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casukaga · 5 months ago
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some doodles for @stardustedknuckles’s wholesome college AU beauyasha fic Soft Hearts, Electric Souls, where yasha gets an oversized sweater for her bday, and i proceed to go bonkers over her being soft and cute.
drawing these just fed into my love of drawing really big sleeves, AND it’s yasha being soft, AND it’s beauyasha — so that’s what i call a win-win, baby!
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jbbarnes · a month ago
"She's cranky," Derek murmurs, and readjusts the baby in his arms slightly so that he can rock her.
"Must get that from her dad," Stiles says, and smiles at the picture his husband and daughter make, Cassie's face a little blotchy from crying and Derek leaning back in the rocking chair he'd made himself when they'd decided they were actually going to do this, going to put down roots and raise a family and really commit to a future together.
"You're fifty percent responsible then," Derek says quietly, but his face softens as Cassie coos and he presses a kiss to the top of her head.
"I deny everything, you'll never take me alive," Stiles grins.
Derek shifts slightly, and checks the clock on the wall.
"Did Charlie go down all right?" He asks, and Stiles nods.
"Only had to read the tractor book three times tonight, I think we're close to a breakthrough," he says.
"Our boy, the farmer," Derek says wryly.
"Apparently so," Stiles agrees, then looks appraisingly at Derek. "Though, you wouldn't look out of place on a farm."
"If this is a dog joke - " Derek begins, but Stiles just laughs, before covering his mouth, careful of the dozing baby.
"It was a 'you look like you could split a log with your bare hands' observation, and actually, can you do that?" Stiles asks, and his eyes go far away.
"I've never had the opportunity to try," Derek says, then pretends to think about it, "but probably."
"Oh god," Stiles says, a little hoarse. "I did the right thing in marrying you."
Derek looks down at the bundle in his arms. Cassie is sleeping now, and drooling slightly. She has his thick black hair but Stiles' big brown eyes. It seems like an impossible combination, but just like them, it works.
"You did marry me," Derek says, because sometimes it really hits him that he has this, that he's allowed to have this. He grins a little, and Stiles mirrors it back.
"Fuck yeah I did," Stiles says, hushed. "And I'd do it again."
Derek moves to crack his neck from where he's hunched slightly, and Stiles winces at the sound. Derek shoots him another grin.
"You wanna see if she'll go in her crib for a bit?" Stiles asks innocently.
"I can hold her a little while longer," Derek replies, aiming for oblivious.
"I really think you should see if she'll go in her crib," Stiles says. "I thought the picture of you and our kids would get old, but it just doesn't."
Derek stands carefully, and moves into Stiles' space, leaning in to kiss him on the corner of the mouth before pulling back.
"You're like a teenager," Derek says.
"I have a mortgage," Stiles replies. "And two children. And a really attractive husband."
"You'll have to introduce me to him," Derek smirks.
"Homewrecker," Stiles hisses, and punches Derek lightly on the arm, careful not to jostle Cassie.
"I'll go get her settled," Derek says.
"Just let me say goodnight to her," Stiles says, and leans over and sweeps a curls back from her forehead. "Goodnight baby girl, I'm so glad you're here." He ducks down to press a kiss there, before straightening and pressing a kiss to the end of Derek's nose. "You too, you know."
Derek shakes his head, his heart full, and walks out of the room, feeling Stiles' eyes on him the whole time.
He places Cassie in her crib and watches as she wriggles in her sleep.
He checks the baby monitor is on and working, before flicking on the nightlight.
Sometimes, it's so shockingly domestic he has to catch himself and pinch himself. It has to be a dream. Even on the worst days, nothing could be this perfect.
He gets back to the bedroom where Stiles is waiting for him.
"Husband of mine," Stiles murmurs, aiming for flirty and missing in his usual way. Derek loves it so much. Loves Stiles so much.
If this is a dream, Derek doesn't ever want to wake up. He crawls onto the bed and kisses Stiles, revelling in the familiarity of home.
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favoniuscodex · 4 months ago
djsgdh this might feel too on the nose, but strawberries with diluc?
a/n: like 28 billion ppl requested this one but congrats to this specific anon for being the one i'm responding to hehe
when you had spotted a strawberry field on your journey to sumeru, you had begged diluc to stop the wagon and go strawberry picking with you. the farm had signs up broadcasting it for a minimal fee of mora, but with the pleading eyes you gave diluc, you knew he would have paid whatever the fee was in order to make you happy. the two of you had left mondstadt with time to spare before you needed to arrive at your destination, which meant you had ample time to stroll around the strawberry fields.
