Day 23: Undone
When Cas was convalescing in the aftermath of Rowena’s attack dog spell, Dean told him to stick to “socially acceptable binge-watching. You know, The Wire, Game of Thrones”. And when he got back from the lead on Amara, Dean actually wrote out a list for him.
At the very bottom of the list, he included Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel.
After Cas watched both series, he concluded that Spike was an idiot. Spike said he loved Buffy, but when he came back from the dead after saving the world for her, he refused to go to her. All because he went out in a blaze of glory - he couldn’t top that exit.
Suffice to say, five years later, Cas no longer considers Spike an idiot.
After Jack pulls him out of the Empty, Cas returns to Broomfield, Colorado, under the name Emmanuel Allen. Thankfully, Daphne had already moved on to live on some sort of spiritual retreat in California. Cas gets himself a credit card the way Sam showed him and finds himself an apartment. He applies for jobs, and lists Garth Fitzgerald IV as his reference because he assumes word of his death didn’t get that far outside of the immediate Winchester circle.
Sure enough, his risk pays off; he gets the forty-eighth job he applies for, a position at the local library. It’s part time and suffering from endless budget cuts, but it’s something to occupy his day.
He checks out cookbook after cookbook at the library and finally learns how to feed himself and resolves never to buy a previously-frozen burrito again.
He attends the library classes on computer literacy because, while he knows how to hack into traffic cameras and police records, those are very specific activities and are not very relevant to the daily life of a part-time librarian.
He doesn’t contact the Winchesters at all. This way, Dean will remember him fondly. He won’t have to deal with any of the messy reality of having a best friend - if Cas even deserves that title any more - who loves him.
Cas can’t risk it all being undone by crashing back into Dean’s life. He accomplished something special with that final speech; he feels it in his bones. But if he reenters Dean's life, who's to say Dean wouldn't start to fear him and feelings, resent his presence, and doubt everything in their friendship leading up to that point?
When Christmas comes, Garth sends him his only Christmas card, and Cas tapes it to his fridge. It makes him smile every time he walks past it for a solid week.
On Dean’s birthday, Cas sends a card to their PO Box in Lebanon. He doesn’t sign it, but he wishes Dean well and includes a fifty dollar bill.
In May, his coworkers surprise him with a small cake for his one year work anniversary and put him in charge of their upcoming Pride month display.
Cas had thought he had known about human dignity and experienced the satisfaction of a job well done at the Gas ‘n Sip, but that was nothing compared to how it feels at closing on May 31, staring at his mid-sized display of books with queer themes, both fiction and nonfiction.
But, of course, the next morning, the sky opens up and walnut-sized balls of hail rain down. Cas, already in the library, watches with dwindling hope as fewer and fewer people pass by the doors. Nobody stops inside.
Cas checks his phone, frowning as he opens an email from Anisha explaining that she’ll be late because of a local power outage. She suspects the hail messed with a powerline in her neighborhood.
Sighing, Cas sets down his phone and picks up his latest book, a paranormal romance between two vampires over the centuries. It’s amazing how many ways humans have spun the vampire myth. It seems like the only thing they all have in common is the blood drinking.
The door opens just as Cas reaches the first sex scene, and Cas looks up.
A figure with his jacket raised over his head hurries inside, swearing under his breath. Once safely inside, Dean Winchester lowers his coat, staring around.
Cas ducks behind his book.
“Hey,” Dean calls, his footsteps getting closer. “Rough weather out there.”
Cas’s pulse thunders in his veins as his mind clouds with panic. What he wouldn’t give to have his wings back so he could simply fly away.
“The blackout fried my laptop,” Dean continues, “so can I use one of yours?”
Cas steels himself. Cas can do this. He can pretend Dean is just another patron.
Cas lowers his book, forcing his gaze away from Dean’s (beautiful) face, and instead at the blank space over Dean’s right shoulder. “Of course,” he says. “Do you already have a login and password?”
Dean doesn’t answer, and Cas finally has to look at him.
Dean’s mouth has fallen open in shock, and all the blood has drained from his face. His knuckles clench his folded jacket with bone-white knuckles.
Cas coughs lightly. “Are you alright?”
Dean blinks rapidly a few times, his lips pressed tight together. “Fine,” he says through gritted teeth. He sucks in stuttering breath. “The login?”
“Of course,” Cas says quickly, grateful for the excuse to focus on the computer and answer the queries the library program requires for temporary computer usage. He writes out the credentials and hands over the slip of paper. “Use this username and password for 30-minute access. If you require the internet for longer than a half hour, please come back to see me and I can renew your session.”
Dean nods stiffly, spins on his heel, and takes off in the direction of the computers.
Cas lets out a silent sigh of relief and picks his book back up, but he might as be reading it backwards for all the sense it makes. Over the edge of the pages, he watches Dean sit at a computer on the far side of the table, so he almost faces Cas at the checkout desk.
It doesn’t take Cas long to figure out Dean is sneaking peeks at him over the computer monitor just about as often as Cas does over his paranormal romance.
At the end of an excruciating thirty minutes, Dean makes his way back to Cas. “I need to renew my session,” he says gruffly.
As he clicks through the renewal process, Dean asks, his voice almost casual, “I’m new in town, but have I seen you around before?”
Cas shakes his head. A little too quickly, judging from Dean’s expression.
“Are you sure?” Dean presses. “Maybe somewhere in Kansas?”
Cas just stares, trying to keep his expression as blank as possible.
“Look, I don’t know-”
Dean breaks off as the door opens, and Anisha comes rushing in. “So sorry, Emmanuel!” she shrugs off her coat and ducks behind the counter. “First was the power. Somehow getting the kids ready for school takes twice as long in the dark. Then the car died. And will you believe a sinkhole opened just as I was leaving the house?” She swipe a hand through her dark hair.
After a beat, Cas says, “That sounds arduous.”
“You’re telling me,” Anisha says with feeling. “I’m just gonna go get coffee across the street since it seems like you’ve got everything handled,” she says, gesturing around the empty reading spaces, except for Dean. “You want a latte or something?”
“I’m fine, thank you.”
As Anisha leaves, Dean blurts, “Your name is Emmanuel?”
Cas tries to look offended instead of terrified. “Yes?”
“You’re serious?” Dean demands, taking a step closer, his eyes narrowed. “You’re name is - are you fucking with me?”
Cas swallows. “I am not fucking with you,” he lies.
He’ll have to leave. Once Dean leaves the library, Cas will leave town. How the hell Dean stumbled across him, Cas has no idea and no intention of ever figuring out, just as long as it doesn’t happen again.
Cas’s plan sounded so perfect at the outset. Leave Dean with all the good, none of the bad. Never contact Dean again.
But he never, ever, contemplated Dean finding him anyway.
Dean opens his mouth, probably to order Cas to stop pretending, but his phone rings instead. He pulls it out of his pocket, frowning at the screen. “We’re not done,” he says to Cas, “but is there somewhere I can take this? Where I won’t get concussed by falling ice cubes?”
Cas nods to the storytime room, obviously empty of young students and toddlers. “Feel free to take your call in there.”
“Thanks,” Dean mutters, already accepting the call.
Cas once again picks up his book, but he can’t focus on a single word with Dean in the next room over.
Cas frowns. He would have noticed if there were signs of demons in his city.
“’M telling you, there’s something weird going on. First, I come to check out a haunting for a house that doesn’t goddamn exist.”
Cas can say with pretty much all assurance that there is no ghost activity in Broomfield.
“Then this freak hail storm knocks out the power in my motel, so I head to the library - yes, bitch, I went to the fucking library. It’s free. If Starbucks’ wi-fi didn’t cost a ten dollar cup of coffee, I’d go there instead.”
Based on the movement of his shadow, Dean is pacing in the storytime room.
“I guess it could be amnesia, again, but I can’t just up and call Rowena for a memory spell or something.”
“Or maybe he is just pretending to get me out of his hair as soon as possible,” Dean says, his tone low and rough. “It looks like he’s been here a while, calling himself Emmanuel. Like last time, which makes me think it’s not a mind wipe situation.”
Cas leans over his desk, straining his ears.
“I can handle him -”
A long pause, and, “Who the hell would he be hiding from?” Dean demands. “No angel has heard of him for a year. No demons either. Who else but us? But me?” He makes a noise of pure disgust. “No, no, don’t fly back from Ireland - Eileen would kill you. I can hold my own. If,” Dean’s breath hitches, “if it does turn out to be Cas, I’ll let you know.”
Cas barely has time to pick up his paperback before Dean stalks back out of the storytime room.
“You never gave me the renewal code,” he says shortly as he stops in front of Cas.
Cas clears his throat. “You don’t need a new code,” he says. “I’ve already authorized your computer to start another session.”
“Oh,” Dean says, “thanks.” But he doesn’t move back to the computer table. Instead, he stays where he is, staring at Cas like he can figure out Cas’s true identity by memorizing the slope of his nose and exact shade of his eyes.
“Is there anything else I can help you with?” Cas asks tentatively.
Dean purses his lips. “Not really - it’s just you look just like an old friend of mine.”
