#but this is the one we have i lay my sunburnt hand on your table this is the time we have
So hot, so hot today. . . . I will stay in our room
with the shades drawn, waiting for you
to come with sleepy eyes, and pass your fingers
lightly, lightly up my thighs.
— Jane Kenyon, from “At the Summer Solstice”
Vacation with Johnny Knoxville Headcanons
request: super fluffy vacation HC with Johnny?
getting this man to go on vacation was outright painful
he is a workaholic
you had to demand he take a vacation with you
and he didn’t need much convincing
he just had to find time to take a break
you ended up intercepting a work call he was on
‘jeff, spike, we both love you very much but i need to teach johnny the meaning of the word vacation.’
he attempted to reach for his laptop which was on the table, so you dived on his lap to stop him
‘i’m gonna try and work more often if this is how you stop me.’
you end up nose to nose with your arms wrapped around his neck
‘we could do this all the time on vacation, you know.’
johnny let you choose wherever you wanted to go
he didn’t care as long as there was a beach
and you were ensuring there’d be a beach
the first thing you guys did when you landed was change into swimsuits and head straight to the ocean
you couldn’t wait to get in the water
johnny thought it was so cute
amongst other things whilst you had that swimsuit on
he 100% tries to teach you how to surf
cue the two of you trying to balance on one surf board
he had a grip on your waist when you finally managed to stand up
and you didn’t know if you should keep trying to fall in if it meant he was going to hold you like that
you’d spend all your time on the beach if you could
offers to put sunscreen on for you every five minutes
‘i’m just worried about your skin, honey.’
‘worried about the skin on my ass?’
you couldn’t deny that you liked the feeling of his hands rubbing over your back and slowly dropping further and further
but the strange looks you got when he was taking extra care massaging in your sunscreen were enough for you
he loves the pool
is a huge big kid and wants you to get in the pool with him at all times
definitely splashes you
whether you’re in or out of the pool
you’re getting splashed
reading your book by the pool? a six feet tall dripping wet pj will squeeze himself next to you on the chair until you pay attention to him
you get him back by asking him to help you out of the pool once he’s already out and dry
and use all your strength to pull him back in
he tries to make out with you in the pool
in fact tries to make out with you everywhere
‘c’mon, look at the view. it’d be rude if we didn’t kiss a little.’
the two of you are both very sunburnt and drunk by the evenings
johnny takes you on a romantic stroll down the beach
it’s more of a stumble because you’ve both been drinking cocktails
but it’s giggly and spontaneous and you both are so in love
picks you up bridal style and carries you into the water at your protests
you steal his hats all the time
and his sunglasses
he starts wearing a pair on his face and another tucked into his shirt
because he knows you’ll steal them
one morning he just places his hat on your head before you leave
you can only grin and knock the cap off again so you can kiss him properly
he’s pouty when you have to go home
you go down to the beach for a few hours before heading to the airport
you lay on your back to tan and all of a sudden johnny’s lying on top of you with his head on your chest
‘okay, i’m not leaving. we’re staying here forever.’
karma // tim drake x reader // chapter 2
find the series summary + disclaimer + playlist here!
hi lovelies! just a quick note before i get into the second chapter!
Y/B/S = your body size
Y/S/S = your shoe size
Y/V/T = your voice type
thank you so much for reading! enjoy!
CHP 1, CHP 2
Catching a glimpse of the Gotham Times newspaper the next morning proved to be a delight, as the front page headline read:
Local Deli Worker Turns Self In to Gotham PD for the Brutalization and Rape of Own Daughter.
"Do you see this, Beth? It's absolutely sick." Your dad snapped to your mother as she set down a steaming plate of pancakes, eggs, and bacon lightly drizzled with syrup in front of you. Your mother shared a sorrowful glance with you and nodded, humming in agreement.
"It's a disgrace," Your mother cooed. "I can't imagine how the poor girl is feeling right now."
Turmoil gnawed away at your heart, dryness coating your tongue at the reality of her words. You had always wondered if your parents would react the same to your situation, but the idea of them knowing only sparked embarrassment and shame deep in your core. A heavy silence fell over the dining room. Suddenly, the pancakes you had been looking forward to since you had woken up made your stomach churn, the smell repulsing you. Taking in a deep breath, you pushed your plate away from you. Cringing at the screeching sound the porcelain made against the glass table, you stood from your seat.
"I gotta get to practice, I didn't realize what time it was." You gathered your duffel bag and shrugged it onto your shoulder, turning to leave. It wasn't necessarily a lie, you did have cheer practice...just not for another hour or so.
"Okay," Your mother stammered hesitantly, sharing a confused look with your father. Your parents had taken notice of your oddly withdrawn behavior for the past year, but they had chalked it up to you getting older and wanting to become more independent. However, lately it seemed as if you avoided any quality time with them at all costs.
"Hey, Y/N, wait," Your father called to you, suddenly remembering what he wanted to discuss with you all morning. With a sigh you stopped in your tracks and glanced at him over your shoulder.
"Where did you go last night?"
The skipping of your heart sent a shudder through your chest, and a heavy feeling began to form in your stomach. You swallowed the lump in your throat and maintained a neutral expression, tilting your head in mock confusion.
"What do you mean?"
"The cameras, they picked up on you leaving the house at around midnight and returning at 4 in the morning..."
Oh, y'know, just stalked and beat the shit out of some scummy rapist. Not that big of a deal, dad!
You were silent as you desperately racked your brain for a lie to tell before finally settling on one. Biting your lip, you cast your glance to the floor and put on an act of demure.
"Some stuff was happening at Daniela's house and she needed someone to talk to. I can't really go into detail. Girl code, y'know?"
Your dad watched you closely momentarily, as if he was deciding whether or not to believe you. Before he could formulate a response, your mother jumped in.
"You're a good friend, honey." She wooed, sending a warm smile your way. "I'm sure she's grateful for your listening ear. She's gotta be going through a ton with having to juggle school and taking care of her mother and whatnot."
"Thanks, mom." You said with a tight-lipped smile, then abruptly turned on your heel and continued on your way out. "I gotta go, though. I'll see y'all later on tonight! Love you guys!"
With a slam of the front door you were gone.
Your dad cast a weary glance to your mother and sighed, shaking his head.
"There's something going on with her, Beth."
One would think that the kind of "work" you did would eventually take its toll on the average human mind, but you had never been able to bring yourself to care enough about the abusers you roughed up to think twice about it. After you finished with one, you moved onto the next without a glance back. Life would carry on normally as it did the following day, and you never dwelled on those you preyed upon.
Perhaps you had already been desensitized to the violence in the few months that you had been playing vigilante. Or rather you just didn't view them as human beings, their livelihoods meaningless to you. In your eyes, the work you did was well justified. The government would never exert their resources and efforts to teach these monsters a lesson, so you had come to the conclusion a long while ago that it was time for you to take matters into your own hands.
You spent the hour across from Gotham Academy's football field, laying in the shade underneath a tree with your nose buried deep in a fantasy novel. Just as you were getting past the scene leading up to the brutal slaying of the egotistical villain, hoots and hollers from your teammates loud and bubbly voices sounded across the field. You snapped your book shut and jumped up to meet them on the track, excitement for today's practice swelling inside you.
While you didn't necessarily feel any guilt for the violence you partook in, you also couldn't honestly tell yourself that you lived a normal life. Not anymore, at least. Maybe before your assault you did, but the shift in your reality afterwards was drastic. You craved teenage regularity, and cheer provided that.
After greeting your teammates and catching each other up on any new things that had happened within the past few days during the warm-up stretches, your coach began to run the tumbling drills.
Within an hour and a half you all had finished tumbling skills, jumps, and cheer lines and began stunting. As the sun beat down on your skin and the late August heat sunk right into your pores, you were really regretting skipping out on sunblock earlier that morning.
"I swear, if I wake up tomorrow with boils on my shoulders, I'm gonna be pissed." You grumbled to your stunt group. Your back spot, a bubbly girl named Angelina, giggled and gave your sunburnt shoulders a playful tap. You hissed dramatically, twisting away from her and discreetly flipping her the bird.
"If I don't hydrate myself within the second I will pass out, guys." One of your bases, a junior named Laura, gasped out. The four of you hummed in agreement and decided to take a water break, trudging along the football fields turf over to the tracks where all of your cheer bags lay discarded.
You plopped down onto the warm grass and fished through your bag for your water bottle. Spotting the familiar Gotham Academy logo buried in a bundle of clothing, you snatched the cool bottle out with a squeal of delight. As you took a sloppy drink, beads of water streaming down your chin, you heard your other base, another junior named Taylor, frantically attempting to grab your guys' attention.
"Look who it is!"
Furrowing your eyebrows, you lifted your head and scanned the football field. "Who are we looking for?"
"No, not over there," Taylor grabbed your cheek and directed your gaze towards the courtyard beyond the field. "It's Tim!"
As soon as the name left her mouth, the rest of your stunt group scrambled to spot him. After another second of searching you finally found the boy in question perched underneath the same tree that you had been sitting under before practice. His laptop was open and settled on his thighs as he typed quickly, not paying any attention to the world around him.
Tim Drake, third ward to Gotham's beloved billionaire, Bruce Wayne. Even though he was an antisocial nerd who never graced any of them with a second glance, your entire cheer team was obsessed with him. You had only ever had a few interactions with him and weren't his biggest fan. In your humble opinion, he was just another stuck up rich boy, always sticking to himself because he believed he was better than everyone around him due to daddy's money.
"Oh em gee!" Laura gasped, slapping a hand over her face, cheeks turning red from embarrassment rather than the summer heat. "Has he been watching our practice this whole time? He probably seen me trip during tumbling! This is humiliating!"
"Must have seen your purple period panties too!" Taylor teased gleefully and they erupted into giggles, nudging one another playfully. A smile cracked on your face at their antics and you rolled your eyes, returning your attention back to the raven-haired boy.
"What's he even doing studying here anyway?" You questioned, taking another swig from your water bottle. "Doesn't he have, like, several mansions that he could be doing that in?"
"Why would he be studying? School doesn't start for another week." Angelina retorted, a dreamy look in her eyes as she stared him down.
"He's Tim Drake," You said slowly, as if you were trying to explain something new and complicated to her. "What else would he be doing?"
"All right ladies, enough chitchatting and more stunting! Our first game is weeks away and we need these routines to be perfect!" Your coach's voice rang through the field, and the four of you took your last drinks of water and scrambled back to join the rest of your team.
After another grueling hour and a half, practice was over and you were excited to get home to shower and prepare yourself for tonight's offense.
The target in question; Kyle Jenison.
Reported years back for the brutal rape of Amanda Langston. Brought in and questioned once, and was let go like nothing had happened.
Fucker probably thinks he’s off the hook for good, you thought smugly, resisting the urge to snicker to yourself. To your left, Laura was kneeled down and hastily gathering her things. She held an aura of excitement, visibly buzzing about with her brown doe-eyes glowing.
“You got somewhere to be?” You teased, tilting your head curiously. With a blithe hum Laura stood, her fingers twirling around themselves anxiously. After a moment of hesitation, she finally broke.
“I have a date with Landon Matthews tonight!” The brunette rushed out, her words jumbling together so much so that you almost didn’t register the name of the guy she mentioned. Once the name finally sunk in, you couldn’t control the way your chest shuddered as your heart skipped a few beats.
“Listen, I know you guys had a thing last year, but I just figured that since it’s been so long and the two of you aren’t involved any longer…”
You tuned out of Laura’s words, a slight ringing settling in your ears. The pit of your stomach was heavy with unease at the sound of his name, and you were sure that if you hadn’t already been sitting down you would have doubled over.
It had been quite some time since you had heard his name being spoken, and while you knew you wouldn’t be able to avoid the concept of him forever, you certainly weren’t expecting to hear of him today. Nonetheless coming from your teammate and friend.
The ringing in your ears was getting stronger by the second, and your senses were starting to fog up. You desperately needed to ground yourself before the onset of a panic attack occurred. With blurry vision and tingly fingers you felt around for your water bottle. Gripping the cool metal tightly with both hands, you brought it up to your mouth and sloppily gulped the cold water down.
“Y/N? Are you okay?” Laura’s concerned voice asked, and you were pulled back to reality. Wiping your mouth with the back of your hand, you swiftly nodded your head.
“Yeah! Yeah, I’m fine, it’s fine. Uh, it was only a one time thing between him and I anyways, so…” You stammered lamely, avoiding her gaze and focusing on gathering your own things so that you could leave quickly.
“Where, uh, are you guys going?” You asked, hoping that you came off as casual rather than nosy. Laura beamed at you and clasped her hands together, and you breathed a mental sigh of relief knowing that it worked.
“We’re planning on grabbing some subs from Bianchi’s and then taking a nice little stroll around the park down the road from it! Nothing too crazy, I know,” Laura giggled out. “But it still seems so romantic!”
Okay, Bianchi’s and then the local park, got it. You noted to yourself. Maybe tonight’s takedown would have to be postponed. You couldn’t risk leaving Laura to fend for herself against…him.
“Well,” you started, standing up and slinging your duffel bag over your shoulder. “That sounds lovely, Laura! I’m sure you’ll have a great time.”
You flashed the brunette a smile and turned on your heel to leave, glancing over your shoulder and adding, “I’ll see you Monday! I can’t wait to hear all about it!”
Once you were out of your teammates range you dropped the act and allowed your smile to fall, a sullen look overtaking your face.
Maybe I should tell her.
I should have reported.
How many others has he taken advantage of?
A swirl of thoughts encompassed your conscience, drowning out the world around you. Guilt as heavy and hard as a rock nestled it’s way into the pit of your stomach, and you stopped in your tracks, throwing your hands over your face and taking a moment to center yourself.
The distant sound of a buckle startled you, and you opened your eyes and looked around for the source. Just ahead of you was Tim, who was securing his laptop in a leather messenger bag and stacking an array of papers into a black binder. You watched as he briefly scanned the area around him, then began walking towards the schools parking lot.
“He is so weird.” You mumbled to yourself, rolling your eyes and carrying on with your walk. You were heading to the same destination as Tim, so you slowed your pace to avoid having to walk next to him. Despite the unease surrounding the raven haired boy, you found it hard to tear your gaze away from him.
Tim was an enigma of some sort to you. While he was already one of Gotham’s richest and most powerful people at the young age of eighteen, that didn’t grant him an automatic good social standing like one would expect. He was a loner at school, rarely interacting with his fellow classmates. That’s just how he liked it, though. There were plenty of social cliques that eyed Tim hungrily each year, always going above and beyond to snatch him up and integrate him into their groups, but their charms never worked. Tim chose to be an outcast, and it weirded the fuck out of you.
He was definitely an attractive boy, with deep black hair, piercing blue eyes, and pale smooth skin that held a slight dusting of freckles. He was of average height, but it was very obvious that he held a surprisingly muscular build underneath the dreadful Gotham Academy uniform. He could have any girl he wanted, and be friends with anyone he wanted, and yet he still chose to isolate himself.
He was just so fucking weird to you.
He does smell really nice, though. You begrudgingly thought to yourself as you studied the cute boy walking in front of you. Your gaze slid from the back of his head down to the bottom of the binder that he held firmly in his grasp, and a stray piece of paper sticking out the edge caught your attention. With each step that Tim took, the paper became looser and looser within the binder, before it finally slipped out and tumbled along the grass in the gentle wind blowing about.
As your eyes followed the paper, you wondered to yourself the importance of what was written on it. Were you that much of an asshole that you weren’t going to retrieve the piece of paper and return it to its rightful owner?
There could be crucial information on it, like bank account numbers or some shit! You reasoned with yourself, then rolled your eyes at the idiocy in your statement.
Who the fuck keeps their bank account information written down on a piece of paper, especially somebody as high profile as Tim Drake? You argued back.
Tim was getting farther and farther from you as you debated grabbing the paper up, and your window of opportunity was closing. Coming to the decision to be a decent human, you hurried across the grass towards the paper that was flying about and snagged it quickly. A noise of triumph escaped your mouth and you sprung up, hurrying to catch up with Tim who was now approaching his car.
“Hey, Tim!” You called, waving the piece of paper in the air. “Wait!”
When there was no response or indication that Tim had heard you, you let out a grumble of annoyance and broke into a sprint towards his spot in the parking lot, but he was quicker than you and had already gotten into his car and started the engine.
“Oh my fucking Gods,” You panted, watching as Tim pulled out of the parking lot and drove off.
“The fuck is on this shit anyways?” You asked yourself breathlessly, holding the paper up to examine it. “Better be a damn routing number or some shit for all that work I had to do! I need compensation for that little incident, maybe some new cheer shoes…”
Shielding your eyes from the sun with one hand, you used the other to bring the paper closer to your face so you could make out the messy scribbling.
POSSIBLE NEW VIGILANTE?
victims describe attacker with Y/B/S build.
size Y/S/S shoe.
uses dagger as preferred weapon.
beats victims to their limit, never kills.
all victims share one thing in common: they have been reported for either sexual assault or rape.
With each line that you skimmed over, a sense of panic and confusion swelled inside of you. So many questions raced through your mind; Why was Tim Drake himself attempting to play detective and solve the case of you? How did he have all of this information on you? How long would it take for him to find you out?
And how the fuck did he know your shoe size?
Swallowing the dry feeling down your throat, you crumpled the piece of paper up and shoved it into your duffel bags side pocket. With a deep scowl etched onto your face, you hurried to your car and peeled out of the parking lot.
“Apparently the whole fucking world is on my ass today, and I really don’t appreciate this, Gods!”
the blood of the covenant (is thicker than the water of the womb)
Taichi leaves home. Or tries to, anyway. [#digiweek2022 #graduation]
We’ll dream of a longer summer
but this is the one we have:
I lay my sunburnt hand
on your table: this is the time we have
It’s the wristbands he notices first, and only then because they’re not her usual sort: frayed and aged, without grace. Nothing like her. This diversion alone should have him curious, but it’s more how careful she is with them even so. During water breaks, she’ll rub her thumb over the elastic cores; between sets, she’s adjusting their fit. When she scratches her wrist, he sees the dark black ink of his surname and their junior high school’s crest stamped to the inside of the left cuff. He’d been sure he’d lost the pair years ago.
Sora lowers her racket. Her eyes are brighter in the early morning sun, frowning at him from across the court. Tugs at one band absently again, holds his name to her pulse. Wearing him close, and always. “What?” Her voice cross, distracted by all the thoughts she won't say aloud.
Taichi shakes his head, the smile coming easily. Bounces the tennis ball just once, from his side of the net, ready to return. “Nothing.”
He spends the rest of the morning clearing out his home office—really, the bookshelves and work equipment stored in the corner of his studio flat, left to the very last possible moment. It’s a task that takes a half hour, yet Jou’s been lingering for well over two, finding new things to fuss and mutter over as he pokes and prods the assortment of moving boxes. “There’s no system.” The dismay makes his voice quiver.
“What would I need that for?” grunts Taichi. He has his game system stuffed halfway into the too-small cardboard box his rice cooker came in, which only stresses Jou more.
“So when you unpack, you make it as smooth a process as it can be.” He clutches the water glass in his hand nearly tight enough to crack it, anxiously watching Taichi tape up the weathered box in the most inefficient way imaginable.
“That’s no adventure.”
Jou pushes his glasses up the bridge of his nose. “Moving is not about adventuring.”
“Not with that attitude.”
“You’re an adult.”
“No name-calling,” and he sighs. Looks up at him from the floor, surrounded by unlabeled boxes with mismatched contents. The stuff of Jou’s nightmares. “All that matters is getting there in time to start the job, right? And with the state of our worlds, you know—,” frowns, then quickly resets, brighter smile. “So who cares how?” Then swears under his breath when the packing tape loops around itself.
“I do.” It’s about as sternly as he’s ever spoken to him. Taichi stares, surprised, and Jou puts the glass down and stands. Takes out a black marker from his pocket, uncaps a lid ridged with teeth bites. Marks three boxes in tidy script, itemizing along the way, before he notices.
“How’s that still working?” Because it shouldn’t. The last he’d used it, he’s sure, was for that map he’d tried making, in those early days. Another lifetime, in another world.
Jou skips the question, the back of his neck pink. “Follow these instructions when you get there. Go in this order. Don’t just make one up.”
And he could answer. Be unserious about it, make him laugh. Levity at the close of a life chapter. Turns the next box ‘round towards him instead, holding it steady as Jou writes. Every stroke of the borrowed pen a promise. Let me take care of you.
