#angst with a happy ending
nothing can stop me 😤
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Authors writing angst where your ship breaks up:
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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’ve gotten lucky enough to gain some outside perspective, you can’t 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’s unintentionally an apologist because, through no fault of his own, he’s been completely brainwashed. Because he’s a good being, his priority isn’t 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’t shake the feeling that something is off, he’s been taught not to trust himself and therefore continues to brush it off or to simply choose not to think about it. (Aziraphale’s self immersion in the hedonistic comforts of humanity is his chosen form of dissociation)
Aziraphale is NOT however, completely unrebellious. His priority, though, whether he’s 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.
Crowley is the proverbial black sheep. He questions authority. If something feels wrong, he’s not going to let it go. Crowley has a very strong sense of right and wrong but where it differs from that of Aziraphale’s is that it is intrinsic. It relies on free will, on choice. Something can’t be purely right unless it is free from outside controlling influences. Force is never right, manipulation is never right. Crowley doesn’t believe in artificially imposed “morals” and he cannot reconcile the incongruence of heaven beating everyone over the head with “goodness” 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. “Respect your elders and betters” 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’s not something that ever heals right.
He “hung around the wrong people” 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 “ends justify the means” crowd. Of course, the “end” in this case isn’t particularly great either and in fact the only goal involved is the elimination of the other side, the perceived “evil” to Heaven’s “good”. Heaven perceives “good” as submission to the rules and they the enforcers of it. Hell perceives “evil” as the opposite of that but really it just boils down to choice.
Hell’s manifesto then, as it were, is really just “do the opposite of what Heaven wants” (i.e. chaos) But Crowley takes that a step further because he believes in the value of choice. It’s what he’s 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’s 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’s what eventually drives Aziraphale to make the choice; Heaven’s controlling superiority or Crowley’s unrelenting support.
Crowley’s arc is that he’s caught in the middle. He’s not ruthless enough for Heaven or for Hell and he’s unable to deny his personal convictions enough to convincingly fake it. He didn’t want to fall. He didn’t want to be evil. He just didn’t want to be whatever it is Heaven is.
So he’s out there, alone, doing his best to survive and blend in until he runs into Aziraphale and finds a kindred spirit. And Crowley can’t help but to be drawn to Aziraphale because he’s different. He’s kind. Because, even though the angel doesn’t know it yet, Aziraphale is like Crowley and they’re destined, someday, to be on their own side.
Angst with a happy ending, indeed.
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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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Seven Days (Todoroki/Reader |Angst)
| A/n: ♪♫I got carried away♫♪—becuase of course I fucking did its AnGsT |
| Summary: Todoroki’s been ignoring you but you can’t 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+ |
. . .
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.
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’t 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.
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’t doing that, he was talking to what seemed like everyone other than you. You’d never felt so small, and so invisible. Hell, he probably acknowledged Hagakure more than he did you!
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’d 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.
“Hey, Y/N! How are you? We haven't really seen you around!” Deku staring down at you with that friendly, timid smile of his eased your anxiety.
“Oh, hey, Deku, I've been okay, and I've just… not …I mean—I've just been busy!” You manage to force out, a half-hearted smile out on display so you could hide behind its walls. “For exams, studying and stuff…”
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.
“But aren’t exams months away, Y/N-Chan?” Midoriya asks, though his voice full of uncertainty.
“U-unless I’m mistaken, and the-the dates were changed! And I haven’t 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’t 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’s Iida after all. I wonder If I can get....”
You stare helplessly as he rattles on, muttering a plethora of things you can barely process before he’s moving on to something else. You should’ve just told him you were fine and left it at that, you didn't mean to confuse him.
“Ah—Deku, no that’s not it! Exams are months away, I just… wanted to start early y’know?” Midoriya stops abruptly, face turning bright red upon realizing he’s been caught muttering again. He always got embarrassed when he did, It was cute and all, but you didn’t want him to worry about something you made up as an excuse to not talk about your feelings.
“Oh, good! That’s a relief, you really scared me for a minute there Y/N-Chan!” Deku sighs with one hand over his heart. You shift awkwardly, your foot subconsciously tapping on the tiled floor.
“Is there anything else you needed?” 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.
“Oh, well I… I wanted to ask you if you were y’know, okay?” 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’re not ‘okay’. 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.
“Oh, yeah, I'm fine. Why do you ask?” 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.
“Well, it's just that, I see you and Todoroki haven't really been talking a whole lot so I just assumed...” 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. “Did something happen?”
“I wish I knew.” 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, “I’ll talk to you another time, Deku!”
. . .
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.
“Hello, L/N-Chan! How are you doing?” You’re 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. “We haven't seen you at lunch for a few days now, is everything, alright?”
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’s greetings right?
He didn't even spare you a first or second glance.
“Yeah, I'm fine, Ochako-Chan, just been doing extra work during lunch is all.” You chirp with the most enthusiasm you can muster.
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… all of this.
She looks from left to right before leaning in close, whispering just so you could hear.
“Deku told me you and Todoroki haven't been talking?”
“Oh…?” Is your defeated response, the corners of your lips wavering. “What gives you two that idea?”
“You and he are always attached at the hip, we never see one of you without the other! What happened?”
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.
. . .
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.
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’s notice, no matter how late it was.
How dare he treat you this way after all of that, and for what purpose? Oh, that’s 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’re afraid might come to be.
You were livid the next day you came to class, almost radiating a “Fuck off or I’ll kill you” aura that rivaled even Bakugou’s on a good day.
Speaking of Lord Murder Explosion, you hadn’t 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’s 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’t 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.
“Hey, idiot! Why’ve ya been ignoring me, huh? What’s your fucking deal!?” 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’t even turn around.
“Nothing, asshole, go scream at someone else…” 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.
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.
“Don’t give me that bullshit, L/N! What the hell is going on with you?” You’re practically at each other's throats when Mr. Aizawa walks in—or rather rolls in, wrapped in that horrid yellow sleeping bag—and 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’t even care this time, it makes your heart sink deeper into your chest and your frustration to bubble hotter.
Aizawa sighs when you raise your hand.
“What is it now, L/N?”
“Toilet break, please.” He figures you need time to cool off, so he allows you to leave.
Uraraka’s hand shoots up and she blurts out a request to use the restroom as well.
. . .
You’re sitting on top of one of the sink-counters, legs pulled up to your chest as you heaved. You’d just cried the hardest you’d ever cried before, so much that you actually threw up. You’re angry, upset, confused, disgusted… You can’t remember a time you’ve 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.
“Y/N-Chan… what happened? Please, if you tell me I can help, I want to help.” She coos and you sniffle, wiping your eyes with your sleeve, chest still convulsing with the occasional hiccup.
“It’s Todoroki, he… I…” Your voice cracks and you have to wipe your eyes and breathe again before you can continue.
“I was afraid of that, what did he do? Did he hurt you?” 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.
“No, he didn’t hurt m-me, I just… I just don’t know what I did wrong! He won’t talk to me, he won’t listen to me, he won’t even look at me, Uraraka!” You sob again, burying your face into your arms that are wrapped tightly around your trembling knees.
“Oh, Y/N, I’m so sorry, that sounds awful! I didn’t even know!” She exclaims, looking like she was about ready to cry too. She hugs you tight, and you’re grateful for the affectionate gesture, it’s been so hard keeping all this to yourself. How is it that after six days you’ve become this touch-starved? “How long has this been going on?”
“Almost a week now,” You sigh, your words punctuated by another harsh hiccup. “The worst part is, I don’t even know what I’ve done to deserve this. I was always so careful with his feelings, with him… I—” The brunette squeezes you tighter, letting you lean your forehead against her shoulder.
“This isn’t your fault, Y/N, don’t blame yourself.”
. . .
Bakugou walks out of homeroom, looking even more pissed off than he usually was. And that was saying a lot, trust me. His mood’s 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’s 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.
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’s short-lived when he hears the familiar booming voice of Bakugou echoing through the hallway.
“Hey, scarface! You got some fucking nerve!” 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.
“Uraraka-Chan, Y/N-Chan what-?” 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.
“Uraraka, take care of Y/N, I’ll deal with Kacchan!”
. . .
It’s day seven, and you don’t 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.
Clearly, Uraraka let Deku and Bakugou in on the situation.
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.
You are hurting still, and the mere thought of what you were about to do terrified you. But this couldn’t go on, you wouldn’t 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’t 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’d 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’d mistake your handwriting. You’d 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’s 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.
“Why are you avoiding me, Shouto?”
The question hangs thickly in the afternoon air for a moment, and when you receive no reply, your eyes narrow.
“What the hell is wrong with you? Won't you even talk to me?” You cross your arms, letting seven days of frustration take control of your vocal cords. “Why do you hate me all of a sudden?!”
Todoroki’s eyes soften, his brows forming a concerned crease between them as he opens his mouth to speak.
You don't give him the chance.
“Was it something I did? Did I say something stupid?” 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.
“Y/N, I don—” 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.
“Or 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’ve been hanging out with Yaoyorozu so much?” The tears are blurring your vision at a rapid pace, distorting the image of Shouto’s shocked, pale face.
“Y/N, Please listen—” 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.
“No, you listen! I gave you a whole week to speak! Y-you're going to fucking listen to me now!”
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.
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’t how you were supposed to react.
He had to say something—
“I 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!” You wipe your eyes with your sleeve, your shoulders shaking with the intensity of your mental break down. It’s 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.
“But when you told me that you loved me anyway… did you really mean it?” 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. “Because 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…”
“It feels like y-you've changed your mind all of a sudden…”
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.
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’t 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’d be saving yourself.
“Nothing to say still? Fine, leave the talking to me then, let's just get this over with…” You sniffle and wipe your eyes again, inhaling, exhaling, and squaring your shoulders. “If 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’t exist!”
It tore you apart from the inside out to have to say those words, especially to Todoroki, whom you’d very much assumed you’d always be with. No-one else made you feel the way he did, he wasn’t just your boyfriend, he was also your friend, your motivation, your hero… But nothing lasts forever right? You should be proud of yourself, you had been the one to take an initiative and confront Shouto.
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?
“Y/N, I’m-I’m not breaking up with you, I-I would never—” Todoroki starts, eyes overflowing and yet nothing gets too far past his jaw before it either evaporates or crystallizes into frost-like dust. He’s panicking, his heart racing and mind screaming, pleading for him to stop you.
You cut him off again. You’ve heard enough.
“No, you’re not breaking up with me, because I’m breaking up with you, Shouto!” 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. “Please, Shouto just let me go! You don’t have to pretend—”
“SHUT UP, just shut up!” The booming tone of Todoroki’s 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’s 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.
“I love you—alright? It never changed, I never stopped I just…” He sucks in a trembling breath, the even shakier exhale coming out semi-opaque as it descends into the air he’s made colder in his emotional imbalance.
“There 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.”
Todoroki’s warmer hand—thankfully not scalding like it could have been before—slides 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.
“I had an argument with my father,” Todoroki confesses, and your eyes that had been staring blankly into space close tightly already water with sympathy for him. “It was fine until he started talking about you, bringing you into a mess I don’t ever want you a part of. I got hostile. I didn’t want you to think I was violent like the way I had been during our confrontation.”
“I may not feel as cross towards my left side, thanks to you, but with my emotions so unbalanced I feared I would’ve too easily lost control over my quirk and caused you harm.” You can feel the weight of every word, heavy with sincerity and most importantly, regret.
He sounds so ashamed of himself, and that’s never been an emotion you liked on him.
It’s 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’t explain why he couldn’t 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’d surgically removed overnight.
“I 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—as is if it were mine—my actions were unacceptable.” 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. “I love you, I need you—more than breathing, more than life, Y/N.”
“I 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.” He always surprised you with how he used his words, each sentence like poetry just for you to hear.
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’re practically sitting in his lap. You don’t let go, it’s been a whole week since you’ve been able to hug him and have him hold you just as tight. You were going to indulge goddamnit!
He’s surprised by your bold reaction to say the very least.
“I handled this week childishly by pushing you away,” Todoroki sighs, eyes closing as he takes in your comforting scent. He missed that. “I should have come to you, I should have trusted you.”
“Why didn’t you?” You sniffle, pulling away from where your nose had been buried into his neck.
“I-I don’t know,” 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. “It was my mess to handle—”
You smack his cheek lightly with the back of your hand, giving him a dirty look.
“I know you said I could always come to you b-but—”
“No ‘buts’, Shoucchan!” You smoosh both of his cheeks with your palms and stare him dead in the eyes. “What are you!?”
“An idiot sandwich…” He sighs, his face filling with color as his emotions start to simmer down.
“And who loves you anyways!?”
“You do…” Todoroki smiles, and you feel the lighthearted spike in your mood from finally seeing him smile at you again.
“That's right!” 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. “I love you, you big stupid!”
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’t 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’t 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’re too preoccupied with devouring one another’s lips that by the time you finally break away, it’s been almost twenty minutes.
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’d have to wait.
“C’mon, Shouto, before Bakugou comes looking for a fight because I never texted him back after I met you here.” You swallow when his stare only darkens, his tongue running over his lower lip to swipe at your flavored lip gloss.
“He can wait.”
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28. Don’t judge a book (high school reunion)
(this fic contains homophobic language and talk of past high school bullying. I have put a ‘keep reading’ break in that I hope is going to work. Proceed with caution on mobile)
“There’s that nerd.”
Steve was jolted back into the present when he heard one of his old friends speak. He’d been looking around the gym and trying to remember what it had looked like when he’d 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’d graduated high school and left the place behind, but Steve had still felt something settle inside of him when he’d walked back through those doors.
“Over there,” Chad said, pointing to the other side of the gym. “Oh, what was his name?”
Steve resisted rolling his eyes. The others around him all laughed as though that was the funniest joke they’d ever heard. Adam threw his arm over Steve’s shoulders and Steve resisted the urge to shrug him off.
“You remember him, right? God, he used to have such a crush on you. He’d follow you round after practice like a lost dog.”
“Pathetic little fag,” Callum sneered, prompting another round of laughter.
Oh, yeah. Steve knew there was a reason Bucky had beaten Callum up so many times in school. Don’t cause a scene, he chanted in his head. Don’t cause a scene, Steve. Not here, not now. At least wait until 9pm.
“What the fuck did you just say?” Whoops. So much for that idea. But really, these guys were being dicks.
Callum’s face screwed up in confusion, but before he could say anything, Kyle re-joined them, his hands precariously cradling a round of shots. Ugh, great. That’s all these guys needed.
Christ, he was glad he’d stopped talking to these guys years ago. He hadn’t even recognised them when they’d walked in. Steve had been running majorly late and hadn’t 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’t.
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’t kept it touch with any of his ‘friends’, not on Facebook or anything. It was only Bucky that had stuck with him, but that was Bucky. He wasn’t going anywhere.
“God, this school was full of fucking nutters, wasn’t it?
Steve barely held back his sneer at Kyle’s words. This group were the nutters, not anyone else. The only reason he’d 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’d been stuck with these dickheads for four more years. Steve shuddered as he sipped his beer.
Zoning out of the conversation going on around him, Steve let his gaze wander around the gym. It wasn’t long before he caught sight of the ‘nerd’ that they’d 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’s attention was called away by someone Steve wasn’t sure he recognised, and he was pulled back into the conversation anyway.
“What do you think, Steve?”
“Callum has the least game.”
Steve resisted rolling his eyes. He really didn’t care, but he had no excuse to leave yet.
“Yeah,” Adam agreed with a laugh, “like last month when you struck out with that slut in the bar.”
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.
“Whatever. At least I have a life.” Steve looked over to Callum. He knew what was coming; men like this prick always pushed the attention off themselves by bullying someone else. “Not like that fucking nerd. I bet he wasn’t even that clever.”
“He went to MIT actually.”
There was silence after Steve’s snapped comment before Adam scoffed. “Nah, there’s no way.”
Steve rolled his eyes. “He did. Trust me.”
“What? The fag kept in touch? Did he follow you around campus at college as well? Begging for scraps under the table.”
Steve’s hands curled into fists at his sides and he was about to abandon his not causing a scene rule when Isaiah got an idea.
“I dare you to ask him out.”
What? Oh my god, were these people serious? Isaiah had been quiet until then and Steve had been holding out some hope that he wasn’t as much of a dick as the others were.
Chad laughed loudly and clapped Isiah on the back. “Dude. Awesome idea. I’d fucking pay to see that.”
“Are you serious?” Steve couldn’t keep the disgust from his voice as he grimaced at the men in front of him.
“$50. Ask the nerd out on a date. Oh, Christ. It’ll be like prom all over again.”
