him, instead of a chore or a burden. Testing the different parts of you on his tongue, dipping low to delve his tongue into your entrance, groaning lowly when that makes you leak slick against his lips on a mortified whimper. 
He kisses the tender slick of your folds. Running his tongue through them, his nose accidentally nudging against your clit and sending little sparks of pleasure down your limbs. He turns occasionally to kiss at your inner thighs. Nipping at the meat of them softly, just to feel you jerk against him on a huffed little sound, before he returns to your sex again. 
You swim in the pleasure of it. Flat on your back with your legs pitched over his shoulders. Your fingers petting through his hair, praises falling from your lips, nonsensical and hushed. Telling him too much, telling him everything, as he makes your eyes roll back from the soft suction of his mouth against your clit. 
You feel the first waves of something, the promise of something deeper there, when he focuses on the crest of your sex. Not with any intention, you don’t think, testing his tongue against the little bundle of nerves there as he did every other part of you, but you can’t help the way your hips lift against his face when he does. Your breath coming a little faster, your fingers tightening a touch in his hair. 
“Y-yeah, Bakugoo,” you breathe. “There - ” 
He hums lowly in his chest and shifts closer still. Eyelashes leaving shadows on his cheeks as he opens his mouth over your clit and presses down with his tongue. Slow, firm whirls of pressure that have you moaning softly. Whimpering, as pleasure begins to spark like struck flint in your belly. 
Your hips begin to move against his face. Soft little ruts, seeking, as that syrupy warmth begins to pool deep, and he takes it all. Moves with you, his tongue laving over the ridged nub of your clit, surrounding you in a hot, wet heat that makes your toes curl. 
A memory flashes through your mind, then. Unbidden but visceral, of the feeling of his cock spearing between your thighs. The fat press of it, the thick plunge of it, and it has your sex clenching down and a pained sound falling from your lips. 
You collapse back down to the bed, chest heaving a little, and it pulls him from you. Blinking up at you, looking dazed, like he’s somewhere far from here, his face shiny in the low light with your slick. 
“It’s alright,” you tell him, to assure him. Breathless, but aching, suddenly. Needing, needing - 
You reach down and take one of his hands from your thighs in yours. You form his hand into a loose fist and struggle to make your tongue function. To make words come to you as you hold up your other hand with your first two fingers pressed together. 
His eyes are on your hand on his, darker than pitch. 
You show him your two fingers and he nods. You swallow heavily around another hollow ache in your cunt, and whisper, “Your fingers.” 
You press them into the loose curl of his fist, tight together. Then you press them up, hard, into the roof of Bakugo’s fist. 
Another hollow throb shudders through you and you push at his hand. Push it down your body as your head tips back. Hoping, praying he understood, because your body needs - 
His mouth returns to the crest of your sex. Licking gently over the swollen nub of your clit, and you have one moment to groan, thinking he didn’t, he didn’t understand, but then you feel a blunt pressure at your entrance and your whole body shudders as he fills you tight with a press of his fingers. 
“Hahh,” you gasp, back arching. Gripping at his hair again at the tight fill of his fingers in your sex, pleasure sparking bright from the pressure, from the stretch of you around him, and you barely manage a breathless nod to him before he’s crooking his fingers up, just like you showed him. 
You nearly come off the bed. Bucking, your hips jerking hard against his face as pleasure grips you, a startled moan ripping from your lips. 
“Yes,” you tell him. “Yes, Bakugo, please, like that - ” 
His other hand grips around your thigh. Hard, pinning you down to the bed, and then he presses in. Caresses your clit with firm, wet glides of his tongue as his fingers press up against a part of you that makes you feel like you’re coming apart. Ignoring your garbled groans, his eyes falling back closed as he works you. 
Your hips begin to move again, unconscious. Rutting against the hard pressure he has inside of you, and when he begins to match you, meeting you with firm little thrusts of his fingers, you nearly wail. 
“F-fuck,” you cry, blinking back tears. “Bakugo, fuck - “ 
You can hear yourself. Sloppy, between your legs. Leaking, squelching with every press of his fingers, making a mess of the bedding beneath you. 
You get very little warning before it hits you. That ever present riptide of pleasure in your chest, rooted deep in your belly, cresting so suddenly that it nearly frightens you, and it’s all you can do but cling to him as your release crashes over you like an ocean wave. 
You sob. Shaking like a leaf as your body jerks and trembles with it, as a rush of moisture pushes from your cunt and soaks his face. As your muscles bunch and contract, your sex spasming hard around the thick press of his fingers buried deep inside. 
He only lets up when you slump back against the bed. Gasping for breath, your thighs falling weakly to the bedding on either side of him as he finally lifts his mouth from you and stares up at you with an expression you can’t even begin to place. Reverence, maybe. Something darker, like possession and claim. 
“Bakugo,” you whimper, reaching for him. Body still shivering through the last of it as it courses through you, vision still spotted around the edges. 
He comes to you. Leans back down over you and the press of his face soaked in your slick against yours has you moaning still. Stunned by the filthiness of it as he kisses you deep and spreads your slick all over your own face. 
He nips at your lower lip, a deep, low rumble sounding from his chest, and when his hands drop to your body and he begins to move you, you don’t question it. 
You’re boneless. Floating, drifting, as he turns you onto your belly and you rub your face indulgently into the sheets below your cheek. Groaning softly, blissed out of your mind in the dark. 
He lifts your hips up and back and you let him, breathing his name over and over like a benediction, overcome entirely by the force of your pleasure as the last of it wrings its way though you. 
Then he shifts closer, his hands on your hips. The bed dipping beneath the weight of his knees. 
“Bakugo?” you ask, turning your cheek to the side, resting it on the mattress. “What’re you - ”
Heat slices through you, electric, blinding, when you feel the fat press of the head of his cock against your sex.  
“Ohh - Bakugo, oh s-shit, Bakugo, fuck - ”
His hands grip down on your hips and he fucks himself into you with a solid, heavy rut. 
The air is forced from your lungs as he roots himself inside you. You scramble against the bedding, gasping, frantic, as pleasure spikes up, deafening, and you manage to whine out, “Bakugo - stop please, please, I’m - ‘m gonna - ” before another orgasm rips through you. 
This one feels like dying. Like something ripped from your soul as your cunt pulses frantically around the thick press of his cock. Milking him for your pleasure as your eyes roll back in your head and your entire body shakes with it.  
You feel him move behind you. Only faintly aware of anything beside the burning pleasure flaring through you, but he drapes himself over your back and presses his mouth against the bite mark that’s still oozing blood on your shoulder. A kiss, tender, devout, before he draws himself back. Trailing his mouth down your spine as he goes, dragging the sharps of his canines against the skin, making you shiver and moan as your body ripples with electric release that you feel in your teeth. 
He waits until you’ve come out the other side of it. Until you’re slumped against the bed, held up only by his hands on your hips, and then he breathes out a fevered groan and begins to fuck you. 
You’ve gone out of your mind. Collapsed down against the bedding, lips parted on ragged breaths, nearly drooling into the sheets as he claims you deep and hard. Drowning in pleasure, what remains of it and what is blooming anew, shivers and sparks prickling helplessly up your spine at the feeling of his cock spearing into you again and again. Heavy and thick, pressing against the deepest parts of you as he moves. 
