You and Erik being in a long distance relationship and your phone is locked for the first time…
You and Erik have not seen each other for 3 months, and you both felt the absence hard, so when you reunited and suggested that the week should include nothing but cuddling with each other he didnt need convincing.
As much as he refuses to admit it, Erik loves being entangled with you between the sheets, dont even got to sex, he just likes being surrounded by you and endulging in your presence. But you aint got to know all that.
You guys were currently watching re-runs of Black-ish to get caught up for the season finale, because someone refused to let you watch it without him, “(y/n) this is OURRR show so by law you cant watch OURR show when there isnt an OURRRR” he cried over skype.
You looked over to see your big baby nodding of to sleep so you took the oppurtunity to go chow down on some fancy cakes and beef jerky from your cabinet, leaving your phone faced down on your side of the bed. Your actions didnt go unnoticed by Erik .
Ever since he came back to town, he noticed that you avoided leaving your phone alone, you guys usually had an open phone relationship and both of you didnt have passwords (or so he thought) because yall didnt have shit to hide. While you were occupied in the kitchen your phone went off with a few messages from someone named “Daddy❤”
He picked up the phone but when he read who it was from it was like he hit a brick wall. I mean this nigga did a whole neck back motion as if the brick wall hit him. He immideatly pressed the home button to unlock your phone and investigate but was met with a 6 digit passcode.
Fear dawned on him and he started to question you guys relationship for the first time. “Who tf is this texting her? Damn when she get a passcode? Oh my fuckin god somebody been blowin my baby back out! How could she do this to me? Am i not worth it for her anymore? Did she really find someone to replace me?
All these thoughts were rushing through his mind at once, when he heard your footsteps he acted quickly and put the phone back in its position and went back to his position trying to hide the sadness on his face.
He watched you like a hawk, as you took your position back on the bed and picked up your phone, smiling when seeing the text messages, you unlocked your phone, angled away from eriks eye sight, little did you know, he was breaking his neck to get a glimpse of the 6 digits.
You let out a little giggle, Erik usually wouldve smiled at but this time was different, he was sickened by what he was witnessing, finally speaking up he said or rather yelled "OH AKEKEKE HAHA OH DADDY YOUR SO FUNNY, SO YOU UP HERE ENTERTAINING OTHER NIGGAS (Y/N)?!? His sudden outburst making you jump, wide eyed, but before you could respond he blurted out ” OH SO YOU CANT TALK NOW? YOU CAN TALK TO WHOEVER MAKING YOU GIGGLE LIKE THAT ALL SMILING IN THE PHONE??! *tears falling down his cheeks* SO IM NOT ENOUGH FOR YOU ANYMORE HUH, SO YOU GOT BORED AND NOW YOU FOUND A LIL BITCH TO SATISFY YOU WHEN IM GONE! GONE SIT UP THERE AND HAVE THE AU-FUCKING-DACITY TO TEXT HIM IN MY PRESENCE, WHO IS HE?! GIMME HIS ADDRESS SO I CANT FUCK HIM THE FUCK UP FOR MESSING WITH MY GIRL, NAHH NOT MY GIRL RIGHT? RIGHT? ILL LEAVE SO YOU CAN GET SOME WEAK ASS DICK FROM * crouching over with making a ugly childish face, putting up quotation narks with his fingers* DADDYYY. SHIT.“ ” got me fucked all the way up", he added walking out your apartment with the door shutting loudly behind him, leaving you in complete and utter shock.
AN: Hi everyone. So I’ve finally written another part for Big Move. I proofread for the most part. I am already writing the next part of this, so hopefully, the wait won’t be as long. Thank you for still fucking with this story. Uhh, this story is kinda just a filler.
— Enjoy, Marley
Warnings: a few curse words here and there.
It was early morning and Parish was a nervous wreck. Today was the day. She didn’t know why she was so nervous. She had the job already, this was an opportunity for her to go in and see where and with who she would be working. Still, anxiety pumped thru her views. Did she deserve this opportunity? She thought to herself.
You had dozed off on your way to Wakanda only waking up as you felt steve pat you knee. Your head rested on his shoulder as he said,
“Were almost to his palace.”
you briefly forgot who before looking out the window of the quinjet, Jesus this place was beautiful. You looked at the vegetation that you zoomed by having never seen anything so green, and that was just before you saw the gigantic panther. You were so in awe you barely register that seconds later you were landing causing the ramp in the back to drop where at the bottom waited the King of Wakanda and the Dora Milaje.
Disclaimer: loosely proofread so please forgive me.
She was back in his midst.
How Nayeli had gotten there she knew not.
The one thing she was certain of was the fact that T’Challa sat before her as clearly as the day she had left.
The last dinner.