“Wait,” Steve turned to Isiah slowly, eyes narrowed and tone deadly. “You asked him to prom?”
Chad snorted unattractively as Isiah looked scandalised. “Of course not.”
Steve was just about to relax when Isiah chuckled. “I asked him to homecoming though. We had a right laugh. Little dickhead thought someone actually fancied him. Ha! Just imagine.”
Jesus. How did Steve stomach these people for even long enough to play one match in high school? These people were vile. Bullies even now, years after their teenage years had ended. They were just dicks and Steve wanted to deck them all.
“I’ll raise you.”
Steve looked at Adam and barely repressed his sigh. Adam held Steve’s gaze and crossed his arms across his chest, a smug look covering his handsome face and making him look positively ugly.
“Make it a kiss and we’ll give you 100 bucks.”
What the ever living fuck? “You want me to kiss a guy we went to high school with for $100?”
Callum laughed, the sound nasty and grating to Steve’s ears. “Well, obviously don’t actually kiss him. Just get close enough and then pull away. Dude, it would be the best entertainment I’d have had in weeks. He’d absolutely cream his pants, thinking the big football star wants him after all this time. The look on his face when he’ll see it’s all a bet, oh man.”
Adam chortled, bent over as he clutched at Callum’s shoulder. “Oh, just imagine. Dude, get your camera ready.”
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’s book and knock them all out.
“Aren’t we a little old to be doing things like this? It’s been 10 years since high school. We’re better than this.”
“Not for that little shit.”
But then again, $100 was $100, Steve supposed. Might as well get it from these fucktards than have to work for it.
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.
“Give me the money first and then I’ll do it.”
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’s gaze, Steve’s 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’s 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.
“Well, hello to you too, handsome.”
Steve broke into a smile and swept his thumb over Tony’s cheekbone.
“You made it then,” Tony said, his smile wide and his eyes dancing, “I thought I was gonna have to send out a search party.”
“I got held up. You know how it is.”
Tony hummed, his gaze drifting from Steve’s face. “Oh yes. The delightful football team. I did wonder when they’d catch you.” He paused and readjusted his grip on Steve’s shoulders, his hands absent-mindedly drifting up to play with his hair. “Why are they all staring at me like you’ve turned purple?”
“Huh?” Steve said distractedly, before he followed Tony’s eyeline over his shoulder. “Oh, them… right.” He dug into his pocket and lifted up $100. “Fancy dinner?”
Tony’s mouth fell open and he laughed in disbelief. “They didn’t!”
“Oh yeah,” Steve grinned, “those fucking idiots just gave me $100 to make out with my fiancé. Champagne? It’s on them.”
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For As Long As I Can Remember (It’s Been December) by green_feelings
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’s not the first time they meet.
Featuring an unintentional game of hot and cold, Harry chasing memories that won’t come back, Louis burying himself in work to try and forget what he can’t 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
the beautiful fic cover was made by the amazingly talented @wesninskey
Prologue /// Part 1 /// Part 2 /// Part 3 /// Part 4 (Complete)
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“Hey.” Sam tilts his chin in the direction over Dean’s shoulder. “2 o’clock.”
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.
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.
“Didn’t you hook up with her last time we were in town?” Sam asks in a hushed voice.
Dean pokes a fork at his scrambled eggs. “Uh, yeah. I think so.”
“Well, go talk to her!”
“Why the hell would I do that?”
Sam scoffs, giving him the Younger Sibling Incredulous Look. “Didn’t you say you liked her?”
“You’re 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.”
Cas scrunches his forehead. “I have two questions.”
“Colloquialisms, Cas,” Dean says shortly. He stabs a sausage link and savagely chews it, pointing his fork in Sam’s direction. “I got a rule and you know that. I don’t double-dip. Comes with the job.”
To Cas’s confused expression, Sam explains, “He means he never sleeps with someone twice, or he might catch feelings.” Cas continues to stare. Sam adds, “Fall in love.”
“Why would that be bad?” Cas asks.
“Have you seen our profession?” Dean scoffs. “Ain’t for me, that whole thing. But sex is good,” he adds with an especially leering grin.
Sam groans into his coffee. “You’re gross.”
“Love is bad,” Cas says musingly. He takes a bite of his waffle drenched in syrup. “I think I understand.”
“No, just—” Dean sighs. “Forget it. Maybe when you’re more human it’ll click.”
Cas looks at him curiously as he chews. Dean needs to look away.
* * *
“There’s too much of your mother in you,” John used to say.
Too much empathy.
Too much love.
It’s what got her killed, after all.
* * *
“You know, you need to define it. Whatever it is.”
There’s movement by the barn door that catches Dean’s eye; it’s only a flash of bird’s wings glinting in the dark. He makes a noncommittal sound and sinks further into his seat, the leather creaking.
“Seriously, Dean,” Sam continues, “it’s not healthy. For either of you.”
If that creepy farmer guy comes back, that’s their man, Dean decides. He’s never trusted anyone with a limp, anyway.
“I heard ya,” Dean barks. “Are you going to focus on this case or not?”
“We need to talk about this.”
“See, that’s where you’re wrong. We don’t.” Dean squints in the dark, sees a hobbling figure approaching the barn, a familiar and stolen spell book in his hands. “Knew it was him.”
“I just worry about you.” Sam loads and cocks a gun. “Both of you.”
“It’s our business, Sam. Drop it.” Dean opens the Impala’s door, the hinges protesting. “You take his right, I’ll take the left.”
* * *
Kissing Cas is second nature now. It’s not like the awkward fumbling when they first slammed together, stuffing themselves into a supply closet so Sam wouldn’t find them, hands shaking and Dean’s ass being poked by a broom as Cas pressed desperately against him.
Kissing him, in fact, is easy: Dean’s gotten used to the texture of Cas’s 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’s warm hands pressing against Dean’s back.
Even the sex has gotten easy.
But then there’s the after: where Cas sits on the edge of Dean’s 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, “Goodnight, Dean.”
And Dean’s eyes are beginning to linger on the closed door longer than they should.
* * *
“What do you want to do as a human, Cas? Anything. Name one thing.”
Cas looks up from his cereal, hair sticking up in impossible ways and squinting at Sam. “More sleep sounds amenable.”
Sam’s laugh bounces across the kitchen’s tiles. “No, something fun that you couldn’t do as an angel. It’s time to get out and find something you like.”
“Like eating crappy diner food,” Dean suggests across the table.
“Or starting a garden,” Sam adds.
“Or eating crappy pizza.”
“Or setting the record for eating the biggest cheeseburger.”
Sam flicks a spoon at Dean’s arm. Dean leans back in his chair and grins.
Looking between them, Cas frowns. “I’m not sure what activities there are to do as a human.”
Dean says, “No wrong choice.” He considers for a moment. “Well, except all of Sam’s suggestions.”
Sam huffs a frustrated breath.
“Maybe biking?” Cas says, tentatively. “I’ve seen that activity before, and it looks enjoyable.”
“We don’t have bikes, Cas,” Dean says.
“But we can rent some!” Sam says, pulling out his phone and waving it wildly. “Wichita has a bike sharing program now! You can go anywhere in the city!”
“Oh, goody,” Dean says.
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’s back to give him a pedaling start, Cas stays upright rather than collapsing to the ground.
Dean feels stupid for being in a flannel and boots on a bicycle. Sam keeps reaching over and pinching Dean’s cheek while they’re 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’s seen him in well, ever, and Dean can’t suppress an answering smile.
Looking back, maybe that’s the moment he knew.
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.
* * *
Dean didn’t 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’s house was dated, sure, but Dean didn’t expect the walls to be practically paper.
“You know what’s most important in the world, son?” asks the man’s fuzzy baritone.
Cas falters, says, “Uh… no. What’s most important?”
“Love. That’s what.”
Dean rolls his eyes. They weren’t going to get anything about the neighborhood poltergeist out of this guy. His brain obviously flew into the cuckoo’s nest a long time ago.
“Oh,” Cas replies. “I see.”
“When 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’m saying?”
Dean’s not sure why he’s holding his breath; especially not sure why his chest constricts to a painful pitch when Cas replies, softly, “I don’t have much experience with what you’re describing.”
“Maybe you will one day,” the old man says.
Dean stares down at the countertop, chipped and broken at the edges.
“Maybe,” Cas tonelessly replies.
* * *
He didn’t mean for it to happen.
It just kind of snuck up on him and happened.
Over time, Cas’s smiles began chain-reacted a fuzzy feeling in his throat. Cas’s rarely-heard laugh made his skin feel like it was on fire. Cas’s hands simply skimming over Dean’s bare skin made him feel like every cell and molecule that made up Dean was reaching for Cas, begging for more.
Even Cas’s eyes holding his made his stomach do flip-flops.
He didn’t mean for it to happen.
He didn’t mean to break his own rule.
* * *
“What is this?” Dean asks between kisses. It’s dark but he can imagine the stunned look on Cas’s face.
Cas was never one to bullshit. He says, plainly, “I don’t know.”
Dean threads his hand through Cas’s thick hair, tugs a little tighter so he’ll forget Dean’s moment of weakness. They fall back onto the bed.
* * *
“You’re a lot like Mom, you know,” Sam just comes out and says one day. Over reading a book, while sipping his coffee, like it’s no big deal.
Dean puts down his phone. Asks in a steady voice, “What?”
“She didn’t want the job either. Wanted different things.” Sam pauses. “Like a family.”
“Why the hell are you telling me this?”
Sam looks at him with way too much meaning in his eyes. “You know why.”
Too much of your mother in you.
Dean pushes against the table to stand and leaves the room.
* * *
I love you.
It’d be so easy to let it tumble out of him; to recklessly plunge headfirst off that cliff without knowing if anything would catch him.
Instead he presses it soundlessly into Cas’s skin with his lips, his hands, his fingers—I love you, I love you. And I’m terrified.
He’s worried he’s being too loud when Cas looks at him with endlessly blue eyes, seeming to respond, I know.
* * *
There’s too much blood on the floor, and Cas’s eyes are too glassy. Dean tears out of his shirt, pressing it against Cas’s wound, but there’s not enough to hold it in, not enough to stop the very essence of Cas leaking out of him—
“It’s fine.” Cas’s voice is raspy. He holds Dean’s wrist in a weak fist. “Stop, Dean.”
Dean presses the shirt harder against the wound. Cas’s eyes grab his and hold them there.
“You knew this would happen eventually.”
“No I didn’t,” Dean whispers. “I didn’t.”
“It’s the profession, Dean. You said it yourself.”
“No,” Dean says.
“Let me go.”
Dean wakes up with a harsh gasp. It takes endless moments of harsh breathing against his pillow to get his heart rate to slow.
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.
It’s unclear how long he stands there, forehead pressed against the cool wood of the door, counting Cas’s breaths.
Cas isn’t in danger, Dean tells himself.
Not right now.
* * *
He takes Cas to a lake, because he remembers Cas saying that he misses the ocean. It’s close enough.
It’s 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.
“What do you think is the most important thing in the world?” Cas asks.
“Pie,” Dean automatically replies. “Maybe burgers.”
“Be serious,” Cas demands.
Dean sighs, his breath dancing in front of him. The sun is nearly gone; they’ll have to drive back soon or Sam will have a hissy fit. He gets bitchy when Dean’s not there to make him dinner after his afternoon run.
“Dean.” Cas pokes a gentle finger into Dean’s side.
“Uh.” Dean blows into one of his hands to make it warmer. “People. Family. Love, I guess.”
Cas nods. He squints into the dying sunlight. “Falling in love can be bad, though,” he says quietly, so soft that if Dean weren’t centimeters away, he’d miss it.
“Sometimes,” Dean agrees.
They stand, brushing the sand off their jeans, and walk back to the Impala.
* * *
That night, Dean drags out every moment: every kiss, every caress, every push and pull of his hips against Cas’s.
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’s never been so focused one one human being, on one beautiful, devastating, terrifying ex-angel sprawled underneath him.
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.
* * *
“You don’t look like you’re getting a lot of sleep. Neither does Cas.”
Dean knows. Doesn’t need the reminder.
“Have you guys talked it out yet? Whatever is going on between you?”
If they did, maybe there’d be more sleeping.
* * *
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.
A nod to the existential. At death that inevitably comes.
Dean wonders if it could apply to love, too.
“I’m going to stop coming to your room,” Cas says to Dean.
Jesus Christ, Sam is sitting right there, Dean wants to say. Instead he stares, forkful of spaghetti halfway to his mouth.
“I’m gonna go… research,” Sam says, fumbling with his chair and vacating the kitchen.
Cas and Dean stare at each other.
“I’m going to stop coming to your room,” Cas says again.
“No, I—I heard you.” Dean puts down his fork. “I just. Why?”
Cas laces his hands in front of him. “When 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’re not getting a good rest. So I think it’s best if we stop.”
There’s a simmering in Dean’s gut. “You. You want to.” He clenches his fist against his knee. “You want to end this because I look tired?”
“No. I want to end this because you look like someone died every time after we have sex.”
“So fucking dramatic,” Dean scoffs. He stands and grabs his plate roughly off the table. “Well, if you wanna end it, fine by me. Just stop coming to my room.”
“All right,” 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. “Seriously, Cas? Seriously?”
“Seriously what?” Cas volleys.
“How can you act like it’s nothing? Over and over—Jesus.” Dean pinches the bridge of his nose. “I should have known better, I really should have but I—every fucking time, it’s the same.”
Cas stands. “I’m not acting like it’s nothing.”
“Yes you goddamn are. Every night, you leave. Every morning, you act like nothing happened. Even now you’re just calmly ending the thing like it was a business transaction. Even as a human you’re as emotionless as a goddamn rock.”
“That’s not fair,” Cas says, his face contorting.
“Then tell me I’m wrong,” Dean shouts. “Tell me this all meant something to you.”
Cas is still like stone, just staring, so Dean scoffs, “That’s what I thought,” and makes his quick exit.
He’s halfway down the hallway when something grabs his shoulders, pushes him into the wall. Cas leans in close.
“You don’t understand,” he says. “You never did. I feel—I do feel.”
Dean whispers, on the precipice of something he doesn’t want to name, “Then why did you leave every goddamn time?”
Cas tilts his head. “Falling in love is bad,” he says. “I understand. Now that I’m more human, I understand.”
“I didn’t mean it like that,” Dean chokes out.
Too much of your mother in you.
“How did you mean it?”
He can’t do this now. Not with Cas staring at him like this. Like he’s the singular most important person in the world. “I’m scared,” he says. “I could lose you.”
“I could lose you.” Cas holds Dean’s shoulders tight. “But I love you all the same.”
Dean shakes his head. Says softly in the space between them, “That’s too much love.”
“No such thing,” Cas insists, capturing Dean’s mouth with his, not letting him give anymore excuses.
* * *
They lie in Dean’s bed, simply holding each other. It’s warm. Dean likes the way that Cas is playing with his hair, likes the feeling of Cas’s breath on his cheek.
“What is this?” Dean asks. Afraid to, but does it anyway.
“Whatever you want it to be.”
Dean frowns. Grabs Cas’s hand and winds his fingers tight around him. “Don’t leave tonight.”
Cas presses a kiss into Dean’s hair. “I never will.”
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Quiet (Midoriya/Reader) [part 2]
| A/n: I have to admit, I re-wrote the ending several times and I’m still not satisfied with it but here we go anyways! |
| See part 1 ... here |
✦✿ Warnings: Angst with a happy ending. ✿✦
✦✿ Words: 5500+ ✿✦
are you guys ready to c r y??
. . .
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’d picked up hours earlier sat right next to the book, half-empty from your lack of interest despite it being your favorite kind.
You’d even considered dropping by your dorm to throw it in the freezer—to beat yourself with later if you kept thinking about a particularly annoying green-haired boy—before coming here, but you found that you just didn’t 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’t taste amazing right now, but it served as a good enough distraction to stop thinking about him. You’d done the right thing, whether you cared about Midoriya or not, you wouldn’t 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.
You told yourself, trying to convince yourself that you would only distract Izuku from his dreams. You’d 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’d 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 ‘secret admirers’ are supposed to be discreet?
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… there’s no way he even remembered this existed.
It was a colorful and cute bracelet with mostly green beads and white lettered ones spelling out ‘All Might.’
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.
“Y/N-chan look!” 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’s a familiar frame from the video you’ve watched with the boy about a million times already. You personally didn’t 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.
“They drew his hair wrong!” You complained pointing at the clearly exaggerated shojo-looking hairstyle the number one hero had been illustrated with.
“No, that’s just the artists’ style.” 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.
“Ohh,” 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. “Gimme your hand.”