Iori brings lunch, the sort they’d separately gotten used to scarfing down on packed schedules. Hadn’t much time then, either, rushed himself between a late morning class and an early afternoon clerkship. He still remembered to bag them inside two sets of plastic bags—the outer boasting the Ai-Mart logo and the interior printed with another name brand. Taichi whistles, brow arched. “The betrayal.”
“Hiding it’s the lesser evil.” This makes him laugh, and Iori pause. Turns wide green eyes to him in an unblinking gaze. “Did I really say that?”
“Growing up isn’t always a moral compromise,” assures Taichi. Clears off room for two at his low table, a red sticker stuck on one of the corners. Taps it when he catches Iori frowning. “So I know what to sell off.”
“That’s generous.” Timidly spoken, because he’s still bad at lying.
“This table got me where I am today.” Shakes the legs, cheerful as he ignores the wobbly putter. “There’s wisdom in these bones.” Looks at him meaningfully, his best sales pitch. “Can I sell you some wisdom, Hida?”
“Actually,” and pauses to swallow, “I have it.”
This is an understatement. Already surpassed his peers, a star on the legal horizon. “Don’t need to rub it in, y’know.” Because it’s easier to joke his way through his feelings, looking him over in swollen pride.
“Yours, I meant.” Opens the slim pocket stitched in the centermost lining of his knapsack, the kind designed to hold identification, bank cards, important documents. Instead, Iori takes out a simple, forest green notebook. Turns to a page two thirds of the way in, runs his fingertip down the cramped lines. He stops at the last one, ink fresh enough to smear under his thumb. The handwritten timestamp is dated to the phone call he’d made that morning, apologetic to be asking for advice on Taichi’s last day, seeking his opinion on a mock brief about Digital World private contracting for his legal philosophy course. “You share a lot.”
“Worth writing?” Smiles a little, made quiet by how words matter.
Iori nods. Closes the notebook, so Taichi can see what he’s pasted to the cover, the last line of his thesis statement. To clarify the truth. “Worth keeping.”
“All right, I get the sentiment, but this is getting into obsessive stalker territory.”
He pauses at the doorway, brow raised. “You literally invited me over.”
Gestures at his outfit, clucking in exasperation. “Has everyone nicked something of mine?”
Takeru sticks his tongue out, smoothing the front of the Soumei University sweatshirt. “Someone has to make all your shit taste look good.” Taichi mimes a kick to his shin, which the younger man side steps, invites himself into the flat. Looks aghast at the mess that greets him, stopped in his tracks. “I see Jou came to his senses about you being beyond the reach of help.” Taichi just raises a middle finger, followed by the offer of something to drink.
“I’ve got plenty of time.”
“You’ve got about six hours.”
“Like I said.” Empties the last can of soda Iori’d left into paper cups. “Plenty.”
Takeru takes two gulps before he exclaims, pointing at the years’ old calendar on the living room wall. “You’re so slow you’re even living in the past, Taichi!”
“It’s on purpose,” he answers, throwing the drink back in one swig. Wipes his mouth, “A reminder.”
“Of what possibly could you—,” and stops.
Taichi chews the paper edge, thinking. “It shouldn’t really help, but it does. Hey,” because his fist is clenched tight at his side, arm heavy. “We’re okay now, right?”
He drags his eyes from the circled date, followed, always, by that hollowed ache. Watches Taichi carefully. “You sure?”
“‘Course.” He grins. “I’m going to find a way forward. For all of us. And then they’ll be back.”
Takeru turns his head a little, slow to smile in return. He tries to remember every detail of this scene, for the journal he’d been keeping, tracking their adventures, looking back. The time of day, the sound of his voice, his clarity of vision. How he saw things the rest of them couldn’t, lighting a way home through the dark. “That’s the job, yeah?”
Taichi can only look ahead. “That’s the job.”
Miyako brings Ken, or Ken brings Miyako; Taichi chooses not to request clarification. She rinses out the tupperware she’d loaned him, talking over her shoulder from the kitchen sink. “Are you really sure I can’t pack something small?”
“It’s not a good idea, Miyako.” Ken pats dry the rectangular lid she hands him, makes a stack of the clean dishware on the counter.
“But airplane food is so unpleasant! Trust me, I know.”
“We do trust you. And I do know you.” A little shyer then. Taichi might as well not be in the room at all.
“Most of my relocation expenses are covered,” he says, inserting himself back into the conversation. He’s cross-legged on the floor, using his phone to take pictures of the instructions Jou’d marked down on every packed box. “I can charge incidentals to my travel card, so it’s not a problem to pick things up at the airport.”
Miyako blows a raspberry, scrubbing harder. “Whenever my family goes anywhere, I always send them with something.”
He had gotten used to that, too, truth be told. The envy of his colleagues whenever he’d pull out homemade lunch boxes on long train rides, out of town meetings, cross world missions. How she had time for any of this, with all she did for Koushiro and the others, he’d never know—but then, the Inoues were that kind of family. “I’d feel worse taking it without being able to give it back.”
“Please,” mutters Miyako. Pushes her permed bangs back with the forearm. “Between you, Daisuke, Takeru, and Mimi, my tupperware’s seen more of the world than I have these days.” Her sigh is wistful. “Maybe I should travel again, too.”
He clocks the sudden stiffness to Ken’s posture, and intervenes. “Seriously, all this talk about leaving—it’s a move for a job, not a lifetime departure.” Meets Miyako’s curious glance with an assuring smile. “Not sure what today’s parade of goodbye visits has been about, but I doubt we’re not seeing each other again real soon.”
Ken turns, a small smile lighting solemn eyes. “Parade, huh?”
“More the evidence left behind,” shrugs Taichi. “Jou somehow has my old marker, Sora, my black wristbands. Takeru literally showed up in one of my shirts. What?” because they’re staring at him like he’d grown a third eye, and still hadn’t the sense to use any three.
Miyako pulls at the apron she wears. “You don’t recognize this?” The prolonged pause has her hands thrown in the air. “Do you know how much of your stuff we’ve all got?” and jabs a soapy finger at the wristwatch Ken sports on his right arm.
He ducks his hand behind him, shy again, but Taichi just grins, shaking his head. He’d never found many things precious. People, yes. Partners. Not things. Never understood it much, the desire to hold. “How long’s it been going on?”
Miyako doesn’t answer, which is odd enough, but what Ken says clinches it: “Since a couple years before Tokyo Tower.” Hesitates, then lowers his gaze, to make sure Taichi hears him. “After them.”
It’s a moment, or maybe two, before he remembers he’s not alone. Feels the look they exchange, the weight of it. Miyako turns the tap off. “It’s like you were here, but not here.” She draws a breath, “It was hard, seeing you like that.”
“Harder for you,” says Ken, chewing his lip, “we know.”
Taichi nods slowly. “But still hard.”
Miyako picks at the hem of the pilfered apron, her favorite in the rotation she ran through each week. Everything it carried. “Anyway, I do it to everyone. I’ve got earrings from Mimi, Hikari’s old mittens, one of Yamato’s scarves, Daisuke’s class ring. It’s a little like having all of you around, all the time.”
Ken twists at the borrowed watch, waiting for the judgment, or the asked return. But everything Taichi finds precious, he sees in front of him. Cracking a bigger smile, he motions them closer. “Come on. Get in a picture with me.”
The magic words. Miyako bounds forward, arms thrown around his neck so tight Ken has to beg her to let the man breathe, or he’d never leave. “How can any of you even try?” she laughs, and squeezes harder. “I’ve got too many pieces of any of you to try.”
“She has my what?”
Taichi slurps more of his noodles, huddled over the makeshift table and chair that is an upturned bucket and a three-legged stool. Everything Daisuke earned he poured right back into the best ingredients and cookware; patrons were on their own. “The ring—like, your class ring.”
He gapes at him from behind the window of the outdoor ramen cart. “But she—how—? We weren’t even in the same class!” Yells, the pieces falling into dumbstruck place, “Or the same school!” Taichi just snorts, ducks his face back over the wide bowl. Daisuke smacks the knife he’d been using to slice scallions onto the small cutting board, hands gripping the edge of the counter as he shakes his head, tsking under his breath. “When I meet her next….”
“I’ve never even seen you wear rings,” muses Taichi, wiping his mouth with his wrist.
“It’s the principle, Taichi.”
Had no idea what those might be, but nods anyway. “Then ask for it back.”
“And be the victim and the jerk?”
He keeps going, having learned to barrel ahead whenever Daisuke fell into one of his hangups. “Ken’s even got my watch, apparently. The one I wore all my first year of grad school.”
But Daisuke’s stopped listening, looking at him funny. “The one with the gold plating?”
Mumbles through gritted teeth, wallowing for an entirely different reason now, attention ever elusive, “You love that watch. Said it was your dad’s, from trade school.”
“It is. I do,” and pushes the bowl back with a satisfied belch. “I guess I like that Ken can use it, too.”
Daisuke pokes at the knife handle, prodding it into a more safe position in the utensil bin at the base of the cutting board. “We could all use it.” Amused, Taichi lets him sulk a little, an open book of unfiltered emotion, then finally retrieves from the bag at his feet what he’d come here to leave behind. Daisuke’s mouth opens to no sound—an utter rarity. “But,” head snapped up again, searching gaze transparently wide, “I gave them back because you—?”
“—needed them, yeah. And somehow you knew why before I did, then, too.” A fleeting moment of honest emotional confession. Stands as he brings both the empty ramen bowl and his old goggles to the counter. “I need them here more now.”
Daisuke doesn’t take it, the bowl, or the gift. Not at first. “Really?”
“Consider it a loan.” Reaches through the window to tip the lopsided chef’s hat back into proper place. Presses his knuckles to the younger man’s temple, an affectionate knock. “You can repay me with more of your test recipes, next time I’m home.”
His fingers tug at the faded black headband, with wonder. Then he blinks, startling upright. “Wait—did you think dinner was free?” Taichi snatches the goggles back, and Daisuke yells, panicked, bursting into a grin bright enough to rival the sun. “No, it’s a joke! It’s a joke!”
“I know how to knot a tie.”
Her eyes are watery, lip trembling. “Really?” Like she hadn’t just seen him in one a week earlier, at the reunion event for the Odaiba Memorial.
“Test me.” It’s a considerable effort to hide his smile, amused by the overly performative concern he knows is every ounce of sincere. Uses his thumb to press down the volume button on the side of his mobile, hunched at the back of the bus he’s taking from Daisuke’s.
“The Windsor?” Scrubs her face with the back of her hand.
Nods confidently. “Half.”
“Not a thing.”
“Kelvin? Plattsburgh?” Her voice has climbed to a wail. “Grantchester?”
“Mimi, stop making up names.”
She’s sputtering now, nose red and leaky. “Eighteen, Taichi.”
He switches the phone to his other hand, flexes the first. Joint aches followed every one of Mimi’s video calls, her tendency to ramble and prolong leaving his wrist stiff and his age fully felt. The one time he’d answered her with the camera off, she somehow tattled to his parents about it, earning him an earful from his mother. Lesson learnt, and never repeated. “Hate to break it to you, but we’re both well past eighteen.”
“Most common ways to knot a tie! And you have to know all eighteen of them, or no one will ever take you seriously!”
“I mean,” he laughs, “I got the job, right?”
She huffs, “But do you want to keep the job?”
There’s no winning here, so he settles back, adjusts his earphones. “All right. How about a compromise?” Her eyes narrow, or appear to—the video screen makes it difficult to tell around their puffiness, but history has taught him better than to voice such observations. “If you send me your top five, I promise to try them out.”
Mimi appears to consider the terms carefully, raising her chin after a moment, cheery. “I accept.”
Tries not to roll his eyes too much. “Great. You can email me a link t—,”
“I’ve got time now!” and disappears off the screen to the sounds of drawers opening and a closet door slamming shut. She pops back on a moment later, transformed entirely, no evidence of a single tear.
“I can’t now, I’m—isn’t that mine?”
“Hm?” Drapes the yellow satin tie around her own neck, adjusting her camera to show her fully. She works the first loops with an impressively practiced ease, but he’s too preoccupied.
“That’s my tie.”
Denies it at once, her own reality a far better place to live, all things considered. “No, I don’t think so.”
Taichi sits up straighter, leaning close to the screen with his mouth open. “No, it’s definitely—did you take that from the memorial event?” His turn to sputter, “How? I was wearing it!”
“Just pay attention!”
“Give me back my shit, Mimi!”
“They’ve all lost their minds.”
Hikari laughs, adds another spoon of chocolate hazelnut spread to his sliced bread crust. “You keep good company, then. Birds of a feather and all.”
“Says you.” Wags a finger at her. “Your friends, too, you know.”
“Dear brother, I am very good at sharing.”
He accepts the late-night snack, offers a half empty bottle of rice wine in exchange. She takes it, used to his sampling of gifts. “It’s not like we see much of each other these days in the first place.” He says this without much emotion one way or another, his pragmatism more matter of fact than insensitive, really. That, and his head’s fuzzy from the rice wine, the long day, the longer day ahead. “Leaving home is not a big deal in the grand scheme of things.” When he looks at her, she understands this is meant for her. That he’d stopped by to say this, for her to hear this.
“Maybe we’re all busier these days, but showing up’s always been there.” Pours two glasses. They’re in her kitchen, eating standing on their feet for easy clean up, backs to the walled cabinets.
“It’ll always be there. What else are emails and calls for?”
“He says like he answers many.”
Taichi kicks out a foot, toe digging into her ankle bone. She shuffles aside, undeterred. “You’re as busy as I am.”
“No one’s as busy as you.” Her tone’s without complaint. She’s learned by now, understood much more. “So they worry.”
“And steal.” Ticks the list off on the hand not holding onto a piece of toast. “Wristbands, markers, shirts, ties. A miracle I could even fill up any moving boxes.”
Grins at his mock exasperation, and the current of flattered amusement underneath. “Is it really so bad? To want to carry you the way you carry us?”
He’d considered looking at it that way, of course. The sun of their orbit, yes. But all stars collapse.
“Well,” smacks his lips, “you all are fucking heavy.”
Another laugh, in spite of it all. “That’s why we share.” Looks at him over the rim of her glass. She knows that if her mouth is empty, even for one moment, she’ll start to cry. He steps to the counter, cuts another few slices of the baguette he’d bought on the way over, assembles another snack round. Like he knows it, too. Hikari wipes her nose with the back of her wrist, looking away as she blinks her eyes clear. “You have to share it, Taichi. Okay?” Breathes slowly, found her voice. “You can’t carry the world alone.”
Holds up his hand. “Two worlds.”
“Let’s not go that far.”
Puts her glass down hard enough to make his neck turn at the sharp crack the cup makes against the counter. Her arms around his waist, her face pressed to his back. Like kids again. “Then don’t go too far.”
“But you having this actually makes sense.” Admires the pocket telescope, runs his fingers over the familiar grooves and dials. “It's actually something useful to you, help you know where you are. It fits.”
“I’m sure the others made sense of theirs, too.” Ever polite, working at reason. Taichi clumsily hands the old child’s toy back to him, goes back to his drink. Koushiro places it on the table, careful with each touch.
“It’s still so weird, though.” Groans as he turns his tipsy posture against the wall, arms crossed over his chest for balance. Sighs, eyes shut to block out the bar lighting, the chatter of other patrons around them. “I mean, am I dying or moving?”
Koushiro smiles through the flippant remark, pulling back his bottom lip with his teeth. A bad habit. “Don’t.”
His head sinks, face red from drinking. “Don’t move, or don’t die?” Mumbles this through a yawn, only half serious. “’Cause it’s kinda inevitable on eith—,”
“Don’t let me know a world without you.”
Taichi doesn’t reply, or open his eyes. Already asleep, probably.
Koushiro checks the time on his phone, debates whether to call Yamato, or a cab, or stay. He starts to push back from the table, nearly off the seat, when Taichi’s ankle locks around his chair’s leg. His eyes still shut, arms still crossed, mouth still closed. Pulls the chair back where it was, where it should be, beside him. Stay.
Yamato idles the car, forearms balanced on the steering wheel he leans over. He looks ahead into the airport traffic, frowning for different reasons. “They call themselves the Anti-Digital World Movement.”
Taichi snorts, then winces, rubbing his aching temples. “Real original.”
“Let them try.”
“No.” Trains the frown his way then. “We don’t let them try, Taichi.”
Pats the sides of his head, like that could will away both the hangover and the conversation. Far too early to be talking business like this. “Why don’t you give me the fourteen hour flight to sleep, and then when I start at the mission we can pick this up again?”
Yamato grimaces into the side mirror, glancing at the mingling crowds of departing passengers, making farewells on the curb. “The point is, they know who you are, so you need to be careful.”
“After Tokyo Tower, everyone knows who I am.” It’s not a boast, not in the slightest. There’s nothing about the work that irritates him more than the occasional pomp and show. Photographed speeches, televised interviews. Angles his neck against the headrest, turned towards him. “Everyone knows who you are, too, Mr Knife of—,”
“Do you understand that you’re on your own now?” Glares right back at him. His hands still hold the steering wheel, fingers dug into the fine leather stitching. “Do you understand what that means?”
Taichi picks at the lint on the strap of his hand luggage. “How could I know what it means? You’ve never given me the chance to find out.” His awkward attempt at gratitude and affection, made worse by how low he mumbles it, face downturned.
He unlocks the car door, unceremonial about it. “Well, get ready.”
“I don’t think I will.” Opens the passenger side, one foot on the pavement. When he looks back, it’s with a smile.
Yamato takes a breath. “Call me when you land.”
“I probably won’t remember that, but okay.”
A joking laugh, dismissive wave, “I said, I’ll—,” and stops when Yamato catches his sleeve.
Leans forward while holding onto his arm, unable to look at him. Like he might cave into himself, or fall apart, if he dared to watch the ending. Every next step the farthest they’d ever been from the other, seismic shifts with two worlds in the balance. “Don’t forget.” It’s you and me, ‘til the end of the road. Looks at him then, at the last, at the parting. Don’t forget. You and me.
notes: there couldn’t be a better prompt for Odaiba day than graduation. I’ve had this story in mind for a while, but the little snippet of taichi in the first few minutes of the upcoming 02 movie had me feeling some type of way. I both love and despair over how grown he is! truthfully, one of my most pragmatic headcanons about this group is that they stay friends, but not in the close way we might want of them. I don’t mean a willful estrangement; just a consequence of life’s bends in the road, as we all grow up, and apart, and back again. hence, the title: the hope that the bridges we build to each other will withstand the aged waters underneath. anyway, if you enjoy this little oneshot, please stay tuned for my next fic, butterflies in august, of which you may consider the present work a preamble. thanks for reading. until next year x
Whatever you do, don't think about Oberyn waiting for you at the end of the day with champagne and a fresh fruit tray.
But that’s all I waaaaannnnttttt 😩 this takes place in the Little Sparrow universe!
You lean back across the bedsheets, falling deep into the sunburst colors and taking the first deep breath of the day. Ellaria, Oberyn, and the eldest three girls were off to a tournament. This left you with all the little ones.
You’d spent the day in the library, the windows open to allow the salty sea breeze to kiss your skin. You told them stories of your travels before falling in love with their Papa, and there faces lite up in joy. It was a wonderful albeit exhausting day.
The door creaks open and you glance over, a smile breaking across your face. “My Little Sparrow,” his voice warms your insides and you quickly rise to your feet and throw yourself into his arms. “I’ve missed you,” he hums, kissing the soft skin of your neck.
You giggle, “you were barely gone twelve hours my Prince. I highly doubt you missed me that much.”
He puts a hand to his chest with a dramatic huff. “Do you really doubt my love for you? Do you really believe that I don’t miss you the moment i walk out the door? The only time I don’t miss you is when you’re in my arms, even across the table at a banquet is too far away.”
“You’re a romantic,” you grin, watching as he winks at you.
“Don’t tell anyone,” he whispers, “I don’t want to tarnish my reputation. It would do Dorne no favors for our enemies fo know the Red Viper is an absolute fool in love for his Sparrow.”
“No we wouldn’t want that,” he takes your hand and leads you over to the bed, pulling you down into his lap.
“Although I fear it is to late for that.” He kisses all along your neck, pushing aside the strap of your dress to mouth at your shoulder.
You bite your lip, struggling not to moan out his name and tilting your head to give him more access. “What do you mean?”