"you could grow strawberries too, y'know," you say as you watch diluc crouch down and analyze the strawberry plant before you for ripe berries. satisfied with what he sees, diluc picks two strawberries and places them in the small carton that hangs off his wrist with a flimsy strap.
"strawberries can ferment into wine, but i believe that grapes create a far more profitable product," diluc states as he stands up. you scrunch your face up in response and diluc raises an eyebrow.
"not everything is about money. sometimes you gotta focus on the aesthetic," you state and diluc laughs, taking a step closer to you and pressing a kiss on your cheek.
"i have to keep dawn winery profits high, darling," diluc explains. "but, perhaps i could buy a strawberry farm for you."
the immediate look of panic that crosses your face at diluc's words makes him laugh, ponytail swaying as he does so.
"no, no, please do not buy me anything like that. all you need to get me is some flowers or a box of candy or something," you immediately interject and diluc simply grins at you in response.
"so," he begins in a lighthearted tone that you rarely hear leave his lips. "you are saying you want the strawberry farm, right?"
"no, no, i don't even know what to do with a strawberry farm," you state, growing flustered at his uncharacteristic teasing.
"you grow strawberries, of course," diluc explains and you let out a sigh.
"do not buy me a strawberry farm," you say, ignoring his prior statement. "promise me, diluc, that you will not buy me a strawberry farm."
the corners of the redhead's eyes crinkle with amusement.
"hm. i will try to keep that in mind, although it might be hard to remember," diluc jokes and you let out a huff of frustration before a slight giggle escapes your lips, amused by your lover's faux obliviousness. it's cute... plus, diluc is joking. at least, that's what you tell yourself in order to avoid thinking about the deed to a strawberry farm being gifted to you for your birthday.
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welcometogrouchland · a month ago
Drawing art of tma characters lined up side by side always vexes me because of how their heights work in my head it's like. Jon and Melanie are the same height. Jon is taller than basira but Melanie is shorter than basira. Basira and martin are about the same height. Tim is taller than basira but shorter than martin. Sasha is shorter than Tim but the same height as martin. Martin is the same height as peter but peter is taller than Elias who's about the same height as Martin. Daisy is taller than basira and shorter than martin but she's the same height as Georgie who's the same height as martin. Do you see perhaps where the problem lies?
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w0lp3rtinger · 5 months ago
I just had a thought.
We know from 06 that, in that future present, Omega will be utilized to take Shadow down, ultimately betraying him.
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However, the very fact that Silver goes into the past, over and over and over again, shows that the future can be changed.
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And it can be changed for the better. I do wonder (and hope) that this current stretch that Shadow is on... is just him growing as a person. Perhaps this is a way to rectify the damage Sega seems content to lay upon his character, but consider this. In SA2, he was a softspoken, snarky person who wasn't a villian, but rather, someone who was truly hurting and thought they only had one way out, one way to make right the fact that the only family he had ever known, including Maria, had been destroyed in front of his very eyes.
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Then you have Heros which is so fresh after SA2, and he doesn't remember anything. He's in agony over this until he gets to a point where he thinks, you know, it's okay I don't know. I have a new family. I have new people who I care for, and who care for me, and whatever I was, it no longer matters. I'm whatever I choose to be, and that's fine.
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THEN you have the Shadow the Hedgehog game, when Team Dark has dispersed, where he's alone with his thoughts for too long, where he relapses into that hesitation and questioning and, honestly, fear. What was he, who is he, why is he having PTSD effects over a thing he can see but doesn't understand? That's terrifying. And then this man who claims to be his father tells him that humanity needs to be destroyed, and if they aren't, they will destroy him. Yeah, Eggman says he's the original in the end, but... that whole event will still stick with you. You were so easily played, weren't you? You were so desperate to be good at something, to be wanted by someone, after your old family seemed to go up in smoke.
