some contract killers with great hair
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@clanoffelidae, this is your fault. [original post, lmao ]
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That's how all progress starts, based on trying to find the root of nonsense.
Esther Rabbit, Lost in Amber
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I'm really loving Twelve Forever but the idea that avoiding relationships or not being into relationships means you're immature and that a relationship is a sign of maturity make my little aro heart ache but not in a good way
Relationships do take maturity to handle but it's not a maturity milestone.....
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Old Flame: Pt. 17
Warnings: Cursing, tobacco use
Word Count: 4694 (the longest chapter so far!)
OLD FLAME MASTERLIST: CLICK HERE
“WHERE IS SHE?!”
Klaus roared throughout the courtyard, furious that you are nowhere to be found after you successfully snapped his neck. The moon was out the last time he’s seen you but waking up, the moon had disappeared and now it’s daylight. He usually wouldn’t have woken up this late from a simple snapped neck, but you took a page out of his book and stuck a vile of vervain in his system after successfully finding his vervain collection.
Hayley and Jackson were across the way on the second floor, having a quiet chat beside the railing. “Who?” Hayley asked, puzzled.
“Y/N!” Klaus shouted, fuming as he’s glancing around the vicinity.
Kol stepped out of one of the rooms on the second floor after hearing a frantic original. Hayley and Jackson stepped inside the nearest room, figuring Kol could handle Klaus. “I thought she was with you, Nik?” Kol brought up.
“Apparently, she said she was fine last night.” Klaus raced towards his brother who sauntered inside the bedroom he’s occupying during his stay. “Then she snapped my bloody neck and disappeared with the stake.” He retrieved his cell phone out of his pocket and dialed your number. After a couple rings, he nearly cursed after being sent to voicemail. It wasn’t a surprise to him since almost every time you’re in a dire situation, your phone is never answered. But, Klaus figured he’d try.
“What happened to her when I left to speak to Esther?” Klaus asked, jaw clenched.
“If I tell you, give me your word that you won’t be cross with me.” Kol eyed him anxiously.
“What did you do?” Klaus muttered in an alarming tone.
“All I did for Y/N was a favor. I had no control of how she’d react.”
“Spit it out, brother. What is it?”
“She was worried about her friend, Kai Parker.” Kol answered. “Figured Esther was behind it, so she requested I find out. Turns out, mother sent him to a prison world and there’s no fixing it.”
“And that’s the reason for her lunacy?” The hybrid’s nostrils flared in aggravation.
“Good riddance. I don’t know what Y/N sees in that imbecile.” Irritation pricked at him.
To add even more stress, an angry Finn Mikaelson immediately walked in, magically breaking one of the vases on the table. “Where is she?”
“Finn, please, join us.” Klaus said with blatant mockery.
“Don’t make me ask again.” Finn sneered.
“I assume you’re referring to our mother. Fear not, she’s tucked away somewhere perfectly safe.” Klaus added. “You’ll never find her.”
“You think you’ve won. Let’s see how long that arrogance lasts, brother.” Finn glared at his brothers before turning around and marching away with heavy steps.
Klaus tried reaching you again but was sent to voicemail. That alone ticked him off and he was close to throwing his cell phone at the brick wall.
“I’m going to find Y/N. You’re coming with me, Kol.” Klaus made his way out of the bedroom in lengthy steps.
“Oh, splendid.” Kol responded back, trailing behind his brother.
Reaching the courtyard, there were a handful of Hayley’s wolf allies and Marcel’s group of vamps gathered together. Klaus is aware that it’s Hayley and Marcel’s attempt for them to make a truce for the bigger picture.
“Klaus, stop!” Hayley blurted, Klaus and Kol stopped in their tracks.
“Finn spelled all of the exits. We can’t leave.” Marcel added.
Klaus put a palm up at eye view, slowly reaching out until his skin sizzled against the spelled blockade, letting out a faint groan from the affliction. He threw his healing hand down to his side and shifted his view to his youngest brother, expression hardened. “Fantastic.” Klaus muttered sarcastically.
After disappearing into the night, you booked a suite at the Ritz-Carlton. You’re aware that Klaus has plenty of connections, so you assured that you didn’t put a card on file in case he traces it. Instead, you compelled the staff to allow you to stay for free. You even took extra precautions and showed them a photo of Klaus so that if he ever steps foot into the Ritz-Carlton, they’ll notify you right away.
Having your humanity off so far has been dandy because you had no care in the world. If you were your normal self, there’s no doubt that you would be following Klaus around like a lost puppy during one of his missions and the thought made you sick to your stomach right now.
You woke up this afternoon to your suite nearly trashed from the little party you decided to throw last night because you gathered a handful of good looking people from bourbon street and plenty of liquor to keep you inebriated throughout the night. A man and a woman stayed overnight, thanks to your compulsion. You knew you’d be famished this afternoon and fresh blood ultimately did the trick for you.
After an incredible shower and devouring your sinful snacks, you compelled your victims to bandage up their wrists and be on their way. Housekeeping began tidying up your suite after you made your way out.
Though your craving for blood is fulfilled, you desired a hot bowl of gumbo, so you threw on your sunglasses and trekked through the quarter, crossing your fingers that your pesky beau isn’t looking high and low for you in the area. Your heels clicked along the cement, wearing your best black dress sitting pretty just above your knees.
Gumbo Shop was what you decided on and the friendly host sat you down at a table inside, farthest away from the windows. She did as expected by leaving a menu with you and handing you off to a server.
Within the hour, all of your cravings are satisfied so you left a generous tip for your server and went on your merry way. You weren’t sure what you planned to do next, so you allowed the city to decide for you. A street performer captured your attention so you stopped to observe.
Out of the blue, you spot Finn Mikaelson nearly walking past you in a rush. “Hi Finn. Why are you always so glum?” You teased, brow raised. He put a halt to his steps, hands behind his back. He wore a dark suit, the jacket fully unbuttoned.
“No use in going home anytime soon, dear Y/N.” He implied arrogantly. “Nobody can get in or out, thanks to my spell.”
“I wasn’t planning on it, but alright.” In the blink of an eye, Finn strolled away. “Change of plans I guess.” You smirked.
Entering through the gates of the compound, you discovered over a dozen people in the courtyard. It seemed like they were not enjoying themselves whatsoever. There were a few familiar faces as well, including Marcel, Josh and Hayley. You wondered if Klaus or Kol managed to get trapped here as well since they weren’t in the space from what you can see. Your presence seemed to catch everyone’s attention though.
“Don’t you all look cozy.” Your haughty tone was obvious.
“Y/N wait!” Marcel alerted. “Don’t take another step. Finn put up a boundary spell.”
“Thanks for the heads up Marcel. But I already knew that. I bumped into Finn earlier.”
“But you came anyway?” Marcel raised a brow in suspicion.
You shrugged your shoulders in response, leaning against the wall close enough to the invisible barrier. Once everyone else besides Marcel realized that you were no help in freeing them, they were no longer interested in your presence and went back to sulking.
“Ah I see.” He came to a realization. “You’re here to gloat. Why?”
“There you are.” Klaus appeared from the shadows. His edge of irritation returned and drew a scowl over his face.
“Here I am.” You were feeling exceptionally smug. While examining your fingernails, you planned to get a manicure after this foolish conversation.
“Where the bloody hell have you been?”
You showed uninterest without any eye contact as you pulled a cigarette and lighter from your purse. You placed the toxic stick in between your lips, lighting the end of it and taking a puff effortlessly as if you’ve always been a smoker. Klaus glared at your repulsive act.
“I’ve been around.” You responded after exhaling, finally making eye contact with the hybrid.
“Care to explain why you felt it was necessary to render me unconscious for hours on end and then scurry off to god knows where.” With a brisk elevator look, he motioned a nagging hand at you. Klaus was displeased with your outfit choice without him there to claw the eyes out of every man that looks at you with hungry eyes.
He almost asked you about the whereabouts of the white oak stake, but he remembered that there are ears around that he doesn’t trust.
“The thought of having to explain to you bores me.” You fake yawned. “So I don’t think I will.”
“Something’s different about her, Nik.” Kol added, his mouth set in a hard line.
“I’m aware. Her humanity must be off.” Klaus made his way closer towards you, stopping as close to the barrier as he could. You stepped over to be face to face with him, sniggering.
“There ya go.” You snorted in amusement, the toxic stick weighing at your sides, carelessly flicking off the ash on the grounds of the compound. “You really aren’t the dumbest Mikaelson, Nik.” Klaus ignored your unnecessary comment, his firing eyes following the cigarette going from your mouth to your sides.
Kol began sauntering over to his brother, standing side by side. “Oh sister. Your humanity, eh?” He shook his head in disappointment, arms folded across his chest. “I thought you were bigger than this.”
You dropped the half finished cigarette on the concrete by your feet, crushing the butt with the ball of your stiletto. “My favorite Mikaelson brother is disappointed in me.” Your hand flew to your chest, fake pouting. “I’m crushed. I really am.”
“Stop this nonsense immediately, Y/N.” Klaus said, a scowl strewn across his face.
“Do not test me.”
“Well last time I checked, you’re trapped in there while I’m free out here. So joke’s on you, my love.” You teased.
A sinister chuckle left Klaus’s mouth. “You shut off your humanity for whom? A useless dullard.” You stared at the ceiling, placing your hands at your hips. “Out of all the choices Esther has made in life, I’d say that sending Sir Malachai Parker back to the prison world was the best one.” He grinned, hoping to have hit a nerve to get your humanity back. “It pleases me knowing that he will be stuck there for all eternity. All alone.” He chose his words carefully and perfectly.
Suddenly, your hands fell and your blank eyes set onto Klaus’s, unmoving. By your reaction, there was a glimmer of a chance that it worked. You grasped both of the Mikaelsons’ undivided attention.
“Nice try.” You cocked your head to your side, your once unreadable expression is now evidently complacent and it boiled Klaus’s blood. His hands clenched at his sides as he’s trying to hide his defeat from you. Kol just simply sighed at their defeat, aware that it was a longshot anyways. “I’m bored. Bye boys.” Without a care in the world, you turned on your heel and departed the compound.
Once you were out of sight, Kol turned to face his brother who was still looking at the spot you were once standing at, unable to mutter any words. “Nik?” Kol murmured, careful not to overwhelm him.
After a beat, Klaus continued to ignore his brother and vacated the spot where he stood. He made his way towards a vacant section of the compound. Kol followed behind him.
Before Klaus could touch the handle of one of the doors on the first floor, Kol attempted to acquire his attention for the second time. “Brother?” Klaus puts a halt to his long strides, taking a deep breath.
In the blink of an eye, he vamp speeds to Kol, barely leaving any space in between the two as his murderous eyes bore into Kol’s. “Don’t.” Klaus warned through clenched teeth. That dangerous tone itself informed Kol to leave him alone in the meantime. And just like that, Klaus swung the door open and violently slammed it behind him, causing a few of the other vampires and wolves to flinch.
Your mani and pedi finished in an hour. You began scouring the quarter for inspiration on what other shenanigans to get into again. After walking in and out of a few gift shops along the way and stopping to tip some of the street performers, you finally stumbled upon bourbon street.
Normally you’d throw your money at the bartenders in one of the many jazz clubs, however, house music blared through one of the other clubs and it instantaneously called your name. Males and females in their 20s occupied this loud space, yet, you didn’t mind one bit because they’re of your age compared to your 1000 year old lover with anger issues.
Dancing and mingling with these fine people made your current cold heart wish that Camille was here to join you. But you wouldn’t dare risk having her call Klaus or Kol and informing them of your whereabouts. Who knows, you might end up snapping her neck dead for doing so and you didn’t care to waste your energy. Marcel and Josh could be trusted not to tell a soul, however, they’re trapped in the compound.
You released your sharp teeth from a poor soul’s neck on the dance floor undiscovered. The warmth of her blood brought you satisfaction. “Go wipe that up in the restroom.” You compelled her and she walked off like a zombie.
The longer time passed with the magical barrier being up, the more Marcel and his vamps’s hunger grew for blood. It wasn’t looking good for Kol and the werewolves. They were practically walking blood bags.
To make matters worse, Klaus’s patience started running out. He needed to get to you before you caused any havoc or came to any harm. This is the first time you’ve ever turned your humanity off so he has no idea what to expect. The feeling made him sick to his stomach. Not to mention, the white oak stake can be anywhere but he trusts you’re smart enough to have it hidden somewhere good.
The entirety of the barrier will not diminish until nightfall and they couldn’t wait that long. But to their luck, it’s a miracle that Davina fancied Kol. She received a phone call from him, needing her assistance for a spell to lift the barrier and she put whatever she was doing on hold to come to his aid.
They were almost certain that the spell would work. However, being that Finn is channeling something extremely powerful, they were only to be given 60 seconds for the barrier to be down. The plan was to have the wolves, Kol and Klaus exit the vicinity.
Davina and Kol now stood face to face with the invisible barrier in between, palms as close to touching as it would allow them. Small, lighted candles lined up in front of the witches and a circle of salt surrounded them as they continued muttering their spell to one another.
Due to the spell taking its course, all of the vampires needed to resort to cowering in the shadows until after Kol and Davina’s spell die out. Klaus and the wolves were allowed to wait beside the barrier.
A gust of wind abruptly flew through Kol and Davina, causing the candles to blow out and some of the salt to scatter. They exchanged smiles and were relieved to have the chance to touch palms.
“Okay, Jack. Now!” Hayley announced.
“Come on, let’s go.” Jackson didn’t hesitate to rush his pack out of there, guiding them towards the exit along with Hayley.
“Remember, 60 seconds!” Kol reminded them. He was eager for the werewolves to egress and then he followed suit.
But before Kol could take another step, Klaus dashed to him, holding him by the shoulder. “Slight change of plans, brother.” In a trice, he threw Kol in the air until he landed about 50 feet away, grunting in pain. “I no longer have to treat you like anything but the treacherous liar you truly are.” The hybrid spat. Davina’s neck snapped to him, bewildered.
“What the bloody hell?” Kol gradually sat up, feeling just as confused as Davina.
“Where is she?” Klaus questioned, vampires eyeing his brother hungrily while they still waited in the shadows.
“Please, they’ll kill him!” Davina pleaded.
“Well, he should’ve thought about that before he betrayed our sister.”
“What will Y/N think?!” She added.
“Not to worry about my beloved’s opinions of Kol’s predicament. Let’s just say, she’s not herself today.” Klaus replied to Davina before returning his attention to the mischievous Mikaelson, who now rose to his feet. “Rebekah never made it to her new body, did she? Seeing as how you casted the spell, and well, you’re you. I’d hardly call it an uncrackable case.”
“Rebekah’s fine, Nik. It was a prank.” Kol quicked marched towards his older brother. “Nothing more than what you lot have done to me.” He pointed a nagging finger. “But I guess it’s different when it’s one-” The magical blockade was up and running again and its wrath burned Kol’s pale hand, causing him to reel backwards and hiss in pain.
“Barrier’s back up.” Klaus flickered his eyes at the ravenous vampires coming out of the shadows. “And those vampires look oh so hungry.”
Kol grew anxious as the vampires made their way to him like a predator ready to take down its prey. Davina’s eyes began to well up in tears, yearning to come to Kol’s aid.
“I was willing to welcome you back into my home, but you had to return to your selfish petty jealousies.” Klaus said. “Well, let’s see how they help you survive when you’re stuck in there!” He stormed off towards the exit without the thought of a glance. He felt no remorse whatsoever for his little brother.
The sun began to set and it was no secret that you look damned good in the tight dress and towering heels. A handful of men even offered to pay for your drinks and you obviously obliged although you could’ve easily compelled them to. This made your job much easier.
Since you were pretty buzzed and in an amazing mood, you allowed one of the pathetic men to dance with you, only being allowed to touch your arms or your waist.
Due to the substantial amount of liquor in his system, his confidence was at an all time high and he attempted to lean in for a kiss. You snorted at his juvenile gesture and turned the other cheek. “N-Nice try. Fun’s over.”
“Oh come on.” He insisted. As you were about to free yourself of his hold, he tightened his grip on your waist and it caught you off guard. Little does he know that you aren’t human, so you prepared yourself to use your vampire strength to free yourself. You smirked, allowing him this minor moment before you stripped it away from him.
The drunkard fool leaned forward once again to press his lips onto yours while his hands stroked your waist. You rolled your eyes, snickering as you seized his wrists. “I said-” In a flash, he was thrown across the dancefloor but it wasn’t because of you. Some of the clubbers' attention were focused on what just happened and others acted like nothing happened. Before he could think to stand to his feet, one of the sizable bouncers roughly brought him to his feet to begin dragging him out.
Everything happened so fast and you focused your view to the only person standing beside you to your left. Klaus Mikaelson. “Oh fuck you, Nik.” You grimaced at your inessential savior, your heels rapidly clicking off of the dance floor towards the exit. As much as you wished to vamp speed away, you were smart enough not to do it in the public eye. Humanity off or not.
Instead of hiding off in an alley, you stayed put by the entrance of the club where passersby can clearly see you, leaning against one of the brick walls. You searched through your small purse until you found a cigarette and lighter, but as you were about to light it, rough fingers pulled it out of your mouth.
Klaus didn’t mutter a word, but you can tell by the expression on his face and his body language that he was seething inwardly. You were revelling in the moment. “I’m a vampire. I can’t get lung cancer, idiot.” You scoffed at him. As much as you want to try to light another cigarette, you know that Klaus is just going to toss it.
