#centres of cataclysm
derangedrhythms · 2 months ago
in the end you'll reach the sea and the waves will swallow you.
Federico García Lorca, Centres of Cataclysm: Celebrating Fifty Years of Modern Poetry in Translation; from ‘Romance de la Pena Negra’, tr. Julith Jedamus
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geluksalig · 22 days ago
It’s easier, always, with Max.
Simpler, Martin thinks, sliding his hands up his t-shirt to settle at the narrowest point of Max’s waist. His skin his hot there—sleep warm more than sweaty. It’s Martin’s hands that are damp with it, fresh from the club and unappeased by the midnight Monaco air.
He can still feel it all over; like he’s just played a show, lights beating the heat to the surface of his skin. Sweat sits at the dip of his spine, under his arms; he can feel it as he moves, the damp fabric of his own t-shirt rubbing against him, uncomfortable. It reminds him of Abu Dhabi, naturally; the relentless of it, unending into the early hours of the morning. Max against him, never letting go.
Max isn’t holding him, but he’s beneath him, braced up on his forearms and oddly still against the lazy, uncoordinated thrust of Martin’s hips. Martin his eyes on the flushed nape of his neck, creased at the collar of his t-shirt where his head is turned, looking off towards Daniel.
It’s of no surprise that Max is looking at Daniel. Max is always looking at Daniel. Has been for as long as Martin has known him. Eighteen years old and—and in love with him, probably. It used to be funny, like a poke under the ribs. Then it got a little sad, for a while. Awkward, with Martin walking a tightrope between them both. It’s alright now though, whatever it is that’s settled the air between them, that’s stitched the DR3 into the t-shirt Max is wearing.
It's Daniel’s idea, to begin with. To watch them together. It becomes an offer after the third time, something Martin can do to—to help. Make Daniel feel better. Give him what he wants.
Daniel asks for it this time, though. Wet in his ear, in the centre of the dancefloor. Martin pulls back from him, to check he’s being serious. He’s momentarily distracted by the light glinting off the stick-on rhinestones arching along the line of his brow, but the look in Daniel’s eyes is genuine when he finds it. He wants Martin to fuck Max. He wants to watch.
And that—it’s not exactly simple, as easy as it is. Not like it is giving Max what he wants; to get him so drunk that he forgets his lousy imitation of rage, sending the world into soft focus.
It could easily have been Max tonight, if things were different. If he hadn’t—last year, in Abu Dhabi. This might have been a cataclysmic third, worth a tear through the streets of Monaco. But he’s fixed things now, or something. It doesn’t really matter so much, maybe. Martin doesn’t really know. It’s not really for him to think about, that sort of stuff. Far beyond his remit. But Max is happier, freed. Martin just provided the soundtrack.
He doesn’t know why Daniel wants it. It never occurs to him to ask. He likes it, obviously; his dick is hard when they do this. He always comes, touching himself. Never really joining in, exactly but—
“Martijn,” Daniel says, slightly mispronounced.
Martin looks at him. He’s got a hand on himself, outline of his knuckles pressing against the fabric of his shorts, moving. Martin looks there, and Max looks at his face, head tilted up.
He knows what Daniel is asking for, what he wants to see. He curls his fingers into the meat of Max’s waist, to steady himself from his drunken, jetlagged stupor. He should be home now, in Amsterdam. He’s only there for five hours before Daniel calls, asking him to—if he wouldn’t mind heading down to Monaco, that he could use a distraction. A sure-fire good time.
So Martin does, because Daniel needs him. Needs him here, in Monaco. In Max, for whatever reason.
He’s sleeping again when they come knocking at his door, briefly awoken by a string of Martin’s text messages fifteen minutes before. He’s going on holiday in the morning, he explains through a yawn, screwing his knuckles into his eye sockets. There’s a suitcase at the bottom of his bed. Martin’s vaguely aware of Daniel sifting around in it as he fingers Max open, checking that he’d packed sunscreen.
“Martijn,” comes his name again, from Max this time. He says it over his shoulder, lips parted. His bottom lip catches where the fabric bunches there, exposing the shiny inner edge. “Come on, mate. Come on.”
It’s enough to spur him on a little, for him to take his hands from Max’s waist to his shoulders, to press him down into the pillow.
Still looking at him, Max says his name. DanielDanielDaniel.
And Daniel says, “I know,” and for a brief moment, Martin thinks he’s going to get up from where he sits, silhouetted by the ugly blue of Max’s bedroom, and take the hand Max has stretched out over the duvet, fingers straining in the empty space between them.
It looks like it kills Daniel, not taking Max’s hand, so Martin takes it for him, pinning it to the centre of his back. Max asks him for more, in Dutch. The strange southern lilt of his accent is lost as he screws his face into the pillow beneath him, and it’s not exactly a surprise when Daniel asks:
“What did he say?”
“He wants it harder,” Martin says, and it’s not exactly untrue. He looks at Daniel again. He’s looking at Max. “What do you want?”
It must be shit, he’s thought, often, throughout the season, not to get what you want. Not to get the results you want. The strategy you want. The tyres. It’s more complicated than that, probably, but Martin doesn’t really care for the politics of it all—he cares about his mates. He cares about Max. About Daniel. If they’re happy or not. If he can fix it. If he can give them what they want.
What they want is quite similar, most of the time. They want each other. They want each other to be happy. They both want to win, too. Maybe Max—he needed it, for a while there. And maybe Daniel needs that too; to win. To more than want to win.
“Give it to him, then,” Daniel says, and Martin does.
It’s always nice, fucking Max. Hot. Fun. There’s a girl, back in the club, that likes his music, and Martin thinks—maybe later, if she wants. But then Daniel asks him to fuck Max, and Martin can do that too, gladly, familiar with the way Max opens around him, the way it feels. Wet, like a girl, with enough lube. Martin doesn’t know what he prefers, sometimes. He likes girls and Max and Daniel.
It’s that simple, really.
He tries to make a little performance of it, for Daniel’s sake, but he’s tired, this time. He doesn’t last long, coming into the condom, plastering himself to the broad expanse of Max’s back. He’s glad they’re both wearing t-shirts. He doesn’t want to imagine having to peel their skin apart.
He stays on top of Max, in him, as he ruts forward against the mattress, back against his softening dick. He comes like that; quietly, tired, understated. He groans about the mess. Martin kisses his shoulder for good measure. Daniel says he wants to see.
“Okay,” Max says, and Martin moves off him, splaying out on his back. The room spins a little, centre of his focus no longer on the dip between Max’s shoulder blades, sending his vision veering off. He feels Max shift over beside him, the mattress dipping. Martin shuts his eyes and imagines Max’s fingers running through the wetness on his crotch. “Daniel,” he gasps.
Martin doesn’t see Daniel come, but he hears him—the quick burst of both their names coming from deep within his throat It makes Martin smile lazily into the arm he has crooked over his eyes now. The wet sound of a kiss from beside him makes his chest feel even warmer. They always tell each other they love each other, afterwards.
“You too, Martijn,” Max says, slinging an arm over his midriff. It’s a different sort of love, but no less meaningful. No less sincere.
“Cheers, mate,” Daniel whispers to him later, Max sleeping deeply between them. This time tomorrow he’ll be in Saint Tropez. He and Daniel share a snort of private laughter about it before he slips off completely. Martin isn’t too jealous; he’ll be halfway to Vegas by then. “I mean it. Thank you.”
Martin reaches out. He’s not sure if the skin his fingertips find belongs to Daniel or Max, but it doesn’t really matter, really. He’s never really sure where one begins, where the other one ends. It stopped mattering, after a while.
“Anytime,” he says, and means it.
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akajustmerry · 7 months ago
Written by Lui and Gabriel Dowrick, Preppers follows Charlie (Nakkiah Lui), a young Aboriginal woman who, after suffering her own personal cataclysmic event, finds herself at the centre of a mismatched community of ‘preppers’ planning for the apocalypse at Eden 2. 
Founded by a wizened old Indigenous man called Monty (Jack Charles), Eden 2 is a refuge for Aboriginal people, and a few suckers that Monty has conned into footing the bill. Doomsday prepping ain’t cheap.
ABC’s new six-part comedy series Preppers launches on ABC TV and ABC iview on Wednesday 10 November at 9.10pm.  
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raziraphale · a year ago
obsessed with the Lore of kekkai sensen bc literally two dimensions of reality collapsed into one another in the centre of new york in a massive cataclysmic event and apparently the first order of business was “shit guess we gotta rename new york something spookier : /” like you REALLY didn’t have to do that but ok
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zespaceblog · 11 months ago
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Why are the Planets and Stars Spherical ?
It won't have escaped your notice, with the exception of weird facebook posters who claim otherwise, the planets are all spherical, and yes, that includes the beautiful blue one you live on. They may not be perfectly spherical, but clearly there must be a simple reason for this, and gladly, we know exactly why they are.
I've written often about the formation of stars and planets, and the key driver and cause is gravity, the slight bending of space time that matter creates, and the greater the mass, the greater the effect, attracting more mass towards it.
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While this commonly used diagram is useful to explain how mass creates an attraction, in 3D space, it occurs all around the object, meaning the attraction comes from all directions towards the centre of mass.
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Keep pulling mass in, will eventually create a sphere, but how big does a planet have to be to be spherical ? Is it possible to not be ?
Putting aside cataclysms, there is a radius where planetoids seem to become more spherical although it varies slightly depending on the material used to create it.
After around 600km radius of rock (400km of Ice), gravity is sufficient to begin to crush the planet into a spherical shape.
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Ceres for example is 469km and is made of a mix of rock and ice, and certainly looks spherical.
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Vesta (another asteroid belt object) however is only 262km and looks more like a potato, it has a Iron core and rocky mantle, making it much denser than Ceres, and requiring a little more gravity to crush into the more familiar sphere.
Stars and Gas giants are of course very different, the smallest gas planet in our solar system is Neptune, but at 24,622 km in radius, it's not particularly small. The smallest gas based exoplanet is thought to be Kepler-138d, and while it's only 60% of the mass of the Earth, it's radius is just over 1.2 times the size and no doubt spherical.
Some super fast spinning stars such as Achernar, spin so fast, they lose their spherical shape
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So, not all stars are recognisably spherical, but for planets, the default is spherical, even if Monty Python's meaning of life B movie discovered it wasn't.
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dajo42 · 6 months ago
this is the cursed exploding microwave. when the door is opened it causes an explosion centred on itself but which it is immune to the effects of. the strength of the explosion is relative to the length of time the microwave has been microwaving. somebody thought it would be funny to turn it up to half an hour and the resulting explosion would be so cataclysmic that we can now never let it run out. we have to keep turning it back up to half an hour at regular intervals. unfortunately this has exacerbated the problem exponentially and whereas initially it would have destroyed the world it will now tear apart reality itself if ever left to run down to 0. what? just dont open the door? fuck. shit. we didnt even think of that. god fucking damn it
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ghooostbaby · a year ago
MDZS & the family (or against the family) - part 1
mdzs is obviously a story set in a world defined by collectivism, structured along the lines of hereditary family. coming from the west, a predominantly individualist culture that I think fantasizes about the collective, I've noticed tv, movies, etc from west, especially standard Netflix entertainment (re: superhero), really centres the hereditary family unit as this sort of fantasy.
It was so interesting to me watching the untamed for the way certain conventions I'm used to were turned on their head every time, the way every action and feeling of a character in the shows I'm used to would idealize the family, the untamed did the opposite. The show I think became a bit muddled for me, but when I started the novel to try and salvage what the hell was going on (lol) it became so clear - this is a narrative against the family, against the collective social structure determined by hereditary bonds, showcasing the darkside of collectivism.
Every single character has their individual desires and needs pitted against the needs and desires of their family, and they have to make a choice between their own agency and the collective/acceptance. (The fact that the hero of the story is the character who refuses the collective to follow their own internal morality is so counter-intuitive compared to many stories I'm used to (as someone whose watched a lot of American and British TV and studied a large selection of English canon literature in university), when usually its the character that brings a family (bio or found) together that is celebrated, and the one who refuses, if they are sympathetic, has to die tragically - and definitely does NOT get to come back and get gay married to the cultivation world's most inaccessible dreamboat.)
the characters all make their choice between agency and the collective in different ways. As I've been reading, I've been puzzling through every single character and WITHOUT EXCEPTION every single character that decides to sacrifice their needs for their family, or the family system, ends up with a horrible end. Every character that betrays the family system and commits their loyalty to someone they are not related to is punished by society, but ultimately ends up with a happy ending - Wei WuXian, Lan WangJi, Wen Ning.
While Jin GuangYao does murder many members of his family, its all in secret while upholding the structure of the family-based social system, trying to control it from the inside to manipulate it into something that accepts him.
Xiao Xingchen and Song Lan both wanted to start a sect that was not based on family relationships, but Xiao Xingchen sides with a family to uphold a blood feud, and from that point everything for the two of the spirals into misery.
I haven't gotten to her part in the book, but in the show Wen Qing is constantly trying to dissuade her brother from making connections with people outside of the family, and she makes compromise after compromise of her morals to protect her brother, which in a roundabout way results in a lot of misery (it does seem like its an impossible choice).
