Bathroom haircut today babey the bangs are back!!!
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oh cool i’m bleeding
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POPULAR FACECLAIMS AND FRESH, NEW PERSONALITIES AND TRAITS TO GIVE THEM.
It’s 2021, no more biker Charlie Hunnam characters. I’ve had it, you hear me? This will be the first list of many! Please send me more popular faceclaims for me to add to a potential list.
CHARLIE HUNNAM, JASON MOMOA, BEN ROBSON: The dork with a heart of gold who owns arcades around the world, the flamboyant but stern fashion designer and obsessive flirt, the terrible no good assassin who keeps getting hired, manager at Waffle House who dreams of becoming an actor in the big city, science teacher who loves their students but has no game.
CHRIS EVANS, SEBASTIAN STAN, OSCAR ISAAC: Obsessed with death and the color black and is still in their emo phase but is actually pretty nice, kinda gross and very annoying and works at the local Hobby Lobby but has a knack for adventure and history, glam rock star with trust issues and minor anger issues.
CHRIS HEMSWORTH, THEO JAMES, MICHAEL B. JORDAN: The pastor’s son who carries around itch cream and fears the world might end someday, the typical shy guy with anxiety issues who plays chess and was bullied as a child, the awkward romance novelist who’s very secretive and only good on paper.
ADAM BRODY, MILO VENTIMIGLIA, JAKE GYLLENHAAL: The obsessed ballet dancer who loves being alone and grew up in a weird family and they themselves are also pretty weird, the angry collector with trust issues and is secretly not good at anything, telemarketer and very passionate about the little things in life and is a ball of energy and sunshine.
JESSICA ALBA, ANA DE ARMAS, MELISA PAMUK: The awkward one who trips over their feet and probably still picks at their scabs and works at the local supermarket, stern and steady and very political YouTube personality, the recluse who believes in the supernatural and goes bonkers when asked about it.
SOPHIA BUSH, PHOEBE TONKIN, ADRIA ARJONA: The stand up comedian who is both angry and kind and a little on the rough side, the peaked in high school type who now washes cars and makes wishes on stars and is lazy and problematic, lover of computers and is very quiet and fades to the background of almost any conversation aka a true wallflower.
MARGOT ROBBIE, DAKOTA JOHNSON, MINKA KELLY: Obsessed with sleep and is always groggy and quiet and has a very lackluster personality and probably wears the same clothes everyday, the classic tagalong and the never popular one with a sweet face and a kind heart but is also last in line, the always paranoid retired poet who makes voodoo dolls and is extremely spectacle of the universe and everything in it.
LILY JAMES, OLIVIA MUNN, BRIE LARSON: The hacker with impulse control issues who hates hot weathers and has horrible taste in everything but still feels confident with who they are, the cheapest human in the world who gets out their angst of never leaving their home town by playing drums and collecting coupons, the failed actress who’s constantly in denial about everything and is secretly very nasty to everyone.
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Thank you so much to @johnseedfanclub for tagging me!!
Tagging: @chazz-anova @adelaidedrubman @johnnycranes @honeysides @shallow-gravy @faithchel @vasiktomis @chyrstis @aceghosts @lilwritingraven @gamerpurgatory @hoesephseed 💕
Here’s a bit from Chapter 6 since I’m already rewriting most of it 🙃 Very, very rough draft ahead.
“I’m not angry…” she says, her voice barely more than a whisper. “I’m hurt. I’ve been hurting all my life. There’s a difference.”
“A lot of people turn their pain into wrath, myself included.”
Charlie digs her nail a bit too deep into the scab on her shin, watching as crimson drips onto the cushion underneath her. “My parents ignored me. My ex husband walked all over me. Of course I’m still pissed,” she seethes at John, “but I just think it’s funny that I’m the one sitting here paying for their sins.”
She feels the tears begin to well up inside her; eyes beginning to turn glossy. The vulnerability is humiliating and she wishes she could just sink through the floor. But the look on the Baptist’s face is so curious; so eager to learn more. Charlie knows she won’t be getting out of this session any time soon.
The voices of John’s chosen unloading trucks in the drive grabs her attention. The differing scars on their chests reminds her of what Deanna had said earlier, about how Nolan sported “greed” across his chest. Curious, Charlie glances back up at John.
“John, why didn’t you chose “lust” as my ex husbands sin?”
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HAIRY DEVILS- ALASKA
Stepping into the dense rainforest of Southeastern Alaska, one can’t helping feeling a strange sort of presence, as if something unknown and unseen were watching from the trees. Is this sensation merely a construct of the mind? The human tendency to anthropomorphize nature? Or is it possible there are ancient spirits and unknown beasts lurking among the dripping spruces and shadowy hemlocks?
Around 1900 a gold prospector named Harry D. Colp wrote a story of an alleged encounter between one of his companions and a pack of unknown entities in the Alaskan wilderness. Colp had been lodging with the man, Charlie, along with a few other prospectors in a shack near the city of Wrangell. Charlie had heard about a deposit of gold-bearing quartz in the nearby Thomas Bay area. Packing three months of supplies, he set off alone to investigate the site, only to return less than a month later badly shaken and with neither supplies nor gold.
Charlie told Colp that upon arriving in Thomas Bay, he’d gone in search of a half-moon shaped lake where the gold could supposedly be found. After several days of searching, he finally locating the body of water at the foot of a glacier. He had only just gotten his bearings when he was horrified to see a pack of hairy “devils” swarming towards him from the shore.
Charlie described these beings as looking halfway between men and monkeys. They were “entirely sexless, their bodies covered with long, coarse hair, except where the scabs and running sores had replaced it.” The stench of the creatures made Charlie ill, and their screams and cries made him delirious. The beings chased him all the way back to Thomas Bay, where he passed out and woke up hours later floating in his canoe in the middle of the water.
Several decades after Harry Colp’s death, his daughter, Virginia, published the manuscript of the story under the title “The Strangest Story Ever Told”. Over the years this tale has become a popular piece of folklore in Southeastern Alaska.
Some have suggested that the beings Charlie encountered may have been kushtaka- shape-shifting otter-men from the folklore of the Tlingit people. Stories depict these creatures as malevolent tricksters who lure fishermen and hunters into the wilderness, only to drown them or transform them into more otter-men. They are often used as boogeymen to scare children aware from the dangers of the ocean. Yet, like shapeshifters in many cultures, kushtaka can be mercurial in behavior, and may occasionally save lost travelers from dying in the freezing cold (often, again, by turning them into kushtaka themselves). In at least one tale recorded by the Smithsonian Institute, an otter-man is depicted as the reborn spirit of a dead man who returns to aid his impoverished family.
While Harry Colp never refers to the creatures in his story as kushtaka, the otter-men have become closely linked with “The Strangest Story Ever Told” in Alaskan folklore.
Other people have allegedly also seen the hairy devils around Thomas Bay, though Colp’s story is the only one widely known. These sightings have led locals to dub the area “Devil’s Country”. Thomas Bay is also known as the “Bay of Death” by the Tlingit people because of a landslide in the 1700s that wiped out a village.
Full text of "The Strangest Story Ever Told", from bigfootencounters.com
A story about a more benevolent encounter with a kushtaka
An interesting possible explanation for the Thomas Bay devils, from Tara Neilson's Alaska For Real blog
An article from the Juneau Empire with more details about Harry Colp
"Kushtaka", a short film created by Cameron Currin about the monstrous Otter-Men
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“Can I See You?” ch 5 || Modern!Thomas
It's time, guys.
We've reached the ending of this little thing I created! I will be writing an epilogue, but the mainstory is now over.
I so hope you liked this little story, and I appreciate every single comment, kudos and share I've gotten from all of you! It's been so much fun actually writing and ending my first ever fanfiction! Thank you, thank you thank you!
Tipjar/sneak peek collection
The more you started to walk on your own, the more the atmosphere in the house had changed. You could feel it, it was heavier. Charlie’s eyes had become colder. He started following you when he noticed that Thomas felt safer leaving you alone for longer periods of time. His eyes had almost gotten… hungrier.
The feeling of eyes dragging over your body during times you’d been alone and doing simple things such as baking, doing laundry, reading, was becoming something unbearable. You’d also begun to notice how Charlie had been home more in general. He came home earlier from his patrolling, and left later than he usually did. That is, if he left the house at all.
At first, it didn’t really bother you. You guessed he just wanted to spend time at home in general. But then came the subtle comments from him. Those… hints. Whispers directed at you if you were close enough to hear them; “Your leg looks nice ” and “I wouldn’t be runnin’ yet, though”. It was always either those hints, or he’d come straight up to you to stand close and breath in your scent. Charlie wasn’t stupid, though, he knew to keep away when Thomas was close by, but even if you remained close to your self-appointed guardian, you could still feel a pair of - literally - hungry eyes following you. Today, however, you were blessed. Because Charlie had decided to leave you alone thanks to Tommy, who you had dragged out to sit under one of the big trees at the end of the yard with. The weather was cool, the sun wasn’t as much of a scorcher for once, so you’d taken the opportunity to relax.
Tommy was leaning up against the tree while you resorted to lay down, starfishing in the grass. “Tommy?”, you spoke up, and he grunted in response. So you turned your head to look at him, noticing he had his eyes closed and arms crossed behind his head.
“Does your face still hurt?”. Your only response from him was a side glance and a cocked eyebrow. “I mean…”, you sat up. “Does your face still hurt where you cut it?”, at that moment his brows knit together, still not giving you a proper response.
“I’m just saying… If your face isn’t in pain…”, looking down you shrugged. That’s when a deep sigh erupted from him and he proceeded to lean forward. He glared at you, annoyance clear as glass, and you knew; You pushed that particular button one too many times
“I...I’m sorry I just…”, you stammered out. He was tense as he raised one hand to spell.
‘E’ ‘n’ ‘o’ ‘u’ ‘g’ ‘h’
And that was it. He left you sitting alone on the grass outside as he stomped off, hands clenched into fists. And you knew you’d gone too far. The front door slammed hard enough for you to hear it, even though you were a few feet away and you flinched slightly.
“Shit…”, you mumbled to yourself and laid on your back again.
Looking up into the sky, you traced the clouds as they slowly drifted by, and your thoughts started to venture into your life back home. Sure, you have your family. But the contact with them has always been sporadic. Not because you didn’t care for them, but only because that's just… how it’s always been. A natural occasional communication, which both you and your parents are comfortable with. Friends? That’s another deal. You have a few, and you keep in contact with them, but you’re not close to any of them. Most of them just being the “ I know you through that person who I met at a party ”-kind of friendship. But you always felt that was better than not having anyone at all.
All that thinking about home awoke a sudden urge to talk to your parents, and you patted the pockets on your jean shorts, cursing at the fact that you hadn’t brought your phone out with you. Groaning, you reluctantly got up from your place to head back in. You didn’t get far, however, before the apparent bloodhound Charlie had transformed into grabbed your arm and pulled you around a corner.
He gripped your upper arms hard enough to leave bruises as his eyes undressed you.
“So, your guard dog left ya, didn’t he?”, you just glared at him and scrunched up your nose as the smell of alcohol wafted towards you.
"Let me go, Charlie.", you tugged your arms to try and free yourself, but his grip hardened, making you hiss in pain.
"It’s Hoyt to you, bitch. ", he growled.
"What do you want, Hoyt?", you pronounced his make-believe name in a childish way, doing your best to get your face into neutrality.
"Oh, hun'", he started as one of his hands came up to caress one of your cheeks, "I think we can arrange somethin’ real nice." You turned your head from him, you couldn’t look at him, you knew exactly what he meant by that, and the thought alone was enough to make you sick. But your reaction was not what he wanted, as he grabbed your chin in a hard grip to make you look at him before he continued;
“If ya can open those pretty legs o’ yours to his ugly mug”, he started breathing deeper, a low moan escapes him as he continues, “then maybe you’ll do the same for me.”
You just stared at him, Doing your best to hide the obvious shock at what he had said. But if his grin was something to go after; he saw it.
“Oh, I heard ya alright. You think you’re being quiet, but I heard him fucking ya.”
You frowned at the obvious breach in private life. You shook your head to get away from his grip.
“You make me sick.”, the only words you could even imagine giving as a retort before you inhaled sharply, as you felt one of his hands drag itself over one of your breasts. He leaned in close to your ear and whispered;
"I'll make ya feel better than him." You whimpered at his words, doing your absolute best to ignore the prickling sensation of oncoming tears.
"That boy doesn't know how to properly treat a pussy."
"Please… Let me go.", you couldn’t help the pathetic plea. "Or…"
"Or what, bitch ? You'll call your dumb guard dog to come rescue you?"
That disgusting grin off his returned before he made your blood run cold;
" I can't wait to eat you. "
Meanwhile, down inside the basement. Tommy was leaning on his hands as he looked into a cracked mirror, Thoroughly inspecting his scars and deformities. He hated what he saw, always had. He didn’t have a nose and parts of his lips were missing. Your words rang in his mind as he let his head hang.
I want you, Tommy.
For some reason, he was annoyed. The fact that your leg is fully healed now means you could just get up and leave him whenever you wanted. But he wanted to believe, by God, how much he wanted to believe that you wouldn’t. That you’d choose to stay with him, become his and, maybe even… He shook his head. That was a dumb thought.
Looking back up, he was met with a darker shade of his usually light eyes. And he sighed as a storm began to rage inside him.
- I told you.
- No, you stop, Tommy. Open your eyes.
- I have.
- You haven't opened them for shit. She's leaving you.
- You don't know that!
He punched the mirror, and glass rained down. Blood welled up from where the glass cut him.
- I do know that. And you do too.
- No. She-
- She what? Loves you?
- Look at yourself, man. You're nothing to her.
- We slept together.
- She did that to get on your good side. She did it for survival.
- Look in the mirror…
Thomas glanced down at one of the biggest shards on the ground;
- And come up with one good reason she would stay for that.
He growled and crushed the shard under his heavy boot before buckling his mask back on and walking up to the main floor. With the feeling of hunger attacking his stomach he did his best to try and sneak into the kitchen, knowing mama is making supper. His plans got spoiled, however, as he was quickly shooed away from the kitchen by words such as "I don't need you eating everything before dinner!" or "Nuh-uh, Thomas Hewitt. Don't think about snacking before dinner!". A towel getting smacked at his arm had him chuckling and raising his hands in defeat. So he decided to trudge to his upstairs bedroom instead.
A satisfied hum left him as he ran his fingers through the dirty locks on his head, his mask hanging loosely around his neck, before finally letting himself collapse on the bed. He grimaced a bit as he began picking on the bloody scabs that were starting to form.
Shit, these went deep…
He shrugged and proceeded to stare up at the ceiling. Again disappearing inside his head.
- Why don’t you go find her?
- Why should I?
- To tell her the truth.
- Haha. See, I told you.
- Told me what?
- The truth.
- That if you’re ever dumb enough to confess,
- she’ll leave.
- I’m just sayin’, since she can walk again.
- I’ve told you to shut up.
- Because you’re a pussy and can’t handle hearing facts.
- She doesn’t love you.
- She used you. Fucked you to get on your soft side.
- Do you really think she would love you? Are you that dense?
- What do you mean?
- You think you could live a happy life?
- Get married?
- Have kids?
- I… uh...
- Jesus christ, you actually are stupid, Thomas.
He was jolted out of his brain as he heard a knock on his door, to which he tapped the floor with his boot in response.
"Supper’s ready, hun.", his mama lit up the gloomy room when he saw her head poking in. He nodded and got up, tucking his hand away from sight. If she saw the cuts, he would just get an earful from her, something he was not in the mood for. The smell of food wafted through the main floor, and his stomach made one of the loudest growling sounds he’s heard; chili was on the menu. Looking around, he noticed you were nowhere to be seen… neither was Charlie. A detail that did not sit right in his gut. He tapped the table, gaining mama’s attention, and motioned to your empty seats;
‘Where are they?’
Luda just seemed to look at the chairs, then at Monty who just shrugged.
"I don't know, dear."
Thomas didn't like this, he couldn't trust his uncle alone with you. He knew Charlie was a creep towards women, especially so attractive ones. He had, unfortunately, both seen and heard it. But The funny feeling in the pit of his stomach began simmering down just slightly as he saw you both walk into the dining room. Your expression, however, made a chill run down his spine. You didn’t look at anyone. All you did was sit down in silence at the dinner table.
All of you hung your head and listened as Charlie began reciting the dinner prayer. Thomas nodded along as it ended with “ Amen ”. Tommy saw how you mainly just pushed food around with your spoon, mostly just taking the smallest of bites. He knew you weren’t the biggest fan of eating human meat, but he did also know you actually loved his mama’s chili. Wanting your attention, he nudged your ankle with his boot carefully, hoping you would look up at him or at least give him a glance. But you didn’t react much.
- I told you
- Fuck off.
It mostly looked like you tucked your feet behind the legs of the chair, if the way your thighs moved as he looked over you was anything to go by.
Dinner was silent, only a slight murmuring coming from mama and Charlie. Thomas finished eating first, but decided to stay seated and wait for you. He wanted to know what was up with you and why you looked so… out of it. Your expression relaxed, no smile. Your eyes looked empty, merely staring out into nothingness as you slowly forced yourself to eat.
Something was up. But as you thanked mama for the meal and rose to stand up, with Thomas mimicking you; Charlie spoke up.
“Thomas, sit down.”, The man stopped in a hunched over position, hands flat on the table, brows furrowed. He glanced over to you, who looked pale and your lips were pressed into a thin line as you left in a hurry. Clatter then came from the kitchen and it almost sounded like you basically threw your plate into the sink. He listened to your footsteps. And finally, a clue. The back door closed shut.
Back yard. Barn, probably.
“Thomas.”, Charlie’s voice rang out again, harder. He just looked over at his uncle with a cocked eyebrow, sitting across from him as he sat back down.
“It’s time we talked, boy.”, slowly, Thomas’ breathing increased, brows knitting together as he signed.
“About your friend, hun.”, his mama spoke out next to him and he snapped his head to look at her before mouthing the word “ no ” towards her.
“Tommy, it’s time we talked about this. We agreed.”
‘I’m not killing her, mama.’
His hand movements were stiff, and his face twisted into a scowl. His mama sighed and proceeded to lean back and put her hands on her lap.
“I know you like this girl, darlin’, but…”, he was breathing heavily, the thick leather of the mask making every breath sound like a huff. The look between his mama and Charlie made him sick. Banging the table with the palm of his hand he gestured for her to continue before inquiring;
“She ain’t family, boy.”, with those words Thomas shot up from the chair, knocking it back on to the floor. He was furious. It was rare for him to get that angry at his own family, which made his motion all the more shocking to the rest of the people in the room.
‘ What do you mean she’s not family?’
In his mind, he knew it was a stupid question. The only one who knew you, was him. They didn’t. To them, you were nothing more than cattle. He stormed out, kicking one of the empty chairs out of his path and making it fly to the corner of the room.
“THOMAS BROWN HEWITT!”, his mother called after him. But he ignored her. He couldn’t look at her. All those times she’d talked about grandbabies, and then she was talking about taking away the only person who… He just shook his head and headed off to the barn.
Thomas was off to hunt a specific kind of prey.
The barn was cool and damp, a stark contrast to the settling warmth of the evening sun. You’ve curled up behind an old rundown couch in one of the corners to try and hide from the world.
Charlie’s voice echoed in your head. You just wanted to go home, to your apartment, most preferably with Tommy. The only person who could make this hell house bearable. A sudden gust of cool evening wind hit you, and a shiver ran down your spine.
“I don’t want to die…”, you mumbled into your arms as you wrapped them around your knees and sobbed. Heavy tears accompanied by hulking whimpers. You were crying loudly, almost screaming out your pain in a desperate way to drown out what Charlie had told you before dinner.
“I hope you said your goodbyes, girlie”
“What do you mean?”
His smirk, his disgusting grin plastered on his face and that breath that reeked of stale tobacco and alcohol.
“You’re invited to our Sunday barbeque,” a tongue slowly dragging over your neck, “but you’re not going to like the menu.”
Heavy, shuffling footsteps alerted you of his presence and made you glance in their general direction before peeking up from the back of the couch. And there you saw him, that beacon of light of yours, how he knew you went out here, you weren't sure. But there he was, and so were you. Taking a deep breath, you swallowed down any remaining tears and hulking sobs.
"I'm here.", you weakly called out and threw a hand up from behind the sofa to notify where exactly " here " is. You didn’t have to look up to know he was leaning over the back of the couch, because your entire form was cast in shadow. All you did was curl back up into a ball.