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You can't do that again. You're homeless, living out of an abandoned Eggman base that you can't even keep because you get the stuffing beaten out of you by a robot. Maybe Rouge realized you shouldn't be alone. Maybe G.U.N wanted to just know where you were. Either way, you're brought back into your family, only to find out that...the thing that beat you, that can destroy the world. You just got the world back, and that scares you. You just fixed your latest and greatest mistake. When you react with violence, you're told to rein it in and calm down, but your fear never leaves you. And when you're friends are threatened again, you are there. Every time Rouge goes missing, or Omega is out of commission, you come in swinging. Yes, you help out team Sonic, but they will never be your first priority. They aren't family to you. Team Dark is, and amongst Team Dark, the only one that truly understand what it means to be a weapon is Omega.
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And then, then you're told that's the very person who will undo you.
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And everything hurts all over again. Everything is bad, and wrong, and all the people you trusted, you're afraid they're going to lie to you again, that you're a sucker just waiting to be duped, that you're never going to be more than that jackass in the corner with unresolved PTSD who's a sucker for someone you assume is trying their best, because you want to believe everyone is trying their best, because you're trying your best.
And so you shut down.
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You quit trying to understand everyone else, even if you want to. You stop trying to fit yourself into the fabric of friends around you because it's not going to work. You give up. You're just going to be angry and bitter because you know- you know- you can't trust them. And eventually, they'll all die, won't they? You're going to be left alone as time takes them one by one.
Except for Omega.
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Because at the end of everything, Omega really will be the only one who knew you left, and they're not going to be able to stand alone to defend you.
Ultimately, there is a choice. The choice is to continue to be cut off, accepting that eventually the world will turn against you, and though you will fight it like you always have, you will lose.
You accept who you really are (no, truly) with all your faults and failings and successes and splendors. You accept your limitations alongside of your limitless possibilities . You allow yourself to be kind, to care, to laugh, to love the world around you. You let friends in. You make peace with what you cannot change instead of stuffing it in the closet in your brain. You learn to let things go. You learn to let life in.
And maybe, if you pick the second option, there will be people alive to defend you when the world comes for you, like it will, because it will. Maybe, if you choose to open yourself up again, you won't have to suffer it alone.
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onecanonlife · 2 months ago
In which Quackity has no idea why Wilbur keeps hanging around Las Nevadas, and the answer, when he finally gets one, is not what he expects.
(word count: 2,228)
Quackity’s gotten used to solitude. The true kind of solitude, where you can be with a crowd of people and still be alone. He’s used to it, because he knows himself well, knows exactly what he’s doing, knows that his methods will gain him power and citizens and forced loyalty but no true friends. Which is fine. He hardly needs them. Getting close to people only gets you betrayed and left behind; that’s a lesson he doesn’t intend to forget any time soon.
So he runs his country. Continues to work on preparing it for its full opening. Ignores the fact that even though people live here, now, it’s still empty more often than not, Purpled and Fundy only around occasionally, Sam avoiding him whenever he can manage it, Foolish constantly fucking around in other parts of the server, procrastinating his work here. And that’s not even mentioning the ghost in the basement. It’s fine. They’re still his citizens, still bound to protect this place, and that’s what matters.
He’s sitting pretty. He’s got everything he wanted. Companionship doesn’t matter when he’s got power.
But then, of course, there’s Wilbur.
Wilbur is a wrench in the works. Wilbur is a knot in the rope, a disruption in the pattern. Wilbur is around constantly, always messing with something, always provoking him, always ready with a quick grin and a motion of his fingers, all sharp angles and edges. And Quackity’s not one to admit nervousness, not one to give his opponents an advantage like that, so long as he can help it, but Wilbur is unpredictable, and that makes him dangerous.
And he’s always here.
So it shouldn’t be surprising that it comes to a boiling point. It’s a day like all the others when it happens; he’s alone for the moment, sitting at the bar of a casino that isn’t yet finished, nursing a glass of champagne. It’s about the only alcohol he can stomach; anything stronger, anything like beer or, gods forbid, whiskey, and his mind gets taken back to a place he doesn’t like to dwell on. But here he is, alone, no one else in the country as far as he knows—except for maybe Slime, who could very well be in a dark hole nearby, but he hasn’t seen him—and then Wilbur comes prancing in. Prancing is the best word to describe it. The man has a certain way of moving, a giddy delight combined with a smug surety, confidence oozing from every motion, as if he’s daring him to try to stop him.
Just try to get rid of me, he seems to be saying. You can’t.