Nie Huaisang is soooo interesting for the way he resists this without totally abandoning the structure, like an inverse version of Jin GuangYao, he maintains the system while manipulating it for his own purposes, but whereas JGY fights to be part of a system that refuses him, NHS fights for his survival as an individual within family legacy and obligations that would destroy him. Since the Nie sect is known for being aggressive and intense fighters, mostly all of the cultivators in the family die young from qi deviation because of their worsening rage, even to the point that after they die their sabers posess such resentful energy they have to bury them in a tomb with corpses to channel the sabers' resentful energy to something they can fight or they will become too dangerous. All his life nhs was seen as something of a failure and his older brother was constantly frustrated with him for not cultivating at a high level, for never practicing with his saber, for spending all his time of frivolous things like art, clothing, collecting fans (oh and his pornography collection). Training with his saber and becoming a powerful cultivator is the honorable path that all his forefathers followed, but he knows that to do so means he will die young just like they all did. Underneath it all, he amazingly claims a powerful agency to live on his own terms by affecting stupidity and uselessness and allowing himself to be a laughing stock, but ultimately free to choose his own path.
Jiang Cheng on the other hand completely absorbs every expectation of his family legacy into himself, to the point where its impossible to know what he actually wants and who he is apart from his family. Like someone always turning to try to face the sun, and then the sun goes down and he can't stop turning. He's so deeply internalized the needs and desires of his family, it seems his only real desire and need is to be accepted and respected by his family, and as each member succumbs to the great sin of "sticking out" or "making themselves a target" (as they found their sun and resolutely walked toward it), eventually all the things he wants are impossible, no one is left alive to give him approval. He's still in some way trying to earn approval from some exterior familial figure that doesn't exist anymore, and so he just seems to collapse in on himself in rageful useless attempts to uphold the family order (finding people who seem like his long-dead traitor adoptive brothet and torturing them) when no one is left for it to matter - and this alienates his one nephew left to him.
He seems to get shipped with Nie Huaisang an awful lot and I just think there are not two people who make less sense as a couple (in my opinion!!! Ship who you want) ... but its interesting to think about. I think maybe NHS could offer a lot of clarity to JC, if JC let him, and I don't think he would. And honestly, JC is a mess and NHS is doing just fine, I can't think of any reason why NHS would want to get embroiled in all that - and from what I've seen NHS has shown that he values his self-preservation and does not throw himself into messy situations except with carefully plausible deniability. And i think JC is (foolishly) in favour of appearances, in line with his value of family expectations, to fall in line with the outward attitude of other sect leaders, despite whatever interior disaster is going on. Whereas NHS presents as a complete disaster to disguise his inward competence and protect himself, valuing his personal interests above how others see him. I just feel like JC would be too shortsightedly judgemental at the way NHS presents and be curious about him enough to know him better. Unless something cataclysmic happened to reveal this to JC. I feel like JC would have a lot of work to do to earn NHS's interest ... look at everything NHS has done to distance himself from unhealthy rage and mindless pursuit of status.
JC is fun to ship with people, but pretty much everyone I try is like, 'oh they could teach JC to -' and then I feel bad for saddling the person with the thankless project of Jiang Cheng.
Ultimately, its important for the original story that he ends up unhappy. He is the one who gave the most to maintain the family system, and so he has to lose the most. And I love him, but it doesn't feel right to ever truly let him be happy. Its like my last fandom (inuyasha), I loved kikyo so much, but it was necessary her story be tragic. Its what made the story good. And it feels so cathartic to feel through the whole desperate tragedy of Jiang Cheng's life with him, while simultaneously feeling the beauty of the romance between LWJ and WWX. Both are necessary (and many other characters and relationships besides).
I think that the gay romance between LWJ and WWX, is the ultimate point of the novel's work to completely eviscerate the hereditary family system. I just read this book about the queerness inherent in Pixar films that obstruct and refuse the heteronormative nuclear family structure ( The Queer Art of Failure, it's so good) , and I think its so monumentally amazing the way wangxian as a queer couple assert this kind of refusal of a system based on hereditary bonds, just by being gay first of all, (although it seems many people would like to reconstitute radical, queer relationships back into heteronormative structures like the nuclear family I would like to say no to that noise) and for many other reasons besides. This romance and the non-family-based community of juniors becomes a new kind of collectivity society could be structured around. But I think I should leave it at that for now.
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The end is nigh! New ABC comedy Preppers premieres in November
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ABC’s new six-part comedy series Preppers launches on ABC TV and ABC iview on Wednesday 10 November at 9.10pm. Starring the multi-talented Nakkiah Lui, Preppers delves into the crazy world of ‘prepping’ – that is, preparing for the end of days.
Written by Lui and Gabriel Dowrick and directed by Steven McGregor (Black Comedy), Preppers follows Charlie (Nakkiah Lui), a young Aboriginal woman who, after suffering her own personal cataclysmic event, finds herself at the centre of a mismatched community of ‘preppers’ planning for the apocalypse at Eden 2.
Lui and Dowrick said: “We are incredibly excited to share Preppers and look forward to people connecting with our unique take on the subculture of prepping: the unexpected hope and community people create when preparing for the apocalypse. We hope you enjoy bunkering down with our characters as they prepare themselves for the end of the world - whatever that looks like.”
Founded by a wizened old Indigenous man called Monty (Jack Charles), Eden 2 is a refuge for Aboriginal people, and a few suckers that Monty has conned into footing the bill. Doomsday prepping ain’t cheap.
Joining Monty are Lionel (Chum Ehelepola) and Kelly (Ursula Yovich); a relentlessly optimistic, born again religious, mixed-race couple; Kirby (Eryn Jean Norvill), the mysterious host of the conspiracy podcast ‘Agent of Truth’; Guy (Meyne Wyatt), a macho Aboriginal survivalist obsessed with self-image; and Jayden (Aaron McGrath), a woke millennial who sees the apocalypse as the ultimate opportunity for Aboriginal self-determination.
With nowhere else to go, Charlie reluctantly joins the preppers and is eventually won over by the rag-tag bunch of misfits as she tries to come to terms with the dissatisfaction, loneliness and alienation she’s always felt trying to find her place in a White Australia. By gaining a sense of purpose, becoming an unlikely leader and confronting the generational trauma of colonisation, Charlie will ultimately realise that she isn’t as powerless or vulnerable as she thinks. That maybe... just maybe... the end of the world might be her best chance at a new beginning?
Preppers also guest stars Luke Arnold as the dejected leader of a group of white yuppie preppers played by Leeanna Walsman, Yael Stone, Toby Schmitz and Sofia Nolan; Kate Miller-Heidke as the mythical Penrith Panther; Luke Carroll as a cunning Aboriginal archaeologist; Christine Anu as Charlie’s even more cunning mother; Miranda Tapsell as Charlie’s Nan and the original prepper; Grant Denyer as Charlie’s fiancé and producer boss; and Brooke Satchwell as Charlie’s vapid breakfast TV co-host.
Watch trailers here:
credits to ABC TV & iviews
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theold-ultraviolence · 10 months ago
The Crystalline Knowledge of You (9/13)
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AVAILABLE ON AO3 (@irma7x)
Rating: Mature // NSFW chapter warnings: PIV sex, vaginal fingering, creampie.
9. Are You Mine?
There’s a distinct sound that vinyl makes, that transports you to a different era. It’s in the a grainy noise that the needle makes once it grazes the record, and soon, piano notes sway along Stevie Nicks’s deep voice from another room. You’d told Hux that he could put on some music if he wanted, while you finished up preparing dinner. He had been thoroughly inspecting your chest full of vinyls until he came across a rare demo that you had -- a dreamy tune, much like the day that you’d had so far.
Earlier at the market, you’d stayed side by side, trying out all sorts of different bites of food that people had out on their stands to taste, while you browsed for the ingredients of the meal you’d planned. For once you didn’t have to be fake nonchalance when people shrunk away from you, not when Hux was by your side practically murdering anyone who dared look at you wrong, gripping your hand for the rest of the stroll.
A few hours later at your kitchen, Hux had found every chance he could to hover around you while you cooked, helping you with everything that needed to be sliced, diced or marinated; your hands brushed, your shoulders bumped, your arms grazed each time you moved, like something out of a rom-com. He had to have been doing this on purpose, but you weren’t complaining. You’d felt all fuzzy inside, and not because of the sips of wine you’d been sneaking through the evening.
Right now you’re the happiest you've been in a long time, so much that you’re weary, given how it seems that things turn cataclysmically wrong whenever you achieve a little bit of peace. But you forget all the negatives and for once you focus on the present, catching up with Hux in your living room after you’d finished up in the kitchen.
“This is a rare one,” he says absentmindedly, inspecting the demo’s worn out case.
“You’re a fan of hers?” you reply when you reach his side.
“I enjoy her music a lot, yes. I’m not an avid fan -- more the classical music type myself -- but I turn up the volume if she’s on the radio. Where did you find this?”
“I just stumbled upon it at the record store. It was misplaced in the grunge section, so I was instantly drawn to it. You could say it was the work of magic.”
He hums in amusement, putting the case back in its chest and turning to you. Now that you’re finally free of having to multitask in the kitchen, he can finally encircle his arms around your middle like he’d been wanting.
“Dance with me, detective?” You ask while your hands brush his chest, then rest on his shoulders, closing the gap between your bodies as the background melodies of the song gain volume.
He chuckles in reply, all bashful and going pink at the ears, “It seems you’ve truly bewitched me,” he says, “I never do this kind of stuff.”
For a minute he just stares down at his feet, until he finally looks straight at you with smouldering eyes.
“Are you mine?” Stevie sings while the background singers reply, “Yes I am”
“All the time?”
“Yes I am...”
 Swaying within his embrace, you move to the center of the living room, slow-dancing in circles, bodies loosening up as the song continues and the aroma of the quiche Lorraine in the oven engulfs the space, which glowed from the golden hour as the sun had started to descend. Everything turns mellow; coral, rosewood and caramel tones softening up Hux’s lines and making his eyelashes gleam.
“Why am I here?” Hux murmurs with a furrowed brow after a moment, “Why did they send me here from Arkanis, why me?”
Your body stiffens and you take a big intake of breath to hold in your answer. Could you tell him? Could you reveal how the cosmos had somehow heard you all those years ago when you wrote down that impossible manifestation of a lover? If he knows that this is all the work of a spell, you don’t want him to stay because he feels like he has to, because of forces outside of himself.
You want him to stay because of you.
“They needed the right man for the job...” you sigh, the truth disguised.
“I’ve found myself questioning it these days,” he keeps pondering aloud, “How come they handed me this case right when I’m about to resign? Why couldn’t the sheriff here in Yavin handle the case?”
You can’t tell him…
“After I finish with this,” he continues, “after I hand in my resignation, I’m coming back here. If you’ll have me.”
No, no, no, this is what you didn’t want to happen, you don’t want him to feel like he’s compelled to stay.
You feel as though you’ve run a marathon, hiked up the Everest, swam across oceans -- your heart feels too heavy and restless and you want to cry but you can’t, you want to open up your ribcage and let the air right in but all you manage to do is lift up your head from where it rested on his chest and succumb to his embrace, as he tightens his arms around you.
Don’t stay because you have to, please. Don’t bind yourself to me if it’s not what you truly want, you think, even though your heart is begging him to remain here forever, in your arms.
You scrunch your eyes shut, trapping your tears as you continue to slow-dance until the music dies down gradually, with Stevie’s voice like a distant lullaby.
Don’t worry, dear
Have no fear
‘Cause I’m yours
Don’t worry dear…
The ringing of the oven pulls you from the haze, and you chuckle after having realized that you’d been totally unaware of the passing of time; the sun had completely retired, throwing a layer of shadows all around your home that are soon dusted away by you lighting up a few lamps around the place, and taking candles over to the kitchen for a proper candlelit dinner.
The quiche is the main dish, occupying the most space at the centre of your small table; accompanied with an array of sides, like a vinaigrette salad with goat cheese, potatoes and a bread so aromatic from herbs that it has both of your stomachs growling, making you laugh as you sit and dig in happily. You truly loved this -- sharing an indulging meal with him. You’d become so used to the idea of being an introvert that you’d forgotten how fueled your body feels from genuine good company. You feel heightened, vibrant, so, so joyful -- alive.
 And with a little bit of help from the wine, after having brought out a dessert of maple roasted figs that you may or may not have stolen from an aphrodisiac cookbook that aunt Leia had amongst her books of spells, you look at him: maybe it’s the candlelight, or his own unique glow, but his rosey cheeks and luminous eyes make you feel brave enough to take his hand in yours and pose, “Do you want to stay the night?”
“There’s nothing I’d rather do tonight.”
You exhale a breath you hadn’t realized you’d been holding, smile and take him by the hand to lead him to your bedroom.
Your nerves are quaking, making you fear that you’d miss a step and fall down the stairs if you don’t hold onto Hux’s firm grip.
When you make it upstairs you’re unsure of what to do, hadn’t thought that far ahead, really. You stand in front of him, hands entwined in a dark bedroom lit by a shy moon’s beam peeking from the curtains.
You’re suddenly ridden with anxiety as to how Hux might perceive you. You wanted to see him, you wanted more light -- but then you haven’t been this exposed to someone and it paralyzes you, even if you had been yearning ancestrally for it -- to feel the touch of a hand that wasn’t your own.
Your fear is lifted however, when he cradles your head in his palms and with a trembling whisper, he confesses, “I haven’t done this in a long time.”