"What do you want?", you mumbled, probably too low for him to hear properly, but then the robotic voice you’ve come to associate Tommy with rings out in the barn.
"About what?", you swallowed again, Fear of what might be about to come bubbling in your stomach.
You grimaced as you heard that disgusting name, but you put on a childish voice and imitated Charlie.
" Actually, it's Hoyt .", why you did it you weren't sure. But you figured it was because of the sheer fact that you couldn’t stand being mad around Thomas. And you smiled as you heard that deep chuckle of his come from above you.
Suddenly, you felt a large hand come lay on the top of your head. He smoothed your hair down, putting a stray strand behind the part of your ear he could reach.
Looking up, you were met with those deep eyes of his. His hand pulled away slightly, but all you did was reach for it with your own and put it to your cheek, nuzzling into his rough and calloused but soft palm.
You closed your eyes while enjoying the feeling of his warm hand against your cheek. But then, the memories of what Charlie had told you crept back into your mind. You were invited to a barbeque, but not the way you'd like to be. Reaching up, you grip around Thomas' wrist desperately. Full of angst, fear, a grasp signaling he's the only thing holding you above water. But you couldn't look at him, if you opened your eyes at this moment, the floodgates would open. Because you were too scared of the fact that one day you’d never see his face again.
You didn’t want to look at the man you were going to leave in the worst way possible. Even if you did your best to swallow any and all sobs that wanted to escape, eventually you couldn’t anymore. And you cried. Fat tears running down your cheeks and over Thomas’ hand still resting on you, a big thumb coming to wipe one of them away.
His hand disappeared from you before you heard shuffling and a low grunt. Shortly after, you found yourself surrounded by two big arms that lifted you up, only to be sat down on his lap.
His hold was warm, comforting, a castle of coziness and solace. You woke up one day, terrified for your life, looking up into the eyes of the man you’ve talked to online for months, maybe even close to a year, waiting to die by his hand.
But now; those very hands were holding you tight to him, shielding you from the real monster, and all you could do was cry. You felt his chest start to vibrate before you heard a low and booming… hum. Thomas was humming a tune, a melody you hadn’t heard before, and soon after, you felt him ever so slowly start to sway from side to side. He was comforting you.
He sighs as he rests his chin on top of your head, calmly swinging while humming the lullaby his mama always sang for him when he had nightmares, or came home after getting rocks thrown at him. He couldn’t be angry at you anymore for nagging on him to start talking. You felt as small as you did during the nights you’d had nightmares and asked him to come sleep with you.
Right then, and right there, he could stay forever. That was better than the first time you’d had sex. When he felt that you’d started to relax a little bit and when he noticed your sobs had started to die down, he swallowed, wetting his dry throat before clearing it with a faint cough.
He lifted his head as you looked up at him with huge eyes. An unsure smile danced on his lips before he gave a small, discreet nod. Hoping you would get his message, what he wanted to convey.
You were his. In his heart, you had been his for a long time and Tommy could never live with himself if he lost you without letting you know that you were.
He knew the conversation wasn’t over yet, due to the fact that Hoyt would still be on his ass about killing you. And if Thomas wasn’t careful enough; he would do it himself. You weren’t safe here anymore, and he knew that. The deal was that you could stay alive until your leg healed. What would happen after that? Tommy was truly scared that he would lose you, one way or another, and he made the decision to confess his feelings for you then and there.
The look you gave him sent the butterflies in his stomach into a frenzy. Carefully, he took your chin and turned your head slightly for him to easier whisper into your ear;
“You’ve always been mine.”
He bit back a chuckle when you quickly turned your head to look him in his eyes.
“What…”, all he did in response was smile at you and slide a hand under your jaw to caress your cheek with his thumb as he took your face in, making sure to remember it. His eyes travelled over your eyebrows, outlining the shape of your nose...
Those beautiful eyes, and the shape of your cupid's bow, loving the fact that your lower lip was just slightly thicker than the upper one. He moved his thumb from your cheek to slowly let it drag on the edge of your lower lip. Your heart fluttered in your chest, butterflies wreaking havoc in your stomach as you felt his lips land on yours. It’d been two weeks since you’d slept together. Neither of you had initiated anything more than just leaning up against one another - or mostly you using Tommy as a pillow - while watching late-night TV when neither of you could sleep.
His lips were warm, his raspy breathing fanning over your cheek as you entangled your hand in his dark locks of brown to pull him closer to you as you accepted his kiss. A small delighted hum came from him as you did.
He surprised you, however, as he made the decision to deepen your kiss, a sign of dominance he hadn’t shown you before. His heavy tongue asking for entrance by tenderly dragging over your lower lip. And you happily accepted his question, parting your lips to give his strong muscle room to take the control he seemed eager to express.
You only gave him a quick taste, however, then moved around on his lap to instead straddle his big thighs and wrap your legs around his waist.
Thomas, ever the shy man he was, reacted as you’d expected him to. His face turned a lovely shade of red, and his hands started to awkwardly hover over your hips. Every ounce of bravery he just had in his body seemed to have just seeped out through his very pores. Hands balled into fists only to unclench again.
You giggled at how fast he relaxed as you took his hands and put them on your hips.
“Tommy… Relax.”, you whispered close to his face.
“You’ve touched me before. Remember?”, you breathed out a laugh as you saw his eyes shoot open, his face becoming redder as he nods quickly, and his eyes dart around the barn as if trying to avoid you. Your fingers carded through his hair to find the buckles of his mask. After silently asking for permission to remove it, a smile grew on your face as he nodded, closing his eyes as you slowly unbuckled it and put it down next to him.
His shyness always got to you. He was such a hulking giant, covered in muscles made for manual work, muscles made for crushing bones. His mere presence had the ability to invoke fear, yet there he was, seated on the floor behind a couch. A blushy mess, with you on his lap.
It didn’t take long after straddling his thighs before he pressed his lips to yours. Again, he asked for permission to taste you.
And again you gave it to him. His tongue met yours, and you moaned as he pressed his against it. Tongues, curious to taste and to feel one another. To commit each other's taste to memory. Last time, every kiss you had shared while he thrust himself into you was hurried, Hungry, and in the heat of the moment.
But now? The kiss had a meaning, it was a silent communication between the two of you. It was between two people, two hearts connecting. Both of you knew what the kiss meant, you were made for each other.
You’d fallen in love with a perfect stranger, long before he had shown you his face. The way he had talked to you, about his hobbies. The love he had for his family, the passion for his work. He was your shelter and your knight.
All it took for Thomas to fall for you? Your voice. He still remembered when you accidentally sent him a voice recording, how you laughed at your dumb little miss click, ending the recording with “oh well, hi” . And to him, you fit perfectly into his arms, the spaces between his fingers made for yours.
A devilish thought hit you, and so you ground once over his crotch and laughed when he broke the kiss with a loud grunt, almost pushing you straight off his lap. An action only hindered by your hands wrapped around his neck. He glared at you and shook his head.
“Why not?”, you replied in a sultry teasing voice. He refused with his head and nodded to the open space behind you.
“Oh, no one will notice us here.”, his face reddened up again. He kept vehemently indicating “ No. No sexy times in here. ”
But you wouldn’t back down. Again, you ground on him, causing him to groan and move his hands to your hips. You attacked his lips, hungry to taste his moans as you moved over his growing erection. After another hard grind, Tommy grabbed your hips hard and took control, Slowly moving you over his crotch while you ate up every sound he made. It didn’t take long for you both to end up in a frenzied dry humping session. At some point his hand had found its way up under your top, lightly pinching a nipple between his fingers. The barn was filled with grunts and heavy moans from the both of you, but a sudden high noise startled you. Your movements stopped. You turned to look towards where the sound had come from, both of you silently listening for more noises while Tommy reached for his mask and buckled it back on over his head.
A bang. And a scream .
Thomas was fast up on his feet, basically throwing you off his lap and bolting towards the house.
The scream belonged to mama.
Inside, Tommy was met by the frightened stare from a woman he had never seen before, something that wasn’t uncommon and Thomas figured she was one of Hoyt’s hookers. The drunk idiot had probably slipped up: he either accidentally told the woman what really goes on in this house, or she snuck off after he had passed out and ended up finding the basement. And so, that woman was holding his mama hostage with what looked like one of Charlie’s guns. She was terrified. Thomas' chest was heaving as he glued his eyes on the gun.
“Drop the gun, hun. And nothin’ is gonna happen to ya.”, Luda’s voice was calm, but Thomas could hear the faint undertone of fear in her voice. She’s terrified but refuses to show anything.
”L-let me go! A-and I won’t call the cops!”. When the woman spoke his eyes snapped to her, so Thomas took one step forward, but she quickly pressed the gun into mama’s temple, making him stop with a muffled growl.
"S-stop! Or I'll… I'll do it!", he remained still, opting to look at his mother as she explained the situation with only two words.
“She knows, Tommy.”, Luda Mae flinched as the stranger behind her scoffed and pressed the gun even harder into her temple. But her face was locked in neutrality, and he couldn’t help but admire the strongest woman he’s ever known.
“Yeah! I-I know! Fucking crazy, inbred psychos…”, she hissed
Thomas raised a hand, spelling out;
'H' 'o' 'y' 't'
His eyes flickered down to her finger doing an upwards motion to the floor upstairs.
Was all Tommy could think before the poor woman’s eyes suddenly shot open in shock. Blood bubbled up from her mouth and she sputtered, covering mama's right cheek in crimson. The hand holding the gun fell to her side, and as it did, Tommy made an act at lightning speed to pull mama behind him. He just stared as he saw… you. He saw you pulling the knife out of the hooker's throat. You'd stabbed her. Straight into the jugular, and as she went down he followed her before shifting his eyes to you as you wiped a bit of blood off your cheek. Your face was unreadable.
He wasn’t sure what kind of emotions you were conveying at that moment. Fear? Disgust? Anger? Sadness? He didn’t know. But the hand holding the knife was shaking, almost to the point where it would vibrate out of your palm. He listened to your raggedy breaths coming out in sobs before you suddenly dropped the weapon, then leaned over the sink and threw up.
The sound of rushing water echoes on the upper floor where you’re furiously scrubbing your hands while hyperventilating, hands shaking badly as you do. Your thoughts are in a whirlwind, trying to wrap your head around the fact that you’d killed someone. And knowing what will happen to her body now, that she won’t have a peaceful burial in a beautiful grove or surrounded by her family, makes you nauseous.
You had essentially just handed them dinner.
Suddenly, your airways tightened and you couldn’t breathe, the room was too small, too hot. And with a bang, you slammed the water off and ran through the house, ignoring the angry voices that yelled after you as you shut the back door. You don’t care. You need air, now .
Outside, you pressed your back against the tree that you early on shared with Thomas, before sliding down it as you feel air returning to your lungs.
All you did was breathe for a few minutes, focusing on returning to your senses while staring up into the night sky, counting the stars. As you did, your mind wandered back to your apartment far away from here. Patting your pocket, you smiled slightly as you felt you had your phone with you, and pulled it up. You replied to a few text messages, answered the occasional neglected work emails, and finally opened the gallery app.
Looking through it you realized just how much you actually missed it. It was your home after all. You even missed those neighbors who always had loud hangouts, that old lady who seemed to have more plants than her balcony could fit, and then there was that old divorced man and his cat. That… stupid cat who always forgot where it lived and had ended up in your apartment too many times to count.
“Dumbass cat…”, you mumbled as you remembered the first few times it had startled you when you got out of the shower or got home from work and suddenly there was a cat laying on your couch.
Then it hit you.
I should call mom and dad.
Before scrolling through your contacts to find your mom's phone number, you looked at the setting sun and sighed, while figuring out what to tell her exactly, but hoping it would go to voicemail. You took a deep breath as you pressed the green phone symbol. Each dial tone sounded heavier and heavier before you were finally connected to what you had hoped for, voicemail.
"Hey, mom.", you started, straining your voice to sound happy. "It’s me. I just wanted to talk to you, but it seems you're busy."
"Uhm… I'm sorry, mom. For everything I've ever said.", you pulled a bit at a loose strand on your shorts, going quiet for a minute.
"I love you. And I miss you. Please forgive me."
Ending the call quickly as you felt the telltale sign of tears start to emerge, you pushed your phone back into your pocket and brought your knees up to your chest. Hugging your legs you just sat there, with nothing in particular in mind as you leaned your head on your left knee and closed your eyes.
You didn’t remember actually falling asleep, but what you did remember was being enveloped in strong arms that carried you from a cold night's breeze into warmth, along with faint but angry voices spitting nasty words, and finally ending up laying on something soft. The familiar scent of Thomas’ skin invaded your nose as you nuzzled your face into his pillow. A soft hum escaped you as he laid the cover over you. The floor creaked, and you couldn't hide the tired smile tugging at your lips as the sound of a familiar sigh echoed around the room. Reaching your hand for the giant trying to sneak out, you beckoned him.
"Tommy…", he turned. Looking at you from the doorway, his eyes flickered between you on the bed and your outstretched hand.
At first, he shook his head. And turned again to let you sleep alone but stopped when he heard you ask for him again.
"Please. I’m cold.", a lie. That's when he caved and closed the door before turning towards you. He loomed over you, his massive form shielding you from everything that went on in this house of terror. Carefully, you reached up behind his head, fingers gliding through his soft hair to search for the fastenings to his mask. Even if he’d had his mask off just hours ago, he seemed just as nervous as earlier when it came to you removing it.
But you loved him, even if he didn’t have a nose.
Tommy sighed in relief as he felt the mask leave his face, and though he still hated being without it, it always felt nice taking it off. He pressed his forehead against yours just to feel close, but couldn’t help to smile as your lips came close to his.
"It's okay…", you whispered to him., your low voice sending shivers down his spine, and he nodded.
Looking down at you, he realized how much smaller than him you truly were. He knew his muscles would mean death to you if he ever were to lose control during encounters with trespassers. The mere thought of him not being able to distinguish you from any potential dinner victim and going berserk before you was something that scared him. Scared him to the point of sending a wave of anxiety through him. But now, it wasn’t time to hunt. You were here, laying under him on his dingy bed. The only ray of sunshine in the eternal night that was his cursed life.
His heart swelled when he saw your smile as he leaned in to capture your lips with his own and he sighed softly as your hands returned to his hair to pull him closer to you. When he felt your tongue meet his, he hummed in appreciation.
Slowly, Thomas tested the waters. One of his hands slid over the side of your stomach under your tank top, feeling the softness of the skin before letting his hand travel down towards your thigh. He was nervous since he’d never taken initiative with a thing like that before. But you didn't stop him, so he continued. His hand reached your plump thigh, one firm delicious squeeze making you let out a pleased hum into his mouth, a sound he happily swallowed down. He wasn't exactly sure why, but you moaning against his mouth sent chills through his body, which made his cock tingle.
You giggled a bit when he suddenly wrapped the leg, which thigh he was in the middle of groping, around his waist, making it easier for him to snugly fit his hips between your legs. His mouth left yours, traveling down your jawline, his small gentle kisses turned into bigger open-mouthed ones as he got to your neck. Your breathing increased as you felt his tongue slowly drag over that one sensitive spot you had. His whole demeanor changed when you moved to get a better hold of his hair and pulled. As you did, he took your wrists and pinned your arms above your head in an iron grip, not leaving the spot on your neck that he seemed hell-bent leaving a mark on. He nipped at you to test your reaction. You gave him what he wanted and let out a quiet moan, a sound that made him buck his hips into the space between your legs. When he finally lifted his head to look at you, arousal raced through your body because of what you saw.
Normally blue eyes taken over by something dark, hungry, and almost… animalistic. The look his eyes held made need surge through you in a way you hadn’t meant for this to end in. You’d given Thomas a taste of pleasure, and all he wanted now was more. You could see it in those eyes. He wanted more, and he was going to take it.
“Oh…”, was all you could say as he rose up, squeezing your wrists once and giving you a look that said, “ Try me. ”. He smirked as you looked at him with those beautiful eyes of yours. Letting your wrists go, his hands moved towards your breasts. A shuddering breath left your lips as his big hands cupped your plush skin, groping your mounds deliciously, before pulling your t-shirt up over them. One thumb came to run slow circles around one nipple, while he kissed his way to the other one. A low moan crept up your throat as you finally felt his tongue drag over the hardening bud.
You answered his action by slowly moving your hips, making your sex rub against his clothed erection. A shiver ran down your spine as you heard him groan against your breast at the friction given to him, a puff of hot air hitting your collarbone. Lifting his head, his eyes met yours, and you could see he was as turned on as you, stare glazed over by lust.
"I need you.", you whispered out shakily as you moved your hips again. He smiled, and your heart melted.
Thomas moved his kissing down your body until the bed seemed to run out of length.
Only then did his fingers find the button on your jean shorts, clumsily unbuttoning them as he sat up. As soon as he'd gotten them open, they were thrown away, discarded on the floor somewhere. He took the previously broken leg of yours and put it on his corresponding shoulder, a hand running over it and leaving trails of kisses down to your knee. His other hand, not occupied with anything, found its place on your pubic mound. His thumb landed on your clit, a mischievous grin dancing on his lips as he pressed down firmly once on your sensitive spot.
"Ah!", you jerked and he chuckled at your reaction. You just pouted at him before your face relaxed into pleasure, his thumb slowly rubbing in circles while his lips kissed your leg gently.
His digit traveled south and found its way inside your needy hole, the intrusion making you buck your hips to the best of your abilities as you groan. His eyes fixated on your face, the way your brows furrowed, your mouth slightly opened as a symphony of moans and gasps came from your lungs. He loved the sight and sounds you made, they only made him braver. Knowing he made you feel good, only him. That despite him being inexperienced, all his attempts bore fruit.
No matter how much his cock throbbed inside his jeans, or how warm he was starting to feel, he wanted to make you cum before him just like the first time.
"T-Tom-Haah! Tommy, I'm-!", sweet sounds left your throat right before he stopped, grinning again as you shot him an annoyed look.
"That's mean…", he chuckled in response and shook his head. Thomas suddenly lifted you up with no effort, replacing your body with his own as strong hands firmly grasped either side of your hips. And before you knew it, he had maneuvered you above him. His head takes a dive between your thighs, fingers wrapping around generous amounts of your rear and eyes glinting from below you as he dragged his tongue along the inside of one of your plush thighs, making you gasp. The closer he moved towards your aching cunt, the heavier you started breathing. But right as he was about to rub against you, he stopped. Again, you groaned.
"Please stop teasing me, you ass.", you whined. One of his hands came into view and he slowly spelled out two words.
'B' 'e' 'g' 'm' 'e'
You silently did as you were told by sliding closer to his face, but all he did was grab your waist and lifted you away from him, shaking his head. That was not what he wanted. He wanted to hear you beg for him to eat you out. Your voice was low as you shakily gave him what he wanted;
"T-Thomas, please. Please, please, please… eat me. "
He smirked before slowly dragging his tongue through your folds. Relishing in your taste coating him, he hummed when he felt your thighs tremble against his arms as he held you tight, the countless videos he’d watched on various porn sites of this specific position running on a loop in his head.
"Oh my God.", you said as you let your head fall back, a loud "Ah!" coming from you as he found your clit and flicked his tongue firmly against it, your hands coming to rest in his hair. The urge to rotate your hips hit you, though when trying it, you were met with a bruising grip on your hips and glaring blue eyes staring up at you. Silently daring you to move on your own accord, his glare told you that you were not in control. You whimpered at the sight but reluctantly stilled your hips.
You gasped as you noticed his tongue prod and tease your entrance, feeling how he moved it slowly, digging the strong muscle deeper into you.
Below you, Thomas found himself in heaven between your soft thighs as he pulled those sounds he loved hearing from your throat. Sounds he knew only he could cause. When he couldn’t hear them anymore, he only pulled you close to his face. And right there, right then, Thomas enjoyed having no nose, the absence helping him reach far into you.
"Ah… To-!", your words are interrupted suddenly, your body jerking before tensing as he finds your clit again, sucking gently on it.
"Fff-... Shi-.", you couldn’t form words as he alternated between sucking gingerly and massaging your nub with the flat of his strong muscle and moving his tongue in and out of you.
The coil tightened quickly, almost too quickly. Looking down, you met his eyes, glossed over with hunger and animalistic lust. His firm grip on your thighs kept you seated on his face when you were thrown over the edge in a cry, as he gave one hard suck over your clit. He moaned against you as you clamped your thighs shut around his head, lapping up your orgasm like he was actually starving. He then returned to slowly fuck you with his tongue to let you come down from your high. You panted as you looked down at him, fingers lightly scratching his scalp with a postorgasmic smile plastered on your lips. Thomas grinned as he licked your thigh to catch a stray strand of your arousal.