“We’re going.” He grabbed a hold of your bare upper arm, signaling to follow him or suffer the consequences. You shook his grip off, unphased by it.
“You’re hilarious.” You said, keeping your feet planted to the ground. “I’m not going anywhere with you.”
“I’m serious, love. This isn’t a game. Let’s go.” Klaus remarked, towering over you.
You peered up at him through your lashes, shooting daggers. “Did you forget? I don’t fucking care. Now leave me alone.” You shot him a glare and attempted to walk past him, but he stepped to the side as a wall.
“You out of all people know what I am capable of.” Klaus started. “And yet, you are determined to incur my wrath.”
“Your wrath?” You snorted. “Okay then, show me. Right here, right now. In front of all of these people.” Klaus took a peep over your head, unmoving. You hummed in amusement. “I thought so.”
You wasted no time and began trekking down bourbon street’s sidewalk, unsure of where you are headed as long as it’s away from Klaus. You freed your cell phone from your purse and began endlessly scrolling through social media, ensuring not to bump into anyone coming your way.
To your misfortune, Klaus materialized beside you, walking on the outside of the sidewalk. “Oh, you’re still here.” You said dryly, eyes never leaving the screen.
“In what world is this heretic worth your humanity?” He asked, disgusted. His eyes flickered from straight ahead to you.
“My world, apparently.”
“You know, you have people that could have helped you. There’s Stefan, Damon, Kol.” One by one, Klaus counted up to three fingers in the air before going back to relaxing his hand at his side. “Even Rebekah, if it weren’t for Kol’s foolish prank.”
“Good to know, Nik.”
He gazed at you, swallowing before speaking. “You also had me.”
“I can see that since you keep following me.” You finally peeled your eyes from your phone, throwing it back in your purse, raising your chin up at Klaus. He briskly narrowed his eyes, not allowing your cold response to get to him.
“Oh come now, sweetheart. Let’s not make this difficult for the both of us.”
“You’re making it difficult for yourself.” You waved an airy hand. “Now shoo, you’re killing the vibe.”
“Alright then, Y/N. I’ve been far more patient with you.” Klaus creeped up behind you and swiftly cracked your spine so that you were comatose. Then, he scooped you into his arms so that he held you bridal style.
To his luck, his swift, yet flawless gesture didn’t get a second look from anyone in the crowd. It seemed as if you were absurdly tipsy and he prevented you from falling to your knees. He felt a pang of relief and his tense shoulders relaxed knowing he can safely bring you home.
Finn’s barrier spell throughout the Mikaelson compound is now nonexistent. It is dead silent and the only two souls occupying this vast structure are you and the original hybrid for now. Your limp, unconscious body is tied to a wooden chair including your wrists and your ankles.
Klaus has been pacing for the past few minutes, conjuring up different plans to mentally bring back the woman he loves, instead of this facade of a nightmare that is taking over. And hell, if it weren’t for your humanity switch, he would revel in tearing that dress off of you and making love to you until the sunrise.
The sudden sound of your groaning put a halt to his steps. He watched as your head steadily moved up and you cracked your neck. Your eyes caught a glimpse of your surroundings which appears to be one of the many rooms in this godforsaken building. You raised a brow at your lover who is standing merely a few feet away just ahead of you. “This doesn’t look like the Ritz-Carlton.” You said in your head.
“It would be impolite if I didn’t ask how your catnap was.” Klaus commented, wearing a shit eating grin.
“It was fantastic.” You returned his cocky expression with a flashing smile of your own.
“Now that I have you where you can’t simply walk off, let’s get to business then, shall we?” Klaus took amble strides towards you and kneeled until he was at eye level with you. “This will only take a second.” He noted, voice low enough for only the two of you to hear.
As soon as his irises stared into yours, you turned your chin to the right, but Klaus was quick to seize your jaw with his strong fingers, shifting your view back to him. You knew exactly what his intentions were at that very moment.
He’s going to compel you.
The location of the white oak stake is still unknown to him and since he is closer to getting you back to your normal self, he’ll finally get the stake back.
“Get on with it already. I don’t have all day.” You implied. Klaus kept his frustration in check from your moronic remark and went on with what he intended to do.
Your eyes focused on his, observing his pupils fascinatingly growing and shrinking. "You will put an end to this madness and turn it back on.” He released his grasp on your face.
You blinked twice and your lips parted, chest rising and falling. “Nik.” You paused. “I-” Klaus began freeing one wrist from the bindings.
“What is it?” He asked, concerned.
As soon as one wrist was free, you sneered at him and before he could blink, you tore off the arm of the chair, flipped it over so that the sharp bit pointed out and stabbed Klaus in the neck with it. “Ah!” He called out, face contorting from the unexpected laceration.
Obviously, you could have simply kept playing it off as if your humanity was back so that Klaus frees you of all of the restraints. But, you wanted to poke fun at him instead. Inflicting pain onto Klaus was significantly more gratifying right now.
“You really thought you had me there, didn’t you?” You let out a burst of laughter. Klaus cried out in pain while pulling the stick of wood out of his neck and tossing it to the floor, taking heavy breaths as the gash healed. “Nice try, Nik. But I’ve been drinking vervain as of late. Thanks to Stefan and Damon for the tip.”
Instead of inflicting the pain back to you or snapping your neck to shut you up, Klaus stormed out of the room to overlook the courtyard from the railing. As much as he wanted to rip the railing off from his frustration, he shockingly kept his cool and an idea came to mind. He obtained his cell phone from his pant pocket and dialed a familiar number.
After many rings, his call was answered.
“Klaus?” The voice on the other line said.
“Hello, old friend.” Klaus grinned, oddly comforted to hear their voice. “I’m in need of a favor.”
A/N: Hope you guys appreciated the longer chapter!! I know the last one had a lot of Y/N x Kol moments, so I gave you guys more of Y/N x Klaus moments in this one. I have to say, it was quite fun writing with Y/N’s humanity off. And it was especially fun writing Klaus’s responses to it lol...Oh and I’m sure you guys can guess who Klaus’s ‘old friend’ is :)
TAGS: @ynm1505 @ravenmoore14@xdontxcare @seasiren96@anyasthoughts @woodworthti666 @agentmarvel13@miss-lumiere@elizabeth-ann1090 @physically-a-cheesecake@azhar1422 @morsmornte @retrocontessa @kollover24 @thewolf-and-thesheep @xoxoaudreymarie @dezzym17@siphonersalvatore @yolobloggers @akshi8278 @simonsaysyasss @eggingamazinglove @brooklymw @baseballbitch116 @hyperion-moonbabe @iamjustaslytherinrose @lillianeh879 @hannahzlee @bokettolove @gangofhoes @sashimi-cat @marvel-ousnesss @deathkat657 @rauwz @star-adorned @bobamilqtea @lunareclipse-e @krazykatkay456 @geeksareunique @hybridgirl99 @romyislief @psychicwinnerstranger @catchmeupimgettingoutofhere @derangedcupcake @yaniiie @classyunknownlover @britty443 @mockingjayd12 @ophellis @prospathww @the-specific-oceans @riverdaleserpent04 @bank-of-rubytowne @ballet-royale @sunflowersandsins @fakebeech @alka16555 @allllzcatt-blog @hyperion-moonbabe-art3mis @its4everjenny @mikaelson-emma @lilulo-12 @unhappy-hannah @hookedtoherfire @smol-quackson @hxppy-ghxst @ivarthegoddess @nick-1432 @simonsbluee @0moonlightthoughts0 @proudjaden @lalunasuenos @blonddnamedhandz @princekooks @supernatural-swiftie08 @2kayla64 @hernameisnoellex3 @grim91103 @asusualitasterin @un-namedstalker @a-who-e @mother-dearest-loves-me @un-namedstalker @lauren-novak @elijahspersonalwifeyyy @wayward-river @random-stupid-stuffs @fangirlforever2412 @girlqrush
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Crossword Clues & Coffee - Three Down
Summary: A chance encounter in Lebanon’s finest (read: only) diner leads Dean to find the one thing he never knew his life was missing.
Warnings: Tiny bit of language? Angst. LOTS of sass. Honestly, it’s a lot of fluff. No romance.
Author’s Note: Many thanks to @there-must-be-a-lock for always-masterful revision and editing advice, and to @thoughtslikeaminefield for encouragement and flails. I think we all need something a little more light-hearted these days, so here you go.
Word Count: 378
In Case You Missed It:
CC&C: One Across | Two Down
Sam has been officially fired from grocery shopping, at least for anyone but himself (read: anyone who wants enough calories to survive). Every man for himself, as far as Dean is concerned. Cas doesn't disagree, but he won’t say so aloud, and the angel is still unreliable when it comes to consistently shopping, so it’s up to Dean to keep them (himself) from starving. He snags a cart and heads into the local supermarket, determined to find something red and bleeding that he can roast to his heart’s content.
“Young man, can you...oh, Dean. Well, it’s a small town. Shouldn’t be surprised.” Esther pulls up next to him in one of those motorized shopping carts, dragon head cane propped carefully next to her seat, carpet bag taking up most of the small basket.
“You gonna be able to fit any groceries in there?” he asks, grinning. He manages to hold his ground against her glare, only letting his shaking breath out when she turns the main force of her frown on the tiny basket attached to the front of her cart.
“Don’t need many groceries,” she grumbles. “Hand me that small pack of ground chuck, sir, and don’t sass.”
“Hamburgers?” he asks, curious, as he hands over the requested item.
“Meatloaf,” she shoots back. “Why? Are you hungry? I’ll bet you didn’t eat a proper breakfast again.”
His stomach growls loudly at the mention of one of his favorite dishes, and his cheeks redden.
“I wouldn’t want to impose,” is the politest response he can come up with. She’s got to be on a tight budget, and he feels a little weird going over to a little old lady’s house just to eat her food. And he barely knows Esther, so really-
“Nonsense. You’re a growing boy, and you’re obviously not eating right at home. What does your brother feed you, anyway? Leaves? No, dinner is at six, so come over at five to help me cook. Come earlier, if you’re bored. I have some chores you can help me with. 422 Clinton Way. No dessert if you’re late, I mean it.”
She considers the pack of ground beef in her hand, scrutinizes Dean, then hands the meat back.
“Hand me the three pound pack.”
Next: Three Across
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I’m finally Mrs. Atwood!!! Though we only had a two month engagement and a four month courtship, it feels like I’ve been waiting forever to marry this amazing man of God. Ladies, the scriptures are true! If you trust in the Lord, bury His word in your heart and glorify Him in all you do, He IS faithful and will give you the desires of your heart.
Once I got to know Malachi, I could see why it didn’t work out with Clay and how the Lord was teaching me to be patient for the *right* one. The Lord truly does more than I can ask or imagine. Malachi ticks every single box on my list and then some. His faith in the Lord is unwavering, he always brings everything back to Jesus and encourages everyone he meets in their faith. We have such a good time witnessing to people together and sharing the gospel with strangers on our date nights. In just 6 months of being an official couple, we’ve brought 13 souls to Christ! I can’t wait to see how the Lord uses us as a couple to glorify Him! From the moment I started getting to know him beyond having classes together, I could feel the Lord telling me that this was the man He created me for.
Beyond how righteous he is, Malachi has a truly tender heart and is so gentle with me. I practice my sermons for women’s ministry with him because he’s an amazing preacher and he always supports and encourages me. Even when he’s giving feedback to change something, he says it in the kindest, most respectful way. Quite the change from when I courted Clay.
I would say we’re both self-controlled people and had an extremely chaste courtship to ensure we were glorifying the Lord first, but on our wedding day, we were so happy to be married that we couldn’t stop kissing! It was a beautiful ceremony in my granddaddy’s church like I’ve always wanted. Normally, the wedding planners put up a backdrop, but Malachi and I both wanted the cross on the wall to be visible in our wedding photos because Jesus is the center of our relationship and we can not have a successful marriage without putting Him first.
We got a little cottage in Olde Platz near the church so my hubby has a short commute to work every day. We figure we can fit about ten children in there before we’d have to upgrade to something bigger. Malachi didn’t want us to use my trust fund to buy a bigger place because he says a preacher shouldn’t live extravagantly, which I agree with. We bought this house and put the rest in savings, but we definitely will use some of it for missions and planting churches all around the world to spread the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
It’s such a blessing that he is going to be preaching in the church I grew up in because it will allow me to really have an impact quickly as the young/unmarried women’s ministry leader since I know all the young women already. Of course, my responsibilities as a wife and (Lord-willing) mother come first, but I’ve always felt called to preach the gospel to other women and can’t wait to assume the role.
We are both committed to trusting the Lord to determine the amount of children we have and look forward to raising an army of warriors for Christ. This world is so dark and we pray that our future children will be beacons of Christ’s light.
We will homeschool all the way through high school. I trust that my parents did what was best for their beliefs but even in a Christian private school, there were bad influences and I’ve seen how many of my siblings have loosened their convictions based on those influences and the influences of their peers in secular universities. Even Eden, who was once so righteous talks about a million topics other than Jesus in the rare moments she actually answers my calls. I can tell that secular university has distracted her and filled her mind with nonsense that is nowhere near as important as her eternal soul.
Malachi and I believe it will be best for our family values if we limit as many of those bed influences as possible to help our children keep their eyes fixed on Jesus. “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15).
(AN: Quick: how many times did Esty mention the Lord/Jesus/Christ/Him in this post? 😂)
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Uhm whats going on with Volker Bruch? 👀 I dont speak German and dont trust google translate lol so if you could summarize the issue I'd appreciate it, ty 😊
Oh yeah sure! So basically him and a bunch of other actor/actresses (including some others from the show, like Meret Becker who plays Esther, the wife of the Armenian, and Trystan Pütter, who plays the lawyer Litten) were part of a campaign organized by a TV director with sympathies for the so-called “Querdenker” movement which is a kind of melting pot of different groups and people united in their protest against the Corona policies and measures (like social distancing, wearing masks) from the German government. This movement is made up of people across the political spectrum (including people voting for the Green party, esoterics, and so on) but it’s also been a breeding ground for conspiracy theories and rightwing radicalization which is why many Germans, including myself, view people who participate in that very sceptically (and to give you my totally biased take: a lot of them are total idiots, regardless of their political affiliation; the right to protest is important but if people feel the need to be a part of mass events during a pandemic while not wearing their masks properly as if that’s such a big ask, then those are people who’ve got a strange, narrow-minded, egotistical outlook on the world imo).
So anyway, that campaign of the actors/actresses was essentially a series of videos by these actors/actresses, all uploaded at the same time to coincide with a law designed to give the government more deciding power (because fun fact, most of the Corona counter-measures have not being taken on a national level at all because they’re within the responsibility of the federal German states and this has slowed down a lot of things, including our vaccination campaign). They used the hashtag #allesdichtmachen (”close everything”) and basically used irony or satire~ to criticize the government. Every actor/actress has a video where they talk nonsense (”oh please please I want to be more afraid!!!”) under the disguise of art~
Look, I’m entirely sympathetic to people wanting to shine a light on the plight of the cultural industry which has been hard-hit by the virus, with the theaters closing and people losing their livelihoods. But that’s not what the campaign is about. It’s a completely obnoxious, tone-deaf, cynical parade of ignorant people vastly overrating their intellectual acumen and artistic genius and complaining about the media and the government using the same narrative strategies that have been a gateway to conspiracy theories (pretending like our freedom of speech is threatened, when it’s not, evidenced by the thousands of people protesting throughout the pandemic and driving up the infection numbers; or pretending like criticism of the policies is not allowed, when heated debates about them have completely dominated our news for over a year; or pretending like this is some sort of plot by a nebulous elite or “the powers that be” who want to keep us enslaved by making us... wear masks... when really various complicated political processes and decentralized responses have been what’s been going on). Predictably, this kind of divisive talk has been applauded by the rightwingers and the nutters. Pretty exclusively only by them.
This “campaign” has rightly been hit with a lot of criticism but as with conspiracy theorists, the harder you critique them, the more they feel validated in their us vs. them. Some of the actors/actresses acted naive afterwards but you’d have to be pretty dumb and ignorant to be this naive. Thing is, most of them are the ones who are really well-off, who kept shooting and working throughout the pandemic, who’ve lounged in their villas and gardens all this time. It actually makes me angry to think about.
And as for Volker Bruch, apparently he and Jan Josef Liefers who’s also a famous and well-liked German actor co-organized the whole thing with that TV director. Volker Bruch has also not apologized or reflected on his participation in this campaign. On his insta in the weeks beforehand, he’s already been sowing doubts about the safety of masks for children. He follows “Querdenker” accounts. He’s evidently on a slide into conspiracy theory and rightwing nutter territory and the irony is that people like him always complain about being called out for this because they genuinely don’t understand anything about what’s going on. They’re an example of what we call Wohlstandsverwahrlosung (losing the plot due to having too much wealth and nothing real to worry about).
It’s just... a lot. People are dying and medical staff and personnel are completely overwhelmed and then they have to go home to see a video by a beloved actor going “dear government, I want to be more afraid, please make us more afraid :))”
Genuinely infuriating tbh.
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Lord she tired
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So, there’s this one angel story in the back of my head that I know I wont write. I wont write it, because it’s utter nonsense, with very little regard for the canonical timeline of Supernatural, and a willfully blurry view on what is and is not “in character.” It’s fluff. It’s all fluff, in the form of a bunch of smaller stories that gradually weave together, following the Love, Actually style of storytelling, but instead of problematic love stories, it’s all about angels playing hooky from Heaven after the Fall.
