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#but its been sort of a dull week
babyboibucky · 5 months ago
Rum and Coke
Pairing: Bartender!Bucky x Fem!Reader
Summary: You decide to pay your rival club a visit to see what the hype is all about.
Word Count: 3.6k
Warnings: A little bit of violence, fingering, implied oral (f receiving), unprotected p in v penetration, Bucky bending y’all in half
A/N: Dedicated to my lovely bestie @winter-soldier-vibes who gave me this idea!!! Thank you for letting me write this and I hope you’d enjoy!!!
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It was awfully quiet for a Friday night— given that you worked at a nightclub which was usually and supposedly jam-packed on a night like this.
You knew of the new bar that opened right across the street, but even so, it was never this quiet. Plenty of newer clubs and establishments opened around the area and their opening nights tend to affect the foot traffic in your bar but only for a night or two. It never lasted an entire week and most especially, never on a fucking Friday.
“Well, this feels odd.” Clint commented as he wiped the counter.
Although the lack of bustling customers were giving you and Clint some much needed breather, you didn’t like how it was affecting your pride. People loved you, you were everyone’s favorite bartender and you often got tipped generously by your locals, who by the way, haven’t visited you for a few days now.
“Something is wrong…” you said in suspicion before hatching an idea.
Clint watched you curiously when you began to untie your apron, reaching beneath the counter for your bag and slinging it around your body. He called your name as a warning and tipped his head at you.
“What are you doing?” he asked.
You offered him a huge smile and shrugged, “I’m going to check out the new bar, see what’s the hype all about.” you said and hopped over the counter, ignoring Clint’s complaints.
“You’re still on the clock! What am I supposed to tell Nick when he comes looking for you?!” he asked as he watched you head over to the entrance.
You turned to face Clint and carefully walked backwards, “I am working! Tell him I’m on market research duty!” you said, throwing a wink his way before stepping out of the bar and disappearing into the busy street.
The new club— HYDRA, stood out from the rest given that it had a huge neon signage that you’d probably spot even from miles away. Its logo was an octopus, only that it had a skull for its head that gave a very dangerous yet intriguing vibe to the club.
Looking back at the bar you worked for which had an eagle as its logo with “SHIELD Nightclub” written down below it, you sort of realized how dull it was as compared to its new competitor.
“What the hell…” you uttered under your breath when you saw how long the line was.
You might have spotted a few familiar faces in line too and you absolutely hated how they easily switched their Friday night location. You were supposed to fall in line like a good citizen, until your eyes landed on a familiar person who was manning the entrance.
“Well would you look at that!” you exclaimed as you walked over to Thor, ignoring the dirty looks that the people in line threw at you.
His eyes widened at the same time he chuckled in disbelief, “Oh god, it’s been so long!” he said and pulled you into a friendly hug.
Thor worked as the bouncer for the previous nightclub you worked at; luck must’ve been on your side because he didn’t even hesitate to actually invite you into HYDRA despite the protests of the people in line. Thanking him, you stepped inside the club and was immediately greeted by loud music and cheers from the crowd.
It was a typical nightclub with blinding laser lights moving around and smoke turning everything into a hazy view. The dance floor was fucking crowded and it almost engulfed you if you weren’t skilled enough to avoid the strangers tugging at people to dance with them.
Nothing about the club was spectacular, you thought. You wondered why everyone in the city seemed to be in there when it was just a regular nightclub. Thinking that maybe the hype would merely last longer than usual, you decided to head back to SHIELD Nightclub.
That was until more cheers erupted from the bar that made you turn your head. There were a lot of people standing by the bar, as if they were watching something. Squeezing your way towards it, you caught a quick glimpse of something black and gold followed by a shaker being thrown up in the air.
You literally had to elbow your way to the bar and when you finally reached the front, you realized that it wasn’t HYDRA itself that was causing the hype.
It was their bartender.
He was tall and pretty damn hot, you had to admit. Cropped hair, ocean blue eyes and a charming grin that probably stole your female customers away— the man was a fucking sight to behold. He was clad in a black, tight fitting shirt that only accentuated his muscular build; but besides his veiny forearm that definitely caught your attention almost immediately, it was his left arm that took the spotlight.
It was made out of black metal plated with gold lines around it.
As if the man wasn’t already good-looking enough to take away your club’s customers, he just had to be flairtending too.
The crowd began to cheer again when he started throwing around the shaker, allowing it to flip in the air before catching it again to pour the content into one of the glasses. You knew how to do that trick too, but he was much more experienced at it.
The metal arm definitely gave him an advantage.
“Alright, that’s it for now. I need to go and actually tend to my customers.” he announced with a chuckle, finishing his performance with a theatrical bow.
As soon as the people began to return to the dance floor, you made your way to the bartender and hopped on the stool, watching him closely as he moved around.
“To what do I owe this visit from a fellow bartender?” he spoke up, glancing at you with a smile before uncapping a couple bottles of beer.
You looked behind you but found no one and upon looking back at him, he was merely staring at you with a boyish grin that made your entire body feel warm and tingly.
“How did you know?” you asked.
He shrugged, “I study my competitors.” he said. “Though I haven’t seen you in action yet, just saw you entering SHIELD Nightclub during your shifts.” he responded casually.
“What, you stalking me or something?” you teased.
“Studying.” he corrected before extending his left hand. “I’m Bucky.” he introduced.
Looking down at his hand, you lifted a brow at him before taking it. You ignored the shiver that the cold metal sent down your spine and shook it firmly, introducing your name before letting go immediately.
“That arm’s going to cost me my job.” you said, just noticing that the arm wasn’t entirely flat but had plates that seemed to whir whenever Bucky moved.
Bucky chuckled, “Are you saying that it’s not my talent that’s stealing away your customers?” he asked, wiping his hands with a cloth before leaning on the counter until he was face to face with you.
“You’re not as special as you think, Bucky. I can do the same things as you, just with a regular arm.” you said, eyes dipping down to his lips unconsciously.
Bucky made a face and narrowed his eyes at you, “I’m pretty good with my hands, you know.” he said.
“So am I.” you responded with a smirk.
“I have a few more tricks up my sleeve, perhaps you’d like to learn from me. Maybe then you can get your customers back.” he said.
Cocky, very cocky. You liked it.
You let your eyes wander all over Bucky’s features, from his brows to his nose, down to his adorable chin. When you brought your eyes back to his, you noticed how his pupils dilated and it somehow flustered you.
You were dancing with the enemy and you were enjoying it a little too much than you should.
“Buy me a beer and I just might ask for your help.”
Would it be weird if you found yourself hanging out at HYDRA during your day offs? Clint called you disloyal for choosing to spend time over at the competitor bar instead of where you worked. You kept telling him that you were there to see how they run things in there, maybe Nick could learn a thing or two.
But were you really there for research? Or was there another reason?
“You still got a job or what?” Bucky jokingly asked as he slid over a glass of an Amaretto Sour towards you.
It was a typical Saturday night, your day off. Bucky seemed to have memorized your shifts by now and what time you usually dropped by because when you arrived, he was already mixing your usual drink. It wasn’t only your schedule that Bucky learned but also what kind of drinks you liked.
“Luckily, I still do. Some of my usual customers went back.” you told him happily as you sipped your drink.
Bucky laughed and shook his head, “Only because I told them to go back to you, didn’t want to rob you off of your tips.” he joked.
“How was work this week?” he asked next.
You sighed, “Been a while since we had that many customers again, pretty tiring if I’m going to be honest. Plus, some family issues came up too so there goes my mental health.” you commented with a mirthless laugh.
Bucky hummed, “Well, out with it. Better to vent out rather than to keep them suppressed.” he suggested.
You snickered and looked at Bucky pointedly, “What are you, a therapist now?”
Bucky flashed you a smile, “I’m a bartender, that’s basically the same thing.” he said confidently, making you genuinely laugh while shaking your head.
“Maybe next time, when we’re both off duty.” you said suggestively, hoping that maybe Bucky would get the hint that you wanted to see him outside the nightclub.
Much to your disappointment, he merely laughed in response before finishing the drinks he was making.
“So did you practice the trick I taught you last week?” Bucky asked and worked on another round of orders.
Okay, so maybe you did give in to his offer to teach you a couple of flairtending tricks. You always found yourself staying at HYDRA even after Bucky’s shift, watching him demonstrate some of his techniques and then trying it out yourself. You knew how to flairtend, but it wasn’t your expertise.
Bucky assumed you liked to learn his tricks but he didn’t know that you just liked to watch him.
“Yeah, I did.” you lied, biting your lip as you looked around the club.
“You know…” Bucky trailed, his tone almost unsure.
You turned to him and waited for him to continue, but his back was turned to you as he was mixing more drinks. Even with his usual black shirt on, you could see the movement of the muscles on his back as he moved around and thought about how it would feel to have your nails digging down on them.
His metal arm whirred as he shook the shaker, throwing it behind him and then catching it with his right hand with ease. Bucky moved with such grace, he was smooth and did his job wonderfully. He handled glasses with care and despite having metal for a hand, his fingers were gentle. Your mind began to wander, was he just as gentle in bed?
“Are you still with me?” Bucky asked, snapping his fingers to catch your attention.
“What?” you stupidly asked.
He laughed, “I said…” he started, his tongue darting out to lick his lower lip before he trapped it in between his pearly whites. “I have another trick I want to show you.” he said, voice low and rough around the edges.
You found yourself crossing your legs on the stool, squeezing your thighs together in anticipation. “What is it?” you asked, almost breathlessly when Bucky pressed his palms flat on the counter, bending over until his face was leveled with yours.
“It involves my metal hand and your participation.”
There was a teeny tiny whine that managed to escape your throat, and you were sure that Bucky heard it judging by the satisfied smirk that tugged on his goddamn kissable lips. You saw his eyes take in your features, tilting his head as he reached to brush a stray hair away from your face.
So he did get your hint and was even implying more than just seeing each other outside of the club.
“Excuse me, my drink please?” a customer three stools away called, breaking the tension that was merely starting to build up between you and Bucky.
Bucky exhaled from disappointment, his breath fanning against your neck as he dropped his head down. He then backed away and waved at the customer, apologizing to her before winking at you. “I’ll be right back.” he said.
You were fanning yourself with your hand, trying to simmer down from the tension that you hoped would be addressed later tonight, when a middle-aged man in a suit approached you. He smelled of tequila and smoke, you hated it. Frowning, you ignored his presence beside you and waited for Bucky patiently.
“Pretty little thing, aren’t you?” the man commented, leaning his side against the bar counter so he could fully face you.
Suddenly, you regretted wearing a dress tonight because of the way the man’s eyes scanned you from head to toe. You scowled at him and continued to stay silent, hoping he’d leave you alone.
“Playing hard to get? Fuck, I like that.” he continued, laughing darkly.
“I’m with someone, can you just leave?” you snapped, rolling your eyes at him before hopping off from the stool.
The man was about to grip your arm but Bucky was quicker to grab the man’s wrist with his metal hand, twisting it and pushing him away from you. You watched the crowd disperse when Bucky literally threw the man on the ground, his metal arm whirring as he pointed a finger at him.
“Try and touch her again and I’ll fuckin’ kill you.” he hissed.
As if the metal arm wasn’t enough of a threat, the perverted man really had to challenge Bucky. He stood up from the ground and charged towards Bucky who was able to land a kick right on his chest. Everything happened so quickly, with the customers screaming for help when Bucky started beating the man until he begged for him to stop.
Thor immediately arrived and broke the fight, pushing Bucky away from the man. You quickly tugged at Bucky’s shirt to pull him towards you, “Hey, it’s okay. I’m okay.” you reassured him.
You told Thor about everything that happened and he ended up throwing the man out of the club. However, despite Bucky’s heroic act of protecting you, the customers who witnessed his outburst sort of got scared and left the club.
Bucky was absolutely feral when he fought the man, his face scrunched up in anger as he beat him up with his metal arm. There was something so threatening about his bionic arm that scared the club’s customers away.
But also, there was something so attractive about him going off like that just to protect you that the sight of him beating up a guy turned you on so much.
“What the fuck happened?” HYDRA’s owner, you assumed, huffed out as he approached the scene.
“That man was harassing a customer. I had to do something, Mister Pierce.” Bucky explained.
“That man is a stockholder.” the older man angrily said.
“And that stockholder is a fucking sicko.” Bucky said through gritted teeth.
Mister Pierce snickered, “He’s going to take back all his shares because of what you did.” he said exasperatedly, pinching the bridge of his nose, “You’re fired, Bucky. Get the hell out of here.”
Bucky shrugged, removing the apron around his waist and throwing it to the ground before taking your wrist in his hand.
“Good. Been wanting to get out of his hell hole anyway.” he said and tugged at your wrist, pulling you with him out of the club.
You stayed quiet as you followed Bucky out into the street, staring at his back and watching him breathe heavily. Feeling bad that you were the one who actually cost him his job, you opened your mouth to apologize but was quickly muffled when Bucky turned around and kissed you hard, not caring whether there were tons of people around.
Bucky’s hands cupped your face as he kissed you, turning his head to deepen the kiss as he slid his tongue into your mouth making you moan. Your knees literally wobbled as he pulled back, your hands finding purchase on the sides of his shirt to keep yourself steady on your feet.
“Need you so bad.” he rasped out.
“Fuck! Right there, Bucky!”
Almost bent in half with the back of your knees on Bucky’s muscular shoulders as he pounded into you was something you did not expect to happen. Especially when he just got fired from his job because of you.
But hey, you weren’t complaining. Not when Bucky’s cock was making you see stars with each drag against your walls.
True enough, Bucky showed you one more trick when you both arrived at his place. Said trick involved his metal fingers pumping in and out of your pussy and his tongue flicking against your clit. When he said he needed your participation, he actually meant making you squirt all over his sheets, soaking it with your wetness.
“So fucking tight, baby.” Bucky grunted, his nose brushing against yours as he continued to thrust into you.
He was fucking you so hard that his bed started to creak, the headboard hitting the wall with every thrust. You never knew how flexible you were up until this moment, with Bucky bending down to kiss you, further folding your body until your knees touched your shoulders.
How you ended up being fucked into the next century was beyond you. Was it from the adrenaline from the kerfuffle at the club? Or was it the sexual tension that kept on building up every single time you and Bucky hung out together?
It didn’t matter anymore, because Bucky kept on hitting your sweet spot over and over again that you had to hold onto his arms for dear life with the way your body began to tremble.
Pleasure and pain mixed well together the same way rum and coke do.
It quenched your thirst.
“Bucky, ‘m close. Gonna cum again!” You whimpered, lifting your head up to lick at Bucky’s parted mouth.
His face looked so fucking arousing like that, his nose scrunched up as he snarled right into your face. A chorus of his low groans and growls made your cunt even wetter, letting his hard cock easily slip in and out of it.
“Come on, baby. Want to feel your pussy squeeze my cock.” He rasped out before straightening up on his knees, letting your legs drop from his shoulders and bending them to plant your feet on the mattress.
Bucky gripped your waist and lifted your hips up from the bed as he continued to fuck you, the new angle bringing you so much closer to the precipice of your orgasm.
Chanting his name like an incantation, you finally came with a loud and long moan. Your body shook from immense pleasure, your thighs quaked and your hands flailed around the bed in search of something to cling on to.
“God— yes, fuck!” Bucky growled, his hips snapping against yours until his balls tightened.
A few more sloppy thrusts and Bucky came, a string of curses flying out of his mouth as his body stilled. Ropes of his cum filled your pussy, eliciting a soft whine from you when you felt the warmth of Bucky’s release flood your channel.
Bucky dropped down onto you, resting his forehead against your shoulder as he pressed kisses on your sweaty skin.
“Can I confess something?” He asked after a brief moment of silence, slightly lifting his hips up until his softening cock slipped out of your pussy.
Wiping the sweat on your forehead, you could only nod in response as you panted heavily.
“I kind of was stalking you.” He said, lifting his head up to look at you.
“Before HYDRA’s opening night, I went to SHIELD Nightclub to check it out and then I saw you working at the bar.” He explained with a timid smile, as if he wasn’t fucking you like an animal moments ago.
You snorted, “So you were crushing on me and yet you kept on stealing my customers.” You joked with a husky chuckle, throat strained from all the moans that Bucky managed to pull out of you.
Bucky kissed your lips, “And it worked because you finally came to check me out.” He boasted.
Rolling your eyes, you pushed Bucky just enough for you to move to his side. Tracing his metal arm with your finger, you admitted that you only accepted his offer to teach you tricks just so you can watch him in his element without a crowd.
A comfortable silence enveloped the both of you afterwards. Bucky let you touch his metal arm, your eyes distant as you continued to caress him.
“What are you thinking about?” Bucky curiously asked.
“I’m sorry you got fired because of me.” You whispered.
Bucky chuckled, catching your hand and placing a kiss on the inside of your wrist.
“That’s fine. I applied for another club two weeks ago and got the job. I was about to resign from HYDRA anyway.”
“Wait, what? Where are you working now?” You asked, surprised.
Bucky leaned over to kiss you again, slower and gentler this time. Upon opening your eyes when he pulled away, you were met with his mischievous grin.
“At SHIELD Nightclub.”
Everything Bucky Tag List:
@ddowii @jessou893 @stealapizzamyheart @bagelofthelord @mxnt @dontputyourfckingdrinkonmytable @jeeperky @ohladymacbeth @wildflowergubler @supraveng @twinerd14 @buckysmar @bakugouswh0r3 @sweetcoldharmony @wintersfilm @charminivy @amelia-song-pond @iamvalentinaconstanza @mcubqrnes @im-squished @tcc-gizmachine @sipsteacasually @prettyintopeerpressure @weloveyasmin @est19xxshit @bloodhon3yx @dressed-in-prada @lizette50 @thatfangirl42 @sunflowerbunny2 @unmagically @okiegirl24 @sugarpunch-princess @enlyume @vvipgotbb @slimeyderp @lyoongx @just-deka @nobody-will @jaziona92 @elisebuitron @dpaccione @suvikamahes98blr @buckybarneshairpullingkink @earthtonav @x-judyjude-x @nani-kenobi @just-here-to-escape-from-reality @belladonnabarnes @iloveangstposts @weenersoldierr @asemistablehundredyearoldman @reidbuck @lizzarooni @girlfriday007 @bonkywobble @lost-in-the-stars03 @its-yasbxtch @buckybarneschokeme
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a-kaash-me-outside · 2 months ago
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𝐢 𝐝𝐢𝐝𝐧’𝐭 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐚𝐥𝐤 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐦𝐲 𝐠𝐢𝐫𝐥𝐟𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐝 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐧𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭
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ᴀᴛꜱᴜᴍᴜ x ʀᴇᴀᴅᴇʀ ~ 5613 ᴡᴏʀᴅꜱ ~ // nsfw (minors dni!!), lil angsty, f!reader, cheating, teasing, choking, crying, daddy kink, hate fuck -> kinda toxic soft fuck, brat taming, oral m!receiving, good dialogue shitty writing
i wrote this in 3 hrs bc hyperfixation (song i listened to) like its smut but is it the type of smut u get off to? probably not.
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i don't understand, whats a girl gotta do to get a good lay around here???? thx
11:14 PM • 07/01/21
your tweet was not a rhetorical question. your tweet was supposed to get a few fun dms. your tweet was supposed to blow up just a little bit. your tweet was not supposed to entice your ex-boyfriend to message you for the first time in over a year, and it definitely wasn't supposed to lead to him texting your number that you thought he no longer had, and it absolutely positively 100% was not supposed to lead to you hooking up.
not that it was an issue for you, but it probably would be an issue for his girlfriend.
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the dm shocked you, because how could it not after going so long only knowing about atsumu through the news and social media? his girlfriend was the entire reason two of you stopped talking when you did, but it wasn't even her doing. atsumu chose to break off contact all on his own, some bullshit about trust and her being really good for him.
and they were still together, you saw their anniversary post less than a week ago. and yet there he was.
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and yet there he was texting back and forth with you for the better half of an hour before making the short drive over to your place.
and yet here he is, one hand ghosting over your lower back, other hand bracing the under side of your thigh, hot breath on your collar bones despite the fact that he had a girlfriend and despite the fact that you shattered his heart into a million pieces
he’s made small talk, asked you how you’ve been with an unease that he didn’t try hard enough to hide, leaned against the couch, but hasn’t actually sat.
“hey, calm down or i really will call your brother, always the calmer one.”
“and, yet, ya didn’t date him,” he quips back. the air is still for a moment, settling alongside the realization. you’d acknowledged it through text, but this was different. it slipped out easily, an impulsive rebuttal to a joke made numerous times before, a passing recollection and acknowledgment of the very reason he shouldn’t be here in the first place.
“well, no, obviously not, i’ve got a thing for blondes,” you shrug and he laughs, short and breathy. it feels almost humoring, but then you watch his shoulders slump, laxing into a normal state for the first time since he’s been here.
“a thing for blondes who actually sit down on the couch instead of leaning against them,” you gesture towards the middle of the sofa.
“what about you?” he asks, abiding anyways and taking a seat perfectly where your eyes landed, not enough room on either side of him for you to fit.
“where do you expect me to sit?” you ask right back, raising your eyebrows, stepping towards him anyway despite your teasing adversity.
he only glances down at his lap, lifting his hands from their clasped position, and motioning towards himself. you crawl into his lap, one knee dipping into the cushion on either side of him.
“what, did you miss me that much?” you tease, placing your hands overtop of his, pulling them lazily along until they're resting on your ass, fingertips tucked politely under the hem of your underwear. there's hesitance in his movements even with your guiding help.
"you don't have to be gentle with me, y'know." you tilt your head to the side, pushing backwards until you can feel resistance, until you can feel his fingers spread apart, taking as much of you into his hands as he can and digging his dull fingernails into your flesh. "i know you've probably gone soft a bit, huh? with your girlfriend and all"
his entire body tenses, some sort of backlash bubbling up in the discomfort, and you know that backlash is probably in the form of a shitty comment at your expense.
so you don't let it leave his throat, closing the gap and slipping your tongue into his mouth, sliding it against his before he can make an excuse or put you down. you did it to catch him off guard, but he tastes so good, so familiar even though so much time has passed that you can't help but moan into the kiss.
and fuck is his hair softer than you remember. his hands are bigger than you remember and his stomach is more rigid than you remember and he's stronger than you remember, and you pull away from the kiss now because you're out of breath and it's probably been enough time for him to swallow whatever shitty thing he was going to say and he's so much fucking prettier than you remember.
when did he get this pretty?
the softness of your eyes is mirrored in his, a reflection of rediscovery, relearning things that you don't remember forgetting. and there's this feeling that's burning in your core, a mixture of emotions, one of them you can't put your finger on, but you know you want to ignore.
"can you please take your shirt off, i haven't fucked anyone as ripped as you in a while and i kinda miss it." fingers running along the hem, you tug upwards gently.
"is that the only reason i'm here?" he jeers, but leans forward anyway.
"you know why you're here." before you've thrown his shirt into a crumpled pile on the floor, he's already wrapped both of his arms around your waist, picking you up only momentarily before sitting you down on the edge of the couch.
"i do," he says, and if you weren't you, if you hadn't known atsumu for as long as you have, you wouldn't have been able to recognize him after that drastic change in tone with that sultry look in his eyes as he drops to the floor, nudging your legs apart and smirking up at you. "i know exactly why i'm here, which is why it's kinda weird that you've had such a bitter, snarky mouth all night."
if that damned smirk and stupid tone didn't warm you right up, this would've done just fine on it's own. instead, it just added to the involuntary reactions you were feeling all over your body, cheeks burning, fingers restless against the muscle of your thigh, peering down at atsumu as he toyed with your panties, softly, abruptly, there and then not as his grasp moves to the hem of your shirt, pushing the fabric up as far as he can reach, running his palm over freshly exposed skin.
you finish the motion, brushing your fingers over his as you throw your shirt onto the cushion next to you.
"why don't ya ask nicely if i'll eat ya, princess?"
he kisses the insides of your thighs and you wonder if he remembered how sensitive they are or if it's just a coincidence.
but it doesn't matter how badly you want it, how many nights you've spent lying awake thinking about his stupid fucking tongue, wishing that there was some sort of toy that could replicate how disgustingly good it felt, because the question enters your mind and you want so badly to knock that smirk off his face.
"do you call her princess too or is that reserved just for me?"
and it does, knock the smirk off his face that is, but only for a moment. he tsks, shaking his head as he pushes himself up from the ground. regret is already seeping in as you squeeze your thighs together. your pussy is already soaked and you were about to get everything you've been missing for the past 3 years.
now, instead, atsumu is towering over you palming himself through his shorts and talking down to you in a way that makes you even wetter, "we gotta do something about that ungrateful little mouth of yers, don't we?"
"if you're not going to eat me out, won't you at least answer my question?" you ask, digging yourself deeper into this disobedient hole you're finding yourself in.
he reaches out so quickly that you almost flinch, but you trust him too much for that. he laces his fingers into your hair forming a tight fist at the base of your head, directing your eyes to him as he steps forward between your legs, spreading them apart with his shins. "the answer would probably just go to your head."
absolutely nothing could stop the smile that spread across your face, corners upturning and spanning as far as possible as you greedily think of this pet name saved just for you.
"what else did you save only for me, tsumu?" you ask, scooching forwards, legs spreading wider, pressing against the outsides of his calves. you're far too excited about the effects you've had on him and his relationship. as the sentence leaves your mouth, as the nickname falls so easily off of your tongue, you see his strong exterior falter for a fraction of a second. "she doesn't get to call you tsumu?"
the fist in your hair gets tighter, so tight that you can feel his hand start to shake and there's a darkness in his eyes that wasn't there before, a darkness that tells you he's been timid up until this point, a darkness that you probably shouldn't provoke, but it's been a long time since you've had this much fun.
"been awhile since you've had a brat to tame, hasn't it?" you whisper, blinking away the tears that have collected in the corners of your eyes.
"i think yer beyond being brat at this point," he huffs, no longer waiting for your next move. he uses one hand to push down his shorts, keeping a tight grasp on your head, not letting you move an inch and then guides your head towards his cock. "put yer mouth to good use or i swear to god you won't be able to talk for four days."
it sounds like an option, but it's not. he doesn't give you the chance to misbehave again. he drags the head of his cock on your bottom lip, precome smearing against it before he presses the tip into your mouth.
you're staring up at him because you've missed this so much, the concentration on his face, this control that he has over you, this underlying distain for the way you act out. he's not even looking you in the eyes, staring past you at the way his cock disappears between your lips.
"fuck, take it," he grunts, thrusting in and out of your mouth slowly, spit drooling down your chin as they start getting faster, head prodding at the back of your throat.
your mouth feels so full, head bobbing with his wreckless thrusts until he pulls you completely onto his cock, your lips wrapped around the base, the length of his fat cock perfectly surrounded by your tight throat, and then he holds you there. seconds tick by and your eyes flutter closed and the only sensation you can take in is the light throbbing of his cock.
"isn't this so much better? actually being useful for once," he sneers, but you can barely hear him as you focus on just staying conscious. his fingers skim over your neck, wrapping around the bulge he's created, balls twitching against your chin. you bring your hands up to his thighs, fingers digging into the muscle as you reach your limit, head fogging and throat burning.
he pulls you off of his cock and you only catch a glimpse of how satisfied he looks as you gasp for air, swallowing just to feel your throat void of something. "god yer lucky i wanna be inside of ya so fucking bad now or i would cum down that pretty throat of yers so fast."
you're still regaining your composure as he hooks his fingers into the waistband of your underwear, dragging them down your thighs, cock throbbing as he watches the string of wetness connecting your pussy and your panties. he presses harsh, rushed kisses into the side of your jaw, trailing down until he can’t reach any further.
you want to say something, anything to put him back in his place, to make him flustered again, but you just can't think, still drunk on the feeling of choking on his big fucking cock.
the only thing that comes out is, "please, fuck me."
he laughs, honest to god, throws his head back and laughs as he lines himself up with you, rubbing the tip between your pretty slick lips and pressing his hips forward just enough to feel your hole start to stretch for his head. "not so bratty, now, are ya?"
you shake your head because it doesn't matter anymore how much you missed acting out just so he would put you in your place, you were there. you were exactly where he wanted you and fuck, did you want him.
"ask nicely," he taunts, a shit eating grin plastered on his face as he pushes his luck as far as he can take it.
you roll your hips, desperate to feel any part of him. "please, daddy."
"f-fuck," he stammers, grin completely gone, precome leaking from the slit of his twitching cock, harsh resolve crumbling over a single word. "fuck, again." he presses his hips forward, sliding inside of you inch by inch.
and it hits you.
"she doesn't call you daddy, either?" you ask, narrowing your eyes, some sort of clarity replacing these pathetic thoughts.
when you were with him, you used the name religiously, in and out of the bedroom. sometimes to get what you wanted and other times just to watch him tense up. and now his life was void of the weight that name carried and that didn’t sit with you right. poise and bite fill you almost as quickly as it left you, "you saved a lot of things just for me, didn't you?"
he doesn't reply, silent as he places a hand on your shoulder and thrusts completely inside of you, hips pressed against the insides of your thighs as the breath is knocked completely out of your lungs. he's trying to prove that he has control over you still, digging into you so brutally that he knows you'll think of him later. and it feels so fucking good and you feel so fucking full and it would be so easy to just shut your mouth and take it, but it wouldn’t be nearly as fun.
“fuck, there’s no way that you’re this rough with her,” you almost laugh, settling on a telling smirk instead, “mmm but there’s also no way that you get this hard for her.”
each time he fucks into you, the sound and the sting of his hips smacking against the insides of your thighs gets harsher. you know that he’s doing it to shut you up, to make you forget about whatever it is that’s on your mind and focus on how good it feels or how much it hurts, but it’s really just proving your point.
his hands are roaming, moving from place to place, trying to find a permanent spot to root, one that gives him the most control. in the process, he’s leaving marks all over you, red spots, crescent-shaped indents, freshly forming bruises, and the thought of finding them in the coming days is driving you insane.
you can feel the stretch, closing your eyes to savor the feeling, quiet for a moment, the sound of your dripping pussy clenching around him filling the room. you don’t want to admit it, how quickly he’s gotten you so close, but you’re sure he can feel it in the way that you’re gripping onto him even tighter.
you snake your hand down between your legs, rubbing sloppy circles into your clit as he continually pounds into you. you’re so fucking close, can feel that familiar heat rising to your core, your body growing more sensitive.
“makes sense you wanted to come fuck me,” you mumble, “bet you haven’t gotten off really good in a long time, right, daddy?”
he’s unapologetic in the way he lets it affect him this time, grip getting tighter, cock slamming into you, not because he wants to teach you a lesson, but because he can’t help it.
“not without my tight cunt and dirty mouth, huh, daddy?” it’s somehow fucking with him even more as your voice gets scratchier, needier, softer from how close you are. “rub my messy pussy, daddy, gonna cum.”
your arms are weak as you hang them around atsumu’s neck, holding onto him desperately because you know you’re going to need it while you cum. his calloused fingers replace yours, rougher, thicker, harder, faster rubbing over your swollen clit. “cum all over daddy’s cock, princess.”
god, you’re just as fucked as he is hearing that name bounce off the walls and right back to you, that name that’s just for you. you wrap your legs around his lower back, pulling him into you because you need to feel every fucking inch, wanna coat his entire cock with your cum, have to, cumming from how deep he is inside of you, and then from the thought of her unknowingly tasting you on it.
“good girl, fuck, yer tight.”
you stare up at him with half-lidded post-orgasm eyes and an innocently dopey smile on your face, “tighter than her?” you look so fucking cute, sensitive walls hugging his length, so fucking happy and blissed out that the answer slips right out.
“yes, fuck, missed yer cunt so much.”
you move to sit up, push your hand into his shoulder and motion to the couch. when he moves, you move with him, not wanting to feel empty for a second longer than you have to.
seated completely on his cock, he’s even deeper inside of you and you want to feel this full forever. you don’t even want to move, resting your forehead against his. “tell me something, tsumu, and be honest.” he doesn’t offer any sort of reply, verbal or otherwise.
“do you think of me sometimes when you fuck her?” you start moving, sitting up straight as you pull yourself off his cock almost completely before slamming back down. “do you wish she was me? do you almost say my name when she cums because she almost gets as tight as i am?”
“you don’t need to answer, tsumu, can see it all over your face,” you continue, hand placed firmly on his chest for leverage as you fucked yourself harder on his cock.
“yer a fucking bitch. ya haven’t changed at all,” he breathes, and it hurts way less than it probably should, the tone of his voice and the shock on his face, but you can feel him inside of you, you can feel his chest rising and falling rapidly beneath your palm. he’s throbbing with every shitty question, twitching at every mention of how much better you are than her, grunting under his breath whenever you point out one of his slip ups. he fucking loves it and you know him too well not to notice it.
“no, i have, it’s just not exactly what you wanted when you texted me. you wanted a tight brat to bruise and choke, didn’t you?” you ask, tilting your jaw upwards, exposing your neck. “fucking do it then, but don’t whine about the fact that this little brat is better than your girlfriend.”
his hands are still planted loosely on your hips, guiding your motions, helping you set a pace. he’s not reaching for what you’re so graciously offering him.
“don’t fucking kid yourself. you can’t get off to a nice girl who gives you exactly what you want, can you, tsumu?” you glare down at him, no longer on display, leaning towards him so you can talk through gritted teeth. “i’m a fucking bitch because it’s exactly what you want, none of that ‘really good for you’ bullshit.”
he lifts his hips, thrusting up to meet you as you slide down his cock. it’s brutal, the slapping of your tender skin against his toned thighs, and it feels so good, hurts so good that you don’t even remember what you were saying. and he doesn’t slow down. he keeps getting faster, keeps going deeper, and you’re starting to think that he’s realizing how much he likes it, the shitty way that you talk to him, that he actually missed it.
“fuck you.”
“am i wrong, baby? that’s why you’re with me right now and not her.” it leaves your mouth without much thought. you can’t think much about anything with the way he’s fucking you.
“i didn’t come here to talk about my girlfriend all night,” he bites.
“right, but-” you’re stopped in the middle of your sentence, two hands wrapping around your throat, long fingers pressing into your windpipe. his eyes are deadlocked on yours as he squeezes gently, testing the waters.
you rest your hand on his wrist, smiling as best you can, hoping you look pretty enough in his grasp as you push your neck further into his hold and the look on his face is one that you want to capture forever. it proves your point even further, this notion of atsumu and his nice sex life and his girlfriend that’s really good for him, because when’s the last time that atsumu has been with someone who just wanted to be treated like shit?
when’s the last time that atsumu’s been treated like shit?
you roll your eyes back in your head, chin towards the ceiling, lack of oxygen only heightening every inch of your skin that’s in contact with him before bringing your line of sight back down to his peering eyes.
your voice is choked, hoarse, sparse as the words struggle to leave, only strong enough for him to hear if he’s really paying attention. “fuck, atsumu, you’re so fucking big, so fucking perfect, you’re a fucking god, fuck me so good, thank you so much, i wish i never broke up with you.”
he doesn’t say a word, swallows whatever noise or comeback was coming up his throat, and blinks at you. fucked out expression, gasping for the return of the air you just spent, but it’s all worth it. his fists are closing, squeezing to stop you or to dare you to fight back, you’re not completely sure, but the second that your lungs have filled up just enough to mutter three more words, you do.
“is that better?”
you wait, assured and confident that whatever he does next will be some dramatic act to prove something to you and to himself, to make you regret your outlash, to make you actually believe the sarcastic statement you just spewed.
atsumu always did surprise you.
“it is,” he grunts, hands placed back onto to your waist, but they’re delicate now, tender almost as he runs the pads of his fingertips over your hipbones. “tell me how much you missed me, doll.”
there were so many ways you could fuck with him, so many things you could say to keep up this shitty charade, you know there are, you know they exist, but you can’t think of a single one. you open your mouth and nothing comes out save for tiny, quivering breaths and noises that were beyond your control.
“tell me.” harsher than before, but with an underlying care that made your heart flutter.
“sometimes, i do miss you,” you admit, and that’s exactly what it is, an admittance, something that’s circled in your brain but has never left your mouth, not even to the empty walls of your room. an absurd part of you hope he picks up on the lack of past tense.
he’s known you for too long, listened to you too well, gotten too deep despite the fight you put up to not hear how genuine this senseless little sentence is coming out of your mouth. “really late at night, lonely in my bed, wondering why i let you go.”
and, fuck, it’s so stupid, not what you bargained for at all, but you want to feel closer to him, need to feel him completely against you because his skin is warm in a way that you’ve haven’t been able to replicate and maybe this is just a long-winded ploy to make you regret this attitude you’ve adopted for the night, but it’s working and you don’t care.
you’d like to think that he could see it on every feature, in every movement and action, this overwhelming need of yours for him to hold you, to be closer than he is right now even as he’s buried inside of you, because he does. he runs his hands up your back, crosses them over one another and braces you with his arms, mouth against your ear, “tell me more, pretty.”
and you listen. not because he’s fucking you into submission or because he has this caustic influence on you, but because you want to and because he deserves to know these thoughts of remorse and guilt that have been weighing heavy since the minute you left.
“think about you a lot,” you mutter into his chest, “was really shitty to you, couldn’t stop thinking about the version of our break up that you told everyone, and now i see you on my feed and think about if that were me celebrating an anniversary with you at some gross fancy dinner.”
your muscles have relaxed, movements ceased, leaning fully into atsumu as he thrusted up into you leisurely, focusing instead on the snap of his hips and closeness between the two of you. “wanted to reach out to apologize or to fuck you or just to hear your voice, but i didn’t.”
it’s heavy and not necessarily the dirty talk that you thought would be coming out of your mouth tonight, but it’s also not stopping and he’s not telling you to stop. “missed your voice and your face and your hands and your warmth and how good you are to me. and i really fucking needed this, tsumu, fuck i needed you so bad.”
you hope, with everything in you, that he’s understanding everything you’re saying, that he’s perceiving it all as the truth, that he’ll see that you actually have changed, finally ready to tell him all of the things he wanted to hear back then, all the things he tried to get out of you before you broke his heart. but have you really changed? are you saying these things so that he’ll know the truth or so he won’t be able to stop thinking about you while he’s with her?
your chest feels tight, heart racing, air leaving your lungs as shaky as your limbs, in desperate need of some sort of redirection. you’re silent for a few moments, letting the room fill with his shallow breaths and striking skin, composing yourself and fixating on atsumu’s steady pace.
curling your fingers against his stomach, you move in time with him once again, lifting yourself as he pulls away and slamming down as he thrusts upwards. you don’t know if you’ve really changed or what the real motivation behind inviting atsumu over tonight was, but you know exactly what you’ve been craving, not just in these last few hours, but for years.
you brush your cheek against his, leaning forward to whisper directly into his ear so that the feeling of your breath and the soft cadence of your voice never leave his memory.
“does she let you cum inside, tsumu?”
his response is visceral, instinctive, hips stuttering, failing to smoothly meet the backs of your thighs as his head collides with your shoulder, too heavy with swarming thoughts and poor self control to make any audible noise that’s not an almost animalistic grunt.
kiss after soft kiss is pressed into his jawline, down his chest, fingers interlocked behind his neck, pulling yourself closer and closer until you can feel his destructive heartbeat combatting your own.
“does she let you pump her full of cum, daddy?”
he can’t form a verbal response, groaning into your shoulder as he fucks into you with abandon, no longer as a power trip or a control tactic, just using you to get off. you wanted him to use you to get off. he’s so fucking wrecked beneath you, eyes screwed tight as he moves on compulsion alone, but you knew how pretty he sounded when he was about to cum, whiny and grateful and you refused to let this moment slip away.
“i know how much you loved filling me with your load, tsumu, feeling my pussy get all creamy, milking your fat cock into my greedy little hole. you went crazy for it, would always pump your thick seed into me until it spilled out all over your cock, made me feel so full, so pretty,” you ramble into his skin.
“baby, do you still get to feel that? does she let you unload so deep, tsumu?” your questions are coming out more haphazardly than anything else you’ve said and you know the answer, but you’re craving the sound. “or did you save that all for me too?”
“saved it for ya,” he mumbles, throat hoarse, cock pulsing against your walls, needy, sloppy kisses placed wherever he can reach.
“yeah? tell me, baby, saved it all for me, couldn’t cum in a pussy that wasn't made just for you? needed me, right, baby?”
“needed you, fuck, only you, need only you,” he moans and it’s so perfectly desperate and everything you need it to be.
“gonna cum, baby, gonna cum for you, will you cum for me? will you cum inside me, tsumu, please?” you know he can tell how close you are, can feel how tightly you’re squeezing him, how dripping wet you are, can hear your incessant, thoughtless ramblings.
“i’m gonna fill you, pretty, wanna feel you cum on my cock while i fill you, okay?”
you nod against his chest, core tight, waiting, waiting, his hips driving upwards faster, slamming you down harder until his movements stutter, a guttural groan falling upon your ears before feeling his cock pulse inside of you, rope after rope of thick cum painting your insides, and, fuck, you missed this.
you let go, collapsing against atsumu entirely as you cum around his cock, pussy clenching as he lazily thrusts into you, driving you through your orgasm and fucking his cum deeper inside of you, coating his entire length.
when his movements stop, when his hips stop moving and the grunting is replaced with shallow breaths that turn into normal breaths, neither of you move. your chests are rising and falling in time and you’re starting to feel gross the longer you sit in it, but you don’t want to move. you can’t move. the things that you’ve said might feel too real if you move from this position. and that doesn’t make any sense, but you don’t want to chance it. you feel gross, but also better than you have in a while and then he rubs a small circle into your lower back just gently enough for you to notice, just softly enough to send shivers up your spine, and you know that you can’t be in this position another second.
being in the same bathroom as atsumu, legs spread, sitting in your bathtub, cleaning up the mess he’s made while he uses crumpled up pieces of toilet paper to clean up the mess you’ve (mostly he’s) made is weirdly domestic in the most comforting way. it’s not awkward, but some part of you wishes it was because the seconds keep ticking on and the regret isn’t seeping in, not just about tonight, but about anything you’ve said.
it’s mostly silent save for atmospheric noises that couldn’t be helped and you wish that you were wishing someone would say something.
but you clean without a word and so does he and when you stand up, he offers you a hand to step over the lip of the tub and he passes you a dry towel from where you keep them under the sink. he uses your toothbrush without even asking and then preps it for you to use and you thank him when he hands it to you.
you walk back with him to your room and he’s one step ahead of you because he could find your bedroom blindfolded and you get changed in front of him and it’s not one of those moments where you get embarrassed and then feel dumb about getting embarrassed, you just feel at home.
“i meant it, by the way, i miss you sometimes,” you shake your head, “no, that’s a lie, i miss you a lot.” you’re starting to feel antsy now, missing the comfortable silence because now you’re talking about uncomfortable feelings while they’re not mindlessly spilling out of you.
your fingers are tingling, heart furiously beating in your ears as you continue, “and nights like tonight make me miss you more than i thought was possible, more than they probably should for how long i’ve been without you, but i think you bring out a really shitty side of me.”
“i think i don’t have to,” he says, rushing to get it out of his throat before he’s too scared to say it, “i think i remind you of how you used to be, but that’s not how you are now.” you don’t know what to say, so you don’t say anything. “i think we could try again and i could show you that it’s not true.”
“you don’t...,” you start, voice diminishing into silence, because what do you say to that?
“because you’re right, why else am i here with you tonight and not her?” he asks, closing the gap between the two of you, not touching you, just getting closer.
“tsumu…,” you start again, voice diminishing into silence again, because what do you say to that?
“i don’t let her call me that because i couldn’t bear the sound of it not coming from you.”
you take a step back, head spinning from a single sentence despite only solidifying a conclusion you had already come to all on your own. “i think maybe you should go home to your girlfriend before she notices you’re missing.”
“let me stay the night,” he blurts, hand spanning out to grasp your shoulder, your arm, wherever his reach would land.
it comes out of your mouth like a warning, imploring him to tread careful, “tsumu.”
but he just keeps pressing forward, faster, harder, recklessly, heedless and senseless, “please, yn, please, if this is the last time i ever get to talk to you, to see you standing in front of me where i can do this,” his hand floats up, fingers caressing your cheek, curling against your jaw and you melt into how inviting and warm his touch is, “then just let me savor it.”
the thought of this being your last night together hits you, hard, like you’ve been run over by a train, and you didn’t expect it to hurt this bad. you’re convinced it feels worse than when you left him the first time. you don’t want it to be the last time.
“last time, huh?” you ask. with how close he is and the hold he has on you, you know that he can feel the instability in your voice, see the hesitance in your features.
“i mean,” he pulls you into him, arms wrapping tightly around you so that you can feel the vibrations of his laugh, “how well did that work last time?”
“if i see you again, i’ll want to see you again, and again, and again,” you admit, soaking in the discomfort of vulnerability before asking, “is that okay?”
“that’s all i want.”
295 notes · View notes
songbirdstyles · a year ago
let it bleed
summary: you’re on your period, and harry just wants to make you feel good.
warnings: smut, shower sex, period sex, clothed sex/grinding, fingering
word count: 6.8k words
song inspo: let it bleed - the rolling stones (aren’t i funny)
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Waking up on Saturday is generally a blissful experience - sleeping in until the day feels nearly gone, lounging with Harry around the house or heading outside when the weather permits it - sure, every day in quarantine could be chalked up to just another Saturday but there’s something different about the actual day itself. Harry’s usually awake entirely too early during the week, sitting at the kitchen table with his headphones in, suffering through meetings with producers and managers for much longer than what could possibly be bearable. And you’re generally holed up at your desk, trying not to fucking die of boredom as you sit through useless Zoom sessions and assignments given by superiors who don’t understand technology - needless to say, you’d rather waste your days wrapped in Harry’s arms than sitting through that.
This Saturday, though, wakes you up a few hours later than you usually would, Harry’s head pressed into your chest, his arm wrapped tight around your waist, fingers clutched tight on the oversized t-shirt you’d donned to bed. Chestnut curls brush the end of your nose and a sleepy smile tilts your lips upwards as your eyes crack open, squinting up at the ceiling of your bedroom, only dimly aware of the low stream of early morning light shining through the window beside your bed.
You never usually wake this early, do you? No, you don’t, and you tilt your head to glare at the clock mounted on the wall across the room from you. It’s 4:56, a whole 5 hours before you’d ever even consider getting out of bed, and, yet, your body had forced you awake for seemingly no reason. You could be curling yourself up in Harry’s arms, legs around his torso and arms around his neck as his snores ring in your ears like a lullaby, except -
There’s a dull pain in your abdomen, right above your belly button, twisting your insides with just enough force to rip a soft groan from your lips. It’s a feeling you recognize entirely too well, cramps throttling your uterus like they’re trying to fucking murder you and you’re sure that, whenever you muster the energy to pull yourself out of bed and waddle over to the bathroom, you’ll see the physical proof of exactly what’s causing it.
Harry stirs against your chest, arm tightening around your waist until his forearm is pressed to your abdomen, face pushing further into your boobs as though it’s intentional. You stare down at him for a moment - perhaps he’ll crack an eye open, lips turning up, just to see how you’d reacted - but, no, he’s truly asleep. Dead asleep, you’d assume as you lift a hand to run through his messy hair and he doesn’t move at the motion.
You hate untangling yourself from him, almost always forcing him awake, but you suppose it’s repercussions for him being such a damn cuddler - not that you’d dream of complaining.
Slowly your fingers wrap around his wrist, his fingertips still held tight onto your shirt (or is it his? You never truly know, sometimes) as though it’s some sort of lifeline - still, it’s easy enough to pull his hand from your clothes, reaching over to rest his arm against the side of his body and he hardly stirs at the disruption. 
Of course, the next part is destined to be much less graceful and significantly more disruptive to your loving boyfriend, resting like a sleeping angel, practically on top of you - you press your palm to the side of the bed next to you and use it as leverage to roll out of his embrace, pausing once you land on your back to see if he wakes.
(At the same time, you feel a familiar swooping sensation in the pit of your tummy that - isn’t pleasant, to say the very least, and you scrunch your nose up at the feeling.)
That seemed to do the trick - Harry drops flat on his face on top of the mattress and wakes with a jolt as though you’d doused him with water, pushing himself onto his forearms just as you stand up, stretching your arms high above your head with a sigh.
“What’reyoudoin’?” he slurs out, voice dripping with raspiness and sleep and you look back just as he drops his head back onto the pillow. You could fool yourself into thinking he’s gone back to bed until he lifts his head up, eyebrow raised just so. “Come back, babe - s’so early -”
“I’m going to the bathroom,” you tell him, sliding your feet into your Santa slippers before making your way across the bedroom towards the bathroom, its door creaked open just so. You pause once you pass your dresser and open the top drawer, grabbing a fresh pair of panties and balling them up in your fist. “You can go back to bed - I’ll be back in a minute.”
“I’ll wait,” he insists, eyes already drooping shut as you close the bathroom door behind you, shuffling over to the toilet as you wince at the discomfort. You certainly hadn’t needed any sort of confirmation to affirm your suspicion but you still get one - blood stains your panties, your sleep shorts mercifully spared, and you kick them off your legs, balling the blood-soaked panties with a grimace. 
It takes only a minute or two to clean yourself up, and when you’ve put in a tampon and pulled on your new panties and sleep shorts, you rifle through the bathroom cabinet searching for the small bottle of painkillers that your abdomen yearns for - there’s few pills left, used mainly for this time of the month, and you shake three into your palm and pop them into your mouth. It’ll take a while to kick in - twenty minutes, usually, and that’s if you get lucky - but you’ll hopefully be fast asleep in Harry’s arms during that time. They’re not horrible, anyway, your cramps - usually they’re worse, and you’re sure they’ll pain you more as the day progresses, but at least you can take pills now to settle them.
You flick the light switch so the room basks itself in darkness before heading back into your bedroom, eyes landing on Harry’s figure, duvet pushed down to just above his hips, arms stretched high above his head. Even in the dim light of the room, illuminated solely by the rising sun that peeps through the window, you can see the way his eyes follow you - instead of walking around the bed to your side, you stop beside him, reaching down to run your fingers through his curls.
“Tha’s nice,” Harry murmurs, moving his head up further into your grasp and you grin. “Are y’comin’ back t’bed, then?”
“Yeah, sure,” you reply, voice soft, and hardly one minute ago it had been your intent to crawl into bed beside him and sleep off the first morning of your period but you’re feeling an entirely different urge, now, gaze locking with his for just a moment, and he raises his eyebrows slightly. “Yeah - scoot over.”
Harry scoffs with a lazy smile but obliges, shifting to the side so you can clamber into bed beside him. One bare arm lifts to wrap around your waist as you curl into his side, tilting your head upwards to land a light kiss to the underside of his jaw. Your palm goes up to the side of his face, cold fingertips pressed to his cheek as you tilt his head towards you, suckling light kisses into the delicate skin on the column of his throat, and you can feel his Adam’s apple bobbing beneath your lips as he exhales.
“What’re you doing?” your boyfriend questions softly, fingertips fiddling with the ends of your hair as you lift your leg to throw across both of his, kisses trailing further down his neck and your palm smoothing up and down his bare chest, nails scratching his skin softly. “Tryin’ t’make me horny - you’re the devil.”
“I’m not,” you murmur against his skin, which is a lie and a pathetic one at that, as your calf dips higher to caress the bulge in his boxers that seems to harden with every pucker of your lips against his neck. 
“You are,” Harry insists, hand sliding down your back until he reaches the hem of your sleep shorts, and before he can duck his fingers beneath the fabric your face heats up and you push yourself to straddle him, core situated directly over his cock, and he groans, the noise guttural and raspy. “What’s got you so worked up, hmm?”
You don’t answer - and it’s not as though it’s embarrassing to admit that you’re on your period, because you’ve certainly been with Harry long enough to know that he’s not a man with masculinity so fragile that it breaks with the mere mention of menstruation - but you’d rather not shatter the moment you’ve created by announcing that it can’t go on further than it already has. Instead, you roll your hips against his, spurred on by his soft moan as your hands slide down his arms until your palms press to his and you interlock your fingers, using it as leverage to rock your body against his with more force.
“Oh, shit,” Harry breathes, head digging backwards into his pillow and you drop your head back, grinding your clit against his bulge and even through the layers of fabric between you, the stimulation is good enough to pull a whimper from your throat - you hadn’t thought you’d been that needy but perhaps you were more desperate for him than you’d suspected. His hands untangle from yours and slide up your thighs, landing on your ass, fingers spreading to encompass as much of your fabric-covered skin as he can, rocking you deeper against him.
You moan softly, bracing your hands on his chest as his grasp on your ass tightens, fingers digging into the fabric of your shorts and you can feel his cock twitching in his boxers against your cunt - his hips buck gently up into yours and if you were like him, you’d tut and murmur for him to stay still, baby, but you’re nicer than that. “God, Har -”
Large hands slide from holding the globes of your ass up to your waist, fingertips smoothing circles into your skin through your shirt and the motion helps to ease the cramps still throbbing in your abdomen, though significantly lessened by both the Advil you’d taken and the pleasure building in your body as you grind against your boyfriend. Orgasms always help with cramps - when you were younger you’d spend hours in the shower, fingers toying with your clit and bringing yourself to cum over and over again. And now - well, you still do that, though grinding against Harry is much more pleasurable than doing it yourself. “I’m gonna cum, Har,” you breathe, and you lean your body forward, palms pressed into the pillow beside his head until you can dip your head down, lips pressing to his in a heated kiss that he moans into, holding your waist tighter against his dick. “Just - just a little more -”
“Don’t,” Harry grunts, which is what you’d expected him to say, and you push yourself back up, detaching your lips from his as you rise to sit above him again, hips still working against him with ease. “Wanna be inside you, baby - need t’fuck you -”
You bring your hands to his wrists when he reaches for the waistband of your shorts, preventing him from tugging them down your stomach and he looks up at you, brows furrowed and lips parted with desire as you breathe, “No - can’t -”
“Please -”
“I’m on my period,” you tell him, feeling heat creep up your neck and tainting your cheeks, and to compensate you grind further down on him, dropping your head back at his responding groan. 
His tongue darts out to lap at his lips briefly, hands smoothing back down to palm your ass and he doesn’t look nearly as weirded out as you’d expected - you hadn’t thought he’d push you off but you didn’t think he’d start rocking you against him with a new intensity that rips a whine from your throat. Harry doesn’t waste another moment before responding, as though you’d merely told him the weather instead of the current state of your menstrual cycle, “I don’t care, need t’be in you -”
He’s horny, your brain tells yourself. He would care if you hadn’t been grinding on him for nearly ten minutes. And you could accept his declaration of carelessness at face value and strip down and take him but he wouldn’t want it if he was thinking straight, and he’s decidedly not, now, brain muddled with sleep and horniness, even as his hands begin smoothing up the fabric riding up your ass. Fingertips graze your ass beneath your shorts and you jolt -
You’ll suck him off when you’re done, and you’re so close - it’s just another roll of your hips as Harry’s hands grasp your ass, digging into your skin so tight you’ll surely see bruises later that will do unspeakable things to your menstruating brain -
Your mouth drops open in a silent scream as Harry moans beneath you, grinding yourself vigorously against him with a desperate whimper, and you’d cringe at it in any other instance but God, it feels so good, better than anything your fingers could do in the shower, and you can’t bring yourself to feel embarrassed as your orgasm washes over you. It’s fast and brutal and your body jerkily attempts to maintain a rhythm against your boyfriend’s clothed cock but it’s difficult, arms shaking with the force of holding yourself up as your thighs tighten around his hips, and finally you lean forward, crashing your lips to Harry’s so he can swallow your needy moans.
His palms slide up your ass to your back, pressing against the small of your back as you lazily roll your hips over his, riding out the last aftershocks of your release until you’re done, dropping your head to his chest as heat floods your face. Perhaps he can tell you’re feeling embarrassed - he can read you like a book, generally - and his hands move up beneath your shirt, hands warm against your bare back as he breathes heavily.
(His dick is still throbbingly hard beneath you, and it’s a wonder he’s not bucking his hips into yours to chase his release, but he is, first and foremost, a gentleman.)
“Please -” he murmurs as you move your head so your cheek is pressed to his chest, feeling his heart thumping against your face. “Need t’fuck you, baby - little blood doesn’t bother me -”
Well, he’s still horny, and you ignore the way your stomach flips just like you ignore his words, sliding down his body and laying kisses against his skin as you tug the duvet fully off his body. You’ll consider his words later - debate how much he means it, and maybe he’ll mention it again later - but, for now, you can’t go on leaving him so painfully hard under you, especially when the thought of sucking him off sounds so appealing -
 The topic goes, for the most part, unmentioned throughout the rest of the day - the two of you fall back to sleep after your early morning ministrations but only for a few more hours, venturing into the kitchen at 8 to have breakfast out in the garden. French toast amongst flowers is an unmatched experience and one you hadn’t had before quarantine, but you and Harry try to take advantage of the weather before it starts to get too chilly to spend time outside. You still had to run inside to grab cardigans for you both to don but - well, it’s the principle that matters.
And after breakfast comes movies, searching through Amazon until you find something you both haven’t seen, and Harry heads to warm your heating pad as you sacrifice the $3.99 to watch Almost Famous, and he returns with your pad just as you clear a space for him to curl onto the couch behind you. It’s such normal period protocol that you could nearly forget his eagerness to bury himself inside of you, blood and all - 
You haven’t forgotten, even when Jason Lee and Billy Crudup fight in a crashing plane, how Harry had begged you to let him fuck you - and he was horny, only a blind man could deny it, but he’d never made claims he couldn’t keep no matter how hard his dick was. The first time he’d confessed that he loved you, he’d been balls deep in your cunt, back pressed tight to your back as he landed biting kisses to the back of your neck, and he’d murmured the words against your sweaty skin - and, later, when you’d asked if he meant it, he’d told you that he’d never lie t’you when you’re tha’ close t’my bits.
It isn’t the most eloquent promise, but he’d mostly kept it. Still - what kind of dreamboat would someone have to be to be willing to fuck you on your period? You’d dated enough people to know what how much of a rarity that is, to have a man so cool with menstruation he doesn’t care about having sex with you and you find it hard to believe Harry truly would be willing -
His arms are crossed over your body, forearms holding your heating pad to your abdomen, palms resting nearly absentmindedly against your boobs through your shirt. His lips lay lazy kisses against the back of your neck, so gentle you’re sure he isn’t even aware he’s doing it, fingers every so often flexing gently against your chest. His curls tickle your shoulders through your tank top, cardigan discarded on the coffee table in front of you, and a chill rolls through your body at the feeling.
He doesn’t even know what he’s doing to you - or maybe he does. You can’t decide which option you prefer.
Harry pauses, breathing gentle against your skin. “What’re you thinkin’ about?”
Sometimes you forget how well he can read you. “Nothing.”
He hums, thumb moving in gentle circles against your boobs, grazing your nipple through the thin bra you’re wearing beneath your tank top, and you can practically hear the way his eyebrow quirks as you inhale softly. “Ah.”
“You’re horny.”
You huff, and Harry drops his forehead against the back of your scalp with a low laugh. “Well, obviously - fingering my boobs like that - it’s the period hormones -”
“Period hormones.”
“Yes!” And you push yourself to sit up, glaring down at Harry lying beneath you, heating pad falling along with his arms to your lap, and his hands land on your thighs, palms smoothing up and down your skin. “Come on, you know I get horny on my period -”
“More than usual, you mean?”
“More than - I’m not the one who wakes up in the middle of the night with love boners!”
“Did that today, though, didn’t you?”
You, truly, don’t have any sort of response for that, mouth opening and closing a few times before you cross your arms over your chest, decidedly ignoring his smug smirk. “At least I have an excuse.”
He shrugs, drumming his fingertips up and down your thighs before raising one arm to slide beneath his head, tattooed arm gazing up at you and you want to - God, you want him to fucking rail you and you swallow thickly as his gaze never leaves yours, grin still toying at his lips. “So horny, an’ you won’t let m’fuck you.”
Heat burns at your face as you stare at him, eyebrows furrowing. Is he kidding? You can’t tell. He’s wearing that shit-eating smile that he dons when he’s fucking with you but you can’t see why he’d mention it again unless he was serious - it seems cruel. “Harry.”
“You’re not serious.”
Harry shrugs, pushing himself onto his elbows, staring up at you with wide eyes and raised eyebrows. “‘Course I’m serious.”
You reach down, fingers playing with the fabric of his shirt covering his chest. “You don’t think it’s - gross? Come on, Har.”
“Do you think s’gross?” he asks, and you shrug, even if you really want to shake your head in a vehement no, glancing back up at him when he lifts his head closer to yours. “I don’t think it is -” and as he sees your doubtful, quirked eyebrow, he exhales a laugh. “M’serious! Remember when y’had the stomach bug, an’ I was cleaning up your puke an’ -”
“Okay,” you cut him off, reaching forward to place your index finger against his lips before he can finish reminding you of exactly what he’d had to clean up - he puckers his lips to land a light kiss against your digits. “But that’s different.”
But you can tell that he can tell that he’s wearing you down - “How’s it different, babe? M’fine gettin’ m’hands a little dirty.”
The expression makes you cringe and you drop your head back with a groan, rolling your eyes at Harry’s barking laugh as he reaches his hand up to rest against your waist, other hand pressed into your thigh. “Sorry, sorry,” he grins, dropping his head into your lap, and you instinctively smooth your nails against his scalp. “But m’serious. Can’t have you gettin’ yourself off by grinding - what kind of boyfriend would I be, hmm?”
A normal one, you want to reply, but the truth is you don’t think you’ll ever look twice at a normal man again if you seriously accept this. How could you go to a normal boyfriend knowing Harry is more than willing to bury himself inside of you, blood and all?
When your fingers abruptly stop scratching his scalp Harry lifts his head, pressing his cheek against your thigh, and you lower your eyes to his with your bottom lip tucked tight between your teeth.
“S’that a yes, then?” he questions, and he sounds so excited at the prospect that your stomach flips.
“A maybe,” and he doesn’t deflate at the half-rejection - you’ll come around, and the both of you know it. “We can - um - we can try it.” As a larger grin spreads across his face you playfully hit his cheek, feeling your own heating up. “In the shower tonight. So - you know - it’s less messy.”
 Harry runs off to start the shower nearly immediately after your late dinner while you begin loading dishes in the dishwasher, shaky hands holding tight onto each dirty plate so you don’t drop it. And you aren’t - nervous, per se, at least not as much as you’d expected yourself to be. Harry had hardly been able to keep his hands off of you all afternoon, palm resting firmly on your thigh during dinner and mouthing open mouthed kisses to your throat while you started your second and third movies of the day.