He tries to ignore him. He really does. But Wilbur’s not even supposed to be here in the first place; the casino isn’t open to anyone, yet. And all Wilbur seems to want to do is poke around, which is annoying on so many levels, so he finds himself swiveling on his barstool before he can stop himself.
“What are you doing here?” he snaps, and Wilbur looks at him, lips curling into a wide smile. He immediately knows he’s messed up in giving him any attention at all. Wilbur seems to thrive on it. Attention.
“What,” Wilbur says, “I can’t visit? I don’t seem to recall you saying that I couldn’t.”
“I should,” he mutters, and the smile sharpens.
“Going to exile me, then?” Wilbur asks. “Shall we have a little repeat of history, just you and me? You have a stage right outside, I noticed.”
He has to work hard to not flinch at that. He doesn’t want Wilbur to know that it affects him, whenever he brings that up. Because he—does regret it, as much as he is able to regret anything. He regrets his ineffectiveness. He regrets standing there and laughing as Wilbur and Tommy were chased out, as Wilbur literally lost a life on Schlatt’s orders. He does regret it. But regrets don’t change anything, and he prides himself on his ability to move forward.
So instead of rising to the bait, he just sighs, fixing Wilbur with a stare that he hopes conveys how unimpressed he is.
“Why do you keep coming here, Wilbur?” he asks. “Don’t you have anywhere else to be?”
Wilbur seems to take this as invitation to come near, perching on a stool next to him. This close, Quackity can pick out details: the bandage that is perpetually wrapped around his arm and always bloody, the way his coat is missing its hood, the gleam in his eyes that looks red when he catches the light just right. For some reason, though, that red has never looked frightening. More lonely, maybe, even though it doesn’t make sense to assign feelings to a flash of color.
He also notes that Wilbur smells different, too. Gone is the gunpowder smoke that clung to him in the ravine. Instead, he smells like damp dirt and pine, with a slight coppery tang underneath.
“Not particularly,” Wilbur says. “Do you really want to know, Big Q? I mean, really?”
He takes another sip of his champagne, and leans back against the bar. “That’s why I asked, isn’t it?” he says, and his voice isn’t as harsh as it should be. He’ll blame the drink. “I don’t get it. You’ve declared us rivals, but you’ve barely done anything other than build that stupid looking fort and bother me all the time. What are you getting out of this?”
“What am I getting out of this?” Wilbur repeats, looking surprised. “So you really don’t know?”
He rolls his eye. “Look, if you’re not going to give me a straight answer, just leave it alone and quit bugging me,” he says. “I do actually have work to be doing. And I don’t see why you’re so determined to hang around here all the time.” Nevermind that he’s not doing any work at all at this exact second, and doesn’t really plan to.
“Oh, Big Q, you really don’t know,” Wilbur says, and—why is his voice doing that? Why has it gone so soft? “So I’ll let you in on it. Just this once. Tell me, Quackity, would you say I’m human?”
He blinks. Because—what the fuck kind of a question is that?
“What the hell else would I call you?” he asks, genuinely bewildered, but Wilbur just nods, apparently satisfied.
“That’s it,” Wilbur says. “That’s the big reason. The secret.”
“Wait,” he says, and holds up a hand. He also puts his glass down, and it hits the counter with a loud clink. “Wait, what? That’s it? You’re here all the time because—you’re human? That doesn’t make any sense at all.”
“No,” Wilbur says, patient. “It’s because you think I am.”
He has to take a moment to work through that. But he still can’t make sense of it. He shoots him a look, for once not bothering to hide his expression, displaying his confusion openly in the hopes that Wilbur will elaborate on whatever the hell this tangent is.
Wilbur sighs, shaking his head, but the look on his face—Quackity doesn’t know how to describe it other than fond, but that doesn’t make any sense either.
“You’re the only one who does,” Wilbur says. “I know what other people think of me, you see. I know what they say. I’m a freak, a monster. I’m insane, evil, crazy. A villain.” He does some jazz hands, but the gesture dies quickly, little energy put behind it. His smile no longer quite looks like a smile, even though it’s trying to be one. “And they’re scared of me, Quackity. All of them. They’re waiting to see what I’m going to do, and they’re shaking in their fucking boots.” He leans closer, and Quackity can’t help but mirror him. “And then I come here, and do you remember what you called me?”
He’s finding it a little difficult to keep his breaths even, for some reason. “What did I call you?” he asks, voice almost a whisper.