(Seriously, there is no substance here, I swear.)
Stories include Abner, living out the first half of the movie Family Man, struggling to figure out how to be a good father and house husband after he steps into the life of the raging alcoholic who agreed to be his vessel. There’s also a very minor story about Esther (not to be confused with Hester, who is not in this story because she never deserted her post in Heaven) learning to play the part of a little girl and navigating schoolyard politics, but kids can be mean and Esther learns the hard way that Michael’s approach to asserting dominance in Heaven does not translate well. There’s also Daniel and Adina, who both settle into vessels in the same movie theater where a romantic comedy is playing, and fall into a very innocent, play-acting sort of love after they leave the theatre—like little kids pretending to be in love, recreating the scenes from the movie, but at the same time not really understanding it. Balthazar, Gabriel, and Anael each trying to roll with the luxurious high roller life style, and awkwardly running into each other at VIP poker games, exclusive spas and clubs, and the occasional orgy that they promptly leave IMMEDATELY after running into a sibling (don’t give me weird looks, Balthazar and Gabriel canonically include that sort of thing in their definition of luxury, and the whole thing of their story is their siblings keep cramping their style). Tyrus is in there bowling, somewhere. Benjamin’s playing arcade games with his wife. And then there’s Thaddeus, my pet favorite minor angel character, realizing what’s happening as he’s falling with all the other faithful angels during the Fall and seizing the opportunity to abandon his life as a guard and torturer, settling into a pop star for his vessel—initially for the sake of the cushy lifestyle, but then gradually looking back, before the garden and Lucifer, before everyone was assigned a job in Heaven, like it or not, and the options were to adapt or to be smote, and remembering that back then, he could sing.
And of course, Michael and Adam get a story too—in which Michael lowkey gets into a pissing contest with death, as he and Adam travel the world, hitting up hospital after hospital to heal people. Because the first thing Adam wanted to do after getting out of the cage (okay, second thing—burgers came first) was go to the nearest medical center and start healing people left and right. And at first, they’re having a great time. Adam steals a white jacket he finds in the breakroom somewhere, and anytime someone says he looks a little young to be a doctor (Adam still looking nineteen years old, because I say so), Michael wipes the poor sap’s mind. But eventually—sometime after they’ve cleared out the children’s ward, the cancer ward, the cardiac ward—Billie shows up, sniping at them that they can’t just go around healing people who are destined to die, because there is an order to life and death that cannot be shoved aside. And Billie tries to make a show of it, as Terra did with Dean, by having several people who Adam had healed over the course of the day inadvertently cause several massive accidents. The news suddenly comes pouring out of the television, channels flipping as newscasters talk about tragedies occurring in several different parts of the city they’re currently in. The sound of approaching ambulance sirens fills the air, as in the hospital hallway, doctors and nurses begin hurrying to receive a rush of ER patients.
Michael does not take kindly to this. He snaps his fingers and makes it so that the carnage has never happened. Because he is the archangel Michael, only two steps away from being a god, and if he says that all of these people are going to live, then they are going to live, and he WILL NOT be intimidated, especially by an amateur reaper whose only qualification for her position was dying at the right time.
Billie in turn lands Michael with a cold stare, and points out that the order to life and death is beyond even God’s authority, let alone daddy’s blunt, sniveling instrument.
As Michael’s eyes start to glow, Adam steps in and says, “So, to be clear, you want us to stop healing people on the verge of death? We can do that.”
After Billie leaves, Michael is outraged, but Adam says, “No, Michael, THINK about it.”
We then cut to other stories, where newscasts in the background reveal that ailments that are not IMMIEDATELY fatal (AIDs, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, etc.) are mysteriously disappearing overnight, worldwide.
Billie is not amused, and tells her reapers to be on the lookout for an archangel at every major hospital in the world.
Cut to Michael throwing open the door of the bunker, muttering aloud to Adam that he’s going to do it, he’s going to bind Death, just like Lucifer did—how hard can it be? Sam and Dean see him as he goes stomping off toward the cabinet where they keep all of their magical dry goods, but Michael snaps his fingers and the two of them are abruptly half drunk in Dean’s man cave, sitting in front of Dean’s flat screen TV, watching some campy monster movie, because that’s lowkey what Michael and Adam assume they do all day.
As they’re raiding Sam and Dean’s supplies though, Adam says, “Wait, I have an idea.”
Cut to Abner looking up while pushing his vessel’s daughter in a park swing, and literally seeing Michael and Adam chasing an ambulance, so they can technically heal the person inside before reaching the hospital.
Yes, I’m aware that Abner was dead by the time Michael and Adam got out of the cage. But see, this story? This story is like when someone gifts you a goldfish unexpectedly, and you put it in a bowl, checking in to feed it a couple times a day, lowkey expecting it to die. But it doesn’t die, it gets bigger. And you’re not a cruel person, so you put it in a bigger tank, but it just gets bigger again, and you don’t really know what’s going on, but you know, you just kind of keep checking in, meeting the minimum requirements but not really getting in there as a guiding force because it’s a goldfish and it’s surely going to die any minute now—but then you look over and there’s giant tank taking up your living room, and you’re thawing out bloodworms twice a day, and looking into tankmates to keep Charles company, and realize that “Oh wow, I guess this is a thing now.”
In short, the story says we’re ignoring the timeline, and it’s calling the shots. I’m just keeping the tank clean.
The angels all eventually wind up running into each other. Abner and Esther happen upon one another in a park, where Esther is morosely realizing that she is terrible at being a human child but she does not want to go home to Heaven, and it just happens to be the same park where Abner goes with his “little nibblet” once a day to let her toddle around the playground while he chats with nannies and other house parents. Anael, Adina, and Daniel meet up when the latter two’s game has reached the point where they’ve decided to get married, and they apparently need to buy something new—preferably blue—as per this very important rhyme someone told them about. Esther and Gabriel run into each other in an ice cream parlor. Thaddeus gets recognized while doing an interview on TV that everyone sees. And, while out joyriding in a Lamborghini, on their way to meet up with the growing community of angels who decided to opt out of their responsibility to Heaven and their father’s legacy, Balthazar, Gabriel, and Anael are all startled to see Michael land on an ambulance stopped next to them at a red light.
Balthazar and Anael are both terrified, as if they’ve just been busted by a parent, because Michael, of course, is the guy who enforces the rules, and isn’t he supposed to be in Hell? They both shoot Gabriel looks as if to say ‘what the hell are you doing’ when Gabriel, watching as Michael climbs down and matter-of-factly wrenches the ambulance doors open, calls out, “Hey, Mike! Is that you?”
Michael looks over, freezes for a second—not prepared to be suddenly thrust into a social situation in the middle of his self-imposed mission to spite death—then his eyes flash and Adam takes over. “Oh hey, you’re Michael’s family? What a small world! I’m Adam, I’ve heard so much about you. Wait, hang on—”
The light starts to turn green, but Adam snaps his fingers and it promptly reverts to red.
Three jaws drop in the luxury car, and they don’t even hear Adam politely explain that he and Michael are in the middle of something, as he ducks into the ambulance, because Michael’s evidently letting a tiny human use his powers like it’s nothing, and what does that mean?
“Sweet dad in the unknown, Michael’s shagging a human. . .”
“Hey, kid, you like weddings?”
At some point in the story, all the MIA angels are together, and Benjamin or someone comes running in saying, “Quick, they’re coming! Everyone hide!”
And everyone scatters, except for Michael, who stands in place, saying, “Gabriel, we’re archangels, two of the most powerful beings in existence. Why would we—”
And then Gabriel picks Adam up like a sack of potatoes and sprints off, calling back, “Trust me, you do NOT want to get involved with them!”
Being a projection, Michael is obligated to follow.
Team Free Will then walks by, looking constipated from whatever Big Awful Thing is currently threatening to destroy the world.
The story, of course, culminates in the wedding of Adina and Daniel, who still don’t quite understand what marriage is beyond promising to love each forever, which of course they will, after all, they are the very best of friends—which is about the same concept that most of the other angels present have. Adam is the first one to actually approach the big awkward question, upon finding out who the bride and groom are.
“Wait, aren’t they brother and sister?”
To which Serafina’s Adam, (who is of course there since Serafina was the original angel to play hooky) whose sons married his daughters, and all the angels, who do not understand what that has to do with anything, all cock their heads in unison and respond with, “So?”
Adam struggles to find words, looking into so many innocent faces. Then Benjamin’s wife puts a hand on his shoulder, whispering, “Shhh, let them have their fun.”
Benjamin’s wife and the two Adams wind up sitting at the venue’s bar, where they order nachos from a very confused bar tender, and watch as the angels go about setting up a wedding. But given that most angels haven’t been on earth regularly in roughly two thousand years, none of them have a clear grasp of what a human wedding entails.
“I heard it’s traditional for the father to give away the bride.”
“I think they’re supposed to kiss over bread.”
“Do humans still slaughter cows at these things?”
“I’m pretty sure someone is supposed to break a glass—”
Several angels promptly throw glassware on the floor.
At no point do the angels ask the humans for advice.
Occasionally, Gabriel knowingly throws out obscure details to keep the confusion going.
“You know, the groom needs to stand with the right arm to the aisle in case a sword fight breaks out.”
“Right! . . .How do we know which one’s the groom?”
At the bar, Adam open’s his mouth to say something, but the original Adam shushes him.
“No no, son, let them get there.”
The angels agree that being the better fighter, Adina should be the groom.
They’re nearly ready to start when Michael suddenly doubles over with his hand over his mouth. It coincides with the sound of Adam pounding the bar top, having just eaten a Carolina Reaper pepper on dare. Michael’s eyes quickly flash silver-blue as he straightens, and both he and Adam are abruptly fine—even if their eyes are still watering somewhat. But a different sort of damage has already been done, as Anael, Balthazar, and Gabriel all abruptly turn toward the triad of humans, having been reminded that the Michael walking around with them is actually a projection. In actuality, Michael is anchored to the human ex-college student sitting at the bar.
All three of them rush toward Adam, but Serafina gets there first, asking Adam if he’s ever tried mushroom tea.
Balthazar gets there next.
“Adam, was it? We didn’t get to talk in the car, let’s fix that. Are you over twenty-one? You know what, this is a family affair, don’t worry—CAN I GET TWO SHOTS OF DON JULIO OVER HERE?”
From that point on, any time Adam turns around, there’s one of Michael’s siblings, wanting to get to know him—by consuming some sort of beverage. Because Adam and Michael are sharing body—and that means they share a liver too. A bet ensues as to how much it will take to get God’s alleged favorite wasted.
Gabriel’s actually one of the first out, having been convinced that Michael would be a lightweight. Little does he suspect that Benjamin and his wife caught onto what was happening soon after Adam was fed his third long island iced tea and second jager bomb, and began quietly cleansing the alcohol from his system through casual shoulder pats and high fives.
Adam does not know what to make of any of this, but it’s Michael’s family and he wants to make a good impression, so he just goes with it.
Thaddeus, of course, is in charge of music, Gabriel and Esther consume the majority of the cake, and Michael catches the bouquet (he may have cheated after finding out what the bouquet toss is for).
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Fic Writer Tag Game
Tagged by @esther-dot. Thank you!
How many works do you have on AO3? 9
What’s your total AO3 word count? 423,039 - clearly the one shot is not my specialty......
How many fandoms have you written for and what are they? Just Jonsa
What are your top 5 fics by kudos?
The Copper Queen - Set in the American Old West
Fresh from their discharge from the army, Jon Snow and his friend, Samwell Tarly, arrive in the small mining town of Copper Canyon, Arizona in hopes of building their future. Unbeknownst to Sam, Jon has picked this location for a specific personal reason. Will his choice lead them to a bright future or will their future evaporate like water in the desert? Sansa Stark had lived in Copper Canyon for over half her life. She and her sister, Arya, are all that remain of their once large family. In the old west rumor and gossip can quickly become legend. And if you believe the legends of Copper Canyon, than you know the Starks carry a curse. A curse placed on them by a man who still styles himself as their friend and protector. Will a chance meeting with the town's newest arrival be enough to break that curse?
I’ll Lead You Home - Modern American setting. Road Trip.
Following a family tragedy, circumstances threaten to suffocate Sansa Stark in her hometown. When her ex boyfriend Jon Snow offers her a chance to escape she takes it. So the exes set out on a cross country road trip that will set the stage for the next chapter in their lives. But will the road lead them back together or will the secrets of Jon's past tear them apart forever?
In the Shadow of the Flames - Set in Europe during World War Two
In the early months of World War II Sansa and Arya are sent to live with their Aunt Lysa in the Channel Islands to help her keep the Tully family farm. In the face of Nazi occupation they work to protect each other, their home and family, and eventually a downed pilot by the name of Jon Snow from forces (German commander Ramsay Bolton and collaborator Petyr Baelish) that are determined to possess and destroy them.
The Justice of Vengeance - Set in a version of 1920/30s America but Westeros
If you had asked Jon when he was a young boy what kind of life he would lead, he never would have guessed it would be this one. He doubted anyone else would have guessed it either. Because anyone with half a mind would never think that a bastard boy from one of the poorest neighborhoods in the north would someday grow up to be the head of one of the most powerful criminal outfits in Westeros.
Sheets of Shattered Memory - this was my first fic and sometimes I re-read it and cringe......
Years of misunderstandings have kept Jon and Sansa apart. Robb's wedding to Margaery provides the back drop for them to reconnect and overcome the past.
Story shifts back and forth between past and present timelines.
Do you respond to comments, why or why not? I try my best, but I’ve been on a sorta hiatus since 2019, so its hit or miss since then. When I am actively writing and posting though I am much better about it and try to respond to all comments. Interaction and feedback from readers is a great motivator and I love the sense of community that comes from the back and forth.
What’s the fic you’ve written with the angstiest ending? Hmm, I don’t know about angst, but my least happiest ending is In the Shadow of the Flames.
Do you write crossovers? If so what’s the craziest one you’ve written? Nope
Have you ever received hate on a fic? Yes, but it was so nonsensical that I just ignored it.
Do you write smut? If so what kind? Sure do, but I always get anxiety posting it. It can get graphic so that’s probably the reason.
Have you ever had a fic stolen? Not that I am aware of. Probably because they are so long no one wants to bother. LOL
Have you ever had a fic translated? Nope
What’s your all time favorite ship? Jonsa! There are just so many fabulous people in this fandom.
What’s a WIP that you want to finish but don’t think you ever will? Ugh. So there is a fic I started in 2017 that is the bane of my existence. The working title is Snowbound. Its inspired by the history of the Stanley Hotel in Colorado and has to deal with a blizzard as well. I have written the most ridiculous amount of back story for it. In fact I have a fic I posted last year that is part of the back story. I keep going back to that story and working on it here and there but keep stalling out in the same part about 30,000 words in. It’ll never see the light of day.................
What are your writing strengths? I would say dialogue. My fics play out heavily in dialogue.
What are your writing weaknesses? Back story, in the fact that I seem to have a ridiculous amount in my fics. I don’t know why, its like I can’t write a story without having an entire pre story worked in.
What are your thoughts on writing dialogue in other languages in a fic? I don’t do it a lot really so never really thought about it.
What was the first fandom you wrote for? Jonsa/GoT
What’s your favorite fic that you’ve written? In the Shadow of the Flames. That story spans years and is mostly linear. I picture that one like a movie more than any of the others and is the one I re-read the most.
I’m not tagging anyone else since I am typically always last to the party on these things and rather sure everyone else has already done it. But if you haven’t and feel so inclined, please do.
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Torchwood Writing Prompt:
Miracle Day, but it's condensed from a 10-part mini-series down to a 4-part mini-series OR even better, a two-parter special in theoretical length.
Aka, rewrite Miracle Day, condense it, trim off all those loose threads, pick a main plot and a b plot and stick to them without piling on 6 other plots the audience doesn't care about.
Pull out all the fluff that's padding the runtime.
If you're adding new members to Torchwood then actually make them likeable or at least competent and skilled-- (neither Esther nor Rex fit both of those descriptors lol.
Stop making our characters go to America of they're not staying there for the duration of the plot!
You cannot have them traisping back and forth from Wales to America over and over, and still expect it to be dramatic and noteworthy. Either they go to America at the beginning of the mission and return home to solve or after they've solved it, or they stay in Wales the whole time.
Suddenly, no one in the world is dying. Everyone is immortal, just like Jack. (They die, but then they heal and come back)
Jack is also still immortal, because he should have been dead about 20 times over in the original Miracle Day even with the villains "wanting him alive".
( Sorry Jack, I don't know how to tell you that jumping out of a multistory building into a 3-inch deep concrete pond is a very bad idea, and you're going to have more than a few bruises from that landing.)
Either use the original nonsensical thing and give it actual rules about how it behaves,or make your own monster of the week to explain the on-going Miracle.
Get creative! Would Miracle Day effect only the humans that are on earth, or is it specifically targeting the human race simultaneously across a certain distance? Is it just Earth?
What about things in orbit, like space stations? Are astronauts in space immortal like everyone else, or are they still normal?
If the target is the human race no matter the distance from the earth..... How are the Doctor's companions finding out (painfully) and how are they dealing with it (badly)?
Is the Doctor not "here" to deal with Miracle Day because they're off investigating the planet they and their Companion are on, convinced the strange world is responsible for their companion's sudden recovery from death? (Does the Companion become a fixed point in time, or do they still feel normal to the Doctor's time sense?)