He wasn’t nervous - not at all. He seemed pretty damn excited, too, and that should make you less hesitant but your stomach still flips as you hear the shower turn on, followed by his footsteps padding down the stairs and the hallway until he emerges back in the kitchen, sweatpants low on his hips and shirt riding up his torso, and you swallow thickly as he leans against the doorway.
“Shower’s running,” he tells you as you shut the dishwasher, taking a step closer to him.
“I hear it.”
You shrug, dragging your nails against his chest softly through his shirt, and Harry wraps his hands around your wrists with a raised eyebrow. “I’m fine,” you tell him, smiling lightly. “I’m nervous, but I’m -”
Harry drops his forehead against the top of your head with a laugh, his arms snaking around your waist to pull you to him. “It’ll be fine,” he says against your hair, puckering your lips to land kiss after kiss to your head. “Anyway, don’t periods stop flowing in water?” You furrow your eyebrows. “No - what?”
“I saw tha’ online -”
“That’s not true!”
“Okay, okay!” Harry holds up his hands in surrender and you grin, leaning up to press a kiss to his lips. “Well, m’lady, can I take you upstairs, then?”
Your stomach still rolls with nerves, even as he holds a hand out for you to grasp, and his palm is warmer than yours, skin soft and damp from the shower - “‘Course you can.”
 Harry’s fingers are expert at undoing the clasp of your bra, letting the cups fall away from your boobs and he lowers the straps down your shoulders, dragging his fingertips gently down your skin and smiling as goosebumps pop up over your skin. Your hands, in turn, travel downwards to the front of his sweatpants, pulling the tie until they come undone and the slightly-too-big pants droop down his hips until you slide your hands into the waistband and lower them all the way down into a pool by his ankles.
His shirt has long been discarded, thrown lazily on top of the toilet seat, and your tanktop and shorts have faced similar treatment, abandoned on the floor of your bedroom until you’re both just in your underwear - you’re both itching to be free of them, though, and just as Harry’s hands slide down your waist to the waistband of your panties you grab onto his boxers and tug them down, freeing his half-hard cock from their constraints.
Your hand wraps around his length like a vise, thumb swiping over his head and his hands falter, fingers tight on the hem of your panties, and his eyes drop shut with a low moan. You’re solely interested in feeling him harden in your grasp and your wish succeeds, feeling him throb against your fingers until he’s fully up, sliding his hands up to your breasts and rolling your nipples between his thumbs as some sort of punishment. Your lips part with a whine and you rest your head against his chest, inhaling shakily.
“Y’ready?” Harry questions, pinching your nipples lightly, and you arch your chest into his hands - he knows how sensitive your boobs get on your period and he never fails to take full advantage of your increased responses to his touch. “Panties off, baby.”
You pause, and then move your hands up to his chest, taking a step away from him. “Go in the shower,” you tell him, biting back a grin as he playfully rolls his eyes.
“Are y’serious?”
“Yes - go in the shower and - and close your eyes so I can - wash myself.”
Your cheeks heat up as Harry raises his eyebrows, clearly trying to see whether you’re being serious - after a moment with neither of you budging he sighs, trailing his fingertips down your hips before taking a step back, and you get just a moment to stare at his backside as he turns to step into the shower, sliding the door shut behind him until all you can see is his silhouette in the frosty glass.
You hook your fingers in the waistband of your panties, slowly sliding them down your thighs as you can hear Harry humming in the shower - you kick them to the floor and gaze at yourself in the mirror, just for a moment, before reaching down to the unshaven apex of your thighs, hooking a finger in the string of your tampon and pulling it out with one fast yank. First day of your period and it’s mercifully bright red instead of the end of the period brown that you can’t stand to look at, and you open the trash can with your toes to drop the tampon in.
When you look back at yourself in the mirror briefly, you can already see red staining your inner thighs, and your cheeks flush but you don’t give yourself time to ponder on it for fear of backing out on the whole idea. You merely turn, sliding open the door to the shower and stepping inside, and Harry stands, hand pressed dramatically over his eyes as the water washes over him, and you press your hands to his shoulders, moving around him so you can be in the direct line of the water. The stream washes away the remnants of blood between your thighs, disappearing down the drain until you’re sure there’s nothing left, and you tap Harry on the shoulder.
“You can open,” you tell him, and the fingers clamped over his eyes separate so you can see just a band of green peeking between his digits.
“Can’t believe you’re this bothered over a spot f’blood,” Harry says, and before you can venomously retort by telling him that it’s much more than a spot of blood, and he should know, considering how often he has to go out and buy you tampons, he presses his hands to the side of your face, lowering his lips to yours in a clashing, deep kiss, his tongue forcing its way into your mouth without a moment to spare.
You nearly slip, then, taking a slippery step back until your back is pressed to the shower wall, hand reaching behind you to grab onto the railing installed into the wall for this very purpose - it’s ideal to grab onto you when he’s railing you from behind, and the little alcove dug into the wall for toiletries is the ideal place to perch on while Harry goes to town between your legs -
Now, though, you simply loop your free arm around his neck, pulling his body closer to yours with a soft moan into his mouth as one of his hands leaves your face to trail down your body, palm cupping your boob and squeezing the soft flesh. It pulls another whine from your throat, pushing your chest into his hands and he grins against your lips, dragging his thumb across your peaked nipple. You get so caught up in the kiss and his hand on your boobs that you could nearly forget about the circumstances that led you to this specific scenario, fucking in the shower instead of the comfort of your own bed -
Until his hand cupping your breast moves farther down, fingers trailing through the sodden curls between your thighs before dipping between your folds, and you jolt, arm tightening around his neck and his head drops between your neck and shoulder. Your face burns as his fingertips circle your clit, pressing into the sensitive nub as you groan before he slides them back down your folds, pressing one gently into your hole until it slips in with an embarrassing amount of ease.
“Oh fuck -” you exhale, and Harry lifts his head slightly, suckling a hickey into the side of your neck as his finger pumps in and out of you, curling upwards to hit the spongy spot inside of you that has you pushing your hips into his hands. “Come on, Har, babe - just fuck me, really fuck me -”
“Wan’ me t’fuck you, don’t you?” he exhales into your skin, soaked curls dripping moisture onto your chest, and the warm water dripping down your skin has a chill rolling through your spine like a goddamn tidal wave. “Don’t want m’fingers, d’you?”
You do want his fingers, though - and his mouth - and his cock - and the need is so overwhelming it makes your legs feel shaky. For a moment you don’t know what to say, mouth parted in a silent plea for everything and anything he’s willing to give you and Harry simply stares, thrusting his finger in and out of you before adding another. 
Eventually his pauses, fingers twisted to graze the spot inside of you that makes your vision go hazy, and you know he needs you to speak but you can hardly think of anything to say. “Please -”
“Please wha’?”
“Please - I need to cum -”
He hums and lowers his lips back to yours, and you cry out directly into his mouth as his thumb rests against your clit, rubbing slow circles entirely too soft into the nub but even the slightest bit of stimulation has your hormone ridden body bucking up into him, squeezing onto the railing behind you for dear life so you don’t collapse with need. “Need t’cum?”
“Do it then, baby - cum f’me, cum on m’fingers -”
You roll your hips against his fingers, dropping your head back against the wall of the shower with a whine, and Harry continues his steady face penetrating you with his fingers - normally you’d never cum this fast, hardly five minutes with his fingers in your cunt but this isn’t a normal situation by any standards, and you can’t bring yourself to feel embarrassed over how close you are.
Harry’s teeth close on your bottom lip, nibbling on the skin gently and you’re nearly crossing your eyes to maintain eye contact with him - you know how much he loves watching when you come undone - and all it takes is one more measly pump of his fingers into your dripping pussy for you to topple over the edge. Your body trembles beneath him as his fingers still, your eyes rolling back into your scalp as you shake in his arms, cunt fluttering weakly around his fingers. His breathing is heavy in your ears, low and raspy as you whimper violently with your orgasm wrapping around you like a fucking vise and when your vision finally clears up he’s staring at you like you’re a piece in the damn Museum of Modern Art.
“Fuck, Har, felt so good,” you exhale, and Harry reaches down, one of his forearms going beneath your thighs to lift up, and you look down just as he pulls his fingers out of you. The blood on his digits is immediately washed away by the stream of water but you still cringe watching the water turn red as it disappears into the drain, and you can tell he notices your sudden shyness - fingers grasp your chin, angling your head up to stare at him. “What -?”
His lips press to yours once more, a soft, lingering kiss that doesn’t go anywhere at all, before he pulls away, hands sliding up and down your hips. “I guess eating your cunt s’out f’the picture, then …?”
You roll your eyes with a giggle as he drops your leg again, nails digging crescents into your hips as he turns you around, hips pressed flush to yours and his chest to your back, and you instinctively hold tighter onto the railing. “For now,” you groan in response as he thrusts his hips against yours, cock sliding against the sensitive folds of your cunt, and you can practically feel the way he perks up at your half-rejection. “Just fuck me, Har - please, missed it so much -”
Harry laughs at that - a dry one, void of humor, and you whine, pushing your ass back against him before he indulges you, grip landing on your hips and pulling your ass tight against his cock. “S’only been one day without my cock,” he breathes, one hand leaving your hips, presumably to line his dick up as you feel his tip poking at your folds, and you drop your forehead against the shower wall with a whine. “Look how needy you are.”
You are needy, rocking your hips against the tip of his cock that he drags through your folds, and you can’t bring yourself to care about it one bit. “Please -”
“Tell me.”
“Harry -”
“Tell me.”
You groan as he pulls the tip out, and his length smacks against your ass once and even if it’s gentle it still makes you thrust your hips back towards him, and his arm on your hips tightens until you can’t move at all. “I’m - I need you so bad, Har - need you to fuck me - fuck me like you -”
Your sentence is cut off with a loud, drawn out cry as Harry pushes himself into you, cock filling you to the brim and your mouth opens and closes uselessly before he pulls out and thrusts back in with a loud groan, water droplets flicking onto your skin as you hold tight onto the railing. Your knees feel weak as Harry fucks into you, his hands holding tight onto your hips and surely leaving bruises on your skin, but you can’t possibly bring yourself to complain as you drop your head forward with a sob.
“Fuck, Har!” you moan, pushing your hips back against his as he pumps into you, his groans nearly overpowering the slap of skin against skin but you can still hear it like music to your ears, and you gnaw on your bottom lip to try and silence some of your desperate cries. “Please, please -”
“Oh, god,” Harry grunts, holding your hips tighter to his as his pace increases, hips slamming into yours as though he hadn’t fucked you for weeks instead of one measly day. Quarantine truly had spoiled both of you - days spent without fucking each other all over the house seemed to be days wasted, aren’t they? And the week per month you’d had to spend without having sex during your period was a miserable one, and an era you’re more than glad to see gone - “fuck, baby, so - so tight, ‘round m’cock, squeezin’ me so tight.”
Your hand slips on the railing and for a second you fear you’ll fall - but then Harry’s arms slide upwards, forearms wrapped tight against your stomach as he leans forward, chest pressed to your back as his hips slam into yours over and over, lips pressing biting kisses into the wet skin of your neck. You can feel rather than hear his moans, their vibrations reverberating through your skin and you reach behind your head, dragging your nails through his hair as he leaves bites down your skin.
You can already feel your release building, pressure rising in your stomach as your cunt clenches and unclenches around him, gasping for air in the shower, humid from the hot water and your body heat. You’re sure all you need is his fingers, just circling your clit one time and you’ll snap, cumming so hard you’re sure you’ll see stars, so hard you won’t be able to hold yourself up -
“Play w’your clit, baby,” Harry breathes, so quiet you nearly can’t hear it, and you inhale shakily as you oblige, letting go of the railing with one hand to trail down your wet stomach until you reach your sensitive clit, and it throbs against your fingers. “Yeah, good girl - give it a pinch f’me, baby, make yourself cum on m’cock -”
Shaky fingers circle your clit and then press down before pinching it like he’d instructed, and your back arches into his chest, feeling his peaked nipples dragging across your skin. His body blocks most of the water’s stream onto you but you can still feel droplets soaking your skin, trailing down and meeting your fingers at your clit and it only adds to the pleasure mounting, spreading from your clit throughout your entire body -
Your knees finally give out as you sob out, squeezing your eyes shut as you hit your breaking point for the second time - your body shakes desperately, tilting your head to the side with a cry as Harry lunges forward to attach his lips to yours, every whine going directly into his mouth. His arm around your waist is the only thing holding you up but you can tell he’s close, thrusts losing their steady pace and growing jerkier, and as your cunt flutters around him you can feel his cock throbbing -
“God,” Harry moans, and you can hear his voice growing higher in pitch, and it’s a telltale sign that he’s so fucking close you’re sure he can feel it on the tip of his fingers - “clench around me, baby, come on -”
And you oblige, cunt tightening around him as you rest your forehead against the railing, and it only takes a few more jerky thrusts before he grabs hold of your hips, bringing them tight to his. The sensation of being filled with his cum is one you’ve grown so used to but it never fails to make you moan, tilting your head to the side so you can get a glimpse of his face in your peripheral vision as his eyes shut, lips parted as he groans, and hot ribbons of cum fill your cunt as he releases.
Your breathing is shaky when Harry grabs your hands, tugging you around so you’re facing him, and you glance down at the floor of the shower, watching the water beneath you tint itself red with your blood. You expect a rush of embarrassment to wash over you as he glances down to see what you’re looking at but it never comes - you can’t bring yourself to feel embarrassed when you’re so relaxed, finally satisfied, watching his cum drip down your thighs.
Harry turns to shut off the shower, the stream of water abruptly stopping, and you cross your arms over your chest, trying to preserve the humid air sure to escape as soon as he opens the door. But he doesn’t - not yet, at least - his hands, instead, coming down to land on your upper arms, thumbs rubbing circles into your skin as he stares down at you.
“How was tha’?” your boyfriend questions, voice soft and sentimental and you can’t help yourself from pushing yourself onto your toes to land a kiss to the side of his cheek. “Not as bad as y’thought, was it.”
It’s not a question - he knows the answer already. “It was amazing,” you confess truthfully, reaching up to move his wet curls out of his face, and a smile tilts your lips upward as he grins. “Not bad at all.”
“Not bad at all,” he echoes, and you can tell he’s resisting the urge to say I told you so or something of the sort, but you wouldn’t mind if he wanted to - he was right. Knows you better than you know yourself, sometimes, and it should scare you but it just makes you love him more than you thought you could. “An’ next time, we can do it on the bed.”
“On the -?”
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suga-kookiemonster · a year ago
ego 07
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summary⇢ what’s a girl to do when her sweet, innocent baby lab partner isn’t quite so sweet and innocent? well, he’s a grown-ass man, and you’re about to learn that the hard way. pairing⇢ jungkook/reader word count⇢ *stares into the camera like i’m on the office* ...16k rating⇢ 18+ genre⇢ smut | humor | college!au | fuckboi!au | fratboy!au warnings⇢ sexual content, drinking/smoking/partying, jungkook got a nasty mouth (but we been knew so 🤷🏽‍♀️), oral (female receiving), fingering, everybody gets salty for one reason or another, hurt feelings, yoongi is,,frankly,, appalled
a/n⇢ remember how this was supposed to be part of chapter 6? LMAO i got jokes 🤣 but whatever, we made it! thank you to everyone for sticking with me and i hope you find it worth the wait 💜lucky number 7!! 🗣🗣LET’S GOOOOO 🗣🗣 *in my UGH! voice*
this chapter is dedicated to @infinitehobi​ for talking me down from the proverbial ledge one night 😩 you a REAL one 🙌🏾 mood is this. hope you enjoy!
chapters⇢ previous | next | series masterlist
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You spent longer than you technically needed to in that bathroom, trying your best to regain your bearings. To slow the heartbeat drumming in your ears into something that made it easier to ignore the way your body was still tingling.
Because everything was fine. Had it only just occurred to you that getting into the same bed as Jungkook would not be the same as getting into the bed with Namjoon? Yes, because you were a dumbass. But you were also a drunk dumbass, so it was totally reasonable for you to be acting like a jittery virgin on prom night.
You let out a long breath, rolling your eyes at yourself. Because fucking again with the prom analogy. This was not prom and you were not a virgin and frankly your virginity had absolutely nothing to with anything at all because all you were about to do was get in bed and go to sleep. Next to Jungkook. In the same bed as you.
Everything is fine, you reminded yourself through the haze of liquor. Chill. Stop making it weird and go the fuck to sleep.
You couldn’t help the grounding breath you took, suddenly scrutinizing your choice of nightwear with new eyes. In general, it wasn’t anything too risqué—just a t-shirt advertising your university’s Segway club that you had swiped off a table for free during freshman orientation week and a pair of sleep shorts. You hadn’t thought twice about said shorts when you had stuffed them in your bag earlier that day, but now you found yourself inspecting their length in the mirror, wondering if the healthy stretch of thigh they showcased was too much.
It doesn’t matter anyway, you reminded yourself, shaking your head of the lingering thoughts. You didn’t bring anything else and it doesn’t matter because everything is fine. GO TO BED.
Distractedly slinging your dress over your arm, you opened the door before your drunken mind could talk itself through more loops…and almost immediately regretted it when you were greeted with the sight of Jungkook’s back, golden and bare. You had caught him while he was in the process of taking his shirt off, one of his arms still in encased in its designated sleeve, and at the sound of the bathroom door opening, he looked over his shoulder at you, muscles rippling beneath his skin at the movement.
For fuck’s sake.
“S-Sorry.” Your eyes averted to the ceiling, partially to preserve his modesty, but mostly to preserve your senses. Seriously, what was your problem? It was just Jungkook.
“For what?” Just Jungkook asked, prompting your gaze to drift back to his form. He was looking back at you, the corner of his mouth quirked in light confusion. His dress shirt and tie had been tossed over the chair by the window, leaving him in a pair of low-slung pajama pants. Christ, you could count his abs from here.
You huffed out an irritated exhale. “Nevermind. Which side do you want?”
“Doesn’t matter to me.”
It didn’t matter to you either, so you headed for the side closest to you, pausing along the way to hang up your dress (because unlike other people in the room, you were civilized and you didn’t want it to wrinkle). You started to pull the covers back, but couldn’t help but pause when you noticed your date doing the same. “Jungkook. Where are your pajamas?”
He looked down at himself confusedly. “These are my pajamas.”
Your eyes drifted across his naked chest. “Where is your…” You stopped yourself, looking pointedly away. You know what? It didn’t even matter. It didn’t even matter that his pecs looked firm enough to beat like bongos. Who cared if he put on a shirt or not? Didn’t matter one bit. Nope. So you just shook your head and shuffled under the covers, dead set on ignoring the way his dusky nipples pebbled as the air conditioning kicked back on.
Jungkook reached over to turn off the lamp on his nightstand, and suddenly you were enveloped in complete darkness as your eyes slowly adjusted to the dim, barely-there light peeking through the curtains from the street lamps outside. You stared in the direction of the ceiling, all of your other senses on high alert now that your sight was essentially taken away.
The bed started to dip a bit before you felt him pause. “Are you cold? I turned the thermostat down, but I can turn it back up if you want me to.”
“Are you kidding me? My favorite part of staying in a hotel is blasting the air conditioning and climbing under the covers,” you scoffed. “That, and how there’s always this very light, lingering smell of chlorine in the hallways even when there is no pool.”
“Cool,” he replied, and even though you couldn’t see more than the shape of him as he climbed into bed, you could hear his smile.
For a few moments, you were both silent, the sheets ruffling a bit as Jungkook got comfortable on his side of the bed. Said bed was big enough that the two of you truly didn’t have to touch unless you wanted to, and though you definitely found that fact reassuring, your fingers twitched with curiosity. Stupid monkey brain encouraging you to hop on the closest dick. Stupid tequila.
Jungkook softly, but audibly inhaled, like he was gearing up to say something of importance, and it jolted you out of your increasingly thirsty, introspective thoughts. You looked over to his shadowed form, weirdly on edge as you waited.
In the end, he merely shuffled on his side, turning away from you. “Goodnight, noona,” he murmured.
A feeling slowly trickled through you, and you cleared your throat when you realized that it was not unlike disappointment. “Goodnight.”
Minutes passed in silence, and it took you a bit to realize that you were staring at his back, contemplating the broad pane of skin as if it held all the answers to questions you didn’t even know you had. It was the rhythmic slowing of his breathing, paired with the warm weight of the comforter, that finally lulled you to unconsciousness.
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You had always been a bit of a light sleeper, any disturbance to your surroundings—someone mowing their lawn or talking on the phone or shutting a door too forcefully—able to rouse you into disgruntled consciousness. Alcohol from the night before had dulled your senses for a few, blissful hours, but in the end, nothing could stop your subconscious from always being on high-alert. This time, it was excess warmth and movement that made you stir.
For a few moments, you stared at the wall blearily, your brain slowly trying to regain its bearings and figure out what had disturbed you. You blinked, trying to dazedly put the pieces together. To remember where you were, why this situation felt familiar. And then something behind you shifted.
You froze, your drowsiness rapidly disappearing as you started to realize what was going on. There was hot breath gracing the crook of your neck, a heavy arm slung around your waist.  
Something hard pressed to your form with intent, making you reflexively swallow.
It may have been a while since you had been in this sort of situation, but even barely-lucid you could recognize the feeling of morning wood poking you in the ass.
Your breath started to quicken as it all came back to you. Jungkook. You were at the Beta Tau formal with Jungkook, in the same bed as Jungkook. And you were fairly certain that that was Jungkook Jr. trying to sneak its way between your cheeks. What.
As if he could sense your mounting alarm, the man behind you began to stir, audibly inhaling deeply from his nose and shuffling beneath the sheets. He hummed sleepily, stretching his legs one by one and nuzzling a little further into your skin. The muscled arm around you unconsciously pressing you closer to him.
And then you felt him still, posture suddenly ramrod-straight. Slowly, his face pulled away from your neck, the arm around you slackening.
He was awake. He was awake, and pretty soon he was going to find out that you were too.
You clenched your eyes shut, hoping against all hope that you could avoid the awkward conversation the two of you were about to be forced to have. Attempting to smooth your expression into one of ignorant unconsciousness as adrenaline pounded through you. Your eyes were closed, but that didn’t stop you from feeling his close proximity as he gingerly leaned over you to scope out your face.
Sleep, sleep, sleeping, you were sleeping, the shrill voice in your head reminded you as you belatedly remembered that you needed to breathe to keep up your ruse. There was an extremely-long moment of silence where Jungkook observed you and you pretended you were completely unaware that he was doing it. Finally, what could only be described as a relieved sigh left his lips, and then the heat of him was gone.
Your body sagged into the sheets. God, they should give you an Oscar for that one.
“Really?” he muttered to himself, rolling away from you. “Fucking really gonna do this now?” The bed shifted, and when you heard shuffling by the window, you knew he had gotten out of bed. You waited a few more moments before pretending to wake, yawning exaggeratedly and popping your head up. Jungkook, now on his way to the bathroom and therefore right in your line of sight, froze like a deer in the headlights. His hair had been mussed into awkward disarray throughout the night, and you would have found it cute if you weren’t two seconds away from triggering your fight or flight response.
Neither of you said anything at first, just merely looking at each other. You swiped your tongue over your dry lips, not noticing the way Jungkook swallowed in response. “…Good morning,” you offered.
“Morning,” he replied, tone a tad too high.
You raised an eyebrow at that. “Is everything okay?” you asked, happy that your own voice was still too thick with sleep to give you away.
“Fine!” he cut in, much too quickly for things to be fine. Despite that, if you hadn’t already been privy to the…problem he currently had, you likely wouldn’t have noticed the way he was using the clothes he had apparently grabbed from his bag to hide his crotch from your view. “I didn’t mean to wake you. I’m just gonna hop in the shower first, so you can go back to sleep if you want to.”
You paused, but ultimately shook your head. “Nah, I’m awake now. Plus, doesn’t this place have complimentary breakfast? I think I’m gonna go scope it out.”
“S-sounds good. I’ll meet you down there.” With one last nervous smile, Jungkook booked it into the bathroom, shutting the door behind him and leaving you alone.
It was quiet then, the silence only cut by the sound of water running through pipes as your runaway roommate turned the shower on. Sighing, you sat up, still scrambling to get your bearings. Had he been the one to cross the invisible bed barrier…or had you?
A quick scan of where you were currently laying made you snort out a laugh. It appeared that technically, you both had somehow migrated towards the middle—with you a smidge more over the line than he was. Huh. Well, no harm, no foul. You hadn’t been lying when you had said that you liked cuddling under the covers in cold rooms, and you couldn’t be faulted for what you did while unconscious! Jungkook neither! Morning wood was perfectly normal and healthy and part of the REM cycle and—
Your looked back at the shut bathroom door, thoughts unable to stop drifting towards what you knew with certainty he was doing in there. It was only after a few seconds of you being lost in your wandering thoughts that you jumped, realizing what you were actively thinking about. NOPE, you mentally repeated like a mantra, shaking your head and scrambling out of bed. NOPE. See, what you weren’t going to do was that. Nope, nope, NOPE.
Frazzled, you rooted through your bag for the t-shirt that was provided for you to wear today and a pair of shorts. After dressing in record time and wrangling your hair into a ponytail, you hauled ass out of there.
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The room where the hotel hosted breakfast was already filled with a decent amount of people wearing neon-purple BTS shirts when you got there, everyone filling their plates with carbs to either repair damage done the night before or to prepare for the day ahead. A quick scan of the room alerted you to Yoongi, already posted up right next to the giant coffee thermoses and blinking sleepily, as well as Namjoon and Lisa, heads suspiciously close as they sat at a table alone.
Brows raised and intrigued by this new development, you made your way to the small buffet line, deciding to get food before you properly investigated. You ended up behind Seokjin, who already had his plate piled high. He turned his head as you approached, a relatively-long donut hanging out of his mouth, making a noise at you from the back of his throat in greeting as he slowly chewed and worked the pastry further into his mouth.
“Good morning to you too,” you snorted, shaking your head at his uncouth display, but unfortunately used to it. You grabbed a plate and started spooning scrambled eggs on it. “I’m assuming the food is decent?”
Seokjin let out an affirmative hum around his donut, tossing some sausage links on his near-overflowing plate. Your lips quirked in amusement as you focused on your own.
It started off subtly enough. When you reached for the sausage tongs yourself, you accidentally grabbed too many links—and, disgusted at the thought of moving food back into the tray after it had already touched your plate, you simply shrugged and let it be. Someone at your table would eat it. Probably Jungkook—that boy was a black hole.
But as you went along the line, unconsciously picking up other things that you knew Jungkook would eat—a mini box of Cocoa Puffs, his favorite cereal; an apple; a cheese danish—it started to only make sense to simply grab another plate instead of gradually overloading yours. So you did. One scoop of things easily morphed into two, and you soon found yourself even doubling back to the eggs and bacon, effectively walking over to Namjoon’s table with two breakfasts.
Lisa looked up at you as you approached, smiling in greeting. She was dressed similarly to you—the same mandated t-shirt as everyone else in the group, a pair of shorts, and her long, light-brown hair swept into a ponytail. However, unlike some bitches you knew, her look seemed like it was more intentional and less the result of escaping an erection. Actually, now that you thought about it, sis was smiling kind of hard right now. Maybe the very reason she looked way more put together in the same outfit as you was that, unlike you, she hadn’t tried to escape the morning erection. Your eyes slid over to Namjoon, whose focus was still solely on Lisa, a dopey grin on his face.
Your best friend finally noticed your presence when you made to sit in the seat across from his. His eyebrows raised at your two plates. “Damn, what are you so hungry for? Your period isn’t supposed to be for two more weeks.” His eyes narrowed suspiciously. “And you don’t even like Cocoa Puffs.”
“First of all, fuck you. Maybe I’m just a fatass, ever consider that?” you retorted, skin heated at being called out. “But if you must know, one of these is for Jungkook.”
“Jungkook, huh?” He looked at you slyly. “You never make a plate for me.”
“Last time I checked, you have hands,” you scoffed. Namjoon opened his mouth, obviously to irritatingly point out the fact that Jungkook also had hands, so you quickly cut him off. “Jungkookie lost his hands in a tragic paragliding accident, eat your damn croissant.”
He did nothing to hide the smirk creeping across his face. “Who loses their hands paragliding?”
“Clearly, you’ve never seen Jungkook paraglide,” you snipped sassily. “You know what? I’ll be right back—I’m definitely gonna need coffee to deal with you today.”
You heard him snickering as you turned on your heel for a quick trip back to the coffee thermoses, hands newly freed. Yoongi, still standing there and on what had to have at least been his second cup, appeared to finally be becoming a person. He actually blinked at you when you approached, which was more than you could say for the zombie who had seemingly been standing guard in silence five minutes ago. He even managed to give you a delayed nod as you poured yourself a mug and grabbed a few creamer cups to bring back to the table. Yoongi had never been a morning person, but add a hangover into the mix? If caffeine hadn’t been involved, you doubted he would have dragged himself out of bed at all.
Namjoon and Lisa were once again sitting close when you returned to the table, speaking softly enough that their voices didn’t carry over the din of the room. Realizing they were seemingly on the verge of resuming their breakfast canoodling, you pointedly cleared your throat to announce your presence. “So!” you said cheerily, plopping into your chair and reaching past Namjoon for a sweetener packet. “What are we doing today?”
“Did you not read the agenda?” Joon asked irritably. “I sent you an email last week.”
You stirred in a couple vanilla creamers as you thought. “Hmmm…oh, you know what? I remember seeing an email from you, but I never ended up opening it because I got distracted. Bath and Body Works sent out an email alerting me that three-wick candles were on sale. I dropped a ridiculous amount of money like a true basic bitch, but I have no regrets.”
Lisa perked up, interested. “Wait, is the sale still happening?”
“Sorry, girl, it was only a two-day sale. But! Feel free to stop by my place and take a couple of mine. I damn near bought the entire store.”
“You realize it’s not a sale if you end up spending way more money than you intended, right?” Joon deadpanned.
You ignored him, taking a bite of scrambled eggs. “Come over any time, babe.”
“Really? You don’t have to.”
“Listen—one could say that I now have an embarrassing amount of candles in my possession. I promise you I won’t miss a couple.”
She sent you a grateful smile, and it lit up her whole face. Wow, was she pretty. “Thank you, _____.” And nice. Namjoon had really done good with this one.
And speaking of Namjoon, he was rolling his eyes at the exchange, but you still noticed the way the corners of his mouth lifted. Just like you, he had to be relieved that you and Lisa got along so well. “Ah,” he said suddenly, smiling at something over your shoulder. “Jungkooks!”
Any good humor you had froze at the word, startled heart skipping a beat. Your head whipped around, and sure enough, behind you, there was Jungkook, wearing the same purple t-shirt as everyone else, hair still damp from his shower. You forcefully swallowed the wad of sausage in your mouth.
Namjoon sent you a knowing smirk before turning back to your date. “So Jungkooks! _____ tells me you don’t have hands.”
“Don’t have hands?” Jungkook repeated, shooting you an inquisitive look as he used said hands to pull out the chair beside you. “Uh, yeah. I lost them in a tragic accident.”
“Are you sure they’re not dating?” Lisa whispered not-so-discreetly to Joon.
You shot them both an unamused look, but Jungkook was apparently too busy eying the plate in front of him to hear her. He turned to you curiously. “Is this for me?”
“Um, yeah,” you said quietly, suddenly shy. You cleared your throat, pushing a bit more confidence into your voice. “You like these, right?”
When he grinned at you, his eyes crinkled at the corners. “Yeah.”
Oh. Oh no. This could not be happening. It had to be the hotel’s shitty lighting. Haddddd to be. Why else would it look like was he sitting there smiling at you, eyes sparkling like he was a big titty anime girl? Unless he was a big titty anime girl.
You know what? In all honesty, that would explain a lot.
“Good.” You looked back at your plate, stuffing another sausage link in your mouth. “Joonie, you never answered my question.”
His brows furrowed. “Why filthy-rich celebrities choose to wear bad wigs?”
“No, not that—though, honestly, what the fuck is up with that? There’s literally no excuse.” You shook your head, getting back to the matter at hand. “What are we doing today?”
“Wine tour,” Lisa said gleefully, clearly enthused at the idea of driving to multiple wineries and getting plastered, all under the guise of being fancy. You didn’t blame her—that sounded like a great time to you, and you easily returned her smile.
A knee knocking into yours under the table had your eyes reflexively seeking out the culprit’s.
Thank you, Jungkook mouthed, and you hid the tug of your lips behind your coffee mug.
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BTS was a decently-sized frat, a good 40 brothers living in the frathouse that year and a number of others living off-campus. And, since each brother had been allowed to invite one other person on this trip, the number of people in your party had doubled, at minimum. This meant that all of you would not be able to comfortably visit each winery together, and thus had been split into three groups that would travel via three different buses, rotating through three different destinations.
As late-risers started to rush into the dining room in an attempt to get some breakfast before the buffet closed, you felt it best to give up your table and wait outside, as the buses were due to arrive soon anyway. Jungkook chose to join you, having finished everything on the plate you made him, as well as the second plate he had gotten up to make himself. The two of you stood in the designated lot in front of the hotel, waiting with others who had finished eating.
“We’re on Bus 2,” he informed you helpfully, lifting his arms in a stretch that made his shirt rise up just enough for a golden strip of skin to be revealed.
You politely looked away before your eyes could linger too long on his happy trail. “Who else is in our group?” you asked, clearing your throat. “And please don’t say Benji. He refuses to accept that he’s lactose intolerant, and I would rather not be forced to be in close quarters with him after he’s gone to town on all the complimentary cheeses.”
Jungkook dutifully scrolled through his phone, where he presumably had the same agenda and group assignments that Namjoon had sent you a week ago. “No Benji,” he confirmed, an amused quirk to his lips. “We do have Namjoon-hyung and Yoongi-hyung, though.”
“Excellent. Exactly who I want with me while I get wine-drunk—couldn’t have picked a better group. You like wine, Jungkookie?”
“Ehhhh…I don’t really do wine,” he shrugged easily. “Except for those individual bottles. Sometimes I like to drink those after a long day.”
“Every bottle is an individual bottle if you have the will,” you replied with a sage nod.
“No, no.” He shook his head resolutely, determined to get you to understand. “You know those little ones?”
Your brows furrowed. “..Like, from mini bars?”
“No, bigger than that. Like the size of a beer, but wine.”
You blinked, brain shuffling through what he could possibly be talking about. “…are you talking about wine coolers?” you asked incredulously, smile growing at the ridiculous thought. “Jungkook, you know those are for sorority girls and middle-aged aunties at barbecues, right?”
“Don’t look at me like that,” he sniffed. “The blue one is fire.”
You bit your lip to tamper your urge to laugh, instead sending him a quirked eyebrow in response. Still, you managed to not say anything. Because he was right—the blue one was fire.
But in the end, you didn’t have to say anything at all for him to pick up on your skepticism, your amusement triggering his. You saw his lips itch to smile, even though he fought it. “They are,” he insisted, head whipping around in search of someone who would back him up. He settled on tapping on Taehyung’s shoulder, who had been chatting with Mark close enough to hear your conversation. The older man turned his head at the action. “Right, hyung? What’s your favorite flavor?”
“Pussy,” Tae offered confidently. The sudden, awkward silence that followed clued him in to the fact that his answer was a little off. “…Wait, what are we talking about?”
“Dear god,” you muttered to yourself, looking to the heavens for guidance. Mark scowled.
“Baby wine,” Jungkook supplied.
“Wine coolers,” you corrected. “Baby wine doesn’t exist because that’s illegal. And, frankly, immoral.”
“Ehh.” Seokjin, who had apparently been summoned by the word pussy, leaned closer to join the group properly. He shrugged his ridiculously-broad shoulders. “Rubbing a little on the gums never hurt anyone.”
“What the hell? Is that why you turned out how you did?” you teased with a laugh. “Because your mother dumped Tito’s in your bottle?”
Seokjin’s nose wrinkled in disgust, offense written all over his beautiful face. “Excuse you—I am a man of taste. If you must know, it was bourbon. But like I said, I’m not advocating for getting blitzed with your three-month old. I’m saying that a drop or two on the gums can help soothe them when they’re teething and crying.”
“The reason that babies cry is that, though we rapidly forget it the older we get, we are all born with the knowledge of the universe, and babies are understandably distraught at being forced to live a life of pain and suffering.”
Everyone turned to look at Hoseok, nonchalantly standing off to the side as bewildered silence stretched between you. Even his date was giving him the crooked eye.
“That,” he continued, all traces of his previous seriousness disappearing with his blinding smile, “or because their tummies have the owies! You know, sometimes it helps release the trapped gas if you rub their bellies. That worked when I tried it on Taehyung last week.”
“It did,” Tae piped up cheerfully. A chance turn of his head made him suddenly privy to his date’s growing irritation. He slung an arm over Mark’s shoulder, pulling him closer. “Come on…baby,” he purred. “I was just joking. Don’t be like that.”
That small hesitation before baby…whew chile, you would bet money that Tae had forgotten his poor date’s name again. But though your eyebrows rose to your hairline, you said nothing—just turned away and pursed your lips. You were going to mind the business that minded you.
Which, you quickly realized, apparently meant watching Jungkook and Seokjin have some sort of spontaneous sword battle with sticks they had found lying around. Dear god, you were gonna need more alcohol for this. Did people pregame wine tours? Was that a thing that people did?
Luckily, the buses started to pull into the parking lot before you could snatch one of those stupid sticks and beat them over the head with it. Your little group began to disperse, everyone moving closer to their designated pick up area. Your eyes subconsciously followed Taehyung and Mark before you realized what you were doing, your attention lingering when they met up with Jimin further down. The blond and his date were apparently on the same bus as Taehyung and his, and you secretly breathed a sigh of relief that you would at least be spared a few awkward interactions this trip.
It was only the late arrival of Namjoon and Lisa that knocked you out of your thoughts, and, shaking them away, you dutifully turned to board your bus.
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Whoever had planned the day’s excursion had done a great job—three buses of rowdy college students rotating between three vineyards in the area ensured that halfway through the second vineyard, everyone was at least properly tipsy. Vineyard Number 3 and there was nothing else that could describe the vibe but LIT. After Vineyard Number 1, no one bothered listening to the poor tour guides as they showcased the properties, and they certainly weren’t listening to them describe the different wines when groups were led back to taste them.
“Do you taste it?” Jungkook whispered as he leaned against the bar. Well, he thought he whispered. In actuality, it was on the higher-end of the volume scale, but, seeing as you were equally as inebriated, you didn’t notice at all. “The chocolate.”
“Not really,” you whispered back (read: pretty much yelled).
“What about the cherries?”
“I mostly—” Lisa hiccuped. “I mostly taste wine.”
Namjoon’s eyes grew wide with realization. “You’re so right, babe. It does taste like wine.”
A slip of the tongue. A slip of the tongue that nobody even noticed because you were all well on your way to being fucked up.
“Are you telling me none of you can taste the oak?” Yoongi’s rumbling voice chimed in. A turn of your head produced him, standing slightly behind you with his date and slowly swirling the ruby liquid in his glass to release more of the delicate aroma. His mint hair was hidden beneath a backwards snapback today, so you had full view of the judgmental raise of his brow as he took another sip. “It’s lingering right at the back of the tongue. Amateurs.”
Jungkook either didn’t hear him, or didn’t care. “This one is good,” he declared. “I’m gonna buy a bottle.”
“You said that about the last one,” you slurred. “And, and all the other ones.”
“I know! But this one is good!”
“Jungkook, what are you gonna do with five bottles of wine?”
He shot you a goofy grin. “You say that like the answer isn’t drink them. But don’t worry, I’m only gonna buy a couple!”
And he kept his word, despite how much he equally enjoyed the samples after that, ordering a bottle of that particular wine to take home as an employee guided you all out to the patio outside. You sat in the proffered chairs, sipping on wine while enjoying the gorgeous view of the vineyard.
“Wow, this place really reminds me of House Hunters,” Jungkook said in wonder from his seat next to you. You turned to look at him, caught off guard, and he immediately got self-conscious. “Don’t look at me like that! It’s a good show,” he said defensively. “Helps me fall asleep.”
Your lips quirked. “It is,” you conceded easily. “International? That one episode in France where the lady chose the smallest, ugliest one solely because it had marble countertops?”
Jungkook lit up. “Even though her whole purpose in getting a villa in France was to entertain? Yeah!”
“I can’t stand people like her,” you continued. “House Two had space, it had views, and yes it was a little further out from the city, but that’s kind of what you expect when you ask for skyline views.”
“But she rejected it because she didn’t like the colors on the walls,” he scoffed disgustedly. “Why are so many people adverse to buying a can of paint? It’s like 25 bucks. They would really rather spend more money on a place that doesn’t even have good bones.”
Yoongi, who had apparently decided to continue to be in your vicinity and join your large table outside, took a measured sip from his glass. “You do realize that show is staged,” he drawled.
The mood immediately soured.
“Really, hyung,” Jungkook replied, noticeably annoyed, at the same time you wrinkled your nose in displeasure and yelled, “Boooooo!”
Yoongi blinked slowly, unthreatened by your combined vexation. “Dear god, there are two of them,” he mumbled. But neither of you heard him, drunk and riled up.
“Shut the fuck up, no one was talking to you!” you snapped.
“A lot of shows are staged. I don’t see how that’s relevant,” Jungkook huffed, cheeks pink with alcohol and irritation.
“Tryna discredit one of the best shows on modern television, who do you think you are?!” you seethed.
“Clearly someone who wouldn’t know recessed lighting from recess!” Jungkook continued snidely.
“First of all, how dare you,” Yoongi shouted over your ramblings, visibly offended by the recess comment. “Second of all, alright. Alright, I’m sorry! Jesus Christ.”  He lifted his wine glass, desperately looking around for the hostess. “Is there more? I’m gonna need some fucking more.”
“The audacity,” you grumbled to yourself, draining the rest of your own glass. Your date stuffed aggravated handfuls of free crackers into his mouth, not even bothering to top them with any of the provided cheeses.
Namjoon rolled his eyes at your antics. “_____, could you please relax? I’ve literally been telling you for years that reality TV is scripted.”
You sent him a flat—but unfocused—stare. “Did you really just say reality TV? Stop lying—House Hunters is nowhere near the same category as 90 Day Fiancé.”
Namjoon’s stupid smug face looked very stupid and smug. “It is, actually.”
“…If you say that in my presence again, imma pop you.”
“Not my fault you refuse to listen! But one of these days you’ll learn.”
You stared him down, only finally looking away to calmly turn to Jungkook. “Don’t mind him. He’s just salty his mom sent me some kimchi the other week, but not him.”
“I’m not salty!” your best friend retorted, much too quickly to be anything else but salty. “But I would just like to state for the record that I’m the one who passed through her vagina,” he muttered under his breath. Lisa rubbed his arm consolingly. “Me.”
“Tore it too, from what I hear,” you replied breezily. “That’s probably why your ass didn’t get any kimchi.”
“You know, noona,” Jungkook started, stealing your attention from a pouting Namjoon, “you would actually do really good on a reality show.”
You perked up at the perceived praise. “You’re absolutely right, Jungkookie! I would most…I would most definitely thrive in that type of environment. Not 90 Day Fiancé, but something else.”
“Like what?” he mused. His eyes, usually wide and doelike, were markedly drooped with liquor as they drifted towards the sky in thought. “Something Survivor-esque? Maybe Masterchef?”
You balked at his suggestions, losing your balance a bit in your chair in your dramatics. “Why are you acting like you don’t know me at all? You know I don’t respond well to the outdoors or being yelled at. My biggest regret,” you slurred, pointing a finger at him, “is that I never got the chance to be on Pimp My Ride.”
Namjoon looked at you like you were slow. “_____, you don’t even own a car.”
“What’s the point in owning a car if there’s no cotton candy machine and none of the headrests have TVs in them?” you demanded.
“She makes a great argument,” Jungkook cut in reasonably with a nod.
“You know,” Lisa mused, “I heard that most of those cars ended up falling apart not too long after. Or flat out catching fire.”
“That’s just a risk you have to take to have a pimpin’ ride,” Jungkook shrugged, tone serious enough to make you burst out laughing.
Yoongi let out a long groan, waving his wineglass in the air irritably. “CAN I PLEASE HAVE SOME MORE?”
“You have to pay for it, hyung,” Jungkook snickered. When Yoongi only pouted in response, he bent over and pulled one of the bottles he had bought earlier out of his bag. A twist of the top, and he was graciously leaning over you to refill Yoongi’s glass. “Here, you can have some of mine.”
The mint-haired man muttered his thanks, docile again like a screaming baby finally given his bottle. In a move that likely simultaneously enraged every sommelier within fifty miles, Jungkook topped off the wine already in his glass with the bottle he had just opened. You opened your mouth to tease him about it, but he merely topped off your glass as well, sending you a wink when he noticed you staring.
Your eyes skirted away, suddenly shy, and you cleared your throat. “I’ve also always wanted to be on Say Yes to the Dress,” you continued. “Not because I’m tryna get married, but because I really just want to somehow find myself in a gorgeous Pnina Tornai gown that’s astronomically out of my budget so Randy can go talk to the manager in the back and get a couple cents knocked off. That is the dream, my friends.”
“I’d be on, like, Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy,” Namjoon mused. “I’d annihilate.”
“You really would,” you agreed. “But those are technically classified as game shows, not reality shows, so you gotta pick again.”
“Fine.” He drained his glass in thought, and Jungkook enthusiastically gestured to the bottle he’d placed in the middle of the table. Joon took him up on the offer. “I’d be on Big Brother. I might fuck up some of the physical challenges, but I excel at strategy. I know how to build the right team to get me to the end.”
“Good choice,” Lisa nodded. “I’d pick Big Brother too. I can be a very unassuming person when I want to be—I’d just be really nice to everyone so no one has a bone to pick with me. Pretend to be merely an average competitor in all the challenges. Real middle of the road, just fly under the radar. And then as soon as the time is right—” Her eyes glinted, lips slowly forming a smirk. “I’m coming for everybody’s neck.”
Your jaw dropped in delight.. “That is fucking evil. Oh my god, I love you so much.”  
“I think I’d choose Fear Factor,” Jungkook pondered aloud. “I’m pretty positive I’d win. I’m pretty athletic, so I’d crush all the physical challenges. And I’m not afraid of skydiving or anything.”
“What if they made you eat bugs? Or eyeballs?” Namjoon demanded.
Your date shrugged. “I have a really strong stomach. I can eat pretty much anything, to be honest.”
Lisa shot him a skeptical look. “What if they put you in a coffin and then filled the coffin with snakes?”
“Eh, that sounds doable.”
“You’re chill about the snake coffin,” you deadpanned, squinting at him in disbelief. “You’re telling me that you are totally fine with being put in a coffin, first of all. And then to add on that, you’re telling me that you’re totally fine with said coffin then being filled with live snakes, while you’re in there. You’re fine with that.”
He shot you a wild grin. His dark hair was tousled by the wind, his cheeks pinked by the alcohol. “Let’s get it,” he declared cockily.
“…You know what? The show you really need to be on is Intervention because your ass is fucking crazy and you need some help.”
“I’d be on The Great British Bake-Off,” Yoongi drawled, unprompted. You all turned to look at him, brows raised and waiting for him to elaborate about how he whips up macarons in his spare time, but the older man simply ignored you and took another measured sip from his glass.
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It was lucky that whoever had planned this entire weekend had had the foresight to make the third winery the last one of the day, because by the time everyone clambered back on the bus for the last time, sobriety was nothing but an afterthought. The bus took you all back the hotel as scheduled, and since there was some free time before dinner, everyone naturally started splitting up. Some chose to use the opportunity to check out the pool. Others, like Yoongi, chose to retire to their rooms and recharge their batteries so they could be ready for round two.
And then there was your group.
You hadn’t bothered to bring a bathing suit, and were most definitely not in the mood to deal with your hair. Jungkook was still well in the manic-stage of drunk, so taking a nap was the furthest thing from his booze-addled mind. And the wine had sparked Lisa’s appetite, the small amount of fruit and cheese the wineries had provided not enough to satiate her. So the four of you decided to roam the pier instead.
The pier was filled with activities meant to appeal to tourists—restaurants, gift shops that sold overpriced souvenirs, a ferris wheel—and so it was a great solution for people who were all liquored up and with time to kill. After making a quick stop in your hotel rooms to drop off the wine you had bought, the four of you started roaming the strip. It was decently-crowded, vacationing families partaking in the late-afternoon sun and enjoying carnival snacks in the lake breeze, just like you. Lisa made a beeline for the food booths, all set to leave nothing but crumbs in her wake, but Namjoon reminded the group that you still had a dinner to eat in a couple hours that you had already paid for, and she reluctantly bought a soft pretzel instead, grumbling to herself as she ate.
“How is it?” you asked. You and Jungkook had decided to share a giant order of garbage nachos—only classified as garbage in your head because there was no way in hell the cheese was anything other than a form of plastic. But after he had dumped a bunch of jalapeños on top, they tasted bomb.
“You know, it’s a little too chewy for my tastes,” she moped, popping another piece in her mouth anyway as you all strolled the area. “I probably should have gone with the funnel cake.”
You looked at Namjoon pointedly. He ignored you.
Jungkook paused in his demolishing of nachos. “Funnel cake?” he mumbled, mouth full of chips. There was fake cheese in the corner of his mouth, and you couldn’t help the endeared smile that creeped onto your face, barely resisting the urge to swipe at the wayward mess with a thumb. “Should we get funnel cake? Mmmm, with whipped cream. What fruit topping do they have?”
“If we order a funnel cake, we won’t be hungry for dinner,” Namjoon reminded him. You weren’t sure who told him he needed to act like somebody’s mama, but you ultimately conceded his point that the food you had would satiate you for now.
“What do you guys wanna do?” you asked. “The paddle boat rentals are expensive and you’ve already shut down my idea of getting our faces painted like WWE wrestlers, so I got nothin’.”
“I don’t know why you would suggest that when you know I have sensitive skin,” Namjoon sniffed.
“What about the haunted house?” Jungkook piped up. “I heard it’s funhouse-themed. There’s a mirror room and everything.”
“If you’re ready and willing to bail me out of jail for punching innocent people in the throat,” you deadpanned, “then by all means. Who am I to tell you what to do with your disposable income?”
Lisa stopped walking, slowly chewing the last bite of her too-chewy pretzel. “What about this?”
Everyone paused as well, turning to look at where she was pointing.
“Laser tag?” A noticeable glint entered Jungkook’s eyes, a grin overtaking his face as he surveyed the suggested building. “I’m in.”
“Me too,” Namjoon declared. “Damn, I haven’t done laser tag since I was a kid.”
“Hell yeah! Are we doing teams or every man for himself?” you asked.
“Doesn’t matter,” Lisa said airily. “I’m winning either way.”
Jungkook’s grin widened. “I like your style. You’re with me!”
“Well damn,” you snorted. “Fine. Nobody wanted to be your partner anyway.”
“Aw, don’t get mad, babe,” he said, tone slightly patronizing as the four of you entered the building. “This has nothing to do with you. I always play to win.”
“You’re supposed to let me win,” you pointed out, fighting against the urge to smile. “What kinda date are you?”
“I don’t know who told you otherwise, but I’m a feminist,” Jungkook replied smartly. You couldn’t help the laughter that burst from you then, and he smirked at you, too smug for his own good. “I’m all about equal opportunity. If you’re not on my side, you can get these nuts just like everybody else.”
Your jaw dropped at his audacity. Oh no. Oh no no no. “Oh hell no. YOU’RE GOING DOWN, YOU COCONUT-HEAD BITCH.”
“Four, please,” Namjoon politely told the employee behind the desk. Said employee had both eyebrows raised at your group, but Joon was unperturbed by the growing ruckus behind him, pulling out his wallet.
Lisa playfully tapped Jungkook in the side with an elbow. “Don’t worry, Kook. We can beat the Wonder Twins, easy.”
“Wow. Wowwww.” You shook your head disbelievingly. “Namjoon, you better come get ya girl!”
She grinned at you, an eyebrow raised in playful challenge. “If you’re feeling froggy, then jump.”
This girl…you couldn’t help it, puffing a laugh through your nose at her boldness. No this girl did not just tell you to knuck if you bucked! The more time you spent with her, the more you were starting to realize how well your personalities meshed. It was no wonder Namjoon liked her—she was sweet, but clearly had an edge to her. You respected that.
No matter. What those two didn’t know was that you and Joon had teamwork for days! You had been teaming up for literal years—hell, he always gave you the red and pink Starbursts, and you always gave him the orange and yellow. You were about to be in your bag.
“You know, the more you drink, the more slick at the mouth you become. I like it. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.”
“Do I have any say in this?” Namjoon asked mildly. He already knew the answer.
“No, Joonie. The challenge has already been accepted, aren’t you paying attention? STRAP UP.”
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After a brief tutorial where one of the employees explained how the guns worked and which regions of the body were worth more points, the four of you entered the dark arena with a few more groups. While you had noticed Jungkook listen to the instructions with rapt attention, your plan was to just use the same strategy that never failed you—keep shooting and hope you hit something.
Over the loudspeaker, a voice started to countdown. Everyone was given ten seconds to disperse and hide before the laser guns activated.
“Good luck,” Lisa taunted with a wink as she passed you. “You’re gonna need it.”
“Oh trust me. You’re the ones who are gonna need it!” you yelled at her retreating back. But she wasn’t listening, too busy making a series of seemingly-arbitrary hand motions to Jungkook. Arbitrary, until you saw Jungkook send back a few of his own. Your jaw dropped as they nodded to each other and promptly disappeared in different directions.
Dread started to seep through you. “What the…Namjoon. Namjoon, they have hand signals.”
“What?” your partner responded, audibly distracted. You turned towards him, only to be met with the sight of him, holding a detached piece of his gun in his hand that he most definitely shouldn’t have been.
You smacked your forehead in disbelief. Though, in all honesty, you should have seen this coming. You had known him long enough—this was classic Namjoon. “You cannot be serious right now,” you groaned. “Are you kidding me right now, Namjoon? It’s been five seconds!”
“Is this supposed to do this?” he asked, trying to jimmy the mystery piece back into place.
“I’M TRYING MY BEST!” Namjoon yelled back, panicking.
“Start,” the robotic voice boomed through the speakers. Your eyes widened. Shit.
“You know what, just get away from me,” you hissed. “We’re easy targets when we’re this close together. I’ll start on this side and you take that one.”
He nodded, large form dutifully disappearing into the darkness even as you saw him still trying to put his gun back together. God, you hoped you wouldn’t have to pay for that.
On high-alert, you slinked behind a nearby post, on the lookout for any vests glowing in the dark. But before you could even get very far, your harness vibrated, signaling that someone had shot you.
You huffed irritably, looking around but not immediately seeing anyone who could be responsible. Your gun was disabled for the next few seconds, but so were the sensors on your vest, so you used your momentary invincibility to your advantage, moving further into the arena. Glee bubbled within you when you recognized the shape of Jungkook, discernible by the neon purple shirt you both wore.
His back was to you, likely paused in his sprinting to accurately aim for his target. This was a golden opportunity that you didn’t want to pass up, your heart thudding in your ears with jittery impatience. A grin split your face when the lights that had been dancing mockingly on your gear finally quieted, and you raised your gun, finger on the trigger—
Your harness vibrated again, rendering you unable to shoot. Jungkook dashed away, completely unawares, and your head whipped around, beyond irritated.
This time, it was clear who had ruined your killshot—there was a little boy standing behind you, smirking. He couldn’t have been more than eight or nine, and he looked much too smug for your liking. You scowled in return, choosing to keep it pushing and move away from him. Didn’t little Billy know that you were on a mission? Nobody was tryna play with him, your pride was at stake!
But either he didn’t know, or he didn’t care. To your rapidly-mounting rage, that little gremlin continued to follow you throughout the arena, purposely waiting for the exact moment your gun was reactivated to shoot you again. You turned, and there was fucking Kyle! You hid, but apparently not well enough from Connor! You eventually got so frustrated that at one point, you actually said something. “Can you stop that?” you snapped, rounding on him. If this were a cartoon, you would be snorting smoke from your nostrils like a raging bull.
But despite your obvious fury, Trevor didn’t give a shit. He just looked you straight in the eye and shot you again, cackling as your gear lit up like the Christmas Tree of Defeat.
It was a good thing that the game didn’t last very long, because by the time the lights all popped back on, you had been shot by Dylan a ridiculous amount of times, Lisa had popped you a good one, and even Namjoon’s dumb behind had somehow managed to shoot you on accident. Everyone returned their gear and waited in the lobby for the final scores, but you didn’t even want to see, too busy moping to look at the screen.
“Number one—JK!” Jungkook taunted, confirming what you already knew in your gut to be true.
“And I got number three. Not bad,” Lisa mused, a satisfied smile gracing her lips.
You finally looked at the scores, though you knew it was a lost cause. There was no way in hell your score combined with Namjoon’s was more than the combination of theirs. The two of you had lost, and severely.
What the…how did Namjoon get sixth place when your own was barely on the scoreboard? This was a travesty.
“First of all, I was sabotaged,” you protested, eyes shooting over to where the root of your outrage was standing with his family. “Why the fuck were kids allowed to play?!”
“Why were kids allowed to play a glorified game of tag with toy lasers?” Namjoon deadpanned. “I dunno, your guess is as good as mine.”  
Spencer, an evil fiend who thrived on your tumultuous energy, noticed you looking his way and promptly flipped you off. Your jaw dropped, even more appalled when Spencer’s dad did nothing to parent his demon spawn, but still managed to shoot you a dirty look. Huh. That was mighty bold for somebody out here deadass looking like one of those thumbs from Spy Kids.
Jungkook watched the exchange happen and wisely slung an arm over your shoulders before you could get any dumb ideas. “Aaaaand it’s time to go. Come on, babe,” he needled cheekily, leading you back into the fresh air. “Don’t be a sore loser. I won fair and square.”
“Yeah, well you also have no upper lip,” you sniffed.
“Hey,” he pouted. “No need to be hurtful.”
He was right. “You’re right. I’m sorry,” you groaned irritably, letting yourself be led further down the pier. “I’m just hella salty. And wondering why it is exactly that we as a society decided that we shouldn’t fight little kids.”
“Come on, noona, don’t be mad,” he soothed, pulling you in closer to his body. You let him, reflexively wrapping an arm around his waist and enjoying his body heat. He smelled clean again—you really should ask him what fabric softener he used. “Here, what if I won you some prizes? I’ll win you whatever you want.”
You snorted. “Jungkook. What in the hell am I gonna do with a six-foot SpongeBob plushie?”
“Hold it tight at night and pretend it’s me,” he winked.
You burst out laughing, and he laughed too, visibly pleased with himself for that one. “Listen,” you replied, “I’ll give you some of the personality, but you and I both know you don’t look like no goddamn SpongeBob! With your Larry the Lobster headass.”
He shrugged good-naturedly. “And you’d be Sandy.”
“…I know you didn’t just pick Sandy just because we’re both girls.”
“Of course not! I also picked her because you’re both pretty.”
You rolled your eyes at that, biting your lip to tamp down your pleased smile. You were just gonna ignore his attempts at flattery. You were also gonna ignore the fact that he was apparently attracted to a cartoon squirrel.
“I can kinda see Sandy too,” a familiar voice behind you said, and you jumped a little, turning your head. It was Lisa, hanging back a little with Namjoon and trailing you and Jungkook as you aimlessly roamed.
Wow, how had you forgotten about them? You cleared your throat, kind of embarrassed at your mistake. “Why?”
Lisa shifted, and suddenly you noticed the way her fingers were casually tucked between Namjoon’s. Holy shit, they were holding hands! God, they were disgustingly cute. “You’re spunky and spontaneous like her,” she clarified. “Though mostly, I would say you’re Mrs. Puff. Mrs. Puff is sick, and Mrs. Puff is tired.”
You nodded slowly, pleased by her assessment. “That’s fair.”
“Wait, who am I?” Namjoon asked curiously.
“Squidward,” the three of you answered immediately, the resulting unamused look on Joon’s face only making you all crack up.
“Okay, that settles it! We’re doing this,” Jungkook announced, coming to a full stop at one of the stalls. He let go of you, reaching in his pocket for his wallet.
You looked at the stall, chagrined to see that there actually was a giant SpongeBob prize. Typical. “Jungkook, I wasn’t kidding when I said I don’t want that SpongeBob.”
“Nope, it’s too late.”
“Oops, sorry! Can’t hear you over the sound of me winning you Giant SpongeBob.”
You rolled your eyes in defeat, but you weren’t truly annoyed. No, that was definitely endearment that you felt warming you from the inside out. Besides, you were starting to recognize that competitive glint in his eyes—it was clear that this stopped being about you the moment he caught sight of the strategically-stacked tin cans on the shelves behind the counter.
Cans on different levels were worth different amounts of points, and in order to win SpongeBob, Jungkook would have to knock down all of the ones on the top level and a couple on the level below. “Piece of cake,” he said confidently, easily handing over five bucks to the attendant in exchange for some beanbags.
You stood off to the side with Namjoon and Lisa, observing as Jungkook threw the first beanbag as a test and knocked down a can from the second-highest row. He puffed out his chest, waggling his eyebrows at you, and when you couldn’t help but laugh, he made a big show of winding up his arm before tossing his second bag. That one hit a top-level can dead center—
But the can didn’t fall.
His cocky smile fell, eyebrows furrowing in confusion as he continued to throw the bags one by one, and despite solidly hitting cans each time, none of them fell.
“Tough luck, kid,” the booth attendant simpered, sliding the used beanbags to the side with his foot. “Want to try again?”
“Jungkook,” you tried, but he wasn’t really paying you any attention, already reaching for his wallet again.
“That was just a practice round,” you heard him mutter. “I get how it works now.”
You rubbed your temples. Oh lord, here we go.
That next round didn’t end up going much differently, nor the one after that. It got to the point where it physically pained you to stand there and watch that man essentially throw his money to the wind. You reached over to put a hand on his arm, hoping to stop the madness. “Jungkookie, let’s just go, it’s not even that serious.”
“No,” he huffed, cheeks slightly pink with irritation. “I should have won that one. This thing is rigged!”
You sent him a flat stare. “Um, yeah? Of course it’s rigged! The owner has literally been over there rubbing his hands like Birdman since we walked up!”
His jaw clenched, unwilling to listen to reason. “Well, I’m still gonna win.”
“And waste all your money on something we can likely get for five bucks at Family Dollar?” you asked incredulously.
He let out a long sigh, finally turning his whole body towards you to give you his full attention. His lips twitched in amusement, betraying his mock irritation. “Listen. You have been making comments all weekend about how I’m a bad date. All I’m trying to do is make sure you leave me a decent Yelp review.”