Things were different than they had been then, in fact, there were no plates, food or cutlery except for a knife that laid at an equal distance reach of both of the people present.
Nayeli eyed it warily, her heart pounding dangerously hard against her chest. She could feel his eyes on her, yet she refused to meet his gaze (or rather felt unable to).
“You’ve done it before, why hesitate now?”
As his voice echoed throughout the room, Nayeli bit back a whimper. T’Challa’s anger was as palpable as the tears that threatened to skew her vision and so she kept her head hanging in shame.
“I had to,” Nayeli found herself whispering.
“You did not,” retorted T’Challa, “you simply chose to.”
Time froze, the knife was suddenly in her hand now and Nayeli looked at it bewildered. It was coated with blood -it was his-that she instinctively knew. Nayeli looked up frantically, her eyes meeting T’Challa’s for the first time.
His eyes were a window to her soul as they mirrored the hurt Nayeli had locked up in the depths of her being.
(While his tunic was stained with crimson, it was her breaths that were ragged.)
T’Challa smiled, a soft chuckle escaping his blood stained lips.
“I was right to think it would be easier the second time around.”
Breath was suddenly taken from her; Nayeli could breathe no longer.
It was a loud ringing that pulled her out of her slumber, or rather freed her from the demons that took pleasure in riddling her dreams with past torments.
Her phone, it rang incessantly and only when Nayeli had pleaded the tears away did she reach to her bedside table for it and croaked a reply.
“Hello, is this Madam Obuko speaking?” the robotic voice on the other end caught Nayeli off guard. As the alarm in her room read three am, she wondered who could possibly be calling this early in the morning.
“Yes this is she,” Nayeli answered after clearing her throat, “may I ask with whom I am speaking?”
“This is Sacred Heart Hospital calling on behalf of a Mr. Cameron Jeffords, you are listed in our records as an emergency contact, we have unfortunately been unable to reach his legal guardians.”
The nerves Nayeli had previously fought to get control over became frazzled once more. It had been a little over a week since school had ended and therefore a little over a week since she had seen or heard from Cameron.
“What happened?” demanded Nayeli.
“There had been an accident involving Mr. Jeffords, we suggest you get to the hospital as soon as possible for further details.”
It was eerily calm when she finally entered through the door of Sacred Heart, the calm before the storm that Nayeli hadn’t even thought she was to brace herself from. A few weary glances were thrown her was as she rushed towards the reception desk in hope for any explanation whatsoever, what she didn’t expect was to be told to wait.
Waiting was never something Nayeli had been keen of, never something she was known to be good at and most importantly never something she had been willing to do for another. And yet, she found herself anxiously waiting for any news of her most promising student who now laid in surgery, with medical forms as her only companion.
When a nurse finally came to brief her, Nayeli’s mind had already traveled to dangerous places, her being was weighty.
“Two bullets in his back, the boy almost bled out but luckily he got here in time. Unknown shooter, the police have been alerted and will come and get a statement when he wakes up.”
“And the surgery?”
“We’re trying to remove the bullets, one seems to be lodged in closer to the spinal cord which makes the job trickier for us, but we will do whatever is in our power to ensure the boy’s wellbeing.”
“Have you tried the parents again?”
“We um- yes,” even in her state of exhaustion, Nayeli could detect the hesitation in the nurse’s voice, “they refuse to come and be by their son-”
“Foster son,” Nayeli corrected
“-they refuse to come and be by their foster son’s side. They have, however, given us the medical information necessary to do our jobs to the best of our ability.”
Nayeli scoffed, she shouldn’t have expected more from those two.
“They should be just about done with the surgery, a couple more hours until he awakens. You should be briefed shortly about the surgery then.”
The sunken look in Cameron’s eyes and the way he had let go of her hand when the doctor informed him that they had only managed to remove one of the two bullets from his back tore Nayeli apart.
A partially successful operation is what they called it, the hospital clearly had a glass half full mentality; and yet Cameron couldn’t help be take into consideration the fact that there still was water missing.
It would cause him much pain, having that bullet remain so close to his spinal cord. Removal was the optimal solution but such surgery would be extremely costly and risky. Not having the surgery was an option, also risky one but an option nonetheless. The bullet would remain –along with the pain- and there could be a chance that it would shift places and come in contact with something crucial –paralysis being a possible consequence.
When Cameron asked her to step out for a minute Nayeli hesitated, taking one look at the desperation in his eyes, she conceded. Her heart hurt for him as she could hear Cameron’s choked sobs from the hallway she had reluctantly stepped into
This couldn’t be it for him. Nayeli refused for it to be so. She had been a fighter all her life and she was determined to help this boy through this hell he was being dragged through. Both would come out on top, that Nayeli would make sure to guarantee.
It took Nayeli three weeks to break.
