#especially since my POTS has kept me from being able to write...
A few weeks late, but I can’t get this scene out of my head...
[Image description: A five-page comic depicting a dream sequence from Critical Role campaign 3 episode 3. Imogen, a young woman with purple hair, feeds a horse on an idyllic prairie when a bolt of red lightning crashes behind her. She turns to find an ominous red storm looming above her, and she stands frozen in fear as a sourceless voice tells her to run. She runs away from the storm and toward a distant farmhouse as the sky turns red and more bolts of lightning seem to chase after her. She reaches the farmhouse and glances behind her at the storm, only to stare in horror: an older man who resembles Sir Betrand Bell stands directly under the storm. In the last panel, she holds out her hand to stop him as he heedlessly, proudly even, steps deeper into the deadly and unnatural lightning storm.]
Do not repost. If you enjoy the art please reblog!
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REQUEST: Could you write something where the reader has never had a valentines so bucky goes all out to celebrate valentines day with her? Like she just feels so loved at the end of it? Thank you💖
Warnings: smut; unprotected sex, fluff, hand job, pussy rubbing, romantic
Word Count: 4884
A/N: I’m sorry, I tried but romance isn’t my strong suit - anyway, happy V day!
I tossed my hand carelessly through my freshly washed hair, trying to make it look somewhat decent as I made my way through the compound. “Meet me by the elevator at six.” That’s what Bucky’s text had said yesterday, and that was the first I’d heard from him since our conversation earlier in the week.
“If you don’t get a better offer by valentines day, we should just do something together.” Bucky suggested as he absentmindedly scrunched up his nose. We’d been chatting over a pot of tea in the kitchen after listening to all of our friends’ special plans for the upcoming romantic holiday. “Otherwise we’ll be the only two in the compound without a date.”
“I don’t really do valentines dates.” I shrugged matter-of-factly, my heart sinking as I felt a soft blush of pink cover my cheeks. Dates in general had always been a touchy subject with me, but especially valentines day dates. I’d never had one. Ever. In my life. And it was embarrassing for me to admit.
My comment didn’t get past the clever brain of the Winter Soldier, a soft frown of curiosity appearing on his chiseled face as he lifted his mug to his lips. “What do you mean, you don’t do valentines dates?” He emphasised the word ‘do’, blowing gently on the hot beverage before taking a sip.
His eyes were fixed on me, patiently awaiting my response as I felt my heartbeat speed up. “I just don’t.” I shrugged innocently under his stare, noticing the little frown lines which appeared on his forehead as he processed my answer.
“You think Y/N’s ever met a guy good enough to take her out on the most romantic day of the year?” Sam’s voice immediately had Bucky’s eyes rolling, turning his head to the side to watch the chuckling avenger stroll into the room. “You’re dreaming, cyborg. Even I wouldn’t try.”
“It’s not that!” I jumped to my own defence, not wanting Bucky to think that was the reason I’d turned him down, because it wasn’t. Bucky and I had been great friends ever since he’d arrived from Wakanda, we felt somewhat connected by the commonality of the enjoyable silence and peacefulness of being alone. Something which people like Sam would never understand. “I’ve just never had a date for valentines.”
Bucky was a selfless guy and I knew he’d only offered to spend his valentines day with me out of kindness. He was an extremely handsome super soldier with a charming personality and a heart of gold. He’d be able to get a valentines date with a beautiful girl with a blink of his eye.
“I guess I’ve never really felt strongly enough about anyone in that way.” I elaborated vaguely, looking between Bucky who was giving Sam a fed up look and Sam, who had grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge and was happily leaving the room with a chuckle, knowing he’d done his job of winding Bucky up.
“It doesn't have to be a date.” Bucky pressed his lips together in a small smile, his voice softening as he looked over at me, his steel blue eyes shining bright. “We can just hang out like we usually do.”
I smiled over at him sweetly, thankful for his understanding nature. “Okay, sounds good.” I let out a soft chuckle as his smile widened at my answer, taking another sip of his drink as his heart skipped a beat.
I arrived at the meeting point right on time, deciding to wear a pair of distressed denim shorts with a floral top tucked into them after much deliberation. I was nervous. I didn’t know why, I’d hung out with Bucky hundreds of times before. But it was this damn day putting so much pressure on something as simple as two friends hanging out.
The compound was particularly quiet where the rest of the team had already left for their dates. The silence only made the loud beating of my heart more evident. Bucky still hadn’t shown up. He’d probably found himself a proper date for tonight and forgot to tell me.
“Hey F.R.I.D.A.Y, has Bucky left the compound recently?” I asked softly, fiddling with my hair as I prepared for a lonely night of movies.
“No, Miss Y/N. Sergeant Barnes is currently in the south living room.” The AI answered immediately, the response surprisingly me as I raised my eyebrows. The south living room was an extravagantly decorated room of the compound, hardly ever used other than for special occasions and honourable guest visits.
“Thank you, F.R.I.D.A.Y.” I spoke as I pressed the button for the elevator, my nerves calming a little as I tried to guess Bucky’s reasoning for being in that particular room. I stepped in the elevator, feeling the metal contraption move between floors. So maybe he hadn’t blown off our date - correction, ‘hang out’. Maybe he’d just forgotten where he’d arranged to meet me.
I stepped out of the elevator and wandered down the darkness of the hall, only illuminated by the soft light coming from the living area. I dragged my fingers along the cream coloured wall absentmindedly, the quiet sound of a song playing made me tilt my head questioningly. “Bucky!” I called out as I neared the entrance to where the AI had informed me of Bucky’s whereabouts.
My breath got caught in my lungs as I turned into the doorway, my body completely still as I widened my eyes in shock.
“Bucky, what’s all this?” I whispered softly, my heartbeat speeding up as I looked in at the busy super soldier standing in front of me.
“Crap, is it six already?” Bucky mumbled to himself as he rushed to light the candle in his hand, placing it carefully on the coffee table. He looked up at me with an innocent smile as he shoved the lighter into his back pocket.
He was standing near the roaring fireplace, the floor almost fully engulfed in rose petals. He’d strategically placed candles and flowers on the mantlepiece and the coffee table, a rug thrown down of the floor with pillows and a bottle of champagne ready for us to indulge.
“Y/N, please don’t be mad.” Bucky begged as he saw the stunned look on my face. I tried to process what was going on, why he’d put all this effort in, but instead, I just stood there speechless. “I know you said you didn't want this to be a date but I just-”
“Bucky, it’s beautiful.” I spoke with eyes full of tears, my hands shaking slightly as I stepped further into the room. I’d only ever seen such a romantic gesture in movies, I’d never in a million years expected that one day it would happen to me.
Bucky watched intensely as I walked towards him, his eyes softening into a smile as he realised I wasn’t upset with him. He sighed out in relief, holding his hand out to tug me close to him as I continued to admire the gorgeous set up he’d put together.
“You said you’d never had a date for valentines day,” He spoke deeply, shaking his leg nervously as his eyes stayed glued on me. His hand kept hold of mine as I looked up at him, attentively listening to his words. “Well neither have I.”
“Are you telling me that Sergeant James Buchnanan Barnes, even back in the roaring forties, never had a valentine?” I gasped in a playful tone, although I truthfully was surprised to hear his confession. Bucky was a catch, I would’ve thought he’d have been spoilt for choice back in his youth.
He rolled his eyes with a chuckle, reciprocating my gaze as his fingers absentmindedly massaged my palm. “Well at least I didn’t say I’d never had a date because I’d never found anyone good enough!” He raised his eyebrows accusingly, his lips falling into a sassy pout.
“That was Wilson!” I reminded Bucky with a tilt of my head, a small smile playing on my lips as his gorgeous eyes bored into mine. I felt myself get carried away in the moment, tugging him slightly closer as I admired him.
“I made us some chocolate covered strawberries.” He mumbled shyly, a proud smile on his face as his eyes flickered down to my lips absentmindedly.
“You really thought of everything, didn’t you?” I sighed out contently, walking passed him to sit down on the rug. I crossed my legs and looked up at Bucky who followed my lead, sitting down on the soft material next to me.
I watched carefully as he leaned over to grab the flute glasses in his metal hand, his other grabbing the bottle which he sat between his thick thighs. Bucky’s arms tensed as he pulled the cork out with a pop, the soft music still playing in the background filled the silence.
My heart fluttered as I gazed over admiringly, my fingers fiddling nervously with the blanket beneath us. Bucky’s brows furrowed as he focused on pouring the liquid into the glasses without it spilling over the top.
I smiled maybe a little too widely, catching Bucky’s attention as he looked over at me innocently. “What?” He chuckled with a charming smile, placing the bottle down carefully away from where we sat.
“Nothing,” I smiled back at him, too lost in the bliss of the moment to stop and think things through. I could feel myself falling for him, fast. The vulnerability of it worried me, but Bucky made feel safe. “You just get these cute little lines here when you frown.” I spoke sweetly, lifting my hand to touch between his brows delicately.
Bucky smiled as he watched me, entertained by the mesmerised look on my face. “I think you’re the only person in the world that thinks frown lines are cute.” He chuckled softly, leaning over to hand me a glass of champagne.
“I don't think frown lines in general are cute.” I corrected him, rolling my eyes with a cock of my eyebrow, our fingers brushing slightly as I took the glass from his hand.
“Oh, so you just think they’re cute on me?” He smirked teasingly, watching my face blush pink as he caught me out. He lifted his glass to his lips, sitting closer to me now from where he’d handed me the glass of champagne.
“Gosh, you really love making me blush, don’t you Barnes?” I sighed with a shy smile, sipping the fizzy alcohol as I watched Bucky’s smile widen. His eyes travelled up and down my body as I shuffled to sit with my legs sideways, leaning on my hand which moved me closer to him.
“Hey, can I tell you a secret?” Bucky’s voice dropped to a serious tone as his heart started beating a little harder. I detected a slight hesitation from him as he coughed shyly, his eyes glued on mine.
“Mmh hmm.” I nodded sweetly, my eyes softening as I tilted my head to the side, my finger circling around the rim of the glass as I anticipated his confession.
“When I originally suggested we do something for valentines,” He looked down at his lap nervously, a small smile of his lips as he thought carefully about his words. “I wanted to ask you, you know, not just because we were going to be the only two people without a date.”
Butterflies fluttered in my tummy as I shyly looked down into my lap, trying to hide the smile that had appeared on my face. “What was the real reason?” I asked curiously, my voice softening to match his.
“Well, because I think you’re the greatest girl in the whole world.” He answered deeply, his eyes flicking up to my face just for a moment as he smiled at how happy I looked. “You’re beautiful, smart, generous, accepting, funny.”
“Is this just another way of you getting me to blush again?” I cut him off, teasing him accusingly with a raise of my eyebrows. It broke the tension, Bucky scoffing softly as he took another sip of champagne.
“No, that time was an accident.” His ocean blue eyes caught mine as he responded, both of our hearts beating a little faster than usual at the new depths of our relationship we were exploring.
“You could’ve asked me, you know.” I spoke as I watched Bucky lean over to grab the chocolate covered strawberries he’d made from the table. He looked back at me as the plate lifted into his hand, waiting for me to clarify. “On a date. I would’ve said yes.”
“You would have?” Bucky’s eyes softened as he sat back down, strategically sitting so close that our arms brushed together. He offered me a strawberry after throwing one into his mouth, placing the plate and our champagne flutes safely on the marble base of the fireplace.
“Of course,” I nodded quickly as I ate the chocolate covered fruit, catching any of the excess juice with my tongue. “Bucky, you’re the most loving, kind, handsome, brave, loyal guy I’ve ever met.”
Bucky held his breath as he listened to me speak, the both of us feeling so loved in a world of so much pain. “You’re not scared of me?” His voice cracked slightly as he furrowed his brows into a frown.
I confirmed my answer with a shake of my head, my heart aching a little at the thought of him worrying about people being scared of him.
“I could never be scared of you.” I admitted softly as an intense moment started to build between us, which neither of us were able to control.
I felt the tension between us boil over, noticing Bucky’s eyes dropp to my lips as I instinctively leaned closer to him. I let my hot breath linger on him for a moment before I pressed our lips together.
Bucky’s metal hand immediately rose to cup my cheek, keeping me close as he kissed me back, the taste of strawberries on our lips. I felt butterflies in my tummy as his stubble scratched against my skin, tilting his head to deepen the kiss.
I sighed out in satisfaction of his mouth on me, his kisses sweet and gentle as I pressed my palm flat against his solid chest. I felt his pecs move with the rhythm of his breathing, my cheeks flushing a light shade of pink as I felt myself wanting more from him.
He was touching me with such delicacy, as if he was scared he would break me. I shuffled forward as Bucky breathed into the kiss, his hand snaking around to grab the back of my head. He pulled me against his lips harder as my hand slid up to hold the side of his neck.
I parted my lips encouragingly, mimicking his action by tugging him closer by my hand on his neck. Bucky grunted softly into the kiss which was becoming needier with every second.
I whimpered into the kiss, our heads tilting as our lips collided. My palm held onto his strong jaw, his stubble scratching my hand as his metal fingers ran down the side of my body.
I sat up a little straighter which leaned me further into Bucky, the palm of his hand supporting me at my waist. I hummed contently between kisses, Bucky’s eyes falling to where my lips were moving to connect to his again.
I gave him a sultry look as I pulled back from his mouth teasingly, lightly tugging on the thin material of the white t-shirt he wore. Bucky immediately took the hint, removing his hands from me as he pulled the top over his head.
He shook his hair back into place as he threw the shirt carelessly next to him. I couldn’t help but stare at his body in amazement, running my fingers up to where his metal arm fused to his flesh.
Bucky’s lips pressed back onto mine, a small whimper escaping my lips as his tongue pushed its way into my mouth. I felt my wetness seap down onto my cotton panties, sliding my thigh to rest on top of his as he let his hand quickly move over my ass to grab the back of my thigh.
Bucky grunted softly as he tugged on my bare leg, the silky flesh under his metal palm had his cock stirring in his pants. I took the hint, shifting myself to sit straddling the super soldier’s lap.
It was as though all of our built up emotion had exploded in a moment, our touches getting riskier as we roamed each other’s bodies. I let Bucky’s bottom lip sit between mine, sucking on it slowly as his tongue ran over my top lip.
“Is this okay?” Bucky whispered against my lips, our chests heaving as I nodded in response. I closed my eyes when I felt Bucky’s lips travelling across my cheek, leaving little pecks in their path.
I massaged the back of his head, my fingers dug deep in his long hair. I let out a shaky breath as Bucky’s lips reached my jaw, his tongue wetting my skin with his open mouthed kisses.
I tilted my head to the side, granting him more access as my other hand clung to his strong bicep. His metal hand held the back of my neck, supporting me as my body gave in to the pleasure. His flesh hand tugged the hem of my top out of the shorts before letting his palm slide underneath the material.
Bucky groaned against my neck as his hand came into contact with my lacy bra, his kisses getting sloppier as they reached my collarbone. “Tell me to stop.” He huffed out as he tried to control himself, not wanting me to feel pressured into anything.
I shook my head softly as I turned my head to look at him through half closed eyes, overwhelmed by the amount of pleasure and love I felt. “I don’t want you to stop.” I whispered vulnerably, Bucky’s head lifting to look at me with his gorgeous blue eyes.
He leaned in to press his lips back against mine, a whimper escaping my lips as I rolled my hips down onto his. A groan erupted in his throat, his hand travelling back down my body as he gripped the material of my top in his hand.
I leaned back momentarily, balancing myself with my palms on his bare chest as I helped him lift my shirt off of my body.
Bucky panted as he took in my semi-naked body, his hands rubbing the start of my hips needily as he watched me let my top drop on the floor. I leaned my hands back behind my body, making quick work of undoing my bra to let my boobs bounce freely.
I could feel his hardened bulge pressing against the inside of my thigh, his eyes fixated on my tits as he moved his lips onto my chest. I whimpered softly as his hot mouth left wet kisses on my breasts, his tongue flicking over my hardened nipples.
Bucky’s hands hugged my body tightly, pulling me as close as he could as he sucked on my tits. I ran my hand through his soft hair, biting my lip as I closed my eyes in ecstasy.
Bucky’s metal palm slid down to my exposed lower back, holding me against him as he flipped us over. My back gently hit the blanket, Bucky’s large frame hovering above me as he moved his lips back up for another kiss.
My hands slid down his toned chest, over the chiseled abs of his stomach until I reached the button of his jeans. I tugged the waistband away from his skin gently, a little huff escaping his lips as I did so.
I broke the kiss to focus on what I was doing, Bucky’s head dropping into my neck as I popped open the button of his jeans. My head flew back, little moans escaping my lips as Bucky nipped at the base of my throat softly.
My fingers pulled open his zipper, my pussy clenching as I slid my hand into his underwear. My touch was greeted by his hard cock, heavy in my hand. Bucky huffed out softly, his eyes closing as I felt my way down to his balls.
I gasped softly at how big he felt, his lips kissing a strip up up the front of my throat and chin. His lips reconnected with mine as I circled his swollen tip with my thumb, smearing the leaking pre-cum.
I lubricated my hand as much as I could with his juices before wrapping my fingers around his shaft. I tugged on his member gently, feeling his whole body tense at the foreign feeling. I hummed into the kiss, my pussy aching with need as I imagined how he’d feel inside me.
Bucky moaned as my hand jerked him off, his hips bucking to meet my touch as he hovered above me. He kissed me with so much force that my head pressed hard against the floor, softened slightly by the blanket.
I felt his cock twitch in my hand, his hips jolting forward as he tried to control himself. Bucky lifted his flesh hand from the floor and moved it down between our bodies, his fingers tracing down my bare skin.
His eyes immediately dropped to look between our legs, he licked his lips as his fingers came into contact with my shorts. Bucky’s jaw clenched as I squeezed his cock tighter, keeping my eyes trained on his gorgeous face.
Bucky skilfully flicked open the button on my jeans, his lips dropping to kiss me as he snaked his hand beneath the material of my panties. I gasped as he cupped my mound, my wetness leaking down onto his palm.
My fingers dropped from around his cock, clinging to his bicep as he rubbed my pussy. My hips bucked up to meet his touch, needier than ever for his attention. I moaned into the kiss, my tongue flicking his as I arched my back off of the floor, feeling Bucky sit back from where I was.
I looked up at him innocently, all baffled and horny as I watched him hook his fingers into the waistband of my shorts. In one swift motion, but slid my shorts and panties down to my knees. I wiggled my legs, helping him get them off the rest of the way as he sat back on his knees.
“So beautiful.” Bucky mumbled as he looked down at my naked body, his cock standing proudly against his stomach. I bit my lip shyly a I sat up, my arousal dripping down onto the rug.
Bucky crawled closer to me, his flesh hand running up my bare thigh as his cock throbbed desperately for attention. I breathed shakily, my arms wrapping around his neck as he pushes the last of his clothing down his thick thighs before kicking them behind him.
He hovered over my body as I laid back down, now being cradled by the pillows he’d decorated the floor with. I could feel his big member against my thigh, trying to nudge its way into my warmth. I whimpered needily, bending my knees and pressing the heels of my feet against the blanket.
“Just let me know if this gets too mu-“ Bucky cut himself off with a moan, his nose crinkling in pleasure as he felt my hand wrap around his cock again.
I guided him to my entrance, encouragingly rubbing his throbbing tip into my wetness. My hand pulled away when I felt him pushing into me, filling me up with his big cock.
I let out a sensual moan of half pain and half pleasure as Bucky’s lips parted, a shaky breath escaping them as we felt my pussy clench around him.
My thighs clenched too, squeezing around his hips as his thick length slid out from where it was half sheathed inside of me. Bucky was going at a painfully slow rate, sliding his cock a little deeper into me with every thrust.
His lips dropped down onto mine, kissing me gently as he stretched my tight little pussy with his cock. The feeling of his thick length inside me made me dig my fingernails into the muscly flesh of his back.
I whimpered against his lips, my face screwing up in pleasure as he pulls his head back for a moment to admire me before crashing his lips on mine again.
I lifted my legs to wrap around his waist, my hips desperately bucking up to him in need. Bucky used his flesh hand to balance as his metal one ran up my leg, over my waist and up to my boob, squeezing it gently.
I cried out and arched my back into his touch, still in disbelief at how good he felt inside me. His cock filled me up again as he let out a grunt, breathing heavily as his body stilled.
Bucky moaned against my lips as he felt my pussy squeezing his cock, both of us lost in the overwhelming feeling of our bodies connecting. I pecked his lips over and over as he started rocking his hips back and forth slowly, making my tits bounce with every thrust.
His balls slapped against me, the sound filling the room as I let my mouth hang open. Our breaths met in a hot mix as Bucky squeezed his eyes shut in pleasure.
His hips jerked with each thrust, feeling himself rubbing against my walls as my pussy lips hugged his length. Bucky shuffled forward on his knees, deepening the thrusts as he picked up the pace.
I whimpered out softly, the new angle hitting all the right spots as my pussy welcomed his size, his cock soaked in my juices. “Bucky” I breathed shakily as I wrapped my arms around his neck, hugging him tightly against me. Bucky’s head fell perfectly into my neck, his little grunts intensified in my ear now.
A shiver ran through my body as I inhaled his manly scent, overwhelmed by the emotion and euphoric feeling of the moment. I felt my pussy tingle with pleasure, already close to my high as Bucky fucked his cock into me.
I tugged on his hair lightly when I felt his lips on my neck again, both of his hands pressed into the blanket either side of my head as he nudged his hips forward, sending his cock deeper into me. Bucky moaned into my neck, his cock twitching inside of me as he became overwhelmed with the feeling.
Bucky stopped his thrusting with such a suddenness that my eyes opened, a worried look washing over my face. He panted breathlessly, gripping my hips and supporting my back as he picked me up, sitting back on his knees with me on top of him.
I let out a moan the new angle impairing me on his cock as my arms stayed clung tightly around him. Bucky groaned full of pleasure, kissing me slowly as he started thrusting up into me, using his new position to his advantage.
Waves of pleasure mercilessly washed over me, only being intensified by the way Bucky was watching me fuck himself on top of him. He leaned his head back to watch me, his hips lifting to meet my movements as his arms clung to my body.
His eyes were soft and full of lust, his lips dropped into a pout as he watched me whither on top of him, overwhelmed with pleasure. I moaned with as gasp as my orgasm suddenly took over, my body pulsating on him as I rode out my high.
I leaned forward and kissed him deeply, our tongues playing as he kept me in place despite how my hips were jolting at the throbbing of my clit. Bucky’s face dropped into my neck, his hot breath against my skin as I felt his warm cum spurting inside of me. I sighed out in satisfaction as Bucky grunts, wave after wave of cum filling me up.
He kept me close, our breathless bodies pushed together as we sat there in the afterglow of our orgasms. I’d never cum so hard in my life, the gentleness and love of Bucky’s actions had only topped the experience.
I turned my head and smiled lazily, kissing his swollen lips as my fingers ran through his hair. Bucky reacted by leaving soft pecks on lips over and over, his softening cock still buried inside of me.
“Y/N.” Bucky whispered softly, his breath still warm against my lips as his hooded eyes gazed into mine. “Will you be mine?”
“Your valentine?” I softly asked, holding him tightly as I thought about the coldness I would feel once his body retreated from mine.
“No, forever.” Bucky replied hopefully, making my heart stop as a wave of emotion flooded through my body.
“Forever’s good for me.” I smiled as my eyes filled with tears, nothing but love for the man in front of me as I connected our lips in a gentle kiss. The perfect end to the perfect day.
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Skin | d.m |
draco x fem!reader - soulmate au!
- requested by the lovely Abby ( @bforbroadway ) a good long while ago, so sorry about that! I hope you enjoy this though
a/n: I discovered the keep reading tab can be done on mobile so imma be using that from now on! and i couldn’t get the god damn spacing to work, sorry!
warnings: little swearing, pretty awful writing but I went with it since this is the most I’ve been able to write in a week - word count: 2075- and its soulmate prompt 5 where whatever is on your soulmates skin appears on yours!
wanna be added to a tag list? Just drop me m ask and I’d be happy to add you!
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RB WITH DRACO TAGS!
It was the bane of his existence. Draco Malfoy, the Slytherin Prince, stuck with childish drawings all over his arms and hands every single day. They were getting increasingly difficult to hide with summer approaching and the weather heating up - making long sleeves a dangerous option. But every time he washed them away, more appeared almost instantly. It’s as if whoever it was, was carrying a quill and ink with them everywhere they went.
Soulmates weren’t something Draco believed in, especially when his soulmate seemed to be a childish annoyance. It wasn’t real, it was just a random pick of the cards. The only reason people actually fall in love with their soulmates is because they think they’re supposed to, but you don’t have to. There’s always a choice. Love isn’t any different, right?
It was these thoughts that coursed through his mind on a daily basis, distracting him from most other things. For someone who didn’t believe in it, he sure thought about it quite often. In fact, he was thinking about it at this very moment as he washed the sketches of flowers and hearts from his skin, watching the ink wash away in the sink below him - watching all remnants of his soulmate wash away with it. He didn’t need a soulmate. He didn’t.
“Dang it,” you mumble, watching as your drawings disappear from your skin again.
Doodling on your skin was such a habit that you never thought of it affecting your soulmate the way it seemed to. But when they started washing it all off just to spite you, you started drawing them back on immediately after just to spite them. There was something deep down inside you that hoped to see the same sketches on another’s skin, that way you’d know - you’d know who it was, who you were destined for. But they never let you get too close.
Being in Hufflepuff kept you from taking things too far. Your friends had urged you to draw on your face to really make a statement, but you refused. There was no use in making them angry at you before they’d even met you. So instead, you continued to draw on your arms as you always had done, waiting to find someone with arms that mirrored your own.
Dipping your quill in the ink beside you on your desk, you scratch it against your skin, drawing a rainbow without colours. Underneath, you added the fluffy clouds and a small pot of gold on your wrist. There was something oddly amusing thinking about your soulmate’s face as you drew ridiculous images on yourself. Hearts and flowers take up most of the remaining free space, and now feeling satisfied, you place your quill in your bag and leave the empty ink pot at your desk. But the satisfaction wears off, thinking about the soulmate who seemingly couldn’t accept you.
“Oh piss off,” Draco sighs, lifting his sleeves up to see a whole array of drawings across his arms and hands. He lets his head fall backwards, dropping over the back of his chair with a loud groan.
“What’s wrong with you?” Pansy asks, smirking slightly. He doesn’t respond audibly, just lifts his arms in shame for her to see. Looking at Draco’s arms, she manages to hold in her laughter, but only barely.
“That’s really something,” she grins, “You know, there’s this girl in my Charms class who always has drawings on her arms. She’s a Hufflepuff though,” She seethes, perfectly content that Draco would never go for her.
“A Hufflepuff? That just proves soulmates are an absurd business,” he scoffs, pulling his sleeves back down. She was real?
“Exactly,” Pansy agrees, placing her hand on Draco’s arm and smiling up at him expectantly, leaning in slightly. Whether it was the fact that Pansy had the audacity to believe Draco wanted to be with her, or because she’d actually touched him, he didn’t know, but he rose abruptly from his seated position, staring at her in awe.
“However absurd, it doesn’t give you the green light,” he snarls, walking away and into his dorm.
He clutches where she’d touched, his breathing not quite steady. That was where his soulmate had made their mark, and Pansy touching it made him feel an indescribable anger. He wasn’t hers. But- no, he wasn’t anyone's, especially not some Hufflepuff’s - and that was bargaining on the off chance Pansy was telling the truth. So once again, he washes every last bit of ink off his arms, every last piece of evidence.
“I can’t tell if they hate me or the drawings…or both,” you sigh, playing around with your untouched breakfast.
“I’m sure it’s nothing, maybe they just don’t want hearts and flowers all over their arms. I mean, not everyone enjoys staining their skin,” you friend muses.
“I know, it just feels like something more than that. You’d think after all this time they’d just let up.”
“Maybe they thought you would,” they counter. You’d never thought about that, it had never even crossed your mind. Maybe you should stop, clearly your soulmate wasn’t happy with you doing the opposite. If it was meant to be, you’d find them, and if it wasn’t then you wouldn’t. But this almost felt like giving up. Should you give up?
“You’re right. I’ll let up,” you decide, shovelling your cereal into your mouth, giving in to an invisible force that doesn’t want you.
Days had passed and every urge you had to doodle on your skin, you replaced with doodling on spare parchment. It felt a little wrong to waste parchment, but you had to. There was a doodling-on-skin strike to be upheld and you weren’t about to cave. You wondered if your soulmate noticed. No, of course they noticed, what you really wondered was whether they cared or if they were just happy to have their arms clean. Every time a day passed without so much of an indication from your soulmate made the next day a little harder to wake up to. There was something comforting in watching the drawings disappear from your arms - it meant they were there, they were real.
It had been days since anything appeared on Draco’s arms. At first, he was delighted that his arms were his own, but now he was ashamed to say that he missed those doodles. There was no explanation to their disappearance, it wasn’t gradual, it was a sudden lack of his soulmate’s presence. He knew he had a reputation around Hogwarts, he knew that, and maybe that was part of the reason for his anxiety. What if as soon as they found out it was him, they’d leave without giving him a chance? He wouldn’t give himself a chance if the situation were reversed, so why should he expect anyone else to? He couldn’t. And as much as he refused to believe in soulmates, he couldn’t help that small part of him from yearning for them.
As the hours passed, Pansy’s words were becoming louder and louder inside his head. ‘There’s this girl in my Charms class who always has drawings on her arms. She’s a Hufflepuff’. How could he find her? Was it her? Why did he want to find her? He didn’t know, but he didn’t care anymore, he wanted to see her. He was well versed in skipping classes, this would be just another day. The day he’d meet his soulmate. ‘Just another day’ he told himself.
Peering into the class where he knew Pansy was sitting and grumbling in, Draco’s eyes wander over to the Hufflepuffs. He didn’t know what he was expecting to find there. He didn’t know what this girl looked like, he didn’t know who she was and now there were no doodles on her arms to distinguish her from the rest. He scans the students, hoping that when he saw her, he’d know. But he didn’t, he didn’t see anyone that made him feel anything like that.
“Oof,” someone says from behind him after colliding with him. Ink spills all over her, her robes, arms and specks on her face. Looking at her, his breath hitches. Her hair is pulled back with a ribbon, wisps of it falling across her face and over the specks of black ink now littered there; her y/e/c eyes widening at the ink covering floorboards and then to himself.
“Oh Merlin, I’ve gotten it all over you. I’m so sorry,” she fusses.
But Draco hadn’t felt any ink spill onto him, he still didn’t feel anything, even with her mentioning it. But she was right, there was ink all over him. He takes her arm, pulling it over to his so he can look at them both. The same ink pattern is sprawled across them both, spanning over their arms and covering all their fingers but the ring finger, which only has a small spot of ink on it. As if the same thoughts are running through her head as she looks up to him with wide eyes.
“I’ve got to go, sorry,” she says, picking up the ink pot and rushing into class without even washing her face of the ink.
Draco remains standing there, completely awestruck. Did she hate him or had she not realised like he did? But it was her, and she was beautiful, and she hated him...and she was real. He scolded himself for ever believing this would work, but now more than ever he wanted it to. How could he make it work? Leaning against the wall, he looks at the ink spilled across the floor. The ink - he knows exactly what he has to do.
“You alright y/n? You’ve been acting weird all day,” you friend says, a concerned expression gracing their face. You think back to your altercation with Draco. It all made sense now. No wonder he hated the doodles, no wonder he hated you. Draco Malfoy would never be with a Hufflepuff, let alone you. But something about the way he looked at you gave you hope. Maybe it was false hope, but until he crushed it completely, it would remain.
“Yeah, just tired,” you lie, catching a glimpse of Draco at the Slytherin table.
He’s alone, no friends by his side at the very end of the table. That wasn’t particularly usual of him. You watch as he dips his quill in ink and scratches something down. Then again, homework often needed the absence of friends. Turning away and back to your own table, you smile at your friends, with him in the back of your mind. Though his reputation preceded him, you couldn’t help but want to know what was beyond that reputation. You were inexplicably drawn to him. If only he was to you.
“I thought you said you weren’t going to doodle on your arms anymore, y/n,” your friend remarks, raising an eyebrow in disapproval.
Your heart skips a beat, your stomach drops and your eyes flicker to your arms. Seeing a small heart, flower and rainbow surrounding the words ‘A chance?’, your mouth falls open in disbelief. You break out into a smile, finding Draco’s eyes already locked onto you from across the room. Scoffing, you stand up and exit the hall with a huge grin plastered on your face. You hope that he’ll follow you.
Draco launches himself up from his seat, following your smile - a smile he hoped to see more often than not. His palms become sweaty as he walks with pace outside of the Great Hall in search of you. He didn’t have to look far, you were leaning against the wall just outside waiting for him. Could you really be giving him a chance? He didn’t know why he wanted one. Just being involved with a Hufflepuff could land him being disowned. Would that really be so bad? He meets your eyes and matches your contagious smile and all fears melt away. He didn’t have to think about that now. He just had to think about you - a task he would meet with ease.
Hoping to see that smile more, you walk to meet him in the middle. He looked much better with a smile than a scowl.
“A chance,” you agree, holding out your hand for him to shake. He takes yours in his, the connection sending shock waves through your body from the feeling of his skin on yours - where it all started.
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Congratulations on gaining 150 followers!! 🎉 Your writing is amazing so you deserve every one of them! For the event can I request J, L, O, and Y for Azul?
Hehwhwhwhw thank you for the sweet words, anon-chan! And I'm glad you found my writings amazing enough ^^
150 Followers Event | Masterlist
Jealousy: Do they get jealous easily? How do they deal with it?
Azul gets jealous fairly easily, but you won't be able to tell because he would tuck in on himself like a hedgehog trying to look bristly.
When he sees you with another person getting all touchy and buddy buddy as if personal space isn't a thing, Azul would instantly feel the ticking of his pulse threatening to burst.
He would act as if it was nothing, his perfectly curved business smile on his lips and his posture impeccable as usual. The cue word was act, don't try to push your luck too much, so I suggest you to get better at reading him more, especially since Azul has a very volatile temper.
Once he had enough of pretending that everything's alright and that he was fine, Azul would have planned your grand escapade. Of course, he won't just burst out loud here and then but he will make sure to show the other party that you weren't available on display. That you were already taken...and how much Azul would happily put them in their rightful place.
"You’re mine! You hear me? Mine! And mine alone." He gritted out as you two finally got the chance to be alone, away from others that threaten his place in your side. "They can try to steal you away from me...but there's no way I would let them.”
Love Confession: How would they confess to their s/o?
Azul is a meticulous and careful businessman. It would take a rather long time for him to confess because he wants to make sure that every detail, every moment and every second is planned out.
He wouldn't risk being turned down and rejected harshly, so he planned his confession down the drain. He would write ten pages of paper dedicated to confessing his love, though if one squinted closely at his choice of words, you would notice how it was as if he was selling and flaunting himself to you.
Azul would brag about his achievements and abilities and how of an excellent man he was. And how you wouldn't regret choosing him and stuff.
Although at the day of his confession, Azul would find himself chickening out and unable to remember the words on his ten pages confession even though he already made sure to remember every detail of his plans. His heart was palpitating so hard in his chest he was afraid it's going to leap in his throat.
He had planned a perfect dinner at Mostro Longue, a perfect background music, and a perfect confession. So, why in the name of the Sea Witch was he still so nervous? At the end of the day, with his nerves wrecking him, Azul had accidentally blurted out "I love you please date me", an unplanned confession to you, no thoughts head empty, further infuriating his heart.
With an embarrassed groan from his throat, Azul buried his face with his hands. But you just laugh at how cute he was, letting him know how his adorable love is returned. "Please forget what I said...I have a better confession here if you would allow me read it aloud…"
"Absolutely not," you giggled as you wrapped your arms around him to prevent him reaching out to his chest pocket where he kept the ten pages confession. "That was just so adorable it's impossible to forget...heh."