How would the Miracle Effect Owen? He's either disinteregrated or dissolved or whatever the FUCK happens to living organisms inside a nuclear power plant going critical-- would the Miracle sense his consciousness and give him a new, living body by slowly drawing his atoms back together to heal and repair him? Like, I can't believe they didn't make any references to Owen in all of Miracle Day
Only requirement for each fic to follow?
Either feed Oswald Danes to the monster of the week before he ever gets near a child, or get rid of his character entirely.
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post-ep for 5x11 ‘Kill Switch’
The smell of wet leaves almost, almost masks the acrid tang of burned flesh and cloth. Their feet shuffle through the damp decay to the car, Mulder leaning on Scully perhaps more than he ought. They leave a mobile home, Esther Nairn, and the ever-elusive Truth behind them in a wind-whipped pile of embers and ash. The ride home is quiet.
Scully can tell the shock and adrenaline are beginning to wear off when Mulder starts picking gingerly at the charred remnants of his dress-sleeves. His skin is red, angry and blistering from electrical burns. He rests his cheek against the chilly window when Scully tells him to stop messing, ever caring in her no-nonsense little voice.
Overburdened clouds reluctantly leak as she walks him to his door, a promise of a later storm in the drip, drip on her medical bag. Mulder feels stiff and fevered, still reeling from his pseudo-real interrogation even as Scully sits him down on the creaking leather of his couch. Her doctor’s hands check him for a concussion, tethering him back to reality with the run of her hands through his hair. Mulder becomes cognizant of finally focusing when she cups his scratchy cheek in her palm. He knows Scully can tell that he’s checked back in because their eyes meet and she blushes, dropping her hand with uncharacteristic reticence. “Welcome back.” Her dryness is a facade for relief.
Mulder sighs and drops his head against the back of his couch in response. “Another one bites the dust.” He can’t be held responsible for questionable references in this state of mind. Scully just huffs and unbuttons his shirt, leaving him in his undershirt as she clears away the crackling fabric from his burned wrists. She lathers on antibiotics and ointments in silence as he stares at the rain through the window. Only then does he realize that she never turned on the lights, tending his wounds, save for the glow of his fish tank, in the dark.
Fever fades to cool cynicism as Mulder watches Scully kneel in front of him, wrapping bandages around his forearms. “I’m so tired of being left with nothing, Scully. Why does it always have to be a game of smoke and mirrors? Can nothing be straightforward?” He thinks of David’s dead eyes staring listlessly up at him.
Scully heaves a sigh and turns around, resting her back against the edge of the couch so she doesn’t have to meet his eyes. Her cheek flirts with the idea of resting on his knee, and when he smooths his hand on her hair she gives in to the impulse.
“Will there ever be any proof?” He is tired, pondering and not expecting a response.
“Only our scars.”
Her voice is not quite resigned, and they find comfort in resting against each other. He lets himself stroke her hair, wondering if it calms her like it calms him. “Thanks Doc, I don’t know what I would do without you.” She hums in acknowledgement and they stare out at the storm, waiting for it to pass.
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The Return of the Star
Thank you so much for your patience and your nice words. I really appreciated them too much.
So finally I have finished part II, and things are starting to get really interesting.
As I promised there’s a new coloring among the text, I really hope you like it, and I put another one, but a bit older, since I couldn’t resist to post it in this part XD
Thanks so much to @buffaloborgine and @trinity-blood-translations for helping me correct this text, your effort is valuable to me. Send you lots of love my friends.
Let’s get started.
The Istvan Opera House was located on Andrássy Street, the main avenue of the city. It was an old style building that had survived Armageddon. After the liberation battle, it was the first place restored by the archbishop, to serve as a public building for the citizens.
The building was built in a magnificent and delicate Neo-Renaissance style. It was an imposing work that could be compared to the Scala in Milan, the Opernhaus in Vienna or the Státní in Prague. The facade had a secluded air, but once inside the decorations in gold and purple colors overwhelmed the visitor with their luxury.
The “guest of honor” entrance that Esther passed through was no exception. In the boxes facing the wide stage, the rugs were so thick that they reached to the ankles, as if she were in a lavish palace. The walls were lined with works of art and all the furniture had been expressly imported from Rome or Florence.
However, everything paled when compared to the beauty of the woman who was waiting for her sitting on the sofa.
“Welcome, Sister Esther. You may be exhausted after the trip...”
The Cardinal Caterina Sforza, Duchess of Milan, Secretary of State of the Vatican and head of its foreign policy, gave a friendly welcome to the nun. Telling her to sit on the couch that was in front, where the two priests was already sitting, she laid her cup of tea on the table.
“I've was told you've had a difficult time with the media at the station. I am glad that you are well.”
“Nothing happened… More than anything, it was a surprise that…”
Looking into the gray eyes that smiled at her behind the monocle, the nun awkwardly shook her head like a puppet. For Esther, the Cardinal was a person almost as sacred as the Virgin. Every time she presented herself to her, she couldn't help but get nervous and tense. She brushed off the sweat she didn't have and continued in an uneasy voice:
“Your Eminence, the journalists called me Saint… what kind of joke is this? And why am I the protagonist of the play that is going to be performed here tonight?”
“We'll talk about all that later...” Adjusting her monocle, the beautiful woman looked up at the stage, the curtain still closed, and sighed. “His Holiness will be here shortly. He is accompanied by the Minister of Information, who is the one who has organized all this. I myself know only part of the story. It will be better if he tell us all about it in person… What I want to hear now is what news you bring me from the Empire.”
The cardinal spoke with the usual serenity. However, her voice had hardened slightly as she turned her gaze back to the nun and priest, as she crossed her legs under her habit.
“Were you able to contact the empress?”
“Yes, we have to inform you about it.” Esther steadied herself and her voice changed as she began to recite the report that she had been rehearsing mentally in the way: “We were fortunate enough to have direct contact with the Empress in...”
“Well, the truth is that we couldn't speak to her directly…”
Everything Esther had prepared came to nothing when the other voice interrupted her, preventing her from speaking.
“Eh!?” She didn't even have time to stop him. As he turned to the voice, she saw that Abel was still speaking with an irrepressible verbiage, which did not leave her a space to intervene.
“We did our best to deliver Her Eminence's message in person, but, of course, meeting the Empress in person was beyond our means. Even so, you need not worry, because we asked a local noblewoman, the Marquise of Kiev, Astharoshe Asran, whom I already knew before, to serve as an intermediary. The message will have reached its destination; you can be sure of it.”
“Ah? Bu... Father... Wait a minute...” But what was he saying!? Esther nervously adjusted her habit as if to signal him, but Abel did not stop chattering for an instant, gesturing exaggeratedly with his hands.
“Yes, we suffered the unspeakable to achieve it. Abroad, right? One does not know how things are done... To fulfill our mission we spend our days without stopping running up and down... tears come to my eyes just remembering it now that I tell you, and without doubt, you will cry too... Imagine, I lost three kilograms!”
Where did all this nonsense come from? Esther managed to come to herself and resist the curiosity to see how far the priest would be able to go.
“Wait... wait, father! Stop speaking nonsense!” She did not know what this foolishness was about, but if it continued like this, Caterina would end up thinking that they had not seen the Empress. Covering Abel's mouth with her hand, Esther yelled in the direction of the Cardinal:
“Ignore him, Your Eminence! We do…”
«We did speak directly to the Empress!» Just when Esther, red with exertion, was about to shout that phrase...
“Cardinal Sforza, I beg your pardon...” An elegant male voice echoed out as the door opened. Looking up, the Cardinal met a man who was greeting her respectfully and who was leading a group of three people. He was middle-aged and wore the purple sash on his habit that indicated his status as archbishop.
“Forgive us for interrupting your conversation, Your Eminence. His Holiness and Cardinal Borgia have arrived.”
“Hello Beautiful!” The second voice would seem to have been made up of a frivolous shake spiced with kitsch. It was hard to imagine anyone less suited to wear the Cardinal habit than the young man with long dyed hair and a nasal voice who had just entered. This was Antonio Borgia, the Minister of Information. “How long, right?! Makes sooo much that I did not see how fantastic you are that seems that my aesthetic sense have atrophied, you know? How are we doing?” “Good afternoon, Cardinal Borgia. I see you are very happy. If I'm not mistaken, we met the day before yesterday in Rome, right?”
Responding sharply to the young man, Caterina turned her gaze to the third figure in the group. Seeing the face of the teenager coming up behind the two men, her cold gaze softened.
“Ah, Alec…! How was the flight? Are you dizzy again?”
“Y..., y... yes, sister...” Dressed with beautiful white clothes, the Pope Alessandro XVIII spoke with a low voice. In addition to being extremely shy around people, to the point of bordering on autism, get out of Rome or even out of the Papal Palace supposed one horrible adventure for him. Anyways, the face of his sister seemed to calm him a bit, because he went on, stammering:
“I..., I got dizzy a b..., a little... b... but now I'm fi... I'm fine...”
“Really? But you don't have very good color. I'll make someone to prepare some medicine for you... Wait, I'll take the opportunity to make the introductions, since we're all here. This is Sister Esther from the Secretary of State. She is the Saint of Istvan”
Exhorted by Caterina, the nun saluted respectfully.
“Nice to meet you. It is an honor to be in your presence, Holiness.”All Vatican employees knew of the reserved character of the pope. In order not to startle him, Esther spoke in a calm voice as she placed a light kiss on his hand.“I am not worthy of you granting me the grace to kneel before you... “
“Ah...! N..., no...” At the touch of the young woman's lips, the pope went from pale to flushed. His breathing quickened, as if he were going to have a heart attack, and he withdrew his hand in embarrassment. ”And…, and…, I… And…, and…, I…, I…”
“Holiness, you must be tired...” said the first man who had entered, placing his hand on the shoulder of the babbling teenager. Maybe half a century of his life had already passed, but his face had manly features that surely wreaked havoc on the opposite sex when he was young. With an attentive expression, he made the young Pope sit on the sofa.
“The show will take a while to start. Get some rest here. If you allow me, I will handle the speech.”
“Thank you, Archbishop D'Annunzio...”
Before Esther's eyes, the Pope was panting hard, as if he were going to have a panic attack or something. The one who wiped the sweat from his forehead to reassure him was Caterina.
“Forgive me for putting you through something like this, but this ceremony took so much effort that...”
“Oh, does not matter! It is an honor to be able to do our bit to the work of her eminence and the Vatican.”
Emanuele D'Annunzio, Archbishop of Istvan, smiled kindly as he took Caterina’s hand. After kissing her like a gentleman kisses a lady, he turned his serene green eyes to her beautiful face.
“I wrote the script for tonight's play myself. I am afraid that it will not be up to the refined taste of Her Eminence, but it will be my honor that you listen to it... I do not know how the representation will turn out, but...”
“It'll be great, you know? Sure: super, super good.”
The one who responded in this way to the humble words of the archbishop was not Caterina, but the other cardinal present. Antonio, adjusting his bangs, continued with a slightly annoyed voice.
“Because, hey, haven't we helped you with production from the Ministry? I mean, the stage, and the direction, and the actors... Aaaaall of it it’s super mega first class. So if it goes wrong, it will be because of the script, you know?”
“We will be forever grateful for your support, Cardinal Borgia. It is an honor that you have dedicated your valuable time to our representation...”
D'Annunzio's words were kind, but there was a hint of provocation in his tone. His green gaze was fixed on the young man, like an adult lion facing the cub that wants to take his place.
“Today's ceremony is very important to us, because our recovery will serve to show it to the world. Its success will also serve to show the power of the Vatican… We hope to continue having the support of the Ministry of Information from now on.”
Although the tone was defiant, it could not be said that there was anything really wrong from the archbishop's words. Antonio was silent, something strange in him, as if not knowing what to answer, clearly feeling the difference in maturity that existed between him and his interlocutor.
In his fifties, Archbishop D'Annunzio was an experienced man who had played a crucial role in the Vatican since the time of the previous Pope Gregorio XXX. As the right hand of Alfonso d'Este, who was then head of the College of Cardinals, he had held important positions as Director of the Holy Inquisition and Chief Secretary of the Vatican. In his spare time he had written dozens of novels and more than two hundred plays, and was considered one of the literary geniuses of his time. However, his brilliance had provoked the envy of Alfonso, who ended up moving him away from the center. His fame was surpassed only by Cardinals Medici and Sforza, the Pope's stepsiblings. No one but a skilled politician would have gotten Istvan city reborn from its ruins just a year after the catastrophe of The Star of Sorrow.
“Ah, but I have not yet greeted the main guest...”
After silencing the young man, the archbishop turned quickly to Esther, who was silently observing the dialectical combat between the two high religious positions.
“This is the first time we met, but I know you very well, Sister Esther. I beg your pardon for having you come from so far away.”
“Ple…pleased to meet you, Your Excellency...” Esther rose, embarrassed, from the sofa at the friendly smile of the priest and lowered her head, blushing at his manly features.“I am much honored that you invited me. It is an honor to meet you personally.”
“Not at all, the honor is mine for being able to greet the Saint in person. I did extensive research on you to write this script. I've been dreaming of meeting you for a long time, but... the truth is that you have surprised me. I didn't think you were so beautiful...”
“I… beautiful? Not at all…”
At the Archbishop's compliments, Esther buried her head deeply and turned even more red. Half confused, half flustered, she looked around for Abel to come to her aid.
“It's the first time I've been invited to a box of honor at the opera, but hey, what a sight! Heh heh, I feel like God...”
The priest was lost in his thoughts, observing the theater, and did not realize that the nun was looking at him. In her imagination, Esther kicked him on the back, while scratching her head, wondering how to respond to the archbishop.
“May I ask you not to call me Saint? It's a too important word that I don't deserve at all...”
“You don't deserve it? You are too modest, sister… ” D'Annunzio replied, still smiling, as if enjoying the young woman's bewilderment. Extending his hand to fix her cap, the archbishop looked at her with mischievous face “You are the holy maiden who protected the people and killed the evil demon... As Archbishop of Istvan I cannot be grateful enough. Tonight's performance is my humble attempt to help your feat remain in the memory of future generations.”
“I am very grateful to you, but...”
With a tight smile, Esther awkwardly shook her head. Her face had suddenly lost its rosy color. Saint Esther? What all that was about?
She murmured that inside her with downcast eyes, it wasn't just because the name disgusted her.
A year ago a man had expired in her arms. He was someone who had loved his human wife, someone who had decided to fight the world as revenge because the humans themselves had taken the woman he loved from him.
The “evil demon” that D'Annunzio referred to was that being. Esther had been elevated to the category of Saint for the "feat" of having killed him, but there was something that did not convince her. All this seemed like a farce in which she did not want to be involved...
“Ah, by the way, Your Eminence, what about Cardinal Medici? I thought he was also going to be present at the ceremony for the fallen...”
“Unfortunately, his commitments do not allow him to leave Rome. He said he would send a representative, but… still not arrived?”
D'Annunzio and Caterina began to talk about practical matters. Relieved that she was no longer the center of the conversation, Esther turned her eyes to the audience.
More than a thousand spectators filled the theater. They were all famous people from the city, but Esther didn't recognize any faces. During the reconstruction of Istvan, D'Annunzio had given preferential treatment to the industrialists of Rome and Venice to install their factories and banks in the city. The attendees were all rich people of that kind. The echoes of the conversations that were heard were not in Hungarian, but mainly in the official language of Rome.
The curtain was still down, but the actors could be seen waiting behind the scenes, probably to come out to say hello before the performance. Among them was a smiling young nun, the heroine portrayed in the flier. The hunchback next to her would be the Marquis of Hungary. The sinister makeup highlighted his monstrous appearance and showed long predator fangs. It couldn't be clearer that he was the bad guy in the story.
The fragile and beautiful heroine would go through many difficulties, but in the end she would defeat the monster and bring peace to the city. It was such a predictable story that just by seeing the actors you could already imagine.
«But the fight end was much more complex», thought Esther, grabbing unconsciously the rosary that hung from her neck. «It’s not the urge to kill. I don't have such bad taste as to enjoy killing others. This is a fight for life»
The man who had said those words was not a mere “evil demon”, nor had Esther fought him for strictly holy motives. There were still many things that she did not fully understand, but it was clear that this had been a struggle for survival. If she had lost, it would have been Esther and her companions who would have died. Yet the young girl couldn't get a question out of her head: «Was it really an inevitable conflict?»
A nun like her couldn't ask such a question out loud. As long as she worked for the Vatican, a doubt like that was tantamount to questioning her own identity...
Esther was lost in her thoughts for one moment, but at once came back to herself. Among the actors who had gathered in one corner of the stage, a figure that had gone out discreetly from behind the curtain of the opposite corner had called her attention.
It was one girl more or less of the same age of Esther, she had brown skin, an unusual color in the region, and her hair of a raven black. The combination of the daring opening of her dress with the long gloves decorated with precious stones gave her an extremely dramatical air. But what attracted the interest of Esther was neither her figure nor the clothes she wore. Those purple eyes that glowed in the well-proportioned face... she had seen them before somewhere.
“That girl looks familiar to me...”
“Is there something wrong, Esther?”
The voice that echoed behind her was of the lanky priest, who was wandering absent-mindedly around the royal box. As he devoured with his eyes the plate of tea pastries next to the young woman, he asked:
“Suddenly you were silent, doing that face… Oh, do you have a stomach ache? Do you want me to eat those pastries? I don't mind doing you that favor...”
“No,” Esther replied dryly, cutting off the priest and added, pointing at the girl with her finger: “Doesn't that girl looks like someone familiar to you, father? I've seen that face already... and not long ago.”