Shortly after you’d collapsed next to him on the bed, Tommy got up to finally take his own clothes off, his tank top sticky with sweat and the fly of his jeans rubbing uncomfortably against his raging erection. He let out a sigh of relief as his dick was finally released, the front of his boxers moist with precum. The bed dipped under his weight as he returned to position himself between your thighs again, letting your legs rest over his meaty ones. His hands gingerly went up and down your thighs, thumbs rubbing circles as he waited for your signal. His stare revealed his hesitation, wanting nothing more than to push himself into ecstasy, but not having the heart to take something he thinks he wasn’t allowed to. The last thing he wanted to do was to hurt you. His cock throbbed as it lay on top of your mound, and his chest swelled with pride as he saw the evidence of how good his tongue had made you feel as he waited for your approval to take you. You reached down to gingerly take hold of his cock with your soft hands, your fingers rubbing over his sensitive head and coating him with his own arousal. A thumb lightly pressed on his silver barbell, eliciting a throaty groan from him as you looked up to meet his eyes.
"Wanna fuck me, baby?", you asked in a sultry voice as you dragged your hands over his length. You saw how a shiver ran through his body as he nodded, instinctively bucking into your hands.
You gasped as his length pressed into your waiting entrance, and you arched off the bed when you felt him bury himself to the hilt in a swift, desperate motion.
"Ohh… oh.. God…", you scrambled to find his arms, needing something to hold on to. Tommy breathed out a laugh before hissing in slight pain as he felt your nails dig into his arms. Even with the wetness from both your orgasm and his mouth, it's a stretch. So both of you needed a minute to adjust.
His breathing was hot over your face. An experimental thrust from him had him gritting his teeth, and you digging your nails deeper into his arms. Craning your neck, you got close to his face with a smile on your lips.
"I'm fine, Tommy. Take me. " Upon hearing those words, he pressed his lips against yours, the taste of you still on him, just as his hips started to move. He lifted your legs up only to wrap them around his waist, and soon enough the movement of his hips began pummeling your insides. His cock hitting all those right places in your cunt that made you squirm and moan under him. Your mind went blank, not even trying to comprehend how he was able to so easily transform you from a rational being to only a mess of moans and limbs made off putty after only having sex two times. But not a single nerve in your body was complaining about the fact that he could. Incoherent sounds meant to resemble his name tumble from your throat inbetween loud moans. Down there, inside the room within the basement he was so used to dwelling, Tommy didn’t give two shits if his family heard you or not, he just needed to listen to every sound you made.
You yelped as he suddenly switched everything up. your legs were wrapped around his waist, making it easier to pull you up and onto his lap while he positioned himself on his knees. His cock buried deep into you as you clawed at his back, afraid you might float away if you don’t. His hands came to grope your ass, effortlessly holding you up as his strong arms moved you up and down his cock. The wet smacking sound of your soaking thighs hitting his echoed around the room, only adding to your arousal. His movements were deep and hard, hot moans brushing against your neck as he found your sensitive spot and lightly bit down on it. A loud grunt surged from his throat when he felt your cunt clench hard around him as a result from his biting.
He shifted again, pulling his cock out of you to turn you around and prop you on all fours, a position that gave him a perfect view of your ass and the way his dick stretched your pussy out as he re-entered you. Another shiver ran through his spine as a new kind of deeper moan comes from your throat. His large hands gripped your hips to make it easier for him to pull you onto his dick in rhythm with his thrusting. Your moans were muffled by his pillow as tears of pleasure streamed down your face. Your ears managed to capture the occasional deep baritone of “shit”s and “fuck”s coming from above you, causing your eyes to roll back into your skull.
You let out a whine as you felt a hand snake itself south and a pair of big fingers find your clit. His movements were fast, clumsy and almost desperate as he rubbed your most sensitive spot. The added pleasure making it so the coil in your lower belly tightened much faster. As Tommy leaned over you, you were pressed deeper into the mattress when he propped himself up on the hand not occupied with rubbing tight circles around your nerve bundle. A heavy puff of air coming from him made your hair billow exposing the ear he was looking for. His voice was strained and raspy when grunts and moans tumbled from his throat as he felt your walls clench around him.
He swallowed thickly, desperate to wet his parched throat before uttering one single word into your ear, a demand.
The delicious combination of his cock pumping in and out of you and his fingers massaging your clit gave you only seconds to fulfill his demand. The orgasm that washed over you was strong enough to make you scream into the pillow as you clamp down on his cock, your hands desperately trying to grab onto the mattress. Above you, Thomas let out a heavy moan that vibrated against your back as he felt the increasing tightness around him, his own orgasm quickly closing in. Four more hard thrusts into your then battered pussy had him gasping, the hand supporting him pressing into the mattress hard enough for his knuckles to turn white before cumming deep inside you. A satisfied hum came from you as you felt his dick twitch and pump his thick seed inside you, delightfully filling you up.
Thomas hissed as he pulled himself out of your throbbing core, then collapsed next to you with huffs and heaves surging from his tired lungs. You slowly slid your legs down to lay flat on your stomach and turned your head to look at him beside you. He had his eyes closed while running a hand through his sweaty brow, trying to catch his breath. You smiled at him and brought your right hand close to his face to stroke his cheek with your index finger.
“Hey…”, you whispered, getting close to kiss the scars on his cheek before pressing your forehead to his temple. He hummed in response, signaling that he was listening to you before you continue;
“ I think I love you. ” His eyes shot open and he turned his head towards you, eyes filled to the brim with a combination of emotions as they seemed to search for something on your face. Doubt, maybe? Or ridicule? Lies? But all you do is nod and smile again.
One of his hands came up to the back of your head and entangled slightly in your hair as he pulled you in for a kiss. It was soft, full of emotions he either didn't want to say out loud or couldn't. But you knew what it meant.
"I love you too."
You snuggled up against him, taking his right arm between your own, giggling as you felt him stiffen slightly when you pushed it between your breasts. Your hand reached down to lace your fingers in his before letting sleep take you.
You were abruptly woken in the night by screaming voices and hard bangs on the floor above you. Thomas was equally startled awake, and sat up, breathing heavily as he carefully listened.
" Thomas!", you heard Hoyt's voice yelling for your beloved, who reacted quickly. But you grabbed his hand and tried to pull him back to you.
"Tommy, don't… please .", you pleaded. He gave you a look you've never seen before. You felt small as if a beast was staring you down with a threatening look that said " Let. Me. Go. ". And it was at that moment you realized you weren’t talking to your Tommy anymore, which scared you. The Thomas you’d fallen asleep with just hours ago is gone. And the Butcher of Texas is all that was left. So you listened. You let go of his hand and watched him dress up, holding your breath to avoid starting a fire within him. And finally, your eyes followed him to the door.
Curling up under the covers again, the bitter realization hit you.
It was your chance to leave, to go back home. The family would be busy with trespassers for a few hours, Hoyt most likely harassing some poor woman, Thomas off to ki-... hunt.
Getting out of bed, you quickly threw your shorts on, internally thanking Tommy for never removing your t-shirt. Even if you knew this meant leaving him for good, the man you just hours ago confessed your love to, it also meant you would most likely live, and a normal life at that. Besides, you could always contact him through the phone, and that thought made it easier for you to sneak up the basement stairs. The sliding door was heavy and screeched as you pushed it open. You heard Thomas' chainsaw roaring from somewhere close by, along with Hoyt's encouraging howls and a blood-curdling scream. You felt nauseous and wanted to puke as you knew what was going on, but tried to cast those thoughts aside while you walked on your path to freedom.
You hurried across the old dining room, but probably due to the fear-fueled trembling of your legs, you curse as you trip over your own feet, attempting to swerve around a puddle of blood. Hissing, you rub the knee that took the brunt of the fall. And when your eyes start to look around for any threats, you see him.
Hoyt. The last person you wished bore witness to your endeavor.
Your fall had seemingly alerted him of your presence. As you stood, you kept your eyes locked on him before noticing the sharp pair of scissors laying on a small side table. And upon grabbing them, you taunt him, adrenaline coursing through your veins.
"Come on, old man. You’ve wanted to kill me since I got here!"
Before you knew it he was on you. The man knocked you to the floor and straddled your waist while pinning your arms above your head.
"He ain't here no more to protect ya, bitch.", he licked his lips as you struggled to get him off you. Seeing him lean in close, you took the opportunity to bash his nose in with your own head, causing him to release your arms to grab it as it gushed out blood. You pushed him off you, straddling him instead. Breathing heavily, you grabbed the scissors in both hands and raised them above you, stretching your entire body to get as much power in your killing blow as possible.
Hoyt grinned as he looked up at you preparing yourself, his tongue reaching out to catch fat drops of crimson dripping from his nose.
Your blood ran cold as ice as a giant shadow fell over you.
"To-", a huge hand gripped the main hand holding the scissors. His grasp was tight and you winced as a sickening crunch rings out of your joints before the sharp pain hits you. And you screamed, dropping the scissors. The pain was excruciating as Thomas forcefully lifted you up from his uncle and threw you into a nearby corner. You clutched your broken wrist close to your chest and cried as you watched the predator that has taken over your beloved Thomas slowly walk towards you. Both hands moved to grip his chainsaw. Your breathing started picking up, your heart rate going too many miles per hour and the rushing of blood deafening in your ears.
"Tom- Tommy, please. It’s me!", you pleaded as you saw him pull on the snare to start his weapon.
"No… no no no!", behind Thomas you saw Hoyt standing up, hollering words of encouragement to him.
"Fucking get her, Thomas!", you shook your head as you sobbed violently, berating yourself. Why did you think trying to kill Hoyt was a good idea? He was Thomas’ family, after all, something you weren’t. Something you would never be.
He pulled the string once, and the saw sputtered, then died. He pulled it again, the same result. He growled and pulled it a third time before realizing it had run out of gas, something you took as a chance to run away. But before you knew it, he'd grasped you by the throat, lifting you up against the wall. You cried out as his grip tightened, your good hand scrambling to grab his wrists in an effort to break free.
"Tommy… p- pleas- hck", he clamped your throat shut, interrupting your begging. Your vision started to blur as the air became sparse, and your nails dug into his arm in a desperate attempt to get Tommy back. Your lungs hurt, your brain was in a blur and your vision started to fade. You focused the last remaining strength you had to look at Tommy in the eyes, his usual sky blue irises now taken over by darkness. Hidden behind sweaty hair and the face of someone else. The last air in your lungs is spent on three words.
" I love you."
Thomas watched as the dinner guest fell limp against the wall.
"Good job, boy.", Hoyt patted his shoulder blade. Thomas just grunted and threw the body over his shoulder to head back into the basement to finish his work. This was one of three bodies he had to cut up and he sighed as he knew he wouldn't get any sleep the remaining hours of the night. He grunted as he hung two of them up, saving the freshest one for last since that body hadn't been waiting for as long.
Heavy sighs came from him as he finished preparing to cut up the last body. All he wanted was to get back into bed with you and sleep the remaining hours. The last body was small, something he greatly appreciated because that meant sleep was imminent. Thomas removed his mask after he laid the dead cattle on his table as sweat started to pool and stream down his neck. Lumbering over to a bucket of water, he splashed water over his face to cool down.
When he turned back; his heart stopped, blood turning to ice and nausea rolling over him in big waves before he rushed over to the table. This wasn't a dinner guest or cattle. It…
"No…" , he was shaking badly as he put a heavy palm on your cheek. A lump formed in his throat as he looked over your body, running his eyes up and down it, making sure there was no mistake, that he wasn’t hallucinating. You were just here moments ago. With him. Happy. Alive. He pressed two fingers at your neck, searching for a pulse.
Tommy panicked when he saw the bruising on your flesh. He'd killed you. In the middle of hunting trespassers. The last thing he remembered from his killing spree was walking into the… the old dining room… and seeing someone sit on top of Hoyt threatening him with something sharp. And then there you were, an unmoving corpse resting before him, right on the same table he had sworn not to put you back on. He couldn’t remember anything else, couldn’t remember even seeing you up on the main floor.
How did all this happen?
But what he did know was that there was no going back. Nothing could bring you back now.
He took one of your hands in his while mumbling desperate prayers that you weren’t gone. You were just asleep, and he wanted you to wake up.
" Please, wake up..." , he sobbed. You were cold, so cold. Nothing like he remembered you just hours ago. When you'd hugged his arm before falling asleep, your fingers intertwined with his, your breathing even against his shoulder. You were warm then.
Not like the unmoving figure you had become. And he let himself cry, something he hadn’t done in so many years, his eyes burned, another punishment for ending your life. Stroking your cheek, he turned your head so you were facing him. His thumb traced your bottom lip as he thought back on the last kiss he gave you. Tommy has never cried for another person as he did now. You were the first one outside of his family that had shown him tenderness, that felt like home. The first one to show him, love. His rage took you away from him, something he had feared deeply since you set foot in his basement. You were supposed to be his forever. His wife. The mother of his children.
Pressing his forehead to yours, he whispered the words he never got to say earlier.
" I love you too."
61 notes · View notes
Percy is standing in the backyard on the Burrow, the soft grass beneath his naked feet and the sky above a midnight blue filled with diamonds we call stars.
He doesn't really know what he's doing here, just that he needed to get out of the house. In the day the house is crowded with Fleur, Hermione, Harry and more people from the Order. You would think he would be immune to the noise considering that he grew up with six siblings but he's not.
Somedays the noise is too loud so here he stands in the night.
The stars calm him they always have, the one thing in his life that has remained constant. Apparently there are several things in his life that were not normal.
For example his rat.
He did not know what to think of when Ron told him and the entire family that Scabbers was a Deatheater, more than a deatheater, Voldemort's right hand man who was loyal to him aka Peter Pettigrew.
Also Ron knew this since he was 13. Percy ought to be angry at Ron for not telling him, but he doesn't have the energy to muster it up.
Well after he heard the news, Percy just locked himself in his room, not knowing what to feel, just feeling numb.
How is he supposed to come to terms with the fact that his pet who he had since he was 5, is a deatheater, a monster?
He let this man in his home. This man who he has bathed as a rat, who has seen him naked, who has probably seen his entire family naked.
Percy barfed in the toilet before he got to the end of that thought.
And after overthinking about it the whole day, Percy naturally did not realise when the light blue sky had turned into a darker shade that indicates the time of rest.
No rest for Percy, because he still couldn't sleep, not after that revelation. So here he is, in the backyard wandering and wondering.
He thinks that now maybe he has come to terms with it. Well not entirely. Not entirely.
He doesn't know who Peter Pettigrew is. He doesn't know the man. Frankly he doesn't care. All he knows was that he was a horrible person.
But he knows Scabbers, the rat, his only friend if not the first, he told Scabbers his secrets, his insecurities, his feelings and he cared for him.
He loved him.
And he likes to believe that Scabbers loved him back too, eventhough Percy abandoned him for an owl.
He used to read his books to Scabbers, practice reading them who listened. Scabbers really did. The furry rat just sat in front of him while he read. He cried in front of him, whenever the twins were horrid, Scabbers helped calm him down by letting Percy pet him. Scabbers was always there for him. He was there.
Maybe as Percy grew, he grew less fond of Scabbers, maybe that's why he gave Scabbers to Ron, or maybe it was because he was getting Hermes. But Percy didn't love Scabbers any less.
Percy cried quietly when Ron was yelling about Crookshanks eating Scabbers only to be relieved to find out that that was false.
He still remembers the day he found Scabbers, maybe the only good memory of a 5 year old Percy who was neglected.
Percy was reading a book in the backyard with Bill and Charlie playing, Dad at work and Mum in with the twins and a baby Ron.
A rat comes in front of him all of a sudden and Percy isn't scared of it. He should really but to him, the rat is helpless and that's before Percy even notices the missing paw.
The rat just stares back at Percy, both of them staring at each other daring the other to move. And that is when 5 year old Percy knew he would love this rat forever.
The rat approached him slowly and then he saw the blood, a paw missing. He quickly took the rat inside to his mother, asking for her help. And she did help him.
"What would you like to call him?", his Mum asked.
Percy doesn't know how the name Scabbers came to be, maybe because the rat had a wound and 5 year old Percy correlated wound to scab and added 'bers' to it
After pleading with her, she let him keep the rat only because he was injured. She told him that once the rat was healed, it would go.
But the rat didn't.
Percy suspects his dad convinced her to let Percy keep the rat because he felt Percy was lonely but he doesn't really know. His siblings were jealous of him, especially Charlie because he got a pet. More like a family pet really.
All he knows is that Scabbers deserves a proper funeral, a burial, something at the very least.
He was Percy's first friend, he deserves better than nothing.
Percy did not expect to get emotional over it, he really didn't but he couldn't keep the tears on. He loves his family but sometimes he just needs someone to listen and noone was better at it than Scabbers. He had Scabbers for 10 years, how can he not grieve for him?
So Percy stands here in the backyard where he met Scabbers for the first time, remembering his pet rat Scabbers, who was loyal and loving because noone else would care to.
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Closed starter for @pride-of-azkets | muse: tba, it is a mystery
My muse: Charlie Palmer
His tongue crosses the scabbing split in his lip for the twentieth time this morning alone. It will never heal at this rate. His mouth is raw from the black coffee he powered down, which razed the palate and tongue in equal measure. His index finger twitches habitually, that faulty chip in his brain sparking him to do something flashy- anything at all- and not waste away in shadows and the obscurity they provide.
He ignores it.
“It’s too fucking loud,” he says, “and this is pointless. We should go before we lose the only chance we’re going to get. I’m not taking a shot during the parade. No ‘63 Dallas. Not this time.”
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mixtape | track twelve
| masterlist | faceclaims | playlist |
Indy wondered why people in her life seemed to fixate on sunshine, as if it somehow fixed things. When she and Charlie were small and the sun was out, her parents were ushering them outside to get some fresh air, telling them it was good for them. Her first day of high school, when she was nauseous in the passenger seat at the thought of a new place with a new class schedule, her dad had said ‘at least it’s warm today’. The day of Nicole’s funeral, between the sympathetic smiles and awkward glances, Indy had lost count of the amount of people who commented on the beautiful sunshine outside that her mother wasn’t there to see. It grated on Indiana’s nerves, and she found herself enjoying the rainy days more in the years after her mother’s death, when the clouds were heavy and wet, booming with thunder she could feel shaking her floor. She sat at her windows and watched it fall, watched the world have to shift to accommodate a change in the sky, change in a way that it never did for her when she needed it to.
The week before Bekah died, it rained every day.
Monday marked seven days without treatment, and the effects were starting to show. Bekah had lost more weight, which Indy wasn’t even sure was possible. She kept her blankets on her at all times, the Christmas and Halloween ones layers on top of each other.
She still shivered.
The rain fell outside the window, and Indy sat on the sill, thankful for the cold glass against her arm. It kept her in the moment, kept her mind in the room instead of in Los Angeles, wondering what was going through Grayson’s head that made him continue to ignore her calls. She didn’t have the energy to be pissed at him for leaving her abandoned - instead she was just worried, worried about the guilt she knew would overtake him when she finally was able to get ahold of him.
Indiana’s schedule was PRN - meaning they only called her into the hospital when she was needed. She couldn’t tell if they actually did need her and were too nice to say, or if they were fully staffed, but they didn’t call her. Patrick had put his foot down with her hours at Jet’s too, and said he’d keep her on payroll as long as he could so she kept her benefits, but that he wasn’t putting her on the schedule either.
So she put her skills to use for Bekah, and Bekah alone. Anything she needed, Indy knew where to get it on the floor. She funneled every ounce of energy into the girl in front of her, trying to take any of the burden off the Newcombs that she could. If Bekah needed ice chips, she was at the nurses station. In the supply closet to get fresh linens, the laundry to get clean hospital gowns. She helped her get changed, get showered as best she could - it was less mortifying for Bekah to have Indiana help her than her parents, who were nervous enough they would hurt her as it was.
When Bekah was awake, she was trying. Putting on her brightest smile, doing her best to perk up for her parents and Indiana. But when her parents would leave, which wasn’t often - only to go get fresh clothes, or grab dinner in the cafe - Bekah would deflate. She’d sigh and lean back against her pillows and try to catch her breath. They went home that night to eat a real dinner with promises to bring some back for Bekah, and as soon as they kissed her goodbye, she relaxed back and closed her eyes. Indiana watched her for a moment, and reached out to hold her hand.
“It’s okay Beks. They know you’re tired, you’re allowed to show it.”