“Same here” you place your hands atop his, where they rest against your temples. He takes you in his full embrace then, long limbs wrapping around you, forehead nuzzling your neck and the space behind your ear.
“Regardless, it will be perfect because it’s you,” you murmur against his silky locks of hair.
It makes his heart contract, so he tightens his hug as if you might evaporate if he didn’t hold you with everything he got, now that you’d finally found each other. Unconsciously, you made the three candles you kept on your bedside table to light up, all at once, painting a mellow glow around the room. You smile at each other in surprise and feel assured.
The energies were on your side.
It’s like dripping honey when you kiss again, bountiful, lips sticking together and hands that wander and wander all over, itching to get every barrier of clothing out of the way and finally feel your beloved’s skin underneath your fingertips.
You’re awed with the plains of skin revealed when you take off his sweater and then unbutton his dress shirt, sliding it off of his shoulders. It’s the utmost honor that he’d let you do this for him -- with him -- when he rarely even made friends in the first place. This is precious, this is sacred.
He’s all lean lines of creamy skin and sharp bones, and when you look at him again all you can see in his eyes is your same wonder reflected, when he slides off the sleeves of your dress, letting it fall to the floor.
You're a sight to devour in your underwear; he looks at you with an intensity you’d only seen in movies and couples on the street, but never aimed at you. So intense that you bite your lip from the nakedness, weary that he’ll focus on all the problem areas you hide with your clothes, or those you pull at every once in a while when you feel self-conscious.
But he sees nothing but beauty, nothing but places he is going to savour this night, and when he threads closer to you, the first places that his hand fondles and caresses are your hips and waist, your tummy, the undersides of your breasts.
In return, you languidly explore his soft skin -- he may appear a hardened man, but above all his sharp lines there laid nothing but flesh as smooth as leaves of grass, and so warm to the touch. You never break the kiss while exploring his protruding ribs, boney hips and soft belly, hooking your fingers in his belt to undo it, along with his zipper. At the same time, his kiss grows more confident, licking into your mouth, entwining your tongues, biting you, lapping at you, travelling down your neck and back again to your lips, again and again.
You’re tripping when he guides you back to your bed while trying to unhook your bra in the process, just as you were sliding his pants down his legs, laughing right into each other’s mouths at that. You drink all of his laughter up, elated at the sound, the taste, just, everything.
He fits himself right in between your thighs as soon as you’re laid down on your bed, and oh, do you feel giddy with how he’s already hard when he presses his pelvis against yours. You can’t help but exhale out a moan, eyes closing and mouth watering at the sensation, holding onto his shoulders for dear life and urging him to keep on rutting against you, moving your hips in sync with his.
He latches onto your neck once more, lapping his way down to your chest to thoroughly kiss every inch of you, with your palms gently cradling the base of his head, guiding him; one hand scratching his scalp and the other sliding from his neck to the long line of his spine.
You’re drooling and breathless, sighing out moan after moan when he sucks your right nipple into his mouth -- the tip of his tongue delicately tracing a circle around it before taking it all, as his other hand massages your left one.
These were the kind of things you just couldn’t get when you masturbate -- the hot, wet trails that his mouth leave on your tits, lighting up places in you that you had neglected from how routinary touching yourself had become, while that taunting pressure of his erection rubbing against your dripping pussy keep you on edge the entire time. It makes you arch your back to present more for him to devour, spurring him to repeat those same notions with his tongue on the opposite breast.
All throughout, the sight of his mussed up ginger hair and his eyes closed in ecstasy, it’s so endearing -- sinful and pure at the same time.
You need to kiss him.
You guide his head back to your mouth in a mad, mad craze that overpowers you. It’s like a dam has broken and all your pent up need is taking over, kisses becoming sloppy, slippery, all teeth and moans and hands that try to stabilize your heads so that you could aim your lips in the proper place, but can’t.
“I’m not going to last long,” Hux groans into your mouth -- lips puffy and red.
“We have time,” you whisper as you frame his head with your palms, planting your feet on the bed so that you could roll with him to your sides -- a leg hooking over his hips.
In unison, you decide to scratch the itch first, explore each other later.
A fitting excuse to make the night last for as long as it could.
He takes off your panties completely, immediately igniting sparks in your skin as he slowly, oh so methodically -- as was his way of doing everything -- traces his index and middle finger along your wet slit, up and down, gathering your juices and smearing them all over your pussy. You didn’t even need his hand anyway, you were already gushing -- and had been ever since you reached your room -- but each time the tips of his fingers dip inside of you, growing more determined each time to go in deep and pump more slick out of you, it sends you to heaven.
If witches were allowed in heaven, anyway.
You suck in a breath and moan brokenly when he amps up the speed, and where your hand had been holding onto his shoulder it quickly flies to rest atop his own -- not to stop him, merely to feel the rhythm of it as it pumped in and out of you and make sure this was real, feel the veins in his hand tense as he added another finger, added more pressure, and more noise resulting from it. The squelching sounds would be embarrassing if you weren’t so hypnotized by it all, as well as Hux’s quiet grunts and hums accompanying them.
You reciprocate then, fingers hiking up the valley of his torso to soothe circles along his pectorals and then resting them on his neck so that you could leave a path of kisses on his jawline, his earlobe, his cheeks and his mouth once more, so tenderly. Your hand travels downward again, to tease his ginger happy trail, raising goosebumps on his delicate skin. You slide his underwear off and when you want to take his cock in your hand he stops you.
“Wait, not yet,” he breathes into your mouth, “not yet.” He merely guides your hand to lock around the base of his cock to prevent his orgasm.
With an intake of breath, his hand wraps around yours, so that together you could guide him inside of you. Inch by careful inch, your senses heighten, your walls pulse around him. He feels so right, so lush as he fills you.
He hisses when he bottoms out, so far gone already that being welcomed inside you makes his brain short-circuit -- bolts going off in sparks in tune with each of your gasps and moans. And he hasn’t even moved yet, it feels a little overwhelming at first. It had been a long time indeed.
And he’s so deep, how is he so deep? He just fits so perfectly. His fingers had felt so delicious and it had worked you up to the point that you too weren’t going to last that long either.
Your eyes roll back when he finally starts to move tentatively, little shallow thrusts of his pelvis that are enough to have your neck elongating back and teeth digging painfully into your lips because the groan that threatens to come out of you is unlike any other sound you’d ever made.
At first it doesn’t feel like a feral intensity, where it’s too much too soon and you’re begging for release before it even starts. No, his first plunges are deliberate, steadily building a rhythm that creates a delicious, aching throbbing in your cunt.
It’s uncontrollable then, how that ache begins to feel overpowering, wanting to burst out, making you feel like your entire body vibrates. You hold on to his shoulders, nails digging in his skin, dragging along his back, scratching him as a way of urging him to go faster, harder.
He anchors his foot firmly into the mattress, hikes up your leg higher up his side and really thrusts into you, pistoning in and out in an angle that has him stroking your g-spot each time, making you groan from deep inside your chest and eyes closing shut, seeing stars. Your arms wrap around his neck so tightly that you’re afraid you’ll crush him, but he too, presses you to him by the waist and upper back, like magnets joining together.
With a groan so deep that sends shivers down your spine, he lays you on your back and hops on top of you, hiking up your legs on his shoulders in one swift, surprising move -- to thrust even deeper and faster, so much so, you don’t even know what to do with your hands, scratching him all over, clawing your fingers to his lower back and his shoulders to hang on as a coiling in the pit of your belly begins to pulse and pulse and pulse.
“Armitage!” you moan through gritted teeth and he quietly growls in response, winded but determined to make it good for you, to last just a little bit longer even if the pleasure was irresistible and he just wanted to give in and come.
He thrusts and thrusts and thrusts, nuzzling your neck and moaning right against it, sweat pooling on each other’s foreheads, thighs and hands and stomachs tensing, moaning, again and again and again until…
“Fuck!” he rasps and you go quiet, mouth gaping, a silent scream as you surrender to that prolonged quaking that begins in your cunt and expand-expand-expands to the rest of your nerves and keeps going and throbbing, it’s unbelievable -- until you moan tiredly, a sigh of relief.
You shiver as he keeps fucking into you, once, twice, and one last time to really milk his orgasm, sending aftershocks all over your limbs and a sweet, lingering thrumming in your cunt.
You clench around him tightly, chasing those shocks like a weak attempt to orgasm a second time. But you know that will come later on. The night is nothing if not young.
Right now you’re so, so content like this, catching your breaths for a long while until he he gingerly pulls out, to your dismay -- though he immediately replaces his cock with his fingers, pushing all of his come back inside of you.
Could this be the seal of the spell? You dazedly think as Hux lays on his side and kisses you, keeping his fingers in. How silly.
“That was perfect,” you sigh against his mouth between kisses, “thank you.”
“We’re only getting started,” he smirks wickedly before capturing your lips once more, with newfound confidence.
‘Till morning come, the night is all yours. All of your yearning and doubt, finally burned away and healed, thanks to him.
If all else fails, you’ll always have tonight to remember.
Kylo had been going on nightly runs in the hopes of calming his anxiety. Bare-chested with only his running shorts, like some kind of wild creature of the night, considering how the temperature had been dropping significantly as the season progressed.
“Just don’t go howling at the moon like when we were kids,” you’d told him the first time you saw him jogging in place in your living room before taking off.
But he’s not as carefree as he was. These days he’s afraid that he’d invoke evil if he so much as muttered the wrong word in a sentence, or let his mind go on an intrusive tangent, repeating Snoke’s name over and over as he tried to fall asleep.
He makes it back to your house, takes off his running shoes, leaves them by the door and goes to your kitchen to grab a glass of water. He notices all the leftover food and grabs a chunk of bread that he stuffs in his mouth in one go while totally pretending that he does not see all the dirty dishes that hadn’t been put away.
You normally went apeshit over cleaning, so this mess was so unlike you.
...Ah, but it all makes sense as he climbs up the stairs and hears you.
At first he tensed when he heard you mewling, thinking that something bad had happened to you -- but then those squeaking sounds of your mattress are just incomparable.
He snorts and scrunches his nose, rushing to the end of the hall to where the bathroom is and drowning out the noise by turning the shower on.
It’s so weird, you’re basically his sister, but he’s happy that you finally got laid.
The steam from the nearly scalding water encapsulates the tiny bathroom like one hot sauna from hell, just like Kylo liked it; it soothes his muscles and leaves him all pliant and light for bed, despite that he’s always mildly annoyed that he has to rub the humidity off the mirror with his hand, to brush his teeth.
He does so absentmindedly, not really seeing as he squeezes the toothpaste out, brushes and rinses. He just wants to get this part of the routine over with so he could head to bed.
But when he looks up, his brain registers it all a second too late.
The last thing he sees before it all goes black is a spectre looming behind him, reflected on the mirror, that chokes him before he can scream for help.
taglist: @starlightsearches​ @starlightreadings​ @liceforlunch​ @wayward-rose​ @rosevon7975​  @pradahux​  @croftyspock90​  @booklover2929​  let me know if you’d like to be tagged for updates! <3
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derangedrhythms · 2 months ago
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Shazea Quraishi, Centres of Cataclysm: Celebrating Fifty Years of Modern Poetry in Translation; ‘Carandasi'
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deci-doodles · a year ago
Personal hc thought thingies regarding the twins and their roles as traveler/traveler’s sibling:
Aether’s canonically older so he likes to tease Lumine about it and takes charge as a result. He’s more level-headed and not as confrontational.
Lumine’s a bit feral in comparison wheezing but seriously she seems to deal more damage than Aether does in game. She can be a bit over the top/show-offy with her fighting (see this video, she does a whole ass backflip with her anemo burst)
As the Sibling/Abyss Princ(ess), both desired to be more powerful in order to find their lost sibling as well as a festering anger (both being fuelled by the Cataclysm) which led to their corruption and the formation of the Abyss Order. Abyss!Aether still sees Lumine as being his little, naive sister so he wants to wait and guide her to what he thinks is the right path, same with Abyss!Lumine except she wants to ‘repay’ her brother by doing what she sees as protecting him and getting him to eventually join her.
As the Traveler, Aether’s insecurities are that he failed his sister by being separated and thus unable to protect her anymore, his nightmares mainly centre around Lumine berating him and calling him a failure. As for Traveler!Lumine, she feels that their separation’s also a result of her being too reckless and she has nightmares about Aether abandoning her because he’s had enough of her.
Hopefully that makes sense, just a midnight brain fart of mine rip
[edit]: apparently due to their practically identical age, the twins would decide who did what with Rock Paper Scissors and I think that’s adorable
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the-telescope-times · a year ago
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Clash of the Titans
A cataclysmic cosmic collision takes centre stage in this Picture of the Week. The image features the interacting galaxy pair IC 1623, which lies around 275 million light-years away in the constellation Cetus (The Whale). The two galaxies are in the final stages of merging, and astronomers expect a powerful inflow of gas to ignite a frenzied burst of star formation in the resulting compact starburst galaxy.
This interacting pair of galaxies is a familiar sight; Hubble captured IC 1623 in 2008 using two filters at optical and infrared wavelengths using the Advanced Camera for Surveys. This new image incorporates new data from Wide Field Camera 3, and combines observations taken in eight filters spanning infrared to ultraviolet wavelengths to reveal the finer details of IC 1623. Future observations of the galaxy pair with the NASA/ESA/CASA James Webb Space Telescope will shed more light on the processes powering extreme star formation in environments such as IC 1623.
Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, R. Chandar
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ctrl-alt-tahu · 8 months ago
Run-exe: Bohrok
It was a Matoran that first stumbled on the Bohrok, not the Toa. For as long as the Matoran had dwelt on Mata Nui, they had avoided the subterranean complex at the centre of the island, guarded as it was by the Makuta, but he had been defeated by the Toa (defeated, but hardly destroyed, though none but the Turaga guessed this).
Of course it was Takua who wandered about with a lightstone and Pewku. The irrepressible chronicler was the first to realize that the Makuta's defeat opened a whole new realm to exploration, and without telling the Turaga, for Takua had a sixth sense of knowing when to ask for permission or forgiveness, he headed off to explore.
The warren of tunnels beneath Kini Nui extended below more of the island than anyone then realised, paths each other right on the now-twisted superstructure over the fall city of Metru Nui. Takua, of course, did not know the significance of the patterns and materials that poked through the dirt and stone as he explored and if Pewku did, she kept her thoughts to herself.
Neither Takua nor Pewku knew that, when the Cataclysm forced Metru Nui and all the rest of her interconnected empire beneath the waves, it had raised the island of Mata Nui from the displaced chunks of earth and stone beneath and beside the sunken city, and one great chunk of machinery, smaller than one of the Metru below, but larger than anything else it might be compared to, had been driven from the mud of the ocean and become embedded against the edge of the Matoran ecosystem, part of the foundation of the new island.
There it lay, the dormant hive, all those long years, until Takua stumbled upon it. The Makuta had recognised it, first was his kin that had built it, in their ancient war, and he had not disturbed its peace. Wake one and you wake them all. The Bohrok were a failed experiment as far as he was concerned, for they had resisted direction and control, but perhaps he still nudged Takua toward them, willing the chaos the Bohrok would bring on his enemies, and he was still Lord of the Shadows, easily able to guide a single Matoran through the passages with subtle suggestion.
Takua touched the strange panel, and a yellowish-green glow rose within, and a rumble as the being within was roused from slumber by ancient subroutines. How the hive had survived being dredged up from the ocean floor beneath Metru Nui to remain functional, not even the Makuta could have said. Perhaps the Bohrok had repaired it themselves, though why they had then remained dormant is a mystery. Perhaps it was the will of the powers that punished the Matoran empire. Whatever the reason, the Hive responded to Takua's touch, and with a hissing release, the pod opened.
Takua fled, Pewku skittering for daylight, but the Bohrok did not return to sleep. The evidence was unmistakable: the Matoran had found them, and the peaceful slumber of the Hive could be no more. The horde must rise and obliterate its enemy.
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lu-nme · 11 months ago
Who are Arundolyn and Rostam from Genshin Impact?
Sources: Brave Heart lore, Defender’s will lore, Ferrous Shadow lore, Favonius Sword lore, Favonius Greatsword lore
Arundolyn and Rostam are two members of the Knights of Favonius who lived 500 years ago. They don’t appear in the game and are only mentioned in some artifacts and weapons, which explain that they aren’t really known.
Arundolyn was known as the Lion of Light and became Grand Master, while Rostam received the title of Wolf Pup at the age of 27 and was the right-hand man of Arundolyn. They both were very strong knights and played an important role: Arundolyn didn’t have a vision, but he had extraordinary strength and was able to fight with a sword and a claymore.
On the other hand, Rostam’s bladework had inspired the Favonius Bladework; and it is even said that no one has ever matched his ability. They also were great leaders: the titles of Lion and Wolf are given to knights who have a great leadership potential and are destined to become Grand Master.
They fought on the land of Khaenri’ah to defend their homeland during the Cataclysm. And when the knights came back to Mondstadt, it was without Rostam who died. Since then, Arundolyn never fought again.
About their relationship:
(please remember that this is my own interpretation of their characters and their relationship; though it is based on official informations, i am not working for mihoyo and don't know everything.)
At first, Arundolyn and Rostam were rivals, probably because both of them wanted to be knights. Later, they became childhood friends and shared their first adventures together.
The Brave Heart artifact set focuses on Arundolyn and his relationship with Rostam. I’ve read many times every artifact set and weapon centred on them, but Brave Heart owns a special place in my heart, because it shows how important Rostam was to Arundolyn.
Every artifact of this set is one of Arundolyn’s memories with his closest, dearest friend. He cared about Rostam more than anything else: remember, Mondstadt was menaced by Durin and needed his powerful Grand Master, but Rostam’s death has affected Arundolyn so much that he left his title and never fought again. When his homeland needed him.
One of Brave Heart artifacts is the Crown of the Brave. It is a keepsake of a day he spent playing with Rostam. “Many years later, this wreath of flowers, though crudely made, would seem more precious still than the power a master of knights held…”: a crown of flowers that is more precious than the title of knight for a man who had always dreamed of heroism, if it’s not a proof that Rostam was more important than anything else, I don’t know what it is. And it’s one example among many others.
Rostam cares about Arundolyn as well. He dedicated his life to defend Mondstadt, as a knight but also in the dark: Rostam was a kind of Darknight Hero, doing the dirty job that couldn’t be done by a knight. But I read the Defender’s Will artifact set, and I personally believe that it is not Mondstadt he wanted to protect, but those he loved: Arundolyn and the maiden (I’ll talk about her later). Why? Because every time the defense of Mondstadt is mentioned in the Defender’s Will artifacts, Arundolyn is mentioned. Mondstadt is seen by Rostam as the land loved by Arundolyn (“this land that is friend and superior loved” — Guardian's Clock).
What about the maiden?
I can’t really keep explaining why I think Rostam loves Arundolyn without talking about the maiden. To (try to) keep it short, the maiden was in love with Rostam, and Rostam loved her too. Her songs were the only thing that managed to “cause the guardian's brow to come unbound”. You might know her, since after Rostam’s death she became the Crimson Witch of Flames (from the artifact set that has the same name).
I find that there are some similarities between her and Arundolyn in their relationships with Rostam. One of them that is really interesting is the notion of time. Time is something that Rostam doesn’t have: “there was never enough time”. As I said, he dedicated his life to the protection of Mondstadt and the people he loved. He accomplished his duty as knight in the day, spent his nights doing what he couldn’t do in the daylight. “Only when he gazed on that maiden in the square, could he think upon things he had no time for. Only then could he think about his own future…”. What Rostam wanted and needed was time he could spend with those he loved. And guess what? He gave hourglasses to the maiden and Arundolyn, because they are the ones he loved, the ones he wanted to share his future with.
>>To sum up my view on them: I’m sure and certain that Arundolyn was madly in love with Rostam. Rostam was maybe polyamorous and loved both the maiden and Arundolyn. And Arundolyn knew that, and even if it hurt him to know that he wasn’t enough for Rostam’s happiness, he accepted it; because he would do anything to support Rostam and be sure he was happy.
thank you a lot for reading, i hope it has been useful! i sadly couldn't say everything, due to my not-very-good english + the fact that i didn't remember everything while writing this, but don't hesitate to ask me anything that comes to your mind! i may not be the best one to reply, but i really love talking about arundolyn and rostam, and it is always a pleasure to share this with anyone!!
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solasan · a year ago
since we’re bound to something (why not together?)
fandom: mass effect pairing: thane krios/female shepard (leda) rating: M word count: 2.3k summary:  The night before the Omega-4 Relay, a dead woman and a dying man speak of what comes after the end.
The crash comes first.
In school, back on Earth, Leda learnt about the process of stellar collisions. She carved spirals into her desk and checked her glitchy black market omni-tool under the desk, mostly tuning out her teachers as she and Carla shot messages back and forth. Spent more of her time planning drug runs and shitty fast food dinner dates and shakedowns on the Strip than she ever did studying, and just ‘cause they keep that out of the vids doesn’t make it not true.
But she remembers the collisions. The stars always seemed so far away, untouchable by her calloused, her broken, her dirty street-trash hands. It was nice to know even they could break, you know? Nice to know she wasn’t the only one burning out.
See, but that doesn’t always happen. The burning out, she means.
In the centre of the galaxy, of course, this clash always ends in cataclysm. Destruction, devastation; the kind of mindless carnage Leda’s made her own since she was six-almost-seven and she broke the nose of a stupid older girl back at the home for pushing her too far.
(Carla forgave her, but Leda doesn’t think she ever forgot the bruises.
She’s sure she used to feel bad for that.)
Her and Thane, though— they’re not like that.
read the rest on ao3!!!!!!
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nxrthmizu · a year ago
What about a daminette fic with prompt #26 with Robin and a Cat!Marinette or Fox!Marinette? I love your writing btw! I just love reading your work
| The Detective and the Blue-eyed Fox | Ch.1 
prompt | ‘Detective and Criminal AU’ 
pairing | Daminette
summary | Damian unravels the long, complicated past of Gotham's new blue-eyed fox, who has been closer to him than he knows.
words | 1.8k 
author’s note | I had no idea where I was going with this when it started but,,, Here you go. It might be a little confusing. 
It was the third time that month, Damian thought bitterly to himself. The third time that month that he let that cunning, slippery little vixen get away with her tricks. It was getting on his nerves, failing to catch the ‘criminal’ continuously. 
Now 25 years old, Damian Wayne had made a sudden career change from being the successor of the Wayne Enterprises to being a detective for GCPD. Of course, having an alter ego as Robin was nothing but a bonus that made investigating a tad bit easier. 
He had studied criminology in university, and the moment he graduated, he had moved out of the Wayne manor, finding a nice, quiet apartment a little distance away from the GCPD office. 
“Morning, Dami!” Dick greeted happily, holding two coffee cups in his hands. “Got you your usual, Americano with no milk.”
“Yeah, thanks.” Damian mumbled, not really listening. His mind was focused on the fact that his identity had been compromised. The night before, he had received a letter from an anonymous sender. The card presented him with a riddle, which he had eventually decoded as the clues detailing Gotham’s newest criminal’s latest heist. 
Only, the card was addressed to Robin. 
I’ll see you there, little bird <3 
The last line of the card troubled him instantly, and moments later, he realised it was hinting at the fact that he had an alter ego as Robin, and it wasn’t helping that Robin had been in various, constant encounters with Gotham’s slyest criminal, who now knew the identity of his alter ego.
Slamming his fist against a concrete wall, the youngest Wayne hissed in pain as his knuckles started bleeding. At least his anger and frustration had subdued a little. A few other police officers stared at him in surprise, never having seen the green-eyed Wayne lose his cool. 
“Are... Are you alright?” His partner, the newest addition to GCPD, asked with an amused tone. “What’s got you so riled up?”
“Shut up, Cheng.” Damian muttered, accepting the bandages that she handed to him. “I’m just... Frustrated, that’s all.” 
The bluenette scoffed. “Because of Lan?” 
Three months ago, Gotham met a new criminal by the name of Lan Hu. From what GCPD had gathered so far, Lan didn’t associate with villains like Joker or Two Face, but instead chose to be a lone performer, once in a while showing up to aid Poison Ivy and Harley in their... Less malicious schemes. 
Lan did carry out her own attacks, though. By far, three politicians had been attacked and robbed by the criminal, only for said politicians to be exposed by the media, who had received information of the politicians’ corruption from an anonymous source. 
“What else?” Damian snapped angrily. He had been paired with the bluenette since three months ago, the two tasked on unravelling the mystery of Lan and where she came from. “It’s been three months and we’ve had little to no leads.” 
“Well...” Marinette trailed off. “She is pretty good at covering up her tracks.” 
He glared at her. “Not helping.” The card lingered on his mind, the riddle hinting on Lan’s next attack prodding at the edge of his thoughts. If he told Cheng about the riddle, they could possibly have a chance at catching up to Lan for once... But on the other hand, it could be another person who knew his identity as Robin. 
“Is there... Something you want to tell me?” She raised an eyebrow, sensing his hesitation. “Partners don’t hide stuff from each other.” 
Partners don’t hide their secret identities from each other either, but I suppose both of us are hypocrites. 
Marinette resisted the urge to laugh as she watched Damian’s sour, retreating back. 
“Lan.” Damian spoke quietly, knowing full well she could hear him. He was standing on the rooftop of one of Gotham’s tallest buildings- One owned by one of Gotham’s richest politicians. 
The night echoed back in silence. Lan was nowhere to be seen, but Damian knew her well enough to know that she was hiding somewhere, listening to him talk to the air. 
He had eventually realised, when he looked at the riddle again, that she wasn’t planning a heist. The card hinted for him to go to the location alone, and if he wasn’t wrong, there was something she had for him. 
“Come out, I know you’re here.” He snapped. “You said you wanted us to have a peaceful talk. I’m talking. Stop being a coward and-” 
She was in front of him in an instant, sapphire eyes glowing. A dark slit crossed the centre of the almond-shaped sapphire orbs, watching him carefully with a sly, knowing smile across her lips. “Nice seeing you here, detective. I have to admit, I expected to see bird boy, but I suppose it doesn’t make a difference.” 
He gritted his teeth and clenched his fists, knowing that if he let his anger show, she was only going to tempt him more and things would play to her favour. “What did you want to show me?”