You can hear him, over the slap of skin on skin. Can hear the thickness in his voice as he groans, his hands vicing tight around your hips. Can hear the aching quality in it, the vulnerability of it, as if he’s barely keeping himself from falling apart at the feeling of you beneath him. Taking his cock with every deep plunge, hot and wet and greedy, hiccuping with every jolt of his hips meeting yours. Moaning brokenly, unable to stop the sounds coming from you as he goes. 
The sound of it is lewd. Makes the back of your neck heat with whatever shred of self-awareness you still possess, because the bed frame is thudding rhymically against the wall and the sound where the two of you are joined is wet. Sloppy and dripping, his cock forcing slick from your sex with every press into you. You can feel it leaking down your legs, soaking the bedding beneath you. 
A feeling comes over you, then. As you take and take his cock, your mind molten and loose with pleasure and want and desire. Something calm and sure that settles whatever frayed edges of your nerves remain. A feeling like perhaps you belong here. Like this, with him. Moving together in this way, becoming something new entirely where the two of you join so closely together. 
You’d thought of this often, whether you’d let yourself admit it or not. Imagined how you would feel in this moment, when you’d finally given yourself over to every ounce of yourself pushing you towards this. When you’d finally stopped fighting against yourself, against him, and finally allowed yourself this. 
You’d expected, always, that you’d be rife with fear. Gripped with anxiety, tinged with dread. For what it meant, for what it would mean. For what a future could ever even look like for two creatures like you. 
Now, as he fucks himself deep with hard, grunting slaps of his hips to yours, you feel none of that. 
Instead, what you feel as your body moves beneath his, is whole. Made entire and complete by the feeling of him moving within you. 
His rhythm begins to falter, a more frantic edge to the snaps of his hips and the low groans falling from his mouth and you struggle blearily to lift yourself onto your elbows. Barely able to see straight but wanting, needing, to help him. To be what he needs, as you feel him draw close. 
His hand smooths over your lower back, a strange, soothing gesture before his hands vice down again around your hips and he groans so terribly through gritted teeth that it sounds like he’s in pain. 
You feel him shoot off inside of you. Feel his cock lurch and spit cum, deep, deep inside, and it makes you moan softly. Pressing your hips back to his, deliriously. Wanting to keep it, to keep him. 
He huffs, something low and desperate sounding, and then he’s shoving you against the bedding so hard you can barely breathe. Shoving his hips against yours on a strangled groan, his hands on your hips keeping you pinned as he buries himself deep and you feel a sudden, pulsing pressure at the base of his cock that fills so quickly, so thickly, that it has you gasping when you manage to lift your face from the bedding it’s been shoved in. 
You have half a second to panic, your mind reeling at the impossible fill stretching tight in your cunt, before your mind blearily supplies knot, hybrids have knots and you slump back down. Breathing heavy, groaning through the stretch as he knots himself deep in you. Locking himself in, his cock buried in your heat as he cums in ropes of sticky, thick spend deep into your sex. 
“What the f-fuck,” you whimper against the sheets, dazed, stupefied, when another orgasm ripples through you. Smaller, this time. Soft little pulses of your sex around his cock as it washes over you. Around his knot, plugged thick and deep in you, as the two of you find pleasure together in a dizzying push and pull of feeling. 
He manages, eventually, to get you down onto the bed. Laid on your side with him pressed to your back. Still locked tight in you as he begins to check you over. A low sound coming from his throat as he sniffs along your hair. Nudges his nose against your ear, his arm wrapping around your waist and tugging you closer. Sounding worried as his mouth finds the bite on your shoulder again and he cleans it with gentle presses of his tongue and woeful sound. 
“ ‘m fine,” you manage to rasp. Your tongue heavy and useless in your mouth as you still his hands as they check over your body. Bringing them up against your chest and holding them there as you thrum from the fat pulse of his knot in you and shiver at the feeling of it. 
It’s a minute or two before you can separate, and you can’t help the broken sound that comes from you when you do. When he pulls free and you feel fluid rush from you. A hot mess of his cum and your slick, coating down your legs, making you shiver and turn towards him on muscles that feel like they’re made of rubber. 
He moves at one. Hovering over you as you turn to your back, curling his palm around your cheek as he bends down to run his nose over your collarbones, and it’s only your soft beg that stops him from checking you all over. 
“Stop,” you whisper. Hands looking for his again and finding them. Holding them still over the beat of your heart. “Please, just - I need to - ” 
So he settles back down against you, if reluctantly. A little unsettled as he lays beside you, so you draw him in. Tugging him close, because you just need to catch your breath. Just need a minute to breathe while your mind tries to return from whatever dimension he just fucked it into. 
You lay there together. Skin damp with sweat, breathing together in the dark. Your fingers find his hair and you begin to pet it. Wanting to soothe him, to ease the worry you’d seen in his eyes when he’d leaned over to check you, and you feel him, slowly, begin to relax where he’s curled around you. 
“I’m alright,” you tell him again. Voice a little hoarse but your heart rate finally coming down. Exhaustion touching at the edges of your senses, rushing in as the adrenaline from before bleeds from your body and into the night air. 
The clock ticks on your wall, a steady, rhythmic sound that fills the air around the sounds of your breathing.
Your hand pets through his hair and down over his cheek. Traces his ears atop his head idly, before stroking down his face again, and you huff out a quiet, weary sound when you say, “If I tell you you almost killed me there, will you freak out?” 
He huffs against you. A soft, dismissive snort that tells you he’s come back to himself, at last. He makes no move to leave where he’s curled around you like a crescent moon, a soft little rumble coming from his chest. 
You turn your head to look out the window on the far wall, though it takes what feels like an impossible effort to do so. The sun has begun to approach the horizon, a faint glow of morning beginning to touch the dark sky. You have a few hours still until you have to get up for work but you groan all the same. Shifting to get more comfortable against him, letting out a sigh as you turn your face into the warm bare skin of his chest. 
“We’re gonna spend the day at the lake,” you murmur softly. Sleepily. He huffs a quiet assent over your head, no doubt seeing the light from the sunrise same as you. “I’m gonna nap on the shore while you swim and if you drag me in this time, I’ll murder you. Okay?” 
He huffs again, this one sounding suspiciously close to a laugh from somewhere in his chest, and you feel him nod against the crown of your head. 
You drift off, there. In desperate need of a shower but unable to bring yourself to care as you let yourself be lulled to a dreamless sleep for the next few hours at least by the feeling of his arm wrapped around your waist and the steady, sure beat of his heart against your chest. 
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The next week finds you trudging up the trail just outside the parking lot of the park with Bakugo trailing close behind you. 
The weather has just begun to turn and the morning is crisp, the bright sun overhead not warming you the way it did in weeks past. You’re in a light jacket but a little chilled anyway, shifting your pack to get it comfortable across your back. Hiding a yawn behind your hand as you climb the hill, tired, more mornings than not these days. Since you and Bakugo started...having other ways to spend your nights together. 
