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day 4: Cooking and Baking

part of @bend-me-shape-me‘s #SPNAdventCalendar2020

“I wouldn’t go in there!” Sam bellows out the warning before Cas can even lay his hand on the door knob. “Dean said to stay the hell out of his kitchen. And that’s the censored version of what he actually said.”

Cas frowns. Turning it over in his head, he discards the warning and throws the door open anyway. He ignores whatever unintelligible thing Sam murmurs under his breath as well. 

Inside, rock versions of christmas classics are coming from a small speaker in the corner and Dean’s softly swinging to the music as he rolls some pastry on the kitchen counter. As the door clicks shut, he stops. 

“I thought I told you to stay the hell– oh, hey Cas.” The scowl on his face is immediately replaced by a brilliant smile as he discovers the intruder’s identity. “Wanna help with the cookies?”

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A/N: I’m very proud of that title, though it has little to nothing to do with this fic.

PROMPT: Jade hangs mistletoe and stands under it. The reader doesn’t know what mistletoe is and doesn’t understand why jade has been standing under the weird ceiling booger for ten minutes. | Jade x Gender Neutral!Reader

Your school day had just ended and you were headed to Jade’s house. She’d taken the day off for a reason unknown and told you to go to hers after you got out. And so, you did. Your family was not one for Christmas, neither were you. Every time schools taught about Christmas you got “sick” for the week. It wasn’t that you weren’t in the spirit or anything it’s just the colors sucked, the big red guy got all the credit for the parent’s work, and the stupid coloring sheets that got handed out were cheaply made and gave you paper cuts.

    Your lack of Christmas knowledge really showed when you unlocked Jade’s front door with the black spare key she’d given you a few weeks after you two were official and scrunched your eyebrows together when you saw her just standing at the beginning of the hallway with a weird green thing dangling over her. You noted that it looked a lot like a cartoon booger hanging from somebody’s nose.

“You just gonna stand there?” You asked.


    You just chalked it up to Jade being Jade, settled down on the couch, and started doing your homework. Your stupid teachers had given you not one but two group projects, you hated working with others, and you had to write an essay on the history of microphones. Like, who cares about that boring stuff? Ten minutes had passed and you had no luck putting five sentences together for the opening paragraph. So you gave into your desires to find out what all Jade’s standing was about and finally looked back at Jade. She was still planted there, under that weird red and green thing looking at you expectantly.

    For what? You had no clue. As far as you knew she threw some mint up there and it got stuck. Though as you looked closer at it, it seemed to be more like grass with a few weird berries on it.

“Seriously Jade, why are you just standing there?” Jade only pointed up at the weird lettuce looking thing.

“The ceiling booger?” You didn’t know what to call it so you said the most logical thing, a ceiling booger. After all, that is what you thought it was at first.

Jade looked shocked for one second but was doubling over with laughter the next at your comment.

“Have you-” she wheezed “never-” she did once more before stabling herself. “Heard of a mistletoe?”

Your face contorted in disgust and your head recoiled at the name. “Toe? Ew!”

“Oh my god!” She grabbed your wrist, with a very tight grip might I add, a thing she did so often you started getting a red mark there in the shape of her hand and dragged you down into her room. Her room was originally the basement but she converted it into her own gothic bedroom, the wall was padded with a soundproof system to block out all the sounds and keep all her sounds in. It was ideal for her and her parents. She could yell, scream, record music, in peace and quiet, and they could not have to hear her very loud metal music she listened to while sleeping. A classic win-win situation.

-I like to think she turned the basement into her room and padded it so that nothing could be heard, like in an insane asylum-

She then showed you a wide collection of *horror* movies involving the said mistletoe, every single one of the Christmas movies started out all happy-go-lucky to Jade’s disgust but all ended with the main couple dead in a ditch or someplace in the woods, not the most ideal of movies for learning but movies nonetheless. After your newfound discovery of the true meaning of the mistletoe, it was your turn to do the very tight wrist grabbing and you dragged her up where she dragged you down right back to where the mistletoe was hanging. You walked right under it, almost mirroring what she was doing when you entered earlier, and grabbed her toward you. You smiled and kissed her sweetly, almost too sweetly. After a short while, you pulled away and touched your forehead to hers in a swift motion.

“Now this is the true meaning of Christmas!”

And with that the two of you spent the rest of the day cuddled up in her bed watching all the gruesome Christmas horror movies Jade wanted.

A/N: This was much shorter than intended… but hey, it’s better than nothing!

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I find that I am not a fan of desire

This is the one thing the scholar wants to say to someone. Before he lay to rest, which could be tomorrow or some years from today, he wants to tell someone that he is not a fan of desire. He is not partial to that which he can not control, which twists around his body like mist and infiltrates his blood each time he breathes in. It often settles in the bottom of his lungs, often in the depths of his diaphragm, often wedges itself in the marrow of his bones.

It took ahold of the very way he moved. The path the scholar walked upon, and is walking upon, towards libraries and bookshelves, and endless nights, and breath tinged with the stench of tea and coffee, and eyes that will go blind from the feeble lamplight at night, is a not long one. Not anymore. But desire is a fickle thing, and the scholar doesn’t want to bear its weight any longer. 

No, the scholar doesn’t want to hold desire any longer. 

The scholar wants nothing at all. He wants to stop lying.

But desire has other plans for him. The vile thing is in every joint that aches and every rotting organ. So, he continues moving and researching and learning. And that path he walks on with such disdain keeps rolling under his feet. The scholar remembers another piece of information he wants to pass on as he comes to a crystal lake, pearly cloud reflected within it. 

Desire and destiny are close friends, and destiny is cruel, and desire follows in her footsteps.

He could tell the entire anecdote of his life, of every love and interest lost in the pursuit of knowledge, but it would not be so useful as the information held in that sentence. Because when the scholar met desire for the first time and shook its hand, destiny’s eyes stared down from behind. 

He never did know what to write for his theses. And the truth of the matter was he never knew why he shook desire’s hand in the first place. It wasn’t his intention to walk these plains, but he was excited to learn what the dirt and grass would feel like under his bare feet. He knew, oh he knew, that the skin on his soles would begin to flake away before it was ever allowed to callus, but he would have given anything to feel something. Stress of the weight placed on his shoulders by destiny and determination was so much more than the nothingness he had before. 

And the scholar may hate desire more than he could hate anything else, but his hand is still latched onto hers. 

