writing request: during kings tide Hunter gets stuck in the demon realm while the others escape
“Ooooooooooo a GRIMWALKER! I thought Belos was gonna get rid of you!”
Hunter felt a pull tugging him back, away from the portal. Willow grasped his arms. “No! No, no, no—”
Hunter held on tight with his good arm. “Don’t let go,” he begged, “Please—” tears pressed at the corners of his eyes.
He killed Uncle without even trying.
Willow’s feet started to slip out of the human realm and back to the demon realm, and a jolt of panic shot down Hunter’s spine as Gus grabbed hold, too, pulling with all his might.
He killed Uncle so easily, even in his cursed form
What will he do to my friends?
He pulled his good arm out of Willow and Gus’ grip, reaching into his pocket and pulling out Flapjack. He held the bird out. “Take it!”
Hunter pushed it into Gus’s hands, and the smaller witch was forced to let go and grab the bird before it could clatter on the ground. Flapjack sprang to life, struggling and screeching for Hunter not to go.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered.
Luz, Amity, Gus, and Willow were all pushed through the door by the soundwave. Hunter was thrown backwards, too, but he was too high in the air and just slammed into the doorframe, crumbling to the ground as the door fell into pieces.
The Collector giggled, and Hunter floated up into the air with king. “A Grimwalker and a titan! Awesome! Well, you know, if we’re going to play owl house, we need an owl house! We also need a villain!” They grinned at Hunter. “You’re it!”
Hunter was dropped back down to the ground, and he felt his clothes grow heavier, a cape springing out behind him.
No, no, no, no, no!
King was set down in the ruins of the door, and he scrambled towards Hunter. “Hunter! I’m sorry, I tried to send you through, I—”
In a blur of blue and orange, the Collector was between them. “I’ll save you from the emperor’s guard, King!” he yelled, their hand slamming into Hunter’s chest.
The breath was almost immediately knocked out of him, and he was sent flying backwards, crashing into the wall. Hunter’s mouth opened, but no sound came out, just a wheeze as he collapsed to the ground, gasping for air. The world blurred, his vision spotty, and his whole body screaming with pain.
“Come on,” the Collector’s voice whined in a blurry, far-off kind of way, “It’s no fun if the bad guy doesn’t fight! You’re supposed to try to take King from me, remember?! And then I save him!”
King wriggled out of the Collector’s grasp, running to Hunter. “No, wait!” he yelled, standing in front of him, “That’s not how you play owl house!”
“Well, what are the rules, then?!”
Hunter closed his eyes, his ears ringing. He could feel something sticky beneath his head, and he slowly reached out, wincing as he touched a gash on the back of his skull.
Head injury… not good…
“In the owl house, we try to help the golden guard!” King yelped, “We try to convince him to be our friend, and to stay on our side! We try to get him away from Belos, and we take care of him!”
“Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh, yeah, that makes sense!”
Something poked at Hunter’s face, and he opened his eyes just enough to see the Collector crouching down next to him, a cheerful grin on their face. “Sorry! Wanna switch teams?”
Hunter let out a wheezing groan, and the Collector smacked their forehead. “Oh! Right! If we rescue you from Belos, we need a Belos!”
In the corner, Uncle’s robes and mask swirled up, held up by the Collector’s power. It glided over.
“Hunter, you get up right now!” The Collector ordered, his childlike voice seeming to ripple over with Belos’ accent, “Capture me some palisman so I can shove them in my dumb face and get even goopier!”
Hunter curled into a ball with a whine, putting his hands over his ears.
It’s not him, it’s not him, it’s not him
“Didn’t you hear me, Hunter? Do you want to be replaced?! I can do that, because I’m a mean, mean liar who thinks he knows everything and can do whatever he wants! Now get up!”
Magic swirled around Hunter, setting him up on his feet. The pressure kept him up, kept his head from sagging forward to his chest, forced his eyes open. King stared at him with big eyes as the Collector made him march away. The Belos Puppet glided after him, yelling at him to move along, to get those palisman, the titan’s blood, and to capture the human, and a hundred other tasks that contradicted each other, or were just plain ridiculous.
Finally, the magic dropped him, and Hunter collapsed, gagging as his head spun.
“Stay away from Hunter!” The collector yelled in his own voice, nudging King.
“Y-yeah!” King yelled, “Go away, Belos!”
His voice echoed out, knocking the Belos puppet away. The Collector knelt next to Hunter, squishing his cheeks between his hands. “Hooray! We saved you! We’re the heroes!” He laughed, then dropped Hunter. “Man, you’re kind of a boring rescuee.”
Hunter curled back into a ball, tucking his head between his knees with a whimper.
The Collector scooped King up, the Belos puppet in the corner swirling back into shape. “Come on! Let’s find someone else to rescue! Maybe if he takes a break he’ll be more fun to play with.” He patted Hunter’s head, making him choke as it sent spikes of pain hammering through his skull. “Okeydokey, you can take a nap! I’ll come back later to see if you’re feeling better, and we can play some more!”
King reached out towards Hunter as the Collector floated up, but Hunter couldn’t even try to grab him, couldn’t do much more than try to breathe and not slip into darkness.
And then it was quiet. It was just him and the broken remains of the Titan’s skull.
Someone crashed down on their knees next to him, a red dress blurring in his vision. “Do you know where Luz and King went? Wait—don’t answer, don’t move, you look awful, hang on, we’ll get help. RAINE! I found one of them! Find a healer, if you can!”
Hunter’s eyes started to close, and a cool hand patted his face. “Hey! Hey, stick with me, kid, don’t fall asleep! You’re going to be okay, just hold on a little longer!”
“I don’t… want to play anymore,” he whispered, tears leaking out of the corners of his eyes. “I don’t…”
Hey! Hunter, wake up! Wake up!
Just because you can't do something, or a lot of things, it doesn't make you worthless.
We hear the expression, "never say can't!". I grew up with this and my parents drilled it into me to never say "can't". They didn't want me to set limitations for myself, put doubt in my mind, and not be able to accomplish what I set out to do.
But guess what? I realized that sometimes we just can't do something. Whether it's physical or mental, sometimes we're just unable to do it.
AND THAT'S OK.
Not being able to do something doesn't make you any less of a person.
Whoever out there needs to hear this, you are valued even if you can't accomplish what you set out to do. You are worth it if you can no longer do a lot of things.
You are valued even when you can't.
I’ve had a thought for a fic…
Maybe Batman and Nightwing are out on a mission, and Nightwing takes a hard hit— like, unconscious, bleeding profusely from the head hit.
And Batman panics and calls for Superman.
He’s an absolute mess when Clark shows up, hands shaking as he brushes a dark lock of hair out of Nightwing’s face, breathing labored and shallow, eyes wild.
And maybe this is how Clark learns that Batman has a son— has sons— and when Batman turns his panicked gaze up at Clark, something aches in Clark’s chest and he finally realizes he’s in love with Batman.
And after he does a thorough scan of Nightwing and determines that there are no broken bones— just a concussion and a deep laceration on his scalp that requires stitches— he sits with Bruce at the hospital, shocked to learn that Batman is Bruce Wayne, and Nightwing is his oldest son…
And trying desperately to figure out what exactly he should do with these newfound feelings.
The Same Bed: Antoni
CW: Burning, beating, some derogatory language, ptsd, references to murder
Part One: Jake | Part Two: Krista | Part Three: Chris | Part Four: Vincent
The sun is setting as Antoni pushes the shopping cart out of the store, throwing a kind of golden haze over the dozen or so cars in the parking lot. The water in the bay will be glittering, he thinks, appearing streaked with reddish gold. To the north, the sky is turning orange, the legacy of wildfires up in the canyons far from Berras, fires that won't stop burning.
If he stops, he can smell smoke in the air, just a little.
The fires aren’t coming south, they say, but it doesn’t matter. Antoni’s carefully rebuilt life is on fire without their help. The people he loves are being set aflame and he can’t do anything but offer to go buy groceries while Jake holds a shaking, sobbing Kauri and the new one, Rafael, tries to talk to a nearly-silent, perfectly-still Chris.
Heat sticks his shirt to his shoulder blades, makes his scars itch all over his arms and his torso, has the dark brown curls at the nape of his neck tickling his skin. He wears long sleeves no matter the season, but that gets its own kind of unwelcome attention in blistering dry heat like this.
One wheel on his cart sticks and he has to constantly course-correct, pulling the cart back slightly and then pushing forward again, bumping off the walkway into the pavement. The cart rattles, the plastic rustles, and Antoni is going to lose his mind with the anger he can do nothing about.
A woman with a little girl holding her hand walks past him, the little girl singing something vaguely familiar. They look at him - and whatever the woman sees in his face, she tightens her grip and hurries the girl along.
Jake’s ancient car doesn’t unlock from a key fob, and Antoni has to feed the key into the lock on the trunk physically to get it open. The trunk groans in protest, but Antoni pushes it up anyway, and feels a brief burst of something like delight when it stays up instead of trying to crash back down on his head like usual.
The trunk is huge, at least, and there’s plenty of space for everything he needs to put in there. Chris’s favorite cereals and some chocolate nutrition shakes - he stops eating when he’s like this, unless you force him to, and then what he can eat narrows to a tiny sliver of options. Antoni did his best - the cereal and the shakes, the frozen chicken nuggets and french fries, loaves of plain white bread - that’s all for Chris, to coax food into him when his body is too frightened for anything but whatever it reads as safe.
He has cat food and litter for Krista's little old man Pepperjack, too, while she stays with them for a few days. Jake's called some people to check her apartment over and change the locks, but Antoni thinks Krista will move, soon, anyway. Her lease is almost up and she won't feel safe in that space any longer.
Even if she wasn't the actual target.
His chest twists in anger and nerves, but Antoni is solid, and he is quiet, and he loads the bags without allowing his anger to take root. They'll deal with it all as it comes, like they always have. Antoni will handle it, if he can, and let the rest of them heal themselves with contact and touch and soft words.
Antoni will handle the other things, the things that would make them have to leave the safety of their home.
Above him, the light has dimmed enough that the big streetlights in the parking lot click on, and a low soft buzzing sound settles under the calls of birds and distant human voices, the rumble of traffic down the highway.
If it weren’t for the slight scent of smoke that prickles across every visible centimeter of skin, it would be a lovely night.
He drops the last bag inside and slams the trunk door shut so it’ll catch, turning to push the shopping cart to the little cart corral on the next row, about ten spots down. He’s vaguely aware of another car door opening, clicking shut quietly, but the rattling of the wheels and metal of the cart mostly cover up the sound of footsteps behind him.
He pushes the cart into the corral, watching it crash against the back and come to a rough stop. He exhales, sticking one hand in his pocket to pull Jake’s keys back out.
And then there’s something immensely, awfully familiar shoved against the small of his back. Antoni tenses, spine ramrod-straight, and the solid muzzle of the gun - that’s what it is, he’s had guns pushed against every part of him with Mr. Davies, knows the feel of a gun more intimately than any kiss - pushes harder, bruising through his shirt.