You vividly remember the young boy’s 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’t fall off. “Here, so everybody knows you’re the next All Might!”
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’s name on it. It had been the first time anyone had ever made something for you and you cherished it.
“We match now, so that means we gotta become big strong heroes together when we get big!” 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’d thought that he’d lost it or thrown it away a long time ago. It’s 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—including 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’d brought from home but never needed until now.
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 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’t 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’t 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… anywhere you could fit into and doze off, you would.
In fact, you didn’t 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?
. . .
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’t want to see him or he’d start crying again.
It really tore him apart inside to part with it, having kept it for so long. He’d 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’d loved it when he was younger. It was also what made him remember you… 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’d last spoken.
He now realizes his mistake.
But after last night he knew he didn’t deserve to have such an important piece of you to himself. He absentmindedly wondered if you still had yours… probably not, huh? His wasn’t 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’t 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.
“Midoriya.” Iida’s voice piped up and the green-haired boy jumped.
“Oh hey, Iida. Did you need something?” He asked, trying not to sound as worked up as he really was, forcing a small smile.
“I came to ask if you’d heard from L/N at all today?” Midoriya’s heart dropped at the sound of your name.
“Well, it’s just that several students claimed to have seen her running obnoxiously through the halls earlier this evening and I was curious if you’d happen to know anything about it?” Iida asks, straightening his glasses with a displeased expression, clearly not amused by your behavior.
“No, I haven’t. Sorry,” Midoriya admitted sullenly, eyes downcast to the floor.
Iida’s eyes softened and the bluenette sighed, taking a seat next to his friend. Ochako and he hadn’t managed to get much out of the sulking Midoriya since the other night, but they suspect that things didn’t necessarily go well between him and you. Not to mention he’s been a zombie all for days, barely getting any sleep at all these past few nights
“And, as your friend, I am concerned about your wellbeing,” Tenya confessed, pushing his glasses up closer against his face as Midoriya sighed.
“I’m fine, Iida.” 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.
“Midoriya, what happened between you and L/N last evening?” The Iida son pressed, cautious not to pry too much in fear of upsetting him.
“I messed up,” 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’t already seen it. “Really badly.”
. . .
The next morning, Izuku is as sluggish and mopey as ever, worrying his classmates with his lack of enthusiasm.
“You should talk to her.” Todoroki’s cool voice shakes Midoirya out of his daze after homeroom. He’s been staring absently at you as you ignored his existence, focusing on the lesson. It isn’t hard to guess who the half-and-half teen was talking about. And yet he still found himself surprised.
“I’ve tried, Todoroki. Talking won't help.” Midoriya sighs, eyes dropping to his mess of notes, including several crumpled up drawings of you.
“And sulking around doing nothing will?” Todoroki questions, not able to recognize the shell of the boy in front of him.
“I messed up, and she wants nothing to do with me now.” And he respects that.
“Something tells me that isn’t entirely the case.” Shouto replies and the green-haired boy sends him a puzzled look.
“What do you mean by that?” He asks, a brow raised at the possibility that Todoroki knows something he doesn’t.
“You forget that Y/N and I are close friends now, although you haven’t necessarily been around so you may not have known at all.” He states bluntly and it does nothing to comfort Midoriya at all. He hadn’t known you and Todoroki were friends! What else did he not know about you?
“What are you getting at, Todoroki?” Deku asks with a defeated tone, wishing the stoic prodigy would just be out with it.
“Y/N tells me everything, don’t think she hasn’t told me about what happened a few nights ago. But when she spoke about you it didn’t seem like she didn’t want anything to do with you.” Shouto explained, definitely catching the young Midoriya’s attention. “She’s upset, yes, and you aren’t wrong to assume that she is angry with you right now. But the longer you wait to talk to her about it—if you planned to at all that is—the longer it will take for her to forgive you.”
Forgive him? Was that even possible at this point? He didn’t know, but if what Todoroki said was true, and he actually had a chance, he couldn’t waste any more time ‘sulking around and doing nothing.’
“Are you sure that’s even possible, Todoroki?” 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.
“I don’t know for sure, Midoriya. That is up to Y/N.” Todoroki admits, and Deku bites the inside of his cheek still torn over this. “But I don’t think she will forgive you if you don’t try.”
“Mm.” Deku nods, thanking the two-toned boy and packing up for his next class of the day.
. . .
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’d just keep knocking until you opened up.
You were not expecting Midoriya to be standing there.
“What do you want?” 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.
“I-I um… can we… talk?” Izuku asks anxiously, wringing his hands together, elbows drawn in close to his stomach self-consciously. “Please?”
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’ve ever seen, even when he wasn’t meaning to and even now you faltered.
“Why? Why should I let you in? Give me one good reason not to slam the door in your face and go back to bed?”
“B-because I w-won’t leave until I say what I need to say,” Midoriya stated as firmly as he could, a determined glimmer in his eyes as he did so. You don’t doubt that he might sit at your door all night if you refused him. “A-and I have a feeling you have some things to say too.”
He wants to resolve this.
“I have nothing to say to you.” 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. “Move.”
“Please! Please just hear me out, Y/N, please just give me this! Let me try! You don’t need to forgive me. I just need you to listen!” Midoriya pleads, his glossy eyes already spilling hot tears down his freckled cheeks. He’s shaking. “Please…”
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’t believe you’re actually doing this.
“You have five minutes. Start talking.” 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’s 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.
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.
“You have four minutes.” You flatly remind him, and he jumps, trying to think of the words he’d practiced just a half-hour before he showed up at your dorm.
“AH—o-okay! um, I…” When he fails to speak even after a good minute passes, you sigh deeply. If he had nothing to say, why’d he even come? What happened to all that gusto about ‘saying what I need to say’?
“Why did you keep it?” You ask out of the blue after an uncomfortable silence and his head perks up, but he looks confused, eyes searching yours.
“Keep what—?” He starts, but you cut him off.
“The bracelet. Why did you keep it? It’s been years, I didn’t even think you still remembered that old piece of junk existed.” You blurt out, each word sounding distressed and just… 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.
“Because… because it was important... to me.” Izuku breathes, the muscles and nerves in his hand twitching as it laid only inches away from yours. “I was s-so happy when you first gave it to me, my mom had to pry it off of me just to bathe me.” He chuckles, smiling at the memory.
“And I kept it because it reminded me of you, it felt like there was a part of you with me even when you couldn’t 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!” He breaks off when his hiccups start to get out of control. “A-and—”
He chokes and apologizes taking a moment to breathe again. You hadn’t realized how much one silly piece of jewelry had impacted him until now, so much so that he’s crying over it.
“And I made a promise, remember?” 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.
“I-I said that when we—”
“We match now, so that means we gotta become big strong heroes together when we get big.” You butt in, sniffling and raising a hand to scrub at the tears streaming down your face and pooling at your chin. “That’s what you said.”
Deku stares at you, guffawed as you quoted his younger self. He hadn’t expected you to remember it so clearly, It makes him feel even worse. Knowing how much it must’ve hurt you when you grew apart. How hard it must’ve been on you to keep quiet about everything while he lived his best life, forgetting all about his dearest friend.
“Why’d you give it back?” You asked, voice trembling as you wiping your eyes with your arm. You glanced over at the green bracelet lying on your nightstand. “If it meant so much to you, why give it back?”
He closed his eyes. He listened to his heart as it slammed against his chest like a pinball machine, demanding him to say something.
“Because I forgot about the friendship it represented, and I shouldn’t have. I wish I wouldn’t 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—my own dreams—to remember that you’ve been a part of them since the beginning.” Izuku sobbed, there was no point in holding it all in now.
“I gave it back because I was so afraid I screwed up everything between us, and I don’t deserve it!”
I don’t 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’t because he couldn’t catch a single damn breath to say it. But even as he feels he has gathered that breath it’s 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.
“Stop crying already, you had something you wanted to say right? Stop letting your emotions get in the way of that.”
The firmness in your tone as your stern eyes descended upon his own struck a chord in him. You’ve said something like that to him before. Years ago.
“Stop crying, Izuku! Stop letting your emotions keep you from standing up for yourself! Kacchan steps on you because he knows all you’ll do is cry!”
“Would ya quit crying already? You’re tougher than that, Izu. Like All Might!”
“Stop crying because you don’t have a quirk! Become a hero without one!”
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’t 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’ve done this in years, yet far from the first time you’ve 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.
“Shush, I don’t want to hear it unless it’s what you came here to say.” You interrupt, and the look in his eyes changes from nervous to determined.
“I was going to say that I am s-sorry,” He stutters.
“What else?” You encouraged, watching as he slowly gained more confidence. “You said you weren’t going to leave until you say what you need to say, keep your promise.”
“I was going to say that I don’t deserve you!”
“And are you lying?” You ask.
“No!” Midoriya exclaims more confidently, more certain of himself than before.
“And is that all you wanted to say?” You asked again, smiling as the sobbing boy from before completely changed with your encouragement, egging him on.
“No…” Midoriya confesses, faltering slightly as his nervousness returns. He doesn’t know if he’s ready to say it yet. Would that even be acceptable right now? Even as strong as he feels right now he can’t help but hesitate, to blush, to avoid your gaze.
“Then say it.”
“I…” He trails off, suddenly terrified of the thought. He couldn’t! It would put everything on the line! “I-I…”
Your hand cups his cheek coaxing him to look back up at you.
“Stop hesitating, tell me what you want to say.”
He’s already put your friendship on the line, what difference would it make? You wanted the truth so you’d get it! He takes a deep breath, closing his eyes before opening them again, meeting your own straight on. There’s a spark in those green eyes that wasn’t there before he squinted them shut. It’s like an emerald fire was lit behind them.
“I love you!”
You stare at him, and he stares right back, his determined gaze never weakening as he maintained eye-contact.
“You heard me,” Midoriya replies.
This time it’s 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 “I want to be friends again!” or “I want a second chance!” or “I want to fix this!”
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.
“Get out.” You breathe, eyes wide as you stare at him watching his determined face change to one of confusion.
You couldn’t 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… and he has the goddamn nerve to say that he loved you.
“W-what?” Izuku gasped, not understanding what was going on. Suddenly you were pressing yourself against the wall farthest from him on your bed.
“G-get out!” You exclaim, the angry tears running down your face.
“Y/N, what are you s-saying?” 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?
“Why are you lying to me?” You asked, the question coming out like a whisper.
“I-I’m not lying to you, I love you!” Midoriya cried. “Please, you have to believe me, I wouldn’t lie to you! I’ve always liked you—since we were kids, Y/N! I can’t fake that! You know I can’t!”
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’t be faked. He actually… he actually loved you? But why? He ignored you for a year!
“And you can honestly tell me that in that year you forgot about me you loved me?!” You demanded, your tears making your vision blurry and unmanageable.
“I 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.” 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. “I’m 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.”
“And you won’t forget me again? You promise?” 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.
“Yes,” His immediate response confirms it, not an ounce of hesitation present in the way it rolls off his tongue. “I promise, I’ll never forget you. And I’ll never be the reason you cry again.”
“Can you believe me?” Izuku reached his hand out to you.
“I… I believe you.” 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. “This doesn’t mean I forgive you though, Izu.”
“I know, and I’m going to try my very best to make it up to you. I promise.” Izuku states. It doesn’t bother him that you didn’t say ‘I love you’ back, he wouldn’t have deserved it. He’s going to have to work for it, and that was fine with him.
“Do you…” You started, face flushing and eyes avoiding his as you removed your hands from his face. “Do you wanna hug it out?”
“Yes!” 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.
“Sorry.” He mutters when he realizes he’s practically on top of you and most likely crushing you. He moves to roll off of you but your arms only tighten around him.
“No, please just… can we just stay like this for a while?” 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.
“Also,” You spoke up and he hummed in response, he couldn’t 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. “Gimme your hand.”
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.
“This belongs to you.” 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. “Now get off me.”
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.
“Y/N?” He asked.
“Yes?” You sighed sleepily,
“Don’t ever feel like you have to keep quiet anymore, alright? Please, always talk to me.”
You blinked, your mouth opening and closing several times.
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no tag makes me happier
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No one is better than you
Request: can i get a peter kavinsky imagine with prompt 49 can you make it both angsty and fluffy
Prompt: “Why do you think she’s so much better than you?”
A/N: hope you like this!
Warnings: like, one bad word i think
‘Stupid Gen,’ I thought to myself, ‘Who sits next to someone else’s boyfriend and then starts to flirt with him?’ I glared at Gen as she quietly laughed at something Peter said. Peter’s 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’re 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.
“Is there something wrong Y/n?” My teacher asked, causing me to look away from Gen and Peter.
“No, sorry,” I replied quietly, ignoring Gen’s 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.
“Y/n wait!” 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.
“Hey, hey, hey, what’s going on?” Peter questioned softly, placing his hands on my shoulders. I shrugged his hands off of me and ran a hand over my face.
“I don’t think we should be together anymore, Peter,” I told him. His face fell and I felt a part of my heart break.
“Why?” He whispered, “I thought everything was going great, did I do something to upset you?”
“No! God, no. I- I just feel like you could do better than me,” I confessed, looking down at my shoes. “You deserve someone better than me.” I looked back up at him, seeing the pained expression on his face.
“Is this about Gen?” He questioned quietly.
“No, I- I just- kind of?” I responded, stuttering over my words.
“Why do you think she’s so much better than you?” Peter asked, frustration evident in his voice.
“Because she is!” I exclaimed, “Way better for you than I could ever be!”
“You don’t get it!” He shouted.
“Apparently I don’t! So please, enlighten me!”
“No 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.” 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’t.
“Peter Kavinsky, I love you,” I whispered.
“I love you too,” 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’s heart belonged to me.
1K notes · View notes
Thomas decides to see what all the Side’s animal forms would be. It does not go so well for Anxiety.
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’t fun.
“An owl? Really, Thomas, owls aren’t even actually smart, their eyes take up much of their cranial cavity.”
“Come on, kiddo, they are symbols of wisdom. And those wings sure must be nifty! I’m having a pawsome time myself!” A groan at the pun.
“I always thought Logan was a bit bird brained.” Roman mutters. “But seriously, a dragon? While the scales are quite flattering, it is a bit strange, considering I usually fight them.”
“I don’t know, Roman, I guess cause you’re 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.
“Speaking of strange, where's anxiety?” his ears flatten against his head, pulse picking up again. They’re talking about him.
“He should be here. I did summon him.” Thomas, confused. He curses his inability to sink out in this form.
“Perhaps he has taken the form of a smaller animal and is hiding.” He almost hisses, could Logic shut up for once?
“Aw, maybe we should look for him! He’ll probably be so cute!”
“Please. That weirdo is probably a venomous spider or a little parasite. Who cares, where he is?” yes, thank you Roman, for once being not a moron.
“Patton, if you’re worried perhaps you can sniff him out. You are a cat, after all.” No. Nonono. Logic, shut it!
“Good idea, Logan. Give it a try!” and he is outta here before he even knows what he’s doing.
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’s so close-
Then there is the flap of wings, a victorious shriek, and talons are digging into his shoulders pinning him down.
“Well, what have we here?” He shoves aside his fear, proud as his voice comes out just as scathing and steady as ever.
“Get off, you overgrown lizard.” He bites out, Roman’s scaled head coming into view. He glares at Roman’s laughter.
“Anxiety, kiddo? Is that you?”
“No, its Joan, yes it’s me, Patton, now get off, Roman!” 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.
“Hmm. I don’t think I will. Think about it, Thomas. We have the opportunity here to get anxiety out of our way for good.” His stomach drops, his blood goes cold, he is shaking.
“Roman, what are you suggesting?” Logan, he can’t be considering this, please no, please!
“I mean, we don’t need to vanquish him. We can keep him like this. Put him in a cage, or something.”
“I'm not a pet, you idiot, and you can’t keep me like this forever.” He hisses out.
“Oh contraire, little mouse, we can keep you weak enough you don’t have any choice.” His heart lurches as he is lifted up, Roman's wings buffeting him, they are in the air.
“Roman, put me down! I… please! Pleasepleaseplease…” he is crying now, begging, because he can’t, this can’t be happening, they can’t actually intend to keep him locked in this form, weak and powerless, in a cage.
The floor seems so far away, and he feels sick, from the altitude shift or what is happening or both, he can’t tell. The anguished terror is filling him and he lets out a broken, choked sob.
This is what he gets, for thinking he could ever be accepted, for thinking he could ever be tolerated, much less liked. All he’d ever done was his job, and this is his reward.
“Logan, 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’s 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.
“Gotcha!” 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’s 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.
“p-p-put me d-down. Please.” 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.