Somewhere, as I turn to desire, a child turns to his mother.

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Trouble seeking puppy

Small ficlet! I haven’t written anything in YEARS like im talking quizilla years so im rusty and figured I should make something small. Gotta start somewhere!

Nothing really naughty but just an idea ive been having for a while~


VERY LITTLE mention/thought of super light petplay (im talking VERY VERY light guys!)

I like the thought of Geralt being very uncomfortable with sexy things (not repulsed just kinda overwelmed by it) until Jaskier and Yen come along :) Gonna try to do a small series of this but idk we’ll see how much time I have to actually write lol



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It was snowing. 


Neil sat next to the window in Kevin, Andrew and his own shared dorm. He had moved his desk near the window to get some sort of freedom from looking at the white walls of the dorm room. He was damn near Fox Tower happy with how snowy it had been. 

But, really, when he had said one thing about it Matt had looked at him funny and pointed out, “Dude, we are up north.” 

“But I looked it up.” Neil insisted as he motioned to his laptop. 

“You looked up the weather?” Matt’s eyebrows shot up to his hairline. 

“Yes? I can’t go running if it’s constantly snowing. I looked it up and it said that our area should only get five inches of snow.” 

Neil shook his head and sighed as he pointed towards the door. “That is more than five inches of snow.” 

Matt couldn’t help the grin that spread across his face. “You REALLY hate the weather, huh?” 

Neil couldn’t deny that. 

After all, it meant he was trapped in some way, and that made the hair on the back of his neck stand on end. He might be safe, but he wasn’t exactly used to being safe. His self preservation instincts were kicking into over drive. 

He had only been able to go for a few runs since the winter season had started. 

Matt chuckled and had just patted his shoulder as he turned on something to listen to while he and Neil hung out and studied together. Now Neil was staring out the window as white snow swept across the grounds in visible trails and flurried throughout the side. He pressed his palm to the window, took a deep breath, and let it out slowly. 

You’re safe. You’re fine.

Instead of chasing his thoughts down a darker path, Neil let his eyes wander around the campus grounds as he watched several lone figures scurry around. One person even fell on their ass and took a moment to get up. Neil let out a wince in sympathy. 

That would really suck. 

Anything was better than chasing his own thoughts right then. 

He pulled his focus on the grounds back towards the window of the dorm room window. He looked up and at the top of the window just barely formed were tiny icicles. He hummed as he tapped the window with his pointer finger. They were outside and too far up to bother or dislodge. 

“Pretty.” He mumbled as he stared up at them from the safety of his warm dorm room. 

He wouldn’t have been able to stop and do this if he had still been with his mother. He could almost feel the ghost of her hand threading into his hair and tugging. 

Stephan, don’t waste your time on such frivolous things.

His heart picked up in his chest as he let out another steady breath. He was okay. He was in his dorm room, in the warmth, safety, and among friends. He sat back and thought about Andrew, Kevin, Matt, Dan and all the other foxes that made sure that he was taken care of. 

The tension in his shoulders relaxed and he sighed tipping his head back against the head rest of his desk chair. 

I’m safe.


He didn’t realize that Andrew must have heard him that morning. 

The other had been in the living room ignoring Kevin’s insistence that they all go and practice. He had ignored him and then they had settled down to watch something on their t.v. Neil had felt a little too exposed so he had kind of kept himself in the room for as long as he was able to. 

Then he had been summoned by Allison to go help pick out gifts. 

“I’m not going to be much help.” Neil pointed out as he got out of the passenger side of Allison’s car. 

She stood up, brushed her hair back from her face, and shut her door. “I’m well aware of that.” 

“Then why did you ask me to come?” 

“Bonding Neil, we’re bonding.” Allison answered with a satisfied hum. 

He wandered up and into the crowded mall beside her. Even before they were fully into the hustle and bustle of the throng of mall patrons, Neil felt his phone buzz. He took it out and flipped it open. 

It was a message from Andrew. 

Well, to be precise, it wasn’t a message but a picture. 

It wasn’t anything grand, but it was an artistic picture of icicles. 

Neil puzzled over it for a second, shrugged and put up his phone. 

“What did the monster want?” Allison asked. 

Neil frowned, “Don’t call him that.” 

Allison waved her hand at him, “Well?” 

“Nothing. He just sent me a picture of icicles.” Neil answered as he turned around and shived his hands and phone back into his pockets. 

“Icicles?” Allison asked again. 

“Icicles.” Neil answered with a nod. 

They stood there for a second, and before Allison could ask anything else, Neil shrugged at her, “Where are we going first?” 

“Oh. Yes, I was thinking that I would get this cute bracelet I saw for Renee. It’s got her asthetic written all over it.” 

Neil frowned, “Asthetic?” 

“Yeah you know, her style. Oh. Wait. You don’t know.” Allison teased him as she eyed him, “For your Christmas present we’re getting you some new clothes again.” 

“Oh boy.” Neil murmured as he followed after the tall blonde as she moved through the crowd with practiced ease. 


The second picture came later when he was with Kateyln studying in the library. 

They had the same cast off elective, so they tended to work together. Andrew hadn’t said not to work with her, but he still didn’t acknowledge her existence. Maybe that might change a few years down the line after Aaron and Katelyn had more time together. 

“Neil. Why don’t you look up these terms, and I’ll start on the bottom half.” Katelyn suggested with a small smile. 


She hummed and fell into a comfortable silence with him. 

If there was one thing Neil had learned about her, it was that she was kind of like him in some ways. The best way was that if it was quiet she didn’t fumble for words to try and fill the space, she just let it be. 

“Oh. I saw that they were doing apple cider and cinnamon cider down on the bottom floor. I think I’ll get some. Do you want some Neil?” 

Neil looked up from where he had his laptop and dictionary both open as he had been looking at one of the referenced articles. “Oh. No, I don’t think so.” 

“I bet the cinnamon one is just spicy. I’ll get one for you to try.” 

With that the vixen was gone with a wave and it was quiet again. Neil sighed and leaned against the study table as he flipped through a few pages in the book and hummed quietly. He had been so focused on what he was doing that he didn’t even notice Katelyn had come back until he felt the warmth of the styrofoam cup against the side of his arm. 

He flinched and looked up. Katelyn smiled apologetically at him, “Sorry.” 

“It’s fine.” Neil forced his fingers around the cup as he peered at the red liquid. 