“Unpredictable,” Wilbur says, hushed. “You called me unpredictable. And I knew then. I knew that you were wary of me, but it was because I was human. A person. An unpredictable, messy sort of person. I’m not sure you understand what that means to me.”
He’s still not sure he’s getting it. “Come on,” he says. “I can’t possibly be the only one to act like—I mean, you’re just a guy, Wilbur, I don’t know what you want me to say.”
“And who else would there be?” Wilbur asks. His head tilts. “Phil? Phil watches me like I’m a ticking time bomb. He might love me, but he sort of has to. That doesn’t count.”
“Tommy, then,” he says, and feels assured in his answer. “Tommy still hangs onto your every word, man.”
But Wilbur snorts. “Tommy hangs on because he’s worried that I’m going to blow up another country,” he says. “He’s trying to be my minder. And I’d rather have that than not have him there at all, but I know him too well to think he likes me anymore. He thinks I’m nuts. And he’d rather have the ghost version of me back. The more palatable version of me. He gave Ghostbur a grave, did you know that? He gave Ghostbur a grave and not me. He’d rather I was dead.”
He feels his mouth drop open, just slightly. He’s sure not all of that can be true. Tommy—he is certain that Tommy still adores Wilbur, that Tommy would still go above and beyond for him. But at the same time, he’s seen Tommy’s trepidation. He’s seen his doubts. He’s tried to play on them, tried to use them to his advantage, tried to bring Tommy to his side. Tried to cleave him from Wilbur.
So maybe Wilbur has a point after all. And if that’s the case—
Wilbur really is a mess. And he can’t blame him for that.
“Even back then, the person I was before,” Wilbur says. “You called me crazy, but you didn’t treat me as something less than human. And now, even when everyone else I’ve met is—” He stops, breathes in. Leans back a bit, and Quackity realizes just how close their faces have been to one another’s. “And then here you are. Someone who doesn’t stare at me like I’m some kind of curiosity, who understands not to point out everything that’s different about my appearance, who thinks I’m human. And that’s a bit exhilarating, I’ll admit. Exciting. Do you see?”
Quackity’s not one to be overly empathetic. He can’t afford to be, these days. But just for a second, he puts himself in Wilbur’s shoes. It’s easier than it should be. His next exhalation is shaky.
“I think so,” he says. “I think I might.”
And just like that, Wilbur is standing. “Good,” he says. “I hoped you would. Don’t think you can use it against me, though. I’ll know if you try, Big Q. I’m quite good at all the same games that you are.”
He inclines his head, the barest suggestion of agreement. And, if Wilbur knows where to look, perhaps an admission, that part of his mind is already filing this conversation away, picking it apart, seeking out the best ways to use this new weak spot he’s uncovered. That’s just the sort of person he is, now.
And yet—
Before Wilbur can leave, he catches Wilbur’s wrist. It’s a skinny thing, frail, though perhaps that’s to be expected. He can wrap all of his fingers around it, and Wilbur freezes, literally vibrating with sudden tension. Quackity wonders if anyone’s bothered to touch him since his return from the grave.
“For the record,” he says, before he can change his mind, “you’re an asshole, I don’t trust you as far as I can throw you, and I absolutely think you’re a threat to what I’m trying to build here. But I wouldn’t rather you were dead.”
For a long moment, Wilbur just stares at him.
“Oh,” he says at length. “Thank you, Big Q.”
He lets his fingers slip away, though slowly. Wilbur tarries for a second longer, just watching him, and then, he’s gone, coat sweeping across the shining, empty floor. Quackity watches him leave, and again, wonders. Has anyone bothered to tell him that, either?
Kind of fucked up, if no one has. He can use that, probably. But—later. He doesn’t want to think about it right now.
His fingers burn where he made contact with Wilbur’s skin, tingling not unpleasantly. He finishes off his champagne, but it doesn’t make the sensation go away. So he flexes his hand, and finds himself thinking, once again, about companionship, or the lack thereof.
He doesn’t want friends. Friends, or—or anything more than friends, that is a bad idea. Never ends well. But he watches the spot where Wilbur used to be, and—maybe having a rival around really won’t be so bad. Maybe it’ll let him push himself, give him something else to strive for, or against.
He’ll turn this to his advantage. And maybe, there could be something here. Something good. Something to be built upon. Something—
The word echoes in Wilbur’s voice, and he finds that he doesn’t mind at all.