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-
“Enough!” Thomas yells, and suddenly the ground isn’t 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.
“kiddo, you’re bleeding.” He lifts his hand numbly to his shoulder, mildly surprised as it comes away sticky and red. He lets out a broken, bitter laugh.
“Gee, 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.
“Anxiety-" he half successfully chokes back another sob, harsh laughter tearing at his lungs.
“no, know what, it’s fine. It’s fine, Thomas. I always knew I wasn’t wanted. I was an idiot to hope you might… might ever actually change, actually want me around. Hell, even care about me like I care about you and keeping you safe.” He can barely stand, he doesn’t know if it’s from the pain and blood loss or the adrenaline fading or the panic attack he can feel pressing against him, tightening his chest.
“Kiddo…” he shakes his head.
“Y'know, if you really wanted me dead, all you had to do was ask. I would’ve done it myself.” He doesn’t look up. Doesn’t see the pained shock on Patton's face, the suspicious surprise on Roman's, the horror on Logan’s. 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’t breathe, he’s choking, he’s dying, god, he’s going to die here. Why not? He laughs hysterically, that’s what they want, may as well give it to ‘em.
“virgil, no. It’s not what we all want. Come back to me, stormy. Focus on my voice. You can do it, Virgil.” Virgil. None of them know his name. Only, only…
“Dee?” he chokes out, blurry vision focusing enough to see Deceit, holding his hands in his lap, rubbing circles on his knuckles.
“There we are. Hello, dearest.” Deceit reaches up, softly wiping away his tears, brushing back his hair.
“I’m an idiot. I’m a stupid idiot.” He mutters.
“No. Virgil, you’re not. It’s ok.” 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.
“You’re hurt. Vee, you’re bleeding" he just shrugs, another sob clawing its way out of his throat.
“Doesn’t matter.” He whispers. Deceit hisses, and pulls him onto his lap.
“It does. Even if they don’t care, even if they don’t love you, I do. It matters to me. You will always matter to me. You’re my baby, Virg. Even if you’ve left the nest, you’re still my little rain storm. Got it?” 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.
“you’ve wiped yourself out, love. I'll take care of that nasty shoulder gash. Get some sleep, dearest.” Weakly, he clings to Dee's shirt. He doesn’t want him to let go, he doesn’t feel safe, if Dee lets go.
“I’m staying, darling. I’ll stay as long as you want.”
“can rain down all the hell he wants. Until you’re better, they deserve it.” He finds he can’t 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.
“who hurt him? Who’s ass do I gotta beat until it falls off?”
“hush. I just got him settled.” Dee replies. In three strides, Remus is beside him, head cocked unnaturally far to the side, like a snapped neck.
“He’s ok?” Remus asks, neck snapping back to a normal position with an audible click.
“yes. Keep an eye on him, please?”
“What? Where're you going?” Remus asks. Deceit’s eyes flash.
“I 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.” Deceit growled, stepping away from the bed.
“Boo, you never let me have any fun.” 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.
“Thank you.” Deceit murmurs from the doorway. Remus nods.
“I'll take care of our little stormy night. You go teach ‘em a lesson, Dee.” 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 than Roman has ever been, and he hates seeing him hurt.
“hang in there, vee. Dee'll fix everything.”
“I highly doubt he wants to be called right now.”
“But he was so scared! We have to help!”
“I don’t know Pat, seeing us might make it worse.” He clears his throat. He meets three sets of surprised eyes with steel. Thomas yelps and falls backwards, catching himself on the wall.
“Who is that?!”
“Deceit, you scurrilous snake, what are you doing here?” his eyes narrow at that.
“Oh, I’m sorry, Roman, was I not wanted here at this exact moment?” his voice is a perfect mimicry of Virgil's, and to his satisfaction it makes Roman flinch.
“Thomas. 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.” Logan explains, and his hands ball into fists.
“Oh, 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’m sure that hassss nothing to do with it, Logic.” 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’t him. But Roman… yes.
“So Thomas, dear, care to explain what happened?” 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’t afraid of him, despite his scales and sharp fangs. Interesting.
“I thought it would be cool to see what everyone’s animal forms would be. Logan was an owl, Pat was a persian cat, and Roman was a dragon. But we didn’t 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…” Thomas trails off, eyes shifting away, but it’s enough to confirm his suspicions.
“Roman. Care to continue?” Roman meets his ice cold gaze imperiously.
“gladly. I captured the fiend in my claws. Hurting him was an accident. I merely meant to catch him while he was small and couldn’t hurt us and contain him. Keep him small, so he’d stop bothering Thomas. It’s not like we need him, anyways.” Roman scoffs.
Rage is filling him. Because Roman truly thinks he is in the right, truly thinks he didn’t 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.
“You are a heartless, soulless bastard. I told him not to come, I told him he’d get hurt but he didn’t listen. You know why? It’s certainly not because he wants to be included, he doesn’t yearn for your acceptance, it doesn’t break him a little more each time you all dismiss and send him away unwanted. He definitely doesn’t 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.” He hisses, ignoring the tears stinging at his eyes as he whips around, facing the rest of them.
“And you’re no better. How do you think it feels, knowing the person who conjured you doesn’t 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’s his job to protect Thomas, and you were threatening to keep him away, to put Thomas’s 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?!” He yells, slowly looking at each of them in turn. No one will meet his eyes now, not even Roman.
“you don’t deserve him. You don’t deserve his name. No wonder he hasn’t told you. You’re a bunch of ignorant bullies. And you’d say I’m the bad guy. You all picked out the most vulnerable and pounced.” He shifts his head, turning to Thomas, a curling, empty smile on his face.
“It was a fucking pleasure, Thomas. I’ll be taking my leave.” 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.
“Vee, what’s wrong?” he asks. Virgil glares at him through his tears.
“you said you were gonna stay!” he lets out a soft breath, sitting on the edge of the bed.
“I know. I just had to check on something. But you know Remus would never let anything hurt you, right?” Virgil nods, leaning back into Remus's arms.
“That’s right, starshine. You’re safe.” Remus whispers, rocking Virgil gently, who responds by pressing his face into Remus's chest.
“You’re staying now, right?” Virgil mumbles. He smiles, slipping under the covers.
“I am. No lies this time.” 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.
“What was it?” Remus asks lowly, once Virgil is out again. He sighs.
“Shapeshifting, animal forms. He was a mouse. Roman was a dragon. Threatened to keep him locked up. It got physical.”
“You mean Roman was a bitch and attacked Virgil unprovoked.” Remus's voice is flat, and he shoots him a soft look, one of his hands slipping into Remus's.
“I’m going to kill him.” He squeezes Remus's hand.
“Later. We can work on murder plans later. Right now Vee needs us.”
“Anxiety, it’s dinner time!” Patton's voice trills. He opens his eyes with a groan, freezing instantly.
This… isn’t his room. It isn’t even the commons. He’s laying in soft bedding. He realizes he’s 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.
“hey, now. None of that kiddo.” 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.
“patton please, please, just let me go, please!” he begs, feeling tears slipping down his face.
“Aw, I know kiddo. But this is better for everyone. This way you’re still around but don’t bother Thomas.” 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’t be any more space, any more air.
“hush, stormy, shhh. It’s ok. It’s ok, lovely.” 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.
“Just 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’s 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’s grip.
“thanks ree.” He manages, his voice hoarse and sore.
“Virgil, love, we should talk about it. I only got minor details from them.”
“what’s to say? They were going to keep me in a cage, they d-didn't want me.” Dee draws back a tad, looking down at Virgil's face, eyes hidden behind his bangs.
“did anyone help? Surely not all of them went along with this.” He shrugs, taking a deep breath.
“R-roman g-g-rabbed me in his talons and st-started flying. But he yelled… 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… and he put me down, right away, when I asked. I… I don't think they woulda let Roman k-keep me.” He mumbles out, shaking. Dee feels his heart breaking, can feel the murder on Remus's face.
“That's good, Virge. They were trying to defend you.” Virgil shakes his head.
“but they didn’t. Only p-patton even cared I was h-hurt. Thomas… Thomas didn't say a-anything.”
“but he changed you back.” His brow creases as he looks out from Dee's arms at Remus's words. “if he agrees with Roman, he wouldn’t have changed you back.”
“He's right, lovely. Thomas doesn’t hate you. I know that. That is fact.” He sighs.
“Doesn’t feel like it right now.” He mumbles.
“I know. And that’s ok, Virge.” Dee kisses his head softly. He startles at a knock on the door.
“Remus, see who it is?”
“If it’s princey stab him for me.” Virgil mumbles, making Remus chuckle and ruffle his hair.
He throws open the door, leaning in the doorway with a cocky grin, teeth sharp and eyes glinting.
“Well, well, hello there Daddy. Have I been naughty?” he teases, moving to block Patton's view of the room.
“Remus… what… what are you doing here?” Patton asks nervously.
“Apparently playing the butler. Y'know, Patton, in the movies the butler is always guilty of murder.” He tilts his head slowly, relishing the fear that races across Patton's face. “Now, what are you doing here, daddio?” Patton fiddles with his sweater sleeves, a frown settling on his face.
“I just… I know he probably doesn’t want to see us right now, heck, maybe ever, and I don’t fault him for it. Today… today was bad. Really, really bad. I just want to make sure he's ok. And apologize. We… we chewed out Roman. His actions were unacceptable. Just… I would never let that happen. He’s not… he’s a person, and I don’t always agree with him, but that doesn’t give anyone the right to take away his voice or opinion. Can you just… pass that on, for me? Please?”
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.
“No lies.” Dee murmurs, and Virgil bites his lip. “You wanna let him in?” He asks softly. Virgil hesitates, but nods.
“If he means it... yeah.” Virgil mumbles.
“He does. Remus, stop playing. V- Anxiety says he can come in.” He calls, catching himself before using Virgil’s actual name. Remus sighs, but steps aside.
“Well? Come in then.”
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.
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.
“hey kiddo. How’s your shoulder?” He asks.
“better. Dee helped. It still... still hurts.” His voice is quiet and unsure and hoarse.
“Yeah. I think it would be pretty strange if it didn’t. I’m glad you’re going to be ok, though. Even if it hurts now, it’ll feel better eventually.”
“will it?” He is surprised as Patton pulls him into a hug, startled, but after a moment he leans into it, tucking his chin against Patton’s shoulder.
“I have never wanted you to die. I have never wanted you to leave. You’re one of my kiddos, kiddo, and that means I stand up for you when something hurts you, no matter who or what it is.”
“i’m scared. I hate... I hate being small... I hate... it’s 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...” He chokes out, fear flooding through him again. “I 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...” He is shaking again, on the edge of hysteria, but Patton is rocking him, holding him.
“Oh honey... I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. We didn’t know you were gonna be that little. I’m sorry we didn’t ask permission first, we weren’t thinking. I promise, promise,” he pulled back so Anxiety could see his eyes, tears spilling down his own cheeks, “that 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.” That gets a weak laugh out of Anxiety, imagining Logan holding back a kicking and spitting furious Patton. “I love you, kiddo. I really, really do, and if anyone has a problem with that, has a problem with you, they’ll have to go through me first.” Patton’s voice is fierce, and he doesn’t have to look at Dee to know that he isn’t lying.
“Is 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’t wanna summon you, because we knew you probably didn’t want to be summoned. He’s sorry, too. We all are.”
“Even Roman?” He asks, bitterness in his voice. Patton hesitates, sighing.
“I don’t know. I think... I think he’s sorry he got yelled at, sorry he got in trouble, sorry we didn’t agree with him. But I don’t think he’s sorry for what he actually did to you, said to you. Which makes me angry, because he should be sorry, but he isn’t, and if he isn’t, I can’t change that. What I can do is make sure you are going to be alright. I can learn what else we shouldn’t 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’m sorry it went this far.” He blinks, surprised. He didn’t expect Patton to acknowledge Roman’s inability to see his own wrongdoings. He didn’t expect Patton to admit to his own shortcomings. He didn’t expect Patton to be... honest.
“What 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’t 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’ll do that on your terms, so there’s no rush. Just, whenever you’re ready to talk, we’re ready to listen. If you like, I can bring you meals, if you don’t wanna leave your room for a while. I wanna keep you healthy, and I know if I leave you to your own devices it’ll be chips and soda for every meal.” He lets out a little snort at that, because Patton is right, of course, and he’s already calmed down so much because Patton is being so nice, and he knows Dee would have told him if Patton had lied.
“that all sounds good, yeah.” He mumbles, shifting out of Patton’s hug, pulling his knees to his chest once again.
“ok. Is there anything else you need, or would like me to do?” He bites his lip, thinking.
“Just... just let them know I’m ok? If they’re really that worried about me.” Patton squeezes his non injured shoulder once as he stands, smiling gently.
“Will do, kiddo. If you ever need anything, or just want some company, don’t be afraid to call me up.”
“I... might.” Patton smiles again, soft and warm.
“I love you, Anxiety.” Patton turns away, but before he sinks out, Virgil steels his courage.
“Virgil!” 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. “That’s... my name. My name is Virgil.” A huge smile blooms across Patton’s face, his eyes light up with tender joy, and he sniffles, wiping away tears.
“Virgil. I think that’s a lovely name, Virgil. I know I'm usually a blabber mouth, but it when it counts, I can keep a secret.” 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.
“You sure about that, Virg?” Remus asks, from where he’s leaning against the wall, having simply observed everything.
“yeah. Yeah I... think I am.” He feels Dee press another soft kiss to the top of his head.
“Proud of you, lovely.” 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’t 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.
2K notes · View notes
What if Merlin died?
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’t go to do anything but stand and stare, so he sends one of the others to fetch Gaius and Gwen. The manservant’s 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’t 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’t 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’t 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 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.
"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’t. Because he believed in you, and the world you might've brought about one day. He was simultaneously, a “shitty servant” 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’d 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’t 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’t 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’s neck and doesn’t 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’s 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.
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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deny (with love) my labor
Summary: “I’m here,” you sob, hand shaking. “I’m right here, Bucky. I’m here. I’m here. Bucky, please. I’m here. Please don’t leave me. I’m here. I’m right here.”
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 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 💖
main masterlist | AO3
one — god, don’t 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’s wrong, something’s wrong—he knows something’s wrong because it’s dark here. Why did they turn out the lights? They never turn out the lights here. It’s always acrid fluorescent light, bulbs burning out, burning into the backs of his eyes when he’s allowed to sleep. And he’s never alone. He’s never alone here.
His hand is trembling. The thing is clicking, metal plates settling in place, a sound he’s taken to believing is what the Soldat sounds like, the devil scraping at his vibranium bones, trying to free himself. Bucky knows it isn’t true. Bucky knows the Soldat wouldn’t have any trouble tearing out of his skin and consuming him, this thing the weight that’ll tie him down and drag him to the bottom of the sea someday.
Bucky wakes up alone and he’s so fucking scared that he’s 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’s a knock at the door—his handler, fuck—and he knows it’s true.
He lays still, flat on his back, rigid, as if he’s frozen in time again.
Another knock, and then the sound of a soft, sweet voice. “Bucky?” 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?
“Bucky, it’s me. I’m here.”
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’re 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.
“Bucky?” you call again, but you don’t step back. You don’t 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’t breathe. If you asked him right now, he’d say it was you who stole his breath, but he knows it’s the night.
The dark. The fact that he woke up alone. That you aren’t his handler.
“Steve isn’t here,” you say, a gentle reminder. Bucky knows. “He’s on a mission right now with the others.” Bucky knows that, too.
It’s the first time he’s woken up alone because of that. Because Steve wasn’t 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’s brain remember that he isn’t with HYDRA anymore, but safe in the Avengers Tower with Steve and all his friends and you.
“But I’m here,” 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’t seen something good in so long he couldn’t 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—sharp, bloody-edged diamonds and empty band-aid wrappers in the bottom of your purse and Bon Iver songs at three in the morning—could 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’re 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’re 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’s 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’t dread. Your lips curl into the faintest of smiles but you don’t 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.
“Bucky,” you say again. He loves the way you say his name. “Do you want to lay down again? You look exhausted.”
“No.” His voice is full of stones, sharp and gravelly. It’s the first time he’s spoken tonight besides the screaming he’s sure echoed off the walls in his room, his siren song that summoned you to his door.
“Okay. Do you want to take a shower? It might help you relax.”
Your voice is satin but Bucky thinks it’s a threat. He remembers how his handlers hosed him down. Sometimes they’d shove him into a cell with all his clothes on and let his freeze. Sometimes they’d strip him naked—that was worse.
He shakes his head, staring at the floor now. He can’t watch your expression of grief or pity or whatever it’ll be. Because no matter what, it’ll be beautiful. Bucky can’t hate beauty like yours.
