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#best part is you not jinxing us
nctsworld · 9 months ago
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two nights, one you
✩‌ jaemin ‌x‌ ‌reader‌ ‌|‌ fuckboy!jaemin | strangers (who f*ck) to (brief) enemies to lovers | ‌10.9k 
SUMMARY‌ ‌⇾‌ a last-minute one night stand gone awry is extended into two nights when you’re snowed in at the cute (but rude) stranger’s apartment on christmas eve. [loosely based on the movie, two night stand] // part of the x-mas in ncity collection  GENRES ⇾ crack | smut | fluff  WARNINGS‌ ‌⇾‌ ‌lots of bickering and dialogue, smut, oral s*x (f and m receiving), fingering, mentions of alcohol/drinking, swearing, bit of angst before the end, jaemin’s an asshole... or is he? RATING‌ ‌⇾‌ explicit TAGLIST ⇾‌ @infnteen​ 
AUTHOR’S NOTE ⇾ it’s late (and long fsldkm), srysry but here it is! i hope the humour comes out in this and look away if falls flat zzz fingers crossed that i can finish the last two installments for this collection asap! 
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⇾ gif created by me, please don’t repost or share without credit!
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Maybe it’s because it’s the evening of Christmas Eve Eve and you’re feeling more lonely than usual.
Maybe it’s due to the two glasses of wine you guzzled down in the span of fifteen minutes that get you buzzed.
Maybe it’s your prominent six-month dry spell and you’re in desperate need for some much needed rain in your drought.    
Or maybe it’s just pure impulsiveness.
Regardless of the reasons, you’re aiming to get laid tonight.  
It’s 9:45pm as you make the rounds on Tinder. You’ve used it in the past, searching for a relationship in vain, but haven’t used it much since you broke up with your last partner. Bringing the app alive again, you’re already bombarded by distasteful messages, off-putting one-liners and jokes, and swiping left more than you’d like.
You haven’t had a one-night stand before, but isn’t there anyone on here that is just a little bit attractive, nearby where you are, around your age, and is somewhat chivalrous about the topic besides saying DTF? Maybe you need to lower your standards if you want to get dicked down tonight.
But then, you land on him.
One Na Jaemin, 20 years old, and only four miles away from you.
Scrolling through his profile pictures and Instagram feed, you assume that he’s into photography, is on the athletic side from the various hobbies he partakes in, and he must be at least half-aware of his beauty because there’s the occasional pic that shows off his lean, toned arms, which, if you can be frank, is more flattering than the shirtless ones you constantly see. Oh, and he attends the same university as you.
The cherry on top? His bio is simple and upfront:
“Not up for anything serious, but always down for a good time ;)”
You swipe right without hesitation.
“It’s a Match!” flashes instantly at you. Your mouth swings open in disbelief.  
Usually, you’d wait for your matches to message you and play hard-to-get, but not tonight. Tonight, you’re initiating and leading all the conversations, completely driven by your thirst.  
Messaging Jaemin is a breeze. He types with more than half a brain, and he flirts, but it isn’t overwhelming or repulsive. Segueing the current topic, you drag your bottom lip upward as you send the following message:  
so, hypothetically... if one were to have good time with you would tonight work?
Not even twenty seconds later and he replies with:
-wow, dont you go straight to the point -im impressed -but yeah -tonight works ;)
He’s quick to send his address.
-let me know when ur here and ill come get you out front!
Smacking your lips together, you squeal to yourself in the comfort of your home, excited to meet with him, but then a thought hangs over you—this feels a little too good to be true. Horrible scenarios run through your head, so your fingers dash across your phone’s keyboard:
tbh i haven’t really done this b4 so im kinda new to this is it ok if we video call or smth? gotta make sure you’re real and not a serial killer i’m sure you understand 😛
-for sure for sure -totally get it -ive had my fair share of fake girls and serial killers so i feel u 😛
Grateful for his consideration, you rush to rearrange your hair after you send him a Zoom link, hoping you look decent enough to not have him back off from his initial offer. He appears in the video call on his phone with the front-facing camera on a few seconds after you connect.
“Hi,” you chirp.
A corner of his mouth lifts. “Hey.”  
Okay, he’s definitely cuter in real-time than in his pictures.  
“You know, I’m not gonna lie, but I lowkey expected to see a dick or something,” you joke in an attempt to dispel your nervousness.  
“Same,” he chuckles, running a hand through his black hair.
Oh God, he’s not just cute—he’s devastatingly gorgeous.
“So, this is my place...”
Jaemin moves around with his apartment in the background, revealing his living room first. Envy prods you as you note the brick walls, high ceiling windows, and well-appointed furnishings.
Recalling his address, you ask, “How’d you get a place in the heart of the city?”
“Lucked out,” he shrugs. His phone shakes a bit as he’s still moving. “My friend slash roommate—who is at his girlfriend’s place tonight, so we have the place all to ourselves—his parents own the condo and they gave me a friend discount on the rent.”
He finally stands in one place and turns the light on to reveal a room. “And this is my bedroom.”
Nothing out of the ordinary. A desk table with a gaming set-up, in tow with a gamer chair, and a decently-sized bed beside a nightstand.
“Oh, and here’s my closet.” Jaemin’s on the move again as he opens his closet doors. “Just to make sure you don’t think I hide the skins of my past one-nighters in here.”
A bubbly laugh rises from you. “Okay, I didn’t think of that before, but now you’ve planted the seed in my head. Maybe you hide them in the other rooms.”
“Nah, my roommate would kill me if I did.”
Both of you laugh in unison, and you bob your head with puffed cheeks.  
“Okay, it all seems very promising. I’m going to get ready and I’ll guess I’ll see you in a bit, Jaemin.”
“Sounds good,” Jaemin nods, then winks. Although you’re sitting down, he’s still able to get you weak in the knees. “See you soon.”
You end the call and rush to bundle up for the snow starting to come down outside. A twenty-minute train ride later, you’re at the front door of a rustic, industrial apartment complex. After informing Jaemin you’re outside, you glance up at the snowflakes falling from the dark pink-grey sky, anticipating for what comes next.
Sex with a hot guy, what can go wrong?  
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So, you must’ve jinxed it because the sex is...  
Unsatisfying. Finished faster than you’d like it to be. Sadly, overall disappointing. If you had to rate it, three out of five stars, at best.
But hey, he came, and you sort of did, and it wasn’t the worst sex you’ve ever had. It half-quenched your dry spell.
And enough happened that it tired you out, leaving you passed out in the handsome stranger’s bed until morning.
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In the morning, your eyes slowly flicker, unused to the foreign, sweet scent engulfing you in your bed. Correction: Jaemin’s bed.
Your eyes flicker faster as you glance through the almost wall-sized window. The snow hasn’t let up from last night. On the contrary, it seems like it’s snowing non-stop. You groan at the thought of going home in this weather.
The bed is without Jaemin’s presence as you reach for your phone on the nightstand. 10:36AM and a few notifications greet you. You rub your eyes and start combing through them, rising upward to sit up on the bed.
“Morning. You’re finally up.”
Peering up from your device, Jaemin’s standing by the door with folded arms. His plain sweater and sweatpants match the colour of his hair. The dazzling smile he gives is so contagious, you’re not even conscious of catching one too.  
“Out you go.”
You blink.
Once, twice, and then you tilt your head as you stare blankly at him, uncertain if you heard him correctly.
After a few moments, because you’re not moving an inch, his smile dissipates and he cocks an eyebrow in expectancy. A serious expression rolls over his face.  
Suddenly, Jaemin strolls to the side of the bed and hitches his thumb towards the door.
You definitely heard him right.
And he’s dead-serious.
You replay the video call from last night, dissecting how you thought he was nice and funny and—
Realization dawns on you.
Why would you expect anything more from a two-faced fuck boy?
Still awestruck by the situation, you’re still solid as a statue, so Jaemin takes matters into his own hands and grasps you by your elbow, casually dragging you from his bed like he’s taking out the trash.  
“What the fuck?!” you screech.
“C’mon, let’s go. Out out.”
“My clothes, though!” you protest in the middle of the hallway. He sighs in frustration, scurries to the bedroom, and returns with a small pile in his arms, then continues to drag you to the front door.  
“Are you always this pleasant with your guests the morning after?” you rage, putting on the rest of your clothes by the door. “You don’t even have the decency to offer me tea or coffee?”
“This was a one-night stand, not a bed and breakfast, sunshine,” he says as he watches you put your shoes on. He’s folding his arms again and leaning against the wall, his attitude dripping with smug. If he wasn’t a stranger, you’d punch it off his face. “You weren’t kidding when you said you were new to this, huh?”
“What the fuck is that supposed to mean?!”
“It means you’re a borderline virgin who needs to toodle-loo, get going and gone because you’re overstaying your welcome as we speak.”
Finishing putting on your coat, you’re fuming as your jaw hangs at the personal jab over your skills in bed. Jaemin swings the door open and shoves you through it.
“But I’ll admit, it was still nice having sex with you!” he chimes with a sickening grin and a hand on the door.  
“Aw, thanks asshole, wish I could say the same,” you sarcastically reply, resting a palm upon your chest.  
He scoffs. “From what I heard last night, I think I can confidently say that you had a great time.”
Flashbacks replay in your mind of your screaming fest from underneath him. Little did Jaemin actually know—
“You know, for someone who I assume has many one-night stands,” you spit with squinted eyes. “I’m surprised you can’t tell when girls fake it.”
You must’ve hit a sore spot because he grinds his teeth and you could almost see the steam coming out of his ears.
Oh yeah, you’re definitely the winner in this fight.
“Okay, you know what, Merry Christmas and fuck you. Have a great life!”
“Fuck you, dickface. Wishing you a miserable Christmas!”
With a bitter smile, you flip him off as he slams the door in your face.
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Carrying a basket filled with dirty clothes, Jaemin’s on the way down to the laundry room in the basement of his apartment with his shoulder scrunched up, squeezing his phone to his ear.
“Bro, she had the audacity to say that I didn’t make her come when she was screaming my God damn ear off—”
As he steps down the short flight of stairs and passes by the foyer area by the main entrance to the building, he notices you’re still here.
“Shit, uh, Jeno,” he mumbles. “I’m gonna have to call you back.”
He stuffs his phone into the pocket of his sweats and calls out to you as he strides closer. “Are you resorting to stalking me by my front door now?”
With crossed arms, you peer over your shoulder, eyes full of bitterness.
“Like I wanna be anywhere near you right now,” you grumble. You jerk your head towards the thick, wooden door. “It’s jammed from the snow.”
The laundry carrier shakes his head and places the basket onto the floor. “A little snow never hurt anyone. You’re probably just too weak.”
Stepping aside and holding out an arm, you signal for him to give it a try.
Jaemin twists the handle and, lo and behold, it doesn’t open. His forehead crinkles as he tries again and again, using more force each time.
Glancing through one of the partially frosted windows adjacent to the sides of the door, he notices the snow has piled enormously high, almost to the height of his chest.
“Well, shit.”  
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Reluctantly, Jaemin brings you back to his apartment. You’re technically his guest and if he left you in the foyer to freeze, trouble would surely come his way, whether it be in the form of his landlords (also known as his roommate’s parents) or the police.
Without a word, he settles a spoon in a bowl, a carton of milk, and a box of cereal onto the small kitchen table.
At first, you stare at it venomously in rejection, thinking you can easily last a day without any hand-outs from this son of a bitch, but your stomach roars ferociously three seconds later.
As you chew across from him, you enjoy the company of your phone over him, while he does the same but with a cup of coffee in hand.
After finishing your food, you adamantly place your phone down and lean back into the chair, boring holes into his head.
“Why are you such an asshole?” you seethe observantly.
“Why are you such a bitch?” he retorts, not pulling his gaze away from his phone.
“Because you started it,” you say slowly, stating the obvious.
“No, you.”
You sigh defeatedly at his childish behaviour. The weather apps predict the snow will (hopefully) die down by tomorrow morning, thus you’re officially stuck with him for the next twenty-four hours or so. Your hands rake through your hair.
“Whether we like it or not, the snow isn’t going away until tomorrow. Merry Christmas Eve to us, I guess.”
He’s still glued to his phone. You exhale another sigh.
“Since we’re not getting out of this until then, can we just...” You soften your voice. “Start over?”
His eyes are still on the screen, but from the way his shoulders tense and how he stops scrolling, you know he’s considering your proposition.
“At least call a stalemate over this.” You drift your hand in the air, gesturing between you and him.
Blowing out air and shaking his head, he rests his phone onto the table.
“Fine.”
He crosses his arms, imitating you, and the two of you sit there, staring at each other in a long silence.  
One minute, to be exact.
You’re the one to break the silence game by running your hands over your face, letting out a hybrid of a groan and laugh.
“God, the fact that we had sex makes this kinda awkward, huh?”
Jaemin’s exterior melts slightly, letting out a snicker. He shrugs, “Then let’s just pretend that we didn’t have sex.”
“We can’t just pretend that we didn’t have sex,” you say, holding two upturned palms near your face.
“We did it, it’s done. I’ve seen your penis, you kicked me out, and you labelled me a prude—” You dart a finger towards him. “—which I am far from, by the way. All of those are pretty huge things.”
One of the corners of his mouth raises high. “Are you saying my penis is huge?”
“No, the implication of said penis is huge. Wipe that smirk off your face.”
He stretches an arm, holding an imaginary microphone to your face. “Do you deny that my penis is huge?”
Rolling your eyes, you swat his fist away. “What am I, on trial here?”
“Do you plead the fifth then?”
Annoyed, you roll your eyes again. Why do you get the feeling that you’re probably going to be doing this a lot more today? Another feeling tells you that if you don’t answer his question, he’ll probably pester you until you do.
You tilt your head side to side. “It’s... decently sized.”
“Bigger or smaller than average?”
“Perfect...” His eyes light up. “...ly average.” And a frown rolls over.
He squints his eyes accusingly at your sneer. “Are you lying like you did before about faking it?”
You scoff. “I wasn’t lying about faking it, and I’m not lying now about your average sized dick.”
Jaemin releases a disgruntled grumble and lifts his cup to his face. You notice he likes to take his coffee black and bitter, presumably like his heart.
“So, Miss I’m-Not-A-Prude-and-I’ve-Definitely-Had-Sex-Before.” His eyebrows perk up on the word definitely. “What’s your story? Why the last minute one-night stand?”
Shrugging your shoulders to your ears, you reply, “Haven’t had sex in a while.”
“When’s the last time you had sex?” he asks mid-sip.
“Half a year ago,” you respond nonchalantly, perching your chin into your palms.
Jaemin immediately chokes, almost spraying the coffee through his nose.
“Half a year?!” he gasps. It takes him a few hits to his chest to dispel the coughing. “Six months?!”
“Wow, you can count!” you exclaim in a condescending tone. You change the position of your hands so that your chin is now atop of the back of your curled fingers and tilt your head. “Can you also spell?”
“As a premed student, I can assure you that I am capable of doing both,” he says with a slight strain due to the coughing fit. The humble brag brings on another eye roll. Of course he’s a premed student with the attitude he wears.
“It’s just—” He clears his throat and swallows the last bit of coffee stuck in his windpipe. “—The last time I had a dry spell was for like, a month, tops.”
So the fuckboy gets laid way more on the daily than you expect. You’re torn between being envious over how much action he gets in comparison to you, or remorseful, since you’re now just one of the many notches on his bedpost.
No matter, sarcasm is always the best defence mechanism.
“Good for you, Jaemin. I’m sure you’re very proud of that.”
There’s an awkward beat. His head hangs for a moment while his thumbs stroke the sides of his cup. A strange pinch of guilt occurs. Did you overstep an unspoken line? But then he drags himself back to reality in a heartbeat.
Jaemin brings the cup to his mouth again, mumbling, “At least the sex on your part makes more sense now; you’re rusty as fuck.”
Completely aware of what he said, you trash your guilt entirely and narrow your eyes. “What did you just say?”
Following a long sip, he hums, “Mmm, nothing.” Soon after, he stands up with his cup.
“I’m gonna go game now. Feel free to watch Netflix on the TV and stay in the living room.”
As if you had anywhere else to go...  
He begins to walk towards his room as you mutter under your breath, “I’m not a dog.”
“Says the bitch,” he pipes up, taking you by surprise.  
“Thought we had a stalemate?!” you shout, leaning your head forward as you watch him entering his room.  
“Doesn’t mean we’re on peaceful terms!” he sing-shouts.
The flinging of the closed door echoes throughout the apartment.
Regret surges through you. You just had to choose a fuckboy fluent in assholery and end up incidentally being isolated with him during a snow storm on Christmas Eve.
You wonder if you can handle being around him for the next twenty-four hours without killing him first.
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During the afternoon, you’re on the living room couch, playing a show as mostly background noise while you’re on your phone. At one point, your phone unsurprisingly begins to die and you tread over to Jaemin’s door to ask for a charger and if you can also take a shower. He’s still annoyed by your existence, but at least he hands you a charger and lets you know where the extra towels are.
Stepping into the living room with the towel in your hand as you dry your hair off, you peer out the large living room window and see nothing but white engulfing the streets and buildings as far as the eye can see.
You pray the snow will eventually stop as soon as possible so you can head back home.
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By the middle of the afternoon, Jaemin emerges from his bedroom and shocks you by plopping down on the opposite end of the living room couch from where you’re sitting.
“Bored?” you ask, eyes fixated on the TV screen.
“Nope,” he replies, popping the p as he says it. His slings his arm around the top of the couch.
“Gotta keep an eye on you in case you do something.” Turning away from the screen, he faces you and motions circles with his hand. “You’ve got a little crazy in you, I can feel it.”
You quickly glance over at him, but try to refocus on the TV. “Need I remind you that you’re the crazy one, dragging me out of the apartment right as I woke up.”
That compels him to turn his whole body towards you. “Well, you’re the one who wanted a last-minute one-night stand.”
You match his stance. “As if I’m the first girl in your bed to stay in the morning?”
“Actually, yeah.” He aggressively tilts his head to one side. “Most girls leave before I even get up. The other percentage don’t fight me when I ask for them to go, so it looks like you’re the odd one out.”  
You press your lips together, refusing to admit that maybe he has a point, under the assumption that he’s telling the truth.
Jaemin twists his body back to the screen and adds, “I make it very clear on my profile that I don’t do morning afters, sweetheart.”
And you agree that his profile is clear about his intentions, but that doesn’t mean you can condone his shitty behaviour.
“Well, sorry that I expected just an ounce of respect instead of getting kicked to the curb after you stuck your dick in me,” you grumble, shifting back to the show and crossing your arms.
“Morning afters lead to attachments, and attachments lead to feelings, and feelings lead to relationships,” he says the string of words clinically, as if it’s a mantra that he lives by.
Your eyebrows knit together as you whip your head towards him once more, studying him.
“And what’s so wrong with that?”
Deliberately averting your gaze, Jaemin grates his tongue between his teeth, a slight tsk audibly heard, and his chin juts out. There’s definitely a story behind his ways. He huffs and changes the subject.  
“Seriously?” He holds a hand out. “You’re watching this trashy show?”
Squinting your eyes at him, you could probably interrogate him further, but you decide otherwise.  
“It may be trashy,” you concur, looking at the TV. “But it’s my trashy comfort show.”
Following an over-the-top acted out scene between the show’s main love interests, Jaemin shoots up from the couch.
“Yeah, no, I can’t handle this. Can we either put on something else or game or something?”
“Why don’t you go back to your room to game, Mr. I’m-Not-Bored?”
“Like I said, I gotta keep an eye on you,” he says while bending over in front of the TV, already setting up the Playstation. He tosses you a controller as he strides to his side of the couch again.
He mumbles to himself, “Need to make sure you don’t go crazy from the lack of human interaction.”
Either Jaemin is selfish and only looking out for himself, or he wants to make sure you’re not feeling lonely in a stranger’s home.
Likely the first reason, you deduce—because why would a guy like Jaemin care about a mere one-night stand?
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Admittedly, you’re not the best at games, especially at fighting ones. You can comprehend the move lists, but you like to live by button smashing the controller and repeating moves over and over.  
So it’s hilarious when you beat Jaemin every round with your surprisingly fruitful technique.
“Okay, this is bullshit,” Jaemin complains, sticking his tongue out in irritation. His ass is currently being handed to him on a plate again since you’re almost done killing his character off. “You must be lying to me; you have to be a pro player or some shit.”
Jaemin’s health bar is dangerously low as your character jabs his with a sword. He winces out loud and you snicker.
“Why do you think I always lie about everything?! Dude, you have serious trust issues,” you joke before you steal the opportunity to slice his character. One more hit and he’s done for.
“I do not! I just—nooo!”
You rise to your feet and pump your arms in the air, turning in circles in joy over yet another win.
Sulking, Jaemin eyes your little dance from his end on the couch, but as he watches you more, a feeling balloons in his chest. Something he hasn’t felt in a long time.
Finally coming down from your post-win high, you spot an emerging grin from the corner of your eye, making you pause.    
“What?” you eye him suspiciously.
Your suspicion pops the sensation in his chest and, like a fish out of water, his eyes widen and his grin melts away.
“Nothing, uhm.” He ruffles his eyebrows and palms the back of his neck, quickly facing the TV. “Let’s go one more round and then we can switch to another game—”
Suddenly, the TV and surrounding lights switch off. Both of you waver your eyes, anticipating for them to come back on, but they unfortunately don’t.  
Jaemin rushes over to the window. When he swivels his head towards you, his face darkens.
“Looks like it’s at least the whole block. The streetlights are out too.”
Without another word, he dashes to the linen closet and brings back several blankets. He calmly explains that there won’t be heat since it’s connected to the electricity, so it’d be best to keep warm with the extra layers.
Not wanting to scare you, he doesn’t add the fact that due to the huge windows in the apartment, more unnecessary cold air will come in, but you’re already cognizant of it from your own logic and since the remaining heat dissolves rapidly.
You groan and retreat into the massive blanket over your shoulders, turtling your head.
You can’t believe you’re going to fucking die in this asshole’s apartment on Christmas Eve.
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On the ends of the couch in your makeshift blanket jackets, both of you attend to your phones for a while.
From what people and the news outlets are saying, it’s not just the block, but the whole city grid is out. You frantically text your friends, giving updates on how you are and half-jokingly telling them that you’re going to die with your dreadful one-night stand. Some time passes and Jaemin tosses his phone  off to one side.  
“Well, since there’s nothing else to do and we should probably conserve our phone batteries—” You glance up at him from your phone and pout. Slowly nodding in agreement, you toss it aside too. “—why don’t we play a game of ‘I’ll-Give-You-Pointers-on-How-to-be-Better-in-Bed’?”
A smile burgeons on his irritatingly handsome face and your eyes roll. At this point, you wonder if the reaction is conditioned into you. “It’ll be my early Christmas gift to you.”
“Wow, so thoughtful, how could I ever thank you?” You drag the blanket closer to your chest in false gratitude.
You think for a serious moment if you really want to go through with this. Hearing Jaemin run his mouth on you unwarranted is already painful, but to give him the go-ahead to do so? Especially criticizing your skills in bed?  
You blow out a sigh, noting the slightly visible cloud. You’re grateful Jaemin has thick, downy blankets.  
Well, if you’re going to die, may as well know what went wrong, right?
“Fine, but if we’re playing this game, we have to say everything honestly and take the criticism we get.” You point a stern finger. “No rebuttals, just acceptance.”
“Wait.” Jaemin crinkles his face in genuine confusion as his hand peeks out from his blanket.
“You have things to criticize about me in bed?”
Your lips tremble before you burst into laughter. Displeasure is on Jaemin’s tight-lipped face as you laugh for a while, almost keeling over in your blanket ball onto the hardwood floor. “How conceited are you, oh, my fucking God?”
He slices his hand through the air. “I’ve never had any complaints—”
“Because you’re too busy focusing on your own orgasm, you selfish dickwad,” you say as your laughter dies down.  
He sits in his snit for a few more moments until he gets over it.
“Fine, fine,” he huffs. Jaemin knows he’s not going to enjoy this, but he’s the one who suggested it. He can’t back out now. “Let’s just get this over with, you go first.”
With your blanket held by your chest, you hop off your end of the couch and shuffle over in front of him where he’s seated. Beaming, you begin.
“Let’s start with foreplay.” Jaemin’s eyes light up with confidence, thinking he’s at least decent with that. You crush his expression as your lips purse and you shake your head.
“Non-existent.”
“What do you mean?! I kissed you as you took off your clothes.”
You stick your free hand out from your blanket, extending your index finger.
“One: you only kissed my lips. You know, there are other parts of me to kiss, like, I don’t know, my neck, my arms, my shoulders.”
You extend another finger. “And, two: it’s weird to not help someone take off their clothes. Like you’re in a super rush to get somewhere or something—”
“We’re fucking!” he cuts in sharply. “This is a one-night stand, not a relationship.”
Closing your eyes and dropping your head, you pinch the bridge of your nose. You sigh in exaggeration.
“Thought we agreed no rebuttals...” you softly sing-say.  
Jaemin’s head sinks a little into his blanket. “Sorry.”
Removing your hand, you shrug. “Maybe there’s some rule that I don’t know about one-night stands, so this could be on me.”
You start to aimlessly tread back and forth in front of him, dragging the blanket along too. “But fuck, foreplay is foreplay for a reason. You work your way up to the heat of the moment and it makes sex much better, regardless if you’re in a relationship with the person or not.”
“Next point.” You stop walking and direct your focus on him. Pointing your finger and looking him dead in the eye, you ask, “Do you know what a vagina is?”
He snorts with a simper. “Uhhh, is this a rhetorical question?”
“No, I’m legit asking,” you say with a raised eyebrow and snarky smile. “Because when you went down on me, all you flicked your tongue at was the outside of it, also called the labia if you didn’t know.”
“I’m premed, of course I—”
“Which is great! But you didn’t go any deeper nor did you go near my clit.”
You thrust your finger again. “Do you also know what that is?”
“Yes...” he groans with the flickering eyelids.
You swipe your arm through the air. “Maybe make use of it, and not only when you go down on girls. Even during sex, touching it is great.”
“And lastly,” you continue. “I’ll be honest here, you have a decent dick.”
Jaemin waggles his finger. “So you were lying before—”
“I wasn’t lying,” you retort firmly. “But anyways, you’ve got the stuff, but why don’t you put it to better use?”
With the following words, you attempt to gesture with your body and execute moves as graphic visuals. Jaemin giggles at the sight.
“Vary the speeds and the angle, don’t just slam it in me and go crazy fast from the get-go. Build up to the climax. Jesus, I couldn’t even get close to coming because you’re like a jackhammer from start to finish.”
When you finally finish, Jaemin’s giggles morph into hollow laughs. Frustration is blatant on your face, pondering if he even absorbed a single word you said.  
After he calms down, he asks, “Are you done?”
You mumble, “Yeah, I think so.”
The two of you switch places. He shuffles onto his feet with his blanket while you sit back on the couch.
Jaemin pulls the blanket across the floor as he ambles. “Okay, your head game is decent—”
“Excuse you, my head game is strong.”
“Uh-uh, rebuttal,” he points out.  
You sigh. Pinching your fingers together, you drag the invisible zipper across your mouth, then wave your hand, allowing him to resume.
“Your head game is decent. You definitely can deepthroat, but—” He mirrors you from before and extends his index finger.
“One: this happened only a few times, but your teeth scraped against my dick, which is why I assumed you were a borderline virgin.”
You fume silently at the accusation, attempting to not speak up with a heap of rebuttals. But he wasn’t wrong—if you teethed on his dick, that’s a classic virgin move.
“But that’s okay, because we already established that you’re just rusty.” Jaemin flashes you a fake comforting smile as he continues to pace. You flash him one back.
“And two—” He holds another finger out. “Don’t be scared to use your hands and stroke me. Give my dick some love. If it’s too wet, just wipe your hands on the bed or something.”
“Okay, duly noted,” you hum. “Next.”
“Don’t be scared to touch me.”
“I touched you so much during—”
He shoots you a glare. You roll your mouth inward, your lips disappearing instantly.
“Your hands were mostly on the sheets, which is hot, but guys like to be felt up too.”
The attractive individual peers up for a second, thinking to himself. “Even hotter when a girl feels herself up during the fucking, but that’s beside the point. Baby steps, just remember to touch the other person.”
Jaemin does a full-stop and faces you.
“And just... don’t fake it.” Distress is evident in his pout. You hate to admit it, but it’s a little cute. He raises an arm and jerks it in the air. “Why do girls fake it?”
“Because guys with egos like you can’t handle criticism,” you reply bluntly.  
“What are we doing, having this conversation, hm?”
“We wouldn’t be having this conversation if it didn’t snow in and keep us here together.” You peel a hand away and gesture to the window. “If I walked out of here this morning, you would’ve just fucked the next girl the same.”
He defends himself, “Faking it just feeds our egos.”
“Yeah, well, if I told you afterwards that I didn’t come, what would you do?”
“Try to make you come in other ways?”
Shaking your head, you scoff. “Guys like you aren’t that considerate.”
“You’re right.” He assents, holding his pointer finger against his chest. “Because guys like me aim to please.”
A brilliant thought leaps in his mind and Jaemin gasps. You can only assume bad things from the wicked smile he sends your way.  
“Why don’t we try it again?”
Perplexed, you squint at him.
“Try what again...?”
“Sex,” he says enthusiastically.
You blankly stare at him.
“You’ve gotta be joking,” you deadpan.
“I mean, there’s nothing else to do and it’ll keep us warm.” 
You continue to stare at him until you groan.
“Oh, my God...” Your blanket droops a bit off your shoulders as you drag your palms across your face. “I cannot believe I’m stuck in this snowstorm with you out of all people...”
Sitting next to you, Jaemin persistently reasons with you. “Think of it also as another learning experience for the future partners we’ll have.”
“Yeah, if we don’t die first!” you shriek.
“We’re not going to die,” Jaemin replies in a mocking tone and a dart of his tongue.  
Outside the window, the snow seems to have slowed down, but not by much.  
God, Jaemin better be fucking right because you want to live to see another day.  
“Fine,” you mutter and match his gaze. “But we have to be vocal throughout the whole thing. Say whatever’s on our mind.”
“Fine,” he agrees to your terms. He produces the same wicked smile again. “But can we film it then? So we can study it after?”
You fire him a death glare that melts his face off, even in the frigid atmosphere.
“I’m joking, I’m joking,” he says, waving his hand.
They say that jokes are half-meant true, but you think Jaemin fully meant it. Still in your blanket jackets, Jaemin snags your free hand and leads you to his room.
“You gotta give me credit for trying, though.”
“No.” You shake your head with an unwilling smile creeping on the edge of your lips. On second thought, maybe the joke was a little funny, but you still stand by your opinion that he’s the most annoying person in the world. “I don’t think I will.”
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“Thank God Chenle has so many scented candles...”
On the edge of Jaemin’s bed, huddled by the blanket, you watch him light up several large jars, placing them on his nightstand and desk in hopes to brighten the room. It’s already late afternoon, but one could mistaken it for nighttime with the muddy sky due to the snow.
“Is Chenle your roommate?”
“Yeah,” Jaemin answers with a slight shiver, igniting the last candle near the bedside. He removed his blanket when he went to nab the matches and candles. “His girlfriend gets free ones from work, so she always gives him a shit ton, even though he never uses them.”
With a glowing hue against his face, he blows out the match. He makes his way to you, a cocky grin plastered on him, as he says, “Guess we’re making use of them now, though.”
Before you can even respond, Jaemin gets right down to business—sitting beside you on the mattress, he palms your face and drags you in for a kiss. You softly yelp, but immediately reciprocate.
The cover falls off your body as you reach to touch him, fingers drifting over his solid arms.
You don’t want to stroke his large ego, and maybe it’s because you haven’t had anyone else on you in a while, but Jaemin’s kisses are something else.
The cushiony pair of lips always executes enough pressure against your mouth, increasing and decreasing on command in perfect tandem and timing. His hands hover over your waist and the nape of your neck, fingers sinking into your hot skin.  
His mouth trails downward the side of your neck. You crane your head back, indulging in his caresses as soft moans trickle out.
He gently signals for you to recline back and lay onto the mattress, moving the sea of blankets aside. Inclined on his elbow, almost atop of you, his cool fingers glide under your top layers, his thumb stroking against your stomach.
Pulling away from your body, he tugs on the ends of your clothes. You rise from the bed to better the angle for him to discard of them.
The hairs on your skin are standing on end from the frigid air, but you’re too focused on Jaemin’s mouth migrating over your upper arm and your bra-covered chest to care. Without notice, he stuffs a cup of the bra to one side and takes your bosom into his mouth.
Air’s seized from your lungs and your core contracts from the pleasure. Your fingers tug on Jaemin’s luscious locks and his free hand squeezes your unoccupied breast.    
After a few twirls of his tongue and a gentle drawing of his teeth on the pointed tip, he mumbles hotly into your chest while he thumbs your other nipple, “Foreplay still non-existent?”
“It’s better, I guess,” you sigh with fluttering eyes. His chuckling reverberates against your cleavage, a sign of amusement from your obstinacy. A gasp pierces the room as Jaemin repeats his actions onto the other breast.
He aids you in taking off the rest of your clothes and, obviously aware of your goosebumps and shuddering, tells you to get underneath the blankets while he strips himself.
Under the toasty ocean of layers, despite how both of you are bare-boned and how easy it is to jump into the main act, Jaemin purposefully continues to prolong the foreplay. Side by side, your lips meld endlessly; your legs and hands are intertwined in an amorous pretzel.
Jaemin ensures he doesn’t leave any part of you untouched—the pads of fingers virtually graze over every inch of your body. Each grip and drag of his digits sends you in a frenzy. Your chest is pressed into him and your eyes are blinded with desire.
In the back of your mind, you think about how you were right about foreplay working up to the heat of the moment—literally, because you’re dripping, he’s hard, and you two have embraced so much that you don’t need the blankets anymore.  
On the other hand, you wonder if Jaemin was right about skipping foreplay, because with every whisper of each other’s name, the intimacy rises immensely. You don’t know him, and neither him with you, but you’re both freely drowning in one another in a plane beyond the lust.
Although the room’s beginning to smell of a mix of all the scented candles, Jaemin hones in and drinks in your sweet aroma and your entirety behind his hazy eyes and already tousled hair. All of a sudden, one drag of his fingers over a particular sensitive spot on your body makes you giggle.
“I’m ticklish over there.”
“You mean right—” He drums his fingers over the area again. “—here?”
With a toothy grin, he generates more suffering from you and you begin to lively howl. Soon enough, you beg him to stop.
“You’re such an asshat, c’mon, let me live!”
When he ceases, his head hangs over yours and your gazes connect.
The same feeling blooms in his chest from before in the living room.
He gulps as his eyes waver over your face, unknowingly tracing your beautiful features and etching them into his memory.
Your starry eyes. Your glowing aura. Your everything.
You barely register the change in his expression because he quickly tramples on his moment of weakness by kissing you passionately.
Jaemin whips the blankets aside as he lowers himself between your legs. Your eyes are fixated on him, matching his stare, until he starts to devour you by swiping against your lustrous folds. Your back bows, and, following a few more licks, Jaemin makes a point of his knowledge of the vagina by spreading your lips and ravishing your pussy, tongue penetrating deeply.
Rippled moans release in harmony with your undulating chest. You swear you’re getting more wet, too wet, likely making it overwhelming for Jaemin, but he’s eagerly lapping every drop up.  
“How’s that?” he inquires with a grin, hovering over your trembling nether lips. His mouth is evidently glossy, even under the dim lighting.
“Good,” you pant in the most nonchalant tone you can muster up. “Very good-ahhh—”
Jaemin kindly interrupts you by tonguing your clit as he fingers your sex deeply, shattering your fake indifference.
“Move your tongue up more,” you direct, creasing your eyebrows in despair. He follows your direction, and droning moans ensue.
Jaemin’s immersed in your pleasure, but also adding to his own. The more he laps up your wetness, the more he grinds his length against the bed, aching to be inside of you.
Your desire pulses faster, contracting tighter against his fingers, body winding tensely by the second.
“Fuck, Jaemin,” you whine, leaning your head to one side with a parted mouth. “I’m close.”
He draws back and temporarily replaces his tongue with his thumb.
“Good,” he pants, cocking his head to one side. His eyes are filled with determination. “Because I’m not stopping until you come at least two more times tonight.”
You exhale a light laugh. “That’s ambiti-ohgodohgod—”
His tongue works wonders on your clit once more, so much that he has to brace your bucking hips.
Okay, maybe Jaemin did learn a thing or two and actually listened to what you said during your critique.
But now it’s time to demonstrate to him what you’ve learned.
You don’t need much of a break to catch your breath, nor do you want to immediately freeze due to inactivity, so you pull Jaemin in for an intense kiss, tongue dipping into the remnants of your own nectar, then beckon for him to take your former place on the bed.
Perched on the bottom of your feet, you’re on one side of Jaemin, lackadaisically fisting his prominence. After a few strokes, you gradually swallow his inches, keeping in mind to relax your jaw and to not rush in order to avoid any potential teething. You do this to prove yourself worthy of giving head, but also in spite, because you absolutely do not need Jaemin to brand you a virgin again.  
You read his quiet groans and his long fingers running lazily through your hair as a positive sign and advance further.
Carefully, you rest your tongue beneath the underside of his cock and bob your head, licking him until he’s sopping with your saliva. His grip in your hair grows in strength as his length reaches the end of your throat, his groans becoming more and more drawn-out.
A needy whimper leaves him as you suddenly withdraw. Dribbles of your spit follow, and you wipe it off with the back of your hand.  
“How am I doing?” you glow in a pant, lazily stroking the doused shaft.
He simply nods with half-lidded eyes, barely able to look at you. “Yeah.”
You snicker at him in his breathless position, a prickle of pride running through your spine over the fact that you blew his mind as much as you blew his dick.
“Use your words, Jaemin.”
Teasingly, your fingers curl around his blunt head, soothing the sensitive tip and sending jolts throughout him.
“Fuck—” he pulls his bottom lip upward. “Awesome. You’re doing awesome.”
“Anything to critique?”
“Mm-mm,” he shakes his head restlessly. You revel a bit more in having the upper hand on him a little while longer. You grip him tighter and hasten your speed, leaving him gasping for air.
“Am I still rusty?”
“Nope, nope,” he croaks, voice rising to a whine. “Definitely not rusty.”
“You sure?” His cockiness has transferred over to you.
“Yes, yes—fuck, slow down, please,” Jaemin begs.    
Granting his wish, you abate your rhythm and free his inches from your touch.
You wipe your hands on the sides of the bed while Jaemin rummages through the drawer of his nightstand and hastily rolls over the rubber over himself before he prepares to enter the body beneath his.  
Recalling your advice, Jaemin mindfully starts off slow. You sigh blissfully in sync to his thrusts. He adjust himself, attempting another angle, and you draw in air between your teeth.
“There, there—“
Jaemin’s quick-witted and keeps at it, plunging a bit more vigorously. Out of habit, your hands grasp onto the bedsheets, but you wittingly attach them to his frame. Hands grazing his neck, his firm pecs, and his taut muscles.  
“Touch-touch my stomach,” he orders in a hush.
You hands follow through and feel up the flexed valley of his abs. Feeling up evolves into desperate gripping and even the slight dragging of your nails.
“Your abs are so fucking hot,” you state thoughtlessly, eyes eating up the view alongside his cock disappearing in and out of you. “Jesus, fuck.”
“Yeah?” he rasps with that devilish smirk of his. God, you want to smack it off him, but not right now—not when you’re reaching euphoria. “You’re not just saying that?”
Oh, you’ve definitely stroked his ego now, but there’s no turning back. Truth spills from you on a whim.
“You’re a fucking masterpiece,” you gasp acutely.
You’re starting to wither away, yet, as if they have a life of their own, your hands drift away from him and find a new home atop your breasts.
“You make me feel so good, Jaemin...”
Jaemin’s eyes go wide. His mouth hangs at the lewdness of you touching yourself.
“Fuck, holy shit.”
His gaze doesn’t leave your ecstatic face or humming body for a second as you knead your breasts and tweak your nipples between your fingers. Your back arches further when Jaemin deepens his sweet, fulfilling thrusts. He’s holding himself back, not wanting to end this beautiful deed just yet.
The stimulation bursts over your body, both from your own doing and Jaemin’s.  
You plead, “Faster, please, faster.”
And he complies, but he also rubs your bundle of nerves, causing a tight knot in you to build up and your shallow moans transform into heavy screams. You clasp onto his back and claw at the protruding shoulder blades.  
“I’m-I’m—”
You clench, both with your core and your nails digging into him, but Jaemin’s unrelenting, capturing your second peak for the evening.
Instead of coming after you, he shockingly veers lower and closer to you and curbs his pace.
“Was that real?”
You respond with an exhausted nod. Oddly, the smile he shows this time isn’t arrogant, but warm and teetering the line of tenderness. His lips fuse with yours before they stray towards your neck. The passion stews as he sucks your tits, all the while lunging laxly into you.  
With an obscene pop!, Jaemin removes himself from your nubs.
“Ready for the last round?”
His fast thrusts, hitting you precisely in the best spot, cloud your already weakened logic, deterring you from making any response.    
Perspiration is blatant on both individuals. For him, his forehead glistens gorgeously with his damp hair. For you, the back of your bent knees are gluing together. Your bodies are about to pass out, but you both persevere until the end.
As you convulse and perish together in beautiful agony, coincidentally enough, the bulbs in the room and in the streets leap to radiance.
Together, you collapse onto the bed side by side, panting heavily and laughing.
“Told you we weren’t going to die.”
You turn your head to see Jaemin looking at you with a cheeky grin. In retaliation, you stick your tongue out.
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By nighttime, it’s finally stopped snowing outside. However, the streets won’t be cleared until morning, at the very least.
But... you’re surprisingly okay with that.
In a turn of events, the sex inexplicably makes the two of you warm up to each other. There still is targeted banter and tension between you, lingering from before, but it’s less hostile and more playful.
During a fancy Christmas Eve dinner of microwavable pizzas, you poke fun at each other’s majors and discuss your respective hobbies in depth, especially his love for photography. Jaemin even asks if he can take a picture of you, claiming that the kitchen lighting actually looks nice on someone for once.  
“Is that how you collect the memory of your one-night stands? Instead of hanging their skins in your closet, you sweet-talk your way and keep all the photos of them?” you joke, referring to the video call from yesterday night. It feels like an eternity ago, but snowstorms tend to do that.
He chuckles behind the camera as he snaps a photo of you scrunching your face cutely.
“Yeah, but you’re the first one who has clothes on,” he says, glancing down at the photo on the camera roll.  
“Ugh, gross,” you cringe and take a sip of tea.
Jaemin doesn’t add anything further. He leaves out the fact that he never keeps any traces of his one-night stands, that you’re the first girl he’s taken a picture of in a while.  
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After a few hours of more talking and even some gaming with one another, sleep is much needed. Jaemin offers an extra toothbrush and a sweater and pair of sweats to sleep in. You’re facing each other on his bed, noses almost touching.  
“It’s been a while since I haven’t had sex with a girl before I slept next to them,” he whispers, adjusting himself comfortably. The side of his face rests on his piled hands. “It’s kinda nice.”
You cover your mouth as you yawn, then lay your hand back under your head, reflecting the same position as Jaemin.
“You know, it might be my sleepiness talking, but maybe you’re not the worst person in the world to be stuck with during a snowstorm.”
A lovely chuckle echoes in your ear. “I’m glad you’ve had a change of heart.”