Cas mouth goes dry, a lump forming in the back of his throat. “Oh?”
“Yeah,” Dean says, meeting his gaze squarely. “I thought he died about a year ago.”
“I’m sorry,” Cas says because that is the sort of thing humans say in these situations.
Dean huffs a sigh. “Yeah, well, I was really broken up after he went.”
Despite his better instincts, Cas has to ask, “You were?” which is just an objectively stupid question. Of course Dean was upset - they had been friends, best friends for many years. Cas basically knows the answer already, but that doesn’t stop him from needing to heat it from Dean’s mouth himself.
“Course,” Dean says, giving him a funny look. “He - well,” he restarts, “before all that, he dropped some pretty big bombshells. I - uh, didn’t exactly catch on quick enough to tell him all the things I should’ve before it all went down the way it did.”
Cas leans forward. “Like what?”
Dean’s eyes flash. “Like the fact that he was such a fucking dumbass - more dumb, definitely more ass - for keeping all that shit to himself for so damn long.”
Cas reels back.
But Dean’s just getting started. “I can’t say that I would have held hands and skipped off into the sunset, but he didn’t even give me a chance! Yeah, I probably would have smashed some furniture and poisoned half my liver, but, newsflash, buddy, I did that anyway. And by the time I got my head screwed on straight, came to terms with a bunch shit I never thought I could, guess what? He was still fucking dead.”
Cas drops his gaze. “I’m sorry.”
“Are you sorry?” Dean says, rapping his knuckles on the counter and making Cas jump. “’Cause it seems like you’re just living some fantasy life in goddamn Colorado.” He rubs a hand down his face, stepping back like he can’t even stand to be in Cas’s personal space anymore. “So what was it, Cas? Were you lying the whole time, or did you just plain change your mind?”
“Change my mind?” Cas repeats, his brow furrowing, only catching his slip after the words left his mouth.
But Dean’s angry expression doesn’t waver, even in getting Cas to crack. “Yeah, since you obviously don’t care enough to drop a fucking line that you’re not stuck in some hell dimension.”
Cas blinks. “That’s why you think I didn’t contact you?”
“Why else?” Dean demands, a challenging glint to his eye.
Cas opens his mouth, trying to find the right words for probably the most ridiculous plan he ever made in his long life. “Well, it sounds stupid now.”
“Try me,” Dean says, his expression stony.
Cas sighs. “Do you remember Buffy the Vampire Slayer?”
Incensed, Dean snarls, “What the fuck does Buffy the Vamp-”
“Do you remember or not?” Cas asks testily.
“Of course I do.”
“You remember, in the season finale, Spike dies for Buffy? He sacrifices himself so she can live and continue to save the world. The next season, in Angel, he comes back from the dead.”
“Uh huh,” Dean says, so far looking mostly unimpressed.
Which is fair, Cas probably shouldn’t have read this deeply into his parallels with a television show geared for teenagers whose brains are not nearly finished developing.
“He doesn’t tell her he was resurrected because he didn’t want to undo all they had together.”
Dean slams both hands down on the counter, glaring. “Why the hell would telling me you weren’t being tortured by a primordial entity for all eternity undo jack shit?”
Cas sighs. “Because once I told you I was back, you’d have to deal with the reality of knowing me. Wholly and completely, for the first time.” He isn’t sure he’ll ever be ready for that. “And who’s to say if you’d be able to separate this version of me from what we had before?”
Dean stands there, stunned. “You’re right, that is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard,” he declares.
Cas slumps back in his seat.
“I love you, you moron,” Dean says with a grimace, as Cas jerks his head back up. “And I had to figure it all out alone. Fat lot of good it did, since by the time I could admit it to myself, you were long gone,” he pauses, finishing in a disgusted voice, “to Colorado.”
“I had no idea,” Cas says faintly.
“Not a huge surprise, flight risk,” Dean says, rolling his eyes.
“Do you mean it?”
“I can’t prove it by getting sucked into hell, so you’re gonna have to take my word for it,” Dean says gruffly.
“Look, if that’s your only hangup to coming back,” Dean says over him, “Will you come home?” He shifts his weight to his other foot, looking nervous. “It’s not gonna be perfect, and I’m probably still going to fuck it up - not as bad as you just did, by the way - but I’d like to try. Get to know the real you, although he doesn’t seem all that different from the guy who left me in that basement.”
Cas cautiously reaches out to cover Dean’s hands, still braced on the counter, with his own. “I’d like nothing better.”
“Great!” Jack says, appearing out of nowhere, making Dean jump. “I thought I was going to have to snow you in. In June, can you believe it?” He glances at the two of them, smiling. “Do you want to get breakfast? I’m feeling waffles.”
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Beetober 2021 Day 23 - Misjudged
Jiang Cheng doesn’t quite know what to expect of his visit at Qinghe Nie and so he tries to keep his expectations low. It’s likely that it’s not even an official invite from Nie Mingjue—no matter what the letter said—and that it instead comes from Nie Huaisang who is simply bored and wants to see Jiang Cheng.
That—wouldn’t be fine at all, actually, because Jiang Cheng has other things to do than to cater to Nie Huaisang’s every whim, but he shouldn’t get angry before he even knows what’s up.
Maybe it was Nie Mingjue who extended the invitation, who wants to see him. Even if that should be the case Jiang Cheng doubts that it’s for anything more besides keeping some friendly relations going.
It not like Jiang Cheng can expect any help from the other Great Sects, he learned that the hard way already.
It still stings that Lan Xichen, Jin Guangyao and Nie Mingjue formed a brotherhood without even thinking about him, and Jiang Cheng is more than aware of the dire situation it leaves him and his Sect in.
If the other three want Yunmeng Jiang to be gone there is nothing that can stop them now.
Jiang Cheng and his people land in front of the great entrance to Qinghe, and Jiang Cheng remembers the last time he was there. That particular visit had ended with blood and betrayal and the war happened soon after, so he can’t say they are good memories.
Nie Huaisang is waiting for him when they touch down and something bitter twists in Jiang Cheng’s gut.
So Nie Mingjue thinks himself above even greeting Jiang Cheng. This visit will be an absolute waste of Jiang Cheng’s time but when Nie Huaisang waves excitedly at him, he still drags up a smile.
“Jiang-xiong,” Nie Huaisang yells out and then almost immediately slaps a hand over his mouth, his eyes huge. “Jiang-zongzhu, please forgive my misstep,” he demurely says and Jiang Cheng rolls his eyes.
“That’s fine, Huaisang,” he tells him and sheathes Sandu.
“My brother, Nie-zongzhu, is sorry that he can’t greet you personally but there was a landslide a few hours ago. His help is desperately needed.”
“Yeah, sure,” Jiang Cheng says with a small frown because he doesn’t know what to think of that.
It sounds like a good enough explanation, but Jiang Cheng isn’t sure how hands-on of a leader Nie Mingjue really is. He was very good at commanding during the war, and at delegating but he also fought his own battles, so Jiang Cheng is conflicted.
“I’m supposed to entertain you with tea and snacks until he comes back, so if you would please follow me,” Nie Huaisang says, and what else can Jiang Cheng do but to follow.
He and his people trail after Nie Huaisang, until they reach a banquet room, where the tables are already set.
Nie Huaisang does keep them entertained for most of the afternoon and while Jiang Cheng enjoys the company of his friend—and the endless gossip he seems to have—he can’t help but to think that this will be a pointless visit.
There are a million things he could have done back in Lotus Pier and now there will be a million more waiting for him when he comes back. Jiang Cheng can’t say that he’s looking forward to that, especially if this visit doesn’t even get him a trade agreement or two.
“Da-ge!” Nie Huaisang yells out and Jiang Cheng is startled out of his thoughts.
“Huaisang,” Nie Mingjue greets him with a nod and then comes to a stop in front of Jiang Cheng. “Jiang-zongzhu, please excuse my lateness. It’s an honour and a joy having you here,” he formally greets Jiang Cheng go scrambles to get up as fast as he can.
“Nie-zongzhu, there is nothing to excuse. Thank you for your hospitality.”
He hopes he’s doing everything alright; this is the first time another Sect has officially invited him since he became Sect Leader and he can’t afford to upset anyone, not right now.
Probably never, if he’s being honest. They can all count themselves lucky if Yunmeng Jiang doesn’t get swallowed whole by the other three.
“There was an issue with a landslide that needed my attention,” Nie Mingjue says as he waves him down to sit again and Jiang Cheng takes in his appearance.
Nie Mingjue does look like he just came straight from that landslide; there’s mud all over his robes and he looks positively dishevelled.
“Da-ge, you can’t greet our friend like that, go clean up,” Nie Huaisang says and whacks Nie Mingjue with the fan.
Or at least he tries to, because Nie Mingjue stops him mid-motion and then levels him with a look.
“I will freshen up, our guests will take a rest and you, Huaisang, will go to training for once.”
“Da-ge,” Nie Huaisang whines and Jiang Cheng thinks he’s not far off from stomping his foot.
“No arguments,” Nie Mingjue says, and his voice is hard. “Or we’ll cut down on your painting time.”