"I want my octopus pot now…"
On Cloud Nine: What are they like when they are in love? Is it obvious for others? How do they express their feelings?
Azul's actions when he's in love were both obvious and not. Obvious to those who were greatly observant and knew him by heart and not to the rest of the student body.
He would still try to keep his professionalism to you even though you two were a couple now. He wanted to make sure that you had seen him as a reliable, cool and responsible partner. He doesn't want you regretting your choice of choosing him after all...or dumping him for that matter.
It would just 'click' to the rest of the school when they saw the two of you hold hands, but even then he would keep his calm facade even though he was burning in embarrassment on the inside. Though he was also fond of showing you off to everyone; he was proud that out of all the people who wanted to pursue you, he was the one you chose and who won the war. Azul would be highly smug about this to the point you would roll your eyes.
"Now that I have you here " Azul smugly commented as he reached out to your hand. He made sure to lock his gaze intently onto yours as he kissed the back of your hand with so much fluidity and sweetness. "There is no way that I’m letting you go.”
Yearning: How will they cope when they're missing their partner?
I think one of Azul's coping mechanisms when he was missing his lover is to bury himself at work, just so he could alleviate his attention far away from thinking about you.
He would take more requests from his potential-slaves-clients than usual. Just so he wouldn't have to deal with the strange, gripping feeling in his chest mixed with the boiling unease on his stomach.
Overworking seems to be much better than overthinking where Azul would battle his own mind mocking him. To avoid the taunting whispers on his ears that you have had enough of him and that you won't be coming back to him.
The feeling of yearning is kind of new for Azul, so he doesn't quite know how to deal with it. All he knows is that he wanted you back to his side, telling him that you won't leave him again for a long time, and your gentle assurance that you would always stay by his side.
"Tell me, angelfish, tell me you won't leave me, that you won't abandon me." Azul whispered in a sultry voice as he ensnared you captive in his embrace. "I want all your attention, devotion, validation—You already know I'm a selfish and greedy man, I’ll do anything for you to give it all to me.”
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[Regarding my new Ghost!Jekyll au]
Jekyll really does deserve to be the most annoying ghost ever. Flickering the lights on and off, pushing the Lodgers’ experiments off of the table just to be an arse, just being a general menace.
Man... I’m so glad you mentioned that bc goddamn did I daydream about that my entire walk to the store. I’m torn between the Lodgers doing some sort of seance to see wtf is happening but Jekyll being a spooky bitch and demanding a “sacrifice” or possession victim or something-- only to take them over and be even more creepy while making sure they don’t realize that it’s him because... Honestly... He does not want to know how they would react to that, and him just randomly possessing Frankenstein and going all Green-eyed!Jekyll on her. That would be so fun to imagine tbh. Perhaps they wouldn’t even notice that Frankenstein is possessed until Jekyll just fucks her shit up a bit too much.
Y’know you really aren’t helping my inner urge to actually turn this into a fic after I SWORE I wouldn’t write more chaptered fics after the FK AU.
Man-- I remember I saw an au/hc a while back where the ghosts of people that are canonically dead in tgs (Eli, Frankenstein’s friends and fam, etc) were ghosts and followed their respective person around and stuff while also exploring the world. It reminds me a bit of that, too sdfsdf
Oh god-- Him dying in an accident, like getting run over by a carriage running at full speed and the driver panics knowing he will get thrown in jail if someone realizes he accidentally killed Dr. Henry Jekyll so he just dumps him in an alleyway and hopes no one notices. Absolutely freaking out meanwhile Henry doesn’t realize he is a ghost (if, say, it doesn’t take time to go full-on-ghost after death) while trying to comfort the person like “hey, it’s alright, I’m fine, you missed me!” or smt like that and god...
Him stealing pots from Rachel’s kitchen, then scrubbing them clean and putting them back in their place right afterwards to not upset Rachel. Even better if Rachel just sees her pots and pans that just went missing floating into the room, getting wiped clean, put on their place, then she just feels something patting her head before the door mysteriously closes. That would be hilarious sdfsdf
Darlene you can’t hog all the death aus /J
Man, I love that idea. Although I’m glad the au belongs to me now /J sdfhsdf why does cat crimes fit so well when describing Jekyll. It just... he is a cat, that’s all.
Can you imagine the absolute horror of the Lodgers when they realize? Like, if the Scotland Yard finds the body or if one of the Lodgers actually do stumble upon the body like you mentioned. The absolute panic, can you imagine the guilt of not having realized it? Especially since his corpse must be quite rotten? Like, rotten-dog-that-Jekyll-saw-in-college-kinda rotten? Worse? Would they even be able to recognize the corpse at that point, or would they have to go with the clothes/things he kept on his person to identify him?
I think Jekyll would probably be relieved that they finally got to know the truth, although he probably would try to hide that he is the ghost that has been pestering them for a while. Perhaps they would consider it but they probably would not think that Jekyll would be causing them such pain and suffering by being an annoying asshole as a ghost
I love the idea of him glitching out-- man, the Lodgers would probably think they were haunted by a goddamn poltergeist at that point XD
This is why you always make things so angsty, Darlene /lh but man... He really would be sad, wouldn’t he? Like sure, it might be fun to pester them because he is sure that they will notice that he is gone quite quickly... And then they don’t... And then they hear how they start talking shit about him, perhaps they think he ditched town bc he couldn’t handle the stress or them or that he was jealous for the attention they gave Frankenstein. And then no one does find his body until so long after..
You are all tempting me so goddamn hard rn you have no idea sdsdf
@jekyllandhisalterego (I don’t think I have @ you in discussion posts like this before but I saw and I wanted to add it in sdfsd)
He definitely would haunt Frankenstein. He would be such a bitch to her-- Oh my god what if he tried to get her to think he was one of her family members or friends. I would not put it past him but jfc.
Lanyon would probably be the only one to actually be worried. Because he knows Jekyll was not supposed to leave the Society anytime soon and the amount of time it’s radio silence from him is getting suspicious. Poor man would probably break the moment the truth actually gets out, although he probably would also find solace when they learn that Jekyll is the ghost that annoys the shit out of them in the Society sdfsd
OH MY GOD ZOSI. ZOSI WOULD BE ABLE TO SEE JEKYLL AND KNOW THAT HE IS DEAD. Oh my god he would probably be able to sense it before Jekyll even gets back to the Society. He would probably act like nothing happened. He would probably just follow Jekyll around and yet no one would realize it’s bc Jekyll is the ghost. They probably would just think that Zosi is trying to occupy himself with the ghost since Henry is gone sdsfsdf
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Collateral -- JJ Maybank (Part One)
Summary: JJ’s stunt with Barry bites him in the ass when the angry drug dealer kidnaps you and decides you’re JJ’s collateral for the stolen money.
Warnings: kidnapping, violence, angst, mentions of child abuse and drug use
Pairing: JJ Maybank x fem!Routledge!reader
Word Count: 4,800+
A/N: I started writing this after binge-watching Outer Banks, and before I knew what was happening, I had written 20 pages of this and hadn’t even gotten to the climax… So, this has clearly been broken up into parts. I have part two already finished, and I’m almost finished with part three, but I’m not uploading them tonight because I want this to see the light of day first, and gain some love before I do anything. Please let me know what you guys think of this! I know there isn’t a lot of mushy-feely stuff in this chapter, and it’s mainly angst but, I had so much fun writing this, so please give it a chance and tell me what you think. Also, it’s canon divergent because I tweaked the DCS storyline and everything after John B. finds the first gold bar.
|Part Two|Part Three|Part Four|Final Part|
Your shift at The Wreck had been a long and strenuous one, more so than usual, because Kie hadn’t shown up for her night shift which left you to pull a double and cover for her. In your opinion, the nighttime customers were always worse than the morning customers since they typically consisted of kooks and tourons who expected the best of the best and nothing less. You had a short fuse, similar to your boyfriend, and would often get snippy with customers who complained about trivial things: their drinks having too much ice, their salad too much dressing, or their Chef’s Board not enough cheese or the wrong kind of cheese. Kie’s dad kept you on morning and afternoon shifts as much as possible due to the locals of The Cut coming to the cafe during those times, and your ability to make them feel at home while they ate their toast and sipped their coffee. So, having to work a night shift unexpectedly without a break from your morning shift left you feeling exhausted and detached from the world.
As peeved as you were with Kie for pulling a no-call-no-show, you were more worried than anything; especially when you noticed JJ wasn’t waiting outside to walk home with you like he normally was. You hadn’t heard from any of the other pogues since yesterday, when you had to go to work and they went over to Crain Mansion in search of the gold. You would’ve gone with them, but you couldn’t risk missing another day of work and possibly being fired. After your shift yesterday (and noticing the lack of blond curls outside the cafe), you had headed home with the plan to meet up with your friends and learn of any new updates--but, when you arrived, nobody was there. You waited around for the rest of the day, but when 10 o’clock rolled around and nobody had shown, you retreated to your bedroom and fell asleep. When you had woken up around 5 a.m to get ready for your shift at work, you were relieved to find JJ curled around you fast asleep, and your brother, Sarah, Kie, and Pope passed out together on the futon in the living room. They had a pot cradled between the four of them, but you thought nothing of it as you got ready for work. You left behind a note, asking them to stop by The Wreck when they woke up to fill you in on whatever you had missed, but they had never shown up.
Now, as you locked up The Wreck at the end of your 10 o’clock shift and waved to the cooks and other wait staff as you all parted ways, your worry only increased. The Cut was warm and humid as you made your way toward the chateau, forcing you to shed your work shirt in favor of the tanktop laying beneath. Your hair was pulled into a high-pony, and while it had been sleek and put together at 6 o’clock this morning, you now had frizzed strands falling into your face and the bottom of your hair was sticky from an exploded champagne bottle earlier that night. Your feet ached and your hips felt unbalanced from the constant speed-walking and maneuvering around tables and patrons, and you wanted nothing more than to collapse against JJ in your room and sleep for a solid 12 hours straight. Before you could do that, though, you had to continue your thirty-minute walk to said paradise and make sure everyone was okay.
As you left the hustle and bustle surrounding The Wreck and the docks, and ventured further into The Cut, you felt the tension beginning to ease out of your body at the familiar surroundings. As much as you loved The Wreck, you were not a fan of the kooks and tourons that migrated there throughout the night, bothering you during and after your shifts. As expected, the night held the worst of the batch, with alcohol and other drugs filtering their systems and giving them loose tongues and firm hands. Even though you could handle yourself and those who tried making a move on you, you never felt at ease or safe while leaving The Wreck; unless JJ or your friends were with you and you didn’t have to check over your shoulder every few feet. Crossing the imaginary threshold between The Wreck and The Cut always eased your mind, allowing you to slow your steps and cease checking your shoulder. This was also primarily because on The Cut, people knew who you were--not only as a waitress, a pogue, or (Y/N) Routledge, but as ‘JJ Maybank’s girl’. It pissed you off to no-end that people referred to you as ‘JJ’s girl’ more than your own name and you’d often chew people out on it, but you couldn’t deny the protection (and love and warmth and all-things-JJ) it gave you. You and JJ had been dating for two years, and while you loved him more than life and he loved you more than surfing, you often wished you could be seen as your own person: as (Y/N). Regardless of your annoyance at being solely known as JJ’s girl, as you walked the barely-lit streets of The Cut in nothing but a tank top and shorts, you were appreciative of your unofficial title. Very few people were walking around this late at night, but those who were offered you a simple nod or kept their eyes trained on the ground as you passed by, a complete contrast to the tourons near The Wreck. You expected this to continue until you reached your house, no longer looking over your shoulder for an unwanted kook or a touron that didn’t know the rules.
You turned another corner, now only fifteen minutes away from home, and rolled your shoulders to try and release some of the built-up tension you gained from your shift as you walked. You closed your eyes for a brief moment, letting your muscles relax and a gentle breeze from the ocean to cloud your senses. Just as you were about to open your eyes and continue forward, you heard footsteps approaching you from behind. Your eyes shot open and your body turned but before you could see who it was, you felt the barrel of a gun press against your lower back. The metal was cold against your tank top as it dug into you, the owner’s hand coming up to grab your shoulder and keep you from moving away.
“Maybank shouldn’t be leaving his things unattended, especially ones as pretty as you,” a voice muttered into your ear, jabbing the gun harshly into your spine. You froze, trying to place the voice to a face as you heard a vehicle approach and stop beside you.
“I’m not a thing, actually,” you retorted, keeping the fear out of your voice as the man behind you jerked you forward toward the black SUV. The backdoor swung open, but you couldn’t see who was driving it or if there was anyone else waiting for you inside. “What do you want? JJ isn’t his dad, whatever Luke’s done to piss you off is his own problem, not ours.”
The man laughed sharply in your ear as he shoved you forward, causing you to drop your shirt and tumble off the sidewalk, and your torso to fall into the backseat. You yelled out when the man grabbed your legs and pushed your body into the car, your body bending painfully as he slid in beside you. The door slammed shut and the man backed you into the corner of the SUV, caging your body against the door. Your hand shot down to the door handle, yanking on it to open the door and let you fall out, but it didn’t budge.
“Child lock, snowball. You’re not going anywhere.”
You looked up, finally able to see the man’s face as he grinned down at you. His grill shined each time the SUV passed under a streetlight and the black hair dangling in his face tickled your nose from how close he was. Instantly, you brought your foot up and kicked him in the stomach, pushing him away from you as you struggled to sit up.
“What the fuck do you want, Barry?” you snapped while the dealer across from you laughed loudly and held onto his stomach.
He smirked at you, “I forgot how much of a kicker you were, snowball.”
“Maybe you shouldn’t have been tryin’ to sell blow to fucking 8th graders,” you shot back, glaring at him. “Now tell me what the fuck you want.”
He raised his hands in surrender, the smirk never falling from his face. “I want my fucking money back. You little shits stole 25k from my goddamn house.”
“What the fuck are you on about? The last time I went to your shithole was a year ago to buy an 8ball,” you scoffed.
“And while I do miss the revenue you brought me during your time as a cokehead, I’m not talking about you, snowball. Your boy, your brother, your brother’s new whore, the ex-kook, and Heyward’s son stole from me. I know you’re too smart and levelheaded to pull a stunt like that, and the ex-kook and her boyfriend have too much going for them to fuck it up by crossing me. This means it was either your boy or your brother,” Barry explained, his jaw tight with anger as he spoke.
“First of all, Kie and Pope have names. Second of all, they’re not dating. Third of all, what makes you think it wasn’t Sarah? From what I’ve heard, the Cameron’s have a history of robbing you blind.”
“Because my sister is too much of a pansy to pull a stunt like this, and she doesn’t even know who the fuck Barry is.” Your head shot up at the new voice, and you made eye contact with Rafe in the rearview mirror. “You dirty pogues have corrupted my sister.”
“I see someone’s been bitched,” you chuckled with a roll of your eyes. Rafe’s foot slammed on the break and caused you to slam into the back of the passenger seat with an oomph. He turned around, his arm already raised to throw a punch, when Barry grabbed it first.
“Chill the fuck out, Country Club. Can’t go beaten on her just yet. Now hurry the fuck up and get us to the hanger.” Rafe’s nostrils flared at Barry’s demand, and after a moment of his fist flexing in Barry’s hold, Rafe relented. He jerked his arm back and continued driving in silence. “Don’t piss off the driver, snowball,” Barry tsked, waving his finger in your face.
“Look, why would JJ or Birdie steal 25 thousand dollars from you? You know how much JJ despises you and your business because of what it’s done to his dad and the hole I fell into last year, and my brother doesn’t even know who the hell you are. It doesn’t make any sense.”
Barry chuckled, “I see they’ve kept you in the dark. Did they tell you about the gold they found? That they tried pawning off to me this morning?” At the frown on your face and your furrowed brows, Barry laughed even harder. “Oh yeah, they brought in a seven-pound chunk of gold to the shop this morning. Offered ‘em a cashier’s check worth a couple thousand, but your boy is quite the negotiator. So, I sent them to the warehouse for the cash they wanted.”
“And let me take a wild-fucking-guess: on their way, you jumped them, stole the gold, and left them with nothing but dirt under their nails?”
Barry grinned at your words, his tongue sliding over his grill as he laughed. “See, this is why they should’ve brought you along! Would’ve saved them from all the trouble they’ve gotten themselves into.”
You rolled your eyes, “Well fuck, no wonder they stole from you. You stole from them first, Barry. An eye for a fucking eye, it’s the way of the jungle ‘round here. It’s the only damn law you follow.”
“You’re right, it is the only law I follow. Which is why you’re here, snowball. You see, before I could complete my task, they jumped me and stole my wallet and the gold. You’re smart, I bet you’re starting to see the problem now. No gold, no wallet, no 25k,” Barry seethed, the smirk falling from his face as he leaned forward, pushing you back into the corner of the seat. “JJ Maybank stole from me, plain as day. If I had seven pounds of gold in my hand it would be different, I wouldn’t be as pissed. But, you see, I don’t. So, as you said, it’s an eye for an eye. And what better to steal from JJ Maybank, than the only thing he cares about? The only thing he owns?”
“He doesn’t own me, so jot that down.”
Barry threw his head back and laughed loudly, shooting an unnerving feeling down your spine. Rafe laughed along, though anyone could tell it was forced as his eyes darted from the mirror to the road. “This entire goddamn island knows that he owns you, snowball, and you damn well know it too. Which means until I get my money back, you’re my collateral.”
The bruises decorating JJ’s torso ached with each step he took, but he had to keep moving toward the chateau: he had to prove to the others that he was good. He had to prove that he could do the right thing with the money he stole. Even if his dad couldn’t do the right thing, and wouldn’t let him back in the house without another beating, JJ could do the right thing and be good. Even if he stole the money it didn’t matter, because Barry stole his life, and Barry didn’t deserve the money, and Barry wasn’t good. The money would pay off his restitution, and you wouldn’t have to worry about it anymore and Pope wouldn’t have to feel guilty or worry about it anymore, either. Nobody would have to worry about him anymore, and it would all be good.
But as JJ limped up the chateau’s steps, repeating to himself that, ‘it was all good, he was good, and everything would be good,’ he wasn’t expecting for the screen door to slam open and for John B. to body slam him into the ground. The blue thermos shot from his grip as he was flung down the stairs, and JJ couldn’t bite back his scream of pain when his already-aching body slammed into the dirt. He didn’t get a second to gather his bearings before John B. was pummeling his fists into his stomach and his arms and his face and anywhere else he could land a hit. JJ couldn’t even lift his legs to fight off his best friend from beating on his twice-battered body.
“This all your fault!” John B. screamed, his face an angry red as tears and spit rained down onto JJ. “He took her because of you!” He ceased his punches only to wrap his hands around JJ’s throat, squeezing and pressing down in an attempt to strangle the life out of his best friend.
Faintly, JJ could hear Pope, Kie, and Sarah screaming, but he couldn’t understand what they were saying. His entire body felt cold but his head felt hot, and the buzzing in his ears was growing louder and louder until it was all he could hear. He could see John B.’s face above him, his lips moving as he screamed and sobbed, and JJ could see his own blood splattered on his best friend’s jaw and shirt. Black spots began to dance in front of his eyes, moving inward until he could only see the murderous rage filling John B.’s eyes. Just as the darkness settled over him, he felt John B.’s weight lift off of him and air came rushing back into his lungs. For a few seconds, all JJ could do was choke on the air whilst his body convulsed, and someone rolled him onto his side in a desperate hurry.
“-eathe, breathe JJ, come on.” Someone was talking to him, rubbing their hand up and down his back as he continued to shake. He still couldn’t see anything and he couldn’t tell who was talking to him and rubbing his back and all he really wanted to do was blackout for a bit. A harsh slap against the center of his back had other plans, causing the air to finally force itself into his lungs. JJ began to cough violently, continuing to choke on the air that was now entering his body. He tried pushing himself to his knees as he dry-heaved onto the ground, but his shaking arms and legs were too weak to support him.
Pope was yelling in the background, “Chill the fuck out, JB! You almost killed him!”, his voice bringing JJ’s senses back to where they belonged.
“He fucking deserves it! He’s the reason she’s gone!” John B. yelled back, his voice deeper than JJ could remember. JJ blinked a few times, trying to focus on the bloody grass in front of him while his two friends continued fighting in the distance.
“Hey, just keep breathing,” the person helping him - who JJ now recognized as Kie - soothed, pulling his sweaty hair out of his face as more blood dribbled from his lips. She was upset, JJ could tell by the way her hands were shaking and the sound of wet sniffles every few seconds. He opened his mouth to ask what was wrong, who John B. was talking about, but all that came out was a harsh wheeze from his burning lungs and even more blood. “Don’t- don’t say anything. Please, JJ, just… just breathe for a few minutes,” Kie whimpered before a sob slipped from her lips.
He did as she asked and allowed his eyes to close, his body sinking into the ground as he focused on regulating his breathing. After a few minutes, JJ could hear John B. storm inside the chateau, kicking JJ’s crumpled body on his way up the stairs.
“John B., stop it!” Sarah yelled as she followed him inside.
Pope came and knelt in front of JJ, wrapping an arm around his shoulders to help him sit up. “You fucked up, JJ, worse than I ever thought possible,” Pope sighed as he adjusted JJ against the railing.
“What-” JJ broke off to cough into his fist, ignoring the blood that splattered across his hand, “what happened?” His voice was hoarse and barely understandable, but Kie and Pope knew what he was saying.
“You stole twenty-five-thousand dollars from a drug dealer. One of the most nefarious drug dealers on this island, that’s what happened,” Kie said, standing up and pacing in front of the blond. “What did you think was gonna happen, JJ? That he’d let it go?”
“What did he take? The HMS Pogue?” JJ rasped, looking up at his friends in confusion. “(Y/N)’ll be pissed, but we can get it back, or I’ll buy her and John B. a new one with the money.” His thoughts didn’t make sense inside of his pounding head, but he still voiced them regardless.
“How are you so stupid?” Pope yelled, causing JJ to flinch as the other to shot to his feet. “Why would John B. try to kill you over a boat? Don’t you think (Y/N) would be out here yelling at you, too?”
“My girl doesn’t yell, you know that, Pope,” JJ shook his head. “She’s got work and the boat- the boat is all they’ve got left of Big John,” JJ said, coughing a few times. His head was foggy and his vision was still blurry, so he couldn’t see the mentioned boat sitting on the dock to his left.
“No, JJ,” Kie sighed, “Barry didn’t take the HMS. He took (Y/N). He left a note on the van--he wants his money back, plus the gold, and an extra 5k in exchange for (Y/N). He’ll be back in a week to make the trade.”
“He didn’t say what he’d do to her if we don’t give him what he wants but… it’s not something that needs to be said,” Pope whispered as he carefully watched for JJ’s reaction.
A cold chill fell over JJ, causing him to shiver violently despite the warm temperature outside. “You’re lying,” he spat, forcing himself to his feet. Pope and Kie backed up, steering clear of his sudden burst of energy. “You’re fucking lying, she’s not- she’s not gone, he didn’t lay a fucking finger on her. Barry knows better. You just… you just want me to return the money, that’s it, she’s fine, she’s inside right now, she’s-”
“JJ, stop, please,” Kie cried as JJ spun around, tripping over himself in his haste to run up the stairs. Pope grabbed ahold of him before he could make it very far, pulling him away from the house and John B.’s anger. JJ flailed in his grasp, but he was too weak from the lack of oxygen and two beatings his body had just endured, to fight Pope off.
“She’s fine!” he screamed, not noticing the tears that were falling from his eyes. “I told her I would protect her, I promised nobody would ever lay a finger on her! She’s inside, and she’s fine--Barry didn’t fucking touch my girl, you’re lying,” he sobbed, straining against Pope’s hold on his biceps.
“Why would we lie about this?” Kie yelled back, suddenly overwhelmed with having to watch JJ fall apart like this in front of her. “Why would your best fucking friend try and beat you to death if it wasn’t true? Why would the gold have been included in the letter? Huh JJ? Do you think (Y/N) would have ever gone along with something like this?” she screamed, her voice hoarse from crying as well.
“We’re telling the truth, JJ. She’s gone,” Pope said, holding onto JJ even tighter as his thrashing momentarily increased.
JJ let the words wash over him, the truth of his mistake settling deep in his bones. The guilt, and the grief, and the anger weighed him down, and before he could stop himself, he let out a deep, guttural, inhumane scream of agony. Pope couldn’t hold him up anymore as JJ’s knees gave out, his entire body collapsing to the ground while he screamed. His throat burned more than it had before and he didn’t notice when his voice gave out, leaving him a mess on the floor with spit and blood dribbling from his gaping mouth. Pope cradled JJ to his chest, crying into his best friend’s shoulder while Kie fell beside the two, trying to get JJ to breathe again through her own tears.
Half an hour later, you were pulling up beside a hanger at the very back of a storage facility. You knew kooks used this area to store their boats, planes, cars, and other expensive things when they weren’t intending to be used in the near future--so you weren’t surprised when Rafe got out of the van and opened up the hanger, revealing a vintage boat and a handful of different furniture. With hurricane season already underway, and summer having begun, you knew kooks weren’t going to be visiting the storage facility very often, meaning there wasn’t a high hope that someone would stumble across you.
“Welcome to your new home, snowball,” Barry leered, before opening the backdoor and dragging you out of the SUV. He kept the gun pressed against your waist while leading you into the hanger, leaving Rafe to pull the SUV around the corner. It was cold inside, much colder than you were expecting, and you had to fight to keep a shiver from trickling down your spine. “You and I are gonna be real comfortable in here for the next week, maybe longer if your boy doesn’t come through.”
‘He’ll come through’, you thought to yourself, worry spiking inside of you at the mention of JJ. You looked over your shoulder as Rafe came into the hanger and loudly pulled the door down behind him. “So, what? You’re just going to keep me locked up in here until you get what you want? I have a fucking job, Barry. I’ve already called out enough as it is, pulling a no-call-no-show for an entire week is going to get me fired.”
Barry reeled around to stare at you, an incredulous look on his face. “I’ve just kidnapped you and held you at gunpoint, and you’re worried about your damn job?” he asked, waving the gun in front of your face for emphasis.
“Uh, yeah, no shit. My job is the only reason DCS hasn’t snatched me and my brother into the system. Mr. Carrera has agreed to help us maneuver a few technicalities with DCS--so long as I take on extra shifts when needed, and show the fuck up. Plus, a week’s worth of zero tips means bills won’t be paid and stomachs won’t be fed,” you scoffed, knocking the gun away from your face.
“I don’t think you understand the situation you’re in, snowball-”
“Ay, nuh-uh, Country Club. Get your own nickname,” Barry cut in, prompting you to raise your eyebrows.
“Nope. Get your own.”
Rafe paused, glaring down at you in thought, before nodding to himself. “I don’t think you understand the situation you’re in, Maybitch-”
“Oh, you have got to be kidding me,” you groaned, pressing your fingers to your forehead in exasperation. ‘It’s got a nice ring to it, though, and JJ would eat it up… Could even get a laugh out of Pope, I bet,’ you couldn’t help but think.
Barry knocked the gun against Rafe’s shoulder, shutting him up with a look of annoyance. “Your boy has gotten himself in a lotta trouble, 25k worth of trouble. So until I get my fucking money, you’re not going anywhere,” Barry simplified.
You pouted in mock disappointment, “Could you at least write a note to my boss?” Barry groaned with a roll of his eyes before he nodded his head at Rafe and directed him toward something you couldn’t see. “Look, I’m gonna be honest with you, Bear. JJ and the others have probably spent the money already. JJ’s got restitution to pay, Pope has an interview he needs a suit for, Kie’s been wanting a new surfboard, and Birdie’s been wanting to fix up our boat with somethin’ pretty. There’s no way they’d let 25 thousand dollars burn a hole in their pockets.”
Barry chuckled darkly with a shake of his head and turned your body around. He forced you to face the spot he had sent Rafe to, where you saw a metal chair bolted to the ground with Rafe stood beside it. He held a boat chain, a lock, and zip ties in his hands and a wicked grin was cracked along his face. Barry moved your ponytail out of the way so he could lean his chin on your shoulder, taking satisfaction in the way your body trembled. “Trust me, snowball, after they see how well you’ve been treated at Hotel Barry, they’ll find a way to get me my money. And you,” he paused to laugh softly in your ear, “you’ll be providing me all the information I need on where to find the rest of that gold.”
‘I’m so fucked.’
All Writing Taglist (OPEN): @sophster1881 @alilcloudy
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[Arthur Week, Day 3] Midnight Snacks
a/n: in which MC (ft. accomplice Dazai) wants to make the resident flirt, Arthur Conan Doyle, jealous. Why? Who knows! But what I do know is that it ends up working in his favor rather than MC’s... wait, what?
a/n 2: changed the title cuz it was bothering me xD nothing else changed.
My entry for @scummy-writes‘s Arthur Week!
Day 3: Coffee and Fudge || Writer’s Block
[Pairing]: Arthur x You/gn!MC, (pre-relationship)
[Characters]: You, Arthur, Dazai, Sebastian
[Word count]: ~2300 words
[POV]: 2nd Person
“...and all of a sudden, I hear Mozart yell ‘stop releasing chickens in my music room!’ but Dazai didn’t even flinch!” You brought a foam-covered hand up to your mouth to cover your laughter.
You and Sebastian were cleaning the dishes together after lunch time. You’ve made it a habit to catch up on your day and share observations with Sebas, as pretty much no one steps into the kitchen around this time.
Well, that is except—
Except Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, naturally. He must’ve finished his writing session and been wandering around the mansion, as is his trademark since your arrival.
You closed your eyes, hoping the man would walk past the kitchen without checking. You weren’t exactly in the mood for flirty games with the mystery writer, especially not after dealing with a haughty music teacher in Mozart. Sadly, luck was not on your side, today.
“I’ll tell you the rest later,” you wipe your hands with a towel. Picking up the tray of plates and cups to put them in their rightful places, you didn’t pay the writer any mind.
“After this I gotta find Dazai,” you said as you opened a cupboard. Your turned around to find Arthur leaning on the door frame, and your tone shifted dramatically, “Oh! Arthur, funny to see you here.”
Sebastian knew that tone very well. It was your sickeningly sweet voice that you dedicated to either (a) dodging conversation, or (b) planning something against that person.
“I’d say the same to you, ___, but you’re always in the kitchen. I couldn’t help dropping in to check on my favorite bird,” Arthur leaned against the door frame, flashing you a grin and a wink.
“Oh please, don’t talk about birds after what happened this morning,” You caught sight of your target at the end of the hallway, “aaaand I have to go, see ya!”
You duck under Arthur’s arm while his guard was down. He twirled around to follow you, but you evaded him, calling out to Dazai. Arthur stood in his tracks, as he watched the japanese author stop for you, and you beamed up at him.
“Dazai-san, I’ve been wanting to ask you for something, if you’re… free,” you noticed mid-sentence that the chicken that was still nestled in his arms.
“Hm?” His piercing yellow eyes brightened, “I’ll always have time for you, Toshiko-san.”
“Bawk!” The chicken… agreed, supposedly.
You laughed sheepishly, “That’s very sweet of you, I was actually interested in learning about your writing style and get some advice. I’ve been going through some terrible writer’s block.”
“I was working on a short story earlier, it’s in my room. Want to come with me?” He began to lead her towards his room.
“I’m honored! I’d love to, Dazai-san.”
Oh yes, you were definitely planning something, Sebastian noted.
As the two of them walked away, Arthur stood glued watching the scene. Sebastian had been poking his arm the whole time, but he didn’t budge. Even shaking his entire arm didn’t spur any sudden movement from him.
“Sir Arthur. Earth to Sir Arthur,” Sebas continued tapping his shoulder and pinching his arm.
“Huh? Oh…” His gaze held an odd expression, one that Sebastian hadn’t seen from him before—a hint of sadness, maybe even frustration. But it was quickly replaced by his signature grin as he finally took notice of me, “Sorry, Sebas, I must’ve been blocking your path, got to go!”
And just like that, he scurried off.
After a moment’s pause, and after making sure the hallway was clear of esteemed residents, Sebastian did much the same, but in the opposite direction. He has notes to take, pronto.
You and Dazai sat in the lounge room, having passed by his room, and Dazai collected his writing material.
“You have really pretty hands, Toshiko-san. I’ve heard you playing in Mo-kun’s piano room, you’re a wonderful pianist,” Dazai held your hand delicately in his, as he ran his thumb over your knuckles.
“Thank you, it’s something I take a lot of pride in,” your heart swelled from the warmth of his compliment, “but I’ve been much more interested with writing as of late. Actually, I’ve always wanted to write a novel.”
“Oh? I admire your ambition. How can I help?”
“Well well well, what do we have here?” A third voice chimed in.
Right on time, as you expected.
“Have I interrupted your little rendezvous?” Arthur walked slowly and purposefully, as if he had caught them red-handed doing something they shouldn’t.
Internally, he was trying his best not to jump to conclusions. That would be uncharacteristic of him, after all. You weren’t tied to him in anyway, so there was no reason to feel so jealous that you went to Dazai for writing help instead of him. He didn’t even know about it!
So why was his heart pounding so loudly in his head while his eyes were fixated on their linked hands?
Dazai withdrew his hand, occupying it with his writing pen instead. He shot Arthur a smile with closed eyes.
“Of course not, we were just talking, Arty.”
“…Don’t call me that,” Arthur narrowed his eyes, “and second, I’d like to steal ____ now.”
“I’m sorry, Arthur, but I want to talk with Dazai a bit to improve my writing.”
Being shot down so directly caught Arthur off-guard; his insecurities getting a hold of him. For the first time, he found himself at a loss for ways to turn the conversation in his favor. At the moment, if he persisted, and you kept turning him down, he wouldn’t be able to let it down for the rest of the day.
Instead, Arthur straightened himself, fixing his tie, “Well then, I’m heading to the pub soon enough to find me a pretty skirt for the evening. Have fun, you two, I know I will.”
He huffed childishly, going out with a wave. Dazai turned to you with a polite smile.
“Do you think it worked?”
“Oh, he is definitely salty, thanks for agreeing to this, Dazai-san.”
“Any time, Yoshie-san, what are housemates for?” He smiled fondly at you.
“You’re a great actor, didn’t even flinch!”
“Ah, but who said I was acting?”
He got up with his writing tools and stepped out of the lounge before you registered what he said.
Later that evening…
…Well, more like around midnight, you just happened to catch the insomnia bug and were heading to the kitchen, as all people naturally do when they’re insomniac. You switched on the lights, thankful for the dimness of the lanterns in the kitchen. Scanning your options, your eyes settled on the coffee pot that sat quietly in the corner. Thoughts of a certain mystery writer gnawed at you, but you darted them away and walked past the coffee pot to get a glass of water instead. You leaned forward, filling her glass with bleary eyes that refused to slumber but also refused to open properly.
Suddenly, you felt a touch to your backside. Eyes cracking wide open, you spun around and swung your makeshift weapon of glass at your offender. The offending mop of ash blue hair felt the full force of the blow, and the glass shattered across the floor.
“Ow… If I’m not mistaken, I’d say you were trying to kill me there, ____.”
For the love—.
“Arthur what the hell were you trying to pull?! Bloody hell! You made my heart drop.”
In a flash, his body was pressed against yours, caging you between his arms and the kitchen counter. The crunch of the glass under his shoes was the only sound in the room. You saw a small stream of blood start to fall by his ear.
“I was going to prepare myself a midnight snack with my coffee, but it seems I already found one ready for a taste test,” he licked the back of his fangs.
“At this hour??” It was well past midnight by now, and caffeine was the last thing you’d recommend anyone at this time.
