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hrryfics · 2 minutes ago
hiii, you know a fic where the reader (i think) is famous, i think stylist, something like that and she dates harry and she has an event to go on the same day that would have a harry show (sorry if it got a little confused), i can not remember where it is. thanks!!!
i think it could be youre too nice by @rue-by-another-name
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softie-tozier · 2 minutes ago
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more kid reddie 🥺
sonia wouldn’t let eddie eat any sugary cereal, even if those were the ones that had all of the cool prizes you could win if you bought just the right box. richie, hearing eddie in tears on the phone because of it, had the perfect plan. 
he used his allowance money to buy as much cereal from the weekly grocery store trips with his mother. of course maggie picked up on this odd behavior (richie inhaled junk food and sweets as much as the next twelve year old, but three boxes? a week?) but didn’t think much of it. but as soon as they pulled into the tozier’s driveway richie was jumping out of the backseat, his messenger bag stuffed to the brim with cereal boxes, and straight for his bike. 
richie would spend his saturdays at eddie’s, bright and early, so the two could eat the secret cereal from the comfort of eddie’s closet so his mom wouldn’t find out. week after week, and empty box after empty box, richie finally struck the child’s equivalent of gold. a little plastic ring shone at the bottom of the bag of the frosted wheat cereal, filling his sugar-stuffed stomach with glee. 
in the end he let eddie have the ring. richie had a bunch of action figures and temporary tattoos from other cereals, and it was much more fun to see the way eddie’s entire face lit up from the dim closet bulb overhead. he might have even looked just a bit...cute. eddie dropped the box he was eating dry, reached for the plastic ring and slid it onto his pinky finger. 
they might have reached their goal in the end, but that didn’t stop richie’s allowance from being spent on (mostly) cereal for eddie, and their weekends now used up by reading comics and doing overdue homework in eddie’s closet. 
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dykostunt · 3 minutes ago
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ill pilot the ethan/scorpio ship all on my own i swear to god
G, 700 words
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wastedliquor · 4 minutes ago
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It's Exactly What It Looks Like | KageHina Fic | Ch 4
About two weeks have passed since Shoyou and Kageyama started up their closer than average friendship with each other, and at this point, it was clear Shoyou was much more comfortable than his friend. He quickly realized he would have to be the one initiating any real “practice” but Kageyama wasn’t too far off and was a lot more prone to making advances through his body language than his words. Shoyou wasn’t afraid to ask for what he wanted, and Kageyama wasn’t afraid to show him what he wanted. Things seemed to be working pretty well.
For the most part.
_
Hinata asks Kageyama to come over after practice. The night doesn't go as planned. - AO3 Link | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3
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mdemontespan1667 · 6 minutes ago
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@sapphirescrolls and @queenoftheworldisdead I got some nasty for your Rock Star AU. But y'all gotta wait until this weekend.
If all ya’ll haven’t checked this out READ IT!!!! Grade A Prime dirty smut from some fantastic writers.
@sapphirescrolls Rock Star AU Collection
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ynscrazylife · 7 minutes ago
Hi! Can I request some Luke x padawan!reader fluff? Reader has a hard time falling asleep after a day of training, so Luke comes into her quarters to help her? Like, they try various things like meditation, etc. before ultimately just sitting in bed and falling asleep together? Thank you!
Tuckered Out
Summary: Y/N is Leia’s apprentice and is dating Luke. Her boyfriend comforts her when she has a hard time falling asleep after a tough day of training.
Authors Note: Thanks for requesting!
Request to be on a Taglist (or multiple) here! (Taglists are at the end of the fic)
Star Wars Masterlist | Main Masterlist
PSA: Do NOT copy, steal, translate, plagiarize, republish, etc any of my works on Tumblr or any other platform. Also, do NOT claim any of my works as your own. All of works are either requests I’ve gotten that people have wanted me to write or original ideas I’ve had for works. If you happen to take inspiration from anything I’ve written and want to write something inspired by that, please a) ask me first and b) IF I say yes, credit me as inspo in your post by tagging me and link whatever work of mine that inspired you. Thanks.
header c @/thexedits
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“Han, are Leia and Y/N still training?” Luke asked, his features scrunched up in confusion as he walked up to his good friend and practically brother-in-law, Han Solo. His girlfriend was his sister’s apprentice and he hadn’t gotten to talk to Y/N today before she left for training, so he didn’t know how long they were training that day.
Han shook his head, pausing his conversation with Chewie. “I passed by Leia a couple minutes ago, they should be done,” he answered.