“Be patient.” She purred. She was clad in a skin-tight dark-blue and black suit, wearing a black jacket with a fox-themed hoodie above her suit. A golden necklace that looked like a fox’s tail hung around her neck. “I come in peace. I think you know what this is about.” 
Of course he did. As if it wasn’t obvious enough. She had chosen for them to meet on the rooftop of a building owned by one of Gotham’s richest politicians- A politician that literally everyone knew was corrupt, but had no evidence to back the accusation up with. “You have evidence that he’s corrupt.” He said quietly. 
“That’s right.” Lan smirked foxily, amber eyes glinting. “I’ve been doing research, detective.” 
“And what do you want in return?” Damian narrowed his eyes. “You’re hardly the type of person to give without wanting anything in return.” 
She laughed softly, and if she wasn’t a criminal, he’d find the laugh soothing. “Correct again, detective.” Her expression turned serious. “I’m looking for a ring.” 
“A... A ring?”
“That’s right.” She seemed to hesitate. “I’m taking a chance by telling you this, detective. Before you take this information to GCPD, remember that I have your little secret on my side.” 
Damian breathed out softly. So that’s why she was holding it over his head like that- She was trusting him, and his identity was her insurance. “Why do you want this ring?” 
“... If the ring falls into the wrong hands, one man could single-handedly destroy this entire world.” She said quietly. “I’ve left both the evidence on Harold (The politician) and the information revolving the ring in your mailbox.” 
With that, she was gone, and Damian was all alone, the night echoing back in silence once more. 
True to her word, a file listing all the slip-ups and mistakes made by James Harold were listed and filed carefully in a folder that had been stashed inside Damian’s mailbox. Next to the file was a small, black USB. 
That very night, Damian plugged the USB into his laptop, not at all surprised when it requested a password. After all, the ‘ring’ seemed pretty important, and it would be completely unlike Lan if she left it without encrypting it. 
He had first tried ‘Lan’. Then ‘LanHu’. Another hour passed and he had tried as many combinations as he could, and was on the verge of screaming. Giving up at last, he turned to the file, flipping through it irritatedly to take his mind off the USB. 
As he was going through the thirtieth page of Lan’s compilation of evidence, his doorbell rang. Getting up, he squinted through the peep hole, only to see that someone had taped a sticky note onto his peep hole from the other side. 
How’s your French? 
He made a noise of confusion. The note was handwritten, the words written in a neat, black ink. Upon a closer inspection of the words, he caught a whiff of... Was that orange? 
It hit him like a truck. 
He dashed back into his apartment, reaching for the iron. Sure enough, words appeared on the sticky note after it was exposed to heat... 
B-l-a-c-k C-a-t 
He blinked, recalling the little French he had learnt in high school. Black... Noir... Cat... Chat. 
Chat Noir. 
Instantly, he plugged the USB back into his laptop, fingers typing the eight letters in a hurry as soon as the password-request popped up. 
The laptop made a ping! noise, signalling that it was unlocked. Nothing could’ve prepared him for what he saw. Articles on Paris’s disappeared heroes, on a villain named Hawkmoth’s defeat, articles on... Chat Noir and Ladybug. 
The articles in the USB weren’t enough to feed his curiosity, because by the next hour he was combing through the internet for more information on Chat Noir and Ladybug, and what had happened to Paris three months ago. It was nearly midnight by the time he clicked on a link that brought him to the Ladyblog. 
The most recent article dated to three months ago ago, detailing of the two superheroes’ disappearance. The article below that talked of Hawkmoth’s defeat, although it was never revealed to the media who he was. He skimmed through every article, slowly building a timeline in his brain. 
By the time it was three in the morning, he had read through two years’ worth of posts. There had been a couple interviews with the superheroes. Ladybug held the miraculous of creation, of luck; Chat Noir held the miraculous of destruction, of misfortune. 
After going through a few footages of Chat Noir’s ‘Cataclysm’, he understood what Lan said when she meant that one man could destroy the whole world with the ring. He understood why she needed the ring back so badly. 
You’d think that he’d be wary about giving a ring capable of destruction to a criminal, but... No. It was nearly 4am when he realised why Lan was hunting down the ring of the black cat. 
Ladybug and Chat Noir used to recruit other heroes to help them battle the ‘akumas’, and the moment Damian saw Rena Rouge, he knew instantly what was going on. 
Lan was Ladybug. Ladybug, with the fox miraculous. He’d seen the necklace on her neck, plus both Lan and Ladybug had the same sapphire eyes. Ladybug was desperately searching for the miraculous of destruction. Now, the only problem that remained was those blue eyes. 
The blue eyes that belonged to Ladybug/Lan that he was pretty sure also belonged to one particular Marinette Dupain-Cheng. 
| Next Part | ao3 | 
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anarcblr · 2 months ago
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flightfoot · 8 months ago
Y'know, if dearest family is marinette centred, than it would kinda make sense that chat noir isn't there in ephemeral. like with the whole feeling useless and not needed thing. That's just me though, what do you think? 🤔
The chances of Chat Noir feeling useless and not needed in Dearest Family is roughly nil, at least by the end of the episode, since he's the one who cataclysms the planet-sized macaron Tikki summons. So I don't think that's it.
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theflashdriver · a year ago
Powerless (A Silvaze Oneshot)
Standing on a cloud, thirty-five-thousand feet above the world, was nothing new to Silver. This was the height that he would, on occasion, retreat to for privacy whenever the world beneath grew too chaotic. Usually, this space was beautiful and safe, a sanctuary just a half step closer to the warmth of the sun or the sparkling night sky. On this occasion however, his skyward territory became home to a monster.
Sprawled beneath him, stretching to the horizon in all directions, black-grey clouds convulsed like some kind of foreign sea. Above him though, the same blue sky he knew so well gleamed like a pool of pristine water with some manner of strange glowing treasure sailing aimlessly across its body. Despite the world he knew lay beneath him, despite the chaotic force that had so thoroughly scarred the planet’s crust this past two-hundred years, with this blue sky above, Silver knew that things could be made right. Things would be made right.
Unfortunately, he wasn’t hanging up here for some simple moral boost- the wind was chilling him far too much for that to be the case. He was watching the clouds to the east with an intensity harnessed for only one task; the task that was his life’s work. To his back was a vehicle he’d stolen from the world bellow; a lengthy black eight-wheeler and its trailer that had gone somewhat undamaged, secured in an underground parking lot. Though the vehicle wasn’t yet straining his psychic grip, he’d begin to feel its weight if he had to hold it for much longer. A beast would soon arrive from the east, he’d heard and seen it pass overhead thirty times a day at least. Though he knew that patience was key to this plan, a concoction of the cold, time and his own anticipation was gouging his resilience.
In an effort to forget what he felt, the psychic hedgehog shifted to a more meditative position, crossing his legs as he hovered and reflecting on the world bellow. It had surely been dark for generations now; the clouds had refused to part no matter the energy he put into his palms in an attempt to splay them. The ground, the buildings, the earth, the trees; nothing was exempt from the ferocious cracks and scars left by the titanic monster that soared at thirty-thousand feet. Though he was yet to see the monster’s true form, only the glimpse of a talon or the wavering of a wing, Silver had seen the devastation that travelled alongside it. Lightning would rain from the sky as though it was mere rain or hail but arrive with a combined force comparable to a meteor strike.
He’d walked a ground so crudely uneven, splattered and corrupted by constant melting, and watched as bolts of energy tore stone from buildings in terrifying blasts. It was no wonder that life in this world had been snuffed out, just as no one walked the streets, no plants grew on the surface. Even in searching catacombs and subway systems, the only pieces of infrastructure that remained relatively intact, they hadn’t found so much as a body. Nothing could survive here, not as long as this monster lingered in the air. Before their arrival, this world had surely gone untravelled since mere months or years after that creature appeared.
His partner was awaiting him on the surface, preparing for his success. The longer they lingered here with this thing tearing across the sky, laying siege to the land, the more danger they were in. The more danger she was in. This was their first time working one of these jobs together since they’d been separated, it’d been a lifetime ago, but their spent struggles still felt so fresh. If she got hurt doing this then he wasn’t sure what he’d-
A thundercrack tore Silver’s eyes open and threw his attention back to the horizon. Light had begun to spew from the clouds, dancing out of them in the form of countless blinding energy waves. The beast was approaching, the terrifying creature they’d watched and researched during their brief stay here- the bird of lightning was almost upon them. With each flap of its wing, with every squawk and flit, the bird dispensed a torrent of electricity that blasted and melted the ground bellow. Every pockmark and demolished building in the city could be traced back to this terrifying beast, it was the cause of this world’s calamity; it was responsible for billions of lives destroyed.
As it grew closer still, the count between the emergence of lighting and its thunderous caws was growing shorter and shorter. Silver began to mumble a stanza they’d come across in their research, “For the bird of lightning doth only shine… whilst it lingers amongst the clouds. It never nests nor roosts, not for the slightest moment …” He his teeth clench, he struggled to recall what came next, “For as long as it flies, it will survive. Heed its crackling caw and fear the flitting of it feathers, that armour that grants it permanence.”
With little data about the bird either existing or remaining, they had been forced to utilise ancient texts. He just hoped they were correct. As far as he and his partner understood, they had to knock down this bird to stand any chance of defeating it. He had to push this thing towards the earth, this monster that had flown uninterrupted for so very long. Silver finally began to move, the great vehicle hung just behind his head as he raced towards the cloud barrier with the intent to intercept. From up here, just as bellow, he couldn’t see the monster, but he could perfectly tell where it lay by the ferocious crack of thunder and the bright light that pierced even those grey clouds. Their trajectories were set to align.
Suddenly, the dancing bolts of white and blue light began to lurch towards him, bouncing off his psychic glow, but it soon became clear that he wasn’t their target. Though his glowing grasp was strong, it was now enduring a hail of lightning bolts the likes of which he’d never experienced. The truck was acting as a lightning rod. Silver grimaced mid-flight, if his grip slackened then this would all be for naught. The moment was here. He had to act!
His arms swung forward, bringing the great vehicle over his head and pushing it in front of him as a meteoric battering ram. The cloud layer was breached, a mighty thud briefly silenced the thunder. The bird of lightning was struck! But a single blow was not enough.
The vehicle’s rear now in front of him. Pushing with all his might, the hedgehog intended to make full use of his makeshift weapon. He roared as psychic power flew from him, aided only by gravity as he pushed both of them towards the ground. Lightning bolt after lightning bolt chased along and off of the lorry, bounding up against him and fizzling against his aura. With each passing second, each push and bead of sweat, they were approaching terminal velocity and the burnt earth bellow.
One of a dozen lightning bolts pierced through his barrier, catching his right shoulder. Seconds later, another one of fifty cut through again and scored the centre of his right palm. Every blast, every skyward surge of voltage, came with a wailing cacophony of thunder that echoed endlessly in Silver’s ears. With each passing moment, he could feel his own energy being sapped by his endeavour. Yet there was still every chance that his job was far from done.
He broke through the cloud layer, pushing the bird down ahead of him!
Now able to see the devastated ground below, the hedgehog shut his eyes and grit his teeth, “It makes no nest of iron, for that would ground its power,” He felt another shock course through his system, only half muted by his aura, “It secures no roost, for that would leave it exposed…” It was like the monster was fighting back, attempting to peel away his psychic grasp, “To all that dwell on the surface!”
His voice gave way to a scream as he felt tracing electricity continue to ricochet along metal, bouncing until it inevitably crashed into him. He could feel it now, the pain was gathering in one place; the voltage was dancing into the heavy metal bangles that were meant to protect his wrists from the kickback of his own power. His fur was surely being scorched, just as his power was being burnt up. Bit by bit and step by step, he was losing both his physical and mental might. He could see the flash on the underside of his eyelids, the coursing of ampers forced spasms from his arms and brought his grasp to weaken. He could feel it slipping, all of it, the truck from his grasp, the strength of his body and the consciousness from his mind.
That was until, in an instant, fresh pain vanished from Silver’s body; an anomaly accompanied by the sound of a cataclysmic smash.
In less than a moment, light faded from his surroundings. He felt a force like his palms slamming into the dirt after a million-mile fall and felt the associated tremor. For a moment, above the whining of his ears, Silver could only hear the crinkling of metal as he blindly forced the truck further downward. The noise was however quickly corrupted by the hoarse screaming of the beast beneath it. His eyes cracked open only to be filled with dust. By the time he’d blinked through it; Silver could see a skeletal bird, faintly crackling with light blue energy. Its wings were longer than those of any plane and its was beak looked sharper than any sword. Beneath his psychic might and the weight of the now mishappen truck however, the lightning bird had been pinned!
“Do it, Blaze! Do it now!” He screamed, feeling his grip begin to slacken as the creature shook in an attempted to rise.
From a set of stairs to the underground, like a pirouetting firework, Blaze shot free and lit their soot-covered surroundings. Immediately, she set upon the bird with all here flaming might, rushing in a circle around its form and throwing punch after kick after punch. The sound of thunderclaps resumed as the beast writhed, undoubtedly experiencing true pain for the first time in almost two hundred years. The soot from the world it had long burned with javelins of lightning was now cast into the air, higher than it.