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letterfromvienna · 2 months ago
Din Djarin + Prompt #36: "Why'd You Stop?"
@keeper0fthestars I am so sorry I have no idea how I did this but I managed to lose your ask and the incredibly kind note you wrote with it 😭 just know that ily & you're simply the best internet friend a gal could ask for & I feel v v lucky to know you 💖
Din Djarin + Prompt #36: “Why'd you stop?"
Rating: T (for mild gore & language)
WC: 1.4k words
Tags/warnings: gender-neutral reader; references to blood/injuries; hurt/comfort; tattooed & touch-starved Din
A/N: heavilyyyyy inspired by @keeper0fthestars' tattooed!Din (particularly in would you let me, an incredibly beautiful piece of writing which haunts my dreams) and @venomteeth's wonderful tattooed!Din art :))
✨v's everything celebration✨
“Would you please sit still?”
“It’s fine.”
“No, it’s not. You’re bleeding everywhere.”
Din sighs. You glare. You’re blocking the way out of the alcove, all too aware that Din could easily push you aside if need be, and glaring at the sulking Mandalorian on the cot. He’s bleeding in at least four places but he refuses to stay still. He’s muttering about how he’s had worse but you’re simply not having it.
“Din Djarin, if I let you go and you get an infection and fucking die on me, I will kill you.”
For just a second longer, he holds out. Then he lets out a long breath and sags his shoulders, relenting. He leans back against the wall and gives you a slight nod.
“Thank you,” you sigh. Din’s visor follows you as you step closer, setting the medkit beside him on the cot. His wounds are extensive but not life-threatening; a few jabs and scrapes that need to be cleaned before they get infected, but nothing too deep. Apparently, his quarry put up a good fight. When you lean in and peel away a bit of Din’s torn flight suit to reveal the wound underneath, he sucks in a sharp breath and jerks away from you.
“If you don’t let me deal with this now, it’s gonna hurt a lot worse later,” you point out pragmatically. “Get this out of the way. I can’t clean it over your sleeve.”
Din settles back down. You set to work. First you have to remove his armor, which is presently blocking your access to treating him. After his armor is piled on the floor, the next step is inspecting his wounds. The alcove starts to reek of sweat and copper, but you start breathing through your mouth and soldier on. The cuts come clean easily, though Din is wincing under his helmet, and you’re relieved to discover you have just enough bacta to patch up his wounds. Once the cuts and scrapes on his arm have been addressed, you turn to put the medkit aside. It’s then that your eye catches on a ragged gash in Din’s suit, starting just under his arm and continuing up and back. Frowning, you tug at the torn fabric, and your hand comes away warm and wet.
“Uh, Din?” You shove his knee to get his attention. “You’re still bleeding.”
“Then you’re not a very good medic.”
“I’m serious.” You wipe your hand on a wet rag and move the medkit to the shelf above the bed. “Take off your shirt and lay down. On your stomach.”
“All you had to do was ask, sweetheart,” he snarks, but he does as you instruct. Rather unceremoniously, he opens the top of his flight suit and shoves it down, leaving him bare save for the helmet and his pants as he lays down on the cot. In any other context, you might flush at the sight of so much naked skin. Considering the angry red gash splitting the skin over his left shoulder blade, though, you have more important things to worry about than Din's modesty. Blood and grime are smeared thin across his back and you wince at the sight.
“Stars above,” you murmur.
Din’s back rises and falls with labored breaths as he settles onto the cot. You drag over a stool and sit down by his side. Reaching for the wet cloth, you begin daubing at the blood and Din rests his helmet on his arms crossed in front of him. It’s clearly painful, judging by the way his muscles knot and ripple, so you work as fast as your hands will allow. It's a relief to see that the bone of his shoulder blade prevented the cut from striking muscle and sinew, saving him from more serious injury.
Once bacta is applied, the tension melts out of Din’s body. He lets out a shuddery sigh of relief and relaxes onto the cot. There’s still blood and dirt on his skin, so you fetch a clean cloth and begin to wash the mess away with water and soap that smells faintly of lemons. Now that the hard part is over, you’re surprised to see your hands shake.
Under the grime you wipe away is the landscape of the Mandalorian body: warm, olive skin that retains a tan despite rarely seeing the sun; old and new scars criss-crossing his back; and, to your surprise, tattoos.