Luke thought for a moment and then nodded. Where could Y/N be? It was late at night already and he had checked her room - she wasn’t there - and had checked his room to see if she had came into cuddle. She also wasn’t there.
“Thanks,” the blonde muttered, giving Chewie a polite nod before walking off, racking his brain for possible places she could be at.
After a couple minutes he decided to just search the compound and, after a couple rounds, went to check her quarters again. The Jedi’s shoulders slumped with relief when he spotted his girlfriend lounging on her bed, for he had started to get just a little bit worried. 
“Hey, where were you? I came by your quarters about fifteen minutes ago and you weren’t here,” he asked as he knocked on the door to alert her of his presence while walking in. His tone wasn’t one of accusation or anger, more of compassion and curiosity. 
Y/N remove her faraway stare at the wall where she was daydreaming to her watching her boyfriend sit down on her bed. Immediately - and almost instinctively - she rested her feet in Luke’s lap. 
“I’m really tired from the training today, Leia was brutal, but I couldn't fall asleep so I went out for a walk,” she mumbled, laying back against her pillows, feeling defeated. 
Luke frowned slightly. “Can’t fall asleep now, either?” He guessed, and Y/N nodded. 
He sighed, carefully moving her feet off his lap and standing up, gesturing for her to move over before laying down on the bed next to her. “I’ll get Leia to go a little easier on you,” he said while Y/N leaned her head on his shoulder. He knew she could handle herself but wasn’t fond of his girlfriend being exhausted as a result. 
Y/N chuckled, grabbing his hand. “It’s fine, Luke. Besides, it’s good for me,” she said.
They sat in silence for a couple minutes before Luke got an idea. “How about counting stars to help you fall asleep? Close your eyes, picture stars, count ‘em!” He suggested, smiling.
Because he was so happy Y/N decided to humor him, although she was skeptical, and closed her eyes. After almost ten minutes of Luke patiently watching her try to sleep, she opened her eyes, sighing. “It’s not working,” she muttered.
Luke bit his lip. “Mediation?” He said.
This sounded more likely so they tried it but again, it didn’t work. Finally, the two just laid in bed, silent and enjoying each other’s presence.
After a little bit, Luke began humming the tune of a song his aunt used to sing to him. When he was done, he glanced over at Y/N, and smiled widely when he saw that she was asleep.
God, she looked adorable! His heart warmed at the sight and he pressed a small, short kiss to her forehead; barely refraining from cooing when she smiled in her sleep.
He leaned his head against hers and continued humming to himself until he, too, fell asleep.
In the morning, when Leia came to get Y/N for training, she found her friend and brother cuddled up. It was the cutest sight she ever saw and she decided to just let them sleep in, smiling to herself as she left to tell Hans of the sight she witnessed.
Permanent Taglist: @natasharomanoffismywife @hehehehannahthings @paulawand @blackbat2020 @cerberus-spectre @marrymemcgrath @celestialbarnes @narcissasslytherin @snipyloulou
Star Wars Taglist: None yet
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deliriumsdelight7 · 8 minutes ago
The secluded corner of a nightclub...there is a story behind that one... ( was this Cora?)
When Cora and I were involved, she owned a nightclub called The Queen of Hearts.  Upon her retirement, she left it to her younger daughter Regina, who renamed it The Red Apple.
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mitsususu · 9 minutes ago
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I’ll be your operator baby, I’m in control. Nothing that you do, you do unless I said. The Winter Soldier answers to Steve and Steve alone. Below are my Top 5 Favorite stories:
“The Wolf and The Sheep” (T, 50k) by aislingdoheanta
Steve Rogers is a SHIELD agent who is recruited for a secret project: Becoming a handler for the Asset. Steve’s world is thrown for a loop when he discovers the Asset is an actual person and he needs to figure out who he is and what he’s going to do.
Steve as the Winter Soldier’s handler AU. (Non-HYDRA trash party.)
+ Modern Steve. Captain Rogers makes his own secret plans to free the Winter Soldier and discovers Hydra within Shield. An alternate retelling of the WS movie 
-☆-
“Cabin Fever” (E, 11) by Dibsanddabs
It was just Steve’s luck really. It was his first outing as the asset’s handler and everything had gone to shit.
Steve is the asset's new handler, and when a mission goes bad he makes the decision to wait in a safe house. But mountain weather is against them and the pair end up snowed in together. The longer the asset spends out of cryo, the more of Steve's questions he can answer, and Steve might not like what he finds.
