#anyway only 2 more hours once I get back. hopefully tim-less
Just A Facade (1/2)
Pairing: Jason Todd x Reader
Summary: Dick is very confused that his brothers seem to all be getting along with you, and worse…wanting to help you. And wait…were you dating his brother?!
Warnings: Violence, getting shot, cursing
Word Count: 2.2k
Taglist: @zphilophobiaz @anousiemay @malfoys-demigod @pricetagofficial
“What do you mean we are working with Y/N?” Dick questioned his brother.
“It’s her case, she needs back-up.” Jason simply stated.
“She tried to kill me last week!”
“That sounds like a you problem.”
“I have no problem with her, what’s the case?” Tim chimed in.
“I’m glad you asked, replacement.” Tim rolled his eyes at Jason’s nickname. “But I’m going to let her explain it. Be here tomorrow, 10am.”
“She has not entrusted you with the information, has she?” Damian grunted out.
Jason swiftly punched him in the arm, “Shut up demon.”
“Did no one hear me?! She tried to kill me last week! Why are we helping her?” Dick attempted to plead his case once again.
“Can you really blame her though…” Jason reasoned as he turned to walk away, Tim and Damian following closely behind. Dick was left dumbfounded at the table.
10 am rolled around quickly for boys that spent all night patrolling, but they all sat at the table holding back yawns when you sauntered through the door.
“Hello boys, good to see you all.” You sent a knowing smirk Dick’s way. Before any of them could reply you continued, “So here’s the deal. Kids have been going missing.” You slid a file over towards Tim. “I need you to find the pattern.” Your voice wavered on the last syllable. In one second your demeanor completely changed as you accidentally let the façade drip away. “They’re just kids and someone is taking them, but no one seems to care.” You closed your eyes, as you caught your mistake. Taking a breath, your persona slowly morphed back into that which you had carefully constructed. “They don’t have the same birthdays, none of them seem to be from the same socioeconomic class…I could list the differences for days. I found two things connecting them: one, they’re all 12 years old, two, their guardians don’t notice or simply don’t care.”
“Well, they all have different zodiac signs. Someone could be trying to collect them all.” Tim blurted out as he continued to scan the pages.
“I didn’t notice that…” your voice went somber. Maybe if I had, one less kid would be missing…You shook yourself back into character. “Guess that’s why I came here. Anyways, four kids have been taken so far. I circled the most likely locations where they went missing. I count four little birdies, so I was thinking you could each hit a scene. Find something I missed.”
“And that leaves you where?” Dick questioned your intentions.
“I’m going to stay here and review the file, that computer there has more resources than mine.” You stated blatantly while pointing at the large monitor across the room.
“You, stay in the cave, alone…I don’t think so.”
“Ask Alfred to come babysit then. I’ve been to those scenes a dozen times.” You sucked in a breath, attempting to hide your sorrow and frustration. “I’m more useful here.”
“Lighten up Dickie, she’s been alone here dozens of times.” Jason taunted his older brother as he gave him a quick jab to the side.
“SHE’S WHAT?!” This caused an eruption of laughter in everyone…except Dick.
“Come on Dick, we’ll have more luck while it’s light out. Let’s go.” Tim composed himself and tried to ease the situation. “We’ll let you know if we find anything.” Tim directed the words towards you as he turned to leave.
“Tt, when we find something.” Damian mumbled before following his brother.
Dick sighed as he realized he was outnumbered, “Fine, but I’m getting Alfred before I leave.”
“Whatever makes you feel better sunshine.”
The boys didn’t get back until nearly dark, and none of them had very good news.
“Look, Y/N/N, we all took pictures.” Tim sighed, not wanting to admit defeat just yet. “I’ll compare the scenes and hopefully something will pop up. We’ll get this…” Tim consoled you as he placed a comforting hand on your shoulder.
“Yeah.” You took in a deep sigh, mentally reminding yourself to stay composed. “Do you still need this file?”
“No, take it. Remember to sleep though.”
You nodded walking over to table, where both the file, Damian, and Jason were sitting.
“I would be honored to pose as bait.”
A faint smile graced your lips, “Thanks Dami, but I’m afraid you don’t fit the bill. They’ve all been 12 years old, remember?”
“I can pass for 12!”
“I’m sure they go on more information than looks…but thanks.” You turned to leave but stopped as you felt a hand on your shoulder.
“Y/N, leave that here and take a break. When we do find these people, you need to be sharp.” Jason leaned in closer and whispered, “I can’t let you get hurt.”
“I’ll be fine, Jay. I’ve survived worse…”
“Heh, yeah. Guess so. Want me to walk you home?” Jason tried to mask the obvious concern in his voice.
“So you can just take the file as you leave?” You followed his cue and leaned in, whispering, “I think not my little Jaybird.”
Jason threw his hands up in defense, knowing you weren’t going to let this go. Dick waited for you to leave before he erupted.
“Are you all friends with her?! SHE TRIED TO KILL ME!”
“Did she really though?” Tim questioned his eldest brother, who just looked at him perplexed. “I mean…you’ve seen her fight, was she pulling her punches? Did she seem to move in slow motion? Did she stop as soon as whatever league members with her were gone?”
Dick’s mouth opened wide, as if to begin to answer, but he quickly shut it as his brows furrowed.
“She’s tried to kill me too…” Jason said with air quotes around the words.
“Same here” Tim chimed. Dick looked to Damian.
“Do not turn your gaze upon me, my mother would never allow the league to come after me.”
“I think there are other things at play that you don’t know about Dickie.” Jason tried to reason with his older brother as he turned to leave.
Dick still didn’t trust you, so a few hours later he made his way to your apartment. Crouching on a nearby ledge, he watched as you poured over documents scattered about the table before you. Suddenly you thrust your hands across the desk and collapsed to the floor. Is she crying? Now Dick was thoroughly confused, but his gazed was still fixed on you. After nearly a minute, you stood up and carefully began picking up the papers and photographs and placing them back on the desk. He watched as your head jerked towards the door, and as you stalked into the kitchen and reached for your gun. Seconds later the front door flew across the living room. As Dick swung towards you, he saw you place a bullet directly between the man’s eyes.
The crash of the window caused your focus to falter, however, you were relieved as you noticed the familiar black and blue costumed character glide across the floor and land at your side. Nodding at him you leapt over the kitchen counter and threw your body weight at the next assailant entering your apartment. His head rammed into the wall, knocking him out cold. You looked up and saw a gun pointed your direction. You quickly positioned the unconscious body between yourself and the gun. Unfortunately, this gun-for-hire didn’t care much for his coworker and shot directly through him. The bullet lodged itself in your stomach.
“Nightwing, give me some cover!” You screamed out and ran for the table, throwing as much as you could into a nearby backpack. Grabbing your phone, you took pictures of all the information that was plastered on your walls. You looked back to see Dick landing the final punch and called out again. “Window!” Before you had time to check that he heard you, or was behind you, you jumped.
Immediately you spread your arms and legs out in order to slow you down as much as possible. Part of you almost wished that you didn’t feel that arm wrap around your waist. You held back a pained scream as the hand fell directly over the fresh bullet wound. Dick turned to you as your feet hit the ground.
“Are you fucking crazy?!”
You only shrugged, “How many are left? Where’s your car?”
Even with the domino mask, you could tell Dick was glaring at you. “Three more were in the hallway. I noticed two vans, and an armed man at each exit. Motorcycle is three blocks down.”
“Alright, lead the way.”
As you walked through streets, you pulled one of the backpack straps loose and tied it tightly around your stomach. You could only hope the adrenaline was enough to get you to the cave. Just as you passed the first alley, an arm grabbed you and slammed you against the brick. Your arm reached up and wrapped around his neck as you kicked off from the wall. His body collided with the adjacent wall, as he struggled to free himself from your grasp. Soon you felt his body go heavy in your arms and you laid him to the ground just as two more assailants rounded the corner. You lunged at the closest one, while Nightwing came up behind and kicked the other’s legs from under him. Suddenly you began hearing gunfire ring through the air. Before you could get to the ground another bullet pierced your side, a mere inch away from the first. Thankfully, Nightwing quickly disarmed the man shooting blindly around the corner.
As the two of you rounded the corner you tossed your backpack to Dick. “Make sure Tim gets this. It could be helpful.” You could feel the pain burning through your whole body, the initial shock worn off. Dick looked at you, confused, but took the backpack anyways. The two of you made it to the motorcycle without any more fighting, but you looked at it wondering how you were going to hold on. You still don’t even know how you made it.
Walking into the cave you ignored the boys who quickly began to pour over the new information that Dick scattered across the table. You headed straight to the medical station, which thankfully Alfred had neatly organized. You quickly found what you needed and set up a table near the hospital bed.
You began cutting through your shirt but stopped short of the backpack strap as you noticed black spots creeping up in your vision. “Fuck.” Blinking rapidly to push them back, you threw your hand out, searching for the tweezers on the table. Your hand hit the tray instead, you winced at the sound of the metal clashing with the floor. Soon, all eyes were on you.
“Y/N? What the fuck? Are you hit?” Jason words rung through your head as he raced to your side.
“I got it…” You swung your legs over the side of the bed, in a sad attempt to recollect the tools on the ground. Jason steadfastly pushed you back into place.
“No you don’t. Stay. Please.” His head whipped around towards his brother, “I know you don’t like her…but really?” The disdain rose up in Jason’s voice before his attention turned back to you.
Dick’s head fell, “I didn’t know.” He whimpered before heading back near the computer to help Tim.
Jason made quick work of the wound, “Alright doll…I know it’s not the prettiest, but you’re all set.”
“Uhm…Jay…” Your eyes blinking heavily, you reached for the scissors in his hand. Reluctantly, he let you have them. You cut away the strap revealing another wound.
“Dammit Y/N!” Jason screamed a little too loudly, his eyes filled with worry. Dick rushed to his side.
“What happened?!” He was already thinking the worst.
“Nothing pretty boy. I just need more supplies.” Jason pushed passed his brother. “She was hit twice, apparently.”
“Twice? How did I not…” Dick mouthed under his breath. “Is that the backpack strap?” He began to question you. “When were you hit?!”
“Uhm…first at the apartment.” You winced as Jason dug into your skin with the tweezers. “The damn bullet went right through him.” A faint smile graced your lips. “Not fair…” you mumbled. “Second one got lucky.” Your voice grew more brittle. “Shooting blind…”
“I gave her some morphine. She’s probably going to be out of it for awhile.” Jason said without looking up from his work.
“I didn’t know, Jay.”
“Somehow, I don’t know if that’s better.” Jason chided as he pulled the final stitch through the wound.
“Awe, come on Jaybird. You can’t be mad at that cute face.” Your head moved upwards motioning in Dick’s direction, the morphine taking hold.
“Looks pretty punchable to me.”
“Don’t worry,” you brought your hands up to cradle his face, “yours is still so much cuter.”
Dick’s face dropped, “Wait…are you two –”
His words were cut off as Jason quickly shut down the conversation. “Doll, I think it’s time for you to get some rest.”
You pursed your lips, “But I’m not tired.”
“I think you are.” Jason quickly scooped you into his arms and practically ran up the stairs, headed towards his old room.
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To Marry a Vigilante: Part 2
MASTERLIST || First || Previous || Next
The day before Christmas… was a nightmare. Marinette had to admit that Damian was right. Her parents volunteered to help Alfred in the kitchen. The butler tried to argue, but his fighting with Sabine was an unstoppable force meeting an unmovable object. In the end, they got a compromise that the baker couple would help that day, but would be banned from the kitchen for the rest of Christmas.
The boys meanwhile were ordered to decorate the house and prepare the formal dining room. And it was a mess. First, Dick and Jason spent almost an hour arguing over the decorations, only to then see that Mari and Damian already decorated the room with the merchandise Damian somehow got imported from Paris without their knowledge. Jason tried to dismantle the decorations that were put up without a warning, but it ended with Damian chasing him with a sword… again. It didn’t help that Todd kept riling the youngest Wayne up. Technically second-youngest since he was older than Marinette by a few months, but that’s beyond the point.
Then, when Jason ended up with a slight limp after he crashed into a cupboard when trying to cut the corner and Damian’s bloodthirst got satisfied, it was time for decorating the Christmas tree. When Mari saw the tree, she almost toppled over. It was put in the hall before the stairway to the second floor. It was tall enough to almost reach the ceiling.
“That’s your tree?”
“In my defense, I tried to order a smaller one. It’s not my fault they gave size in the metric system.” Tim argued.
“If you cut on coffee and instead got some sleep once in a while, maybe you would’ve noticed.” Jason snickered.
Dick took the opportunity to climb upstairs and start decoration, only to be caught by Steph, who proceeded to decorate on the other side. Seeing the two already started, the three other boys also raced to start putting decorations. It was a mess, but somehow Marinette found it endearing. It felt… homey. Then she grabbed some decorations and joined Damian. Then she teamed up with Steph to make a large bat symbol on one side out of gold tinsel garland. Then she made a red ‘R’ inside it.
And this time nobody got hurt.
After that, Dick and Jason left for their respective homes. Tim and Steph left shortly after, leaving Damian and Mari alone with the adults. Technically, Cass also stayed at the manor, but unless she wanted to be seen, only Alfred (and now Sabine) could find her.