“Walk,” The owner of the gun says softly.
Antoni hears the safety click off.
There’s an arm around his waist as the man comes up beside him, looking like two people taking a stroll towards the alley next to the grocery store, the thin strip of pavement and trash and feral cats that separates it from the restaurant and hippie boutique beside it. Antoni chances a glance to the side, but the gun jams hard against his ribs and the man says, softly, “Don’t fucking look until I tell you to look.”
Antoni tells himself he’ll take the bullet if they leave the alley. Never, ever allow yourself to be taken, it’s taught at every group safety class, again and again. Never let them remove you from where you are, or you will never come home.
Never let WRU put you in a van.
He can take a beating, but he isn't going to let himself be taken, not again.
With each step, he steels himself for what he’ll have to do next. Elbow the man in the side, knock the gun away, turn on a dime and then run without hesitation. Once they’re in the alley, he’ll do it. Once there aren’t other people who might get hurt.
But as soon as they’re shielded by the rise of brick walls and the shadows, the man shoves his back up against the wall, blocked from view by a dumpster. Antoni sees green eyes, shaggy ash-blond hair, and the man pulls the facemask he’s wearing down to reveal sneering lips, too-white, too-perfect teeth.
“Are you the one fucking him?” The man's voice is breathless, as if he’s been holding the viciously snapped words inside too long, eating away at him. Acid corroding the inside of his lungs. Antoni stares, simply not comprehending the question, but then the gun jabs harder into his ribs and he coughs at the flash of pain, the ache.
And he knows.
“... you are Owen Grant,” Antoni says.
The perfect calm in his voice enrages the man, he can tell - those pupils get smaller, his face flushes, and the gun jams itself right underneath his chin. Antoni tips his head back but it follows him, metal warmed by contact with his skin. If the trigger pulls this angle won't kill him, but it will leave him with the front part of his face simply obliterated, shatter his teeth to shards of glass.
The scent of smoke is stronger, more acrid, and there’s a sweetness threading in underneath.
He closes his eyes, feeling his heart shudder to a stop before it beats again. Wildfires burning don't smell like this.
“I’m asking a question.”
“No,” Antoni answers, letting his hands drop, pressing the palms to the wall behind him. Decay and trash flood his senses, and remind him too much of-
moving the body, misha grumbling about how much harder it was to handle after a week, artyom snapping at his little brother that it wouldn’t have been so difficult if he’d only told him earlier, the smell makes him vomit along the roots of a tree before they wrap the body in a tarp to drag up the hill to his waiting car, misha goes back with a shovel to bury the remnants of artyom’s dinner so it can’t be tracked back to him, the smell won’t come out of his trunk for weeks no matter what he does
-something he doesn’t want to remember, not now. Not when he needs to be able to think.
“No,” he repeats, shivering, suddenly cold even while the air is still an oven baking the world around him. “I do not have sex with Kauri.”
“So it’s the other one, then,” Owen Grant says, thinking now, his eyes searching Antoni’s face. “The big one. He’s the one fucking him.”
Antoni doesn’t answer. He doesn’t have to, it’s not really a question at all.
Owen makes a sound of frustrated fury and then Antoni’s world cracks white. He goes down hard, falling into a puddle made from something that definitely isn’t rainwater that smells like freezer burnt food and asphalt. The throbbing in the side of his face is the way he knows he was just hit with the gun itself.
The last person to pistol-whip me-
A boot slams into his side and he grunts, curling up protectively, the thought gone before it can finish. The butt of the gun comes down on the top of his head, and Antoni sees stars, going suddenly limp. He might… go away for a second. He might not.
No, he does.
He does, because he smells a different smoke entirely when he comes back to himself.
His breath hitches, heart racing, adrenaline screaming at him to run, and dares to look up. He can smell Mr. Davies, the scent of his clove cigarette heavy like a hand holding the nameless pet down, pushing the heat into his back, laughing while he burns.
But it’s only Owen, looking down at him, lighting the clove cigarette and then dropping it.
It falls on Antoni and he scrambles backwards in clothes soaked in dirty water to get away. It sizzles out when it hits the puddle, too. Owen grins, and lights another.
There’s a mad light in his eyes that makes Antoni think-
of misha, bent over someone struggling to live, his hands wrapped around the victim’s neck, their eyes bulging while their lips move begging not to die but misha doesn’t need anyone to live he never leaves a survivor he always wants to see every last moment of love and life and light leave the eyes of whoever was unfortunate enough to be his chosen and artyom watches, dulled heavy-lidded eyes taking in the murder he will help to cover up
-of some faint faded memory hidden so far back within him, better left buried there with all the other graves Antoni’s life has created.
“Scream for help,” Owen says, watching Antoni push himself back against the wall. He pulls out another clove cigarette, lighting it slowly, idly. This one he lets burn for a while. The cloying sweet smell pushes its fingers into Antoni’s mouth, lingers on his tongue and down his throat, filling all the space he needs for breathing. “Go ahead. Scream.”
Antoni stares up at him. His phone’s in his pocket. He could grab it, he could call. He could scream, he-
If he screams, someone might call the police, which means they might find out too much. Kauri and Chris are safe, after going on TV, but the rest of them… the other rescues, some of them might be genuinely willing sign-ups, which means going right back into that hell.
He can’t risk it.
His mouth closes with a snap.
“Yeah, that’s what I thought.” Owen flicks the cigarette at him, watching him flinch violently and sweep it off of himself as fast as he can. Ash is on his shirt now, smeared like blood, marking his fingertips.
Lights another cigarette.
“I want back what’s mine,” Owen says, almost conversationally. “I do. None of you had to be a part of this, but you’re all protecting him, and that’s bullshit. He’s mine. Thanks to that little stunt he pulled, I know who you all are. I have my own ways of finding out shit, you know? Made some calls, paid some people. I know who you all are.”
“You do not kn-know me,” Antoni says, but his voice falters, and he holds on with desperate internal white knuckles to his identity, his understanding of himself. “You do not-”
“Sorry about your brother,” Owen interrupts. He lights a third cigarette, watching as Antoni goes still, prey in the sights of a larger predator. “By the way. He got what was coming to him, though, don’t you think?”
“My brothers are all alive,” Antoni says. His accent is getting thicker, heavier, as he starts to panic. “My brothers-”
“Your brother was shot dead by cops. You should be in prison, too, I bet, but instead you-... what? Ran away to WRU to escape the consequences? Fucking pathetic. All of you, that’s all you know how to do, run run run. Run away, run away from me. All you… all of you.” Owen’s gaze goes distant, and Antoni’s eyes shift. He can see the lights of the parking lot, so very very close. If he makes a break for it and goes for his car-
He doesn’t see the kick coming.
Owen’s foot slams down directly between his legs and the pain explodes through every nerve, followed on its heels by a new burst of white when he is hit in the face again, forced onto his stomach on the dirty pavement. He chokes, gags on pain that tries to force him to throw up everything he’s eaten, somehow he doesn’t. Somehow he manages.
Owen drops onto him and Antoni gasps, breathless, vaguely aware through the haze of pain that his shirt is being shoved up, baring the skin of his back. He throbs, between his legs, inside his head, along his cheekbone.
“Holy shit,” Owen whispers. Antoni can’t help his soft, whimpered whine as rough fingers press into old, old scars.
“That’s fucking hideous,” Owen says, then gives an odd little giggle. His fingers are tracing little designs, like making constellations out of stars. “No wonder my Kor-Bore doesn’t fuck you. I wouldn't either."
Antoni’s face burns, and he gets his hands under him, trying to push himself up onto to have Owen’s fingers tangle in his messy hair and shove his face back into the pavement so hard he feels skin scrape off his cheekbone, the sting of gravel being forced into a new wound. His nose pulses in time with his heartbeat.
“No worries, man,” Owen says, running his palm over Antoni’s lower back, around to his side, just feeling the bumps and texture of his uneven scars. “I don't care about you. I just want my slut back, you know? That’s all I want. So this is a message.”
“I won’t-... will not give the message,” Antoni manages, muffled against the ground.
“Oh, you will. It's not a message that really needs words."
Owen uses the grip on his hair to pull his head back, then slams it forward into the ground. Antoni sees white flashes and black, red against the inside of his eye lids. Another slam into the ground, a burst of something from his nose, and he can’t remember how to use his arms and legs anymore. He’s limp, and hears only distantly the sound of the lighter again.
The edge of a cigarette presses into the back of his neck, directly where a collar once covered his skin, and the pet burns. He whines like an animal, jerks against the weight on top of him, but it does nothing. He’s too weak, his head spinning and throbbing. He fights-
they fight, misha’s victims, they thrash and struggle and sometimes get a scratch in along his cheekbone or the side of his neck and in the winter he wears turtlenecks to hide any signs of those who tried to live and in the summer he blames the cat, who has never scratched anyone but who misha’s mother believes is vicious thanks to misha’s lies and artyom watches them die and buries the dead and cuts them apart and doesn’t say, that was a fingernail and not a claw, he doesn’t say this one had daughters or this one had a brother or their parents probably loved them, they had so much to fight for but misha thinks
-but he can’t fight hard enough.
“I’m going to hurt everyone around him,” Owen whispers, and presses a new burn just below the last. He starts to make a perfect straight line down the center of the pet’s spine, laughter in his smug voice as the pet jerks and whimpers and can’t make enough noise to get anyone’s attention. Time draws out, terrible impossible seconds that feel like hours. “One by one by one." Each use of 'one' is another bright new burn. "Until he comes back to me. And I’m not done yet, do you hear me? I’m not remotely done. No… but he can stop it. He can come to me, and he can stop it. If he doesn’t…”
The hand in his hair moves, fingers scratching lightly at his scalp, watching the pet shudder in disgust at the touch.
“If he doesn’t, there’s still more I can do. Worse than I’ve done. I’ll give him a couple days to come back to me, and then I’ll show him just how much I missed him, you know? I’ll show him he still belongs to me, they both do, Vincent Shield is mine.”
“Kauri-... Kauri is not-”
“Ssssshhhh. He might as well be, right? But that’s okay. That's just fine." One last burn, and then the cigarette is dropped right next to the pet’s face, the heady smoke up his nose and over his tongue. Owen ruffles his hair, and then pushes himself up to standing. “Go home, you’re a fucking mess.”
Owen walks away, leaving the pet lying there.
Time passes. The pet doesn't know how much.
Eventually he staggers up and to his feet, the world spinning sickly around him. A headache throbs behind his temples, blood trickling down his face. His nose might be broken again. He can still smell the smoke.
He can still smell-
misha takes a pack of cigarettes out of the body’s pocket and lights one, the trail of bitter smoke rising into the air, tobacco and chemicals stinging artyom’s own nose, making him wrinkle it as he lays out the plastic tarp and misha looks over at him, smiling and sated for the moment, his eyes sparkling, artyom’s sickly younger brother all grown up into a monster that must be sacrificed to to keep their family intact and the smoke makes artyom cough
The pet coughs as he stumbles back out of the alleyway into the evening light, moving mindlessly back to Jake’s car, the smell of decay, dirty water, and clove cigarettes clinging to his body, new burns itching and aching all the way down his spine.