“That’s okay, too. I’m not going to make you do anything you don’t want, Bucky. Okay?”
His eyes close. He focuses on steadying his breathing.
“Okay,” he mumbles.
“Okay. Do you want to watch some trash TV with me instead? There’s a new season of 90 Day Fiancé and I need a partner.”
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’s night. Bucky had been waiting for a chance to be your partner.
And you’re only giving it to him because he had a nightmare.
As if you sense his hesitation, you finally take two more steps forward.
“We can watch the first couple of seasons tonight,” you say. “And then when you’re feeling better we can tackle the new season. It looks super crazy. We can make snacks, too, if you’re hungry. And we can watch it on the couch if you don’t want to get back in bed. I promise it’ll be fun.”
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’re near him. Bucky looks up and you’re right there, closer than you might’ve 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’s about to turn you down, tell you he’s alright, ask you to leave because his heart stutters like a nervous wreck when you’re this close to him and he can’t fathom sitting next to you when he’s 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.
“Please?” you whisper, and Bucky’s a goner.
He was a goner the fucking moment he met you.
The first time you share Bucky’s 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’re 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’t believe you trust him enough to fall asleep against him like this.
Bucky wakes up, but when he wakes up this time, he isn’t 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’s not alone because you’re there instead.
two — i prayed for salvation and all they gave me was your starlight eyes
For a while, it’s fine. He’s dealing with it. He can deal with it. He’s dealt with it before. The sharp commands, the rough hands, the jumbled words in Russian he can’t remember anymore but he knows they’re Russian when they’re 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’s your voice, and then Bucky loses it.
Somewhere, he knows he’s screaming. The mouthguard is muffling him. It’s the hand clamped across his jaw to silence him. He’s screaming and screaming and screaming because it’s your voice in his head saying those words that he can’t remember but he does remember—what 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’t forget about.
Trembling fingers smooth over the rough stubble covering his cheeks as if caressing his face, the hands so gentle. He’s never felt something so soft while in this chair. While he’s been strapped down. Tortured.
When his eyes open, he’s staring at the Soldat, and it’s his own fucking hands that’s cradling his face so gently, gently, gently, and he’s screaming.
Bucky surges from the bed, but there’s 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—for real, this time—you’re sitting there, disheveled and somehow still beautiful and still frightening.
You’re staring at him, wide-eyed, hand fisted in the collar of the shirt you’d 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’s painful. The guilt.
How could he have been so careless? It wasn’t 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—only for you to, of course, press his bloodied face to your stomach in an embrace unlike any other you’d 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’d felt stable enough to allow it because he couldn’t 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’t tired. Super soldiers didn’t 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’t 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’t 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’t you run from the room? Why had you stayed in bed? He could have killed you.
God, the thought of his own hands—his hands—his hand—this thing—
“Bucky,” 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’t 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.
“Bucky!” 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’s 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’s 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.
“I’m here,” you say. “I’m right here.”
Bucky understands. It was your hands, always your hands, instead of the Soldat’s.
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’s spell, a washed-up sailor.
When you finally pull away, still cradling his face in your gentle hands, you rest your forehead against his.
“Do you remember our first date?” you ask, a breathy laugh escaping your parted lips. “You brought me those flowers and I had no vase to put them in, ‘cause who has a vase just lying around?”
“Most people,” he mumbles, tucking his face in the crook of your neck and shoulder and breathing in the clean scent of your skin.
“Shut up.” Bucky laughs at that. “It’s not like anyone ever brought me flowers before, so excuse you, Barnes. Anyway. I didn’t have a vase to put flowers in, so you insisted on going out and buying me a vase, too, but you wouldn’t let me come with you for some stupid reason—”
“Chivalry 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?”
“I happen to like that grease trap.”
Your fingers parse through his hair, untangling the strands. “I do, too.”
“And then I made us take them to go so we could sit out by the Potomac.” A smile sneaks onto his face and Bucky leaves a kiss against your neck. He feels you shiver underneath his touch.
“The fucking Potomac, Bucky.” You throw your head back and giggle. “We live on the Potomac, for god’s sake. But it was so romantic, and so charming, and I was so in love with you that you probably could’ve asked me to go dumpster diving with you and I would’ve said yes and still kissed you afterward.”
“Really?” He pulls away to look up at you, a grin splitting his lips. Finally, his arms snake around your waist as if he’s allowed to touch you again, and you sink into his embrace.
“Really.” You press yourself closer to his body as he tightens his grip on you, the two of you falling back into the bed. “I love you, Bucky Barnes. Every part of you. Every version of you.”
He stares at the ceiling, his shaky breaths agitating your flyaway hairs all fanned out on his chest.
“I’m not…” He struggles with the words. “I’m not good for you.”
You don’t move, and Bucky wonders if you’re 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’re the only person who’s ever wanted his heart, and you’re the only person he’d ever want to give it to.
“You’re perfect for me,” you say, and Bucky inhales. “I told you—I 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’ve 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.”
He can’t breathe he can’t breathe he can’t breathe—
“And I love you, Bucky Barnes, who has nightmares and who buys me vases to go with the flowers he brings me and who won’t 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.”
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.
“I love you, Bucky. I love you.”
He is so undeserving, but he is nothing if not greedy, and he’ll take what he can get.
“I love you too, doll.”
three — you looked so pretty on the other side, honey, i almost forgave them for killing you
It’s all tears in his mouth, wet and salty and cloying. His hands are stretched toward the ceiling but he doesn’t know if he’s reaching for something or if he’s 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’s 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—you 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—and now it isn’t 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’s 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’re perfection and Bucky wants to touch you even though he knows he’ll ruin you. He always ruins everything. He’ll ruin you and you’ll 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’s real. He feels like he’s right. He feels like he doesn’t ruin anything.
He lets his eyes close so he doesn’t see the warmth in your smile.
As soon as he touches you, he’ll ruin you.
“Hey, love,” you whisper, your fingers trailing down his stubbled jaw. “I’m here.”
There isn’t anything else that’s 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’t remember, because he can’t 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’s on the very boundary of his mind, something black and familiar, but he can’t 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’s breaking, you stroke one hand up and down his back lazily while your nails rake through his tresses. It’s 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’s picturesque and abhorrent. It’s 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’t care if he ruins you because he needs you, he needs you, and he needs you.
His hands cup your face and he’s still crying. “Say no,” he begs. “Say no.”
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.
“Yes,” you say instead, of course, because Bucky knows you’d never say no to him when he’s like this. You know he needs you, so you’ll be what he needs. And if he hates himself for it, for ruining you like this with hands that don’t 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’re 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’s so selfish for you. He’ll do anything for you, but it isn’t altruistic. It’s because he wants you. Because he needs you. Because he’s so fucking selfish for you and he has to have you, he’ll die without you.
It’s 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.
“It’s okay,” you murmur at the corner of his mouth. “I’m here. You have me. It’s okay.”
He’s desperate for you and it’s poison—his 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’s broken you again. He’ll break you tonight. He’ll 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’re an instrument and he’s your musician, plucking at your strings of pleasure, heady and drunk on the love you emit.
Bucky’s 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—he chuckles into your skin and leaves bruises in his wake as he travels up and down the length of your legs.
“Please,” you plead, gentle and panting and needy. “I need you inside me, Bucky, please.”
Your confession is his own salvation and Bucky nearly takes you then and there, his own need—the one inside of him—aching to have you. It’s a consuming feeling, all consuming. He needs you like he’s never needed anyone else.
“I gotta get you ready, doll. Gotta warm you up,” 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.
“No, no, Bucky, please,” you beg him and he falls apart. “I’m ready, I’m ready now. Please just—please—please fuck me.”
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’ll 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’s like he’s 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—
Suddenly, his hands find the thread at the edge of his dream and yank it back and the darkness swallows him whole. He’s 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’s 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’ve gouged them out and left you bleeding. Bucky can’t even scream.
They’re asking him something, they’re asking him to do something or say something and he can’t—he can’t fucking hear them. They shove the barrel harder into your hair, knock your head around, you don’t even move. You’re so still. You’ve assumed that death is the only option. Bucky can’t even fucking scream.
And then they shoot, bullets ripping through your perfect image, tearing your body into little pieces like you’re just a sheet of paper, your limbs lost to the scatter of firearms. You aren’t even whole when you fall to the ground at his feet. You’re just blood and guts and glory and guilt. It’s Bucky’s fault. It’s all Bucky’s fault.
He’s ruining you.
When the darkness fades, he’s 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’re stroking him again, your hands carving out wide paths in the stone of his own skin, reassuring him that you’re real.
“James Buchanan Barnes,” you murmur in his ear. “You’re okay. You’re here. I’m here. James Buchanan Barnes, you’re okay. It’s all okay. You’re here and you’re okay. James Buchanan Barnes, I love you. I’m here.”
His blunt nails dig into your skin, leaving crescent-moons of pain and desperation in their wake. You don’t 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—the lullaby you reserve for him when he’s at his worst. He needs this. He needs you. He needs—
“When I went to your town on the wide open shore, oh I must confess I was drawn, I was drawn to the ocean…”
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.
“You don't know how lucky you are. You don't know how much I adore you. You are the welcoming back from the ocean…”
four — nothing would be sweeter than your hand around my neck, divine
This time, you are screaming, and Bucky—he—it—he hates it—he—
This time when he wakes up, he’s on his knees above you, straddling your hips, his—the—that thing around your neck. Stealing your breath. That thing is choking you. He’s choking you. He’s killing you.
Bucky is killing you.
And he can’t get the fucking thing to release you, oh god, he’s killing you, he’s done it, he’s killing the only person he’s ever loved, the only person that’s ever loved him, fuck, god, fuck, his names is James, it’s James, James Buchanan Barnes, he’s James Buchanan Barnes, he has to let go, he has to let go, let go, let go, let go—
“Let go!” 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’t look at you. He can’t. 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.
“Bucky,” 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. “Bucky, are you okay?”
He whirls around now, his eyes so wide it hurts, and he stares at you. You’re on your hands and knees, reaching out to him, still coughing. There’s 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’s okay? How—How 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’t take away the fact that he killed you.
He killed you. It doesn’t matter if it was in his dreams or not—he killed you.
“Please.” Your voice is so thin. “Don’t—Don’t leave me.”
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’t keep you. He shouldn’t have tempted fate. He should have let you go.
Selfish. Selfish man. Selfish machine. Selfish Soldat.
“Bucky, please,” you call again. You’re crying. He hasn’t heard you cry like this before. It’s 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’t 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.
“I’m here,” you sob, hand shaking. “I’m right here, Bucky. I’m here. I’m here. Bucky, please. I’m here. Please don’t leave me. I’m here. I’m right here.”
That thing, the thing, it’s him. It’s a part of him. It belongs to him and it’s his fingers that bruised your skin.
“Bucky, listen to me. It’s okay, Bucky. It’s not your fault. I’m here. I’m here, Bucky.”
It’s his fault. He killed you. This arm, this metal fucking thing, it’s his. It’s attached to him and has his nerves wired to it and he can move it. He flexes his hand in proof.
“It’s going to be okay.” 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’s 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.
“I’m here,” you repeat over and over again. “I’m here, Bucky. I’m right here.”
But you shouldn’t be. You shouldn’t be here. And Bucky shouldn’t be here, either. He should leave right now, walk out that door and never return, never see you ever again. But he’s selfish and he won’t. He can’t. He can’t leave you like this.
He should, but he can’t.
Mechanically, like the machine he is, like the weapon attached to his shoulder, he walks toward where you’re 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’s 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’t 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.
Bucky throws himself back, scrambling away from you.
“No!” 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’ve burned him.
Bucky stumbles toward the floor, leaving you collapsed on the ground, sobbing wracking through your quaking body.
“I’m here, Bucky,” you cry. “I’m here. Don’t leave me. Please, don’t leave me. I’m here, Bucky.”
He slams the door behind him. Your howls are the ghosts that follow him home.
“I’m here, Bucky. I’m here. I’m right here.”
five — just let me sleep, love
You aren’t. You aren’t here anymore.
He doesn’t 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’s 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’t 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’s 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’s still locked.
Everything is where it should be—except for you.
You aren’t here.
His phone rings from the nightstand and he grabs it in an instant, the screen lighting up to reveal a picture of you—the 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’d ever want and need.
Immediately he sighs with relief and answers, hope on the tip of his tongue.
“Hey doll, where are you—”
He inhales. It hurts his chest.
The phone slips from his grasp, clattering to the floor. The call ends. Bucky can’t breathe. He can’t move. Suddenly, he’s back on the ice, freezing to death. Frozen. Dying. He’s frozen again, out of time, out of fucking time.
You aren’t here. You can’t 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’s 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’ll 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’t here. You are not here. You said you’d be here, and you aren’t.
Bucky can’t wake up from this nightmare because you aren’t here.
one, redux — and when we wake, they'll have canonized us like this
It’s not a violent awakening. It’s not quick. It’s 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’t 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’s 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’t even feel your legs but there’s a chill rolling over your bare skin like you’re laying on a bed of ice. Stuck. You’re stuck. Trapped. Fuck. You can’t move. Where are you?
A face hovers over yours, a black mask and reddened eyes. Crazed eyes. Mad eyes. He’s 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—from the driver’s seat—they 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’re asleep again and then you aren’t.
This cell looks familiar but you don’t 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’re in a chair. They’ve strapped you down with something. It hurts, but you can’t feel the texture enough on your skin because it’s 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’s in your mouth—you can taste it.
Where is Bucky? Where is he?
Didn’t he promise that when you called, he would come?
The room is spinning. Everything is dark but it’s dark in a way that makes your eyes hurt because everything hurts. Everything, everything, everything, everything, everything. You’re going crazy. Everything. Hurts. You don’t know if your eyes are open or closed. Are you even alive? Maybe you’re dead and this is where you go when you die if you’re a bad person.
Oh no. If you’re 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’s like a lullaby you can fall asleep to. Thunk, thunk, thunk. Go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleep my little—
The cell door rattles. A black, shadowed figure kicks it open. He’s talking to you but you can’t hear what he’s 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’t 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’t. 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’t 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—Bucky’s 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’re empty instead and it kills you.
Death is calling and Bucky isn’t coming.
Somehow, you know what’s coming next. You know it’s 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’ve heard him in his sleep, how his jaw tightens and his canines gnash together like he’s 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’s why you clench now, pressing your tongue to the backs, knowing what’s coming.
And then the man slams it into your shoulder like a weight, pushing it into your skin. You’re screaming, you think. It’s 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’s you, right? Who are you? It’s so hot, the heat so hot, the heat unbearably hot, too hot. It’s white-hot. So hot that it’s freezing. The heat is frostbite now. Is god listening to you? Fuck, it’s so hot it’s cold. You’re screeching again. Or maybe it’s someone else. Bucky always screamed like this. So strangled. It’s 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—you hope he doesn’t come save you. Please, Bucky, don’t come.
Please don’t come. Don’t come. Don’t come.
“I’m here. I’m right here, doll.”
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’t there anymore. No, it’s not there anymore. Is it? Is it still there?
Someone grabs your hand, squeezing it gently, and you flinch away.
“Baby, it’s me—it’s just me right here. I’m right here. You’re okay, it was just a nightmare, doll. You’re safe. We’re in our apartment. It’s 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’re safe and I’m here and I’m not gonna let them hurt you again. I swear it.”
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’t 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—cautiously, at first, in case he’s 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’s smiling at you, swallowing back words, his Adam’s apple moving under the dark shadow of his stubble.
He’s here. Bucky’s here. You called and he came. He saved you. Bucky saves the day.
“You’re here?” you whisper, voice lost to your erratic crying.
“FRIDAY,” Bucky calls out, “who is in the Avengers Tower right now?”
“Currently, there is no unauthorized personnel in the Tower, Sergeant Barnes.”
The AI’s voice grounds you a little, reminding you that you aren’t 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’s failing defenses not a huge surprise to anyone.
“Mr. 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.”
“And there is no unusual activity?”
“No, Sergeant Barnes. I have completed a security scan during this time.”
“Thank you, FRIDAY.”
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’re safe. Bucky’s here.
His fingers, vibranium and cold, gently caress your own hand that’s guarding the seeping burn by your heart. It isn’t healed. It’s still there. You can feel the ache from the open flesh, the skin that’s 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.
“Look, baby. Look,” 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’s 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’s yours.
You aren’t HYDRA. You don’t 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’t there.
“You’re okay,” he whispers. “I’m here. You’re okay.”
He takes you into his arms, shifting your body until you’re 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’t 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—too 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’re 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.
