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#angst with a happy ending
sunshinesanctuarya year ago
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I think one of the reasons Good Omens speaks so intensely to so many people is how it handles abusive relationship dynamics and, of course, the deeply hopeful resolution that is so incredibly rare when this topic is explored.
Good Omens just handles and illustrates the concept of emotional trauma so well. Particularly as it relates to toxic relationships, and childhood emotional and psychological abuse.
A lot of the stories and allegories we get in modern media are about physical abuse. Here though, we see the fallout of controlling relationships. How subtle and deceptive and insidious they are. How, unless you鈥檝e gotten lucky enough to gain some outside perspective, you can鈥檛 even see it for what it is.
Good Omens perfectly illustrates two different sides of the victims of abusive family relationships:
Aziraphale is the compliant one. He really tries to see the good in everyone and he鈥檚 unintentionally an apologist because, through no fault of his own, he鈥檚 been completely brainwashed. Because he鈥檚 a good being, his priority isn鈥檛 himself, but others. Extending grace to everyone but himself is so intrinsic to who he is that he expects no reciprocity. Even though he can鈥檛 shake the feeling that something is off, he鈥檚 been taught not to trust himself and therefore continues to brush it off or to simply choose not to think about it. (Aziraphale鈥檚 self immersion in the hedonistic comforts of humanity is his chosen form of dissociation)聽
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Aziraphale is NOT however, completely unrebellious. His priority, though, whether he鈥檚 aware of it or not, is self-preservation, as is invariably the outcome in a family situation like this one. He is very good at perceived compliance but ultimately motivated by other things. The first example we see of this is in giving his sword away in the garden. He follows this up with many small, mostly ignored acts of non compliance - his association with Crowley, his love affair with humanity, indulging his hedonistic tendencies etc. - without endangering his position, firmly on the side of the angels. Yet, like anyone who has ever been in this type of family dynamic, he is very motivated by fear. He fears consequences because he knows they will not be merciful. He mentions this quite a few times throughout the story, worried both for himself and for Crowley.聽
Crowley is the proverbial black sheep. He questions authority. If something feels wrong, he鈥檚 not going to let it go. Crowley has a very strong sense of right and wrong but where it differs from that of Aziraphale鈥檚 is that it is intrinsic. It relies on free will, on choice. Something can鈥檛 be purely right unless it is free from outside controlling influences. Force is never right, manipulation is never right. Crowley doesn鈥檛 believe in artificially imposed 鈥渕orals鈥 and he cannot reconcile the incongruence of heaven beating everyone over the head with 鈥済oodness鈥 and forcing them to comply with it, especially when things like infantcide and crucifiction are involved and everyone is just supposed to be ok with that.
So he questions. He probably did so respectfully. 鈥淩espect your elders and betters鈥 is definitely something you are browbeaten with in a dynamic like this. That, however, is a transgression that is not easily forgiven unless you drop it immediately and never bring it up again. Clearly, this is not what happened. And the consequence was being kicked out of heaven and punished. And he never really gets over it. He was betrayed by his family and that鈥檚 not something that ever heals right.
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He 鈥渉ung around the wrong people鈥 because, under the circumstances they were the only others around. Crowley gives the distinct impression of a kid that was thrown out of his abusive family and inadvertently ended up in a gang of anarchists because self-preservation is something you learn early in a situation like that.
Heaven is very much an 鈥渆nds justify the means鈥 crowd. Of course, the 鈥渆nd鈥 in this case isn鈥檛 particularly great either and in fact the only goal involved is the elimination of the other side, the perceived 鈥渆vil鈥 to Heaven鈥檚 鈥済ood鈥. Heaven perceives 鈥済ood鈥 as submission to the rules and they the enforcers of it. Hell perceives 鈥渆vil鈥 as the opposite of that but really it just boils down to choice. 聽
Hell鈥檚 manifesto then, as it were, is really just 鈥渄o the opposite of what Heaven wants鈥 (i.e. chaos) But Crowley takes that a step further because he believes in the value of choice. It鈥檚 what he鈥檚 been pushing Aziraphale towards since they met.
What makes this story so delightful and so satisfying is that Aziraphale ultimately chooses to say no to his family. He chooses, well, to have a choice, and defend others rights to choice. He leaves the abusive dynamic and he chooses Crowley and himself and humanity. He learns boundaries and stops allowing himself to be controlled. And we get such a good representation of how hard that is to do. But we also get to see that he鈥檚 not going to have to do it alone. Crowley is never going to leave him on his own, not even when he says he is. And that鈥檚 what eventually drives Aziraphale to make the choice; Heaven鈥檚 controlling superiority or Crowley鈥檚 unrelenting support. 聽
Crowley鈥檚 arc is that he鈥檚 caught in the middle. He鈥檚 not ruthless enough for Heaven or for Hell and he鈥檚 unable to deny his personal convictions enough to convincingly fake it. He didn鈥檛 want to fall. He didn鈥檛 want to be evil. He just didn鈥檛 want to be whatever it is Heaven is.聽
So he鈥檚 out there, alone, doing his best to survive and blend in until he runs into Aziraphale and finds a kindred spirit. And Crowley can鈥檛 help but to be drawn to Aziraphale because he鈥檚 different. He鈥檚 kind. Because, even though the angel doesn鈥檛 know it yet, Aziraphale is like Crowley and they鈥檙e destined, someday, to be on their own side.
Angst with a happy ending, indeed.
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theprojectava2 years ago
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"A Million Times Over"
There I fixed it. Again. And it's 2:30 am and I made myself sad making this fix. Again. XD I don't think I'll ever be over how awful the canon ending was, so I guess I'll just keep fixing it for the rest of my life until, after 10 years or so, when finally two gay main characters are allowed in a kids show for mostly boys, one of the show runners stands up and sticks it to dw and makes a sequel in which Keith and Shiro get the ending their relationship deserved.
Until then... I'll keep drawing sad shit like this. XD and yall gotta suffer with me.
(on a side note: this was my very first idea for the @realitieszine but it turned out a wee bit longer and sadder than expected, so I opted for something lighter :) and I can't wait to show you previews!!)
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birds-have-teetha year ago
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Seven Days (Todoroki/Reader |Angst)
| A/n: 鈾櫕I got carried away鈾櫔鈥攂ecuase of course I fucking did its AnGsT |
| Summary: Todoroki鈥檚 been ignoring you but you can鈥檛 for the life of you figure out why. Was it something you did? Or is it more complicated than that? |
| Warnings: Angst with a happy ending, I CRIED again. |
| Words: 5200+ |
. 聽 . 聽 .
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One week. Its been one week since Todoroki had started avoiding you, without a reason, without a warning. It was like you didn't matter all of a sudden. At first, you'd just brushed it off as him wanting a little bit of space. You knew only too well how much he struggled with his own emotions, and sometimes he just needed some time to himself to figure it out.聽
But after three days, when you approached him asking about his day and he completely ignored you. You remember the icy, disinterested stare he gave you before stalking off past you as if you hadn鈥檛 even spoken to him at all.
That one hurt.
The fourth and fifth days were even rougher. Not only did he continue to act like you didn't exist, but you started to second-guess yourself.聽
Was it something you said? Had you done something to make him angry? You give him even more space and the benefit of the doubt, hoping that maybe this was all one big misunderstanding, and eventually, he'd come to you and apologize once he was over it. Or even better, come to you so you could comfort him as you always did, helping get him past whatever was going on in that beautiful mind of his.
But that time never came, and he still avoided you as if you reeked of some sort of disease. And when he wasn鈥檛 doing that, he was talking to what seemed like everyone other than you. You鈥檇 never felt so small, and so invisible. Hell, he probably acknowledged Hagakure more than he did you!聽
You started to withdraw from your friends. It was too hard to have fun with them when he was around, it almost sucked more that you had a mutual friend group. All you would do is stare at the back of his head, hoping, wishing, pleading that he鈥檇 turn and simply smile at you again.
Deku noticed your change in behavior straight away. The green-haired wonder being the thoughtful sweetheart he was, caught you in between classes to confront you.
鈥淗ey, Y/N! How are you? We haven't really seen you around!鈥 Deku staring down at you with that friendly, timid smile of his eased your anxiety.
鈥淥h, hey, Deku, I've been okay, and I've just鈥 not 鈥 mean鈥擨've just been busy!鈥 You manage to force out, a half-hearted smile out on display so you could hide behind its walls. 鈥淔or exams, studying and stuff鈥︹
The wide-eyed Midoriya doesn't look entirely convinced, and you can't blame him. Why were you so awful at lying? Well, you supposed you did grow up with someone like Deku.
鈥淏ut aren鈥檛 exams months away, Y/N-Chan?鈥 Midoriya asks, though his voice full of uncertainty.
鈥淯-unless I鈥檓 mistaken, and the-the dates were changed! And I haven鈥檛 even had a chance to prepare for them. Did I miss something? If I get studying now I might be able to squeeze just enough into my mind to pass, but I don鈥檛 want to just pass it! If I want to be the number one hero I need to pass those exams with flying colors. I wonder if Iida has already started studying? Oh, of course, he has, it鈥檚 Iida after all. I wonder If I can get....鈥
You stare helplessly as he rattles on, muttering a plethora of things you can barely process before he鈥檚 moving on to something else. You should鈥檝e just told him you were fine and left it at that, you didn't mean to confuse him.
鈥淎h鈥擠eku, no that鈥檚 not it! Exams are months away, I just鈥 wanted to start early y鈥檏now?鈥 Midoriya stops abruptly, face turning bright red upon realizing he鈥檚 been caught muttering again. He always got embarrassed when he did, It was cute and all, but you didn鈥檛 want him to worry about something you made up as an excuse to not talk about your feelings.
鈥淥h, good! That鈥檚 a relief, you really scared me for a minute there Y/N-Chan!鈥 Deku sighs with one hand over his heart. You shift awkwardly, your foot subconsciously tapping on the tiled floor.
鈥淚s there anything else you needed?鈥 You ask as respectfully as you can, trying not to sound like you want to get away from him while still sparing both of you time to head to your next class.
鈥淥h, well I鈥 I wanted to ask you if you were y鈥檏now, okay?鈥 He shifts awkwardly, but the concern in his eyes is genuine, attentive.
Your heart squeezes when you're reminded of how Todoroki used to look at you like that. Your face falls without you noticing as you are consumed by your somber thoughts.
Your mind is a mess, your emotions an even bigger one, so no, you鈥檙e not 鈥榦kay鈥. But the last thing you want to do is dump your problems on someone who has plenty of their own to worry about. Sorry Midoriya, but this is my own fight.
鈥淥h, yeah, I'm fine. Why do you ask?鈥 Your eyes meet his with a more confidently forced smile, but he's already seen the change. He frowns, and you feel the anxiety bubble within your chest.
鈥淲ell, it's just that, I see you and Todoroki haven't really been talking a whole lot so I just assumed...鈥 Deku trails off, looking at you expectantly. Just hearing his name sends a pang of sharp pain to your heart. So you weren't the only one that noticed. 鈥淒id something happen?鈥
鈥淚 wish I knew.鈥 You feel bad for leaving the conversation like that, but one glance at your watch had you zooming to your next class in hopes to get there on time. But before you get too far you tell over your shoulder, 鈥淚鈥檒l talk to you another time, Deku!鈥
. 聽 . 聽 .
Uraraka was the next to approach you, on the very same day as well. She cornered you as you were peacefully walking into homeroom, a determined yet sweet look of sympathy on her face as she greeted you.
鈥淗ello, L/N-Chan! How are you doing?鈥 You鈥檙e a bit shaken by her sudden appearance, but you can't help but smile as you hear the bubbly voice of one of your best girlfriends again. You don't get a chance to answer though. 鈥淲e haven't seen you at lunch for a few days now, is everything, alright?鈥
You glance over at the ivory and burgundy-haired boy who you so desperately wanted to believe was still your loving boyfriend. The man he was just last week. He obviously heard you come in and he had to have caught wind of Uraraka鈥檚 greetings right?
聽He didn't even spare you a first or second glance.聽
鈥淵eah, I'm fine, Ochako-Chan, just been doing extra work during lunch is all.鈥 You chirp with the most enthusiasm you can muster.聽
That's a huge lie, you've been spending your lunch periods in the bathroom either sulking or catching up on the homework assignments you've ignored while being so caught up with鈥 all of this.
She looks from left to right before leaning in close, whispering just so you could hear.
鈥淒eku told me you and Todoroki haven't been talking?鈥
鈥淥h鈥?鈥 Is your defeated response, the corners of your lips wavering. 鈥淲hat gives you two that idea?鈥
鈥淵ou and he are always attached at the hip, we never see one of you without the other! What happened?鈥
You appreciate her concern, you really do, but you just can't talk about this right now. You bite your lip and brush past her to sit in your seat. Directly behind Todoroki.
. 聽 . 聽 .
On the sixth day, you were angry.
The storm cloud of self-doubt and self-blame that had driven your gloomy pitfall in behavior flipped on its head. All that pain and sadness boiled and sent your emotions into one big ball of fire, the frustrated crease between your brow physical proof of your rage.聽
Who in the hell did he think he was? Ignoring you, pushing you aside like some tool to be tossed like trash after a single-use. Avoiding you, his affectionate girlfriend who loved him so much she could barely contain her adoration. You, who had reminded him every. day. that he was nothing like his father. Being cold to you, who had taught him to love his fire, kissed away every insecurity the moment it surfaced, letting him confide in you at a moment鈥檚 notice, no matter how late it was.
How dare he treat you this way after all of that, and for what purpose? Oh, that鈥檚 right, you didn't know because he wouldn't even fucking tell you! You are terrified of losing him, so, so incredibly terrified. And the thought stings like the salt of tears after a nightmare you鈥檙e afraid might come to be.聽
You were livid the next day you came to class, almost radiating a 鈥淔uck off or I鈥檒l kill you鈥 aura that rivaled even Bakugou鈥檚 on a good day.
Speaking of Lord Murder Explosion, you hadn鈥檛 been talking to him either, which you knew was going to cause some problems eventually. The last thing you wanted was for Bakugou to get involved in your mess, it was hardly manageable as it was. But that鈥檚 just another one of your ninety-nine problems, isn't it?
Your head hung low as you go about your day, but this time, a dark shadow cast thickly over the blazing fire in your eyes. When Kaminari jokingly brought it up, the received one hearty middle finger as you stormed past the Bakusquad, whom you had been distancing yourself from too. Deku and Uraraka tried talking to you on multiple occasions throughout the day, and while you didn鈥檛 ignore them, you let them guide each nervous conversation, only responding with one-word quips and dismissive reassurances that you were fine.
Bakugou, who had tried getting a hold of you for two days now with no success, slammed both hands on your desk in homeroom.
鈥淗ey, idiot! Why鈥檝e ya been ignoring me, huh? What鈥檚 your fucking deal!?鈥 He demands, you could almost see the steam emerging from his ears, and if not that, smell the nitroglycerin dripping from his forehead. Todoroki doesn鈥檛 even turn around.
鈥淣othing, asshole, go scream at someone else鈥︹ That obviously strikes a nerve because Bakugou grips you by the collar of your uniform and forces you to stand and look at him. You narrow your eyes, glaring daggers, swords, and everything else sharp enough to pierce his throat.聽
You are too caught up in your own emotions to see the uncharacteristic softness in his eyes, a concern for you that he never shows. Bakugou may be insufferable and downright frustrating to be around, and he may be a jerk, especially to Deku, but he cares about you. In his own way.
鈥淒on鈥檛 give me that bullshit, L/N! What the hell is going on with you?鈥 You鈥檙e practically at each other's throats when Mr. Aizawa walks in鈥攐r rather rolls in, wrapped in that horrid yellow sleeping bag鈥攁nd breaks it up immediately. You both sit in your seats, glaring at one another from opposite ends of the room.
You picked that moment to realize that whenever you and Bakugo fought, Todoroki was quick to intervene. But he didn鈥檛 even care this time, it makes your heart sink deeper into your chest and your frustration to bubble hotter.
聽Aizawa sighs when you raise your hand.
鈥淲hat is it now, L/N?鈥
鈥淭oilet break, please.鈥 He figures you need time to cool off, so he allows you to leave.
Uraraka鈥檚 hand shoots up and she blurts out a request to use the restroom as well.聽
. 聽 . 聽 .
You鈥檙e sitting on top of one of the sink-counters, legs pulled up to your chest as you heaved. You鈥檇 just cried the hardest you鈥檇 ever cried before, so much that you actually threw up. You鈥檙e angry, upset, confused, disgusted鈥 You can鈥檛 remember a time you鈥檝e ever been this miserable. Uraraka sits next to you with one hand around your shoulders, rocking you back and forth while whispering soft words of comfort. But they are lost on you now, just more information to be sucked up by the black hole of your subconscious.
鈥淵/N-Chan鈥 what happened? Please, if you tell me I can help, I want to help.鈥 She coos and you sniffle, wiping your eyes with your sleeve, chest still convulsing with the occasional hiccup.
鈥淚t鈥檚 Todoroki, he鈥 I鈥︹ Your voice cracks and you have to wipe your eyes and breathe again before you can continue.
鈥淚 was afraid of that, what did he do? Did he hurt you?鈥 Uraraka sounds mortified by the possibility, the question leaping off of her tongue like a taboo phrase meant for no one to actually answer. It was absurd, rhetorical.
鈥淣o, he didn鈥檛 hurt m-me, I just鈥 I just don鈥檛 know what I did wrong! He won鈥檛 talk to me, he won鈥檛 listen to me, he won鈥檛 even look at me, Uraraka!鈥 You sob again, burying your face into your arms that are wrapped tightly around your trembling knees.
鈥淥h, Y/N, I鈥檓 so sorry, that sounds awful! I didn鈥檛 even know!鈥 She exclaims, looking like she was about ready to cry too. She hugs you tight, and you鈥檙e grateful for the affectionate gesture, it鈥檚 been so hard keeping all this to yourself. How is it that after six days you鈥檝e become this touch-starved? 鈥淗ow long has this been going on?鈥
鈥淎lmost a week now,鈥 You sigh, your words punctuated by another harsh hiccup. 鈥淭he worst part is, I don鈥檛 even know what I鈥檝e done to deserve this. I was always so careful with his feelings, with him鈥 I鈥斺 The brunette squeezes you tighter, letting you lean your forehead against her shoulder.
鈥淭his isn鈥檛 your fault, Y/N, don鈥檛 blame yourself.鈥
. 聽 . 聽 .聽
Bakugou walks out of homeroom, looking even more pissed off than he usually was. And that was saying a lot, trust me. His mood鈥檚 only gotten worse the more time that passed after you and the Ochako girl ran off the restroom. It became clear that neither of you was coming back. His mouth twisted into an even deeper frown, the crease between his blonde eyebrows deepening by the moment.
He hears a sniffle ad the sound of anti-gravity girl鈥檚 voice and his head jolts in that direction.
Bakugou sees you and Uraraka walking out of the bathroom, your face red and puffy. You looked miserable. He feels a momentary pang of guilt, thinking that perhaps he had been the cause. Not that he was sorry or anything! That was just stupid!
His vermillion gaze meets yours for a moment, and he stops walking, genuine surprise gracing his angular features. He notices your eyes stray away from him to stare at something behind him. The ash-blonde looks over his shoulder to see Todoroki walking with Yaoyorozu. He looks back to you, and then back to the pair. Something suddenly clicks and his eyes narrow dangerously.聽
Before you can even try to stop him he turns harshly on his heel, stomping right after Todoroki.
Deku chooses just the right time to walk out of the classroom, eyes softening and filling with concern upon seeing your red face and distraught appearance. But it鈥檚 short-lived when he hears the familiar booming voice of Bakugou echoing through the hallway.
鈥淗ey, scarface! You got some fucking nerve!鈥 Deku looks over to you and then back to Bakugou, torn between helping you and stopping whatever fight was going on just down the hall.
鈥淯raraka-Chan, Y/N-Chan what-?鈥 Deku starts, taking a step towards you. Something seems to process in his mind though, and he puts two and two together, turning on his heel to make a mad dash down the hall.
鈥淯raraka, take care of Y/N, I鈥檒l deal with Kacchan!鈥
. 聽 . 聽 .
It鈥檚 day seven, and you don鈥檛 know everything that happened between Bakugou and Todoroki yesterday, but Deku and Uraraka assured you that it was taken care of. Bakugou floored you the moment you stepped foot out of your dorm, cornering you and demanding you tell him why you didn't tell him about what was going on.聽
Clearly, Uraraka let Deku and Bakugou in on the situation.
聽Deku and Ochako had stayed by your side almost the entire night, making sure you were really okay. You made a promise to buy them a coffee and breakfast tomorrow morning, even if they were hesitant to let you, insisting there was nothing you needed to make up for.聽
You are hurting still, and the mere thought of what you were about to do terrified you. But this couldn鈥檛 go on, you wouldn鈥檛 let it. It was affecting your own mental health. You needed answers.
You had asked Deku to slip a note to Todoroki on your way out of homeroom this morning, not even looking at him as you took your leave. Bakugou walked you in between classes because he was paranoid, and while he didn鈥檛 say it, you could tell he was worried about you. And while you know Katsuki was far from apologetic for starting a fight with Todoroki, you had a feeling he鈥檇 done it in defense of your feelings.
You had tried to be vague with the letter, not even signing your name, even if you doubted he鈥檇 mistake your handwriting. You鈥檇 written him too many sweet letters, stuck too many post-it notes with pet names and declarations of your love and appreciation to his forehead, and studied too long into the night with him by your side for him to forget.
Meet me on the roof during lunchtime, alone. It鈥檚 urgent.
Don't keep me waiting.
You stand near the railing of the roof, looking out into the afternoon sky as the clouds roll by, and the occasional bird drifts into the distance. Your skirt ruffles in the light wind, brushing against your legs. Your heart stutters when you hear the door behind you open.
Taking in a deep breath, you turn to face the source of your worries since last Friday. It's him, he actually came! You didn't think he'd come if he recognized your handwriting, but he did. Unfortunately, the expression he carried was far from amused, cold gray and turquoise eyes staring you down.
You don't allow yourself to hesitate, you meet his indifferent gaze head-on.
鈥淲hy are you avoiding me, Shouto?鈥
The question hangs thickly in the afternoon air for a moment, and when you receive no reply, your eyes narrow.
鈥淲hat the hell is wrong with you? Won't you even talk to me?鈥 You cross your arms, letting seven days of frustration take control of your vocal cords. 鈥淲hy do you hate me all of a sudden?!鈥
Todoroki鈥檚 eyes soften, his brows forming a concerned crease between them as he opens his mouth to speak.
You don't give him the chance.
鈥淲as it something I did? Did I say something stupid?鈥 You can feel the tears starting to pour down each side of your face despite your best efforts to keep your emotions locked in tight. He didn't deserve to see you cry.
鈥淵/N, I don鈥斺 The half and half boy starts much too calmly for your liking, you ignore him, continuing on. You gave him a chance to speak up, he's going to fucking listen to you now.
鈥淥r am I just not good enough for you anymore? Is that why you can't even look at me anymore? What did you find someone else? Is that why you鈥檝e been hanging out with Yaoyorozu so much?鈥 The tears are blurring your vision at a rapid pace, distorting the image of Shouto鈥檚 shocked, pale face.
鈥淵/N, Please listen鈥斺 Todoroki starts again, taking a step forward with his hands stretched out in an attempt to calm you like he always did.
You sidestep away from his reach, backing up until you're flush against the railing of the roof.
鈥淣o, you listen! I gave you a whole week to speak! Y-you're going to fucking listen to me now!鈥
Todoroki looks lost, he's never ever seen you like this before, and he's seen you at some of your worsts. It's as if it finally occurs to him how badly he's messed up, how much he's hurt not only your feelings but your self-confidence.聽
He worked hard to build up an maintain your self-esteem, going out of his way every day to convince you that you were beautiful beyond comprehension, smart in the best ways, and so very important. Only for him to realize now he's been breaking it down, with every day he had held his breath to keep from looking at you, he had been tearing down another wall that guarded your self-worth. He hadn't been prepared for you to start blaming yourself for his own incompetence. This wasn鈥檛 how you were supposed to react.
He had to say something鈥
鈥淚 know I'm not the prettiest girl in U.A. I know I'm not the strongest hero or the smartest student in our class. I know I'm annoying sometimes and I talk too much!鈥 You wipe your eyes with your sleeve, your shoulders shaking with the intensity of your mental break down. It鈥檚 killing Todoroki to watch you crumble before his own eyes, crying because of him. He wants to reach out and say that you are none of those things, that you're perfect the way you are and there was no competition, but you keep talking.
鈥淏ut when you told me that you loved me anyway鈥 did you really mean it?鈥 Todoroki staggers backward like your words had the strength and stability to knock him over, the wind shoved from his lungs. There's frost covering his right hand, the ground beneath his foot blanketed with the start of crystallized fractals. 鈥淏ecause this past week, it hasn't felt like you did. It's felt like you've been doing your best to get away from me鈥︹
鈥淚t feels like y-you've changed your mind all of a sudden鈥︹
Your voice falters towards the end of your monologue, folding in on yourself as your confidence only continued to wither away. You pulled your elbows in close to your torso, a protective habit you hadn't done around him in a long time.聽
You wanted nothing more than to take everything back and crawl back into your miserable shell when you see the look on his face.
His mismatched eyes have gathered unshed tears within the corners of the glossy turquoise and gray irises, one side starting to boil the liquid and let it sizzle into vapor while the other side threatens to turn it into solid ice. You can proudly say you've seen every side of Shouto, learned to love the intensity of his dark and cherish the moments his light gleamed the brightest. He's trusted you more than anyone with his emotions, and he didn鈥檛 even need to tell you for you to know that.
So what went wrong seven days ago? Did he really give himself to you or was it all some sick game? Was he just using you for comfort?
You steel your gaze and stand up straight; looking up like a hero on a mission. But this time you鈥檇 be saving yourself.
鈥淣othing to say still? Fine, leave the talking to me then, let's just get this over with鈥︹ You sniffle and wipe your eyes again, inhaling, exhaling, and squaring your shoulders. 鈥淚f you don't love me anymore, that's fine, but at least have the fucking balls to break up with me before you pretend I don鈥檛 exist!鈥
It tore you apart from the inside out to have to say those words, especially to Todoroki, whom you鈥檇 very much assumed you鈥檇 always be with. No-one else made you feel the way he did, he wasn鈥檛 just your boyfriend, he was also your friend, your motivation, your hero鈥 But nothing lasts forever right? You should be proud of yourself, you had been the one to take an initiative and confront Shouto.聽
But the weight on your chest remained. You still have so many questions that breaking up with Todoroki just won't solve: Why the sudden change of heart? After everything, almost two years into your relationship, why now?
鈥淵/N, I鈥檓-I鈥檓 not breaking up with you, I-I would never鈥斺 Todoroki starts, eyes overflowing and yet nothing gets too far past his jaw before it either evaporates or crystallizes into frost-like dust. He鈥檚 panicking, his heart racing and mind screaming, pleading for him to stop you.
You cut him off again. You鈥檝e heard enough.
鈥淣o, you鈥檙e not breaking up with me, because I鈥檓 breaking up with you, Shouto!鈥 You duck under his arm and head for the door leading to the staircase back into the main building, your own emotions becoming too much for you to handle without losing control over your quirk.
Two arms wrap tightly around you from behind and swiftly tug you away from the door and into an all too painfully familiar chest, Shouto pulling you in close and pressing your back flat against him. Both sides are unusually warm and cold, causing you to jump as the confusing temperature difference forces you to shiver and tingle at the same time. And not in a good way. 鈥淧lease, Shouto just let me go! You don鈥檛 have to pretend鈥斺
鈥淪HUT UP, just shut up!鈥 The booming tone of Todoroki鈥檚 voice rattles you to the bone, the raw emotion in the way he practically screams making your mind draw a complete blank. Your knees wobble and you tip back into him. He鈥檚 shaking. You can feel his entire body trembling, and you can only stand there and stare at the door long forgotten the moment he touched you.
鈥淚 love you鈥攁lright? It never changed, I never stopped I just鈥︹ He sucks in a trembling breath, the even shakier exhale coming out semi-opaque as it descends into the air he鈥檚 made colder in his emotional imbalance.
鈥淭here is absolutely no excuse for the way I have treated you this past week, but it was not nor will it ever be your fault, alright? You have been nothing but patient and fair with me despite my own stupidity, and you had every right to snap the way you did.鈥澛
Todoroki鈥檚 warmer hand鈥攖hankfully not scalding like it could have been before鈥攕lides up and his arm curls around your sternum, fingers closing around your upper arm and pulling you in even closer to his chest so he could rest his chin on top of your shoulder.聽
鈥淚 had an argument with my father,鈥 Todoroki confesses, and your eyes that had been staring blankly into space close tightly already water with sympathy for him. 鈥淚t was fine until he started talking about you, bringing you into a mess I don鈥檛 ever want you a part of. I got hostile. I didn鈥檛 want you to think I was violent like the way I had been during our confrontation.鈥
鈥淚 may not feel as cross towards my left side, thanks to you, but with my emotions so unbalanced I feared I would鈥檝e too easily lost control over my quirk and caused you harm.鈥 You can feel the weight of every word, heavy with sincerity and most importantly, regret.
He sounds so ashamed of himself, and that鈥檚 never been an emotion you liked on him.
It鈥檚 slowly starting to make sense now as you think about his behavior these past few days. Why he had been avoiding physical contact and communication with you, why he was distant... but that doesn鈥檛 explain why he couldn鈥檛 have just told you. Hell, he could have just said he needed space and you would have gladly obliged! But instead, he swept you underneath the rug, treating you like an extra finger he鈥檇 surgically removed overnight.
鈥淚 realize now that I have only hurt you more by avoiding my problems and pushing you away in such a cruel way. I did not take your own insecurities and emotions into account and for that, I most sincerely apologize for my behavior. As your boyfriend, who was supposed to protect and cherish your heart for all it has done for mine鈥攁s is if it were mine鈥攎y actions were unacceptable.鈥 Your head turns and you meet the solemn, glossy eyes of the one you so deeply cared about, so guilty and full of self-loathing. 鈥淚 love you, I need you鈥攎ore than breathing, more than life, Y/N.鈥
鈥淚 could never pretend to not love you, such a thing would be impossible, like asking a blind man to see again. You make me feel like no one else ever has, and that still terrifies me, but there is no life for me that exists without you in it.鈥 He always surprised you with how he used his words, each sentence like poetry just for you to hear.聽
It strikes something inside of you, breaking the trance of paralysis as you twist in his arms, almost tackling him to the ground with the force of you throwing yourself around him. Your arms lock tight around his shoulders and your legs latch onto his waist, your koala hold bringing him to his knees so you鈥檙e practically sitting in his lap. You don鈥檛 let go, it鈥檚 been a whole week since you鈥檝e been able to hug him and have him hold you just as tight. You were going to indulge goddamnit!
He鈥檚 surprised by your bold reaction to say the very least.
鈥淚 handled this week childishly by pushing you away,鈥 Todoroki sighs, eyes closing as he takes in your comforting scent. He missed that. 鈥淚 should have come to you, I should have trusted you.鈥
鈥淲hy didn鈥檛 you?鈥 You sniffle, pulling away from where your nose had been buried into his neck.
鈥淚-I don鈥檛 know,鈥 He stutters, eyes darting from each corner of your face, taking in every red blotch and perfect slope that graces your features. He had missed being able to trace over with his eyes and fingers. 鈥淚t was my mess to handle鈥斺
You smack his cheek lightly with the back of your hand, giving him a dirty look.
鈥淚 know you said I could always come to you b-but鈥斺
鈥淣o 鈥榖uts鈥, Shoucchan!鈥 You smoosh both of his cheeks with your palms and stare him dead in the eyes. 鈥淲hat are you!?鈥
鈥淎n idiot sandwich鈥︹ He sighs, his face filling with color as his emotions start to simmer down.
鈥淎nd who loves you anyways!?鈥
鈥淵ou do鈥︹ Todoroki smiles, and you feel the lighthearted spike in your mood from finally seeing him smile at you again.
鈥淭hat's right!鈥 You lean in and start peppering kisses all over his face, only making his face flush darker. Although his hands are trying to swat yours away you can feel him only melting into a deeper puddle underneath your touch. 鈥淚 love you, you big stupid!鈥
Finally, your lips descend onto his own and you kiss him properly. His arms squeeze around you and he pushes back against your mouth enthusiastically. Clearly, you weren鈥檛 the only one that missed your kisses. You part every few seconds with the intent to stand up and leave before you miss your next class entirely, but he chases your lips every single time, pulling you back into his addictive embrace. You couldn鈥檛 resist, having gone an entire seven days without this affection.
As Shouto coaxes you down to rest on top of him, you quickly lose track of time. You鈥檙e too preoccupied with devouring one another鈥檚 lips that by the time you finally break away, it鈥檚 been almost twenty minutes.聽
Todoroki is covered in your lipgloss, hickeys scattered across the expanse of his pale neck and his own swollen lips smeared in your glittery lip balm. His mismatched eyes are gazing at you intensely, with that look he wore when he was anticipating something more. Unfortunately, he鈥檇 have to wait.
鈥淐鈥檓on, Shouto, before Bakugou comes looking for a fight because I never texted him back after I met you here.鈥 You swallow when his stare only darkens, his tongue running over his lower lip to swipe at your flavored lip gloss.
鈥淗e can wait.鈥
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s-horne2 years ago
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28. Don鈥檛 judge a book (high school reunion)
(this fic contains homophobic language and talk of past high school bullying. I have put a聽鈥榢eep reading鈥 break in that I hope is going to work. Proceed with caution on mobile)
鈥淭here鈥檚 that nerd.鈥
Steve was jolted back into the present when he heard one of his old friends speak. He鈥檇 been looking around the gym and trying to remember what it had looked like when he鈥檇 been a student there. Not a lot had changed really, but there had been less alcohol and fewer decorations, no fairy lights and no stage set up along one wall. Even so, it was familiar. Comforting even, in a weird sort of way. It had been ten years since he鈥檇 graduated high school and left the place behind, but Steve had still felt something settle inside of him when he鈥檇 walked back through those doors. 聽
鈥淲hat?鈥
鈥淥ver there,鈥 Chad said, pointing to the other side of the gym. 鈥淥h, what was his name?鈥
鈥淣erd?鈥澛
Steve resisted rolling his eyes. The others around him all laughed as though that was the funniest joke they鈥檇 ever heard.聽Adam threw his arm over Steve鈥檚 shoulders and Steve resisted the urge to shrug him off.
鈥淵ou remember him, right? God, he used to have such a crush on you. He鈥檇 follow you round after practice like a lost dog.鈥
鈥淧athetic little fag,鈥 Callum sneered, prompting another round of laughter.聽
Oh, yeah. Steve knew there was a reason Bucky had beaten Callum up so many times in school.聽Don鈥檛 cause a scene, he chanted in his head.聽Don鈥檛 cause a scene,聽Steve. Not here, not now. At least wait until 9pm.
鈥淲hat the fuck did you just say?鈥 Whoops. So much for that idea.聽But really, these guys were being dicks.
Callum鈥檚 face screwed up in confusion, but before he could say anything, Kyle re-joined them, his hands precariously cradling a round of shots.聽Ugh, great. That鈥檚 all these guys needed.
Christ, he was glad he鈥檇 stopped talking to these guys years ago. He hadn鈥檛 even recognised them when they鈥檇 walked in. Steve had been running majorly late and hadn鈥檛 gotten there right at the start of the reunion event, walking in and searching around for his date, ignoring everything else going on. It had been Kyle that had called out to him, beckoning him over to the group. It had taken him a minute to recognise his old football team and Steve really wished he hadn鈥檛.