After a few moments, your eyes are fluttering to a close until he softly calls out your name.
“Hm?” you stir awake, but not by much.
“Do you...?”
Jaemin doesn’t know what’s gotten to him, doesn’t quite understand why the defences he built for so long are crumbling down in only a day of knowing you.  
And yet, something urges him to give it a chance.
Blowing out a shaky sigh, he anxiously intertwines his fingers with yours. You hum softly at the action and a small smile blooms on your face.
“Do you want to go on a date with me sometime?”
“Hm?” His question doesn’t take you aback as much as you would be if you were fully awake. But even in your drowsy state, you have quips in hand. “Jaemin, the notorious fuckboy and serial one-night stander, wants to go on a date?”
“Yeah,” he replies gently, brushing your loose hair out of your face.
Another yawn. “I thought you said you don’t want feelings and relationships and all that shit.”
His fingers trace your pretty jawline and shrugs. “One date doesn’t mean we’re going to be in a relationship, I’m sure you know that.”
You pause for a good two seconds, but the two seconds feel like forever for Jaemin.
“Mmm, fine. One date, just one.” You barely hold up your pointer finger. “And only because it’s Christmas tomorrow. ‘Tis the season to be giving...”
Relief washes over Jaemin in the form of a smile. Embracing the blatant feeling in his chest this time, he plants a light kiss on your nose and wishes you sweet dreams, even though you’ve already fallen soundly asleep.  
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Sunlight pours over your eyes on Christmas morning.
Déjà vu peculiarly creeps up on you, but the only thing that’s the same as yesterday is waking up in Jaemin’s bed.
He’s next to you this time, deep in his peaceful slumber, instead of waiting for you to leave by his doorframe. The snow has finally stopped, and you think you hear the faint noises of snow plows outside. You inhale deeply and also notice the faded aroma from all the scented candles from last night.
The scenes of yesterday flicker across your mind. The incredible sex. The talking. The dinner. The interlocking of his fingers with yours.
The date he asked you out on.
You stare at him, watching him sleep with a sense of content.
Turning your body, you routinely check your phone, which is charging beside his. You have a slew of Merry Christmas texts from several chats and a few private messages from your friends.
Your attention falls on Jaemin’s phone when it lights up with a notification, likely texts from his friends and family too.
But that’s not what you’re focusing on.
Your heart sinks at the sight of his lockscreen.
It’s a picture of him and a girl kissing.
A twinge emerges in your chest and twists harder and harder.
Jaemin being a fuckboy, you can respect. People can do whatever they want with their lives.
But to cheat?
That’s unforgivable, and a true sin if there ever was one.
You scramble to dash out of there, careful not to make any noises in fear of waking Jaemin up. However, Jaemin’s sensitive to the sounds of the front door, so he rouses awake. His eyes flit open, noticing how you’re gone. He then sees his phone blowing up and adds two and two together.
With his phone in hand, Jaemin rushes to get on a coat and stuffs his feet into his boots, not giving a shit that he’s wearing his thin pajamas in the coldness. He’s bounding down the flight of stairs and onto the bright, white wonderland of the streets.
He swivels his head and catches sight of you almost past down the block, slowly trekking through the thick snow. Jaemin sprints, as much as he can, and hops towards you.  
He yells your name, making others on the street turn, but you don’t. You continue forward without looking back.
“Wait! I can explain!”
You’re trying to gain speed, but cardio isn’t your friend. Thankfully for Jaemin, it’s a close friend for him.
“I don’t wanna fucking hear it, Jaemin,” you grunt, hearing the rapid crunching of his shoes coming closer. “Get lost.”
“No, listen to me for a second.”
The boyish man grasps you by the arm and turns you around. You throw his arm away from you and he holds his hands in the air, letting you know that he respects your space. He drops his hands and sees that you’re seething, even worse than you were when he kicked you out yesterday.
“How are you going to explain your lockscreen with you kissing your fucking girlfriend?! Hm?”
“Ex,” he pants in clarification. “Ex-girlfriend.”
Your eyebrows mesh together in utter confusion.
“Okay? That doesn’t make me feel any better, knowing that you’re still hung up on your ex.”
Jaemin shakes his head and rakes a hand through his hair. You note the large clouds he exhales and how he’s barely wearing any clothes. A tinge of sympathy passes through you, wanting to give him some of your clothes for extra layers, but you smother that quickly in your state of rage.  
“I’m not hung up on her. Remember you asked me yesterday why I don’t want girls to stay the next morning?”
You cock your head impatiently, as if saying, “Yeah.”
“Well, I don’t want to attach myself to girls. I can’t. I...”
He lowers his head to one side. Shutting his eyes, a long puff emits from his mouth.
“She cheated on me.”
The snow plows in the distance can’t compare to the pumping of your heart in your ears. All the feelings you felt in the last day, but especially in the last fifteen minutes, jumble together in your head, making you feel uneasy and unsure of what to exactly feel or comprehend of the situation.  
But you do know one thing, despite the fact that you two barely know each other, the pained look on his face is real—that this is the untold story behind his ways.  
Jaemin lifts his head and holds out his phone for emphasis. “The lockscreen serves as a constant reminder that dating and feelings will and can fuck me up.”
Carefully, he steps a little closer to you and slowly cups your face in his shaking hands. You don’t pull away nor is there the same anger from moments before, so he daintily runs his thumbs over your cheeks.
“Until you showed me yesterday that maybe I’m willing to give it all another shot. Risk it all for fuck knows what, but you make it look like it’s worth it.”
He continues his ramble after adjusting some of your hair from the ongoing breeze.
“Sure, it’s Christmas today, but I don’t want you to say yes to going on a date with me just because it is. I want you to say yes because maybe you like spending time with me just as much as I like to spend it with you.”
You’re completely disoriented—your eyes are shifting everywhere but his eyes and your lips are quivering with no words coming out. He sighs understandingly. 
“Look, I know you’re probably having second thoughts and you don’t have to give me an answer right now. Think on it for as much time as you need, but I want you to know that I genuinely like you and I want to go on an actual date with you.”
He peels his hand away from your face and raises it into the air as if taking an oath.
“I, Na Jaemin, the notorious fuckboy and serial one-night stander, will devote to monogamy once again if it means I can date you.”
His hands grab yours, kisses the back of them, and then he presses one kiss onto your icy cheek prior to walking away.
“Merry Christmas,” he says with a sad smile. “You know where to find me if you change your mind.”
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Later that evening at your large family’s Christmas party, you take another dreadful gulp of your wine.
It’s the happy holiday season, but why does everyone feel the need to stick their nose in your dating life? Well, really, a lack there of.
“Why are you still single?” Layers of their voices resound the same question in your head. You take another swig.
Potential unsaid answers that you kept to yourself fly around as you swish the drink in your glass.  
Because you choose to be.
Okay, not really, but it’s the easiest answer.  
Because you haven’t found the right guy to get you back in the game.
What does that even mean? What makes the right guy even right?
The right guy? It’s someone who makes you laugh, someone who gives as good as they can take it, someone who wants you just as much as you do.
The cogs move in your head as you take one more sip before you finally come to the conclusion—  
Because you didn’t find the right guy until last night.
Despite the mess of today and yesterday morning, you realize that Jaemin is... actually sort of sweet. Annoying, yes, but he keeps you on your toes. It’s a plus that he’s easy on the eyes, but it’s a bigger plus that he’s even easier to talk to.
And if he can find it in his scorched heart to trust you, you can find it in your heart to trust him too.  
You quickly say your good-byes to your family and let them know you have other plans with friends tonight.
As the Uber rolls up to his apartment building, you realize you probably should’ve messaged him on Tinder, but it’s worth a shot to see if he’s home. Anyways, impulsiveness is a controlling entity, as evident from your Christmas Eve Eve’s adventure.
And in retrospect, perhaps Jaemin was the perfect pick of the crop after all.  
Someone’s entering the building and lets you in behind them. You take the stairs two at a time and hear booming music coming from his floor. At first, you assume it’s from other apartments, but it’s all coming from one—his.
Without a thought, your knuckle taps the door.  
A handsome figure that’s definitely not Jaemin opens the door. Behind him, you see a group of young men scattered around the living room, and some have a few girls tucked under their arms.
The man eyes you up and down with a spark in his eye. He’s not Jaemin, but he surely reminds you of him.
“And who might you be?” he asks.
“Who’s at the door, Jeno?” An unknown male voice hollers in a high pitch from the couch. He’s one of the guys with a girl attached to him.
You blink. “Uhm, I’m—”
“She’s with me!” Jaemin shoves the flirty stranger aside and tugs you by your wrist, making headway to his bedroom. He flips the light switch on and the door clicks shut.
“What are you doing h—”
You cut him off with a kiss.
An innocent one, at first, with hints of alcohol on each other’s lips. Your arms wrap around the other and the passion increases with the mingling of your tongues, each party tasting and confirming the specific drinks you both consumed tonight.  
Jaemin forces himself to pull away and presses his forehead against yours. “Did you just come all the way here to kiss me, or...?”
“Maybe I came over to ask... if I can stay with you for another night?” you playfully ask, fingers intertwining behind the nape of his neck.  
He chuckles heartily. His fingers sink into the sides of your waist. “Is my dick that great? The sex with me that amazing?”
“Mmm, that’s definitely a benefit,” you agree, fluttering your nose against his. “But I want more than that—“ You poke a finger to his chest. “—I want the man behind the dick.”
Your gazes converge, bringing you together as one.
“I want to go on that date with you. I want you, Jaemin.”
He flashes a megawatt smile that could compete with a million Christmas lights, but it fades suddenly and you’re unsure why he seems like he’s about to bawl his eyes out.
“That’s so beautiful, I might cry.” He brings a finger to his eye, pretending to shed a tear.
Oh, yeah—you’re definitely going to need to hire someone to constantly shove your eyeballs back into your sockets if you’re going to date Jaemin.
“Oh, shut up,” you whisper, yanking him in for another kiss.
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Three dates later, including a memorable New Year’s Eve, you finally decide to rid of the Tinder app for good.
With his arm around you on his living room couch, Jaemin glances over your shoulder.
“Really? You’re finally deleting your Tinder?”
You snort in disbelief. “That’s gold, coming from the King of Tinder himself. When did you delete?”
He turns to face the television and shrugs coolly.
“Maybe I didn’t.”
“Wouldn’t put it past you,” you nod, eyes still on your phone.
“Nah, I’m kidding, I did.”    
You sharply turn your head.
“No way. When?” you press with narrow eyes.  
A shy smile emerges on Jaemin’s face as he picks his pants over his thighs.
“On the night of Christmas Eve, after you agreed to go on a date with me.”
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inkandpen22 · a month ago
Text
The Princess and The Pogue (pt. 1)
Pairing: JJ x Female!Reader  / Topper x Female!Reader
Word Count: 4.1k
Warnings: Swearing, underage drinking, drugs 
Series summary: Y/N Whitfield is the Princess of the OBX. Her parents have more money than any other family on the Figure 8. She’s constantly with her best friend Topper who has secretly been in love with her since his break up with Sarah after Midsummers. Little does Y/N know that a certain Pogue has been crushing hard for her since last summer. 
A/N: I originally wrote this in 3rd person and changed it so if there are some missed mistakes so sorry! Enjoy :) 
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You stand in front of your mirror in the foyer, fidgeting with your white dress. It's not exactly awful, but it's not great either. If your mom didn't make you wear it, you much rather wear something else. Better yet, you rather be on Topper’s boat with him somewhere. You don’t mind parties, but sometimes they can be so tedious.
"Are you sure I look okay?" You ask your older brother, Rhett, as he passes by toward the front door. You fidget with your updo. You hate wearing your hair up like this, all formal. You’re the “windows down, hair down” type. 
"Yeah, why wouldn't you?" He shrugs indifferently.
"I don't know. I don't usually wear white," you mumble still caught up on your reflection.
"It's the Labor Day Gala, everyone's wearing white," he reminds you, adjusting his cufflinks. "The last hurrah to summer!"
"Don't remind me," you grumble with a subtle roll of your eyes. "We all look like members of a cult."
Your older brother chuckles as he heads toward the door to their parents in the car. "You're not wrong."
The Labor Day Gala, the last social event of the summer. The Club hosts, obviously, as they do everything else. Labor Day is less bearable than Midsummer because it's the last of many events, one's battery is completely drained. You're known as the Princess of the OBX. Sarah Cameron, one of your best friends, used to be the Princess of the Figure 8. She lost the title when she ditched the Kooks for a group of Pogues.
You’re constantly surrounded by your closest friends, Topper, Rafe, and Kelce. Your best friend is Topper. You’ve been inseparable since you were kids. You’re rarely seen on the mainland or outside Figure 8 for that matter. Your parents have more money than God. Your brother, Rhett is going to Clemson in the fall. You have the entire world at your feet and know it too. You’re what most people would call "untouchable" and that's exactly how you like it.
Your family arrives at the Club just behind the Thortons. Recognizing the car before his mom even stopped for the valet, Topper is chomping at the bit to see you. You all climb out of their Mercedez, no one more eagerly than you once you see Topper standing by the doors. He immediately waits for you while his mother goes ahead, brushing down his white linen suit jacket. When he turns over his shoulder to find his best friend, his lips part in awe. He never fully gets used to how stunning you are. They've known each other their whole lives, but even a lifetime isn't enough to cope with his affection for you.
You’re already irritable and don’t hesitate to express your needs to your closest friend. "I need a drink," you grumble under your breath.
"That makes two of us," Topper chuckles, offering his arm to you.
"Preferably something that even if I spilled it on myself it wouldn't show." You accept the gesture and the two enter the mahogany-covered lobby of the Club. The white attire contrasts the otherwise dark decore and romantic dim lighting.
Topper glances down at you beside him as you two walk, taking notice of the thin fabric hugging your body. "Your dress is pretty sheer, it might become see-through if you do get something on it."
"Oh great," you sigh. "A constant lingering threat of a wet-dress contest. As if wearing wedges on uneven grass wasn't stressful enough."
"You'll be fine," Topper assures you with a soft smile.
"Don't jinx me!" You tug at his sleeve right as they step outside to the patio where most of the party has gathered.
"You look exquisite nonetheless," Topper compliments quietly in your ear, pressing a kiss to your temple.
As a waiter carrying a tray of champagne walks by, Topper grabs two flutes for the pair.
"I hope so," you fuss, taking a glass from Topper. "This strapless bra is close enough to a corset I ever hope to get!"
Topper raises his brows, biting down on his lower lip. "Strapless, huh? Sounds rather appealing."
"Head out of the gutter," you smirks, taking a sip of your drink.
"Apologizes," he not so honestly states.
"Have you spoken to the boys? Are they here yet?" you wonder, glancing around the grassy area around the Club.
"Rafe is on his way and Kelce is out my the course with his parents." He leans in closer to you to whisper in your ear. "Flask of coconut Bacardi in his suit pocket."
"God bless," you mumble, in dire need of a little pick-me-up. It's ten times more difficult to make it through these things without at least a buzz.
Topper downs the majority of his drink with a hiss. He offers his hand to you. "Wanna dance?"
You follow suit and place their flutes on a nearby window sill. "Why not," you shrug.
Topper wants any excuse to touch you or even be close to you. You may be oblivious to it, but Topper would fall to his knees and do anything for your undivided devotion. __________________________________________________________________ Well into the evening, Topper and you may have danced a hundred times. Once Rafe arrived, the evening became more energetic. As per usual, you are surrounded by your trio of bodyguards.
After you and Rafe finish a dance, you go to fetch another drink from the bar. Rafe, being ever the gentleman, offers to get one for you. Then, Topper offers to accompany you, disliking the idea of you being alone. Yet, you tell them you could use the minute of fresh air, away from the dance floor.
You approach the freestanding bar on the golf course grass, just a few yards from the busy dance floor and banquet tables. Little do you know that a certain Pogue has had his eyes on you all night. JJ Maybank isn't the sort to be at a loss for words, but when it comes to you, he can never form a sentence around you. He's only seen you around a handful of times this past year and is always too afraid to approach you.
He remembers the exact moment he first saw you. He's liked others since then, but his mind consistently wanders back to you. Despite not knowing you, certain things remind him of you. One time, when he saw you laying out at the Cameron's pool while he was out on the HMS Pogue. You wore a navy bikini, now whenever he sees a blue bathing suit he thinks of you, which is at least a million times. You have waved and smiled at him on occasion when he's helped out John B at the Cameron's. Every time, JJ gets too flustered and forgets how to function. He knew you’d more than likely be here tonight which is why when Pope mentioned an opening on the catering staff, JJ jumped at the opportunity. JJ won't let another summer go by without at least talking to you. He'll go mad if he does. You may not know he even exists, but that doesn't matter. He has to know you.
You wait your turn as an older gentleman steps away from the bar with his drink. You step forward, ready to make your request to a stunned JJ. "Hey, could I get something that's clear? Literally, anything that's strong and clear." JJ stares at you with raised brows. Internally his mind is as sorted as vegetable soup. "Are you okay?" You question with a grin.
Upon hearing your voice again, JJ snaps out his daze and stammers. "Uh.... yeah, yeah, sorry. Uh, vodka martini?" He tries to play it off cool.
You giggle, "I'm trying to relax, not end up in the ocean!"
He made you laugh! JJ chuckles amazed that he could make you laugh. He wishes he could hear it again. "Okay, how about a vodka tonic?" He suggests, much more relaxed this time.
"Perfect, thank you," You wink.
'Geez, could she be any more perfect?' JJ thinks to himself.
"One vodka tonic coming right up, Miss," he declares, already reaching for the ingredients.
"Miss?" You raise a brow as you cross your arms on the bar top. "Haha, I understand you're required to use formalities, but it's just us, so feel free to be yourself."
‘Okay, be myself,’ JJ thinks as he makes up your drink. ‘Hi, I’m JJ. You’re Y/N Whitfield, the most popular girl in the OBX. So listen, I’ve been crazy for you for over a year now and I think we should be together. Have we ever talked to each other? No. Do you know who I am? No. Do I have absolutely anything to offer you? A fat nope.’
You feel a hand glide down your back to wrap around your waist. You glance up to find Topper appearing beside you. You lean into his side, welcoming the action. The boy smirks down at you, glad to have you close again. "How are we doing over here?" He questions, placing a quick peck to your temple.
JJ rolls his eyes subtly, despising the sight of Topper all over you. He's seen you together before, which doesn't make the view any less disgusting. He doesn't understand what you could possibly see in the asshole.
"Fine, just ordered another drink," you explain nonchalantly.
"Looks like they scrapped up as many Pogues as possible for this thing." Topper comments, giving JJ a slight glare. One whiskey on the rocks," the Kook Prince adds as a request. JJ swallows his tongue. If you weren't here, he'd make a smart comment back at Kook. Topper changes the subject. "Have you seen your brother anywhere?"
"I think I saw him with our dads on the patio smoking cigars, why?" You inquire with furrowed brows.
"Cool, cool..." The boy nods as scans the surrounding area for eavesdroppers. He brushes your hair over your shoulder and brings his lips against your ear in a whisper. "Rafe just got all of us some good stuff in the locker room. Meet us there in ten?" He plants a kiss to your neck because he can, making you blush.
JJ sees Topper’s action and quietly growls to himself. He wants more than anything to be the one that gets to kiss you. ‘Lord, give me the strength to not toss this lemon juicer at this pin head,’ he internalizes as he rushes to finish Topper’s drink.
Topper’s face lingers close to yours as you hum with a smirk on your lips. "Yeah, sure."
It takes every bit of Topper's will to not kiss you for real. He's constantly restraining himself for the sake of their friendship. He keeps telling himself that he needs to get over you, that you’re just friends. Yet, when he lies awake at night your face is what invades his thoughts.
"One whiskey on the rocks," JJ grumbles, interrupting the pair's moment.
Topper huffs, internally cursing JJ for his untimely announcement. "Thanks," Topper hostility remarks as he picks up his glass. He turns back to you and places a kiss on your cheek. "I better go find Rhett. See you soon, Beautiful."
"Okay, I'll find y'all," you smile as Topper reluctantly leaves you. Once he's gone, you turn back to the bar contently. After a couple of seconds of watching JJ making your drink and him screaming inside, you break the silence.  "You're JJ, right? You're friends with the guy who works for the Cameron's, John B?"
'Holy shit! Holy shit, she knows my name!' JJ thinks to himself. Stopping his actions to glance up at you.
You giggle at his bewildered expression which makes him realize he's become a statue. He quickly continues to toss ingredients into the glass. "Uh yeah, yeah I am."  
"Is this your first time working a club event?" You ask, making small talk.
"I've worked one or two, but this is my first of the summer. My friend Pope helped me out," JJ explains, slowly starting to feel like a functioning human again.
"Oh yeah, I know Pope!" You nod enthusiastically. "His dad usually the cater for these things."
"Your vodka tonic," JJ slides your drink across the bar to you.
You sigh with relief. "Thank you so much, you're a lifesaver! I'll see you later, JJ," you wave before you step away.
The boy smiles like a lovesick puppy, over the moon that he could please you. He watches as you walk away, despite the line of guests eager for drinks. He takes note of your perfectly tanned skin. He thanks God for backless dresses. What he would give to run his fingers down your spine, to simply touch you. He bets it's as soft as silk. Then again, he also wonders if he would ever be worthy enough to touch an angel. ___________________________________________________________
You shake your head repeatedly, spinning on your heels to face the boys behind you. "No! No! I vote we take Top's out tomorrow!"
"I vote that we go golfing instead," Topper votes as he takes another hit of his joint before handing it to you. His hand lingers over your’s longer than necessary as he eyes his friend up and down.
"Ew! I hate golfing. It's like watching paint dry," you frown in disgust, not paying attention to Topper's wandering eyes.
"Okay, one more hit," you declare as you widen your eyes for Topper to stare into. "How bad are my eyes?"
"Gorgeous as ever," Topper compliments with a grin.
"You know that's not what I meant," you giggle, shoving Topper on the shoulder playfully.
"I have another idea of what we could do..." Rafe wiggles his eyebrows at you
"In your dreams Cameron," Rhett shoves his buddy in the shoulder with a chuckle.
"You're not wrong," Rafe insinuates with a mischievous smirk.
"Alright!" Rhett laughs, despite hating how Rafe talks about his little sister. "Enough of that!"
"Geez, I'm fried," you announce with a snicker as you nearly stumble toward the exit of the locker room.
Topper rises from the bench to assist his best friend. His hands grip your waist as he walks behind you to the door. He presses his chest to your back as you swing open the door. Topper holds the door for you as you step out without looking. You spin to face him and the boy reaches to catch you with a chuckle.
"Watch out Topper!" You warn as you spot a waiter approaching with a tray full of filled wine glasses.
"Oh shit!" Topper pulls you into his chest right before the waiter bumps into you. You two laugh as you grip the lapels of his suit. He peers down at you admiringly. "Haha, maybe we should go back in for a little longer, Princess?"
"My parents... they'll... they'll probably wonder where I am," you mumble between bits of laughter.
"We'll just say we went for a walk on the beach," Topper shrugs, willing to do anything for a few minutes longer with you.
"Y/N!" Sarah calls as she turns to the corner toward the boisterous pair. "There you are! I was looking-"
"Have you seen my parents?" You question, unable to control your laughter.
As you turn toward Sarah, Topper plays with the ends of your hair that rest against your bareback. After a few seconds, he simply glides his fingertips up and down your spine. He finally rests his hand dangerously close to your butt, squeezing your hip. He would never say it out loud, but he's overly affectionate toward you when Sarah is around. He's loving toward you anyway, but he does it purposefully in front of Sarah to get to her. He's well aware of how much Sarah hates your relationship with him, not because of their past or because you’re her best friend. No, Sarah hates it because she doesn't trust Topper, but you do.
Sarah's eyes land on Topper's hand gripping your waist but quickly snap them back to your face. "Uh, yeah, they're talking to my parents in the Ocean Room. Why? What's up?"
"I was uh..." you struggle to form a proper sentence. you point to the door behind her in a wave. "I was just in the locker with Rhett and the boys."
"Ohh noo," Sarah mumbles, giving Topper a swift glare.
"Calm down, Sarah," Topper mocks her. "We're just having a bit of fun!"
"Yeah, where were you?" You whine, reaching for her friend's hand.
Abruptly, the locker room door swings open behind Topper, nearly bumping into him. Rhett and Rafe stumble out in a fit of laughter. Heads turn in the hallway, but the boys don't care to notice.
"Top! Y/N! You guys need to come see what Kelce just did!" Rhett laughs, grabbing Topper's wrist. The boy is quickly tugged into the locker room, Rhett and Rafe following after him, completely forgetting about you.
You swallow hard, suddenly dying of thirst. "I... um... I could use another drink. Do you think you could come with me to the bar?" you ask Sarah.
Sarah places a hand on your shoulder comfortingly and as a guide. "Yeah! Yeah, of course!"
"I really just need to stay away from my parents until I come down a little," you worry as the two begin to head outside.
"Okay, we'll get you a drink. Then go find a place to sit," Sarah concludes responsibly with a reassuring smile. Inside, she worries for her friend. This is far beyond the first time she's seen you this way, but it never gets less worrying. She trusts you, just not her choice in friends. At the end of the day, you are too trusting and kind in Sarah's mind. You'd never hurt a fly or say no and that doesn't work well around arrogant rich boys.
As you and Sarah approach the bar, JJ notices you two almost immediately. You look different than you did before, still gorgeous but no doubt buzzed off of something. The way you lean into Sarah is an evident sign.
"Hey JJ, could we have a glass of water?" Sarah requests, positioning you to lean against the bar.
“Not water,” you correct and look to JJ. “I want that martini you talked about.”
“Water, please JJ,” Sarah repeats, trying to keep you in order.
"Yeah," he nods frantically, already moving to prep it. "Everything okay?" He questions, already predicting the answer as he glances at you.
"Yeah, she's just had a little too much of something," Sarah answers vaguely.
"Y/N!" Rafe shouts as he strolls over with Topper and Kelce, having lost your brother at some point.
"Not now, Rafe!" Sarah remarks defensively, holding out her arm to block you from him.
"How is the Princess of the OBX?" Topper inquires, purposefully moving to the opposite side of you and slinging an arm over your shoulders to piss off Sarah. "Having fun yet?"
"I'm having a blast!" You giggle and turn to Topper enthusiastically. As you press your back against the bar, Topper grips the bar top on either side of you, enclosing you. JJ subtly observes as Topper towers over you like a dark cloud of bad influence while you peer up at him with innocent eyes. “We should go for a swim tonight!” You declare, placing your hands against Topper’s chest.
“Anything you want, my Princess,” Topper smirks, planting a quick peck to your forehead before announcing to the group. “I agree with Y/N! I think we should go for a swim later! My place!”
Rafe and Kelce cheer in agreement, making Sarah even more pissed off, if possible.
"What did you guys do?" Sarah hisses at her brother and his friends.
"Just smoked a little, no biggy," Rafe shrugs nonchalantly. "Tried to get you to do a line, she refused."
"Duh, coke isn't exactly the best thing in the world," Sarah huffs at her older brother.
"I don't know, I think it is," Rafe laughs mockingly.
Sarah scoffs, pressing her palm to her brother's chest. "Just go away, you reek of weed!"
"You're such a priss, Sarah, you know that?!" Rafe barks, a little too loudly and gathers some attention.
"Geez, I'm getting all spiny all of a sudden," you mutter to yourself.
"Woah!" Topper grips your waist before the girl can slip. "you okay, Princess?"
"I'd take you home, but I rode with my parents, and if I ask for the car they'll ask questions," Sarah rushes out, worriedly.
"My shift is ending soon actually..." JJ announces. Everyone's eyes flicker to him, even Rafe's who just glares at him in confusion. JJ inhales nervously. "John B is coming in the boat to pick Kiara, Pope, and me. We can give you a ride." After no response from anyone, he rocks on his heels and internally kicks himself for speaking up. "Just a thought..."
“As if I would ever let you anywhere near Y/N,” Topper barks.
"Okay," you agree to the idea.
Sarah shakes her head, "I don't think-"
"Y/N, I don't think so," Topper sternly declines. "I'll go get my mom's car and drive you home!" Before you or anyone can object, Topper and the boys head toward the Club to fetch the car.
"Y/N, there's no way I'm letting you get into a car where Topper is driving!" Sarah expresses. "He's completely out of it."
"Just tell my parents that Kiara drove separately and we left together because she wasn't feeling well," you instruct Sarah, out of breath. "I'm going with JJ."
This is a Y/N Sarah can recognize, responsible and put together. You’ve had wild nights but still manage to function through them.
"Are you sure?" Sarah checks worriedly, looking to JJ for reassurance.
JJ nods at Sarah, giving her confidence that he'll take care of her.
"Yeah, I just need to sit for a minute or something and I don't want my parents to see me," you explain, still kind of out-of-mind.
"Okay, but I'm walking you to the boat," Sarah complies.
JJ steps around the bar. "Let me take her," he offers, already slipping an arm around you. Sarah passes you off and begins toward the docks, checking over her shoulder to make sure you and JJ are close behind.
As JJ's fingertips glide across your back and to the thin fabric hanging on your waist, he inhales sharply. It may not be the circumstances he dreamed of, but JJ can't help but be amazed to feel you against him.
The trio arrives at the dark dock a few yards down the beach from the party. John B finishes tying up the boat as he hears them approaching. When he glances up, his eyebrows scrunch together in confusion. "Sarah? Y/N?"
"Hey John B!" You greet with a warm smile as though you two have been best friends forever.
Behind the trio, Kiara and Pope approach, eager to get far from the Figure 8.
"Can we go? I'm over these Kooks acting pompous," Pope huffs as he marches down the dock.
"Are we ready to-" Kiara stops herself as she notices you on JJ's arm. "What are you guys doing here?"
"My brother is an asshole and I think he gave her a joint that was laced with something," Sarah explains with a deep exhale. "Usually, she can handle her drinks and stuff better than this."
"We're taking her home," JJ adds, leading you toward the small boat.
As JJ holds onto you by the waist, John B takes your hands. You climb on rather steadily, despite your intoxicated state. He leads you over to the floor in front of the bench to rest upon. Sarah isn't wrong, this is the most out-of-it you have felt in a while and the girl's tolerance has grown significantly the last year since hanging out with Rafe more. JJ jumps effortlessly and sits down against the bench to be near you. You rest your head on his shoulder, feeling sleepy. JJ feels his heart climb up to his throat as bites down on his lip to hide his grin. Now is not the time to be gushing.
Kiara climbs onto the boat behind JJ and kneels in front of you. "Y/N, is anyone at your house right now?" She questions as she places a hand on your knee worriedly.
You shake your head, your eyes still shut. "No, everyone is here."
"If she's having a bad trip, it wouldn't be the best idea to leave her alone," Kiara determines, glancing at each individual, including Sarah who remains on the dock.
"Kie is right, let's take her back to the chateau with us," John B declares, starting up the engine.
"I'll be over as soon as I can to check on her," Sarah announces, helping out by untying the boat from the dock.
John B is quick to leave the dock, working quickly to get you safely to his house.
You bring your hand up to your mouth, politely covering a yawn. "Thanks, guys, I know this wasn't exactly on the itinerary for the night."
"You're all good, Y/N. We've all been there," John B assures you.
"Rafe Cameron has slipped you something?" You snicker, lifting your head off of JJ's shoulder, much to his disappointment. He's happy when you remain close to him despite being alert again. Having your side pressed against his eases his nerves more than he can express.
"Ha, not exactly," John B chuckles as he focuses on the water ahead. "But we're all had a bad trip."
"Geez, he's a dick!" JJ loses it for a second, clenching his jaw.
"Yeah," you nod with a slight chuckle at the boy’s sudden burst, not denying it. "Sometimes."
"Why are you friends with him anyway?" Pope frowns.
"I'm not 'friends' with him. I just hate conflict," you describe as everyone has their eyes fixated on you. Even John B glances back at you now and again. "I'm friends with Topper, Sarah, Kelce, and those guys. Rafe is just always there."
"A Kook who hates conflict, sounds contradictory," Kiara comments bitterly across from you.
"Sure I'm a Kook," you shrug with a smile, accepting the stereotype. "But I'm not a Kook in the usual sense. My priorities are completely different than those of my friends and their families. Yeah so, I live on the Figure 8 and like nice things, but none of that matter most to me."
"What does?" JJ breaks his silence with a mutter.
You turn your focus to him, your faces now mere inches apart for the first time. JJ feels his heart skip a beat as soon as your gaze meets his own. You sober up immensely as your pulse begins to race suddenly starring into the bluest eyes you’ve ever seen. Your lips part to answer his question, but nothing comes out. The pair don't notice, but the others look at one another with wide eyes as they watch you and JJ stare at each other. The Pogues knew right then and there, things were about to change whether You and JJ knew it or not.
__________________________________________
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drarryangels · 5 months ago
Prompts are open! Professors!Drarry, husbands, one tells students all about his husband. No one knows who that is. Until one day sth clues them in. And everyone's like - WHAAAA?! Bets are lost. McG is amused.
Hello there! This is the oldest prompt in my ask box, haha! So sorry it took like two years to get around to this.... *blushes*
Anyways, I hope you like!
-
“That will be all for today,” Harry says. “You can have the rest of the period to work.”
He leans back against his desk and watches the scramble of students trying to pair off with their friends. He smiles and shakes his head. Every day is the same. Gloriously, marvelously, wonderfully the same.
“Professor Potter?”
Harry looks over to one of his students, a slight teenage girl with her hair tied up into three ponytails. “Yes, Miss Wimblefon?”
She twirls a curl of hair around her finger and smiles up at him. “I had a question for you. About the assignment.”
Harry sighs and waves his hand. “Ask away.”
“You said that the enchantment only works if the user is truly in love,” she begins.
Harry nods and folds his arms. “Precisely. Which is why you are only working on the theoretical application of this spell, and not trying to use it on your classmates.”
Jane giggles. “I’m in love. Can I give it a try?”
Harry stands up and brushes off the front of his robes. “You most certainly may not, Miss Wimblefon. As much as I am pleased by your interest in the subject, it’s not appropriate nor safe to produce the enchantment even when one is truly in love, and I have the strong suspicion that you are not.”
Jane’s cheeks go red. “Well, what does the spell do anyways?” she says, crossing her arms and huffing.
“An excellent question,” Harry says. “An easily answered one if you do your reading.” He holds his hand out to the classroom, and she gives him one last glare before turning on her heel and taking a seat with Mildred Daney.
*
“Merlin,” Harry says, dropping down onto the bed and spreading his arms out wide.
“What is it?” Draco asks, emerging from the bathroom and leaning against the door frame with his toothbrush stuck out of his mouth. “Jane flirting with you again?”
Harry groans and rolls over on the bed. “How did you know?”
Draco disappears to spit out his toothpaste, and then returns, smelling of mint and citrus shampoo. He climbs up the bed and drops down beside Harry, curling an arm around his waist and pressing his nose in the back of his neck.
“Because she’s the exact same with me,” Draco sighs. “Always playing with that bloody hair of hers.”
“She’s a sixth year already,” Harry says to the wall. “Isn’t this a bit odd?”
Draco nuzzles in closer behind Harry. “Someone should tell her that if she keeps tugging at that hair, it will all fall out by the time she’s twenty.”
Harry laughs. “Don’t you dare, Draco. Her mother will tear down the school.”
Draco bumps his head between Harry’s shoulder blades. “Well, then it will be McGonagall’s problem.”
Harry twists and rolls over to face Draco, his face smiling and bright. “You know,” Harry says, touching their noses together. “I think you may be right.”
“Oh, yes?”
“Yes,” Harry says and pushes himself on top of Draco, knees on either sides of his hips and arms around his shoulders. “Get Jane out of our hair.” He sets his head down on Draco’s chest. “And while we’re waiting for her mother to Floo in, we can plan our joint funeral, hm?”
“Bit early, isn’t it?” Draco says. He lifts his hands and rubs them up and down Harry’s back.
“Oh, no. Not at all,” Harry says. He lifts his head up and grins at Draco. “In fact, it may be a bit late if McGonagall has anything to do with it.”
Draco rolls his eyes. “Forget I said anything.”
“That’s what I thought,” Harry says, and drops his head back down on Draco’s chest.
Draco is so warm, so soft. Nice. A weight tethering him to the ground, to sanity.
“Good night,” Harry sighs.
Draco smacks his bum. “Get up and brush your teeth, you buffoon.”
Harry groans as Draco pushes him away, all the way off of the bed.
“Why?” Harry wails as he hits the ground with a great oof.
“Because I love you,” Draco says happily before sending a stinging jinx in the direction of Harry’s backside. “Very, very much.”
*
“Hello, Professor Potter,” Jane says. She’s twirling her hair again.
“Hello, Miss Wimblefon,” Harry says over his breakfast potatoes. “May I help you with something?”
“Yes,” she says, looking rather pleased with herself with her chin all drawn up. “The book says that the enchantment provides a binding connection to the user’s true love. One that doesn’t break until death.”
Harry squirts some ketchup onto his plate. “Almost correct.”
“What?”
Harry picks up a piece of bacon. “Almost correct. The enchantment doesn’t die after death. That’s why it’s so complicated. It must be a mutual bonding, and both parties must be truly in love with the other. And the bond doesn’t break after death, which opens up a certain realm of questioning about putting intention behind spells.”
Jane shakes her head hard. “What does it benefit though? Why engage in such complicated and dangerous magic? What does it do?”
Harry smiles and sets his bacon down. “Miss Wimblefon, would you mind continuing this conversation during our class time? I’m trying to enjoy my breakfast.”
Draco snorts beside him.
Jane glances over at Draco briefly and narrows her eyes. She opens her mouth to speak again, but Draco looks up from his hash and stares at her with wide grey eyes. Too wide to really be attractive, people have said before. Harry likes them.
“Right then,” she says, and runs off.
“Bless you,” Harry says, linking his pinkie into Draco’s.
Draco raises his eyebrows. “Harry.”
“Yes, my love?” Harry smiles at him. Innocently, very innocently.
“Why are you teaching verus amor est alliges duplicia?” Draco glares at him, and squeezes hard with his pinkie finger. “That’s extremely complicated magic.”
Harry shrugs. “No reason at all.”
Draco sighs and winds the rest of his fingers through Harry’s. “Oh, Harry.”
Harry grins. “Oh, Draco.”
*
“It’s class time now,” Jane says.
Harry glances up at his charmed clock over the archway in his office. “Not quite, Miss Wimblefon.”
“Well,” she says, already sitting down in the chair opposite him. “I didn’t want to interrupt your lecture, so I thought I’d pop in early.”
“Right,” Harry says. It’s probably best to get this over with. Maybe if Harry answers all her questions, she’ll leave him alone. “Go on then.”
“I’m curious to know what is the purpose of the spell.” She folds her hands on Harry’s desk and leans forward.
Harry pushes his chair back slightly. “It’s an irreversible connection with the person who loves you most in the world. It links you together. So, theoretically, if one half of the pairing was hurt, the other would know it. If something good has happened to one, the other feels their happiness.”
“So they share feelings?” Jane asks.
“No,” Harry says. “It’s not sharing. It’s just a sense. An added knowledge.”
“And what else?” she demands.
“It can act as a protective charm, if in dire circumstances,” Harry says. “A bubble of defense, if the two are physically close.”
Jane sighs and kicks her loafers on the floor. “It sounds fine, but not worth the magic.”
Harry smiles. He’d felt the same way when he’d first learned of it. “Well it’s more than that. The best part about it is the connection. It is difficult to explain, even for those who have experienced it. It is a joining of skin, two souls being one, a linking of magic. It is being melded with another person, body, soul, and mind. It is having them with you, always.”
Jane’s mouth opens a bit. “Er. Professor Potter?”
“Yes?” Harry asks pleasantly.
“Are you bonded to someone?” Jane asks, looking scared and excited all at once.
“To my husband, yes,” Harry says, and smiles at her.
Jane falls out of her chair.
*
It takes another four days after Jane faints in Harry’s office before she comes to confront him again.
“You’re completely oblivious to it,” Draco is saying to Harry. “He has an excellent aptitude for Potions. He’s very talented, really.”
They’re in greenhouse four, so Draco can collect clippings for a potion in his classes the next day. Harry hovers by Draco’s side, not doing anything particularly useful.
Harry rolls his eyes. “Please, you should see him in Defense. I might as well transfigure him into a hippo, and see if it changes the results.”
Draco touches a hand to his chest. “My, my, Harry. I think you’re spending too much time with me.”
Harry pushes at him. “I know I am. Thank Merlin for it.”
“Professor Potter?”
Harry trips and nearly stumbles over into a collection of finger eating bushes before Draco grabs his sleeve and hauls him up.
“Hello, Miss Wimblefon,” Draco says coolly. “May I ask you what you’re doing out of bed at this hour?”
Her eyes pass over Draco. “Professor Potter, I have more questions for you.”
Harry is still choking on his breath. “Er. Yes. Miss Wimblefon, can we resume this conversation at a later time?”
“No,” she says, and comes to stand next to him. “Carry on with your walk. I’ll simply join in.”
They have no choice but to walk.
“I didn’t know you were married,” Jane begins immediately as they’re leaving the greenhouse. “Especially not to a man.”
Draco throws an elbow in Harry’s direction and raises both his eyebrows in question. What is she talking about? he mouths. Harry shakes his head. He has no idea.
“So you’ve performed verus amor est alliges duplicia.”
Draco straightens up beside Harry. He chooses not to look over at him for fear of being burned to the ground with the look on Draco’s face.
“Quite,” Harry says.
“With whom?”
Harry stops. “What do you mean with whom?”
He looks over at Draco, who looks just as bewildered as Harry does, his irritation at Harry’s curriculum forgotten.
Jane stops too and looks back at them. “Who are you married to?”
Harry could fall over laughing.
Draco speaks before he can. “Miss Wimblefon. What is my name?”
Jane finally looks at him. “Professor Potter?”
“Yes.” Draco says very slowly. “My name is Draco Potter.”
Jane shakes her head, still looking confused. “So?”
Draco huffs and flicks his hair off his cheekbones. “So I share a last name with Harry Potter. Who do you think I am?”
“Potter is a common name, it’s not weird that you both have....” Her eyes go wide. “Oh.”
“Yes, oh,” Draco snaps. “Merlin and Arthur, these children get dimmer every year. Potter’s a common name. Honestly!”
Jane turns and takes off running up to the castle.
Harry lets out a breath and holds out his hand for Draco to take. “I think you’re right, love. They really are getting dimmer.”
Draco takes his hand, gentle. “Why did we choose this career path anyways?”
Harry shrugs and they begin the walk up to the castle together. “Good pay?”
Draco blows out a hard laugh. “Good pay, indeed.”
*
Jane Wimblefon tells the entire school that Professor Harry Potter and Professor Draco Potter are married at breakfast the next day.
Harry drops his head into his hands and Draco rolls his eyes. Headmistress McGonagall stands up briskly and walks right out of the Great Hall. Hagrid bursts out laughing before knocking over the entire front table, and Professor Flitwick along with it.
The students go into a frenzy, jumping up and running from table to table, expressions of shock painted over their faces.
“Forget dim,” Draco says, looking out over the chaos. “This generation is entirely brain dead.”
Harry laughs so hard he gets marmalade in his hair.