“Says you,” she muttered. “Haven’t seen you sleep since I went off meds.”
Indy swallowed. “I sleep when you sleep.”
“How do you feel?” She changed the subject.
“Like I’m dying.”
Indy choked, and Bekah laughed dryly. “C’mon, that was a good one. And don’t say it isn’t, cause you know I’m right.”
It took all of Indy’s strength not to try to coat it all in some toxic positivity, tell her it wasn’t that bad, that she would feel better, that she would get better - the things she’d been telling her all the years she’d known her.
They weren’t true, and she had to be okay with that.
“I really do think it’ll be this week,” Bekah said, picking at balls of lint on her blanket.
“Why do you think that?” Indy kept her tone as neutral as she could.
“I feel it. Feels… different. I want to go in my sleep, if I can. Think it’ll be easier for everyone that way. Is there a way to make that happen?”
Indy put on her hospital smile. “That’s usually how it goes babe, when you let someone go naturally. Your body gets tired, and you sleep, and then you go.”
She pondered on that for a moment, sat with it, and then she nodded, firm and confident.
“Okay. Good. That’ll be good.”
Indy hoped that one day she could have half the bravery of the girl sitting in front of her, with her thin arms and her purple head scarf, her small smile and stern gaze.
“Can we have milkshakes? And watch some of Grayson’s videos before my parents get back?”
Indy swallowed. “Of course. I’ll go get them, you rest.”
She was glad she could pull strings - the kitchen was usually closed to requests after dinner, but Daniel downstairs was always nice when she called. Sure enough, by the time she’d swiped through all the doors and made it to the kitchen, he had two vanilla milkshakes with extra whipped cream, and sprinkles on Bekah’s.
“You’re welcome other D,” Daniel smiled. The hole in Indy’s chest rubbed raw, and she turned quickly before he could think he did something wrong. She breathed, timed her inhales with her steps as she traversed the halls.
It didn’t help, because when she walked into Bekah’s room she heard him.
Only this time, we’re getting sinus surgery
“Ooo, sprinkles!” Beks smiled and reached out a hand, waiting for Indy to pass her the milkshake.
She did, and she settled next to her on the bed with her own, leaning just far enough back so that Bekah couldn’t see her face.
The videos were always harder. He was still all over her social media, pictures and screenshots and people tagging the two of them on tea pages. He was still in her phone too - the outgoing calls, the photos in her camera roll. But the videos were the worst, because it was him. His mannerisms, his eyebrows that curved when he talked, his tongue that peeked through his smile when he laughed just hard enough.
She watched anyways, let the ache fester and make her feel something. She stared at his sunburnt nose, and listened to him talk about his once deviated septum that they didn’t actually fix - he still snored loud enough to wake her up some nights. She missed it.
Bekah laughed at every funny comment the boys made under their anesthesia in the video, and it was music to Indy’s ears, heartwarming enough for her to be able to stomach watching. By 15 minutes in, Bekah had abandoned her milkshake, the whipped cream dissolving down into the ice cream as her head lulled onto Indy’s shoulder and she fell asleep.
With a shaky hand, Indy checked her pulse.
Slow, but steady.
She turned off the TV.
In California, the fight didn’t start until Tuesday night. The house had been full of tension for almost a week, and the usual LA sunshine didn’t help to lighten the mood.
Grayson had become a recluse. He’d fallen back on the earlier method of locking his phone in a box in an attempt to save his sanity, which was even more fragile from the doom scrolling he’d found himself doing as people speculated every single detail of his life online. The black metal cube sat on a table in the living room, and he only saw it on the few occasions that he ventured out to the kitchen for food.
Even in his limited excursions, he felt the awkward energy radiating from his twin and Eden. They’d had their spats in the past, just like any couple, but there was something different about this one that had Grayson glad he was out of the room when Eden finally cleared her throat and looked at her boyfriend.
“Are we gonna talk about this?”
Ethan picked at a scab on his forearm - he’d been longboarding again as an excuse to get out of the house.
“Talk about what?”
“Talk about why we aren’t talking,” she huffed. “You’re mad at me.”
“Correct,” Ethan said.
“Tell me why then.”
He looked at her incredulously. “You have to ask?”
Eden swallowed down her anger, knowing it wouldn’t help anything. She waited. They sat in stalemate for a moment and she watched it boil up in Ethan before he sighed and turned in his chair towards her.
“Being hateful to me when you’re upset is one thing, because I signed up for that. But to my brother? When he’s doing pretty much as bad as I’ve ever seen him? Not okay. At all.”
“And I’m all for the tough love approach or whatever, but that was fucked up. He was just starting to do a little bit better and now look at him.”
“Better? You thought that was better?”
“He was eating at least, and still trying to work a little bit. Now, he’s barely able to do the podcast, much less anything else.”
“You all were already going to cut the main channel, that’s not because of this,” she argued.
“I’m talking everything else Eden. The businesses. Figuring out what the fuck we’re gonna do. He said the other day we could split time between here and Jersey, which really means here and New York if we only do the podcast.”
“And he didn’t think of that as an option before he broke up with Indiana? Makes sense.”
Ethan ignored her and kept going.
“At least he’s thinking about the future, which is better than before. I need him. But I need him, and you yelling at him set him back to square one.”
“If you thought he was even close to out of square one you’re blind.”
“Don’t act like you know my fucking twin better than I do,” Ethan snapped, and if it wasn’t for the protective nature in his tone, Eden would have lost it.
“Ethan.” She waited until he looked up at her, and she saw some of the anger leave his eyes when they met her. “He wasn’t getting better, because he was holding on. Fuck, he still is!”
“Telling him to let go isn’t going to make him let go! Have you met him? He’s the most stubborn fucking person on the face of this fucking earth! He already wants to go back, he’s not gonna let go!”
She could think of one person that could rival him for the title, but she kept it to herself.
“He’ll do it if he thinks he’s doing it for her,” Eden explained. “Don’t you see that? That’s why he did all of this. In his head, somehow, he thinks he’s doing what’s best for Indy. But he fucked her over, royally.”
“He knows that,” Ethan said.
“Okay, great! But he has to let go of her, because she won’t. Indy is an optimist if I’ve ever fucking met one, and she will always hope that he’s gonna come back, so he can’t do anything to feed into it. That’s torture, for both of them. And they both deserve better than that.”
Ethan couldn’t find a grip hold for an argument - one of the many reasons he hated arguing with Eden. So he sat in silence for a moment and accepted his defeat.
“You didn’t have to call him a moron,” he added.
“Anyone who let’s Indiana Cross slip through their fingers is a moron,” she muttered, shoulders relaxing as she realized the fight was over. “But yeah, that was probably a little harsh. I’ll apologize for that one.” She sighed, glad that everything was out on the table for the time being, smiling when Ethan patted his thigh once for her to sit on. She climbed up and nuzzled into his neck - she’d missed being so close to him the last few days. She soaked in the moment, running her fingers over the neck of his henley.
“Is it weird that I miss her? I mean, I know I haven’t known her very long, but she really felt like part of the family.”
“I miss her too,” Ethan sighed, pressing a kiss to Eden’s temple.
She pondered her apology to Grayson as she relaxed into his arms, but it was futile.
Grayson had been listening, standing in the hallway outside his door.
There were no tears; just an overwhelming numbness that had settled over him in the last few days. Eden’s words were the final nail in the coffin - he couldn’t reach out to Indy, though it got more and more tempting each day. He’d promised not to hurt her more than he already had, and he was going to stick to his word. Someone important had taught him that.
He retreated to his room and sat on the edge of the bed before he spoke.
He always waited, just for a moment. Just in case. The silence was always loud, but it was deafening as he curled in on himself, staring down at the grains of wood in the floor.
“Dad I think I really fucked up this time,” he whispered. He willed the tears, but they didn’t come, though his eyes still burned. “I wish you were here. I wish you could have met her.”
As he sat, he remembered what his dad had said in those last few days, in the few hours that he was awake, when he fought off the pain and the fatigue to be there for his kids and his wife. I’ll always be there, you can always talk to me. Just say whatever you would if I was right there beside you, cause I will be.
So he did. He spoke as if he could feel the weight of his dad on the bed beside him, feel his arm around his shoulder.
Grayson sat on the edge of his bed and told Sean everything about the girl that he still loved. Her intelligence, her laugh, her smile, the way he wasn’t sure he’d ever be able to love someone else. He lost track of how long he talked, run on sentences and gestures that only made it more obvious that his dad wasn’t there to tell him to slow down and take a breath before he talked himself into a pump from his inhaler. When he ran out of words, he did the only thing he knew to do when all else went wrong; turned his shower on as hot as he could stand it, sat down on the bench so the water ran over him, and thought of Indy.
The storm rolled into the city on Wednesday - unprecedented and angry, snarling the clouds in swirls of dark, heavy gray and dumping down over the skyscrapers of New York.
Indiana was watching the monitors. Her eyes jumped with each pulse of Bekah’s heart, which was beating faster than her usual. Her blood pressure was low, her breathing more irregular. Indy could see the textbook page in her head - actively dying. She’d learned the vital signs to look for, and how to fix them, what medicines to push.
But she wasn’t supposed to be making Bekah better, and that was the hardest part.
Thunder shook the room, and Bekah shivered. Mrs. Newcomb wrung her hands, and her husband ran a hand along her shoulders.
“She hasn’t woken up all day,” she murmured.
“She’s resting baby, it’s okay.”
Bekah’s monitors began to beep a bit faster. Her heart rate slowly rose - 82, then 85, then 90. Indy watched, her nerves prickling, eyes darting to the clipboard at the end of her bed, with DNR in bright red block letters - do not resuscitate. Bekah whimpered, her head turning into her pillow as her breathing got quicker, her heart working in overtime to try to keep her body afloat.
Mrs. Newcomb rushed to her daughter’s side, running a hand over her cheek as she began to cry.
“Bekah, sweetheart breathe, just breathe baby, don’t go yet, don’t go,” she pleaded, and Indy bit back her cries. Two nurses showed up in the doorway, waiting. There was nothing they could do but watch, and answer questions if they were asked.
Bekah’s father turned to the corner.
“Indiana, Indiana what’s happening to my baby?” He cried. It was enough to break Indy out of her trance, and she moved over to the bedside, resting a hand on Bekah’s leg.
“Her body is trying to decide what to do. It’s tired, and with her blood pressure going down, her heart is work harder to move her blood around. That’s why it’s faster,” she explained. “She’s not in pain right now, her medicine should still be working. It probably just feels a bit scary.”
Mr. Newcomb took her hand, and squeezed. Indy looked back to the monitors, unable to bear looking down at Bekah. She watched the blips on the monitor start to regulate again, sinus rhythm reappearing, allowing both of them to breathe easier. Bekah groaned a bit and settled into her covers, and a broken sob made its way out of Mrs. Newcomb’s throat.
“I need a minute,” she said, and then she was headed for the door with a hand over her mouth. It was the second time she was sick that day. Mr. Newcomb took her to the cafeteria to get a Sprite, and Indy took her usual spot, perched on the edge of Bekah’s bed. She took her hand, tensing a bit with how cold it was. She rubbed it, bringing it up to her lips to blow warmth into her palm as best she could.
Bekah stirred, and her eyes opened for the first time in many hours.
“Hey,” Indy said quietly, not wanting to startle her.
“What was all that noise?” Bekah’s voice was croaky, but she shook her head when Indy offered her a drink of water.
“Your monitors. They’re loud aren’t they?”
“Yeah. Annoying as hell,” she mumbled, then opened her eyes a bit wider, scanning the room for her mother.
“Language,” Indy teased.
“Why were they going off?”
It took all of Indy’s strength not to lie.
“Your heart rate picked up because your blood pressure went down. That’s something that happens…”
“Oh. It means it’s getting close isn’t it.”
Indy nodded and squeezed her hand. Bekah took a moment to process, and then she turned her head back to her friend.
“Is Grayson here yet?”
“No. Not yet.”
“Well, he better come soon if he wants to see me. Tell him to hurry, since I’m dying and shit.”
“Language,” Indy whispered it so her voice didn’t crack. Bekah played with the edge of her blanket.
“Am I supposed to be scared?”
“There’s no right or wrong way to be right now Beks. You just do what you need and feel how you feel, and we’ll be here the whole time, okay? We’re right here.”
“You need to not be here,” Bekah said, and Indy’s breath caught in her throat.
“You need sleep, and a shower. I won’t die while you’re gone if I can help it. Promise.” She wrapped her pinky around Indy’s as best she could.
Before she could refuse, the Newcombs appeared back through the door, delighted to see their daughter awake. She sat up a bit straighter in bed and put on her best smile, Indy’s heart tightening at the sight.
“Go,” Bekah whispered through her smile. She squeezed her hand one more time, and then let go, walking up to Mrs. Newcomb.
“I’m gonna go get freshened up and grab some clean clothes, but will you text me if anything changes? I live right down the street, so I can be back here really quick,” she explained, trying to ignore the growing look of pity in her eyes.
“Of course dear. But you go home for the night, we’ll be alright. I’ll call you if anything changes, you need your rest. You’ve been here so long, have a night of normalcy at home and come back fresh tomorrow, okay?”
Indy nodded - it was all she could do. She blew Bekah a kiss and walked out the door, pausing when she noticed something had changed.
A small blue heart had been placed by her room number - a signal that made Indy’s heart sink. Bekah was officially dying, and it was there for every nurse and visitor on the unit to see, to signify they needed to respect privacy and be quiet when they were close by.
It made no sense, for that to be her breaking point. She’d known. She’d seen it, in her vitals and her demeanor and the fact that just their conversation was enough to have her ready to sleep for another 8 hours.
But that little blue heart was her undoing, and she clutched her chest for the entire walk out of the hospital, down the stairs and out into the pouring rain. The thought of her empty apartment, with no Grayson and no Charlie and no Devin was too much - instead, she found herself running down the sidewalk past the lobby to the parking garage, shoes sloshing with water by the time she made it under the concrete.
The valet didn’t ask questions when she passed over her key, shivering as she waited for him to bring her car out. As soon as she climbed in she hit the gas, ready to drive somewhere, anywhere, that wasn’t her home. The road was blurry despite the rapid back and forth of her windshield wipers, but she trudged on, just coherent enough to keep her tires between the white lines as she fled the city. The river was swollen when she drove over the bridge into Jersey, and she let herself zone out, let her mind take her wherever it wanted to go.
She knew where she would end up.
The crunch of gravel was familiar under her tires when she turned off the winding road. It was a comforting sound, though it was muffled by the rain, and it wasn’t until she was close enough to the white house to see that the kitchen light was on that she realized what she was doing.
She put the car in park, ready to shift it to reverse until a small figure appeared on the front porch, waving her inside.
Her earlier words rang in her ears. My door is always open.
She hoped it was true as she flung her car door open and bolted for the protection of the porch.
Lisa was waiting for her, standing in her pajamas with worry written all over her face.
“Indiana? Sweetheart, are you okay?”
All Indy could do was sob. She hated it, and the voice in her head berated her over and over, reminded her she had no place there anymore, that she was putting Lisa in a terrible position. But the feeling of a mother’s arms around her wasn’t something she could fight against, and she crumpled into her and let herself be held.
“Shhh. Shhh, you’re okay,” she hummed, running a hand over Indy’s blonde hair that was soaking wet. “Let’s get you inside and get warmed up.”
Indy let herself be led in, shoulders relaxing a bit at the familiarity of where she was until she spotted Grayson’s work boots in the corner and recoiled back. Lisa sat her down in a chair in the kitchen and squatted down until they were eye level.
“Are you hurt?”
Indy shook her head, wrapping her arms around herself.
“Is everything okay?” Her tone gave away that she already knew the answer, but Indy shook her head again anyways. Lisa patted her leg and sighed quietly, reaching up to brush some of her hair back.
“Does Grayson know you’re here?”
The squeak that escaped Indy’s lips was the only warning before she let out a sob so loud that Gizmo yelled in shock.
“I’m s-s-s-orry,” she choked, crumpling with her face in her hands.
“No, no no shhh, it’s okay sweetheart. It’s alright, you’re okay.” Lisa pulled her to her as best she could, rocking just barely as she held her.
“No, I shouldn’t have come, I don’t want to make things difficult for you with - him.” Indy couldn’t get herself to say his name and Lisa just shook her head.
“Babe I told you that I would be here for you no matter what, and I meant it, okay? I won’t tell him you’re here unless I need to. You can stay as long as you need, you hear me?” She used her thumbs to wipe at Indy’s tears, frowning at the dark circles she found.
“Sweetheart, when was the last time you got a good night’s sleep?”
Indy’s silence was enough.
“Well, it’s late, and I think sleep is the first thing you need. We can talk tomorrow, but right now, you go up and climb into bed okay? They’re all made up, you can sleep wherever you’d like. Do you need anything, or do you remember where everything is.”
“I remember,” Indy whispered, taking in a shaky breath. “Thank you Li.”
“Of course. You’re a part of this family, always. Now, get some rest. You know where I am if you need me.”
She kissed her forehead and disappeared up the stairs. Indy wasn’t sure how long it took to get herself together and muster the energy to climb those same stairs, take a left into the room she’d been in so many times before.
It still smelled a bit like him, and she couldn’t help but to take a few deep breaths, closing her eyes and pretending he was right there, sprawled out in bed with the blanket held up for her like the first time she’d slept over. It was the same blanket when she opened her eyes again, and the thought of climbing into it without him waiting for her made her sick to her stomach. She couldn’t look at the bed any longer, so she turned to the closet, sighing when she saw all the warm clothes that were far too much fabric for LA, even in the winter. It was almost unconscious, the way she found herself in front of his shirts, running her fingers over the various fabric until she landed on a familiar flannel. Checkered, with blue, white and black squares. Thick and warm, he’d worn it once when they went out to check on the progress of the tiny homes, and she’d woven her arms underneath it when she reached around him to hold on as he drove them through the trees.
Before she could stop herself, she snatched it off the hanger and pushed her arms through the sleeves, eyes prickling at the realization that she felt close to him for the first time in weeks, yet he was still so far away. She retreated back to the bedroom, grabbing one of the pillows and carrying it downstairs, all the way to the couch in the living room. The blankets were still in the basket in the corner, and she grabbed her favorite one before she curled up under it on the cold leather, pulling the flannel fabric up around her chin and closing her eyes.
In the kitchen, Gizmo turned on her perch and cocked her head.
“Dee,” she said, but Indiana was already asleep.
It was the best sleep she had in weeks - the peace of knowing that she wasn’t truly alone enough for her body to force her to catch up. Lisa was surprised to see her still curled up on the couch at 9:30 the next morning when she got ready for work as the rain continued outside. She watched her sleep for a few moments, heart tight at the way her eyebrows were still furrowed and her face buried in the collar of a shirt she was sure was her son’s.
She didn’t know the details, but she knew Grayson well enough to put together the pieces. But she also knew he wouldn’t let Indiana suffer this much if he truly knew how she was doing. It had to be bad if Indiana even considered coming out to the house, and it gave Lisa a level of mom anxiety she hadn’t had since the boys had picked up longboarding again. She wondered how he’d let it go on so long in the first place, and after a moment of debating, she scribbled down a note for Indy, went out to her car as quietly as she could, and called her son.
His phone sent her straight to voicemail. She tried again. Voicemail. With the third dial tone she couldn’t help the pit that grew in her stomach, an automatic mom reflex when your child is unreachable.
Instead, she called Ethan. It rang four times and then she heard a muffled groan and rustling before his voice came through the line.
“Ma, it’s 6:30 in the morning,” he grumbled, voice raspy and dry. “You okay?”
“Why isn’t your brother answering his phone? Are you two okay?”
Ethan sighed, annoyed. “He’s fine Mom, he’s just doing a detox from his phone. People were being shitty. He’s asleep down the hall, not dead in a ditch somewhere,” Ethan chuckled. Lisa wasn’t amused.
“Well, wake him up and un-detox him. He needs to call Indiana. Now.”
Ethan sat up in bed.
“Indy? Why, what’s wrong?”
“That’s for him to figure out. All I know is, she’s not doing well and he needs to call her. Now.”
“Just make sure he calls her, alright? I’ve gotta get to work, I love you.”
“Alright, love you too.”
As soon as he hung up, he was on his feet, rushing down the hallway and throwing Grayson’s door open. He ran to the edge of his bed, shaking his shoulder until he groaned and opened his eyes.
“The fuck do you want,” he grumbled.
“You need to call Indiana, I just got off the phone with Ma. Something’s wrong.”