You swallowed your laugh, making a show of looking heavenward, but fully aware that you were fighting a losing battle. He was simply too competitive to let this go—but maybe you could still lessen everyone’s suffering though. “Fine! But I already told you I don’t want that.”
“And what is it that you want, _____?”
It was a simple question, but it still managed to throw you, heart stuttering a bit at the unexpected weight you thought you heard in it, despite his playful tone. You watched his tongue roll in his cheek as he considered you. It was sexy. You were irritated that it was sexy.
Welp. Looked like you had had enough sun for the day. Time to cut this expedition short.
You cleared your throat, looking away to quickly scan over the available prizes. “I want a keychain. The one on my keys fell off, so I need a new one.”  
A keychain required significantly less points than the prize he had been aiming for—and just so happened to be able to be bought with the points he had already earned. Were you wily or what?
The look he gave you told you that he had not been outsmarted. “What kind?” he asked, conceding anyway.
“Surprise me.”
He pulled the tickets he had been hoarding out of his pocket, taking a few moments to peruse his options. Not long after, a shiny new keychain was dropped into your palm, his choice making you snort out a laugh.
“Thank you,” you told him sincerely, admiring your new Charmander. “I’ll take good care of him.”
“You better. I’m trusting you.”
“I’ll protect him with my life,” you promised dramatically. There was a stupid grin stretching across his face, and it pulled a responding one from you against your will. You turned away from him, trying to calm the sudden fluttering in your gut. “Now. Somebody please tell me it’s dinnertime. If it’s not, I don’t know if I can stop myself from walking back to the food section and deepthroating five overpriced corndogs.”
Jungkook perked up with interest. “Deepthroating, you say?”
“Kid, I know that sounds like it would be a sexy experience,” Namjoon cut in. There was a haunted look in his eye. “But trust me, it’s not. It’s really not.”
“Corndogs do sound good though,” Lisa replied dreamily as the four of you started walking back to the hotel. Out of the corner of your eye, you could see Namjoon smirking at your brand new keychain, but you pretended you didn’t.
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A day out and about in the sun left you feeling a bit icky, so, since there was still a little bit of time left before dinner when the four of you made it back to the hotel, you headed upstairs to shower. The others continued on to the outdoor patio to relax and mingle with the rest of the group. By the time you made it back down, the catering company was just finishing to set out the food and the wafting aroma of smoked meat had your mouth watering. Barbecue. Fuck yeah.
There had been a good amount of food ordered—rib tips, hamburgers, hot dogs, the works—and yet when Beta Tau and their plus ones were through with it, all that was left was a couple scoops of the sad excuse for coleslaw. And as soon as bellies were properly full, it was once again time to rally and fully enjoy your final night of the trip.
Once the sun went down, the fire pit was lit —the perfect ambience for the chatting, drinking, and smoking that quickly followed. You and your friends relaxed around the fire, the smoke warding off any possible mosquitos. It was a beautiful night, the sky clear enough to showcase an impressive amount of stars blanketing the moon. Still, the lakefront breeze was a little chilly, and you found yourself trying to ward it off by subtly scooting closer to Jungkook. And though he was generally not the most observant—especially when under the influence—he somehow caught on quickly to your leeching of his body heat.
“Here,” he murmured, an arm circling your waist and pulling you more securely into his side. “Is that better?”
“Yeah,” you breathed, already mellowed by the few hits you had taken of the joint Hoseok was passing around.
Jungkook was mellow too, eyes glazed and lips tugging in a lazy smile as you looked at each other, the moment stretching and stretching until it was finally broken by Seokjin inexplicably screeching about El Chupacabra.
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It had been an eventful two days, but despite how much fun everyone had, it was clear that fatigue was starting to set in by the way people steadily started to trickle back to their rooms over the next couple hours. By the time you and Jungkook decided to call it quits, the group around the fire pit was significantly smaller, even Namjoon and Lisa having already retired for the night.
The two of you headed back upstairs in comfortable silence, a rogue yawn from you triggering one from him. You used the keycard to unlock the door, and, barely two steps into your room, Jungkook took the opportunity to pull his shirt over his head by the nape. Your foggy brain had a hard time remembering that you weren’t supposed to be staring at the oddly beautiful slope of his collarbone, so it took a few moments for you to stop, actively turning your attention towards kicking off your shoes.
There was a definite sense of deja vu as you moved past him to pull your pajamas out of your bag. But there was also a sure difference from the night before.
This time, there was no growing sense of panic in your gut as you changed. You weren’t sure if it was the weed or if you were simply becoming more comfortable with your situation or if it was a mixture of the two. But when you exited the bathroom to retrieve your toiletry bag and Jungkook trailed you back inside with his own toothbrush, you only quirked an amused eyebrow at him. It was almost domestic the way the two of you got ready for bed, brushing your teeth side by side and silently sharing the sink. He exited before you, giving you room to wash your face, and when your nighttime routine was finally complete, he was already in bed, the glow of the television the only light in the room.
“Look, noona,” he said happily as you crawled into your designated side of the bed. A laugh bubbled from your lips once you realized what he was watching. “They’re in Raleigh.”
Ultimately, Jungkook had been right about it being a good bedtime show. You were asleep before you could even find out which house they picked.
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In all honesty, it was starting to become reasonable to question whether you had somehow been transported to your own fratty version of Groundhog’s Day.
One minute you were knocked out, blissfully dead to the world, and then the next your eyes were sleepily fluttering open, slowly scanning your surroundings and trying to figure out what had awakened you in the first place. Where the hell were you...? Oh. Oh! Yes. You were in a hotel room, at the BTS Formal. With… Jungkook. Yeah, yeah that’s right. And speaking of Jungkook—
The hot puff of air against the back of your neck confirmed your suspicions. Ah, so that was why you were awake. Somehow, despite properly falling asleep on your respective sides of the bed, the two of you had once again gravitated towards each other.
Just like the morning before, Jungkook’s arm was slung heavily over your waist, his front slotted against your back. An inquisitive shift of your hips confirmed that that was the same, too. Yes, he most definitely was hard, and yes, his dick was trying to wish your ass good morning.
Everything was the same, and the skittish heat that slowly simmered low in your belly was no exception.
But it didn’t take long for you to realize just how wrong your assessment of the situation was. Because something was most definitely different this time. This time, your cursory wiggle backwards had resulted in a sharp, audible intake of breath.
You paused, suddenly more lucid.
Was he…?
Brow furrowed, you cautiously pushed your ass backwards again. The immediate way Jungkook hissed through his teeth only confirmed it, and a reflexive gasp escaped you before you could catch it. Adrenaline flooded your bloodstream.
He was most definitely awake.
He was awake, and you just gave away that so were you. You both knew you both were awake.
There was a solid minute where neither of you said anything, neither of you moved. Where you just lay there, wide awake, his cock still pressed surely against you and your heart pounding in your ears. His arm still around you, his breath still shuddering against your skin. A solid minute in that limbo, where your mind whirred through your options.
But you weren’t exactly sure what came over you then. Weren’t exactly sure how the part of you that was whispering its curiosity managed to intrigue the other parts, managed to stop your rapid-fire brainstorming of escape routes. Managed to make you tentatively—but surely—push your hips back again.
For a moment, everything was still, panic prickling across your skin, positive that you had read the situation wrong. That you had just made a stupid, stupid mistake. But you still found yourself doubling down, still found yourself swiveling your ass into him again.
And then, with a harsh exhale, Jungkook was pushing forward.
There had been stillness, and now there was everything but. Now, the unspoken hesitance hovering between you was rapidly melting away, your slow grind becoming more and more purposeful. Jungkook’s eagerness was noticeable, a hand gripping your hip so he could press into you more solidly. You started to pant against the delicious pressure, and you could feel him panting too, breath hot against the back of your neck.
Breath hot, until it was replaced with his lips, ghosting teasingly over your skin. A testing press of them elicited a whimper from you, and, at the sound, they became more sure in their adorning, setting your whole body on fire.
“Shit,” you breathed, eyes fluttering at a tongue dragging along your pulse point. At the continuous roll of his dick. Jungkook hummed, but didn’t stop his ministrations, only faltering a bit in his task when your hand reached back to curl into his hair from behind, silently urging him closer to you.
You were wet. You were wet and it was becoming increasingly hard to ignore, your flimsy sleep shorts gliding against your netherlips so easily that there had to be a stain there. You wouldn’t be surprised if he could feel it through his own pants, if you were starting to stain him as well.
And, apparently on the same wavelength as you, Jungkook finally spoke his first words of the day. “So wet,” he murmured, voice gravelly with sleep and lust. “Wanna feel.”
“Then feel,” you urged immediately, any and all hesitance long evaporated.
He didn’t need to be told twice. The hand at your hip drifted inward, fingers lightly brushing against the sticky material. He groaned immediately, and so did you.
But it was not enough.
“Feel,” you insisted, a hand reaching down to cover his and press him harder into you. You noticeably shuddered at the added stimulation, eyes threatening to roll back into your head.
“Fuck,” he moaned, quickly grabbing your thigh and hooking your leg over his. Opening you up, creating more space for his hard, clothed cock to grind against you. Creating more room for his hand to breach the waistband of your pants. The first brush of him lit you alight, your body buzzing with anticipation as you started to realize that being able to properly feel your slick without the hindrance of a barrier only seemed to work Jungkook up more. “Fuck, baby, you’re dripping. This all for me?”
You were nodding, too horny to be anything but pliant and agreeable. “Of course, baby. Only for you.”
A growl settled low in his throat and he rutted harder against you in response, two fingers straying further down and easily sinking into your hot cunt to the second knuckle. You jolted in his hold, a startled gasp escaping you at being filled so suddenly. The feeling was a little intense but it didn’t hurt, especially when he started stroking your walls, coaxing you to relax by returning his attention to your neck. “I’ve been dreaming about this pussy,” he mouthed darkly into your skin. His fingers withdrew from you slightly, then slowly started pumping, hitting deeper and deeper each time. “Fucking knew I could get you nice and sloppy for me. Couldn’t fucking wait to feel properly.”
Properly? Was he alluding to that one time in class? Your thoughts flitted to his hand on your thigh, to the shape of his profile in the darkened lecture hall. Had he really been thinking about fucking you since then? Or even before?
Jungkook continued to scissor you open, making it harder and harder to focus on anything other than the way he was massaging stars behind your eyelids. When he shifted out of your hold, your mouth immediately opened in protest, but you shut it again when you realized he was merely moving so he could hover over you better and see your face. His lips trailed along your jaw, his intent obvious when you recognized his path.
“Wait,” you breathed, trying to turn your head away. “Wait, I have morning breath.”
“I don’t care,” he scoffed, chasing after your mouth. Apparently, he was also too impatient to care if you cared about morning breath. But you found yourself endeared by how pouty he was getting, so you decided to let him have this one, allowing his lips to finally land. The kiss was chaste for approximately two seconds before he swiped a hot tongue across your lips. You rapidly realized that you were on-board with this plan.
This was different from the last time you kissed. That time, in the dark hallway of a bar, the energy between the two of you had been impatient, frenzied. Hungry, insatiable. While you certainly were starting to feel urgency rush through your veins as his hand continued to slowly fuck you open, his palm grinding against your clit with every movement, Jungkook didn’t seem to. No, Jungkook kissed you as if he had all the time in the world—tongue leading yours in a slow dance. Lightly nibbling on your bottom lip, then sucking it into his mouth before releasing it again. And his worshiping was very sweet, in theory.
But in practice? While he was simultaneously giving your g-spot just enough stimulation that you knew he was aware that he had found it, but not enough to do anything other than make you squirm in frustration?  
It was akin to torture.
“Jungkook,” you gasped, officially done with his teasing. “Condom.”
He paused in his ministrations, pulling back enough that you could study his face as he hovered over you. His dark hair was well and truly mussed—first by his pillow, then by you—and his lips were starting to become puffy and red from use. He already looked fucked out, and you hadn’t even made it past second base yet.
“Condom,” you repeated at the dazed look on his face, and you saw the exact moment your words clicked and the lightbulb turned on. The warmth of his body was yanked away from you as he scrabbled to find his wallet, fingers leaving you with an audible squelch.
It didn’t take him very long to procure a foil packet and make his way back to bed, kicking off his pajama pants as he went. And oh. There was his dick, smacking his abdomen as it sprung free of its confines. Long and pretty and already starting to leak for you. You couldn’t help but stare, clenching at the sight.
This was happening. This was actually going to happen. Holy fuck.
Jungkook noticed the staring and preened under the attention. “See something you like?” he asked cockily, waggling his eyebrows and exaggeratedly flexing his muscles like he was in the running for Mr. Universe.
You burst out laughing at the ridiculous display. “You are so stupid,” you replied, tone laced with affection. You pulled your shirt over your head, unhooked your bra. Pointedly tossed them both on the floor. “Come here.”
The dumb grin on his face dimmed a bit, the look in his eye replaced with something much more shadowed when he remembered the matter at hand. Even though you were the one who had asked for it, it almost felt like he was a predator stalking his next meal as he slowly approached the bed and climbed back on. Unconsciously, you clutched the comforter closer, but he easily pulled it away with a gentle tug, revealing your form to his dark, ravenous eyes. When he crawled on top of you, caging you in with his body, you were no longer laughing.
He recaptured your lips with his own, pushing into the space your parted thighs reflexively made for him. And this time, his kiss was blazing. Fierce with promise and intent as his bare cock rocked against you, grinding into the sticky fabric of your clothed center. The slightly more direct contact had you panting, fingers winding into his hair and tugging, pulling a whimper from him.  
Breathing hard, Jungkook leaned away from you just far enough to hook fingers beneath the waistband of your shorts and yank them down, clearly no longer in the mood to play games. Which was perfectly fine with you—you lifted your hips to help him, shimmying out of your panties too. He guided your knees apart, eyes all pupil as they feasted on the treasure in between.
“Look at how messy you are,” he groaned, reaching in to smear your essence around again. Your breath caught when he started circling your clit, only making you leak even more. “This pussy is just begging for a good pounding. Just asking me to stuff it with cock. Is that what you want? Want me to stuff you nice and full, baby?”
God, this should be embarrassing. He was absolutely right—you hadn’t been properly touched in who even remembered how long, and your vagina was being a very vocal slut about it. The filth leaving his lips certainly didn’t help any.
“Answer me,” Jungkook murmured, pausing in his petting to look you right in the eye.
This should be embarrassing but…
“Stuff me until I can’t breathe.” You wrapped your arms around his neck, pulled him onto you, chest to chest. Started to trace his collarbone with your tongue. “Wanna feel you everywhere.”
“Fuck,” he swore, pulling away again. You started to protest creating any distance between your bodies, but when you saw him fumbling to open the condom, you bit your lip and let him go. He slid the rubber on with shaky hands. “Gonna fill you up so fucking good. Fuck.”
“Can I be on top?” you asked breathlessly.
He immediately scrambled off you to give you room to move. “Fuck yeah, you can. Gonna ride me, baby?”
You answered him by pushing on his chest and he went willingly, flopping onto his back and looking up at you expectantly.
He was beautiful. Beautiful in the way his dark hair fanned across the pillow, the way sweat beaded his brow, the way his toned chest heaved in excitement, the way both his manhood and his mouth begged to be inside you. The way he looked at you like there was no doubt in his mind that you were the beautiful one.
The way he made you feel that way, too.
You distractedly wet your lips, thinking over your options. His cock was standing tall, the head almost purple in its need for you, and you idly pondered the weight of it on your tongue. However, you quickly dismissed that idea. You could revisit that curiosity at another time—at this point, you honestly weren’t sure you could bear waiting another second.
You moved to straddle Jungkook’s hips, hovering over him.
“Hop on,” he said throatily. “Please remember to fasten your seatbelt and for your safety keep all items stowed beneath the seat in front of you until after takeoff.”
You couldn’t help the laugh that escaped you. “Oh my god, you are so annoying! Do you want to fuck me or not?”
The way your hand finally wrapped around his length had him bucking into the touch. “I’ll be quiet, I’ll be quiet, I promise!”
“Good.” Your smirk quickly fell away when you rocked into him, sliding him along your slit a few times and coating him in your arousal. Then, finally, you adjusted the angle of him and started to drop down.  
You had been right in your thinking. It had been a while since you had been properly intimate with anyone, and even after Jungkook’s careful fingering, you were still pretty tight, wincing a bit at the pinch as you slowly inched your way down his length. For his part, Jungkook was clenching his jaw, fisting the sheets in an effort not to rush you. You both let out sighs of relief when you were finally fully seated, pelvises flush.
“You okay?” he asked, voice strained at the way your walls trembled around him.
“Mmmm. Just give me a minute.” Hoping to distract you both, you leaned forward and pressed a kiss to his sternum, delighting in his immediate shaky intake of breath. “What’s the matter? Sensitive here?”
“No.” He bit his lip.
“Are you sure?” you goaded, giving your hips a test swirl. Yes, that was good. That was really good.
“Yes,” he breathed, hips jumping a bit at your slow grinding.
“What about here?” You placed another kiss on a pebbled nipple, intrigued when you heard him swallow a moan. Emboldened, you circled it with your tongue, scratched it lightly with your teeth. Jungkook whined, and the sound shot straight to your clit. Fuck, was that hot.
Your teasing mood disappeared, your need to get off building so rapidly that you leaned back so you could pound on his cock more easily, eyes rolling at the delicious way he was fucking you open. Jungkook was more than happy to watch you, hands smoothing up your hips. Gaze drifting from the blissed-out look on your face to your bouncing tits.
To the hand you trailed down your stomach, two practiced fingers swirling hard figure-eights over your clit.
“Jesus fuck,” he hissed, sitting up so quickly that you were startled, hands flying reflexively to clutch his shoulders in an effort not to lose your balance. You looked at him in confusion, but he only rolled you onto your back, trapping you under him. He slid out of you, leaving you feeling depressingly empty.
“Now I’m the one who needs a minute,” he huffed, running an irritated hand through his sweaty hair. Before you could ask him to clarify, he was scooting down and licking a solid stripe across your folds.
You reflexively jerked towards his face, disoriented. “W-What—”
“I’m gonna need you to cum for me baby.” Two fingers entered you again, this time hooking towards your pelvic bone with purpose.
“Can you do that for me, sweetheart?” he crooned, fingers still pumping with scary precision. Your thighs were shaking, breath getting caught in your throat. “Can you cum all over my face?”
“I…I..Ohhh godddd,” you moaned, all thought out the window when he started sucking on your sensitive bud. You tugged on his hair, alarmed at the speed he was unraveling you, and he merely hummed in response. “Fuckkkk, fuck fuck fuck—”
“That’s it, come on—”
For a moment, you were filled with a sense of complete calm. It was like you were standing on a beach, staring down a tsunami that was moments away from crashing down on you, and there was a sort of comfort in the certainty that there was nothing you could do to stop it. Could only hope to survive going under. For a moment, everything was still.
And then it wasn’t. You let out a groan, low and primal, back arching and your thighs snapping around Jungkook’s head. Despite the way your pussy was trying to suck his fingers deep inside, he didn’t stop, intent on helping you ride out the wave. It was only when you slumped back into the mattress that he pulled his mouth away from you with a pop.    
“What…” You struggled to catch your breath, spots still dancing across your vision. “What was that for?”
Jungkook was breathing heavily too, face flushed and lips wet with remnants of you. “Because I wanted to,” he said, voice strained. “And because honestly? I am not going to last much longer. I’ve wanted this so bad, you have no idea how bad I’ve wanted this, I don’t think I can hold back anymore—”
You were worn out, completely content. But listening to his desperate babbling only stoked the fire of your desire before it could even think of petering out. “Then don’t,” you answered simply.
The look of utter relief that took over his expression almost made you laugh, but you managed to hold it in. “Oh thank god,” he groaned, reaching over to turn you on your side. You went willingly, shooting him a curious look, but Jungkook only continued to position you to his liking, pushing your leg up enough to give him access to your cunt. “I promise you I’ll make it up to you later, okay?”
“It’s okay, baby,” you smiled. “I got what I wanted, so it’s your turn. Go ahea—”
The rest of your sentence was lost when he slammed into you, the position shallowing your passage and only making him feel even bigger. Stuffing you full, indeed.
He gave a few frantic pumps before reaching up to grab a handful of your side. 
“J-Jungk-kook, what—”
“I told you,” he growled, fingers digging more securely into the softness of you. “Leverage.” And he proceeded to use said leverage to yank you onto his cock, forcing you to meet the near-brutal force of his thrusts.
This was nothing like the slow, sensual way he had been touching you before. The way the headboard was thumping against the wall, ensuring that whoever was trying to sleep on the other side knew exactly what the two of you were up to, if they hadn’t already? The way he was moving you over his cock exactly how he liked, making you take it? No, this was much more primal, more feral. He was purely acting on instinct now, completely focused on finally being able to cross the finish line.
You were starting to understand the rumors that were floating around about him. Sex god, Mina had told you, and from the way you couldn’t stop noises from leaving your mouth, too overwhelmed by all the sensations, you would say that wasn’t too much of a reach.
In his trance, Jungkook’s eyes briefly flicked up to your face at the noise, but his attention truly lie elsewhere. Brow furrowed, intensely focused on the sight of himself disappearing within you, of the way your ass rippled with his force.
In the end, he had been right—he didn’t last that long. Jungkook came with a particularly hard thrust, moaning as he ground his pelvis against your ass to ride it out. You blinked when he slumped against you, dazedly watching the way the curtains ruffled as the air conditioning turned on. Still in disbelief that this all had actually happened.
Sluggishly, Jungkook relaxed his hold on you, slipped out of your velvet heat. Your eyes met, and for a few moments, you did nothing more than look at each other in silence. Then, he started giggling, a smile overtaking his face that you couldn’t help but match.
“The hell are you laughing about,” you teased, sitting up a bit.
“I win.”
Your head tilted, smile faltering a bit in your confusion. “What?”
He leaned over to peck you on the lips, and you received the kiss easily. “I win,” he repeated with a wink. When he could see you still had no idea what he was talking about, he elaborated. “You said you’d never sleep with me, remember?” he asked cockily. “That you were different from other girls. You said that, and yet here you are, just like all the other girls. Looks like I win, sweetheart.”
It felt as if someone had dumped a bucket of cold water on you, a chill running through your whole body as you froze, rendered mute. Because he was absolutely right. You were just like those other girls.
You had known his game, had been a more-than-willing participant in it for your own amusement. But somewhere along the way you had allowed yourself to forget the true purpose of his advances, allowed yourself to think for even one second that maybe, just maybe—
“Yes,” you croaked, feeling distinctly hollow as he gave your ass a victory swat and clambered away from you, leaving your skin cold. “You win.”
How many times were you going to fall into the same trap? First Jimin, now Jungkook—
Stupid, stupid, stupid.
He was still chuckling as he stood to toss the condom in the trash, completely oblivious to the way you were rapidly crumbling. The strong muscles of his back flexed as he paused to stretch. “This weekend is officially a success,” he continued on his way to the bathroom. “My head is fucking killing me, though. Need some breakfast.”
The door shut behind him, and for a few seconds you just sat on the edge of the bed in silence, shame and disgust creeping up your throat. You just couldn’t believe you had actually fallen for it.
Humiliated, you rushed out of bed, throwing on your clothes from yesterday and stuffing whatever stray items of yours you saw laying around back into your bag. Your toiletries were still in the bathroom, but you could buy a new toothbrush later. You needed to leave. Now.
You made it all the way to the lobby before you felt your phone vibrate in your hand, and it was only habit that had you looking at the screen, though you immediately regretted it.
Jeon 😒
Text message (now)
You stuffed it into your pocket, ignoring the insistent burning behind your eyes.
It turned out your hunch had been right—though 90% of your party was likely still upstairs, sleeping off their bad decisions from the night before, Kim Seokjin was already down here with you, getting a head start on the buffet line.
“Hey Seokjin.” Your voice came out a little croaky, so you cleared it and tried again. “Can I borrow your car?”
“What?” He was standing in front of the hash browns, understandably confused at your sudden appearance and bizarre request.
“Can I borrow your car?” you repeated, throwing him a smile that didn’t quite feel right. You hoped it still came across as authentic. “I’ll give you gas money and everything.”
Seokjin frowned. “What’s going on?”
“Nothing,” you tried to reassure him, but your voice sounded too high even to your ears. “I just have to leave, so. May I please borrow your car?”
But you didn’t get the response you were hoping for. His eyes simply kept roving your face for the answers you wouldn’t give him, his expression slowly hardening the longer he looked. “_____,” he said softly. “Are you okay? Did he do something?”
Frustration started to build in your chest. He was asking you too many questions. Why was he asking you so many goddamn questions?! “Jin, he didn’t do anything wrong. I promise, okay? And I’ll be fine, I just—I just have to get out of here. I don’t want to talk about it, I just—I have to get out of here. Okay?”
Seokjin bit his lip, clearly struggling not to grill you more. He sighed, eyes soft with worry. “Yeah, of course. Give me twenty minutes and we can go—”
You felt your phone vibrate again and you ignored it. “No. No, I just—I need to be alone right now.”
“_____, I don’t know what’s going on, but I really feel like that’s not a good idea.” He was the one sounding frustrated now. “If not me, what about Namjoon? Do you want me to get Namjoon?”
You rapidly shook your head. This was a mistake. You weren’t strong enough to sit through that bus ride, but you shouldn’t have involved Seokjin. You should have just walked out the door—should have gotten a head start before people started realizing you were gone. “You know what? I shouldn’t have bothered you. I’m just gonna call an Uber—”
“Don’t be stupid. It’s a two-hour drive.” He let out a long exhale, clearly upset that you had backed him into a corner. He reached into his pocket and handed you his keys, hand wrapping around your wrist before you could sprint away. He forced you to meet his gaze. “Just—” He sighed again. “Just be safe, okay?”
“Okay,” you replied, voice too small.
Seokjin held your stare for a long second, then nodded, letting you go. You turned and left immediately, not wanting to give him the opportunity to change his mind.
It was only when you were sitting in the car alone, filling up the tank at the gas station a mile down the road, that the rising panic waned and a bit of clarity returned to you. You should answer him. See what he wanted, buy a little more time.
[09:25] jeon 😒 Hey, where did you go? I’m ready to make it up to you 😉
[09:27] jeon 😒 Seriously did u go down to breakfast without me? Come backkkkkk
[09:39] Sorry. Didn’t feel well, so I decided to go home
The dreaded three dots popped up immediately, and you swallowed down the lump in your throat.
[09:39] jeon 😒 What? babe, are you okay?
The gas pump clicked. You got out and finished the transaction, but when you returned, you still chose not to answer him, putting on your seatbelt and putting the car in drive.
He allowed you to have five minutes of peace before he started calling you, interrupting the GPS lady’s pleasant directions to the highway. You hit the ignore button, sending him straight to voicemail, but after that, between texts and calls, your phone just wouldn’t rest. Jungkook, Namjoon, Jungkook, Namjoon. Frustration burned through you, a text lighting up your screen just as you finally set the damned thing to do not disturb.
You welcomed the silence that followed, enjoying the monotony of highway driving. When your thoughts started to get too loud, you turned on some random Top 40 playlist to drown them out. And two hours later you were finally home, dropping your bag at the door and taking a shower so long and hot that the water ended up running cold on you.  
Mina wandered out of her bedroom not too long after, surprised to find your bedroom light on. “You’re home early!” you heard her greet you from the hall. She poked her head in to say hi properly and immediately paused at the sight of you, crosslegged in your pajamas, working your way through a whole pack of Hawaiian rolls. “Damn, what’s wrong with you?”
“Nothing,” you moped. She looked at you pointedly, and you slowly lifted a roll in her direction. “…What? Do you want one?”
“What is it this time,” she asked flatly. “Let me guess. Accidentally walked in on him putting a finger up his ass?”
It was a testament to your mood that you didn’t even crack a smile. “I fucked him,” you admitted quietly.
“Oh.” Mina’s eyebrows jumped to her hairline. “And?”
“And…” You looked away. Swallowed. “And now I’m just another notch on his bedpost.”
Your lip trembled against your will and Mina sighed, crawling into bed with you wrapping her arms around you. “Oh, sweetie.”
It only made you feel worse, unwanted tears springing to your eyes. “I’m fine,” you sniffed, cursing the fact that you were such an emotional crier.
“You’re not,” she replied gently. “And that’s okay, _____.”
The two of you sat like that for a while, Mina rubbing comforting circles into your back. Unfortunately, it would take more than that to comfort you.
“I like him,” you mumbled into her shirt. “A lot. Fuck.”
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reidscanehand · 10 months ago
The One Where Spencer Finds Out
Episode 7 of The One Where Everyone Finds Out
Spencer Reid x BAUfem! Reader
Category: A lil bit of angst in this one, but mostly fluff
TW: mentions of Maeve’s death, mentions of drug use, mentions of going to therapy, and mentions of depression
And just like that, we’re almost at the end. I can’t believe tomorrow’s episode is the last! This was one of my favorite parts to write. It felt like returning home to an old friend. That’s incredibly oversentimental and I do not even care. I hope you enjoy Spencer’s piece of this puzzle...and tomorrow is where it all finally comes together! Love you all to bits xx
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He didn’t mind not knowing what Maeve looks like. Would he like to know? Of course, but by accepting this unavoidable issue, it allowed what was truly beginning to feel like a genuine relationship - at least the closest to a genuine relationship as he’s ever had - to form. They’ve been talking on the phone since January. Originally it was about his brain scans, but, once they’d figured out a rather holistic treatment plan, it had easily segued into something more. It felt, or, at the very least, he’s been feeling as though it’s more than friendship. He has far more tender feelings for Maeve than he’d ever counted on. And it didn’t matter that he hadn’t seen her, her place in his life was formed on a foundation far less shallow than appearances. So, no, he hasn’t seen her. And he really didn’t mind. At least he didn’t mind until about twenty minutes ago. Twenty minutes ago, he’d entered the lecture hall looking for Dr. Alex Blake and instead had met you. And in a casual trick of the universe, you are the prettiest girl he’s ever seen.
Spencer is a romantic man. How could he not be? He’d grown up on romantic poetry and novels, practically devouring them while other children were still being read Dr. Seuss and Eric Carle. Not that there's anything wrong with those authors, but it just wasn’t the oeuvre of his mother’s bookshelves. But you; you have superseded all of the cliches he’d come to expect from books and poetry. The fluorescent lights, which usually seem harsh, seem to illuminate you with an effervescent glow, like a goddamned halo. And when you begin to speak, a seemingly impromptu demonstration of the difference between Lardillian and Bantu click languages, Spencer’s brain is overwhelmed by an entirely different feeling that he’s not all sure he’s ever experienced, not even with Maeve. Alex had told him her TA was brilliant, but he just simply was not prepared for...this. He crosses his legs self-consciously, shaking his head for clarity. What is this?
The lesson ends and, thankfully, you leave, a shy smile and wave shared with him as you go. Alex is eyeing the interaction carefully, but Spencer acts as though it hasn’t happened. Because nothing’s really changed. Right?
Spencer’s job is enrobed in darkness. He loves his work, he loves the opportunity to do good and make a difference, but it is difficult to create any sense of routine after mining through the worst depravities the world can offer. It’s harder still to return to any sense of normalcy knowing that, though the team has done its best - that he’s done his best - that there is still evil out there, worse even than whatever they’d just managed to abate. It is part of the reason he was able to, at one of the more ominous times of his life, justify the use of dilaudid. The temporary high would dull his mind, numb the pain of losses, and sort of fog would block his knowledge of the worser evils of which his job made him all too aware. 
He’d just managed to avoid relapsing after Maeve’s death. Just. He’d gone to a few meetings during that time to distract him, a couple of grief support groups. Really, though, returning to work had been the only thing to truly numb the pain. But the occasional, burning desire to be lost in the unequaled abyss dilaudid offers was a constant, arduous battle that, even now - nearly ten months after her tragic death - he was fighting. It was a pattern. The team would finish a case, and, no matter how successful it was, Spencer’s mind would negate the good, only allowing him to keep tabs on the loss, the dramatic changes, the lives ruined. And, in this negative bubble, his mind could only see one way out: dilaudid. 
He hasn’t mentioned it to anyone. They’ve all been handling him with kid gloves, like some fragile object since Maeve’s death. And he understands why, but it doesn’t It’s appreciated, it really is, but because of it, he feels like he can’t falter any further. As though any form of breakdown in any other way might cost him his job or his sanity, at least in the team’s eyes. Hotch had almost insisted on therapy, but Spencer had managed to avoid it. He wasn’t ready to address it all. He never felt like he would be. And there was so much to address, who had the time? He certainly didn’t. Compartmentalizing was an old friend at this point, a habit just as much as dilaudid had been, and, in some ways more dangerous. But, he doesn’t like feeling like a victim. For so long he’d been the baby of the BAU. And he knows, in many ways, that’s how the team still sees him. The looks that JJ and Hotch had given him when he’d returned from two week leave after Maeve’s death were so eerily similar to those they gave actual victim’s families that it made his skin crawl. Alex and Dave talked to him like he was an abandoned puppy, not an adult man. Penelope could hardly talk to him for more than ten minutes without almost crying over his loss. And Derek had resorted to a borderline condescending tone, worried that this traumatic loss would cloud his emotional intelligence on cases. It drove Spencer mad. 
But, then there’s you. Part of the difference in your behavior was that you’d joined the team after Maeve’s death, but it isn’t as though you didn’t know about it. You’d been Alex’s TA and she still treats you more like a daughter than a teammate. You weren’t exactly negligent in your treatment of Spencer’s grief, but there was an obvious contrast between you and the rest of the team. You gave him space, again, partially because the two of you were less acquainted than everyone else, but there is just something about you that makes Spencer calm. You aren’t overbearing like the others. And maybe that’s why, of all the people he could call, he calls you. 
“Spencer?” your voice answers after two or three rings. You sound a little groggy and Spencer feels kind of guilty. 
“Hey, Y/N, I’m so sorry, did I wake you up?” He’s a little embarrassed at how his breath hitches as you give a woozy giggle. 
“Actually, Spencer, I think you’ve saved me a neck ache or two,” you say breezily. “I fell asleep on my couch and that never leads to good things.”
“Did you know that sleeping in an awkward position can compromise your breathing and circulation?” He cringes a little at how quickly the fact escapes his lips. 
“You know,” you reply, thoughtfully, “I’ve never heard it put so concisely, but that makes a lot of sense.” He’s quiet for a moment, baffled a bit by your response. Not because you already knew what he was talking about, but because you didn’t sound smug about it or annoyed that he’s info-dumped. It’s an unusual response for him and he’s not quite sure what to do with it. He’s silent for longer than he realizes as your small voice falters a bit over the line, “So, Spencer, how can I help you?”
“Oh, um…” suddenly, he feels very uncomfortable. Why did he call you? What exactly is his plan here? Telling you why he actually called feels like an insurmountable obstacle in this moment. The dim lights of his apartment feel unexpectedly harsh, the tiny buzz of the phone too loud. “You know what?” he rasps. “I’m...I’m fine-”
“Spencer,” you whisper, gently. “Are you alright?” 
Spencer didn’t know he was crying, wasn’t sure when it had started. This case hadn’t even been particularly bad, so why is he upset. You must be able to hear the sniffling as the next thing you ask is, “Would you like me to come over?”
Twenty minutes later he opens his door and there you are, illuminated by the hallway lights, as heavenly as you’d looked all those months ago in that lecture hall. His body lurches forward, the desire to embrace you almost overwhelming, but something holds him back. It might be the angelic light, it might be the kindness you’ve shown him, so simply and delicately, but he doesn’t feel deserving of a hug. He steps back from the door allowing you inside. 
The two of you talk for what feels like ages. Or, really, Spencer talks, rambling away through tears for hours. And you listen, genuinely listen to him. You ask questions nonjudgmentally, but for the most part you’re quiet. It’s almost four in the morning before you formulate a response. 
“Okay,” you breathe, decisively. “Spencer, I’m going to say something here and you can absolutely choose to ignore every word I say. But I think you need to hear this.” Spencer nods fervently, a little scared of what you’ll say on this tail end of the soul-baring last few hours. You smile tenderly at him, before taking a deep breath. “I think you need to talk to a therapist. Now, I know what you said about Hotch and the stigmas you have surrounding the mandated therapy, but...I think the way you're feeling, this craving...I think allowing all of these feelings to build up like this is only going to make that worse.” 
Spencer’s really quiet, not meeting your eyes, staring at his hands in his lap. It’s not that he feels betrayed, because he doesn’t, and there’s validity to what you’re saying...he just hoped that you wouldn’t see him like the rest of the team does. And now, he thinks, sadly, I’ve ruined it. He’s told you everything and now you’ll just think he’s a mess, like everyone else. Out of nowhere, your hand timidly unfolds one of the hands from the tangle in his lap, taking hold of it. He looks up and meets your eyes. What he sees devastates him, but not in a negative way. You’re not crying; you don’t look scared or overwhelmed. You’re looking at him so tenderly, but with such care that he suddenly can’t breathe properly. 
“I know you think you don’t deserve to be happy,” you murmur, “and I...I don’t really know why. But, I think going to therapy...I don’t think it will make you happy, exactly, but I think it’ll help you feel like you deserve it. Because you do.” 
Spencer stares at you, unable to move, to breathe, to do anything. 
You smile at him, tears pricking at your eyes, “Can I hug you?” Spencer throws his arms around you by way of answer. You cling to him, cooing sweetly as he cries some more. The two of you fall asleep on his couch that night. And when you wake in the morning, you give him another hug goodbye. You’re nonchalant about it all, not wanting to overwhelm him, but it’s clear something’s changed between the two of you. And on Monday morning when he casually drops his new therapist’s business card onto your desk along with a cup of coffee as a thank you, you meet his eyes with a kind of smile of which he’s never been on the receiving end. 
You’re proud of him. And Spencer feels different, but equally feels weird for feeling different. Because nothing’s really changed. Right? 
He’s not quite sure where his dislike of touch comes from. According to his mother, he’s always been anti-touch, even as a baby. It’s gotten better with age. However, even though he’s more comfortable hugging friends and even shaking hands from time to time, he’s still not one to seek out touch. So, the desire to hug you is a feeling for which Spencer is entirely unprepared. That’s not to say he’s uncomfortable with you, quite the opposite, really. In the month since you’d come to his apartment, the two of you have hung out a fair amount outside of work. Really, your friendship is of very little surprise to Spencer. You’re both academics, with similar taste in films and books, you even frequent the same coffee shop. However, not dissimilar to when he’d first met you, he is overwhelmingly caught off guard by the jolt of emotion he has towards you; a feeling quite alien to any experience he’s had before. And truly the desire to touch anyone is so off-putting that he’s not quite sure what to do with it. 
It’s late September, early autumn by the seasonal standards of North Dakota. According to the local police, the weather has been unseasonably mild, a stroke of luck for the BAU. Really, everything about this case had felt like a stroke of luck. The case was relatively straightforward, as simple as any case ever felt for the BAU. After a few pitfalls, the team was able to locate the unsub and get him into custody with little to no fuss. 
“I wish it was always this simple,” you mutter. Spencer glances over to you and smiles, nodding in agreement. 
“We’d probably be out of a job if it was always like this, though,” he jokes. To his astonishment, you laugh, a delightful noise that he definitely doesn’t get to hear often enough considering your line of work. You look up at him, eyes shining. He opens his mouth to say something else when a gust of wind busts through the scene with the power of a cannon. All of a sudden, it’s absolutely freezing. The local police shrug it off easily, entirely used to the chilling winds of North Dakota, but a sound close to a whimper catches Spencer off guard. He looks at you again, clearly absolutely freezing as you shiver rather helplessly. You struggle with the zipper of your FBI-issued jacket, your hands shaking terribly. Without a second thought, Spencer, almost physically unaware of it, moves to grab your hands, warming them in his own larger ones for a moment. You blink, looking up at him. He smiles down at you, grabbing the bottom of your jacket and zipping it up for you. The weight of his purple scarf is suddenly too much; it feels wrong to have it as you shiver so horribly. Spencer pulls it from his neck and wraps it around you. He is afforded a calm he’s never dreamed of as a look of comfort flashes in your eyes. Another moment passes and his actions feel incomplete. With only the tiniest bit of hesitation, Spencer wraps his arms around you and gives you a small squeeze. You return the gesture only a moment later. 
He smiles down at you as he pulls away, swallowing deeply. “What strange weather,” he breathes. You nod, a breathy chuckle leaving you. He nods awkwardly, excusing himself from the conversation. As he walks away he tries to shrug the odd feeling of loss. The warmth of hugging you is unlike anything he’s ever experienced before. And he’s entirely unsure of what to do now. Because nothing’s really changed. Right? 
Spencer’s looked death in the face before. Many times, actually. Some closer calls than others. He did, in fact, actually die while being tortured by Tobias Hankel. There’s very little that compares to the feeling of dying. However, were he pressed to describe it, the closest comparison he could find would be guilt. And at this moment it is the feelings of intense guilt that burn in his soul. It would be an abduction case that brings out the absolute worst in him. He knew he’d been out of line. He knew he’d been unprofessional. He’d snapped one too many times at the head detective on this case, but it was all a bit too much. It was the first abduction with which the BAU has dealt since Maeve’s and he can’t get over the errant feelings of dread that plagued him so intensely that day.
Hotch knows the problem. He’s not dumb, nor is Spencer subtle. After his second or third time snapping at the head detective, Hotch orders Spencer into a de facto timeout: an order to stay at the station and continue working on the geographical profile while the rest of the team pairs off to investigate various leads. He’s staring at the impenetrable geographical profile. Something is wrong with it, but he can’t see past his own intense feelings to see what it is. There is a small tap on his shoulder. He whirls around to see you, not meeting his eyes, clearly nervous, and clipped into a kevlar.
“Y/N,” he asks, timidly, feeling the tightness and nerves built up in his body dissipate as he looks at you. “Are you okay?”
“Um,” you whisper, your voice shaking. You still won’t meet his eyes. “D-Derek and I are, um...going after the nanny, I-I-I’’s-it’s just that...well Derek’s worried that...all things point to the possibility that...the n-nan-nanny might be the unsub and...and-” you swallow, clearly trying to calm down. You stare up at him and, almost without warning, throw your arms around his middle. The air abruptly pushes out of his lungs, but it’s not from impact. His body is overcome by the sense memory of hugging you before. No thoughts are necessary as his arms clasp around you, supporting your quaking body. He has never been the one that people come to for support. And he’s so deeply moved by the fact that, of everyone on the team, you have come to him because you’re afraid. And his immediate concern is making damn sure you know that you have nothing to be afraid of.
“Oh, Y/N,” he mumbles into your hair tenderly, “it’s going to be alright. You are so brave. You are so prepared. I promise, it will all be alright.” You nod fervently into his chest. He considers it for only a moment before smoothing your hair and kissing the top of your head. You start to pull back and smile up at him, nodding again. He pulls you in for another quick hug before you dash off.
The strain in his heart is depleting, replaced by something far more eased. His bones allow him to stand straighter and he can almost feel the fog of anger clearing from his brain. Spencer looks back at the profile, his mind clear for the first time in days. He picks up his phone when it hits him. “Hotch,” he rasps, desperately trying to remain calm, “Derek is right. The nanny is the unsub.”
It’s all over in about 45 minutes. Just as he’d assured you, you’d outdone yourself. You’d backed Derek through the nanny threatening the both of you with a gun, her psychotic boyfriend coming out of nowhere - a far greater threat than the nanny, really. You’d even disarmed him. With minimal loss of life, you’d saved the abducted little girl and taken down the unsubs, all the while supporting your teammate. Spencer doubts that anyone has ever had such a successful debut into field work. You’re so strong and brave and wonderful and he’s so damn proud of you, but he cannot get over the relief of seeing you alive and well. The second he’s allowed to, Spencer makes a direct cross to where you and Derek are being looked over by the medics.
“Hey,” he breathes, trying to seem normal and calm. You smile at him, clearly still a little shaken, but the look you give him is genuine and he can feel the concern in his mind lessening.
“Hey there, pretty boy,” Derek replies. “Thanks for the back up.”
“You hardly need us with Y/N on your side,” Spencer responds, trying desperately not to blush.
“You got that right,” Derek answers, giving your shoulder a playful nudge. You laugh nudging Derek back. “Oh, don’t wound me, tiger!”
“I wouldn’t dare,” you tease back. You meet Spencer’s eyes again and Spencer smiles, the calmest he’s felt in ages.
“Morgan,” Hotch calls. Derek gets up, leaving the two of you alone. The second Derek is out of his line of sight, Spencer pulls you to him, gathering you up in his arms.
“I am so proud of you,” he breathes into you. You return his embrace, clutching to him just as fervently as he does to you. “I am so proud of you.”
“Aw, Spencer,” your hand gingerly strokes up and down his spine. “I’m so sorry you were so worried; I shouldn’t have-”
He pulls back from you, cupping your face in his hands, hardly aware of the action, “Don’t you dare reproach yourself for being nervous.” He wipes some leftover tears from your cheeks.
“Spencer,” you gasp, looking up at him, “you don’t need to cry.” He looks down at you in confusion. You reach up into his face, your soft hands wiping the tears he is so unaware of from his face. When you’re done, you return your hand to his chest and he stares down at you.
“I don’t...I don’t know what I’d do if anything happened to you,” he tells you, earnestly.
“Well, aren’t I lucky then?” you ask. “I happen to be on the best team the FBI has to offer, and even if I wasn’t...I have my favorite genius in the world on my side.”
Spencer is so deeply unprepared for your confession that the next few moments happen in a blur. He can’t believe he almost kisses you. He would have. He never breaks eye contact with you, entirely unprepared for this swell of emotion. He doesn’t do it, though. He presses another kiss into your hair before leaning his forehead against yours. Because he can’t kiss you. He shouldn’t, right? Because nothing's really changed. Right?
When Spencer was in high school, only a preteen at the time, he’d learned a sort of selective hearing. Something had to happen to avoid the constant stares and whispers, the horrendous bullying. He’d been able to block it out for so long, that when it gets to him now, he’s so shocked that it almost hurts more than it would have then. That’s maybe why he isn’t terribly surprised to feel tears pricking at his eyes as he stomps off to the public restrooms at the baseball field. He loves Derek like a brother, but he doubts he’ll ever be able to forget the humiliation he’s enforced on him. He owed Derek a favor, sure, but making Spencer pretend to be an athlete? The open teasing from the men of the Secret Service team is almost too much to bear. He’d been laughed at for many things in his life, some of which he’s able to easily brush off. He didn’t care if people made fun of his mind. He’s a genius and even if they made fun of him, no one could take that away from him. But, there’s something different about being made fun of for his lack of physical ability that he cannot move past. It’s so utterly embarrassing that he’s able to ignore the feelings of disgust for entering the germ-laden hell that is the essentially open air public restrooms of the baseball field. He places his hands on either side of one of the sinks, trying desperately to keep his panic at bay.
“Spencer, it’s not that bad,” a soft voice coos from behind him. He turns to see you standing there. He’s so humiliated, so upset, but when he meets your eyes, there’s no contempt. There’s no teasing or condescension. There is only genuine care. You open your arms, and he wraps himself around you, clinging to you, finally feeling safe enough to let himself cry. “Awe, Spence.”
“This is so embarrassing, Y/N,” Spencer rasps. “It’s just as bad as I remember. I’m just always going to be the pathetic, skinny kid that can’t do anything.” He feels you straighten yourself a bit and you pull back from him, keeping your hands on his shoulders.
“Spence,” you begin, “you’re not an athlete-”
“Well, thanks for that, Y/N,” Spencer replies, confusedly nodding, suddenly hyper-aware of himself.
“Let me finish,” you continue, your eyes never leaving his. “You’re not an athlete, but you know what you are? You’re a genius. You’re a goddamn FBI agent, a man with three PhDs, hundreds of solved cases under his belt. You’re a magician, you’re a godfather, you’re a friend. And you’re the best person I know.” Spencer can’t breathe. This can’t be real. This can’t be happening. This is too wonderful, too wild. No one has ever spoken to him like this.
“You might never be an athlete, but you’re not pathetic and I absolutely refuse to hear you talk about yourself like that. Don’t listen to a thing those Secret Service guys say, okay, Spence? You just have to get out of your head. You can do anything you set that big, beautiful mind to; I’ve seen you do it. You just have to believe in yourself.” He opens his mouth to speak, but he can still barely breathe.
“I don’t know if I can, Y/N,” Spencer mutters, trying to hold back more tears.  
You sigh and smile at him, looking down at his chest for a moment. You, too, open your mouth to speak, but then close it again. You look up at him before suddenly tipping onto your toes and giving him a kiss on the cheek. Spencer is sure he’ll never breathe again. His brain has never been less in control than it is at this moment. His thoughts are speeding by so fast, he can’t fully comprehend a single one.
“Well, then,” you whisper, your hands tangling themselves in front of you, “at least know that I believe in you. Always.” You awkwardly pat him on the shoulder before excusing yourself. 
He would think that the repetition of a feeling as unusual as the feeling you give him would make him grow used to it, but it doesn’t. Unlike his past experience with drug use, this is high that he will never regret. And as he returns to the game, there is a strength, a hope he’s never known before. As he, somehow, finds himself able to actually hit the ball, and make a home run, he tells himself it’s because he made his team proud. But, he knows it’s nothing to do with it. Because as the team surrounds him, throwing their arms around him, he looks forward to only one set of arms.
“I told you,” you whisper. “You can do anything.”
Spencer says nothing, just pulls you in for another hug, reassuring himself the entire time that nothing is different. Because nothing’s really changed. Right?
Spencer can’t believe it. He’s tried desperately for weeks to compartmentalize you as he’s able to do so often and so easily, but this was the final straw. All of it was, really. No one should be allowed to be so wonderful, he thinks, not for the first time, when thinking about you. No one.
He’d returned to the office from his regular therapy appointment to find you gone. It was a rare day without a case, meaning that everybody was working to finish their paperwork so they could get out of the office. You’d actually finished yours before he left, but it was unlike you to leave early (he hadn’t wanted to admit to himself that he was mildly upset that you’d left without saying goodbye to him, but that was part of it). He looked to JJ who’d been working through extra paperwork in order to take off Halloween afternoon.
“I saw I missed a call from you,” he greets, attempting to remain nonchalant as he edges around asking about you. “Is everything okay?”
JJ’s head shoots up and she smiles at him in greeting, “Oh, hey, Spence! No, everything’s fine now, no big deal.”
“Was something wrong?”
“Will had to stay at work today and couldn’t relieve the nanny. I was hoping you could take care of Henry, but Y/N did it for me.”
He knows he’s smiling, he doesn’t even try to stop it, “Y/N is babysitting Henry?”
“Yeah,” JJ smirks. He doesn’t really know why she’s smirking at him, but he chooses to ignore it.
“I hope he doesn’t drive her too crazy,” he jokes. “I love my godson, but he’s a little devil.”
“Don’t I know it,” laughs JJ, “but Y/N’s doing great. Look!” She holds up her phone, showing him a selfie of you and Henry, both beaming with unbridled joy.
“Is that-”
“They’re playing with the kid’s magic set you gave him,” JJ answers the unfinished question. “I’ve emailed it to you.”
“Thanks,” he blushes. “You know how much I love having pictures of my godson.”
“Sure,” JJ mutters, smiling to herself. A thought pops into Spencer’s brain and he feels a brief panic in his chest. He hadn’t minded telling Alex, but…
“JJ,” he begins, “um, did Y/N tell you where I was?”
“No, actually,” JJ replies after thinking about it for a moment. “She just said you had to step out for a bit. Why, is something wrong?” Once again, he didn’t even try to stop the smile that played its way onto his lips.
“Not at all,” he replies, surprised he could ever, for even a millisecond, doubt that you’d keep his secret.  
And then, of course, not only had you kept his favorite kid in the world entertained for an afternoon, but you’d convinced him to go out for Halloween, destigmatizing Spencer’s favorite holiday for his godson. While he’s more willing to talk about things now, Spencer’s still a private man. And one of his dearest secret wishes is to have a family of his own. His own childhood was so sad and traumatic that he’s determined to have a family, to make his family’s life the best he possibly can. And seeing his godson, his favorite kid, dressed up as him for Halloween was almost too much to bear, but nothing prepared him for the information that it was all your idea. After hugging Henry and letting him borrow his FBI badge to make him “official”, he’d turned to you, still perched at your desk.
“Was that really your idea?” he asks you quietly. You blush a little, never one to search for too much adoration. You begin to gather your things to go home before you answer.
“I just told him that...well, unsubs can be scary, but we’re lucky to have profilers like you to help us figure out who the bad guys are,” you respond in a hushed tone. 
Recently, Penelope had shown him how to use emojis on his phone. He’s still unsure what a lot of them are for, but there’s one that Penelope likes to frequent, particularly when texting Derek. It’s a smiley face, but in place of the eyes are hearts. And in this moment, he’s sure that’s exactly the look he’s giving you. He opens his mouth to say something and closes it, nothing seems good enough. Instead he halts your hands, pulling you to him for an enormous hug.
“We’re lucky to have people like you, too, Y/N,” he whispers into your hair, only a little embarrassed that he’s still standing at work. Because when he’s embracing you, nothing else matters much. He doesn’t want the moment to end, “Can I walk you to your car?”
“Th-that would be great,” you murmur. Neither of you can look at each other or anyone else as you exit, but he can’t seem to stop smiling.
As you approach your car, Spencer clears his throat, “I didn’t know you were good with kids.”
“I wouldn’t say I’m good with all kids,” you laugh off his praise. “I’m good with this one kid-”
“You forget that I’ve seen you on cases, Y/N,” Spencer remarks, teasing. “Don’t downplay your skills-”
“You’re one to talk, Mr. ‘Reid Effect’,” you tease back.
“What? Children and dogs tend to-”
“‘Reid Effect’, my ass,” you laugh. Spencer laughs, too, delighted by the sound of your laughter once again.
“So,” he amends, as the two of you reach your car, “we both need to be more confident, then.”
“Definitely,” you agree. “If anything Henry thinks you’re the greatest person in the world, and that should be a huge confidence booster.”
“He is my godson after all; gotta love a bit of nepotism,” he jokes. When you don’t laugh, he meets your eyes again. You’re blushing deeply.
“I happen to agree with him,” you whisper, shyly. The feeling he had at the baseball game has returned. He stares at you for about a millisecond before leaning down and hesitantly kissing you on the cheek.
“Thank you for what you did,” he rasps, trying to convey an emotion he’s not even sure of. You’d smiled and gotten in your car to go home. He’d stood in the parking lot until he absolutely couldn’t see you anymore. And then he’d stood there a little longer, just existing in the feeling you gave him.
He should’ve recognized it then. He should’ve known.
Spencer has always hated the tendency of biopics to tell not show. It was as though Hollywood didn’t trust the idea that the brilliant people in whom they’d found source material could have possibly had the imagination or mental capacity to do what they’d done without the idea being literally presented to them. You and Spencer had gone to see a Charles Dickens biopic where he’d seen a curmudgeonly man at a funeral, the lone attendee. It was obviously meant to serve as inspiration for A Christmas Carol, but Spencer found the idea that the great Charles Dickens couldn’t just...come up with the idea on his own, that Hollywood had felt the need to make the inspiration so literal, rather insulting to both the audience and the subject itself.
But now he understands. At least, he understands a little better. He’s still not exactly a fan. Because recognizing that you’re in love and have been for God knows how long because an actor says something in a play you’re watching isn’t what he’d call a pleasant experience.
He’d thought nothing of it when Rossi invited the two of you to see Pride and Prejudice at Arena Stage. You were thrilled, and he was excited as well. And he tried to ignore how fluffy his brain felt when he’d met you at the theatre and you looked absolutely stunning. He tried to ignore how happy it made him feel that, when you’d shivered slightly, you’d taken his proffered jacket, meaning that he had comforted you. And he tried to ignore the fact that you’d allowed him to comfort you when you got teary during the big love scene. Surely all of this was commonplace for the two of you by now. Right? Even if it was, it was not commonplace for Spencer to suddenly realize in the middle of a fucking play that he is in love with you.
“I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It was too long ago. I was in the middle of loving you before I knew I had begun,” the actor playing Mr. Darcy said. Spencer hadn’t even realized he was staring at you. And then it hit him. His whole body snapped to attention. You’d raised your head from his shoulder, eyebrows drawn together in concern.
“Spence,” you whispered, “are you okay?”
“Yeah,” he gasped, wriggling away from you gently. “I just, um, I need some air.” He jumps up, ignoring the annoyed glances from his fellow audience members, ever so thankful he’s at the end of his row. He somehow makes it to the lobby, barely remembering the journey. He unknots his tie as he leans against a wall, trying not to panic. He loves you. Not only that he has loved you. For a long time. He wonders when it began. His mind flits through the many moments, not quite understanding how he’s missed something so obvious.
“Spencer,” a stern voice calls to him. He looks up, realizing that, at some point, he’s sat down on the floor. Hotch is looking down at him with concern.
“How long have you all known?” he asks, knowing that he doesn’t need to specify. Hotch nods, understanding the problem.
“I can’t speak for everyone else-”
“Everyone else?” Spencer can’t believe it. Everyone knows?
Hotch just nods, “I’ve known since North Dakota.”
“That was months ago,” Spencer rasps. Hotch slides down the wall and sits next to him.
“I think you should tell her,” Hotch advises.
“I can’t, Hotch-”
“Why?” Hotch’s voice is so severe that Spencer turns to look at him fully. “Spencer, there are few things I know to be absolutely true in this life. But, one of them is that it does not do to dwell in could haves and should haves. Life is too short for that.”
Spencer opens his mouth, but is interrupted by the sounds of the audience applauding. He nods to Hotch, who smiles and claps him on the shoulder.
It passes by in a blur. You enter the lobby and he says something about getting overheated, tying his tie too tight. You offer to drive him home and he agrees. He pretends to not see Alex and Rossi exchange knowing glances with Hotch as the two of you leave. He feels bad that he doesn’t really listen to what you’re saying as you effusively gush about the play on the drive home. He can’t take his eyes off of you. How could he have missed it? How could he not have realized? He doesn’t know how to tell you. He’s still not sure he should. Hotch made a compelling argument, but...what if you don’t feel the same way? He could not live, will not live, without you in his life. He wouldn’t dare ruin it. He would never be able to forgive himself. He would never-
“Spence,” you interrupt his train of thought. “We’re here.” He looks up wide-eyed at his apartment building. “You zoned off on me there, mister.”
“I’m sorry,” he breathes. He’s so overwhelmed still that he’s terrified you’ll somehow know without him telling you, that something in his tone or speech pattern will lay it out just as plainly as him saying it.
“What’s wrong?” you ask quietly. He looks at you and you’re not looking at him, but rather at your hands in your lap.
“Nothing,” he manages to say. “Nothing at all, I’m just tired. I-”
“Shit,” you cry, your hands flying to cover your eyes as tears suddenly begin to pour. Spencer is, once again, entirely unsure of what to do. “I’m so sorry.”
“Why are you sorry?” Spencer asks, genuinely confused. “Hey, hey, why are you crying?” He tries to pull your hands from your face, but you push him away. You can’t get your breathing enough under control to respond.
“You c-can g-go,” you manage to choke out between sobs.
“Y/N, I’m not going to let you drive home in a state like this,” Spencer argues. Helped mostly by the fact that you’re crying, he manages to get out of the car, go around to your door and guide you up to his apartment without too much argument from you. Once inside his apartment, he guide you to sit on the sofa and runs to the kitchen to gather you some tissues. By the time he’s returned you’ve calmed down substantially, taking the tissues and wiping away leftover tears. The two of you are quiet for a few minutes before you finally speak.
“I’m sorry,” you rasp. “I’m just...I’m tired. I’ll leave you be.” You try to stand, but Spencer pulls you back to the sofa by your elbow ever so gently.
“Y/N,” he says carefully, “please tell me what’s wrong.” You sigh deeply, obviously trying not to cry again.
“I just...oh God, you know, don’t you?” You finally look at him fully, an unreadable expression on your face. Spencer stares at you, trying to understand.
“I know what?” he finally asks. You stand up abruptly and cross to the door, you manage to get just past the threshold, before Spencer catches up to you, spinning you around by your elbow again. “I know what?” he asks again, more desperate this time. You look up at him, meeting his eyes once again.
“You know that I’m in love with you,” you whisper.
He’ll never fully understand how he didn’t know. He might not even know when it truly started. But he knows now that something has definitely changed. Because he does the only logical thing there is to do in this moment. Spencer kisses you because he is in love with you.
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badassbuchanan · 9 months ago
Breaking the Rules
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Plot: Bratty Bucky will do anything to get what he wants
Warnings: smut; oral (male receiving), unprotected sex, bratty!bucky, soft!bucky, dirty talk and a little teasing.
Word Count: 4715
A/N: I apologise for my lack of activeness this week my loves, my brother’s baby was born AND I started University - so it’s been a big week! I’ll try and get my routine sorted for next week so it should be back to normal. Anyways, enjoy! As always I’d love to hear what you think! x
“Babe.” Bucky called out in a huff as he made his way through the apartment, throwing his keys down carelessly on the kitchen worktop.
The frown lines on his brow deepened as he walked through his home, so relieved to finally be there after the stressful day he’d had. 
“Baby!” He called out impatiently as his face screwed up, kicking off his boots in the hallway as he continued through the house. 
“In here, Buck.” I called back to him from the bedroom, a smile appearing on my face at the fact that my darling boyfriend had returned home.
“Hey handsome.” I smiled softly as I watched the reflection of him enter the room through the mirror in front of me. I slid on the last freshly washed pillow case, fluffing it in my hands as I noticed Bucky’s attitude. “How are you?”
“I had such a bad day.” Bucky groaned as his arms wrapped around my waist, pulling my back against his chest. His head rested on my shoulder, closing his eyes as a pout appeared on his lips.
“Oh, honey.” I cooed softly as I turned around in his arms, pressing my chest against his as I lifted my hands to play with his hair. “What happened?” I asked sweetly, tilting my head to the side as I admired his pissed off face.
It was selfish of me to admit, but I loved when Bucky was in a needy mood. It melted my heart whenever he got all pouty and cuddly, needing to be comforted and looked after.
“The mission was a bust,” He mumbled as his head dropped into my neck, his breath tickling my skin as his arms tightened around me. “Sam was being stupid and reckless. He wouldn’t listen to me, as always. And he kept making a joke of everything like he usually does and it’s so fucking annoying.”
“I’ve been telling you for weeks baby, you guys just need to talk it out.” I chuckled sweetly, cupping his jaw as my thumb softly rubbed his cheek bone. He groaned at my suggestion, squeezing me tightly against his body as his cheek nudged further into my hand.