+ Alt Canon . Snowed in a cabin together, Bucky’s programming starts to crack and Steve starts to remember this isn’t his first time working with Bucky. 
-☆-
“Ready to Comply” (E, 66k) by exclamation
The asset's orders at the end of The Winter Soldier weren't to kill Captain America, but to capture him, so that he could be wiped and turned into another asset. The asset has succeeded in that mission, capturing its target and taking him back to the Hydra base. But the Hydra soldiers are dead, captured, or fled, so there is no one there to give the asset new orders.
Alone with its captive, the asset has no instructions on how it is meant to act. But the more time it spends with its target, the more old protocols start to assert themselves, like the protocol that when that face is hurt and bleeding, the asset is supposed to clean away the blood.
+ Post WS. The Winter Soldier chooses Steve to be his handler and as he recovers, continues to choose Steve. (Numerical rankings, chocolate covered raisins, and cookie bribes)
-☆-
“find a way to forgive myself” (T, 34) by napricot
“Okay, let’s try this again,” says Steve’s own voice. “I’m not Loki and I really need you to listen to me. The literal fate of your universe depends on it.” Steve comes up swinging before he’s even really opened his eyes. “Oh for god’s—”
As if Steve’s life isn’t already weird enough what with the waking up in the 21st century and fighting aliens thing, his future self’s Time Heist and Reverse Time Heist have left 2012 Steve in a pretty awkward position: not only does he have to pretend to be HYDRA in order to save Bucky, but now he also has to help save the whole damn universe too? Luckily for him, if the first time was tragedy, then the second time around is definitely a hell of a lot closer to farce.
+ Alt 2012. 2012 Steve gets memories from the future, and goes undercover as Hydra to look for Bucky with help from the Avengers. Featuring the magic space rock mind stone
-☆-
“Blood” (T, 45k) by leveragehunters (Monkeygreen)
In a world where magic is as commonplace as electricity, HYDRA worships a god who craves order through death. They used His blood to create fierce Soldiers then enslaved them by chaining their souls.
The man who was James Barnes is the last Soldier, the rest having been put down after succumbing to the call of the Blood. One night, out of control after a mission, the increasingly unstable Soldier runs into Steve Rogers. Instead of being turned into a red smear on the ground, Steve successfully talks him down. HYDRA decides to keep him. The Soldier's the last one they've got; if Steve can keep him calm he's going to do it whether he likes it or not.
Like fractious racehorses have companion goats, they hand Steve off to the Soldier as a kind of pet. But studies have shown pets can ease depression, despair and loneliness, lead to an increased sense of safety and well-being, and provide a source of protection and unconditional love. HYDRA really should have reviewed the literature before they decided to give Steve to the Soldier. Especially since, once Steve Rogers is involved, protectiveness can get slightly out of hand.
+ Shrinkyclinks. Modern Steve is the only one who can bring the Winter Soldier back from bloodlust. When Shield rescues them, Bucky doesn’t trust anyone but Steve and Steve would never abuse that power.
-☆-
-☆- And one where Bucky thinks Steve is a handler -☆-
“This is the Ghost Story” ( T, 45k) by Taste_is_Sweet
You can't have amnesia if you're not supposed to remember.
("I don't want to forget you," Bucky says wistfully.
Steve looks half-asleep, but he blinks and lifts his head. "What do you mean?" he asks. His smile is puzzled. "Why would you forget me?"
"After maintenance, when they'll wipe me and put me in Cryo," Bucky explains. "I'll forget you again, and I don't want to. You're the best handler I've ever had.")
+ Post WS. Bucky gets hurt on an Avengers mission and reverts back to the Winter Soldier. Very intense and angsty. Part of a longer series but can be read stand-alone.
-☆-
+ Most Handler Steve fics here and the Pepper list (upcoming)
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switchfulthinking · 10 minutes ago
OMG ANOTHER MHA TBLOG
Character + spot
Lemme get uhhhh
DENKI’S THIGHS
Yes! I've wanted to write something about this sweet sparky boy! I'll get it out ASAP!
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oddityofstars · 10 minutes ago
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as a treat for Jack's birthday, chapter nine of the post-finale fix-it fic i'm writing on ao3 has finally arrived, and here it is! I really hope that you guys like it!
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smoaking-greenarrow · 10 minutes ago
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Chapter seven: Goodnight Kiss
With some help from a friend to push him in the right direction, Oliver plans a special night for Felicity. And there's only way that he wants it to end.