You felt his breath on your ear before he inhaled your scent. It was comforting to him as much as it was intoxicating to his senses.
He sighed, “____… I can’t get you out of my mind, no matter what I do.”
His arms circled around your waist, pulling you away from the countertop and flush against him, instead. All sorts of alarms were going off in your mind despite the drowsiness, with your instincts telling you to push him off.
“But then, you started avoiding me. And then… Sebastian and Mozart and even Dazai took you away from me,” he sniffled.
You pushed him off gently but still within his arms, as you stared at his face. There was a pink dust across his cheeks and a redness in the corners of his eyes.
“Arthur, are you… drunk?”
His frown flipped into a grin as he nuzzled his nose into your disheveled hair.
“Oh, don’t be silly, dear. I may have been out drinking, but I can bloody well hold my liquor. Theo can vouch for me on that.”
(a/n: no, he can’t lmao)
The sight of him in a somewhat vulnerable state, as well as the smell of his cologne, made it hard for you to properly fight him. Plus, you felt bad for crushing a glass cup on his head. Speaking of which…
“Is your head okay?”
“Hm…” He brought a gloved hand to his forehead, feeling a dull pounding in its wake, “I must say, you got me good, even the most daring fools never landed a hit on me yet.”
Just how thick is his skull to endure that?! You were both dazzled and frightened by their realization.
With one of his arms off of you, you took this chance to escape, but you slid on a shard of glass and would have fallen face first onto the floor had Arthur not pulled you against him and taken the impact of the floor to his own shoulder. He laid on his back, clutching you protectively against his chest. He groaned with pain, but he pushed it aside to check on you first.
“Clumsy tonight, are we, or are you seriously trying to kill me?” He chuckled wryly.
Before you could even blink, you felt your vision do a 180-flip, and you were suddenly beneath him, away from the glass shards that littered the floor. The scent of his cologne flooded your senses again, as he smirked down on you with a drunken lopsided grin.
“I was absolutely livid when I saw Dazai hold your hand. Was that part of your plan, darling? Well, I’ve taken the bait.”
You flinched, your body wide awake to every touch and caress of this man. You bit your lip to avoid playing into his hands. You were still in control of the situation, you thought. His lips descended to your jaw, barely brushing your skin, like he’s testing your limits. Instinctively, you sighed, unaware of the breath you’d been holding.
Ok, maybe you weren’t entirely in control, either.
“Arthur…” You commanded, trying to regain some semblance of control back.
This was not part of your plan, however, and you were quickly losing grip of all reason and logic. You needed to get him off and away from you before you acquiesced to his ministrations.
“But don’t worry, ____. I won’t do anything you don’t want me to.”
He drew back from you, staring down at you with an uncharacteristic tender look. He continued.
“The effect you have on me is not one I’ve felt with any woman I’ve ever encountered before. It’s confusing—maddening, even— and I can’t escape it… because I don’t want to,” he sighed in surrender, “I want you, ___.”
It was a look of pure love and affection that shone in his eyes. His half-opened shirt invited your gaze to roam his body, and his thick-rimmed glasses framed his features in such an alluring glow that outshone the dimness of the kitchen. His hair looked softer than usual, too. Your hand twitched at the thought of running your fingers through those ash blue locks. Your mind was thrown into a whirlwind with the influx of new information, one that dented your rationality. Your desire to get closer to him wrestled against your impartial stoicism, threatening to crack the armor around the stone gates to your heart.
“Hey Arthur,” you started, twirling a lock of his hair with your hand. It was ever-so-slightly damp; he must’ve bathed in le thermae earlier.
Damn that seductive voice of his, you shooed away that thought as soon as it entered. You chose to focus on something much more pressing at the moment.
“We need to get you bandaged up. You’re bleeding terribly from your head.”
It took a lot of convincing, but Arthur finally acquiesced to your persistent request.
“There, all done,” you stepped back from Arthur, who was sitting hunched over on his bed.
You were both settled in his room with his medical bag open on the desk and his equipment strewn all around. You didn’t exactly know what to do to treat Arthur’s wound, but you insisted on doing it for him… with copious amounts of instructions from him.
“I brought you some fresh coffee and fudge, as an apology.”
“At this hour?” He mimicked your tone from earlier. You rolled your eyes at his childishness.
“And here I am trying to make it up to you, and this is how you show gratitude?”
You huffed indignantly, ready to head out and leave the unappreciative writer to his own devices.
“Hold on, now,” he gripped your wrist before you could fully turn away, “you’re the one who smashed glass on my head, so you owe me a favor.”
“…a favor on top of tending to your wounds and bringing you coffee?”
“Oh, indulge me, won’t you? You did those of your own volition.”
You sigh, “Depends on the request, then.”
“Feed me,” he perked up with no hesitation or embarrassment in his tone.
You wanted to turn him down, to tease him about his child-like excitement, but you couldn’t resist his puppy dog eyes. Those eyes held a very powerful hold over you though you blame it on your own tiredness outweighing your better judgment.
“Alright…” You moved aside his things to sit next to him, leaning towards the table to drag the tray closer to yourself.
“Open wide, you incorrigible baby.”
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Just Let Me Help You
Summary: Zuko, trying to keep is girlfriend safe, unintentionally gains the trust of the Gaang after a showdown with Combustion Man.
Word Count: 2728
Fandom: ATLA (Avatar: The Last Airbender)
Pairing: Zuko x Fem!Reader
Genre: Mostly fluff, is fluff-angst a thing? Idk guys I’m soft, you tell me.
Content Warnings: Profanity, some gore graphics (brief mentions of blood, killing, murder), uhhhh that’s it I think I’m sorry if I forget anything else.
****Huge shout-out to my friends Kenz and Jenna for editing this and hyping me up. Hopefully, since this semester from Hell will be over soon, I’ll be able to write more. Please request things! Thank-you all for supporting this and let me know more of what you want to see in the future :) Also, feedback is always welcome. Enjoy!****
They had landed the war balloon days ago, stalking the tired and defeated Team Avatar and trying to figure out how the complicated Fire Prince would convince the people he chased for months that he wants to help them now.
(Y/N) was stoking the hot flame provided by the fire bender, making sure the coals were burning a cherry red before she added leaves and herbs into a pot to make a stew for the two to enjoy. Her eyes followed Zuko as he paced back and forth, practicing what he was going to say when he finally decided to confront the rebel group, lips turned upward in an amused smirk.
“Hey, Zuko here…” she heard him say before he started rambling a bunch of nonsense about his past; from his discovery, to Azula, to his father-- all the tragic topics. It took him about three minutes, but he finished with a hopeful look in his direction.
“Well?!” He clenched his fists at his side in a nervous gesture, only wanting to get this right.
The girl on the log cleared her throat before speaking, obviously hiding her laughter from the sensitive boy. “Well… it’s perfect. I especially liked the ‘Hey, Zuko here’ part. I’m sure that Aang and his friends with be very pleased to finally learn your name instead of thinking you’re called ‘Angry Ponytail Hotman’.’’
He groaned loudly, rubbing his eyes with clenched fists. The melodic laughter from his companion tempted him to give up his quest and just run away with her and live a happy life free of his father and his destiny… whatever that may be.
Still laughing, (Y/N) stood from her log by the fire and made her way to Zuko, coming up behind him. Her arms slid right around his slim body, holding on tight as she tried to pull his mind from the depths of his insecurities.
“Zuko, love.” Her voice is soft, but intense. “Just go down there. I won’t lie, they might not take you right away. You have done a lot of damage to them and their goals.”
His warm hands slide down the tops of her forearms and slide between her chilled fingers, entwining them together as Zuko grips her like she’s holding him down on the land they’re on.
“I… I just…” He struggles to get his feelings out, finding it hard to convey how he feels even to the girl wrapped around him.
She shushes him. “I know.” Is all she says, as they stand there in a momentary comfortable silence before she detaches from him to continue dinner.
Zuko had told her to stay behind, that he’d be back to either get her or because he failed to convince the group that he came to support them, instead of harm them.
“Zuko! I could easily be an alibi for you. A reason for them to trust you!”
“No. End of story. They could attack me and you’re in Fire Nation clothes. You’re staying here.”
A staring match between the two only lasted a few seconds, but (Y/N) let it go; remembering Iroh’s advice that sometimes the boy has to do what eases his mind to grow.
The empty pot gleamed an orange glow from the flames, a light in the dark woods that surrounded the two as they lounged by the fire.
(Y/N) was carding her fingers through the upset prince’s hair while he stared at the sky; confused. His emotions spilling onto (Y/N). He didn’t talk much about the encounter, only enough to tell her that they wouldn’t be helping the Avatar defeat his father anytime soon. Rather than pressure him, she offered her solace with calming actions rather than words.
The two had met in their early childhood, (Y/N)’s father being the leader of the Yuyan Archers and of course the Fire Lord wanted the talented girl to meet his… troubled son. In hope that she could help bend his son into the ruthless leader the nations needed to proceed him. Though they didn’t see each other as much as they should have due to (Y/N)’s schooling, the two quickly became close friends and were often found with Lady Ursa quietly running around the palace grounds.
His banishment led to (Y/N) perfecting her skills, and becoming the master she was destined to be, given there was no more distraction. No one could understand her in the way that Zuko did— they fit together like they were made for one another. Where he was hotheaded, she was cool; Where he was nimble and direct, she was resourceful and hidden. The two were the perfect set of opposites who ultimately balanced each other. And one without the other was a heartbreak everyone could see.
When she heard the news of his return, she rushed to the palace; radiant as ever. In an instant, the two fell back into where they left off; barely any words needed between the two. Her fingers and lips had trailed over his scar often in those few days, brushing away the tears and insecurities that came with it.
Leaving the Fire Nation with Zuko wasn’t even a debate in her mind. She was tired of the life of lies and torment that her nation inflicted upon the world. She had spent the last two years relocating and rebranding people who were targets to the Fire Nation. In total, about one hundred innocent lives were saved from her dangerous missions. Her skill level was better than even her father’s, and she prided herself in her abilities. (Y/N) was truly a professional in her art with the eye of an eagle.
When she caught Zuko writing a letter to her with packed bags on his bed, she instantly went into the shadows and caught up with the boy easily, hiding in the balloon behind the engine for a while until it was too late for him to turn back. It was hot and the most uncomfortable thing she has ever done, but she regrets none of it. She joked with the boy; how did he not question a pile of fabric behind the piece of equipment that holds fire? She let it go after he hugged her close and cried for a while.
“Don’t do that shit again, Zuko.” Her voice was stern, though her voice stern, she held him close. She ghosted her fingers over his tense shoulders; the shoulder that carried such burdens. She pressed her fingers into his shoulders; trying her best to rub the tension from his body.
“I won’t. Never again. Don’t leave me, I need you.”
A rustle of leaves and broken trees in the forest near the edge of their little camp put the two into defense, instantly gripping her perfectly crafted bow and quiver. Her ears pricked at a slight movement and she aimed her bows in the direction of the noise without even looking. Suddenly, green clothes fill the area as a younger girl makes her way into the clearing. Startled, Zuko sends a wave of fire towards the intruder, burning the girl.
Everything happened fast.
(Y/N)’s left foot—her plant foot—sunk into the ground and twisted inward, releasing a loud crack into the air. The Earth girl was long gone now; Zuko had been screaming at himself when he heard the cry of pain and the sickening noise that left the lips of his girlfriend.
The earth has released its hold on her, but the damage was done. She kneeled, trying to hold back tears but failing as they kept streaming down her face in a pain response. Zuko’s own eyes filled with tears as he ran over to her, helping her sit down and take the tension off of it.
The joint was already beginning to swell, black and blue and purple and yellow starting to show up in swirls around the area. Zuko carefully tried to feel the injury, barely touching the girl in fear of hurting her more. (Y/N) sighed, pushing his fingers away and ignoring his protest. She rotated her foot outward, cringing at the pain, but crying out when she turned it the other way. Zuko cupped his hands around her ankle, hands heated slightly to hopefully alleviate the pain.
“Baby… it’s okay—”
“No, you’re hurt! I knew this would happen!” He cuts her off with a panicked yell. (Y/N) places her hands on the sides of his face, forcing his eyes upon hers with a slight wince of discomfort.
“It’s most definitely, at worst, a fracture. I can still move it outwards without a lot of pain. It’s, like, a week off my foot at most and then another week with a splint and a crutch. I am okay, Zuko.” They stared at each other for a solid minute, saying nothing.
"Promise?" Zuko whispered.
"You think I would lie to you, Zuko?" She says as she wraps her pinky his for good measure
They turn in not too long after, (Y/N)’s ankle wrapped up in some extra clothes for stability. Zuko’s arms hold her to his chest as they slip off into the world of dreams.
Oh shit. She thought from her perch on top of the cliff edge. The assassin that they have also been trying to find has been blowing up the place, really testing the stability of the edge of the cliff in shakes after shakes like an earthquake. Zuko had told her to stay at camp, but unfortunately for Zuko; (Y/N) was never that good at listening to commands.
She was sitting down, watching the Avatar, his friends, and her boyfriend try to figure out how to win this fight against the combustion bender, feet dangling over the edge. She didn’t want any pressure on her foot from standing on it; settling for the dull throbs of pain coming from the force of gravity alone.
Some third eye. (Y/N) thought to herself as she watched her boyfriend get too close to being blown off the edge of the cliff, wincing. She quickly strung her bow, aiming it at the man. She smirked, a devious smirk, and aimed it in a precise location.
Zuko was still trying to talk the man out of it when suddenly, his eyes went blank and the grossest sound he has ever heard reached his ears. Everyone watched the man, confused as to why he just stopped. It’s not until red trails down his forehead and around his nose in a slow trickle that they look at his eye.
In the middle of the red eye, that at one point seemed indestructible; an arrow sat; a perfect shot — his perfect shot. "Bullseye!" (Y/N) howled, her voice resonating in his ears.
In the midst of Zuko's panic, he failed to recognize the cliff he was standing on becoming increasingly unsturdy; turning he locked eyes with the archer. A ghost of a smile graced her lips, pride radiating off of her. Though he was angry, he couldn't help but share her pride. He locked eyes with his girlfriend who was sitting nonchalantly on the cliff edge above them all, waving nonetheless, when he told her to stay back. It’s then that the earth beneath him rumbles and falls, taking him with it.
“Zuko!” She screams, jumping to her feet; a loud crack coming from her ankle, buckling under the pressure and bringing her to her knees.
With a hobble in her step, (Y/N) climbed down the cliffside. The tears ran down her face at a ferocious pace, making her way over to the cliffside, a loud sob relented from her mouth as she saw Aang helping Zuko up over the edge of the cliff.
"Spirits, Zuko!" She breathed, limping her way over to him and hugging him tight. "I should kill you, you fucking idiot!" She sobbed, pulling him into her chest.
Zuko huffed out a laugh, wrapping his arms around her. He took deep breaths, calming his nerves from his near death experience; he focused on the feeling of her hand carding through his hair to grip it tight, and the hold on his shoulders. As he calms down, he remembers that he told her to stay put; and he sharply pulls away.
"I told you to stay at camp!" He huffed, "I told you I was coming back for you!”
She scoffs pushing on his forehead with two fingers. “In case you have forgotten, Zuko, I have authority issues. If I weren’t here, who would be saving your stupid royal ass? No one! You’re welcome, by the way. He wasn’t going to negotiate, Prince Pouty, and you and everyone else here is no good to the world dead.”
“You—You---You could’ve been hurt! (Y/N)! Or worse!” His protest was a whisper, trying to make the scene more private as he’s aware of the crowd around them.
“Zuko, love, I can handle myself. I’m a master at my craft--.”
"—your craft of carelessness, you could've been killed—"
"—but I wasn't Zuko!"
"That's not the point." His voice stern, making it clear that the conversation was done for now. (Y/N) simply nodded, pulling away from him and fixing her clothes.
Aang, Toph, Katara and Sokka watched the two as they argued; watching as they continuously tried to out-care the other. They watched as the two eventually stopped arguing, instead remained staring, as if daring each other to speak
“That was a ... nice shot? I guess?" Aang spoke, clearing his throat and drawing the couples attention to him. "He's definitely you know, dead."
(Y/N) smiles at the boy. “Thank you, Avatar, for helping save this dumb ass from falling off a cliff.” She gets up and bows to him. Zuko suddenly picks her up, the world turning sideways as he put her bridal style in his arms.
“Stop putting weight on your ankle!”
“I’m literally showing respect to the person who just helped you, is that a crime?”
“What if you break your ankle so much that you have to cut it off.”
“Oh, now you’re just being ridiculous.”
“Okay well you were first when deciding to sit on the edge of a cliff with a broken ankle.”
“You’re right! Sitting is dangerous. Next time, I’ll make sure to stand so at least I’ll have a better chance of reacting if the cliff side starts falling from under me. Oh wait, you were standing, and you still fell.”
Zuko sets her down on a broken rock that’s suitable enough for her to sit on. “Will you just shut up already and let me help you.” He reaches for her ankle, but she moves it from his grasp. Their eyes meet again and narrow in competition.
A mess of limbs as the (Y/N) evades the grip of Zuko, occasionally slapping his hands away if they get too close.
Sokka tilts his head in confusion and opens his mouth. “Is he—is he actually caring for someone?”
Aang nods. “I think? I don’t know, they’re kind of fighting a lot.”
Toph cringes, “Guys, I think it was me who hurt her in the first place. Last night at their camp. Zuko instantly stopped trying to help me when I heard her scream.”
“Guys… I think I’m supposed to let him be my master. I mean, he did just risk everything to save us.” Aang says, eyes locked on the one member who he cares more about than anyone.
Katara, still holding off on agreeing, looks to the two Fire Nation kids again.
“Ow! You bit me! Are you crazy?!” Zuko yells, shaking his left hand out.
The stranger girl laughs cheerfully. “Only crazy for you, stupid.”
And a phenomenon occurs. Prince Zuko of the Fire Nation blushes and looks down at the ground, a huge smile on his face.
“I hate you.” Is all he says.
“Yeah, I love you too.”
Katara, seeing the humane side of the prince, finally lets her guard down and walks over to them. Zuko’s eyes widen at her proximity, but the water tribe girl holds his gaze.
“I’ll heal the girl if it gets you two to shut up. And you have to find dinner for tonight.”
Katara’s eyes widen again at the sight of the crying prince who suddenly bows to her feet, thanking her with his whole heart. He then turns to his smiling girl beside him and pulls her into a hug.
“Thank you, (Y/N). For everything.”
“I’ll always help you… stupid.”
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Delicate. — Part 1.
word count: 2.6k
a/n: Here we are fam, i gotta be honest with y’all, this is heavily inspired in the fact that i watched Miss Americana twice this month, what resulted in me going through my taylor swfit phase again. Pls bare with me, i haven’t written anything like this before.
catch up here!
They said artists become what they are because deep down they are as insecure if not more than normal people. Because they craved constant validation in what they do.
At least it was the case for Y/n.
A girl who has built an entire system around being accepted by the public, someone who their major source of happiness is provided by strangers all around the world. When you are living from the approval of strangers and that is where you drive all your joy and fulfillment, one bad thing can cause everything to go down. Y/n has spent her whole life trying to please the world so they would like her, so what she has achieved over the years would last.
When the world turned their back on her, Y/n had no choice but to disappear, because she thought that was what everyone wanted. Even then, she made her choices around what she thought would make them happy.
Y/n knew she could not hide forever, but for now, it was a necessary evil she had to take. Deciding to take a break from everything was the healthiest decision she has ever made, shutting down her social media, getting out of the city and going back home with her family was exactly what she needed.
"Mom was sad she couldn't pick you up from the airport."
Seventeen-year-old Jensen, whose driving license was still new and fresh, was the one who picked Y/n up when her flight landed. In complete honesty, she did not like using a private plane, but she could not risk someone seeing where she was going. Jensen was good at driving, well, he has not crashed into a tree yet, so they were safe.
"She would've brought Chase and scare Pandora and Lizzie."
Jensen chuckled. "She's obsessed with him. I haven't started college yet and she's already thinking about turning my room into Chase's."
Her parents’ house was a gated property away from others since it was safer that way. Y/n would not stay there the whole time since she had her own apartment a little closer to town. Her luggage, as well as her cats, were picked up separately and taken to her home, she would go there after lunch with her family. Jensen parked next to a black range rover that belonged to their dad, meaning both of their parents were home.
Y/n threw her backpack over her shoulder as she stepped out of the car, eager to finally reunite with her family, especially her mother. She is in desperate need of a tight hug, a mug of hot chocolate and a shoulder to cry on. Y/n did not realize how mentally drained she was until she saw her mother open the front door.
"My baby!" Louise exclaimed, embracing her daughter in a tight hug. "How was the flight?"
"It was fine. I'm starving though."
They walked into the living room and Louise closed the door behind them. Y/n dropped her backpack on one of the couches and sighed in relief. “Where’s dad?” Jensen went straight to the kitchen and opened the fridge.
“Get the white wine.” Y/n told him.
“It’s too early to drink that.” Louise took the bottle from Jensen’s hands and put it back in the fridge. “Dad’s outside. We bought some roses that will look beautiful by the pool.”
“You’re buying a lot of plants lately.” Y/n pointed a big vase full of daisies, her mom’s favorites, on the kitchen’s island.
“I like supporting local business.” She shrugged.
“That and she’s obsessed with the owner of the flower shop.” Jensen chuckled, cracking open a water bottle.
“Hey! That’s not true.”
“Mom, you there like… every day. Who needs new flowers every day?”
“Shush.” The elder woman faked offense then gigged. “Handsome young man, he is. I’ll take you tomorrow.” She turned to Y/n.
“Oh, no, mom. I’m going to lock myself in my apartment and try to write.” She said, making Louise scoff. “I’m serious!”
“I know you are. But living like a hermit is not going to do you any good.”
“I agree, sis.”
Y/n rolled her eyes, knowing they were right as always but did not want to admit it. The truth was, she wanted to write some songs, so badly, but could not find the right words. She was hoping to get some peace and quiet to get her ideas and emotions in order again. Before any of them could say anything else, David entered the kitchen while taking off his gardening gloves and smiled widely when he spotted Y/n.
“And who do we have here?”
“Hi, dad.” Y/n smiled at him brightly before wrapping her arms around her dad, who hugged her back just as tight.
“Good to have you home, darling.”
The family of four sat on the kitchen island and started to catch up. Jensen talked about his different college options and how he was considering getting a summer job this year. Louise kept talking about how nice the owner of this flower shop was, making emphasis on how he was also single. Y/n didn’t know what she was trying to do, but she didn’t pay much attention either.
Overall it was nice for Y/n to get out of her head for a little bit, and her family was always a great help for that. She knew she still had a lot to deal with, and she would probably get a call from her publicist and a lot of other people soon, but for now, she just wanted to think about anything else that wasn't the whole world hating on her.
"How are you doing, Y/n? Be honest." Her mom asked after they stayed alone in the kitchen.
"Been better." She sighed. "I don't want to think about it, mom."
"You have to talk to someone, sweetie. I know your team cares for you and is trying to handle the situation, but you can still talk to me."
"I know, thank you. I'm just trying to figure it what I'm going to do."
Louise sighed. "You sure you don't want to stay here? You have your room and everything."
"Thanks for the offer, mom. But I sort of want to be on my own." She said. "But I'll come for lunch every day, I promise."
Although Louise wasn't convinced by her daughter's words, she chose to not push it. She knew Y/n had her own ways to express her feelings, and she'd talk whenever she felt like it. So she let her go, making her promise she'd come to visit soon.
"Do you need a ride? I'm going to town anyway." Jensen offered, taking the keys of his car from the little plate they kept on the table beside the front door.
The drive to her apartment wasn't a long one, and in less than ten minutes she was opening her front door and being greeted by her two beautiful cats rubbing themselves on her legs. Y/n sighed, thinking about how much she needed to unpack now that she was here. The truth was, she didn't know for how long she'd be staying here, but she figured it'd be a long time so she packed a lot. Now she kind of regretted it because she would probably be in her pajamas all day anyway.
After cleaning Pandora and Lizzie's sandbox, Y/n decided to grab an acoustic guitar and try to come up with some melodies. She wasn't quite sure about any lyrics yet, but it was always good to have a little something to start a song.
She went from playing the guitar to play the piano, hoping she'd get more inspirations somewhere. But she had nothing. Not even one decent note. She was empty.
"Don't pretend is... mhmm. Think about the... No." She groaned and slammed the palm of her hands on the keyboard, growing frustrated. Why all of a sudden she couldn't even rhyme? Maybe she needed a break, or perhaps she was tired from her flight and tomorrow she'd be able to write something.
Turns out her writer's block was here to stay. A week has passed since her arrival and Y/n hasn't been able to finish one single song. Everything she started ended up being erased or in the middle of her living room after the ripped the page off her journal.
"I told you, you shouldn't hurry. Inspiration will come eventually, it always does."
"I guess. I just have nothing else to do other than play scrabble with you and write songs, or at least try to."
"Let me take out then." Louise started and Y/n shakes her head. "C'mon, let's eat somewhere or buy groceries and I'll cock at your place." Y/n looked at her mom and realized she wouldn't stop until she accepted, so Y/n offered Louise a nod. "Marvelous. There's this little café that I absolutely love. You'll love the owner."
"What is it with you and the owners of local shops?"
"They're my friends. Oh! We could drop by Blossom House. You could use some flowers around your house so it would look like somebody actually lives there."
"Stop dragging me, woman."
Louise drove them to this café called Furry Cakes, which turned out to be a cat café. Y/n obviously lost it as soon as they walked in, and nearly cried when she saw all the kittens, and absolutely shed a tear when the girl behind the register said every kitty except for one named Chaster was up for adoption. She felt like a little girl all over again when her mom told her she couldn't take every single kitty home.
Y/n was wearing a hoodie that was twice her size, plus some big sunglasses she refused to take off, even inside of the café. She was praying she wouldn't get recognized as she knew people were dying for a picture of her, see how she was after the entire world canceled her.
"We'll leave the car parked here, the flower shop is just around the corner." Louise pulled from Y/n's hand to make her walk faster. There weren't a lot of people on the streets and she was grateful for that, she hasn't gotten a proper walk in what felt like ages.
They stopped outside a modern-looking building with a big, bright sign that read 'The Blossom House'. It was simple yet cute. The pair stepped in and a little bell ringed. Y/n looked around, admiring how everything looked like it was straight out of a fairytale. There were little pots hanging from the ceiling and she looked up, she saw the ceiling was pure glass, which made the whole place brighter. Flowers weren't really her thing as she could barely keep them alive, but seeing this amount of flowers all in the same place... made her somewhat happy and warm inside.
She was so deep in thought she didn't even realize her mom left her and was nowhere to be found. It doesn't look like it from outside, but the shop was actually big and very spacious. It was also empty right now, not even an employee was around, so she decided to have a look on her own. It looked like they had all kinds of flowers in here, which made her even more excited because that meant they had-
"Azaleas? They're also my favorites." A deep voice interrupted her thoughts. She jumped on her place as she wasn't expecting it, which made the person behind her chuckle. "I didn't mean to scare you, sorry."
"It's okay..." She turned around and it was fair to say that was she saw stunned her right away.
In front of her, a gorgeous looking man was standing there with a bright smile on his face. She noticed the two dimples poking at each side of his face, making his smile even more beautiful. His emerald green eyes were the greenest eyes she has ever seen in her life, she believed. He had crinkles by his eyes due to his smile being wide. But to her, the icing of the cake was the beautiful mop of chocolate curls he had on the top of his head. She suddenly felt the insane urge to run her hands through it just to see if they were as soft as they looked.
"Harry, darling!" Louise appeared out of nowhere and wrapped her arms around the man, who only chuckled while reciprocating the greeting.
"Hello, Louise. What's it gonna be today? Tulips? More daisies?" Oh God, he's British. Y/n thought to herself.
"Gosh, you know me so well. I'm actually here just to look around, I see you found my daughter though." She smirked.
"I surely did. I'm Harry, nice to meet you, love." He offered her a hand for her to shake.
Y/n was a little surprised by the pet name but took his hand nonetheless. "I'm Y/n, nice to meet you too."
"I want her to get some plants for her house." Louise spoke again.
"Well, you're in the right place then." He said. "Do you want them for your garden?"
"No, uhm... I don't have one. I live in an apartment."
"Personally, my favorite to keep indoors are Begonias." Harry guided the two women to a different section of the flower shop and pointed to some pretty ones in pink color. "But I also enjoy Daylilies, although they're a little harder to maintain."
"Yeah, maybe not those then. I'm not very good at keeping plants alive."
"She killed a cactus once." Louise mentioned.
"I didn't know they'd drown if I watered them more than once a week!" Y/n defended herself.
"Amateur mistake." He joked.
The truth was Y/n was too busy to have a garden, she was always traveling and didn't stay too long in one place so even if she tries to have one, it'd be dead by the end of the month.
"What plants are cat friendly? I have two at home."
"Bromeliads are cat friendly, they're easy to maintain too."
They looked around for a little bit. Harry said a fun fact about every type of flower Y/n pointed out, never failing to make her laugh. The funny thing was, it didn't look like Harry knew who she was. Either he hasn't recognized her, or he didn't know about her. Which by the way, not to be a narcissist, would be highly unlikely.
She ended up taking a couple of new plants home, starting to grow excited about them. It was true, her apartment could use a little more life to it, and now she was sure her new plants would do that for her. Harry was wrapping everything for them while he stood behind the counter.
"Oh, here. This one's on the house." Harry handed her a pot with some beautiful blue Azaleas. She took them with a growing blush on her face, a blush that went deeper when their hands brushed with each other. "Try to not kill them though." He teased.
Y/n rolled her eyes as her mom chuckled behind her. "I'll report their aliveness back to you, you'll see."
"You better. Have a nice day, ladies. I'm guessing I'll see you around, Y/n?"
"Sure, I'm uh... I'm living here right now."
Harry smiled at them one last time before they exited the shop. After the door closed behind them, Louise turned to Y/n. "He likes you."
"Don't be ridiculous."
"What do you say if we invite him for dinner sometime?"
"Like, at your house?" She asked surprised.
"Yeah, why not?"
"I have to keep a low profile, mother. For all I know he could be tweeting about I just exited his shop."
"Don't let the paranoia ruin the possibility of forming new friendships... or more." Louise sent her a wink.
"Okay, that's enough."
Y/n brushed her off, trying not to think much about it. A new friendship sounded impossible at this point of her life, let alone pursuing a new relationship with someone. She had made up her mind, she was better off being alone.
346 notes · View notes
So i just finished part 3 and i was fucking bawling at kakyoin's death 😭 And i found out my boi has a lonely af childhood too? I JUST WANT HIM TO BE HAPPY. So like can you write about Kaks as a child distancing himself and reader who's also a stand user by birth is like "yo why you doin that?" and kaks is like "nobody will ever understnd me bc they cant see HG" and reader is like "i can". IDK IM SORRY MY MIND IS A JUMBLED MESS RIGHT NOW I CANT THINK STRIAGHT T^T. thank you!!
This idea is so cute! I love baby Kakyoin and honestly, this is just the kind of thing I need right now. I hope you enjoy! Also, Kakyoin and Reader are probably around 8 years old in this.
Two Sides of The Same Coin (Child Kakyoin and New Friend Reader)
“Mama, I wanna go back to my old school!” You whined, gripping the hem of your uniform shirt. You’d had a strong set of lungs since birth and those came in handy, especially in moments when you wanted to irritate your mom, who was currently dealing with her screaming child outside of the primary school before them. Other parents were shooting her disapproving looks, all but one.
A red haired woman carrying a young boy with equally red hair.
She instead shot your mother a sympathetic look, one that was greeted by an exasperated look before she looked back towards you. “(Y/n) no amount of shouting is going to change this.” She sighed before lowering herself to her knees so that she was at your level. “I know this isn’t what you want but a new school isn’t all that bad, you’ll get to make all sorts of new friends!”
The optimism wasn’t working. Obviously neither was your whining so you switched to the fake crying tactic. “B-but, mama” You whimpered, “Wh-what if people think I’m weird.”
“You know, with how much you like attention I would have figured you’d welcome it” The woman sighed before placing her hands on your face, thumbs rubbing gently at your cheeks. “I know you want to go back to your old school but this is a big change for not only you but the whole family. I couldn’t afford to pass up on this new job and you enjoy having nice toys to play with right?” She asked, a small smile growing on her face when you hesitantly nodded. “If you’ll behave for the teachers today then I’ll take you right after school to pick out something nice, how does that sound?” She knew that she had you right then and there, sometimes the quickest way to a child’s heart was through a bribe.
“And you’ll come get me right after right?” You pleaded, puppy dog eyes aimed upwards.
“As soon as the bell rings I’ll be here” Your mother nodded
Casting one finally glance towards the school you let out a sigh that left you sounding more grown than you had any right to be and finally you grabbed your mother’s hand before grumbling. “Alright, fine”
The teachers were nice, you supposed you could at least say that. Less could be said for your classmates, far more rowdy than you really preferred. Yeah sure you were all children and children were energetic but there was a difference between energetic and outwardly annoying behavior. Perhaps you were just trying to find the worst in things due to your less than ideal situation but you also would have appreciated it if class didn’t have to be halted every five minutes due to a distraction.
Your annoyance was put on display for everyone to see by the scowl on your face as you kept your head down to work on your assignments. Every second that passed you spent wondering how bad it would look if you were to snap one of your classmates' pencils in an effort to get them to back off. Not to say you were a particularly violent child but when things became too much for you the last thing you found yourself concerned with was polite or respectful behavior. For the most part the others left you to your own devices- surprisingly no one wanted to make friends with someone who looks like they could kill anyone with their glare, shocker right?
You preferred this to the alternative though, sometimes it was nice to be alone. It allowed you space to clear your head and gather your thoughts without some annoying voice speaking in your ear for longer than what was truly necessary.
It also gave you time to scope everything put. Your surroundings, your peers, anyone that looked like they would be trouble in the future was immediately put at the top of your mental ‘Do-Not-Interact’ list while you made note of individuals you think would make good friends in the end. So far a lot of people were making your ‘Do-Not-Interact’ list which was really a shame. Despite yourself, you really did enjoy being able to talk and play with others but without being one for theatrics..well, this would be a lot harder than you had initially expected.
However, there was one person that you were oddly curious about. A redheaded boy who gravitated towards the back of the classroom. You noticed he sat alone at his table- which was designed for students to sit in pairs- head down and fist propped up against his cheek. His demeanor was much different than yours, as he didn’t seem to actively be driving others away. He just seemed...well, he just seemed lonely really. You wondered why, he didn’t seem weird in the slightest. Other than his bright, cherry red hair complete with one neat curl of hair situated right on his forehead and, oh? For a split second the boy looked up, a flash of amethyst greeting your own gaze before he hurriedly averted his gaze back to his work.
As you turned around to finish your own worksheet you didn’t miss the odd being of emerald green that had taken up residence in the seat beside him. Nor did you miss how this being gazed at you almost worriedly.
You were curious about this kid indeed.
You’d already made up your mind on what to do by the time recess rolled around. You kept a steady eye on the boy-aided only a bit by your own little helper- as your class marched down to the playground. Just as in your class, you noticed how he stayed in the back of the group, not only this but once you’d reached the playground and the children split off into groups they treated him as if he’d had the plague basically. It was even odder how it seemed everyone had a group or at least one friend to play with: everyone except for you and this boy however.
Towards the outskirts of the playground sat an old fort, it looked like it had steadily been forgotten about and abandoned in favor of a shinier and newer fort that was adorned with dozens of screaming children at the center of the playground. This was where you’d seen the boy sneak off to, assuming that he’d set up shop to spend recess alone like he did in class.