Three weeks of being ignored by Cameron’s foster parents, three weeks of pleading with banks for loans, three weeks of Cameron being discharged and moving him into her small apartment because hospital bills were starting to get astronomically high, three weeks of praying that the new pain meds actually did something to alleviate the boy’s pain, three weeks of trying to collect enough money to pay for the weekly nurse visits, three weeks of being tired of being tired and three weeks of realizing that maybe she wasn’t enough anymore.
“I can’t do this anymore, Ms.Obu.”
Cameron’s words were mumbled, but to Nayeli they couldn’t have been any louder.
Lying on his side, Cameron looks so small in her bed that he had now considered to be his own.
“I can’t keep doing this to you,” he slurs.
Nayeli knows it’s partially the meds talking but nevertheless she squeezes his hand a little bit tighter. Night time had revealed itself to be tough for Cameron, both the pain and the flashbacks robbing him of the little peace and serenity he had once sought in sleep, so Nayeli stayed by his side until he drifted.
“Go to sleep Cam, everything is going to be fine, you hear me?” She lets out a sigh of relief as she sees the boy do just that.
“But ma, it hurts.”
She freezes; those four little words make her crumble to pieces.
The second Cameron’s breathing evens out, Nayeli frantically searches for the dusty box in the darkest corner of her wardrobe. Her hands shake as she holds it in her hand; its contents being of the highest importance.
Nayeli prays the old trinket still works. After three years, having it around her wrist feels strange, she tries to place the call regardless.
“Nayeli? What in the world? Is it really y-”
“Okoye, I have no time for idle chit chat, I need a favor.”
Seeing the woman’s face after so long brings back memories that had long been buried. There are so many things to be said and yet Nayeli knows there is much at stake and no time to waste.
Okoye, while conflicted is sharp, “what do you need?”
“There is a boy… He is in pain; he can’t live like this any longer. I need, we need you to get us to Wakanda, to Shuri. She’s the only one that can help him.”
While the kimoyo bead projection on her side is blurry, Nayeli can spot the apprehension on her friend’s face.
“Nayeli,” Okoye starts gravely.
“Okoye, I beg of you!” Nayeli pleads, “You know me. You know I wouldn’t ask if there was any other way!”
“It’s been three years since you’ve shown your face,” Okoye hisses, “how do you think he’ll react to you let alone bringing a foreigner into our land?”
“Exactly,” Nayeli retorts, “it’s been three Bast forsaken years since I’ve stepped foot in my home! I wasn’t planning on coming back anytime soon, but I’ve put my pride aside for this boy.”
Nayeli holds her breath as she waits for Okoye’s fateful answer. This was her last hope, without it, she didn’t know what Cameron would become.
“I’ll be there in twenty minutes,” Nayeli holds back a sob of relief, “get both you and the boy ready for immediate departure.”
“Where is Okoye? It seems I have not even caught a glimpse of her today.”
“She was forced to attend to some… personal matters.”
T’Challa frowned. He wondered what exactly his general was up to seeing as she was not the type to be absent without alerting him first; nevertheless, he trusted her.
“Very well, let us head to Shuri’s lab and see what shenanigans she is up to now.
As Okoye entered Shuri’s lab with a floating white stretcher behind her, Shuri could do nothing more than let out an annoyed sigh before going to meet her.
“Yet another white boy to fix?” Shuri moaned taking a glance at the body that Okoye had brought with her, “This better the last one I swear to Ba-” one good look at the boy was enough for the cut the Wakandan princess off midsentence for Shuri had never seen such a striking face before.
“Does T’Challa know about this?” she whispered, not expecting an answer from Okoye’s second passenger.
“He doesn’t, but will soon enough,” replies Nayeli who had finally gathered up the courage to face the young Wakandan princess, “I trust you will do your best to try and help the boy, will you not sister?”
“Na-Nayeli?” Shuri stammered, unable to believe how much of a sight for sore eyes the woman that stood in front of her was.
“My little Shuri, how you have grown in just three years,” let out Nayeli, a smile gracing her face as she approached the girl that had always held such a place in her heart.
Quickly getting over her shock, Shuri pulled Nayeli into her arms and held her as tightly as she possibly could, causing a small laugh to escape the latter’s lips.
At such pure display of emotion, Okoye couldn’t help but smile herself before she was reminded that there were grave matters at hand.
“While it pains me to cut this reunion short, there is a reason we are all here,” stated Okoye as she motioned towards the sleeping boy.
“And what reason would that be, Okoye?”
A fourth voice echoed through the walls of Shuri’s lab. Both she and Okoye froze in fear as Nayeli could not help but swivel around in the direction of the voice that had not too long ago plagued her dreams.
It pained him.
It pained her.