Silver didn’t have so much as a moment to smile though. In the wake of the pain, the creature managed to force itself back onto its feet. Loosing another roar, the hedgehog reupped his psychic might and continued to push the burnt metal mass into the bird’s spine. He could see Blaze throwing attack after attack out, bones would crack and char, but they refused to full break. The monster began to shift and swivel, lashing at her whilst simultaneously trying to slide the weight off of its back and onto the ground.
Roaring again, welling psychic charge in his aching hands, Silver pushed with all his will. It was like attempting to halt a greased earthquake with a single finger, any of the lightning bird’s countless movements could have been the one to send the eight-wheeler up and into his frame. Rather than move and attempt to alleviate that chance, Silver knew what he had to do; he was wasting energy by spanning the air between himself and the vehicle.
Silver flew down even further, forcing his shielded hands against the truck’s rear door and channelling every ounce of both mental and physical energy into it. His effort was rewarded immediately, he felt the creature buckle beneath his power. It didn’t last for more than a moment, almost immediately the creature was pushing back. Silver felt his arms buckle, but his psychokinetic might was holding strong.
He couldn’t see her now, his vision was too filled, but every half second a burst of heat and the sight of orange light told him that Blaze was still battling the beast. Surely, she was injuring it? Time was becoming difficult to process under the strain of his effort, whether minutes or seconds were passing quickly became a blur.
He tried to call out, “Blaze! Is it-
A lurch from beneath forced his chest against the truck’s doors, he felt the monster’s shear strength rebuke him. Despite the pain and sudden shock, a familiar shout pulled him free from hesitation, “It’s working! Don’t give up, just a little more!”
As his eyes cracked open again, he found himself face to face with the latch of the truck’s freight. A plan formed in his mind; there was a way to gain more control of this gigantic mass, but it came at the cost of visibility. It took another lurch, one that almost threw him back into the air, for the hedgehog to act.
Only hesitating for a second longer, he undid the latch and fell into the depths of the truck’s empty cargo hold. He hit the back wall, immediately pushing his hands against it and maintaining his psychic strenth. Again, he felt the mass beneath him buckle and shift in response to the increased pressure. This time though, it didn’t manage to kick back!
Now closer, Silver could hear every strike Blaze made against the creature and its floundering attempts to rebuke her. He quickly picked up on a rhythm, Blaze would make two lighter attacks followed by a heavier one. With his power running dry, he knew he couldn’t keep this up for much longer. He probably only had the strength to handle one more big push or a handful of minutes; the former seemed far more appealing.
Silver shut his eyes and held his breath, trying to get an exact feel for the force and sound of Blaze’s blows. Consistently yet inconsistently the creature would wobble following its shift to attack her, likely strained by the weight pushing down on it. That was the moment to strike, that momentary waver was when the monster was at its weakest.
“Blaze! I’ve got one push left! Give it your all!” He shouted, almost certain that she couldn’t even hear him.
All of a sudden, rather than another attack, Silver felt the blows cease. The only sound was that of the lightning bird, screaming and thundering against the ground. He strained as he felt it successfully rise, managing to push back against him. A low buzz began to sound, static began to rumble beneath his fingers, what had happened to Bla-
The sound of roaring flames snuffed all other noise, save for the immediate screech of the bird beneath him. Silver felt a wave of heat immediately rise, shrouding his entire frame and threatening to destroy his power on its lonesome. Without a moment to spare, before his power could be fully stripped away, Silver heaved all the psychic weight he could muster downward.
Something beneath him, the be it the eight-wheeler’s engine or the beast, immediately crumpled. Regardless of what it was, the hedgehog continued to push, shunting his very soul against the wall in front of him. Mental brawn continued to prevail, despite the rising heat. Even as the walls on both sides of him caught alight, he pushed forward without an ounce of hesitation.
It took a second impact to make him to stop; that of his force finally meeting something truly immovable. Though he could not discern the cause of this collision but, still face down in the now burning cargo hold, he knew it would be the last. Though he tried to send one last shunt through the mass, the glow of his psychic powers refused to manifest. It was in the wake of that proof of his energy’s end that the truck itself tumbled. The shift of its landing sending him briefly into the air before tumbling to the floor. He landed on his back, staring now at a ceiling that he wasn’t sure was intended to be the ceiling.
It was only once his head had stopped spinning (though his ears were still ringing deaf), that Silver noticed the fire had vanished from his surroundings. Before he could even piece together what that change meant, a figure stepped into his vision. With a still inaudible snap of her fingers, firelight filled Blaze the cat’s hand. In contrast to how he surely appeared, the now princess of the Sol dimension was pristine and proper as ever as she knelt down next to him.
Struggling, he tried to speak, “So, we did it?”
He saw her lips move but, ears still ringing, he couldn’t make out a word. The princess looked as serious as ever, and she was saying a lot, but, beneath that veneer, Silver could still pick up on her small mannerism. The slightest smile on her lips, the softness of her ears and the time she was taking to clearly lecture him; those were a sign enough.
Regardless of how tired the hedgehog was, he felt a grin manifest on his face, “Wonderful, we did it… the future is saved again…”
Her hand extended in his direction. She was talking again; he could hear that much now, but the words were entirely unclear. The hedgehog was too tired to properly hear right now, let alone listen.
Silver winced as he raised his arm, catching sight of the presently dulled symbol on his hand. Though he successfully reached out, she did the entirety of the grasping. Pulled up by his wrist, the hedgehog managed to land on his soles but could not stand for long on them. He stumbled forward, ploughing directly into the feline and pushing her against the trailer’s wall. His head came to contact still-warm metal, positioned less than an inch from hers.
Awkwardly, he tried to stumble back but couldn’t shift his own feet, “S-Sorry, I’m a bit worn out…”
The psychic didn’t have to see her lips or hear her voice to know she’d called him naïve. He felt her grasp leave his as she shifted, wrapping an arm around his side before, so very casually, heaving him up by the legs. She’d held him like this on a handful of occasions, usually after fights like this, but the lithe feline’s strength never ceased to astonish him. Even after what had surely been a hard fight, she could manage this much while he was exhausted.
“Thank you,” He managed to mumble, feeling warmth radiate from her.
As she began to move, due mostly to his position, the hedgehog’s eyes locked upon her face. She was just as untouched as he first thought, her white muzzle entirely uninjured. The main change in her form was a thin layer of soot, marking both her fur and the deep purple overcoat she wore. Outside that, Silver could only see one thing of note; through the conflict, her ponytail had surely slackened. A single lock of her air had slipped free from the binding, cascading down to arrive just outside the gaze of her right eye. Had he the strength, he’d have adored reaching up to brush back that hanging strand.
Sunlight hailed down on them as they stepped free from the trailer. The black clouds seemed to have vanished, that or they’d transmogrified into mush smaller white ones. Blue sky hung above them, so perfectly regular, but Silver couldn’t bring himself to move his head and get a clearer view. Instead, he could see that the sun was perfectly framing the princess, granting her a halo and causing her shadow to cast over him. From that frame of reference, despite the soot, it was as though things had never been destroyed and the bird had never existed; it was as if they were already back in the past or her dimension.
“What a lovely view…” He hummed, unwilling to let himself so much as blink despite the weight of his eyelids.
A moment now passed, the ringing beginning to fade, Silver managed to pick up the end of her sentence, “…and you should have seen the sky clear; it was beautiful.”
“Maybe next time,” He rolled his head back against her shoulder, trying to find a comfortable position, “Can we go sleep now?”
“In a while, I need to patch you up first,” Her amber eyes flickered down to him, seriousness had lightly reclaimed her face, “You can hear me now then? If I didn’t know you better, I’d have thought you were dying.”
“But you do know me,” he mumbled, too tired to really think.
The look she gave him served to rouse him a little more, but it softened back to a mild stern glare as spoke again, “Regardless, I’m happy to see you in one piece, even if it’s a battered and fried one,” She resumed walking, a tutting tone still hanging in her voice, “It’ll be days before you can stand to use chaos control.”
“No, I’ll be fine tomorrow, I promise,” He insisted, eyelids still so very heavy.
“Oh, hush. You need rest,” She insisted, her tone again softening, “We’ll only attempt it when you’re fully healed, we don’t want to end up misplacing ourselves.”
That had happened a handful of times and was in fact the reason they’d reunited, “If you’re sure… it’s just that I promised Marine that we’d be back as soon as possible.”
That drew a snort from her, seeing the slightest smile on her lips put him even further at ease, “Well, we will be. As soon as possible is after you’re back at one hundred percent.”
He felt her turn and stop; reflexively, he followed her stare to the space ahead of them. The devastation caused by their fight with the creature was clear. Before them lay a giant bird skeleton, the front two thirds of a truck’s cab melted into its cracked and splayed ribs. A combination of his final push and her flaming endeavour had seemingly split the creature in two; its spine had been crushed just above the hips, that seemed to be the cause of its death.
The cause of its life however was plain to see, the orange insignia of moustached face with a grinning maw has weathered Blaze’s charring. They didn’t know all the details, though newspapers found in subways had informed them of the rough date of the occurrence. The lightning bird was a long dead creature that Eggman had revived, likely through the power of the chaos emeralds, and probably thought he could control. That seemed in line with the way things typically went for the evil doctor; taking advantage of something he didn’t truly understand and causing untold havoc in the process.
Flanking the skeleton was the devastation it had wreaked upon civilisation. They were near the heart of station square, but, due to the devastation, identifying it as such was virtually impossible. Two hundred years of lightning strikes had reduced much of the concrete and exposed infrastructure into a black sand desert, what little remained of the skyline appearing as little more than crumbling ziggurats. What appeared to the eye as simple soot from a fire was the pulverised remains of civilisation and life. This was Eggman’s fault, rather than the beast. The damage was the simple result of the creature’s existence, something out with its control.
Despite the depth of his sleepy thoughts, a far simpler sentence trailed from Silver’s mouth, “It really was just a big bird skeleton.”
“It certainly looks that way now, just like the cave paintings,” Blaze mused, “Once we’re reunited with the others, we should be more than able to either stop its revival or kill it soon after.”
“We know when it shows up, we just need to figure out where Eggman’s newest base is,” He hummed, turning back to her, “The others should have some idea, that or Tails will be able to figure it out.”
Blaze turned from the wreckage, turning him with her, “That and, before the devastation, researching where its remains were should be a whole lot easier.”
He nodded in agreement, finding his tongue was growing too heavy. The hedgehog was in a peculiar and uncomfortable state. Luckily, he couldn’t feel many of his injuries due to the numbness that came with overusing his powers. He was in that awkward position of being too exhausted to fall asleep in the feline’s arms; a fact exemplified as he yawned only to get stuck halfway in an annoyingly unsatisfying way. As his eyes reopened, Silver started to look past Blaze as she brought them down the very stairs she’d hid beneath before racing out to strike the beast.
While the land of the surface had been devastated, underground tunnels and subway systems had relatively endured the two-hundred-year assault. Station square’s own subway loop had become their base of operations over the two and a half weeks they’d spent in this future. They’d lit the subway space using braziers constructed from old buckets and barrels but, with the sky now clear, there was no need to light them. Cracks created by the lightning bird’s attacks were now letting in sunbeams, lighting their way as she alighted the stairs.
Silver turned from her face to watch the tiled walls pass as the feline jumped over a turnstile and began to walk down what was once escalator, heading towards the subway station they’d come to primarily utilise. They’d chosen this station in particular as it was where the train had stopped, leaving somewhat of a building to call home and the rough yet plush interior of the carts to use as beds. Seeing it now, lightly lit by the cracks in the ceiling, was astonishing. The subway train looked so picturesque; it’d been claimed by fungus and heartier plants long before they arrived, but it couldn’t have received much light at all until now. This place had become their tether to the past, being the originator of unsold and abandoned newspapers as well as general evidence of people’s lives just before the end times.
“Home sweet home,” He managed to softly sigh, being carried up and over the hearth by the feline.
This cart, the one primarily used for resting, was uniquely laid out. Rather than rows of seats, long benches spanned the entire length of the walls, only breaking at the room’s parallel doors. Blaze rather took him to the bench on the immediate right, not setting him to lie under his covers but to sit atop them. This was his bedspace, hers was on the bench parallel.
He began to slump over, wanting to send his head to his pillow, but Blaze caught him by the muzzle, “No, not yet. No sleeping till I’ve properly patched you up.”
“Fine,” He leant into her grasp, feeling the warmth of her palm and staring up at her, “Can you lean down here first though?”
He saw misplaced concern in her gaze as she took her hand back before bending down to eye level with him, “What is it?”
His right hand had started to hurt, there was a seething pain near the centre of his palm, so he was forced to reach across with his left. Rather clumsily, Silver brushed the stray lock of hair up and back behind her ear, “That’s all. It looked like it’d get in your way.”
A wave of heat exuded from the feline as she shot up to stand at her full height, seriousness had furrowed her brow, but a strange phenomenon had claimed her muzzle. Though her expression was fittingly serious, it looked so incredibly forced; a truth made certain by the manifestation of the strange pinkness he’d seen on her cheeks a handful on times. None of it was new to him, but the sight still made him smile. It was strange to think, but the only word he could use to describe it was cute.
She turned for the door, her tail lashing, “You’re clearly exhausted. I’ll be back in a moment. Don’t fall asleep.”
“I’ll try,” He promised, managing another failed yawn as she yanked open the door separating the cars.