Jiang Cheng tries his best to appear small and unassuming but he can’t help but to wonder how Nie Huaisang stands it. Nie Mingjue is downright mean to him, and it’s clear that Nie Huaisang gets no joy at all out of sabre practice.
Jiang Cheng wonders what kind of cruel man would still force his brother to go.
“That’s so mean,” Nie Huaisang whines out and stomps away, leaving Nie Mingjue behind with the Jiang delegation.
“I apologize for the display,” Nie Mingjue says as he turns back around to Jiang Cheng. “Someone will lead you to your rooms, please take some time to rest or freshen up. We will meet again for dinner, if that’s alright with you.”
“Of course,” Jiang Cheng gives back, not that he really has another option.
They are led away to their guest rooms and Jiang Cheng takes the time until dinner to meditate. Soon enough he’s being summoned again but to his surprise he’s led into a small room, with tables for only two.
And Nie Mingjue is already waiting for him.
He’s still not in overly fancy robes, but he cleaned up nicely and it’s evident that he’s comfortable in the clothes he’s wearing right now.
“I hope you don’t mind,” Nie Mingjue says, clearly noticing Jiang Cheng’s gaze. “It felt pointless to put on other robes.”
Jiang Cheng briefly clenches his teeth, because this is probably another slight against him and his position, but he still sits down opposite of Nie Mingjue.
“Not at all,” he forces himself to say, and Nie Mingjue sighs.
“I don’t mean any disrespect,” he tells Jiang Cheng who is honestly just surprised that Nie Mingjue noticed.
“It—alright, I guess,” Jiang Cheng offers and Nie Mingjue gives him a small smile.
“Huaisang will join us later, he’s complaining about training and that he needs to soak in the bath now for a while,” Nie Mingjue informs him as he pours Jiang Cheng a tea.
“You were quite adamant that he trains,” Jiang Cheng dares to say and Nie Mingjue shrugs.
“He needs to know the basics. I don’t enforce a stricter routine because I know he doesn’t like it, but if push comes to shove—again—he needs to be able to defend himself. At the very least he needs to be able to safely fly away.”
That makes a disturbing amount of sense and Jiang Cheng guesses he would push Jin Ling to do the same, even if his nephew should show no inclination for the sword later in his life.
“I see,” Jiang Cheng lowly says, ashamed that he thought the worst of Nie Mingjue immediately.
“Listen, I’m not good with all the politics and fancy talks,” he tells Jiang Cheng who straightens up in response. “So I’ll just cut to the chase. I am aware that the brotherhood I am part of leaves you at a disadvantage.”
Jiang Cheng snorts at that, because that’s the understatement of the year, but he motiongs for Nie Mingjue to go on.
“It wasn’t—entirely voluntary on my part, if I’m being honest, and I regret where it leaves you.”
“It’s not like they held you down to swear with them,” Jiang Cheng bitterly mutters and Nie Mingjue winces.
“That’s true. But I don’t trust Jin Guangyao, not anymore, and Xichen convinced me that this is the best way to keep an eye on him. I should have thought about it a bit longer, because then I would have refused him, but I was blinded by that argument and by my wish to not disappoint Xichen. It was a mistake,” Nie Mingjue honestly admits and Jiang Cheng blinks at him.
“A mistake,” he repeats.
“A mistake I’m looking to rectify. I can’t get out of it now, but there are other options. I talked it over with Huaisang, and he would be willing to be your sworn brother if you’d like.” Jiang Cheng is about to say something when Nie Mingjue raises his hand at him. “I know that leaves you at a disadvantage still, because Huaisang is only my heir, so I had another thought. A courtship.”
“Between me and Huaisang?” Jiang Cheng asks, and he’s not entirely against it, but he can honestly never see himself fall in love with Nie Huaisang.
Well, maybe a friendship is better than nothing, Jiang Cheng thinks.
“Between you and me,” Nie Mingjue says and Jiang Cheng almost drops his cup, he’s so surprised.
“Excuse me, what?”
“It would be the most beneficial to you,” he explains. “You’d get me as your spouse and my brothers as your brothers. We would all be connected and you’re no longer isolated.”
“And you would be okay with that,” Jiang Cheng challenges him and Nie Mingjue very obviously looks him up and down.
“There are by far worse choices. Besides, I saw you during the war, and I took note of you back then. You’re a fierce fighter and so far you seem to be a good leader. We’ll have to see if we are compatible in a romantic sense but that’s what the courtship is for. Either way, it would be good for you.”
“And what do you get out of it?” Jiang Cheng demands to know, because this almost seems to good to be true.
“Peace of mind,” Nie Mingjue says with a shrug. “And maybe a husband who can kick ass,” he adds with a grin and Jiang Cheng is powerless against that.
“I misjudged you,” he admits as he puts his cup down. “And I apologize for that.”
“How so?” Nie Mingjue wants to know and he sounds curious more than angry.
“I thought Huaisang asked me here to come. Or that you wanted to play nice for an evening before sending me away again, still as unconnected as before.”
“No. Never,” Nie Mingjue promises and Jiang Cheng nods.
“I can see that.” He takes a deep breath before he goes on. “I accept your courtship.”
Now it’s Nie Mingjue’s time to blink in surprise at him.
“Well, that was easier than expected,” he finally says and Jiang Cheng shrugs, taking his time to look Nie Mingjue over.
“There are by far worse choices,” he echoes his earlier words. “And not many good options for me,” he then also admits, because Nie Mingjue needs to know that, too.
“I know, and I apologize for that. I will probably never stop apologizing for it.”
“You can if we marry,” Jiang Cheng tells him and then smiles at him. “If we make it that far.”
“Oh, I’m definitely willing,” Nie Mingjue says and raises his cup with a huge grin of his own and Jiang Cheng doesn’t hesitate to click his own glass against it.
This might not be what he imagined would happen during his visit, but he’s very far from complaining.
It seem like this could be good.
Link to my ko-fi on the sidebar!
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This just occurred to me....
If I were to write an AU where Daisy is Coulson and May's long-lost biological daughter and they only meet after she's named herself Skye, would it be too contrived for May to say she always wanted to call a daughter "Daisy", and that's how this version of Skye becomes Daisy? Or should I just this have version of the character become something like "Skye Coulson" as a way of driving the point home that she's not the Daisy we know from canon.
Am I overthinking this?
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To those of my followers that care…I have been a die hard ND fan since 3rd grade. I am such a purist when it comes to literature and movie/tv adaptations. The fact that I have diverged from the original canon.
THE. FACT. THAT. I. SHIP. NACE.
People I know irl are confused. Lol. That is how mature and healthy Nace is. Also the chemistry…
You can see it on a girl when she feels safe with a guy, and I eat that shit up.
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For Better, For Worse
C5: Army Steve, for @steverogersbingo
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There’s no feeling quite like having to take the “canon divergence” tag off of one of your fics because a retcon canonised your divergence.
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Chat, honey? I don’t think this is a pun war you can win ^^;
DO NOT REPOST!
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Here's how I would’ve wrapped up ATLA:
That kiss at the end? Never happened. Instead, it ends with the Gaang gathered together on the balcony (Aang, Sokka, Suki, Katara, and Zuko).
Katara stays behind in the Fire Nation because she's worried about Zuko's scar from Azula. Katara becomes an ambassador and spends time between the South Pole and Fire Nation. She and Zuko bond further and they as much of their free time together as they can.
Mai and Zuko's reconciliation doesn't last long when they see how much they've changed and that their feelings aren't the same, so they amicably split up. Mai does suspect that Zuko has feelings for Katara when she sees how well they get along and she surprises herself because she doesn't feel angry about it and this goes to prove that she and Zuko's feelings for each other don't exist anymore and that it was just a childhood romance.
Katara realizes that her feelings for Aang are purely sibling-like and she feels guilty for it but doesn't give any romance between her or Aang a chance because she knows it wouldn't be fair for either of them. She tries make up for her non-reciprocated feelings by staying as loyal to him as much as she can but he still tries to pursue a relationship with her. He gets jealous of her and Zuko's growing relationship and is frustrated that she still won't give him a chance since the war is over now. Eventually Katara's patience wears thin and she finally snaps at him. This causes a strain in their relationship and Aang does start to think that the problem lies with him.
Katara helps Zuko find his mother and is there for him the whole time and after he finally finds her and her family. Their partnership in the journey cements their feelings for one another. When the assassination attempts start up, they both fear losing each other and finally admit their feelings. Because of the fragility of their situation, they keep their relationship secret. Soon, when things are calming down, they make their relationship known to the Gaang and Zuko's inner circle of counselors.
Aang is, of course, devastated. As much as he knows Katara doesn't feel the same for him, he's still heartbroken and is jealous. His turmoil gets the best of him during a training session and he butts heads with Katara and Zuko and the others for his outburst. Aang talks with the past avatars and he sees how happy Zuko and Katara are together and all the good that comes from their relationship. He comes to terms with the realization that he needs to change and work on himself and he decides to travel alone for some time to reflect. Before he departs he apologizes and things between him and Zuko and Katara are left with hope.