“I know this is a bad time,” he starts and you flinch. Your eyes shut in anticipation. “I love you, you know that, doll?”
“I love you, too,” you try to say without crying. “I love you so much, Bucky. More than you could ever know.”
You feel his chest shake with laughter.
“You stole my line, baby.” 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’s smiling so pretty, so gently, so him that it kills you.
He’s here—but for how long?
“I’ve tried to give you time,” he whispers and your heart clenches, “but I can’t wait anymore. I love you so much and I almost lost you. I don’t know what I would’ve done, baby. I know this isn’t right of me, but I can’t wait. I can’t.”
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.
“Say yes,” he says in a breath. “Please say yes.”
It’s 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. “You didn’t—Bucky, goddamnit, you didn’t ask.”
He curses and a wet giggle bubbles up your throat.
“I’m sorry baby, shit, I’m so bad at this.” Bucky groans. “I love you so fucking much. I know you deserve better but doll, I can’t live without you. I never thought I could, even before I almost lost you. So please, please, don’t leave me again. Will you marry me?”
“Yes,” 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’s 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.
“I love you, Bucky.” Your mouth tastes of salt when he kisses you and you aren’t sure if it’s your tears or his this time.
“I love you,” he murmurs against your lips. “I’m here.”
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Forget Me, Forget-Me-Not
Prompt: “I’ll do anything for you. Anything.”
Part 1: The Fall
- - - - - -
The name is a whisper. Hardly more than a breath; and it slips out, a careful caress between split, bloody lips.
Aziraphale has him by the arm, and Crowley’s vision flares white as his broken wrist bends.
Aziraphale has yet to speak, though it’s unlikely Crowley could hear much of anything over the ringing in his ears. Beneath him, sparkling marble is slipping away entirely too quickly. They’ve passed Heaven’s 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’t survive the fall a second time. Not bound as he is, wings bent and broken at his back.
Aziraphale’s fingers are a brutal pressure around his skin.
And it’s not Aziraphale’s touch. It’s not. But Crowley knows those hands, is intimately familiar with the soft, barely there callus on the inside of his angel’s 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’s neck. Aziraphale’s grip is firm, and Crowley is spent. He can’t fight. Not even if he wanted to.
“Angel,” Crowley says, a hoarse whisper. “Remember yourself. Remember me.”
Aziraphale’s marching steps carry on. Cold marble bites at Crowley’s skin.
He’s 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’s icy, unblinking eyes occupy the entirety of his vision.
“You’re gonna do it,” 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’t - he knows he can’t break free of Aziraphale’s hold, but he’d like to touch him one last time. It seems entirely too cruel that he can’t.
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.
He should be terrified. Or angry. But there’s only one thought, circling, a remorseless mantra in his mind.
This will destroy Aziraphale.
Demons do not pray. At least, not to God.
At this point, however, Crowley is beyond caring. And he isn’t entirely sure whom he is addressing when he frantically, desperately prays: If - when Aziraphale comes back to himself, please, please let him forget he’s done this.
“It’s time, Aziraphale.”
Gabriel’s voice is hard, pressing. Not an inch is left for argument.
There isn’t, 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.
If he’s there, Crowley can’t 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’s iron grip, he parts his lips, smiling the smile he’s only ever worn for Aziraphale.
“Hey. Hey. S’really not that bad,” Crowley croaks, nodding to his shoulder and back at his wings. “I’ve had worse. Probably.”
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’s expression is slack, empty.
Behind him, Crowley can make out Gabriel’s hulking figure. His arm is raised, and Crowley knows what his next order will be.
Holding those cool blue eyes, Crowley hisses, hurried, frantic, “Not your fault angel, please. It’s not your fault and I don’t blame you. You know I would’ve done anything for you. Anything. This is okay - it’s -”
The angel’s grip slackens and Crowley jerks, slipping down.
“-angel,” Crowley gasps, “you’re the best thing that has happened to me. In all my life - my long existence. And I don’t regret it. Not one single thing. Aziraphale, I love-”
Aziraphale makes a startled noise, low in his throat, and he blinks, lashes fluttering.
And Crowley catches a glimpse, just a flash of Aziraphale, his Aziraphale in those wide, watery eyes, but it’s enough. It’s enough -
“Aziraphale!” Gabriel barks.
Aziraphale’s fingers reflexively release.
And Crowley falls.
Time is strange.
After the almost apocalypse, they had a year. A year’s 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.
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.
And yet, it was everything.
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’d known - of course he’d 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’t ready. He’d had no time to prepare.
How could he?
Everything had been wonderful. Unimaginably perfect.
And he’d had no idea of the signs he should be on the lookout for. He couldn’t possibly have known.
One week before Crowley fell, before his wings were broken, before he and Aziraphale once more found themselves bathed in Heaven’s 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.
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, “What are you doing, angel?”
Or rather, he tries to.
The sound that escapes his lips sounds something more like: “wha’ryou’doin’gel?”
Aziraphale does, of course, understand.
Hands on his hips, he huffs a frustrated breath. “I’ve lost the Babylonian Merchant’s Journal. The one I was studying. Just yesterday.”
Wiggling up, Crowley perches his elbows on the pillows. “You lost a book?” he teases, closing his eyes as the sun falls over his back. “When was the last time you did that?”
“I have never lost a book, my dear. This one, it’s just...misplaced.”
“Where did you have it last?” Crowley mumbles, sinking down into the pillows.
“That just the thing - I can’t remember!”
Crowley squints an eye open. “I 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.”
Looking triumphant, Aziraphale snaps his fingers, and the book appears in his palm.
“Thank you, dear. I don’t know how I forgot.”
“Don’t see why you couldn’t just miracle it in the first place.”
At that, Aziraphale manages to look more than a bit embarrassed. “You see, I couldn’t seem to imagine it clearly, and you know how badly a summoning can go if you don’t have a clear picture.”
“This is a sign,” Crowley says, with all of the solemnity he can muster.
“You should hold off on reading and join me in bed,” Crowley says, rolling over to make room. “Promise to make it worth your while.”
Aziraphale, looks up from his book, eyes flashing mischievously in the morning light.
“Oh you do?”
“Have I ever not?”
“Yes, a very good point.”
At which point, the book is set aside and Aziraphale’s 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’s forgotten their human friends’ faces and names.
- - - - - -
Thank you for reading! This was a short, kind-of-prologue. Part 2 is in the works :)
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illicit affairs (Spencer Reid one-shot)
This is wayyy overdue! It’s just been sitting in my drafts, waiting for me to edit her, but she’s finally here. This is very loosely based on Taylor Swift’s song of the same title. And it’s 100% me writing out some feelings through fanfiction, so it’s also loosely based on true events. Enjoy!
Summary: You and Spencer have been “dating” 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’s so dramatic. Angst with a happy ending!
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’re barely able to look at him. You won’t speak to him, you insist you’re 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’ll be paired with him when he says he’ll go to the local station to work on victimology, but instead you agree to Morgan’s offer to look at the crime scene.
He’s desperate. He’s a so-called genius, and he’s losing his mind.
“Morgan, help me out here, man,” Spencer pleads, cornering Morgan when he’s getting a coffee. He’s just returned from the crime scene with you, but of course, you’ve ducked away from Spencer.
Derek’s eyebrows raise. Slowly, he turns around, eyeing the desperate genius. “You’re asking for my advice?”
“She won’t talk to me,” Spencer whispers, eyes cutting to you, but only for a second. He doesn’t want you to think he’s creepily staring at you all the time. So far, you haven’t caught him (that he knows of).
“Well, what did you do?” Morgan asks like the answer should be blatantly obvious.
“I don’t know!”
“Alright, let me rephrase that for you,” Morgan’s tone is bordering on teasing, but he can’t help it. The resident genius of the BAU is having trouble talking to a woman. Who knew? “Have you done anything that would lead her to believe you’re not interested in her anymore?”
“Think, Reid,” Morgan replies, tipping his cup of coffee in the air. “And when you figure it out, apologize.”
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’t betray your confidence. You relax.
Spencer doesn’t 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’s the fact that there’s the road to focus on, or the case to segway into, you don’t know. But what you do know, is that when you confided in Morgan, he shook his head, and called Spencer a dumbass.
“Hypothetically,” you had begun, and Morgan remembers wondering if you were going to talk about the case, but you didn’t. “If you’ve been talking-- flirting with a guy and going on a few dates over the past few months -- but there’s no label -- but so if you’ve 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?”
Morgan had nearly slammed on the brakes. Reid? A two-timer? He never would’ve guessed. The kid could barely get his words out when he first met you, and now he’s playing you?
“Well, hypothetically,” Morgan played into your game. “I’d be suspicious. Personally, I don’t just hug any woman like that if I don’t have other intentions,” he shook his head. What you’re describing is intimate, especially for Reid. “You’re right to think something else is going on.”
“Who said it was about me?”
Morgan looked at you with his usual knowing stare. Sometimes you forget you’re all profilers. You’ve made deals not to profile one another, but you’re sure it still happens. You all have another silence agreement to never voice it aloud, unless needed.
“Fine,” you caved, crossing your arms over your chest. “I don’t 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’t know.” You had let out a frustrated sigh. “I thought he was different.”
“If it helps,” Morgan shrugged, “I’ll kick his ass.” He might protect Reid like a mother hen, but he’s not afraid to give him a hard time, either.
“No, no, don’t,” you groaned. “I’m just gonna keep my distance. No sense in putting effort into something that clearly is never going to happen.”
“Oh, come on, don’t talk like that,” 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.
“You know I’ve never been in a relationship?”
This time, Morgan did slam on the brakes.
“Never,” you shook your head, motioning for him to keep driving. “Not one. They all fall through. I started thinking something was wrong with me, you know?” Morgan gave you another look, his sad, big brother one this time. “But 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’s a date, right? I mean, he never kissed me on the lips, but it’s Spencer.” You didn’t even look to see Morgan’s reaction, but he was nodding. “I started to think maybe it was never me, maybe it was the guys--”
“It was the guys,” Morgan argued. “Alright? You’re amazing. Anyone would be lucky to have you. It would be a damn honor. Don’t let that head of yours convince you otherwise.”
You shook your head, the crime scene rapidly approaching. “I’m not so sure anymore.”
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’t 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’s a little bit proud. On the other, he’s pissed. It’s one thing to have one night stands with women who are into that sort of thing, but it’s 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’ve made it painfully clear over the past two weeks that you’d rather keep your distance instead.
So, he lets you. He can’t say that he blames you, really. Not after what you told him. He can only hope Spencer will figure this one out before it’s too late.
After the case is closed and you’re 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’s worried looks. Morgan is the only one you’ve confided in, but that hasn’t stopped Hotch, Emily, JJ, and even Garcia from constantly asking if you’re alright.
Once you’re finished showering and in your pajamas, you head back to the living area. Spencer’s forgotten cardigan lays on the arm of your couch, lonely.
You know you shouldn’t, 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’ll soothe your nerves and help you drift off to sleep before your mind has the time to make you think of Spencer.
Sighing heavily, you place the kettle on the stove. You hum a song while you’re at it, knowing that you’re being endlessly dramatic.
It’s 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’t call me kid, don’t call me baby/Look at this idiotic fool that you made me
It’s stupid, really, how hung up you are over this. A few dates don’t exactly mean anything at all. Flirting nowadays can mean nothing, too. You don’t understand any of it.
You cup your cheek gently, foolishly wondering what it would feel like if Spencer’s hand was there instead -- maybe even as he kissed you, but you don’t want to get too carried away. It’s 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’ve been different.
Maybe it’s just your type. Maybe that’s who you attract. The men who don’t want anything serious and never will. They’re 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’re just walking back to the living room when there’s a knock on your door. You freeze, your panicked mind expecting the absolute worst, until you hear Spencer’s voice.
“Y/N?” He calls out. “It’s Spencer-- You probably knew that already.”
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’s a bad idea. He’s probably here to ask if you’re alright, and you don’t have the energy to answer him. He’s probably going to go back to his girlfriend after this. You really don’t know that you can handle a face-to-face rejection.
“Y/N, please,” Spencer says again, pleading. He knocks once more, quietly. “I see lights are on, so I’m just going to...assume you can hear me.”
You walk a step closer. You don’t want to let him inside, but maybe you can listen. That won’t be too bad, right?
“Y/N, I’m...I’m sorry.”
Oh, tears. Stupid, stupid tears. You wipe them on the sleeve of his cardigan, glad that they’re at least falling quietly right now.
“I don’t know what I did, but I’m...I’m just sorry and I miss you and it’s killing me that you won’t even look at me. I…” Spencer pauses, and you walk closer, biting on the sleeve to keep from letting out a sob. “I’m sorry, I don’t… Please, just tell me what I did.”
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’s ears to perk up.
“Y/N? Is that you?”
“Yeah, Spencer,” you barely speak loud enough for him to hear. “It’s me.”
“Please, tell me what I did,” he pleads, voice breaking. Is he crying, too? “I don’t know what it was, but I’ll fix it. Or I’ll try-- Please, let me try.”
“Spencer…” You sigh, tears falling down your cheeks with no restraint. “Be honest with me, are you seeing someone else?” You pause, choking on a sob. So many times you’ve had this conversation, the rejection, finding out you weren’t the one they wanted. Too many times. But none of them ever hurt this bad. “Do you have a girlfriend?”
“What?” Spencer nearly falls over. Why on earth would you think that? “What are you talking about? Of course not.”
“Don’t lie to me, please,” you groan, pressing your hand to your forehead. This is pathetic. You shouldn’t be showing him how upset you are. And through a door, no less. Can you get any more dramatic?
“What are you talking about?”
“I was at your apartment, Spencer,” you mutter, wiping angrily at your cheeks. “I 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--”
You cut yourself off, choking on another sob, and Spencer sighs. He understands now.
“Open the door. Please,” he says.
“Why?” You reply quietly. “If you’re just going to reject me, please, just do it through the door.” The last thing you want is for him to see you like this when he tells you he’s seeing someone else, that he didn’t even know you liked him, and so on.
“I’m not rejecting you,” he says softly. “Please.”
You know it’s 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’s 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. “Go on.”
“She’s an old friend. We did kiss before, once. But she’s not my girlfriend. She was in town and wanted to stop by to tell me she’s getting married...to her girlfriend of three years.”
You nod slowly. For some reason, that doesn’t even make you feel better. “Okay.”
“Okay?” Spencer asks, hopeful tone and all. “Are we okay?”
“What are we, Spencer?” You ask, eyes still watering. “I can’t keep going on the way we were going, you know? It’s agonizing, I just want to know what’s going on in your head.”
Spencer smiles softly. “I want you to...to be my girlfriend.”
Your ears are deceiving you. They must be. “Are you sure?”
“Of course I’m sure. I thought it was obvious,” he chuckles. “That’s one of the things I talked to her about -- her name’s 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’ll have me.”
More tears spring to your eyes and Spencer’s heart jumps, thinking he did something completely wrong.
“What happened? Did I say something?”
“No,” you shake your head. “God.” 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.
“I’m so...stupid,” you mutter, jumping when you see he’s followed you inside. He’s not unwelcome here by any means, you’re just an idiot. A huge idiot.
“You’re not stupid,” he argues. “I wish you would’ve talked to me.”
“Would you believe me if I told you this has happened to me before?” You murmur pathetically, propping your body against the arm of your couch.
Spencer’s heart breaks more. You won’t look at him again.
“I’m sorry,” you sigh, clasping your hands together, fighting the shakes. “I should’ve talked to you, I just-- This has happened before and those times it was… Well, you know.” You finally look up at him, tears falling. “The first time the guy didn’t even try hiding it. The second one did, but not very well because I still found out. The third wasn’t even aware that he was flirting with me, I guess. I don’t know how you can take someone on dates for months and not be aware, but he said he wasn’t.” You pause, looking away again. “I just saw a pattern and I freaked out and I’m sorry.”
“It’s okay,” Spencer whispers, even though you still feel like it’s not.
You shake your head.
“Y/N, it is,” he presses on. “I should’ve...talked to you about how I’m feeling, but I was scared. You’re the first girl that’s-- I don’t know, liked me for me, I guess. Dorkiness and all.”
You chuckle, and Spencer nearly grins. He got a laugh. That’s something.
“How about we both make a deal to communicate better?” He offers. You nod, so he keeps going. “I’ll go first. I really want you to be my girlfriend.”
You can’t help but smile now, all dumb and trying to hide it in the sleeve of his cardigan. “I’d really love to be your girlfriend.”