It was sad really, as you approached the fort . It was made of splintering wood and the paint was chipping off in large flakes. It was obvious that the only reason it was still standing was because the school had yet to demolish it and it almost looked as if it would fall just from a wayward breeze. True to appearances as you climbed up the old rope ladder the structure swayed with your weight yet it remained sturdy. The old wood would occasionally snag on the fabric of your close so you were careful to avoid any kind of tearing. You were sure to hear an earful not only from your parents but from your teachers as well if you happened to show up to class with gashes and loose threads in your otherwise pristine clothing.
The only light illuminating the inner room of the fort came from the small openings on the side walls that served as windows along with what bit of sunlight filtered in from the doorway-like structure that you entered from. By this light you were able to see small sketches and what looked to be paintings on the weathered walls. Scattered all over the ground laid different sizes of paint brushes with individual pots of paint. It was obvious that whoever this kid was that he had spent more than just a couple of lonely recess periods by himself.
Speaking of the redhead, once you finally turned your head you noticed violet eyes aimed suspiciously in your direction. Not only that but the green being was back, small tendrils wrapped protectively around the child. Against your better judgements your eyes remained locked behind him for too long, earning you a quiet mutter of “What are you looking at?”
“I saw you come up here by yourself, don’t you have anyone to play with?” You completely ignored his question, taking one more second to take in whatever that thing was, you had to admit you were kind of intrigued. You didn’t know there were other people like you out there, at least you figured he was like you. Either that or you had some supernatural ability to see spirits. That would be kind of cool though! It would be like one of those movies that your brother likes to watch, and you could go on adventures with the spirits and everything. One could only hope.
“I don’t have any friends” He muttered, the spirit behind him reacting with each display of emotion. “Everyone calls me weird, so they just ignore me”
“Well why is that?” You asked, pulling at your shirt as you move to sit in front of him, trying to ignore how he almost immediately shrinks into the corner of the fort.
“You wouldn’t believe me even if I told you, you’ll just say I’m crazy like everyone else does”
You crossed your arms, going silent for a moment. You were young but you had an idea this had something to do with that friend of his looming over him like a second shadow. “What do you call it?
“What do I call what?!”
You could have laughed at the look of surprise on his face, well if it wasn’t a little sad too. Perhaps you didn’t understand why it would look so weird to strangers, the whole act of interacting with something that others apparently cannot see. Maybe you were just lucky to have a family who willingly humors your ‘delusions’ when you proceed rant and rave about whatever antics your spirit is getting up to that day. An overactive imagination is what they said you had, and you quit trying to correct them after the fifth time you were shot down. This wasn’t some imaginary friend that you’d grow out of and even if no one else did, you knew that deep down. “Your spirit, you know the thing that’s been behind you all day? Yours is a lot different from mine though, it doesn’t look as cool” You pouted, a being about the same size as you manifested by your side within a flash. Long, flowing teal hair spilled out behind it, moving as if it was underwater instead of dry land, all except for the bangs that blocked off its eyes from the world. It was humanoid in nature, hands adorned with small, dull claws and odd splotches of yellow on its skin- skin that was otherwise a stark white that shimmered like the fresh fallen snow. Light easily reflected off of it’s being and it was almost as if the room’s lighting had grown in intensity in mere seconds. “I haven’t really named my own yet though, so don’t feel bad if yours doesn’t have a name either”
Your head cocked to the side when you finally realized that the redhead was now just staring at you with a wide eyed expression on his face. The two of you sat in an unofficial staring contest as he processed whatever went through his mind while you gave him time.
“So you have one too?” He asked dumbly, to which you nodded, “And you can see him too?” Another nod. Glee overtook his face as the realization dawned on him. He wasn’t just some freak alone in this school now, there was someone else just like him! There was someone who believed him, someone who wouldn’t call him crazy or weird.
“Oh, I haven’t thought about a name either”
“That’s okay, maybe we can help each other with names if you want?” You offered
You almost missed the way that he looked at you somewhat skeptically, as if he was waiting on this to be some joke but slowly his face loosened up and he began to nod. “I’m a lot better with pictures than words though so I probably won’t help much”
“Any help is better than no help at all, I’m (Y/n) by the way”
“Oh, uh I’m Noriaki”
“Well Noriaki” You began to sit up on your knees when the bell began to ring, symbolizing the end of the break, “I think we’re going to be great friends!”
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Who’s Looking After You?
Life in Lockdown - Masterlist
Poe Dameron x F Solo Reader
Hey everyone! Hope you’ve all had a lovely week. Here is the next part of my series.
Big mentions of covid again this week so if that’s going to upset you then I full understand if you want to give this a miss. Also mentions of anxiety.
But we also have more of reader bonding with BeeBee and a nice wee heart to heart between her and Poe. And then there’s Finn asking the questions we all want the answer to!
Month 3 – May 2020
Rose's illness came and went without too much drama. Her symptoms suggested COVID but she hadn't been as ill with it as a lot of other people had. Poe had a few symptoms too, they started off pretty mild. He decided to stay in the house just incase so you had taken over BeeBee's walks. The little dog was confused at first, wondering why his best friend wasn't walking him but he soon got used to it and was happy to be out with you. You and Rose were taking turns to look after Poe. Finn was still keeping out of the way due to his work, so the two of you were working around one another and your work schedules to check on how Poe was feeling. After a few days he started to feel worse, his throat was sore and he had no energy. You made him soup and checked in to make sure he was looking after himself.
“Sweetheart, you're going to get sick” he protested as you moved his pillows around to help him get comfortable.
“I'm not worried about me, I'm worried about you!” you replied “And I'm going to continue to worry about you and take care of you until you're back to your normal self!”
You fussed around him some more, making sure he had everything he needed before you had to head back to your desk for a zoom meeting.
“So, when are we going to talk about it?” Finn asked, a few nights later as you sat down to dinner with him and Rose.
“Talk about what?” you asked
“This sexual tension between you and Poe”
“Oh come on! You can't pretend, it's so obvious that you like him and it's obvious that he likes you so once he's better you should do something about it!”
“Wait, did he say something?” Rose asked “Because you didn't tell me he liked her back!”
“Hold on!” you butted in “You told Finn?”
“I'm sorry! I know I should've kept my mouth shut but it's Finn and he promised me he wouldn't tell Poe!”
“And I didn't!” Finn replied “But I just think you two deserve to be happy and being together would obviously make both of you happy!”
“You guys need to stop getting involved. Poe doesn't like me in that way and that's totally fine. He's my friend and I don't want to lose that if you guys make this awkward so please stop!”
“We won't make it awkward” Rose replied “We won't say another thing”
You couldn't sleep that night, everything Finn had said was going round on loop in your head. BeeBee slept soundly at the foot of the bed, he'd taken to sleeping in your room most nights. You climbed out of bed and looked out the window. The rain was falling onto the peaceful street. It had been raining for a few hours and puddles had already formed everywhere. You decided to head downstairs to get a glass of water, the lack of sleep was beginning to annoy you. When you walked into the living room, you were startled to see a figure sat on the couch.
“Poe? What are you doing up?”
“Couldn't sleep” he replied “I'm feeling a lot better so I figured there was no harm in having a little wander round the house since everyone was in bed!”
“As long as you’re alright” you replied
“I am, wanna sit with me for a while? You’ve been taking care of me so you’ve probably passed any risk of catching this”
“Yeah, may as well since I’m wide awake”
You could feel him staring at you, he hadn't put the lights on in the living room. Only the small lamp in the dining room was giving any light.
“Tell me honestly, are you doing okay? You had all the stress with your dad being ill, then you looked after Rose and now you’re looking after me. Who’s looking after you sweetheart”
“Honestly Poe, I’m fine. Keeping busy keeps my mind off of not being able to see my family. I like looking after you guys. I enjoy walking Bee, I like making the soups you’ve taught me and when I’m not working I like cooking dinner for us all”
“You’re too good to us. Even just letting Finn and I move in and completely throw your life into even more chaos by taking over your home”
You glanced at him and smiled.
“I like having you here” you replied “It’s good to have a group to hang out with. Rose and I would bicker about stupid stuff when we just spent weekends together. We would’ve been a nightmare alone for all these weeks. I like being able to spend time with her but then have the option to walk away from her and hang out with you. I’m not going to lie and say these past few weeks have been easy and amazing because they haven’t, they’ve sucked. Not knowing if my dad was going to be alright or not whilst not being able to see my mum was torture. Then Rose getting ill and now you, I feel like I’ve constantly been worried and my anxiety has been terrible but I really am alright”
“Can we make a deal then?” Poe asked
“What kind of deal?”
“Well I’m worried about you and how much you’ve taken on, so how about once a week you have an evening to yourself? Run a bath, or just have a lie down. Whatever you want. It would just make me feel better to know that you were taking a break!”
“Alright, deal” you replied “Now tell me what else is on that mind of yours?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well Poe Dameron, I can basically see the cogs turning under that beautiful hair of yours. So tell me what's on your mind”
He sighed “My work is struggling. The pandemic has hit us hard and they don't know if we'll be able to keep going. I might lose my job”
“Oh Poe, I'm so sorry. Is that why they stopped you guys working from home?”
“Yeah, there wasn't enough work for us so they told us not to bother. We're still going to get paid for now but I really don't know how long that's going to last for”
“I'm sure something else will come up” you replied “And if not, you know we're all here for you. You'll never find yourself out on the street”
“Thank you sweetheart, that really means the world to me!”
A few days later, you were getting ready to take BeeBee his walk. You’d been working that morning, once you’d finished you had time to make a pot of soup for lunch, re-organise the living room and dust every surface in the room. BeeBee was very set in his ways and always knew when it was walk time. He wouldn’t let anyone forget it either, his usual tactic was slowly wandering over to where you were and nudging your ankle with his nose. You were just putting your coat on when Poe walked into the room.
“I’m feeling much better and I’m going stir crazy in this house. Fancy some company?”
“I dunno, what do you think BeeBee, should we let your dad tag along? He might cramp our style!”
The Corgi wagged his tail with excitement when he saw his best friend was ready to take him out for the first time in over a week. BeeBee had always enjoyed the attention you gave him whenever you went to see Poe and Finn, or if they’d brought him over, but living together had meant you and the little dog had bonded a lot more, especially when you had to walk him. He was spending a lot of time with you rather than Poe.
“I think he’s alright with it” you chuckled
“I think he’s replacing me” Poe pouted “You’re now his favourite person in the world”
“I mean, can you blame him? I’m awesome!”
“That’s true! But don’t let your head get too big or you won’t fit out the front door!”
Rose wandered into the room, she smiled when she saw Poe putting his coat on.
“You’re feeling better! That’s great”
“Much better. And I absolutely cannot wait to go outside”
“Enjoy the fresh air! But remember if it’s too much, you need to rest”
“I will Rose, thanks. I’m sure Y/N will take care of me and make sure I’m not over doing it”
“Damn right I will”
The walk was nice, you took it at a slow pace so Poe wouldn’t get tired too quickly. BeeBee seemed to have an extra spring in his step now that his dad was back walking him. You did a lap round the park before Poe said he was tired. You found a bench and let him sit down whilst you threw a ball for BeeBee. When the dog got bored of the game you sat down next to Poe.
“You doing okay?”
“I’m fine sweetheart, thanks”
“Do you fancy a coffee or anything?”
“Nah, just your company is enough for me”
You ducked your head, hoping he wouldn’t see your embarassment. You smiled as BeeBee ran around chasing after a bird that just wanted to sit on the grass. May had been an extremely difficult month with Rose and Poe both being ill, Poe’s job being at risk and not being able to go and help your mum look after your dad. 6 weeks of being in lockdown had been hard, your anxiety was flaring worse than ever and some days felt more of a struggle than others. You were glad to be with your friends and BeeBee. Facetime had been a lifeline to keep in touch with your parents, your brother and sister in law and your two nephews. You just hoped it wouldn’t be too long until you could see them in person.
So thats us for this week. I hope if you read it you enjoy it and as always your comments and suggestions would mean the world to me. I’m kinda lagging behind with where I wanted to be with this series in terms of how many chapters ahead I had written so if you guys have any suggestions of things you’d like me to write in this then please do let me know <3
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pairing: frat!choi youngjae x sorority!reader
genre: angst, fluff, soft smut (everything as usual), best friends to lovers
warnings: 18+, language, fuckboy!mark tuan, kinda shallow y/n, fingering, explicit sex.
word count: 14,200+
summary: all of your couple friends has teased you on months on end about you dating your best friend youngjae. after all it’s tradition that kappa sigmas and your sorority end up together, but you’ve just never seen him in a certain way... that is until now.
a/n: i know i know i know!!! it’s been literally FOREVER AND EVER AND EVER. I’m so sorry that I kept promising to update and finish this fic, but then didn’t. It’s not fair to you and it’s not fair to me. So I hope ya’ll forgive me! But thank you for your patience and I guess we can also consider this a very late youngjae birthday update. please enjoy bc it’s a LONG one, but it is unedited so keep that in mind! hopefully after this update i will be BACK BACK and writing a lot more!! I was just stuck for awhile on this but I think i’m good now:) please let me know what you think in the tags, my inbox, etC!!
lambda | alpha | delta | gamma | theta | sigma
Like most things, it started off as innocent teasing.
“You know… you and Youngjae would look really good together Y/N.”
“Y/N why did you buy that coffee for Youngjae? Are you guys dating?”
“Wow you guys keeping up the Beta Phi and Kappa Sigma tradition is so cute!”
But then… It became annoying. It became an everyday thing that your friends, sorority sisters and even the brothers at Kappa Sigma would bother you about.
“Listen Y/N all I’m saying is that you don’t have to waste your time with those average frat bros when you could be with my man right here,” Jaebeom smiled proudly, patting Youngjae’s back.
The smug look on Jaebeom’s face as if he had just solved all of the world’s problems made you want to hit him. He had been one of the many people that had been trying to push you and Youngjae to date ever since you had met him a year ago. And while Jaebeom was a very central part of your core group of friends – you really weren’t against throwing him out at this point. I mean what did he even contribute to the group anyway? Sad slow jam playlists? The fact that he’s your best friend’s boyfriend?
He could easily be replaced.
Rolling your eyes, you tried to avert your gaze from Youngjae who seemed just as uncomfortable as you were, “I’m not wasting my time. And for the last time we’re just friends!”
Jaebeom clicked his tongue and turned to Youngjae, “aren’t you going to say anything to your woman man?”
You didn’t wait for Youngjae’s answer before you responded, he typically didn’t when the two of you were being prodded at by your friends. He had always been a more gentle, shy and non-confrontational person. “Jaebeom I swear to God if you keep going with this, I am not showing up at your little charity event and spending all my money.”
There’s a flicker in his eyes, as if he’s realized that he’s pushed you too far, but he doesn’t know how to control himself. For Jaebeom, it’s just fun to get a reaction out of you. “Think about how fun it’ll be for all of us to go on triple dates. Me and Lauren, Jinyoung and Sarah… and the two of you.”
“On second thought. I will most definitely be going to your charity event, because I am not resting until I get you in that dunking booth and dunked Im Jaebeom.” He laughed at your remark, a clear sign that he still thought this was all fun and games. You weren’t sure how you were going to continue on dealing with this – the new school year had just started.
“I really would love to see you try,” Jaebeom huffed, nudging Youngjae once again – who was still seamlessly silent, avoiding your gaze.
Feeling like you had enough of the relentless pestering for today, you muttered a final “asshole” to Jaebeom and went to leave the Kappa Sigma house. You tried not to focus on the chuckling behind you.
In the beginning there had been no teasing at all. It used to be just the six of you – Jaebeom, Jinyoung, Youngjae, your two friends and you. But soon enough Jaebeom started dating Lauren, then a couple months later Jinyoung confessed his feelings for Sarah and suddenly everyone was looking at you and Youngjae. It was a joke amongst the girls in your sorority, but everyone called it the Kappa Sigma curse. Girls in Pi Beta Phi were known to get involved or date the guys of Kappa Sigma. No one was really sure why, but it always ended up happening. Maybe it was the fact that the two were affiliated with one another or maybe there was just something strange in the water at the Kappa Sigma house – who knows.
Now everyone looked at you as if it was your turn to start dating a Kappa Sigma. All of your friends were doing it and it was somehow tradition so certainly you were needed to follow suit.
Everyone began to push you in Youngjae’s direction, but you just couldn’t. The two of you had become extremely close in the short amount of time you had come to know him. Especially when everyone in your friend group started getting paired off, you found yourself gravitating to Youngjae even more, having friend dates just the two of you and laughing about how lame and married your friends were already acting.
But then came the teasing.
At first when it started, you shrugged it off. Playground behavior wasn’t going to get to you so easily, but when it became an everyday thing you felt yourself begin to create distance between you and Youngjae. You thought to yourself that maybe you shouldn’t even give them a reason to say all those things – but regardless, it just continued. Now you were at your wits end and Youngjae didn’t even seem to care.
By the time you were on the steps of the Kappa Sigma house, fists clenched, you heard the sound of footsteps behind you on the porch. You turned expecting to see Jaebeom, ready to hit him, but instead you’re met with your closest male friend’s warm eyes, “Y/N don’t worry about him… You know all he wants to do is get a response from you. He likes seeing you worked up.”
His words irked you, almost as if he was suggesting that it was okay for Jaebeom to use your emotions and feelings for his own personal entertainment. “Youngjae doesn’t it get on your nerves? All of the constant pestering? When are they going to realize that just because all of them are dating doesn’t mean we should too! It’s really pissing me off.”
Youngjae bit his lip nervously. He wanted to say something to make you feel better, but he just wasn’t sure how. He’d been able to calm you down and soothe you in some of your most stressful moments of the past year, but he wasn’t sure what to say to make things better when it came to this. When it came to you and him, he just stayed silent.
“Listen I’m going to go back to the house… I only came to drop off Jaebeom’s stupid instant pot he let us use since Lauren had class,” just as you were about to turn away, you felt Youngjae grab your wrist. “You’re still coming to the kickback planning thing tomorrow night, right?”
You had to stop yourself from laughing. That was what he was concerned about right now?
It would be nice to not show up. That way Jaebeom could see how serious you were about wanting him to shut up about you and Youngjae. But seeing Youngjae’s big dumb sad hopeful eyes made you shove that thought away.
“Please? You can’t leave me alone with the couples.”
Groaning, you gently removed his hand from your wrist, but as soon as the warmth of his palm is gone, you strangely feel yourself wanting it back. “Of course, I’ll be there,” you mumbled. You weren’t usually a people pleaser but somehow Youngjae tended to bring that side of you out. It wasn’t so much that he manipulated you into doing things, but instead you became more than willing to be manipulated by him exclusively.
At your response, he exhaled, almost as if you’d agreed to give him a kidney and for a moment you wondered if there’s a deeper subtext where you actually did just agree to give him one of your organs. You wouldn’t put it past your friend, but he knew he could straight up ask you for it and you’d probably give it to him – or it would at least be on the table.
“Thank God. Just for that I’ll make sure they don’t charge you at the door.”
You couldn’t help but roll your eyes, this was his of thanking you for not letting him go to “couples” functions alone, even though you were in the same position as him. “Youngjae you always make sure they don’t charge me at the door.”
He stood up straight and wiggled his eyebrows, “so you’re saying I should let them charge you this time?” Playfully, you pushed his shoulder, “no you idiot. I love free alcohol.”
Youngjae’s eyes shined and he smiled warmly, putting his hand out towards you, gesturing for you to grab it, “good.” His hand directly in front of you, scared you. It really shouldn’t because this is just Youngjae and not some stranger, but Jaebeom’s teasing only moments before made you feel like you needed to be on high alert. It wasn’t weird to hold his hand – the two of you would often do it in a comforting, friendly way – in fact it would be weird not to grab his hand.
He’d always been so good at reading you despite your short time as friends, but you hoped he wouldn’t catch onto your momentary reluctance when you finally placed your hand into his.
Unlike all the times before the two of you did this, the moment felt different somehow. If there was anything you were known for doing, it was ignoring the unfamiliar and deeming it as something to push away or run from. You told yourself it was probably Jaebeom still in the back of your head, making you overthink something that did not exist in the universe of your friendship with Youngjae.
“Y/N and Youngjae, fucking told you man.”
You moved your hand away from Youngjae’s as if it’s fire when you hear the voice from the sidewalk in front of the house. Your friend frowned slightly, but followed your motion as you turned your head to see two boys in Theta Chi letters.
One of the boys huffed and shook his head – presumedly at his friend who was the first to speak, “Dammit. Were you really taking that bet seriously?” Judging by the way you could sense Youngjae freeze up beside you, even he knew what came next in this situation. You making a scene.
“Sorry to you Theta fuckboys but we’re not together. You can stop invading our privacy and go jerk each other off at home now,” you spat at them. Typically, you weren’t so vulgar, but apparently today you were displaying a new form of annoyance.
The taller of the two guys looked at you with wide eyes and then to Youngjae, “I can see why you don’t want to date her man. The mouth on this one.” Just as you were about to leap further to kick him into next Fall, you once again felt Youngjae’s tug at your wrist. Immediately you relaxed.
The Theta Chi’s took notice of this and smirked. It irritated you even more, but you figured that at this point it was just best to let it go. You weren’t supposed to care what randos on the Row thought about you.
“See you both at the charity carnival,” the tall Theta Chi murmured before the two of them continued on what you assumed was their previous trek back home. And although your body had begun to feel relaxed from Youngjae’s actions – as soon as the Theta Chi’s are gone you felt yourself finally relax mentally as well. That is until the shorter Theta Chi shouted over his shoulder at the two of you, “also, this is a public space so we weren’t invading your privacy!”
Once again, you removed Youngjae’s grip and took a step forward to yell at them from the steps of the porch, “suck my dick you assholes!” Their response is filled with laughter which began to fade away the further they walk away from the Kappa Sigma house; you turned back to face Youngjae. You couldn’t explain why you always had to be so defensive when it came to your relationship with Youngjae. Ideally, you should just be able to let it go just like you could let go of other things in your life, but for some reason it almost felt impossible.
You felt your mouth go dry when a thought that you’ve been trying so hard to not think about entered your mind, “I’ll see you at the kickback,” you mumbled under your breath not wanting to leave yourself vulnerable on the porch with Youngjae for anyone else to see.
Youngjae didn’t have the opportunity to respond before he’s looking at your back, walking away. He sighed feeling hopeless – once again feeling unsure of what he could do to make you feel better because deep down he knew that all of this was really his fault.
Jaebeom’s in the front room ready to greet him when he comes back inside the house. He ignored his friend’s further teasing as he crawled up the stairs and headed to his room, ready to climb into bed and not think about how upset you were at even the thought of being together with him. Was he really that bad?
Instead of spiraling and dwelling on it any further, he did what he always did and waited for the “home” text you would always send him. The text that made him feel safe, secure and was an ultimate reminder to him of the importance of his position in your life. That reassurance somehow always made everything better.
If it were up to you – you wouldn’t have thrown this party – in fact you didn’t even want to be here. The Kappa Sigmas, just like any other frat always found any excuse they could to have a party or “chill” gathering. Tonight, was no exception. For them it made sense to have a “last minute” planning party the night before their annual charity event to raise money for cancer research. Because what else goes better with cancer research then a bunch of drunk frat boys smoking cigarettes in the backyard?
Even though in general the whole kickback was a dumb idea, you were more annoyed and on edge at the fact that you would have to be in the same room as your drunk friends who would continue taunting you and Youngjae. However, you had made a promise to your friend so… here you were.
“Do you ladies want anything to drink?” Jinyoung asked as soon as you’d all situated yourselves into the main living space. His question was directed towards his girlfriend and Lauren as it wasn’t typical for you to drink too much at these things. Usually you and Youngjae found yourselves to be the slightly tipsy, but mostly sober ones who hid in the corner and laughed at everyone else.
Maybe tonight that wasn’t such a good idea.
“Whatever jungle juice you neanderthals put together is fine with me.”
At your words, all of your friends except for Youngjae – who hadn’t made his way downstairs yet – turned to you in surprise. For a moment Jinyoung thinks he misheard you. “What?”
Their eyes on you made you feel uncomfortable.
“Y/N are you feeling okay?” Lauren asked sincerely.
Her question and the looks of everyone in the room makes you laugh out loud, “what is it such a crime to want a drink? I hate to remind you guys since we don’t mention it enough, but we are in Greek life.”
Sarah looked at you questioningly as well, “didn’t you say that jungle juice was something only boys with no sense of morals or enough self-esteem to find a girl willing to sleep with them could create? Or am I thinking of a different Y/N?”
It was true – not only did you not drink that much when you were out with your friends at a party, but you especially didn’t drink a concoction like jungle juice which was none to be thrown together carelessly and dangerously. Nonetheless if you felt like tonight was the night to get drunk then jungle juice was the best way to get there – and fast.
“Make sure you fill it to the top of the cup too if you could Jinyoung.”
Slowly he nodded, still clearly unsure of whether your request was genuine and warranted. His exchange with Jaebeom doesn’t go unnoticed by you, the latter shrugging his shoulders in confusion. Finally accepting your order, Jinyoung disappeared to the kitchen to get your drink along with Sarah and Lauren’s.
“Y/N where’s Youngjae?” Lauren asked suddenly. It becomes difficult to not let out a sigh of annoyance or some kind of noise that expressed your distaste for the question, but you restrained yourself enough to not snap at your friend this early in the night. Instead you settle on just answering quickly and honestly, “I don’t know. I’m not his mom.”
The moment you respond, you could practically sense Jaebeom’s growing smile from across the room. It dawns on you as to what you just set yourself up for.
“Yeah but you’re his girlfriend so you should be keeping tabs on him.”
Bitterly, “you’re the one who lives with him, idiot.”
Jaebeom laughed as if to say “whatever.” You leave the conversation at that, thankful that he didn’t make a comment about how you didn’t deny the fact that you were his girlfriend. It seemed as though you would be taking the minimal teasing tonight since it was going to happen regardless.
Jinyoung soon comes back from the kitchen, hands full of drinks. It always baffled you how he was able to hold so many things at once – Sarah was clearly a lucky girl. Slowly, in an effort not to spill, he passed you your red cup full of random liquors and an obscene amount of fruit juice to disguise the said liquors. You thanked him with a nod and took your first sip.
Damn they really do just throw anything in here and make it taste good, don’t they?
“I saw Mark while I was in the kitchen,” Jinyoung said as soon as he’s done passing around everyone’s drink and settled himself down next to Sarah on the couch. For the second time in the last twenty minutes, your group of friends all turned to stare at you, awaiting a response.
Mark Tuan was a friend, but also not. You and the Zeta Psi boy had a complicated relationship. One that included using each other for casual sex – sometimes – and to be completely honest with yourself you weren’t sure if you genuinely valued him as a friend or if you absolutely hated him. It was hard to tell.
It was also difficult to distinguish whether you had slept with Mark the few times you did to prove a point to your friends – and maybe yourself or because you genuinely wanted to. You couldn’t truly place Mark in your life, because he really wasn’t a part of your life. The two of you had next to nothing in common – no similar interests, no classes together, no mutual friends. In fact, it wasn’t lost on you that Youngjae had grown to dislike him ever since your first initial hook-up with Mark
“He treats you like shit,” Youngjae had said. It was something that you typically would have taken to heart considering Youngjae doesn’t often dislike people, but for some reason that caused you to rebel even more.
By rebel you meant hooking up with Mark – not spending time with him. You’d rather chew off your left arm.
“Cool,” is all you could think to respond to Jinyoung’s statement as you took a large sip of your drink. Thankfully, they leave it at that and continue their own conversation amongst themselves.
“Started without me I see,” your eyes wandered over to where Youngjae stood in the doorway of the living room holding a large bottle of ginger ale. It’s clear he brought it for the two of you to share, but as his own eyes fell to the red cup in your hand, he frowned.
Youngjae always felt like he knew you well enough to predict your actions and behavior even before you did it, but seeing you sat with all your friends, speedily drinking the alcohol in your cup, he felt severely thrown off.
“Don’t worry you can catch up,” Jaebeom begun, but soon frowned as he noticed the bottle in Youngjae’s hand, “what? Ginger ale? Dude…” The older boy shook his head in disapproval while the younger shifts the bottle to behind his back hoping you don’t see. The last thing he needed was you thinking that he specifically went out earlier today to the convenience store that’s all the way on the other side of town just because they’re the only place that carry your favorite brand of ginger ale.
Youngjae cleared his throat, “no… it’s just I wasn’t feeling well earlier. Nausea you know…” He moved to sit at his usual place beside you – on the arm of the sofa chair you were currently occupying, but you quickly turned yourself, positioning your legs to lay over one arm of the chair and have your back and head against the other.
Youngjae has to admit – it hurts.
Coughing, he goes to sit beside Jinyoung and Sarah on one of the couches.
“Choi, if you were feeling nauseous you should have just found me man. My brother’s a pharmacist and he slipped me some anti-nausea medication to help with my hangovers so I could totally hook you up,” once again, the group collectively turned to the doorway to identify where the unknown voice had come from. Of course, to you, the voice was not unknown. The voice made you finish the rest of your drink.
“Aren’t you not supposed to drink alcohol with nausea medication Tuan?” Youngjae asked Mark with a certain edge to his voice.
Mark moved closer into the living room until he’s beside where you’re sitting. He moved his hip until its hitting against your legs on the arm of the chair, “move” he lowly grumbled. You rolled your eyes at him and unfortunately – moved.
You uncomfortably swallowed when you see the look on Youngjae’s face as Mark easily sat himself down in the spot that should have been his.
When he’s finally comfortable, Mark snorts and turns in Youngjae’s direction, “I don’t drink it with the alcohol,” he clicked his tongue disapprovingly, “weren’t you listening? I take it the next morning so I don’t get a hangover.”
“Okay but even if that’s the case-” Youngjae begun, but Jinyoung waved his hand, motioning for him to stop. With Mark there really wasn’t any reasoning or any use of arguing – he wasn’t going to listen. He’s kind of terrible that way.
The sudden silence from Youngjae makes Mark smile, clearly thinking that it signals his “winning” of the conversation, “but anyways… I can totally hook you up man. Just let me know,” he shifted his target of conversation to you, “What are you drinking? Let me try.”
The way Mark conversed was enough to make anyone’s head spin. He went from topic to topic, person to person and sometimes it was unclear what his train of thought was or the way that his brain operated. There had been very few times that your group of friends had interacted with the guy you sometimes hook up with, but they had already picked up the fact that it was best to remain silent when Mark was around. He would do most of the talking.
You handed him the cup and he frowned, “there’s nothing left.” Rolling your eyes again, “obviously Mark.”
He handed you the drink in his own hand, “here drink this. Take mine.”
Reluctantly you take it and he smiled as you brought it to your lips. This was the thing that severely confused you about Mark – he was such a jerk most of the time, but then every once and awhile he would do semi-nice things for you that perplexed you. Unlike Youngjae… who did nice things for you all the time. Ugh Youngjae.
You turned to look at Youngjae who seemed to be focused on his hands, delicately focused on them not daring to look in yours and Mark’s direction.
“How’d you even get in here? Tonight’s for Kappa Sigma’s and guests only in preparation for the carnival tomorrow,” Jaebeom’s question was something you too had on your mind when Jinyoung first mentioned Mark’s presence at the Kappa Sigma house. It wasn’t typical of him to fraternize (haha) with other orgs on Greek Row that weren’t his own – unless it was some sad, pathetic girl in a sorority. Oh wait.
Mark whistled lowly, “yeah sure looks like you guys are preparing for tomorrow,” he gestured to the room you were in and in the direction that leads to the other portion of the house that seems to keep getting more crowded by the minute, “your guy at the door let me in. I slipped him a $50 and told him to keep the change. Trust fund problems I guess…” Mark shrugged. The man sure could be too self-aware at times.
“I heard a certain Pi Beta Phi would be here so…” Mark shifted in his spot, “I had to come.”
Youngjae let out a snort and your eyes along with Mark’s and everyone else’s move to him. He froze, clearly his slip up being unintentional.
“Have something to say Choi?” Mark asked.
Youngjae goes silent once again and you felt your shoulders drop a bit in disappointment. But at this point what were you expecting? And honestly at this point what did you even want him to say? You finish Mark’s drink entirely.
“Anyways…” He turned to you and nudged you on the shoulder gently, he pouts, “why didn’t you respond to my message?”
You try to recollect if Mark had sent you a message recently. To be fair, he was right. Typically, when he sent you a message you didn’t respond or even read it, but it wasn’t like he was constantly hitting you up either. You only really looked at them or responded when you were – well thinking about a certain thing you didn’t want to think about.
“I sent you a message on Snapchat earlier!”
“Mark… I hate to break this to you, but no female in her 20s uses Snapchat as her preferred method of communication.”
He looks at you annoyed, “and that’s supposed to make it okay that you ignored my message?”
Your friends and Youngjae watch the exchange, unsure of whether to say something and intervene or ignore your strange, messed up relationship with Mark further. Quickly, you stand up from your chair and make an announcement, “I’m going to get another drink. Okay? Okay.”
You don’t wait for anyone to respond before you’re up and off to the kitchen to get another glass – or two – of jungle juice and maybe whatever Mark was drinking because it wasn’t that bad. Probably the expensive shit.
Just as you’re refilling your glass with jungle juice from the very large bowl, you felt a hand grab your elbow.
“Y/N can we talk?”
It’s not the person you hoped it was.
“What do you want Mark?” you snapped him, still trying to concentrate on pouring the drink into your cup.
You don’t even have to look at him to guess the look on his face, he’s clearly offended but is going to continue until he gets whatever it is that he wants from you. It made you wish that certain other people did the same, but that was beside the point.
“Isn’t it obvious why I’m here? I want you.” You paused your actions and turned to look at him. Truly Mark was in a league of his own. He had come all the way here just to find you to ask you to hook up. The last time the two of you had gotten together had been nearly a month and a half ago.
Turning back to your drink, you topped it off and take a long sip, “wow I feel so honored that the great Mark Tuan of Zeta Psi is asking for my hand.”
He leaned in closer until his hands are on either side of you, gripping the counter and ultimately trapping you, “I definitely need your hands for something.”
It was unbelievable to think that this is what he considered flirting or seductive talk to be. This whole thing was cringe worthy more than anything, but you still felt yourself looking him up and down. The alcohol was definitely hitting you and going to your head if you were even remotely considering sneaking away with Mark for the night. It wouldn’t be out of your normal behavior, however, to do this since lately you had been especially bombarded by all the teasing from your friends and apparently everyone else you encounter. Banging Mark would be a good way to forget.
Your mind began to drift to Youngjae.
You couldn’t just leave him alone here. Sure, it was technically his party, but you had promised to stick it out with him just like the two of you always did. It wasn’t in your nature to ditch Youngjae after you had promised him something. That was the only reason why you couldn’t leave Youngjae to go with Mark… Grabbing one of his hands to remove it from the counter, throwing him a bit off balance, you take another large sip of your drink and move past him, “no thanks.”
He groaned, “is this about Choi?”
“What are you talking about?” You asked. Mark and you typically didn’t talk about Youngjae. In fact, he was probably the one person “in” your life who didn’t say anything about the two of you or try to push the two of you together. Probably because he was trying to bang you, but that’s another matter entirely.
“Well that’s why we hooked up, isn’t it? Because you like him?”
Mark’s accusations suddenly get the attention of a few people lingering around the kitchen. All of them listening and murmuring to one another as soon as Youngjae’s name is mentioned. You couldn’t help but stutter in your reply, “N-no. That’s not why.”
He laughed with no emotion, “well you can’t expect me to believe it’s because you genuinely like me… do you?” You looked at him with your mouth slightly open in surprise at his assessment, “Y/N… I know you’re using me, but I thought the deal here was that I could use you right back. So, what I’m asking right now is for you to keep up your end of the bargain, meaning you and me go back to the Zeta Psi house.”