He stares at four flat tires, slashed open, the gleam of metal along the side where someone had keyed through the paint.
Owen Grant isn't working alone, he catalogues dully. Someone is helping him. Someone did this while he was hurting the pet in an alley.
He can't go home.
The pet remembers his phone only when he’s sitting in the driver’s seat, looking sightlessly through the windshield wondering if the cold things will have gone warm and started going bad in the trunk.
He looks at Jake’s number for a while, thinks about the small plain bands the three of them wear for each other, and then slowly leans his aching head against the steering wheel.
Jake picks up on the second ring. "Antoni?"
Right. That's his name.
"I need you to call Nat," Antoni says, his voice rough. He pushes down the tears that try to prick his eyes. There is no time for crying, not now. No time at all.
"Why? Ant, you're late coming back from-"
"I met Owen," Antoni says, voice heavy. He feels dizzy, still, and a little sleepy. "I need you to come get me."
There's a pause. "Fuck. And you have my car."
"Mmmhmm." Antoni's going to fall asleep right here and now, the crash of adrenaline and the pulse of pain throughout his body working together to drag him into the dark.
He always liked the darkness best anyway.
"Well... okay, Laken's here and they have a car, we'll be there in fifteen minutes, okay?"
"Okay," Antoni manages, and then hangs up. He doesn't move his head from the steering wheel.
Inside of him, determination grows.
Owen Grant cannot have Kauri.
Not ever again.
Antoni has never allowed his family to come to harm if he could prevent it, and he will not allow this.
@burtlederp @finder-of-rings @endless-whump @astrobly @thefancydoughnut @newandfiguringitout @doveotions @pretty-face-breaker @gonna-feel-that-tomorrow @boxboysandotherwhump @oops-its-whump @cubeswhump @whump-tr0pes @downriver914 @whumptywhumpdump @whumpiary @orchidscript @nonsensical-whump @outofangband @eatyourdamnpears @hackles-up @grizzlie70 @mylifeisonthebookshelf @keeper-of-all-the-random-things
Once an idiot, always an idiot
“Shit, Hero,” Villain chuckled, strolling into the room with an infuriating casualness. Even to themself. “We really need to stop finding each other like this.”
Hero didn’t bother to mutter a reply, just grumbled incoherently and closed their eyes.
“Aw, no love for your rescuer?” Villain smirked, crouching down beside where the Hero was sprawled out on the rickety old couch. The smirk faded as they realized how much blood there was in Hero’s hair and underneath them.
They muttered a curse and spun around, snapping orders at the few henchmen that had followed their boss inside the abandoned mansion. The scrambled to obey, quickly returning with the requested items.
The villain started by having one of their men help the hero sit up. The Hero cursed them out the entire time, but didn’t for once try fighting back or resisting. They knew the drill by now.
Villain pressed the wet cloth to the back of the hero’s head, holding it there for a minute. When they pulled it back, it was soaked. And not with water.
Hero drifted in and out of consciousness as Villain messed with the first aid kit, content to let the Villain save their life again without their usual back talk. Though, Villain would have given anything to hear Hero talk back in that moment. To hear the hero reassure them that they were ok and didn’t need the Villain’s pathetic help.
“Alright, let’s get you back to my place and into the med bay,” Villain murmured after a while, finally content with their practiced cleaning and bandaging work. They wrapped their arms around the hero in a hug of sorts and pulled them up as soon as they felt Hero wrap their legs tightly around Villain’s waist.
“I don’t think they like me very much over there,” Hero drawled.
Villain chuckled once again and shook their head. “Good, because I don’t like you over there very much either.”
Hero rested their head on Villain’s shoulder, letting out a deep sigh.
“My head hurts.”
“Good. God, you’re an idiot.”
“Me?” Hero exclaimed, breaking out into a giggling fit. “Neeeverrr.”
Villain smiled fondly, shaking their head softly. “Always, love. Always.”
Whump Prompt 236
After a beating, Whumper instructs Whumpee to clean up the mess of blood made on the floor. Whumpee struggles to think and move as their head pounds from a concussion. Blood mixes with soapy water as they scrub away the droplets on the floor, renewed every they cough and splatter fresh blood over their work.
How about 'Reluctant caretaker' from BTHB?
Thank you for using your boredom to create excellent whumpy writing!
Pariah Prisoner, Part 3
This is more like reluctant to let someone be their caretaker, but close enough, right?
CW: setting a dislocated shoulder, broken/bleeding nose, Bailey's very crappy headspace and self-deprecation, mentioned police brutality, mentioned character death, concussion, bleeding through bandages. As always, let me know if I missed anything, or if you'd like to join the taglist!
Poppet stood there breathing hard, nose bleeding steadily as they waited for the heroes to give an answer to their question.
“How about we work together to get the hell out of here, and then you can decide what to do with me?”
Elijah finally said, “Fine.”
Luke grumbled at that, but even he wasn’t willing to let his (admittedly understandable) grudge get in the way of a possible escape.
Poppet gave a tight smile and a small nod, wincing at the movement. This close, the bruises on their face looked even worse. They were in civilian clothing, their suit nowhere to be seen. Without their mask, they looked incredibly young and vulnerable. It was hard to reconcile the person in front of them with the damage done to Luke.
“Great,” Poppet said. “Let me just…”
They trailed off as they grabbed the wrist of their bad arm with the other. They swore quietly, and moved to lean against a wall.
Zera caught on to what they were about to do. “Wait!” they half-shouted.
Were they seriously about to try and set their own shoulder?!
Poppet looked at them, confused. “I have to get it back in place. Sooner’s better than later, it’ll just get harder if I wait. ”
Okay. They were seriously about to try and set their own shoulder.
“Yeah, but…” Zera struggled to come up with words to explain their protest. How the hell was Poppet so calm about this?
“You can pop it out again later,” Poppet said, which was so many kinds of horrible Zera didn’t even know where to start. “But I’m gonna need it in place to get us out.”
“That’s not—” Zera sputtered. They really expected the heroes to hurt them like that?!? Expecting it from Luke, maybe, might be understandable given how he attacked them, but Zera too?
“Let me do it,” Zera finally said. “I can help.”
“I’ve got it,” Poppet said, shaking their head and immediately looking like they regretted the movement.
“You really don’t,” Zera said. “That’s a two-handed job, minimum. You can’t get the angle and torque right on it yourself.”
Poppet looked skeptical and unimpressed. “I know what I’m doing,” they said, followed by a nearly inaudible grumble that might have been “worked before”.
Elijah broke in, his voice allowing no room for disagreement. “Poppet, let Foxfire set your shoulder. Even if you can do it yourself, they’ve got medical training.”
Hesitantly, keeping one eye on Luke the whole time, Poppet walked close enough for Zera to set their shoulder.
“The fuck was Slipknot on about, anyway?” Luke asked. “About you wanting to go to us.”
“I was—” Poppet hissed as Zera took hold of their arm. “I was trying to leave. To turn myself in.”
Luke scoffed. “Right, like we’d fall for that.”
Poppet tilted their head to one side, then the other, like they were shrugging without moving their shoulders. “Still better than staying here.”
“Try to relax for me,” Zera said. The villain was so tense Zera was surprised they weren’t trembling with the effort. It was going to make setting their shoulder a lot harder and more painful than it needed to be.
Poppet closed their eyes and breathed in, slow and deep. They let the air out just as slowly, and some of their tension left with it.
Zera took the opportunity to manipulate their joint back into place.
The motion was brutal, a harsh twist and shove. Poppet let out a yelp of surprise and pain along with a little shockwave of telekinesis.
“Fuck, sorry, sorry,” they gasped. “Didn’t— wasn’t trying to attack you. Just caught me off guard. Aren’t you supposed to give a countdown for that!?”
Zera shrugged. “A countdown just lets people tense up and makes it harder to do. Try not to move that arm too much; it may be back in place, but the muscles are still damaged.”
They nodded. “I know.”
That wasn’t exactly comforting.
They rolled their shoulders a little, testing the range of movement, then nodded. “Let me see if I can get the restraints off.”
“Why were you trying to leave?” Elijah asked as Poppet focused on Zera’s restraints.
“This isn’t—” Poppet broke off, grimaced, wiped their bleeding nose with the back of a hand, then continued. “I didn’t know what I was getting into. Was just Slipknot’s naive little toy. They said— doesn’t matter. What matters is that I was dumb enough to believe them. By the time I realized what they really were doing, the kind of person they really were? I was too scared to leave.”
There was a sound of metal on metal as Poppet flexed their hand. The chains attached to Zera’s restraints fell off, links torn open.
“I don’t think I can get the restraints themselves without hurting you,” Poppet said apologetically. “Slipknot uses solid bands and puts them on with their powers. Haven’t been able to open them before, and yours are even thicker than the normal ones.”
“It’s fine,” Zera assured them, trying to keep their voice light even as their mind reeled. They were starting to put together a picture from the information Poppet was giving them, and it wasn’t one they liked.
Elijah prompted, “What changed your mind?”
Poppet walked over to him and started working on his restraints next. “The stuff that happened with Heroes League a little while ago. With the ‘villain’ who can talk to animals, and how she was taken into custody and now works with the heroes. I figured if you guys were willing to do that, then you might at least hear me out.”
They repeated the same gesture, and Elijah’s chains fell off with a groan of metal. He stretched and nodded gratefully to the villain.
“As opposed to what?” Zera asked.
Poppet looked at them in confusion. “What?”
“You said you thought we’d at least hear you out, after that story came out,” Zera said. “Hear you out, as opposed to what? What did you think we’d do before that?”
They did the same little head-tilt pseudo-shrug. “Putting me down.”
Zera boggled at that. Even Luke looked disturbed. It was Elijah who kept his cool and managed to ask, “You thought we’d kill you?”
“Yeah,” Poppet said calmly, like they weren’t discussing their own death. “Slipknot… well. There aren’t a lot of nice things said around here about heroes.”
“We don’t kill people!” Zera said indignantly.
Poppet looked extremely skeptical. “Right. So there’s never been a case of police using lethal force against powereds and claiming self defense afterwards? There haven’t been heroes put on administrative leave while cases get shuffled around and swept under the rug?”
Zera couldn’t actually argue against that, was the problem. There was prejudice against powereds, and it sometimes came out as violence. It was part of the reason Heroes League worked primarily with the FBI rather than with local police stations. Even then, there were still problems.
Heroes might not have the same prejudices as the general public, but they had their own biases to deal with. Many had a tendency to see the world in black and white: good and evil, heroes and villains, right and wrong. Once someone got put into a category, people tended to leave them in that category no matter what they did, whether that was a hero who went off the rails or a villain who was just misunderstood. The organization was actually trying to clean house at the moment, spurred on by the same incident Poppet had mentioned. It had shined a light on Heroes League, and the heroes hadn’t liked what they’d seen.