As soon as high school had finished, Steve had practically thrown his football kit back at the gym teacher and legged it, getting out of the town and not looking back. He hadn鈥檛 kept it touch with any of his 鈥榝riends鈥, not on Facebook or anything. It was only Bucky that had stuck with him, but that was聽Bucky.聽He wasn鈥檛 going anywhere.
鈥淕od, this school was full of fucking nutters, wasn鈥檛 it?聽
Steve barely held back his sneer at Kyle鈥檚 words. This group were the nutters, not anyone else. The only reason he鈥檇 stayed on the damn team was to secure a football scholarship that got him into college. Thank fuck that the guys on his college team had been actual adults, liberal minded and accepting. Imagine if he鈥檇 been stuck with these dickheads for four more years. Steve shuddered as he sipped his beer.聽
Zoning out of the conversation going on around him, Steve let his gaze wander around the gym. It wasn鈥檛 long before he caught sight of the 鈥榥erd鈥 that they鈥檇 been talking about and he felt a familiar swoop in his stomach. Before he had a chance to act on it, to lift his hand or smile or something, the man鈥檚 attention was called away by someone Steve wasn鈥檛 sure he recognised, and he was pulled back into the conversation anyway.
鈥淲hat do you think, Steve?鈥
鈥淗m?鈥
鈥淐allum has the least game.鈥
Steve resisted rolling his eyes. He really didn鈥檛 care, but he had no excuse to leave yet.
鈥淵eah,鈥 Adam agreed with a laugh, 鈥渓ike last month when you struck out with that slut in the bar.鈥澛
God. Steve tried his hardest not to grimace. Of course they were all still friends who hung out. Guys like them always stayed in their packs.聽
鈥淲hatever. At least I have a life.鈥 Steve looked over to Callum. He knew what was coming; men like this prick always pushed the attention off themselves by bullying someone else. 鈥淣ot like that fucking nerd. I bet he wasn鈥檛 even that clever.鈥
鈥淗e went to MIT actually.鈥澛
There was silence after Steve鈥檚 snapped comment before Adam scoffed. 鈥淣ah, there鈥檚 no way.鈥
Steve rolled his eyes. 鈥淗e did. Trust me.鈥
鈥淲hat? The fag kept in touch? Did he follow you around campus at college as well? Begging for scraps under the table.鈥澛
Steve鈥檚 hands curled into fists at his sides and he was about to abandon his not causing a scene rule when Isaiah got an idea.
鈥淚 dare you to ask him out.鈥澛
What? Oh my god, were these people serious?聽Isaiah had been quiet until then and Steve had been holding out some hope that he wasn鈥檛 as much of a dick as the others were.
Chad laughed loudly and clapped Isiah on the back. 鈥淒ude. Awesome idea. I鈥檇 fucking pay to see that.鈥澛
鈥淎re you serious?鈥 Steve couldn鈥檛 keep the disgust from his voice as he grimaced at the men in front of him.
鈥$50. Ask the nerd out on a date. Oh, Christ. It鈥檒l be like prom all over again.鈥澛
鈥淲ait,鈥 Steve turned to Isiah slowly, eyes narrowed and tone deadly. 鈥淵ou asked him to prom?鈥
Chad snorted unattractively as Isiah looked scandalised. 鈥淥f course not.鈥
Steve was just about to relax when Isiah chuckled. 鈥淚 asked him to homecoming though. We had a right laugh. Little dickhead thought someone actually fancied him.聽Ha! Just imagine.鈥
鈥淣erd.鈥澛
Jesus. How did Steve stomach these people for even long enough to play one match in high school?聽These people were vile. Bullies even now, years after their teenage years had ended. They were just聽dicks聽and Steve wanted to deck them all.
鈥淚鈥檒l raise you.鈥
Steve looked at Adam and barely repressed his sigh. Adam held Steve鈥檚 gaze and crossed his arms across his chest, a smug look covering his handsome face and making him look positively ugly.
鈥淢ake it a kiss and we鈥檒l give you 100 bucks.鈥
What the ever living fuck? 鈥淵ou want me to kiss a guy we went to high school with for $100?鈥澛
Callum laughed, the sound nasty and grating to Steve鈥檚 ears. 鈥淲ell, obviously don鈥檛 actually kiss him. Just get close enough and then pull away. Dude, it would be the best entertainment I鈥檇 have had in weeks. He鈥檇 absolutely cream his pants, thinking the big football star wants him after all this time. The look on his face when he鈥檒l see it鈥檚 all a bet, oh man.鈥
Adam chortled, bent over as he clutched at Callum鈥檚 shoulder. 鈥淥h, just imagine. Dude, get your camera ready.鈥
What the actual fuck was wrong with these people? They were disgusting. Just vile people and Steve wanted to scream at them all, to take a leaf from Bucky鈥檚 book and knock them all out.
鈥淎ren鈥檛 we a little old to be doing things like this? It鈥檚 been 10 years since high school. We鈥檙e better than this.鈥
鈥淣ot for that little shit.鈥
But then again, $100 was $100, Steve supposed. Might as well get it from these fucktards than have to work for it.聽
Steve looked over to the man now standing on his own again, leaning back against the gym wall. He looked bored out of his mind, but so impeccably beautiful. His dark hair was perfectly styled and his suit looked as though it was painted on, his features so defined even from so far away. Steve turned back to the group of guys staring at him like he could make or break their Christmas.
鈥淕ive me the money first and then I鈥檒l do it.鈥
聽聽聽His legs shook a little as he walked over to the man. Was Steve really going to do this? He had had such a crush on the other man in high school and the guy had only grown up to be more attractive.
When the man turned his head and met Steve鈥檚 gaze, Steve鈥檚 heart thumped wildly in his chest and he started walking faster, dodging the crowds without breaking their eye contact. Steve barely slowed down as he crossed the gym and drew level with the man of his goal. He reached out and took the man鈥檚 face between his hands, bending just enough to catch those beautifully full lips with his own, tongue darting out to taste. The kiss was a long one and Steve moaned into it happily, changing the angle to deepen it.
鈥淲ell, hello to you too, handsome.鈥
Steve broke into a smile and swept his thumb over Tony鈥檚 cheekbone.
鈥淵ou made it then,鈥 Tony said, his smile wide and his eyes dancing, 鈥淚 thought I was gonna have to send out a search party.鈥
鈥淚 got held up. You know how it is.鈥
Tony hummed, his gaze drifting from Steve鈥檚 face. 鈥淥h yes. The delightful football team. I did wonder when they鈥檇 catch you.鈥 He paused and readjusted his grip on Steve鈥檚 shoulders, his hands absent-mindedly drifting up to play with his hair. 鈥淲hy are they all staring at me like you鈥檝e turned purple?鈥
鈥淗uh?鈥 Steve said distractedly, before he followed Tony鈥檚 eyeline over his shoulder. 鈥淥h, them鈥 right.鈥 He dug into his pocket and lifted up $100. 鈥淔ancy dinner?鈥
Tony鈥檚 mouth fell open and he laughed in disbelief. 鈥淭hey didn鈥檛!鈥
鈥淥h yeah,鈥 Steve grinned, 鈥渢hose fucking idiots just gave me $100 to make out with my fianc茅. Champagne? It鈥檚 on them.鈥
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greenfeelings2 years ago
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For As Long As I Can Remember (It鈥檚 Been December) by green_feelings聽
Summary: After recovering from a severe accident that causes Harry to lose his memory of three years, he moves to London to start his life over as a star chef. Little does he know that when he falls in love with Louis at first sight, it鈥檚 not the first time they meet.
Featuring an unintentional game of hot and cold, Harry chasing memories that won鈥檛 come back, Louis burying himself in work to try and forget what he can鈥檛 forget, Liam being torn between two of his best friends, Zayn as a moral compass and Niall saving the day with good music and brutal honesty.
Pairing: Louis Tomlinson/Harry Styles
Word count: ~ 110.000聽
Rating: Explicit聽
the beautiful fic cover was made by the amazingly talented聽@wesninskey
Prologue /// Part 1 /// Part 2 /// Part 3 /// Part 4聽聽(Complete)聽
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wanderingcasa year ago
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ao3.聽
鈥淗ey.鈥 Sam tilts his chin in the direction over Dean鈥檚 shoulder. 鈥2 o鈥檆lock.鈥澛
Dean glances over his shoulder. Cas, who is sitting next to him in the booth, likewise cranes his head, albeit a little more obviously because the newly human ex-angel still has no sense of manners.聽
He knows what Sam is gesturing to immediately: brunette, leggy, skirt on the northside of too short. He distinctly remembers the predatory face she made when he asked her back to his hotel room.聽
鈥淒idn鈥檛 you hook up with her last time we were in town?鈥 Sam asks in a hushed voice.
Dean pokes a fork at his scrambled eggs. 鈥淯h, yeah. I think so.鈥澛
鈥淲ell, go talk to her!鈥澛
鈥淲hy the hell would I do that?鈥澛
Sam scoffs, giving him the Younger Sibling Incredulous Look. 鈥淒idn鈥檛 you say you liked her?鈥澛
鈥淵ou鈥檙e right, Sam. I did like her. So naturally, the next step is me getting down on one knee and saying I want to have her babies.鈥澛
Cas scrunches his forehead. 鈥淚 have two questions.鈥澛
鈥淐olloquialisms, Cas,鈥 Dean says shortly. He stabs a sausage link and savagely chews it, pointing his fork in Sam鈥檚 direction. 鈥淚 got a rule and you know that. I don鈥檛 double-dip. Comes with the job.鈥澛
To Cas鈥檚 confused expression, Sam explains, 鈥淗e means he never sleeps with someone twice, or he might catch feelings.鈥 Cas continues to stare. Sam adds, 鈥淔all in love.鈥澛
鈥淲hy would that be bad?鈥 Cas asks.
鈥淗ave you seen our profession?鈥 Dean scoffs. 鈥淎in鈥檛 for me, that whole thing. But sex is good,鈥 he adds with an especially leering grin.聽
Sam groans into his coffee. 鈥淵ou鈥檙e gross.鈥澛
鈥淟ove is bad,鈥 Cas says musingly. He takes a bite of his waffle drenched in syrup. 鈥淚 think I understand.鈥澛
鈥淣o, just鈥斺 Dean sighs. 鈥淔orget it. Maybe when you鈥檙e more human it鈥檒l click.鈥
Cas looks at him curiously as he chews. Dean needs to look away.聽
* * *聽
鈥淭here鈥檚 too much of your mother in you,鈥 John used to say.聽
Too much empathy.聽
Too much love.聽
It鈥檚 what got her killed, after all.聽
* * *聽
鈥淵ou know, you need to define it. Whatever it is.鈥澛
There鈥檚 movement by the barn door that catches Dean鈥檚 eye; it鈥檚 only a flash of bird鈥檚 wings glinting in the dark. He makes a noncommittal sound and sinks further into his seat, the leather creaking.聽
鈥淪eriously, Dean,鈥 Sam continues, 鈥渋t鈥檚 not healthy. For either of you.鈥澛
If that creepy farmer guy comes back, that鈥檚 their man, Dean decides. He鈥檚 never trusted anyone with a limp, anyway.聽
鈥淒ean.鈥澛
鈥淚 heard ya,鈥 Dean barks. 鈥淎re you going to focus on this case or not?鈥澛
鈥淲e need to talk about this.鈥澛
鈥淪ee, that鈥檚 where you鈥檙e wrong. We don鈥檛.鈥 Dean squints in the dark, sees a hobbling figure approaching the barn, a familiar and stolen spell book in his hands. 鈥淜new it was him.鈥澛
鈥淚 just worry about you.鈥 Sam loads and cocks a gun. 鈥淏oth of you.鈥澛
鈥淚t鈥檚 our business, Sam. Drop it.鈥 Dean opens the Impala鈥檚 door, the hinges protesting. 鈥淵ou take his right, I鈥檒l take the left.鈥澛
* * *聽
Kissing Cas is second nature now. It鈥檚 not like the awkward fumbling when they first slammed together, stuffing themselves into a supply closet so Sam wouldn鈥檛 find them, hands shaking and Dean鈥檚 ass being poked by a broom as Cas pressed desperately against him.聽
Kissing him, in fact, is easy: Dean鈥檚 gotten used to the texture of Cas鈥檚 lips (soft but unyielding), the way that he can make Cas hitch a surprised breath (biting his lower lip with a soft graze of his teeth), the feeling of Cas鈥檚 warm hands pressing against Dean鈥檚 back.聽
Even the sex has gotten easy.
But then there鈥檚 the after: where Cas sits on the edge of Dean鈥檚 bed, adjusting his tie against his open collar, frowning at the ground. The pause has become longer and longer, before he finally stands and leaves the room with a soft, 鈥淕oodnight, Dean.鈥澛
And Dean鈥檚 eyes are beginning to linger on the closed door longer than they should.
* * *聽
鈥淲hat do you want to do as a human, Cas? Anything. Name one thing.鈥澛
Cas looks up from his cereal, hair sticking up in impossible ways and squinting at Sam. 鈥淢ore sleep sounds amenable.鈥澛
Sam鈥檚 laugh bounces across the kitchen鈥檚 tiles. 鈥淣o, something fun that you couldn鈥檛 do as an angel. It鈥檚 time to get out and find something you like.鈥澛
鈥淟ike eating crappy diner food,鈥 Dean suggests across the table.
鈥淥r starting a garden,鈥 Sam adds.聽
鈥淥r eating crappy pizza.鈥澛
鈥淥r biking.鈥澛
鈥淥r setting the record for eating the biggest cheeseburger.鈥
Sam flicks a spoon at Dean鈥檚 arm. Dean leans back in his chair and grins.
Looking between them, Cas frowns. 鈥淚鈥檓 not sure what activities there are to do as a human.鈥澛
Dean says, 鈥淣o wrong choice.鈥 He considers for a moment. 鈥淲ell, except all of Sam鈥檚 suggestions.鈥澛
Sam huffs a frustrated breath.
鈥淢aybe biking?鈥 Cas says, tentatively. 鈥淚鈥檝e seen that activity before, and it looks enjoyable.鈥澛
鈥淲e don鈥檛 have bikes, Cas,鈥 Dean says.
鈥淏ut we can rent some!鈥 Sam says, pulling out his phone and waving it wildly. 鈥淲ichita has a bike sharing program now! You can go anywhere in the city!鈥澛
鈥淥h, goody,鈥 Dean says.聽
The drive to Wichita is mind-numbing, teaching Cas how to even balance on a bike is time-consuming. But finally, after the hundred or so time of Dean lightly pushing Cas鈥檚 back to give him a pedaling start, Cas stays upright rather than collapsing to the ground.聽
Dean feels stupid for being in a flannel and boots on a bicycle. Sam keeps reaching over and pinching Dean鈥檚 cheek while they鈥檙e riding. But then they get to a tall hill overlooking the city skyline, sun setting on the backdrop, and Cas turns around to smile all sweaty and bright-eyed at Dean, the happiest Dean鈥檚 seen him in well, ever, and Dean can鈥檛 suppress an answering smile.聽
Looking back, maybe that鈥檚 the moment he knew.聽
But maybe his heart rate was only fast from the exercise, and his lightheaded, dizzy feeling was him not having enough to eat or the heat getting to him.
Maybe.
* * *聽
Dean didn鈥檛 intend to overhear it. Cas and the old guy they were interviewing was in the next room, and Dean was in the tiny corner kitchen. The old man鈥檚 house was dated, sure, but Dean didn鈥檛 expect the walls to be practically paper.
鈥淵ou know what鈥檚 most important in the world, son?鈥 asks the man鈥檚 fuzzy baritone.
Cas falters, says, 鈥淯h鈥 no. What鈥檚 most important?鈥澛
鈥淟ove. That鈥檚 what.鈥澛
Dean rolls his eyes. They weren鈥檛 going to get anything about the neighborhood poltergeist out of this guy. His brain obviously flew into the cuckoo鈥檚 nest a long time ago.
鈥淥h,鈥 Cas replies. 鈥淚 see.鈥澛
鈥淲hen you have something to hold onto that you love, or someone, then it makes life that much more worth it. If a dying old man like me can tell you anything, let it be that. You know what I鈥檓 saying?鈥澛
Dean鈥檚 not sure why he鈥檚 holding his breath; especially not sure why his chest constricts to a painful pitch when Cas replies, softly, 鈥淚 don鈥檛 have much experience with what you鈥檙e describing.鈥澛
鈥淢aybe you will one day,鈥 the old man says.
Dean stares down at the countertop, chipped and broken at the edges.聽
鈥淢aybe,鈥 Cas tonelessly replies.聽
* * *聽
He didn鈥檛 mean for it to happen.
It just kind of snuck up on him and happened.聽
Over time, Cas鈥檚 smiles began chain-reacted a fuzzy feeling in his throat. Cas鈥檚 rarely-heard laugh made his skin feel like it was on fire. Cas鈥檚 hands simply skimming over Dean鈥檚 bare skin made him feel like every cell and molecule that made up Dean was reaching for Cas, begging for more.聽
Even Cas鈥檚 eyes holding his made his stomach do flip-flops.
He didn鈥檛 mean for it to happen.聽
He didn鈥檛 mean to break his own rule.
* * *聽
鈥淲hat is this?鈥 Dean asks between kisses. It鈥檚 dark but he can imagine the stunned look on Cas鈥檚 face.聽
Cas was never one to bullshit. He says, plainly, 鈥淚 don鈥檛 know.鈥澛
Dean threads his hand through Cas鈥檚 thick hair, tugs a little tighter so he鈥檒l forget Dean鈥檚 moment of weakness. They fall back onto the bed.聽
* * *聽
鈥淵ou鈥檙e a lot like Mom, you know,鈥 Sam just comes out and says one day. Over reading a book, while sipping his coffee, like it鈥檚 no big deal.
Dean puts down his phone. Asks in a steady voice, 鈥淲hat?鈥澛
鈥淪he didn鈥檛 want the job either. Wanted different things.鈥 Sam pauses. 鈥淟ike a family.鈥澛
鈥淲hy the hell are you telling me this?鈥澛
Sam looks at him with way too much meaning in his eyes. 鈥淵ou know why.鈥澛
Too much of your mother in you.聽
Dean pushes against the table to stand and leaves the room.聽
* * *聽
I love you.聽
It鈥檇 be so easy to let it tumble out of him; to recklessly plunge headfirst off that cliff without knowing if anything would catch him.聽
Instead he presses it soundlessly into Cas鈥檚 skin with his lips, his hands, his fingers鈥擨 love you, I love you. And I鈥檓 terrified.
He鈥檚 worried he鈥檚 being too loud when Cas looks at him with endlessly blue eyes, seeming to respond, I know.聽
* * *聽
There鈥檚 too much blood on the floor, and Cas鈥檚 eyes are too glassy. Dean tears out of his shirt, pressing it against Cas鈥檚 wound, but there鈥檚 not enough to hold it in, not enough to stop the very essence of Cas leaking out of him鈥
鈥淚t鈥檚 fine.鈥 Cas鈥檚 voice is raspy. He holds Dean鈥檚 wrist in a weak fist. 鈥淪top, Dean.鈥澛
Dean presses the shirt harder against the wound. Cas鈥檚 eyes grab his and hold them there.
鈥淵ou knew this would happen eventually.鈥
鈥淣o I didn鈥檛,鈥 Dean whispers. 鈥淚 didn鈥檛.鈥澛
鈥淚t鈥檚 the profession, Dean. You said it yourself.鈥澛
鈥淣o,鈥 Dean says.
鈥淟et me go.鈥澛
Dean wakes up with a harsh gasp. It takes endless moments of harsh breathing against his pillow to get his heart rate to slow.聽
He walks down the hall to the room where Cas sleeps. He puts a hand on the knob; hears Cas roll over on the bed inside, the bedsprings groaning.聽
It鈥檚 unclear how long he stands there, forehead pressed against the cool wood of the door, counting Cas鈥檚 breaths.聽
Cas isn鈥檛 in danger, Dean tells himself.
Not right now.
* * *聽
He takes Cas to a lake, because he remembers Cas saying that he misses the ocean. It鈥檚 close enough.聽
It鈥檚 a cold fall day, the nearby trees drooping with golden leaves, so it makes no sense to be at a beach. But Cas seems to love it. Dean opts to sit on the sand and watch Cas dip his bare toes into the gentle lapping water.
When Cas gets too cold they huddle under a blanket, shoulder to shoulder, and watch the sun sleepily dip in the horizon.
鈥淲hat do you think is the most important thing in the world?鈥 Cas asks.聽
鈥淧ie,鈥 Dean automatically replies. 鈥淢aybe burgers.鈥澛
鈥淏e serious,鈥 Cas demands.
Dean sighs, his breath dancing in front of him. The sun is nearly gone; they鈥檒l have to drive back soon or Sam will have a hissy fit. He gets bitchy when Dean鈥檚 not there to make him dinner after his afternoon run.
鈥淒ean.鈥 Cas pokes a gentle finger into Dean鈥檚 side.
鈥淯h.鈥 Dean blows into one of his hands to make it warmer. 鈥淧eople. Family. Love, I guess.鈥澛
Cas nods. He squints into the dying sunlight. 鈥淔alling in love can be bad, though,鈥 he says quietly, so soft that if Dean weren鈥檛 centimeters away, he鈥檇 miss it.
鈥淪ometimes,鈥 Dean agrees.
They stand, brushing the sand off their jeans, and walk back to the Impala.聽
* * *聽
That night, Dean drags out every moment: every kiss, every caress, every push and pull of his hips against Cas鈥檚.聽
Cas gasps, and Dean swallows the sound with his lips. Every nerve in him feels like a firecracker ready to burst. In all his life, he鈥檚 never been so focused one one human being, on one beautiful, devastating, terrifying ex-angel sprawled underneath him.聽
Too much empathy.
Too much goddamn love.
When Cas leaves his bedroom, like he always does, Dean decides he needs to keep liquor in his room.
* * *聽
鈥淵ou don鈥檛 look like you鈥檙e getting a lot of sleep. Neither does Cas.鈥
Dean knows. Doesn鈥檛 need the reminder.
鈥淗ave you guys talked it out yet? Whatever is going on between you?鈥澛
If they did, maybe there鈥檇 be more sleeping.
* * *聽
So it goes, Vonnegut wrote. Dean remembers dissecting that line in high school English, reading way more analyses than what was required for the assignment.聽
A nod to the existential. At death that inevitably comes.聽
Dean wonders if it could apply to love, too.
鈥淚鈥檓 going to stop coming to your room,鈥 Cas says to Dean.聽
Jesus Christ, Sam is sitting right there, Dean wants to say. Instead he stares, forkful of spaghetti halfway to his mouth.
鈥淚鈥檓 gonna go鈥 research,鈥 Sam says, fumbling with his chair and vacating the kitchen.聽
Cas and Dean stare at each other.聽
鈥淚鈥檓 going to stop coming to your room,鈥 Cas says again.
鈥淣o, I鈥擨 heard you.鈥 Dean puts down his fork. 鈥淚 just. Why?鈥澛
Cas laces his hands in front of him. 鈥淲hen we began our physical relationship, I thought it was of benefit to you. You seemed happier and more relaxed. However, the past few weeks have taken the opposite toll. You seem anxious and the circles under your eyes are a clear indication you鈥檙e not getting a good rest. So I think it鈥檚 best if we stop.鈥澛
There鈥檚 a simmering in Dean鈥檚 gut. 鈥淵ou. You want to.鈥 He clenches his fist against his knee. 鈥淵ou want to end this because I look tired?鈥澛
鈥淣o. I want to end this because you look like someone died every time after we have sex.鈥澛
鈥淪o fucking dramatic,鈥 Dean scoffs. He stands and grabs his plate roughly off the table. 鈥淲ell, if you wanna end it, fine by me. Just stop coming to my room.鈥澛
鈥淎ll right,鈥 Dean hears Cas say behind him.
Dean stands at the sink for a moment. The simmering pitches to a full-blown boil. He throws the plate in the sink, ceramic shattering. He whirls around to see Cas, staring, wide-eyed. 鈥淪eriously, Cas? Seriously?鈥澛
鈥淪eriously what?鈥 Cas volleys.聽
鈥淗ow can you act like it鈥檚 nothing? Over and over鈥擩esus.鈥 Dean pinches the bridge of his nose. 鈥淚 should have known better, I really should have but I鈥攅very fucking time, it鈥檚 the same.鈥澛
Cas stands. 鈥淚鈥檓 not acting like it鈥檚 nothing.鈥澛
鈥淵es you goddamn are. Every night, you leave. Every morning, you act like nothing happened. Even now you鈥檙e just calmly ending the thing like it was a business transaction. Even as a human you鈥檙e as emotionless as a goddamn rock.鈥澛
鈥淭hat鈥檚 not fair,鈥 Cas says, his face contorting.聽
鈥淭hen tell me I鈥檓 wrong,鈥 Dean shouts. 鈥淭ell me this all meant something to you.鈥澛
Cas is still like stone, just staring, so Dean scoffs, 鈥淭hat鈥檚 what I thought,鈥 and makes his quick exit.聽
He鈥檚 halfway down the hallway when something grabs his shoulders, pushes him into the wall. Cas leans in close.
鈥淵ou don鈥檛 understand,鈥 he says. 鈥淵ou never did. I feel鈥擨 do feel.鈥澛
Dean whispers, on the precipice of something he doesn鈥檛 want to name, 鈥淭hen why did you leave every goddamn time?鈥澛
Cas tilts his head. 鈥淔alling in love is bad,鈥 he says. 鈥淚 understand. Now that I鈥檓 more human, I understand.鈥澛
鈥淚 didn鈥檛 mean it like that,鈥 Dean chokes out.
Too much of your mother in you.
鈥淗ow did you mean it?鈥澛
He can鈥檛 do this now. Not with Cas staring at him like this. Like he鈥檚 the singular most important person in the world. 鈥淚鈥檓 scared,鈥 he says. 鈥淚 could lose you.鈥
鈥淚 could lose you.鈥 Cas holds Dean鈥檚 shoulders tight. 鈥淏ut I love you all the same.鈥澛
Dean shakes his head. Says softly in the space between them, 鈥淭hat鈥檚 too much love.鈥澛
鈥淣o such thing,鈥 Cas insists, capturing Dean鈥檚 mouth with his, not letting him give anymore excuses.聽
* * *聽
They lie in Dean鈥檚 bed, simply holding each other. It鈥檚 warm. Dean likes the way that Cas is playing with his hair, likes the feeling of Cas鈥檚 breath on his cheek.
鈥淲hat is this?鈥 Dean asks. Afraid to, but does it anyway.
鈥淲hatever you want it to be.鈥澛
Dean frowns. Grabs Cas鈥檚 hand and winds his fingers tight around him. 鈥淒on鈥檛 leave tonight.鈥澛
Cas presses a kiss into Dean鈥檚 hair. 鈥淚 never will.鈥澛
2K notesView notes
birds-have-teetha year ago
Text
Quiet (Midoriya/Reader) [part 2]
| A/n: I have to admit, I re-wrote the ending several times and I鈥檓 still not satisfied with it but here we go anyways! |
| See part 1 ... here聽|
鉁︹溈聽 Warnings: Angst with a happy ending. 鉁库湨
鉁︹溈 Words: 5500+ 鉁库湨
are you guys ready to c r y??
.聽 聽.聽 聽.
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You stare blankly at a red and purple sky, eyes lazily watching the clouds roll by and the half-visible sun dip down and slowly set. You leaned forward to capture that perfect in-between moment, smiling as the last sliver of the sun finally dipped behind the horizon, letting the sky gradually shift from warm pinks and oranges to dark blues, indigos, and purples. You sighed and sank into a more relaxed position as your eyes welcomed the appearance of the moon as it took to the sky, washing the park in its gentle white light.
You sat at the same rotting-wooden picnic table you sat at every night, a familiar book with kitty skeletons draped in red and black across the cover sat just beneath your hand. The lukewarm coffee you鈥檇 picked up hours earlier sat right next to the book, half-empty from your lack of interest despite it being your favorite kind.聽
You鈥檇 even considered dropping by your dorm to throw it in the freezer鈥攖o beat yourself with later if you kept thinking about a particularly annoying green-haired boy鈥攂efore coming here, but you found that you just didn鈥檛 want to be on campus more than you had to.
Being out and about decreased your chances of running into him.
You let your eyes stray from the steadily appearing stars and to your right, where Midoriya had sat just a few nights ago.
You let out a frustrated sigh, turning your gaze back up to the sky and raising the cup of coffee to your lips. It didn鈥檛 taste amazing right now, but it served as a good enough distraction to stop thinking about him. You鈥檇 done the right thing, whether you cared about Midoriya or not, you wouldn鈥檛 let yourself be manipulated. You would not come running back into his arms only to be forgotten when other things in his life became more important than you again.
It was better this way.聽
You told yourself, trying to convince yourself that you would only distract Izuku from his dreams. You鈥檇 only get in the way and end up broken again when he realized that.
You flicked the book open and skimmed your eyes over the pages. The illustrations of grim-themed yet still cute cats above each new chapter momentarily consuming your attention. Your soft smile faltered when you stumbled upon a particularly strange looking cat with wild, curly fur and huge round eyes cowering underneath a couch. Your eyes lingered on the drawing, everything about it just screams Izuku.
You shake yourself out of it and flip to the front page, breath hitching when you noticed a sticky note attached to it. It was in the handwriting of the clerk you鈥檇 grown familiar with. She often scribbled funny quotes or little notes things into the books you purchased for you to laugh about when you stumbled into the shop again.
He was here today, wanted me to slide this to you once you came in today. Not quite sure if he knows that 鈥榮ecret admirers鈥 are supposed to be discreet?聽
-Kiko 銉
You almost smile at that, not doubting for a moment who she was referring to. But then you knit your brows together in confusion when you noticed an arrow at the bottom of the note. Curiously, you unstuck the unusually heavy sticky note and flipped it. Your heart stopped functioning entirely when you saw a familiar bracelet taped to the back of it.
You gasped tearing the bracelet from the note and inspecting it closely. No way鈥 there鈥檚 no way he even remembered this existed.
It was a colorful and cute bracelet with mostly green beads and white lettered ones spelling out 鈥楢ll Might.鈥
The sight of the bracelet brings you way back, and suddenly you are no longer outside at the park.
Instead, you are laying on your stomach with an impressive fort of blankets hanging above your head. Your small hands fiddled with the beads, tiny fingers slipping on each random-shaped bead you could find in your craft box that was remotely green in color. Across from you lays a much smaller Izuku on his belly with his nose buried in a comic book, eyes sparkling and lips noisily slurping at the straw of a juice box.
鈥淵/N-chan look!鈥 The curly-haired boy squeals, shoving the comic book over to you and pointing at a panel of a very stylized All Might with multiple civilians draped over his shoulders. It鈥檚 a familiar frame from the video you鈥檝e watched with the boy about a million times already. You personally didn鈥檛 idolize the symbol of peace as passionately as your friend, but it always made him happy, so you always watched it with him. You squinted, scrunching up your nose at the picture.
鈥淭hey drew his hair wrong!鈥 You complained pointing at the clearly exaggerated shojo-looking hairstyle the number one hero had been illustrated with.
鈥淣o, that鈥檚 just the artists鈥 style.鈥 Little Izuku exclaims, standing up in the fort, proudly posing in his All Might one-sie, holding the comic book up into the air like it was Simba.
鈥淥hh,鈥 You remember humming thoughtfully before returning to tying an s-clip to the end of the bracelet, looking your newest creation over with pride. You sat up too, looking anxiously over to your best friend who had engrossed himself back into the comic. 鈥淕imme your hand.鈥
You vividly remember the young boy鈥檚 freckled face lighting up and his hand being shoved in your direction. You slid the way-too-big bracelet over his tiny wrist and looped it around a second time so it wouldn鈥檛 fall off. 鈥淗ere, so everybody knows you鈥檙e the next All Might!鈥
His big green eyes overflowed with tears, almost flooding your blanket sanctuary and drowning you both in his own tears when he tackled you to the ground, hugging you tight. You remember him showing the bracelet off to all of his friends and Kacchan the next day. He wore it even more religiously than his hero-onesie, his mother even mentioning that he only took it off to bathe.
You recall your shock when a week later he dropped a similar home-made bracelet with your favorite-colored beads and your idolized hero鈥檚 name on it. It had been the first time anyone had ever made something for you and you cherished it.
鈥淲e match now, so that means we gotta become big strong heroes together when we get big!鈥 You remember his high-pitched voice declaring with his best All Might impression.
You felt your eyes burn with salt and the telltale weight of tears welling up in the corners of your eyes, your fingers shaking as they clutched the bracelet. Despite how old the plastic piece of jewelry was, it was in outstanding condition--save for a few scratches on the bigger beads here and there.
You鈥檇 thought that he鈥檇 lost it or thrown it away a long time ago. It鈥檚 been years. How on earth did he still have this?
Feeling your breath start to quicken you shot up from your seat, grabbing the book from the table and dashing off towards U.A. You turned each sharp corner, narrowly avoiding crashing into several other students鈥攊ncluding Bakugou who hissed and swore at you as you retreated to your dorm You shoved the door open and slammed it shut. The next fifteen minutes were spent digging through your stuff, looking through untouched boxes of your things you鈥檇 brought from home but never needed until now.聽
And then, you finally found it tucked away in an old pencil pouch. You pulled out an all-too-familiar bracelet, holding it up to compare to the green one in your other hand. There was no doubt about it, it was real. Your fingertips traced the familiar beads of your own bracelet, eyes flickering between it and its counterpart.
Why鈥?
Why did he keep it so long?
You kicked the box back into the closet and toed the door shut, tossing both bracelets onto your nightstand and flopping face-down onto your bed.
It didn鈥檛 matter. It was just a bracelet, nothing more than a flimsy piece of plastic. Nothing compared to the friendship you had. So what if he held onto some dumb bracelet? That didn鈥檛 make up for months of distance, weeks of him slowly forgetting you existed while you stood idly by. Letting it happen because you cared too much.
So why did you feel so guilty?
You groaned exasperatedly into your pillow snuggling your face into it when it started to soothe your headache. Your eyes opened suddenly with a furious glower when your stupid brain immediately thought back to the times you and Izuku would nap together when you were kids, anywhere anytime. You often played so hard you knocked yourselves out so his mom would find you cuddled up against one another in your blanket forts, on the couch, on the slide at the park, under the sink once鈥 anywhere you could fit into and doze off, you would.
In fact, you didn鈥檛 shake the habit of napping together until you were at least thirteen, which is usually around when parents start getting suspicious so you stopped doing it. You felt a slight blush rise to your cheeks, remembering those special times in middle school when you would sneak in and sleep together for a while if one of you had a nightmare. That was most likely the most rebellious thing you two innocent little suck-ups ever did.
You sigh, eyes drifting over to the bracelets strewn carelessly across your nightstand.
How can one bracelet bring back so much nostalgia?
. 聽 . 聽 .
Midoriya was slumped miserably against one of the couches in the dorm lounge, pen shakily scribbling away at an assignment. His handwriting has gotten a little better since last year, still wobbly and inconsistent in places but his teachers have voiced their appreciation of its improvement. He thinks back to earlier when he had dropped off that bracelet at the bookshop, afraid that if he approached you, you wouldn鈥檛 want to see him or he鈥檇 start crying again.
It really tore him apart inside to part with it, having kept it for so long. He鈥檇 found the bracelet while looking through some of his things one day. It fell out of a box with a bunch of his older more beat up action figures.
Seeing it after being put away for so long had brought the biggest smile to his face, remembering how much he鈥檇 loved it when he was younger. It was also what made him remember you鈥 It was as if you suddenly popped back into existence. And in excitement to share the memory with you, perhaps catch up with you over coffee, he had disregarded the fact that it had been months since you鈥檇 last spoken.