Zuko and Katara date for a couple of years until Katara's sixteen and Zuko's eighteen when Zuko proposes. Katara of course accepts. They are officially betrothed but their wedding takes place once Katara is eighteen because there's still work to be done and they're both still young. When they are married and Katara becomes Fire Lady, the political atmosphere is significantly improved: Katara has become beloved by the people for her kindness and good deeds and she's accepted as a major influence, equal to the Fire Lord. Zuko and Katara's relationship is also accepted as a peaceful union between the Fire Nation and Water Tribes and they're made an example of balance and prosperity between differing elements.
When Zuko and Katara do finally marry, Aang has grown a lot. He is one of Zuko and Katara's biggest supporters and he is able to atone for his past behaviors and do better, thus starting a new and better friendship with Katara and Zuko. Zuko and Katara are the ones to ask him to be the one to officiate them, since he's the Avatar and it's a perfect compromise between their cultures' different customs. Aang happily accepts and he does his job perfectly.
Zuko and Katara have their first child two or three years after they marry. They end up with five kids in total: Kya, Reo, Izumi, Iroh II, and Aya.
Aang is named Kya's godfather and he's a devoted (and silly) uncle to all five kids.
Since they both have grown a lot and are now adults, Aang and Toph reconnect and they develop feelings for each other. They eventually marry and have kids of their own who grow up as friends with Zuko & Katara and Suki & Sokka's kids.
When the kids are all grown up and they've grown old, Zuko abdicates the throne in favor of Kya, who he thinks is now ready to take the reigns. Zuko and Katara retire to the Southern Water Tribe but they do visit the Fire Nation now and then to see how things are going and to see their family (their kids visit them at the South Pole as well). When Aang passes and Korra is born, Zuko and Katara are the ones to train her and send her to the Fire Nation to further training with their kids and grandkids once Korra is old enough. From there, Korra goes to Republic City to join Aang and Toph's kids and their families.
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I have this really complicated Star Wars AU fix it that, at its core, boils down to this:
Fox, visiting the temple:
The entire Jedi council, delighted: Commander Fox, how wonderful! We’ve been wanting to get to know you better and-
Fox, borrowing Master Nu’s lightsaber: Senate’s haunted
Jedi Council and Quinlan Vos: What?!
Fox, dueling the chancellor and killing him, ending the war: Senate’s haunted
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"I promise, I will always be your side."
PLEASE DO NOT REPOST! REBLOG ONLY!!
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Day 22: Birthday
Claire steps out of Jay Street Diner with relief. It wasn’t a bad morning shift, overall. She overheard a few out-of-towners gossiping about a weird death a couple cities over that she’ll check out tonight. Plus, she only had to deal with one creep who stared at her ass and just ordered black coffee. Jody’ll be happy; Claire didn’t stab him in the neck with a steak knife when he called her sweetheart.
Outside, she takes a deep breath of air that doesn’t smell like pancake syrup and bacon and pulls out her phone. The screen lights up with no new texts from Cas, even though he usually makes plans for lunch by now. But no, the last thing he sent her was a link to a video of a cat walking across a piano three days ago.
She pockets her phone, irritated. Whatever. It means her afternoon is free after all.
Claire looks up and stops dead in her tracks.
The Impala idles next to the curb.
Dean grins as he spots her, leaning over to roll down the passenger-side window. He calls, “Get in, loser, we’re going shopping!”
A smile tugs a her lips. What a dork. “What the hell are you doing here?”
Dean scoots back into the driver’s seat. “I’m taking you shopping. I swear, it’s like you don’t even listen when I’m talking.”
Claire yanks open the door and clambers in the Impala. As Dean starts the engine, she says, “I thought Cas was gonna pick me up.”
“Cas is busy.”
“I dunno, Cas things. I don’t have him on a leash.”
Claire throws him a look. “You sure about that?”
Dean frowns as they slow for a red light. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
Claire rolls her eyes. Her texts with Cas are usually about stupid things like Cas’s garden behind the Bunker and his recent obsession with Thai food. But whenever they meet up in person, especially lately, he can’t shut up about Dean.
About Dean’s high cholesterol level, which Cas can’t do anything about because he’s not an angel anymore.
About the new movie Dean insisted he watch; had she heard of it? The Avengers?
About Dean, Dean, Dean.
Hopefully Cas doesn’t act that desperate in front of him. Claire almost feels sorry for Cas.
But she gets it, kind of. Dean isn’t that bad. He gave her her first gun (even though he took it back at the end of the hunt). He’s one of the best hunters in the world, from the stories Jody and Cas tell. He’s weirdly overprotective of her in a way that Cas isn’t because Cas judges that kind of behavior as too father-like and overstepping. Claire doesn’t mind, though, not exactly. But she’d rather face a dozen werewolves on the full moon than tell that to Dean's face.
“Are we really going shopping?” Claire asks, slumping in her seat. If she has the afternoon free, she’d much rather check out suspicious death those customers were talking about over breakfast.
Dean lifts one shoulder in a half-shrug. “Not if you don’t want to. I could do it tomorrow, I guess.” He glances at her out of the corner of his eye. “But you’ve got a free ride. Where do you want to go?”
“With an old geezer like you? You’ll ruin all my street cred.” Claire turns to him as Dean scowls in exasperation. “What are you doing up here anyway? You live in Kansas.”
Dean taps his fingers against the wheel, casting a sidelong look at her. “A hunt, actually.”
What the fuck? And he thought he’d take her shopping?
“What are you hunting?” she demands eagerly.
“Woah,” Deans says, eyes widening. “Slow down, Polly Pocket. I don’t have a lot of intel yet.”
“I could help.”
Dean snorts. “I bet.”
“Seriously,” Claire insists, “I took out two shifters by myself a week and a half ago.”
Dean’s fingers clench on the wheel. “You what?” he asks, his voice oddly quiet.
“Yeah,” Claire says smugly. “One of them actually stole my face, so I got them to turn on each other. Smart, right?”
“But you were careful?”
Claire huffs. “Hunting isn’t a careful sort of gig.”
She pushes her hair back from her face and stares out the windshield. “I mean, I guess. A few bruises, you know the drill.” She turns back to him. “So what kind of monster are we looking at?”
Dean chuckles. “You’re like a dog with a bone, I swear. If I didn’t know better, I’d say you really were Cas’s kid.”
Claire rolls her eyes. Dean, still, is the only person who doesn’t shy away from referencing the fact that Cas is wearing her dad’s face in normal conversation. Cas only does it if they’re having a talk.
She’ll never tell Dean how much she appreciates it.
“Fine,” Dean grumbles. “I’ll tell you over lunch. How’s that? I’m starving.”
“I could eat,” Claire says. “No diner food, though.”
“I can work with that,” Dean says as he takes a left turn. Soon, too soon, they’re pulling up in front of the Lemongrass Cafe.
They get out of the car, but Claire stops outside of the restaurant. “Wait,” she says, staring up at the sign with narrowed eyes. “Thai food - Cas off on some suspicious errand - zero mention of my birthday the whole way over, like you’re actively avoiding bringing it up.”
Dean is edging towards the door, a sheepish expression on his face.
Claire glares at him. “Is there a surprise party in there?”
Dean’s mouth opens, but no words come out. Bingo. Caught.
Claire throws up her hands. “You guys know I have no friends, right? Apart from, like, Alex and Kaia? Maybe Patience on a good day?”
“No, I mean, yes, but - fuck,” Dean fumbles, “You know what I mean.”
“I really don’t,” Claire says flatly, crossing her arms over her chest. Spending her afternoon cooped up with a bunch of strangers Cas wrangled together on her behalf isn’t her idea of a good time.
“Look,” Dean says in a low voice, pulling her off to the side and out of view of the restaurant windows. “He really wanted to do this for you. It’s been exactly five years since you went on your first hunt with us and, I guess, he wanted to celebrate that too.”
Claire’s heart twinges, despite herself. “Oh.”
“Anyway,” Dean says, subtly jerking his head back to the door, “he invited a bunch of our younger generation contacts - Krissy, Tracy, Max, and a few others - because you need more friends who you can talk to about this sort of stuff. Every person in there is a hunter. Maybe you’ll get a partner out of it. Who knows.”
Claire unwinds her arms. “Fine, I’ll do the stupid party.”
Dean claps her on the back, a shade too hard. As she glares up at him, he says with a grin, “That’s the spirit, Scream Queen.”
“But I’m not doing a stupid surprise face,” Claire says. “I figured it out, after all.”
“Sure,” Dean says easily. He opens the door for her, saying out of the corner of his mouth, “By the way, Cas and I are dating now.”
Claire’s mouth falls open as the whole restaurant shouts, “Surprise!”
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Prodigal Son (AU description below)
When the King learns of his young son's love affair, he uses it as a reason to remarry by getting rid of the boy and his first wife, both of whom he sends away, separating his son from his lover.
To ensure no shame befalls the family, he forces his son's lover to join his regiment, to keep him as his loyal servant, and in return he would allow the boy's kin to live. His son in turn was made to believe that his lover had chosen power and wealth over him.