Poppet moved to work on Luke’s restraints, though with more trepidation than they’d shown getting near the other two heroes.
“How the fuck are you so calm about this?” he demanded, looking down to where Poppet had crouched to view his restraints.
Zera caught a glimpse of Poppet smiling grimly. “I am concussed and running on adrenaline and spite.”
Luke’s chains fell off, and Poppet backed up hastily before he could do anything else. Backed up too hastily, in fact. They managed to trip over air and fell flat on their back. They lay there for a second, blinking hard, probably waiting for the world to stop spinning.
“I call bullshit,” Luke said, crossing his arms and looking down at the prone villain. “If you’re such a good person who didn’t want to get caught up in all this, how do you explain what you did to me, huh?”
Poppet grinned at that, big and wild and totally out of place. “Because you were right about me, Icarus! I’m just Slipknot’s little toy. Their stupid attack dog.” They let out a giggle that in most circumstances would be cute. Now? It just made Zera concerned about just how bad their concussion was. “Bad dog, trying to run away!”
Zera offered them a hand up, which they took easily. Zera helped them to their feet and stayed there for support as they got their balance.
“Foxfire,” Elijah said, low and urgent. “Their back.”
“Hm?” Poppet hummed questioningly. Then, “Oh. Well, shit.”
Zera walked behind the villain to see what Elijah was talking about. They sucked air through their teeth as they saw it: splotches of dark liquid seeping through the back of their gray shirt. Zera gripped the hem, ignoring Poppet’s protests as they looked to see just what was wrong.
Underneath the back of Poppet’s shirt was a mass of bandages. They were decently done, by someone with at least experience if not any training. And Poppet was bleeding through them.
“What the hell,” Zera said.
“It’s fine,” Poppet said back. “Just re-opened a couple, probably.”
“A couple what?” Luke said, sounding just as baffled as Zera felt.
“Guests got a little rough at Slipknot’s last party,” Poppet said, which didn’t answer anything. “It’s fine. They're clean and bandaged, I’m not going to bleed out, so it can wait.”
“Poppet, I can—” Zera started, but was cut off.
“I told you, save your sympathy for someone who deserves it,” Poppet shot back. They started towards the door.
Zera caught their arm before they could get too far. Thankfully, it was the good arm.
“Hey,” they said. “It’s my sympathy. I’ll do what I want with it. And I’ll decide who’s worthy of it. Okay?”
They held Poppet’s gaze for a long moment, willing the villain to understand what they meant. They didn’t understand all of this; hell, they barely understood any of it. But Zera was becoming more and more sure that Poppet did deserve their sympathy, and needed their help as much as they needed Poppet’s.
Poppet didn’t have any response for that.
@heathenville @nonbinary-disaster @kim-poce @whump-world @dolls-circus @pickleking8 @appleejuice @cupcakes-and-pain @badluck990 @mylifeisonthebookshelf @pumpkin-spice-whump @deluxewhump @extemporary-whump @whumpwillow @multiple-characters1-acct @sunflower1000 @fleur-des-lore @equestrianwritingsstuff, @scp-1296 @livingforthewhump @thingsthatgo-whump-inthenight @suspicious-whumping-egg @kaiwewi @lelly-belly @neuro-whump @newbornwhumperfly @whumpthisway, @whumpcreations, @wicked-whump @heart4brains, @myhusbandsasemni @how-to-be-a-hero @kixngiggles @kurochan @whumpsday @extrabitterbrain @pattonvirglsanders @neverthelass @we-write-as-one @elrys-creates @whumperflies-and-roses @ha-ha-one @whatwhumpcomments
I have a concussion
In light of learning how Bob Saget died reminder to ALWAYS take head trauma seriously. If you hit your head, DO NOT GO TO SLEEP. Do NOT be alone. Have someone with you, watch for signs of concussion, and go to the hospital if you need to.
Inability to keep eyes open
Issues with fine motor skills, i.e. inability to hold a pencil and write your name
Other speech issues such as skipping words or using them incorrectly
If someone has fallen and hit their head, don’t move them, and don’t let them move. Wait for paramedics to arrive to safely transport them to the hospital without damaging their spine. They are trained, you are not, and the cost of an ambulance ride is worth not being paralyzed. Try to keep them talking if they are conscious. Staying awake is very important.
Another thing to note is that head wounds bleed a LOT. This doesn’t necessarily mean the wound is very serious, but it’s not something to brush off either. If you can do so without moving them try to press a cloth to the wound to stop the bleeding, but be very careful! If you can also do so without moving their neck, and I mean at ALL, try to place something under their neck to support it. If this means you have to move them even a centimeter don’t do it. Only do this if there is clear space between their neck and the floor.
And PLEASE, please, do not go to sleep if you are very tired. You need to stay awake. Concussions are ALWAYS serious. And remember to have someone with you at ALL times until you are positive you’re okay. If you’re not you need to go to the hospital. Head trauma can cause permanent brain damage and death.
Please be safe. These kinds of deaths are preventable.
Continued from here
TW: Drugging, concussion
"We're going to sedate them before we untie them. You said they're trying to touch their face— we just need to make sure they let us take the stitches out and don't try to do it themself. We'll call you when the procedure is over."
Hero nodded, leaving Civilian to the med team.
Civilian sat on the bed they had been led to. At least they thought it was a bed. It was soft, anyway.
Part of Civilian wanted to believe this was a rescue, but... who would rescue them? Not Hero. Not after what they did...
Civilian flinched as a hand touched their shoulder softly. Gentle hands pushed their head to the side, exposing their neck. They started to struggle, whimpering as they felt a needle against their neck— but a couple more pairs of hands held them still.
They were injected with something and their mind quickly grew foggy. They felt like they were falling, and then they were laying down. They let out a soft whine as the world slid away into oblivion.
"Can you hear me?"
Civilian jumped, sitting up from where they lay, but they were immediately pushed back down.
"I'll take that as a yes. Open your eyes for me?"
No... no they couldn't. They shook their head.
"The stitches are gone, honey. Here." A hand closed around Civilian's and the person guided them to touch where the stitches had been.
The area was still painful, but the stitches were gone. They touched their lips. Those were gone too. Civilian opened their eyes, coming face to face with a nurse.
"Good. That's good! Can you tell me your name?"
"W-where am I..? What... wh-what hap-happened?"
"You're alright, honey. You're safe here. Can you please tell me your name?"
"... Ci... Civilian..."
"Good! Thank you!" The nurse's voice was gentle, reassuring with every word. "How bad is your pain, dear? Could you rate it on a scale of one to ten? Not just your face, but your back looked pretty torn up too— although I wasn't on the team that patched that up."
Civilian sniffled, wiping away a tear from their cheek. "I-it hurts really ba-bad..."
"Hey, it's okay. I'm gonna get you some pain meds, but I need you to tell me how bad it is so I know what to get you. Okay, dear?"
"Te-ten." Civilian was trying so hard not to cry. It wasn't really working. They were scared... so scared and yet felt oddly safe here.
"Okay. I'll be right back." The nurse didn't leave, just walked across the room and got some stuff out of a drawer before setting up a drip. "Honey, it's okay to cry." They said, sitting next to the bed again. "No one's going to judge you for it."
Civilian covered their face with their hands, breath catching in their throat.
The door opened and Civilian jumped, eyes snapping up to look at who had come in. Their heart froze.
"Hero! Glad to see you. They've only just woken up." The nurse gestured to Civilian.
As Hero crossed the room, Civilian tried to make themself smaller. They wished they could dissapear. They opened their mouth to speak, but no sound came out.
"P-please— I-I'm sorry— I d-didn't want to— I—" Civilian flinched hard as Hero sat next to the bed.
"What're you apologizing for..? You haven't done anything wrong. You're alright."
They didn't know..? Civilian whimpered. This felt like a trick. "I-I... did... d-did you save me..?"
Hero nodded. "Yes."
"... Wh... why..?" Civilian looked skeptically at Hero, waiting for them to reveal their true intentions, but...
"... Because it was the right thing to do..? You were hurt— are hurt. Villain... how long had they kept you there?"
"... W-what day is it..?"
"A-almost a mo-month." Civilian flinched again as Hero stood back up. "I'm sorry! I'm sorry— I—"
Hero backed up. "Hey, it's okay. It's okay. I'm not going to hurt you. There, it's okay, just calm down."
The nurse, adjusted some of the drips and Civilian started to feel a little more calm. "You're alright, just relax, love."
Civilian's mind was a bit hazy from the medication they were on and from their concussion, but that name...
Civilian's heart skipped a beat. It showed on the monitor. They were trembling now, looking around the room— paranoid.
Civilian screamed, scared by their own name. That was all it took to set them off. They pulled the IV out of their arm and started unhooking the monitor wires from their body, shaking, begging to ge left alone.
The nurse was trying to get them to calm down, but Civilian couldn't hear them.
They screamed again when Hero got involved, scared that Hero would hurt them for their disobedience— clearly they were supposed to stay hooked up to these machines.
Hero held Civilian firmly, following the nurse's instructions. The nurse got a syringe and injected Civilian.
Civilian was kicking and fighting, begging to be let go. Hero's heart broke for them.
What had they had to endure for the past month..?
Once they had been injected, Civilian slowly stopped struggling, going limp in Hero's arms.
@scared-and-crying @avvail @lonesome--hunter @brutal-nemesis @livingforthewhump @spookyboywhump @therealcough @thelazywitchphotographer @imagination1reality0 @painsandconfusion @b0amagination @imsotiredcanipleasegetabreak @smuwfy-side-blog @paleassprincess @whumpd-up-kicks @chartreusephoenix @whatwasmyprevioususername @smolxhero @jadeocean46910 @welpwhump
i learned that there is no medical basis for preventing someone with a concussion from falling asleep. In fact, rest is beneficial to the healing process (x)
Watching the ease at which others exist hits differently when you have a chronic illness.
"Bravo! Excellent!!” Ingo felt slow, heavy. Like the words he knew by heart were filtering out of him through honey. “I am glad that I fought so hard against a wonderful Trainer like you.” In truth he had barely been a challenge. He wondered if they were disappointed. “That's right! You grow stronger by matching yourself against a strong opponent.” For a split second he forgot what was supposed to come next despite having recited these words hundreds if not thousands of times before. He ducked his head to shield aching eyes from the harsh lights of the battle subway. Think. Just. Think. Did they notice? How out of sorts he was? Perhaps Emmet was right and it was too soon to come back after the Team Plasma attack just a few short weeks ago. But he was languishing at home. Unable to sleep. Full of nerves and worried he wouldn’t be ready for the next time. Especially if he wasn’t even there.
Ah. The words had seen fit to return.
“Please do your best and run toward the destination, an even higher state." The trainer thanked him and left.