Katelyn smiled, “It’s not going to kill you.” 

Of course not. Well, probably not. If it had been Riko that handed him that cup it would have probably had a greater chance. 

Before he could take a sip, he felt his phone buzz in his pocket again. 

Neil set down the cup and took out his phone. 

Another message from Andrew. 

Again, after opening it there was a picture of the overhang at Fox Tower and a ton of larger icicles on the edge. The picture was taken just so that the light hit right into the icicles and made them look like they were glowing. 

“I haven’t seen you smile like that before.” Katelyn teased him, bringing Neil’s attention back to the present company. 

Neil cleared his throat and shut his phone. “It’s just a message from Andrew.” 

Katelyn’s smile waned for a second, before it was replaced with something softly. “He’s something isn’t he? With you it seems like he’s softer.” 

Neil blinked, “Not really.” 

Andrew was just able to let more of himself out. He had been working hard to start trying to patch things up, but there would always be those things that stuck around and made it hard for him to show that to everyone. 

He didn’t need to work to show Neil though. Neil knew without a doubt that there were sides to Andrew that others would never see. They just didn’t care to look deep enough. 

“You’d be surprised.” Katelyn told him. 


The third and last picture was during dinner. 

Dan and Matt had caught him coming out of the library and whisked him off for Italian. They had met Allison and Renee and they found themselves having several different conversations. Neil’s partner at this point in dinner was Renee. 

Things had always been a little awkward with her, but if there was one thing his time at Palmetto had taught him was that Renee could be trusted. She had been beside and still was Andrew’s best friend. They still sparred. 

She had even kept in touch with Jean through his transition into the USC Trojans. 

He had even sent her a small thank you card. 

They had been finishing up their dessert and talking about classes again when the conversation touched on the upcoming full school break and their plans. 

“I think Neil should come up with us to New York.” Allison offered. 

“I think Randy would love to have more time to talk to him. After all he is Matt’s best friend.” Added Dan as Matt nodded. 

Neil blinked, “We’re best friends?” 

Matt couldn’t help the dopey smile on his face as he reached over and ruffled Neil’s hair, “Yeah Neil. We are.” 

Neil swatted at Matt’s hands causing him to laugh and pull them back away from the striker.

Best friend.

It was a foreign word. Another something that Neil wasn’t supposed to have. 

“I don’t think you should include Neil in your plans.” Renee gently added. 

All attention turned to her. 

“Why not?” Allison demanded. 

“I just have a feeling that Neil is already spoken for.” Renee answered diplomatically. 

His cell phone buzzed in his pocket. 

Neil fished out his cell phone and there was another message from Andrew. This time it was outside the Italian restaurant, again icicles in the picture. The picture was again artfully taken and there was a note underneath the picture this time: 

Come outside.

Neil looked up and everyone was staring at him. 

“Andrews here so I’m just going to go.” He told them. He stood up and reached for his wallet, but Allison rolled her eyes and waved him off. 

“You have your lover boy waiting out there. We’ll cover you.” 

“He’s not-” Neil started. 

“Oh no. He totally is.” Dan agreed as Matt nodded along with her. 

“Tell Andrew hello for me.” Renee added as she smiled up at him. 

Neil felt the heat in his cheeks. He nodded and turned around waving once, but otherwise checked out. He made his way outside to see the Maserati idling by the curb. He opened the door and slid inside. 

Andrew had the heater on blast and he waited until he heard the door shut before merging back into traffic. 

Neil put on his seatbelt and he turned to look at Andrew. 

The other didn’t look at him, “Did you miss me today?” 

Andrew didn’t answer. He did however put his hand on the console between them. Neil stared at the outstretched palm and murmured, “Yes or no?” 

The intimacy they had was hard won. Neil would never take it for granted. 

“Yes.” Andrew muttered quietly. 

Neil covered Andrew’s palm with his own and threaded their fingers together. Andrew squeezed his hand gently, and Neil squeezed back in answer. 

“So, why did you keep sending me icicles today?” 

“I heard you say they were beautiful.” Andrew’s fingers flinched as his thumb brushed against the side of Neil’s pointer finger gently. 

Neil felt as if his heart pinched hard inside his chest and made it hard to breathe for a couple of seconds.

Whatever this was between them, Neil would always cherish it. 

He turned to look outside as the snow fell softly outside the window as they drove back to the Fox Tower, “They really are.” 

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Why, thank you! As for where Xemnas would go next…

Well, I’ve always been fond of the idea of Terra as a baker. Imagine Terra patiently teaching this Nobody how to bake. He doesn’t actually think anything will really come out of it, it’s just a good starting point, really. 


Xemnas starts baking bread. Baking lots of bread, all the bread. None of it’s very good at first, quite the opposite, blocks of charred lumps everywhere on the counters. Even Chirithy refuses to eat them and the Dream Eater eats almost anything. 

But he gets better. The bread is actually good though there is still more produced than the inhabitants of the Land of Departure could eat in months. 

So. They start sending it off to their friends as gifts. Xemnas doesn’t mind and has started making bread puns now instead of talking about Nothingness all the time. Terra isn’t sure if that’s an improvement. Ven thinks it is. Aqua’s on the fence. Chirithy isn’t good with wordplay so the jokes go over their head. 

Everyone finds out eventually. Axel is the first (and only) person to make jokes about possible poisoning. Everyone else politely ignores him. 

Xemnas keeps baking bread. It’s…satisfying to create, instead of destroy. It may be destroyed eventually, as is the purpose of a food substance, to be broken down and devoured. But. It’s not a bad purpose to serve. 

(At least until Ansem SOD shows up and starts making fun of him for it. But that’s another story.)

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“Tell me about him?” Morgan says.

Peter sits beside her in the dirt, leaning his back against the cracked headstone. He never talks about Tony, not with anyone. Especially not with Morgan. It’s not just a slippery slope—it’s a cracked, eroded, vertical decline with nowhere to go but down. One second, he’ll tell her about Eugene Thomson’s expression when Iron Man showed up to the decathlon final. The next, he’ll tell her about turning to dust in Tony’s arms, whimpering he didn’t want to die while Tony stroked his hair and clung to him. Peter has no filter. Not when it comes to Mr. Stark.

“Why don’t you tell me about him, instead?” Peter says.