“How am I supposed to talk it out with someone who has the intelligence of a three year old?” Bucky muttered in annoyance, his eyes soft and wide as hair tickled my neck, making me smile in amusement.
“Find a way. You guys make a great team and I know deep down you care about each other.” I reminded him sweetly, his hands rubbing over as much of my body as they could. “You’re both just as stubborn as each other.” I giggled in amusement as I booped my finger on his nose, causing Bucky’s lips to momentarily curl in into a smile.
Bucky groaned as he thought about having to make up with Sam, but deep down he knew I was right. More than that, he knew the consequences for his stubbornness. Nick Fury had set up a meeting with me a couple of weeks back, unbeknownst to Bucky, asking me to try and assist in getting the two avengers to stop fighting. Apparently it had gotten so out of hand that missions were constantly failing because of it.
So I did the only thing I knew would work on my sex-driven super soldier, I told him we weren’t having sex until he made up with Sam, knowing just how much he loved to fuck away his frustrations.
I was surprised that Bucky had lasted this long, our usual routine consisted of at least one good dicking down a day. I knew he had to be jerking off in the shower or when he went for a “toilet break” at work, that’s how he’d made it this far, but it wasn’t the same and Bucky was growing more aggravated by the day. He wouldn’t last much longer, he just needed a little push.
“My poor baby.” I turned my head slightly to look at him, leaving a gentle kiss on his stubble covered cheek as I felt how worked up he was. “You’re so tense.”
“Let me go run you a nice bath.” I suggested sweetly, giving him the sympathy he was so desperately craving. I leaned my upper body away from his just enough to slide my hands down to the buttons of the leather jacket he was wearing. “Does that sound good?”
Bucky looked down to where my hands were on him, letting out a little groan as I teasingly undid the zip of his jacket, eyeing him up innocently.
His blue eyes flickered up to mine, his tongue licking over his lips as I moved my hand under his jacket, rubbing his abs over the thin t-shirt he wore underneath.
Bucky’s eyes fluttered closed, it was a subtle touch, but it was the most sexual action he’d received from me in a while. At this point I didn’t know if I wanted him to break because I wanted him to stop fighting with Sam or because it would finally dull the needy ache between my legs.
“You know,” Bucky dragged out his words, his fingers delicately running up and down my sides as he started leaving gentle kisses on my neck. “I’d feel a lot less tense if your pretty lips were around my cock.”
“Yeah?” I played into his request, letting out a seductive giggle as my hands travelled down his tummy, grabbing onto his belt buckle. Bucky flinched at my action, his hips jolting into my touch as he leaned his head back to watch me.
“Mmh.” He nodded as he rubbed my lower back in his palms, encouraging me to keep going as his cock throbbed to life. I undid his belt, hearing the clink of the buckle as I dropped it from my hands. “Need your mouth, doll.”
“Oh, Buck.” I pouted sweetly as my palms ran up his chest, wrapping my arms around his neck. I pressed my chest hard against his, my pussy throbbing as I inhaled his intoxicating scent. “You know the rules, Bub.”
His movements froze, a growl errupting from his chest as he tensed back up again. His head dropped back with frustration, his cock dying for attention.
“No sex until you apologise to Sam.” I reminded him sweetly, knowing he already knew exactly what I was referring to. I flattened my palm against the back of his head, forcing him to look down at me as I left soft pecks all over his pouty lips.
“A blowjob and sex are two different things.” Bucky snapped sassily, a smirk toying on my lips as I realised just how close to cracking he was. I continued to kiss his face, tiptoeing as I made my way across his cheeks. Bucky’s hands slid down to my butt, a growl coming from his chest as he massaged my ass cheeks.
“Still counts, baby.” I hummed against his stubble covered face, feeling him breathe through his nose as he clenched his teeth in frustration. His forehead creased into a frown as he realised I was sticking to my guts.
“So no head?” He barked out with a tone of annoyance, ignoring how good it felt having my lips kissing along his jaw.
“Mmh.” I responded agreeingly between kisses, cupping his cheek with my hand to hold him in place. I was getting lost in the feeling of his body pressed against me, his touch intoxicating as I thought about how responsive and whiney he would get after so long without a fuck.
“Just apologise to Sammy and I’m all yours.” I moaned against his lips, tugging on his wrist as I lead his hand up the front of my loose t-shirt dress. His palm slid delicately along the bare skin of my thigh and towards my heat. I let out a soft gasp as his flesh fingers dug between my folds, my wetness oozing down onto my panties.
“I want your pussy.” Bucky whined, dropping his head to mine as he caught my lips with his, taking control of the kiss. He pecked my lips over and over with little moans, his sulky pout making it easy for him to do so.
“C’mon, baby.” I hummed encouragingly into his kisses, feeling his drenched fingers teasing my hole for the first time in a while. “Just say you’re sorry.” I gasped softly as his finger pushed its way into my tight canal, my pussy throbbing around him.  
Bucky let out a growl of frustration as his eyes rolled in annoyance. “You expect me to apologise to him when he’s the reason I’m not getting my dick wet tonight?” He snapped with a quick thrust of his finger, making me let out a moan as my arms wrapped around his shoulders tightly. “If I didn’t hate him before, I definitely hate him now.”
“Actually, your stubbornness is the reason.” I bit my lip seductively as I tilted my head, batting my eyelashes at him as I watched his chest heave deeply. His eyes flickered over my body, his jaw clenching as he looked down at where his finger thrusted into me.
“Just let me fuck you.” Bucky groaned through exasperated breaths, his finger keeping an agonisingly slow pace. He knew he was pushing his luck, that he was lucky to even have his finger in me. I simply shook my head, gently rocking my hips into the movement of his finger as I tried to get myself off on his hand.
“Fuck.” He growled out in aggravation, tightening the grip of his metal hand on my waist as he pulled me harder against him. I licked my lips as I looked up at the frustrated emotion that was evident on his face, my pussy leaking around his finger as I felt my clit throbbing for attention. 
“Please, at least let me put it in your mouth, baby.” Bucky moaned out weakly, irritated by my decision to deny him what he wanted. I bit my lip as I I felt him insert another finger, looking up into his beautiful blue eyes.
My palm moved down his chest and around his side, not stopping until I felt his ass in my hand. I reached into his back pocket, knowing that was exactly where his phone would be. I took the gadget out and slid my hand back around to his chest, pressing his phone between his pecs suggestively. “Call him right now and I’ll swallow every last drop of your cum.” I instructed in a sultry tone, feeling Bucky immediately react by tugging his fingers out of me. 
I hissed slightly at the roughness of his action as Bucky licked his fingers clean of my juices. He quickly snatched the phone from my hand with a huff, still holding me by my hip as my hand started wandering again.
I smoothed over his abs and down his tummy, tiptoeing to kiss his rough cheek as my hand worked on undoing his belt. Bucky groaned out needily as he looked down at his phone, quickly unlocking the device.
I pressed my chest against his, sliding my small hand into his pants I’d unbuttoned as I hummed sweetly in satisfaction. Bucky’s glance flickered between me and the phone, his eyes squeezing tightly shut as I wrapped my fingers around his hard cock.
“Oh Buck,” I faked as gasp sweetly as I ran my thumb over his leaking tip, smearing him in his own pre-cum. “Honey, you’re so hard.” His skin was soft, his length heavy under my touch as I pushed his pants down just enough to free his huge manhood. My tongue flicked out over my lips as I imagined him fucking into my mouth. My pussy drooled in need, aching to feel his big cock inside me.
Before he could act, I lifted my free hand to massage the back of his head as I kissed him deeply. I made a point of sucking on his top lip, grazing my teeth over his soft flesh as I felt him moan into the kiss.
I hummed in satisfaction, feeling his tongue gliding over my bottom lip as his metal hand slid up to cup my jaw. I pumped him slowly in my hand, trying to match the teasing pace what he’d used to finger me. “C’mon baby, make the call or I’ll stop.”
“Fuck.” Bucky growled out as he pulled back from the kiss, his self control wearing thin. He let out a little grunt as he looked down at his phone, swiping his way across the screen as I tightened my grip around his shaft.
His hips jolted forward, fucking himself into my hand as he pressed on Sam’s name with a clenched jaw. The control I had over my boyfriend at that moment was making my head spin, his eyes closing in pleasure as my fingers spread down to tickle his balls lightly.
“Hey, birdbrain.” Bucky grunted out aggressively taking down the phone, his eyes opening again as he watched me drop to my knees in front of him.
“Play nice.” I warned almost inaudibly as I looked up at him with doe eyes, leaning forward to ghost my lips over his length.
Bucky bit the inside of his cheek, the overwhelming need to feel my lips on him almost made him moan down the phone. I knew he wouldn’t like having to call Sam at that very moment, mostly because he knew that Sam was a chatterbox that wouldn’t shut up.
Even with Sam’s naturally loud voice, I couldn’t hear him from where I knelt between Bucky’s legs.
I entertained myself by licking a long strip up his shaft from the base of his cock to the tip. Bucky groaned as his metal hand came to rest on the back of my head, pulling me towards him encouragingly.
“Can you just shut up for a second.” Bucky almost yelled down the phone, impatient to say what he wanted so he could get my lips around his cock.
I smirked in amusement, using the built up saliva in my mouth to drench his tip as I angled his cock towards my face. I hummed, sending vibrations down his length as his hips jolted towards me.
“We need to stop fighting.” Bucky groaned, his eyes fixed on where my tongue was swirling around his swollen tip. I nodded encouragingly, kitten licking his slit as my hand pumped the base of his shaft.
I heard Bucky’s breathing shallow as I slid my wet mouth down a little, taking more of him between my lips. I let my tongue swirl around his length, throbbing in my mouth as I fixed my eyes on his.
“Yeah.” Bucky breathed out shakily, a low moan escaping his lips as his jaw went slack. His hand pressed my head further down his cock, his metal fingers digging into my scalp. “Mmh hmm.”
Bucky’s dominant nature took over momentarily, controlling my movements on his cock. I hollowed my cheeks, sucking on him intensely as saliva started drooling down the corners of my mouth.
Suspicious that he was dragging the conversation out purposely, I forced my head back, leaving his cock drenched and aching for more. Bucky frowned in frustration, bucking his hips towards my lips as he silently begged for more.
“Say you’re sorry.” I whispered as I dug my fingernails into his thighs, looking into his darkening eyes as I pressed gentle kisses to the underside of his shaft.
Bucky gulped audibly, his nostrils flairing with desperation as his eyes fluttered closed. “Sam,” Bucky called through gritted teeth, his aching cock making him finally accept defeat.
I smirked against his length, knowing I was about to win as I let my hot tongue trace every vein in his shaft. “Fuck.” Bucky groaned helplessly, his metal hand holding the back of my neck as I took his tip back between my lips.
“Shit. I’m sorry, okay? Fuck, I’m sorry.” He panted as his head dropped forward to watch me take his whole length deep into my throat. I gagged slightly, my throat pulsing as I tried to keep him there, finally giving him what he wanted after hearing him apologise. “The fighting stops now.”
Bucky hung up the phone, quickly throwing it carelessly onto the bed as his whole face softened. He pressed his lips together in a hard line, a small whine erupted from his throat as his cock twitched in my mouth, and I knew he was about to cum.
“Good boy.” I cooed encouragingly after letting his cock slide out of my mouth, drenched in my saliva. My fingers dug into his covered thighs as I looked up at his beautiful blue eyes glowing in the reflection of the light.
Bucky whined again, his eyebrows arching innocently as his metal hand tugged on my arm in an suggestive gesture to lift me off my knees. I obediently stopped gliding my tongue around his length teasingly, shifting to stand up in front of him.
His hands went straight under my dress to my panties, silently stepping closer to me as he tugged them down my thighs. “Oh, you want my pussy, baby?” I asked sweetly once my panties hit the floor, wrapping my arms around Bucky’s brored shoulders.
His palms slid up to squeeze my ass cheeks, nodding in response as he pressed his lips down onto mine. I knew how whiney Bucky got when he was desperate, always refusing to speak until he got his own way.
“You were so good for me, Buck.” I whispered against his lips as my palm ran down his hard, heavy cock. Bucky groaned softly, a sassy pout on his lips as a crease appeared between his brows from where he was frowning.
I pumped him slowly in my hand as my lips dropped to his neck, my tongue intoxicated by the salty taste of sweat that mixed with cologne on his skin. I felt Bucky’s hips rock into my hand as I tugged his cock to angle his leaking tip against my slit.
I moaned into his skin, sucking on the sweet spot at the base of his neck as his cock rubbed between my sopping folds. I let go of his shaft as Bucky took control, fucking his cock between my pussy lips, coating himself in my juices.
I felt my stomach clench as I rocked my hips towards him, his shaft perfectly nudging my clit with every thrust. His cock slipped back and forth between my slick folds with ease.
Bucky’s tip nudged my opening, igniting a deep desire to fuck into me. “Mmh you can have it baby.” I moaned encouragingly as my lips nipped at the delicate skin of his neck, my hand tugging on the back of his hair. “Take what’s yours.” I whispered in his ear before gently sucking on his lobe.
Bucky’s metal hand moved between our bodies and grabbed his throbbing shaft, lining himself up with my entrance. His flesh hand moved under my dress from behind, pushing roughly on my lower back to force me closer to him.
We both dropped our heads to where our bodies were touching as he slowly pushed his thick length into me. Bucky whined at the feeling of my tight walls hugging his length, already so close to his high.
“You fill me up so well, baby boy.” I hummed in satisfaction as I dug my nails into his shoulder under the material of his leather jacket. My lips kissed sweetly along his jaw, his scratchy stubble a welcome feeling against my skin.
I moaned softly when I felt his cock sliding out of me at a painfully slow rate, rubbing tightly against my walls. His tip stretched my entrance for what felt like forever before he slammed his hips back against mine.
“You’re so wet.” Bucky mumbled in pleasure, noting how he could already smoothly thrust in and out of me without having to wait for me to adjust to his size.
“Yeah, so wet for you.” I whispered unconsciously, kissing my way to his lips, eyes half closed as I took his cock deep inside of me. “Got so horny watching you be the bigger man, apologising to Sammy.”
A rumbling groan erupted from Bucky’s chest as he turned his head to catch his lips with mine. I moaned into the kiss, cupping his jaw in my hand as he started guiding us to the bed, his cock still buried deep inside me.
He was losing control, the feeling of my pussy drenching his cock had him twitching inside of me. My back hit the mattress with a thud of the headboard, the new angle of his cock deepened inside of me.
I arched my back, moaning loudly as I felt myself clench around his shaft, pleasure coursing through my veins. I watched Bucky lean up to take his jacket off, causing me to push my upper body up to meet him, my palm rubbing under his t-shirt to touch the bare skin of his belly.
“Leave it on.” I almost demanded, voice slow and full of lust. I scraped my nails teasingly down his tummy, looking up into his darkened eyes as he jolted his hips into me harshly. I hissed as my thighs clenched his hips tightly, the soft clinking of his belt which hung loosely around his unbuttoned jeans filled the intense silence.
I watched Bucky slid his flesh hand between my legs, pushing the material of my dress up as he moved it over my chest, purposely swiping over my sensitive nipples. It didn’t stop until he reached my throat, squeezing lightly as he hovered above me, a little squeak escaping my lips.
“Fuck me good baby,” I hummed sweetly as my eyes stayed glued to his face which was screwed up in a frown. “I’ve missed your cock so much.”
“Missed your pussy.” Bucky mumbled against my lips, thrusting at a deep and slow rhythm as his hands planted themselves either side of my head on the mattresss. I moaned softly at his harsh thrusts, my tits bouncing as I let my tongue glide over his plump lips.
My legs lost their strength, shaking with pleasure either side of his hips as I laid there and took the pounding of his big cock. My arms came up to wrap around his shoulders, pulling his lips harder against mine as we deepened the kiss.
Bucky growled against my lips, getting lost in his own pleasure as he felt his cock twitching inside of me. “So good to me, honey.” I hummed between open mouthed kisses, or tongues swirling together as I tilted my head to suck on his lip.
My hips bucked up to meet his movements, chasing my high as wet squelching sounds of my pussy filled the room. “Fuck.” Bucky groaned, his hips stuttering as he felt my pussy pulsing around him.
I could feel how close he was to his orgasm, picking up the pace of his hips as his hands balled into fists, clinging to the bedsheets. His breathing was heavy through his nostrils, hovering his lips above mine as his stubble grazed lightly on my skin.
“Good boy,” I moaned encouragingly, my own high moments away as I gasped like a porn star, my back arching off of the bed to get closer to him. “Cum inside me Bucky, oh fuck-”
I cried as my orgasm flooded over my body. My head flew backwards as my fingers dug into his metal bicep so hard they almost broke. 
My walls fluttered around him as my clit pulsed profusely, my juices soaking his cock that was rutting into me with ease. My back arched off of the mattress, our chests pressing together as Bucky forced his eyes open to watch me. 
“Fuck,” He moaned breathlessly, his eyes softening as he watched me coming undone beneath him. His tip nudged deeper, hitting my cervix with each long thrust of his hips. “I love you.” He whimpered softly, the moment full of pleasure and emotion as he leaned down to kiss me.
He was drunk in pleasure, the feeling of my walls hugging his length become too much for him. An whine left his lips as I felt his hips jolt erratically, his thick white spurts of cum painting deep inside of me.
“I love you too, baby.” I hummed sweetly, still recovering from my high that was overwhelming my senses. I ran my fingers through his hair, tugging on his short locks as I gently massaged his scalp. He angled his hips in a way that pushed me further into the mattress, a growl rumbling in his chest as he fucked me through his high. “Oh, yeah.” I gasped, my sensitive pussy rolling against his softening cock.
“Feel so good.” He mumbled sweetly, dropping his head to kiss my cheek as his eyes closed in extacy. After a few more unsteady pumps, Bucky collapsed against my chest, both of us breathless as he pulled his softening cock from my core. A mix of our juices dripped down onto the mattress beneath me, oozing from between my swollen pussy lips.
I turned my head to kiss him softly, his relaxed lips grazing mine as his eyes fluttered closed. “So you think that was worth swallowing your pride and apologising to Sam?” I cooed sweetly, a soft smile on my lips as I kissed him again.
Bucky smirked cheekily, keeping his eyes closed as he let out a breathy chuckle. I narrowed my eyes suspiciously, the amusement on Bucky’s face too evident to ignore.
“What’s so funny?” I asked curiously, watching his gorgeous blue eyes open to look at me. His smile only increased, little lines appearing next to his eyes as his pearly white teeth shone.
“I didn’t really call Sam, baby.” He admitted proudly with a smile, his eyes soft and innocent as he watched my face drop in shock. Bucky’s thumb rubbed over my exposed hip, knowing too well how I was about to react. “I just pretended to.”
“You asshole.” I rolled my eyes and pushed him away slightly by his chest as I heard a rumbling chuckle erupt from Bucky’s lips. I couldn’t believe he’d lied to me to get what he wanted.
“Baby,” Bucky chuckled again, amusing himself as I turned my back to him, feeling him immediately shuffle to spoon me from behind. “Don’t be like that. I just missed your pussy.” He mumbled as his arms wrapped around my waist, pulling my body back flush against his chest.
“You lied to me.” I reminded him with a pout, unamused at his scheming ways. I snubbed him, closing my eyes in an attempt to give him the silent treatment as he leaned forward to place soft kisses on my cheek. Deep down I actually found what he’d done funny, knowing Bucky would never do anything maliciously, but I just wanted to milk the moment.
“I’ll call Sam tomorrow and apologise to him, okay?” Bucky started to regret what he’d done, knowing he’d pissed me off a little bit. I was stubborn when I wanted to be, something that Bucky knew could leave him months without a fuck if I wanted to punish him. “I promise, baby.” He whispered sweetly, continuing to leave kisses along my cheek.
I turned my head to face him, smiling up at him as I admired his change of demeanour now that he’d had sex for the first time in weeks. “You better, Buchanan,” I raised my eyebrows warningly as I looked at him with innocent eyes. “Otherwise your not getting this pussy ever again, I promise you that.”
“And that wouldn’t be good for either of us.” Bucky cooed as he dropped his head to my neck, leaving gentle kisses along my exposed skin. I shivered in pleasure and pressed my ass against his crotch, already desperate for more friction. His hips started rocking against my ass, his cock hardening as Bucky’s flesh hand slid up my thigh and under my dress. “I promise I’ll call him tomorrow, baby. But right now, we’ve got weeks of fucking to catch up on.”
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ptersmj · 8 months ago
Hi val! Got a request, it's okay if you don't wanna write it, but can you write about peter telling the reader he's going on a huge mission and he's excited about it but the reader is so worried they end up arguing? But when peter gets back from mission all bruised, the reader is still upset but dresses his wound anyway and it ends up with fluff??
abort mission
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w/c: 2.4k
warnings: mentions of blood, swearing, and angst
a/n: woah woah woah i ended up writing way more than i expected but i loved this request so much :,) i hope you do too
“we’re staying in this, like, super fancy castle while we’re there. it’s gonna be awesome,” peter rambles to you. he takes all the clean shirts in his drawer and throws them into a suitcase.
he’s packing for a mission in europe with the avengers, and you’re here to say goodbye. you’ve been pretty quiet while peter gives you as many details as he’s allowed to. it’s always an honor when the team invites him on. he gets so stoked about it. you’re happy he’s happy and gets to pursue his passion, but you’ve noticed a pattern.
every time peter leaves the country with earth’s mightiest heroes, he comes back in worse condition than the last. it seems like they protect everyone except peter. he’s oblivious to the fact that the end result is always his suffering. he’s just glad to be there. really, he gets nothing in return except scars that never heal, not even a permanent spot on the team. 
so, you’re not thrilled he agreed to go.
“plus, i get to miss two weeks of school.” peter beams, getting onto his knees to zip the suitcase. “feels like a vacation almost.” “you like school, though,” you remind him. you’re sat at the edge of his bed while you watch, rather than help. he hops up again with a shrug. “i like vacations more.” “it’s not a vacation,” you mutter to yourself, then speak up.
“how are you gonna catch up? that’s a lot of missing assignments.” with that same innocent smile, peter walks over to you. he grabs both your hands and laces your fingers together. “i’m a fast learner. besides, ned said he’d help me.” you sigh, looking down at the floor so you don’t have to look at peter. “or, you could. make it into a little study date when i get back,” he suggests while playing with your fingers.
“i don’t even want you to go,” you finally admit and meet his sparkling eyes. nothing could ever dull them. “why not? you’re gonna miss me?” peter teases, pressing a couple of kisses to your palm. “you don’t have to. i’m pretty sure france has wifi.” he wiggles his eyebrows. “oui oui, mademoiselle, eh?” despite yourself, you giggle at his french accent and tug on his hands. he sits down next to you with a chuckle.
“nat has been giving me lessons,” peter explains, you quirking an eyebrow. “she speaks french?” “she speaks a lot of languages, actually. she’s so cool.” peter scoots closer to you and sets his hands on your waist, his voice dropping. “you’d love her.” your face twists up in confusion at the idea.
you don’t have anything against the avengers, obviously. they’re good people. you’re just not the biggest fan of them at the moment, considering the circumstances they’ve put peter under.
“peter, i don’t want you to go,” you repeat more seriously than before. your teeth sink into your lower lip. “and, it’s not because i’ll miss you.” “none taken,” peter jokes, implying there should’ve been a no offense. he then realizes how distressed you look, so he cuts it out. “sorry, sorry. i’m done now. how come?”
you take his hand again and hold it tight. “what if you get hurt?” you ask in the nicest way possible, out of care. “i don’t wanna see you hurting, pete. this mission sounds really... dangerous.” he runs his thumb over the back of your hand, his grin faltering a bit. “it is, but i’m ready for it. i’ll be fine.”
you’re not convinced yet. that line he likes to overuse isn’t enough to do the trick.
his eyes searching for yours, peter brushes a piece of your hair back. “have a little faith in me, babe.” “no, i... i do. i have the most faith in you, peter.” you find yourself frowning as he twirls your locks around his finger. “that’s not the problem.” peter’s voice becomes a whisper. “what is it, then? talk to me.”
you do the opposite because you’re afraid you’ll upset him further, which is the last thing he needs right now. your silence prompts peter to fill it. “would it make you feel better if i say mr. stark is keeping an eye on me?” he’s smiling sheepishly, you scoffing. “oh, like he kept an eye on you in amsterdam?”
the only eye related activity that happened there was peter almost losing one of his. he’d come back with an eyepatch and couldn’t see out of it for over a month. to this day, there’s still a bit of blood in it when you look close enough.
“i already told you, that was my fault,” peter grumbles, turning so he faces forward. “i didn’t listen to him-“ “who gives a shit? he’s the one who put you in that situation!” you blurt out. you’ve been way too patient this whole time, and now you’re reaching your breaking point. “you say that like i didn’t wanna be there.” peter clenches his jaw, still mostly calm.
“either way, mr. stark,” you mock what peter always calls him, “was supposed to keep you safe, and he didn’t. i’m scared it’s gonna happen again.” letting out a noise close to a growl, peter stands up from the bed. “you’re not listening to me, y/n. everything was fine. i just-“ you’re not in the mood to hear him make excuses, so you interrupt.
“do you know any other sixteen year olds who fight literal terrorists on their free time?” you rhetorically ask and get to your own feet. peter tries to walk away from you, only you follow him. “you’re a kid, peter, in case you forgot.” he spins around to give you a nasty look. “do you know any other sixteen year olds who stick to fucking walls?”
your heart starts to race from his sudden outburst. he’s scary when he’s mad, and he almost never gets mad at you. all you can do is blink dumbly. “didn’t think so,” peter spits. “this is what i’m supposed to do, help people. is that so wrong?” his breathing becomes ragged as his anger grows.
“what about you? are you helping yourself?” you speak softly, expecting an answer this time. “you’re not my fucking therapist, y/n,” he deflects the question. “i am your girlfriend, though. i care about you so much, you know that.” eyebrows furrowed in concern, you reach out for peter. he takes a step back. it doesn’t take long for tears to cloud your vision.
“i was excited to share this with you, and i thought you’d be happy for me.” peter balls his hands into fists at his sides. his voice stays low. “instead, you made it all about yourself. you can never let me enjoy team stuff.” you’re speechless, peter nodding as he lets his words sit. “thanks for the support.”
“you’re an asshole,” you laugh out bitterly and wipe under your eyes.
he didn’t mean to make you cry. he was so caught up in himself, he didn’t realize you were.
peter’s whole demeanor changes. “y/n, baby...” he attempts to put a hand on your cheek, but you hit it away. “get off of me. what did i just say?” you sniffle, your tone harsh in contrast. “you’re an asshole, peter.” he changes his mind about feeling bad. you’ve berated him way more than he did you, anyway.
“you should go. i have to be up early,” peter decides, even though he’d said you could stay the night. whatever, you don’t want to anymore. “fine,” you agree shortly. “i’m leaving.” he stands there while you collect your things, shoving them into your bag. you’re going slow enough so he has a chance to stop you. he doesn’t.
you pass by him on your way to his door, sucking in a breath. here’s your official goodbye. “see you later, peter. don’t die.” “mhm, i won’t,” he replies, his tongue poking at his cheek. with one more shared look between you two, you make your grand exit, no doubt informing may of her nephew’s behavior before you’re gone.
peter immediately regrets the way he talked to you, and that you’re leaving things like this. you were only trying to protect him. you’ll never be able to save the city like he does, so this is how you do it. he truly is an asshole for not seeing that.
frustration consuming him, peter kicks over his fully stuffed suitcase, its contents spilling out. he grits his teeth.
you don’t talk to peter the whole two weeks he’s gone except for some are you alive and yes texts. he’d called you quite a few times, and was sent to voicemail for all of them. he gave you the benefit of the doubt because of timezones.
it was actually because you declined, which peter knew deep down was the real reason.
he’s coming home from his mission today. you’re not sure when or if he plans on dropping by. you’re not sure you’d like him to, either. you don’t really get a choice in the end.
there’s a series of knocks at your window, at some ungodly time in the night. you’re all too familiar with this routine. it’s peter.
you slip out from under your covers, a scowl already painting your face as you go to the window. surely enough, peter is perched in front of it, clad in red and black. the suit must be new because you’ve never seen it. you push up the window and step aside so he can get through.
“thanks,” peter mumbles, climbing into your room less gracefully than usual. he’s sort of wobbly when he lands. “yeah,” you dully acknowledge. “how was france?” “uh, good. you know, lots of cheese and all that.” his voice is muffled from his mask, since he hasn’t taken it off yet. that’s odd. “i was talking about the mission, but cool,” you almost laugh back.
“the mission was... fine,” peter clarifies and scratches the back of his neck. he never describes something as simply being ‘fine.’ when the boy talks, he lectures. you’re starting to get worried. “that’s good. at least you didn’t die, right?” you say to lighten the mood. peter awkwardly chuckles. “haha, yeah. thank god for that.”
you hum and walk over to sit on your bed, peter staying where he is. “what time did you get back?” you wonder, a completely harmless question. “um, this morning,” he says in response, raising your suspicions. “why’re you still in the suit, then?” you squint at him. “i like it, by the way.” “thanks, y/n/n. i, uh,” peter trails off, no good explanations coming to mind.
you’re quickly developing a hunch for what what down. you wordlessly get up again, meeting peter by your window. he’s nervous to see what happens next. peter’s shoulders slump when your fingers land on his mask. you carefully lift it, revealing his face to you. his banged up, bloody face.
“surprise.” peter musters up a grin, you tossing the mask at his chest. you’re beyond angry now. it’s not at him, athough it is at his injuries. “please don’t be mad,” he nearly begs, you shaking your head. you go to leave your room for some space. peter’s fingers wrap around your wrist, pulling you back. “i should’ve listened to you, okay? i’m sorry,” he genuinely apologizes.
you still don’t say anything while you look over his beaten body. there’s a gash with stitches in it on his chin, a deep slice across the bridge of his nose, cuts littering his cheeks. he’s even got a busted lip for good measure. this might be the worst condition he’s let you see him in.
“you were right, y/n. i think... i think i’m gonna sit the next one out. it’s too much for me, clearly,” peter continues, fingers sliding down to lock with yours. “you should say you told me so.” “how... how did this happen?” you manage to get out instead. “the bad guy fought me,” he says with the hint of a smirk. “i won, though.”
it’s a relief that he’s handling this so well, even earning a laugh from you. that puts you more at ease.
“this is probably a dumb question, but are you okay?” you brush your thumb over peter’s cheekbone gently, avoiding his scratches. “not really. my face hurts a lot, and flash is gonna tease the hell out of me on monday.” his lips form a line, arms looping around your waist. it’s very much welcomed by you.
“you just spent two weeks trying not to die, and you’re worried about flash?” you snicker and draw a heart on his skin. peter shrugs a shoulder. “he’s so mean to me.” he brings you in closer to him. “besides, this is the normal kid stuff i should be focusing on.” you’re glad he finally came to terms with that. you’ve been saying it for the longest time.
you smile wickedly at him. “exactly. so is all that homework you have to make up.” peter lets out a breathy laugh, you laying your head on his chest. “i missed you,” he tells you quietly. “really wish i could kiss you right now.” “i missed you too, pete. so much,” you murmur into him. your hands settle on his biceps. “and, i forgive you.” “thanks, baby,” peter exhales.
“of course. once your lips are healed,” you pull back from his chest, making a kissing noise. “pucker up, lover- oh my god.” you’re looking up at him with wild eyes. peter gets reasonably startled from it. “what? what’s wrong?” “you... you’re bleeding!” you point at his stitches. he winces, touching the spot. there’s blood, alright.
“crap. do you have a bandaid or something?” peter gives you an apologetic smile. “mr. stark said i should cover them when this happens.” maybe, tony isn’t so bad after all. you nod and take him by his hand. “yeah, in the bathroom. come with me.”
peter sits on the edge of your bathtub while you patch up his chin. he tells you more about the fun parts of his mission, you placing the cinderella bandaid over his gash. you have those from a while ago and also regular ones. however, he preferred the princess design.
“you saw the real mona lisa? like, in person? that’s insane.” you grin, smoothing down peter’s bandaid one last time. “yeah, she’s even prettier up close.” peter returns the smile. “thanks for taking care of me, y/n. i swear i don’t deserve you sometimes.” now pouting at him, you crouch down so you’re at his level. “it’s the other way around, peter.”
“let’s just agree to disagree,” he concludes and tucks a stray hair behind your ear. “i love you, okay?” “i love you, too.” you press a light kiss to his bandaid, getting a giggle from peter.
yeah, it’s going to be hell finding replacements for his lips.
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mikrokaos · 3 months ago
Curious Creatures: 4
Pairing: Dragon! Namjoon x Reader
Genre: Fantasy!au; Soulmate!au; Fluff; Eventual Smut; Angst
Warnings: depressing themes; thrilling themes; mentions of blood/injuries;
Summary: Curious as to how your village came to be and having a thirst for knowledge, you venture into the Forgotten Forest in hopes of discovering the truth of your roots. But it seems you have bitten off more than you can chew.
WC: 4.7k
Note: You're getting a peak inside Joon's lovely mind~ chapter is truly about what's going on his little Dragon brain<3 It's been a rough week for many so I figured this was needed. He is lovesick already lol
Asterios Map
Tag list: open- shoot me a DM and I’ll happily add you!
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The danger you were walking into never crossed your mind; these people needed your help. Your brain was correcting every logical thought that passed your brain and guided you forward with steps of confidence. Your very soul felt lifted as you crossed the stone arch and you felt so accomplished, eyes darting around at the beautiful glow that surrounded you. Lips parting in awe, you glanced down at yourself.
Ripples of periwinkle slithered along your skin, dancing like small waves in a stream. They glowed and held a sparkle that resembled the stars you loved to gaze at. The shine danced across your skin beautifully, feeling cool and smooth like fine silk. It brought a pleasant shiver down your spine as you felt yourself being wrapped around the periwinkle glow. For the briefest moments you felt as though nothing in the world could stop you; you held the power to conquer anything in your way. You were weightless, powerful, extraordinary, and then suddenly the feeling dropped as you felt the fog around your brain slowly being lifted. And then the panic of your actions set in. You walked into an unknown area, for unknown people…
It was far too late as you were suddenly yanked forward by the ripples and the world around you shifted. Colors danced across your visions in a dizzy frenzy and everything tilted from the left to the right. A bright white light blinded you for a moment and then your body felt it. The weightlessness was gone, gravity now pushing you weighing you down. Your knees shook at the impact, however you remained standing upright. Heavy pants escaped your lips, a dull thud sounded next to you.
Landing not so gracefully into the ground was the Dragon, his face scrunching up from the impact. Swiftly you moved to kneel by him, your hand moving on its own accord to caress the side of its face in a worry manner, trying to gauge if he was injured even more. You could feel the vibrations under your hand, fearing that he was growling, you quickly pulled away.
“Sorry, I….” Your mind came to a blank, not quite understanding your own actions. All you could do was inch away and make sure the creature had enough room. The last thing you wanted was to anger him. Glancing up to survey the area you missed the emerald eyes that looked at you in a sad manner.
All around were trees but you knew this wasn’t the Forgotten Forest. The trees here felt older, you could also feel something hum against your skin. A power of sorts. Everything around you thrummed with a force that was bigger than life; as if each tree and pebble had their own heartbeat. The air smelled better, having a sweetness to it that made you inhale deeply. And the colors… Everything back home held a gray tone to it; miserable and void of any life. However this new land was vibrant and screamed with life. You felt as though you were seeing the world for the first time, as if the sun finally decided to properly shine down on you. A world so vibrant was right at your fingertips. In awe you slowly turned to watch the nature around you for a moment. It wasn't until you heard a soft grunt that you were pulled out of your trance and were glancing back down at the Dragon.
He could barely stand on his own, his legs wobbled and head drooped down despite his determination. Though your heart ached for the poor creature, you were cautious this time around; you didn’t want him to get annoyed with you. Ever so carefully you reached into your bag and settled back down on the ground and kept a few feet from him as you got to work.
“My mother taught me how to make some of the best salves, this one is made with ginger.” You gently took out a small jar that was cream in color. “It should help ease the pain you’re in, I- oh!”
Your voice came out hushed as something warm was pressed against your thigh. You nearly dropped the jar and glanced down, eyes widening at the sight. The Dragon was now using you as a resting spot. His head laid against your thigh, eyes watching you with a gleam you couldn't quite place.
Placing some of the salve on your finger, you began to softly treat the creature. You spoke as softly as you worked, telling him about your mother and the herbs she taught you how to use. And you always explained what you were going to do next in a way to not startle him. But something deep inside of you knew that no matter what you did he wouldn’t care too much; he watched you without a care in the world.
“There you go,” You smiled down at him. “I hope it helps, even a little.” Packing up your belongings you wanted to stand but the Dragon huffed, eyes trained on you still. Blinking a couple of times, you gently placed your hands on his head. “Come on big guy, time to get a move on…”
The exact opposite of what you wanted happened. You wanted him to stand and allow the two of you to begin your journey, however he had different plans. With a whine the Dragon had managed to crawl entirely into your lap in mere seconds. You were too shocked to move, a breath being held as you watched him settle against you with a sigh. And you had to admit, he did look quite adorable curling up like a house cat.
‘Can I…’ He was already in your lap… and you were feeling a little braver. Slowly your hand rested on his head, gently moving with his scales. Each stroke was soft and delicate. You watched the scales as the sunlight hit certain ones; black turning into an enchanting green. You could watch the colors shift all day. A minute later the vibrations you felt earlier were back and you jumped, hand freezing above his head. Peering up at you with an eye cracked open, he huffed and looked annoyed. Exactly what you feared.
As swiftly and as carefully as you could, you slid away from him and stood with your bag slung over your shoulder. Hands trembled against the strap as you stepped back a few paces. The Dragon sat on the ground and stared at you with something unreadable on his face. Not wanting to dwell too long on what the creature was thinking, you instead looked around and spotted a dirt path. Eyes following it you could make out a large wooden post with several arrows pointing every which way: a directional sign. Silently cheering for yourself you began to walk towards it only to stop when you heard a soft whine.
‘Ah, stupid Y/n! The poor Dragon…’ You mentally cursed yourself, watching the small creature try to keep up. You had to admit that he held a lot of determination. The salve seemed to help seeing that he was now walking a little better but he was still so weak. Once again your heart felt heavy at seeing him trying to trail after you. In a few long strides you squatted to his level and opened up your bag.
“You’re big enough to fit in here. It’s not ideal, but it’ll do for now.”
No convincing was needed, the Dragon scurried into your bag eagerly and nestled inside quickly. You let out a snort as you watched him make himself comfy, head poking out just a tad to keep an eye on you and the area. And to your surprise he was light, so light that it was a little easier to carry him. It was by no means ideal, knowing that he was going to get cramped and that you weren’t strong enough to carry him the entire way. You just hoped that getting to Silverwynn wouldn’t take too long. The faster you traveled, the sooner you could help this poor Dragon and save Arcrine.
The wooden sign stood tall and proudly in the midst of several different paths. Strangely enough each path was quite different from one another. Some paths had stones of varying colors that were faded, some held different colors of dirt. Some of the names on the sign were far too worn to even read, however there were a few you could make out.
“Alright… Oakenshire is to the east of us. Melancholy Meadows in the south, that sound depressing… ah! Silverwynn is North.” Looking down at the bag you watched as the Dragon looked up at the sign with a cocked head. “Looks like we’re heading North.”
The path to Silverwynn had white cobblestone mixed with a light dirt, the terrain seemed even and easy to walk across. You failed to notice the way the Dragon turned his head in the opposite direction, his head nudging your hand to try to gather your attention.
“It’s going to be fine! We’ll get you healed up at your home and then I’ll get to help my people,” You smiled reassuringly at him.
It was as easy as that… right?
- - ┈┈∘┈˃̶༒˂̶┈∘┈┈ - -
Time flew by and the sun was slowly setting in the sky. Having followed the sign you traveled amongst the dirt path and admired the new land before you. The area didn’t even have a name for you to call it, yet something about it made your soul sing. It felt like an old home to you. The land you were used to was harsh, unforgiving, and dark a lot of the time. Not to mention the forest that seemed to hold more bad than good. Here it was starkly different: the forest was light and held the promise of a better day. The sun seemed to shine softly down on you, golden rays bringing life to all they touched. And the air smelt sweet and fresh… You wondered if you were in a dream.
And your new traveling companion was the best listener you’ve ever had. Time went quickly because of the Dragon, him listening to everything you said and hanging onto every word. When you told a joke you could swear you heard a snort, and when you sighed in sadness at a fond memory he would nudge your hand in a soothing manner. And then there was the mention of Jongho, which always left the Dragon in a small huff. You figured it was because the poor creature never got the chance to meet him.
“Next time you can meet Jongho, he’s really the best!” You smiled reassuringly down at the Dragon, noticing the slight eye roll. “Come on now, if it weren’t for him, I’d be… not here.” You felt a soft nudge and ignored him. “The sun’s setting, we really need to make camp. Despite the easy traveling we have today I think it’d be safer if we stop and rest up. Besides, you need more salve.”
A few minutes later you found a small clearing off the path. It was hidden and safe for the two of you to rest without too much worry. Not having the best gear you made do with what you had, using your bag for a pillow and gathering fallen leaves as a makeshift bed for the Dragon. The grass was softer than what you were used to and would make due for sleeping arrangements. Sitting on the ground you dumped your bag to do inventory-
“No… oh no…” Your chest tightened at the sight before you. There was gauze, the herbs and salve, and two pieces of flint. However the journal was nowhere to be found. Your satchel sat beside you with nothing left inside. “I must have dropped it when I fell.”
Then your stomach growled.
“No food either…” Fate truly wanted you to suffer. While you were sad about losing the one material thing you held dear to your heart you needed to focus on your needs. Food and water being top of the list. You didn’t know much about Dragons but you knew that in order for him to heal properly he’d need a full belly.
There was a growl behind you, the Dragon waiting for your attention. It wasn’t a harsh growl, at least not the same ones he used on the two Fae from before. You deemed this one to be conversational. His tail thumped twice on the ground, head turning to look into the forest before meeting your eyes once more. You were surprised at how quickly you caught on; standing up and walking in the direction he was looking.
Not too far off you could make out a beautiful stream of crystal clear water. You couldn’t hide the smile as you also spotted some berries growing near the stream: raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. Grabbing your satchel you quickly headed down and gathered as many berries as you could stuff in the bag, the Dragon sitting back and watching your every move. You figured he was curious and was wondering what you were up to, however you didn’t see the way his gaze flitted around to survey the area.
Once the satchel was full you returned and began to feast. You feared the Dragon wouldn’t want the fruit but was pleasantly surprised to see him eat as fast as you did; not a single berry was going to waste. You ensured your little companion ate the most and watched satisfied when his eyes seemed to almost droop with sleep. You couldn’t force your hand away even if you tried, finger gently patting the top of his head.
“Let’s get you some more gauze, then you can rest.”
Just as before you gently applied the salve while he curled up in your lap. You hummed an old tune that you used to hear your mother hum, feeling the creature relax entirely in your hold. His heartbeat was steady and seemed to even match your own. When his final cut was properly coated you carefully moved him to his bed and slid a few feet over to curl up on the ground. Your body welcomed the sleep quickly, and though your brain registered a soft whine you were already in a deep sleep.
Once the salve was placed you curled up against the ground, getting much needed rest.
- - ┈┈∘┈˃̶༒˂̶┈∘┈┈ - -
Centuries of being alive can really put a number on a person. So much time had been spent in the shadows that he wasn’t even quite sure how long it had been since he last spoke to an individual, face to face. It didn’t matter at this point anyway, not when he was captured and forced into that cage, locked away for what he believed would be the end of the line. His kind were slaughtered for their skin, the scales being worth so much due to their indestructible nature. The sharpest of swords and fastest of arrows could never break the scale formation; it was laughable to watch many try. There were only two ways of breaking through the scale: another Dragon or being killed. And sitting in the back of that wagon he decided it was time for him to leave this world. Honestly he should have been gone long ago, but alas the gods kept his heart beating strong. And for what?
That night he got his answer.
He could feel it like a little string pulling his soul. The Orcs were forgotten as he felt the pull tighten, strengthening. It didn’t just wrap around his soul, no, this string became chains that entangled his entire being. And he welcomed it, allowing those chains to lock and stay forever just as they should. He has heard stories of this phenomenon but always assumed he would never have the chance to experience it. The pull felt stronger and his instincts were awakening once more, after spending weeks of giving up he felt this chain pull him back to his feet and out of the ditch he had fallen into.
And when he opened his eyes...
You were single handedly the most beautiful creature he had ever laid eyes on. No one in Asterios could ever hold a light to you. His soul burned with the image of you and for a brief moment he felt himself enter a small state of bliss: his mate was finally next to him. He wanted to shout, to cry and thank the gods for giving you to him after all this time. To thank them for keeping him alive and giving him what his soul burned for. But the feeling of the cage being rattled snapped him out of this state and then the Dragon within came to life.
You shouldn’t be here. This wasn’t a safe place for you, not with the Orcs around and him being too weak to defend you. He was trapped on the inside while you were out there, in the open area with no one to ensure your safety. He felt a bit of panic rise but it disappeared just as fast when he noticed the way you shimmered in the moonlight…
The magical bond between the two of you brought you here but not physically. No you were there in spirit, a mere angel in the darkness. The bond was already strong, something that made his chest rumble with pride. Having a strong bond before officially meeting was a beautiful sign, showing that both parties were destined to have a strong relationship from the get-go. His soul was soaring at the fact that you were the one to find him. Your soul had sensed his presence and reached out to him.
His little Seeker.
Watching you disappear only left a flurry of emotions inside him: the man within was glad to see you away from this terrible situation, however the Dragon was not. The beast wanted you by his side, safe, where he can properly watch over you. He assured himself that you were safe and well, he just needed to find you. And that was another journey for his tired being. But the pain and exhaustion were worth it when the bond led him to the Gateway, the glowing portal that he knew would lead to you. And he was right.
The second meeting only made the Dragon more determined. He had no idea where this Gateway led, where he would wind up, or even if it would work but he had to try. Seeing you only cemented the need to travel, to leave Asterios and head into this Gateway that not even he knew of. And he knew all portals that the entire land held. Of course his little Seeker was hidden away from him.
And when he finally got to hold you… He knew it was over. There would be no other life if you weren’t there with him safe and sound. Your heartbeat was music to his ears, a symphony he wanted to hear for the rest of time. You were so tired, so weak and injured he couldn’t rest. Not properly at least. He could feel the monsters running around this strange forest. He thanked the gods for the bond, feeling his own magic had already coated your being and shielding you away from any threats. It was natural for mates to have their magic worn on their partner like a fine perfume. It held scents, power, and a warning to those around.
But he couldn’t understand why you hadn’t done the same for him. His brain racked different reasons as to why; were you upset he allowed harm to come to you? Did he take too long? The intrusive thoughts came to a sudden halt when he smelt your scent. It was calming for him of course, he was already addicted to your scent. It was the undertones that made him stiffen. Every creature has one and yours…. yours was something he hasn’t smelt in a long time. Not in centuries.
His mate was a Human. A pure blooded Human. Not a single trace of magic coursed through your veins. Depending on the species the magic differed in scent, but Humans were unique in the sense that their smell was different. Exotic. The best description would be the smell of possibilities; the potential a Human had to inherit the magic of any other species. Sure they’ll remain Human in their stature, but the magic could be placed within them like color painting a blank canvas.
And he wanted to curse the gods for doing this.
Your home wasn’t safe. Asterios wasn’t safe. He wasn’t safe. He could almost hear them laughing at the odds; this must have been quite the show for them. Two rare species being fated to each other while the world wanted them dead. Everything around you wanted you harmed, dead, or could lead to such things. The Dragon was running around every scenario that could possibly happen if he chose to stay or take you back with him. There was the option of separating to try and give you a chance but both the man and Dragon snarled at that idea. You were already his most precious treasure. Losing you would be the end of him.
But the deed was done the moment the damned Fae controlled you into the Gateway. Felix. The name was engraved into his brain, the Dragon wanting to hunt him down. Casting you into his land where your species were deemed dead long ago. The Fae was lucky the need to protect was greater than the need to hunt. Where you went, he would trail after.
Forgetting the Fae he instead marveled at the mere fact that he had a mate. He wanted to know every detail about you: your favorite flowers, food, what your hobbies were, did you enjoy reading like he did? He didn’t want to leave any stone unturned. Your voice was soothing to the ears and he latched on to every word. The stories you told him of your home and life were engraved deep into his heart and locked away. He could listen to that beautiful voice of yours forever.
And the contact was nothing short of blissful. Despite their looks, Dragons loved physical contact: head rubs, pats, curling up against one another, they loved it all. Your hands were as soft as clouds and he wanted to melt on the spot. Unfortunately you were always quick to draw back. Which only confused the Dragon. You two shared a bond… surely you could feel it. He knew you could, with the hand reaching out to him on instinct. But you remained distant, a locked door he wanted to venture through. No matter how hard he tried you would always step back and keep your distance. You’re walking on eggshells around your own mate…
‘Humans are quite different… perhaps she doesn’t realize it…’ He mused, eyes watching your sleeping form. Your chest rose and fell in a steady rhythm, eyelids fluttering as dreams danced across your mind. He needed to brush up on his Human knowledge once he was fully healed.
The day had been long and he knew you needed rest. He was still trapped, too weak to even try to shift into his human form. If there were any problems he’d be useless in his state: small, weak, injured. And the fact that you met him in this form did take a blow to his ego. However you didn’t seem to mind that he was tiny. You seemed quite unaware of all the things actually...
The idea of you not knowing what he was to you made the beast inside growl. Of course the animal felt threatened that their mate was oblivious and could easily be snatched by anyone else. And all the talk about the other male, Jongho, only added to the Dragons anxiety. You weren’t claimed, the male wasn’t around the entire time the two of you were together… The image of you curled up against another made his skin crawl and his throat close up.
This wasn’t how meetings usually occurred. Mates would meet when they are destined to, yes, however usually it would be beautiful: his parents found each other whilst flying at the break of dawn. He remembers how they would tell their story and how beautiful the sun looked rising in the horizon while they glided amongst the clouds. Meanwhile you found him locked in a cage, weak, and willing to give up. He whined at the image you must have seen, remembering the look of fear on your face. He’d never let that look return to your face. Not ever.
And then there was the itch… the instincts arising from within. Every species courted their mates, each different and unique. Despite destiny intertwining the two souls together it was proper to court, a way of showing respect. And he was sure it’d be a pleasant surprise for you...
A few minutes of pain later and he was curled up against your side with a feeling of pride washing over him. Pressing his head against yours, he decided to use what little magic he had saved up over the past day and connect once more to you, whispering one word into your beautiful mind.
- - ┈┈∘┈˃̶༒˂̶┈∘┈┈ - -
Warmth was the first thing you felt, feeling the sun's rays lighting up your face. And then there was the warmth across your chest, a hot breath beating softly against your neck. Becoming more aware of your surroundings you knew it was the Dragon that was curled against your side, his face nuzzled into your neck. It did bring a small smile on your face, hand reaching up to gently move the sleeping creature to the side. He protested a small amount before curling up and falling back to sleep easily.
You heard the deep voice in your sleep, sounding far away. The name was unknown to you yet it felt so familiar. Furrowing your eyebrows you sat up and stretched only to hear something hard hit the ground. A frown played on your lips as you picked up the item, feeling the warmth that radiated off of it. It was small, the size of an acorn, black, and when you held it to the light it shimmered into an emerald-
A scale.
Panicking you turned towards the Dragon, inspecting his sleeping form for any injuries. Was there a fight while you slept? Did he grow ill? Was this why he decided to sleep against you? Questions with no answers. All you could see, right under his right arm, was a wound where the scale used to be. It looked tender, irritated. You didn’t know anything about Dragons but you did know it must have hurt.
In your bag you were quick to pull out more of the salve and gently apply it to the sleeping beast. He didn’t open a single eye, his soft snores indicating that he was in a deep sleep. You were thankful, wanting him to get as much rest as possible. You hoped that this wasn’t a sign that he was falling ill. The mere thought of him getting worse only made you feel panicked and stressed.
The cool water of the stream did help ease your consciousness. Silverwynn may be closer than you thought and hopefully this Soojin will assist you. You had eaten your fill of berries while enjoying the feeling of the stream running between your fingers. The scale stayed in your hands and you watched as the water ran across the beautiful emerald green. You were so entranced by it, you failed to hear the footsteps. Not until a scratchy voice broke you out of your trance. You were frozen on the spot, eyes still on the scale in your shaky hands.
“What a beautiful item you have there… Pray tell where you found such a thing?”
- - ┈┈∘┈˃̶༒˂̶┈∘┈┈ - -
tag list: @ggukkieland, @fangirling-all-the-way-tbh, @fangirl125reader, @azucarian, @haechans-sunflower, @cosmicjotun, @namgiaffair, @yaboimagi, @thefirewasfriendly, @jooahchu,
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bakugous-sandbag · a month ago
Kinktober Day 20 - Mind Break
[ cw: character death ]
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You’ve been cursed. You swear, you have. Ever since your best friend died in an accident, you’d been grieving for him. You became distant, barely answering any of your calls from friends and family. Texts went entirely ignored and muted. You were sick to your stomach, like some cruel god had reached into your guts and twisted them for mere amusement, messing with your already messed up life. Until Bakugou’s parents had finally mustered up the courage to pay you a visit, and Masaru had given you your best friend’s other half of an old friendship necklace you’d given to each other when you were kids.
It was meant for two people; in the shape of a moon and a crescent, decorated with diamonds as stars. Bakugou’s father gave it to you with a forlorn look on his face, and when you realized that your best friend—Masaru’s only son—had kept it close at all times, you cried more than you ever had before in your entire life. Bakugou had kept this with him the whole time... even though he had scoffed when you’d first shoved it into his sweaty, clammy palms. You thought the blonde tossed it into the trash, when really, he’d kept it close to his heart beneath that black tank top. You clung to both Masaru and Mitsuki as you sobbed, and when they were sure you were fed and ready to rest, they left you alone to sob into your palms some more with both halves of the necklace in your lap.
The silence sickened you. It was thick and suffocating. You were so used to Bakugou’s constant booming voice, rasping around you with some sort of half irritated, half amused scoff. You hated how you had become so detached and alone without him. Helpless and utterly hopeless.
That was the first time you cried yourself to sleep in a very, very long time.
Then, the terrible, shitty sleep came next.
Lately, your dreams consist of the same, elusive emptiness. Containing nothing but bright, glowing red eyes that stare back at you from the abyss. And when you’d wake, nothing but a dull throbbing pulsated in the side of your skull and left you feeling sunken and more exhausted than when you went to bed.
At first, you jotted it down to stress and brushed off the strange dreams as nothing more than being overworked and coping with Bakugou’s death... and oh... how fucking stupid you were to do nothing about it. With each passing week, that thing- whatever the fuck it was- was growing bigger and stronger every day. With each hour you ignored it looming behind your back, that had only strengthened the bond tethering your souls together. The thin red thread that was wrapped around your pinky, had become as thick and strong as a steel chain locked around your wrist.
The bags beneath your eyes were dark and heavy. And with each passing night, you swore you were going insane. By the time you had convinced yourself to seek out some form of help—either from a doctor, an exorcist, hell, even the closest person who seemed to dabble with voodoo—it was too late. The pieces of your mind were fragile and cracking at the corners like glass threatening to shatter. And after a whole month of that sickening, fucking silence and staring into those hooded, vibrant red eyes, you felt your composure buckling beneath shaky legs and you finally broke.
But this thing- this creature- with its demonic, slitted eyes, ram horns and sharp claws, forked tail and tongue... it purred as you shook like an innocent, frightened little lamb before the slaughter.
You lay in your bed, eyes wide and frantic, watching the beast lurking in the shadows, tail swishing side to side in an almost lazy manner. It tilted its head to the side, as if it were mildly amused by the scent of your fear hanging heavy in the air. And in the dim light of the moon peaking through your room between the curtains, you spot a long, slimy tongue licking between pearly white teeth and curled lips.
It was smiling, and you were frozen. Your limbs refused to move a single inch. You couldn’t even quiver as its hulking body approached your terrified form on the mattress.
Sleep paralysis. You were 100% sure this was nothing more than a case of sleep paralysis. The only thing you could do, was watch the demonic creature before you and blink, then it stepped into the moonlight and you finally meet your hellish captor... You swear your heart skipped a beat and stopped.
Familiar, ash blonde hair covered his head in messy spikes. His body was far bigger in comparison to the average human male. He had to be at least eight feet tall. And from behind him, you can spot large, black wings that resemble a raven with feathers torn up and fraying at the tips. His chest is bare, and littered with a plethora of scars. Your now very, very dead best friend, stood before you in the form of a demon.
Katsuki. You think, as the corner of your eyes gather with fresh tears threatening to spill.
“Hey angel,” he replies, voice deeper and huskier in this form. He uses those massive wings to land over your body, caging you beneath him with literal claws on either side of your head. He has that same, cocky grin from when his heart was still beating and alive as he asks in a teasing tone, face-to-face.
“Miss me?”
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Kinktober Masterlist
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wizkiddx · 6 months ago
this is my entry for @hollandsrecs 'toms birthday fanfic fest' event - go check it out!!! I know its a early but im v bored so have it now. also im acc kinda really proud of this one, any feedback would be v appreciated 🤍
the prompt was: 'you and tom are best friends and you tell him that you love him on his birthday'
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summary: its toms birthday but he has a few things to get off his chest and into the night sky, y/n joins in with a bit of a revelation too
best friends -> lovers
warnings: mentions of alcohol, bit angsty but promise ends all fluffy and a shit tonne of dialogue
wc: 3.5k ishhh
Everything got a little too wild and stuffy in the living area, Haz and Harry screaming sweet caroline, whilst Greg (Tom’s stunt man) was pouring *another* round of shots. The sweatiness and clamminess of the room meant Y/n took a moment to escape, sliding out the double doors, and closing them softly behind her to ensure no one would notice her little escape. Something about the midnight air, the slightly dewy smell of the neighbouring fields, felt like it was refreshing Y/n from the inside out. When she turned around, back facing the fancy rented house, she was slightly shocked by Tom standing in the garden. It was his birthday party after all. In all honesty, Y/n felt a bit guilty she hadn’t noticed he wasn’t in the thick of it with his brothers and castmates.
His silhouette was set against the clear night sky, the stars extra prominent this evening and the moon casting a soft glow off the left side of his face, exaggerating the natural contours of his jawline and cheekbones. Clearly, he was enraptured by the sky, staring up at it with a thoughtful look on his face.
And Y/n recognised that look instantly; she knew what he was doing.
In fact, he had taught her to do precisely the same thing. As kids, the Hollands, Y/n’s family and another two families from the local area all went camping together. It was an annual event, ‘the Kingston collective camping adventure’ as Dom had named it. Y/n couldn’t remember a year when they hadn’t gone actually - it was that much of a tradition.
One year, though, when she and Tom were about 9, her mothers’ due date coincided with the camping dates. So, sensibly, the decision had been made that Y/n and her brother would just be looked after by the Hollands - whilst her mum and dad were safely tucked up in bed at home, awaiting the arrival of her littlest brother.
Y/n, her brother Alex, and Tom were all sharing a tent, and it must’ve been at least midnight that Tom was awoken by shuffling and zipping up of the tent. He’d realised she was gone through sleepy eyes and, without a second thought, went to go find her. Sure enough, she wasn’t far away, not even 50 metres from the tent, crouched on the grass. Immediately Tom’s presence had been noticed, making Y/m quickly snivel and wipe her face.
“Are you upset?”
“Go away Tom.” The comment didn’t do a lot, though; instead, 9-year-old Tom had planted himself down next to her - his pyjamas getting wet on the moist grass floor.
“Are you missing Auntie Sarah and Uncle Mike?” In the same way that Y/n called Nikki and Dom auntie and uncle, the Holland boys mirrored the nicknames for her parents. Y/n replied with a long sigh before hiccuping, failing to control the stream of tears. Yes, he was right - this was her first night away from her parents- but she wasn't about to spill her heart out to the 'stupid boy' who had stolen one of her marshmallows that evening. Tom’s little brown eyes swelled, looking slightly terrified and out of his depth, whilst with all his 9 years of wisdom, trying to come up with an answer.
“Do you want to play football to forget about it?”
Unsurprisingly Y/n shook her head violently. Tom cursed inwardly at himself for saying the wrong thing, apparently football wasn't the answer to everything. The two children went back to silence until Tom had the metaphorical light bulb moment. “My mum told me something for when I got to sleepovers? Look!” He grabbed Y/n’s little hand, extending it upwards towards the night sky.
“No matter where you are, you’re all looking at the same stars too, right?”
Tom jumped a little before looking over his shoulder and recognising Y/n with the softest smile that grew across his face. Y/n slowly walked to his side, arms crossed over her chest to try and keep the cold at bay, joining Tom in staring up at the starry expanse.
“How do you always know?” Tom spoke in a breathy chuckle, shaking his head slightly. It was true, she did always know - but his question was somewhat irrelevant. They'd spent most their childhood together, they were as easy to read as a children’s book to each other.
“Missing home?”
“Sort of, I got my own slice of home with the boys and-and you but… pads, mum dad yeh, feel like on your birthday your always supposed to see your family.”
Although Harry, Harrison, Sam and Y/n had managed to fly out to surprise Tom on his birthday- prior commitments meant his parents and youngest brother hadn’t been able to make it. They four arrived yesterday, greeted by a very shocked and pretty emotional Tom - who had clearly been missing the sense of home somewhat. He’d been away shooting a film, then straight away launching into press for the next spiderman movie. It had been a long while since he’d been in London - half a year in fact.
This time too, he’d been away without a single family member or friend - that was another truth he’d learnt about growing up. Your friends and family, they all get lives of their own. Tom used to be a trailblazer, the first to get a job, the one everyone was super proud of. They still were, of course, but didn’t dote on him in quite the same way - everyone had their own shit to deal with. It was yet another reason Tom wasn’t welcoming his birthday as much as he usually would.
“Your parents did always spoil you rotten.”
“They spoilt you worst and you’re not technically their kid.” Y/n rolled her eyes, even if it might slightly true - muttering a ‘touche’ at the brown-haired boy next to her. Their families had always been close; naturally the adults seemed to gravitate more to the kids that weren’t their own. The ones who you could ‘give back’ at the end of the day. It just so happened Nikki and Dom had always loved having Y/n around, maybe a bit more than anyone else.