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ao3feed-larry · 11 minutes ago
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Under the Willow Tree
by imtiredanditswinter
When Louis starts at Harry's boarding school, the two boys become best friends. It isn't until they're almost done with school that they realize their friendship was just the beginning. When World War ll starts, Harry is torn between attending university and fighting for his country. Louis can't fight because of medical issues. Their two journeys take them far apart and then, as always, back to each other.
Words: 1990, Chapters: 1/?, Language: English
Fandoms: One Direction (Band)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Categories: M/M
Characters: Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Eleanor Calder, Zayn Malik
Relationships: Harry Styles/Louis Tomlinson
Additional Tags: World War II, Alternate Universe - 1940s, University, Cambridge, Romance, Flashbacks, Smut, Fluff, Grinding, Boarding School, Love Letters, Anal Sex, Blow Jobs, Bottom Harry, Top Louis Tomlinson, Friends to Lovers, Best Friends, Shower Sex
via AO3 works tagged 'Harry Styles/Louis Tomlinson' https://ift.tt/3u2irWK
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writinglizards · 11 minutes ago
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I Don’t Really Mind
Summary: Jaskier's got a date for his birthday. It...doesn't go well. 
Warnings: none Pairings: Gerskier Rating: Teen
For @silvermidnightprincess. Happy birthday, Minty! Hope it’s a good one!!
Read on Ao3
"Are you sure you got the tickets?" Jaskier asks for the tenth time in the last twenty minutes, and Geralt has to count to ten before he responds or risk snapping at him.
"Yes, I got the tickets. It's sorted. Would you please--"
"I know, I know, annoying," he sighs, sounding as frustrated with himself as Geralt's trying not to be, "I just--I just want this to go well," he says, voice very small, and Geralt's chest clenches.
He knows the feeling, knows that Jaskier wants this date he's going on to be perfect. Geralt's trying not to let it bother him that Jaskier asked him to get tickets to a concert he's not even going to be at.
"It'll go fine," he says, finally settling across from him at their tiny kitchen table. Jaskier just grumbles. "It will," he says, bumping their knees together as he takes a sip of his coffee, and Jaskier smiles, small and tentative.
"I hope you're right."
-------
They don't talk about it much after that, except when the tickets arrive in the mail--they have to be physical, Geralt, how else will I preserve the memories?--and things continue...mostly as normal, except for the manic bouts of frenzy Jaskier throws himself into when he starts thinking about it too hard.
"Geralt, what if--"
"Jaskier, this is your birthday, not his. Nothing you do is going to ruin it," he cuts in before he can get off another one of the long list of ways the night might go slightly less than perfect, and that usually sends him grumbling into the other room to yell at Priscilla on the phone instead. It's fine.
Or at least, it is until the night of. He leaves early, as is his wont, and Geralt's got the apartment to himself. He doesn't...he doesn't have the best gift for Jaskier--he's hard to buy for--but he's got him a new strap for his guitar and he'd tracked down another canister of that fancy coffee he's been trying to find for the last few months. He hasn't bothered to wrap them, just left them sitting on the coffee table for when he comes back sometime in the next several hours. It's not enough, not really, but he couldn't compete with the concert tickets and a date night with the current boyfriend.
He tries not to let that one bother him.
Instead of thinking about it, he's holed up in his room working on one of the grant proposals due next month, when he hears a key in the lock, hours before Jaskier should be home.
He waits, thinking maybe it's Priscilla or Essi come over with a last-minute gift--they both have their own key--but there's no loud greeting as the door slams shut, just the clink of keys being tossed in the ceramic bowl by the door.
"Jask?"
There's no reply as he sets the laptop to the side and heads out into the living room to find Jaskier curled up on the couch, face pressed into the cushions. He's turned away, but Geralt can see the tear tracks down his cheeks.
"Jask? Hey, what--"
"He never showed up," he mumbles into the couch, garbled but still audible, "I--I should have--but he didn't even--and I couldn't--" he breaks down after that, tiny stifled sobs that reach into Geralt's chest and squeeze. He sits gingerly on the edge of the cushions and watches as Jaskier pulls himself into a smaller ball of misery.
"I'm sorry, Jaskier," he murmurs, resting a hand on his shoulder, "that was...that was shitty of him." Jaskier makes a soft, muffled sound of assent. Geralt checks the clock over the tv and winces. "It's...I know it's not what you wanted, but there's still time to make the concert." If they hustle, they can be there before the main act goes on.
"What's the point," he mumbles, "no one will go with me with this late notice."
Geralt swallows hard. "I would."