He shows no signs of exhaustion as he walks beside you, because of course he doesn’t. He’s dressed in a rain jacket that you’d forced him to take, insisting he’d be cold without it, and dark olive pants and his hiking boots. His hands shoved in his pockets as he makes easy stride beside you, his ears pricked up and forward on his head. Bright and eager looking, like he somehow got more than the three hours of sleep you know you both only got last night because he’d been too preoccupied with his head between your legs to let either of you get any decent rest. 
His collar catches the light as you begin to crest the hill and it makes you remember the remote, buried somewhere deep in your bag. He hasn’t left your side since the attack, so there’s been no need to have it handy. 
Today, though, he pauses there at the top of the hill. A cool breeze drifting past you and snagging his interest. Catching his nose as he turns towards the grassy valley that stretches out below the hill and squints in the early morning sun. Looking for something his nose is telling him is out there, though you can’t see anything from where you’re standing. 
You wait for him, content to watch as he lifts his nose to the breeze, searching, clearly for something. 
You zone out a little so it startles you a touch when his body lurches beside yours. Muscles locking up as his ears strain forward atop his head, and you follow his gaze down into the valley. Steadying him with a hand on his wrist because he’s begun to tremble beside you as your eyes search through the tall, waving grass, for whatever’s caught his attention so. 
You see it then. Deer, three of them, clustered down by the tree line near the horizon. Grazing slowly together, little brown smudges against a sea of green. 
He snorts next to you. Loudly, sounding like a bull, excited, and it draws a laugh from you. Warm and fond as you tilt your head and see wolf instinct coursing through his body as plain as day. 
“You wanna go get ‘em?” you ask, brows lifting on your face. He’s way too far to catch them, to even really get close, but if he chases them, they’ll run. 
He nods before he even thinks, hands appearing out of his pockets and gripping into fists before relaxing back out, and it makes you grin. Makes your cheeks ache to see this life in him, out here on the trails again. 
There’s a moment of stillness, his eyes still tracking the deer on the horizon, but you see him rip his gaze away with considerable effort and return it to yours. 
His eyes are...conflicted in the morning light. Pinched around the corners and you don’t know why until his eyes drop to your arm where it’s hanging at your side. The scar hidden away behind your jacket but there, all the same. 
You let out a breath between your lips. A soft exhale that’s rich with affection that's tightening in your chest.
“I’ll be right here,” you tell him. “I’ll be fine.” 
He snorts again, his eye darting from your arm back out to the deer, then back to your face. Antsy, bouncing on the balls of his feet, but stuck. 
So you raise your hands to his face, cupping them over each cheek. Holding him steady as you lean up into his space, a grin stretched across your face. 
“Bakugo,” you say. He nods, your hands moving with the motion of his head. “Go.” 
He watches you for one, stretching moment, before his brows drop on his face and his lip lifts in a delighted, bright snarl, and then he goes. Pivots on his foot and rips away from you. Taking off down the hill like a missile, as fast as his feet and gravity will take him. 
You laugh, your head tipping back as your breath fogs up the air, and you drop your pack to the trail and sit down on it to watch him as he runs. Tearing through the tall grass with ease, a predator in name and form, as he hits the end of the hill and begins streaking across the flat plain of the valley below. 
He makes it stupidly close to them, honestly. Close enough that you have a second to wonder what you’ll do if he actually manages to snag one and take it down, but they dart away just as he closes in and you see the faint shape of him slow from a sprint to a jog to a stop as the herd disappears into the trees. 
You watch his distant form and rub your hand over your chest, where your heart is aching like someone squeezed it tight. Watching as he finally turns back and makes his way back to you. Not called by the collar, the remote still lost somewhere in your bag, but simply returning to you because that’s what he always does. Because his place is at your side. 
He’s slower coming back, moving at a light jog as he begins to climb back up the hill, and you plan to give him a hard time about turning into an old man but he marches right up into your space when you stand to greet him. Taking your face between his hands and ducking down to press a kiss to your mouth. 
It only half works, he’s still out of breath so he ends up puffing hot breath on your face, but your heart clenches fondly anyway when you push him away with a sputtering laugh. 
You wait there for him to watch his breath, unable to help but stare at the profile of his face as he looks back out over the valley. Taking in the sight of him out here in the wild, feeling every time as if it’s the first. Because he’s wild, just as the nature around him is. He belongs out here, with the rippling grasses and the sparkling water. The towering trees and the hushed trails that climb up and over hills and valleys. 
His cheeks are a little flushed from his run but his eyes are bright as he looks over the fields. His hair nearly glowing in the sun, bleached from days spent out beneath it, his ears a buttery caramel as they twitch in the gentle breeze. His face is open and handsome, features as sharp and dangerous as the first day you’d seen him in that kennel run at the shelter, but gentler now, around the edges. Only for you, you think. 
You can’t believe, as you allow yourself to soak in the sight of him beside you, that you get to keep him. That he’s yours, after everything. 
He catches you staring at him and his brow lifts. Finally catching his breath as he stands there with his hands on his hips, asking you wordlessly why you’re looking at him like that. 
You shrug at him, a smile stretched softly across your face. You rub your flat palm over the center of your chest. 
Happy. 
He huffs softly. Feigning indifference that you see right through and you know from the way that he bumps you with his hip when he finally moves past you, that he’s feeling it too, even if he can’t bring himself to admit it just then. 
You step with him towards the line of trees where the trail begins in earnest, adjusting your pack across your back. 
“Make sure you catch one next time, alright? Time for you to start earning your keep around here.” 
He snorts from his place a step ahead of you, tossing you a look over his shoulder that you think means to be withering but just comes off fond, before he shakes his head at you and continues on. His mouth twitching in something that may be close to a smile before he turns from you. 
The sun shines bright overhead as a breeze ruffles through the changing leaves and you step into the shadows of the forest side by side with Bakugo. Right where you belong, a place that feels like home to you now. 
You step forward into the trees to begin your patrol for the day, and step forward, together, towards the rest of your life with him as it stretches out before you. Safe and sure and known to you like the back of your hand, just like the familiar trail stretching out before the both of you beneath your feet. 
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earthsickwithoutyou · 2 months ago
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Chapters: 6/6 - Conclusion now posted 🥰 Fandom: Hannibal (TV) Rating: Explicit Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply Relationships: Will Graham/Hannibal Lecter Characters: Will Graham, Hannibal Lecter, Abel Gideon, Dr. Frederick Chilton, Beverly Katz, Jimmy Price, Brian Zeller, Abigail Hobbs, Bedelia Du Maurier Additional Tags: Christmas Romance, royal au, Inspired by Hallmark Christmas Movies, King Hannibal Lecter, Au Pair Will Graham, Hannibal Lecter is Not a Cannibal, extremely soft, Fluff, Feelings, Tenderness, Smut, Friends to Lovers, Daddy Kink, obviously, Rough Sex, Biting, Choking, Spanking, Dirty Talk, Jealous Will, Jealous Hannibal, Dominant Hannibal, Submissive Will, Light Bondage Series: Part 5 of Murder Husbands Christmas Collection 🎄✨🍷🖤, Part 2 of A Very Merry Hallmark Hannigram Christmas Collection 🎅🏻✨🎄❄️⛸👨❤️👨 Summary:
Will Graham is a struggling artist and hardworking hotel housekeeper, starved for love, inspiration and happiness until the day he literally collides with the handsome and mysterious King Hannibal of Lithuania. Coffee is spilled and sparks fly -- especially when Will is is hired to be au pair to the King's precocious daughter Abigail at Castle Lecter. Could this be the merriest Christmas for two hopeless romantics from different worlds?