Morgan makes a face. At eleven, she’s every bit her father’s daughter. She has his haughty eyes, his sharp nose, and the same regal intelligence that steals every room she enters. She’ll start her sophomore year of high school next fall, four years ahead of schedule. The papers call her a prodigy, but it makes Peter nervous. Brilliance has a cost.

“I don’t remember him,” she says. “He died when I was five.”

There’s a lump in Peter’s throat as he traces the harsh T on the headstone.

“You don’t remember him at all?”

“Nope,” she says, popping the ‘p.’ “Nothing.”

“Doesn’t your mom talk about him?”

Morgan shrugs an arrogant, dismissive shrug that makes Peter’s heart twist in his chest.

“Sure,” she says. “But it’s Father’s Day, and she’s at a conference in Japan. And you’re hanging out in a graveyard with me. What does that tell you?”

“That I have no social life?”

“That too.”

Morgan pauses. She scoots besides Peter, leaning her head against his shoulder. Her high tops are scuffed with muddy dirt, and the bouquet of flowers have begun to wilt. The headstone is frigid against Peter’s back, and there’s a lump caught in his throat. He doesn’t think he’s ever felt so cold.

“When does thinking about your dead dad stop hurting?” Morgan asks.

Her scowl is emotionless, but Peter sees the dampness in her eyes. It’s so rare that she shows vulnerability, even with him. She lost her childhood the second Thanos lost the war. Her father died saving the world, and she’s been hounded by reporters and followed by cameras every day since. Tony’s grave is in the middle of nowhere, unmarked except for that single ‘T,’ and there’s not a damn thing Peter can say that will bring her comfort. At least, not if he’s honest.

“Life doesn’t get easier, kid,” Peter says. He ruffles her hair. “But you’ll get stronger, and more capable of handling the stuff it throws at you.”

“Easy for you to say. You’re Spiderman.”

“Even after I got my powers, it was really hard,” Peter says, nudging her. “I had so much to learn, and I was such a little shit…”

That makes her smile. “I bet you were.”

“I drove your dad nuts.” Peter’s voice is thick. He clears his throat, but that doesn’t help. He hasn’t gotten worked up like this in so long. It takes him back to Wakanda, apologizing over and over as Mr. Stark struggled to speak…

“He loved you so much,” Morgan says. “He used to tell me bedtime stories about the Amazing Spiderman. About all the crazy adventures you got up to. Rescuing cats from trees, and hounding Uncle Happy, and eating churros old ladies bought for you.”

“I thought you didn’t remember anything,” Peter manages to say.

His throat feels so tight. How is he still this emotional? He’s twenty-two, a college graduate, and he’s heading the R&D department of Stark Industries. He’s finally got his life together. It’s his job to hold it together for Morgan, the way Ben and May always held it together for him. He’s not a kid anymore.

She doesn’t meet his eyes. “I remember some things.”

“Like what?” Peter says encouragingly.

“He liked popsicles,” she says. “He made the best voices when my stuffed animals had tea parties. And he always made time for me. If I asked him to play, he’d drop everything.”

“Yeah,” Peter says. He tries desperately not to think about the ferry incident. “He was good at being there when we needed him.”

“I don’t remember the important stuff,” says Morgan, “like how he looked in the Iron Man suit or watching him save the world.”

“Good,” Peter says. “That’s not what he’d want you to remember.”

A raven caws in the distance. The sun is beginning to set behind the hills, and it’s getting cold. Morgan moves closer, worming her way under his arm. Peter watches the determined look in her eyes, and he can’t help but remember the first time he ever met Tony. He was around her age, visiting the Stark Expo with Ben. The homicidal robots took over the place, and Peter, safe behind his plastic mask, lifted a hand to blast one of them…

“Do you miss him?” Morgan asks.

There’s no point lying. “Every day,” Peter says. He sniffs. “He’d be so proud of you. Of both of us.”

“We’re his legacy,” Morgan says, nodding importantly. “That’s what the papers say.”

Peter gives a little laugh. He pulls her closer and inhales the sweet scent of damp dirt. He reaches out behind him, to trace that single letter ‘T,’ and he tries to remember what it was like to be young. Back when he thought he was a superhero, even though his only outfit was a stupid plastic mask. When he finally got powers for real, and he used them to get cats out of trees. Peter thinks about all the messages he left Happy, and all the hours he spent in the lab with Tony. Mr. Stark, his mentor. Mr. Stark, his friend.

The problem is, it’s been six years. And just like Morgan, Peter feels like he’s starting to forget. Every time they come back here, it’s like losing Tony all over again.

“We’re not his legacy,” Peter says, and he presses a kiss to the top of Morgan’s head. “We’re his children.”

“I like that,” Morgan says.

“Yeah,” Peter agrees. “I do, too.”

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Read on AO3

Pairing: Nicolò di Genova/Yusuf al-Kaysani | Joe

Warnings: Religious conflict, anti-religion themes, hint of self-hatred, religious guilt. 

The space between them was thick with tension, their eyes downcast as they stood apart, the wall they had meticulously taken apart, piece by piece, slowly rebuilding itself. The room was small, the inn decrepit and forgotten on the outskirts of a busy town, a last-minute shelter as the winds picked up and the clouds loomed heavy in the night sky. Nicolò couldn’t help but find it fitting for where they had ended up this night.

His arms were crossed over his bare chest, trying to ward off the chill coming from the window at his back, seeping in from the imperfect seal. Nicolò knew how it must make him seem, the defensive stance as he stood with his feet spread and his head downturned. It was all he had to protect himself from the sensation of his heart shattering.

The scales had been balancing precariously for a long time now and he isn’t sure what tipped them tonight, what had sent them both crashing down. Nicolò does not dare look up, can’t bear the sight of Yusuf looking small and miserable where he is seated on the edge of their shared bed…knows that to do so would strip him of his will, would make him fall to his knees in front of him, if only to return a smile to his face.

The lights from their candles, four in total, send shadows dancing across the dusty floors and he wonders if it was its promise of anonymity that had made them loosen their tongues, had Nicolò speaking the words tucked away in his heart for so long. Truthfully, the reason hardly mattered because now the darkness felt anything but safe. No, it was suffocating in its thickness, conspiring with their silence to strangle him and break him beyond recovery.

Not that he wasn’t already broken.

“I will leave in the morning. We are close to the sea; I’ll find a ship to board and-” the words become ash on his tongue, taste of poison as his lips form the shapes. Nicolò does not want to leave, cannot imagine a life without Yusuf by his side. Still, he knows he must because although distance will do nothing to ease the agony ripping through his heart, time will.