And not a moment too soon. Haxorus caught him as he stumbled and he let himself hang there in her arms for a moment, willing his stomach to settle. Nauseated since setting foot in the cab, Ingo wondered if he’d in fact come down with something. The train slid into the station; Ingo fought the desire to slide to the floor, instead straightening with intent and righting his cap, taking comfort in the familiar actions.
“Let us get you taken care of.” He patted Haxorus on a sturdy armored plate before recalling her and stepping purposefully onto the platform.
“Bad run today, Boss?” Ingo nodded, regretting it when Gear Station swirled around him. “Better luck tomorrow!”
“Yes, I certainly hope so.” It wasn’t fun for anyone if he couldn’t even put up a fight. Squinting against the light emanating from the screen in front of him, Ingo debated putting off the paperwork for one more day. According to his timeline, he was late. Everyone else’s, he still had days. It rankled, leaving things unfinished but even though he had the time, he didn’t seem to have the wherewithal.
Failing the station, again.
A foolish thought considering Ingo was doing no such thing, especially by putting off paperwork, but no matter how frequently he reminded himself, it never seemed to change his mind.
Ingo slipped quietly into the apartment, not wanting to disturb Emmet if he was napping and indeed, saw him cascooned on the couch, head pillowed on Galvantula and broken leg elevated via Durant’s strong back. It was a far cry from the drugged oblivion he'd experienced when first arriving home, but while recovering from a concussion, his younger brother still needed his rest. Ingo toed off his shoes and hung up his coat, waving a silent hello when Durant threatened to move. Cap on its peg and tie pulled loose, Ingo touched the backs of his fingers to Emmet's forehead, just below the fading bruise at his hairline. No fever. Good. Meant he was healing right on schedule. With such a complicated break the surgeon had been worried about post operative infection.
"I am Emmet." Bleary-eyed, he came awake under Ingo’s hand, yawning. "How was work? Any strong challengers?"
"Always." He paused before admitting, "some of them are too strong." Ingo didn't want to go into how distracted he'd become. How he’d been soundly defeated more often than was his wont. How he was ruining their reputation. “How are you feeling?”
“Hm. Leg hurts. But not too badly today.” A tiny squeak heralded the rustling and Ingo raised a brow when a small yellow furball full of static crept sheepishly out of the wide leg of his brother’s pajama bottoms.
“I am Emmet, yes.”
“Why is there a Joltik in your pants?”
“They are helping!”
“There are more?”
“Can I take a shower?” Ignoring that the response did not answer his questions, Ingo frowned. “I am gross.”
“Mean!” Pulling Emmet up, Ingo helped him stand on his one good leg, acting as a human walking stick with an arm slung around his waist. A bevy of tiny creatures crawled back from whence they came. "Electric current helps."
“Do not get your cast wet.” Especially if there were additional stowaways hidden. His little brother flapped a hand in his direction, already peeling off his sleep shirt. Emmet was bruised nearly all over, a patchwork of healing purples, greens, and yellows, and while Ingo’s own skin was nearly a mirror image, he couldn’t stand to see his younger brother so stiff and sore. The hot water would help. “Call out when you are finished. I will make something to eat.”
It was strange.
Gear Station should be bustling with patrons and yet.
The lights were off. The trains silent. The offices closed and locked. Ingo checked the time and couldn’t read his xtransceiver but even so, there should always be someone here, someone on duty even in the dead of night. It wasn’t. Ingo was certain he’d left the apartment at the correct hour.
“Hello?” Experimentally, he cried out, wincing at the booming sound of his voice echoing down the tunnels. It was too quiet in here and when he turned around to leave he found himself face to face with a pile of rubble. “Emmet!”
Ingo threw himself at the mountain of rock and stone, clawing desperately with already dislocated and broken fingers. He hadn’t been able to wear his gloves since the first attack, still waiting to remove the splints and this would set him back further but Emmet was trapped in there. Ask him how he knew and he’d be unable to explain but as a big brother!!
“Emmet! Emmet, answer me right now!”
“I am Emmet.” Ingo whirled around, breathing harsh, dust like razors slashing up the inside of his throat until he tasted copper on his tongue. “I am fine.” Shaking, wide eyed in the dark, Ingo stepped forward on quaking legs.
Something was horribly wrong.
Emmet was horribly wrong.
Twisted and malformed, crooked grin lined with far too many teeth stretching from ear to ear.
“Were you scared? Ingo?” Entirely too still. Unnaturally still. “I was. Yup!”
“I, no. We found–” His breath bubbled in a hollow, caved-in chest. Frothing down his chin as he laughed with a sound like drowning.
“Stop staring!” Reflexively, Ingo snapped his head to the side so fast it hurt but Emmet was there too, face pale and wet with crimson, tears carving a glittering path through the gore. Smile like a wound. “You did not even look for me.”
“No! No, I swear it, Emmet! I swear I looked!”
“You are looking now.”
“You left me.”
“You left me.”
No no no.
“Have you always hated me?”
Ingo jolted so badly he crashed out of bed and onto the floor, scrambling into the space between chest of drawers and corner, gripping his hair and pulling, pulling, pulling until the pain cleared the darkness from his mind. The image of his little brother–
“No.” Whispered, salt on his lips. He let his head fall to the side, pressing his forehead against the cool paint, an anchor point as everything reeled around him. Calm down. No good to anyone like this. Had to calm down. He could read the clock now. Barely an hour had passed since he’d fallen asleep and when he tried a slow breath, it came as a sob. Again. Again. Again. Until the pounding in his temples quieted and the air in his lungs became useful.
Dragging himself to his feet, Ingo made his way across the hall, covering his face with his palms as he sank into the desk chair. Eelektross tilted its head in confusion and Ingo couldn’t bring himself to answer the silent question, afraid that if he opened his mouth he’d start screaming and never be able to stop.
Here and whole and healing.
Ingo hugged himself tightly, until he could feel an ache in his fingers, held himself there, stiff and silent until the sun rose, casting rosy light onto the opposite wall.
“Oh! Sweet Arceus!! Ingo!” Emmet sat up, swinging his broken leg carefully over the side of the bed with a wince and leaning forward, cupping Ingo’s cold face with both hands. “What are you doing? Are you okay??”
“Could not sleep.” No need to mention the nightmares. The fear that he’d kill him with his negligence. His weakness. Ingo couldn’t even meet his eyes. The thumb ghosting over his cheek blistered and burned and he could feel Emmet searching his expression in an attempt to glean information.
“Remain home today.” Ingo shook his head, pulling away in a daze. “Ingo?” Damn his leg, by the time he’d wrestled his way onto his crutches, his brother was gone.
Grateful there were very few challengers today, Ingo sat huddled on a battle subway bench shivering in his coat and trying to maintain control of himself. He’d been nearly sick on the train because of the wheels pounding along tracks and enclosed space echoing with attacks and commands. The light flashing past the windows was like a strobe and made him ill just looking at it.
He wanted to lay down. He wanted to go home.
And abandon them, just like you did Emmet.
More so than before, Ingo struggled to find his balance in the subway car. Where usually it was a comforting sway, now he was more akin to a small boat at sea, tossed relentlessly around by the waves. When the platform doors parted, he fell into the agent manning this station.
“Boss? You alright?” The depot agent frowned as he quickly righted himself, coming to their own conclusion easily enough. “No, no, you’re not. You haven’t been for a while. I’m calling Other Boss.”
“No!” He’d grabbed them by the shoulders before he even knew he was moving. “No.” Withdrew gently, tried to find equilibrium in fixing his cap. “Please. I. You are correct. I apologize for needing the remainder of my shift off.”
“It’s really no problem. We understand.” They offered him up a sad smile. “Just get some rest, okay? You’re exhausted, Boss. We, all of us, we’re worried for you.”
Because he couldn’t keep himself together.
Head spinning, hurting fit to fracture, Ingo couldn’t seem to remember how exactly he got home, not with the sidewalk dodging out from under his feet like it had, or what he was supposed to be doing at the moment. All he knew was the ache in his skull, his upset stomach and its threat to rebel as he closed his eyes against the rolling walls of his room. Chandelure chirped in worry, her cool arm pressed against the back of his neck which helped, but not enough, not nearly enough.
“Ingo? You in here?” The light streaming through the open door lit a fire behind his eyes and he bit back a whimper. “The Station called. Wanted to make sure you got home?” The noise and the light combined were too, too much and Ingo heaved over the wastebasket in his arms. “Ingo!”
His older brother was curled up around a bin with his back pressed against the wall. How had he missed this? Ingo groaned in misery, laying a cheek on the rim of the basket and closing his eyes.
"’Pologize for w'waking you, Emmet." Ingo shook with delicate tremors, caught between someplace too cold and too hot and the effort of staying quiet. His voice betrayed him further, shaky and small, fading in and out. He hadn't made a move to get up, fingers tightening on the plastic and breath quickening. "Need to… you n'need your rest." His throat clicked with a heavy swallow.
"Brother?” Emmet crept further into the room, shutting the door behind him. “What about you?" Softly, softly, lest he spook him. Something was verrry wrong. “We should see a doctor.” While he longed to fold Ingo up and keep him safe, he had no other option but to sit on the bed. If even he made it to the floor, Ingo was in no state to just pick him up again. They needed help.
It was good that Elesa had a key.
“I knew it was too soon.” She kept her voice down, barely a whisper, shut the door quickly, and Ingo’s shoulders still hunched around his ears.
“He will not get up.” Emmet couldn’t keep the note of panic out of his voice. He’d been sitting. Watching. Useless while Ingo grew worse, grew pale and sick and weepy. “He will not agree to go to the hospital.”
“He won’t talk to you?”
“I do not think he can.”
“Ingo?” Elesa knelt beside him, resting a hand on the nape of his neck and giving a reassuring nod to a near frantic Chandelure. “Did you forget?” Meaningfully, she glanced at Emmet, mouthing an apology before turning back to his twin. “Your brother has an appointment today.” Ingo looked up at her, eyes bright, as though he might cry. “I’ve called a car. We can all go together. Here, let me help you up.” Tall and lanky, it took the assistance of his Pokemon to get him to his unsteady feet and he leaned heavy, shaky on Elesa.
The sunlight had him hissing through his teeth and Elesa got him into the vehicle as quickly as possible before bundling Emmet in with his crutches. She’d called ahead to the hospital that treated them after the attack and may have used a connection or two to get them into a room and out of sight of the public before their presence caused a scene.
If Ingo hadn’t already been in obvious pain, Emmet would have smacked him himself. He’d missed his last two appointments and thankfully, now that the doctor had him she wouldn’t let him leave but he wasn’t keen on cooperating. Likely, she explained, something to do with the concussion he’d sustained during the cave-in not healing correctly. Emmet didn’t understand completely, but he understood enough to know Ingo had neglected to care for himself in his efforts to care for him. Currently, the doctor was trying to cajole him into removing his button down for an exam.
“Why?” Missing a lot of words and it was never a good thing when Emmet’s words outnumbered his older brother’s.
“We are twins! Yep!” Emmet tried to keep his tone light, sincere. “The doctor needs to compare.”