The extent to which he loved that woman.
The extent to which he doubted her love for him.
It tore him apart, really, the possibility that she might have never even loved him back.
It tore her apart really, the possibility that he might have never known how much she had yearned for him over the years.
Hope and faith were his enemies, both hell bent on making him believe that maybe, just maybe, he would feel her lips against his brow once more.
Hope and faith were enemies she had slain long ago, memories of her lips on his warm brow being the only thing keeping her afloat.
In the three years they had been apart, his heart had hardened and hers had been buried. And so when his eyes laid on her the only thing he felt was numb,
A/N: (I had to fight this story out of my loins and as it finally removed itself from my being, only then did it really begin to defy me. This did not come easy to me: it was hard, it was painful and frustrating, which is why I know I must continue, for I can only become a better writer for it.) Sorry for the delay!! Hopefully everything makes sense lawd this was tough. Hope you enjoyed!
A/N: I’m thinking of calling this one Closer To Heaven or maybe Star Bound (maybe even both lol).
My reveries have been alluding to a story that while very soft seems riddled in hardships. Here’s a snippet. Let me know if you’re interested in me pursuing this road up the mountains to our beloved Jabari leader.
“What do you think the mountains would look like without all this snow?”
He took his time answering her question. The manner in which she spoke always had a way of rendering him defenceless. All of the certainties he had once known crumbled when in her midst (as did he).
“Empty, void, senseless. A little bit like me without you.”
“You flatter me, M’Baku,” Amalah muttered as a timid smile made its way unto her face.
They both let out a soft laugh.
There’s a beat of silence as the pair continue to gaze at the stars, theirboy between them.
M’Baku was troubled, his soul uneasy. Forever the one to be quick with his tongue, the truth was often concealed through his flirtatious and comedic delivery.
Today there would be no more jokes, no more games, the truth would stand bare and alone.
“And yet, as strangely as it sounds, it couldn’t be too far from the truth.”
His eyes stayed on the stars even when he felt her eyes boring into his frame.
“You claim to fancy me?” She scoffed, “the outsider? The woman unable to protect her own son? The person that has asked you for her world without being able to give you anything in return?”
(Even when the truth sat naked and alone in front of her she deemed it a lie. It seemed she had been taught all good things were nothing but concealed sources of pain.)
“You mean the woman who has made her place in this tribe?” He retorted, finally turning to look at her, “the person that has risked everything and what was left after that for her son? The woman who made me realize that maybe what I wanted hadn’t been in front of me all along?”
He paused for a second, only to observe the tears that glistened in her irises, then he let out a beaming smile.
They shone bright that night, the stars- her stars.
They were so close- to the heavens that is.
She could feel them in her bones, she could feel them in the depths of her soul.
She could also feel them in the way his warm hand cupped her left cheek and his lips met hers.
The stars then witnessed the woman they adored weep tears of love for the first time.
They shone a little brighter that night (just a little).
A/N: From Rwanda to Qatar to New York to Burlington and finally to Montreal, I’ve made it back home safely only to have the honour to continue this story thread. @blublubleu is next and ready to take this to another level! I hope you enjoy my jet-lagged reveries.
“Man that’s the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard, hell no.”
T’Challa sighed deeply.
They had wasted the previous day away doing nothing more than informing Erik on the events that had just transpired. While quite perplexed, Erik had brushed the information off quickly and instead had announced that the trio were to be headed next to a strip club.
Nakia, having been present at the time (much to the disdain of Erik) had vehemently opposed herself to the idea making T’Challa follow in suite. For the rest of the evening attitudes were caught, arguing ensued and the question “is she your mama though?” was thrown around multiple times.
It was now morning, and T’Challa wanted to do nothing more than leave the house, on his terms nonetheless.
“N’Jadaka, please just consider it for a second!” T’Challa pleaded at his cousin who was sprawled across one of the many living room couches trying to teach his gentle giant friend that COD was no child’s play.
“I, for one, think it would be an excellent idea,” chipped in Nakia who had seconds ago not been casually leaning against the door of the room the trio was in.
“You gotta be fuckin- why is she still here?” Erik not so subtly muttered, sending a dirty look to T’Challa’s lover.
Since last night, it was clear the two had an affinity for butting heads.
“I, for one, also agree with T’Challa’s decision,” M’Baku drawled, taking his eyes off the TV screen he had been adamantly analysing and looking back at his now perplexed audience.
“Such promise of delicious food,” the Jabari tribe leader added, “sounds quite alluring at the moment.”
“Nigga, what does your cold-ass-mountain-self know about brunching?” Erik retorted before bursting in a set of ugly cackles.
T’Challa frowned at his cousin’s jab at M’Baku. All he wanted to do was leave the house, not start one of Shuri’s beloved Roast Me sessions he was sure was to follow such a comment.