The teens decided to stay in the Manor. Marinette was dead set on making everyone their gifts by hand. She brought several unfinished designs that could be adjusted. Damian was kind enough to collect the measurements for each family member from Alfred.
And so Mari then spent all evening in her room, where she worked on adjusting and finishing everything. She was beyond grateful that her room was already equipped with a sewing machine and anything else she would need to make the gifts. The whole time Damian sat nearby to offer some advice. Mostly, he just enjoyed watching her work on the designs.
“Do you think putting a Red Robin logo on this tie would be too much?” She asked, showing a red tie with black accents. It had a meticulous black stitch going through the narrow part. It spelled MDC over and over.
“Maybe put it inside, so that it only shows when he put it upside-down,” Damian answered.
“But then nobody will see it.”
“There is a bigger chance someone sees it than if it’s on the front.” The boy deadpanned.
“Don’t be mean.” She scolded him, but her pearly laughter kinda ruined it. She put the tie away and reached for the sunglasses she was working on. They used to be black, but she tinted the glass deep-red and then added details at the side. Now, there was a small silver bullet-shaped decoration where they would fold. She had a case ready where she stitched the shape of a red handgun at the top of black leather.
“Habibti. They will definitely love your gifts.” He gave her a soft smile. “If not, I will introduce them to my sword” He muttered, hoping she would not hear it.
“Damian!” She shouted. His hopes went in flames. “No murdering people!”
“Can I at least maim?” He asked with a hopeful voice.
“Hm… only if you ask me before.” She giggled at his expression.
“I think it is high time I retreat to my bedroom. It’s almost midnight, Angel. Go to sleep.” He stood up and walked outside, only to be met with Sabine’s judging eyes. She watched him carefully before smiling slightly.
“Good. You can go. I will tuck her in.”
After she passed him, Damian let out a breath he didn’t know he held. That woman was scary.
The next morning was still hectic, but no longer so chaotic. Mari spent half of it locked in her room giving the designs final touches. She did not let Damian or her parents in since she focused on their gifts and didn’t want to spoil the surprise. Alfred was the only one who got a peek inside and he didn’t even fear Sabine, so the chances he would tell anything to anyone were less than Joker genuinely apologizing to everyone he ever hurt.
Finally, around midday, Marinette finally revealed herself. The room was a mess of cut fabric, loose papers, and Kwami knows what else. There was also a bowl of water in the corner.
“That was a race.” She commented before grabbing Damian’s hand and dragging him into the living room to share a tea and cookies. All adults cooed.
“So, Habibti. Care to reveal what you made for me?” The boy asked hopefully once they were both sitting side-by-side on the two-people couch. She held a cup of steaming tea while Damian put his in a small cup holder while he was eating a cookie.
“Nope.” She grinned. “But I can tell you that you will like it.”
“From you? I will like any gift.” He answered smoothly.
“Stop it!” She squealed, blushing heavily. “You can’t say things like that out of the blue.”
“Why?” He asked, giving her a barely noticeable smile.
“I can’t go around blushing all the time!”
“But you look so cute with red cheeks.”
“You don’t look so bad either, Mi Amor,” she retorted. She wanted to get some reaction from him, but he only smiled slightly more.
They rested, cuddled together for a bit, enjoying the silence that surrounded them. It was interrupted when suddenly Cass dropped out of the blue. Or from the ceiling, but they would’ve sworn she was not there before.
“You… Cousin?” The girl asked.
“Oh! You must be Cassandra!” Mari recognized her. Cass was maybe her height. She was dressed in workout clothes. “Nice to meet you. I’m Marinette.”
“Marinette,” Cass repeated. “Call me Cass. Everyone does.”
“Um… Sure. You can call me Mari if you like?” Both Damian and Cass grinned at that, much to the french girl’s confusion. “Did I miss some joke?”
“No, Angel. It’s just that Grayson’s daughter is named Mar’i” Damian looked at his beloved’s expression.
“Oh. Oh…” The realization dawned on her. “Well, then what about… Nettie?”
“Nettie… Like it.” Cass responded.
“Cass doesn’t speak much.” The boy took it upon himself to explain. “She first learned to communicate through body gestures.”
“Maman told me. I can’t believe aunt Sandra left you with that monster. Maman told her some things though, so maybe next time you two meet she will apologize.”
“Mother… Apologize… Me?” The girl asked in disbelief.
“Maman is a very persuasive person.”
Cass didn’t speak about that, but a memory of the hug two of them shared yesterday surfaced at the top of her thoughts.
“Anyway, you wanted to get to know me? Well… um… I’m fifteen, soon to be sixteen. I love fashion and design and I make almost all of my clothes. I also practice some martial arts in my free time. I love sketching outdoors. There is this small park next to my parent’s bakery that I love to visit. In the past, I adored the works of Gabriel brand, but after the owner turned out to be a major bastard I kinda decided to just stick to my own stuff. What else… I prefer tea to coffee unless I need to pull an all-nighter, my favorite sweets are macarons and my uncle named his soup after me when he won the cooking competition.”
“Soup… good?” Cass decided to ask.
“Oh! It’s the best. Actually, maybe we could ask uncle Wang to cook for our wedding, Dami! Can we? He would be invited anyway but then people would get to…”
“Of course, Habibti.” Damian interrupted her.
“Wedding?” Cass had more questions.
“Oh… Um… You didn’t know?” Marinette doubled back. “Of course you didn’t know. Damian tried to keep it down and I ruined it. Please don’t tell anyone. I’m so sorry Dami! I forgot! I was just so…”
Damian, following the usual routine when Mari started to panic, pulled her to his chest, and hugged her. He whispered something low enough for Cassandra not to hear. She did notice the couple’s body language. Devotion and love.
When Marinette finally calmed, Damian let her out of his embrace. “Thanks. I still keep some of my… less desirable habits.”
“It’s no problem. At least I have an excuse to cuddle with you without my brothers’ merciless teasing.”
“Wedding.” Cass urged them. Her curiosity was peaking.
“Ah! Right. So basically Talia kidnapped me and decided I would marry her son and then we both woke up tied before the altar and she threatened to kill us and our families if we didn’t go through with it. And I was so scared back then. And T… And I had no way to do anything else.”
Cass saw her tense and stopped herself. There was more to it, but she didn’t drill. She would learn later. Or just get it out of Tim. He knew everything.
“Well, now we’re stuck and there is this weird spell on us that makes it impossible to cheat on one another. At least I assume it works both ways since Damian didn’t test it.” There was no doubt in her voice and her body showed complete trust. Cass was actually impressed.
“The bitch that my mother is,” Marinette wanted to scold Damian on the language he used, but then again, he spoke about Talia so he wasn’t lying, “used some old curse on us, probably from the time my grandfather was still young. We are tied together. But we made it work.”
“Magic… bad.” Cass scoffed.
“No!” Mari quickly protested. “I mean not all magic is bad. It all depends on who uses it! Besides, everything turned out better than I could’ve ever hoped.”
“Good. I… Like you.” Her cousin smiled. “Hug?” She asked.
“Sure.” Marinette nodded and before she knew it Cass tackled her into the couch, almost breaking her bones.
“Oooh!” a new voice cooed. Damian immediately whirled around with a small dagger that he pulled from wherever he kept it. Selina Kyle was standing there, watching everything.
“Tt. I don’t like being spied upon.” Damian scowled.
“Relax, lover-boy. I just came and I was curious where everyone went and who were the new people.”
“Oh. That’s probably my parents. Alfred kicked them out of the kitchen today. They will probably be relaxing in the garden since they rarely have a chance to just relax. They run a bakery in Paris.” Mari smiled at the newcomer.
“Really now? And you’re the unlucky girl that got stuck with the short, dark, and brooding?”
“Tt. I’m not short.”
“I don’t hear you arguing about the dark and brooding part.” Selina teased.
“Angel, meet my father’s fiancée, Selina Kyle. She is also Catwoman.”
“Oh. She is in on the family business then?”
“Tt. Yes. I don’t keep things hidden from my wife.” Damian kept scowling.
“Aren’t you a dutiful husband?”
“I’m not afraid to defend my wife’s honor with a sword, thief.” The boy threatened. Selina measured him for a moment.
“Good.” She turned to Marinette. “He will do. If he is causing you trouble, you can crash at my place.” She gave her a small square paper with an address before leaving.
“Um… What was that?”
“Tt. That was Selina for you.” Damian was still in a bad mood until Marinette snuggled closer to him.
Around five, the guests started arriving. It was unanimously decided that the youngest couple would be the ones to greet their guests. And looking at the size of the table, there would be more guests than Mari assumed. Damian was now dressed in a flawless black suit with a matching bowtie and a white shirt. Mari chose to wear the red dress that she knew left Damian speechless every time he saw her. Her hair was let go and formed waves cascading down her back.
Jason was first. He came on his bike alone. While everyone dressed in something elegant, he opted for an oil-stained t-shirt and brown leather jacket, complete with black cargo pants and heavy boots. Marinette had to admit he gave a bad-boy vibe that told her to stay away. But she’s seen this with Ivan and she was pretty sure Jason was, in fact, a big softie once one got to know him.
Next to arrive were Tim and Stephanie. She wore a black and purple knee-length dress. It had no sleeves and hugged her form tightly. The design was several large squares of material sewn together so no two colors were the same. It was an interesting design. Tim wore a blue suit with black accents and a white shirt. They looked like a nice couple. And the boy looked almost awake, which was a success. Also, they were dragging a giant bag of gifts.
Shortly after, a small van pulled close and five people exited. There was an older couple, a joyful boy around their age jumping around them, and two people Marinette recognized instantly. You couldn’t hang around Alya and not recognize Clark Kent and Lois Lane-Kent.
“Tt. Jon.” Damian greeted the boy.
“Sup Dames? Hello fair lady.” He greeted them, happiness almost oozing from him. Jon went as far as kissing her hand.
“Could you stop with the flowers and rainbows?” Wayne growled.
“But it’s Christmas!”
“Tt. I know.” Damian was angry. Seeing it, his beloved grabbed his hand and squeezed it lightly.
“Hello Mr. Kent, Mrs. Lane-Kent.” Marinette greeted the adults, hoping to diffuse the situation before Damian gets too riled up.
“You must be Marinette. I remember Jon mentioning you when we talked about his trip to Paris.” Clark smiled. He then nodded toward the older couple. “These are my parents, Johnathan and Martha Kent.”
“It’s nice to meet ya, girl.” The man nodded toward her.
“Hi. I’m Marinette.” She gave them a smile. Just as the Kents went inside, another car pulled in.
This time, it was Dick with his wife, Kor’i, and daughter Mar’i. They all got out of the car.
“I still don’t understand why you insist on driving this thing. I could’ve flown us here twice as fast.” The woman had distinctively orange skin and her eyes were entirely green. Marinette instantly recognized her as Starfire. She wore a white shirt with bell-like sleeves that reached to her elbows and blue jeans that ended just above her ankles. Dick had a dark-gray shirt and jeans. She would classify their outfits as smart casual.
“Yeah, daddy! I can fly too!” To prove her point, the little girl rose a bit into the air. She was dressed in an oversized purple jumper that reached to the ground. She also wore white trainers. Her skin was less orange than her mother’s but the color was easily visible. And her eyes were also entirely green without any white. And she was flying. Her hair was black though, as opposed to her mother’s fiery red.
“Sweety. Come here.” Kor’i reached up and grabbed the floating daughter. The girl immediately nuzzled into her and smiled victoriously. She got exactly what she wanted. Marinette couldn’t help but giggle.
“Tt. I still find her annoying.” Damian scowled.
“I don’t know, she looks cute to me. And you already admitted that you love cute things.” To make things worse for her love, Marinette gave him puppy eyes and a bright smile. He tried to scowl, but couldn’t muster enough strength to oppose his wife.
Dick almost tripped over the car when he started laughing.
Since they were the last to arrive, Marinette and Damian returned inside to join everyone for festivities.
Somewhere else, in a much darker place, a lone figure stood in an empty room. His clothes were dirty and torn. The light entered only through a small window.
“So you see? It was all a set-up!” He shouted.
From the shadows, another figure joined.
“But of course, sweetie. Of course.” They said in a patronizing tone. “I will of course help you.”
“You understand me. And what about… Marinette?”
“I don’t understand your obsession with her, but I can share.”
“Whatever. She will be mine!”
Masterlist // Next
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My Faire Lady || Ch. 1
Pairings: Steve Rogers x Reader x Bucky Barnes (Renaissance Faire Au!)
Word Count: 3300+
Summary: Going to a Renaissance Faire wasn’t what she had planned to do over the weekend, but a drunken promise between friends can’t be broken. Full of magic and festivities, she never thought she would enjoy the fair as much as she did. Nor did she ever dream she’d catch the eye of not one, but two gorgeous Knights of the Queen. Bestowed with their tokens of affection, she found herself swept into their arms for a weekend she’d never forget. She was under no illusion, there was no chance this could ever be more than a fantasy at the fair. They would move on, and so would she. It didn’t mean she wasn’t going to enjoy this while she could. (18+ Only Story)
A/N: The first part to I don’t know how many parts!!! I have this whole story planned, fortunately, but as you can tell from the very first chapters word count, it’s gonna be another long one lol. I’m super excited about this story! I hope you all enjoy, please please please reblog and comment! Thank you and enjoy!!
Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 *Coming Soon* | Series Masterlist
“Oh come on!”
Y/N rolled her eyes at the whine from her couch and ignored her friend. She leaned closer to her computer and tried to focus on the editing at hand. She needed to get these pictures finished so she could send them to the publisher for print. She didn’t have time for Coby’s whining.
“Pleaassseeeee?” Coby threw her head back against the pillows and let out her loudest and most obnoxious whine ever.
Y/N scoffed and shook her head.
“I told you no!”
“But you have to come!’ Coby whined again. She sat up and twisted around on the couch, hanging over the edge. “You promised!”
“I didn’t promise you anything!” Y/N argued, straightening her back to turn and glare at Coby. She wasn’t dumb enough to ever promise anything to her friend. No matter how much she might love her best friend of ten years, Coby fought dirty to get her way. Y/N learned from her mistakes and swore to never do it again.
However, when she turned to glare over her shoulder, she stopped short at the wicked grin on Coby’s face. Her blood drained from her cheeks, fear coursing through her veins. Oh no.
“Oh but you did, dear lady friend,” Coby replied with a diabolical sneer. She pulled out her phone and unlocked it, tapping away a few times before the sound of Y/N and her whispering filled the room. Y/N’s breath caught in her throat. Oh no. How did she forget about that night?
“Oh god,” The recording of Y/N groaned. There was a slight slur to her words from the drinks she’d gone through already. “It’s Tim. Please dear god don’t come over, don’t come over, don’t come over-Oh no he’s coming over.”
Coby laughed, then the sound of shuffling and Y/N’s voice groaned again.
“Coby, please. Do something!”
“What do you want me to do?” Coby stifled a laugh.
“I don’t know! Get rid of him!”
“And what do I get out of it?” Coby inquired. At the time, Y/N didn’t catch the underlying treachery in Coby’s voice, but now she heard it loud and clear. She was really hating past drunk her right now.
“I don’t- Jesus. I don’t care! Anything you ask-just please get rid of him!”
“Anything? You promise?” Coby drawled. Y/N on the recording grumbled in response.
“Yeah, yeah, I promise. Just get rid of him! I’m not spending another night listening to him gloat about his big his dick is again.”
“He doesn’t do that.”
“Bragging about your daddies company you did shit to earn when the man retired is the same god damn thing. Coby!” Y/N hissed the panic mounting. Coby laughed and she could hear her friend begin to stand.
“Alright, I’ll get rid of him. But you better be ready to keep that promise.”
“You’re a lifesaver, Coby!”
The audio shutoff and silence rang through the room. Coby smirked triumphantly and tucked her phone away in her pocket with an extra flourish. Y/N’s mouth fell open, mentally running through the number of ways she could get out this. Yet at every corner she took, she hit dead ends. Now she was backed against the wall and there was no knight in shining armor to come save her. Coby clapped her hands together, that wicked smile back as she pinned Y/N with a stare.
“You’re coming with me this weekend. And that’s final.”
Y/N gulped. She was never drinking again. True, she was not a fan Tim but she wasn’t that desperate to sign her life away to the devil’s incarnate. This was going to be another plane jump trip, wasn’t it? Coby saw the way Y/N blanched at the prospect she was going to be dragged someplace to do something dangerous once again and snickered.
“You can stop freaking out.” Coby snorted. “I don’t have plans to go shark diving until the summer. I got plenty of time to get you to come then.”
“The fuck you will!” Y/N’s eyes bulged in their sockets. Coby threw her head back and cackled at the horror in Y/N’s eyes.
“Oh stop, you know you’d have fun. But seriously. This isn’t like that.” Coby waved her hand. “I want you to come with me to the Renesaasnce festival this weekend.”
“Uh-huh….” Y/N squinted, her heart still racing at the threat of swimming with the sharks. This, however, wasn’t as scary as that venture but still not any less comforting. There had to be a catch. “That’s too easy for you.”
“Well, of course, it is,” Coby smirked. “I don’t always want to get my heart pumping every chance I get. I do enjoy the simple things.”
“You’re not simple.” Y/N interjected flatly. “You’re the furthest thing from a simple person.”
“Shush.” Coby waved her off. “Anyways. Like I was saying, I want you to come with me this weekend to the Renaissance Faire. Josie’s mom got sick and she needs to help take care of her, so I have one free ticket for the weekend with a meal plan and a free beer in the beer garden each night. I know you’ve been working nonstop with the magazine and even if it’s just a weekend, you need a break.”
Y/N blinked, actually amazed. For once Coby wasn’t using this as a means to see how far she can push Y/N out of her comfort zone, but instead wanted to help? What the heck happened to Coby and where did they take her friend?
“Don’t look at me like that.” Coby bristled at the alarmed expression on Y/N’s face. “You’re coming. That’s that.”
“Really?” Y/N raised a brow. “You aren’t going to make stand up against a wall and let people throw knives around me? Or shoot arrows at an apple on my head?”
“I never said that wasn’t a possibility. Is it so wrong to want to spend the weekend with my best friends?” Coby shot back. Y/N was taken aback at the hurt in Coby’s tone, but also could smell the catch quickly creeping up on her.
“You keep saying the weekend.” Y/N uttered slowly. “What do you mean by ‘weekend’ Coby?”
“Oh right, that. The tickets include access to the campground.” Coby smiled innocently. “And I already have our tents for us.”
“Wait. What?” Y/N asked in disbelief. “Coby I’m not sleeping in a tent for a weekend at the fair!”
“Oh, it’ll be fine. They have showers and bathrooms, so running waters no problem. And besides, the closest hotel is almost an hour away and I do not want to waste time sitting in traffic trying to get in place.”
“Or if you want,” Coby examined her fingernails, picking at the cuticles. “You can say no and I use the promise for the sharks.”
Y/N’s mouth snapped shut at that. Coby knew she had her when she looked back up, that stupid smirk on her face.
“Best get packin’ sweetheart. Cause you and I both know this is the lesser of two evils.”
Y/N let out a hot breath of air, her shoulders sagging in defeat. Coby was once again playing dirty. She didn’t have to do the pros and cons list. Sucking it up and going on this weekend trip would be a thousand times more enjoyable than being forced to go in a cage in the middle of the ocean. And Coby knew it.
“Fine. What time do we leave?”
“Oh, this is gonna be so much fun!” Coby slammed the trunk shut and bent to grab her bags and her tent bag. Y/N grumbled next to her, holding her own bags, tent, and camera case. “Oh quit whining. This’ll be great.”
Y/N just rolled her eyes and followed her friend to the entrance. The fair wasn’t open for another hour, Coby insisted on leaving at the butt crack of dawn to get here. While the two-hour drive up was rather uneventful it wasn’t until they reached the turn for the road that led to the fair where Y/N understood why Coby was so adamant about the time the left. The cars were backed up all the way to interstate and they were forced to sit for what felt like hours just to get in the parking lot. She wouldn’t admit it to Coby, but the idea of staying on-site and avoiding that whole mind-numbing ordeal was sounding a lot more appealing than the alternative.
Even though this wasn’t exactly her plan for her weekend, Y/N was ready to make the most of it. Once she got some caffeine in her. Coby chatted about everything they had here, from the food to the archery lessons, to the different shows throughout the fair. Not to mentions the shops that Y/N was itching to get a look at. Most, if not all the buildings were built as if they were taken straight from a fairy tale book and had Y/N excited to snap a few photos of. Perhaps she could even get a few people to pose for photos in front of them.
“Why don’t we go set up our tents and put our stuff up, by then the gates should be open and hopefully the line will have died down some.” Coby interrupted, eyeing the mass of people stating at the entrance. Y/N hummed and nodded, following her friend as she led her to the other entrance.
Y/N couldn’t tear her eyes away from all the people dressed up. There were plenty of other sprinkled in there that wore regular everyday clothes, no doubt just wanting to enjoy the fair, but then there were those that wanted to fully immerse themselves. Men, women, and even their children were dressed head to toe in loosely accurate portrayals of medieval outfits. Men wore puffy shirts and leather vest tucked in their dark cotton pants with leather boots. Some women sported similar outfits while others wore dresses and corsets that did little to the imagination. Some were dressed as characters from Lord of the Rings, there were even pirates, fairies, and elves. At one point, she swore she spotted a few Tieflings from Dungeons and Dragons, their faces painted with horns to match. There was so much going on and she was finding it hard to focus on where she was going. The atmosphere was bubbling with excitement and Y/N felt a smile stretching across her face.
Coby had to reach around and tug Y/N’s arm to face her forward when the other woman started to drift, the corner of her mouth turned up into a smirk.
“I swear you’re like a child.” Coby joked. Y/N scoffed and stuck her tongue out.
“Oh shush. I can’t admire their confidence?”
“Mhm,” Coby smirked her wicked smirk and led them through the campground gate after flashing a ticket to the attendant there.
“Okay, so we’re in section V, plot 15 and 16.” Coby stopped at a map right at the entrance, showing the rows of campsites in the gated off area. There were already several dozen tents up with a few dozen more that were being pitched as the stood there. Y/N was surprised how large the field was, and how organized it seemed. She could see the markers in the rows with the letter down a middle path. “Ah, there we are, towards the back! Ohhh we’re next to the worker's sites too!”
“Is that bad?” Y/N frowned.
“Nope, it means we might get lucky and they’ll hook us up with some free food and beer if we’re nice.”
Y/N snorted and rolled her eyes at Coby.
“Come on,” Coby resituated her bag on her shoulder. “Let’s get this set up and then we can go in. I don't’ wanna deal with it later after we’ve been in the sun all day.”
Y/N followed Coby, still marveling at the number of people around her getting ready in their costumes, most adding the final touches. The closer they got their spot, the more she saw of the costume. It made sense, if the workers were right next to them then they see a lot of them. She was a little envious of their tents, tall pavilion, and marquee tents made of thicker material than her camping tent, some stripped or decorated with symbols like the ones she’d seen in movies. Clearly, they wanted the workers to look the part, even at night away from the crowds.
Coby eventually stopped at two empty spots and tossed her stuff on the ground a motioned to the plot next to her, clearly marked with the number 16.
“That’ll be yours. There should be instructions in the bag.” Coby started unpacking hers and paused to look up at Y/N. “ Need help with your tent? ”
“Nah,” Y/N shook her head. “I’ll figure it out.”
Coby snorted. “Alright, but don’t come crying to me when your tent becomes a kite cause you forgot to stake it to the ground.”
Y/N just rolled her eyes again and went to work. After twenty minutes of wondering what the heck the instructions meant by attaching J to H, Y/N set up her tent, a round top with plenty of space for at least three other people, and secured it to the ground.
“Remind me again why we can’t just share tents?” Y/N asked, standing outside both her and Coby’s tent with her hands on her hips. Coby shot her look that told her everything she needed to know. “Oh for the- why did you get me a plot further away from you? I don’t have to hear that!”
“I’m not saying it’ll happen!” Coby chuckled and ducked in her tent. “But I’m not passing on an opportunity if it arrives!”
“It’s one weekend! You can’t last one weekend without a booty call?” Y/N groaned. When Coby didn’t reply she crawled into the ten to see what her friend was doing. Coby was bend over her bag, the second one that Y/N thought was odd she brought and was pulling out a few folded pieces of fabric.
“What are those?” Y/N eyed the garments nervously. Coby paid her no mind and continued pulling things out. She set a dark leather corset aside along with matching lace-up boots. “Coby. What are those?”
Slowly, Coby turned to Y/N with her wicked smirk.
“Why our outfits, my dear friend.” She replied ominously.
“What? I’m not wearing that!” Y/N sat back on her heels.
“Yes, you are,” Coby replied with a no-nonsense tone. Y/N blinked.
Before she could argue further, Coby spun on her heels from her squat position and pinned Y/N with her stare.
“Yeah but not this!”
“It’s apart of the promise! We’re here, we’re gonna enjoy this weekend and we’re gonna be part of the fun. That means dressing the part. Do you really want to spend all weekend complaining cause I’m making you wear this?”
“I’m not going to feel comfortable in a dress!” Y/N tried. Which wasn’t completely false, but she really didn’t want to get all dressed up in a tight corset that she’d be sweating in later. It was already warm as it was in the tent, just imagining the leather boots and leather-wrapped around her waist made her overheat. And the chaffing, she didn’t want to think about the chaffing. Coby raised a brow, see right through that feeble attempt at arguing, and sat back as well.
“Two words. Shark. Cage.”
Y/N opened her mouth, but the protest died before she could even start. Once again, Coby had her there. She let out a grumble and stuck out her hand, a sign of defeat. Coby nodded with a smug smirk and handed her the pile of clothes and a pair of brown lace-up boots from her bag. Y/N noticed there was just a brown belt instead of the corset Coby seemed to have.
“Now go change and I can make sure you put it on right.”
“Yes, mom.” Y/N grumbled and crawled out to go to her tent. When she zipped her tent up behind her and unfolded the clothes, she was rather surprised by the dress. It was a heavy cotton dyed robin egg blue with a fitted bodice that flowed out at the waist. It was relatively simple, it didn’t have an intricate pattern save for the embroidery on the collar. The front was laced up with brown leather string, and the sleeves appeared to be detachable from the dress, the same brown laces trying the fabric together. There was an off-white long sleeve slip made of a lighter material she figured would go underneath the dress to hide her skin exposed from the where it peaked out from the lace. The belt itself was just a simple brown leather belt with a ring loop. Surprisingly simple and something Y/N actually wouldn’t mind wearing. Of course, Coby would have thought this through. Now she felt bad arguing, Coby might enjoy terrorizing her from time to time, but she wasn’t heartless.