“Have you had a good birthday then? You should be in there with Greg pouring that shitty vodka down your throat.” Y/n questioned, whilst shrugging back toward the house, the dull thump of Jacob's playlist just audible. Still, both stared upwards, standing close enough that their upper arms were both pressed up against each other. She expected a jovial answer, but even from his tone, it was evident there was something up. He sounded…weary?
“I’m bloody glad you all came...don’t get me wrong, I love Z and Jacob and everyone but….”
“Shitty week?”
“Shitty birthday week of promo and press.” Tom scathed, and Y/n nodded. Even if she couldn’t understand what was so bad about press, she knew that Tom hated it passionately. And in the same way, he loved all his castmates dearly, but they hadn’t known him his whole life. They didn’t understand why he did every little thing; their values lay just that bit apart. It just wasn’t the same as being surrounded with his family - you and Harrison adopted Hollands too.
“I just feel like I’ve spent all week trapped in a room answering the most stupid, irrelevant and inconsequential questions... Everything’s just so surface level and fake and, and I-“He cut himself off, for the first time meeting Y/n’s eyes. In all honesty, Tom got a bit caught up in the stars reflecting off her piercing y/e/c eyes before changing tack.
“Will you do me a favour?”
This wasn’t spoken with the normal Tom tone. It wasn’t joking or jovial; it wasn’t an ‘off the tongue’ thing. This was spoken with such seriousness and gravitas coming from his deep voice that Y/n replied equally truthfully.
“Always T, you know that.”
“Will you please ask me a personal and serious and deep question?”
She got where he was coming from too.
Clearly, even though the evening was supposed to be a light piss up in celebration, it had instead unearthed some darker thoughts that Tom had been harbouring away. Perhaps he never even realised he needed such seriousness, or perhaps with his castmates he hadn’t felt comfortable exposing himself like that. Either way, Y/n was going to respect him now. It was technically his birthday, too; the clocks had already struck 12 - it was now his day.
It wasn’t tricky to think of one; she’d often wondered the same question of him - never with the opportunity to ask. The question popped into her head again, almost as soon as Tom asked for one.
“Okay…. What’s your deepest regret that makes you feel guilty for feeling because in the grand scheme of things, it minor? Like such a 'first world problem'." What do you regret that’s just completely selfish?”
Tom immediately stiffened, his jaw tensing as he worked through his thoughts in his head. Scared she’d pushed it too far, Y/n averted her gaze back to the sky, chewing her bottom lip slightly. It took a moment, but then she saw Tom turn towards her, in the peripheries of her vision. With a tightly closed-lip smirk on his face he joked “If your gonna ask questions like that, we better sit down.”
And so they did, both sitting crossed legged on the ground, knees brushing against each other. Just on the grass lawn, almost mirroring themselves all those years ago as kids in that camping site. Y/n wondered if she should offer to play football instead - to cheer him up.
“Missing out. I miss out months at a time. Miss out on seeing mum and dad, miss out on the pub quizzes with the boys, miss out seeing you… I mean, I didn’t even know you had a new job until you mentioned it this morning. I miss out on time with nana Tess and all my grandparents, and that’s scary cos… well, every time I go, it could be the last time… I don’t know, I just… I get so much, get to travel, to see the world, but… sometimes it feels like I’m sacrificing the foundations. And without the foundations….”
“The walls come crumbling down.” Y/n finished off his sentence quietly, barely whispering the words - but from Tom’s nod of agreement, it seemed like she’d hit the nail on the head. There was silence for a beat till Y/n whispered to him.
“Well, happy birthday to you” Trying to bring the mood up a little, she bumped his shoulder, and Tom chuckled breathily.
“Seriously! This is helping me out. I-I just need to get everything out and start my 25th year fresh.”
“Hey, if that’s all you want, I’m getting a refund on my present- we can just get deep and interview each other.”
“I’m game, except I’m keeping the present too.”
“Just because it’s your birthday and I’m a bit tipsy, I’ll allow it.”
“Okay, well then, Y/n L/n”, He spoke formally, leaning in closer and making her giggle a little. “What’s your biggest regret?”
“Honestly?” Tom just repeated her in reply, but this time it was a statement.
He really was going deep too. No holding back now. Y/n sucked on her cheek before replying. “Not travelling with you when we were 19… I was just so determined to get to uni and start grown-up life, but… well, grown-up life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I should’ve tried to stay a kid longer, messing about on your film sets and pretending it was work. I think I would’ve learnt more from seeing the world with you.”
“Well, I am very knowledgable.”
“Shut up, you drop out- who didn't know what a drag race was.” She wasn’t wrong, and whilst yes, he had dropped out to be a film star - he was still a dropout. (with exceptionally poor knowledge of RuPaul) He scowled, then leaning back on his hands, so he was half reclined on the grass as Y/n thought of her next question.
“Whats your biggest worry?”
“Easy.” He chuffed, making Y/n furrow her brows at him. Clearly, he’d already thought of this. “That I finally settle down with the love of my life, and then the fans or press or paps ruin it.”
It made sense; every time Tom had gone public with a relationship, it had ended in a minor car crash. Typically it was also the girl who got hurt; she was the ‘victim’ in everything. Though Y/n had seen first hand the effect it had had on Tom - he never made it out damage-free.
“You make it sound like you’ve already got this dream girl queued and waiting.”
“I wish”, Tom sighed, as Y/n took the opportunity to completely lie down on the grass, staring up at the dark abyss. She’d always loved the stars and had become a bit of a geek on them as they’d grown up too- and maybe it was all down to Tom on that camping trip. Following suit, Tom copied her, his head resting on his hands that were crossed behind his head, taking in the moment of pure peace as they lay on the grass.
“You see that bright one there?” Pointing up, Y/n shimmied closer to him so that he definitely saw the same thing as her. “It’s actually not one. Look closer.” Humming, Tom shifted a bit closer, so her shoulder slotted under the side of his body just the teeniest bit. It meant he could follow her direction and squinted up at the little patch of the sky.
“ 5…maybe 6? What is it?”
“The pliedes supercluster…. basically a big group of stars that all were born from the same place- the same stellar nursery.”
“But they’re moving now?” She hummed in confirmation to his question, briefly glancing at the way his eyes were fixed on the sky. For the first time he seemed genuinely interested in hearing her stories of the stars. It usually was an eye roll and ‘you’re so lame’.
“They’re called the sibling stars… like everything in life, as they get older they drift apart but…. but to us down here? They’ll always be associated together because they have a gravitational effect on each other. They’ll always have their thing tying them together. Like an invisible string.”
“Sounds like you’re being metaphorical.” Tom chuckled, expecting a taunt back but receiving nothing except a gentle agreement.
“Theres also actually 7. The last one people can only sometimes see… it’s a pulsing star, so comes and goes.”
“They do that?”
“Yeh, and no matter what… if you can see it or not, it’s always there. Always having an impact on its family.”
Biting his lower lip slightly, Tom repositioned his head slightly, Y/n’s words taking time to be fully absorbed. He was sure she was making parallels to him. Barely there, appearing and disappearing, but always a part of the family.
“You are being metaphorical.”
“Maybe.” She whispered shortly. “Metaphors depend on who’s listening and if they draw parallels to their own life. It’s subjective. You can’t tell anyone what is and isn’t metaphor…. it takes the beauty out of it.”
“Right, sure... But if you were…. me, harry, Sam, pads, you, Haz, Tuwaine? That the 7?” Y/n held back the little smile at his words. Tom wasn’t as ‘head in the clouds’ as she was- he was literal. Also, he was bloody stubborn when he wanted to be.
“I wasn’t being metaphorical T.” He knew she was lying. She knew that he knew. But it still helped him, made him feel a bit better. That he was always, in some way, having some effect... lives always intertwined with the people he cared about the most.
“Tell me another story about another star.”
Time for the rest of the night kind of got lost. The two young adults just lay on the grass, entirely in their own little world, using each others body heat to keep themselves warm through the early hours. Neither felt remotely tired, Y/n whispering her little stories of both the myths and science of the old stars, pointing out each planet. Meanwhile, Tom listened in awe, for once not taking the mick out of her incredibly geeky hobby. Instead, he found himself getting fascinated by all the little intricacies Y/n was so passionate about.
It was only when the stars began to fade, as orangey-red hue started to seep up from the horizon the either noticed the time. It was now the morning of the next day, the house long since had turned silent behind them - presumably, everyone finally passing out shit faced.
As the stars’ light was overtaken by the rising sun, Y/n ran out of stories; the two settled into silence - neither quite ready to go to bed yet.
“It’s still my turn,” Tom spoke into the sky before pivoting his head to look Y/n in the eye, seeing the confusion in her furrowed brows. “It’s my question to ask. My turn.”
“Aren’t you sick of my voice yet?” There was absolutely no reason that they were both whispering. It wasn’t like anyone was trying to listen or that they’d disturb anyone else my talking normally. But it was nicer that way. It felt calming... intimate even.
“One more. And then you get one more… and then we really should probably go to bed.” He didn’t want the night to end; he was immensely enjoying this weird grey time between being 25 and 26. But it was cold, Tom could tell Y/n had started to feel it a little more. To be fair, she was only in a floral day dress, not much in the way of warmth. With a hum of agreement, Y/n smiled lightly at him, urging his question.
“Whats the biggest secret you’ve kept from me?”
With a bit of a scoff, Y/n sighed and closed her eyes, trying to draw some strength she wasn’t sure she had. It wasn’t like she needed to wrack her brains to come up with it - she knew instantly. Almost painfully too.
“Uhm, honestly?” Now even more intrigued, Tom nodded, using his foot for nudge hers - encouraging her to speak. “Probably how much you mean to me.”
“Oh” He couldn’t help it; the sound just slipped out his mouth without checking with his brain first. That answer had just been so unexpected. He had honestly been thinking that it would be something about how ‘fame had changed him’. After hearing that, Y/n turned her head up the sky again, feeling like her cheeks were on fire with embarrassed heat. Tom knew he had fucked up.
“No, I… I didn’t mean- just just ask me too.” With a sigh, Y/n waved off his stumbled answer as he tried to cover himself.
“This is stup-“
“Ask me!” For the first time in 5 hours, Tom spoke at an normal volume - but it felt painfully loud, like a shout.
“What’s the biggest secret you kept from me?” Her tone was defeated, but nevertheless, he answered.
“How upset I was when you didn’t come when we were 19. I got why, but it was still annoying. Felt like you were picking uni friends over me-“ At this point on any other evening, Y/n would have interjected and argued. None of this situation was normal, though, so she chose to hear him out. “- I know it’s stupid, but…. I guess that’s how much you meant an-and still mean to me too.”
There was silence for a couple minutes, waiting whilst the sun started to peep over the horizon, the lone witness to an otherwise very private conversation. That was until Y/n barely spoke, more like mouthed 2 simple words.
“I lied.” The intensity of the way Tom stared at her made Y/n wish that the sun hadn’t been so bright, that they were back in the darkness that hid her face more. “Biggest lie I’ve told you … that I’m not in love with you.”
Y/n didn’t see because she couldn’t face looking at him, but Tom’s face erupted into the most prominent, toothiest smile. Whilst Tom was enjoying the moment of being absolutely ecstatic, Y/n was waiting for a response- feeling her world come crashing in. That she'd just destroyed one of the most important friendships in her life too.
But then he said the opposite of what she thought he would.
“I lied too.”
That had her attention, whipping her head toward him as Tom rolled onto his side on the lawn, balancing with his head resting on one hand. “I lied that I’ve not been completely under your spell since we were kids at that campsite, and you were homesick.”
Y/n’s heart was literally in her mouth, brain overwhelmed but one overriding thought oh so bloody clear.
She’d lost control of everything, arching up to mirror Tom. Using one hand, she reached out to cup Tom’s jaw, to which he instinctively leant toward - until their lips were mere centimetres apart, hot breath fanning over each other.
Y/n no control as she whispered those 3 words against his lips. No control at how immediately after he pressed his to hers; no control as Tom guided her to roll on top of him, knees either side of his torso as his strong arms wrapped around her back.
Once again, time was lost between the two, only pulling apart when their lungs burned for oxygen.
“For the record, I love you too.” Grinning from ear to ear, Tom used one hand to gently stroke his thumb across her cheek, switching his focus from her left to right eye - in wonder at how the early morning sun reflected from her y/e/c irises. He’d always thought she was beyond beautiful, but when she was this close to him, with the sun rising behind her in such a way - she looked damn ethereal.
“Happy birthday T.” Nodding in agreement, Tom chuckled before finding her lips once again, whispering against them.
“Yeh, happy damn birthday to me.”
~~~~let me know what you think ;) ~~~~~
tagging: @hallecarey1 @hollandfanficlove @crossyourpeter
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fuwushiguro · 3 months ago
The Root Of The Apple
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part four | masterlist | part six
Yuji Itadori x f!reader x bully!Megumi Fushiguro
Genre: Smut & Angst
Notes: University AU, all characters aged up. This is my favourite chapter so far. I wrote chapter four and five back to back so I’ve been waiting over two weeks to post this one!! I’m SO excited I hope you all like it I really really love it a lot 🥺
Synopsis: You’ve been dating Yuji Itadori for nine months. He’s the best boyfriend you’ve ever had, he cares for you deeply and he’s amazing in the sack. When new boy Megumi moves to town and joins your art course, you are shocked to discover he isn’t the quiet introvert you suspected him to be.
Warnings:  18+, panic attack, mental health issues, alcohol consumption, drug taking, bullying, drugging mention, bladder failure mention, marking mention, family drama. 
Words: 5.8k
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Unlike your hellish few days, Megumi’s were uneventful. After he choked you in the club, he took a cab home. His sister Tsumiki was fussing over him much to his chagrin. She asked how his night went, if he had a good time, if he kissed any girls. She thought she was hilarious, but Megumi found her to be nothing but a nuisance. He hated that he was trapped with her until he finished university, being unable to move out of her place was painful for him. Tsumiki is invasive, irritating, too God damn happy. And what’s worse, she’s not his real sister. He’ll never think of her as such, to him, Tsumiki is a means to an end. He hates her. He hates his whole God damn family. But right now, right in this exact moment…
There’s nobody he hates more than you.
While you were still in a drug infused sleep, Megumi’s Wednesday was different. He went on as if everything was normal, he got a ride to university from Tsumiki. It’s rare she has the time to take him since she is usually at work.
He found the entire day dull. It pains him to admit it to himself, but he supposes part of him misses you. He’s blissfully unaware of your coma-like state, he smiles into the pencil he’s chewing in his mouth as he imagines that you’re terrified to come back to school in fear of seeing him. It gives him a sick sort of power trip, knowing what he’s done to you, what he’s doing to you. He’s sick. But it’s okay that he’s sick, because he knows. He knows he’s fucked up, and everything he’s doing to you is fucked up. But Christ it’s fun.
Thursday is the same, although he’s grateful he gets to finish the school day earlier. But as he walks through the parking lot, he pauses when he doesn’t see Yuji’s car in its usual spot. He didn’t think twice about it yesterday, of course perfect Yuji would want to stay home and play the role of the perfect boyfriend. Protecting you from the big bad bully, wrapping you in cotton wool and shielding you from the world. But today is the second day Yuji hasn’t been to school. Megumi would never admit it out loud, but his blood ran cold at the thought that something terrible had happened.
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He arrived home, his sister nowhere in sight. Megumi dumped his backpack and sprawled out on the couch. And against every voice in his head telling him not to, his resolve crumbled, and his thumbs involuntarily typed your name into Facebook. He couldn’t see much since you weren’t friends, but he thought he might be able to see if anyone had said something about what happened. Alas, there was nothing. He decided to put it to the back of his mind.
Within the hour, Tsumiki was home. She began preparing dinner for the pair of them. She was waffling on about her boring, mundane workday. She hadn’t even realised that Megumi had his headphones on and was completely tuning her out. An eyebrow quirked on his face when a text came through to his phone.
Nina: Megumi omg baby we are in soooooo much trouble! 😳☹💘xxx
Megumi’s thumbs hovered above the keyboard momentarily as he contemplated how he should reply. One thought ran through his mind. Who the fuck is Nina? It had to be one of those annoying sluts from his class. But was it the blonde or the redhead? They’re both practically the same save for the hair colour. He can barely remember which one he fingered; he thinks it’s the blonde. It had to be her who text, surely the other one wouldn’t be so bold as to call him baby. He shuddered and gagged as he thought of the pet name. The more he debated formulating a reply, he opted to not bother. Megumi technically didn’t do anything wrong.
Hours passed, it was close to 1am. Tsumiki never normally stayed up this late, but she had the day off tomorrow and was enjoying watching movies with Megumi. Well, she thought they were watching together. Megumi was just in the room playing on his phone, pretending she didn’t exist as usual. Just as he was about to go upstairs, the siblings both startled at the sound of an ominously loud knock. Tsumiki looked at him, as if to ask if he was expecting anyone. He shook his head in response, so she got up and looked through the peep hole. She gasped, and opened the door quickly after she’d spotted who was outside.
Megumi wasn’t ashamed to admit that his stomach dropped when he realised the police were at his door. And the disappointed look in Tsumiki’s eyes as she heard them ask if Megumi Fushiguro was home made his insides churn. She welcomed them in, clearing space for them to sit on the sofa. Megumi sat down next to her, she wrapped an unwelcome arm around him, a sign of solidarity.
“There’s been a serious allegation made against you Megumi.” one of the officers spoke. Megumi heard his sister’s breath hitch, but he cleared his throat and tried to remain calm.
“In regard to what? I’m not sure what you’re referring to.” he answered simply. The officers looked at each other quickly before giving him their attention once again, as if they’d already decided he was guilty.
“A classmate of yours has accused you and two others of drugging her in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Do you know anything about that?” the policeman asked. Megumi did his best to stay composed, shaking his head in response.
“Megumi would never—”
“Please don’t interrupted miss.” the other policeman spoke. Tsumiki bit her tongue as she sunk back in her seat. His attention focused back on Megumi before he started flipping through a notebook. “This young woman was in a terrible state. I won’t go into too many details, but she was publicly humiliated and has been out cold for the last two days.” he explained. Megumi’s jaw bubbled as he tried to supress his emotions, Tsumiki’s hands covered her mouth in horror as her ears digested the information. She leaned forwards timidly, as if to ask permission to speak.
“I- sorry, what do you mean by publicly humiliated?” she wondered.
The officer cleared his throat, unsure whether he should say. The other nodded, wanting to fill them in. Megumi knew their little game. They think if they tug at his heartstrings and make him feel guilty, his emotions will give him away. He didn’t know what happened after he left; he told the girls that the drug will be enough to make her embarrass herself.
“When she was discovered on the bathroom floor in the club, we were informed that she had urinated and vomited on herself on account of the drugging.” they explained. Megumi had to do everything in his power to supress his laughter. He knew you’d find a way to make a fool of yourself when it was in your system, but that really cut the cake.
“That’s awful.” Tsumiki spoke softly.
“As well as that,” the officer spoke again, commanding the sibling’s attention, “the t-shirt she’d worn that night appeared to be cut open with a pair of scissors. We could tell from the CCTV from the night of the incident that someone had written the word bitch across her body. According to the woman’s partner it was written in lipstick.” he told them.
Megumi managed to keep composed, although he was seething. Those idiot incompetent girls could be the undoing of him. He specifically told them that they had nothing else to do other than slip the pill in your drink. Their petty jealousy had clearly gotten the better of them, and it could fuck them all up well and truly. Tsumiki gasped when she heard the final sentence from the officer. She assured them that Megumi could never do anything so horrible. They looked at him, and he knew he had to speak.
“I don’t know anything about that. I left earlier than most, I got a cab. My sister was awake when I got back, and I’m sure the CCTV can prove that I wasn’t there.” he told them calmly.
“How do you know you were gone before it happened?” the officer asked, feeling clever, feeling like he trapped Megumi in a lie.
“Because you said it was the early hours of Wednesday morning. I had left the club by 11:30pm, like I said, the CCTV will be able to prove I left early. This incident has nothing to do with me,” Megumi stood to his feet, knowing he’d won and had no interest in carrying on the discussion anymore. The policemen knew as well as he did that it was your word against his, he felt untouchable. “Whoever she is, I hope you can get some justice for her.” he told them, smugly. His sister beamed up at him with so much pride. Her little brother is so good, so respectable, he’s perfect in her eyes.
If only she knew.
She showed the men out of their home, requesting he get in touch if he remembers anything that might help their case. Megumi finally retreated to the safety of his bedroom, feeling cocky and proud of himself for slithering his way through your feeble attempt to get him arrested. He felt like a god. He felt invincible. An electric excitement jolted through him as he debated when he might see you next.
What he can do to you next.
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Friday brought another uneventful day, he really fucking missed you. It sounds more romantic than it is. Maybe it is, in some twisted way. You know what they say: treat them mean to keep them keen. And he is downright vile to you. He doesn’t feel anything but pure unadulterated hatred for you. You’re too fucking nice, like his sister. No one is that nice. The way you felt compelled to compliment his art whenever you had the audacity to lean over and observe his sketchbook. And every time you did it, it was pictures of him. He thinks he hates you the most. And then when he remembers that man, that scumbag, he takes first place. If you could have just shut your fucking mouth, if you didn’t feel so compelled to start talking about those pictures of him, maybe you wouldn’t be paying the price now.
Megumi got home from his boring school day and kicked the door shut behind him with his foot. He was furious. The combination of his hatred for you and his father was too much. All he wanted to do was go to his room, get changed and head outside for a few hours to clear his head. But when Tsumiki stopped him from going to his room, he just about bit her head off.
“What?!” he barked. The volume made her jump, but she simply smiled as she prepared to speak.
“Dad called.” she told him.
“My dad. Don’t say dad as if he’s your dad too. What did he want?” he moaned at her. Her smile pulled downwards into a frown at his rude and hurtful words. She was about to answer him again, but before she could she was interrupted by the creaking of stairs. The siblings looked to the source, and Megumi’s blood boiled at the sight.
“That’s no way to talk to your sister,” Toji spoke. He’d just showered. He was wearing some grey joggers and his chest was bare, he was in the middle of the process of pulling a shirt over his head. His shirt clung to his water-soaked body in all of the right places, it was almost a little pornographic considering how innocent of an act it was. His children almost didn’t want to look at him because it was so unintentionally erotic. Although Megumi doesn’t like to look at him anyway. “it’s been a while son. You don’t mind if I take him for a drive do you Tsumiki? Got some things I wanna talk to ‘im about.” Toji smiled at the young woman who nodded enthusiastically.
“I’m not going anywhere with you.” Megumi spat.
“I wasn’t fuckin’ askin’ so get your scrawny ass in the car and stop bitchin’ at me.” Toji commanded, walking ahead and leaving through the front door.
What Megumi hates most about Toji is no matter how much he hates him, how much he knows he’ll never change, he still – for some unknown reason – craves his approval. He knew his son would follow him through the door, that’s why he didn’t wait for him to start moving his feet. Because within seconds, Megumi is following him through that very same front door.
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The silence in the car is deafening. Toji is feeling the need to drag out whatever it is he wants to discuss, and Megumi has absolutely no desire to make idle chit-chat with his piece of shit father. The new car doesn’t go unnoticed. Megumi can feel his blood bubbling with rage through his veins.
When Megumi’s mother died, Toji went off the rails and he brought Megumi right along with him. He was a downright mess. He drank, he did drugs, anything to forget. And Megumi didn’t understand. All he knew was that he lost his mother, and his daddy wasn’t his daddy anymore. Toji could barely stomach looking at him, he reminded him too much of his dead wife. Although he found a new wife to go off the rails with, and that’s how Tsumiki entered the frame. They were both terrible for each other and they fed off each other’s toxicity. Megumi couldn’t bear to look at his father without reliving his trauma, his unresolved resentment coursing through his fragile skin.
He understood that his father was hurting, but he was too. He lost his mother. And instead of taking care of his son, being there for him, helping him heal. He found a new wife, narcotics, and shady ways of making money. That was more important than being a dad, apparently, and this new car, his new set of wheels that reeked of money and sin, made his body fail him.
Megumi wasn’t sad. He was never sad. What he was feeling right now, some may call a broken heart. But not him. To Megumi, the way his heart felt being in such close proximity to his father was different. It didn’t feel broken. It felt shredded. It felt like it had been wrapped in barbed wire, and when he was near this pathetic excuse of a human being it did all it could to bulge out of its piercing prison. Chunks escaped, sure, but they were destroyed. The rest of his heart was bloody, bruised and pouring blood. He couldn’t bear it.
Megumi couldn’t bear it.
“Let me out,” Megumi spoke, his breathing intensifying. His chest rising and falling rapidly.
“What? Kid, stop bein’ a bra—”
“Dad! Stop the God damn car!” he screamed. He was staring at his father, begging him to listen to him.
When Toji looked over to where his son was seated, he didn’t recognise who he was looking at. Snot and tears dribbled down his face. His eyes were puffy and red, totally bloodshot. His white irises cracked with red uncomfortable veins that made Toji’s heart stop for a brief second. This isn’t Megumi. Megumi doesn’t get like this, he’s never seen him like this. But what has Toji seen him like? He’s seen gloomy, stoic Megumi. That’s all he sees on his fleeting visits.
Toji pulled over the car and Megumi scarpered out as quickly as he could. Toji took his time turning off the car, finding a pair of sunglasses in the glove compartment before stepping out to tend to his child. He approached him slowly. Wallet, phone and keys all rested skilfully in one hand. Megumi was doubled over, clear vomit evading the pit of his stomach. Toji grimaced at the sight, what the hell was wrong with him? His son was trembling, still. When he wasn’t vomiting he was taking in sharp, heavy breaths, he almost sounds like he was screaming. The desperation in his inhales were so eerie, like someone dragging a sharp knife down a windowpane.
Megumi was disgusted with himself. It was all too much for him. Reminiscing on his childhood and the closure he’d never get. The fact that his father thinks he’s allowed to pop into his life if and when he chooses. He expects Megumi to drop everything and anything he’s doing to spend time with him and do as he’s told. And the worst part? He does. He fights him every step of the way, but still, he does it. Why does he do it? He hates him. Toji knows he hates him too. Every conversation they have is surface level toleration or a heated argument. But Toji knows, no matter what, Megumi wants to please his father. Because he left him to fend for himself, he left him without a friend in the world. So, whenever Megumi gets the chance, he wants to prove himself to his father.
That’s why.
Megumi needs his father’s approval.
“The fuck’s wrong with you kid? Panic attack?” Toji questions as he towers above his son.
Megumi collapses onto his backside, mouth agape as he manages to calm himself down. He wants to rip his dad’s throat out for talking to him like that. But he doesn’t have the energy. He just can’t.
“Shut up, Toji.” he commanded, making his father roll his eyes. An act of petty defiance, to call him by his name instead of dad. It doesn’t bother Toji, he couldn’t care less. He knows he’s a shit dad, he didn’t sign up for it anyway. He doesn’t care, he probably never will.
“Get up, there’s a coffee shop over there I’ll get you some water.” he tells him, hoping the offer will be enough to entice him off the ground. Megumi blanks him though, still focusing on his breathing and trying to coax himself into feeling better so he can go home. Toji isn’t a man who likes to be ignored, Megumi is lucky he’s his kid right now. Anyone else would be in for a world of hurt. But instead, Toji slowly raises his foot off the ground. He inches his dirty dust clad shoe closer to his boy’s face. Megumi side eyes the muddy soled loafer, piercing green eyes threatening him to back off. However, Megumi forgets who he inherited those intimidating emerald orbs from. Toji doesn’t take lightly to threats, and he hasn’t gotten where he is by being frightened by a simple look. His filthy shoe is millimetres from Megumi’s face, “I said get up kid.” and with Megumi ignoring him yet again, Toji has to make good on his threat. He gently kicks the bottom of his foot into his son’s face. Megumi grabs his ankle and pushes him away, springing to his feet soon after to ball his fists in his dad’s shirt.
“Why the fuck are you here now? What do you want? You only come when you want something so out with it.” Megumi hisses, his face mere inches from his dad’s. Toji raises his hand in surrender with that signature shit-eating grin on his face. But Megumi’s fists grasp harder, for the first time in his life he feels strong. Stronger than him. He shoves him backwards and pins him against the car. “What do you want Toji?!”
Toji, however, is over this little game. Megumi never has been, and never will be stronger than him. He’d never hurt his son. He does love him, in his own fucked up way. He’s his after all. But he doesn’t love him enough to let him disrespect him in his quest for validation and superiority. He grabs his junior by the base of the neck, removing his sunglasses and peering intensely into his child’s eyes. Fear shudders through Megumi, and he lets go. But Toji doesn’t.
“Get in the fuckin’ car. Dumbass. I’ll go get you a drink,” and with that he released Megumi from his grip. Crossing the road seamlessly. Commanding the traffic around him to stop as he approached the coffee shop.
Megumi gets into the car. It’s hot. Fuck, it’s hot. His breathing is intensifying again. Hastily he removes his jacket with shaky hands. His father has only been gone for a few minutes, but his gaze is flitting between the windscreen window and the coffee shop. He balls his jacket up and shoves his face into it, screaming all of the air in his lungs out into the material. He just screams. It feels like he can’t stop, the oxygen will never be out of him. He needs it out, he needs to breathe out this day, this experience. But he can’t. It’s lingering in his lungs, itching away at him. Little spindly legs crawling around inside of him like spiders, biting and tapping inside of him searching for a way out. There’s no way out. He can’t breathe. He wants to rip his fucking heart out and let his dad drive and reverse over it until it’s unrecognisable. His head droops between his knees, his hands interlocking behind his head trapping tufts of his unruly onyx locks.
He startled a little when his father opened the car door and sat behind the wheel. Toji could swear he saw him jump a little again when he slammed the door shut behind him.
“Here,” his dad spoke, holding two bottles out to him. Megumi peered up to see the bottles. One was water, and the other was a chilled glass bottle of beer. Why did he get him this? “Might steady yer fuckin’ nerves. What happened to you? Never seen y’like this before,” Toji stated, not expecting a direct answer from Megumi, but daring to ask anyway.
Megumi twisted the plastic cap off his water bottle. He didn’t sip, he gulped. And he gulped, and gulped, and gulped, until the plastic bottle was contorting and creasing as he sucked the air out and his heavy fist gripped tighter around the soft material. Toji offered a teasing ‘think ya got it’ hoping it would make Megumi give up trying to get the last lingering droplets out of the plastic container. He was right, he did get it. It wasn’t enough. It did nothing to drown that unbearable itch inside of him. So, he slouched back in his seat, at least a little calmer for having something else to focus on.
“I’m fucked up.”
And he laughed. It was manic. If you could see him now, God if you could see what a pathetic miserable shell he is right now. It’s symbolic really, how insanely he’s laughing. You’d actually see a similarity between the two of you. He was almost laughing as insanely as you had been as you destroyed his artwork, probably more so. He was unhinged. And for the first time in his life, he thinks, Toji is scared. His face hurts from the way his cheeks are pulling as he laughs. If he was normal, his stomach would be aching. Because that’s what is meant to happen when people laugh. Right? When people truly laugh at something, you feel it in your belly. But fuck, Megumi isn’t normal.
He’s breaking apart.
Toji grabs his shoulder, and in an instant the laughter stops. Megumi’s face turns, his eyes snap to find his father’s matching ones. His smile is gone, but his eyebrow quivers as he studies his father’s features.
“Oh fuck, scared you huh?” Megumi asks. Toji scoffs and lets go of him, starting the car up to drive away instead. But before he does, he takes his sons beer bottle between his teeth and bites the lid off. He spits it down on the floor of his car beneath him and gives it to Megumi. And Megumi drinks it, seeming to enjoy the taste.
That’s doing it.
That’s drowning his demons.
His attention is back on Toji as he’s driving. And looking at him now, that is the father he knows. He’s just driving as if he doesn’t have a care in the world. Like his son hasn’t just totally snapped before his very eyes. He’s snapped already, so why not push him a little more. Megumi punches his arm, causing Toji’s steering to waver.
“Stupid little idiot, fucks wrong with you? Don’t fuckin’ touch me while I’m drivin’.” he barks at his son. But he doesn’t stop. He punches him again, again and again. He slams harshly on the breaks, engulfing his sons whole face in one fist. He smothers his face and forcefully pushes him back into the passenger side door. “Hey! Did I fuckin’ stutter?”
“Did I fuckin’ scare you dad? You looked a little concerned you piece of shit! Ya fuckin’ deadbeat…” Megumi yelled, fighting back the tears that were building, slithering behind his eyes threatening to spill at any moment.
“Pfft. Grow up Megumi. You’re not fifteen anymore,”
“Yeah, I was fucked up then never mind now.” Megumi spits at him.
“God, shut up.” Toji seethed as he softly slapped Megumi on the side of his face, pointing to the tip of his nose, demanding his attention. “You’re not fucked up. You’re fine. Y’think everyone doesn’t get like this? Y’think I never get like this? I wanna rip my fuckin’ skin off when I think about how fucked everything is for too long.” he tells his son sternly, trying to be calm but firm with him.
“You—” Megumi manages to croak out before Toji interrupts.
“Yeah, me. I fuckin’ left you. Never said sorry did I? Would you believe me if I said I was sorry? I don’t know if I am kid, that’s the problem. Had to fuckin’ split, couldn’t handle it. But if it helps, sure. I’m sorry. It was fucked.” Toji told him.
Megumi was in awe. This is the most they’d ever talked in their lives. Everything they discuss is surface level pleasantries that are meaningless. And he apologised. He can’t apologise. He’s said the word sorry but the itch is still there. He doesn’t mean it, he said himself he doesn’t mean it. This can’t be it, this can’t be everything Megumi has been waiting to hear to fix him. Anger and resentment he’s clung onto for so long, dying as he awaited the moment he’d finally get an apology or an explanation.
And this was it.
This was all he’d waited for, and it wasn’t good enough. It’ll never be good enough. He’s going to be stuck with this itch for the rest of his life.
“Are you kidding me? You think that’s good enough?” Megumi questioned, fists balled as he argued with himself whether to punch Toji again. “I’m sorry, but I’m not really sorry because I had too. Huh, asshole? You really think that’s good enough?!” Megumi bellowed, lip quivering as he clenched his teeth together.
“Don’tcha get it? Idiot. Nothing I say’ll ever be good enough. I fuckin’ left you alone after your mother died. Whether I mean it or not, it won’t stop fuckin’ hurtin’ kid. You got more than I ever did. The Zen’in used to lock me up and beat the shit out of me.” he angled the right side of his face and pointed to the scar on his lip, “they gave me this for the pleasure, think I ever got a fuckin’ sorry? No. Fake or sincere, nothin’. Think holdin’ a grudge is gonna fix anything?”
Megumi had been vibrating with anger the entire conversation. All he wanted to do was smash the glass of beer he had and stab the jagged shards into Toji’s neck. He was furious. There were some truths to his words, sure, but he was so fucking casual. Like Megumi was meant to take everything he said as gospel, accepting it as absolute truth and living his life by them from now on. He’d been vibrating with anger through the entire conversation, until he thought of you. He couldn’t smile; but his clenching jaw relaxed when visions of you entered his mind. It was just as well, Toji thought if he clenched any harder his son’s teeth would smash to pieces. It was something Toji said that made him think of you. Think holdin’ a grudge is gonna fix anything? No. But it helps. He’s sure you’d have the same thought process as Toji, you’d be desperate to end the vendetta Megumi had against you. But if he didn’t hate his father, if he didn’t hate you, how else would he cope?
How else would he control the itch?
Megumi allowed his body to go limp, looking over to Toji with a side-eye glance. He huffed, allowing his chest to rise and fall in one heavy dramatic breath.
“What do you want, dad?”
Toji kissed his teeth, contemplating how to speak. How to ask. But Megumi had honestly had enough of fucking around today. Dancing around subjects and rowing with each other. He just wanted to know, and that is something Toji could plainly see in his son’s defeated body. So, he came right out and said it, not wanting to beat around the bush.
“Tomorrow,” he began, looking around at anything in the car other than his son. But his gaze settled, their emerald eyes meeting once again. “There’s a big shindig, all of the Zen’in are goin’. You need to be there.”
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And that’s how Megumi found himself in a town car on his way to your parent’s new manor home. Toji didn’t offer him a ride, of course not. Megumi suspects his father will feel uncomfortable after their argument yesterday, but in reality Toji was having a good parenting moment. He felt it necessary to give his son some space to cool down after their heated conversation.
The closer the car got to the ridiculously enormous manor; butterflies joined the itching in the pit of Megumi’s stomach. He tried to clear his throat, take deep breaths, but it wasn’t helping. He fished around in his inside jacket pockets. He pulls out a mirror from the right pocket and a baggie of cocaine and a razor from the other. The car slows as it pulls into the gates, manoeuvring around the intricate landscaping. He takes the opportunity to make a white powdery line atop the mirror resting on his lap. He doesn’t care what the driver thinks of him, he’s sure Toji does the same if not worse whenever he is in here. He snorts it, slowly. It’s been a while since he’s let this be a vice of his. Megumi isn’t stupid, no, he’s careful. He will be careful with his vices. But when the car stops below the staircase that lead to the daunting double doors, he sags back into the plush leather seats of the car.
“D’ya mind if I just wait here for a minute?” Megumi asks, the man shakes his head, much to Megumi’s delight.
It’s been a while since he’s been to a Zen’in get together. When he and Tsumiki moved away, he managed to avoid them and Toji like the plague. It was harrowing, really, that he had to walk into a strangers home alone. To see a family who did nothing but chastise and disapprove. A family he barely knew but still felt it necessary to try and control aspects of his life and look down on each and every little thing he did. But he relaxed. He wiped his nose of the white dust as best he could and relaxed. Megumi took a deep breath, getting out of the car and slamming it aggressively behind him. He ascended the stairs. Breathing shallow breaths as he prepared himself for the hell he was about to endure.
He rests his finger on the doorbell, he can’t seem to take his finger off it. Air is knocked from his lungs when the door opens, almost being ripped from its hinges. What the fuck are you two doing here? He can’t help but stare, completely in awe at the sight. You’re looking at him differently, like you know him. Like you’ve had a look into the window of his damaged soul. What the fuck are you staring at?
Megumi clears his throat, and your staring soon turns to dismay, irritation. Megumi thinks you’re just processing what is happening, the unlikely coincidence of it all. Are you still scared of him? Terrified of what he’ll do to you? Or are you safe now, because dear old Yuji is here. Megumi takes in the sight of both of you, but drinks up the vision of you. He can’t believe it. You’re really here. He opens his mouth, smiling sadistically, knowing whatever he does will get a reaction out of you.
“Well well, what do we have here?” Megumi questions, crossing his arms across his chest as he waits for a response.
Yuji looks feral, like he wants to skin him alive. It’s sad, really, that his best friend has let a useless cunt come between them. Megumi won’t disown him, though he knows Yuji won’t claim him as his friend anymore. He’ll always be Megumi’s. Yuji pulls your hand to bring you closer to his body. He’s sure Yuji can feel you shaking like a frightened lamb against his body, because even from this distance, Megumi can see it.
“Get out of the way Fushiguro,” Yuji demands, holding your body as tightly as he can to give you the feeling of safety you’re so desperate for.
But of course, Megumi doesn’t move. He doesn’t sidestep to allow you past. He just stares. And Yuji’s temper flares when he stops staring at you both, but through you. Because a dastardly grin stretches across Megumi’s pretty face. While Yuji is staring, shaking and furious. While you’re trembling, terrified and on the brink of tears. Who he can only assume are the owners of the house, who he can only assume are your parents, are walking through the foyer and approaching you. It’s like he’s watching a movie in slow motion. And it just gets better when his own dad lollygags behind them, leaning on a doorframe further down the hall as he watches your mother and father chase after you.
Megumi knows you’re not going anywhere.
Megumi knows your parents will beg, plead for you to stay. What will people say if you leave the party earlier? They’ll be the talk of high society. A simple, elegant party couldn’t go off without a hitch because their selfish daughter ruined it all. No. That’s not you. The few brief days he’s known you, something he can see about you is clear. You, perfect, sweet girl, are a people pleaser.
Megumi’s smiling. And he’s smiling hard.
Because you aren’t going anywhere.
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© 2021 fuwushiguro
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tag list in my navi if ur interested (adding tags and link to the form in a reblog as usual) 💞
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lebrookestore · 9 months ago
Five Star Michelin
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Pairing: Lee Taeyong x reader
Themes: chef!au, celebrity!au, SLOWBURN, enemies to lovers, angst, humour, kissing
Warnings: cursing, social anxiety (? i think ?), manipulative characters, food (lots of it), betrayal, angst, Taeyong being a bit of an asshole, a little bit of making out, PG15
Playlist: Paparazzi by Lady Gaga, Gods Menu by Stray Kids, Regular by NCT 127, Dishes by Lauv, Idea by Taemin, Attention by Shinee, Love Somebody by Lauv, This Feeling by The Chainsmokers, Moral of the Story by Ashe
Word Count: 24.2k
Taglist: @danishmiilk​ @channoticedmeuwu​ @chicksung​ @1-800-seo​ @blueprint-han​ @jenosslut​ @cupidluvstarrz​ @kkakkdugi​ @rouiyan​ @sweetlyjaem-main​​ @neocluefor​​ @peachyyjaes​ @kisshim​ @itsapapisongo​ @riajae​ @yasmini24​ @kunrengui​ @leetaeyonglover​ @heartyyjeno​ @radiorenjun​ @rvse-hvvck​ @hunjins​ @badwithten​ @allegxdly​
Summary: When confronted about seasoning for  your signature dish, you meet Lee Taeyong, asshole extraordinaire, and unbeknownst to you- fellow celebrity chef.
Authors note: i really love this story. I loved writing it and I hope you love reading it. This is the longest story I’ve written so far [I nearly died please and thanks], and I would love to hear your feedback!
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“An order for the Honey Glazed Salmon”, Mark called out, hanging a piece of paper on a string using one of the wooden clips. He wore his uniform, which every waiter in the restaurant wore. It consisted of a crisp white dress shirt and black trousers, and with his hair styled nicely, it made him look very attractive indeed. Everyone who worked in Weishen looked pristine, it was a matter of keeping up the name of the place.
You inclined your head towards the boy, who took this as an affirmation, before walking off back into the seating area to take orders. You sighed, walking to one of the cooking stations and tasting the broth that one of the chefs under you had made, “More spice”, you said, “Jaehyun fix this, I’ll start working on the Salmon”
Jaehyun nodded, taking the ladle from your hand and stirring the broth, taking down some of the bottles from the cupboard above. You went back to your own place, taking out the fish, and began cutting it into fillets, “Taeil, prep the sauce”
You were the head chef at the Weishen Restaurant, and rightly so, since you had led the restaurant to its first and only  Michelin star with your cooking, and was known around the world for your accomplishments and as one of the best chefs. You had first made a name for yourself when you won a worldwide cooking competition, and it had only been up from there. You had had to build up people’s respect for you, especially since you were amongst the youngest in the industry.
You had come from a pretty modest family, and at first, when you won, it hit you in the face all at once. The fame, the attention, and the riches. It was an entirely different lifestyle to what you were used to and had been brought up with. The interviews, talk shows, had been stressful, but now you were much more used to it all.
Many still thought you were a rookie, a one-hit-wonder chef who won against your competitors because of luck, hence you always had to do your best, and outdo yourself at times.
You seasoned the salmon, twisting the pepper grinder to crush the spice inside, and glazing it with Olive oil, putting it in the oven to bake, “Is the steak ready?”
“Give it a few minutes, it’ll be done then”
You nodded at Xiaojun, one of the other chefs under you, “Okay good”
“Uh”, Mark reappeared, “Y/n?”
You glanced up, “Oh hey, what happened?”
“I don’t know how to tell you this but”, he paused, tapping his foot on the ground, “Well you see-”
“Spit it out dude”, you said, leaning against one of the counters impatiently. He cleared his throat, “The man at table 7 wants some salt”
It felt as if silence had wrapped around all of you that stood in the kitchen. You raised an eyebrow at your friend, “What?”
“You know, that condiment, it’s white and-”
“I know what salt is”, you gritted out, “Take me to him”
“That’s not a-”
“Mark”, your voice had turned darkish, warning Mark to just lead you to this man. “Yeah, okay follow me.”
You pushed off your gloves, pulling your hair down and retying it up in a ponytail so you would look somewhat presentable. You untied your apron and handed it to Taeil, who gave you a supportive smile before you followed him out. He led you through the dimly lit restaurant and candlelit tables to one in the back.
A man sat there alone, which was odd. Weishen wasn’t a casual restaurant by any means. The people who ate here usually came in groups, rich families or for a business meeting. Seeing him alone, slightly aloof looking, was not something you were particularly used to.
The second thing you noticed was his eccentric red hair, styled messily so that it pointed out in different directions. He wore a light blue shirt, that contrasted his bright hair, had an eyebrow slit and all in all didn’t even come close to the crowd you were used to seeing.
He stared at the two of you walking in, eyes following you lazily. They looked laid back, yet something about them was very intense. They unnerved you, but you stood straight as Mark and you approached him.
“Hello sir, I’m Y/n the head chef”, you raised your hand to shake his. He eyes your hand, but made no motion to take it, “I know who you are”
Slightly taken aback, you dropped your hand, “Mark told me you had a problem with the food?”
“Needs salt”, he said, “Under seasoned”
His don’t-care-ish attitude was starting to annoy you. He seemed entitled as fuck, which was starting to set you off, and the fact that he was so easily insulting your food was not helping. 
“I’m sorry, but the food is perfectly seasoned, I can assure you that”
“Can you now?”, he asked, “Because it needs salt.” He placed his fork down, it hit the plate with a soft clink. You flinched slightly, biting the inside of your cheek to prevent you from slapping this infuriating man. “Look-”
“Are you offended?”, he asked, almost coyly, which made you glare at him. “Y/n, not the time-”, Mark started, but the man cut him off.
“Don’t you know the customer is always right? I asked for the salt, not a conversation with you”, he leaned back, raising an eyebrow as if he was challenging you. You fisted your hands, “Get out of my restaurant”, you hissed, “I don’t care if you’re the customer, I do not appreciate being insulted like this.”
He smirked, his dark eyes studying you as if you were a piece of art. “Alright”, he said finally, “I’ll go”, he stood up, letting you access him even more. He was definitely attractive, lean yet muscular. He was taller than you by a little, but the infuriating smirk that played on his lips threw you off checking him out.
He walked past you leisurely, before leaning down next to your ear, “Doesn’t change the fact that the food needs a little salt”, he whispered, before standing straight again and walking out, passing Mark who stared at him wide-eyed.
“Asshole”, you muttered, rubbing your arms. Mark walked in front and took the man’s plate of ravioli, which had barely been touched. That felt like another insult. Your friend gave you a half-smile. You rolled your eyes, walking back to the kitchen to finish up a dish.
“Salt”, you scoffed drizzled the honey glaze reduction that Taeil had made over the salmon “bastard”
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Lee Taemin was someone you had trusted for quite a while now, ever since you met him at an award show you had been invited to and he spilled his drink all over your dress, it was as if a contract had been sealed and the world had bestowed the best friend title over the two of you.
He had, in fact, won an award at that show, for his latest album at the time. Taemin was a singer, one of the best in the business, and had been in it ever since he was little. The music industry’s little star. He was extremely down to earth as well, which was surprising, yet refreshing to see, considering the amount of stuck up celebrities you had to deal with on a daily basis.
“Don’t you have that interview next week?”, he asked, lying on your couch. You nodded absentmindedly, reading over the past issues of Vogue to get an idea of the questions. They were dull and generic, so you shut the copy, “Oh famous god of singing, tell me the questions they could ask”, you asked Taemin, who looked at you sideways from his phone that he was holding above him. “Cook me something and I’ll do so”, he requested, rolling over like some sort of puppy.
You shook your head in amusement, “Hmm”, you hummed in agreement, combing your fingers through his hair, “What do you want?”
“Instant Ramen”
“I’m a world-famous chef and you want instant ramen?”
“Yes, now shoo”, he pushed you playfully, and you obliged, getting up and walking to your kitchen. You began boiling some water to cook the noodles in, before opening the packet, taking out the spice mix and the actual noodles.
After you finished making it, you walked back into the living room and handed the bowl to Taemin, who sat up and took it from you. “Now part with your knowledge oh wise one”, you asked him dramatically as he nodded, taking a bite and then placing it down carefully so as to not spill.
“Well, since it’s a Top Chef interview, there are going to be others there too”, he stated, “You can run off their interviews since you’ll probably be allowed to listen to them”
You nodded, “So I just use that as inspiration?”
“The questions will be the same, they’re not creative, they just need content”
“True”, you agreed, leaning back, “So what else should I expect?”
“Famous chefs? Duh, I heard that Qian Kun would be there”, he said, taking another bite. Your eyes widened, “The bes-”
“The best chef in the world, yes, don’t be so surprised, you’re one of them now”, his mouth was half full with his precious ramen, which made his words slightly muffled, “Lisa Manoban is going to be there too”
“Holy fuck”, you breathed, “They’re literally my inspirations I can’t believe it”
“Believe it, I mean you’re talking to me aren’t you”, he teased, “Oh Lee Taeyong will be there too”
You blinked in confusion, “Who’s that?”
Taemin stared at you as if you had told him the earth was flat. “Please tell me you’re kidding”, he said slowly, as if you were some sort of wild creature that he was trying you tame, “You don’t know who Lee Taeyong is?”
“I think we established the fact that I don’t”, you said somewhat annoyed, “Care to tell me?”
“He’s literally one of the most famous chefs, and among the youngest in the industry, which includes you”, Taemin began rushing through his words, “He has three Michelin stars under his belt- well, now two since he recently lost one”
“Why did he lose it?” “You know, change of menu, things like that, but the prestige of once having it never faded. I can’t believe you haven’t heard of him, god”, your best friend shook his head in disbelief “Not to mention he’s one of the hottest celebrity chefs.”
“And what has that got to do with anything?”, you asked, raising an eyebrow at Taemin, who shrugged, “He’s hot as fuck and you’re single, I’ll give you three chances to guess what I implying”
“I chose to pass on that offer”, you said dryly, “Anyways-”
“Don’t change the topic”, Taemin warned, “I’m taking you to dinner tomorrow at Ncity, he’s the head chef there, you’ll see how hot he is”
“Dude, don’t you have a girlfriend? That actress Eileen?”
“Yes, doesn’t change the fact Taeyong is hot, and I’ve only been on a few dates with Eileen. Hey maybe you’ll meet her at the Alastair Awards this year”, he mused. “Maybe”, you said, “Eat your ramen, that chef may be hot, but your noodles are going cold”
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The next day you had taken the night off work at Taemin’s request to visit the restaurant he had told you about. It was called Ncity and was tastefully decorated, just as fanciful and rich-esque as your own restaurant. 
The maître d welcomed the two of you into the place, taking your coats and leading you inside. “Y/n L/n and Lee Taemin”, he noted, “Two celebrities, what an honour.” His little pin that was pinned to his chest read the name ‘Yangyang’.
You smiled at him graciously, taking the seat he had pulled out for you and thanking him. The restaurant was clearly meant for the high class, something you had grown used to overtime. Taking the menu from one of the waiters who handed it to you, your eyes scanned over it. It certainly seemed deserving of its stars. 
“What are you thinking of getting?”
You didn’t answer immediately but instead took your time reading over the options, trying to access which one you would like. “The Rib Eye Steak with the Red Wine reduction”, you said, placing the menu down, “And a glass of Laurent Perrier”
Taemin nodded, raising his hand, calling the waiter, and placed your order. The waiter’s tag read ‘Ten’, and he wore a black vest over a white shirt, and dress pants. He quickly took down your order and scurried off to the kitchen to tell the chefs. While waiting for your food, Taemin and you bickered as usual.
Meanwhile, Ten walked into the kitchen, calling out the order, “It’s another chef who ordered it by the way”, he said, catching the head chef’s attention.
Taeyong looked up, walking over and taking the piece of paper reading it over, “Who is this?”
“I believe it was that singer Lee Taemin with Y/n L/n? That’s what Yangyang told me, he let them in”
His eyes glazed over the order, “Y/n, you say”, he smirked, “Which is her order?”
“The steak”
“Right”, he turned back, “We’re scrapping that, let’s make the ravioli instead”, he said, “Sungchan start kneading the pasta dough”, he instructed, “I’ll get on with the filling”
Ten cleared his throat, “But sir, what do I tell Miss Y/n when I give her the new dish?”
“It’s an honour to be given a dish selected by the head chef, is it not?”, he asked coyly, “Tell her I made it alright?”
Ten nodded and left to take other orders and to get the drinks for those who had ordered it. “Alright everyone, other than the pasta dough, which Sungchan is working on, leave the ravioli dish to me, start on the other ones”
An enthusiastic chorus of ‘yes chef!’ was heard before the chefs in the room returned to their own stations and continued with their work. Taeyong smiled, cutting some spring onions for the plating. 
Of course, he knew who you were, you were in his range of chefs. It had surprised him when you seemingly didn’t know who he was. Your expression of confused, misplaced anger had tickled him. It was like you were a ticking bomb almost, ready to combust in front of him.
“No he did not!”, you exclaimed as quietly as you could, to which Taemin nodded, keeping a straight face that made it nearly impossible to not burst out in laughter. “Please tell me you didn’t-”
“I did”, he confirmed your suspicions, making you bury your face into your palms to avoid making a fool of yourself.
“Kibum was pleased I went through with the dare, my brain after getting that brain freeze? Not so much”
Before you could lose your shit in front of everyone, the waiter arrived at the table, skillfully balancing the plates. He placed one down, pushing it towards Taemin, “Crostini with prosciutto?”, he asked, and your friend nodded, taking the plate. “And for you”, he placed a plate in front of you, and you frowned.
“This isn’t what I ordered”, you noted, to which the waiter seemingly agreed, “Our head chef’s special, he made it for you”
“Oh”, you said taken aback, “Thank you.”
The waiter bowed and left, leaving the two of you alone again. “Seems like Taeyong knows who you are”, Taemin observed. You mindlessly agreed, your frown growing deeper as you inspected the plate.
It was plated beautifully, with olive oil drizzled on the top of the stuffed pasta, the pieces sat in a reduction of sorts that smelled absolutely divine. It was tastefully garnished with crushed bacon on the top and looked like a special off the menu, but that wasn’t what caught your eye.
It was the small packet of salt that sat at the edge of the plate. It was like those little packets of coffee and sugar you found in cafes or hotels. 
You picked it up, examining it for a second, before placing it down and picking up the fork to taste your food. It tasted almost as divine as it had smelled, the blue cheese filling had been skillfully used to that it wasn’t overbearing, but it gave the dish a special something. It didn’t need salt, at all, which made you wonder why it had been served with some.
“Is it good?”, Taemin asked, to which you nodded, “It’s amazing, here try”, you lifted the plate slightly so he could take a piece, as you stole a crostini from his. “Oh this is good too”, you said, finishing off your bite.
“We have to meet this Taeyong”, you said, taking another bite of your ravioli.
“I’ve already met him, it’s you who have to”, Taemin said.
So about a half-hour later, the two of you sat at your table alone, waiting for a meeting with the chef. The waiter had informed you that you would have to wait until closing as he had some duties to finish up, which was understandable.
You heard muffled voices approaching, and looking up from your phone, standing up to greet the chef. He walked in, saying something to a waiter that was with him, before tapping said waiter on the back and face Taemin and you properly. 
You damn near had a heart attack.
In front of you stood the red-haired stranger, the man from the restaurant who had so easily insulted you, but this time he donned the typical chef uniform. His hair was still in that ridiculous style that you saw it in before. Your eyes widened as you gaped like a fool at his figure.
“You! Oh-god the salt”, you said idiotically, piecing together why you had received the salt in the first place and simultaneously receiving a questionable look from Taemin. 
Taeyong smirked, “Hello Y/n”
“I thought you didn’t know him”, your friend said, to which you glanced incredulously at him, “I didn’t know I did”, you looked back at Taeyong, “You’re-”
“Lee Taeyong”, he said, sounding amused at your scattered state, “Didn’t expect to see you here”
If there was one thing Taemin had gotten right, it was the fact that Taeyong, now supposedly the celebrity chef and not a random bitch of a man shitting on your food, was hot. In the brighter light of Ncity, you could make out his features much better than in Weishen. He had dark eyes and a fairyish face.
“Tell me”, he started, “Did the Ravioli need any salt, hmm?”
You glared at him. “You changed my order to Ravioli on purpose, didn’t you? To spite me you asshol-”
“I thought I’d have some fun”, his voice was light and cheerful, which pissed you off even more. The two of you could’ve probably had a nice, sane conversation, but there was something bitter that set him and you apart. You were not particularly pleased to come to know the man you had belittled your food was a chef much like you, nor were you thrilled to have him play games on you for no apparent reason.
“You didn’t answer my question”, he observed, “Did it need salt or not?”
You grit your teeth looking away, “It was fine”
“Just fine?”, the smirk on his lips never left. “Alright then, I guess that’s all hmm?”
Taemin looked at the two of you confused, alternating his stare from you to Taeyong, who seemed very at ease with the situation, almost as if he was enjoying it. 
“Uh. we better leave then”, your friend said, reaching his hand out to shake the chefs. “Thank you”
“No problem”, Taeyong responded, “It was my pleasure.”
You scoffed, giving him a curt nod and shrugging on your coat, “Goodbye.”
He grinned, “See you at the interview!”
You would never admit the food was good, solely because of your pride. Taemin dropped you home and left for his own apartment.
Needless to say, the entire ordeal left you, ironically, salty.
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“What the fuck”
You scrolled through the post, before groaning in annoyance, “This is bullshit”
“Talk about it”, Taemin said from the other end. He had woken you up at 6 in the morning with a call about some pressing news. After you had swallowed the initial urge to strangle him through your phone, he lead you to open your laptop, which was in the kitchen, and read an article he sent you prior.
The title itself was so ridiculous that you almost choked on your own saliva when you saw it. The article had been published just an hour prior, complete with a picture of the two of you at Ncity, giving each other your food and sharing it.
“One of those journalists followed us”, you said, scrolling through the article, which seemed to make up content as it went. “Oh did you know we kissed apparently?”
“Must have been a fever dream”, Taemin mused, “Because funnily enough, I don’t remember that happening.”
“Neither do I”, you shut your laptop, “We’re dating now apparently”
“Oh yes, meet you at seven today baby”
“Don’t ever do that again”
He chuckled, “Bye”
And with that he ended the call. You sighed, wondering how the two of you were supposed to get out of a possible dating scandal.
It wasn’t as bad for you, considering you were a chef. A celebrity chef, but just a chef after all. Taemin was a musician, he had fans that would probably react to this, good or bad, he would have to find out. It could damage his career, but then again, he seemed pretty cool about the situation.
You looked up from the counter, eyes falling on the salt shaker in front of you.
A face flitted through your memories, one that you were slowly starting to despise. Taeyong’s sharp gaze seemed to have a hold on you even when you weren’t around him. You had met him a grand total of two times and yet, he had somehow made an impact.
You didn’t like it.
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Ever since Taeyong was ten, he had dreamed of making it in the cooking industry. 
He vividly remembered cooking with his mother every Sunday, as she explained her secret tips and tricks to getting the food to taste a certain way. The smell of the kitchen was one of his comforts, along with standing beside his mother as she taught him how to cut the onions properly for a specific dish. 
His love for cooking and food only grew, and at fifteen he was taken under former Michelin chef, Lee Sooman’s wing. Lee Sooman taught him everything he knew, bringing Taeyong up to the level of the world-famous chefs, before letting him take the lead.
The celebrity status came along when he earned his first Michelin star, and he got more attention, not only for his food but for his looks too. If he wasn’t a chef, he could certainly be a model.
When he hit his third Michelin star, he knew he had made it, and was beyond joyful, but he wasn’t done. The goal was five Michelin stars, that was what he had always wanted, and what he had always worked towards. So he changed things up, taking the risk.
A risk that lost him a star.
That was devastating, but not altogether bad. He was still one of the best chefs, and the prestige and honour of once having three never faded, but it was a setback.
“You’ll have to get it back somehow”, Lee Sooman warned, “It’s not just your reputation boy, it’s the restaurants”
That was what his mentor told him when he first lost the star. It was as if he didn’t really care for taeyong, no, he cared for the reputation that he had built around Taeyong using him like some sort of device. After all, Sooman had lost all of his own stars.
It sometimes felt like he was trying to love his dream through Taeyong. Having the title of mentoring a famous chef was gloat-worthy. 
But Taeyong strived for himself too, it was his dream before anything else.
He sighed, taking a sip of the wine he had poured himself as some meaningless T.V show played in the background. 
Of course, there was this inkling, this feeling of regret every time he let his mentor down. He had practically grown up with him, and the urge to please was very much alive, even now. He had been like a father figure to Taeyong.
That was the thing, he felt like a child in front of his mentor, especially when he told Taeyong that earning that Michelin star back was an absolute must. Lee Sooman held shares in Ncity, being one of the people who helped start the place, and one of the owners, so he had a say in everything that happened.
Taeyong was the other owner, along with being the head chef. He was living his dream, the chef who had it all, the chef everyone admired. Yet he wasn’t done, he wasn’t complete yet.
Five Stars was the goal. Five stars he would get.
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The Vogue Building was an intimidating structure. Today was the day you would be interviewed for the Top Chef Edition of the magazine, and you were nervous, to say the least. You had to go to the fifteenth floor of the building, where the rest of the chefs would be.
A ping from the elevator told you that you had reached your destination. The doors opened and you were met with a white hall.
You walked into it, feeling slightly overwhelmed by the huge room. A group of people stood over to the side, in casual formal clothing. The other side of the room was sectioned off, with a pretty white curtain, which is where the actual interview would be taken. 
You were wearing a shirt and lose pants, with a coat on the top. Your heels clicked as you approached the group slowly recognizing almost everyone.
Qian Kun stood in the center, leaning on a stool behind him, looking very at home indeed. He was the best chef in the world, someone you looked up to, and you couldn’t believe he was right in front of you. He was attractive too, which just added to the illusion. His eyes fell on you, and he smiled.
“Oh hell, Y/n is it?”
He knew your name good lord.
You nodded, returning the smile and raising your hand to shake his, “Qian Kun, it’s a pleasure to meet you”
“The pleasure is all mine”, he said, dropping your hand, “This is Lisa Manoban”, he gestured towards the pretty woman standing next to him. You shook her hand too, “I know”, you said a little too brightly, “Sorry, I’m a bit all over the place”
“Don’t lose your shit over us, I tripped and almost broke my ankle a second ago, you’re fine”, Lisa quipped with a mischievous smile. You grinned, taking a stand next to her, “What are we doing?”