“Eh, what girl?” The priest asked in an intrigued voice, and looking where Esther was pointing, he looked confused. “I don't see any girl… Ah, you mean that actress over there?”
“No, I mean, the one that has come from the other si... Huh?”
When she looked back to the stage, Esther furrowed her brow, as well as Abel. The female figure that she had seen an instant before had disappeared. “But how strange... she was there a moment ago...”
“Wow! Is that the actress who plays your role? I had seen her in the flyer, but in live she is even more beautiful!” Abel had already lost all interest in Esther and was absorbed in watching the group of actors. He made no effort to hide the drool from looking at the actress.
"But what a beauty! Both in style and in attractive it is much better than the original… Ah, but don't be angry, Esther. It is undeniable that she is much more beautiful, elegant and seductive than you, but you have your special appeal. You don't have to worry.”
“I have to take that as a compliment!?”
Esther put the cup of tea on the plate, ready to answer the priest as he deserved, but...
“Ah! The representation is about to begin...” murmured the Archbishop, raising the eyes to the clock and got up to say goodbye to the Pope and the Cardinals. “Holiness, Eminences, I hope you enjoy with the performance. Excuse me, I will give the welcome the public... Come on, Sister Esther.”
Esther was stunned, pointing her finger at herself as she blinked in surprise.Why did she have to accompany the archbishop to greet those people?Seeing the nun's confusion, the archbishop smiled and in a sweet voice, he dropped the bomb:
“Let's greet the audience together… I suppose you have prepared a little speech.”
“Sa... say hello to...? A speech!?”
At those completely unexpected words, Esther was dumbfounded. It was a joke? He couldn't expect for her to just come out on stage in front of the crowd and improvise a speech!
“Wait ... wait! It's a bit hasty...”
“But haven't you come prepared? How clueless my Saint is... Well, what can we do? As I assumed something like this could happen, I have allowed myself the freedom to prepare a small draft. You just have to read it.”
The archbishop seemed to be completely serious and handed her a pile of papers. Esther received them without knowing very well what to do and looked doubtfully to the priest, looking for his help...
“Ah, Esther! If you go on stage, can you ask that actress to sign an autograph for me?” Let it say,«To Father Nightroad, sweetheart» or something like that, okay? Heh heh heh...!”
Saving her killer instinct for later Esther heaved a deep breath.There was no way out of it.
"Ugh, I'm late!"
Although it was still early November, the winter cold had already fallen on Istvan. Gloomy clouds covered the sky, and although the building was supposed to be equipped with heating, the white breath of the people walking through the lobby of the Opera House could be seen.
However, the male figure that rushed into the hall seemed immune to all of it. From the gigantic man who crossed the room devastating the carpet emanated a suffocating sensation of summer heat. It goes without saying that such a figure attracted all eyes, as if a monster from another world had suddenly appeared in the room; but the man seemed oblivious to it and advanced with a hard look, as if he were entering enemy territory.
“What a misery to have suffered a setback precisely when I am representing Cardinal Medici! This mistake can be very expensive, Petros!”
Dressed in the uniform of a secret police officer, Brother Petros looked up at the clock as if observing an ancient enemy. Although there were still twenty minutes until the start of the performance, he had committed a very serious fault by not having arrived before His Holiness made his entrance.
Anyway, he had only arrived in the city a few minutes ago, sent by his superior, who had too many business holding him back in Rome. He had not arrived by air, like the Pope, but had taken the land route. The planned inspection of the military facilities had taken him longer than planned, and that had caused the delay.
Although the inspection had been satisfactory, it was scandalous that the director of the Holy Inquisition arrived after the papal retinue. No doubt a severe reprimand from Francesco awaited him when he returned. If it was just a row that awaited him... There was one other thing that Petros had to worry about...
“Where will the honor box be? Eh…? Where the hell am I?”
As soon as he went through the lobby, Petros stopped. He had to accept that he was lost and began to look around, but none of the doors he saw were the ones he was looking for.
Indeed, he did not know where he was. He had stormed across the lobby, but had no idea how to get to the honor box. Resigned to search blindly, he began to scan the surroundings with a fierce grin, to see if he could find any sign, but could do nothing more than make a passing child cry.
The issue was that the box of honor was not accessible from the general entrance but it had its own access, but Il Ruinante had no way of knowing that. He gritted his teeth and prepared to undo his way when...
Behind the intrepid warrior monk came a small cry of pain.
Turning around, Petros had collided head-on with a girl who was walking behind him. The girl fell on her back to the carpet, dropping what she was carrying.
“Aaah! Forgive me, sister! How clumsy you are, Petros!”
The man tried to apologize as he picked up the papers, which had been strewn down the hall. The nun was still moaning on the floor, clutching her bonnet.
“Excuse my ineptitude! Are you OK? Eh? You!?” As he helped the nun to stand up, Petros' face changed as he roared in surprise at his interlocutor, who was still reeling: “You are Esther Blanchett!”
“Ah, brother… Petros, right?” Moved by the violence with which the inquisitor had spoken her name, the young woman stepped back, raising her tearful gaze to Il Ruinante, and bowed to him. “We haven't seen each other for a long time… Ah, thanks again for your support in Carthage.”
“No, please, I'm the one who owes you... But what am I saying?!” Petros began to respond to the greeting automatically, but quickly came back to himself. This was not the time to chat! “Esther Blanchett! What are you doing here!? This is not the place for you!”
Finally the nun straightened with surprise in her eyes.
“Well, I was getting ready for the speech. Archbishop D'Annunzio has ordered me to greet the audience with a few words and was reviewing the script...”
“Has the archbishop ordered it? Impossible. How can it be that...?” Laughing like if he was talking to a little girl, Petros glanced at the script, his expression suddenly turning from skepticism to surprise. Topping the sheets was… the archbishop's seal!? The inquisitor began hastily reading the text. “Wha... but what...?! «Before all of you gathered here I want to raise my voice to denounce...»”
«Before all of you gathered here, I want to raise my voice to denounce that there is pure Evil in the world. I want to raise my voice to say that as long as that Evil is not exterminated, we will have no future. We must unite to fight and defend everything we love, everything we respect. It will be a difficult and tough fight, but all united in our Faith we must face…».
It was unbelievable, but it seemed to be, indeed, the script of a speech. And it took up almost fifty pages. The tone was a bit affected and overly dramatic, but the closing archbishop's signature seemed authentic.
“Hmmm! And the archbishop signed it... But I can't believe it! Why did he ask you to…!?” He said, looking at the nun with suspicious eyes. “Are you plotting against me!? Tell me the truth or you will regret it!”
“Eh? The truth is that I have no idea what you are talking about for a while now...”
The young woman scratched her head, honestly confused. It was like talking to a drunk who did nothing but repeat the same story.
“It's not that I don't find it strange to be here, really. First I receive a notice from the Duchess of Milan to come to Istvan, then they ask me to give a speech... The truth is that the...”
“The Duchess of Milan… Cardinal Sforza!?” Petros reacted quickly to the young woman's words. The Cardinal... what was that viper up to?
Actually, Petros was most concerned about what the Pope's stepsister might do during the visit. Taking advantage of the absence of Cardinal Medici, she could try to manipulate His Holiness or do some strange maneuver... He had to be prepared for anything, and the facts gave him reasons to suspect. So the viper had already set off... But he would not trip over the same stone of Carthage again. This time they would not escape from him!
Staring at the nun, who was staring at him in bewilderment, Petros clenched his fist. That witch had played with him in Carthage. Just when he was about to uncover her plot, all evidence had been destroyed. He knew with certainty that she had had contact with the vampires, although it had escaped him at the last moment. But this time he would catch her. He would discover what is she plotting around the Pope and would denounce it to the world!
“Ah, there you are, Sister Esther...”
A cold voice roused the inquisitor from his inflamed musings. It was an elegant male voice, interrupting him as if to protect the nun.
“I've been looking for you for a while. Eh? I think we've met before… What brings the Inquisition here, Brother Pietro Orsini?”
“Yo... Your Excellence!” Hearing his secular name after so long, Petros turned as if an electric current had passed through his body. Seeing the archbishop approaching, he gave a forced salute. “How long! What a joy to see you again!”
“Yes, a long time, Orsini. The last time we saw each other was when I left my charge as Director of the Inquisition, right? You were just a kid and look at you now. How time flies!”
“I will never be grateful enough for your advice and your attention back then!” Said Petros, bowing deeply, as if he were a spring doll.
Il Ruinante’s sword was feared inside and outside the Vatican, but there were four people he bowed his head to. One of them was Archbishop D'Annunzio.
“Please excuse my delay. The review of the troops has taken me longer than I had calculated and the roads were collapsed...”
“You can tell me that later...” the archbishop cut him immediately, turning around and say with sweet voice to Esther, who was watching them in astonishment. “Sister Esther, have you had a chance to read the script? It’s almost time for your speech. Let's go up on stage.”
“Yes, I have read the text…” replied the nun, embarrassed, taking the papers that the inquisitor had returned to her with an impetuous gesture. “But, Your Excellence, am I really supposed to read that speech?”
“Eh? What do you mean, sister?”
The archbishop was surprised to see the dark light that had covered the young woman's eyes, and asked with a cautious expression:
“You don't like the parliament I have prepared for you? Does it not meet your literary expectations?”
“No, is not that. It is wonderfully written and conveys the ideas very well… But the message…” The nun choked with her words… After hesitating and stammering for a few seconds, she looked up, determined. “Why make such a clear call to war? A year ago we fought the Marquis of Hungary, it is true. But it was a pure struggle for survival. We did not think of pretty phrases like «divine glory» or «security of human society»...”
“Ah, that's what you mean...” D'Annunzio interrupted the young woman's fiery voice with great serenity. The archbishop's smile keep its charm, but his tone had a certain inhuman echo. “You don't have to take it so seriously, Sister Esther. The public gathered here tonight have not come to hear the truth. What they expect is a dramatic and exciting story… They want the story of the heroic maiden who struck down the evil vampire. Isn't it our obligation to meet those expectations?”
“Listen to me, Saint...” D'Annunzio silenced Esther with a gesture and shook his head. The hallway had begun to fill up, and the archbishop lowered his voice, returning greetings to passing guests. “You are a very sweet girl, Esther. I fully understand that you don't like harsh words. But think about it for a moment. Although it has recovered a lot this year, Istvan is still going through difficult times. The life of the citizens, your compatriots, is still very hard. Think how important it would be for them to have a heroine...”
The archbishop placed a very white hand on her shoulder as he looked deeply into her eyes.
“Esther Blanchett, you must be their Saint. You must be the image that encourage their hearts. You must be the strength and the hope of all those you love, of all humanity. I will show you how.”
Esther was doubtful at the powerful words of the archbishop, after opening and closing her lips as if not knowing what to say, the girl sighed deeply.
“Good. I'll try.”
“Good girl.” Nodding with satisfaction, D'Annunzio opened the door that led to the stage.“Sister Esther, it's time to go on stage. The public awaits you.”
«The public awaits you». She would have felt joyful, but the worried expression of the girl did not changed. Even it could be said that the suffering is evident in her face. Anyways, Esther began to walk dragging her feet. She went through the door the archbishop had opened for her and disappeared down the dark corridor.
After closing the door, D'Annunzio made a sarcastic face.
“What a difficult Saint to handle... one breaks one's back to turn her it into a star, and she, in return, complains...”
At the archbishop's cold laugh, Petros looked up in surprise. Opening the door again, D'Annunzio said in a clear voice, to the surprise of his former subordinate:
“I never know how to treat smart ass girls. It's so boring having to lecture them like that… The tools should be quiet and just do what they are asked to do…”
“A tool...? Your Excellence, when you say «tool» do you mean that girl? And what does it mean to «turn her into a star»?”
Petros asked in astonishment. So he didn't really think she was a Saint?
“Ah! So the director of the Inquisition is still there...”
The Archbishop of Istvan turned as if he was seeing a stranger and responded with the tone of someone who had just discovered a stain on his clothing.
“You heard me perfectly. Saint Esther is nothing more than an image created by the Vatican. It is a huge fiction promoted through the management of the media and the investment of large amounts of money...”
The bishop spoke confidently in the dark corridor, as if explaining everything to a tough-minded subordinate.
“As you know, the Vatican is losing power over the secular states. To stop this trend, it is necessary to regain the center of social attention. Creating a Saint is part of that project. Esther Blanchett is nothing more than a tool for our plans...”
«You shall not worship idols», the Bible made it very clear. Didn't the archbishop know? D'Annunzio spoke as if he did not feel any apprehension or guilt for playing with the life of a girl and the faith of millions of people like that.
“Besides, as a tool, it's first class. Her past is impeccable, and it doesn't hurt that she's so pretty… She has a very cute face, don't you think, Orsini?”
“Eh? Well, I wouldn't know...” At the knight's embarrassment, the archbishop looked at him with mocking eyes.
“You don't know about that? Well, it doesn't matter… I have to introduce my Saint to the public. Orsini, you can go to the box of honor. Then we will talk about your delay. Get ready.”
D'Annunzio turned, dropping those cold words, and reached for the door that led to the stage.
Frightened, Petros started to run away from his former superior, but just as he was about to give a farewell bow, he remembered that he still had something to ask him about.
“Your Excellence... I really have a question to ask you before I present myself before His Holiness.”
Half-closing the door, the archbishop turned with an annoyed gesture at the voice of his exasperating interlocutor.
D'Annunzio's voice was reminiscent of a teacher announcing to a student that he had failed. Petros barely repressed his desire to flee and ran from the archbishop just to ask:
“I have just reviewed the City Guard, but… Your Excellence, what does this deployment mean? I have seen a complete division or even more. What about those tanks and aircraft!?” D'Annunzio continued walking as if he was unaware of the alarm that echoed in Il Ruinante's words.
“I admire how you have managed to reform in just one year an organization that had been completely destroyed. But for a public order force it is a bit out of proportion. Is there something going wrong?”
“Eh? What is going to go wrong?” The archbishop stopped for the first time.
Twisting his mouth, he answered coldly to Petros’ puzzled gaze.
“Certainly the Guard's strength now exceeds what it was a year ago. Nobody hides it. But if the situation of the city is taken into consideration, it cannot be said that they are sufficient. After all, Istvan is the central column of the Vatican's eastern defense line. Their defensive potential has to be as great as possible... don't you think?”
“If you will allow me to speak frankly, I think there is a problem of magnitude! The Second Division of the Vatican Army is deployed in this area, which is responsible of the defense work. The City Guard should only perform police functions. What is the point of equipping the police as if it were an army?”
The only response Petros' fiery speech got was a cold smile.
“Well, well, I see that you still don't understand anything, Orsini...”
The archbishop made no effort to hide the malice and contempt on his face. As if he felt sorry for the stupidity of his interlocutor, he made a face, laughing through his nose.
“Yes, there is an army division stationed here. But in the event of war, those troops will leave the region. Won't Istvan have to defend itself, then? That is why we have increased the strength of the Guard... Of course it costs us a lot of resources, but that is why we can’t afford to reduce it.”
“But that dismantles all the plans of Rome and Cardinal Medici! Also, you speak of war, but now that the region has stabilized, where is the risk of war going to come from? Neighboring countries respect the authority of the Vatican and there is no sign of any disturbance to happen so...”
The scream echoed like an ice whip. Throwing a defiant look at the inquisitor, the archbishop harshly carved his words into the dark air of the hall.
“Are you the Director of the Holy Inquisition and you don't understand something like that!? Have you forgotten who the mortal enemy of humanity is!? Have you forgotten that this Empire of terrible devils is next to us!? If you've forgotten, I'll remind you. Never forget: this is Istvan, the front line of the battle against vampires!”
Anyone who had attended their dialogue would have been frozen in surprise.Il Ruinante, known as the most implacable man in the Vatican, had fallen silent.
When he noticed Petros is not going to reply, the archbishop softened his expression.
“Well, I don't want to lecture you anymore. Go back to the lobby. Didn't you come to escort His Holiness? That's all you're worth for. At least accomplish the mission you've been given.”
“Y... yes! With your permission...” Gritting his teeth, Petros bowed.
He was not at all convinced by the reasons given by his former superior, but he had no proper reply at the time. He didn't have time either. He turned towards the exit when... Just then the door closed in front of him. And, as if they were waiting for that moment, the guards locked the door from outside.
Had they locked him up!? Petros looked around him, bewildered. The doors that led to the stalls were all closed with bolt. The lighting in the hall began to dim as the lighting on the stage took hold. The warrior priest then heard the sound of the presenter's voice through the microphone:
“Ladies and gentleman, welcome to the Istvan Opera House! In a few moments the Star of Sorrow will begin before all of you.”
“Petros, you are so clumsy!”
The inquisitor began to get nervous. He had to find a way to get to the Pope's box as soon as possible! However, as much as he searched everywhere he was not able to find an open door. Apparently the security measures were meant to keep the public effectively locked inside the theater.
He actually couldn’t make someone to open one of the doors invoking his authority as head of the Inquisition, if he did it, that would divert the attention of the speech that was about to start on the stage, and when they found out, the archbishop would scold him again some more.
“Before we start, the author of the script will say a few words of welcome… His Excellene the Archbishop of Istvan, Emanuele D'Annunzio!”
“Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.”
While Il Ruinante was sweating while desperately looking for a way out, the welcome speech had begun on stage. Taking the microphone, the Archbishop smiled with all his virile charm. However, the voice that began to echo through the room had the serenity of a servant of God.