Letting out a heavy breath, Y/N began to undress and slipped the costume on. She was surprised how it fit her body, hugging her frame in a way that flattered her more than she could have expected. The dress did flow out, not too long that she was worried she’d step on it when she stepped and let enough air up the skirt to keep her cool. She did have to re-tie the lace on the front to the right adjustment for herself, but all in all, it didn’t feel horrible to wear. Coby knew her size, so this shouldn’t have come as a surprise. How long had this woman been planning this?
She was sitting on the ground tying up the laces to her boots when Coby unzipped the tent and stepped in. She had changed into her own dress, and Y/N felt infinitely better with the dress she was given. Coby the ever daring had a dark red skirt with a black puffy off the shoulder top. Her black corset was tied as tight as it could go, and her already full chest was practically spilling out the top. She had pulled her hair back into a pretty braid that fell over her shoulder and even had on a pair of hoop earrings. Now Y/N really understood the reason for the two tents and wondered if she could possibly find some earplugs somewhere.
“Oh good! It fits! I knew you’d want something simple and I guessed on the height, so I’m glad I got it right.” Coby beamed and set a brown leather bag beside Y/N. “Here, use this to carry your stuff in. We can’t have you walking around in the dress and then ruin it with your everyday purse.”
Y/N didn’t even argue this time, just took the bag, and tossed her stuff from her purse into the back. It was unassuming, just like her dress but fit the style and timeline she was trying to go for. It was also big enough she could slip her camera inside if she took the lens off.
“Alright. So the gates should be open, but I was talking with one of the workers and they said we can come in the employee gate since the lines so long.”
It never ceased to amaze Y/N how Coby could just do things like that. She could charm just about anyone into doing what she wanted with a smile. A part of Y/N was always a little envious of how Coby had little to no fear when it came to meeting new people. Y/N wasn’t shy exactly, but her anxiety and passed relationship troubles always reared their ugly heads and made it harder for her to open up. She just wasn’t as naturally charismatic as Coby and was perfectly fine admitting she never would be.
“I want to grab something to eat first since all we had was those breakfast burritos on the way up here. Then I wanna go-.” Coby climbed out of the tent and started listing off all the things she had planned, the woman going a mile a minute. Y/N was just here for the ride. Stepping out and zipping up her tent, Y/N followed her friend and smiled along with Coby, her friend's excitement contagious. Even though she was nervous about the dress and everything, Y/N was still excited for whatever the weekend had in store.
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the stars always make me laugh (1/4)
Now complete! Here is chapter 2, chapter 3, chapter 4, and the epilogue.
A year to the day after Ziva departs D.C. to return to Paris and reunite with her family, her newfound contentment is shaken by an unexpected loss. Tony and Tali are right where they belong—safely by her side—but she still finds herself feeling drawn to reflect on the past. She might just be able to use this new grief to bring peace to old wounds, renewing hope along the way for a future with her family... but only if she can find a way to let go of what haunts her.
Written as a combined response to two different challenge prompts; also available for reading on ff and AO3. This is angsty but will ultimately be soft.
"And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrows) you will be content that you have known me. You will always be my friend. You will want to laugh with me. And you will sometimes open your window, so, for that pleasure… And your friends will be properly astonished to see you laughing as you look up at the sky! Then you will say to them, 'Yes, the stars always make me laugh!'"
—Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
January 7th, 2021
It's a Thursday morning when Tony gets the call.
He's working from home today, and he's nearing the end of a video conference when his phone buzzes—he looks down to check it and sees his favorite unflattering photo of Tim McGee on the screen. Paris is six hours ahead of Washington, where McGee presumably still is, which makes it… hmm. It's four in the morning there. He's probably not reaching out for a casual chat, then.
Something tells him to take the call.
"Sorry to be rude," Tony says quickly in French, looking back at his computer screen, "but there's an emergency I have to deal with. Let's go ahead and wrap this up for today and we'll talk progress next week, same time as usual—Félix, go ahead and email me that report, if you can. I'll check in when I'm back at the office tomorrow. Have a good morning, all of you."
Then he abruptly ends the conference; he cares very little if he comes across as impolite, because his thoroughly French team has always seen him as a hopelessly crass American anyway.
Tony hits a button on his cell, catching the call just before it would have gone to voicemail. "Why, if it isn't Tim-Tim-Timothy McGee!" he cries, jovial as usual even though he's a little apprehensive about the nature of the unexpected conversation. "What can I do for you?"
"Hey, Tony." McGee sounds tired, which is little wonder given the time difference. "Do you have a moment to talk?"
"Sure," Tony agrees, dropping the slightly mocking enthusiasm from his tone. "What's up?"
"I don't know how to tell you this, so I'm just going to say it, okay?"
"There was an accident last night, and—"
"Who?" Tony can read between the lines—he doesn't have to hear the word "death" to understand that someone he knows has passed away.
"It was Ducky."
Tony is on the phone with McGee for another fifteen minutes, getting all the details and committing them to memory as best as he can through his slight haze of shock. Though Ducky had always been the oldest member of their team and clearly couldn't live forever, he had seemed… invincible, somehow. He was an institution, something timeless and never-ending.
Of course, that had been an illusion, but still, it's strange to know that the vibrant old man is now just…
The rest of the workday is spent processing all of this new information and making preparations. Tony can't imagine a world in which they wouldn't fly back to the States to attend the funeral, and though he hasn't yet talked to Ziva about it, he feels fairly comfortable arranging emergency bereavement leave from work and informing Tali's school that she'll be out next week.
Near the end of the call, McGee had asked if Tony wanted him to call Ziva, too, or if Tony wanted to tell her himself. Tony's answer was immediate: he knew without needing to stop and consider that telling Ziva in person would be the right thing to do.
It doesn't matter how much he hates having to give bad news.
Tony intends to do it tonight, once his wife is home from work… she has experienced too much loss in her life for him to be anything less than absolutely gentle in telling her about their old friend. There's no need to make it harder than it needs to be; an impersonal phone call across the Atlantic may have been an inevitability for Tony himself, but now that he knows, he wants to be there to hold Ziva's hand when she finds out, too.
He would give anything to spare her from as much pain as possible, and while he can't do much, he can do this.
Fortunately, the timing of McGee's call is decent—Tali has choir practice after school today, effectively speeding up the rest of the evening's schedule. By the time Ziva gets home, it'll nearly be dinner time, and bedtime will follow shortly after.
Tony doesn't want to delay giving Ziva the news, but he thinks it best to wait until Tali is safely tucked away. That way, they don't have to worry about putting on happy faces to keep from scaring her.
As soon as Ziva walks in the door, she can tell that something is wrong. Tony looks tired or sad, or maybe both. He kisses her in greeting as usual, though, and when she gives him a questioning look, he answers with an almost imperceptible shake of his head. Later, she understands that to mean.
Ziva is concerned, but she trusts him.
Still, Tony seems eager to rush through Tali's evening routine, telling Ziva her unsettled feeling isn't merely a product of her typical anxiety… she's right, and something has happened or is happening still.
If she was Gibbs, she'd claim a gut feeling.
"Tony, is everything alright?" Ziva asks in a low, tense voice once Tali's bedroom door is shut for the night.
Tony shakes his head. "Let's go sit," he answers softly.
He leads her to the couch and she sits next to him automatically, her heart starting to race in a horribly familiar way. "Please just tell me, whatever it is," she murmurs anxiously.
Tony takes her hand. "Alright." His voice is gentle. "Just don't forget to breathe, Ziva, okay? I got a call from McGee today, and he had some bad news. Ducky was in an accident last night… he passed away this morning."
Ziva's pulse is thudding in her ears, and she focuses on the grounding anchor of Tony's hand on hers as she tries to internalize what he just told her. "An accident?" she echoes, sounding distant even to herself.
"Yeah…" Tony shakes his head and unexpectedly gives a quiet, incredulous laugh. The sound pulls Ziva out of her head a little, and she makes a conscious effort to squeeze his hand back as she waits for details.
He gives her a warm smile, recognizing the gesture.
"Honestly, it was the 'Duckiest' way that he could have died, I think," Tony explains. "He had apparently been out in Newfoundland exploring some continental fault thing, and on the way back, his plane hit some bad weather and ended up crashing. Palmer says it was very quick—Ducky never would have felt a thing."
Ziva nods, slightly faint but quickly getting over her shock. With any luck, she'll avoid a full-blown anxiety attack; the frequency of the attacks has decreased since she reunited with her family a year ago, but they'll always be a threat that she has to be prepared for.
Tony seems to understand that she's not quite ready to talk yet, so he keeps going. "There are worse ways to go, for sure, and I think Ducky would have wanted to spend his last minutes just as he did: coming from from an adventure in a tiny two-seater Bonanza. You know what I mean?"
"Yes… yes, I am sure you are right," she agrees, her voice steadier.
"I'm really glad that we got to see him recently, too. We had a good time, didn't we?"
"We did." A few months back, Ducky'd had a daylong layover in Paris on a trip to a remote area of Siberia, and they'd spent a very fun day showing him around the city. Their daughter had warmed to him quickly, which was hardly surprising.
"Hopefully Tali was old enough that she'll remember it, I think."
Tony pauses, and with his free hand, he reaches up to briefly caress his wife's cheek. "Are you alright?" he questions, concerned. "You're not saying much. I don't want you to pass out on me."
"I am—" Ziva stops in the middle of her sentence and takes two deep breaths. She had nearly said 'fine,’ but she's not, is she?
Ziva likes to think that she can be open and honest with Tony these days, as much as a lifetime of trials has given her the impulse to keep things to herself. The fact that Tony waits patiently for her to finish rather than interrupting tells her that she's right—she shouldn't shut him out.
Finally coming to a decision, she shakes her head. "No."
Tony nods. "I thought that might be the case."
"No. No, I'm really not. But I will be."
Tony's words suddenly pull a memory to the forefront of Ziva's mind, and she tilts her head for a moment, considering something.
Tony waits, a slight frown furrowing his brow.
"Come," Ziva decides finally. "There is something that I want to show you."
A few minutes later, a bemused Tony watches from the doorway as Ziva digs determinedly through a box in the back of their bedroom closet. He knows what's in that box, and he knows that several identical boxes stacked neatly in the corner contain more of the same: Ziva's old journals from NCIS, dozens of them thoughtfully shipped to Paris by Ellie Bishop.
"Are you looking for one in particular?"
"Yes," Ziva answers, but she doesn't explain any further. After a few more seconds, she makes a noise of triumph and rises with one of the journals in hand.
She leads him back to the bedroom and sits on the bed, inviting him to sit next to her; Tony is relieved to see that while she definitely looks pained and tired, there are no obvious signs of an impending anxiety attack.
Once they're settled, Ziva gently—almost lovingly—pats the cover of the thin book. "This is one of my journals from late 2009 until early 2010."
"Shortly after I was rescued from the desert, yes."
Tony nods; it's not his favorite time to think about, and he knows it can't be for Ziva, either—so why did she pull this notebook in particular from the dozens of identical ones chronicling her experiences?
"Ducky was… helpful to me, in the aftermath of my rescue."
"He was?" Tony interjects in surprise. "You've never talked about that before."
"It is not a subject that I deeply enjoy discussing, something I am sure you can understand."
"Well, because I believe that sharing this memory will honor Ducky, I would like to tell you more about what he did for me."
"Are you sure?"
Ziva nods, and she keeps the journal clutched lovingly in one hand as she reaches over to lay a hand on Tony's thigh. "It has been a long time, and I think I am ready." She offers a smile—it's small and watery, but it's very sincere, and something about it makes Tony's own eyes start to sting.
He's been too busy to cry today, but he knows it's coming sooner or later. Ducky had been family for a very long time, and with this on top of that loss...
"Okay," he agrees roughly, clearing his throat. "Take it away. I'm all ears."
Ziva squeezes his thigh and then pulls her hand away, glancing down at the journal; this one will always be one she cares for above its brethren, because its painful content reminds her of how much she has overcome.
After a pause, Ziva opens it carefully.
Then, her voice surprisingly steady, she starts to read.
January 7th, 2010
There is a reason that I have not penned an entry in quite some time; I have walked a difficult road these past months. Today, however, I was offered a comfort that I had not previously possessed the courage to ask for. If I have any hope of sorting through my own thoughts on the matter, though, I need to reconsider earlier events.
Before returning to Mossad more than half a year ago, I was faced with a dilemma that I had successfully avoided in my career before that point—that is, the dilemma of who to trust and who to side with when personal and professional obligations become hopelessly conflicted. I have already written at length about the choices I and the others made in the midst of that conflict.
Much has happened since then, but recent forced introspection has shown me an important connection between the difficulties of Michael's death and the horrors I endured after: a connection between who I was then and who I am now. That night, it only took a few minutes to change the course of my life: in that time, Tony and Michael fought, and Michael was killed. Every single one of us has had to deal with the consequences of those events ever since.