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starlight-loki · 6 months ago
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The Risks We Take (Loki x Reader)
Or, That Time Loki Nearly Lost You (and was also in denial about his feelings for you)
Request: any chance i can request a loki x reader where the reader gets really hurt on a mission with thor (this pisses loki off bc thor should’ve been watching her back & he couldn’t be there bc the team doesn’t trust him)? loki & the reader are relatively close friends that refuse to admit their true feelings for one another -- Requested by anon
Warnings: violence, reader gets held hostage/at gunpoint, severe injuries
Word Count: 2.9k
A/N: despite how angsty this is (there’s fluff at the end to make up for it, I promise!), I’m really happy with how this turned out! Thank you again for the request anon :) 
There’s a brief reference to the reader having powers from this fic i wrote, but i try to keep all my fics as independent as possible if you don’t feel like catching up on previous ones ;) 
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Looking back on it, maybe you should have listened to Loki when he said going on this mission wasn’t a good idea.
Considering some of the other foes that the Avengers had fought in the past, this was next to nothing: word had leaked out that HYDRA had begun stationing underground bases throughout North America and Europe in preparation for a siege. Steve and Tony had agreed that the ‘Divide and Conquer’ method would work best to knock out all bases at once, quickly and effectively. 
Tony would be taking the rest of the team to Europe, as they had six different bases to take care of on that end. You and Thor, on the other hand, were being flown to Washington DC where the only North American HYDRA base was said to be located. This way, Steve had told you earlier, if anything were to go wrong you’d be close to home.
“Thor can do this by himself,” Loki hissed as you sat on a bench in the hangar, strapping on your boots as you prepared to leave. As soon as he heard you were going on this mission, he wouldn’t let you out of his sight. Everywhere you went, Loki was hot on your heels, attempting to talk you out of the mission as you packed your bag.
He was the only one who wasn’t allowed to come -- on this mission or any mission for that matter. Trust was still thinner than ice between the Asgardian and the rest of the Avengers. Until feelings changed for the better, Loki was, essentially, grounded.
“These are weak human spies, he’s fought much stronger enemies than that. One-handed, even.”
“Are you saying you don’t think I can handle this?” You challenged, raising an eyebrow at Loki as he stood glowering in front of you. 
“Don’t put words in my mouth, of course I’m not saying that.” The tone of his voice was icy, but his eyes were warm -- an unspoken symbol of the friendship the two of you shared. “Surely there’s other work around the Compound that Stark can assign to you. Can’t you just... stay here?”
Your heart softened at Loki’s words, and you couldn’t help but smile at the way he nearly whispered those last two words. Almost as if he was afraid someone else nearby would overhear his vulnerability. That was for your ears, and your ears alone. 
“I have to go, Loki.” You replied as you shrugged your bag over your shoulder. “I wouldn’t be here in the first place if I wasn’t willing to do this. Missions are just part of the job.” 
Loki clenched his jaw, his gaze growing fiery as he glanced over your shoulder at Thor, who was busy preparing the quinjet for the two of you. 
“I made him promise to watch over you.” He muttered curtly. You couldn’t help but roll your eyes, earning another glare from Loki.
“Thor doesn’t need to protect me!” You exclaimed with a laugh. “You worry too much. Look, I’ll be back before you know it. Tonight even, if things go according to plan. So... just relax. I know how to defend myself. Okay?” 
The only answer you got was a skeptical eyebrow raise. You sighed exasperatedly.
“Hey, you said it yourself, these are weak human spies we’re dealing with. It’ll be a piece of cake, I promise.”
Loki pressed his lips together in a thin line, glancing down at the floor and mumbling something about ‘stupid Tony Stark’ and how ‘this wasn’t fair’. 
Shaking your head, you stepped forward and wrapped your arms around Loki’s torso in a hug. You felt him soften in your embrace as you rested your head briefly against his shoulder. Perhaps it was just your imagination, but it almost felt as though he held you tighter -- and closer -- than ever before. 
“Try not to have too much fun with me gone.” 
Your words earned a smirk from Loki in response, but the mischief didn’t quite hit his eyes. “Y/N, nothing is ever fun without you-”
“Y/N! Are you ready to go?”
You looked over just as Thor approached, the bright smile on his face an extreme contrast to the bitter mask Loki wore. 
“Your first mission.” Thor grinned, patting your shoulder proudly. “Tony Stark couldn’t have put you in better hands.”
"I beg to disagree.” Loki scoffed. You stiffened in surprise as you felt him ever-so-lightly place a hand protectively on your back and draw you closer. 
“Oh please, brother.” Thor chuckled. “You’ll get your own mission... one day.” 
“Remember your promise... brother.” 
Thor’s half-hearted smile vanished and he glanced first at Loki, then at you, in mild confusion.
“Don’t worry about him, Thor,” you dismissed Loki’s icy comment with a wave of your hand and shot him a warning glance. “He’s just a little worried about me.” 
Thor shrugged, and started towards the quinjet. Just as he nodded for you to follow him onboard, you took one last glance at Loki and managed your best smile in an attempt to try and get your best friend to calm down.
Don’t worry, you mouthed. I’ll be fine.
You even gave Loki a thumbs-up for emphasis, but the Asgardian definitely didn’t look convinced.  
It vaguely occurred to you as countless HYDRA soldiers surrounded you three hours later that you might’ve jinxed yourself with the whole thumbs-up thing. Things were definitely going downhill... fast.
Thor had gone to infiltrate the base, while you kept watch outside. You weren’t exactly sure how -- maybe it was because Thor stuck out amongst the enemy agents like a sore thumb, with his hammer and armour and all -- but less than five minutes after you had begun standing guard, you were being held at gunpoint from all sides. Sweeping your gaze across all the agents, who had already begun to close in on you, you quickly considered your options.
You had trained for countless hours with Steve and Bucky in hand-to-hand combat, but this was definitely going to be too difficult to get out of just by throwing punches. That was out of the question.
The gun that you had come armed with was also a bad idea. Sure, you’d be able to knock out a handful of HYDRA agents, but you’d definitely be shot before you’d be able to take all of them out. 
You still weren’t completely in control of your powers yet, so using them to knock out all the agents at once was a dicey idea. If you missed even one agent, there was the risk that -- just like your previous two options -- you’d get shot as a result. You didn’t trust your powers enough to take that chance. 
You raised your hands in surrender, trying to reassure yourself half-heartedly that the trembling in your hands was from the cold, not the fear. 
This was no place to be afraid. This was supposed to be an easy mission, after all. 
“Hey Thor?” You whispered into your earpiece and prayed the Asgardian would hear you and come to your aid... fast. “Do you copy?”
A roar bellowed in your earpiece, followed by the thwack of Thor’s hammer. Whatever was going on in there, he was definitely doing better than you. 
“I copy!” You winced as Thor yelled into the earpiece. There was another thwack in the background. “Are you alright?”
“N-no.” Okay, so that was definitely fear that was making your hands tremble. The intensity of your heartbeat was a dead giveaway. “I’m compromised on all sides. They’re everywhere, Thor. I don’t think I’m getting out of this one.” 
“Stay where you are!” Thor shouted. “I am on my way!” 
Where else do you think I’d go, you idiot? You thought bitterly, but held your tongue. You’d been hanging around Loki for too long, and even in a life-threatening situation like this, his mannerisms and tone of speech were rubbing off on you. 
There was a deafening clanging noise from behind you, and before you could even blink, Thor had taken out every HYDRA agent with a single throw of his hammer. 
You whipped around just as Thor approached you, beaming proudly at the giant hole in the building that now gaped open as a result of his hammer crashing through to take out the agents. 
“That was simple.” He remarked, blinking in surprise. “If you used your powers, Y/N, I’m certain you would’ve been able to-”
“I’m not using my powers,” you cut Thor off abruptly. “I don’t want to take that risk just yet.” 
“Why not? Now is as good a time as ever-”
“Yes, but I was being held at gunpoint Thor! What if I missed? What if I couldn’t control it and end up taking out the entire base and you with it!?” 
“I’m sure I could withstand a magic blast. I remember once as kids, Loki blew up my room and I...”
Thor trailed off, his eyes widening in alarm as he turned his gaze to just behind your left shoulder. Before you could even ask him what was wrong you were yanked backwards, and an arm wrapped around your neck in a chokehold. A chill ran up your spine and you could have sworn your heart stopped altogether as you felt cold metal press up against your temple. 
“Surrender!” The HYDRA agent barked at Thor. “Surrender now!”
Thor’s eyes darted from the agent, to you, and back again. 
“Let Y/N go...” he replied slowly, keeping one hand on his hammer while curling his other into a fist. You swallowed nervously. 
“Take one more step forward and your friend dies!” 
The sound of the gun cocking echoed in your ears, and you watched as Thor froze at the sound as well. 
“Drop the hammer!” 
“You listen here-”
“I said drop it!” You winced as the grip around your neck tightened. “Now!” 
“Thor, do what he says!” You ordered, your voice coming out more as a squeak than a command. Sighing, Thor bent down and placed his hammer gently on the ground. 
“I apologize for this, Y/N,” Thor whispered almost unintelligibly through your earpiece. “But it’s for your own good.”
There was a flash. A fire started in your shoulder, and you briefly registered an earsplitting bang before everything went black.
You weren’t sure how long you had been out for -- seconds maybe, even minutes at most -- but you were certain it wasn’t for a long time.
When you opened your eyes, however, you were no longer at the HYDRA base. 
You winced as everything assaulted your senses at once: the sting of the fluorescent lights, the strain that accompanied the ringing in your ears, the ache that flowed through your entire body as if you had gotten hit by a truck ten times over, the burning in your shoulder. 
It was all too much, too fast. 
You took a deep breath as you closed your eyes, letting yourself slowly adjust to your surroundings. As the ringing in your ears began to fade, you could just barely make out two voices somewhere nearby. 
“You promised you would protect Y/N-”
“I brought us both back in one piece, brother-”
“I don’t think this qualifies as one piece!” 
The voices belonged to Loki and Thor, you knew that much. 
Wait. 
Wasn’t it just you and Thor a moment ago, on the mission?
“Loki, we were not expecting to be ambushed the way we were-”
“Clearly not, since things wouldn’t have gone this badly otherwise!”
“I did my part, did I not?” You squeezed your eyes shut as Thor began to yell. “I kept my promise, like I swore on the Nine Realms I would-”
“You hit Y/N with one of your stupid lightning blasts!” Loki yelled back. “Enlighten me, brother, how is that keeping your promise?”
“It was either that, or the gun! I knew what I was doing!”
“Did you? Leaving the newest member of Stark’s stupid team alone outside while you go and play hero? Did you not think in that useless little brain of yours that the base would be protected on the inside and outside?” 
“Loki, why does this matter so much to you? It’s done now. The important thing is that we’re safe, it’s over.”
You heard a crash as something heavy clattered to the floor. 
“Safe? This is your definition of safe? You witless oaf, Y/N got shot, hit by lightning and was minutes away from death and you have the audacity to say this is safe?” 
“Stop.” 
Your voice felt foreign in your throat, and for a moment you weren’t sure if you were even the one who was speaking in the first place. You opened your eyes slowly, and felt your head pound as you took in your surroundings. 
“You’re awake.”
Thor was the first one to approach you, rushing to your side to help you up into a sitting position. You winced at even the smallest movement, the ache echoing through your entire body, as though you were being punched from the inside. 
“Thank you, Thor.” You whispered, reaching out and placing your hand gently over his. You caught Loki clench his jaw out of the corner of your eye. “You saved my life. I owe you.”
Thor smiled sadly, and shook his head. “You owe me nothing, Y/N. I’m... I’m sorry about the lightning.”
You managed a small laugh, despite the pain. “At least I’ll have a cool story to tell everyone at dinner now.” 
Thor joined in on your laughter, only to trail off moments later as Loki glared at him icily. 
“I’d like to talk with Y/N.” Loki interrupted harshly. “Alone.”
“Brother, now is not a good time-”
You dismissed Thor with a small wave of your hand. “It’s okay. I don’t mind.” 
Thor glanced skeptically between you and his brother, before finally nodding hesitantly. 
“Very well. I’ll be in the hall if you need anything.”
“Thanks, Thor.”
As soon as the door closed, Loki rushed over to your side, nearly tripping over the debris strewn haphazardly on the floor from the table he had knocked over in anger moments ago. He gripped your hand tightly, hostile composure gone. 
“You’re alive,” Loki eyes roamed over your face desperately, as if he were trying to commit your features to memory. “Norns, Y/N, I was certain I lost you.”
You shook your head, a small smile forming on your lips. “It’s going to take a lot more than that to take me out for good.” You let out a laugh, which quickly faded when Loki didn’t join in on your dark humour as he usually would’ve. Your heart nearly broke on the spot when you saw the pain and heartbreak in his eyes as he gazed at you.
“Hey,” you whispered, bringing your hand up to gently cradle his cheek. “It’s okay. I’m okay. You don’t need to worry about me.” 
Loki closed his eyes and leaned into your touch, sighing shakily at your words. 
“I don’t know what I would’ve done if Thor hadn’t brought you back in time.” He whispered, his voice breaking near the end of his sentence. You stroked his cheek softly with your thumb, feeling warmth flutter in your chest at how intensely Loki was gazing at you. 
“Luckily,” you whispered just as softly in reply. “We don’t have to think about that anymore.” 
You leaned forward, biting back a wince as the pain bloomed all over once more. Brushing a strand of hair out of the way, you kissed Loki gently on the cheek. 
As you began to lean away, Loki stared at you with an indescribable intensity, his gaze flickering down to your lips. He leaned forward, grabbing your shoulder to pull you close and bridge the distance between you and him.
You cried out in pain before he could move in any closer, and he immediately let go of you. As you gently cradled your wounded shoulder in an attempt to soothe the fire that had begun running down your arm once more, you caught Loki take a few steps back. The warmth in his eyes extinguished as quick as a candle flame, and the cold mask he often wore came into place again.
“I’m so sorry.” Loki uttered stiffly. “I forgot, please forgive me-”
“It’s okay.” You smiled at him, to try and bring some of the warmth back, to show him he could never hurt you, but Loki remained as rigid and distant as ever.
Silence settled between the two of you, and your heart sank at how quickly Loki had changed. 
“Right,” he began, nodding to himself as he stepped towards the door. “I should let you rest.” 
“Okay.” You barely managed a whisper. “Thank you.”
You received nothing more than a half-hearted nod as Loki quickly spun on his heel and stepped out of the room, leaving you in nothing but a state of confusion.
What... was all that? 
You sighed to yourself as you recalled how angry he had been when he was arguing with Thor. He was angry for you. You had never seen him become so passionate about anything before. 
And then there was that entire situation when you kissed his cheek.
Surely you were overthinking things, right? You and Loki were just friends, that’s all you were, and that’s all you ever would be.
...right?
Taglist (please let me know if you’d like to be tagged!) : @startrekkingaroundasgard @delightfulheartdream @justasmisunderstoodasloki @marvels-mischief @k8obr @pastyoverlord265​
538 notes · View notes
missmorosis · 7 months ago
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sick manager :)
-> feat. sugawara and kuroo
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part 1 with bokuto, oikawa, and tsukishima here!
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genre: fluff!
synopsis: y/n, the manager of her school’s volleyball team, finds herself sick after days of hard  work, yet she still goes to school to support her team~ 
warnings: the reader is sick, and she passes out in kuroo’s scenario :))
pairings: sugawara x reader, kuroo x reader (separate!!)
total word count: 1.5k
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a/n: OKAY SO HAHHSLKDFJ RIGHT WHEN I WAS WRITING THIS CHAPTER I GOT SICK W/ A FEVER- I THINK I JINXED MYSELF OMG
i tried to make the scenario KINDA different, but with the same idea hehe
anYWAYS i’m so sorry if this makes like zero sense AHSLDKF- i wrote a lot while i was sick SO ill blame it on fever delusion if it flops 😌
OH AND THIS IS FOR @haikyuuheartsclub ty for reading the first one and asking for a part 2 hehe <33
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You getting sick was inevitable.
You knew that you were bound to get sick with all of the work you had been doing and all of the late nights you spent preparing volleyball strategies, planning practice tournaments for your team, or studying until your eyesight blurred.
Being your school's volleyball team manager was not only hard, but it was ridiculously time consuming. Not to mention that you were bombarded with schoolwork, and you had exams coming up. Your stress levels had never been higher, and you were practically living off of caffeine with the amount of sleep you were always lacking.
So when you woke up with a sick feeling and the worst headache, you weren't completely surprised. Annoyed would have been a better word.
You knew that your team was getting ready for an important tournament, so you would have to stay extra long for practice. Groaning as you got ready, you weren't sure you could make it through the day.
You sluggishly pulled on a hoodie and brushed your teeth, taking note of how warm you felt as you washed your face. Grabbing a thermometer, you quickly measured your temperature.
100.4 Fahrenheit. Not too bad... just a low-grade fever. You tried to shrug it off and ignored how disgusting your body felt. You slung a backpack over your shoulder and walked out the door, heading to school.
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You waited at the bus stop, shaking your head to try and make the sickness go away. When the bus arrived a while later, you plopped down onto the closest seat and you couldn’t stop your eyes from closing. You were just so... tired...
You drifted off to sleep, the soft sound of the bus driving across the road comforting you.
...
“Uh, Y/N?” Someone was shaking your side, and you immediately lifted your head from the bus window you were leaning on. It seemed like you just closed your eyes a second ago... where were you now?
"Mm?" you hummed sleepily, blinking slowly. You rubbed your eyes as the sunlight filtered through the window, and it made you feel warmer than you already felt.
"Hey, sorry to wake you, but we’re already at school." You looked outside, and he was right; you saw Karasuno in the near distance. 
Your brain processed the fact that Sugawara, a third year from Karasuno’s volleyball team, was sitting next to you. You saw his blurred figure lean next to you, and he brushed some hair out of your face. His fingers grazed against your forehead, but he quickly froze. 
"Y/N- Y/N! Why is your forehead so hot?" He studied your face with concerned eyes, noticing how tired you looked.
"Hm? No, it’s not. It wasn’t that high when I checked... probably the sunlight..." you mumbled, leaning on the back of your bus seat behind you. You put a hand on your forehead, and it confirmed that you were indeed burning up; it was considerably warmer than earlier in the morning. You groaned and got up.
"You don’t look too good, don't you think you should go home-" Sugawara started, but you interrupted him.
"No, you need your manager today, you guys have a game soon," you said, your tone tired but strict. Sugawara eyed you anxiously, but you waved him off. "I'll be fine," you reassured him. Grabbing your backpack, you got up from your seat, heading for the bus’ exit.
Woah.
You knew you were sick, but you didn't think you would be this dizzy. Everything seemed to sway to one side, and you put one arm on the seat of the bus, leaning on it for support. You rested your head on your arm, and you felt Sugawara’s arm wrapping around you for support.
“Alright, now you have no choice. You’re taking a break, whether you like it or not, clearly something’s not okay,” he told you, and you were too lightheaded to argue. You just nodded along and he helped you back into your seat. 
You clutched your head as you tried to make everything go away. Sugawara went to talk to the bus driver in the background, and miraculously, the driver made an exception for you.
“We’re ahead of schedule anyways,” the bus driver reasoned. He turned the bus around, heading back towards your house.
“Okay, now that that’s done, you can sleep if you want to. You could probably use the rest, I can only imagine how tired you are...” Sugawara said softly, and you gave a small nod. You scooted further down into the seats, making enough space for the boy to sit next to you. He gladly obliged, and he couldn’t help but smile at the sight of you drifting off to sleep. Your head subconsciously drifted onto his shoulder, but he didn’t mind.
“Hey, Koushi?” you mumbled, your voice coated with sleepiness.
“Yeah? What’s wrong?”
“Nothing... I just wanted to thank you.” Your eyes remained closed, and Sugawara couldn’t tell if the blush on your face was from your fever... or something else? 
“You need to take breaks, you know. You work really hard, it’s a wonder you haven’t dropped dead yet,” he said, half jokingly. “Thank you.” You smiled, and finally fell asleep.
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Kuroo found you in the classrooms; your head was down, and your headache was terrible. You were almost asleep; you were trying your best to stay awake, and you weren't sure how long you could keep it up.
He was walking down the halls, casually glancing into your classroom to see if you were finished, and he softly smiled at the sight of you.
"Tired, Y/N?" Kuroo asked, smirking as he tapped your shoulder.
"Hm?" You lifted your head up, surprised at the unexpected touch. "Oh- Kuroo, shut up," you replied, rolling your eyes as you stretched. He laughed and grabbed your backpack for you, slinging it over his own shoulder.
“Ready for practice?” he asked, looking down at you. You nodded, and the two of you walked to the gym.
Your head was killing you with every step you took, but you had no choice but to ignore it. You looked to the distance, trying to ease your headache. Kuroo’s voice was slowly melting into background noise. 
Suddenly you froze and stopped walking, earning a curious glance from Kuroo. You were forgetting something...
“Wait- where’s my... backpack?” You spotted it on the boy next to you, and you shook your head. “Sorry, forgot that you had it,” you said, with a sheepish laugh.
“Something wrong?” he frowned. “You’re acting distracted... more distracted than usual, anyways.” You shook your head, deciding to keep your sickness to yourself.
“I’m good, just tired,” you assured him. He nodded slowly, and walked into the gym, you following close behind.
Only you, Kuroo, and the coaches were in the gym; you were early. You flashed a quick smile as you waved hello.
"Great, you guys are early. I have a couple strategies to discuss," the coach said, gesturing to a whiteboard in front of him. The two of you nodded, and he began to explain.
"Alright... if we're going to win this next match..." he started, but you couldn't make yourself pay attention. The only thing on your mind was how your head wouldn't stop hurting, everything seemed to echo, and just overall how sick you felt.
"What do you think, Y/N?" Kuroo asked, quirking an eyebrow in your direction. You snapped out of your sleepy state at the sound of your name.
“Wha-” You blinked, looking around at all of the eyes on you. You tried to remember what the others were talking about... oh. Strategies. Right. "I just think we... we need to..." You looked at thr whiteboard, but you couldn't focus. You swayed to one side, blinking hard. The world really seemed like it was tilting to one side... "Woah, sorry-" you tried to say.
"Y/N?" You saw Kuroo reach out towards you as you slowly lowered down into a fetal position, resting your head on your knees. "Hey, Y/N? You okay?" You swallowed.
"Yea- yeah. Just... give me a second," you breathed. You felt Kuroo kneel down next to you, and you were right; someone's arm wrapped around you for support, and you knew it was Kuroo's. You knew you were safe as you lost consciousness, falling further into his arms.
...
You awoke, and the first thought was how bright the gym lights were... they weren't this bright before...
"Oh- Y/N! You're awake," Kuroo said, rushing over to you. He put the back of his hand on your forehead. "You're still burning..." he said with a frown.
"Sorry," you muttered. "I don't know, I've been sick all day and I guess I couldn’t handle it..."
"Why didn't you tell me you weren’t feeling well?" he asked, concern clear in his voice. You smiled softly.
"It wasn't important... besides I have manager duties to take care of," you said with a sigh.
"Not if I can help it." He picked you up in one swift motion bridal-style, smirking as you struggled to get down. "I'm not letting you down; I'm taking you home and getting you some proper medicine for this fever of yours. Health is more important than volleyball." You huffed and flopped into his arms in defeat.
"Fine." You leaned closer into Kuroo's chest, and he smiled, satisfied with your surrender.
"That's my girl." You rolled your eyes, but you couldn't help but smile.
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A/N: THESE WERE NOT THE BEST- I ADMIT BDHDDJNDJEW
hopefully these weren't too bad though-
haikyuu taglist: (send an ask to get added hehe) @floralkawa <3
MWAHH THANK YOU FOR READING!!
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hattalove · 12 days ago
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hello. i am mildly inebriated and i am interesting you in some 911 meta. you don't have a choice.
so i'm still making my way through s4 and i just finished parenthood and that little 30-second scene at the end of chris asking to watch the movie with eddie and ana gave me both intense brainrot and Many Thoughts. because it feels like it fits into a trend i've noticed, which is: for as long as they've been seeing each other, eddie's most significant moments with ana center around her relationship to chris.
we see this first in the math scene, god help us, where ana says that “christopher is a very sensitive boy” and that eddie is “right to be cautious” about introducing ana as his girlfriend. immediately following that, eddie makes this face:
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and calls her an amazing woman, so i think it's pretty safe to say this is a Thing for him. this entire episode centers on how important it is to him that chris like and accept ana - he asks bobby and athena for advice specifically on how/when to introduce them - and going back to jinx, chris is also his main concern there.
and then we get to parenthood, where eddie's parenthood isn't really in the picture (except for when he and buck say “no” in unison when chim asks if both parents can't be good cops and then eddie flirts about what buck considers too much discipline i sure wonder who buck is parenting) until this little scene at the very end. where he and ana are watching a movie together, and chris comes in and asks to join them, and eddie looks to ana for a cue on how to proceed, letting her decide. she says of course, lets chris sit between them, and it's presented as like. maybe not a big deal, but a Moderate Deal. yet another moment that confirms that eddie is making the right choice, et cetera. because his girlfriend Allows his son to join them for a movie.
naturally this made me think about buck because i am always thinking about buck. so while eddie and ana have been together, the moments that have been highlighted that make him feel like he made the right choice: “very sensitive boy”, “you're right to be cautious”, and ana accepting chris as part of movie night (in an episode titled 'parenthood').
compare this to: introducing eddie to carla, who helped with paperwork and became a caretaker for chris; keeping chris safe in a tsunami; helping to find a way for him to skateboard because he really wanted to try it; emotionally supporting him in an unprecedented moment of crisis in breaking point. it starts looking a lot more like Basic Consideration for your SO's child and a lot less like ana's building a specifically good relationship with christopher. this entire episode is about that: it's anecdote after anecdote illustrating the lengths parents will go to for their kids in deep and meaningful ways and then. ana lets christopher watch a movie with them fdhsjk but;
obviously this makes sense in eddie's romantic relationship. she was interested in him first, and a relationship with christopher will have to follow and be built. except for how christopher and ana aren't strangers. she taught him english for i think? at least a year, and english is a pretty core subject, so they will have seen each other very regularly. of course she talks him up at the parent-teacher conference in front of his literal father, as i imagine she does for every other kid that performs well, but all she can really muster at the end of all that is “sometimes there's value in realizing you don't like horses”, or whatever. he didn't exactly stand out to her; she didn't pick up on anything special about him. there isn't necessarily anything inherently wrong with this in general terms BUT. in terms of eddie. i think this is what it'll ultimately boil down to.
by contrast to ana, buck treats christopher like he's special. not in the condescending ableist way, but special to him. special as in the best kid in the world. as an individual. which is exactly the way eddie loves him, too.
not only that, but buck and chris have an incredibly strong relationship that has even outgrown eddie in some ways. from within the 118, he asks about chris first, he meets him first, and instantly shows up for both of them when he helps eddie by calling bobby ahead of time, and then helps eddie by helping chris via carla. in kids today, eddie shares chris with buck in a way that already is like. you and my son have a relationship that stands on its own. he, independently of me, can make you feel better. which is obviously dialed up to a hundred in the searchers after chris and buck go through a traumatic experience together.
later, in christmas spirit, buck's hanging out with chris and by extension with eddie. in future tense, he's playing video games with chris and planning a prank with chris and both of these just kind of...lovingly include eddie because he's important to them. at may's graduation party in what's next, he's hanging out with chris alone. in breaking point he's holding down the fort, at home, putting chris to bed basically by pulling a Parenting Move, while eddie goes on a date with ana (during which the sensitive boy thing happens), and then in the same episode he's explicitly shown to be The Person Chris Goes To.
so it's like. buck and eddie built a significant portion of their relationship around chris and their shared love for him ("i love him enough to never stop trying and i know you do too". in season THREE EPISODE THREE?). and this, i think, ultimately matters most. ana's first appearance wrt chris was largely about her being glib and dismissive. buck's first scene related to chris is “whoa, you got a kid?”, which is then replayed in eddie's family highlights reel while he almost drowns in eddie begins, and the first time they share a scene is buck watching eddie run into the school and pick chris up and laugh in relief, at which point you can pretty clearly see him falling in love with some capacity. ana dismisses the notion that chris ever could or should want to ride a skateboard; buck wheedles until he convinces eddie to find a way.
but for the time being, ana magnanimously allowing chris to crash movie night fits into eddie's idea of Family. him and his beautiful girlfriend and his son between them. that's what he's supposed to want and to be building towards, and that's the crux of the whole thing. he wants to build something that can be good for chris (according to his parents shannon was never good enough. eddie himself was never good enough). eddie the person is still secondary, even when it's his own relationship. which is why he doesn't consciously Realize all this yet.
and the thing is it Fits into the interpretation some of y'all have that i've adopted that these relationships exist so both eddie and buck can see more clearly what they don't want, at which point they can finally See each other. it lends itself beautifully to carla, later on in the season, telling eddie to make sure he's following his own heart. it lends itself beautifully to the fact that eddie, having actually perceived and understood the way buck shows up for chris, made him chris's legal guardian in the event of his own death.
i think the OP of this post that's been going around today hits the nail on the head in saying that eddie sees buck caring for chris the way eddie himself would care for him. the legal guardian conversation puts this out into the open, and (as so many people have pointed out) eddie doesn't hide his feelings behind chris. so it is just my personal opinion that this would make for a beautiful lead-in into s5. because there's a dissonance. what eddie apparently likes about The Perfect Woman is whenever she shows consideration towards chris and he already has someone who does so much more than that - as illustrated by the fact that in the episode where eddie’s life is Fundamentally Altered, ana shows up for .2 seconds, is then zoomed out of frame, and is not trusted to be christopher’s caretaker. 🌲 eddie rise. gold rush.mp3
also as always, the voiceover is worth noting:  “it's not until you have kids of your own that you realize just how much parenthood changes you and your priorities. it becomes about your kids all the time [insert chris + eddieana scene]. sometimes that dedication isn't always a good thing. we put our kids first for so long we can lose sight of ourselves. we live our lives for our children” and so on and so on. obviously i don't think i need to even make the argument that the placement of the scenes that intersperse the voiceover isn't random because it literally never is. so. that's all i had to say i guess
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perlukafarinn · 10 months ago
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(ao3)
The day starts out pretty unremarkable. Dean wakes up at the crack of dawn to Cas slipping out of bed for his morning jog. He pulls him down for a good-morning kiss that turns into a make-out session that turns into them trading lazy handjobs and then falling asleep in each other’s arms again. 
Their actual start to the day is around ten AM, when Cas finally gets up for his jog and Dean gets up for his cereal and a scroll through the morning news. He’s on the look for hunts, mostly out of habit since there’s been very little monster activity since Chuck went and fucked off for good. He doesn’t find anything this morning but that’s hardly a surprise. It’s been a couple of weeks since they’ve been out on a hunt and that inactivity, weirdly enough, is starting to bother him less and less. 
Cas comes back from his jog about an hour before noon and with the mildest of prodding convinces Dean to join him in the shower. Afterwards, they throw together a lunch made from yesterday’s leftovers, taking their time eating and playing footsie under the table, because that’s apparently the kind of couple they are.
Usually by this time of day, Cas would be off in the Men of Letters’ library working on translations or cataloging and Dean would be on the phone helping Garth help out young, out-of-their depth hunters or in the garage, working on one of the beautiful but sadly neglected vehicles left behind there decades ago. 
Today, both of them are seemingly feeling kind of lazy and so hardly any work gets done. It’s not until late in the afternoon that Dean feels the urge to do something productive and suggests they go out for groceries, which Cas readily agrees to. 
The ride into town is quiet. Cas plays his mixtape - the damn thing should be worn out by now and Dean should  long since be sick of it but for reasons too sappy to mention he isn’t - and they sit and listen in comfortable silence. It’s not until they pass the town hall on their way to the supermarket that Cas gets a contemplative look on his face.
“Should we get married?”
Only years of experience behind the wheel prevent Dean’s hands from twitching wildly and veering them into oncoming traffic.
“What.”
Cas looks over, frowning. “I’ve been thinking about this for a while. Is there any reason for us not to get married? We’re already planning on staying together for the rest of our lives.”
“Is there any reason-” Dean wheezes. “What the fuck, Cas? Is this your idea of a proposal?”
“Are you saying no?” Cas asks, mildly curious, as if they’re talking about the fucking weather and not getting married. “Because we don’t have to.”
Dean stares ahead, tightening his grip on the steering wheel. “Are you actually asking?”
“I suppose I am.”
“You ‘suppose’,” Dean mocks. “Gee, Cas, that’s real romantic.”
“Will you marry me?”
Dean pulls over. It’s far too sudden, probably leaving tire tracks in the concrete, and the driver behind them honks his horn loudly as he passes. Dean ignores him, taking a deep breath as he finally turns to face Cas. 
“Are you sure?”
He doesn’t really have to ask - Cas wouldn’t have brought it up if he wasn’t sure - but he needs to hear it. 
Thankfully, Cas seems to get that. “I want to marry you, Dean. Do you want to marry me?”
“Son of a bitch,” Dean breathes. “I mean - yes. Yeah, I do.”
Cas nods decisively. “Alright then. Now?”
“Now?”
It’s not exactly how Dean imagined this scenario would go (not that he - shut up) but it’s somehow the most romantic fucking thing that’s ever happened to him since Cas first told him he loved him. And hey, this time no one had to die!
They turn around, since there’s no point in going in without (forged) birth certificates. Once they get to the town hall, shortly before closing, they find out that it’s a three-day mandatory waiting period between applying for a marriage license and them actually being allowed to get married.
Cas suggests they use the interim time to pick up wedding rings. They wind up spending the next day driving to Topeka, where they find a couple of silver rings in a pawn shop. They’re tarnished but otherwise in good condition and once they get home, Dean spends the rest of the evening cleaning them while trying very hard not to think about just what they’re for.
The second day, Cas spends out back tending to his garden while Dean almost dials Sam’s number repeatedly before hanging up, torn between wanting to let his brother know that he’s getting married and not wanting to jinx it.
The third day, they head back into town. They arrive at the town hall just after it opens and it’s not until they’re standing in front of the clerk that Dean realizes they don’t have any witnesses. The clerk assures him that they don’t need one for civil ceremonies and the next ten minutes pass in a blur until Dean is being prompted to place the ring on Cas’ finger.
He does so with shaking hands, stilled only once Cas places one of his own on top and gives Dean a patient smile. He’s this calm for a reason, Dean finally realizes.
This doesn’t change anything.
Married or not, they’ve already promised themselves to each other for the rest of their lives. Til death do them part doesn’t even begin to describe it, and in sickness and in health is almost laughable at this point.
This really doesn’t change anything.
Dean’s own hand is still as Cas takes his turn, sliding the silver ring upon Dean’s finger. They say their “I do”s when prompted by the clerk, exchange a short, firm kiss, and just like that it’s over.
They’re married. 
*
When Jody invites them to dinner about a week later, they still haven’t told anyone. Sam and Eileen will be there as well as Jack and the girls - it’s a regular family reunion and the perfect chance to announce the big news to everyone.
Dean has a better idea.
“Let’s not tell anyone,” he says. “At least, not before dessert. Let’s see if they notice first.”
They’re in the Impala, about half an hour away from Jody’s place. 
Cas shoots him an amused look. “Is this because Sam claimed he always knew we’d get together when we first told him we were involved?”
“No,” Dean lies. He drums his fingers on the steering wheel, seeing Cas still giving him that look from the corner of his eye. “Fine, yes. But he didn’t know, for the record. He just likes to pretend he’s always on top of this shit.”
“He doesn’t like to admit when you’ve surprised him,” Cas agrees.
The conversation ends there but Dean’s plan is apparently agreed upon since once they arrive at Jody’s, Cas doesn’t say a word about their recent relationship upgrade. Jody doesn’t seem to notice anything different, but then Dean didn’t expect her to. She’s not the one they spend most of their time around. Neither do Donna, Alex, Claire or Kaia, none of them surprises. Patience, Dean is less sure about, but she at least doesn’t say anything. Her eyes do linger unusually long but that could mean anything.
Damn psychics.
Sam and Eileen arrive half an hour after Dean and Cas, Jack in tow. This is the real test; Sam and Dean may not spend as much time together in the past few months as they did in the years before but he’s still the person who knows Dean best and would be the most likely to notice a difference.
And yet, nothing.
Dean tries not to feel too smug.
They go through dinner without anyone mentioning it. Dean makes a point of reaching across the table as many times as he can, showing off the ring glinting on his finger. Cas must notice him doing it, judging by the fond exasperation on his face, but he’s the only one.
It isn’t until dessert that Patience breaks, patience (hah) clearly run out:
“Is no one going to mention that Dean and Castiel are wearing wedding rings?”
And all hell breaks loose.
Sam is wounded - mostly over Dean and Cas not telling him before they got married, though Dean can tell some part of it is his pride at not seeing this coming - but he’s over it soon enough, once they explain that it wasn’t a big deal, not some proper ceremony, just a quick affirmation of what they already knew.
“See if I make you Best Man at my wedding after this, jerk,” Sam tells Dean.
“Your wedding?” Eileen asks pointedly. 
Jody and Donna offer their congratulations before the conversation can get awkward, and Kaia, Alex, and Patience chime in with theirs as well. Jack looks confused at the whole proceeding, finally asking whether this means there won’t be any bouquet to catch, which only means Dean has gravely failed him in his pop culture education (oh, who’s he kidding, as if half the romcoms Jack has watched didn’t come directly from the recommended tab on Dean’s Netflix account). 
Finally, with a pointed elbow from Kaia and a hangdog expression from Cas, Claire mumbles that she’s happy for them. While Dean doesn’t doubt that’s true he also knows that this is more complicated for her than the rest of them, and for the first time he kind of feels guilty about springing this news on everyone. 
It doesn’t last long, not after Donna cheerfully raises her glass and proposes a toast to the happy couple and everyone else follows suit. They chant for them to kiss and, blushing outrageously, Dean complies, leaning over to press a quick kiss against Cas’ lips. 
“So, who proposed?” Sam asks once the hooting and hollering has calmed.
“Cas did,” Dean says, slinging an arm around his husband’s - his husband’s - shoulders. “And it was the least romantic proposal of all time, you should’ve heard him.”
Cas rolls his eyes. “If I had left it up to you, we never would have gotten married.”
“He didn’t even give me time to pick out flowers,” Dean informs Sam gravely. 
“There’s always the vow renewal,” Cas says, the casual statement managing to sound like a threat, and Dean shuts up. 
The conversation moves on, the mood noticeably cheerier. As Jack and Sam launch into a story of their most recent hunt, Dean leans against Cas.
“We could have flowers, if you want,” he mutters. 
Cas smiles at him, so bright and easy that it makes Dean’s heart stutter. He takes Dean’s hand, rubbing his thumb over the cool silver of Dean’s ring.
“That’s not necessary,” he says. “I’ve got everything I want right here.”
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iliveiloveiwrite · a year ago
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Happiness, I’m sorry you’ve been on hold.
Request: Could you do a one shot of Fred Weasley after the war, where he doesn’t die and actually falls in love with a muggle. And he tells her about wizards and meets his family? Thank you!
A/N: So this is now the longest thing I have ever written. My aim for this was to make it equal parts angst and equal parts fluff because I think Fred deserves all the fluff. Thank you so much for requesting this! I hope I have done it justice! Please read the warnings before reading this fic should anything trigger - you come first, not fic reading. Also, if anyone can name the TV shows I mention in this, you get a gold star! Title from Volbeat - For Evigt. I hope you all enjoy, I know it’s long!!
Pairing: Fred Weasley x Fem!Reader
Warnings: mentions of war, depression, insomnia, PTSD, swearing, food, but THERE IS SO MUCH FLUFF - SO MUCH (as well as a bit of steaminess).
Word count: 13.3k
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The voices have blurred into a senseless mess; Fred can only just make out the deep timbre of adult males and the high pitched shouts of students. He doesn’t need to hear the words to know that spells are being thrown left, right, and centre.
He does his fair share of fighting; hurling jinx after jinx at any Death Eater he comes upon.
The corridor he runs down is moaning and groaning as if ready to collapse, but Fred continues, his breath coming in pants. His eyes run over the bodies of students and teachers; his heart beginning the painful mourning process then and there.
Someone shouts; he doesn’t know who.
Something creaks; he doesn’t know what.
A brilliant flash of light bounces in front of his eyes, and he feels himself blown away just as the wall beside him starts to collapse.
Whether from shock or from injury, his vision fades to black.
Fred wakes with a start; heart racing, mouth gaping wide in a silent scream, hands gripping the bedsheets in a vice-tight hold.
With his eyes closed, he takes a deep breath before he begins to go through his exercise. An exercise he repeats nightly.
Aloud he says their names like a mantra: “Mum, Dad, Bill, Charlie, Percy, George, Ron, Ginny.”
He does this over and over again until his heart rate calms, and his hands can release the bedsheets.
Fred checks the clock; 3am. He nods, sighing. Three hours sleep.
Fred supposes he should be thankful. After all, it’s three hours more than he got the night before.
He leaves his bed, dragging his feet to the kitchen where with a flick of his wand, the kettle begins to boil, and teabag drops itself into his favourite mug – his only mug.
The Second Wizard War had been over for almost a year now, and for the most part, life had returned to normal. Routines were picked back up and time had simply started to move on.
But Fred felt stuck.
He couldn’t shake the nightmares; keeping the house up with his screams. He couldn’t face opening the shop up despite George’s best attempts at pleading.
He didn’t have it in him to laugh.
He felt broken; as if something vital within him snapped in two the day he avoided the winged clutches of death.
Settling on the couch with his now steeping mug of tea, Fred resigns himself to the fact that he won’t be getting anymore sleep tonight.
The TV plays lowly in the background, a rerun of an old British sitcom set in a prison playing. Fred pays it little to no attention; instead, looking around the small flat he’s called home for the last eight months of his life. The walls are sparsely decorated; a few photos hung up but nothing that screams his personality. His cupboards remain filled just enough for one person, as does his fridge. It’s a flat fit for a hermit; Fred thinks that’s what he’s become.
He decided to leave home two months after the end of the war. When he started to notice the dark circles underneath his mother’s eyes and realised that he was the cause of them – his nightmares and his screams.
Molly cried when he left; worried sick over how he would look after himself and cope. Fred reassured her and made a promise to send letters twice a week – a promise he has yet to break.
George was understandably angry with his twin’s decision, but he knew that deep down that Fred needed to go to heal so he can laugh in the shop once again.
With a tight hug from his parents and siblings alike, Fred began his new life in muggle society.
A frantic knock at his door has Fred spilling his tea and falling out of his reminiscing. Jumping up from the couch, his hand grabs his wand, ready to defend himself should he need to.
His breath comes in quick pants as a result of the adrenaline and panic coursing through his system. The only people who know where he lives are his family with the added bonus of Harry, Hermione and Lee Jordan; no-one else had his address.
The frantic knocking continues; becoming quicker if it was at all possible. Fred swallows past the lump in his throat as he unlocks his door, wrenching it open in a swift movement, ready to confront whatever was on the other side.
Fred wasn’t prepared for it to be you.
You stand in front of his flat with a wild look on your face; equal parts terror and panic. Your hand is still raised in a fist, ready to rain down on the faded red of his door. You only just stop yourself from pounding your fist into his chest.
“Can I help you?” Fred greets.
“I’m so sorry, I know how late it is, but I need your help.”
Fred raises an eyebrow, “What with?”
You toe his welcome mat sheepishly, pointing towards your flat next door to his. “There’s a massive spider in my bathroom and I’m too scared to kill it myself.”
“You’re knocking down my door at this time in the morning for a spider?” Fred asks incredulously.
You glare at him, “This isn’t just any spider, okay? It’s massive; I can practically see its kneecaps!” You huff, placing your hands on your hips, “Will you please help me?”