Seventeen years later, his son returns with the intention of 0verthr0wing the reg!me, and he succeeds. He captures and impr!sons all of his father's council, including the man whom he had given his heart to.
This is the first meeting between the two lovers after years of separation.
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mcgonagall: harry was in a fight.
sirius: oh no, that’s terrible!
sirius: did he win?
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Hey, I had send this ask before but I think tumblr ended up eating it.
Anyways, I wanted to know if you know any fics similar to "The boy and the beast"? In the way that it's rewritten in a different way the beginning of the series.
It's really nice to have a place to go to find new sterek fics and I'm really grateful for the work you put in it. Lots of love!!!
Some canon rewrite for you.
The Boy and the Beast by Dira Sudis (dsudis)
(7/7 I 116,686 I Mature I Sterek)
In which events in Beacon Hills go rather differently from the start, and a Beauty and the Beast (ish) story ensues. (Scott is not a teacup and no one sings about their feelings.)
Acting Like Pack by Sterektrashbag (vannybees)
(1/1 I 1,507 I General I Sterek)
Both caught by the Sheriff, Scott was never bitten. But Scott still lost his inhaler in the woods. Therefore, Stiles and Scott still met Derek Hale in them. In this context, Stiles ended up being there, late at night, when Chris Argent and his goons decided to threaten Derek at the local gas station.
Choose Again by gryvon
(3/? I 6,131 I Mature I Steter)
Stiles knows that searching for half a dead body by himself in the dark woods isn't the best plan ever, but that doesn't stop him. He even finds the dead body. Unfortunately, that's not all he finds.
The Alpha Thief by Triangulum
(1/1 I 15,357 I Teen I Steter)
Something changes around the time Peter turns thirty. His wolf becomes malcontent and angry. His control, impeccable since he was a child, starts to slip, that inner rage leaking out. Talia's iron clad control over the pack chafes him. He can't explain why, but it feels like his world shifts. Pack members he's grown up with suddenly leave with barely an explanation, without a goodbye. His parents' deaths, something that occurred over five years ago, suddenly feel raw, everything after their passing he remembers feeling stilted and wrong.
What if Malia's existence wasn't the memory Talia took from Peter? And what if memories weren't the only thing she stole?
I Was Broken Until you Fixed Me by WaitASecondWhat
(2/2 I 17,472 I Teen I Chris/Peter)
Peter was laughing and happy one second and then slammed with the alpha spark the next. He has to learn how to take care of Laura, Derek and Cora, after his whole family is killed in an ‘accident’. He had to juggle going to college to be a good role model, getting a job, and trying to find who murdered his family. And of course, his history teacher is none other than Chris Argent.
I Was A Teenage Werewolf by HaleHathNoFury (My_Trex_has_fleas)
(50/50 I 456,244 I Explicit I Sterek)
Stiles just knows he's going to get lost in the woods. There must be a Laura Palmer reference in there somewhere.
A fork in the road retelling of Teen Wolf where Stiles is the one to get bitten.
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NieLan week: Monday, Hurt/Comfort
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Hey!! Your recs are a blessing, thank you for putting the effort, much appreciated!
Would you know any fics similar to "the boy and the beast"? Where things start from the beggining of the series?
Thanks in advance!
Reblogging for the series that asterekmess is currently writing.
Stop There, and Let Me Correct It by Asterekmess (Livinginfictions) | 86K | Mature
When Stiles' late night stroll with his best friend ends in said friend being turned in a howling creature of the night, he does his best to cope with his now batshit crazy life.
The first installation in a series of episode-by-episode rewrites of Teen Wolf from Stiles' & Derek's perspective, including missing scenes as I imagine they might've been, and a few dialogue changes. Canon compliant for Season 1, but later seasons will be Canon Divergent.
Umm... Not so much. 🤷🏻♀️ Maybe in the canon divergent tag.
The Boy and the Beast by Dira Sudis (dsudis) | 116.6K | Mature
In which events in Beacon Hills go rather differently from the start, and a Beauty and the Beast (ish) story ensues. (Scott is not a teacup and no one sings about their feelings.)
Forging Bonds by mikkimouse | 27.5K
The loft was flooded, the water shimmering in the moonlight streaking through the huge windows. The twins held Derek on his knees, with his arms extended and claws out. Kali had Boyd, and she was dragging him toward Derek, and—
Stiles aimed at the twin closest to him and threw the Molotov cocktail as hard as he could.
(In which Stiles gets to the loft just a few minutes sooner in s3e7, and what happens because of it.
go home, or make a home by lady_ragnell | 7.4K
In a world where Derek lets Scott kill the Alpha and get the cure, he has to figure out how to rebuild his life, with help from Stiles.
According to Plans by eldee | 72.7K | Explicit
Five times Stiles and Derek pretend to be boyfriends, and the one time they didn't have to pretend at all. (Or: in which Stiles' plan for senior year is completely ruined by a supernatural creature stalking him.)
will to follow through by owlpostagain | 42.4K
“It depends entirely on how you look at it, I guess,” Stiles shrugs. “On the one hand, instant healing and the apparently inherited ability to pull off leather at all times. On the other, serious attitude problems and a suspicious disappearance of eyebrows.”
“Even Derek’s?” Danny snorts, “that’s a lot of eyebrow to lose.”
Important Things by suzvoy | 71.4K | Mature
Stiles learns that even with werewolves, giant lizards and psychopathic hunters on the loose, life can still find other ways to screw with you. Case in point: everyone keeps assuming he and Derek are a couple. What the hell?
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Tale as old as time...
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Tethered- Fred x Reader
‘Don’t ever scare me like that again’ kiss with Fred where he lives (I’ve been crying about it lately) xoxo @starofthedawn
Your chest was tied up in knots, eyes burning and bile rising in your throat. The dust that permeated the air felt like gravel in your airways and you couldn’t help the wet cough that slipped past cracked lips. Even as you blinked away the tears that were running out, the world remained blurry and unfocused.
After all, how could anything make sense when Fred was face down on the cobblestone. Pieces of the castle you two had called home burying him.
“Lost in my eyes again, Y/N?” Fred asked, a playful tilt to his mouth. You were in the library, head buried in a book and not at all gazing into Fred’s honeyed eyes. You must’ve not heard him come in so when you looked up and saw him you couldn’t help the warmth that blossomed in your chest.
You liked the way his lips were pulled up by an invisible thread as you finally took notice of him. It wasn’t quite a smile, but a familiar expression that you held dear to your heart. It was understated, especially for Fred Weasley, but the expression was one of his most sincere.
“Can’t help the fact you’ve got dreamy eyes, George,”
“Sod off,” Fred said with no real venom, sitting in the chair beside yours and kicking his feet up onto the table. He was lucky Madam Pince didn’t often come to this corner of the library, otherwise she’d have his head.
You stuck your tongue out at him, even daring to toss a quill at his head- but before you could he caught your hand and held on tight. Your bright grin wavered at the edges but that joy was still blooming in your chest. Suffocation was a sure thing.
“Everything okay, Freddie?” Voice soft, slow. You understood sometimes he just needed a hand to hold and you wouldn’t let yourself believe it was more than that. What it was, was Fred trusting you and needing you as a friend and that was more than enough.
He nodded, his eyelids heavy and his demeanor sluggish. He almost seemed like a sleepy cat but you could see the way his shoulders dipped as you posed your question.
Fred squeezed your hand as he sank down into his chair, knees now drawn to his chest in a protective ball. “Course I am, nothing could ever be wrong when I’ve got you to tether me to what’s good,”
Your knees buckled as you stumbled the last foot to where Fred lay. Unmoving, broken, probably not breathing- You shook your head wildly even as the tears burned and your brain ached. Just like every other wizard, every other soldier at Hogwarts today, you had your fair share of injuries but you felt the pain dull to nothing; Your vision tunneled to the familiar hand that stuck out from the rubble, the feather soft shock of red hair that was visible under all the grey, lifeless stone.
With a flick of your hand, some of the rubble broke loose and found themselves discarded on the burned and torn up grass ten feet from you. The panic pounding at your ribcage was only eased by the determination you felt to get Fred out of there, alive. There was no other option.
Waves would stand still without the moon, plants would dry up without water, and you would cease to be anything but a shell without Fred Weasley.
It had been an honest mistake at the time, George had tugged you away after class one day to an empty corridor and nearly begged you to ask Fred and put the both of you out of your “self sabotaging misery”. Problem was, all Katie Bell saw was George whisking you away somewhere private a week before the ball was to commence, both of you dateless.
By the time you had both gone to the great hall for lunch, your group of friends were deep into speculations.
“Going to the ball with Y/N then?” Fred fixed George with a look you couldn’t quite decipher but the shock of him thinking such a thing had you missing that usual twitch of his eye when he was aggravated.
George whipped his head to you in confusion but it went unnoticed when Lee said, “Great! Of course you two got dates before me,” gesturing wildly to the twins.
All of the confusion had your head spinning but hearing that Fred had a date to the ball made you steady again, the lead pit in your stomach anchoring you. Anyone would be a fool to not want to go with Fred.
“You’ve got a date?” You said a bit too loudly, eyes narrowed at Fred.