Grayson felt sick.
“What happened? Is she safe, is she okay?”
“I don’t know, you just need to call her.”
“You don’t know? You don’t know? The fuck do you mean you don’t know Ethan?” Grayson was yelling, but he was on his feet as he spoke, headed down the hallway in search of the lock box. He rummaged through the kitchen drawer until he found the key, hands so shaky it took three tries to unlock the metal contraption.
His phone was dead when he pulled it out, and it took all his willpower to keep from chucking it at the glass doors.
“Yours, give me yours.”
Ethan was a step ahead of him, already having Indiana’s contact pulled up. Grayson snatched it and hit the call button, heart pounding in his ears as he waited for her to answer.
Indy woke up to the buzzing of her phone against her arm where she’d tucked it the night before. Her eyes flew open - it must be Mrs. Newcomb, calling to tell her that Bekah had gotten worse. She sat up, rubbing at her eyes until she could read the name on her screen.
Her heart sank. She’d thought to call him more times than she wanted to admit, but she figured calling your ex's twin when said ex didn’t want to talk to you was crossing some moral line. Though as she sat on his mother’s couch, she figured it was time to get over the morals and do what she needed to do.
She swiped to answer.
“Dee? Are you okay? Are you safe?”
She couldn’t breathe. Her mouth opened and closed again as she tried to find something to say to the only person she’d wanted to talk to in almost three weeks. She hadn’t had time to prep herself, to give her heart a warning.
“Baby talk to me, tell me you’re okay,” he pleaded, and the pain in his voice was enough to snap her out of it.
“Grayson?” was all she could say.
“Yeah, it’s me. What’s wrong, are you hurt?”
“No, no I’m okay, I’m fine.”
Grayson took a breath for the first time since she picked up the phone. Suddenly, he wasn’t sure what to say, the panic dissipating and leaving his brain blank. Luckily, she spoke.
“I’ve been trying to call you,” she said.
“I know. Indiana I’m sor-”
His heart skipped a beat, and the silence rang in his ears as he clutched onto the back of the couch. Ethan, who had been eavesdropping from the kitchen, moved closer. Grayson waited for her to speak, to say it so he didn’t have to ask.
“No.” Indy’s voice broke. “But…”
“Oh god. Fuck. Fuck Indy.” His knees wobbled beneath him.
“She isn’t in any pain, we’ve been keeping her comfortable. But it’s probably gonna be in the next few days,” she whispered between sniffles, her voice squeaky and small as she fought to get the words out.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t want to have to tell you over the phone but... “ she trailed off. “She asked when you were coming to see her, and I didn’t know what to say.”
The tears were burning as they slid down his cheeks. He squeezed his eyes closed, fighting the imagery of Bekah in her hospital bed, calling out for him.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t know what to say so I just said you’d be there soon. If you can’t come she probably won’t remember, but I just wanted you to know, in case you wanted to be here. To see her, before…”
“I’m coming. I’ll be right there okay? I’m going to the airport now, I’ll be right there.”
Indy was silent for a moment, her eyes flickering to the rain outside.
“Fly safe. It’s storming here.”
“I will. I’ll see you soon okay? Just hold on, I’ll be there.”
That sat in silence for a moment until Indiana finally hung up.
“I’m going with you,” Ethan said. He didn’t need context - all he knew is his brother needed him. Grayson nodded once, passed him his phone and headed straight for his room. He packed blindly, throwing things into his suitcase without bothering to fold them, just desperate to get on the road to the airport and get back to New York. Ethan was two steps behind him when he finally made it to the door, his phone pressed to his ear as he tried to explain the situation as best he could to a very worried Eden. Grayson loaded the bags as Ethan climbed into the driver’s seat, leaving the charger open for Grayson’s still dead phone. Ethan practically peeled out of the driveway towards LAX, the cab filled with silence apart from the hum of the engine and the quiet sniffles from Gray when his phone turned back on and he saw all the missed texts and calls from Indiana who had been trying so desperately to reach him. The guilt made him queasy, and Ethan’s driving didn’t help as he hopped lanes and sped on, praying no cops were on the road.
Grayson’s knee bounced impatiently as they waited in the line for parking, paying an astronomical amount seeing that they didn’t know when they would be back. Then they were running, dragging their bags behind them on the asphalt and beelining for the front desk. The attendants eyes went wide when they requested the next flight to New York at the exact same time. It wasn’t taking off for three more hours, much to their dismay, but they accepted it and headed towards security with their heads low and phones in hand.
The next flight doesn’t leave until around 10 but we’ll be on it. I’m sorry.
He watched the bubbles appear and disappear three times over, and then her response came.
nothing to be sorry for. I’m back at the hospital with her, she’s resting. I’ll keep you updated. the storm is still really bad here, please be careful
He wished he could reach out and hold her hand, ease her anxiety about his flight. He couldn’t imagine the emotion of that on top of everything else, so he said all he could think to.
I’ll be safe, and I’ll be there soon.
He typed I love you and deleted it before he sent it.
And then, it was a waiting game. The boys kept their hoods up and their heads down in hopes they wouldn’t be recognized. It seemed the universe was in their favor for the time being, no one bothering them while they waited, but it took a turn when their flight was delayed for weather not once, but twice, pushing their departure time to 2pm instead. He apologized again, agonizing over the thought of Indy sitting in the hospital by herself, but her response was the same.
she’s still resting, it’s okay. just be safe.
“We’re doing everything we can,” Ethan tried to reassure him, but he knew it was futile.
“I should have been there. I should have never left her in the first place Ethan, I’m an idiot.”
“You couldn’t have known this was going to happen. You told me she was getting better.”
He thought his brother was still talking about Bekah, and the queasiness returned.
They sat in silence as the hours crawled by. Ethan bought them lunch from a vegan salad shop down the terminal, even got his brother one of the protein coffee drinks he liked. Grayson picked at the lettuce and left it abandoned for his twin to finish. His only solace was his headphones that he kept pressed far into his ears with a constant stream of Cudi to keep him sane. After what felt like an eternity, they called for boarding. He texted her again to let her know he was on his way, and in a cruel play of the universe or whatever it was, Teleport 2 Me Jamie began to play.
His eyes were blurry as he followed Ethan to their seats, climbing in by the window and readjusting his hood so it folded around his face as much as it could, hiding. Ethan leaned forward and acted like he was reading the SkyMagazine he found in the back of his seat, shielding his brother from view as best he could.
They’d been on a flight like this before. January of 2019 - it had been raining that day too, but they had both been crying that day. So he stayed strong for his brother as best he could, got him a gingerale when the flight attendant passed by, and left Grayson alone.
Indy wished someone would talk to her. She wished Bekah would wake up again - it had been hours of silence apart from the beeps of her monitor and the footsteps of the nurses outside the door. It was never truly silent in a hospital after all. But she was glad that she slept despite the loneliness. She hoped it would mean that she had energy for when Grayson made it to the hospital.
Her brain didn’t have the space to process that he would be there in the next six hours. His text that said he had boarded barely even registered in her mind, but her body was aware. Her anxiety picked up ten fold, her leg bouncing until it cramped, her lungs tight and fingernails bit down to the nail beds. The rain was relentless, as if the city were drowning already and it decided to add more for the fun of it, to watch the humans run around like ants in their multicolored raincoats. The universe was sick that way.
Mr. Newcomb returned from the nurses station where he’d insisted on dropping off some cookies he’d bought at the store. He was quiet as he came into the room, eyes on his daughter until he finally peeled them away to look at Indy.
“Do you think she’ll be asleep a little while longer? We were hoping to take some of her clothes home and wash them, so she has her choice from all her favorites for the next few days.”
“I think so. My… friend is coming later. Her other buddy, from the program. We’ll keep her company if you guys need to eat and get some sleep for a few hours. I can text you if anything changes.”
“I’ll see if I can convince Martina to get some shut eye I will,” he laughed, giving Indy a grateful smile and taking one more glance at his girl before he gathered her laundry and left. It only hit Indiana when he stepped out that she had never known Martina’s name until then. Bekah’s father was named Tarin, she knew that much. But she’d never even gotten to a first name basis with Martina. In all the years they’d known each other, and all the hours in hospital rooms and tears shared, she’d never been anything but Bekah’s mom to Indy. It wasn’t uncommon for Indiana to keep mom’s at an arm’s length from her. A protective mechanism she’d never consciously implemented, but it prevailed nonetheless.
She wondered if Bekah would have wanted to be a mom someday. When she was 13 she’d insisted that men were trash and that she’d never get married even if she made it through all her cancer, but as she’d gotten a bit older she loved to talk about all her celebrity crushes. Indy looked in her side drawer and smiled when she found the little picture of Harry Styles she’d given her during her last round of treatment - she’d taken it with her to every room since.
Indy paced the room, her anxiety to high to allow her to sit. She thought of Grayson on a plane somewhere, the metal tube rocking in the sky, cutting through the clouds. When she would get to the window she’d look up, hoping to see the lights from the wing of a plane somewhere, hoping it was his and that it was coming down safely.
She paced for two more hours before her phone buzzed.
Landed. I should be there in about 40. She still asleep?
Indy took in her first deep breath in hours.
yeah, she’s still out. I’ll meet you in the ocean hallway so you don’t have to buzz in, just text me when you’re close.
Ma is picking us up so as soon as we get out we’ll head straight there
Ethan is with me but he’s just gonna go home with her for now
She didn’t have much to say, her stomach fluttering against her will. Her emotions were too unbalanced for her to even know what was happening. Excitement, and fear and grief and anxiety and anger and confusion, all at once somehow. She wrapped her arms around herself to try to hold it together and went back to pacing.
Grayson was soaked by the time he made it into Lisa’s car, scurrying into the backseat and barking out directions harsher than he meant to.
“I already have it in the GPS. Calm down,” Lisa said, giving Ethan a side eye in the passenger seat.
“Sorry,” Grayson muttered, ringing his hands.
“S’alright babe,” Lisa sighed, reaching an arm back to pat his leg where she could reach. They drove in silence, listening to the rain smack against the roof and the windshield until Ethan spoke up.
“Did Indy call you? Is that how you knew something was wrong?” He asked Lisa. He hadn’t said anything, but he was worried too.
Lisa debated it for a moment, and then she sighed.
“She was upset, and she needed to get in touch with Grayson,” was all she said. “The rest of it, she can tell you.”
Gray didn’t have the energy to be annoyed. Every ounce he had was involved in the visuals flipping through his mind like a viewfinder; Indy in the ocean hallway, Bekah and her halloween blanket, the tiny homes, Indy’s tears in the airport. He hadn’t imagined that the next time he saw her would be like this. He wanted it to be different. Better. He wanted everything to be better.
When they finally made it to the hospital, Lisa pulled to the curb and turned to her youngest son with a serious look.
“You take care of her, but you take care of you too, okay? I love you.”
Grayson’s nose burned and he nodded once before he ducked out into the rain.
Indy stopped walking, and breathing, when her phone buzzed again.
Here. Omw up
She liked the message, fixed Bekah’s blankets and headed out into the hallway and through the doors. The smiles of the marine life were haunting as she waited for any sign that he was close.
Her head whipped up when she heard the familiar clammer of the far doors being pushed open.
He was wearing his yellow Cudi hoodie, but it was the wrong color. The fabric was darker than she remembered, darker than the picture she had of him in it, the one she’d taken in Jet’s once. It didn’t process that it was because it was wet until he was halfway down the hall. His hair was a bit longer than it had been, without Lisa there to trim it up. And his beard was full and scruffy and dark, hiding away his jaw line. She could still tell that his teeth were clenched though, his nerves palpable as he got closer and closer to her.
His shoe squeaked when he stopped in front of her. Neither of them breathed for a moment. They just stared at each other. He shoved his hands into his hoodie pockets to keep himself from hugging her, from crossing a boundary that he wished he’d never set.
“Hi,” he said.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
“Hey. How was your flight?”
“Long, but not too bumpy.”
Another painful beat of silence.
“How is she?”
“She’s still asleep, but we can wake her up. Meds are coming soon, just stuff to keep her comfortable. Her vitals are still okay, she’s just a bit groggy. But she’s excited to see you.” Indy offered him a small smile, and it had his knees ready to give out beneath him.
“And you? Are you okay?” He asked.
Indy’s smile faded, and she looked at the jellyfish.
“That doesn’t matter right now. C’mon, let’s go see her.”
Indy used her badge to swipe into the door, but Grayson’s throat was too tight to ask her about it. Instead he just followed her down the familiar hallway, trying to avoid the looks of pity from the nurses who recognized him.
Indy caught his wrist before he walked into the room.
“I didn’t… she doesn’t know about… us. I didn’t want to upset her, and it never really came up. I’m sorry,” she whispered. She sounded ashamed, but all Grayson could focus on was the feeling of her hand on his skin again, even if it was just a few fingers.
“Okay. That’s okay.”
Indy walked into the room, the most hesitant that Grayson had ever seen her.
Beks looked cold. Even cuddled under her blankets she looked like she was freezing, and Grayson had trouble breathing. Indy went to the side of her bed, ran her thumb across her cheek and over to her shoulder where she squeezed gently.
“Beks, hey. Bekah,” she used her most gentle voice until the youngster stirred. “Someone’s here to see you.”
Grayson pulled it together in the last moment before Bekah opened her eyes.
“Earrings,” she sighed, a small smile on her lips. It was the most expression Indy had seen all day. “You made it.”
“Of course I did sweet girl,” he chuckled to hide his pain, moving beside Indy and crouching down so Bekah could see him easier. “Sorry it took me so long.”
“S’okay. We all know you’re slow,” she teased. “Hey, no tears. No crying in Bekah’s room.”
He hadn’t even realized he was until she said it, and he used his hoodie to wipe his eyes.
“Sorry Beks. Just missed you is all.”
“Yeah, well we missed you too. Did you convince my parents to go home?”
“Yeah,” Indy answered. “They’re getting some rest and bringing you some clean clothes.”
“Mmm, good. I think that black hoodie is a good one to die in,” she said, body shaking just barely with a laugh that turned into a cough.
“Pardon the death jokes, you’ll get used to them,” Bekah smiled at Grayson and the shock on his face once her throat cleared enough.
He thought of Sean, how he had pretended everything was fine until the very end, and he smiled.
“Don’t you think a black death hoodie is a little on the nose?” He said, and Bekah laughed. It sounded the most like her real one since she’d been off her treatment, and it warmed Indy’s soul.
“Fair point. Maybe I should go with blue. You think someone will let me into heaven if I’m in blue or will I just blend in with the sky?”
“I don’t think anyone has to let you in,” Indy said with a laugh, crouching down next to Grayson. Their knees bumped together. “Pretty sure you just end up there.”
“I hope so. There’s no one there to find me anyways.” The playful edge was gone from her voice, and Grayson frowned.
“What do you mean?”
“I’m the first one. I mean, I guess my grandma is up there but I never knew her. Everybody always talks about how their family will be there, when they go.” She paused, taking a few deep breaths to get her energy back. She hadn’t talked so much in days, and her heart rate was rising from the exertion of it. The pair waited patiently, giving her the time she needed to finish her thought.
“I don’t have anyone to die for, anybody waiting on me. I gotta find my way in there alone.”
The innocence of it was enough to rip Indy’s heart in half, and she couldn’t find the comforting words that she wanted to give. But Grayson cleared his throat.
“You won’t be alone. I know of at least two people who will be right there waiting for you.”
She perked up a bit, eyes opening wider from where they’d started to close. “Really?”
“Yeah. My dad. He looks kinda like me, but shorter, with a better beard. His name is Sean.”
Bekah smiled. “Whose the other one?”
“A tall blonde lady named Nicole. Indy’s mom. Looks just like her, you won’t be able to miss her. They’ll help you, and keep you safe.” The sincerity in his voice was enough for Indy to realize he desperately wanted it to be true. She turned her head to hide her tears, clinging onto the bed rail to keep herself steady.
“That sounds nice,” Bekah breathed, her eyes slowly closing. “You all want me to tell them anything, when I get there?”
It was Grayson’s turn to lose his voice.
“No babe. We can tell them when we get up there.” Indy answered after a moment too long.
“That better not be for a long time. I gotta have some entertainment. Watch you all grow up and get married and have kids. You better name one after me too,” she sighed, her voice getting quieter as her heart sped up.
“You bet,” Grayson said, leaning forward to kiss her forehead as her breathing slowed and evened out again. It was slower than it should be, and Grayson realized his own breathing was fast… too fast. He brought a hand to his chest, then his other to cover his mouth and keep himself quiet.
“Shh, shhh hey, you’re okay, here, c’mon, you’re okay.” Indy’s voice was in his ear, her arms under his to try and guide him up to his feet, then out to the hallway. She held his arm and pulled him over into a supply closet that she swiped into, letting the door shut behind them.
“Breathe Grayson. It’s okay, just breathe.”
He fell to pieces in her arms, his back curled painfully so he could bury his face in the crook of her neck and sob. They were ugly sounds, wet and snotty and raw and she didn’t care. She just held him together as best she could with her small hands, let him relax into her and get it out of his system. His shoulders stilled eventually, but his arms stayed locked around her like a vice.
Neither of them moved until the motion sensor light clicked off, covering them in darkness.
They didn’t speak. They untangled themselves and let the light turn back on before they headed back into the hallway as if nothing had happened, back into Bekahs room. Her heart rate was perpetually high now, fighting to keep the blood pumping.
Another sign that the end was coming soon.
Indiana and Grayson sat down on the couch beside each other, just close enough for their shoulders to graze occasionally when they shifted. Indy watched the monitors and Grayson watched her, reading her expressions as best he could over what felt like an eternity. He looked at all the things he’d missed - the freckle by her ear, and the baby hairs that sat by her temple and never seemed to grow.
It could have been minutes, or hours. No one was sure. But eventually Indy’s posture slumped slightly, and with a final sigh she leaned over to the left, her head resting on Grayson’s shoulder.
He stopped breathing, only allowing himself shallow inhales that left his torso perfectly still so she could rest. He didn’t know how to feel, and against his will his eyes prickled at the realization that despite the fucked up situation they were in, she was there, leaned against him. Beside him. Something he wasn’t sure he was ever going to get ever again. The way she shifted and mumbled in her sleep let him know she wasn’t comfortable, but he let himself be selfish for a few minutes and soothed her back down so she stayed, relished in the weight of her on him and resisting the urge to wrap his arm around her shoulders.
He moved as carefully as he ever had to press a tiny kiss to her hair.
She sighed and settled down further in her seat, moving her head onto the back of the couch and freeing him.
The angle of her neck looked painful, and he scanned the room, noticing that they’d brought in two recliners, presumably for her parents. He stood up carefully and dragged the chairs away from the wall, lining them up like he had in his dad’s room. He hunted down a few extra pillows from the nurses, blankets too, and brought them in, making little makeshift beds for the two of them.
He felt guilt waking Indy up, but he didn’t want to pick her up without permission. Instead, he shook her shoulder gently until she stirred, panicking for a moment until she realized everything was okay. Her heart fluttered at the realization that Grayson was still there.
“Sleep over here, it’ll save your neck.” He nodded towards the chair and she stood up slowly, groggily moving over into one of them. She sighed as she settled in, exhaustion taking over. Grayson liked to think that she felt peaceful enough, safe enough to sleep because he was there, but he didn’t let himself believe it. So he simply moved her blanket up over her torso before he climbed into his own chair that faced the other way so they could see each other.
He watched her sleep for a moment, and then her hand moved just far enough down the arm rest. She wiggled her fingers until he got the message, slipping his hand into hers before he too fell asleep.
When they awoke the next morning, their hands were still intertwined, and Bekah’s parents were coming in the doorway. Indy woke up first, sitting up straight and squeezing Grayson’s hand.
“Grayson. Gray, hey, wake up.”
He grumbled until he was able to open his eyes, wiping his mouth with his hoodie sleeve as he came to and realized where he was. He was quick to stand, to introduce himself to Bekah’s parents with firm handshakes. His hair was a mess, and Indy bit her fingernails to keep from reaching out to smooth it out.
The day went by, measured by the heart rate monitor beeps that got quicker and quicker, and the rattling of Bekah’s breath as the fluid settled in her lungs. Martina and Indy changed her into her blue hoodie, and fixed her favorite scarf - one with tiny blue lightning bolts - over her head.
Indy and Gray didn’t have the energy or stamina to try to figure out where they stood, so they chose together, for the time being. She kept her arm wrapped around his, the way she used to when he walked her down the street. He traced over her fingers where she held onto him, chewing her lip while she watched her vitals grow worse and worse, all the red flags she would be trying to fix if that was the goal. Around 3pm, the nurse came into the room. The way Indy tensed was enough for Grayson to know something was happening.