Jaskier turns away from where he's got his face shoved between the back of the couch and the cushions very, very slowly. His cheeks are splotchy and red, his eyes bloodshot, and he looks a mess.
"You don't mean that. You hate concerts."
"Yes," he admits, feeling like his heart is in his throat, "but it's important to you, and I--" he barely catches the love you before it slips out, "--I...want you to be happy." Jaskier's face does something complicated, and then he's sitting up and throwing himself into Geralt's lap, face shoved into the crook of his neck. He's gross and snotty, but Geralt just holds him while he thanks him profusely, breath still stuttering as the sobs ease their way out and his breathing returns to normal.
When Jaskier releases him and sprints to the bathroom to fix his face a bit, Geralt sighs and goes to get his jacket.
-------
They stumble back into their apartment sometime near 1 am, and Jaskier's still talking a mile a minute about the concert. Geralt's own head throbs with a headache, but it's worth it to see Jaskier shine with joy like this. The only sign of his upset earlier is the slight redness around his eyes that he couldn't quite buff out with concealer.
"Thank you," he says for the billionth time when they've stumbled inside and Geralt makes a beeline for the kitchen and the medicine cabinet for an advil, "You know you didn't have to--" he cuts off, and Geralt turns curiously towards the living room, gulping down the pill along with a glass of water.
"...Jask?"
When he comes around the corner, he's got the guitar strap in one hand and the canister of coffee in the other and he's crying again, slow, sluggish tears.
"Shit, what--" but Geralt doesn't get to ask what's wrong before Jaskier's crowding his way into his arms, shoving his face into his neck. The canister digs uncomfortably between them, but Geralt still holds him, a little awkward, a little unsure. "Jaskier?"
"I'm sorry," he gasps, fumbling to set the gifts down on the counter without leaving Geralt's arms, "I'm so sorry, I'm just--"
"If...if you don't like them, I can--"
"No! No, Geralt, I'm...I'm so happy, I just--" he sniffles, wraps his arms tightly around his waist and clings, "--You didn't have to do any of this," he whispers.
"Of course I did," he says gruffly, thinking of Jaskier's family, the lack of anything as simple as a phone call for their eldest son on his birthday.
"Fuck, Geralt," he mumbles, then, so soft he thinks he must have heard wrong, "I love you so much."
He's...he's sure he's misheard, even as Jaskier clings tighter, tucks himself closer to him, and Jaskier's always been tactile but this is...this is different. Nicer.
He hums softly, only a little uncomfortable as he squeezes him a little tighter, and Jaskier sighs, contented. He wants to say something, wants him to know, suddenly, how Geralt feels, but it's...it's his birthday. There's no reason to shove that off on him now. They've...they've got time.
"Happy birthday, Jaskier," he says, and when Jaskier finally pulls away, just a little bit, he's smiling, wide and delighted.
"Yeah," he mumbles, ducking shyly back to hide his face in Geralt's neck, "yeah, it has been."
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therookiebook · 11 minutes ago
“Of course there is a us” -Chenford prompt!
“Is there even an us?”
“An us? What do you mean us,” Tim asked coming to a stop in the middle of the parking garage to turn back towards her.
Lucy drew in a deep breath before closing the distance between them from where she had initially stopped. “Is there going be a Tim and Lucy? An us? Because I don’t know what this is, I’ve never felt like with someone before. So if there’s not ever going to be that then just tell me. I can’t play these games, Tim. Not with this, not anymore.”
“Of course there is an us. There will always be an us.”
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ao3feed-ladynoir · 11 minutes ago
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The Way I Loved You
the way i loved you by abbysue
It wasn't fair, he knew. That she had to hide everything because of him. That he couldn't eat lunch with her. Kiss her on the rooftop. Hold her hand. Marinette deserved to have her hand held.
Chat Noir and Marinette have been dating for a little over two months now, and he loves her, but only when he is allowed. Is it love if it's all in secret? Can it really be love if it's hidden, and no one ever sees it? Is it enough?