He now realizes his mistake.聽
But after last night he knew he didn鈥檛 deserve to have such an important piece of you to himself. He absentmindedly wondered if you still had yours鈥 probably not, huh? His wasn鈥檛 as pretty as the one you made him, and why would you keep it after he practically ignored you for a year?
Still, he had hope that just maybe there was a chance he could make it up to you, that he hadn鈥檛 messed up so bad that you never want to speak to him again. Midoriya closed his eyes, frowning down at his notebook in shame. Who was he kidding? It was just a piece of plastic and likely held no value to you after what he did.
He misses it. Already.
鈥淢idoriya.鈥 Iida鈥檚 voice piped up and the green-haired boy jumped.
鈥淥h hey, Iida. Did you need something?鈥 He asked, trying not to sound as worked up as he really was, forcing a small smile.
鈥淚 came to ask if you鈥檇 heard from L/N at all today?鈥 Midoriya鈥檚 heart dropped at the sound of your name.
鈥淣o鈥 why?鈥
鈥淲ell, it鈥檚 just that several students claimed to have seen her running obnoxiously through the halls earlier this evening and I was curious if you鈥檇 happen to know anything about it?鈥 Iida asks, straightening his glasses with a displeased expression, clearly not amused by your behavior.
鈥淣o, I haven鈥檛. Sorry,鈥 Midoriya admitted sullenly, eyes downcast to the floor.
Iida鈥檚 eyes softened and the bluenette sighed, taking a seat next to his friend. Ochako and he hadn鈥檛 managed to get much out of the sulking Midoriya since the other night, but they suspect that things didn鈥檛 necessarily go well between him and you. Not to mention he鈥檚 been a zombie all for days, barely getting any sleep at all these past few nights
鈥淎nd, as your friend, I am concerned about your wellbeing,鈥 Tenya confessed, pushing his glasses up closer against his face as Midoriya sighed.聽
鈥淚鈥檓 fine, Iida.鈥 Midoriya offered him a half-smile but otherwise made no attempt to spill anything. Tenya made eye-contact with Ochako across the common room, who had been the one to encourage him to approach Deku in the first place.
鈥淢idoriya, what happened between you and L/N last evening?鈥 The Iida son pressed, cautious not to pry too much in fear of upsetting him.
鈥淚 messed up,鈥 Midoriya looked down at his lap, a drawing of your face in the corner of his math homework. He abruptly turned the page in hopes Iida hadn鈥檛 already seen it. 鈥淩eally badly.鈥
. 聽 . 聽 .
The next morning, Izuku is as sluggish and mopey as ever, worrying his classmates with his lack of enthusiasm.
鈥淵ou should talk to her.鈥 Todoroki鈥檚 cool voice shakes Midoirya out of his daze after homeroom. He鈥檚 been staring absently at you as you ignored his existence, focusing on the lesson. It isn鈥檛 hard to guess who the half-and-half teen was talking about. And yet he still found himself surprised.
鈥淚鈥檝e tried, Todoroki. Talking won't help.鈥 Midoriya sighs, eyes dropping to his mess of notes, including several crumpled up drawings of you.
鈥淎nd sulking around doing nothing will?鈥 Todoroki questions, not able to recognize the shell of the boy in front of him.
聽鈥淚 messed up, and she wants nothing to do with me now.鈥 And he respects that.
鈥淪omething tells me that isn鈥檛 entirely the case.鈥 Shouto replies and the green-haired boy sends him a puzzled look.
鈥淲hat do you mean by that?鈥 He asks, a brow raised at the possibility that Todoroki knows something he doesn鈥檛.
鈥淵ou forget that Y/N and I are close friends now, although you haven鈥檛 necessarily been around so you may not have known at all.鈥 He states bluntly and it does nothing to comfort Midoriya at all. He hadn鈥檛 known you and Todoroki were friends! What else did he not know about you?
鈥淲hat are you getting at, Todoroki?鈥 Deku asks with a defeated tone, wishing the stoic prodigy would just be out with it.
鈥淵/N tells me everything, don鈥檛 think she hasn鈥檛 told me about what happened a few nights ago. But when she spoke about you it didn鈥檛 seem like she didn鈥檛 want anything to do with you.鈥 Shouto explained, definitely catching the young Midoriya鈥檚 attention. 鈥淪he鈥檚 upset, yes, and you aren鈥檛 wrong to assume that she is angry with you right now. But the longer you wait to talk to her about it鈥攊f you planned to at all that is鈥攖he longer it will take for her to forgive you.鈥
Forgive him? Was that even possible at this point? He didn鈥檛 know, but if what Todoroki said was true, and he actually had a chance, he couldn鈥檛 waste any more time 鈥榮ulking around and doing nothing.鈥
鈥淎re you sure that鈥檚 even possible, Todoroki?鈥 Deku questioned, eyes adept as ever as he searched the bi-colored eyes of his rival and friend for answers he may not even have.
鈥淚 don鈥檛 know for sure, Midoriya. That is up to Y/N.鈥 Todoroki admits, and Deku bites the inside of his cheek still torn over this. 鈥淏ut I don鈥檛 think she will forgive you if you don鈥檛 try.鈥
鈥淢m.鈥 Deku nods, thanking the two-toned boy and packing up for his next class of the day.
. 聽 . 聽 .
Your ears perked up at the sound of someone knocking on your door later that night. You sighed into your pillow, not wanting to leave its soft embrace. You tried to ignore it at first, pretending to be asleep but he insistent knocking continued. Grumpily you pushed off of your comfy bed to sluggishly open the door, thinking it was most likely Mina and she鈥檇 just keep knocking until you opened up.聽
You were not expecting Midoriya to be standing there.
鈥淲hat do you want?鈥 You asked, your voice holding no softness or enthusiasm ad your narrowed eyes stared coldly at your former best friend. He flinches at the icy tone of your voice.
鈥淚-I um鈥 can we鈥 talk?鈥 Izuku asks anxiously, wringing his hands together, elbows drawn in close to his stomach self-consciously. 鈥淧lease?鈥
He meets your steeled gaze with his own apologetic one, green eyes pleading with yours. Izuku owned the most convincing pair of puppy-dog eyes you鈥檝e ever seen, even when he wasn鈥檛 meaning to and even now you faltered.
鈥淲hy? Why should I let you in? Give me one good reason not to slam the door in your face and go back to bed?鈥
鈥淏-because I w-won鈥檛 leave until I say what I need to say,鈥 Midoriya stated as firmly as he could, a determined glimmer in his eyes as he did so. You don鈥檛 doubt that he might sit at your door all night if you refused him. 鈥淎-and I have a feeling you have some things to say too.鈥
He wants to resolve this.
鈥淚 have nothing to say to you.鈥 You hissed stepping back into the threshold of your room starting to close the door but his hand smacks against the wooden surface, a desperate look in his eyes that only makes you push harder. 鈥淢ove.鈥
鈥淧lease! Please just hear me out, Y/N, please just give me this! Let me try! You don鈥檛 need to forgive me. I just need you to listen!鈥 Midoriya pleads, his glossy eyes already spilling hot tears down his freckled cheeks. He鈥檚 shaking. 鈥淧lease鈥︹
Midoriya stumbles forward when the door opens and he just barely catches himself, wide eyes darting up to yours as you take several steps away from the entrance. You cross your arms, you can鈥檛 believe you鈥檙e actually doing this.
鈥淵ou have five minutes. Start talking.鈥 You relent, sitting down on your bed.
Midoriya sighs in relief, closing the door behind him before clumsily scrambling over to you. You pat the spot next to you, avoiding any and all eye-contact. Izuku鈥檚 heart skips a beat when he spots his bracelet on your nightstand. So you did get it! His breath gets caught in his throat when he tries to speak at the same moment his eyes drift to your wrist, where a relic of your friendship dangles.聽
You kept it! He feels his eyes overflowing, the ugly fat tears streaking down the sides of his face as he stares dumbfounded at the familiar bracelet.
鈥淵ou have four minutes.鈥 You flatly remind him, and he jumps, trying to think of the words he鈥檇 practiced just a half-hour before he showed up at your dorm.
鈥淎H鈥攐-okay! um, I鈥︹ When he fails to speak even after a good minute passes, you sigh deeply. If he had nothing to say, why鈥檇 he even come? What happened to all that gusto about 鈥榮aying what I need to say鈥?
鈥淲hy did you keep it?鈥 You ask out of the blue after an uncomfortable silence and his head perks up, but he looks confused, eyes searching yours.
鈥淜eep what鈥?鈥 He starts, but you cut him off.
鈥淭he bracelet. Why did you keep it? It鈥檚 been years, I didn鈥檛 even think you still remembered that old piece of junk existed.鈥 You blurt out, each word sounding distressed and just鈥 confused. You wanted to understand.
He stares at you, mouth agape at a complete loss of what to say. His mouth suddenly feels dry and his tongue rubs anxiously against the roof of his mouth.
鈥淏ecause鈥 because it was important... to me.鈥 Izuku breathes, the muscles and nerves in his hand twitching as it laid only inches away from yours. 鈥淚 was s-so happy when you first gave it to me, my mom had to pry it off of me just to bathe me.鈥 He chuckles, smiling at the memory.
鈥淎nd I kept it because it reminded me of you, it felt like there was a part of you with me even when you couldn鈥檛 be there. It comforted me, knowing that you put s-so m-much thought into something j-just for me and I f-felt so special!鈥 He breaks off when his hiccups start to get out of control. 鈥淎-and鈥斺
He chokes and apologizes taking a moment to breathe again. You hadn鈥檛 realized how much one silly piece of jewelry had impacted him until now, so much so that he鈥檚 crying over it.
鈥淎nd I made a promise, remember?鈥 Izuku sniffs, wiping his eyes uselessly with his hand, only really smearing the wetness across his cheeks and wetting his hand with his own tears as they continued to spill down the freckled planes of his red cheeks.
You nod, but turn away when you feel your own emotions starting to spike up. You bit your lip, held your breath, clenched your teeth. Anything to keep the tears at bay as they threatened to fall.
鈥淚-I said that when we鈥斺
鈥淲e match now, so that means we gotta become big strong heroes together when we get big.鈥 You butt in, sniffling and raising a hand to scrub at the tears streaming down your face and pooling at your chin. 鈥淭hat鈥檚 what you said.鈥
Deku stares at you, guffawed as you quoted his younger self. He hadn鈥檛 expected you to remember it so clearly, It makes him feel even worse. Knowing how much it must鈥檝e hurt you when you grew apart. How hard it must鈥檝e been on you to keep quiet about everything while he lived his best life, forgetting all about his dearest friend.
鈥淲hy鈥檇 you give it back?鈥 You asked, voice trembling as you wiping your eyes with your arm. You glanced over at the green bracelet lying on your nightstand. 鈥淚f it meant so much to you, why give it back?鈥
He closed his eyes. He listened to his heart as it slammed against his chest like a pinball machine, demanding him to say something.
鈥淏ecause I forgot about the friendship it represented, and I shouldn鈥檛 have. I wish I wouldn鈥檛 have, but I did. I broke my own promise and e-even worse, I hurt you because I was just too caught up in my own problems鈥攎y own dreams鈥攖o remember that you鈥檝e been a part of them since the beginning.鈥 Izuku sobbed, there was no point in holding it all in now.聽
鈥淚 gave it back because I was so afraid I screwed up everything between us, and I don鈥檛 deserve it!鈥
I don鈥檛 deserve you. The phrase rang in his ears so loudly it was almost deafening, he wanted nothing more than to say it too. He couldn鈥檛 because he couldn鈥檛 catch a single damn breath to say it. But even as he feels he has gathered that breath it鈥檚 stolen away once more when he feels your hands on his face.
In a flurry of your own emotions and a nagging force of habit you had reached out and grasped his face, the soft pads of your thumbs wiping at his cheeks.
鈥淪top crying already, you had something you wanted to say right? Stop letting your emotions get in the way of that.鈥
The firmness in your tone as your stern eyes descended upon his own struck a chord in him. You鈥檝e said something like that to him before. Years ago.
鈥淪top crying, Izuku! Stop letting your emotions keep you from standing up for yourself! Kacchan steps on you because he knows all you鈥檒l do is cry!鈥
Multiple times.
鈥淲ould ya quit crying already? You鈥檙e tougher than that, Izu. Like All Might!鈥
Constantly.
鈥淪top crying because you don鈥檛 have a quirk! Become a hero without one!鈥
It had always been you. You there comforting him, encouraging him, telling him to quit crying and speak up for himself. To keep pushing on despite the fact that he just wasn鈥檛 as gifted as other children. How could he have forgotten one of the most important lessons you ever taught him? How could he have forgotten about you?
You tugged one of your bunched sleeves down with your teeth and dried up the downpour of tears from his cheeks with your hoodie sleeve. Careful not to rub the skin raw, you kept at it until he was simply too shocked to cry anymore. This is the first time you鈥檝e done this in years, yet far from the first time you鈥檝e had to do it at all. Even as children, you were using your fingers, your sleeves, the edge of your shirt to wipe his tears away.
鈥淚鈥斺
鈥淪hush, I don鈥檛 want to hear it unless it鈥檚 what you came here to say.鈥 You interrupt, and the look in his eyes changes from nervous to determined.
鈥淚 was going to say that I am s-sorry,鈥 He stutters.
鈥淲hat else?鈥 You encouraged, watching as he slowly gained more confidence. 鈥淵ou said you weren鈥檛 going to leave until you say what you need to say, keep your promise.鈥
鈥淚 was going to say that I don鈥檛 deserve you!鈥
鈥淎nd are you lying?鈥 You ask.
鈥淣o!鈥 Midoriya exclaims more confidently, more certain of himself than before.
鈥淎nd is that all you wanted to say?鈥 You asked again, smiling as the sobbing boy from before completely changed with your encouragement, egging him on.
鈥淣o鈥︹ Midoriya confesses, faltering slightly as his nervousness returns. He doesn鈥檛 know if he鈥檚 ready to say it yet. Would that even be acceptable right now? Even as strong as he feels right now he can鈥檛 help but hesitate, to blush, to avoid your gaze.
鈥淭hen say it.鈥澛
鈥淚鈥︹ He trails off, suddenly terrified of the thought. He couldn鈥檛! It would put everything on the line! 鈥淚-I鈥︹
Your hand cups his cheek coaxing him to look back up at you.
鈥淪top hesitating, tell me what you want to say.鈥
He鈥檚 already put your friendship on the line, what difference would it make? You wanted the truth so you鈥檇 get it! He takes a deep breath, closing his eyes before opening them again, meeting your own straight on. There鈥檚 a spark in those green eyes that wasn鈥檛 there before he squinted them shut. It鈥檚 like an emerald fire was lit behind them.
鈥淚 love you!鈥
It鈥檚 quiet.
You stare at him, and he stares right back, his determined gaze never weakening as he maintained eye-contact.
鈥淵ou what?鈥
鈥淵ou heard me,鈥 Midoriya replies.
This time it鈥檚 your turn to shy away. Your face darkens incredibly fast, heart racing against your chest as your eyes darted from side to side, deep in thought. Your mind threw numbers together into every equation it knew, each answer coming out the same. You had expected an 鈥淚 want to be friends again!鈥 or 鈥淚 want a second chance!鈥 or 鈥淚 want to fix this!鈥
Never in a million years could you have predicted him to say that. Not to you. Your eyes drifted back up to his. He looks a little less confident now, almost worried as he awaits your response.
鈥淕et out.鈥 You breathe, eyes wide as you stare at him watching his determined face change to one of confusion.
You couldn鈥檛 believe it. After forgetting your existence for almost a year, after only remembering when he found the bracelet, after only wanting to talk to you because it was most convenient to him鈥 and he has the goddamn nerve to say that he loved you.
鈥淲-what?鈥 Izuku gasped, not understanding what was going on. Suddenly you were pressing yourself against the wall farthest from him on your bed.
鈥淕-get out!鈥 You exclaim, the angry tears running down your face.
鈥淵/N, what are you s-saying?鈥 His voice shook, the tears starting to fall from his eyes again, his nose beginning to run as well as his entire body shook. Why were you telling him to leave? Did he make the wrong call? Did you not feel the same?
鈥淲hy are you lying to me?鈥 You asked, the question coming out like a whisper.
鈥淚-I鈥檓 not lying to you, I love you!鈥 Midoriya cried. 鈥淧lease, you have to believe me, I wouldn鈥檛 lie to you! I鈥檝e always liked you鈥攕ince we were kids, Y/N! I can鈥檛 fake that! You know I can鈥檛!鈥
You shake as his desperate green eyes plead with yours, a sincerity in those irises you grew up staring into, a sincerity that just can鈥檛 be faked. He actually鈥 he actually loved you? But why? He ignored you for a year!
鈥淎nd you can honestly tell me that in that year you forgot about me you loved me?!鈥 You demanded, your tears making your vision blurry and unmanageable.
鈥淚 never stopped loving you, even if it was overshadowed by my dream to become a hero, even if I made mistakes not even I can fix, my heart always belonged to you.鈥 Midoriya crawled over to kneel in front of you on your bed where you still had your back pressed to the wall and your knees pulled tightly to your chest. 鈥淚鈥檓 not perfect, Y/N. I made a mistake by not being there for you, and I will do anything it takes to fix it if I can.鈥
鈥淎nd you won鈥檛 forget me again? You promise?鈥 You ask shakily, feeling a little embarrassed by how small you felt, scrunched up in such a way and crying in front of someone other than your cat at home.
鈥淵es,鈥 His immediate response confirms it, not an ounce of hesitation present in the way it rolls off his tongue. 鈥淚 promise, I鈥檒l never forget you. And I鈥檒l never be the reason you cry again.鈥
鈥淐an you believe me?鈥 Izuku reached his hand out to you.
鈥淚鈥 I believe you.鈥 You admit, a small smile gracing your lips as you take his hand. Izuku lets out a relieved sigh, his free hand trembling over his heart. You can tell how terrified he was. 鈥淭his doesn鈥檛 mean I forgive you though, Izu.鈥
鈥淚 know, and I鈥檓 going to try my very best to make it up to you. I promise.鈥 Izuku states. It doesn鈥檛 bother him that you didn鈥檛 say 鈥業 love you鈥 back, he wouldn鈥檛 have deserved it. He鈥檚 going to have to work for it, and that was fine with him.
鈥淒o you鈥︹ You started, face flushing and eyes avoiding his as you removed your hands from his face. 鈥淒o you wanna hug it out?鈥
鈥淵es!鈥 You yelp when he throws himself at you, tackling you to the bed with his arms around you. You squeeze your own arms around him, face burrowing into his shoulder as you squeezed the life out of one another.
鈥淪orry.鈥 He mutters when he realizes he鈥檚 practically on top of you and most likely crushing you. He moves to roll off of you but your arms only tighten around him.
鈥淣o, please just鈥 can we just stay like this for a while?鈥 You asked, and Izuku felt his heart beating so fast he was convinced it eventually just commit seppuku if it pounded any harder. He nodded against your shoulder, cheeks burning a bright crimson as he relaxes.
鈥淎lso,鈥 You spoke up and he hummed in response, he couldn鈥檛 be bothered to move. You reached over to your nightstand to snatch the green bracelet from it, the green-haired boy whining when he had to re-adjust after you started moving. 鈥淕imme your hand.鈥
He pulled away, green pools swirling with confusion. He complies with your sudden request and gasps when you slide the bracelet back onto his wrist.
鈥淭his belongs to you.鈥 You smiled and he mirrored it with one of his own, hand impulsively taking yours, fingers intertwining with your own. Your matching bracelets reflected the dim light of the room, casting a warm glow over your faces as you smiled at each other. No longer did you feel forgotten or used, instead you felt loved again. 鈥淣ow get off聽 me.鈥
Izuku laughs and slips off of you to lay at your side, his arms pulling you in close so he could cuddle you, just like you did when you were kids.
Izuku rested his forehead against yours, one hand reaching up to timidly brush against your reddened cheek, causing your eyes to flutter closed and a small sigh to escape your smiling lips. He missed seeing you smile. But there was still something else that he needed to take care of before you drifted off to sleep.
鈥淵/N?鈥 He asked.
鈥淵es?鈥 You sighed sleepily,聽
鈥淒on鈥檛 ever feel like you have to keep quiet anymore, alright? Please, always talk to me.鈥
You blinked, your mouth opening and closing several times.
鈥淥kay.鈥
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intr0verted-weird0a year ago
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no tag makes me happier
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livi-the-werewolf2 years ago
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No one is better than you
*Requested*
Request: can i get a peter kavinsky imagine with prompt 49 can you make it both angsty and fluffy
Prompt: 鈥淲hy do you think she鈥檚 so much better than you?鈥
A/N: hope you like this!
Warnings: like, one bad word i think
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鈥楽tupid Gen,鈥 I thought to myself, 鈥榃ho sits next to someone else鈥檚 boyfriend and then starts to flirt with him?鈥 I glared at Gen as she quietly laughed at something Peter said. Peter鈥檚 laughing too. He looks really happy. She may be a bitch but she sure is good at making him happy. Probably way better than me. And it would make more sense that her and Peter were together considering they鈥檙e both popular. I shook my head, attempting to clear the thoughts from my head that have been haunting me for the past few weeks. I let out a sigh and looked back at them.
鈥淚s there something wrong Y/n?鈥 My teacher asked, causing me to look away from Gen and Peter.
鈥淣o, sorry,鈥 I replied quietly, ignoring Gen鈥檚 snickering. I waited in anticipation for the bell to ring, shooting out of my seat and running out the door as soon as it did.
鈥淵/n wait!鈥 Peter called out, but I ignored him.
I managed to get all the way to the parking lot before Peter caught up with me. He grabbed my wrist and pulled on it, causing me to stop and turn towards him.
鈥淗ey, hey, hey, what鈥檚 going on?鈥 Peter questioned softly, placing his hands on my shoulders. I shrugged his hands off of me and ran a hand over my face.
鈥淚 don鈥檛 think we should be together anymore, Peter,鈥 I told him. His face fell and I felt a part of my heart break.
鈥淲hy?鈥 He whispered,聽鈥淚 thought everything was going great, did I do something to upset you?鈥
鈥淣o! God, no. I- I just feel like you could do better than me,鈥 I confessed, looking down at my shoes.聽鈥淵ou deserve someone better than me.鈥 I looked back up at him, seeing the pained expression on his face.
鈥淚s this about Gen?鈥 He questioned quietly.聽
鈥淣o, I- I just- kind of?鈥 I responded, stuttering over my words.
鈥淲hy do you think she鈥檚 so much better than you?鈥 Peter asked, frustration evident in his voice.聽
鈥淏ecause she is!鈥 I exclaimed,聽鈥淲ay better for you than I could ever be!鈥
鈥淵ou don鈥檛 get it!鈥 He shouted.
鈥淎pparently I don鈥檛! So please, enlighten me!鈥
鈥淣o one is better than you! No one could ever, be better than you Y/n Y/l/n. Not Gen, not anyone. You are everything to me.鈥 By the end of his rant tears were streaming down my cheeks as I stared into his eyes, trying to find any sign that he was lying, but I couldn鈥檛.聽
鈥淧eter Kavinsky, I love you,鈥 I whispered.
鈥淚 love you too,鈥 he whispered back. He wrapped his arms around my waist and pulled me closer to him, pressing his lips to mine. And in that moment I knew, Peter Kavinksy鈥檚 heart belonged to me.
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98prillaa year ago
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Shifted
Thomas decides to see what all the Side鈥檚 animal forms would be. It does not go so well for Anxiety.聽
This is set pre accepting anxiety, and diverges a little from the cannon of that episode, fair warning.
He is terrified. His heart is pounding as he pulls further back into the shadows, hiding under the couch. He can hear the others out there, talking, laughing, having fun. This isn鈥檛 fun.
鈥淎n owl? Really, Thomas, owls aren鈥檛 even actually smart, their eyes take up much of their cranial cavity.鈥
鈥淐ome on, kiddo, they are symbols of wisdom. And those wings sure must be nifty! I鈥檓 having a pawsome time myself!鈥 A groan at the pun.
鈥淚 always thought Logan was a bit bird brained.鈥 Roman mutters. 鈥淏ut seriously, a dragon? While the scales are quite flattering, it is a bit strange, considering I usually fight them.鈥
鈥淚 don鈥檛 know, Roman, I guess cause you鈥檙e always talking about questing I just settled on a fantasy creature. It is pretty cool." He rolls his eyes at the huff of pride he can hear as Roman no doubt puffs up his chest, flares his wings.
鈥淪peaking of strange, where's anxiety?鈥 his ears flatten against his head, pulse picking up again. They鈥檙e talking about him. 聽
鈥淗e should be here. I did summon him.鈥 Thomas, confused. He curses his inability to sink out in this form.
鈥淧erhaps he has taken the form of a smaller animal and is hiding.鈥 He almost hisses, could Logic shut up for once?
鈥淎w, maybe we should look for him! He鈥檒l probably be so cute!鈥
鈥淧lease. That weirdo is probably a venomous spider or a little parasite. Who cares, where he is?鈥 yes, thank you Roman, for once being not a moron.
鈥淧atton, if you鈥檙e worried perhaps you can sniff him out. You are a cat, after all.鈥 No. Nonono. Logic, shut it!
鈥淕ood idea, Logan. Give it a try!鈥 and he is outta here before he even knows what he鈥檚 doing. 聽
His terror skyrockets and he shoots out from under the couch to the startled yelps of everyone else. Everything is big, huge, compared to him, the living room seems endless.
The stairs, he just needs to get to the stairs and he'll be able to physically enter the mindscape, he鈥檚 so close-
Then there is the flap of wings, a victorious shriek, and talons are digging into his shoulders pinning him down.
鈥淲ell, what have we here?鈥 He shoves aside his fear, proud as his voice comes out just as scathing and steady as ever.
鈥淕et off, you overgrown lizard.鈥 He bites out, Roman鈥檚 scaled head coming into view. He glares at Roman鈥檚 laughter.
鈥淎nxiety, kiddo? Is that you?鈥
鈥淣o, its Joan, yes it鈥檚 me, Patton, now get off, Roman!鈥 His heart is beating fast, too fast, and his words are wavering. He is afraid, afraid, afraid. He hates this, hates it, he just wants this to be over.
鈥淗mm. I don鈥檛 think I will. Think about it, Thomas. We have the opportunity here to get anxiety out of our way for good.鈥 His stomach drops, his blood goes cold, he is shaking.
鈥淩oman, what are you suggesting?鈥 Logan, he can鈥檛 be considering this, please no, please!
鈥淚 mean, we don鈥檛 need to vanquish him. We can keep him like this. Put him in a cage, or something.鈥
鈥淚'm not a pet, you idiot, and you can鈥檛 keep me like this forever.鈥 He hisses out.
鈥淥h contraire, little mouse, we can keep you weak enough you don鈥檛 have any choice.鈥 His heart lurches as he is lifted up, Roman's wings buffeting him, they are in the air.
鈥淩oman, put me down! I鈥 please! Pleasepleaseplease鈥︹ he is crying now, begging, because he can鈥檛, this can鈥檛 be happening, they can鈥檛 actually intend to keep him locked in this form, weak and powerless, in a cage. 聽
The floor seems so far away, and he feels sick, from the altitude shift or what is happening or both, he can鈥檛 tell. The anguished terror is filling him and he lets out a broken, choked sob. 聽
This is what he gets, for thinking he could ever be accepted, for thinking he could ever be tolerated, much less liked. All he鈥檇 ever done was his job, and this is his reward.
鈥淟ogan, what-" he lets out a squeak despite himself as a blur of gray rams into Roman, sending him spiraling off balance.
Then he feels the talon鈥檚 grip slip, and he screams. He is falling, flipping through the air. From this height in this form his bones will break, shatter, with his luck his neck will snap. He has time to cry for help, before he impacts.
鈥淕otcha!鈥 The halt is jarring, and he is shaking, instinctively flattening himself to make as small a target as possible as he tries to get ahold of himself. He realizes it鈥檚 soft, the ground.
He looks up and nearly screams again, instead flattening further. Patton has caught him, sitting on his back haunches, he is caught in Patton's front paws.
鈥減-p-put me d-down. Please.鈥 His voice is a whisper, trembles making him stutter, but Patton instantly complies, much to his relief.
He hears a shriek and looks up, just in time to see silver talons coming right at him, then they crash into him and he feels a ripping pain in his shoulder. 聽
He can hear Patton yelling, Logan screeching, Roman growling, and it is loud so loud and all he can think is he is about to die-
鈥淓nough!鈥 Thomas yells, and suddenly the ground isn鈥檛 so close, suddenly he is stumbling to his feet, lunging for his normal spot on the stairs, reaching it in two strides. He lets out a relieved sob as he clutches the bannister, looking back at the others.
Logan has landed in a heap on the couch. Patton and Roman are tangled around each other on the floor. Patton's gaze meets his, worried.
鈥渒iddo, you鈥檙e bleeding.鈥 He lifts his hand numbly to his shoulder, mildly surprised as it comes away sticky and red. He lets out a broken, bitter laugh.
鈥淕ee, wonder how that happened. Not like someone was trying to kill me, or worse hold me captive and torture me for my whole existence." His voice is raw and instead of biting sarcasm, it comes out as an almost whisper, red rimmed eyes glaring at the floor as he shakes, from latent fear and pulsing anger.
鈥淎nxiety-" he half successfully chokes back another sob, harsh laughter tearing at his lungs.
鈥渘o, know what, it鈥檚 fine. It鈥檚 fine, Thomas. I always knew I wasn鈥檛 wanted. I was an idiot to hope you might鈥 might ever actually change, actually want me around. Hell, even care about me like I care about you and keeping you safe.鈥 He can barely stand, he doesn鈥檛 know if it鈥檚 from the pain and blood loss or the adrenaline fading or the panic attack he can feel pressing against him, tightening his chest.
鈥淜iddo鈥︹ he shakes his head.
鈥淵'know, if you really wanted me dead, all you had to do was ask. I would鈥檝e done it myself.鈥 He doesn鈥檛 look up. Doesn鈥檛 see the pained shock on Patton's face, the suspicious surprise on Roman's, the horror on Logan鈥檚. The pain on Thomas's. Instead, he flips up his hood, hugging himself as he wordlessly sinks out.
He managed to lock the door before he collapses to the floor. His chest feels like it's being squeezed by a boa constrictor, his ribs crushed and all the air shoved out of his lungs. His vision narrows to a dark pinprick, gaze unseeing as he sees Roman's talons again and again, falling and splattering against the floor, bones shattered, bars, a cage, closing in, pressing him tight, he can鈥檛 breathe, he鈥檚 choking, he鈥檚 dying, god, he鈥檚 going to die here. Why not? He laughs hysterically, that鈥檚 what they want, may as well give it to 鈥榚m.
鈥渧irgil, no. It鈥檚 not what we all want. Come back to me, stormy. Focus on my voice. You can do it, Virgil.鈥 Virgil. None of them know his name. Only, only鈥
鈥淒ee?鈥 he chokes out, blurry vision focusing enough to see Deceit, holding his hands in his lap, rubbing circles on his knuckles.
鈥淭here we are. Hello, dearest.鈥 Deceit reaches up, softly wiping away his tears, brushing back his hair.
鈥淚鈥檓 an idiot. I鈥檓 a stupid idiot.鈥 He mutters.
鈥淣o. Virgil, you鈥檙e not. It鈥檚 ok.鈥 He hisses in a breath of pain as Dee places a hand on his shoulder, vision going speckly at the slight contact. Dee pulls away, eyes wide, face darkening to fury.
鈥淵ou鈥檙e hurt. Vee, you鈥檙e bleeding" he just shrugs, another sob clawing its way out of his throat.
鈥淒oesn鈥檛 matter.鈥 He whispers. Deceit hisses, and pulls him onto his lap.
鈥淚t does. Even if they don鈥檛 care, even if they don鈥檛 love you, I do. It matters to me. You will always matter to me. You鈥檙e my baby, Virg. Even if you鈥檝e left the nest, you鈥檙e still my little rain storm. Got it?鈥 He feels Dee's extra arms removing his hoodie, then all six are cradling him against Dee's chest, holding him tight and safe and secure, letting him relax and melt into the touch, knowing Dee will never let anything hurt him. He feels Dee press a kiss to his head.
鈥測ou鈥檝e wiped yourself out, love. I'll take care of that nasty shoulder gash. Get some sleep, dearest.鈥 Weakly, he clings to Dee's shirt. He doesn鈥檛 want him to let go, he doesn鈥檛 feel safe, if Dee lets go.
鈥淚鈥檓 staying, darling. I鈥檒l stay as long as you want.鈥
鈥渞emus-"
鈥渃an rain down all the hell he wants. Until you鈥檙e better, they deserve it.鈥 He finds he can鈥檛 argue with that. He falls asleep to Dee humming softly, stroking his forehead and holding his hand, his other arms working to gently bandage his shoulder.
Deceit sighs as he hears a crash. Looking up, he sees Remus kick in the door, eyes aflame.
鈥渨ho hurt him? Who鈥檚 ass do I gotta beat until it falls off?鈥 聽
鈥渉ush. I just got him settled.鈥 Dee replies. In three strides, Remus is beside him, head cocked unnaturally far to the side, like a snapped neck.
鈥淗e鈥檚 ok?鈥 Remus asks, neck snapping back to a normal position with an audible click.
鈥測es. Keep an eye on him, please?鈥
鈥淲hat? Where're you going?鈥 Remus asks. Deceit鈥檚 eyes flash.
鈥淚 am going to go see what exactly those half-witted buffoons did to send him spiraling. Then I am going to determine whom it is I need to beat the shit out of.鈥 Deceit growled, stepping away from the bed.
鈥淏oo, you never let me have any fun.鈥 Remus pouts. He instantly stops as Virgil lets out a small sound, immediately climbing into the bed with him and spooning around him. Virgil curls against him immediately, stilling as he clings onto Remus.
鈥淭hank you.鈥 Deceit murmurs from the doorway. Remus nods.
鈥淚'll take care of our little stormy night. You go teach 鈥榚m a lesson, Dee.鈥 Remus replies, relishing the sharp fanged smile Deceit flashes him, before sinking out. As an afterthought, he snaps, replacing the door, before turning his attention to Virgil, trying to mentally send him all of his love. Virgil is more of a brother to him 聽than Roman has ever been, and he hates seeing him hurt.
鈥渉ang in there, vee. Dee'll fix everything.鈥
鈥淚 highly doubt he wants to be called right now.鈥
鈥淏ut he was so scared! We have to help!鈥
鈥淚 don鈥檛 know Pat, seeing us might make it worse.鈥 He clears his throat. He meets three sets of surprised eyes with steel. Thomas yelps and falls backwards, catching himself on the wall.
鈥淲ho is that?!鈥 聽
鈥淒eceit, you scurrilous snake, what are you doing here?鈥 his eyes narrow at that.
鈥淥h, I鈥檓 sorry, Roman, was I not wanted here at this exact moment?鈥 his voice is a perfect mimicry of Virgil's, and to his satisfaction it makes Roman flinch.
鈥淭homas. This is Deceit. He is responsible for the lies you tell not only others, but yourself. I am puzzled as to why you have appeared now. To my knowledge, no lies have been spoken.鈥 Logan explains, and his hands ball into fists.
鈥淥h, truly, why ever would I be here? It'ssss not like Anxiety returned bloody and injured, in the midsssst of a panic attack, talking about how nobody wantssss him and it doessssn't matter. I鈥檓 sure that hassss nothing to do with it, Logic.鈥 He hisses out, spitting Logan's title like it burns his tongue.
He can see Patton's guilty face out of the corner of his eye, knows whatever happened, it wasn鈥檛 him. But Roman鈥 yes.
鈥淪o Thomas, dear, care to explain what happened?鈥 He asks, sickly sweet, turning his gaze to Thomas, who has a slight frown on his face. As an afterthought, he notes that Thomas isn鈥檛 afraid of him, despite his scales and sharp fangs. Interesting.