Based on the Hallmark movie of the same title!
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2hoothoots · 4 months ago
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it's the last chapter of The Paris Affair, so i'm wrapping things up with a double update! one full-length chapter and then a shorter epilogue to round things off.
read chapter 5 + epilogue here:
https://archiveofourown.org/works/37584028/chapters/95215633
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hermitblurbs · 6 months ago
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Just read your pirate au and wow that’s spicy!! I’m not the original asked but could I request a continuation of Scar/Grian catching up?
Continuation of my Pirate AU (7)!
“Shall I compare thee to a moonlit night?”
Scar can’t help the fluster that feels like flowers in his throat, like buttercups and daisies and roses, thorns and all.
“Shrouded in enough shadow that you can’t recognize me?” He retorts, trying to clear his blush. Grian looks at him. They’re still holding hands.
“I’m going to be honest, I don’t have any other fancy language to back that up.”
And he laughs. Actually laughs. He can’t remember the last time he did that for something that wasn’t an act.
…Was this an act?
It couldn’t be. What’s the one thing he’d never let himself do, if this was an act. He’s not impulsive. That’s not how he stays alive.
But it feels like living when he pulls Grian into his arms.
Those wings he spent hours memorizing, they puff at the sudden movement. He can picture them relaxing even as he buries his face in the crook of his friend’s neck.
Hesitantly, arms wrap around his own torso.
“Your nose is cold.” Scar feels the words over hearing them, the sounds sending vibrations through his chest.
It’s said like a tease. The tone only bleeds exhaustion and a quiet ‘I missed you.’
“Like you’re any better,” he retorts, matching the lilt.
And for a moment, they do nothing more than hold each other. And for a moment, it’s enough.
It’s Scar who pulls away first, of course it is. He’s fine-tuned to all those invisible social directions, so it’s him who pulls away first.
Grian leaves a palm pressed against his cheek and he finds himself leaning into the warmth.
“What happened to you?” Grian breathes.
Scar doesn’t know what to say. He knows exactly what he wants to say, but not the words to use. It shows, in a small part of lips and a flicker in closed off eyes.
“Just—start at the beginning.”
So he does. He tips his head forward and lets his story and his secrets pour from between his teeth like blood until dawn paints the sky the same color.
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hailsatanacab · 2 months ago
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Chapters: 3/? Fandom: Danny Phantom, Batman - All Media Types Rating: Not Rated Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence Relationships: Danny Fenton & Damian Wayne, Batfamily Members & Danny Fenton Characters: Danny Fenton, Bruce Wayne, Tim Drake, Damian Wayne, Alfred Pennyworth Additional Tags: Good Sibling Damian Wayne, Angst, Angst with a Happy Ending, Danny Fenton and Damian Wayne are Twins, Danny Fenton Needs A Hug, Implied/Referenced Torture, Implied/Referenced Child Abuse, Not Phantom Planet Compliant (Danny Phantom), Bad Parents Jack and Maddie Fenton, Gun Violence, Blood and Violence, Gunshot Wounds, Mugging, Medical Torture, Vivisection Summary:
“If you ever find yourself in danger, go to Bruce Wayne. He will help you.”
His mother had loved him, in her own way. If she hadn’t, she wouldn’t have helped him escape. If she hadn’t, she would have dragged him back to the League of Assassins, to Grandfather. If she hadn’t, he’d be dead.
She loved him, but she loved the League more.
Jack and Maddie Fenton loved him too, they did, but they loved their work more.
They loved their work more.
--
After his parents react poorly to his reveal, Danny escapes to the only person he thinks can help him - Bruce Wayne. He doesn't know what to expect when he gets there, but it has to be better than where he is, surely? He certainly doesn't expect to be reunited with his long lost twin brother Damian. It's funny how things work out that way.
--------
Chapter 3!! Chapter 3!! Chapter 3!!
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triptuckers · 4 months ago
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Too stunned to speak - Jesper Fahey
Request: yes! "If your requests are still open ya know that trope of being kissed so hard your brain stops working……. That with Jesper please" Pairing: Jesper Fahey x reader Summary: request pretty much sums it up! Warnings:  none I think (not proof read tho oops) Word count: 2.2K A/N: I am LOVING the cast pictures cal is posting but my one question is WHERE'S KIT I miss him :( TAG LIST (all grishaverse fics): @ayushmitadutta @mrs-brekker15 @dancingwith-sunflowers @thegirlwiththeimpala @parker-natasha @story-scribbler @romanoffstarkovs @daliareads @meiitanoia @itsnotquimey @sanktaesperanza @whymyparentscheckmyphone @aleksanderwh0r3 @ilovemarvelanne1 @marlenaisnthappy @brekker-zenik @moon-enthusiast @graceknxwlson @the-very-tired-mess @sassybadqueen TAG LIST (Jesper Fahey): @mufnasa @mmvi-cdxx @brick-by-brick553 @treasureofmy-heart
A while ago, you lost your signature daggers and you're heartbroken. You had bought them with the first money you ever earned on your own, and have kept them with you ever since.
You never went anywhere without your daggers, and you feel sad and off without them, like you have lost a good friend. Like some part of you is missing, and maybe gone forever.
Since you lost your daggers, Jesper has noticed you're sad and tries to cheer you up. Nothing he's doing seems to work. He made jokes, cuddled with you, tried to take you on fun dates. So far no luck.
Nina's offered to go shopping for a new set and Inej has offered you one of her own knives, but it doesn't feel the same.
And so Jesper came up with an idea.
'Nina.' says Jesper.
She turns around when he calls her name. 'Hey Jes.' says Nina. 'Let me guess, you need a drinking partner? I'm in, though it's a little early.'
'Thanks for the offer, but that's not why I'm here.' he says, sitting down next to her. 'Do you still keep track of the Grisha living in Ketterdam?'
'Shh!' says Nina. 'Keep your voice down!'
Jesper looks around. The shared kitchen of the Slat is basically empty. Nevertheless, he lowers his voice. 'Well, do you?'
'Why do you ask?' says Nina.
'You know how Y/N lost her daggers?' he says.
'Of course. Poor girl, she was so fond of them.' says Nina. 'She's not quite been herself without them.'
'Exactly.' says Jesper. 'We've all tried to cheer her up, but nothing helps. I was hoping you'd tell me where the Fabrikators in Ketterdam are, so I could reach out to them and ask if they could make a new set.'
Nina smiles at his words. 'That's very sweet of you, I bet she'd love that.' she says. 'But I can't just give you the addresses of them.'
Jespers heart sinks. He knew Nina was very protective of the other Grisha living in the city, but he thought she would help him anyway.