“Yeah?” He asks, almost like he wasn’t 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’s gentle and warm, relaxing your muscles and easing the tension you’ve 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’s no secret that you and Spencer have been “dating” for a while, but you never showed PDA -- partly because the two of you were fumbling around your true feelings, and partly because you’re 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’s 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.
“Late night?” Morgan raised his eyebrows.
Realizing your mistake, your eyes widen. “Shut up.” You step off the elevator and point a threatening finger in his face. “Not a word.”
Morgan’s hands raise in surrender, but he still has that goddamn smile on his face. “Might wanna take off that cardigan, sweetheart. You’re too obvious.”
Angrily, you shrug it off and walk into the bullpen.
Spencer is at his desk, so you shove his cardigan into his chest. “You forgot this.”
Upon seeing that it’s you, Spencer’s lips stretch into a grin. “Thanks.” He pauses, folding the cardigan over his arm. “I was kind of hoping you’d keep it,” he whispers, eyes darting around to be sure no one is listening. “It looks better on you, anyway.”
You bite down hard on the inside of your cheek. “Give it to me tonight, then,” you wink, earning a light blush on Spencer’s cheeks.
Hotch watches this encounter from the railing and smiles. He’s sure neither of you will do anything to warrant him giving you a stern talk about relationships and work, so he won’t mention anything for now.
Instead, he retreats back into his office, glad you’ve finally gotten over yourselves.
Garcia catches on when you come to visit her in her office only to find Spencer already standing there. He’s animatedly talking about Doctor Who, but stops abruptly when he sees you. It doesn’t 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’s so obvious that Prentiss and JJ share a knowing look, but say nothing. They should’ve placed bets.
You and Spencer catch each other’s 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’re 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’re honest. Hugs are something you never found yourself enjoying, but when you’re tucked into Spencer’s chest, you never want to leave.
You’re both too busy holding one another to hear Hotch’s footsteps as he enters the room. The clearing of his throat is what finally breaks the two of you apart.
“Agent Hotchner,” you blurt, straightening yourself and taking one too many steps away from Reid.
Hotch smirks. You haven’t called him that since your first day. “New case. Looks like a short one. Conference room in five minutes.”
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’t try to walk out of the break room separately, knowing that there’s 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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Written in the Stars
summary ↬ being soulmates with a werewolf? pretty easy. being jungkook’s soulmate? the easiest thing in the world. there’s only one teensy tiny problem. he doesn’t want to fuck you.
pairing ↬ werewolf!jungkook x reader
genre ↬ soulmate!au, abo verse, fluff, angst, hurt/comfort (this is so fucking dramatic and for what)
word count ↬ 10.4k my hand slipped
warnings ↬ swearing, 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’t 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 ↬ hello lovelies! here’s 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’t. but i was close,,,,so fucking close)
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’t 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’t ignore or chalk up as your mother’s 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’t 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’t 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’t flinch. Didn’t 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’t say a word as he paid, barely sparing you a second glance as he strode out of the store.
“He’s going to be a great and powerful man,” your mother said in that feathery light voice of hers. “It was written in the stars.”
You couldn’t help but agree.
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’t come in. Not for an entire week. From Monday to Sunday, you hadn’t 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’s 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’t take a genius to figure out why.
“Did you have a good heat?” 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.
“What did you just say?”
You didn’t shrink under his intense glare. “I was asking if you enjoyed your heat. Seems like you did.”
“How do you know I was in my rut?”
“Oh, is rut the correct terminology? Sorry, they always interchanged them in class, I was never sure what was appropriate.” You shrugged and rang up his items. “It 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’re back looking happier than ever. If it wasn’t your rut then I want to know where you went on vacation because that’s where I’m heading to next.”
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. “I’ll be sure to send you the link to the Airbnb.”
“And how do you plan on doing that?”
He smirked. “I’m here every day, aren’t I?”
You tilted your head as you accepted the cash he handed to you. “Clearly, you’re not that reliable.”
Jungkook laughed again. It was becoming your new favorite sound. “My apologies. I didn’t mean to appear flaky.”
“You’re forgiven,” you decided as you handed him the plastic bag of his purchases. Teasingly, you added, “just make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
He flashed you a smile that showed off his sharpened canines. “Don’t worry, darling. I never make the same mistake twice.”
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’t 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.
“What did you just say?”
“Are you free? Tonight?” You glanced around, almost expecting to see some sort of supermodel posing behind you to explain the absolute absurdity of the situation. “What are you doing?”
“Looking for the hidden cameras. I think I’m getting Punk’d.”
Jungkook sighed and placed both hands on the counter that separated the two of you. “Look at me.” You did. Slowly and warily, but you did. “Does it look like I’m lying to you?”
Narrowing your eyes, you regarded him carefully. He seemed serious. But, then again, do you ever really know someone? “I don’t know. I’ve never actually seen you lie before so I wouldn’t know the difference.”
“Fine. Ask me what color my shirt is.”
“What color is your shirt?”
“White,” he deadpanned. You glanced down at his chest. His shirt was black.
He threw his head back and released a full bellied laugh. Even in your exasperation you couldn’t help but soften a little. “I’m sorry, darling. I couldn’t help myself.” Annoyed, you huffed and spun to face the cash register. Stabbing your finger onto the touchscreen, you ignored Jungkook’s 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.
“Come to dinner with me.” His voice was nothing but a rumble in his chest, his eyes so black and all-consuming you couldn’t 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.
“Are you going to kiss me?”
Jungkook raised an eyebrow. “Do you want me to?”
“No.” You tried to shake your head but his grip didn’t 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. “I don’t want our first kiss to be in a grocery store. That’s a new low that I refuse to reach.”
Jungkook chuckled and tapped your chin gently. “Alright, darling. I’ll pick you up at seven.”
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.
“Sorry,” you sighed as Jungkook opened the passenger door for you. “She has a…thing for astrology. She’s probably creating your star map or whatever right now.”
“It’s okay,” he responded once he got into the drivers seat. “It’s sweet of her to care.”
You snorted. “She’s delusional is what she is.”
“So, you’re saying you don’t believe in astrology?”
Jungkook shrugged as he pulled out of your dirt driveway. He looked so damn attractive behind the wheel it was honestly unfair. “Not really saying I do or don’t. 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’t think there’s anything wrong with that.”
“God, don’t talk like that in front of my mother. She’ll want to start dating you.”
He grinned and placed a hand on your knee. “Tell her I’m already taken.”
You didn’t get a chance to respond to that. Not that he didn’t 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 ‘testing the waters’ date, not a ‘you’re my girlfriend now’ date. Did you have to make it Facebook official? You hated that shit.
Jungkook didn’t 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’t 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’d ever been on.
“I have to be honest with you,” Jungkook spoke after he finished his raw steak. “I have an ulterior motive for asking you here tonight.”
“Oh,” you mumbled around the shrimp you had just tossed in your mouth. “So…this isn’t a date?”
“No, it is,” Jungkook clarified quickly around a dry chuckle. He seemed…nervous. It put you on edge immediately. “This is definitely a date. And, also, more.”
“More? What, is this a proposal too?” You were joking. A 100% joking. But Jungkook was staring at you so seriously it made you panic. “Jungkook, if you get down on one knee here I swear-”
“I’m not proposing,” he assured you. “This is something more than that.”
“More?” You parroted. Jungkook sighed.
“Do you know what a true mate is?”
Right there, in that quaint little bistro, on a date with quite possibly the most untouchable man you’d 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.
“But…aren’t true mates only for wolves? I thought it’s impossible for a human to be a true mate,” you asked in a shaky voice once Jungkook took a breath.
“It was supposed to be impossible. Until, I met you.” Jungkook stared at you with a sort of reverence that made your entire body blush. “I have no idea how you are. I’ve spent hours researching. I’ve consulted with members of my pack and others. No one knows why.”
“Are you sure, though? I mean…what if you’re wrong?”
“I’m not.” Jungkook shook his head. “I 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’d never seen a future so bright before.”
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’t speak. The shock rendered you stupid.
By the time Jungkook pulled into the driveway you still hadn’t 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’t 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.
“Please,” he whispered. “Can you…just - are you okay? You’ve been so quiet. I’m worried I’ve scared you off or something.”
With that voice, it was impossible to deny him. So, you said the first thing that popped in your head. “Do we have to make it Facebook official?”
Jungkook stared at you before bursting into laughter. “Really? That’s all you have to say?”
You blushed and glanced down. “I’m just worried, that’s all. I can’t remember my Facebook password so even if you wanted to change it I don’t think it’ll work.”
“So that’s why you never accepted my friend request,” 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.
“Don’t make fun of me,” you whined as you buried your face into his shoulder. He smelled so good, a mixture of pine and spice. “My brain hasn’t worked since you told me I’m yours, so bear with me.”
Jungkook chuckled and gently swayed you from side to side. “Does that mean you’re okay with this? All of this?”
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. “Honestly? I haven’t really processed anything. You’ve had your whole life to come to terms with this. I just found out thirty minutes ago that I’m someone’s soulmate. It’s a lot to take in.”
Jungkook nodded as he tapped his fingers against your hips. “I know. It’s a lot…I’m a lot. I just want you to know that you don’t have to do this. You don’t have to be with me. I won’t-”
Now it was your turn to burst into laughter. You couldn’t believe those words had left his mouth. It was easily the most absurd thing you’d ever heard. “Jungkook, I want to make something very clear. I have no problem being your true mate. That’s not the issue here. Well, there really isn’t an issue. It’s just…hard to believe, I guess. I have to process that this is my new reality.”
“Really?” Jungkook perked up and looked so fucking cute you couldn’t help but cup his cheeks. His skin was so warm despite the cold autumn air that surrounded you both. “You want to do this? Be with me? Be mine?” 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’s 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’d rather die than show this much affection to someone. But, this was Jungkook. Your soulmate.
“So…what do we do now?” You asked once Jungkook set you down. “Is there, like, a ceremony or something?”
“I have no idea,” he admitted as he stared down at you. He had a hand against your jaw and was rubbing your cheek tenderly. “I really didn’t think I’d get this far.”
You scoffed at his ridiculousness. While recognizing you were Jungkook’s true mate was going to take some time, believing that he thought you’d deny him was utter nonsense. “What if…what if we date, first?” You suggested timidly. “I know that sounds kind of weird considering we’re supposed to be the loves of each others lives. But, I don’t 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.”
“Whatever you want,” Jungkook agreed. “We can do whatever you want. Just as long as I have you, I’m happy.”
Two years passed.
Two blissful, wonderful years. Two years of dating, two years of loving, two years of being Jeon Jungkook’s. It was everything you could’ve 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’t been alone. He hadn’t 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’t 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’t like he refused your every need. No, Jungkook was extremely attentive. When it came to himself, that’s 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’t 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’t 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’t 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’s where he went. You had no idea. There was no point even asking to come along. You loved your boyfriend and didn’t 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’t 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’t 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’d had to coax him out of the door. Promising him that you’d be okay and that you’d see him next week. It wasn’t until several kisses later did Jungkook finally leave.
While you’d 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’t necessary, you secretly didn’t mind. They made you laugh and made you temporarily forget your boyfriend was miles away from you. Sometimes, if you were lucky, he’d call you to tell you goodnight. But those times were rare. Normally, you didn’t 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’t 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’s was thankfully not long. About ten minutes, as long as you didn’t hit any traffic on the main road. Luck was on your side, though, and you showed up at Jungkook’s house in eight minutes.
Taehyung’s car was in the driveway when you pulled up, which wasn’t 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’t really understand and didn’t 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’s 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’d 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’s 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.
“No,” Taehyung snapped, seeming just as angry as Jungkook. “I’m not dropping it. Not this time.”
“Yes, you will,” Jungkook snarled. “I’m not having this conversation with you.”
“Too fucking bad.” While Taehyung was also an alpha, he acted so much like a beta you never really noticed. Until now. “I’m 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.”
“I’m doing things the way I want to, and it’s working-”
“The hell it is!” Jungkook growled at the interruption but Taehyung ignored him. “It’s not working, and you know it. Anyone with two fucking eyes knows it. It’s getting so bad that the pack is noticing, too. Even Namjoon has realized something is wrong, and he’s as oblivious as they come.”
“If they have a problem with me they can take it up with me.”
“No, they can’t. Because you won’t listen. Your head is so far up your ass you can’t even hear yourself anymore. What you’re doing right now is not working. Something needs to change.”
“Like what?” Jungkook spat.
“You know what,” 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’t move. Your brain screamed at you to run but your legs were rooted in place. “That’s is what’s so frustrating, Jungkook. This, all of this, could be solved. She’s right there-”
“Don’t.” Jungkook stood up so fast the chair he sat on flew backwards and hit the wall with a resounding crack.
“Why?” Taehyung threw his arms up in the air. “Why not? I don’t get it-”
“Because I don’t want her!” 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’s 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.
“You don’t want her?” 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.
“No, I don’t!” Jungkook exploded. “What don’t you understand about that? I don’t want her around me. I don’t need her, I’m fine on my own. The thought of having her there when…God - it makes me physically ill.”
“She’s your girlfriend. Above all of that, your true mate. You’re seriously going to deny yourself of her, for what? Just because you don’t like having her around?”
That’s when it hit you. They weren’t talking about some random she-wolf. They were talking about you. You were the one Jungkook didn’t want. You were the one Jungkook didn’t need. You were the one he didn’t like having around. As the weight of the words sunk into your mind, you felt your chest becoming tighter and tighter.
Then, you’re heart broke right in half. You dropped the container of cookies and didn’t 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’t know if anyone was behind you, you didn’t 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’t 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’t allow it.
It wasn’t 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.
“Honey, your aura…it’s concerning.” The blanket was yanked away and the pain crashed over you.
You couldn’t say a word, all you could do was collapse in your mother's arms and cry, cry, cry.
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’t 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. 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’t allow him to cross. Either way, you were grateful that you couldn’t see him. There was an incessant tugging in your heart to be near him but you staunchly ignored it, which would’ve been impossible if you saw his achingly beautiful face.
I don’t want her. I don’t 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’t escape from. You were the protagonist who couldn’t escape the maze, but the villain wasn’t kind enough to kill you off. No matter what you did, your brain wouldn’t 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’d get so wrapped up in someone else they didn’t know who they were anymore. Independence was something you prided yourself on, but you seemed to be at a complete loss now. You couldn’t 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’t 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?
“I don’t think we’re soulmates,” 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.
“Why do you say that?”
You stared at your hands that had curled in on themselves. “I don’t make him happy. I-I never realized how uncomfortable I made him. I wish I had known. How did I miss it?”
Your mother tutted gently and gathered you in her arms. She smelled of lavender and wax. “This is good. I’m glad you’re letting yourself have this moment. Let’s sit in this and allow yourself to be embedded here.” But you didn’t want to have this moment. You didn’t want to have any moment and you’ve 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’s 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’t avoid them for much longer. “Hey, Jimin.”
“Christ, you look like shit.”
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’s way of caring for you. “Yeah. My mother’s covered all the mirrors in the house.”
Jimin nodded as he glanced at you from head to toe. “I want to ask if you’re okay but…” 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’s.
“I’m fine, Jimin,” you heaved a heavy sigh and leaned against the doorframe. “Do you want to come in? I think my mom boiled some tea not too long ago.”
Jimin shook his head. “Can’t. Jungkook would have a fit if I got that close to you right now. I’m already pushing my luck just by showing up.” He doesn’t care, you thought bitterly, and almost said it out loud but you caught yourself at the last second. Jimin wasn’t stupid, though. He knew what you were thinking. “Hey,” he murmured, eyes going soft, “are you ready to talk about it?”
“No.” You shook your head. A wave of sadness washed over you but the telltale prick of tears didn’t come.
Jimin understood. He tucked his hands into his pockets as he rocked back onto his heels. “Are you going to talk to him?”
Letting out a heavy breath, you crossed your arms over your chest. “I know I have to. I just…I just need time.”
“Take however long you need.”
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’t focus. You couldn’t move on. Why?
Because Jungkook wouldn’t 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’t. You hoped he was at least sleeping, but then you got annoyed at yourself for caring. You didn’t know why he was out there, it made no sense. Jungkook’s 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’t 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’t 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’s methods were extreme, you understood. As difficult as it was to move on with your life with Jungkook sequestered to the forest, you couldn’t imagine what it would’ve 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’t prepared. Although you knew you wouldn’t be, you still weren’t 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’d 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’t 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’t 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.