鈥淚 thought it would be cool to see what everyone鈥檚 animal forms would be. Logan was an owl, Pat was a persian cat, and Roman was a dragon. But we didn鈥檛 see anxiety anywhere so we thought he was small and hiding and maybe too scared to move. Pat was gonna find him, then a mouse shot out from under the couch and Roman鈥︹ Thomas trails off, eyes shifting away, but it鈥檚 enough to confirm his suspicions.
鈥淩oman. Care to continue?鈥 Roman meets his ice cold gaze imperiously. 聽
鈥済ladly. I captured the fiend in my claws. Hurting him was an accident. I merely meant to catch him while he was small and couldn鈥檛 hurt us and contain him. Keep him small, so he鈥檇 stop bothering Thomas. It鈥檚 not like we need him, anyways.鈥 Roman scoffs.
Rage is filling him. Because Roman truly thinks he is in the right, truly thinks he didn鈥檛 do anything wrong, and his voice is proud as he speaks about traumatizing Virgil, who is the youngest, the smallest, the most vulnerable to start with. How dare he?
Before he can think, he has crossed the room, he rears his hand back and slaps Roman hard enough to send him reeling backwards.
鈥淵ou are a heartless, soulless bastard. I told him not to come, I told him he鈥檇 get hurt but he didn鈥檛 listen. You know why? It鈥檚 certainly not because he wants to be included, he doesn鈥檛 yearn for your acceptance, it doesn鈥檛 break him a little more each time you all dismiss and send him away unwanted. He definitely doesn鈥檛 just want to be liked! He never has a hard enough time just being himself, being afraid, all the fucking time, and you have certainly helped make him feel right at home.鈥 He hisses, ignoring the tears stinging at his eyes as he whips around, facing the rest of them.
鈥淎nd you鈥檙e no better. How do you think it feels, knowing the person who conjured you doesn鈥檛 even want you? How terrified would you be, surrounded by people who have never showed you kindness, who have admitted their distaste, small and defenseless, being threatened to be put in a cage? His worst fear is something happening to Thomas and being unable to reach him, to react and help. It鈥檚 his job to protect Thomas, and you were threatening to keep him away, to put Thomas鈥檚 own safety at risk for your own stupid biases! You were threatening to make his nightmare real, and not a single fucking one of you said otherwise, did you?!鈥 He yells, slowly looking at each of them in turn. No one will meet his eyes now, not even Roman.
鈥測ou don鈥檛 deserve him. You don鈥檛 deserve his name. No wonder he hasn鈥檛 told you. You鈥檙e a bunch of ignorant bullies. And you鈥檇 say I鈥檓 the bad guy. You all picked out the most vulnerable and pounced.鈥 He shifts his head, turning to Thomas, a curling, empty smile on his face.
鈥淚t was a fucking pleasure, Thomas. I鈥檒l be taking my leave.鈥 The lie is bitter and acrid on his tongue, tasting of ash as he sinks out.
He returns to Virgil's room, immediately hurrying to his bedside, because he is crying, despite Remus's attempts to soothe him.
鈥淰ee, what鈥檚 wrong?鈥 he asks. Virgil glares at him through his tears.
鈥測ou said you were gonna stay!鈥 he lets out a soft breath, sitting on the edge of the bed.
鈥淚 know. I just had to check on something. But you know Remus would never let anything hurt you, right?鈥 Virgil nods, leaning back into Remus's arms.
鈥淭hat鈥檚 right, starshine. You鈥檙e safe.鈥 Remus whispers, rocking Virgil gently, who responds by pressing his face into Remus's chest.
鈥淵ou鈥檙e staying now, right?鈥 Virgil mumbles. He smiles, slipping under the covers.
鈥淚 am. No lies this time.鈥 He murmurs as Virgil lays down, curling into him. He reaches out with all six arms, pulling Remus closer, hugging both of them and sandwiching Virgil in warmth and safety.
鈥淲hat was it?鈥 Remus asks lowly, once Virgil is out again. He sighs.
鈥淪hapeshifting, animal forms. He was a mouse. Roman was a dragon. Threatened to keep him locked up. It got physical.鈥
鈥淵ou mean Roman was a bitch and attacked Virgil unprovoked.鈥 Remus's voice is flat, and he shoots him a soft look, one of his hands slipping into Remus's.
鈥淚鈥檓 going to kill him.鈥 He squeezes Remus's hand.
鈥淟ater. We can work on murder plans later. Right now Vee needs us.鈥
鈥淎nxiety, it鈥檚 dinner time!鈥 Patton's voice trills. He opens his eyes with a groan, freezing instantly.
This鈥 isn鈥檛 his room. It isn鈥檛 even the commons. He鈥檚 laying in soft bedding. He realizes he鈥檚 in a little plastic hut. His heart speeds. He looks down at himself, human, good.
He flinches as the house is lifted up, leaving him exposed. His breath catches in his lungs, Patton is looming over him, he is giant. He skitters back, realizing his back is pressing against metal wire. Cage, he is in a cage, he is tiny, in a cage.
He scrambles, trying to claw his way out, trying to bend the wire enough to wriggle out.
鈥渉ey, now. None of that kiddo.鈥 His stomach flips as hands squeaze around his waist and he is lifted into the air. He is barely as tall as Patton's ring finger, he is so high in the air as Patton places him down on his palm.
鈥減atton please, please, just let me go, please!鈥 he begs, feeling tears slipping down his face.
鈥淎w, I know kiddo. But this is better for everyone. This way you鈥檙e still around but don鈥檛 bother Thomas.鈥 He stumbles as Patton places him back in the cage, doubling over and choking on sobs as a small food dish is placed inside, the shadows of bars shading his face.
He is still begging, pleading, screaming, for Patton, for anyone, to let him out, let him go, but he knows no one is coming, and the bars are pressing in, and soon there won鈥檛 be any more space, any more air. 聽
鈥渉ush, stormy, shhh. It鈥檚 ok. It鈥檚 ok, lovely.鈥 His eyes fly open, and he clings to Dee, feeling all of his arms cradling him tight as he sniffles into his shoulder, sobs shaking his thin frame.
鈥淛ust a dream, Vee." He feels Remus's hand on his, feels the terror and residual fear draining out of him as the nightmare is removed from his mind. The pros of dark creativity. Remus can steal other people鈥檚 bad thoughts, bad dreams, but then he experiences whatever the thoughts were. He hears Remus's sharp inhale as he sees it, feels his hand tighten it鈥檚 grip.
鈥渢hanks ree.鈥 He manages, his voice hoarse and sore.
鈥淰irgil, love, we should talk about it. I only got minor details from them.鈥
鈥渨hat鈥檚 to say? They were going to keep me in a cage, they d-didn't want me.鈥 Dee draws back a tad, looking down at Virgil's face, eyes hidden behind his bangs.
鈥渄id anyone help? Surely not all of them went along with this.鈥 He shrugs, taking a deep breath.
鈥淩-roman g-g-rabbed me in his talons and st-started flying. But he yelled鈥 I think L-Logan tried to stop him. He was an o-o-owl. I think he rammed Roman and made him drop me. P-p-patton c-caught me. And鈥 and he put me down, right away, when I asked. I鈥 I don't think they woulda let Roman k-keep me.鈥 He mumbles out, shaking. Dee feels his heart breaking, can feel the murder on Remus's face.
鈥淭hat's good, Virge. They were trying to defend you.鈥 Virgil shakes his head.
鈥渂ut they didn鈥檛. Only p-patton even cared I was h-hurt. Thomas鈥 Thomas didn't say a-anything.鈥
鈥渂ut he changed you back.鈥 His brow creases as he looks out from Dee's arms at Remus's words. 鈥渋f he agrees with Roman, he wouldn鈥檛 have changed you back.鈥 聽
鈥淗e's right, lovely. Thomas doesn鈥檛 hate you. I know that. That is fact.鈥 He sighs.
鈥淒oesn鈥檛 feel like it right now.鈥 He mumbles.
鈥淚 know. And that鈥檚 ok, Virge.鈥 Dee kisses his head softly. He startles at a knock on the door. 聽
鈥淩emus, see who it is?鈥
鈥淚f it鈥檚 princey stab him for me.鈥 Virgil mumbles, making Remus chuckle and ruffle his hair.
鈥淕ladly, stormy.鈥 聽
He throws open the door, leaning in the doorway with a cocky grin, teeth sharp and eyes glinting.
鈥淲ell, well, hello there Daddy. Have I been naughty?鈥 he teases, moving to block Patton's view of the room.
鈥淩emus鈥 what鈥 what are you doing here?鈥 Patton asks nervously. 聽
鈥淎pparently playing the butler. Y'know, Patton, in the movies the butler is always guilty of murder.鈥 He tilts his head slowly, relishing the fear that races across Patton's face. 鈥淣ow, what are you doing here, daddio?鈥 Patton fiddles with his sweater sleeves, a frown settling on his face.
鈥淚 just鈥 I know he probably doesn鈥檛 want to see us right now, heck, maybe ever, and I don鈥檛 fault him for it. Today鈥 today was bad. Really, really bad. I just want to make sure he's ok. And apologize. We鈥 we chewed out Roman. His actions were unacceptable. Just鈥 I would never let that happen. He鈥檚 not鈥 he鈥檚 a person, and I don鈥檛 always agree with him, but that doesn鈥檛 give anyone the right to take away his voice or opinion. Can you just鈥 pass that on, for me? Please?鈥 聽
Remus looks back at the bed, softening as he sees Virgil uncurling from Dee, sitting with his knees pulled to his chest, leaning against Dee, who has an arm around his shoulders. Virgil looks up at Dee, a silent question. 聽
鈥淣o lies.鈥 Dee murmurs, and Virgil bites his lip. 鈥淵ou wanna let him in?鈥 He asks softly. Virgil hesitates, but nods. 聽
鈥淚f he means it... yeah.鈥 Virgil mumbles. 聽
鈥淗e does. Remus, stop playing. V- Anxiety says he can come in.鈥 He calls, catching himself before using Virgil鈥檚 actual name. Remus sighs, but steps aside. 聽
鈥淲ell? Come in then.鈥 聽
Hesitantly, Patton steps inside the dark room, taking in the soft, dark carpet, the dark to light purple gradient painted on the walls. There are also posters for bands carefully hung in frames, and a few posters for movies that Anxiety must like. He sees fairy lights strung across the ceiling that sparkle like stars without the main lights turned on. 聽
He lets out a soft noise of hurt as he takes in Anxiety, knees pulled to his chest, his shoulders hunched. His eyeshadow is smeared all over his face, his eyes red and puffy. He glances at Deceit, not as surprised to see him here, tilting his head. Deceit nods minutely, and he sits down next to Anxiety, legs dangling over the edge of the bed, careful not to touch him, to give him space. 聽
鈥渉ey kiddo. How鈥檚 your shoulder?鈥 He asks. 聽
鈥渂etter. Dee helped. It still... still hurts.鈥 His voice is quiet and unsure and hoarse. 聽
鈥淵eah. I think it would be pretty strange if it didn鈥檛. I鈥檓 glad you鈥檙e going to be ok, though. Even if it hurts now, it鈥檒l feel better eventually.鈥 聽
鈥渨ill it?鈥 He is surprised as Patton pulls him into a hug, startled, but after a moment he leans into it, tucking his chin against Patton鈥檚 shoulder. 聽
鈥淚 have never wanted you to die. I have never wanted you to leave. You鈥檙e one of my kiddos, kiddo, and that means I stand up for you when something hurts you, no matter who or what it is.鈥
鈥渋鈥檓 scared. I hate... I hate being small... I hate... it鈥檚 so big, everything... I could drown, in a puddle, I could be crushed by a book, I could be stepped on, I could be crushed, I could get hurt and no one would know, no one would realize or find me. I could be caged...鈥 He chokes out, fear flooding through him again. 鈥淚 could be caged and my influence squashed, and then no one would protect Thomas, look out for dangers, keep him... keep him on task, keep him motivated to d-do better. I c-can't... trapped, and b-bars and it-it's too much... too small...鈥 He is shaking again, on the edge of hysteria, but Patton is rocking him, holding him. 聽
鈥淥h honey... I鈥檓 sorry. I鈥檓 so sorry. We didn鈥檛 know you were gonna be that little. I鈥檓 sorry we didn鈥檛 ask permission first, we weren鈥檛 thinking. I promise, promise,鈥 he pulled back so Anxiety could see his eyes, tears spilling down his own cheeks, 鈥渢hat I will physically fight anyone who suggests we do that again, who even dares to mention putting you in a cage. I nearly did fight Roman, Logan had to hold me back.鈥 That gets a weak laugh out of Anxiety, imagining Logan holding back a kicking and spitting furious Patton. 鈥淚 love you, kiddo. I really, really do, and if anyone has a problem with that, has a problem with you, they鈥檒l have to go through me first.鈥 Patton鈥檚 voice is fierce, and he doesn鈥檛 have to look at Dee to know that he isn鈥檛 lying. 聽
鈥淭-thomas-鈥 聽
鈥淚s worried about you, kiddo. I came to check on you cause he wanted to make sure you were gonna be ok. What you said... really, really scared us, but we didn鈥檛 wanna summon you, because we knew you probably didn鈥檛 want to be summoned. He鈥檚 sorry, too. We all are.鈥 聽
鈥淓ven Roman?鈥 He asks, bitterness in his voice. Patton hesitates, sighing. 聽
鈥淚 don鈥檛 know. I think... I think he鈥檚 sorry he got yelled at, sorry he got in trouble, sorry we didn鈥檛 agree with him. But I don鈥檛 think he鈥檚 sorry for what he actually did to you, said to you. Which makes me angry, because he should be sorry, but he isn鈥檛, and if he isn鈥檛, I can鈥檛 change that. What I can do is make sure you are going to be alright. I can learn what else we shouldn鈥檛 do without asking your permission. I can be better at speaking up when Roman threatens or takes jabs at you, and eventually, hopefully, his attitude will change as he learns none of us are going to enable him anymore. I鈥檓 sorry it went this far.鈥 He blinks, surprised. He didn鈥檛 expect Patton to acknowledge Roman鈥檚 inability to see his own wrongdoings. He didn鈥檛 expect Patton to admit to his own shortcomings. He didn鈥檛 expect Patton to be... honest. 聽
鈥淲hat would you like us to do for now, Anxiety? Clearly, you have two people who love you very much helping your right now, so I feel ok leaving, if you like. I just didn鈥檛 want you to be alone, when you were so upset. Thomas... all of us, want to speak with you about what happened, to try and make ammends, but we鈥檒l do that on your terms, so there鈥檚 no rush. Just, whenever you鈥檙e ready to talk, we鈥檙e ready to listen. 聽If you like, I can bring you meals, if you don鈥檛 wanna leave your room for a while. I wanna keep you healthy, and I know if I leave you to your own devices it鈥檒l be chips and soda for every meal.鈥 He lets out a little snort at that, because Patton is right, of course, and he鈥檚 already calmed down so much because Patton is being so nice, and he knows Dee would have told him if Patton had lied. 聽
鈥渢hat all sounds good, yeah.鈥 He mumbles, shifting out of Patton鈥檚 hug, pulling his knees to his chest once again. 聽
鈥渙k. Is there anything else you need, or would like me to do?鈥 He bites his lip, thinking. 聽
鈥淛ust... just let them know I鈥檓 ok? If they鈥檙e really that worried about me.鈥 Patton squeezes his non injured shoulder once as he stands, smiling gently. 聽
鈥淲ill do, kiddo. If you ever need anything, or just want some company, don鈥檛 be afraid to call me up.鈥 聽
鈥淚... might.鈥 Patton smiles again, soft and warm. 聽
鈥淚 love you, Anxiety.鈥 Patton turns away, but before he sinks out, Virgil steels his courage. 聽
鈥淰irgil!鈥 He shouts, and the room seems to freeze. Remus is staring at him in wide eyed surprise. Deceit has stopped rubbing his back, and Patton falters mid step, before turning to face him, something akin to awe on his face. 鈥淭hat鈥檚... my name. My name is Virgil.鈥 A huge smile blooms across Patton鈥檚 face, his eyes light up with tender joy, and he sniffles, wiping away tears. 聽
鈥淰irgil. I think that鈥檚 a lovely name, Virgil. I know I'm usually a blabber mouth, but it when it counts, I can keep a secret.鈥 Patton winks, sending a smile flashing across his own face as warmth blooms in his chest. With a wave, Patton sinks out, and he collapses back against Deceit with a long, low sigh. 聽
鈥淵ou sure about that, Virg?鈥 Remus asks, from where he鈥檚 leaning against the wall, having simply observed everything. 聽
鈥測eah. Yeah I... think I am.鈥 He feels Dee press another soft kiss to the top of his head. 聽
鈥淧roud of you, lovely.鈥 He smiles, closing his eyes as he feels Remus settle on the other side of him. He is still scared and afraid and knows the nightmares won鈥檛 leave him alone for ages, now. But he also knows that at least Patton is on his side. And Patton is almost more of a mama bear than Deceit. If the two of them are looking out for him, he knows nothing will hurt him like this ever again.
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bitsandbobsofwriting6 months ago
Text
What if Merlin died?
Masterlist
Whatever battle they were fighting has been won. Barely.
Everyone is scraped and bruised and bleeding, but they ARE alive.
Gwen and Gaius are running the infirmary back at the castle, and that's where the knights assume Merlin is as well, he is the physicians apprentice, after all.
Gaius and Gwen assume that Merlin is out on the battlefield, with Arthur, searching for survivors, he is the Kings manservant, after all.
Someone finds him at the edge of the battlefield, hands folded over his wound, leant against a tree, eyes closed: he knew he was dying and he laid himself to rest.
One of the main lot find him (it isn't Arthur) but all of them find themselves around him soon enough, a shout that full of anguish was bound to attract the immediate attention of the rest of the knights.
They were expecting a friend, someone they knew by name, maybe someone they trained with or went to the tavern with. They weren't expecting Merlin. None of them were expecting Merlin.
Maybe it's Leon, who realises that Arthur isn鈥檛 go to do anything but stand and stare, so he sends one of the others to fetch Gaius and Gwen. The manservant鈥檚 father and friend deserved to know, deserved to grieve with them.
All of them cry, around his body, they see the way he is sat, they see that he knew what was coming, no one would say it out loud though, they daren't.
Maybe it's even more tragic than they know? Maybe the soldier, the random guard, that Merlin gave his life for, is slumped a few metres away, slain by the enemy that came after the fatal blow that struck Merlin down.
Cut to a few days later, after Merlin's funeral (he's given a burial worthy of a knight, a burning boat in the middle of Lake Avalon, no one mentions that it would be inappropriate to bestow such an honour on a mere servant, who shouldn't even have been at the battle anyway).
Arthur is being quiet in his grief, barely a word said since the battle, and no one wants to break that silence, in fear of what will escape if they do.
But Leon, who has been quietly running the kingdom for the last few days, finally persuades everyone that they have enough time for a private get together, a group mourning, with booze, in a tucked away private room of the castle.
Arthur doesn't show up at first, honestly no one was surprised, they were expecting him to not show up at all. But he does.
Of course this is after an hour or two of pacing in his room, questioning whether he should go. He's not entirely sure he would be able to carry on holding himself together, if he grieves in front of his friends.
In the end he figures Merlin would've said that it doesn鈥檛 matter if he loses it in front of them. They Are his Friends, and they're grieving too, and he knows he'll be there for them, so why wouldn't they be there for him?
Maybe, in an effort to keep things light, in an effort to hold himself together, in a desperate attempt to remember Merlin without crying, he makes a comment.
Something along the lines of "He was the shittiest servant I've ever had the displeasure of knowing, but he was a good friend, and a good man" .
Everyone murmurs in agreement, small smiles gracing their faces as each of them remember a different clumsy accident, and a different birthday gift received (from Merlin, whom they don鈥檛 even remember ever telling their birth date).
Everyone except Lancelot.
He slams his tankard down and it's the loudest noise any of them have heard since the battle
All heads snap towards him as he stands, and just glares at Arthur. Absolute Fury in his eyes.
Every one of them is taken aback, they've never seen Lancelot more than marginally frustrated before now, and this? This is scary. This is anger like they've never seen before:
"You still don鈥檛 know do you?? After all these years you have no idea who Merlin really was."
Everyone is stunned, at how furious he sounds, how disgusted. No one can say anything they're so surprised.
He continues:
"He was a Sorcerer, Arthur. A Warlock. When I say he is the Bravest man I ever knew, I say that because he lived Every. Single. Day, petrified that he would be found out. And he did that because it was his destiny to protect you, Arthur. He put himself in the most dangerous situations known to man, over and over, so YOU could live to be King. He believed in that. He believed in you. And still he was terrified that you would lop his head off, should you ever find out who he really was."
Again, no one really has any response to that. Gwaine and Leon look to their laps (they had... suspected, but they hadn't known, and frankly? They agree with Lancelot).
Everyone else (bar Gaius of course) is surprised, but again, they agree with him.
Arthur just stares back, mouth open, eyes wide.
Lancelot continues:
"You always wondered who Emrys was? That, Druidic God? The 'friend of Camelot'? That was Merlin. He was the most powerful warlock to walk the earth, past, present, and future, and he used his power to protect you, and Camelot, and Camelot citizens, and really? Anyone who needed it. He could've levelled cities. He could've taken over the kingdom. He could've crowned himself King of the world and brought magic back himself, and no one would've had the power to stop him. But he didn鈥檛. Because he believed in you, and the world you might've brought about one day. He was simultaneously, a 鈥渟hitty servant鈥 as you so eloquently put it, and the man who single-handedly saved your life, more times than you can even imagine, using the magic that you claim is so evil."
Lancelot is breathing deeply, as if he'd just run 3 laps of the castle, and he collapses in his chair, suddenly losing all of the energy and volume and anger he had moments ago. Head in his hands, silent tears streaming down his face.
Gwen puts a comforting hand on his shoulder, but keeps her eyes on her lap. Like Leon and Gwaine she had suspected.
Arthur looks to Gaius, his hands shaking, his cheeks wet with tears, only to receive a grim nod in return.
Gaius is the only one with a dry eye, no one pays it much mind. He has lost a son, and they all figure he's cried himself dry over the past few days, no one wants to be the one to disturb that, and set him off again.
Arthur slumps in his seat, maybe if he鈥檇 found out another way he would've raged, and screamed and shouted, at the lies, or at the magic (though not really the magic. More that Merlin hadn鈥檛 told him, and it was entirely his own fault), just at the shock of it all. But he's sort of numb to it now. He comes to the quiet conclusion that it makes sense. Merlin was magic, and had been saving his life since the day they met.
Maybe it's then. Or maybe its later. Maybe its weeks or months or years later. That a very cold, and very angry looking, and very much Alive Merlin, slams the door wide open and stomps in. And he is staring straight at Gaius.
"Who the FUCK, put me on the bottom of Lake Avalon??"
He doesn鈥檛 rip his gaze from Gaius, who has a small smile on his face.
Everyone had jumped up when the door bounced against the wall, and were just... staring at him, eyes and mouths wide open, stock still. Perhaps they thought that this is some sort of weird, group hallucination bought on by grief?? Maybe?? None of them are medical professionals alright, leave them alone.
Merlin is shivering, and Gaius calmly wraps the blanket (that no one had noticed he had folded on his lap, as if he was... ready for this?) around his shoulders.
"Merlin?" Almost unheard, croaked from Arthur, whose tears had started falling again,
And for the first time since he burst in, Merlin's eyes move from Gaius and settle on Arthur. His shoulders relax and he gives an ever so slight smile.
Arthur makes a sound like he's choking, and he moves across the room, quicker than he's ever moved before. The force with which he throws his arms around Merlin almost knocks him back, but he plants his feet and wraps his arms around him in return.
Arthur buries his head in Merlin鈥檚 neck and doesn鈥檛 even try to hide the fact that he's sobbing, Merlin puts his hand on the back of Arthur's head, his other arm wrapped around his back, no space between them.
The next words muttered, a series of "what?" And "how is this..." And "oh my god" from the others dispersed around the room, staring in shock.
Gwen has her hands over her mouth, and the knights are all still, Still (they're now fairly certain this is real but... they buried merlin. They had buried their friend).
No one really knows how long it takes for Arthur to step back, hands still on Merlin鈥檚 shoulders, gripping rather uncomfortably tight (though Merlin would never say that, he hadn't really considered it in the journey he'd taken back to Camelot over the last few days, but these people in front of him? His friends? (Also the love of his life but like... that's a conversation for another time) They all thought he was dead. They had buried him).
"How is this possible?" Quietly, from Arthur, has Merlin looking from over his shoulder at his friends, back to Arthur's tear stricken face.
"Emrys means "the immortal one" you absolute Clotpole." with a small smirk.
THE END
I guess I just love the idea of Gaius knowing that Merlin was going to be fine, but deciding that the gang (mainly Arthur) needed a little push. Also my guy Lancelot getting angry. Nice.
Same as always lads, you wanna write it in full go for it, credit and tag me.
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divine-mistake4 months ago
Text
deny (with love) my labor
Summary: 鈥淚鈥檓 here,鈥 you sob, hand shaking. 鈥淚鈥檓 right here, Bucky. I鈥檓 here. I鈥檓 here. Bucky, please. I鈥檓 here. Please don鈥檛 leave me. I鈥檓 here. I鈥檓 right here.鈥
Or, five times Bucky Barnes has a nightmare, and one time you do.
Characters: Bucky Barnes/(f)Reader
Warnings: 18+ smut, strong language, angst, graphic depictions of violence, blood, choking, kidnapping, branding, post-traumatic stress disorder, tiny amounts of fluff
Word Count: 9269
A/N: This is a request for @mallowswriting鈥 who I love and adore so wildly that I wrote this awful angsty story for her, who requested the nightmare trope and I turned it into something I really wanted to explore, so here you go! Sorry I got so carried away, but I hope you enjoy! Thanks for being such a great friend 馃挅
main masterlist | AO3
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one 鈥 god, don鈥檛 wake me, i think i was dreaming of you
Bucky wakes up alone for the first time. The sheets are tangled around his legs like chains, hot and sweaty and too strong for him to break free from. He fights for air to fill his lungs. Something鈥檚 wrong, something鈥檚 wrong鈥攈e knows something鈥檚 wrong because it鈥檚 dark here. Why did they turn out the lights? They never turn out the lights here. It鈥檚 always acrid fluorescent light, bulbs burning out, burning into the backs of his eyes when he鈥檚 allowed to sleep. And he鈥檚 never alone. He鈥檚 never alone here.
His hand is trembling. The thing is clicking, metal plates settling in place, a sound he鈥檚 taken to believing is what the Soldat sounds like, the devil scraping at his vibranium bones, trying to free himself. Bucky knows it isn鈥檛 true. Bucky knows the Soldat wouldn鈥檛 have any trouble tearing out of his skin and consuming him, this thing the weight that鈥檒l tie him down and drag him to the bottom of the sea someday.
Bucky wakes up alone and he鈥檚 so fucking scared that he鈥檚 hallucinating, making up the darkness of the room and the softness of the bed beneath him and the sliver of moonlight reflecting an arc over his artificial arm and then there鈥檚 a knock at the door鈥攈is handler, fuck鈥攁nd he knows it鈥檚 true.
He lays still, flat on his back, rigid, as if he鈥檚 frozen in time again.
Another knock, and then the sound of a soft, sweet voice. 鈥淏ucky?鈥 The door handle turns, clicking, and then it swings open with a gentle creak. He hears the footsteps of his handler. When had his handler ever been so soft and sweet?
鈥淏ucky, it鈥檚 me. I鈥檓 here.鈥
He bolts out of the bed like it's an exorcism, like whatever nightmare is possessing him is thrust from his chest and into the air, poisoning it.
And there you stand, dressed in a stretched-out shirt hanging off your shoulder and a pair of sleep shorts, your eyes wide and innocent and worried, arms hugging your stomach as if you鈥檙e trying to curl in on yourself, your little feet twisting on the rug in his bedroom nervously.
You look like you could enchant the moon, even with your hair in tangles from sleep.
鈥淏ucky?鈥 you call again, but you don鈥檛 step back. You don鈥檛 step away from him in fear. You hold your ground as he stands, staring at you, his chest heaving and breaths sputtering as quick as lightning strikes the ground. He can鈥檛 breathe. If you asked him right now, he鈥檇 say it was you who stole his breath, but he knows it鈥檚 the night.
The dark. The fact that he woke up alone. That you aren鈥檛 his handler.
鈥淪teve isn鈥檛 here,鈥 you say, a gentle reminder. Bucky knows. 鈥淗e鈥檚 on a mission right now with the others.鈥 Bucky knows that, too.
It鈥檚 the first time he鈥檚 woken up alone because of that. Because Steve wasn鈥檛 here to wake him up with the soft yellow light of the bedside lamp, with the Andrew Sisters playing on his phone softly, to help Bucky鈥檚 brain remember that he isn鈥檛 with HYDRA anymore, but safe in the Avengers Tower with Steve and all his friends and you.
鈥淏ut I鈥檓 here,鈥 you say, and Bucky thinks he might break in half.
When he first met you, he wanted to tell you he loved you. Love at first sight, or whatever, or maybe you were just so beautiful and Bucky hadn鈥檛 seen something good in so long he couldn鈥檛 help but see stars when he looked in your supernova eyes. And you felt so safe, god, he wanted to fall into the warm embrace that your arms guaranteed when he first shook your hand, your skin silk against his burlap callouses. He could feel the strength in the weave of your muscles, the delicacy of your touch on his.
But you鈥攕harp, bloody-edged diamonds and empty band-aid wrappers in the bottom of your purse and Bon Iver songs at three in the morning鈥攃ould never love him. Not that way. Bucky thinks you could love him, maybe, the way you love Steve and Sam. They get your loud laughs and your hard shoves off the kitchen chairs and your weight when you鈥檙e limping off the quinjet.
Bucky is lucky to get your snorts of laughter and the half of a snickers bar you offer him on movie night.
Bucky is lucky to get this, where you鈥檙e in his room like the goddess of the light, looking at him with such adoration in your eyes that he feels he could get drunk off the way you watch him. Bucky is lucky. Bucky is so fucking lucky that he gets to exist in your presence when he鈥檚 like this, a fucking monster of the night, unable to catch his breath.
You take a step toward him, your fingers outstretched in reach. Bucky takes a step back, still trying to suck air down his lungs and feel something that isn鈥檛 dread. Your lips curl into the faintest of smiles but you don鈥檛 move closer, not again, not yet. He wishes you would. Wishes he could force himself not to put distance between the two of you.
When you pull your hand back and let it rest against your collarbone, gripping the hem of your t-shirt and smiling at him lazily, Bucky lets out a breath and his shoulders sag.
鈥淏ucky,鈥 you say again. He loves the way you say his name. 鈥淒o you want to lay down again? You look exhausted.鈥
鈥淣o.鈥 His voice is full of stones, sharp and gravelly. It鈥檚 the first time he鈥檚 spoken tonight besides the screaming he鈥檚 sure echoed off the walls in his room, his siren song that summoned you to his door.
鈥淥kay. Do you want to take a shower? It might help you relax.鈥
Your voice is satin but Bucky thinks it鈥檚 a threat. He remembers how his handlers hosed him down. Sometimes they鈥檇 shove him into a cell with all his clothes on and let his freeze. Sometimes they鈥檇 strip him naked鈥攖hat was worse.
He shakes his head, staring at the floor now. He can鈥檛 watch your expression of grief or pity or whatever it鈥檒l be. Because no matter what, it鈥檒l be beautiful. Bucky can鈥檛 hate beauty like yours.
鈥淭hat鈥檚 okay, too. I鈥檓 not going to make you do anything you don鈥檛 want, Bucky. Okay?鈥
His eyes close. He focuses on steadying his breathing.
鈥淥kay,鈥 he mumbles.
鈥淥kay. Do you want to watch some trash TV with me instead? There鈥檚 a new season of 90 Day Fianc茅 and I need a partner.鈥
His head snaps up at that, his gaze meeting yours, the smile spreading across your lips in the darkness of his bedroom. You needed a partner? Bucky had been waiting for this moment for what felt like months already, and here you were, offering it up to him. Steve always watched the Great British Bake Off with you, Sam and you played reruns of The Office when you needed to sulk after a mission, Wanda was fond of watching Parks and Recreation or those girly shows, like the Bachelor, with you on girl鈥檚 night. Bucky had been waiting for a chance to be your partner.
And you鈥檙e only giving it to him because he had a nightmare.
Fuck.
As if you sense his hesitation, you finally take two more steps forward.
鈥淲e can watch the first couple of seasons tonight,鈥 you say. 鈥淎nd then when you鈥檙e feeling better we can tackle the new season. It looks super crazy. We can make snacks, too, if you鈥檙e hungry. And we can watch it on the couch if you don鈥檛 want to get back in bed. I promise it鈥檒l be fun.鈥
His head hangs low as he stares at his feet. Through the dark curtain of his hair, your bare toes step into the edge of his vision. He can feel the warmth radiating from your body, the call of safety he always feels when you鈥檙e near him. Bucky looks up and you鈥檙e right there, closer than you might鈥檝e ever been to him in such an intimate space, so small and so necessary for the existence of his happiness.
He can never tell you that. Never. And just when he鈥檚 about to turn you down, tell you he鈥檚 alright, ask you to leave because his heart stutters like a nervous wreck when you鈥檙e this close to him and he can鈥檛 fathom sitting next to you when he鈥檚 this vulnerable, your hand shakily falls against his bare chest, soft tips of your fingers tickling him and making him flinch in the slightest way.
鈥淧lease?鈥 you whisper, and Bucky鈥檚 a goner.
He was a goner the fucking moment he met you.
The first time you share Bucky鈥檚 bed, you fall asleep first, the lull of voices from the TV making you drift off without even a sound. He lays your head in the crook of his arm, tendrils of your hair brushing against his flesh and setting it on fire. You鈥檙e so small, so tiny compared to him, and yet so trusting of a machine like him to cradle you in this way. Do you trust him? He can鈥檛 believe you trust him enough to fall asleep against him like this.
Bucky wakes up, but when he wakes up this time, he isn鈥檛 alone. This time, you let him have your soft snores and the drool running down the corner of your mouth and how you bury your face in his skin as if trying to burrow into him.
Bucky wakes up and he鈥檚 not alone because you鈥檙e there instead.
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two 鈥 i prayed for salvation and all they gave me was your starlight eyes
For a while, it鈥檚 fine. He鈥檚 dealing with it. He can deal with it. He鈥檚 dealt with it before. The sharp commands, the rough hands, the jumbled words in Russian he can鈥檛 remember anymore but he knows they鈥檙e Russian when they鈥檙e spoken to him. He can deal with it all, even the pain when they strap him down to the chair and shove a guard between his teeth and he clenches so hard he swears he can taste blood.
He can deal with it until it鈥檚 your voice, and then Bucky loses it.
Somewhere, he knows he鈥檚 screaming. The mouthguard is muffling him. It鈥檚 the hand clamped across his jaw to silence him. He鈥檚 screaming and screaming and screaming because it鈥檚 your voice in his head saying those words that he can鈥檛 remember but he does remember鈥攚hat are those words again? When did you learn Russian? It sounds like a cry for help, how your perfect lips mold around the crisp sounds of a language he can鈥檛 forget about.
He鈥檚 screaming.
Trembling fingers smooth over the rough stubble covering his cheeks as if caressing his face, the hands so gentle. He鈥檚 never felt something so soft while in this chair. While he鈥檚 been strapped down. Tortured.
When his eyes open, he鈥檚 staring at the Soldat, and it鈥檚 his own fucking hands that鈥檚 cradling his face so gently, gently, gently, and he鈥檚 screaming.
Bucky surges from the bed, but there鈥檚 something sitting atop his middle, weighing him down, and he shoves it off his immobilized legs and it lands on the bed with a soft grunt. A familiar sound.