Yusuf’s voice, rough with emotion, was enough to draw his gaze, to force Nicolò to look at the man he loved so fervently, who had claimed that same devotion only minutes prior. The shadows make him look older, haggard in a way their bodies would never be and the urge to go to him was enough to steal Nicolò’s breath away.

“Don’t leave. We promised each other-”

“I cannot stay.”

“You can,” Yusuf’s gaze was unwavering, resolute in a way Nicolò had only ever seen in the midst of battle. “You can stay right here, and we can-”

“Yusuf,” Nicolò was tired, felt his exhaustion down to the marrow of his bones. “I cannot love you like this.”

He took a shuddering breath, seemed to crumple in on himself, face buried in his hands, muffling his words, “yet you already do.”

“Yes,” Nicolò murmured and it should be a relief, a weight should have tumbled from their shoulders the moment they had made their confessions…but instead they only found themselves falling further into the uncertainty and fear. “That is why I must leave. This is not right-” he couldn’t help but stumble over the word. “We both know we aren’t meant to love each other like that.”

“Who says?” Yusuf looked up, back straightening, brows furrowed as he spoke. “I love you and I have yet to find a reason for that to be wrong.”

Nicolò winced as his friend tread so very close to blasphemy, found himself turning away, leaving his back to the man, needing to be freed from the intensity of his eyes. The problem was that he could easily see it, could imagine his life by Yusuf’s side, belonging to him in body and soul and the thought…it was terrifying.

He was not a fool nor was he naïve…he was not so blind as to not see what had gone on around him despite his faith’s teachings. At the monastery, he’d curled his lip in disgust on the few occasions he spotted some of the elder men spending too much time with the younger students, the servants. A blind eye was often turned to such behavior and Nicolò waited every day to see if his God would strike those men dead for their actions.

Once he joined in the Holy War, he saw the same among the soldiers, watched them pleasure each other without thought or propriety. Nicolò recalled the lust in their gazes, the leers, the roughness of their actions and it was easy to imagine it was unnatural.

Except…what he felt for Yusuf was not simply lust, he didn’t not just yearn for the other man’s body. No, he craved his company, cherished his smiles, reveled in the sound of his laughter, and found himself feeling lighter every day he was allowed to remain by his side.

It felt good and it felt right.

He could not imagine a love like this being something worthy of being called a sin. Or at least…he couldn’t until he began to count the ways he lost himself in it. The violence he dealt to those who had snuffed out the light in Yusuf’s eyes was enough to terrify him, the things he was willing to do just so Yusuf would look at him and whisper his name, it was a power difficult to imagine, difficult to wield.

The creak of the floorboards made him tense. Nicolò was not certain he was strong enough to leave the man, did not know how to fight in the face of his unwavering conviction. How he could be so sure, while admitting his own doubts in his faith was awe-inspiring.

“Nicolò,” a whisper, a prayer. “You once told me that our meeting was destiny, fate tying us together. I cannot believe that this is true only for you to leave me now. There is no where you might go, that I will not follow…as your friend or your lover.”

A palm, calloused and familiar pressed against he bare skin of his back and Nicolò felt himself deflate, had to swallow the sob that rose up in his chest and suddenly he was being gathered into Yusuf’s arms, as he had so many times before, losing himself in the scent and strength of him.

“I should go,” Nicolò choked out.

“You should stay,” Yusuf countered. “We will figure this out together.”

“I am afraid.”

“Me too.”

Nicolò squeezing his eyes shut against the gentle touch to his hair, Yusuf’s attempt to sooth him. No more words needed to be said, never had to be said between them to simply understand the meaning, for they were practically one now. He thought of a day so far past that it was barely more than a fuzzy memory, dredged up from the depths of his mind.

He recalled the feeling of the sun beating down on his sensitive and aching skin, felt the phantom pains of hunger, remembered with startling clarity the horror and fear he felt when this very man stood above him, hand outstretched, expression twisted into something devastated and grim, as he asked him for peace…for trust…for a chance.

This felt like that, except unlike that first time, he knew exactly what was being promised, what awaited him if he took that offering and committed himself to seeing it through. Yusuf paused, his own voice taking on a pleading tone, “stay Nicolò, for me, just stay.”

He had always been helpless to resist him.


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Omg I have more ficlet prompts in my queue than I thought I ever would have. I’ll tell you guys this: I will get to them but not all at once hahaha I’ll probably be writing them out of order too

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I got no clue what to write, finally have a free moment tonight to write as yesterday was like my 2nd test done and over with, only a few more to go, yay me. If ya have any prompts, gimme gimme, mk tootles.

UPDATE: I found a prompt I like! new fic coming this sat! Jade x Reader, my specialty. I’m thinking of doing some other fandoms later, but for now I’ll stick to what I know. And yes, it is Christmas themed. I’m also thinking of doing a chatfic but that come after testing and all!

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The bell above the door chimed obnoxiously loud as Rhett stumbled into the 24/7 laundromat with his arms full of several Ikea bags filled to the brim with his dirty clothes. He let them drop to the tiled floor and quickly looked around. To Rhett’s relief, the small room seemed to be empty and he was alone with the rows of quietly humming washers and dryers. It was the first time Rhett went into one of these places, and he wasn’t in the mood to make awkward small talk with strangers while trying to figure out how to use the machines properly.  

It was embarrassing for a middle-aged man like him, but Rhett had never done his own laundry before. Throughout his entire life, there’d always been someone to do it for him, either his mom, his wife, his roommate in college or most recently the staff at the hotel he’d stayed in over the last weeks.  

Now the divorce was through and he’d finally moved into a new apartment, and strangely it only occurred to him at half past ten the night before a big presentation at work that his dress shirts and boxer shorts would, in fact, not magically clean themselves for him. So Rhett had googled the nearest laundromat and stuffed a good part of his wardrobe’s contents in bags.  

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Part 3 of Chapter 1

Part 1 | Part 2

wc: 470

A copper bowl sat on the table covered with a bright purple cloth. Rowena had painted a sigil on it with angel blood and Dean wasn’t going to ask where she got it from. He wasn’t paying attention. Unlike Sam, who was being a geek over all this witchy stuff again. Rowena mumbled something in some language he didn’t bother to identify.

He was excited and worried. He was ecstatic. He was terrified. And was starting to get a little impatient.