He stops, using one finger to turn your head back, his eyes gazing like one would view a fine piece of art. “Because all it takes is one look to know how I feel, I cannot hide myself with you, my love.”
You lean forward pressing your lips to his, the room spinning as he lays you down against the sunburnt sheets. You lose track of how long he lays there beside you, inhaling the sweet scent of your perfume and the taste of your lips. “I love you,” you whisper against his lips.
“Not as much as I love you Sparrow,” he runs his fingertips on the edge of your cheek. “I brought you something from my travels.”
You sit up when he stands going over to the door and whispering to the guard. “A present?” You can’t keep the childlike glee off your face and when someone knocks at the door you squeal in delight.
“Close your eyes,” he commands, placing a soft kiss on your lips￼￼, “and no peeking.” You roll your eyes and give him a wink before closing them tight. “Lay back on the bed,” you follow his words and lean back. He straddles your waist, and you hear a pop and the fizz of bubbles. “Open your mouth,” he whispers and you do, moaning when he dribbles a sweet bubbly drink on your tongue. He leans forward kissing you passionately, the bubbles dancing across your mouth.
“Open your eyes.” You slowly blink, adjusting to the light and see him holding a bottle in his hand with a deep emerald color. “Did you like it?” You nod with a grin, “I picked it up in the market, it’s called champagne.”
“It’s delicious, my Prince,” you bite your lip, watching him lean over you for a golden tray laden with colorful fruits and grab a few berries popping them into his mouth and taking another sip of the sweet bubbles. “Can I have another taste?”
He grins down at you and leans forward flooding your mouth with the wine and berries bursting on your tongue. It goes on like that till the bottle is empty and your belly is warm. Oberyn laying beside you, giving you lazy kisses, as you float on a cloud. “Are you feeling the effect my little sparrow?” He asks with a chuckle, pulling you to lay atop his chest.
“I am, my sweet prince,” you run your fingers through his hair. “I think this was your plan all along, to get me drunk and take advantage of me.”
He raises his brow with a laugh, “you are quite amusing my Sparrow.” He pulls the fabric of your dress higher and runs his fingers over your flesh, smiling when you tremble from his touch, “thinking I would need to get you drunk to get you to fuck me.”
You gasp when he flips you to your back, pushing your dress higher and disappearing beneath the fabric, he trails his fingers through your soaked folds and chuckles, “you’ve been wet for me since before I even walked through the door. Now let me show you how much I missed you Little Sparrow.”
me olvidarás - three
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Pairings: Javier Peña x female reader
Warnings for the chapter: charming javi. (again, yes he needs his own warning) kissing. dry humping. fingering. flirting. again, doubtful javi. talk about sex. a little angst. but a lot of fluff.
Word count: 6.2k
Summary: an undeniable warm summer vacation in Bogotá. simply trying to get away from your nosey, boring parents and live for once, you meet a man who impresses you beyond where your imagination could ever take you.
a/n: more slowburn, yet a little action. 😏
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The hours that pass after that are excruciatingly long, and you find yourself bored out of your mind. You have a small garden that connects your parents’ rented apartment to yours, and that’s where you spend the most of your hours.
Your trusty, worn-out copy of Jane Eyre is in your hands, and you’re nearing the halfway mark again. With sunglasses resting on your nose, you can get away with occasionally dozing off, your parents probably not even having noticed you weren’t at home all night.
Under the stinging rays of the sun you lay, finding comfort in your book as you miss Javi. Missing a stranger. How pathetic, you think to yourself and mentally condemn yourself to hell for 1. Falling in love with a devilishly handsome stranger that 2. Is pushing 40.
You can’t believe you let it come to this, no matter how good it felt. Somehow, with Javi, it felt right. You couldn’t explain why, but there was just something about his aura that captivated you and held you prisoner.
You knew you wanted to know more about him. You wanted to know everything. You wanted to feel him, all of him. And you knew now, that Javi was the one you were losing your virginity to, no matter what it took you.
Now, some may say that losing your virginity to a stranger you’ve met on some vacation is one of the stupidest things you could do, but right now you didn’t really care. You couldn’t care less about what other people thought of what was right and wrong, because you knew this felt right for you.
You reach over and take the soda by your side, sipping the sugary beverage into your mouth through the straw. You sigh and put the soda back on the table, the book following it. You lean back and let your skin soak up the rays of uv you so desperately need.
You don’t know how long you’re asleep for, but you’re startled awake by banging on your front door. You quickly sit up and gather yourself, before pulling your robe around your body, the flimsy material barely covering your skin.
You open the front door reluctantly, not really sure if you’re awaiting a visit from someone. Your head is cloudy from falling asleep in the sun, and you mentally cheer at the fact that you’re not sunburnt.
In front of you stands Javi, a tidy bouquet in hand. Your lips tug into a wide smile as you swiftly pull the sunglasses off your face, watching as Javi gulps at your undressed state. Bikini and a robe - he didn’t expect you to open your door like this. He really didn’t… And yet there you were. Even more beautiful than this morning.
You watch as he extends the hand with the bouquet towards you. He’s bought you roses. It’s your first ever bouquet of flowers, and they’re bigger than any roses you’ve ever seen before. Red, voluminous and just downright beautiful.
“I saw these and thought of you.” He says, and if you’re not mistaken there’s a slight blush littering his cheeks. You couldn’t have seen that right. Maybe he was just shocked that you weren’t really dressed.
“Oh my god, Javi they’re absolutely breathtaking!” You take them from his hands and bring them to your nose, inhaling the sweet scent of the flowers. “Thank you so much.” You lean forward and place a kiss on his cheek before you turn on your heel.
“Come on in. I have no idea if vases exist in these apartments, otherwise I guess a glass will do…” you say as you rummage through the different cabinets in the kitchen, before making your way through the sparse living room before finally coming up with something that you figured was supposed to be a vase.
You watch him through your lashes as he takes uneasy steps around your apartment, looking at every little painting on the walls and books forgotten in the unsubstantial shelf, supposedly a bookcase. You set the roses in the filled vase on the small table in the middle of the apartment, before peeling your robe off your shoulders and placing it on one the chairs, before you make your way into your bedroom to change into something more comfortable.
You knew Javi watched you as you basically stripped in front of him, but you wanted to tease him. You were hoping that he would give in and possibly sleep with you if you teased him enough. He was a man, after all. And men had desires, after all.
You found a flowy summer dress, forgoing a bra since it was already a little tight around your bust. You swiped on a coat of mascara, mentally cursing yourself to the devil when you accidentally hit the bridge of your nose with the wand.
Understandably though, since your hands were shaking. You hadn’t even noticed before now. You quickly get rid of the black mark before you gather your lip balm from your bag, bringing it along with you this time if you were lucky enough to place more kisses upon the man in the living room.
His eyes followed you as you walked out of your bedroom and over to your handbag, putting the small container into the bag. You drape it over your shoulder and turn to him with a smile.
“Alright. I’m ready to see Bogotá through the eyes of you.” You walk up to him and he swiftly pulls you in for a determined kiss. Your arms automatically wrap around his next as you deepen the kiss slightly, pushing your body against his to have him closer.
His tongue glides over your bottom lip again, taking you back to the night before. You feel your heart pick up the pace at the thought. His hands are on your waist, drawing you impossibly closer. You feel the heat radiating off his body, and you figure it’s from the scorching heat of the Colombian afternoon sun. Maybe mixed with a little bit of desire. Hopefully a little bit of desire.
You whimper against his lips as his hands tighten on your hips, his fingers digging slightly painfully into your muscles. It’s a good kind of painful, though. It lights your nerve endings on fire, just like his touch did yesterday. There’s an urgency in the way he’s kissing you, almost like he was craving you as much you were craving him.
His hands are rough as they slide up your sides, swiftly coming around your upper arms to hold you out in front of him, your lips still perked as if he was kissing you, the swift breakage of your intimate moment making your erratically beating heart thud uncomfortably in your chest.
“We need to go. I’m not going to be able to keep my hands off of you if we do this much longer.” He breathes, and you can easily see the conflicting feelings battling away behind his hooded eyes. You lean into him again, forcing yourself out of his grip to place another kiss on his lips.
“I don’t want you to hold back.” You whisper against his lips, before you pull away and make your way to the door leading out to the small garden between your parents’ apartment and yours, which hadn’t been fully closed. “But we can do that later. Don’t need my parents to see anything,” you cast a smirk back in his direction, before sliding it open fully, walking over a small patio to locate your parents.
“Mom, dad, I’m going out. I won’t be home for dinner, alright?” you smile when you find them. Your dad is asleep in the shade of a balcony extending over the garden. Your mom is reading her usual magazine, and you know she’s deeply invested in whatever Doctor-Sexy novel that’s found its way into the magazine this time when she doesn’t protest.
Normally they would be against you going out alone in a city you barely knew, but you had spent most of the day yesterday checking out the city after your arrival, where normal people would’ve probably been tired after a flight like that.
But you weren’t - quite the contrary though. You had been full of energy and determination as you’d dressed yourself in your most comfortable hiking shoes that you’d packed with the knowledge that Bogotá was located on the high plateau of the Andes.
You loved exploring - a lot. In the span of a few hours, you’d found more than enough small taverns, shops and restaurants you wanted to visit in the three weeks you were staying in Bogotá. When the sun had gotten too warm and the air too humid, you’d gone home, taken a shower and changed clothes - and you know what happened then. Something with a handsome stranger.
You had no idea where Javi was taking you, and it almost felt too good to be true. It felt like a literal fairytale, being swept off your feet by a handsome, older stranger who brought you flowers and complimented you on your looks, even though you barely knew one another.
Maybe it was the Colombian custom, but you couldn’t care less at the moment. It was a whole new world for you, to actually feel interest from the opposite sex - well, not exactly new, but the whole reciprocation of feelings that you were sure was there.
He even opened the door for you, watching you as you slid into the passenger’s seat of his car. He’s quickly on the other side of the car, seating himself in the driver’s seat. When the car roars to life, the sound of the engine finally manages to drown out the sound of your heart beating in your chest. You admire him as he pushes the sunglasses resting on his dashboard onto his nose.
It was so exciting and scary at the same time, going out with Javi in a city you barely knew. You hoped that he would show you something extraordinary, but you literally had no idea what he had planned for the two of you. You watched the small apartments slowly turn into nothing else but landscape, and it dawned on you that he was taking you out of the city.
“Okay, so I guess I’m not going to see Bogotá today, huh?” you tease as you turn your body toward him. You watch as his lips tug into a smile as he casts a look at your bared legs, the soft swell of your chest under the flower-patterned dress you were wearing.
He noticed the air condition had made goosebumps rise on your skin and pebbled your nipples, letting him know you hadn’t put on a bra. God fucking damn it. He felt his pants tightening over his hips, and he mentally cursed himself to the devil. God, you were really going to be the death of him.
You watched as his hands tightened around the steering wheel, and you cast your eyes down his body. You bit your lip as you noticed the slight bulge in his pants. It was like a lightbulb going off over your head as you pushed the seatbelt strap under your right arm before leaning over the middle console slightly, placing your mouth right against his ear.
“See something you like, Javi?”
You watch as goosebumps rise on the skin beneath his ear, all the way down his neck. You look over his shoulder to take in the area of his crotch again, watching him twitch slightly. You bit your lip, overthinking a possible plan that wouldn’t distract him too much.
You slowly let your hand follow his front, all the way down to rest against the hard cock in his pants. You very much enjoyed the fact that you had this effect on him. You heard him draw in a deep breath of air as your hand finally came in contact with him, and you watched as his eyes fluttered slightly.
“What are you doing, hermosa…” you can hear he’s short of breaths, and it makes your heart do a slight flip. It turns you on, knowing the effect you have on him. Maybe it turns him on as well - knowing you’re aroused and willing to tease the living shit out of him.
“Eyes on the road, Javi…” you whisper in his ear as he tugs his lip in between his teeth, your hand moving over his bulge with gentle strokes. You tug his earlobe into your mouth, sucking on the soft flesh before you lick up the outside of his ear with a firm tongue. He lets out a moan as his knuckles turn white on the steering wheel.
You place a kiss on his tragus, then his cheekbone before peppering kisses down his jaw. You reach the column of his throat, placing small kisses over his pulse point, feeling the way his pulse is beating erratically under the soft, tan skin. Your hand is still moving in gentle circles, his breath languid as he’s still watching the road.
“Does this turn you on, Javi?” you whisper into his ear and he nods with a gulp. You smile as you go back to kissing his neck, hearing the way his breathing got caught in his throat again. You barely feel it when he brings the car to a stop, but you definitely feel the way he turns his body violently, his hand grasping you behind the neck, drawing you in for a hot and heavy kiss.
His tongue is dominating your mouth, tasting every crevice of your teeth and the roof of your mouth. You’re a breathless mess by the time he lets you go, yanking his seatbelt off before he’s undoing yours and basically manhandling you into his lap.
You’re whimpering as his hands find your hips, grinding his crotch forcefully into your mound, drawing a moan out of your mouth. His tongue is still exploring your mouth with everything it’s got, drawing a wet patch into the crotch of your panties. The fabric of his jeans is rough against your inner thighs as they grow more and more sensitive as your arousal begins to bloom in your belly.
Javi’s hands are traveling up and down your hips, gripping your flesh on top of your dress, bunching the fabric in his hands as he continues to ravish your mouth. You place your hands on his shoulders to steady yourself, whimpering wantonly into his mouth as the friction from his bulge draws you closer and closer to an inevitable orgasm.
It’s a whole new feeling from the few times you’ve brought yourself satisfaction with your own fingers, and it turns you on even more to think that someone is present to watch you come undone. You bite onto his bottom lip as you moan out, the friction against your clit finally makes the coil in your abdomen snap. Your eyes snap shut as your fingers dig themselves into his shoulders, his hands stilling your hips over his, holding your convulsing pussy tight against his bulge, letting him feel the contractions happening within your panties.
You let his bottom lip go as you finally come down from your startling high, opening your eyes slightly to take in his lust-blown eyes looking right back at you. You tug your own lip in between your teeth, your chest heaving from the daze you found yourself in as you lean back slightly, accidentally leaning against the steering wheel, making the horn go off.
It startles both of you before you both break out into laughter of just how unconventional the whole situation was. You hoped that no one noticed your little escapade - hell, you didn’t even know where you were. You finally looked around, noticing you were literally in the middle of nowhere, and you saw nothing but water and trees around the car.
It was like he’d driven you straight out into what appears to be a lake, and you’d been too occupied with him to even notice where you were. You popped open the door and stepped out into what appeared to be a mix of sand and dirt. You let out a laugh as you finally inhaled something that wasn’t the warm air of the car that reeked of sweat and sex.
Javi followed you out of the car before opening the passenger door behind the driver’s, reeling out a blanket and a basket full of delicious looking food, fruits and two bottles of wine.
“How romantic.” You giggle and hear your stomach grumble, letting you know it hadn’t forgotten about the lack of food since the pancakes earlier in the morning. You almost moan out at the sight of ripe strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. “A picnic?”
“Come on,” he says as he makes his way toward a small spot behind some trees that has the perfect amount of shade while it still overlooks the water of the lake. From the place where you’re standing, you can’t make out how big it is. You follow him and almost throw yourself on the blanket the moment he’s laid it on the grass.
You’re happy that it’s grass you’re on top of - you hate having sand in between your toes, no matter how much you love the beach and walking barefoot. You smile as he places the basket in the middle of the blanket before sitting down on the other side of it, facing you.
“Don’t know how long I can sit on the ground. I am an old man, after all.” He says as he picks the wine out of the basket, wringing it open. You really like the whole screw-lid invention. It’s so much easier.
“From the things I’ve experienced, you’re definitely… Young by heart.” You giggle before reaching into the basket to pick out a strawberry. You hold his gaze as you push the red berry past your lips, biting through the fruit. You giggle when you feel some of the juice trail down your chin and watch his movements as he quickly wipes your chin with his fingers.
“Thank you, Javi.” You smile before chewing through the berry, very much enjoying the way he sucks the juice off of his fingers, and the way he looks at you while doing so. You watch as he pours two glasses of the wine before he extends one glass toward you. You take it and happily take a sip.
“You know, I actually didn’t take you for the romantic type,” You say as you both fill your mouths with fruit. “But this is pretty damn romantic in my opinion.” You let out a laugh when he shrugs his shoulders, letting you know you were probably somewhat right.
“Guess I’d have to be a tiny bit romantic seeing I just made you come in the driver’s seat of my car.” The way he says it so shamelessly amazes you. He says it like the most natural thing in the world - bringing a stranger he met yesterday to an orgasm in his car on their second date. This was a date, wasn’t it?
“I mean, if you wanna call it a date, then it’s alright with me.” He says and you furrow your brows before you realize you’d actually said it out loud. Asked him if it was a date. Oh my god. You mentally slap yourself as you let out a small laugh, before nodding.
“Alright. A date with the most interesting man I’ve ever met.” You say as you raise your class for him to cheer with you. “I know this summer is going to be unforgettable.” You say as the rim of his glass meets yours, making you both smile at each other.
The hours, like yesterday, pass by like you’ve known each other for a lifetime. You’re both telling each other even more details about yourselves that hadn’t surfaced the day before. Before you know it, the sun is setting, and you’ve found your way into Javi’s embrace. It feels like you belong there - like his arms were made for holding you.
“Is it safe to swim in the water?” you whisper as you watch the sun descend on the sky. You bite your lip at the thought of skinny dipping with a man watching you, maybe even joining you.
“In el Embalse de San Rafael?” he moves his body slightly to look down at you, and he watches you as you nod. “Yeah, it is.” He feels his heart pick up the pace as he thinks about seeing you in nothing but your underwear. Or the bikini, which he’d seen you in earlier. Then it dawns on him that you probably hadn’t brought it along, which left the only possibility… you being naked.
If you do decide to strip, he knows he’s definitely not going to be able to keep his hands to himself. There’s so much sexual tension between the two of you, he’s constantly semi-hard in his pants and thinking about what messes the two of you could create together. On the other hand, he knows that you haven’t been with anyone yet, and it makes him reluctant to just do anything with you.
The whole thing the two of you had done in his car had been completely on autopilot on his behalf, and it only dawned on him what he’d done to you after he’d felt you orgasm against him. He almost felt bad about getting you off, but then he’d seen the blissed-out expression on your face.
Lost in his thoughts, he hadn’t even noticed you shimmying out of his arms, discarding your summer dress and gliding your panties down your legs before his eyes are glued to the swell of your ass, moving as you slowly tread out into the water.
He feels his heart going through many if not all emotions right at that moment. He watches as you turn your body slightly, waving to him, encouraging him to follow you into the water. He gulps down a lump that has formed in his throat as he watches your body slowly disappear under the water, before he stands up and hurriedly pulls off his clothes, one item at a time.
He contemplates on keeping his boxer briefs on, but quickly decides to discard them along with the rest of his clothes. He notices you’re giving him privacy, as you’re facing away from him, and he silently appreciates it. It’s been a long while since he’s been this kind of intimate with a woman, and boy if he doesn’t feel some kind of nervous.
As he walks toward the edge of the water, he thinks over the last time he actually took his time in appreciating a woman. Not just pleasuring her - actually appreciating her. Sure, he appreciated some of his informants’ readiness in sleeping with him and satisfying his need, but he didn’t spare them much more than that. He kind of felt like a dick about it, now he thought of it.
Before he could think more about it, his hips had become engulfed within the water, and he was close, so close, to you. If he reached out, he was touching your shoulder. He admired the way the water dripped from your hair onto your shoulder as you took in the view in front of you, getting just as lost in your thoughts as he had been in his.
He slowly submerges himself in the water behind you, and he’s sure you know he’s right behind you. His arms come around your middle, pulling your back into his chest. You giggle when you feel his mustache tickle its way over your shoulder, his warm breath turning cold against your wet skin.
You feel his hands slowly, timidly, explore the front of your body, and you extend your torso slowly from the crumpled-up position you’d been sitting in. His hands slide opposite of each other, one up and one down as he places one hand on your hip and the other just under the swell of your breast.
You moan lightly at the contact, his touch once again alighting something inside of you. His thumb grazes the underside of your breast just under your nipple, and it makes you suck in a deep breath. It’s the first time someone has ever touched your chest, and it feels so damn good. Then he’s gingerly rolling your nipple between his fingers, making you whimper out - and it’s almost not possible that it feels even better. But it does.