He presses the heels of his palms into his eyes, trying to gain his senses, and when he blinks the nightmare away and opens his eyes鈥攆or real, this time鈥攜ou鈥檙e sitting there, disheveled and somehow still beautiful and still frightening.
You鈥檙e staring at him, wide-eyed, hand fisted in the collar of the shirt you鈥檇 stolen from him to sleep in only hours ago, your body curling in on itself. Were you scared? Had he made you look this way, forcing you to retreat into yourself?
Shame, like the heavy buzz of the artificial lights above his head and the sound of the machine and the wiping of his mind, settles over his skin like all his nerves have gone numb, crackling awake with a painful stretch.
It鈥檚 painful. The guilt.
How could he have been so careless? It wasn鈥檛 so many months ago (three months and fourteen days, to be exact) that Bucky fell to his knees at your feet, injured and bleeding out on the floor, as he grasped your shaking hands and confessed his love for you鈥攐nly for you to, of course, press his bloodied face to your stomach in an embrace unlike any other you鈥檇 allowed him and asked if you could take him to the medbay. Tonight was the first night Bucky let you spend the night in his room, for no other reason but because you missed him after a long mission, and he鈥檇 felt stable enough to allow it because he couldn鈥檛 deny you. He could never deny you anything.
And it had been a good mission. He felt good. He felt like he could stay up and watch you sleep and keep you safe. He wasn鈥檛 tired. Super soldiers didn鈥檛 need to sleep like regular humans did. He could stay up one night, just one night, to mold himself around you as you slept soundly in his arms, warm and protected and loved.
But the heat you emitted, the safety he felt with you in his bed, it lured him like a sweet siren to his watery demise, plunging him into the ice-cold depths of yet another nightmare he still hadn鈥檛 learned to control after so many months of living at the Triskelion.
Bucky buries his face in his hands, shoulders shaking.
You call his name quietly. He doesn鈥檛 look up.
How could he have been so careless? He repeats that question over and over in his head until it's imprinted in his brain in red-hot letters, flashing white and black and white and black like the static pain that makes his muscles twitch from misuse. How could he have been so careless? He could have hurt you. Why hadn鈥檛 you run from the room? Why had you stayed in bed? He could have killed you.
God, the thought of his own hands鈥攈is hands鈥攈is hand鈥攖his thing鈥
鈥淏ucky,鈥 you say, voice unwavering and still so sweet. Bucky thinks about how when he kisses you, your words always taste like cherry pie on his tongue. Steve used to talk about how much he wanted an apple pie, warm and spicy, just like his ma used to make when they would reminisce about the old days. Bucky doesn鈥檛 want an apple pie. He just wants to taste your lips over and over and over again, a neverending dessert, a treat, his last good thing before his life would end.
鈥淏ucky!鈥 you say, a little snappier, a little louder. He forces his head up, his eyes catching yours in a panic, and a weary smile curls your lips.
Is it so bad to want to kiss you even after he鈥檚 endangered you like this?
Slowly, you crawl over to him, and Bucky is trapped beneath the sheets and against the pillows and in your gaze. You straddle his thighs and seat yourself on his lap, a little clumsily, and without thinking he reaches out and holds your hips to steady you. The contrast of your skin on his is like an angel drowning in damnation and Bucky recoils as if he鈥檚 been burned by the fires of hell.
You slide your hands up his sweaty chest to cup his jawline, your fingers notching in the same worn imprints of the fingers from his nightmare. His eyes flutter closed as he leans into your touch, sighing in relief.
鈥淚鈥檓 here,鈥 you say. 鈥淚鈥檓 right here.鈥
Bucky understands. It was your hands, always your hands, instead of the Soldat鈥檚.
You carefully tip his head upward in order to press your soft lips against his own, and Bucky melts into your hold. All the tension, all the stress, all the bad things slip away from his mind as you let him lose himself in your kiss, guiding him back to shore where he wakes from the siren鈥檚 spell, a washed-up sailor.
When you finally pull away, still cradling his face in your gentle hands, you rest your forehead against his.
鈥淒o you remember our first date?鈥 you ask, a breathy laugh escaping your parted lips. 鈥淵ou brought me those flowers and I had no vase to put them in, 鈥榗ause who has a vase just lying around?鈥
鈥淢ost people,鈥 he mumbles, tucking his face in the crook of your neck and shoulder and breathing in the clean scent of your skin.
鈥淪hut up.鈥 Bucky laughs at that. 鈥淚t鈥檚 not like anyone ever brought me flowers before, so excuse you, Barnes. Anyway. I didn鈥檛 have a vase to put flowers in, so you insisted on going out and buying me a vase, too, but you wouldn鈥檛 let me come with you for some stupid reason鈥斺
鈥淐hivalry.鈥
鈥淐hivalry is sexist. And creepy. And dead. And so you went out and bought me a vase and brought it back so I could put this pretty little bunch of purple wildflowers in some water and we were so late to the restaurant that they canceled our reservation, and we had to go to that little grease trap you call a diner and get burgers?鈥
鈥淚 happen to like that grease trap.鈥
Your fingers parse through his hair, untangling the strands. 鈥淚 do, too.鈥
鈥淎nd then I made us take them to go so we could sit out by the Potomac.鈥 A smile sneaks onto his face and Bucky leaves a kiss against your neck. He feels you shiver underneath his touch.
鈥淭he fucking Potomac, Bucky.鈥 You throw your head back and giggle. 鈥淲e live on the Potomac, for god鈥檚 sake. But it was so romantic, and so charming, and I was so in love with you that you probably could鈥檝e asked me to go dumpster diving with you and I would鈥檝e said yes and still kissed you afterward.鈥
鈥淩eally?鈥 He pulls away to look up at you, a grin splitting his lips. Finally, his arms snake around your waist as if he鈥檚 allowed to touch you again, and you sink into his embrace.
鈥淩eally.鈥 You press yourself closer to his body as he tightens his grip on you, the two of you falling back into the bed. 鈥淚 love you, Bucky Barnes. Every part of you. Every version of you.鈥
He stares at the ceiling, his shaky breaths agitating your flyaway hairs all fanned out on his chest.
鈥淚鈥檓 not鈥︹ He struggles with the words. 鈥淚鈥檓 not good for you.鈥
You don鈥檛 move, and Bucky wonders if you鈥檙e listening to the sound of his heart beating, thundering like the hooves of horses racing on a track, shot and spooked and no way to go but forward. Onward. Continuous. You鈥檙e the only person who鈥檚 ever wanted his heart, and you鈥檙e the only person he鈥檇 ever want to give it to.
鈥淵ou鈥檙e perfect for me,鈥 you say, and Bucky inhales. 鈥淚 told you鈥擨 love you. In the present tense. And, fuck, in the past tense and the future tense and I love you in every single time you鈥檝e ever existed. I love Sergeant James Buchanan Barnes from the one-oh-seven. I love him, too. The Winter Soldier, the Fist of HYDRA, the Soldat.鈥
He can鈥檛 breathe he can鈥檛 breathe he can鈥檛 breathe鈥斅
鈥淎nd I love you, Bucky Barnes, who has nightmares and who buys me vases to go with the flowers he brings me and who won鈥檛 let me walk to medbay or to my room after a mission and insists on carrying me, who cooks me breakfast and cuts the crust off my sandwiches and who, if he asked me, I would go dumpster diving with.鈥
Whatever shooting star he ever wished on, or whichever god he asked to save him from himself, or whoever heard him when he was at his lowest and wanted nothing more than a quick death to rid him of the blood on his hands that refused to wash off, he needs to write them a thank you letter.
鈥淚 love you, Bucky. I love you.鈥
He is so undeserving, but he is nothing if not greedy, and he鈥檒l take what he can get.
鈥淚 love you too, doll.鈥
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three 鈥 you looked so pretty on the other side, honey, i almost forgave them for killing you
It鈥檚 all tears in his mouth, wet and salty and cloying. His hands are stretched toward the ceiling but he doesn鈥檛 know if he鈥檚 reaching for something or if he鈥檚 trying to save himself. There is nothing in his brain to tell him the difference. All his memories are empty, and he thinks maybe his fingers are grasping for the edge of whatever nightmare that passed like a ship in the night. Maybe he was trying to hold onto it in his sleep.
Maybe he鈥檚 only ever the safest when he clings to what he knows.
Bucky looks to his side where you lay, facing away from him, sheets draped around your naked waist. The curtains have been left open鈥攜ou insisted on pulling them apart that afternoon and basking in the sun like a flower, your dress the pretty petals as you twirled around in the shining light of the dimming day, giggling while he watched you鈥攁nd now it isn鈥檛 the sun that surrounds you, but moonlight, washing you in its glory and glow like it belongs to you. Everything loves you, Bucky knows. You drink up every single spotlight without even trying, and now, the moon鈥檚 rays of reflection line you in silver, your skin dripping in the kind of magic he wishes he could run a finger through to collect moon dust.
He reaches toward you, but then he pulls his hand away. He should be trying to save you instead.
But, as if you can feel his terror, his hesitation, his need, you shift and unfurl from the blankets, stretching along the pillows, rolling over with blinking, sleepy eyes. You鈥檙e perfection and Bucky wants to touch you even though he knows he鈥檒l ruin you. He always ruins everything. He鈥檒l ruin you and you鈥檒l let him every single time.
You touch him first. Bucky stiffens as your small fingers brush away the tear tracks left on his cheeks, soft and reassuring in the most unsuspecting way. Every single time you touch him, he feels like he鈥檚 real. He feels like he鈥檚 right. He feels like he doesn鈥檛 ruin anything.
He lets his eyes close so he doesn鈥檛 see the warmth in your smile.
As soon as he touches you, he鈥檒l ruin you.
鈥淗ey, love,鈥 you whisper, your fingers trailing down his stubbled jaw. 鈥淚鈥檓 here.鈥
There isn鈥檛 anything else that鈥檚 said between the two of you. Bucky cries. Tears careen down his face and you wipe them away. His grief turns to glitter on your hands, his trauma stardust. You take every bad thing about Bucky and spin it into gold like that fairytale, the one he can鈥檛 remember, because he can鈥檛 remember anything anymore, good or bad or good or bad or anything.
Bucky cries and you let him, the sobs that wrack his chest leaving scars on your palm from the searing heat they carry. His nightmares are in his throat, tickling his nose, burning his eyes. It鈥檚 on the very boundary of his mind, something black and familiar, but he can鈥檛 remember it anymore.
What else will he forget?
You draw him into your arms, lay his head against your chest, the long tangles of his sweat-matted hair spread across your skin. So soft, but not so delicate to act like he鈥檚 breaking, you stroke one hand up and down his back lazily while your nails rake through his tresses. It鈥檚 soothing. He almost laughs at the image of him, a super soldier, crying a waterfall of tears through the valley of your naked breasts. It鈥檚 picturesque and abhorrent. It鈥檚 shameful. He just wants to remember.
What if he forgets you?
This is his breaking point. Finally, finally, Bucky reaches for you, placing his hands against your skin, trembling but trying so hard to capture you between his palms. He touches you and doesn鈥檛 care if he ruins you because he needs you, he needs you, and he needs you.
His hands cup your face and he鈥檚 still crying. 鈥淪ay no,鈥 he begs. 鈥淪ay no.鈥
You look up at him so sweetly, so innocent, so in love. Your eyelashes flutter as you blink in confusion, but your tongue sweeps over your top lip in a way that ignites the gasoline coursing through his bloodstream.
鈥淵es,鈥 you say instead, of course, because Bucky knows you鈥檇 never say no to him when he鈥檚 like this. You know he needs you, so you鈥檒l be what he needs. And if he hates himself for it, for ruining you like this with hands that don鈥檛 even belong to him, then he tries to forget it because he forgets everything.
But he refuses to forget you and your body and how you feel. How you feel about him.
His lips descend upon yours in desperation but you arch up to meet him halfway. Bucky lets his hands slide into your hair, grasping the locks in a death grip, trying to hold onto anything that binds you to him. You鈥檙e already naked and wanting beneath him, and he simply has to shove his boxers down his legs and kick them off to join you. He just wants to feel you. Pressed upon him, touching him, swallowing him, surrounding him. He wants it all.
He鈥檚 so selfish for you. He鈥檒l do anything for you, but it isn鈥檛 altruistic. It鈥檚 because he wants you. Because he needs you. Because he鈥檚 so fucking selfish for you and he has to have you, he鈥檒l die without you.
It鈥檚 like you can read his thoughts because the moment he wants to pull away from your mouth and apologize, your teeth rip into his skin with a nip that brings blood to the surface. And like a shark in open waters, your tongue finds it and soothes over the wound.
鈥淚t鈥檚 okay,鈥 you murmur at the corner of his mouth. 鈥淚鈥檓 here. You have me. It鈥檚 okay.鈥
He鈥檚 desperate for you and it鈥檚 poison鈥攈is kisses are venom pouring into your system.
Bucky rips the thin sheet from your body and bares your soul to him, his eyes drinking in every last milkweed drop of your skin like he鈥檚 broken you again. He鈥檒l break you tonight. He鈥檒l ruin you because all he knows how to do is ruin perfect pretty things like you.
He wishes you had never told him you loved him.
Hopeless, he delves into your chest, the orchestra of lips, tongue, and teeth playing every symphony from your bones. He kisses your shoulders, licks up the salty remainder of his melancholy from between your breasts, scrapes over your hardened nipples until he catches them between his teeth. The sounds that fall from your open mouth are pure music, the way you twitch and writhe and surrender under his touch harmonizing with your moans and pants and gasps. You鈥檙e an instrument and he鈥檚 your musician, plucking at your strings of pleasure, heady and drunk on the love you emit.
Bucky鈥檚 hands smooth over the heated skin of your body until he reaches between your soft thighs, the glistening honey of your core already coating his metal digits with barely a glance of a touch. You whine at the teasing and buck your hips toward him鈥攈e chuckles into your skin and leaves bruises in his wake as he travels up and down the length of your legs.
鈥淧lease,鈥 you plead, gentle and panting and needy. 鈥淚 need you inside me, Bucky, please.鈥
Your confession is his own salvation and Bucky nearly takes you then and there, his own need鈥攖he one inside of him鈥攁ching to have you. It鈥檚 a consuming feeling, all consuming. He needs you like he鈥檚 never needed anyone else.
鈥淚 gotta get you ready, doll. Gotta warm you up,鈥 he says, hands gripping your thighs and spreading them, baring your most precious place to his eyes. A place no one else will see but him. Already, your center is drooling onto the bed sheets and Bucky curses beneath his breath.
鈥淣o, no, Bucky, please,鈥 you beg him and he falls apart. 鈥淚鈥檓 ready, I鈥檓 ready now. Please just鈥攑lease鈥攑lease fuck me.鈥
He must be a monster if he has such a pretty princess in his bed, naked, begging for him to destroy her. To ruin her. Does she think he鈥檒l feel remorse?
With his hands braced against the bones of your hips, fingers tight in your skin, Bucky enters your warm, slick heat with one fluid movement, sharp as the knife he keeps under his pillow, and it鈥檚 like he鈥檚 found his sanctuary. You throw your head back to the heavens and scream, a declaration of your love, your core gripping him like a vice.
He needs this. He needs you. He needs鈥斅
Suddenly, his hands find the thread at the edge of his dream and yank it back and the darkness swallows him whole. He鈥檚 chained to the wall of the cell he used to occupy, the one with the dirty mattress on the floor, the tatters of a blanket. The guards, they toss you before him and he strains against the bonds, trying, struggling, breaking, but to no avail. There鈥檚 no hope. They press the muzzle of a gun to your head, put their boot in your back, force you to look at him.
Your eyes are hollow sockets. They鈥檝e gouged them out and left you bleeding. Bucky can鈥檛 even scream.
They鈥檙e asking him something, they鈥檙e asking him to do something or say something and he can鈥檛鈥攈e can鈥檛 fucking hear them. They shove the barrel harder into your hair, knock your head around, you don鈥檛 even move. You鈥檙e so still. You鈥檝e assumed that death is the only option. Bucky can鈥檛 even fucking scream.
And then they shoot, bullets ripping through your perfect image, tearing your body into little pieces like you鈥檙e just a sheet of paper, your limbs lost to the scatter of firearms. You aren鈥檛 even whole when you fall to the ground at his feet. You鈥檙e just blood and guts and glory and guilt. It鈥檚 Bucky鈥檚 fault. It鈥檚 all Bucky鈥檚 fault.
He鈥檚 ruining you.
When the darkness fades, he鈥檚 collapsed on top of you and wrapped in your embrace again. Bucky scrambles to press his ear to your chest. He can hardly hear your heartbeat over his own choked sobs but you鈥檙e stroking him again, your hands carving out wide paths in the stone of his own skin, reassuring him that you鈥檙e real.
鈥淛ames Buchanan Barnes,鈥 you murmur in his ear. 鈥淵ou鈥檙e okay. You鈥檙e here. I鈥檓 here. James Buchanan Barnes, you鈥檙e okay. It鈥檚 all okay. You鈥檙e here and you鈥檙e okay. James Buchanan Barnes, I love you. I鈥檓 here.鈥
His blunt nails dig into your skin, leaving crescent-moons of pain and desperation in their wake. You don鈥檛 make him move. He lays atop you, a weight on your body, still inside of you as he struggles to take back his grasp on reality. You wrap yourself around him, a shield, a balm, a quieting to the incessant noise in his head.
And then you begin to sing, so soft, so low, a song so familiar鈥攖he lullaby you reserve for him when he鈥檚 at his worst. He needs this. He needs you. He needs鈥
鈥淲hen I went to your town on the wide open shore, oh I must confess I was drawn, I was drawn to the ocean鈥︹
Bucky wishes he could keep you safe the way you keep him close to your chest, a brave god walking beside a monster, hand in hand.
鈥淵ou don't know how lucky you are. You don't know how much I adore you. You are the welcoming back from the ocean鈥︹
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four 鈥 nothing would be sweeter than your hand around my neck, divine
This time, you are screaming, and Bucky鈥攈e鈥攊t鈥攈e hates it鈥攈e鈥
This time when he wakes up, he鈥檚 on his knees above you, straddling your hips, his鈥攖he鈥攖hat thing around your neck. Stealing your breath. That thing is choking you. He鈥檚 choking you. He鈥檚 killing you.
Bucky is killing you.
And he can鈥檛 get the fucking thing to release you, oh god, he鈥檚 killing you, he鈥檚 done it, he鈥檚 killing the only person he鈥檚 ever loved, the only person that鈥檚 ever loved him, fuck, god, fuck, his names is James, it鈥檚 James, James Buchanan Barnes, he鈥檚 James Buchanan Barnes, he has to let go, he has to let go, let go, let go, let go鈥
鈥淟et go!鈥 he screams to nobody but himself and the metal fingers around your throat pry themselves away.
Bucky is off the bed and on the other side of the room in an instant, your sputtering coughs, your choked warbles, the only sound filling the silence of the night. He doesn鈥檛 look at you. He can鈥檛. How could he? He just killed you. He just tried to kill you. He almost killed you.
He would have killed you.
You are dead.
鈥淏ucky,鈥 you rasp his name and he winces. It used to sound so sweet when you would call his name. Now it sounds like metal and death. 鈥淏ucky, are you okay?鈥
He whirls around now, his eyes so wide it hurts, and he stares at you. You鈥檙e on your hands and knees, reaching out to him, still coughing. There鈥檚 so much pain on your angelic face and he knows he put it there. He knows he did it. He knows.
How dare you ask him if he鈥檚 okay? How鈥擧ow can you still be so selfless?
A war wages inside his head. He wants to flee the room, to flee the city, to flee the state or the country or the world, however he can, and just put as much distance between the two of you as he can muster. He wants to go to you now, caress your wounds, apologize with a thousand meaningless words that can鈥檛 take away the fact that he killed you.
He killed you. It doesn鈥檛 matter if it was in his dreams or not鈥攈e killed you.
鈥淧lease.鈥 Your voice is so thin. 鈥淒on鈥檛鈥擠on鈥檛 leave me.鈥
His hands are curled tight into fists. Not for the first time, Bucky wonders if he had been normal whether he could have kept you. Because like this, he can鈥檛 keep you. He shouldn鈥檛 have tempted fate. He should have let you go.
Selfish. Selfish man. Selfish machine. Selfish Soldat.
鈥淏ucky, please,鈥 you call again. You鈥檙e crying. He hasn鈥檛 heard you cry like this before. It鈥檚 strangled, overwhelmed, and it makes him ache. If he could tie your pain to his ankles he would sink straight down to the bottom of the ocean and drown there happily as long as you didn鈥檛 feel it anymore.
Your fingers are trembling, outstretched toward him. He takes one step forward. The curtain wavers and a streak of rogue moonlight reveals the purpling bruises in the shape of the fingers attached to his body. He takes a step back.
鈥淚鈥檓 here,鈥 you sob, hand shaking. 鈥淚鈥檓 right here, Bucky. I鈥檓 here. I鈥檓 here. Bucky, please. I鈥檓 here. Please don鈥檛 leave me. I鈥檓 here. I鈥檓 right here.鈥
That thing, the thing, it鈥檚 him. It鈥檚 a part of him. It belongs to him and it鈥檚 his fingers that bruised your skin.
鈥淏ucky, listen to me. It鈥檚 okay, Bucky. It鈥檚 not your fault. I鈥檓 here. I鈥檓 here, Bucky.鈥
It鈥檚 his fault. He killed you. This arm, this metal fucking thing, it鈥檚 his. It鈥檚 attached to him and has his nerves wired to it and he can move it. He flexes his hand in proof.
鈥淚t鈥檚 going to be okay.鈥 You slide off the bed and onto the floor with a groan and Bucky lurches for you, as if he could catch you, but he freezes in place when he sees the marks around your neck again. There鈥檚 a hand at the base of your throat, pressing against the tender flesh, your chest rising and falling in rapid succession as tears continue to stream down your ruddy cheeks.
He killed you. You are dead.
鈥淚鈥檓 here,鈥 you repeat over and over again. 鈥淚鈥檓 here, Bucky. I鈥檓 right here.鈥
But you shouldn鈥檛 be. You shouldn鈥檛 be here. And Bucky shouldn鈥檛 be here, either. He should leave right now, walk out that door and never return, never see you ever again. But he鈥檚 selfish and he won鈥檛. He can鈥檛. He can鈥檛 leave you like this.
He should, but he can鈥檛.
鈥淏ucky please.鈥
Mechanically, like the machine he is, like the weapon attached to his shoulder, he walks toward where you鈥檙e sitting on the ground, knees knocked inward, calves sprawled wide. There, between your legs, Bucky crouches down and you try to smile at him. It鈥檚 weak, sad, pained. He wants to wipe your tears away.
He moves slowly, his hand cupping your face, thumb wiping away your tears, and you let him. You press your cheek into his palm, eyes closed, a blatant display of trust. But Bucky can鈥檛 help himself. The bloom of black and purple on your skin in the shape of his own goddamn hand makes him tremble and his fingers trail down your jaw and against your throat.
You flinch.
Bucky throws himself back, scrambling away from you.
鈥淣o!鈥 You lunge for him, grabbing the first thing you can reach, and he feels your fingers enclose over his metal hand. He stares at it, the contrast between vibranium and flesh, and he pulls away as if you鈥檝e burned him.
Bucky stumbles toward the floor, leaving you collapsed on the ground, sobbing wracking through your quaking body.
鈥淚鈥檓 here, Bucky,鈥 you cry. 鈥淚鈥檓 here. Don鈥檛 leave me. Please, don鈥檛 leave me. I鈥檓 here, Bucky.鈥
He slams the door behind him. Your howls are the ghosts that follow him home.
鈥淚鈥檓 here, Bucky. I鈥檓 here. I鈥檓 right here.鈥
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five 鈥 just let me sleep, love
You aren鈥檛. You aren鈥檛 here anymore.
He doesn鈥檛 wake because of a nightmare. He wakes because the space next to him, the place you call your own with a familiarity and fondness that makes the ring he鈥檚 been carrying around for the past few months a little heavier, a little more prominent, a reminder that he needs to get on with it.
But you aren鈥檛 here. The bed is cold, the sheets rumpled.
Bucky is out of bed and pulling his pants up to his waist in a matter of seconds, eyes glancing around the room. There鈥檚 no light on in the bathroom. No light in the living room. No light in the little kitchen. He searches anyway and finds nothing. He checks the window in the bedroom. It鈥檚 still locked.
Everything is where it should be鈥攅xcept for you.
You aren鈥檛 here.
His phone rings from the nightstand and he grabs it in an instant, the screen lighting up to reveal a picture of you鈥攖he one he took on the night he fell in love with you, when you rode the ferris wheel with him at Coney Island and you were glowing beneath the lights, happy and beautiful and perfect as always, and he knew you were it for him. The last thing he鈥檇 ever want and need.
Immediately he sighs with relief and answers, hope on the tip of his tongue.
鈥淗ey doll, where are you鈥斺
He inhales. It hurts his chest.
The phone slips from his grasp, clattering to the floor. The call ends. Bucky can鈥檛 breathe. He can鈥檛 move. Suddenly, he鈥檚 back on the ice, freezing to death. Frozen. Dying. He鈥檚 frozen again, out of time, out of fucking time.
You aren鈥檛 here. You can鈥檛 be here.
The phone lights up on the floor with a message. He picks it up with shaking hands. An unknown number.
And instead of the picture of you at Coney Island when he fell in love with you, it鈥檚 a picture of you being dragged into an unmarked van by a masked man, ropes tied around your limbs, a bloodied gash wet and open on your temple.
Over the next few hours, he鈥檒l receive two more messages: a voice message of your screaming and a soundless video of a hot brand being pressed to your skin until the HYDRA symbol is burned into permanence.
You aren鈥檛 here. You are not here. You said you鈥檇 be here, and you aren鈥檛.
Bucky can鈥檛 wake up from this nightmare because you aren鈥檛 here.
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one, redux 鈥 and when we wake, they'll have canonized us like this
It鈥檚 not a violent awakening. It鈥檚 not quick. It鈥檚 not even sudden. You wake with your eyes hazy and unfocused, the world coming back into view, the ceiling above you familiar. Before this, you wouldn鈥檛 have thought a ceiling could be so comforting. Now you know there are a lot of small comforts you took for granted every day before this.
It鈥檚 only once your eyes are open, fully awake, that the world morphs into the scenes you tried so hard to run away from.
The ceiling disappears. It morphs into the mottled roof of the van when you first woke. Your arms are heavy, stricken by your side. You can鈥檛 even feel your legs but there鈥檚 a chill rolling over your bare skin like you鈥檙e laying on a bed of ice. Stuck. You鈥檙e stuck. Trapped. Fuck. You can鈥檛 move. Where are you?
A face hovers over yours, a black mask and reddened eyes. Crazed eyes. Mad eyes. He鈥檚 saying something in the language you never bothered to learn more than ten phrases. You hate that language. You hate what they did to him.
Where is Bucky?
He barks something in Russian. It sounds sharp and a little uneasy. Someone else鈥攆rom the driver鈥檚 seat鈥攖hey yell something back. The man sitting next to you grabs the fleshy part of your arm and jabs a needle straight into the skin.
Everything fades and shifts and changes. You鈥檙e asleep again and then you aren鈥檛.
This cell looks familiar but you don鈥檛 know why.
You blink the panic and the pain away, out of your eyes, trying to focus on something. Slow, deep breaths. In through your nose, out through your mouth. Quiet, quietly. You need to be quiet. There is no one around. No one is guarding your little cell. You鈥檙e in a chair. They鈥檝e strapped you down with something. It hurts, but you can鈥檛 feel the texture enough on your skin because it鈥檚 all fire and burning and the sting of a bee on your fourteenth summer and god, everything is aching. There is pain radiating from every part of your body, no bone untouched, no orifice not leaking blood.
It鈥檚 in your mouth鈥攜ou can taste it.
Where is Bucky? Where is he?
Didn鈥檛 he promise that when you called, he would come?
The room is spinning. Everything is dark but it鈥檚 dark in a way that makes your eyes hurt because everything hurts. Everything, everything, everything, everything, everything. You鈥檙e going crazy. Everything. Hurts. You don鈥檛 know if your eyes are open or closed. Are you even alive? Maybe you鈥檙e dead and this is where you go when you die if you鈥檙e a bad person.
Oh no. If you鈥檙e dead, where is Bucky? What is he going to do?
Does he know you love him?
Footsteps echo through the stone prison. Boots. Heavy. Clump, clump, clump. So much noise. Every step resounds in your head with a painful throb. Stomp, stomp, stomp. A soundtrack to listen to. Your heartbeat syncs up to it. It鈥檚 like a lullaby you can fall asleep to. Thunk, thunk, thunk. Go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleep my little鈥
The cell door rattles. A black, shadowed figure kicks it open. He鈥檚 talking to you but you can鈥檛 hear what he鈥檚 saying. Do you know this language? The words are all warbled like a bad radio frequency. Static. Everything is black and white and painful and stinging and you can鈥檛 hear him. Is it Russian?
Where is Bucky? Does he know how much you fucking love him?
Is he going to come when you call for him? Is he going to save you?
More shadowed figures appear in your slurring, swinging, shifting, spinning vision. So many men in black clothes, black masks, faceless. So many pairs of boots pounding on the inside of your head. It hurts.
Someone grabs your chin in rough fingers. They press so hard into your bones you think they might break. You wish you could pretend it was Bucky, but he would never touch you like this. Even when you ask him to hurt you, he won鈥檛. He only ever brings pleasure with your pain.
He always looks at you like those bruises are tattooed on your neck now.
One of the masked men holds something out to you. You can鈥檛 make out what it is. The man pulls his mask down. His teeth are yellow in the faint light of the prison, gummy and filled with blood, incisors sharp enough to rip the tendons from your muscles. The way he grins, so wide, so predatory, it makes fat tears roll down your dirty cheeks.
A knife rips through the thinning material of your sleep shirt鈥擝ucky鈥檚 shirt. Fuck. The man tears it off you, throws the scraps to the side, leaving your chest naked. You wish you had enough coherence to be embarrassed. To be ashamed. You have nothing. You鈥檙e empty instead and it kills you.
Death is calling and Bucky isn鈥檛 coming.
Somehow, you know what鈥檚 coming next. You know it鈥檚 coming. In your empty little head you wonder if this is how he feels when he clenches his teeth and screams before the pain comes. You鈥檝e heard him in his sleep, how his jaw tightens and his canines gnash together like he鈥檚 trying to knock them out of his own head, leaving a row of pink, empty spaces, swallowing the calcium in an attempt to feed himself.
It鈥檚 why you clench now, pressing your tongue to the backs, knowing what鈥檚 coming.
And then the man slams it into your shoulder like a weight, pushing it into your skin. You鈥檙e screaming, you think. It鈥檚 burning, scorching. So hot. Your skin is searing. Steak searing. What does human flesh taste like? It smells like roasted meat. Barbeque. Branding.
Someone is shrieking. It鈥檚 you, right? Who are you? It鈥檚 so hot, the heat so hot, the heat unbearably hot, too hot. It鈥檚 white-hot. So hot that it鈥檚 freezing. The heat is frostbite now. Is god listening to you? Fuck, it鈥檚 so hot it鈥檚 cold. You鈥檙e screeching again. Or maybe it鈥檚 someone else. Bucky always screamed like this. So strangled. It鈥檚 molten. Lava on your body. Lava injected into your bones. Your bone marrow is heat. Rotting. How do you cook the rot out of meat? You roast it. Cooked flesh.
When they rip it away, your skin paints a picture of a six-tentacled octopus.
Where is Bucky? God鈥攜ou hope he doesn鈥檛 come save you. Please, Bucky, don鈥檛 come.
Please don鈥檛 come. Don鈥檛 come. Don鈥檛 come.
Don鈥檛 come.
鈥淚鈥檓 here. I鈥檓 right here, doll.鈥
You scream, a hand clutching your shoulder, trembling fingers covering the skin where you can still feel the mountains and valleys of gnarled, scarred flesh even if it isn鈥檛 there anymore. No, it鈥檚 not there anymore. Is it? Is it still there?
Someone grabs your hand, squeezing it gently, and you flinch away.
鈥淏aby, it鈥檚 me鈥攊t鈥檚 just me right here. I鈥檓 right here. You鈥檙e okay, it was just a nightmare, doll. You鈥檙e safe. We鈥檙e in our apartment. It鈥檚 two-twenty-three in the morning right now. The doors are locked. The windows are locked. I triple-checked them before we went to bed last night. You鈥檙e safe and I鈥檓 here and I鈥檓 not gonna let them hurt you again. I swear it.鈥
The face hovering over you, the masked man with red head and red hands and a red-hot brand melts away to reveal Bucky, with flawless sapphires for eyes and a vibranium hand that won鈥檛 burn you, but sooth the scar seared into your skin. You take in every element of him that you can. The wrinkles in his forehead, the bruised skin around his eyes from lack of sleep, the bump of his nose that fits perfectly notched in the flat bridge of yours. His lips, pink and a little chapped from where his teeth bear down, are parted in the slightest and you hear the whistle of his breathing.
His dark tresses are falling over his shoulders, mussed from tossing and turning in his sleep. With the hand not shielding your wound, you reach out and touch him鈥攃autiously, at first, in case he鈥檚 not real. His chest is sweat-sticky and warm. The muscles beneath his tanned, scarred skin flex beneath your fingertips where you tickle him, letting your nail trace the hem of his boxers until his abdomen contracts in response. When you look up, he鈥檚 smiling at you, swallowing back words, his Adam鈥檚 apple moving under the dark shadow of his stubble.
He鈥檚 here. Bucky鈥檚 here. You called and he came. He saved you. Bucky saves the day.
鈥淵ou鈥檙e here?鈥 you whisper, voice lost to your erratic crying.
鈥淚鈥檓 here.鈥
鈥淪afe?鈥
鈥淔RIDAY,鈥 Bucky calls out, 鈥渨ho is in the Avengers Tower right now?鈥
鈥淐urrently, there is no unauthorized personnel in the Tower, Sergeant Barnes.鈥澛
The AI鈥檚 voice grounds you a little, reminding you that you aren鈥檛 in D.C. anymore. Bucky moved you both to New York City after everything, into the Tower, more security. Even Steve agreed it was a better option, the new Triskelion鈥檚 failing defenses not a huge surprise to anyone.
鈥淢r. Stark, Captain Rogers, Dr. Banner, and Mrs. Maximoff are the only Avengers occupying the Tower at this moment. The rest are either at their personal estates, in D.C., or on a mission.鈥
鈥淎nd there is no unusual activity?鈥
鈥淣o, Sergeant Barnes. I have completed a security scan during this time.鈥
鈥淭hank you, FRIDAY.鈥
Bucky wipes the sweat from your brow, wipes the drying tears from your cheeks, wipes the blood from your mouth from your bitten tongue. He presses a kiss there, a perfect kiss, just on the corner but you can taste the smoke and the metal and the whiskey that makes up Bucky Barnes.
You鈥檙e safe. Bucky鈥檚 here.
His fingers, vibranium and cold, gently caress your own hand that鈥檚 guarding the seeping burn by your heart. It isn鈥檛 healed. It鈥檚 still there. You can feel the ache from the open flesh, the skin that鈥檚 missing, the particles of pus and bubbled blisters. Bucky strokes the back of your hand until you stop shaking, and then he braids his fingers around yours in order to carefully pry your palm away from the wound.
You let him because you trust him. Because you love him.
鈥淟ook, baby. Look,鈥 he says.
And because you trust him, because you love him, you do as he says and you look down at your shoulder, the space just above your heart, the marred skin you see in your dreams every time the ripping-hot metal touches you.
There is no wound. The skin there is a little pink, a little shiny, but there鈥檚 no burn. There is no scar. There is no six-tentacled octopus outlining your heart. Instead there is just a patch that looks a little different from the rest, blending at the edges, a little rough, but it鈥檚 yours.