Words: 5492, Chapters: 1/?, Language: English
Fandoms: Miraculous Ladybug
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Categories: F/M
Characters: Marinette Dupain-Cheng | Ladybug, Adrien Agreste | Chat Noir, Alya Césaire, Nino Lahiffe, Plagg, Tikki
Relationships: Adrien Agreste | Chat Noir/Marinette Dupain-Cheng | Ladybug
Additional Tags: Fluff and Angst, Angst with a Happy Ending, Hurt/Comfort, Identity Reveal, marichat is dating, marichat breaks up but stay with me lol, i promise it's gonna be okay, Fluff, Mutual Pining, Aged-Up Character(s)
Read Here: https://archiveofourown.org/works/31381619
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thewritingtroll · 11 minutes ago
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Title: This Is Not Happening
Word Count: ~3.5K
Summary: The comic Emrys tells his audience the story of how he met the love of his life. (Formatted like an episode of “This Is Not Happening)
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michaelperry · 12 minutes ago
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Title: the only bee in your bonnet Fandom: Won’t Back Down (2012) Pairing: Michael Perry/GN!Reader Rating: General Audiences Word Count: 2.7k Summary: You start a new job at a café. Shortly after, you discover that one of your regulars runs the record store next door. A/N: This premise has been sitting with me for about two months, but @zoriis​ sent me a request from the prompt list I reblogged recently, and it finally helped me find the direction I wanted this fic to go. Hope you enjoy, Tegan. 💜 (And thank you for the hot off the presses Michael gif.)
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Cross-posted to AO3 here!
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He’s your first regular.
At least, he’s the first one that really registers, the first one whose order becomes so deeply embedded in your memory that you think it might burrow in and settle there forever. Large hot coffee with just a smidge of cream.
Just a smidge. You perfect that smidge about two weeks after you first prep his drink, and you relish in the way Michael’s eyes crinkle when he takes the first sip.
Michael—that’s his name, the regular. He gives it to you three times before it, too, solidifies in your mind, and the first time you don’t need to ask for it, that also earns you an eye-crinkling smile.
Your co-worker leans over as soon as Michael has left, his voice low as he tells you, “He owns Vintage Vinyl.” The record store next door.
“I didn’t ask,” you retort, firing back an eye roll. What should it matter to you, where Michael the Regular is off to after buying his cup of coffee every morning? Michael the Very Handsome and Friendly Regular, who always drops at least a single into the tip jar and hums along with the music on the speakers each time he comes through. No, it certainly doesn’t matter to you that he works right next door.
But if you find yourself meandering into the store after your shift a month or so after you first encounter him, well.
It’s because it’s been a few years since you last entered a record store. (Since you last even thought of buying a physical copy of an album.) So you’re curious. About the records. That’s what it is.
You were under some vague illusions that maybe you’d wander through discreetly, perhaps running into Michael the Regular once you can get the lay of the land. Instead, you’re not even five steps inside when you hear, “Oh, hey, stranger.”
The counter, it turns out, is directly inside the door, and Michael the Regular is staked out there, sitting on a stool and leaning against the wall with a book in his hand. He’s let his hand fall to his lap, and the book with it, at the sight of you, an earnest look of surprise on his face.
“Oh, hi!”
And you had… not gone in planning to play dumb, but apparently that’s what you’re going with. You look at Michael the Regular as though it is a complete surprise to encounter him there, and from the way he smiles, you think he might believe it.
“Looking for some music?”
Distantly, it registers to you that this is a bit of an obvious question when you’ve just entered a record store, but mostly, you’re thinking about how you have no damn idea what music you’d even want to buy. God, you hope he doesn’t ask. “I guess I was mostly thinking I’d browse. I realized I’ve been working next door for a whole month and I haven’t even bothered to come in.”
Michael the Regular nods. He’s still smiling, a really soft, nice smile. “Sounds good. I know it’s a bit hectic in here, but if you need any help finding something, I should be able to help you out.”
You glance around the store and smirk; there are some patrons around – it’s not like the place is deserted – but yeah, hectic is a clear exaggeration. “I’ll keep that in mind.”
Presumably, there’s a sort of logic to the layout of the store, but you’re in no way systematic as you wander through. You peruse nearly every section pretty thoroughly, feeling a rush of comfort and nostalgia each time you encounter an album that you associate with some key moment of your past or another.
And if you glance toward the front to get the occasional look at Michael, well. You’re just appreciating the way he sings along with the music he’s got playing through the speakers across the shop, be it with his nose in his book or while helping customers…
Or, once, you think you catch him looking at you. From the way the corners of his mouth turn up before his gaze flickers away, yes. You think he was looking at you.
But save for that one look, you don’t feel particularly scrutinized. In fact, it seems like you might even startle him when you arrive at the counter with a few CDs – they’re artists you like, and you want to support them, that’s definitely the only reason you’re buying them – because he jolts at the sound of the boxes hitting the glass surface.
“Hey!” he says again. Smiling again. Who knew your heart could pound so hard over just a hey and a smile? “Find everything alright?”
“Somehow, yes, even though I wasn’t actually looking for anything.”