You lay your head back against his shoulder as the hand on your hip travels further down and in between your legs. You tug your lip in between your teeth as his lips continue their assault on your neck and shoulder. You feel his fingers experimentally moving in between your folds, rough pads gliding over the very delicate lips of your pussy.
“This okay?” he whispers in your ear as his hold on you tightens, drawing you closer to his body. You feel the evidence of the effect you have on him as his erection presses into the small of your back, making you moan even more wantonly.
“Yes, god Javi, touch me.” You whimper out as his fingers drag through your folds once, twice, three times before he languidly dips just the tip of his finger into your wet core. It feels amazing when you do it yourself, but when Javi does it - it feels way better. Like he knows just the depth of where your most sensitive parts are, as pushes his finger in further, finding it in an instant.
Your hand finds his arm and you tighten your hand on top of the muscle, squeezing your eyes shut as he sucks over your pulse point. You’re left breathless by so little, and it makes you wonder just how little he needs to do to ruin you completely. It isn’t going to take much for him to take you apart.
Another finger dips into your core and you moan out again as he slowly works you open. His mouth is tugging your earlobe into its heat, and it feels like you’re going to lose yourself into pleasure. Your mind is spiraling into a haze as he thrusts his fingers into you, his thumb rubbing gentle circles against your bundle of nerves while his fingers are still pulling and twisting your nipple.
You let out a deep, guttural moan as he curls his fingers just right inside of you, making stars appear before your eyes. Your free hand makes its way into Javi’s unruly locks, the wet digits tangling with his dry hair. You feel yourself on the edge of going absolutely feral, simply wanting to turn around and absolutely ravish the man behind you. You want to lay him against the sand of the shore and ride him senseless.
You let go in his arms, relishing in the fact that he’s bringing you pleasure so easily. You clench around his fingers as he holds you close, your cunt milking his fingers, silently wishing it was his cock. You knew it would probably take some getting used to - having something as big as the thing you so obviously felt against your back inside you.
You were certainly going to find out if you could though, and just how much of him you could fit inside of you. Maybe not right now, but sometime later, that was for sure. Your chest is still calming down from your high and Javi’s arms are still keeping you anchored to the ground. You were sure that you were going to ascend into heaven at one point during your orgasm.
His arms are warm around you in the cold water, but it still makes you shiver lightly. You wring out of his hold, turning to face him before you’re kissing him intently, bringing both of your wet hands into his hair this time, pulling his front close to yours. You feel him nudge against your stomach and you smile against his lips, before you hum slightly.
His arms come around you yet again - or rather his hands come around you to grasp the flesh of your ass. He moans into your mouth as you move your body against his sensually, wanting to repay the favor. He doesn’t let you, though, because he’s pulling away from you shortly after.
“Come on. You’re shivering.” He says as he finds your hand under the surface of the water, pulling you by the hand to the shore. On the way there, you get to admire the muscles of his ass - the way he carried himself made something clench in your pelvis, even though he’d just given you an orgasm. Were you already ready for round… 3?
The angry, red wound on his shoulder reminds you just what kind of a man he was. You wondered how long it had been since he had been shot - the wound looked partially healed, and there was just the slightest scab over it. You didn’t know much about gunshot wounds, but it appeared that he was shot from the front. You wondered if it had gone right through. It looked like it.
You caught yourself getting lost in thoughts about the kind of people he chased - if he chased people - that could leave him with a wound like that. You decided you were going to ask him about it, when you felt the time was right. For now, you let your eyes wander again.
Back on land, you’re still admiring his body, and you’re admiring him very shamelessly. It was like he brought out the worst in you - an untamable, aroused demon. You hadn’t ever eaten someone up with your eyes like you were currently watching Javi. You knew he felt your eyes on him, but you weren’t sure how he was handling it.
You tilted your head as he brought his boxer briefs up his legs to cover his ass and shield his crotch from you. You reluctantly walked over to your own clothes, also pulling your panties back on with your back turned to Javi.
There was that awkwardness again… you sigh as you pull your dress back on, the wetness of your body making the fabric stick to your skin uncomfortably. The dress clings to the back of your thighs as you tie the band behind your neck, and just then, you realize how much the temperature has actually dropped, simultaneously with the sun setting.
Even though it was still warm, you were sure the temperature had dropped more than a few degrees. The goosebumps that rise on your skin this time are from the coldness of the air around you, as you make your way back to the blanket you were previously sitting on, looking through the basket to find the next thing you were filling your grumbling stomach with.
You slightly ignore Javi as he sits down beside you, feeling kind of mad at him for acting the way he did. How did he just take you on a romantic date by a lake, proceed to give you an orgasm while you both were stark naked in the lake, care enough to get you out of the water because he could feel you were cold, and then go on to blankly ignoring you while he got dressed?
“So, I was thinking we could go somewhere to eat, if you’re hungry. I was thinking maybe I could treat you to some empanadas and a beer?” You almost rolled your eyes at him but caught yourself before you could actually do it. You let out a deep exhale, not really knowing how to handle the situation unfolding.
On one hand, you were starving for something that wasn’t wine and fruit. Empanadas and cheap beer sounded so perfect, and you silently cursed Javi to hell for being so thoughtful and yet so resistant. You kind of hated him for not taking advantage of you. It sounds weird, saying it that way, but you really did wish he wouldn’t hold back with you. You didn’t really think further before the words had already left your mouth.
“Is there something wrong with me, Javi?” you say with so much uncertainty it takes him aback. Where the sudden doubt from you had come from, he had no idea. You appeared to be so sure of what you wanted - so sure of yourself. And yet here you were, tears threatening to spill out of your eyes.
He understood why you felt that way, though. He didn’t feel good about why you possibly felt this way, but he just couldn’t bring himself to let go with you. He didn’t want to selfishly take advantage of you, even though he desperately wanted to feel you clench and come around him. He wanted to feel the warmth of your cunt, and the warmth of having you close - closer than he’d already had you.
“Hermosa, no.” He speaks as he quickly draws you into his arms, pulling your trembling body back into his warmth. Why was he so damn warm all the time? You hated yourself for the way your body so easily relaxed into his body, calming you down in an instant.
“There must be something wrong with me. Why don’t you want me?” you whisper as he’s peppering kisses into your damp hair, his hands sliding up and down the length of your arms. It feels so good, being right there in his arms. The tremble in your body has been turned down to nothing more than a little shiver, and you feel yourself relaxing into his chest.
“Trust me, hermosa, I want you so much it hurts.” It felt weird, putting it into words like that, but it was the truth. It wasn’t just in the way his cock ached to find solace within your heat - no it was so much more than that, and it scared him more than anything had ever done before. He didn’t even feel this way about his ex-fiancée.
“I want it to be perfect for you. But I’m scared, hermosa. Scared I’m going to hurt you. Scared that I’m not right for you, hell, even good enough for you. I want you to have the best. And I’m not the best.” He speaks as he looks out into the mountains on the opposite side of the lake, that mountain ridge separating the two of you from the bustling life of Bogotá.
It was easier to say it to you, when he wasn’t looking at you. He felt so bad about turning you down again and again, even though he knew you would come onto him again and again. He was afraid you were going to change your mind about him, hell, he was afraid he was going to change his mind about you.
His head and heart were going a thousand miles an hour. It’d been so long since he’d been honest with someone in this way. Not even Connie, not even Steve. Not even his informants. You just had that effect on him. Wanting to open up to someone.
“Javi…” you finally speak, and he closes his eyes, awaiting your next words. He feels as you wiggle out of his arms, before he feels your legs straddling his, your hands sliding up his arms before coming to a rest on his shoulder and his neck. He feels you press a gentle kiss to his lips, before he finally lets his hands come up to rest on your hips.
“You could never hurt me. At least I don’t have the imagination to think of why you would hurt me. Everything I’ve experienced with you has been absolutely amazing.” Your fingers are rubbing soft circles into the nape of his neck, and he feels the tension leaving his body slowly.
“Javi, I want to do this with you. I want you to give me an unforgettable summer. And I know you can do just that.” You lean in and place another kiss against his lips, this time feeling the reciprocation of his lips against yours. “I want it to be you. I want to give myself to you.” You breathe against his lips, making goosebumps rise on his arms at your words.
His mind is imagining so many things as the warmth of your inner thighs spreads over his hips, seeping into his hips and straight into his groin. He’s imagining other women with your face on them, how he would fuck them into senselessness in indescribable positions, bringing them undeniable pleasure.
Yet he can’t bring himself to act on his feelings and desires just yet. He knows you’re going to be saddened by him turning you down yet again, but with this rejection, he also knows that he is going to give into you, sooner or later. You just had to wait.
“Okay, hermosa.” He says against your lips, before capturing them in another kiss. “But not yet. Not today.” His hands are working over your ass, massaging the soft flesh with his rough hands. It draws yet another wet patch into your panties, joining the dried one already left there.
“If I’m going to have sex with you, I’m gonna be doing it in a proper bed.” You giggle at his words, just the thought of the two of you coming together as one alighting your nerve endings. “But right now, I think we both need to eat something.”
･ ⋆ ･ ⠄⠂⋆ ･ ⠄⠂⋆ ･ ⠄⠂⋆ ･ ⠄⠂⋆ ･ ⠄⠂⋆ ･
Hirsute (a tale in five acts)
The bard's shirt, loose-fitting as it was, had come untucked at the back, revealing a strip of pale skin – and a line of dark hair running down the base of his spine, dipping out of sight down below the waistband of his breeches and up behind his shirt and doublet. It was the heat, she’d reflect later, that made her so uncharacteristically loose-lipped. “Does it go all the way up?”
Five times Yennefer was curious about Jaskier's back hair and one time she had her curiosity sated.
It was late summer, and sticky. Yennefer brought her own breeze with her into the tavern, ruffling her hair and the hem of her dress, ignoring the puzzled and fearful looks from the villagers.
Geralt was nowhere in sight. Jaskier was leaning over the bar, waiting lazily to be served. He gave her a cursory nod as she approached. Over the past months he’d grown rather more civil with her; more inclined to be coolly polite, rather than insult her to her face. She’d consider it an improvement, if she cared a whit how he talked to her.
His shirt, loose-fitting as it was, had come untucked at the back, revealing a strip of pale skin – and a line of dark hair running down the base of his spine, dipping out of sight down below the waistband of his breeches and up behind his shirt and doublet.
She’d had enough glimpses of his arms and legs and chest to know he was hairier than his boyish face would suggest. But this was – intriguing. She studied that sliver of hair, and wondered how far up it went.
Idly, she reached out to lift his shirt and take a peek.
Jaskier caught her wrist before she could lift it more than an inch. “What are you doing?” he drawled, either unamused or perhaps too muzzy from the heat to muster much of a reaction.
“Nothing,” said Yennefer sweetly, tugging her hand out of his grip. She looked again at his back. It was the heat, she’d reflect later, that made her so uncharacteristically loose-lipped. “Does it go all the way up?”
The bard stared at her over his shoulder. He stood up straight, and tucked his shirt back into his breeches with pointed and theatrical motions. “That,” he said, “is absolutely none of your business.”
It had been autumn for over a month, but the summer weather was lingering and the air was warm. She found Geralt out on the terrace, a map of the area spread out in front of him, making plans.
Jaskier was next to him, in his shirtsleeves, leaning over the table and studying the map with a pensive expression as if he actually understood any of what Geralt was doing.
“Morning,” said Geralt as she joined them. Jaskier raised his eyes, and said nothing. Looking back down at the map he rubbed the back of his neck.
The shirt he was wearing was cut low at the back. The short hairs at the nape of his neck ran down – down – underneath his shirt. Did it go all the way down, she wondered.
“It’ll be roosting somewhere in the hills,” Geralt was saying. “If you can help with a tracking spell we can find its nest – get in there while it’s asleep –” He went on talking, but she was only half listening. Monster hunts bored her. They all ran together after a while.
She watched the bard’s fingers move on the back of his neck, stroking his hair, and thought idly of putting her own fingers there.
“Yennefer?” said Geralt.
“Hm?” She glanced up – not quite quickly enough to keep Jaskier from catching her looking.
“What?” he said, touching his neck rather more self-consciously. “Am I sunburnt back there again?”
“Yes,” Yennefer lied. “You’re peeling. It’s disgusting.”
He felt the back of his neck. “I’m not,” he pronounced. “You liar.”
“Yennefer,” said Geralt. “The spell?”
“Yes, yes, I heard you,” she said. “I’ll have it for you this afternoon.”
“I don’t understand why you care.”
“I don’t care,” Yennefer insisted. “It’s just that it’s a very simple question. Men take off their clothes around each other all the time, don’t they? You’re completely shameless, as a group. You’ve known him twenty years. You must have seen him without his shirt.”
She was sitting up in bed, her back pressed to the headboard, the sheets draped across her lap. Geralt lay beside her, flat on his back, his eyes closed. “Yeah. Probably.”
“And I didn’t make a study of his back hair.”
“But you’ve seen it,” said Yennefer. “You don’t need to make a study of it to notice how much there is.”
“Yeah, well,” he said, “I didn’t notice.”
“You’re being obstructive. It’s a simple question. Yes or no, out with it.”
Geralt lay silent and motionless. If she couldn’t feel his mind humming away she might have thought he’d gone to sleep.
Then he said, “are you attracted to him?”
“What?” said Yennefer. “Why would you ask me that?”
“Emphatically no,” she said. “Not in the slightest. I can’t imagine why you’d think that.”
“Just seem very interested in his naked body.”
“It’s purely a matter of scientific curiosity.”
“I don’t care,” Geralt said. “We’ve talked about this. You can fuck anyone you want.”
Yennefer scoffed. “Even your bard?”
“He’s not my bard,” said Geralt. “And yeah. If you want to sate your scientific curiosity go right ahead.”
“My curiosity could be sated tonight if you’d just tell me.”
“Already told you I don’t know.” There was a slight smile playing about his lips.
“I’m going to sleep.”
He lapsed back into silence.
“Geralt,” she said. “Geralt. Witcher. I can tell when you’re lying.” She nudged at him with her foot. “Geralt!”
“You aren’t,” she said. “You swine.”
It was a simple plan, and obvious once she thought of it.
“Yennefer!” said the bard, flattening himself against the archway. “What brings you here?”
“Well, I was going to take a bath.” Yennefer wrapped her robe more tightly around herself. “How about you?”
“Just finished,” he said, trying to cover himself with his hands.
“I see.” She stepped to the side. “Don’t let me get in your way.”
“Actually, I think I shall head back to the cold bath for a bit.” He ducked his head back the way he’d come. “But, ah. Ladies first.”
“No – no,” she said, gesturing for him to go ahead. “You go on.”
“That would be contrary for the usual etiquette,” he said, motioning emphatically for her to go through the archway.
“You were here first,” she said. “You go.”
He repeated the motion. “I insist.”
“Well, so do I.”
He glanced over his shoulder. “I don’t mean to be rude,” he said. “But I’d prefer not to turn my back to you – especially in my nude and vulnerable state.”
“Why on earth not?”
“For fear you might lay a curse on me,” he explained. “Naturally.”
Yennefer leaned in closer. “I could lay a curse on you from any direction.”
“Yes, but at least from the front I’d be able to see it coming.” The bard adjusted his stance, still struggling to cover himself properly.
“Now you’ve offended me,” she said. “If you don’t go first I shall take it as a grievous insult.”
“Well, then, it appears we’re at an impasse.” He slouched back against the archway. “I can do this all day.”
“So can I,” said Yennefer. She stared at him. He stared back.
The air in the bathhouse was warm and steamy and smelled of sweat. The bard, conversely, smelled faintly of chamomile. In those long moments, waiting for him to break, she looked him up and down. He was an oddly put together man, she decided, his legs too long for his body and the thick hair on his chest and stomach clashing discordantly with his soft and boyish face. A strange combination of parts which, when put together, worked better than they had any right to.
She considered it. It was a large and cheap bathhouse and it was bound to be full of any number of dark corners a couple might hide themselves away in. He’d probably be up for it, assuming he didn’t think she was trying to hex him. And Geralt had given her his blessing.
The bard smacked his lips in thought, and then – think of the devil – raised his head and said over her shoulder, “Geralt! Hi.”
“Hm?” She turned to look.
There was nobody there. In the moment it took her to register that she’d been had, and humiliatingly so, there was a rapid pattering of footsteps on damp tiles and when she turned back to the archway he was gone.
“For fuck’s sake,” she said to herself.
“How would you gentleman feel about making this a little more,” Yennefer paused for dramatic effect, “interesting?”
Jaskier touched his hand to his chest. “Yennefer,” he said. “Are you proposing we gamble?”
“In a sense.”
“Well, unfortunately for you, I’m not a gambling man,” he said.
“Yeah, you are,” said Geralt.
“No I’m not.”
“You gamble all the time.”
“Well,” said Jaskier, more emphatically. “Tonight I am not a gambling man, on the grounds that, tragically, I have no money.”
“That isn’t the only way to gamble,” said Yennefer. “There’s other ways.”
Jaskier rested his elbow on the table and stared at her. “Are you proposing,” he said, “that we play strip dice?”
“I am indeed.”
They exchanged glances. Jaskier shrugged. “Yeah, alright,” he said. “Sounds fun. I’m in.”
“Yeah, I’m in,” said Geralt.
“Wonderful,” said Yennefer.
This was a good plan, she’d decided. She’d had no doubt Jaskier would be game, being as be acted like a teenager most of the time and had very little shame about his naked body. Anyway, she’d found that he was amenable to most things when he was drunk. Really, he was far more agreeable and pleasant to be around when he had a few drinks in him.
The tricky part of her plan, of course, was ensuring that he lost enough rounds to get him into a state of undress without raising his suspicions – or, more likely, raising Geralt’s suspicions, as the witcher was far more attuned to both witchcraft and trickery. She would also have to ensure that she lost a round or two, enough to look genuine, but not so many that she’d have to show any skin. She’d made a point of wearing a lot of accessories.
It all very smoothly, at first. She shed her jewellery, piece by piece. Jaskier lost his ring, and then his boots and stockings, and then his doublet. One more loss, and then all she’d have to do was leave the room to fetch more wine and she could take a look at his back.
Jaskier rolled the dice. “Ah,” he said. “Snake-eyes.”
“Ha,” said Geralt, shirtless and bootless. “I win.”
“Off with it, then,” said Yennefer.
The bard sighed. “If I must,” he said, reaching for the hem of his shirt. Yennefer sat forward in anticipation, watching him strip it off, and –
He was wearing another shirt underneath. An entire second shirt, in a slightly creamier shade of white. She stared in disbelief as he dropped his shed shirt on the bench beside him. For a moment she wondered if he might, somehow, be onto her.
“You’re wearing two shirts?” she blurted out.
“Hm?” Jaskier blinked at her, puzzled and guileless. “Um, no? I was wearing one. Now I’m not wearing any.”
“Then what is that?” she said, pointing.
Jaskier looked down at himself. “Doublet,” he said, picking it up from the bench and dumping it on the table. “Shirt.” He dumped his white shirt beside his doublet, and plucked at the one he was still wearing. “Chemise.” He lifted its hem, revealing – by all the Gods – a further layer of clothing. “Vest.”
Yennefer stood up so forcefully that her chair clattered to the floor behind her and said, “you have another layer under there?”
Jaskier looked at his linen-clad belly. “Evidently,” he said, and dropped the hem of his chemise. “It’s cold.”
Yennefer stared at him, breathing hard, studying his mind for any hint of deceit, any sign that he had done this intentionally. To all appearances he hadn’t a clue why she cared. It was unbearable. She couldn’t bear it. She wouldn’t bear it.
“I’m going to bed,” she snapped, stepping away from the table. She didn’t bother to right her chair.
From the hallway, she heard Jaskier remark, “that was weird.”
Hmm,” said Yennefer, running her fingers down the line of hair that ran along Jaskier’s spine. “Hm. Mmm-hm.”
He was lying on his stomach, his face squashed up against the pillow, his eyes closed. “Hm?”
She toyed with the dark hairs at the small of his back. It really did go all the way down, an unbroken line from the nape of his neck to his buttocks. Deeply satisfying. “I’m just thinking.”
“Oh, yes,” he said. “Is your curiosity sated, then?”
Yennefer’s fingers stilled. “My what?”
Jaskier shifted, turning to face her. He opened one eyes. “Your unbearable curiosity about my back hair,” he said. “Is it sated?”
She resumed trailing her fingers along his spine. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Geralt said you were asking about it.”