You aren鈥檛 HYDRA. You don鈥檛 belong to them.
Bucky leans down, his nose brushing by your collarbone, and his lips meet your shoulder to leave a kiss, or two, or three, circling around the wound that isn鈥檛 there.
鈥淵ou鈥檙e okay,鈥 he whispers. 鈥淚鈥檓 here. You鈥檙e okay.鈥
He takes you into his arms, shifting your body until you鈥檙e almost lying atop him. Your leg is thrown over his hips, his hand wrapped around it, tapping out the rhythm of a song you can鈥檛 name. His metal arm is what holds you close to him, fingers tangled in the strands of your hair as the digits massage your scalp, kitten purrs falling from your lips as he soothes you out of your nightmare and back into reality.
You scrawl patterns and nonsensical drawings into his chest, listening as he hums something under his breath. His heart is beating quickly鈥攖oo quickly. It makes you nervous. Is he mad at you? Does he hate you? Does he hate this?
Is he going to leave you? You鈥檙e so damaged now. Damaged goods.
He must hear your heart speed up to match his because his hand falls from your hair and to your back, leaving big strokes up and down your spine. He leans down and presses a kiss to the crown of your head, lingering, and then pulls away.
鈥淚 know this is a bad time,鈥 he starts and you flinch. Your eyes shut in anticipation. 鈥淚 love you, you know that, doll?鈥
鈥淚 love you, too,鈥 you try to say without crying. 鈥淚 love you so much, Bucky. More than you could ever know.鈥
You feel his chest shake with laughter.
鈥淵ou stole my line, baby.鈥 His palm encases your cheek as he turns your face up to look at him, the depths of his blue eyes stealing every thought in your head, every worry, every anxiety. He鈥檚 smiling so pretty, so gently, so him that it kills you.
He鈥檚 here鈥攂ut for how long?
鈥淚鈥檝e tried to give you time,鈥 he whispers and your heart clenches, 鈥渂ut I can鈥檛 wait anymore. I love you so much and I almost lost you. I don鈥檛 know what I would鈥檝e done, baby. I know this isn鈥檛 right of me, but I can鈥檛 wait. I can鈥檛.鈥
Bucky holds out his hand, unfurling his fingers in front of your eyes, and sitting in the middle of his tan palm is a ring.
鈥淪ay yes,鈥 he says in a breath. 鈥淧lease say yes.鈥
It鈥檚 simple, a golden band with three little diamonds lined up in a row, round and very real. It looks so small in his hand, dainty. Unreal.
You swallow, tears burning your eyes. 鈥淵ou didn鈥檛鈥擝ucky, goddamnit, you didn鈥檛 ask.鈥
He curses and a wet giggle bubbles up your throat.
鈥淚鈥檓 sorry baby, shit, I鈥檓 so bad at this.鈥 Bucky groans. 鈥淚 love you so fucking much. I know you deserve better but doll, I can鈥檛 live without you. I never thought I could, even before I almost lost you. So please, please, don鈥檛 leave me again. Will you marry me?鈥
鈥淵es,鈥 you answer, grabbing the back of his head and pulling him down to meet your mouth. He can hardly kiss you, his grin too wide, and you rest your forehead against his as you laugh and laugh and laugh, sneaking pecks between Bucky鈥檚 chuckles.
He slips the ring onto your finger and kisses a hot, ticklish trail over your knuckles to the back of your hand, the cut of the diamonds catching a glint of light from the soft glow of the lamp beside the bed.
鈥淚 love you, Bucky.鈥 Your mouth tastes of salt when he kisses you and you aren鈥檛 sure if it鈥檚 your tears or his this time.
鈥淚 love you,鈥 he murmurs against your lips. 鈥淚鈥檓 here.鈥
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goodomensbloga year ago
Text
Forget Me, Forget-Me-Not
Part 1/?聽
Prompt:聽 鈥淚鈥檒l do anything for you. Anything.鈥
Part 1: The Fall
- - - - - -
鈥淎ziraphale.鈥
The name is a whisper. Hardly more than a breath; and it slips out, a careful caress between split, bloody lips.聽
Aziraphale has him by the arm, and Crowley鈥檚 vision flares white as his broken wrist bends.聽
Aziraphale has yet to speak, though it鈥檚 unlikely Crowley could hear much of anything over the ringing in his ears. Beneath him, sparkling marble is slipping away entirely too quickly. They鈥檝e passed Heaven鈥檚 gate. Beyond it is a white marble path, and beyond that, a ledge. Beneath, lies void space. Earth - and then Hell, lie an unfathomable distance below the emptiness.
He won鈥檛 survive the fall a second time. Not bound as he is, wings bent and broken at his back.
Aziraphale鈥檚 fingers are a brutal pressure around his skin.
And it鈥檚 not Aziraphale鈥檚 touch. It鈥檚 not. But Crowley knows those hands, is intimately familiar with the soft, barely there callus on the inside of his angel鈥檚 thumb, of the cool pressure of his rounded, manicured nails. This is not Aziraphale, but Crowley grounds himself in what he recognizes in his touch.
The edge is nearing, and reality is tightening like a rope round Crowley鈥檚 neck. Aziraphale鈥檚 grip is firm, and Crowley is spent. He can鈥檛 fight. Not even if he wanted to.
鈥淎ngel,鈥 Crowley says, a hoarse whisper. 鈥淩emember yourself. Remember me.鈥
Aziraphale鈥檚 marching steps carry on. Cold marble bites at Crowley鈥檚 skin.
He鈥檚 hauled up, lifted by hard hands. For a moment, everything spins. The courtyard, the glowing gate, the angel holding him by the lapels of his jacket, dangling him like a wet rag atop the edge.
And then Aziraphale鈥檚 icy, unblinking eyes occupy the entirety of his vision.聽
鈥淵ou鈥檙e gonna do it,鈥 Crowley breathes, and the realization is a heavy sinking thing. He feels it in his very core.
Shuddering, he strains to snap the bonds around his wrists. He can鈥檛 - he knows he can鈥檛 break free of Aziraphale鈥檚 hold, but he鈥檇 like to touch him one last time. It seems entirely too cruel that he can鈥檛.
But the ropes hold firm, and Crowley, panting, licks his lips as he stares into the face of the being he loves most in the entirety of the universe.聽
He should be terrified. Or angry. But there鈥檚 only one thought, circling, a remorseless mantra in his mind.
This will destroy Aziraphale.聽
Demons do not pray. At least, not to God.
At this point, however, Crowley is beyond caring. And he isn鈥檛 entirely sure whom he is addressing when he frantically, desperately prays:聽If - when Aziraphale comes back to himself, please, please let him forget he鈥檚 done this.
鈥淚t鈥檚 time, Aziraphale.鈥
Gabriel鈥檚 voice is hard, pressing. Not an inch is left for argument.
There isn鈥檛, of course, even the slightest risk of argument. Not from Aziraphale as he is now.
Crowley shudders as Aziraphale lifts him up. The tips of his shoes slip off the edge.
Blinking stinging blood from his eyes, Crowley squints, seeking any sign - any hint of the angel, his kind, clever angel in that emotionless face.聽
If he鈥檚 there, Crowley can鈥檛 find him, and for Crowley, this is a reality more devastating than that of his impending fall.
He hiccups, blood dribbling over his lips and chin, and wonders if someday Aziraphale will wake up, remember himself, and have this last image of Crowley seared like a cruel brand in his brain.
It is an agonizing thought, and dangling over the edge of space, the demon seeks to remedy it in the only way he knows how.
Relaxing into Aziraphale鈥檚 iron grip, he parts his lips, smiling the smile he鈥檚 only ever worn for Aziraphale.
鈥淗ey. Hey. S鈥檙eally not that bad,鈥 Crowley croaks, nodding to his shoulder and back at his wings. 鈥淚鈥檝e had worse. Probably.鈥
Frigid, icy wind gusts up from the void space below, and it burns with the sharp bite of nothingness as it crawls up his back, playing with the back of his blazer.
Aziraphale鈥檚 expression is slack, empty.
Behind him, Crowley can make out Gabriel鈥檚 hulking figure. His arm is raised, and Crowley knows what his next order will be.
Holding those cool blue eyes, Crowley hisses, hurried, frantic, 鈥淣ot your fault angel, please. It鈥檚 not your fault and I don鈥檛 blame you. You know I would鈥檝e done anything for you. Anything. This is okay - it鈥檚 -鈥澛
The angel鈥檚 grip slackens and Crowley jerks, slipping down.
鈥-angel,鈥 Crowley gasps, 鈥測ou鈥檙e the best thing that has happened to me. In all my life - my long existence. And I don鈥檛 regret it. Not one single thing. Aziraphale, I love-鈥
鈥淒rop him.鈥
Aziraphale makes a startled noise, low in his throat, and he blinks, lashes fluttering.聽
And Crowley catches a glimpse, just a flash of Aziraphale, his Aziraphale in those wide, watery eyes, but it鈥檚 enough. It鈥檚 enough -
鈥淎ziraphale!鈥 Gabriel barks.
Aziraphale鈥檚 fingers reflexively release.
And Crowley falls.
.
.
Time is strange.
After the almost apocalypse, they had a year. A year鈥檚 worth of walks in the park, of white table-clothed dinners; a year of waking up together, soft sunlight slipping between the curtains, warming twisted sheets and tangled limbs.
A year.聽
In terms of time, it is nothing. Compared to six thousand, a single year is the space of a single breath. A blink. A heartbeat.聽
And yet, it was everything.聽
Happiness was suddenly more than a word, more than an idea Crowley conceptually understood. In that year, happiness had crept up on Crowley, crawling up and inside of him, taking up permanent residence within the curve of his ribs. It felt good.
He鈥檇 known - of course he鈥檇 known, in the bittersweet way that one does, that all good things must eventually come to an end. But he was a demon, after all, and as such, he was more than willing to resort to duplicitous deeds and trickery to steal more time for themselves when the inevitable end came. Though he had expected that inevitable end to be many, many more years yet in coming.
A year really is no time at all.
Crowley wasn鈥檛 ready. He鈥檇 had no time to prepare.
How could he?
Everything had been wonderful. Unimaginably perfect.
And he鈥檇 had no idea of the signs he should be on the lookout for. He couldn鈥檛 possibly have known.
One week before Crowley fell, before his wings were broken, before he and Aziraphale once more found themselves bathed in Heaven鈥檚 oppressively white light - it had been, looking from the outside in, an unremarkable morning.
Crowley, face-down in bed, his legs tangled in blankets and head buried in pillows, wakes to the sound of shifting and shuffling.
Blinking the bleariness from his vision, Crowley pulls his head free of the pillows.聽
Aziraphale is puttering around the room, lifting piles of books, checking beneath and around them, setting them back, then turning to lift and look beneath another.
Squinting against the bright morning light, Crowley asks, 鈥淲hat are you doing, angel?鈥
Or rather, he tries to.
The sound that escapes his lips sounds something more like: 鈥渨ha鈥檙you鈥檇oin鈥檊el?鈥
Aziraphale does, of course, understand.
Hands on his hips, he huffs a frustrated breath. 鈥淚鈥檝e lost the Babylonian Merchant鈥檚 Journal. The one I was studying. Just yesterday.鈥
Wiggling up, Crowley perches his elbows on the pillows. 鈥淵ou lost a book?鈥 he teases, closing his eyes as the sun falls over his back. 鈥淲hen was the last time you did that?鈥
鈥淚 have never lost a book, my dear. This one, it鈥檚 just...misplaced.鈥
鈥淲here did you have it last?鈥 Crowley mumbles, sinking down into the pillows.
鈥淭hat just the thing - I can鈥檛 remember!鈥
Crowley squints an eye open. 鈥淚 do. You were reading it after dinner. With a cup of tea, in the kitchen. Was when I was slithering around the rafters, scaring away your rats.鈥
Looking triumphant, Aziraphale snaps his fingers, and the book appears in his palm.
鈥淭hank you, dear. I don鈥檛 know how I forgot.鈥
鈥淒on鈥檛 see why you couldn鈥檛 just miracle it in the first place.鈥
At that, Aziraphale manages to look more than a bit embarrassed. 鈥淵ou see, I couldn鈥檛 seem to imagine it clearly, and you know how badly a summoning can go if you don鈥檛 have a clear picture.鈥
鈥淭his is a sign,鈥 Crowley says, with all of the solemnity he can muster.
鈥淥f what?鈥
鈥淵ou should hold off on reading and join me in bed,鈥 Crowley says, rolling over to make room. 鈥淧romise to make it worth your while.鈥
Aziraphale, looks up from his book, eyes flashing mischievously in the morning light.
鈥淥h you do?鈥
鈥淗ave I ever not?鈥
鈥淵es, a very good point.鈥
At which point, the book is set aside and Aziraphale鈥檚 difficulty finding it forgotten.
At least, until two days later, when Crowley and Aziraphale are on their weekly phone call with Adam and Anathema and Newt, and the angel comes to the abrupt and uncomfortable realization that he鈥檚 forgotten their human friends鈥 faces and names.
- - - - - -聽
Thank you for reading! This was a short, kind-of-prologue. Part 2 is in the works :)
Part 2
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klinenovakwinchester10 months ago
Text
illicit affairs (Spencer Reid one-shot)
This is wayyy overdue! It鈥檚 just been sitting in my drafts, waiting for me to edit her, but she鈥檚 finally here. This is very loosely based on Taylor Swift鈥檚 song of the same title. And it鈥檚 100% me writing out some feelings through fanfiction, so it鈥檚 also loosely based on true events. Enjoy!
Summary: You and Spencer have been 鈥渄ating鈥 without a label for a few months now, until you witness something that has you wondering if it was too good to be true (as always).
Warnings: it鈥檚 so dramatic. Angst with a happy ending!
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Spencer has no fucking clue what he did.
Well, to be more accurate, Spencer has no idea if he even did anything at all.
One second the two of you were acting as normal as ever, attached at the hip and nothing less, and the next you鈥檙e barely able to look at him. You won鈥檛 speak to him, you insist you鈥檙e fine, and you ask him to leave you alone -- please.
A new case comes and he thinks things will fall back into their rightful place. He expects you to sit with him on the plane, but you choose the farthest seat away from him. He expects you鈥檒l be paired with him when he says he鈥檒l go to the local station to work on victimology, but instead you agree to Morgan鈥檚 offer to look at the crime scene.
He鈥檚 desperate. He鈥檚 a so-called genius, and he鈥檚 losing his mind.
鈥淢organ, help me out here, man,鈥 Spencer pleads, cornering Morgan when he鈥檚 getting a coffee. He鈥檚 just returned from the crime scene with you, but of course, you鈥檝e ducked away from Spencer.
Derek鈥檚 eyebrows raise. Slowly, he turns around, eyeing the desperate genius. 鈥淵ou鈥檙e asking for my advice?鈥
鈥淪he won鈥檛 talk to me,鈥 Spencer whispers, eyes cutting to you, but only for a second. He doesn鈥檛 want you to think he鈥檚 creepily staring at you all the time. So far, you haven鈥檛 caught him (that he knows of).
鈥淲ell, what did you do?鈥 Morgan asks like the answer should be blatantly obvious.
鈥淚 don鈥檛 know!鈥
鈥淎lright, let me rephrase that for you,鈥 Morgan鈥檚 tone is bordering on teasing, but he can鈥檛 help it. The resident genius of the BAU is having trouble talking to a woman. Who knew? 鈥淗ave you done anything that would lead her to believe you鈥檙e not interested in her anymore?鈥
鈥淲hat? No!鈥
鈥淭hink, Reid,鈥 Morgan replies, tipping his cup of coffee in the air. 鈥淎nd when you figure it out, apologize.鈥
He leaves without another word. Morgan joins you and Emily back in the room where the team has set up base. You share a particularly heated look with Morgan, but he shakes his head, letting you know he didn鈥檛 betray your confidence. You relax.
Spencer doesn鈥檛 know this, but earlier when you were riding with Morgan to the crime scene, you confided in him.
It had been completely accidental. Something about car rides brings out the need to ask for advice. Maybe it鈥檚 the fact that there鈥檚 the road to focus on, or the case to segway into, you don鈥檛 know. But what you do know, is that when you confided in Morgan, he shook his head, and called Spencer a dumbass.
鈥淗ypothetically,鈥 you had begun, and Morgan remembers wondering if you were going to talk about the case, but you didn鈥檛. 鈥淚f you鈥檝e been talking-- flirting with a guy and going on a few dates over the past few months -- but there鈥檚 no label -- but so if you鈥檝e been doing all this and then you suddenly see him outside his apartment hugging another woman -- like arms around her waist kind of deal, face in her neck...what does that mean?鈥
Morgan had nearly slammed on the brakes. Reid? A two-timer? He never would鈥檝e guessed. The kid could barely get his words out when he first met you, and now he鈥檚 playing you?
鈥淲ell, hypothetically,鈥 Morgan played into your game. 鈥淚鈥檇 be suspicious. Personally, I don鈥檛 just hug any woman like that if I don鈥檛 have other intentions,鈥 he shook his head. What you鈥檙e describing is intimate, especially for Reid. 鈥淵ou鈥檙e right to think something else is going on.鈥
鈥淲ho said it was about me?鈥
Morgan looked at you with his usual knowing stare. Sometimes you forget you鈥檙e all profilers. You鈥檝e made deals not to profile one another, but you鈥檙e sure it still happens. You all have another silence agreement to never voice it aloud, unless needed.
鈥淔ine,鈥 you caved, crossing your arms over your chest. 鈥淚 don鈥檛 know, I just-- I was going to drop off his stupid jacket that he left in my car the night before, and I saw him hugging her right on his doorstep and she kissed his cheek and I just-- I bolted. I don鈥檛 know.鈥 You had let out a frustrated sigh. 鈥淚 thought he was different.鈥
鈥淚f it helps,鈥 Morgan shrugged, 鈥淚鈥檒l kick his ass.鈥 He might protect Reid like a mother hen, but he鈥檚 not afraid to give him a hard time, either.
鈥淣o, no, don鈥檛,鈥 you groaned. 鈥淚鈥檓 just gonna keep my distance. No sense in putting effort into something that clearly is never going to happen.鈥
鈥淥h, come on, don鈥檛 talk like that,鈥 Morgan said. You used to talk that way all the time when you first started at the BAU, but it slowly died out the more you hung out with Spencer. Morgan connected the dots, but never told you.
鈥淵ou know I鈥檝e never been in a relationship?鈥
This time, Morgan did slam on the brakes.
鈥淲hat?鈥
鈥淣ever,鈥 you shook your head, motioning for him to keep driving. 鈥淣ot one. They all fall through. I started thinking something was wrong with me, you know?鈥 Morgan gave you another look, his sad, big brother one this time. 鈥淏ut then Spencer and I started getting closer, he took me on what I thought, I guess, were a couple of dates. I mean, he paid and drove and walked me to my door and all that cute shit. That鈥檚 a date, right? I mean, he never kissed me on the lips, but it鈥檚 Spencer.鈥 You didn鈥檛 even look to see Morgan鈥檚 reaction, but he was nodding. 鈥淚 started to think maybe it was never me, maybe it was the guys--鈥
鈥淚t was the guys,鈥 Morgan argued. 鈥淎lright? You鈥檙e amazing. Anyone would be lucky to have you. It would be a damn honor. Don鈥檛 let that head of yours convince you otherwise.鈥
You shook your head, the crime scene rapidly approaching. 鈥淚鈥檓 not so sure anymore.鈥
You were out of the car and introducing yourself to the police on the scene before Morgan could even blink.
Morgan can only hope Reid had a good reason for having a woman at his door and hugging her, and letting her kiss his cheek. Reid doesn鈥檛 give hugs to just anyone, let alone accept a kiss, so whoever it was, obviously she was more than a friend.
The thought of Reid being a player makes Morgan smile. On the one hand, he鈥檚 a little bit proud. On the other, he鈥檚 pissed. It鈥檚 one thing to have one night stands with women who are into that sort of thing, but it鈥檚 another to drag someone along -- someone like you, someone who is too good, who deserves better than that.
Morgan had thought about telling you to just talk to Spencer, in hopes that there was a good reason for what you saw, but you鈥檝e made it painfully clear over the past two weeks that you鈥檇 rather keep your distance instead.
So, he lets you. He can鈥檛 say that he blames you, really. Not after what you told him. He can only hope Spencer will figure this one out before it鈥檚 too late.
+++
After the case is closed and you鈥檙e back home, you immediately head for the shower. Cases are exhausting enough, but avoiding Spencer made it worse. Going from being attached at the hip to trying to be anywhere except in the same room as him took a toll on you. Not to mention, dodging everyone else鈥檚 worried looks. Morgan is the only one you鈥檝e confided in, but that hasn鈥檛 stopped Hotch, Emily, JJ, and even Garcia from constantly asking if you鈥檙e alright.
Once you鈥檙e finished showering and in your pajamas, you head back to the living area. Spencer鈥檚 forgotten cardigan lays on the arm of your couch, lonely.
You know you shouldn鈥檛, but you shrug it on anyway. No harm in wearing it. Not like he misses it. He probably has a hundred others.
You head to the kitchen to make yourself some tea, hoping it鈥檒l soothe your nerves and help you drift off to sleep before your mind has the time to make you think of Spencer.
Too late.
Sighing heavily, you place the kettle on the stove. You hum a song while you鈥檙e at it, knowing that you鈥檙e being endlessly dramatic.
It鈥檚 not like you had sex with Spencer. Hell, the most the two of you did was hold hands and you kissed his cheek. He kissed your head once, though you think it was an accident.
Still, there was never a label. Why are you so upset?
Don鈥檛 call me kid, don鈥檛 call me baby/Look at this idiotic fool that you made me
It鈥檚 stupid, really, how hung up you are over this. A few dates don鈥檛 exactly mean anything at all. Flirting nowadays can mean nothing, too. You don鈥檛 understand any of it.
You cup your cheek gently, foolishly wondering what it would feel like if Spencer鈥檚 hand was there instead -- maybe even as he kissed you, but you don鈥檛 want to get too carried away. It鈥檚 not like anything will ever happen now.
And you know damn well/for you I would ruin myself/a million little times
Maybe you just need more time. This was the first time in a long time that you had let your guard down, let yourself go on dates. So many times it had all gone wrong, so you closed yourself off and focused on your career. You thought since you were stable at the BAU that now it was okay.
You thought Spencer -- Spencer Reid, of all people, you really thought he would鈥檝e been different.
Maybe it鈥檚 just your type. Maybe that鈥檚 who you attract. The men who don鈥檛 want anything serious and never will. They鈥檙e stuck in Peter Pan mode. You must be Wendy. It must be a curse.
The kettle boils and you cut the burner off, fixing your tea.
You鈥檙e just walking back to the living room when there鈥檚 a knock on your door. You freeze, your panicked mind expecting the absolute worst, until you hear Spencer鈥檚 voice.
鈥淵/N?鈥 He calls out. 鈥淚t鈥檚 Spencer-- You probably knew that already.鈥
You smile into your tea, but you make no move for the door. You want-- no, you ache to let him inside, but you know it鈥檚 a bad idea. He鈥檚 probably here to ask if you鈥檙e alright, and you don鈥檛 have the energy to answer him. He鈥檚 probably going to go back to his girlfriend after this. You really don鈥檛 know that you can handle a face-to-face rejection.
鈥淵/N, please,鈥 Spencer says again, pleading. He knocks once more, quietly. 鈥淚 see lights are on, so I鈥檓 just going to...assume you can hear me.鈥
You walk a step closer. You don鈥檛 want to let him inside, but maybe you can listen. That won鈥檛 be too bad, right?
鈥淵/N, I鈥檓...I鈥檓 sorry.鈥
Oh, tears. Stupid, stupid tears. You wipe them on the sleeve of his cardigan, glad that they鈥檙e at least falling quietly right now.
鈥淚 don鈥檛 know what I did, but I鈥檓...I鈥檓 just sorry and I miss you and it鈥檚 killing me that you won鈥檛 even look at me. I鈥︹ Spencer pauses, and you walk closer, biting on the sleeve to keep from letting out a sob. 鈥淚鈥檓 sorry, I don鈥檛鈥 Please, just tell me what I did.鈥
You press your back to the door, sliding down until you hit the floor. You keep your knees against your chest and set the mug of tea down next to you. The noise causes Spencer鈥檚 ears to perk up.
鈥淵/N? Is that you?鈥
鈥淵eah, Spencer,鈥 you barely speak loud enough for him to hear. 鈥淚t鈥檚 me.鈥
鈥淧lease, tell me what I did,鈥 he pleads, voice breaking. Is he crying, too? 鈥淚 don鈥檛 know what it was, but I鈥檒l fix it. Or I鈥檒l try-- Please, let me try.鈥
鈥淪pencer鈥︹ You sigh, tears falling down your cheeks with no restraint. 鈥淏e honest with me, are you seeing someone else?鈥 You pause, choking on a sob. So many times you鈥檝e had this conversation, the rejection, finding out you weren鈥檛 the one they wanted. Too many times. But none of them ever hurt this bad. 鈥淒o you have a girlfriend?鈥
鈥淲hat?鈥 Spencer nearly falls over. Why on earth would you think that? 鈥淲hat are you talking about? Of course not.鈥
鈥淒on鈥檛 lie to me, please,鈥 you groan, pressing your hand to your forehead. This is pathetic. You shouldn鈥檛 be showing him how upset you are. And through a door, no less. Can you get any more dramatic?
鈥淲hat are you talking about?鈥
鈥淚 was at your apartment, Spencer,鈥 you mutter, wiping angrily at your cheeks. 鈥淚 went to drop off this stupid cardigan of yours and you-- You were hugging a woman outside your door and I saw it and I saw her kiss you--鈥
You cut yourself off, choking on another sob, and Spencer sighs. He understands now.
鈥淥pen the door. Please,鈥 he says.
鈥淲hy?鈥 You reply quietly. 鈥淚f you鈥檙e just going to reject me, please, just do it through the door.鈥 The last thing you want is for him to see you like this when he tells you he鈥檚 seeing someone else, that he didn鈥檛 even know you liked him, and so on.
鈥淚鈥檓 not rejecting you,鈥 he says softly. 鈥淧lease.鈥
You know it鈥檚 a bad idea, but how much worse can things get?
You stand to your feet and open the door, careful of the mug of tea on the floor. Spencer鈥檚 heart drops at the sight of you. Tear stains on your cheeks, red eyes, your quivering lip as you try to hold things together, and...his cardigan hanging off your shoulders. Somehow the last tops it all off, sends a strike of pain right to his heart.
You wipe some more tears away with the sleeve, motioning for him to start talking. 鈥淕o on.鈥
鈥淪he鈥檚 an old friend. We did kiss before, once. But she鈥檚 not my girlfriend. She was in town and wanted to stop by to tell me she鈥檚 getting married...to her girlfriend of three years.鈥
You nod slowly. For some reason, that doesn鈥檛 even make you feel better. 鈥淥kay.鈥
鈥淥kay?鈥 Spencer asks, hopeful tone and all. 鈥淎re we okay?鈥
鈥淲hat are we, Spencer?鈥 You ask, eyes still watering. 鈥淚 can鈥檛 keep going on the way we were going, you know? It鈥檚 agonizing, I just want to know what鈥檚 going on in your head.鈥
Spencer smiles softly. 鈥淚 want you to...to be my girlfriend.鈥
Your ears are deceiving you. They must be. 鈥淎re you sure?鈥
鈥淥f course I鈥檓 sure. I thought it was obvious,鈥 he chuckles. 鈥淭hat鈥檚 one of the things I talked to her about -- her name鈥檚 Jess. She invited me-- us to the wedding. I was gonna ask you to be my girlfriend-- I still want to, I mean, if you鈥檒l have me.鈥
More tears spring to your eyes and Spencer鈥檚 heart jumps, thinking he did something completely wrong.
鈥淲hat happened? Did I say something?鈥
鈥淣o,鈥 you shake your head. 鈥淕od.鈥 You wipe at your cheeks before turning and retreating back into your apartment. Spencer has no choice but to follow you.
He spots your mug of tea and places it on the coffee table as he shuts your front door gently with his foot.
鈥淚鈥檓 so...stupid,鈥 you mutter, jumping when you see he鈥檚 followed you inside. He鈥檚 not unwelcome here by any means, you鈥檙e just an idiot. A huge idiot.
鈥淵ou鈥檙e not stupid,鈥 he argues. 鈥淚 wish you would鈥檝e talked to me.鈥
鈥淲ould you believe me if I told you this has happened to me before?鈥 You murmur pathetically, propping your body against the arm of your couch.
Spencer鈥檚 heart breaks more. You won鈥檛 look at him again.
鈥淚鈥檓 sorry,鈥 you sigh, clasping your hands together, fighting the shakes. 鈥淚 should鈥檝e talked to you, I just-- This has happened before and those times it was鈥 Well, you know.鈥 You finally look up at him, tears falling. 鈥淭he first time the guy didn鈥檛 even try hiding it. The second one did, but not very well because I still found out. The third wasn鈥檛 even aware that he was flirting with me, I guess. I don鈥檛 know how you can take someone on dates for months and not be aware, but he said he wasn鈥檛.鈥 You pause, looking away again. 鈥淚 just saw a pattern and I freaked out and I鈥檓 sorry.鈥
鈥淚t鈥檚 okay,鈥 Spencer whispers, even though you still feel like it鈥檚 not.
You shake your head.
鈥淵/N, it is,鈥 he presses on. 鈥淚 should鈥檝e...talked to you about how I鈥檓 feeling, but I was scared. You鈥檙e the first girl that鈥檚-- I don鈥檛 know, liked me for me, I guess. Dorkiness and all.鈥
You chuckle, and Spencer nearly grins. He got a laugh. That鈥檚 something.
鈥淗ow about we both make a deal to communicate better?鈥 He offers. You nod, so he keeps going. 鈥淚鈥檒l go first. I really want you to be my girlfriend.鈥
You can鈥檛 help but smile now, all dumb and trying to hide it in the sleeve of his cardigan. 鈥淚鈥檇 really love to be your girlfriend.鈥
鈥淵eah?鈥 He asks, almost like he wasn鈥檛 even expecting you to agree, but you nod, confirming it for his genius brain.
The kiss the two of you share is a long time coming. It鈥檚 gentle and warm, relaxing your muscles and easing the tension you鈥檝e held in them for the past two weeks. Spencer gathers you in his arms, keeping you close, with zero intent of ever letting you go.
+++
When you walk into the BAU the next morning, you are painfully reminded that you are surrounded by the best profilers in the country.
It鈥檚 no secret that you and Spencer have been 鈥渄ating鈥 for a while, but you never showed PDA -- partly because the two of you were fumbling around your true feelings, and partly because you鈥檙e not too sure how relationships stand with protocol here.
Apparently, despite coming in fifteen minutes apart from one another, everyone can see right through you both.
Morgan is the first to say something. He catches you when the elevator doors open and you have Spencer鈥檚 cardigan hanging over your shoulders. In your defense, Spencer forgot to grab it when he left your house sometime this morning, so you were just trying to return it -- again.
鈥淟ate night?鈥 Morgan raised his eyebrows.
Realizing your mistake, your eyes widen. 鈥淪hut up.鈥 You step off the elevator and point a threatening finger in his face. 鈥淣ot a word.鈥
Morgan鈥檚 hands raise in surrender, but he still has that goddamn smile on his face. 鈥淢ight wanna take off that cardigan, sweetheart. You鈥檙e too obvious.鈥
Angrily, you shrug it off and walk into the bullpen.
Spencer is at his desk, so you shove his cardigan into his chest. 鈥淵ou forgot this.鈥
Upon seeing that it鈥檚 you, Spencer鈥檚 lips stretch into a grin. 鈥淭hanks.鈥 He pauses, folding the cardigan over his arm. 鈥淚 was kind of hoping you鈥檇 keep it,鈥 he whispers, eyes darting around to be sure no one is listening. 鈥淚t looks better on you, anyway.鈥
You bite down hard on the inside of your cheek. 鈥淕ive it to me tonight, then,鈥 you wink, earning a light blush on Spencer鈥檚 cheeks.
Hotch watches this encounter from the railing and smiles. He鈥檚 sure neither of you will do anything to warrant him giving you a stern talk about relationships and work, so he won鈥檛 mention anything for now.
Instead, he retreats back into his office, glad you鈥檝e finally gotten over yourselves.
Garcia catches on when you come to visit her in her office only to find Spencer already standing there. He鈥檚 animatedly talking about Doctor Who, but stops abruptly when he sees you. It doesn鈥檛 take a profiler to understand the glances, the smiles, and awkward goodbyes that were shared so you could ask Garcia a question.
Prentiss is just glad the two of you will look at one another again, but the way you keep glancing over her shoulder to see Spencer is more than obvious. It鈥檚 so obvious that Prentiss and JJ share a knowing look, but say nothing. They should鈥檝e placed bets.
You and Spencer catch each other鈥檚 eyes more than a dozen times every hour, and he follows you to the break room to conveniently get a coffee at the same time as you.
Yeah, you鈥檙e not being obvious at all.
Neither of you notice that the team has caught on, so you take your chances when you find yourselves alone in the break room. You can practically hear the conversations the rest of the team is having out in the bullpen, so you let Spencer pull you into his arms, his chin resting on top of your head.
This is a lot for Spencer, and you too, if you鈥檙e honest. Hugs are something you never found yourself enjoying, but when you鈥檙e tucked into Spencer鈥檚 chest, you never want to leave.
You鈥檙e both too busy holding one another to hear Hotch鈥檚 footsteps as he enters the room. The clearing of his throat is what finally breaks the two of you apart.
鈥淎gent Hotchner,鈥 you blurt, straightening yourself and taking one too many steps away from Reid.
Hotch smirks. You haven鈥檛 called him that since your first day. 鈥淣ew case. Looks like a short one. Conference room in five minutes.鈥
And he leaves as quick as he came, chuckling under his breath.
You and Spencer share a look before dissolving into laughter and fixing your coffee. You don鈥檛 try to walk out of the break room separately, knowing that there鈥檚 no use.
Especially not when you get cold on your way to the conference room, and Spencer promptly wraps you in his cardigan.
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jcwriting3 months ago
Text
Written in the Stars
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summary 鈫 being soulmates with a werewolf? pretty easy. being jungkook鈥檚 soulmate? the easiest thing in the world. there鈥檚 only one teensy tiny problem. he doesn鈥檛 want to fuck you.
pairing 鈫 werewolf!jungkook x reader
genre 鈫爏oulmate!au, abo verse, fluff, angst, hurt/comfort (this is so fucking dramatic and for what)
word count 鈫 10.4k my hand slipped
warnings 鈫爏wearing, angst (but with a happy ending bc im a sappy bitch), jk is stupid in love (emphasis on stupid), mentions of violence (very brief and i don鈥檛 go into too much detail but just to warn yall), slight nsfw (sex is a big topic for like half of this but not sex is had...i know im shocked too), half of this is background info/setting up the story the other half is finally addressing the summary lolol, jk is kind of an asshole but he has reasons!!!!!
authors note 鈫爃ello lovelies! here鈥檚 a small little thing for you all (laughs in 10k word count). this has been sitting in my drafts for fucking ever and i just needed to get it out there and out of my hands. im thinking about writing a part two where the actual ~*/sex/*~ is had but im still on the fence about that. please let me know what you think! i literally crave your interactions so pls dont be shy,,,,,okay love you bye :)
(ps i was so close to naming this Rewrite the Stars but since this has absolutely nothing to do with The Greatest Showman i didn鈥檛. but i was close,,,,so fucking close)
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You always knew Jeon Jungkook was destined for great things.