“Welcome everyone. It has been a year since I received my appointment as Archbishop of this city. The road has not been easy, but with the help of the Lord and the collaboration of all of you, we have managed to happily overcome all the difficulties that have been presented to us so far. During this year we have defended in Istvan the glory of the Lord, who brought us a girl. I think we can be proud of it.”
After uttering those phrases almost without breathing, the archbishop was silent for a moment. He closed his eyes as if he were remembering all the efforts of that year and raised his face to the ceiling. Petros realized that this was not more than a theatrical gesture, but the audience seemed to understand it as one reaction of sincere religious piety. Some mature women even began to sob quietly in the excitement. Then, after checking that the entire room had gone completely silent, the archbishop opened his eyes again. Still smiling serenely, he raised his right arm to point to the small figure waiting at the base of the stage.
“Tonight I am moved to have the opportunity to express our appreciation to the person who made the rebirth of this city possible. Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to the heroine who freed Istvan from the evil monster! Our hope before the devils that threaten us! Sister Esther Blanchett, Saint of Istvan!”
As thunderous applause rose, the hesitant figure of the nun appeared, equipped with a microphone. Blinking because of the bright spotlights and shrugging, the girl looked tiny in the middle of the huge stage, as if she were just a child.
«She's just a poor kid…» Petros thought as he watched Esther walk across the stage. Come to think of it, the poor girl deserved his compassion for many reasons.First, because she belonged to the Ministry of Vatican Foreign Affairs, which was the lair of that witch, Caterina Sforza. Besides, she had to work with those agents, who had a horrible reputation of being sacrilegious. He couldn't imagine how she could lead a pious life as a nun between them.
Above all, the entire show that night had not been sought by her, but had been implicated by the surroundings of D'Annunzio. At her young age, being worshiped as a Saint and being commissioned to make a speech to such an audience could only be considered a misfortune.
“Uh... uh... Go... good night to every... Oh, no...! Good evening, la… ladies and gentlemen. It is an honor to introduce myself to you. I am Esther Blanchett. I do not have words to express my gratitude for this opera to be performed in my honor...”
While Il Ruinante looked at her with compassionate eyes, the nun had started babbling. The inquisitor’s heart cringed just to see how her forehead was beaded in sweat and how her blue eyes were moving full of insecurity. Trying to smile faintly, the young lady put on the table the script that the archbishop had given to her before. Just when she deployed the first pages and prepared to start reading... the tragedy happened.
The first thing that echoed through the speakers was a small groan. The pages of the script Esther was going to read flew across the stage.
“No!” Cried Petros, as the papers fluttered like leaves blown up in the wind.Had she forgotten to re-tie the rope that held the pages together? The nun was trying to pick them up in haste, but many had already fallen off the stage. The girl's tensed face had lost all traces of color. But Petros and the rest of the audience didn't have to hold their breath for long.
At first, the nun was so stunned that she couldn't even speak, it was natural.
Having to improvise a speech in front of such a crowd, and also being people of such power in society… Even a veteran politician would have found it difficult. How could it cost to a girl who had just turned eighteen?
In view of the events, no one would have criticized her if she had fled the stage. But the Saint did not.Biting her lip as if she had made up her mind, she rose to her feet, adjusting the hem of her habit. She was still a little pale, but a powerful light shone in her blue eyes. As if attracted by that look, the audience's attention was concentrated on the girl's face when she began to speak...
“I beg your pardon for my clumsiness… The fear of speaking in front of so many people has left me a little stunned…” Esther began in a vigorous, almost savage voice. “A play will be performed in my honor tonight and I want to express my enormous gratitude to you for taking the time to attend the performance”.
Was this the same nervous nun who had trembled a few minutes earlier? Esther addressed the audience with her head up, as if all the perplexity of before had disappeared.
“Well, to be improvising she does it very well...” Petros said to himself with admiration, as he looked for the archbishop with his eyes. At the backstage, D'Annunzio seemed to be more tense than before, but he was still looking at the young woman with a satisfied smile. As the nun had read the script before, a few as she remembered, things would go more or less as he had planned. Petros expected the same when he looked back at the girl. She would probably invoke God and the Vatican, would praise the courage of the combatants a year ago and call those present to remain united. If she said that, nothing would be noticed...
“Thank you all. That was my intention... But now I have changed my mind...”
It would take a long time for Petros to forget how the atmosphere in the room changed with just that short sentence.What she’s going to tell them!? Glancing to the backstage, he saw how the archbishop had stiffened, staring at the nun in amazement, as if observing a ceramic doll that had suddenly begun to speak.
Esther was not looking at the archbishop, but at the room full of spectators. In her pupils were reflected the innumerable puzzled faces that had been nailed to her. The audience seemed hypnotized by the words of the Saint, who whispered slowly:
“I have come to pray with all of you for the souls of those who shed their blood in battle a year ago. For that I have returned here, to my city.”
The voice was not overly powerful, but it completely dominated the room, where not a cough was heard. Without being too high or too low, it filled the air with a clean and serene feeling. It was the perfect example of a pleasant voice. As proof of this, when hearing her, Petros had completely forgotten that he had to go to the royal box, nothing further from his mind at the moment than to get away from there.
Il Ruinante had been lost in thought, listening to the flow of that voice.
“A year ago, we got a lot of blood flowing. Blood of our comrades, blood of our enemies… It was a horrible battle. But then I thought there was no other option. To survive you had to fight. We couldn't help but spilling that blood. In those moments it seemed that we were at a crossroads between life and death. Yes, that was really the situation. That's why we took up the sword... But now, a year later, I have the feeling that «there was no other option» is not a sufficient explanation for that fight...”
Esther was silent for a moment after the long speech. At the view of the girl closing briefly her eyelids to soak in those memories, Petros thought that this nun did not seem at all like the girl that he knew. More than someone alive, it recalled to the images of Saints that appeared in the murals and religious paintings of the cathedrals. When she opened her eyes again, a sweet but intense light shone on them. Looking at the audience, which was in absolute silence, she continued with a calm voice.
“During that battle I met one person... one person who back then was my enemy. He was the man I was trying to kill. But he also believed he had to kill to me to survive.”
Her expression could not be said to be very refined, nor the sound of the words to be very beautiful. In spite of this, there was nobody in the room that was not captivated by the voice of the Saint. None of those celebrities and distinguished people uttered a single word. They were all focused, listening to the girl, who kept talking as if this was the most normal thing in the world.
“But it wasn't true, no one should have died; However, due to a misunderstanding, at first, both he and I thought that we had to kill ourselves to survive… And not only him. I believe that among those we killed and who killed us there were many like him. Many who laughed like us, cried like us. Many who we hated. All possibilities were destroyed by a misunderstanding.”
Perhaps it was the memory of that man that made a trace of suffering appear in the serene voice of the girl. The audience also felt the sting of that painful memory in their chest. Looking ahead, Esther spoke without hurrying, without forcing the words, penetrating every corner of the hearts of the attendees.
“Ladies and gentlemen, distrust yourselves. Be suspicious of justice. Maybe we are too simple. Be suspicious of your ideas about justice in the world. Are they really correct? Aren't they often just what we want to believe? Don't we impose them on our neighbor many times? Be suspicious. Mistrusting these issues is not bad.”
«Be suspicious of justice».
Hearing those words, the audience felt a slight shudder. Since the nun had started her speech, that was the first moment of doubt. The audience had been rapt with her until then, but little by little the audience began to come to their senses. Esther was not flustered by the change in the audience, so she pushed herself even harder in her speech, expressively moving her arms.
“It may be that these words make you sad. You may think that everything is false and that nothing is certain. God and justice are nothing more than mirages… But they are not. We can distrust, distrust and distrust, but something will always remain. There is always something that cannot be denied… For example, on a winter night like this, meeting with the whole family in front of the stove and feeling the warmth in the heart…” The families in the audience exchanged glances, as if encouraged by the girl's words.“Or look at the starry sky from a deserted meadow and feel how precious our little existence is...”
As to embrace to all those present, the nun extended the arms and continued talking, pretending this time caress the soul with the voice.
“Love of oneself and of neighbor ... that's what remains in the end. That is what makes me believe in God. Because God loves us and has given us these gifts. So let's pray together. Let us pray for all the blood that was shed and the souls of all the fallen… Amen.”
Although they had wanted to rehearse it before, the response of those present would not have come out more conjoined. It seemed they had coordinated not only the breathing, but even the pulse. The echo of those words had scarcely been consumed when a thunderous round of applause went up. The ovation did not diminish after the nun finished bowing in thanks. After the archbishop's speech, the audience had remained seated, but Esther's words made everyone in attendance stand up to cheer her on. Even Petros, seeing the reaction from the room, was unable to suppress a cry of admiration.
“And she's just a little girl… What a charisma!”
N: A very old Petros’s coloring ;)
Just with the dubious name of Saint, the girl had managed to move more than a thousand people. This was not normal. Thinking ahead, Petros felt a slight concern.
If the artificial Saint that D'Annunzio and Borgia wanted to make was added that ability to attract the public, the potential of the girl was not negligible. If she developed her career under Sforza's guidance, she would be a formidable opponent for Cardinal Medici and his followers...
“Hey you! Where do you think you are going!? This is not the time for that yet!”
Those reproachful words that came from the base of the stage brought the warrior monk to his senses. Turning, he saw a Guard soldier in his gray-blue uniform arguing with someone carrying a huge bouquet of flowers. Probably wanted to give it to the Saint. The one who carried the bouquet was a young adolescent. From the daring evening dress she was wearing, she seemed to be the daughter of one of the attendees. However, her dark skin and pronounced features were a rare combination in these lands. Her eyes were slanted and her pupils a stunning amethyst color.The soldier holding her in the gray gloves began to speak in an increasingly harsh voice.
“Didn't you hear me? If you want to give the Saint a bouquet of flowers, you have to wait for her to come down from the stage. Go back to your seat and stay still.”
The young woman slightly moved the arm that the other was holding, It seemed a only symbolic gesture, but what happened then was anything but that.
The soldier, who was six feet tall and weighed a hundred kilos, flew off incredibly and slammed his face against the wall. The impact must have made him pass out. The horrible noise of his nose breaking was the only thing that accompanied his collapse to the ground.
The scene did not go unnoticed. Muffled shouts of astonishment began to be heard from the audience, and in the box of honor the cardinals had risen with tense faces. However, Petros wasted no time in observing the reactions of the attendees, because he had noticed that the young woman had too long canines between her lips...
“No! Get away from her you all!” Shouted Il Ruinante, wielding with each hand the screamers that he wore on his waist. “She is not human! Is a…!”
“Nice to meet you, Terrans. My name is Shahrazad and I come from the True Human Empire…” said the girl, with a voice as beautiful as a bell, but at the same time full of defiant force.
As the bouquet of flowers was dropped, the long jeweled gloves she wore began to glow. Leaning them against the wall, the girl, or rather the vampire, looked directly at Esther, who made no sign of wanting to flee.
“This evening I come to see the killer who you call the Saint... and to kill her!”
With a thud, the wall began to crumble, looking like a spiderweb.
And this is it my dear friends, I hope you have enjoyed this and the new Petros’ coloring I added. I tried hard not to include personal notes in the translation, because I love Petros so much and I was like reacting to everything that happened to him. Maybe that’s the reason I love this arc so much XD
I want to thank you a lot for your patience, for those who still support this and help me out with it, and to those who share the love by rebloging and liking this. I truly apreciate that.
See you soon on the next part, stay tunned because the best part is next to come. Please stay safe and healthy <3
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a/n: listened to son of cloud’s i love you more while writing this.
kol mikaelson x reader (gender-neutral)
warnings: mentions of alcohol and pretty sad at start
angst and fluff
word count: 2,198
Dealing with loss is a terrible experience and you would never wish it on anyone. That deep, raw hurt in your chest that seemed to grow deeper was almost unbearable. Some days, you were sure that your chest was caving in on itself due to your pain, both physically and emotionally. It was hard to breathe sometimes and sleep was somewhat foreign to you. Taking care of yourself while feeling like your world was slowly falling away was a new challenge.
Luckily, Klaus and Elijah practically lived with you now and made sure you were fine. They didn’t push you and gave you as much space as you needed all the while staying at your side if you needed anything. You were beyond grateful for their support after Kol’s death. Being around his family lessened the pain a little but even they couldn’t permanently cure your bad days.
On your good days, you’d get coffee and sit at a café in the French Quarter and just think. If you were lucky, you would even make conversation with other patrons and even smile a little, something so easy yet so difficult at the same time.
Then word that Esther and Finn were back got to you and your mind flooded with questions. Like, how it was possible but then that was the question for almost everything that goes on in New Orleans. Did that mean Kol could come back too?
For your safety, it was recommended that you stay at the Mikaelson compound until things were handled. That proved more difficult than you originally expected as you had to stay in Kol’s old room and everything in it reminded you of him. The first few days were easy. You just tried to avoid any and everything that made you think of Kol but that only went on for so long.
It had been a week since you started residing with the Mikaelsons and it felt as if that pain in your chest built up and began to throb. Some nights you even slept in the living room only to wake up in Kol’s bed, courtesy of Klaus or Elijah.
One evening you were trying to paint as Klaus mentioned that it may help you even just a little as it did for him. The canvas was covered with dark blues and purples and a black hole in the center that represented your pain. The paint was splattered across the canvas as you became frustrated and in your haze, a paintbrush flew across the room. It was near one of the dressers in the room. As you bent down to get it, you were met with a framed picture of Kol.
It all happened so fast. You could feel the sobs crawl up your throat and you knew you had to leave. Tears blinded your vision as you rushed down the stairs so of course, you didn’t see Elijah. He quickly followed you.
“Y/N, my dear, what is the matter?” His voice was deep but soft at the sight of your tears.
You tried to compose yourself enough to speak but it was useless. Elijah gently pulled you into his chest and placed a gentle hand on your back to soothe you. He waited until you calmed down so you could speak. He pulled away when he sensed you were ready, his brows furrowed.
“I don’t think I can stay here,” you sniffled and swatted at the tears that continued to fall, “it hurts too much to be here and see things that remind me of him.”
Any confusion that was on his face slowly morphed into sympathy. He placed one hand on your elbow and rubbed your back with his other.
“I’m so sorry,” a frustrated sigh escaped him, “we were so caught up with plans to stop my mother that we failed to check in on you these past few days. Please forgive me?”
His brown eyes searched yours and you nodded.
“No, I understand. It’s just that I thought it would have gotten easier to handle by now. This pain just pops up and I can barely handle it sometimes.”
He nodded understandingly. He knew the pain that you felt but he could see that it hurt you more than him and his siblings. His brother loved you deeply and risked so much for you and him. Dealing with the loss of a lover was not easy, he knew that. So, Elijah gave you his word that he would do whatever he could for you. It’s what Kol would have wanted and you were family in his eyes.
Always and forever.
“If it would help you feel more comfortable, you can sleep in Rebekah’s room,” he gestured to the opposite side of the compound.
You nodded slowly, “It will. I just need some air right now if that’s okay.”
“Of course. Remember you are a guest here, not a prisoner. And with our mother on the loose, we just want you to be safe. Just don’t stray too far.”
Elijah grinned softly and let you go. You thanked him and exited the compound.
The air of New Orleans was heavy and humid. There had been a downpour that left the air sticky and almost uncomfortable but you pushed it aside. You had only made it a block from the compound when you noticed Davina across the street with a guy you didn’t recognize.
Slowly, you made your way towards them and could make out fragments of their conversation. It sounded like the guy was flirting with her and that made a smile grow on your face. If anyone deserved to be happy, it was Davina. As you got closer they became aware of your presence and you waved shyly.
“Y/N? Hey,” Davina spoke, a bright grin on her face as she gestured to the tall guy, “this is my friend Kaleb.”
A smile was thrown in his direction as you held out your hand towards him, “Hey. I’m Y/N.”
Kaleb was speechless for a second before he gently grasped your hand and brought it to his lips, his eyes never leaving yours. When he spoke he had a very thick accent and you tried your best not to flinch. It reminded you of him. You tried to excuse yourself but Kaleb convinced you and Davina to grab drinks at Rousseau’s.
A part of you wanted to decline because you thought you got enough air and didn’t want to bother them but you also felt it would do you some good to get out for a bit. After all, you hadn’t seen much outside of your apartment or the Mikaelson compound in who knows how long. Maybe all you need was to take the edge off. So, you caved.
The three of you had only been there about an hour before Davina had to leave. You didn’t mind that you were left with Kaleb. He seemed like a decent person and he made you laugh every few minutes. It didn’t even seem like the two of you had just met. He made you feel human and not like the zombie you seemed to have become during the past couple of months.
In about a week, a quick and easy friendship blossomed between you and Kaleb. It was easy to be around him and trade out your sorrow for the temporary happiness he provided through witty jokes. Though at times it was a bit awkward because you thought for sure he was flirting with Davina but they both assured you that they were only friends, nothing more. For some reason, that filled you with relief.
The sun was setting on the French Quarter and the temperature dropped somewhat but the air was still heavy. You were on your way back to the Mikaelson compound with Hayley after helping her with wolf business in the bayou when you ran into Kaleb. He stood across the street but you couldn’t miss him and neither did Hayley.
She narrowed her eyes, “You know him?”
Kaleb gave a slight wave at the both of you. Judging by his body language, you could tell that something was off. He seemed uncomfortable.
You nodded, “He’s a friend of Davina. Give me a minute, I’ll meet you inside?”