“I can’t imagine why he’d say a thing like that.”
“Oh, yes,” said Jaskier. “Do you like it?”
“It’s fine,” said Yennefer, fingering the soft hairs at his nape.
He stretched, and sighed. “I must say, it’s not the part of me that ladies usually want to fondle,” he said. “But I’m not complaining. That feels quite nice. Do go on.” Shutting his eyes he settled back down on the pillow.
Yennefer tugged hard on the hairs at the base of his spine.
“Hey – ow!” He pouted. “Mean.”
“I’ll show you mean,” she said. “I shall hex it off. See how you like that.”
“Hex away,” he said, his eyes closed, smirking. “You’ll be the one who’ll miss it.”
Abandoning her exploration of his back, Yennefer settled down on the pillow. She studied his face, his eyelashes, the curve of his lips. “I despise you,” she said fondly.
The Cane (Part 2)
Steampunk AU: five uses for a cane and one time Scott used it for its intended purpose 😘
Part 1 | Part 2
And here we have number two :D A bit longer than expected and I will be falling face-first into bed shortly, but I hope you enjoy it anyway.
Many thanks to @janetm74 @tsarinatorment and @scribbles97 for all their help and amazing support of my crazy. And to @flyboytracy for asking in the first place.
Use Number Two...
There are places in the ocean where the natural forces of the planet cause a lack of wind, a becalm that is the bane of wind reliant seafaring vessels.
Thunderbird Five had no such issues and in times of need, these quiet, still places were a refuge for tired bodies and minds.
A series of rescues off the coast of Chile that saw not only strenuous physical activity, but also almost violent politicking on John’s part. The world agreed, in the majority, to the advantages of an International Rescue organisation, but there were some outliers.
Suspicion was high in a few countries and while John spoke a multitude of languages, not all the brothers had managed as many and the grapevine had identified their country of origin to be English speaking.
Not everyone loved the English speaking world.
Regardless, International Rescue persisted. There were lives at stake and they needed saving.
Sometimes it wasn’t easy and this was one of those times.
Grandma had called for time off, and it had been with some relief John steered his ‘bird out into the expanse of the eastern Pacific into one of those pockets of beautiful calm.
They were lucky this time. The ocean surface was gentle, the swell minimal and Five had been able to surface. A careful manipulation of her propulsion system and she was maintaining a stable hover. Her huge expanse had her forming an island in the middle of calm sea.
Waves brushed against her flanks.
From her dorsal hatches a weary crew crawled out into the sun.
Grandma was adamant that they all receive regular sunshine and here in the sub-tropics, there was ample.
Scott climbed the ladder, cane in hand, body aching from the roll down a mountainside it had endured the day before. He had bruises on bruises and Virgil was hovering like a flying bug that just wouldn’t go away.
His fingers gripped the edge of Five’s hull and he clambered out on to the damp cahelium.
She was already warming in the sun, her stealth-dark, midnight blue skin sucking in heat and drying quickly.
Scott straightened, stretching his back. His cane hit cahelium with a thud.
“You watch you don’t scratch John’s ‘bird. He’s upset enough after having to deal with that governor.” Virgil poked his head out of the hatch behind Scott, following like the shadow he was.
Scott couldn’t complain too much. Virgil had been the one to pull him off the side of that mountain and he had received quite a scare.
The hovering was the result.
A whine from within in the submarine. “John, you’ve got an obstruction in the dorsal hatch. Have you got a torpedo I can borrow?”
Virgil twisted and glared into the hatch below. “Gordon!”
“You have a tear in your breeches, dear brother. I’m seeing things that would have Grandma blushing.”
Virgil grunted, twisting again. “Very little makes Grandma blush. She has seen you in your birthday suit multiple times, after all.”
“Move your derriere, Virgil. I need some sun.”
Scott turned his back on the both of them and limped across the top of his brother’s ‘bird.
Dividing the massive expanse was her huge dorsal fin. It served a dual purpose. There was, of course, the stability it supplied to her underwater flight, but it also provided a division between the two hidden launch platforms embedded in her structure.
Five needed to surface just like this to deploy two of her sister Thunderbirds. On the starboard side a huge section of her hull opened like a door to the sky...which is exactly how it felt when Scott was sitting in One and Five’s hatch levered her vertical enabling him to launch into the blue.
On the port side, the hull would slide back and the floor of the hanger would angle up, pointing Thunderbird Two at a forty-five degree angle so Virgil could fire her engines. She launched in as spectacular a fashion as her sister, engines clawing into the stratosphere.
But neither hatch was open right now. Both One and Two were hidden in their hangars, ready for new deployment as soon as it was needed.
The mud they had had to clean out of their ‘birds had taken a long time.
He exhaled and let his shoulders relax just a little. The salt in the air was ever so refreshing.
“How are you feeling?” Virgil’s voice was quiet behind him.
Scott fought the urge to roll his eyes. “Perfectly well, Virgil.” He may have been leaning on his cane a little more than usual, but that is what the thing was for, wasn’t it?
His brother grunted, eyeing him. “Do you want to sit down?”
A glance at Virgil and his eyes were caught by Gordon behind him, hauling several folding chairs out of the hatch, followed by a chattering Alan.
The sounds were rather homey and reassuring.
Grandma appeared with food and drink and Scott actually smiled.
Their grandmother was an amazing woman. Not only was she a medical doctor, one of the first women to take on that traditionally male qualification, she was also determined to look after them despite the fact they lived on a submarine.
Scott could have argued that Thunderbird Five was no place for a lady – if he wanted his intestines served up to him on a plate.
His grandmother was a staunch supporter of the women’s suffrage movement. Scott couldn’t help but agree with women’s rights when he had such a capable and strong example right before him.
That and she could cook like she was heaven sent.
His brothers spread out the chairs and a few tables. Grandma had obviously picked up some supplies from their stop over in California the week before.
Scott took a seat and both a small stack of sandwiches and a tall glass of lemonade appeared beside him. He would have complained about the smothering, but he was distracted by an argument brewing between his two youngest brothers.
The lemonade was divine.
“She is big enough.”
“No, she’s not.”
“Yes, she is. I bet you fifty dollars.”
“Gordon, if you think Johnny is going to let you play baseball on the back of his ‘bird, you are off with the fairies.” Virgil was striding over to both of the youngest who were hovering off to one side, obviously conspiring.
The thought of a baseball match was amusing when he pictured John’s response.
But for once, he let it go. Virgil had it in hand, his second discussing the topic with Alan and Gordon in a low but strident voice. Trusting his brother, he ignored them, focussed on his lunch, and drank more of that delicious lemonade.
At some point, Grandma sat down beside him and they discussed their next movements – whether to follow the weather or centralise ready to respond as quickly as possible wherever they were needed.
It became very obvious that his grandmother had picked the topic for a reason as she eventually made her point that they needed some extended rest time.
She even informed him that Virgil had also been injured the previous day. Mildly, but a wrenched shoulder was an injury nonetheless.
His grandmother had held him back and hissed at him to keep it quiet. Virgil was taken care of, but he and the rest of his brothers needed time to recuperate.
Scott seethed that his brother, who was still frowning at Gordon, hadn’t informed him of the injury. Grandma claimed that Virgil had come to her for some of her creams and she had no wish to betray his trust, but they needed to slow down for a little while.
Scott shifted where he sat and his entire body complained.
Perhaps she had a point.
He sighed, swearing under his breath enough for her to frown at him, but he nodded in agreement. Three days of rest.
His grandmother had a beautiful smile.
Especially when she achieved her goals.
She patted his leg gently before standing up. A shadow passed over the sun and Scott looked up to find her propping up one of her parasols on the back of his chair.
“What are you doing?”
“Too much sun can burn. You know that. But you need the fresh air.” Her purple satin skirts rustled about his shoulder and they triggered memories of his younger self spending time with her.
It was comforting.
Enough for her to secure the parasol and scamper off to do the same for John, who had fallen asleep three chairs over, before Scott could object further.
His red-haired brother was exhausted, and his head had fallen back, gaping at the sky. In that position, it was likely his tongue would get sunburnt.
Grandma was right…as usual…they needed time to recover.
Alan, Gordon and Virgil were still huddled off to one side and the murmur of their discussion, combined with the warmth of the day and the lap of the ocean, melted him just a little. His muscles unwound. The aches in his leg and his bones were still there, but with the thought of time to rest, some of the tension began to slip away.
He must have dozed off at some point because he was startled awake by the sound of breaking glass.
“Alan, you clutz!”
“Gordon!” Virgil’s admonishment had Scott blinking into full consciousness.
The remains of that amazing lemonade lay spread across the table, his pants, and Five’s hull.
There was glass everywhere.
Alan came hurrying over. “I’m sorry, Scott!”
He stared wide eyed at his little brother. “What were you doing?”
“Uh, playing baseball.”
Scott stared at him before turning to see both Virgil and Gordon looking rather sheepish on the far side of the submarine. Gordon had what appeared to be a length of wood in one hand.
Grandma bustled over and handed Gordon a rag and an empty bowl to gather up the pieces of glass.
There were stern words.
Scott’s brain was still trying to connect the dots, his brain slow to cycle up.
Gordon elbowed Virgil in the ribs and whispered something at him. Virgil glared in return.
Grandma reappeared with a broom and Alan was marshalled into sweeping Five’s hull.
Scott closed his eyes and shook his head before grabbing his cane and levering himself to his feet.
A stride or two towards his guilty-appearing brothers and his body loosened into its more familiar flexibility. “What exactly are the two of you trying to prove?”
Gordon stuck out his chin. “That baseball can be played on the back of a giant submarine in the Eastern Pacific.”
Scott stared at him a moment before dismissing him as a lost cause and turning to Virgil, who he had thought was much smarter than this.
Virgil shrugged. “Just having some fun, Scott.’
And there it was – the likely reason Gordon and Alan had involved the engineer. Virgil never did anything without a logical reason and when asked he always…always…had the answer that softened Scott to the point of forgiving almost anything.
“What about John?” He glanced over at his brother and found him still down for the count. Ever so tired. “You could have hit him, or Grandma or me. Baseballs are not soft. You could have done some serious injury.” It was very much unlike Virgil to take such a risk. Even Gordon wouldn’t do such a thing.
“That’s why we didn’t use baseballs.” Virgil held up a round white object which he then proceeded to squash between his fingers. “I used some of our aerated rubber solution to make a dozen or so soft balls. They float, have low impact damage, and Gordon is planning on a swim to collect every single one after the game.”
Logical and always had the answer.
Scott picked the ball out of Virgil’s hand. It was soft, very squishy and made from the rubber foam they stored in Two for stabilising structures.
He squeezed it again.
It was rather satisfying to watch it reinflate.
“Want to play?” The dark eyebrow that arched up at him knew exactly what it was doing.
Scott pressed his lips together.
Virgil fought back a smile.
“Fine. Who’s pitching?”
Gordon snorted a laugh. “That was Allie and he took out your drink.”
“It wouldn’t have broken anything if you were half capable of hitting a ball.” Alan sounded very put out.
Grandma urged him to keep cleaning.
Scott broke into a grin. “How about I give it a go and you pitch?”
Gordon matched his expression and stole the ball out of Scott’s hand. “Sure. Batter up.” He held out the chunk of wood that was apparently serving as a bat.
Scott frowned. It looked suspiciously like a table leg. Hmm…
“No, I think I’ll use this.” He held up his cane.
Gordon arched an eyebrow. “Really?”
Scott smirked a little. “Yes, really.”
His brother shrugged and threw the table leg down with a clatter that had John muttering in his sleep.
Scott dug his little brother in the ribs.
That earned him a grunt.
They ended up moving the game further away from their sleeping brother. Gordon complained that he would have to swim after all the balls and every single one was likely to end up in the water.
Virgil said it would do him good and might even be fun.
Gordon’s response was enough to earn him a glare from Grandma.
Scott bit his lip to stop grinning harder.
Virgil set himself up as catcher. Gordon paced out a distance and curled up in a way that was somehow what a pitcher was supposed to do. The brass of his prosthetics shone in the sun.
But then Gordon had always been an odd pitcher.
Scott levered his cane onto his shoulder and tensed, ready to hit the ball.
Gordon grinned somewhat devilishly.
“Bring it on, fishboy.”
John had slept very well. Fresh air often did that for him. By the time he woke, the sun was starting to dip towards the horizon.
“How are you feeling?” Grandma was sitting beside him, a small smile on her face. A book lay in her lap.
“Good.” John returned the smile. The breeze had picked up a little and he could hear it in the waves as they sloshed against the side of his ‘bird.
A frown. “Where is everyone?”
He sat up. Most of the tables and chairs were missing and he could only assume they had been tidied inside.
“Because Scott apparently doesn’t know his own strength. Or how to play baseball.”
John’s eyes widened. “What?”
Grandma pointed up at Five’s giant dorsal fin.
The very top of it was bent over to one side.
“How on Earth…?”
“I would think it was the cahelium Virgil worked into your brother’s cane. Virgil says he’ll have it fixed within the half hour.”
John stared at her. Five had rammed ships in the past with barely a dent.
His grandmother smiled and patted his leg. “All will be well, dear. Don’t you worry.” She rose from her chair, turned and folded it, heading towards the hatch obviously go inside. “Don’t stay out too long.”
The wind tousled John’s hair as he stared up at the damage to his ‘bird.
He had no words.
Broken Things 14/24
Rating: varies by chapter, rated R overall
See Chapter 1 for summary and notes
Sleep eludes him. He’s up most of the night punching his pillows as though they’re to blame for his insomnia or he’s pacing around his room. Several times he opens his door and stares at Katherine’s room, wondering if he should knock and apologize or burst in unannounced and demand an explanation.
It’s not quite dawn when he finally gets dressed and hitches a couple horses to the wagon, grabs an axe, and drives over to the wooded area along the creek. He’s chopping away as the sun rises, already dripping sweat when he hears the faint cry of the rooster in the distance. He can smell the smoke from the cookstove from where he is.
After two trees have fallen, he needs to take a break to drink some water and have a bit of the jerky and biscuits he’s brought with him for breakfast. When he sees Melvin riding out towards him a bit later, he takes a final dipper of water from the bucket he filled before he left and picks up the axe again.
“Them trees aggravatin’ you this morning, or what?” Melvin asks, dismounting from Faithful Jenny and leading her over beside the wagon.
“We’ll need them for the new corral,” he answers, never taking a break in his swings. “Thought I’d get a head start.”
“You want some help on it?”
“You know I’m not aimin’ to get in the middle of things-”
“Then, don’t,” Mulder interrupts. He stops chopping at the tree he’s on and gives it a firm kick. The bottom tilts and cracks at a sharp angle, but doesn’t quite break. He kicks it again, but it doesn’t budge this time. So, he kicks it again. And again. And once more.
Mulder stops and drops the axe. He bends over with his hands on his knees, breathing hard. He takes one glove off and pulls out a handkerchief from his pocket which he uses to wipe his brow. It’s one that Katherine has monogrammed for him with her pretty little stitches. She gave it to him only a few days after settling in, telling him it wasn’t much, but it was something she could do to express her gratitude.
“What’d she tell you?” Mulder asks.
“Katherine? She didn’t tell me nothin’, though it’s not hard to tell she’s upset by something. And with you here hackin’ away at them trees, it don’t make it less obvious.”
“I’ve seen to it that she doesn’t want for anything, you know. I...I took her away from that godforesaken sod house, I gave her clothes and a room and a job to do and...and I’ve been kind, haven’t I?”
“Sure you have.”
“We were having a perfectly pleasant conversation on the porch last night and suddenly it just went all sideways and then she’s throwing around accusations like I think our marriage is a farce.”
“She said that?”
“Amongst other things, yes she did.”
“Well, I guess that is reason enough to come out here and take your frustrations out on them trees.”
“What else should I be doing? Talking in circles with my fictitious bride so she can hurl more baseless accusations at me?”
“If they’re baseless, why are you in such a tizzy?”
“Because they’re obviously not baseless to her, otherwise why else would she say that?”
“Hm.” Melvin strokes his beard into a point at his chin. “Womenfolk sure are complicated, that’s for sure.”
“You can say that again.”
“Did you ask her how she come by that notion about the marriage, or did you forget how to articulate?”
“Of course I asked her and all I got was some vague implication that I was somehow disrespecting her by hiring a surveyor to come out and make plans on the expansion. It’s not like she wasn’t aware that was the plan all along. You’d have thought it was a total surprise, the way she reacted.”
“When I was gettin’ hitched to Eliza, my Mama told me that the best advice she could give anyone startin’ out was not to let the sun go down on your anger.”
Mulder picks up his axe again and shakes his head. “Little late for that,” he says, choosing his next tree to fell. “The sun was already down anyhow.”
“You know you can be a real horse’s behind sometimes.”
“I am aware.” Mulder starts chopping again, swinging the axe at a cedar sapling.
“Alright, I’ll leave you be then.” Melvin hoists himself up into the saddle on Faithful Jenny’s back and turns the horse to home. He stops and turns back, passing the wagon so he’s closer to where Mulder is chopping, but still at a safe distance. “If’n you aim to prove her wrong about your marriage, it may be best not to let her stay in her misery for too long.”
“She has nothing to be miserable about. I didn’t do anything wrong.”
“Well, apologies don’t have to mean you were wrong, they could just mean you’re sorry for the hurtin’. You’re forgettin’ already what she’s been through.”
“I have not forgotten.” Mulder shoulders his axe and glares at Melvin. “Should I expect you’ll be taking her side of things from now on?”
“I’m not takin’ any sides. Just remindin’ you that you’re the one brung her here.”
“And that means I need to shoulder the blame for every argument we have from here to kingdom come?”
“Tarnation you must have about the thickest skull in the entire state of Texas. No, it doesn’t mean you’re to blame for everything, it just means that you’re the one that’s plum fool enough to marry a lady you don’t hardly know from Adam except she’s been dealt a sorry hand and then you want to go get all high and mighty about what you done like you deserve a dadgum medal of honor. Either you wanted to help her because of the goodness in your heart or you wanted a nice pat on the back. Which is it?”
“I wasn’t looking for any commendations.”
“Well, good, ‘cause folks might get an idea then of your marriage bein’ a farce or somethin’ like it.”
Melvin turns Faithful Jenny away from Mulder and clicks at her to ride away. Mulder scowls at his back. He doesn’t know why he’s being treated so harshly and unfairly all of a sudden. He’s turned his conversation with Katherine over and over again in his mind and he can’t find the logic in her being so upset. The only thing he knows is that he will clear this whole damned creek of trees before he apologizes for something when he doesn’t even know what he’s done wrong.
When Mulder doesn’t come to breakfast, Katherine feels almost sick about it. She doesn’t eat, just serves the boys their meal and pretends she has too much to do to sit down that morning. She’s sure they won’t notice anyhow, they’re always distracted with planning for the day most of the time. They don’t even seem to be concerned that Mulder isn’t there. Melvin is the only one that looks at her like he knows something isn’t quite right.
When Mulder doesn’t come to noon dinner, Katherine feels a bit exasperated. She knows by then that he’s been by the creek all morning taking down trees. While she once preferred her late husband’s habit of disappearing for long lengths of time after an argument, she can’t say it feels the same to have Mulder do the same.
She’s so lost in her own thoughts that it takes her some time to realize that Melvin is washing up the dinner dishes. She jumps up from the table, mortified to have let that happen. Melvin waves her away.
“Go on, finish your dinner,” he says. “You didn’t hardly eat your breakfast, if at all. Let me do this. You can dry if’n you want.”
“I guess I’m just not very hungry today,” she answers.
“Well, I suppose I don’t got much of an appetite either when I got things weighin’ on my mind.”
She worries the wedding ring on her finger. It hasn’t escaped her that this has already become a nervous habit so quickly. To make better use of her hands, she grabs a dishrag and starts drying what Melvin has washed.
“We argued last night,” she says. “I suppose Mulder told you that?”
“He mentioned there was a disagreement of some kind. You may have already figured this out for yourself, but he can be as stubborn as an old goat sometimes.”
“Does he always do this? Avoid problems this way?”
“I haven’t known him to, but then again horse problems and lady problems aren’t really the same.”
“Should I bring dinner down to him, do you think?”
“I think he might appreciate that. If’n you think he’s stewed long enough with his thoughts.”
“I don’t know about him, but I think I’ve stewed long enough with mine.”
“Then you go ahead and do what you think is right.”