It was written in the stars, your mother had told you after he had first stepped foot into your family-owned grocery store. Your mother didn鈥檛 have any special powers, she just had a thing for astrology. While you normally shrugged off her random proclamations about divine intervention and planetary alignments, you found that Jungkook was something you couldn鈥檛 ignore or chalk up as your mother鈥檚 latest tea leaf reading.
From the moment you set eyes on him you knew he was different. While your family held zero claim to any sort of mystical or magical inclinations, you were well aware of those who did. It was no secret that non-humans roamed the Earth in plain sight, even though it had taken humans eons to realize this. After years of savage wars and civil unrest, agreements had come into place and governing bodies were adjusted to accept the changes that had finally been made. But, this was all before your time. You were the generation that was born into the period of peace, the first children to not experience bloodshed before they could walk. The world you knew now was almost a complete one-eighty of what it had been.
Where before those who were not of human blood had to do everything they could to blend in, now could be free of the shadows. Your classrooms had both humans and non-humans in their rosters. Some of your teachers were hybrids. Curriculum expanded to teach humans about a world that had once been entirely unknown to them. One of your favorite teachers was a witch who regaled your tenth grade class with stories of goblin wars, wizard duels, and vampire covens. All tales that you had once thought were nothing but fiction were now anything but.
Which is why, the second Jeon Jungkook entered the grocery store that your parents owned and that you had worked at since you were old enough to speak in full sentences, you knew who he was. You didn鈥檛 even question it.
He was a werewolf. A powerful one. You could see it in the way he carried himself. The purposeful strides he took down the narrow aisles, the confidence in his broad shoulders. Humans weren鈥檛 nearly as sensitive as their hybrid counterparts but you also paid attention in your classes. Or, perhaps you were more aware than other humans. Never in your life did you have the issues other faced when meeting a non-human for the first time. You always knew who they were without them having to tell you. You just knew.
So, when Jeon Jungkook stepped up to your register with a bottle of water and some raw beef, you didn鈥檛 flinch. Didn鈥檛 bend under his dark gaze or shuffle your feet in an awkward attempt to break the silence. Instead, you flashed him your customer service smile and rang up his items. He didn鈥檛 say a word as he paid, barely sparing you a second glance as he strode out of the store.
鈥淗e鈥檚 going to be a great and powerful man,鈥 your mother said in that feathery light voice of hers. 鈥淚t was written in the stars.鈥
You couldn鈥檛 help but agree.
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Jeon Jungkook came into your store everyday for the next month. He bought the same thing every time. A bottle of water and a package of raw beef. The only time he spared you any words was to say thank you or the occasional hello if the sun was shining. Usually, he was alone. Sometimes, he came with a few members of his pack. You liked those days. He smiled a little brighter and talked a little louder when they were around. Especially around Taehyung.
Then, after a month, he didn鈥檛 come in. Not for an entire week. From Monday to Sunday, you hadn鈥檛 seen a hide nor hair of him. A part of you was worried, so worried that you almost stopped Taehyung in the middle of the street to ask of Jungkook鈥檚 whereabouts before realizing how insane that made you look, the other part was chastising yourself for caring. Jeon Jungkook was a customer. Nothing more, nothing less.
The following Monday had come and you had finally stopped glancing at the sliding doors every five minutes. You no longer expected his commanding presence to rock your little world. Instead, you continued your day as if it had been any other. That was, until, Jeon Jungkook stepped through the entrance looking as if he was walking on air. It didn鈥檛 take a genius to figure out why.
鈥淒id you have a good heat?鈥 You asked when he stepped up to your register. Jungkook fumbled the water bottle he had been setting onto the conveyer belt before turning to stare at you.
鈥淲hat did you just say?鈥
You didn鈥檛 shrink under his intense glare. 鈥淚 was asking if you enjoyed your heat. Seems like you did.鈥
鈥淗ow do you know I was in my rut?鈥
鈥淥h, is rut the correct terminology? Sorry, they always interchanged them in class, I was never sure what was appropriate.鈥 You shrugged and rang up his items. 鈥淚t was kind of obvious, though. You seemed pretty agitated about a week-and-a-half ago, then you disappear for a week, and now you鈥檙e back looking happier than ever. If it wasn鈥檛 your rut then I want to know where you went on vacation because that鈥檚 where I鈥檓 heading to next.鈥
Jungkook laughed. That almost made you jump out of your skin. You had never heard him laugh before. It was throaty, it was deep, and it was wonderful. 鈥淚鈥檒l be sure to send you the link to the Airbnb.鈥
鈥淎nd how do you plan on doing that?鈥
He smirked. 鈥淚鈥檓 here every day, aren鈥檛 I?鈥
You tilted your head as you accepted the cash he handed to you. 鈥淐learly, you鈥檙e not that reliable.鈥
Jungkook laughed again. It was becoming your new favorite sound. 鈥淢y apologies. I didn鈥檛 mean to appear flaky.鈥
鈥淵ou鈥檙e forgiven,鈥 you decided as you handed him the plastic bag of his purchases. Teasingly, you added, 鈥渏ust make sure it doesn鈥檛 happen again.鈥
He flashed you a smile that showed off his sharpened canines. 鈥淒on鈥檛 worry, darling. I never make the same mistake twice.鈥
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Jeon Jungkook kept his promise. He showed up everyday, like clockwork. Bought the same thing. Arrived at the same time. The only thing that changed was how he treated you. It wasn鈥檛 that he treated you badly before, he had always been polite. But now, he talked to you. He asked you questions and answered yours. More often than not, he laughed.
(It had become your favorite sound.)
For three months, this continued. The two of you had settled into a comfortable routine, something you relied on and expected. Until, he changed that.
Until, Jeon Jungkook asked you out on a date.
鈥淲hat did you just say?鈥
鈥淎re you free? Tonight?鈥 You glanced around, almost expecting to see some sort of supermodel posing behind you to explain the absolute absurdity of the situation. 鈥淲hat are you doing?鈥
鈥淟ooking for the hidden cameras. I think I鈥檓 getting Punk鈥檇.鈥
Jungkook sighed and placed both hands on the counter that separated the two of you. 鈥淟ook at me.鈥 You did. Slowly and warily, but you did. 鈥淒oes it look like I鈥檓 lying to you?鈥
Narrowing your eyes, you regarded him carefully. He seemed serious. But, then again, do you ever really know someone? 鈥淚 don鈥檛 know. I鈥檝e never actually seen you lie before so I wouldn鈥檛 know the difference.鈥
鈥淔ine. Ask me what color my shirt is.鈥
鈥淲hat color is your shirt?鈥
鈥淲hite,鈥 he deadpanned. You glanced down at his chest. His shirt was black.
鈥淛ungkook!鈥
He threw his head back and released a full bellied laugh. Even in your exasperation you couldn鈥檛 help but soften a little. 鈥淚鈥檓 sorry, darling. I couldn鈥檛 help myself.鈥 Annoyed, you huffed and spun to face the cash register. Stabbing your finger onto the touchscreen, you ignored Jungkook鈥檚 obvious presence on the opposite side of the counter. Until his hand reached around the card reader and grasped a hold of your chin. The warmth of his fingers forced your head to turn to meet his.
鈥淐ome to dinner with me.鈥 His voice was nothing but a rumble in his chest, his eyes so black and all-consuming you couldn鈥檛 do anything but agree with him. He seemed pleased by your response as his fingers tightened against your skin and a grateful smile flicked past his lips. His gaze darted down to your mouth and your breath froze in your chest.
鈥淎re you going to kiss me?鈥
Jungkook raised an eyebrow. 鈥淒o you want me to?鈥
鈥淣o.鈥 You tried to shake your head but his grip didn鈥檛 allow you much movement. He was taken aback by your answer, a small frown tugging at his mouth. You quickly backtracked to fix the situation. 鈥淚 don鈥檛 want our first kiss to be in a grocery store. That鈥檚 a new low that I refuse to reach.鈥
Jungkook chuckled and tapped your chin gently. 鈥淎lright, darling. I鈥檒l pick you up at seven.鈥
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Again, he kept his promise to you. He showed up at your parents house exactly at seven, wearing a button-down shirt and slacks. The tulips he had gotten for you was thrust into your hands the moment you opened the door. Flashing him a genuine smile, you hurried into the kitchen to set them in water while your mother grilled him on his birth time. You were quick to drag him away, practically throwing him towards the car as you waved goodbye.
鈥淪orry,鈥 you sighed as Jungkook opened the passenger door for you. 鈥淪he has a鈥hing for astrology. She鈥檚 probably creating your star map or whatever right now.鈥
鈥淚t鈥檚 okay,鈥 he responded once he got into the drivers seat. 鈥淚t鈥檚 sweet of her to care.鈥
You snorted. 鈥淪he鈥檚 delusional is what she is.鈥
鈥淪o, you鈥檙e saying you don鈥檛 believe in astrology?鈥
鈥淒o you?鈥
Jungkook shrugged as he pulled out of your dirt driveway. He looked so damn attractive behind the wheel it was honestly unfair. 鈥淣ot really saying I do or don鈥檛. All I know is that there are a lot of things out there that are out of our control. If believing in the stars and planets helps you gain some of that control back, I don鈥檛 think there鈥檚 anything wrong with that.鈥
鈥淕od, don鈥檛 talk like that in front of my mother. She鈥檒l want to start dating you.鈥
He grinned and placed a hand on your knee. 鈥淭ell her I鈥檓 already taken.鈥
You didn鈥檛 get a chance to respond to that. Not that he didn鈥檛 give you one, it was just that you literally had nothing to say. With just one sentence he opened the floodgates of your brain and the amount of thoughts that were flying through your conscious was painful. Anxiety fluttered in your stomach and you pressed your lips together to keep you from word vomiting onto him. No, it was better to keep your mouth shut and let the moment pass.
By the time you reached the restaurant you were a trembling mess of nerves. Were you guys dating? You thought this was just a 鈥榯esting the waters鈥 date, not a 鈥榶ou鈥檙e my girlfriend now鈥 date. Did you have to make it Facebook official? You hated that shit.
Jungkook didn鈥檛 comment on your obvious distress, though. He merely placed a hand on the small of your back, ignoring how you jerked in surprise, and led you into the quiet bistro. Nodding politely to the hostess who was practically panting at the sight of him (you honestly couldn鈥檛 blame her) and pulled out your chair for you. When he sat down, he started talking. Idle chat at first. Commenting on one of the dishes, asking about the college classes you were taking at your local university. Before you realized it, wine was in your glass and your shoulders were loose. Previous nerves forgotten, you lost yourself in Jungkook. You drank, you ate, you laughed, and genuinely enjoyed his company. Honestly, it was the best date you鈥檇 ever been on.
鈥淚 have to be honest with you,鈥 Jungkook spoke after he finished his raw steak. 鈥淚 have an ulterior motive for asking you here tonight.鈥
鈥淥h,鈥 you mumbled around the shrimp you had just tossed in your mouth. 鈥淪o鈥his isn鈥檛 a date?鈥
鈥淣o, it is,鈥 Jungkook clarified quickly around a dry chuckle. He seemed鈥ervous. It put you on edge immediately. 鈥淭his is definitely a date. And, also, more.鈥
鈥淢ore? What, is this a proposal too?鈥 You were joking. A 100% joking. But Jungkook was staring at you so seriously it made you panic. 鈥淛ungkook, if you get down on one knee here I swear-鈥
鈥淚鈥檓 not proposing,鈥 he assured you. 鈥淭his is something more than that.鈥
鈥淢ore?鈥 You parroted. Jungkook sighed.
鈥淒o you know what a true mate is?鈥
Right there, in that quaint little bistro, on a date with quite possibly the most untouchable man you鈥檇 ever met, he explained how you were irrevocably his. His true mate, his soulmate.
Jungkook explained everything in great detail, which you appreciated, because honestly, you had no words. He explained how when he was born, the witch who cared for him told his father that his future glared brightly ahead of him, but only when he met his other half. True mates were rare. Mating was common, the wolves in his pack could have multiple mates or a lifelong one, but true mates were destiny. Someone or something out there had forged the two of you together. You were essentially each others other half. He was made for you and you were made for him.
鈥淏ut鈥ren鈥檛 true mates only for wolves? I thought it鈥檚 impossible for a human to be a true mate,鈥 you asked in a shaky voice once Jungkook took a breath.
鈥淚t was supposed to be impossible. Until, I met you.鈥 Jungkook stared at you with a sort of reverence that made your entire body blush. 鈥淚 have no idea how you are. I鈥檝e spent hours researching. I鈥檝e consulted with members of my pack and others. No one knows why.鈥
鈥淎re you sure, though? I mean鈥hat if you鈥檙e wrong?鈥
鈥淚鈥檓 not.鈥 Jungkook shook his head. 鈥淚 visited the witch right after I met you. She took one look at me and told me that I had finally found my true mate. She said she鈥檇 never seen a future so bright before.鈥
You had no words for that. For the first time in your life, you were speechless. Jungkook seemed to understand. He let you sit in silence as he paid for the bill and walked you out to the car. The drive back to your parents house was the same. You couldn鈥檛 speak. The shock rendered you stupid.
By the time Jungkook pulled into the driveway you still hadn鈥檛 spoken a word to each other. You stepped out of the car before he could open the door for you. Walking up to the porch steps in a trance, you didn鈥檛 hear him follow you until he clasped your wrist in his hand. Turning to face him, you were surprised to see his brown eyes so big. They practically sparkled in the moonlight and he looked so soft and sweet you nearly melted into the wood beneath your feet.
鈥淧lease,鈥 he whispered. 鈥淐an you鈥ust - are you okay? You鈥檝e been so quiet. I鈥檓 worried I鈥檝e scared you off or something.鈥
With that voice, it was impossible to deny him. So, you said the first thing that popped in your head. 鈥淒o we have to make it Facebook official?鈥
Jungkook stared at you before bursting into laughter. 鈥淩eally? That鈥檚 all you have to say?鈥
You blushed and glanced down. 鈥淚鈥檓 just worried, that鈥檚 all. I can鈥檛 remember my Facebook password so even if you wanted to change it I don鈥檛 think it鈥檒l work.鈥
鈥淪o that鈥檚 why you never accepted my friend request,鈥 Jungkook teased. Before you could squeak out a response, he wrapped his arms around your waist and tugged you forward. You kept your arms crossed across your chest but let yourself fall against him.
鈥淒on鈥檛 make fun of me,鈥 you whined as you buried your face into his shoulder. He smelled so good, a mixture of pine and spice. 鈥淢y brain hasn鈥檛 worked since you told me I鈥檓 yours, so bear with me.鈥
Jungkook chuckled and gently swayed you from side to side. 鈥淒oes that mean you鈥檙e okay with this? All of this?鈥
Sighing, you lifted your head up and stepped away from him. Jungkook was not impressed and pulled you back to him. Your heart swelled in your chest and you wrapped your arms around his neck in consolation. 鈥淗onestly? I haven鈥檛 really processed anything. You鈥檝e had your whole life to come to terms with this. I just found out thirty minutes ago that I鈥檓 someone鈥檚 soulmate. It鈥檚 a lot to take in.鈥
Jungkook nodded as he tapped his fingers against your hips. 鈥淚 know. It鈥檚 a lot鈥鈥檓 a lot. I just want you to know that you don鈥檛 have to do this. You don鈥檛 have to be with me. I won鈥檛-鈥
Now it was your turn to burst into laughter. You couldn鈥檛 believe those words had left his mouth. It was easily the most absurd thing you鈥檇 ever heard. 鈥淛ungkook, I want to make something very clear. I have no problem being your true mate. That鈥檚 not the issue here. Well, there really isn鈥檛 an issue. It鈥檚 just鈥ard to believe, I guess. I have to process that this is my new reality.鈥
鈥淩eally?鈥 Jungkook perked up and looked so fucking cute you couldn鈥檛 help but cup his cheeks. His skin was so warm despite the cold autumn air that surrounded you both. 鈥淵ou want to do this? Be with me? Be mine?鈥 All you could do was nod. You were so overwhelmed with emotions. The shock was evident, but a piece of you was so happy. You felt whole.
Jungkook鈥檚 face split into a wide smile that caused his nose to scrunch up. He wrapped his arms around your waist and spun you around. Squealing, you slung your legs around his hips and held on. Normally, you鈥檇 rather die than show this much affection to someone. But, this was Jungkook. Your soulmate.
鈥淪o鈥hat do we do now?鈥 You asked once Jungkook set you down. 鈥淚s there, like, a ceremony or something?鈥
鈥淚 have no idea,鈥 he admitted as he stared down at you. He had a hand against your jaw and was rubbing your cheek tenderly. 鈥淚 really didn鈥檛 think I鈥檇 get this far.鈥
You scoffed at his ridiculousness. While recognizing you were Jungkook鈥檚 true mate was going to take some time, believing that he thought you鈥檇 deny him was utter nonsense. 鈥淲hat if鈥hat if we date, first?鈥 You suggested timidly. 鈥淚 know that sounds kind of weird considering we鈥檙e supposed to be the loves of each others lives. But, I don鈥檛 really know you all that well. And, I think this is going to take sometime for me to get used to. Maybe we should date, get to know each other, and just learn how to be with one another.鈥
鈥淲hatever you want,鈥 Jungkook agreed. 鈥淲e can do whatever you want. Just as long as I have you, I鈥檓 happy.鈥
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Two years passed.
Two blissful, wonderful years. Two years of dating, two years of loving, two years of being Jeon Jungkook鈥檚. It was everything you could鈥檝e asked for and more. You had never felt so loved and cherished in your entire life. He respected you, he took care of you, and most importantly, he was there for you in every sense. Since the moment you met him, you hadn鈥檛 been alone. He hadn鈥檛 let you. Jungkook knew you better than you knew yourself.
And, it was the same for him. You were there for him when he transitioned into the leader of his pack. You were there when he took over the CEO position from his father and encouraged and supported him every step of the way. You let yourself be loved and in return he let you love him. It was wonderful.
Except, for one tiny thing.
While the emotional aspect of your relationship flourished and bloomed into something beautiful, the physical side remained stagnant. Make out sessions and heavy petting were a norm in your relationship. At first, it didn鈥檛 bother you. In fact, you loved that Jungkook was taking things so slow and so seriously. But, eventually, your needs began to grow. You found yourself wanting him in more ways than one, wants that only he could satisfy. Jungkook refused. Every time.
It wasn鈥檛 like he refused your every need. No, Jungkook was extremely attentive. When it came to himself, that鈥檚 when things got dicy. He had no problem spending hours between your legs, worshipping you until you were crying from the overstimulation. Yet, he wouldn鈥檛 let you anywhere near him. Not without lack of trying on your part. The minute your hands went down to his waistband, he pushed you away. Every time you tried to dip your mouth to the obvious bulge in his pants, he lifted you up and kissed you breathless until you forgot your name. It wasn鈥檛 until after a year of dating that he finally let you grind on his clothed cock. Even then, he held off until you finished and then walked out with quite possibly the worst case of blue balls. You hated that he did this to himself. The worst part was, you couldn鈥檛 understand why.
The one time you had brought it up to him it had resulted in the worst fight the two of you had ever gotten into. It was the only argument that was never really resolved. After the yelling and the tears, all you got out of Jungkook was that mating with a wolf was not pretty. It was extremely dangerous and he refused to put you in that kind of danger. End of discussion. No matter how hard you tried to persuade him or broach the subject, he shut it down. Hard. Eventually, you gave up.
He even spent his ruts away from you. Every three months, he left you for a week. You knew he had a place somewhere up in the mountains and you assumed that鈥檚 where he went. You had no idea. There was no point even asking to come along. You loved your boyfriend and didn鈥檛 want to purposely give him a heart attack. You hated it when he left. As much as you tried to hide it and convince him that you were just fine, he wasn鈥檛 stupid. Being away from him was tough. A piece of you was missing whenever he was gone. And you were only whole again when he returned.
This past week had been one of those weeks. He had left on Sunday for the mountains. He was agitated and clingy, how he normally was pre-rut. Jungkook wouldn鈥檛 let you leave his side and you spent most of the weekend on his lap or wrapped in his arms. Not that you minded. When he left your parents house on Sunday night, you鈥檇 had to coax him out of the door. Promising him that you鈥檇 be okay and that you鈥檇 see him next week. It wasn鈥檛 until several kisses later did Jungkook finally leave.
While you鈥檇 been doing this for two years, it never got easier. More manageable? Sure. But definitely not easier. All you could do was go through the motions. You went to work at the local bakery, came home and helped your mom with dinner, watched TV with your dad before going to bed. Taehyung and Jimin would visit often, threatened by Jungkook to keep you company. While you assured them it wasn鈥檛 necessary, you secretly didn鈥檛 mind. They made you laugh and made you temporarily forget your boyfriend was miles away from you. Sometimes, if you were lucky, he鈥檇 call you to tell you goodnight. But those times were rare. Normally, you didn鈥檛 hear from him until Friday or Saturday when he was finally coming out of his rut and returning to the world.
By the time Sunday rolled around, you were a jittery ball of nerves. Not in a bad sense. You were just excited. The anticipation killed you and it took all of your willpower to sit and wait for his text to tell you to come over. Your parents always left you alone on these Sundays, unable to deal with your hyperactiveness and constant fidgeting.
This Sunday was no different. You puttered around your room for the better part of the day. You spent the other part in the kitchen, baking like your life depended on it. Jungkook loved your cookies and you always made sure to come over with at least three batches after his ruts. He always said that was his second favorite part about coming home, after seeing you, of course.
You had just finished packaging the final batch in a glass cookie jar when your phone dinged. You didn鈥檛 have to read the message, you knew exactly what it said. Pure joy rushed through your system as you threw on your coat and shouted a hasty goodbye to your parents. Juggling the cookies and car keys, you sprinted to your car. The drive to Jungkook鈥檚 was thankfully not long. About ten minutes, as long as you didn鈥檛 hit any traffic on the main road. Luck was on your side, though, and you showed up at Jungkook鈥檚 house in eight minutes.
Taehyung鈥檚 car was in the driveway when you pulled up, which wasn鈥檛 odd. Although Jungkook owned the house, the members of his pack were almost always around. While most preferred to travel in their wolf forms, you knew Taehyung and Namjoon preferred cars. Something about being able to listen to their own music without comments from the peanut gallery. You didn鈥檛 really understand and didn鈥檛 really need to. You had just chalked it up as one of their many quirks.
Carrying the trays of cookies in both hands, you shut your car door with your foot before speed-walking up the stone walkway to Jungkook鈥檚 home. The screen door was shut, but the wooden door was swung wide open. You had just reached for the metal handle when you heard it.
A deep, threatening growl ripped through the peaceful quiet and froze you in place. You knew it was Jungkook. While you had only heard it once, you鈥檇 never forgotten it. It was when the two of you had attended a party and an alpha from a neighboring pack had cornered you in the hallway. Jungkook had found you cowered against the wall as the other alpha had caged you in. The sound that had left his chest had given you equal parts comfort and fear. Comfort, because he was there and you knew you were safe. Fear, because you could see in the way he bared his teeth and how his muscles vibrated, he had been furious and bloodthirsty.
That鈥檚 what you felt now, fear.
Something was wrong. Something was very, very wrong.
From your vantage point in front of the screen door, you could see directly into the kitchen. Taehyung was leaning against the granite countertop and Jungkook was seated at the island. The tension was so thick you practically choked on it.
鈥淓nough, Taehyung.鈥
鈥淣o,鈥 Taehyung snapped, seeming just as angry as Jungkook. 鈥淚鈥檓 not dropping it. Not this time.鈥
鈥淵es, you will,鈥 Jungkook snarled. 鈥淚鈥檓 not having this conversation with you.鈥
鈥淭oo fucking bad.鈥 While Taehyung was also an alpha, he acted so much like a beta you never really noticed. Until now. 鈥淚鈥檓 not going to sit by and watch you do this to yourself anymore. Not spending your ruts correctly is only causing you more harm than good.鈥
鈥淚鈥檓 doing things the way I want to, and it鈥檚 working-鈥
鈥淭he hell it is!鈥 Jungkook growled at the interruption but Taehyung ignored him. 鈥淚t鈥檚 not working, and you know it. Anyone with two fucking eyes knows it. It鈥檚 getting so bad that the pack is noticing, too. Even Namjoon has realized something is wrong, and he鈥檚 as oblivious as they come.鈥
鈥淚f they have a problem with me they can take it up with me.鈥
鈥淣o, they can鈥檛. Because you won鈥檛 listen. Your head is so far up your ass you can鈥檛 even hear yourself anymore. What you鈥檙e doing right now is not working. Something needs to change.鈥
鈥淟ike what?鈥 Jungkook spat.
鈥淵ou know what,鈥 Taehyung bit back. Jungkook was practically vibrating from rage. You knew you needed to go get someone, someone from the pack to calm the two of them down. Things were only escalating, but you couldn鈥檛 move. Your brain screamed at you to run but your legs were rooted in place. 鈥淭hat鈥檚 is what鈥檚 so frustrating, Jungkook. This, all of this, could be solved. She鈥檚 right there-鈥
鈥淒on鈥檛.鈥 Jungkook stood up so fast the chair he sat on flew backwards and hit the wall with a resounding crack.
鈥淲hy?鈥 Taehyung threw his arms up in the air. 鈥淲hy not? I don鈥檛 get it-鈥
鈥淏ecause I don鈥檛 want her!鈥 Jungkook yelled, the force of it rang throughout the house. You had no idea who the she was that they were referring to. You assumed it was someone from the pack. It was well-known that wolves with human mates sometimes turned to other she-wolves to help with their ruts. You figured that鈥檚 what Jungkook did whenever he went away for a week. It had bothered you at first, but you knew he had his needs and that they were at a biological level. You refused to make him feel guilty or ashamed for taking care of himself.
鈥淵ou don鈥檛 want her?鈥 Taehyung was enraged. You could tell by the way he straightened his spine and unfurled himself to his full height. Jungkook bristled in response and the muscles in his back strained against the thin material of his shirt.
鈥淣o, I don鈥檛!鈥 Jungkook exploded. 鈥淲hat don鈥檛 you understand about that? I don鈥檛 want her around me. I don鈥檛 need her, I鈥檓 fine on my own. The thought of having her there when鈥od - it makes me physically ill.鈥
鈥淪he鈥檚 your girlfriend. Above all of that, your true mate. You鈥檙e seriously going to deny yourself of her, for what? Just because you don鈥檛 like having her around?鈥
Oh.
That鈥檚 when it hit you. They weren鈥檛 talking about some random she-wolf. They were talking about you. You were the one Jungkook didn鈥檛 want. You were the one Jungkook didn鈥檛 need. You were the one he didn鈥檛 like having around. As the weight of the words sunk into your mind, you felt your chest becoming tighter and tighter.
Then, you鈥檙e heart broke right in half. You dropped the container of cookies and didn鈥檛 flinch when it shattered against the wooden slats. The sound unstuck your feet from their position on the porch and your fight or flight system took over. Without a second thought, you turned on your heel and ran.
You didn鈥檛 know if anyone was behind you, you didn鈥檛 turn around to check. Hands fumbled for the car door as you threw yourself into the drivers side. Pain ricocheted throughout your chest cavity and you struggled to breathe. Your brain was blank, the only thing your mind did was move your body to get you somewhere safe. You had to leave and you had to leave now.
Miraculously, your fingers found your keys and inserted them into the ignition on the second try. A flutter of movement occurred to the left of you but your eyes didn鈥檛 let you look that way. Instead, they focused on the rearview mirror as you reversed out of the driveway. Your right hand found the gearshift and moved it to drive. Soon, you were tearing down the street as your ears refused to register the agonized howls that echoed behind as you kept staring forward. Adrenaline pumped through your system and your body shivered in response, the splash of hormones had created a blanket of fake calm over you. The emotions, the pain, the thoughts were swirling inside of you, ready to break free and drown you, but your brain wouldn鈥檛 allow it.
It wasn鈥檛 until you reached the end of your long driveway that you felt the original spike of adrenaline fade away. Your mother was in the front, tending to the flowers, and looked up when she saw your car fly into its usual spot. She stood up and her face twisted into a frown when you got out of your seat.
鈥淗oney, your aura鈥t鈥檚 concerning.鈥 The blanket was yanked away and the pain crashed over you.
You couldn鈥檛 say a word, all you could do was collapse in your mother's arms and cry, cry, cry.
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It took you two days to calm down. The tears had stopped rolling and your shoulders no longer shook from trying to hold your sobs behind your teeth. Your mother hadn鈥檛 left your side, leaving your father to answer the door whenever someone knocked. The only person who did was Taehyung and Jimin. Jungkook never showed up.
Well, that was a lie.
Jungkook did show up every morning and night, without fail. But he never came to your doorstep. 聽Instead, he was in the woods behind your house, patrolling, not daring to leave the protection of the forest. A part of you wondered if he was respecting your obvious need for space or if your mother had paid a witch to set up boundary lines that didn鈥檛 allow him to cross. Either way, you were grateful that you couldn鈥檛 see him. There was an incessant tugging in your heart to be near him but you staunchly ignored it, which would鈥檝e been impossible if you saw his achingly beautiful face.
I don鈥檛 want her. I don鈥檛 need her. Having her there makes me physically ill. Those three sentences played in a constant loop in your head, like a horror movie you couldn鈥檛 escape from. You were the protagonist who couldn鈥檛 escape the maze, but the villain wasn鈥檛 kind enough to kill you off. No matter what you did, your brain wouldn鈥檛 stop repeating those three sentences. Your mother burned sage, she pressed crystals into your palms, she muttered ritual after ritual, but nothing worked.
You hated how affected you were. You had always told yourself that you would never be the girl who鈥檇 get so wrapped up in someone else they didn鈥檛 know who they were anymore. Independence was something you prided yourself on, but you seemed to be at a complete loss now. You couldn鈥檛 stop the waves of sadness and self-hatred at your depressed state. It was amazing how empty you felt yet so full of pain at the same time. Your mind and heart couldn鈥檛 seem to decide which hurt worse; your heart for having your soulmate so obviously reject you, or your brain for trying to make sense of the situation. When did this happen? How did this happen? How had you been so blind as to not see it?
鈥淚 don鈥檛 think we鈥檙e soulmates,鈥 you rasped to your mom on the third morning. It had been the first words you had spoken to her since you had fell into her arms. She looked up from the bundle of herbs she was smoking.
鈥淲hy do you say that?鈥
You stared at your hands that had curled in on themselves. 鈥淚 don鈥檛 make him happy. I-I never realized how uncomfortable I made him. I wish I had known. How did I miss it?鈥
Your mother tutted gently and gathered you in her arms. She smelled of lavender and wax. 鈥淭his is good. I鈥檓 glad you鈥檙e letting yourself have this moment. Let鈥檚 sit in this and allow yourself to be embedded here.鈥 But you didn鈥檛 want to have this moment. You didn鈥檛 want to have any moment and you鈥檝e felt enough to last a lifetime. Instead, you rolled over, let sleep overtake you and tried to ignore the distant howling that rattled your window pane.
By nightfall of the fourth day, you were forced out of bed. Partly by choice, partly by force. Your parents had dipped out to run to the grocery store, despite your mother鈥檚 insistence that she could stay. You and your father managed to convince her to leave and you had gotten up to wave them goodbye. Sure, your heart was broken, but the least you could do was kiss them on the cheek before they left. You had turned around to shuffle into the kitchen to try and shovel something down your dry throat when a loud knock sounded at the front door. Hesitating, you carefully peeked through the kitchen window and saw Jimin on your front doorstep, dressed in all black.
Sighing, you stumbled over and pulled the door open. You figured you couldn鈥檛 avoid them for much longer. 鈥淗ey, Jimin.鈥
鈥淐hrist, you look like shit.鈥
You huffed out a laugh as Jimin stared at you in horror, not having the energy to be offended. You also knew, in a weird way, that this was Jimin鈥檚 way of caring for you. 鈥淵eah. My mother鈥檚 covered all the mirrors in the house.鈥
Jimin nodded as he glanced at you from head to toe. 鈥淚 want to ask if you鈥檙e okay but鈥︹ He gestured to your gaunt frame swaddled in a heavy sweatshirt and sweatpants. For the first time in two years, they were your own clothes, not Jungkook鈥檚.
鈥淚鈥檓 fine, Jimin,鈥 you heaved a heavy sigh and leaned against the doorframe. 鈥淒o you want to come in? I think my mom boiled some tea not too long ago.鈥
Jimin shook his head. 鈥淐an鈥檛. Jungkook would have a fit if I got that close to you right now. I鈥檓 already pushing my luck just by showing up.鈥 He doesn鈥檛 care, you thought bitterly, and almost said it out loud but you caught yourself at the last second. Jimin wasn鈥檛 stupid, though. He knew what you were thinking. 鈥淗ey,鈥 he murmured, eyes going soft, 鈥渁re you ready to talk about it?鈥
鈥淣o.鈥 You shook your head. A wave of sadness washed over you but the telltale prick of tears didn鈥檛 come.
Jimin understood. He tucked his hands into his pockets as he rocked back onto his heels. 鈥淎re you going to talk to him?鈥
Letting out a heavy breath, you crossed your arms over your chest. 鈥淚 know I have to. I just鈥 just need time.鈥
鈥淭ake however long you need.鈥
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It was another 48-hours before you finally snapped. While you had spent the majority of the two days that had passed to make yourself resemble a human being, you couldn鈥檛 focus. You couldn鈥檛 move on. Why?
Because Jungkook wouldn鈥檛 leave you alone.
His presence was constant. He circled your house every hour of ever day, the large shadow of him in wolf form darkened the trees behind your house. The howling had stopped but the pacing hadn鈥檛. You hoped he was at least sleeping, but then you got annoyed at yourself for caring. You didn鈥檛 know why he was out there, it made no sense. Jungkook鈥檚 words were so different from his actions it made your head spin.
But, you needed to move on with your life. You had to. The only way it was going to happen was if Jungkook did too. It hurt. God, did it hurt. Yet, as sad and utterly pathetic as it sounded, you were used to the pain at this point, had resigned yourself to it. A part of you worried you wouldn鈥檛 know what to do without it.
Shaking off that depressing thought, you tugged on your rain boots and stepped outside for the first time in a week. The air was heavy with the promise of rain, the clouds low and gray. You tugged the hood up on your sweater to prevent your hair from completely frizzing out before you walked to down the back deck steps.
The backyard of your parents house was expansive. The home you had grown up in sat on top of a sloping hill that your mother had turned into her personal greenhouse. You stepped past rows of raised garden beds and pruned plants until you reached the line where the neatly mowed grass met the twisted ferns of the forest floor. As you had suspected, the ground was scorched with the evidence of past rituals. While your mother hadn鈥檛 out right admitted, you had figured someone had come and created a boundary line. It was obviously specific to Jungkook since Jimin and Taehyung were still able to visit. While your mother鈥檚 methods were extreme, you understood. As difficult as it was to move on with your life with Jungkook sequestered to the forest, you couldn鈥檛 imagine what it would鈥檝e been like if he was within a few feet of you.
With a deep inhale, you sat down on the damp grass and waited. After a few minutes, you could hear the faint sounds of paws hitting the wet earth. The galloping got louder and louder until there was a momentary stretch of silence before it changed to footsteps.
When Jungkook emerged from the trees, you weren鈥檛 prepared. Although you knew you wouldn鈥檛 be, you still weren鈥檛 expecting it to hurt this bad. Your chest squeezed painfully at the first look of his broad form. Technically, it had been two weeks since you two had truly seen each other, the longest you鈥檇 ever gone. What hurt the most was how badly you longed for him. You wanted nothing more than to run straight into his arms, bury your face into his chest, and forget everything. Just forgive and give your heart what it wanted. But you remained firmly in place.
Jungkook looked as if he had seen a ghost. Which, to be fair, was probably true since you hadn鈥檛 seen the sun in seven days. His normally golden skin was pale and even from where you sat you could see the dark circles bruising under his eyes. Clearly, he hadn鈥檛 been sleeping. You hated that you noticed. You hated that you cared. He was dressed in all black and his chest strained against the material of his sweater. His hands were balled into tight fists at his side and the sight reminded you of why you were here.