“Yeah, two minutes ago,” She snorted. “Guess he didn’t want George to beat him by too much of a landslide,”
George let out a too-loud laugh and tossed his arm back over your shoulders. “Take that Lee, we got two of the hottest girls in school to be our dates,”
“Go with me instead and I’ll buy you as many sugar quills as your heart desires, Y/N” Lee bargained and George swatted him on the back of a head with a faux glare.
You couldn’t help but snort at Lee’s antics, looking at George with gratitude. You could tell he was trying to talk you up, keep your heart from falling too far. However, his efforts couldn’t completely ease the ache in your chest. You were tethered to Fred and you didn’t think anything could change that.
You’d done your best to completely immobilize Fred when most of the rubble was removed, only some of the smaller chunks of wall now littered over his legs and back. The immobulus charm had to be enough to keep him stable. If he was still alive.
It was the uncertainty that kept you going in this moment. If there was even a slim chance Fred could be alive, you would do all you could to save him. You refused to lose him and that was that. You wished you could see his chest moving, or any sign of life but he was still too buried and the dust that settled over the battlefield made your eyes unfocused.
Even though the final battle had ended an hour or more ago, how long had it been since you’d found Fred?, you were shut off from any of the joy that the win could have brought you. If Fred wasn’t going to be there to celebrate then how could you?
“We’ve got to fix up the shop a-and get butterbeers,” You sniffled, trying to keep your hands from shaking as you worked your way through the rubble. You kept speaking as if holding Fred to his promises would bring him over the threshold and into your waiting arms.
“You’ve got to give me that birthday present you’ve been bragging about for months, and you’ve got to help me prank Lee for singeing my favorite sweater with one of your fireworks,”
And on and on you went, all of the promises Fred had ever made you falling from your lips as you pulled the last of the rubble from his body. One of his legs and all of the fingers on his right hand were bent at grotesque angles. There was a line of blood that started somewhere behind his hairline and trailed down his temple, dripping off of his jaw and onto the ruins he had nearly become a permanent part of.
You wouldn’t permit your legs to shake as you stood, the sun being further down in the sky than you remembered. The wave of your wand was light and methodical even as every step towards help weighed you down.
Time passed you without you taking note, the sun sank beneath the horizon and you stumbled your way through the dark. Eventually, you were taken off guard by the light of someone’s wand. Time caught up to you then as you stared with bleary eyes, trying to recognize the face before you but having a hard time sorting anything in your over exhausted brain.
“Help him,” Was all you had energy for, before darkness took over.
“...understand how she did it,”
“Poor girl must’ve....”
Conversations floated around your head as you lay cemented underneath the sheets that you had been securely wrapped in. You wanted nothing more than to swat them away like pesky flies, the voices weren’t loud but to you it was as if someone had put a speaker in the empty space of your skull and turned the volume up as high as it could go. Everything ached.
“Am I dead?” You croaked, eyelids still too heavy to even attempt opening.
Immediately, a woman nearly screamed and a cacophony of other voices rose up- both familiar and not.
“You look like you wish you were,” Someone joked to your left and your eyes snapped open so quickly you became dizzy. You felt frozen in place as honey eyes swept over you from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. Despite being covered from the chin down you felt as if you were being looked through. A shiver ran down your spine and it was followed by a deep ache that had you groaning despite the emotions bubbling up within you.
“Damn you Fred,” Was all you had to say before everyone else around you was clearing out. For a split second you felt guilt when you realized your parents as well as the Weasleys had come to stand beside you as you healed.
“I’ve come back from the brink of death and that’s what you have to say to me?” He teased but his voice was torn to shreds and you had the terrible image in your mind of him screaming for help until he lost consciousness. The blood drained from your face.
Fred seemed to take notice as he shuffled out of his bed that was right next to yours. He paused at the edge, fumbling for the crutches that were at his bedside. It felt like years the time it took for him to fall into the chair nearest you, his hand stretching for yours.
You moved pathetically against the sheets but in your weakened state you couldn’t grasp his hand. “Freddie,” You croaked, eyes filling with tears in frustration. You’d thought him dead and now you couldn’t even move a damn blanket to touch him, to make sure this wasn’t a dream.
“I’m here,” He reassured, moving the sheets on your side gently until your hand was free and you could tangle your fingers with his non-broken hand.
“I’ve been telling you for years now, you’re my tether. Just when I thought I was going to cross over, I heard you. All the promises we made, and all the chaos we have yet to make, all the things I haven’t said,” Fred’s bottom lip trembled as he brushed his thumb over your scabbed knuckles. You were faintly aware of a needle in your forearm, attached to an IV but all that mattered was the warmth you felt from Fred.
“You could break them all and I’d still be counting my lucky stars that you’re here,” You cried, falling into a coughing fit. Fred was quick to press a still cold glass of water into your hands and help you sit up even from his place on his chair.
“I’m not going anywhere,” He promised, hand remaining at the back of your neck as he settled you against your pillows. That genuine not-smile was back and you chewed on your lip to keep from crying again. You still weren’t sure he was here so any reminder that it was really him had you at a breaking point.
“Can you make me one more promise then?” You caught his gaze but found you couldn’t hold it, the intensity making your stomach swoop and your heart pound against your rattled ribcage.
Fred had yet to move, his hand steady behind you and his face close. Your noses were nearly touching as he said, “Anything.”
“Don’t scare me like that ever again,”
You chanced one more look at him, eyes wide and pleading. You were going to make him promise on everything in him but the rest of your words were lost when you stumbled over the loud adoration in his eyes. As if on autopilot, you removed your hand from his to brush your fingertips against a gash on his cheek.
“Never again,” He whispered, frozen in place. He didn’t dare move when you let your movements wander over his lips, taking your time before you let your hand fall against the junction of where his shoulder met his neck. Beneath the collar of the hospital gown you could see garish bruising that only served as another reminder you’d almost lost him.
That was enough to remind you that there was much unsaid between you and the man you loved. You could feel his shaky breath, his hand squeezing yours just enough that you felt the reassuring pressure. When you took your third look at those eyes, you knew.
You moved at the same time, in tune to one another in a way you always have been. It was with a sigh that your lips met, frightened and curious and wonderful. You were careful of his head would as you played with the hair at the back of his neck and he made sure not to move you anymore than tilting your head to slot your lips against his at a better angle.
Fred pulled away when his smile dared to take over his face but you couldn’t complain about the loss when you could feel his pulse beating strongly against your fingers, his chest moving steadily with life.
“I’m just as tied to you as you are to me,” You laughed softly, in disbelief.
Fred looked surprised for all but a second before he was placing his lips against yours, cautious but deliriously happy.
Waves swayed with the moon, plants flourished with water, and you were never far from Fred Weasley. Each were tethered to their counterpart and nothing could change it.
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Reverse transmigration wangxian where LWJ who cultivates to immortality found an old summoning array where mxy fails to summon wwx but the whole thing with JGY still got revealed. LWJ in his grief summons WWX in our modern world, and the rest is up to you :) Maybe get WWX some therapy and loving family and how different modern days people are
This one is a bit angsty and has vague descriptions of sex. Modern AU.
“The Tragedy of Wei Wuxian - The Man Behind the Legend”
Lan Wangji caresses the title of the book with a thumb, eyes tracing a name he has always held close to heart but hasn’t heard for a long time.
“We all know of Wei Ying, courtesy Wuxian as Yiling Laozu. He’s one of the first to cultivate successfully with ‘resentful’ energy. His theories and papers helped us develop a greater understanding of yin energy, Qi deviation, and resentful spirits. He was a visionary, a man ahead of his time, someone who thought outside the box and looked for solutions instead of sticking to the norm. He’s also the first known person to donate his Golden Core.”
Wangji looks away for a moment, remembering Wen Ning’s snarling face and Jiang Wanyin’s rage, denial, and guilt.
“But we don’t talk about what brought that great visionary down. Society, as it did with many great thinkers, turned against him. In his youth, Wei Wuxian was one of the most accomplished cultivators of his generation. No one knows exactly what happened for him to develop the so-called ‘Ghostly Path’. His loss of the Golden Core may have been a factor, but the actual circumstances are shrouded in mystery.
What follows after the War of the Five Great Clans, known as the Sunshot Campaign, is nothing short of a tragedy. Wei Wuxian saw injustice happening and decided to fight against it. Society tore him up for it. At that time, all actions against him were justified and considered righteous. Those actions don’t stand up to scrutiny under the modern lens. Like all great and radical thinkers, Wei Wuxian ideals made him the enemy and that led to this tragic death, along with the murder of innocent war prisoners he sought to protect. There are unconfirmed reports of there being a child among the Wens.”
Wangji’s eyes flicker over to a picture frame sitting on his desk, an image of Sizhui and Jingyi smiling up at him through the glossy image. They’re well, he knows. Last he heard from them, they were in South Korea and having a great time.
Sizhui must not know of this book or he would’ve called immediately, always so concerned about his a’die.