“Hi.” Probably wasn’t the best start but it was the best you could do. Jungkook didn’t respond so you soldiered on. “I-I know you don’t want to be here, so I’ll make this quick. I just…wanted to apologize. I had no idea I made you so uncomfortable. I’m not sure how long you’ve felt this way about me, not that it really matters, but I wish you had told me sooner. Maybe things would’ve been easier for you, who knows.” 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. “But, all of that doesn’t matter anymore. I think I understand what you need, now. I know you loved me at one point, but I’m obviously not what you need anymore. And…t-that’s 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-”
“Stop it,” Jungkook broke in with a harsh voice that cut your sentence in half. “Stop talking.”
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. “I’m sorry,” you whispered, not expecting it to change anything. You began to turn away but Jungkook stopped you in your tracks, again.
“Wait, no - stop. Stop. Please…don’t go,” he pleaded. When you turned around, his eyes were frantic. Jungkook’s 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.
“Jungkook, I’m so confused.”
“I know. I’m sorry. God, I’m sorry.” Jungkook tucked his head into his hands before dropping down into a squat. “This is all wrong. This is all so wrong.”
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’t. It was as if your heart was tethered to him and your body couldn’t handle the pain of walking away. “Listen-”
“I don’t know what to do.” 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. “Whenever 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’s something I’ve always admired about you.”
The way he spoke to you now, so reverently and so full of awe, made your head spin. Nothing made sense. 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.
“I don’t know what to do either,” you admitted in a quiet voice.
“Tell me,” Jungkook begged, as if he couldn’t and refused to comprehend what you had just told him. “Tell me what to do, and I’ll do it. Whatever you want from me, I’ll give you.”
You were shaking your head before he could finish. “There’s nothing you can do, Jungkook. Nothing.”
“Don’t say that.” He stared at you, horrified. “Don’t say that to me. Please, there has to be something.”
“What could there be?” You cried. Tears streamed down your cheeks now. “You 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’s that.”
“It isn’t,” Jungkook argued back. “It can’t be. I-I can’t lose you, I can’t. I need to make this right, please just let me. Please.”
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.
“Jungkook, I need to go, okay? I-I can’t do this.”
“No!” 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. “Just let me explain, okay? I swear to God, after you hear what I have to say, if you still want me to, I’ll let you go. I won’t fight you on it. But, please let me tell you the truth. Give me a chance to make this right. You deserve that.”
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’t going to leave, he began pacing. Looking every bit like the wild animal you knew him to be but never got to see.
“Mating with a werewolf is…brutal. It’s intense, it’s painful and it isn’t pretty. It’s essentially a breeding session where I use you as a vessel to fulfill my innate biological needs. It’s not romantic, it’s not gentle. Even for she-wolves it can be too much. The thought of subjecting you to something like that - that type of pain…I couldn’t fathom it. I don’t think you understand just how precious you are to me. The image of you being battered and bruised because of me, something I did…it tormented me, day and night.” 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.
“I couldn’t do it. That’s 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’s such a huge part of my life, a wolf’s life.” Jungkook looked you straight in the eye, the intensity of his dark gaze took your breath away. “I 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’t had anyone else since. I swear on my life, I’ve spent every single one of my ruts alone. I wouldn’t and I won’t do that to you.”
“Isn’t that painful, though?” 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.
“It’s manageable. It’s way more painful for a she-wolf to go through her heat alone than it is for a male.” Jungkook clenched and unclenched his fists as he resumed his pacing. “The worst part is being away from you. I’ve been going through ruts since puberty, I can handle them. But not being able to be with you for a whole week…I 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…I never even allowed myself to consider it.
“It came to the point where the pack was noticing. I wasn’t 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’d 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’ve 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’m terrified that I could hurt you when I’m like that. That I wouldn’t 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.”
Jungkook shook his head and chuckled humorlessly. “Now 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’s not a valid reason, I’m well aware of that, I need you to know that what you heard was not the truth. It couldn’t be further from it. Because the truth is that I’m hopelessly in love with you and the thought of being without you hurts worse than I ever thought was possible.”
It wasn’t 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’d suddenly stalk off with a growl as he was forced to keep away.
“I-” you cleared your throat around the lump that had found a home there. “I had no idea. This whole time…I thought it was because you didn’t want me.”
“God, no.” Jungkook swore heavily as his muscles bunched and coiled beneath his clothes. “The - the fact that…you - fuck. I’m so sorry. I’m so fucking sorry. That’s not it, that’s not it at all. You’re my dream girl, you’re the love of my life, and I want you every second of every day.”
Maybe it’s 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’t 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. “Fuck, fuck, fuck. I’m sorry…please, I’m so sorry. I - don’t cry, darling. Please don’t. I’m so sorry I hurt you, I didn’t mean to, I swear.”
It wasn’t 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…it was indescribable.
You finally lifted your head up and were shocked to find Jungkook’s 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.
“Wait here,” you announced before jumping up and taking off for the house. Ignoring Jungkook’s 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.
“I’m going to your house,” you announced, breathless. “No witch is stupid enough to go that far into werewolf territory. If you want to talk to me there, then follow me.”
Jungkook stared at you for a heartbeat until the words you spoke clicked. “Y-yeah. Yes. Okay. I’ll be there.”
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.
It was the longest and shortest ten minutes of your life. The drive to Jungkook’s 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’t sure who moved first, but it didn’t matter as you crashed into each other’s 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.
“I’m sorry,” you whispered.
“Don’t,” Jungkook hissed fiercely as he squeezed you tighter. “Don’t apologize. This isn’t your fault, not in the slightest.”
“Kook,” you sighed and pulled your head back to get a good look at him. “It takes two to tango.”
“Not this time,” he argued. “You’ve put up with so much. You’re everything I could’ve asked for and more. It was my own fears that got in the way and created this mess. And I’m so sorry for that, darling. I’m so fucking sorry.”
You shushed him gently, running your thumbs over his cheeks to swipe at the dried tears. “I know you’re sorry. I believe you.”
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. “Missed that,” Jungkook mumbled as he stared at you with stars in his eyes. “Missed you. Missed you so much.”
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. “Missed you too,” you murmured in return. “Please, next time, just talk to me. I may not have the answers you’re looking for all the time, but I’ll always be here to listen.”
“I know,” Jungkook whispered. “There won’t 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.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.” You lifted yourself onto your toes to brush your lips against his, dropping back down to your feet when his head chased after yours. “Or maybe I just won’t kiss you for a week.”
Jungkook’s eyes widened comically and he actually looked terrified. “I’d rather you just punched me in the face.” 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.
“I love you,” 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.
“Say it again,” Jungkook pleaded. You couldn’t 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’re murmured promises became softer and softer until the two of you just enjoyed each others presence. “C’mon,” you finally whispered as you started to lift yourself off of him. Jungkook growled and refused to let you move an inch farther. “Kook, come on. Let’s go inside. Your ass must be numb by now.”
“Don’t care,” he grumbled but he at least shuffled forward a bit more so that your combined weight wasn’t squashing his ass against your car.
“You might say that now, but you won’t be saying that later.”
Jungkook grunted at your logic but he at least raised his head and looked at you with the sweetest eyes. “Please tell me you’re staying.”
Giggling, you asked, “do you want me to?”
“Obviously,” he scoffed. “I want you here forever.” Jungkook tilted his head thoughtfully. “Actually, you should just move in with me.”
Christ, this boy was going to give you whiplash. You couldn’t help but laugh. “Jungkook, we just made up. The whole reason we were in this mess is because of poor communication. Don’t you think we should work on that first before anything else?”
“But…we could work on communication all the time if we’re together 24/7.” Despite his pout, you knew he wasn’t totally serious. Although you were sure it was going to come up again.
“Alright, you maniac,” you said fondly. “Take me to bed.” Jungkook’s chest rumbled happily as he lifted you up and wrapped your legs around his trim waist.
It wasn’t 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.
“Love you forever, my darling girl.”
©jcwritings Do not repost, translate, or use my stories without my permission.
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Inspired by this post by @anxious-ball-of-sunshine.
No no no no no…
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…
He watched the reflection of his shaking hand as it rose to his cheekbone. He didn’t want to touch it. He didn’t want to see himself touch it. Just seeing or feeling was bad enough, but both would just confirm that…that he…
Change me back…
It would force him to believe it. And he didn’t want to believe it.
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.
Virgil inched his hand forward before he could stop himself, teasing his fingers across the scales under his engorged eye.
Yep. This was real.
A shudder wracked his lungs.
Clenching his teeth, he tore his now-mismatched gaze from his face to look the rest of himself over. He even had the Snake’s 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’t 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’s fault this was.
“C’mon,” 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’t 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.
Except the damn cape refused to come off.
“Get off!” Virgil snapped, pulling at the garment so furiously that he almost spun himself completely around.
So occupied was he that he barely noticed the muffled clang. Harder to ignore was how the flooring underneath his feet suddenly changed.
Hands flying to his face in alarm, Virgil tried to sink back into the safety of his room. But he couldn’t. 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.
“STAY BACK!” 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. “LET ME GO! DON”T LOOK AT ME!”
Stop talking stop talking he talks his mind insisted, running on overdrive. He couldn’t see the others and he could barely hear anything over his own gasping and heaving breaths. But he hadn’t actually said anything that could be misconstrued, had he? There were only so many ways to interpret ‘don’t look at me,’ he couldn’t 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’t see his face–except 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–
Not “where is Virgil.” Not “what have you done with Virgil.” 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.
“We know it’s you, Virgil,” Logan spoke in measured tone.
“We called you, not Deceit,” the teacher explained. “He announces himself rather differently, no matter who he looks like. It stands to reason that the aspect we summoned would be the one that showed up, no matter the physical appearance.”
Slowly, Virgil turned his head to fully face the logical Side. He didn’t put his arm down yet. He’d face this if he had to, but not without a shield. Skittishly, he searched the other’s gaze. Logan believed what he was saying. That was a good sign.
Not enough. “…Patton?”
“I’m here, kiddo.” The moral Side shouldered his way past Logan, taking Virgil’s still-outstretched hand in both his own. “Dad’s here, we’re all here. We know you’re not really him.”
The anxious Side lowered his shield, painfully slowly, meeting Patton’s 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’s shoulder so he wouldn’t have to feel it himself anymore. He didn’t 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’s.
“Sounds like we gave you quite the scare,” he heard the Prince’s voice carry itself over from the general vicinity of the sofa. “If it was going to startle you that much, why didn’t you just change back when you felt the summons? Why were you even shifting into his shape anyway?”
“I can’t,” the anxious Side huffed into Patton’s shoulder. “He changed me himself. If I didn’t do the change I can’t change myself back.”
Thomas paused in his breathing. Patton’s arms constricted the slightest bit tighter. Neither Roman nor Logan said anything. Thomas resumed breathing.
“W-well, when you’re all settled, one of us can help you with…that,” said the creative Side. He sounded a bit subdued.
Virgil wasn’t calm enough yet to wonder why.
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’d take care of this. He’d be back to normal in no time.
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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—despite being written instead of sleeping ;-; |
teared up a little ngl
✿✿ See part 1 here ✿✿
✿✿ Words: 2200+ ✿✿
✿✿ Warnings: Mentioned-Domestic Violence, Angsty then soft. ✿✿
. . .
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’d been drinking straight from the pot since about nine in the morning.
It’s 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’d always played it cool, like he didn’t 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 ‘he’s afraid that one day you won’t be okay’ kind of way.
Your lips twitch when a fond memory crosses your mind.
. . .
“Katsuki, stop staring.” You mumbled in annoyance and he blew air from his cheeks and ran a hand through his spikes, looking around as if he hadn’t been glaring holes into the giant bruise on your cheek.
“I wasn’t.” The blonde defended, crossing his arms over his chest as you returned to your work.
“Sure you weren’t, you are many things, babe, subtle is not one of them.” 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. “It’s just a bruise.”
“I know, stop fishing for pity, I don’t care.” Katsuki spits, leaning back on your bed with his hands behind his head, staring at the ceiling.
“I’m not fishing for anything, if you don’t care, find something else to do rather than staring at my face like it’ll make the bruise heal any faster.” You pick back up your pencil and continue working on your concept sketch for your tech support partner’s quirk.
“Still think you should’ve punched him back.” His words catch you off guard, and the lead of your pencil breaks causing you to curse under your breath.
“Technically I did, we were training, Bakugou.” 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.
“You’re not in the hero course, you didn’t need to be training for anything, stupid!” 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’t make the cut. Why was he bringing up old news?
“So? Just because I’m not a hero doesn’t mean I don’t want to know how to defend myself!” You spat turning back around in your seat to angrily scribble some more. “Besides, Sero said no one else was available to spar with.”
“That’s what I’m for you idiot!” Bakugou hisses, sitting up on your bed to glare at the back of your head.
“For training with Sero?” You inquired with a raised brow, confused as to what he meant.
“No! for defending you, what are you slow?”
“Ha, so you do care.”
. . .
You blink a few times, realizing you’d 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’s contact is already pulled up, you’d done nothing but stare at it for a week. Ah, fuck it, you miss his voice. Just a short call, and if he’s busy whatever you’ll just watch TV and wait for him to call back. You press the “call” icon and it starts to ring.
“Babe?” 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.
“Hey, I uh, just wanted to talk for a while if you’re not busy or anything, I didn’t wake you did I?” You ask sheepishly, knowing he likely didn’t have hero-work today, it was Sunday after all. That’s not to say that villains all go on break for church but there were usually other heroes to handle those.
“No—you didn’t I—fuck gimme a second,” You hear some shuffling and him knocking things over followed by whispered curses and your smile widens. It sounds like he’s in a different room when he speaks again. “Hey, what’s up, everything good?”
“Yeah, yeah I’m fine just… I miss you.” You sigh, not bothering to draw it out. You really missed him, and you weren’t too embarrassed to let him know that. There’s a pause and you hold your breath, only to be relieved by the tone of voice he uses when he talks again.
“I miss you too, princess, fuck you have no idea how much.” Bakugou sounds relieved just to be able to say that, and the feeling is mutual, it feels good to talk to him again. “You’re all I think about now…”
The last part comes through the other line muffled and almost incoherent, but you manage to catch it.
“I‘ve been wanting to call you since you left, Katsuki,” You sigh looking out the window as the rain continues to drip down the fogged glass. “It’s kind of annoying actually.” You joke, chuckling through the phone and he returns a slight snicker.
“Why didn’t you? You know I never sleep without…” He clears his throat, stopping himself. You know what he means to say os that he never sleeps without you.
And it’s true, Katsuki always seems to rest better when you’re together, you can only imagine how purple the bags under his eyes must be.
“I wouldn’t have known what to say, I wasn’t ready, even If I missed you.” You sigh, leaning back against the pane of the cold window, eyes closing as your eyes began to water. You didn’t even know why you were about to cry.
You knew that. He’s 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.
“I-I know, b-but—” A small sob shoves its way through your teeth and you sniffle, “I’m sorry I-I just need a second.” 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’s concerned questions prompting you to pick the phone back up.
“Sorry about that I—”
“Don’t, I’m sorry, fuck… you called me to talk and all I’ve done is make you cry, shit I’m sorry.” Bakugou’s 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.
“‘Suki?” You ask after a five-minute silence, and you hear his breath hitch on the other line.
“Yeah, Y/N?” Comes his clumsy reply, his teeth stumbling over his tongue in a weird way.
“Can you come home?” You hear a loud thud against your ear and cringe, he curses several times, each one sounding distant. You realize he’s dropped the phone, and almost want to laugh through your tears like some hysteric psychopath.
“—Right now?” Comes his sudden reply, sounding rushed and disbelieving, almost excited if you didn’t know any better.
“Please?” 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’s messing with his coat by the scratchy sounds of vinyl rubbing together and a zipper being dragged.
“I’ll be right over, I’ll just tell Kiri and get my keys—”
“Are you wearing pants, Katsuki?” There’s a long pause and then another curse. You know him too well, he very well could’ve walked out of Kirishima’s apartment pantsless.
“Only I get to see your obnoxious leg-hair, baby.” 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’s legs, his body hair was platinum blonde but hilariously long if not managed, which you had found out that he did weekly.
“Very funny, you only get a pass because I fucked up!” Bakugou growls through the phone, but you know he’s more embarrassed than angry. You hear a voice in the background and then Bakugou shouting over to them, “Kiri, tell Y/N having leg-hair is manly!”
You giggle when you hear your red-haired friend gallantly back up the blonde before a door slams shut.
. . .
You open the door and find an exhausted and slightly-nervous looing Katsuki standing in the hallway. There’s a moment of silence, and neither of you moves a muscle, just staring at one another like it’s 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’d caused.
“Shut up.” Your hands grab his face and you crush your lips to his in a frenzied, desperate kiss you’ve 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’s, 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’s 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’ve 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’s 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’s 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’re wrapped up in Bakugou’s 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.
And sleep because like fuck you needed that.
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