Their primary storage space was in there, they’d filled it to bursting with all the supplies they’d brought from her dimension and what little they’d managed to gather from their surroundings. It had however been scarce pickings, due to the lack of lingering infrastructure. When they’d found the truck they’d gone through all the cars and managed to salvage material for burning but little more. Despite how short their stay had been here, besting the beast with relative ease, it was more than obvious why the presence of the lightning bird had been enough to end the world. Electronics couldn’t face the monster in an airborne battle and those on the surface had been bombarded much too quickly.
Silver turned to the room he was in, taking stock of it. Pending how much he was actually hurt, he recognised that today might be the last day he slept here. At the room’s centre was a large garbage bin, one they’d used to light fires and keep warm; above it was a hole they’d cut out of the ceiling to vent the smoke. The benches left of the entryway had unique purposes. The one on his side was effectively acted as their kitchen. They had brought trunks with cold storage compartments with them, filled with various vegetables and fruits, but also dehydrated food that they’d recently started to use. Blaze would start a fire at the room’s centre, he would handle the cooking; they shared in it as they did all tasks.
Odds were that he probably should eat something, but he doubted he could manage that in his current state; despite his shouting during the fight, he wasn’t even aware enough to feel parched. They’d successfully gathered water from the black cloud’s storms and purified it using her pyrokinesis. For drinking, he’d catch the rainwater using his power, convening trickled rivers from the several holes in the ceiling, and she would perform contained evaporation. Recently, the feline had been expanding her use of her powers; trying new things and practicing them in new ways. She’d once been so afraid to use them; the simple thought of her so casually lighting their cooker never failed to make him smile. She always wanted to do more, to help in even the smallest ways. Others might have thought that tendency was a result of her royal upbringing, but Silver new better; regardless of her birth, she had always been this way.
The additional bench on her side had become their makeshift library, stocked with the various newspapers and tabloids they’d found in the tunnels as well as their brought literature. For Blaze that meant a small collection of poetry books, a few of which he had read but failed to absorb, while his pile was focused on the nature and history of her world. He reached out with his left hand, trying to wield his psychic power and tug a book over, but his symbol couldn’t even manage a full cyan glow. He was fully tapped, entirely drained.
It took the sound of footsteps, signalling the pyrokinetic’s arrival, to remount his attention. Blaze had returned to him with a small box of medical supplies in one hand, still covered in soot. From behind her back, she produced a small metal mug filled with water.
“Drink,” She commanded, “It’ll make your head feel better.”
The guardian knew better than him, she’d delt with him in states like this a dozen times over, “Thank you,” He manged to respond.
Just as he had almost finished sipping, she had knelt down in front of him and flipped the box open. It was only as he looked down to her, still feeling heat radiate, that he noticed the bloody state of his knees. Evidently, he’d gone down hard on them during his various landings.
“Can you get your boots off?” She asked, using her teeth to tear an alcohol wipe free from its pouch.
Slowly and awkwardly, the hedgehog manged to raise his right leg and tug the shoe off, but the left was far less cooperative. Now that he’d seen the state of his knees, it was as though they were constantly reminding him of their damage. He didn’t even have to speak for Blaze to notice his struggle though. Setting the wipe aside, she gingerly managed to pull the shoe off and set it aside. Thankfully, it didn’t look like he’d crushed his feet during the fight.
“You know this is going to sting,” She reminded him, retaking the swab. Her brows were hard, she was focused on this task, “Are you ready?”
“Yeah, it’s not like it’s our first time doing this,” He leant back and gave her a smile. Though he put all his will and truth behind it, the gesture was surely meek, “I trust you, Blaze. It’ll be fine.”
Having said that, his toes did curl, and his canines did grit, at the first contact. Blaze was working diligently, clearly swabbing as gently as she could but making sure to be thorough, “Try to get your gloves off too, you’re bleeding on your right.”
Again, he hadn’t even noticed. Glancing down, the gloved hand he’d been struggling to move was indeed more red than white currently. He could still move his fingers, but it did feel incredibly raw. He opted to try the left first, biting the glove’s forefinger between his canines and tugging it free. There was some bruising at the bottom of his palm, and some small scorch marks around his wrist, but nothing too dramatic. When he tried to more regularly pull off his right glove though, move of an issue became immediately apparent. As he tugged at the fingers, a tearing pain brought him to cringe.
His gaze flickered to Blaze, she’d already wiped the worst of the blood from his knees and begun to scavenge for bandages and dressings. Though she looked unscathed, the confrontation had undoubtedly drained her too. He had to handle at least this much, take at least a little pressure off of her.
He grabbed the glove again, gently taking it the wrist-hole, and began to turn it inside out. The primary issue immediately became clear. Where electricity had been conducted to his right bangle, there was a sizable gouge running across the top of his wrist. Beyond there, he came across another issue; it seems as though the lightning had blackened a small patch of glove near the centre of his palm in particu-
“Silver,” She cut off his efforts, he felt her hand on his thigh. As he looked down to her, he found that his right knee was already bandaged and she was partway through treating the left, “If you’re struggling then just let me do it. I’m fine, I promise.”
Vulnerability prompted action, he took the cup she’d brought him and held it out to her. Knowing his partner, she’d got him water without considering herself, “If you drink, I’ll do whatever you want.”
Blaze did take the cup from him, but she hesitated upon receiving it. He followed her eyes to the mug’s lip and was about to question why she wasn’t drinking, when she very quickly raised the container to her lips. She seemed to be sipping, but she sipped for quite a long time. By the time she’d lowered the mug again, that cute pinkness had returned to her face. Now that he considered it, he was fairly certain that change was known as a blush; but why was she blushing?
“Are you satisfied?” Her ears were pinned back, she was staring at his knees.
“Y-Yeah,” Why was he stammering now? What was happening? “Are you okay?”
“I said I’m fine,” She insisted. With the return of her strong tone, the feline began to work in a slightly faster manner, “You’re the only one who’s hurt.”
“I guess,” He could only respond, noticing that the pink wasn’t fading from her face, “I meant to ask, how was it out there?
“Without its power and trapped beneath you, the creature was practically harmless,” She relayed, drawing a safety pin from the box and starting to secure his bindings, “I was able to hit it time after time without it so much as touching me, I could have done it for hours.”
“Sorry I couldn’t hold up for that long,” He conceded, his chest filling with pride in his partner, “That sounds incredible though, I wish I could have seen it. Watching you fight is always incredible Blaze!”
“It was nothing special,” She insisted, finishing on his left leg before rising, “Right, now let’s see to that hand.”
“Oh, right,” It’d already slipped his mind.
As she took up the bench to his right, bringing the first aid kit to sit on her lap, he quickly took a sip from the mug before setting it down on his left. When he turned back to her, the blush that had begun to fade was back on her cheeks. Her gaze was locked on the box, she was fiddling with some of the equipment, and heat was flagging from her.
“Are you sure you’re okay Blaze,” He questioned, shuffling a little closer, “You’ve been blushing a lot.”
“It’s just the exercise, it’s been a while since I’ve fought properly. I’m a little flushed, just a little out of breath,” She quickly insisted, even redder as she turned to face him, “Now, let me see your hands.”
His head tilted as he reached out with both too her, “But you said it was an easy fight?”
The pyrokinetic didn’t answer his confusion, instead tearing open another swab’s pouch with her teeth and getting to work on his left hand. He tried not to cringe as she cleaned around his scorched wrist, but the pain brought one of his eyes to close. A simple bandage was easily cut to size and bound around the worst looking part of the injury. That had been pretty painful, but his right hand was undoubtedly going to be a whole lot worse.
He immediately winced as she began to shift the glove, folding it back from his wrist just as he had prior. Blaze leaned in to better look at the hand, seeming to identify the sudden tension across his body as she reached that point. He watched her brow furrow as she gingerly tried to raise the fabric, hearing him reflectively hiss. Before his eyes could cringe shut though, he’d recognised the issue; his flesh had indeed been fused with his glove in the wake of lightning’s burn.
Blaze set his hand on her lap and drew a small set of scissors from the box, “This is going to hurt. I’ll try to be as gentle as possible… but let me know if it gets too painful.”
It took him nodding for her to proceed.
She started at the edge of his hand, away from his thumb, and cut along the white material. The guardian was working diligently and carefully, keeping her eyes to her work. That left him plenty of opportunity to grimace and roll his toes as he realised just how raw that flesh was, every snip and shift sent a not insignificant wave of pain through the hedgehog.
Reaching parallel with the bottom of his fingers, she turned the scissors inward and began to cut along the inner material at the top of his palm. The pain was always at its height just before the cut, when the tension was at its greatest. She reached the other side relatively quickly though, then slicing along the front of his thumb. The material on both sides of his hands immediately loosened and a sharp sigh slipped from his lips. She began to ease the back and fingers of the gloves free from his hand, prompting him to clench. Blaze glanced up, plainly noticing his strained expression.
She stopped, frowning up at him, “You’re so naïve, I said to say if it was hurting too much.”
“You’d still have to do it though, regardless of how much it’s hurting, right?” He winced as she reached up, taking a small, wet, cloth to his brow.
“That doesn’t mean we need to rush it,” She tutted, dabbing his muzzle and cheeks, “We can do this little bit by little bit.”
“I can handle it, it’s okay,” He insisted, watching as she pulled the cloth away, “And there’s only really one bit left to deal with, right?”
She was the one to grimace this time, “I was saving the worst for last… but if you’re sure…”
Again, she was looking to him for confirmation. He gave the best smile and nod his strength could muster, but he was certain the expression betrayed him. Despite that, his partner accepted the consent.
Deftly, the back and fingers of the glove were peeled off of his hand and left to tumble to the floor. Though it hurt, Blaze was right; the worst was yet to come. This wasn’t the first time that they would be dealing with fabric fused to skin, living in a world dominated by Iblis and sparring with Blaze had been caused the hedgehog a multitude of burns, but it was the first time he’d be enduring that pain in this lifetime. At first, they’d simply cut the skin where such damage occurred, cauterising it when the damage was at its worst, but now they knew a little better.
Blaze flipped his hand around and allowed the excess fabric to naturally fall, taking an appearance that resembled a bundled curtain. The excess material, no more than half a centimetre away from the fused mass, was then cut and allowed to fall into the small space between them. He couldn’t help but notice the symbol on the back of his hand, through his still stained fur. Though its light wasn’t shining, the circle was still visible. His power would return, but again the feline had been right. It wouldn’t be days rather than hours until he was back at full power. Before he was too tired to yawn; now pain had roused him, and a headache was forming.
Another glance from the feline seemed to identify that feeling, he watched as she set down the scissors and picked the towel back up. She gingerly began to clean his right hand, starting with his fingers and working his way down the back of his hand. Every at her contact, the slightest glimmer of light ebbed from his symbol before snuffing back to nought.
Their eyes met again, there was nothing left to delay them; Blaze gently flipped his hand back over. Stationed near the centre of his palm-side symbol, blackened and roughly an inch in diameter, remained an innocuous piece of fabric. Blaze raised the already bloodied cloth, the trepidation in her expression was as plain as day.
“I’ll try to make it quick,” She promised.
Silver couldn’t help but hiss when the moment finally came, the flesh around the conjoining material was rubbed with the cloth and raw skin was gradually exposed. As he flinched and grit his teeth, the hedgehog’s quills, no longer supported by his latent psychic power, fully tumbled into his vision. Abrasion was the best way to treat injuries like this, removing the burnt skin and material without damaging healthy mass, but every movement stung and set his teeth on edge. With his free hand, weak as it was, he gripped the edge of the bench.
It didn’t take much more than a minute, Blaze worked as deftly as possible despite his shudders and tensing. Once it appeared the mass had been removed, she drew and opened a trio of alcoholic wipes and began to clean the wound more directly. The pain didn’t vanish, if anything it was worse than before, but he was becoming more accustomed to it.
“Thank you,” He managed to croak.
“We’re not out of the woods yet,” She responded, reaching back into the first aid box.
Soon after that, almost before he could comprehend, his right hand and its wrist alike were properly bandaged. A shudder of relief washed over him at the finality of it all, that was until Blaze was back upon him. She’d quickly risen, having taken off and balled her gloves before beginning to ply through his fur, seemingly to both take stock of both her handiwork and search for any remaining injuries. He felt her pass over a handful of bruises, or perhaps they were smaller burns, but nothing seemed to significantly hold her attention.
Her warm hand finally moved to arrive on his forehead and successfully eased back his quills, brushing up to the top of his head before gently lingering there, “You look exhausted.”
“But you’ve been doing all the work,” He heard himself moan. The gloves she’d been using were entirely soaked and her once merely soot covered overcoat was now stained at various points.
“And I’ll continue to do so until you’re back on your feet,” She insisted, taking on the authoritative tone he’d often heard her use in her dimension, “Now lie down.”
The hedgehog did as he was commanded, kicking his feet up onto the bench and setting his head against the pillow. As he went to pull the covers over him, he caught the princess’ eye again, “No, the other way,” He turned onto his side only for Blaze to roll her eyes, “On your stomach.”
“Will this help me heal faster?” He asked face pressed flat into the pillow.
No answer came though, instead Blaze simply responded; “I’ll be back in a moment, I’m just going to clean up a little. Don’t move.”