The alcohol begins to truly hit you right then. You feel everything begin to spin and Mark’s words both feel real like he’s actually saying them, but also fake at the same time. You’re unsure of how you’re supposed to make meaning of what he’s saying or suggesting. You know that you should be offended and upset at his demand, but at this point… you’re just drunk.
“I’m going to go dance,” you simply told him. It made him grip your wrist before you could head off to the part of the house that has been coined the “dance floor.” For some reason the feeling of his hand on your wrist causes you to feel uneasy. It’s much different than Youngjae’s – in fact it feels forceful and aggressive, not the warmth and comfort you’re used to.
“You know any girl here would be happy to go home with me, right?” He asked.
You know he doesn’t mean it in a mean way. With Mark, he delivers most of what he says or believes to be a fact. He’s not threatening you to go home with him – in his mind he is just letting you know that you’re about to miss out on an opportunity that anyone else would be happy to take.
Shrugging, you looked at him once more before you head off into the other direction, “I’m going to go dance.” This repetition of your words caused Mark to let go of your wrist and lose you in the crowd as you moved to the other side of the house.
It wasn’t often that you were this drunk. Certainly not dance amongst a bunch of people you knew but also didn’t know drunk – but here you were swinging your hips and dancing with the best of them.
“I found you!” you suddenly heard being shouted in your ear after dancing to what had to be two songs. At this point you had no real perception of time. The jungle juice was screwing with your head and judgement.
The giddiness caused you to answer Youngjae almost immediately, “you sure did Choi!” He groaned instantly in response, “don’t call me that… It reminds me too much of…” he paused and scowled, “him.”
Sober you wouldn’t have prodded or asked, but drunk you was on another level, “Why do you hate him so much?”
Even through the darkness and flashing lights of the small dance floor, you could make out the nervous look on Youngjae’s face. It caused your stomach to flip and you weren’t sure as to why. It was just Youngjae… he’s always nervous, you told yourself.
His shoulder bumps into yours and he comes in closer to you as more people join the crowd, “I mean… It’s just Mark, you know? He doesn’t treat you very well and he is the frat guy everyone warns you about.”
“Yeah but he’s a good fuck,” you replied mindlessly. The frown that appeared on Youngjae’s face instantly made you regret your thoughtless words. He takes a step back, not thinking about the body behind him that he bangs into. Nodding his head, he doesn’t say anything else.
It’s then you noticed the rest of your friends come into vision on the dance floor, Lauren and Sarah right by your side – Jaebeom and Jinyoung not very far behind. All you could really do was half smile at them – you’re heart suddenly felt like it was in the wrong place – you felt like you were in the wrong place.
“Did you get rid of that loser?” Sarah asked in reference to Mark. Your eyes wandered back to Youngjae who is still so close, but far at the same time. “Y-yeah, he’s gone I’m pretty sure.”
She smiled, “well… we’ll see how much you regret or don’t regret that in the morning when you’re sober.” The pat on your back that she gives you makes you feel like a child, but you’re still focused on Youngjae. That is until Jaebeom speaks up over the loud music.
“Y/N if you really want to look at Youngjae that much you guys could just get your own room. Or maybe you, Youngjae and Mark could get a room.” Instinctively you clenched your firsts until you can feel your pulse throughout every square inch of your body.
“Jaebeom I-” you began, but Lauren is the one to stop you as she grasped ahold of your arm, “why don’t we lose the boys?”
You aren’t sure if her efforts to divert your attention and anger away from Jaebeom is because she genuinely cares for your feelings or because she just doesn’t want to see you punch her dumb boyfriend.
Taking a deep breath in, you exhaled – trying not to look back at Youngjae who looked like a sad, sick puppy. Getting closer to Lauren’s ear, you answer her, “maybe that would be a good idea… I think I’m too drunk to deal with this. Mark was enough.”
Nodding she, grabbed your arm pulling you in the “quieter” direction of the house, making note at the way she shakes her head disapprovingly at her boyfriend for his words to you. While she’s doing this, you take one last quick glance at where Youngjae had been, but soon found the space now vacant, some frat guy occupying the area.
When the two of you are finally back in the living room where your night had started she asked you a complicated question, “you still have a key to Youngjae’s room, right?”
The thought of going into his room isn’t what makes your stomach churn. In fact, it was normal for you to sneak away and go upstairs to Youngjae’s room in the middle of one of these parties. The disgustingly sweaty bodies would become too much and at least in Youngjae’s room you know you’d be able to get some silence and cool, fresh air blowing in from the window he always forgets to close. However, now with what had just occurred with him on the dance floor, you weren’t sure if sneaking away to his room was the right decision. For all you knew that could be the place he had disappeared to and you weren’t sure if you could face him for the rest of the night. You felt embarrassed for suddenly becoming belligerently drunk, ignoring him most of the night and saying something to him that was so out of character. In theory it should have been something you could share with one of your best friends – but saying it to Youngjae didn’t feel right.
On the other hand, there was another reason you were afraid to go into Youngjae’s room – and it was the privacy aspect. The sudden thought of being alone with Lauren while drunk had you feeling nauseous. You had drank enough – too much – that you felt like you could word vomit your true feelings at any moment. You really didn’t think you were ready for that, but your head betrayed you as you slowly nodded at your friend.
Wordlessly, you followed her up the steps of that house until you’re both standing in front of the very familiar door. Despite your drunkenness, you’re able to pull out the spare key Youngjae had given you to his room from your bag with ease. The shaking of your hand doesn’t go unnoticed by you or Lauren – mostly because you’re unsure of what you’ll encounter as soon as you have the door unlocked. You’re just praying that Youngjae isn’t in there.
The darkness that encompassed the room gave you the signal that your best friend was nowhere to be found. He would never go to sleep this early, therefore that wasn’t an option. The setup of his room has practically become muscle memory to you as you’re able to flip on the light switch in the darkness without issue.
Lauren collapsed onto the floor as soon the lights are on, “I didn’t even drink that much, but I just feel so lightheaded… tired even.” You settled down beside her on the floor, the dizziness somehow becoming worse. Trying to alleviate the vertigo, you focused your eyes on something – anything else – in the room. A smile spread across your face as you noticed the book your recommended to Youngjae a few weeks ago on his desk, already beat up and having multiple sticky notes sticking out of it. You laid yourself out on the floor until you’re staring up at the ceiling counting all of the bumps on the surface.
“Listen Y/N… I know we really haven’t gotten the chance to talk about this a ton lately since I’ve been busy with Jaebeom and school, but I want to say sorry about all the jokes about you and Youngjae. I can tell how upset they’re making you…” she trailed off, not quite meeting your eyes, “it just started off as fun, because we love both of you so much and we just think the two of you work so well together… but I guess we push it too far.”
You didn’t hold yourself back when you answered, “You think?” Lauren laughed, letting silence fill the room around you, both of you breathing in the fresh air and being thankful not to die of lack of oxygen from being downstairs.
“Where do you think Youngjae went?” she asked suddenly – her question once again puts you into a state of annoyance. Why did everyone think you knew where Youngjae was at every second of the day? “What do you mean?”
She shrugged, “I just noticed he kind of left as soon as we showed up on the dance floor. Did something happen between you two?” You snorted and rolled your eyes, forgetting that she couldn’t see you, “Why does something always have to happen between us? He just left… that’s it.” The nausea starts to reappear and it’s difficult to distinguish if it’s from the alcohol catching up to you or your lack of sincerity in the conversation. Maybe you needed Mark’s nausea medication.
More silence. Until she inserts herself into the dangerous territory where your drunk self could betray your sober self. “Would it kill you to literally go on one date with him?”
Quickly, you turned over on the floor to your side to look at her with wide eyes in an attempt to show her just how serious you were… or just how serious you could pretend to be. “Yes! Because he’s my close friend Lauren! Not someone I’m trying to date…” you paused, here it comes, “…or sleep with.”
She stopped for a moment and smirked, “Ah so sleeping with him is on your mind?”
The last segment of sober sanity you had was beginning to escape you. It was easy to tell, especially the way that you began to lean into her questioning, finding it no longer an option to avoid this conversation.
“I don’t see Youngjae like that.”
You tightly shut your eyes, feeling the alcohol wave over you even more. There had been something that had been on your mind for a few months, but you didn’t dare share it with anyone. It felt like as soon as you said it out loud it would be true and out there in the world for anyone to discover. But here you were about to spill your guts just because you decided to drink a little too much tonight.
“H-honestly,” you stuttered, moving your hands up and down the fluffy carpeting you were laying on, “Youngjae is my ideal guy… I know that and I’ve known that for awhile. He’s patient, he’s kind, he actually listens to me… he calls me when he knows I’m walking home from the library late at night. He says it’s just because he wants to talk, but I know it’s because he’s worried… He cares more than all of my ex-boyfriends combined…” The words leaving your mouth felt strange and foreign. Identifying Youngjae as your “ideal guy” was a big step and something you had been avoiding. Was it just to spite your friends and everyone else? Or was it for another reason? You heard the giddiness in your friend’s voice as she spoke, “Okay and…?”
“It’s really stupid…” you drifted off, turning yourself onto your other side so you’re facing away from her, “really really stupid…”
You felt one of the pillows from Youngjae’s bed hit your back, “just tell me already!”
“I just… don’t see him sexually… I guess?” You groaned, “that sounds really bad… I just mean you know how important that part of the relationship is to me…”
“Yeah I know you love getting banged,” at her words you turned over to throw the pillow back in her direction. Once her laughter from your attack subsides, she sighed, “we especially know it because why would you associate yourself with Mark otherwise?” Exhaling deeply, “It’s not just that… but I can’t end up like my parents in a lifelong marriage where they don’t even touch each other. And if I don’t feel that thing that towards Youngjae now, when will I ever?”
“Y/N… You literally just said he’s your ideal guy. What are you even saying?”
“I-I don’t know. You’re right I’m dumb… I should just go along with the Kappa Sigma curse,” you wanted to shut yourself up and move on, make her forget everything you just said because it was clear she wasn’t going to understand. Even you didn’t understand.
Lauren cleared her throat, “Y/N it feels like you’re thinking about this too much right now. You’re psyching yourself out… Just going on one date with him doesn’t mean you’ve signed away your rights and now you’re stuck with him for the rest of your life.”
She was right. You knew she was right, but the fear of not having that physical combability with him was what kept holding you back from trying anything.
“Okay this won’t make sense – because I’m drunk may I remind you – but there are guys like Mark who you’re attracted to right away, you can even imagine screwing him. How, when, where-” she interrupts you by letting out a gagging noise, “sorry, sorry keep going.”
You rolled your eyes, “I mean I’m sure with Jaebeom you could see that even before you started dating,” she doesn’t say anything to your comment so you continue, “I don’t see that with Youngjae… I mean I just can’t and it worries me because let’s say I ignore it, confess to him, but then the rest just… doesn’t fall into place. What am I supposed to do?”
“So, what’s the alternative? You bottle up all your feelings for Youngjae and die?”
Just as you’re about to answer, the door opens and the two of you sit up from your spots on the floor. Your heart beats a little too fast looking at Youngjae, you pray he didn’t hear any of the conversation.
“Why are you two in here?” He asked. Sometimes with him it’s difficult to discern what he’s feeling. You can’t tell if he’s mad or is genuinely curious about your presence in what is supposed to be his safe space. “Just needed some air… I knew you’d leave your window open again so we came up. It was too warm down there,” you answered as honestly as you could without revealing that you practically just told your biggest secret whilst intoxicated.
His face suddenly breaks into a smile, “One day I’m going to take back my key. Seriously what if I was in here with someone or something? Lauren looked at you to clock your reaction, you tried to match the smile on Youngjae’s face without focusing on the way that your heart slightly ached.
Shrugging, you pop off the floor a little too quickly, “Well… Thanks for the room Youngjae,” you turned to Lauren, “I’m going home.”
Youngjae panics. Did he say something wrong? He’ll admit that he got a bit weird downstairs when you mentioned Mark, but now he was trying to converse with you like normal to make up for it. Or whatever he thought normal was. After what you had said, how could you be offended at his little joke? “Let me walk you,” he said stepping in front of you.
Pursing your lips, you shook your head, “It’s cool. Stay here. Have fun.”
“Come on Y/N you’re drunk. I don’t want to stay here; I want to take you home.”
Lauren senses a tension between the two of you and she wants to end it here before one of you says something that you’ll regret tomorrow. She stands up and takes agency, “Youngjae it’s okay. Sarah and I were planning on going home anyways, so it’s better if we all just go together.”
You don’t wait for Youngjae to answer as you move past him, out the door and down the main steps of the house. You hear Lauren call after you, but don’t turn back. All you want is to just be alone and go crawl into bed, no longer forced to face this night and face the stupid, shallow and selfish things you had said to Lauren about Youngjae. Now it was all out in the open – or as out as you had wanted it before – and you were going to have to deal with it at some point.
The alcohol is still making everything fuzzy. You can feel the world move from side to side and in your swerving through the crowd, Lauren somehow manages to lose you. What was supposed to be a small planning kickback – where from what you can tell, no planning had occurred – had grown into just a full-blown party.
You’re so caught up thinking about your exchange with Youngjae in his room that when you make it outside onto the porch of the house you barely noticed Mark leaning against the railing. “Where you going?” He asked. You have to stop yourself from laughing or punching him… drunk you seemed to be in an aggressive mood. “Home.”
Mark stops you from tripping over the steps and all you can do is laugh again in response. He looks at you as if you’re crazy, “let me walk you home Y/N.”
It made you groan, “why do all the men in my life keep saying that?”
“Uhh… I don’t know… because you’re fucking wasted? That’s why?”
“Fine, but I’m not sleeping with you,” you grumbled, grabbing onto his arm.
Mark cracked his knuckles, “Yeah, yeah, yeah whatever. I got it. Now let me get you home.”
Mark leads the two of you safely away from the Kappa Sigma house and your drunken state causes your walking to feel more like gliding than actual stepping. You feel pleased enough to smile and Mark looked at you incredulously, “what the fuck’s the matter with you?”
“I think I’ve finally reached that state of drunk where I forget about everything and anything.”
Mark furrowed his eyebrows, “is that what you wanted?”
“Yes. More than anything.”
He rolled his eyes at you and continues to drag you away from the party. You continue to talk his ear off, not having a care in the world and certainly not thinking about how Youngjae’s room has the perfect view of the front yard.
Waking up the next morning was difficult to say the least. The huge hangover you were sporting wasn’t helping your cause to motivate you to get out of bed. In fact, it felt like a pretty excuse to not go back to the Kappa Sigma house for their charity carnival.
The knock on the door caused you to groan.
“Y/N are you up?” You heard Sarah ask you from the other side of the door. You tried to let out some noise to tell her the status of how you were feeling, but all you could do was quietly whine. Your throat felt like the Sahara Desert. You needed water immediately. Sarah, however, took your silence or quite whimper as a sign to enter your room. The light that the open door brought into your room made you want to die.
She groaned herself, “How are you not dressed yet? We promised the boys we’d be over at the house before to help set up.”
The boys. As if they’re all yours and you’re all theirs.
You shifted your position in bed until you were on your side and squinting at her, ignoring the tears that were watering in your eyes from the bright light, “Maybe because I drank my weight and yours in jungle juice last night. You know I puked blue when I got home, right? Don’t you feel bad for me?”
She ignored your last question and rolls her eyes, “I know. Mark wouldn’t shut up about it when he left last night.” You groaned again. You had almost forgotten about Mark. Now he’d seen you throw up; you certainly couldn’t sleep with him ever again. Some things were sacred.
“Now get up,” is the last thing Sarah says before she leaves and shuts the door to your room promptly.
When you finally sit up, you can’t ignore the way that your nausea disappears. It almost felt as if your body had made up to get out of going to a certain something today. Should you go? Not only would the Kappa Sigmas be there, but many of the other fraternities on the row were having their own booths. You weren’t sure if you could be seen in such a public place. After your moment of honesty last night, you were no longer worried about people teasing you and your friend about being in a relationship, but instead you were worried people would catch on. They would catch on to how you felt about him. You couldn’t possibly go to the Kappa Sigma house in this state.
Somehow, you find yourself on the Kappa Sigma front lawn nearly an hour later. You had missed set up, but you were one of the first people to arrive to the actual booth. A dunking booth. How these boys had the means to set up a full carnival booth after a night of drinking baffled you.
“You made it!”
Youngjae’s voice caused you to jump. It was definitely too loud and too bright for you at this time of the day – especially with the mild hangover that you actually did have. He on the other hand was once again trying to seem as normal as possible. Youngjae was trying to ignore the events that had occurred last night, along with the way he felt when he watched Mark take you home after you had rejected him. It felt like lately you had been choosing Mark over him again and again. Even though he wasn’t typically a confrontational person, Youngjae realized that he might actually have to talk to you about this.
You tried to put on your best “ha I’m so dead from drinking” smile for him, “yeah I did. How long until Jaebeom goes in?” He laughed at your candor. This would be a good way to get your aggression out at your friend’s boyfriend. You didn’t care how much you had to spend to get him in the water. It was for a good cause after all.
“Sorry to say it Y/N, but your boyfriend is the one going in first,” you don’t know where Jaebeom came from, but it didn’t surprise you too much. It was often that Jaebeom was lurking in the corners, waiting for a moment where he could intervene in your conversation with Youngjae just to annoy you.
“He’s not my-” you began, but stopped yourself before you could finish and sighed, “whatever Jaebeom.”
Jaebeom smiled proudly, once again feeling like he won something, “see I knew it! Good job man.” He patted Youngjae on the back and went to talk to some of the people who had begun to gather on the lawn. The tension between you and Youngjae is almost unbearable.
“Well… Anyways. Have a good dunking I guess,” you mumbled, trying to move away from him and go literally anywhere else.
“Are you not going to stick around?” The tone of his voice has your heart breaking. He almost sounded like a puppy that had been kicked around for far too long. You had been planning on making some excuse that you wanted to check out the other houses’ booths, but the moment you heard his voice you knew that you were going to stay.
Your voice shakes a bit when you respond, it doesn’t go unnoticed by him, “N-no of course I am. I was just… wishing you good luck. I’m gonna go watch from over there,” you pointed to a further off part of the lawn. Youngjae nodded, “oh… cool.”
It shouldn’t feel this weird. It shouldn’t feel this awkward. But somehow it did. Youngjae felt like he could feel you slowly pushing yourself further and further away from him and he just wish he knew what he had done wrong. Maybe it was the teasing from Jaebeom, your friends and everyone, but it had to be more than just that.
Twenty minutes go by and no one is able to dunk Youngjae. He sits up in the tank waiting for someone to put him out of his misery, because even just sitting up on the small platform was making him cold. He even felt more awkward at the fact that you were just watching. In any other case he would have thought you would have included yourself in the antics of trying to dunk him, but there you stood with your arms crossed looking painfully as bored as ever.
“Come on Y/N don’t want to get your man all wet?” you heard an unknown voice ask from an unknown direction. It had to be one of the Kappa Sigma boys, but it definitely wasn’t Jaebeom. When the teasing made its way outside of the friend group is when you especially grew mad. You took that as your sign to go, but immediately when you turned around to leave the front yard you bump into someone.
“What the fuck are you doing here?” You asked Mark to which he instantly waved his hand as if to shush you. Which you certainly did not like. “Obviously I’m here to help you.”
Never had you ever heard Mark even mention a word remotely close to that of the word “help” – it confused you. Especially because you weren’t sure what he meant by him being there to help you.
“Excuse me? Shouldn’t you be at your own dumb house helping with whatever stupid fucking booth the Zeta Psi’s came up with? Let me guess… Kissing booth.” You take the rolling of his eyes as a sign that you’re correct and laugh.
Your laugh doesn’t go unnoticed by Youngjae. He’d be able to hear it or sense it even if you were miles away. Seeing Mark being the cause of the laughter, however, makes him wish he had never heard it. At this point he just wanted this booth to be over so he could go inside and go to sleep so at least he didn’t have to see you and Mark together. His dreams were another story.
“You didn’t answer me though… What do you mean by helping me?”
Mark clicked his tongue and smirked, “Last night when you were drunk and puking your guts out you told me about your little problem with Choi.”
Jaw dropping open, you couldn’t believe what you were hearing. Last night apparently you had told your secret to not one person, but two – one of them being Mark who was perhaps the worst person to tell besides Youngjae. Mark takes your silence as a means to continue, “If there’s anything a girl can’t do, it’s deny her sexual attraction for a guy she likes when he’s wet. I mean… no girl has been able to do that for me. So even though I think you and Choi are disgusting together… I thought I would come dunk him for you, because Lord knows your weak ass arms won’t be able to do it.”
His words leave you speechless. All of the information he had just said was too much to process at once. It was the fact that he wanted to help you, but also the methods and also his rude comment. You weren’t sure what to focus on.
“I mean there he is… sitting up there in his white t-shirt. I’m just saying if he gets wet you might have the confirmation you need and I don’t know it might awaken something in you or some shit.”
“Mark are you sure you’re not the one who has a crush on Youngjae?”
He scowled, the most disgusted look on his face, “dude no. If I were to go gay for anyone it certainly wouldn’t be Choi. It’d probably be Jinyoung… but that’s beside the point. Just let me help you idiot.”
You knew that regardless of whatever you tried to say to stop him or convince him that this was a stupid idea would be ignored. Mark loved any chance to be right and prove he’s the alpha male and somehow in this plan he would be doing both.
As he moved – and definitely cut some people waiting in line – to where Jaebeom was taking money and handing out the whiffle balls you stayed in your original place convinced that Mark was crazy. He had always said some stupid shit, but you couldn’t believe that now you were actually in the middle of some of his stupid shit.
From where you’re standing you can tell that there’s some sort of weird exchange between Jaebeom and Mark. The former also wasn’t a fan of the latter and you could tell that Jaebeom was having some kind of reckoning within himself about whether or not to let Mark have a go at dunking Youngjae. But ultimately, he let money decide for him.
When Mark gets the first ball in his hand, he smiled proudly at Youngjae sitting up in the tank, helpless, “you ready to get dunked Choi?”
You’re surprised when you actually hear Youngjae respond and you’re not going to lie, but you felt it do something deep inside of you, “Sure Tuan, let’s see the reason they didn’t let you on the baseball team.”
Mark scoffed, ignoring Youngjae’s comment and aims to throw the ball. It misses, but not by much. “Good one man,” Youngjae sneered.
Jaebeom handed Mark another ball and once again it misses the target. When Mark is given the third ball, he looks back at you quickly and it doesn’t go unnoticed by Youngjae. He was doing this for you? He wondered. His thoughts soon became muffled as he was submerged into water, Mark’s final ball hitting the target perfectly.
Seeing Youngjae fall into the water, you felt nothing wash over you. No feelings, no emotions except for the fact that you felt bad for your friend who had to get dunked in cold water. But then… it happened. You couldn’t control yourself; you felt your mouth instinctively drop open as soon as he emerged from the water. Moving his head forward then back to flip his hair. The white shirt he was wearing leaving nothing left to imagination on what was going on underneath. You almost had to stop yourself from letting out a sound when he scrunched up the sleeves on his t-shirt to his shoulders to reveal his arms and tattoos. It wasn’t like Youngjae was a prude who kept himself wrapped up all the time – he was in a frat for goddssake – but you certainly hadn’t ever seen him this on display before.
“You’re welcome,” Mark whispered as he walked by you and off the Kappa Sigma lawn. In any other situation you would have rolled your eyes and made a snarky comment, but you can’t – you’re too focused on Youngjae.
“Um… I’m going to go get dry,” Youngjae mumbled to the guys as soon as he’s out of the tank.
It was like your legs had a mind of their own as they followed Youngjae into the Kappa Sigma house. You had always had light footsteps, but the way your body was on autopilot, you weren’t sure you were being subtle about going unnoticed. However, as Youngjae made his way to the kitchen to grab a towel to wipe himself off he gave no clear sign that he knew you were right behind him.
You simply watched as he meticulously ran the towel over his arms and through his wet hair. It made you wonder if Youngjae had always been this detailed, this thorough and if he applied that attention to other sectors of his life. When he throws the towel onto the counter beside him, you feel yourself hold your breath in the doorway – his hands going to the bottom of his soaked shirt
It’s not lost on you how this would look to an outsider or even to Youngjae if he were to turn around right now. How creepy it would be for him to see his best friend watching him undress silently, not a word coming from her to signal her presence in the room.
It’s almost as though he could hear your thoughts, suddenly turning around before he could pull of his shirt completely.
He takes a step back, his back banging into the corner of the kitchen counter behind him. The surprise on his face is apparent and you feel your stomach flip nervously at the fact that you now have to find an explanation for why you’re just standing here watching him. However, his face soon changes from surprise to something that could only be described as fear – it confuses you.
Was he scared of your perverted behavior? Or was it something else entirely?
“H-hey,” you began, trying to find something to say to avert this situation and make it seem as normal as possible, “you okay? Mark hit you pretty hard, huh?”
Youngjae’s unsure of how to answer, because he’s not sure if he can even get a proper verbal response out. He felt fearful because he knew why you were here – why you had followed him inside of the house just the two of you. It was the reason you had avoided him at the kickback, just now at the dunk booth and even the reason why you had been distancing yourself from him the past month or so. You were here to yell at him and tell him to fuck off. The stress and teasing weren’t worth continuing your friendship with him. Youngjae knew he had to say something before you had a chance to completely cut him out.
“I-It’s my fault,” he stuttered out.
You look at him blankly, completely feeling blindsided at his reaction. You were expecting him to be creeped out at you or at least go on one of his rants about how much Mark sucks, but you’re just left bewildered and unsure of where this is going. “What? What’s your fault?”
He swallowed, “The reason why Jaebeom and everyone always brings up you and me.”
There was a reason? A reason why everyone had been torturing the two of you for months? A reason that had gone unknown to you for months? Not only that, but apparently it was somehow Youngjae’s fault? You were not following whatever it was he was trying to illustrate to you, “I’m not getting it.”
“I-” he paused as if wondering if now was the right time to bring this up. You were beginning to grow impatient; you didn’t know how long you would be able to stay here with him in that wet t-shirt without completely losing your mind and the confidence to do whatever it was you had followed him into the kitchen for, “I liked you… well still like you
The ringing in your ears makes you think that maybe you didn’t hear him correctly. Youngjae liked you? That was why no one would let the whole thing go? It wasn’t just the Kappa Sigma curse, but instead Youngjae genuinely having feelings for you? No… it couldn’t be.
“Youngjae… you can’t like me.”
He hadn’t been expecting this response. Knowing you so well he had planned on a physical act of violence or a full out rejection instead of this. It was confusing. “Why can’t I like you?”
Shifting your weight from one foot onto the other, you answered him, “I’m just so- Well what I mean is- I guess…” You drifted off, unsure of what your answer truly was. Old you was still trying to make her way to the surface and resist what all of your friends had been pushing onto you for months and months. She didn’t want to give up so easily, but the new you that had seemed to have an awakening within the last 24 hours felt like she couldn’t lie to herself or Youngjae anymore.
At your silence Youngjae wrings out his t-shirt to distract himself, you watch the drips of water fall onto the concrete of the kitchen floor, “what you mean is that you don’t have feelings for me… I know that much.”
The way he says it hurts – a lot. He says it so simply as if he has already lost a game that he never truly got the opportunity to play. He says it like it’s a fact that he can never change and will never try to change on his own.
“C-can we go to your room?” You asked so suddenly that you swear you can hear Youngjae’s neck crack from how fast he moves to look at you. He doesn’t know if he’s shocked that you haven’t agreed with his assessment or upset that you haven’t denied it. “Why my room?”
“Just… It’s where I do my best thinking and my best talking. Can we? Please?” Nodding his head slowly, still confused about where this situation is going, you followed him up the stairs to his room.
You take in the space that you had been in, pouring your feelings out to Lauren only a handful of hours before. And yet it felt like it had taken place eons ago. Youngjae doesn’t question anything when you collapse onto the carpet of the floor and look at the ceiling.
“Do you mind if I take off my clothes? I just really don’t want to sit on my bed wet…” he drifted off awkwardly.
You swallowed before you answered him. You didn’t want to make it clear to him that the thought of him in here with you – practically naked – made your stomach flip. It also sent a feeling down to your core that made you instinctively cross your legs.
“Yeah go ahead. It’s your room,” you replied, hoping that you sounded casual enough and not like you were going to fall apart at any second.
Continuing to stare at his ceiling, you try not to pay attention to the sound of clothes being removed and dropped onto the floor. It’s not until you hear the creak of his bed that you can truly concentrate again.
It feels like forever before you’re actually ready to speak, but you’re thankful he doesn’t try to push you to say anything. He’s known you long enough and the two of you have had enough discussions in here to know that it’s best for you to process things in your own way and your own time – you would just tell him everything when you were ready. Despite this, however, Youngjae could feel his own heart beating overtime. The fact that you had requested to talk in his room meant whatever you had to say was serious and the fact that you were staring up at the ceiling for what felt like ever meant that it was extra serious. It felt like his original suspicions had been confirmed – you were here to tell him you no longer wanted to be friends. That it was all just too much.
You exhaled deeply, “Youngjae you are it.”
His ears perked up, half confused and half intrigued, “Huh?” You keep your eyes fixated on the ceiling, not wanting to look at him quite yet, but you can only imagine how cute he looks with his big brown eyes.
“You are it for me. You are my perfect guy. You have always been the one I wanted, but I was too afraid to say it out loud and I was too afraid to think it. I kept myself back for…” you began drifting off, not really wanting to elaborate, “selfish reasons that maybe I’ll tell you one day in the future. Don’t worry it’ll be something we’ll laugh about… maybe. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I um… like you too.”
Youngjae suddenly can’t feel the beating of his heart anymore, because the dream that he’s had since he’s known you can’t actually be happening in his reality – in his bedroom. He isn’t going to accept this that easily so he prods, “did Jaebeom put you up to this?”
Quickly you sit up from your spot on the floor and look at him up on the bed for the first time since you entered the room, you notice that he settled on not getting dressed in new clothes. Instead, he was clad in only his black boxer briefs, practically everything on display for you. Is this what a thirst trap felt like? Ignoring how dry your mouth has gone, you answer his initial question, “what?” You felt like laughing, really laughing, “no Jaebeom didn’t put me up to this. Do you really think I would go along with his little games?”
“I mean I don’t know…” he bites down on his lower lip a little too hard, “how am I supposed to believe that if you go for a guy like Mark, you’d go for me?”
The mention of Mark causes you to stand up immediately and sit beside him on the bed. You slowly reached out to grab one of his hands which sit gently in his lap, he nods to let you know it’s okay.
“Mark is just… some asshole who I used in a stupid way to avoid feelings I wasn’t sure what to do with. Because I wasn’t fully ready to accept them? I don’t know… Because I just wanted to prove my friends wrong and not give into what they were suggesting? I don’t know… But what I do know now is that guys like Mark only go so far. They treat you like shit and help you forget things momentarily, but they’re not the ones that hold your hand when you get scared during a movie or the ones who know your coffee order. And they’re especially not the ones that you actually have feelings for – the ones that make you feel safe, secure and wanted. That’s who you are to me Youngjae and I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get to this point. Stupid careless stuff got in the way and you’ve never deserved that.”
It’s almost as though all of the air has been sucked out of Youngjae. He would still believe that this was a dream if it hadn’t been for you holding his hand and making this feel so… real. It’s a moment before he answers you, “that was a much better confession than just a “I like you” … wasn’t it?”
You smiled. Leave it to Youngjae to compare your confessions.
“It’s not about the words per say… but it was just the feeling I got when I heard you say it. That’s what matters.”
At your words, Youngjae moves his hand placement on top of yours and slowly rubs his thumb along your skin. It feels like he does that for a while before he takes his other hand and gently tilts your chin, “can I try something?” he asked. You cleared your throat, “y-yeah sure.”
You felt nervous. You knew what it was that Youngjae was planning on “trying” and with the number of butterflies in your stomach you felt fourteen again. The big part was out of the way – you had already told him how you felt, but what if all of your worries about the physical part of your relationship with Youngjae were true? What if when he kissed you, you didn’t feel… anything? Maybe what you had felt for him at the dunk booth and downstairs in the kitchen was just some kind of mirage and actually not real physical attraction. If that was the case then what were you supposed to do? Take your confession back? You couldn’t. That’s how you felt goddammit.
It’s almost as though Youngjae could sense your panic and overthinking as he placed his hand that was in yours onto the back of your neck, “shh, it’s okay.” And you believe him, because you trust him. It’s Youngjae. Your Youngjae.
Slowly, he leans in to press his lips to yours. At first it feels a little awkward, a little like both of you are too timid and unsure of what to do because both of you are kissing your best friend for the first time. Youngjae’s lips feel a bit tense and you can’t help but feel like yours must be doing the same thing. It causes you to relax them and your shoulders. After a moment Youngjae follows and you’re able to focus on the softness of his lips.
Soon it feels good – really good – like what a kiss is supposed to be like, but somehow even better. The two of you find a familiar rhythm that both of you are comfortable with and it feels like you’re reading each other’s minds discovering what the other wants without explicitly asking. His confidence surprises you when you feel his tongue brush the seam of your lips asking for entrance, which you happily grant him.
The two of you stay like this for a moment, lost in each other’s lips, caressing each other’s skin with your hands until finally you both have to break away for air. Breathless you both just look at each other for a moment and laugh when you realized how carried away you both got from just a kiss – the two of you somehow ending up on top of one another while lost in your make out trance.
It’s clear that the fear you had about not having that physical want from Youngjae was clearly misguided. When he brings a hand to brush some hair behind your ear you feel an extreme level of comfort. You wanted him. You wanted him bad and you wanted him now.
“Let me take care of you and make you feel good,” he murmured and you think for a second that you might have to ask him to repeat himself. Never did you think you would hear your typically silent, non-confrontational best friend be so forward. The words along with Youngjae’s confidence went straight to your core as you began to feel your underwear dampen.
You answered him with a nod that’s a little too quick, Youngjae laughing at your eagerness. “I feel a little awkward being the only one in their underwear so… why don’t we get you out of these,” he motioned for you to remove your clothing, which you quickly oblige to – not being able to do it fast enough. He takes all of you in, “I can’t believe this is happening,” he mumbled mostly to himself. His honesty causes you to chuckle and soon enough he placed his lips back onto yours.
You feel like you could break apart at any moment with the way he was treating you as if you were made of porcelain – it had you going crazy. Before this moment, you had always thought that what you needed in a sexual partner was someone rough, quick and aggressive as it had been what all of your past boyfriends had in common, but the way Youngjae was looking at you… The way he looked at you with such care and admiration made you feel more turned on than you had ever been. Why did you stick around assholes like Mark for so long when Youngjae was the entire package?
The kiss is soft, slow and gentle as Youngjae’s hands move from your cheeks to your hips. He gently squeezes the skin before he moves one hand between your spread thighs. His fingers are slow and gentle as he rubs circles on your clit, his thumb a barely there pressure on the sensitive nub. His lips continued to move against yours, much softer and far slower than you’re used to, but you can’t help but think about how this affirms how much you want Youngjae. You were hanging on every touch, every kiss and every caress he left along your body.
Your senses are overwhelmed with Youngjae as you tug gently at his hair and your hips instinctively shift towards his own wanting something a bit more. He pulled away from the kiss, chuckling, “you’ve never been patient, have you?” At the end of his question, he slipped a finger into your opening and worked to stretch you open – all you can do is wordlessly nod to answer his query. Burying your face in the crook of his neck, you press a kiss to his skin just breathing in his scent – a combination of the cologne you bought him for Christmas and just him. It feels as though the air is knocked out of your lungs when he presses his thumb to your clit once more and begins rubbing.