“We’re gonna give her a bit more sedation to keep her comfortable. With the current levels of her vitals, it might slow her down enough to let her pass peacefully. There are no guarantees, but it is possible.”
Martina began to cry into her husband’s shoulder.
“So we should say our goodbyes then?” Tarin asked through a tight throat. The nurse nodded.
“We’ll administer it and then give you guys some privacy.”
“She won’t be in any pain, right?”
“No sir. It’ll just be like falling asleep.”
Indy watched as she set up her IV and stepped out of the room.
Grayson and Indy followed her out quietly, giving Bekah and her parents the moment that they needed. Indy’s breath was shaky, and she held tighter to Grayson as they waited in the hallway. He looked up towards the light in an attempt to stop the tears, and a few moments later, he felt a tap on his shoulder.
It was Martina, her eyes red and cheeks blotchy.
“You all are family. She would want you here with her.”
Grayson’s feet wouldn’t move until Indy guided him back into the room.
Bekah’s parents stayed on either side of her bed and held her hands while Indy and Grayson stood at the foot of her bed and watched her take her last breath.
Indy didn’t cry. She stood watch, only moving when the nurses came in to confirm time of death. She went and turned the monitors off, cutting the monotonous tone out abruptly as they removed Bekah’s IV. Grayson’s quiet sniffled and muffled sobs were almost enough to tip her over the edge, but she held it together. She hugged Martina, then Tarin, and then retreated into Grayson’s side yet again.
There wasn’t a signal, or anyone that told them it was time to go. But they found themselves outside in the hallway eventually, and they walked arm and arm. They signed out at the desk for the last time and walked out the doors of the pediatric oncology ward, through the ocean hallway and down the stairs.
The rain had stopped.
They walked the streets in silence, holding onto each other tightly as people passed them on the sidewalk, completely unaware of what had just happened to them. The world continued to turn, the city continued to bustle, and they continued to walk, one foot in front of the other until they made it to the elevator of her building.
Indy watched the numbers go by as it climbed. She didn’t say a word when they got to her floor, or through her door or over to her couch. Grayson sat down beside her and took his shoes off. She stared over his shoulder out the windows, an overwhelming numbness settling over her entirety.
“Indy, why don’t you take your shoes off,” Grayson whispered.
She didn’t look at him.
He waited. The blues in her eyes were dark, and his heart sank. He knelt down and untied her shoes, sliding them off her feet gently. He took her socks off too - she hated sleeping in socks.
“I’ve got you. You’re safe, it’s okay,” he said, brushing some of her hair behind her ear. She swallowed hard, and that was enough for Grayson to justify picking her up and carrying her into her room. He sat her down and pulled her covers back before he got her into bed.
Once she was settled he stood up, waiting for just a moment before he spoke.
“I’ll be on the couch if you need me okay? I’ll be right here.”
Indy blinked hard, and then she shook her head.
Grayson went to his knees beside her in an instant, ready to do whatever she needed.
That was all he needed. He circled around the bed and climbed in behind her, coiling his arm around her torso and crushing her back against him, pressing her into him everywhere he could. He willed himself to shield her, from the pain and the reality of what had just happened. He pressed a kiss to her hair and closed his eyes and he held his girl until morning.
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More Thoughts From the Domestic AU
Growing up, Jack has always been the one to cut Tony and Charlie’s hair. The first few times he sort of just tries his best with a pair of scissors because Tony doesn’t have the patience to deal with long hair and Charlie just flat out doesn’t like the way he looks, and it’s not like Snyder’s gonna be taking them down to a barber any time soon, and they honestly don’t turn out half bad all things considered. (Though he has a hell of a time getting either one of them to stop fidgeting and hold still, and he’s terrified that he’s gonna, like, cut Tony’s ear off somehow.) He eventually upgrades to using an electric razor as well—easier to clean up the sides and around the neck that way—and it just becomes one of those things: every two months or so, Jack sits the boys down on a stool in the kitchen and gives them a trim.
For obvious reasons, Jack has a much, much harder time cutting his own hair, but he learns to make do. The first time Davey catches him contorting himself around in the bathroom, struggling to angle a hand mirror around to see what he’s doing while he fumbles with an electric razor in the other hand, he gives him such a look of fond exasperation that Jack freezes on the spot.
“You’re ridiculous,” Davey murmurs some ten minutes later, having dragged one of the stools from the kitchen into the bathroom and draped a towel across Jack’s shoulders, the razor buzzing as he carefully runs it up the back of Jack’s head. “You could’ve just asked.”
“I didn’t even think about it,” Jack admits, eyes closing of their own accord as Davey’s fingers dance over his scalp. “I just always do it myself.”
“But you don’t have to anymore,” Davey says.
“No,” Jack quietly agrees. “I guess I don’t.”
Jack is generally very bad at asking Davey for help during those first few months of living together, especially when it’s for himself instead of for the boys. Davey learns to offer, because he knows that Jack won’t ask—he’s just too used to putting his own needs aside and caring for others, so even though he knows he doesn’t need to do everything alone, he’s bad at actually believing it.
One of the things that finally shakes Jack of that mindset is, January of that first year together (Javid’s first year in college,) Jack slips on a patch of black ice and catches himself wrong, fracturing his elbow and spraining his wrist. Cue 6-8 weeks of Jack attempting to do everything from painting to writing to cooking with his non-dominant hand because he’s a stubborn sob. Then cue Davey having absolutely none of this nonsense.
The thing that really makes Davey put his foot down is he comes home early one day to find Jack attempting to shave his face with his left hand. It’s obvious that he’s been at it for a while—the shaving cream he’s applied dripping down his neck and pooling on his shirt collar, his cheeks littered with a few partially scabbed over nicks, teeth gritted in frustration.
Jack’s eyes find Davey’s in the mirror. He braces himself for Davey’s ire, knowing, deep down, that he probably deserves it.
“Jackie...” Davey breathes, his voice soft and sad.
Fuck. That’s so much worse.
Davey makes a point of shaving Jack’s face every morning, the whole time he’s in his brace/sling.
“Thanks for doin’ this, Dave,” Jack says, tilting his head when Davey beckons him to. “I ‘ppreciate it.”
“Of course, Jack,” Davey says, wiping Jack’s neck clean with a damp washcloth. “I’m not just gonna let you suffer.”
“Still,” Jack continues, unable to drop it but unsure as to why. “I’m sure it ain’t your idea of a fun time. I could probably try doin’ it myself again, or, you know, my arm’s feelin’ tons better, maybe I could get away with—“
“Jackie,” Davey cuts in: almost stern, except for how his voice waivers towards the end. “Just let me help you.”
Around 7 or 8, Charlie gets really into having painted nails. Jack does it for him at first because he’s a little kid, but he lets Charlie practice at it by letting him paint Jack’s nails. Charlie very quickly gets quite good at painting nails, and he goes through a phase where he wants to paint his brothers’ nails all the time. Jack is happy to let Charlie pick whatever color (or colors) he wants when he paints Jack’s nails; he’s just happy that Charlie’s happy. Tony, on the other hand, is a more active participant—he really likes having his nails painted but he’s too impatient to do it himself, so he likes to at least pick out the colors.
I think Charlie paints Davey’s nails for the first time, like, the second or third time that Davey comes over to hang out/do homework at their apartment, so Javid’s freshman year of high school. Jack is already all but smitten with Davey (not that he realizes it,) but when he watches how earnestly Davey chooses a royal blue polish, then sits nice and still for half an hour while Charlie carefully paints his nails, chatting with Tony while he waits for them to dry, that really solidifies it in his subconscious: Davey is the best.
So, yeah! I was in a very “the soft intimacy of letting your loved ones cut your hair/shave your face/paint your nails/etc.” sort of mood while writing this, but I’m kinda obsessed with the vibe of it. Not that I need any more wips, but I think I might put this on the docket for April—a shorter multi chapter a la the holiday fic that explores some more moments in the boys’ lives.
I’m almost positive I’ll get the next chapter of tie fic out tonight, so it might be fun to take a detour away from tie fic/take a shot fic and work on this and/or the run away with me fic for April.
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Recovery is not Linear (Lucifer Morningstar)
Paring: Lucifer Morningstar x reader (Mostly platonic). The other main characters are mentioned in this too
Warning(s): Self harm, suicidal thoughts
A/N: I had an extremely bad night, i almost relapsed. I needed to write this out to help keep me from doing so. Please, if stuff like this triggers you: do not read.Please Do not hesitate to reach out to others if you need to vent.
Suicide hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Trans support hotline: 877-565-8860
That's the feeling you felt these past few weeks. It wasn't just a physical feeling of exhaustion, it was like your brain was exhausted from the constant internal battles and intrusive thoughts.
You almost felt like there was nothing: no happiness, no sadness, no anger. Nothing. It was like your emotions were under anesthesia and they couldn't wake up. Numbness...
It was overwhelming. It had gotten to the point were you isolated yourself from you dear friends and kept yourself locked away. It was too much to deal with all at once and the best plan you had was isolation. They didn't need to see you this way... So weak...
Relapse happened. The intrusive and destructive thoughts won your mind and you broke your two years clean.
"But hey, at least the pain from the blade felt like something." Your mind twisted this as a good thing, but you also knew it wasn't a healthy way to cope...
You laid in bed, curled up under the covers. This was the fifth day of staying here, only ever getting up to deal with the bare necessities and to inflict pain onto yourself. The warmth of your blankets and pillows provided a sense of comfort that you didn't want to give up just yet. You sighed and kept staring at the wall, trying to keep your mind blank from the dark thoughts.
You pondered for a moment on whether or not your friends noticed your sudden disappearance. You hadn't touched your cellphone since you self-isolated, so you didn't have a clue if they tried calling or texting.
"They are all busy anyways..." You mumbled and turned to lay on your other side, wincing at the sting of fresh cuts on your thighs and forearms. Lucifer and Chloe had cases to solve, Linda was busy with work and her son, Amenadiel was also busy with his son, Mazikeen was probably working a bounty, and Dan and Ella were probably wrapped up in whatever case was thrown to them.
Your mind started filling up with darker thoughts despite your attempts to focus on something else... The tiny voice in your mind telling you the only way to stop these feelings of numbness and tiredness was to end it all.
You squeeze your eyes shut, trying to get those intrusive thoughts away. Your mind was exhausted from fighting them these last few weeks so your brain decided to mentally check out. Your eyes slowly opened as you kept your focus on a random poster you had up. Your breathing was shallow and the grip on your blankets was tight, but you weren't feeling there in the moment.
A knock on the door almost pulled you back, but you figured it was just someone trying to sell you something. Your brain kept you away still.
It was the sound of your door being opened with a slam that jolted you back into reality. Next thing you knew Lucifer, Amenadiel, Chloe, Dan, Ella, and Linda flooded into your bedroom all looking worried. In a heartbeat, Lucifer was at your side, taking your hand into his much larger ones.
You knew immediately they would notice something wasn't alright. Your hair looked like it hadn't been touched in days and your eyes looked sunken in and raw from crying. Your body was shaking from the pure anxiety that began to build, and you knew Lucifer could feel that.
You opened your mouth to speak but couldn't find any words to explain yourself. You felt fear begin to rise in your core, the blood that pumped through your body felt frozen cold as you looked between all of them.
"Guys, let me handle this." Linda spoke, whicu everyone agreed to leave except Lucifer. He refused to leave your side. "(Y/N), what's going on?"
Your lip trembled as you looked to her and back to Lucifer. It only took seconds before you broke down into tears. You explained as clearly as you could through the sobs that racked your body.
You told them about the feelings of numbness, the feeling of being tired all the time, and how you relapsed. You told her how ashamed you felt, failing that two year long streak of being clean of self harm.
"Recovery isn't a linear thing, (Y/N)." Linda spoke softly. "It isn't straight forward either. Your relapse doesn't erase all the past achievements you've made towards recovery." She explained more to you about recovery, and she offered to sit you down for a more proper session in her office tomorrow so she could provide you with more resources.
"I'll be going to the other room. I can tell Lucifer wants to talk to you alone." She smiled sweetly.
"Darling, do you have a first aid kit?" He asked.
"Yea, under my bathroom sink." You mumbled. Gently, he helped you up from the bed and led you to your bathroom.
"Take a seat on the bathtub ledge. I just want to make sure your injuries are clean." You follow his instructions and slowly rolled up your sleeves and pulled down your sweats enough to show your thighs. You and Lucifer were close enough to the point you felt no embarrassment changing in front of him. Just embarrassment of your fresh wounds and old scars.
"You must think I am silly huh? A small, unimportant human upset over nothi-"
"Don't finish that sentence." Lucifer turned to face you, kneeling in front of you with the first aid kit ready. "You were the first human I ever made friends with, (Y/N). You are far from being just being unimportant. And before you try it, I am not lying. You know I never lie."
"No but's..." He began looking over the scabbed cuts from last night, an ointment packet at the ready. "Well, actually butts are more than welcome to me." That made you crack a small smile. He lightly coated the cuts on each area of skin with the ointment. It stung a bit, making you visibly wince, and Lucifer apologized each time. Once he felt it was covered enough he placed some bandages over the wounds.
"Thank you for helping, Luci."
"No problem at all, my dear." He placed a soft kiss to your cheek and pulled you to your feet. "Want to see everyone else?"
You bit your bottom lip, "Yes, I probably should." You took hold of Lucifers hand as he led you out to the main room where everyone else was.
"I'm sorry, I worried you guys. It's-" You couldn't even finish your sentence when you felt Ella practically jump on you for a tight hug.
"You don't have to apologize at all, (Y/N)." She said, pulling away. "We get it. Just please know you can rely on us if you are ever feeling down or need a distraction."
"You are always welcome to join Trix, Lucifer and I for game night." Chloe offered. "Trixie loves when you hang out with us."
"And I've been looking into trying meditation if you ever want to join me." Dan jumped in. You could see Lucifer trying to refrain himself from making a snide remark.
"You are always welcome to visit Charlie, Linda, and I." Amenadiel smiled warmly.
"I'm always down to have a movie or tv show marathon." Ella giggled.
"And I am always looking for more friends to party with." Maze smirked.
For the first time in weeks, you felt something more than emotional numbness. You felt pure giddiness bubble in your chest as your friends kept saying different ideas to you.
You felt hot tears once again roll down your face, and you hastily wiped them away.
"These are happy tears guys. Thank you so much." You choked out with a big smile on your face. In an instant it seemed like everyone join in on a group hug.
An awkward, but loving group hug.
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Hi, I hope you and your family are doing well! I was reading a fanfic a while ago where Sam was cutting himself and Dean finds out. I was wondering what would happen if Sam,in the canon universe,was self-harming (Is that even a word?) And Dean finds out,what will be his reaction? I know that you have moved on from supernatural and into the walker fandom,but I still am unable to make on from the Winchesters. It would mean a lot if you would be able to answer me. Thank you and have a great day!😊
Hi, nonnie, thanks! I hope the same for you! I know I’ve been posting a lot about Walker, but I can honestly never let go of Sam and Dean. They’ve been a part of me for fifteen years and that can’t be forgotten so easily, you know? Walker is just new and really feels like a breath of fresh air. The fandom is so much less toxic, the cast all seem to love each other. Sure, it’s only 3 episodes in, but I’m honestly feeling hopeful for it to stay this way, not problematic. That’s why I’m promoting the shit out of it. I’m sorry if I made you think I moved on from Supernatural. That’s impossible.
As for your question, I think Dean would be upset, maybe even mad, at first (obviously). He might lash out while thinking there are no other options besides rage -- punch a wall, throw a chair, knock shit off a table -- and then he’d think it through, try to talk to Sam. Talking isn’t their forte, it’s not something they do (no chick flick moments!), but he knows that with something as delicate as this he can’t get away with sweeping it under the rug. Sam is in danger, Sam is hurting, and Dean can’t let that go.
He knows nothing about mental health, or how Sam is actually feeling, so he wouldn’t really know what to do, but -- I am headcanoning that this would be post-broken wall -- he would treat it delicately, the same way he’d wrap Sam’s bandage on his hand when he hurt himself hallucinating. He’d hold Sam’s hand still as he poured whiskey on the wounds, squeeze his hand when Sam would hiss, and then they’d lock eyes and Dean would gently dab at his arm to dry it off then just as gently wrap it up. He’d tell Sam with no words and a small smile that it’s okay, and he’d place his warm palm over the wounds wrapped in the bandage.
They’d work through it slowly, and maybe after a little while Sam won’t be scared to tell Dean how he’s feeling. Maybe they get to a point where Sam comes to Dean before he hurts himself and Dean shares his bed with Sam, just letting his warmth soothe Sam, letting him know he’s there. They’d lean against the headboard, shoulder to shoulder, not looking at each other and Dean would just listen to Sam talk. Things weren’t perfect between them, hell, their lives were never going to be perfect, but they were working on it.
Maybe Sam relapses throughout the years, maybe he self-harms in other ways -- the extraction of Gadreel’s grace, telling Cas not to stop, because he’s afraid to hurt himself while Dean’s not there but it’s okay if someone else hurts him; Dean had become such a comfort, a solid shoulder to lean on, that even thinking about taking a blade to his skin sends a chill down his spine -- and he knows that’s not okay, that Dean would be mad, but he can’t help it. Dean really hurt him, and pain is the only way Sam can cope. And maybe he relapses again after Charlie, and Dean tells him it should be Sam, and well, Sam’s in a bad way after that, but Dean’s not Dean and things don’t get better. The Mark makes Dean hostile, makes him angrier than Sam has ever seen him, and he suffers alone.
Dean finds out after he kills Dean just how badly he hurt Sam then. There are scabbed over wounds on Sam’s forearms again and Dean thought they were good. But he remembers the Mark, he remembers what he’d said, how he’d been briefly willing to take Sam’s life to stop himself from hurting anyone else and he knows he’s failed his brother. He needs to earn back his trust.
It comes in spades. Gentle touches slowly come back, Sam’s scabs heal and become more scars; scars that Dean might have been able to prevent, scars that Dean might not have been able to prevent.
Sam’s worse after his stint in the cage with Lucifer. He’s jumpy, nervous, skittish at the slightest loud noise, something Dean didn’t really notice until after he found out Sam had been hurting himself four years before. The only thing Dean can really do is to just be there. So that’s what Dean does. He handles it by being there, and eventually Sam will be okay.
I hope this is okay, nonnie!!!
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For the WIP ask game, I'm greedy because I love your stuff so much:
🗣 Share your favorite dialogue exchange.
💔 Share your most heartbreaking line.
🫂 Share a line (or dialogue exchange) that shows the relationship between two characters.
❤️ Share one of your favorite lines.
🎬 Share the last line you’ve written.
Anything for you, love! These are mostly going to be from Devil's Snare All the Way Down & the last one is from a new, unnamed Charlie x Lavender side project that is extremely unhinged but should be ready to share soonish 😈
🗣 Share your favorite dialogue exchange
“Lucius is dead, you’ve served your five years, and you think Granger is your ticket out of this viper pit. Well, it’s not. She isn’t. No one will forget what you did and you will not know a moment of peace if you inflict yourself upon her.”
Draco's head tips back. She watches his shoulders tremble from behind, wondering if the blade's edge of her tongue will ever allow either of them any happiness.
But no, he's laughing.
“Salazar’s sake, Parkinson. Can’t stop until you’ve got blood on your fangs, can you?”
💔 Share your most heartbreaking line.
People whisper about their dating but what they don’t understand is that they’ve bound their fate together and it isn’t always fraught with romance when you choose the person with whom you’re going to die. It’s the cold press of a hand to your back to keep you standing up straight when all you want is a safe place to rest.
orrrr, conversely (sneak peak),
“I’m not ever going to be petals and sunshine. I’m a—a monocarpic nightmare, just—a fucking briar patch so twisted up inside myself that no sane person would bother detangling it.”
Steep her in a cup of tea and sip. Feel your heart seize.
🫂 Share a line (or dialogue exchange) that shows the relationship between two characters.
She wonders what shape his lips might take if she tells him that she finds his fury comforting; that she's stumbled through life without a compass and she suspects that if she follows the smoke of his fire with her scabbed up knees, it might lead her all the way to goodness. Would he stop apologising? Would she become the kind of person who wouldn't want him to?
❤️ Share one of your favorite lines.
And gods, Pansy's nothing more than a bottomless pit, isn't she? With every offer of warmth or acceptance, she has to convince herself not to unhinge her metaphorical jaw and swallow it whole. A snake in the most distressing sense.