Fred leans against the doorframe, a smirk gracing his lips, “What’s in it for me?”
You purse your lips; eyes glancing between the red-headed man vexing you and the door to your flat where you know the spider is waiting to make a mockery of you. You sigh, deciding the former is the lesser evil than the latter, “I’ll buy you breakfast.”
“You’ll buy me breakfast for killing a spider?”
You nod rapidly, “Yes, I’ll buy you breakfast, and I’ll even fork out extra for hash browns, just please kill the spider.”
Fred pauses; pretending to think it over in order to annoy you that little bit more. It had been a while since he had taken the time to vex someone; he had to admit he was rather enjoying getting on your nerves.
“Well?” You press, tapping your foot on his welcome mat, “Will you help me or not?”
Fred pushes himself off the doorframe, keeping his wand concealed in his shirt sleeve. He bows at the waist with a cocky smile on his lips, “Lead the way, my lady.”
You roll your eyes at the man; not remembering a time when a man had gotten on your nerves to this extent. You lead him into your flat; his eyes wandering over the heavily decorated walls and the over-filled bookshelves. You pause outside the door to your bathroom, biting your lip as you face the red-haired man, “I last saw it in the sink. It could have moved now.”
Fred nods, “Don’t worry, I’ll find it. Do you have a boot or something I could use?”
You turn away from him, heading back to the entryway where he saw piles upon piles of shoes. “I don’t have a boot,” you start, “but I do have a pair of trainers.”
“They’ll work,” Fred reassures, taking them from your hands.
You throw him a thumbs-up before retreating a few paces into your living room. You haul yourself onto the couch, much to Fred’s amusement, as if the spider is going to come running out of the bathroom to exact its revenge on you for throwing your pot of face cream at it before you sprinted out of your flat.
“Good luck,” You state as Fred opens the door to your bathroom, closing the door behind him.
Fred runs his eyes around your bathroom, looking for the eight-legged arachnid that’s caused this much trouble at this time in the morning. He finds it in no time; still stuck in your sink, unable to make its way up the smooth porcelain sides.
It doesn’t take Fred long to dispose of the spider; trapping it with a spell and flinging it out of the window. For extra measure, and to not alert you to his magic, he slams the trainer down on the tiled floor of your bathroom. Fred even goes so far as to scrunch up some tissue in his hand to make it look as if he had gotten the spider.
If he can avoid it, Fred won’t kill another living creature. In the short span of his life, Fred had seen too much death, and he knows he doesn’t want to be witness to anymore.
Upon opening the door, Fred finds you stood in the exact same place but with a rolled up magazine in your hand. He wants to laugh at the sight, but he can’t dredge up the will to do so. Instead, he holds up the scrunched up tissue and your trainer, declaring, “It’s gone. I got rid of it.”
You jump down from the couch, pottering over to him. The rolled up magazine still in your hand, “It’s in there?”
Fred nods, a little white lie won’t hurt you and he doubts the spider would return. “Do you have somewhere I can put this?” he asks, waving the tissue around.
“Of course, the kitchen is over here.” You lead him to the small kitchenette where he disposes of the empty tissue. You take your trainer off him and Fred claps his hands together as if he’s completed a job well done.
“Right,” He starts, “If you don’t need me for anything else…”
Your eyes widen as if suddenly aware what time it is and how long you’ve kept him, “Of course!” you cry, “I didn’t realise the time, you’ll want to be getting back to sleep. Thank you for all your help…” you trail off, realising you don’t know his name.
“Fred. My name is Fred.”
“Fred,” You smile, “I’m (Y/N).”
“I’m glad I could help, (Y/N),” Fred says, making his way to your door, “I’ll see you tomorrow for breakfast.”
You frown, “Breakfast?”
“You owe me? For killing the spider, remember?”
You hold your hand to your forehead, “Yes! I remember. How does meeting at half past nine sound? I want to get some sleep before I meet you again.”
“Half nine it is. I’ll see you then.” Fred says as goodbye, shutting your front door behind him and making his way back to the couch that had been calling his name since he left it.
The TV has moved on now; showing another rerun of an old sitcom – this one about two brothers hustling their way through life in a borough of London. Fred rather likes this show, having gotten hooked his first month in muggle life. He turns the volume up, taking a sip of his now cold tea.
Fred tries to pay attention to scene currently playing; the brother’s elderly uncle unscrewing the fastenings to a very expensive chandelier they’ve been hired to clean. Little do they know they’ve got their wires crossed and disaster is about to strike.
Fred pays little attention to this, but rather than return to the wallowing he found himself in earlier, he lets himself think of breakfast tomorrow.
His eyes begin to flutter shut; the lack of sleep finally catching up to him. He slumps down onto the couch, reaching for the blanket he keeps draped across the back of it for this very reason, and he throws it across himself. He takes one last look at the television to see that the brothers had been underneath the wrong chandelier their elderly uncle was loosening, and he falls asleep with the thought of breakfast running through his mind.
------------------
Fred is ready too early; he knows he is.
He also thinks he’s overdressed but he doesn’t let himself think too much into that issue.
Another nightmare had awoken him an hour after he fell back asleep in front of the TV. Fred wasn’t too resigned though; four hours sleep in one night was the most he had gotten in a while. He was going to count this as a win.
For a while, he remained on the couch, flicking through the channels hoping to find something other than telly shopping. He skipped over the news channels, not needing to hear anything about muggle society that could potentially send him further into his spiral. He ran a hand over his face as he turned off the TV; he had moved away from home to start getting better; to start the healing process yet he felt as if he was only making things worse.
Before he could let himself dwell further on that subject, he hauled himself into the shower. Taking extra time to scrub at his hair and body; making himself look presentable for breakfast with you.
Fred took extra care in picking out his clothes. Once dressed, he did feel overdressed for the occasion, but as he sits on the couch, watching the hands on his analogue clock tick by slowly, he’s more bothered by the fact that he’s ready over an hour early.
He sighs as he watches the second hand make another circuit around the clock; one less minute to go, he thinks wryly to himself.
If his mother could see him now, Molly Weasley would proceed to smack him with a tea-towel before offering her advice on the matter. Thoughts of his mother has Fred overwhelmed with a strong sense of missing her. He misses his mother more than he misses anyone; how she would always have food on the table and tea ready to drink, how she would push back his hair from his forehead so she could kiss him there. She would do that a lot when the nightmares were very bad; she would sit with him on the couch where he had exiled himself after waking George up too many times – she would run her hands through his hair in a comforting manner, kissing his forehead as his eyes would start to droop. Molly would only let herself rest once her beloved son was sleeping somewhat peacefully.
Fred thinks of this memory as he digs around his flat for some spare parchment and a self-inking quill. He had already sent his two letters for the week, but Molly would be delighted to receive a third unexpectedly.
Quill scratches on parchment for some time. Fred inquires after the wellness of his siblings – did Charlie pull his finger out and ask out Evie? How was Ron and Hermione? How was Dad? Would he like any more of the muggle sweets he’s become so fond of?
Fred asks the inane questions before asking about George. Fred knows that George loves him; they’re twins, they’re closer than any other sibling would hope to be. George knew Fred’s moods like the back of his hand and he only wants the best for his brother. Which is why Fred struggles with the guilt at leaving George to cope with the joke shop alone. George has reassured him that it’s okay, that he needs to take time and the shop will always be here when he’s ready to come back.
But it still doesn’t lessen the guilt that sits in his stomach like a lead balloon.
Black ink covers his hand by the he’s finished his letter; finishing his letter with the news of breakfast with someone he could see being a good friend. That would be enough to quash his mother’s worries that he doesn’t leave his flat enough. He seals the envelope with wax, making a mental note to go to a wizarding post office after breakfast so he can send it off in express time to his mother.
Cracking his knuckles – a nasty habit he picked up at Hogwarts – Fred checks the time to see that it’s almost half past nine. He slips on his denim jacket, tucking his letter into an inside pocket, patting it to reassure himself it’s there.
As he’s locking up the door, he sees you exiting your flat. Fred realises that when you aren’t dressed in mismatched pyjamas with a terrified look on your face, you’re rather beautiful.
You hurry over to him; your bag bouncing against your hip as you come to a stop in front of him. “Good Morning,” you greet.
“Good Morning. How did you sleep? Any more spiders?”
You direct your gaze to the floor, feeling somewhat sheepish in the light of day, “I know I said it last night, but thank you again. I wouldn’t have been able to sleep if you hadn’t have got it.”
Fred smiles softly, “I didn’t mind. Besides, I get breakfast out of it.”
You perk up, “That you do! Off we go then.”
You lead him out of the building, continuing on the main road before turning left and then a right. Fred follows you all the way; making small attempts at idle conversation which you gladly take up, chatting to him about anything and everything as you lead him down a side street to where a small café sits.
The bell above the door chimes happily as you enter the building, holding the door open for Fred to duck in first.
You lead him to a table by the window that’s big enough for two. He pulls out your chair for you, letting you sit first before shrugging off his jacket and hanging it over the back of his chair. Fred may have been a little shit through his childhood and adolescence, but he had listened to his mother when she explained the etiquette for dining with a lady whether it be breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Menus are handed to the both of you by a waitress who looks to be wanting to be anywhere but here right now. Fred sympathises with her a little; remembering the early starts for the shop. They order their food in no time; you ordering a latte and Fred ordering a Yorkshire Tea to go with your Full English’s with extra hash browns.
You grin at him from across the table, “Thanks for agreeing to this.”
“Thanks for offering.”
“Did you get back to sleep okay after I woke you up?” You asks, face lined with worry.
Fred nods, clearing his throat, “I nodded back off, yeah.”
You sigh with relief, “That’s good, I’m glad.”
“Did you sleep okay?”
“I slept very well in my spider-free flat, yes.”
You fall silent as your drinks are placed in front of you with a promise that your food would be with you shortly. Fred smiles at the waitress in thanks as she leaves.
He turns his attention back to you, “How long have you lived in the building? I’m sure I would have seen you before.”
You wave a hand nonchalantly, “Not very long, I moved in a couple of months ago. How long have you lived there?”
Fred sips at his tea, adding a dash of sugar and milk before answering, “Around eight months now.”
You nod at his answer, taking a drink of your latte. The caffeine was needed; the adrenaline from the spider incident had taken a while to leave your body, leaving you tossing and turning in your bed and providing you more opportunity to think about the red-headed neighbour you had just met.
“I’m going to propose an idea.”
“Oh?”
“I say we play twenty-one questions and get to know each other.”
“Get to know each other?”
You blink at him, “Yes. We’re neighbours and we’re having breakfast. What else should we talk about? The weather?”
Fred glances out the window at your words, a slow smile spreading over his face. “Well the weather is particularly lovely for London.”
You hush him, “That’s not very neighbourly of you.”
“Perhaps I’m not very neighbourly,” Fred taunts.
You gasp dramatically, “I refuse to believe that. If you weren’t neighbourly, you would have shut the door in my face last night.”
Fred raises an eyebrow, “Would you have started to knock again if I did?”
You purse your lips, repressing a smile, “Maybe.”
“Then I simply helped to lessen the noise.”
You scoff, “I don’t believe that for a second.”
“You don’t have to.”
You glare at him, “Fred, stop being an arsehole and let me get to know you.”
Fred barks out a laugh, covering his mouth at the volume of the noise, “Well, when you put it like that. What do you want to know?”
You beam at him, and Fred can’t help but smile back. “How old are you?” you ask.
“I’m 22.”
“Are you at university?”
Fred shakes his head, “I thought I was supposed to ask the next question.”
You level him with a look, “Answer this one and then you can ask the next one.”
“Alright, but you can’t go jumping in with another question before I’ve asked mine. No, I’m not at university,” You open your mouth to interrupt but close it when you remember Fred’s words. He smiles at you, “How old are you?”
“You can’t repeat questions!”
“Why not?” Fred asks, affronted, “It’s only fair I know your age too!”
“Fine,” you mutter, “I’m 22 as well. 23 in a month.”
Fred nods, waiting patiently for your next question. You open your mouth, the words ready on the tip of your tongue but the waitress returns with your breakfast. The very smell of it has Fred’s stomach rumbling; he hadn’t a cooked breakfast like this since he left the Burrow. He digs in with renewed vigour; repressing a moan at the taste of the fried bread.
“It’s good, isn’t it?”
Fred nods, unable to reply due to the mouthful of food he’s chewing.
You nod in understanding, swallowing your mouthful before saying, “I found this place in my final year of university; I needed somewhere that reminded me of my mum’s breakfasts. Her breakfasts will always be number one, but this comes pretty close.”
Fred pauses with a forkful of scrambled egg halfway to his mouth, “That’s what I miss most about home – my mum and her cooking.”
“Are you not from London originally?” You asks around a mouthful of bacon.
Fred shakes his head, “Devon originally. A tiny village in the county; it’s more of a hamlet really.”
Your eyes widen; eyebrows flying into your hairline, “Devon? That’s a while away. How often do you get to see your family?”
“Not as often as I’d like.” Fred says, drinking his tea.
For a moment, it’s silent between the two of you. The scraping of cutlery on plates being the only sound. Fred thinks of his family as he eats his breakfast; wondering what their plans are for the day – whether they’d be gnome hunting or playing quidditch or simply helping Molly with her vegetable garden. His heart hurts as he thinks of them; overcome with the absence of them from his life. It makes him shiver as he reaches for another drink of tea.
Fred breaks the comfortable silence, “What about you? Where are you from originally?”
“Lancashire originally but I moved to the south when I was young – it’s why my accent is so odd.”
Fred frown; he hadn’t noticed anything odd about your accent, thinking the way that you pronounced your vowels was similar to the way young Neville Longbottom does his, but yours are cut shorter.
“Tell me,” He starts, “Do you see your family as often as you’d like?”
“You’re going to repeat my every question, aren’t you?”
Fred grins, “Maybe… Maybe not. You’ll have to stick around to find out. Now, do you see your family as often as you’d like?”
You shake your head, “Not really. My parents like to travel a lot; a cruise here, a two week holiday there, a road trip across America through the summer. I don’t blame them though; they worked hard for the time they have now. I just wish they’d drop in more.”
“Are you rich?” Fred asks before he can stop himself. He cringes as the words leave his mouth.
You chuckle at the awkward expression on his face, “I’m not. My parents are. I’m a humble student working towards their master’s degree. My father created his company in printing greeting cards; he sold it off a few years back for a lot of money and they’ve been enjoying themselves since.”
“You’re a master’s student?” Fred asks; his knowledge on muggle degrees somewhat limited to what Hermione had told him.
You nod, scraping up the last forkful of food on your plate. “Yeah, I’m getting my master’s in Library Science.”
“What do you hope to do after that?”
“Work in a library or well, continue to work in a library, I already work at my university one. I’d love to work in an archives one day though, cataloguing pieces of history.”
Fred nods, enraptured by your words. He didn’t realise how much choice there was for muggles and their education. The wizarding world was somewhat limited to how witches and wizards could harness their talents; Fred and George were practically pariahs for choosing to dedicate their lives to pranks and happiness. He had always assumed the muggle world worked in the same way, but here you were, proving him wrong.
Knives and forks are crossed on plates when you ask, “You aren’t a university student, so you must have a job. What do you do for a living, Fred?”
Fred decides a kernel of truth wouldn’t do too much harm, “I own a joke shop with my twin brother.”
You laugh, clapping your hands together, “That’s incredible! Is the shop here in London?”
Fred nods, “It is. My twin brother is running it for the time being.”
“Can we go see it?”
Fred freezes; he hadn’t anticipated this. He glances down at the watch wrapped around his wrist then back up at you, not missing the glint of mischief in your eyes. “Perhaps another time?” he suggest, “I have some errands I need to run today that I can’t avoid.”
You lean back in your chair, feeling somewhat sad but you shake it off. “Of course, but I’ll hold you to that Fred. I won’t rest until I see your shop.”
Fred grins, “I have a feeling you’ll stick to your word.”
You move to reply but are interrupted by the waitress coming by to collect your plates and ask if you want anything else. She leaves the bill behind when her question is declined. Fred reaches for his wallet, but you stop him by snatching the bill.
“I made you a promise last night. Breakfast for your excellent services.”
Fred rubs a hand across the back of his neck, “I feel bad letting you pay.”
“Aren’t you a gentleman?” You tease, “No, I said I would buy you breakfast so I’m buying you breakfast. You can buy it next time.”
“So there’s going to be a next time?”
You shrug, biting your lip. “Sure – you might need my services for something. A blocked pipe or a blow fuse.”
Fred stands, pulling on his denim jacket, patting his inside pocket to find that his letter is still there.
You walk back to the main road together; waving goodbye to him as you head towards your university and he to a side street where he can apparate to the nearest wizarding post office. Fred hands his letter over to the clerk, paying a few extra knuts for express delivery.
Fred takes his time walking back to his flat; enjoying the spring day that was blooming around him. He felt lighter as he walked; as if he didn’t need to put as much effort into putting one foot in front of the other. He put it down to you and your presence; there was something about you that evoked all sorts of emotions from him. There was something about you that made him want to see you again.
However, he knew by tonight, the familiar fog will have settled over him – dulling the light of everything around him. He knew that he would still struggle to sleep; being lucky enough to get even an hour in before being pulled to consciousness kicking and screaming his way out of the same nightmare.
-----------------
His time over the next month is split three ways. He spends a third of it on his couch; watching old reruns of sitcoms – his new favourite being set in second muggle war and follows the Home Guard; Fred finds himself whistling the theme song more often than he’d like to admit. He uses his time on the couch to write his letters to Molly who was thrilled at the aspect of Fred making a friend; she wrote question after question about wanting to know their star sign to their hair colour. Fred smiles fondly; a smile reserved only for his mother – one that got even bigger when a second owl arrived with a small note with another question. Through all of her excited questioning, Molly forgot one crucial detail – what was their name?
He spends the second third of his time running. Fred had always been sporty; had always had an athletic build that helped him gain his spot on the Gryffindor Quidditch team as a Beater with George on the team too. However, there are few places in muggle London where he can play the sport freely, so he gets it into his head to pretend to train for a match. Fred begins to run; every morning and every evening. Two runs a day, seven days a week. The runs on an evening tire out his body so he has more of a chance of falling into bed with the hopeless prayer of a dreamless sleep uttered from his lips. However, the runs on a morning are more frantic as he runs off the excess adrenaline and panic running through his system as a result of the night terror his mind unleashed upon him, dragging him from sleep less than two hours after his eyes closed.
Then Fred spends the final third of his time with you. In your flat or walking around Hyde Park or visiting your university.
Fred finds himself spending more and more time with you; he starts to crave your company. And he feels ridiculous for feeling that way because he’s only known you for over a month and he should be using this time to start the healing process.
But he’s already told his mother about you; and who isn’t to say that he can’t work on healing from the trauma of the war with you by his side being a warm, comforting presence?
Fred sits on his couch at nearing two in the morning; questioning his entire existence and reasoning for moving to muggle society when he realises that whilst it’s only been just over a month, if he wants to start healing with you by his side, he needs to be entirely honest with you.
He needs to confess.
----------------
Fred inhales a deep breath before knocking on your door. He shuffles from side to side, nerves rioting in his stomach. In less than a minute, you’ve wrenched open your door, smiling widely as you take in Fred standing before you.
“Freddie! To what do I owe this pleasure?”
He holds his hands behind his back as he rocks back onto his heels, “Do you want to go on a walk?”
Your eyes run over his face; taking in the dark circles underneath his eyes. He had told you about his insomnia soon after the friendship began; it worried you, but Fred had reassured you that he had it controlled. “Are you having trouble sleeping?”
Fred nods, “That, and I really need to talk to you.”
“No problem. Let me just get my shoes on.”
Fred smiles as he watches you toe on the slip on trainers he had come to know as Vans. You told him just last week about your obsession with them; unable to resist buying a new pair each time you passed the shop.
You grab your jacket from the hook, pulling it on as you lock the door behind you, bumping into Fred as you step out into the hallway.
Fred leads you out of the building, turning the usual left that heads in the direction of the park. You struggle to keep up with his long strides; calling out for him to slow down a little so you can at least walk side by side. He smiles at you as you catch up to him; apologising for his speed, he is just anxious.
The walk to the park is walked in silence. Fred’s mind occupied with how he’s going to tell you the most important thing about himself and how you’re going to react when you find out that a lot of your friendship was built on a lie.
The park settles on the horizon too soon and his heart is in his mouth. Fred used to be a confident guy; happily getting involved in scheme after scheme that would bring chaos and laughter to the corridors of Hogwarts, but he had lost that part of him in the battle. He wondered if he would ever be that guy again.
You bump his shoulder, “We’re at the park, what did you want to talk about?”
Fred settles on a nearby bench; fiddling with his fingers, “I need to tell you something  but I’m not sure how to say it.”
“That’s fine. Why don’t you tell me why we’re in the park?”
Fred sighs, “It’s so you have the freedom and the choice to leave after I tell you what I’ve been keeping from you.”
Your heart starts to pound in your chest; panic rising slowly in your gut. “What have you been keeping from me that’s so bad that I would need to walk away from you?”
Fred turns in his spot, staring into your eyes, “Do you promise to hear me out and not interrupt?”
“Fred, you’re worrying me. What’s the matter?”
“Do you promise?”
“Yes, I promise! Now what’s wrong?”
“I’ve been lying to you… about so much.”
The air is knocked out of you, “I’m going to need more than that, Fred,” you whisper breathlessly.
“Do you remember when we first had breakfast? And I told you about the joke shop I own with my twin?”
“Yes… so what did you lie about? The joke shop or the twin?”
“Neither. I just lied about why you couldn’t see it.”
“Why?” You ask; your tone incredulous.
“Because I’m a wizard, and the joke shop I own with my twin – who is also a wizard – is a magical joke shops selling pranks and potions to witches and wizards attending Hogwarts.”
You stand from the bench, wrapping your arms tightly around yourself, wondering when the TV cameras are going to show up, “That isn’t funny, Fred.”
“I’m not joking, (Y/N). I’m not lying to you now.”
“How do I know? What’s Hogwarts? Who is your twin? What’s the name of your shop? Why aren’t you there?”
Fred had prepared himself for the barrage of questions he knew would inevitably fall from your mouth; curiosity being your besetting sin. He hadn’t prepared himself for the look of betrayal and hurt that crosses over face as you continue to stare at him. Fred feels his already broken heart break some more at the sight of it.
He runs a hand over his face, “(Y/N), love, please sit down. I’ll tell you everything.”
“Everything?” You question, “I want to know it all.”
Fred crosses over his heart, “I promise. Now please sit down.”
You sit next to him; a few inches away as if the small distance will help to protect the heart that you had already started to give to the broken red-headed man.
You remain silent as Fred sorts out his words; you can see the cogs in his mind working as he figures out how to explain an entire society that you hadn’t known existed until less than a minute ago.
Finally he releases a breath and begins.
“Witches and wizards have always been around, but after famous witch hunts such as Salem, Pendle, and Samlesbury, we had to go into hiding to protect our numbers. From the age of eleven, we go to Hogwarts. Hogwarts is a school in the highlands of Scotland dedicated to teaching young witches and wizards the art of magic as well as how to control it. My twin is called George; we’re identical and sometimes, our own mother struggles to tell us apart,” Fred breaks off with a short laugh, thinking of Molly with fondness.
“He’s my rock, he’s my best friend. We bought the joke shop when we were eighteen – it’s called Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes and it’s found in Diagon Alley. For your sake, it’s found near Charing Cross Road.”
Fred pauses once again, readying himself to explain his absence from the shop and his presence in your life. “I’m not there because I moved away. In our society, there was a dark wizard who started a war for purposes beyond me. I just know that when I was 21 I was running through the corridors of the school I used to attend fighting for my life and watching people I knew die. I almost died myself when a wall was blown apart; luckily, someone spelled me out of the way. I’ll be forever grateful to them for that.
“After the war, I couldn’t cope. I was doing more harm than good by being with my family – my insomnia stems from nightmares of the war so I left. I left them and moved here where I’ve started to heal from my experiences and where I met you after you started to bang on my door. I wanted to tell you sooner; my mother told me to in her letters, but I was enjoying my time with you, and I didn’t want to ruin what we have. It means a lot to me.”
Fred falls silent with a smile aimed at you. Your mouth hangs open from his words; unsure on whether to take them for the truth they sounded like or to question him to find the holes in his story.
But he looks so vulnerable; the smile is watery, and his eyes are lined with tears. You realise that it’s taken a lot for him to confess this to you, but that it had been weighing on his mind for some time.
You don’t say anything immediately. Instead, you draw his head to your shoulder, and he lets out the sob he’s been holding in since he started to talk about his past. You wrap your arms around him tightly; holding him together as he lets himself fall to pieces in your arms. You’re in public, and this is a scene but the both of you don’t care. You hold him to you until his sobs begin to quieten into sniffles.
“I’m sorry,” Fred murmurs, pulling away from you as he wipes his eyes.
“Never apologise for crying.”
He sniffles, “Do you believe me?”
You nod, “I do. I don’t think anyone could have made up what you just said. I don’t think there’s enough imagination in the world for it. But there’s one thing I want to know.”
Fred watches you warily, “What is it?”
You grip his hand tightly, “Are you healing, Fred? Are you coping?”
Fred’s shoulders slump as the tension leaves his body; he had tensed at your words, worried at what you might say. He stares into your eyes as he answers, “I am. I was struggling at first, but I think I’m starting to heal.”
“Can I help? How can I help?”
Fred pats your hand, “Continue doing what you’re doing, it’s enough.”
And it is. Fred finds it easier to breathe in your presence as if the weight of the world is no longer on his shoulders like he were Atlas. Instead, he finds it easier to focus on other things such as plans for the day or listening to you talk about your latest assignment. He doesn’t feel his mind drift off as much when he’s around you; which is a good thing, he thinks.
You smile at him, still holding onto his hand, “I can do that.”
You both fall into quiet; eyes now focused on the expanse of the park. Fred watches a young mother push her young son the swings, hearing his delighted laughter, whilst your eyes land on the teenage couple making out underneath a tree; you move your eyes away quickly, focusing instead, on the ducks swimming in the pond.
You break the silence, “Fred?”
He hums in answer.
“Would you cast a spell for me?” You ask tentatively, “If that’s okay!”
Fred smiles softly; letting go of your hand to reach for the dogwood wand he keeps hidden up his sleeve. With flare he hasn’t shown since opening the store, he pulls the wand out. He rolls the wand over his fingers, “Wizards can practice magic outside of school from the age of seventeen; I can show you a spell.”
“Really?” You ask, bouncing in your place.
“Are you ready?”
“Hold on, let me think for a minute… YES.” You shout, stamping your feet in the grass.
Fred grins; his eyes crinkling in the corners from the size of his smile. He checks for witnesses before holding his wand up whispering the incantation ‘Lumos’. The tip of his wand begins to glow with a pale light which in the falling darkness of the day only helps him see the beauty in your features.
You gasp at the sight of the light emanating from Fred’s wand, resisting the urge to reach out and touch it. “I can’t believe it,” you sigh, “All this time I asked you to change lightbulbs and you could create light with a single word.”
“You’re not scared or freaked out?” He asks, unable to stop himself. The small voice in the back of his head needed to know whether you were going to leave him.
You shake your head, still watching the pale white light. With a single whisper of ‘Nox’, Fred turns out the light and slides his wand back into his sleeve. You turn your attention back to Fred, “I’m not scared or freaked out. I’m just in awe of you and this entire society that’s survived in secret. I feel like I’m privy to a secret organisation.”
“You’re in awe of me?” Fred asks; those being the only words he focused on in your entire sentence after confirming you weren’t scared of him.
“Absolutely. You can conjure magic, Fred! Actual magic! It’s incredible,” Your hands frame his face, keeping his eyes on you as you lean close and whisper, “You are incredible.”
He covers your hands with his; wondering when he’d become so soft. “Thank you,” he replies.
You pull away too soon; Fred’s hands dropping to his side, feeling suddenly cold at the loss of contact.
Standing from the bench, you hold your hand out for Fred to take. “Come on, magic man. It’s time we went home.”
“Magic man?” He asks, amused. He takes your offered hand, pulling himself up from the park bench.
“It’s my new nickname for you, do you like?”
“Magic man… magic man,” Fred repeats, testing the name out on his tongue, “I suppose I do.”
“Good, because I don’t think I’ll call you anything else.”
The walk back to the flat is quicker than the walk to the park. Fred’s steps lighter now than they were earlier. Chased by the turning on of street lights, you reach your building and lead him into your flat, offering him a warm drink as he takes a seat on your cream coloured couch.
Fred takes the hot mug of tea from you as you sit down next to him. He takes a shy sip, careful not to burn his tongue. It’s perfect, as it always is. You always know the right amount of sugar and milk to add.
“Thank you for telling me that today, I know it wasn’t easy for you.”
“It wasn’t, but it got easier when you didn’t walk away. I was so worried that you were going to.”
“I don’t think I’d have forgiven myself if I had.”
Teas are drank after that, and Fred whispers goodnight to you before kissing your cheek in a rare moment of tenderness. He lets himself out of your flat, making the short walk back to his where he throws himself on the couch and lets himself wonder when exactly he had started to fall in love with you.
-----------------
Two more months follow, and Fred knows that he’s now arse over tea kettle in love you. From the top of your head to the tips of your toes, that you like to shove under legs when laid on the couch together, so he yelps at their temperature.
Two more months follow, and Fred feels like he’s maybe able to start living his life again, but in small doses. He writes to his mother more who’s delighted by the tales he tells of you and your growing relationship; he could never keep anything from Molly – her face too trusting and her manner too warm. All Molly is concerned about in her letters is whether Fred is happy, and for the first time in over a year, Fred can reply saying he thinks he could be.
Molly won’t ever tell Fred this, but she cried at that letter, feeling her heart burst with happiness for the son she had always worried about.
Time passes, and Fred spends more and more time with you. Breakfast dates, lunch dates, movie marathons on the couch – he does it all with you. You even go so far as to make him decorate his flat more; pictures of his family now line the walls as well as the picture of him and George on the opening day of Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes.
That’s when he knows he needs to go back to Diagon Alley, and he’s taking you with him.
-----------------
At nine am on the dot, Fred knocks on your door until you open it. You glare at the red-headed man, demanding to know his presence at your door when he only left at four am after binging the entire Godfather trilogy without realising how long the films are.
Fred beams at your state, “Go get dressed, I’ll make you some coffee.”
“Why?” You ask, puzzled.
“I’m taking you to Diagon Alley and my joke shop.”
You stagger back a couple of steps, “Really? Are you sure? Are you ready?”
Fred’s grin moulds into something softer at your concern. “I am, and I want you to come with me.”
A slow smile breaks across your face, “Give me ten minutes and we can go!”
You rush into your room; pulling open the doors to your wardrobe and raking through to find any sort of clothes you’d wear to visit a magical shop, and possibly meet the twin brother of the man you’d fallen in love with.
Minutes later, you exit your room, pulling a brush through your hair to make yourself look more presentable. Gratefully, you take the cup of coffee from Fred’s hand before rushing into your bathroom to brush your teeth and spritz yourself in your favourite perfume – jasmine, lavender and citrus.
You drain the dregs of your coffee as you leave the bathroom. Dropping the pale pink mug in the sink, you turn to find Fred leaning against your kitchen counter with an amused and entertained look on his face.
“Someone’s excited, I see.” He teases.
You pout, “It’s not every day I get to go see magical London, magic man.”
Fred claps his hands, laughing quietly. “Come on then, let’s get you to Diagon Alley.”
--------------
Diagon Alley is nestled behind Charing Cross Road; it’s the largest area of wizarding London and is completely hidden from the muggle world.
Fred has been visiting Diagon Alley for as long as he can remember; flooing there with his mother and Bill, Charlie and Percy to collect their things for the latest school year. As a child, he loved visiting Florean Fortescue’s when the budget permitted it; getting a single scoop cone with rainbow sprinkles.
As he enters the Leaky Cauldron, leading you in by the hand, Fred is a mix of fear and excitement making him act jittery as he approaches the familiar face of Tom, the barman.
“Fred Weasley? Is that you?” Tom asks, a large smile on his face, “I haven’t seen you in over a year! How have you been?”
“I’ve been well, Tom. How have you been?”
“Never better – you know me.”
Fred smiles, nodding. “I’m heading out back, is that okay?”
“Anything for a Weasley. Does this have something to do with the muggle hiding behind your back?”
You reveal yourself from where you’ve hidden yourself behind Fred. Keeping a tight hold on his hand, you smile shyly at the barman, “I’m (Y/N). It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
Tom smiles politely, “It’s a pleasure to meet you too.” Tom turns his attention back to Fred, “You know what to do.”
Fred parts ways with barman he had grown up knowing, pulling you to the back door which opens into a small courtyard.
“Fred, love, it’s a dead end.”
“Are you sure?” Fred asks with a smirk, reaching for his wand. “Want to see some proper magic?”
“Always, magic man.”
He grins at the use of your nickname for him before tapping his wand on the bricks blocking your way. You cry out as the bricks begin to move; shifting to the side to reveal an entryway to a cobbled street lined with shop after shop all varying in colours.
Letting go of Fred’s hand, you take your first step into the wizarding world; already in love with every aspect of it, just as you’re in love with every aspect of the man making his way to your side.
“What do you think?” He asks, breathless at the sight of the place he hasn’t seen in a year.
“This is unlike any other place I’ve seen.” You hold your hand out for Fred to grab, “Show me around?”
“With pleasure,” Fred replies, wrapping your hand in his, tangling your fingers.
Fred takes you on a tour of the Alley; stopping outside Ollivander’s and getting out his wand to explain the importance of the place, turning his wand around to show you what he means. He tells you the story of Harry Potter; of what his wand meant, being the twin of the wand that had killed his parents. Your heart breaks for the boy you had never met; had never even heard of until today – you ask after him, how is he now? Fred reassures you; after all, he’s fine, Harry’s dating his younger sister much to Fred’s chagrin.
He takes you into Florean Fortescue’s, buying you ice cream for breakfast as any adult should have. Your eyes widen at the taste of the Butterbeer ice cream; butterscotch and buttercream icing bursting on your tongue. Fred smiles at your expression, licking his way through his own ice cream – strawberries and cream for nostalgia’s sake.
Sitting down at a small table, you tap your ice creams to each other in a toast. “Where are we going next?” You ask, catching a drip of the melting ice cream with your tongue – not missing the way Fred’s eyes track the movement.
“I thought we could visit my shop.”
“Your shop?” You ask in disbelief, “Are you sure?”
Fred nods, catching a drip on his own ice cream. He doesn’t miss the way your eyes also track the movement of his mouth. “Yes, I’m sure.” He looks away, ashamed, “I’ve left George alone too long.”
You reach for his hand across the table, “I’m sure he understands, Fred.”
“I know he does, but it doesn’t stop the guilt.”
You rub your thumb across the back of his hand in a comforting motion, “Are you sure you’re okay to go? We can always come back another day.”
“You’d come back with me?”
You grin, “Of course, this is the best ice cream I’ve ever had. I’m here for you, magic man – who else is going to kill the spiders in my bathroom?”
Fred relaxes, “You’re the best, you know that right?”
You take another lick of your ice cream, “I do know that. Do you want to stay and see your brother, or do you want to go? I’m happy with either, but you’re going to have to give me time to get more ice cream.”
Fred laughs at your words, “It is good ice cream,” he takes a lick of his, “No, let’s go. I need to see him; I need to apologise.”
“Alright then. We’ll finish here and then we’ll go to Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes… at last.”
He nods, remaining silent. The ice creams are finished in silence; questioning looks sent to each other across the table. Your feelings for Fred often overwhelmed you with their strength; never imagining that knocking on his door in the early hours of the morning could ever lead to something like this. In the short time you had known the man, you had fallen head over heels for him and also had your entire worldview altered by finding out about the existence of magic.
He’d quite literally turned your world upside down, and the only thing that ran through your mind through it all was: I hope he feels the same.
Soon though, faces are wiped on napkins and hands are back to hold each other’s as Fred leads you from the ice cream parlour to where the orange top hat stands out against the darkly coloured shops.
In a last minute attempt to delay the inevitable, Fred pulls you over to the pet shop. You coo over the animals; pointing to the Puffskein with questions burning on your tongue. Fred answers them all happily, delighted to delay walking into the shop and brother he’s neglected for so long.
After a few more minutes, you step away from the shop window citing the temptation being too great and you may end up smuggling the Puffskeins to the muggle world.
“That was a fantastic distraction, magic man.”
“Wasn’t it?” He admits, blushing at having been caught out but not wanting to lie to you, “It worked like a treat.”
You chuckle, “It really did. They remind me of clouds do the Puffskeins; neon, furry clouds.”
Fred snorts, “An excellent description.”
The joke shop now looms in front of the two of you; the bright orange and purple of the paintwork almost luminous in the morning light. Fred stops in the middle of the pavement; feet stuck to the floor, unable to carry him forward. He’s avoided this for so long, but he finally feels ready to insert himself back into the life of pranks, jokes, and happiness.
Your grip on his hand tightens, “I’m here, magic man. I’m not going anywhere.”
His nod is the only sign you get to know that he’s heard your words.
Taking a deep breath, Fred begins to put one foot in front of the other; a hand outstretched for the door handle to the shop, giving it a light push. The bell above the door rings, signalling his entrance into the shop but also his entrance into his old life.
The shop is quiet; it being still too early in the day to get masses and masses of shoppers. Their busy season is the three weeks in August before terms starts where students come to buy their school books but to also stock up on items of mischief.
A near identical man to Fred stands up straighter from his position behind the counter. He starts to open his mouth, to welcome the new customers to the shop but when he looks up, the words never leave his mouth.
He simply freezes in place.
His eyes flicker between the two of you quickly, before running over the man stood next to you. Looking for what, you don’t know.
In between one blink of an eye and the next, he’s thrown himself across the counter, sprinting to where Fred stands in the entryway.
No words are spoken; he just holds Fred’s face in his hands before pulling him in for a hug that’s been long overdue.
You step away from their reunion, letting your eyes roam over the shop. They need this moment alone; you don’t need to invade by watching them. You wander a little; fingers running over displays. You frown when you see you an area lit up in pink titled ‘Love Potion’.
You pick up one of the little bottles shaped like a heart; the bright pink liquid inside jostling as you examine it.
“Careful,” A voice sounds behind you, “It’s a powerful potion.”
Turning you find Fred’s twin, George watching you with inquisitive eyes. “What does it do?” You ask, fiddling with the stopper.
“It mimics the effects of love and obsession. If you smell it, you smell the person you love.”
You raise an eyebrow, “Truly?”
George nods, “Truly. We sell crates full of the stuff nearing Valentine’s Day.”
Releasing the stopper from the neck of the bottle, you take a delicate sniff. Peonies, rain, and Yorkshire tea come filtering through. The very smells you’ve become to associate with the man who had never really been your neighbour but has always been something more.
Replacing the stopper, you drop the potion into George’s waiting hand. He pockets it before turning back to face his twin.
“What did you smell?” Fred asks as you settle back next to him.
You shrug, “Nothing I didn’t already know.”
George grins at the two of you, “Is this the famous (Y/N) from your letters to mum?”
You nudge Fred with your elbow, beaming, “You write to your mum about me, magic man?”
“Hold on – magic man?” George asks, eyes glancing at both Fred and you.
You nod, “It’s my nickname for him.”
George chuckles, “It’s brilliant. I may have to use it myself.”
Fred blushes at his brother’s use of your nickname for him. He doesn’t say it, but it doesn’t sound right coming from anyone else’s mouth but yours.
“Anyway, it’s nice to meet you, (Y/N). Mum already loves you. I’m George.” George introduces, holding a hand out to you.
You shake his hand twice before dropping it, “It’s very nice to meet you too, George. Fred has told me so much.”
“He has?”
You nod, “He’s told me all about the pranks you played at Hogwarts and why you set up this shop – which I think is wonderful by the way – I feel like I already know you.”
George shifts his gaze to his twin, “I don’t know why but I didn’t think you’d talk about me.”
Fred gapes, “Of course I talk about you. You’re my twin brother, you’re practically half of me.”
George shrugs, “You only send letters to mum… I just assumed.”
Fred steps forward, placing his hands on George’s shoulders, “Mum made me promise to write, I couldn’t break that. I wanted to write to you so much, George, but the guilt I felt as just leaving you and the shop was too much and then more time passed. I’ve been an awful brother; can you forgive me?”
George laughs, tears falling freely down his face. “There’s nothing to forgive now that I know why.”
Fred hauls George into a hug; neither afraid to show their emotions through this reunion. Fred had been so worried before this; thinking his brother might turn him away at the door, but now holding him in his arms, he’s just happy to have his twin by his side once more.
They pull away with a sob; George clapping Fred on the back. “Will you be returning to work, Freddie?”
Fred’s eyes land on you; where you’ve stood silently through the whole exchange, just happy to see the two brothers reunite. His eyes search your face for something, and he finds it in your smile. “Yeah, George. I think I might do.”
George glances between you and Fred as if seeing the connection there. He keeps his mouth shut but smiles at the fact that his twin has found someone to share his life with.
You spend a couple more hours in the shop; pottering freely as Fred and George discuss the state of the business and when Fred would like to start work again. Pride runs through your veins as you listen to them from the upper floor; Fred has achieved so much in such a short space of time and you couldn’t be more prouder of him.
You also couldn’t be more in love with him. He handles himself with such grace; standing taller, smiling more. The more time you spent with him, the more you could feel yourself falling for him. Nights alone in your flat had you thinking of what it would be like to be laid in bed next to him – would he cuddle? Would he let you lay your head on his chest? Or would he prefer to spoon? You had spent so many nights thinking of these questions, trying to think of answers.
“(Y/N)?” Fred calls from the lower floor, “Are you ready to go?”
“Already?” You ask, descending the staircase.
Fred nods, “I’ll come back tomorrow and talk more to George about what I need to do. It’s time we got some lunch, however.”
Your stomach grumbles at his words, “You’ve got great timing it seems, magic man.”
He shakes his head, laughing softly, “No. I just know you too well.”
You smile at him before turning to George to say goodbye. George smiles at you, saying, “I’m sure we’ll be seeing each other very soon,” with a wink at Fred.
The tips of Fred’s ears burn red as he claps his twin on the shoulder, promising he’ll call in tomorrow. “Tell mum you’ve seen me, will you? I know she worries,” Fred calls on his way out.
“Already on it!” are George’s final words before the door closes.
----------------------
Sitting at a corner table in The Leaky Cauldron, Fred continues to ride on the high from seeing his twin brother after a year apart. He’s positively ravenous; the nerves before having dampened his appetite. He takes it upon himself to order for the both you; checking that you don’t mind. You wave him away, stating that you wouldn’t even know where to begin with ordering.
Tom hands Fred your drinks after ordering, letting him know it’d be around ten minutes before food was with you. Fred thanks the barman, picking up the drinks to return you.
“I’m really proud of you, Fred.” You state, taking a sip of the sweet Butterbeer.
“You are?” He asks bashfully.
“I am. It took a lot of bravery to do what you did today.”
Fred blushes, but doesn’t drop his eyes from yours. “I think I’m going to be brave one last time.”
“You are?”
“Yes,” He states, reaching for your hand, “I’ve only known you for less than six months but in that time you’ve helped me find who I was before the war. You’ve helped me find the laughter that was missing. What I’m trying to say is, is that I’ve fallen in love with you, (Y/N).”
“Oh, Fred,” You sniffle, “I love you too.”
“You do?”
You nod, “I really do. I love every last bit of you.