'Please, Nina? I hate to see Y/N this way. We all do.' says Jesper.
'Believe me, I hate to see her like that as well, Jesper.' says Nina. 'But I cannot risk you accidentally revealing a Grisha's hiding place to someone else.'
'Isn't there any way?' says Jesper. 'Or do I have to tear the city apart looking for a Fabrikator who can help me?'
Nina slightly raises his eyebrows. 'Are you going to blackmail me?' she says, somewhat amused and somewhat offended.
'I might.' says Jesper.
Nina sighs. 'The only thing I can do is reach out to them and tell them you are in need of a Fabrikator. But if they don't want to help you cannot force me to take you to them.' says Nina.
'You'd do that?' says Jesper, eyes widening.
'I love Y/N.' she says. 'We're all family here, she's family too.'
'Nina, love, I will buy you waffles for the rest of your life!' says Jesper, leaning in and kissing her cheek.
'I'll keep you to that.' says Nina.
After discussing the details, Jesper and Nina part ways. Jesper goes to his room while Nina visits the Fabrikators in the city.
Jesper knows there's a good chance they'll say no. After all, not everyone likes Grisha, and greedy gang members would not hesitate to see Grisha to Fjerdans.
It isn't until late in the evening that Nina returns. Jesper has been impatient all day, and he quickly ushers Nina inside his room.
'Well?' he says.
'Lukas is a Fabrikator, a little older than us, he was very excited to take the assignment.' says Nina.
'Yes!' yells Jesper. He picks Nina up and spins her around.
'Jes?' says a familiar voice.
Jesper turns around and sees you coming out of the bedroom of your shared rooms.
'Is everything alright?' you say, rubbing your eyes.
'Everything is alright, love. Did I wake you?' he says.
'It's alright. Couldn't sleep anyway. I was going for a walk, see if that might make me tired.' you say. 'Oh, hey Nina.'
'Hello Y/N, want some company?' she says.
You shake your head. 'No that's alright, thanks.' you say.
You pull on your coat and put on your boots. You smile at Nina and kiss Jesper's cheek, then head out the door.
'I really hope this is going to work.' says Jesper, looking as you descend the stairs.
The next morning, Jesper wakes early to go to the address Nina had given him. After softly kissing your forehead, he silently leaves the room.
The walks isn't that long, and soon he spots the tiny house Nina had described to him. Jesper knocks on the door, and after a while it opens.
There's a young man in the doorway, probably a few years older than Jesper himself.
'Morning!' says Jesper cheerfully. 'Are you Lukas?'
He nods. 'Jesper?' he says.
'The one and only.' says Jesper.
Lukas steps aside. 'Come in.' he says.
It turns out Lukas is happy to help out. Besides minor reparations around his own house and a few other things, he doesn't really use his Fabrikator skills a lot.
The set of daggers is a nice change in routine and an exciting challenge. All Jesper has to offer him is money and a description on what your daggers looked like.
The next few days, Jesper spends besides Lukas as he works. Offering help here and there to get the details right.
'This is nice, you know.' says Lukas on the third morning. 'It's not just something new for me to do, but the reason why you do this. She must love you very much.'
'She does. I just hope this will make her happy again. They're not going to be exactly the same, but I hope it will be enough.' says Jesper.
'Might I suggest something?' says Lukas.
'Sure.' says Jesper.
Lukas gestures to Jesper's hands. 'You wear rings often?' he says.
'Every day.' says Jesper.
'And does your girl like that?' asks Lukas.
Jesper nods. 'More than just like. She loves it.' he says.
'We could use one or some of your rings for details. To make it an unique set.' says Lukas.
'That's a fantastic idea.' says Jesper. 'I'll bring some we can use tomorrow.
He spends a few more hours at Lukas' place, then heads back to the Slat.
Right as he walks through the door, he runs into you.
'Hello love.' he says. 'Everything alright?'
'I was about to ask you that.' you say. 'You've been gone a lot.'
Jesper shrugs. 'Kaz has a ton of shitty little chores he needs me to do.' he says.
You frown. 'Okay.' you say, somewhat confused. Kaz had just asked you if you knew where Jesper had been these past few days. Was something going on with him?
The next morning, Jesper is up earlier than usual, again. You're starting to suspect he's up to something. And Kaz is getting annoyed Jesper is nowhere to be found for hours a day. And no one seems to know where he goes.
You start to ask Jesper more frequently where he is going, but he keeps telling you he is running errands for Kaz. Even though Kaz assures you he is not.
You're determined to find out what he's been doing, until one day he reveals the truth.
'Alright, Y/N, I've been gambling, okay?' says Jesper one night, after you've cornered him before he could sneak off again.
You feel your lips part in surprise. Jesper had told you he'd been trying to gamble less and he was actually doing a really good job at it so far. Looks like he got right back to it. And he didn't tell you.
It breaks Jespers heart to see you disappointed in him, but the set of daggers is almost ready. He just hope you understand when he can finally tell you the truth.
Two days later, the set is finally completed. Jesper thanks Lukas a thousand times over, and carries the box with daggers over to the Slat.
Jesper carefully places it on your bed and heads downstairs to look for you.
He finds you nursing a half empty glass while Inej is talking to you. Inej is the first to notice him, and she nudges your shoulder.
'Hey Jes.' says Inej.
'Hi.' you say softly.
Jesper knows you think he's been gambling again. But soon he can tell you the truth.
'Hello love.' he says. 'Want to come upstairs? I've got a surprise for you.'
'A million kruge?' you say.
'Better.' says Jesper.
You raise your eyebrows. 'Better than a million kruge?' you say. 'Alright, I'd like to see that.'
You take the hand he extended to you and allow him to lead you upstairs. Jesper opens the door to your room, and the first thing you see is a red box on the bed.
Curiously, you inch closer to get a better look at it.
'Jes, what is this?' you ask him.
Jesper merely smiles and indicates for you to open the box.
You slowly lift the lid off of it and your eyes fall on a set of daggers. For a moment, your heart stops, thinking they're actually yours. The ones you lost.
But it couldn't be possible; you could never get them back. But they look so much alike. You carefully take one out, examining it. It looks so much like yours, but when you look closer, you notice some slight differences.
Your eyes roam over the handle, trying to pick out any details. You turn the dagger over in your hand and suddenly you recognise something on it.
You nearly drop it as you turn around and look at Jesper's hand. His favourite ring is missing. You look up this face, eyes widening in realisation when you piece together what he did.
In one swift moment, you tuck the blad in your favourite hiding spot in your sleeve and walk over to where Jesper is standing.
He opens his mouth to say something but you're too quick for him.
You pull him in your arms and crash your lips against his. You kiss him like you've never done before, pouring all your passion an gratitude in the kiss. To show him how grateful you are and how much you love him.
When you finally pull back, Jesper is taking in slow breaths, looking at you.
You're smiling brightly up at him. 'You made me a new set.' you say. 'And you used some of your rings.'
Jesper only nods at you, and you lean in to kiss him again.
'Thank you.' you whisper against his lips when you pull away. 'They look so much like mine. Save for the new details. How on earth did you manage to make almost exact replica's?'
You look up at him but Jesper stays silent, just looking at you.