Evidently, she wasn’t done. Silver heard the subway cart doors slide open then reclose. He shifted his head, putting his chin atop his pillow. In the wake of passed time and her efforts, the adrenaline had well and truly worn off. Outside his more obvious wounds, his entire body was beginning to ache with the echoes of his strenuous effort. His shoulders were still ridged, and his biceps ached. Harsh tension across his form was a regular occurrence that followed more intense psychic endeavours; though it was a power of the mind, full bodily effort was required to make full use of his psychokinesis.
He reached out ahead of himself, ignoring the whine of his left shoulder, and tried to simply push against the leaver on the nearby door. Not even the slightest glow dared to manifest on the leaver or his hand this time; he was totally drained. The likelihood was that he couldn’t even stand at the moment, let alone walk. He was probably weaker now than the likes of Cream, perhaps even Cheese. The thought of the tiny chao mercilessly beating him like a punching bag was enough to make him snicker, but it served as a reminder of how exhausted he was. A more physical reminder came as he struggled to look back behind himself when the door separating the carts slid open again.
Blaze had shed her overcoat. She’d returned to him with that metal cup, assumedly refilled, and was now only garbed in her white leggings and tank top. She’d taken her brief hiatus to wipe much of the soot from herself, having likely disposed of her bloody gloves. Her change in look didn’t hold his attention though; the pink that had reclaimed her cheeks and her averted gaze did that enough.
“Drink,” She insisted again, the mug filled his view.
He rose to one elbow only to find it wasn’t enough, weakness truly had claimed him. As he rose onto both, she held the edge close to him and tilted the vessel. As always, the water was room temperature, but he truly hadn’t realised how parched he was. Even though he had drunk prior, perhaps just due to the numbness having faded, these mouthfuls felt far more refreshing.
“Thank you,” He responded as he final finished, but no response came. The feline was looking away from him, still holding the cup as she had prior, “Blaze?”
His voice seemed to interrupt her train of thought, she pulled the mug back but didn’t respond. Instead, the feline trailed off past him; he heard her set the cup down on the metal floor. She had hesitated just behind him, he felt her fingers drag through one of his longer quills.
“I want to try something else to help you, but I’m not sure I’ll be any good at it,” She half explained, trepidation in her tone, “While I can light our surrounding and help with cooking, I’ve thought of something new I could so with my power. I’ve been trying to practice but…I rather…” He didn’t need to see her to know that she was struggling with whatever this was, “You’re already vulnerable, and if I failed then it would only make things wor-
Without hesitation, before she could talk herself out of it, he gave his answer, “I trust you, Blaze. Whatever it is, go for it.”
Despite his words, she didn’t act yet. Instead, she was prompted to be blunter, “I’m want to try to give you a massage.”
“That’s it? Of course you can give that a shot,” He grinned, even though she couldn’t see.
“I want to try use my powers as I do,” She elaborated, the tension in here voice still very much present, “I’ve been doing some research, some reading, and people use hot stones and heat pads sometimes to relax their muscles. I was curious if I could do the same.”
“Then let’s found out,” He forced himself up further and turned to her, their eyes met for the first time since she’d returned, “Blaze, I trust you. Let’s try it.”
“Just put your face against the pillow and lie flat,” The seriousness in her voice was undiluted, but she had begun her approach before he turned, “And if this is uncomfortable, say. Don’t try to act tough this time.”
“I won’t, I promise,” He spoke back, half muffled as he assumed the instructed position.
The hedgehog heard her shift before he felt her physically; daintily straddling his back, right upon his hips.
A moment later, a wave of heat passed over the top of him, starting strong before quickly subduing itself. Her weight shifted closer to the base of his spine and heard her take a deep breath before, gingerly, the feline’s fingertips contacted his shoulders. The princess’ touch was always warm, but it was more of a background heat than her current concentrated effort.
She’d started at his upper back, just beneath his neck, and near his spine. The feline was being gentle, what little pressure she was exerting being derived from presses with her thumbs. Alike the contact, the heat she was generating was relatively minor. Despite what he’d said, Blaze was plainly holding back, starting small and light. He was more than willing to wait.
“You’re doing great,” He said, certain his words would be muddled by a combination of the pillow and his tiredness.
“You just focus on relaxing,” She insisted, but the prior hesitation in her voice had vanished and a muted softness had taken its place, “Just close your eyes and try to rest.”
Gradually, he felt her other fingers begin to work their way into the action. She grasped along his shoulders, rubbing in circles while simultaneously pushing heat into him. It was with that change that he hedgehog truly began to feel her efforts. She seemed to have reached a point she was comfortable with, both in terms of contact and body temperature. Gradually, she went from aimlessly squeezing around his shoulders to more focused endeavours, pushing the base of her palms against the more fully formed knots in his back. Just like while he was fighting, time had become a mystery to him. He came to fold his arms under his chin and close his eyes, fully focused on her firm contact.
“Are you still awake?” He eventually heard her ask.
The hedgehog managed a small hum, just loud enough to let her know.
“I’m going to move a little lower, remember to let me know if it’s at all uncomfortable,” She reminded him.
He was powerless when it came to her, regardless of the state he was actually in. Though fire was Blaze’s most blatant power, it was far from the only thing at her disposal. She was strong, elegant and capable of enduring tasks far more gruelling than her title of princess would suggest. Beneath the surface though, it was her heart that harboured so many secret skills. Even though she feared the damage her power could do, she was giving her all to help him recover. It was endeavours like that which made him admire her more than anything.
Feeling tiredness finally catch up to him, the hedgehog began to mumble, “How lucky am I to have found you twice? What were the odds of that?” Silver felt a small spike in heat, but no response came from her, “Someone so strong and reliable. Willing to do so much, even when I’m not in this useless state…”
“Silver, you’re delirious,” Her heard her snort, muting the slightest chuckle, “I know you’d do the same for me.”
“Of course I would,” The moment he said that though, he had an idea, “Not could; I will. As soon as you finish, I’ll look after you. I’ll give you a massage too!”
“Don’t be so naïve,” He could practically her eyes rolling, but it was matched by the grin in her voice, “You’ll be getting bedrest first. Maybe in a couple of days you’ll be able to return the favour.”
He tried to turn around but, but that attempt only caused her to strengthen her efforts and keep him pinned. It was as he’d thought before, Silver were powerless when it came to her, “I’ll do it as soon as I can, whether that’s in the next five minutes or the next five days,” He promised.
“This is going to take a lot longer than five minutes,” She tutted, “Let’s focus on you for today. If you can stand by tomorrow, then you can consider pampering me.”
As if to emphasize her point, Silver felt the feline’s grasp tighten and the temperature rise. He supposed she was growing bolder as he was showing his comfort, “Deal. As soon as I’m able, I’ll give you the best day possible in this place. I swear it.”
“If you drain yourself doing that, it’ll become an endless cycle. We’ll never get home,” She responded, soft snideness in her voice.
“Maybe so,” He hummed, feeling her shift a little further down his back, “Guess we’ll have to see who gives in first.”
“I suppose you’ll have to choose between that and your promise to Marine,” She gently taunted, moving her heat between his spines.
Eventually, the hedgehog felt his eyes grow heavy and entire yawns broke beyond his lips. It wasn’t long after that before he heard the same sounding from the pyrokinetic behind her, accompanied by the slight slowing of her movements. He didn’t know what state he’d be in when they woke up, whether her efforts would have some miraculous impact or if he’d be bedridden for days, but he could rest easy with her watching over him.
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giuliafc · 11 months ago
Betrayal Chapter 9: Who saves us now?
<< 1 -- 2 -- 3 -- 4 -- 5 -- 6 -- 7 -- 8 -- 9: Ao3 || FFN -- 10 >>
Written by: JuliaFC
Beta: Etoile-Lead-Sama and Myimaginationflows
Summary: Chat Noir to the rescue. Well, kinda. (997 words)
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by (c) Thomas Astruc, TS1 Bouygues, Disney Channel, Zagtoon, Toei Animation. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Written for the "Snippet July" challenge of the Miraculous Fanworks Discord server @miraculousfanworks AND for LadyNoir July @ladynoirjuly Day 20 — Pride/save me. Let me know what you think!
PS: I forgot to upload this chapter on Tumblr on the 20th! Sorry about that...
It didn't take long before a soft thump echoed from the deck of the diner boat.
Good, Chat Noir is here, thought Marinette.
She looked at Tikki, who nodded and disappeared through the wall to go greet the cat superhero. But straight after that, Marinette could only watch in horror as Jacques, who had been just sitting on a chair next to her reading a book, smirked and dialled a number on his phone.
"Hello, sweetie. The cat is here. Yes. I'll do as planned." He stood up and walked out of the room.
Marinette looked with eyes full of worry at Chat Noir's head popping out from the boat's window. She didn't know what Lila's plan was, but it didn't sound good at all. And what was worse, she had no way to warn Chat Noir that something was wrong. She also knew that the boy always acted on impulse, and may not think twice before jumping in the room if he didn't see anyone there with her. He would fall straight into the trap!
She groaned as loud as she could in hopes of warning Chat Noir, but as she did that, a purple mass appeared in the centre of the room. Right in Chat Noir's full view, and a sentimonster who looked like a buffed up version of Jacques materialised in its place. Marinette and Chat exchanged looks and Chat Noir nodded, his head disappearing from the view. Marinette breathed a sigh of relief.
"Only the bee holder can immobilise a sentimonster," said Tikki.
"How are we going to contact Vesperia? She's only a temporary hero, isn't she? So she doesn't keep her Miraculous, we need to give it to her!"
Tikki looked at Chat Noir sheepishly. "Rena Rouge knows Vesperia's identity, and she knows how to get to the Miracle Box." She sighed at Chat Noir's unbelieving stare and at how his eyes nearly popped out of their sockets. Then, she continued, "I know it's hard on you, Chat Noir, but you can't save Marinette alone. You need help. If you cataclysm the sentimonster, it will go mad and we don't know what powers it holds, if any."
Chat Noir swallowed dryly. "It's okay. Marinette is more important than my pride." He sighed and dialled Rena's number on the communicator. There will be time for Marinette to fill him in with all the details she hadn't revealed to him up to now. At the moment, the most important thing was to save her.
However, after having spoken to Alya, explaining to her what they needed, and waiting for a long time that Alya or Vesperia arrived to help; Chat Noir lost his patience. He was nearly going to enter the room and fight the sentimonster himself when his eyes widened in horror: Lila had come back. But the most shocking thing was that it wasn't just Lila. It was Volpina.
Volpina approached Marinette and used her flute to create a cage around her. Then, she came through the cage and took off the tape from Marinette's face with a firm gesture. The girl coughed and spit out the cloth that was filling her mouth. Volpina freed Marinette from the knots and came out of the cage. Marinette took a little time to untie herself completely and get back to a sitting position, trying to gain back the feeling from her hands and legs.
"V-volpina? Wh-what…" was the first thing Marinette was able to say. Volpina sneered.
"It was so easy. I know you're listening, Chat Noir. You may as well want to hand yourself in at this stage. Your pathetic attempt to get the bee holder has failed miserably. The new Bee Miraculous holder was unavailable, so Rena Rouge—or should I say Alya Césaire—had to give the Miraculous to Chloé Bourgeois." Volpina cackled. "How stupid of her. She didn't know that Chloé had teamed up with me! So now…" She fondly grabbed the fox necklace on her neck. "...Now I've got the real one, and nobody will stop me!"
"What have you done to Alya?" screamed Marinette, her hands reaching for the bars of the cage and noticing with surprise that they were more solid than she thought and they didn't disappear when touched.
Volpina laughed. "Chloé used her power to paralyse her so I could get her Miraculous, and she's still unconscious."
"You evil witch!" Chat Noir shouted and jumped out of his hiding place.
Volpina blocked his baton using her flute, but didn't seem to be able to counteract his attacks very effectively. However, before he could knock her off, the sentimonster intervened. It became a fight between Chat Noir and the buffed sentimonster, a fight that Marinette watched with her heart drumming into her throat, jumping at every hit of Chat's baton.
The sentimonster defended himself with his bare hands to start with, then Volpina materialised a pole for him to use as a weapon. Things seemed to get worse for Chat Noir; the boy took many hits and eventually crashed on the ground.
"Chat Noir!" cried Marinette as Volpina used Mirage to create another cage around the black clad superhero.
"Damn witch, you won't trap me like this!" growled Chat Noir, and balled his right hand to a fist, roaring "CATACLYSM!"
His hand came in contact with the bars, and the cage crumbled and turned into ashes. But Volpina didn't even need to snap her fingers; almost immediately, the bars were up again, as solid as before. Chat Noir was left blinking in surprise as Papillon's mask appeared on Volpina's face.
"The plan was perfectly executed, Papillombre. Now we just need to wait." Chat Noir's eyes widened in horror as Volpina's face came closer to the bars of his cage. "Tik-tok, tik-tok, kitty-cat. It will be a pleasure seeing you detransforming and handing your Miraculous to Papillombre."
Marinette's heart sank as Chat Noir growled and shook the bars of the cage with his fists.
They were in DEEP trouble.
Author's Note
Whoops. I hope it's clear that Lila is using the Fox Miraculous and the conversation we didn't see before she arrived at the boat had Papillombre offering Volpina "the power to generate solid and unlimited illusions." This story is growing legs, I'm telling you. Why do all my stories end up growing legs?
I hope you liked it and will leave me a comment. You know that comments are my bread and butter!
Until tomorrow, bug out!
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