Hayley gave Kaleb one more glance before she nodded and stepped into the compound. You sighed and moved some hair behind your ear as you crossed the street to meet Kaleb. Even though you hadn’t known each other all that long, you could tell by his eyes, the normal blue was a stormy grey, that something was wrong.
“Hey. What’s wrong?”
Kaleb clenched his jaw and looked anywhere but your eyes. You waited for him to respond but all you got was a hand placed on your cheek. The action made you jolt back.
“Kaleb? What are you doing?”
“I should have told you this last week,” he swallowed, “I don’t know why I hesitated, darling.”
Your brows creased. Nothing he said made any sense. You chalked it up to all of the chaos going on in New Orleans that made him lose his mind and spout nonsense. Really and truly, you had no time for that in your life.
“I don’t understand, Kaleb. What should you have told me?”
As he explained he could barely meet your eyes. Once you thought he was done he reached for your hand and you surprised yourself when you accepted it. For a moment it felt hard to breathe. Did that mean that Kaleb would hurt you? It was as if he read your mind when he reassured you that he would never hurt you.
“Then what do you want?”
Kaleb’s eyes met the ground then the almost violet sky above. Whatever it was that he wanted to tell you seemed difficult.
“I’m so sorry I didn’t tell you sooner, love,” his hand met your cheek as his eyes searched yours, “it’s me. Kol.”
Your view began to spin and Kaleb had to steady you by your waist. All of a sudden it felt like the air was too thick to inhale and your eyes widened as you clutched at your chest. It may have been just an illusion but it felt like the hole in your chest caved in so deep you could have sworn it went straight through your sternum.
It’s like you jumped into a pool and your ears were waterlogged, only able to make out whispers. You noticed Kaleb – Kol’s mouth moving but you could only hear the growing beats of your heart. It only took a moment and just like a snap of a finger, you could breathe and hear better.
With wide eyes, you searched his face for any traces of deception but found none. Was it possible that one of the people you loved the most and lost could come back from the dead? In hindsight, you knew that it was possible because of all of the things that you witnessed in New Orleans but you had to question it. You had to be sure that it wasn’t some sort of play to distract you from something terrible that would occur.
Your lips trembled as you spoke, “How?”
You were slowly inching away from Kaleb and he knew that if he didn’t do something, he would lose you again. So, he reminded you about a trip to Venice that you and Kol took a year before he died but you still weren’t convinced.
“Y/N, please,” his eyes were slightly teary as he desperately recounted the events of the trip, “you thought it was unlike me to book a gondola ride but you had a smile on your face the entire time. I was an ass to one of guides and you took my daylight ring.”
He chuckled at that and it was as if your throat was dry, stopping you from speaking. You remembered that trip and the time you spent together. It wasn’t something you would purposely forget.
“And at the end of the night we —”
He was cut off by you pulling him close to you, your arms wrapped tightly around his neck. Tears blurred your vision as you pulled Kol impossibly close, afraid that he’d vanish into thin air. Part of you thought it was a dream but you knew it was reality when he kissed you. A rush of emotions overcame you as the kiss was deepened.
Never had you thought that you’d see Kol ever again. When you both pulled away, Kol’s eyed searched yours and you knew nothing had to be said. For that moment, everything was right for you. The past few months were very real and it was wishful thinking if you believed that the pain would all go away with the snap of a finger. It was reality though things didn’t seem to be real half the time.
Even though the hole in your chest was still there, you knew that with time it would close. All of the lingering pain would eventually go away and somehow, you and Kol could heal together all the while navigating the chaos in New Orleans.
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Welcome to Small Heath - Michael Gray
THIS WILL BE A SERIES
warnings: none wtf just um throwing up ?? a little bullying and nothing more
“Michael, Y/N…welcome to Small Heath.”
That was the beginning of the end.
When Henry was just a few weeks from turning 18, his real family came to visit him, letting him know he was awaited in a small town in Birmingham.
“Y/N? Are you in here?” a voice asked, calling her through the door.
“Yes, come in!” She allowed the voice to come inside the classroom.
“Hey, love.” She turned around, leaving the papers on the desk, and saw her boyfriend coming in.
“Hey, Henry.” She smiled, passing by his side and kissing him quickly. She was cleaning the classroom, getting it ready for the week ahead.
“So…my cousin came by today, he told me they are waiting for me, and that they’d like to meet me.” He said, watching her clean the classroom’s blackboard.
“Cousin?” she asked, confused. As long as she knew, Rosemary had no brothers, nor did his father “But you have none…what are you talking about?”
“No, I do. My um…My real mom, has like three…maybe four nephews? One came by, today. My mom wants to see me.” He said, he was still a little bit confused. She stopped walking around the room.
“Oh.” she felt a bittersweet flavour in her mouth, Henry was going to leave her. She kept on walking after a few seconds of uncomfortable silence, playing it cool.
“So…” she cleared her throat, trying to sound as normal as possible “Are you going to go?”
“Yes, I believe I am.” He answered, doubtful.
She chuckled a little bit while reordering the books on the shelf that was beside the blackboard.
“What?” he asked, not understanding why she was laughing.
“Well, you don’t sound so secure if you ask me.”
“Do I need to be more secure about the fact that I want to leave this…bloody hell hole?” he exclaimed, making goosebumps go through her body. He realized he yelled at her and felt bad almost immediately “I’m sorry, I really am.” He reached out to her and hugged her, trying to apologize.
“It’s okay, you surely are stressed.” She hugged him back, letting him know she was there for him with a little whisper in his ear.
“I just… Don’t want to leave you. Here. In this no-future place.”
Both of them were standing in the middle of the room, he had his hand around her waist and she was caressing both of his arms.
“Well, I may not have a good future, but I’m trying to educate kids who may will and won’t have to fight a war, you know?” she smiled, and he looked up at the ceiling. Then, after a few seconds in silence, he realized. His eyes met hers, and she got a funny feeling.
“What?” she asked, with a smile. He didn’t say a word, he just kept on smiling. “Henry, love, what are you thinking?”
“Come with me.” He said, with the sweetest smile on his face.
“Henry…” she murmured, trying to understand what he was asking.
“I don’t want to meet them alone, please. I…” he laughed softly; the poor boy was as nervous as he could be “I don’t want to do this alone. Please? For me, baby.” He pleaded, trying to catch her eyes with his because she was trying to run from his gaze.
They both stood there in silence for a few seconds. With a deep inhale, she stared into his eyes, watching them beg.
“Only if you bake me your famous apple pie.”
He smiled; he was so happy. The boy took her face into his hands and kissed her repeatedly.
“Yes, yes, yes. Thank you, you are amazing.”
So, as promised, she went with him. They were both greeted by a loving family on a warm Sunday morning. They had bought a few things to have breakfast with and they took out a few drawings a gypsy did on a fair.
“So, that’s how your babies will look like, Y/N.” Arthur said, teasing them both. Henry got all red, and she started laughing nervously.
“Oh, for God’s sake, Arthur. He is still a boy!” laughed Polly.
“Yeah well, when I was his age I had already two kids, didn’t I?” laughed John, trying to make his aunt even more nervous.
“Oh, would you stop this nonsense! You are making both of them hate us, and we want to spend more time with ‘em!” said Polly.
“John, I think these kids have more things in their minds than just sex, unlike you did.” Said Tommy, lighting up a cigarette. “You are a teacher, aren’t you?” he said while staring blankly at his guest.
“Um…Yes, yes I am. I teach first and second grade.” She smiled, quite insecure.
“Well, our school here in Small Heath needs a teacher.” He said, smoking calmly.
Y/N looked at Henry, uncomfortable.
“Oh, well…um…there are a few teachers that would like to leave our town and…” she scratched the back of her neck.
“No, Y/N.” Said Polly. “We want Michael to stay here, with us. He agreed, but he wants you to keep on teaching.”
At first, it was a hard decision, Y/N was mad at Henry because he set her up. But there was nothing he couldn’t fix with a slice of freshly baked apple pie. So, after a warm slice of homemade cake, tea and an apology, they were both off to Birmingham.
A car was waiting for them at the front door in Henry’s house. They both said their goodbyes and after loading their suitcases, the trip started. And it was there, in the middle of the drive, where he said something that marked a before and after:
“I’d like it if you…umm…started calling me Michael, you know?” he asked, a little bit unsure of how it would be received by her.
“Oh…Yes, okay, no probl-”
“But” he interrupted “but you don’t have to do it if it makes you uncomfortable, you know?” he stated while caressing her hand.
“Don’t worry, it’s fine.” He stared into her eyes, having that feeling that nothing was actually fine. “Don’t look at me like that, everything IS fine…Michael” she lied, but the cute smile she had on her face was enough for him to actually believe that lie.
The drive was calm, the only bumpy road was in her mind, where she was leaving her hometown behind.
“You know,” said Michael, “I think you will be an amazing teacher in Small Heath.” He smiled.
“You really do?” she smiled back, and she told him how nervous she was.
“Oh, come on. You? Nervous? This will be amazing, love.” He said, taking her hand and leaving a sweet kiss on it “Believe me, it will be amazing, you will be the best teacher.” He smiled.
They both spent the rest of the calm trip imagining how many new things they would do and how many new people they would meet.
It all sounded lovely, for both of them.
A good life in a good place.
“What?” asked Michael to the chauffeur, interrupting his conversation with the girl next to him.
“We are here.” He said, leaving the car.
“Okay…” she suspired, with a smile.
“We are here.” He smiled, kissing her rapidly, so he could get out of the car.
He opened the door, got out, and helped her get out while holding her hand. The chauffeur gave both of them their suitcases and when they turned around, there they were: the Shelbys.
“Michael, Y/N…” started Tommy, after exhaling smoke from his cigarette “Welcome to Small Heath.”
They both smiled.
In the beginning, it was almost surreal how well it was going. They were living with Polly in a beautiful house a few minutes from Watery Lane, so he could go to the betting den and she could go to the school, where, of course, she got into with no trouble.
When the first month was almost over, things started to change.
Although the other teachers didn’t like the fact that Y/N started working because of the family influence she had, they had to admit she was a good teacher. Despite them recognizing it, she still was being ignored by them during lunch. And, even though Michael told her they were just nervous or something, she wasn’t feeling better about the fact that they were not even looking at her.
So, as always, she was eating alone in the classroom, just as when she was a little girl. That’s how she met Michael. She was alone, he saw her through the window and joined her. She never ate alone after that day.
“Hey, Y/N, right?” a woman asked, coming inside her classroom.
“Hi.” She smiled, cleaning her lips with a napkin.
“I’m Susan, she’s Gretchen and this is Esther.” The fifty-year-old woman presented herself and the other two.
Susan looked like a goose, had big lips, a long neck, and blonde hair. Gretchen had a strange noise and looked like the type of teacher who hits kids and well, Esther had a greyish hair and a sour face, she looked like a dried lemon.
“I’m…” she was about to introduce herself out of courtesy, but they interrupted her.
“Yeah, we know how you are. Mr. Shelby got you into here.” Said Esther, putting an even more sour face, looking down on her.
“Oh yeah, well, he spoke with the headmaster and…” then again, she was interrupted but this time by Susan.
“Talk?” she laughed “You are a little blind to be a teacher, aren’t you?”
“No, not blind.” Said Gretchen, continuing with the verbal attack “She might be a little stupid.”
“Pardon?” said Y/N almost choking on her food, not understanding what was going on, nor why were the three witches attacking her.
“Yes, Gretchen is right.” Laughed Esther.
“I don’t know who you are, but please stop attacking me, I’ve…”
Y/N hated confrontation, it always left a black hole in her stomach, and she ended up feeling like she would throw up.
“You little girl, are a fool if you think you got this work because of your experience.” Started Susan “The only experience it was talked about, was the threat Mr. Sallow got from Tommy gipsy Shelby.”
It shook her. Threats? The void in her stomach was only growing, starting to reach the being sick part. She rapidly checked the clock on the wall. In two minutes, the bell would ring.
“Okay, I’m sorry but I have to ask you ladies to leave. I don’t deserve this abuse and…” she started, but she knew. She knew if she kept talking, she would puke on Esther’s horrible and old pink blouse.
The three ladies stared blankly at her, waiting for her to continue.
“Come on, speak.” Gretchen hurried her, but she maintained silent.
The bell rang, and the three ladies left her alone after saying a few more things to her. When the last witch got out, she ran to the bin in the corner and threw up while her body was shaking, nerves and stress always got the worst of her.
“Ugh, fuck.” She muttered, closing her eyes and breathing deeply.
“Hi, everyone.” She smiled shyly entering the betting shop. The clients saluted her with a smile and Michael called her, letting her know he was in the back with his cousins and his mom.
She walked over to them and hugged her boyfriend, who was waiting for her with his arms open.
“Hi, beautiful.” He smiled and tried to kiss her, she just kissed his forehead and sat by his side, while hearing all the questions the Shelbys were asking about her day.
While Michael stood confused for his rejected kiss, she could only smile and comment that it was a lovely day. After her lie, they all got back to their horse discussion.
“Is…everything alright?” he asked with concern while staring at her.
“I…don't know.” She whispered, as he left his arm on her shoulder.
“We can talk about it if you want.” He said, softly enough for only her to hear. YN nodded and tried to focus on the race that was being discussed.
“So…I threw up today.” Y/N said while undoing the braid Esme had done while they were in the betting shop.
“You what?!” screamed Michael from the bathroom, while brushing his teeth. He got out of the bathroom, with his mouth full of toothpaste and a brush. “You did what?”
“A few teachers came up to me, and started…” Michael cut her off, after going back to the bathroom:
“I’m listening! Just cleaning my mouth!” he told her, while the water was running.
“They started nagging me!” she complained while taking her clothes off and putting on her pyjamas. “These three women, well, witches came into my classroom while I was eating.”
Michael came out of the bathroom with a clean mouth and a concerned face.
“What did they say to you?” he asked while starting to undo the buttons on his pressed white shirt.
“That I got into the school because Tommy threatened the headmaster teacher…and they started to attack me, calling me names and…”
The black void was appearing on her body once again, making her sick to her stomach. Michael could always sense when she was getting that weird feeling, so he instantly knew what to do.
“Oh, love, come here.” He said, forgetting about his half-buttoned shirt and only thinking about his girl. She hugged him tightly, trying to forget the uncomfortable day.
“So I got all nervous and I threw up when they left.” The poor girl was starting to cry. “I don’t want to go back, I seriously don’t.” she stated sadly.
“But…if you don’t teach, what would you do?” he asked, trying to get her to think through with more clarity.
“I will…umm…bake, yeah.”
“Bake?” he laughed slightly, making her laugh “Love, you don’t know how to cook. I always did the apple pie, you chatted.”
Y/N laughed and let him know he was right.
“Of course I am right, Y/N. And I could start driving you to school, and picking you up.” He suggested, “So the three old ladies know you have someone who will walk through fire for you.”
Y/N's heart grew bigger, he was the kindest man alive. That was something she always liked in him, he tried to make everything better, and would do everything in his power to make people happy.
“Drive me to school? Baby, we don’t have a car to make ‘em jealous.” She reminded him.
“Well…” he thought for a second “Oh! I know!” he smiled, placing both of his hands on his girl’s cheeks “I will walk with you, will kiss you goodbye and they will feel jealous because their old husbands don’t love them the way I love you.”
Y/N could only smile.
“Oh no, Esther is definitely a widow.” Laughed Y/N, making Michael smile “And! And Gretchen knows his husband cheats on her, while Susan never got married, lives with a fat cat and hates her neighbours.”
“How do you know all that?” he smiled, amazed by her beauty.
“I don’t. But they have a miserable life, there’s no other way to explain their bitterness.” She smiled, staring at his blue eyes “I am glad I have you by my side, so my bittersweet days can become delightful with your apple pie.”
“Why are you thinking about food?” Michael wondered.
“I’m not!” she replied with laughter.
“Yes, you are.”
“I always think about your pie, that’s a different story.”
“You love my pies.”
“Yes, yes I do.”
“Just as much as I love you.”
A good night swept every inch of sadness on her. Michael’s body was around her, warming her through the cold night.
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Corona Citizens Part 3
The two adults here are Mirabel Martinez and Duncan Kringle. Duncan has an older brother and the two of them run the docks together. Mirabel’s parents immigrated to Corona from Avalor. She’s recently inherited the family cafe. She’s married to
The blonde woman on the far left is Molly. The man in the red is Christopher Kringle, Duncan’s older brother. The two of them are also the last living descendants of the Targaryen royal line. The butcher is named Donovan. The bald man in the back is Hairless Harold. He’s insecure about his baldness sometimes, so he tries to make hats to cover up his head. That’s what inspired him to start his haberdashery in season 3.
From left to right; Annabelle, Christopher, Feldspar, Bald Bradford, Bertha, Calvin, Andy, Maria, Amira, Slade, Seth, Esmeralda, Harold, Duncan, Annette, and Molly. Annabelle is married to Steven; and they are Justin’s parents. Molly and Annabelle are sisters and they work as maids. Molly is also married to Calvin, and they’re Emily’s parents. Bradford is the distant cousin of Slade. Both Bradford and Slade are even more distant cousins of Quaid. Slade and Esmeralda are married and the parents of Lydia. Slade and Bradford used to help Quaid with Sherrif duty in Vardaros, but then they moved to Corona and started working for Donovan. Meanwhile Esmeralda works for the le Fleur family. Amira is Brutus le Fleur’s sister in law, is engaged to Bradford, and works for Ms. Muffet. Andy is Randall’s twin brother and helps him on the tree farm. Maria is Mirabel’s sister, and Annette is their Aunt.