At the time, I let my anger and my grief consume me, destroying all vestiges of rationality in my thoughts and decisions. I followed that pain to the Horn of Africa, hurting and reckless and prepared for death.
Of course, I did not die, and that has brought consequences of its own… consequences that I am only now beginning to come to terms with.
In the wake of Michael's death and doubly so in the wake of my experiences in the desert camp, I found myself vulnerable. For the first time in my life, I'd been forced to acknowledge my heart and acknowledge its fragility. It could be bruised. It could humiliate me. These were things that frightened me, because I knew from recent experience that they could—and likely would—be used against me. My fear led me to withdraw, to hide again; acknowledging my own weakness demanded far less bravery than I would have needed to share that vulnerability with my friends.
I defaulted to an old defense mechanism. I leaned on ability borne of long experience to simply feign contentment. I passed my psychological evaluations, I sent my resignation to Abba, and against all odds, I was instated as a probationary special agent at NCIS. After a time, my colleagues stopped watching me when they thought I could not see, waiting for me to fall apart. I had convinced them that I was alright; perhaps I even convinced myself some of the time, too. Maybe I was not yet as 'fine' as I seemed to be, but I was sure that in time, I would reach a point where my conscience felt as carefree as my forced smile looked to those who loved me.
Darkness, however, is difficult to chase away with one single flickering candle, lit only by the flame of my own exhausted determination. My candle burned low, worn down over time, and I found myself in need of help. I alone could not summon the light that had long since fled my tired soul.
Though I did not know to whom I should turn, fate helped a friend to find me. It was—of all people—Ducky. In many ways, he is something of a saba* to me, the kind that I wished for as a child. Even so, I would not have thought to seek him out as a confidant. I see now how remiss I was in taking him for granted as I have sometimes done. It turns out that he was just who I needed.
He found me this evening in the midst of… I do not know how to define what I was feeling. I can only say that I was lost in a moment of weakness. At the time, being seen that way was humiliating, but now, several hours later, it feels serendipitous.
Ducky and I spoke quite candidly then… I will not record the details of the conversation here, because I feel in no danger of forgetting what was said. I am confident, however, that today marks something of a new beginning for me. There is still so much to sort through and process, but the shadows already feel less dim.
Today, I invited a friend to see my darkness, and despite what he saw, he did not pity me; he only held my hand and lit another candle.
*saba = "grandfather" in Hebrew
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A New Dawn Part 11
In which Kai sneaks off with the twins, and she has some good laughs! Tagging my collaborator: @ratracechronicler!
Kai: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10
Rat: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12
Rat and Eli kept checking on me throughout the next few days. Rat even snuck in some street food, and she winked at me and said it was the best healer she knew about. She never really stayed long enough for me to ask her again about what Tila might have said. And she didn’t really meet my eyes. What had she heard? Why wouldn’t she tell me?
She had at least told me that Tila had revealed that one of the aliens had stung me with their weird hairs, and that had made me see and hear what they wanted to. So, that was how they could talk to me without actually being there. But now, hopefully, they had been scared off. They hadn’t tried to whisper in my ears since I had confronted Tila. Hopefully, they were gone for good.
I stiffened when the door opened. Now, the real enigma. Miss Evy was so…nice, and she already seemed to care about me, even though she barely knew me. And she fussed over me so much, asking if I ate and if I was feeling okay. I didn’t get it.
She brought in food and set it on the small table next to my bed. I looked away from her as she started unwrapping the bandages to check on how I was healing. “Thank you.” Just because I didn’t get it, didn’t mean I couldn’t be thankful for what she was doing.
She laughed quietly. “I don’t mind at all, dear.” She frowned down at the wound on my leg. “It’s healing well, given that you don’t have the advanced healing Tersatellans do. I’d say you still have a few more weeks until this is healed, though.”
A frown tugged at my lips, and I looked away before she could see it as she wrapped my wound up again. A few more weeks? It had only been a few days, and I was already bored just sitting here. I forced myself to speak anyway. “Thank you for all your help.”
She nodded. “Of course, dear. Now, you should eat.”
I nodded, but I didn’t reach for the food yet. She walked over to the table again and took some of the food and practically shoved it into my hands. “Please eat, young lady.” Her eyes were so stern. I shrunk down a little and took a few bites, and she smiled. “I’ll check on you in a few hours.”
She left, and I kept staring out the window. I perked up when Rat and Eli left the house together. Maybe I could follow them? It would give me something to do. But…ever since the encounter with Tila, they had been closer. Looking at each other and smiling, brushing their hands accidentally, whispering in each other’s ears. They probably wanted some privacy. And…I had never been interested in that stuff. If I followed them and they were only being romantic, that would be a waste on top of being too nosy.
I sighed and leaned back as I finished up the food Miss Evy gave me. It was really good. I’d have to make sure to mention that when I saw her again.
Nothing really changed as I just sat there. It was just so boring. I couldn’t move around. And I shouldn’t just be staying in one place for so long. I had to do something. Healing was stupid and boring.
I perked up again when Tim and Tom left the house. Darn it. I could at least follow them. I listened for a little bit to see if Miss Evy was near my room, and when I didn’t hear anything, I jumped out of bed, winced at the stab of pain, and opened the window. I crawled along the roof, even though I had to move slower than I normally did because of my wound. When I got to the edge, I landed as softly as I could and jogged as quickly as I could after them.
Once I caught up to them, I stayed a few blocks behind them, and I remained in the shadows. They didn’t seem to notice, since they were so engrossed in talking to each other. They even bumped into multiple people as they talked and walked, and they weren’t even stealing anything.
Tim did look down at what was probably a beacon at one point, but Tom kept talking like nothing was wrong. I couldn’t hear what they were talking about, but I didn’t dare get any closer. If they figured out I was following them, they’d probably just bring me back, and this was at least interesting.
But still, with their long legs and the wound on my leg making me walk slower than normal, I was falling behind. Soon enough, I wouldn’t be able to see them, and I’d probably get lost. Crap. I gritted my teeth and tried to walk faster, but I didn’t have to worry about that for long because Tom collapsed on a bench, and Tim stood over him, glaring at anyone who gave them a second glance.
I was able to catch up before they continued walking. They finally stopped in a less crowded area, and someone I didn’t recognize met them. I actually got close enough to listen this time.
Tom laughed after the person they met said something. “You’d better have some good stuff this time. We might be getting a gig with the Kill Switch themself!”
The other person laughed. “I have something prime for you, but I don’t know about something worthy of the Kill Switch.”
Tim shook his head with a sigh. “Ignore my brother’s ramblings. What illustrious items do you have for our inspection?”
The person showed them mostly junk, but there were a few broken machines that could easily be fixed and a rusty knife that had even more useful things with it. I grinned when I saw it. Maybe I could slip that away from them? I shook my head, though, when I remembered all the weapons Tim had with him. Anyway, they were nice. Maybe I could just ask them for it.
When they were done buying, they walked back the way they came, and I had to slip into an unlocked building while they passed me. Tom was grinning at Tim as he held up the knife. “This really could be a good one for the Kill Switch. Maybe as a parting gift.” Tim nodded, and I frowned. Well, my idea to ask them was dead too. Who was this Kill Switch? The way the seller talked about them, they were a big deal.
But it was no time to wonder. I had to keep following them. They just went to a quiet alley where no one else was, and Tom sat down and pulled out what they bought while Tim kept watch. Tom was working on cleaning it up and getting the broken machines to work again. I sat down behind the corner of a building, just straining to listen to what they were saying. I knew it was stupid to even follow them out. What if something happened to me while no one knew where I was? But I was just so tired of doing nothing already. I hissed out a breath. I should just walk up to Tim and Tom and beg them to let me come along with them. It would be safer anyway.
Before I could make up my mind, someone who was walking past noticed me, and his eyes darkened. He stopped right in front of me and glared down at me, and I just frowned back at him. What was his problem?
He actually grabbed my hoodie before I could react and pulled me up so I was standing (even though I still had to look up to just see his face). He waved a finger in my face. “We don’t want people like you in our city! You’re an abomination! Get out of here!”
I just stared at him. What in the world was he talking about? What had I done?
He shook me. “What do you have to say for yourself? Speak!”
Before I could even think, two more shadows loomed behind me, and I didn’t even turn around. Crap. I was surrounded. I finally slipped my knife into my left hand, but it would be harder to defend myself with my non-dominant hand.
But one of the shadows behind me reached around me and held the man’s arm in a death grip. The man winced and actually let go of my hoodie. And then Tim pushed past me and loomed over the man instead. I just stared at Tim. His eyes were so dark.
“If you lay your fingers upon this person again, you will find your arm separated from your body. You will be incapacitated, eviscerated, and even decapitated if you even look at her again. Now, if you would be so kind, leave this vicinity and never look back.”
Tom shook his head with a smirk and leaned up against me. “What’s with all them fancy words? Why don’t we’s just bash his skull in?”
The guy looked between them as his face paled. Tim finally let his arm go, and he ran off without another word.
I just frowned after the guy. Why had he even done that? What had I done? Tom laughed, and he was still leaning against me when he spoke. “Now, why have you been following us?”
I flushed, and stuttered a little before I could get it out. “I…I was just bored sitting around. I’m sorry.” So, they probably noticed at some point.
He laughed. “I don’t blame you. I’d go crazy if I had to lay in bed all day.” He had me sit down next to where he had been sitting, and he pushed a broken machine into my hands. “Here. You can help me, at least.”
I glanced over at Tim to try and see what he thought of all this, but he wasn’t even paying attention. He was staring at his beacon again.
As I started working on getting the machine working again, Tom kept talking. “Now, I’m sure you’re dying to know all the embarrassing secrets we know about Rat and Eli. We participated in this extermination with them, so we know everything. Like how one time, Rex—have you met Rex yet?”
I shook my head. “Uh, the name’s not familiar.”
Tom laughed. “Tag, not name.” What was the difference? What was with these guys and being particular about what things were called? “Anyway,” Tom continued smoothly, “you’ll hate him. It’s tradition. At some point of the extermination, he tried convincing everyone that hunger is caused by bugs implanted into people by the government. And Eli? He actually believed him! One might even say Rex had poor Eli eating from the palm of his hand.” Tom smirked and, without looking, raised a hand for Tim to high-five.
Tim stepped in with a smirk. “This was around the time I, who couldn’t exactly find a lot of restaurants around that catered to my needs, fell real gracefully down a couple stories of jacked-up scaffolding and Rat very nobly decided she was going to rescue me. Savor that image. Savor it, ma femme.” I smirked as I did picture it. Rat was only a little bit taller than me, and Tim towered over me. Rat probably was pulled down more than she was able to help.
“Didn’t she kiss Rex one time just to prove a point?” Tom grinned fiendishly.
“Don’t preach it too loud. You’ll hurt the poor boy’s feelings, knowing his chances are compromised.”
“You didn’t hear it from me, but anyone watching closely when we first gathered and chose teams might’ve thought Rex was a little eager to side with Eli.”
“Of course, we, being gentlemen, don’t indulge in such idle gossip,” Time said loftily, and they both snickered in unison.
I just grinned back at them as I kept working. It was hard to imagine that these light-hearted memories could have happened in a life or death situation. I almost wished that I could have experienced it myself.
After we were done making everything look good, Tim and Tom brought me along as they sold it all (except the knife) to other people. Tom was good at making the stuff seem better than it was, and Tim loomed over them so that they were intimidated into buying it. They were good at this.
When we got home, Miss Evy ushered us in, and Tim and Tom went off to do some chores as she turned on me. She put her hands on her hips, but her eyes were just disappointed. I shrunk down anyway. How could someone who didn’t even look angry make me feel so intimidated?
“So, would you like to tell me why you decided to leave without telling me?”
I couldn’t look her in the eyes. “I just wanted to do something…”
“And you probably aggravated your wound again. Come on. Let’s check it out in your room.” She gestured for me to follow her, but I dragged my feet. I didn’t want to go back there. I’d be trapped again.
Tom popped his head back into the hallway. “Miss Evy, would it be okay if Kai rested out in the living room with us after you check her wound? I think it’d be better for her healing if she had some laughs and interaction.”
Miss Evy nodded, and I relaxed. I glanced back at Tom before I left and mouthed a thank you. He grinned, gave me a thumbs up, and disappeared again.
Miss Evy fussed over my wound, but she did say that it wasn’t badly hurt, so that was good. After she was done, she escorted me over to the living room and made sure to make a comfortable spot for me before I sat down. It wasn’t that bad, was it?
Rat made a face at me, and Eli watched me with concern in his eyes. I just tried to smile. “So, how was your day?”
Rat crossed her arms. “Well, it was going really well, until Tim told us that you snuck out and followed them. Then Eli decided to get all worried.”
He flushed. “I wasn’t that worried. I knew Tim and Tom would watch over you.”
She snorted. “He kept glancing around like he might see you and need to protect you.”
I hung my head. “I’m sorry—”
But she didn’t let me finish. “And then Tim told us that someone harassed you and called you an abomination. Now, that was unexpected. So, we had to do some digging to see if something changed on social media. And sure enough, it’s plastered with pictures and videos of you running through Fre Jac-Mac.” Rat and Eli exchanged a glance as if they knew what was going on. “So, it’s going to be harder to roadtrip now.”