“Waiting for our turns for the interview”, another explained, and you smiled, “Kim Namjoon”, you regarded him, and he nodded, “Hello Y/n”
It unnerved you slightly, in the best way possible of course, to be in the presence of fellow chef’s you had put on a pedestal. The four of you quickly fell into a comfortable conversation about food, your restaurants, and such. At one point you exchanged numbers with Lisa as well. 
Another chef joined the two of you shortly, Kang Seulgi, another one of your biggest inspirations. You could hardly believe you were regarded as one of them now. She blended into the lively conversation as well. It was as if the group of you had known each other for years.
A woman with glasses walked up to all of you, glancing down at her tablet, “Y/n L/n?”, she asked, looking up. You walked forward, “Yes?”
‘You’re on next”, she said, “Follow me”
She lead you to the sectioned off area, telling you to wait outside the makeshift entrance. Since it was just a curtain, practically a piece of cloth, you could hear the interview taking place at that moment just like Taemin had assured you.
“And what is your specialty?”
“Well actually, this may come as a surprise since I do western cuisine, but it’s actually Korean food”, the chef inside explained with a chuckle, presumably at the interviewer’s confused face.
“You don’t say”, he asked, “And the special dish?”
“Marvellous”, the interviewer complimented, “Thank you so much for coming!”
You heard some shifting and stepped back to let the previous chef through, ready to greet him when he walked out, leaving you staring at him like an idiot.
“Taeyong?”, you stated, though it came out like more of a question. He blinked in surprise, clearly not expecting you to be the first thing he saw after his interview. Those eyes you had tried not to think about were staring right at you before his lips upturned into a smirk.
“Y/n”, he greeted you, “Fancy meeting you here”
You scoffed, “You knew you were going to”
“True”, he mused, “And you knew it too, so tell me, why do you look so surprised?”
There was something about his tone that made you annoyed, even though the two of you had barely conversed for even a minute. 
“Well I wasn’t exactly looking forward to seeing you, now was I?” “You wound me”, he said, the smirk never leaving his lips. You silently wondered if he was capable of any other expression. “Oh I’m sorry ”, your voice was mocking him, which only seemed to amuse him further. 
“Don’t make a scene”, he said, voice low, like he was talking to a child. “Or they’ll see”, he cocked his head towards the other chefs, and your new friends, before giving you a smile, “Good luck with your interview”, he walked away, hands stuffed in his pockets. You couldn’t help but glare at his figure from the back.  
It seemed as if running into him was a new pastime, the world seemed to push the two of you together. 
To most people, telling a chef that there was less salt in the food they prepared, any seasoning for that matter seems harmless, but to a chef, it’s an insult. It’s like you’re telling them they’re incapable of getting something as basic as seasoning correct. And to top it off, he insulted your Ravioli.
Needless to say, his presence wasn’t very welcomed. Even being around him was like a slap to your face.
“Y/n L/n?”, the interviewer called out, making you spin on your heel and face him, “Come on in, let’s begin shall we?”
You nodded, entering the confinement and taking a seat on the stool provided, giving the interviewer a pleasant smile.
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“Steak at Table 8”, Donghyuck called out, hanging a piece of paper with the order up near the counter. You pulled the order off, wiping the sweat off your forehead with the back of your forearm, calling around for the prep. 
It had been a surprisingly busy day at Weishen, with people pouring in pretty quickly. The heat of the kitchen was starting to get to you, after being in there almost all day.
Deciding to cut the tomatoes into juliennes for a salad someone had ordered. You cut them with the french cut, into the thin long strips, like matchsticks. “The red sauce reduction is ready”, Taeil called out, causing you to look up, “Oh that’s great-”, you hissed in pain, looking down to see you nicked your finger.
The cut wasn’t bad, but it stung, so you went over to the sink to wash it. It was close to a graze but deep enough for it to bleed. You clicked your tongue in annoyance, turning off the tap and shaking your hand. 
“Antiseptic”, you muttered, walking to the back of the kitchen to the small first aid cupboard that was at the end of the kitchen. After taking care of your ‘injury’, you walked back, deciding to finish off the salad quickly so you could move on to the next dish.
Your phone rang, startling you again. You wondered if you would make it through the rest of the day without injuring yourself somehow and went to pick it up. The annoying ringtone buzzed in your ear, and you accepted the call. 
“Hey Y/n, it’s Kun”
You almost choked, “Kun?”, your voice went an octave higher, causing Taeil and Xiaojun to shoot you a confused look. “Um, hello, hi”, you blabbered, undoubtedly sounding stupid. He chuckled on the other end, “Hey, Lisa gave me your number, I hope you don’t mind”
“Oh no, sure, what happened?”, you wondered if you sounded too eager somewhere at the back of your mind. 
“Well, you know the Alastair awards are coming up right?”, he asked. You nodded even though you knew he couldn’t see you, “Yep, what about them”
The Alastair awards were the most prestigious awards, which took place every year. They were looked forward to by every single celebrity, and the fans alike. This year, you knew Taemin had been nominated for about five categories, which you were immensely proud of. You had been invited to attend the awards the previous year when you had one your first star and had arisen to celebrity status.
“Well, this year for the food, as usual, us chefs take over that, and this year we’re inviting you to join us in catering the event”, he explained. 
You almost choked for the second time.
“Me?” “No, I’m inviting Mariah Carey”, he scoffed. You were still in a state of shock, so you didn’t quite process his sarcasm. Cooking under Qian Kun? possibly with him? That was your dream come true. “Oh wow, I would love to” “That’s great”, he exclaimed, “We meet up at the Neo Culture Centre on Monday, I’ll text you the details, you’ll be working with another chef as well”
“That’s great, oh my god! Thank you!” “No problem, See ya”
He clicked off and you stared at your screen, holding it to your chest and letting out a deep breath, before breaking out into a wide smile. You turned around facing the rest of your chefs, clearing your throat to get their attention. You fought the smile that threatened to spill.
“Guess who’s cooking for the Alastair awards?”, you asked, raising your voice towards the end as they erupted in cheers, tapping your back and laughing as they called out your name in answer.
You were happy.
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The world seemed to think that you hadn’t been mocked enough, and so it decided to make you the victim of their entertainment once again, as you found yourself standing in front of Lee Taeyong, a person you positively despised, holding a fucking salt shaker.
“This is interesting”, he snickered and you groaned, “Fuck off”
“I can’t”, Taeyong pointed out, “I have to be as much as you do”
“Oi, you two, we need to shoot”
The two of you were wearing your typical chef uniforms, the white bulky button down that was practically your trademark at this point.  The people at Vogue decided to put the Top Chef Interview as the highlight of that month's magazine issue. 
So naturally, they needed a cover picture. What you couldn’t fathom was why they chose you and Taeyong, that combination specifically.
Walking towards the white backdrop they had prepared, you sighed, swallowing your initial reluctance to being anywhere near Taeyong. He set you off, with the littlest of things he did. Maybe it was that goddamn smirk, or the fact that he was an asshole, but had the mercy of the world on his side, and had to be an attractive asshole.
Life really wasn’t fair.
“Okay, stand in front of him”, the photographer Lucas instructed, “Just a little off the side-perfect! Actually maybe lose the salt shaker, that the knife”
You silently thanked whatever gods above that had decided to take your side in letting you keep the shaker aside. Taeyong looked a little deflated at that. He probably wanted to tease you for it.
So you repositioned yourself according to Lucas’ instructions, this time with a knife held in front of your face at an angle. Taeyong stood directly behind you practically breathing down your neck.
“Why did it have to be you again?”, you asked, disdain dripping from your voice.
“Well, the tagline this month is-’meet the newest and the best’”, he whispered, breathe tickling your ear lobe. You breathed out, “Right, wonderful”
“You really don’t like me do you?”, he mused. You kept staring directly at the camera which was where you were supposed to. “I wonder what gave it away”
“Obviously it was the lovesick looks you’ve been giving me”, he scoffed, “You’re amusing”
You shifted on your feet. “I’m glad to be of amusement, but you’re insufferable”
“We’ve hardly even had a full conversation and I’ve been deemed insufferable?”
“Can you two shut up for a minute? We need a decent shot”
You grit your teeth, staring stoically at the camera once again. They wanted that serious intimidating chef look from the both of you. The camera clicked, and the light from the flash nearly blinded you. You blinked awkwardly after they said they got the shot they wanted, trying to regain your stance.
“You’re amusing because you seem so high strung all the time”, he faced you, his dark eyes meeting yours. “It’s like you have this agenda to purposefully hate me. Like you’re trying to fit in or something”
You must have looked horrified. Were you that easy to read? He laughed, “See, all I did was tell you that there was less salt in the ravioli”, he shrugged nonchalantly. 
“You know damn well what that means”, you said, voice low as if you were warning him, “And I would’ve accepted that fact, I have off days too but-”
“Then why did you react so explosively?”, his smirk was back, as if he took pleasure getting you all riled up. He looked triumphant.
“I would’ve accepted it if you didn’t act like such a fucking jerk”
He raised an eyebrow at you, “And how so?”
“Are you two going to just stand there and flirt?”, Lucas asked, reminding you of his presence. You spun around, heat rising to your face, “Sorry”, before glancing at Taeyong, “Ask yourself that”, you hissed, walking away.
His eyes followed you out.
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I: Hello! We have Y/n L/n with us today, someone fairly new to the celebrity side to this business!! Tell me, how did you manage?
You: Thank you! I was eased into it, with the help of friends
I: Ah yes, lovely friends you have there! Let’s begin shall we?”
You: Yes lets
I: So, your first Michelin star! That’s exciting, how did it feel?”
You: Utter joy honestly, I swear I cried every time someone brought it up
I: Understandable, so, anything particularly, spicy going on in your love life? Maybe, Lee Taemin and you?
You: *laughs* No! It’s nothing like that, we’re just friends, in fact he was one of the people who eased me into the world of fame! Sadly my love life remains to be quite bland
I: Ah, understandable. Now, Your restaurant is Weishen, is it not?
You: Yes it is! I’m immensely proud of how far it’s come in such a short while. 
I: Congratulations! I hear rumours of you aiming for another star? Apparently you have been cooking up some new recipes
You: I have! And I am trying to do everything I can for Weishen, but it’s not all me, it's the chefs under me as well, who work extremely hard.
I: One does not make it without a little bit of help, after all. Now, tell us, what is your speciality?”
You: Italian cuisine! I do best in that aspect, and it’s my element.
I: You’ll have to cook something for me sometime. What dish is your special one?
You: Oh yes, that would be Ravioli.
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The Neo Culture Centre was a magical place. It looked like the most magical place at night, with its lights and the grand stage, especially on the night of the awards, but it was magical during the day too. However, it was a different kind of magic, like seeing something for the first time all over again, in a different light.
In this case, quite literally.
You walked into the area, wandering around and taking in the place. You had been here just once before, and had arrived early on purpose so you could explore everything, and not just familiarize yourself with the kitchen. 
The gardens was another thing The NCC was famous for. Huge gorgeous gardens that decorated the area around the actual closed area, where the events took place.
You sat on one of the benches, pulling your knees to your chest as just breathing.
You loved your job, your life. You really did, but it was exhausting having to smile all the time when surrounded by people. Maybe that’s why you didn’t like being around Taeyong. He made it too real, and he could somehow see right through you.
You sighed. For some reason he had been on your mind, like a broken cassette. You couldn’t get his stare of your head, neither could you get his infuriating smirk out. He had struck a chord with his words and decided to haunt your thoughts as a constant reminder.
You didn’t appreciate it.
“Early bird”, someone said, causing you to turn around, only to be met with Lisa Manoban. She had messaged you several times over the week, and the two of you hit off pretty well. You smiled, “Hey you”
“Why are you so early?”, she asked, taking a seat next to you, “Grouping starts in about half an hour”
“I could ask you the same thing”, you smiled, “Why are you so early”
“The gardens”, she said, “I like the white roses that bloom here in the back”, he cocked her head, and you followed her gaze to a bush of pretty white roses. “What’s it like cooking for the Alastair awards? I think you did it last year too”, you changed the topic. She nodded.
“It’s prestigious, amazing! Working for Kun is a dream, except he’s a bloody nightmare in the kitchen”
“Oh no”, you tried not to laugh at her comical expression, “What happened?”
“Nothing happened per se, he’s just a little intense in the kitchen. Pray you’re not paired with him, it may be too much for your first time”, she warned, half joking. 
“Yeah yeah”, you looked away from her, and back at the roses in the distance. A comfortable silence fell over the two of you as you sat there, idle in your own thoughts.
“Were we having a party I wasn’t told about?”, another voice joined the lot, turning out to be Seulgi, smiling, “Come on, Kun has already arrived”
The three of you made your way into the actual stadium, the center where everything took place. It was different, the seats were empty, the place looking even bigger than it already did. The air conditioning was off, and the right in the middle on the stage stood a group of people. Kun noticed your group, calling you over, “I’ve assigned most of them partners, some have even gone to their stations”, he explained.
“Basically, this year we’re divided the seating, so a specific section's refreshments and food will be overlooked by two chefs, and so on”, he looked over at a piece of paper in his hand, “Lisa, with me again, Y/n you’re at station number seven in the kitchens. You’ll have to come up with a menu for your section of the area with your partner, Seulgi”, he turned to the other chef, “Can you show her where her station is since she’s new?”
“Yeah, sure, come on”, Seaulgi led you backstage, and down a few hallways, past where the performers would sit, to an enormous kitchen. You looked around, your eyes widening like a kid in a candy store.
“Oh my god”, you breathed out, eliciting a chuckle from your friend, “There’s station seven”, she pointed to a counter at the end.
You made your way to the back, still walking around in wonder, taking everything in. It was so interesting to see the place where the work went down in. You reached your station, placing a hand on the metal counter and smiling softly.
The smile faded off your face when you saw the chef in front of you, his red hair in all its messy glory, standing there looking at you in equal bewilderment. He wore jeans and a T-shirt with a jacket over top.
“Please tell me this isn’t your station”
“Do you like liars?” “You have got to be kidding me”, you wailed, “Of all of the chef’s I end up with you?”
“Apparently so”, he smiled coyly, leaning against the counter, “Looks like we’re going to be working together”
“Oh joy!”, you exclaimed sarcastically, “Just what I envisioned, having to spend hours on end planning menus with you”
“You’re interesting”, he observed, “I’m not going to bite you, you know”
“I’m grateful”, you sneered, walking over towards him, “How are we doing this?”
“Ah right, you’re the newbie”, he teased, earning a glare from you, “Relax, geez, Alright”, he pulled out a piece of paper and a board that it had been pinned to. “We’ll be covering about 2000 people, so we’ll have to make those many appetizers along with the main courses”, he turned the page, “We’ll have to create an entire menu, stuff that everyone will like you know?”
“Yeah”, you hummed in agreement, taking the page from him, eyes scanning over it.  “It’s not just one dish, so we’ll have to choose something we can prep for”
Taeyong looked at your focused expression. You intrigued him, puzzled him almost. You seemed pretty open, yet closed off, like you had built a wall up against people to portray a character you wanted to. 
“Yeah, we will”, he said, “And thankfully, I’m here to double check if there’s enough salt”
“I will take that salt and shove it up your-”
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The best companions to a lonely light, was a glass of wine and a book, or so you believed. The book could be any, a romance novel, a thriller, or even, heaven forbid, twilight.
Your book of choice happened to be a journal.
It wasn’t any ordinary journal thought, it was your journal of recipes, where you wrote down a new concoction, or scribbled any ideas of how to enhance a dish. Quick notes to yourself, and such. It was helpful to have all of them in one place, especially original recipes. 
Right now, you were busy scribbling down an original recipe as such, something you had concocted in the kitchen when there hadn’t been much crowd in Weishen. 
It was something of a tart, with the filling being this caramel chocolate cream, mixed with a little cinnamon. The crust would be a delectable buttered pastry that would fall apart when cut into. 
You aimed to add this to the menu soon, into the deserts section. After all, you still were aiming for the skies, you had to in order to get another star. You had already planned for several more dishes to be added, ones that you were sure could help elevate the dining experience and the level of food.
You yawned, placing your pen down after writing the recipe down and altering it a little bit, shutting the journal and placing it beside you. You took another sip of your wine, sitting there as jazz music you had put on played softly in the background, making you feel drowsy.
There was so much to do, with Weishen and The Alastair awards, you had barely any time for yourself. You had to over perform in both places all the time, because you knew there was always someone trying to get you down in this business. 
They still thought you were just a lucky girl who somehow won.
And if that wasn’t bad enough you had to deal with Taeyong, for a whole month before the awards took place. You groaned at the thought, not wanting to spend even a minute more with him. He had somehow taken a place in your life, refusing to leave. It felt like his eyes followed you around, mocking you.
You raised the wine glass to your lips, sinking into your couch, trying to drown it out.
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Sitting across Taeyong with your laptop out, you clicked a few keys, typing in the other dishes the two of you had thought of making. “Anything else?”
The two of you sat in a cafe going over what you had to do for the awards. You refrained from speaking much, just humming in agreement, or saying a few words. At first it had started off with the two of you arguing most of the time, you trying to not slap his pretty face and he was trying not to laugh at your annoyed expression.
He was acting like a child.
That was how the first week of working together went-to absolute shit.
You would glance up from your laptop occasionally, looking at him working, before looking back down at your own screen. It was frustrating, not being able to work properly, but your pride wouldn’t let you back down. 
And all that led you to now, the current moment where the two of you almost ignored each other. It was as if the animosity, though very much present, had died out, and had been reduced to glares and not acknowledging each other.
He began tapping his fingers on the table, in a steady rhythm. You could ignore it at first, but he persisted.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
“What?”, you asked sharply, meeting his eyes. He folded his arms, “This”, he gestured to the two of you, “ is not going to work”
You narrowed your eyes at him, “What do you mean?”
“If this has to work, we’re going to have to be”, he stopped, searching for the correct word, “Civil with each other”
“It’s not like holding a gun to your forehead”, you snickered. “That’s because we haven’t even said anything. Look, let’s call a truce, until the awards get over. After that you can murder me if you like”
This time you smirked, which felt like a lovely turn of events, “Deal’
“You agreed so fast it scares me”
“The murder part really drew me in”
He scoffed, “Right so, we need to find common ground”, he explained, “something we’re both good at, then build from there”, he looked back at his own screen, the glare reflecting in his eyes.
You bit your lower lip, wondering if it was worth it, “What about ravioli?”
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Taemin stood in front of you, giving you the world's most unimpressed look.
“You are going to be visited by my stylist, and she will pick out a dress for you, you can’t wear jeans to the awards idiot”, he said, typing something furiously on his phone.
“I’ll be in the kitchen’s half the time anyways”
He chose to ignore you, “I'll call my stylist here itself, we can get ready together!”, he said excitedly, walking into the other room to take a call, finalizing the new developments. You shook your head, amused at your best friend's antics. 
You had slipped that you would just wear casual clothing to the Alastair awards considering you were going to be going in and out of the kitchen, but Taemin immediately shunned that idea, calling you delusional and insisting he get his stylist to work his magic on you.
Your argument was you would make an interesting fashion statement. His was that you would embarrass him. He won.
So you were going to be subjected to his frills and fancies on the day.
“Alright it's confirmed!”, he said, walking into the room and sitting next to you, “And”, he said, “I heard your partner for the cookin was Lee Taeyong?”
You looked at him, bewildered, “How do you-” “The day you came back from the NCC, you were grumbling about it not so silently”
You sighed, “Yes I am”
“Why are you so against him?”, Taemin asked confusedly, turning to face you, resting his arm on the back of the couch as he leaned into it, “You seemed so strung up at Ncity, but I didn’t want to jump to conclusions” “What conclusions?” “I don’t know, maybe he was an ex?”, Taemin mused.
“What the fu-”
“Maybe he was a one night stand that left before you woke up, I don't know?”, he continued, earning a horrified look from you, “No what the fuck, he’s just a jerk”
“Right, but what did he do that made him so”, he stopped, thinking about what he had to say, “Jerky?”
“Taemin that is not a word, that's a dish-”
“Even better, since your both chefs”
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“WE CAN’T PUT SPINACH IN THE RAVIOLI”, you exclaimed, looking as if you were ready to choke Taeyong for even suggesting such a thing, “This has to be classy, not an episode of Popeye”
“We can make it classy”
You scoffed, “This is going nowhere”, you sighed, continuing to pace up and down your station, running a hand through your hair. “You’re making me dizzy”, Taeyong complained, “Can you stand still?”
“The awards are in three weeks, and we haven’t even chosen appetizers!”, you snapped, “What about the main course, hmm?”
“We’re never going to get anything done like this. We’ve been in this place for hours now, and you’re clearly tired of it”, he collected his jacket, “Come one”
You raised an eyebrow at him, skeptical, “And where would we be going?”
“Do you trust me?”
You blinked, “Are you quoting Aladin? Because I am far from your jasmine- wait who’s jafar? Kun?”
He pinched the bridge of his nose, “Just come would you?”
You folded your arms, shifting your weight to your left leg, “How do I know you’re not going to kidnap and secretly murder me”
“Because i promised I’d let you murder me remember? Now come”
You reluctantly obliged, grabbing your own coat, and jogging to catch up with him, stuffing your hands in the pockets to protect them from the cold. After exiting the NCC compound, he called a cab, gesturing for you to enter it.
“SM street”, he instructed the driver, who nodded and took off for the destination.
“Can you at least tell me where we’re going now?”, you asked, but he shook his head, “I said no, it's a surprise. You know, you’re starting to sound a lot like Donkey from Shrek with all your nagging”
“Excuse you-?” Taeyong smirked, “Calm down, I promise you’ll like the place”
You huffed in exasperation, not appreciating being compared to Donkey, but decided not to tear down the skies on Taeyong in the cab, in front of the poor unsuspecting driver. You could practically feel his triumph over getting a dig at you floating around in the air.
After a few minutes of being driven to god knows where (you were still skeptical of him murdering you in the middle of an abandoned field), Taeyong told the driver to stop, paying him and getting out.
“We’ll have to walk a bit”, he said, looking to his left and then back at you, “It's not that far though”
The two of you walked down the street, until you reached a small place. The signboard on top read Café Bul, the white lettering standing out against the warm brown background.
Taeyong pushed the door open, and you followed him inside, the aroma of bread hitting you. It was a cozy little place, with small tables and white whickers chairs. It was quaint, soft music playing from above.
“Taeyong?”, a feminine voice called out, walking into the room, hair up in a bun to prevent it from getting in her face, “Goodness, look at you, it’s been so long!”, she pulled him down into a hug, “Where have you been? Have you been eating?” He chuckled, “Hi Irene Noona, I’m eating I promise”
“Hyung?”, another voice joined them, walking into the room, “Hyung you're back!”
“Hi Chenle”, he hugged the younger boy who had walked into the room, before suddenly remembering you still existed, and was currently awkwardly standing in a corner behind the group, watching their little reunion.
“Oh”, he said, “Right, Irene, Chenle, this is Y/n”, he gestured to you, “Y/n, this is Irene and Chenle”
“Pleasure to meet you”, you greeted with a smile, shaking their hands.
“What are you here for?”, Irene asked, “It’s been over five months since you last visited and you pop up out of the blue with, what? Your girlfriend?” You must have looked extremely alarmed at this notion, because Irene grinned, “Not his girlfriend? Alright then, Explain why you’re here”
“We were trying to put together a menu, but the kitchen got boring and we were tired so I brought her here”
“You come here only when you're bored? Is that what you’re saying Lee Taeyong?”
“Noona no-”
“I’m joking, come on, what would you like to eat, hmm?”
“On the house! Take a seat and wait”
She hustled off into the kitchens, dragging the younger boy with her. Taeyong turned around, facing you and giving you an apologetic look, “Sorry about them, they can be a bit straightforward.”
“I think they’re fun,” you said, taking a seat at one of the tables, Taeyong sitting directly opposite you, “Is this the place you were so ominous about?”
“Yes”, he confirmed, “Welcome to Café Bul! My second home”, he leaned back, shrugging off his jacket. You looked around, taking in the place. It certainly had a homely feel to it.
“Correct me if I’m wrong, but isnt your specialty Tteokbokki? I remember hearing you say it while you were giving your interview”
He nodded, “While I was trained in Western Cuisine, I spent most of my free time here, and was taught how to cook Korean Cuisine by Irene and the people who work here”, he smiled softly, “I had to leave Korea when I was fifteen to start training so this was my one link to home.”
“Fifteen?”, you asked, “Damn okay”
“Café Bul has been in Irene's family for years now”, he continued, “She took over when she turned nineteen”
From there your conversation flowed pretty well, playfully arguing about almost everything under the sun, from singers, to what’s happening in hollywood, to the Alastair awards and dumb stories about your friends. 
“Please”, you scoffed, “If Hendery doesn’t win best actor, I’d change my name”
“But Yangyang”, Taeyong insisted, “And female actresses, I’m placing my bets of Eileen and Ivet”
“Okay, that i agree with”
“Here’s your Tteokbokki”, Chenle came to your table, placing down the bowl of rice cakes, “Enjoy!”
“Thanks Lele”, Taeyong said, earning a lopsided grin from the boy, who bowed and left, “Dig in!”, he handed you a pair of chopsticks, picking up his own and taking some of the dish into his plate while you sat there, “Um, Taeyong”
“What?”, he looked up, before realizing your dilemma, “Oh you don’t know how to use chopsticks, do you?”
“I’m afraid not”
“Just use a fork”, he said, and you obliged, taking some of the tteokbokki into your plate.You looked up to see him eating the food, and tilted your head to the side. “You look like a hamster when you eat”, you observed.
“Your cheeks puff out”
“I’m going to take that as you staring at me”
“I was not-”
He pushed your plate closer to you, distracting you from denying it, “Eat”
You muttered something under your breath, taking a bite. The flavours exploded in your mouth, making your eyes widen at how good it was-
Until of course, the spice kicked in.
Your eyes widened, but not from how good it tasted, of course it did, but your mouth was on fire, making it hard to focus on anything else. You looked at Taeyong in alarm, who caught one look at your distressed expression and burst into laughter.
“Water-”, you choked out, gripping the edge of the table in an effort to stop thinking about the spice. You heard a clicking sound, and looked up in bewilderment , to see Taeyong with his phone focusing on the screen, a lopsided grin on his face.
He laughed, walking to the counter at the head of the café and getting you a glass, “Here”
You looked quite comical in the moment, hair everywhere, a panicked expression on your face, Taeyong simply had to take a picture of it and store it away. 
You grabbed the glass from him, chugging the water down desperately to drown out some of the spice, “You’re laughing at my pain”, you complained, glaring at Taeyong, “It;s not that spicy!”
“Says you who’s used to this! I’m dying here dude”, you took another sip, indignant annoyance at your companion very much upfront. 
“You’ll get used to it”, he chuckled, still very much amused, “Maybe I should have told them to make it milder”
“You think?”
“But it’s good right?”, he asked, as if he was waiting for your approval. You nodded, “It is, actually..”, you trailed off, “If we made a milder version of this we could use it for the main course”
“Yeah, I heard Yuta and Shotaro were going for a Japanese main course, so why not this? I can take care of the Blue Cheese ravioli for the appetizers, that way, all we need to figure out is dessert”
“Okay done!”, he said, surprised himself, “Damn, we got more done out of the kitchens”
You smiled, “It seems so”
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Taeyong sighed, running his hands through his hair in frustration. He felt like a child all over again, punished to a corner. 
“Have you figured out how to get us back up?,”Lee Sooman asked, “You have to get it back, no matter what, you do know what right?”
Taeyong nodded, “I do”
“Good”, he said, “Apparently that L/n girl aims for another star too”, he said. “What has she got to do with this?”, he asked.
Lee Sooman scoffed, “Just outshine her”
Taeyong scoffed at the thought, yet he felt like a child. He always felt like a child with his mentor.It was sickening, but at the same time, it was like he couldn’t escape it. After all, he did want to please him.
“You will make me proud, won’t you?”
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Ever since Taeyong had taken you to Café Bul the week before, and let you in on that part of his life, it was as if you had silently sealed a pact, one that actually worked unlike the useless truce the two of you had declared before.  The two of you still argued, but it was much more mellowed down and less petty. 
Now it was more about stylistic choices about the food, and such, not nitpicking at each other, which was why this dinner event was much more bearable than you expected it to be. 
Kun decided it would be a good idea to round up all the chefs for a night of drinks and dinner, to ease everyone into it. 
The group, about fifteen of you held a pleasant conversation, somethings you couldn’t quite relate to considering most of them had been in the business much longer than you had. Nevertheless, you indulged, smiling and nodding along.
Jazz music played in the back, and Kun asked Lisa to dance and so the two left. Seulgi left with Yuta, and Shotaro was too busy by the chocolate fountain to even care about dancing. 
“Would you like to dance?”, Taeyong asked, and you shot him an unimpressed look. “We were talking about how I am to murder you not a minute ago and now you want to dance?”
“You know what they say, keep your friends close, and your enemies closer”, he winked, “So you coming or not?”
“I’m starting to think you like dragging me places,” you mused, getting up from your seat and facing him, “Aright, but I’m a shit dancer.”
“Just sway to the music,” he shrugged, taking your hand and leading you to the dance floor, “I happen to be an amazing dancer”, he boasted and then proceeded to trip. 
Pride comes before fall.
“Yeah”, you snorted, “So graceful you almost dragged me down with you. Is that what you meant by keeping your enemies closer?”
“That”, he said, steadying himself once again, “Was just unfortunate timing”
He placed his hands on your waist and you placed yours around his neck, “Just sway with me”, he instructed, moving left to right, “See! You’re dancing”
“This may be the world's worst dance class,” you deadpanned, “but thank you.”
“I read your vogue interview”
“And”, he stopped, “Maybe I was a jerk to you about the ravioli. I could have been better about it”
“You could have”, you said with a smile, “Is this an apology? Because paired with this dance class, it’s also really bad.”
He swallowed, “I’m actually terrible at apologies, but I’m sorry, we started off on the wrong foot, but can we start over?”
You stared at him skeptically, studying the man in front of you. He seemed sincere enough.
“Alright”, you agreed with a glint in your eyes, “But do I still get to murder you?”
He chuckled, “That’s negotiable.”
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“I fell by the wayside, like everyone else
I hate you, I hate you, I hate you
But I was just kidding myself”
You hated it.
It scared you because it was like your opinion had changed. You didn’t hate him anymore, you hated the fact you didn’t. It was infuriating, the way that he almost haunted you. His eyes seemed to follow you everytime you did something.
He sent you the picture of you from the day you went to Café Bul, with your eyes wide, almost popping out of your head, nose red and hair messed up. You looked like the epitome of panic, hands flying around mid air.
The next picture was you holding a glass of water, sipping it in desperation. You could almost hear the picture, with Taeyong snickering in the background.
You didn’t hate him, you really didn’t. He was okay, infuriating, but okay. Infuriating because sometimes he could drive you up the wall, like now, when he insisted tules would look much classier on the parfaits that the sugar flowers you suggested, and had already begun making.
“These look fine as they are Taeyong,” you said for the third time as he continued to tell you why tules were a much better option. “Tules would impress them! Elevate the presentation.”
You turned to him, just about ready to strangle the man, “And? Sugar flowers are pretty, and they sparkle when the light hits them! They’ll add colour to the presentation.”
You continued to spoon out the sugary syrup mixture onto the trays, letting them set before you could assemble them into flowers. It was just sugar syrup and food colouring, simple, yet tricky enough to impress someone with.
“It’s time consuming”, he nagged, picking up one of the purple petals that had dried and inspecting it.
“And tules aren’t? Taeyong, don’t shit yourself, but tules are really fucking hard, and if you don’t roll them in time, you end up with a sweet cracker.”
“But you have to make each petal, then attach them together and let them set all over again”, he popped the petal in his mouth, reaching for another, but you smacked his hand away, “They wouldn’t take as much time if you stopped eating them. And besides, we can store these for much longer than tules.”
He ignored you, taking another petal and biting into it, the satisfying crackle of the sugar making you smile, “this is literally just sugar and water”
“Make yourself useful and start assembling the ready petals”, you instructed, “and don't be so bitter about your rejection about tules.”
He muttered something under his breath, taking a dropper of sugar syrup and carefully placing the base petals down, building it up from the bottom of the flower. You smiled slight;y, shaking your head at him and started molding the yellow petals, until you looked back and almost had a heart attack.
“TAEYONG WHAT THE FUCK THE FLOWERS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE SMALL NOT MASSIVE,”, you dropped the spoon, walking over and snatching the dropper out of his hand, staring at the huge flower he had constructed. It was pretty, yes, but far too big for a single parfait that was going to be in a small glass cup.
“But I thought it was supposed to cover the parfait’s top completely-”
You pinched the bridge of your nose in exasperation, “Do you want to give people a sugar rush you idiot? They’re supposed to be small, simply for visual taste.”
“Oh”, he said, giving you a lopsided smile, as if that would make up for it, “I’ll just remake it then.”, he shrugged, peeling off the petals and taking the dropper back from you. You sighed, “actually , nevermind, just start on the prep for your dish.”
“No, I can-”
You reached up, but he held the dropper above you, “Dude, let me try again.”
“We’re already wasting time, and I have work at Weishen too, just give me the dropper”
“Give me the dropper”, your fingers grazed the bottom of the dropper, before you lost your balance and fell into Taeyong, who dropped the dropper in surprise to catch you. “You okay?”, he asked, helping you steady yourself again. 
His eyes met yours, as he studied them, in a mix of bewilderment and amusement. Taeyong liked your eyes, they were inviting, but somehow closed off at the same time.
“Sorry”, you mumbled, realizing how close you were to him, before taking a step back, “Yeah I’m fine, “ you averted your gaze, looking back at the petals, “Um”, your train of thought had been completely pulled of track, “Just, let me do the flowers, I’m almost done with the Ravioli prep anyways.”
He gave you a small smile, before nodding, “okay then, have fun I guess”, he wiped his hand on his pants and walked back to his own prep. You liked his smile.
You see, you didn’t hate Lee Taeyong.
You hated this feeling.
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I: welcome! We are here with Qian Kun today to talk about the upcoming Alastair awards, which are next week! Of course, all of you know him, hello!
Kun: Hello! Yes, ask away
I: So, we understand this year theres something new this year? Sectioning off the audience so each section gets different types of food?
Kun: Yes, the food for each section is very different, different cultures and such to showcase the true styles and give the Awards a different feel this year. There are, I think about ten? Yes, ten chefs in total, split into five groups with two of us each.
I: That’s so very interesting! I’m amazed, do we get a sneak peak?
Kun: *laughs* I wish I could, but its all apart of the experience, but what I can tell you is that we have a new chef on the team, Y/n L/n
I: We’re looking forward to it! Who is she paired with?
Kun: Lee Taeyong, a chef you’ve all heard of *chuckles* They’re among the youngest so hopefully they work together well
I: We all do! Thank you for coming here today, goodnight!
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Taeyong didn’t exactly know how the two of you ended up at an ice cream store at nine in the night, but he didn’t particularly oppose it.
After having finished adding the finishing touches to the parfaits, he suggested the two of you celebrated, considering the awards were the next day. You agreed, much to his surprise, and now he was watching you eat your favorite ice cream- strawberry.
“You do know that coffee chocolate is superior right?” He asked, likcing his cone. You rolled your eyes at him, “You have the taste buds of a ten year old.”
“There is absolutely nothing wrong with that”
“I never said there was,” you offered him some of your ice cream which was in a cup. He declined, saying something about his being better.  You looked at him sideways, noting the way his doe eyes stare at the desert in front of him as if it was the world, taking a bite, before they turned to you.
“You bit your ice cream you monster”, you said, somewhat comically horrified as you playfully took a step away from him.
He grinned, “I don’t really feel the cold”, he explained, “so i can just-”
“I don’t care for the explanation, you are not human!” Shaking your head in disbelief, you licked your spoon, throwing the cup away since you finished.
“So”, he started, “We’re done”, he said, “The Awards are tomorrow.”
“We are”, you smiled, “It was,” you paused, thinking of the word,”interesting working with you Lee Taeyong.”
His lips twitched, “I assume you liked glaring at me”
You let yourself laugh, “Apart from the fun”, you agreed with him, “So I guess after tomorrow we’re done.”
“Hmm”, he hummed, “Must be great for you, since you despise me so.”
You stared at the man in front of you. “I don’t despise you”, you said finally, “not anymore at least. I can handle being in your insufferable presence,” your tone was teasing. “And I have a feeling we’ll see eachother again.”
“And why so?” “Because no matter how much I try to ignore or avoid you, you seem to always be there”
He smiled, taking in how pretty you looked with the moonlight framing your features. Taeyong looked back at his ice cream.
He didn’t oppose this at all.
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You stood there in front of the mirror, studying yourself. You wore a beautiful sleeveless silk deep blue dress that flowed prettily. Your hair was done up in loose curls,your makeup complemented your outfit, making you look put together. 
Maybe the whole, bringing Taemin's stylist over wasn’t a bad idea.
Taemin himself walked into the room, “Damn girl, you look amazing”, he complimented, “that is definitely your colour”
You turned around to face, him, smiling, “Thanks, you clean up well”
He wore a black suit, with a blood red dress shirt underneath, and a few white ruffles at the wrists and collar for the effect. He was going to be performing at the Awards, so his outfit had to exude some of those vibes as well. 
“Shall we leave?”, he asked, extending his arm for you to take, “I’ll be meeting Eileen there anyways”
“Let’s”, you hooked your arm in his and the two of you walked out to Taemin's car. You had managed to talk him out of getting his company to rent a limo for the event, thank god. 
The ride was silent, a comfortable silence that you were used to with him. You were slightly nervous, like you had been the last time you had been invited for the awards, but this time the nerves were different. This time you had contributed towards the awards, a part of you was going to be on display.
The Neo Culture Center had been decorated for the night, the lights blinking excitedly, announcing to the world it was the night of the Alastair awards.
Taemin parked, opening the door for you, “After you”, he grinned, helping you get out and gesturing towards the red carpet leading towards the entrance, “I’m going to go find Eileen alright?”
You nodded, shoo-ing him off to find his girlfriend, looking ahead at the carpet, taking a deep breath. 
It was the night. It had finally arrived.
Cameras flashed from all sides as you took the first shaky step down the red path that had been laid out for you, journalists shouting from the sides to get your attention. You smiled as genuinely as you could, but the butterflies in your stomach from the nerves refused to settle, and your ‘smile’ probably looked like a grimace.
Somehow you managed to walk down the carpet to the other side without completely embarrassing yourself, and walked into the actual inner area of the Awards, where the stage was.
You dropped the smile for a moment to marvel at the venue, taking in its magic. A different kind of magic to its days looks. Now it was something straight out of a fairytale, you could almost expect Cinderella to walk down, gown, glass slippers and all.
You looked across to see the chefs sitting at one table all together. Your table. You began making your way over but was quickly stopped by a hand on your shoulder, “Y/n”
You looked behind to see Taemin, wearing a wide smile, “Hey, okay this is Eileen”, he gestured towards the pretty woman that stood beside him. You recognized her from a few movies and series that you had binged. You smiled, taking her hand and shaking it, “Hey, I’m Y/n, heard a lot about you!”
“Me too!”, she said, “Wait-no, I’ve heard a lot about you, not me”, she laughed good naturedly, “Oh are we holding you up?” “Not really”, you assured her, “I’m pleased to meet you honestly, was starting to wonder if you were just a bunch of pixels on a screen”, you joked, “I absolutely loved you on ‘Meet Me at Midnight!’”
“Thank you!”, she said, “Taemin leave, i don't need you, only your friend”
Taemin looked distressed in the most comical way possible.
“Well, you two enjoy your evening, I’ll see you later, good luck for later”, you wished your best friend, giving Eileen one last smile before taking off to the table you were to sit at. On approaching it, Kun noticed you.
“Y/n! Oh my god, you look gorgeous, take a seat”, he gestured towards one of the empty seats, “Your partner left for the bathroom, and should be back soon if he isn't mobbed by the press”
You thanked him, sitting down and taking the glass of wine the waiter had poured out for you, greeting the rest of your friends. Lisa donned a pretty black strapless dress that fell onto her effortlessly, making her look gorgeous. Seulgi wore a deep yellow midi dress, hair done up in layers. Kun wore a white suit, making him stand out under the dark lights.
Everyone looked amazing, and sitting among them, you felt like a real celebrity, for the first time. 
“What did I miss?”, a new voice piped up from behind you, and you turned, to face Taeyong, dressed in full black, a stark contrast to Kuns outfit. His eyes met yours, “Y/n”, he said, and you stood up, placing your glass down, “Taeyong”
In the words of Lee Taemin, he looked hot.
He studied your figure, “Wow- you look great”
You smiled, “You look great too”, you said, reaching your hands up, “And your collar is not even”, you fixed it, straightening it out and looking up at him. “So”
“So”, his lips (not that you were looking at them) were set in an amused smile looking at you, “Are we going to just stand here or sit?”
Clearing your throat, you sat down again, with Taeyong in the seat beside you. There was that thing again, where you couldn't focus properly on anything but the man beside you, his eyes deciding to burn through your thoughts. 
The lights dimmed even further, signalling that the show was about to start. Storm, a notable singer took the stage as the opening act, leaving everyone in awe at her power over the stage and her stage presence. The crowd erupted in cheers at the end of her performance, and she bowed happily and left, emerging from backstage later on to join the audience.
The actress Furou took the stage, holding a card. “The first category!”, she announced, “Best leading actress in a movie!”
A hush fell over the audience as she called out the nominees.
“Ivet in la tragédie!” The actress, Ivet’s, face broadcasted to the big screen ahead, and she laughed. It cut to a small scene from the movie.
“Eileen in Sugary Euphoria!”Your best friend's face also made an appearance.
“Dawn in Desert Rose!”
One by one the categories began being called out, awards were handed out, and tears were shed. Ivet won that category, and Eileen won the category of ‘Best Leading Actress in a Series’. Furou made an appearance again, winning best supportive character in the movie, ‘Just A Coincidence.’
The appetizers were served, and the chefs got to taste a little of each. Your ravioli received high praise, and everyone loved the bruschetta Seulgi had made with Namjoon.
Taemin came out with full force, back up dancers and all, performing his latest single, ‘Idea’. He positively owned the stage, stealing everyone's hearts with his dancing and vocals. You were a little scared honestly, he was a completely different person on stage. He belonged on it.
More awards were handed out. Taemin won best album of the year. You clapped louder than you ever had for him, proud of your friend. Tiya, a young upcoming singer who had recently broken a record at only eighteen, won best single with her song, ‘Trust No One’.
The main course came around, and Taeyong’s tteokbokki was a hit, everyone enjoyed it. Yuta’s sushi was delicious as well, and he received compliments for it all around.
Taemin walked out, changed back into his clothes from earlier, stopping by your table to say ‘hi’ and left to join Eileen again. The both of them sat at their table, each with an award.
They broadcasted the chefs onto the screen as well, and you plastered on your smile again, getting a little tired of all the smiling. You had to smile of course, otherwise the internet would somehow twist your grim expression into something completely unrelated.
Desert was a hit as well, but you abandoned tasting the parfaits Taeyong and you had put together so you could have one of Kun’s famous Crème Brûlées. The sugar flowers were, indeed quite appreciated, which you made sure to point out to Taeyong.
Cameras flashed from different sides, capturing several pictures for the news, reminding you that you had to look good every time. You had to keep up the smiling disguise, the ruse that every celebrity seemed to hold up like a mask.
It was getting exhausting, especially since there was an hour left of the scheduled program. You took a sip of the wine, paying attention to the performance, and the next few awards, conscious of the constant flashes. The camera’s were literally everywhere.
“You good?”, Taeyong whispered, and you startled, realizing he was right behind you, “Uh- yeah I’m fine, just a bit tired.”
He nodded, seemingly satisfied with this response. You stared at him for a moment, before trying to refocus your attention on the stage, where a singer named Dawn went up to collect her award for best female singer of the year.
You flinched, the lights getting to you. Your grip on your glass increased, shutting your eyes for a moment to drown them out.
“Excuse me”, you choked out to your friends, taking a stand and pushing through the crowd and getting out into an empty hallway and leaning against the wall, taking a deep breath. You felt a little pathetic, running away from the paparazzi, which was something you should’ve gotten used to by now.
It came with your job, the job of a celebrity chef. You had to have photoshoots, you had to have your picture taken, but you hated it. It made you dizzy, constantly having to smile and keep up the image.
“You really aren’t okay, are you?”
Your eyes widened, and you looked to the side, to see Taeyong staring at you, a little concerned, “What happened?” Your throat felt dry. “I’m just not great with”, you swallowed the lump in your suddenly dry throat. “The press.”
He hummed, “But it’s not like they’re all on your trail.” “But they’re everywhere”, you said, stressing the word. “I feel like I'm a lost deer in headlights with the lights flashing from all around.”
“Okay then, wanna get out of here?”
You looked at him, taking in his entire self. Black dress shirt, black coat, black pants, and fiery red hair. He was the same person that you had seen a month ago- then why did he seem so different?
“We can’t just leave,” you protested, “There’s an hour worth more of the show left.”
“And the afterparty”
“There's an afterparty?”
“Yep, every year in the foyer”, he said, “So unless you would like to stay for three more hours of mind numbing content, we can get out of here.”
You bit your lower lip, “How would you get us out?”
He raised an eyebrow at you, amused, “Are you imagining some sort of great escape? We just walk out the door, this isn’t a James Bond Movie.”
“Most people only care for the red carpet shot, you know? For the media, I did it last year”, he said.
“Okay”, you agreed, “And where would you be taking me?”
“Don’t you know to just trust me at this point? Or do we have to reenact the Aladdin scene once again?”
“So it was an Aladdin reference-” He tugged on your hand, intertwining your fingers and pulling you along the hallway, back to the main entrance, which you would now use as an exit.
“After you”
“What a gentleman”, you teased, “Okay, seriously, where are you taking me?”
“Ncity”, he finally said, leading you towards his car, opening the door for you.
“At one in the morning?”
“Exactly, there's no one there, especially since we were closed tonight. It’s much better than staying here, and best of all, I have the keys to the place.”
He took the driver's seat, starting up the car. He switched on the radio, and some random pop number began playing, giving the air a giddy-ish mood.
“How come I didn’t know there was an after party?”, you asked, staring out the window as he drove, “Because it’s only your second time. The first time you attend you are not invited to it.”
You hummed along to the tune of the song, rubbing your arms.The cool night air came with a silence that you took solace in- well, you would have if not for the passive agressive Lady Gaga song playing.
Taeyong parked the car, getting out and opening up the restaurant, navigating through the darkness to the kitchen, which is where he finally put the lights on.
“Okay, why have you brought me here?”, you asked, looking around the kitchen, instantly feeling safer.
“Well, you don’t like the celebrity side of it, but you like cooking”, he said, “So let's cook. What do you want to make?” “Tea for some reason”, You grumbled, “And then you can lead the way.”
He chuckled as you walked towards him, putting the water to boil while he took down a jar of tea leaves, placing it on the counter. You sighed, taking a step back, folding your arms over. It felt good being in a kitchen, even if it wasn’t yours.
“Thank you”, you said finally, after clearing your throat, “For getting me out of there.”
“You looked like you wanted to scream.”
“I did no-”
You were cut off by his snickers. You glared, huffing indignantly as you put in two spoons of the tea leaved, muttering something about how even thanking him was useless, amusing him even further.
You turned around meeting his eyes, “What?”
He took a step ahead, “You look really great tonight”, he whispered. You could feel the heat rush to your face, that warm tingly feeling planting itself in your gut. “You said that before”, you said, keeping his gaze.
“Did I?”, he asked, tone almost as if he was trying to test you, “I’m saying it again then.”
You shivered, forgetting about the tea. You faced Taeyong, a man you had positively despised not a month ago. He was right there, yet somehow you didn’t feel that pull towards hatred anymore.
“Do you like fucking with my mind?”
He smirked, a smirk you found infuriating as hell, “Perhaps. Is it working?”
“Yes”, you said reluctantly, “and I’m not sure how to feel about it.”
He took another step closer, “Do you like it?”, he whispered, the smirk still playing on his lips. You swallowed, “I don’t hate it.”
His hands found your waist, fingers gently brushing against it. “And what if”, he trailed off, leaving the half asked question hanging in the air for a moment, “I kissed you?”
Your eyes flickered to his lips, your own parting in an attempt to think of something to say, but you were left with nothing. He had left you speechless with a few words.
“I wouldn’t hate it”, you said finally, running off your previous statement, looking back at his eyes.
He leaned down and gently pressed his lips to yours, pulling you closer towards him. Your arms wrapped around his neck, fingers finding their place in his hair as you kissed him, tugging at the ends ever so slightly.
He tasted like wine, and a hint of the parfaits, intoxicating. It was like he had invaded all your senses, and he was the only thing you could think of in that moment, and the way his lips felt against yours.
You stomach twisted at the feeling, but in a good way. It was almost scary how much you liked the kiss. You couldn’t really think clearly, which told you that he had succeeded in his mission of fucking with your mind to an extreme.
What had the two of you been doing before this? You couldn’t quite recall.
He pulled away, but your lips followed his, before you realized what you were doing and reeled back. He chuckled, “Impatient?”
You whined, “you’re going to tease me about this aren’t you?”
“If you want to kiss again, just say so”, he said, his fingers tracing up your arm, “Seems like you quite enjoyed it”
“I don’t like you”, you stated indignantly at this, somewhat annoyed. He smiled coyly, “Really? Because you seemed quite content not a minute ago, your hands are still in my hair by the way”
You pulled your hands back, looking slightly horrified, but realized his hands were still on your waist, holding you close. “You seem quite content too”, you said.
He kissed you again
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“Because no matter how much I try to ignore or avoid you, you seem to always be there”
Your words seemed to want to justify themselves when you found yourself sitting across Taeyong, trying not to laugh at his stupid jokes, and keeping your attention on Lisa.
This time it wasn’t the whole group, just the initial six that had been at the Top Chef interview. You, Taeyong, Lisa, Kun, Seulgi and Namjoon. You had somehow integrated into that circle of friends, but how? You were not entirely sure.
The six of you had met up in the ‘Dream Bean’, a bar of sorts, which was only a block away from your house, so you had walked there.
Lisa was seemingly retelling a story for your sake about a date gone comically wrong, while you tried your best to keep up with it, but your eyes kept slipping from her to steal glances at Taeyong, or look down at the food you had ordered.
You tried thinking back to when you didn’t want anything to do with Taeyong, but instead your mind led you to the day he took you to that Cafe, or the day the two of you went for ice cream, right before the awards, right before he-
Oh this was not good.
Shifting in your seat, you happened to look at the devil himself, who was giving you an amused look. Raising an eyebrow at him, you silently asked him what warranted the expression, to which he just grinned at you.
Namjoon called it a night, leaving first, saying something about his restaurant Bangtan. You decided it would be a good time to leave, gathering your things, and bidding them farewell, walking out of the place and onto the sidewalk.
“Were you trying not to look at me?”
Yous spun on your heel, to face Taeyong who was leaning against the wall, still looking extremely entertained.
“Were you trying to give me a heart attack?”
He stood up straight, stepping closer, “You’re ignoring me”, he stated, “Why?”
“When did you get so dependent on my attention?” you scoffed, trying to keep your composure.
He smiled, “Isn’t it obvious I like you? Or was the kiss too subtle?”
You bristled, feeling the heat rush to your face, deciding to purposely ignore that statement.
Taeyong chuckled, “Want me to drop you somewhere?”
“Actually I walked here since I live closeby”, you explained, “So I’ll just walk back.”
“Then I’ll walk with you.”
You sighed in exasperation, wondering why he was so pressed on accompanying you, like some sort of puppy. “Why?”
“Because”, he took another step forward, “I’ll probably annoy you till you say yes.”
You shut your eyes, “Fine! Come on.”
The two of you walked in silence, while you wondered how you should feel towards him. On one hand you still thought he was this taunting person who seemed to take pleasure in your confusion, but on the other, he had been really nice to you, helping you on the night of the Awards and getting you out of there.
It didn’t help that no matter how much you tried to dislike him, you couldn’t seem to.
“We’re here”, you said stiffly, “Thanks, I guess.”
“I can’t seem to figure you out”, he said finally after letting a few seconds of silence pass, as he studied you. “You’re confusing”
You scoffed, “I’m the one who’s confusing?”
“Of course you’re the one”, he said as if it were the most obvious thing, “You have obviously been trying to avoid all contact with me, even after you happily made out with me in the kitchen of my restaurant.”
“How many times are you going to bring that up?”
“As many times as it takes for you to tell me why you’re trying so hard to dislike me”, he said simply, taking a step forward, “It’s almost like you’re afraid of the concept of liking me.”
You swallowed, hand on the knob of your door as you kept his gaze, defiant. You didn’t like the way he somehow saw right through you, you didn’t like the self assured tone he used, and you definitely didn’t like the fact that you somehow found all of this collectively, extremely attractive.
He leaned forward, lips brushing against your ear, “Are you, perhaps, afraid?”
You turned the knob, the satisfying click resounding through the cool night air. It almost sounded as if you were challenging him.
“And why would I be afraid?” You could hear the languid smile on his face, “If you aren’t then you’d have no trouble admitting it, hmm?”
His other hand brushed against, yours, intertwining your fingers, sending a shiver down your spine. You bit your lower lip, realizing he had caught you. 
But you were not afraid, you were simply confused and mildly annoyed at the effect he had on you.
“I admit it”, you said finally, your voice coming out much louder than you had anticipated. “I do like you.”
He frowned, “You’re saying it as if you still want to murder me.”
“Who says I don’t want to?”
He rolled his eyes, “Can I atleast ask you out first?”
Infuriating, annoying, despicable, insufferable, but somehow you liked it. You liked it so much that you leaned forward and kissed him, hoping that one: it would shut him up, and two: hey maybe now he’d have another kiss to nag you about!
His hand let go of yours, coming up to gently cup your face as he kissed you back You grip loosened on the knob as you relaxed into it. You heard a car pass by and remembered that the two of you were still outside, the thought making you turn the knob again, subconsciously pushing the door open as your other hand fisted his collar, pulling him with you.
Awkwardly kicking the door close, you pulled away from the kiss for a second, dazed, before kissing him again, once, twice, before it felt like you were drowning.
You quickly learned that you really liked kissing Taeyong.
You felt giddy, pulling away and swallowing, “Okay then”
He chuckled, “What?”
“I’m waiting for you to ask me on that date idiot.”
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“I thought he was ‘jerky’”
You groaned, face in hands, “Would you stop already?”
Taemin paced across your living room, “No, because my best friend has conveniently hidden the fact that she had been dating Lee Taeyong for the past month!”, he screeched, “When were you planning on telling me? When you were married? Had two kids and a dog?”
“I haven’t told anyone”, you assured him, “No one knows.”
“Oh thank you for this charity”, he scowled, “How the fuck did you manage to hide it from the press?”
“We didn’t walk around town showing it off, simple”, you said, looking back at the book you were reading, eyes scanning over the words of the page as you skimmed through it, reading over some girl's first love and how it ended sadly with her having to move away.
Taemin sighed, “You will give me the details later”, he demanded, “I have a date with Eileen”, he gave you a half assed hug, before collecting his coat, “Bye”
“See ya”, you called out, flipping the page. 
The topic of you dating Taeyong had come up quite by accident, when he asked you if you would be free sometime the next week to go for a movie with him, since it was one the two of you had been looking forward to for a while now. You told him you had plans the day he suggested, slipping up that it was a date with someone, only for the truth to come out and for you to tell him you had been dating Taeyong for a month now.
To be completely honest, it had been your idea, keeping the relationship, if you could even call it that, a secret. The two of you didn’t have a label on it per se, at least not yet. Taeyong had been fine with keeping it public, seeing no harm in it, but you had requested to keep it quiet.
It wasn’t because you were ashamed, in fact you were quite happy (something that you would have been horrified at just a month back) with him. It was because you weren’t comfortable with the media having an insight to every aspect of your life, which was something they were fond of having when it came to celebrities. Taeyong understood and knew this, agreeing to keep it on the low down.
You sighed, turning the page and patiently waiting for the person who you were expecting to arrive. You heard a harsh knock on your door, jumping slightly at the sound and got up from your seat, confused.
The person you were awaiting wouldn’t knock like that.
You opened the door, to see two figures instead of one, Taemin and Taeyong standing side by side, Taemin with an expression of comical anger and Taeyong with one of amusement.
“Look who I ran into”, Taemin scowled, “You didn’t even tell me he was coming.”
You sighed in a mixture of exasperation as your friend, “I told no one, and don’t you have a date?”
“Oh right”, he said, “Goodbye, I’ll be back”
“Delighted”, you said dryly watching him leave before turning back to Taeyong.
“You know, I listen to his music a lot”, he started, “And I had always wondered if I’d meet Lee Taemin, but him looking at me like I was an alien and then dragging me by the collar here was now how I expected to do so.”
“I am so sorry about him,”, you apologized for your eccentric friend, “he found out by mistake.” Taeyong grinned, “I’m okay with that”, he said, “Can I come in?”
You nodded, walking into your own living room, him following you in as you went back to the couch, picking up your book, “Movie?” Your dates, since you had decided not to show it off to the world, had comprised of movie nights, cooking with each other randomly (which went well the first time until of course he teased you about the salt and you nearly went through with your promise of committing murder) and visits to Café Bul. Irene and Chenle were delighted to see you everytime.
“Actually”, you started, “I was wondering…”, you trailed off, walking out of the room to put your book back in place, before returning, “If you could teach me how to make tteokbokki?”
He raised an eyebrow at you in surprise, “Really?”
You nodded, “The mild version you made for the awards”
“I would love to teach you, but this is a bit sudden and ingredients-”
“I already got them”, you said, before smiling sheepishly, realizing how eager you sounded. He chuckled, at your enthusiasm. “Okay then.”
“Great, wait a minute, I’ll get everything ready, stay here”, you said, walking over to your kitchen and pulling out the ingredients.
Taeyong took off his coat, placing it on your couch and looking around. By now he had been at your house several times, he knew the kitchen, he knew the way everything was placed in your living room, he could navigate it perfectly with his eyes closed.
Yet he stood there, studying the room as if he had never seen it before. He looked at the old TV that you had supposedly had for seven years now, but refused to give away even though you could more than afford to get a new one. 
You were funny like that, you held on to random things you had taken a liking to, and kept them, no matter how battered or beat up they were. 
Then he looked at his side, to the cabinet with frames, some with friends when you were younger, maybe ten, some when you were older, some with family, and about two with Taemin, who he had met just prior.
Finally his eyes fell on the little table in the middle of the room. A tea poy, to keep books and cups on. There sat a leatherbound journal, the only thing on it.
He walked ahead, picking up the book and flipping it open to its first page, where your name was scrawled in your handwriting at the top right of the first page. He turned it to see just a list on the first page, reading through it and realizing that they were ingredients for a recipe. Following the list was a step by step instruction on how to cook the dish. He turned the pages skimming through the different dishes you had penned down into the book.
Some of them were classic combinations with twists of your own and some were downright genius. He reached the second to last page you had written in, noting the small scribbled note on top.
Introduce this into the desserts menu. Michelin.
That piqued his interest, as he read over the recipe of a tart of some sort that sounded absolutely deletable to him. He read over it, a sort of twisted guilt seeping into his gut.
It was soon becoming clear that these weren’t for anyone to see, especially not another chef. Yet he read on, the words imprinting into his mind.
“Apparently that L/n girl aims for another star too”
You were aiming for another star, and you were doing it the same way he had, taking the same risk, changing up the menu, but it seemed as if you were doing it slowly. Tentative, baby steps towards your goal. A smart idea.
“Just outshine her”
It was like a moral conflict, on one hand, he wanted to make Lee Sooman proud, but on the other was you, you who he had fallen for, someone he cared about, who also happened to be his competition.
He  clicked a picture of the page and shut the book with shaking hands, and placed it back, composing himself again before you walked into the room, which you did a matter of seconds later, pulling him into your kitchen as you started bickering with him. He laughed at you, showing you how to make the dish he held close to his heart, teasing you about the seasoning.
But throughout it all, he couldn’t shake off the guilt, the feeling of dread. He couldn’t shake off his mentor's cold stare and demanding words.
“You will make me proud, won't you?”
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“Damnit Taeyong, we’ll never get it back”, Lee Sooman hissed at the chef, who looked very much like a child in the moment, standing straight, shoulders back, avoiding all eye contact with the older man in the room.
Taeyong wondered how the situation would’ve gone down if he had just stood up for himself and hadn’t been such a coward, but it remained a pondering thought, as he let himself be reprimanded by the man he loved and hated at the same time. 
He couldn’t tell him to stop, it was physically impossible. In front of Lee Sooman, he was a child again, the fifteen year old who begged the man to teach him how to cook. Maybe that's why he wanted to prove himself, because he had learnt everything he knew from his mentor. He felt indebted to him, like he needed to give something back in return for everything he had done.
“We?” Taeyong asked, “I am the one with the stars, not the restaurant.”
“You are the restaurant,” Sooman countered, “You looking good means the restaurant looks good, which in turn means I look good.”
It was never about Taeyong.
It was always about himself.
Taeyong realized he was just this doll, a puppet used to play by the rules just to let Lee Sooman get the respect he had lost after being forgotten in a world that used to be his.
Why didn’t Taeyong hate him then? Why didn’t he despise him?
“I have a way”, Taeyong said, “I don’t-”
“What is it?”
Taeyong swallowed down the lump in his throat, the guilt building up. Just to make him proud, he told himself.
Would she be proud?
“Change the menu”, he said, earning a look of disapproval from Sooman that made him want to shrink away, “We all know how that turned out.”
“You told me to outshine here didn’t you”, Taeyong said, “I can”
And so he told his mentor about what he knew, what he remembered. He held his hands behind his back to prevent anyone from seeing how they shook from guilt. A slow smile spread over Lee Sooman's face, which further fed Taeyong’s guilt, “That’s perfect.”
Wrong. It was so wrong. The moment he found himself telling Sooman was the moment he knew he couldn’t do this. He changed his opinion suddenly, trying to coax the older man out of the plan, but it was futile.
“Don’t be daft Taeyong”, he said, “This is a great opportunity. Go through with it or I’ll be extremely disappointed.”
And so Taeyong shut up, consumed by his guilt, controlled.
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“You think she’ll like it?”
“Of course she will”, Xiaojun assured you, rubbing your arms, “Calm down, I’m sure she’ll love it.”
You sighed, “Worrying is no use”, you muttered, leaning against the kitchen counter, tapping your finger on the top of it, “It’s not even on the menu yet, we’re adding it, but I thought it would be a good idea- god what if it wasn’t?”