🎬 Share the last line you’ve written.
Listening to spoken word poetry activates a cringe response in his body powerful enough to register on the Richter scale, but it also makes his pulse flutter with the sort of delicacy he’s only seen on butterfly wings. He likes the audacity of it; the emotions playing on their faces like shutters flung wide open. Tears. Hands clenching at their chests. Whatever it takes to make you feel something.
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Disguised Part 1
Jack x Reader
Warnings: Swearing, blood, fights, angst
Hop you guys like! Sorry it took so long to get this out I have had one heck of a week.. lolol.. Please comment and let me know what you think!
Ten Years Earlier:
There were flames everywhere. As a seven year old you had no clue what was happening. It was hot, but it was winter. You couldn’t breathe. Your eyes burned and so did your lungs.
Your skin was alive with pain and stinging. You felt painfully numb. Was that even a feeling?
You coughed. And then coughed again, harder.
The room swam and you tripped over something, hitting the floor with full force. You stared at the door you had been searching for. There it was, finally. But out of reach. Why did it seem everything was always out of reach for you? Just too small to reach the top shelf, just too young to sit with the grown ups, just too female to do anything of importance…
Tears leaked from your eyes, and not just from physical pain.
The door opened and more smoke fled in. You heard footsteps running in and, with the last bit of energy you pushed yourself up. You saw the blurry edges of a familiar neighbor.
Then you passed out.
You woke up in a cot a few days later. Looking around the small room you realized that you were alone.
Where were you?
You heard voices and then footsteps. You shut your eyes tight again just as the door opened.
Someone sat down on your bed.
“I’s knows yous ain’t sleepin’.” Your eyes flew open and you looked up at Charles. A crutch leaned on the cot, but you didn’t pay mind. You jumped onto him, ignoring the pulling of your healing burns. You buried your head in his neck. He grabbed onto you and held you close, just as frightened as you, though he’d tell you he wasn’t. He was three years older than you and the brother you never had.
"What happened? Where am I? Where's mum and dad?" You asked. The questions pouring out of you. The last you saw them, they had been unconscious in the living room.
Instead of answering he just hugged you to his chest tighter…
"Strike!" The Newsies, your unofficial brothers, screamed in response to Jack's very lengthy and moving monologue.
He leapt off the stage and started talking to Charles… Well, Crutchie now. He hadn't gone by that name since the fire happened and you two became newsies.
Nobody knew you were a girl and you preferred to keep it that way… although, A bit of extra attention from a certain Jack Kelly wouldn't be so bad. But beggars can't be choosers.
You watched as Katherin Plummer walked up to him and you felt your stomach drop. Rich, pretty, and successful. How could you beat that? Especially when he didn’t know you were a girl and he didn’t know your feelings.You sighed and walked to meet up with them, tasseling Race’s hair as you walked by him. He shoved you and you laughed.
“Hey!” You leaned on Crutchie’s shoulder as you joined the group. “Beautiful speech, Jacky-boy,” you said, rolling your eyes. “I’s think you’s gotta future as a politician.”
“Oh hardy hardy har, Scabs.”
It was pretty appropriate for a few reasons. When you and Crutchie first joined you had healing burn marks and cuts all over your body. All of them scabbing. You also always had some sort of cut on you. That you were picking at, hence all your scars. Being a newsie, especially one with a big secret, caused a lot of anxiety, you couldn’t help it.
You smirked at him and shook your head.
“So, wheres we go from here?”
“That's a question for Davey.”
“Well, where is-” before you could get your statement out, chaos broke out. You turned around to see the Delancies break into the theatre with cops on their heels. You swore, and Jack pulled Katherine to get her out of the way. She willingly applied.
You didn’t get to finish your thought before you had started shoving the cops and Delancies, entering the brawl with full force.
You watched as all the boys started to get their asses kicked and then get out of the theatre. You and Jack somehow ended up side by side, fighting the delancies as the cops chased after the others. But then you saw him.
Snider the Spider stared Jack down, an evil grin on his face.
Not on your watch.
“Jack, get outta here!” You screamed. Jack looked at you.
“Jack! Just do it!”
“GO!” He was so startled that he dodged his last punch and ran up into the catwalk of Medda’s place. You fought off the Delancies and ran. Turning around only when you herald CRutchie scream for mercy.
You turn and see the delancies and Spider standing over him.
“Crutch!” You scream and run back over even faster than you had running away, barreling over sand bags and loose wires.
The Delancies and Snider watched you and left CRutchie alone coming after you instead. You watched as Crutchie crawled away.
Morris came at you with a swing. You easily dodged it and threw him into his brother who stumbled back into Snider. You laughed and turned, about to make your get away. Instead you ran straight into an officer who threw you back onto the floor. Morris and Oscar attacked, like hungry piranhas, though they at least were prettier and smelled better.
You felt pain erupt all over you until it was gone and you felt nothing, saw nothing, and for a few hours were nothing…
Jack stumbled back into the Manhattan Newsies’ terf. The boys were all hanging around, checking on each other after the brawl.
He couldn’t believe they got Crutchie.
“Damn Crip,” he mumbled, shaking his head, not knowing what to do next.
“Jack!” he looked up when Race called his name. He came running up to him. “Jack, where Scab?”
“Scab?” Jack’s eyes widened. No. They couldn’t have gotten you, too. You-you had run. He saw you.
He heard the familiar Thunk Thunk of a crutch. He looked up and saw Crutchie a bit battered, but alive and here.
“Crutchie!?” The crippled boy swallowed, tears in his eyes.
“They-they got ‘er, Jack.” he rasped out. “Jack-they they got ‘er.”
He collapsed, his crutch falling out from under him. Jack caught him and Race left, letting them talk alone.
“Who’s her, Crutchie? WHo’s got her? How did you escape?” Crutchie swallowed.
“Y/N, they got, Y/N.”
“Who has her,” Jack said, a bit confused not knowing Crutchie had himself a girl.
“Snider!” He exploded, hitting Jack’s chest. “They got ‘er, Jack! They got ‘er.” He sobbed, his voice breaking.
“Ok, ok. How did he get your girl, Crutchie. Just calm down and explain it.” Crutchie stared at him for a second not understanding why he was acting like he was until he realized he used your real name.
Crutchie settled himself and took a breath.
“Jack, Y/N is Scab.” Jack stared at his friend for a moment.
“What?’ Crutches sighed and lowered himself to the ground.
“I think you need to have a seat, Jack.
You had woken up in the refuge, staring at the ceiling, a thin stream of moonlight streamed through the small barred slit in the wall that was considered a “window”. You were almost as wanted as Jack was. Only the best accommodations for the Enemy number 2, right?
You sighed and shivered as the wind blew in and froze your toes, the scratchy, old, thin blanket doing nothing to protect you.
“Y/N!” You look up to see Crutchie at the slit in the wall. You eyes widen and you spring up, running to him.
“Crutch! What are you doin’ here. Are you dumb or something?”
“I needed to make sure you were ok, kid.” You sighed. “Are you ok?”
“Yeah,” you put your head on the bars. “How are the boys? Everyone makes it out alright?”
“Yeah, but I have someone who wants ta see ya.”
He stepped out of the way and revealed Jack. You stared at him and knew immediately that he knew. That Crutchie had told him. You had never wanted to kill the boy who was like your brother more in your life.
“Hey, Scab, how ya doin’?”
“You told him,” you glared at Crutchie and he looked away, not being able to meet your eyes. “The hell, Crutch!” You shouted as loud as you dared. Snider was listening… always was… and you didn’t want to get the boys caught.
“Scab-er-Y/N, are you ok?” Jack asked, concern filling his expression. You looked at him, grateful for the street lights that hid your face, yet illuminated his.
“I’m fine, Jack. Did anyone else get caught?”
They shook their heads and you sighed.
“Good.” You heard footsteps coming down the hall. You looked over your shoulder and swallowed. They heard you. They had to of.”You guys should get going.”
“Do yous wanna get caught?” he swallowed and shook his head.
“We’ll get you outta here.”
“No, Jacky-boy, I don’t think you will. Do the strike and do it good. Win.” He opened his mouth to object, but you looked at Crutchie. “Get ‘im and yourself outta here before yous get caught.” He looked down and tugged Jack’s sleeve, pulling him away from you. As they made their way down the fire escapes he caught a glimpse of you in the light and his eyes widened with horror as he took in your face. Bloodied, bruised, and puffy. They had got you good… and that was not going to fly...
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15.3k. Angst with a happy ending. Canonverse; diverges from the tail end of 13x22.
See below for a link to AO3.
Before Dean leaves for Michigan, Castiel says, “Please be careful.”
Dean is shrugging on his coat, and he looks over at Castiel, who’s leaning against the kitchen counter watching Dean. Light is streaming in through the windows, the shadows of the leaves on the trees are dancing on the walls, and the blue of Castiel’s eyes burns into him. Something about this moment feels so delicate that Dean can’t bring himself to answer with his usual flippant bravado. “I will,” he says, holding Castiel’s eyes for a few long seconds.
And he is careful, but what they’re hunting turns out to be a large pack of Nachzehrer. He hasn’t even changed out of his Fed threads when it goes sideways. Before they manage to kill the alpha and restore the pack’s humanity, there is a brutal melee, and Dean experiences a close call that leaves him hurt—not too badly—and shaken—badly.
When it’s over, he gets in the car and starts driving, and he feels the tug of home for every mile of the journey—so much so that he doesn’t stop for the night. He pulls onto their road as the sun is coming up, and as he nears the house he’s hoping, with an intensity that shocks him, that he’ll see Castiel’s truck in the driveway.
He pulls in and leaves his things in the car, just goes straight to the house. He unlocks the door and his hands are shaky, and his heart is pounding, and he doesn’t really know why.
When he gets inside and finds that no one is on the ground floor, he goes upstairs to Castiel’s room and knocks on the door.
Castiel opens it and Dean freezes and they stare at each other.
“Hi,” Dean says. “I’m home. I just got home.”
Castiel is about to answer when he frowns instead. “You’re hurt.” Dean lets Castiel pull him into his room and he says nothing as Castiel takes in the blood staining his dress shirt, his missing tie, his battered face. The seconds stretch out between them.
Finally, Dean says, “It looks worse than it actually is.”
Castiel steps closer and his fingertips, featherlight, find the edge of the shallow slash on Dean’s throat. He pushes Dean’s collar aside, exposing the length of the ugly mark.
Dean turns his head, allowing himself to be examined, and a few moments pass while Castiel stares. The wound isn’t deep—it’s already scabbed over and Dean doesn’t need to be healed. But Dean knows that they’re both thinking the same thing: if the blade had sliced just a little deeper, he’d have been gone in seconds, life gushing from him in an unstoppable red tide.
Dean takes a deep breath; he closes his eyes and focuses on the feeling of Cas’ fingers over his pulse. “I’m fine,” Dean murmurs.
Castiel is silent, and then he finally says, “Your heart is beating very hard,” and his voice sounds strange.
Below the cut, you’ll find all of AO3’s “header information.” This includes all of the fic’s tags—all... but... one.
That tag spoils something, and I’d love to be able to preserve the surprise! If you’d like, check out the tags below, and don’t examine them too hard when you head to AO3 😉
Read Hidden Things on AO3.
Listen to the playlist.
Relationship: Castiel/Dean Winchester.
Rating: Teen and up.
Archive Warnings: None apply.
Summary: Two years after everyone makes it safely back from Apocalypse World, everything is… great, actually—for everybody but Dean. The comfortable little life he’d been building for himself is in ruins, and now he’s drifting. When Dean is accidentally exposed to a potent spell, Castiel shows up to help him deal with the effects, and it’s finally time for some hidden things to be revealed.
Characters: Dean, Castiel, Jack, Sam, Mary, Jody, Donna, Alex, Claire, Kaia, Patience, Gabriel, Apocalypseverse Charlie, Rowena, Eileen.
Additional Tags: Minor Sam/Eileen, minor Claire/Kaia, Dreamhunter, canon divergence, 13x22, brief mention of trauma, brief mention of canon-typical violence, brief canon-typical injuries, brief mention of death, angst, angst with a happy ending, pining, friends to lovers, idiots to lovers, dads, found family, Wayward, Wayward Sisters, hurt/comfort, first kiss.
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Every time I pick at my scabs I think of that song from Good Luck Charlie that goes "What do you get when you pick a scab? A scar that lasts forever" and everytime without fail I pick it anyway
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The New Matriarch, ch 5
AN: So, I have a love-hate relationship to this chapter, honestly. The original draft had a 12 week timeskip, but I didn’t think it would fit, fully. And this version was born. I had a hard time writing this chapter, honestly, and I don’t think it’s my best work so far.
I also noticed that it’s somewhat close to ch 4, both ending in smiles and a “Thank you”, but I wanted to try and sneak in an apology and some cuteness with Thomas and reader early on!
A few hours had passed since you’d had dinner with the family, they’d introduced themselves as “Hewitt” to you.
Okay so, there’s Charlie Hewitt, son to miss Luda, who does… something during the days. You were laying in bed, looking up at the ceiling while repeating what had been said to you during dinner.
Monty is a mechanic and miss Luda’s brother and… You pause slightly when you get to Thomas, even though you’re not entirely sure why.
And Thomas… Thomas is a butcher, and also miss Luda’s son. And miss Luda tends to a gas station…
You tried sleeping for about an hour after your repetition of names and occupations but failed and instead sat up. A pout emerging on your lips as you lightly tapped the mattress under you before you decided to get up and walk downstairs. Even though you’re not sure what to do downstairs, maybe you could sit on the porch or something.
On the top of the stair landing you noticed the faint whispers of the TV running downstairs.
Your curiosity picked in your stomach as you descended the stairs, avoiding that creepy step.
It was dark downstairs, except for the faint glow of said TV you were hunting through the night, keeping an eye out for who could be watching it. The room was empty, none of the old men nor Luda Mae was watching it. But you did hear snoring not far away from you. On your way into the room you found yourself reaching your hand out to guide yourself through the dark, fingers brushing against a table and then something… leathery.
You stopped in your steps and grabbed a hold of it, trying your best to see it, hoping your eyes had adjusted in the dark.
You held it up, turning slightly to try and get the TV glow light it up more, getting closer to get more light and that’s when you realized what it was.
Oh… It’s… it’s that mask.
You hummed slightly out of curiosity to how this Thomas-man would look without it, but you quickly shook that thought away as you had already seemingly hurt his feelings once that day, so you decided to just hang it over the backrest of the same couch you curled up on.
You tucked your knees up to your chest and rested your chin on them and lazily watched the show that was on. It seemed to be some kind of… action? Or… a scary movie? You had no idea, honestly.
A few shuffling steps, a clank of glass against wood and something that sounded like panicked breathing alerted you to a presence in the room, and you looked in the direction they came from.
The man, Thomas, frantically turned in the dark, one of his arms swept across the table you had stopped by to pick the mask up and you realized what he was panicking about. You weren’t sure what to do at this point, but you picked the mask up and extended it towards his location.
“Here.”, you said weakly. He just stopped at your words, you couldn’t see him, the only thing you saw was a dark silhouette that moved closer ever so slowly. You noticed that when he almost came into clear view he looked down and covered his face in the crook of his arm, the other reaching almost blindly for yours.
Maybe he’s just really shy. You thought as you put his mask in his hand before turning to the TV again. A small shuffling sound, a sigh of relief and new footsteps coming your way.
As he sat down in one of the lounge chairs across from you, you smiled sheepishly at him.
“Hi.”, you whispered, and turned your attention back to the television. “I’m sorry I took your mask.” you mumbled into your knees before the room descended into a heavy and thick silence, the kind you could probably cut with a knife.
He seemed to ignore you fully, and somewhere in your mind you thought you understood why. But you honestly couldn’t stand the crushing silence between you two. Only sound being the faint dialogue of the show, Thomas gnawing on his snack and occasional sound effect from the TV, so you decided to say something to ease it.
You silently cleared your throat, trying to make it seem natural, and you noticed he actually glanced at you for the first time since he had entered the room.
“Uhm…”, you started and jolted slightly as his head snapped in your direction, his brows furrowed.
“Y-y...You’re uh… Thom..as, right?”, your voice was low, not wanting to startle him again. This time, he stayed planted in his place on the chair and looked over at you. Seemingly observing you, you figured he was trying to determine if you were friend or foe before he slowly nodded at your question, and turned his attention to the TV again.
“Hi, Thomas.”, you smiled at him, and continued, “Is it… Is it alright if we uhm… talked?”, you really wanted to apologize for earlier, but also thank him for helping you with… whatever it was he had helped you with since your brain apparently had decided it didn’t want to remember it… and you were honestly curious about him. Something you couldn’t pinpoint drove you to him, he was mysterious. You wanted to know about his mask, about him.
Again, he nodded, letting out a small grunt that you guessed was associated with “yes”.
“I just… I wanted to… uhm… apologize.”, he turned his head when you said the last word and he raised an eyebrow, “I wanted to apologize for earlier…”, he kept his eyes on you, piercing your soul before they seemed to… relax, or at least you wanted to believe they did.
“I didn’t want to… hurt your feelings, it’s just…”, you let one of your legs down on the floor and started scratching on what looked like a small scab on your knee as you shrugged, “I just couldn’t, and… still can’t remember what happened to me.”, you looked up from your scratching and saw he was leaning forward on his knees fidgeting with a piece of his snack, listening to you with a focused look, “but… when I saw you in the hallway, I remembered you and I was just happy I remembered something, you’re all I can remember… I…”, you sighed, “I can’t even remember my own name.”
He let out a small, raspy “mmh” at your words, and you watched him as he rose from his seat, took one big step towards you and extended the hand he held what looked like beef jerky towards you, offering some.
You couldn’t help but giggle up at him when he seemed persistent in giving you a piece of dried meat after you’ve just come clean to him and apologized to hurting his feelings.
“Thank you, Thomas.”, your hand seemingly swallowed by his shirt.
It slipped down slightly from your wounded shoulder which reminded you.
“Oh, right…”, you said between your own gnawing at the piece he’d given you, “Do you… know who helped me with this…?”, you looked over at him as you moved more of the fabric out of the way to easier show him the stitched up piece of skin.
He looked over to the shoulder you were holding and nodded slightly before slowly extending one of his fingers pointing to himself and you could swear you saw him grin , but it might just have been shadows playing due to his mask.
“Did you do this?”, you glanced down at the neat stitching done to you.
“Wow… You know your sewing, Thomas.”, you looked back up at him, and your heart jumped slightly.
The TV suddenly flashed bright due to some kind of effect or whatever and it lit the entirety of the right side of his face up and made his eye shine a bright blue color.
You couldn’t help but give him a huge smile, making your eyes crinkle.
Thomas B. Hewitt
His family had gone to sleep a few hours ago while Thomas stayed up to tinker at something, but after a while he got tired of that. He sighed and tried finding something to do. He wasn’t tired, and didn’t feel like going to sleep.
One thought of what he could do hit him but he just groaned when it would just end up with him having to clean up a mess and he was honestly way too lazy for that now.
So he decided to venture downstairs to watch some TV instead.
So, here he was slumped in a chair, head resting on one of his hands, lightly scratching his scarred up face. Sure, he hated how it looked, but if he was going to be completely honest, the itching was the worst part at times. He had taken the mask off when he entered the room and put it on a nearby table where it was easy to grab when he decided to leave.
Ugh… I don’t like this movie, it’s so goddamn slow...
In the middle of deciding whether he should try to switch channels or not his stomach started grumbling at him.
Are you kidding me… I just got comfortable.
He let out a heavy sigh as his head lolled backwards a bit before heaving himself up from the chair and trudging over to the kitchen, his bare feet only making small shuffling noises to rummage for something to eat.
Oh, mama, I love you, he let out a small happy moan to himself as he found a few pieces of beef jerky wrapped in some paper. He loved the beef jerky his mother made, even though he knew he was mostly not allowed to eat them because she saved them for special occasions.
But like all children, no matter how old they get, he’s the bratty son who doesn’t listen to his mother when she’s not around, and grabbed some.
With some pieces of jerky, and a glass of water he wandered back into the TV room, quickly throwing his eyes on the table where he had put his mask only for his heart to stop.
No… nono no. Where is it?, he put his glass down to frantically look for it.
I put it RIGHT here! Where’s my mask!, he swiped his arm over the table.
“Here.”, a small voice spoke up and he looked towards it. The girl was here too. She had taken the mask from the table, a small anger building up in him.