Fred sags in his chair; holding onto your hand tighter, “I was so worried you wouldn’t love me back.”
“No chance of that, magic man.”
The smile that breaks across his face is simply breathtaking, and you thank your lucky stars that the man you’ve fallen in love with, loves you back, just as much.
Tom fetches your food over then, settling two plates onto table. It smells divine and without letting go of Fred’s hand, you pick up your fork and dig in.
The meal is eaten in silence; happy looks and secret smiles exchanged over the steaming plates of food. Fred’s thumb rubs over the back of your hand; the motion now having another meaning alongside ‘I’m here’. Elation bubbles within you, flooding your veins. The love you feel for this man is entirely encompassing, filling your very pores, combining with your genetic makeup.
For as delicious as the meal is, the both of you barely taste it. Plates are empty in no time, and Fred leaves Tom a tip on the table. He pulls you up with him, dragging you to the door and back to muggle London.
It feels like a fever dream; stepping back into the reality you’ve known all your life until you met the red-headed man stood next to you.
Fred tugs you into him; his arm wrapping around your waist. He drops your hand in favour of caressing your cheek. His brown eyes sparkle with love and joy as he dips his head, pausing just before he touches his lips to yours, waiting for permission. You grant him in the form of pushing your mouth to his.
Your arms wrap around his neck, pulling him in close, feeling all of him pressed against all you. He tastes of the butterscotch from the dregs of his Butterbeer and you hum against his mouth – it’s intoxicating. He’s intoxicating; you could lose yourself entirely in him and you wouldn’t mind a bit. Your hand runs through his hair, tugging lightly. Your toes curl at the sound of the low moan from the back of his throat.
From the outside, this looks like a simple passionate embrace between a young couple. They don’t know how long this kiss has been in the making; how many time you’ve wondered exactly what Fred would taste like, and now you have that knowledge, it’s not something you’ll be parting with soon.
Eventually, you pull away from him, coming back to the surface for breath but Fred doesn’t let you go. He holds onto you tightly, pressing kiss after kiss to your face making you giggle at his affectionate side.
He lets you go for a single instant to pull you into the side street beside The Leaky Cauldron. He wraps you tightly into his side, savouring the feel of you lined next to him.
“This is going to make you dizzy,” is his only warning before he apparates back to your flat.
----------------
Though confessions have been uttered, Fred takes his time to learn your body.
Kissing you slowly; peeling your clothes off your body with the air of someone who has all the time in the world – and he does. He takes his time to memorise every inch of your body; every dip, every curve, every freckle. He commits it all to memory though the both of you know that you’ll be doing this for a very long time. He whispers words of worship into your skin; your body was a cathedral and he was going to worship at your feet.
You take your time with him; running your hand through the hair on his chest before trailing it lower, watching how the muscles in his toned stomach jump at your touch. A simple touch, and it drives him wild.
He draws you in for a kiss; flipping the both of you so you’re underneath him. He braces himself above and you spend the rest of the night, and most of the morning, learning the noises that can be evoked from a kiss in the right place.
-----------------
It surprised Fred that it takes his mother almost a month to send him a letter demanding that she finally get to meet the person who had stolen her son’s heart.
Fred reads the letter beside you at the breakfast table; chuckling at his mother’s words over his morning cup of tea. He hands you the letter once he’s finished reading, watching your face for every emotion as well as letting his gaze drop to the small purple bruises at the base of your neck, laid there by his mouth.
You hold a hand up to your mouth, repressing the smile. “Your mother wants to meet me?”
Fred nods, “She has for a while, but I didn’t want to scare you away.”
“There’s no chance of that now, magic man, especially after last night.”
Fred blushes but beams, satisfied. “Would you like to meet them?”
You pause, tilting your head to one side as you think of how to phrase your next few sentences, “I don’t want to presume anything, but I’d like to think I’m going to be in your life for a long while. I think the earlier I meet your family, the better.”
Fred takes your hand in his, dropping a kiss to the top of it. “You aren’t presuming anything; I want you in my life for an eternity and more. But are you sure you want to meet them? I’m from a very large family, and if I know them, it’ll be partners as well.”
You lean over to press a kiss to his cheek then to peck his lips quickly, “I love the worry, but it’s okay. I want to meet them, and I want to see pictures of my magic man as a baby.”
Fred groans; he’s forgotten about the baby pictures but from the look on your face, he know he’s fighting a losing battle. He kisses you quick, “I’ll send an owl to my mum now, letting her know we’ll come tomorrow, how does that sound?”
You hum happily, “That sounds like just enough time for me to find an outfit good enough.”
-----------------
Molly Weasley opened Fred’s letter with a shriek; rushing to reply before getting started on calling the family together. She sends her Patronus to Charlie in Romania; threatening death should he not return home for this occasion. Charlie replies within two hours by showing up on the doorstep with his girlfriend, Evie in tow.
The whole family under one roof again would be something of an event; and one Molly would not waste by having petty squabbles and nasty reminders. She lines her family up in the living room; boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands and wives and proceeds to lecture about what this means. She’s grateful it being a Friday evening so she can lecture the whole family without absentees claiming work as the excuse.
Halfway through her lecture to her family, Arthur places a soft hand on her shoulder, “Molly, dear, we’re going to be on our best behaviour.”
She whimpers, “I haven’t seen my son is so long, Arthur.”
He wraps an arm around his wife’s shoulder, knowing the toll Fred’s absence took on her. He had been the unexpected twin; but they didn’t love him any less for it. On the contrary, Molly loved him more for the fear of his siblings making him feel unwanted.
“I know, dear. But we all promise to be on our bestest behaviour, don’t we gang?”
Confirmation rings out across all six of their children and their partners. Molly levels them all with a look, “Fred is bringing his muggle girlfriend with him, and George has told me it’s serious. We aren’t going to have a problem with that are we?”
“Definitely not,” George calls out to the agreement of his siblings and siblings-in-law, “(Y/N) is a sweetheart; you’ll see the moment they both arrive.”
Molly dismisses her family; dispersing them to different rooms with different jobs to make the house presentable for Fred and (Y/N)’s visit tomorrow.
-------------------
Tomorrow arrives quickly, and before you know it, the sun is shining through your window and the birds have begun their morning song. Fred’s arm hangs over your waist in a dead weight; you shift him gently as you make your way out of your bed and into the bathroom to begin your day.
By the time Fred wakes, you’re dressed and are brushing through your hair. With a lazy grin, he watches you get ready for the day. He’s in utter awe of how he met someone like you, but then you meet his eyes in the mirror and that awe transforms into something warmer.
He drags himself out of the warm bed desperate to feel you under his hands. He places his hands on your shoulder, dropping a soft kiss to the top of your head.
“Good Morning,” He whispers, his voice still raspy with sleep, “You look beautiful.”
You hum, “Good Morning sleepy head. The kettle boiled a few minutes ago and there’s a teabag waiting in your favourite pot.”
“You’re a dream,” Fred calls out, pottering into the kitchen.
“And you’re a flatterer, magic man,” You call back; grinning when you hear his laughter.
Time flies by in a rush of breakfast, clothes, and kisses and before you know it, it’s time to apparate all the way to Devon.
“Are you ready?” Fred asks; your hand tight in his. You don’t miss the double meaning to his words.
“Take me to Devon, magic man,” is all you reply before your flat turns into a whirlpool of blended colours and you’re spat back out on the outskirts of green, green farmland.
Not letting go of your hand, Fred leads you in the direction of his childhood home. Air he hasn’t smelt in over a year wash over him, bringing with it a tidal wave of memories. Nostalgia settles within him as he glances down at you to gauge your reaction to his home.
The Burrow stands proudly in the valley between two hills. You gasp at the sheer height of it, “This is where you grew up?”
Fred nods, eyes on you, “It is. I lived here until I moved to London.”
“It’s incredible,” You whisper, taking a step forward, and then another, and then another until you break through the long grass into a clearing. A garage is situated to the left of the large house, and you can just make out the canes for a vegetable garden. You nod as if understanding every motive for the placement of everything; if you were to live somewhere like here, you’d too grow your own food.
Fred draws your attention back to him by speaking, “Through there is where we practice Quidditch; the game I told you about from Hogwarts?” He continues when he sees you nod, “Then behind there is a pond that a family of frogs live in. To the right of us is mum’s garden, it’s her pride and hoy – she excels at household charms, but she’s a wonder in the garden too.”
“Fred, this place is incredible. I already love it and I haven’t even met your family.”
Fred smiles, “You won’t need to wait very long; here’s George.”
You turn from the sight of the growing vegetables to see George making his way over to you. “Fred! (Y/N)! How are you?” he calls out.
Fred waves at his twin, leading you to him. “We’re good, Georgie. How is everyone?”
George beams at his twin and then you, “They’re beside themselves with excitement. Mum screeched when she got your letter; gave us a lecture on decorum and everything.”
Fred laughs; his heart swelling with love and fondness for the woman who had raised him with such love and care.
“What do you say, (Y/N)?” George starts, “Ready to meet the Weasley clan?”
You grin at George and then at Fred; utterly besotted by this man, “Lead the way.”
George claps his hands before turning his back on you, heading towards the open door. You follow him at a faster pace than the one you had done when walking up to the house. Eagerness settling in your stomach as you keep your eyes on the open door.
Fred keeps pace with you easily; both nerves and excitement coursing through his veins.
He hears his mother before he sees her, “Fred! My darling,” she cries, tackling him into a hug so tight Fred thinks his ribs might break. You pause next to him; Fred’s arm angled awkwardly as he hugs his mum with one arm – you move to let go of his hand so he can hug his mother properly, but his hold on you tightens.
“Hi Mum, I’ve missed you,” Fred says at the sound of her cries, “I’m home mum, and I’m starving so let’s get something to eat, shall we? I’ve missed your cooking too much.”
Molly wipes her eyes, running them over her son, “I think you have. You’re looking far too thin, darling,” Her eyes land on you; they widen for a second before she’s tackling you in a hug. She whispers, “Thank you” in your ear before saying much louder, “I’m so glad I finally get to meet you, dear. I’ve read so much about you I feel I know you already but it’s never the same thing.”
You return her hug with just as much vigour, “Thank you for having me, I love your home.”
Molly pulls away, “You’re lovely; you’re perfect for Fred, I know it. Come on in, it’s time we ate, and you can meet the rest of the family.”
Your stomach ties itself in knots as you follow Fred into his childhood home. Voices starts to shout upon the sight of Fred entering the home; he grins at them all, greeting them by name, passing out kiss after kiss on the cheek as well as hugs to his brothers.
Then it’s all silent as the crowd turns to you. Fred’s hand drops your and his arm wraps around your waist, “Everyone this is (Y/N). Please be nice, I’m rather fond as you’ve probably heard from mum and George.”
Everyone greets you as if you’ve been part of the family for years; kisses on cheeks and tight hugs as everyone introduces themselves. A dream of your since you were child was to have  a large family, and now with Fred, it seems as if that dream would finally be possible.
His arm rests on the back of your chair as the family take their seats at the table. The food is served with loudness and love; Molly taking extra care with her cooking to make sure it’s perfect for you. From your first bite, you understand what Fred was on about all those months ago. After eating Molly’s food, you would be ruined for anyone else’s.
It’s wonderful; they take you in with open arms, ignoring the fact that you’re a muggle because to them, it doesn’t matter. They aren’t bothered whether you have magic or not, just that you love Fred and make him happy.
------------------
After the meal, Fred watches you interact with his family; explaining to his father the purpose of your degrees and your plans for the future as Arthur sits there entirely enraptured. He watches you asking Charlie question after question about Dragons with Charlie only being too happy to answer – his girlfriend Evie chiming in every now and then with her own knowledge on the subject matter.
He watches you talk animatedly; eyed wide and hands gesturing wildly, fitting in with his family better than he could have dreamed of.
Sighing happily, Fred realises three things:
One – his family would always be there for him, no matter the issue. They’re there to help, to never hinder.
Two – he’s still healing. It will be a long time before he’s recovered from the war, and he’s accepted that.
And three – he’s moving forward with all that in tow because he’s found the love of his life and he’s finally ready to start living it.
*********
General (HP) taglist: @chaotic-fae-queen​ @obsessedwithrandomthings​ @harrypotter289​ @dreamer821​ @kalimagik​ @heloisedaphnebrightmore​ @nebulablakemurphy​ @the-hufflefluffwriter​ @figlia--della--luna​ @bforbroadway​ @idont-knowrn​ @summer-writes​ @big-galaxy-chaos​ @black-lake-confessions​ @annasofiaearlobe​ 
Fred Weasley taglist: @susceptible-but-siriusexual
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jurassicbarnes-archives · 5 months ago
Text
“Ride with Me” Part 2
«A DATE»
Summary: [Modern-Day AU] When his best friend forces him to third wheel on a road trip, Bucky doesn’t expect for it to become so eventful, let alone find something, or rather someone worth staying for.
Pairing: Detective!Bucky x Biker!Reader
Word Count: 8.2k
Warnings: fluff, some language, biker stuff, there’s smut at the end but you can skip it :)
Author’s Note: hello! y’all they have to bang it out before it’s a goodbye sorry :(
TAGLIST IS OPEN! add yourself here! (or shoot me an ask if you can’t)
“Ride With Me” Masterlist | Masterlist Here
(gif/photo isn’t mine)
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You have a humble apartment of your own in the better part of the town. It’s a three-story building with six apartments and you got to choose the cosiest and affordable of them all, right on the ground floor where you also hit the jackpot on renting a place for your workstation.
The apartment’s nothing big or like the teahouses where the rest of the gang lives. Just one bedroom, a bathroom and a living room attached to the kitchen. The greatest amount of sunlight mostly spills from the window in your living area where your best friend sometimes passes out after a long day. You adopted two stray cats, named Joe and Merlin. They mostly come and go through the window in your kitchen. They don’t stay attached to one place, so you don’t see them every day. But you still have their litter box under the small dining table for their convenience.
You have your own little world here, decorated all by yourself with an invitation to only very few authorized people.
That includes Sam, Peter and of course, Natasha Romanoff. And speaking off Romanoff, it looks like she has already made herself quite at home this morning.
You wake up to the clacking noise of something falling. It takes you a few seconds to realize that it came from the kitchen. Climbing off your bed, you stretch your limbs, yawning. You grab your pyjama bottoms, lazily wearing them. The intruder in your apartment can wait.
It’s not so much like an intruder than your best friend.
Another noise of a utensil falling and you groan in annoyance as you make your way out of the bedroom.
As soon as you enter the kitchen doorway, you stop dead in your tracks. Jaw set in tight, lips in a frown.
“You woke me.” You said in a low voice.
Natasha takes one look at you and snorts. “Good morning. Your hair looks like a bird’s nest.”
Rolling your eyes, you slump against the doorway. “What are you doing, Nat?”
“Making a smoothie. It’s a healthy way to start your day.” Her voice was smooth and a bit taunting.
“That’s not what I meant, smartass. What’s all this crap doing out of its place?” You point your hands at the mess.
She smiles at you awkwardly, “I was trying to find the lid of your blender. I’ll take care of it after I’m done with my smoothie.”
You snort as if you know better, “No, you won’t.”
You make your way to the second-hand couch avoiding the mess in the kitchen. Sighing, you flump your bottom on it, swinging your legs and laying on your back.
Nat always does this, sneaking into your apartment ever since you got it. She was the first person you gave a spare key to. And though it was only for emergencies, she often used it to stay here. Occasionally she brings a one-night stand, but it’s okay. You don’t mind it one bit. But it’s her morning visits that bother you. Like today.
She’s in her sports bra and cycle shorts, meaning she just came back from a run. Her long straight auburn hair tied in a ponytail. She sets a pot of coffee for you after asking if you wanted some.
“So, how was last night?” She asks after switching off the blender. Nat makes her way to your small living room both hands holding her green smoothie and your coffee.
Taking the steaming mug from her, you say small thanks. “Last night?” Another yawn makes its way past your lips.
“You were with that biker, right? I saw you leaving with him.”
“Oh, yeah.” You take a sip, humming at the bittersweet taste. “We had fun.”
She slurps, smirking with that straw still between her lips. “Oh, so we’re calling it fun now? Doesn’t matter, I need details.”
You give her a pointed look over the coffee mug, taking a sip. “Nat–”
“Is he still in your bed or did he leave?”
Shifting in your seat, you bite the inside of your cheek, “He didn’t… We didn’t…”
“What are you trying to say?”
“We didn’t sleep with each other.”
“But you brought him back to your place?”
“No.”
“Then where did you go?”
“We went on a little ride.”
“And then you fucked!” She exclaimed, “On your motorcycle? Oh, my god! That’s kinky.”
“No! Nat, we didn’t fuck.”
“Then what did you do?”
“We talked and… kissed a little.”
She smacks her lips, keeps her smoothie on the messy coffee table and turns her whole body on the couch to face you. “You just talked and kissed? That’s all? Since when do you take a very hot, eligible guy out of a bar and just kiss him?”
“Ever since I know that I’ll be seeing him again, soon.” You give her a shrug, “Maybe every once in a while I do things to surprise you instead of it being the other way round.” You smirk to yourself, drinking your coffee.
Clicking her tongue, Nat shakes her head in disbelief. It took her by surprise. It’s not like you to let go of a chance of getting laid on a Friday night. Besides, everyone in the town knows everyone. So, meeting someone new is not something that happens every week. The last time you got laid was at a bikers convention. That was three months ago.
So, naturally, when this hot, sturdy biker guy shows up out of the blue at your town’s only bar, it makes her wonder how come you didn’t jump his bones the second you got the chance.
Even though she had her suspicions about his identity and it made her a little worried about you.
But the thing is, she doesn’t have to. First of all, you’re not seventeen anymore, that little girl who needed to be taken care of is all grown up. And secondly, you don’t get attached to people, she’s never seen you fall for anyone. At least not since after high school.
“Are you really gonna see him again?” She asks, just to check out one last suspicion.
“Yeah,” you absentmindedly say, not bothering to look at her since you’re busy reading the newspaper she’d brought in.
She hums, unbothered keeping her suspicions aside and unspoken. And the two of you go on and about the rest of your morning.
. . .
Sleep came easy to Bucky last night. And dammit if it wasn’t the best sleep he got in weeks. Even in the morning when Steve woke him up, he didn’t feel like getting out of bed. Maybe it was too cosy, the sheets felt warm and comfortable. The weather was too good. Or maybe it was a dream he had about a certain biker chick.
Nope, wasn’t a dream. You really did kiss him, twice.
Bucky was grinning like a fool throughout the morning. Even during breakfast with Steve and Peggy. They were looking at him as if he’d grown out the third eye. He wasn’t brooding like he always is. There were no silly jabs here and there directed at Peggy. No sarcasm. Just genuine smiles. He was very happy.
Steve decided not to question it because that will just break whatever spell that’s been cast over him.
Bucky is in the kitchen nursing his third cup of coffee when Peggy joins him. The couple had planned to spend the day at the other side of the lake. For which she wanted to prepare some sandwiches while Steve takes a shower.
“I don’t want to jinx it,” Peggy says. “But what is up with you?”
Bucky frowns, “What do you mean?”
“Hm, you seem very happy. Something happened last night.” She states rather than questioning him, observing the way he smiles.
“What, can’t I just be happy for no reason?”
That makes her roll her eyes, “Listen, I know you. You can be mad for no reason. But, happy?” She scoffs. “Spill, honey.”
Bucky leans over the kitchen island, elbows resting on the porcelain countertop, his face in a big grin. Well, truth to be told, despite their differences he can never hide anything from Peggy.
“I met someone last night at the bar.”
Peggy stops cutting tomatoes. She turns to face Bucky with a spark in her eyes. “Go on.”
He takes a deep breath in, “She’s like no one I’ve ever been with. She’s a biker, fierce and so beautiful. We were hitting it off pretty well before your husband interrupted… she dropped me back here and promised to meet again.”
“Ooh,” Peggy giggles, wiping her hands on the rug. “Seems like your weekend just got interesting, Buck.”
“Maybe,” Bucky says, a bit nervously. “But it’s just now I’m realizing that I have no way to contact her.”
Peggy’s shoulders drop like he said the stupidest thing ever. “This is a small town, Bucky. You can literally just ask anyone about your biker girl.”
His mouth quirks up in a small smile. He nods his head, grabbing Peggy by her shoulder, “You know what Peg? I like our little talks sometimes.”
“Don’t get attached.”
While Peggy was getting ready, Steve had packed a picnic basket, a bottle of wine to go with their lunch and some blankets. They’d agreed to take a walk to the back of the lake, rather than take their car. So Steve brought all the things outside and set them on the porch. Just as he was about to go back into the cabin, he hears a roaring noise of a vehicle coming to a halt just a few feet away, right in front of the cottage.
Intrigued, Steve descends the porch steps a couple of feet towards the rider as they park the motorcycle and get off of it, putting away the helmet.
“Can I help you?” Steve asks the girl.
“Hey, you must be Steve.” She says, offering him a small smile with her introduction. “I was with your friend last night, Bucky. I dropped him off here.”
“How do you know Bucky?” He asks again, still confused.
Just as she was about to answer the familiar voice of his wife chimes in, asking him if he got everything they need for their picnic. Steve turns a little and Peggy gets a look at the girl Bucky was telling her about. She didn’t even need an introduction.
“You must be Y/N!” Steve gives her a confused look, as she walks down the porch and towards them. The question is, how does his wife know this woman, whom she’s never met in her life?
She claps her hands twice, clearly excited to see the new girl. “Bucky told me everything about you –” she stops, “Oh, well not everything. You hardly know each other. But I guess you will since you’re here now.” Peggy stops again, this time slightly slapping her hand on her forehead, “I’m so sorry, I am rambling and I didn’t even introduce myself. I’m Peggy, Bucky’s best friend’s wife.” She loops her arm around Steve’s, patting his shoulder.
“Hi,” she grins, genuinely not being able to say anything. “It’s so nice to meet you both. I – Where’s –”
“Oh, Bucky!” Peggy again exclaims, snapping her fingers, “I’ll go get him.”
She nods, watching her go back into the cottage, while her husband is still trying to process everything that just happened.
“So, she’s friendly.”
He smiles, nodding and looks over her shoulder and it’s as if his feet have a mind of their own, he starts walking in the direction of her motorcycle.
“This model is amazing.” He says, baffled. She steps back to give him some room since he seems so interested in her bike. Her mouth opens and closes for a few seconds, as he admires it. Speechless at this random guy looking at a vehicle with a fond look on his face. “What is a 749–750cc?”
“Uh, yes –”
“Oh,” he sighs blissfully, “With the V–twin engine?”
“Yeah, but –”
“This is just the greatest Harley–Davidson in living memory.”
You awkwardly shift from one foot to another, hands behind your back as he keeps going on and on about the features of your motorcycle – which you already know. In the end, he stops, finally looks up at you instead of ogling at it and smiles sheepishly.
Chuckling, you tease him. “Huh, you’ve done enough homework on motorcycles.”
Steve nods his head, as a matter of fact, still admiring it, “Oh, I have. I’ve always wanted to buy one. But since wife came in the way –”
“Excuse me, Mr Rogers, did you just say wife came in the way?”
Steve’s whole body straightens, ears perked up at the voice of his wife. His face scrunches up as he lets out a nervous chuckle. You turn your head when a not-so unceremonious laugh bubbles up to your lips.
“No, sweetheart. I said life came in the way.” He offers her an apologetic smile and she lifts the picnic basket, shoving it towards his abdomen with a straight face. “Ow,” Steve holds the basket in one hand, rubbing the other where it hurts on his stomach.
“Let’s get going, love… before you dig yourself a bigger hole.” Peggy feigns a smile. But it turns genuine when she turns to you, a hand on your shoulder. “I’m looking forward to meeting you again.” She says.
“Absolutely!” You beam and say bye as you watch them leave.
“I didn’t think I’d see you so soon.” A gruff voice says and your grin turns into a soft smile as you face him. He stands right up there, at the entryway. Shoulder leaning on the wooden pillar, burly arms folded against his chest, with one foot over the other. He’s wearing a simple blue shirt that hugs his torso like a second skin with super tight jeans. That ghost of a smile on his pink lips makes your whole body tingle as you walk towards him.
“Not happy to see me, sugar?” You ask teasingly, finally coming face to face with him.
He sniggers, looking down. “I’m actually glad you’re here. Otherwise, I’d have to go look door to door in search of the coolest biker in town.”
You try to hide the heat that threatens to creep up your cheeks, pursing your lips. “That’s what I thought. Besides, if you’re leaving tomorrow, then we should make the most of it.”
Leaning, up on your toes you place a chaste kiss at the corner of his mouth where you feel his lips curl into a smile. But before he could react, you swiftly move on the balls of your feet, trudging back towards your motorcycle.
“Where are you going?” Bucky asks.
“You coming or not?” You ask with a tilt of your head, walking backwards.
“Another ride?”
“Relax, I won’t take you outside the town this time.”
Bucky chuckles and wears his leather jacket he’d brought out before and follows you. He watches you straddle the motorcycle, keys in the ignition and you make that loud roaring noise that could probably be heard till the other side of the woods. Firing up the accelerator, you make a sleek turn, dragging your motorcycle in a half-circle like formation so that it’s facing the road where you came from.
Scoffing, Bucky mutters, “Show off.” He climbs on the backseat, you hand him the same helmet he wore last night.
“You ready?”
“Always.”
“Sit tight and don’t hesitate to hold me.”
He could hear the smirk in your tone. His hands snake around your waist as he shifts impossibly closer to you. Your back pressed against his firm chest. A shuddering breath leaves your lips as you slide the face shield back on and let go of the break.
The trees in the woods whizz past the two of you so fast that only a blur of green and brown could be seen at that speed. You twist and turn the motorcycle as and when the path comes. The sound of the engine roars in Bucky’s ear and it feels like he’s already getting used to it.
You’re soon out of the woods, the road ahead of you cleared out as far as the eye could see. The afternoon sun hides behind the thick clouds, casting a pleasant shadow upon you. Bucky’s palms slide over your thighs as he leans even closer to you, your helmets knock together and you laugh.
“What are you doing?” Your chuckle comes out muffled through the shield.
Bucky only grins cheekily. He gets an idea, suddenly brings his hands up to your chin. He unclips the belt of your helmet, pulling it off of your head easily.
“What are you doing, Bucky?” You ask again. Holding your helmet in one hand, he moves up the face–shield of his own. Then you feel his free hand cupping your cheek, turning you to face him. Bucky connects your lips in a sweet kiss only for a moment before you break it.
You let out a breath, looking forward. But he doesn’t stop there, he places a soft kiss on your neck, drags his lips up, drops another kiss behind your ear. A shiver runs up your spine as you slow down the motorcycle to avoid any casualties. Bucky nuzzles his nose into the space between your shoulder and neck, breathing you in.
“What was that for, sugar?”
“Felt like it.” He pressed another kiss.
“It’s a dangerous game you’re playing.”
“Are you afraid?” He nips, you squirm.
“Not at all.”
You come to a halt when your destination arrives. It’s a diner, the oldest one in your town.
Speedy’s Diner is a traditional American diner, with checkered black and white tiles and pale blue booths, jukeboxes on each table that mostly play songs from the 80s. Red and white straws with tall glasses of milkshakes and they serve the best strawberry rhubarb pie.
If you’re not at the bar, then you’re hanging out here with your friends.
“Huh, if I knew you were taking me out on a date, I’d at least dress properly.” Bucky taunts, frowning down at his attire.
You raise an eyebrow at him, “A date?”
“Isn’t it? You kinda whisked me away and didn’t tell me where we’re going.” Bucky chuckles, funny how it was usually the other way round with his old girlfriends.
“Will it make you feel special if I agree that it is a date?” You ask, your tone sly.
“Very.” He says with conviction and hand to his heart.
The inside of the diner always smells like cheap burnt coffee. But you’re used to it. The diner seems empty, except for a few of its regulars. Speedy Jr, the owner of the diner greets you from behind the counter as you take a seat in the corner booth at the end. Bucky sits across from you, facing the diner.
Flash, the waiter comes to take your order. As always the little prick seems uninterested in his job, he looks at you bored, chewing a piece of bubble gum and tapping his pencil on the notepad he took out of his yellow apron.
“Hey, kid.” You nod in greeting, despite his attitude. You stick out two of your fingers, “Two strawberry milkshakes, cheeseburgers and onion fries.”
“Anything else?”
“The Pie, but bring it later.”
He notes it down and lazily goes behind the counter to drop your order.
Turning to Bucky, you already see him smiling at you that goofy smile. “You know this is probably the first time my date has ever ordered for me.”
You act surprised, “Oh, well you don’t know what they serve best here.”
“Really?” He deadpans, “As if that order couldn’t be more obvious.”
You roll your eyes at him. “Oh, I get it. You’re upset they don’t serve doughnuts here.”
Bucky squints, trying to process the meaning behind your little quip. He gives you a petty smile, “Right, haha. Classic cop joke, we’re obsessed with doughnuts. Well, who doesn’t like doughnuts?”
Your food comes soon and the two of you dig in. Bucky was animatedly telling you some of his cop stories, and they were pretty funny. You had to admit, you were having a great time with him. A small town doesn’t often offer people with new stories, so when this sweet, city boy comes in with his dashing, million-dollar smile and pretty blue eyes, who the hell are you to deny his company.
And it seemed like he felt the same. Although his friends dragged him out here and he thought this weekend couldn’t get worse, you swooped in, with that biker charm and your grunge look and all-black clothes. It’s the most fun he’s had in months… well since his ex-girlfriend dumped him.
You’re laughing at some joke Bucky was telling you when the bell above the doors of the diner rings. You casually look at the person who just entered and just like that, in an instant your mood goes down to shit.
Bucky stops talking, noticing you’re not paying attention to his story anymore. His eyes follow your line of sight. A tall, well–built man walks in. He leans over the counter, his stance authoritative like he owns the place. He addresses old Speedy with a sneering smile.
With just one glance Bucky decides this guy is not good news.
“Who is that?”
“Brock Fucking Rumlow.” The way you say his name, it’s like you’re spitting venom. You might as well be. You turn back to face Bucky. “Fucking hate that guy.”
“But he’s wearing the same jacket like yours.”
“Yeah, we’re both from Knightriders. But that doesn’t mean I have to like him.” You said, looking over your shoulder. “What is he doing here?” You ask more to yourself.
“Well, if he can’t see you, he won’t bother you.”
“No. I bet he saw my motorcycle outside.” You clench your jaw, knowing he’d pay a visit. He knows where you always sit. “Listen, he wasn’t there last night, so he doesn’t know who you are. If he asks, I’ll do the talking.”
“Do I have to play a biker again?”
“Well, duh.”
While you were busy talking to Bucky, you didn’t notice when Rumlow came and stood right in front of your booth. Arms spread out on your table, a sinister smile plastered on his face.
“Hey, little doll.” He smirks, his arm resting over the backrest of the booth. You roll your eyes, refraining from grabbing the fork and stabbing the back of his hand that’s on the table. He removes his sunglasses and hums, “What do we have here? The rhubarb pie! Save me a bite, won’t you?”
“Rumlow,” you greet him, throwing a fake smile and ignoring everything he just said.
“Ah, there’s that smile that always manages to steal my heart.”
You feel like throwing up all the food you just had. Bucky’s expressions change for a fraction of a second he frowns, eyes on you but quickly sits up straighter and clears his throat to make his presence more obvious since Rumlow seemed to completely ignore him.
“Hey, man.”
Your eyes widen when Bucky opens his mouth. Shut your fucking pie hole! You wanted to yell.
“Who’s this guy?” Rumlow asks, pointing his sunglasses at Bucky, eyes still on you.
“Bucky Barnes.” The man in question introduces himself. You don’t know why but suddenly your mouth feels glued shut.
“And who are you, Bucky Barnes?”
Bucky uses the information you gave on his ‘cover’ when he met your friends last night. “I’m a Howlie.”
Raising an eyebrow Rumlow stands up straight, “I know some of the boys from the Howlers, and they never mentioned anyone named Bucky Barnes.” Breathing in, you open your mouth to say something. If Rumlow finds out you’re lying, he’ll go straight to –
“Well, that’s because no one calls me that.” He says, “James. Everyone calls me, James.”
You relax a bit at his reply and smile in his direction. But the asshole wasn’t done questioning both of you yet, “How do you know him?”
“We met at that charity event.” You finally speak, finding your voice. “The one you refused to attend,” he opens his mouth to say something but you easily cut him off, “If you’re done questioning us, we’ll be on our way. Yeah?”
Next, you act fast. Keeping more than enough loose bills on the table to cover your order, you get up and step out of the booth. Bucky does the same, and you make sure to grab his hand before walking away. Yelling out a quick goodbye to Speedy, you’re out.
Outside the diner, you stop just before your motorcycle. “How do you know there’s a James in the gang?”
“I didn’t and from the looks of it, he didn’t either.” He says.
“There might as well be a guy named James.”
“It’s my real name.” He informs. “Bucky is a nickname.”
“So James, I guess lying just comes with your job description? I’m impressed.”
“As a detective, I sometimes have to lie to get what I want. And in this case, I wanted to that guy as far away from you as possible.” He says, taking his helmet from you. You smile and clip the buckle of your own, “Besides, everything about that guy screams bad news.”
“I know, but no one believes me.” You sighed, exasperated.
Out of nowhere, your phone vibrates. You pull it out of your pocket to check the caller. “Do you mind if I –”
Bucky nods and you pick it up instantly.
“Hey, Sam.”
“Thank god, you picked up! I’ve been trying to call you!” He sounds a little worried.
“What happened, Sam?”
“Margo is acting weird again.”
“Again?! I just fixed her last week, Sam!”
“I know. I need your help. I’m at your place. Come as soon as you can, please.”
“I –” With that, he hangs up. “Okay…”
“I need to be somewhere right now. Do you want me to drop you back to your cabin or –?” You ask Bucky.
“Oh, what the hell, I’ve got nothing to do.”
. . .
Your garage has that rustic, old grungy look. Wooden floorboards and shelves that store spare motorcycle parts. There’s an old model of bike suspended just above, secured in the air with heavy metal chains. It looks rusted, vintage. Your mentor was attached to the thing so much he refused to sell it. There’s an old couch too. And a 1967 Mustang, in fairly working condition. Bucky leans back on the counter taking it all in.
Peter Parker, your sixteen-year-old adoptive brother, had opened your garage in the morning. Sam was seated on a stool, playing alone on the carom board, having set Margo on your workstation.
“So when you’re not hanging out with your biker pals in that old bar, or the diner, you’re here, fixing motorcycles?” Bucky says, looking around your garage.
You sigh, wiping the sweat from your forehead with the back of your hand. You’d asked your little assistant to bring you a clean rug ten minutes ago.
“Yeah, that’s what I do.”
“Impressive.”
“Why? Never seen female mechanic before?”
“Well, no it’s not about –” Bucky pauses, “No, I’ve never seen one.”
“There’s always a first time for everything.”
As soon as you reached your garage, you’d shed your jacket, which left you in your jeans and a now greasy white T-shirt. Pulled your hair up to keep it out of your face while you worked. There’s grease and sweat all over your arms and a little bit on your neck and forehead. You’re gonna have to take a shower after this.
When you said you needed to take a ‘look’ at Margo, Bucky thought it was just some little girl who needed your help. He doesn’t know why he pictured something like that but he was surely surprised when he came to know that Margo is Sam’s motorcycle. Turns out, it’s often that bikers name their bikes.
Peter comes from the back door of the garage with a rug. He hands it to you and you groan, “Where were you? I asked you for this like ten minutes ago.”
“I was –”
You brush him off, not looking up. “No, it’s okay. Get me my toolbox, please.”
Without a word, the kid rushes in the direction you pointed at. He runs behind the counter, bending down to lift a heavy box that presumably holds all your tools.
Bucky doesn’t understand a thing that’s happening around him, but he’s happy just to watch. It’s really impressive to watch you work. Every now and then you glance his way, and send him a little wink. And he tips his chin, smirking.
It’s getting increasingly arousing for him to watch you work.
“Now, Peter watch and learn. We got a whole summer ahead of us. If you don’t learn anything, Tony’s gonna bite my head off.”
Peter chuckles as you ruffle his hair, “Yeah, I know how he gets.”
You go on explaining to Peter what’s the problem with Margo, and how to fix it. It all goes up and above Bucky’s head.
Sam leaves your side since you told him to stop pestering you. He huffs, but walks away nonetheless and stands next to Bucky.
“Hey, man.”
“Hey,” Bucky greets back, nervously.
“It was Barnes right?”
“Yeah.” He says, surprised Sam even remembered.
“So what’s your ride called?” Sam asks, pushing his hands into his pockets.
“My what?”
Sam points to his motorcycle with his shoulder, implying that he asked Bucky what’s the name of his model.
“Oh, uh,” Oh boy, Bucky is the last person who’d know anything about motorcycles. He stammers for a good ten seconds when it clicks. He remembers Steve rambling about some motorcycle he saw in an auction while working a case and how badly he wanted to test drive it. He tries to remember the name. “It’s a classic… Uh, Heritage Classic. Yeah.”
“That’s sweet,” Sam smirks, clearly impressed. “But I didn’t see it last night at the bar.”
“I left it back home, it’s got some… issues.”
“Oh, have you named her?”
Bucky speaks before he thinks, “Yes.” He shuts his mouth as soon as the word falls out. Too late now. “I call her –” his eyes fall on a vinyl record cover hung up on the wall behind the counter. “Queen.”
“Like the band?”
“No, the place. Queens, New York.” Why couldn’t he just agree with Sam on that one? He needs to shut his mouth.
Detective James ‘Bucky’ Barnes has been an undercover cop for five years without getting anyone’s suspicions up. But this Bucky Barnes? He wouldn’t stand a chance in this town as a biker. God, he feels ashamed of himself.
“What are you boys chattin’ about?” You thankfully interrupt.
“Nothing,” Bucky replies before Sam could get the chance.
Peter was cleaning up the last of the grease when you stand up and face them. “It’s all done. Margo is good to go.”
At that Sam whoops, “Yes! Oh, thank god.” He holds you at arm’s length, hands grasping your shoulders and kisses both of your cheeks. “You’re a real gem, kid.”
“So, you’re not gonna ask what was wrong with your bike?”
“Nope, you fixed it.” Sam shrugs, walking past you to get to Margo. “How much do I owe you?”
You roll your eyes at him, snapping your little towel on his arm, “You jerk. You know I never take money from you.” Chuckling, Sam again pulls you in a hug, squeezing you. “Stop being such a sap and get outta here.”
Sam lets go of you, his eyes fall on the wall clock above your counter and he cursed under his breath. “Shit, I gotta go pick up my Ma.” With one last kiss on your cheek, that too a rather sloppy one, he leaves. You scrunch your face up, wiping your cheek with the towel.
“Say hi to Mrs Wilson from me!”
“That was interesting. You and Sam always this close to each other?” Bucky asks, leaning back on the counter. Arms folded against his chest.
You narrow your eyes at him, biting the inside of your cheek, “You jealous, sugar?” You ask, slowly walking towards him, wiping your hands one last time before throwing the rug on the couch at the corner. The hair tie goes next.
Peter who was still here, cleaning and picking up your tools, sensed a change in your demeanour. When the kid looks up, you’re already close enough to Bucky, your arms around his waist.
“Can I –” Peter stammers, “Can I go?”
“Yes, Pete.” You said, briefly glancing at him. “Thanks for your help.” And the kid dashes out through the front of the garage.
You turn back to Bucky, who’s still standing with his arms crossed. You push a strand of his hair behind his ear. “Sam’s always been a good friend of mine if it pleases you to hear that.”
“Very much,” Bucky says, before moving his hands to cup your cheeks. He kisses you softly, connecting and reconnecting your lips like he’s testing the waters. It gets a little rough from there on, as he tilts his head to deepen the kiss. Tongue tracing your lips trying to seek more, and you moan into his mouth. And just like that, things are heating up.
He’d been waiting to touch you, to kiss you since you left the diner. Watching your work on the motorcycle made him even more hot and bothered. Never in his entire dating experience, has a girl ever turned him on as badly as you have.
Bucky knows he’s losing control over you. But for once in his life, he doesn’t care. You’re like a force to be reckoned with, headstrong and exude so much confidence. He shouldn’t even feel this attached to you, it hasn’t even been 24 hours since you met. And here he is, kissing you like you’re the last person on this earth. And he can’t – won’t stop.
You’re the one to break the kiss, inhaling a lung full of breath in short puffs. Taking his hand, you lead him out of the garage through the backdoor that leads up to the stairs to your apartment. Bucky, hot on his heels, follows you closely behind. Fingers intertwined and breaths coming out ragged. You fish out your keys from your pocket and try to unlock the door in a haste. The keys fall, you both curse.
Both of you bend down to pick it up at the same time, knocking your heads together.
“Fuck!” You both exclaimed, rubbing your forehead, laughing at your silliness.
Finally, you get the door to open and you both rush in. Bucky spins you around to face him, hands under your ass. He hoists you up to wrap your legs around his waist and you kiss him again deeply.
You’re going at it like wild animals, bruising kisses that leave your lips red and swollen. Hands all over his chest and back, impatient to tear that deliciously tight shirt off him. He pulls away, eyes wide open and blown.
“Nice place.” He licks his lips. He didn’t give two shits about looking around your house, plus the lights are still off. You know he said it just for the heck of it.
“Uh-huh,” You hum in acknowledgement. His lips find your own in a frenzy and you cup his cheeks as he blindly walks backwards. The back of his knees hit your couch and he sits back with a bounce, taking you with him.
“You ready to make the most of it?” You said, reminding him of what you’d said earlier. You straddle him properly, knees on either side of his thighs and palms flat on his chest, where you feel his heartbeat going away at an alarming rate. You kiss him, harsher than before and he completely lets you take control, hands on your hips to pull you as close to him as possible.
You smile and nip on his lower lip, kissing it softly. He nudges your jaw up with the tip of his nose to press a soft kiss on your neck, he continues, trying to find that sweet spot that should definitely make you moan. And dammit he can’t wait to hear all your sweet sounds.
The scratch of his beard on the sensitive skin of your neck feels like a pleasant burn, combined that with his warm kisses it makes you squirm in his lap, a gasp falling from your lips.
“You sure you want this?” You ask, a little breathless. Bucky didn’t seem to focus on your question, since he didn’t stop kissing. He’s going lower, lower, mouth trying to reach as much skin as the V-neck of your shirt allows. You grip his hair, lightly pulling to get his attention.
When it registers his mind, he nods. “Oh, I’m pretty sure, doll.”
Your lips turn up in a faint smirk, “Well, then take off your clothes, sugar.” You say, voice just above a whisper.
He complies, fingers hooking under the hem of his shirt as he pulls it up and over his head. It lands on the armrest on the opposite side of the couch.
“Damn,” you mumble, your hands roam over his chest, feather-light touches making the hair on his arms stand on its end. An involuntary whimper leaves your lips at the feel of hard, plain ridges of his chest and arms. Ropes of tight muscles packed together under smooth, tanned skin. You lean back when your palm touches a blemish on his lower abs.
Biting your lip, you look at the spot. “What happened?”
“Wounds that come with the job,” Is his half-hearted answer.
“Did it hurt?” You ask, with a teasing smirk.
“Of course it did.” He snorts, “Like a bitch.”
With a soft kiss on his lips and a tender caress on his scar, you lean back and slip out of his hold. Standing back on your feet, you cross your arms, grip your shirt, pull it over your head and allow it to drop at your feet. That leaves you in a simple black bra and your jeans. Toeing off your boots, you look back at him and crook your finger, urging him to follow you.