“Y/n”, Jaehyun said firmly, his voice pulling you out of the funk you had thrown yourself into. “Yeah, yeah, I know”, you said, “But this is important.” 
Mark came back, holding an empty plate. “Where's the desert course?”
Johnny handed the waiter a plate with a tart, a combination of cream cheese, chocolate and caramel, a sort of cross between a cheesecake and a pie. You had plated it beautifully, with a mint leaf on top of the actual tart, drizzles of caramel and cream cheese frosting piped in little dots at the side.
Mark gave you a supportive smile before walking off to deliver the desert to the person who had ordered it, or rather asked.
In the corner of the restaurant sat Tahmina Aamani, food critic extraordinaire. She was well known in the food world for her lengthy reviews, the way she described everything. Her reviews could quite literally either make you or break you. 
Tahmina was also on the Michelin committee, which wracked your nerves even more. The last time someone from the committee had come, it had been Kim Yeri, who had been highly impressed with you, in fact, that was how you got your first star.
But it still made you nervous, every time you saw a critic in the restaurant.
But you saw the opportunity, and took it, knowing that this was your chance to introduce the recipe you had been working on, and you did. Now she was probably eating it, making up her mind. 
Donghyuck walked up to the counter, “Mark is taking other orders and she wants to meet you.”
You straightened, nodding and following Hyuck out towards where Tahmina sat. She looked up from a notebook she was writing in, and smiled. “Hello Y/n”
“Hello, I’m so pleased to see you here tonight”, you said, returning the smile. “I trust you had a good time?” “It was lovely really”, she said, but her smile didn’t quite reach her eyes, “I enjoyed myself. You are a very talented chef. The tart is quite amazing.”
“It’s not on our menu yet”, you explained, “A new original recipe I’ve come up with.”
Her smile faltered for a moment again, “It’s fantastic.”
You thanked her prettily and she talked with you for a little while, briefly bringing up the Alastair award at one point. You chatted amiably, until she announced it was time to leave, complimenting your food one last time and leaving. 
The weight lifted off your shoulder when she left, and you took the seat at the table she had occupied, which was now empty. You sighed, head in hands, not exactly sure how you should feel after that. She was a lovely person, but there had been something restrained in her voice, she was holding back information.
It unnerved you, and you didn’t even know why.
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Taemin walked up to your apartment, taking slow deliberate steps, as if he was trying to put off getting there. He wasn’t sure how to break you the knews, hell he was scared about how you would react, but he had to tell you.
He stood outside your door, contemplating whether it was a good idea to even tell you. First of all it was about eight in the morning on a Saturday, the one day you took off, and secondly, it wasn’t easy news to take in.
You deserved to know.
So he finally knocked, taking a step back and waiting for you to arrive at the door, give him your signature glare, and let him in for coffee. 
And so you did, the door opened, and you appeared, half asleep, gesturing him in, “What’s up? Why are you here so early?”
You didn’t know.
Taemin hated being the bearer of bad news, so he procrastinated, shrugging and asking how you were and how work had been the previous day. You filled him in, about the way Mark almost fell on his face, Xiaojun’s constant banter of gossip and the food critic.
That was a bitter turn of events, but the perfect way to bring up what he had come for in the first place.
“Y/n”, he started slowly, as if you were a child he needed to persuade to stop crying, “Have you seen the news?”
You blinked at him in bewilderment, shaking your head, “No, why?”
“Where's your laptop?”, he asked, looking around before spotting it, opening the device and putting in the password (which he knew, he knew almost everything about you) and opening a tab, “I have something to show you.”
You walked over to him, leaning over his shoulder, squinting at the bright light of the screen. You had woken up just a few minutes prior to Taemin's arrival, and was still getting out of your morning funk.
“Here”, he whispered, moving away so you could read. The title of the article itself made you confused, it made no sense, it wasn’t true at all.
Buckle up folks, this one is a doozy! If you thought the food industry had no scandals, think again! Our prime example is the Lovely Y/n L/n , who seems to have been caught out for stealing recipes and claiming them as her own.
The young chef, who had stayed out of any trouble or news, has quickly become infamous with something extremely unlikely- a tart!
Famous food critic Tahmina-
You staggered back from the laptop blinking in confusion and horror at what you just read. You? Stealing? No, that was impossible, that never happened, this was all a lie, it jumped so many hoops. You looked at Taemin with a dazed expression, he returned you one with sympathy, “Read the rest”, he said, intertwining your fingers and pulling you back to the laptop, holding your hand for support.
You took a deep breath and continued.
Famous food critic Tahmina Aamani had visited Weishen just a few days back, to do her job and critique the food, maybe evaluate it, the usual stuff. “The first two courses were amazing”, she said, “but when the desert came around was when it all went wrong.”
Tahmina proceeds to explain that she was given a tart, plated beautifully that raised her hopes for the dish. When she took the first bite was when she realized something was wrong. “It tasted so familiar, like I had eaten the same thing before.”
Upon meeting L/n, the chef informed Tahmina that the desert had not been added to the menu yet, and that it was an original one. That didn’t sit right with the critic, who’s instincts told her that there was something fishy going on.
The article seemed adamant on painting you as the bad guy, exaggerating its words. You squeezed Taemin’s hand, not being able to tear your eyes away from the words, the lies in front of you.
“I remembered where I had eaten the same dish before”, the critic said, “It was at Ncity, one of my favorite restaurants. I had been served the tart, which was a new addition to their menu, and it had been amazing. I even spoke to Lee Taeyong and he told me about the dish being something he had come up with out of the blue.”
The critic went on to talk about how she would’ve let it slide, but the fact L/n had said it was her dish was not acceptable, especially since it was someone else’. We over here at the Exo News wholeheartedly agree with this.
On reaching the end of the paragraph, you didn’t exactly know how you felt. Something was off, like a ticking that you couldn’t quite catch. Something had set you of in the article but-
A startled cry left your lips as your hand almost crushed Taemin’s. “Ncity”, you muttered, “Ncity that's Taeyong’s- why?”, you asked no one in particular, “How could they have had my recipe?”
You blinked rapidly, “No, it’s mine, I didn’t steal anything”, you said, turning to your friend in earnest. “I didn’t Taemin I did-”
He looked sympathetically at you, “Baby, I know”
You stuttered, words not making any sense anymore. It felt wrong, it was wrong. You had done nothing. And the mention of Ncity, it was disturbing. How the hell could they have your recipe?
You had never been in a scandal before, you had never wanted to be in one. You knew of the celebrities who purposely took part in scandals for publicity, you just couldn’t. You had stayed so far away from them, you had been so careful, but here you were, finding yourself in the midst of one. 
“It-it makes no sense I-”, you let go of Taemin’s hand, walking to your living room, trembling ever so slightly, “I didn’t steal I didnt”, you insisted, repeating it over and over like a prayer. You supposed it was, a prayer to wake up from this nightmare, someone to tell you that this was an elaborate joke.
You sat on your couch, head in hands as you rocked yourself. It was a big accusation, especially with how hard you’ve worked to get where you were, What if people started doubting your integrity as a whole? This would affect Weishen too, not just you.
You looked up, eyes falling on your journal. You stretched out, picking it up and furiously flipping to the page where you wrote down the ingredients of the tart,  shoving it in Taemin’s face, “See, it’s mine, It’s mine I didn’t”, you dropped the book, your lower lip trembling. Taemin pulled you into his embrace, hugging you, “Hey, it’s okay”, he hushed, “It’ll be fine.”
It was as if you had expended all your energy trying to prove yourself to your friend, how the fuck would you prove you were innocent to the rest of the world?
“Taeyong”, you whispered, “Taemin you don’t think…?”
Taemin stayed silent, giving you the answer you needed, leaving you more distraught than before. You tried to ignore it, tried to justify it, but you couldn’t. You let out a whimper, feeling utterly helpless, trembling in Taemin’s embrace.
Suddenly Tahmina’s off behaviour made sense, she thought you were a liar and a thief.  
You could feel the cameras on you, even in the solace of your home, it was like the whole world was suddenly watching you, waiting for you to do something, to mess up again.
Because that’s how the world worked.
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“Trust is a fragile thing. Like a diamond, all it takes is a single crack to shatter it into pieces that can never be fixed.”
You stood outside of Ncity, looking at the sign above. It felt as if you were rooted to the spot, you couldn’t move. You were afraid, afraid you would be right, afraid that when you walked in there your suspicions could possibly be confirmed.
They practically already were, since Taemin had ordered the dish from Ncity to test it out, and it had tasted the exact same. No difference. 
You took in a shaky breath, walked up to the door and was greeted by the maître d, Yangyang, “Miss L/n! Good to see you again! Table for how many?”
“Table for non”, you said curtly, “I need to talk to Taeyong.”
“Actually you can't-”
“Tell him it’s Y/n”, you interrupted him, “It’s important.”
Yangyang opened his mouth to say something, but decided against it, telling you to wait there while he fetched the man you had requested to speak with. You stuffed your hands in your pockets, not knowing how to react, or even what you were going to say.
What were you even supposed to say?
You spotted him walking out of the kitchen, a smile stretching out on his lips as he saw you, walking over. It felt worse all of a sudden, now you had to confront him, you had to talk about it, and that would make it real.
“Hey, whats up?”, he asked, leaning down to steal a kiss, but you moved away. “Don’t”, you said, voice brittle. “I need to talk to you.”
He frowned, confused, but obliged, leading you to a storage room in the back of the restaurant, turning to you, his expression akin to a lost puppy. You hated it, the way he seemed so okay, so fine. You looked around the storage room, “Do you have cream cheese?” He raised an eyebrow, “What?”
“Cream cheese, oh and caramel, chocolate too”, you said, narrowing your eyes at him. “You do have that here right?” He looked confused, “Y/n I don-”
“You should fucking have it since you made my desert”, you hissed, glaring at him. 
Taeyong paled, staring at you like you were an apparition. “I don-”
“Don’t you dare try and act innocent”, you said, “Or did you not read everything that’s been going around?”
He looked completely oblivious, which made you furious. “Fine”, you spat, “I’ll fill you in, hmm?”, you walked up to him, “You told Tahmina Aamani that you came up with a desert, that happens to be the exact same desert that I made. She recognized it.”
Taeyong’s eyes widened, he looked like he wanted to say something but couldn’t. Or rather he didn’t want to. You partially wondered what pathetic excuse he’d give to explain himself, but that excuse never came. Instead he just stared at you dumbfoundedly like an idiot.
“Now I get it if we both thought of the same ingredients. And made something completely different, but it was a tart as well? And it tasted the fucking same Taeyong, how do you explain that? Don’t you think that's far too many coincidences?”
That was it, maybe if it was a cheesecake, or something completely different. Maybe if it was different, even in the slightest way, you would’ve moved on, you would’ve somehow convinced yourself it was a coincidence. But now you needed him to tell you.
He swallowed the lump in his throat, not looking at you.
“SAY SOMETHING DAMNIT!”, your voice was louder now, “Defend yourself, tell me you haven’t done it.”
At this point it seemed as if you were begging him to prove you wrong, you wanted to be wrong, so bad. You wanted to believe that he would never do anything like that to you. It was a false sense of hope.
“Please”, you added, voice softer, as if you were tired. “Please tell me I’m wrong Taeyong.”
You don’t know what hurt more, the fact that you knew you were right, or the fact he stayed silent. That silence told you all you needed to know.
You staggered backwards, leaning against one of the storage racks. “Do you know what you’ve done?”, you asked, “A scandal. You’ve thrown me into a scandal, under all the cameras and the lights and the attention. I’m a liar and a thief in their eyes”
“And you know how much I hate the attention”, your lower lip trembled, making you want to scream.  “And I’m not the one at fault.”
You felt betrayed, so betrayed. You had trusted Taeyong, you let him in, you gave him a chance. You even fell for him, but now? Now it felt like you were falling into a chasm with rocks at the bottom, ready to hurt you.
But you were already so hurt.
You buried your face in your hands, “Please tell me I’m being paranoid, tell me I’m being stupid. Tell me something.”
You pressed the palm of your hands into your eyes, pressing into them, trying to not cry. It hurt, and you hated that it hurt. You didn’t want it to hurt. You wanted to glare at him, and accuse him and be done with it. But you couldn’t, you cared too damn much.
Don’t cry, you told yourself, pressing harder, dont fucking cry.
Crying was something you hated, you didn’t want to cry in front of him because it showed how weak you were, how much you actually cared. Tears meant attachment, they meant feelings and you just had yours ripped apart.
“I’m sorry”, he whispered, and you wanted to scream, you wanted to slap him, because he had just admitted to the very thing you wanted him to deny, with a futile sounding apology. His voice was so soft, like he knew what he had done. Then again, if he knew, why did he do it?
An empty sounding sob left your lips. It was much more than just the fact he stole your recipe and used it to his advantage. No, it went much deeper than that. You had trusted him, you let him in. You listened to your heart, even when your head told you not to.
“No”, you muttered pathetically, “No, you’re supposed to tell me I’m wrong. Please tell me I’m wrong.”
Taeyong stood there foolishly, watching as you slowly fell apart in front of him. He hated himself for it, he knew it would hurt you, but he did it anyway, he went ahead just so he could prove himself worthy of someone who didn’t even care for him. And you were here, someone he cared for, someone who cared for him.
“I’m sorry”, he repeated, not knowing what else to say. What could he say? Would it even matter anymore?
I hate you, your mind droned on, I hate you, I hate you, I hate you. It was on the tip of your tongue, but for some reason you couldn’t say it. You physically couldn’t say it, it was as if the phrase had vanished from your vocabulary all together.
You didn’t hate him. You hated the fact you didn’t.
Your face was wet, you realized you had succumbed to crying after all. What did he expect to do with a feeble apology? You sniffled, wiping your nose with your wrist. You didn’t like that it hurt this much, more than you anticipated.
“I was right”, you muttered bitterly, “You really are a bastard after all.”
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You flung the newspaper across the kitchen, leaning against the counter, head in hands as Xiaojun attempted to comfort you. 
It was all happening so fast, one moment you were fine, the next you were given the news of your restaurant possibly being shut down due to something you didn’t even do. Business had been a little less than usual and it frustrated you, because you had worked so hard, proved everyone wrong about your supposed ‘luck’ to get where you were, only for it to all be thrown away.
“Hey it’s okay-”
“It’s not okay Dejun”, you interrupted him. Your voice was shaky, yet accusing at the same time as if you make up for the weakness, “Weishen is all i have.”
Xiaojun watched you, hand rubbing your back comfortingly. He didn’t know what else he could do. He watched as you slowly started crying, wiping away your tears furiously. “It’s not fucking fair”, you whispered. 
You were slowly realizing that the path you had taken was never going to be fair. You silently wondered how some celebrities purposefully indulged in scandals for the publicity, or to break out from their initial image of innocence that the world of fame that trapped them in.
Maybe that was it. They could handle it because it was planned, it was what they wanted to happen. It was intended while you never wanted one.
You straightened out, wiping your hands to your clothes and sighing. There wasn’t much you could do other than somehow make sure Weishen stayed. Because it wasn’t just you who would suffer, it would be everyone who worked at Weishen. The chefs, the waiters and waitresses. So many would be losing.
You couldn’t let Weishen close, no matter what. Not for some asshole who decided to fuck screw over.
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Taeyong hated himself. In all his life he had never despised himself more.
 He watched Lee Sooman as he paced around, “This is amazing!”, he said, “Tahmina loves you! It’s a sure shot at another star.” His voice was gleeful, like he had just won the lottery and was ready to celebrate.
It made Taeyong sick.
“I’m proud of you son” Taeyong used to love hearing those words, he would feel a satisfying click when he heard them. He used to feel good, accomplished. Where was the satisfying feeling now? Why did he only feel disgust? Was the disgust towards himself or his mentor?
 “You’re an angel in everyone’s eyes now”, Sooman went on, “Lovely.”
The compliment didn’t feel like one. On the contrary, it felt like an accusation. He shouldn’t be an angel, he wasn’t one. He was the thief, the one in the wrong.
“Stop”, he said, earning a confused look from Lee Sooman, “Just stop.” 
“Stop what?” 
“You’re not proud of me”, he said, “You’re proud of yourself, so stop it.” His mentor looked unimpressed, like a parent whose child had just talked back. “Where is this coming from?” 
 “This is not amazing”, Taeyong’s voice turned mocking, “We’ve stolen someone else's property and claimed it as our own.”
“Boy, what are you talking about? We are in the range for another star, you should be-”, he reached out to the chef, confused.
“Stop!”, Taeyong yelled, shaking the man’s hand off his shoulder. “I am the one in the range for another star for something that even isn’t mine!”, he corrected his ‘mentor’, but god, at this point was he even his mentor? The thought left a sour taste in his mouth.
Taeyong didn’t want his validation anymore. 
“You’re finally getting back on track and now you want to be good?”, Lee Sooman asked, “I thought you had your priorities straight Taeyong.”
Taeyong looked at Sooman incredulously, something clicking inside him, but it wasn’t the satisfactory feeling he had always felt before. It was an acute sense of anger. 
He hated the fact that he had always tried his hardest to make Lee Sooman proud, to get his words of approval that always seemed to hurt himself. He was angry at himself for letting it get this far, for letting himself hurt someone he cared about. For choosing someone who had controlled him for so long over someone who hadn’t.
For a fucking star.
“Get out”, Taeyong murmured darkly.
“Excuse me?”
“I said get out”, he repeated, “Just get the fuck away.”
“Taeyong what are you-”
“Don’t you understand?”, Taeyong hissed, “I don’t want you here anymore. “Take your shares, I don’t want you in Ncity ever again.”
Sooman looked at the man, eye twitching as he took in the command, “You’re being delusional, you can’t just tell me to leave”, he forced a laugh, ticking his mentee off even more, “I’ve got you to this point.”
“A point I regret!”, he exclaimed, “I want you out and I never want you here ever again.”
“You-You can’t do that-”
“I just did”, Taeyong said, suddenly feeling extremely calm. Like he had control over the situation for once, “You need me, not the other way around. I am the face of the restaurant, the entire Ncity brand. Without me, you’ve got nothing.”
He looked at Taeyong, angry and confused, but most importantly scared of losing everything he had ‘worked’ for.  “I made you who you are'', Lee Sooman’s voice was shaky, like he knew he was on the short end on the stick.
“And I don’t want to be who you made me anymore”, Taeyong said simply, realizing that it was true. He hated everything he had become. “Leave. Take your shares, take whatever the fuck you want and don’t ever come back.”
“You’ll regret this, you know. I’ll be the one laughing at you when you fail”
“I’d rather fail. Leave.”
Taeyong watched him leave, taking a deep breath as he looked at his phone. In a matter of minutes he had lost someone who had been with him since he was practically a child. But it felt good. It felt like he was finally free from the one person that tied him down.
He picked up his phone, toying with it. He had done one thing, which had already taken a lot of courage. Could he possibly do another?
Taeyong clicked on the contact he had been searching for, putting it to his ear and waiting for the person to pick up.
One ring.
Two rings.
“Hello, Tahmina Aamani speaking.”
“Hey Tahmina, it’s Taeyong”, he greeted, nervousness lacing his voice. He had called her, he had to go through with it now. He had been a coward before, he didn’t want to be one anymore.
“Mr Lee! To what do I owe this pleasure?”
He sucked in a breath, “I have a confession”
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You quickly realized that moping around your house and at Weishen didn’t do much other than make you even more upset. You found yourself declining several interviews and deleting emails by the hour. It was exhausting, to the point where you didn’t even care anymore. You simply clicked off.
Maybe that’s why when Taemin suggested you spend a day with Eileen, the only other person who supposedly now knew of your predicament, you agreed. It seemed like a good idea, to spend time someplace that wasn’t your couch, and wasn’t in front of your television, binging another useless reality show.
It had been great so far, the two of you had gotten along amazingly, watched a movie and then spent the day wandering aimlessly, in obnoxiously large hats that covered most of your features. It was only on your way back were you faced with a problem.
Because right outside your house was a swarm of reporters. You must have looked horrified, because your new friend stood ahead, “Move away from the door”, she instructed the reporters calmly, like she had been through the same thing several times. You supposed she had, being an actress and all.
The reporters seemed to ignore her instructions, spotting you beside her and lurching forward, microphones and cameras being thrust in your face. You took a step backwards, hands rising to your face in an attempt to ward them off.
“Just one question miss!”
“What exactly happened?”
“How do you feel about what's happening right now on air?” “How does Ncity tie back to you?”
“You worked with Lee Taeyong didn't you? Is that how this sprouted?” “One question please!”
The camera clicked a picture, making you feel dizzy. Your grip on reality was long gone, the faces in front of you were like blurry, unfocused pictures.
Eileen stepped forward again pushing through the crowd, pulling you with her. “No means no”, she said firmly, “Open your door.”
You obliged, opening said door and stumbling inside, leaning against the wall inside while Eileen followed you in. “You okay?”
You nodded incomprehensibly, sucking in a breath, “Yeah I’m fine-what are they talking about?”
“I’m not sure”, she mused, pulling out her phone and looking through something, “What do you think they meant by on air- I have three missed calls from Taemin, give me a second.”
She called her boyfriend back, mumbling something under her breath, before agreeing and putting the call on speaker. “Hey”, your best friend greeted, “Are you watching?”
You frowned, “Watching what?”
“For goodness sake, switch on your TV, or open your laptop- wait nevermind, it ended, but it should be on youtube.”
“What on earth are you talking about?”
“Just do as I say”, he ordered, “open youtube and search up ‘Taeyong food scandal’. It should be there.”
You sighed, “Taemin I’m not in the-”
“Do it”, he demanded, and Eileen clicked off the call, opening youtube instead and typing out the title, clicking on the first video that had been suggested. You pinched the bridge of your nose, but succumbed to your curiosity and looked over to the small screen.
On it was Taeyong, standing there, a nervous expression on his face. He cleared his throat, “You probably can tell why I’m here, but I promise it’s worth your time”, he said, standing up straighter. You pressed your lips into a thin line, not knowing how you felt about seeing him again, even if it was on a phone.
“As you may know, there has been news going around about a fellow chef and myself. I would like to clear up some of those rumours and set the record straight,” you narrowed your eyes at this, wondering what the fuck he had planned.
“First of all I would like to apologize to those who got dragged into this mess, especially Tahmina Aamani. She was misinformed, so I’m here to correct that”, he shifted on his feet, “About a week ago an article was released talking about how Y/n L/n”, he paused at your name for a split second, “had supposedly stolen my recipe and labelled it as her own. That is false.”
Your eyes widened at the statement, now glued to the screen. Where was he going with this? Why was he suddenly letting it out of the closet?
“It’s the other way around. I was under some terrible guidance, and I made a horrible, unforgiving decision, but it doesn't excuse me”, he sounded unsure of himself now. “I was the one who stole the recipe from Y/n, and I was too much of a coward to admit it at first.”
Your mouth went dry as you stared at the screen. The truth was out, he had just told the world the truth, but you didn’t understand why. You were confused, so confused.
You had always been confused when it came to Taeyong.
“In the process of this, I hurt someone I care about. For that I am deeply sorry”, he ended his little speech, “The only person to be blamed is-”
You blinked, then walked into your living room, not caring for the rest of the video. You hadn’t wanted to watch it in the first place, but now that you had you felt-
“Damnit”, you hissed, “Can’t he let me hate him for one minute?”
Eileen looked at you, “Aren’t you glad? You’ve been proved innocent.”
In that moment you realized you weren’t relieved at all. Sure you were innocent, but that still left so many questions. There would still be a scandal, but a new one, emerging from the old. There would always be a scandal to follow you around, it was the way the world you had found yourself in worked.
“I’ve always been innocent”, you corrected her, “It’s just been thrown to the wind now.”
You swallowed the lump in your throat, sitting down and leaning back on your couch. The cameras would still be there, they would always follow you around. The fact that they were outside your door at that very moment was proof enough of that.
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The sizzle of something frying reached your ears, a pleasant sound, something you took solace in. The buzz of the electrical chimney, the cutting sounds, everything about being in the kitchen seemed welcoming. It was a relief to stand in it, cook in it, and know that you wouldn’t have to stop doing so anytime soon.
Mark and Donghyuck walked up, giving you the orders and walking back out. The smell of bacon that Jaehyun was frying for the Spaghetti Carbonara brought a smile to your face. 
It had gotten better ever since Taeyong’s little announcement, Weishen was back, Tahmina had even apologized to you, and made sure to compliment the tart, saying she looked forward to having it once more.
But you never added it to the menu.
It didn’t feel right for some reason, you couldn’t find any joy in making it anymore. It had been tainted for you, and so you kept it away. It would forever live in your journal and that was about it.
Holding a whisk that had peaks of the meringue mixture at the ends, placing it down and putting the tray of freshly piped meringues into the oven. 
“Are the biscottis done?”
“A minute more and they’ll be good”, Jaehyun said, looking into the oven, “Johnny’s almost done with the strawberry reduction though.”
Nodding you decided to start with the plating, using a spoon to swirl some melted chocolate on the base of the plate, dusting cocoa powder over the top. Once the biscottis were out, you would make a sort of cream cake, using the excess of the meringue mixture to join two of the biscottis together, and then garnish it with the strawberry reduction and a few meringues.
“Y/n”, Mark's voice called out, “Come with me, will you?”
You nodded, walking out of the kitchen to face Mark, “hmm?”
He didn’t respond, which you thought was odd, but instead walked back into the restaurant. You furrowed your eyebrows and followed him in. Surely he had heard you?
He lead you to the back, before bowing and leaving. Confused you looked at the table ahead, mystification taking over. 
The table was unoccupied.
Clicking your tongue, less than amused, you inspected the table, before looking to the table beside it. That was empty too.
Looking to your right, you were met with a figure standing there, leaning against the wall, hands in pockets. Your eyes widened as you recognized the person who stood in front of you in the dim lighting of Weishen.
“Taeyong”, you breathed out, fingers digging into your palms as his name left your lips. He smiled, “Hey.”
Confusion. You still felt confusion when you saw him. You searched your mind for something to grasp upon, but you couldn’t. You hated it, you hated it, but god, no matter how much you tried, you could not hate him.
“Have you called me for salt?”, you asked, earning an amused smile from him, who scoffed, shaking his head and averting his eyes, breaking the intense stare the two of you had going. 
“No,”, he chuckled, “I came to talk.”
You hummed, teeth sinking into your lower lip as you pulled the seat of the table out, sitting in it, folding your arms, “Speak then.”
He sat opposite you, and you marvelled at how different everything was. The first time you met was in this exact same situation, in your restaurant, in the same place he had humiliated you, and had basically been a jerk. Now he was sitting across you, a mollified expression on his face, and this time you hadn’t kicked him out yet.
“I assume you saw”, he said, fingers drumming nervously on the table. You sighed, nodding, “I have, but I don’t understand why.”
“You know why”, he countered. You cleared your throat, refusing to look at him as you loosened the hold you had on your arms, letting them fall to your sides, before through one through your hair.
“Why are you here?”
A silence fell over the two of you. The silence didn’t mean anything, it was just there, breaking up the tension in the air, giving you room to breathe.
“Do you hate me?”, he asked, and you nearly burst into laughter. How were you supposed to answer the very question you had been asking yourself?
“No”, you muttered, “No I don’t hate you.”
“Do you-”, he stopped for a moment, clearing his throat, “Do you like me?”
Oh god.
That was it.
How many sad parallels would the two of you have? Was it going to be like this all the time?
You chuckled, nodding, “Unfortunately.”
“I can’t promise no cameras”, he said, “I can’t promise I won’t irritate the fuck out of you”, his voice grew softer with every word, “But I like you too.”
The two of you sat there, in silence. He took your hand and intertwined his fingers with yours and left it there. You didn’t say anything else and neither did he, instead you let the unspoken words work for themselves. Maybe you didn’t trust him completely, but maybe he could prove himself. Maybe. Until then, you’d just have to hope.
Taeyong realized he may never get the five michelin stars he had always dreamed of, but he was okay with that. Because now, he had you.
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jschllatt · 4 months ago
SUMMARY: After a successful scouting trip, you encounter an infected man. Your run-in leads to trouble later on, though you are saved by an unsuspecting stranger.
WARNINGS: Violence, swearing, mentions of death
PAIRING: Dream x GN!Reader (Enemies to lovers)
WORDS: 4.1k
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The sun beat down on the scorched earth, torturously hot as it emitted an unbearable, sweltering heat. A never-ending stretch of cerulean, cloudless sky sat above my head, bright and vivid compared to the dull expanse of road before me. I was crouched behind a dying bush, trying not to acknowledge the relentless outpour of sweat down my already perspiring neck. With an aggravated huff, I let my bloodshot eyes scan the barren area around me one more time.
I was returning back to my camp from a hunting trip of sorts. Ever since the apocalypse occurred, it seemed as though every trace of life had disappeared, leaving me with an ever-diminishing food source. If I was lucky enough, I would stumble across an abandoned gas station that hadn’t been fully ransacked, or a bush with ripe enough berries for me to eat. Today, I managed to find an abandoned camp. I didn’t let my mind wander to the fate of it’s previous inhabitants, but rather celebrated the fact that there were two backpacks full of canned goods and enough water to last me for the week. So now, feeling satisfied with my discovery, I trekked back to my temporary home.
But the long, crumbling homestretch before me was always the hardest part.
The road back to my camp was a large, vacant expanse, infamous for being a ‘zombie hotspot’ even during the day. Despite the brutal sunlight, there was still a chance that I could be faced by one of the brain-eating monsters. The thought alone was enough to worsen my already heightened nerves, though I attempted to calm myself down.
One, two, three.
I paced my breaths evenly, trying to steady the erratic thump of my heart against my chest as I stared carefully out into the desolate road ahead. Though I’d been here a hundred times before, my nerves had always gotten the best of me. My limbs trembled and my body glinted with sweat, beads of the thick perspiration dripping down the back of my neck. Struggling to quiet my buzzing brain, I took a final glance down the ominous street, determining it was safe before I took a silent step forward.
Okay, one down, a couple hundred more to go. I assured myself steadily, feeling my anxiety slowly fade as I continued to make progress. My steps were careful, calculated, and barely made a sound as they crunched against the broken asphalt.
It wasn’t until I had made it halfway down the exposed street that I heard it―a low, throaty moan that made every inch of my skin crawl in sheer terror. I swiveled around on my heels to locate its origin, feeling my chest constrict in fear. My bloodshot eyes were met with nothing but empty road, its surface cracked and crumbled beneath the oppressive heat of the sun. Shit. I could hear my heart thumping again, the rapid beat drumming unsteadily in my ears as I surveyed my surroundings once again. Nothing. I let out a shaky breath, careful not to let my guard down as I stood frozen in place.
Seconds had passed, though they felt like an eternity. A deafening silence hung in the air and I found myself cringing at its emptiness, uncomfortable as I listened intently to my surroundings. After a few more moments of quiet, I risked glancing down at my watch, surprised that it read three o’clock. It was still relatively early in the day, and between that and the sweltering heat, I was shocked to discover I wasn’t alone.
Another abrupt, broken moan captured my attention and I looked up from my watch, startled. Something about the noise sounded off, human-like, even, and I felt my whole body tense in fear at the thought.
Could it be a human? Are they hurt? Are they armed? No, it can’t be. I dismissed my thoughts immediately. I couldn’t recall the last time I’d seen someone uninfected (ever since I’d been alone, at least) and I doubted that I would now after weeks of solitude.
Hesitant, I reached for my knife, tugging gently it from the holster that was clipped to my waistline. I was met with a brief silence before I heard the sound again, though this time it was less of a groan and more of a pained wail. A wave of fear washed over my trembling body and I stood idly in horror, hoping I was mistaken. Maybe the zombies had become more vocal since I’d last encountered one. After all, I hadn’t actually been confronted by one in two weeks. Surely that’s enough time to pick up some sort of English, right?
I felt my blood run cold at the sound. My body was filled with nothing but pure terror as I stood frozen in place. No. You’re just hearing things, you haven’t seen a human in months.
“Please, someone help me.”
The voice clearly belonged to a man. His tone was feeble and laced with pure agony as he cried pitifully into the stuffy air, followed by grunts in pain as though his words amplified his suffering. I know I should’ve ignored him, I should’ve simply ran away and forgotten about it altogether, but I’m an idiot. I’m a fucking idiot who can’t mind their own business.
Curious, though hesitant, I risked stepping toward the cries. Every passing second made the thump of my heart speed up, and the sensation pounded in my ears as I inched closer and closer to the source. Jesus. I fought the urge to gag as a horrible stench filled my nose, smelling of decay mixed with the coppery scent of blood. I lifted up my shirt to cover my nose, though it didn’t help much.
Now venturing into the dead bushes that sat on the side of the road, I peered anxiously through the shrubbery, catching sight of a man in his mid-thirties crumpled awkwardly on the ground. His neck was propped up stiffly against a rock, his dirtied face contorted in agony as he let out another prolonged wail. I winced at his loudness, fearing he’d attract any lingering enemies, and stepped out into the small clearing.
“Shh.” I hissed immediately, raising a finger over my covered mouth to signal his silence. The man nodded weakly, his blue eyes flickering to the knife in my hand as he blew out a labored breath. Suddenly remembering the weapon clutched tightly in my fist, I slipped it back into the holster, deciding his condition rendered him harmless.
My eyes trailed down his limp body, widening as they landed on his left leg. A deep, gory bite mark was imprinted deeply in his flesh, oozing with blood into a crimson pool by his ankle. The area around the bite was infected, an array of green and purple bruises bordering the gash that leaked a sickly yellow puss. I grimaced beneath my shirt, not daring to get any closer. I’d seen the same bite countless times before, yet it made me cringe every time.
He opened his eyes and shot me a pleading look, his deep blue irises silently begging me for help. What? There’s nothing I can do―there’s nothing anyone can do to save you. I thought to myself almost angrily, my mind briefly traveling back to a time where I wasn’t alone.
But I was quick to push my thoughts away, and I adjusted my grip on my collar, tugging it upwards so it stopped just below my eyes. I could still smell the repulsive stench through my thin, cotton shield, though I had already become somewhat accustomed to it. After a few seconds, I finally found myself able to ask, “Are you thirsty?” My voice sounded foreign―it had been a while since I last spoke. Sure, I let out the occasional curse when I felt angry or alarmed, but I hadn’t had a conversation with anyone in weeks.
The man grunted, blinking slowly while he waited for me to grab the canteen out of my bag. He sat up once he heard the water slosh within the bottle, smacking his dry lips together before sticking a filthy arm out towards me. Careful, I passed him the canteen, making a mental note to clean it later as I watched him bring it up to his painfully chapped lips. He took a few desperate gulps before handing it back to me, his expression one of gratitude as he shut his eyes.
“When did you get bit?” I asked before I could stop myself, startled by my own curiosity. The man glanced at me incredulously, his surprise soon fading as if I had somehow reminded him of his condition. He grimaced as he muttered, “Three days ago.” I pursed my lips at his words, unsure of what to say as I tucked my canteen back into my bag. I couldn’t help but let my eyes wander back to the bite mark, observing the spider-like veins that shot out from the gash.
“I’m sorry.”
I wasn’t sure what I was apologizing for. Perhaps it was for my lack of words, or maybe it was for the situation in general―neither of which I could control. The man smiled weakly, fighting the urge to cringe as a wave of pain washed over his decaying limb. He didn’t speak again, and I found myself growing awkward in his presence. “I better go before it gets dark.” I stated grimly, looking up to observe the lowering sun. The man nodded, then pushed himself up on his elbows so he could sit up, “Thank you.” His voice was gruff, though held enough emotion to convey his gratitude. I nodded at him from beneath my collar and turned around to head towards the street. I could hear him exhale shakily from behind me, every slight movement shooting pain up his injured limb, but I ignored his suffering and disappeared back into the bushes.
By the time I made it back to camp, it was pitch black. Only a sliver of the moon was visible, illuminating the barren earth with a soft glow. Stars dotted the sky, twinkling above the still, quiet air, and though they didn’t provide much light, I found solace in their familiar presence. With a sigh, I tossed my backpack onto the ground.
My camp was small and secluded. It consisted of a battered tent I scrounged out of a warehouse, a thin, nylon sleeping bag, and a poor excuse of a campfire.
But it wasn’t often that I used the campfire; the last thing I wanted to do was draw attention to myself, especially from certain unwanted visitors. Besides, I didn’t plan on staying here for long. Each time I camped somewhere new, my intentions were to stay until I gathered all of its valuable resources and move on to the next place. However, the night was particularly humid and mosquitos attacked me in swarms. My only defense against them was the fire, so I struck a match and tossed it into the kindling.
Within minutes, the fire crackled and hissed, its large, hot flames licking the stuffy air. Much to my relief, the smoke warded off most of the mosquitos and I was able to relax.
Well, relax as much as I could while subconsciously worrying about being a zombie’s next meal.
Leaning back onto a mossy, decaying log, I shut my eyes in content. It was rare for me to let my guard down, especially at night, though I couldn’t help but find comfort in the safety of my camp. The fire ensured that I was protected from any lingering mosquitos, and though it allowed for my presence to be much more noticeable in the dark, humid night, I was relieved to feel some sort of security.
Minutes passed and the fire grew. The crackle of the hungry flames became more frequent and I relished in the white noise, grateful to be distracted from the ominously quiet night. The warm, amber glow of the fire caused heat to arise in my cheeks, a stark contrast to the typically cool air, though I enjoyed the warmth. As I shifted in my stiff position, I heard a low sound. It was too quiet to discern, though I detected the noise nonetheless.
Opening my eyes, I scanned the area surrounding my camp. Something suddenly felt off; the shift was tense and alarming. My previous tranquility was soon replaced by a constricting sense of fear and I stared intently into the dark night.
What the hell was that?
Just a few yards away, the sound of fallen twigs snapping caused me to flinch in my spot.
Fuck. I knew it was a bad idea to start the fire, but what’s worse: getting eaten alive by mosquitos or zombies?
Huffing out a worried breath, I unsheathed my knife from the holster, wielding it with feigned bravery as I awaited my fate. Bushes rustled to my left and, in a swift movement, I spun around to face the shrubbery. As the movement got closer, I held my breath, not daring to breathe in the already quiet air. The fire crackled and hissed from behind me, though I paid it no mind.
Suddenly, a familiar figure emerged from the bushes: it was the man I had helped just hours before; he must have followed me.
But he looked different.
In the warm, orange light, I could see that his skin had greyed. It peeled at the edge of his face and gashed in various spots on his arms, revealing layers of rotting flesh. He sported a limp as a result of the still-oozing bite mark in his calf and I could’ve sworn a bit of bone protruded from the wound. Shuddering, I took a few steps backward, shocked that he had already changed. Just hours ago, he was sane. Aside from the dreadful gash in his leg, everything about the man was normal.
But now, as I glanced over at the man, it was clear that any trace of normalcy was long gone.
“Hey.” I warned steadily, getting a firmer grip on my knife as he limped closer to me. His movement was slow and lacked coordination, which I realized I could use to my advantage. Backing up even further, I watched as the man stumbled drunkenly by the fire, his cold, dead eyes set directly on mine.
Trying not to shudder beneath his animalistic gaze, I trudged backwards in a circle, attempting to gain the upperhand. If I could only get behind him, then I could shove his rotting body into the fire.
Luckily for me, his injured leg and deteriorating corpse caused his movements to be slow and sloppy. I was able to round the fire with ease and I inched closer toward the monster hesitantly.
Now or never.
Leaning forward on my toes, I elongated my arms to push him into the flames. Right as I was about to make contact with his shoulders, however, I heard it; that low, familiar moan that sent a chill up my spine every time; the haunting indication of a nearby predator, and it was right behind me.
Spinning around on my heels, I faced the second monster fearfully. It was a woman―at least at one point―and she stood only a few feet away from me. Most of her head was bald, though a few thin patches of filthy blonde hair clung onto her scalp weakly. Her torn clothes and sickeningly grey skin proved that she had been a zombie for quite some time, though her face alone was enough to convey her insanity. There was a certain ferocity within her eyes that made my heart drop into my stomach. Not even a hint of sanity was present behind her empty, grey irises, and the sight made a sense of dread creep up in my chest.
But the worst part? I was outnumbered.
Now panicked, I clambered backwards in a fearful daze. The two monsters were quick to catch onto my movement and they shuffled towards me with sudden stealth. Swearing beneath my breath, I looked around my camp. I couldn’t just abandon it―there was no way I would be able to gather all of my things in time, and I certainly wasn’t going to leave everything behind, either.
Grunting in frustration, I risked glancing behind me. Though I was much faster than the two of them, I had been running around in circles as a result of my indecision. Despite their lack of consciousness, the zombies were able to pick up on my movement and they came at me in opposite directions.
Shit, I didn’t think that one through.
I was about to face forward again before my foot collided with a rotting log. The impact sent me toppling onto the forest floor with a shriek, and my body met the ground with a pained thump.
It felt as though all of the air had escaped my lungs and I sputtered out breaths like a fish out of water. Almost hyperventilating, I craned my neck to face the predators behind me. At this point, they were only a couple yards away, and their close proximity caused panic to arise in my chest.
Heaving out a shaky breath, I lifted myself up onto my feet, noticing the strain in my throbbing ankle once I put all of my weight onto it. Great. The zombies were only a few feet away and it was as if my reality had suddenly hit me like a bus. If I didn’t do something now, I was going to become their next meal.
With an angered yell, I charged at the woman, wielding my knife in my hand with raging nerves. Once the blade made contact with her side, I yanked it out of her rotten flesh in a swift movement. A thick wave of crimson seeped through her tattered shirt, though she paid the wound no mind as she pounced on me.
The force sent me back onto the ground, though this time I could breathe. I watched as the man inched toward me with an animalistic growl and I kicked at his ribs, hoping it would knock him down. He swayed on his feet with a grunt, barely fazed by my attack, and I yelled out in frustration.
“Get off of me!” I screamed at the woman as she grabbed ahold of one of my legs, tugging me toward her decaying body. Flailing my limbs, I tried to wiggle out of her grasp, hoping that the wound in her side would soon drain her of all of the blood in her body, though I knew it was impossible. With a final boost of adrenaline, I was able to pull myself free from her hold, though I knew I didn’t stand a chance.
I was barely able to get a few inches away before I was knocked onto the ground again. My ribs made contact with the ground and I winced at the harsh impact, knowing there would be a bruise forming soon. I looked up as the two monsters inched toward me and I began to accept my fate.
Well, this is it.
With a final, useless attempt, I slashed my knife around, managing to cut a deep gash in the man’s arm as he reached toward me. He paid his injury no mind, however, and let out a low, guttural moan before grabbing onto my leg.
I fought the urge to sob as I felt two pairs of hands tug at me from every angle. The smell of rotten flesh invaded my senses and I tried not to gag at the stench. I screamed one final time, unable to writhe my way out of their hold, and prayed that somebody, anybody would hear. But I was alone.
Or so I thought.
I squeezed my eyes shut in fear, anticipating the feeling of teeth sinking into my flesh, but it never came. Before I could question it, a loud, echoing shot rang throughout the air. The noise was followed by a dull thump to my right and I watched as blood seeped out of a gaping bullet hole in the woman’s head. To my left, the man turned in curiosity, having no time to react before he met a fate similar to the woman’s.
Sitting up rapidly, now even more panicked, I watched as a man emerged from the bushes with a shotgun clutched tightly in his hands. He must’ve noticed my alarm because he then slung the gun around his neck, holding up his hands in surrender as he assured, “It’s alright, I’m not gonna hurt you.” I could only nod in response.
Though somewhat untrusting of the stranger, I stood up to face him. An instant pain shot up my ankle and I winced at the sensation, trying to ignore the way it throbbed in protest. “Are you hurt?”
“No.” I replied swiftly, shocked by my abrupt response.
The man shot me a pointed look, his eyes flickering down to my ankle before he prodded, “You sure?”
I blew out a sigh before limping over towards the fire, trying not to wheeze as a result of my aching ribs. Plopping down onto a log, I hissed at the sharp pain that shot up my spine. “No.” I repeated.
Biting the inside of his cheek, the man stepped hesitantly towards my pained form. As soon as he stood just inches away, I glanced up at him with a warning gaze.
“Look, I just want to help, okay? If I wanted to kill you, I would’ve shot you too. Or, better yet, I would’ve let them kill you.” He nodded his head towards the now dead zombies and I looked over at their corpses with a grimace. Two large, crimson pools flooded the ground beneath them, seeping into the grass in a thick puddle. I looked back up at the man, and it was then that I realized how attractive he was.
His hair was blonde and sat in a wavy mess atop his head. It curled slightly at the ends, framing his face perfectly despite the fact that it nearly covered his deep, emerald eyes. He was tall and lean, and his tanned frame loomed over me. Despite his looks, however, I was still cognizant of his sudden presence. I couldn’t trust him―not yet at least. Just because he saved my life doesn’t mean he wasn’t dangerous. Plus, his gunshots were riskier than my fire. If the zombies didn’t know I was here then, they certainly do now.
I cleared my throat in an attempt to clear my thoughts, biting my lip after confirming, “Okay.”
He nodded in response and his expression visibly softened once he crouched down beside me. His green eyes flitted up toward mine expectantly and with a sigh, I rolled up the hem of my jeans to reveal my swollen ankle.
“You definitely sprained it.” The man confirmed after a few seconds of inspecting, reaching out to prod at my injury. With a hiss, I flinched away from his touch, feeling the throbbing sensation only worsen as a result of his curiosity. “Sorry.” He murmured apologetically.
“It’s fine.” I muttered.
A few tense moments of silence passed and I unrolled the cuff of my jeans. I tried to ignore my rampant thoughts and focus on the adrenaline that was still coursing through my veins as it began to fade away.
Before I could stop myself, I wondered, “How did you find me?”
“I was hunting nearby. I saw the smoke from your fire and then I heard you scream.” His voice was low as he recounted the memory.
I grunted in response as I leaned back into the log, crossing my arms before asking, “What’s your name?”
Nodding in response, I looked down at my lap so that I didn’t have to meet his intent gaze. His name was interesting, though I didn’t comment on it any further.
“You?” He questioned, still staring at me expectantly. I told him my name in a mumble and he hummed in approval.
“How do I know you’re not gonna just kill me and take my stuff?” I suddenly pondered, glancing back up at the stranger. With a chuckle, Dream shrugged, standing up to tower over me once again with an amused smirk.
“I guess you don’t. Killing those zombies just wasn’t enough for you, hm?” I scowled at his levity and rose shakily to my feet.
“No, it wasn’t. I could’ve done it myself if I had a gun.” Dream’s amusement was quick to fade at my cold words, though I ignored his disappointment as I began to gather my things. Once I had slung my bag around my shoulders, I stopped to face the blonde, glaring as I added, “And if you want to make me laugh, you’re gonna have to try a lot harder than that.”
TAGS: @dreamwvrld @boreateo @flaming-flowers @sunniewrites @heyskeppy @carrotclem @finn-writes-stuff @oh-mcyt @mintyminho @ohworm-writes @blanknamed @libbyrecs @dreamyteam @mediocrity-atitsfinest @kalliblast @queenofwordsandnerds @dilfdream @draxleclue @sabinanotfound @pyrosag @venusacrossthestars @esylwen @charspnp
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rulerofmyworld · a year ago
Omggg just had this sudden thot but yk how the Devildom is always night/no sun? Well it occurred to me that humans need a source of vitamin D or there will be long term health complications which THEN turned into thinking abt vitamin C and the other essential vitamins that might not neccesarily be found in Devildom cuisine. How would the brothers react when they find out their human (and Soloman bc that boi is PALE) needs multivitamins to stay alive and nOT wilt like a flower
God! I’m sooooo super sorry this took so long! With my exams and having some family events, I didn’t have a hell lot of time!
But here ya go! I hope you like it. (Also I wholeheartedly believe that Solomon probably has some sort of spell to help him with the vitamin stuff but prefers taking supplements since they’re more reliable) Warning: Mentions of nosebleeds.
Mc is genderneutral, as always!
He was no fool, he knew humans needed certain things that the Devildom couldn’t provide. Sunlight was one of them yet he didn’t really know how much exactly you needed that.
Solomon seemed to be doing fine, a little pale but never showed any signs of something severe.
You, on the other hand, you were more fatigued than usual, your eyes drooping at the breakfast table. 
He even made a point of observing you through the night to make sure you actually slept through it. 
Then came the periods of sadness, the bruises that came to quicky and went away to slow.
Lucifer was lost, hands in his hairs. He had no clue what to do and how to solve what was going on. He talked to Diavolo, making the lord grin when he saw just how much Lucifer had come to care for you.
Together they looked for a cause yet couldn’t really find one so Barbatos proposed a solution: talk to Solomon and see if he knows what’s going on.
The wizard smiled when he heard the troubles the three found them in, of course, he would need a form of compensation. Lucifer was ready to yeet him out of the window
You had a vitamin deficiency Solomon told them and even gave him a list of vitamins he himself used to keep healthy in the Devildom since spells aren’t always effective. 
In the morning there will be so many bottles of vitamins in front of your plate all with a note on when and how to intake the vitamins/supplements.
He laughs when he sees you tired at the breakfast table.
“Been gamin’ too much, ay?”
You just grumble and eat your breakfast, annoyed at the comments Mammon kept making. After a few weeks of you practically falling asleep everywhere to the point that you were rivalling Belphie, Mammon started noticing how you tried to cover up nosebleeds. Tissues upon tissues all spotted and drenched with blood were thrown in your trashcan.
All the while things started to get worse for you, more bruises, easily irritated, sleeping at times when you should be awake. Unfortunately, the Devildom doctors weren’t knowledged enough about human health and when Mammon dragged you in were baffled at your condition.
Mammon marched up to Solomon soon after, almost beating the sorcerer to a pulp when he demanded payment for the information. Solomon told Mammon everything after the demon made sure to threaten him with exile from Devildom. Your life might be on the line, Mammon ain’t got no time for games.
He made sure to ask one of his brothers to look after you when he left to hunt for vitamins he may or may not have stolen some of Levi’s human money to pay for them.
When he found the vitamin sections, he just grabbed everything he thought would be important and would ask Solomon about it later.
The next morning all the needed vitamins are there yet no one seemed to know from who and no! Definitely not from Mammon! Why would THE great Mammon spend money on a stupid human?!
Everyone knows it was from him.
 At first, he was pretty annoyed when you started to fall asleep in the middle of watching a show or playing a game and his insecurities tried to tell him it was because you were simply bored of him. Even though you reassured him that you were just fatigued, he was convinced it was his fault.
So he tried to spice things up, playing games were the both of you actually got sucked into them or tv shows were your choices made a big impact yet it neither worked. You remained tired.
He tried to give you sooo many varieties of energy drinks to the point where his wallet was actually suffering but he didn’t care, he simply wanted you to be energized so the two of you could spend time together.
After he noticed how easily you started the bruise, he got worried and even more when he noticed how slowly they went away.
In the beginning, he thought it was just a human thing with them being so fragile but after doing some research that didn’t seem to be the case.
Worriedly he started to pester you on what was going on but when you told Levi you didn’t know he got even more worried.
Luckily for him, a guy he knew who was human from one of his many gaming sessions turned out to be some sort of doctor and told Levi you might just a have a vitamin deficiency.
Immediately Levi ended his session and rushed to the Akuzon website, to their special, new human products.
He quickly found some vitamin bottles that resembled those his doctor friend had mentioned he should buy.
In the morning a big Akuzon box laid in front of your door with a not ontop:
“To the stupid normie, take your vitamins or no more gaming nights!”
You took them almost immediately.
He might be the only person that knows what’s going on with you the moment he noticed your constant fatigue but isn’t sure so decided to dedicate some time to researching human anatomy.
At first, he doesn’t know how bad a vitamin deficiency could be. Maybe you were more fatigued, sure but that isn’t too bad. After a few of these human vitamin pills, you’ll be back to health. You’ll just have to wait a few days until they arrive, Satan doesn’t have the super-premium Akuzon membership that allows packages to be brought to you in mere hours. 
The moment he stumbles on the consequences, he’s rushing out the door with a list of vitamins in his left hand and Lucifer’s credit card in his right. He does not want you to be suffering from nosebleeds. What if the blood gets on his books? 
He quickly finds a portal to the human world and is lucky that it’s one that teleports him into a small alley near a big supermarket.
After adjusting to the bright sunlight for a bit he walks in the store and starts to gather all the bottles of vitamins he needs and while he’s there he also picks up a plethora of snacks, drinks and other stuff you might want/miss. Satan has a good memory so even if you mentioned you like a specific snack one time, he will have remembered and had now added that to his overflowing basket.
He also may or may not have brought some snacks for himself.
After putting it all in a bag he drops it off in the evening when he returns, unlike the others he prefers to give it to face to face to show that he does care and wants you to be safe and healthy.
Notices something is up when your skin starts to lose some of its glow as if the spark inside of you has been dulled or been put out.
He starts to make spa-day an even more regular occurrence yet it doesn’t help much, it only reaffirms Asmo’s worries. He starts to check your sleep schedule and make sure that you’re actually sleeping the full 8-9 hours, he even asks if you’re drinking enough water and tries his best to research about human bodies.
One afternoon after school he’s with Solomon and tells the wizard all about your ailments: the fatigue, the sudden nosebleeds you’ve been trying to hide and then the pain in your back. Asmo was at his wit’s end and decided to vent but he never expected Solomon to provide him with an explanation.
He dragged Solomon back to the house of Lamentations and pushed him in the desk chair.
Asmo quickly went to Akuzon and scrolled through the human necessity page, adding all the vitamins you would need with the help of Solomon. Asmo also added a bunch of beauty products for both of you.
When the box arrived, Asmo immediately went ahead and packed in fancy wrapping paper, added bows and a lovely note for you to read.
After school was out and you arrived back in your room you found a large box wrapped in wrapping paper of your favourite colour and not surprised when you saw that Asmo had sent it.
Even the vitamin bottles were in line with your aesthetic, Asmo really thought everything through. 
He probably doesn’t notice as quickly as the others but when he does he’s super-duper worried. 
Why are you tired? Are you sleeping enough?
He will ask to either sleep in his room wit Belphie or sleep in your room so he can make sure you’re getting enough sleep. 
When he notices that even after multiple cuddle sessions and days of sleeping over 9 hours that you’re still fatigued, he starts to think you’re very sick.
In the beginning, he’ll ask Belphie if he might now more since Belphie used to be so enthralled and fascinated by humans yet even his younger twin doesn’t have a clue.
Eventually, he’ll go around and ask all his brothers with no one beside Satan having the slightest idea.
After Satan telling Beel what he thinkes it, Beel immediately goes on a journey to his computer and looks through websites to find what he needs to fix a vitamin deficiency.
He ends up purchasing too many bottles of vitamins with all kinds of tastes, shapes and colours since he doesn’t know what you would like. 
So when you come to his room one day for your cuddle session, he gives you to box and tells you all the information he could find while eating a snack.
researching made him hungry.
Belphie liked that you seemed to spend more time with him even if was just to sleep, being able to cuddle you was amazing and he wasn’t going to question why.
Not at first.
But after a while, even the avatar of Sloth found your fatigue rather alarming especially since it wasn’t very common amongst humans to be so tired even after getting plenty of rest.
Although Belphie had heard of condition that made humans extremely tired, he didn’t suspect you to have it since your fatigued seemed to be a recent issue.
He started to wreck his brain to try and find an explanation but came up empty.
Soon he started to research on his D.D.D in the hopes something would pop up.
Eventually, he found something about vitamin deficiencies? As he read more and more, he started to connect to the dots. Luckily for him the website provided a link to webshop were he could buy some of these human vitamins you needed.
Belphie fell asleep after confirming his order, his hand barely holding on to his phone as he laid on the side of his bed.
When you came to fetch him for dinner you noticed his D.D.D almost falling and took it out of his grasp and put in to charge on his bedside table.
You woke him up after so he could join you for dinner and while dinner was happening there was a ring at the door. Belphie might’ve paid extra for a fast delivery
He was quick to answer the door and give the bag to you so that there would be no doubt that he was the one to give the vitamins to you.
He’ll happily continue napping with you while your body recovers.
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starsvck · 7 months ago
kotenok part eight.
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     natasha and you reflect on your relationship much like amongst other things and the other avengers but wanda still isn’t very fond it for other reasons
older!natasha romanoff x younger!reader
warnings: major age gap, don’t read if ur uncomfortable, slight implication of homophobia, slight smuttiest content cuz they make out, plus tony being a dad to reader cuz i’ve got issues
note: ummmm okay so this chapter is all over the place and i’m sorry about that cuz the week has been a mess so enjoy this really bad chapter hehe
series masterlist
Part of your day is mostly accompanied by a redhead and if not by her side then you’d be hanging out with Peter or Bucky.
And while it was something you didn’t see the problem with, you always did appreciate some sort of company by your side, the team did find the nature of your relationship with Natasha still a little odd.
They had opened up to the idea of the two of you, of course. They’re less crass, less gossipy, less passive. And while you admired that, you know there was still that lingering thought behind their heads on how they felt about your so-called-trauma ridden bond with the redhead.
Bucky used to think of that, seeing that for himself when he had first gotten out of HYDRA and found some solace in Natasha. It wasn’t the truest of love, platonic? Sure, but perhaps it was some sort of sought out comfort that he found in the redhead.
The he found Steve again. He understand what love was. Surely, he could see it too with the way you smiled at his sister, or the way Natasha always brewed just enough coffee for a second cup for you.
Maybe it’s just him, or maybe it’s the two of you. But your relationship isn’t anything more than it’s truest self.
Tony might disagree. So, might Steve. Given that the very first time the team had found you, the lack of meat on your arms, and dulled gaze in your eyes said enough about what HYDRA did to you.
Natasha was someone you sought out comfort to. Your very first friend, very first acquaintance before Peter came and then Bucky. Perhaps if it was Peter you had been with, Tony wouldn’t have been such an ass about your relationship.
If only you had grown interest into boys then perhaps Peter was someone of age you could see yourself. But to you, he’s merely a friend. A good one that you’ve confided your relationship with Natasha about and nevertheless, he’s been kind about it.
You know he doesn’t judge. Well, he does with people he doesn’t like, for example Flash, that dude who harassed him in high school. But with you, he doesn’t. He’s never said he’s approved of your relationship but he’s never said he didn’t.
You think he’s just happy for you.
He wasn’t there when the team rescued you. He was on a school trip. But as he interned with Stark, the two of you found some sort of common interest. He’s just as much as technological as you are, given that you’ve been taught how to code since you were able to read.
And as it turns out, you’re just as much as a nerd when he shares his knowledge on Pop Culture. You follow along when he starts showing you his favourite movies, Stars Wars, your new found favourite, along with his comics.
You see much yourself in Peter if you weren’t put in a life of torture and death. And perhaps that’s a reason why they would prefer you with him. Such innocence in the both of you that Natasha lacks, that they think she’s taken advantage of you.
They think she’s forced you. Coerced you into such a relationship. But while Tony doesnt know better, you do. It’s the reminiscences of Irina in Natasha that caught you, but within those lines of the characteristics of the brunette and your redhead, they became blurred and you found your heart better with Natasha.
And when Tony caught a smile to your face, all but focused on what he had been talking about, he snapped a finger over your face to return you back.
Your eyes blink forward, a frown lining your lips when you had realized that you were face to face with Tony. But even though you despised him at the moment, given that he’s doubted and questioned your relationship, you forced a fake smile on your face.
“Did you even listen to a word I said?”
You shook your head, biting down on your lip to suppress a grin from blossoming.
Tony then sighed, reaching over to his side as to flick off the piece of strawberry stuck on Morgan’s cheek before he turned to you.
“I said Steve’s taken up on your training again. You start later this afternoon. He decided it best to start sooner than later.”
You frowned. “What? But Talia said she would be training me again. I was supposed to meet her later and we—”
“Well, Steve’s up for it. Natasha isn’t. Don’t take it up with me, kid. Take it up with your girlfriend.” But Tony shook his head, a stern look now presented on his face and there was no sign of argument between them.
If you could roll your eyes you would. Instead, you pushed yourself off from the counter and made your way towards the elevator, waiting until it opened and you asked FRIDAY to your floor.
And when upon arriving, the floor seemingly too quiet for your taste, your feet takes you to your room where with a simple click the door opens.
Your greeted by the sight of your redhead, she’s still fast asleep despite being 12 in the afternoon, and she looks the most peaceful you’ve ever seen.
You smiled as you leaned over her, grinning as you pressed your lips over the skin of her forehead, cheek, and then lips. She’s quick to realize that it’s you despite being fast asleep seconds prior and then she’s smiling against your lips.
She sighed against you, frail limbs snaking under your shirt to feel your bare skin just as she snakes further up.
“Tony said Steve’s training me.” You breathed out heavily as she moved her mouth over your neck, your eyes falling close in response to her touch.
“You were... Talia.”
You gasp when she cups your breasts, eager thumbs flicking over your nipples as she smiles playfully.
“I was dreaming, baby.”
“What of?”
She continued to pinch your nipples, rolling the little buds between a forefinger and thumb while the other hand hooked under the waistband of your sweats.
“You, baby.” She confessed, eyes still closed in pure sleep. “Your little cunt. Your mouth. These nipples.”
Rightfully, you flushed under her words and and fell against her broad figure, her fingers still working you through just as you find the energy to push at her sleep shirt at the same time.
“That sounds interesting, Talia. But...” You pushed slightly at her hands, hoping to find some space between the two of you but it caused confusion to write all over her face. “I thought you were the one training me today.”
Her face pinched, pulling herself up on elbows yet still eyeing your breasts through your shirt. You rolled your eyes, waiting for her answer.
“Why don’t you skip it today?”
You raised a brow at her, bottom lip between your teeth as you slightly pulled away from her touch.
“Skip? I haven’t trained in four days, Talia.”
“And I’m sure one more isn’t going to hurt.”
You watched her expression turn soft, lips pursed in a pout while her fingers danced along to the thin straps of your camisole. She hooked a finger under, then meticulously pulled them over your shoulders just enough that it falls on its own.
She grinned at you, flashing the doe eyes you would usually use on her. “Please?”
Relentless, a smile blossomed on your lips as well, propping yourself further up as you straddled the woman’s lap, her hands fitting around your hips and grounding yourself against her.
You found yourself whimpering, a slight gasp to your breathing when you nudge yourself at the perfect spot against her. It has Natasha grinning just before she’s back to snaking a hand up your shirt to grope at your breasts and their pebbled nipples.
With your mouth parted in a heaving breath, she pushes herself up to capture your mouth. Heated in passion and lust, her tongue meets your own and dances with every force that she meets.
You soon forget about the training when she switches the two of you, with her on top and you on the bottom, legs over her shoulders... You forget everything with a moan, eyes situated on the cracked door, open ever so slightly but enough that surely someone could get a glimpse.