“Well N’Jadaka, what does your I-will-never-be-king-self know about rightful leadership?”
The entire room froze as M’Baku uttered those words. All eyes were on Erik who seemed to shook to the core.
“So, what you’re saying, big guy, is that you tryna take this outside right?” Erik questioned eyes wide.
Confused, M’Baku glanced at Nakia and T’Challa’s weary faces before turning back to Erik.
“Do you rather have the entire neighborhood witness your defeat instead of nobly conceding inside?” M’Baku asked Erik, before turning to T’Challa.
“Does your cousin have a penchant for humiliation?”
“Alright we fighting!” declared Erik as he stood up in anticipation.
At such show of force, M’Baku stood up in response effectively towering over the Oakland native.
Foreseeing the start of another endless squabble, the silent observer that had been T’Challa had had enough.
“I didn’t come to California with you, M’Baku and you, N’Jadaka to waste the few days off I have each year, sitting around arguing and fighting! We’re going to go brunching, we’re all going to enjoy ourselves and that’s final!”
At T’Challa’s eruption, the room went silent. There was, as there usually is, much veracity to the eldest Udaku’s word; however, Erik still wasn’t having it.
“Ain’t no way I’m gonna go eat some toast and eggs when it might as well already be lunch time with some uppity, self-entitled, mediocre, “oh Tracy, there’s too much citrus in my kale salad,” white people!”
“Too much citrus in a salad made of kale is actually not problematic, but more so hoped for,” interjected M’Baku in confusion.
“N’Jadaka, don’t think about it that way,” cut off T’Challa, a pensive look on his face as he stepped towards the two other men.
If he played his cards right, T’Challa knew his cousin would be unable to refuse him: “listen cousin, if we, three extremely wealthy black men, go ahead and entertain such an activity with a level of panache: pinkies up while sipping on our mimosas while our pinky rings glisten, said white people could do nothing more, but realize that we truly are… the shit.”
As T’Challa finished his little speech, all eyes were on Erik, whose tiny grey cells seemed to be making some intense connections.
“Do you know what would really make people realize we’re the shit?” Erik finally said, successfully capturing the interest of his interlocutors, “going to a strip club and making it rain solely with hundred dollar bills!”
“And that’s my cue to leave,” uttered Nakia who decided that she was done trying go ensure these men returned to Wakanda in one piece.
“Been about time!” Erik called out after her, “you always in everybody’s business but your own, damn. You lucky you cute and T’Challa fucks with you!”
“I think she’s gone now, N’Jadaka.” M’Baku pointed out only to have Erik huff angrily at him.
At his lover’s sudden departure, T’Challa hastily made his way towards Erik, peered through the door Nakia had just exited from and exclaimed, teeth clenched “I swear to Bast N’Jadaka, we will go to your stupid strip club tonight only if we go brunching right this second!”
Finally content, Erik stood up and rubbed his small hands together, “well then let’s get going then! A nigga in the sudden mood for a mimosa or two.”
“Are matching floral shirts in order?” proposed M’Baku as he followed Erik to get ready.
“We’re going brunching, not on a couple’s retreat to Cuba!” yelled out Erik.
They were flamboyant, loud and unapologetic, all in all the perfect embodiment of black excellence as they entered their destination.
If not for M’Baku ordering such a number of vegan pancakes and T’Challa sending apologetic grins to the waiters for the boys’ somewhat unruly behaviour, the trio would have surely been kicked out of the calm and serene establishment they had sought to eat breakfast in.
And yet, laughing at another one of M’Baku’s and Erik’s antics, T’Challa couldn’t help but thank Bast for this vacation which was revealing itself to be quite enjoyable.
“Aye, Keep the mimosas coming baby girl!” yelled out Erik to Stephanie, their table’s waitress whose now scarlet cheeks could be seen from the other side of the terrace she stood at.
As his eyes scanned his surroundings under de safety on his shades, Erik couldn’t help but stop and stare at a little quaint table where the only other black people in the whole joint were seated.
As he peered a little closer, Erik couldn’t help but let out an expletive that had the nearest middle-aged white woman clutch her pearls in shock.
Quickly tapping M’Baku on the arm, Erik motioned to the table in question.
“Ain’t that Shuri over there?”
Squinting, M’Baku slowly nodded, “it would very much seem as though the little one is here, and with a boy nonetheless!”
T’Challa whose direct line of vision did not permit him from spotting his sister and her apparent date quickly tried to turn around subtly to catch his sister in the act.
“Bast!” exclaimed T’Challa, “it really is her!”
“I say we get over there, grab the boy and question him in the alley I saw not far from here.” stated M’Baku a frown gracing his face, “men from here don’t have the purest intentions,” he quickly glanced at Erik who nodded vehemently before catching the shade that had just been thrown his way.