“It was later revealed that hunger for power and political maneuvering led to his death. When we study the historical records, it is obvious that the man was pushed into the corner and was forced to retaliate. Unfortunately, no one cared about his fate-”
“I did,” Wangji whispered to himself, thinking back on silver eyes in an indistinct face. He loved - still loves Wei Ying - but the physical aspects of him have long since faded from his memory. He sometimes remembers Wei Ying’s laugh. Sometimes, he dreams of his smile. He doesn’t recall what Wei Ying sounded like, only remembering his tone when he said ‘Lan Zhan.’
And yet, Lan Wangji hasn’t forgotten love.
He reads the book in silence, going through all 375 pages of it without pausing to eat or sleep. It tells the story of Wei Ying in stark, blunt terms. There are a few facts missing or erroneous. He wasn’t the adopted child of the Jiangs. There was certainly no unrequited love between Wei Wuxian and Jiang Yanli.
There’s very little mention of him. According to this book, Lan Wangji is a mere footnote in Wei Wuxian’s life; a childhood acquaintance, a disapproving comrade, and later a man who unraveled the truth because he pursued justice.
“He was just 23 years old when he died,” Wangji lingers over that statement, “23-year-olds are barely adults. They hold the promise of a bright future. They have so much potential inside of them. At 23, some people graduate from college, some take up their first serious job. At 23, young people fall in love and maybe form a life-long bond. Wei Wuxian became a key player in a big conflict at 17, he donated his core at 17. At 17, we still have children in high school. Our seventeen-year-olds aren’t even allowed to drink or drive. Our seventeen-year-olds are still protected and sheltered by their parents.
That is perhaps the biggest tragedy of Wei Wuxian’s life. He was only allowed to live a carefree life for seven years, from the day he was taken off the streets to the day the YunmengJiang Sect was attacked. After that and until his death, his life was marked by war, strife, betrayal, and persecution.
A visionary, a hero, a brilliant mind, dead by what most would consider suicide.” Wangji’s breath hitches and he takes a moment to collect himself, the sentence ringing in his head.
“He deserved better.”
He deserved better, Wangji thinks as he walks sedately towards his library.
There had been a glimmer of hope, all those years ago when Mo Xuanyu attempted to resurrect Wei Ying, but when he failed to do so, Wangji felt something shatter in him.
Whatever Wei Ying had done had completely destroyed his soul. His precious, noble soul. One that was formed for justice and kindness.
He deserved better.
He knows what he must do.
An immortal’s Golden Core has immeasurable power. It is the result of several hundred years of Cultivation and diligence. Wangji is more powerful than most, having survived through war, strife, grief, and loss.
An immortal’s Golden Core can also be an ingredient.
‘Draw the talismans shown below in the blood of your heart. Pin them in eight directions, north, northwest, west, southwest, south, southeast, east, and northeast. Sit in the exact center of this circle and sacrifice half of your cultivation to the being you wish to summon.’’
Wangji’s heart and hands are steady as he draws the talismans from blood drawn directly from the artery. He pins them in all eight directions and sits down in the middle, his hands moving elegantly to summon his Qi. He breathes in and breathes out, sinking into meditation with habitual ease.
It will work.
It has to.
The room floods with Resentful Energy.
He deserves better.
Wangji feels torn apart in ways he has never experienced before. The ritual summoning carves something out of his chest and drags it away. His mouth floods with blood and his body weakens alarmingly.
But it doesn’t matter.
Wei Ying is more beautiful than Wangji remembers. He is bloodsoaked, covered in cuts and bruises, saturated with Resentful Energy, but he’s alive.
And he’s beautiful.
Wangji stumbles to his feet, shakily walking into the bathroom to fetch some warm water. He walks back, his arms feeling the weight of the bucket like they have never carried such weight before. With every step that he takes towards Wei Ying, his heartbeat spikes up a little. He doesn’t know if he chose the right time. He doesn’t know if Wei Ying’s spirit had shattered before his death and dying had just been the aftermath.
Maybe Wei Ying’s body is here and not his soul.
Wangji cannot bear thinking about it.
With weak, shaking hands and the taste of blood lingering in his mouth, he slowly reaches forward. Layer by layer, he removes Wei Ying’s clothes, his fingertips tingling because his beloved’s body is warm.
He deserves better.
With aching tenderness, he wipes Wei Ying clean, removes all blood, grime, and mud from his body.
Wei Ying doesn’t stir.
There’s a gentle touch against his cheek. It is strange enough to wake him up because few people dare touch Lan Wangji. Slender fingers tap once, twice, almost playfully and Wangji knows who it is even before he opens his eyes.
Like a sun emerging from the horizon, Wei Ying appears before him, his smile bright and questioning.
“Wei Ying,” He breathes and Wei Ying nods, eyes a sparkling silver. There is so much beauty in that face that he can’t help but reach forward. Ignoring Wei Ying’s surprise, he cups his face and leans forward pressing his forehead against his beloved’s.
Wei Ying is still for a long moment, but he moves eventually, setting hands on Wangji’s shoulder. He doesn’t push him away, just huffing in soft amusement.
“Wei Ying,” He whispers, closing his stinging eyes, “Forgive Wangji for his selfishness.” He says, “I summoned you.” I summoned you without asking, knowing you wouldn’t desire it.
Wei Ying huffs again and that’s when it strikes him.
He pulls back and looks at his beloved in concern, scanning his eyes, face, neck, and chest quickly, his heart racing.
Why wasn’t Wei Ying speaking?
“You’re right in suspecting that his spirit sustained some sort of injury even before he was… killed.” Lan Jingyi says softly, pulling away from the sleeping Wei Ying, “There’s nothing physically wrong with him, Hanguang-jun, please don’t worry! His spirit just needs a little bit of time to recover.”
Wangji nods gratefully as he watches Sizhui lean over Wei Ying, his expression full of wonder and desperate happiness. As Sizhui’s cultivation grew, he started remembering more things from his childhood. They have never spoken on the matter of Wei Ying, but Wangji knows his son remembers more than he did when he was a child.
“Now, please let me check you.”
He levels a sharp look at the younger man but Lan Jingyi is no longer the adoring and naive student Wangji taught all those years ago. He’s a strong, accomplished cultivator and an avid researcher.
Lan Jingyi ignores him cheerfully and checks his core, stepping into Wangji's personal space without a care.
He narrows his eyes at the steely glint in the boy's eyes.
"I know you love him, Hanguang-jun," Lan Jingyi says, "And love is worth a life." They're immortals, life has little meaning for people who have lived for centuries, "But I wonder if the Wei Wuxian that you so adore will be happy about you risking your life for him."
Wangji's eyes flicker towards Wei Ying, who looks exhausted even in his sleep. "He deserved better."
Lan Jingyi is silent for a moment before he speaks, "Sizhui and I read the book on our flight back. Everything was horrible, I'm not surprised that his spirit sustained so much damage. But it is almost entirely intact now. It shows how much he wants to live, Hanguang-jun."
It's a relief.
Wei Ying can't speak but his presence is still loud. He rests for a few weeks to recover from his injuries. During that time, Wangji spends most of his days moving from Wei Ying's bedside to the library and back again.
His beloved has an insatiable hunger for knowledge. He wants to know everything about the modern world.
Every morning, Wangji is confronted with a bright face with sparkling eyes waving a book or a scroll in his direction.
Wangji hasn't experienced such liveliness in centuries. The very air of his home glows with Wei Ying's vitality. Wei Ying's body recovers quickly and soon the man is out of bed and following Wangji around.
His heart feels too big for his chest.
By all appearances, Wei Ying is perfectly content. He walks around Cloud Recesses, visits Caiyi Town, and is happy to watch the sunset with Wangji every evening.
That had been Wangji's wish when he performed that summoning.
He wanted Wei Ying to have another chance to live free and happy.
Looking at him now, Wangji wants to reach out, cup that cheerful face, and pepper kisses all over it. He wants to kiss those fluttering eyelids, smooth cheeks, sharp jawline-
That soft, smiling mouth.
Wangji is an immortal. He has endless patience. He can wait for Wei Ying to come to him.
He must wait.
The modern world fascinates Wei Ying. His beloved looks at everything from tall buildings to food stalls with wide, stunned eyes. Cloud Recesses and Caiyi Town are still relatively untouched by the passage of time, but Wei Ying has free access to the internet and has learned how to use it within two months of his arrival.
Wangji doesn't restrain him.
He just watches as Wei Ying, his brilliant and enthusiastic love, learns to thrive in his new world.
His voice has still not returned but that doesn't seem to bother Wei Ying. He is delighted to learn that there's a way to communicate nonetheless.
He starts learning sign language and Lan Wangji, with patient and steady hands, practices with him.
Lan Sizhui follows Wei Ying around with quiet affection and aching tenderness. He's much older than Wei Ying now, but he remains their son in spirit. He treats Wei Ying like a senior, with respect and adoration.
His Wei Ying notices, of course. At first, he finds the situation quite strange but Wei Ying isn't stupid.
'Lan Zhan,' He asks, 'Who is Sizhui?'
Wangji brings his fingers up and replies, 'He's your a-Yuan. I went looking for you but found him instead.'