Removing his own shoes, he follows you to your bedroom as you once again take his hand.
He sneaks a few kisses on the back of your neck and shoulder, it makes you giggle as your shoulders curl up. And Bucky swears it the sweetest sound ever made.
As soon as your back hits the bed, he’s on top of you. His eyes bore into yours, and he takes in all the details in them, as much as the evening rays of the setting sun allows him. He maps out your features, the slight upward curl of your lips, the brightness in your eyes, the slope of your nose, a scar on the rightmost corner of your forehand. He makes a mental note to ask you about it later.
You’re breath-taking, truly.
“Hey, sugar.” You bring him out of his daze, your smirk suppressed. “Are you gonna do something or not?”
He chuckles, a little embarrassed that you caught him staring. He adjusts his weight on top of you so he’s not crushing you. His palm curls around your neck, it’s a warm, delicate touch, although his hands are sort of rough. But it makes you tingle all the same. His lips find yours again and this time, he takes it slow. Like he has all the time in the world. Only, he doesn’t. The fact that he’ll be leaving my Sunday afternoon is pushed way back inside his head. And he focuses on just… being here, kissing you, touching you. Feeling your warmth surrounding his own.
His lips map out your own, tongue massaging yours. It’s slow, measured. Your heart threatens to jump out of your chest. He kisses you like you’ve never been kissed before. And oh boy, it feels like you’ve missed out on some proper kissing. Soft lips gliding over your own, your fingers knit through his hair, scratching lightly. Breathless, he leans back. The blue in his eyes is almost vanished with he opens them.
Your hips move a little, up against his. And you feel it, the very evident bulge in his jeans. He grunts, resisting the urge to thrust back. But you’re not having it. You’re very clear of your intentions of bringing him into your bed, nothing is going to stop you unless he doesn’t want it.
So you push again. Harder this time and he responds with another soft grunt and a sinuous roll of his hips against yours. The softest of the moans escape your lips, your head tips back and Bucky continues to dryly thrust. His mouth laves at your neck and chest with kisses and nips, leaving a hot, wet trail. Your fingers digging into his shoulders, gasping and arching whenever he hits a sensitive spot. Bucky slips a hand under your body, fingers expertly removing the clasp of your bra. He pries it away from your chest and throws it somewhere behind him. He leans back just a little, staring down at your breasts in awe.
“So beautiful,” A smirk forms on his kiss–bitten lips, he licks them and you smack lightly on his chest.
Warm palms, gliding up your stomach and his touch feels like fire. They settle under your breasts, squeezing lightly. Thumbs brushing over your hard nipples, your back pulls away from the mattress. A needy whine following soon. You want him to do something more, be a little rough with you. But this, it does feel right, in this moment.
His mouth is so fucking warm and it takes you completely by surprise when he latches it on one of your breasts. Hips still meeting yours and you’re wondering why aren’t you two naked by now.
Bucky slips the other hand down your stomach, cupping and pressing his palm on you through your jeans. You rock your hips, trying to seek the friction you oh–so desperately need. He places a few more kisses up the valley of your breast, lips now only centimetres away from yours.
”Bucky,” your voice comes out as a plea.
“God, fuck. I know, I know. I –” he stammers, jaw clenched. “I need a second.”
“Are you having second thoughts, sugar?”
“No, fuck no. It’s just that you’re so fucking beautiful, I’m afraid I’ll blow my load before I even have the chance to remove all my clothes.”
The hearty laugh you gift him with makes him feel lighter. Like a huge weight has been lifted off his shoulders.
“Take all the time you need, baby.” You whisper, biting his lower lip. That earns you a soft purr from him and it goes straight to your core. After a few more kisses here and there, he steps off the bed and you raise on your elbows to watch him. A clink of his belt unclasping and the button pops open. The jeans come off, along with his boxers.
And he earns another whimper from you. “Wow,” that’s all you could say. Your eyes never looking up from his cock, as it stands real proud against his stomach. He’s big, but not intimidatingly so. Bucky lets out a small laugh, shoulders shrugging.
He helps you out of your jeans, once he’s back on top of you. But when you hook your fingers under your panties, he stops you. You mutter a small ‘okay’, and rest your arms above your head. He’s free to do whatever he wants.
There’s a very mischievous upward tilt on his lips as he parts your thighs, as wide as they could go. His palms slide down your legs, stop at your inner thigh. Massaging the flesh there. He’s testing how long it will take before you explode, cave into your needs. You need his hands somewhere else, somewhere lower. You whine, sheets moving under you as you buck your hips.
“Touch me,” you whisper, and Bucky sure as hell bursts into flames when you add a little, “Please.”
He doesn’t need to be told twice. His fingers press ever so lightly over your core, applying little pressure. Your hips jolt up suddenly, an airy gasp leaving your lips. Amused, he does it again, only this time he presses harder, and somehow finds your clit without so much as a fucking look. He’s just that good, huh?
He’s rolling it in soft swirls, and your panties are positively soaked, through and through. Your folds slick with arousal and your walls clenching around nothing. He’s having fun, teasing and trying to get a rise out of you, because right now he has an upper hand in this situation.
“You sure find it amusing,” you said breathless, “Don’t you, sugar?”
“Maybe.” He chuckled in response, but finally, finally slides your panties off your legs. “Well, these are ruined.” He holds them, hooked in his fingers before dropping them.
Shaking your head, you lean over your bedside table drawer. Pulling it open, you reach way back inside it, trying to find the box of condoms you remember stuffing there. Bucky takes it from you. Impatient, he nearly rips the box and tosses it aside after picking one. He’s soon rolling the condom down his length and settles above you again.
“You ready, doll?” He asks, eyes looking into yours.
“Just fuck me.” You mumble, fingers combing through his hair as you pull him down for a kiss. He smiles against your lips as his cock slips between your folds, covering himself in your sleek. You don’t miss the way he shivers at the first contact. And he moans out your name, face hiding in the crook of your neck.
Before you take matters into your own hands though, he pushes into you and you instinctively thrust up so that he’s inside of you in one go. Your eyes flutter shut, nails dig harshly into the flesh of his back.
His weight feels heavy inside of you, hard but also so fucking good. It’s a telltale sign of what’s to come. He buries himself to the hilt, deep and touching all the right spots inside you, breathing hot against your neck. He pulls back, stopping once he’s almost out before pushing back with vigour. Your mouth falls open in a silent moan, he gives you a little taste of his pace.
He lifts himself, one hand resting next to your face and the other lifts your leg to hook it around his waist. It allows him to push in deeper than before and he grinds his hips slowly.
It’s when you whine again, that he starts to really pound into you. Relentless but keeping you tethering on the edge of your climax. With each roll of his hips, he grazes your sweet spot. It’s really fucking surprising how most men can’t do what Bucky can on the first try, but boy are you flying and it feels like you’re as high as a kite. Only the drug you’re on is Bucky.
You’re both burning hot, heart drumming wildly and nerves alight with adrenaline. You wrap your legs around his waist, matching him thrust to thrust. The bed goes wild under you, the bed frame rocking against the wall and your moans bouncing around the whole room. It’s only a matter of time that your neighbour, Mrs Smith knocks on your door because you’re pretty sure she can hear everything through your shared wall.
A few more thrusts, the sound of skin on skin, a hand slipping down to rub your clit that has your walls clasping hard around him and it’s enough to push you both over. Just a matter of time and you’re both hitting your high together. He keeps pumping, grunting softly as he tries to prolong it for both of you. Your walls clench him tight, he trembles above you. Chuckles a little as he gives in and topples over your body.
You push his sweaty hair away from his face, wiping off some of the grease on his cheek that somehow got stuck there.
“You okay?” You ask, voice thick.
He sighs, nodding. Cradling his face in your palm you kiss him one last time. Lazy and slow, hooded eyes barely staying open. He bites your lower lip softly before letting go and you feel him go soft inside you.
A moan comes from you, “I can’t breathe, Bucky.”
“But you’re soft and I am so comfortable.” Groaning, he said as he squeezes your middle. But you playfully pushed him and he huffs, pulling out and lands on his back.
“I need a smoke,” you announce, getting up. You ruffle your hair a bit and search the drawer to find a pack. Placing a cigarette between your lips, you light it up.
The two of you share the cigarette and a few more kisses here and there, tucked under the blanket. And when it goes out, you rest your head on his chest, falling asleep to the rhythm of his heartbeat.
. . .
Part 3
any kind of feedback is appreciated!
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chudleycanonficfest · a month ago
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Hide and Seek
Day 6, Story #1 is by @adenei
Title: Hide and Seek
Author: adenei
Pairing: Teddy Lupin/Victoire Weasley
Prompt: Babysitting
Rating: PG
TW: Mild Language
**********
“Don’t let them stay up too late,” Ginny reminds him as she opens the front door.
“And send us a Patronus if anything goes wrong. We’ll be here in an instant,” Hermione adds fretfully.
“Oi, ‘Mione, really? They’re not babies anymore!”
“Let’s go, or we’re going to miss our Portkey.”
Teddy laughs at the interaction. Of all the adults, it’s Harry who’s pressing them about tardiness. The foursome are headed on a weekend getaway, staying at the Delacours’ beachside cottage for three nights. James was shipped off to George and Angelina’s, while Rose opted to go to Percy and Audrey’s, so Teddy’s charges only include Albus, Hugo, and Lily.
“Everything’s going to be fine. I’ve got this! And if I don’t, I can think of at least five other Weasleys to call. Maybe even a Malfoy if I’m desperate.”
“That’s not funny, Lupin,” Ron warns as Ginny swats him upside the head.
“But if Scorpius does ask for Albus to go over for an afternoon, it’s fine!”
“Noted. Go enjoy your weekend!” 
Teddy half shoves them out the door this time as he shuts and locks it behind them. The kids are out back playing in the garden, so Teddy goes out to join them. He’s chuffed that Harry and Ginny trust him enough to watch Al and Lily for the weekend. Plus, Ron and Hermione added Hugo to the mix. Normally, they’d be shipped off to the Burrow to stay with Molly and Arthur, but since it’s only a long weekend, and the kids are ten and twelve now, Teddy Lupin, a recent Hogwarts graduate, has been bestowed the responsibility. 
He’s always been the mature older ‘sibling’—well, he counts himself as a sibling or cousin to all the Weasleys, but he’s not blood-related. Harry and Ginny half raised him, though, so he’s just as much a part of the family as any of the kids. Heck, maybe someday he’d officially be part of the family. 
No, it’s too early to be having those thoughts.
But there’s one person who makes him happier than anything to know he’s not related to the Weasleys by blood. Victoire, his best friend and girlfriend. As Teddy sits back and gets comfortable on a patio chair, he lets his mind wander to spring afternoons spent by the lake as he observes the kids playing on the muggle swingset Harry insisted on putting together years ago.
“Who knew a giant Muggle toy would get so much use?”
Teddy jumps at the sound of a voice he’s not expecting.
“Vic! What are you doing here? I mean, not that I’m complaining, but…”
She laughs as Teddy backtracks. The sound is music to his ears, soft and lyrical, and something he’ll never tire of. Making her laugh is something he’s striven to do ever since they were young. When she fell off her toy broom, he made his hair change colors at a rapid pace in an attempt to make her giggle, and then there was the time she broke up with her first boyfriend during her fourth year, when he’d used the Jelly Legs Jinx on the bloke’s legs while he walked over a patch of ice. Victoire’s laugh has always been the fuel that set his heart on fire.
“Well, you said you had to babysit this weekend, and I thought I might come over and help entertain my cousins,” she explains as she pulls up a chair next to him.
“Yeah, but the adults have only just left! You don’t think I can keep the kids alive on my own for more than an hour?”
“Of course, I do!” She slides her hand in his while waiting for a beat, “especially since James isn’t here.”
“Oh, I see how it is! James isn’t that bad.”
“No, he’s not. He just likes mischief. It’s a common Weasley trait.”
“And a Potter one, too, if I’m not mistaken. Harry and Ginny never stood a chance, especially after naming him after Harry’s dad and godfather.”
“True. When I have kids, they won’t be named after anyone. They deserve to have their own unique names.”
Teddy offers a sad smile at Victoire’s words. He’s named after his dad and granddad and doesn’t mind all that much, but he sees where Victoire is coming from, what with being named after a bloody war for Merlin’s sake.
“Maybe you shouldn’t have insisted on entering this world on the second of May, then. I mean, come on, Vic, of all the days!”
“Oh, sod off, Lupin,” she feigns seriousness while her eyes shine with mirth.
“I do agree with you, though. There’s enough people in this family who’re named after somebody else. I don’t mind it, but I do like the concept of original names. Though, I do think we’re a ways off from baby name talk, don’t you?”
He can’t help but lighten the mood. Teddy’s sure she means nothing by the comment and is just thinking out loud, but something still possesses him to weave it into their future. Perhaps it’s to gauge her thoughts in a casual manner?
“Probably, but it’s fun to talk about, isn’t it? I mean, it’s not like we’re actually picking names or anything.”
“Or determining how many kids we’re going to have…”
“Which would absolutely be—”
“Two!” they both say at the same time.
It’s really more of an inside joke, with Teddy witnessing firsthand the chaos that is the Potter household with three kids, and Victoire being the oldest of three. And yet, there’s some truth laced into their lighthearted conversation.
“See?” Victoire says as she leans in close, “This is why we’re good together.”
She plants a kiss on his cheek at the exact wrong moment because that’s when Hugo shouts,
“Victoire! Look, guys! Vic’s here!”
“Oops,” she whispers bashfully in his ears.
So far, they’ve managed to keep their relationship a secret from the family, but it looks like that’s about to end sooner rather than later. Of course, Harry and Ginny know, and Vic told Bill and Fleur when she came home at the end of term, but the cousins were still blissfully unaware… until now.
The three kids run over to Vic and Teddy, and Lily eyes them with curiosity. “Teddy, why did Vic just kiss you on the cheek?”
There are a multitude of different answers Teddy could choose from. ‘No reason’, ‘don’t worry about it’, ‘it’s nothing’, but instead he opts for, “Why do you think, Lils?”
Her eyes grow wider than her small face allows, and a wide O forms on her lips. “Are you two… together?” she whispers.
Teddy and Vic share a look. They both know the secret’s out now.
“Yeah, Lils, we are,” Teddy admits as he holds up the hand that’s still intertwined with Vic’s.
If there weren’t wards in place, Teddy’s sure that Lily’s shriek of delight could have been heard for miles. Albus and Hugo, on the other hand, seemed disinterested in the whole ordeal.
“Can we play hide and seek or something?” Albus asked once Lily was done reacting to the news.
Point in case.
“Wait, who else knows?” Hugo interrupts Albus’s question and bringing the focus back on Teddy and Vic.
“Of all the cousins? Only you three,” Vic answers.
“Only us?” Lily gasps.
“Not even James?” Albus eyes Teddy curiously.
“Not even James,” Teddy confirms. “Tell you what, we can go play hide and seek now, but what about an even better game?”
All three look on expectantly, waiting for Teddy’s proposition.
“What if we play, ‘let’s see how long it takes James to figure out Vic and I are dating’? We can all place bets, and I’ll take whoever guesses the closest date out for ice cream.”
Vic flashes him a knowing smile as the kids contemplate his offer.
“I’m in,” Lily says without thinking it through.
“Me too,” Hugo agrees.
“But that means we’ll have to keep it a secret,” Albus realizes.
He’s much more intuitive at eleven than Teddy ever dreamed of being.
“Yeah. Everyone else has to find out on their own, which means you can’t tell anyone.”
Lily and Hugo both nod in agreement, and after a bit more pondering, Albus agrees.
“Okay, but can we pick dates later? I want to play!”
Ted and Vic both laugh as Teddy offers to count to twenty. He closes his eyes and makes a big show of counting while Vic remains at his side.
“Nice one.”
“Thanks,” he responds in between shouting numbers. “I figure James is thick enough that we’ll get at least a couple more weeks out of him. He is Harry’s son, after all...”
Not only did they get a couple of weeks out of the deal, but the rest of the summer. It wasn’t until September first when James caught them snogging behind a pillar on Platform Nine and Three-Quarters and ran to announce it to the world that the couple knew the jig was up. 
“Looks like I owe Al a trip to Fortescue’s next time I see him.”
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writing-in-april · 5 months ago
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Manicured
Spencer Reid x Gender Neutral Reader
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Summary: Spencer finally lets Reader do his nails.
A/N: Another short cute fic here for my twenty-sixth fic for my 30 fics in 30 days for April!! I wanted to make it short but sweet- it’s based on this request (this is not my first fic with Spencer with painted nails- check out on my MGG masterlist Painted Nails if you are over 18) Side note someone recently stole my work- please do not upload anything of mine to another site without my permission. Feel free to leave an ask in my inbox here (I promise I don’t bite) Thanks for reading and hope you enjoy!
Warnings: Nothing 🥰
Main Masterlist Word Count: 1.2k
It wasn’t often that Spencer and I had a day to ourselves, even an hour sometimes felt like a rare occurrence. Today, there was no case, no bad guys to be chasing, and there was even no paperwork to be completed. You were sat on the bed peacefully with Spencer, not daring to point that out out loud as it would obviously jinx it.
“Can I paint your nails?” You absentmindedly asked while fiddling with Spencer’s fingers in your grasp. You didn’t expect a response right away, or any at all as you had been asking to paint his nails for a while. Everytime he always said no, maybe later. So, you kept asking until he said yes.
Today seemed like a random day for him to finally agree, but Spencer tended to get you by surprise often. You almost bolted up in surprise when he simply replied, “Yes.”
Now you were sitting across from him, his hand in yours and a towel placed underneath to collect any spills. Eagerly you started immediately, already having the perfect design in mind for him. Using the brush to swipe over his nails, you then coated his nail in purple colored polish. It was his first experience having polish on his fingers.
Naturally he was intrigued staring down at you intently with his tongue slightly peeking out from his lips, like he was putting all his effort into analyzing exactly what you were doing. Just as you finished that finger he said, “This is so fascinating, you have such control over the brush.”
That had made you burst out into a fit of giggles, his tone making manicuring nails sound like the most serious thing in the world. “Practice makes perfect.” Was all you could manage to say as you tried to hold back your laughs and continue your job.
Eventually you finished his first hand, it already looked like a masterpiece to you, accentuating Spencer’s features in a striking way. He of course continued to stare down at them like he was trying to somehow see each molecule of the polish and understand how it dried on the nail so perfectly.
“I don’t think you’ll figure out all there is to know about nail polish yet by staring at it.” You said as you moved to his thumb on his left hand while he looked at his finished right.
“No, I’ll need to read some books for that.” He replied while his focus was still completely on the nails that were covered in shiny lacquer. Until he then looked up to ask you with eager eyes, “Do you have any books on it?”
“No, I don’t Spencer- I’m not a nail tech.” You laughed out once again, but found it very endearing that he thought you might have some.
“We’ll have to go to the library for that then.” Some people would say the internet would be the best bet to learn about this, Spencer always learned best by books however, and despised all technology for the most part. You then finished up with the design on his pointer finger, immediately going to the next to repeat the design on a new nail.
It was a call, of course from Spencer’s work phone, suddenly interrupted your progress on his nails. You hoped it wasn’t another case you’d both get whisked away on. He picked up the phone with his right hand, which was already completed, but still drying. Carefully with extreme precision, he answered the call and brought it up to his ear, making sure he didn’t smudge any of your hard work.
“Hello- this is Dr. Spencer Reid.” His voice had switched into his purely professional mode, while you continued to add the finishing touches to the matching design. You did make an effort to speed up the process in case he had to up and leave, though you did wish you could’ve taken your time like with his opposite hand.
“Hey- kid check who’s calling before you answer. It’s me, we have a case.” You could faintly hear Morgan’s voice come through the phone and you had to fight a groan when you heard the end of his sentence. Seems like you both were already jinxed.
“Y-yeah, ok Morgan we’ll be there in about 20.” He was now squinting down at his watch, hunched over you almost hitting your head in the process while you tried to finish up the last nail.
As soon as he hung up you were just about finished with the last little bit of your design that was a range of Spencer’s favorite color purple with some dashes of black and grey. It would certainly match most of his work clothes he normally wore, you hoped he’d keep the polish on.
“Done!” You shouted triumphantly at the last swipe of clear polish, sealing in your art. When he peered down at the finished hand curiously another pang of worry that he’d want to immediately wipe it off shot through you. “Are you- going to keep it on for work?”
He looked at you incredulously, and then completely squashed your worries with his sweet words, “Of course I’ll wear it to work, it’s perfect and- you did this for me.”
“Reid- what is on your nails?” Morgan clocked them as soon as Spencer entered the bullpen with you. He had walked in with pride, not necessarily flaunting them, but certainly not hiding them. And, when Morgan pointed them out he jutted out his fingers in pride, showing off the pretty polish that had by now dried. Though it had been a challenge for him to get all his clothes on, he didn’t end up getting them smudged thanks to you.
“It’s nail polish? Have you never seen it before Morgan?” Spencer quipped at him which seemed to have taken Morgan by surprise as his eyebrows raised up high.
Any answer Morgan could give to him was swallowed up by the giddy voice of none other than Penelope Garcia, “Oh. My. Gosh. Spencer got his nails painted!”
“Y-yes I did!” He withered a bit under the attention as he was not used to it. He bounced back quickly when he realized she wasn’t going to make fun of him.
“Where did you get them done they’re amazing?” Penelope was now holding up Spencer’s hand, and the congregation grew as more members of the team arrived to get a look at his nails. Little did everyone know who was the real artist that did them, and Spencer was happy to correct her with the real answer.
“Actually, Y/N did them.” Penelope almost immediately shifted her focus back on you bombarding you with questions on your technique. Spencer happily played a hand model, which you swore could be a career for him in an alternate universe, while you explained everything to the people around you. It was mainly Penelope who was interested, but Emily and JJ really seemed to like your color choice for Spencer saying it was ‘his color’. Even Morgan peered over inquisitively a few times, mainly when your voice jumped higher because of excitement.
“What are you all doing?”
“Looking at Spencer’s nails, Sir. Y/N did them!”
“Are you sure that’s a very professional look, Spencer?” Hitch’s hard face was difficult to read as always, you couldn’t tell if he was about to demand he take it off right away or not. He hadn’t seemed to mind when you came in with nail art on, or Penelope, you hoped this would be no different. When his lips that were almost always pressed into a thin line turned upwards you were taken aback, and even more so at what he said next, “Looks good- you’re really getting better at your manicuring skills.”
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watchmegetobsessed · 8 months ago
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Never Have I Ever - Harry Styles (part 8)
a/n: oh my! we have finally reached the end of this story and I never thought it would turn out to be this long but im happy it did! thank you for reading and loving it, and now, enjoy the last part!
pairing: Harry x actress!reader
word count: 4k
warning: just pure fluff
SERIES MASTERPOST
masterlist
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“Girl, even if you don’t win, you’ll surely take the title of the hottest woman on the red carpet tonight.”
Florence’s words make you chuckle, but you try not to move your lips too much as the makeup artist finishes up the last touches on them, using a nude shade.
“Stop, my head is big enough already,” you tell her, giving her a look through the mirror. She is standing a few feet behind you, already wearing her beautiful, golden Versace gown that hugs her perfectly. Her hair is up in a neat bun so her back can be on full display and the diamonds in her ears can also shine brightly. She looks amazing while she is the opposite of what you’ll look like tonight.
Rhonda, the makeup artist has an amazing notion about your look when you showed her the gown you’d be wearing tonight and since the dress is not the sparkly kind, like Florence’s, she went a little heavier with the glitter on your eyes, using mostly whitish-silver colors, creating rosy cheeks and topping it with nude, glossy lips. Your hair is in loose curls with a bunch of extension, creating the illusion that you might as well be Rapunzel herself tonight. But you are the most excited about the gown that’s already waiting for you to be finally put on.
“What time is it?” you ask Florence as you don’t have your phone on you, but she has hers in her hands already.
“We still have half an hour before we have to leave. Dude, I can’t believe you are an Oscar nominee and might turn into a winner tonight!” she sighs, eyes shining bright with excitement. She hasn’t come off of this high for days, so over the Moon that you get to walk the red carpet tonight as a nominee.
“Don’t jinx it, Flo,” you warn her.
There’s a knock on the door of the hotel suit you’ve occupied for the glamming and Florence is quick to rush to it answering, but you both know who it is. As she throws the door open Harry comes to your sight, looking  as handsome as ever, wearing his custom made Gucci suit with a pink dress shirt underneath that matches your gown perfectly.
“Florence, you look wonderful!” his british accent fills the room, making you smile. Rhonda sets your makeup with some spray and you’re finally done. Standing up you move your legs around a bit as they went a little numb from all the sitting.
“Thank you! Pink suits you well, Harry,” your friend compliments your man and you watch them smiling.
When Harry’s eyes set on you, the light up, his smile widening from ear to ear. He looks spotless, freshly shaved, his hair recently cut and combed into place for a change. Not that you don’t like it when it’s all tousled and messy, especially when it’s because of your fingers.
“Angel, wow!” he breathes out as he walks up to you, taking your hands in his. You know he wants to kiss you, but doesn’t want to risk messing your lips up, so he is left with admiring you with only his eyes.
“Just wait until you see her in the dress!” Florence chimes in making you chuckle. You kept your dress a secret, wanting to surprise him with the first look. You gave out only the most necessary details for Lambert so the two of you could match.
“You’d be great like this too,” he teases, taking a look at your fluffy robe.
“I’m not going to the Oscars in a robe,” you tell him with a narrow-eyed look.
“I know, I’m just saying that you’d still be stunning,” he mumbles with a boyish smirk.
“Y/N? Time to choose a necklace!” Your stylist, Rupert appears from the room where your gown is hanging. He has a few jewelry boxes in his hands and he sets them all to the coffee table, opening up you are met with four breathtakingly beautiful diamond necklaces, each of them different yet so magical looking, you can’t decide which one you like the most.
“Harry, which one do you like the most?” you ask, kneeling down next to the table, mesmerized by the jewelries in front of you. Harry leans down and inspects them one by one before poking on the last one in the row. It has three rows of diamonds, not too big, the stones in the last row are shaped like water droplets, it’s such an elegant looking piece, it surely caught your eyes as well and you think it would be perfect with the dress.
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“This one,” he tells you and you nod, shutting the other boxes, satisfied with the choice.
“Alright, time to get you into the gown, girl,” Rupert winks, gesturing at you to follow him into the room.
“I’ll be right back,” you tell Harry, risking a quick peck on his lips before you disappear in your temporary dressing room.
You fell in love with the gown on the first fitting when Rupert pulled it out, still in the finishing phase. It still has pins in it, but it already took your breath away. It has a massive A-line skirt and a tight upper part that hugs your body perfectly, a row of buttons running down the middle of it. The sleeves are puffy, but then end in a tight run from a little above your wrists, the same set of buttons appearing like on your chest. It’s giving out some Victorian style vibes in a more sophisticated and simpler way, but it’s by far your favorite dress you’ve ever worn to any event.
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It surely needs the extra pair of hands from Rupert to put it on, but once you are secured in it, you feel like a princess straight out of a fairytale and surely, your prince is standing on the other side of the double doors.
“Alright! Everyone get ready for the big reveal!” Rupert announces, sneaking out the room so he can open the door for you. He waits a few moments as you hear everyone shuffle around outside, probably lining up to see you walk out in your finished state. “Okay, three! Two! One! Welcome our Oscar nominee!” he cheers, a round of applause is heard before you even appear, but it’s quickly replaced with gasps when Rupert pulls the doors open and they get the first glimpse of you in your gown.
“Holy fuck!” Florence gasps, mouth hanging open as she keeps raking your form up and down. Your eyes find Harry’s gaze and you see him in a state you haven’t often found him in the past almost two years you’ve been dating. He is completely speechless, eyes glued to you in awe as if he just saw an angel in real life.
“Y/N, I—wow,” he breathes out, still at a loss of words.
“You like it?” you ask with a shy smile.
“I fucking love it, baby. You look… You really are an angel,” he tells you, making you chuckle at his words.
“Would you please help me put on the necklace?” you ask him and he nods eagerly, carefully taking the jewelry out of its box and walking behind you, he brings it around your neck, his fingers delicately working on the clasp. Once it’s all set, you step to the floor to ceiling mirror, taking in the final look.
“There won’t be a straight woman left on Earth once you step on the red carpet,” Florence bluntly comments, making everyone in the room laugh.
“Let’s take some photos, I need to immortalize this masterpiece,” Rupert gestures around, already grabbing his camera.
The next ten minutes you take hundreds of photos, alone, with Florence and then with Harry. He still seems a little stunned by your look, feeling shy when he circles his arm around your waist, but it’s cute that you can still have such an effect on him after being together for almost two years.
Florence snaps some with your phone as well, your favorite is when he held your waist and leant you back, making you arch backwards as your noses touched since he couldn’t kiss you. You already know it’ll end up as your lockscreen, replacing the selfie the two of you took on your latest trip to Hawaii.
When it’s time to leave you grab your little purse with your phone and other necessities and the three of you pile up in a minivan, since your dress needs all the space so it doesn’t get wrinkled before you step out to the red carpet.
As you sit in the car and watch the buildings pass by, your nerves start to rise in you. When the nominations came out a month ago it seemed so far, you couldn’t imagine yourself actually attending the Academy Awards, but now here you are, on your way to find out if you’ve been good enough to be the best.
Your role in Sinful Heaven has brought a lot to your life aside from the nomination. The three months of filming was one of the hardest times in your life you’ve ever worked through and at some points, you didn’t even think you’d get through it. Working so closely with Levi took a toll on you while you were trying to prove in such a heavy and serious role. It was a mess especially at the beginning when you and Harry were still in this weird phase, but that eventually turned right when he literally punched Levi in the face and ten minutes later asked you to be his girlfriend. It’s a badass way to start a relationship and you wouldn’t trade it for anything, especially because it put Levi into place or at least scared him enough to get off your back for the rest of the filming.
When Harry left following that visit, you couldn’t see each other until filming wrapped and you flew straight to him and travelled with him for the next two weeks, hopping from one city to the other, watching him perform every other night and spending all your time with him.
When the movie premiered eight months later, you didn’t appear with Harry by your side, Maya was your date for the evening, but by that time everyone knew you and Harry are an official couple. Neither of you felt like hiding it or caring about what others would think and you were able to focus on each other and rely on the strong foundation you’ve built for your relationship.
He was there with you when the nominations came out and probably screamed louder when your name appeared in the list. With tearing eyes and choked out sobs you jumped into his arms as he mumbled into your ear.
“I’m so proud of you, Angel. So, so proud!”
And now you are on your way to the show, only hours away from finding out if your dreams will come true tonight. Harry squeezes your hand and you turn to face him, his soft eyes meeting yours.
“Nervous?” he asks with a small smile.
“Very,” you admit with an airy chuckle.
“Whatever happens tonight, I’m very proud of you. Don’t forget that.”
“Thank you,” you whisper, giving his hand a squeeze back.
Since it’s the first time you and Harry appear on the red carpet as a couple, once you set your feet out of the car, everyone goes nuts. He helps you out and even fixes your dress so it falls just perfectly around your frame before he offers his arm. You link your through it, taking a deep breath as the two of you start walking down the carpet, posing for the photographers.
You feel powerful and strong, like it’s the peak of your career, but you also feel that it wouldn’t be the same without Harry by your side even though he is making sure to let you shine tonight. At one point he even steps back for a moment so photographers can snap you alone and you think it’s such a caring move from him.
You feel a little dizzy from all the flashlights by the time you walk into the theater, Harry holding your hand tightly as he leads you to your seats.
You’ve been to plenty award shows and it’s not even your first Academy Awards appearance either, but for obvious reasons, it’s the most important. Sitting in your plush chair, you can barely stop yourself from continuously fidgeting as one category follows the other and it’s still not yours.
Then following a jaw-dropping performance from Dua Lipa, Chris Evans walks out with a golden statue and an envelope in his hands and your heart skips a beat, but not because of the man himself, but because you know he is the presenter of the Best Actress category.
Your hold on Harry’s hand on your lap tightens and you glue your eyes to the big screens behind Chris as he smiles around.
“Good evening. It’s a pleasure to be here and to present the award for Best Actress. The theater tonight is filled with exceptional talents, but let’s see the nominees,” he speaks into the microphone and then he starts listing the names.
Emma Stone, Anne Hathaway, Margot Robbie and Rooney Mara are called and a camera fixates on each of them when Chris says their names, all smiling brightly and waving around before your name is called at the end. Taking a deep breath you plaster your most wonderful smile across your face, waving around like the other nominees did before the big screen splits, showing the five of you simultaneously.
“We’ve seen some spectacular performances from these ladies and now let’s see who proved herself to be the best this year.”
Chris flips the envelope open and pulls the little paper out that has the winner’s name written on it and for a moment you’re convinced you’ll pass out. You’ve never felt this anxious before and you’re gripping Harry’s hand so tightly you’re surprised he hasn’t pulled it back, but he is patiently putting up with your nerves, his eyes glued to the man on the stage as well.
“And the Academy Award for Best Actress goes to…” Chris starts with a charming smile, holding a short pause before he finally says the name. “Y/N Y/L/N for her role as Marie Davidson in Sinful Heaven!”
Your mouth hangs open, ears ringing as you process that your name was called. Everyone around you jumps up, including Harry, who is screaming just like when the nominations came out, while you are completely blank. It takes you a couple of moments to realize that you in fact just won your first Oscar and everyone is waiting for you to go and get your little statue.
“Baby! Baby you won!” Harry cheers as he helps you up from your seat and you throw yourself into his arms as reality sets in. “I fucking love you, Angel. Go and get your Oscar!” he laughs, pride all over his face as he urges you to walk up to the stage.
“Walk me up, please!” you stammer, not trusting yourself with walking in this fragile state. He offers his hand without a second thought, walking you to the stage where Chris is politely waiting for you to help you up on the stairs.
“Thank you,” you breathe out once you’re finally up on the stage, every set of eyes on you as Chris hands you the little statue.
“Congratulations,” he smiles as the two of you exchange two kisses on the cheeks before he steps aside and lets you give a speech.
You thought about writing a few words beforehand, but you figured if you end up being the winner you’d forget the whole thing, so there would be no use and that’s the case. Your mind is still blank as you look down at the award in your hands, the crowd still cheering on you, giving you a few extra moments to figure out what to say.
“I uhh—I don’t even know what to say, this feels like a dream,” you admit talking into the microphone, the clapping dying down so that everyone can hear your words. “I want to thank to everyone who worked on Sinful Heaven, because I wouldn’t be here without them. To my wonderful director and amazing costars, it’s been such a wonderful journey with you all. Thank you to my friends and family who were there with me from the very start, believing in me when I was losing faith in myself, thank you for never giving up on me. To my parents who I assume are now crying in front of the TV,” you add chuckling softly, imagining your mom and dad in tears as they listen to your words. “This is a wonderful sign to me that I am where I need to be and that I’m on the right path, so thank you for giving me even more motivation to keep me going on my way.”
Your eyes roam around all the guests until they fall on one proud man staring at you in his Gucci suit and pink dress shirt, his green eyes looking glossy as he listens to your words.
“And last but not least, thank you to one special person, because I’m convinced I wouldn’t be here tonight without him. I have one thing to tell you.” Forgetting about everyone in the theater you hold up the Oscar in your hand as you finish your speech: “Never have I ever loved someone like I love you.”
The crowd starts cheering again as you step away from the microphone and Chris is quick to jog up to you and help you down the stairs, Harry rushing back to take your hand once Chris lets go of it.
You catch him wipe a tear off his cheek as the two of you walk back to your seats hand in hand. Once you are settled, you take a deep breath and turn to Harry who is already looking at you, the same proud smile you saw from the stage still on his handsome face.
“I have never,” he tells you as his answer to the last line of your speech and you chuckle as your free hand finds the back of his neck, pulling him close. The lipstick on your lips long forgotten as you finally kiss him for the first time tonight.
“I have never either,” you whisper against his lips before kissing him again and again.
***
  Smiling around you wait for the audience to quiet down as you make yourself comfortable in the familiar armchair. It’s such a nostalgic feeling to sit here again.
“Y/N, it’s so nice to have you here again,” Ellen greets you once the clapping has stopped.
“Thank you for inviting me.”
“Of course. A lot has happened since the last time you were here, you won an Oscar just a few weeks ago, congratulations!”
The cheering starts again as a picture of you appears on the screen behind you, wearing your iconic pink gown, holding your Oscar in your hands.
“Thank you,” you shyly smile, still not entirely in peace with the fact that you are now an Oscar winning actress.
“Such a major thing, congrats.”
“Thank you, it is a huge thing, yes.”
“Do you already have a spot for the award? Does it have a designated place?”
“Well, for now it is in my study along with some more mementos, but I’m planning to have a little stand made in the living room,” you share your plans.
“Surely, I would want to show it off if I had an Oscar,” Ellen chuckles. “You have such a busy time behind you, have you been up to something new lately?”
“We finished filming the third season of The Umbrella Academy, so now I’m having a little break before I jump into anything new.”
“Sounds nice, you deserve all the relaxing. Anything planned while you’re on a break? A new book to read, or maybe a concert to go to?” she asks and you already know where this is heading.
“You know you can just ask if I’m planning to attend a Harry Styles concert,” you bluntly tell her, making the audience and Ellen laugh.
“Well, I was just asking around about your plans, but I’m happy you plan to visit Harry’s concert! It’s also good to know that the situation has changed since the last time you were here, you definitely have been to one of his concerts since then.”
“I have been, yes,” you admit smirking.
“And I assume the two of you are now very close, am I right?” she asks and suddenly a paparazzi photo of the two of you appears where you’re walking down the street hand in hand just a couple of weeks ago.
“You could say that,” you nod, biting into your bottom lip.
“Amazing, because he is going to join us now. Everyone, please welcome Harry Styles!” Ellen announces and turning around you spot Harry walking out from backstage, the audience screaming for him. He shyly waves around walking up to the center, greeting Ellen with a kiss on the cheek before he turns to you, pecking your lips shortly as he sits down next to you.
“Harry, so good to see you again,” Ellen smiles at him.
“Good t’ see you as well,” he nods.
“So, the last time you two were sitting here, you—it was the first time you ever met, right?”
“Right,” you nod with Harry.
“And now you are…” she gestures at the two of you, not finishing the sentence, but everyone knows what she meant by that.
“And now we are… not strangers anymore,” Harry says chuckling, making everyone in the studio laugh.
“Certainly,” Ellen nods. “Alright, I thought that we could play another game, just to bring back some nice memories,” she explains, reaching behind her armchair, grabbing the familiar board from her, flipping it in your hands with a nostalgic smile.
“Can we keep it PG rated though?” Harry asks, examining his board before looking up at Ellen.
“No,” she simply answers, reaching for her cards as the audience starts laughing. “Okay, you know how to play it, no need for explanation. Here is the first one: Never have I ever used my fame to get in somewhere.”
Ellen is quick to show the I HAVE side of her board and you slowly do the same while Harry thinks to himself.
“Oh come on, you surely have,” you elbow him playfully as he smirks in your way, holding up the same side as you and Ellen.
“We all have, it’s not a shame,” Ellen shrugs. “Next one. Never have I ever forgotten the name of someone right after they introduced themselves.”
Ellen holds up the I HAVE side and you do the same again while this time Harry flips it over to I HAVE NEVER confidently.
“Really?” Ellen asks him, surprised at his answer.
“I’m good with names,” he simply shrugs.
“That’s a good trait. Alright, let’s move on. Never have I ever punched someone in the face.”
It’s a sneaky and very shady statement. Just a few days after the incident with Levi, word got out that he was punched, a few blurry pictures floating around the internet of his bruise, then fans figured out it had to happen around the time Harry visited set and people were quick to put the picture together and assume that Harry was the one who hit Levi, but it was never confirmed.
Glancing at your boyfriend you are fighting your smile back, holding up the I HAVE NEVER side as he is looking back at you slyly, continuously flipping his board before it finally lands on I HAVE, the audience immediately rumbling at the partial confirmation and seemingly Ellen is also amazed by Harry’s honesty.
“Alright, interesting. Love that for you, Harry,” he comments making everyone laugh as you reach over and give Harry’s hand a squeeze. “Last one,” Ellen announces, reading the last statement from her cards. “Never have I ever fallen in love with someone I played never have I ever with.”
Ellen quickly shows her I HAVE NEVER side as you suck your lips into your mouth, glancing at Harry again. You share a look before you both slowly raise your boards, both reading the same sign on them: I HAVE.
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footbaliimagines · 2 months ago
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peace (a sneaky preview to a jack grealish imagine)
YES clearly i lied about going on a hiatus from this blog
YES it is mason mount and jack grealish's fault
(real talk: i began this blog after becoming mildly obsessed with antoine back in 2016 after the euro's and now this. god only knows what will happen to me at the next euros)
and YES this is based off a taylor swift song
full thing will be up in a few days <3
“You’re going to be amazing. All of you.”
“I’ll try my bloody best.”
Jack lets out a yawn and rubs sleep from the corner of his eyes. It’s early in the morning, barely light outside. The England team bus is parked several metres from your car, suitcases being loaded on, waiting for their No. 7 to finally drag himself from your car before driving up to St George’s.
(Ben was no doubt guarding a seat bagsied for him, wondering why the hell he was waiting til the last minute for him to appear).
“You’re gonna be the bloody best-“
Jack interrupts you, “I don’t wanna leave you.”
“I don't want you to leave, either." You glance up at him and your heart almost breaks. Everyone always said he had puppy brown eyes, and here they were looking at you straight on, pleadingly, desperately. "But I’m gonna be there in the stadium, though, with your parents, and your sisters. Cheering you on every match. I know we say it every time, and everyone takes the piss out of the English for it, but I really think you guys are gonna do something great this month."
"I know, I know." He sighs. “I just hate that I don’t know when I’m next gonna see you.” Jack reaches over the gearstick to muddle your hands together, before intertwining your fingers and bringing them to his lips.
Though the pandemic seemed to be in its last stages and restrictions were gradually being lifted, there were still rules in place for the team. They were under strict instructions to keep the team bubble exactly that – a bubble. Seeing Jack would be limited to waving from the stands and video calls from hotel rooms.
And while periods of long-distance and a hectic schedule weren’t anything new to your relationship, the uncertainty of not knowing when you’ll be able to see, hug, touch each other next and going from spending every day together under lockdown to this admittedly short-term separation was the real kick in the teeth.
(You’ve told him emphatically that you do know when it’ll be. It’ll be at Wembley on the 11th of July, after a victorious romp to the final…)
(But he's humble and and cautious and called you a jinx which had put an end to those conversations, at least in his company, but your heart remained full of optimism.)
(You were in love with one of the most talented players in the country, with a right foot to die for, so who could blame you?)
“No pre-match breakfast together, no post-match, victory sex- “
You swat at him, laughing, and he reaches over to plant a kiss on your cheek, then your nose, then your lips.
(Having a boyfriend whose love language was undoubtedly touch was a blessing and a curse.)
Listening to the things you take for granted while living together was not going to help your emotional state, considering you had been on the verge of tears for the best part of the last weekend. You glance down at the clock in your car
06:50.
Twenty five minutes before the bus was scheduled to leave, an hour and a half before you need to start your commute to work, three-ish weeks before England’s first game, at least two months before you know you’ll definitely get to see Jack again.
“You’ll be late for work.”
“You’ll be late, too.”
You peer through the windows that are slowly fogging up and see Declan and Mason kicking about with a football beside the coach. You tease, attempting to lift the mood using nicknames the boys used fondly, “Even dumb and dumber have made their appearance before youse.”