“While M’Baku may have just outright insulted me and my lost tribe,” commented Erik, “I agree wholeheartedly with that plan. These little boys fast as hell nowadays, I don’t trust ‘em especially with my favourite cousin.”
“He looks like, how did you say, a bum.” added M’Baku.
“We can only see the back of that fool’s head but it’s way too square for that nigga to be normal” agreed Erik.
Looking between the unknown boy to Erik, M’Baku nodded vehemently.
“Both your heads are quite alike in what concerns its form so the accuracy of your previous statement seems to be astounding”
During the two men’s exchange, T’Challa found himself reflecting deeply upon the situation.
While a part of T’Challa wanted to do exactly what M’Baku had just suggested, the more rational part of him argued that Shuri deserved her privacy and her independence.
His little sister was a genius for crying out loud, T’Challa was sure she could handle herself with boys, a little date wouldn’t hurt any-
“You think they already fucking?” Erik not so quietly whispered to M’Baku as both men mean mugged Shuri’s table.
“Oh hell no!” T’Challa exclaimed as he abruptly stood up and made his way to where his sister sat, M’Baku and Erik quick to follow in tow.
“Brother, N’Jadaka, M’Baku! What a pleasant surprise,” Shuri called out as she finally noticed the three familiar determined to get to herself table.
Before taking a look at the identity of the person in Shuri’s company, T’Challa, flanked by his both M’Baku and Erik, placed both hands on each of the boy’s shoulder, locked eyes with Shuri only to utter loudly, “Are you involved in any sexual activities with my baby sister, young man?”
Eyes wide, Shuri couldn’t help but exclaim her horror.
“Brother, what the hell! You can’t be doing this, I’m a grown woman!”
“The only thing grown is the whooping you’re going to get for rendezvousing with this fool!” added Erik from the behind.
“Um Sirs, no fighting is allowed in this establishment!” declared one of the female waitresses that had, like most of the other customers, been following the exchange like it was the newest episode of Love & Afrobeats.
“Not now, Stephanie!” threw back M’Baku whose muscles anticipated quite an entertaining fight.
Now the fool in question, had frozen under T’Challa’s strong grasp, refusing to leave his eyes from Shuri, in the hopes she would be his saving grace.
“T’Challa,” M’Baku called out, “let the boy go and let him face us like the man we know he isn’t!”
Nodding as he did just so, the eldest Udaku followed up by his two loyal musketeers, couldn’t help let his jaw drop as the boy in question stood up and turned around to face the trio.
Prelude to Exiled: The Woman Who Cried Tears of Love
Pairing: T’Challa x OC
Length: 2.3k + words
Disclaimer: the pieces are being put into place in this part, the following parts will put them together (takes place after the events of Black Panther).
*imagine if their skin tone was as rich as the soil flowers bloom out of*
LAKESIDE HIGH, OAKLAND.
“Would anyone like to volunteer to read the following passage?”
Standing in front of two dozen students on one of the warmest afternoons of July, Ms.Obuko knew that the question she had just uttered was rhetorical. The students, while usually attentive during her class, seemed simply drained- the scorching heat, the looming finals and the anticipation for summer vacation being the most obvious culprits.
Ms.Obuko let out a gentle sigh as she looked over her class once more. She hoped that, despite the displeasing environment they dwelled in, her students would perceive the same beauty she had when first encountering the passage she was to read to them.
“Why are we doing this? For revenge?”
The soft hum of the class ventilator and Ms.Obuko’s gentle voice flowed in synch throughout the classroom making both cool air and words offer some sense of comfort to their intended audience.
“No. Because we still want to love with passion.”
Slowly but surely the accent Ms.Obuko had brought with her to Oakland three years prior from a small African country she called her home started creeping into her speech - as it always did when she recited a piece that she felt most strongly about.
“And in a situation like this, some people are bound to die and others not.”
Her voice never wavered, instead it held strong as if each word weighted as heavily as the next. It was quite mesmerising really, to witness such crude passion in someone’s tone- all this fuss for a few black words on a white page; truly a sight to behold.
“Those who have already been passionately in love should die before those who have never loved.”
Ms.Obuko paused for a second as if to let the words she had just read sink in before carefully shutting her book. Placing the wrinkled manuscript on her desk, she took a seat behind itas each pair of eyes followed her in her stride. At that very moment, all minds wondered if that woman could make any string of words sound as beautiful as a poetry.
While some wondered, others were certain that their English teacher could, in fact, make anything sound as beautiful as a midsummer day – they weren’t wrong, her following words being proof of that exact fact.
“While the veracity of what was just read disputable, I believe it would be unwise for us to start discussing the matters of the passage right this moment.”