"Bright in, i'nere…" It wasn’t. Ingo’s fingers fumbled on the buttons and before he could get frustrated, Emmet reached out.
Emmet narrowed his eyes as he swept them over the bruises for the first time. Extensive and still dark, they spread down his back in mottled patterns like a Spinda’s spots and while Ingo was quiet under the doctor’s gentle hands, Emmet fought against demanding answers from him.
Why had he kept this pain a secret? Emmet could have, would have helped! Did Ingo think he wouldn’t have?
When she shined a penlight into Ingo’s eyes to check his pupils, he yelped, turning aside immediately to dry heave and finally she stopped in her examination of him. Tugging Emmet back into the small, private room where Elesa was waiting, she explained a nurse would help Ingo get settled.
“I want to observe Ingo overnight. He’s rundown and exhibiting a lot of post concussion symptoms.” She marked down some notes on her own xtransceiver and hummed thoughtfully. “Your brother has lost more than a few pounds since you were both here last. When did he return to work?”
“Too soon.” Elesa crossed her arms, worry evident in her expression despite the ire in her words.
“Alright. I’m going to prescribe him something for sleep. Sometimes, strange as it sounds, head injuries can cause insomnia.” Emmet should have known. Should have asked. Ingo was prone to insomnia even at the peak of health. “It doesn’t look as though he’s been sleeping well and with parts of his brain trying to overcompensate for jobs they’ve never done before, he’s likely exhausted.”
“What. What does that mean?”
“I’ll send you home with some information, but it means he’ll need to rest and let himself heal.” Emmet caught Elesa’s eyes. He didn’t want to leave Ingo here, alone. What if he woke up and he wasn’t here? Or he became confused? Or upset?
“Emmet?” Despite the gentle touch he nearly jumped out of his skin. “They’re going to take care of him, okay? We’re going to go home and get things ready for tomorrow so Ingo doesn’t have to worry about a thing!”
“Your friend is right.”
“I am Emmet. Want to see him.”
“Of course.” He didn’t wait, let Elesa take care of collecting Ingo’s prescription, shouldering his way back into Ingo’s dark room and not missing how he looked nearly as bad as the days following the attack. He’d slept a long time and now they were here again. “You can touch him.” The doctor had followed. “You won’t hurt him.”
“I know that!” He didn’t mean to snap at her, really. But the very idea– “I am Emmet. Ingo is my brother.” Carefully, he traced one of the ink-dark shadows beneath Ingo’s closed eyes before grabbing hold of his hand, mindful of the line taped to the back of it.
“For rehydration, some vitamins and other medications to help make him comfortable.”
“Ingo can come home tomorrow?” At her nod, Emmet leaned down, pressing their foreheads together for a brief moment and blinking away tears. “Okay.”
Elesa tucked Ingo in while Emmet continued his memorization of the pamphlets the doc had given him yesterday. Ingo didn’t want to sleep but the medication he’d taken was like boarding a non-stop train to oblivion.
"Emmet…needs…" Petulant, Ingo tried to knuckle the sleep out of his eyes, grateful that the pain had markedly decreased since. Yesterday? Memories were fuzzy and he had little desire to parse through them at the moment.
"Right now, you need to rest." Elesa watched him fight it, miserable, torn between responsibility and total collapse. "You're going to close your eyes. And if you're lucky, I'll get take out from that place you like tomorrow." She smiled softly as his body went lax. He'd be lucky. He deserved it and when he shuffled out of his room more than fifteen hours later Elesa wasted no time placing their regular order.
“Ingo!” By virtue of Galvantula in his lap, Emmet couldn’t even attempt to leap to his feet. “How do you feel?” His older brother looked thoughtful and, honestly, much better than before.
“Somehow, still very tired. That does not seem right.” Ingo very nearly whined as he took his spot on the couch. Too weary to sit up, he leaned on Emmet to read over his shoulder and almost immediately passed out again. There’d be time to go over things later considering they were both on mandatory leave for the next two weeks at minimum. Ingo would need the doctor to sign off on his return to the station. He’d bristled at the restriction a split second before Emmet laid into him.
“I feel I must apologize to you both and to all our friends and coworkers at Gear Station.” The trio were gathered in the living room, shoveling noodles into their faces while some train documentary or another ran quietly in the background when Ingo paused. “As your older brother, I should have handled this whole situation better and I am so sorry for my negligence. I should have protected you, Emmet.”
“I had a responsibility to you and I failed. You were badly hurt and I. I.” He clenched his teeth. “I am supposed to take care of you. I am supposed to keep you safe.”
“You did. You do!” Emmet didn’t want Ingo to feel this way, especially when it wasn’t true! He wouldn’t hear this for a minute more!
“Did you forget you were injured too, Bidoofus?” Before Ingo could gear up to argue, Elesa continued. “Working yourself into the ground was very irresponsible!”
“And even if you’d walked out of the station without a scratch–Ingo. You still deserve rest.” She dashed the tears from her eyes. “Please stop punishing yourself for situations outside of your control.” He stiffened at the expectation of a bone-crushing hug, melting into her arms when it was instead gentle and warm. She had a point and now that he was thinking more clearly, he could nearly make it out. “I’m going to call Emmet everyday to make sure you’re taking care of yourself.”
“That’s a threat!”
“Emmet meant to say promise.”
“I am Emmet! It can be both!” There was a beat of silence before Ingo shook with laughter, relenting to their special brand of care. He didn’t think he’d ever be able to stop putting his little brother first, but for the both of them, he would try to let him return the favor.
Din's onscreen concussions in The Mandalorian S1 & S2 and TBOBF
The Mandalorian Ch 2 - Sandcrawler soiree & mudhorn wrestle
The Mandalorian Ch 5 - Faceplant courtesy of Fennec
The Mandalorian Ch 8 - Gideon's idea of fun
The Mandalorian Ch 10 - Razor Crest breaking the ice
The Mandalorian Ch 11 - Stabby stabby Quarren
The Mandalorian Ch 14 - Seeing stone said 'nah brah'
The Mandalorian Ch 16 - Dark trooper smash
The Book of Boba Fett Ch 5 - Bonk!Armorer & Paz Vizsla, destroyer of grey matter
The Book of Boba Fett Ch 7 - Rancor whisperer
B’s snarl was the only warning A got, and it wasn’t enough to step out of their reach.
A’s back smacked into the wall as B first shoved them and then grabbed the collar of A’s shirt, pressing them harder into the bricks of the wall.
“What the fuck did you do?” B roared in A’s face.
A cringed away, some spitel of B’s furry hitting their chin. But there was nowhere to hide, A was completely pinned, and B’s fists were starting to press against their throat, cutting off precious air supply.
Surprisingly, it didn’t come from A’s own mouth.
C was standing behind B, hands reaching as if to grab B but they were still, letting them hang in the air. A couldn’t blame them, they wouldn't want to get between B and their target, they’d all seen what B could do with their bare hands.
“B…” C said again, more insistently this time. “We should hear them out first-”
“I don’t care for anything they have to say. Their actions speak well enough for them.” B shot a glare over their own shoulder at C, and it must have hit C with all its fury because they flinched and stepped back.
Guess A couldn’t count for any more backup.
“Of course not. For you there’s nothing to solve with civil conversation, only smashing the problem in front of you.” A drawled. or tried to, it was wheezed out of them.
“You killed someone!”
B’s voice echoed furiously between the stones. They glared down at A, daring them to oppose them, tell them it was a lie.
“Yeah… I did. You care to know why?”
“There’s never a good reason!” B’s fist tightened in A’s shirt and around their throat and it made A gasp as their air was shortly cut off.
“If you kill you’re a murderer. end of story.”
“Everything is so fucking black and white for you, bricks for brains.”
Something snapped in B’s eyes then. A saw it the moment before… but they would have been powerless even if they’d been prepared. B’s hands were like iron, and they didn’t hesitate to jank A towards them and then slam them back into the wall, A’s head cracking against stone.
A’s vision sparkled white and pain exploded behind their eyes, before it all went black.
The pain didn’t go away just because their vision had, their head was pulsating and the ground was turning under them. It took them a second to realize their eyes were actually closed and when they opened them, the whole world was askew.
“Don’t B! You could kill them! Stop this, please!”
Someone was shouting from far away. a hand closed around the collar of their shirt again, hoisting them up. Had they fallen down? Why were they on the ground?
Once again cold stone pressed against their back as B pinned them against the wall and the familiarity of it brought A back. They stared at B, slightly more blurry than before, and gave them a shaky smile.
Then a laugh escaped them.
Desperate, and hysterical. The horror of the fight before B even showed up finally setting in. Their head pounding in time with their choking gasps of air, and wheezing hoarse laughter.
B wouldn’t understand. Never wanted to understand.
They couldn’t stop laughing. it was raw, rippling and when A glanced over B’s shoulder they could see C’s horrified face staring back at them. And they laughed even harder.
“You can kill me now, B. Then we can be murder bro’s.”
This time when B janked and smashed them into the wall A’s mind just went black.
Aelin Galathynius / Lorcan Salvaterre - BroTP Oneshot
Aelin is forced to pick a concussed Lorcan up from the hospital.
Masterlist | Read on Ao3
“Hello, is this Aelin Galathynius?” A calm voice asked through her phone.
Aelin held her glass of water as she answered the unknown number. She’d just gotten home from work and all she wanted to do was curl up with a book and facetime Rowan later. He was out of town for a conference for a few days and they made sure to talk every night.
“Yes, this is she. Who’s asking?” Aelin thought she could hear rhythmic beeping and the sound of people typing in the background.
“Hello Ms. Galathynius, I am calling from Orynth Medical Center to inform you that there’s been an accident and—”
“What?” She choked on a sip of water as her blood froze. “What happened?” Aelin ran a mental list of the people who could be in the hospital that would justify her being called. Did something happen to Rowan? Oh, gods. Aelin couldn’t think straight as she rushed to leave her apartment.
“Rowan?” she demanded breathlessly, “Is it Rowan? Whitethorn? I’m on my way.”
Was Rowan hurt? Or Aedion? Or Elide, or Lysandra, or—
“I’m afraid there’s been a misunderstanding. I am calling about Lorcan Salvaterre.”
Aelin halted her frantic dash to the door, one shoe on while holding her keys and trying to put her jacket on one-handed.
“Lorcan?” Why the hell would she be getting called about Lorcan?
“Yes, Ms. Galathynius, you are Mr. Salvaterre’s emergency contact.”
Sitting at a stoplight behind two other cars, Aelin glanced over at the man in her passenger seat.
Lorcan was a large man. Well over six foot and muscular, he was essentially a talking tree—something she referred to him as on multiple occasions because he hated it so much. He was not meant to fit in the front seat of her small car. His shoulders were hunched over and his legs bent tightly to squeeze into the space, and yet, he looked like he was having a wonderful time.
He had the widest, dopiest grin she’d ever seen on the man. It was bizarre. Disturbing.