Both of them had bandages on their forearms that vanished as soon as Jack flew in with the last ingredient and healed them. Sam lit a match as Rowena chanted something and Jack formed a semicircle against the wall with some sort of yellow powder. Probably to keep the Empty at bay.

As soon as the match hit the cloth it burned a dark blue and turned to ashes. Around 5 seconds passed when Dean thought it didn’t work and felt his heart sink. But then the bowl caught fire and burned deep blue again.

The wall they were facing started to bubble. The same black goo Dean saw take Castiel away started pouring through. It then formed a rectangular space on the wall. A door.

The four of them looked at each other waiting for something to come out of it.

When nothing did, Jack walked forward and tentatively put his hand inside the hole and pulled back. “It worked.” He said, “It’s cold. And empty. You can’t feel anything. I’ve been there. Are you sure it’s safe for Dean to go in?”

“He will be with this on him.” Rowena smiled and tossed a little hex bag at him. But before Dean could say anything a voice came from the door.

“You just won’t give up on that pesky little angel will you?” The Empty had walked out of the door wearing Meg’s face. “How many times do I gotta tell ya? I’m not giving him back.”

“Yeah, we thought so,” Rowena said with a smirk and threw a gold sphere the size of a golf ball into the door.

A look of confusion passed the Empty’s face before it wailed and fell to its knees. “You made it louder! Make it stop!”

“You know who we want. Give us our angel and you can sleep for the rest of eternity.” Rowena looked both pleased and mildly surprised it worked.

The look in the Empty’s eyes made it clear that if they didn’t have leverage over it they would have all suffered a slow horrible death.

“Fine! Go! Take it! Take them all!” It wailed and lay there on the floor covering its ears. 

Jack nodded for Dean to follow and moved towards the door.

Dean took one last glance at Sam, who was working to keep the door open and stepped into the dark Empty.

ᵗᵃᵍ ˡᶦˢᵗ ᵘⁿᵈᵉʳ ᵗʰᵉ ᶜᵘᵗ. ᵃˢᵏ ᵗᵒ ᵇᵉ ᵃᵈᵈᵉᵈ ᵒʳ ʳᵉᵐᵒᵛᵉᵈ.

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“I could be a hero,” the villain said. “But so could you. I at least don’t lack for ambition.”

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Sam’s not surprised by Dean and Cas’s “relationship.”

Sam’s not surprised when he catches Dean and Cas staring at each other for way longer than what’s considered normal.

Sam’s not surprised Cas only comes when Dean calls.

Sam’s not surprised when Dean asks Cas to stay at the bunker with him and Sam

Sam’s not surprised when he discovers the mixtape Dean made for Cas.

Sam’s not surprised when Dean grieves like a widow when Cas dies.

Sam’s not surprised when he found Cas sneaking out of Dean’s room in the middle of the night.

Sam’s not surprised when he sees Dean being reckless after Cas was taken by The Empty.

Sam’s not surprised when Dean begged Jack to bring Cas back.

Sam is surprised when they finally get Cas back, and the first thing Dean does is walk right up to the Angel, grab him by the hips, saying “Welcome home, Honey,” and kisses him.

Sam thinks, huh, I guess I can still be surprised…

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Originally posted by jarpadxmasjensens

“So,” I walked into the living room, handing Sam his tea. I gingerly sat down on the couch across from him. “Fight any good wars lately?”

Sam gulped and smoothed his hair back from his face. “Shonelle told you, huh?” he chuckled uncomfortably. Cas’ eyes widened and he made an excuse about seeing Matthew and headed upstairs. 

“I’m only asking because I know you’ll be straight with me. Don’t sugarcoat it. How much danger are we in?”

“Rachel, you’re not in any danger as long as we’re with you, you know that.”

I nodded. “Is that why you guys came back?” 

Sam paled. He nodded. “To an extent, yes. It’s… it’s kind of our fault that the war has moved here. We were trying to shake a shifter and it latched onto Cas while he was getting ready to take off and he panicked and came here. He immediately went back to Chicago, but the shifter had seen enough and knew we were trying to keep something here away from him. We’re following him and we think he’s in the area.” He scooted closer to me and ran his fingers through my hair, holding my face in his palm. “You and Shonelle are going to be okay. Dean and I will keep you safe, no matter what it takes. I promise you.”

I nodded, fear evident in my eyes. “What about Cas? Will he be okay?”

“He’ll be fine, I promise. We’re both going to stay with you for the next few weeks while we track this shifter down and take care of him before anymore head down. Hopefully we can stop this war before it even begins here.”

I nodded, standing up and collecting my empty cup of tea. “I figured as much. You’re both welcome to stay as long as you need to.” He nodded and stood, holding his empty cup of tea as well. “One thing, I don’t get,” I muttered, stopping in my tracks. Sam raised his eyebrows. “Why didn’t you just tell me?”

“Dean and I agreed we’d try to keep it under wraps as much as possible, but…” 

“Shonelle used her woman powers,” I supplied, raising an eyebrow suggestively. Sam laughed, the light shining in his eyes. I’ll admit, I did miss this. He was one of my best friends, honestly, and it was great to have him back home where he belonged. “Let’s just agree that, since you guys have been gone, I did turn twenty years old and am no longer a child. Like, at all. You can tell me stuff. I can’t promise I won’t freak out initially, but I’d like to know and be able to help if I can.”

“You’re not asking me to help you become a hunter, are you?” Sam’s face was considerably paler than it had been this entire conversation. 

I bit back a laugh. Wouldn’t that be something? Me, a hunter. Or, a huntress? Whatever the terminology, the image of me beheading vampires and traveling with Sam and Dean just didn’t fit. I wasn’t the fighting type. I helped Sam with research. I was going to be a publishing company editor. I wasn’t going to fight monsters for a living. 

“Really? Can you imagine me as a hunter?” I laughed. “I would suck as a hunter. I’d probably run for the hills as soon as there was even a hint of danger.” I walked toward the kitchen and Sam followed. “No thanks, I’ll stick to my books. You guys can fight things.” I placed our mugs in the sink and turned toward Sam. “You know, I bet Shonelle would love a crash course in hunting! You should tell Dean.”

“That’s not funny.”

“It’s kind of funny.” 

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Originally posted by super100012

“I understand you’re a secretary and you have to be polite to everyone,” Sam began, pushing his hair back away from his face. “But do you have to be overly nice to certain people?”