“I’ll pack something up right now.”
“Leave that dishrag with me so’s I can finish up here.”
Katherine drapes the dishrag over Melvin’s shoulder and starts to pack up some dinner to take to Mulder. She’s wrapping biscuits when there’s whistling and hollering outside. Melvin looks up and peers out of the small, square window above the wash basin.
“What is it?” she asks.
“Lord almighty,” he mutters, flinging water and soap suds from his hands as he turns and rushes to the door.
“Another panther?” she asks, following at his heels. “Should I get the gun?”
“Looks like there’s been an accident.”
Katherine is out the door faster than Melvin, lifting her skirts as she runs across the ranch to where the men are shouting and the horses and wagon that Mulder had taken down to the creek are standing.
“What is it!?” she shouts. “What happened!?”
“He come rolling up just now and keeled over,” Jimmy says. “Felled right off the wagon.”
Katherine drops to her knees in the dirt where Mulder lays and immediately begins assessing his condition. His face is sunburnt, his skin is dry, his pulse is racing. She runs her hands over his head and finds a bit of a lump at the left side, but he’s not bleeding. His left shoulder is twisted under him at an unnatural angle. She looks up at the men standing over them.
“Should I run and fetch the doc?” Jimmy asks.
“His shoulder looks to be dislocated,” she says. “Which I can set back into place. And I believe he is suffering sunstroke.” She makes some quick determinations in her head about who can help best in what areas. “Melvin, go and fetch the doctor. Trevor, I’d like you to go in and start pumping water into the washtub. No need to light the furnace, we need it to be cool.”
“Yes, Ma’am,” Trevor answers and runs off.
“Richard, can you find me some clean rags? Tear up some of the bedding I just washed if you have to.”
The other men leave quickly and it’s just Jesse, squatting low at Mulder’s feet and Jimmy hovering over her.
“I need you two to help me turn him onto his back,” she says, getting to her feet and kneeling again at Mulder’s left side. “Gently.”
Katherine holds onto Mulder’s shoulder and elbow to keep his arm in place as the men slowly roll Mulder onto his back. He groans softly and coughs once.
“Jimmy, you go down by his feet and just hold his ankles steady. I think he may already be in shock, but this still may hurt a bit and he might fight against the pain, but it’s best he be still.”
“What’re you gonna do to him?” Jesse asks.
“I’m going to be pulling the shoulder back into place, as gently as I can. Will you please hold him steady with a hand on his chest and right shoulder?”
When Jesse and Jimmy have their hold on Mulder, Katherine takes a deep breath and then starts to slowly draw Mulder’s arm up in an arc away from his side. As she pulls it up, she also pumps it softly until she’s reached a straight angle and she stops and looks from one brother to the other.
“Keep hold now,” she says. They nod their reply.
Katherine raises Mulder’s arm up, making small circles as she lifts from his wrist. Mulder groans again and he tries to kick his feet, but Jimmy holds steady.
“You’re alright,” Katherine says to Mulder, still drawing his arm up. “You’ll feel better in just a bit.”
Only moments later, Katherine feels the shoulder slide back into place and she lowers Mulder’s arm while cupping his elbow, bringing his forearm to rest across his belly. She feels his pulse again at his neck and shakes her head. It’s way too fast. His lips are chapped and white.
“Will you two be able to carry him in if we get him on a sheet?”
“I reckon we sure could,” Jesse says.
“Don’t move him until I come back.”
Katherine races to the house. She finds Richard at the linen cabinet in the dogtrot, ripping up pillow cases. She grabs one of the sheets and runs back to Mulder. When they have the sheet laid out the two men, under Katherine’s instruction, move Mulder onto it with as little jostling as possible. They lift from the sides per her direction and move swiftly to the house.
The wash room is not a large room, certainly not large enough to hold five people comfortably, especially when one of them is incapacited. She sends Trevor off to fetch her a glass of water with some salt in it and has Jesse and Jimmy lay out Mulder on the floor and then step away.
Quickly, and with nimble fingers, Katherine first unbuttons the suspenders on Mulder’s trousers. She then opens up all the buttons on his trousers and moves down to pull his boots and socks off. She pulls his trousers off and then calls out to Trevor to bring her the scissors from her sewing kit. When she has the scissors, she cuts Mulder’s shirt in half up from belly to chest so she can pull his right arm free and not have to move the left too much. With the remains of the shirt, she fashions a sling to hold his left arm.
She leaves his undershirt and drawers in place and then has Jesse and Jimmy lift him, sheet and all, into the washtub. The water doesn’t quite cover him so she pumps a bit more into the tub. Richard brings her the rags and Trevor brings her the cup of water and the salt tin.
“I just put a pinch of salt in,” Trevor says. “I don’t know if that was enough.”
“Thank you, that’s just fine. Will you do me one more favor and get me a spoon and one of the ash buckets? Just be sure it’s empty.”
“Yes, Ma’am!” Trevor races out of the room.
Katherine kneels beside the tub and begins to dip the rags into the water and place them behind Mulder’s neck and on his forehead. She dabs his cheeks and jaw. Trevor returns with the spoon and the bucket. Jesse brings her a stool to sit on so she doesn’t have to kneel.
“Is there anything else I can do?” he asks.
“Not at the moment. I’ll call for you when it’s time to get him out.”
“Alright, we’ll stay close by.”
Jesse closes the door behind him and she sits with Mulder, alternating soaking rags and patting his neck and face and spooning him salted water. His eyes slide open after a bit and roll around. His pupils are two different sizes, which worries her, and his gaze is a little disoriented.
“Where’m I?” he mumbles.
“You’re in the bathing tub. I think you may have had sunstroke and you fell from the wagon. Can you tell me how many fingers I’m holding up?” She holds up three fingers and he blinks and stares at her hand.
“That’s good. How do you feel?”
“Dizzy. Cold. My arm aches.” He reaches up with his right hand to try to touch his shoulder, but she catches his hand and holds it.
“You dislocated your shoulder, but it’s fine now. It’ll probably be sore for a few days.”
“I need you to drink a little water, can you do that?”
Katherine lets go of Mulder’s hand and brings the cup to Mulder’s mouth. She holds the back of his neck to help him sip, but won’t let him take much yet.
“I’m so thirsty,” he says, trying to bring his lips back to the cup.
“I know, you just need to drink slowly otherwise it might make you sick.”
He finishes the cup of water, slowly, with her help. She puts the back of her hand to his cheek and then dabs at his face again with a soaked rag. He lays passively for some time, almost like he’s dreaming, but then he starts to shift and seems to gain more awareness bit by bit.
“You know, if you wanted me in my underthings, all you had to do was ask,” he says suddenly, smiling a little and turning his head towards her.
“I think we can get you out of the tub now.”
Who We Are - F.W.
Chapter Five: Your Facade
Chapter One, Chapter Two, Chapter Three, Chapter Four
a/n: its really outta pocket how late this is, but, i am sorry depression been hittin hard lately im going to try and upload around every three days now !
word count: 2.2k sorry short
warnings: none! just fluff and a tad of uncomfy a lot of ground work for next chapter also this is a series specific taglist just as fyi
tags: @you-make-children-cry @bohemianspacebabe @levylovegood @louist-pics @rochellestark @hufflepuffzutara @weasleybeb @whoreforfredweasley @fortheloveofthecharacter @ayesha-mae @ma0422
“Darling! How I am so excited to meet you!” Before I could reply I was pulled into a bone-crushing hug by Mrs. Weasley. I was quickly pulled out of the train by the twins, barely able to tell Lee goodbye before I was being surrounded by redheads. If I didn’t know who they were I would have felt like I was being circled by vultures. Placing names to the faces I saw wasn’t so difficult, I knew all of the family from my time at Hogwarts, the only thing I didn’t know was who the two taller men behind Mrs. Weasley were. I only got a glance at them, they were both redheads, obviously of the Weasley clan. One had a dangly earring with longer hair that reached his jaw, the other was slightly taller and stockier, his hair wasn’t as long as the others but had more of a curl to it. They were engaged in a conversation I couldn’t hear or focus on as I was being pushed out of Mrs. Weasley’s arm’s. She held me at arms length smiling.
“Thank you so much for letting me stay with you, it really means a lot to me,” I spoke softly, bringing one of my hands up to squeeze hers that rested on my shoulder. She nodded enthusiastically. She opened her mouth to reply but was cut off by Mr. Weasley.
“No problem, not at all.” He said nodding down at me. He extended his hand which I shook gladly.
“Oi stop coddling Y/N!” George spoke up from behind me pushing next to me.
“Yeah we want to spend time with her too.” Fred said linking his arm around my shoulders.
George let out a chortle that pulled my and Fred’s attention toward him. “I meant for mum to coddle us, you know, because we are her kids.” I felt Fred’s arm drop from around me and I glared at George who smiled wide and looked between us.
“Alright children let's get going.” Mrs. Weasley clapped, pulling all of our attention towards her. I let out a short sigh and grabbed my trunk.
The ride to the burrow was uncomfortable. I sat in between the twins in the backseat with some extra luggage. Fred started to rest his head on my shoulder around the halfway point which would have been cute if I could relax into it, instead it just made me feel more cramped. I shut my eyes, trying to relax my breathing as my nerves took over me, counting my breaths until we were there.
Getting into the Burrow was a flash, moving bodies tumbling up the winding stairs. The house truly was a beauty to behold, seemingly stacked and held together by magic, the outside was remarkable. The inside felt like an ever present hug, little nooks filled with cushions and blankets could be found in nearly every room. It truly was cozy and everything I longed to feel in my own home. Home was void, it was a place where I stayed but it never made me feel the way the Burrow made me feel.
“Now Y/N, go put your stuff in Ginny’s room, you and her will be staying together and with Hermione later when she joins us.” Nodding along to Mrs. Weasley’s words I followed Ginny to her bedroom.
It was cute there were posters on the wall for quidditch and on her dresser she had a few stuffed animals, they had their fair share of tears and missing buttons but I’m sure that was just from use.
“So what’s it like?” She asked as I set my bag down on the cot set up opposite her bed. “Being Fred’s girlfriend of course! Mum’s ecstatic, this is the first time one of the boys have brought someone they are dating home.”
I felt heat and embarrassment crawl up my neck like a ferocious fire breathing dragon until my entire body felt hot head to toe.
“No, we are just friends.”
“Are you sure?”
“But George said-”
“Kids! Dinner is ready!” Mrs. Weasley’s voice flooded the house and I let out a breath I didn’t realize I had been holding in.
“Go ahead, I’m going to change.” Ginny nodded and left, shutting the door lightly behind her.
Did the family think me and Fred were dating? Did Fred think we were dating?
Multiple questions raced through my mind, each one making me grow hotter, but I couldn’t quite place why. I decided against my winter apparel, opting for sleep shorts and an oversized shirt. It wasn’t the cutest but it was the coolest thing I packed and knowing how many people were down stairs I could only assume how much hotter the air would get. Winding my way down the stairs and through the rooms I finally found the one filled with people. The family was surrounding a table where it looked like there was a feast right out of the Great Hall spread out.
“Ah! Y/N, come! Sit sit, um here.” She pointed to a chair on the far end of the table, on each side were the two men I saw from before but didn’t know. Feeling nervous I nodded and went to take my seat. Luckily Fred and George were across from me and that calmed me a bit knowing the meal wouldn’t be met with awkwardness. Soon my plate was full and the entire family seemed to be going in between a big conversation and small ones on the side.
“You must be Y/N.” Said the man on the left of me.
“Yes and you are?” He chuckled and sent a confused look to the twins, I followed his gaze and saw Fred looking rather displeased, sending him a glare.
“Charlie, and that’s Bill.” He pointed around my shoulder to the man on my right. I smiled warmly and waved and he nodded with a sly wink.
“I’ve heard about you two, you’re the oldest ones right? And you are in Egypt most of the time?” I asked Charlie in between bites of beans.
“No I’m usually in Romania with Dragons, Bill is in Egypt working with his voodoo.” Placing my attention on Bill, silently asking him for confirmation.
“I don’t do voodoo, Charlie is just being an ass, it's his specialty.” He was cut off by Charlie laughing, rolling his eyes he started again. “I’m a curse breaker, I work for Gringotts.” My eyes widened as I felt curiosity bubble up within me. If I had to guess I would have assumed that Bill was the one working with dragons, his hair pulled back into a ponytail, his tooth earring, leather boots, it just felt more fitting. Charlie's build definitely proved his occupation; I just would not have guessed it.
“What does a curse breaker do exactly?” I asked. “Well obviously, you know, but are there any cool perks?”
“Yeah Bill what are the cool perks?” George asked with a sly smirk, his eyes danced between Fred’s hostile gaze and his older brother, chuckling to himself.
“Yeah other than getting sunburnt.” Fred groaned. I sent him a look but he missed it too busy prodding around with his food angrily. George had an amused look on his face, obviously directed at his twins behavior but I couldn’t place why.
“He knows nothing about burns, trust me.” Charlie piped up. He rolled up his left sleeve which held a scar that curved and danced up his forearm and around his elbow.
“Baby Chinese firebolt, I was trying to put it into the incubator when it realized I wasn’t mama.”
Dinner went on, Fred didn’t utter a word for the rest of dinner, just poked his food with a grimace on his face. I didn’t let his sour mood ruin mine, I was divested in conversation with Bill and Charlie, learning all about their jobs and travels. Bill told me about an old woman who made jewelry in the center of the town in Egypt where he stayed, he told me about how she imbued each item with a different magical property, some were protection charms and others were sister pieces used to send messages between their owners. Charlie taught me about the different types of dragons and what it was like to work with them. They were both so kind, answering each question I had with a smile on their face. I was so divested in whatever Bill was telling me I didn’t notice everyone had left the table at that point.
“Why don’t we move into the living room?” He asked looking around, I followed his eyes, noting the once lively table empty. In a weird way it made me feel cold, a shiver tore through me.
“If you don’t mind I am going to find the twins.” I spoke getting up. He smiled understandingly. “I think Fred might be in their room, second level first door on your left.” I nodded, sending him a small smile as thanks.
“Wait I said twins, not Fred.” I looked back to him, his smile evident as if he had just caught me.
“I know.” He said, cheeky grin never leaving his features. I felt my cheeks heat up, turning on my heel I left and found my way to the stairs. Harry was watching Ginny and Ron play wizards chess in the kitchen, Charlie and Percy were arguing in the living room about the ethical uses of dragons as means of labor while their parents were both reading. I didn’t see George or Fred and took Bill's advice and bounded up the stairs.
Knocking lightly on the door I was met with no response, tried again, nothing. Despite my better judgement I pushed the door open. The room is exactly how you would expect it, slightly messy with blueprints and products strewn about. On each side was a twin bed, one with green covers and the other with blue. On the right side Fred was laying on his stomach, head facing his wall and limbs falling off the sides. George wasn’t in sight.
I tiptoed around the things on the floor and found his side, sitting down gently in case he was sleeping. There was a tension in the air that made me uneasy and I wanted it gone. I just wanted to spend time with him, I didn’t want to feel like I had to hold my breath.
I ran my fingers through his hair, unable to hold myself back. I felt him let out a sigh under my touch. He began to shift, picking his head up and adjusting himself so he was facing me.
“Hey stranger.” I said softly, sending him a smile. His face was unreadable, part way between smiling and frowning like he was fighting himself inside. He scanned me, up and down like he was trying to read my intentions by a quick look.
“What are you doing up here?” He asked. His voice held no emotion and it stung slightly to see him be so blank with me.
“I want to see you, we haven’t been able to hang out all day and I missed you.” I kept my head down as I spoke. A beat of silence rang throughout the room. I looked at him for an answer, my eyes met his and I watched the resolve fade away, like a barrier breaking beneath his exterior, his eyes lost their cool touch and they warmed up, returning to their familiar honey pools I know.
“Get in here.” He wrapped an arm around me, pulling me down to his level. I helped him, situating myself around him, tangling my legs with his and putting my hands on his chest. Both of his arms were around me, pulling me into him like he hadn’t seen me in months, he buried his head in my neck, his hair fell across my face making my giggle at the feeling, realization struck through me as I evaluated his movements in his head.
“Freddie are you ok?” I asked, my voice was more serious now but his behavior was just hard to read, it felt like since I met his family he had pulled back, the back of my brain was telling me it was because I did something wrong.
“Yeah I just,” He paused holding his breath. “Please don’t let me go.” His words vibrated against my neck. I felt his arms tighten around me as he spoke, like he was in a dream he didn’t want to wake up from.
“I wouldn’t dream of it Freddie.” I whispered back, deciding not to push it. Leaning down I placed a small peck to his ginger locks. I felt his mouth curve into a smile against my skin and it made butterflies erupt in my stomach. I felt giddy and drunk, being wrapped up in his arms, smelling, holding, being held by Fred. It was intoxicating and I couldn’t possibly wish for more.
What are some of ur favourite Adrienne Rich poems? I love her poetry
those that have stayed with me the most are:
“Twenty-One Love Poems, X” (the without tenderness we are in hell one)
“Contradictions: Tracking Poems, XXVIII” (“we’ll dream of a longer summer / but this is the one we have: / I lay my sunburnt hand / on your table: this is the time we have”)
“Twenty-One Love Poems, XVII”
“What Kind of Times Are These”
Pentagon x Reader
NSFW with a Fluffy ending!!
It was a bright sunny afternoon in Mexico and laid out on a towel, sitting by the pool of my home was my beautiful bride to be. I watched her as she lay in the sun, getting more sunburnt by the minute, not that it mattered. She was happy and that made me happy. I walked over to her and stood in her sunshine, which bugged her to no end.
"Um babe, your in my sunlight." She said as she looked at me through her sunglasses.
"Your gonna get sick baby. Please, come inside and get some air-conditioning." I asked her nicely. She had already been in the sun for 4 hours with no sun-screen and had badly damaged her skin.
"Yeah, that's not happening. I'm not going to be stuck inside." She said with sass in her voice.
"Excuse you." I lowered my voice and I watched her face turn away from me. I grabbed her by the back of her neck and pulled her close to my face. She gasped when I did so and giggled.
"Oh really? Giggling now but just you wait." I growled and brought her inside and pushed her to the couch. I went to the tv stand and grabbed a bundle of rope and a satin eye mask. She looked at me and bit her lip, something that seriously turned me on. She knew she was in trouble.
"Now, mi puta (my bitch), what to do with you?" I said lowly and stalked over to her.
"Look Penta..." She started but I cut her off.
"That's not my name angel." I said, my accent getting more and more prominent as I spoke to her.
"Um... Daddy?" She said softly.
"That's right. Daddy, that's my name." I growled and she cowards underneath my stare. I had finally made my way over to her and grasped both her wrists and began to tie them together. I finished tying her hands together, not too tight, but tight enough so she didn't escape. I grabbed her throat and kissed the shell of her ear to draw out a small moan from her mouth.
"Bedroom, now." I growled as she stood up. I stopped her and made a 'tsk' sound and she knew what I was asking. She got down on her knees and hands. Although they were tied, she was still able to crawl and off she went slowly but surely making her way towards our room. I took slow steps behind her, stalking her, watching her. Once she made it to our room, I helped her onto the bed and began tying her down.
She watched my closely as I tied each knot intricately. Not one of the four knots would be tied the same, and she knew that. I grabbed the blindfold from my pocket and and gently tied it around her head. I went into the draw underneath our bed and grabbed out a special toy. One she was very fond of and gently laid it next to her on the bed. I then grabbed the small pocket knife out of the bedside table.
I gently pushed the side of the blade onto her sunburnt skin. I watched her body suck in a small breath and I smirked. I removed the blade from her skin and placed it on the nightstand once again. I untied her bikini top and threw it to the floor, repeating the process with her bottoms.
The hairs on her arm quickly rose from the cool indoor air. I left a trail of kisses from her neck to her waist and back to her neck, making sure to stop just above her freshly shaved pussy. She whimpered and that was a no no. It was border line begging. I hated begging unless I told her to beg. I stopped what I was doing and grabbed the flogger I had placed on the bed and ran it over her face and down her stomach. This was her favorite part. She was much like me in the way she needed to feel pain to keep going.
"No noise or I start again. Understand?" I growled with my accent on full display.
"Yes daddy." Came her hushed reply. I quickly snapped the flogger against her pussy.
"What?" I growled once more.
"Yes daddy, I understand!" Her reply was much louder.