Michael’s eyes positively shine with amusement while he starts to scan the albums for check-out. “I’ve heard that’s the best time to find what you want.”
You work hard to suppress a grin, endeared by the line in spite of yourself. Endeared, too, by how straightforward his delivery is. “Now that you mention it, I think I’ve also heard that somewhere before.”
Another customer comes to stand in line behind you, effectively cutting both of you off from any further flirting. Which… you’re kind of okay with. Michael’s still got that beautiful smile on his face while he rings you up and you feel an exquisite sense of anticipation bubbling in your gut over everything that you’re not saying. Yes, you’re kind of okay with what’s hanging between you.
Then, while he’s bagging the CDs, his expression grows a little more serious. You watch him grab a flyer from a nearby stack, showing it to you briefly before tucking it into the bag. “I’m going to give this to you, too. We’re having a little concert and signing here on Friday afternoon. You should come, if you get off in time.”
Have you ever been quite so happy that you open the café in the mornings?
(Well, aside from the smaller, more persistent joy that you’re able to hand Michael his coffee each day.)
You nearly waffle over it—or at least you nearly pretend to waffle. It’d be nice, you think, to be able to tease him just a bit. But when it comes down to it, you nod and tell him, “Okay, I’ll be there.” Because if he’s going to be so sincere, the least you can do is return the favor.
Michael’s smile widens, and you are glad to have been sincere.
As far as the teasing… The two of you share one last glance before you leave the store, and in the back of your mind you feel quite certain that you’ll have plenty of time to tease him.
When he stops by the café the next few mornings, though, you don’t tease him, either. You lean into that simmering anticipation instead, his crinkling eyes when he looks at you and the five-dollar bills that he drops into the tip jar just because. You let your fingers brush against his when you hand off his large hot coffee with just a smidge of cream, your stomach flipping pleasantly at the way he smiles in response.
It makes you feel special, makes you feel young and new to this. Maybe that’s what comes of his straightforwardness.
It makes you long for Friday. For every thing that might come after Friday.
“Will I still see you later?” Michael asks that morning when you hand his coffee over.
Certainly a simple question, but for just a moment, it takes you aback. Neither of you have come quite so close to articulating that when you come to the store that afternoon, it will be because he asked. (Admittedly, you’re not even sure you could name the band that’s doing the concert and signing. It’s not like you’re trying hard to pretend otherwise.)
You smile and nod. It’s the middle of the morning rush, so you’re not going to belabor it, but Michael knows. He raises his cup to you and murmurs, “I’m glad,” and for now, it’s enough. That I’m glad buoys you through the morning and into the afternoon.
Right toward the end of your shift, you realize that perhaps he was downplaying the event—a large crowd begins to accumulate outside, triggering a manageable but unanticipated rush in the café. It’s a relief to be able to clear out, but the mass of people means that you’re not at all surprised when you finally open the door to the shop and realize immediately that there’s noconceivable way you’d be able to navigate toward the back of the store, where the band has already started to play.
But it’s only a few seconds later that you realize you won’t have to; you look to the counter, and Michael is staked out there. He’s leaning his elbows on the glass, his body facing toward the band, but he must have heard the door open, because when you see him, he’s turned to look your way with a wide grin on his face. At once, he beckons you to join him behind the counter.
“I was starting to worry,” he tells you, once you’ve squeezed back there and settled into the open stool at his side. He has to lean in fairly close to speak to you without shouting, and your breath catches over the silly thrill of it.
“My manager kept me a bit late,” you reply. “We had an unexpected 2PM concert rush.”
Michael looks a little bashful, glancing toward the audience. “This is my first time doing something like this on a weekday, so I expected less of a crowd.”
The counter is raised slightly above the rest of the store, giving you a reasonable view of the band, and frankly, you’re fascinated that they’ve drawn much of a crowd at all, let alone on a weekday. There are three middle-aged men up there, one of them playing the guitar, but that’s the most standard part of the ensemble. Instead of an actual kit, their drummer has a strange array of smaller percussion instruments that he’s hitting. And the third man is playing the accordion.
Very strange indeed.
You tell Michael so, as gently as you can manage, by asking, “What kind of band is this? I didn’t get around to looking them up.”
“Alternative rock, I guess?” You must look as bewildered as you feel – sure, you suppose no better descriptor comes to mind, but it feels odd to call what’s happening in front of you rock – because Michael laughs. “Among a million other things. They’re kind of all over the map. That’s what people like about them.”