'You couldn't make these yourself, right?' you say. 'You didn't get enough training to be able to pull this off. Did you get help from some of the undercover Grisha in the city? Or maybe someone in Ravka?'
Again, Jesper is silent, lips slightly parted in a mix of admiration and surprise.
'Jes?' you say. 'Are you okay?'
He nods slowly at you.
'Use your words, Jesper.' you say.
You don't call him Jesper often. It's always Jes, or some sort of pet name. It seems like his full name brings him back to his senses.
'Yes.' he says.
'Everything alright up there?' you say, smiling and raising a finger to lightly tap his forehead. 'You look like you forgot how to talk all of a sudden.' you chuckle.
'That's cause I did.' he says.
'Did I do something?' you say, getting a bit worried about his sudden change in behaviour.
'Well, to be fair darling, you've never kissed me like that before.' he says.
At his words, you smirk.
'So you're telling me I kissed you and it made you forget how to talk?' you say.
'Sounds about right, yeah.' he says.
'Well then, I'll make sure to remember it.' you say with a wink and you walk back over to the box with daggers.
'These are so beautiful Jes.' you say, picking up one. 'They even feel the same. How did you manage to get them so close to the ones I lost?'
'I know you.' says Jesper. 'And I know your knives.'
You look over at him and smile. 'Turns out maybe I don't know everything about you just yet.' you say. 'I didn't know I could kiss you to the point of speechlessness.'
'Neither did I.' says Jesper.
You put the dagger back in the box and walk over to Jesper, looking up at him.
'Should I try and see if I can do it again?' you say.
'Please do.' says Jesper.
You smile and lean in to kiss him again.
A/N: If you want to request something, make sure to read my house rules Here’s the list of characters I write for. Everything that I have written can be found on my masterlist. Please don’t repost my work, as I spend much time and effort on it!! Thank you for reading! Much love, Marit
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efingcod · 5 months ago
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Frank Woods, not an idiot
In this essay I-
I’m just going to get on with this, it’s been sitting in my drafts for an age so here ya go:
Woods survived alone on the streets as a kid/teen and he actually turned out OK. I'm sure he had some help here and there, but for the most part he was alone. There has to be some strategy there, figuring out how to make money, avoid the cops, find a place to sleep, find food, and that’s something that’s hard on adults. So on a kid? I can only imagine.  That takes some ingenuity, and street smarts. I do think that's where some of his tough guy personality comes from. Tbh I think most of the rough/loud/brash behavior is a front to protect himself and something he developed while he was on the streets and carried over to the military. Part of the reason I think this is that he knows when to turn it on and when not to- he’s not out of control or loud when inappropriate and he uses it to his advantage- (Controversial theory: Woods is actually an introvert with learned extroversion<- this is another post entirely and I do have receipts from canon lol)
As for speaking Russian- Woods likely didn't finish High School if he went at all (CoD seriously would it kill you to give us some kind of specific timelines?). It's not like they taught Russian there, anyway. How does a guy learn one of the toughest languages (for English speakers) to the point of fluency if he's not that smart? Yes, people can learn languages and not be geniuses, but with all the obstacles in his way (particularly around consistent access to learning materials), it seems unlikely that he would be both an idiot and become fluent (to the point of fooling actual Russians)
Woods wouldn't have risen through the ranks in the Marines if he wasn't smart. He’s trusted to lead. He has people’s lives in his hands. Especially considering what Marines do, and especially in Vietnam. I know there’s a stereotype Marines aren't intelligent because they used to take “everyone” who enlisted, but I don't think that was ever really true. I think that’s smack talk between the branches. After all they are the ones who go in, with extremely minimal supplies, and start setting things up, secure key areas etc. Marines are hardcore. Tough to be an idiot and survive those situations, much less lead a team
Also he was recruited to the CIA out of the Marines. So he must have made a good enough impression that the CIA said "We want that guy." And CIA ops officers? Not idiots.
He was also a part of MACV-SOG, a specialized group specifically recruited and trained to carryout highly classified, extremely dangerous missions and use unconventional techniques in achieving their goals. They also had to keep their status a secret from everyone (so much so they went in without ID even their guns didn’t have serial numbers on them- untraceable) and go into areas where US forces were not supposed to be.
The calls he makes in game are generally measured and strategic (I will say there are exceptions that have extenuating factors to consider and I could go into them, but this is already getting long).
Mason often uses him as his spotter- which in game is shown as a quick process but IRL is actually pretty slow, requires a lot of patience and coordination and trust. Now I know that game cuts corners by having characters take on the jobs that would actually be handled by multiple people, but this is still what canon gives us- they chose to use Woods for certain roles, and if it felt completely unnatural to his character I think they’d find an alternative. The games are actually pretty consistent with his character (one could argue CW Woods is different from BO1&2 Woods, but so is Mason and I think that is just because times are a for the moment little happier for both of them)
Finally, consider the work Mason and Woods do in the field takes a lot of memorization. They can’t carry around maps, pictures, intel etc. A lot of it is classified (which you can’t carry around with you anyway), if they are caught the CIA doesn’t want to tip off the enemy as to what they are planning or what they know. To work in the field takes a lot of quick thinking and study. To work in black/covert ops you need to keep things quiet and on the DL and the teams are usually extremely small- you’re not going to hire some loud obnoxious dumbass to do this job. No one would want to work with him
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rearranging-deck-chairs · a month ago
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what if we were two mentally ill kids in a society that has no words or tolerance for that. what if we killed someone and unavoidably our identities and relationship were built around that trauma. what if we spent the rest of our lives trying to grapple with what we did to each other, still without words for it. and what if we were both girls/boys/it’s complicated ashkdjhdgjhg
Words: 28735, Chapters: 8/8, Language: English
Fandoms: Doctor Who (2005), Doctor Who & Related Fandoms
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Twelfth Doctor, Missy (Doctor Who), Theta Sigma, Koschei
Relationships: Twelfth Doctor & Missy, Theta Sigma & Koschei, Twelfth Doctor/Missy, Theta Sigma/Koschei
Additional Tags: The Vault (Doctor Who), Doctor Who: Academy Era, torvic - Freeform, Trauma, Dissociation, i think. or something like it, wibbly wobbly memories, Self-Harm, Hurt/Comfort, Bathing/Washing, Vomiting, only in the last chapter, Non-Linear Narrative, Flashbacks
alternatively, what if youre like 10 and you almost get drowned by a bully and get that memory warped so that instead of the victim you become the murderer. what if you did that for your best friend. i mean what if your best friend did that to you. did you die?
theres love, somewhere in your body. theres death, somewhere in your body. you are remade so many times by through because of love. you die so many times by through because of love. are you dead yet? were you ever alive?
you were remade before you were made. you are a person inside out. you are a body without a soul. your friend did this to you for what you did for them. have you decomposed yet? why have you not decomposed yet?