Is this some kind of joke?, but she just extended her arm and held the mask out for him. She didn’t say anything, didn’t laugh, didn’t taunt him. Just holding the arm out, he shuffled closer to her but stopped right before his face became fully visible only to tuck it into the crook of his arm and holding his other hand out trying to catch it.
And then he felt her just… put the mask in his hand.
He almost threw his midnight snack down and scrambled the mask back on his face, he sighed in relief after getting it snug against him again.
He picked the items back up again and continued into the room, she wasn’t looking at him. She kept her eyes on the TV as he slumped back into the chair again. It wasn’t until he had sat down that she turned to him and smiled slightly.
“Hi.”, she whispered before turning her head towards the TV again and mumbling something he really couldn’t decipher.
Why are you up?, he thought to himself as he started gnawing at some of the jerky and forced himself to watch the TV with the shitty move rolling on it.
This is so awkward, please say something.
He was desperate. It was too quiet, the atmosphere too thick for his own comfort, and he was used to an awkward and pressed atmosphere, but this? Way too much.
He glanced over at her slightly as he heard her make a sound.
“Uhm…”, like she had heard his own inner prayer she said something and he snapped his head at her direction, pushing his brows inward.
“Y-y… You’re uh… Thom..as, right?”, there it was, that voice. Her voice. The voice he could admit to himself only that he actually liked, flowing like honey through the air. He just looked at her, a bit confused as to how she knew his name, but coming to the conclusion that either his mama had told her, or she had figured it out herself from context.
He slowly nodded his head to her question, not noticing her smile as she continued.
“Hi, Thomas. Is it… Is it alright if we uhm… talked?”
He hid his mouth behind one of his hands as he couldn’t help but to grin and almost laugh at that question.
Sure, we can “talk”, he said internally but nodded and grunted to indicate “yes”, hoping she got the gist of his action.
“I just… I wanted to… uhm… apologize.”, Thomas turned his head towards the girl when he heard the word “apologize” and raised one eyebrow.
Apologize? What for?
“I wanted to apologize for earlier…”, he kept looking at the dark shape that was this mystery girl on the couch, but actually relaxed a bit, she had lit his curiosity. People don’t apologize to Thomas Hewitt.
“I didn’t want to… hurt your feelings, it’s just…”, as she moved, so did Thomas. He put his glass down on the floor and leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees to listen in to her words. He followed one of her hands as she started picking and scratching at one of the scabs that had taken its place at her knee.
Go on, I’m listening., he replied to her internally, fiddling with one of his meat snacks.
“I just couldn’t and… still can’t remember what happened to me, but… when I saw you in the hallway, I remembered you and I was just happy I remembered something, you’re all I can remember… I…”, he was shocked. Taken aback at what she said.
You… You were… happy to see me?
By now, he was starting to not trust you. This has to be a joke, there is literally no other explanation to this. It was a cruel joke put on by some idiots in town. He was awoken from his monologue by a heavy sigh coming from her.
“I can’t even remember my own name.”
The last sentence made his heart sting a bit. It must truly be horrible not knowing your own name.
“Mmh.”, it was raspy as all hell, sure. But for some reason he wanted her to know he listened to her. He looked down at his snack and decided to do something to show her it was alright, he accepted her apology and to show her he’s not mad at her. He rose up, took one step towards her and extended a piece of his favorite snack.
Here, take it. It’s alright.
She giggled at him and he smiled behind his mask, knowing she couldn’t see it. She took it from his hand, his face heated up slightly as he felt her fingers lightly brush against his, something she didn’t seem to notice at all since her hand was absolutely covered by his shirt.
“Thank you, Thomas.”, he nodded at her “Thank you” and plopped himself down in the chair again, leaning back.
“Oh, right…”, her words were hidden behind a gnawing and chewing, and he looked over as she pulled the shirt down more and his heart almost jumped up his throat.
Whaaat… What are you doi-
His mind relaxed when she pointed to the wound. “Do you… know who helped me with this…?”
He nodded again and pointed to himself and grinned a bit, he’s always so proud of his work when it revolves sewing.
“Did you do this? Wow… You know your sewing, Thomas.”, he leaned back observing her, one of his legs swaying slightly, one arm thrown over the back rest, the other resting on this thigh. The shine from the TV betrayed him as it suddenly flashed bright, revealing a smile that made his own eyes crinkle.
Was all he managed to think when he realized what was about to happen inside of him when she smiled back.
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Dream smp members as songs in my song playlist that is just things i impulsively added
Dream - Everybody Loves Me by Onerepublic
DreamXD - The Nice Guy Ballad by Wilbur Soot
George - Always Gold by Radical Face
Callahan - Like a River Runs by Bleachers (idk its the best i have)
Sapnap - Go To War by Nothing More
Sam - A Sadness Runs Through Him by Hooziers
Alyssa - Pools by Glass Animals
Ponk - Its All So Incredibly Loud by Glass Animals
Bad - Oleander by Mother Mother
Tommy - Since I Saw Vienna by Wilbur Soot
Tubbo - Blame by Dave munro and Kevin McQuilkin
Fundy - The Scab by An Unkindness
Punz - Kill the Lights by Set It Off
Purpled - Stone Cold Classic 3000 by Aka George
Wilbur - Your Sister Was Right by Wilbur Soot
Ghostbur - Tell Your Story by Derivakat
Schlatt - My Name by Charlie Winston
Skeppy - Bent by Matchbox Twenty
Eret - I of the Storm by Of Monsters and Men
Jack - Loosing Face by Wilbur Soot
Niki - Agnes by Glass Animals
Quackity - Little Lion Man by Mumford and Sons
Mexican Dream - Where Are the Askers by Quackity
Karl - Karma by Ajr
Hbomb - Youth by Glass Animals
Techno - Ticking Bomb by Aloe Blacc
Ant - Cops and Robbers by Hooziers
Phil - Good in Me by Jon Bellion
Connor - Promiseland by Mika
Puffy - Kids Again by Artist Vs Poet
Vikk - I See A Dreamer by CG5
Lazar - Roadtrip by Dream and Pmbata
Ranboo - Guiding Light by Mumford and Sons
Foolish - How To Save A Life by The Fray
Hannah - Heather by Conan Grey
Charlie - The Internet Has Ruined Me by Wilbur Soot
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Tell me, should I let you go?
Tags: RadioDust, Trans!Angel
Warnings: Drug Use, Addiction
Fic was inspired by the song Sober by Bad Wolves. Listen while you read!
Angel Dust woke up in his bathtub, again. His neck hurt from being bent forward overnight, and his back and joints all ached from the cramped spaces and unnatural angles. At least the cool tile felt nice. Dizziness washed over him as he tipped his head back, trying to right his world, and soon after he was scrambling for the toilet, dry heaves wracking his frame. He spit, if just to relieve the nausea, and settled back against the wall, one arm feebly reaching for the vanity. There was a snuffling and scraping sound and all of a sudden Angel’s lap was full of pig, his pet bounding back and forth across him, desperate for attention.
“Be easy on daddy, now,” Angel moaned, scooping up the pig and cradling him. The nausea was ebbing slightly, but not enough. He turned his head, coughing and hacking into the toilet again. Just holding Fat Nuggets felt like too much, but Angel managed to claw and stumble his way to his feet. His reflection looked worse than he felt, mascara and eyeliner dripping down his cheeks and his eyes red around the edges. His throat felt scratchy and a fresh wave of dizziness had him stumbling forward into the sink.
“Saint’s sake, am I still drunk?” he mumbled, fumbling for his toothbrush. His mouth tasted like sugar and stomach acid, and it took him twice as long to get himself looking presentable, crumbled clothes aside. The dizziness and nausea had more or less left him to fester, but the lights felt too bright and a migraine had settled behind his left eye. He matched his steps to the slow pulse of his head, wobbling around his room as he unceremoniously stripped out of yesterday’s clothes and pulled on a fresh shirt and shorts. He had no plans to go out, so he didn’t bother getting too dolled up. He checked his phone, but there were no messages, not from work, not from his family, not even from Alastor. Probably for the best, even though he was craving a few sweet words this morning. Better to lay low and not let anyone realize how he was. There were empty bottles and plastic cups, and evidence of the fun that was wreaking so much havoc on him this morning scattered around the room. He cleaned it all up, burying it in his trash so no one would find it later. He should feel ashamed, maybe, drinking, smoking, maybe even popping a pill or two, but it wasn’t such a big deal. Just a couple drinks, a smoke, a couple pills. No one had to know, and he’d been so good. They had to give him that.
This was just one of those, whaddaya call’em? Cheat days. It was just a lil treat. One time thing. He placated himself, shoving off the bits of shame and regret crawling under his skin. Angel settled into his bed, Fat Nuggets happily curled up against him, grumbling as he thumbed through the TV channels. It made his head hurt that much more, but frankly he’d take that over the silence, in the room or in his head. He scratched idly at the inside of his arm, only glancing down when he realized he’d picked at a scab. A very new one.
He swore, tearing tissues out of their box, knocking over everything else on the nightstand. Angel dabbed at the tiny wound, peering closer. It was definitely a needle mark, and not the only one. He yanked down on the sleeve of his shirt, casting furtive glances around his room. It was fine, it was okay. It would be gone in a couple hours, a day top. It was tiny. No one had to know he hadn’t just fallen off the wagon, that he’d jumped headfirst. It was fine. He just had to stay home, lay low one day, be extra careful from here on. He crouched by the bed, picking up the things he’d knocked over. A couple framed pictures of his friends, another of him and Alastor dressed up in silly Valentine’s themed costumes. They’d thrown a party back in February for his six months sober celebration. There was a lopsided stuffed deer, a prize Al had won for him at Hell’s carnival, back on one of their early dates. When Fat Nuggets had torn it up one night, Al had hushed him, stitching it up and adding a few personal touches, showing him anything could be repaired. He set everything back up neatly. No biggie. This was something else that could be fixed. No big deal. Definitely not, until there was a knock at his door.
“Angel? You okay?” Charlie’s innocent voice was the last thing he wanted to hear, but he heaved himself onto his feet and stumbled to the door as fast as he could manage, leaning against it to hold it shut.
“Just peachy, dollface. Ya need something?” he called through the door, making sure all the locks were on. He pushed the chain lock all the way across, quieting the metal with his fingertips.
“You’re late for your check-in session, I was making sure you were up.”
“Did you forget? Today’s the 5th, you were supposed to meet me downstairs an hour ago.” Charlie’s voice was picking up a suspicious edge he didn’t like. Of course today would be a check in. How had he forgotten that? He was so careful, making sure he’d clear his appointments so he could live pretty freely under the radar.
“Sorry doll, I, uh, just over-slept. Stayed up too late….watching too many movies!” He bit at his lip, not buying his own excuses. Clearly, she wasn’t either.
“Angel, let me in. I want to make sure you’re okay.” She insisted. Angel huffed, putting on his usual demeanor. It wasn’t like he didn’t have practice faking it.
The door swung open abruptly, revealing Angel in his t-shirt and sports shorts, a button down shirt only partially blocking out the pride pun printed on his shirt in pastel colors. The sleeves hung down to half-way down his forearms, carefully folded. Charlie studied him, suspicion and confusion warring across her face.
“Something wrong, doll? I was in the middle a somethin.” He tried to hurry her along, one arm braced against the door frame. The injured arm was tucked against his back, the elbow carefully hidden with the cuff.
“I’ve just never seen you dressed like that.” Charlie finally admitted, staring at his chest. He shifted uncomfortably, wondering if the shirt looked wrong on him. Finally, she smiled, pointing at it. “I like your shirt. It’s good to cope through positive humor.” Angel glanced down. ‘The first gender’s free,’ the pink text read. ‘Too bad I needed a refund’, the white and blue text finished. He laughed with her, but it felt stuck in his throat. He could feel sweat breaking out on the back of his neck.
“So look, can we reschedule the uh, check-in, doll?” He tried to keep his voice steady, his smile wide. Charlie waved one hand, still giggling.
“Sure, sure,” she called, turning away. “I’ll see you after lunch then, my office. Bye Angel!”
Oh sugar honey. Angel bit his lip, keeping his internal screams to himself, willing himself to shut the door calmly and muffle his impending break-down in a pillow.
By two in the afternoon, Angel had scrubbed himself head to toe, made sure his makeup was flawless, perfumed, eaten, drank, anything and everything to beat back last night’s demons and act the part of the perfectly adapted, normal, and completely clean Angel Dust he’d been becoming the last eight or so months. ‘Just one quick meeting, no big deal,’ he kept reminding himself. He sauntered into Charlie’s office, plopping down into the chair opposite her desk, checking his nails to keep up his bored act. The marks on his arm were all but gone now, but there were still a few nagging symptoms of a come down he hadn’t quite chased off yet. Charlie shut the door behind him, part of her pledge to privacy, and sat across from him, separated by a massive wood desk that was definitely made for one of her parents. She just looked tiny, sitting behind it.
“Okay! So, we are… just shy of one year! How are you feeling today?” Charlie consulted her paperwork, searching around for her pen as she spoke. It was the one she’d taken from Katie Killjoy, way back at the hotel’s launch.
“Same ol’, bored as hell, but doin’ my best. Clean, nice, and well-adjusted.” Angel ticked off on his fingers, reciting the three goals Charlie pushed all of her patrons towards. She hummed, clicking the pen a few times before she began to take notes. She probed at him with the usual list of questions, asking about his recent activities, work, friends, mood, and how he was coping and feeling about each of the problems he’d mentioned in previous meetings. He could see she’d drawn his shirt in the margins. ‘Piece. Of. Cake.’ he congratulated himself, standing up and starting to excuse himself. He’d made it through the full hour without a single slip up.
“Sit back down, Angel.” Charlie scolded, setting her page down flat. She dropped the pen, eyeing the chair when he didn’t. He sighed, plunking back down.
“What’s up, boss?” He asked, arms crossed. Charlie reached over the desk, yanking his sleeve up before he could stop her.
“I knew it.” she hissed, sitting back in her chair, hands wrapped around her elbows, arms pressing flat against her ribs. “Angel, you’re not even close to clean.”
“What! That’s playing dirty! I am! Well, I was. Definitely was! I was being a super good boy, but then, I dunno, something happened, and then I guess I made a mistake last night, and then I guess, I dunno. A lot happened last night, an’ I don’t remember none of it, but I swear! I was clean until yesterday! I’ll get it back!” He wasn’t being completely truthful, he’d been sneaking drinks and hits of whatever coworkers had on hand while he was at work, but he definitely couldn’t tell her that, and he really had been cutting back… Why couldn’t he remember last night?
“Angel, you’ve come to check-ins still stoned before, just… stop.” Charlie pinched the bridge of her nose, blowing out a breath. “Last night, Alastor brought you home from Val’s. You were a huge wreck. He took you upstairs, but you started screaming at us and locked yourself in your room.” She paused, looking up at him, willing him to say something, but Angel, for once, had nothing.
“Have you ever told me the truth?” Charlie sighed, pushing herself to her feet. She circled the desk, opening the door with a resigned, defeated look. Angel frowned, knowing he was the cause, but not how to fix it. Getting high at work wasn’t surprising, but to get totally wrecked wasn’t right. Angel shuffled, thinking he was being dismissed, but what happened next was so much worse.
Alastor walked in, face blank and perfectly schooled into place. Charlie retook her seat, gesturing to the open chair beside Angel. Al took it, not looking at him. He just stared straight ahead, completely zoned out.
“Angel, you were already on your last warning before this. Do you have anything to say for yourself?” Charlie tried again. Angel opened his mouth, starting over with what he’d already tried, but it fell on deaf ears. Neither Charlie or Alastor so much as twitched as he tried spinning line after line, trying for pity, sympathy, humor, anything. When she couldn’t take anymore, Charlie shook her head, scribbling away on a sheet of paper. Angel couldn’t make out the words, no matter how desperately he wanted to. It felt like his whole head was throbbing and the room was spinning. How hot was it in here anyway? He shoved his sleeves up, already caught out. It was hard to catch his breath, he slumped forward, tempted to put his head between his knees. Were his ears ringing, or was that Al’s static?
“Angel,” Charlie said, clearly not for the first time. Concern was leaking into her voice, and he fished himself back out, sitting up, head lolling to one side. Al stayed silent, not offering a hand, a word, even a tune. He had never felt so alone in a room full of people who were supposed to care about him. So much for that.
“Angel, I have to evict you.” She said finally, sliding the page over to him. “You have to sign this.”
It wasn’t possible to hold back the tears dripping down his face, and just as impossible to figure out why he couldn’t stop. Who cared about the dumb hotel. He had any number of places he could go. Molly had a spare room, if he wanted to go back to the mob. Cherri had a couch, and he’d already thrown his lot in with hers for turf wars. Hell, even Val would take him back and let him live in a studio if he did more videos. Screw the Hotel! Angel growled, throwing his things into duffel bags, ripping his posters off the wall, slamming the drawers closed after emptying them. Fat Nuggets hid under his bed, snuffling sadly, but he didn’t have it in him to apologize yet, even if the pig was innocent. Sometimes he just had to stay angry.
“I would think you wouldn’t want to destroy your own possessions, darling.” Alastor spoke softly from the open doorway, looking around slowly. Angel pouted, looking more pathetic than mad, but he didn’t care. He didn’t notice when Al had gotten there, but it didn’t matter.
“I don’t possess anything. Anything that’s mine gets broke or taken away.” He said pointedly, snatching the pictures off his nightstand. He inspected them, finally dumping them in the wastebasket by the vanity. Alastor blinked, his radio noise some garbled music that was probably supposed to calm his nerves, but they just grated on them more. Angel did his best to ignore him, storming around the room, packing away every possible hint he’d spent a moment in the room. Finally his last nerve snapped, worn thin by his unhelpful, intrusive, cold boyfriend. He snatched the deer plush off his nightstand, the last thing left unpacked, and hurled it at the Radio Demon’s chest. There was sharp feedback as it struck him, like a microphone dropping or a headset being plugged in.
“Would you just get out of here!” He screamed, voice shattering. Alastor looked passively at him, picking up the doll slowly, smoothing its short fur.
“Very well. I will wait for you in the foyer, if you prefer.” Alastor turned, still cradling the deer. “Would you prefer I take Fat Nuggets, or can you manage, love?” His trademark smile drooped, dipping into something smaller, sadder, but sincere, broken-hearted love in an instant. Angel sniffled, dragging his arm across his face. Saints’ sake, his makeup was wrecked all over again.
“Whaddaya talkin’ about?” Angel choked out, grabbing for more tissues. Alastor set the doll down on the bed, coming closer. Angel let him into arm’s reach, but he wasn’t ready to be touched just yet.
“I’m waiting on you, my dear.” Alastor repeated, gesturing to Angel’s bags.
“What for? Ain’t ya done with me for bein’a a dirty wh-” Angel was cut off with a harsh look from Alastor, contempt and scorn he rarely wore. “You’re nothing of the sort. I discussed this very carefully with Charlie last night, I’m very sorry we did not make ourselves clearer.” Alastor fetched the pictures from the wastebasket and looked at them, keeping his hands busy.
“You ain’t breakin’ up wit me?” Angel asked again, eyes wide. But he was sure that Al had been so cold because…
“Never, my love. I would never abandon you over something so trivial.” Alastor set the pictures aside, finally lifted his hands, cupping the spider’s face gently. His gloved thumbs cleared away the last of his love’s tears.
“But you were so….dead?” Angel tried, sniffling again.
“I was so worried about you, darling, I was beside myself. I stayed with you all night, and spoke with Charlie once I was sure you were quite alright by yourself.”
“So Charlie is kicking me out -”
“You’ll be moving in with me, my love.” Alastor spoke softly, eyes downcast. He drew Angel in closer, pulling him to his chest. “Charlie agreed it would be better for you, but to keep it quiet. If that’s not what you want, then-”
“No! No, no no, I, Al, I want that, I just. I don’t get it.” Angel sighed, resting his weary head on Al’s shoulder, four arms wrapped loosely around him. He knew not to hold too tight, or else Al got squirrely. Al drew back, but only slightly. He pressed his forehead to Angel’s, his ears and horns tangling gently with Angel’s hair.
“Addiction is difficult, and it can only be fought with attention and support, not alone, isolated in a hotel room. I’d like to give you that, if you’ll have me.” There was hope, love, faith, and trust in Alastor’s voice, everything Angel had ever wanted, truly wanted, the things he’d tried so long to replace with the high, trying to stuff his feelings with drugs.
“I’m never going to let you go.” Angel answered, new tears prickling at his eyes.
“Let’s go home, my darling.”
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