I frowned. Were people really unhappy about seeing whatever I had done a few days ago? And now I was making it harder for Rat and Eli again. I still couldn’t look them in the eyes. “I’m sorry—”
Rat held up a hand. “Stop. I know what you’re going to say: “I’m a burden and you should leave me behind and I don’t matter”, right?” I nodded. Guess I was too predictable. She shook her head. “Well, don’t say that. We’re gangsters, and we’re friends now. You don’t get a say in whether we bring you along or not.”
Eli glanced over at her. “Isn’t that basically kidnapping?”
I frowned at her. “So, what are we going to do then?”
Rat grinned a little too wide, and I swallowed hard. “We’re going to have a dress-up session so that no one could possibly recognize you! Tonight, we’ll have fun.” I just stared at her as she cackled. Great. Why did it sound like something evil?
Eli frowned. “Tonight? So, do you want to leave tomorrow?”
She nodded. “I think both me and Kai will die of boredom if we don’t see some new scenery, so yeah.” She glanced back at the kitchen where Tim and Tom were talking. “Sorry, Jacques and Macabreak!” They fell silent, and Rat turned back to us. “I’ll make sure not to push Kai too much. Anyway, isn’t your brother in Farsia right now?”
Eli nodded. “And I think he wants to check up on us after what happened with the social media.”
Rat nodded. “So, it’s settled. We’ll head to Farsia tomorrow and meet up with your bro.”
Tim and Tom walked in after a little bit more, and Tom sat down next to me and smirked at Rat. “So, us three had a grand time today! We talked all about how embarrassing you were in the extermination.”
Rat stuck out her tongue at him. “Well, what about you? You missed the whole extermination because you were stolen by leeches on the first day!”
Tom held his hand to his chest. “You wound me, madam! Let’s not forget I wasn’t actually stolen. You all but tossed me into the ocean with them.”
Tim shifted, and I looked over and shrunk down when I saw his eyes. They were so dark.
Rat glanced at Tim as well. “Yeah, well, you know how us Tersatellans just love impromptu swimming. Fun fact, Kai: most of the bodies of water large enough to fit a person in in this country are frozen. And yet, despite this fact, and despite the much larger fact that he’d only conquered walking and breathing a few days ago, when I happened to fall into the ocean, Eli here valiantly came to my rescue. Since I have actually encountered a pool in my lifetime, you can imagine who was saving who.”
A smile pulled at my lips as Tim’s expression lightened, and he snickered with Tom. Eli, for his part, just smiled. “This happened more than once. I think there were explosives involved during one attempt. I really didn’t learn.”
Tom nudged me. “Talk about spite, irony, and ignorance here—we had this little free-for-all feast once we made it back from the extermination, right? You know how Tim and I have all this junk we’re allergic to? All the same, we found the spiciest tamales we could smell and tried to get this guy to eat them.” He glanced over at Eli.
“That was when Spike called us ‘veggie burgers’,” Tim muttered.
“As he loudly thunked down a whole slab of brisket in front of the beanpole here.” Tom nudged Eli with a wink.
Rat shrugged. “Spike was just settling the score, Tom. You don’t even know. You should have seen the two of em that Monday when we went to Aeon Island and got all gussied up. Nobody’d give Mr. Sunglasses a second glance no matter how many poses he definitely struck on complete accident. Poor soul’s nothing without a crowd. And meanwhile, this guy?” She nodded at Tim. “Had at least ten hopefuls at any given moment just watching him eat grapes. If mortal peril hadn’t kicked in, someone would have proposed. I guarantee it.”
Tim smirked at her. “Yeah? You wanna talk fruit, ma femme? I seem to remember, and now—correct me if I’m wrong, but we were sitting in this high-end establishment in the classiest island in the bay, representing our country, no? And there you were. Trying to toss a grape into your mouth from above. Like a kid. And missing. And hitting your eye instead.”
Rat scoffed. “Oh, don’t stop there. My acute appreciation of the situation and hand-eye-coordination. Then it was onto the fruit puns. I almost killed everyone in the room.”
Eli grinned. “I contributed to the war effort.”
Tom leaned back after he was finished laughing. “Boy, I’m sorry I got left out on the mortal peril, but you two tag teaming bad jokes? That, I’m grateful I missed. I weep to think how all those poor suckers suffered.”
Taeo’s stupid texts had already rubbed off on me, and I had to try. I cocked my head and tried to keep my expression serious. “Oh, they probably suffered punful agony.”
They all stared at me for a little bit before they all burst out laughing. I leaned back and laughed too. Everything was fine. Everyone was safe.
Rat and Eli decided to keep going with the puns, and even though Tim and Tom groaned at the stupid puns, they were smiling. Was this what it felt like to have a family? Safe and comfortable and happy?
Once everyone decided to go to bed, Rat pushed into my room after me and wiggled her eyebrows at me. “Now, it’s time to get dressed up.” Crap. I had forgotten about that. I just nodded and closed my eyes as she started rummaging through some stuff she had with her. It was going to be a long night.
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For 700 Followers!
Hi babe. Ah, you know, I think we could really work something out because if there’s anything I like, it’s Tim trying to have the I am an island attitude with clingy, needy Bat Alphas right on his tail ;) Tbh, I wrote this once and it got lost, so I cried, but I’m going to give it another shot!
Also, just saying but there was also a short thing done about *ahem* toys in this au, and you’ll probably find a similar theme X
There is nothing worse than water in your fucking boots.
His impromptu dip in the harbor was completely worth the pain in the ass because Two-Face is going to live to see another day, and he even acted less crazy than normal when he was handcuffed by GCPD, quiet while he was taken away in the back of a squad car.
The best part? The villain told him he was glad he hadn’t filled him full of holes after all. Red Robin is going to take that as a win.
And since his sleuthing is done for the night, he can go back to his Perch in Gotham City and get out of these wet clothes and put his damn boots by a heating vent to dry out a little.
He feels good enough about the night to order a pizza and do his notes while a slice is hanging out of his mouth when dry clothes are a thing.
He has a fan turning lazily, trying to keep himself cooled down because the Heat symptoms just started to manifest while he was riding back from the take-down (all that wind rushing by while he’s in a wet suit and still he’s starting to get hot? Seriously, body, stop making shit harder on him).
The pre-Heat could take up to three hours before the main event starts, and he at least wants to get the notes done and go blackout before it happens.
He’s got a bunch of Gatorade and power bars from two weeks ago when Jay and Dick pretty much showed up just in time for him to go full blown. Luckily, Dick had picked up more on the way to his Perch since the God-forsaken sixth sense had struck again. Somehow, maybe some Pack Alpha instinct, Dick had known he was going to need them, and true to form, the last Heat had been particularly vicious, his body in physical pain when he was empty.
(And no, he doesn’t need a reminder how nice Dick and Jay were about it when he was literally fucking crying. Geeze, things he doesn’t need people to see for 100 Alex.)
Which means he should have been good for a month and a half, but Leslie had warned him going this long on suppressants would have some effects on him biologically. She’d mentioned he could have two Heats back-to-back as a sign his body is starting to regulate like any normal Omega. So, really, this pain-in-the-ass is his own fault anyway.
Notes done, he logs out of BI’s mainframe and shoots the Titan’s a quick message, In Gotham. Perfectly safe. Going to sleep for 24-36 hours. Don’t freak out about the blackout mode, and shuts down his main system in preparation.
Barefoot, he pads around to shut off the lights and fans, grabs a Gatorade, starts pulling his nerd shirt off on the way to the bedroom. Security in lockdown and he’s starting to feel the burn just a little bit more.
Not long now. Damn, hopefully this will be fast and furious.
A locked box in the back of the closet is deposited by the bed, his thumb print accepted. He shifts through the unopened packages until he gets the red one and the blue one out, laying them on the bed to open before the round of fuck my contingencies ramps up.
(His face is hot, and not because of the pre-Heat. The two knotting dildos were purchased when he started thinking one night about what he was going to do when his body started regulating out, so Dick and Jay wouldn’t need to play Alphas to his Omega anymore. Ironically, the two toys reminded him of their knots anyway, and he’d been guilty as fuck buying them.)
He’s already started sweating lightly and jumps in the shower to wash off Gotham Harbor.
His phone goes off while he’s drying himself off, shifting his weight because his abdomen is already starting to get tight and uncomfortable in anticipation.
The message on his phone makes him groan/sigh because the Red Hood is wondering:
Jaybird: How was the swim?
There’s more laughing emojis than he realistically needs.
In just boxers, Tim plops down on his bed, taps his phone to decide whether or not to respond. Since they already knew he’d taken down Two-Face, he really doesn’t have options.
Me: nice this time of year. Btw, Harvey didn’t drown. That’s a win for the good guys.
Before he’s done, the ellipsis meaning someone is typing shows up, so he’s got himself in a world of trouble by answering. Natch.
(On the other hand, his Omega whispers, if you hadn’t messaged back, they might come looking for you. It preens at the thought of his Pack Alphas concerned for him, coming for him– Dammit. Not. The. Time.)
Jaybird: Oughta come 2 the Manor. Al made pizza. Can celebrate?
Me: Thanks 4 the invite. Running time-sensitive diagnostic for the Titans and crashing. See you at the next VA meeting tho.
Okay. So, normal. Jay will understand the need for fighting crime.
Jaybird: No problem. We’ll bring you some.
Me: Nah. Not tonight. Gonna set this up and crash. The alarm will wake me when the analysis is done. Enjoy the pizza!
Jaybird: If you’re sure?
Me: Positive. Sleep is calling. GN.
And turns off his phone with a sigh of unmitigated relief.
Forty-five minutes later, he’s idly eating popcorn and watching Infinity War when a wave of blistering heat washes over him, and the gentle reprieve is finally done.
His cock is hard and aching within a moment, his hands fisting in the blanket under him, hips jerking. The soft, subtle scent of slick tickles the edges of his senses, his ass starting to get moist under his boxers.
But Tim has old memories of doing this alone back when he was still in the tunic, and he forces himself to breath past the initial stages, fists his hands even tighter to keep from touching himself yet. He remembers how much better the orgasm was when he held off for as long as he could, remembers the time between waves lasted longer.
He bites down on his lower lip to keep in the noises (but really, what is the point?) and tries to just keep thinking.
He shoves the unopened boxes over and sprawls out on his back, trying not to let anything other than his boxers touch his aching erection. His thighs tighten, legs spreading automatically, feet bracing to work his hips a little.
It’s fine. You’ve done this before isn’t really that much of a consolation.
With the fire in his body starting to get more and please and Oh God, his mouth falls open to pant, toss his head back and forth with the arousal building, making his belly get tense.
An abrupt cramp knocks the wind out of him ending on a small, helpless noise that inadvertently escapes.
Rolling on his side, curling in on himself, Tim forces himself to just fucking breathe through it, it won’t last forever.
–when the comm on his desk blips, and the tinny voice is just loud enough to get his attention over things like terribly thought-out biology.
(Everything in you is screaming for an Alpha to help, touch, soothe. It’s not really your fault.)
“If you’re asleep, don’t get up. We’re just going to drop off pizza and we’ll be out of your Perch-”
Which is nothing short of fucking horrific.
“Almost goddit, Dickie,” is lost when another sharp cramp makes him huddle further into the pain rippling over his upper body while his brain screams to just fucking move.
The scent of slick gets stronger, clogging up the room, and the door isn’t even locked–
The next cramp makes his muscles flutter, but he can wobbly-leg it to the door and collapse in front of it.
(I was stabbed in the fucking spleen and still saved Pru. Without Ra’s, I would have been dead soon after, but if I can do that, I can get through this.)
He flips a small panel on the door frame and presses his thumb into it, forehead braced on the wall while he grits his teeth and gets a second or two of his muscles easing back.
Tim focuses on breathing, listening, and sure enough, there’s a timid knock a few minutes later. The door knob wiggles once softly, nearly inaudible voices mumble back and forth while he holds his breath.
He thinks he might be in the clear when it goes quiet again, thinking maybe they’d gone to dump the pizza in his fridge and be on their way out.
But a very clear, “do you smell what I smell?” is the proverbial nail in his coffin.
“Timmy? Are you…awake?”
“Please go away, I’m…I’m trying to sleep.” Tim tries again, more desperate now that hearing his Alphas’ voices is hitting all the deep places in him where the Omega hides.
“Don’t smell like it, Sweets. Think maybe ya mighta forgot ta mention something ta yer Alphas?”
(You aren’t mine. This is just about fucking Pack dynamics and bullshit biology. It’s fine, he gets it.)
“Hey,” and Dick’s voice is low and loud enough to be heard, and Tim slaps a hand over his mouth so he doesn’t whimper. “It’s okay. It’s us, Tim. We can make it better if you just open the door. You know we can, don’t you.”
It really isn’t a question, and Dick doesn’t pretend to make it one.
His abdomen spasms and he’s rolling his forehead against the wall in denial because fuck, haven’t they done enough? He’s not going to die, and, seriously, he’s a shitty Omega anyway.
“It’s not Heat Mania,” he tries to be reasonable, proud of himself when his voice only cracks once or twice, “I can get through it by myself this time. Y-You two just gave up five days a few weeks ago.”
The hand goes back over his mouth and his boxers are getting wet now, the way he’s curled in on himself probably not helping the situation.
Voices talking too low for him to make out again.