#the koschei is dead saga#i like the ending#natural conclusion to making her symbolically dead#im not killing her theres no love in that. besides shes already dead. i did something better#i will not finish the thasmissy fic before the arbitrary deadline i set for the 30th but thats okay bc i did finish this one#it's silly how much i devalued this fic in my head once i got going on the thasmissy fic#as if i didnt write them in conversation with each other#as if this isnt the longest fic ive published until i finish the thasmissy one#it's not my best i dont think im particularly made for longform fiction#but im still very happy of what i managed to say#about thoschei and what torvic's murder did to them#i think the actual story in this is chapter 1-6-8#or maybe even just 1-8#but i also think the space between them is important. like the more space between 1 and 8 the better#i just maybe could have used that space/time more effectively. put more punches in them?#i feel like now they maybe meander a bit although there are still moments in them that i use in ch1 & 8#like most chapters Are i think in some way building to chapter 8#but also i started out writing this as just vignettes of Stuff I Wanted To See#and i in the end didnt quite manage to spread out the loadbearing stuff evenly over the chapters#THAT BEING SAID. it was a good learning experience probably. not sure i learnt anything much about plot bc im messing up in the same way#with thasmissy. but even so. practice makes better#and im very happy with the point i eventually manage to make with this. even if it takes me a couple of self-indulgent chapters in themiddle#anyway#im gonna log off for a bit#feel free to send me stuff you want me to see if i miss it
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vidalinav · 7 months ago
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If you're taking requests, more Prego My Eggo pretty please? 🥺
Cassian can’t quite stop looking at Nesta... he never really can, but the sight of her swollen stomach has his own fluttering with butterflies. The baby’s just as temperamental as her parents and every time he rests his hand there or lays an ear, he can feel their baby’s soft kick.
“She’s kicking more than usual,” he notes to Nesta one night, lightly laying his head on her belly. He can hear the soft thrum of a heart beat in there. Feint and small, but there. As constant as a subtle, sweet song.
“At my bladder too,” Nesta complains. She sighs and Cassian scrunches his nose at the discomfort coming from his mate’s voice.
She’s been more uncomfortable lately, but Madja says it’s normal enough. She’s more tired, though she fights it. Nesta's also more cranky, too. One minute she’s huffing and upset, her face red as he tries to rub her back to calm her, and the next... she’s crying. Cassian prefers the yells to the tears, if he’s honest. His chest positively hurts at her soft, glistening cheeks.
Cassian tries everything he can to make her feel as comfortable as possible, but it’s a battle he’ll never win, he supposes. Every day comes with a new challenge, but he’s happy to take it on for the happiness and wellbeing of his mate and their child. As difficult as the challenge might seem.
So Cassian does what he can do, rubbing at the bump. “Please don’t kick your mommy, sweetheart.”
He’s about to offer some tea, to have her lie down, maybe a warm bath, but Nesta’s frowning where she reads, “I thought I was sweetheart.”
“The name of all my favorite people,” Cassian confirms, blinking innocently. “The count is now up to two.”
“Short list,” Nesta says, raising a brow.
“If you want to make the list longer, sweetheart, I won’t object.”
Cassian’s only joking, but he can see the way her lips purse, the way her eyes darken slightly.
“We still have five months left.”
The tiredness of her tone has his heart clenching, but Cassian smiles sympathetically. His hands go to grab her legs, moving them to his lap. “How about a foot massage while we wait?”
Nesta gets quiet as she lets him start on her foot and Cassian tries not to let every doubt clobber his mind--his will.
“You’ll be a good dad,” she says, a whisper of an answer he yearns for. A confirmation to soothe his worry.
“And you’ll be the best mom,” he answers.
It’s the only truth he’s sure of. That Nesta will be the mom who protects and loves and fills their home with magic. She’s made a home here in this cold house, and she’s made a home in his heart that only used to echo with dreams.
Nesta doesn’t dream, she makes. Her will is too strong for half-baked wishes that never amount to anything and if Cassian has anything, it's because of her.
He wishes he could be half as wonderful.
“Are you scared?” She asks and Cassian pauses at her question.
Her eyes are wide as she looks at him, and a part of him wants to reassure her. That he’s ready and this is right, and she should have no doubt about him and his permanence. She can be rest assured. But that’s not the truth... and Nesta has always seen right through him anyway.
“More than I’ve ever been in my entire life.” At her smile of relief, Cassian adds, “Fighting monsters seem easier than this.”
“You don’t seem scared,” Nesta offers, raising a shoulder. “I just thought... I don’t know. I just thought you might be more sure of this than me.”
Fat chance.
“In the morning, when you go to library, I pace in the bedroom until you get back.”
“What?”
Cassian shakes his head, “I can’t stop thinking about it. What if I do something wrong? What if she doesn’t like me? What if I don’t take care of you or her well enough? How do I keep you both safe? I... I can’t stop. I've never been a father. I didn't even have a father! How should I know how to be a good one?”
Nesta reaches over, grabbing at his hand. “I’m scared too.”
"You're wonderful," he says, not believing in her words.
"You're wonderful and I've never... well, I didn't have a good mother. My greatest fear is that the baby's going to grow up and she's going to eventually realize that I'm just like her--Incapable of love."
Cassian can feel the words well up in his mouth. How much love Nesta's filled him with, how much she's' already not like her mother. That she made him and the House come alive, and the baby is safe because of her. Safe and loved and she'll be everything the baby needs...
But instead, Cassian can feel the nausea roll up his chest.
"Our child's fucked," he says.
“Maybe she won’t notice.”
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gideonisms · a month ago
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Like can't everyone see I'm trying to listen to audiobooks go on walks blog about my lesbian necromancers and write 1k of fic a day. I'm busy. Maybe I can spare time to study and go to class but I just Simply do not have the time to scan people's items and think of phrases to say to them and make my face correspond to those phrases. Makes me wanna off myself like hello I have a life go away
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boonbeenblade · 9 months ago
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They Don’t Know
There have been a lot of new immigrants to the server of late, and nearly without fail, they all find themselves wondering where Dream is. The server does, after all, bear his name. The fact comes out that Dream is in Pandora's Vault, the massive and visually intimidating prison - often, their tour guide is its Warden himself. When they ask what the man did to be put in such a place, not a one of them has gotten an answer that satisfies. Eyes avert, tongues twist, and lips seal whenever the question arises. (And they wonder, in naive righteousness, that if no one can give a good explanation of why Dream is imprisoned, perhaps he does not deserve it.)
They pass the crater with the flag at the bottom, and someone tells them that a country once stood there - the country of L'manburg. When they ask what happened to it, they can never get the full truth. People will say that it is gone, that it was destroyed, but the wound is always still too raw. (And they wonder, in ignorant curiosity, if it was a place that caused pain, and that is why no one will speak about it at length.)
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This server holds secrets everywhere. People keep their cards close to their chest, and never let on how much they know. Information is hoarded, guarded, stifled. It's not as if each person doesn't have their reasons for their silence, but it simply compounds when no one will speak on anything. Everyone thinks they have all the information they need, and acts on what they know, because no one will tell them the pieces that they're missing. No one really has a clue what's going on. Communication, once again, is the Achilles heel of the server.