“Dumb and dumber aren’t sat with the most beautiful girl in the world who’s making it pretty fuckin’ hard to say goodbye.”
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chris-whore · 9 months ago
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best friend’s daddy - part two
Warnings: Dark!Andy Barber, manipulation, explicit sexual content, age gap, dub con elements
Word count: 6.7k
Summary: Christmas comes and instead of going back home, Jacob agrees to go to somewhere warmer with you ... but he isn't the only Barber coming along.
Or: In which you go to Galápagos Islands with two Barbers instead of one.
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The weeks after Thanksgiving went by slowly, far too slow for your liking and every time you hung out with Jacob, you felt the urge to tell him along with the guilt of unwillingly sleeping with his father. So, instead of wallowing in guilt, you decided to pretend like the whole thing never happened; tried running away from your problems. And you immediately threw away the plan b pill as soon as you took it.
After a few more days of ignoring the constant guilt, throwing yourself into homework and parties, it finally subsided and you were normal again. There were times when you were alone that it creeped back on your mind, the way he had touched you, fucked you on his kitchen counter and the warmth of his cum dripping down your thighs. It was almost too much. That's what the bottle of tequila on your bedside table was for.
Two weeks before Christmas break, Jacob Barber came through with his promise of making it up to you, holding out two plane tickets to Galapagos. He had waved them in front of your face like you had done to him, knowing full well you'd ditch your plans and come with him. That happiness lasted about a week and a half before Jacob notified you his dad, Andy, was coming along.
"What?"
"Well, he doesn't want us running around Galapagos on our own. And it's Christmas, he's both worried and lonely." Jacob explained, stuffing his swim trunks in his bag, trying to fit the clothing between two other. "I promise you won't even notice him."
You sighed, slumping back in your chair, staring at Jacob's dirty ceiling. You could still remember the way he felt and you were worried about seeing the man again. "But we're adults. We can take care of ourselves. Doesn't—"
Jacob murmured your name, sitting on his bed as he gave you a pleading look. "He's not gonna let us go alone unless he comes along. He's my dad, I can't exactly tell him no. Especially with the stress he's been getting at work, I really think he'd have a nice time. Now, why're you so worked up with him coming along? Do you not like him or something?"
"No...I do." you lied, biting your lip, unable to tell him the truth. You weren't even sure you could stomach telling him, yet alone having him believe you. Jacob looked up to his dad so much that the man was practically a god to him. In Jacob's eyes, Andy Barber could do no wrong. "I just—I just don't want him to see me being a bad influence on you. Or judge me.”
Your best friend sighed in relief, his shoulders relaxing. He waved the comment away. "He's not going to judge you. I've told him far too many stories for him to be surprise of anything you might randomly do, so, we're good."
"Wonderful." you mumbled under your breath, your whole body tensing at the thought of Andy Barber being near you. Standing up, you decided to drink your body weight. "I'm gonna head back and start packing. Bye."
"Have fun."
You drank yourself to sleep that night.
Then the day of the big day came, the day Jacob's dad would be picking both of you up to head to the airport. Bag in hand, you reluctantly opened the door, the car parked in front of the sorority house. The snow crunched under your shoes as you walked out. Jacob was already in the car, in the back seat, texting someone with a smile on his face. You envied how happy he was.
Andy got out of the car, a big smile on his face as he walked towards you, holding out his arms. "Good morning, sweetheart. You excited to get out of here?"
"Yeah, sure." you mumbled. He took your bag from you, ignoring your protests, and side by side, you walked the remaining distance to his car together.
"You don't sound like it." Andy teased, closing the distance between him and the car, opening the trunk. He put your bag between two others, probably his and Jacob's.
You shrugged, making your way to the back door. "Tired, I guess."
Before you could open the door, Andy stopped you, the smile growing. "Oh, no, no, sweetheart. You'll be sitting in the front seat. Jacob was kind enough to take up the back so you wouldn't. That boy needs to sleep on the way to the airport so you're stuck with me. Come on."
Andy motioned for you to sit upfront, and you couldn't come up with a good reason to argue with. With the complaining Jacob had been doing, you knew he needed a nap before paradise so you gave up, opening the door to the passenger seat. Andy made his way back to the driver's side while you sat down, throwing Jacob a look.
"You look like hell," you commented, noticing the eyebags under his eyes. Settling in, you felt Jacob kick your seat, making you grunt just as Andy opened his door.
Jacob's head hit the seat, his legs tucked in. "Hello to you, too. Not everyone got to sleep in like you did."
"It's five in the morning, I didn't sleep in, asshole," you mumbled, already tired from the week ahead of you. Andy chuckled, clicking on his seatbelt.
He twisted his body around, turning to look at his son. By now Jacob had curled up in the back, phone tucked in his sweatshirt pocket, eyes closed. Lucky son of a bitch, you thought. Andy put the gear in drive. "You kids ready? Got everything you need packed? 'Cause the plane isn't going to turn around for a hairdryer ... Jacob, I'm talking to you."
Snickering, you covered the small smile that appeared on your lips. Andy gave you a sideways look, grinning at your hidden smile. Jacob groaned, covering his face with his hands. His dad pulled out of the curb and driving away from the campus.
Looking out the window, you couldn't help but notice how much more awkward than you thought it would be. With Jacob already snoring in the backseat, the silence was so loud you were afraid to move, almost scared to make a sound in the silent car. All you could hear was the soft purr of the engine and Jacob's snoring.
"You okay, sweetheart?" Andy murmured, turning on his turn signal as he threw you a side glance.
You nodded, crossing your arms. "Yeah, I'm fine. Sorry, I'm just a little tired. I went to bed really late and I'm still not awake."
He hummed in response, speeding into the highway, passing a car as soon as he was in. "Are you sure it has nothing to do with the fact that you might be tired from something else? Tell me, have you been eating enough?"
Confused, you raised an eyebrow. "What? I--I think I've been eating enough?"
Andy nodded, taking a hand off the steering wheel, placing it on your thigh. You froze, afraid to move. "Good girl. Have you had any morning sickness yet? I've read--"
"What?" you hissed, slapping his hand away. Glancing at Jacob, you made sure your best friend was still asleep before looking up at his father. The Thanksgiving memories came rushing back to you, how his breeding kink intensified. "I'm not fucking pregnant. For a lawyer I thought you'd realize there are ways to get rid of pests inside you."
Andy's eyes hardened with anger, his knuckles tightening on the steering wheel while his free hand rested right next to your thigh. "So that's why you went to the drug store with Jacob." Andy shook his head, an eye twitching. "Smart girl. Don't worry, I'll make sure you're sober on this trip."
"What--" you started to argue but stopped as soon you heard Jacob shift behind you, a snort coming out of your best friend's nose. As soon as you were sure he was still asleep, you turned back to Andy, eyes widening. "Mr. Barber—"
"Andy." he corrected.
"Andy," you started, feeling a lot more tense than ever. From the information given to you, you knew this was going to be the most stressful week of your life. "you're hot, you can find someone else to carry your kid or whatever kink your into but it's not gonna be me. And it's not gonna happen again so, please, let me just have a fun week with Jacob. We both need it."
He stayed silent for a minute before nodding once, his facial expression blank. "Okay."
Not expecting the nonchalant answer, you were shocked, expecting some kind of resistance on his part. But you were relieved, glad you could spend the week the way you wanted to before Andy came into the plan. Not wanting to jinx your luck, you kept quiet, fidgeting with the phone in your hands. So, the silence lasted throughout the whole trip to the airport, excluding Jacob's snores.
Snow-covered land passed by, the white blurring as you were distracted by the thoughts of how this vacation would go. Andy's hand didn't move the entire way and you had to share the seat with it, not wanting to touch it, you leaned against the car door, hugging the seatbelt. Thankfully, Andy drove fast, arriving at the airport half an hour earlier than planned.
Getting on the shuttles was one of the most exhausting things to happen at 5:50 a.m. People filled the seats, some sleeping while others were stuck on their phones. Jacob took a spot besides a stranger, leaving you to sit with his father, taking the window seat while Andy took the aisle. The ride wouldn't be far but with the amount of people the bus needed to pick up, you might as well get comfortable. Well, as comfortable as you could with Andy sitting so close to you.
With the amount of space you had, you were practically leaning against Andy, especially with his broad shoulders stuffed in a winter coat. Yet, you shivered, not comfortable with being so close with your best friend's dad.
"You cold, sweetheart?" Andy asked, leaning in with a soft and reassuring smile on his face. He had carried both your bag and his despite your arguments.
Meeting his eyes, you almost shuddered at the intimate moment. His steely, ocean blue eyes looked at you with desire and a love you had saw your father give your mother during your childhood. It made you somewhat uneasy, but not as much as you had though. You nodded, biting your lip. "Not really, I'm fine."
His eyes lingered on yours before nodding, accepting the answer. He looked at his son, who was at the brink of falling back asleep. Andy reaches across the hall to nudge his son awake, the younger Barber snorting awake. It brought a small smile to your face, remembering all the times Jacob had swatted your hand away when you woke him. You wondered if his father was the same way. With that thought, you grimaced, brushing it away.
The whole process was exhausting, getting everything checked in, going through security, and waiting for the plane. You've waken up at earlier times for cheer practice but this was downright unnecessary and you wished Jacob had booked a later flight. Even by the time you actually got on the plane, you were still as sleepy as you woke up. That cold shower did nothing to wake you up, and neither did the endless waiting.
You had just sat down in the window seat, staring at the sight through the small window when Andy plopped down besides you, his arm brushing yours. Turning towards him, you raised an eyebrow. "Um, I thought I was seated next to Jake."
"He wanted to switch seats, decided he liked the middle row instead." Andy answered, flashing you a smirk. Leaning in, he brushed a stray piece of your hair from your cheek. "You don't mind, do you?"
Shaking your head, you caught Jacob's eye. He gave you a thumbs up before pulling his hood up and closing his eyes. You mentally rolled your eyes, wishing you could slap him. Instead, you force yourself to give his dad a smile. "Not at all."
Andy's smirked grew at your words. You yawned, your elbow accidentally hitting Andy's chest as you did so. "Good. You should get some sleep, sweetheart. I'll wake you up when they give out snacks or come with dinner but rest so you won't be jet lagged when we land."
"Mm'kay." you yawned, taking off your sweatshirt, placing it under your head as a pillow. Thankfully, Andy hadn't insisted you rest your head on his shoulder or anything. As broad and muscular as they were, they definitely didn't look comfortable to sleep on. The sound of muffled chaos was the new rainstorm, making you fall asleep as soon as you closed your eyes.
The blurry dream you slept through was very explicit. Andy Barber starred in it, helping you take off his clothes while you pushed him down on the bed, climbing on top of him. Before anything could get good, a hand softly shook you awake—or, at least, half awake.
Slowly opening your eyes, you saw Andy hold up a packaged Biscoff cookie. It must've been snack time since the flight attendants were making their way down the aisles to hand out a bunch of overpriced snacks. Groaning, you shook your head, closing your eyes but not before seeing Jacob stuff a whole granola bar in his mouth, swallowing it without chewing and closing up his hoodie once again.
"Sweetheart, you should eat something." Andy murmured, the sound of the plastic opening filling your ears. You swatted his attempt of handing you the cookie, wishing you had a hoodie on your sweatshirt so you could pull a Jacob and rest in peace. Andy sighed, whispering your name once again.
Moaning, you felt around for your missing sweatshirt, eyes opening when you couldn't find it within your grasp. Seeing it on the floor, you bent down to pick it up, unbuckling your seatbelt, that you assumed Andy buckles for you, answering him as you did so. "What? Can't a girl sleep in peace, goddamnit?"
"You gotta eat, angel. I'm guessing you didn't have breakfast with the early schedule and all, so eat this because we won't be getting dinner for another few hours." he explained, breaking off a small piece of the cookie. With his free hand, he tapped your lips with his index finger, the bottom lip opening up slightly so he could place the cookie gently on it, pushing slowly for you to take it. Giving up, you took the cookie between your mouth, chewing on it. "Good girl. I know you liked Biscoffs ever since you started eating them when that ex boyfriend of yours just started snacking on them. What was his name again? Hugh?"
"Ransom." you grumbled, swallowing the small piece. "And he isn't my boyfriend, we're just hooking up.”
"Isn't he like in his 30's?" Andy asked, breaking off another small piece of the large cookie, repeating his earlier actions.
You narrowed your eyes at the lawyer, swallowing the cookie without chewing. "You're one to talk. Whatever, doesn't matter. Now that I've eaten, am I allowed to sleep, dad?"
"I prefer you'd eat a little more—and daddy—but yes, you can sleep now. Though, that sweatshirt doesn't look too comfortable." he commented, taking a bite of the cookie. Glancing at his sleeping son, he turned to see you already passed out, a little drool dripping from the corner of your mouth. Smiling, he wiped it away with a napkin, snaking an arm between your seat and body, pulling you closer to him with a gentle tug. Andy kissed your forehead once, ignoring the judging looks the old lady in front of Jacob gave him. "Good night, angel."
The next time you've woken up wasn't caused by anyone or anything, it was a slow awakening that had been a little awkward due to your neck being in weird position. Looking around, you noticed half the windows were down despite the cloudy sky outside. The early flight must've taken out a lot of the people since Jacob wasn't the only one sleeping.
The seat beside you was empty, Andy nowhere to be seen, the seat still warm. The sudden urge to pee overcame you, and you squirmed, making sure the seatbelt light was off before getting up and heading to the bathroom. Seeing the locked sign, you sighed, hoping you didn't look as tired as you felt.
A few seconds later, it opened, revealing Andy in his white Henley. Without hesitation, he grabbed your arm, pulling you in the small bathroom without anyone noticing the little kidnapping. Locking the door, he pushed you up against it, his lips crashing against yours before you could get an explanation. Instinctively, you kissed back, tasting the grape-flavored water he had drank earlier on his tongue.
His hands ran up your stomach, your Columbia University t-shirt drifting up with his fingers, leaving your stomach exposed to the cool air. One hand cupped your left breast, his thumb and index finger pinching your hardened nipple through your thin shirt and lace bra. You moaned into his mouth, your hands landing on his shoulders, your limbs not knowing whether to push him away or pull him in.
Andy decided for you, bringing you impossibly close to him, his tongue slipping in your mouth while his hands explored your body. He was kissing you like the world was going end, and he if he was going to die, it might as well be kissing you.
The knock on the door made you pull away, your lips swollen from the intense kissing, breathing heavily and eyes widening at what you had just done. Andy, on the other hand, looked annoyed, a little pissed at whoever had the nerve to knock. With a gruff, frustrated voice, he snarled. "What?"
"Sir? Ma'am?" a flight attendant replied tentatively. From the way her voice shook, she was definitely forced to talk to the both of you. "There can not be two people in the bathroom. The one person rule is there for a reason due to space and, uh, possible sexual intercourse. Please, only one person can be allowed at a time."
Andy sighed, uncomfortable with his growing hard on, his gardening cock now shrinking with the flight attendant's interruption. "Alright. I'll be out in a minute."
"Thank you, sir." she said, the sound of footsteps walking away from the bathroom.
As soon as Andy knew she wasn't listening, he turned to you, a smirk lifting his lips. Pressing a soft kiss on your swollen lips, he smiled, pulling away. "I'll see you back in our seats, angel. Don't take too long."
Moving out of the way, you stepped aside, letting him slide the door open as he got out. You spotted the flight attendant pretending to do her job, her not-so-subtle glances making you blush while Andy stood proud. You closed the door behind him, doing what you came to do while you tried not to think about what you've just done. As soon as you opened the bathroom door, you decided you had the willpower of John Mulaney.
Avoiding eye contact with the flight attendant that caught you, you walked back to your seat. Sitting down, you noticed Jacob was awake, rubbing his eyes slowly while Andy handed him a water bottle. With Jacob's vision blocked, Andy took his chance and kissed you once more. And like the bathroom, you didn't stop him, not caring if Jacob cell or anyone else would see. You were too addicted to Andy's lips.
He pulled away far too soon, and you bit back a whine, realizing Jacob was beginning to take his hands off his eyes. You wiped any trace of Andy's lips on yours just as Jacob opened his tired eyes, chugging half his water. Your best friend yawned, looking at his dad. "How much longer?"
"About an hour and a half until we land." Andy answered, keeping a hand on your thigh, making sure his son couldn't see it. His thumb circled around the inside of your thigh, making you wiggle at the soft sensation. "By the time we get off the plane it'll be around eight, so maybe we can order pizza before going to bed. How does that sound?"
Both you and Jacob nodded. Your best friend yawned once again, stretching his arms out without hitting his neighbor. "That's fine. Ugh, it's only been four and a half hours? My legs are dead asleep."
"You'll be fine." Andy replied, turning away from his son, focusing his attention on you. Biting his lip, he stared intensely at you, watching your reaction to his hand trailing up your thigh.
"Mr. Barber..." you whispered, intently watching his hand, unable to stop him, and not wanting to at this point. Andy gave you a look, both stern and lusting. Glancing at Jacob, you saw him playing Animal Crossing, too caught up to see what was going on. "I mean, Andy. D-don't you think this is a little bit risk—ah. A little r-risky?"
He smirked, rubbing his thumb around the inside of your thigh once more before taking his hand away. "My bad, sweetheart. You should rest, we still got a few more hours to go."
And rest, you did not.
The sun shone on your face, the bright, natural light waking you up from a deep slumber. Or maybe it had been Jacob kicking your door down with his enthusiasm. You wouldn't be surprised if his loud wake up call could be heard all over the island of Santa Cruz. He probably woke up the other people in the hotel, including his own father.
He was already dressed in his swim trunks, a huge grin on his face while he looked at your messed up hair, covers pulled over your face while you groaned at his energy despite going to sleep in the wee hours of the morning.
Jacob called your name, borderline yelling it. "Get up! It's Christmas break and we're in the fucking Galapagos."
You groaned, grabbing a pillow to muffle the sound of his voice. "Oh, my fucking God. Do you not know what sleeping in means?"
"It's nine o'clock. You missed breakfast. I wanted to come wake you up sooner but Dad was like 'Let her sleep, she's tired.' So we boxed up your breakfast for you." Jacob replied, ripping the pillow from your face. "Come on! Dad's already out there reserving us the good chairs. Get your ass out of bed."
"I hate being your friend." you mumbled, slipping off the bed as Jacob rolled you over the side. You landed on the carpeted floor with a muffled thud, the fall making your arm throb. "Jesus Christ."
"You're actually the most dramatic person I've ever met," Jacob commented, watching you hobble to your opened suitcase, grabbing a random bikini without looking at it before closing the bathroom door. He heard the grumbles through the door, complaining about how complicated the simple bikini was. "By the way, I think my dad really likes you."
That brought a small smile to your face. Clearing your throat, you tied the straps together. "Really? You think so?"
To be completely honest, you had no idea when you changed your mind about Andy Barber. Maybe it was that bathroom kiss that made you crave him but you knew you were messed up. The man was almost two decades older than you, had a son that happened to be your best friend, and yet you still wanted him. You decided to blame it on your daddy issues.
"Yeah, and here you thought he hated you. No, he definitely likes you." the younger Barber noticed how happy his dad had been when he was told you were coming along with them on break. The lawyer hadn't even made a single remark on what he didn't like about you, which was odd considering he had done that to every single one of Jacob's other friends.
Opening the door, you put your hair up in a ponytail, sighing as your eyes adjusted to the bright sunlight seeping in from the windows. The adjoining rooms seemed like a great idea at the time but having Jacob rush into your room without warning was definitely going to get on your nerves. "Great. Let's go. Don't wanna make your daddy hold our seats any longer."
"Ew, don't call him my daddy. Just because you're into the daddy kink doesn't mean I am." Jacob grimaced, leading you out of your hotel room. You both had oceanfront rooms while Andy camped out across the hall, so the walk from your room to the sand wasn't that long.
It was one of those resorts where they put out beach chairs on the beach in front of the building, with umbrellas and everything. The job must've paid Andy well considering how much he paid to get the pricey rooms. Jacob immediately spotted his father, a woman standing next to him while he grimaced at her.
She was pretty enough for you to feel attacked, but you had no idea why. Maybe it was the birth control side effects but you couldn't stop blaming your mental illnesses on other parts of your life. You could, but then again, you'd have to see a therapist.
Andy saw you walking to him, and got up, almost knocking the girl on her ass. Before anyone could say anything, Andy crashed his lips onto yours, shocking both you and Jacob--and probably the girl who had been flirting with him. You could practically hear Jacob's jaw-dropping.
Andy pulled back, smirking at your shocked expression. "Hello, sweetheart. I've been waiting for my girlfriend to join me."
He jerked his head back to the girl, her hurt face evidence enough of the attempted flirting. Jacob caught the small gesture, his facial structures immediately relaxing. The younger Barber nodded, playing along as he sat down in the chair his dad previously occupied. "Sorry, Dad. She was still sleeping by the time I went to wake her up."
"Y-yeah, my bad." you stammered, his arms still around your waist. Meeting the unnamed girl's eyes, she dropped her eyes, staring at the sand in embarrassment.
She cleared her throat, backing away from the little group of chairs Andy reserved. "Um, it was nice meeting you, Andy."
Andy snorted, not bothering to watch her speed-walk away. He turned back to you, slowly releasing you from his grip, but he moved you to the middle chair, putting you between him and Jacob. "Sorry about that but I couldn't get rid of her."
His tone sounded sincere but his eyes were twinkling. Jacob accepted the response, quickly settling on back, adjusting the umbrella for his preference while you recovered from the shock. You shook your head, waving it away. "It's fine, don't worry about it. Glad I could help."
"Dad, next time you decide to kiss my friend, please, oh god, please don't do it in front of me," Jacob muttered, pulling out his AirPods, dismissing the whole situation away. "I don't need to see the image in my head."
You rolled your eyes at your best friend. "And you say I'm the dramatic one."
Andy chuckled but left the subject drop. He was too busy admiring you in the bikini. He remembered the first time he saw you in a bikini. It was during the DC senior field trip where a few parents had to come along and he was one of them. They had stayed in a hotel with a pool, and Jacob took the opportunity to sneak you and a couple of your friends to the pool, only catching the eye of one parent chaperone. Andy Barber. He had seen you in your bikini, trying not to stare like a perv but he found it hard to keep his eyes away from you.
All three of you spent the day laying down on your lounge chairs, occasionally getting up only to stretch or go to the bathroom. Whenever Jacob would head off to piss, Andy would steal quick kisses, making you long for him even more. After every kiss, you'd get chills and consider calling your parents to get you a therapist.
After a few hours of trying to read Anna Karenina, you finally gave up and got up, telling both Barbers you had to get something from your room when actually all you wanted to do was get some food that wasn't from the sea. Potato chips are what you crave despite how many chemicals there are in the packaged poison.
You had reached the vending machine, pushing the buttons for the Lays chips that definitely wouldn't be filled up properly when you felt a hand touch your waist, a pair of arms turning you around. Spinning, you found yourself in Andy's arms once again. And just like this morning, he kissed you, this time soft and sweet.
Pulling away, he nibbled on your earlobe, the bag of unopened Lays between you forgotten. The PDA made many people in the lobby look, some looking at you with disgust, the rest in confusion like they'd never seen what affection looked liked.
With his lips at your ear, he whispered. "I want you. Now."
And then you found yourself on the bed, Andy quickly untying all the bikini straps, leaving you naked while he took off his swim trunks, kicking them across the room. With a lusted-driven smile on his face, he jumped on you, hovering over you naked body before trailing soft kisses down your body.
You pulled him back up, kissing him harder and deeper. Andy's cock ached as he reciprocated, his aching cock firmly trapped between them while your tits mashed tightly against his body. His broad hands explored the svelte terrain of your spine, until they were suddenly filled with the lush spheres of your ass. He gripped and clutched your warm flesh and ground his need-swollen cock shaft against your supple body.
You whimpered into his mouth while your hands couldn't seem to decide which way to go. They were all over his back and shoulders, sliding over his ass and thighs. You explored him with rapidly growing hunger.
Your rubbed your body back and forth across the hard cockshaft trapped between you. Andy groaned and kissed you again, rolling his thumbs over your protruding nipples. Then he buried his face in your neck and kissed the soft, damp skin where your shoulder met your throat. You tasted so sweet and fresh. His kneading hands caressed your tits with firmly while a soft mewling sound rose out of your throat.
Your right hand fumbled anxiously into the tight space between them until your fingers encircled the hot girth of his cock. Andy nearly felt paralyzed by your touch. His son's best friend's touch. It was so loving and erotic at the same time. Your fingers relished every pulsing contour of his cock as they explored him with ravenous curiosity. Your kiss was just as ravenous, giving and taking all at once.
Andy's hand took a slow, grazing sweep down your body until he was touching your supple thighs. The tip of his cock was seeping precum all over your hand, and you were smearing his entire shaft as you stroked him. He cupped his hand over your mound, and his finger delved against the flushed wet folds of your slick pussy lips.
You gasped sharply at the wet scrape of his finger along your furrow, and your grip on his cock suddenly tightened in response. He practically sank his teeth into your neck. It seemed like your moisture virtually flooded around his finger, and you began stroking his cock with unrestrained excitement.
He found your lips again, and you both looked at each other with wide open eyes as he kissed you deeply, his finger pressing deeper into the yielding folds of your pussy. Your eyes grew huge and your jaw suddenly opened while Andy fingered you. You were incredibly wet and slick. He squeezed your nipple and pressed the tip of his finger deeper into your slick cleft. You rolled your hips against his hand, and reached to hold onto his shoulders while gasping for breath. Luke slid his finger in and out of your sheath, turning your gasps into moans of pleasure.
"Oh, Daddy, god," you mewled.
He finally drew his finger out of your pussy and took hold of his aching cock. He guided the oozing tip to replace the void his finger had left. Massaging and pressing at your saturated lips. You ground you swollen sexlips against Andy's rigid shaft, smearing your dew along his length. Andy sank back onto the bed, lying back and pulling you with him.
As he gathered the weight of your tits in his hands, your leaned forward, lowering them to his mouth. Whispering groans rose from your throat as he sucked a nipple deeply. He pushed his thumb inside the ring of his own lips and rolled it across your taut, rosy bud along with his tongue at the same time. When he moved to pay equal attention to the other nipple, you braced herself on one arm and reached back with the other, trapping his cock under your palm and rubbing his flesh deeply into your slit.
"Daddy, I need it," you whined. "I need it so bad."
Andy opened his eyes as he felt your tits move out of his grasp and your lips on his chest, kissing a trail down his toned abs until you had the tip of his cock trapped beneath your soft, moist lips. Your tongue swirled out to explore the contours of his ridge, lapping at the thick coating of precum covering his flesh. You moved off to his side and placed your lips along his shaft, massaging him with your mouth.
He groaned and reached for your bare hip, curling his large hand around your cheek while you touched his sac with the tip of your tongue. You licked at the shape of his balls, kissing them, sucking each one into your mouth before letting your tongue explore the sensitive underbelly of his shaft.
He moaned your name. "Fuck."
His fingers slid toward your pussy, the tips lining up along the tight crease between your pussy lips. You opened your mouth and took the head of his cock inside. Andy groaned as he felt you suck, pushing your hand up and down his shaft at the same time. He could feel your tongue moving even as you began moving your lips along the top end of his cock.
Your dripping cunt nectar coated his searching fingers as he took a small thrust upward, aching to be deeper in your mouth, but not wanting to give you too much too soon. The deeper his fingers explored, the more voraciously your consumed his yearning cock.
He was aching for release and could easily just lie back and explode across your tongue, but as his fingers sank deeper in your sodden pussy, he found himself consumed by a swarm of desires.
Andy withdrew his fingers and took you by the shoulder, guiding you to lie next to him. He kissed you again, his cock against you as he found your wet pussy with his fingers. He massaged your slippery lips and slid one, then a second, finger up inside your channel. He gave you several gliding strokes, but then pulled his hand back toward your tits and coated your swollen nipples with the sweet dew on his fingers. He sucked the heady froth hungrily from her nubs while your sighed and clutched the back of his head.
You whimpered weakly as he repeated this several times, but he finally couldn't wait any longer. He turned to face you between the thighs, and slid his tongue in an upward slashing motion along your parted slit. He found your opening with his thumb and pressed inside as he licked around your lips, lapping around the edges of the slip-sliding thrust of his thumb.
Andy's lips soon closed around your hard clit, sucking the taut nub while teasing you with the tip of his tongue. You gnashed your hips against his face and gripped his head with both hands. Before long, you didn't seem to know what to do with your hands until your arms flailed a moment and you gathered up two hard fistfuls of the bedspread. Then your hips bucked and rolled against his mouth, grinding against his driving thumb, and you came with deep, shuddering gasps for air. Andy was amazed by the force of your climax, and it only made him want you even more.
Your ass gradually settled back on the bed. Andy's mouth and hand were thoroughly smeared with your honey. He crawled up to lie beside you and found you half dazed. Your head lolled his way and you grinned at him. He kissed you without stopping to think he was forcing your own taste on yourself, but you kissed him back greedily while his wet fingers twirled firmly around your nipples.
You mewled into his mouth and reached for his pulsing cock. You stopped short of yanking, but he moved quickly between your widely splayed legs. Your skin was warm and damp, unearthly smooth against his hips. The underside of his straining cock lay poised against your pussy, still flushed and inflamed. Your eyes grew wide again as he arched his back, bringing the blunt tip to rest just within the damp maw of your pussy.
Andy pushed forward. Your sweet pussy yielded to the gentle but insistent pressure of his rock hard cock. He sank easily just past the tip before he reared back to take another, deeper drive inside you. Your channel was incredibly snug, yet flowing with honey in the wake of your climax. Within a few more moments, his swollen length was buried inside you, and he kissed you again while his hips began a fluid, rhythmic rocking motion. You mewled and gasped at the insistent glide of your best friend's father's imposing cock.
The desperate need behind Andy's plunging thrusts steadily increased, his cock driving through your core with growing force. Your thighs drew up higher, yielding even more to him, until his balls were nudging your primly puckered asshole with every thrust.
"Owwww fuck!" You suddenly yelped, breathless. "Fuck, fuck...Daddy...ffffffuck!"
Andy kissed you ferociously, and then raised himself higher above you. He massaged your knotted clit with his thumb, rubbed the foam of the union over your nipples, rubbed your clit again, pushed his wet thumb in your mouth and watched you suck your mingled taste as he shoved and thrust and plunged.
Your entire body shuddered. "Daddy," you gasped. "C-c-cum...in...me..."
Andy dropped his weight back on his hands and let go. He drove his pulsing cock harder and faster than ever before, feeling the walls of your channel ripple around his driving stalk. You pounded a steady beat against his tightly flexed arm with a loose fist, rolling and grinding against him as if you could swallow him up completely.
With a deep, heaving groan, Andy's granite cock lurched with explosive spasms, and he felt the rush of his own body-heated froth spurting into your undulating core.
Just before you could thank him, the door opened.
"Hey, I—" Jacob started, his eyes widening, jaw dropping as soon as he saw the compromised position you were in. "What the fuck!"
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horsesandhockeyplayers · 2 months ago
Text
Fourth Line Grinder-- Part 9
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Author’s Note:  This beautiful header is courtesy of @whatishockey​ and her brilliant creative mind. This part is ALL NEW NEVER BEFORE SEEN (because I just wrote it) Please see the masterlist post to see the 2018 American Stakes.
TW: smut, fictional animal death
Word Count: 3533
Word Count TOTAL: 55,250
Song: Dark Horse - Aaron Watson
Synopsis:  Nell Sayer, often called The Witch for her ability to heal horses that are deemed lost causes, is content with her life. With a job where she makes a good living and her two best friends, Nell is unprepared for the changes a meeting with a once-in-a-lifetime horse and his incorrigible owner brings, knocking her off her feet…literally. If only she were as good at listening to her heart as she is at listening to the animals she loves.
Tag List: @laurenairay, @danglesnipecelly, @hockeylvr59, @whatishockey, @thebookofmags, @princessphilly, @glassdanse, @tippedbykreider, @iangiemae, @kotkaniemi-caufield-mom, @marcoscandellas, @mac-blackwood, @fanficrecsby-e
Part 9
I wasn’t as superstitious as most professional athletes, but as the sun peeked across the horizon on Grinder’s race day, I was starting to think our stable row was cursed.
A dark cloud of misfortune seemed to hang over our barn. Dick’s brother, Doug had let us fill stalls in his row. Several horses developed snotty noses; one of Dick’s fillies developed a respiratory infection, the colt strained his digital flexor during training, and a small fire of suspicious origins started in the tack room one afternoon, destroying several thousand dollars worth of tack including bridles, saddles, girths etc. Carlos and the rest of the Latin workers took to carrying rosaries and it wasn’t uncommon to see them crossing themselves before entering the O’Neill barn.
Through it all, Grinder stayed steady. The horse was a machine and seemed to get better every day. Without having to worry about pain his personality started to develop and while he was still capable of taking a chunk out of someone most of his bad behavior mellowed and turned into mild quirks. The road cone perimeter outside his stall remained, but these days he prefered to pick them up and shake them at people rather than lunging to bite their heads off. He was still girthy because of his ulcers and I had a feeling he was always going to have a reaction to the memory of the pain.
I had a strong urge to smoke cleanse the barn before Grinder’s race but after the fire, it seemed in poor taste. In hindsight, I probably should have anyway.
The morning felt off, as every morning at Santa Anita felt since we arrived. I hacked Grinder around the track bareback, letting him stretch his legs and take a good look at everything. There was a chaotic energy thrumming through his body and it left me feeling unsettled.
I was leaning on his stall door as the first race of the day started. EJ came up behind me, his arms circling my waist as he pressed his body against mine. “Standing here fretting isn’t going to change the energy in this place.”
Sliding my hands along his arms I leaned into him, “I can’t wait to get out of here. We should submit this barn to Ghost Hunters.”
His chuckle reverberated through me, “It’s not haunted, Peaches.”
“Says you,” I scoffed.
“You’ll feel differently after this guy wins today.”
I stomped the heel of my boot down on EJ’s toe and turned as he stepped away, “Don’t jinx it!”
He frowned, “Since when are you all superstitious?”
“I’m not, it’s just… this place. Everything that has happened…”
“It’s just an unfortunate coincidence.”
I squinted at him, “Aren’t you a professional athlete?”
He waved his hand at me, “Stressing about it isn’t going to improve the energy.”
I hated when he was completely right.
Leaning past me, he unclipped the stall guard and used his big body to herd me into the stall before securing the guard with the top snap and pressing me up in the corner out of sight from prying eyes.
I always felt so small when he used his body like that. His big hands cupped my jaw and he kissed me with intent. His tongue sliding across my lips and invading my mouth.
I felt him hard against me and I cupped his length, rubbing him through his linen pants.
He had dressed stylishly for the 90 degree day, a lilac shirt under a linen suit, a straw hat on his head, with a band that matched his pocket square. I desperately wanted him naked and I kissed him like a starving woman.
His groan rumbled down my throat as I frantically undid his belt and pants, pulling his shirt from them, needing to feel his skin.
“Fuck,” he breathed against my lips as I freed him from his pants. His cock hot and heavy in my hand.
Deft fingers plucked at my belt and jeans, “I need you,” he whispered against my neck as I stroked him.
Pushing my jeans down around my thighs he spun me around and pushed down on my back until I braced my hands against the wooden wall worn smooth by the years. His fingers pushed between my lips and he found my slit already wet. “Fuck, yes.”
His fingers were replaced with the head of his cock and I bit my lip to stifle a loud groan as he pushed inside me. My legs were trapped together, increasing the friction as he set a brutal rhythm, our rumpled clothes muting the sounds of our bodies slapping together.
EJ paused when he was fully seated inside and I felt him flex, “Fuck you feel good,” he whispered. His hands wrapped around my hips then and he thrust furiously. I came with a muffled cry, burying my face into my upper arm and he followed soon after with a quiet groan as my pussy clenched around his length.
He pulled me upright against his body and held me as we came down from our high. “I didn’t come here for a quickie, I swear.”
“I bet you say that to all the girls you fuck in stalls,” I said panting.
He sighed and pulled out of me, tucking himself back into his pants before trying to help me look like I didn’t just get railed against a wooden wall.
“Nah, just you Peaches,” he said, kissing my forehead. I smoothed the lapels on his linen sport coat and straightened his shirt, giving his pocket square a pluck.
“These aren’t my panties right?” I had been indoctrinated into hockey culture as Erik made me watch the NHL awards the previous evening. It hadn’t helped me destress as I imagined having to attend the glamorous event, but Carey Price’s wife had made headlines when she revealed Carey had forgotten his pocket square and used a pair of her panties instead.
“Peaches, your panties would be one of those huge old timey handkerchiefs.”
I frowned, “Are you saying I’m fat?”
“No, I’m saying you wear the same panties as my grandmother.”
I stuck a hand on my hip, “How is that better?”
He straightened my silk top, tucking the bra straps back underneath the material, “It’s not better, but it’s true.”
My nose wrinkled and I thought about texting Mel: Help, need not Grandma underwear but that would mean having to explain to her the current status of my unmentionables drawer and decided that was a problem for another day.
Grinder gave us a distasteful look and I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing, “I think he’s disappointed in us.”
Erik gave the horse a pat and gave me a peck on the lips, “Come on, let’s go watch some of the races. Dick is going to kick you out of the barn anyway.”
Santa Anita had made everyone in the barn at least a little superstitious and I had been banned from the aisle once the races started. I had a feeling that was for the best since Grinder and I felt like two balls of anxiety someone was throwing at the wall.
Instead, EJ and I paced from the owner's box to the saddling paddock as I helped him handicap his bets. By the time Grinder’s race came around, he was several thousand dollars up and I was owed a very fancy dinner. Like before, I had been banned from the paddock for the horse’s race and I watched from the rail as the horses come out of the track from the tunnel.
Erik was standing next to me and I was gripping his hand for all I was worth until he shook me off, “Well, I’m glad I don’t plan on having kids until I retire.”
I gave him a perplexed look until he flexed his hand in an exaggerated fashion, “I still need my hands to pay for all of this.”
My deadpanned look spoke for me and I twisted my race program in my hands instead deciding if I ever had kids with him I would break his hand just for posterity. The horses’ energy seemed frenetic as they paraded in front of the stands and started their warm up. The pony horses seemed pressed to try and keep up with their youthful charges. The exception being Grinder as he long ago pulled away from his outrider and was all business.
A foreboding feeling settled deep in my gut and I started toward the grandstand exit, “Something is going to happen, I can feel it, I’m watching by the rail.”
Erik sighed and was right on my heels as I headed into the California sun. After the Kentucky Derby debacle, I just stayed in my work clothes, or brought a change of outfits. I wanted to be prepared for any contingency. I had opted for a silk polka dot top, paired with my work jeans in a French Tuck (thank you Tan France) and robust pair of flats that wouldn’t disintegrate if I needed to run across the dirt track.
The horses took forever to load, a good handful putting in a lot of effort not to go into the large scary starting gate.
Grinder had drawn a post in the middle of the field and if he broke with his normal lackadaisical speed, he would be fine.
The starting bell rang, the gates clanged open and everything seemed to go in slow motion. The front runners broke fast, pulling away from the pack in the first dozen strides. The 8 horse on the outside swerved hard and crashed into the horse next to him causing a domino effect of horses slamming into each other. Primed with all that nervous energy, Grinder had broken faster than normal and was in the middle of the chaos. I held my breath as Mikey pulled him up hard, but it wasn’t enough to keep the 6 horse from taking Grinder’s front legs out from under him. The big horse crashed to his knees, his scream echoing in my ears as I gripped the rail so hard in front of me, my knuckles turning the same shade of white as the paint.
The front runners were well on their way to the first turn clear of the whole collision. A young colt was down and thrashing as Mikey kept his seat and Grinder struggled to his feet, leaping over the injured colt and surging after the field. Mike stood in the stirrups pulling with all the strength in his lithe jockey body, but the gelding wasn’t having any of it. Grinder’s stride was tentative at first as he fought against the reins, but once Mike felt the horse’s steady four beat gallop, he settled into a crouch and let the gelding run. The human and horse ambulances had made it onto the turf and they had less than 60 seconds to clear the track before the horses came around the final turn toward the wire.
I couldn’t watch as the colt was loaded into the van with a winch, his injury probably fatal, his jockey put onto the backboard. My eyes wouldn’t leave the big black freight train chasing the rest of the field like a demon possessed.
They were coming out of the clubhouse turn into the backstretch, Grinder a good 20 lengths back from the front runners. Mike sat still on his back, arms moving with the horse’s stride. Mike and I were clearly on the same page, just let him go until the end of the race or he died. A horse with that much heart was going to run until the race was over or he collapsed. I desperately hoped it wasn’t the latter as one of Erik’s hands landed over mine.
I screwed my eyes shut and breathed. I could feel Grinder’s hooves hit the ground with every stride, his giant breaths seemed to rattle in my chest and the world was nothing except that horse thundering down the track.
By the time the horses entered the far turn, both equine and human ambulances were speeding off the field sans sirens. Grinder had closed the gap and was starting to pick off trailers in the strung out field of 7..
The crowd that had collectively gasped during the collision seemed eerily quiet as the horses raced for home. They started to murmur as Grinder came alongside the trailers and passed them settling in the gap behind the cluster of lead horses. Even a blind person could have told you when Mike found Grinder’s sixth gear because the silent crowd erupted in a roar as the gelding inched past the 3rd place horse, digging for the wire and coming up next to the two remaining in a battle locked in a battle for first place. All three horses stormed down the center of the track, two of them fighting to get their nose in front and Grinder inching along on the outside. A dozen strides from the wire one of the horses faded and even though Grinder was still closing the gap, the wire flashed overhead leaving him with a second place finish.
I don’t know which track and field hurdle champion possessed me at that moment but I was over the chainlink fence and under the track rail as soon as the last horse had gone under the wire, running across the dirt track to the turf. Mikey had finally gotten Grinder to pull up halfway into the Clubhouse turn and was trotting him back. Erik had wisely not followed me, but out of the corner of my eye I saw our team huddling along the rail waiting.
Grinder was drenched in sweat and puffing, foam had developed on his neck and between his hind legs as he slowed to a walk as I approached. I was probably going to get a stern lecture and a fine from the Steward, but I didn’t care. I had just watched this horse be run into, fall to his knees, jump over a fatally injured colt and then battle to second place. If the race had been 9 furlongs instead of 8 he would have won.
“Holy shit Mikey.” I was scanning Grinder for injuries as we walked back toward the barns, the jockey was crossing himself. EJ was on the phone and Carlos met us in front of the Grandstand with a lead and a bucket of water. Mikey hopped off and pulled the saddle off. Carlos clipped the lead to Grinder’s bridle and I took the bucket, pressing a fluffy sponge against the horse’s coat trying to get him cool as fast as possible.
Erik slid the phone back into his pocket and took the bucket from me as we walked, “That was Jesus, he was watching the Simulcast at Golden Gate. Is Grinder ok?”
I continued wringing the sopping sponge over the black coat, “he seems ok. But can you tell Marcy to reschedule any appointments for the rest of today and tomorrow morning?”
He pulled his phone out and squinted as he tried to read his phone in the sun, “She texted me to say she’s already done just that.”
A smile stretched my face despite the emotional turmoil, “She is worth everything. Thank you for finding her for me.”
EJ frowned, “Why is Jesus calling me and why is Marcy texting me of all people?”