  I looked up at him from my homework. “Ooh, sounds like you have an example,” I replied, placing my pencil down. I gestured for him to continue. “Like the kid that finished his lessons today.”


“Yeah, him.” I stared at him in disbelief.

 He frowned. “What?”

“You forgot his name.”

“Yeah, so?”

“It’s the same as yours.” 

Sam sighed. “That’s not the point. The point is that you’re overly nice to people.”

“People like Sam.”

“Yes, people like Sam, and… it’s not safe.” I laughed. “He’s a seventeen year-old kid, I think I’ll be okay.” I turned back to my homework as Sam sighed again and stood up to leave the room.

“Wait,” I said, looking up at him. He paused in the doorway. I smirked. “Sam, are you jealous?” I could practically see his cheeks color from where I was sitting.

“What? Of a kid? Don’t be ridiculous.” I turned back to my homework. “Right, it’s dumb to be jealous of Sam. He’s seventeen. And hilarious. And his family is so sweet. And age means nothing to me.”

He spun around to face me. “You’re doing that on purpose.”

“I’m sorry, what exactly am I doing?”

“So you’re saying I do have a reason to be jealous of Sam?”

“I don’t see why you have a reason to be jealous of anyone; you and I aren’t together.” Silence hung in the air for a few uncomfortable minutes.

I shifted in my seat awkwardly as Sam nodded slowly. “You’re right.” He turned and walked out of the room, but not before I heard him mumble, “and that’s the problem.”

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Originally posted by hunterchesters

Fuck. I did not want to do this. I stood outside my door staring hard at the handle. I could run away. I could walk outside or turn everything out with a blast of my music. Actually, that sounds like a grand idea. 

 I pulled my phone out of my pocket and pressed play. I didn’t even bother picking a specific song like I usually do. 

  Have you got color in your cheeks? 

 Really fate? Really?

  I shoved my phone in my pocket, took a deep breath, and walked into my bedroom. Dean picked his head up from the tv and gave me a casual grunt.  The noise alone sent my mind into a frenzy of thoughts of scenes that were playing over and over in my head. If my skin wasn’t so dark, I know I would blush.

  “Hey, I’ve got to ask you something.”


   “And you have to be completely honest.” 

  He turned the tv off and looked me in the eye. “Shonelle what is it?”

  “I’m just going to pretend I have lady balls and come right out and ask. Do you… have a thing for me?”

The silence that flowed between us was overflowing. He stood up and walked towards me. “What… makes you ask that?”

  “Well Rachel and Sam–”

  “Of course. You believe everything those two say”?”

  “Usually no, but I’ve been noticing a few things and if you were to tell me you do have a thing for me than–”

  “Then what?”

  “Then I would maybe possibly tell you that I have a thing for you too.”

  I wish I could place what Dean’s thoughts were at this moment. He looked curious and I could tell, for the first time since I met him, that his emotions were softer than usual. I liked it. 

  He pulled me into a hug and I relaxed against him. His hugs always made me calm and well protected. When he let me go I took a sudden step back.

  “Wait is that your way of telling me you don’t feel the same way because then I feel really freaking stupid and–”

  “Shonelle.” His voice was so smooth but it didn’t stop me from rambaling. 

  “You don’t know how hard it is to deal with when you walk around with that amazing ass of yours. Its distracting.”

  The corner of his lips twiched until he fully grinned. “Well thank you.”

  “You’re impossible.” I extended my arm to push his shoulder but he caught my wrist faster than humanly possible and he pulled me closer to him. 

  “Now this,” he grinned. “Is much better.”

  I couldn’t help but smile in return. 

   “Does this answer your question? I wouldn’t just let any beautiful girl this close.”

  “Yeah sure you wouldn’t. But yes, I guess this answers it.”

   He kissed my forehead. “Good.”

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Originally posted by inacatastrophicmind

“Are you certain it is safe to be driving at such an increased speed, Rachel?” the breathless angel asked, his hands gripping the sides of his seat tightly. Cas had fought countless wars and helped the Winchesters defeat every big bad they’d ever been up against, but ten minutes in a car with Rachel and he was ready to turn in his wings.

“Relax, Cas, I’ve driven this route, like, a thousand times.” Rachel turned the music’s volume down a bit and rolled the windows up, quieting the small car. Cas seemed to relax a bit, as Rachel instructed, and she slowed the car down to just over the speed limit. Cas frowned as he watched the speedometer dip from 70 to 60.

“I don’t understand,” he began, cocking his head in that adorably innocent way of his. “If it’s a speed limit, why are most of the drivers going over it?”

“Well, it’s different. See, the purpose of the speed limit is to regulate the speed of all the drivers on the current road. So, if the drivers all agree to go five over, then they’re regulated and the speed limit still serves it’s purpose.”

“But, it’s a limit. Isn’t a limit something you’re not supposed to cross?”

“I guess we, as humans, kind of collectively decided we weren’t going to be limited by a stupid sign. We all go over the speed limit, and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying.” To demonstrate, Rachel pressed the gas yet again, shooting from 60 to 65. “Plus, I left the house later than I planned and I am never late for work.”

Cas nodded. “Where is it you work again? An alcoholic facility, I believe?”

Rachel rolled her eyes at Cas, amused. “It’s a winery, Cas.” She glanced at him. “We grow grapes and make wine and I wash glasses and stock shelves.”

“And you do other things for work. Do you still work as an administrative assistant?”

“Oh, right, you weren’t here for that.” Rachel glanced at Cas quickly to find him staring intently at her. “I, uh, quit the driving school. The boss was kind of a dick. Putt Putt replaced the driving school, so I still only have two jobs as of right now.”

“What did he do? Was he dangerous?”

“No, no, not dangerous! He was just rude. He called me stupid a few times and I didn’t think I had to take that, you know? So, I texted Quentin and asked if Putt Putt was hiring and he said they’d love to have me, so I quit!” I smiled at Cas, who still held a shocked look on his face. “Started at Putt Putt about a week later.”

“He called you stupid?” Cas asked softly. Rachel was anything but stupid. She helped Sam with research when they needed it. She was very bright for her age. Rachel shrugged it off.

“It’s no big deal, Cas, honestly. It hurt at first, but he’s a dick!” Rachel smiled at Cas, trying to reassure him.

A new thought crossed Castiel’s mind. “You’re certain he wasn’t a demon or monster of any kind?”