Natasha makes you forget about it with a finger curled inside. Her mouth devouring you. Then your own devouring her. Training, yup, it wouldn’t hurt to miss a day.
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The common room isn’t as empty as it usually is. You can spot Peter with Morgan, Pepper sitting across who smiles when she catches your eye and then you see Vision.
He’s still for a moment only waving when he has sight of you. However, you wonder where his redheaded companion must be as he’s alone for the day.
He takes notice of your expression, as an AI, a robot, fully aware of every tick and twitch of your face, and thus sets down his book for a moment to speak.
“If you’re looking for Miss Maximoff, she is currently in the kitchen fetching herself as snack. She will be back any moment.”
You gave Vision an awkward smile, rubbing the length of your arm as you decided what to do now that you’ve missed training after deciding to fuck Natasha.
Instead, you’re greeted with a hand on your shoulder, your head turning to meet your girlfriend’s eyes, a smile to her lips before she passes you.
Then you’re hearing padded steps enter the common room, all head except for Peter and Morgan, turning to watch Wanda walk into the area with snacks in her hand and obvious glare pointed at you.
“Oh... Didn’t know you two would be joining us.” She says with a tone almost venomous and Natasha is no less naive to the tone of the woman she had once fucked.
She eyes her from where she sits on one of the bar stools, a drink of whiskey or scotch in her hand while the other grips her thigh.
She speaks her thoughts with a tone that challenges Wanda’s. She does it as she knows she’s one of the many few who can.
“What’s gotten your panties in a bunch, Maximoff?”
And when she does, Wanda raises a brow and tilts her head in a way that makes you swallow your fears.
You’re thankful the room is sat with Morgan and Pepper for that very sole reason that if there was a fight, it wouldn’t go any further than words with children around.
But even then, you share a look with Natasha, one that warns her off of any behaviour she has in store for the younger woman in front of you. Though, she doesn’t seem to tune in to your warning as she just squeezes your hand in return and raises a brow.
“You got an attitude for such a fine afternoon.” Is all she simply says, shrugging as she downs the alcohol and settles down the glass with a clink.
You can hear Pepper’s voice calling out for your redhead, her tone is all but playful and she has a face that scolds children. And while Pepper and Natasha may be closer in age, one of them has a soul younger than their number.
And when it’s time for Morgan to leave, bringing Peter with them as he hitches a ride, it’s just the four of you in the silent room. While some would say Vision could count as a person, the tension in the room only settled between the three women.
You bit on your lip as you caught sight of your neck in a reflection, eyes bagged and circles dark, you sigh as your hands caresses over the hickeys on your skin. Hissing when you touch a freshly mark one, painfully red and purple to the naked eye.
You turn to find Natasha’s curious gaze, her brows pinched as she stares right back at you then down to where your hand laid over your neck.
“You alright?”
And in moments like these where her voice carrying a tone of such kindness, such ease, and gentleness was the very same one who had spat venom at Wanda when she had made a comment.
You smiled at her when she reached you, hand in tow as she cupped your cheek and pulled you close to her. And despite knowing the distain the Sokovian had for the both of you, she didn’t seem to care one bit for the PDA she displayed.
“I just didn’t notice how rough you were on my neck.”
The laugh you gift her is one that’s forced and Natasha doesn’t need to be a trained assassin to take the cues on your face to know that.
And as she watches you rub the skin on your neck, she frowns. Her hands falling from where they are on your face to your waist.
“I’m sorry, sweetheart.”
You shook your head, eyeing the redhead behind Natasha then suddenly feeling unease rush through you.
It’s no doubt that you’re sure that Wanda has some sort of spite towards you. She’s displayed it with ease, no hesitation, nor care for your feelings. In some ways, you don’t blame her. You’ve found yourself jealous of her when you had first arrived here. After all, she used to be in your place where Natasha would spent hours of her time making the other woman moan and whimper as such.
Yet, when you came, she had been dropped.
In some sense if you look past the passive aggressive comments and glaring looks, you feel some sort of remorse for the woman. She may be closer to your age but she’s the one who’s years your senior. Not enough to compare between you and Natasha but old enough to know better.
And when Natasha takes note of the way your eyes fall to anything but her, she knows when something bothers you. She knows with that look in your eyes when you finally meet her gaze.
“I don’t think Wanda likes me very much, Talia.” You confess to her with a voice ever so faint, only for her to hear.
And notices, watches as your eyes glazed with tears. She draws your head up, following your sunken eyes and marked neck, and caresses the skin of your cheek.
“This isn’t just about Wanda, is it, kotenok?”
When your silence answer her question, her heart sinks. There’s a moment of pause, silence as she sighs and forces a smile.
She says nothing more, simply leads the two of you back to your shared room speaking nothing but the unease in the air until the door clicks shut.
“I thought we talked about this...”
You shook your head, hiding behind your hands with a frown.
“I know. But Wanda makes it hard. Tony still makes comments. Steve... he’s just, I don’t know. I don’t think he doesn’t approve but he’s just uncomfortable.”
You hear a scoff from the redhead, making your eyes travel from the carpeted floor to where she stood with hands on her waist.
“Steve has no right to talk given that man is fucking my best friend, my brother. What is he now? A lesbiphobe?—”
She shook her head, a click leaving her tongue as she paused and stood there when your hand reached out for her.
“I know of your past with Wanda... I can’t blame her for hating me for stealing you away. She had you first and then suddenly she didn’t have you at all. I would be pretty upset just as much.”
She shook her head once more. “But we agreed on a friends with benefits situation. No strings, no attachment. Nothing.”
And fondly, you gazed up at her, a look of sympathy written between the crevices of your face. She let you touch her hand, grazing her the skin of the back of her hand with a thumb before you tugged her down to sit beside you.
“For you, maybe. But for her, maybe not.” She looked at you almost surprised, as if surprised that she hadn’t thought of that possibility as well.
“I know how it feels, at least a little bit of what Wanda felt. I just think we have to be more considerate of what we do around people. Especially around people who are still on the fence of our relationship.”
Silence consumes the both of you once again and you look up at Natasha in fear that you must’ve done something wrong. Instead, there’s a fondness in her green eyes that brings you warmth and comfort in every sense of way.
She even leans close, her forehead touching your own before she speaks. “You’re right, sweetheart. I’m sorry, I wasn’t thinking about that in the heat of the moment.”
You share a chuckle with her, giggling when she snakes her hand around your waist and pulls you flush against her side.
“It’s okay. I lost myself in the moment too.”
Ease is brought back into the air as Natasha holds you, her lips ever so vaguely near your mouth, and theres just a moment of tension that once reminded you your time with her before the two of you got together. It’s familiar. It’s exciting. The very thing that your relationship with her makes it better.
Soon, she enters your mind and figures out what you want. And soon, her lips caresses your own in a time of need, tongue and all while she tugs you right back on her lap while mouth latches to every silver patch of skin. She doesn’t suck, she only kisses, but you still let out the very tiniest of whimpers and moans when the two of you make out there.
She tells you to forget Wanda, Steve, and everyone else that disapproves. You know it’s not an easy feat, it’s a hard one that you and her carefully have to fight against everyday when the two of you walk out your shared room.
But it’s one she makes seem easy when she pins you down onto her bed and fucks you dumb. She makes it easy, you love everything about it and everything about her.
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masterjedilenawrites · 6 months ago
I’m not good at making requests, so forgive me if anything come out wrong.
But, could you do something were reader and Tech are fixing some eletronics and listening to cientific things, and start talking about a wrong thing people said there, so they get distracted and when realize, they’re in to a awkward position (like him btween her legs or sth like that)
I love your writing and thanks (: <3
Omg I've been so soft for Tech lately and this prompt is perfect 💚 I hope this is what you were looking for, I really enjoyed writing it!
Tech x reader | 2k words
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...making bacta the most important scientific achievement in history...
"Dank farrik," Tech huffed beside you.
You came out of your daze at the sudden exclamation and looked at your friend with concern, trying to quickly figure out what had gone wrong. You were helping him with a project, though what it was exactly you weren't completely certain of. All you knew was it involved digging into the walls of the ship and untangling a lot of wires. You'd been instructed to hold onto several of them, keeping them pulled taught out of the wall so Tech could fiddle with the other ends, and the dullness of the task had caused your mind to wander.
"What's wrong?" you asked, doubtful you'd understand any explanation, but wanting to be sure you hadn't done anything to mess up his progress.
He waved a hand at you dismissively, not pulling his attention away from the work in front of him. "Just the radio," he mumbled.
You hadn't been paying attention; it had only been turned on as background noise to keep you from going insane with boredom. And since it was tuned into some kind of scientific news frequency, you didn't really understand much of what was being said anyway.
...with the most influential application simply being in the field of medicine, providing us higher life forms with a versatile tool in maintaining our quality of life, and potentially even prolonging it...
Tech huffed again. Scoffed. Your mouth quirked at how upset he was getting. It was kind of cute.
But, you had to debate whether engaging with his frustration would be worth it. He had only recently calmed down from his outburst earlier that day, the only time you had ever seen him genuinely upset. Wrecker had accidentally knocked over a piece of machinery that was... well, something very important, apparently. No one was too sure. But Tech had spent most of the week carefully arranging its parts just-so, so that when all his hard work went crashing onto the floor, his breathing had suddenly resembled that of a charging Nexu. He'd drawn himself up, trying to match his brother's height, and ordered the poor guy to never step foot in this part of the ship again. The other Batchers had tried to defend him and were subsequently banned as well.
That left you as the only option for help.
Maybe that meant he wouldn't kick you out for debating him....
"Sounds like they're saying some pretty reasonable things. Am I missing something?"
Tech's fingers, which had been deftly working through the wires before him, clipping some and splicing others, finally froze. The clone's face tilted over to you, his eyes looking a little too judgmental through those glasses for your liking.
"You think bacta is the most important scientific achievement?" he asked. You didn't like his tone, either.
You scrunched your mouth in thought, actually giving the question serious consideration. While you mulled it over, Tech stood up from his hunched position in the wall and started pulling on some of the wires, unraveling them from their tangled mess.
"Yeah," you finally decided. "I think medicine in general is pretty important. And bacta specifically is the strongest known substance to deliver fast and effective healing."
Tech was mostly focused on the wires, but he spared you a glance.
"And treating symptoms is the most important thing for humanity? Here, hold this." He added another wire for you to hold in your hands.
You knew it was a loaded question so you chose to answer it with one of your own. "Well if it's not bacta or medicine, then what would it be?"
"Electricity," he said quickly and assertively, as if it was the most obvious thing in the galaxy. He continued to focus more on his work and you were annoyed he didn't seem to want to offer up an explanation to his opinion, despite having made you give one. He'd finally untangled the wires and was back to leaning into the cavern in the wall and setting them into their proper places.
"Why electricity?" You hated how dumb your question sounded; obviously you understood the concept and understood its importance. You just really wanted to challenge him to give you some explanations.
"For one, most medicines would not be able to be mass-produced were it not for the electrically-run vats in which they are made." He held his hand out behind him and made a grabbing motion. "Blue, please."
You sorted out the blue wire and passed it over.
"For another," he continued, his voice sounding distant as he leaned further away into the wall, "we must ask what constitutes a quote-unquote important achievement. For example, is an achievement worthy of the title simply because it improves our quality of life? Green, please."
You handed over the corresponding wire. "I'd say it's more about preserving life. Even outside of war, there's enough injury and illness that would end life were it not for medicine to heal them."
"Ah, but in that same reasoning, electricity also sustains life. It powers sources of light and warmth, which can also provide a means of boiling water and cooking food. All keys to survival. Yellow, please."
"So does fire," you shot back. "People survived long before electricity, and there's still plenty of civilizations living fine without it."
Tech finally emerged from the wall and took the last few wires from you, the red and black ones. He met your eyes with an earnestness that let you know how much he was enjoying this conversation. "And people have survived without medicine. At least the manufactured forms that you're arguing for, like bacta. Traditional medicine is as sufficient as fire."
Before you could respond, Tech moved to the side, motioning toward the wall with his head and holding up the remaining wires.
"Now, unfortunately these last ones need to be clipped in down below. I'm not able to fit through the lattice of the floor, but someone of your stature easily could."
You stepped forward and peered down. It was a mess of machinery and pipes and beams, but you could clearly see the port where the wires had been yanked out earlier. You knelt down, resting your stomach on the edge of the wall, but paused before bending over.
"If it wasn't for bacta, you wouldn't have been born." You were confident in your comeback and thus didn't linger for his reaction, turning to bend down into the ship with your wires instead.
You were disappointed to hear his soft chuckle from above you.
"And what do you think powers the bacta tanks that hold the clone embryos?"
You were glad he couldn't see the frustrated frown on your face. While you tried to think of a new point in your debate, you snapped the red wire into the proper port. But then you realized you couldn't quite reach the black one, and started carefully shimmying forward, deeper into the wall.
"It seems we have circled back to the initial question," Tech offered in your silence. You felt his hands hold on to your hips, steadying you as your legs lifted from the floor, most of your body now inside the ship. You didn't think anything of it, though, your focus split between your task and his words. "What makes an achievement the most important? Both medicine and electricity are capable of preserving life, but neither are essential to survival. So, what criteria are we left with?"
You were finally within reach of the last port and pushed the wire into it. "Sounds like you already have the right answer, so why don't you stop teasing me and just say it?" you called up to him.
"I...I didn't mean to sound like I was teasing."
You could hear the apology in his voice, how truly caught off guard he was to hear that you had perceived his attempts at a friendly debate, a conversation, as mocking or disrespectful. Your stomach knotted up in guilt, making your journey to wiggle back out of the wall a little more difficult.
"I'm sorry, Tech," you said through a grunt as you tried to push yourself back. "I didn't mean to sound rude. I just don't know the answer."
You felt his arms snake around your middle, pulling you the last of the way out. You came to rest on your knees, breathing heavily at the sudden increase in air supply. Tech was crouched alongside you, his chest against part of your back, his arms still holding you.
"I honestly don't know the answer, either," he blinked down at you, speaking quietly. "I don't know what criteria would constitute the most important scientific achievement. I thought maybe we could figure it out if we kept discussing it."
You craned your neck around to look at him, unconcerned about the discomfort it took to do so. You needed to face him fully. "Or... maybe we don't need to figure it out? I mean, does there need to be one achievement labeled more important than any other? Can they not all be valued equally?"
"I suppose..." he relented. But only a little. "It is a fun thought exercise, though."
You smiled at that, and it made your heart flutter a little to see him return the expression. There were a few seconds between you where you sat pleasantly in each other's arms... before the realization hit that you were in each other's arms.
"Uh," Tech stuttered first. His eyes looked about frantically as if the more he saw of you practically sitting in his lap, the more he would know what to do about it.
Your face was hot and your heart thumped forcefully in your chest. But you weren't panicking. Even though you'd been around the Bad Batch for a while now, this was the first time you'd gotten physically close to any of them, especially this dorky genius, who made you feel just a little better about life than the others did. You hadn't been sure why, not until this moment, your face being mere inches away from his own. Now it clicked.
His arms had removed themselves from your frame and he was starting to crawl backward on the floor. You quickly grasped his shoulder to stop him.
"Tech, wait."
He froze, looking at you with wide, apprehensive eyes. His shoulder was tense so you relaxed your grasp and simply let your hand rest on it gently. You gave him a small smile. Thankfully these little gestures were enough encouragement for him to lean back to you. He still looked at you timidly, but he wasn't pulling away anymore. It seemed like maybe he had been feeling the same things about you.
He was waiting for you to make the next move.
"So, this project," you stalled, needing just a little more time to work up the courage. "What is it again? Why did I just crawl into the bowels of the ship?"
Your face was creeping closer to his, breath gently fanning across each other, warm but refreshing.
"I... I..." Tech seemed to be short-circuiting. "I was just, uh, re... redecorating."
Your nose had just brushed his when you suddenly frowned and moved back to look at him questioningly. "Redecorating... wires?"
You were very amused at how flustered he seemed to be in this situation. But then the tables turned as Tech rolled with it.
"Yeah, I didn't like the way they looked in there. Wanted to change things up. You know me."
The smile on our face spread as he talked and you couldn't hold back your laughter any longer. You bent forward, resting your forehead in the crook of his neck while your body convulsed with giggles. Tech laughed along, bringing his arms back around you to hold you in place. When you finally looked up at him and the shit-eating grin he had plastered on his face, you knew you'd finally found your courage.
"Oh, Tech..." you chided, pressing your smiling lips against his own.
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reinvent-and-believe · a year ago
48 from dialogue prompts + 50 from wordless i-love-yous for geraskier?
Dialogue Prompt 48: “You make me want things I can’t have.” Wordless I-love-you 50: buying them a special treat when you go out shopping
It catches Geralt’s eye while he haggles over an outrageously priced jar of alchemy paste with a none-too-impressed herbalist on the outskirts of Novigrad, a buxom widow with thick-braided auburn hair by the name of Irmina.
“This for sale too?” He picks up the brooch from the countertop where it rests in a beam of golden light streaming through a dingy window. He examines it. It’s simple enough metalwork, a brass oval with a scalloped edge, but inlaid in its face is a single pressed yellow flower framed by tiny white blooms encased in resin.
The herbalist’s dour demeanour brightens immediately. “It is indeed!” she answers, her brown eyes shining in a plump, suddenly pleasant face. “Made it myself just last week. It’s something of a hobby of mine, making pretty knick-knacks from the flowers we can’t sell. Got plenty more like this if you’d like to peruse ‘em, master witcher! Forget-me-nots and arenaria, hellebore, violets, any flower you might like.”
A buttercup, he realizes belatedly. That’s the yellow flower in the center.
“No.” He sees Irmina’s brow furrow in offense, so he hastens to appease her. “No need, I’ll take this one. I...I’m partial to buttercups.”
Her freckled face breaks into a sly, knowing smile. “Oh, aye, I’m sure someone is partial to buttercups.” She winks, waving away his stammered attempts at an answer. “Never you mind, I know a man besotted when I see one, and it seems a witcher’s not so different. Tell you what. Fifty crowns for the paste and I’ll throw the brooch in for only ten.”
Leaving the herbalist’s shop with an overpriced paste, a lighter purse, and a useless trinket, Geralt curses himself for a fool.
He’s not sure why he bought it.
He knows buttercups are Jaskier’s favorite, of course. “None but the noblest of flowers for my sobriquet!” Jaskier had squawked indignantly when Geralt once made the grave mistake of referring to the pesky things as weeds after he’d stopped Roach from chomping on a patch of the bright, poisonous blooms.
They are weeds, buttercups. They serve no function. They can’t be used in any of the potions, decoctions, or oils Geralt brews, nor do they have any particularly helpful curative properties for humans.
“As ever, my dear witcher, you have no sense of poetry,” Jaskier had sighed in a most put-upon voice when told as much. “Their function is they’re pretty. Their function is to enrich our lives through the beauty of the natural world.” He’d looked to the sky, tip of his tongue between his teeth showing through his frown as was his custom when puzzling through the right way to turn a phrase. “From a strictly utilitarian perspective, perhaps the buttercup has less value than, say, moleyarrow, or verbena, or chamomile, even. Some plants provide nutritional or medicinal or alchemical qualities of various sorts. But some exist to make life worth living! To transform the banal into the sublime.” He’d plucked a buttercup from the roadside, twirling it between his long fingers. “It’s graceful and balanced, effortlessly beautiful. It’s vibrant, bright sunlight, on a summer afternoon! And when you see it growing alongside the various and sundry flora, it fills you with the loveliest burst of warmth, like a lover’s smile.”
“’s a pretty weed.”
“You’re incorrigible, witcher, that’s what you are.” Jaskier had huffed dramatically before tucking the buttercup behind Geralt’s ear, his face alight with a delighted grin.
Like sunlight on a summer afternoon.
The Kingfisher Inn is crowded when Geralt arrives. He goes to the bar, orders an ale from Olivier, and leans against the counter to take a look at the stage.
Jaskier loves playing the Kingfisher. In many of the inns he plays across the Continent, he’s relegated to a corner to try to sing over the clang of dinner, his only option to win the common folk over a raucous drinking song or a filthy ditty. And while the bard doesn’t shy away from such vulgarities, the patrons of the Kingfisher tend to be of a more artistically inclined ilk, responding with appropriate gusto to the virtuosic art songs that he rarely performs outside of competitions or Oxenfurt.
Or so he’d explained to Geralt when he’d suggested they meet up at the inn.
Jaskier sits atop a tall stool on a rather large stage framed by crimson curtains, his sky-blue doublet a vivid contrast. The audience, enraptured, listens to his ballad, a melancholy tale of a fair maiden who’s violently killed before she can profess her love to a farmhand in her village, a beautiful, strong, kind man whose hair shines like a blaze of pale fire in the sunlight. Her love for him tethers her to this world, and her spirit—bitter, weary, and endlessly yearning—calls the men working in the fields to join her dance at midday, when the sun is in its zenith, hoping against hope for the chance to finally confess to her beloved.
In the end, the brave, noble farmhand sacrifices himself, hoping to stop the spirit’s killings by listening to her song and joining her as she beckons. And as they are reunited, as she finally kisses the lips she’s longed for in a blinding blaze of sunlight, they pass on together, their spirits becoming one.
It’s a contract Geralt worked a few years ago, a noonwraith outside Oreton—or at least something close. As ever, Jaskier has taken artistic liberties, romanticized the actual events (“Sometimes, in our pursuit of Truth, we must sacrifice the facts,” Jaskier loftily explained on more than one occasion. He seemed quite taken with the profundity he seemed to find in the statement. Geralt called it pretentious once and Jaskier hurled a chunk of bread at his head). Once it might have bothered Geralt, but he’s grown accustomed to Jaskier’s rather malleable relationship with veracity in his ballads. There’s no denying the impact of his storytelling: when Geralt glances around the inn, he sees several patrons discreetly dabbing at their eyes.
It’d been an ugly case, leaving him feeling empty, drained. Noonwraiths haunt his thoughts far longer than most the monsters he dispatches. They’re victims of circumstance more than anything, young women who’ve been transformed into bloodthirsty, violent spirits through no fault of their own, through the violence inflicted upon them. Nearly forty men had fallen prey to her before the farmhand distracted her with his kiss—though Geralt would hesitate to classify his grotesque, gruesome sacrifice as such—so the witcher had a chance to strike her down with silver. Jaskier has spun the miserable tale into something beautiful, moving, something that clearly resonates with his captivated audience, that speaks to a greater force at work than the chaotic, banal evils the witcher sees every day, and Geralt thinks he understands, for a moment, what the bard had told him of Truth and facts.
(Geralt doesn’t know what greater Truth is served by changing the beloved farmhand’s hair from the dull brown it really was to “a blaze of pale fire,” but then, Geralt’s not a poet.)
The final notes hang in the air, all eyes fixed on Jaskier for a rapt, breathless moment before the room bursts into wild applause. Jaskier stands and bows deeply, once, twice, a third time, surveying the room as he offers his thanks. When his gaze catches Geralt at the bar, his expression of showman’s grace vanishes, a flash of something that looks almost alarmed for a split second before it’s replaced by a small, gentle smile.
Geralt nods and raises his mug toward the stage in cheers, draining the remainder. Jaskier is quickly swept into the swarm of captivated fans, accepting their praises with a gracious, if distracted, smile.
The witcher turns back to the barkeep to order himself another ale along with a glass of wine.
“Geralt!” Jaskier swerves to avoid a near-collision with a frenzied barmaid on his way to join his companion at the bar. He grabs the wine glass with a groan of appreciation, taking a swig before asking, “Is this for me? Gods, but you’re a marvel, darling, I thank you.” He takes another sip and sends a disarming, roguish wink to a pair of girls staring at him and giggling to each other. “I wasn’t sure when you’d arrive, but it wouldn’t have mattered, I suppose, they only had one room to let when I checked in and it hasn’t cleared out since. You’ll share mine, of course, but I’ve been here a week so, you know, best brace yourself, I’ve quite made the place my own.”
Geralt snorts. He’s stayed in enough rooms that Jaskier has made his own over the past decade to predict with some certainty what mess he’ll soon venture into.
(Doublets draped over furniture after they’ve been discarded; crumpled sheets of paper tossed near, never in the fireplace; a few near-empty bottles of wine; a shirt hung to dry over the modesty screen between the sleeping and bathing areas; bottles of a dozen oils and perfumes and soaps scattered haphazard near the tub; an unmade bed that may well contain an abandoned undergarment or forgotten stocking left by some well-satisfied guest.)
“Have you eaten? Shall we? I’m starved, felt jittery all afternoon and didn’t eat a damned thing which was all well and good until I got onstage and suddenly wished for a fainting couch. Or we could take your things up to the room first, of course. Oh! We could have them bring our dinner up to us, it’s awfully crowded down here tonight and I’m not sure I’m up to socializing all evening, to be honest, I’ve been dreadfully out of sorts, did you notice, Geralt, that I’ve…”
Jaskier continues his ramblings, and the witcher can’t help a twinge of worry for his friend. It’s not unheard of for Jaskier to be in a heightened state over a particularly important performance, but usually afterwards the nerves dissipate and he seems more himself. Not to mention, why would playing in an inn prompt such anxieties? Even if the Kingfisher clientele trends toward the more refined than the country folk he often plays for, it’s still rather a low-stakes environment to trigger such stress.
“New song?” he asks casually. Jaskier always beams when he notices such things, when he makes an effort to ask about his music.
Instead, Jaskier blushes, looking away with an expression that almost seems guilty. “Ah, yes, well, I wasn’t certain when you’d be arriving, of course, I thought I might try out something different, a sort of test audience, as it were, to feel out the piece before I use it for anything important.” The look he’s fixed on Geralt seems almost wary. “Did the song?”
Geralt shrugs. “Not quite how it happened,” he grumbles, out of habit more than anything.
A smile, genuine and rueful, breaks out on Jaskier’s face. “Gods, I’ve missed you, my friend,” he says, shaking his head and looking away quickly.
“Hmm.” He reaches quickly into the coin pouch at his side, thrusting the trinket from the herbalist into Jaskier’s hand with a brusque, “Here.”
“Whatever have we got…” He cuts off as opens his palm. “Oh.”
There have been so few times over the years that Geralt has seen Jaskier speechless that he begins to worry he’s offended him. He turns the brooch over in his hands, once, twice, his thumb swiping gently over its smooth enamel face. He doesn’t look up.
Even in the crowded room, Geralt can smell the shift in his demeanor, the muted sickly-sweet anxious smell becoming something sharp, metallic, pained, like he’s been stabbed. “You’re upset.”
“” Jaskier shoves the brooch into his trouser pocket, a tense smile on his face, not at all reaching his eyes. “Thank you, Geralt, it’s lovely. Shall we take your bags to the room now?”
“I didn’t...I didn’t get it to upset you.”
Jaskier laughs, a broken thing, and Geralt grows even more alarmed. “You didn’t, it isn’t that, sometimes I want things I can’t have is all.” He grabs the saddlebag sitting at Geralt’s feet, not meeting his eyes as he rushes past him up the stairs to the last bedroom in the hall.
Geralt follows after a moment, giving his companion a respectful distance. There’s a tightness in his shoulders, a knot in his gut that only grows as he watches Jaskier’s hand tremble on the key as he unlocks the door.
It was a stupid idea. He knew it was stupid when he bought it, yet he bought it anyway, somehow ruined everything anyway.
“Here we are.” Jaskier’s voice is filled with a forced cheer as he sets the bag down, hand never leaving the doorknob. “I’ll go fetch us some supper. Or, actually, you know, now that I think of it, I’ve a few errands to run before it gets too late, meant to do it earlier but you know how it goes, lost track of time…”
“Jaskier.” Geralt moves toward him but stops himself, helpless. “Please. I’m sorry I upset you.”
Jaskier stands in the doorway for another moment. He takes a deep breath, closes the door, and walks slowly to the writing desk in the corner. He pulls the chair out, moving the doublet strewn across it before sitting. He doesn’t look at Geralt.
“You didn’t.” Every word is calculated, deliberate. “What kind of ungrateful wretch gets upset over...over an exceptionally thoughtful gift from a friend after a time apart?”
Geralt sits on the edge of the bed. His elbows rest on his knees, fingers locking together as he stares at the floor. “You’re not a wretch. The fault is mine.”
“Dammit, Geralt, there isn’t fault, I only—why did you bring me a gift?”
Geralt frowns. “I’ve bought you things before,” he says slowly.
“Things, yes!” Jaskier vaults from the chair, pacing listlessly about the room, no longer trying to mask his inexplicable distress. “Lute strings when I broke a string and I was low on coin. The lute is my livelihood, it made financial sense for you to replace the string so I could pull my own weight, help you when we pass through several towns in a row with no contracts. Boots when you noticed the hole in the heel of my old pair, because I slow you down limping about in footwear that’s falling apart. Room and board, sometimes, because you know I’m good for it, I’ll cover you the next time.” He’s stopped pacing, stares silent into the fireplace.
“Wasn’t keeping a tab.” Geralt’s voice is quiet. “You needed strings and boots and food and a room.”
Jaskier doesn’t turn to face him, but Geralt sees his hand slip into his pocket, pull out the brooch. His head bends, studying it.
He’s not offended or annoyed or angered by the gift. He’s hurt. But why?
Jaskier looked guilty when Geralt brought up the song. Like he’d been caught red-handed. Did you like it? he’d asked. Incredulous.
The noonwraith singing her song in hopes that her beloved hears her confession. That he’ll hear her song of longing and come to her.
Hair like a blaze of pale fire, not dull brown.
Sometimes I want things I can’t have.
The witcher snaps back to attention, eyes fixed on Jaskier, finally facing him.
“Why did you get it for me, Geralt?”
Geralt frowns. “It’s...pretty,” he starts lamely. “I thought you might wear it when you play. You wear gaudy things.”
Jaskier snorts, a small, crooked grin on his lips.
“It made me think of you,” he confesses quietly, his eyes tracing the wood grain of the floor. “Sometimes...things don’t have to have a function. It was a buttercup and it was pretty and it…made me think of you.”
When Geralt dares to raise his eyes, Jaskier’s staring at him, brows drawn together and mouth slightly agape. After a moment, he walks toward the witcher, sitting carefully beside him on the bed. He reaches his hand towards Geralt’s and presses the little brooch into his palm.
“Will you pin it on me?” he asks softly.
Geralt nods.
His fingers feel thick and clumsy as he fumbles with the delicate clasp. The top few buttons of Jaskier’s doublet, as ever, are undone, but it closes neatly just beneath his exposed neck. Geralt slips a finger beneath the satin fabric to pull it away from his throat, cautiously piercing the fabric with the thin pin and sliding it into its slot, locking the clasp with shaking hands.
His hand doesn’t move from Jaskier’s chest. A sword-calloused thumb, seemingly of its own volition, grazes lightly over the bobbing Adam’s apple.
He looks up, almost pulls away but for the flushed cheeks, the tongue that darts out to wet pink lips, the hooded eyes beneath dark lashes fixed on Geralt’s mouth. Jaskier’s breath is warm against his face. When did they draw so close?
“Are you going to kiss me, Geralt?” The breathy whisper is laced with wonder.
And he didn’t...didn’t buy the brooch to entice Jaskier into anything, didn’t mean to solicit any sort of reward, and he opens his mouth to tell him so, yet as his rough hand moves to gently cup the back of Jaskier’s neck the words that tumble out instead are, “I’d like to.”
And Jaskier throws back his head and laughs, a euphoric, intoxicated sound, as his lovely hands cradle Geralt’s face. He brings his forehead to rest against Geralt’s as they still, breathing each other for a moment before Jaskier surges forward to capture his lips.
His kiss tastes like sunlight.
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ashintheairlikesnow · 4 months ago
Time Apart
CW: Trauma survivor, referenced noncon and assault, heavy internalized victim-blaming and self-loathing/anti-asexuality (Chris has serious issues from his conditioning around this)
(references events from this small series)
I think you should spend time apart, not with me.
When Chris picks up his phone, it's not at all the message from Laken he expected to see. Not the kind of thing they've ever sent before.
He has to read it two times, then three. The letters swim and shake along with a dull pounding inside his head, but no matter how he tries to make them into other words - tell himself he must have misunderstood, must be missing something - they come back together the same in the end.
I think you should spend time apart, not with me.
Each letter is as crisp and clean as a sterilized blade between each rib, one by one by one by one.
The words are a body blow. They're a hundred blows, beating him into a barely recognizable shattered shell of himself. It wasn't supposed to happen this way - it's been a bad few days, yeah, a bad week really, but until yesterday's fight it had never occurred to him that Laken might give up on him.
The fight was his fault, anyway.
He meant to apologize last night, but then Nova had come into his room, and he'd lost the rest of the night to lying next to Jake, trying to remember how to stop living inside his head again, how to stop being still.
He'd woke up this morning with his stomach doing butterfly flips inside him, nervous, but he'd really wanted to say he was sorry, for the fight, for all the weirdness lately. He'd wanted to apologize for being difficult.
Instead... he'd woken up to find a missed text from the night before, sent after he'd shoved Nova away but before he could stand to look at anything again.
I think you should spend time apart, not with me.
There it sits.
He hasn't unlocked his phone yet. Instead, he keeps tapping the button to light up the screen, looking at the message preview that has all he needs to see. Lets it go dark again. As if one of these times he'll click and it'll say something else.
But it doesn't,
It just says the same damn thing.
I think you should spend time apart.
Not with me.
He's still staring at it when another one comes in. He feels the soft pulse of his phone in his hand, and the screen lights on its own.
LAKEN - NOW Did you see my message? 
He thinks maybe Kauri had it easier when he was the age Chris is now. Back when Kauri carried on entire conversations in emoji form, letting the nuance and ambiguity take over, the recipient working through the meaning on their own. With this, each letter is merciless, each word is unmistakable. He can’t misunderstand it. 
Can he?
He opens the phone with shaking fingers, types back yes, presses send, and turns his phone off.
Then he throws it at the wall.
He’s grateful for the heavy plastic case that makes it bounce off and drop to the floor without breaking. There's a strip on the back, textured and a soft purple, gray, white, and black. He rubs his fingers over it sometimes in class to keep himself from rocking and being distracting.
Now he just... stares at it.
Laken bought that for him. They bought the shirt he's wearing right now-
He yanks it off his head before he can think, balls up the soft fabric and throws it as well. It just sort of drifts pointlessly to the floor, a single eyeball from the print of a band he likes staring back at him.
Laken has ranted before about people who break up by text message, and Chris has to breathe through a physical ache in his chest that tightens every muscle at how awful he must be that they're not doing this face to face. How awful, how used-up, how shredded apart, how fucking pretty he is.
After all, he and Laken have been together for more than a year, and he still held perfectly still for Nova to touch him before he remembered how to move. After all, he’s a grown man who still cried and fell apart when Jake was hurt. After all, after all, after all...
He scrambles across the floor for his phone again, turns it back on. Part of him hopes he’ll see a new text saying they take it back, they didn’t mean it. Or just asking him to apologize for what he’d said that night before, for how he’d thrown their confusion over his reaction to something back at them, echoing out the way Kauri fights sometimes, talking about himself the way he thinks everyone else might be thinking about him, so he says the insult first and no one else gets to surprise him with it.
But there’s nothing new.
He manages to open the texts again, barely, and breathes in gasps, nearly pants, as he types out, you don’t want me at your place?
Not right now.
Is it because of what I can’t do?
It takes them a minute to answer. Every single second ticks by with a slowness Chris hasn’t felt since his days in the cold white room, tied down to stillness, forced to endure every minute that passed in perfect silence or to the soundtrack of his own tears and pleading for it to stop.
When they do respond, it’s just, it’s because of what you won’t do.
His breath catches in his throat. The ache in his head starts to pound harder, and he has to close his eyes against a sharp stab behind them. 
What he won’t do.
They’ve never cared before. How-... how could they suddenly care now? The fight had only a little bit been about that, it’d really been about something else. About his nightmares, how he’s not sleeping, not seeing his friends, skipping therapy. It hadn’t even been about... that. About what Chris can do and what he can’t, in bed. 
But that was the thing - the fight had started when Chris had flinched back from Laken’s touch to his back, and snapped at them, and accused them of wanting too much, and...
And now this.
It’s like they knew about Nova. Knew that he could be good just fine - better than fine, Handler Petrus said he was one of the best he’d ever worked with once - he just... wouldn’t. Won’t. Doesn’t want to. Never wanted to. 
Can’t do it without tearing himself to pieces all over again. 
It was always a scream inside his mind, but should he have pushed it down and tried harder to be more like everyone else? Is he losing Laken because of it? Did Nova pick up on something Chris himself doesn’t know?
Should he have... tried?
Even if it hurt?
He drops the phone again, then kicks it viciously under his bed, listening to the scrape of it sliding across the floor, the thump as it hits the wall. He hears it vibrate again, but this time he doesn’t care what Laken has to say.
They’ve said enough.
He understands.
Part of him expected this eventually.
He leaves the room, doesn’t bother to pull on his compression shirt, even. He lets his skin prickle bare and exposed to the air. He accepts the discomfort, the uneasy feeling of being too seen, too felt. 
The house is quiet, this early. 
He makes himself toast with butter, wincing at the scrape of the knife against the crisp bread, the sound boring into his ears. But eventually it’s done, and he slumps into a chair at the kitchen table, willing himself to cry. Somehow, the tears just... don’t happen.
He can hear Jake snoring softly from the living room. He’d been up with Chris until nearly 4 am, then Chris was awake again at 6:30, looking at that text, looking over and over and over again. Two hours of sleep leave him weirdly euphoric alongside his despair. Like he’s floating in some nightmare place that isn’t awake and isn’t sleeping, either.
He’s probably slept nine hours in three days at this point. He keeps seeing Jake with a knife sticking out of him every time he closes his eyes. Jake, screaming as Antoni pushed cloth into his wound to stop up the bleeding. Jake with a bullet wound, sitting up against the wall, staring at him with wide eyes whispering, It’s okay, Tristan, I love you, it’s okay as he dies. 
He can’t sleep. He can’t leave for long. He can’t breathe. He can’t think.
Him being what he is, it’s the reason Jake is hurt. If he hadn’t been his brother, he wouldn’t have decided to run a house for Romantics, and he wouldn’t have ended up dealing with all the dangerous bits about them.
Jake said it himself, didn’t he? It’s a mistake, running a house for Romantics. Not his best idea. A mistake.
Chris is a mistake.
Him being weak, and cowardly... it’s hurting Jake, making his life harder.
He makes everyone’s life harder.
There’s a soft sound of footsteps behind him, and he turns to find Nova in the doorway, staring back. She’s in a sleeveless gray dress and has her long dark hair pulled back from her temples, spilling in a waterfall down her back. Her eyes are dark and fathomless, and she gives him a faint, slight smile.
She had smiled like that with one hand down his pants.
Chris turns around, too fast, his head spinning a little, and hunches over his toast. “Good... good, um, good morning,” He mumbles. 
She clears her throat. “Morning. Chris, about-... about last night...”
“Don’t, um, don’t-... don’t don’t don’t worry about it.” He takes a breath. He doesn’t want his toast any longer. 
“I’m sorry,” She says, simply. “I spoke to Sarita about it, and... and she said this happens with us, and I should apologize, but, um. So I am. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have-... I thought I was helping.”
“I... know you did.” His words are slowing down. Chris can’t hold on to his thoughts, they want to drift away somewhere else, somewhere safer. Somewhere darker. 
“When I was with-... with my Miss, she would always say, if you are sad the best way to fix it is to make your body forget that feeling, replace it with something else. And that was what we replaced my sadness with. So, you were sad and upset, and I thought I could fix it that way.” She pauses, flushing a little, looking down and to the side as she moves with effortless grace to get a glass and fill it with water, take a small sip. 
“Kauri used to... to do that,” Chris says after a pause, thinking about it. Kauri, who would show up in the small hours of the morning reeking of liquor and someone else’s cologne, or just didn’t show up at all. Kauri, who would laugh instead of crying, and laugh with someone’s arms around him, a guy whose name he didn’t know. 
Kauri, who ran and ran and ran and can do things and be things that Chris can’t.
Or... won’t.
What if he’s been hurting Laken this whole time and didn’t know it, because he was already hurt himself?
His foot starts to tap tap tap on the floor until he stops it. 
“Did he? Did it-... work for him?” Nova asks it with genuine curiosity, and her eyes are so pretty. He looks up at her, and then down again, pushing the plate of toast away from himself. 
“I don’t know,” Chris whispers. “I, I don’t know. He’s happy now, but...”
“Was he happy then?”
“No. But, but, but... maybe we aren’t supposed to be. At least... not with, with anyone... who isn’t like us.”
“Jake isn’t like us,” Nova points out. Her presence in the room feels heavy, like a weight pushing down on him. But what does it matter? He’s not with Laken anymore, anyway. If he wanted to, he could stand right up and kiss Nova right now, press her back into the counter, and learn what it’s like to be the one doing things and not just having them done to him.
But his body doesn’t stir at the thought. It never has.
“He is,” Chris answers. “A, a little bit. I’m, I’m, I’m sorry, too, Nova. Sorry that I-I can’t.”
“No, I know. You have a partner, and I shouldn’t have-”
“I don’t have... I, I, I I don’t have a partner anymore.” Chris stands up, leaving her there with his plate of untouched toast. The sky outside is bright as the sun rises, as if mocking the way he feels like a stormcloud inside. 
Nova watches him leave, and whispers to herself, “No partner?”
Chris goes outside, pulling a sweatshirt that hangs on the coatrack on over his head to protect his skin, curling up on the porch swing and watching cars pulling out of driveways as the neighborhood starts to head to work in ones and twos. 
He doesn’t cry.
He sits very, very still, and he is silent. 
Upstairs, under the bed, his phone vibrates, again and again, unnoticed.
Just go talk to Nat, Chris. That’s all I said. Just go see Nat and get a night or three away from the house. Being there all the time is overwhelming you. Are you even looking at these? Chris you can’t just ignore me every time I say something you don’t like Chris answer me ... ... Oh shit, Chris, my phone autocorrected earlier and I didn’t notice I meant “some time at Nat’s”, not apart Chris? Are you seeing my messages? Baby? Chris, please check your phone and answer me. Please.
@burtlederp @finder-of-rings @endless-whump @whumpfigure @astrobly @newandfiguringitout @doveotions @pretty-face-breaker @gonna-feel-that-tomorrow @boxboysandotherwhump @oops-its-whump @cubeswhump @whump-tr0pes @downriver914 @whumptywhumpdump @whumpiary @orchidscript @nonsensical-whump @outofangband @eatyourdamnpears
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darkkteaz · 9 days ago
Pt.4 - Philautia (Yan!Albedo)
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(Pt.3 - Storge)
ok so... apologies for the wait. here is part 4!! enjoy :)
notes: mentions of death and murder, depression, yandere behaviour, all the dark stuff... y'all know the drill
Once upon another time, there was a prince, and he fell in love.
And the world was kind and fresh and new with them. Their laughter put to shame the sun. Their smile outshone the midnight moon.
And they were perfect, and lovely, and it was the sort of love between them that the poets wrote about. The prince knew happiness, then. The prince knew kindness. He knew love. Real love. The kind that makes colours dull in comparison, that gives reason to rise in the morning.
But such love is dangerous. Such love brings pain, too. Because the higher one rises, the harder one will fall.
And fall so did the prince.
You wish you could remember the smell of the rain.
You hear it now, as it batters the walls and windows and roof of the house, the soft patter of it a welcome reprieve from the silence. You’re curled up in bed, though the day has long hung in the sky, marred by the darkness of the clouds. At least you opened the curtains today, if only to watch the rain fall. They haven’t been opened in days. Weeks, maybe.
You know that Albedo doesn’t like it when you get like this. You know it, and you feel a little guilt, the kind that settles deep to the bone. But you can’t help it—it’s a sickness, this thing. A wretched disease.
When the episodes first started, he’d hovered. Flitting around the room with an anxious energy, nervy and unsettled as a cat. He’d checked your temperature, had tried a multitude of various tinctures and potions, had examined every inch of you for signs of physical distress. There had been none, of course. It had been a day before he’d realized it was an affliction of the mind, and that had set him even more on edge.
It's unlike him to be so… nervous. He’s typically calm and composed and practical. Objective. But he can’t be, not when it comes to you.
Not even if this thing has been brought upon by the fact that he doesn’t allow you outside.
The fact that he decides everything for you, down to the clothes you wear.
The fact that this house, the first thing you had seen upon waking from what seemed like an eternal sleep, has begun to dig its claws into you, becoming a glorified, gilded cage.
Your eyes are dead as you watch the rain, and Albedo’s eyes are illegible as he watches you from the doorway. You know he’s there; he always is. Always there, always watching.
And despite the fact that you tell yourself that it’s because he’s here to protect you, to help you, it still feels suffocating.
Despite the fact that he is kind and gentle with you, you cannot shake the feeling that he is the keeper, and you are the bird, locked away forever.
Albedo hates seeing you like this.
It wasn’t his intention, upon deciding to use a more potent drug. He’d meant to give you something stronger, something that would reset you and keep you from remembering things you shouldn’t. He’d taken care of things while you were away in sleep, had scrubbed the house clean of anything and everything that could remind you of a past you shouldn’t remember. He’d burned that gods-forsaken book again, and he’d done research into keeping it gone. Was trying to figure out why it had come back at all. How it was possible.
He’d found himself unable to burn the painting he’d done of you. He couldn’t do anything to hurt any piece of you. So he’d stashed it away somewhere you would never find it.
He'd told Klee that she couldn’t see you anymore. It had broken his heart, but it was for the best. This was all for you, after all.
He’d dealt with the knights and Kaeya, had dealt with the traveler when he and Paimon had come around. And he’d thought he had succeeded when there was no recollection of them in your eyes.
But is there such a thing as too blank a canvas?
He rubs the back of his neck now, watching you watch the world outside, and feels a burning hurt in his stomach. This all hurts him more than it could ever hurt you, after all. You, blissful and unaware.
You, broken and empty and sad.
He wants to build a life you will never want to leave. He wants you to be happy, and whole, and laughing. He wants you to say his name with love in your voice. The way you did before. He wants for so many things, his heart so filled with wishing he’s surprised it hasn’t burst.
What he doesn’t understand is why you’re so stubborn. Why can’t you just let the past lie? There is so much hurt there, so much death and regret and darkness. You ran away from it (and him) back then; why do you yearn for it now?
He watches the steady rise and fall of your chest and feels an ache in his own. Rubs a hand down the side of his face. When did things get so twisted?
He’s always thought it started with your sister. But maybe that is where his fault lies. Maybe the problem has always been you.
“Y/N,” he says, soft. He’s always soft around you, these days. Like you’re breakable. And you are, really. He hadn’t intended to use the drug this many times on you. Your mind is in a fragile state. Even your body is beginning to show the signs, the bags under your eyes, the sunken quality of your cheeks. It breaks his heart.
“I’ve brought you some food.”
He takes a cautious step into the room, dark despite the curtain being drawn. It’s a mess, in here. You haven’t cleaned in days.
He crouches next to the bed, brandishing the small bowl of soup he’s made. You don’t turn away from the window. He wants to tear his hair out.
You’ve been having trouble with eating, these days. He has half a mind to force feed you, to coerce you into wanting to keep yourself alive, but he also doesn’t want to do that. After all, he wants you to want to live. To want to stay with him.
“You have to eat,” he tries again, dipping the spoon into the bowl. It makes a small noise as it hits bottom. You stir a little.
“Please,” he says.
After a moment what feels like a year, you slowly turn yourself over on the mattress, and look at him with those sullen eyes. He wants to vomit. Your lips are chapped.
“I’m not hungry,” you rasp, and even your voice is tired. A little flat, a little dead.
He sets the bowl on the nightstand, and reaches a hand out toward you. You flinch a little, and then settle, allowing him to stroke your cheek softly. Your eyes droop shut.
“Please eat, love.”
“Can I go outside if I eat?”
The question burns through him like an arrow. Hits deep within his soul. He knows, somewhere in his brilliant mind, that the sun is good for the sick, the sad. He knows that exercise would do you well. But he also knows the dangers that lurk just beyond the part of your mind that is clouded by the drugs he’s pumped into you. The dangers that might yet be unlocked by the sight of Dragonspine’s s malevolent peaks.
And he can’t risk that. Can’t risk you.
So instead, he runs a hand through his hair, lets it fall just beside you on the mattress. “You can’t get better if you don’t eat,” he says.
“Can’t get better if I can’t see the sun,” you mumble, and he pretends not to hear it.
Albedo supposes he could be violent with you. He is more than capable of overpowering you, in this state. He could get angry and impatient and he could let that little part of him snap. He could shove spoonfuls of soup down your throat until you gagged, could beat you until the thought of going outside was little more than a pipe dream. But he doesn’t want that. He doesn’t want you broken. Isn’t that the whole point of this?
He wants you whole and hale and the way you were before.
“I’ll leave this here,” he says, resigned. Maybe you’ll eat if he leaves.
He still remembers the day he met you.
Brilliant, wonderful, you.
He thinks he never saw the sun until that day. Never realized the beauty of flowers and trees and the starry night sky. Because they all seemed so irrelevant before. Means to an end, things to be studied.
And then there you were, entranced by the world, your mind so unfathomably illuminous that at first, he’d had to avert his eyes. You came to him like a dream, a researcher studying alchemy. He’d known, then, what the poets meant when they called it true love. Because that’s what it was, he told himself. Raw, unadulterated, obsession love.
It started out as a small thing, you in his lab after hours, pouring over books he’d let nobody else touch, reviewing research notes and illegible margin scribbles. He let you have a little piece of what soul he had, without you even knowing it. Without you even asking for it. What luck.
He didn’t care at first, that you had friends in other places. Didn’t care that you seemed to get along so well with Timaeus and Sucrose (who have been getting progressively more annoying about your absence) or even Klee.
The first time he kissed you, he thought he would implode. A star, having reached its final hours. He thought, then, that he could die happy, if only he could taste your lips again, see that small, startled look in your eyes, feel the softness of your skin beneath the pads of his fingers.
You’d given him small, private smiles after that. You’d let his hands linger on your person, let him steal more kisses from your mouth, your neck, your hands, your cheeks. He’d been satisfied with that, for a while. Because this was an innocence, a curiosity, the development of a feeling to which the alchemist had never been privy before.
But then that wicked thing took hold. That blight on his soul, wicked as a wildfire. And it spread like a sickness, taking everything it could hold, covering the innards of his being with a desire, a yearning, a possessiveness so great that even he could no longer think his way out of it. He could not reason with the beast. He wasn’t sure he wanted to.
You were his, after all. He was sure of it. Tevyat had made you for him. And who was he to deny the will of Celestia?
And then had come that stupid, wretched, book.
You had found it at the gift shop in Mond, and at first he too had thought it an innocent, wondrous find. An old, ancient, alchemical manuscript detailing the creation of life, the process of resuscitation.
The creation of life was possible, sure. Albedo would know that better than anyone. And while homunculi weren’t exactly human, they were close enough that it didn’t really matter, in a world filled with monsters and creatures and magical things. But resuscitation was not something to be dabbled in.
He’d thought it was an academic’s interest at first. How wrong he had been.
You’d tried to leave him. That fucking book had led you to try to leave him.
It had pained him more than anything to pierce his sword through your heart, geo vision pulsating. It had hurt him more than it would ever hurt you. Because he could fix you, put you back the way he needed you to be. But he would always remember the you from before.
Ignorance is bliss, and bliss, he could afford you.
He promised himself then that he would do everything within his power to keep you safe. He would do everything to keep you by his side. Everything to make you love him and yourself the way that he loved you.
Even if it meant resetting the game a hundred times. A thousand times. A million times.
Because this wasn’t a game that you would win. This was his game, and you were his, and he was in control of all of the pieces on the board.
And all he wishes is for you to come to see it that way, too.
He watches you sleep that night, peaceful, and he tells himself that tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow you'll be better. He will see you happy, luminous, loving again.
He will see this through to the end, if it's the last thing he does.
(pt.5 - Eros)
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albaedhoe · 10 months ago
pairing : albedo x gn!reader
summary : having known albedo since forever ago, of course you have silly endearments for him.
word count : 2.2k
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what you call him:
(My) Prince
Is the first and the most used nickname you’ve given him! When he was given the title “Kreideprinz”, you had started to call him Prince to make fun of him for it. You swear you call him Prince more than his actual name- it bugged Albedo at first but he eventually warmed up to it
“Prince! Master says that we need to collect slime condensate!” You yell while running to Albedo, who was busy carefully adding droplets of a solution into a flask. Although, due to your sudden outburst, his concentration was ruined and he squeezed the pipette too harshly. The concoction turns from a light blue to a harsh red, the familiar smell of smoke filling the air around you and slight sparks in the flask, but Albedo was too fascinated by the reaction that he didn’t notice.
“Watch out!” Grabbing the glass from Albedo’s hand, you threw it as far away as you could. “What-” Albedo was still confused. Pulling him to your chest and swivelling so that your back faced the direction where you threw the bottle, an explosion erupted and the ground rumbles. Once deemed safe, you let him go.
“I’m sorry that I ruined your experiment but next time, please don’t hold onto the after product of my accident when it clearly gave out sparks and the smell of smoke, my Prince.” You could see Albedo pout the tiniest bit at your tone while he looks away, “Fine, and I thought I told you not to call me Prince.”
Eyes filled with mischief and a soft smile gracing your lips, you were lucky he wasn’t facing you. ‘He didn’t deny that he was mine...’ you thought.
When you and Albedo had been sent to Mond through recommendation by your master, - Albedo being assigned as Chief Alchemist and Captian of the Investigation Team; While you were his assistant and second in command - everyone had first thought that he was an actual Prince. I mean, he had the looks and this regal aura around him so it wouldn’t be surprising if he was one. After many misunderstandings and explanations, the people of Mondstat eventually grow accustomed of your nickname towards the genius.
“Psst, do you reckon they’re staring at us because we’re not from here?” Walking side by side with Albedo, you tried to ignore the curious stares you received from some of the citizens as you climbed the stairs leading to the knights of Favonius headquarters. Some stared openly, some didn’t give you a glance and minded their business.
Not looking up from his newly bought book, Albedo mutters something only you could hear. “Maybe it’s because you yelled ‘what do you want me to cook for dinner, my Prince?’ at the gates.” You think about it for a bit but couldn’t understand what your lover was implying. Albedo snorts slightly, despite you being the same level of knowledge as him when regarding alchemy, you were very oblivious. “Since there is no patriarchy in mondstat, they would be curious if a so called ‘Prince’ were to enter their city.”
A light went off in your head. “Oh! That makes sense, I guess.”
It didn’t matter how serious the situation is or who is around the two of you. It didn’t even matter if Albedo was there at all! You would still refer to him as the nickname and the knights of Favonius (mainly Kaeya) would tease him about it if you weren’t around. The first time you called Albedo ‘Prince’ infront of Kaeya wasn’t eventful but still had an impact on the said alchemist;
“I’ll be at the giant tree in Windrise if you need me, Prince!” You wave goodbye to your partner. “Prince, huh? How cute. Would you like me to call you ‘Prince’ too?” Kaeya teases Albedo as he watches you leave the meeting room. Sorting the numerous transfer documents in his hand, Albedo says nothing but releases a small sigh, “I’d prefer it if Y/n were the only one that does, Captain Kaeya.” Silence fills the room.
Slowly realising what he had just said, Albedo walks away from the knight and to his new lab. Closing the door behind him, he makes sure that no one else is around, sensing if there were any footsteps heading towards his study. Once the coast was clear, Albedo’s gloved fingers card through his hair. Though parts of his ears were hidden among the loose hairs that escaped his braids, it was obvious that the tips were just as rosy as his cheeks. “I told you not to call me that infront of others...”
This nickname originated when you paid close attention to the star-like marking on his neck. Though it was slightly unusual, you thought of it as charming and it complimented his outfits very well. Not many people have said this to him before so he doesn’t know how to respond to you.
You would call Albedo ‘Starlight’ when he would be in the state of insecurity and/or doubt. Pulling him aside to another room or a secluded part of a room, you would whisper reassurances and hold his hands or cradle his face. Never will you call him Starlight infront of others, it’s your own secret nickname for him that you would rather people not know about. You call him Starlight to remind him that he is the brightest and most serene person you have met on this earth. To Albedo, it’s comforting and he thanks you for thinking this way of him.
“Starlight, hey, look at me,” you cooed. Albedo looked forward but not at you, softly placing the palms of your hands on his face, you gently forced him to look into your worried eyes. His own no longer held that mesmerising shine and were instead dull and fatigued. “I’m here now. I’m fine. I didn’t leave you.”
One month prior to this scene, you had travelled to parts of Liyue in order to collect ores and minerals for Albedo’s new experiment hypothesis, so being his assistant, you went for him. Promising him that it’ll only take a week, what you didn’t expect was to be ganged up on and ambushed by treasure hoarders, multiple times.
Thankfully, you’re a vision user, meaning that you could easily take down these bandits, but there’s only so much a person can use their powers. Exhausted, battered scathed in multiple places, you decided to rest in Liyue Harbour for a couple of more days. You haven’t even collected half the materials needed for Albedo! You couldn’t just go back to Mondstat almost empty handed. You injuries won’t heal immediately so that means collection time will be much slower than normal, not to mention you have to be cautious travelling back as well.
When finally arriving at your shared home, it was a literal dump. Papers were scattered across the floor and the dishes were piling up. You partner wasn’t home at the moment so you decide to make use of your time and clean the house. Hours pass by and the door creaks open, Albedo walks in. He notices that the house is much more clean than the state he last left it in, his guard is up. That is, until you walk out from the kitchen, sleeves rolled up with a wooden spoon at hand.
“Welcome back!” Albedo’s eyes must be tricking him again. He wouldn’t be surpised since he hasn’t had proper rest since your departure, only ever taking two or three hour naps on occasion. He pinched the bridge of his nose and squeezed his eyes shut, hoping the ‘hallucination’ of you would disappear, but you didn’t. Brows furrowed and plenty of blinking, Albedo concludes that you are, in fact, real.
He slowly makes his way over to you, trapping you in his hold. Burying his face between your neck and shoulder, Albedo relishes in your presence and scent. He wasn’t aware that he was trembling, all of his exhaustion and constant state of insecurities finally catching up to him, until you cupped his face, which leads to now.
You would also sometimes call him Starlight to express worry. To maintain his serenity, he needs to look after himself, of course . Times like these are usually when he doesn’t come out of his study for the whole day. This means he most likely hasn’t eaten or drank anything during this period. You would occasionally pop in with a meal and force him to take a break. Albedo gets slightly irritated at the interruption but he knows you mean well in the long run.
During these breaks he would ask about your day, have you been working on a new experiment of your own or have you found anything that may prove useful in the future, all of that. You happily answer all of his questions, asking some of your own too.
Knock, knock. “Come in.” Opening the door to Albedo’s laboratory you balance two plates, one in the palm of your left hand and the other resting on your forearm. “Sorry to interrupt, but you haven’t left your study all day, Starlight.” Albedo catches onto the use of the nickname, so, having no desire to start a fight between the two of you, he pushes aside unnecessary books off of his desk to make room.
Knowing that Albedo’s appetite was small, you made only a few slices of meat on his dish with a selection of vegetables. The other plate in your grasp had a stack of cookies, freshly made from the comfort of your own home. You hear Albedo mutter a small thanks and started to dig into the food you brought him. While he focused on eating, you focused on him.
The afternoon light that penetrated through the window and lit the room had beautifully graced Albedo with its rays. Golden hour seems to favour the young alchemist as it kisses his skin gently. You watched as his light, ashy, blonde hair frames his face, a few loose strands escaping the braid you put up for him this morning before work. Comfortable silence fills the room except for the scraping of utensils.
Albedo wasn’t sure if he should bring up the way you looked at him in times like these. Your irises were filled with so much affection and love, he could almost see his reflection of how brightly your eyes shone at him. Though, Albedo keeps quiet. Afraid that you may become shy and refuse to look at him. He rather enjoys being the centre of your attention.
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bonus ::
what he calls you:
Häschen = bunny
Albedo will only ever call you this if he wants something, such as: to see you blush or simply because he’s in a teasing mood. I’d say the endearment formed because you look or act cute to him. The first time he’d call you Häschen would be a complete accident.
While Albedo was sorting and writing documents about his new found discovery, you were lazing around on the sofa, in your back with arms raised, reading a rather interesting book. To his dismay, Albedo’s ink pot, after hours of torture, was beginning to run out. Not looking up from his papers, Albedo didn’t want his concentration and motivation to deplete if he got up. “Could you get me another ink pot, Häschen?” Albedo asks you politely, unaware of what he just said.
A loud thud bounces off the walls and enters the alchemist’s ears. Glancing at you rather than the book on the floor, he sees crimson flare across your cheeks and the tips of your ears. Despite the slow throbbing coming from the bridge of your nose and forehead, you didn’t mind it all. Rather, the blood that rushed to your face masked it, making you only feel a radiating heat. “W-What did you call me?” Thinking back to what he said, Albedo soon matched the expression on your face.
Albedo takes advantage of the fact that the two of you were from a different part of Teyvat, where the language is different. He calls you Häschen infront of others on purpose to watch your reaction, while the others around you don’t understand what it means.
“Sorry to cut the conversation short but Häschen and I need to head out to Dragonspine while the sun is still up.” Your eyes almost bulge out of their sockets as you whip your head to face Albedo in a double take, giving him a look. If you looked close enough, you could see the mischievous and knowing glint in Albedos eyes. Trying your best not to show your growing blush, you feign interest towards the floor.
“Häschen?” Jean, the acting grand master, asks out loud what everyone else in the room were thinking. Silently pleading to yourself that Albedo won’t say anything about it, sweat rolled down your temple. “Ah, it’s Y/n’s other name. I say it out of habit sometimes.” Albedo couldn’t hide the teasing tone in his voice from anybody at this point. Having enough, you grasp the fabric over Albedo’s elbow and began to drag him out of Jean’s office. “Alrighty, guess we better head off now. Bye, everyone.”
Making sure that nobody was in earshot, you scolded your lover, letting go of his coat and stopped walking to face him. “I thought I asked you to stop calling me that infron of everyone.” Albedo raises an eyebrow and crosses his arms, “will you stop calling me ‘Prince’?” Exaggerating a gasp, you clutched the area over your heart, faking hurt. “Now, why in The Seven would I do that?” Albedo chuckles at you and ruffles the top of your head. “Exactly,” he tuts.
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a/n :: apologies if there was a mistranslation with Häschen, I used google translate-
I am also aware that Mondstat is based on Germany but lets ignore that as well-
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