Carlos let out a bark of laughter, “Everyone who knows Nell knows she’s not looking at her phone until this horse is safe in his stall and that could be at 9pm tonight.”
We had gotten back to the barns and Dick was back there barking orders, Grinder was swarmed with people. Dick and I had split the cost of a special machine that looked like a shop Vac. It had a large bucket in which ice and water were dumped and it pumped the ice water onto the horse. Once that was done on his body and his breathing returned to normal and a special sheet was put on him. It was made of similar material to UnderAmor. It soaked up the water on the wet horse and it started to evaporate to help him cool even quicker.
My blouse was soaked as was the rest of me as I let Carlos take over his care, “When he’s cool and his heart rate is back to normal I want him on the EquiVibe with ice boots.” The tack stall had a fridge and it was full of ice boots that were either refrigerated or frozen. The EquiVibe was almost like a whole horse scale but instead of telling the horse’s weight it vibrated to help circulation and muscle soreness, preventing lactic acid build up.
Erik and Dick were in the corner talking and I ignored them as I shoved refrigerated cold packs into the boots I would wrap around Grinder’s legs.
What felt like hours later, the last vestiges of daylight were fading in the evening sky and I was once again leaning on Grinder’s stall door. The big horse had every recovery therapy I could get my hands on. I had gone over his body 4 times and I couldn’t find a single spot of swelling, not a scratch, nothing. It seemed amazing but he had come out of that catastrophe without a single misplaced hair. I wanted to google the deities from every single religion on the planet to send up a prayer of thanks.
I was caged against the stall guard by EJ’s arms, “Dick still wants to point him at the Eddie Read in a month.”
Leaning back against him, I pulled his arms around me and tilted my head up and stood on my toes to kiss his jaw. It had been an emotional day and I needed comfort. “I don’t disagree. The trailer is already hooked up and Grinder and I are headed to Del Mar at 4am tomorrow.”
Setting his chin on top of my head one hand pulled out his phone and keeping his arms around me he tapped out a text to Dick, “I’ll make it happen Peaches. But I have a feeling you’ll have a full trailer tomorrow.”
I sighed and watched the horse I had come to love so deeply chew on his hay. After setting Dick in motion, Erik put his phone back in his pocket and spun me around, his lips landing on mine. The kiss was long, wet, and full of every single emotion we had both felt that day. When we broke apart he pressed his forehead to mine, “Do you think he can do it?”
I didn’t even have to think about the answer, “I have no doubt. If that race was half a furlong longer he would have had it today. If he had a clean run he would have had it. With some decent Juju and a longer distance he’s going to blow them away.”
“Even moving up in class?”
“He’s in a class of his own.” My answer earned a toothless smile and I kissed the corner of his mouth.
“Come on Peaches, let’s go to bed. You have an early morning.”
Grinder hung his big head over the stall guard as I closed the door for the night and clipped it shut. He hit my hip with his nose knowing I had at least one treat left. I pulled a sad baby carrot out of my pocket and he took it gently while Erik ruffled his forelock. “Rest up big guy.”
We made our way to Erik’s rental car, “So what’s this about ME having an early morning?”
His arm slid across the small of my back and he pulled me into his body, “You said you wanted to leave tomorrow.”
I gave him a cheeky grin in the fading light, “We share a calendar now Hot Stuff, no more La-Z-Boy racehorse ownership. You don’t have a training session, interview, or calls so YOU are coming with me because Carlos has to stay here until the rest of Dick’s string goes south.”
He made a face, “I’m gonna need a blowjob alarm to wake up that early.”
“Bold of you to assume you wouldn’t be getting one.” I was practically skipping toward the car, the dread of the past week and the turmoil of the day evaporating from my shoulders.
He stopped short, his voice slightly strangled, “I love you.”
Almost tripping, I turned to face him, “What?”
“I love you, Nell.”
I made a face, “is this because I said I’d give you head?”
“No. I mean yes, but no. It’s because of all of you. I just… I love you.”
The temperature had dipped into the high 70s as the sun disappeared beneath the horizon but I felt a panicked sweat prickle the back of my neck, “I..”
He didn’t say anything else, just looked at the ground and smiled to himself before he started walking to the parking lot again, capturing me around the waist and kissing my temple as I was pulled against his body. “I know, Peaches. I know.”
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stellarstarwarsimagines · 6 months ago
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Surprises
Pairing - Din Djarin x Reader
Summary - After loosing the Razor Crest, Grogu, and the Dark Saber coming into Din’s possession, you’re not sure either of you can handle another surprise being thrown your way. 
Word Count - 1.7k
Warnings - Pregnancy
The first time it had happened, you thought something had made you ill. After all, it wasn’t as if you and Din had the best sources of food at your disposal. There had been a couple of times when something had upset your stomach. 
The second time, you had assumed it was leftover from the first. 
When you continued to be sick the next day, a sneaking suspicion had entered your mind. 
The two of you were stationed at Nevarro until you figured out what to do. You no longer had Grogu to watch out for, or a ship to fly in, and you had the dark saber to contend with now. The truth was though, you both needed a break. Too much had happened too quickly, and you both needed time to sort through it all, and the safest place to do that was Nevarro. After all, you had friends there. 
One in particular whose help you were going to need now. 
“Karga. I need you to take me to the best medical droid you have around here.” You told him, barging into his little office like you were on a mission. 
It was clear that he was surprised, but intrigued by your outburst. “Why? What’s going on?” He asked, filing the papers he was looking at away to focus on you. 
You bit your lip. You didn’t want to say it. You didn’t want to jinx it and end up looking stupid in the end, but you also knew Karga wasn’t going to help you out unless he had the story. Letting out a sigh, you crossed your arms over your chest, glancing around the room to make sure you couldn’t be overheard before answering him. “This doesn’t leave this room.” You demanded. 
Karga nodded, looking even more intrigued. 
“ . . . I think I might be pregnant.” 
To your surprise, Greef didn’t look the least bit shocked. In fact, he almost looked . . . smug, leaning back against his chair with a little smirk. “I knew you two were together.” He said. 
“Karga!” 
____________________
You hated being probed by droids. Them taking your blood was one of your least favorite things in the galaxy. There was something about seeing your blood that made you feel dizzy, anyone else’s was fine, but your own? You closed your eyes, biting your lip and waving the droid off as it asked you if you were okay. 
The test didn’t take long. The droid put your blood under a microscope and within moments, it had confirmed your suspicions. 
Pregnant. Eight weeks. 
You slumped against the back of the chair, a dozen different emotions all washing through you at the same time. It was like you two couldn’t catch a break. You were exhausted trying to keep up with all the new things that life was throwing at you, and this was another one to add to the list. You were angry at yourself for not being more careful, anxious because you weren’t sure how Din was going to react to this news. You were sure that Din was going to be a great father, how could you not be after seeing all that he had done with Grogu? But a little voice in the back of your mind wondered if this would be the breaking point. Would he be able to handle another life changing thing on top of everything else? Would he push you aside knowing that it was too much to take on? 
On the other side of your mind though, another little voice spoke up, reminding you that you were now carrying the love of your life’s child, and if everything went okay, you would now always have a piece of him, no matter what happened in the future. 
You couldn’t help but be a little happy about that. 
____________________
Still in a daze, you walked back to the little inn where you and Din had been staying, opening the door to find him sitting there with two bowls of food, waiting on you. 
The sight of him without his helmet was jarring even now. After seeing only the briefest flashes of chin for so long, it always startled you for a moment to see all of that handsome, gorgeous face whenever you did. So you always liked to take a minute to observe it, committing it to memory with a soft sigh.
As soon as he heard you, he stood up, and you were once again struck with how awkward he seemed to move without all the beskar weighing him down. “I - uh - I got us lunch.” 
You smiled at the gesture, but it seemed to be a weak one, because Din’s expression turned to concern almost at once. It was funny, how before you had never been able to tell what he was thinking or feeling, but now it was so easy. You weren’t even sure he knew how expressive those dark brown eyes were. 
He stepped towards you, his warm hand cupping your cheek. You leaned into the touch at once, enjoying the comfort it brought. “Are you all right cyar’ika?” 
His voice was so soft. Softer than it could ever sound coming through his helmet, and you melted at the sound of it. “I think that’s going to depend on you my kar’ta.” You replied, turning your head and closing your eyes to press a kiss against his calloused palm. 
His brow raised in confusion, but at that moment, you caught a whiff of the lunch that Din had brought the two of you. Your eyes widened, and you covered your mouth as a wave of nausea hit you like a blaster shot. You ran into the bathroom, hoping he wouldn’t follow you, but of course he did, holding your hair back as you vomited up the contents of your breakfast. 
“Here, just keep breathing.” He murmured, transferring your hair to one hand so he could stroke your back with the other. “It’ll be okay. Better out than in.” 
Would it be okay? 
Once you were done, you sat down, leaning your back against the wall and watching as he got you a cup of water and a towel. You took them from him gratefully, sipping slowly as to not upset your stomach once more. “Do you think it’s something you ate?” Din asked after a few moments. 
You shook your head, closing your eyes and taking a couple of deep breaths, the nerves of what you knew you were about to have to tell him making it worse. “No, I know it’s not that.” 
“You know?” He repeated, taking the glass from your hands and setting it aside. 
“It’s morning sickness.” You admitted with a little sigh. 
“But it’s the afternoon -”
“Din,” You opened your eyes, finding his confused ones staring back at you. “I’m pregnant.” 
You waited for him to say something, anything at all. You wouldn’t be sure how to feel about this until he did. Instead he fell backwards onto his ass, as if your words had knocked him over. The silence was deafening, and you could feel your heartbeat picking up at the implication of it. 
Would he leave you because of this? “I - I know the timing’s terrible, if you don’t want any part of it, I - I could go.” You suggested. It would break your heart into a thousand pieces, but you could do it for this baby, because the longer you sat there, the more you realized how much you wanted it. No matter how bad the timing was. 
Din kept his gaze on the floor, running a hand through his hair. Your fingers were twitching against your legs, and you . . . you wished he would look at you. If he would look at you, you would have a better sense of what he was feeling and then maybe . . . 
Maybe you could decide if this was a good thing or not. 
Finally, when it felt like years since you had taken a breath, he spoke. “I don’t want you to go.” He said, his voice filled with emotion even as he stared at your feet. “I wouldn’t blame you if you did though. It’s not like this is the best place for a child. We’ve learned that.” He reached out for your hand, stilling your fingers. “If you go, I would make sure you and the child were taken care of. I could send credits -”
“Woah, wait -” You interrupted, shocked at the turn the conversation had taken. “I don’t want to go anywhere. Not without you. I just knew you had so much on your plate already. A baby on top of that . . .” You broke off, glancing down at your own stomach. 
“It’s a lot.” He admitted, and this time when you looked at him, he was looking at you too. Those captivating dark brown eyes were watching you so carefully, and you were sure he was looking for your response, the same way you had been looking for his. 
So you let a little smile settle on your lips, getting on your knees to scoot closer to him, “but we’ve already been doing the parenting thing . . . not with a human, but same concept, right?” You asked. 
A small twinkle appeared in Din’s eyes that made your smile widen. “Might even be easier, since he won’t be able to move things with his mind.” 
“He, huh?” You said as Din pulled you into his lap. “How do you know that?” You asked, slipping your arms around his neck to keep him close. 
“Intuition.” He replied, and you closed your eyes as he pressed a delicate kiss to your chin, lingering there for a moment before speaking again. “I want this if you do, cyar’ika.” Din whispered against your skin. 
“Even with everything else going on?” You whispered, opening your eyes again when you felt his nose brush against yours. You wanted to believe that he wanted this baby with you, and the hint of excitement you spotted in his eyes made you think he did, but you needed to be sure. 
Din’s hand rubbed across your back as he nodded. “Despite everything going on.” His tone turned more serious as he put some distance between the two of you so he could stare into your eyes, removing your arms from his neck so he could take them in his own. “I swear, no matter what else comes our way, I vow to protect you and our child until my last breath.” 
His words, spoken with such conviction and assurance made tears sting behind your eyes. Warmth filled your whole body as you squeezed his hands tight, hoping your eyes were showing how much his vow meant to you. “Then let’s have a baby Din Djarin.”
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ashesandhackles · 6 months ago
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Harry And Personal Conflict: A Meta On Evolving Dynamic With Ron and Hermione
One of my last metas on Harry was how his abuse at the Dursleys informed who he is as a person and a lot of his main personality traits. This time, I want to explore Harry's relationship with conflict, mostly in regard to his best friends - Ron and Hermione.
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First things first, because of his abusive upbringing where he is constantly in conflict with his caregivers, conflict is seen as Bad Thing when we first meet him as a 11 year old. And it informs how he reacts to both Ron and Hermione at first. He instantly relates to Ron because Ron is an underdog - a boy who feels neglected and passed over in his large and boisterous family. Harry shares his own experience of neglect with Ron and they both bond instantly.
His initial impression of Hermione is that she has a "bossy sort of voice" . The bossiness is an important characterstic to his impression of her - she reminds him of an authority figure and he does not particularly take to her as easily as he does Ron. Before the troll incident, he is frequently annoyed by her interventions because "he can't believe anyone would be so interfering". It's her vulnerability and the fact that she may be in danger that makes Harry, and by extension Ron, go after her. And she pays it back in full with a demonstration of loyalty to them in front of people she wants to impress: teachers. This sets the tone of his friendship with Ron and Hermione.
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There is sense of easiness to his friendship with Ron, especially in earlier books that he doesn't quite share with Hermione. This is a bit gendered as well, of course. His relationship with Hermione evolves as Ron's own equation with two of them changes, more specifically Ron's cognisance of his romantic feelings for Hermione. So how does this inform his relationship with personal conflict?
Let's look at it Book wise.
Book 1-4: Since Harry tends to see All Conflict As Bad, when Hermione becomes his friend, he tends to ignore traits of her that he particularly doesn't take to. Specifically her argumentativeness - which he usually leaves Ron to deal with. For example, look at when Hermione drags him off to the kitchens in GOF. When he realises what this is about, he nudges Ron, and Ron does the protesting: "Hermione, you are trying to rope us into that spew stuff again!".
Often, you can say he is amused by Ron's more ..let's say colourful.. reactions to Hermione being overbearing. So when Ron and him are not speaking and Hermione gets a Quidditch term wrong, it causes him "a pang to imagine Ron's expression of he could have heard Hermione talking about Wonky Faints". It's that deeply ingrained into the dynamic.
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While Ron acts buffer and protects Harry from stepping into a potential conflict ("skip the lecture", "don't nag" he tells her), Harry's world view remains quite the same. Part of Harry's growing up is integrating conflicting points of view and gaining nuance. For example, he can't understand why someone like Snape, who seems to hate him so much, can also save his life at the end of Philosopher's Stone. This is his first venture into trying to integrate two conflicting things about a person into nuance. Dumbledore gives him a very easily digestible story, one that appeals to his ideal of his father and Harry is sated.
Again, Harry's world view is tested when he finds out that he relates with Tom Riddle - for their "strange likenesses". He doth protest too much at Dumbledore's office: "I don't think I am like him! I am Gryffindor!". And Dumbledore offers him a wisdom nugget: "It's our choices which define who we are" (paraphrasing). Harry is uncomfortable that he empathises with Tom Riddle, his parents' murderer, at this point in the story.
In the first four books, his only proper personal conflict has been with Ron.
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It is depressing to think about in these terms - but Ron is Harry's first experience of unconditional love (we can even put Hagrid here, but he is not the one who spends most time with Harry). And when Ron and him fight, Harry is so hurt by the prospect that he proceeds to abandon Ron before Ron abandons him. (the whole chucking a "Potter stinks" badge at him and making a jab about having a scar is what he wants, or the fight in DH where he yells "then leave! Pretend you have gotten over your spattergoit and have your mummy feed you up"). It's an interesting defense mechanism and he feels "corrosive hatred" towards Ron during these times because Ron and him aren't supposed to be like this. Ron is a certainty in his life. It's also why when Ron comes back, Harry either doesn't need him to apologise (as in GOF) or quickly forgives him in DH - although I do think Harry thinks the locket bit was punishment enough. But even without the whole locket, I think Harry has trouble holding Ron accountable in general beyond few slaps on the wrist - especially if Ron and he are on good terms.
5th Book: This is the transition point for Golden Trio friendship. Harry has come back from an immensely traumatising night at the graveyard and his PTSD isolates him from his best friends. This is also the point where Ron, especially after GOF, is aware of his romantic feelings for Hermione ("the perfume is unusual Ron", Hermione tells him in this book). So in this book, we often see Ron and Hermione on one side, with Harry on the other.
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Ron is unwilling (quite like Harry in that respect) to engage him in a direct conflict, but he is also unwilling to shield him from Hermione's nagging in this book. This is why, OOTP is the book where you see Harry ignore or avoid Hermione and lie to her more than usual to avoid conflict. For example, he tells her that Snape thinks he can carry on Occlumency once he got the basics - that is categorically not what happened. Or the entire day he spends ignoring Hermione's warnings about breaking into Umbridge's office. (The description here is comical - about Hermione vehemently hissing so much that Seamus Finnigan is checking his cauldron for leaks. ) If he cannot lie to her or avoid her, at the end of the rope, he will treat her to display of his frightening temper.
Interestingly, OOTP is also the book that his world view goes through a tremendous upheaval: mainly, his ideal of his father and having empathy for Snape. It is unnerving for Harry to see Snape being the "boy who cried in the corner" when his father shouts at a cowering woman. Similarly unnerving is that his intense empathy for him - "he knew exactly what Snape felt when his father taunted him and judging by what he had seen, his father was every bit as arrogant as Snape always told him".
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While he is placated that his father grew out of it, this memory of his father being a bully is something he cannot bear to watch again in DH. Few chapters later, he grins at Ron "sweeping his hair" back to make it look more windswept, just like his father - suggesting that Harry is beginning to integrate two conflicting things he knew about his father: from the people who loved him vs the people he was cruel to.
6th Book onwards: It's interesting to me that his better appreciation for Hermione comes after OOTP (one, because she is the one who challenged the whole Ministry plan and she followed him into a trap knowing it was one anyway) but also the timing of it is in line with Harry having a more nuanced understanding of his father. He struggled to hold conflicting information about him into one cohesive person - the boy who was a bully vs the man who joins Order of Phoenix to fight a war he could very well have sat out. The pedestal crashing helped Harry gain nuance (he thinks of his father and mother with pride in HBP - of them walking into an arena with head held high). HBP also sets up his deeper understanding with Snape in DH. There is lovely meta by about this by thedreamersmusing. Read it here. HBP is also the book he feels "sorry" for Voldemort and also feels "reluctant admiration" for him - both of things he is less defensive about.
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And this nuance informs his relationship with conflicts - especially the kind he has with Hermione. He is more confrontational with her and does not lie or sneak around her as much as he did in OOTP in the Half Blood Prince. ("Finished? Or do you want to see if it does back flips?" He asks her when she takes the book from him to check if it's jinxed. Or the "I hope you enjoy yourself" he calls out irritably when she declares intention to find out who HBP is. And "do you want to rub it in Hermione? How do you think I feel now?" He tells her when she says she was right about HBP).
The fact that he is willing to be confrontational with her is a big step in his character - a step up from his unregulated outbursts in OOTP, which is a function of him not knowing how to put his anger across in normal ways. He is also more willing to stand up for her in front of Ron too - "You could say sorry" he tells Ron bluntly. This is in contrast to his more quiet standing up for her in POA: "Can't you give her a break?" Harry asked him quietly. In POA, he lets the subject drop after Ron flatly refuses. Here, he presses on more : "What did you have to imitate her for?" "She laughed at moustache!" "So did I, it's the stupidest thing I have ever seen".
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His relationship with Ron is an interesting contrast to his relationship with Hermione, which functionally teaches a very important lesson for an abused child who thought all conflicts are bad: That his friendship with her is challenging, and frustrating, filled with conflicts but their love for each other isn't disputed. It's a very important thing for brain development in general - to hold conflicting information in one space. The defense mechanism abused children do to avoid this is called splitting.
So, Ron allows Harry to be the age he is: a teenager and it's foundation for his further development, and Hermione teaches him how to be an adult, and therefore, spurs his growth. (In esoteric terms, if you look at Ron and Hermione as proxy parents - Ron is the Mother archetype, the one who offers unconditional love. Hermione is the Father archetype - one who demands best of him, and guides him).
Additional reading: Harry, Prongs and Prince - Harry's Inner Struggles For Forging An Identity. By u/metametatron4
Harry Identifies, and Reluctantly Admires Snape Even Before The Prince's Tale by thedreamersmusing
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forutheworld · 6 months ago
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Cold Feeling. | Wilbur/Ghostbur
c!Wilbur/Ghostbur x gn!reader
I don’t think pronouns were mentioned anywhere
Although the reader is set to not be European-
This is for @quackisinnit​​’s writing comp! Congrats on 1k <33 you deserve it
Prompt: ❝  you’re so warm ❞
Italicized paragraphs mean flashback
Song recc : My Oxygen by love-sadKID
Word count: 1.9k
CW: one curse, a bit of violence? (death mentioned)
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You were always jinxing yourself, but maybe this time you had gone too far.
You could never stop yourself from worrying about dying, no matter how much you pretended you didn’t. You had watched so many people lose their last life that now that you were on your last one, your heart rate was quick to speed up the moment something went even slightly wrong.
But of course, you couldn’t do anything to prevent it when it actually happened.
Despite the constant worry, you knew people still needed help. And if you were to go down trying to help someone, at least that would be a bit more memorable. It wasn’t your main concern to be known, but instead to make people’s lives easier and get farther than you ever could. That’s what pushed you to continue helping people out no matter how risky it could be.
It was quite indecisive, you knew that. Perhaps over time you had gotten so used to over worrying that you gradually became more confident in surviving.
Then again, the way you died wasn’t really expected, you still weren’t sure of the details yourself.
One moment you were in the process of chopping down a tree and the next you were looking at your own body, face down on the ground with an axe through your back. Whoever had killed you drank an invisibility potion and ran away before it wore off, giving you nothing to go off of regarding who wanted you dead.
You were still able to touch things, you found, although everything full of life felt ice cold. As you finished cutting down the tree, trying not to think about how it was coated in your own blood, you instead distracted yourself with other thoughts.
Were you ice cold too? Would people be able to see you?
And would anyone even notice your absence?
Sure, you’d helped multiple people out, a brown haired man in a beanie who needed lots of concrete powder had been one of your most recent completions. It was a bit more memorable, as you ended up working alongside a younger blond who had quite the vocabulary, but they all had nice energy. They spoke profusely about how destined “L’Manberg” was to be.
Truthfully, it had been a bit awkward for you, as part of the name had been decided due to their nationality, and you weren’t a European of any kind. As they bashed most typically Americans and sometimes women, you nodded along silently, and by the time you and the blond had finished acquiring all the concrete powder, he seemed to change his mind and talked about buying a woman...
The memory made you chuckle, the whole group, as sometimes you’d seen several others around the territory, were a nice change of pace, and you reflected on more memories of them as your dragged yourself back home. 
Maybe now that you were dead, you would hang around them without the concerns of appearances and dying.
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So far, no one had noticed your disappearance, it seemed. Which was good. You didn’t want to see anyone upset, if they even would have been over such a small person’s death.
You dropped off the loads of wood at the Community House for Sapnap and soon found yourself taking a nap near it. When you woke up, you felt a bit more re-energized and the weight of death was no longer on your mind.
Now, you planed to find and tag along with wherever the young boy and man with a beanie were going.
You really should have remembered their names, but they had only briefly introduced themselves maybe once or twice and you hadn’t been paying attention.
And you weren’t here either, so when a surge of warmth phased through you, it surprised you. You turned around immediately, stopping in your tracks only for the source of heat to do the same.
It was the brunette you’d just been trying to remember the name of, and he looked just as surprised. At first, you thought he could see you, but he seemed to be staring through you at the path you two were on. You sort of wished he could have seen you, though.
He’d been kind to you, and the warmth you’d felt from him actually matched his personality quite well, it was comforting and had you wishing for more.
“Wh- Wilbur you good?” you noticed the blond from before awkwardly chuckle at his older friend.
“Uh, yeah. It was just really cold for a second, holy shit,” Wilbur seemed to shiver, turning around to continue walking with his friend.
You felt a bit bad, truthfully. You were sure he was right. You probably felt just as cold as everything you had touched prior to walking through him. Yet as you ran to touch a cow that was near you, it was still cold.
Furrowing your brows, you looked back towards the duo. What had made that man different from everything else?
It made you curious, so you continued to follow them, hoping it didn’t seem creepy.
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Over the rest of the week and one after, Wilbur continued to be the only thing that made you feel warm, which led to you following him around frequently. At least it didn’t seem to bother him, since he couldn’t see you. 
Embarrassingly enough, though, there had been a few times where you accidentally brushed past him or fell asleep with your head on his shoulder, and that was when he noticed a cold feeling. You followed him around, yes, but you didn’t constantly walk through him or anything. You still wanted to respect his boundaries and it didn’t feel right to surprise him with the cold whenever you came in contact with him.
And after a bit of time, he noticed the repetitive accidental brushes, actually talking to a few of his friends about his theoretical guess that he had “a little ghost follow him”.
Of course that was embarrassing, but you also found it a little cute and bizarre that that had been his first guess. But soon enough, sometimes when he was alone, he’d talk out loud.
To you.
Sometimes he’d ask how you were doing while reviewing a document, and the ecstatic smile he couldn’t conceal that would make its way onto his face when you brushed past his arm to let him know you were there made you smile as well. 
At the same time, you couldn’t help but think about how disappointed he would be if he found out who exactly you were.
You never thought he’d be able to, though, so you shook the thought from your head.
There you went, soon jinxing yourself again. 
Lately, Wilbur seemed to be a bit out of it, talking about his “Plan B” to those closest to him.
You understood that losing the election definitely took a toll on him, and you couldn’t blame him. But like the others, you didn’t think Manberg, it was now called, needed to be blown up. No matter if they won or lost the fight for it.
Seeing him in the button room, tracing the words etched in the wall, edges of the fated button, and pacing around was by far one of the hardest things you’d ever witnessed.
Never, in your whole time as a ghost, had you wanted to be seen and heard until then. To tell him it was okay.
There had been a moment where he talked to you about it, but it only made you feel more guilty.
“Little Ghost, I haven’t felt you recently. But I think I understand why. You don’t agree with my plan either, do you?”
That made you press your lips into a thin line. You disliked that he was right; you wanted to be there for him and to support him but you also wanted what was best for him.
“That’s fine, you know. I get it. Everyone thinks I’m insane and they probably aren’t wrong. But they don’t understand that if that’s what it takes to get what I want I’ll go insane. My own son isn’t on my side! What do I have to lose?” Wilbur turned around with a wicked smile spread across his face.” After a pause he asked, “Do you think I’d get to see you if I died?”
You weren’t sure how to feel when he asked that. Part of you felt happy that he’d want to see you but the rest of you was worried. You didn’t want him to die or find out who you were.
In response, you brushed a hand against his arm. You weren’t even sure what you were trying to say- there was too much.
But whatever it was that you were trying to tell him, with a soft smile on his face as he looked at where you had touched, he said, “I understand.”
You couldn’t do anything about it, though. Nothing for Tubbo or the others killed by fireworks. To comfort Tommy, and later nothing for Wilbur. Couldn’t stop him from going to the button room or help Phil convince him, nor prevent the father from killing his own son.
You were so so useless. You hated being dead. You hated yourself.
It was so cold now.
With no one left to follow, you wandered the remains of L’Manberg, observing the damage TNT and two withers had caused. The pain in everyone was clear to see, but you could barely feel your own. On the inside or from the rain, all you felt was how freezing it was without him.
But wandering farther down the wooden path you were on, you saw a yellow sweater.
Whoever wore it stood still, looking up into the rain with one hand raised to catch the falling rain at their waist. From what you could see, their hand was melting, similar to you as droplets continuously hit you, causing your own self to melt.
When you saw the beanie and brown curls coming out the side of it, you finally stopped in your tracks.
You were hallucinating, weren’t you? You needed to get out of the rain. 
Yet you stayed where you were, watching as he brought his head back down from looking at the sky and turned, looking at you.
Heat blossomed from inside of you and your feet started moving automatically at a quick pace towards him. You saw his face brighten and he chose to run towards you, grabbing your hands and stopping in front of you once he was close enough.
“Wilbur?” you whispered, holding back onto his hands.
This was real. You could feel his hands, which were seemingly cold, however it didn’t bother you. It was a different cold from what you had just felt only seconds ago.
“[Y/N]!” Wilbur replied with enthusiasm, something you hadn’t heard in his voice in a while. It made you smile and even more warmth spread throughout you, “Wow... you’re so warm,” he commented, his thumbs rubbing over the base of your hands. “You know, I think Alivebur always thought it was you following him around. He hadn’t seen you around for a while so he suspected that you were the cold shock he felt. I think I’m the cold one now- but it’s so good to finally see you!” the man pulled you in for a hug, surprising you for a second but you hugged back soon after. It was good to finally talk to him.
“Aliverbur? Aren’t you-”
“I’m Ghostbur! I don’t want to be considered the same person as Aliverbur, but I do have his memories and everything else mainly,” he cut you off, still sounding excited as he introduced himself.
“Well then, it’s very nice to see you as well, Ghostbur,” you said with a smile, “I’m the ghost who you probably remember as a cold feeling by your side.”
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leydileyla · 3 months ago
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@leydileyla's 1k Writing Challenge!
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*Event Masterlist*
Hellooo everyone! Can't believe I'm at 1k! I'm so happy to be able to share my fics and read yours and have conversations! It just means so much!
So I've decided that I'll host a lil writing challenge as a celebration! Welcome to my Wand Shop! Where you can choose the core of your wand and the wood, so you can write amazing fics!
And don't forget; The wand chooses the wizard, Y/N. It's not always clear why. But I think it is clear that we can expect great things from you.
Here are some rules!
All writers are welcome! Choose a core and the type of wood of your wand and the character/characters and send me an ask/a message so I can add you to the list!
You can join with character x reader fics or character x character fics. All is welcome! (Oh but Harry Potter characters ofc, for this event)
I won't be crossing out or tagging the prompts, so feel free to use whichever.
Smut is accepted but not if you're a minor!
The last date to post your stories is 30th of August. I'll be forming a masterlist for this event, so please tag me, message me when you post your fic! (İf i don't see it, feel free to message me, you know how Tumblr can be with notifications) You can also use the tag #leydileylas 1k writing challenge
This is a writing challenge, but if you are an artist who wants to join in, feel free!
Message me if you have any further questions, this is the first time I'm hosting a writing challenge so I may have left something out 😁
List of Wand Cores/AU Ideas
ASHWINDER ASH - Fake/Pretend Relationship AU
- As times get tough we must get tougher with them, I’ve always said the best offense is a good defense. This core is best for protection charms.
BADGER CLAW - Mafia AU
- This core will give you a greater sense of organization, as well as a stubborn determination to succeed. Recommended for more complex spells.
BASILISK FANG - Assassin AU
- While a wand can contain any part of a creature the fang is the most powerful part of a Basilisk; the remnants of the venom greatly strengthens any spell. To handle a wand with a core like this, one must have qualities such as subtlety, focus and speed.
CENTAUR TAIL HAIR - Bookstore AU
- While the Centaur may not trust most Wizards they are still considered very wise and logical, making this a very stable material for your core. They are also known for their skillfulness in healing making this core useful in healing charms. (Good for power, protection, general magic)
CHIMAERA SCALE - CEO AU
- Extremely rare and exceedingly powerful. I’d recommend this core for any aspiring future Aurors.
DEMIGUISE HAIR - Blind Date AU
- If your area of expertise is Transfiguration this core is for you. It works beautifully for all your transfiguring needs.
DRAGON HEARTSTRING - Angel - Demon AU
- If hexes are your thing, this core is for you. While is can be used in any area of magic is has a curiously strong amplifying effect on hexes.
GNOME HAT - Bartender AU
- Stolen from the Gnomes that inhabit Bethania's own herb garden. This particular core works curiously well for the extremely mischeivous.
GRINDYLOW TOOTH - Prison AU
- A powerful but temperamental core. Works extremely well with hexes, jinxes and curses. Though it has been known to occasionally back-fire on the user.
HIPPOGRIFF TALON - Royalty AU
- Charms seem to work especially well with this core.
KELPIE HAIR - Modern AU
- A well rounded core nearly perfect for any spell.
MANTICORE HAIR - Pirate AU
- A perfect core for protection charms, works best for those who are brave, loyal, strong and fierce.
MERMAID SCALE - Ballet AU
- This core will provide the best positive effects for the more creative and elusive wand bearers.
OWL FEATHER - Pen Pal AU
- Can be useful in a pinch as a way to solve unexpected problems, acquire wisdom, provide insight through dark times, maintain secrecy and improve sensory reception.
PHOENIX FEATHER - Arranged Marriage AU
- This particular core is the most magical I’ve ever come across. It is extremely versatile and can be used to great benefit in all areas of magic. However, it is also the most temperamental if not partnered with the correct wand bearer.
RAVEN FEATHER - Antique Shop AU
- This core will help the wand bearer obtain a higher level of energy and imagination. As it works well to bring about change it works well for Transfiguration and Charm work.
SPIDER WEB - Artist AU
- Works best with creative people as it helps to inspire.
THESTRAL HAIR - Roommate AU
- If you cannot see a Thestral, this core is not for you. Thus, it is not for the faint hearted. Should you be able to use this core it will help you keep your bearings, even in the most confusing and trying times.
VEELA HAIR - Soulmate AU
- It is rare that a Veela will allow anyone to use their hair in a wand. Luckily I just happen to know one who does. This core is useful for spells related to love or beauty. Also handy for transfiguration and charms. This core has been found to be, as it's source, quite temperamental.
List of Wand Woods/Genre
ALMOND - Fluff
- Described as 'sweet and natural', and used for self-protection. Its aspects are fruitfulness and virginity.
BLACK WALNUT - Hurt/Comfort
- Walnut is said to provide security against the Dark Arts.
ELDER - Enemies To Lovers
- Written to be among the most powerful of all wand woods. It symbolizes regeneration and it is believed to be a cure all within magical circles... it is also beneficial in times of transformation and change.
HOLLY - Smut (no minors)
- Means 'holy' and has several uses such as making dye and use as an aphrodisiac. Its aspects are holiness, consecration, material gain, physical revenge, and beauty.
PERNAMBUCO - Songfic
- A favorite amoung wand bearers with musical talent. Some of the finest bows for string instruments ever made were molded from the wood of this tree. Unfortunately with the Muggles pension for destroying Brazilian rainforests it’s availability is limited.
ROSEWOOD - Romance
- Rosewood is well known for its powers in matters of the heart as well as for its medicinal qualities. This makes it the perfect wand for love charms and healing. It is also well suited for use in divination.
WALNUT - Friends To Lovers
- Known for its protective nature which makes it perfect for security against the dark arts.
YEW - Angst
- Sacred to Hecate in both Greece and Italy, and thought to be associated with death. Not much is known about its aspects other than its use for destruction and death. When combined with positive cores however it's negative aspects can be easily balanced out.
Okay, so that concludes everything! I hope you'll have fun, and please let me know when you've posted so I can add it to my masterlist and reblog the fics! Tagging a few lovely mutuals and writers, because love you guys!
@dreaming-about-fanfictions @dracossweetprincess @dracomalfoys-wh0re @carryonmywaywardbucky @hellounicorn @gxtitobxby @happymoony @sirisuorionblack @mrsseverussnape @holden-caulfield @arcaneslut @littlemissnoname13 @eunoniaa @henqtic @carisi-sonny @allys-creative-bubble @cupids-crystals @euthoricspidey @rockinggirl06 @daltonacademia @mellifluousart @illiicitarts @lillianastras @prettygirlkay @earlgreydream @justfangirlthingies @ladyvesuvia and I'm dumb so I may have forgotten some people 😅
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chudleycanonficfest · a month ago
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More or Less
Day 17, Story #2 is by @bavalon18
Theme: You Did What?!
Title: More or Less
Rating: Teen
Canon Pairing: implied Harry/Ginny, Ron/Hermione, Trio Friendship
Summary: Harry engages in some “locker room” talk and immediately regrets it.
Trigger Warning: A character makes a comment that is homophobic or at the very least, implies being LGBTQ+ is a choice but that character is an asshole.
Harry groaned, stretching his neck and pulled his robes out of his locker.
“Not the young guy anymore, hey Potter,” asked Sam Abears, his dueling partner from that morning with a smile.
“Oi! I’ve barely cracked my twenties,” Harry laughed. “But yeah, that last jinx kicked my arse. Nice one.”
“Thanks,” the younger auror smiled. Harry chuckled to himself. Given how much he had enjoyed leading the DA, he shouldn’t have been surprised that he got a lot of satisfaction out of the mornings he spent training the newest recruits. Being Harry Potter was a real annoyance at times but as he got older, he had learned how to use his influence and reach. Deserved or not, he knew that his praise resonated strongly with these trainees and it seemed to motivate them through some of the tough stretches in their training.
“Out of practice, Potter?”
Okay, so not all of the trainees were impressed with him.
Abears rolled his eyes at the voice. “I was giving him a hard time, Moore. He was probably taking it easy on me.”
Mathias Moore strutted into the locker room, towel around his waist. A Slytherin four years behind Harry at Hogwarts, he didn’t share the Death Eater sympathies that many of Harry’s classmates had but he shared many of their personality traits. He was part of the same training class as Abears and was, to put it kindly, a total prat.
“Maybe it’s more that he’s out of shape. Not getting the same exercise he was before,” Moore smirked.
Of course, Moore’s big mouth attracted the attention of several others in the area. “He’s getting the same exercise as you,” piped up another auror, Titus Learn. “You think Potter is shirking the exercise regimen?”
“I mean, we all saw that article right? Potter’s girlfriend is sooo busy, off with the other little Harpies,” said Moore.
Harry sighed. This was always the road of ribbing that Moore went down. Ginny had been incredibly busy but even with the busy road schedule, ambitious training and all of the press coverage, she made time for him and kept their relationship a priority. Not that it was anyone’s damn business.
“Not to overstep Potter but she looked pretty amazing in that Quidditch Weekly spread. I’m a bit jealous,” said Learn. A couple other aurors made noises of agreement.
“She did that shoot with that hot new blonde chaser who was bragging that she’s into birds. Maybe Potter’s girlfriend stayed on the Harpies but switched teams.”
“Ugh, not okay mate,” said Abears.
“I’m just saying, three years on the Harpies… maybe she’s more into quaffles than brooms now,” snickered Moore.
“Don’t worry Moore, Ginny is spending plenty of her time riding on my broom,” Harry shot back. The group that had been observing him and Moore burst into laughter and catcalls.
“Harry!”
Harry froze at the sound of the voice, sharp and familiar over the laughter still surrounding him. He was a complete idiot. In his anger, he had completely forgotten the fact that his best friend would likely be using the exact same locker room. Harry slowly turned around. “Yeah?”
“Stop yapping and hurry up,” barked Ron, running a hand through his wet hair. “Hermione’s going to have my bollocks if I’m late to meet her for lunch. Meet me outside.” And with that, Ron left the locker room.
Fuck.
+++++++++++++++++++++++
Five minutes later, Harry slunk out of the locker room to find his friends talking quietly. Maybe Ron didn’t even hear what I said.
“Finally,” huffed Hermione. Ron was next to her, frowning. Oh yeah, he heard me. “You know that if we wait until noon to leave, the waits at all the restaurants are a nightmare.”
“Sorry, sorry,” apologized Harry, falling into step behind them.
They all entered the half full lift and Hermione pushed the button for the main lobby. As the lift whizzed through the ministry, Hermione seemed to have relaxed and was happily chattering about a meeting that she had that morning. Harry studied Ron carefully. He seemed okay now; in fact, Ron was gazing at Hermione with the lovestruck look he always got when she went on a particularly passionate tear. I'm such an idiot. Moore’s comment was so ridiculous; I should have just let it go. But no, I had to shoot my mouth off. Maybe I should consider bowing out of lunch. Give Ron an opportunity to be totally distracted by Hermione and he’ll forget I said -
“Harry! Come on,” said Hermione, looking exasperated.
Harry’s shoulders slumped. There was no way out of this now. Hermione was irritated and if he tried to stay back, she was going to demand to know why. Defeated, he trailed after them.
As they stepped on the streets of Muggle London, Ron slung an arm around Hermione and they resumed their conversation with Harry quietly walking alongside them.
“Mortimer’s?” Hermione asked, pointing at the small sandwich shop they were in front of.
Harry was about to agree but then looked at his friends and a memory sprung to mind. “Uh, no,” he cringed.
Hermione let out a growl of frustration. “Harry…”
“What about the curry place you like two doors down?” Harry suggested quickly. He really couldn’t afford to piss Hermione off as well. He needed her on his side when Ron inevitably went off.
“I thought you weren’t a fan of that place,” she replied, looking at him with narrowed eyes.
“Sounds good today,” Harry said. Hermione glanced at Ron, who shrugged and led the way.
A few minutes later, they were seated and Harry was looking at the menu when he felt eyes in him. He glanced up to see Hermione studying him intensely. He gave her a weak smile and took a sip of his water.
“Harry, what is going on? Are you okay?”
“Uh, yeah, yeah, I’m fine. No problems here.”
“Did something happen at the training session?” Hermione asked.
Harry looked down at the menu and shook his head.
“Did something happen at the training session?” Hermione repeated, this time looking at Ron.
“No,” said Ron, looking at Harry for the first time since they sat down. “It was completely norm—oh.” Something seemed to click and Ron rolled his eyes. “Harry, I know you’re shagging my sister.”
Harry immediately began to choke on the water he had been sipping.
“Ron!” Hermione exclaimed.
“That’s what he’s being weird about,” Ron insisted. “Isn’t it?”
Harry took a long drink of water and managed to get his throat cleared. “Look, I swear mate, I didn’t mean to say anything like that. It just slipped out.”
“What slipped out?” Hermione asked.
“One of the trainees was making these jokes about Ginny and her teammates and… I got defensive and made some stupid broomstick joke,” Harry said, feeling his face get hot.
“I get it,” Ron said. “I figured it was Moore being an arse. He’s so weirdly aggressive about everyone’s sex life. Every Auror gets caught up with Moore and says more than we intend to at some point. I don’t get why you’ve got your wand in a knot. Just because I don’t want the details of what you two get up to doesn’t mean that it bothers me that it’s happening.”
Harry stared at him.
“It’d be worse if it wasn’t happening, I reckon,” Ron contemplated, taking a sip of his own water.
“What?” said Hermione, looking almost as surprised as Harry.
Ron shrugged. “If you and I weren’t having sex, we’d be pretty miserable, wouldn’t we?”
“Yes, I suppose,” she agreed. “And likely making everyone around us miserable.”
“See? I don't want my sister or my best mate trapped in a miserable relationship! What kind of life is that? Why are the two of you acting so weird about this?”
“I would give anything for a Time Turner and a portable Pensieve so I could show your sixteen-year-old self this conversation,” Hermione pointed out.
“Yeah, well, that prat wasn’t regularly shagging his dream girl so he was a bit uptight,” Ron grinned. Hermione rolled her eyes but bit her lower lip, which made Harry cringe. These were classic flirting signs between the two of them and he now really regretted not skipping lunch.
“Wait,” said Hermione suddenly. “You said that ‘every Auror has got caught up’ with Moore and said ‘more than we intend’. Does ‘every Auror’ include you?”
“What’s that now?” asked Ron, ears turning red. “Uh, let’s place our order, yeah?”
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