Rachel shook her head. “I checked, like a good little Rachel. I ‘accidentally’ spilled some Holy water on him after he called me stupid the first time.” Rachel frowned. “It was just so out of character. Up until the last few months, he’d been really nice to me. But, then we moved offices and we all got stressed out and he just got ruder and refused to focus on his customers. I just couldn’t stay there; I could see a billion lawsuits happening in his future.” She glanced at Cas again, who had taken to staring wide-eyed at the road in front of them, glancing at the rising speedometer every now and then. She sighed and slowed the car down again. Back to 60. Cas visibly relaxed.

“Perhaps a shapeshifter?” Rachel shook her head again.

“I ate pudding with a pure silver spoon and he didn’t even flinch when I asked him to put it in the sink for me.” Rachel smiled. “The pudding was a bonus, though.”

“So, not a monster. Just a dick.” Cas deadpanned. Rachel looked over at Castiel in shock.

“Cas! You’ve been hanging out with Dean way too much,” Rachel mumbled, stifling her giggles behind her hand. Cas nodded his agreement.

“I apologize for my outburst,” Cas muttered, looking out the window again.

“No need to apologize, Cas. Let it out! It’s kind of hilarious, to be honest.”

Cas smiled politely but made no move to continue spewing profanities. They drove on in silence until Cas noticed the time.

“What time did you say you were to be at work?” he asked, glancing at the clock on her dashboard.


“You are aware it is currently 12:22, yes?”

Rachel rolled her eyes. “Yes, Cas, I am aware.” She pointed to her phone, sitting in the cupholder nearest her. “Text my mom for me. Tell her ‘people suck, might be a bit late.”

Cas quickly sent the text, refraining from using the emojis Rachel had helped him discover last time they were in Virginia, and placed her phone back in the cupholder.

“According to my calculations, we are approximately seven minutes from the winery.” Rachel glanced over at Cas again. He seemed calmer, but she doubted he would make it with her usual driving techniques down the winding dirt roads that lead to the winery. “But, it’s alright if I’m a few minutes late.”

Twelve minutes later, Rachel pulls into her employee parking space safely. She puts her car in park and cuts the engine, gathering her things. “Oh, right,” she mumbles, looking up at Cas. “I know you’ve been sent here to watch over me because Sam is super overprotective in an almost annoying way, but you have to be invisible while we’re here. I do not plan on trying to explain to my boss that an angel is casually following me around while I’m working.”

“I’m also supposed to check on Shonelle every so often, per Dean’s request.”

“Okay, are they, like, a thing? Cause they so need to be a thing, it’s not even funny.”

The angel stared back at her blankly. “What?”

“Never mind,” Rachel mumbled, opening her car door. “So, go check on Shonelle. Make sure she’s not getting herself into any trouble. And, before you come back, pop in and check on Sam and Dean. Sam said something about hunting today, and if they really are involved in a war, it could be dangerous.”

Cas nodded, ever the soldier. Rachel grabbed her phone out of the cupholder and when she looked up, he was nowhere to be seen.

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Originally posted by canonspngifs

“Okay, strange phone number, you have two seconds to state your business before I fake an illness and hang up on you.”

Rach, it’s me. 

“Sam? Oh my god, thank goodness. Are you okay? Shonelle said you broke your arm?”

Yeah, I’m fine, I promise. I’m sorry we left without telling you, but my phone got crushed and it was all pretty sudden. 

“No, I know. Why did you tell Shonelle, though? Why not use your one free phone call to call me?”

Dean said it would just worry you.

“Yeah, and hearing it from Shonelle made it much less worrisome.”

Point taken. I’ll call you next time. 

“There won’t be a next time. If there is a ‘next time’ that includes you leaving unannounced and getting injured in any way, then I’m gonna choose to not acknowledge it. How’s your arm?”

I’m fine. I promise, I’ll be doing cartwheels in just a couple months. 

“Oh, gosh, don’t threaten me.”

I’m fine, Rachel, I promise. Pinky swear.

“Pinky swear, wow, you are serious.”

So, catch me up. What have I missed?

“Well, my car is virtually undriveable. I need my mount and rear struts replaced. It’s gonna cost about $500.”

Want me to see if Dean can take a look at it?

“Nah, it’s fine. I got a mechanic, and Roman actually offered to help out with the payment, so I might take him up on that offer.”

Good kid.

“Yeah, he’s alright. When are you coming home?”

I like that. 



“Oh my gosh, you’re such a girl.”

I’ll be home on Tuesday, around 8pm. You’re not going to that concert until next week, right?

“Yeah, and I’ll be at the library with my mom on Tuesday, so I’ll leave a key under the mat for you.”

You’ll be at the library? I’m intensely jealous.

“You’re also a nerd.”

You’re the one that watches sci-fi television shows on repeat.

“Hey! So does Dean!”

What are you watching now? Doctor Who?

“Nope. You’ll never guess.”

You missed me.

“Still do.”

You’re watching Gilmore Girls, aren’t you?

“How the hell do you do that?”

I know you.

“Well, then you’ll also know I have class tomorrow, so you should stop keeping me up with your weird mind reading powers.”

You have the TV on too loud.

“I knew there was a secret.”

And I know you. I also know that your class tomorrow doesn’t start until 2, so you’re gonna stay up until Netflix stops automatically playing Gilmore Girls episodes and then fall asleep on the couch. Your mom will wake up tomorrow morning, get mad because you didn’t go to your room, Matthew will be all excited and loud because it’s his first day of school, you’ll be cranky, go upstairs, fall back asleep, end up almost missing your class, and then you’ll be stressed about getting to class and won’t pay attention. Isn’t your first lab tomorrow?

“How do you know so much about me? We haven’t even known each other a year.”

I pay attention.

“Be honest, did you hire a private investigator?”

Babe, we are private investigators. 

“This is true.”

Alright, Dean is throwing as many pillows as he can find at me, so I’ll let you go.

“Tell him to stuff it, and then threaten to do the exact same thing when he mentions Shonelle.”

Look at that. He stopped. 

“Well, I know Dean.”

I’ll let you go anyway. Try to get upstairs into your room before you pass out.

“Yes, sir.”

Goodnight, Rachel. I’ll see you on Tuesday. Love you.

“Love you, too. How many pillows did Dean just throw at you?”

He rolled his eyes and stuffed one over his head. 

“Come home soon, and in one piece, preferably!”

I’ll do my best. 

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