At the blank stares of her students, Ms.Obuko reiterated what she had been trying to hint at, “It’s too damn hot for any one of us to be here and pretend to be productive so I think it would be best to let you out early- ”
As soon as those last words were uttered, the class erupted in a chorus of “thank you Ms.Obu”accompanied by the sound of scrapping chairs and zipped bags, a cacophony that effectively cut their teacher off midsentence.
“Only,” Ms.Obuko started loudly to ensure she could be heard over the commotion, “if you promise to come next class with a thoughtful opinion on the passage read!”
The jungle that had become her class reluctantly changed its tune for a chorus of “yes, Ms.Obu” and “see you Monday, Ms.Obu” as the students shuffled their way out of the classroom enthusiastically.
One student in particular caught Ms.Obuko’s eye as he slowly staggered behind his classmates who seemed more anxious than he was to make the most out of their new found free afternoon. At first glance, he would seem like any other Lakeside High student, but she had discovered him to be much more.
In fact, Cameron Jeffords was one of- if not her most- brilliant student, each trail of words transcribed by his hand resulting in a masterpiece of sorts. However, on the left side of the American dream, like most of his classmates, Cameron’s life consisted more of hardships and trials than of puppy toes and rainbows. Ms.Obuko, nevertheless, was determined not to allow the light in him dim- not on her watch anyways.
“Mr. Jeffords,” she called out, successfully gaining his attention, “a word, if you may.”
Stopping in his tracks, the boy in question turned his attention from the door he was about to exit to his teacher whose face seem to hold a tinge of concern- that of which he had not warranted.
Cameron slowly made his way to the seat closest to where Ms.Obuko stood, each step seemingly more agonizing to take than the latter. Finally left alone, silence surrounded the two as each observed the other, that is, until the veil was broken.
“How is the studying going at home?”
Cameron’s eyes left his teacher’s and instead fixed the black board behind her.
Ms.Obuko frowned, his dry tone leading her to believe that things could not be any further than “fine”.
“Is your A/C still broken down?”
As her questions started to dig a little further, a reluctant nod from Cameron’s part was all Ms.Obuko was privy to.
“They’re still making you watch after the younger ones?” she added only to receive another nod which, not unlike the first one made its recipient’s heart clench painfully.
By “they” Ms.Obuko meant Cameron’s foster parents, or more so the two sad individuals who had decided to earn their keep by scamming the American foster care system. In a wayward attempt to get rich while lazing around, those folks had no taken into consideration the six children that came with the six monthly checks they so readily spent. And with Cameron being the oldest of the tribe, he was the one that bore the brunt of that unfortunate situation.
“How many hours of sleep are you getting?”
“I asked for a number,” Ms.Obuko retorted pointedly even though the looming bags Cameron sported under his eyes were enough to know that the boy wasn’t getting all the sleep he needed.
“Four, maybe five when it gets cool out and the kids don’t fuss as much,” Cameron dismissed.
Ms.Obuko closed her eyes and let out a small sigh. It was times like these that reminded her why she was in Oakland, why what she did mattered and more importantly why it hurt less to have left.
“You got any plans this afternoon?”
Ms.Obuko raised an eyebrow.
“Good,” she let out, “there’s a small coffee shop down the corner of 39th and Melrose. You can sit down at a booth and study for as long as you’d like. When the waitress comes to take your order, tell her I sent you and order whatever your heart desires, however I recommend their apple crumble.”
“Ms.Obu I couldn’t possi-“
“Now get out of here, I have a free afternoon to make the most out of,” Ms.Obuko declared as she gently grabbed the boy and pushed him towards the door, “and if I find out you didn’t show up, know that I’ll feel some type of way!”
Finally at the door, Cameron turned towards his favourite teacher, a shy smile on his face and uttered softly, “thank you, Ms.Obu.”
Ms.Obuko only rolled her eyes and responded by shooing the boy away with her hands until he could no longer be seen.
Alone at last in the classroom, Nayeli was finally free to shut the door, sit back at her desk, prop open her laptop and play some old tunes without facing the ridicule of her students.
Pulling out a stack of student assignments as well as her trusty red pen, she decided that now was a time as good as any to attempt to get ahead on correcting.
As she scanned over the first copy, Nayeli’s eyes couldn’t help but be drawn to the top right corner of the page on which was scribbled the date of June 8th.
Suddenly, the woman could not help but be reminded of the cool breeze that must be making its way through her home country at that very moment. Her thoughts of a chilly African night traveled to thoughts of a young girl, about the same age and drive as Cameron, who, most often than not, sported her braids in two space buns atop her head.
As she glanced towards the lot of empty desks that stood before her, all thoughts of that nature vanished- there was, of course, work to be done.