"Good girl." I chuckled and snapped it once more off her pussy. She bit her lip, trying to hold back her moans. I hadn't tied her legs down this time. I wanted to watch her squirm and try to fight her quickly approaching orgasm. After 10 hits on her thighs and pussy I threw the flogger to the floor and began to remove my clothes. Her ears perked at the sound of my belt being undone. I finished stripping and backed away from the bed quietly, leaving her wanting more. I was going to make her wait. I walked over the closet and grabbed her favorite vibrator. Being careful not to make any noise I walked back over to the bed. I took notice that she had her head up trying to to locate where I had gone. I quietly plugged the vibrator in and before turning it on I reminded her that I was still in the room.
"Now, mi mascota (my pet), were going to play a little game. Mi hermosa (my brother) is coming over and he doesn't know your here. Your gonna keep quiet while I have a quick chat with him, you cum as much as you want but if he hears you, I will punish you. Am I clear?" I said.
"Yes daddy. All clear." She said clearly and loudly just the way I liked. I turned the vibrator on and taped it to her so it touched her clit* I grabbed a pair of sweatpants from the dresser and put them on before leaving the room to go talk to my brother.
*About 45 minutes later*
I had returned to her and just as I had asked, she kept quiet the whole time but she was a tearful and cum covered mess. I chuckled and walked over to her. I took the blindfold off and shut the vibrator off. I was still hard from before.
"You did so well mi princesa (my princess). Now, time for your reward." I said lowly.
"Oh yes. Thank you daddy." She said happily. I quickly stripped out of the sweatpants and my underwear before climbing on top of her.
I rubbed my tip against her swollen clit and slid right in without issue. Normally, I wouldn't take my time but I was a generous man and took my time just this once. I was already so deep and she still kept silent as I asked, I had decided that was enough of that.
"Let me hear you. Every noise princess." I growled and thrusted even deeper if possible. She moaned loudly and I chuckled.
"Faster. Please?" She asked softly.
"Faster? As you wish." She didn't beg. She asked, it was different. I began to thrust a little bit faster.
"Daddy, please? Fuck me, like only you know how." She finally snapped and begged.
I gave in and began to thrust hard, deep, and fast. She took everything I gave her like the good girl she was. I rubbed her clit pulled her up towards me so fast that the rope I had binding her hands to the bed snapped. I held her close and thrusted deeper hitting her g-spot making her scream out. It only spurred me on until I felt my orgasm fast approaching. It didn't take long until she had cum one final time, triggering mine and together we came.
Once I finished cumming inside her, I laid her back down and pulled out. I saw my cum leaking out of her and quicky licked it up causing her to shiver and moan softly. I walked to the bathroom that was connected to our room and grabbed a damp wash cloth. I cleaned her up and then did something I had never done before. I undid my mask, revealing my face to her for the first time. It wasn't uncommon for luchadors to reveal their faces to loved ones but this was a matter of trust. She was the first girl I had ever put my trust in and I loved every bit of her, there was no denying that. Once I finished cleaning her up and pulled her close as she fell asleep next to me. I stayed awake to protect my lover. It wasn't long before my brother knocked on the door and saw her and I. He smiled and knew exactly what had happened. I put my trust in someone other then him and he could finally rest easy.
This high summer we love will pour its light
the fields grown rich and ragged in one strong moment
then before we're ready will crash into autumn
with a violence we can't accept
a bounty we can't forgive
Night frost will strike when the noons are warm
the pumpkins wildly growing the green tomatoes
straining huge on the vines
queen anne and blackeyed susan will straggle rusty
as milkweed stakes her claim
she who will stand at last dark sticks barely rising
up through the snow her testament of continuation
We'll dream of a longer summer
but this is the one we have:
I lay my sunburnt hand
on your table: this is the time we have
from Contradictions: Tracking Poems by Adrienne Rich
«we’ll dream of a longer summer / but this is the one we have: / I lay my sunburnt hand / on your table: this is the time we have»
May I have a Pearl request where she is at the thievery once again and stills snipers hat along with spy’s balaclava
I have combined your request with someone else’s, who asked to have Perle steal some noodles ;D I hope you like it! :D3
"Oh, hello there, pretty cat… Yeah, I'm like you, I'm waiting for Lu' to come back home."
Mundy was sitting in front of the TV. He hadn't done much that day, the usual chores here and there, and that was about it. It had nonetheless got him tired. The miserable weather outside also got to him and he had decided to sit on the sofa and wait for the time to pass. He had thrown a thin cover on his lap and was lazily watching TV.
Mundy turned his head and saw Perle lapping and eating the few instant noodles he had left in his bowl on the small table next to the sofa.
"You like the noodles?"
Perle ate the few bits that were sticking to the bowl and lapped at it repeatedly.
"Yeah I like them too. Cheap and fills you up." Mundy added before sighing. "I wonder how much longer it's gonna take him with Engie."
Perle licked the bowl absolutely clean and then sat to clean herself.
"It wasn't supposed to take him that long…"
Mundy was more annoyed at how uninteresting things got on TV rather than the impatience itself. He took the remote and flicked through the channels, unconvinced by any of them when the door opened.
Mundy jumped on his seat and sprang out of the sofa.
"Oui." Spy locked the door before removing his mask and carding his hair back with his gloved fingers. Perle slid next to his legs and exited the room through the cat door.
"Finally!" Mundy answered as he went to his lover and hugged him after he removed his jacket.
"Should I understand that you missed me?" Lucien asked.
"Yeah, quite a bit."
"Hmm…" Lucien purred in his lover's arms. "I am sorry it took longer than expected."
"Nah, it's fine. Now you're here."
"Oui. So, what have you been up to?"
The conversation carried on as the white noise of the rain hitting the windows lulled them and they sank on the sofa, Lucien in Mundy's arms and both under the soft cover.
"Your taste in television programs is quite bad, mon amour. What is this?"
"It's the latest series everyone is watching."
"Why are the actors all that tanned? They almost look sunburnt."
"They're American, luv'."
"Are the United States that close to the tropics now?"
Mundy chuckled and tightened his hug on his lover.
"You're adorable…" He pressed his lips on Lucien's temple. "I love you."
Lucien closed his eyes under the affection and purred. But a knock on the door interrupted them.
"Oh, did you expect someone?" Mundy asked, seeing Lucien stand up and look for his mask.
"Oui, Engineer wasn't finished when I left him. But he kindly offered to put the final touches without me. I guess this is him… Have you seen my mask?"
Mundy rose from the sofa and looked everywhere.
"Where did you put it where you entered?"
"On the table, as usual, but it isn't here anymore…"
"If you want, I can take it, you go to the bedroom."
"Merci, mon amour."
[Thanks, my love.]
Lucien left a kiss on Mundy's lips as Engie knocked again.
"I'm comin'!" Mundy answered and waited to see Lucien was out of sight before opening the door.
"Hey, mate, sorry for keepin' you waiting."
"I hope I'm not interruptin' anything," Engie answered. "Here, Spy's sapper. It was actin' weird but now it's all fixed."
"Ah, thanks mate, I'll give it to him and I'll let him know."
"Alrighty then, see ya!"
"Yeah, see ya."
The door closed and Mundy put the sapper on the nearby table.
"Did you lock the door?" A voice asked from the bedroom.
"Yeah, I did, you can come out, luv'!"
Lucien appeared again.
"Your sapper's all repaired now."
"Have you found your mask meanwhile?"
"I'm afraid not… It is very strange. I am sure I had put it there, on the table by the door…" Lucien's eyes scanned the room. "Oh, you didn't put your hat on the table either?"
Mundy's eyebrows jumped.
"Nah, I… I usually do…"
Perle entered through the cat door and meowed repeatedly, brushing herself on Lucien and Mundy's legs.
"Hey, pretty cat, what is it? Why'd you meow so much now?"
Seeing that she had caught Mundy's attention, Perle trotted to the kitchen, her meows echoing there.
"Alright, what is it…?" He followed her and saw her food and water bowls empty. "But I gave you your food this morning, I'll put more water." And he did what he said as he heard Lucien still coming and going, looking for his mask.
"Here… Sorry if we kept you thirsty, Pearl." He added as he crouched to the ground and put the water bowl back. He petted her but she still meowed at him. "What is it? You had your food and you even finished my noodles earlier…"
She jumped on the kitchen top and tried as much as she could until she managed to open a cupboard.
"What are you…?" Mundy stood back up and stared at her. Perle half jumped into the cupboard and made some packets fall here and there.
"Oi! Pearl, what's wrong with you…?"
She got out of the cupboard, a pack of instant noodles between her needle-like teeth.
"You finished mine, what, d'you want more?"
"Nah, if I cook some for you, Lu' will kill me."
"Why would I kill you?" Lucien said as he joined them in the kitchen. He saw the mess of packets that Mundy was tidying up and raised a curious eyebrow. "Oh, what happened? You couldn't reach something perhaps?" Lucien teased Mundy on his height.
"Nah, it's Pearl. She wants me to cook some noodles for her."
"I told you to not get her used to it…"
"Yeah, my bad, she loves it way too much now…"
"Non, Perle. You had your food for today and we are giving you treats from time to time. You are big enough as it is."
"Non, there is no room for discussion here." Lucien helped Mundy clean up the mess.
"Meow!" Perle answered back again and this time Lucien looked down at her with curious eyes.
"Oh ho," Mundy said, "She's talking back today…"
"Oui, it is odd… Also, I haven't found your hat or my balaclava. I have looked everywhere and couldn't find them!"
"Meow!" Perle jumped on the counter where the packet of instant noodles was, she stole it and darted away.
"Perle! Non! Come back!" Lucien and Mundy both ran after her.
She slipped out of the Spy's suite through the cat door.
"Ah, merde! I'll go and put on another mask, you go after her." Lucien said.
"Sure." Mundy got out and followed her.
He saw her slip in the base's broom closet.
"What are you doin' there…?" Mundy pulled the door a bit more and entered.
It was pitch dark inside. He quickly found a switch and flipped it. The yellow light helped a bit.
"Why did you run back here with the noodles?" He asked, pushing the brooms left and right to see her better. He crouched down.
"Wait a minute, that's my hat! What is it doin' here? Did you bring it?" He extended his hand to take it when Perle jumped between him and his hat and hissed aggressively, showing her teeth and curving her back. Her tail pointed straight up and her fluff was all tensed up.
"Hey, it's just me, pretty cat…?" Mundy removed his hand.
"Sniper?" Spy was looking for his lover and Mundy heard his shout from the corridor.
"Yeah, I'm in the broom closet, Spook. C'mere!"
"Mon Dieu… Ah, here you both are, come on, Perle, I don't know what that was all about but we are going home." Spy said as he crouched.
"Look, she has my hat!"
Lucien squinted to see better, the closet was quite dark.
"Oui, she does… What is it doing here?" He asked.
"I don't know but when I tried to take it back she hissed at me…"
"Yeah, like she didn't want me to take it."
"Nonsense!" Lucien said and got his hand closer. "Perle, ma chérie, rends à Mundy son-argh!"
[Perle, sweetheart, give back to Mundy his-argh!]
She hissed and slapped her paw on Lucien's fingers with her claws out. It scratched his skin enough to draw blood but not too seriously.
"Mon Dieu, that's new…!" He exclaimed as he removed his glove to see the blood prickling on his skin.
They both watched as Perle turned and ripped the packet of noodles apart. She took the dried product and broke it with her teeth, chewing it but now swallowing it.
"Shh, watch." Mundy said.
Both Lucien and him were crouching on the ground and paying attention. When Perle was done chewing through a good chunk of the noodles, sawing it to small bits, she took the hat in between her teeth and raised it.
"Oh my God…"
Lucien's mask was there under the hat but it was… moving? Mundy and Lucien frowned until a few chicks peeked out and chirped, coming out of the balaclava and hat, pecking at the bits of dried pasta laying on the ground. Perle laid on the floor next to them.
"That's where my mask and your hat were…"
"She's been rescuing chicks!" Mundy exclaimed. "That's why you needed the noodles! Look, Lu', we can't leave them there, we should bring them all at home."
"What if they carry diseases?"
"Nah, they're fine, they're just hungry and thirsty. Pearl, you let me pick them up this time?"
"Meow." She rose to her feet and went next to Mundy. He put his hat upside down to act like a basket and filled it with some crumbs from the noodles before picking up the chicks delicately. He put them in, one by one and turned to Lucien.
"C'mon pick up your mask and let's go back home."
"Why did she need my mask…?"
"To keep them warm I guess. Chicks usually sit under their mum."
"Ah, I see."
They exited the broom closet and bumped onto Scout and Engie.
"Oh, hey there." Engie said.
"What were you doin' in there?" Scout asked and before Sniper could answer, Spy stood between them and raised a malicious eyebrow.
"What do you think Sniper and I would do if left alone in a room…?"
"Don't ask questions that you are not ready for the answer to, Scout." He added before taking Sniper by his arm and heading back to his room with him.
A few moments later, Mundy was sitting on the carpet between the sofa and the fireplace and was playing with the chicks between his hands.
"Here, I have ground more noodles and have filled a plate with water." Lucien said as he put everything down. "Ooh, they seem to like you."
"Yeah, cause I'm warm."
"I can only agree."
They exchanged a loving grin.
"Wanna hold one?"
"How should I do it?"
"Put your hands like a bowl. Remove your gloves first."
"Don't they have claws?"
"Lu', they're tiny."
"I was scratched once today already and don't want more." He answered.
"They won't scratch you, I promise. You trust me?" Mundy asked.
"With my life." Lucien answered. He removed his gloves and gathered his hands. "Here."
"Here, I've got one in my hand and… There we go! You got it now!"
"Ooh! It tickles, it's very soft!" Lucien discovered.
"Yeah, chicks won't claw into you, they're too small and fragile. Now, close your hands slightly, leave it a bit open for some air and stay like that for a minute."
Lucien was staring at his hands and waited.
"Now very slowly, open yer hands."
The Frenchman did as he was told.
"Oh, is it asleep?"
"Yeah, it snuggled in your hands and because it was all dark and cosy, he thought it was sleep time."
"I see…" Lucien raised his head to Perle who joined them on the carpet. Some of the chicks went against her fluffy and white fur, looking for warmth. "That's why you scratched me, hm? For those baby birds?"
Perle rose to her feet again and went to Lucien. She licked his hand, on the wound she had caused.
"I know you are sorry, and I understand why. You are an exceptional cat, Mademoiselle."
She purred and looked up to brush her head on Lucien's mouth. He only had to bend down and he left a few pecks too.
"She's a very good kitty." Mundy added as he directed the chicks to the water on the plate, on the carpet, in front of Lucien and him.
"Oui, a truly remarkable companion."
Chapter 1: Rough draft (Edited once for spelling/grammar)
TW: Bloody noses, descriptions of a corpse, mild gore and swearing, spooky zombie lady, bad formatting, rushed writing
Note: Please give me your sweet sweet feedback. Oh how I crave honest and good-hearted criticism.
*Thanks to a handful of members from a group chat for convincing me to post this*
The forest was dense enough to blot out the sun, almost completely plunging the path in darkness. It didn’t bother Sydney though; he was too focused on the building at the end of it. It was a church, and he stood in front of it, staring up at the grey steeple protruding from what was left of the roof. It was a miracle that it was still standing. The walls had been scorched by fire, and the once-beautiful stained glass windows had melted into colourful, wax-like puddles. He could still smell smoke even though the church burned an impossibly long time ago. It never occurred to Sydney that the surrounding woods were completely untouched by the fire, as if it had never happened in the first place.
The inside was different as Sydney pushed the double doors open. He didn’t recognize the inside. It was more spacious than what he remembered, but like the forest, untouched by the blaze. Instead of red carpeting there was a wooden floor; instead of oil paintings depicting the trial of Jesus, tapestries with horrific, indescribable images decorated the walls. The interior had an ancient feel to it, making Sydney feel insignificant as he stood before the rows of pews. He could tell that it wasn’t a Catholic church anymore. It was a haven for a religion that existed long before the concept of Christianity.
Across from Sydney and past the pews was a stone table where the altar should have been. There was a white sheet covering something laying across it. As he padded down the aisle towards it, he could see symbols etched into the stone, characters he couldn’t recognize. The closer he got the louder his ears rang, his sinuses becoming so congested that soon fluid began leaking down his chin. It wasn’t until he reached the table and saw the bright red droplets fall onto the stark white sheet covering it that he realized his nose was bleeding.
Ignoring his instinct to wipe away the blood, Sydney reached for the edge of the sheet and pulled it back. Underneath was a girl, or at least the body of one. Her skin was ashen and waxy, a greenish-blue in colour. Small blisters had begun to form on her cheeks and forehead, as if she had been sunburnt recently. Even though they were closed, Sydney could tell that her eyes were sunken into her skull.
Pulling the sheet down further, Sydney saw that the girl’s arms had been placed palms facing up, leaving the undersides of her forearms exposed. On both of them were deep gashes, starting from her wrists and ending in the crooks of her elbows. The rest of her had begun to decay, but her wounds appeared recent, oozing thicker, darker blood than what was dripping from Sydney’s nose.
“Syd, are you awake?”
The sound of her inhaling made Sydney’s attention turn sharply back to her face as her jaw creaked open, sucking in air. He stumbled away as her eyes, covered in a watery blue film, flew open. Her head turned towards him with a snap, sending him falling backwards in shock. He hit the floor hard as she sat up, bones creaking and popping as she threw the sheet off her bloated body-
Sydney bolted up from his desk as the shout tore through his dream, nearly sending him toppling to the floor. Mrs. Bray was sitting on her desk glaring directly at Sydney, arms folded. A snort of laughter to his left made him blush as he realized he’d dozed off...again. “Uh, sorry.” He mumbled, slowly sitting back down and trying to ignore the eyes on him. Although Mrs. Bray had a stern look in her eyes, Syd was somewhat comforted by the fact that she was obviously trying not to smile.
“I get that there’s ten minutes left, but let’s try to stay awake, alright?” She sighed. “To those of you who may have dozed off, I’m not repeating myself about the assignment. You can ask your group. Now,” She side-eyed the room. ‘Is there anyone who isn’t in a group of three yet?”
Syd sneaked a quick glance across the room over at his close friend Lizzie Abrams. She caught his eye and shrugged apologetically, motioning to two other girls sitting near her. Feeling his cheeks heat up, Syd averted his eyes, staring down at his desk in embarrassment.
“We don’t have a third person in our group.” The voice to Syd’s left spoke up, making him turn. It was a girl in a worn, blue and white baseball cap, someone who Sydney unfortunately recognized. Her name was Morette Woodward, better known as Mo, and Syd knew her as being the one who broke his nose during dodgeball back in fifth grade.
She had one elbow propped up on her desk and was leaning her head against her hand while picking at her braces with the other. When she caught Sydney’s eye, she flashed him a toothy smirk.
Mrs. Bray glanced between the two and shrugged. “Perfect, evens out the groups. Now,” she turned to address the rest of the class. “I’m giving the last couple minutes of class to organize your chapters, so use your time wisely. Remember your book and your portfolio should be in at least six sections!”
Portfolio? Sydney rubbed his eyes and groaned, wondering what else he’d missed. Falling asleep at random times wasn’t a problem before, but lately he'd been feeling lethargic and finding himself unable to keep his eyes open for long periods of time.
“Hey, scooch your butt over next to us so we can talk better.” Mo nodded at a tall boy sitting beside her. Sydney didn’t know who it was, but thought he looked familiar. “Yeah hold on,” he turned his chair to face them before leaning forward. “So… what’re we doing exactly?”
“Man, you were really out, huh?” The tall boy said, giving Sydney a sympathetic grin. “You were pretty twitchy too. Were you dreaming or something?”
Syd blinked. “‘Twitchy’? What do you mean?”
“Like...mumbling and tensing up a lot,” He clenched his fists in emphasis. “It was kinda creepy. What were you dreaming about?” He was already talking again before Syd could reply. “Oh shit, you don’t know me. Sorry, I’m Henry Kaminer.”
Kaminer. Sydney didn’t know Henry, but definitely recognized the last name. He remembered reading about the Kaminers in the newspaper, and made a mental note not to bring it up.
“Oh. I’m Sydney. I don’t really remember what I dreamed of.” Sydney lied. Henry laughed. “Yeah, I heard. Isn't Sydney a girl's...? Whatever, nice to meet you Sydney."