Wei Ying's eyes widen and he spins around, running out of the room to seek Sizhui.
Wangji follows sedately and when he finds his love and his son, they're embracing while crying tears of joy.
'Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan!'
Wangji huffs under his breath and carefully sets his brush down, tucking the scroll away before turning to meet bright silver eyes.
Wei Ying leans forward with an eager expression, 'Do you know where Suibian is?'
Wangji nods, 'In storage. I was able to retrieve it from the Jin Clan.'
'Can I have it?'
Wangji rises smoothly to his feet and leads Wei Ying to storage where both Suibian and Chenqing.
Wei Ying only glances at Chenqing for a moment before reaching for Suibian with a desperate expression.
Suibian, a blade that has remained sealed since Jiang Wanyin unsheathed it once, easily reveals itself again.
Wei Ying spins around eagerly and looks at him with pleading eyes.
As Wangji is able to deny Wei Ying nothing, he reaches for Bichen and they immediately head for the training grounds.
It has been a long time since Wangji has really used Bichen to its full capacity. With half of his core pulsing within Wei Ying, they're almost evenly matched.
Wangji has not fought in ages but Wei Ying is still a Cultivator. The spar is fast-paced and thrilling. Wangji acquaints himself with Wei Ying as his love becomes reacquainted with his sword.
Wei Wuxian had been one of the best swordsmen of his generation. He has lost none of his elegance and skill. Wangji presses him and Wei Ying laughs soundlessly, twirling around him in white GusuLan robes, bright and joyful.
He breaks Wangji's heart and mends it at the same time.
Wangji has missed Wei Ying for hundreds of years.
He can't resist the urge to touch. He keeps it chaste and respectful but his hands have a mind of their own in Wei Ying's vicinity.
When they're out and about, Wangji guides Wei Ying with a hand on his back. It becomes natural to grasp his love's elbow if he wants Wei Ying's attention.
His touches can easily be dismissed as gestures of friendship by most. But Wei Ying knows him.
'er-gege,' Wei Ying's smile is sweet, 'Wei Ying is cold.'
Wangji's eyes flicker over to the lit fire briefly before landing on his love, 'Are you feeling well?' He asks in concern, reaching forward to place the back of his hand on Wei Ying's forehead.
His beloved laughs and nods, leaning into the touch with a sly smile, 'I'm well, just cold.'
Wangji feels a stir in his chest at the intent look in Wei Ying's eyes. Hesitantly, he cups Wei Ying's cheek in silent question.
Wei Ying nuzzles his palm, his eyelids fluttering close gently.
Desperation and elation flood him and Wangji sucks in a sharp breath. He moves in a blur, lifting Wei Ying off his seat and placing him on his lap.
Wei Ying gasps and giggles, his tall, strong body seeming to almost shrink as he cuddles close. Wangji wraps both arms around his love and squeezes him tight, rocking them gently as he is assaulted with painful love.
"Wei Ying, Wei Ying, Wei Ying," He chants in Wei Ying's hair, holding him so close, it feels like there's no part of him not touching his love.
When Wei Ying turns to him with a smile in his eyes, Wangji doesn't hesitate to lean forward, bringing their lips together in a long-awaited kiss.
He presses Wei Ying back against the crook of his elbow and tastes his silent laugh on his tongue.
Wangji has never felt so blissful and complete.
Jingyi convinces Wei Ying to go to therapy.
Eager to learn and curious, Wei Ying agrees.
He returns from every session with a thoughtful expression.
Months pass but his voice is still lost.
They make love and Wei Ying mouths the words he wants to speak. He smiles, sobs, laughs, and pouts as Wangji takes him apart bit by bit.
Wangji has never known such pleasure. He loses himself, drowning in Wei Ying's scent and finding heaven in his body.
He enjoys feeling smooth skin. He sinks his fingers into Wei Ying's silken hair. He tastes the sharp edge of his jaw. He bites. He drives in and takes ownership of Wei Ying's pleasure.
He presses his mischievous sprite into their bed and doesn't hold back, centuries of love pouring out of him.
A combination of therapy and Wei Ying's natural approach to life makes his recovery quick. Within a year, he's well-adjusted and happy.
He laughs at almost everything. The first time they fly, the first time they visit an amusement park, the first time they go to an aquarium.
He laughs and Wangji starts noticing the color of his voice returning to it.
Wangji is grateful for what he has. He's grateful that Wei Ying is back, safe, and happy. He is grateful that Wei Ying is unharmed.
But he cannot lie to himself. He misses Wei Ying's voice.
"Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan,"
Wangji almost misses it, as engrossed as he is. He presses in deep and feels a shiver of pleasure race down his spine. Wei Ying's fingers curl around Wangji's nape and his lips caress his ear.
Wangji takes a deep, bracing breath and pulls back a little, balancing on his arms to peer down at his lover.
Wei Ying is a vision. His cheeks flushed, his eyes wide and dark with passion, his lips bitten red from Wangji's kisses. His long hair is scattered and wild, a tangle of glossy strands across Wangji's pillow.
Wei Ying's lips move and a voice accompanies that movement. It is slightly hoarse, somewhat weak, but it is still the voice he barely remembers.
Heat flares in him and he sinks deeper, pulling a sharp gasp from Wei Ying.
He spends the entire night filling their room with that precious voice.
Wei Ying doesn't ask questions. He doesn't ask why Wangji did what he did. He doesn't ask how he did it. His beloved has always been perspective and he understood Wangji's desperation from the moment he woke.
He reads the book that triggered it all and laughs, "Aiya, they make me out to be some sort of martyr for justice." He says fondly, for he is very fond of the modern world.
Sizhui is sitting at his feet, eyes closed in bliss as Wei Ying gently combs his hair, styling it into an intricate braid.
"They're not wrong, though." Jingyi can never sit straight and he has forgotten all of his Lan teachings over the years. He has his legs thrown over the arm of his chair and his head is dangling over another arm, his hair sweeping the floor as he nods.
"I never asked to be glorified in such a way." Wei Ying protests with a chuckle.
"Baba should be grateful no one knows about his resurrection." Sizhui pipes up, "At least, you don't have to deal with modern stans."
Wangji arches a brow at the word and Wei Ying laughs, already more accustomed to the Internet language than Wangji is. "Oh, heaven forbid!"
"But listen, you and Hanguang-jun have the greatest love story ever, you could write a book about it, Wei-quanbei!"
Wei Ying tilts his head to the side and Wangji urges him to consider it with a subtle nod. Wei Ying is happy but he's never content to be idle. The modern world doesn't need cultivation, but perhaps it can benefit from their stories.
‘Once you summon successfully, you belong to this being for all eternity as payment for the one wish they may grant. Half of your core will live within them. If they die, you die. If they live, you live. If they hurt, you hurt. If they become corrupt, you become corrupt.
You will sacrifice immortality, but not the eternal bond. Every time you are reincarnated into this world, you will be tethered to the being.
Wangji tucks the scroll away, sealing it so that it is never discovered again.
He has no regrets.
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❤️everyone has a braincell of their very own by MarbleGlove
❤️everyone has a braincell of their very own
T, 18k, wangxian, 2 works, series in progress
Summary: Two geniuses in a radish field start brainstorming how to make things better and events cascade from there, largely unintentionally.
My comments: This story was inspired by antebunny's Decay (another fantastic read) wherein it is revealed that Wei Wuxian's old wounds never healed, he was simply knitted together with resentful energy. So Author took that idea and ran with it. But in this case, Wq, wn and wwx do some thinking and some research and think that there might be a way to withdraw the resentful energy and still step in fast enough to prevent their injuries from killing them. It's purely theoretical, but to test it, they'll need a proper hospital. Enter the Nie, some intense bargaining, and POV picked up by a reluctantly bemused and fascinated nmj.
I just loved Author's creativity in inventing such a cool solution to the problem, and the descriptions of resentful energy and the new musical cultivation. I loved how it was often the outsider POV (nmj in the first story and jgy in the second) that really revealed how spectacular and unique it truly was, and how special were the people who spawned it. Nmj jumps on that, for the good of his sect, and boy are the other sects jealous. (Especially when it seems like he'll gain lwj as well as wwx, wq and a fantastic new cultivation.) Heh.
Excerpt: *** I just loved nmj's epiphany: ***
He hadn’t realized that he had been confused by how closely Wei Wuxian and Wen Qing worked together, a fighter and a healer, until he discovered the answer: Wei Wuxian used resentful energy like a doctor used medicine. It made sense that they could understand one another.
canon divergence, wen qing & wei wuxian, go to the nie sect, resentful energy as a tool for healing, demonic cultivation, fix it, POV outsider, BAMF wen qing, BAMF wei wuxian, powerful wei wuxian, medical procedures, medical experimentation, golden core reveal, golden core repair, sect politics, everybody lives, musical cultivation, wei wuxian invents yet ANOTHER type of cultivation, BAMF jiang yanli, jiang yanli lives, wen qing lives, drums, nie saber spirits, genius wei wuxian, genius wen qing, favorite, @marbleglove
(You may wish to REBLOG as a signal boost for this author if you like – or think others might like – this story.)
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