“Seriously, it’s fine. You guys got me out of danger. This? This is just business as usual. B is out of Gotham and you can’t be here for that long–”
“–B called in the Birds of Prey ta help out while he’s out wid’ the League,” Jay breaks through his ramblings. “We got Rob n’ BG. Cass is in fer a visit, and a trio of ass kickers. Ya ain’t gotta worry ‘bout Gotham, Timmers. Shit’s all kinds a handled.”
The door knob wiggles again, making him gasp because shit, if anyone could crack his fingerprint locks, it’s probably the Red Hood.
“So. That’s not an excuse to go through your Heat alone,” Dick cuts in, sounds more ragged and raw, the Pack Alpha coming out in him. “There’s honestly no reason for you to go through it by yourself at all because your Pack is supposed to take care of you. And we are here to do just that, Tim.”
And fuck he does (and doesn’t) want to.
(It really is going to hurt like a motherfucker when it’s all over with, isn’t it?)
And while Tim Drake could give them a hundred different excuses, could explain it away a hundred different ways
(“I don’t want my Omega to get used to having Alphas. That just makes my Heats more difficult. Please understand.”)
–he, Tim, not the Omega, really doesn’t want to.
(Oh yeah. He’s figuratively fucked. Literally fucked to possibly follow.)
He’s already reaching up to thumb at the panel again before he realizes what he’s doing and pauses, sighs at his own weakness.
And like they can feel him hesitate, the heavy musk finally gets to him from under the door. The combination of Dick and Jay and the Alpha instinct to soothe.
“Please, Timmy, Baby. Please let us in.” Dick says to the door, hands braced on the door frame outside, staring a hole right through the damn thing because he really wants to say is please let us love you.
Jay is nudged tightly against his back, peering over his shoulder with those precious few inches of extra height.
“S’all right, Timmers,” Jay’s deep voice rolls past his ear when his second leans over to talk closer, simultaneously sliding a hand over Dick’s hip, finger making soothing circles around the bone. “Ya know we love it when yer all pretty n’ pink fer us, yeah? Heat makin’ ya bite yer lip n’ flutter yer eyes when we get ta touch. N’ ya know how much we like it, don’t cha? Ya know it don’t matter how long it needs ta be, ‘er how much needin’ ya got saved up inside. Ya know the only thing what matters is how perfect ya are under our hands n’ mouth, yeah?”
Dick smirks at the tactic, turning just enough to get close to Jay’s face and shove their mouths together in a quick kiss.
His mate and second just grins right back, his down ‘n dirty one.
“Wadda ya say, Sweets? Gonna have mercy on these two ole’ Alphas? Let us be good, n’ take care a’ ya like we oughta?”
There’s a low noise, something muffled by the door, but Dick’s muscles tighten against the front of Jay’s body, putting the other Alpha right on point.
“Sounds like–” pain.
Jay just nods, staring intently at the door, fingers tapping over the hilt of this .45 like he’s thinking of taking the easy way inside. “Starting up awful fast, ain’t he, Alpha?”
“Leslie said something about double Heats while his body is getting back under control,” Dick reminds him absently. “I’m hoping this is the only one he’s experienced so far.”
Jay hums a little, “you n’ me both. Don’t like ‘im hittin’ two ina month. Too much strain.”
“Agreed, but we–” and Dick gets cut off by the sudden, powerful scent hitting them right in the instincts. The Alpha in them knows what a spike that sudden means.
Dick turns to make one last plea to the door, please, Baby, you don’t have to do this alone, before they would have to go. If Tim was that adamant, they wouldn’t hack the door to get to him, to force him to accept them during his Heat, but if he caught their scents, it could make the cycle more painful (“The inner Omega will pine for an Alpha. Scents will not help, but make the [sic] situation worse. An Alpha should vacate the premises if an Omega in Heat does not belong to him or her”). To keep it from being so much worse, they’d have no choice but the leave.
The possibility sticks in Dick’s throat, makes Jay rumble out a low whine.
But the telltale click resounds, kills the words in Dick’s mouth before they get out.
It’s a breath when he and Jay step over the threshold, kneel by the (their) pained Omega, warm hands and soothing touches, purring a low reverberation that makes Tim’s spine uncurl when Dick gathers him up and lifts. Jay is back with more Gatorade and power bars, throwing off his jacket and holsters while Dick kicks off his shoes and straddles Tim on the bed, leans closer to start kneading out the muscle spasms and nuzzling against Tim’s throat gently, soothingly.
“Ssshh, sshh, it okay Timmy. We’re here.” And Dick tilts his head just a little so his throat is visible and his scent gland right there if Tim wanted to give him and bury his face there.
(He totally does. Stupid fucking instincts.)
And Dick’s hands are warm, the pressure just enough to work out those muscles, to make the pain ease down. At one point, Tim had wrapped a hand around Dick’s forearm to have something grounding.
“You don’t have to do this,” is low and soft, “it isn’t going to be bad this time. Just a normal Heat. I can handle it. I have handled it.”
Jay takes a knee beside the bed, reaches over to direct Tim’s gaze with a forefinger under his chin. “Timmers,” is more stern than he’s used to hearing from the Red Hood, “like me n’ Dickie dunno how much ya can handle? Like we dunno how much ass ya can kick? C’mon, give us a little credit, yeah?”
Tim’s eyes get more dazed with all the stimulus hitting him right in the Omega instincts, blinking hazily at Jay kneeling there. “Seriously, I’m a shitty Omega, and neither of you need this. It’s bad enough you gave up a week already this month.”
“I told you,” Dick counters serenely, hands pausing, “that you are not a bad Omega. I would have thought during your last Heat you would have gotten that.”
They can both see Tim swallow, his eyes dart away, clearly disbelieving but not calling them on their bullshit.
Dick’s inner Alpha curls around his insides, wanting nothing more than to flop on the pretty Omega and pin him down until he cries uncle and finally believes in them, wants nothing more than to stick his nose in the sweet scent gland and never move, wants to hear Tim say it, just once–
“I’m yours, aren’t I Alpha?”
–but there’s no room for that yet. Not here, not now. Someday soon when Tim stopped giving into his instincts to hide and protect himself. Even if the Omega in him had accepted their Alphas, it still drew back, remembered the pain they both caused at one time or another.
And Dick understood. As Pack Alpha, he can scent more keenly, as a detective, he can put all the evidence together with the spikes of adrenaline, the quickening of a pulse, the flinch when certain things are brought up in casual conversation.
(Someday, he thinks fiercely, nuzzling into Tim’s jugular, while the knots under his hands ease down, you are going to forgive us, and everything is going to finally be okay.)
He huffs a little when Jay kneels by the bed, hands folded to rest his chin and watch. Timmy’s head flops over, the lines around his eyes still prominent with pain and the ingrained struggle not to just give in, and Jay trails his fingers lightly over the hand fisted in the sheets.
“Hey, hey. S’all right now, ain’t it, Baby?” He keeps it low and deep, lets it end on a nice purr. Inching the hand over, closer to his mouth, “an’ ta think, y’ weren’t gonna let me n’ Dickie here fer this? Tryin’ ta punish us, are ya?”
“Wh-What?! What are you even–”
Dick’s hand on his shoulder stops Baby Bird from sitting up, his cheeks gettin’ pink ‘cause he get all embarrassed ‘bout it.
(And fuck ain’t it cute.)
Big Wing smirks a little and leans up, gives Jay some room. He takes all he can, rising up on his knees, turning his jaw a little so his musk is stronger, getting fuller. He gets to wrap a palm around that wrist, pinning it lightly when he hovers over Tim’s wide eyes, makes him face this, face him, face them.
“Ya already know it, don’t cha, Timmy?” Low and growly against his mouth, flick of a tongue over his bottom lip, “how much ya make us want, yeah?”
And since Jason Todd is a man what knows how Tim reacts to being touched, how he gets so sweetly slick and ready, how needy and soft he can whine, knows that as much as Timmy says he don’t need this, need them, his body don’t agree with it.
It’s how he n’ Dickie can tell when Timmy is lyin’ ‘cause it’s the Omega what tells them the truth.
It’s why Jay can purr and nuzzle, can lean in and take his mouth like he owns it. When Tim makes a noise, arches his back, Jay knows Dick is mouthing at him, right below where his palms are rubbing, licking the line between boxers and skin.
Pullin’ back just makes Timmy chase his mouth, eyes half-mast and cheeks just the right shade of pink.
“See that, Sweetheart? How pretty y’ are? An’ ya weren’t gonna let us be here fer it? ‘M hurt over here.” And he purrs against the tendon in Tim’s neck, just the sharp edge of teeth teasing down to his collarbone.
“But it is, Timmy,” Dick fills in soothingly, mouthing at the waistband of his boxers. “You weren’t going to let us have this.”
“Dammit that isn’t–”
“Sshh,” and Jay presses a kiss back to his throat, right below the scent gland, “s’all right. We f’give ya, Sweets. ‘Cause we’re here now, and that’s what matters, you feel me?”
Tim finds it in him to brace a hand against Jay’s shoulder, pushing him back just enough to be able to think around the heat pooling in his stomach, lighting his body with need.
“It isn’t like that!” He tries, he really does, stares into those eyes with green flecks faded away. “It–this–it’s just!”
Dick finally seems to have enough, knee walking up so he and Jay could loom over the squirming Omega, both of them facing him down.
“At first, it was because of the Heat Mania, Timmy,” Dick’s voice is low and firm, “but it stopped being about that for me in the first five minutes.”
Jay purrs at him softly, “like I’d keep comin’ back ta ya if’n it was only ‘cause a’ biology, Timmers. Like you think I don’t see this fine as fuck ‘Mega right ‘chere needin’ an Alpha? Like I don’t want a piece a’ ya?”
That is...so not what he anticipated tonight once he’d given the Alphas an appropriate out. The admission makes his heart thump painfully in his chest, a jolt of fear slithering through his brain pan at all the implications of this–
–that would fully set in later on after his body stops trying to literally kill him with sex.
Because it’s enough of a push, this moment when scents are so fucking sincere and they’re looking at him with heat and affection, and he wants so desperately to believe. It’s enough to make the Omega in him rear up past his barriers and bullshit masks, for the whine, the call to his Pack, to his Alphas, to spill out of his mouth without holding back.
Because even though it’s a rough, soft sound, something he’d never been able to let himself do before now, not with all the secrets he’d had to keep, it makes some of the tightness in his chest ease down to finally be able to let it out, let his instincts take over.
In the form of a whine, a call to his Alphas. His Omega could finally stop mourning being left out of the Pack.
So he’s completely unprepared for Dick and Jay to react so distinctly to that noise, for them to bury their faces in his throat and lick along both sides until the kiss of teeth along his collar bone becomes a bloom of pain and sinks deep into his subconscious. It’s not (and he gasps in a hard breath just thinking about it, about either of them biting down on the back of his neck instead…) to mate him or make him submit, it’s just marks made to show ownership, to show Pack, and his eyes might get a little hot and full with it while the Omega in him rolls over to show its’ belly to the (his) Alphas.
And it’s something he’s been wanting for so long, the confirmation that he’s no longer the outcast, the Omega without a place. During the long road to come back to Gotham, back to the Bats, he hasn’t let himself sink into the depression that hit back when his tunic was yanked out from under him, leaving him hanging.
With the indents of teeth along his collarbone, with the distinct Alpha scent on his neck, the assurance he’s been claimed as their Pack Omega for anyone to see, is enough to make him close his eyes tight to keep from fucking crying. Instead, he distracts himself by lifting both arms around his Alphas to hold on while they lick across the indents of their teeth, soothing the sting.
He doesn’t let himself panic when they move on from marking him, when Jay is licking into his mouth and Dick’s hands are spreading his thigh, long-fingered hand cupping his straining erection.
He keens with it, back arching at the onslaught, his inner Omega sated with the marks on his body, languishing in the attention of his Alphas.
It’s so easy to fall under their spell, to put himself in their hands, and just give in. If they weren’t so damn careful and easy with him when he needs it that way, if they didn’t fuck him dirty and rough when it needed it that way instead, if they didn’t purr against his chest and lick at the marks, if they didn’t talk low against the back of his neck, if they didn’t hold the hell on when all he wanted to do is run.
Hands that know how to make him writhe, are busy smoothing up the sides of his thighs and over his abdomen, Jay and Dick trading places with his mouth. Thumbs make small circles on his nipples, makes them peak, makes the spark of pleasure shoot down his spine straight to his aching cock, while he keens in Dick's mouth.
“Uh-oh,” hazily gets through the heat pooling in his belly, in his blood, lighting his nerves on fire. “Looks like we have some competition, Jaybird.”
And Dick is leaning up on his knees, holding up the blue knotting dildo after he’d snatched it from the blankets, looking it over with a critically assessing expression–
Then those eyes slide over to the Omega spread out on the bed beneath them, the one smelling like a bakery, the one that needed him, needed them to take care of him.
“I told you, I can handle my Heats.” His face is going red and not because of the whole lot of naked happening beside the bed where Jay is stripping off the body suit.
“Mmhm,” and Dick widens his knees, spreading Baby Bird’s legs wider, puts the toy by his calf so he can be the one to use it on Timmy (and he is very interested on seeing how much of it his Omega can take before he’s screaming for the real deal).
The other Alpha’s eyes shoot to the subtly covered splash of red almost by the wall, and one brow quirks up as a side to the smirk on Jason Todd’s face.