Din has tattoos? You frown. You had no idea. Before this, he’s never been so bare in front of you. You realize now that his clothing covers more than his skin; it hides a veritable mural of black ink. Just above the cut you bandaged, there’s a line of writing in a script you don’t recognize. Wrapping around the left side of his ribs is the skeleton of a krayt dragon, its tail barely tickling the dimples on Din’s lower back. His arms, half-covered by his helmet resting on them, are etched with geometric designs and more lines in that unfamiliar language. On his right shoulder is the skull of a mudhorn and just down from the nape of his neck on his spine is the Mandalorian mythosaur.
Gently, you trace your fingers over the words on Din’s shoulder blade. What do they say? It’s probably Mando’a, but you can’t even begin to guess at its meaning. Is it a prayer, the names of loved ones, a song?
Resting your hands on his back, you feel Din’s breath come slow and steady. He must’ve fallen asleep sometime after the bacta was applied. Under your hands, Din’s skin is so warm. There’s no physical sign of the tattoos as you run your hands over them; no raised skin or bumps where the black lines curve and whorl over the valleys and plains of his body. Some of them are beautifully done, like the krayt dragon, and you trace the intricate details with the tip of your finger: the place where the skull of the dragon disappears onto his chest, where the tail nestles between the lines of his ribs. Others are more blurred, as though he’s carried them on his skin for decades. The mythosaur on the nape of his neck is like that. The edges are cloudy and hazy and you brush your fingers over it, imagining the swagger of a younger, cockier Mandalorian as he sat for that tattoo.
You sit there so long that the smell of blood airs out of the alcove, replaced by the unnameable scent you always associate with Din and the citrus soap you used to wash his wounds. Din looks so different like this, relaxed in sleep. His body is so much softer than the armor he wears—you see where age has taken some of his whipcord strength and turned it soft and lax. It’s probably wrong for you to study his body without permission, but you’re transfixed by the tattoos. The mystery of them fascinates you. Perhaps, you find yourself thinking, if you could understand their meaning, then you might understand the Mandalorian.
Regretfully, you cease your exploration. Din needs to rest; you shouldn’t bother him any longer. Reaching for the blanket bunched at the foot of the bed, you draw it over Din’s sleeping form and settle it on his broad back.
The silence is broken when Din turns his head and murmurs, his voice barely an undertone. His helmet tilts in your direction with the visor half-hidden by his folded arms.
“Why’d you stop?”
You nearly slide off the stool in surprise. First you go hot all over, then cold. He was awake? Just laying there, letting you stroke his skin like—like a lover? There’s no excuse for what you were doing; unlike cleaning his wounds for him, tracing his tattoos was entirely for you. It was a stolen intimacy—a violation of his privacy, simply because you were selfish to know more of him than he is willing to share.
Din makes a quiet noise, halfway between a grunt and a groan. He turns his head again, resting his visor on his arms. “Felt good,” he mumbles.
Your mouth falls open, lips half-parted. “Oh.”
Din’s back shakes with a quiet chuckle at your surprise. Half terrified and half attracted, you settle back on the stool and let your fingers ghost across his skin again. You feel his breath under your hands, the forced control as he tries not to gasp at your touch, the rapid beat of his heart. Fanning your hand out, you smooth your hand down his sides, comforting him like you might a frightened animal. He leans into you, his head lolling on his shoulders.
You stay like that for a long while, gently learning the lines of Din’s body under your fingers. His breath slows as he falls asleep—actually falls asleep, this time—and you stay long past he’s nodded off. Maybe one day you'll ask him to tell you the meaning of the tattoos. Maybe. For now, you'll settle for these stolen moments, knowing him like no one else does.
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whump-it-like-its-hot · 3 months ago
A whumpee who overworks themselves to absolute exhaustion, telling themselves they deserve it.
They want nothing more than to rest, close their eyes and sleep for a day and a half through - But there’s people that have gone for longer than they did, and they don’t even need it that much anyways. They just need to learn to suck it up.
Suck up the way their head pounds and buzzes with every move, suck up the way their muscles ache after days and days of labor.
There’s nothing stopping them from taking a day off, giving in - Nothing except the guilt hanging over them and suffocating them like a weight after their eyes close involuntarily when they sit down for a minute too long. They haven’t earned it yet.
But will they ever?
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