“And her hair,” he added, “smells like…like…cinnamon.”
Lorcan had spent almost the entire car ride thus far talking about Elide. More specifically: everything he loves about Elide, how much he loves her, and that he’s abs-itively pos-olutely in love with her. It stunned Aelin more than anything because, to her knowledge, he hadn’t actually said those three words to her friend yet.
It was solely because of that—and because he was fully concussed, she supposed—that she didn’t throw him out of the car.
When Aelin arrived at the hospital and told the receptionist she was there to pick up Lorcan, she was ushered into a small patient’s room where Lorcan was sitting on the edge of a bed, looking dazed and entirely too big for the small bed.
“Galathynius!” he bellowed when he saw her, but immediately winced and grabbed his head at the loud sound.
Raising her brows, she turned towards the doctor who was standing and checking Lorcan’s charts.
“Ms. Galathynius, I presume?” the woman asked, amused. “My name is Dr. Towers. I’m not sure how much you are aware of, but Mr. Salvaterre was brought in with a moderate concussion.”
“Does that explain why he’s so,” Aelin looked at him, perturbed, “smiley?”
Dr. Towers’ lips quirked as she said, “Yes, I take it by your reaction that he isn't normally so cheerful?”
Aelin snorted, “Never.”
The doctor wrote another note down on the chart she held and glanced between Aelin and Lorcan. “He’s free to leave now, but he’ll need to be watched for any worsening symptoms. There’s a chance he’ll feel dizzy, nauseous, sensitive to sounds or light, or perhaps he’ll just continue like this,” she gestured to Lorcan who was now humming a Fleetwood Mac song under his breath.
“Right. Okay, Thank you Dr. Towers. I need to make a phone call and then I’ll get him out of here.”
The doctor nodded and sent one last amused glance back at Lorcan before leaving the room.
Aelin huffed a laugh and shook her head as she pulled her phone out and dialed a familiar number.
Aelin, somehow, managed to get Lorcan from the hospital room to her car after she’d called Elide to tell her what happened. Elide said she would go to Lorcan’s apartment to be there when Aelin and he arrived and would stay with Lorcan afterward.
“She so tiny.” He said dreamily, still staring out the window.
Aelin snorted. “Everyone is tiny compared to you, Salvaterre.”
His scoff was muffled by the hair that had fallen into his face. “But she’s tiny. Sometimes, I use her instead of my weights to work out, and its, its, super easy.”
Aelin tried to picture Lorcan lifting Elide above his head over and over and had to stifle a laugh.
“And it’s a good thing she’s so easy to lift because I can haul her up and get into some fucking great positions when we—”
“Okay, stop! I don’t need to hear about your apparently gymnastic sex life.” Aelin grumbled, trying desperately to get the image out of her head.
His grin grew into a wide smirk. “Oh yeah, the sex is amaz—”
“Shut up! No.”
Lorcan chuckled but mercifully stopped talking.
The quiet only lasted few seconds before he began explaining about the way Elide’s nose scrunches up when she gets frustrated.
Aelin’s phone ringing thankfully cut through the sound of Lorcan’s voice. She saw Elide’s name flash across the screen and quickly connected to it the car’s speakers and answered.
“El! Please tell me you’re ready to take your insane boyfriend off my hands.”
Elide’s sigh rang clearly through the speakers. “Yeah, I’m at his place. Thank you so much Aelin for picking him up. I have no idea why he put you as his Emergency Contact, I’m shocked you made it this far without killing each other.” She chuckled.
Glancing sidelong at Lorcan, Aelin was surprised he hadn’t reacted to Elide voice given the way he was describing it as delectable honey a few minutes ago, to Aelin’s great discomfort.
“The explanation I got—from a nurse that Lorcan, totally unprompted, told her because he’s majorly concussed—was that he didn’t put your name because he didn’t want to worry you,” Aelin heard Elide mutter something that sounded like I swear to god you big oaf —“And when he had to fill out the paperwork he and Rowan were in some kind of argument, so he decided to put my name down because he thought it would annoy the bitch-shit out of me.”
“For fucks sake, Lorcan.” Elide grumbled, and Aelin could picture Elide pinching the bridge of her nose.
It seemed that the sound of his name from Elide’s mouth was the siren call needed to gain Lorcan’s attention. His head whipped up and he grimaced at the sharp movement before a wide smile took over his face as he tried to find where her voice was coming from.
“’Lide, Ellie, baby, I was just talking about you.”
Aelin tried to keep the car straight as she used one arm to push Lorcan back into his seat. He’d tried climbing onto the console and gear shift to get closer to the center speaker.
“Lorcan Salvaterre how could you get admitted to the hospital and not tell me! I had to get a call from Aelin. Aelin! After I make sure you’re gonna live through your stupid concussion, you’re going to have to explain to me why Aelin is your emergency contact.”
“Elide, hang on a second,” Aelin watched as Lorcan shrunk back into the edge of his seat which was impressive given his size. “Maybe tone it down a notch. Your hulking brute of a boyfriend is tearing up and I’m trying to decide if I should take a picture just to prove that Salvaterre has feelings after all.”
It was quiet a moment before Elide said, this time much gentler, “Oh, Lor, I’ll see you in a few minutes. Aelin? Just get him back to me in one piece, okay?”
Aelin sighed and rolled her eyes.
“Yes, El, we’ll see you in a few minutes.” Aelin looked over at Lorcan who’d once again resumed staring out the windshield, “Hey, El? I haven’t had a chance to text Ro, can you fill him in?”
Elide snorted, “I already am. See you soon.” The call ended with a steady beep.
The car ride was blissfully silent for three full blocks before Lorcan said, without preamble, “I’m going to ask Elide to marry me.”
Aelin almost swerved the car into the opposite lane. She whipped her head towards him in shock, but he was staring straight ahead with a determination she hadn’t thought he’d have the coherency to possess. A million thoughts raced through Aelin’s mind but all she sputtered was, “Wha—? Marry you?”
Lorcan nodded sagely and when he turned towards her his eyes seemed less foggy than they had minutes ago, almost as if the change in subject was helping him clear his head. Which, given what he’d just stated, shocked Aelin.
He kept nodding and Aelin forced herself to focus on the road. She knew Elide and Lorcan were serious; Elide told her a few times that she saw a future with the stoic man—something Aelin still couldn’t understand—but despite that, Aelin was positive they hadn’t even said ‘I love you’ to each other yet. That alone made what Lorcan told her at the start of their ride surprising, but this...Lorcan—Lorcan—blatantly saying he was going to ask Elide to marry him…
Aelin looked at the man sitting next to her. He was a pain in the ass, rude, and brutal. To everyone but Elide, that is. And he made her happy—again, Aelin didn’t know how—but he did, and that was all that mattered.
And by the sound of it, Lorcan wasn’t going anywhere. Reluctantly, she could admit that he wasn’t so bad. He pissed her off no end, but he was a good guy, and deep down, really deep down, he was a softy. Not that he would ever admit that.
Aelin took a deep breath and looked again at Lorcan who was nodding along to the song playing on the radio.
“You’re asking Elide to marry you?”
Lorcan’s head swiveled towards hers and a wide grin spread across his face, making his normally harsh features look younger.
“Someday. One day. Not yet, but, yeah, she’s it.”
His dopey grin sobered for a moment and he held her gaze as he said as seriously as he could, “I know Ellie is like a sister to you, and even though I think you’re kind of a bitch,” he snorted, “you’re a bitch who loves her.”
Aelin rolled her eyes because despite it being an insult it almost sounded like a compliment. She leveled a look at him. “You’re a bitch who loves her.”
Aelin snorted and focused on the road. “Salvaterre, I don’t know how much of this you’re going to remember, but I’m going to say it anyway.”
As she pulled up to a stoplight, Aelin turned her full attention on Lorcan and made sure he was listening as she said, “Elide is the best person I know. She is sweet, and kind, and has a heart of gold. She also won’t hesitate to cut a bitch,” she looked pointedly at Lorcan, “Elide can handle herself, and if you ever hurt her, she will make you wish you were never born. And once she’s done with you, I will find you and I will burn your body to ashes before I scatter your remains in the desert. Understood?”
Lorcan was smart enough to have a hint of fear in his eyes, but told her vehemently, “I have no intention of ever hurting her or being the cause of any pain,” then he flashed her a purely male smirk and leaned back in his seat, “Unless she asks me to.”
“Gross.” Aelin’s gag wasn’t entirely fake. Serious talk over, then. Fine. As Lorcan went back to describing the way Elide’s perfume smelled, Aelin resigned herself to the fact that she was going to have Lorcan in her life for a very long time.
She couldn’t help the chuckle that escaped as she watched him sing along to some top-forties pop song. Fine, she could handle Lorcan. She was almost looking forward to it. Almost.
@acourtofsnakes @allthebooksunderthemoon @astra-ad-mare @becarefuloflove @bisexual-genderfluid-loki @booklover41802 @charlizeed @cookiemonsterwholovesbooks @danibutterr @doubt-less @emily-gsh @enormousbooklover @foughtconquered @fromthelibraryofemilyj @hakunamatatazz @i-have-but-one-brain-cell @in-love-with-caramel-macchiato @jorjy-jo @lemonade-coolattas @mariamuses @mayhemories @midsizewitch @miserablesmusings @morganofthewildfire @nehemikkele @rowaelinismyotp @rowansfirebringer @sayosdreams @sheharahu @sleeping-and-books @stardelia @story-scribbler @superspiritfestival @surielandiareendgame @swankii-art-teacher @tomtenadia @westofmoon @whimsicallyreading @ladygabrielli1997 @moodymelanist @realbookloverproblems @gracie-rosee @julemmaes @yesdreamblog @the-regal-warrior @rowanaelinn @thestoriesyoutell @autumnbabylon
oooo i LOVE your whump, can i please suggest maybe keith for the concussion square? perhaps he and the team are trying to complete a mission but they can’t get back to the castle until the mission is over? (or if thats too complicated maybe a lonely keith dealing w a concussion in the desert) again live your stuff ^^
Fandom: Voltron: Legendary Defender
Also fulfills: Whumpay Day 10, “I Can Still Fight”
Warnings: head injury, temporary memory loss, mild blood, death mention
Being slammed into the wall isn’t anything new. It happens fairly regularly, really, which is something he should probably be more concerned about. But hey, he’s constantly fighting aliens that are easily twice his size. Getting thrown kinda comes with the territory.
Which is why, when the Galra he’s fighting tosses him like a ragdoll across the ship’s corridor and his head cracks against the metal surface, Keith isn’t shocked or surprised. His vision goes dark instantly, and when it comes back he’s slumped on the ground, the battle continuing around him. His temples are throbbing from the noise, and there’s an intense pain spreading from one particular point on the back of his skull.
That doesn’t really concern him, though. What does concern him is that he doesn’t remember being in the middle of a battle. He remembers…breakfast? Maybe? And maybe some training afterward. Yeah, he and Shiro had fought one-on-one after breakfast. But now he seems to be on a Galra ship, surrounded by both live Galra soldiers and sentries, and the team is…somewhere nearby, he assumes. They’re not yelling at him in his comms, so that’s a plus.