This is Frigga le Fleur; wife of Brutus, mother of the le Fleur kids, and Amira’s older sister. She’s actually the original owner of the flower shop.
Froggy, Shorty’s younger brother. He owns a greenhouse just outside of town that has…interesting plants inside of it.
Esther (the brunette) and Polly (the blonde). They’re cousins. Esther and Andy are dating, and Polly is OBSESSED with Randy. He…does not share her sentiments.
This is Mr. Chi, an immigrant from China. He owns a wonderful little pawn shop.
Believe it or not, Misty actually is a real person in Corona. She runs the bookstore. She’s very stern, no-nonsense, and tightly wound. Most adults believe she’s incapable of having fun. And she’s ESPECIALLY not happy that the Princess impersonated her. A little impressed, but not happy.
Rutherford. He's Harold's younger brother and runs the winery in Corona.
And that should be all the peasants of Corona. Next up will be Cassandra's body count the Nobility of Corona!
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My first attempt at a modern au! Based off a fantastic idea by @minky-for-short where Stephen and Lucien's relationship starts off as a sugar daddy arrangement!
Please consider leaving a comment over on Ao3
If anyone had asked- God forbid, he’d rather die- Stephen would have rushed to his own defence. He’d probably have done it while turning bright red and spluttering but he’d have insisted it was just a matter of timing.
It wasn’t a lie. He’d have to work right up until he went to meet Lucien if he wanted to get the reports on his last few cases submitted in time. Lucien had meetings early in the morning, Stephen didn’t want to ask him to push their date back any further than he already had and the thought of cancelling...well that wasn’t an option. Not because of Lucien, who was extremely flexible and understanding as far as people in this kind of arrangement went. He just couldn’t and he wasn’t going to give it any more thought than that.
But it was just because of the timing. Stephen wasn’t getting off on this or anything. There just wasn’t going to be time to change into it between the end of his overly long day at the justiciary and the start of his date so wearing it all under his work clothes was the only option. He’d have insisted that until he ran out of air, if anyone had asked, probably before jumping out of the nearest window.
But this, Stephen did have to admit to himself, was entirely indefensible. This was just because he was a hopeless degenerate.
“Just going to the bathroom,” he announced in what he hoped was a casual tone, dropping his pen down with a thunk on the blanket of newspapers spread out on his desk, ones he’d been scouring for signs of magical miscreancy. More than half of their cases came from just noticing something odd in those tiny stories crushed up into the margins of local papers.
From the desk that joined onto his, though much neater and better organised and with less coffee cup rings etched permanently onto it, Esther looked up with a frown.
“I’m not your teacher, Steph. But okay, good for you,” she muttered before turning back to her computer. She’d lost their game of rock paper scissors that morning so it was her turn to deal with all of the emails that were inevitably sent to the justiciary every day, majority of which were complete nonsense and all of which were painful to read.
Stephen winced, snatching up his phone and making a quick exit before he could make it any more obvious that he was hiding something. Getting to the bathroom was harder that it really should have been, given how close the desks were shoved together, how many stacks of papers sat precariously on desk edges, how many odd trinkets and artefacts humming with magic were left to scatter across the faded carpet. But Stephen had worked there amongst the justiciary’s chaos for long enough that he made it to the other side of the cramped office without causing a disaster, only needing to nudge a few things back into place with his power as he went. Thankfully at this hour there was no one else still here to express their irritation.
The bathrooms in the Council Building were a microcosm of the rest of the place- too small, poorly maintained, outdated and a decent place to cry when overstressed, overworked and overwhelming. But for once, Stephen was rather grateful for that fact because it meant the bathroom was only built for one person at a time, meaning he could lock the door and be confident that no one was going to walk in on him doing what he was about to do.
Stephen pushed back his hair and gave a long, steady exhale. Since he’d entered into this arrangement with Lucien Vaudrey he’d been doing a lot of thinking with cock rather than his brain and, honestly, he’d had no reason to regret it yet. Save a few mornings where walking wasn’t as easy as it might have been.
So his brain didn’t get a look in, he put his back to the door and quickly yanked open the first few buttons of his shirt, just enough that he could pull his collar aside and show a little of what was underneath. Not too much, just the start of the lacy paneling that made up the band that circled his upper chest, the edge of one of the black straps that zig zagged across his body in an array that had taken longer to work out than he was willing to admit.
Stephen ran his thumb along the black lace, shivering a little. He’d been so wrapped up in his work since walking into the office that he’d mostly forgotten it was there but every so often he’d shift in his chair or he’d stand too quickly and he’d feel the feathery touch of all that silk slip between his skin and his clothes like a caress. He’d had to shove the awareness away very quickly before it could send any more than a quick jolt to his groin and was just thankful that today had been one spent entirely at his desk.
But he was only wearing it because of the timing. He was on a tight schedule. Of course.
Now, as he flicked his phone camera open with a thumb and held it at a slightly raised angle like he’d seen people do when they knew far more about taking selfies than he did, he couldn’t help but be aware of it all. The way it snaked around his body and held him tight, branching out like roots hidden in the ground, putting the barest pressure on his hips and chest and the curve of his arse like the ghost of Lucien’s hands. Invisible under his deliberate choice of a dark blue shirt and his usual shabby suit, except for the barest glimpse he was allowing. Only known to him.
And now to Lucien.
Stephen took a quick photo of himself, holding his shirt open with one hand, using a little of his power to brighten his eyes. Of course he didn’t find the picture particularly impressive, all he saw when he looked it back over were the hollowness of his cheeks, the jut of his overly large nose and the immense bags under his eyes. How his hair needed brushing and the out of place tooth that showed in the slight part of his lips. But he’d learned to trust Lucien’s opinion on these things, his blindness to all the flaws that jumped out to his own eyes, and his lover’s response to this picture was too good to pass up for the sake of insecurity.
So he opened up the many texts he’d been exchanging lately with the contact in his phone that was nothing but an emoji of a feather. He typed out a quick message before attaching the photo and sending it on it’s way.
Got your present this morning. What do you think?
Stephen gathered himself together quickly, buttoning his shirt again and checking swiftly in the mirror that nothing was showing through. He wasn’t sure what someone looked like when they were wearing lingerie under their clothes but he tried to make his whatever the opposite of that was. With a thought, he set off the old, roaring hand dryer so it would sound like he’d been doing something people were supposed to do in bathrooms. When dealing with Esther, there was no such thing as overcovering his tracks.
He navigated his way back through the obstacle course of office equipment and magical paraphernalia to where Esther was scowling at her computer screen and stabbing the keys as she typed.
“I swear, if we get one more sodding email about UFOs I’m going to throw this thing out of the window,” she declared, viciously deleting like each one had offended her personally.
“Y’know there are days I wish practitioners actually were secretly working for a cabal of interdimensional aliens,” Stephen hummed, sliding back into his chair, “We’d probably have more funding if we were.”
Esther gave a mirthless snort of laughter, the text on her screen reflecting in her glasses, not even glancing from it as she took a swig of coffee. A mug had appeared on his desk too, freshly steaming.
Stephen was about to thank her when his phone buzzed in his hand, making him jump. He scrambled to check it, feeling his heart thud when he saw it was from Lucien. Two messages, short and sharp and impossible not to read in his cool tones.
You are in so much trouble
The handful of hours between those messages and half past ten had felt like an eternity. Enough that Stephen couldn’t hide his haste as he nearly sprinted from the Council Building to the Underground. He spent the long ride from the shabby borough the justiciary called home to Knightsbridge staring at his phone, rereading that message over and over again, his mind running away with all that so much trouble implied. He knew fine well he was going to arrive flushed, already half hard and salivating, ready to do whatever Lucien asked of him.
He wove his way through the evening crowds, stumbling into the bar they always came into. It was a sleek, expensive looking place, the kind of bar he’d never set foot in if he hadn’t been beckoned by Lucien. He felt every penny in his meagre paycheck when he walked through the door but he did like the warmth, the rich leather, the fact that nearly all of the other couples there were pairs of men too. He liked how Lucien would put his arm around him as they sat in their usual booth and he’d feel that flicker of belonging, in spite of everything else.
Stephen’s eyes, betraying his excitement more than anything else by being a sparking gold, tracked over the room until he spotted him. Lucien, having far more control over his working hours, often arrived well before Stephen and sat with his laptop or a book or a newspaper, a glass of whiskey at his elbow. But today the table before him was clear of distractions, he simply sat with his fingers steepled at his lips, his fine features set into an expression of patience. The kind of face a hunting cat would wear, knowing their prey would be along in due course.
And when his clear, grey eyes locked on Stephen, he simply smiled.
Swallowing hard, the younger man leapt to attention, clearing the bar and sliding into the booth with his lover.
“Evening,” he tried, casually, though his heart was hammering and his cock was aching.
“Just what did you think you were playing at, sweet boy?”
Lucien dispensed with the pleasantries, his voice already dropped into the low, rolling tones he used when Stephen was about to lose his clothes. He spoke softly so their conversation didn’t carry past the oak panelled confines of their booth but not enough that Stephen missed the heat in his tone. He tried to get a grip on himself, he had a feeling he’d need to walk across the room before too long.
“I thought you’d want to see,” he shivered as his tone slipped almost unconsciously into something playful, something teasing and faux innocent, an affectation that would have made a past version of himself gape in disbelief, “It looked so pretty and the note said you wanted me to wear it tonight…”
Lucien’s eyes flashed, “Did the note say to be a little prick tease and send filthy pictures to me while I was infuriatingly far away and couldn’t get my hands on you?”
Under the table, Stephen felt Lucien’s far longer, wiry muscled legs slide over his own. After waiting all day even that bare contact, through two layers of clothing, had him swallowing back a whimper.
"No...” Stephen dropped his chin, seeming to bow under the intensity until he let his eyes flicker up and catch Lucien’s, “My lord.”
He watched as the hard line of his lover’s jaw tightened. They’d been in this arrangement for a couple of months now and one thing Stephen had learned, amongst a host of new desires he’d never suspected he owned, was those words. Those words, referencing the titles that Lucien actually did own but denied in his everyday life, were essentially a crooked finger. They were Stephen essentially pinning a badge to himself that read ‘complete and unapologetic brat’, carte blanche for Lucien to master him however he saw fit. To break him, if required.
“Then you deserve everything you’re getting, don’t you?” Lucien shifted into something not unlike a lion winding back to pounce, “Because if you’re going to act like a slut, that’s exactly how I’m going to treat you.”
Stephen felt those words grip him by the nerve endings and he knew fine well he was fidgeting but didn’t know how to stop. He just looked at Lucien with mute, pleading surrender.
“I am going to get up and go into the men’s bathroom,’ Lucien gave the low command, “In five minutes, when you’ve got some kind of control over yourself, you’re going to join me. And I am going to show you what happens when you think you can make me wait. Colour?”
That last word was ever so slightly softer, offered rather than dictated. Lucien never failed to check in with Stephen whenever they were playing. It was in their agreement, of course, but Stephen had the strong sense this was just how the man would be with all his partners, for all his domineering tendencies.
Stephen swallowed and glanced around. There weren’t many people in at this late hour, this bar was more of a sophisticated runway for a night out and most of the crowds had moved to somewhere louder and more raucous. Just a few couples, like them, more wrapped up in each other than anyone else, not quite ready to let their dates end. He did some nervous mathematics on how likely they were to get caught, balancing the number of other customers with his ability to double lock the door with magic, dividing in the failsafe that he could always use a little bit of fluence in a real emergency…
Hopeless degenerate, Day, his brain sighed.
“Green,” he murmured and he couldn’t help the grin that flickered to life on his face, just for a moment.
Lucien clearly forgave the break in character, answering with one of his own before composing himself and smoothly rising, looking effortlessly in control as he loped casually towards the gent’s. Stephen stared at his arse the entire time without much remorse. He’d already made his bed, after all.
He timed the five minutes on his phone, drinking the remainder of Lucien’s whiskey in the meantime, giving the heady, smoky taste of it every scrap of his attention in an attempt to redirect some blood flow. It took the full time before he judged himself ready to walk across the room, before he could scramble up and follow like a dog at his master’s call.
Twice in one day, Stephen found himself endlessly thankful for single-person bathrooms, as he was yanked into one by the front of his shirt and the door slammed behind him with the very reassuring click of a lock. He double secured it with a little magic, all the same, as Lucien kissed him fiercely.
“There you are,” Lucien purred once he was done bruising their lips, not letting go of Stephen’s lapels and keeping him awkwardly standing on his tiptoes, “Surprised you managed to wait the full five.”
“You told me too,” Stephen gasped, aware that Lucien’s eyes were looking into his shirt, hungrily tracing the lines of lace that were now visible.
Lucien chuckled, “Too late to try and be a good boy now, darling. Shirt open. Trousers down.”
Stephen willed the ether into work, knowing it always impressed Lucien just a little to see the buttons and zips and buckles falling away with apparently no effort at all. It was quicker too, only a few moments before he was as instructed, all of the lingerie now visible to Lucien’s searching gaze. He seemed to drink in the sight, his gaze ravenous as those grey eyes slid up and down the length of him.
“Didn’t I tell you that you’d look divine?” Lucien groaned appreciatively, running a finger under the lace trim below his chest, raising goosebumps as he went.
“Uh huh,” Stephen gasped, unable to be more articulate than that, his need drowning everything else, “My lord…”
“Against the sink, sweet boy,” those strong, slightly calloused hands took his shoulders and guided him until he was bracing himself on the edges of the sink, Lucien’s chest pressed against his back, “I want you to see yourself.”
So Stephen watched this other version of himself in the mirror, bathed in harsh light from overhead. He watched as his pupils blew wide, as his slightly swollen lips parted in a gasp when he felt Lucien shift to pull a bottle of something out of his jacket pocket. He watched this ethereal, high contrast version of himself flush as one large hand caressed the curve of his ass through the lace before hooking it to one side. He watched his eyelids flutter and his head tilt back when a slick finger teased him open, and saw his lace wreathed chest heave when it breached him. Stephen watched this man who was somehow him be opened and readied with care and attention, felt every moan reverberate in his own chest, felt his own nerves pulse and thrum with pleasure. And he found himself thinking, as much as he’d been unable to say it before, Lucien had been right.
He’d told him he’d look divine and he did. He’d told him he was beautiful and he was. Maybe he always had been.
“Ready?” Lucien murmured, grazing his earlobe with his teeth, “Give me a colour, sweet boy.”
“Green,” Stephen gasped, voice raw and ready to snap, “So green, my lord, please…”
He felt Lucien’s laugh echo through him, his arms coming around to press them close, “You need to be quieter, darling, or we’ll need to find a new date night place.”
“Well get on with fucking me then,” Stephen grumbled, forgetting himself in his desperation.
“Ah ah ah,” Lucien let his voice grow dangerous again, one hand snaking down to squeeze his aching cock through the lace panties, none too gently, “What kind of tone is that, sweet boy?”
Stephen whined, biting his lip and shuddering, “Sorry, my lord.”
“Better,” Lucien pulled his hand back, using it to unzip himself, “Don’t I always give you what you need?”
He proved his point as he moved the panties aside again, pressing into Stephen, now giving him everything he needed with no hesitation, right up to the hilt. Stephen had to fight to stay quiet, gripping the sink with white knuckles, planting his feet as far apart as he could to try and make room. Lucien paused, kissing the crown of his head, before finding a steady, natural rhythm with his hips, aware they didn’t exactly have a lot of time.
Stephen melted into it, gasps and grunts as soft as he could make them wrenching from his chest, shuddering as Lucien’s hands began roving again. Between the hand working him through the fabric and the cock pounding into him, the tension climbed punishingly fast, until he was scrabbling for balance, heart pounding, breath coming in desperate pants.
“I...fuck, Lucien, I’m there, I...oh god,” he gasped incoherently, arching back against his lover.
“I’ve got you,” Lucien groaned, shifting to work at a deeper angle, “Come for me, sweet boy.”
Stephen did, with a strangled moan, all of the waiting and teasing and tension unravelling in one blissful moment that turned his vision white. A heartbeat later he felt Lucien empty into him, heat pooling low in his stomach which then ignited into the familiar rush of power their lovemaking always gave him. He went rigid, feeling that rush that was so, so close to too much, but he knew it would ebb and leave him boneless and trembling in Lucien’s arms.
“We...may not have thought this through,” Lucien panted, steadying him gently.
“Because I’ve ruined the lovely underwear you got me?” Stephen murmured, closing his eyes a moment, “Because we’ve somehow got to clean ourselves up and walk out of here with some dignity? Because you might have to carry me because I’m not sure I can actually walk?”
Lucien chuckled, “All of that. But also…”
He held out his arms, showing the patches of tan skin where the magpies should be. They were off again, animated by Stephen’s magic, a few already exploring under the lace, pecking curiously.
“I really should have worn long sleeves,” Lucien admitted.
Stephen couldn’t help it, he burst out laughing, both hands flying to his mouth to try and muffle the sound. Lucien dissolved too, burying his face in Stephen’s curls as he shook with wracking laughter.
Stephen knew, with his trousers around his ankles and shirt slipping over one shoulder, standing in a public bathroom freshly fucked and wearing lace lingerie, he should be feeling like a hopeless degenerate. And he did, pleasantly so. But that wasn’t the only thing.
If anyone had asked him he would have denied it. But in that moment, Stephen felt loved.
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