They don’t play a very long set before settling in to do the signing portion of the event. Even so, you get a sense of what he means; they play a range of up-tempo and slower songs, and some of them sound quite pop-y while others… don’t, but the audience seems incredibly into it the whole time. Their energy is contagious, making you move to the music despite your lack of familiarity with the songs.
Well, the way Michael is grinning and nodding along to the music – even singing one or two songs – might also have something to do with the joy coursing through you.
Eventually, the music stops, and you expect Michael to have responsibilities of some sort—maybe a need to go and help the band with the signing, but he brushes this off when you ask about it. “One of the best parts about owning this place: I can assign the employees to take care of everything over there while I do more important things.”
More important things, it turns out (as though you don’t know at once), means chatting with you. He settles in on his stool and he leans his elbow on the counter, his head in his hand, and he looks at you like no one else is there. Oh, he certainly changes gears in an instant, each time a customer comes over, but there’s not a doubt that you are the first thing on his mind.
And Michael – who, you learn, went to school for music, and grew up listening to everything under the sun, and loves sharing new sounds with everyone he encounters – is sweet, and funny, and so damn proud of his store.
He’s endearingly fond of this band, too, whose name you still don’t know and you think that amuses him. (You think he likes knowing that your lack of knowledge about the band is proof that you showed up for him alone.) Not that he really bothers to discuss them, but then he’s checking out a customer who eagerly tells him, “It was so great to hear a duo version of ‘Birdhouse.’”
Michael agrees, sincere enough but also trying to wrap up the sale. But nearly as soon as the customer is gone, you ask, “That was the last one they played, right?”
There has been no indication, up to this point, that Michael has been passing any judgement on your lack of familiarity with the band. But at this question, he gives you a baffled sort of look. Still no judgement, but absolutely surprise. “Did you not know ‘Birdhouse in Your Soul’?”
You shake your head.
From his expression, you think you can guess what’s coming. “I promise that I don’t do this often. But can I fix that?”
It’s not really curiosity about the song that gets to you. It’s Michael’s eager eyes and the fact that you get the distinct sense that, if you said no, he wouldn’t take it personally.
“Okay.”
He turns to the nearby computer and overrides whatever was playing before.
By this point, a fair number of the fans have cleared out, but the track garners an immediate reaction—scattered shouts of approval and one or two people immediately start singing along. You think you spot one of the band members at the signing table rolling his eyes.
Not that you notice these reactions for very long. The song starts quietly enough, but then things kick into gear, and Michael responds at once. At first, he keeps his composure alright, pointing out, “I love that guitar riff,” during the first chorus and a line he enjoys in the following verse. But he’s right—it’s a fun, upbeat song, and he feeds off of you enjoying yourself until he starts singing and gesticulating along.
Your heart bursts over his joy. He’s jumped to his feet by the final chorus and distantly you hear that he’s not the only one singing, but it’s like everyone else is far away—several rooms or several miles away.
It’s strangely a disappointment when the song is over, although Michael’s immediate change in demeanor is its own sort of endearing. He sits back down almost at once, glancing around to make sure that he hasn’t left any customers waiting.
Did I do too much too fast is all over his face as he says, “So, uh, yeah. It’s pretty famous.”
You purse your lips in amusement. Here it is. Here’s the moment to tease. “Right. And how much are you wishing you didn’t just do that in front of me.”
“Kind of a lot, to be honest.” There’s that bashful smile again.
There’s Michael being sincere again, too. So you lean your chin in your hand and ask, “So should I kiss the embarrassed expression off your face now or wait ‘til later?”
“Jesus Christ, please wait ‘til later.”
Both of you jump at the sound of another voice, and you turn around to see that one of the other employees has come behind the counter—a twenty-something who’s looking between you two with all the exasperation that you probably deserve.
Michael laughs and apologizes, immediately more at ease.
At ease while the band finishes up, at ease while he temporarily leaves you behind the counter to have a final chat with them…
So very at ease when he comes back and leans on the counter toward you from the customer’s side to say, “I can clear out of here if you want to get a bite.”
“That sounds perfect.”
“Cool.” A slight pause. “Can I give you a tour of the stock room before we go?”
You grin, and you nod, and you leave the store with Michael some twenty minutes later, thoroughly kissed.
——
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frustrateddumbbar · 12 minutes ago
time stills when i'm with you (honey, it's a blessing) 😌
pls i just wanted theo to get railed in a car :))) 
(mostly the “you smell good” part tho ngl)
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thatoneguy2009 · 12 minutes ago
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no candace he did not switch dimensions again
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