“Dickie. Ya’ thinking what I’m thinking?”
“If it’s to fuck him with these things until he cries, then yes. I’m on board with that plan, Little Wing.”
“Good t’ see we’re on’a same page, you feel me here?”
The oldest vigilantes exchange a heated glance, the message clear from that look alone:
Time to teach Timmy a lesson and get to have him at the Same. Damn. Time.
Two Robins with one stone.
Jay is already crawling over Tim to lay on the other side while Dick moves fast, climbing off to shimmy out of his clothes until he’s in black briefs, coming right back to the perfect spot between the third Robin’s clenched thighs. He grins, already deciding on a plan, while Jay pins both wrists above their bird’s head, preparing him for the on-coming torture.
And when this cycle is done, when they’ve both had turns teasing him between waves with the toys he’d purchased, fucking him fast and rough or slow and soft until their knots throbbed to be buried in him, when they’ve made Tim give in to them, over and over, made him beg for their cocks, promised to always call next time no matter what. When he’s so overwork, overstimulated, a trembling, babbling, crying pile of please fuck me before I die.
When they make the lesson stick.
(“Never gonna need ‘em again. Ya gotch us, n’ ya better damn well call b’for ya use it again. Do you feel me, Baby?”
“These are last resort only, Tim. You only get to use these after you’ve called both of us and not because of a case or checking in on Gotham.”
He’d only been stupidly grateful all three of them could fit in his tub at the time, water lapping lazily around him, caught on Jay’s lap with his leg in Dick’s, hands on his ankle and calf under the water. He was dozing and utterly fucking destroyed, which is the only reason he agreed to it in the first place, dammit. They took advantage of fucking him completely out.
(Alphas. Of fucking course.)
But this time, after they’d been so fucking thorough in showing him where his place with them really is, Red Robin can’t help but wonder if it’s more than just a bunch of Alphas taking care of the Pack Omega. If all the sweet things Dick growls in his ear is more than just hormones and Pack Alpha lizard brain. He wonders if Jay’s dirty talk doesn’t stem from some messed up sense of guilt or responsibility from back when they were just, you know, trying to kill one another. Or, Jay was trying to kill him and Red was really just trying not to die.
He wonders if it isn’t just a matter time until his body regulates.
He wonders if they know what they’re doing to him when they act like he’s theirs.
He wonders how far they’re going to go.
(A part of him is terrified to find out.)
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The Tipsy Piano (1/2)
Pairing: Jason Todd x Reader
Warnings: Language, uhmmm..drinking?
Word Count: 1.2k
“I found our next target.” Dick said as he waltzed into the cave from patrol.
“Oh someone’s got Dickie all riled up tonight.” Jason chuckled as he learned further back in his chair, propping his feet up on the computer desk.
“You better be glad Tim’s not here to see that.” Dick pointed toward Jason’s boots centimeters away from the keyboard. “And yeah, apparently there’s a new boss in town. Some idiot drug mules let it slip.”
“Alright, I could smash a few heads. Where are we headed?” Jason’s feet slammed against the ground.
“Woah. Nowhere yet. We need more information before we take on a new crime boss. I don’t even know where to find them.”
“You know I prefer the shoot first ask questions later method.”
“And I prefer the not dying method. I’ll do some research and see what I can find. Hopefully I can get us a lead to go on tomorrow.”
“Fine,” Jason whined as he headed for the door. “Call me when things get less lame.”
Jason stalked down the stairs, heading straight for the training room. He stopped short when he saw Dick asleep at the computer. Chuckling to himself, he leaned next to Dick’s ear before yelling, “Dickie!” Dick jolted awake as Jason stepped backwards. “You find anything yet?”
Dick wiped the sleep from his eyes, “No. I can’t find anything on this dude. It’s like they don’t exist.”
“Maybe we should just do it the old-fashioned way.”
“And you think people will talk?”
“Guess it depends on how scary the new guy is.”
Red Hood meandered around the city, looking for any new activity. Finally, he saw something worthwhile. A drug deal. And not just some rich kid buying weed on the corner. These guys were moving some serious product.
“Now to follow the idiot or question the idiot…” Jason mumbled to himself before deciding on the former. He was lead to some bar that opened up a few months ago. His alter ego had yet to scope out the establishment. For now, he perched himself on a nearby rooftop with a view into one of the windows. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a very good view. After a few hours of silence, Red Hood made his way back to the cave.
“Well, I got a location. Don’t know if it’s a headquarters or just another front. I’m going to check it out as Jason tomorrow. Care to join?”
“I would, but with the others out of town, I better hit the streets while you do surveillance on this place. Just surveillance Jay.” Dick poked his brother in the chest. “What’s the name of this place anyways?”
“The Tipsy Piano.”
Jason decided it was probably best to have a few weapons on him, even in his civilian state. He couldn’t see much from his perch last night and didn’t want to risk getting blindsided. Jason walked over and sat on the bar stool next to you. Before he could say a word, your eyes scrolled up and down his form before your lips uttered the cliché phrase, “What’s your poison?”
Jason was caught completely off guard. “Oh uhm…whiskey.”
Your head tilted towards him, “Like just neat or with coke or gingerale…”
This time you nodded your head at the bartender, who began making the drink. “Haven’t seen you around here before. Had a bad day or something?”
“Nah, just haven’t made my way to this side of town. Place has only been open a few months.”
“Yeah, but it’s already got its regulars.”
Jason’s eyebrow arched. Did you have something to do with this new crime syndicate? “Well maybe I could be persuaded to become one of them.”
“Ehh, wouldn’t want to turn another good one into an alcoholic.”
“Believe me, you wouldn’t.”
“What, already one?”
“Nah, I’m just not a good one.” Jason winked before taking a swig of the new drink set in front of him.
“Really? See you strike me as the kinda guy who pretends he’s all badass and doesn’t care…” you leaned in towards him, “when in reality you’re one of the best ones out there.” Sitting back, you picked up your own drink, downing the last of it before leaving your new friend to contemplate your words.
It took Jason a minute to process the interaction before he decided to find more out about you. He nodded at the bartender, “Who was that?”
“She’s the owner.”
“Owner. She got a name?”
“Y/N Y/L/N.” He chuckled, “good luck buddy.”
Jason threw a twenty on the counter and walked out, dialing Dick as soon as he’s feet hit the pavement. “Did you find anything on that bar?”
“Not much, whoever bought it did so through a bunch of shell companies. I still haven’t found the end.”
“No need. The owner’s name is Y/N Y/L/N. I have a feeling she knows what goes on in her place. I’m going to play a hunch. Be nearby.”
“Please don’t do anything –” Before Dick could finish the obvious statement, Jason hung up the phone and headed to gear up. Almost half an hour went by when he sauntered back into the bar, this time as Red Hood.
The costumed vigilante making an appearance in your bar. Well this caught your attention immediately. You had to make sure one of your piggys didn’t squeal.
“The infamous Red Hood. What do we owe the pleasure?”
“Fighting crime all night isn’t easy. Sometimes I need a drink.”
“Well, by all means.” You gestured towards the bartender.
“Whiskey, neat.” Red Hood called out.
“You know, a rather striking man was in here earlier who ordered the same thing.”
“I can see he made quite an impression on you then.”
Your eyes narrowed as a faint smile lined your lips, “More of a fanciful curiosity.”
“Hm. Y/N, is it?”
“Yes…” The word slipped from your lips much less confidently than you had intended.
“So Y/N, what brought you to this beautiful city?” Something about his cocky attitude seemed familiar.
“Hah, I’m sorry is this an interrogation?”
A slight chuckle escaped Red Hood’s lips, “More of a curiosity.” He mimicked your words back to you.
“I thought it would be good for business.”
“The alcohol business?”
“Among other things.”
“I’d be careful. People around here are kinda crazy.”
“Yeah, like those who dress up in spandex every night.”
“Only if you’re lucky.” You were left speechless as the character walked out the front door. How could the stupid vigilantes of this town be so reckless. Moreover, if they are, how have they not been killed yet. Once you shook yourself from the daze you looked around.
“Alright, my people have a meeting. Someone talked and I need to know who.” The faces around you all distorted with terror.
Red Hood and Nightwing sat atop the nearby rooftop, watching as your form paced back and forth in the window. Finally, the moment they were waiting for. As all your lackeys filtered out of the bar, they snapped pictures of each and every one of them.
“So, should we take her down?”
“I dunno, I think we may need more information.”
Nightwing shook his head in disbelief, “Are you going soft on me little wing?”
Jason shrugged, “I kinda like her.”
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TIM I'm legally entitled to a 30 min break and I don't frankly give a shit if it's unpaid. Do not try to talk me out of it buddy
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Okay, so first off, while I’m glad that you appear to have figured out why you’ve been feeling weird, it sucks that it’s the flu, and I hope you feel better soon. Also, remember, you don’t need to answer this if you’re feeling bad (or at all if you don’t want to), I just had some more thoughts about a previous topic of discussion, and wanted to share for both the entertainment value and to get it down before it vanished back into my mental void.
So, I was rewatching Jurassic Park While enjoying a lunch of pizza rolls and ice cream (because I’m a grown ass adult and can do what I want on my day off), and I randomly remembered the discussion of them revisiting a group costume again with all the kids in the future. I had the thought that after Noah said he wasn’t going to wear those shorts (in public) again, Peter would try to convince him to be the game warden because “you’d get at least an extra inch or two of material, and the most iconic line of the movie”.
Needless to say he’s less than impressed with this, and says he’ll figure something out. Cut to Halloween night, and he shows up in one of those inflatable T-Rex costumes. Half the Pack is in absolute hysterics. He gets the littlest Stilinksi twins to be two of the velociraptors (if littlest Argent has come along at this point they can be the third. I’m not 100% on your planned timeline of family additions.) It’s actually the cutest thing ever. Malia happily agrees to be the Lex to Ben’s Tim so she can get all sorts of pictures and video. These include Noah chasing Chris, who’s got the road flare, them recreating the jeep chase (with Stiles as Muldoon and Jordan as New Ellie), which would have turned out better had Peter been able to stop laughing,
Stiles insisting on recreating the “clever girl” scene with his baby siblings, the twins being set loose in someone’s kitchen, Noah and the twins recreating a gentle mock fight version of the final fight at the visitor’s center, and of course the jello scene. Chris, Malia, and Ben head into the preserve to find places to stage photo shoots of their characters trying to get back to the visitor’s center.
Malia uploads the videos to her tumblr and they end up almost more popular than her Moon Moon clips. She just says that additional cast was provided by other family and friends to avoid having to explain why Peter has never been in her other videos. (Also, spoiler alert: once they’ve gotten home and got everyone to bed, they find out Noah was totally wearing the Ellie costume underneath the T-Rex outfit.)
Anyway, I think that was everything? This is (hopefully) a comparably short submission. I really did just want to get it written down before I forgot it, because I got the mental image of Chris as Grant getting chased by someone in one of those T-Rex suits and it all sort of spiralled from there. So, I hope you enjoy the idea as much as I did, and again, I hope you feel better soon!
Hallelujah, this is amazing. ^^
I will admit, the Last of Us part II just came out and I battled my flu all day to game for five hours, ate crisps and coke (soda) for lunch (I am also a very respectable, grown-ass man and I too, do what I want XD) and wrote in my gaming break. Honestly, I think I wrote like 200 words, whoops. But yeah, that game. Man, I’ve waited 7 years and my god, so far, I’ve cried twice. (Again, I am a grown-ass man. I cry over fanfiction and videogames. And I am goddamn proud of that, I don’t know what that says about me.)
But oh my lord this whole headcanon is golden. Everything, it’s super cute. Chris’s youngest is gonna about two years younger than the youngest set of twins. 1 year and nine months actually.
(The boys plan the last two pregnancies more or less. Like they discuss when they take out the IUD’s. They learned. And start trying, takes them a couple of months each. But they do wait about nine months after the twins are born before Chris makes the decision to have another child. His only planned child.)
I have also chosen some new names based on what you send in. And I’ve made up my mind on their middle names.
Allison Nancy Argent - Hale (After Chris’s mother)
Jackson Jonathan Argent - Hale (As a nod to John)
Benjamin Peter Argent - Hale (Obvious)
Malia Kathryn Stilinski - Hale (After Peter’s mother)
Mieczysław Nathaniel Stilinski - Hale (After Peter’s brother)
(Obviously, I won’t spoil those just yet. I’m a bastard.)
And yes Malia does upload everything to her Tumblr. She gets a lot of requests do upload more family Halloween outfits and a lot of family cosplay requests. Oh my god can you imagine this family going to comic con conventions??
The cosplays would be a. themed. b. amazing. and c. always on point.
A few of the family cosplays they’ve done:
(With help from Derek, Jordan, Melissa, Scott, Julio, and other pack members as they join)
1. Jurassic Park
2. Star Wars
3. Adam’s family
4. Star Trek
5. The Simpsons
8. Harry Potter
9. Disney figures/ fairy tale figures (Princes, princesses, sidekicks, classic fairytales)
10. The lord of the rings
And every convention they go to they manage to lose either Stiles or Scott somewhere in the crowd and somehow one of them always ends up on stage somewhere. (How they pull it off, they have no idea, but it becomes a running rag in the family.)