It’s hard to ignore the itching in your throat to beg him to hurry up, but you know that’s not the point of this. Although it had been your sexual desires that caused you to follow Youngjae into the house and cause you to end up in your bedroom that you knew so well – it had suddenly become something much more than that. All of your feelings for him were coming together all at once in this moment. Being close, feeling him and being together, that’s the reason he’s taking his time and you don’t want to rush it. You want him to know how much you want this as well. You begin pressing lazy kisses to the column of his throat as he continued working you open.
It feels like you’re floating, pleasant and warm, as Youngjae finally moved his hand from between your thighs. Your eyes are closed, your breathing is even, and he’s almost certain you’re falling asleep but as he asks if you’re still with him, you hum your affirmative. “Please Youngjae,” you mumbled against his neck and he almost refused just because he suddenly liked having this power over you. Usually you were the one who controlled everything in your friendship – the how, the where, the when and the way – it excited him to have this much of an effect on you.
Smiling shyly, Youngjae leaned over to his bedside table, grabbing a condom from the drawer underneath. “How long has that been in there? 2011?” you asked playfully. He can’t help but roll his eyes in response as he tears open the packet, removes his boxers – finally – and rolls it onto himself.
“Ha ha, very funny.”
Youngjae returned his lips to yours in a soft kiss as he shifted you onto his lap. It took a moment of maneuvering before he managed to situate you in just the right spot, wincing when you could feel him poke at your entrance. He pressed a kiss on your shoulder and breaks away to look at you again, “are you sure about this?”
The look on his face is a mixture of multiple things – you can tell that he’s afraid you could change your mind at any moment, completely going back to the way things were, but you can also sense his own hesitation. You place a final kiss on his lips to signal your answer and position yourself down onto him. He bites his lip to keep back a moan as he feels you clench around him when he’s fully sheathed inside you.
“Youngjae…” you breathed against his skin, “how does it feel this good?” you mumbled and Youngjae groaned in response to let you know he felt the same.
The two of you remained still for a moment, him allowing you time to adjust and you enjoying the feeling of being so full – both physically and emotionally. As you start to wiggle your hips in an effort to gain more friction, Youngjae began to thrust into you. His pace is slow and you can feel every vein and ridge of him as he moves inside you.
“You’re so fucking beautiful,” he groaned into your ear. His low voice caused you to moan, it wasn’t often you heard him use vulgar language, but it was something you definitely wanted him to continue doing. “I’ve wanted this for so long you have no idea.” Your heart feels so full, because you know that deep down you had wanted this for so long too.
You barely hear the bed creaking as Youngjae moves a hand from your back to slip between your bodies and press to your clit. His thumb rubs soft circles and you’re overwhelmed by the feelings coursing through your veins. You don’t know if you want to chant his name or sob from the fire threatening to consume you but you don’t have a chance to do either as your orgasm washes over you.
Moaning out against his skin, your voice comes out muffled and your fingers tangle in his hair as he continues working you through the aftershocks. It only takes a moment for him to fall over the edge after you and you groaned at the feeling of him spilling into the condom. Before he can pull away, you wrapped your arms tighter around him and shifted a little closer.
“I don’t want this to end,” you mumbled against his skin.
“It won’t,” Youngjae assured you, placing another on your skin.
The two of you stay like that for what feels like forever until finally Youngjae pulls out of you and disposes of the condom somewhere on the other side of his bed.
Suddenly something dawned on you, you groaned. The groan had Youngjae’s heart skip a beat and for a second he’s worried that you’ve changed your mind completely. “What is it?” he asked timidly.
You frowned, “I just realized how happy Jaebeom is going to be and how much he’s going to rub this in our faces for like... ever. Ugh Mark too.”
His eyebrows furrowed in confusion, “Mark?”
You shook your head, that was a story for a different day. The last thing you wanted to talk about with Youngjae after a post-sex haze is how Mark is technically the reason the two of you are here.
“Please promise me we’re not going to be one of those stupid married couples like our friends.” Youngjae’s heart warms when you infer the two of you being a couple now. It’s all he’s wanted.
“No way. We’ll be like the cool couple that stays engaged for like 7 years.”
You smiled and closed your eyes as he comes closer to you, bringing you into his side and enveloping you into his arms, “good...” you hummed, “and we’ll still make fun of them?”
Youngjae placed a kiss on the temple of your forehead, “duh.”
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protective measures | data soong x reader
a/n: this came to me while I was in the shower myself and blacking out (losing vision and hearing) repeatedly because I decided taking a hot shower was a good idea. So I suddenly pictured this scene in my head and I decided to write a fictober fic about Data being a protective partner and not dealing with my shiz – aka me ignoring the fact that I have a chronic illness and that my body can’t regulate its own temperature.
I juST WANT A SCALDING HOT SHOWER WITH NO RISKS, DARNIT.
DO NOT REPOST MY WORK.
fanfic or original work: fanfic
fandom: Star Trek: The Next Generation
prompt: (#24) “Are you kidding me?“
summary: reader has a chronic illness (POTS/Dysautonomia) and decides to do something stupid, which Data rectifies immediately.
warnings: reader has a chronic illness, playful arguing, light language
terms used: spoon = chronically ill folk like myself refer to our energy levels as spoons. For example, doing one chore or taking a shower would take up one spoon, and some days we might have three more spoons or no more spoons left to spare after that.
word count: 2,893
music: What I Love About Charlie by Randy Newman
The soft whoosh of the door to your quarters hummed peaceably to a close behind you as you crossed the threshold of your small haven among the stars. There was a reminiscent twinge of lavender in the air from the candles you had burned before your shift, daring you to clamber under the soft duvet of your large bed and let sleep have its way with you. However, instead of such, you heaved a wearied sigh and slid your shoes off by the door, nudging them against the wall, knowing full well that you had only one spoon left to spend – and you needed a shower.
Your movement by the door warranted the attention of a certain ginger tabby who plodded up to you from her hideout under the cool recesses of the multi-tiered scratching post. The indulgent warmth of Spot’s fur comforted you as she lathered her forehead against your calves. You smiled down at her and whispered a soft greeting, granting her head a gentle pat.
When you stepped forward to make your way to the bedroom suite, she wove herself in-between your legs in the pattern of an eager infinity circle before ambling over to her half-empty dish near the replicator. A long strain of melodramatic meowing ensued.
“Spot,” - you dragged out the vowel in her name in feigned frustration and opened your dresser drawer flamboyantly for emphasis - “there’s still food left from this morning! What are you complaining about?”
I can see the shiny glint in the bottom of the bowl, she seemed to meow.
An amused chuckle left your lips as you shook your head at the begging tabby. Those piercing green orbs of hers always seemed to do the talking when she was quiet, but when she spoke so loudly like this, the “puppy dog” effect was in full swing. You would have given in, too, if it hadn’t been for the various feeding schedules you knew Data was testing.
He had been attempting to find her preferred supplement mix for the last couple of weeks, but she seemed indifferent to everything except the food she could always persuade you to give her from your own plate. After she refused so many of the different mixtures and flavors he had coded, he theorized that it might have been something to do with her feeding time rather than a picky sense of taste – and perhaps the added incentive of your spoiling her so much, which Data didn’t seem to mind.
After gathering fresh undergarments, fuzzy socks, and a comfortable set of loungewear, you crossed the carpeted floor and headed for the bathroom, passing by Spot as you went. “Data will be home soon and he’ll feed you, okay? I don’t want to interfere with the schedule he’s trying out.”
As if she couldn’t understand you – or perhaps she simply refused to acknowledge that answer – her meows kept coming until you turned the corner and disappeared from her sight. You set your wad of clothes on the stout countertop by the sink and began taking off your uniform, dropping it in a heap by the doorway to be put through the garment processor later on. With a tired, achy intake of air, you stepped inside the shower dome and began entering your preferred specifications on the small grade LCARS panel.
You were almost ready to engage the water feature of the shower – you much preferred the soothing effect it had on your body rather than the quick efficiency of a sonic shower – when you pondered in the last second whether or not to indulge in a higher temperature. Your finger rested idly above the panel that waited for your touch.
Would it be alright to let yourself have a hot shower for once? To just let the steam relax your aching muscles?
A knowing sigh escaped your lips.
It never ended well when you indulged yourself like this, even just in the simplest things. Hot showers were soothing in the moment, but as soon as the water turned off and you stepped out, your body was unable to balance its temperature and you would become absolutely drained and sometimes even purple below your knees. There were always consequences when it came to your autonomic issues – such as lasting fatigue, frequent trips to sickbay for sodium supplements to regulate your blood pressure, and even having to miss shifts on occasion.
You were of course grateful that the world around you had excelled to a point where chronically ill bodies were able to be more readily treated and accommodated, especially in a place like Starfleet, but there were still times when it was just all a bit much.
Your next thought was of Data. As your husband and closest friend, he was the best anyone could ask for, especially in your situation. He was always going the extra mile in your relationship to help you keep up with your symptoms and sure you were taking care of yourself at all times. He even checked in on you throughout the day by use of your combadges. He never hesitated to stop you from pushing yourself too far or doing something stupid – like taking a hot shower when you knew that the aftermath was never fun to deal with.
He wouldn’t approve of this at all.
But you were cold and sore from a day spent on your feet that had been riddled with dizzy spells, palpitations, and a myriad of other symptoms that hardly ever left your body. Very few things feel better than a hot soak after a long day, and a lukewarm shower just didn’t appeal to you.
Without a second thought, you raised the temperature of the water and let the hot entity coat your body in its calming pitter-patter rhythm. The heady feel of the steam enveloped you like a warm blanket and you released another sigh – this time peacefully, with a sense of long-awaited relief.
Data passed through the door of your shared quarters and immediately noticed your shoes toppled over one another near the entryway. Subconsciously, he was acutely made aware of the sound of running water from the other room. He turned to follow the source, deducing that you were well enough to shower after a full day’s work, which was a tremendous feat for your body. Plus, it was purely ritual to say hello to each other as soon as you arrived back home. His turn of direction was interrupted by the sudden appearance of Spot, who nudged herself against his legs impatiently.
“Hello, Spot. It is nice to see you as well,” he knelt down and stroked the feline head to tail, contentedly smiling to himself as her curling spine conformed like putty to the mold of his hand, “I assume you are ready for your next helping of food, yes?”
The tabby meowed once before returning to a low purr.
“I thought you might be. It has been approximately eight hours and seventeen minutes since your last meal,” - Data scooped the satisfied cat up in his arms and carried her over to her dish, never breaking eye contact with her - “If my studies are correct, this should be an appropriate time to allow you your second portion since there has been ample time for proper digestion.”
It was only when Data had bent to reach for her dish that he realized she had only eaten a little more half of the breakfast supplement he had laid out for her. It had been infused with vitamins and other nutrients beneficial to the feline species, which he had hoped she would enjoy. Apparently, Spot was pickier than that.
Everything but the very bottom layer had been devoured, just until she reached the silver shine of the lowermost rim and left the rest to dry distastefully. His head tilted to the side as he contemplated all the possible causes for her sudden disinterest.
“Curious,” he simply stated.
Spot squirmed out of his arms and sniffed her bowl once before resting low to the ground in anticipation. Data picked up the bowl and set it onto the replicator tray. It dissolved into nothingness before being replaced by Spot’s dinner supplement, which he promptly placed on the floor. He refreshed her water dish and stroked her back dotingly as she scarfed down her food with an enthusiasm she sparingly demonstrated.
Data quirked his head to the side slightly, resolving to the realization that perhaps Spot was not meant to be understood most of the time, but rather accommodated.
When he stood, he turned back to the sound of running water with a lingering glance at his little tabby and made his way to the bathroom. He stopped short when he noticed the steam pouring out of the doorway and dissipating amongst the broad cast of lamplight on the ceiling. Without batting an eye, Data acted quickly. “Computer, override Lieutenant (L/n)’s controls of the LCARS shower panel and reset the water temperature to sixty-seven degrees Fahrenheit.”
There was a chirp as the computer relayed his directions before transmitting audibly in the living area where he stood. “Controls have been overridden. Temperature resetting.”
Data watched as the steam dissipated from the doorway and nodded to himself with an air of self-satisfaction. In a split second, there was a shriek of discomfort he had been expecting.
You recoiled from the stream of chilled water and slammed your fingers against the LCARS panel, hitting every possible control to reheat the temperature. When it refused to respond, except with a blaring sound that indicated your action was blocked, you cursed under your breath. “Are you kidding me!?”
“Computer, why isn’t this panel responding?”
“You have been denied access to the temperature dial.”
“Denied access? By who?”
“Lieutenant Commander Data.”
You huffed in frustration, slowly inching yourself around the water and towards the curved glass door, sliding it open enough to fit your head through. “DATA SOONG!”
The sound of his solid and perfectly timed footsteps approached until you saw him standing in the doorway of your bathroom.
“What did you do to my shower?”
“I have prohibited you from endangering yourself with your chosen temperature setting.”
“Data, I’m a full-grown adult. I can choose the temperature of my own shower.”
With a pointed finger, he stepped closer. “You know as well as I that higher temperatures in your showers cause your blood pressure and internal body temperature to spiral. You have said yourself on many occasions that the immediate satisfaction is not worth the toll it takes on your cardiovascular symptoms,” - he paused only to jut his chin downwards and quirk an eyebrow at you in an imitating fashion as if to prove his point - “Have you not?”
A mock-gasp passed your lips. His matter-of-fact statement held a certain air of sass to it that you hadn’t expected—it was moments like these that made you wonder how people could think Data was incapable of his own emotions. It was so obvious in some moments, however vague or fleeting, that he was entirely capable of expressing himself.
“But it’s FREEZING!”
“I assure you, (Y/n), the temperature is not low enough to freeze. I set it myself. You are simply acclimated to the hotter setting of one hundred and nine degrees Fahrenheit. It is no doubt a shock to your body to experience such a steep decline in temperature, but it does not put you at risk,”
“The chills all over my body would beg to differ,” you muttered.
Timidly, your feet inched back under the waterfall, testing its discomfort. You kept the door slightly ajar so you could hear his impending lecture, slowly dipping your head under and rinsing the lathered shampoo from your hair. Contorting your back in what was likely not Beverly Crusher approved posture, you made sure your sopping wet hair of ice didn’t make contact with your back.
Data continued. “In fact, I have done extensive research regarding the benefits of colder bathing routines. It has been proven that cold water actually increases circulation and can reduce muscle soreness. Some results indicate that human hair and skin is greatly improved in shine and condition, causing a ‘glowing’ effect.”
While listening to your husband’s voice and internalizing his carefully researched evidence, you found it hard to stay annoyed. He was devoted to you in every possible way, even in the ways a human partner would hardly have the patience for. Despite your tendency to return to harmful habits for the sake of quick pleasure – even just a hot shower or a bite of dark chocolate – he was ever-faithful and willing to help you each and every time.
A fluttery sensation erupted in your stomach, just as it had the first day you had met him. You silently hoped that feeling would never subside.
All while he talked, you managed to withstand the cold long enough to rinse the scrubs and creams from your body quickly enough to avoid the first symptoms of common hypothermia. When the water finally shut off under your input, you slid the door open and looked around for the towel you had evidently forgotten to set out.
When you tuned back into Data’s conversation, your ears weren’t prepared for the mental image they evoked. “-last meeting in Ten Forward, Commander Riker informed me that he prefers cold showers over the alternative. He enjoys the rush that the lower tempera-”
“I couldn’t care less about how Commander Riker and his naked ass cheeks bathe. I’m cold,” you shivered, wrapping your arms about your chest.
Without being prompted, Data turned to the linen closet where a smaller replicator was located for such a purpose. He tapped away on the panel until it replicated his entry. Grabbing the towel, he turned and unraveled it as he came to your side.
“Here,” he held it out in front of him for you to step into, “I replicated a heated towel, not unlike the heating pad you often use for easing pain. It should be far more comfortable for you.”
You stepped forward and let him wrap you into the warm cloth. A shiver wobbled your limbs briefly as he tucked the corners under your chin for you to hold in place. Glancing down, you found that your legs were, in fact, not purple. Your fingers and toes weren’t numb or tingly. You were tired from the exertion, but you weren’t nearly as dizzy. It was a pleasant change.
Perhaps Data was on to something—maybe a cold shower was better for you.
You smiled up at him, leaning into his chest. "I know I complain about how you help me sometimes, but I really do appreciate you, Data. I don't think I'd be able to stay here aboard this starship if it weren't for you. Thank you."
"It is one of the greatest pleasures in my life that I am able to help you succeed, (Y/n). However, I do not require praise for my efforts; it is what any husband would do for his wife, in any situation. It was a condition in our vows that I fully intend to honor."
Your smile broadened. "You'd be surprised at how hard it is for humans to help each other sometimes...and I still want to thank you, just for being you-- and how willing you are to put up with me."
"In that case, you are welcome. But I do not simply 'put up with you'. You are not a burden to me. I value your companionship above all else."
"I love you, too, Data," you leaned forward and pecked him on the lips, which he responded to almost eagerly.
You made your way to the nightwear you had set out and carefully clambered into them while holding your towel to your skin as long as physics would permit. When you had dressed and disposed of the towel and your uniform, you shut the lights out and followed after Data.
He stood by the dresser and pulled out his own set of pajamas you had replicated for him some holiday past, and proceeded to change. Although he did not have the need for sleep, he did enjoy mimicking a normal life as much as possible. Not because he was a puppet or sought solely to please you, but because Data wanted to belong—not only in the wide universe of sentient, feeling beings, but also in the simple warmth shared between two people under the intimate haven of a soft duvet.
He preferred imitating sleep alongside you rather than keeping himself busy with other things in between his shifts, which consequently allowed him to roam his own memories and run the occasional diagnostics.
His most frequently visited memories were those he shared with you and his close friends, such as Geordi and Guinan. But his favorites, if he were able to choose in an emotionally attached sense, were the moments he had spent with you, down to the very millisecond. Every last detail.
With an exaggerated exhale, you plopped down on the bed and began to brush through your hair. Data had moved to the living area where he checked on Spot, making sure her water dish was full for the night and fluffing her bedding that sat primly under the wide coffee table. Your gaze drifted to his kneeling frame as he tucked her into her own blanket.
“Goodnight, Spot. I wish you sweet dreams, although I do not understand the use of the term ‘sweet’, I suspect it is used as a synonym for pleasant,” he stroked her gently as he spoke, earning a quick lick from her pink tongue, “I do not require grooming, although I do appreciate your effort. If you should need me, I will be in bed with your mother.”
The smile that crept onto your features was effortless.
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Could you analyze the scene from ep.12 (the one with the stairs)? It's one of my favorites because defines very well the relationship between Shi-mok and Han Yeo-jin. 😗
The stairwell scene is interesting because it’s one of the few scenes in the entire show that’s solely devoted to relationship building, as opposed to having something to do with the case. Relationships obviously develop over the course of the show, but most of it happens in the background/over small details, subtle moments. The stairwell scene stands out because it’s so completely in our face about Shi-mok and Yeo-jin, in a way that stood to highlight how far our favorite duo have come in their relationship despite the setbacks of the first half of the season.
In this Youtube video, you can see one of Shi-mok’s pain episodes in S1 juxtaposed with the stairwell scene in S2. The very first time we see Shi-mok deal with his pain is in S1E6, after he comes back from speaking with his mother. It’s implied that the headache is triggered from his interaction with his mother, who is clearly a source of deep trauma and emotional repression for him, and he deals with the aftermath of his pain alone.
In that scene, he spills an entire bottle of water as he collapses, and he wakes alone to the same puddle of water next to him. No one was there to see him go through his pain, and no one is there to clean up the water for him. He trudges to get a paper towel roll and mops up what he can.
The sheer sense of loneliness and isolation we get from this dialogue-less scene is immense. We’re told throughout the series, in brief subtle moments, that the core of Shi-mok’s emotional state is defined by his isolation. His pain isolated him from his parents and his classmates; his surgery isolates him from the entirety of human society. The only reason Shi-mok seems to be able to deal with his situation is because of his work, the relentless pursuit of justice that seems to anchor him to his identity, and the fact that his lobotomy eliminated the worst of his emotions. Otherwise, I can’t imagine any person actually enduring his situation for the entirety of their adulthood.
Towards the beginning of S1, Shi-mok tells Jung-bon flatly, “You’re right. I don’t have anyone beside me, and I never will.” Jung-bon, who doesn’t know about his condition, would clearly interpret this as Shi-mok refusing to develop a relationship that might alleviate his isolation. But for the viewer who knows about Shi-mok’s condition, it’s clear that he’s simply resigned to the idea of his solitude. He doesn’t expect companionship because of his inability to connect to his emotions, and I think this expectation might have more to do with the other person not accepting his condition than his own lack of desire for connection.
So this is where Shi-mok begins: alone and resigned to being alone.
S1 is spent proving to Shi-mok that he doesn’t have to do the work alone; Yeo-jin is not only a good partner but also a unique conduit for his deeply dormant emotional state. Without crossing the line or breaching his boundaries, she gently points out that he actually can tap into a deeper recess of himself and interact with other people in a way that is meaningful.
At first, he seems almost disturbed by her suggestions that he can feel and act out emotions, but over the course of S1, he reaches a place where he actually does tap into a part of himself that he might not have engaged with for a good part of his life. So Shi-mok’s emotional development over S1 is not just about his fight for justice, but also about him relearning his ability to connect with people.
If S1 is spent with Shi-mok learning about his ability to connect, I think S2 then leads naturally to him learning about his desire to connect. His resignation to his solitude in S1 means he never thinks of friendships, relationships, or human connections as a possibility in his personal life, so naturally, he never seems to ask himself if he wants it in the first place. It makes sense that S1 thus addresses the issue of him realizing that the possibility exists at all, but it never gets far enough to show Shi-mok actively desiring that human connection.
Shi-mok at the beginning of S2 is in a similar place as the beginning of S1, in that he is fairly alone and isolated due to his exile to Tongryeong. It doesn’t seem like he’s kept in regular contact with anyone, not even Yeo-jin, and he clearly hasn’t made any personal connections in his new district office. Yet unlike S1, when this just seemed like a part of his character, Shi-mok in his isolation feels deeply unhappy. We’re given shots of him alone in a hotel room because he’s unable to find a place to stay in Seoul, of him watching families and couples run past his car at a rest stop. They’re very subtle moments, but I think they amount to Shi-mok having a deeper awareness of his own isolation, and perhaps the possibility that he doesn’t actually want to live in such solitude.
And of course, when he sees Yeo-jin again in S2, he is also noticeably different.
S2 is all about Shi-mok reaching out first, even as Yeo-jin draws back further and further due to her own personal emotional arc. Since we’ve discussed all of those moments to death already, there’s something more specific I want to look at: Shi-mok making his personal preferences known.
These are also small moments, hardly relevant to the major plot at hand, but in multiple scenes, Shi-mok openly voices his (food) preferences and Yeo-jin listens. In S2E2, Yeo-jin asks him if he wants to eat stir-fried octopus or hot pot, and Shi-mok, without making the usual polite deferrals or simply ordering on his own, tells her that he wants stir-fried octopus. This repeats in S2E16 (he asks for soju, not makgeolli), and of course, during the stairwell scene In E12.
I think among all the moments in the stairwell scene, I was most surprised when Yeo-jin offers to buy Shi-mok a can of cola for his headache, and he simply accepts the offer. It’s not exactly a personal preference, per se, but it places Shi-mok in a position where he has to decide what he wants. Unlike other acts of care by Yeo-jin (buying him food in S1E6, getting him chamomile tea in S1E12, ordering him another round of cabbage in S2E12), in this particular moment, Shi-mok actually has to actively say whether or not he wants what Yeo-jin is offering. In all of her other moments, Yeo-jin just does the thing — she takes him by the arm to buy him dinner, she shows up at his door with the tea, she orders the cabbage without him asking — but in this particular one, Shi-mok has to agree to receive her kindness.
And he does, without a moment’s hesitation.
Knowing Shi-mok and the way he uses politeness as a barrier and defense mechanism, it would have been natural for him to politely refuse or even simply put up the pretense of hesitation. But much like their dinner scene in S2E2, he doesn’t put up any of those pretenses around Yeo-jin. It shows us clearly that Shi-mok recognizes her kindness for what it is, is grateful for it, and wants it.
The stairwell scene in S2 is a neat piece of writing work, since it gives us a clear moment of personal connection directly following a scene where Shi-mok and Yeo-jin are forced, again, to be on opposite sides. It’s a moment of reconciliation, when both sides (esp. Yeo-jin) have to admit that their personal care for each other transcend the confrontations of being on opposite sides, and it’s also a moment calling back to earlier moments of connection in S1 that serve as the basis of their relationship. After this scene, something significant changes between them — both of them seem to implicitly agree that their partnership is most important and that they’re willing to prioritize their work together before any of the petty politics dividing them.
But it also gives us a significant moment of Shi-mok’s own emotional development, since we see how he is no longer just realizing the possibility of his connection to other people, especially Yeo-jin. He’s making his own (small, small, baby steps) approach to these connections on his end. He’s showing that he does actually have certain desires, preferences, that he is willing to share them with Yeo-jin, and that he’s willing to work on his end to build on whatever connection he has with other people. He’s no longer resigned to his isolation or even just realizing the possibility of potential personal relationships; he’s actively working to build on the one he has, the one that he’s deemed most important.
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Little Situation (Part 4.)
Summary: For years, HYDRA had been trying to use the samples of Steve’s DNA to make another super-soldier. They finally succeed and when S.H.I.E.L.D. breaks her out, Cap is forced to come face to face with his kid and figure out parenting on an Avengers’ lifestyle.
Warnings: maybe potential childhood trauma but nothing really
Pairing: Steve Rogers x blackdaughter!reader, avengers x child!reader, avengers x poc!reader
Word Count: 2.2k
Note: it is a reader but also OC cause the character has a name but it makes sense why so just go with it. also warning now, considering this fic starts at the end of the Avengers movie and spans into Endgame (cause i apparently like going all the way) this is def a fic on the long side
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
Steve waved as you and Clint came from baggage claim. Clint laughed as he saw the baseball bat in the hand Steve was waving. Once you two actually reached, he took the bat and smiled at you trying to show that everything was fine after all. Steve also pulled something else from behind his back.
“Our mission was in Peru. I, um, got you something,” Steve said as he handed you a chullo hat with a toy alpaca in it.
“Thanks Da— Ste— thank you.”
You tucked the alpaca under your arm and put on the hat— it was very colorful but obvious the reason Steve bought that particular one was for the large white star on each ear flap. Steve took your suitcase from you and patted your shoulder.
“Nat’s right outside with the car. Why don’t you head on out, Clint and I are right behind you.”
He watched you walk out the airport doors before turning back to Clint. The pompom on the top of the hat bobbled back and forth as you walked away.
“When we say she broke a bat, how bad?”
“It was in literal splinters, I don’t think she knows how much strength to put in certain tasks.”
“I’ll work on that with her. Hope that’s a good one for your kid.”
“Yep. Same brand, you didn’t have to buy a new bat.”
“Ah, no problem.”
Steve started to walk when Clint grabbed his arm.
“Hey, man. Sarah ran after it broke thinking something bad was going to happen to her. She was gone for almost the whole night and was so worried about us being mad.”
“I’m working on that too. I don’t know what the hell HYDRA did to her but we’re trying to undo that.”
“She called you dad.” Clint nodded when Steve looked at him with surprise. “When I found her she said ‘please don’t tell my dad’. The kid feels safe with you whether she says so or not, just be careful with that.”
Steve got in the backseat and let Clint take the passenger’s. It was silent until Nat finally reached over to turn on the radio. Steve turned his head to see you staring out the window, absentmindedly picking at the soft fur of the alpaca doll. Clint and Nat both looked in the rearview mirror to see you take out the hearing aids and place your hand on the speaker on the backdoor of the car. You closed your eyes and sat back with a smile. When the song changed your eyes opened with a frown. Clint messed with the stations until he found one with a similar vibe. When your eyes closed again, he turned to Nat and Steve.
“Sometimes it’s not about the song itself but the music. She probably likes the way the vibrations feel.”
“Have you guys eaten lunch?”
“Nah, had to leave early to make the flight on time.”
So Nat pulled up at an outdoor restaurant instead of just taking Clint to his studio and you and Steve to the apartment. You took off the hat and left the alpaca in the car. The waitress came over and the three adults watched you tilt your head as she approached, looking at something. The waitress pulled out her phone for you all to read: Hello, I’m Ally, your server for today. Please bear with me, I am completely deaf but can still do my job. I’m happy to help. Do you know what you want to drink?
Ally’s smile grew large when you and Clint both tapped on your ears. Clint took over taking everyone’s orders and signing them to the waitress. When she came back with the sodas, she handed you a kid’s menu with crayons.
I like your hearing aids, pretty color. Is (f/c) your favorite? Ally asked.
Thank you. Yes, I like (f/c).
Ally took your food order and headed back to wait her other tables. The three Avengers discussed the missions Nat and Steve had just come back from, being careful not to discuss classified information in case someone was eavesdropping. Steve, who was sitting across from you, looked down to see you drawing— surprisingly well, especially for having crayons. Nat and Clint looked as well.
“You know they say a portion of creative ability can actually be an inherited trait,” Nat said.
Both Clint and Steve looked at her.
“What? I had to be a child psychologist for a mission once.”
You looked up when Steve took a crayon.
You shrugged and pushed the menu in between the two of you, where you had flipped it to the blank back side to reveal your drawing of the roses in the pots next to your table. Natasha and Clint looked on with silent amusement as Steve leaned over the table and started coloring with you while waiting for the sandwiches. He added the actual restaurant in the background, including the green awning while you made the tables and chairs. You looked at the flowers on the table— not red roses, but purple flowers. Which wouldn’t have been a problem, except the crayon pack had all the blues and purples next to each other. Steve took the crayon pack out of your hand and wordlessly took all the crayons out, rearranging them on the table so each blue or purple was separated by another color.
You picked up the crayon that seemed closest, now able to have a sense of differentiation. When Ally came back with the sandwiches and fries, you quickly cleared the table of your stuff to make room. The other three didn’t miss how you looked at the drawing one more time before taking up a crayon and writing down: Steve & Sarah’s Restaurant. You quickly folded up the paper and started to eat.
“Sarah?” Nat asked. “Do you have anything you like to do? For fun, like drawing?”
“They made us dance… but I liked it.”
Natasha froze and neither Clint nor Steve was sure if they had ever seen her that way. It had been years since she touched a dance floor. Any missions that involved disguising herself as a dancer was immediately passed to a different agent, Nick knew not to even ask.
“You liked it?”
“It was when they left us alone.”
That made Nat laugh in agreeance. It might’ve been painful and torture but once the music started you were right, they left you alone.
You trailed off when you spotted the large dog. When your eyes returned to the table, you had forgotten what you were going to say and finished eating. Nat dropped you and Steve back home after dropping off Clint. You set the alpaca toy on your bed and gave the hat a front row seat on an empty part of your bookshelf.
You popped your head out of your room.
“Nick found you a tutor if you want one? It seems better than school for now.”
Steve thought that you should be privately tutored until you were further detached from HYDRA. He didn’t want one wrong move from a teacher or another student to cause you to run off.
“You said you finished the polygons at the farm. Do you want help putting them together?”
You nodded excitedly and brought out all the triangles and pentagons. Steve grabbed two of the popsicle tubes and handed you one. You both sat cross-legged on the couch, facing each other, popsicle tubes dangling from your teeth. You showed him the template and started connecting the shapes with ribbons. He held up the finished product.
“First icosidodecahedron finished in all blue. Nice work, Babydoll.”
“My mom used to call me that.”
“Oh, I don’t have to—”
“I like it.”
You woke up early from the noise, having forgotten to take out the aids. You got up and opened your room door to see Steve, grabbing a bottle of water from the fridge. He turned around as he heard the door open.
“Good morning, Sarah, I didn’t mean to wake you. I was going to go on a morning run and then come right back.”
“Can I come with you?”
Steve slowed himself down but was impressed by the stamina and speed you kept. The two of you ran for ten miles in the half hour before you got tired, instead of his normal thirteen. You two quickly ate breakfast and made your way downstairs again to where Nat was waiting.
“Scheduled the test for Monday. We’ll be out of your hair soon and in our own car.”
“If you pass, Rogers. I’ll hold my breath. How are you, Sarah?”
“I’m good. We finished the icosidodecahedrons yesterday, would you like one?”
“Is there one with red ribbon?”
“We can give Nat the red one, Babydoll,” Steve cut off Nat’s question. “I’ll take the blue one.”
Steve took you to Nick’s office after training, where the tutor was, before leaving for his own office to type up the mission report. The office was now oddly quiet, he had gotten used to your audiobook playing in the background. The mission report was boring but Steve meticulously typed it up anyway. Nat came strolling in a few hours later, sitting on the corner of the desk.
“When did that progression occur?”
“In the car.”
“Right then? That was the first time she called you ‘dad’? And the nickname?”
“Is it too old school sounding? She said her mother used to call her that.”
“No, it’s cute, I just didn’t expect it so soon. You two are a nice family.”
“The kid’s growing on me… speak of the devil.”
You walked into the office carrying two containers of lunch and two water bottles balancing on top of them. You gave a wave to Nat and set the food on the desk, taking up the single chair on the other side once again.
“The tutor gave me an hour for lunch.”
“Thank you, Babydoll.” He took the second container.
“There’s a lot of agents here. Not a lot of guards,” you said. It was just a simple observation.
“We don’t need guards, everyone’s a good guy here,” Nat said.
“I like that,” you said after a moment of silence.
Nat left you and Steve to go do her own work which included research on a cartel. Steve opened the top drawer of his desk and pulled out his sketchbook and colored pencils that he kept there. He slid them across the desk and towards you. You opened it, seeing a few of his drawings.
“I like to draw too, figured you would get more use out of it than me.”
You and Steve got used to the new routine. Early morning runs before finishing training at S.H.I.E.L.D. Then you would part ways for your tutoring while he worked before you grabbed lunch and ate in his office. Tutoring would finish and you’d both go home, ready for dinner. The times he had a mission, you’d hop on a flight to Clint’s farm. And Steve would always bring back something from a mission for you. It had been going like that for three months.
You were sitting at the round dining room table after having taken a shower, drawing in the sketchpad. Steve was still working on dinner when you came back— he was slowly making his way through a cookbook, now on the recipe for lasagna from scratch. It definitely wasn’t going to look pretty, most of the things he cooked didn’t, but it would taste good.
“Hey, Sarah… Babydoll.”
Steve looked over when you hadn’t responded. Your head remained down, glued to the picture you had been working on. He noticed the (f/c) hearing aids weren’t in— you had left them on the bathroom counter. Steve put the lasagna in the oven and walked over to the table. He moved his hand into your line of sight and knocked on the table. You looked up, focusing on his mouth to see what he wanted.
Your hair is longer. Do you want to cut it again?
He laughed when you went wide-eyed. Steve didn’t want you to feel like you had to have the hearing aids in all the time, and wanted to communicate on the off chance that something happened and you just didn’t have them on you.
I’m learning. He gave a soft smile.
I want to grow it out, you signed back to him.
Alright. Who’s this?
Steve looked at your drawing, seeing the young black woman on the page. She had big hair and full lips that, in their stretched smile, took up almost the entire bottom part of her face.
Elise? She’s very pretty.
And young is what Steve thought. Obviously your mother had started graduate school way earlier than most people but it hadn’t really occurred to Steve until he saw your drawing. He was too busy staring at the picture that he almost missed your last words that came out so quiet.
“I’m starting to forget what she looks like.”
Steve looked down at you. Do you know her last name?
Steve nodded and returned to the kitchen to check on the lasagna. He now had two new things on his mind. One, finding videos on doing hair since you wanted to grow it out. Two, finding any living relatives of Elise (L/N).