GOLDEN CITY, WAKANDA.
The usual bustle of the palace had died down and quiet now reigned through the halls of the royal palace.
Shuri, finally having had enough of tinkering with experiments in her lab decided it was time to make her way to bed. While the twists and turns of the palace halls resembled to many those of a maze, the young Wakandan princess had, at a young age, gained the ability to weave through them with her eyes closed. Passing by her brother’s office, Shuri couldn’t help but retrace her steps as she noticed the soft light that shone through the crack of the door.
The young princess let out a soft sigh before making her way in.
The first thing that hit Shuri as she entered, as it always did when she came into her brother’s study, was the terrific view of the city it held. The entire back wall had been made to ensure the view of the Golden City, a place as bright, vibrant and promising as the people in it.
T’Challa had managed to make the office his own after the sudden passing of his father all the while retaining T’Chaka’s touch to it. A vibranium plated panther statue faithfully greeted each guest at the right corner of the room as it had for what seemed to be the last millennia- a reminder of the gift Bast had entrusted the leaders of Wakanda with.
The walls, on the other hand, happened to be adorned with a few modern and traditional Wakandan paintings which evoked the awe of all who had the privilege of entering the study.
There was one painting though that distinguished itself from all the others. It was a looming piece of art, the only piece that was privy to its own wall. At first glance it would seem like quite a morose painting, one that had no place in her brother’s study.
And yet, depicting a woman who stood in the embrace of her lover only to gaze straight ahead with tears in her eyes, this renaissance-like piece was nothing short of exquisite. The Woman Who Cried Tears of Love- is what Shuri had once called it, it’s true name remaining unknown.
“How are you doing, brother?” Shuri asked as she looked down at T’Challa who was hunched down on his desk, a seemingly important paper in hand.
The light she had seen shine through her brother’s door was actually a small desk lamp that barely allowed for enough light to illuminate the study. How T’Challa could work in such dim light, Shuri knew not.
“Brother!” Shuri repeated, finally pulling T’Challa out of his trance-like-state.
“Yes, Shuri?” He finally replied, exhaustion seeping through what one would consider as an ever so patient tone.
“I asked how you were doing,” she paused only to glance at the bags under her older brother’s eyes, “but it seems I’ve found the answer.”
To say the youngest Udaku was worried was an understatement. All that occupied T’Challa’s time for the past few days or so had been enough to make even Okoye weary of the well-being of their sovereign.
After almost three years, they had both believed that T’Challa had moved on, and yet each year around this time, T’Challa became a broodier shadow of himself.
Late nights in the office, scheduling endless meeting after endless meeting, fewer visits to the lab and wandering around the palace at unholy hours, those were a few things that became the norm for her brother as soon as the days neared the fateful June 8th.
It seemed he was punishing himself and if T’Challa was honest with himself, he indeed was doing just that. If that was her brother’s choice, Shuri knew no words of hers would make any effective change.
Letting out one more quiet sigh, Shuri left T’Challa alone with his thoughts and finally made her way to her chambers- it was not her place to fight his demons for him anyways.
As T’Challa heard the sound of his office door close, he finally put down the paper he had been holding. Trying to work was utterly useless for him at the moment, his thoughts were muddled and traveling to places unknown- dangerous but unknown nonetheless.
T’Challa’s eyes swept across his office before landing on her. Or rather it. The retched painting that beckoned and mocked all the while remaining audaciously beautiful.
He hated it, abhorred the fact that he stood forever bare under the guise of that frame.
At times it humbled him- reminded him that he was naught, that he was simply man susceptible to one’s flesh and therefore worthy of forgiveness.
Other times it mocked him- reminded him of what he had lost and would probably never gain.
Sometimes it comforted him- reminded him of a soft tune hummed from even softer lips.
Now, it simply tortured him. He welcomed it, the torture. The pain came as a relief to him- the pain of remembering that three years later he remained truly alone.
T’Challa wondered if maybe she found herself wondering too…
Ah and there it was- the unknown thought making itself known, the dangerous thought making itself even more threatening.
Reluctantly, the Wakandan king pulled his eyes away from the ominous painting to the important paper he had before him. It reminded him that there was a country to lead, one that wouldn’t do so on it’s own.
and then again, she probably wasn’t wondering about whether he was wondering about her wondering about him wondering about them wondering about how they had gotten to the point they had to settle for wondering about whether he was wondering about whether she was wondering about wondering to begin with…
A/N: did y’all miss me? ‘Cause I missed y’all! I was absolutely terrified of writing for our King so I took my time to birth this one (also needed some time to regroup). It might seem like somewhat of a slow burn but I wanted you guys to follow me in my reverie from step 1. I know you guys probably have some question but be patient with your girl…