Morette handed Sydney a sheet of paper. “I had an uncle Sid so no, it's not 'a girl's name'. Anyway, literally all we have to do is split the book up to read for a week, then do some fun little questions and activities at the end of each week." She flipped through her copy of To Kill a Mockingbird. "It's like the same stuff we did in grade 5, but with racism."
So she does remember. Sydney looked over his sheet of paper. "Oh."
"Yeah, it'll be easy." Morette leaned back in her chair and scrunched her nose up. "There's 31 chapters, but they're not too long. Let's just do five chapters each week and read whatever's left when we get to the last week." She tossed a stack of pink sticky notes at Sydney. "Use those as a bookmark."
Sydney looked down at the sticky notes. “...Thanks.”
Sydney paused at the front doors of the school just as he was about to walk through them. Henry hurried over to him, lime green beanie clutched in one hand, messenger bag in the other. The tall boy stopped beside him, huffing. “Man, I jumped down the stairs to catch up to you. Sorry, anyway. Walking home?”
Sydney pushed open the doors, nodding. “Yep. What about you?”
“Same here, but uh...which way are you going?”
“To the left.”
“Sweet! Mind if I tag along?”
“Sure,” As they made their way past groups of students waiting for their buses, they started walking down the sidewalk towards the nearby neighbourhoods. Syd, who barely made it to Henry’s elbows, couldn’t help but feel self-conscious with the giant beside him. “Do you live close to the school?” He asked. Henry shrugged. “Well, not really. To be honest I’m just tagging along to avoid my older brother, Marvin.” He chuckled a bit, but it sounded forced. “He’s got his driver’s licence and all, but…”
“But what?” Syd asked. Henry sighed. “He’s an asshole. I don’t feel like dealing with his anger issues today. So I’m here with you instead, little man. If that’s cool with you,”
“I’m not that little! But yeah, it’s cool.”
“Yeah you are, shortstack!!” Henry guffawed and rubbed the top of Sydney’s head with one hand. Syd swatted at his arm, but joined in the laughter. The two boys continued talking and joking around as they continued trekking down the street towards a crosswalk. The weather was warm for being early September, the sun beaming down on them helping to keep Sydney in high spirits.
The first week of school had been rough for him; being as timid as he was, making friends was hard enough in elementary school, never mind being in a new environment. For the longest time he’d considered Lizzie to be his closest friend, but they’d drifted apart over the summer, making him feel even more isolated than ever. As he listened to Henry telling him about his pet cat, Bowie, he felt a ray of hope that maybe he wouldn’t have to be so lonely after all.
“...he’s a really sweet boy, but he’s pretty ugly,” Henry was telling Syd. “He’s got this weird skin condition though so there’s like almost no hair on his body. I think it’s kinda hilarious, but every time he sits down his butthole sticks to our table.”
Syd snorted. “Gross.” He stopped at the edge of the crosswalk as the traffic light turned red, Henry following suit. “I don’t have any pets. My mom’s allergic to animal hair. It makes her sneeze.”
“Damn. No siblings either? Sounds quiet.” Henry leaned against a pole covered in colourful flyers and shielded his eyes from the sun with his hand. Sydney took a couple steps back so he was standing in Henry’s shadow and decided that tall people weren’t that bad. “Hey,” he said. “My house is just up ahead, what about you?”
Henry shrugged and shoved his hands in his hoodie pockets. “Not me little man, I’m heading to the right but maybe I can come over and wreak havoc at your place sometime.” He flashed Sydney a grin and straightened up, a couple flyers sticking to him before fluttering to the ground. “Whoops, those seemed important.”
Syd rolled his eyes and laughed as Henry stooped down to scoop them off the sidewalk. “Nice going there, big guy.” He joked. “Careful you don’t bring the pole down too.” Henry didn’t respond; instead he slowly stood up, clutching a white flyer and staring down at it. Sydney felt his smile fade when he saw the dismayed expression on Henry’s face.
“...What is it?”
Henry swallowed hard before handing Sydney the poster. The white paper was crumpled and soft from being left outside, showing signs that it had been there a while. A photo of a man with a goofy grin and a buzzcut holding a balding cat was in the center. The words were in bright red at the top of the page as he read them.
Jeremiah Lee Kaminer
Also goes by ‘Jerry’
19 years old, blue eyes, blonde, slim build, 6’0”
Last seen November 27th wearing a leather jacket, blue jeans, and brown hiking boots. If you have seen him or have any information of his whereabouts, please contact the Denville City Police.
“Henry,” Sydney glanced up from the page. Henry was fidgeting in place, avoiding making eye contact. “Is he...?”
“Yeah,” he mumbled, staring at the ground. “It’s our oldest brother. He’s been missing for over a year. Went into a bar one night for a drink, and just…. Never came out.” A cold gust of wind sent the remaining flyers drifting down the sidewalk as they caught the breeze. Henry’s hands tightened around the poster, creasing the paper before he folded it into a square. “Whatever. I gotta go.” He turned and started heading down the street, leaving Sydney alone.
Syd watched him walk away, wondering whether he should call out or not. Deciding not to, Sydney went home, ignoring the icy loneliness that had begun to creep back.
Never Lose You P2
the second (and final) part of my Jily fic, Never Lose You, totally inspired by Cornelia Street by Taylor! You can find Part 1 right here and read part 2 below, or the whole thing on ao3 here
By the time they had climbed the three flights of stairs up to their apartment, Sirius dramatically pretending to gasp for air by the top, all the feelings had completely rushed back to her. Despite the time separated, and the awkwardness of their last conversation, she was quickly remembering why James was one of her favorite people in the world. She never could forget that smile, the way his lips were quirked permanently on the edge of laughter or a quick joke. Remembered how he and his friends had their own secret language and world, but made sure their other friends were never excluded. Always with a finger on her back, a wink shot her way.
Marlene and Lily went straight to the kitchen to gather beers and solo cups and some vodka for Alice. They worked as a team, efficient and quick, finding mismatched large mixing bowls to pour some slightly stale tortilla chips in with some salsa.
In the small living room, Alice had quickly put the boys to work, instructing them to scour the apartment for other seating options they could cram into the tiny living room to make a circle around the coffee table.
Sirius and Remus made quick work of Marlene’s room, grabbing her extra throw blankets and pillows from her bed to toss about the living room floor and give someone something to sit on. Sirius found ‘the armchair’ that Marlene had found in the alley across the street and threw all of the clothes and makeup piled on top of it onto Marlene's bed. He dragged it out into the living room before throwing himself into it sideways, tossing his legs over the arm of it.
Remus, too, tossed out the beanbag chair from Mar’s room and promptly launched himself onto it, claiming it for the night.
Lily and Mar loaded up the coffee table with their various drinks and snacks. Right as she was about to settle herself on the couch Marlene interrupted her actions, “Lily-love, could you grab a deck of playing cards from your room? Just in case we want to play Kings or something,” Marlene's smirk was met by a chorus of agreement from the boys, so Lily dragged herself into her room. Yanking off her heels as she walked down the hall, she immediately launched them into the corner of her room containing her closet without looking and planned to go right to her bedside table when a deep voice let out a “Bloody Hell Evans!”
Lily promptly shrieked and whipped around, hand over her heart, to spot James clutching one of her heels in the corner of her room, the other laying a foot to the left of him.
“Watch where you toss these things, Lily! They’ve got spikes!” James huffed indignantly, waving the heel of the shoe at her.
“In case you hadn’t noticed James,” Lily started, hands immediately finding on her hips, “this is my bloody room! I can throw my shoes wherever I bloody well please! What are you doing in here?” Lily tried to sound angry or annoyed but really it just sounded a bit breathless. Her heart was pounding way too fast and while she’d like to blame the fright he gave her, she figured it actually had much more to do with the boy in her room. And the bed separating them. The big bed.
James seemed to realize how incriminating it was for him to be just standing there, in her bedroom, where she kept her underthings, clutching her shoe. His hand immediately shot to his hair, a strong blush following it up his neck. “Alice told me to come look for a chair or cushion or erm something. I got a tad distracted by your erm photos and things,” he gestured to the wall of pictures Lily had covering the wall behind her bed. She noticed him looking particularly at one photo in the bottom left corner. A picture of them, all snuggled up laughing. In the photo, Lily was looking ahead towards the camera, eyes closed as she laughed raucously. James, on the other hand, had been staring right at her. Even in the picture, you could see the sparkle in his eyes.
“Oh of course.” Lily stepped closer to the photos, abandoning her search for the cards. “Makes me happy to see them all when I come back from work. Do you remember this one?” She pointed towards a photo in the dead center, “Right after the championship match before that wild party, right?” James laughed as he leaned closer.
She wouldn’t tell him but it was her favorite picture on the whole wall, showing Lily tightly pulled under James’ arm, smashed in between him and Sirius grinning wildly, red and gold facepaint covering her face while Marlene clung to Sirius’ back mid laugh, waving the championship trophy overhead.
“That was a great day. Remember when Sirius broke that table trying to do a cartwheel and almost landed in the fire?”
She could have spent the whole night there, reminiscing about their stupid mates and telling new stories as James pointed to picture after picture, asking the stories. She told him all about the photo of her and dad surrounded by alpacas, about the tiny little chubby baby, who she had to assure James that it was not her illegitimate child, but rather Petunia’s new baby boy. “Dudley Dursley, isn’t it horrific? I mean give the boy a chance!” He laughed so hard that he felt his face becoming red and his cheeks hurting as she explained the one of Marlene and her on a boat in Greece, where her skin was painfully bright red because the wind had blown away her floppy hat so she had to spend the rest of the boat ride painfully sunburnt.
She hadn’t even noticed that as they spoke and laughed they both moved from standing to sitting on opposite sides of the bed, facing the photos. And then slowly turned to now face each other. Still on opposite sides of the bed, but closer now, much closer. Close enough that she could smell him, feel the way his laugh vibrated. She felt electric being this close to him, and if she had thought it through she undoubtedly would have jumped up and moved further away, but she couldn’t do that when it felt so undeniably natural to be sitting here laughing with him.
He was in the middle of telling her about the time him and the boys had their own exploits in Greece, including waking up after a long night to find Sirius asleep on the balcony surrounded by 16 cats, when Alice burst into the room.
“Lily, did you get lost? What is taking so long-” Lily and James both shot off of the bed in different directions as Alice walked in and took in the scene before her.
“Okay then. See you guys out there.” Alice nodded calmly and walked right back out of the room.
“I guess we should-”
“Yeah, probably.” James had his hand back in his hair ruffling again and started to leave the room. Lily stared after him for a second before clearing her throat and digging through her bedside table for the card deck. Right as she was leaving, she noticed his jacket still around her. She shrugged out of it, folding it lightly but not quite ready to give it back to him. She left it on her bed.
When she reentered the living room, cards in hand, she saw that Peter had stolen her seat on the couch, leaving the only open space being on a pillow, on the ground, next to James.
He nodded at her awkwardly and took a large gulp from his cup as she lowered herself carefully onto the pillow next to him, careful to keep all of her limbs to her regulated area.
She reached out for a beer of her own and took a long drink. Marlene tried to catch Lily’s eye but when she only saw the underside of her cup instead, she quickly understood it would be a discussion for later instead.
“Okay! So! The game is Kings! If you’ve never played-”
“McKinnon, no!” Sirius interrupted, “I want to play never have I ever!”
“Sirius, you lose Never Have I Ever every single time. You’ve done everything. Shut up and listen,” James retorted, throwing a chip at Sirius who caught it and ate it.
“It’s because I’ll try anything once,” he said wolfishly, giving Alice an exaggerated wink.
As the night went on, the drinks and laughs continued to flow and Lily’s strict personal space slowly shifted as she traveled into the neutral territory between them. But then at some point, James had shifted so he was lying on his stomach, with just his elbows on the pillow and his head in his hands, and Lily had shifted slightly so she was lying sideways now along her pillow and really the easiest place for her feet to rest was on James’s back. And really, when he complained that they smelled and she was infiltrating his space with disgusting feet, the only thing that made any sense to do was to leap on top of his back- “Infiltrate your space? I’ll show you infiltrated!”- and then as she lied there on top of his back, full weight on him, she realized just how poorly of an idea this was. It would have been much worse if he had been facing up because then she’d have to stare at his face, but this was also worse because now she was left with her head practically in his hair and oh my god why does it smell so good? What 20 something year old boy has hair and body that somehow smells like peppermint and cinnamon and delicious? And as if the smell of him wasn’t enough, just from pressing along his back she could feel how hard his body had become. Strong and toned. Gone was any of the former squish teenagers had. This was the body of a man and dear god that was terrifying.
Right as she was contemplating the least awkward way to remove herself from his person Sirius FLEW on top of her as well, making both James and Lily groan, screaming “DOG-PILE”. Marlene quickly followed Sirius’ lead and soon Lily was completely and utterly trapped, smushed with her face lying straight in James’ delicious peppermint/cinnamon/something combo hair and having her person and front bits all smushed alongside his back. She wondered if he could feel her thundering heart against his back.
“Sirius, you oaf! Get off of me before I vomit all over you all!” Lily shrieked. James grunted in agreement.
Eventually, they all climbed off and Lily slowly was able to roll off of James, now lying alongside him, facing the sky while both her and James stretched out the kinks. “Well, that was fun,” James groaned turning his head to look at Lily, who was still staring at the ceiling.
Lily hummed in agreement, refusing to meet his eyes, knowing that they’d be warm and golden hazel and beautiful and be far too much for her to handle after being reminded what he smelled and felt like.
“Lily?” he questioned quietly, while all the others continued to refill their drinks and settle back in, still laughing at Sirius.
She gulped and turned her head to meet his eye, surprised at how close they still were, barely two inches between them. She could feel his warm breath on her face and the depth of emotion immediately took her breath away. Hazel eyes filled with warmth but not light, no they were quickly becoming pitch black and full of something else. Lust or passion, heat, something, but whatever it was, Lily was quite sure her eyes matched his.
She held his gaze evenly, completely tuning out all of the other voices around them, as they lied there, breathing heavily.
“Lily,” he whispered, voice laden with want and fear. The want part scared her the most and she tore her gaze away from his, to look back up at the ceiling. The ceiling that was now spinning. Oh god.
She took a deep breath and pulled herself so she was sitting up, James twisting around to do the same, looking at her like he was afraid of her. Like she was a delicate bird that would fly away at the first sign of movement.
“Lily,” he spoke again, cautiously. She looked at him for a moment, unable to make any words come out before jumping up.
“Um, bathroom.” She explained to Mar when they all looked at her in alarm as she stood up. The girls nodded slowly like they understood something else was going on.
Lily stood there for a moment, taking in the room around her. Peter was now asleep in the corner of the couch, snoring lightly with his mouth open, while Remus seemed to be making a game of trying to throw pieces of chips into his open mouth. Sirius lazed still in his armchair, drink in hand, head hanging off the opposite side of the chair. And James, sweet, good James. Sitting there, watching her desperately.
She turned on her heel and walked in the opposite direction of the bathroom but instead to the small balcony off the kitchen. It was barely big enough to squeeze two little chairs but it was Marlene and Lily’s favorite part of the whole apartment. Coffee or wine on those little chairs were their favorite ways to pass any weekend.
Now, Lily walked out and leaned up against the railing, looking down at the street below.
“What are you doing, what are you doing, what are you doing?” she whispered fiercely to herself, running her hands across her face, before pulling at her hair, whipping it quickly into a ponytail.
She didn’t hear the sound of the door sliding open, but she heard it close, and instantly knew who it would be. Of course he would follow her out here. He always followed her, always knew. How could he still know her like that, after all this time?
“James,” she whispered.
“Hey, Lils.” He said it casually, with a kind of lightness that Lily envied. Clearly he was not as affected by her because she knew she couldn’t match that level of lowkey.
With a deep breath, she turned around to face him and found him leaning against the door, watching her. His posture was casual and calm, but she saw something else in his eyes entirely. Some forced guard hiding the emotions he usually left in plain sight.
“Why’d you come out here, James?” Despite any attempts at casualness, her voice came out as nothing less than desperate.
“Why did you, Lily?” He sounded like he was trying very hard to not shout the words at her.
“I don't know,” she looked down, “I don’t know anything anymore. The room was getting hot and uncomfortable, I just needed… air I guess”
“That’s exactly what you told me you needed that night.” he sounded less angry, more defeated. “You asked me to come get some air with you, that the party was getting too ‘hot, busy, and uncomfortable’ so I took you to the roof to look at the stars.” Now James was the one refusing to meet her eyes. Staring pointedly at something behind her left shoulder.
“I remember,” she whispered, “James, that night. I am so sorry.” the words were pouring out of her now, desperately trying to escape and explain what she’d been trying to figure out for the past five years.
“James, you meant so much to me. Mean so much to me. I was just… scared,” she explained pathetically, feeling vulnerable and weak. He searched her face with his eyes and she wrapped her arms around herself, trying to hold herself together.
“Scared of what, Lily? Me? You know I would never hurt you. You meant everything to me. And I thought we were finally in the same place, finally in a place where we could admit that, without the pressure and expectations of school and then you just, rejected me. Rejected me without an explanation or reason or a backward glance you just… left. You left me alone up there.” There was no anger left in his voice, just hurt and pain.
She couldn’t stand to see that pain in his eyes, knowing she had caused it. She took a step forward, reaching out an arm to his shoulder and then quickly bringing it back to her side without touching him.
“You meant everything to me too, James, you did! You still do! I just wasn’t ready. I could handle the pressure at school, but I couldn’t handle that in the world. We were just kids! I wanted you, of course I wanted you, but I didn’t think I could start something when we were just starting out on our own,” she was speaking fast, rushing to make him understand, “I was so scared, James. We were going to be starting new lives and I knew you deserved better than me but I couldn’t take it. I was being stupid. I was stupid and scared and I blamed it on you and I am so sorry James, I would take it all back if I could. I was so stupid” she reached out for him now, gripping one of his hands between both of hers.
“What about after?” he whispered urgently, still looking at her with such intensity. “Why did it take so long and a random run in at a bar to make you tell me this?”
“I don't know, I assumed you moved on. I thought you might not want to see me, I was just scared and embarrassed that I ever pushed you away. But James, I am so happy I ran into you. I am so happy you came into that dive bar, whatever drew you there. It was inevitable and I am so sorry I ever did anything to stop it.” She reached one of her hands around the back of his head, fiddling with the hair at the nape of his neck, keeping his eyes level with hers. She felt her stomach flip as some of the guardedness leaked out, leaving behind so much emotion to show.
She knew whatever happened, whatever he said, she would never be the same. She couldn’t lose him again, she would never be able to go back to that bar. To look at his picture again. This would be the heartbreak time would never mend.
“Lily,” he brought the hand not holding hers up to wrap around her neck, thumb caressing her cheek. “If this is going to happen, you need to know that this is for good. I am not letting you walk away again.” He stared into her eyes honestly, looking for any hesitancy.
“There’s nowhere I’d want to go,” was all Lily could whisper before she pulled his head down and reached up to meet his lips in the middle.
They kissed softly for half a second before it turned hungry, passionate, strong, and utterly mind robbing. James was quick to switch their positions and hold her up against the door, pressing into her with all of his weight. She pulled him down harder, loving the feel of him against her, the smell of him, the feel of his hair in between her fingers.
He groaned her name out as she pulled at his hair, which she responded to by nipping lightly at his lower lip. He reached an arm around her lower back to pull her in closer, holding her up as he began to travel, down her neck. Kisses punishing and powerful and so James. With him working on her pulse points she was left to pull at his hair and whisper his name heatedly, about to yank his mouth back to hers by his hair-
“Well, well, well,” Sirius yanked the door to the balcony open, “what do we have here?”
James yanked his head away from hers to look at their intruder, but continued to hold her up against him as he shot the finger towards Sirius. Lily hid her red face in James’s shoulder as their friend laughed obnoxiously.
“Marlene, you’ll never guess who is ruining your balcony with their depraved sinfulness,” Sirius called over his shoulder, while James groaned, pushing his nose into Lily’s hair to hide.
“Guess we’ve run out of time,” Lily whispered into his ear.
“Nah, love,” James pulled away, grabbing his hands in hers and walking them backwards towards the balcony door Sirius had left open. “We’ve got forever.”
They walked back in to loud cheers and whistles from their friends, which quickly woke Peter up and he immediately began to cough up the few tortilla chip bits Remus had successfully thrown at him.
Lily felt embarrassed for half a second before looking up at the extremely fit bloke holding her hand. Suddenly she quite felt like cheering as well.