@big-galaxy-chaos @peaches-n-sunscreen @summerellaz
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stuck with u
Domestic boyfriend!Mark x fem!reader in quarantine (name dropped Hyuck and Jeno too)
Word count: 6.9k
Warning: mentions of covid-19/pandemic, very slight angst (i’m sorry i think every work of mine has angst)
Note: i really love the song by ariana grande and justin bieber so i got inspired to write this! i honestly don’t think it’s my best work but i still hope you would enjoy reading this, please take care and stay safe everyone! <3
Summary: As the covid-19 situation continued to spread across countries, cities started to go into lockdown. The normal life everyone got used to took a drastic turn as everyone was forced to be quarantined for 2 weeks until further notice. There were many things that changed for you and you had to adapt to the new life you were going to have for the next 2 weeks - or until it’s safe for everything to return to how it used to be again. The only thing that remained constant, however, was living under the same roof as your lovely boyfriend, Mark Lee.
It was a Friday night, Mark was in the shared bedroom of your tiny, cozy apartment. You know he was playing Justin Bieber on the guitar because you can hear the soft strumming and his mellow voice singing to ‘Intentions’ (again). You were in the living room watching the news when they started giving updates on the virus situation. It was getting more and more out of hand as the days went by and it seems like stricter measures had to be taken to contain the spread. “Mark, come out here for a sec,” you raised your voice slightly, you wanted him to be aware of the measures too, looking at how serious everything has suddenly gotten. You hear shuffling as he dragged his feet against the floor, walking out in quick steps. He instantly settled beside you on the sofa, while hugging onto a cushion and paying attention to the news on TV.
The news announced that a notice for a 2 week quarantine has been set as a measure to try and contain the virus. Everyone was called to wear masks when leaving the house and to remember to be hygienic especially at a time like this. Citizens were only allowed to leave the house to run essential errands, such as getting groceries, getting some exercise and seeking medical help. Other than that, all are supposed to stay at home for the next 2 weeks (or more) until further notice. “Guess you’re stuck with me now babe.” Mark said as he slumped lower onto the sofa to lean his head on your shoulder.
“What do you mean? When I agreed to be your girlfriend, I was already stuck.” You said teasingly. He shot up from his spot to look at you, with a slight pout on his face. He looked slightly offended although he knew you were just kidding which causes you to laugh at how cute he is. As payback, he pokes your sides and you jerk away from his reach as a soft yelp escapes your lips. After bickering about that back and forth for a while, you finally turned the TV off and the two of you retired to your shared bedroom to go to sleep.
Saturdays were usually reserved for dates. Since the both of you have different majors and minors in university, it’s difficult to find free time to go on dates during the weekdays. Moreover, the two of you become really absorbed into your works and projects once you start working on them. So the most you two could do was have dinner together. It’s usually just take outs that either you or Mark bought while on the way home. So you always looked forward to Saturdays, because the two of you get to reward yourselves with a nice meal or just go outside to spend some quality time together without the pressures of work on your minds.
But since the quarantine measures were implemented, you two had to stay at home today. Honestly, you were feeling pretty down about it because it was your turn to plan this week’s date but you couldn’t do it anymore because it required you to go outside. Still, you wanted to make today a little special, so you planned to get up earlier to prepare breakfast for Mark and yourself since you haven’t done so in awhile.
When your alarm rang, you grabbed your phone that was on your nightstand as quickly as you could to dismiss it before it woke Mark up. You stretched over and eventually dismissed it since Mark still had an arm draped over your waist, limiting your movements. You turned back to face him, he was still soundly asleep and you never told him but he looks so endearing when he was asleep. So peaceful as his chest rose and fell, you were kept warm in his embrace every night. Your eyes traced his features, from his long lashes to the slightly opened mouth.
You decided that you’ve stared at him like a creep for long enough, so you tried to gently get out of bed to wash up and finally start preparing breakfast. While trying to squirm out of Mark’s arm, he stirred in his sleep and groaned, “y/n, just five more minu-” he mumbled out as he snuggled into the crook of your neck. You exhaled, starting to get a little too warm for your liking with how you’re struggling to get out of bed without waking your boyfriend.
As if the heavens read your mind, Mark suddenly turned and laid completely on his back, causing his grip on you to loosen. You took this chance to wiggle out of his embrace and went to wash up.
After which, you walked out to your little kitchen while tying your hair into a messy bun. You made sure you took out all the ingredients you needed for the pancake batter and washed your hands before starting.
About 20 minutes later, you were heating up your pan to start making the pancakes. You poured a ladle full of batter onto the butter coated pan and waited for the bottom side to cook before flipping it. The batter formed a perfect round shape on the pan and smelled so good, it had your tummy rumbling. You flipped the edges of the pancake with your spatula to check if it was properly cooked. Once you saw that it was golden brown, you held the handle of your pan tightly, lips pressed together in a line while you concentrated on attempting to flip this pancake.
Just as you begin to tilt your wrist to flip the pancake, you heard Mark exclaim behind you, “PANCAKES!!” His loud exclamation shocked you so much that you jumped on your toes and dropped the pan back onto the stove. “Nooo, my pancake.”
The result of you getting scared was a very lopsided looking pancake on your pan. You tsked as you removed the ruined pancake and placed it into the bin near your sink. You heard Mark’s laughter from behind you when he spotted the ruined pancake being tossed away. You shot him a glare that caused him to lift his hands up in surrender. “I’m so sorry, the pancakes smelled so good I got excited.”
“I was trying to make your breakfast look pretty,” you whined when he wrapped his arms around your waist and kissed the side of your head. “It’s alright, it’s the thought that counts. I’ll enjoy eating whatever you make anyways,” he said as he walked over to the water dispenser to pour himself a cup of warm water.
Soon, breakfast was ready and you served it with blueberries and maple syrup. You placed his serving in front of him on the dining table and he flapped both his arms in the air before clapping his hands together, commenting on how delicious it looks. You smiled at his reaction as you sat facing him with your own plate in front of you. Mark closed his eyes for a mere few seconds as he said grace before he looked back up at you with doe eyes and muttered a soft, “thank you,” before you both began eating your pancakes.
The rest of the days were spent on the sofa. The two of you lying lazily on it, limbs tangled together under thick blankets, watching reruns of whatever TV shows were on being shown. The two of you decided to just cook ramen for dinner and ate straight from the pot. You told Mark about how you had it all planned for your date today over dinner, how you planned to have a mini picnic at the park near your apartment. Thereafter, you two would play a game of horse (it’s a bball game; jh and mk played it during the 24hr relay cam) because you knew Mark really liked playing basketball and he hadn’t been able to play it in a while because of how busy he was with school. You knew it was just a simple date but you were actually looking forward to it, “It’s a pity…” you said before slurping the ramen in front of you.
“It’s okay, spending time with you at home is fun too.” Mark simply replied as he gave your cheek a soft pinch. He assured you that you two could always do it when things got better. You figured it wasn’t something to dwell over and Mark was right, you two could always do it after the situation was under control. And you knew that no matter where you are and what you’re doing, as long as Mark was by your side, you’re more than satisfied.
It was Monday, which means school. But because of quarantine, all lectures and classes are held online and initially, you thought it would be easier but you couldn’t be more wrong. Having to sit in front of your laptop, staring at the screen for hours and having to stay attentive was beyond exhausting.
You were having your last lecture of the day in your study while Mark was attending his class in your shared bedroom. You can hear the strumming from the bedroom but you were on mute so it was fine. You can tell from the way he kept playing and replaying similar chords that he was starting on a new song. It was hard not to get distracted but you eventually shifted your attention back to your lecture. You eyed the digital clock, the big, red, numbers staring back at you. You still had one more hour to go, you prayed for time to go by faster.
The lecture finally ended, the strumming from your room ended maybe half an hour ago. That meant that Mark’s lessons ended before yours and you expected to see his sprawled out on the sofa, scrolling through his phone. But when you dragged yourself out to the living room after a long ‘school’ day, you saw a picnic mat on the ground. “What’s all this?” you questioned as you took slow steps towards the mat on your living room floor.
“You said you wanted to go for a picnic on Saturday, but since we can’t go outside. I thought we could at least have it at home! Tadah!” Mark walked from behind the kitchen counter, holding a plate of mini microwave pizza on each hand. He had the biggest smile on his face, and you couldn’t help but laugh at his little stunt. You took one pizza from him, and placed it on the mat.
“Mark Lee, how can you be this cute?” you said once the two of you settled down beside each other on the mat. He looked down, rubbing the back of his neck, “L-let’s eat,” he stuttered out, avoiding your comment. You laughed at his reaction and pinched his cheek before you two started eating.
You two talked about how school went, even though you were technically in the same house. You talked about your upcoming assignments and learned that Mark indeed had another song assignment. “I kinda have ideas for the melody but lyrics wise, I still have to think about it. I want to do good,” Mark said before he took a bite of the pizza crust you didn’t eat.
You always admired Mark for being so passionate and driven. Majoring in music would have been something unacceptable in the eyes of your parents and even if you were to be interested in music as Mark was, you would have never dared to pursue it as a career path. But you see the way Mark creates and how his eyes sparkle when he talks about music and you know how important this all is to him. And no matter what, you would always support him.
You were busy re-reading your book and highlighting important points you wanted to include in your assignment while Mark has his guitar on his lap, strumming and hunching over to record things down on his laptop. You were more or less down with prepping for your assignment when you turned to look at Mark, sitting at the corner of the bed.
He lets out a deep sigh while rubbing his forehead, you’ve come to know that it’s something he does when he feels stressed. Knowing that he was getting frustrated with himself, you decided to get his mind off his work. You crawl across the bed to get to him, he leans back slightly knowing that you were there from how his side of the bed dipped a little more. You sat by him at the corner of the bed, leaving a peck on his shoulder that was exposed due to how loose his shirt is. “Mark, can you play something for me?”
You’ve learnt that Mark grows suffocated when he can’t arrange the chord melody as he hears it in his head. And strangely enough, playing something he is familiar with on the guitar helps to sooth him and pulls him out of that silent suffocation he feels. “What do you want to listen to?” he asks as he turns to look at you.
“Whatever comes to mind,” you replied as you hugged your legs to your chest, your body completely facing Mark now. He pulls the lid of his laptop down and puts it away before straightening up and adjusting the position of his guitar.
When he started strumming, you instantly recognised the melody to be the song, ‘10,000 hours’. Mark played this song during your sixth monthsary, you could never forget that day because it was after six months that you were convinced that Mark Lee was indeed the love of your life. After your previous relationship, you never felt more afraid of falling in love again. That clearly changed when you met Mark, it was so easy to love and to be loved by him.
“I'd spend ten thousand hours and ten thousand more
Oh, if that's what it takes to learn that sweet heart of yours
And I might never get there, but I'm gonna try
If it's ten thousand hours or the rest of my life
I'm gonna love you”
You knew he meant those words when he sang it back then and he means it even now. He never gave up on breaking down the walls you’ve built around your heart and continues to shower you with love until now. When he was done, he turned to look at you only to find you already staring at him with glossy eyes. He gives you a warm smile as he puts his guitar back on the guitar stand by the bed.
His frustration over being unable to arrange the chord melody gone, he joins you again in bed, pulling you under the covers with him. He wraps his arm around your shoulders and you snuggle closer to him. He pulls away to look at you, and he honestly can’t believe how lucky he is to have you here in his arms. “Why are you looking at me like that?”
“Just thinking about how much I love you. And it’s a lot.” With your faces only inches apart, you can’t help but feel the need to kiss him. Yet, after being in a relationship with Mark for so long, you still feel flustered over the thought of kissing him. It’s not like you two have never kissed before, but whenever you two did, it feels like the first time.
You were sure Mark’s thoughts mirrored yours, because his eyes flickered from your lips and up to your eyes again. The next thing you knew, Mark’s warm hand was cupping the side of your face and his soft lips were on yours. Your eyes fluttered close and you could feel your heart swell in your chest as you knotted your fist in his shirt, pulling him closer. Mark was gentle and careful as he moved his lips against yours, his thumb caressed your cheek softly before he pulled away.
Your eyes fluttered open, meeting Mark’s sparkly ones and he gave you another quick peck on your lips before leaning over you to turn off the lights. He pulls you into his chest and you snuggle close to him. “Goodnight y/n,” he mumbled into your hair, and you whispered it back before closing your eyes again and drifting off to sleep. The last thought you remember thinking was how safe you felt in his embrace.
“I can’t do this anymore y/n. Oh my God,” Mark groaned in agony.
“Just a little more Mark, come on.” you replied through gritted teeth and all you heard in response was a grunt from beside you. “5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Done!” you counted down and shouted once the timer on your phone went off, signalling that the two of you could now relax from your planking positions.
Mark groaned as he laid sprawled out on your living room floor. His chest rising and falling with each deep breath he took. “No more baby, I think I’m going to die.”
It was Wednesday, which meant both of your first classes started only in the afternoon. Ever since quarantine began, it meant you couldn’t train with your teammates anymore but you were determined to not let your fitness level drop despite having to stay at home. So, you dragged Mark out of bed with you early this morning to workout together.
You wouldn’t say Mark was unfit, rather he just barely works out. His only form of exercise was balling with Jaehyun or playing badminton with you once in a while. If he was honest, he would rather have a lazy morning before class instead of doing burpees, sit ups or planks on his yoga mat. However, being the good boyfriend he is, he let you pull him out of bed to exercise with you.
You two just finished the second set and Mark already looks like he’s ready to go back to bed. “You ready to do the third set?”
“A third set? NO, no more. I’m going to shower,” Mark shot up from his spot on the floor, draping his hand towel over his head and walked towards the toilet. You laughed at his reaction and rolled up both your yoga mats before putting them back beside your shoe cabinet.
Night time came by quickly with the both of you attending zoom lectures and classes. Even though the two of you got the benefit of starting classes later on Wednesdays, this only meant that your Wednesdays contained the least amount of breaks. The two of you just whipped up some instant ramen and ate in your respective rooms while attending lectures.
You were blow drying your hair after your second shower of the day and Mark was still in the study, working on his new song. Once you were done with drying your hair, you went over to the study to keep Mark company. No special reason, you just want to always be around your special person. Especially since classes started today, you didn’t even get to be in the same room as him.
You knocked on the door and peeked between the slightly opened door. He was staring at his screen with his black-rimmed glasses perched on his nose, headphones resting against his neck. He turned to face you when he noticed you’ve walked in and swirled around in the chair so that he was completely facing you. He pushed his glasses that were previously sliding down his nose up and extended both his arms out as he leaned back into the chair with a slight pout on his face, silently asking for a hug.
You stood between his legs and pulled him into your embrace, he wrapped his arms around your waist and snuggled into the warmth of your shirt (technically his shirt), mumbling about how you smelled good. “How’s the song coming along?” you asked as you ran your fingers through his hair, knowing that he really liked it when you do that.
He released you from his embrace and swirled his chair back to face his screen when he sighed. You placed your arm across his shoulders as you moved to stand beside him and mirrored the action of staring at his screen. “It’s coming together I guess but… you know how Hyuck usually comes over and helps me with the recording of the vocal parts? Yea, but we can’t do that right now and I really want to get this done as soon as possible.”
He propped his chin on his hand and pursed his lips, forming a slight pout as he silently thought of how to move on from here. When suddenly, he turned his head to look at you with a smile on his face and a hopeful gleam in his eyes. “What? Why are you smiling at me like that?” you asked, almost chuckling at his child-like expression.
“Would you sing those parts for me? Please?” Mark said as he held both your hands, swaying them lightly and looking up at you like a little child asking for candy. You were not as musically inclined as Mark, not even close. You used to take piano lessons as a child but stopped after a while because you just weren’t interested in it. But you do sing, just casually, like when you’re in the shower and Mark definitely knows that. Plus, with him looking at you like that, could you say no?
Every time Mark was done with one of his works, you would be the first to hear it just because he loves your reactions to them. This time was no different, when Mark was finally done with producing it yesterday, he came stumbling into the room with his laptop in his hand and made you listen to it with him. You would always listen so attentively and point out parts you liked with that cute smile on his face that he loves so much. Sometimes Mark thinks that you praise him just because you’re being a supportive girlfriend but then he catches you listening to his music on soundcloud while you’re doing your work and his heart swells. So he was even more excited by the thought that you will be the one to sing the final piece of the song that he was going to submit.
Mark played the song for you to listen to it again, this time there was a backing track of his voice singing the lyrics and honestly, it sounds good the way it is and this song sounded like one of those songs you would play on repeat. But Mark, being the perfectionist he is, wasn't satisfied with his singing in it. “What makes you think I can do a better job than you?” you whined, already worried you’d cause him more stress than relief.
“Because you have a pretty voice, plus I’ve heard you sing in the shower before. You’re a much better singer than I am,” he replied as you clicked on different things on his screen and propped the microphone on his desk up to the level of your lips. “Alright, we’re all set. Let’s take it from the chorus,” he said as he turned to look at you excitedly.
After about 2 hours, you were finally done recording. Even though Mark told you to just sing casually and to not stress too much over it, you couldn’t help but want to do your best for Mark. He was so patient with you throughout when you would forget the tune or pace, or even when you stopped half way because you think you sounded bad. He would just smile and encourage you to try again. He would always laugh at how you scrunch your face up when you feel like you did badly before ruffling your hair or assure you that you sounded good.
“We’re good, you sound so good. Thanks baby,” he said as he gave you a quick peck on the cheek before staring at his screen again and clicking away at different things. You could tell he was trying to arrange the parts you just recorded so all the different parts would sound perfect, just the way he wants it to be. He was so focused at what he was doing, you were sure he almost forgot you were still in the room with him.
“It’s late, you’ll have more energy to arrange all this tomorrow. You need to rest, let’s go to sleep,” you said as you leaned your head on his shoulder. You felt his shoulders relax and the clicking sound from his mouse stopped all together. He turns his head slightly towards yours that was resting on his shoulder and kisses the top of your head before muttering a soft “okay”.
The next day he was done with the song after holding himself hostage in the study for almost the whole afternoon. You heard him re-recording his rap verses and then almost silence for the next few hours. So when he ran out to the living room where you were, all excited and bouncy, you shot up from your sprawled out position on the sofa to listen to the final version together.
You two were so excited throughout the song and you were grabbing onto his hand so tightly whenever you heard your own voice, it was so strange you wanted to cringe. But the song sounds so well put together and you were so proud of Mark for all the effort he put into it. “I love it, i love it!” you exclaimed after the song ended and his cheeks were slightly tinted pink, he couldn’t even stop himself from smiling at your comment. “I think it’s the best song I’ve ever made, seriously.”
“It wouldn’t have been completed without you,” he said as he put his laptop on the coffee table when you blurted out, “Just like how my life wouldn’t be complete without you.”
Mark literally froze in his position and your toes curled at how extremely cheesy that was. “Did you really just say that?” he finally spoke and you two turned to look at each other in the eye before you two burst out laughing. Surprisingly, Mark was the sweeter one in your relationship and you never say things like that out loud, ever. If anything, you would express these thoughts in letters you write to him or merely think them in your head. So hearing you say something like that was shocking and all you two could do was laugh.
When you two stopped laughing, you two decided that watching Lion King (again) would be a good way to kill time before your dinner arrives. While you were resting your head on his shoulder, engrossed in the movie playing on TV, Mark looks down at your interlocked hands that rests on his thigh and smiles at how perfectly your hand fits into his. He too thinks that his life wouldn’t be complete without you in it.
“y/n, I-I think you should come look at this,” Mark calls out to you from the kitchen. You were on the sofa scrolling through your phone, waiting for the cookies you and Mark made together to be baked. When you looked over to Mark, he was standing right in front of the oven, staring at the cookies through the glass.
You peeked into the oven over Mark’s shoulder and gasped at the sight in front of you. “This doesn’t seem...right,” he muttered out as he stepped aside to let you get a closer look. What was supposed to be beautifully spread out cookies became a whole tray of one gigantic cookie that was about to push its way beyond the restrictions of the tray. “Oh no…” you said as you put on the blue kitchen mittens hanging next to the kitchen towel to pull out what was supposed to be a tray of cookies out.
You placed the tray on the counter to let it cool down before you pulled the mittens off your hands. You crossed your arms and sulked while looking at the sad looking tray of a cookie. “How did this even happen?” Mark asked when he came to stand beside you. You shrugged and blew out your cheeks, “Maybe we placed the ball of cookies too near each other.”
“I’m sorry, we were supposed to have cookies to last us all of next week,” you said. The only reply you received was the sound of Mark’s laughter. You frowned slightly wondering why he would laugh over your failure to bake cookies. “Okay but you have to be honest, this looks pretty funny. Instead of 15 big round cookies, we got 1 huge cookie. I’m pretty sure we can still eat this,” he said while taking a picture of the tray lying on your counter and chuckling to himself.
You joined him and took a picture to commemorate your first attempt at baking cookies. Now that you think about it, it’s actually pretty funny. It reminded you of that chicken bread meme and now you suddenly can’t keep your laughter in either. As you put your phone down, you realised that Mark broke off the corner of the now cooled cookie from the tray and was chewing on it.
You anticipated his reaction, “So? Is it edible?” you asked, ready to get him a cup of water just in case it was bad. He raised his eyebrows as his eyes widened, “It’s actually really yummy,” he said while laughing. “Here, try some,” he then broke off a small portion and extended his arm to feed it to you.
As you chewed on it, your face mirrored his initial reaction and you almost can’t believe how good it tastes which resulted in you letting out a muffled, “oh my god”. Mark’s nose scrunches up as he chuckles at your reaction. “Hands down, best cookie I’ve ever tasted.”
And sadly, the whole tray of a cookie didn’t last you two a week. Accompanied with milk, the cookie was gone by the time the day ended.
“Go GO GO! Dude, what are you DOING?” you heard Mark shouting from the living room yet again. “I’m sorry guys, give me a second.” You told your group members for the second time in the span of 15 minutes.
You were having a group meeting for the project you needed to submit in a week. It was the last few strings to tie up and it was critical too, since things had to be changed due to the pandemic. Other than that, you’ve had a couple other assignments waiting to be completed. To say you were stressed was an understatement. And out of all the time he has during quarantine, he chooses now to play fifa with the boys?
“MARK! Can you keep it down please? I’m having an important call right now,” you raised your voice as you stomped towards the living room. Mark was sitting on the floor, right in front of the TV with his headsets on. And he definitely didn’t hear you, since he was still calling for Hyuck or Jeno to pass the ball over to him. So you walked over and took the controller out of his hands.
His head shot up to look at you immediately with a shocked look on his face, he pushed one side of his headsets to the side and looked at you, “Baby, what are you doing? We were ab-”
“I’m having a meeting right now, and I already told you to not be so loud. You’re making the situation more stressful than it has to be for me,” you said firmly as you shoved the controller back into his hand and stomped back into your study room to continue your meeting.
During your meeting, you heard silence beyond the door of your study and you could hear the jiggling of keys and the front door opening then closing. You frowned to yourself, thinking if you’ve been too harsh at Mark. But it wasn’t like Mark to just leave, plus, where could he have gone? Especially since everyone is still stuck in quarantine. “Earth to y/n? What’s your view on my suggestion?” You were snapped out of your thoughts by one of your group members, truthfully, you had no idea what suggestion she gave but you just gave a smile and gave a short, “I think it’s good,” as the meeting went on.
The meeting had ended maybe 20 minutes ago when you heard the front door open and closing again, signalling Mark’s return. In the past 20 minutes, you were busy completing one of your other assignments, and refusing to text Mark to check up on where he went. It’s not that you weren’t worried, you just felt guilty and thought he would want some time alone. If you were in his shoes, you would have felt really wronged too. You really didn’t know why you would end up being so harsh on him. It wasn’t even something to be that mad about, you guess the stress creeped up on you and you weren’t able to hold your frustration back.
So when you heard that front door close, you decided to go out of your study to talk about what happened. What you didn’t expect was Mark, carrying take out from your favourite sushi place while trying to lock the door with his free hand. When he turned around and saw you, he took his mask off and discarded it, “Oh, you’re done with your meeting already? I went to get dinner.”
Your guilt only increased, after venting your frustration out on him, he still went out to get your favourite food? “You went out to get me sushi?” you asked, while leaning on the counter as you just looked at him.
“You seemed really stressed out these few days, so I just thought you would feel a little better after eating a good dinner. They only had pick-ups, so I had to go down to get it,” he explained while washing his hands at the basin, before setting up the dining table for the two of you. After he was done, he smiled proudly while waiting for you to sit down with him.
You take your seat in front of him at the dining table and admire the food he bought while waiting for him to finish his prayer. “Let’s dig in,” he said after he was done praying and gave you that cute little smile you’ve grown to love so much. You nodded as you started eating your dinner.
“Thank you for the food, my cravings are officially satisfied.” you said after the two of you finished dinner. He gave you a peck on the cheek before he cleared up the empty plastic boxes, his way of saying, “you’re welcome”. You still wanted to talk about what happened and of course to apologise too, for being so unreasonably harsh.
You two retired to your bedroom, your assignments long forgotten for today. He connected his phone to the bluetooth speakers you guys had in your room and played some songs from his playlist. You two were resting on the bed, when you decided to just clear up whatever happened today. Mark wasn’t the confrontational type, he would just quietly wait for the tension to go away. In most cases, he was never the one to start the arguments and he was slow to anger too.
So you could say you were always the more emotional one and would speak your mind when you feel like it. You didn’t want to just let this small matter go without talking and smoothing it out. “I’m sorry for taking my stress out on you, I didn’t mean to get so worked up about it.”
Mark turned to his side, his head leaning on the palm on his right hand, looking at you. “I’m sorry too, for interrupting your call. I could have chosen a better time to game… sorry.” He said as he reached out to hold your hand, his thumb caressing your knuckles.
“And I never want to argue with you. I only want you to be happy, you know that.” He continues, which explains why he rarely starts arguments. Even when you were the one in the wrong he would never fight back, instead, give you time before you’re ready to talk about things again. But he makes sure you never go to bed angry and would do little things to remind you how much he really loves and cares for you.
Instead of answering him with words, Intentions (acoustic ver.) was playing and knowing that he was practically addicted to this song, you pulled Mark out of bed to sway to the song with you. “What are you doing?” he asked as he chuckled, his arms moving to wrap around your waist, holding you close. You clasped your hands behind his neck and swayed to the music, “trying to be romantic,” you replied as you leaned your head on his shoulders. He continued to pull you closer if that was possible, and gave you a peck on the side of your head before singing along to the song and swaying to the melody with you in his arms.
It’s normal for couples to argue once in a while (though you won’t lie to yourself, usually you’re the one who starts all the arguments) but Mark is patient and kind. He never holds it against you and wants nothing but to love you again. Mark is the embodiment of love in your life and being held in his arms now, you felt like you couldn’t be happier than this.
It was supposedly the last day of the 2 week quarantine and Mark was strumming away on his guitar, trying to learn the chords to ‘Stuck with U’. You’re lying down in bed, ordering lunch for the both of you. On today’s lunch menu, Chinese food!
You remember one of your first real dates being at some Chinese restaurant near school and all you remember was laughing and having a good time with Mark. He even made you try sticky-rice tangsuyuk and from then on, whenever you two decide to eat chinese food, it would be the first thing you two would order.
“What main dish are you getting Mark?” you asked well scrolling through the online menu. The strumming from beside you stopped and Mark tilted his head up with pursed lips, thinking hard over what to eat. “Today feels like a jjambbong day,” he replies after a short moment of silence and you hum as a reply.
After ordering, you went on to read the news. You couldn’t help but worry about the pandemic situation everyday, something about the seriousness of it just makes you anxious. So for at least half an hour every day, you’re scrolling through news apps or watching the daily news on TV to keep yourself updated.
You’re scrolling through the local news section when you come across the news about how the supposedly 2 week long quarantine that was supposed to end after today would have to be extended for another 2 weeks. You’re starting to tense up, thinking about how you had to continue lessons online (which you’ve grown to really despise) and your mind is close to going to overdrive from worrying about every little thing when you heard Mark starting to sing from beside you.
“So lock the door and throw out the key
Can't fight this no more, it's just you and me
And there's nothin' I, nothin' I'd rather do
I'm stuck with you, stuck with you, stuck with you
So, go ahead and drive me insane
Baby, run your mouth, I still wouldn't change
All this lovin' you, hatin' you, wantin' you
I'm stuck with you, stuck with you, stuck with you”
Suddenly, the worries that clouded your mind faded away and all you could think about was Mark. You leaned back against the headboard on your bed and relaxed your previously tensed shoulders. “So… we’re stuck indoors for another 2 weeks,” you huffed out, causing Mark to turn to face you while hugging his guitar.
“Really?” He asked, his wide eyes staring at you. You nodded and put your phone down on your nightstand. You extended your arms out to Mark, silently asking to be cuddled. He puts his guitar back on it’s stand and tosses his phone on the bed. He flops himself on the soft mattress before wiggling his way over to you. You’re laughing at his child-like actions, while you embrace him with open arms as soon as he is close enough to you. “I guess it’s really just you and me for another two weeks then.”
Towering over you, he leans his weight on his right elbow and uses his other hand to brush the hair out of your face. Mark looks at you like he's about to kiss you and he does. It was like time stopped when his lips met yours, his hand holding your face delicately as he deepened the kiss. Your hands moved to his shoulders then to the nape of his neck, tugging lightly at the ends of his hair. When he pulled away, you stared at him in a daze. He only smiles lovingly back at you, “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
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It's so great that you're getting more confident in your own writing!! Can I request “I kept every letter…” (72) with Yuri please? Maybe it had something to do with a reunion after the timeskip? Ooh, maybe include a letter or two (but only if you want)! Also if you haven't done the DLC then maybe Sylvain? Ily 💖💖💖🥺🥺🥺
I kinda hate how this ended up but at the same time I’m aware of the fact that I’m currently in a a mindset where I don’t like anything I do soooo yeah. But it was fun to write! So thats a plus! I just didn’t bother proof reading ngl...
Also omg am I ever bad at naming fics ugh don’t look at it
Disclaimer: The way I wrote the reader character implies a lot that they are experiencing depression due to the losing time, general melancholy, and so on. Please don’t push yourself to read this if that could be triggering to you! Its not worth it!
The Letters You Sent || Yuri Leclerc
Days seemed to turn to night every time you blinked, and months seem to pass with every breath.
It all seemed to blur together, those five years of many battles and little hope, except for the only thing that seemed to keep you tethered to reality.
Every so often, about 2-3 weeks apart, you would receive a letter from one of your old classmates.
The first had more than caught you by surprise. A traveling merchant had said something strange to you, strange yet oh so familiar... you quickly returned to him and his wares once you had pinpointed where you had first heard such a phrase, but the man only laughed and insisted you take a beautiful porcelain jar.
Later that night you had opened it up, finding a curious little letter inside.
You only knew of one person who would have the influence to get a merchant on board with such a clever plan, especially considering how heavily monitored mail and trade had been by the empire.
Thus your discreet correspondence with Yuri Leclerc had begun.
The two of you tended to talk about everything but the war. It was almost as if you were exchanging amorous notes back and forth like school children. Almost as if there was no war to speak of.
And truthfully, it’s all you had to hold on to the world around you.
Until the letters stopped
You swayed and stumbled through the next four and a half months, barely remembering any of it.
At one point, you were visited by another old classmate, Ashe, who helped pull you away from your melancholic routine. He had come to visit between battles, insisting that the two of you go back to the monastery for the promised reunion. You shrugged in indifference, to which Ashe pouted.
You gave in with little protest, as you didn’t have enough strength to fight against Ashe’s decisions. This only worried the freckled boy more and more as he saw just how hard the war had hit you. You were almost lifeless... nothing like what he remembered from your academy days.
You stopped to put up a makeshift camp when night fell, and thats when Ashe pulled an actual response from you. Finally, something more than a shrug!
“What happened, [Y/N]? Clearly, something happened.” Ashe asked softly, face downcast as he anticipated a reply
“I’ve never been much of a solitary person, being alone for so long has really gotten to me.” You admitted, though skipping the details about losing time as you thought it’d only worry the boy further
“I... I’m sorry. We all went our separate ways... but I...”
You knew now that Ashe was consumed with guilt by this. He looked to you not with pity in his eyes, but guilt and concern.
“Well I.. I was exchanging letters with Yuri for a time. Through an old merchant.”
“Oh?” He looked up, “Well, lead it to Yuri to find a clever loop hole. We barely have been able to send letters between the kingdom territories not controlled by the empire.”
“It’s that bad, huh? I suppose I really took the letters for granted.” You sigh
“When was the last time he wrote?”
“The last one I received was...” you paused to think. How many days had past? “Four... four and a half I think?”
“Oh, I see.” He nodded, “though that doesn’t mean—“
“Whatever it does mean, isn’t anything in my favor. He’s dead... He’s captured... He just doesn’t want to talk to me anymore... the options aren’t good.”
Ashe fell silent, unable to muster a counter argument that made any sense. Looking away, you sigh.
“You won’t be alone anymore, though.” Ashe spoke up
“What?” You turn back, eyes wide with curiosity
“You won’t be alone. I’ve heard that both Sylvain and Felix intend on making it to the reunion, and so I can only imagine who else will be there. You’ll be surrounded by people who care about you.”
“I—“ you pause, sighing “you sound like you’re trying to convince me to go, despite us being halfway there.”
Ashe chuckled “ah, you’re right.”
“Lets just get some rest.”
The next day also seemed to blur by, but that was more in the sense that Ashe’s horse was going so damn fast. And then, of course, there were the thieves.
You were the most excited you had been since you read the neat and loopy words scrawled across the parchment neatly placed in that porcelain pot. It really made you fight with more vigor than you had felt since you left.
In the aftermath, you a familiar mint haired silhouette.
“The professor is alive?” You gasped, pushing past your other classmates “oh professor! I’m so glad you’re alive!”
“I’m glad to find that all of you are alive as well,” they answered back “I’m sorry for being away for so long.”
Everyone’s spirits seemed high, including your own. You even seemed to forget about the letters sent by a certain someone! At this point, everyone started to crowd the previously dead professor to question them, and so you shirked away to the back of the crowd.
“Well now, you were quite concerned for the professor, but not me? Thats harsh.” A familiar sing-songy voice teased
You were paralyzed in your spot, unknowing what to do as your thoughts raced a mile a minute. So he was alive? You were overjoyed!
Except that meant... the letters...
You turned on your heal to face the man. He was still taller than you despite how you had grown, his hair had grown out somewhat, and by the goddess he was still stunning!
“Yuri?” You had to mumble, almost as if you were sure he was only your imagination
“Who else? You seriously didn’t forget such a pretty face, did you?”
Disbelief turned to anger the longer you looked at his teasing smile. Why had he stopped sending letters? And then why is he picking on you now? It didn’t make sense.
“Why are you saying such things when you were the one who cut contact with me! Did none of it matter to you.”
Yuri didn’t seem surprised by your words, though clearly they still rubbed him the wrong way.
To avoid causing a fuss, Yuri pulled you aside.
“They did. Do, I mean. I kept every letter.” He huffs
You felt a flutter in your heart from his response, but you still pressed him for answers, “Then what was with the last few months?”
“The last— right.” An exasperated sigh left the man’s lips as he held his head in his hands “the merchant demanded more and more money each time— I had to think about Abyss first.”
“I wish I said something in my last letter, I do, but I didn’t think it would be the last.”
“I... I’m sorry for thinking the worst.” You admit, the anger now long gone “I just... thought you were... y’know?”
Yuri’s hands lifted to your shoulders and gave them a reassuring squeeze. You melted at his touch.
“You think I’d die that easily?” He laughed “while I was waiting this whole time for you to come back?”
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A Bit of Clarity 🍂 (9/?) The visions had started last autumn, a year ago now. It had caused a bit of chaos for some, a bit of clarity for others. Two days ago, Clarke Griffin had been perfectly fine managing both her Café and her stress. But now she was curious - so deeply curious about the vision of herself entwined with the aloof Lexa Woods that it was leading her to complete distraction. (ao3)
[part 1] [part 2] [part 3] [part 4] [part 5] [part 6] [part 7] [part 8]
When she opened the café the following week, Clarke didn't expect the first customer to be Gustus. He walked toward her with a slight hunch in his shoulders, holding a large paper bag in front of him.