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Exile was an event that changed the course of the server forever; separating Tommy and Tubbo from each other's advice and influence was a butterfly's wingbeat that caught everyone in the whirlwind following. And yet, not even the veterans of the server know what happened during that time. The full extent of Dream's abuse is known to only a select few, and each has their reasons to never speak of it. Dream does not admit to the terrible things he'd done, because he does not believe they are so terrible - and yet he knows no one else would agree. Puffy is bound by a therapist's confidentiality, and limited by only the things that Tommy can bring himself to speak about - and even that is enough to curdle memories. Ghostbur was present, but not fully aware of the tragedy unfolding - and he was sent away before the worst of it (and is dead, and cannot be asked). Ranboo knows enough to know that he has no place to speak on it, and respects Tommy's privacy - and yet he wishes that he had done more for Tommy in his hour of need. Sam speaks of it only to Dream, only as a weapon in their dance - and he dares not let anyone else know how much he knew, or else he must face the fact that he did not stop it. And Tommy has fought every moment since to put it behind him, to not let it change him - yet it becomes so that the only thing everyone knows about exile is that it changed Tommy.
Exile is one of the deepest examples of the server's silence stifling productive conversations. It was not even directly a reason for Dream's imprisonment - since so few knew the full truth, and yet still the judgment of death-turned-containment was passed - yet if the new arrivals knew of such a thing, perhaps they would not question his placement so strongly. But no one will tell them. No one will tell them anything.
They stumble onto the server, knowing much has transpired in this place, and they have much to learn. But none of them know how much they don't know. No one on the server knows how much they don't know.
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heffrondriving · 4 months ago
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❝ No, no, not that...but if you wanna talk about that, then that’s cool. What’s up with all that? ❞
#random kendallposting to reestablish my grampa stannie domınance on this webbed site (fite me (ง •̀ д •́)ง /lh)#basically i was rewatching btsurprise for the millionth time to motivate my himbo boyfriends fic writing and ended up crying over how cute#kendall is instead;;; oops. but i mean??? look at his adorable expressions???? u can't blame me i'm obsessed ugh#stg i rewatched the first one like fifteen times;; the way his lil lying face just scrunches up. god what is it about tenderness#the nick-modest ripped jeans!! the teeniest pop of his dimples!!! i wamna give him All The Hugs pls!!!!! 🥺💖#lichrally the file folder for this gifset is titled PRETTY BOY. CUTE BOY. LIGHT OF MY LIFE. so we all could surmise my current metnol state#......in conclusion: kendall absolutely owns my soul and i will forever defend my honour for it. thank you for coming to my tedtalk :>#btr#big time rush#kendall knight#kendall schmidt#nickelodeon#gifs#gifset#edit#mine#s03e06: big time surprise#rusher#kendork#stop it forever#as ush click the gifs for better(ish) quality bc tumblr's a wh0ʀe#frick i just remembered i still have so many james gifs in my drafts stockpiling up bc i don't have a james friend yet :/ guess they'll rot#my kendall comfort gifs also keep multiplying bc i'm big dumb for him i just get kinda rlly scared to post them bc of the tagging sorry :'<#but also since i have a kendall fren now!!!!! maybe i could be more confident to share them without feeling bad abt others hopefully!!!!!#liz look it's our favest idiot blondie boy <3#turn that thing big time!
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lunarharp · 8 days ago
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scribble dump or w/e... (including silly howl’s moving castle au stuff ??)
i also enjoyed writing a little traumazone fic called “under the jasmine, i” 🌷 🧙 2.9k, T, https://archiveofourown.org/works/40650129
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redha-reading-hood · 4 days ago
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not to be a cassian apologist because I hate the way he was written from acofas forward but as much as I despised that hike more than anything there was a point where he just wanted to hold her but some voice in his head said to keep walking. There was also a voice guiding Nesta at pivotal moments so maybe that was connected?
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cryptid-crawly · 3 months ago
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Since we all agree that there has to be some quirk to isekai people to another world (temporarily): Erasermight fic where Yagi and Aizawa are bamfed into a fantasy world. Yagi is the king of his kingdom, and Aizawa is one of the younger princes of a kingdom to the North that’s ruled by his mother, the Queen. Yagi’s kingdom is hosting a summit or smth so Aizawa was on his was anyway to attend. They see each other a few days into being in this world when the Northern Kingdom’s envoy arrives and are both relieved.
The main plot of the fic tho is, while waiting for this quirk to wear off, Aizawa “the Ice Prince” Shouta stays in Yagi’s kingdom even after the other royals leave. This would be weird enough on it’s own, but on top of that, the two of them are clueless about this world’s social norms. The result is some insane gossip going around the kingdoms: namely that they’re rivals and are both out to embarrass and shame the other one. (Meanwhile they’re just chillin, since this is set post-Kamino, they’ve grown closer as friends).
Some of the stuff that sparks rumors includes: Yagi asking Aizawa to dance (which he obviously only did to embarrass the prince—the king never dances with anyone); Aizawa was given a katana from the treasury because he doesn’t know how to use a short sword (clearly the prince stole it but the king can’t just accuse him of that); etc.
And then they finally find someone they recognize: the fantasy world’s Izuku. They’re overjoyed (Shouta tries to hide it but he’s happy too, shut up Toshi) and immediately whisk away Izuku and Inko to the palace and give them jobs there. Izuku is delighted to go from 0 dads to 2 dads, but everyone else in the palace isn’t sure what’s going on. Both royals refer to Izuku as theirs and argue over whose kid he is. Do they have some rivalry over the paternity of this kid???? (Izuku is clueless to everything but the “I have two dads!” aspect of this.) The palace workers are 100% Izuku is a prince, it’s just that no one knows *of which kingdom.*
Rumors get worse when they find the next problem child: Ochako. She’s given a job in the palace too, but she learned quick that she could make some side money selling gossip. Aizawa finds out and they strike a deal: Ochako is allowed to sell her bullshit but she’s also solely responsible for dealing with the letters the Queen has been sending asking what the ever-living-fuck is going on. Tsuyu and Tenya are next, although Tenya’s family is nobility so he’s not “kidnapped” so much as he comes to visit the palace often.
And of course there’s Shouto Todoroki. All the palace workers know is that one day there was a brand new prince, and when any of them commented how similar the prince looked to that one prince of Endeavor they were met with incredulity. Shouto is on a one man mission to gaslight everyone into believing he was just always there.
The rest of the fic progresses like this, with wild rumors and abundant child acquisition. And then poof! One day they’re back in their own word! The thing is….there were existing fantasy versions of Yagi and Aizawa before the hero ones took over, so when the hero pair poofs back, the original versions from that world return. Surprise! You are basically married with a million children! (They get used to it very quickly. 13/10 no regrets)
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twilightreformation · 6 months ago
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completely random tangent BUT I just realized that jess mariano & bella swan have a lot in common. they were both raised by flighty, unreliable single mothers; they're both heavy readers; they're both highly introverted with low social batteries & low self-esteem; they both like to take care of things on their own (i was also going to say that they both had to take on responsibilities at home, but I realized there's technically nothing in the gilmore girls canon to support that. it's just a headcanon I have for jess bc liz is liz). the real difference between them is that jess generally projects his issues outward and causes external destruction, while bella generally sets her issues aside in favor of self-sacrifice & self isolation.
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