鈥淗i.鈥 Probably wasn鈥檛 the best start but it was the best you could do. Jungkook didn鈥檛 respond so you soldiered on. 鈥淚-I know you don鈥檛 want to be here, so I鈥檒l make this quick. I just鈥anted to apologize. I had no idea I made you so uncomfortable. I鈥檓 not sure how long you鈥檝e felt this way about me, not that it really matters, but I wish you had told me sooner. Maybe things would鈥檝e been easier for you, who knows.鈥 You released a heavy sigh and tried to shove down the stone in your throat as you forced the next words out of your mouth. 鈥淏ut, all of that doesn鈥檛 matter anymore. I think I understand what you need, now. I know you loved me at one point, but I鈥檓 obviously not what you need anymore. And鈥-that鈥檚 okay - I swear it is. All I want is for you to be happy, Jungkook. And I think, in order for that to happen, I need to move on. We both need to move on-鈥
鈥淪top it,鈥 Jungkook broke in with a harsh voice that cut your sentence in half. 鈥淪top talking.鈥
It felt like he had slapped you in the face. A wave of humiliation washed over you and you visibly flinched. Staggering to your feet, you locked your gaze onto your boots in an attempt to hide the tears that dripped down your nose. 鈥淚鈥檓 sorry,鈥 you whispered, not expecting it to change anything. You began to turn away but Jungkook stopped you in your tracks, again.
鈥淲ait, no - stop. Stop. Please鈥on鈥檛 go,鈥 he pleaded. When you turned around, his eyes were frantic. Jungkook鈥檚 hand was raised from his side as if he thought about reaching out to you but something stopped him. His words were at war with one another and you were caught in the middle, at a loss for what he was trying so desperately to convey to you.
鈥淛ungkook, I鈥檓 so confused.鈥
鈥淚 know. I鈥檓 sorry. God, I鈥檓 sorry.鈥 Jungkook tucked his head into his hands before dropping down into a squat. 鈥淭his is all wrong. This is all so wrong.鈥
You knew you should walk away. You had said your piece, it was time to move on, just as you had said. Yet, you couldn鈥檛. It was as if your heart was tethered to him and your body couldn鈥檛 handle the pain of walking away. 鈥淟isten-鈥
鈥淚 don鈥檛 know what to do.鈥 He cut you off but the bubbles of anger that had risen from being interrupted popped once you saw how lost he looked. His tattooed fingers threaded through his hair, allowing you to see the pure anguish that twisted his features. 鈥淲henever I feel like this, I come to you. Because you always know what to do. Any situation, no matter what, you can handle it. It鈥檚 something I鈥檝e always admired about you.鈥
The way he spoke to you now, so reverently and so full of awe, made your head spin. Nothing made sense. 聽It was such a blatant contrast to the brutality that he had spat out a week ago. As much as you wanted to believe what he said now, those stupid words could not get out of your head. It was a constant reminder that never shut up.
鈥淚 don鈥檛 know what to do either,鈥 you admitted in a quiet voice.
鈥淭ell me,鈥 Jungkook begged, as if he couldn鈥檛 and refused to comprehend what you had just told him. 鈥淭ell me what to do, and I鈥檒l do it. Whatever you want from me, I鈥檒l give you.鈥
You were shaking your head before he could finish. 鈥淭here鈥檚 nothing you can do, Jungkook. Nothing.鈥
鈥淒on鈥檛 say that.鈥 He stared at you, horrified. 鈥淒on鈥檛 say that to me. Please, there has to be something.鈥
鈥淲hat could there be?鈥 You cried. Tears streamed down your cheeks now. 鈥淵ou said it yourself, being near me makes you sick. Why would I stay? Why would you want me to? I refuse to make you uncomfortable anymore - so that鈥檚 that.鈥
鈥淚t isn鈥檛,鈥 Jungkook argued back. 鈥淚t can鈥檛 be. I-I can鈥檛 lose you, I can鈥檛. I need to make this right, please just let me. Please.鈥
But, you were tired. You were so fucking tired. You were exhausted of the emotional rollercoaster that you were on that you just wanted to crawl away and hide. All the fight seeped out of you as your shoulders slumped forward. Jungkook saw this and the blood drained from his face. You were giving up, he could see it, and it scared the shit out of him.
鈥淛ungkook, I need to go, okay? I-I can鈥檛 do this.鈥
鈥淣o!鈥 Jungkook shouted and shot up to his feet. The pure panic that choked his voice brought on a fresh set of tears that you struggled to hold back. 鈥淛ust let me explain, okay? I swear to God, after you hear what I have to say, if you still want me to, I鈥檒l let you go. I won鈥檛 fight you on it. But, please let me tell you the truth. Give me a chance to make this right. You deserve that.鈥
You hesitated for a moment. Deep down, you knew you should let him talk. Not because you necessarily thought he deserved to, but because he was right. You did deserve the truth, no matter how much it broke your heart. With a heavy sigh and a quick swipe of your cheeks, you nodded. Once Jungkook was sure you weren鈥檛 going to leave, he began pacing. Looking every bit like the wild animal you knew him to be but never got to see.
鈥淢ating with a werewolf is鈥rutal. It鈥檚 intense, it鈥檚 painful and it isn鈥檛 pretty. It鈥檚 essentially a breeding session where I use you as a vessel to fulfill my innate biological needs. It鈥檚 not romantic, it鈥檚 not gentle. Even for she-wolves it can be too much. The thought of subjecting you to something like that - that type of pain鈥 couldn鈥檛 fathom it. I don鈥檛 think you understand just how precious you are to me. The image of you being battered and bruised because of me, something I did鈥t tormented me, day and night.鈥 He paused for a moment, the pained look in his eyes made you shiver. You hated that he had gone through all of this turmoil on his own, and you especially hated how you never made more of an effort to try and relieve him of it.
鈥淚 couldn鈥檛 do it. That鈥檚 partially the reason I waited so long to tell you that you were my true mate. I knew ruts were something I would never expose you to even though it鈥檚 such a huge part of my life, a wolf鈥檚 life.鈥 Jungkook looked you straight in the eye, the intensity of his dark gaze took your breath away. 鈥淚 know the practices other wolves partake in when their own heats or ruts arrive. I know you know them too. But, I need you to understand something. The moment you allowed me to be yours and vice versa, I haven鈥檛 had anyone else since. I swear on my life, I鈥檝e spent every single one of my ruts alone. I wouldn鈥檛 and I won鈥檛 do that to you.鈥
鈥淚sn鈥檛 that painful, though?鈥 Your voice cracked but neither one of you acknowledged it. While your knowledge on ruts were expansive, having done plenty of research since being with Jungkook, you had obviously never experienced one.
鈥淚t鈥檚 manageable. It鈥檚 way more painful for a she-wolf to go through her heat alone than it is for a male.鈥 Jungkook clenched and unclenched his fists as he resumed his pacing. 鈥淭he worst part is being away from you. I鈥檝e been going through ruts since puberty, I can handle them. But not being able to be with you for a whole week鈥 hated it. Still do. I dread that three month mark. And as time went on, I became more and more miserable. Being apart from you was almost unbearable but the other option鈥 never even allowed myself to consider it.
鈥淚t came to the point where the pack was noticing. I wasn鈥檛 getting the proper pheromonal release from my ruts and it was beginning to affect those around me. Taehyung has been on my ass for months now to get over myself and take you with me during my next rut. Each time I鈥檇 give him some excuse, but it was getting harder and harder to justify what I was doing. At first, I was convinced it was because I was protecting you. But you鈥檝e been so understanding and so patient with me and my life, those excuses were becoming useless. Eventually, I think it was because I was protecting myself. I was - am - so scared. I鈥檓 terrified that I could hurt you when I鈥檓 like that. That I wouldn鈥檛 be able to notice or worse, ignored, if something happened to you. Living with that type of fear became debilitating. So, I just kept my mouth shut and kept you away from that part of me.鈥
Jungkook shook his head and chuckled humorlessly. 鈥淣ow I know that was the worst possible thing I could do. That I was just hurting you more. What you walked into last Sunday was a culmination of my frustrations that I was refusing to deal with. While it鈥檚 not a valid reason, I鈥檓 well aware of that, I need you to know that what you heard was not the truth. It couldn鈥檛 be further from it. Because the truth is that I鈥檓 hopelessly in love with you and the thought of being without you hurts worse than I ever thought was possible.鈥
It wasn鈥檛 the first nor would it be the last time that Jungkook left you speechless. It took you a full minute to process what he had said. Jungkook granted you the silence although he became increasingly more agitated as time passed. His boots scuffed the dead leaves that littered the ground and his pacing led him closer to the ashes that lay before your feet. Then, he鈥檇 suddenly stalk off with a growl as he was forced to keep away.
鈥淚-鈥 you cleared your throat around the lump that had found a home there. 鈥淚 had no idea. This whole time鈥 thought it was because you didn鈥檛 want me.鈥
鈥淕od, no.鈥 Jungkook swore heavily as his muscles bunched and coiled beneath his clothes. 鈥淭he - the fact that鈥ou - fuck. I鈥檓 so sorry. I鈥檓 so fucking sorry. That鈥檚 not it, that鈥檚 not it at all. You鈥檙e my dream girl, you鈥檙e the love of my life, and I want you every second of every day.鈥
Maybe it鈥檚 because you were emotionally drained and had no mental strength left. Maybe, you needed to hear those words from Jungkook more than you realized. Whatever the reason was, it wasn鈥檛 worth trying to figure out an explanation as you sunk to the ground and burst into tears.
Jungkook lost it across from you. Broken whines stained the air as he carded through his hair anxiously. He kept trying to get to you, to try to soothe you. But the boundary was unfortunately doing its job and each attempt was met with failure. Curses were spat out until eventually, he got as close as the boundary would let him and fell to his knees. He began spewing whatever came to mind first, unsure of what to do. All he knew was that you were crying because of him and there was absolutely nothing he could do about it. He thought hearing you cry from your bedroom window was torture, but nothing could compare to hearing you break down in front of him. Nothing. 鈥淔uck, fuck, fuck. I鈥檓 sorry鈥lease, I鈥檓 so sorry. I - don鈥檛 cry, darling. Please don鈥檛. I鈥檓 so sorry I hurt you, I didn鈥檛 mean to, I swear.鈥
It wasn鈥檛 tears of heartbreak that leaked from your eyes. Instead, it was tears of relief. While your heart had wholly accepted his words as the truth, the logical part of you reminded yourself that the two of you had way more talking to do. This was far from over, but the relief of knowing that he loved you and he was yours鈥t was indescribable.
You finally lifted your head up and were shocked to find Jungkook鈥檚 cheeks glistening with moisture. Your only thought was to comfort him as you scrambled forward to do just that. Instead of feeling his smooth skin against the palm of your hand, you were blocked by what felt like a wall although nothing stood in your way. Frowning, you realized with a start that the boundary worked both ways. Jungkook let out a frustrated growl as he glared at the ashes that was stopping both of you from getting what you wanted. It was silent for a few moments until an idea popped into your head.
鈥淲ait here,鈥 you announced before jumping up and taking off for the house. Ignoring Jungkook鈥檚 distressed cry, you ran inside. You yanked your car keys off from their designated hook and quickly typed out a text to your parents to let them know where you were going before spinning around and sprinting back outside. Jungkook was where you left him, although he stumbled to his feet when he saw you reappear.
鈥淚鈥檓 going to your house,鈥 you announced, breathless. 鈥淣o witch is stupid enough to go that far into werewolf territory. If you want to talk to me there, then follow me.鈥
Jungkook stared at you for a heartbeat until the words you spoke clicked. 鈥淵-yeah. Yes. Okay. I鈥檒l be there.鈥
With a curt nod, you ran to your car. For the first time in a week, a faint sprout of hope bloomed in your chest.
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It was the longest and shortest ten minutes of your life. The drive to Jungkook鈥檚 seemed to last a lifetime but also was over within a blink of an eye. The tears had stopped flowing by the time you pulled your car into his driveway, but you felt the telltale prick in your eyes when you saw him burst from the trees. Your heart ached as his long legs ate up the distance between you two as you wrestled with your seatbelt and threw the car into park. By the time you freed yourself, he was at the hood of your car.
The two of you stared at each other for a few breathless moments. You weren鈥檛 sure who moved first, but it didn鈥檛 matter as you crashed into each other鈥檚 arms. The moment his searing warmth enveloped you, you dissolved into another puddle of sobs. The feeling of his thick arms banded across your back, his torso molded to yours, and his hair tickling your ear, felt so right. Another wave of crippling relief washed over you and you practically melted against Jungkook. But he held you up, just like he always had.
He leaned against the front bumper while his hands were everywhere. Cradling your head into his neck, smoothing over your hips, or running circles over your shoulders. He was crying, you could feel the tears dampening your hair. But you were soaking his shirt so no one was in any position to complain.
鈥淚鈥檓 sorry,鈥 you whispered.
鈥淒on鈥檛,鈥 Jungkook hissed fiercely as he squeezed you tighter. 鈥淒on鈥檛 apologize. This isn鈥檛 your fault, not in the slightest.鈥
鈥淜ook,鈥 you sighed and pulled your head back to get a good look at him. 鈥淚t takes two to tango.鈥
鈥淣ot this time,鈥 he argued. 鈥淵ou鈥檝e put up with so much. You鈥檙e everything I could鈥檝e asked for and more. It was my own fears that got in the way and created this mess. And I鈥檓 so sorry for that, darling. I鈥檓 so fucking sorry.鈥
You shushed him gently, running your thumbs over his cheeks to swipe at the dried tears. 鈥淚 know you鈥檙e sorry. I believe you.鈥
Jungkook dipped his head further into your touch with a pleased rumble vibrating through his chest. He kissed your palm gently, sniffing at your wrist. It made you giggle. 鈥淢issed that,鈥 Jungkook mumbled as he stared at you with stars in his eyes. 鈥淢issed you. Missed you so much.鈥
A fresh wave of tears cascaded down your cheeks. You were positive that you looked like a mess, hair in a knotted bun, face red and puffy and you kept sniffling every two seconds. But Jungkook looked at you as if you held the world in your hands. 鈥淢issed you too,鈥 you murmured in return. 鈥淧lease, next time, just talk to me. I may not have the answers you鈥檙e looking for all the time, but I鈥檒l always be here to listen.鈥
鈥淚 know,鈥 Jungkook whispered. 鈥淭here won鈥檛 be a next time, promise. If I happen to be stupid enough to put us in this position again, I give you full permission to punch me in the face.鈥
鈥淚鈥檒l keep that in mind.鈥 You lifted yourself onto your toes to brush your lips against his, dropping back down to your feet when his head chased after yours. 鈥淥r maybe I just won鈥檛 kiss you for a week.鈥
Jungkook鈥檚 eyes widened comically and he actually looked terrified. 鈥淚鈥檇 rather you just punched me in the face.鈥 You tilted your head back and laughed. Jungkook tugged you closer and nosed your throat before peppering gentle kisses along the exposed skin. Sighing happily, you tilted your head to allow him better access and rested your cheek on his shoulder.
鈥淚 love you,鈥 you said quietly. Jungkook froze for a split second before he sank against you. Squeaking in shock, you scrambled to brace yourself against the sudden weight pressing you towards the house.
鈥淪ay it again,鈥 Jungkook pleaded. You couldn鈥檛 deny him. Dusting feather light kisses to the shell of his ear, you repeated those three words again, and again, and again. Each time you did, Jungkook held you a little tighter and cried a little harder.
Eventually, you鈥檙e murmured promises became softer and softer until the two of you just enjoyed each others presence. 鈥淐鈥檓on,鈥 you finally whispered as you started to lift yourself off of him. Jungkook growled and refused to let you move an inch farther. 鈥淜ook, come on. Let鈥檚 go inside. Your ass must be numb by now.鈥
鈥淒on鈥檛 care,鈥 he grumbled but he at least shuffled forward a bit more so that your combined weight wasn鈥檛 squashing his ass against your car.
鈥淵ou might say that now, but you won鈥檛 be saying that later.鈥
Jungkook grunted at your logic but he at least raised his head and looked at you with the sweetest eyes. 鈥淧lease tell me you鈥檙e staying.鈥
Giggling, you asked, 鈥渄o you want me to?鈥
鈥淥bviously,鈥 he scoffed. 鈥淚 want you here forever.鈥 Jungkook tilted his head thoughtfully. 鈥淎ctually, you should just move in with me.鈥
Christ, this boy was going to give you whiplash. You couldn鈥檛 help but laugh. 鈥淛ungkook, we just made up. The whole reason we were in this mess is because of poor communication. Don鈥檛 you think we should work on that first before anything else?鈥
鈥淏ut鈥e could work on communication all the time if we鈥檙e together 24/7.鈥 Despite his pout, you knew he wasn鈥檛 totally serious. Although you were sure it was going to come up again.
鈥淎lright, you maniac,鈥 you said fondly. 鈥淭ake me to bed.鈥 Jungkook鈥檚 chest rumbled happily as he lifted you up and wrapped your legs around his trim waist.
It wasn鈥檛 a long walk to his bedroom, but the exhaustion of the past week caught up to you and the gentle rocking of his steps lulled you into a serene state. Not quite asleep, but not quite awake either. You were aware when Jungkook placed you on his bed, practically engulfed in his scent. The last thing you remember before falling asleep was the words Jungkook pressed into your hair has he slid in behind you.
鈥淟ove you forever, my darling girl.鈥
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inksandpensblog3 years ago
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Inspired by this post by @anxious-ball-of-sunshine.聽
No no no no no鈥
The anxious Side struggled to breathe as his eyes skipped across the mirror, taking in the left half of his face. The scales. The bulging eye. The scar of a mouth.That disgusting yellow.
No no no, change it back鈥
He watched the reflection of his shaking hand as it rose to his cheekbone. He didn鈥檛 want to touch it. He didn鈥檛 want to see himself touch it. Just seeing or feeling was bad enough, but both would just confirm that鈥hat he鈥
Change me back鈥
It would force him to believe it. And he didn鈥檛 want to believe it.聽
A small flare of stubborn indignation cut through the horror, just long enough for Virgil to regain some of his bearings. Of course he would put him in that position. Making him crave denial. How dare he.聽
Virgil inched his hand forward before he could stop himself, teasing his fingers across the scales under his engorged eye.聽
Yep. This was real.
A shudder wracked his lungs.聽
Clenching his teeth, he tore his now-mismatched gaze from his face to look the rest of himself over. He even had the Snake鈥檚 clothes, down to the stupid gloves. Virgil made an effort to focus on his new wardrobe in favor of his new scaly profile; it was easier to ridicule.
Didn鈥檛 mean he liked it any better. The gloves were the first to go, followed by the hat, flung to the floor with extreme prejudice. He tried to tug the cape off next, but the clasp seemed to have a mind of its own. Heck, maybe it did, knowing who鈥檚 fault this was.聽
鈥淐鈥檓on,鈥 the anxious Side growled, growing wary at the beginnings of an echo in his own voice. He had to calm down or this would start affecting Thomas. He pulled at the cape more insistently. He couldn鈥檛 change himself back (oh God oh God) but if he could just get his regular clothes back he might feel better. He could hide in his hoodie until he figured out how to solve the real problem.聽
Except the damn cape refused to come off.聽
鈥淕et off!鈥 Virgil snapped, pulling at the garment so furiously that he almost spun himself completely around.聽
So occupied was he that he barely noticed the muffled clang. Harder to ignore was how the flooring underneath his feet suddenly changed.聽
Oh no.聽
鈥淲hoa!鈥
鈥淗uh?!鈥
鈥淲HAT!鈥
Hands flying to his face in alarm, Virgil tried to sink back into the safety of his room. But he couldn鈥檛. The way was barred. Someone moved in his peripheral vision, and he stumbled backward in an effort to maintain distance, tripping over his own feet and colliding with the wall of the stairway.聽
鈥淪TAY BACK!鈥 The words launched themselves out of his lungs as he threw one hand out in front of him, turning his face away to better conceal it behind the other arm. Panting heavily, he struggled to regain his balance.聽鈥淟ET ME GO! DON鈥漈 LOOK AT ME!鈥
Stop talking stop talking he talks his mind insisted, running on overdrive. He couldn鈥檛 see the others and he could barely hear anything over his own gasping and heaving breaths. But he hadn鈥檛 actually said anything that could be misconstrued, had he? There were only so many ways to interpret 鈥榙on鈥檛 look at me,鈥 he couldn鈥檛 have done himself in just by saying that? But what if their guard was already up an it was too late? He was still wearing the damn opera clothes, even if they couldn鈥檛 see his face鈥揺xcept the hat and the gloves and he could feel the scales a lot better without the gloves on oh God make them go away let him go back let him change back no no nonono鈥
鈥淰irgil!!鈥
Not聽鈥渨here is Virgil.鈥 Not聽鈥渨hat have you done with Virgil.鈥 Just his name.
Shaking, the Side peered around his arm. Logan was already halfway up the stairs, taking up almost his entire field of vision. Behind the logical Side, he could barely make out the other two, gathered around someone sitting on the couch. Thomas. Thomas was breathing. Breathing for him.聽
鈥淲e know it鈥檚 you, Virgil,鈥 Logan spoke in measured tone.聽
鈥淲h鈥hh鈥-how鈥?鈥
鈥淲e called you, not Deceit,鈥 the teacher explained.聽鈥淗e announces himself rather differently, no matter who he looks like.聽 It stands to reason that the aspect we summoned would be the one that showed up, no matter the physical appearance.鈥
Slowly, Virgil turned his head to fully face the logical Side. He didn鈥檛 put his arm down yet. He鈥檇 face this if he had to, but not without a shield. Skittishly, he searched the other鈥檚 gaze. Logan believed what he was saying. That was a good sign.
Not enough.聽鈥溾atton?鈥
Footsteps, then鈥
鈥淚鈥檓 here, kiddo.鈥 The moral Side shouldered his way past Logan, taking Virgil鈥檚 still-outstretched hand in both his own.聽鈥淒ad鈥檚 here, we鈥檙e all here. We know you鈥檙e not really him.鈥
The anxious Side lowered his shield, painfully slowly, meeting Patton鈥檚 eyes. They were warm with sincerity.
Too much. Virgil had only pushed himself up from the wall before he collapsed against the other Side, burying his face in Patton鈥檚 shoulder so he wouldn鈥檛 have to feel it himself anymore. He didn鈥檛 understand what Patton said next, as he adjusted to a more comfortable hold, but it sounded nice and soothing. Catching his breath, he tried to hush up and synch his breathing with Thomas鈥檚.聽
鈥淪ounds like we gave you quite the scare,鈥 he heard the Prince鈥檚 voice carry itself over from the general vicinity of the sofa.聽鈥淚f it was going to startle you that much, why didn鈥檛 you just change back when you felt the summons? Why were you even shifting into his shape anyway?鈥
鈥淚 can鈥檛,鈥 the anxious Side huffed into Patton鈥檚 shoulder.聽鈥淗e changed me himself. If I didn鈥檛 do the change I can鈥檛 change myself back.鈥
Thomas paused in his breathing. Patton鈥檚 arms constricted the slightest bit tighter. Neither Roman nor Logan said anything. Thomas resumed breathing.聽
鈥淲-well, when you鈥檙e all settled, one of us can help you with鈥hat,鈥 said the creative Side. He sounded a bit subdued.聽
Virgil wasn鈥檛 calm enough yet to wonder why.聽
He exhaled slowly, letting himself indulge in a little self-congratulation as he finally, completely synched his breaths with those of his host. Almost there. Just a little longer. Then they鈥檇 take care of this. He鈥檇 be back to normal in no time.聽
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birds-have-teetha year ago
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Trial and Error [Part 2] (Bakugou/Reader | Angst)
| A/n: Ah yes, the long-awaited sequel from hell you guys asked for. Sorry it took so long, and I hope this turned out okay鈥攄espite being written instead of sleeping ;-; |聽
teared up a little ngl
鉁库溈 See part 1 here聽 鉁库溈
鉁库溈 Words: 2200+聽鉁库溈
鉁库溈 Warnings: Mentioned-Domestic Violence, Angsty then soft.聽鉁库溈
. 聽 . 聽 .
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You can hear the light pattering of rain on the window your forehead leans against, your breath fogging up the glass. You sat in a chair pulled to the window, some random fall catalog in your lap, and a whole pot of coffee. You saw no point in dirtying a cup when you were all by yourself, so you鈥檇 been drinking straight from the pot since about nine in the morning.
It鈥檚 been about a week since you last saw Bakugou, aside from the occasional call to check in on you, he was respecting your space but needed to know you were alright still. People were always surprised to find that he fusses over you so much. Back in high school, he鈥檇 always played it cool, like he didn鈥檛 care all that much what you did or where you went.
Of course, you knew better. He worried all the time, very much in the stereotypical overprotective boyfriend way, but mostly the 鈥榟e鈥檚 afraid that one day you won鈥檛 be okay鈥 kind of way.
Your lips twitch when a fond memory crosses your mind.
. 聽 . 聽 .
鈥淜atsuki, stop staring.鈥 You mumbled in annoyance and he blew air from his cheeks and ran a hand through his spikes, looking around as if he hadn鈥檛 been glaring holes into the giant bruise on your cheek.聽
鈥淚 wasn鈥檛.鈥 The blonde defended, crossing his arms over his chest as you returned to your work.
鈥淪ure you weren鈥檛, you are many things, babe, subtle is not one of them.鈥 You chuckle, brushing a few stray hairs from your face. You notice two red eyes dart back to you, watching your hand as it brushes over the purple skin of your cheek. 鈥淚t鈥檚 just a bruise.鈥
鈥淚 know, stop fishing for pity, I don鈥檛 care.鈥 Katsuki spits, leaning back on your bed with his hands behind his head, staring at the ceiling.
鈥淚鈥檓 not fishing for anything, if you don鈥檛 care, find something else to do rather than staring at my face like it鈥檒l make the bruise heal any faster.鈥 You pick back up your pencil and continue working on your concept sketch for your tech support partner鈥檚 quirk.
鈥淪till think you should鈥檝e punched him back.鈥 His words catch you off guard, and the lead of your pencil breaks causing you to curse under your breath.
鈥淭echnically I did, we were training, Bakugou.鈥 You say a-matter-of-factly and he scoffs. You see him roll onto his side in the corner of your eye to face you.
鈥淵ou鈥檙e not in the hero course, you didn鈥檛 need to be training for anything, stupid!鈥 Bakugou argues and you send him a glare over your shoulder, he knew you had wanted to be a hero initially, and that you just didn鈥檛 make the cut. Why was he bringing up old news?
鈥淪o? Just because I鈥檓 not a hero doesn鈥檛 mean I don鈥檛 want to know how to defend myself!鈥 You spat turning back around in your seat to angrily scribble some more. 鈥淏esides, Sero said no one else was available to spar with.鈥
鈥淭hat鈥檚 what I鈥檓 for you idiot!鈥 Bakugou hisses, sitting up on your bed to glare at the back of your head.聽
鈥淔or training with Sero?鈥 You inquired with a raised brow, confused as to what he meant.
鈥淣o! for defending you, what are you slow?鈥
Silence.
鈥淗a, so you do care.鈥
鈥淪hut up!鈥
. 聽 . 聽 .
You blink a few times, realizing you鈥檇 spaced out and glance over at your phone on the end table. Should you? Was it too soon? Should you still be mad?
Sighing you toss the magazine onto the couch, and reach over for your phone, pausing to look at the picture of you and Bakugou took at your senior prom before swiping away.
Katsuki鈥檚 contact is already pulled up, you鈥檇 done nothing but stare at it for a week. Ah, fuck it, you miss his voice. Just a short call, and if he鈥檚 busy whatever you鈥檒l just watch TV and wait for him to call back. You press the 鈥渃all鈥 icon and it starts to ring.
鈥淏abe?鈥 Comes the tired voice of your boyfriend, and you can vividly imagine him disheveled and half asleep, no shirt, crazy hair. It makes you smile.
鈥淗ey, I uh, just wanted to talk for a while if you鈥檙e not busy or anything, I didn鈥檛 wake you did I?鈥 You ask sheepishly, knowing he likely didn鈥檛 have hero-work today, it was Sunday after all. That鈥檚 not to say that villains all go on break for church but there were usually other heroes to handle those.
鈥淣o鈥攜ou didn鈥檛 I鈥攆uck gimme a second,鈥 You hear some shuffling and him knocking things over followed by whispered curses and your smile widens. It sounds like he鈥檚 in a different room when he speaks again. 鈥淗ey, what鈥檚 up, everything good?鈥
鈥淵eah, yeah I鈥檓 fine just鈥 I miss you.鈥 You sigh, not bothering to draw it out. You really missed him, and you weren鈥檛 too embarrassed to let him know that. There鈥檚 a pause and you hold your breath, only to be relieved by the tone of voice he uses when he talks again.
鈥淚 miss you too, princess, fuck you have no idea how much.鈥 Bakugou sounds relieved just to be able to say that, and the feeling is mutual, it feels good to talk to him again. 鈥淵ou鈥檙e all I think about now鈥︹
The last part comes through the other line muffled and almost incoherent, but you manage to catch it.
鈥淚鈥榲e been wanting to call you since you left, Katsuki,鈥 You sigh looking out the window as the rain continues to drip down the fogged glass. 鈥淚t鈥檚 kind of annoying actually.鈥 You joke, chuckling through the phone and he returns a slight snicker.
鈥淲hy didn鈥檛 you? You know I never sleep without鈥︹ He clears his throat, stopping himself. You know what he means to say os that he never sleeps without you.聽
And it鈥檚 true, Katsuki always seems to rest better when you鈥檙e together, you can only imagine how purple the bags under his eyes must be.聽
鈥淚 wouldn鈥檛 have known what to say, I wasn鈥檛 ready, even If I missed you.鈥 You sigh, leaning back against the pane of the cold window, eyes closing as your eyes began to water. You didn鈥檛 even know why you were about to cry.
鈥淚鈥檓 sorry.鈥
You knew that. He鈥檚 told you that every day since the first, but it still hurts to hear it. The constant apologizing, the regret, and all of the overthinking had your emotions exhausted. Your brain played an imaginary game of Scrabble, thinking of words to say, but the only thing that came out of your mouth was air.
鈥淚-I know, b-but鈥斺 A small sob shoves its way through your teeth and you sniffle, 鈥淚鈥檓 sorry I-I just need a second.鈥 You whisper before setting the phone down and wiping the tears from your reddening face, only for more to come, only wetting your face and hands more with every wipe. You hear a few muffled protests from the other line, your boyfriend鈥檚 concerned questions prompting you to pick the phone back up.
鈥淪orry about that I鈥斺
鈥淒on鈥檛, I鈥檓 sorry, fuck鈥 you called me to talk and all I鈥檝e done is make you cry, shit I鈥檓 sorry.鈥 Bakugou鈥檚 voice sounds strained and riddled with guilt.
You take a moment to properly breathe, just listening to his breathing through the phone. You catch a few sounds that suspiciously resemble sniffles, but it could be your imagination or just your own hiccups.
鈥溾楽uki?鈥 You ask after a five-minute silence, and you hear his breath hitch on the other line.
鈥淵eah, Y/N?鈥 Comes his clumsy reply, his teeth stumbling over his tongue in a weird way.
鈥淐an you come home?鈥 You hear a loud thud against your ear and cringe, he curses several times, each one sounding distant. You realize he鈥檚 dropped the phone, and almost want to laugh through your tears like some hysteric psychopath.
鈥溾擱ight now?鈥 Comes his sudden reply, sounding rushed and disbelieving, almost excited if you didn鈥檛 know any better.
鈥淧lease?鈥 You smile half-heartedly and sniffle. You hear a screen door open and close and the sound of Bakugou knocking over more shit. You suspect that he鈥檚 messing with his coat by the scratchy sounds of vinyl rubbing together and a zipper being dragged.
鈥淚鈥檒l be right over, I鈥檒l just tell Kiri and get my keys鈥斺
鈥淎re you wearing pants, Katsuki?鈥 There鈥檚 a long pause and then another curse. You know him too well, he very well could鈥檝e walked out of Kirishima鈥檚 apartment pantsless.
鈥淭hanks.鈥
鈥淥nly I get to see your obnoxious leg-hair, baby.鈥 You snort through the phone and he makes a very offended noise along with the sound of jingling keys. You always made fun of him for having caveman鈥檚 legs, his body hair was platinum blonde but hilariously long if not managed, which you had found out that he did weekly.
鈥淰ery funny, you only get a pass because I fucked up!鈥 Bakugou growls through the phone, but you know he鈥檚 more embarrassed than angry. You hear a voice in the background and then Bakugou shouting over to them, 鈥淜iri, tell Y/N having leg-hair is manly!鈥
You giggle when you hear your red-haired friend gallantly back up the blonde before a door slams shut.
. 聽 . 聽 .
You open the door and find an exhausted and slightly-nervous looing Katsuki standing in the hallway. There鈥檚 a moment of silence, and neither of you moves a muscle, just staring at one another like it鈥檚 the first time.
Eventually, you step back and Bakugou walks into your shared apartment, absurdly clean since you always ended up cleaning to avoid thinking about what happened, or Bakugou in general. But as soon as the door shuts behind him you throw yourself at him, arms wrapping tightly around his neck and your face burrowing straight into his shoulder. He stumbles slightly, taken off guard by the pure strength of your embrace before hugging you just as tight.
When you pull away, his eyes center on the bandage stuck to the bridge of your nose, the flesh around it still flushed purple but looking better than before. His teeth clench and his fingers shake as they brush over your face, thumbs smoothing over your cheeks, brushing through your hair as his vermillion gaze flickers between your own and the damage he鈥檇 caused.
鈥淚鈥檓 sor鈥斺
鈥淪hut up.鈥 Your hands grab his face and you crush your lips to his in a frenzied, desperate kiss you鈥檝e been saving for a week. He melts into it, lips moving against yours and hands wrapping around your back to pull you in closer.
As your lips re-acquaintance themselves with Katsuki鈥檚, you easily get carried away. Your fingers card through his blonde hair, gently untangling a few knots and massaging his scalp at the same time. He鈥檚 practically purring against your lips at this point and it makes your heart swell and your cheeks flush.
You unzip his coat and push it right off, letting it slide to the floor. His hands slide from your waist to your thighs and squeeze, prompting you to hop up and wrap them around his hips, you are only too eager to comply. You hum against his mouth as he carries you over to the couch and drops the both of you onto it. You drape your legs over his lap and snuggle up close to him, lips still pressing kisses to his own, though gentler than before.
Bakugou strays from your lips and starts trails kisses all over your face, lingering on your nose before burying his face into your hair. He suddenly remembers that you鈥檝e essentially told him the shut up and he took it like a bitch-pussy.
"Wait, did you just fucking tell me to shut-?".
You shush him before he can finish and he scowls tiredly at the ceiling, pouting most likely, but not bothering to argue anymore.
He yawns into your locks and you smile sleepily, realizing how tired you really were. It鈥檚 been a rough week for both of you, and especially hard on your sleeping-schedules since you were so used to sharing a bed. This week鈥檚 been made up of a lot of tossing and turning and clutching pillows to your chest to convince your body that somethings there. And now that you鈥檙e wrapped up in Bakugou鈥檚 arms again, it feels as if you could drift off to sleep.
He twists and readjusts to lay flat against the sofa, tugging you on top of him in the process. After some shifting, and re-adjusting of limbs, you sigh, resting your cheek against his heart. The soft, repetitive sound lulling you to sleep along with his soft breathing. You smile half-consciously when his lips press against your forehead.
No more apologies, no more pain. Just acceptance, and love.聽
And sleep because like fuck you needed that.
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