"Hi, Gustus. How are you?"
"Lexa said you were looking for help in the kitchen. Am I too late?"
Clarke blinked in surprise. "Not at all."
Gustus set the bag on the counter. "I don't have much of an education and I don't know proper baking terms. I haven’t worked for anyone in twenty-five years, but I have made and sold baked goods on my family's apiary since my childhood."
He pulled out several containers. "I've brought honey muffins, blueberry tartlets, and a chocolate-walnut pie. Please, have a taste when you can."
"You're… applying to work here?"
Gustus nodded. "I'd like to help in the kitchen."
It was certainly unorthodox, but they had yet to find anyone and Clarke's mouth had already watered at the smell of the pie.
"Gustus, are you sure this is what you want? The hours can be long and we can't afford to negotiate on salary for now."
"Money doesn't matter to me. I have my own land and grow my own food."
"What about your apiary?"
"A hobby more than a business these days. The market made me realize how much I miss…" His eyebrows furrowed as he thought of the word.
"People?" Clarke guessed.
He stroked his beard. "But not so much that I would leave the kitchen."
Clarke chuckled. "I see why Lexa likes you."
"She may pretend otherwise, but Lexa enjoys company too. She would not write the way she does if it weren’t the case."
"No, I don't suppose she would."
They both looked toward the entrance when a customer walked in. Gustus moved to the side.
"I won't keep you longer. Thank you for humoring an old beekeeper."
"Wells will have the final word, but he's badgered me to get more of your honey so the odds are definitely in your favor."
Gustus inclined his head gratefully, a heartwarming sight given he was a foot taller than Clarke and quite intimidating at first glance.
"Have a good day, Clarke."
"You too. And thanks for the treats!"
* * *
Clarke walked over to Lexa's table later that afternoon, finding her deep in research on her laptop with her half-eaten croissant on her plate. They hadn't been able to speak much between orders, but Lexa had looked her way at times and Clarke had managed to catch her eyes. Each time made her stomach swoop, but Clarke was determined to be the one to surprise her for once.
She put her hand on her shoulder and kissed her cheek.
Lexa turned her head with a slight blush. "Hello."
Clarke sat in front of her, propping her chin on her hand. "Oh I get a hello today. Very formal."
"Is hello formal now?"
"With that tone and those glasses? Yes."
Lexa took off her reading glasses. "Am I being kicked out?"
"Not at all. Stay as long as you want. You can even stay after closing hours."
Lexa's eyes fell to her lips- Clarke's knowing grin. "I don't think that's a good idea."
"Mm probably not."
Lexa closed her laptop. "So. Saturday. Doors open at 7pm."
Clarke sat up. "I'm excited. Though Wells has already warned me he'll poison my coffee if I drop any spoilers."
Lexa had offered tickets to Lincoln's play again, though this time she had made it very clear she intended it as a date. Clarke was thrilled to go to the theater after so long, especially since the play was fully booked for a solid six months. Nowhere Ground was a critical darling and word of mouth had worked like a charm.
"I was thinking we could hit Cocoa Street after," Lexa suggested. "Try some of the food trucks?"
"A woman after my heart."
Lexa smiled, her hand inching toward Clarke's on the table. "I figured I'd keep the upscale restaurant for our third date."
"Oh there'll be a third date?"
Lexa looked up from their hands, fingers not quite yet touching. "I would hope so."
"Well I don't know, I'll have to see if you have game."
"I thought you'd gotten a preview already." Lexa's fingers brushed against hers.
Clarke bit her lip. "Not that kind of game."
"What kind, Clarke?" Lexa asked smoothly as her thumb brushed over the back of Clarke's hand.
Clarke shook her head and sat back, letting go of Lexa's hand. "Nu-uh. I'm not falling for that again."
"That- look. And your voice. You know what."
Lexa let out a small laugh. "I really don't."
"It's like a switch you have. It drives me crazy. But I'm not falling for it. I see you."
"Alright, I'll just be broody and quiet then." Lexa cleared her throat, amused. "Did Gus stop by today?"
Clarke brightened. "Yes. Speaking of, very sneaky of you. Wells is already raving about the chocolate-walnut pie."
"I'm glad. Gus kept asking me if he should make more. I'd never heard him so nervous."
"I didn't even know he baked."
"Never in a professional setting like this, but I can vouch for his impeccable manners. And his food."
"How did you meet him anyway?"
Lexa picked up the last bite of her croissant. "When I was doing research on the Mountain Men, I found out his property is the closest to the bunker site. A few miles down the mountain but still - I figured he had some information that could help me. I introduced myself; said I wanted to honor their story…"
"And you charmed your way into his life," Clarke guessed in a fond tone. She still had a few minutes before Gaia started side-eying her for flirting on the clock (not that it was a regular instance, but Lexa did come in often these days…) and then got Harper to ask endless questions to fuel their gossip mill. "I'm glad you did. I think he'd fit right in."
Lexa nodded, giving her a soft smile while they lingered in their last few seconds of privacy.
* * *
When Saturday night finally came, Clarke thought she might burst from the anticipation. Lexa lived close to the theater, so Clarke had suggested she be the one to pick her up before they walked over. She'd settled on her fancier boots, tights and a red dress, ever aware of the increasingly cold nights. She had her coat on but left it open when she finally arrived, fully leaning on the power of her own cleavage tonight. Slow didn't mean she couldn't have her fun.
"Wow. Um. Hi," Lexa breathed out as soon as she opened the door, eyes darting south of Clarke's lips.
"Now I get a hi," Clarke replied with a grin. She extended the flowers she'd brought on the way. "For you."
"Oh they're beautiful," Lexa said, genuinely surprised. Clarke wondered if she’d ever gotten flowers based on that expression alone. "Thank you," Lexa murmured.
"You're welcome," Clarke hummed. She waited for Lexa to come closer to reach for the sleeve of her shirt. "This is new."
"You don't like it?" Lexa asked.
Clarke almost scoffed. She was fairly certain Lexa knew exactly what she was doing, with her tight slacks and her dark green shirt just a hint sheer enough to see the outline of her bra. Paired with her loose curls and faint perfume, Lexa was already making her dizzy and it was incredibly unfair.
"I didn't say that," Clarke replied, pretending not to notice Lexa was going to kiss her. "Aren't you going to invite me in?"
Lexa frowned briefly, only to smile a second later as she realized what game Clarke was playing. She'd asked for slow and it seemed like Clarke was taking it to heart. Perhaps a bit too much.
"Please, come in."
While Lexa went to find a vase, Clarke looked around. The apartment was on the small side, but during the day it was most likely brightly lit thanks to the two large windows. The balcony was filled with plants and flowers just as Gaia had once told her, but she hadn't mentioned the various hanging pots throughout the living room. Of course she couldn't have known. Clarke wasn’t sure if she was the first date Lexa had invited here since moving, but the progress in their relationship wasn’t lost on her. She’d never imagined being inside Lexa Woods’ apartment; not even when they’d started their little dance. It had seemed like another world.
Lexa came back with a vase that she set on the table by the window. "They're lovely," she reiterated.
"If I'd known you were so into plants I would've gotten a succulent or something."
Lexa looked around. "Oh those - the hooks were already there when I got here. Indra said the woman before me used to hang candle lanterns. I think she's relieved this place isn't a fire hazard anymore."
"Gaia said you're her favorite tenant."
Lexa smiled sheepishly, but didn't further comment. She glanced at Clarke's neckline before clearing her throat.
"Are you ready?"
Clarke nodded. "Very."
Lexa stepped closer. "You know… I sort of imagined this going differently."
"Oh?" Clarke asked, rooted in place.
"I figured after we'd kissed things would become easier," Lexa explained as she stopped inches from Clarke.
"You imagined us kissing?"
"Yes," Lexa answered honestly. "But I told you that before."
Clarke remembered the confession Lexa had made that night at the café and felt desire pool in the pit of her stomach again. How she’d thought about her; how she’d wanted this- them. She reached for Lexa's shirt, pretending to toy with one of the small buttons.
"It seems like we imagined a lot of things you and I," Clarke replied, swallowing.
Lexa brushed her nose against hers, testing her. Clarke felt her warm breath on her mouth and nearly tasted sweet mint. Her heart beat loudly in her ears until finally she gave in, tilting her head and pulling Lexa in.
The kiss was slow at first; Lexa's full lips pressing firmly against hers. Then Clarke felt her hand cup her neck and Lexa angle for something else, something deeper. She moaned when their tongues brushed and Lexa played with hers, chasing, teasing, while the lingering smell of the flowers mixed with her perfume and saturated Clarke's senses. It felt like she was drunk.
It wasn't the small hello or goodbye kisses they'd exchanged in the week; the hesitant pecks that had preceded the date that had seemed so far away on Monday.
"Are you sure this play is good?" She asked, slightly dazed.
Lexa shook her head, kissing her once more. "It's horrible. Mediocre. Let's bail and stay in."
Clarke let out a small laugh before kissing her again, deeper and slower, wondering if her heart would ever calm down tonight.
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If I Catch Fire Then I Change my Aim
HA I DID IT (hm de dum . song lyric titles will die with me and holy fuck I should make a master list of this bsery). Finals kicked my ass and I, of course, bit back but I am back on the writing bullshit of everyone’s nightmares.
Maeve x Lucas. Amani slaps some sense into one of the two dumbasses. 3.9k (how am I still surprised by this? I have learned time and time again I cannot stfu)
TW: mention of past abuse
The day was warm. She had her door open as she finished organizing her herbs. It did absolutely nothing to help the deep pit in her stomach.
Her bangs kept falling into her face, she had tucked the handkerchief away again. Every time she looked at it she saw the raw hurt on his face.
And that was a distraction.
In her line of work she couldn’t afford distractions.
Even so she was distracted. By the pit in her stomach even though it had been...weeks. Again. He misunderstood what she said and didn’t come back.
She rubbed her temples with a low groan.
They were both idiots.
Morons. If there was another word for it, that could be applied.
She did regret cutting him off, but judging by his reaction to her little nickname, it was for the better. She was fine without him. Yeah. She was fine without…the nice feelings he brought. The flowers. The food.
Mmhmm yeah she could go on just fine. He was just one person in a large world of many.
Ugh but someone tell her heart that.
She groaned, laying out on the counter, the worn surface cool against her cheek. Pining was the worst. Especially when it was unrequited pining. Well sure it wasn’t unrequited before but now it for sure was.
Even if he did prop her tables up again and bring her lunch one last time.
After taking her words in the totally wrong way.
Why did this have to be so complicated? It wasn’t fair.
She really had to go and fall for the guy who was like a dense hyperactive puppy (a very cute one but this wasn’t the time). Oh and then she had to let her trauma string her along like a little puppet.
Ugh he was right. Of course he was. Three years and she still wasn’t over anything.
She stretched out her arms, now resting her chin on the counter. She really should be over him. Over the words he used against her still ingrained in her very being. Gods she was just an idiot.
He was right about one thing. She did muck up every relationship she’d ever had.
She hated admitting he was right. But of course he was right, he was always right. He always had to be right. He got angry when he was wrong.
She pushed herself to stand, pressing the heel of her palm to her eye. Always right.
She chuckled without humour. Yeah right.
She moved away from the counter, staring at the chipped blue paint she couldn’t scrub away. The pain was still a little raw. She knew it was an accident and he just took her words the wrong way. But it still hurt to see him look at her that way. Such unabashed hurt and anger.
Almost worse then when she rejected his kiss.
She turned away from the pain, chewing on the inside of her cheek. She was never going to get over Lucas if she kept thinking about him and dragging the pain out. She just needed to bury her feelings. Bury the hurt.
This was all fine.
Maybe once things calmed she’d go home. Lucas didn’t want to see her again anyways.
She would just be a hazy memory in a few months time anyways. His first heartbreak.
She bit her lip. Ouch that hurt to think about. She knew she was someone's bad memory. But she didn’t want to be his.
Maybe if she were different it would be okay.
Who was she kidding? She couldn’t turn back time anymore than she could fly.
It was her biggest self indulgent dream. To be able to fly. Sometimes when she was standing alone with the breeze, she felt like she could take off and never land.
Great. She was starting to sound like her Mhamó. Always had her head in the clouds.
The door slammed open, yanking her from her musings.
In the doorway was a fully healed, and very angry looking Amani.
Oh great it was ‘piss-everyone-off-o’clock’.
She shifted a bored look at the angry lady in her doorway. “Oh and how may I help you this fine afternoon?” Her voice was dry and filled with sarcasm. Was it so much to hope that she’d be left alone just once in her life?
She was still recovering from her clinic being raided.
“I can’t believe you’d not only have the audacity to dump him like that but insult him in another language.”
Ah. So this was how today was going to pan out.
She crossed her arms. “Audacity? What I do and chose to do are none of your business nor your concern. I did it to protect him.”
“Oh boo hoo.” She chucked a nearby pot at Maeve. She dodged, the glass shattering. Great more for her to clean up. “Protect him from yourself?! What a load of bullshit!”
“You are a spitfire,” Maeve replied, dodging the box of masks that were thrown at her next. “But I’d appreciate it if you stopped throwing my things. Most of them are new.”
Amani snarled. “I hear you’re a spitfire as well. I wonder what I’d have to do to get you to insult me in another language.”
Her gaze at Amani turned icy. “It takes quite a bit to push me over that edge.”
“Liar. You did it to Lucas.”
“I did no such thing. He took a detour off a cliff to get to that conclusion. You do know languages are used for things other than insults right?” She dodged a stool. Amani was getting increasingly more pissed off.
Just-fucking-wonderful. This is what she gets for helping Will at the dock. This is what she gets for being nice. For catching feelings. And then trying to break things off knowing she was going to muck things up.
Hateful stars above.
“That’s-” Amani let out another frustrated growl. “True I guess.”
“...you two really like jumping off cliffs to conclusions. Astounding.”
Amani’s eyes were narrowed into slits. The gold paint on her lips shone in the afternoon sun streaming through the windows. Maeve could admit she was almost pretty.
You know, if she wasn’t currently trying to kill her with her own stool.
“I thought you liked him.”
Maeve kept her gaze, hands trembling at her sides. She hated Amani’s tone. “And what of it?”
Amani searched for something on her face, a smug grin creeping across her face. “Ooh you like him. You still fucking like him.” The expression darkened again. “So how could you?!”
“My reasoning is my own.”
“I am his best fucking friend, you think he doesn’t tell me this stuff?!”
“He can tell you his side of things. But that is only half of the picture,” she said, keeping her tone level and cold. She could feel her anger bubbling in her gut. Amani was right to be mad. She and Lucas were both right to be mad. “What happened on my side of things with me is with me only.”
“Don’t you have friends to talk to?”
“No. Not here I don’t. I didn’t see the need for them.”
Not after what happened the first time.
Amani froze. “That...is a terrible way to live.”
“Oh great a lecture. And I thought you were pissed at me. Come on now, lay it on me. Let’s see what you can do.”
“Oh don’t get me wrong I’m fucking pissed. But holy fuck do I feel bad for you. Cutting off people who want to be your friends?”
“You included in that?”
She shrugged. “Uh yeah. We were on the same wavelength. I liked you. Well, when you weren’t being a bitch.” Alright, she did deserve that one. “And then you fucking went and ruined everything with him.”
“If ruining it is how he stays away from me, fine.”
“What’s got you so fucking scared?!”
She flinched, nails making little crescents in her palms. She was easy to read when you looked for the signs. She was scared. She was terrified.
“He does,” she whispered, letting go of everything. If Amani wanted to know, fine.
She didn’t...she didn’t want to hold onto it by herself anymore.
And fuck she knew her sisters would beat her over the head with the dumbassery she pulled to spare her own feelings.
“Why?! Did he do something to you?”
Her head snapped up. The words made her remember the faces at the market. “What? He’s never done anything to me. He’s only been...a sweetheart.”
Amani’s shoulders drooped a bit. “So then why did you leave? Why are you so scared of him? He’s not...that way anymore.”
She pursed her lips. That way anymore? The fuck was going on?
“If you want to know, fine. Fine! Throw my own shit at me, berate me and then have the audacity to ask questions now but fine. I did like him. But I don’t want him getting close to me.”
She fought back angry tears. Ugh she hated being pushed to this point. Hated it! “Because I am a fucking selfish person.”
“This is being selfish? This is the OPPOSITE of selfish!”
“Maybe me wanting him to be around was selfish and too much for me to ask for!”
“Myself! I don’t deserve anything he’s given me. I don’t deserve his affections. I don’t deserve anything like this!”
“And why the fuck not? Why do you think you don’t deserve any of this? Because I can tell you for a fact that’s not just you speaking there.”
She froze. “I- It’s just-”
“You fucking like him! Still! Don’t past tense me,” Amani said with a low exasperated sigh. “And holy fuck you two need to learn to talk to one another.”
“Like...his palm said,” she whispered to herself.
“Even if you still like him...why did you just...leave him like that? Say those things? Push him away? ‘For his own good’, bull-fucking-shit.”
It was her turn to growl. “I said this! But I’ll say it again to get it through your thick skull. I’m pushing him away because I’m fucking selfish okay?!” Her voice was starting to crack. She was starting to crack. Under the scrutiny.
Under the fact someone was willing to listen to her.
“I’m not some perfect thing. I don’t know what he’s told you or what he’s made up about me but that’s not me.”
Amani’s eyes widened. “Hold on...Maeve?”
She threw her hands in the air, blinking back tears. Cracking and shattering. She hit her breaking point.
Weeks now. Since she first told him to leave.
Another few after he took her words in the wrong way.
She...fucking gods, she missed him.
“I’m just...I’m selfish, okay?! I don’t want him falling in love with an idea he’s made up. I don’t want him falling for me and then realizing he doesn’t really like me. I don’t want him falling in love with me, period.”
She shocked the other woman into a jaw slack expression.
She scrubbed her eyes, she didn’t want to cry. She didn’t want to cry. But now that she was, the tears just wouldn’t stop.
“I’m tired. I’m tired of love. I’m tired of romanticizing everything. I’m tired of loving, giving and then being broken. I’m tired of people loving me and then deciding that they need to change me. Because they don’t really like me.” Tears were freely streaming down her face now. “I’m not perfect.” Her voice cracked over the words.
They were true.
The rung true.
She was a broken mess. Fuck, she hated love for the longest time. It only got worse.
A festering wound.
“I’m tired of being changed like I’m not a fucking person. People will always find something wrong with me. People don’t like how...weird I look to them. And it’s not even weird!” She was yelling, her voice breaking. “So what if I glow? So what if my hair has some weird silver metallic looking streak in it. My tattoos aren’t even that odd. So then why?”
She sniffed. “Why is it that I’m always the issue? My personality is too much. I talk too loud. I’m too crass. I argue too much. I’m not quiet enough. I am not good enough for anyone.”
There was a pause.
She was really letting this all spill out of her. The dam had been broken.
“Holy shit, what the fuck happened to you?”
“Eloquently said,” she replied with an eye roll, staring up at the ceiling. She willed the tears to stop. “Love fucking happened. And I hate it. I hate having to...second guess everything so he likes me.”
She wasn’t talking about Lucas. She wasn’t...really talking about Lucas. She never had to second guess herself around him.
And that was refreshing. It was so refreshing that it scared her.
“Because I...” She let out a low whine, an embarrassed heat rising to her cheeks. “Because I like him. And I don’t...I don’t want to like him like…” she waved her hands around. “This.”
“But you do.”
She lowered her gaze to meet Amani’s again. “What if he doesn’t?”
The look Amani shot her was both exasperated and withering. “...he tried to fucking kiss you. He gave you his copy of Thumbelina.” She flinched at the mention. That wound was still fairly fresh as well.
She had...read it so many times. She didn’t know why she read it so many times. It was nothing special. Fluff with a happy ending. But...maybe it was the thought of being a little closer to him through the words on the paper that brought her pause.
Amani continued on her tangent, ignoring Maeve’s reaction. “He brings you things to eat. Holy shit he talks about you all the fucking time. He gifts you flowers. What more evidence do you need!?”
“Gifts are not evidence.”
“Flowers, Maeve. He brings you flowers. Why can’t...why are you still doubting it? Why not like him openly? Why?”
She finally let the truth out. The doors opened and her chest was cut open again. Heart on display again. She hated being this vulnerable. Hated it.
But it was...nice having someone to talk to. Even if she tried to kill her with her own stool.
“Amani, I am not perfect. He might make me out to be. He might see me as such. I don’t know. But I am awful, Amani. I’m an awful awful girl.” Amani’s brows furrowed at her word choice. Every time she said it she thought of sugary sweet words. A beautiful lie.
A hand around her throat.
“I’m a terrible person.” She sniffed, holding her arms. She was spiraling. Always spiraling. “I’m selfish. I push people away when they need me. I’m mean. I’m flighty. I’m stubborn…too stubborn. My temper gets the better of me. I’m an awful person.”
“Having a temper doesn’t make you a bad person,” Amani said, her voice now softer. It was different from how angry her tone was. “None of those things make you a bad person.”
Eyes glittering with unshed tears, her head snapped up with her tone. “Then what am I?!”
Maeve froze at the rawness of Amani’s voice. “You’re human just like the lot of us. You’re no angel, believe me. Neither is he. Neither am I. We all have done things we regret. That’s what makes us fucking human. You put him on this pedestal like he’s innocent in all this. He’s not. I know better than anyone.”
She swiped at her eyes, sniffling loudly. Amani slowly shuffled closer. “But how we love makes us human. It doesn’t even have to be romantic but, you don’t just like him. You love him, don’t you?”
“I...I don’t know,” Maeve admitted. Her tone was deathly soft, soft enough that she could only feel the way her mouth moved around the words. It was the first time she’d said it out loud. “I don’t know and that’s what scares me. What if I do? What do I do then?”
“You tell him.”
She felt her whole body flinch, tear streaked cheeks tacky. “What?”
“You heard me. Tell him. If you love him don’t keep it to yourself. Dumbass is dense as a brick but I’m sure he loves you too. It’s not...this doesn’t feel like a ‘like you’ situation. I dunno it’s just…I see it in his eyes. The way he looks at you, how he talks about you. Lord you should hear the way he talks about you. I haven’t seen anything like it.”
“He doesn’t really love me,” she said bitterly. Always in denial.
Amani smiled, it looked a little tense with her frustration. Her eye twitched. “Yes, he does. I know my best friend. He’s head over heels and you hurt him.”
“Because that’s who I am. I hurt people.” She clutched her stomach. “I hurt him because I’m selfish.”
She wanted to stop running.
And just let the floor swallow her whole.
“I don’t want him getting close to me,” she whispered to the floor. “I don’t want him to see the mess that I am. I don’t want him to see all my broken pieces. I...I don’t want him to leave.”
Years. It had taken her years to open herself up again. So then, why him? Was there even a reason?
Amani moved to gently reach out to clean her tears away. “He’s broken too, you know. He’s been broken down and pieced back together many times. Sometimes pieces get left behind. Sometimes they go missing. But I have never seen him light up the way he does when he talks about you.”
“I don’t deserve him.”
“Gods Maeve, it's not about deserving him. The world doesn’t deserve him. Fucking hell if we’re talking about it, I don’t deserve him. But it isn’t about that. It’s about want.” Amani huffed softly. “So tell me, do you want him?”
The word was choked around her lips, threatening to drown her. It sounded cheesy to her own ears but it just...felt true. “Desperately.”
Amani smiled, it was softer now, tilting her head up with a hand. “Then go for him. Show him how you feel. Sounds sappy as all hells but love him without holding back. If you really think you’re the only one who has reservations about this, then you’re wrong. He was a mess when you first told him to leave.”
“An angry sad mess to be sure. Oh and don’t forget how embarrassed he was. And then the self depreciation. He’s gonna give me grey hair.”
Maeve snorted. “You and me both.”
“Well you already have some.”
“It’s silver thank you.”
“Silver shmilver. Back to my original point before you distracted me.” Amani booped her nose. She wrinkled it at the touch. “Show him what good can be in the world if you look for it.”
Amani let out another huff, grasping Maeve by the shoulders and staring dead into her eyes. Normally she was fine with intense eye contact.
This was a little too intense.
“Yes, you are.”
Maeve’s hands shook. Those evil vile hands. The hands that failed to save so many people.
The ones that burned.
“How good can I possibly be?” she spat out. “How much good can someone see in me? I’m just me.”
Amani sighed. “First of all, you’re going to give me a headache. Second of all, I have never seen him so...different. Almost...happier? Whenever you’re mentioned he lights and perks up and I’m embarrassed for him.” Maeve felt her ears redden. Amani looked at her, unimpressed. “I see the feeling is mutual. Goddess you two are going to make me sick. But, I think that’s good.”
“Yes dumbass. Did you not hear my spiel? I am not going through it again. If Lucas ever found out I’d be this sappy singing his praises to the girl he has affections for he’d never let me live it down.”
Maeve chuckled, rubbing at her eyes.
“Oh I mean that. Don’t you dare laugh, he remembers the weirdest shit. And if you think you can get away with all your problems and then having them rise to the point of cutting him off, think again. He will lord it over your head. ‘Remember the time you tried to cut me off?’ and shit. That is, after you two fucking apologize to one another. Lord one bad thing and he jumps to a conclusion and you close yourself off.”
“...you jumped to the same conclusion.”
“That’s the past! It’s behind me now.”
“...it was literally twenty minutes ago.”
“I’m a different person now.” Maeve sighed, making Amani crack a grin. “Glad you’re not crying anymore.”
She bristled. “Me crying a bad thing?”
“No but now I’ve seen both you and Lucas really cry for the first time and let me tell you, that was an experience.”
“I...made him cry?” Awful. Vile. Evil.
“Uh yeah. He kinda broke down. Not a pretty sight. Didn’t get up for a while. Then the miscommunication about the whole ‘nickname insult’ thing was just salt to the wound.”
“Why was he crying over me?”
“Well he’s in love for one thing.”
“...is he though?”
“I am three seconds away from smacking you. But yes, congratulations you were the first person he cried over. A feat in itself but why’d you think I was so pissed?”
“Maybe...I am terrible.”
Amani’s glare was once again, disapproving. “But, holy fucking god, I see it’s had a similar effect on you. Shit, you two are just so fucking dumb it’s unbelievable. You don’t get love like this every day and you just push it away. Why?”
“It’s…” Her eyes darted around to rest anywhere but on Amani. “...not love.”
“Mmm sure, that’s not what I see but you do you I guess.”
“Even...if it was love...why? Why him? And why...me? Why now?”
“You think I know? Sometimes it just happens. It’s not some dumb fuckin ‘fate’ thing. It just happens. I’d say it’s part of being human. It’s part of our connections. Sometimes you love romantically, other times not.”
“How do we know it’s...not something...else?”
“You really like making this harder for me. God damn. Because of the way he looks at you. The change in him. Bitch the way you look at him. Holy fuck. The way he looks and talks about me is different from the way he looks and talks about you. And that’s fine. I’m his best friend, and you’re...you’re…”
“Something new. Something exciting. Something terrifying. He’s lived here his whole life, you and I are something new to this place. But...even then, you’re different, the feelings he has for you are different. He asked me how to go about kissing you. Bitch what other fucking evidence do you fucking need?”
“He asked...how to kiss me?”
“Yes! He was scared to. Then of course you rejected it, which, nice fucking going.” She winced. Okay she deserved that one as well. “But what more do you need? I’ll ask again, what more fucking evidence do you need me to provide? At the very least he likes you a lot.”
She chewed on her lower lip, reopening the small cut she had worried into it days prior. “And...if he does...what do I do then?”
Amani looked ready to strangle her. “Uh duh. You go for it. All love is is a leap of faith. Why not jump?”
“And if I fall?”
Amani sighed, but the grin creeping onto her face was crooked and her eyes filled with a strong light. “Well, he’ll be there to catch you.”
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may u please do kiss prompt no. 11 for sasusaku? thank you!!!!!! 🤧
Writer’s Corner: Alright, my first SasuSaku so please be kind to me. Hahaha. I was never confident with my SasuSaku writing skills and only jumped on the train years too laaaaate. But I hope you guys can imagine them in here. Enjoy!
#11 when one stops the kiss to whisper "I'm sorry, are you sure you-" and they answer by kissing them more
"I'm home." Sasuke announced into a deserted living room and shut the main door behind him. He unwrapped himself of his black cloak and walked deeper into the house to look for a shock of pink hair or one as dark as his he equally missed.
"Sasuke-kun!" Green eyes met his dark ones as he was walking into the kitchen where he was sure he would find his wife. "Welcome back, Sasuke-kun."
Sakura walked up to Sasuke wearing a smile that reached her eyes, both hands, he noticed, kept behind her. He returned her greeting with equal warmth. In the past few years that he was bound in marriage with Sakura, Sasuke has finally learned to muster his own smile – one that reached his charcoal eyes. His feet moved closer towards her, having a mind of their own, bearing the other lesson he learned being a married man – that a travelling husband must give his wife a kiss upon his return. Sasuke hesitated for a moment; his skill as a Supporting Kage urging him to clear the room of innocent eyes that might be wandering around. That's when he saw the cloud coming from the pot on top of the stove.
"You're making something?"
The moment his mind comprehended, his stomach started to grumble. It was only then that Sasuke realized he was so in a hurry to come home that he had forgotten to feed himself.
"Yes." The chirp in Sakura's voice earlier was now gone. "Go rest for a while in the living room. I know you are tired, Sasuke-kun."
Sasuke noticed the change in her features – her shoulders slumped and her bright expression dulled.
Oh, she must be disappointed, he thought. But Sasuke could only allow himself be guided by his wife back into the living room, nudging him at the back with one hand, while he noticed she still kept the other hand behind her, quite suspiciously, if he might add. He finally sat on the couch, as his wife instructed, and waited for something special she promised for his return.
"It won't take long, Sasuke-kun." She informed him, glancing at the wall clock to check the time. "Sarada should be home soon."
She quickly turned around away from him and Sasuke was now certain his wife was hiding something. He caught her free hand as she motioned to walk back into their kitchen, pulling her back with a force that threw her off balance.
"What do you have there in your hand, Sakura?"
And landed on his lap.
Sasuke quickly noticed the sudden change in Sakura: failing to meet his eyes and burning red at their intimate position.
"N-nothing, Sasuke-kun." She lied, hiding away from him whatever it was she was trying so hard for Sasuke not to find.
Sasuke scoffed at his wife forgetting that, just like her, he was a ninja too. In a blur of movement, Sasuke was now in possession of a very familiar soft-bounded book. His eyes rounded in shock, confirming the title – Make-Out Tactics. His mind has yet to wrap itself around the idea when his wife snatched the book from his grasp and lied through her teeth.
"I-I… I confiscated it. The boys… they…" Sasuke pretended to be listening, watching his wife stutter for an excuse. Truth be told, it didn't matter to him whether it was true or not. It shouldn't. They were both adults, now. "Well, the boys… they…"
Sakura kept glancing at him – embarrassed and equally guilty. But Sasuke's eyes never held any judgment, especially, not against Sakura. Never against Sakura. Suddenly, getting lost into his dusky eyes, Sakura realized that it had been awhile since she stared into his deep dark eyes. Once he held her gaze, the Uchiha couple fell into that magical trance, that hypnotic spell where nothing and no one else mattered around them – just Sasuke and Sakura.
And when her gaze drifted down his lips, it occurred to Sakura, it had been a while since she last touched him.
Sakura cupped Sasuke's face, leaned in and claimed the lips she now desperately missed. The kiss tasted the same: his lips as soft and the first touch as warm as the summer that he had stayed at home longer than usual. The way he made her feel when he returns those kisses, it never changed.
Their kisses always started slow, as if they were trying to reorient themselves of each other. Sasuke was always cautious, always considerate about Sakura's feelings, afraid that he might do something she wasn't comfortable with. Worse, he was afraid he would do something to hurt her. Through the years that they both accustomed themselves with each other, to the point that when he was alone in his travels, when the sun sets and he closes his eyes, he could see her – his wife, his Sakura – and remember every single intimate detail of her body – the ones only he was allowed to see. Even after then, he still had those reservations, he still had those fears holding him back until his heart reminds him that this was Sakura, his wife, and the restraints that held him back from fully loving Sakura broke in one full swoop.
Sasuke parted his mouth beneath Sakura's and pushed his tongue between her lips. She moaned against his lips and made that little muffled sound he loved when his own tongue touched hers. Because Sasuke also took a page or two out of that book.
His wife tasted the same – sweet and minty and a tinge of something that was only Sakura – his Sakura. As their kiss turned more urgent, Sasuke started to feel the familiar heat that would propel their passion into something he wouldn't be able to control. With the way his wife was responding to him, Sasuke knew she wouldn't be able to control herself either. He sought her hand, the one caressing his face with so much tenderness, clutching it in his and, mustering all the self-control he had to pull away from the searing kiss, he asked, "I'm sorry, are you sure you–"
But her jade eyes were already clouded by the lust she had been deprived of for those days that he was gone and with that wanting look on her face, Sasuke knew, his wife was past the point of no return.
Sakura shoved him against the back of the couch, shifting in her position to straddle him between her legs and kiss her husband fully and hungrily in the mouth. Sasuke allowed her to take the lead but it didn't mean that the husband had no more tricks up his sleeve. He wanted to make her feel good the way she made him feel good. And Sasuke knew exactly how. He brushed his knuckles against the exposed skin of her stomach and his wife could only take an inward breath from the sensation of his electric touch. She always liked that – his skin teasing her heated flesh. Sasuke continued, grazing his fingertips up to her abdomen and stopped at the bottom of her bra. Sakura reflexively pushed herself up against Sasuke, pushing against his touch.
He flattened his hand and pushed it up under the cup of her bra, warming up her naked breast. Sakura gasped, mouth slightly parted while her husband continued biting on her lower lip and kneading on her left breast. Hot skin to hot skin, his brazen actions set her body on fire.
And then, a familiar voice travelled into the room, "I'm home!" and startled Sasuke into jumping off the couch too quickly, dropping his wife on the floor and hitting her head on the table.
"Oh?" Her dark eyes, the same as those round orbs staring stupefied at her. She beamed at her father, greeting him with the warmest smile. "Papa, you're back!"
Her feet started to move towards him when Sakura popped up under the table.
"What's with you, Sasuke-kun?" Sakura was visibly irritated, massaging the back of her head as he glared at her husband, whose face was twisted in an unreadable expression.
Sakura shuddered, recognizing the small voice. She turned around to confirm that Sarada's class had ended.
"What were you doing under the table, Mama?" The young Uchiha inquired, throwing her parents a very suspicious look.
Sakura glanced at her husband, whose face turned white and then into a deep shade of red. So, no help from there.
"I-I was… I was just," Sakura crouched down on the floor, pretending to, "looking for something. I dropped it earlier." She just wished her daughter would buy this little lie.
"You mean this?"
Sakura poked her head above the coffee table to find her little Uchiha dangling the obscene book she threw on the floor earlier in Sarada's hand. Sakura raced across the room and snatched the forbidden book from her daughter, hiding it again behind her, which was useless considering the little Uchiha had probably seen the title already.
"I'll go check on my–Ah! It's burning!" In a split second, Sakura disappeared into the kitchen where the burnt smell was coming from, leaving her husband to deal with the aftermath of one late afternoon of passion.
Saved by the burning smell.
Now, Sasuke… he needed to find his own escape from the questioning eyes of his little peanut.
"I-I… I should help Sakura."
Both parents escaped into the kitchen. The cowards.
"What's up with them?" Sarada asked particularly no one and chalked their odd behavior up to them just being weird parents.
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