Oh wait. His comms. Keith pushes away from the wall and sits up, the pain flaring in his head as he does so and the corridor spinning around him. Gritting his teeth, he reaches a hand up tentatively and prods at the worst spot on the back of his head. His gloves come away sticky and wet.
What was he thinking about, again?
A flash of red a few feet away catches his attention. He squints at it, trying to bring it into focus. It’s a helmet, he thinks. His helmet? Yeah, maybe it’s his helmet. He does wear red, after all. Red like his Lion. Like the big, metal, alien spaceship robot Lion that lives in his head now. Crazy. He’s pretty sure she’s trying to say something to him right now, actually, but all he’s getting is flashes of warmth.
A sentry’s sword swings by his head far too close for comfort. Keith jolts backwards, regretting it immensely when the whole spinning and pain thing happens again. Right, the battle. The one he doesn’t remember starting, but should probably work on finishing. Otherwise somebody is probably going to kill him, and Shiro will shoot him if he dies.
Heh. That’d be pretty pointless.
Somehow he gets himself to his feet, swaying slightly, putting one hand on the wall to make sure he doesn’t fall right back down to where he just came from. He feels like something is missing, though. Somewhere, he’s got a…uh… Muscle memory leads him to flex his hand and summon his sword. Sword? Yeah, it’s a sword. It’s also a weird word, a…bayard, that’s it. The word always plays in his mind in Allura’s dialect. Bayaaaard. It’s funny, saying it like that. He snickers a little before remembering that he’s supposed to be actually using the bayard.
That’s easier said than done, though. His arms feel really heavy, like maybe somebody put weights in his armor or something. Probably Lance. When he finally manages to lift the sword and swing it at the nearest sentry, he misses completely. Which is weird, because he was almost positive he saw it go through the robot’s torso. Maybe…yeah, he’s definitely seeing double. Or…triple? Quadruple? It’s really hard to tell, there’s sentries and guards everywhere and it’s almost impossible to pick out which ones are real.
Oh, well. Keith dives into the crowd with all of his usual gusto and none of his usual coordination, swinging wildly. Eventually his sword actually makes contact with something, and he turns to stab it, nearly falling over but righting himself at the last second.
His head really hurts.
“Hey! McMullet! There you are.” Lance appears out of nowhere. Like, poof, there he is. Except there are two of him, too, just like the sentries, and that is not what Keith needs in his life. One Lance is quite enough, thank you.
“We’ve been calling you on the comms and you weren’t answering.” Both the Lances lift their rifles and fire at some distant target. “Guess that’s because you don’t even have your helmet on.”
Oh yeah. His helmet. That was a thing that he’d been thinking about earlier. It’s…on the ground somewhere? He should probably really have it on. But when he spins around to try and figure out which direction it was in, he just gets super dizzy again.
“Hello, are you even listening to me? Why aren’t you wearing your helmet, Mullet?”
A fist knocks against the side of his head. It isn’t hard, but it’s enough to make his vision white out with pain. He might even scream, he’s not sure. He does know that the floor he finds himself staring at while one hand clutches his throbbing head is looking more and more appealing.
“Whoa. Dude. Are you okay?” Lance has his back to him, shooting out into the crowd of enemies, but he glances back over his shoulder at Keith with eyebrows knit together.
Yeah. Of course he’s okay. He’s fine, he just needs Lance to keep his freaking hands to himself. “Don’ do tha’. Tha’s…’s not cool.”
“Yeah. Okay. Something is definitely wrong with you, we need to get you to Shiro.���
“No!” The exclamation sends pain stabbing though his head again, and he winces, pressing his fingertips into his forehead. “Nope. Don’…don’ need t’ get Sh’ro. Need t’ fight.”
“Keithy, somehow I think fighting is the last thing you need to be doing right now.”
Like he has a choice. They’re kinda surrounded by Galra, what does Lance expect him to do, lie down and take a nap? Even though that does sound very, very nice…
“Stop it.” Keith scowls, pointing a finger at one Lance’s face, then the other. He isn’t sure which one is actually the real one. “Both…both o’ you. Stop…tellin’ me what t’ do.”
Both the Lances’ eyebrows shoot up toward their hairlines. He looks funny like that. Keith smiles, but slaps a hand over his mouth to hide it.
“Yeah. Alright. You’re not okay, and there’s no way I’m letting you keep -”
A sword swings over his head mid-sentence, his last second duck the only thing saving him from being decapitated. “Quiznak!” Stumbling backwards, he grabs Keith’s arm and drags him back, too. The abrupt movement sends both his head and stomach spinning, and he groans loudly.
“Geez, why’d you have to be so big?”
Keith squints up at the giant, towering Galra. “Why’d there have t’ be two?”
“Keith, for Pete’s sake there’s not…never mind, just…don’t die.”
He isn’t paying attention to Lance anymore. His focus is on the soldier - soldiers? - attacking them. Lance is a long-range fighter, a good one, but he’s out of his element right now. That means this fight is mainly up to Keith, headache and dizziness or not.
Each strike of his sword against the Galra’s weapon sends waves of pain through his body. He’s fading fast, and he knows it, vision wavering in and out so that he barely sees the hits coming for him before they connect. The headache is intensifying to the point where he feels like his skull might just explode right there.
Then suddenly, he’s on the ground, staring up at the ceiling, wondering how he got there. The Galra appears over him, grinning, ready to run him through, and Keith wants to move, he really really does, but his body just…lies there, frozen. His thoughts freeze, too. Everything seems to move in slow motion, the sword coming down toward him…then the Galra jerking backwards, stumbling, and falling out of sight.
Lance. He must have found higher ground, and taken the soldier out with his rifle. Reliable, just like always.
He almost died.
For some reason that’s hilarious to him right now. He almost died, again, for the millionth time. Keith is still on the floor in the corridor of a purple cat alien’s spaceship in the middle of outer space, but now instead of being frozen, he’s cracking up. A full-on belly laugh that hurts his head as bad as fighting had, but he can’t stop. Tears are rolling down his cheeks.
“See what I mean, Shiro? Either he’s dying or somebody did some kind of alien body-swap on him. Look at him, he’s laughing! In the middle of a battle! That’s…that’s not Keith.”
Shiro’s face leans into his vision, a look on his face that’s a mixture of concern and amusement. “Hey, kiddo. What’s going on?”
Keith stops laughing long enough to stare at the white bangs that fall over Shiro’s forehead. “Y’re…turnin’ into an old man, tha’s what.” He snickers again.
“Right, right. I hear ya.” Shiro leans in closer, flipping on the blue lights of his armor, eyes darting back and forth across Keith’s face. “Yep, you definitely have a concussion. Your pupils are way off.”
“Yay,” Keith cheers quietly, sarcastically. “Love co’cussions. This makes…mmm…five? Six? I dunno, i’s hard to keep coun’ when everythin’s spinnin’ ‘round.”
“I’m sure it is. You’ve really gotta stop hitting your head so much, though.” Shiro slides his hand gently underneath Keith’s head, cradling it as he helps lift him to his feet and giving him time for the room to stop spinning before attempting to move him anymore.
“M’ head really hurts, Sh’ro,” he mumbles after a moment.
“I know it does, bud. I know. Let’s get you back to the Castle and get that fixed, okay?”
A White Rose (Pt. 20)
(This series is created using the prompts from @summer-of-whump)
Continued from here
CW: Nightmares, trust issues, concussion, amnesia
"Can I trust you..?"
The question caught Killian off-guard. What was he supposed to do? Say yes? Would saying yes even make a difference?
"I... think that's something you'll have to decide for yourself. Even if I say, 'you can trust me', that doesn't make it true." Killian ran his fingers through his hair. "You can trust me, but I hope that my actions will speak for themselves so you can know I'm telling the truth."
Shea gave a tiny nod. "Thank you, sir..."
"You don't have to call me sir, Shea."
Shea glanced up at Killian through wide eyes. "Then... what... what am I supposed to call you..?"
"Just Killian is fine. We're friends, remember?"
Shea's face paled, but he nodded in assent before climbing into bed.
Killian turned out the lights and left the room, closing the door softly. Later, Shea would need proper first aid, but Killian wanted to let him rest first. He had reason to suspect that Shea had a severe concussion— what with the way he kept falling and how his pupils still weren't dilating evenly. Even more concerning was the fact that Shea had been truly convinced he had attacked Killian. Maybe he was just used to taking people at their word, but it seemed to Killian that memory gaps were more likely.
Killian put some food on to cook, locked all the doors and windows, and layed down to take a nap.
Killian blinked his eyes open. The sun was going down. He had slept longer than he'd intended. Getting up to turn off the pot on the stove, he thought he heard an odd sound. When he stopped to listen, he didn't hear it again, so he shrugged it off.
After stirring the soup, Killian went to check in on Shea. As he approached the door, however, he heard a similar noise to the one he had heard before. He paused at the door.
A moment passed. He heard Shea whimper and quickly opened the door. "Shea?"
Shea was tangled up in the blankets, only one arm free as he struggled in his sleep. Every so often, he would whimper or make a sound that almost sounded like words.
Carefully, Killian reached out a hand and placed it on Shea's shoulder. "Hey... hey, wake up, you're okay."
Shea choked out a gasp and sat up, eyes wide as he glanced frantically around the room. "Where am I??"
"Shea— Shea, take a breath. You're safe."
Shea turned to Killian, starting at him for a moment before relaxing a little bit. "I-I'm sorry... Just... Just a nightmare..."
"Do you have nightmares often?"
Shea nodded, sliding back down under the covers. "Y-yeah... sorry..."
"Do you want to talk about it?"
Shea glanced up at Killian. He looked confused. "... Why..?"
"Well, sometimes talking about things can make people feel better." Killian sat on the edge of the bed. "What was your nightmare about?"
"It's... just things I shouldn't be thinking about anyway..."
Things he shouldn't be thinking about? Did Nicholas and his father really put limitations on what Shea was allowed to think?
"What do you mean..?"
"It... They're usually about my family..." Shea whispered, sliding even further under the blankets.
"How old were you when you were taken from home?"
"I... I was six." Shea gave a small shrug.
Killian turned his face away from Shea so he couldn't see how upset that made him. "Did... you have any siblings?"
"No..." Shea's voice got even quieter. "No... it was just me. A-and my mom."
"What are your nightmares about?"
"Um... Th-they're about the fi-fires... Sometimes about my cousin dying... She was supposed to come with me, but... but she was hurt... she..." Shea's voice cracked and he stopped talking.
"I'm sorry... You don't have to talk about it if you don't want to." Killian stood up. "Will you come out and eat with me? Then I can take a look at your injuries."
Shea nodded, sitting up and getting out of bed. He looked unsteady.
"May I put an arm around you to help keep you stable?"
Shea nodded once more and Killian put an arm around him.